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Kooley High mixtapes, albums and documentary

 If you haven't checked out the feature on ambitious Raleigh hip-hop group Kookey Highin today's print edition, do it. Now. Otherwise, we've got some treats we couldn't fit in the paper including some mixtape downloads and a stream of the Kooley High documentary.

Local Song of the Week: "Can't Go Wrong"

This year's Hear Here compilation of local artists had more than its fair share of awesome songs, and this is one of its very best. On "Can't Go Wrong" Raleigh's Kooley High drops charming and witty lines about hanging out in the summer time as a sensual bass line and irreverent horns keep time in the background. It's an irresistible recipe for a great late summer jam that's good enough to bust out the speakers even when its after Labor Day. And if you like what you hear, you should head out to Duke Coffeehouse this Friday to see Kooley High throw down with fellow Triangle hip-hop act Inflowential. Show starts at 9 p.m. and costs you a cool $5.Download "Can't Go Wrong" here.

Interesting CD Releases for Sept. 22

This week is pretty huge. With new releases from Pearl Jam, Times New Viking and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart falling on the cutting room floor for this post, I was still only able to keep it down to four records that I couldn't help but make recommendations for. Hope you've been saving your dimes and pennies, it's one hell of a day at the record store.

Tweet, tweet

I was a little late getting on the ball here, but I've taken the reigns on the Diversions Twitter, and will be having our writers using it hot and heavy starting now. Follow us at DTHDiversions to get updates on local music and arts news as it comes across our desk.<3 Dive

Rock out with your cock out

 A Rooster For The Masses - The Cave - Sept. 17Raleigh's A Rooster For The Masses make sounding socially aware seem like so much fun. Mixing up their own fresh blend of early post-punk, the band has the fire power to back up Adam Eckhardt's piercing battle cry. Dive was on hand to take a few photos as the band played its game underground at Franklin Street's Cave. Click below to check them out.

Screen Time for Sept. 18

There are two pretty interesting movies on the docket for this weekend. One looks to feature a great turn from a consistently great actor and return one of the great directors in the business to his signature style. The other looks to revel in campy satire as it turns horror conventions on their hormone-inundated teenage head. Not a bad draw for the middle of September.

No man is an island

Keegan Dewitt - Nightlight - Sept. 16Nashville’s Keegan DeWitt lit up the Nightlight Wednesday evening as he stopped in Chapel Hill on tour for his new album Islands. DeWitt, whose openers consisted of Brooklyn’s Wakey!Wakey! and fellow Nashville band Parachute Musical, played for an intimate crowd, accompanied by fellow guitarist Bryan Cates. DeWitt crooned a succinct set of his newest songs with sparse instrumentation. Though the violins that are interspersed on Islands were missing in action, DeWitt proved that his songs stand up to the challenge of a raw, pared down performance. His live version of “Come Celia” was particularly notable, infused with emotion that conveyed better in person than on the album. DeWitt also listed the influences that inspired “Come Celia,” citing Auden’s poetry. As with so many Nightlight shows, the night was informal and lighthearted. The lounging audience-members enjoyed Wakey Wakey’s strange vernacular (“Perfski” for perfect, “Keegski” for Keegan) alongside their piano-centric brand of indie pop, and Parachute Musical kept the energy high with its fast tempo piano romp and a joke about "Gilmore Girls." DeWitt, the last performer, demonstrated that Islands holds it own in a live setting. Backed by a drum set and two guitars, his inimitable voice sounded especially velvety, the ideal anecdote for a rainy Wednesday night.Click below for more photos.


As you'll find out tomorrow in the Diversions section, Mac McCaughan and Laura Balance, co-founders of Durham's Merge Records and respectively the singer/songwriter and bassist for Chapel Hill punk rock stalwarts Superchunk, will be on hand in the Bulls Head Bookshop of Student Stores at 3:30 p.m. to play a few tunes and read passages from their new book "Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records." The book chronicles Merge's rise from small local label to arguably the most successful independent label in the country. If you want to know what to expect from the festivities, our brothers in arms over at Duke Chronicle's Recess posted videos of the duo singing and reading yesterday during an appearance at Duke's Regulator Bookstore. Check them out and get excited for pretty much the coolest thing to ever happen in Student Stores.

Local Song of the Week: "It Always Loved to Happen"

When you're stumbling along in the drunken hubris of late night revelry,  you're libel to get into to trouble. Especially when you're trying to drink away the memory of some stupid girl (or guy) who did you wrong. Set to an irreverent jaunt of bright, sleazy garage rock that seems to be pulling the listener from taproom to taproom, the Spider Bags' "It Always Loved to Happen" has a great time exploring this experience. Poking fun at the fact that when you're in that situation, you never think that any of the trouble could possibly be your fault, singer Dan McGee rumbles along about bad experiences and a woman who up and left before sadly admitting his own responsibility in the matter — "The longer that I stick around, the longer I forget, my life is lived between cigarettes and regret." Easy to identify with and even easier to rock out to, it's an addictive song that, apart from being entertaining, serves as potent reminder as to the poisonous nature of that bottle on top of the fridge. Download and enjoy.Download "It Always Loved to Happen" here.

