A stand-up guy

The last time Rob Delaney played Asheville, in 1999, he was starring as Sir Lancelot in a traveling production of the musical Camelot. In the years since, he’s survived alcoholism, depression and an epic car wreck, ultimately settling into a fertile mix of sobriety, married life, childrearing and a multipronged comedy attack that brings his […]

A great escape

Amid the flood of new books marking the Civil War’s 150th anniversary, one tells a uniquely North Carolinian story — that of a desperate prison break in the Piedmont and a flight through the state’s mountains, where neighbors sometimes fought neighbors with the fury of rival armies. In Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy: […]

Black Mountain College’s never-ending story

During summer sessions at Black Mountain College in the late 1940s, the futurist Buckminster Fuller struggled to create the geodesic dome. It would ultimately prove to be one of his most iconic inventions, but for months, a workable design eluded him, and the search for the right building materials was fraught with trial and error. […]

The joke’s on Asheville

When Asheville-based jokester Greg Brown wanted to perform in public six years ago, he had to do it at open-mic nights at local bars. “I’d go up and tell jokes between acoustic-music sets,” he remembers. “So it’s so cool to see comics have places to perform now.” Brown co-founded the Laugh Your Asheville Off festival, […]

Mountain standouts

Some of WNC’s stars will come into alignment this Saturday, Aug. 4, at the launch for Twelve Notables in Western North Carolina, a new book by Hendersonville author Jack J. Prather. The release event, at downtown-Asheville bookstore Grateful Steps, will feature appearances by at least half of the luminaries profiled in the book, including public-relations […]

He makes a good point

Is sharpening pencils a lost art? Was it ever an art to begin with? To hear David Rees tell it, the answer to both questions is a resounding yes. He makes a sometimes-plaintive, sometimes-preposterous case in his new treatise, How to Sharpen Pencils (Melville House, 2012). For the past two years, Rees has made a […]

Gotta Lovett

Ben Lovett spent a decade assisting and promoting other artists’ projects. “After a while,” he says, “I started to get the same response over and over again: ‘Ben, yep, this sounds great, it’s all great … but when are you going to release some of your shit so we can listen to that?’” Lovett finally […]

Out of the shadows

"What can one say when a good thing comes to an end? Just that it was good while it lasted." Lines from a plaintive autobiography or sappy romance novel? Nope: These poignant words, culled from an official government document, are part of a loving farewell to a local spy base. According to a once highly […]

One-year wonders

At a time when many small businesses are contracting or closing, why would anyone dare to start a new one? And what steps could they take to up the odds of staying afloat? To find out, Xpress surveyed five Asheville businesses that opened about a year ago; all are surviving, and some even thriving, despite […]


Chad Nesbitt is no stranger to bare-knuckle political sparring. The Carolina Stompers, the conservative activist group he founded in 2007, has perfected the art of brash campaigning for candidates and causes. Chad Nesbitt Photo by Jonathan Welch Now, however, Nesbitt has ceded his position as lead Stomper to his friend Harry Maroni. On March 28, […]