American Babies

Smart bets: American Babies

Although Tom Hamilton counted himself among the many men preoccupied with “chicks and partying” during his 20s, the American Babies frontman found himself “digging deeper” for musical and personal inspiration over time. Last year’s resulting effort, a “40-minute existential meltdown” titled Knives and Teeth, addresses heavy topics like mortality, cruelty and frustration, often vacillating between […]

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Smart bets: TAUK

Forget hibernating. Instrumental rockers TAUK are making a full-fledged national tour this winter, and Asheville fans have two chances to catch the band live. TAUK, oft-praised for its ability to infuse songs with emotional cues despite the absence of lyrics, plays New Mountain this week before circling back to Asheville as the supporting act for […]

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Smart bets: Sweet Claudette and Bombadil

Four- and six-part vocal harmonies and multicolored kazoos captivate audiences when Western North Carolina supergroup Sweet Claudette takes the stage. The country Motown quartet, composed of Amanda Platt (The Honeycutters), Melissa Hyman (The Moon and You), Amber Lyle Sims and Dulci Ellenberger (Now You See Them), supplements itsr intricate vocals with cello, banjo, melodica and […]

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Smart bets: The Moon and You

Although The Moon and You collaborated with a professional artist and videographer to create an official music video, the team purposefully preserved the “playful, DIY aesthetic” that you’d expect from musicians listing “glitter and savory crepes” as interests on their Facebook page. A photo booth full of the band’s props will be available at the […]

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Smart bets: Allah-Las

Los Angeles surf rockers Allah-Las love the beach, and if songs like “Sacred Sands” and “Catamaran” don’t get the point across, the band’s most recent album, Worship the Sun, certainly will. The quartet’s meandering guitar parts and prominent vocal harmonies recall a vintage Beach Boys vibe but remind listeners that a day on the Pacific […]

"Whether it's Bassnectar or Tim McGraw, each band comes with their own seperate issues," says USCC general manager Chris Corl of genre-related security concerns. Photo by Kat McReynolds

Asheville, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll: a look at local concert security

UNLUCKY SEVEN On Saturday, Oct. 25, Sound Tribe Sector 9 began its headlining show at the US Cellular Center without a hitch, but shortly thereafter, security personnel identified seven audience members suffering from drug-induced medical conditions. The seven were quickly transported to Mission Hospital, but over an hour later, the band’s set was stopped and the […]

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Smart bets: Shimshai

“I gotta get my Asheville fix!” writes Shimshai on his own concert’s Facebook page, where several giddy fans have already responded with victorious tales of acquiring admission tickets. The California-based mantra musician, a self-described “seeker of truth,” sends lyrics into the crowd on gentle waves of finger-picked guitar, leaving plenty of inspired devotees in the […]

OK GO on the set of The Writing's On The Wall

Smart bets: OK Go

Sure, vocal tracks often have an intelligible rhythm, but frontman Damian Kulash nearly drives the drum set to obsolescence with his staccato vocals in OK Go‘s latest tune, “Turn Up the Radio.” The pop number, from the band’s 2014 EP Upside Out, drifts into a stripped-down interlude only fleetingly before the Los Angeles rockers steer […]