So just for fun, we decided to go and try a new
club. Well, it's not totally new. The Drunken Unicorn has been
around since January and is the former "back room" at MJQ. But
as an added bonus, they actually have a website
so you can figure out what is going on there. (Actually, this
website is infrequently mantained. Still, it's a step in the
right direction from what MJQ is doing. Or not doing, as the
case may be.)
Much like its parent club, The Drunken
Unicorn is in a converted parking deck. And it was cold in there.
I guess being in a concrete bunker makes the AC efficient. That,
plus that fact that it wasn't too crowded this evening, meant
that for a few brief hours i had complete relief from the generally
sweltering temperatures these days.
We arrived at 10,
and found the club divided into 2.5 rooms. The front room features
a stage at one end, a sound booth towards the middle that sort
of divides the room in half, and a back area for the merch table.
The other room features the bar, a DJ booth, some couches, etc.
Both rooms are painted in an "artsy" way with images of Unicorns
and punk rock icons. It's an interesting theme, but i think
Anyway, The Minions went into the back room
to sit, wait for the show to get started, and enjoy a beer without
sweating (can you tell i really liked the AC levels at this
place?). In keeping with recent
trends, the DJ in the club was playing the stuff i listen
to. I went up and verified that he did in fact have the new
Interpol disc (to be released in 3 months or so), and i liked
the new tunes he played off of it. In fact, i think that the
DJ, one Brian Parris, did a good job spinning indie rock, electroclash,
and punk tunes. Not that anyone was really dancing, since the
club was kind of dead at 10 PM on a Thursday, but it was good
The information we had read stated show time
around 10:30. In reality, the first band didn't go on until
11:30. This means we had and hour and a half to explore the
club, so i have both a warning and a hint for you. The warning
is this: back near the bar, the floor does some odd things with
a few little 1-inch steps in places, so be careful. The hint:
this might not happen all of the time, but the unisex restroom
near the bar is hidden in a darkened alcove and had very insufficient
lighting, so carry a flashlight to find your way.
11:30, The Nein took the stage. They are a three piece band
from Chapel Hill, NC. They featured a bassist, a drummer, and
a guy who sang, played with one of those synth/sampler pod things,
and strummed guitar. The basswork and drumming were both really
tight, and the guitar (where present) was trebly and loud and
Fugazi-esque. I really enjoyed their set. There was one song
in particular that featured the chorus "Voices on the stereo"
(no idea if that is the title) that built up to a Peter Hook
bass frenzy that really soared. In general though, the band
was kinda math-rocky. Tracers heard a certain Archers
of Loaf influence, leaving us to suspect that this is the
next generation of Chapel Hill music. If so, it sounded good
and i look forward to more.
The Nein played for 30 minutes,
and then Teen Wheat took only 15 minutes to set up and start
playing, which still meant they started their set after midnight
(on, i might add, a work night). However, it might have behooved
them to spend more time setting up. That is to say, the sound
was awful. It had not been bad for The Nein, which may mean
that what i heard was nothing like what The Nein intended or
that The Nein got a soundcheck and Teen Wheat didn't. At any
rate, Teen Wheat tonight were more drums than guitar, and more
guitar than vocals. For their style of melodic hardcore (think
Black Flag with actual melodic interplay between the guitars
instead of pure power-chording) this mix really didn't work.
Well, it did work in one instance. Their song Jet sounded
like the Pixies' tune Change when played that way. Wierd.
I think it frustrated the band too, since they seemed agitated
and not really into their set. Eventually, after a half hour
of trying, bassist Patrick flung his instrument down and stalked
off, and they were done.
So we were at The Drunken Unicorn for 2 and a half hours, and
had a pretty fun time. The place really started to fill up around
midnight, and i believe that people were actually dancing in
that back room.
But if you go there, you must check out the murals. And don't
forget the flashlight!