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Here’s a few more highlights from Shakori Hills Festival this past weekend!

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I had such an amazing time this weekend at Shakori Hills in Silk Hope, NC hanging with friends, seeing some fantastic music, eating great food and generally lovin’ life! I got to see some of Donna the Buffalo, Preston Frank Zydeco, Snake Oil Medicine Show, Woody Pines, The Double E’s, Amelia’s Mechanics, Hee Haw Nightmare, Greg Humphreys, Big Fat Gap, Mandolin Orange and lots more!

I also spent a lot of time with my friends in the new “Green Room Lounge”‘ that they set up at the festival to take some film of musician interviews and sessions. They are going to launch their new website, Fingerlakes Unplugged and post some of the footage in a month or so, so stay tuned to http://fingerlakesunplugged.com. Posted below are some of the snapshots I took while in the Lounge.

Greg Humphreys in the Green Room Lounge

The Hee Haw Nightmare Band

The Smart Brothers

Tara Nevins, Ed Poullard, and Preston Frank discussing Creole, Cajun, and Zydeco

Woody Pines

Luigi at work...

Check out Caroline Pond’s Blog from the fest as well. It’s got a great video of Snake Oil Medicine Show: http://carolinepond.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/dance-tent-joy/

And click here for great footage from Shakori Hills Festival uploaded by people on YouTube.

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Now in its ninth year, the Asheville FringeArts Festival will be a four-day, multi-venue, wild, strange, wacky and exciting performing arts extravaganza happening in spaces all over Asheville. It is the festival that asks artists of all genres and media (actors, dancers, musicians, poets, performance artists of all kinds) to explore the edges of their work, to collaborate across genres and to bring new and innovative performances to culturally adventurous audiences.

Be part of a truly unique performing arts experience.

Find out more about the Festival and apply online at www.ashevillefringe.org

The Asheville FringeArts Festival needs volunteers to help make this festival happen.
If you feel the calling, email them at info at ashevillefringe.org

The Asheville Fringe Arts Festival is presented by the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre.

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Super pumped about Shakori Hills Fest being right around the corner! It’s October 7-10th in Silk Hope North Carolina.

You never know what will happen at Shakori  as the magic sets in… I’ve seen plenty of rainbows &  blue skies (as well as a few muddy dancing rainstorms…) I’ve seen one of the longest shooting stars ever that lasted at least a minute and flew over the mainstage as Donna the Buffalo was playing on one of the famous Sunday night sets… and I’ve seen some of the best musical collaborations EVER on stage! Everything goes and the festival is always amazing!

On the lineup for this fall are Donna the Buffalo, Preston Frank, Toubab Krewe, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Snake Oil Medicine Show,Woody PinesAmelia’s Mechanics, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Lizzy Ross Band, Mandolin Orange and lots more! See the complete lineup here: http://www.shakorihills.org/performers/

At every Shakori, the last set on Sunday night is always one that everyone looks forward to as host band Donna the Buffalo brings out many guests from other bands that have played all weekend. Last spring one of the biggest hits was when  John Paul Jones had randomly appeared at Shakori because his overseas flight to England was delayed from the volcanic ashes that were in the air from the eruption in Iceland. He sat in with Donna the Buffalo and played several songs on bass, keys, and mandolin. Here is a great video of one of them:

Check out this very in depth and personal interview that Paul Kerr from Homegrown Music Network did with DtB’s Tara Nevins on the DtB bus at the festival just before that Sunday night set. At the point of the interview, Tara did not know that John Paul Jones was there again and ready to play:

HGMN: How did [Led Zeppelin bassist] John Paul Jones end up coming to Shakori Hills?

Nevins: He really likes traditional music. He always did, and he plays the mandolin. He produced that all-girl old-time band Uncle Earl. He produced one of their records, and I play triangle on it actually. I got to work with him in the studio. He was at MerleFest a few times and was just checking everything out. Because I had played triangle and was in the studio and had met him and worked with him, I think I might have said, “Hey we’re doing a dance in the dance tent later, why don’t you come by and sit in?” And everyone wanted him to sit in, you know? But he actually showed up and my drummer almost fell off his stool.

