The Mock Star’s Ball, Experimental Dance, St. Vincent and Charles Wright


Last year, The Southern rang in All Hallow’s Eve with a two-night rock ‘n’ roll resurrection called the Mock Star’s Ball, wherein a handful of local bands got dressed up and played entire sets as classic rock groups. Charlottesville’s previous rock-related Halloween tradition Mass Sabbath had pretty much run its course after five or six well-attended years, and as a spiritual successor, Mock Star’s did a good job of upping the ante and boosting the camaraderie. This year, the ball is back and bigger than ever, with a lineup that goes a little something like this: Friday night stages Astronomers as The Smashing Pumpkins, Corsair as Thin Lizzy, The Invisible Hand as The Beastie Boys, The Sometime Favorites as The Killers, Borrowed Beams of Light as The Clash and Hunter Smith and the Dead Men as Bruce Springsteen. Saturday night casts kings of Belmont as Pink Floyd, Pantherburn as Violent Femmes, The Eli Cook Band as Nirvana, Sinclarity as U2, Superunknown as Tool and Evil Eye as Fu Manchu. A mere $15 gets you into both nights, which should tide you over on Spinal Tap-style humor until next Halloween weekend comes around.

 Borrowed Beams of Light lusting for life at last year’s Mock Star’s Ball. 

Tonight, UVA’s Dance Program puts on a second performance of its Fall Experimental Dance Concert, which is made up of a number of short pieces by student and faculty choreographers. According to a press release, the show “reflects a multitude of artistic visions from exploring various states of mind and trance, to the amusing dynamics between a couple at an evening party, to manifesting a sense of play and harnessing youthful energy.” If that’s not enough to bring you out to Culbreth, know that all three of the people this writer knows who attended last night’s performance are going again tonight. The concert begins at 8pm, and has a third showing Saturday evening.

If Sunday afternoon finds you in a literary state of mind, New Dominion Bookshop is putting on something a bit out of the ordinary. Poets Charles Wright, Olivia Ellis and Mary duty are coming together to present poems from an anthology called Poems of the American West—think Robert Frost’s “Once By the Pacific,” Charles Bukowski’s “Vegas,” Nanci Griffith’s “Lone Star State of Mind” or Thom Gunn’s “San Francisco Streets.” Fardowner’s favorite Chamomile and Whiskey will be there, putting these real and mythical visions of the American West to music. This grab-bag of a show starts at 4pm, and won’t cost a penny.

C and W recording “Wandering Boots” in a Nelson County Barn.

The Jefferson’s lineup is notable this weekend, both talent-wise and because of its cross-generational appeal. Passion Pit on Friday, Stephen Stills on Saturday, St. Vincent on Sunday—if you’re going to be at one of these, you know who you are. With that, Charles Wright, reading poems on PBS.