Only a month after venerable local music venue Go! Studios closed its doors, plans are in motion for the spaces therein to be used separately as a recording studio, rehearsal areas and a bar. Rooms One through Three will remain rehearsal spaces for rent by local musicians, coordinated by former Go! manager Ben Dunlap. Nick Peterson of recording studio Polyphonic Audio is developing the upstairs space above the practice areas, with partner John Byrd. The two plan to open a new studio, Track and Field Recording, filled to the gills with analog equipment. "I am very excited about everything. We just recorded some of the basic tracks for the (Chapel Hill band) Fake Swedish full length," says Peterson. Polyphonic was a busy small studio, recording countless local bands and providing a hub for documenting the Triangle rock community. Peterson anticipates staying busy in the new digs. "I am booked into the end of October, with some very exciting people."
The main performance area, Room Four, is being converted into a bar, with pool tables and a jukebox. As yet unnamed, the club is being opened by several partners: Lyle Collins, Mike Ellis, Bill Fischer and Wes Lowder. Ellis says it will be an unassuming bar, simply "a comfortable place to go have a drink." The old stage in Room Four has been removed to allow for a new bar along the front wall. The space is taking on a new look, but the good memories of the place and the music it held still linger.
"We all regret that Go! had to close," says Ellis. "That place--and its staff--was like family to me for as long as I've lived here." Ellis' brother, Russell, was soundman for the venue for the last five years. They plan to open the club's doors within the next few weeks.
Starlite Drive-In rock benefit, Sunday, Sept. 26
The fire that destroyed the screen of Durham's beloved Starlite Drive-In, and the livelihood of owner Bob Groves along with it, also lit a flame under local Starlite lovers to organize benefits for the storied place. On Sunday, Sept. 26, Triangle benefit groups will host a day of fundraising events. Starting at 4 p.m., local rock bands including Durham rock duo Jaguaro, Dom Casual, Eyes to Space, Mogote, People Under the Bridge and Lud will perform at Ooh La Latte in Durham, continuing through the afternoon and evening, with a modest $5 cover charge. One can also attend an earlier event at 1 p.m. at the Starlite itself: an auction and car show. Timeless Cruizers car club will show off their custom autos, with an auction of items including one of the two remaining stars from the Starlite's neon sign and a pair of original Starlite speakers. The Starlite concession stand will be open during this event, selling cheeseburgers, fries and all the drive-in treats veteran Starlite visitors know so well. Admission for the car show is $5 for adults, $2 for kids ages 3-11.
A nonprofit foundation, Save Our Starlite, has also been set up at RBC Centura Bank to accept donations; you can visit any branch around the Triangle to donate. For complete details and to order raffle tickets online, go to www.SaveOurStarlite.org.
Dancing in the second circle of Hell
At a recent Bueno Love Baller dance party--amidst the sultry end-of-summer air and hip-hop vibe--in Chapel Hill's Hell bar, another hot environment, the current political climate, was also evident. Surrounded by voter registration forms and stars and stripes banners emblazoned with the slogan, "Vote Hell in '04, When It's Time to Dance, Join the Party," club-goers rocked their bodies to the DJs' selections, which were topped off by the ever-topical Outkast cut, "Bombs Over Baghdad." As the room cleared at closing time, sweat and beer slicking the floor, one hopes people left with a little more partisan on their minds than the after-party.