The Cannonball Jars • The Mothlight • June 19, 2017

The Cannonball Jars brought their super-fun blend of “Punk Street Power Pop” to The Mothlight Monday night. Truly electric and alive, the band blazed through nine originals at fast speeds. When I closed my eyes it felt as if I was attending the headliner at this year’s Warped Tour. I met with lead singer and guitarist Benjamin Hatch after the gig, “It’s Fun, heartfelt music with a healthy dose of mischief. Honest, genuine lyrics that don’t take the protagonist too seriously. All ages are welcome, but like all truly great rock and roll, it is dangerous. We’re gearing up to record a full-length in September. It’s gonna be a doozy. We want this record to be mischievous and fun. It’s genuine, poetic energy and it explodes in your brain when you hear it!” Matt Evans called it a “Pop punk version of The Beatles playing The Beach Boys covers, on a Lookout! Records compilation.” Their music is both familiar and fresh, and that is a healthy achievement. I can only see this band getting bigger and bigger, be on the lookout and catch their next show!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

Setlist:
1. New 1+2
2. Alright
3. Go On
4. Hey Betty
5. Ghost Castle
6. Roam
7. Plant Song
8. More Time
9. Beds

 

Dose • The Mothlight • June 19, 2017

“When you look down in the rose and it’s empty, listen to us” – Eli Raymer

AVL’s DOSE blew my mind. A young and spirited duo consisting of Carter Herren Sanders on guitar and trippy echoing vocals, with Eli Raymer as the insane madman on drums. Kind of like if Col. Claypool ate too much acid, played guitar and joined Nirvana. These kids are talented, check ‘em out soon!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography by Libby Gamble Photography

Setlist:
Good Morning & Goodbye
Another Day
Ephogie
Fearless (Pink Floyd cover)
Minor
Workweek
Blue lips

 

 

 

Golden Dawn Arkestra • Asheville Music Hall • May 20, 2017

As last Saturday night grew near, I became a bit excited about a band I knew nothing about. I was a fan of Sun Ra many years ago and my interest was sparked by an Arkestra coming to my little city. Thoughts of funk, costumes, and interstellar vibrations filled my head as the day progressed; and as I stood impatiently waiting for this band to take the stage, my curiosity was delightfully satisfied by costumed performers entering the Asheville Music Hall — parade style. Masks, paints, and wigs hid the identities of this band of love and light creating a festival-like blend of creepiness and fun. They played instruments, carried cans of sage, and smudged members of their audience as they made their way around the room. It was at this point that I knew that we were in for a treat. Sounds from the vibraphone, synthesizers, guitars, keys, drums, and percussion instruments along with a horn section filled the room and the audience was held captive. The Golden Dawn Arkestra delivered a funky and jazzy musical journey into the cosmos which was candy for both my eyes and my ears. The night flew by quickly as the avant-garde ensemble of nine mesmerized the crowd with theatrical performances and magically danceable music. There were moments when I was simultaneously reminded of James Brown and Sun Ra, yet  Golden Dawn Arkestra definitely has a sound of its own — and I look forward to making the intergalactic voyage with them again soon.

Review and Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

The Mike Dillon Band • Salvage Station • May 18, 2017

I arrived at the venue early and had the pleasure of hanging out with local AVL drummer Claude Coleman Jr. of Ween and The Mike Dillon Band, weirdos, doppelgängers, and a friend who was down and out. I said to my friend, “Maybe you’ll find a hundred dollars on the ground!” Just a few songs into the set, Mike bursts into his own song “Maybe you’ll find 100 dollars on the ground!” (which I had previously not heard… I swear!) Synchronicity was in the air, and similar life stories and duplicated local plot lines in conversation with the doppelgängers, made it obvious this concert was an AVL “Westworld” hub! Whaaaat? What do these cats sound like? This band is like an acid trip with punk rockers at an amusement park. Picture cartoon circus elephants blowing their trunks in unison, side-to-side, with looney musical jazz accompaniment. Picture crazy clowns escaping the asylum to mass percussion. Part jazz concert with vibraphone, part raging and “Primus / Fantomas-like”, with spoken-word stories that reminisce of The Dead Milkmen and even Frank Zappa. Annnnd I can’t help but think of Iggy Pop during the new cut “Iggy Iggy!” off their newest album release (it’s off the charts!) So many great influences, and such an original sound. Headliner Karl Denson made a guest appearance mid-set on some swinging jazz, belting it out on the sax. Claude Coleman Jr. obliterates on the drums, he is a machine, we love you Claude! Just when the music gets too heavy to handle, it calms at just the right moment, and morphs into hilarious ecstasy. “Is today National Viking Day?” Mike asked the crowd… A super fun story about how Mike went to a Grateful Dead concert and tripped out too hard was the icing on the cake of this perfect set of live music and psychedelic comedy. I love this band, this was super fun, do not miss them when they come to your town. Thank you!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography by Libby Gamble Photography

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe feat. Melvin Seals • Salvage Station • May 18, 2017

Multi-instrumentalist Karl Denson brought his authentic blend of funk and jazz to AVL’s Salvage Station this past Thursday night, along with Melvin Seals of The Jerry Garcia Band fame as 2nd keyboard player. Denson has played with Lenny Kravitz and helped form The Greyboy All-Stars. He has also extensively toured with The Rolling Stones, whom they covered tonight with a tasty rendition of “Tumbling Dice.” Tonight Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe consisted of Alan Evans (drums), Chris Stillwell (bass), David Veith (keys), Chris Littlefield (trumpet), and Seth Freeman (guitar). The Universe expanded beautifully with the addition of opener Mike Dillon adding a new vibration of percussion to the already solid rhythmic landscape, and Melvin Seals spinning his own brand of funky B-3 magic. Although Karl previously announced that he doesn’t play much Dead in his live set, the band went into a smooth version of The Grateful Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway” which had everyone in the crowd grinning ear-to-ear.  The Station was packed with friendly dancing heads who were twirling and flowing to the spirit of the music  — and the spirit was alive and well.

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family with Libby Gamble

Photography By Libby Gamble Photography