Video a go-go

Only decade or so ago, one could walk down the streets in Asheville on a Friday night and perhaps run across a busker or two. These days, you can hardly walk a block without seeing various street performers, gawking crowds and the constant flow of people into and out of local eateries and venues. We tend to take the crazy buzz of activity on the streets of downtown Asheville for granted, often forgetting that this part of the local culture is a relatively new thing. But thanks to YouTube posters like AskAsheville, it’s also a very well-documented phenomenon.


When you think of skateboarding, odds are that you think of high-energy stunts involving jumping off stairs, balancing on handrails or Tony Hawk-like daredevil aerial stunts. But, according to the makers of the following video, not all skateboarding experiences are equal in the adrenaline department. “Skateboarding in the Asheville, North Carolina area takes on a new dimension with endless miles of winding mountain roads,” they claim. Here’s a look at longboarding, skateboarding’s mellower side.


Of course, skateboarding on city streets is still a crime, and those longboarders better be careful if they want to stay out of trouble. Otherwise, they might find themselves facing the legal nightmare that is “Judge Asheville.” Granted, it’s just a student film project in the style of The People’s Court, but court is still a hassle.


Speaking of student performance projects, Asheville High School recently performed a version of Bye Bye Birdie. If you’re lamenting that you missed the run, here’s some good news: The entire performance has been uploaded to YouTube. Here’s the first part of the performance, and you can find the rest of the series here.


As we all know, local theater is hardly limited to high school productions of popular musicals from the 1960s. How about something more abstract and somber? Like a Butoh-inspired dance piece, for instance. In this video, Elisa Faires performs her piece “Songs of the Trees” at the Black Mountain College and Museum Center.


Too somber for you? Perhaps you want some to get your blood pumping? Like the rumble of precision-engineered vehicles racing along the track, each one on a personal quest for glory? No, I’m not talking about NASCAR. I’m talking about Slot Car Racing at the Little Asheville Raceway in the Biltmore Square Mall.


Would the Asheville-based Church of Snurch find slot car racing to be sinful? I’d go so far as to say it’s likely. I mean, just look at their views on wizards.


It’s always good to close these roundups on a song. Generally, these videos are taken from live performances, but this week we’ll be checking out a made-just-for-the-internet video by local musicians Jaimee Tomas and Forrest Smith. The duo cover the Elton John tune “My Father’s Gun.”


Each week, dozens upon dozens of interesting local videos are uploaded to YouTube. It’s a lot to keep up with. Did we miss a particularly interesting, recently uploaded local video? Share it by leaving the video’s URL (but not the embed code) in the comment fields below. Also, please mark it Not Work Safe if there’s any controversial content to the video.


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3 thoughts on “Video a go-go

  1. James Fisher

    After seeing a top-notch performance at BeBe Theatre (Alice Underground – fine job Dark Horse Theatre!), I walked around Friday Night Asheville. I was amazed at how the scene has grown, with buskers galore, happy folks filling restaurants, just a lot of energy throughout town. Especially liked seeing people hanging out in the new park. And with West Asheville, the River District, the brewery scene, we now have an amazing number of great choices… Don’t take it for granted!

  2. It really is a vast change, isn’t it? I remember it being a novelty in 2001 or so to even see a busker or a crowded bar or restaurant downtown. On Friday evening, however, I counted almost a dozen buskers and sidewalk artists just in the short walk from the Miles Building to the parking garage. And not just people strumming guitar strings hoping for loose change, either, but extremely talented performers.

    It’s definitely not something to take for granted.

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