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Benefit for Cynthia Brown's U.S. Senate Campaign
Ringside in Durham and Rhythm/Light Productions (DADA co-founder Jenn Duerr's organization) are sponsoring a benefit for U.S. Senate candidate Cynthia Brown. "This is the most progressive candidate we've ever seen for a Senate seat in this state," says Duerr of Brown, who favors raising the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, supports a Public Works Program to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, and is for preserving Social Security payments and the right of workers to organize. Featured benefit performers include Stump, the latest project of pull-no-punches poet/songwriter/ bassist Shirlette Ammons, who's joined by guitarist Merritt Partridge and drummer Marshall Eure. Community organizer/activist Sheila Kingsberry-Burt, also a respected writer, poet and publisher of a literary journal, will perform. New York native Kingsberry-Burt, over a career spanning two decades, has used the written work to dramatize and dignify her experiences with poverty. Singer-songwriter/ pianist Nikki Shapiro (and guests) will also perform; Shapiro's singing style and lyrics are said to fit in the Tom Waits camp. The benefit takes place Thursday, July 25, at Ringside in Durham. For information on Cynthia Brown's campaign, go to Alert
After three years, Kings Barcade and live music venue will become a private membership club this Wednesday, July 24. This makes them the Triangle's only alternative rock club, besides Local 506 in Chapel Hill, where you can enjoy a cocktail with your jams. The club receives its license Wednesday. Renovations are in progress so you can enjoy your nip in greater comfort. Walk Softly and Carry Big Sticks
Raleigh rockers Brown have had more drummer problems than Spinal Tap, and at this point, even producer/co-founder John Custer is out of the equation. But Reed Mullin (formerly of C.O.C.) as well as a current old-school project (as in West Coast punk circa early Black Flag and SST Records) Man Will Destroy Himself, have lined up former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abruzzese. "I took a chance and sent him a bunch of 'Brownsounds,'" says Mullin. "Anyways, he dug it so much that he's driving out here from Seattle. Crazy, huh?" Abruzzese will also be doing some recording with the Brown crew. Brown plays this Saturday, July 27, at The Brewery.

The Brewery is also holding one of its punk Sunday matinee slamfests on July 28, featuring Man Will Destroy Himself, Sedona, Joe's Bad Day and Lost Anthem.New Deals
Hard-working local R&B-flavored rockers Hobex recently signed to Tone-Cool Records, a roots-rock label whose roster includes Susan Tedeschi, Double Trouble and North Mississippi Allstars, who introduced Hobex frontman Greg Humphreys to Tone-Cool honcho Dave Bartlett back at Farm Aid 2000. Look for the disc, U Ready Man?, in late October. Tone-Cool also plans to release the band's Back in the '90s CD. Rattus Extinctus?
It was weird enough to discover that Def Leppard will be rocking the parking lot of a new Fayetteville Wal-Mart as part of the store's grand opening festivities. Now this: A fax from a bush league Florida-based talent agency (with great clip art) alerting "all buyers and agents" to "a special routing price" for gigs featuring original Ratt lead singer Stephen Pearcy. Seems they've managed to book "an existing date" (date, not dates) and need to fill in. With hits like "Round and Round" and "Lay it Down," Pearcy might be just the ticket for that family reunion picnic or wedding dance. Interested parties can visit I Get a Witness?
Locally based gospel group Nu Souls (Alfred Burton, drums; Raymone Gaines, bass; Dottie Sterling, vocals) who've signed a recording contract with CEI Gospel Records, will be filming a series of music videos with Raleigh video production company Hunter Communications. Nu Souls are performing at this month's Gospel Flava magazine convention in Chicago and plan to play live in the Triangle sometime this fall, says Burton. Extras are needed for the video shoot in Raleigh and can contact Hunter Communications at 847-1999 or e-mail

Also, don't forget that this Saturday, July 27, the first annual Southeast Music and Entertainment Summit will take place at the Marriott Civic Center in downtown Durham. The event will feature performers, workshops, marketing panels and more focusing on the urban music and cultural scene in the Carolinas. Never'll Be Brothers
Patty Hurst Shifter has two guys featuring the most common surname in the English language, Smith. But, contrary to the Indy's review of their new disc, Beestinger Lullabies, and a heads-up blurb for their recent CD release party, they aren't kin, especially not siblings. Apologies to their respective family lines.

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