Monday, February 28, 2011

Gallagher coming to town, sans hammer

I know, I know -- these shows have been on the calendar for awhile now, so this isn't "Just In" ... but Gallagher's upcoming performances in the Charlotte area inadvertently fell off my radar after I first learned about them, so now I'm making amends.

First, the legendary comedian will perform standup at McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 7. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by clicking here. ... Then at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8, fans will have the opportunity to laugh at/with the funnyman again, when he takes the stage at Lake Norman Comedy Zone, which is located in the Galway Hooker Pub (17044 Kenton Drive in Cornelius). General admission tickets are $25 and available at

The now-64-year-old prop comic became a household name in the 1980s smashing produce and other items with his trademark “Sledge-O-Matic.” However, both of next week's shows are listed as "no sledgehammer shows" -- so you can leave your raincoats at home.

Gallagher was last seen in the Charlotte area during a 2002 show at Ovens Auditorium.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Def Leppard returns to Charlotte

Hair metal returns to Charlotte's Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on June 22 in the form of British band Def Leppard, famed for '80s hits like "Love Bites," "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Armageddon It."

Def Leppard's last visit to town was in August 2009, when it performed at Verizon with Poison and Cheap Trick. This time, Heart will open.

Tickets for the tour will go on sale on March 4 at, the venue box office, Ticketmaster, or by phone at 800-745-3000.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Your CIAA Week Survival Guide

Beginning Monday, the CIAA Tournament once again takes over uptown for a week of basketball games, parties, history lessons, parties, family reunions, and parties. And more parties.

This is the sixth straight year the CIAA has helped bring everything from rap shows to step shows to dance-till-you-drop gatherings for the “grown and sexy.” But even if you’ve done it before, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all there is to see and do.

Here are five tips for making the most of your tournament week experience, courtesy of Kendrick Adams, who runs (the most comprehensive list of CIAA parties we know of):

1. Go to a day party. The best experience of the tournament week is going to a day party while everyone else is at work. There are plenty to choose from between next Thursday and Saturday, and some are free.

2. Plan your partying. Buy your tickets early for the best events. Paying at the door can be expensive.

3. Stick with well-known promoters and venues. Events advertised as “3rd annual,” “4th annual,” or “5th annual” are good bets. These promoters are most likely experienced with the tournament week and are going to have professional events. New promoters may advertise big-name celebrities or guests that may not show up. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

4. EpiCentre. The EpiCentre will be the party mecca throughout the tournament week. There are tons of events planned at its various bars, restaurants and clubs. Details:

5. Take the train. If you weren’t able to get a room uptown, just hop on the light rail to get to the Convention Center, or Time Warner Cable Arena from South Charlotte. An all-day pass is $5.25, or a weekly pass is $17.50. Details:

6. Go to a game. It’s easy to forget the real purpose of the tournament week. Buy a ticket and go see one of the games. The tournament is what makes everything else possible. Details:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Are you ready for some serious bulls?

The Professional Bull Riders' Built Ford Tough Series returns to Time Warner Cable Arena for the Troy-Bilt Invitational presented by Lowe's Home Improvement on Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1.

Cut through all the corporate-sponsor name-dropping and here's what you have, according to a TWC Arena press release: "The world’s toughest athletes," competing in an event that delivers "edge-of-your-seat thrills and spills, rock and roll music, and pyrotechnics."

Tickets start at $15 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 25 through,, the arena box office, Ticketmaster outlets, or charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.

The Professional Bull Riders organization was nominated as 2010 Sports League of the Year at the Sports Business Journal Sports Business Awards, alongside the National Football League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. Twenty riders have earned more than $1 million in prize money, including Justin McBride with $5.5 million -- the most of any western-sports athlete in history.

For more information on the PBR, go to

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rihanna, Cee Lo to play Greensboro

Charlotte failed to nab one of the summer's biggest tours, but if you don't have to drive too far to see Rihanna in concert this July.

