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The New Mastersounds Keep the Funk Flowing

Asheville’s Urban Culture Guide: Events | Urban Style | Downtown Map | Reviews | Art

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bell hooks @ MALAPROPS, April 23 In Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom, renowned cultural critic and progressive educator bell hooks addresses questions of race, gender, and class, and discusses the complex balance that allows us to teach, value, and learn from works written by racist and sexist authors.

Carolina ranks seventh in wine production in the US and now is home to nearly 90 wineries? Did you know that most of them can be visited in a day trip from Asheville? The Wine Studio, a boutique wine shop run by Jessica Gualano certainly does. Every Wednesday the Wine Studio hosts “Winesday”, a charity benefit in which you pay $5 to sample 5 wines. This month’s tasting benefits the Irene Wortham Center. A representative from

WEBSITES & GRAPHICS Buzzin’ Eye is Asheville’s hip new graphics studio. We’ve got the skills and talent to create “buzz” for your company. Get a snazzy website, a new identity or some groovy graphics. There’s nothing we can’t do, so long as it’s legal.




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Irene Wortham Center will be on hand to talk about their program and mission. You can read more about them at Details on the Wine Studio at:





ALL GO WEST FESTIVAL, April 24 This Free music festival in West Asheville will begin at 12:00noon and go until 10:00pm. Performances by Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Stephanie’s id, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Marley Carroll & The Melanster Band, Kovacs & The Polar Bear. FREE BEACH HOUSE & WASHED OUT @ THE GREY EAGLE, April 30 Baltimore duo Beach House are on tour for Teen Dream, their third LP (Subpop). Accompanying the duo is Georgia’s Washed Out. FANATICON @ ASHEVILLE ART MUSEUM, May 15 The Asheville Art Museum will host FANATICON, a convention for fans of comic books, science fiction and fantasy. Headlining the event is acclaimed comic book artist and Asheville native Jackson “Butch” Guice. Since beginning his career, he has worked for such comic book giants as DC and Marvel, as well as the ground-breaking independent publisher, Dark Horse. More info. at

Covering Haiti Millions of Haitians are living in the streets, housed by bed sheets. As the rainy season nears the near future for many Haitian families is terrifying.Without weather resistant shelter those most vulnerable: infants, the elderly and the sick will die. Cover Haiti is an Asheville tent and tarp drive organized by Jessica Hardy, RN. All donated items are shipped directly to Haiti and distributed by Jessica and a ground crew. Although the initial tent drive is over, you can still donate by writing coverhaiti@hotmail


Lab Coat Records Remakes the Beats

Meet Joe Buck

Lab Coat Records are five Asheville producers on the cutting edge of underground beats and we’re not talking Jack Kerouac. Two Fresh, Bookworm, Jables, Kendo, and Shweez are turning the beats around. Here’s the basics on these young faces in beatland: Two Fresh consists of an inseperable pair of twin producers, Sherwyn and Two Fresh of Lab Coat Records Kendrick Nichols and live drummer Colby. Now only twenty, the twins’ have been making beats and playing music together since they were fifteen years old. Their first album “The Baker’s Dozen” combines elements of hip hop, jazz, soul, standout synth lines, creative sample chops, and heavy bass sections. Shweez is the solo production of Sherwyn Nicholls of Two Fresh. JP Maywald, aka Jables, is a Nashville-born electronic music producer based out of Asheville, NC, Jables has set his attention on the pursuit of new rhythms by dabbling with a wide spectrum of sound and a myriad of different styles. His “Assemble 7” ep is available for free at

The Nighttime Swerve

the beat goes on Bobo Gallery 22 North Lexington Ave. Sat. April 17th Mundo Vibes w/ JC Tripp Sun. April 18th DJ Exgasm Sat. April 24th Brett Rock LaRue’s Backdoor 237 Haywood Soul Night, last Wed of the DJs Souljabyrd and L.T.P. bring you the finest Old School Soul your ears have ever heard.