She told me later that when she left the bus to get on stage Jeb said, “Hey, Tara, John Paul Jones is here and wants to sit in”. She said something like, “yeah right Jeb” and then he said, “No, really, turn around” and she did and there he was. Funny because she was just telling a story about him at the interview a few minutes before and had no clue about his delayed flight or that he was even at the festival at all… Well.. That’s just some of the magic that happens at Shakori Hills!

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The Mountain Xpress in Asheville printed some wonderful coverage of this years Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF).  I am going to post some exceprts from each with inks to the full articles and intermingle a few of my shots from the fest… Check it out.

Great article on the LAAFF Music, the Asheville Music Scene, and the evolution thereof:

Rockin’ in the freak world

This year’s LAAFF music lineup is more indie than ever

by Alli Marshall in Vol. 17 / Iss. 06 on 08/31/2010

Molly Kummerle of Paper Tiger

Browsing old Xpress coverage of the inaugural LAAFF turned up this walk down memory lane: “More than 25 local acts [are] scheduled to appear on two stages. Highlights include Devilish Mary (all-girl string band with Cary Fridley, performing at noon); The Oxymorons Comedy Troupe; rising rock stars Drug Money; West African drum-and-dance group Ballet Warraba; and celebrated burlesque troupe The Rebelles.”

Yes, it was just as eclectic seven years ago as it will be this year, only this year there are almost twice as many acts and six stages. And, there’s another notable difference: This year’s LAAFF takes on an indie-rock flavor that it’s never had before.

“We try not to have repeats from year to year,” explains festival organizer Erin Scholze. “We sift through the genres. It seems like this year there are just a lot more successful indie bands.”

Here’s what that evolution looks like: Toubab Krewe headlined in 2005 (along with Strut, stephaniesid, the Great Slide, Cabo Verde, Fifth House, Mad Tea Party, the Buckerettes, Aaron Price and Christina Aurea).

LAAFF Electric Stage 2010

In 2006, Jeremy Long (then-percussionist with Avec La Force Percussion and Dance Initiative) told Xpress, “The planning committee decided LAAFF needed to be more diverse this year.” Enter Flamenco Saltado, Soora Gameela, Baraka Mundi, Banana da Terra, the Shining Rock Reggae Band and Nbale (Newborn Ancient Love Ensemble) with Biko Casini of Strut on West African balaphone — a group formed just for LAAFF.

LAAFF circa 2007 hinted at indie rock — the Sophisticated Chimps fit that bill, along with Speedsquare and Nevada. But the balance was jam, experimental and world music.

“Do everything faster”

… … … … …Check out this portion of the inter view with Kovacs and the Polar Bear here.

Just for LAAFF

Take Nbale. That band formed for LAAFF four years ago after Scholze noticed a number of players (Nbale included Casini, Ryan Reardon, Simon Tisman & Sage Sansome) from various bands waiting out a rainstorm together in a College St. storefront and suggested they try playing together. Another mashup was Sons of a Keeled Over Snake with members of Sons of Ralph, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge and Snake Oil Medicine Show.

“We’ve always called it a showcase event,” Scholze says of LAAFF. “You walk up the street and you are going to hear something you never would have heard. It’s a way for the musicians to intermingle with each other as well.”

Asheville Horns LAAFF 2010

Asheville Horns was also born of an opportune moment: A group of local brass players were tapped to record with Laura Reed and Deep Pocket. “Someone said ‘You should become a horn-rental section,’” recalls trombonist Derrick Johnson, whose main gig is with Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. They did, and putting a bunch of horn players together “gave us a chance to play different types of funk,” says Johnson. Soon, Asheville Horns wasn’t just a brass section for hire, but a band with its own shows.

Johnson, a fan of collaborations, co-created the local Funk Jam (held every Tuesday at the Emerald Lounge) when friends from a Long Beach, Ca.-based funk band were visiting Asheville and looking for a place to jam. Musician/soundman/promoter Frank Bloom offered up Emerald Lounge, and what was meant to be a one-off evolved, over the last two years, into a full-on scene. That scene attracts not just local performers, but touring musicians from bands like Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Galactic and Phish. For new-to-town musicians, “It gave people a chance to get established in the scene,” says Johnson. “People started getting different phone calls for different gigs. It was a card-swapping music exchange.” … Networking for funk players.