The R&B superstar -- star of two show-stopping performances on Sunday night's Grammy Awards telecast -- will bring her "LOUD" tour to Greensboro Coliseum Saturday, July 16. Cee Lo Green of "Forget You" fame will open.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at, the coliseum box office, Ticketmaster or charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.

Rihanna and Cee Lo both won Grammy Awards on Sunday; her “Only Girl in the World” was named best dance record and he won best urban/alternative performance for “Forget You.”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

5 tips for surviving Bartender's Ball

It takes a certain type of person to appreciate Bartender’s Ball, and that person appreciates alcoholic beverages. A lot.

But the popular boozefest – now in its 10th year – can be more than a little bit overwhelming to even the most seasoned bar-hopper: five DJs spinning, 30-plus bars, 40 types of beer, 100 different flavors of liquor, with 1,500-2,000 partiers expected to take over 22,000 square feet at The Blake Hotel (555 S. McDowell St. near uptown) on Sunday.

Here are five tips for making the most of Bartender’s Ball, courtesy of Steve Caldwell of Elevate Lifestyle and Rich Saner of Rock House Events:

1. Dress to impress. It’s not the Grammys by any means, but judging by some of the dresses women have worn in the past few years, you wouldn’t know it. The “optional” in “black tie optional” has been the guys’ choice of late; expect more suits (with or without ties) than anything else on men.

2. Get a base before you start drinking. It wouldn’t hurt to eat before arriving at the event, but if you’re hungry, make a beeline to the Men’s Club area, where food will be provided by Chef Frank Van Den Bosch.

3. Make sure you stop by all the bars. One of the highlights of the event is seeing each bar’s decorations. This year, bars are celebrating the past decade of themes, competing with each other and choosing from motifs such as Hollywood, America and Holidays.

4. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Don’t be the drunk uncle or aunt you make fun of at weddings. Take your time, and enjoy the night responsibly. The organizers won’t run out of booze.

5. Don’t drink and drive. There will be plenty of cabs standing by, or if you drove, the Zingo transportation company will be available to get you and your car home safely. Or, you can stay at The Blake for just $99 that night.

Tickets can be still purchased online at or at one of the 30 participating establishments listed on the website.

Click HERE to view a huge collection of photos from last year's party.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Noted photographer to visit Gantt Center

Photographer Jim Alexander will return to Charlotte on Thursday to discuss the subjects – primarily jazz musicians – of his celebrated photographs.

A photojournalist, teacher, activist, and media consultant, Alexander has witnessed and documented many historic events – festivals, concerts, rallies, demonstrations, meetings and marches.

In "Conversations @ Gantt - A Jazzy Journey with Jim Alexander," the photographer will lead participants through his life’s work, featuring images from more than four decades of photographing African-American musicians and vocalists. The main focus will be jazz, although the conversation also will examine the environments that spawned both the music and the performers.

The free discussion, which starts at 6 p.m., is presented in conjunction with the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture exhibition, "Black Music After 1968: The Photography of Jim Alexander," on display through June 19. Reservations are required; RSVP at

This is the third in a series of free, public lectures launched in 2009. Future "Conversations @ Gantt" speakers include Thomas Chatterton Williams on March 17 and Yale University art historian Robert Farris Thompson on April 14.

Monday, February 14, 2011

OMG! Usher to perform here in April

A few hours after AEG Live announced that Taylor Swift's tour will stop in Charlotte this summer, the promoter spilled what's arguably even bigger news: Usher is set to stop at Time Warner Cable Arena just 2-1/2 months from now -- on Saturday, April 30, with special guest Akon.

Usher has been in the spotlight quite a bit lately. On Super Bowl Sunday, the R&B star behind recent hits like "More" and "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" appeared during the Black Eyed Peas' halftime performance, and then this past Sunday, he performed with Justin Bieber at the Grammy Awards ceremony.

The 32-year-old R&B superstar was last here on Sept. 30, 2004, at the old Charlotte Coliseum.

