Photo by LAAFF staff

LAAFF announces schedule for Aug. 31 festival

Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival  returns on Sunday, Aug. 31 with a full day’s worth of music, art street theater, local vendors, food and drink and more. Festival planners just released the lineup, which includes more than a dozen bands on two stages, with an additional stage programmed by Lex 18 moonshine bar. The […]

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Smart bets: Town Mountain

Fans of Asheville quintet Town Mountain will be familiar with the concept of podorythmie — not because they are well-versed in French Canadian percussive techniques, but because it’s nearly impossible to listen to the band’s jaunty bluegrass without adding your own toe-tapping beat. The self-described “hard-drivin’ Carolina string band” is in the running for an […]

IT TAKES TWO: Part Big Crafty-style art and craft show, part music festival, Big Love celebrates Asheville from all angles. Photo of the Garage 34 booth by Brandy Bourne

Big Love Festival celebrates over 150 independent local businesses and organizations

As Sunday, Aug. 24, approaches, don’t be alarmed if you see two people at Pack Square Park taking tape measures to sidewalks and other structures. It’s just Big Love Festival co-organizers Brandy Bourne and Justin Rabuck ensuring that their event is meeting safety and venue guidelines. Now in its fourth year, Big Love evolved out of […]

Asheville's first horse-drawn fire hose carriage was purchased in May 1887.  The first hose company was formed in 1884, after the first city water lines were installed.  With 1,500 feet of hose, firemen were usually worn out by the time they reached the scene.  By 1888, there were three hose carts and 40 volunteers. Asheville Fire Department photo,  reprinted by permission from "Firefighting in Buncombe County" by Brian Lawrence. Available by publisher online at arcadiapublishing.com or  by calling 888-313-2665.

Book looks at history of ‘Firefighting in Buncombe County’

Firefighting has played a big role in Brian Lawrence’s life. His father was a firefighter and he grew up around the firehouse outside Decatur, Illinois. His fascination with firefighting followed him through his teen years, through college and into his current role as an engineer with the Asheville Fire Department. Lawrence’s keen interest in history complements […]

Illustration courtesy of Joshua Warren

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. STEVE SHELL POETRY Steve Shell, […]

Kirby Gibson, left, and Cyd Smith star in the Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective production of Sisters, running through August 24 at The BeBe Theatre.

Theater review: Different Strokes’ “Sisters”

Internal racism in the African-American community is not something that very many people would be comfortable talking about, much less seeing unfold on stage in front of them. Yet the new production by the unflinchingly brave Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective delivers as many laughs as it does thought-provoking moments. Sisters, by Marsha Jackson, isn’t […]

Sylvan Esso performing at The Mothlight. Photo by Monica Koerschner, via Twitter

Sylvan Esso at The Mothlight

Durham-based electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso, the project of Amelia Randall Meath and Nicholas Sanborn, launched their tour with a pair of sold-out shows at The Mothlight. The first, last night, was not without its glitches (the computer crashed, ironically, during the song “Play it Right”), but it showcased Meath and Sanborn’s considerable chemistry, energy and […]

Cicada

Smart bets: Cicada Rhythm and Sans Abri

Andrea DeMarcus (upright bass/vocals) and David Kirslis (guitar/vocals) of Cicada Rhythm claim they “tried to keep it professional” but became smitten when they started playing music together. The couple say they avoid romance songs and instead deliver jazzy, modernized folk with heartfelt vocal harmonies. Opening the evening is Sans Abri, a side project that originated […]