BET Aaron Price promo 2014

Smart bets: Safe & Sound

“Helpmate could use a helping hand,” says the Facebook invite for an evening of music by Jeff Thompson, Vendetta Creme and Aaron Price. The local performers cross genres and styles: Thompson is a singer-songwriter and guitarist, Price a multi-instrumentalist with a knack for clever piano-pop, and Vendetta Creme is the jazz and cabaret project of […]

Allan Wolf at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Southern Fried Poetry Slam. Photo from Wolf's Facebook page.

Poetic injustice: Locals respond to N.C.’s poet laureate debate

Poetry has long been an action-packed artistic genre in Western North Carolina. Here, it’s not merely written but spoken, slammed and taken into schools (thanks to Poetry Alive! — which celebrates its 30th anniversary with an event at The White Horse on Aug. 15 — and LEAF in Schools & Streets, among other initiatives). In […]

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Sound Check: The Low Counts

Drum-and-guitar duo The Low Counts (Matt Walsh on guitar and vocals, Austin Hicks on drums) are based in High Point, N.C., but have been breaking into the music scene in Asheville and the surrounding area. The band performed at The Black Mountain Ale House last weekend (where Xpress caught up with them) following a set […]

dstriker2014pr

Smart bets: D. Striker

Friday promises to be country-strong: First, Texas songwriter Hayes Carll headlines Downtown After Five. And later, Nashville-based musician D. Striker plays a set at Jack of the Wood. Of the tracks on his new album, Come Over Here, Striker says, “‘Three Dudes In An Office’ questions the sincerity of chest-thumping country boys singing redneck odes […]

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After the Last LAAFF: New festival seeks community input, starting with a name

Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Fest, Asheville’s hyper-local street festival, returns for one final installment on Sunday, Aug. 31. And while that one-day celebration marks a farewell for the grassroots event that launched in 2002, it’s also the start of a new locally focused fest that will roll out in 2015. “The point is to celebrate […]

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DON’T FORGET! Win tickets to Merge 25 festival for Saturday, July 26

Merge Records celebrates its 25th anniversary in style: with a four-day music festival. The lineup for the July 23-26 event, held in Durham and Carrboro, includes bands from the label — Neutral Milk Hotel, Superchunk, Reigning Sound, Imperial Teen, Hospitality, Hiss Golden Messenger and many others. Read about the lineup here. Full-festival passes are already […]

MASTER CLASS: "Dance can be a contemporary art form," says MOTION Dance Theatre founder Nick Kepley. "Just as you’d go to a museum and contemplate art, you can do the same with dance.” Photo by Parker J Pfister

Everybody’s doing a brand-new dance now: From MOTION’s choreographic laboratory comes cutting-edge performance

“At 21 years old, it had been decided for me the roles I was capable of dancing for the rest of my life,” says choreographer Nick Kepley. “That was kind of silly.” It’s also, at least in part, the reason he created MOTION Dance Theatre, a choreographic laboratory and three-week residency. From that comes a […]

BET Krista+Hannah

Smart bets: Krista Allison + Hannah Dansie

Although the term “canoe” usually conjures images of river veneers and summer camp activities, in the case of fiber artist Krista Allison, the homophone Canoo equals soft toys from felted wool sweaters. “She now finds herself experimenting with other possibilities of the felting process, including shibori, machine stitching and hand embroidery … making vessels, wall […]

TheSlideBrothers

Smart bets: The Slide Brothers

Most musicians are lucky to get props for shredding or ripping or killing it. But Nashville/Atlanta/Rochester N.Y.-based blues, rock and soul act The Slide Brothers have been dubbed “godfathers of the electric church,” “masters of the sacred steel” and “the greatest living musicians who embody the sacred steel tradition.” Aubrey Ghent, Calvin Cooke, Chuck Campbell […]