Des Ark and a Dinosaur
For those who've been wanting some more of the engaging music of Durham duo Des Ark, there is much on the way. Aimee Argote and Tim Herzog also double as members of the Ben Davis group, The Calculators, who recently shot over to Japan for a week-long tour. Des Ark has just completed a split seven-inch single with local duo Bellafea on the Exotic Fever label out of Washington, D.C. In April, Argote and Herzog will head up to Massachusetts for a week, to record their first full length, for Raleigh imprint Bifocal Media. On the soundboard: none other than the shaggy master of guitar sound, J. Mascis, formerly of Dinosaur Jr. Nick Petersen, who has recorded a number of local bands at Polyphonic Audio in Chapel Hill will also be on board. Argote says, "I'm especially wooed by Jay's phenomenal collection of guitar gear, most of which is covered in purple tolex (no, really)." The record will tentatively be completed by this summer.
Our fair area's hip-hoppers have established quite a presence on the Web with labels and artists setting up user-friendly sites for fans and friends. A few folks have gotten together to encompass the Triangle and surrounding regions on sites that help strengthen the sense of community and cooperation essential to any music scene.
If you go to www.nchiphop.com, you'll find great resources on venues, labels, record shops and even an alphabetical encyclopedia of many hip-hop artists from all over the state. The site also includes media coverage of local hip-hop, including a generous set of selections from The Indy. Over at www.blazzin.com, they've got an impressive set of North Carolina artist profiles, upcoming releases and record reviews, featuring a stable of staff writers, along with the option of joining their e-mail newsletter to have updates sent right to your inbox. Or you can hit the Stinkzone at www.stink zone.com/carolinas/html/index.php, and you'll find a North and South Carolina-centric hip-hop site that's part of an underground hip-hop kiosk that includes scenes like Detroit, Southern California, and Chicago, among others. Keep tabs on upcoming tours and records, and get some local rants from their opinion column. Of course, you can listen to new stuff on many of these sites and their connecting links to artists and labels, so bookmark away, and stay in tune.