The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday December 5th


Supercollider rocked gnarl-pop at FRANK gallery

Fine wine, assorted cheeses and acoustic gnarl-pop was the scene at FRANK Gallery on Thursday, where the band Supercollider held an open performance.

Supercollider, based in Carrboro, has been playing in the area for two years. The band’s original songs combine catchy riffs with a gritty ’90s grunge sound, earning the group a unique place in the “gnarl-pop” genre.

Though usually an electric trio including drummer John Brackett, on Thursday Supercollider performed as the acoustic duo of Chris Reali — the band’s guitarist and singer/songwriter — and Allison Portnow, the band’s bassist.

“If we were to play electric in a place like this it would just be blisteringly loud,” Reali said. “This was an opportunity to get to play these songs in an acoustic arrangement, which is really fun.”

Reali has been playing guitar and writing songs for more than 30 years and is completing a Ph.D. in musicology at UNC. Though the band doesn’t hold regular shows, Reali said he enjoys the experience of performing once and a while.

“I just love the energy of it,” he said. “When you’re in a live space you can just feed off the crowd. You dig playing the music more because they dig listening.”

Portnow is also a UNC alumnus with a Ph.D. in musicology, who said she and Reali met while they were both attending the University. Portnow, who has been playing bass for around 15 years, said she also shares Reali’s enjoyment of live performance.

“It’s the difference between practice and the game day,” she said. “We could play together in the garage all the time, but it’s really different and really a lot more fun to play live.”

FRANK Gallery seemed to be equally excited to host the event and give the local artists a venue to perform.

“Part of our mission statement is to do what we can to support the arts,” said Torey Mishoe, the gallery manager at FRANK. “This is a genre we don’t get often, if ever, and we’re very excited.”

The band just finished self-recording and releasing a record over the summer, and will be playing again on Dec. 6 at The Cave in Chapel Hill. The members said they hope to continue playing gigs and practicing together as long as possible.

“We don’t have any aspirations (that) we’re going to get famous doing this,” Reali said. “We all have other careers we’re pursuing. One day Allison just said we should start a band and I said ‘that’s great’ — we just have a lot of fun.”

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