Big Ideas

/ Issue

Cover Design Credit:

by Nathanael Roney


  • Smart Bets: Albert Adams and John Wilkes Boothe and the Black Toothe

    -by Xpress Staff
    It's a lot of names, but only two bands. Though Albert Adams is not actually a one-man band, nor are either of its two members (who, between them, play bass,…
  • “One of our own”

    -by Aiyanna Sezak-Blatt
    Jimmy Landry believes that strength is found in numbers. This thinking — this unwavering belief that we are stronger when we work together — has rooted Landry in the local…
  • Support the arts that support Asheville

    -by Webmaster
    I moved to Asheville in 1996 and saw a city in transition. Many buildings were still boarded up and unused. Since then, I have seen huge growth, to the delight…
  • Smart Bets: Nick Stubblefield

    -by Xpress Staff
    Asheville has had its share of prodigies. Like Jack Devereux, who built his own bagpipes at age 17. Or the entire Skinny Legs and All band. And then there's Asheville…
  • All in the family

    -by Webmaster
    When considering artists who could start their own record label, Akron/Family might seem an unlikely candidate. The band’s emotive folk rock explodes with no-holds-barred catharsis. There's not much calculated about…
  • The big (fill in the blank) festival idea

    -by Webmaster
    I have an idea for a __________(vague-yet-hip word or word cluster) festival that will be the most face-melting, mind-blowing, spleen-shattering thing this town has ever seen.  There will be beer…
  • Smart Bets: Perpetual Groove

    -by Xpress Staff
    While not every band creates the sort of fan base that follows it from state to state (The Grateful Dead, Phish and Widespread Panic make the shortlist) even fewer of…
  • Ready to listen, Hendersonville?

    -by Webmaster
    Hendersonville's Guitar Academy of Western North Carolina teaches lessons, sure. But the school offers another important learning opportunity to its students: Live performances by local, regional and Grammy-award-winning touring artists.…
  • Asheville Music Hall talks parquet flooring

    -by Alli Marshall
    The opening of The Asheville Music Hall this autumn filled an important niche in downtown Asheville: the midlevel club. Since Stella Blue closed its doors earlier in the year, the…
  • Smart Bets: Christmas with Dickens

    -by Xpress Staff
    Yes, Christmas Day has come and gone. Unless you're counting the 12 days of Christmas. Or, if you're a literary type and are celebrating Dickensian-style, which can extend well before…
  • Resolve to See More Live Music!

    -by Webmaster
    Take this simple New Year’s Quiz to figure out what show to check out this week. 1. Your relationship with New Year’s resolutions can best be described as: a. inspirational:…
  • Local animal shelters dream big in 2012

    -by Jen Nathan Orris
    Animal rescue organizations throughout the region are taking on big challenges in 2012, and the Asheville Humane Society and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue are no exception. The Asheville Humane Society…
  • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo prepares for world domination

    -by Alli Marshall
    Big news from late 2011: Local kid-hop artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo learned that he's featured on a Grammy-nominated album. And while that doesn't mean that Skidoo will take home…
  • Asheville on Bikes keeps its eyes on the road

    -by Dane Smith
    If you've been to a downtown festival, chances are you've seen Asheville on Bikes in action. The local cycling advocacy group's most public face remains its regular "bike corrals," which…
  • Pack the house

    -by Webmaster
    Asheville’s favorite women’s flat track roller derby team is preparing for an apocalyptic 2012 season. We will continue to empower young girls and women in Western North Carolina by demonstrating…
  • Weekly Picks

    -by Webmaster
    Learn more about lighting ordinances proposed by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners when the WNC Sierra Club hosts "Dark Skies," a presentation by Bernie Arghiere, president of the Astronomy…


  • A tableful of big ideas

    -by Mackensy Lunsford
    As the Asheville culinary community grows, big ideas abound. For some of WNC's rising food stars, unearthing, preserving and improving traditions seems to be the trend. While working toward the…
  • When pigs fly

    -by Mackensy Lunsford
    Michael Moore made a quiet splash in Asheville when he began the Blind Pig supper club in 2011. The concept is simple but exciting and long-overdue in this area. Much…
  • Rooted in the past

    -by Mackensy Lunsford
    Cúrate's Katie Button cut her intern teeth at one of the most creatively advanced kitchens of our time, Ferran Adrià’s elBulli, the five-time “best restaurant in the world,” according to…
  • Raising the bar

    -by Mackensy Lunsford
    Cultural preservation through food and drink fits well with this area's hyper-local focus and reverence for handmade goods, says Cynthia Turner, a recent transplant to Asheville from New Orleans. Turner…
  • Small is the new big

    -by Webmaster
    Lately, my big ideas have all been about appreciating small. There's a sort of "runaway American dream" that says we should get bigger, grow, dominate and take over the world.…


