FunStuff: Charlottesville events April 12 and beyond

TJ's b-day

Happy birthday to youuuuuu. Happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuuuu! Happy Birthday, dear TJ... It's Thomas Jefferson's 269th birthday! Even if America's third president can't be here in person to celebrate, there's a par-tay at his house this day, and the featured speaker is Jessica Tuchman Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and recipient of the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership. TJ sends his sincere regrets, we're sure...
April 13, Monticello, 10-11am, free



Ooohs, ahhhs, and yum!

Whether you prefer candy for your eyes or your mouth, you'll find something satisfying at the PVCC Annual Student Show and Seventh Annual Chocolate Chow Down. Works by students in various mediums are accompanied by what is described by organizers as "decadent" amounts of chocolate– and that can only be a good thing! If you care more about the art and less about the candy, the show hangs through August.
April 13, PVCC North and South Galleries, 5-7pm





Baroque and roll
You think Elvis and the Beatles made classic music that'll last? They've got a long way to go before they prove they've got the staying power of the Baroque masters. UVA's Baroque Orchestra performs some of the most inspiring and accessible Baroque pieces by Vivaldi (pictured here) and some lesser knowns including Giovanni Gabrielli and Tomasso Albinoni. Rounding out the common practice period, the Palladian Chamber Orchestra program covers Haydn and Brahms.
April 13, Old Cabell Hall, 8pm, free






Boy's eye view
Grammy-winning folk rockers Bon Iver love Anais Mitchell's music so much they covered her songwhen they played on an Australian radio station, and listening to her crystal clear voice and lyricscould win you over quickly, too. On her latest album, Young Man in America, Mitchell sings from a male's point of view, charming one criticfor American Songwriter website into calling the album "gorgeous and striving" and claiming she's "put a permanent stamp of approval on her already sparkling reputation."
April 13, Mockingbird Cafe, Staunton, 8:30pm, $14 advance/$16 door




High as a kite
Judging by the hype and the full slate of events scheduled over the next month, the Tom Tom Founders Festival is a big deal as festival founder Paul Beyer seeks to celebrate "underused and undercelebrated assets" and to bring the community together through music, art, and other events. This day's event: Charlottesville Kite Day in McIntire Park. Grab your kids, your friends, and a kite or two, pack a picnic, and head down to enjoy live music and a (hopefully) lively breeze. The Festival kicks off with a massive multi-band block party also featuring food, art, and kids' activities on Friday, April 13 at McGuffey Art Center.
Kite Day, April 14, McIntire Park, 11am, free




Full Nelson
Nelson County folk group Chamomile and Whiskey have been around a while, building a following around their Nelson County home and beyond. "With a subtle strength, their music is at times relaxing and melodic, and other times has a celt-punk kick that will make you want to dance like a maniac under the influence of musical intoxication," writes Adam Gripp for Magazine 33, a Virginia music publication. The group's founders, lead singer Koda Kerl and fiddler Marie Borgman, are now joined by talented players on upright bass, drums, and banjo.
April 14, The Southern, 8pm, $10




Wine and woofs
With so many wineries around, it can be hard to decide which one to try for tasting. But there's only one that not only permits but encourages your four-legged best friend to join in the fun. Every Sunday from now til October, Keswick Vineyards hosts a "Yappy Hour," when you can taste the fruits of their labor while your pup sips water and relaxes (on leash). Dogs are even welcomed to the tasting room! A portion of the proceeds from the sale of bottles go to various area animal shelters, who'll have reps on site with undoubtedly adorable, adoptable furry friends. Just don't drink too much and take a litter home!
April 15, Keswick Vineyards, 9am-5pm, $5 tasting fee



Are you a Jeopardy contestant wannabe? A repository of useless information? Do you love local music? Then Tuesdays at Fellini's are your nights, with a one-two punch of trivia at 8pm and local singer songwriter Travis Elliott at 10pm. In a review of his latest CD, Swan Dive, Hook writer Stephanie Marie Garcia says Elliott's "harmony-laden pop-rock base mixed with a healthy dose of piano and strings... leaves the listener at once strangely aroused and goosebumpy."
April 17, Fellini's, 8pm trivia; 10pm Travis Elliott, free


Start Truckin'
"No one’s been writing better songs in this decade than the band’s co-founders, singer-guitarists Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley," gushes Geoffrey Himes on Indeed, the Drive-By Truckers, signed to Dave Matthews and Coran Capshaw's ATO Records, have racked up a slew of honors and a loyal fan base that includes critics. "Their catalog is unique in American music, an almost literary endeavor with none of the pretensions such a description might entail," Stephen Deusmer writes on Pitchfork. "They give voice to the losers, tragic heroes, and everymen beaten down by hard circumstances, allowing each character his or her dignity." 
April 17, Jefferson Theater, 9pm, doors at 8pm, $25




Peaceful teaching
Charlottesville students and local school administrators have known for years that former Venable and current Agnor Hurt Elementary School teacher John Hunter was something special, and now the rest of the world's caught on. Hunter, creator of the World Peace Game and the star of local filmmaker Chris Farina's 2009 film World Peace and other 4th Grade Achievements has been on a surreal ride ever since the film premiered at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival. From speaking at the prestigious TED conference (and being named the most influential presenter by Huffington Post) to presentations at the Pentagon and the United Nations, as well as at education conferences around the world, Hunter's concept– that children are the future, and that they hold the inherent ability to solve global conflicts that stump world leaders– has caught on like wildfire. Now, Charlottesville audiences have another chance to see the film and hear Hunter speak before he's off again, spreading his positive message to educators the world over.
April 22, The Paramount Theater, 4pm, $6-8


This week's "FunStuff" was compiled by Courteney Stuart, and next week's "FunStuff" will be compiled by another newsroom staffer. To get your event considered, send a press release to [email protected].

1 comment

The 8th Annual Kiwanis Dogwood Pancake Breakfast will take place Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 500 Park Street. This year's beneficiary is WorkSource Enterprises, which has been providing job training and employment for 400 people with disabilities in Charlottesville/Albemarle since 1967. This family-friendly event will feature local celebrity pancake flippers. Tickets available at the door for a $5 donation, children under 6 eat free. Plenty of free parking, just two blocks north of the route of the spectacular Dogwood Festival Parade.