“I look at the Confederate flag,” goes one of Dave Stone’s stand-up bits, “and I see two things: crystal meth and sloppy Joes.” Given the Confederate naval jack still flies on the north side of the State House grounds, you might hear Stone, a semifinalist in 2012’s Next Big Comic comedy competition on CMT, riff on it tonight at Conundrum Music Hall; he headlines a stand-up bill that also features Caleb Synan, Jenn Snyder and Wayne Cousins. (You might recognize Stone’s voice if you’ve ever watched Adult Swim’s Squidbillies; Stone voices Brock Bell.) The laughs start at 8 p.m.; admission is $7. Call 250-1295 or visit conundrum.us for more information.
Local multidisciplinary artist Michaela Pilar Brown’s work is featured in the 701 Center for Contemporary Art Biennial, which hangs at the Olympia art space through Sunday. As a companion to her work in the exhibition, Brown performs bittersalt bittersweet at 7 p.m.; Brown will be using her body as a vehicle, pushing beyond physical and mental limits and trust and exploring the relationship of black women’s bodies to American culture.
Christmas, country-style: Wynnona Judd and her Big Noise backing band sing country hits and Christmas classics at 8 p.m. at the Newberry Opera House. Tickets are $125. Visit newberryoperahouse.com for more information.
Bruce Dern is receiving rave reviews for his performance in Nebraska, which opens today at the Nickelodeon Theatre; in the film, Dern plays an aging, booze-addled retiree who wrangles his estranged sad-sack son, played by Will Forte, into a road trip from Montana to Nebraska to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize — a prize he of course hasn’t really won. Dern received Best Actor awards from the Cannes Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review, and nominations from the Golden Globes, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Dern “is so convincing as an addled, drunken, embittered and probably dying man that he doesn’t appear to be acting,” writes Salon’s Andrew O’Hehr, “but Forte is just as good playing a preoccupied, emotionally constricted man-child.” The Nick screens the film at 3, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.; it also screens modern-day Christmas classic Elf at 11 p.m. Call 254-3433 or visit nickelodeon.org for more information.
As the Christmas holiday approaches, your menu of available events narrows. Sure, there are some spectacular holiday light shows and plenty of seasonal concerts, but beyond that the calendar at this time of year gets just about as bare as the trees. Enter the South Carolina State Museum’s annual WinterFest, which opens today; WinterFest features movies, board games, scavenger hunts, crafts and more, and today features a special opening-day performance of Santa’s Christmas Party by the Columbia Marionette Theatre. Admission to all WinterFest activities — except for Monday’s Polar Express Party — is free with museum admission or membership. Call 898-4952 or visit scmuseum.org for more information.
It’s the Sunday before Christmas, and if you’re feeling like a humbug these holidays, know that there’s still plenty of time to turn that Yuletide frown upside down. Hey, it worked for Ebenezer Scrooge. It worked for George Bailey, too: The Nickelodeon Theatre screens Frank Capra’s Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life at 8 p.m. Eight Days has heard that every time you go see a movie at the Nick, an angel gets its wings. Or maybe Andy Smith gets some wings. I don’t know. Something like that. Tickets are $10. Remember no man is a failure who has friends: Call 254-3433 or visit nickelodeon.org for more information.
Today, reader, is Eight Days’ favorite non-denominational holiday celebrated by those frustrated and jaded by the commercialism and pressure surrounding the Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa season. Today is Festivus, which means feats of strength, the airing of grievances and plenty of festivus miracles. Remember: The Festivus Pole should be made from aluminum — due to its very high strength-to-weight ratio — and requires no decoration, as tinsel is distracting.
Then again, it is the Christmas season, and there’s no better way to get that final dose of pre-Christmas cheer than by tripping the light(s) fantastic! Columbia’s two premier holiday light shows are open today before shutting down for Christmas: The Riverbanks Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas walk-through display is open to the public from 5 to 9 p.m.; adult admission is $8, with kids’ admission running $6. Should you prefer to stay in your heated, comfortable car, Saluda Shoals Park’s Holiday Lights on the River is on display from 6 to 10 p.m.; admission is $10 per car. Call 779-8717 or 772-1228, respectively, for more information.
Today’s Christmas Eve, the last possible day to cram as much ho-ho-holiday spirit down your gullet as possible. Maybe some outdoor ice skating will boost your holiday spirits? Main Street Ice is open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.; admission is $8, which includes skate rental. We bet you’ll hear Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” at least once. Hey, that always cheers Eight Days up. Call 545-3100 for more information.
Columbia’s Largest Sidewalk Sale
Shop local this tax free weekend! Devine Street and Five Points are teaming up for a massive sidewalk sale featuring great in-store specials from all your favorite retailers and a Saturday art stroll. Read more hereand here!
New Downtown Dessert and Coffee Bar!
Tony’s Italian Eatery has teamed up with Southern Charm Sweets to bring you the highest quality dessert selection in the downtown area. 1120 Washington St., Suite 2. Find us on Facebook!
A Healthy Happy Hour
4-7 p.m at Good Life Cafe on Main St. Try our $4 local draft beers, $4 organic wine, 1/2 off select bottles of house wine and $5 handcrafted house cocktails with juices cold pressed and made daily. Click here for more info.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage is offering 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Tax-Free Weekend at Best Mattress
With big savings from July 31st-August 2nd, you can afford handcrafted quality. Free bed frame and pillows on any Full, Queen, or King set $599 and above! Click for locations and hours.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
Concord Park From the $150’s. Off 12th St. Extension. 803.419.2227. mungo.com
Click here for more real estate.
WATERFORD APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Prime location, and plenty of space. Live large at Waterford Apartments. Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 1340 Longcreek Dr., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
ST. ANDREWS COMMONS APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Close to everywhere YOU WANT TO BE! 1200 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
GABLE HILL APARTMENTS 1, 2 & 3 BR’s available with many amenities. Surround yourself with Southern comforts at Gable Hill Apartments! Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 310 Ross Rd, Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
Donate Plasma Today & Be Somebody’s Hero For Life. You could earn up to $400 a month! Program and fees vary per location. Contact your local center today. 803-736-5888. Click here for more info