For the week of 11.22 ~ 11.28 | Best Bets | Indy Week
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For the week of 11.22 ~ 11.28 

In pass the party (11.29)

Both in process and product, the French laptop trio of DAT POLITICS is comparable to Sparks, a caffeinated malt beverage infused with taurine. After the advent of Red Bull and its place as a new cocktail mix, canning such a hybrid and selling it in convenience stores for $1.50 was only inevitable. Similarly, DAT Politics apes the sounds of a thousand beatmakers and digital deviants who came before them: The glitch-driven affability of Oval, the serrated-edge beauty of Christian Fennesz and the straight-beat propulsion of your favorite techno artist all convene for a party. Someone had to do it, and DAT Politics happens to be the ecstatic assembly that does it the best. After all, no one complains about the obviousness of Sparks as a product, and when the Mac applets load for DAT Politics, people stop dissecting and start dancing, remembering only that they're getting happy on the end-product of decades of experimental music when the beats stop. Or, if the Sparks were flowing well enough, it may happen sometime tomorrow afternoon. Stuff gets live Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 10 p.m. for $5 at NIGHTLIGHT in Chapel Hill. Berlin's KEVIN BLECHDOM vacillates between sad sweetness and beat bliss. DJ MAERKUS MARK kicks it off. —Grayson Currin

DAT Politics
  • DAT Politics
In getting crafty (11.24 ~ 11.26)

Haven't quite found the gift for your loved one that shows how much you care? Then join fellow North Carolinians at the 37TH ANNUAL CAROLINA DESIGNER CRAFTSMEN FAIR being held Thanksgiving weekend at the N.C. STATE FAIRGROUNDS. Not only will fair-goers be able to purchase handcrafted pieces, but they can also talk to and observe regional artists at work. The doors of the Exhibition Center open on Friday, Nov. 24, at 6 p.m. Craft lovers can also attend the fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for a daily pass or $8 for a weekend pass. Children under 12 are free. For more info, call 460-1551 or visit —Iesha Brown

Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fair
  • Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fair
In scattered notes (11.29)

Keeping a band alive from different towns has become easier. But spanning that divide is more difficult when the music is composition-based jazz—with flourishes of improvisation—and the element of sitting next to your colleagues is essential. PROJECT BLUEBIRD, a new group playing at KINGS on Wednesday, Nov. 29, is such a unique beast. The band is a Charlotte-Triangle collaboration with Brent Bagwell (reeds) and Ben Kennedy (cello, violin) of Pyramid, Ron Brendle on double bass, Carrie Shull of pulsoptional (oboe), and reeds by ubiquitous local improviser Crowmeat Bob. Bob says they rehearse in Charlotte but send charts of pieces by e-mail with notes on staffs where improvisation occurs; each player composes pieces. He likens it to serial music, with one piece by Brendle adhering to that form's 12-tone principle. "It's chamber oriented, and ends up kind of floating since there's no drummer," he says. "It's also energetic in different parts."

As for the group's mysterious name—taken from a secret term for a CIA mind-control program using LSD—he says it was Bagwell's idea, but one to which we can all relate these days. "He's into Pynchon, so there's the general idea of paranoia." —Chris Toenes

In quality time (11.24)

Friday is the nearly official holiday known as the Day After Thanksgiving when people forsake a leisurely slumber for a night of standing in line outside of big-box retailers to snap up those loss leaders. Um, no thanks—we'll call Friday, Nov. 24 GO OUTSIDE DAY, and we'll celebrate by taking a hike with the family (once we've recovered from the feasting). Among the parks we haven't visited in a while are WILLIAM B. UMSTEAD STATE PARK (19 miles of trails, bicycling included; off U.S. 70 in Raleigh. Go to or call 571-4170); ENO RIVER STATE PARK (18 miles of trails, and canoeing access; 6101 Cole Mill Road, Durham. Go to or 383-1686); and, finally, the park that puts the hill in Hillsborough: OCCONEECHEE MOUNTAIN STATE NATURAL AREA (two miles of trails, overlook at highest point in Orange County, Virginia Cates Road. Go to or 383-1686). All parks open at 8 a.m. and close at either 6 p.m. or sundown. —David Fellerath

In giving thanks (11.23)

It may sound shocking, but a decade ago, at one of its previous Thanksgiving Day feasts, the TRIANGLE VEGETARIAN SOCIETY served turkeys. Served them a meal, that is—the live turkeys gobbled happily alongside their human hosts, a clever (and, from the bird's-eye view, considerate) conceit that aired on national television. The event has grown in recent years into what is believed to be the country's largest VEGETARIAN THANKSGIVING. This year's festivity will feature a cornucopia of meatless entrées, including delectable vegan versions of traditional favorites such as sweet potatoes (in a leek velouté), cranberry sauce (fresh raspberry-cranberry relish) and pumpkin pie (with pomegranate glaze), but only the diners will be stuffed. Non-vegetarians are also welcome Thursday, Nov. 23, at CAFÉ PARIZÄDE, 2200 W. Main St. in Durham, from 1 to 4 p.m., with the possibility of an additional seating if the event sells out. Visit the TVS Web site at to make reservations and for more information. —Marc Maximov

Vegetarian Thanksgiving
  • Vegetarian Thanksgiving

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