In pride, not prejudice

The Triangle turns into a party zone this weekend with the 22ND ANNUAL N.C. PRIDE FESTIVAL, and the events are as diverse as the participants. The newly crowned QUEEN OF THE TRIANGLE performs at the official kickoff party at 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29–the circus-themed BIG TOP PARTY at FOWLER’S in Durham promises to be huge, with bellydancers, a magician and a “fire performance artist.” A SIDE SHOW AFTER PARTY starts at 2:30 a.m. Saturday at 305 SOUTH, with a shuttle running between the sites until 6 a.m. Tickets are $10-$20. Meanwhile in Raleigh, the TRIANGLE GAY MEN’S CHORUS and invited guests perform at PULLEN MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH at 8 p.m., followed by a women’s party at the L CLUB, a drag show at LEGENDS and a GOSPEL DRAG SHOW at the CAPITAL CORRAL CLUB. The main event happens Saturday on DUKE’S EAST CAMPUS, with a rally at noon and the parade at 12:45. Performances by THE EX-MEMBERS and others follow all afternoon. Saturday’s NIGHT FESTIVAL in the Hargett Street area in Raleigh starts at 6, with dance parties at area clubs starting at 10 p.m., while JOE & JO’S in Durham hosts NATASHA, THE MOANERS, MIDTOWN DICKENS and THE DIRTY LITTLE HEATERS. And kids, that’s just scratching the surface. For a full schedule of events, visit —Fiona Morgan

In surprisingly sensible tourmates

If, at first, the match confuses you, look harder: Former 16 Horsepower frontman DAVID EUGENE EDWARDS has spent the last five years making records as WOVEN HAND, a reference to the shape of palms folded in prayer. As such, his songs are rigorous reckonings of very human quests for steadfast faith in diabolic situations, sincere meditations on his search for a higher power. Norwegian sweethearts SERENA-MANEESH, though, momentarily shock and scare unsuspecting stateside viewers: Bassist Hilma Nikolaisen is a towering blonde who looks like a more imposing Nico, and her brother and frontman, Emil, looks like a Gothic mercenary who writhes onstage like he’s wrestling demons. Their sound is a swirling, savage, psychedelic roar of delayed guitars, droning violin and stratospheric vocals that swell and break against thundering drumheads. But Edwards’ latest, Mosaic, was released on Sounds Familyre, the label founded by Daniel Smith, who also leads the world’s most interesting (and inventive) Christian rock band, Danielson. And, despite their darker-than-thou appearance, Serena-Maneesh contributed to Danielson’s last album. Ah! International circuits of D.I.Y. Christian collaboration. Oklahoma’s THE EVANGELICALS open the CAT’S CRADLE set Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. –Grayson Currin

In old-school fantasy film

Before George Lucas had Industrial Light & Magic and Peter Jackson had WETA, RAY HARRYHAUSEN had a basement full of models. A disciple of Willis O’Brien, who brought the original King Kong to life, Harryhausen crafted stop-motion special effects one frame at a time, his vivid, sympathetic creations often upstaging the live actors. Now, the CAROLINA THEATRE’S SPOTLIGHT FILM SERIES kicks off with a four-film retrospective of Harryhausen’s work, starting with 1957’s 20 Million Miles to Earth, continuing with 1958’s The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and 1963’s classic Jason and the Argonauts (Tom Hanks called it “the greatest film of all time” when presenting Harryhausen with an honorary Oscar in 1992). The series finishes with Harryhausen’s last film, 1981’s Clash of the Titans, where Sir Laurence Olivier as Zeus gets upstaged by a giant Kraken and a mechanical owl. Recent films Wallace & Gromit, The Fellowship of the Ring and Monsters, Inc. contain homages to Harryhausen, whose work holds its own against modern-day CGI. All four films will be shown on Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1, starting at 2 p.m. on both days, with tickets $4 for each film or $10 for all four. Visit –Zack Smith

In astounding benefits

It’s encouraging that perhaps the best show at an area amphitheatre this year is not only a benefit but also a day-long event that recognizes the considerable local talent at hand. CAROLINA HOPEFEST–which begins at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1 at KOKA BOOTH AMPHITHEATRE–benefits Beacon of Hope, a Nairobi organization that educates and trains African women and children infected with AIDS and sponsors AIDS prevention education across the continent. INDIGO GIRLS and AIMEE MANN headline, but the two stages of entertainment line up local bands like ROMAN CANDLE, THAD COCKRELL, JON SHAIN and JASON HARROD throughout the day. Think about it: One of the best rock bands to emerge from the South in a decade in the middle of a fall afternoon, followed by one of the best young songwriters in Nashville and one of the most alluring voices and minds in all of music. Yeah, really, what else do you have to do? Tickets are $14-$39 and are available at –Grayson Currin

In sky’s the limit Southern rock

Watching the upward ride of the DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS has been fascinating, and one can only imagine what it’s been like from inside the van. At the Local 506 show with the late Grievous Angels in ’97 or early ’98, I said to myself, “Holy hell, that’s a band to watch,” and it’s a safe bet the other four people in attendance agreed. A much more crowded 506 show followed the unveiling of the majestic “Let There Be Rock,” with three guitarists lined up across the front of the stage. Each trip to the Triangle brought out more folks and called for larger venues. Durham’s CAROLINA THEATRE is where you can catch the Truckers on Friday, Sept. 29. Let’s hope the band can contain the talent of its three gifted songwriters–Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood and Jason Isbell. The musically unbounded BOBBY BARE JR. opens. Show time is 9 p.m., and tickets are $29. –Rick Cornell