Asheville Music Weekend: Dr. Bacon, Bella’s Bartok, The Paper Crowns and more


Here’s a look at the Asheville Music Weekend.

By Caleb Calhoun

Bella’s and Bacon Saturday at AMH

Asheville Music Hall is kind of stealing the spotlight this weekend, but damn, have you seen their lineup? Friday night local blues rockers (and most adorable married couple playing music in town) The Paper Crowns will be opening up for Hayley Jane and the Primates, but we will get to that later.

It’s this Bella’s Bartok/Dr. Bacon show that we are going to concern ourselves with. Bella’s Bartok serves up klezmer, punk, ska – whatever you call it, it’s some of the most intelligent music you can shake your ass too. Playing first will be one of the weirdest and most fun Asheville bands playing right now, Dr. Bacon, and they couldn’t be any more excited about the chance to see these guys up close and personal.

“This will be our first time getting to meet them,” Bacon front man Jesse Talbott tells me. “I think it was Darcy G that introduced us to them. They sound like an Eastern European wedding and I am just excited to be going first so I can drink a little and enjoy their set.”

Dr. Bacon has been planning their first festival, The Smoke Down, for next September, and touring extensively. They’ve also been writing and have some new things to tote out for the hometown crowd Saturday.

Talbott explains: “We have been really working on our transitions, on bleeding one song into another. We find that if the audience isn’t really familiar with our music that it can go over their heads, but Saturday night we think we will have enough fans out that we are going to break out some of the weirder ones.”

March is the time for Bella’s Bacon in Asheville, and you don’t want to be the only one not there.

Styrofoam Turtles getting Groggy

The Sly Grog has quickly become one of my favorite bars in this town. Thursday night they’ll be featuring grunge rockers The Styrofoam Turtles. The group has made a name for itself playing greasy music in greasy venues and at even greasier house parties throughout town.

“We love the Grog,” guitarist Tristan Colby tells me. “It’s very welcoming and the people, the staff are all lovely people.”

Formed in 2015 around the single condition that if they were to play together, according to Josh’s mom, Tristan wasn’t allowed to be a pot-head, over the last few years they’ve worked on perfecting the kind of grunge stoner rock that even Robert Pollard would be proud of. Despite trying out a few bassists over the years, they’ve found their greatest success as a duo.

“(Being) a duo just works best with our energy and chemistry. We have known each other forever and just feed off each other,” Colby explains.

As far as what they hope is happening while they play, their philosophy fits perfectly with the accepting environment at Sly Grog.

“We hope that people reach that euphoric statue of enjoyment and enlightenment like I do when I am playing,” Colby says. “Nothing feels as free as having a guitar in my hands and seeing the audience mosh around and enjoying themselves. I don’t care if there are five people or five hundred, as long as they’re enjoying it.”

Paper Crowns Opening for Hayley Jane and the Primates on Friday

Spiro and Nicole Nicolopolous, also know as The Paper Crowns, have been making music together for nearly a decade. When you listen to their harmonies, and the conversations that their instruments have on stage, you really begin to understand why longevity matters.

Ranging from blues to folk to rock and roll, this duo is creating some of the best original music in town both for their duet performances, and their performances with a full band. Friday night, they’ll be warming up the Asheville Music Hall stage for Hailey Jane and the Primates, in a match that brings together two fierce female performers.

Having come to Western North Carolina by way of California, Spiro and Nicole bring a feel to their music that no one else in these mountains is replicating. Furthermore, between their volunteer work with local radio station WPVM and the collaborative events like G.A.M.E that they put on, it’s hard to find a local duo giving more back to the scene around them.

As with the Dr. Bacon show, this is a stellar Asheville band supporting a fantastic national act and will be worth every penny spent to get in.

1 Comment

Mike Cowal March 8, 2018 - 10:41 am

Nice article, Caleb. Spiro and Nicole do ROCK!!!!!

I look forward to hearing them tonight, Thursday at 6:30 at Pisgah Brewery.

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