Tickets for Usher's April show will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 25, through,, the venue box office, Ticketmaster outlets, or charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.

Taylor Swift returning to Charlotte

Time Warner Cable Arena has booked its second big show of Summer 2011, and it's from another country-music superstar: Taylor Swift will bring her "Speak Now World Tour" to the venue on Friday, July 8.

Swift -- the 21-year-old four-time Grammy Award winner behind chart-topping hits like "Mine," "Love Story," "You Belong With Me," "Our Song," and "Fifteen" -- last played Charlotte in September 2009, when Albemarle's Kellie Pickler opened. This time, rock band Needtobreathe (from Seneca, S.C.) will open for Swift.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through,, the Arena box office, Ticketmaster outlets, or charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.

Keith Urban kicks off the summer concert season at TWC Arena on June 24.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Weirdest Craigslist ads of 2010

The headline says it all. Enjoy.

1. I hear messages from God through the fillings in my teeth - w4m - 25 (Portland)

Resourceful tall chick with a lot of time on her hands looking for a friend first. Loves: diner food, documentaries on Netflix, and Dwight Schrute. Dislikes: Neo-cons, low credit scores, and bad grammar. I’m a writer and an avid blogger so be warned that photos of your ----, your motorcycle, or your boat may be subject to merciless online mockery.

2. You were dressed as a chair! - w4m (berkeley)

You were at the Missouri Lounge on Halloween dressed as a chair! Are you serious?

You might have had the best costume i've ever seen, at least my friends and I thought so (and every other person who was there, lol). Its refreshing to see awesome people who aren't Zombies, Lady Gaga or a Giants player. Anyway, you were super cute. You had a cool name, but I forgot it..... (Sorry I was kinda drunk, LOL). I hope you see this!!!!!!!1

3. You slept in my bed last night - m4w (Atlanta)

ME: A guy coming home to find you asleep in my bed.
YOU: Stunningly attractive blonde slightly undressed.
ME: Strangely bemused, but too tired and distracted by other women in my head to care.
YOU: Gone this morning when I woke up.
ME: Trying to determine from roommates who you were, but they have no clue (they really aren't too conscious right now and think I am lying).

If you attended what must have been a great party last night (I can tell from the mess) and slept in some guys bed then please poke me back, I have some things here that might be yours. Also, let me know if you will be back tonight and I will change the sheets.

Finally, thank you for not taking my side of the bed, THAT would have been awkward.

4. I'm the Girl that Ripped the Picasso Painting At The Met - w4m (New York)

This was on Friday at the Met. I remember you from the elevator when we were going from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor. You were the guy wearing the red sweater...

I held the door open for you and you smiled at me. I saw you again in the Cubism section. I was standing in front of The Actor painting by Picasso. You were looking at Matisse's "View of Collioure and the Sea". You were standing there for a while, sketching in a brown notebook. I was about to approach you, but froze up and ended up tripping and falling into the painting leaving a small tear.

I think you left before the security got there.

If you read about this in the news the next day, I'm the girl from the elevator.

5. Outter Carrot Eater … To Eat Outter Part Of Baby Carrots (Vancouver)

Alright, So I need somebody to come over once a week & eat the outter part of baby carrots so that I can enjoy the sweet succulent center of the carrot.

You will also need to throughly wash each center carrot, for the prevention of germs is necessary.

Please do not have herpes or any STDS.

I am very serious about this, I really only enjoy the center of the carrots.
You must be good at taking little bites.

I'm hoping to get a large bowl full once per week.
Will pay 50 Cents per carrot.
So 100 Carrots Semi-Eaten = 50 bucks cash in your pocket.

It's really simple enough.
Serious inquires only please!

6. Tell Me If My Breath Smells for $600 Per Hour (Chicago)

I’d like to be able to occasionally meet someone and have them tell me if my breath smells. I would pay $5 for each breath that you evaluate. At a given meeting, I might only ask you to evaluate one or two breaths. I would pay for each breath evaluated. For example, if you evaluated my breath twice at one meeting, I’d pay you $10.

