-- Upcoming Shows and Events
Friday April 17th - Last Tuesday with Pretend I'm a Genius

Tonight we're starting the show early at 8:30, and featuring two local bands that will complement each other well... We'll start with the indy-pop rhythms of Pretend I'm a Genius and close with the clean rock and soul of Last Tuesday.


Last Tuesday

The Last Tuesday band delivers an authentic, polished rock and  soul sound. Mario is a recording artist who has worked with Sprede-lectric and Moxie McCloy. In South Florida he worked with Mo'Scocious. Bob Hartford is a published song writer with local fame stemming from bands like Not Dead Yet. On the studio side, Bob operates Music Studio Live, and has recorded a number of well known artists. Tim Nicholson has played in Europe and the US with a number of groups, and Guy Loranger brings his Bostonian studio experience to the stage as a hand percussionist.





Pretend I'm a Genius

Pretend I'm a Genius is a Chapel Hill/Carrboro trio serving up danceable alternative rock originals.  Mark (drums), Kelly (bass) and Scott (guitar) have contributed their talents to the local music scene for over a decade in bands like Better Off Dead, Moonfisher, Mangosteen and Rose Gray Band.  Pretend I'm a Genius knits their passions tightly together, emphasizing soaring vocals, creative lyrics and punchy melodies.  You may have to imagine they are smarter than they look, but you won't have to imagine you're enjoying yourself.  If you're a fan of alternative rock (think R.E.M., The Smiths, Talking Heads, Radiohead) you owe it to yourself to come check them out.






$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Saturday April 18th - TANKK with See No Weevil

Get ready to get Funked Up!!!  We'll start the evening with See No Weevil and their funky blues-rock originals and then take it out of this world with TANKK's funk-rock/soul-jazz.  These are some heavy-hitting musicians ready to massively funkify your Saturday.



TANKK is a unique "fusion of funk/rock, and soul-jazz" founded by the child prodigy drummer Thomas Montgomery (son of the drummer from Cameo), emerging out of the new North Carolina / South East funk-soul scene.  He is partnered with lead bassist Troy Cole (previously from JAAFAR - a world jazz/fusion ensemble of international credentials), and multi instrumentalist Brad Newell (Butter, 8 Eyes, various jazz ensembles, a graduate of Berkley) on guitar and synth.

Formed in the summer of 2014 in North Carolina's Triangle region, TANKK is one of the leading, up and coming progressive funk/rock, soul-jazz acts emerging lately out of the dance, funk dynasty, groove movements.  Expect a high powered artillery vehicle of soulful and assertive funk that is guaranteed to put a bounce in your butt and slap a smile across your face.

The band has been described as eccentric and smart, old school funk with a new sound of today's rock and soul... music that makes you feel good, bass poppin-thumpin-slappin-pluckin fun, the gospel funk with electric colors, with nothing you can do but move. It is positive, energetic, saturated with groove, explosive and exciting.

Their original songs derive from such classic recipes as James Brown, Prince, Sly Stone and Larry Graham, Herbie Hancock, Cameo, Parliament, Return To Forever, Hendrix, but also newer flavors such as Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Medeski Martin and Wood, John Scofield, Stanton Moore and Galactic, and many other high energy jazz funk fusion acts.

The members of TANKK have collectively shared stages with Derek Trucks, Charlie Hunter, Jonas Hellborg, Jeff Sipe, Toubab Krewe, Donovan, Psychedelic Furs, Suzanne Vega, Cowboy Junkies, Living Colour, Alex Chilton, Adrian Belew, and Jackie Lomax, and many others.





See No Weevil

See No Weevil is a funky little quartet that delivers an infectious (insectious?) mix of eclectic music, most of it with a blues and R&B flavor. Some are originals, the others mostly reinterpretations of other tunes that never made a chart. In short, the band plays a lot of danceable tunes you haven't heard before, but'll want to hear again. Featuring local musicians with solid reputations from many local bands.