Bookworm is the stage alias of multi-genre music producer Isaac LeFever. Duct tape a Super Nintendo, an MPC and a MicroKorg to a jazz bass, plug it into a laptop, add some loudspeakers and a pinch of swagger and you’re in the right neighborhood. With a mind for minimalist approach, Bookworm presents the listener with a strong, beat driven array of melodic textures and deep bass lines. Get your knowlege here:

The Nighttime Swerve is an online radio show hosted and mixed by live DJs. Founded by Adam from Earthtone Soundsystem N.S. includes the talents of DJs Austin, Trevor, Josh, Harris & Nigel. All genres are fair game, but you can expect to hear lots of nu-soul, house, dub, balearic, ambient, techno, disco, rock, electro & lounge. On occasion they’ll also feature special mixes from guest DJs, exclusive tracks, interviews and more. Tune in at:

Kill the Head

Get yourself a fly tie at Parlour 9 W. Walnut Street and check out their cool urban threads too.

Asheville could take a lesson from artist Joe Buck (Joseph Buckingham). In the early ‘90s Buck created the iconic artwork for De La Soul’s “De La Soul is Dead”. The broken flowerpot art signaled a change in image for De La Soul and made it clear that the group’s “DA.I.S.Y. Age” was over. Buck parlayed that opportunity into a career working in the fashion industry and traveling the world. It’s all about seizing the moment and as this city grows it’s people like Buck that are re-defining what Asheville is all about. His work for De La Soul, Marc Ecko, FuBu, Phat Farm and dozens of other brands puts Buck at the forefront of today’s urbanfashion and graphics culture. In addition, Buck was part of the creation team that birthed Fader magazine and illustrated two of the first Hip Hop children’s books with Scholastic. For 20 years Buck has lived by his credo, “Free Your Mind And Design Will Follow”, designing music packaging, sportswear graphics, web graphics, corporate identities, branding, print, as well as consulting services. His website, Artist-Type, offers a range of t-shirts, DJ mats, art prints of his work.

Host (and nationally published writer) Justin F. Farrar kicks up an electric dust cloud of heavy-ass jams, psychedelic wonder and deep-focus groove research. He’ll even spin a bluegrass tune every now and then.

Joe Buck’s websites

Friday 5-7:30pm

With business operations in Asheville Joe Buck is one prolific cat but it’s his passion for art that keeps him going. Buck’s free time is spent on his true love, painting.

along with Mark Cotgrove, aka Snowboy. Ironically enough, Darge had only discovered this sound after selling off his original soul record collection and being left with what he had originally referred to as “junk music” that he picked up in the United States on his many jaunts to find northern soul records there and in the UK. Though Britain had not been part of the initial funk wave of the ‘60s-‘70s, the scene grew as an underground subculture with DJs laying down the funk for hungry audiences at venues like London’s Club Ormones



The New Mastersounds return from a year of intensive touring in the USA to deliver “Ten Years On”, an impressive range of grooves and styles, all sheltering from the grey English drizzle under a big jazzfunk umbrella. There’s the familiar vintage-sounding production, courtesy of guitarist and bandleader Eddie Roberts. The core of the band is the same as on 2008’s Plug & Play, with Simon Allen on drums, Pete Shand on Fender P-bass, and Joe Tatton on organ, piano and various other vintage keyboards. The album has guests a plenty, some of them sending in their performances by email from distant shores. JD73 plays Rhodes on Dusty Groove, lending it a distinctly Headhuntersish sound. Seattle-based sax experimentalist Skerik adds dark, lush textures to the eight-minute soundtrack opus OOOM. Fellow Leeds luminary Sam Bell brings the percussion to Eddie’s Benson-eque disco-jazz on Cielo while Madrid-based Chip Wickham toots a mean flute on Chocolate Chip. MA: With all of your touring you’re developing a strong fan base here in the states.