If your evaluation of one breath takes 30 seconds, that would mean that your compensation would be at a rate of $600 per hour, since $5 in 30 seconds = $10 in 1 minute = $600 in 60 minutes. Thus, the compensation that you’d be getting in this arrangement would be very high compared to the time you’d be spending to get it.

Here are aspects of the arrangement that I’d like to set up:

- You could discontinue the arrangement at any time.
- You would never have to travel. I could come to you.
- If we met at your home, I wouldn’t need to step inside your home, since we would just have a brief interaction and then exchange money.

Please respond only if you meet the following requirements:

- You must not have any habits or physical conditions that could impair your sense of smell. For example, you must not be a smoker or have any nasal/sinus condition.
- You must be willing to be completely honest in your evaluations of my breath. Please don’t respond to this post unless you’d be truthful in telling me your perception of my breath.

So basically, I’m asking for honesty and a good sense of smell. If you meet those requirements and you’re interested, please email me with a description of your location, so I can estimate how long I would have to travel to meet you. Telling me your neighborhood or major cross streets would suffice.

7. To the Policeman who confiscated my roach - w4m - 23 (22nd skytrain station)

Thanks a lot man, even though I told you I have insomnia and will not be able to be present for my little sisters christmas without that small little roach, you still chose to confiscate it.

Making little girls cry on christmas is the Grinch's job isn't it, not the cops?

Well, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, may it be filled with tons of joy and family, 'cause I know mine sure as hell won't be ;]

8. $850 Looking for new Roommate… (Must Keep Record of Bowel Movements). (Capitol Hill)

I have a bedroom (12 x 14ft) available starting on June 1st (1 year lease) for a male or female roommate. My previous roommate just moved out since his work (for the federal government) took him to another city. We'll be sharing a bathroom, kitchen, and living room. The apartment is spacious and well lit by natural light.

… One more thing, please read this so we don't waste each others' time! On our bathroom door is a checklist. I like to keep a record of my bowel movements and I expect you to do the same. It's a just a simple checklist with each day of the month, simply place a check on the day if you have a bowel movement. It's no big deal and you needn't worry about replacing the list, I'll take care of everything. Hope to hear from you!

9. Spacious Studio Igloo: $200 A Month OBO … (Ann Arbor)

Looking for a renter for a 70 square foot igloo (4' x 5' entrance tunnel, 4' radius living area.) An excellent choice for EMU art students as it is located right next to the Ford Building on Eastern's campus. Quiet neighborhood consisting mostly of squirrels. Heat, plumbing and electric not provided.

Water included (must be melted by occupant.)
Includes hole in roof for bonfires to prevent asphyxiation.
Neighborhood security provided free by campus police.

$200 a month OBO.

*Landlord not responsible for property melting.

10. House Burning Party (Washington, Vermont)

After three years of doom and gloom due to losing our house and most all of our belongings to black toxic mold, we've decided that it's time to have a little fun and party our troubles away. As such, we're hosting a house burning on Saturday, September 25th.

According to most everyone we've ever interacted with--lawyers, judge, insurance company, mortgage company, town office that doesn't understand why we want our house value reassessed, et. al--our situation is "unique" which means we're looking for a unique party. Here's where you come in: let us know what you can contribute to the festivities in an email, along with pricing information. (Please keep in mind that we we lost all of our stuff, are kind people that volunteer our time in third world countries from time to time, are the sort that turn off lights when we leave a room to save the world for your children's future, and would never, ever make our friends bring their own beer to a party that we're hosting!) A partial list of ideas is included below, but any and all suggestions will be considered.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

YES to play The Fillmore Charlotte

YES -- the English progressive rock band best known for '70s-/'80s-era hits like "Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" -- has announced "a mini-tour of very special intimate performances" that will hit The Fillmore Charlotte on Friday, March 25.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday at, the Fillmore Charlotte box office, Ticketmaster or charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.