$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders


Friday April 24th - Sam Brown Band with Daddy Lion and Patrick Turner

This weekend is Kraken Jody's birthday weekend, and it is going to be an epic left-right punch in the music gut.  Friday night showcases an impressive lineup of very cool indy/alternative/eclectic performances featuring The Sam Brown Band headlining for Columbia South Carolina's own Daddy Lion (who organized the fine bill) and Patrick Turner who starts the music at 9pm.


The Sam Brown Band

The Sam Brown Band is a Chapel Hill act that features a promising and inspired new generation of funky art rock musicians who are creating a buzz for their exciting live performances.  Sam could be described as some sort of Brian Wilson meets Trent Reznor musical madman, who started writing and composing when he was 15.  His musical chops are notable: classical training on piano and guitar, and proficiency on violin, drums, and sitar, rounded off with a degree in Musical Composition from UNC Chapel Hill.

This varied background clearly shows in The Sam Brown Band's creative fusion of rock, electronica, big band, jazz, and hip hop, not to mention a hint of classical and symphonic compositions.  Sam's first release was a monster of a solo project: 51 experimental tracks encompassed in an anti-war art album. Now, with the help of the full powerhouse band, he's honing down the album to 15 tracks, and hitting the road.

We would not be surprised if this were one of those shows that you will brag about witnessing before everyone else discovered the awesomesauce.







Daddy Lion

Jeremy Joseph's creative dreams were conceived in a Washington, DC basement.  After migrating to Columbia, South Carolina to study the elusive activities of humans, their animal nature and the observations of the deceased, those dreams were birthed and have grown into Daddy Lion.

Randal Franklin, Bart Ballington, and Chris Johnson joined Jeremy's quest, and have travelled the Carolina Piedmont and beyond to share their fine music. They are generously sharing their insightful music with all of us tonight.






Patrick Turner

Patrick Turner, Durham singer and songwriter, opens up the evening tonight.  You may have seen him perform at one of many venues throughout the Carolinas, DC, New York City, or at the Carrboro Music Festival.






$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders!


Saturday April 25th - Pipe with The Former Action Figures and The Fontanelles

Jody's 40th birthday is gonna be Krakening!  We're bringing together a killer combination of bands and musicians who have been rocking Chapel Hill for decades! Tonight is the hard right punch in the music gut, after Friday's leftie.  The new generation of creative folks (will have) started the big weekend on Friday, and many historical hard hitting musician-friends are uniting for this insanely fun Saturday bout and the big knock-out.

We're planning to start the music just after 8pm, when our first shuttle arrives from Carrboro!  Stay tuned to our posts on FB, Twitter, and on our website, since this night will be the first night that we pull together friends who uber and taxi and we'll arrange some shuttles to help folks celebrate responsibly.  We plan to arrange transport for other large shows in the near future.

If you know anyone who's performed in Chapel Hill in the past several decades, then you will have some kind of connection to the great new band, The Fontanelles, who will introduce the night's grand circus.  The Former Action Figures are our special James Bond crew performing under one of their many historical aliases and warming up for a massive gig and record release party at The Kraken on the first Saturday of June.  Oh, and then the last band, Pipe, is another classic local band with a few connections here and there.  We were one band member away from bringing The Bad Checks back, but Jody says fuck yeah, we're good!  #dirtyforty



Pipe was a mainstay in the raging Chapel Hill scene of the early 1990s, which produced bands like Superchunk, Polvo, Flat Duo Jets and Southern Culture on the Skids among many others.  In 1992, Pipe — Ron Liberti (vocals), Mike Kenlan (guitar), Dave Alworth (bass), and former Superchunk drummer Chuck Garrison—released their Ball Peen EP (Sonic Bubblegum). Kenlan then left to concentrate on Small (later Small 23, which also included Garrison).

Clifton Lee Mann of the Bad Checks came on to play guitar temporarily until a permanent guitarist could be found. Mann and Liberti worked well together, and Mann stayed. Pipe recorded their first single “You’re Soaking in It” in 1993 followed by their full-length debut, Six Days to Bellus (Jesus Christ), in 1994.