The New Mastersounds are at the very top of an elite selection of acts that bring the true soul out of funk. Asheville gets a taste at the free Earth Day Fest on April 17. The hard-working band has won legions of fans around the world. Now the New Mastersounds are conquering America, one show at a time. With a new album, “Ten Years On” and a documentary on the band it looks like 2010 is theirs to own. BY JOHN C. TRIPP Funk music is hard to define – much like jazz it’s really beyond defining. But if there’s one sure thing about it, it’s that it just keeps on grooving and when it hits you, you feel no pain. And even though funk as we knew it may have passed with the death of its Godfather, James Brown, there’s more than enough reason to believe that this sweaty, rhythm heavy sound is back and better than ever. Call it the baby boomerang effect on music: kids of baby boomers (and the parents too) have shown a renewed fervor for vinyl records, analogue sounds, 60’s &70’s soul along with classic funk of bands like the Meters, Grant Green, James Brown and a whole slew of more obscure bands. They’re digging the funk. And it’s not just music fans that are sharing the love for funk: a whole new generation of retrofunk bands have emerged on the scene, injecting a new breath of hot, sweaty air and a new “deep

funk” sensibility to the music. Bands like the U.S.’s Breakestra, Australia’s the Bamboos and England’s New Mastersounds pay homage to funk’s golden era while moving the sound forward with a more DJ-like approach that is less congested and more spacious and beat heavy. Leading the way from across the pond are Leeds, England’s The New Mastersounds. One can be forgiven if this group of four aren’t on their list of leading funk bands – that is, if you’ve never heard their music. Upon listening to their deep, open-ended and warm sound it’s apparent why the New Mastersounds are blowing up on the international funk scene and are now taking America by funkstorm. The U.S. funk revival is a recent one in comparison to the UK’s which began over in the late ‘80s with DJs like Keb Darge who coined the term “deep funk”

N: Yeah, yeah it certainly appears so. What seems to be changing now and what’s good is that we can go to smaller towns like in mid-week and still pull in a decent crowd, like a couple hundred people which is great. And then when we go to the bigger cities we’ve got a nice substantial fanbase. MA: And are you touring primarily to play tracks from “Ten Years On” or are you mixing things up? N: We always mix things up, there’s a lot of material there and some things are just part of our staple live show, you know, just tunes that really work live. But we have a repertoire of about 80 tracks to chose from. MA: How did “Ten Years On” come together? N: Usually the process has been that we go into the studio with some ideas and then finish them off in the studio and record them and release the album quite quickly after that process. But because we’ve been so busy touring, what’s happened is we went in and recorded it and then went out on the road without having a chance to mix it and release. And then we started playing the new tunes so it’s been a different way of doing it this time.

just whatever we’ve been exposed to, what we’ve been influenced by running up to that point. And Pete Shand, the bass player has been doing a lot of DJing now, much more than he used to, so there’s definitely some new things that he’s coming forward with like some grooves that he’s wanted to include into things, that’s most definitely had an effect. I think performing in America so much has changed our sound a little bit. MA: For a quartet you really have a full sound. How do you accomplish that? N: It’s the kind of thing where all music fills the same amount of space, you know? If you go to a gig there’s only so loud that anything can be. We could have ten people and it’s not going to be any bigger sound or louder really than two people. It just means that there’s a bit more space in it, there’s more clarity when there’s less people. Sometimes people make the mistake by just piling on instruments and it’s a bit of a racket. And especially playing funk, you need that clarity in it to get the grooves. I like working as a four-piece just because the communication is so much better. When we used to have a horn section, with seven people on the stage, if you want to mess around with an arrangement it’s hard to communicate across the stage and expect everyone to be hitting the same kind of thing. With the four of us, which is how we started anyway, we can switch into whatever groove by literally a wink and a nod. Because we know each other so well, we’ve spent so much time with each other personally and musically. We can kind of just move as one unit, which is the beauty of it. MA: I understand that your live set is quite a marathon. N: It depends. It depends on what night of the week it is, it depends what the audience is like really. If the audience is raging then go till we fall over, licensing permitting. When it’s working, when there’s a great energy transference from the audience to the band and back again. We’ve got such a big repertoire that we have been known to play a good four hour set. On club shows we tend to play around two hours. MA: It’s great that you’re doing so well in the States and it’s a good sign. N: Yeah it is, I don’t know what it was like in America ten years ago but there definitely seems to be a great appreciation for live music. And I think the whole thing with playing funk is people generally want to have a good time and dance and there’s a generation of people at the moment, twenty and thirty year olds, who we’re playing to: they love dancing. The New Mastersounds free concert

MA: How has your sound evolved?

