MOOGFEST Staff Picks: Must-See Acts

At last, Moogfest 2019 is upon us. Like with our Freebies & Local Fun staff picks, the Durham Beat staff put together our general must-see picks. Here’s what each of us had to say:

Riley Says:

NCSU Libraries Workshops 

Life is a Digital Picnic & Visualizing Sound with Code & Digital Making Playground; Please Program the Flowers; I don’t really know what any of these workshops are actually about, but I have spent a lot of time in the NCSU libraries and they’re always inventing new trippy ways to display information, so I’m sure it will be cool. Whatever it is.  In one of them you make virtual reality floral arrangements. 

Building the Sounds that Break Down Walls  At first, I thought the title of this workshop was a sly hint about like, liberal multiculturalism but no, they mean literal walls. You get to build something called the Death by Audio Doomsday Oscillator.

Drum & Lace:Psychology of the Score: Cues, Memory Makers and Emotional Guidestones In another life, I went to school for music composition. In reality the actual work of composing orchestra music note by note is extremely boring to me, but I love hearing people talk about their process. 

Stephen says:


Moog Pop up Factory @ ATC Bay 7…I have no idea what will happen, but Moog and Factory sound killer.


Jax Deluca 5:15-6:45PM @ ATC Federal Funding for Emerging Artists. This sound like a great workshop for those looking to enter the Long Game and make a living and lifestyle as an artist. I wish these workshops were available when I started playing touring and scribbling.

Craig Leon and Jimmy Destri from Blondie 4-6PM @ATC  The production and musicianship on Blondie albums are world class. Their recordings shaped so many artists and recording engineers and probably some of your favorite music.


Thomas Dolby!!! This will be a nerd and freak fest!! He is pretty mind blowing. If you have never heard him get your freak flag out and wave it with pride! Hopefully he plays “Submarine”.

Ari says:

QuestLove… Drummer/Dj/Curator of musical culture transitioning well beyond “just” hip hop. This guy’s crates move through it all. He’s also the DJ that Prince showed Finding Nemo over… See, Storyville #2 Questlove vs Prince for reference. There’s a free one Sat afternoon and a late show at the Fruit. I’m planning on free by day.

Nucleo Concordia (Installation)
Spatial Sound

Had me at brain cortex. I’m super into musical experience immersed in science, so this is RIGHT up my alley. Throw in Johannes Kepler’s work and I’m THERE.

Vorticity (Installation)
Same here. Bell Labs… Audio and Visual immersion based on a sliding bubble? The nerd in me needs this.

Adair says:

15-Minute Songwriting
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM | Friday, April 26, 2019 I’ve recently started dabbling in songwriting, and find myself constantly creating lines, and melodies in my head while I’m out and about with no way to capture it. I’d love to attend this workshop to see how to remedy that so I don’t lose good ideas. 

Matthew Dear 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM | Thursday, April 25, 2019 I’d be lying if I said electronic/techno was my favorite kind of music, unless we’re talking about LCD Soundsystem, which is really electronic light if we’re being honest. But if I’m going to listen to electronic, I’m down to pair it with an artist with an amazing and unique voice like Matthew Dear. 

Craig Leon and Jimmy Destri of Blondie in conversation
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Friday, April 26, 2019 Honestly, I love a good conversation. I like listening to people talk about interesting things (for clarity, I like this live, podcasts and talk radio bore me). Craig Leon has produced some amazing bands, and Jimmy Destri is from Blondie, so c’mon. Blondie! 

Zoe says:

Focal Presents: Hear Your Music, Not Your Monitors.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Friday, April 26, 2019
Full Frame Theatre | Conversations

When I first started recording, I found out very quickly that it’s much harder than I thought. I hope they have tricks for getting rid of that incessant buzzing.

Own Your Voice: Electronic Music Making as a Source of Personal Liberation w/ Madame Gandhi
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Friday, April 26, 2019
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Saturday, April 27, 2019

All I can say is YES. I’m tired of going to shows that have no onstage diversity, and I know the fear of performing in a cis-white-guy dominated space. This is on both Friday and Saturday, so there’s 2 chances to catch it.

LP GIOBBI with LP Giobbi, Drum & Lace, Suzi Analogue and Madam Gandhi Moderator: Tiffany Naiman / FEMMEHOUSE: A Conversation About Gender Socialization and Visual Representation in Electronic Music
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Saturday, April 27, 2019
ATC Workshop 2 | Conversations

So many awesome musicians in one room! I’m excited for this on so many levels.

