C-VILLE Writers



Photo by Christian Hommel

Hues and views: Interior designer Andy Cobb gains inspiration

1. Antique or modern? I’m best known for interpreting my clients’ taste. That can range from very accurate historical interiors to modern, classic clean lines. 2. City or country? Again that depends on my clients and their location. From historic homes in Albemarle County to very modern urban ones in Florida and Las Vegas. 3. […]

Guitar virtuoso Pierre Bensusan plays the Southern on Wednesday.
Image: LUCK Media & Marketing, Inc.

ARTS Pick: Pierre Bensusan

There’s no place that isn’t home to Pierre Bensusan. The guitarist’s been on the road for four decades, picking more than singing, but still working a bit of both into his live shows. That schedule almost necessitates his being able to be comfortable anywhere. And he should be reasonably content in Charlottesville. As WTJU’s Folk […]

Nici Cumpston has created masterful exhibits that captures the stunning beauty of Australia in photos like “Leopard Tree II.”

ARTS Pick: Nici Cumpston

Nici Cumpston sees landscape art as more than the simple depiction of world locales. Through photography, she tells the story of a place, preserves the history of a people, and enriches our understanding of the human experience. Her newest collection, titled “having-been-there,” focuses on artwork that demonstrates the rich presence of Aboriginal history and culture […]

Borrowing from rock, country, and soul, Over the Rhine offers a humble musical experience that resonates deeper than the ever present mash of electric sound.

ARTS Pick: Over the Rhine

In a music market that’s dominated by a cacophony of artificial noise, it’s always a pleasure to discover a band that embraces purity. Over the Rhine has reduced its music to a healthy core of soulful melodies and gorgeous lyrics. The lead songwriter, Linford Detweller, is a man whose modest words tell a profound story […]

Mike Birbiglia’s Thank God for Jokes tour will have you laughing and wincing through his candid tales of awkward embarrassment.

ARTS Pick: Mike Birbiglia

Honesty has been the best policy for actor, writer, and comic Mike Birbiglia. He earned a slew of accolades for his one-man show Sleepwalk With Me, in which he chronicled his struggles with Rapid Eye Movement Disorder, an affliction that frequently found him in a state of dream walking, talking, and even jumping—he once leapt […]

Martin Hayes,  John Doyle, and Kevin Crawford perform with Paddy Keenan (not pictured).

ARTS Pick: The Teetotalers

It may seem ironic that an Irish band would name itself The Teetotalers, but the name makes sense as soon as the tranquil and sobering melodies start flowing from the band’s fiddles and guitars. The trio is led by Paddy Keenan, a legendary Irish musician who has dedicated his life to the preservation of classical […]

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ARTS Pick: Arabian Nights

As a tale that frames a thousand tales, clever Sheherazade escapes impending doom night after night by relating compelling and cliffhanging stories to her murderous husband Shahryar.  Arabian Nights, a stage adaptation by Mary Zimmerman, is the monumental compilation of folk tales from the Islamic Golden Age being performed by UVA’s Spectrum Theater. The production is set with original composititions, but […]

UVA players on the court during the tournament. Photo: Matt Riley/UVA Athletics

Glorious season ends, but love for the Cavs lives on

The long, sweet run is over and the ’Hoos are home—but talk about a season to remember. Tony Bennett’s men’s basketball team secured its place in UVA history by finishing first in the ACC regular season and then rolling a winning streak into a conference tournament championship, ultimately trouncing Duke on March 16 in Greensboro. […]

Philip Glass completes a residency at UVA with a solo piano performance on Tuesday. Publicity image

ARTS Pick: Philip Glass

Philip Glass, lauded by musical scholars and misunderstood by the sugary, pop-saturated mainstream, is certainly one of the most famous contemporary American composers.   Eschewing the minimalist label that is easy to ascribe to his music, Glass refers to himself as a “classicist,” citing his formal training at Juilliard in harmony, counterpoint, and in key […]

Tristan Thorndyke and his bandmates describe their rockabilly act The Savages as “purveyors of auditory terror.”

ARTS Pick: The Savages, Ginger & the Castaways, and Cashless Society

Revive your passion for American rock ‘n’ roll with three acts armed to the teeth with rhythm, twang, and pompadours. Tristan Thorndyke leads The Savages in self-described “psychobilly swing.” Ginger & the Castaways craft garage rock filled with bluesy soul, and Madison, Virginia’s Cashless Society rocks out family style with James Tamelcoff III sharing lead […]

With secretive smiles and deliberate speech and movement Phillip Seymour Hoffman evolves into a compelling charlatan in The Master.

