Poetic justice

“When the official notice came out, the phone was ringing off the hook — it was crazy,” exclaims Cullowhee-based writer Kathryn Stripling Byer. The longtime Western North Carolina resident calls herself a “stay-at-home person,” but all that’s about to change: Byer has just been named North Carolina’s Poet Laureate. Nice work if you can get […]

Making dreams, not making do

Got it made: Asheville is home to increasingly well-known designers, including Kelledy Francis (work shown above). Wearing something handmade to school used to mean social suicide. And while teens may still be label-obsessed, in the past 20 years, the idea of DIY has gone from the unhip ministrations of unicorn-themed latch-hook to the tasty trimmings […]

Recording studios

[PLEASE NOTE: Information listed here was accurate as of March 16, 2005. Please call the studio to verify information.] There are cheaper recording rooms in town staffed by better spellers, but Collapseable Studios in West Asheville enjoys the hippest reputation. From old-school gospel to experimental surf rock, there’s a local studio ready to commit your […]

Open mics

[PLEASE NOTE: Information listed here was accurate as of March 16, 2005. Please call the venue to verify information.] Ready to break into the local-music scene? Here’s the lowdown on what the area’s best-known open mics have to offer. Sundays • Sweet Heaven, 35-B Montford Ave. (259-9848) — Folky, family-friendly entertainment kicks off at 7 […]

Reality, when it doesn’t bite

“It’s important to learn the principles Nathaniel teaches,” explains a character in Dr. Michael Mamas’ new book, The Golden Frog (1st World Publishing, 2004). “But what’s most important about Nathaniel’s teachings can’t be boiled down to a handful of facts or concepts,” the rationale continues. “It’s more about the effect those teachings have on you.” […]

School of mixology

“I’ve heard a lot of crap from different towns and record labels …,” says Aaron Price. The failure of these places to offer up solid compilation CDs is what he’s lamenting. It’s a test the local multi-instrumentalist thinks he’s aced with Peaks & Curves: Music from Asheville, produced by Price and Bill Reynolds at Price’s […]

Grin reaper

“We’ve been accused of genre whiplash,” admits vocalist Rani Arbo — front woman for the strenuously inventive roots group daisy mayhem (note attention-grabbing lowercase letters). Think African box drum with fiddle. Think spooky spirituals with layered harmonies. The band’s latest CD, Gambling Eden (Signature Records, 2003), ranges from the raucous, rhythmic “Stewball” to the watery, […]