In the newly opened RooM Gallery in Carrboro across from music venue Go! Room 4, there's a new show opening this Friday, April 30. Billed "Liberti and Konkel for All," it's a collection of work by Ron Liberti, (of Pipe, Ghost of Rock, etc.), and Soleil Konkel. Folks can also get their rock on, with bands Fake Swedish and Shallow Be Thy Name performing. With Ron's work, many folks know what to expect; cut-and-paste psychology applied with vivid hues, and imagery that nods to pop culture and abstract painting. Konkel is a photographer, so there will be a mix of photos, mixed media, and assorted visual stuff as well including a ping-pong table set up for any table tennis aficionados. The show starts at 7 p.m., and will be up through May. For more info, call the gallery at 969-0031.
Revival of the Coffeehouse
Thanks to two successful shows sponsored by Duke's WXDU, the Duke Coffeehouse recently roared back as a room for live music. The goal of these shows was to highlight the Coffeehouse's validity as a performance space to Duke administrators considering other uses for it, as well as getting it some exposure to students on campus and the Durham community at large.
Two shows on consecutive weekends featured an all-local lineup including The Ghost of Rock, Cantwell, Gomez, and Jordan, Blackstrap, Jett Rink, Permanent Darling, Dom Casual and Wigg Report. A diverse crowd of college radio jocks, Duke students, and Durham music fans gathered inside the mural-covered cement walls, swaying to the beat and reveling in a "new" place to see live music.
In the case of the second show, the crowd inside swelled and shrunk during the course of the night, as entry and exit from the room are easy enough that folks usually head outside for air between bands. Large groups hanging out on the steps were commonplace, just as they have been ever since the place started having bands nearly 20 years ago. Longtime Coffeehouse fans saw familiar faces, and there was an air of nostalgia for days past, when now-widely popular bands like Guided By Voices and Royal Trux once played within that same small room.
When Jett Rink turned on their amps sometime after midnight, the room had filled up (the headcount for the whole night ending at nearly 150 people). During an electric set that included several new numbers, Rink singer Viva laid hands on folks in the sea of people, climbing through welcoming arms or caressing a cheek here and there. The warm reactions to this lithe and tall front man careening around the room varied from loyal Rink fans grinning during new, dance-friendly cuts, to newcomers and undergrads fixed wide-eyed on this band from their neighborhood. The crowd howled when Viva took a breather to make an announcement at the mic, "We're Jett Rink, and we're from Duuur-ham."
If you'd like to keep up with the goings-on at the Coffeehouse, just go to their website, www.duke.edu/web/coffeehouse/.
Calculations of the Far East
Chapel Hillian Ben Davis and his band the Calculators recently returned from a weeklong tour of Japan. Aided and Abetted, his CD released in the States by Lovitt Records, was released by Japanese label Catune, so a tour of the area made sense. The group played several well-attended shows, with audience members including Minuteman/Firehose member Mike Watt on occasion. Davis and the Calculators also got some time on the air, visiting a major Tokyo radio station while on the trip.
I'll take freeform radio for 1000, Alex
Last week on the game show Jeopardy!, local trivia buffs were surprised to see this clue appear in the board, under the category of internet history, "It's believed that in 1994, WXYC in Chapel Hill in this state became the first radio station to webcast." UNC's student-led station did, of course, start the ball rolling on internet streaming. Thanks for spreading the word, Alex. What is North Carolina?