Mercury Studio’s Listening Room: The Monthly Gig you Need to Know

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by: Sarah Schmader

For those of you “in the know” Mercury Studio’s Listening Room is something you’ve kept your ear to the Durham dirt about for months now. But in this upcoming new year, the Listening Room will be revamping and coming back better than ever. [Ed. note: Much like Mercury Studio itself.]

I am thrilled to announce that I am hopping aboard as part of the marketing, promotions, and booking team for the Listening Room.

After celebrating and concluding a fabulous first year run on Mangum Street with DeFacto Thezpian, Toon, and The Real Laww, then Jessie James DeConto of The Pinkerton Raid, the premise will remain the same: on the last Friday of every month, a local musician(s) will play Mercury Studio’s Listening Room. Tickets sales will stop at a cap of 50 people. The best part, musicians will take audience Q&A afterward.

from a 2013 Listening Room featuring Professor Toon and the Real Laww

from a 2013 Listening Room featuring Professor Toon and the Real Laww photo by BWPW Photography

There are a couple of elements that will make the 2014 Listening Room experience even better than the in the past. First, Mercury Studio is relocating to the space behind MotorCo. The space where the Listening Room will take place is a much more natural music venue setting. Second, we’re going to try to feature a local brewery with each local musician. No promises yet.

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We’ve already got most of the Listening Room artists booked for 2014, with the year kicking off on Jan. 31 with David Wimbish. Usually he plays as David Wimbish and the Collection. For the first Listening Room of the new year, Wimbish will play solo, and of course, ala “Inside the Actors Studio” do a Q&A session after his set.

Wimbish and the Collection have warm folksy feel with haunting, thoughtful lyrics and rich instrumentals that make you want to drive through a field in a pick-up truck at sunset. He hails from Greensboro and The Collection itself is made up on over fifteen musicians, playing instruments ranging from the glockenspiel to the trombone to the accordion. Seeing David solo, to me, would be comparable to seeing Connor Oberst without Bright Eyes. The lyrics and his voice are able to stand alone and shake you to your bones with an honesty anyone can relate to.

On their website, their bio describes the band as follows: “They bond with instruments and puns and play music that sounds a little like a train-hopping vagabond tripped over a drum-set and fell into the orchestra pit.”

Check out the event page for David Wimbish in The Listening Room here. To purchase tickets for the show, go here. If you’re interested in playing the Mercury Studio’s Listening Room, please visit us here. [Ed. note: ‘Cause maybe they don’t quite have all of 2014 booked yet. Wink, wink.]

On behalf of Mercury Studio and myself, we’re very excited to get The Listening Room 2014 rolling. We are looking forward to coming together as friends and fans in the new space!

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Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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