In The Flesh

Nov 2, 2005 at 12:00 am

Thursday Oct. 27
Chapel Hill, N.C., Local 506

In an insane world, the sane are often deemed daft. So it is that when Adult. singer Nicola Kuperus greets the audience several songs into the trio’s 70-minute bump, grind and frappé, with an amusingly off-hand, “So these are the freaks,” the silence she’s met with isn’t so much offense as confusion. To the 60 or so patrons gathered at the Local 506, this is normal. For a geographic area that’s produced such notable geeks and freaks as Ben Folds, Southern Culture on the Skids and Jimbo Mathus, the bar’s set so high that even Dennis Rodman could limbo under. “Where are the weirdoes, then,” Kuperus asks, incredulous at the blasé response.

“In Raleigh,” someone says, along with muttered assents and cheers. Such is the duopoly of the so-called Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill “Triangle.” Raleigh gets the Sevendust and Alabama Thunderpussy, Chapel Hill gets cultish noise acts and defiantly indie rockers, another expression of the area’s mix of Northern transplants and homespun locals. (Durham’s largely bereft of anything, much like Lansing.) One front-row fan sums up audience attitude before Adult. comes on, when she asks her friend, “Where is everyone? It’s cold out, but it’s Thursday night.”

Those who show up, shake, rattle and loll their heads to Adult.’s hypnotic no-wave pop roar. Even that freaky dancing guy is here — the one moving his body with the tendon-popping fluidity of a hippie in a wind tunnel. Adult. gives the assemblage plenty of sonic gristle to chew on. Their chunky synth-and-guitar throttle, hammering beats and Kuperus’ gothic banshee wail, light the stage like an early Devil Night’s trick, warming Chapel Hill’s usually impassive and rhythmically stoic heart.

Chris Parker writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]