-- Upcoming Shows and Events
Friday September 30th - Twilighter with Slomo Dingo

Come celebrate "Falloween" at The Kraken! We gather at the beginning of Fall one month after candy decorates the aisles, and one month before our favorite pagan holiday Samhain.  Tonight, Chapel Hill's Twilighter return to mesmerize and rock you with their beautiful, thoughtful and engaging music.  Wilmington's Slomo Dingo starts out the night delivering a spooky package that will rock you into the proper dimension for the entire weekend. These tricks and treats are going to be spectacular.




Chapel Hill's Twilighter plays original music that has nothing to do with vampires or werewolves, though their sound can approach the macabre. They incorporate rockish New Wave, country-soul and big-beat rock and roll and quieter, introspective sounds with beautiful harmonies.  They search out and express life, love, the devil and God, drugs, the night Life and trying to find a ride.

The Indy said of Twilighter (specifically Twilighter's second album, FIXED), "Initially unsettling but with hidden warmth, the aural equivalent of the guy who stands too close you in the checkout line but then opens the door for you, albeit with and enigmatic smile."

Members of Twilighter have played in a good number of local bands over the years including Puritan Rodeo Show, The Morning Stars, The Fontanelles, Chrome-Plated Apostles, Iris, and The Dirty Little Heaters, among many others.


"During the e-mail exchange with Brandon Herndon, vocalist and guitarist for Twilighter, we played a prediction game of sorts—a chancy proposition, perhaps, with a band that's as unpredictable as this Chapel Hill five-piece. I was getting ready to listen to Twilighter's brand new Fixed, and I asked Herndon to write three adjectives and three artists that he thought might come to my mind as I dove into the record, as well as a short description. He decided to pass on the three artists ("You answer that one," he said), but his adjectives were "heartfelt," "louder" and "toothier," and for a description he offered "We want to tell you what happened after you went home."

"The three adjectives that I scrawled upon first listen were "jittery," "moody" and "surprising," and three bands that came to mind were Velvet Underground, Violent Femmes and Zen Frisbee. As for the description, well, here's what I came up with: "Initially unsettling but with hidden warmth, the aural equivalent of the guy who stands too close to you in the checkout line but then opens the door for you, albeit with an enigmatic smile." As I said, unpredictable."  - Rick Cornell, The IndyWeek  http://bit.ly/1O7LD91


Brandon Herndon on vocals/guitar and backroom 'deals'

Sonar Strange on keyboard, vocals, percussion and threats

Josh Sokal on bass and questionable facts

Dave Perry on drums and mouth

John Pardue on guitar, vocals and old man hats







Slomo Dingo

This group of guys from Wilmington are just normal everyday neighbors, but since 2015 they've also lived a much more mysterious and interesting life combining to bring their "Face-melting Rock & Roll" to the stage.  We're psyched to have this modern day Rocky Horror Picture Show troupe hit The Kraken stage.

If you've never seen Slomo Dingo, don't worry. They're kind of like the Jackalope. Everyone wants some, but they're not sure what it's all about. There's tons of steam coming off these musical lunatics... Slomo has something you can't put your finger on, and the only way to attempt it is to experience this experience.

They bring the chops and the dressing, and they throw it down.


Jamey DuPlanquer - vocals, percussion

Danny Love - bass guitar, vocals

Anthony Cribb - drums

Chris Woodson - guitar









$Free - please tip bands and bartenders generously



Saturday October 1st - Well Respected Men with Ghosts of the Old North State and Chris Chamis

Tonight you're going to want to stay at The Kraken all day and all of the night!  The Well Respected Men bring us the music of The Kinks, and that's not all...  For one free admission you get three great acts!  Chris Chamis brings his Imaginary Friend to the stage to start the evening at 8pm, then Jeff Hart and The Ghosts of The Old North State will introduce an evening you need to experience!



The Well Respected Men

The Well Respected Men are a group of outstanding musicians and longtime record fanatics who channel the great music and full majesty of The Kinks, from their mid-60s British Invasion beginnings up to a selection of the RCA & Arista years. This is a priceless opportunity to relive a live Kinks performance at a uniquely intimate and historically rockin' roadhouse bar.