Asheville Earth Day, April 17

N: Things just tend to evolve in the studio more, there’s usually not too much thought process it’s

Martin Luther King Park, Asheville Info online at:

Vincenzo's 10 North Market

Malaprop’s 55 Haywood Street

World Coffee Café 18 Battery Park

Battery Park Book Exchange 1 Battle Square

Zambra 85 W. Walnut Street

Captain’s Bookshelf 31 Page Ave.

Aston Park Tennis Facility

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Downtown Books 67 N. Lexington Ave.



Tupelo Honey Café 12 College St.


What to Wear? 63 1/2 Lexington Ave

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Table 48 College St.

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transit Benali is a well regarded Arabic singer and leaves her scintillating and exotic mark on “Secretly Famous”. One such song is ‘Blood and Honey’, a varied and transfixing dedication to the Balkans, a region filled with flowers and fertile land as well as a long history of wars.

Earthrise Sound System “The Yoga Sessions”

the spy from cairo “secretly famous”

If, like me, you’ve don’t practice yoga and haven’t yet been “enlightened up”, a full length recording called “The Yoga Sessions” might sound about as appealing as a CD called “The Meat Sessions” would for a vegan. And if all of those schmaltzy new age CDs you associate with yoga also have been etched on your brain you would be forgiven for any initial resistance to Earthrise Sound System. Earthrise Sound System are two accomplished musicians — Derek Beres and master percussionist David “Duke Mushroom” Schommer. Their creation is a sublime and soothing blend of vocals, organic acoustics and rhythm suitable for relaxation, contemplation and whatever happens in your bedroom. Guest vocalists and musicians play a big part of “The Yoga Sessions”: France’s Morley adding her earthy and mellifluous voice to two of the CDs more soothing songs (accompanied by cellist Dave Eggar); Lucy Woodward sings a mantra to a new day on ‘Daylight as Sunset’ (chanting the concept of reincarnation in the Bhagavad Gita “only at the end is where we begin”); Morocco’s Hamid Boudali provides his Arabic vocals backed by lush instrumentation on the Gnawa-inspired ‘Makyen Ghrir Allah’ and Eccodek adds flute, xaphoon and electric guitar to ‘Sombience’. This is forward thinking yet organically formed music: a percussively and melodically rich multi-ethnic soundscape - J.C. Tripp

Middle Eastern music often gets the short shrift when it combined with contemporary music, often appearing as a sample — a moaning wail, the strumming of an oud or darbouka – laid over some formulaic beats (often filed under “new age”). The Spy From Cairo has dispersed of this malignment on “Secretly Famous”, creating a music that truly integrates traditional Arabic music with dub and rhythmic production. Purists might not approve but this is some seriously dope interpretation of traditional Middle Eastern music. For the uninitiated, The Spy From Cairo is Moreno Visini, a low profile but extremely accomplished musician, producer and remixer who has been a major contributor to New York City’s underground globalist scene. The man is to Arabic music what Bob Baer is to spying, you might not know him but he’s left his imprint on dozens of recordings. With its 13 songs, there’s a lot of turf to cover on “Secretly Famous” and The Spy From Cairo runs the full breadth of Arabic sounds, opening with a rush of nay and mizmar flutes and Darbouka rhythms on ‘Nayphony’, based on traditional wedding music from Jordan. ‘Kurdish Delight’ is a bassand dub-driven twist on traditional Kurdish mountain music with clarinet, darbouka and frame drum. After these two instrumental songs we’re seduced by several songs featuring guest vocalist Ghalia Benali who grew up in an artistic family in the south of Tunisia.