A festival that helped build the musical landscape

Dj Candice B at LAAFF 2010

Those kinds of opportunities to meet and mix have changed the sonic topography of Asheville in recent years. When LAAFF started, “People didn’t know each other,” Scholze says. “As the years have gone on, they started doing the funk jam and that brought in people like Vertigo Jazz Band and Matt Williams. That [created] the soul-jazz thing and now they’re cultivating that.” Scenes have formed around common interests, and each scene (jazz, jam, funk, etc.) has its own following. “But I think the next step is for the [various] scenes to start connecting and opening up, maybe connecting the soul-jazz people to the orchestra-jazz people; maybe connecting some of the singer/songwriters to the funk jam,” says Scholze.

So, will next year bring a more decisive move toward indie-rock? Or perhaps an indie/world fusion? Will The Archrivals battle Nataraj? Will Woody Pines bring a DJ on stage? Will Sky Lake add a balaphone to its lineup? Whatever the next LAAFF brings — or this one, for that matter — it’s sure to be a surprise.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2010/090110rockin-in-the-freak-world

Great writeup on the happenings other than the music at LAAFF. This article also gave a round up of all the LAAFFter parties:

LAAFF: More than music

Vol. 17 / Iss. 06 on 08/31/2010

Interactive

Tall Bike Freak Michael Mooney

• Bike Jousting: Though Michael Mooney’s tall bike will not return to LAAFF this year, his bicycle jousting — a game that Mooney developed specifically for LAAFF — will. Contestants gear up in foam armor, sit astride a bike with a banana saddle and elliptical wheels, and try to dismount their opponent with a boxing glove at the end of a long pole. Fun for kids and adults.
• Big Wheels for Big Kids: This new-to-LAAFF sport was also invented by Mooney and his friends. Adults board low-rider tricycle-like vehicles and race a track made of tires.
• Miss Kitty’s Interactive Arts Area: Made for adults and kids, the arts area features many performers from the ongoing Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program. Asheville Hoops will be on hand, along with Stina Andersen’s Tunnel of LAAFFs, which gives participants a chance to note what they love about the festival on a CD that is then woven into a bamboo tunnel. Melissa Glaze of the Asheville Mural Project does live painting, Our VOICE organizes a hand-print project and a hope box for survivors of sexual violence. Check out a preview of the upcoming Freaks of Asheville Calendar and hang out in the sideshow world created by Royal Peasantry.
…and more…

Arts

This year, 82 arts and crafts vendors will sell their wares along Lexington Ave. Since the festival’s inception this number has grown along with the square footage of LAAFF itself, which now extends all the way to BoBo Gallery. The number of arts vendors this year exceeds the number represented in this year’s Arts Park at Bele Chere.

Theatre

Catch two very different theatre shows on the LaZoom Bus Traveling Stage: Asheville Playback Theatre…The Feral Chihuahuas…Unifire Theatre…Asheville Vaudeville…Street performers

Dance

There’s more than just music at LAAFF; there’s dance, too. Local movement artists show their stuff — many of these performers also teach classes…Belle Afrique…Asheville Dance Revolution…Asheville Hoops Troupe…Lisa Zahiya hip-hop and bhangra…
READ THE FULL ARTICLE with performer descriptions HERE: http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2010/090110laaff

Wonderful Local Food at LAAFF:

Festival of Flavor

LAAFF has eats and drinks to keep you dancing

by Mackensy Lunsford in Vol. 17 / Iss. 06 on 08/31/2010

The Hop Ice Cream serving it up

What’s a street festival without food? A grouchy group of drunken zombies, that’s what. Fortunately, for festival-goers, there are plenty of local restaurants available to help soothe the blood-sugar woes at LAAFF. Just what can revelers expect to see and taste?Several Lexington Avenue merchants will be represented at the LAAFF food court, and it’s only fitting — local is what this block party is all about. Look for local buffalo short ribs from the Lexington Avenue Brewery, for example. Want something a bit more exotic? Visit Mela’s booth for a taste of Indian cuisine on the streets of Asheville.

