It appears as though the eerie silence looming over The Brewery at 3009 Hillsborough Street for the past two months will end soon. Eva Mettrey--an Atlantic City resident who inherited the property from her father when he died in 2001--recently leased the club to Virginia Beach entrepreneur Jeff Hodgson and a partner. Mettrey, whose uncle runs Mettrey Properties in Raleigh, says that the partners will keep The Brewery name intact and that they are committed to reviving the club and the buzz it experienced for much of its two-decade run under the management of Kenny Hobby.
"Kenny and I worked together so much to try to make The Brewery work for the past few years, and I had a lot of loyalty to him," says Mettrey, who recalls seeing life-altering sets by Fishbone and Bad Brains there more than a decade ago. "But it was time to do something else."
Talk of the historic club re-opening began shortly after it closed in late February. Jac Cain, who managed the stage and sound at The Brewery for years, was contacted in late March about working at the club for another run. There is no word yet, though, as to whether or not Cain will be the production manager at the new Brewery, which is set to reopen late this month.
Mettrey says the format should remain largely the same, but with an added emphasis on local bands and larger bands looking for a more intimate stop on tour. It appears that Tom Taylor--editor and publisher of EDGE Magazine --will be running the club. In that case, look for an emphasis on metal. Stay tuned.
Local solo singer-songwriter Brooks Wood nearly witnessed the death of his hero and guitar god in-the-making Derek Trucks on April 1. Woods, who was working as part of Trucks' local crew for his most recent set at The Lincoln Theatre , went to eat with the band at Cafe Luna in downtown Raleigh and then laughed along with the rest of the crew as Trucks experimented with a motor bike that his tour manager, Joe Main, had purchased only a few days prior to the show. Trucks was motoring down Wilmington Street when a truck nearly ran into him. He veered in time and, thankfully, no slide guitar wunderkinds were injured.
Todd Smallie, the beaming bass player for the Derek Trucks Band, even sported one of Wood's burgundy Brooks Wood Band T-shirts during the band's first set. Wood's band itself has been on something of a hiatus as of late, as Wood--a junior at N.C. State--has been experimenting with a handful of new songs and a new loop effect for his Taylor six string. For tour dates, visit www.brookswoodband.com .
Meanwhile, three-fifths of Wood's former backing band will be making their debut as a yet-unnamed improvisational funk sextet on Saturday, April 24 at an outdoor concert at N.C. State. Luke Jackson, Matt Helms, Thomas Baucom, Ryan Baucom, Brandon Ray and George Hage comprise the group, which is currently considering both Sinking Harrelson and The Charlie Murphy Band as potential names. Dave Chapelle would approve.
Hage and Thomas Baucom also perform in the ska/skate punk act, Flojo , which will play The Lincoln Theatre for the first time since February with 33 West and Six Inch Voices on May 31.
Don't Skip This Lab
Live, Stereolab is pleasant. Stuck inside the middle of a three-night engagement at New York's Irving Plaza, Laetitia Sadier still seems like an uncomfortable frontwoman, dancing at center stage in the most awkward grade-school, side-to-side shuffle while robotically shaking a tambourine. But she sings like a lark and never misses a note, always in time with the incredibly solid six-piece outfit behind her. The band--a smorgasbord of multi-instrumental talents on drums, synths, horns, loops, bass and guitar--has mastered its own danceable, agreeable sort of Anglo/Franco funk to which most of the crowd (consisting largely of graduate students and hipsters who wish they were graduate students) refuses to dance.
Mid-set, though, things change. The band and Sadier shake off their modus operandi of head nods, spewing out "Cosmic Country Noir" with a blistering noise more suited to Spiritualized's Royal Albert Hall epic than its own Margerine Eclipse. For five intense minutes, the horns refuse to follow their charts and the drums guide the band into its loudest, most determined passages yet. After that, the jangling guitars of "Bop Scotch" and "Margerine ROCK" seem slightly harder, immeasurably more fun. But it's all just a preamble to the 15-minute "Harmonium" outro, an amorphous sonic phantasm that brings the show to a beautifully explosive, dramatically conclusive pop.
See for yourself Wednesday, April 21at the Cradle. Mice Parade opens.
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