YES will feature the lineup of guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, and drummer Alan White, as well as Oliver Wakeman (son of original YES member Rick Wakeman) on keyboards and lead singer Benoit David.

The band has sold more than 30 million albums over the course of more than four decades. For more information about what YES is up to, click here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Keith Urban tickets on sale Friday

Friendly reminder: Tickets to see country music star Keith Urban perform at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte on June 24 go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday (Feb. 11) at, the arena box office, Ticketmaster or charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.

On Friday afternoon, RCA Nashville recording artist Jake Owen was announced as the opening act for Urban's "Get Closer 2011 World Tour," "an all-new stage production featuring Urban's uniquely hard-charging, captivating live performances."

Urban's sixth studio CD, "Get Closer," was released in November. For more on the musician's upcoming tour:

Friday, February 4, 2011

N.C. biggest 'Idols': Where are they now?

The answer is: on an "American Idol" 10th anniversary compilation album set to be released March 15.

"American Idol 10th Anniversary - The Hits" features songs from winners and finalists including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Charlotte's Fantasia Barrino, Greensboro's Daughtry and Raleigh's Clay Aiken.

Among the tracks on the CD, announced this week, are Aiken's "Invisible," Barrino's "When I See U" and Daughtry's "Home," a single that went platinum in 2006.

Daughtry -- who finished fourth in Season 5 -- last performed here in June 2010, while Barrino's most recent Charlotte concert was in November (read the review of the Season 3 winner's show here). Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken will perform at the Belk Theater in Charlotte on Feb. 23.

"Idol" recently launched its 10th season, with new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez joining Randy Jackson at the table. It'll be awhile before we find out whether anyone with Carolina ties makes the finals, but there are certainly hopefuls, including N.C. te
ens Scotty McCreery and Victoria Huggins. McCreery, of Garner, and Huggins, of St. Pauls, are both 16 and have both advanced to the Hollywood rounds.

Oh, and here's the full track list for "American Idol 10th Anniversary - The Hits":

1. Kelly Clarkson - "Since U Been Gone"
2. Ruben Studdard - "Superstar"
3. Clay Aiken - "Invisible"
4. Fantasia - "When I See U"
5. Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats"
6. Taylor Hicks - "Takin' It To The Streets"
7. Daughtry - "Home"
8. Jordin Sparks (duet with Chris Brown) - "No Air"
9. David Cook - "Light On"
10. Kris Allen - "Live Like We're Dying"
11. Adam Lambert - "Whataya Want From Me"
12. Lee DeWyze - "Sweet Serendipity"

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nofx concert for tonight canceled

The Nofx concert scheduled for tonight at the Fillmore has been canceled as singer at Mike has laryngitis. 

The concert has been rescheduled for Oct. 21.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Win an all-expenses paid 'ballpark wedding'

Hoping to tie the knot with your sweetheart this spring but a little behind on the planning?

If you're both baseball lovers -- or are willing to pretend to love it for the sake of a free wedding -- the Charlotte Knights' "Baseballs & Bouquets" contest might be the solution to your problem.

Here's what's at stake: a "Ballpark Wedding," which will take place on Saturday, June 4, at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill. In addition to the wedding reception, the winning couple gets wedding bands from Allison Love’s Fine Jewelry; a wedding dress from New York Bride and Groom; tuxedo rentals from Simply Elegant/A Lasting Impression; transportation from Rose Limousine; wedding planning services from Marsha Pruitt; along with $5,000 in other services. There will also be a fireworks display.

Here's what you as a couple need to do to enter: Complete an essay that describes your relationship and states your reason for wanting to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Submit the essays at by Tuesday, March 1. Finalists will be interviewed before a winner is selected.

Questions? Contact Knights promotions coordinator Matt Millward at 704-357-8071, Ext. 2114, or