Matia (me) says:

VIVEK BORAYwith Vivek Boray, Abhi MeerCreativity, Technology and Democracy in the Global South 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Thursday, April 25, 2019 Carolina Theater – Cinema 2 | Conversations This sounds super informative and relevant toour here and now.

PATRICK GLEESON 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM | Thursday, April 25, 2019 Carolina Theater – Fletcher Hall | Performance A legend. A pioneer. Almost certainly the oldest artist on the lineup, Gleeson played with Herbie Hancock back in the 70s and has had a career that spans over 5 decades, starting back in the 1960s. Wicked jazz head.

THE FLOOR B2B SHOWCASE 10:00 PM – 3:00 AM | Thursday, April 25, 2019 Fruit – Basement | Performance The Floor is a local collective and they’ve got a few sets lined up at The Fruit. DON’T MISS OUT.

STEPHAN BODZIN 11:30 PM – 1:00 AM | Thursday, April 25, 2019 The Armory | Performance German DJ likely to lift you from the ground with his cutting-edge tunes. Put another way: you will be compelled to DANCE, y’all.

Own Your Voice: Electronic Music Making as a Source of Personal Liberation w/ Madame Gandhi
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Friday, April 26, 2019
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Saturday, April 27, 2019 Really looking forward to this. Madam Gandhi performed at last year’s Moogfest and returns this year for a few talks on empowerment and identity in making music.

THE FLOOR PRESENTS: TOMIE B AKA DJ REAL, TAYLOR HOUCHENS, AND PANGEAN 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM | Friday, April 26, 2019 Fruit – Basement | Performance Five hours of The Floor. Go. Just go.

MOUNT KIMBIE (DJ SET) 11:30 PM – 12:45 AM | Friday, April 26, 2019 The Armory | Performance Gonna be a riot. Breaking out my dancing shoes for this.

RP BOO AND SUZI ANALOGUEThe State of Black Electronic Music Composers 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Saturday, April 27, 2019 ATC Workshop 2 | Conversations Super relevant, especially among our local electronic artist community.

THE FLOOR PRESENTS: STRICTLY SOCIAL TAKEOVER – ALVIN SHAVERS, FREDDIE FRED, AND KINGTHINGS 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM | Saturday, April 27, 2019 Fruit – Basement | Performance More Floor.

MEZ 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM | Saturday, April 27, 2019 ATC Cage | Free Programming Raleigh local!! Recently performed at Dreamville, now at Moogfest.

QUESTLOVE 12:00 AM – 2:30 AM | Saturday, April 27, 2019 Fruit – Black Box | Performance I feel like this is self-explanatory.

MOOGFEST: Freebies & Local Fun 2019

Last year, when Durham Beat was little more than a month old, we got press access to Moogfest. I was elated. All full of fire about it. We spent the four days of the festival covering all of the locals. Long hours and hoards of fun. We are proud of the work we created from that experience. I am excited to be doing Moogfest again this year. It’s almost ceremonious. We did just celebrate our first birthday last weekend! I think I’m still a little bubbly about it. And now here we are… our second Moogfest.

We have prepared a little sampling for you, a taster tray of free and local stuff. I asked my fellow staffers to send their picks and this is exactly what they said:

Riley Says:

Mamis and the Papis at Quarter Horse 

The Mamis and the Papis are a local latin/cuban/pan-american DJ collective and I’ve followed their Instagram for like a year and never seen them live. 

Party Illegal 

Party Illegal is a fun queer dance party series! They’re into weird shit and are really invested in building up a grungy local EDM scene. 

Ari Says:

I second on the Mamis and the Papis. Fun, energetic DJs. Will certainly play some Wu-Tang if you have that look on your face.

Stephen Says:

FREE Raund Haus: get local & support the Bull City!

Free tip.  Go into any local restaurant and bike shop (Bulls Eye). Bulls Eye sells beer, so you can stand in the shop and hang with musicians. Ask who plays in a band. Get the names of these bands go home and listen to them. This is free and will help you explore the Bull City soundscape. Enjoy local food and meet artists before they get too big to meet in person.

If you have never been on a cruiser ride call Bulls Eye bikes. Thursday, free bike ride around town. Meet locals get tips.

Challenge…take pictures with you and a local artist and send them to the Durham Beat.  

Zoe Says:

1. Suzi Analogue
7:15 PM – 8:15 PM | Saturday, April 27, 2019
ATC Cage | Free Programming

I missed Suzi Analogue last time and got major FOMO, so hopefully I can make up for it this year.

