The Perm & The Skullet is a non-profit music blog devoted to bringing you music of all kinds.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Midtown Dickens

Midtown Dickens are a wonderful Durham band that I'm just getting into to. Although they have played numerous shows around the area and are developing quite the following, I had yet to hear of them before the Troika Music Festival.

Midtown Dickens are the lovable, laughable, and musically gifted Catherine Edgerton and Kym Register. I had no idea of what to expect as I awaited their show following a great performance by Can Joann (I'll get to them in a few posts) at Joe and Jo's. I briefly read a blurb in the Indy (hadn't seen the article which is linked below yet) and I read,

"Midtown Dickens: Multi-instrumentalists not afraid to ask friends for help and the audience for forgiveness and laughs, this Durham duo weaves tapestries of banjo, accordion, percussion, guitar, trombone, harmonica and anything else that's laying around. You'll hear bits of anti-folk heiress Kimya Dawson in Catherine Edgerton, but all of the deprecation has been traded in for friendship and exuberance. This band is a joy to hear and probably even better to live. 8 p.m. --GC

And they weren't kidding. Seeing this duo perform live brought something real and electric into the room. They produced an atmosphere and sound that seemed to make time stand still. We were all in this together, at least for the moment, and they were making the best of it. The audience laughed as one member made a small mistake...and admitted it, but picked right back up where she left off. They were having fun and including us. So many times you see a band perform and there is this invisible line, the band is here and you are there, but with these lovely ladies, they embraced the room and in turn gave us a wonderful show.

Banjos, guitars, drums, tambourines, accordians, and the great vocals and lyrics of both Edgerton and Registar make for great, fun tracks that one can relate to as they talk about Tetris, and heading back to Durham, and eating hot dogs at a Bulls game. Their family feel of anti-folk music really does breathe a sense of fresh air into the music scene and if I were a local band I would try to make sure Midtown Dickens were on the bill.

An outstanding local group that has no where to go but up. As far as I know there is no official release yet so I would highly recommend checking them out live if you can. They are however featured on a free diskette through Durham's own 307 Knox Records.

Below are three of the four tracks available on their myspace page. Enjoy.

.: AM Dial
.: Tetris
.: Under My Shoe

[myspace] [INDY article]
first photo by Lissa Gotwals
second photo live at Troika by Mutual Rejection

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 10:00 AM


  1. At 10:26 PM, Blogger Ted Whiteside said…

    Saw these guy today at Durham's Centerfest. They have absolutely no idea of the uniqueness and talent that they have.
    Saw and watch Nancy Griffith evolve...Edgerton is on the same track...Griffith was more certain...this kid needs to understand the fragile and unique talent that she has.

    These guys seem to presently be a special kind of novelty. That's great and 5 years from now no one will remember who they were. This is the time for them to evolve...if they can.

    They have a delicate "Walenda" like tightrope to walk...keep their innocense...naievte...and spontanaity all the while maturing as artists and preformers. Edgerton can do it...I'm not sure about the other. The irony is that Edgerton belives it the least. That's always the way. I interviewed Neil Young in 1966 and he had no idea nor did he want to know what he could become.

    24 years old is almost too late. The time is now for these guys to decide if they want to be local jokesters or serious, talented, meaningful musicians. Edgerton can become something special. Someone needs to teach her to believe.\

    I'll treasure them no matter who they become...I just hate to see true, pure, flaming talent go to waste. The answer...write more songs...learn how to deliver, just a little better, make no excuses for you inconsistent and beautiful voices...and let Edgeton warbble away...she can make us all cry if she stops giggling.


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