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We resolve ... 2008 

Once again, we asked some of our favorite Triangle musicians to share their New Year's resolutions and wishes. From a desire for a small menagerie of North Atlantic reindeer or a synthesizer made entirely of old Commodore 64 parts to world peace and social poise, the answers are as diverse as the sounds.

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TIFT MERRITT

(Raleigh singer-songwriter who moved to New York in 2007; third record, Another Country, will be released by Concord Music Group on February 26)

More yoga, more vegetables. Write every day. As often as possible, see clearly and say what I mean. Say NO more. Say YES more. Read the collected works of more poets. Go to more museums. Buy a piece of art, even if I can't afford it. See more French films. Surf in Portugal. Worry less about things that don't matter. Give more than before.

SCOTTY IRVING

(Solo noise act known as Clang Quartet; drummer in The Whole World Laughing and Benj-o-matic)

Do a Clang Quartet West Coast tour with Boyzone and maybe hit some other areas I have not played in a while. Also help get The Whole World Laughing and Benj-o-matic CDs out this year! Whatever else God plans for me, I will try to perform with a smile.

CHEETIE KUMAR

(Guitarist in Birds of Avalon)

At least as far as a guitar player, listen more, play less; stay outside the comfort zone; get new speakers and lots of new toys; spend as much time away from this continent as possible.

BRIAN WALSBY

(Cartoonist, anthologist and drummer in Double Negative)

To be able to eventually live off of what I have spent 20-something years doing—being a social retard. A lot of people have done it. Now it is my turn.

HAMMER NO MORE THE FINGERS

(New, young indie rock trio from Durham)

Jeff Stickley is going to yield a higher concentration of probiotics in his cultured vegetables. Joe Hall is going to watch more Growing Pains. Duncan Webster is going to eat more string cheese.

DJANGO HASKINS

(Frontman of The Old Ceremony)

To never again refer to North Carolina as "Cackalacky."

ROMAN CANDLE

(Nashville/ North Carolina rock band currently finishing third album, Oh Tall Tree in the Ear)

Our wishes for the new year: a Muppets reunion with Jim Henson as the actual voice of Kermit; hover boards; that the Tar Heels basketball teams will win at the NCAA tournaments, ideally with the five members of our band watching from the bench; guest star (as a five piece) on a Destiny's Child re-reunion record, or co-write a record with Dolly Parton for Destiny's Child re-reunion; world peace; that Carrburitos, 3 Cups, and Sandwhich can/ will ship orders across state lines; see this headline: "Thad Cockrell Records the Song 'So Sad (to See You Happy),'" along with other songs he's forgotten, and cuts a new swath through the brain of country music.

HEATHER MCENTIRE

(Member of Un Deux Trois and Bellafea; co-owner of Holidays for Quince Records)

To run a half-marathon, record two albums (Un Deux Trois and Mt. Moriah) and finish writing another (Bellafea), release more records on my label (Holidays for Quince), travel and read and dance more, learn from and spend more time with the people that I love. Oh, and I want to learn how to drive a stick shift. 2008!

JUSTIN VERNON

(Frontman for Wisconsin/ Montreal/ Raleigh band Bon Iver)

I've really been shopping around for my own herd of North Atlantic reindeer—nothing stupid, just like five or six. For pulling stuff, shit like that.

ALINA SIMONE

(New York/ North Carolina singer-songwriter currently recording interpretations of Soviet folk-punk Yanka Dyagileva's songs)

Conquer hearts and minds through Russian indie rock. Don't freak out.

GLENN BOOTHE

(Owner of Local 506)

To book more local bands. After dealing with so many touring acts lately, I'm starting to feel a disconnect with the local "scene" (still hate the word). And I miss it.

SHAYNE O'NEILL

(Frontman for Durham's The Future Kings of Nowhere)

Refrain from abstinence. Be less hateful, more spiteful. Stick it to the man; apologize to the man and try to get it unstuck. Finally give Steve from marketing the comeuppance he deserves. Open my 1988 time capsule so I can finally listen to my Milli Vanilli tapes again.

STEVE SALEVAN

(DJ Steve-O, Local Music Director for N.C. State's WKNC 88.1 FM)

I will lose some weight (isn't this on everyone's list nowadays?). I will excise all bad music from my musical diet (easiest New Year's resolution ever.) I will build a synthesizer entirely out of Commodore 64 computers (and enjoy doing it). I will learn how to play Rush's epic "2112" suite on the guitar (and bonus points if I can sing like Geddy Lee). I will learn to appreciate metal (perhaps harder than learning "2112"). I will purchase the entire Superchunk back catalogue. I will watch more television. I will consume more Vitamin C. And, last but not least: I will make a ton of awesome recordings with our new Sessions@KNC project and attempt to further the cause of open-source music throughout the Triangle.

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L.E.G.A.C.Y.

(Hall of Justus-associated rapper)

Not to waste any time, get something productive done every day, and get even with Karma.

BILL LESLIE

(WRAL news anchor and Celtic musician and bandleader)

The top resolution is to complete my new album Blue Ridge Reunion, inspired by my father's mountain watercolors. Second, to carve out more time for solitude because that is the cradle of creativity. Third, I want to study the styles of a half-dozen of my favorite cinematic music composers for fresh inspiration. Fourth, create more time to record with my son, Will, who is a very talented percussionist.

DAVID KARSTEN DANIELS

(Chapel Hill singer-songwriter with his second album for Fat Cat Records due next April)

To use 2008 to make an album brimming with optimism and fast tempos. It's going to be totally void of any hint of sad bastard-ism. I correctly assume that spending time in Seattle (a city with 96 days of sun a year) is the absolute best way to accomplish this.

JEMIMA JAMES

(Singer-songwriter associated with '70s Long View Farm Studio in Massachusetts; recently relocated to Durham)

I'm tired of trying to improve myself. I'm still trying to quit smoking, lose the last ten pounds, exercise more, drink less and make more money that is, enough to live on. I'm a musician in America. I could move to Europe where they seem to appreciate musicians, not just overpay the fortunate few and ignore the rest like they do some places. Sour grapes? It is.

Instead of a resolution, which smacks too much of stylishly overblown self-improvement, I'm sweetening my grapes and calming my nerves with thoughts of new and wiser leaders. Sweeter yet would be a double Bush-Cheney impeachment followed by a black man or woman president, or for that matter, a smart white guy from Raleigh. These thoughts calm my nerves. Enough to quit smoking and get what they call a real job here in the heartland? We'll see...

Resolutions compiled by Grayson Currin. To hear music from the artists featured above, visit www.indyweek.com.

  • Local musicians offer their wishes and goals for the New Year

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