Pipe then toured with The Bad Brains and soon began work on their second full-length, International Cement (Jesus Christ), released in 1995 along with the “Raceway Park” single on Amish Records. Bassist Alworth quit the band after a tour with Polvo and Archers of Loaf. Greg Adams replaced Alworth, and Pipe recorded their third album, Slowboy, released on Merge in 1997. Merge then re-released Pipe’s two earlier albums and several singles.

An unfortunate series of events (Garrison’s broken hand early during a tour with The New Bomb Turks and an injury to Mann’s hand and eventual departure) led to the dissolution of Pipe in 1999. The band got back together in 2005 for a reunion show, and again in 2009 for XX Merge and has performed occasional rockin' shows since.

No matter what era, Ron, Mike, Dave and Chuck (et.al.) consistently bring the lightning and thunder!  Ask Jody how Ron miraculously kicked her in the head with her own boot at the cabin.






Former Action Figures

There has never been, nor will likely be any links on the internets for The Former Action Figures, since this was a special alias for another band based in Durham and performed from 1989-93, 1999, & 2013 to present on rare occasions including a great WXDU show at The Duke Coffeehouse that Jody and I were lucky enough to witness.

The little bits of information online referencing The Former Action Figures comes from the early days of internet websites, before blogs and social media. The few links you can find include them in lists of favorite bands and mentions of Jettison Records and Kraptone Studios.  There are some references to shared bands that have come and gone over the years.  You also find rave reviews of amazing 45's and LPs and CDs over the years, often posted by folks who have no clue as to their history.

We're going a bit James Bond on this, since this is a warm-up gig for the epic Bastages record-release gig on June 6th.  The Former Action Figures will shed their classic alias for that epic gig.  We will lay out the band members and some of their connections.


Anne Gomez on bass and vox:  Other bands include Special Agents of Her Majesty's Secret Cervix, Cantwell, the Biteys, Fukanzen, Hotel Motel & Cantwell Gomez & Jordan (i'm sure there are some i've missed in there- there is a band with Wendy Spitzer & Shannon Morrow that i can't remember the name of)

Christie Eames on drums:  Other bands include Orifice, Starletta, Bucks Deluxe & Felice Gomez (and a yet unnamed new project)

Todd Goss on guitar:  Other bands include Scuppernong, Fukanzen, the Broken Arrows, & the Alt.

Todd and Anne (and Chris) also ran Jettison Records.



The Fontanelles

They describe their music as a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.  We describe them as fantastic.  After playing in local bands dating back to 1980s, this quartet came together a bit over a year ago to create The Fontanelles.


Sonar Strange on vox and percussion:  Other bands include Safehouse, Neil Diamond All-Stars, Twilighter and Fantastico!

Matt Paul on guitar:  Other bands include Orange Driver and Marsha

Juff Umbarger on bass:  Other bands include Psycho-Acoustics R&D, Marsha and POW POW POW

Norm Underwood on drums:  Other bands include UV Prom, Leap of Faith, Orange Driver and Fantastico!







$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Friday May 1st - Horizontal Hold with Hectorina and Knurr & Spell

We're very excited to present another great collection of well-loved local musicians this May Day.  Chapel Hill's Knurr & Spell will start everything off at 9pm, followed by Charlotte's Hectorina and closing with Durham's Horizontal Hold.  It's going to be great night!



Horizontal Hold

Horizontal Hold is a post-punk noise-pop band from Durham, NC, whose members have each played in multiple local bands. They played their first show in 2013. They recorded their first EP, “This Is Not a Living”, with legendary NC engineer Jerry Kee, acting as guinea pigs of sorts for the newly-built addition in his Duck Kee Studio #8. The CD/download was released on NC’s PotLuck Foundation (PTLK25) on June, 20th 2014.