ARTS Pick: Philip Seymour Hoffman film screenings

The glaring pomp and circumstance of Superbowl Sunday was saddened this year by the untimely death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. As an actor, Hoffman was unparalleled at imbuing his characters with humanity. He rendered misfits relatable, cretins compelling, and gifted artists attainable, and his passing left a void in the world of filmmaking. In tribute […]

World renown accordionist Alan Bern finishes his residency at UVA with an ensemble performance at Old Cabell Hall.

ARTS Pick: Klezmer Ensemble with Alan Bern

The centuries old musical tradition of the klezmorim, professional Jewish instrumentalists of Eastern Europe, was brought to the states by immigrants at the turn of the last century, and Americanized under the influence of jazz and modern orchestration. The University of Virginia Klezmer Ensemble celebrates the music’s multi-cultural revival and honors its roots in medieval […]

ARTS Pick: Wild Horse, Wild Ride

ARTS Pick: Wild Horse, Wild Ride

Venture into the new West with a handful of horse trainers on a 100-day journey to select and tame wild mustangs for adoption in the poignant, award-winning documentary Wild Horse, Wild Ride. Directors Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus follow a host of colorful, true life characters ranging from Navajo grandfathers and grizzled cowboys, to blond […]

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Overheard on the restaurant scene: This week’s foodie news

It’s almost that time of year again! The Charlottesville City Market, the city’s largest and oldest open-air farmers’ market, will open for its 40th season on Saturday, April 5. More than 100 local vendors are scheduled for the kickoff, including 13 newcomers like Stevie G’s Gluten-Free Bakery from Crozet, Madison Trout, and Sweet Jane’s Kitchen. […]

St. Paul & The Broken Bones are the next stars on the soul revival circuit with recent appearances on late night talk shows and an NPR segment.

ARTS Pick: St. Paul & The Broken Bones

The unassuming members of St. Paul & The Broken Bones produce spine-tingling soul music that surpasses simple revival—this music sweats and stomps its way through a regeneration of the genre. Singer Paul Janeway possesses a set of pipes with the heart-wrenching timbre of Otis Redding combined with the wailing bad-assery of a writhing James Brown. […]

Volunteer actors explore Christian life within a secular society at the Haven.

ARTS Pick: Man at a Crossroad

Lyndia Porter had no idea that she was creating a new form of ministry when she sat down to write her stage play Man at a Crossroad. Performed by volunteers from across Virginia, the play explores the struggles of living a Christian life within a secular society. But unlike some stage performances, nothing here is […]

Diane Cluck’s uniquely beautiful voice ranges over peaks and valleys with warbling inflections that hint at the emotive style of Joni Mitchell.

ARTS Pick: Diane Cluck

Though she cut her musical teeth in NYC’s Lower East Side among other notables in the anti-folk game, Diane Cluck now resides in Virginia—a fitting landscape for her lovely and lonely brand of intuitive songwriting. Her first release in eight years, Boneset is a collection of songs written during her hiatus and presented in loose […]

Major and The Monbacks’ sassy horns and lively pianos ready the dance floor while spirited lyrics spread a message of cheer to their eager audience.

ARTS Picks: Major and the Monbacks

The ink on their college diplomas is not dry, but the nine members of Major and the Monbacks are already making a splash in the Central Virginia music scene. Defying genres, these energetic artists combine Motown, Ska, and Southern rock with the self-proclaimed “Eastern Seaboard’s Horniest Horn Section.”  Their songs are pure celebration, a tribute […]

Thanks to a collection effort by an upcycling company, you don’t have to toss your old pens and mechanical pencils. File photo.

Write, recycle, repeat: How to give new life to old pencils, pens, vinyl, and CDs

Teri Kent runs Charlottesville’s Better World Betty, a non-profit organization and online resource for locals looking to shrink their impact on the environment. Every month, Betty—Kent’s ’50s-housewife-meets-earth-goddess alter ego—answers the most burning eco-questions from our readers about energy use, water, waste and recycling, transportation, and green buying. Send your inquiries her way. Q: Any place […]