In packed parties for print

In the time of Issue 30, they throw Party Two. The Raleigh Hatchetthat monthly Oak City glossy with an irreverent eyehosts its second HATCHETFEST at KINGS, and dudes named Molly would be proud of the rock within. On Thursday, Oct. 26, witness Brooklyn stars OAKLEY HALL (see page 50) with the nonlinear BIRDS OF AVALON and the hallucinatory HEADS ON STICKS. Friday, Oct. 27 pits guitar cuts of CAN JOANN, BRITEBOY and TRANSPORTATION with the piano aplomb of DAN BRYK. NONCANON, TINY METERORS, ALPHAS WEAR GREY and THE GREATEST HITS turn it up and out on Saturday, Oct. 28. For more, see or Grayson Currin

In exonerations

Six American men and women were convicted of capital crimes. All were condemned to death. And all of them were innocent. In THE EXONERATED, playwrights Jessica Blank and Eric Jensen use testimony, interviews and excerpts to document the horrific odyssey each one faced on their way to death rowand the gauntlet they encountered upon returning to society. Tony Lea directs a first rate cast at DEEP DISH THEATER in Chapel Hill. Thursdays through Sundays through Nov. 18. Tickets are $16-$7, for reservations call 968-1515.Byron Woods

In days and nights of the dead

Dead leaves are falling, a chill fills the air and Halloween parties are buzzing, but forget about smashing pumpkins or getting smashed on Franklin Street. Here are some alternatives: On Saturday, Oct. 28, get your fill of post-State Fair fun at a local fall festival: Cary’s GAELIC MYTHS AND MAYHEM CELTIC FEST offers up traditional Irish, Scottish and Welsh events and music (KOKA BOOTH AMPHITHEATRE; $7/ 11 a.m.-10 p.m.), or check out TRIFEST in Durham (FOREST HILLS PARK; $5-$10/ 1-6 p.m.), the HARVEST FEST in Chapel Hill (SPENCE’S FARM; $3-$7/ 7 p.m.) for fall-flavored music, food and games and a SPOOKTACULAR 100 BIKE RIDE at the AMERICAN TOBACO COMPLEX. Bands like VILLAGE PEOPLE, RUSTED ROOT and NATHAN ASHER & THE INFANTRY throw a pre-Halloween bash on GLENWOOD SOUTH on Saturday, Oct. 28. There’s a PHAT SMASHING PUMPKIN JAM at THE POUR HOUSE, too. For spine-tingling thrills, head to MOREHEAD PLANETARIUM for SCAREOLINA SKIESa spooky version of the Carolina Skies planetarium show (962-1236 for showtimes)­or on Sunday, Oct. 22 sneak on over to Carrboro’s DSI COMEDY THEATER where they kick off their new film screening series with F.W. Murnau’s 1922 classic NOSFERATU ($3-$5/9 p.m.) You could get ectoplasm friendly at the HAUNTED MORDECAI evening tour and séance (MORDECAI HISTORIC PARK; $5/ 5-10 p.m.) and the CAPITOL GHOSTS & BLACKBEARD tour (STATE CAPITOL; free/5:30-10 p.m.). The ENO RIVER STATE PARK hosts a SPOOKY SOUNDS OF THE NIGHT gathering at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 and a Halloween party on Oct. 31. Halloween day celebrations include a bluegrass boogie with BAREFOOT MANNER at LINCOLN THEATRE ($8-$10/9 p.m.), a rockstar costume party with guitar rockist HOLLYWOOD COWBOY and ALLIED THREAT at THE POUR HOUSE ($5/ 9 p.m.) and a DJ DANCE PARTY at the WETLANDS in Chapel Hill ($5/9:30 p.m.). Happy haunting. Kathy Justice

In interrupted slumber

The seven mythical wise men believed their work was done. Manipur, a remote province in northeast India, was an earthy paradise: prosperous, peaceful, green. Then came the era of the global economyand ethnic strife, poverty and injustice. In director Ratan Thiyam’s NINE HILLS, ONE VALLEY, the CHORUS REPERTORY THEATER incorporates Manipuri folk dance, music and martial arts in a colorful, metaphorical work. In examining the disintegration of order, Nine Hills asks how a culture so wounded can heal itself. Carolina Performing Arts presents it this Thursday and Friday at UNC’S MEMORIAL HALL. Tickets are $60-$10; call 843-3333.Byron Woods

In upscale invective

LEWIS BLACK lands everyone’s F word with a flair of which most comedians can only dream, wrestling with each one as if he’s tearing it out of his soul. Black despises your Nalgene bottles and your president, but he says he loves his alma mater. The UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus plans to move back to town later this year. See Black get wise on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. in Raleigh’s MEYMANDI CONCERT HALL. Tickets are $36.50-$41.50. Grayson Currin

In ahoy, matey!

It’s a fact: Bored and misanthropic teenagers make the best rock ‘n’ roll. Reed, Bolan, Richards, et al: They all started as jerk-offs in no-name bands. Nowhere is that rock aesthetic more present in regional garage festivals like our own BLACKBEARD’S LOST WEEKEND, happening at THE CAVE Thursday, Oct. 26 through Saturday, Oct. 28. Now in its third year, the Lost Weekend gathers bands from the Eastern seaboard: from the Roanoke, Va., scenewhich boasts the jangle-psych of THE YOUNG SINCLAIRS and stompers THE LOBSTERSsouthward, including Georgia and the Triangle’s own stable, from DEX to THE DIRTY LITTLE HEATERS (their last show) and BLACK MONA LISAS and the highly anticipated new Spinns’ offshoot THE GONDOLIERS. Long live boredom. For schedule and music, go to Chris Toenes