From 301 to 506 + Oh, Deer + Music on Shuffle

Music of the Night
Sound check on a Friday in September along that ribbon that starts at the Carrboro Town Commons and ends at Local 506 with a healthy stop at Cat’s Cradle for good measure.  Tift Merritt. Check.  Megafaun. Check. Mandolin Orange. Check. The Old Ceremony. Check. Morgan’s End. Check.  All local and all within a one mile stretch in one night?  How did we get so lucky with this once in a night time chance to see a handful of musical talent from Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham?

Start at the Carrboro Town Commons (tickets are free – if you can still get them) for a Cat’s Cradle in the Commons evening with Tift Merritt, Megafaun, and Mandolin Orange presented by the Cradle and the Town of Carrboro.  One time Chapel Hillian Tift Merritt, a little bit country and a whole lotta bit rockin’ soul, is celebrating her about-to-be-released new album “Traveling Alone.” I’m a Megafaun fan from way back.  Well, at least since 2009, about a year after they got together. Banjo and harmonies done thoughtfully and right.  Wikipedia describes them as an American psyche-folk band from Durham, NC. I’d agree with that. Mandolin Orange is just delicious. Can there really be that much magic in an acoustic folky-blue-grassy duo?  Yes. Yes, there can be.

But that’s not my final stop for the night … I’m strolling just down the street to Cat’s Cradle for a double dose of Megafaun as they kick off the evening for The Old Ceremony’s new CD release “Fairytales and Other Forms of Suicide” just out on the locally-owned Yep Rock Records label.  I like everything about Django Haskins, The Old Ceremony’s founder, including his name. I hope he was named after jazz-guitarist Django Reinhardt.

If you still can’t quite quit the night, turn right out of the Cradle and hit Local 506 on West Franklin Street.  There are enough musical styles in alt/indie band, Morgan’s End, that you’re bound to find some notes in there that appeal to you. The odd band out here is Hunter Valentine. They have absolutely nothing at all to do with the local music scene, but you may recognize their name if you watch The Real L Word on Showtime where the trio are cast members of the current bi-coastal series that follows a group of lesbians through the daily drama of their own lives in both LA and Brooklyn.

I’ll leave the light on for you.

Tift Merritt, Megafaun, and Mandolin Orange
Fri., Sept. 21, 5:30-9 p.m. – Free with voucher
Presented by Cat’s Cradle & the Town of Carrboro.
Carrboro Town Commons
301 W. Main St., Carrboro

The Old Ceremony CD release, with Megafaun
Fri., Sept. 21, 9:30 p.m. – $10-12
Cat’s Cradle
300 E. Main St. Carrboro

Hunter Valentine with Morgan’s End
Fri., Sept. 21, 9 p.m. –  $8-10
Local 506
506 W Franklin St., Chapel Hill
The Dead Zone – Sept. 1, 2012

The last couple of days have been either a bonding experience with  my neighbors or something out of Stephen King short story.  You decide.

Thursday there was something in the air.  And it was not good. By Friday in the mid-90 degree heat, it was something altogether worse. Even Remy wouldn’t go gently into that good yard. I had to push him down the steps.  Friday evening my neighbor, Katie, knocked on my door. We discussed the smell and the fact that her other-side neighbors giant 16-lb cat was AWOL.  Uh-oh.  We walked the two yards, hers and mine, sniffing … me trying to stifle my serious gag-reflex … trying to locate the dead thing.  It was worse in my yard. Worser still on my back porch and I’m suddenly sure the dead thing is under my back porch. It had gotten dark enough that neither of us were going to go down on hands and knees with a flashlight to peek under the porch. After all, I’m the one who scoffs at characters in horror movies who go down in the basement without turning on the light asking “is anyone there?” We leave it that in the morning I’ll call our favorite man in the neighborhood.  The one who comes to the rescue of us suddenly-helpless girls and seemingly loves every minute of being our savior.  Back in the house, I lit candles and let loose an over-kill of room spray, but the dead thing was stronger than anything in a bottle or a jar. I fall asleep humming Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “That Smell.”

Saturday. Mid-morning.  The savior arrives waving a short-handled rake. All he needs is a white horse. Only the knee-pads jerk me back from all but hanging a glowing salvation-like halo over his head.  Yeah, I know, I’m a sucker for a ruggedly handsome savior.  The search begins. The dead thing is not under my porch. It is not under my shed. It is not in Katie’s backyard.  The savior walks the easement behind and suddenly sends up an “I got it.”  Our first question … “is it the cat?”  No, it’s a small deer.   By this time, Chad and Shaena, my other-side neighbors have gathered with us at the fence where we toss around ideas of what to do with what’s left of the carcass.  Black plastic bag at the curb knowing there’s no trash collection until Tuesday because of the holiday weekend. Sprinkling baking soda over to kill the smell.  Collectively we all voted for ashes to ashes, dust to dust … let nature take its course.

Later that night as I told the story to a friend, two things suddenly occurred to me … at no point had any of us thought that it could have been human remains because that would have just been too horrible to imagine and not one of us, all bright, educated, and articulate, had even thought of digging a hole and burying it.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Music on Shuffle
Loan Me a Dime (Boz Scaggs & Duane Allman)
Live and Die (The Avett Bros.)
Sweet Spot (Tift Merritt)
Star by Star (The Old Ceremony)
The Longest Day (Megafaun)

3 responses to “From 301 to 506 + Oh, Deer + Music on Shuffle

  1. Deborah, You are the best! Love your posts. Your vibrant personality and talent as a narrative writer simply shine. More, please…..

  2. OH!! Girl I love you!!

  3. Tift will appear on NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly the night of Sept. 30/Oct. 1–check local listings for your broadcast time!

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