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in wide latitude 

Sitting in their home studio on Ashe Avenue about a year ago, the three pieces of Ticonderoga --Mark Paulson, Phil Moore and Wes Phillips, best friends since grade school back in Iowa City--pronounced that they didn't need a label. For the moment, they were content, or even eager, to spend their time writing, recording and releasing a flood of new material pro bono in self-replicated, limited runs. On Saturday, they will release their debut in UPC-bearing, shrink-wrapped jewel cases through Michigan's tiny, highly selective upstart 54˚40' or Fight! And it's not that Ticonderoga has gone back on its word. Instead, the label, sporting the same organic, day-by-day business strategy that the band too prized, pursued them after becoming enamored with online demos. That's how exciting Ticonderoga--folk-influenced songsters with avant jazz leanings and subtly psychedelic meanderings--is. For their CD release party this Friday at Kings, Chapel Hill's explosive two-piece Bellafea opens, followed by Yep Roc's The Comas and their recent tour mates, Brooklyn's Vietnam.

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