Asheville Music Weekend: Off With Your Radiohead, Phuncle Sam, Fritz Mashup, more


By Caleb Calhoun

Good luck this Saturday night folks, cause it’s packed.

Tuesday at Sly Grog, Roger’s Bash

Ok, I’ve told you about Sly Grog before but let me tell you again, this is one of my favorite places in Asheville. Tuesday, they will be hosting an all day event filled with unbelievable local musicians, artists, poets, and truly all the weird you can handle.

The event page tells us that we can plan on music, live art, make-up artists, bird-themed costumes, and a late night blood orgy, but there is so much more to look forward to than that.

First off, this is an event being put on by members of the Bird Squad, a semi-collective of young poets, artists, and musicians that are hell-bent on pushing the limits of their crafts, and as such, has a ton of credibility going in. I’ve had the opportunity to cross paths with these cats on a number of occasions and can tell you that creativity and fun go hand-in-hand.

The entire event is the brain child of up-and-coming local musician, booking agent, promoter, and all-around-good-guy Cassidy Hart, and has the feel of something truly special. With a lineup that includes Never Getting Famous, Ghost Machine, Rich Girl Poor Boy, and analog rockers Battery Powered Hooker Boots the music is can’t miss.

And with live go-go dancers, food on site, and that typical old-school Sly Grog feel, this is the definitive place to be this Tuesday night. Yours truly will be MC’ing the evening and adding some poetic spice to the mix so I hope to see all of you there!

Saturday’s Tough Decision #1, Off With Your Radiohead at Asheville Music Hall

Jeff Thompson has idolized Radiohead since he was a child, and so, the opportunity to cover their music with an all star lineup seemed the natural decision for him when it presented itself. Featuring the ever-versatile Aaron Price, Funk-jam king Josh Blake, as well as Josh and Jake Cavinder, this truly is an all-star cast of musicians.

Which is a good thing considering just how difficult Radiohead’s music is to play. While the band doesn’t claim to cover these albums fully note-for-note, bet that they will be pretty damn close. Saturday night they will be performing the records In Rainbows and OK Computer in their entirety.

If pre-prog rock is your thing, this might just be the place for you. Then again…

Phuncle Sam at Pisgah Brewing Company

Maybe you’re more of a jam band kinda person. Let’s assess: Have you ever finished a sentence with the phrase “Praise Jerry”? Have you ever spent more than a week in a VW Bus going to show after show after show? Have you ever ruined a date by geeking out on “this one show from ’79” that your date totally needed to hear more than going to the movie you had tickets to?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, and you haven’t already been to a Phuncle show at Pisgah … hell, even if you have, it’s not like we Deadheads ever get sick of hearing the same thing. Pisgah feels like home for this, Asheville’s premier and longest-running Dead band.

Featuring incredible musicianship and their own take on classic standards, Phuncle always puts on a great show out there for their Black Mountain contingent.

Also, while we’re I’m crossing that old third wall and writing myself into the piece, this is my birthday show, so if you want to come by me a drink, I promise I won’t turn you down. Still, if Radiohead and Grateful Dead don’t do it for you, there is always…

The Fritz presents The King of Pop Meets The Purple One

It seems as if just about every musician of consequence in this town is going to be playing covers on Saturday night, so pick your poison wisely. The Fritz will be at the Salvage Station covering (and presumably mashing up) Prince and Michael Jackson songs.

Beloved locally and on the rise nationally, The Fritz have have set themselves apart with their musicianship and their willingness to experiment with their music. Originally billed as a funk band, they’ve incorporated elements of electronica, disco, and dance into their sound, creating something entirely original without losing the heavy dance feel of their music.

They’ve been touring hard and should be sonically on point. So whether you are feeling pop, alt, or jam, there is someone you know playing it locally this Saturday. It’s hard to choose one, but your best bet is to make the tough decision and go sing along to some of your all time favorite tunes late into Sunday morning.

Caleb Calhoun studied writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and music at a plethora of clubs and bars across the southeast. He is the author and publisher of Rosman City Blues and currently resides outside of Asheville with his dog and best friend, Dr. Gonzo. You can reach him at and/or