Where the mainstream and the underground meet, mingle and skate, the VANS WARPED TOUR pulls into town JULY 23. While some may dispute the credibility of some of the acts on this year's bill (ahem, Simple Plan, Mest), the tour on the whole is totally punk rock. Instead of going the easy route inside HiFi Buys Amphitheatre, they'll set up their seven stages in the parking lot. Whether crowd surfing or grinding, you could be eating pavement. Headliners include AFI, the Ataris, Rancid and Less Than Jake. $25.25. 11:30 a.m. HiFi Buys Amphitheatre Lot, 2002 Lakewood Way. 404-249-6400. www.warpedtour.com.
-- Nikhil Swaminathan
The NATIONAL BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL takes over the city with music, theater and visual arts JULY 18-27. Here's a few select items from the opening weekend. For full coverage of events, see the cover story. 404-730-7315. www.nbaf.org.
The festival celebrates the 100th anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois' seminal text, The Souls of Black Folk, in a variety of art forms. JULY 18, its THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK: A STAGED READING featuring artist/journalist Thulani Davis, along with a handful of actors. $20-$35. 8 p.m. Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St.
Jazz composer and trombonist Craig Harris premieres his SOULS JULY 20 inspired by the Du Bois text. It includes avant-garde musicians Gary Bartz, Hamiet Bluiett, Kahil El-Zabar, Billy Hart, Cecil McBee, Rachella Parks and Hugh Ragin. $40. 5 p.m. Spivey Hall, Simpson Street on Clayton College & State University campus. 770-961-3683.
The PAN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL is a mini-festival within the festival, not to mention the largest event in the U.S. dedicated to the exhibition of black films JULY 19-27. Screenings include films from the U.S., Africa, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific and Canada. 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St.
An assortment of local readers presents the works of prominent black writers in LITERARY DUETS. Hear works by Pearl Cleage, Ntozake Shange, Nikky Finney or Tayari Jones interpreted for the stage. $15. 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St.
Choreographer Andrea E. Woods presents her SOULOWORKS dancers in Love Letters. The piece recounts African-American love letters through the generations. $10-$20. 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St.
July 17 Thursday
PushPush premieres the latest installment of its independent film/video project, DAILIES 5: UNIFIED FIELD THEORY, in which each filmmaker collaborated with other filmmakers to come up with nine short films, all set in Piedmont Park. $10. Thurs.-Sun. 8 p.m.; July 19, 11 p.m. PushPush Theater, 1123 Zonolite Road. 404-892-7876. www.pushpushtheater.com.
Collaborators Adam Overton and Blake Beckham combine experimental sound and modern dance. As they both prepare to leave Atlanta, they bid farewell to the city and each other with FAREWELL RITUALS, which includes several rituals performed simultaneously by the two artists, as well as a "farewell shrine" installation. $4. 8 p.m. Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery, 290 MLK Jr. Drive. www.eyedrum.org. (JP)
July 18 Friday
Who said opera was all dead white people? The Americolor Opera Alliance and the National Black Arts Festival premiere LA ROCHE by Atlanta composer Sharon J. Willis. The three-act English-language opera recounts the story of the Haitian citizen La Roche, the only black man aboard the Titanic. $20. Fri. 8:30 p.m.; Sat. 2 and 8:30 p.m.; Sun. 4 p.m. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road. 404-872-5338, ext. 240. www.callanwolde.org. (JP)
July 19 Saturday
SCIENCE FRICTION returns to Planet Atlanta, with aural ambience provided by ANDY HUGHES and DJ DAVID PADILLA and local support from Starboy, Brett Mauro and Keiran. Also features visual arts and a fashion show. Barbarella attire suggested. $20-$40. Eleven50, 1150-B Peachtree St. 877-714-7663. www.wantickets.com/flavourset. (Heather Kuldell)
July 20 Sunday
The BATTLE OF ATLANTA ANNIVERSARY celebrates the 139th anniversary of -- uh, let's see -- the Civil War battle in Atlanta. The Atlanta Cyclorama hosts two days of re-enactments from the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. Visitors are encouraged to get in on the action with period costumes. $4-$6; $1 discount for visitors in costume. 9:20 a.m. Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, 800 Cherokee Ave. 404-624-1071. (Meiling Arounnarath)
July 21 Monday
"Sex and the City" fans beware: CANDACE BUSHNELL'S new novel, Trading Up, has a harsher flavor than the book that inspired the popular TV show. It follows a lingerie model in her quest to snag a man with money. You do the math. Bushnell reads and signs. Free. 7:30 p.m. Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 2900 Peachtree Road. 404-261-7747. (Tray Butler)
July 22 Tuesday
The New South Play Festival at Horizon premieres staged readings of some of the country's hottest up-and-coming playwrights during NEW SOUTH PLAYWORKS. Tanya Barfield's Pecan Tan, about the complex dynamics of an African-American family, takes place Monday. Tuesday's Sweet Dream Grandpa explores generational relationships, masculinity and the sacredness of a box of crayons. $5. Mon.-Tues. 7:30 p.m. Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. 404-584-7450. www.horizontheatre.com. (JP)
July 23 Wednesday
Language lovers and smooth talkers "break down" their verse at POETRY OF EMCEES, led by poet and editor jessica cara moore for an evening of inspiration and insight. Free. The Loft, Underground Atlanta, 50 Upper Alabama St. 404-730-7315. www.nbaf.org. (JP)