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM | Saturday, April 27, 2019
ATC Cage | Free Programming

I’m all in for this one. I’m a fan of the Roots, but I’ve never seen Questlove solo before.

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM | Thursday, April 25, 2019
Quarterhorse | Free Programming

dance! Dance! DANCE!

Adair says:


Why WOULDN’T you want to see Questlove? Especially for free! He’s a creative genius, and you get a chance to see him for free? Yes, please.

Modular Marketplace

Ok, this may seem like a boring pick, because of course people are going to stop by there. But last year, there was some amazing vinyl booths. My husband and I scored an original pressing of Pinkerton by Weezer and an original pressing of Pleased to Meet Me by the Replacements. My vinyl collection is super excited to see what’s in store this year. My wallet? Not so much.

I mentioned that I recently started dabbling in songwriting. A few years ago, I picked up a guitar for the first time (well, first time with the intention of playing it) and have been hooked ever since. Now, one of my favorite pastimes is looking at guitars. I just can’t help it.

Matia (me) says:


7:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Thursday, April 25, 2019
Quarterhorse | Free Programming

Inclusive fun. Don’t miss this.


8:00 PM – 9:00 PM | Thursday, April 25, 2019
Quarterhorse | Free Programming

I had a super fun time the last time I went to a Party Illegal show. I’m excited for
this set.


11:30 AM – 3:30PM | Saturday, April 27, 2019
ATC Cage | Free Programming

This sounds


4:00 PM – 5:30 PM | Saturday, April 27, 2019
ATC Cage | Free Programming



4:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Saturday, April 27, 2019
Quarterhorse | Free Programming

Erogenous isn’t a word you see a lot, but the sentiment is clear. Arouse your senses with some local fun.

Tickets for the festival are still available so you can catch some of this year’s esteemed lineup. Check out the full schedule here and be sure to check out the single day passes.

MOOGFEST Instagram Contest!


MOOGFEST Instagram Contest By Durham Beat!

Durham Beat will be giving away 2 GA passes to Moogfest! Two winners will be chosen and each receives one pass.

Submit one photograph, one illustration, or one of any kind of original image which represents your perspective on Durham’s cultural identity. Who/What is Durham to you? To enter, complete the following steps:

  1. Post your submission on Instagram.
  2. Tag @durhambeat on your image and in the caption.
  3. Use #durhambeatatmoog in the caption.
  4. Sign up for the Owlephant events newsletter through the link HERE or in our Instagram bio or on our website. All entries must be your own original work.

*All 4 steps must be completed in order for your entry to be complete. Only complete entries will be considered.
*Following us on social media is not required to enter this contest, but it would be awesome if you did.

Deadline: Saturday, April 13th at 5PM. All submissions will be agonized over by the Durham Beat staff and two winners will be chosen by consensus and announced on Sunday, April 21st.

Artist Profile: Cool Boy 36

Editor’s Note: This piece was written for print and is the feature writing in the limited edition REUPCYCLE LOOK BOOK Zine, a collaboration between Durham Beat and Cool Boy 36. To purchase the look book, please visit our online shop HERE.

Blaine Wyatt Carteaux. Yes, that’s his real name. You might know him better as Raund Haus co-founder and local fashion artist Cool Boy 36. I met Blaine for the first time in the weeks leading up to Moogfest 2018. As the resident local journalist dedicated to covering all of the local sets, I first started to get to know Blaine in the short, intense burst of time surrounding the festival. I knew from the very first moment I met him that he is an innovator. Quixotic though he may be at times, Blaine is a fiercely self-aware individual who effortlessly emanates an energy of uniqueness.

Born in upstate New York and raised in North Carolina since the age of eleven, Blaine has been making art for his whole life. Through the years he has walked down many creative roads. From his early affection for street art, sketching and drawing, to the design, screenprinting, and VHS video art of his current path, Blaine has been a fearless navigator of “creating something in a non-traditional way.”

“I started as a design student at UNC Greensboro,” he told me over drinks at Criterion. During his five years in undergrad, he dabbled in mediums ranging from photography to etching. Throughout these formative experiences his design process grew, became more intentional, and more inclusive of different mediums. By the time he finished college and had landed in Durham, the spark for Cool Boy 36 had already been lit.

