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 […]

AE WintersTune-ROGER

Smart bets: Winter’s Tune

Fiddler Roger Howell has recorded 532 traditional fiddle tunes from memory — the growing collection is housed in Mars Hill University’s Southern Appalachian Archives. But that’s not the only way that the local musician’s history is being honored. A documentary about Howell’s role in preserving mountain music in Western North Carolina is being created by […]

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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: Asheville Bookfest

If you ever miss grade school’s traveling book fairs, consider adding Asheville Bookfest to your calendar. “Our hope is that Asheville Bookfest brings publishing down to the grassroots level,” reads the sixth annual event’s website. Organized by Grateful Steps Bookshop owner Micki Cabaniss, the gathering aims to unite area authors and publishers with literary enthusiasts […]

BET Greyhounds

Smart bets: Greyhounds

A greyhound (the dog) is sleek and fast. A Greyhound (the bus) is more of an underdog — not to mention a vehicle of subculture and necessity. Greyhounds (the band), from Austin, Tex., are sleek underdogs with more swagger and style than either of their namesakes. Guitarist Andrew Trube and keyboardist Anthony Farrell call their […]

MonoPoly

Smart bets: BEAT LIFE

Despite its mountaincentric name, the Asheville Beat Tape Collective actually aims to unite far-flung electronic musicians in addition to fulfilling its local networking mission. Founded by DJ and producer Nigel One, the collaborative sphere churns out multiartist compilation CDs and hosts regular performances where local enthusiasts can “cross-pollinate” with performers from across the globe. One […]

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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 […]

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Smart bets: Amandla

Power, or “Amandla,” exists in “every fiber of the living experience,” according to Claude Coleman Jr. (formerly of Ween), who christened his band with the Zulu word. In live format, the psych-soul rocker takes on frontman and guitar duties alongside fellow Ashevilleans Jon Lauterer (drums), Rachel Waterhouse (keys, vocals) and Dave Gilbert (guitar, vocals). In […]

BET Jug Baby

Smart bets: Jug-Baby

Jug-Baby: An Autobiography follows the plight of a youth whose parents inadvertently strip their baby of gender and identity after attempting to mold the child into a circus attraction that physically fits inside a jug. Philadelphia Transmissions Theatre, known for its “transcendentally bizarre stories,” presents the one-woman puppet show, calling the production “a whimsical journey […]