A standout track on “Secretly Famous” is ‘Kembe”, an infectious blending of vocals by Alladin, Oud ( arabic guitar ), darbouka and a synthesized Mizmar along with TSFC’s trade mark beat and bass line. Things get funky on ‘Jennaty’ with its disco-ish guitar riffing and beats and Benali’s voice, which perfectly blends with the music. Both are great songs for heating up the dancefloor. Continuing past the half-way mark of “Secretly Famous” is ‘Oud Funk’, a blend of a “Rai” type of melody and a twisted “afrofunk’ beat. It starts with a peaceful Oud taksim ( Oud improvisation ) and it kicks in with Darbouka, beat and string arrangements. This is not some patched together project, each song is a careful amalgamation of traditional and modern and you’d be hard pressed to detect the separation between the two. Continuing on the trans-Arabic journey is the deep and hypnotic ‘Sufi Disco’ with a brooding Nay riff and some wicked Oud riffs backed by some tripped out Moog sounds and a house groove. ‘Reggada’ is a bhangrafied twist on this traditional style of Moroccon music with male vocals and a seriously heavy dub vibe that kicks in about half way into the song. ‘Ala Shan’ is a dubified remix of a very famous song by the (late) one and only Farid Al Atrache, the Egyptian “Father of the Oud”. The final track blends Benali’s soaring vocals with sitar and tabla, a calming end to a Nat Geo soundclash of old meeting new. The Spy from Cairo has masterfully infiltrated the inner sanctum of middle eastern sounds on “Secretly Famous”, seducing an unsuspecting audience with his adroit musicianship and production methods. And in the process, he’s blown his cover: the Spy From Cairo is no longer a best kept secret. - J.C. Tripp

While on a bike tour in Oregon in 2006 Mike Sule was so impressed by what he saw in Portland that he challenged himself to try to cultivate a similar cycling culture in Asheville. Asheville on Bikes is the result and you, too, can be involved. Find out how at

Biketag: Speak Your Mind From Behind Asheville bicyclists now have a way to communicate with vehicles and those behind them with Biketag, a sign that hangs from a bicycle’s seatpost. This Asheville based startup offers bicycle signs for fun and safety. Each Biketag is hand-made, using recycled cardboard and laminated with heavy plastic. A portion of profits benefit bicycling advocacy. Get yours at

bike Cargo mover The Travoy is a revolutionary new bike/lifestyle product that hitches to the seat post of any bike and detaches simply with the flip of a switch so you can wheel it down the street, up the stairs and into the office or your home. It weighs less than 10 pounds with our anodized aluminum frame, folds flat to stow away, and carries up to 60 pounds of gear. We’ve also designed a series of waterproof accessory bags that clip onto the frame, or you can use our tie-down straps to secure your own bag or any unwieldy gear you may have. In over six months of testing, we’ve used Travoys to haul just about everything: groceries, laptops, files, snowshoes, gym clothes, bike gear, work clothes, books, blankets, etc.


books The handmade marketplace It’s an exciting new world for crafters. Handmade is hip and there are opportunities that didn’t exist a few short years ago. For crafters who have more confidence running a sewing machine than setting up a Web site, The Handmade Marketplace breaks it all down.

Rebecca Johnson, “Untitled”. Current show at Bobo Gallery. Forthcoming Solo Exhibition at the Front Gallery: Asheville Art Museum/Pack Place.

Hatch Asheville, April 15 -18 The second annual HATCHfest Asheville will bring in the brightest minds from the intersection of design and technology – including acclaimed and awardwining film directors, fashion designers, inventors, journalists, songwriters and architects . During the week, HATCHfest Asheville will host educational events, networking parties, workshops, concerts, film screenings and exhibits for the general public. The festival pairs the mentors with selected Groundbreakers, young creative professionals chosen from around the country, for one-on-one sessions and small group workshops.

Two young songwriters will be chosen as HATCHfest Asheville’s Music Groundbreakers. These Groundbreakers will get the opportunity work one-on-one with Matt Morris, record a song and music video on the Lennon Bus. They will also get to perform at a special Matt Morris concert during the festival. Details:

UNC Asheville Hosts 43rd Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition April 17-27 The UNC Asheville Art Department will host its 43rd Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition April 16-27 in UNC Asheville’s S. Tucker

Cooke Gallery, located on the first floor of Owen Hall. Internationally exhibited artist Nina Katchadourian will serve as juror. The gallery is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays. Admission is free. For more information, call UNC Asheville’s Art Department at 828/251-6559.