… … …

Plenty of local beer will be available at LAAFF, which should come as no surprise. Should you be teetotalling, however, there are options for you, too. Buchi will be pedaling their special brand of local kombucha, and two lemonade stands will be on hand to slake your thirst sans alcohol.

Enjoy the party — and don’t forget to bring your appetite.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2010/090110festival-of-flavor

LAAFF stage schedules were laid out here http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2010/090110laaff-schedules

Full descriptions of the interactivities at 2009 LAAFF. Asheville Hoops, Stina Andersons-The Tunnel of LAAFFs, Melissa Glaze of Asheville Mural Project: Live painter, Freaks of Asheville Calendar Preview, Royal Peasantry and more are all laid out here in the MX  Interactive Arts area Performer Descriptions


LAAFF for the Kids:

Edgy Mama: LAAFFing with kids

by Anne Fitten Glenn on 08/29/2010

Related topics: parenting, Edgy Mama, LAAFF
It’s time again for that funkiest and most family-friendly of Asheville street fests: the Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival, coming to that once raffish downtown area often referred to as Lex this Sunday, Sept. 5.There again will be a multi-tented kids’ area based in the parking lot between Downtown Books & News and Heiwa Japanese Restaurant. For the first time this year, Kids Universe, as it’s been dubbed, is being organized and run by the Asheville-based Earth Fare supermarkets.

READ THE FULL POST HERE: http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2010/edgy_mama_laaffing_with_kids

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Check out some of the Great videos that people have posted of LAAFF 2010!

Stay tuned to this You Tube Channel for more as they get posted as well as many videos of LAAFFs past.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF7YWEnT2S8

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LAAFF took place on Sunday Sept 5th in downtown Asheville and was a complete success! Thank you to everyone involved; we appreciate all of our volunteers, performers, vendors, staff, costumers, fellow freaks, photographers, and all of the LAAFFers!!!! Check out some of my pictures below.

Some of the comments we have been receiving on facebook are:

Zen Sutherland “A huge thanks to you, and everyone who worked long before, during and after! It was a masterpiece!”

Steven J. Rash -“oh man. the fest was fantastic as usual. i’m already counting down the days to LAAFF 2011. thanks again!”

Paper Tiger at LAAFF 2010

Daniel Simmons “A day I will remember forever!”

Molly Kummerle “had such an amazing day/night yesterday – thank you thank you thank you!! kudos on another rocking fest ;)”

Cute Mustasheville kid on the LaZoom Bus

Jason Kimenker “You rock!! Thanks for helping to make LAAFF such a pleasure to work. I had a really great time, thank you thank you thank you!!”

Jeremy Long “Another great festival. Thanks for making it as fun and unique as Asheville itself.”

Dreamspider Erin

Darlene Wright “I’ve gone every year except for the first. I go to many festivals, but this is by far my favorite one. I look forward to it every year. It occurs on or near my birthday and is a great way to celebrate it. I look forward to many more years of it.”

Alien Dancing to Woody Pines aat LAAFF

Patty Dougherty Haberman “Fun, Freaks, Family, Food, Finds, and Favorite…..LAAFF”

Jason V. Martin “My favorite Asheville festival..favorite period!!”

Dj Candice B at the Bobo Stage

Alice Smyth “Thanks everyone for giving me a great day of FUN! Loved every minute of it and the weather sure was great! I will be sure to make it next Labor Day as well! (o;”

Sandy Scholze “saw the photos in Garys posts. Its fun to see all the costumes.Kinda like mardi gras and halloween all rolled into one

Vending Coordinators: Rebeccaand Rose Hecht

and here are some fun #LAAFF tweets:

@tracyhyorth: #LAAFF is really Asheville’s Mardi Gras. Just takes place in September. Aren’t we lucky?

