Smart bets: Julie Armbruster

Painter Julie Armbruster uses mixed media to create human-animal hybrid characters that appear distressed because they are inspired by the artist’s “paranoia and curiosity,” according to her website. Or perhaps the characters are bewildered because the Wedge Studios artist enjoys displaying her artwork in unconventional settings like skate shops, bars and record stores. In Asheville, […]

BET MutualBenefit_byDannyDorsa2

Smart bets: Mutual Benefit

There’s an achingly gorgeous crest and fall to Love’s Crushing Diamond, the most recent release by Mutual Benefit. Take the song “Advanced Falconry,” with its cool updrafts, keening strings, gentle percussion and bittersweet vocals — it’s a perfect example of how, though the music is masterminded by singer-songwriter Jordan Lee, it’s hardly a solo effort. […]


Smart bets: Creepoid

If you’re going to check out Creepoid at the band’s Odditorium show, plan to spend at least half of the concert attempting to identify all of the ’90s rock icons conjured by the group’s most recent releases. They’re all in there somewhere — the breathy vocals of Billy Corgan’s “Tonight, Tonight,” the dissonant acoustic strummings […]

Poet Glenis Redmond. Photo courtesy of Redmond.

Get lit: Carolina Mountains Literary Festival returns to Burnsville

Unlike larger book festivals, the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival deliberately sets out to create a “festival of ideas.” As anyone who has attended a previous festival knows (the gathering is now in its ninth year), events are informal, and are more akin to conversations than presentations. According to author liaison Lucy Doll, the goal is […]


Building the palace of the medicine Buddha, Asheville-style

Perhaps you’ve seen footage of Tibetan monks creating a sand mandala, or even have had the opportunity to see the ritual in person. If you haven’t, then attend Urban Dharma’s Circles of Healing: Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala and Wellness Festival, which kicks off Thursday, Sept. 4. The celebration will include the construction of a 3-by-3-foot […]

Lee Fields & the Expressions, Instagram by Jake Frankel

Recap: Harvest Records’ Transfigurations II festival

By Dave Cantor Michael Hurley’s shirt was louder than the Saturday crowd gathered at Blannahasset Island in Marshall for Transfigurations II. The Oregon-based folk singer was just one of 30 players on the bill as part of a three-day celebration of Harvest Records’ 10th anniversary. Ashevillean Angel Olsen, Steve Gunn — who performed in a […]

Preview: Buncombe County commissioners meet Sept. 2

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will meet Tuesday, Sept. 2, with a very light agenda planned. The two main items before the Board are a road-closing petition and public hearing, and, in “New Business,” a “Commitment of Spec Building Proceedings.” The first item references Oak Street in Upper Hominy Valley. It’s an unopened road — mapped but never constructed […]

NOW POURING: A marquee displays the wide variety of beers available for sampling at New Belgium's Clips event. Photo courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Co.

Beer Scout: Clips is coming

A stop-motion movie featuring a banana, a taste of Coconut Curry Hefeweizen and donating money to Asheville on Bikes: It’s all part of New Belgium’s Clips Beer & Film Tour, which returns to Asheville on Friday, Sept. 5.  “The short films this year are really good,” says Jesse Claeys, one of the festival’s producers. “We’ve […]