Jefferson Hart, Peter Holsapple, Glenn Jones, Jody Maxwell and Andrew Snee combine forces to send chills down your dancing spine.  If you aren't familiar with these local heavy hitting musicians, you must have just started appreciating our rich music scene or just moved to North Carolina.  We'll give you a pass for now.

Your assignment is to study up, show up and get it on.





Jefferson Hart and the Ghosts of the Old North State

"Jeff Hart has been on the Triangle scene since the late '80s, consistently plying tuneful, often folk-inflected rock with a bit of bluster.  His early band, the Hanks, backed Arrogance's Robert Kirkland. Later, Hart played with Chris Stamey in the '90s, and those two connections are reflective of his own musical tastes. His lithe, laid-back baritone recalls Rhett Miller, while sharing a similar appreciation of Big Star's power-pop and bar-band swagger." -Chris Parker, Independent Weekly

In 2013, after 23 years as Jeff Hart and the Ruins, the band renamed themselves Jefferson Hart and The Ghosts of the Old North State (after the album of the same name). Jeff has also been playing solo under the name Jefferson Hart since early in 2013. Jeff plays guitar with Symen Blumenfeld on bass, Brian Yamamoto on guitar and John Flowers on drums.

In 2014, Jeff Hart and The Ghosts of the Old North State released, Corolla Ponies In The Snow, which was the culmination of a 12 week song writing project in which Jeff wrote a song a week for 12 weeks and posted them to SoundCloud. The title track was inspired by a YouTube video of ponies running on the North Carolina Outer Banks during a snow storm.

“His prize possession is a guitar signed by over a dozen of his heroes including Paul Westerberg, John Hiatt, Robert Earl Keen, and Matthew Sweet - with a combination of that foursome providing a decent description of Hart's sound ... and from a Byrds-eye view, the pre-Clarence White Byrds.” - Rick Cornell - No Depression

“I challenge anyone to find a better in-the-wee-hours song than the exceptional 'From Now On' with such lines as "Colder than the backside of your pillowcase". Lesser artists have made careers of such songs. ” - Record Exchange Monitor


Check out a video from one of their prior performances at The Kraken:  http://vimeo.com/111212408









Chris Chamis and Imaginary Friend

"Imaginary Friend" is a one man band featuring Chris Chamis on vocals and guitar and backing tracks he performed onto a digital recorder. It's not karaoke.

Chris has been involved in the Triangle music scene since the dark ages before there was even an Internet. He played drums in The H-Bombs and Secret Service and ran a recording studio/club, Captured Live in downtown Durham way before downtown was cool. He played drums in The Backbeat, a 60's/Beatles band until 2008.

Chris sings all the backing vocals and plays all the instruments, except for lead guitar solos by Mr Brad Newell.  He features an excellent variety of his favorite classic songs and some of his guilty pleasures.






$Free - Please tip bands and bartenders generously!



Tuesday October 4th - Old Time Stringband Jam

If you appreciate traditional music you should stop by The Kraken on String Band Tuesdays! An established group of Old Time String Band players gathers on the first and third Tuesdays of the month - you know, the odd ones. It's a truly unique roadhouse experience!


The music starts promptly at 7pm and usually ends at 10pm, although a small circle of folks occasionally play later since it's impossible to stop a good thing once it's gained momentum!


Come on out even if you can't play an instrument! Join in with people who are here to simply witness the continuation of an historical tradition. If you do play traditional music, please join in with these entertaining and kind musicians who always seem willing to share their knowledge and passion. It's a great evening for all with fun conversation, travelling stories, world insights, and the occasional humorous jokes... not to mention top-shelf gin and local draught beer on special to help tune your instruments.


Since 2015, we've hosted a solid crew local musicians, folks just stopping in, and friends who travel across the world to participate in these special events. Typically, 15-30 folks join together and graciously welcome new participants. We're always impressed at how many people rotate through the group from all over the country, sometimes just back from touring across the world reviving and celebrating the music's long lost roots.


In addition to guitars, banjos, fiddles, and the like, there are also folks who bring their stand-up basses, sticks, spoons, harmonicas, accordions, and occasionally more unusual contributions, not to mention the regular clogging sessions that add percussion in the background or even in the center of the circle.