@aRagingMuse: At the poetry van the Asheville Horns are funkin’ up my world as all the stars start to shine… #LAAFF -ing all the way

@adam_casto Fests like #LAAFF spoil me. keep checking the fridge hoping 4 tacos, pizza, ice cream,loaded hot dogs,various beer.

Mountain Xpressers: James Fisher and Mackensy Lundsford

@zensutherland: @lexfest It was the best #LAAFF so far! Can’t wait for you to see ’em all (whew, i took over 6 gig of shots)

@elizzlebizzle:guh, I am so beat from [#LAAFF &] repping @trashincavl. met Oscar the Grouch, drank a lot of kombucha, saw a lot of freaks

RT @ayanaberry: Totally. My favorite fest in #avl RT @jar_e: Thank you @Dreamspiderweb for making another wonderful day… So much fun! @lexfest #laaff

RT @papertigermusic: BEST.  #LAAFF.  EVER. thank you asheville, paper tiger loves you 😉

RT @mackensy: Feeling a little fuzzy-headed to be giving interviews today. I have a LAAFF-over. #laaff

Sanders, Sipe, Pond, and Cardine

RT @hopicecream Thank u @lexfest and everyone else for giving #Asheville reason to celebrate the local community! Had a blast 🙂 #LAAFF

RT @mxenv: Loved the labels on the waste bins at #LAAFF today: glass, plastic, and LANDFILL. That’s the truth…LANDFILL doesn’t mean GONE

Tall Bike Freak: The Reverend Michael Mooney

RT @robinplemmons laughed really hard @ #LAAFF. Best part is meeting customers who get me & love my creations. smiled so much my cheeks hurt

RT @phetched: Scrumptious Hardcastle dawgs, Pisgah Pale, Kovacs & the Polar Bear + sexy @robinplemmons at #LAAFF… now it’s naptime. #zzzz

RT @AskAsheville: 12seconds – Alien dances to Woody Pines at #LAAFF in Asheville http://tiny12.tv/R2D03 #avlent

RT @AskAsheville: Laughing my A-S-S off! This is such a cool event! #LAAFF w/ @thesavvyeater @avlcustomcloset)

Fun guy, AskAsheville Gary, and AVL Custom Closet Amanda

RT @AskAsheville Great #wedding #photo of Jack & Rosetta at their #LAAFF marriage in downtown #AVLhttp://su.pr/1KM88P #avlpics #avlwed

RT @aRagingMuse: Beautiful with Archrivals soundtrack! RT @rsulock: awesome #LAAFF footage from Jesse Hamm for Xpress! http://bit.ly/c6r2ME #avlent

Bike joust! RT @AshevilleLife: RT @fobes RT @ ashevillein : call it a draw then? #LAAFF #avlevent http://flic.kr/p/8yrQVR

Jenny Juice's Songwriter Lounge

RT @houseofdevochka: Dudes. Seriously. @lexfest was amazing! I’m going to bed. Right now. For three days. Or 5 hours. #laaff

RT @AskAsheville: People… I am talking about 169 photos of the Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival #LAAFF in Asheville NC right here.. http://su.pr/3ai4ud#

Bright Life Photography- Lissy multitasking at LAAFF 🙂

RT @lyndacd: #LAAFF: Lex Ave Arts & Fun Festival – Still the best fest in Asheville! Great day with interesting people, food, music, fun!

AVL Beer, Jenny Juice, Bob 7, Amy

RT @Iveys: Body paint & a human float. Asheville’s Mardi Gras. #laaff http://plixi.com/p/43517320

RT @adam_casto: Enjoyed spending time downtown at #laaff today. Need to make an effort to get out more. We really do have a wonderful city here. #AVL

Robin Plemmons

RT @SocialLifeAvl: Just got lil one a mocha oreo from the @hopicecream tent with @robinplemmons @lexfest #LAAFF

RT @SocialLifeAvl: I just saw that. My daughters wants to it. BAD RT @ncmattj: http://twitvid.com/M6VW9 – Street Jousting at #LAAFF

Lulu and Dreamspider Erin

RT @SocialLifeAvl: Downtown is packed for @lexfest #LAAFF alot of culture, music, food and vendors.

Molly, Crissa, and Billy Jack

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