by Corbie Hill
Friday sees five predominately female acts take the stage at Chapel Hill Underground to benefit the Compass Center for Women and Families. This organization was formed from a merger of the Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County and The Women's Center with the goal of preventing domestic violence and helping its victims.
No services were dropped in the merger, reads a statement from Women's Center Development Director Marya McNeish. Rather, clients now have access to both organizations' resources and no longer have to tell their stories twice. The bands and DJ on this bill play to raise both funds and awareness as part of Compass Center's Domestic Violence Awareness Month events.
"I always felt that the community at large was not aware of the center's offerings or their mission to be an anchor for local women in need," says event organizer Angela Nguyen, who can speak for the new organization's strengths as a former client of the Women's Center herself. She says old friend, Chapel Hill Underground co-owner, and longtime Chapel Hill music mainstay Eddie Sanchez, was happy to hold the benefit at his bar and help organize.
"One of the concepts of the Underground, upon opening, was to be a community-based establishment more than just another bar," says Nguyen. "While its location is smack in the middle of the undergraduates' heavy traffic, [the owners] wanted the Underground to be anything but another undergrad bar."
This focus on local talent brings gleefully minimalist trio Boykiller, reckless Raleigh punks Lazy Janes, and solo Durham electro dance-punk act Lam! Lam!—Pink Flag's Betsy Shane—to this bill. The Purchase, a potentially intriguing new outfit featuring members of Caltrop, Bellafea and Fin Fang Foom, also plays. And DJ Fifi-Hifi will spin between sets. Proceeds go to help an organization that relies on state funding ("if there is any," says Nguyen) remain solvent and gain visibility.
"The community needs to know what they do, what they stand for and that Chapel Hill has such services available to women and families in need," says Nguyen. "Their work deserves a reward such as this, a benefit in their honor to help keep their program thriving."
The music starts at 8:30, with a $10 cover at the door.