the tills

Smart Bets: The Tills

Asheville-based psychedelic indie pop rocker outfit The Tills arose from the ashes of its former, and apparently legally bound name, The Critters, in January after receiving a cease-and-desist phone call from the 1960s pop band of the same name. The local obliged and promptly released its new album, Mixtape Vol. 1, a frenzied 13-track outburst […]

Good green fun: Asheville Earth Day celebration, on Lexington Avenue, offers an array of music, arts and environmental opportunities. Photo courtesy of Asheville Earth Day

Green party

Asheville Earth Day celebrates sustainability and optimism “I think what’s really cool about Earth Day is that it can provide this umbrella for all the nonprofits in Asheville to come together,” says Ben Colvin, development director for Wild South, the nonprofit host of Asheville Earth Day. That daylong outdoor festival returns to Lexington Avenue on […]

“How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet and our freedom of choice?" asks local filmmaker Jeremy Seifert in his documentary, GMO OMG.

Planetary alignment

Earth Week events around Western North Carolina Save the shrews, celebrate the trees, take in a film and clean up a stream or two. For more ideas, visit Calendar and Climate change talk at Warren Wilson College — Everyone knows what planktonic foraminifera is, right? Still, a little refresher from a Smithsonian scientist never […]

BET BarakissaCoulibalyphoto (1)

Smart Bets: Zansa

Local Afropop band Zansa has big news: Frontman Adama Dembele recently returned from a trip to his home country, Ivory Coast, where he performed at the weeklong MASA Festival, according to a press release. Fellow Ivory Coast native and dancer Barakissa Coulibaly (pictured) just made her way to Asheville, where she’ll be teaching and performing […]


Sound Track web extra: Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs

The Athens, Ga.-based duo claimed to be rusty when they took the Grey Eagle stage (not so: They opened with a fierce rendition of the Piedmont Blues song “Crow Jane”). They claimed they hadn’t been practicing much. Also untrue, but Holly and her one-man-backing-band Lawyer Dave (on guitar, vocals and a couple of kick drums) do create this casual atmosphere, like this is their front porch and you just happened to wander past.

Old habits: A five-year hiatus did little to cool the chemistry between Nickel Creek's members. They celebrate the band's 25th anniversary with an album and tour.

Five cents worth

Nickel Creek’s reunion tour stops in Asheville Five years ago, Nickel Creek — one of the most respected young acoustic bands in America — called it quits. Now, to celebrate 25 years since that band formed, its members have regrouped with a brand-new album, A Dotted Line, and a tour. They’ll swing through Asheville for […]


30 Days Out

There’s something for most everyone this time: classic 60s’ style baroque pop; gritty, heartfelt soul, surf rock and … well, we’re not sure what the other one is. But without a doubt it will be fascinating. (Picture: The Zombies.)

Craig Leon with the late musician/engineer/inventor/producer Walter Sear’s old modular Moog. Image courtesy of Leon

Moogfest Q+A: Craig Leon

Craig Leon, who performs at Diana Wortham Theatre on Saturday, April 26, has produced everyone from punks acts like The Ramones and Richard Hell to classical acts Pavarotti and Joshua Bell. He’ll perform his 1980 album, “Nommos,” live with a quartet from the Asheville Symphony — and he hopes to find an hour or two to listen to some bluegrass.


Moogfest Q+A: Slow Hands

Sure, the Moogfest lineup is star-studded (I’m looking at you, M.I.A., Kraftwerk and Niles Rodgers). But the roster — which numbers over 100 acts just for the night program alone — includes some lesser-known gems worth discovering. This series of email interviews is culled from my personal list of interesting artists I plan to check out.


Blame it on Holly Golightly (she plays The Grey Eagle in Friday, April 11)

Now, 20-plus albums into her career, Golightly has just released It’s Her Fault. Don’t expect it to sound radically different from earlier releases, says a press release. “It’s still a raw, rough-hewn stew of twisted roots music forged by the duo’s distinct musical interests…” Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs play The Grey Eagle on Friday, April 11. 9 p.m., $10/$12. The Shine Brothers also perform.

Work hard, play hard: Despite a hectic schedule that includes talent booking and venue management, Jeff Santiago y Los Gato Negros found time to record Rolling Towards the Moon. From left: Jared White, Debrissa McKinney, Clayton Jones, Santiago and Brandon Burney. Photo by Duncan Chaboudy

Thou hast seen nothing yet

Tapping time-management skills and Don Quixote, Los Gatos Negros releases a record

With all that local musician Jeff Santiago has going on in his life, it’s a minor miracle that his new album, Rolling Towards the Moon, exists. On Saturday, April 12, the singer/guitarist and his indie rock band Los Gatos Negros celebrate that achievement with a record-release party at Asheville Music Hall.

BET Dean Ween Group publicity pic bw

Smart Bets: Dean Ween Group

Experimental rock band Ween formed in the mid-’80s and, after a remarkably long tenure, broke up weirdly and publicly in 2012. But all was not lost. The band’s founding members, Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo (aka Gene and Dean Ween, respectively) went on to pursue solo projects. These days, Dean Ween runs a charter boat […]

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 3.15.39 PM

Lord King brought dub to the Grey Eagle

If you’ve ever heard the influence of groovy, medium-tempo dub reggae on Floating Action’s minimalist songwriter rock, then you’re not alone. The man behind Floating Action, Black Mountain’s own Seth Kauffman, has begun to combine the sounds and textures of live reggae, ska, and dub into performances of his Floating Action material. The result is […]

BET Adrian  RIce

Smart Bets: Adrian Rice

If great art comes from suffering, there were plenty of hard knocks to be had in embattled Belfast, Northern Ireland. That’s where poet Adrian Rice grew up and published collections including Impediments and The Mason’s Tongue. Nobel Prize recipient Seamus Heaney said that Rice “has a nice sense of what he is up to as […]

BET HardRocket

Smart Bets: Hard Rocket and Posh Hammer

Two rock ’n’ roll bands on one stage — always a good thing. But what’s interesting about this shared bill, says Hard Rocket bassist Didier Rubio, is “the ages of the members. Hard Rocket is an older experienced group of musicians (in our late 40s) while Posh Hammer is are all in their teens.” Plus, […]

Red carpet ready: Now in its seventh year, the annual Music Video Asheville celebrates local musicians and filmmakers with 90 minutes of visuals, along with networking and prizes. Photo by Natasha Meduri

Screen shot

Music Video Asheville goes big Music Video Asheville is having a banner year. The local event, which marks its seventh year on Wednesday, April 16, received a record number of submissions and moved into a new venue. Produced for the third year in a row by Kelly Denson and Jason Guadagnino of Asheville’s Lush Life […]