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The Durham-Chapel Hill Line

A journal of happenings in the Durham-Chapel Hill area



Documenting Dex
Dexter Romweber is the subject of a forthcoming documentary by filmmaker Tony Gayton. Gayton, who also directed the historic Athens, Ga., Inside Out, featuring a young Flat Duo Jets during their encampment in Athens, along with R.E.M., Pylon and B-52s and other notable Georgia bands. Inside Out, which featured a memorable scene of Romweber and the late Rev. Howard Finster, has also been re-released in an expanded DVD format. The new version includes extras like an interview with Jack White of the White Stripes on the Flat Duo Jets and their obvious influence on his music, along with a scene of Romweber and drummer Crow skulking through a truck stop and a roadside museum from Gayton's unfinished Flat Duo Jets film.

Word has it that further work was done on the as-yet-untitled Dexter doc while Romweber was on tour in California. Work continues on Romweber's new record, Blues That Defy My Soul, due out on Yep Roc Records in June.

Comic relief
At a recent installation of Recess at Nightlight, an evening usually billed as improv and leftfield jaunts by local rockers, David Nahm of Chapel Hill band Audubon Park broke into stand-up comedy, a territory not often tread by rock musicians.

Distributing a list of stories he often tells friends and family about his own growing up, Nahm suspiciously announced he hadn't prepared anything for the night's gig, but thought he could just tell these tales of yore for the audience, prompted by their requests from his list. These hilarious stories turned out to be effervescent little yarns of coming of age, college pranks and oddball relatives (like a grandparent's adopted one-eyed dog getting a little too close for comfort). Nahm, opening with complaints of grogginess from cough syrup for a cold, pulled these bits off coolly, handling the microphone like a standup regular and delivering zingers that kind of floated in air before sinking in, like a mix of the deadpan surrealism of Steven Wright and the self-effacing Woody Allen.

Nightlight is now hosting a monthly comedy night, in association with Drop Out Productions. The next installment is Friday, April 9, with stand-up, short films, and live music.

Another local musician who knows a thing or two about the funny bone: session player and uber-drummer for Superchunk, Jon Wurster, who has a new release of comedy bits with New Jersey DJ, Tom Scharpling. Titled New Hope for the Ape-Eared: The Best of Scharpling and Wurster on the Best Show on WFMU, Volume Two, the set or recordings feature phone-in callers to Scharpling's show as played by Wurster. His characters are both lovable and pathetic, like Corey Harris, of fictitious alt-rock band Mother 13, who promotes his utterly doomed career among third stage performances at many corporate-sponsored tours. All three of the duo's releases--the first two were Chain Fights, Beer Busts, and Service with a Grin, and Rock, Rot and Rule--come wrapped in some nice artwork by Chapel Hill artist and member of The Nein , Casey Burns. EndBlock

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