ABOUT MA: Metro Asheville

Metro Asheville is a free monthly urban culture and living magazine. Expect big things in a little package. Online at:

Publisher & Editor: J.C. Tripp Design: Buzzin’ Eye Studio

Whether the product is beaded jewelry or felted slippers, illustrations or tote bags, author Kari Chapin helps crafters determine cost of goods, market competition, and the pros and cons of wholesale and retail sales. If the price is right, customers will buy. The boom in indie craft fairs and sites such as Etsy is providing artisans with an ever-expanding marketplace for handcrafted items. Chapin demystifies every venue. She explains the guidelines that craft fairs impose on exhibitors, the typical yearly calendar of shows, and how to start a new craft fair. For the crafter interested in online sales, there are tips and technical explanations of how the most popular Web marketplaces run. Traditional brick and mortar consignment stores are still very good options for many crafters. Chapin explains how to approach shopkeepers and build strong relationships. Wrapping everything up with media advice and tips on how to get the word out, The Handmade Marketplace is the sales and marketing bible that today’s crafters need.

Wingnuts: how the lunatic fringe is hijacking america What’s a Wingnut? It’s someone on the far-right wing or far-left wing of the political spectrum - the professional partisans and the unhinged activists, the hardcore haters and the paranoid conspiracy theorists. They’re the people who always try to divide us instead of unite us. Wingnuts looks at the outbreak of extremism in the opening years of the Obama administration – from the unprecedented government spending that spurred the Tea-Party protests to the onset of Obama Derangement Syndrome. John Avlon explains how hate-fueled rumors take hold,looks at the ‘hunt for heretics’ that is taking place inside both parties and details the rise of hyper-partisan media. The book compares current merchants of political paranoia with past fear-mongers and finds that divisive demagogues have sold this snake oil before. But the two parties’ increased polarization and the echo-chamber of the internet are making the Wingnuts more powerful than ever before. We are allowing paranoids, hysterics and hyper-partisans to hijack our politics – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Avlon asserts that centrists need to stand up to the extremes on both sides and declare their independence. The book ends on a hopeful note – the conclusion is “How to Take America Back from the Lunatic Fringe.”

ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism Why are we in such a financial mess today? There are lots of proximate causes: over-leverage, global imbalances, bad financial technology that lead to widespread underestimation of risk. But these are all symptoms. Until we isolate and tackle fundamental causes, we will fail to extirpate the disease. ECONned is the first book to examine the unquestioned role of economists as policy-makers, and how they helped create an unmitigated economic disaster. Author Yves Smith is creator of the influential blog, Naked Capitalism, a economics and finance blog with over 250,000 unique visitors each month. Smith has been working in and around the financial services industry since 1980. Here she looks at how economists in key policy positions put doctrine before hard evidence, ignoring the deteriorating conditions and rising dangers that eventually led them, and us, off the cliff and into financial meltdown. Intelligently written for the layman, Smith takes us on a terrifying investigation of the financial realm over the last twenty-five years of misrepresentations, naive interpretations of economic conditions, rationalizations of bad outcomes, and rejection of clear signs of growing instability.

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From top: 1. Von Zipper “Trudie” 2. Electric “CB4” 3. Smith “Breakbeat” 4. Electric “EC-DC XL” 5. Anon “Sundae Blueberry Fade” 6. Von Zipper “Prowler” 7. Electric “The Velveteen” Available at: Flipside (Electric brand) 88 North Lexington Avenue

Ox & Rabbit (Anon, VZ, Smith brands) 12 South Lexington Avenue MUSICAL VIBRATIONS WORLDWIDE


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Saturday, April 17th Mundovibe Editor J.C. Tripp Selecting the best in world grooves to get your booty moving and shaking

Metro Asheville April  
Metro Asheville April  

Premiere issue of Metro Asheville magazine. Featuring an interview with the New Mastersounds, Asheville events, Asheville map, reviews and c...