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Friday 1.25

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Durham
Ferenc Máté's A Vineyard in Tuscany
Regulator Bookshop—Yet another Under the Tuscan Sun rip-off? Not exactly. One of Ferenc Máté's previous books, The Hills of Tuscany (1999), certainly smacked a bit of Frances Mayes—as he and his painter wife, Candace, lived among the local Italian farmers and discovered the food, lifestyle and atmosphere to their liking. But in this new volume, they finally discover their dream home and begin the settling-in process, no longer innocents from abroad: "Bellissima Fortuna!—before our eyes stood a castle in the sky surrounded by acres for vineyards in Italy's most prestigious wine zone." (Brunello is top-flight, but I'd bet the growers of Barolo wines in Piedmont might beg to differ.) Still, when he begins the slow process of clearing 15 acres of forest to plant his Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines, the collective "we" feel a wonderfully jealous pleasure. They renovate their 800-year-old friary and learn the painful yet rewarding truths about pruning, managing and encouraging their vines. The new adventure of picking, sorting and fermenting the grapes makes us feel as though we are right next door. It all sort of reminds me of the old Phil Charig "Italian" tune—"Sunny Disposish"! —Arturo Ciompi

Máté also appears Wednesday, Jan. 23 at McIntyre's Fine Books, and Thursday, Jan. 24, at Quail Ridge Books. Events start at 7 p.m. and include a wine tasting.



Durham
Jon Shain Trio, Adrienne Young
Broad Sreet Café—A show saturated in the honey-smooth warmth of roots music, this inspired gathering offers a powerful recasting of the past: Durham's Jon Shain builds his gentle Americana from echoes of country blues and folk ballads, while Chapel Hill's all-female bluegrass darlings Sweet By and By uses strings and three-part harmonies to liven mountain legends and loves. Nashville's Adrienne Young follows suit with earth-conscious, country-fueled folk that showcases the singer/songwriter's excellent bluegrass chops (she plays guitar and banjo) and sincere, soulful delivery. The show starts at 8 p.m. and costs $10. —Kathy Justice



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Raleigh
Ahleuchatistas, Grass Widow
Slim's—Someone once told me I ought to take my dog to an agility school, so impressed were they with its ability to contort itself to catch a ball or give chase. My dog never went to agility school, but maybe Asheville's Ahleuchatistas did. It pushes the speed limit in careening but precise jazz-tinged rock. And though the music is instrumental, its defiant, often rabidly punk overtone (assisted with titles like "Remember Rumsfeld at Abu Ghraib") color each cut with blood-red appeal. The trio has impressed plenty since forming only five years ago: Lauded progressive label Cuneiform Records released its last two records, and in February, John Zorn's Tzadik imprint will reissue The Same and the Other, the band's second record, as part of its Composer Series. And they didn't even go to school for it. Raleigh's Grass Widow opens at 10 p.m. Tickets are $3. —Chris Toenes



Raleigh
N.C. Dance Festival
Jones Auditorium, Meredith College—This year's opening set of dazzling dance numbers focus on the individual rather than the group, with solo performances by dancers from across the state. After tonight's opener, tomorrow promises multiple joys with the alban elved dance co. starting the show. Enjoy both evenings of dance at 8 p.m. for $18 or individual shows for $10. For more info, call 760-2840 or visit ncdancefestival.org. —Kathy Justice



Raleigh
Indie Entertainment Kickoff for N.C. Indicon '08
The Pour House—Celebrate your inner cinephile at this kickoff for a fast and friendly version of film school where you can learn aspects of acting and filmmaking in a series of day-long seminars. Tonight's festivities include yuks from local stand-ups alongside the Phish-fueled sounds of Raleigh's The Authority, the lo-fi pop of the Drunken Uncles and electronic thrash of Durham's Vice-1. The party starts at 7 p.m. for $5. —Kathy Justice

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