Interesting CD releases for Sept. 15

There's not a whole lot going on that I found particularly interesting at a national level this week, so I'm going to focus on two local releases, one of which actually does come out this week and another which came out last month but will see its CD release party this Friday.Chapel Hill's The Pneurotics follow up last year's debut LP with Second Skin. Taking the gritty mix of pop-rock and blues that has marked their sound up until this point and filling it out with a few more sounds, they've managed to make another good record. And guitarist Rich McLaughlin's guitar lines are just as impressive as they were before. For a full review see this week's Dive. The group celebrates the new release with a party at Local 506 Friday night. So this one actually came out in August, but I haven't talked about, and it gets a proper release party at Local 506. Carrboro's Spider Bags are back with Goodbye Cruel World, Hello Crueler World. Taking the stripped back rock 'n' roll and taking it into the garage with more blaring amps, the band's accurately beer-soaked drinking anthems hit harder than before. And while the band occasionally sacrifices some of its charm in the process, by and large it's a welcome progression. For a full review see this week's Dive.That's it kids. Come back next week, and we'll do it again.

One last time for Satan

Tooth - Duke Coffeehouse - Sept. 11I'll be honest with you. I hated metal when I arrived in Chapel Hill a little over 3 years ago. Raised on the Beatles and Springsteen, I just didn't think there was any place for screaming and sludgy guitars. I was wrong, and Durham's Tooth, which played what is touted to be its last show Friday night at Duke Coffeehouse, was one of the main catalysts in showing me the error of my ways. And while I'm obviously sad to see them go, I can tell you they got one hell of a send off.Durham's Grappling Hook was entertaining to start out the night, jaunting about with its keyboard infused brand of hard rock. But things really got started when Chapel Hill's the Curtains of Night took the stage. Roaring through huge pillars of dark metal, the female duo filled the Coffeehouse with a brutal wall of sound. Philadelphia's the Claw, whose split with Tooth was at the reason for the night's celebration, was good if not great with new singer Jason Goldberg. The band's previous singer, Mikey Brosnan, was killed by a drunk driver last fall. While there was still plenty of rage in the band's quick brand of slice and dice thrash, there seemed to be a little bit of a disconnect between the band and its new singer. But it seemed to be something that the outfit will be able to move past with more time working in this new configuration.But the mighty Tooth owned the night clearly. Stomping out on the stage with all the swagger that a curtain call deserves, the band  laid it on thick and powerful. Hitting with cconcussiveblasts of deeply toned guitar, bass and drums, Tooth assaulted the audience like a champion prize fighter in the prime of his game. Singer J-Me Guptil attacked his songs with gusto, pushing his muscular bark as far as he could. It was an epic performance, a fitting goodbye from one of the area's most vicious ensembles.Click below for more photos.

5 Questions: New Town Drunks

When you hear the name New Town Drunks, the moniker of the married Chapel Hill duo of Diane Koistinen and Roberto Cofresi, you might get the wrong idea about the band. Well, at least partially. Sure, the band's old-time and country inspired early records seemed ready made for a late-night kegger in a Southern back yard. And yes, the two do occasionally like to indulge in their titular vice. But that's not the whole story. Over the years, the two have settled down and now have a nearly three year old baby. The changes in their life are evident on the band's new debut full length, The Ballad of Stayed and Gone. With a sound that's like a back porch strumming session while recovering from last night, it's a thoughtful refection on life in transition. In anticipation of that record's Saturday release party at Local 506, Diversions Editor Jordan Lawrence sat down with the duo for a short chat about getting drunk in a new town, the appeal of a two-person band and the conotations of the term "drinking band."

Screen Time for Sep. 11

I’m not going to dispense needlessly obvious advice. That means that I’m not going to tell anyone that they shouldn’t go see “Sorority Row.” If someone wants to drop ten bucks at Southpoint to chuckle at the murderous antics of the vacuous and the beautiful then by all means, go stimulate that economy! Most people, however, probably won’t want to throw their money away on something that is guaranteed to be nothing more than distracting entertainment. That’s why I’m here to help sort through the movies opening in the area this weekend. The latest crop certainly looks a lot more promising than it has for some time, but we all know looks can be deceiving. So let’s look a little closer at a couple of them and see what holds up on paper (or computer screen).