7pm-10 or 11pm-ish

$Free... no cover (as usual) to enjoy or join in with good neighbors and musicians



Friday October 7th - The Radials with The Mystery Hillbillies

All the fun people are at The Kraken for a great night of rockabilly countrypolitan with Michelle Belanger and Mystery Hillbillies and The Radials for a night of rowdy balladeering, swampy muckraking and go, go, go!  Bring your dancin' shoes.



The Radials

TWANG. TORCH. TONK. The Radials have a flair for melody and a knack for great stories. Put those elements together with a cacophony of upstate California jangle, swampy cajun spice and downtown Nashville honky-tonk, and you have a unique blend of Americana roots music with a modern twist. The Byrds, Loretta, Replacements, Beatles, Neil, Willie and Cash cast a shadow on the instruments of the Radials, but it is the unique blend of these five musicians that lift the crowd to their feet to move to the music.

Featuring Lisa Dames on vocals; Thomas Royal on bass and vocals; Justin Horth on percussion and backing vocals; Drew Wofford on keyboards, accordion and pedal steel; Shawn Patch on guitars, mandolin, and backing vocals; and Zach Tilley on acoustic guitar and vocals.






Mystery Hillbillies

The Mystery Hillbillies are a new/old-timey rockin' band that never fail to impress. They play a range of music from the early 40's to the present. Styles include Classic country,western swing, rockabilly and blues... think Patsy Cline, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Dwight Yokum, Brenda Lee, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Elvis.

Whether you're a two-stepper, jitterbugger, lindy hopper, shagger or a plain old leg shaker, you'll be up on the dance floor when the Mystery Hillbillies get to rockin'. They bring a great, entertaining crowd of folks of all ages and persuasions.


Michelle Bellanger - guitar, vocals

Lance White - guitar, vocals

FJ Ventre - standup bass, vocals






$Free: please tip bands and bartenders generously!



Saturday October 8th - The Stars Explode with The Lemon Sparks

Please join us at The Kraken to expand Chapel Hill's alternative music past, present and future.  The Stars Explode and The Lemon Sparks combine for a great evening, reminding us all of what put our local music scene on the tops of the charts for being the next Athens scene or whatever.  We're still the hidden gem and you can't expect a more proper celebration of Chapel Hill music than tonight at our intimate roadhouse bar.


The Stars Explode

The Stars Explode has been making guitar-driven pop rock since 2008, when former Gladhands founding member, Doug Edmunds, wrote, recorded and released the band’s first album more or less as a solo effort. Since then the Chapel Hill-based group has evolved through several lineups and has included along the way former members of the dBs, Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies, Steve Earle’s Dukes, the Wild Giraffes, and Swang Brothers. TSE’s sound is often compared to the long tradition of bands who haven’t been afraid to mix loud guitars with pure pop melodic sense, à la Cheap Trick and Weezer, if not reviving the amazing Chapel Hill from the late 80s and early 90s.

In 2012, the band released its critically acclaimed sophomore album, Between The Lines. Jack Rabid, writing in The Big Takeover, started his glowing review of the record with “This is a no brainer!” while David Menconi, in the Raleigh News & Observer, called Between the Lines “a super-catchy slab of Tarheel melodic goodness.”

Since that album’s successful release, The Stars Explode has continued along a musical path full of killer hooks and singalong choruses, building an impressive original catalog in the process. During the summer of 2016, along with long-serving drummer and former Cleveland music scene veteran Jackson McGee, versatile lead guitarist Dewey McCafferty, and the ultra-suave Lance Westerlund on bass, Edmunds returned to the studio to commence work on TSE’s 3rd long player, tentatively titled Apocalypse Blues and scheduled to drop in early 2017.


Doug Edmunds – Rhythm guitar, lead vocals

Dewey McCafferty – Lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Lance Westerlund – Bass, backing vocals

Jackson McGee – Drums






The Lemon Sparks

The Lemon Sparks have a fresh, sunny new sound that harken back to the days when Athens and Winston Salem music scenes provided a ton of groups to the newly-formed Cat's Cradle and inspired many Chapel Hill musicians.  They have quickly been developing a reputation for their blen of singer-songwrite folk infused with traces of 60s psychedelia and power pop from from the 70s and later.  They released their first self-titled album as The Lemon Sparks last November.

Their musical legacies include Jeff Carroll with The Desmonds, Greg with The Fidgets in Chapel Hill and Crave in Boston, Rick and Greg combining for Jazz performances and a multitude of freelance and studio work.  Add that to Jeff's mastering work in his own studio, and you can see how their creative and technical skills combine for a beautiful performance.