  • Big Ideas for 2012: Once and future things …

    -by Webmaster
    As 2011 drew to a close, Xpress queried local community leaders, gadflies, elected officials, artists, musicians and the like, and we asked, “What is your Big Idea for 2012?”
  • A call to action

    -by Webmaster
    MANNA FoodBank aims to involve, educate and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. In 2012, we’ll focus on building and enhancing existing community partnerships…
  • Green Scene

    -by Webmaster
    Light pollution is something many of us don’t think much about, but for stargazers, migrating birds and folks passionate about energy conservation, dark skies are a resource worth protecting. Buncombe…
  • Community economics

    -by Webmaster
    In 2012, let’s dedicate ourselves to a “maker” system of economics that’s based on creating new value, not trading old value. Let’s focus on those who develop tools within our…
  • YMCA of Western North Carolina

    -by Webmaster
    2012 will be an exciting year for the YMCA of Western North Carolina. We’ll continue our efforts toward a healthier community by focusing on physical activity for youth ages 5…
  • Green Scene

    -by Webmaster
    Amid growing concerns about how stormwater runoff is affecting waterways near large developments and agricultural fields, ECO is launching Rapid Response Teams that will activate during storm events to assess…
  • Thinking big by doing little

    -by Webmaster
    Meet your neighbors, talk to them — they won't bite. Even better, listen to them and their concerns. Pick up some trash (it doesn’t have to be much). Walk more,…
  • 2012 wishlist

    -by Webmaster
    1. Continued improvement in the unemployment rate — an ideal job for every job seeker in Buncombe County. 2. Understanding from the banking industry regarding foreclosures — restructure mortgage payments…
  • Big Idea 2012: A more sex-positive Asheville

    -by Webmaster
    What I’d like to see in Asheville is people's views open on what sex-positive culture really is. Our town is liberal, but like any well-mannered Southern town, it’s still skeptical…
  • Working to get conservatives elected in 2012

    -by Webmaster
    The goal of the Buncombe County GOP is to energize, organize and mobilize for the upcoming elections. The local leadership is a dedicated group interested in the serious issues facing…
  • Local money

    -by Webmaster
    I would like to see the city move its money from Wall Street banks to local financial institutions. I advanced this idea two years ago but didn't get much traction.…
  • Managing downtown/defending Asheville’s water

    -by Webmaster
    There are several things bubbling around. I think this should be the year that we have a downtown management system in place. This was part of the Downtown Master Plan…
  • Green Scene: Don’t tread on me

    -by Susan Andrew
    They wear out; they pile up in scrap yards and landfills, turning up in the French Broad River and along its banks. And of all the things Buncombe County residents…
  • Not one, but four master fiddlers

    -by Webmaster
    What: Throw a stone in any direction and you’ll hit traditional Appalachian music. Western North Carolina has more than its share of musicians, but it’s rare to see four legendary…


  • Ex-Christmas

    -by Brent Brown
  • CRAP

    -by Molton
  • Weekly Asheville Disclaimer Page: 04/06/12

    -by Webmaster
    • Most returned gift from Christmas 2011: ‘Human Centipede DIY Kit’
  • Private business?

    -by Webmaster
    Is there an unstated agenda in Raleigh to privatize Asheville’s water system? Recent developments give reason for real concern. Last May, freshman Rep. Tim Moffitt of Asheville stunned many of…
  • Correction

    -by Webmaster
    In the Dec. 21 letter “Asheville is a Unique City,” we misprinted the street address of what the writer called “an eyesore that I haven't seen the equal of anywhere.”…
  • Where there’s waste, there’s opportunity

    -by Webmaster
    I wanted to comment on Karen Hardison’s letter in the Dec. 21 Xpress, “Asheville City Schools Need to Smarten Up on Waste.” I am reminded of a bumper sticker: “critical…
  • Recent postal service comic wrong on many points

    -by Webmaster
    The comic that was published in the last edition was unfortunately very misinformed [”Molton,” Dec. 14 Xpress]. It indicated that the Postal Service was an outdated institution and losing money…
  • Take care of each other

    -by Webmaster
    Recently, at a local supermarket, a woman who had just gone through the checkout line in front of us wasn't walking away with her purchases. After the cashier scanned our…
  • Raise a glass of Kool-Aid for our current City Council

    -by Webmaster
    Congratulations are due to Asheville’s liberal socialist progressives for their success in eliminating all meaningful diversity of thought from our City Council. Comfort is certainly preferable to the distress of…
  • Tag you’re it

    -by Webmaster
    I'd like to preface this by saying that I believe graffiti is a beautiful form of expression and art. Since its American inception in Philadelphia back in the ‘60s, it…
  • An empty wagon can’t sell its own snake oil

    -by Webmaster
    I've been noticing a lot of state police “scarecrows” along the interstate lately. Some senior member of the North Carolina Highway Patrol has apparently deemed it a good strategy to…