-- Upcoming Shows and Events
Friday May 27th - Twilighter with Acme vs. Coyote

Writers, musicians, and creative folks gather in full force at The Kraken this evening.  Resident novelist Marty Smith brings his new band to the stage for the first time here to open for Twilighter, whose members have been in local bands over the years and provide context for his writing.  It's another interesting classic Chapel Hill Rock and Roll night.




Chapel Hill's Twilighter plays original music that has nothing to do with vampires or werewolves, though their sound can approach the macabre. They incorporate rockish New Wave, country-soul and big-beat rock and roll and quieter, introspective sounds with beautiful harmonies.  They search out and express life, love, the devil and God, drugs, the night Life and trying to find a ride.

The Indy said of Twilighter (specifically Twilighter's second album, FIXED), "Initially unsettling but with hidden warmth, the aural equivalent of the guy who stands too close you in the checkout line but then opens the door for you, albeit with and enigmatic smile."

Members of Twilighter have played in a good number of local bands over the years including Puritan Rodeo Show, The Morning Stars, The Fontanelles, Chrome-Plated Apostles, Iris, and The Dirty Little Heaters, among many others.


"During the e-mail exchange with Brandon Herndon, vocalist and guitarist for Twilighter, we played a prediction game of sorts—a chancy proposition, perhaps, with a band that's as unpredictable as this Chapel Hill five-piece. I was getting ready to listen to Twilighter's brand new Fixed, and I asked Herndon to write three adjectives and three artists that he thought might come to my mind as I dove into the record, as well as a short description. He decided to pass on the three artists ("You answer that one," he said), but his adjectives were "heartfelt," "louder" and "toothier," and for a description he offered "We want to tell you what happened after you went home."

The three adjectives that I scrawled upon first listen were "jittery," "moody" and "surprising," and three bands that came to mind were Velvet Underground, Violent Femmes and Zen Frisbee. As for the description, well, here's what I came up with: "Initially unsettling but with hidden warmth, the aural equivalent of the guy who stands too close to you in the checkout line but then opens the door for you, albeit with an enigmatic smile." As I said, unpredictable." - Rick Cornell, The IndyWeek  http://bit.ly/1O7LD91


Brandon Herndon on vocals/guitar and backroom 'deals'

Sonar Strange on keyboard, vocals, percussion and threats

Josh Sokal on bass and questionable facts

Dave Perry on drums and mouth

John Pardue on guitar, vocals and old man hats







Coyote vs. Acme

For a band-leader and novelist, Marty Smith is still reticent to describe his new band, Coyote vs. Acme.  He's a great man, and a master word-smith.  Still, I'll have to rely upon a description from Bryan C. Reed from the IndyWeek:

"Songwriter Marty Smith leads Durham anti-folk crew Coyote vs. Acme in celebrating the band’s November EP, Ambition > Ability. The disc’s title offers a self-deprecating indication of Smith’s charm. His voice leans toward the deadpan, suiting the sly humor of songs like the wintry come-on “Hibernate.” "

Marty has lived in the area for about three decades, hanging with local bands and finally creating one of his own.  He wrote the novel "All Tomorrow's Parties" about the local music scene and he's joined in all the way.

He's joined by Ian Leinbaugh on guitar, Josh Sokal on bass, Pete Lucey on keyboards & accordion, and Kyle Parker on drums.







$Free - Please tip your bands and bartenders generously!


Saturday May 28th - Lee Gildersleeve and the Bad Dogs

Sometimes we run out of superlatives for the excellent friends and musicians who grace our stage here at The Kraken.  Tonight is one of those nights.  Simply join us in welcoming back Lee Gildersleeve and his great group of Bad Dogs.  Show up early to to see their full set starting at 8pm. Woof.


Lee Gildersleeve & The Bad Dogs

Lee Gildersleeve was in the first wave of young blues rock guitarists that emerged in the 1960s’ blues revival. In over four decades of performing, Lee’s guitar playing has been featured with rock and roll legends Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, rocker George Thorogood, rockabilly icon Sleepy La Beef, blues divas Koko Taylor and Marcia Ball, L.A. legend Stacy Robin, and scores of talents from coast to coast. His current band, the Bad Dogs, covers a wide range of material from Lowell Fulsom, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Muddy Waters, and Rufus Thomas, along with many of his own original numbers. Jordan Lawrence of The Independent recently wrote “If you’re looking for a lesson in how the blues first bled into rock ‘n’ roll, you’ll find a living demonstration in singer-guitarist Lee Gildersleeve.” As Bo Diddley said of Lee, “He gets it.” And you will too.

It may have slipped your mind, but surely you already know these bad dogs from a number of great bands:


Lee Gildersleeve - Guitar, Vocals

Ken Yow - Bass

Tim Smith - Keys

Logan Wilkins / Danny Mason - Drums







$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders


Friday June 3rd - The Arcadian Project with Pretend I'm a Genius

Tonight we host a pair of current local indie bands who incorporate decades of influence and experience.  The music starts a bit after 8pm with Chapel Hill trio, Pretend I'm a Genius, who provide joyous and jangly originals reminiscent of our favorite southeastern Alt-Pop bands from the 80s and 90s, if not a hint of of bands from Australia and New Zealand.  Closing the evening, we welcome Hillsborough's Arcadian Project for the first time with their own thoughtful, introspective tunes that defy easy labels.



