The Old Ceremony kicks it up at the Cat’s Cradle

by Heather MacIntyre

It was pretty hard to miss the promotion of this show, especially if you live in the Triangle. Cats Cradle ( posted a contest for fans to go all out and create their own fancy poster to advertise for the Old Ceremony (www., www.theoldceremony. com) show coming up at their venue; the winner of course, would win free tickets. Glue, scissors, markers and even paint, charcoal and miscellaneous objects were used for the construction of these promotional pieces to the point that people barely noticed… that it wasn’t the posters they were making that would promote the show half as much as simply participating in the contest.

The individual advertising campaigns all over the surrounding areas worked out for the Cradle, because the turnout was superb. It was Friday night, and an evening of good tunes was to be had in Carrboro. Modern Skirts (, www.modernskirts. com) opened the show with a bit of an old rock sound (note: rock, not as much rock and roll). Though they’re from Athens, Ga., this group has booked more shows and continued to show up in North Carolina more than Georgia it seems. They gave a great show. My favorite aspect of this live show was definitely one of their stronger points — weaving and meddling with lyrics and each other, improvising random harmonies. They’ll be in Winston-Salem at the Wherehouse ( werehouse) Friday night — check it out. I’d go through and attempt to mention all the members of TOC, but there’s simply too many, and any photo I could possibly take of the stage would only include about half of the musicians up there. They switched in and out of the usual five-member line-up with alumni, guest performers, recording members and anonymous musicians and collaborative artists. But taken all together, the music made me smile… and everyone else around me. People swayed back and forth, and even danced with partners to the more classic rock-bluesy hits like “Reservations” and “Poison Pen.” Just when you thought the tone of the show was too relaxed and laid back, a killer screeching guitar solo would break out, and then banging on piano keys jazzed up the room. And for some reason, everyone looked attractive. It’s the love poison in the music. Their music is addictive and screams during a set that resembled a dream in black and white, where you’re wearing a Dick Tracy hat and coat, and follow a lustrous mistress into a back alley. It’s not all about the sex appeal of the music though — no matter how much they seduce you, one must appreciate the actual talent and structure of their songs and performance. Strings, percussion, keys and even xylophones merged together for a brilliantly directed musical explosion on the stage. Luckily, this Chapel Hill based band has deservedly received plenty of press in the last couple years. Touring the whole US over again, and displaying one of the best showcases at 2008’s South By Southwest in Austin, Texas this year, it’s nice to know they’ve made time to book a handful of shows over the next month or two for their home state. Your next chance to check out the Old Ceremony is this Friday evening at the Pour House ( in Raleigh. Like the poster contest? Wish you knew about it? Have more ideas for promoting shows? Contact: catscradle.