Jeff Carroll: guitar, vocals

Greg Tourian: drums, vocals

Rick Lassiter: bass, vocals








$Free - Please tip your bands and bartender generously!



Thursday October 13th - "Ramblin' Fever" Real DJ Sessions

Tonight, The Kraken is excited to host the fifth monthly installment of "Ramblin' Fever" Real DJ Sessions. DJ Brian Burns will likely invite another great DJ to help put on another great night of 60s and 70s Country mixed with some classic Blues, Soul, Rockabilly, R&B and Rock obscurities thrown in for good measure.


DJ Brian Burns joins us on the second Thursday of every month, spinning great tunes and inviting great local guest DJs to add their vinyl skillz spinning an engaging mix of classic tunes and hidden gems to get your weekend started right.



Come on down and get your groove on.  Thursdays are for professionals.





$Free - please tip your DJs and bartenders generously!



The Kraken online links and news!

There are a few other North American Krakens: a bar in California and one in Washington, a food truck in British Columbia, and a "gastropub" in South Carolina.  I think it's safe to say that we our venue is the most storied of them all.  We do look forward to visiting each of them and rubbing tentacles.

Come on out for good times!


Kraken Late Summer Update!



* This Summer has been he season of lights!  Take care to stop at our fancy new stoplight that NCDOT activated on August 10th.  Take a good look at our marquee if you happened to be stopped at the new light, or just stop in for a hot minute and see what's going on.


* As always, we've got a solid lineup of spectacular bands every Friday and Saturday and a few other special nights.  Stay tuned!


* The Food Truck situation is beginning to settle into place...  At this point, Al's Burger Truck is scheduled to show up on the first Friday of every month, and The Taco El Nino Food Truck is scheduled to show up on the last Saturday of every month.  We're talking to other food truck folks for other evenings and as always Fiesta Grill is just around the corner and we have menus so you can order take out.


* Thanks to all of you for suggestions regarding our liquor and beer menu!  The newest spirits are Johnny Walker Red, Big Boss Bad Penny Porter, and a recently Tanqueray, Bullet Rye, Glen Livet 12 year, Sauza Silver and Don Julio.  We've also introduced local bottled beers from Big Boss and Nantahala Brewery:  Hell's Belle Belgian style ale and Angry Angel Kolsch style ale from Raleigh, and Noon Day IPA and Dirty Girl Blonde from Bryson City.  We're also introducing selections on tap from Yesteryears Brewery in Carrboro in addition to our Mystery Brewing and Haw River Farmhouse choice beers.  We plan to keep rotating good local beers on tap.


* In addition to "The Office" and our wonderful large front porch, we now have another outdoor venue we call "The Annex"


* Our sweet dart board is inspiring some good games recently. Ask your bartender to turn on the stage lights when you request one or both sets of quality darts we keep behind the bar.  Scoreboard coming soon.


* As always our pool table is free and we're finally about to recover the felt, rails and pocket and get new house cues!  We will welcome any donations and good competition.  Please let everyone know that it is not acceptable to place their drinks on the pool table.  We're going to have to post a sign about that, but word of mouth works best.  Preesh.




Main website right here:  http://thekrakenbar.com We're hoping to update the CMS and redo the website when we can wrap our tentacles around it.


Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/KrakenBarChapelHill This is the best place to keep up with day to day announcements.


Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/TheKrakenBar or @TheKrakenBar  We not big tweeters, but we try!


Reverbnation:  http://www.reverbnation.com/venue/thekrakenbar This site is mostly geared towards bands, and we don't always update our schedule there since bands usually make their own links, but it's another online resource.


Indie On The Move:  http://www.indieonthemove.com/user/TheKraken This site is entirely geared towards bands and venues looking to combine and book shows


Kraken Email:  info at thekrakenbar.com We use this address for booking, and occasional questions.  Please don't spam us, since we get hundreds of emails a week.  Thanks!



Keep up with us online, and stop on by to enjoy the best porch in town during warm weather, the coziest inside during cold and wet weather and free music every weekend!  Don't forget the free pool and darts and the new events coming up!

There's never a dull moment at The Kraken.  Stop by and see for yourself.