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Boo-less Basement Bounces Back
Boo Kaufman, who's been bringing in a lot of talent (alt-country and otherwise) to The Basement in Durham, will no longer be booking acts for the club. Kaufman has already booked May and Jon Dee Graham, Trailer Bride and Kenny Roby are slated for June. The upcoming Mayflies USA show is no longer on, although The Bark, The Bite (noise pop from Tallahassee) will play. One version of events is that some of the guarantees promised to bands were too high--in other words, the club was losing money on some shows.

And, contrary to online rumors, the club is not changing its musical direction. "God forbid we put a cover band in there," says Jason Jordan, who also books shows for The Basement. "What we were trying to do [he and Kaufman] was so different from each other. There were different visions, and I really wanted to support the local scene because I think that's what'll be best for the place in the long run." Lora Brooker, who booked bands for Fowler's Americana series and now books monthly alt-country nights at Kings, will start working with Jordan to bring in roots-oriented acts.

Honky-tonkin'
You can join Boo and a roster of alt-country acts at Boofest 3, an annual hootenanny that will go on this Saturday, May 11, from noon to "whenever" at 3718 Alston Ave. in Durham. The throwdown is BYOB, with free music, a pig pullin' and Southern chow available. Bands include: Hobart Willis and the Back Forty, Thad Cockrell, Jeff Hart & the Nervous Grooms, Glory Fountain--who have a new CD release in the works--The Straight Eights and more. Donations are appreciated.

Stayin' Alive
Look for Gotham Nightclub in Chapel Hill, which, as of late, has only been open to the public on Fridays for their Insomnia dance night, to "revamp their nightly event calendar" this month, says owner Dan Scheid.

Fahrvergnugen--Rock Style
The guys in Chapel Hill rock trio Transportation--Ben Dunlap, Robbie Scruggs and Steve Murtaugh--have been recording at Park Transduction studio in Athens with Andy Baker (who did Fin Fang Foom's debut as well as working with Azure Ray and Maserati). The guys all met at Amherst and headed to the Triangle in '97, where Ben's become a local fixture for the past three years--seven days a week--as the guy at Go! Room 4 who, along with Mike Triplett, oversees the club and its rehearsal spaces (he's the guy who finds ya a power strip or figures out why an amp doesn't work). You can also find Dunlap behind the bar, delivering you a cold Miller Genuine Draft or microbrew. All three band members are multi-instrumentalists, switching off on the drums, bass and guitar thang. "We just play rock music," says Dunlap, when pressed to describe the band's sound. "What ever happened to that?" Indeed. Look for Transportation's eponymous eight-song release in the near future. Or catch them this week at The Cave on Thursday, May 10, and at Local 506 on Saturday, May 11.

New Indie Label
Hypno-Vista Records is a new Chapel Hill-based label started by Ghost of Rock frontman Ron Liberti and Groves Willer, who's drummed for Evil Weiner, Sharkquest and Zen Frisbee, to name a few. Just out are a new Work Clothes CD as well as a 4-song vinyl release by The Ghost of Rock, complete with freaky cover art designed by TGOR frontman/graphics artist Liberti. Work Clothes is a real-life couple Jenny Scheitler and Lee Waters, who play acoustic guitars and do gauzy, delicately beautiful material. TGOR pick up where Liberti and guitarist Clif Mann (The Bad Checks) left off in Pipe, and then add a garage stomp (although one cut is straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, '70s style), but all four tracks pack a punch. TGOR now has Lee Waters on bass, nailing it down as the rhythm section with former Smooch singer Rock Forbes on drums. Music fans will remember Lee as the guy beating the crap out his drums in such testosterone-rock outfits as Cobra Khan and others. Hypno-Vista also has releases in the works by Cantwell, Gomez and Jordan as well as a 20-song collection (including the Jettison Records singles) of Mind Sirens material. Look for a tribute to lovable former Pittsboro eccentric (and schoolteacher) Bill McCormick, with local bands recording their favorite Evil Weiner songs. Release is set for September. And speaking of those Evil Weiner boys; McCormick is moving back to the Triangle this July (look for a brand new EW release this fall).

Working' on the Night Moves
Bandway, the duo of Brooks Iverson Carter and ex-Motocaster frontman and guitarist extraordinaire Bo Taylor, take the whole Tenacious D thing and make it more Southern, more subtle, more classic rock. Their show at Kings, May 11, is their first in 2002 and heralds the release of their second disc, Night Rock (release date May 21). They'll also be premiering some brand new tracks: Sample titles include "Hot Zone" and "Strokehouse."

Live, the duo, sporting baseball caps and flannels or down vests, tear it up arena style, performing (Brooks sings and Bo plays guitar) with the aid of prerecorded tracks. With songs like "King Kong (You Heard the Ding; Now Wait for the Dong)" and "Live" (sung to the tune of Van Halen's "Jump"), you'll be inspired to start practicing your air guitar moves. Brooks can do the Bon Scott raspy high metal voice down pat; and Bo can shred like he's playing in a hair band. But it's the guys' deadpan delivery and non-reliance on scatological humor that elevates their repertoire to high art. If you don't get the jokes, you just haven't listened to enough rock, man.Bandway promises to pull out all the stops for their CD release party: "We bought a couple of new hats a few weeks ago," Carter deadpans.

  • More local releases; more new independent labels.

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