Kim Walker on bass (Shiny Beast, Taija Rae)

Dave Cantwell on guitar(Analogue, Drug Yacht, Cantwell, Gomez, & Jordan, In the Year of the Pig, Cold Sides)

Elizabeth Hammond on drums(Wembley, Pink Slips)

Kerry Cantwell on syntesizer and vocals(Actual Persons Living or Dead, The Hem of His Garment)







Having toured together for two years as Dylan Gilbert & The Over Easy Breakfast Machine (and performing at the 2011 Hopscotch Music Festival), punk/rock/soul trio Hectorina played their first show under their new name on New Years Eve 2012.  In 2013, Hectorina released their debut album/rock opera Collywobble (which is now being developed into a stage play by Shakespeare Carolina). Their second album A Thousand Jackals, produced by Daniel Hodges (Fun., Steel Train, Bleachers), was released January 1st 2014 and was promoted by a billboard that the band funded themselves, and a successful five-week residency at local Charlotte music venue Snug Harbor. A Thousand Jackals was voted Reader’s Pick for “Best Local Album of the Past 12 Months” in Creative Loafing’s ‘Best of Charlotte 2014’.

Members Dylan Gilbert (Guitar), John Harrell III (Drums) and Zachary Jordan (Bass) have shared the stage with noteworthy acts such as Annuals, The Ataris, Blitzen Trapper, Captured! By Robots, Hospitality, Man Man, Sarah Jaffe, Sylvan Esso, The Love Language, and Those Darlins, later landing slots at the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.  More recently the band released a three-song performance video called Live at Nasa produced by Blake Raynor (Foxygen, Young and In The Way).

The video is streaming on Vimeo here: http://vimeo.com/98152235 Hectorina’s self-titled third album is scheduled to be released in 2015.






Knurr & Spell

Knurr & Spell is an eclectic indie rock band from Chapel Hill, NC and is the main musical project of Sean Parker. While Parker currently plays a few of his songs in the band North Elementary, Knurr and Spell is his first full-time project since his former band Pleasant which dissolved in 2006. Knurr and Spell maintains the quirkiness and catchiness of Pleasant, yet adds even heavier and more stylistic and textured undertones. While Parker’s vocals could be described as David Byrne-esque, his songs contain the catchiness and pop of bands such as The Pixies and Pavement. Other band members include Eric Hermann on drums (Pleasant, Chest Pains), Rodney Merritt on guitar (Simple, Unfamiliar, Casting Company), and Betty Rupp on bass (North Elementary, See Gulls, Betty and the Boys).







$free, Please tip bands and bartenders!

Saturday May 2nd - Rowdy Square Dance

Rowdy Square Dance!

Rowdy Square Dances are hands-down the most active gatherings we've ever witnessed... and that includes many festivals throughout North Carolina for many decades.

Be primed for wearing plaid, Shooting the Moon, Ducking for the Oyster, and meeting a batch of new friends in the midst of a Georgia Orangutang. No previous dance experience is expected.

Everyone finds it an explosively fine evening of music and dance, even if they don't find the confidence to join in the dancing.

Music provided by The Five Points Rounders (http://www.facebook.com/FivePointsRounders),  with caller Sarah Gibson.

Come check it out if you like to dance, or even if you're tempted, or just too shy.  It's a great evening for all of us.




$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Friday May 8th - Crystal Bright & The Silver Hands with Blair Crimmins & The Hookers

If we had to boil down this evening's performances to a few words, we would simply say that this is a MUST-SEE show.  We are honored that Crystal Bright & The Silver Hands have come down from North Carolina foothills to perform on our humble stage, and happy they brought their fun friends from Atlanta, Blair Crimmins & The Hookers.  You are not like to see a concert like this all year long, and certainly not in such an intimate venue with free admission.


Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands

Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands, led by singer/songwriter, ethnomusicologist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, Crystal Bright, have played over 400 shows from Canada to Austin to New Orleans to Nashville over the past four years, sharing the stage with the likes of Beats Antique, Autumn Owls, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, The Love Language, Rising Appalachia, Larkin Grimm, Pearl and the Beard and many more.

