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Smart bets: Thee Hobo Gobbelins

“Get these songs all up in your nightmares without delay!” Thee Hobo Gobbelins exclaim on their Facebook page, advising fans to experience the band’s latest album, Oddities and Entities. The California creatives use labels like “dark carnival” and “post-apocalyptic” to describe their unpolished brand of accordion-laden melodies, but the group underlines many songs with a […]

BET Aligning Minds

Smart bets: Waveforms 2.0

Electronic music producers Daniel Merrill and Michael Folk describe their joint sound as “emotionally charged future music that rides on hypnotic breakbeats, deep infectious basslines, dubby soundscapes and glitchy experimentation.” Performing as Aligning Minds, the duo are proud to announce “WAVEFORMS 2.0” — a month of performances at Asheville Music Hall aimed at bringing “top-notch […]

Photo courtesy of the band

5 questions with North of Nashville

“America’s two-man outlaw country band” is the tagline for North of Nashville, the collaborating between Jay Basiner (acoustic guitar, lead vocals, harmonica, percussion) and Andrew Martelle (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals). As the duo’s name suggests, they’re located north of Music City. Far north. In Maine. But Basiner and Martelle have a pitch-perfect country sound, from […]

WHIGGING OUT: Founded 25 years ago, The Afghan Whigs return with a new album and a reissue of their first release. "Every record I make is a reaction to the place in my life I’m at then, so it feels more like a constant evolution of a life that I’ve cultivated for myself,” says frontman Greg Dulli, second from right. Photo by Piper Ferguson

The Afghan Whigs play The Orange Peel

These days ’90s alt-rock band reunions are a dime a dozen. Then again, there really wasn’t another ’90s band like The Afghan Whigs. When its major-label debut, Gentleman, dropped in 1993, the group’s sprawling soul-and-R&B-inflected rock histrionics and dapper style stood out among a crowded field of flannel-clad grunge upstarts. The Greg Dulli-led outfit went […]

BET Rural Academy Theater

Smart bets: Rural Academy Theater

The Rural Academy Theater will “clop its way into your backyard and heart,” claims a press release by the horse-pulled production’s organizers. This year, the annual mobile mini-circus includes a slapstick interpretation of North Carolina’s pro-fracking legislation, a depiction of human presence on a geological timeline and an evening showing of Georges Méliès’ 1902 silent […]

THE MUSIC MAN: Bascom Lamar Lunsford, third from left, appears in this photo from the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Scrapbook, Southern Appalachian Archives, Mars Hill University. The caption reads, “The Lovingood sisters and the Greer sisters with Bascom about 1933, ‘still feeding my soul!’”

Mars Hill’s Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival celebrates a folk hero

While many people wear multiple proverbial hats and dabble in more than one career, Madison County-born Bascom Lamar Lunsford epitomized that concept. A lawyer and a folklorist, the Mars Hill native campaigned against hillbilly stereotypes while preserving Appalachian mountain music traditions. A performer himself — his recordings are included in the Archive of American Folk […]

Noam & Stuart

Smart bets: Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan

We’ve all heard of “Dueling Banjos,” but Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan are two string virtuosos who work together. Collectively, the musicians have collaborated with a brimming Rolodex of A-list artists, including Fiona Apple, Wilco, Béla Fleck, Dolly Parton and even the Jonas Brothers. Pikelny, Grammy nominee and banjoist for Punch Brothers, says he’s long […]

Cornelia4

Smart bets: Die Fledermaus

“Die Fledermaus,” a libretto often rewritten and performed with local flair, will soon transform into its Asheville incarnation with the help of Asheville Lyric Opera. Set in Western North Carolina’s famous Giltmore home and based around the Southern mountain charm of the Vanerburgh family, ALO’s adaptation is intended to “create a deeper sense of appreciation […]

BIG TIME: Washington, D.C.-based M.H. & His Orchestra perform at the Blue Ridge Pride Festival on Saturday. This year's event also focuses on organizations oriented to the Pride community. Photo by Heaton Johnson

Blue Ridge Pride Festival focuses on marriage, family and fun

Blue Ridge Pride’s Yvonne Cook-Riley estimates that 35-40 percent of attendees at Pack Square Park for the organization’s festival on Saturday, Oct. 4, will be straight allies. That is, people who identify as heterosexual but back their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning friends and family. What accounts for such strong support of […]