Asheville Music Weekend: Modern Strangers, Music Works benefit, Grey Eagle metal showcase


Modern Strangers at The OneStop

There isn’t enough pop music in Asheville, but the Modern Strangers are helping to change that. This Friday they’ll be playing at The OneStop for the first time, and they (and I) couldn’t be an more excited about it.

“I feel like its one the places around Asheville that still feels like asheville,” says bassist and screamer Alex Deutsch. “It’s funky and weird and authentic and I like that it has a good late night crowd. It’s just a neat spot.”

And I would have to agree whole-heartedly. With farm-to-table food available until 2am, some of the friendliest bartenders in town, and that grungy basement house party feel The OneStop hits all the right notes. Furthermore, the majority of their shows, including this one, are free or donation based.

David Earl will be kicking off the whole thing at around 10 p.m., followed by Brothrs. Then it’s time for Strangers, one of my favorite Asheville bands, mainly because they don’t sound like any other Asheville band.

Bringing a slew of new music and the precision that comes from having just spent months mixing and tracking your own songs, they should be at full form and ready to bring it. These guys have been working hard at filling out their song lists with original songs after gaining a reputation for doing some great covers. The band has just finished up an album that’s slated for release in the next few months.

“We have been playing a lot of songs from the new album and some new stuff that we have written since. We have more and more originals and we have learned some new covers. We get bored of playing the same stuff all the time. It’s more fun when we can change up the set and do different stuff.”

Always a safe bet for a good time, Modern Strangers at The OneStop will be the right direction to find yourself moseying late on Friday night.

Music Works Asheville Benefit at The Mothlight

Looking for something a little earlier? Laura Blackley, Aaron Price, and their students from Music Works will be putting on a fundraiser for Asheville Primary School at The Mothlight from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday.

Music Works, a program created by Tom and Julie Leever and modeled off of Venezuela’s El Sistema programs, is currently educating more than 70 children in music and life skills.

An intensely artistic and social program, one of it’s main components is it’s commitment to using music education as a way to empower students and expand their world. This concert is one more way to do that. Blackley and Price will be playing along with many of their student musicians, giving the children an opportunity to take the stage in a non-traditional setting and build their confidence.

Blackley and Price are both long-time Asheville musicians who consistently give back to their community. Dianna Nickel, who has a child in the Music Works program, gushes about them:

“Laura is excellent with the children. She has a really easy way with them. She teaches the musicianship portion and she covers a lot of different genres with the them. Aaron teaches kindergarten and does such an excellent job.”

Still, Music Works and it’s teachers go far beyond simply music instruction. From teaching children about healthy eating, to homework help, to helping build solid social skills, this program is impacting children in a way that very few other programs in the country are. (The program is placed at Hall Fletcher Elementary School due to it’s diversity and year-round schedule.)

Local Metal Showcase at Grey Eagle on Sunday

If you really want to make it a righteous Sunday, I suggest hitting The Mothlight and then grabbing some dinner and making your way to The Grey Eagle for the local metal showcase.

Featuring Temptation’s Wings, Dissent, and Horseflesh, this isn’t your typical Asheville show. It will be dark and heavy in a venue that gets beautifully dark and sweaty. If you like to be screamed at from stage and bumped into by those around you, be here.

Pretty Little Goat at Grey Eagle Saturday

What a difference 24 hours is going to make at The Grey Eagle. With heavy metal slated for Sunday, on Saturday they feature Brevard-based quintet, Pretty Little Goat. Playing old-time music, and perhaps veering just a little intro bluegrass, this should get your heels tapping and your shoulders loose.

With beautiful harmonies and a touch of jazz this band brings that woodsy vibe to their music in a tangible way. Sometimes it’s good to sit and listen to something old, or at least influenced by old ways. If you don’t know where you came from, you don’t know where you’re going. Pretty Little Goat appears to, at least for themselves, have the answers to both of those questions.