Archive for July, 2009


celebrating 20 years of the pinhook!…

…is what the headlines will be in 2028. There will be a citywide Hookfest, featuring the greatest bands ever to walk the earth. Five day passes are available now, for $200, which in 2028 money will probably not buy a pack of cigarettes. Do not miss this opportunity: there is a chance that the Arcade Fire will play, and the streets will be awash with tears of joy.

Seriously, Merge is an awesome record company, and we’re glad they still call Durham home. Congratulations! Now I just need to figure out how to sneak into the Cat’s Cradle. Tunnels? Helicopters?

With all the commotion surrounding Merge’s XX anniversary, it’s easy to overlook the smalle, up-and coming aspects of the local music scene. To us, Spoon might as well be The Eagles (that’s not true, The Eagles are terrible). The biggest lesson Merge has taught us is that endless possibilities come from humble beginnings. Running a venue is different from running a record label, but the initial goal is the same. We want to showcase and promo the amazing music scene here in the Triangle, and reward the sweat and drive of the artists that produce it. You might get to see Yo La Tengo this weekend, but you can definitely catch Bull City (ex-Ashley Stove), Simple, Blood Red River, or the very fine banger-slingers that throw the WXDU dance parties.

Coming up, be sure to check out Jews and Catholics, Kingsbury Manx, The Beast, and I Was Totally Destroying It (jesus, can someone tell me why those guys aren’t famous already?)

Actually, just check out all of it. Out schedule is here.




an important birthday

Damn but does it seem like a lot of people around here were born in July. One of those people is our good friend and main dude about this place, Chaz Martenstein. Chaz owns and operates Bull City Records, is a major player at Bull City Headquarters, and most importantly works the door here at the Pinhook twice a week. Chaz you are living god.

Anyway, Friday, July 17th, Chaz is throwing a birthday party at the Pinhook. You should come wish the man well, and stay for the incredible line-up of bands. All the way from Minneapolis, Pretty Boy Thorson & The Fallen Angels kick things off at 10 with an off-the-rails Uncle Tupelo vibe. They are “rollicking”, I’d say, and have a repertoire of important songs about drinking and hamburgers.

Durham’s Dry Heathens continue the awesomeness. These guys sound like they’re one step away from robbing a convenience store so they can buy chainsaws, but actually they are nice guys and Friends of Ours.

Finally, if you’ve never seen Raleigh’s Whatever Brains, DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW. Jagged American rock with an undercurrent of awesome menace, WB is one of the best bands in this area. Perhaps THE best, depending on who you ask. (Me. Ask me.)


El Hook



Alright everybody, it’s time to dust this fucker off. Wipe all the construction dirt and stale beer residue off this blog and GIVE INFORMATION TO THE PEOPLE. Cozy up in yr favorite chair, we doin’ this.

It’s been an awesome summer so far at the Pinhook. We got a new pool table, a Ms. Pacman/Galaga machine that doesn’t crap out all the time, Tekken 2, and this terrifyingly violent game called Carnevil where you just cold blow away monsters with a gun. I think I remember playing this game at a mall arcade many years ago. My parents were most likely horrified.

All these new additions are fine, but the most awesome thing in the world is that our patio is open.  It overlooks American Tobbaco, the DPAC, the Bulls’ Stadium and, uh, the jail. On the 4th of July we had a perfect view of the fireworks, and an excellent time was had by all. We have a grill back there too.

But the MOST awesome awesome thing is simply the quality of the music we have had over the last few months, and the even more kickass lineup that this summer has in store for it. The passion and professionalism of the bands who have played here has been staggering, and we are extremely grateful. We’ve moved into full-fledged music venue mode, and we want to be THE PLACE TO PLAY.

GodDAMN, there is so much good music coming up. I Was Totally Destroying It, Hammer No More the Fingers, Architects of Feat, Three Days in Vegas, Dry Heathens, Whatever Brains, Jews and Catholics, The Sidekicks, DJ Sleazy McQueen…put all of them into your pipe and fire it up.