Fashion wasn’t something he studied in school. His passion for it grew over time and took root when he worked in fashion retail. Between flipping through fashion magazines on breaks to the inevitable people watching of the mall, his observations and experiences during this time would help inform his path to come. His first foray into fashion would come in Durham when Cool Boy 36 was little more than a great notion waiting to be born. Thanks to an injection of income from a tax refund, Blaine was able to do his first-ever run of shirts under the Cool Boy 36 brand. Now five years old, Cool Boy 36 is an established presence in Durham.

Cool Boy 36 is as much an artist persona as it is a brand. The aesthetic of Cool Boy is driven by Blaine’s longtime affection for street art–everything from graffiti to busking to trash art and found art. To his core, Blaine is a street artist. While today the Cool Boy 36 brand represents a much larger body of work and artistic mediums, street fashion is the cornerstone. The Cool Boy garments are every bit as unique as the artist who makes them. One of the fundamental qualities of the brand is the non-traditional approach to production. No two garments are ever the same. Cool Boy 36 specializes in limited edition one-of-one garments, each its own unique piece of art, which can never be truly replicated. If fashion is meant to help people express their individuality through personal style, then Blaine’s approach is true fashion sense. Over the last year, Blaine describes himself as having “hit a stride” and achieving “a level of rarity I’ve always wanted.” The Durham environment has certainly aided in Blaine’s creative ascension.

Since Blaine has been living in Durham, the Cool Boy 36 brand has been reacting to the growth and changing landscape of the city. “I’ve been growing as the city is growing,” he told me. Durham is home to a vibrant art scene, some publicly funded, some strictly DIY, but all of it furiously local, and often intersecting. Blaine himself describes Durham as having a “very open artist community” where people are “down to collaborate.” But in the midst of this highly creative space, there exists a particular chaos that goes beyond people and art and community.

Durham is undergoing a transformation for all to see. Construction makes itself known everywhere it goes: orange cones, workers in green and orange vests, fences, piles of dirt and rubble, and dead empty lots. All of these images exist in the daily life of Durham. This is the everyday chaos of tangible change that Cool Boy has captured in his REUPCYCLE clothing line.

For this new line, Blaine designed images inspired by urban development, signs posted, utility work, orange lines spray painted on the street. Bright colors and images of chains, “restricted area” signage, and his own rendition of Durham’s recycle logo, all reflect the face of a space in flux, of a city preparing itself for a massive infusion of new residents, and with them, new cultural values. According to city officials, Durham is currently growing at a rate of 20 new residents per day, or 7,300 per year. The city has grown more than 12 square miles since 2000, and has already seen a 22% increase in population during the decade of 2000-2010.

Durham’s changescape is highly visible, and yet the impending impact of these changes is most often heard in cursory complaints about traffic and parking and housing and road closures and spontaneous utility work–the usual quotidian dilution of a much larger conversation. Still, Durham is fighting the implications of its gentrifying trend, walking the contradictory line between embracing the inevitability of growth, while also seeking to retain aspects of its identity that are at risk of being eradicated by that same persistent change.

The REUPCYCLE line is both a reaction to and reflection of this transformation. Blaine deliberately calls attention to Durham’s changescape through his use of color, color manipulation, and street-inspired imagery. The utility orange color of construction is a bright camouflage for gentrification in Durham. Utility work and construction sites around the city throw up signs, build fences, and spray paint lines on the street, creating a particular visual aesthetic, and, at the same time, an unintended street art. No matter where you live in Durham or even elsewhere in the Triangle, the visual of change and growth, as indicated by this unintended street art, is widespread. Those of us living in Durham breathe that dusty air, drive on those torn up streets, swerve to avoid poorly placed road plates and erroneous cones, and watch the prices for consumables slowly creep up.

This is an appropriate moment to mention bleach. In addition to the unique designs of Blaine’s REUPCYCLE garments, one of his Cool Boy 36 trademarks is his use of bleach to manipulate color and create distortion. While the use of bleach on garments in this way is typical for the Cool Boy 36 brand, it carries special significance to this REUPCYCLE line. Bleach is a product typically used for cleaning, to make clear again that which was distorted by dirt and grime. Blaine uses bleach in a way that directly contradicts its traditional purpose. He creates color chaos. He distorts the original crisp coloring of a garment to imbue a sense of commotion into the very products he makes. Then, by screenprinting his designs on these distorted garments, he has simultaneously created a background of the dusty mayhem of a city wrought with construction, while overlaying his interpretation of the Durham changescape’s unintended street art. REUPCYCLE is very much the embodiment of a complicated relationship between the artist and his space. It is also a rigorous commentary on the fashion industry.

The REUPCYCLE name is meant to evoke the thought of recycling, “something that needs to be continually promoted,” as Blaine said to me. The name is also a riff on the common street term “re-up”, which simply means to resupply one’s stash. The union of these two practices does more than simply tie together Blaine’s passion for street culture and his clothing brand; it is also a nod to the process and the materials used to create REUPCYCLE.

“I’m sick of the waste of the fashion industry,” Blaine told me. An oft glossed over topic, even in this contemporary time when repurposing and recycling have become more prevalent, the waste of the fashion industry remains rampant. According to an NIH study published in 2007 called “Waste Couture”, the fashion industry is second only to the oil industry in polluting. Only a fraction of clothing donated to charities and thrift shops stay stateside for reconsumption by the American consumer. Nearly half of all used clothing is shipped overseas. Between 1989 and 2007, the total weight of used clothing shipped from the United States rose to seven billion pounds per year.

Ever mindful of this reality, Blaine actively seeks out used clothing to serve as the canvas for his designs. He visits thrift shops across Durham to find garments he can give new life to and make relevant again. This practice is uniform across all Cool Boy 36 fashion productions. It is especially relevant to the REUPCYCLE line ostensibly because it seeks to promote recycling and the culture of repurposing existing materials. Similarly, the Durham changescape maintains an element of this “repurposing” of existing spaces. While new development all over the city has popped up at an alarming rate (in light of the population explosion), several small businesses have taken the initiative to use existing infrastructure to house new offices or retail spaces or venues. The Durham Fruit is a good example of this: once home to a fruit packing warehouse originally built in 1926, the former industrial warehouse has since been successfully converted to a multipurpose arts and event space… an old building made relevant again by a new purpose.

REUPCYCLE embodies within it the very heart of Durham’s struggle to grow while still maintaining its authenticity and edge. As a member of the artist community which thrives here, Blaine, through this project, has contributed substantial commentary on Durham’s present moment and its difficulty in reconciling its future self with its present identity. This fashion line is a statement, an authentic and unforgiving reflection of Durham right now. From concept to process to final product, Blaine has produced clothing for people who consume art, while also delivering a solemn, although brightly colored, message to anyone who wears or encounters one of his REUPCYCLE garments: look up, look around, understand where you live.

I am also a resident of Durham and a member of the local artist community. Throughout this months-long collaboration with Blaine, we have shared many moments of mutual lament about the changescape of Durham. Having already been displaced from my home city because of the economic violence of rapid gentrification, working on this project has struck a chord in me. I have already seen what happens when development is not merely left unchecked, but actively pursued regardless of cultural impact. This look book collaboration, from the perspective of your humble author, is a stake in the ground, a declaration to fight for the heart of Durham, to preserve its authenticity, its edge, and especially the creative economy of the local artist community.

Featured Photo: Cool Boy 36 Polaroid by Tyger Locx.

MOOGFEST: Freebies & Local Fun

Moogfest is here! The entire Durham Beat staff spent some time putting together some of the free options around town, so if you’re a local not attending the festival or a visitor looking to maximize your local experience, we’ve got your local funs covered. Moogfest itself offers a number of free and open events, many of which are locally-sourced. The festival also happens to coincide with Durham’s monthly free art event series, Third Friday, where many local businesses all around town offer free and open art events featuring the works of local creatives. We have put together a bunch of options here for you to have some fun and keep it cheap.


Raund Haus–Durham’s local beat collective
All Raund Haus sets at Parts & Labor.

3PM–Nay Fong
4PM–Gappa mighty, Kyoju, miniluv, Ebz., AXNT, Tony G
12AM–Chocolate Rice

4PM–Dogzamm, RGB, Sunset Palette, OG Senpaiii, Trandle, Oak City Slums

3PM–Jon Kirby
4PM–Marv Krown, HIFIIoRau, sl0wgl0w, CALAPSE, Footrocket, Treee City

Ralph Steadman
Thursday-Sunday, May 17-20, 10AM-6PM, American Tobacco Campus Bay 7

Thibault Dance
Thursday, May 17th, 12PM-4PM, The Snow Building
Friday-Sunday, May 18-20, 3PM-1AM, The Snow Building

“….these borders that hold me down…”
Friday, May 18th, 3PM, von der Hayden Theater (2020 Campus Drive)

Pop, Crackle, Crunch: Contact Mic 101
Friday, May 18th, 3:30PM-4:30PM, Art Institute

Moog Mandala: Music. Motion. Meditation.
Saturday, May 19th, 2:30PM-4PM, 21c Museum & Hotel
Sunday, May 20th, 11:30AM-1PM, 21c Museum & Hotel


Some of Durham’s local hangouts are hosting a number of free and low door entry events during Moogfest featuring tons of local acts. We recommend checking out…

An underground back alley bar & lounge with a witchy, speakeasy vibe. Great people, great vibe, great drinks.

8PM-11PM–Mamis & the Papis host Pachanga pa la Gente (suggested $5 at the door)

8PM-12AM–Jaguardini, Ships In The Night, and Peachelope (suggested $5-10 at the door)

8PM-2AM–Four on The Floor— 4 DJs, 1 night ($5 at the door)

Surf Club
A local favorite with a huge outdoor space: games, food trucks, indoor and outdoor bar. They will be hosting free DJ sets all weekend.

Thursday: 10PM-2AM
Friday: 6PM-2AM
Saturday: 6PM-2AM
Sunday: 4PM-whenever featuring Raund Haus member Hubble

The Durham Hotel
Cool downtown hotel with a sweet Rooftop bar and great views of the Bull City.

Thursday, 7PM: Jazz Jam Session with Al Strong & Friends
A weekly local jazz jam session at the Rooftop!

Durham’s Third Friday
A monthly event series featuring several free local art events at many of the areas local businesses, galleries, and hangouts. Here is the COMPREHENSIVE LISTING of this Friday’s events. We’ve selected a few highlights here for y’all…

The Bull Meets the Bayou
at The Carrack, 6PM-9PM

An art exhibition exchange between artists from Durham and New Orleans.

Art Museum Day 2018: Free Admission
at Nasher Museum of Art, 10AM-5PM

The Nasher Museum of Art is Duke University’s art museum. Home to a unique permanent collection, as well as numerous visiting exhibits and local displays, you can see it all for free this Friday!

If you’re coming from out of town, then Durham Beat contributors Stephen and Christine (members of local rock band The Wigg Report) recommend a few ideas…

The best way to see the most of a town or make the most of a festival is to connect with your inner “dirtbag” (living for free while doing what you love).

Here is how to make the most of your time and clear your head between events and shows.  

  • Check out all the murals in downtown. Civil rights murals (arts council), the super funky mural on the side of the Y (sponsored by Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art)
  • Go into the Durham Arts Council…free all the time!
  • Read the statues on Parish street, “Black Wall Street”. Free and you’ll walk away with some amazing knowledge of Durham’s place in history and the Civil Rights Movement.
  • 21c Museum & Hotel… hosting lots of Moogfest events, but don’t miss going downstairs into the vault either!
  • Get on top of the parking garages and party with friends while watching the sunset over D-Town.
  • Go to one of the many bike shops and ask a mechanic what he would do for free while downtown. The conversation is free and the people are kick ass.
  • Get a sharpie and leave your mark on our town!

MOOGFEST Exclusive Local Preview: sister,brother

For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken.
It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
–D.H. Lawrence

Every once in a while as a music journalist you will encounter a band who steals your heart. On that rarest of occasions you will experience a breed of noise you know from that first live set needs to be BIG. Some music is so impactful that it will make you fall on your ass while walking down the street in stumbling enamored bliss after a show… all without spilling that road soda. Those are the sounds that burrow inside of you and make a home. Because sometimes you just know.

Sister,brother is truly something. I have spent a good deal of time with Mark and Alison in the weeks leading up to Moogfest. Both are seasoned musicians who came up through the ranks of serious music scenes. Mark Hanley originally hails from my own native Massachusetts. He cut his teeth as a battle DJ in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Boston. After that, he made his way through numerous music projects as a guitarist. A wayward soul and intensely creatively-minded, Mark landed in Durham four years ago, where he would eventually bump into future bandmate and close friend Alison Martlew.

Alison was born in England, raised in the Bahamas, and came to the U.S. for college at NC State. She has been here ever since. Known by many local scenesters as a former member of The Butchies, Alison has participated in several music projects over the years. Since the age of four, she has been playing music. From classical piano as a child, to guitar during her college days, today Alison has found her home in the bass. And she is exceptional.

Together as sister,brother Mark and Alison are at the height of who they are. Unencumbered, total comfortability, unspoken inside jokes playing out in facial expressions and wild gesticulations, the descriptor “they have chemistry” would be a painfully brutish attempt to explain the electric synergistic dynamic they share. Mark’s creative intensity translates into an extraordinary emotional outpouring of high-pitched almost clown-like ear-shredding vocals. With Alison’s excellent bass-playing and her cool and reserved attitude, sister,brother is a mélange of characters and sounds that draw upon everything they have ever experienced, repurposed and reformed into something completely new.

