Analog Moon: Transcendent Men

Winner of the 1999 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, technology futurist Ray Kurzweil has some controversial – and inspiring – ideas. Kurzweil is an outspoken theorist who believes that before this century is over, Earth will see development of a hybrid human-machine civilization. In popular entertainment, that idea can be taken in several directions;

River Whyless: Out from Behind the Tiny Desk

When beginning work on what would be their second full-length album, the four musicians of Asheville-based River Whyless decided to change their approach to songwriting. The result of that change is showcased on We All the Light. Bassist Daniel Shearing describes the new method as “more building fresh from the beginning, and not so much

Underhill Rose: Thorns and All

Editor’s note: The shows previewed here took place in September 2016; the album is due out in 2017. — bk With three enthusiastically-received studio albums to their credit, Asheville-based Americana trio Underhill Rose has decided to cut a live album, something that songwriter/banjoist/vocalist Eleanor Underhill hopes will “represent the core trio’s sound. That’s a lot

Musician’s Workshop: An Asheville Institution

Musician’s Workshop is a North Asheville landmark. While other business – not to mention entire buildings – have come and gone along the Merrimon Avenue corridor in the last half century, the relatively small yet well-appointed instrument shop has persevered, a reliable, go-to resource for pro and amateur musicians alike. Moritz Music started business at

An Artist to Watch: Allen Stone

Look at photos of Allen Stone and read his bio, and neither will prepare you for his sound. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest in a sheltered, religious-based atmosphere, Stone somehow ended up sounding like Stevie Wonder. His gospel-oriented young days certainly informed his music, which is very much of a soulful nature. Unlike many

Album Mini-review: Marillion — F.E.A.R.

File next to: Pink Floyd, Blackfield On their 18th studio album – and 14th with frontman Steve Hogarth – UK progressive rock outfit Marillion returns with its first new release since 2012’s Sounds That Can’t Be Made. The 17 tracks that make up the album are clearly designed to be taken as a whole; more

Album Review: C.A. Quintet – A Trip Thru Hell

It’s likely overstatement to assert that there’s never been another album like C.A. Quintet’s spooky psychedelic masterwork A Trip Thru Hell, but it’s fair to say that the hit parade has never featured anything similar. Released in 1969 on a tiny label called Candy Floss, A Trip Thru Hell sold only locally; fewer than 1000

Album Review: John Cage Meets Sun Ra

A musical summit between avant-garde legends John Cage and Sun Ra is the kind of thing that – had it not actually taken place – history might have had to invent. While the idioms within which each of these giants worked were quite different from one another, both men shared a commitment to pushing the

Nada Surf Still Believes in the Rock Album

Brooklyn-based Nada Surf has been called an indie rock band and a power pop group. Drummer Ira Elliot is less concerned with how the group is labeled than he is getting in front of new audiences. And in an era when streaming playlists and downloads dominate, he and his band mates still put value in

Album Mini-review: The B-52’s — Live 8.24.1979

File next to: DEVO, the Go-Go’s Though they were unashamedly gimmicky, the B-52’s were also among the most refreshing of the so-called new wave groups. With a proudly tacky aesthetic that emphasized fun above all else, the Athens group turned out a short series of classic albums. Their first two – 1979’s self-titled debut and