by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


Last month, the maiden voyage of Dance From Above opened up a flood of possibilities for the Crown at the Carolina Theatre, its newly renovated third-floor event space. Though it’s less than a year old, more people came out to get down to the music of Asheville producer Marley Carroll and a handful of other electronica purveyors than at any show to happen there to date. Kaleidoscopic projections transformed the space from a bare canvas into a horror vacui of illumination and this Thursday, Dance From Above takes another step forward.

The second in the series will feature another Asheville beat curator in DJ Brett Rock, a veteran funk spinner whose early vanity house mixes demonstrated a taste for classic disco and late soul. He gave up destroying a collection of rare groove wax for a digitized set aimed at lifting up b-boy culture on his Self Contained Dance Party mix series, and then there was the great edits tape he dropped in 2012 that recomposed Blue Mitchell, Bohannon and Donald Byrd grooves into high octane B-boy fuel.

His recent Moogfest set showed a shift toward a different aesthetic: a nebulous blend of UK garage and funky house, a hard 4/4 that incorporated more hip-hop vocals than his early mixes. The b-boy element remains the constant, however, but given the turnout at the first Dance From Above party, the b-boy’s that invariably follow Brett Rock’s show may have to wait. Joining Brett Rock are fellow Ashevillians RBTS WIN, an electronic soul trio whose new release, Palm Sunday, that blends live R&B instrumentation with breezy, sample-driven psych, and Greensboro producer darklove., whose mix has one of the best uses of the hook from Steely Dan’s “Peg” you’ll ever hear. The show starts at 9 p.m. and entry is $8.


Sometimes the sharpest cultural criticism turns up in the most unexpected places. Hear, for example, April Richardson’s “Go Bayside!” podcast; each episode is a wry examination of the tropes that influenced an entire generation via a rigorous dismemberment of a single episode of “Saved By the Bell!”. Then there’s Donald Fagen’s 2013 autobiography Eminent Hipster, which Steely Dan fans would rationally expect to be a behind-the-curtains look at one of the most polarizing bands in the history of popular music, and to some degree, that is the case. What it more closely resembles is a string of rambling, unconnected essays on the inherent, unavoidable narcissism of pop culture, along with critiques the books, music and figures that influenced him and how they’ve changed shape in the rear view. Fagen’s creativity in inventing new ways of wringing dollars from Steely Dan diehards is only rivaled by the voice with which he recounts tales about the greatness of Hank Mobley, or the implicit connection between Robert Johnson and Ike Turner.

There’s also a 70-plus-page tour diary from the 2012 Dukes of September Rhythm Revue tour to satisfy the behind-the-music quotient. He strips it of any glamour whatsoever, opting for a chatty tone overly concerned with the minutia that concerns your typical working musician. Each diary entry is dated, so it’s clear when his interest in the begins to wane, which, is August 4 when he starts telling stories about visiting friends. Ironically, that’s the date of Steely Dan’s Greensboro show Monday, nearly as many dates into the current Jamalot Ever After jaunt. In this case, you hope for truth in advertising. Tickets start at $69.50. !