Sunday, January 13, 2008

Karen leaves her comfort zone

One of my resolutions this year is to actually try and make this a Triangle-wide music blog. As much as I'd like to be lazy and stay in Raleigh every night, I need to check out what's happening in Durham and Chapel Hill, especially since Durham is quickly becoming the local hotspot for new music.

I went to Bull City Headquarters which is a cool, but rather hard to find, alcohol-free arts space, in a run-down building in a pretty sketchy area of town. There are free zines there, miss-matched couches and lamps, and signs prohibiting homophobia and racism. It's also some sort of bicycle collective, so there are literally thousands of bicycles outside the space (see below).

I like it because its DIY attitude reminds me of the original Miracle House (the one in the factory) years ago in Greensboro.

While there, I checked out The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, a Chapel Hill band with an accordion, acoustic guitar and stand up bass. They managed to wow me even though they're a bit quieter than what I generally like. They have one completely devastating song, "Going to Charity," which is, unfortunately, not among the two songs I captured. Check them out below. The first one was actually their first song, and just featured three members. After that a couple of people joined them onstage with the stand-up bass and xylophone.

Another one by the Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellars from Mann's World on Vimeo.

The second band was The Great White Jenkins from Richmond. They have a real loose, bluesy, almost gospel thing going on, and the crowd was really into them. I honestly didn't quite know what to think about them. They almost seem like a caricature of outsider folk music, where emotion and zeal often outrank technical ability. But since this is a group of young guys from the city, with good equipment, I'm not buying it.

I didn't stick around for Megafaun, because I had previous plans to meet up with a friend in Raleigh. I ended up at Slim's where a cover band was playing a birthday party. The only thing I can say about that is I do not appreciate being groped by a bunch of women all getting down to "The Needle and the Spoon" while I'm trying to make my way to the back of the bar.

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