Freeing the feminine

For people who think belly dancing is simply a sexy form of entertainment, teacher Michelle Dionne is quick to clarify: “Belly dancing is sexy,” she says, but she makes an important distinction: “Sexy for someone else [or] for random strangers is one thing. Sexy as power and as life-force energy and empowerment is different.” In […]

Smart Bets: Wham Bam Bowie Band and The Cheeksters

It's a decade-jumping retro-fabulous double bill. Asheville's ’60s-pop-reminiscent Cheeksters share a stage (for the first time ever) with David Bowie tribute act, Wham Bam Bowie Band. While it wouldn't usually be a big surprise that two popular local bands only just got around to co-billing, this is a different case. Both bands share frontman Mark […]

The first Noël: Pagan dance tunes were remade into Christmas carols long before the Scots-Irish settlers arrived in the Appalachian mountains, says fiddler Jamie Laval.

Tartan tidings

“By the time Scots-Irish settlers came to this area, the Christmas music tradition had already been well-established,” says award-winning fiddler and Asheville resident Jamie Laval. So, while there is a signature music from Appalachia, “a lot of the traditional carols that we all know and love had existed for centuries,” says Laval. A deep love […]


The end of one year and the beginning of the next are a traditional time of reflection and gathering, so we’ve collected here a variety of spiritual voices whose hopes and dreams will, hopefully, welcome you home. Western North Carolina spiritual leaders and faith-based groups all work toward creating a better community. In the following […]

A place for poetry

I wonder why there is no poetry printed in your paper, when it was once a common fact of everyday culture to have verses printed. Yeats was printed in local newspapers. Do you think it a virtue to have such possible genius stamped out? I don’t work in the newspaper business. I’m a poet, editor […]

A scene from Whole Earth Theory: Dimensions of Life and Death, a show by Asheville artists Valeria Watson-Doost and Jeremy Russell, held at UNCA. Photo by Kyle Sherard

State of the Arts

During the past year, DeSoto Lounge had an entire exhibition of taxidermied African beasts. The exhibit redrew, if only for a moment, the boundaries of fine craft and the decorative arts. Warren Wilson College featured a video performance installation by Chicago-based artist Jefferson Pinder that brought about a serious dialogue on individual upward mobility and […]

FRESH AIR: Peter Pollay takes the reins as 2014 president of Asheville Independent Restaurants executive board. Courtesy of Posana Café

SMALL BITES: Asheville Independent Restaurants names new executive board

Asheville Independent Restaurants recently named its new executive board for 2014, tapping Posana Café co-owner and Executive Chef Peter Pollay as president. Chosen as president-elect at the end of 2012, Pollay replaces outgoing president Sherrye Coggiola of The Cantina. AIR's membership is composed of more than 90 independent restaurants, and its 2014 board represents a […]

From the news desk

Report shines light on Asheville’s hunger, homelessness Recently, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released an in-depth report examining the hunger and homelessness situations in 25 cities across the country, including Asheville. The report found that the city has serious issues with low wages, unaffordable housing, poverty, and the number of domestic violence survivors who end […]


In last week’s food article about Katuah Market, a new grocery store in Biltmore Village [“Katuah Market Stocks the Shelves,” Dec. 11 Xpress], it was reported that the store would have 54 employees upon opening. Marketing director Nicole White informed Xpress that since publication, the number of employees has grown to 74. —