Mixtape Round-Up: Sept. 3 to 9

Big week for the hip-hop world. Two highly anticipated sequels – Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 (Read the review in today’s DTH if you haven’t) and Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II – were released on Tuesday, and a bevy of good mixtapes dropped as well. So, in honor of the week we’re having, I’m gonna throw in two extra tapes today to make it five.

Music Review: Vivian Girls

Vivian GirlsEverything Goes Wrong(In The Red) The world needs more songs like “You’re My Guy.” Rock 'n' roll was built on these short bursts of unfiltered emotion. It’s no matter that the fellow the Vivian Girls are singing about doesn’t seem too happy about the situation. There’s determination in such a declaration.You can have your overwrought, unemotional soundscapes, indie rock. I’ll take three drunk girls kicking around in the basement and shouting “You’re My Guy” every time.No one will mistake any of the three  Vivian Girls for instrumental aces. At a lot of points on this, their sophomore LP, they struggle to get far past proficient. And that’s fine. It’s honest. They aren’t trying to be anything they aren’t.Metronomic drumming and hazily distorted guitars work perfectly on “Can’t Get Over You,” leaving plenty of room for the simply delivered hook and perfectly placed “whaa-oos.” It’s the new wall of sound where everything is mixed relatively low, inducing a sort of distorted humidity and giving the points where the vocals do rise above the rest a little added value.After the group's self-titled debut, Everything Goes Wrong represents dramatic improvement. The songs actually vary a little in structure. The singing is a bit better sporting a less rough sound.To their credit though, they don’t really clean things up too much, leaving a tape hiss under most everything and a layer of haze over every vocal.Because that’s honest. That’s youth and that’s rock n roll.

Dropping by

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Cat's Cradle - Sep. 5Durham's fantastic old-time music trio the Carolina Chocolate Drops stopped by Saturday with John Dee Holeman and Greg Humphrey in tow. Click below for a full review and more photos of the event.

One out of three

Des Ark (Solo) - Nightlight - Sep. 6When Aimee Argote of Durham/Chatham County/Greensboro's ridiculously intense power trio Des Ark drops the group for the acoustic guitar, it's a passionate, intimate experience that puts the singer's amazing voice and songwriting talent on prime display. If you missed it, Dive was on hand to grab a few couple shots of Argote's Sunday performance with Brooklyn psych-country act Little Gold.Check out some more shots by clicking below.

Local Song of the Week: "Suicide Myth"

Thanks to the Southern-fried fury of its ferocious arrangements and the charismatically terrifying growl of singer J-Me Guptil, Durham's Tooth has become one of the area's very best metal bands over the past two years. So it goes without saying that the group will be sorely missed now that it's calling it quits. After the release party Friday at Duke Coffeehouse for its split 12" with Philadelphia's the Claw, the band will play no more. And "Suicide Myth," the first song on that release, is one of the best examples of what the area will be missing. Growing from a twisting, upward-seeking riff into a raging metal juggernaut that's like a runaway four-wheel-drive trip through the N.C. backwoods, the song twists and turns as Guptil attacks the way humanity is killing itself. It's a dramatic indictment that's as thought provoking as it is mosh-pit-inducing. Download and enjoy.Download "Suicide Myth" here.

Interesting CD releases for Sep. 8

Today's CD releases comes down to two biggies. One is one of the most anticipated records of the year. The other is a reunion for a local stalwart after 12 years away.Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 has been likening itself to be the biggest, most important hip hop record to come out in a while. And it's easy to believe it might get there. With a ridiculously great single in "D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)" and a leak that's been raging across the Internet in the last week, garnering praise left and right, it looks like it could live up to its own hype. And while I haven't heard a lot of the album first hand, I can tell you I'm incredibly excited for this one and will be heading out soon to pick up my copy. If you still need some convincing before you go get it, check this week's Dive for our review.If you're at all acquainted with local music the mention of a new Polvo record should get your ears perking up big time. The mathy, noisy, almost impossible to describe Chapel Hill indie rock band that helped put the scene on the map in the '90s returns with In Prism, its first record since 1997. While the band sometimes shows the rust of having been away a while, the majority of this record is brimming with all the sonic thrills that fans have to come to expect from this always ambitious outfit. To get a full opinion, check out this week's Dive and check out my review.That's the highlights. Check Dive this week to learn about a few more goodies heading your way.

Screen Time for Sep. 4

Jonathan's taking the week off, so I'll be subing in for him in his Screen Time duties. He didn't leave me with the best week to work with. All I see that's that's remotely interesting is a comedy that's been divisively recieved and a rehash/update of a sci-fi concept that places Mr. "300" in the world's most deadly video game. It's not much to work with, but I'll do my best: