PlantBot 2.0

PlantBot 2.0 opens at the McMaster Gallery this week.

Wednesday 29

The Alternative Fusion series out at New Brookland Tavern states as its goal to “revive the goth scene in Columbia.” Sometimes, this means bands will perform. Other times, it means DJs will play representative tunes. This time, it means you’ll get the chance to check out a goth drag show. As they say, variety is the spice of life. The event is free for those over 21, $5 for those under 21. Head to for more info. — Jordan Lawrence

Thursday 30

If you’re somehow a huge fan of both minor league baseball and The Grateful Dead, you won’t want to miss the Columbia Fireflies’ season-ending Grateful Dead Night at Spirit Communications Park. This Jerry-centric evening will feature a Dead-heavy performance by the local band Stillhouse from 6 to 7 p.m. on the centerfield concourse, and the first 750 fans in the park will receive a free Dead-themed Fireflies T-shirt as the team wraps up the season by playing the Charleston RiverDogs. Visit for more info. — Vincent Harris

What do you get when you smash together millennial politics and media-saturated existence if you drop it off in the middle of South Africa both literally (on an isolated farm on the North Cape) and politically? That’s what the genre/form-bending film High Fantasy from director Jenna Bass asks in its own quirky way, with elements of reality television, mumblecore, Instagram stories, The Blair Witch Project and Freaky Friday body-swapping hijinks all along for the ride. The film screens at the Nickelodeon Theatre as part of its Foreign Focus series at 7 p.m. More info available at — Kyle Petersen

PlantBot 2.0 is the kind of s#!t that makes you glad National Endowment for the Arts grants exist. A collaborative effort by artists and educators Wendy DesChene (Auburn University) and Jeff Schmuki (Georgia State University), the project looks to make “humorous street interventions with robot plant hybrids,” but also build satirical brands, websites and rhetoric that mimics and mocks bioengineering business efforts and looks to spark real conversation and thought about everything from modern agricultural practices to scientific ethics and our own careening trajectory away from sustainability in the modern era. It’s a provocative, smart trip into our industrial-complex wilderness. The McMaster Gallery exhibition opens tonight (with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. and a gallery talk at 6 p.m.) and runs through Oct. 11. For more information, go to — Kyle Petersen

Friday 31

The Monetta Drive-In Theatre, aka The Big Mo, has some cinematic fun on tap all the way through Labor Day weekend with its 20th Annual Labor Day Weekend Triple Feature. Every night through Sept. 2 at 8:15 p.m., the The Big Mo will fire up three different screens and show a slew of movies, from up-to-the-minute releases (The Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story) to retro classics (The Princess Bride, Grease and The Breakfast Club). Gates open at 7 p.m. Tickets and other info available at — Vincent Harris

Saturday 1

Today, at noon, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks kick off their 2018-19 football season at Williams-Brice Stadium. For some of you, this is a reminder to get ready to tailgate or find a nice bar to watch from, and to get up to speed on this year’s promising team, which landed as the first team outside the preseason rankings on both the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll. For others, this is a heads up that you’ll want to avoid Olympia and Lower Rosewood today and do your drinking, eating and shopping elsewhere. Head to for more info. — Jordan Lawrence

Sunday 1

Is there more one can say about the glorious, carbolicious combination of fried chicken and waffles, married together with the sticky sweetness of maple syrup? Nope. So let’s arm you with some trivia. The dish, which dates back to the 1860s, isn’t Southern in origin, as it has modest Pennsylvania Dutch roots, though theirs features stewed chicken and gravy for a savorier treat. Experience one of the more popular Southern-fried versions of the dish that exists here in Columbia at The Whig beginning at 4 p.m. during the bar’s monthly Chicken & Waffles service. Go to to find out more. — April Blake

Monday 3

Hey, it’s Labor Day, a federal holiday first established in 1894 honoring the contributions workers have made to our country. Appropriately, we honor workers mostly by relaxing, so take today as an opportunity to enjoy your favorite ways to kick back in the summertime before the temperatures turn (a little) cooler. Get you some ice covered in yummy syrup at Pelican’s SnoBalls, spend some time out at Lake Murray, or maybe float down the Congaree. You do you. — Jordan Lawrence

Tuesday 4

Join the Richland Library’s newest artist-in-residence, Miles Purvis, at a Gallery Opening Reception at 6 p.m. Originally from Manning, South Carolina, Purvis has created an exhibition for the library called Collated, which features her technique of repurposing materials from paper to fabric and beyond. You can check out some of those materials (and watch Purvis create) in her second floor studio or simply enjoy the Collated exhibit, which will be on display at the library until Oct. 4. Visit to learn more. — Vincent Harris

The next iteration of the Blue Note Poetry series is tonight at Pearlz Upstairs and will feature two out-of-town spoken word artists in Ashley Harris and KahnScience. The series, hosted by Al Black and the Playlixt, aims to combine musical backing (in this case by the Vasaboo Group) along with premiere spoken word performances that give way to an open mic. Harris is an active figure in the spoken word community in Durham, and KahnScience is similarly prominent. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Go to for more. — Kyle Petersen

The USC School of Music does better crossing the town and gown divide than most of the school’s departments, and the USC String Project is a prime example of that. The program uses undergraduate and graduate students to provide accessible (read: affordable) string education and school music program support in the community. By offering beginning classes to children in third through fifth grade (as well as beginning classes for adults) the program looks to provide a stepping stone into orchestras and string music for those who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity. More information is available at, but there’s also an orientation meeting tonight at 6:30 at the Project’s building at 851 Park St. — Kyle Petersen

Wednesday 5

The North Main branch of the Richland library and WREN (the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network) will host a free screening of the harrowing abortion rights documentary No Choice at 6 p.m., followed by a post-film discussion. The film is an important look at the painful decisions made by a diverse group of women, and as the government and court system swings in a more conservative direction, this look at Roe vs. Wade and its aftermath is especially vital. Visit for more information. — Vincent Harris 

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