On Friday, Oct. 7, I made my way up to Motorco Music Hall in Durham for the opening reception of Minus Sound Research. I’ve never been to MSR or Motorco before (actually, this was my first show for WKNC, hooray!) so I had no idea what to expect. MSR is an annual art exhibition featuring artwork by local musicians. It started in 2006, and different artists are featured every year. The art shown is specifically created for MSR, so each year is a unique experience.
After making my way through the parking lot that was I-40, I finally got to the show. People were milling around outside drinking beer, playing foosball, and eating food from the food trucks outside. Inside the building, which looks like it used to be a car garage, people were checking out the artwork on the walls and watching two women perform some sort of slow-motion body art. It was interesting, and received a few skeptical looks from the crowd.
Unfortunately, I got to the show so late that I completely missed Inspector 22, the first singer to perform. Birds and Arrows started playing at about 7:30 p.m., and although the acoustics weren’t that great, people were really enjoying their music. The lead singer, Andrea Connolly, had a voice that could sing softly in one line and powerfully in the next. Her husband (who I could totally tell was her husband, even before she introduced him to the crowd, because they had such great chemistry on stage), Pete Connolly, joined in for backups and harmony. What really made them stand out was the cello player, Josh Starmer, who added a lot of depth to their music. Throughout their set Andrea made eye contact with the audience and was all smiles; you could tell they loved being on stage.
There were other artists performing afterward, but I unfortunately had to leave early.
The MSR exhibit runs until Dec. 3, and even though it’s a small collection, I would check it out if you’re in Durham.