Bright performed with the North Carolina Symphony in 2011 on an arrangement of her song "Toy Hammer" and has performed at various festivals around the country including SXSW, Savannah Stopover, FloydFest, DragonCon, Midpoint Music Fest, The Steampunk World's Fair, and Shakori Hills. She took Runner Up for On the Rise at Floydfest 2013 for a return set in 2014, and was named Best Songwriter 2014 in Greensboro's Yes Weekly.

Bright has an eclectic, haunting but yet whimsical, carnivalesque world folk sound, dubbed "kaleidophrenic cabaret." She plays accordion, musical saw, concertina, piano, Taiko drum, adungu (Ugandan harp), and various others, leaving people captivated with her operatic and soulful vocals and virtuosic command of her exotic instruments.

Her 2012 album Muses and Bones received glowing reviews in the United States & Europe, as well as radio airplay in the US, UK, & Canada, including NPR and BBC appearances.

The latest collaborative visual album, "The Absolute Elsewhere" was released locally Nov. 22, 2014 at the Carrboro ArtsCenter with a multi-media performance including aerials, acrobats, and other dancers and is scheduled for a national release on May 19, 2015.

Crystal Bright: Keyboards, Accordion, Saw, Adungu, Concertina, Taiko, and more

Jeremy Haire: Guitars

Seth Oldham: Drums

Jeremy Denman: Horns

Robbie Link/Aaron Bond/Sanders Davis: Double Bass






Blair Crimmins & The Hookers

Crimmins brings The Hookers out to blast the room with Dixieland horns, rowdy ragtime piano and gypsy jazz guitar. Crooning and boozing the night away, he delivers everything you would expect from a man who claims to be possessed by the ghost of an old vaudevillian accordion player. Songs jump with a 1920's gaudiness, reminiscent of tawdry, dangerous jazz. While devious lyrics can mirror the sinister Charlestons they accompany, Crimmins also has a grab bag of unjaded torch songs at his disposal, spotlighting the loneliness of a life spent in the shadows.








$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders!

Saturday May 9th - Ella Bertram with The Holland Brothers

The excellent Ella Bertram returns to The Kraken to play a solo show with Chapel Hill's Holland Brothers.


Ella Bertram

Ella Bertram was born and raised in Efland, North Carolina, in what was once a one room log cabin but has since been added onto in every direction. She grew up with many musicians in her extended family, including Katharine Whalen of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and was exposed to many a porch session which led her to begin her guitar playing at the age of ten.  With some intitial guitar lessons, and voice lessons from classically trained singer, Andrea Moore, she grew her talent over the next several years.

At the age of 16, she began playing in the band that became the Ayr Mountaineers, writing the songs and playing guitar accompanied by Alan Best on the accordion, Jack Fleishman on the banjo, and Stacy Harden on the bass. Many other wonderful musicians came and went throughout the life of the band as they played together for the next three years.  One of these musicians was the talented Jennifer Curtis with whom Ella performs with even after the eventual dissolution of The Ayr Mountaineers.

Ella currently lives outside of Hillsborough, NC, surrounded by animals, trucks, and guitars. She recently recorded a new album, “Shiny & Brite”, and just celebrated with a much lauded CD release party on March 21st just down the road at Rock Quarry Farm.






The Holland Brothers

When twin brothers Mark and Michael Holland sing harmony, they get your attention. They then keep it with a fine display of blues harp, acoustic slide guitar, and thumbpicking 12-string guitar that form the basis of a memorable and entertaining show. Similar to the Piedmont songsters of old, The Holland Bros from North Carolina play a variety of old-time folk, country and blues music that includes choice covers and inspired original songwriting. Drawing inspiration from Charlie Poole to Charlie Patton, the Holland Bros continue to garner praise and gain new fans daily.







$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders!