The Merch, a Chapel Hill-based company started by local musicians Chip Hoppin, Pat Cudahy and Dave Quick, are throwing a grand opening party this Sunday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro. Hoppin and Cudahy met while working at Body Billboards and got the idea to start their own shirt company serving what they knew best--the local music community. Since opening in July, they've done shirts for S.C.O.T.S., Trailer Bride, Choose Your Own Adventure and more. There'll be shirt giveaways and music by Merch clients Choose Your Own Adventure, Five-Four Black & White, Pleasant and All Night. The Merch guys hope to make the bash/local band showcase an annual event. Says Hoppin. "We've all been in bands that have toured. We know how hard it is to come up with extra money for shirts and merchandise, so we work as much as we can to make it affordable." The Merch will also do "embroidery, stickers, key chains, flyswatters--any little trinket that you want your name on," he says. For details, call 967-9053. --Angie Carlson
Two don't-miss shows at Local 506 this week: Friday, Nov. 30 is old-school punk and mayhem night with North Carolina's own Antiseen and punky-tonk Cali outlaws the Lazy Cowgirls, who've released a couple of damn solid albums over the past two years on the Sympathy for the Record Industry label. Buzzsawyer opens.
Then on Monday, Dec. 3, Austin's Derailers come to the 506. Besides being sharp dressers and expert showmen,
The Derailers (pictured above) remain, along with the Star Room Boys and local heroes the Two Dollar Pistols, one of the best straight-up country outfits around. However, while their base Telecaster-and-harmonies sound is straight outta Bakersfield, The Derailers have never shied away from folding in a surf guitar sound and/or a Brit Invasion styling--not to mention giving a honky-tonk makeover to the occasional Prince song. (Check out Reverb Deluxe's cover of "Raspberry Beret.") Their latest, Here Come The Derailers, finds appealingly executed versions of Charlie Rich's "Mohair Sam" and Arthur Alexander's "If It's Really Got to Be This Way" sharing space with the band's always-solid originals. Call 942-5506 for details. --Rick Cornell