Sunday, April 22, 2007

Why you should check out 305 South

(vintage clothing store inside 305 South)

I realize 305 South is old news to a lot of you, but keep in mind that I live in Raleigh, and we Raleighites have an almost pathological fear of venturing outside the Beltline. But with Kings now kaput, I thought it was time to check out a venue, and some bands, that I'd heard a lot about but hadn't actually experienced.

305 South is an absolute treasure. For those of you who haven't been, it's a self-styled "anti-mall," a warehouse-garage-type complex with club space, a CD store, a comics store and vintage clothing shop run by the original owner of the Untidy Museum. The garage doors in the club space open up, and they have no neighbors to complain, so there's even a little outdoor seating area. Anyway, they also serve delicious and dirt-cheap empanadas and tamales, both meat and vegetarian. I spoke to Melissa, who owns the CD store, which specializes in "dark, alternative media," and she said that they show movie matinees each Saturday at 3 pm. Store hours for the shops are Tuesday through Saturday, 1-8 p.m.

305 South reminds me of some of the best clubs I've ever been in: It has the industrial feel and homegrown DIY spirit of the original Miracle House in Greensboro; it has the same kinds of funky shops that used to line the alley to Clawson's, the club I went to in Beaufort back in high school, and it has the laid-back, almost squatter-like feel of one of my favorite Berlin rock clubs. I found out that Midtown Dickens is going to have an all-day event there on May 12, so I will definitely check it out again. My only real complaint is that the lighting wasn't good for taking photos.

Beloved Binge was the first band. They were described to me as quirky, which is a troublesome genre for me. Some quirky I like a lot, and some quirky I loathe. Luckily I really liked Beloved Binge. Check out their video below.

Beloved Binge from Mann's World on Vimeo.

The highlight of the evening was definitely the Ex-Members (above). Featuring members of Gerty and The Butchies, they're fun, danceable-but-still-rockin' New Wave. Like Pylon, but not quite as spare. For some reason they kept reminding me of the Gossip, which is totally wrong, because they sound nothing like them. But then I realized the common element is that Gossip drummer Hannah Blilie and Ex-Members drummer Melissa York both have a natural feel for disco beats, without making making the song sound like a Donna Summer record. Here's their video. I don't know the song title, but it was probably my favorite one that they did.

Ex-Members from Mann's World on Vimeo.

I'm going to reserve judgment for now on Whigg Report. Last night I just wasn't into them, though I think it had more to do with an energy let-down after The Ex-Members. Whigg Report has an interesting set-up where the drummer stands and has a foot-pedal attached to a tambourine. One guy plays acoustic guitar, while another guy switches between a keyboard and a sax. I heard elements of Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth, so I think they're probably a very interesting band, and I will check them out again.

Whigg Report from Mann's World on Vimeo.


Rockological said...

glad you had a good time. you need to get Laura to come down for the Midtown Dickens Getdown Showdown! It will be a blast.

Abby said...

Cool. I added them to my MySpace so I'll see their bulletins.

Unknown said...

I love that place.