Dispatch from Bele Chere: Friday Highlights

Here are a few personal highlights from the Friday evening of Bele Chere, including videos of the Secret B-Sides, Drug Money and DJ Equal.

As things got going outside, it was fun looking out the window and watching the street preachers start there proselytizing from the comfort of Xpress HQ. A deep thought to ponder overheard from one of the preachers: “Life is short. Eternity is a long long time.” (Stay tuned for more on the street preachers and the things we’ve been overhearing in upcoming posts).

Bele Chere 2011

Seth Kauffman, the musical mastermind behind Floating Action, came on stage Friday evening looking like a modern day Caribbean pirate.

Bele Chere 2011

It was an appropriate look for the local rocker, who specializes in quirky, tropical-influenced slacker-pop. The set from one of Asheville’s best bands was a great way to kick off the night’s music. A highlight of the show came when Kauffman dedicated “To Connect” to DJ Kool, who Bele Chere organizers deemed to much of a “risk” to play. (Xpress has video of the Floating Action, The Critters and If You Wannas here.)

On the way to catch the Secret B-Sides some friends and I took a detour to cool off. Pictured here: Michael (Sulock) in the Mist:

Bele Chere 2011

The Secret B-Sides jammed as the sun began to set over the Basilica. The laid-back, sexy R&B fit the mood of the moment perfectly. A highlight came as they also referenced the controversy over DJ Kool, with frontman Juan Holladay defiantly noting after he ripped a threw a rap that “they said there wasn’t gonna be any hip-hop at Bele Chere!”

After that, I retreated to the rooftop of a friend’s downtown apartment. It was a perfect vantage point to watch the sun set over the Bele Chere madness:

Bele Chere 2011

Bele Chere 2011

After a bit of a respite, I checked out a pair of unofficial Bele Chere after-parties. The Drug Money reunion at Broadways as part of the Decline of Western North Carolina show was killer: The legendary duo that first made a name for itself with weekly shows at Vincent’s Ear nearly 10 years ago was just as heavy and loud and awesome as ever.



Meanwhile, next door, another local legend of a very different sort, DJ Equal, returned home from NYC to rock Emerald Lounge. As he did last year for a similar Bele Chere homecoming show, Equal brought the dance party on stage:


About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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