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Mixtape Round-Up: Aug. 1 to Sep. 2

Time for this week’s mixtape round-up. And to help curb those first full week of classes blues and send you out for a weekend of college football and Labor Day debauchery, I got you some jams. 

5 Questions: Nightlight

Once upon a time, two local business shared a space on Rosemary Street. The Nightlight, a mult-purpose community arts space focusing on the experimental, and Skylight Exchange, a sandwich shop and bookstore that controlled the space during the day, shared their location. But last year, Skylight closed up, leaving full control to its more artistic half. And man have they taken advantage of it. Expanding into higher profile concerts, more experimental events, art shows and other enterprises, Nightlight has become a private club with a space that's open to just about anything. In advance of the Nightlight Genesis Party this Saturday, which celebrates the venue's first year of independence, Diversions Editor Jordan Lawrence chatted quickly with Nightlight owner Alexis Mastromichalis on its current state and future.

YouTube Tournament Battle Plan

We know you're all psyched for the YouTube Tournament at Nightlight now that you've read Dive's article on it. But what videos are you going to throw down when you show up to try and take home the crown of best mindless entertainment coordinator? Fear not. Dive has prepared a list of five videos that we think will fit right at home in any successful battle plan. Check them out, and then get ready to go forth and slay the teeming masses with your uproarious videos..

Local Song of the Week: "Technicolor Electric"

 Roaring out of the gate last year with a tight, 5-song blast of sugary sweet, yet hard hitting retro-flavored pop punk, Chapel Hill's Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies, who play Local 506 on Saturday, returned this year with the aptly named EP II. That new release keeps all the undeniable spunk and frothiness of the band's earlier work while delving into more robust sonic textures and lyrics that acknowledge the darker side while still pummeling it into submission with an atomic blast of happiness. "Technicolor Electric" is the best example of this. Taking a sexy ride through psych rock, lead singer Amanda Brooks determinedly tries to write off her problems with charmingly colorful visions before the band rips into a transcendent instrumental that starts off sensual and dangerous before spiraling upwards into a hard rocking '60s rave up. It's a great song made even better by the fact you can get it here for free.Download "Technicolor Electric" here.

Reservoir Dogs: Not just for Tarantino

Living in Chapel Hill, we have the luxury of being surrounded by loads of great local music. One of such outlets that is sometimes forgotten is Hall of Justus in Durham.Known primarily, of course, for Little Brother, the Hall features a whole gang of talent that is often left overshadowed. Three associates – Jozeemo, Joe Scudda and Chaundon – have, however, teamed up with half of the all-mighty and awesome Little Brother – Rapper Big Pooh – to form a North Carolina version of Slaughterhouse.

Interesting CD Releases for Sept. I

To be honest with you, we're kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel this week as far as new CDs. Looking up and down and around the internet for CDs coming out this week, I really didn't find anything I was terribly interested in hearing. But in checking out some new tracks and hunting a bit, I found something I like enough to at least send you to a MySpace to check it out.The new tracks I found from  Lexington's These United States are fun enough to at least check out once. It's pretty standard 70s-inspired rock with a leaning for both the country and the psychedelic, and though they're not  at all revelatory, they're certainly catchy and pleasing enough to enjoy for a few minutes. Or, if you're into this sort of thing, I could see a purchase of the album, Everything Touches Everything. You know, if you're just really itching to get a new record in your hands this week.


Jason Kutchma and Stuart McLamb - Local 506 - Aug. 27Nights at Local 506 don't come any more relaxed and homegrown than Thursday. After a screening of Rat Jackson's cross-state, beer-tasting documentary "Beer Y'all," Red Collar's Jason Kutchma and the Love Language's Stuart McLamb played solo sets. The movie was a testament to good DIY film making, and while it probably owed a lot of its great reception to the fact that almost everyone in the room knew the band personally, it had enough laughs, good rock 'n' roll and insight into brewing culture to make it enjoyable for anyone.Like the movie, the music was catered to a crowd mostly made of friends. Kutchma watered down the slow-burning intensity of his own songs with a few weaker covers. But his version of Tom Waits' "Better Off Without a Wife" was a touching and hilarious tribute to the bachelorhood of Rat Jackson. McLamb's set was just as casual, featuring a buzzing old amp that emphasized the lo-fi aspect of his songs. And he proved that he has the pipes to turn any song into slow, sensual soul as he transformed Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies' high-throttle "Candyland" into a tender love song.Click below for more photos.

Blue Devil hip-hop

This is hideously late notice, but that private institution down the road has a pretty great rap show going on tonight. Sensational D.C. rapper Wale will perform at Duke's East Campus Quad tonight at 7p.m. according to the Independent Weekly's Scan blog. His Back to the Feature mixtape is one of my favorite hip hop releases of the year, so I'm pretty excited about this one. Fayettville's J. Cole will also play, so make sure you show up on time.

Screen Time for Aug. 28

Screen Time is back on the blog as it will be every Friday, but this week, there's not a whole lot doing. Of the three most prominent movies opening in the Triangle this weekend, all of them, from what I can tell, are content driven. (Even if Rob Zombie defines “content” as a race against time for producing bloody cadavers.) I’m predicting style to be downplayed, and storylines (or lack thereof) to take center stage in the following three movies, so for this week’s Screen Time I thought it might be fruitful to examine these stories and then let the readers decide what movies look interesting. (If any; I personally am looking at a weekend of cinematic boredom. But that’s just an opinion, isn’t it?).

Mixtape Round-Up: Aug, 20 to 26

We, meaning I, at the Mixtape Round-Up apologize for the lack of posts over the past couple weeks, but your wait is over. I'll be back here every Thursday, keeping you current on the latest in free hip hop. Let the Round-Up shall commence, there’s a bunch to catch up on.

Interesting CD releases for Aug. 25

Bummed about starting class today? Dive feels you. Luckily its CD release Tuesday, and as I'll be doing every Tuesday this year, I'm going to run down the ones that most warrant you to part with some of your hard earned cash to buy. Unfortunately this week I only see one album that I'm really interested in taking a look at.The U.K.'s always super-hyped media darlings the Arctic Monkeys are releasing their third LP today. Now though it's not that cool of me to say at this point, I actually really like these guys. While they're not the "new Beatles" they were made out to be at the beginning, they make hard-hitting, melodically sound pop-rock with a keen sense of lyrical wit. And from all I've read, that hasn't changed at all on this record. That's enough for me at least.Okay kids, that's all I've got for this week. Check in again next Tuesday.