Have you ever felt punctured soul-deep and liked it?

Some music exists to poke your soul. The musings of sister,brother speak to the part of you that doesn’t go out in public. You know, that little piece you keep for yourself… That’s the part of you that will be tickled by their sounds. That’s the part of you that should be listening.

They are loud. You have to want to use your ears to hear them. Listen. They are trying to tell you something. Expose yourself to their noise and you will know what raw really means.

That is something I have gleaned from my time with sister,brother.
Be unencumbered
or die
Be riotous
or sleep
Be real
or don’t be anything at all

This band makes me need to write poems. Interacting with and writing about sister,brother has brought out a tremendous affection in me.

And yet,
I am not a poet.
Nor was meant to be.₂

Still, I find myself scratching words on tiny papers half drunk at a dimly lit bar at 1AM on a Monday night unconcerned with the obligations of tomorrow because my soul has been infiltrated by a noise I can’t stop hearing–I don’t want to stop hearing it. So I can’t stop writing, even when a I hear the echo of a friend shouting, ‘Hemingway, come have a smoke with us!’ I hate it when he calls me that. I’m not a dead white asshole. Not yet.

If you’re reading this, then chances are you either know Mark and Alison too, have heard of sister,brother in some capacity, or are in town for Moogfest and you’re curious.

Good. Be curious. Seek out that sense of wonder in yourself. Find a way to be vulnerable and go see them at The Pinhook for their Thursday evening set.

You know that feeling after really great sex–the exhausted panting bliss of cathartic everything? That’s how you will feel after sister,brother’s live performance. It’s not about the sex. Come on. Don’t be so transactional. Give yourself over to the noise. Let your heart be broken and fall into the crack.

Watch Part Two, The Video, HERE.

“Pomegranate.” Selected Poems, by D. H. Lawrence, New Directions Books, 1947.
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” The Wasteland and Other Poems, by T.S. Eliot, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1934

MOOGFEST: The Staff Picks, Must-See Acts

Yes, we’re going to be at Moogfest this year! We will be covering as many of the local participants as possible LIVE on social media while we are there on the ground. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay up with the latest. We’ll be rolling out a bunch of #postfest compilations and writeups for you too. Stay tuned as well for a BIG SPREAD we’re doing on noisepunk duo, Durham’s own sister,brother

In addition to the local coverage, the whole staff put together some choices for y’all. Each of us sat down on our own and sorted through the entire Moog schedule. Here’s what us individuals came up with as our must-see acts.

Zoe Carmichael, Staff Writer

Building Your Own Synthesizer
Thursday, May 17th, 3:30PM, Full Frame Theatre

For me, it would be a refresher course on the ins and outs of a synth. If all goes well, I’ll be able to build my own as a new hobby.

Looping 101
Friday, May 18th, 2PM, Art Institute Room

Instructor Annie Hart of Au Revoir Simone will be running a workshop on how to loop using synths and pedals. I already know how to use a loop pedal, but the experience of creating something new with strangers is always fun. It’s at capacity, but the wait list isn’t too bad.

Black Granular Narratives: The Level of Detail Necessary for Black Survival In America
Saturday, May 19th, 2PM, Art Institute Room

I’m intrigued by the term “industrial poetry” and curious to witness it for myself. Sadly, it’s at capacity, and the wait list is long.

Vinyl DJ 101 **(Free, open to the public)
Saturday, May 19th, 3PM, The Durham Hotel

How-to workshop from pro Emma Olson about DJing with vinyl. It would be brand-new to me, and I think it would be cool to learn from a legend.

Psychic TV
Saturday, May 19th, 8PM, The Carolina Theatre

They’re a UK multimedia psych-punk-noise collective that’s been around since the 80s. It’s gonna get weird. I can’t wait!

The Hidden History of the Synthesizer
Sunday, May 20th, 2PM, Full Frame Theatre

Excited to go to this discussion. I love history and I love synths. Who knows–maybe I’ll learn something new!

Matia Guardabascio, The Editor

Frivolous Metal
Thursday-Saturday May 17-19th, 4PM, 21c Museum & Hotel

Participate in live art? Three chances to do it? Yes please.

Ralph Steadman **(Free, open to the public)
Thursday-Sunday, May 17-20, 10AM-6PM, American Tobacco Campus Bay 7

I’ll be starting my day with this. Every single day. What an incredible opportunity. If you miss this exhibit, then you’re fucking up.

