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Smart bets: UWABE — Art in the Park

Theater devotees and outdoor enthusiasts unite for two evenings of free alfresco performance. UWABE — Art in the Park meanders throughout Grove Park (338 Charlotte St.) to present three dances, each derived from the natural landscape. During “Biosphere,” a giant puppet among open fields probes into our changing planet’s effects on the human condition. “Radiant […]

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Smart bets: Resonant Rogues’ variety show

You’ve got to admire the forethought of Resonant Rogues, an Asheville band holding a variety show to kick off its Kickstarter campaign. The event, called Revue Nouveau, promises an “unparalleled collection of local talent” to visually supplement the old-time and gypsy jazzers’ vocal harmonies and string-heavy instrumentation. Puppeteer Madison Cripps, burlesque afficionado Memphis Moonshine and […]

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Smart bets: Jabali Acrobats

Visiting from Mombasa, Kenya, for their LEAF performance, the agile Jabali Acrobats aptly demonstrate the “link between athletics and arts,” transitioning from dance to human pyramids, chair balancing, complex footwork and other contortions — all to the beat of a stimulating musical backdrop. “These phenomenal acrobats combine the artistry of fast-paced movement, music, dance and […]

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Smart bets: V.O.V. triple-CD release party

Led by local music maven Lenny Pettinelli, Vibration of Versatility (V.O.V.) is a collaborative Asheville-based recording project that has already drawn from the talents of 70 instrumentalists. V.O.V. aims to produce albums from 12 genres in 12 months. With hip-hop, electronic, reggae and singer-songwriter genres already covered, Pettinelli is excited to release volumes 5 (jazz) […]

BET Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Smart bets: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

When Secret Agent 23 Skidoo hits the stage, kids hit the dance floor. The California-based “kid-hop” artist serves a potent combination of kid-friendly lyrics, parent-friendly wordplays and crowd-friendly beats. 23 Skidoo’s music has been praised by NPR and Time magazine, and his latest single, “Unwind,” went straight to the top of Sirius/XM’s family music channel. […]

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Smart bets: Thee Hobo Gobbelins

“Get these songs all up in your nightmares without delay!” Thee Hobo Gobbelins exclaim on their Facebook page, advising fans to experience the band’s latest album, Oddities and Entities. The California creatives use labels like “dark carnival” and “post-apocalyptic” to describe their unpolished brand of accordion-laden melodies, but the group underlines many songs with a […]

BET Aligning Minds

Smart bets: Waveforms 2.0

Electronic music producers Daniel Merrill and Michael Folk describe their joint sound as “emotionally charged future music that rides on hypnotic breakbeats, deep infectious basslines, dubby soundscapes and glitchy experimentation.” Performing as Aligning Minds, the duo are proud to announce “WAVEFORMS 2.0” — a month of performances at Asheville Music Hall aimed at bringing “top-notch […]

BET Rural Academy Theater

Smart bets: Rural Academy Theater

The Rural Academy Theater will “clop its way into your backyard and heart,” claims a press release by the horse-pulled production’s organizers. This year, the annual mobile mini-circus includes a slapstick interpretation of North Carolina’s pro-fracking legislation, a depiction of human presence on a geological timeline and an evening showing of Georges Méliès’ 1902 silent […]

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Smart bets: Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan

We’ve all heard of “Dueling Banjos,” but Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan are two string virtuosos who work together. Collectively, the musicians have collaborated with a brimming Rolodex of A-list artists, including Fiona Apple, Wilco, Béla Fleck, Dolly Parton and even the Jonas Brothers. Pikelny, Grammy nominee and banjoist for Punch Brothers, says he’s long […]

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Smart bets: Die Fledermaus

“Die Fledermaus,” a libretto often rewritten and performed with local flair, will soon transform into its Asheville incarnation with the help of Asheville Lyric Opera. Set in Western North Carolina’s famous Giltmore home and based around the Southern mountain charm of the Vanerburgh family, ALO’s adaptation is intended to “create a deeper sense of appreciation […]

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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 […]

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Smart bets: Heritage Weekend

This September marks the 34th year for Heritage Weekend, a free festival that explores traditional Appalachian customs like beekeeping, coopering, heritage toy making, broom and furniture making, spinning and natural dyeing, all sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Both Saturday and Sunday offer a full lineup of crafts, dance and mountain-inspired music with fare […]

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 […]

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Smart bets: The Tills

Asheville four-piece The Tills could absolutely call their music “grit-pop” if they didn’t live in a region where fans might confuse that label with a culinary term. The group’s latest tunes venture from the safety of ruggedly upbeat pop phrases to less charted punk yelps and back again before the refrain, all while conveying the […]