The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday October 28th

Achordants to perform fall concerts

A cappella group proud of unique style

The Achordants would agree they aren't your father's barbershop quartet.

The all-male student a cappella group that prides itself on performing fun, loud and in-your-face a cappella will be performing at 8:08 p.m. today and Saturday in Carroll Hall for its annual fall concert.

Yes, 8:08 p.m.

That is not a typo.

"We've done this in the past for a couple of years," Achordants president Jed Wang said of the unusual start time. "It stemmed from someone's belief that if we come up with a creative time that people will remember it."

Once audience members see an Achordants concert, they are not likely to forget that either, Wang said.

While many a cappella groups emphasize tight harmonies and aesthetics, the Achordants operate differently, group member Eric Ballhaussen said.

"We thrive on being loud and in-your-face," Ballhaussen said. "I think we take ourselves less seriously.

"That's why I joined."

Members said the theme for the performances is intentionally puzzling to the public.

"We want to keep them guessing about the theme of this concert," Achordants music director Andrew DiMartino said. "In order to know what's going on, you have to be there."

Theme aside, the Achordants said the audience can expect a crowd-pleasing mixture of skits and a wide variety of songs.

"We like to have a really diverse repertoire," Wang said.

"We've got some top-40 hits, some classic stuff, classic rock - stuff you wouldn't expect from a cappella."

Among the setlist for the concerts are Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence," Bobby Darrin's "Mack the Knife," and The Postal Service's popular "Such Great Heights."

Wang said a lot of preparation goes into the concerts, from writing and rehearsing songs and skits to publicizing the event.

But Wang said he expects it to pay off.

He said he anticipates this weekend's shows to sell out.

The group recently released an album, Polluted with Style, from which members will be singing a song or two.

And with one album under its belt, the group is looking toward the future. The Achordants already are working on a new album, Ballhaussen said.

"We want a full album by spring semester."

All of the Achordants agreed that their shows are more fun and entertaining than what people typically expect of a cappella performances.

"It's always a lot of fun," Wang said. "(The audience) can expect to hear some great singing, to laugh and generally have a great time."

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