Thursday, May 17th, 5:30PM, Pinhook

One of the best local acts participating in Moog this year. I wouldn’t miss this for the world. Not only am I preparing a huge spread on them in our preview coverage (stay tuned!), I’ll also be covering this set live on our social media. Even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. They’re going to kill it. Come to this set.

Listen HERE.

Thursday, May 17th, 8PM, Motorco

Indescribably intense, devastatingly dazzling, sensational beauteous vocals, a fantastical afrofuturist Philadelphia-based femme as fuck genre-warping goddess. DAMN.

Listen HERE.

Startups of the Future & Business Creativity
Friday, May 18th, 5PM, American Underground Bullpen

A conversation for me to nerd out over and, you know, learn some helpful things for my own little start-up…

Gavin Rayna Russom
Friday, May 18th, 10PM, Pinhook

In addition to participating in the LGBTQ Community Meetup on Thursday AND the “No More White Presidents” screening on Friday, Gavin Rayna Russom–most widely known as a member of LCD Soundsystem–will be doing a solo set at Pinhook that is going to be… transcendent. Can’t wait.

Saturday, May 19th, 10:45PM, Carolina Theatre Fletcher Hall

Class convened. Go learn from the teacha. Hip-hop legend and pioneer. One of the best living lyricists of our time.

Larry Jones, Staff Photographer

Ralph Steadman **(Free, open to the public)
Thursday-Sunday, May 17-20, 10AM-6PM, American Tobacco Campus Bay 7

A very talented and prolific artist who hung out with Hunter S. Thompson. Need I go further?

Any and all events featuring Raund Haus **(Free, open to the public)

This is Durham’s local beat collective and they are blowing up!! I have a lot of respect for these talented musicians, producers, and artists. Show some love for the local art scene.

Listen HERE.

Spatial Sound: Shabazz Palaces
Thursday, May 17th, 3PM, The Armory

Ishmael Butler has been one of my favorite musicians for years and I’d be curious to hear his thoughts on music production and breaking away from known trends to make something wholly new and original,  which he is very known for doing himself.

Thursday, May 17th, 11PM, Carolina Theatre Fletcher Hall

Mixing 90’s R&B with modern atmospheric electronic tones is a match made in heaven and Kelela does it oh so well.

Friday, May 18th, 9:30PM, Motorco

Harsh and raw as hell! If you’re into weird sonic tones and music that makes you slightly on edge then is is perfect for you.

Stephen Mullaney, Contributor

“….these borders that hold me down…” ** (Free Event, open to the public)
Friday, May 18th, 3pm, von der Hayden Theater (2020 Campus Drive)

We are living in a time of accelerated division. People, governments, and organizations seem to be looking for the magic bullet to exploit and exclude at the same time. Sounds kinda “batshit crazy” right?  Well read the news, listen to conversations, and talk to your neighbors that don’t look like you and you will get the picture.

“…these borders that hold me down….” is a must attend if you want to get a deeper understanding of what is driving politics, marketing, and life. If you walk out unchanged you probably aren’t listening.

Genevieve Palmer, Staff Writer

Raund Haus Stage: Dogzamm, RGB, Sunset Palette, OG Senpaiii, Trandle, Slums
Friday, May 18th, 4PM-7PM, Parts & Labor 

I saw Oak City Slums at Shakori Hills last year, and let me tell you, this DJ is ridiculous. Also a great drummer (follow his Instagram, @oakcityslums).

Raund Haus Stage: Gemynii
Friday, May 18th, 11:59PM-1:30AM, Parts & Labor

As a Gemini, I have to endorse Gemynii. Fantastic DJ and instigator of some good times at the Pinhook…

Saturday, May 19th, 10:45PM-12AM, Carolina Theatre Fletcher Hall

You have an opportunity to get Taught. Don’t miss your opportunity (I won’t).

Fatima Al Qadiri
Saturday, May 19th, 11PM-12:15AM, Motorco Music Hall

This might be the queerest coolest artist I’ve ever heard of, incredible music, definitely a must-see.

Izabel Rader, Contributor

Jamila Woods
Thursday, May 17th, 9:30PM, Carolina Theatre

Jamila Woods is a poet, lyricist, r&b badass. Her vocals are always effortless, soulful, jazzy and (at times) quite philosophical. She always tends to put me in a state of emotional bliss.

Featured image courtesy of Moogfest.