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See & Do

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Wednesday, August 30

Watch the Knights gear up for the playoffs as they take on Ohio's pride and joy, the Toledo Mud Hens. It's your last chance to see Charlotte's best players before the major league roster expands on Sept. 1 and daddy club, the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, pluck our best boys to ride the pine in case of injury. The Knights play the Mud Hens Wednesday and Thursday at 7:15pm at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill. This is also the last scheduled Thirsty Thursday of the year ($2 beers), signifying that yet another summer has come and gone ... sigh. (Neumark)

Summer may be ending, but the threat of skin cancer isn't. Get screened for skin cancer and rejoice in your good health. Doak Dermatologics, a subsidiary of Bradley Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and the Skin Cancer Foundation are traveling the country on a Free Skin Cancer Screening Tour, checking out people's skin. Early detection makes survival all that much more likely. It may be the closest scrutiny your body gets all week. Charlotte screenings are today and tomorrow from 9am to 4pm at The Square in front of 101 Independence Center. If you miss this leg of the tour, visit www.skincancerscreeningtour.com for more stops and details. (Shugart)

Thursday, August 31

Unearthed in the fertile musical soil of Athens, GA, Jucifer can plow through bombastic dirges or tease the senses with atmospheric caresses. The duo consists of Ed Livengood (percussion) and Amber Valentine (guitar/vocals). Valentine's hypnotic voice can be as unnerving as her prowess on the guitar. The duo's new album, If Thine Enemy Hunger, hits the streets next week on the mighty Relapse label. Catch them tonight with openers The Kick Ass at the Milestone. Tickets are $10 at the door. For more details visit www.themilestoneclub.com. (Shukla)

Friday, September 01

Earth Wind & Fire have always been a showman's R&B and funk band with a horns and rhythm section that puts most contemporary R&B to shame, even though it hasn't had a major hit in years. EW&F have long etched its name in the classic soul era and last year's release, Illumination, finds frontmen Philip Bailey and Maurice White still in top form after some 35 years. On the record they tease hip-hop beats and show youngsters such as guests Big Boi and Black Eyed Peas the fine art of instilling soul into music. The old hits will keep coming tonight at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater with special guest Chris Botti. Kids 12 and under get in free with a paying adult on the lawn. Pick up free child's ticket at the entrance gate. Tickets are $24-$54. Details: 704-522-6500. (Shukla)

Saturday, September 02

This year marks the ninth time there's been an Igunnuko African Heritage Festival held in Charlotte. If you're part of the African persuasion, come out and learn just what makes Black so damn beautiful. Enjoy poetry by writer/activist/legend Dr. Sonia Sanchez, groove to de reggae ridims of the Lion Track and listen to a piece of the homeland provided by Ghana Royal drummer Asante Okyerema. The Children's Educational Village will be held during the day, (Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm), for the little ones to experience some culture; other activities, 4-8pm. This free event will be held in Frazier Park, 1200 W. 4th St. For more info, visit www.igunnuko.com/ or call 704-241-0319. (Calloway)

The Web site www.wikipedia.com defines endurance as "performing low- to medium-intensity exercise for very long periods of time. E.g., jogging or running several miles to hundreds of miles; cycling dozens of miles to thousands of miles; swimming hundreds of yards to dozens of miles." Here in Charlotte, we've come up with a whole new way to endure. EnduranceFest is a one-day event where participants push themselves to make it through one or a combo of three different challenges. The first is the Black Sheep Cycles Time Trial, a 10-lap course (or six for you pussies) with tight corners and elevated terrain. Maybe you're not ready for hard-core just yet, then you should try the SouthPark Cycles Mountain Bike Challenge, a 6.2-mile single track loop. Not really a biker? There's always the Charlotte Running Co Trail Run, seven miles worth of bragging rights for the Olympic runner in you. Try one or all today at the old Coliseum, 100 Paul Buck Blvd, or just come to watch, shop and listen to music. Check www.endurancefest.com/ for details. (Calloway)

On the newly released disc Greenland, David Lowery loosens the irony on the lyrics and writes more about personal undercurrents of life. Lowery has fronted the eclectic combo Cracker for years after the demise of his even more eclectic posse Camper Van Beethoven. Cracker have surfed genres with roots-touched songs to grunge-laden rockers. Lowery and Cracker will play around 5:30pm today at this year's Matthews Alive festival in Matthews on the main stage. Further details at www.matthewsalive.org/. (Shukla)

Wednesday, September 6

Guitar virtuoso and folkland legend Leo Kottke performs at McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square tonight at 8pm. Kottke is an influential stylist who over the past three decades has dabbled in folk, jazz, country, rock and classical on both 6-string and 12-string guitars. Last year's recording Sixty Six Steps, with former Phish bassist Mike Gordon, holds up nicely to his early adventurous works. Just listen to what Kottke does with his subtle touch on a version of Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion." Tickets range from $20-$25. Details: 704-372-1000. (Shukla)

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