Harnessing the power of Atom

From its birth in the ’70s on down through today, punk rock has managed to hang onto much the same uniform. The music’s most die-hard adherents wear colored, spiked hair and menacing expressions, festooning their bodies with piercings and tattoos. Now consider Adam “Atom” Goren, a slightly chubby guy with a squeaky voice who nevertheless […]

The royal treatment

Generally speaking, the sound of breaking glass is not highly regarded for its ear-pleasing properties. In fact, a polled majority of local music-lovers might rate it a distant second to what comes out of, say, the xylophone. But the perverse minority would likely consist of those privy to one of Asheville’s better-kept secrets: Lube Royale. […]

All the right moves

Tucked away in a pass beneath the shadow of a great serpentine mountain range, a group of Asian acrobats demonstrates an uncannily difficult folk art for an awed audience. Since the eighth century, people have come from far and wide to witness this spectacle. This month, though, you won’t find The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats […]

Smoke and mirrors

Dimly lit figures hustle to connect cables and equalize sound levels, all to the beat of someone’s classic-funk collection. Drums are checked to “I Believe in Miracles,” guitars to “Brick House.” Smoke from assorted cigars makes strange, dragonlike swirls in the colored light, catching purples and reds. The stage is set with piano and standup […]

Facing the music

Nearly everyone has a gripe about the growing power of American corporate behemoths, but few of us are in any position — or even willing — to resist that power. After all, corporate America provides us with all the tools and trinkets of modern life — while exacting a healthy profit, of course. But every […]

Sick of the same-old?

Mike iLL spent much of the ’90s playing a hybrid of hip-hop and hard rock. In many ways, his early stuff is as different from what he does now as Shakespeare is from Survivor. You see, iLL is a member of the changeling tribe that traces its roots to the coffeehouse stages of New York, […]

Good taste

People are never satisfied for very long. For some, that all-too-familiar bar crawl — hunting up some good live tunes, or a memorable encounter of any kind — may satisfy, for a while, the relentless urge for The New. But eventually that, too, grows old. So if an ideal night out did exist, what would […]

A gardenburg­er for your thoughts

It seems you can’t throw a can of potted luncheon meat in Asheville without beaning a vegetarian. And you can expect your victim to protest not only your random act of violence, but also the very ethical and dietary nature of your chosen missile. Vegetarians (and their stricter kin, vegans) are heroes to some. To […]

Leaving their mark

So it’s the 21st century, and no doubt, you think you’ve heard it all — every style and sub-style of music there is to hear, from watered-down classical to teeth-baring punk, at every place from gourmet grocery stores to back-alley dives to mega-concert stadiums. You’ve heard it, and moved on — been there and done […]

Night moves

If one were forced — at plastic-butter-knife-point, say — to describe Stereolab’s entire nine-year history of musical exploration, a single word might rise from the crisis: organic. Not organic as in tofu, but in the sense of something vital, something alive. An odd description, maybe, given that Stereolab’s sound is most often classed with European […]