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Dorkfest? Cool! Or not...

Unrequited crushes and sore throats: The Triangle's musical dorks unite

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The dorks descend on Durham - PHOTO BY PHIL MARSOUDIRO
  • Photo by Phil Marsoudiro
  • The dorks descend on Durham

Scotty Irving isn't worried about his big Durham set this weekend as Clang Quartet. In fact, he's confident in his status as one of the six acts on the second annual Dorkfest, a convocation of bands that do something a bit differently. "I am Scotty Irving. My show is Clang Quartet. I think in most people's eyes, that's dorky enough," says Irving, whose Clang Quartet often performs a homemade-instruments-and-noise re-enactment of the crucifixion.

Dorkfest's motto is, after all, "Be yourself." And, after having several of Dorkfest's leads share some of their kookiest moments with us, it seems that's what the truest dorks have always been doing. Go ahead, clap for the dorks.

Anne Gomez (Gates of Beauty; Cantwell, Gomez & Jordan): The dorkiest thing I've done recently is sing about 10 karaoke songs by myself with my home karaoke machine until my throat hurt. They were by people like Styx, Elton John and ELO. It was awesomely fun. I told someone I like to do karaoke by myself. He replied, "That's the saddest thing I've ever heard."

Eleni Binge (Beloved Binge): I don't know if it was the short-shorts, the electromagnetic hair, or Richard Simmons' enthusiasm for the outsider, but I certainly fell for that short, happy man. When Richard Simmons' aerobic show (pre-Sweatin' to the Oldies, or the good era) toured through Seattle, Mom and I grabbed our legwarmers and headed for the studio. I couldn't believe I was doing jumping jacks with Richard Simmons! When he called all the kids up, I hid behind my mother, hoping he wouldn't call me up to the stage.

I just phoned my Mom to verify some details, and she informed me that I wasn't in love with Richard, I was just inspired by him. I reminded her how I had a picture of him on the wall above my pink-canopied bed (sorta like a church-goin' kid would hang a cross). "Oh," she said. I think Mom has chosen to forget some details about this time period.

Wendy Spitzer (Gates of Beauty, Eyes to Space): I peed my pants in kindergarten, dancing in a circle to a French-Canadian folk song. The wrappings of an enormous maxi pad fell out of my pocket in seventh grade choir class. I was the alternate on my high school quiz bowl team, with the alternate being called in if—in the heat of competition—one of the real members of the team sprained his wrist using the buzzer. All my life, I have talked to myself under my breath, imagining conversations with famous people, all of them desperately interested in my every word. I put Texas Pete on couscous.

Tony T. Raver (Salt to Bitters): Every morning, I wake up and watch Sesame Street in bed while drinking my whiskey-spiked coffee out my Saddle Creek mug. Seeing the Cookie Monster eat the letter of the day is probably the only continuity I can find in this world. Afterward, I exercise for an hour by playing "Dance, Dance Revolution." Then, it's a White Russian and off to work!

Scotty Irving (Clang Quartet): I have discovered that, as far as society is concerned, I will never truly "fit in" with everyone. My dorkiest moments were when I actually tried to do just that but usually failed. Even if I liked a certain movie or band that was popular, I still had/have a knack for finding the ones that were/are not popular with the people I am in contact with. That said, in 2007, I wear that quality like a crown. Funny how times/people change.

Solange Diabolique (Veronique Diabolique): My name is Solange Diabolique, and I am a card-carrying lifetime member of International Thespian Society Troupe Number 3329. That alone would suffice as incontrovertible evidence of a deep-seated, fundamental dorkiness. It gets worse. My participation in the theatre merely sets the stage for the depths of my descent. I never appeared on stage. I designed and built sets. I was not just a theatre geek. I was a technical theatre geek. And then there was that production back in high school, our winter presentation of four one-act plays. There was this one girl who worked with the guys on stage crew. And she was, like, really cute. And then you add to that the vision of this really cute girl handling power tools. And then you add to that the fact that the obviousness of my two-ton crush on her didn't phase her but actually led to overt mutual flirting. Hopeless, I know.

Weeks of this pass, the production opens, the show plays, and then it closes Sunday night. It's the final curtain call for the final one-act play, and the director motions to the stage crew to come out and take a bow. I take her hand and out we go with the rest of the crew. Plans are made to go out. She asks if I am coming. It's late on a Sunday night, so I can't make it. I found out the next day that she totally made out with someone else. Yeah, that sucked. God, what a dork.

Dorkfest 2 trips over its own two feet Saturday, March 3 at Broad Street Café (1116 Broad St., Durham) at 9 p.m. Salt to Bitters, Clang Quartet, The Gates of Beauty, Beloved Binge, Veronique Diabolique and Bombadil play. Donnie the Lion emcees. To hear more from the dorks, see


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