Smart Bets

DJ Skillz at Emerald Lounge

One doesn’t have to look hard in Asheville to find an Americana or indie rock show to attend. But what if you’re looking for hard-driving hip-hop and sexy R&B? Not quite so easy to find. About six months ago, Social Life Times promoter Timmy Smith, frustrated by this void in entertainment options, decided to do something about it. So he started bringing touring hip-hop/R&B DJs to Asheville. These shows have been wildly popular — the last one at the Emerald Lounge sold out. Hip-hop fans will fill the dance floor once again when “The Mashout King” DJ Skillz rocks the Emerald Lounge (112 Lexington Ave.) on Friday, May 27. 9 p.m. $10.


It's part spoon, part fork, all jazz. Spork! — the local jazz ensemble featuring Justin Ray on trumpet, Steve Alford on clarinets, Jacob Rodriguez on saxophones, Mike Holstein on bass and drummer Ben Bjorlie — releases its debut recording at Mo Daddy's on Thursday, May 26. Spork! musicians have played with the likes of pop artist Michael Buble, jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb and local indie-pop act stephaniesid. The band "incorporates all of these experiences and influences into a sound that’s both jazz-drenched and funky, simultaneously cerebral and soulful," says a press release. "Think Art Blakey meets James Brown with a sprinkle of Radiohead." 10 p.m., $5.

Matt Evans

Matt Evans, the tattooed guitarist for punk/thrash band Just Die! really likes exclamation points (see the band’s name). Which might come as a surprise from a thrash band guy. More surprising: His new solo album, The Senseless EP, is all acoustic guitars, somber-poetic lyrics and cozy, dusky vocals. (The especially mournful track, “Stranded,” featuring an achingly gorgeous duet with Rebecca Flynt, recalls the solo work of Neil Halstead.) Evans and friends celebrate the release of Senseless (and cassette Old Flings) at Hot Stuff Tattoo (428 Haywood Road, West Asheville) on Thursday, May 26. 9 p.m. Ryan Sheffield also performs.


If you happen to have Memorial Day off, then you’ll find yourself with a three-day weekend. Wondering how to make a late night of Sunday, May 29? Brooklyn’s The Defibulators (that’s right, it’s a twist on “defribulator,” and they tour in a vintage ambulance just to drive the point home) would be happy to fill up a few of those hours. The quirk/roots (bluegrass, country, honky tonk, rockabilly, Dixieland jazz, punk) six-man one-woman band — last in Asheville for their 2010 Bele Chere spot — stops by Altamont Brewing Company (1042 Haywood Road). David Earl (a.k.a. “Asheville’s favorite ex-boyfriend”) opens. 9 p.m., $8.


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