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To-Do List: Socially distanced Columbia arts and entertainment picks (Feb. 17-24)


Alarm Will Sound. Provided


Alarm Will Sound: Video Chat Variations

With innovative recordings and performances praised for their exuberance, virtuosity and nonchalance, the 20-member Alarm Will Sound orchestra has set the bar for risk-taking approaches to contemporary classical music. The ensemble has tackled works ranging from the minimalism of Steve Reich to the ambient techno of Aphex Twin. Members of the orchestra will collaborate virtually with University of South Carolina music students for this live broadcast. The presentation closes the COVID-adjsuted 2020-21 season from the school’s reliably excellent Southern Exposure New Music Series (overseen by Alarm Will Sound member Michael Harley), as the closing live performance from Terry and Gyan Riley has been canceled due to the ongoing pandemic. The free presentation on Feb. 19 can be seen at 7:30 p.m. via the USC School of Music’s YouTube page. Find out more at PAT MORAN

[Update: The Terry and Gyan Riley concert has been replaced with an outdoor concert at the Cooper Library featuring USC faculty and students on April 16.]


“Bad Girls”

Local filmmaker Christopher Bickel keeps the low-budget thrills coming with the follow-up to his 2017 film, “The Theta Girl.” Made for the price of a decent used car, “Bad Girls” follows a trio of ladies who live up to the title, as they tear across the land in various cool cars, and kill the crap out of some vile and creepy dudes. It’s a whirlwind filled with subversive grind-house thrills and transfixing psychedelic weirdness — and a bevy of fun local locations and cameos for diehard Soda Citizens to enjoy. The film is currently available to purchase through Check back at for a more in-depth look at the project. JORDAN LAWRENCE


2021 Lexington Chili Cookoff

Yes, the 2021 Lexington Chili Cookoff at the Icehouse Amphitheater is sub-titled “and Music Fest,” but we know what you want. You want the chili, the whole chili and nothing but the chili. That’s what the Lexington County Blowfish, Old Mill Brewpub and the Town Of Lexington are going to give you on Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m.: various teams cooking up the hottest, most delicious chili you can warm your belly with. Masks are required except while eating, and vendors will be spaced six feet apart. Visit for ticket info. VINCENT HARRIS


Uptown Hip-Hop Throwdown: NY Edition

Curiosity Coffee Bar is hosting an Uptown Hip-Hop Throwdown series on the last Wednesday of each month, focusing on matching music, food, vendors and more in the community hub’s signature progressive DIY style. The opening salvo features DJ Kingpin VOV spinning exclusively New York hip-hop with Brooklyn Beer on tap and NY-inspired food from chef Hector Sanchez. Vintage vendors, shoes and live screenprinting round out the offerings. The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. in the front parking lot on Feb. 24. KYLE PETERSEN


Mardi Gras at Granby Grill

This year, there will be no multi-stage Fat (Satur)day chaos on the City Roots Farm, as the Mardi Gras Columbia festival avoids super-spreading COVID-19. But those hungry for a smaller party can still get their fix. Particularly if they also crave live local punk rock. Longshot Odds, Soda City Riot, Ghetto Blaster, Brandy and the Butcher, and Les Merry Chevaliers will run the gamut from righteously pissed off to gleefully irreverent on the patio outside Granby Grill. The festivities start at noon, with Les Merry Chevaliers’ closing set starting at 5 p.m. The event is free to attend, and there will be beer and food available to purchase. Find out more at JORDAN LAWRENCE


Alzheimer's Association Live Stream Benefit

Some of the area’s best musicians will team up on Sunday for the Alzheimer’s Association Live Benefit, a Facebook Live performance that will feature 15-minute live and pre-recorded sets. Meat-and-potatoes rockers Pharaohs In Space, acoustic daredevils Boomtown Trio, no-B.S. punk rockers Soda City Riot, veteran Palmetto State chanteuse Danielle Howle and folk-rockers the Chris Compton Band will perform live, and there will be pre-recorded, stripped-down performances from Sam Scollon and Robert Drew, Russell Goodman and Carolyn Wadkins, Don Merckle, and Josh McGill. The benefit will start at 4 p.m. on Feb. 21 via the COLA MUSIC CARES Facebook page, with a link to the Alzheimer’s Association for donations. VINCENT HARRIS


CDL Virtual Screening: “The Ice Storm”

Columbia Museum of Art affinity group Columbia Design League screens director Ang Lee’s 1997 drama about souls adrift in 1970s suburbia. As the titular storm whips through a tony subdivision, adults cling to lives of quiet desperation where their once-reliable escapes into drugs and infidelity have grown hollow. Meanwhile, curious children copy their elders. The film works as wicked satire, inebriated sex farce and heart wrenching tragedy. The free screening on Feb. 21 starts at 2 p.m. Find out move at PAT MORAN


K. Wayne Thornley’s Tiny Gallery

K. Wayne Thornley describes well in his artist statement the works included in his Tiny Gallery exhibition — “figures surrounded by or floating within minimal, barren landscapes.” The pieces are mostly covered in smudgy blacks and browns, and the figures, often distorted and misshapen, bear visages that are drained and somewhat blank, evoking loneliness and exhausting — fitting for a digital exhibition on view during a pandemic. The small works are available to virtually admire (and purchase) through Feb. 28 at JORDAN LAWRENCE


LIVEstream: Brendan Bull

ColaJazz continues to roll out livestream performances to fill the hole left in our community’s jazz scene, and the latest features drummer and vocalist/bandleader Brendan Bull. A frequent presence on the scene playing drums with any number of jazz and popular music groups alike, Bull’s eclectic array of styles and experience should make this solo-billed set a fascinating one. The performances goes live on Facebook at 8 p.m. on Feb. 24. Access at KYLE PETERSEN



Set in an dystopian alternative reality, Sci-fi satire “Lapsis” will resonate with anyone struggling in the gig economy. With the world on the verge of a technological breakthrough, blue collar guy Ray competes with desperate workers and treacherous robots to drag cable over dangerous terrain to pay for his brother’s obscenely expensive healthcare. The film skewers class discrimination, faux-empowering corporate speak and big tech’s undelivered promises. Access it for $6.99 via the Nickeloden Theatre’s Virtual Screening Room through Feb. 25. Check it out at PAT MORAN

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