It’s the weekend before Valentine’s Day and there’s plenty of STUFF TO DO in Charleston and the surrounding area, and not all of it is lovey-mushy stuff.

The first DualCon happens this weekend. A convention devoted to both videogames and board/card/role-playing games, DualCon happens February 11 at The Charleston Coliseum and Covnetion Center in the North Hall.  The day starts at 9 AM and runs to 11:30 PM. There will be videogame and table-top game tournaments with cash prizes.  You’ll also find vendors, and special guests, like Richie Ray, whose “Oh Crap” card game was plugged last year here in PopCult. Lonely Heroes Games, out of Beckley, will also be on hand, as will several other Mountain State game designers. There will also be game demos and free-play pinball machines.  There will also be a cosplay contest.

DualCon will be split into two “sides.” Tickets to either the video or the table-top sides are ten bucks each, and can be purchased in advance HERE. In addition, there is a charity aspect to the convention. Several autographed pop culture and gaming items will be auctioned off for the West Virginia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP WV). That auctio kicks off at 3 PM.

Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM. Friday it’s Gerald Potts. Saturday Steve Himes serenades the crowd at Charleston’s beloved Bookstore/Coffee Shop/Art Gallery.

You can also head to Unity for Ron Sowell‘s open mic this Friday, February 10 at 7:30 PM at Unity of Kanawha Valley, Charleston, WV. Performer sign ups start at 7 PM. General admission is $5.00 with seniors, kids and performers $2.00. It will be a wonderful evening of entertainment with some of West Virginia’s finest talents.

The Empty Glass has some great stuff through the week to tell you about.  Thursday from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, Swingstein and Robin play fiddle and piano and sing swing and early jazz standards (details below). Each week they donate their tips to a local nonprofit.  Friday from 5 PM to 8 PM Timmy “Courts and Friends hold down the fort at the Glass.  Next week they’ll have an open mic Monday night, and Songwriter Showcase on Tuesday. Other shows that have graphics are listed among the images below.

Please remember that the pandemic is not over yet. In fact, it’s sort of surging again. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

If you’re up for going out, here are a few suggestions for the rest of this week, roughly in order.