by John Harper
September 18, 2020
Thursday, Sept. 24-Sunday, Sept. 27
Surfalorus Film Fest
To quote Brian Wilson and Mike Love of the Beach Boys, the four-day event should be fun, fun, fun.
The ninth annual edition (the sixth time on the Outer Banks) of the festival will feature local, regional, national and international surf-inspired films, as well as live, interactive question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers, surfers and actors from the Netflix series “Outer Banks.”
“These films not only spotlight surfing,” says Surfalorus director Dan Brawley, 47, of Wilmington. “But they address conservation, cultural and social issues.”
On opening night, the parking lot of the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island in Manteo will be turned into a drive-in theater.
Films will be shown on a 30-foot screen, and sound will be broadcast on a FM radio frequency.
Local legend Logan Marshall’s “Abeyance” will highlight the night, which includes four other short films.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Surfalorus will be online.
Standout films include “Sea, Salt, Wind,” “Lo Que Hay” and “Great Highway,” a classic documentary about the rise of surf culture in San Francisco.
Sunday night, the focus will be on women surfers.
“We always try to lift them up,” says Brawley.
Where: (Thursday night only) North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, 374 Airport Road, Manteo
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 per carload
Friday through Sunday, films will be shown online at 8 p.m. at surfalorus.com and registraiton is required. Donations will be accepted.
Thursday, Oct. 1
The Knotty G’s
Asheville, North Carolina, has quietly become a legitimate “music town” over the last 15 years or so. Bands from various camps – rock, funk, Americana, bluegrass, folk, etc. – have been inspired by the beauty and lifestyle of the city (about 2,000 feet above sea level) in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
One of the groups to emerge is The Knotty G’s, a trio of singer-songwriters-multi-instrumentalists whose music is as pure as, well, a mountain stream.
The band plays a free, outdoor show Oct. 1 at the Tap Shack in Duck.
Made up of Gill “Jill with a G” Henry (guitar, mandolin, ukulele, percussion, vocals), Chuck Knott (guitar, mandolin, dobro, vocals) and Ryan Kijanka (bass, percussion), the group’s sound merges folk, bluegrass, rock and tad funk.
It’s joyful string music, with a kick. There are plenty of lively licks, inspired solos, controlled improvisations and beautiful harmonies.
Originals range from Allman Brothers-ish rock (“October Appalachia”) to pretty ballads (“Another Memory,” “This Old Dog”) to lively breakdowns (“Kookaburra”) to bluesy shuffles (“Mississippi”).
A standout track is “Cabin Song,” an aching mid-tempo country tune sung by Henry, whose voice suggests a twangier Natalie Merchant (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
It examines the challenges of kicking two bad habits: drinking and smoking.
She sings: “Can’t say a thought without a punchline/Can’t make a joke bigger than me/I hung my heart out on a clothesline/Hoping a strong breeze will set me free.”
For club gigs, the trio also throws in a few well-chosen covers, including a delightful take on the Talking Heads’ “Nothing but Flowers.”
Where: Tap Shack (behind Coastal Cravings), 1209 Duck Road, Duck
When: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: No cover
Info: 252-480-0032, Tap Shack on Facebook
John Harper has been covering the local entertainment scene for The Coast and Virginian-Pilot since 1994. He’s also written hundreds of stories on subjects ranging from history to sports and food. Harper is longtime radio broadcaster and program director on the Outer Banks and can be heard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on the local Triple A outlet WVOD-99.1-The Sound. He’s the host of the popular Saturday morning flashback feature “10 at 10” and is also an award-winning wedding D.J.