The Arcadian Project

The Arcadian Project is a multi-award winning indie/alt rock duo comprised of two lifelong friends, Zachariah Claypole White (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and Danlee Gildersleeve (Lead Guitar, backing vocals). The band officially started in the summer of 2012, with the recording and release of its first studio album “Under a Cyanide Sky.” Despite out-of-state college and participating in various other bands, Zachariah and Danlee have continued to write and record numerous EPs and singles. Most recently they released "This Is How the Story Begins,” which has received airplay on local and national radio. Known for their energetic live shows, The Arcadian Project draws from a variety of folk, classic, and hard rock bands to create a unique sound centered on hard-hitting guitar riffs, evocative vocal melodies, and lyrics that create stories and characters to address topics such as battling mental illness.

"The Arcadian Project—Ivan the Butcher—CD single (self released) New single from North Carolina duo has a passionately epic indie rock ballad feel built around a killer electric guitar line and evocative vocals riding the edge of fragility. Their most recent EP, “This Is How the Story Begins” was released earlier this year and is filled with songs that will slowly crawl under your skin and fester with love." — The Quaker Goes Deaf

“They storm the stage with an such an intensity that you quite literally don’t even notice the lack of the typical back beat provided by the drummer.” — Kate Sweeney, The Sonic Post







Pretend I'm a Genius

Pretend I'm a Genius is a three-piece indie/alternative rock band from Chapel Hill/Carrboro that delivers original rock music to whomever wishes to receive it. They try not to hurt ourselves or others in the process.  Mark (drums/vocals), Kelly (bass/vocals) and Scott (guitar/vocals) have contributed their talents to the local music scene for over a decade in bands like Better Off Dead, Moonfisher, Mangosteen and Rose Gray Band.  Pretend I'm a Genius knits their passions tightly together, emphasizing soaring vocals, creative lyrics and punchy melodies.  Come rock with the band--you won't have to pretend to enjoy yourself!






$Free - Please tip bands and bartenders generously!



Saturday June 4th - Le Weekend, JPHONO 1, Second Husband

Tonight's a great night of seriously catchy and entrancing alt-pop.  Plan on getting hooked from the very start and staying for all three bands.  Raleigh's Second Husband opens the evening at 8pm, followed by John Harrison's JPHONO1 project and Le Weekend, both from Carrboro/Chapel Hill.  The music starts at 8pm, so we can fully enjoy the awemeness.




Le Weekend faithfully and exuberantly generates the sound of itself playing Le Weekend music. It knows a little about a lot of things and it knows the value in hiding and showing. The rest it kind of fakes, but you could totally have fun with it.  Their music is a controlled detonation of serious pop: melody, harmony, time changes, and hooks.






While earlier records were a way for Jphono1 to stretch his multi-instrumentalist muscles by crafting atmospheric acoustic-tinged songs, the most recent electrified release, “Time in the Chevron”, is a departure from what came before. The most notable difference is the appearance of a full band. This is the mark of a seasoned musician; knowing you could do something alone, but bringing in others because you believe they will make it better. With trusty friends by his side, Jphono1 illuminates and elucidates with succinct riffs and rhythms that lend a krauty component to an otherwise wholly American vibe. While Jphono1 songs have often worn the mark of alternate tunings that travel through open string drones like visitors passing briefly by unknown towns, the tracks that round out “Time in the Chevron” don’t pass through so much as they thoroughly explore. These songs take their time living in the groove. Unconventional song structures unravel to reveal verses ruminating on subjects as deep and vast as cosmic and geologic impermanence, or as domestic and down to earth as an afternoon at home. Despite the wide ranging subject matter, this is perhaps the most cohesive record of the Jphono1 catalog. Sonic themes recur and morph throughout each composition. It’s clear that while the destination is part of the parcel, it’s the discovery that Jphono1 is down with.








Farm people have been using magical spells to do things like make ice cream, find oil, and get straight up laid a.f. when the fair comes to town for like one million years. Now, that that's established, here's Second Husband's bio. From a muck hole in a strawberry field in the rural south, on a LEGIT dewey morning, Second Husband suddenly emerged wet and pickin folk music, powerfully singing in close harmony. Their goddamn voices dissipated the fog and filled the goddamn sky, inspiring the sun god, Ra, to don wayfarers. A duo informed by the Louvin Brothers and Magnetic Fields, Second Husband instantly soared to very local but potent fame. But then they were like, "NOOOO!" because their success was cheapened by the fact that they had used farm magic to ascend to aforementioned regional notoriety! They disappeared themselves from everyone's minds and are only now once again playing their haunted folk songs, as they plan a tour and full length for late Summer 2016, just straight up bringing sexy back with their warm wood and casio keyboard. They've sworn off farm magic even though they are made out of it. They've commissioned wonderful t-shirts.







$Free - Please tip bands and bartenders generously!



Tuesday June 7th - Old Time Stringband Jam

We're extremely honored to host an established group of Old Time String Band players on the first and third and occasional fifth Tuesdays of the month... you know, the odd ones. The music starts promptly at 7pm and usually ends right around 10pm, although there's occasionally a tight circle of dedicated musicians who keep playing later since it's impossible to stop a good thing once it's gained momentum.


Come on out even if you can't play an instrument... Join a good number of folks who are here to simply witness beautiful efforts to continue a historical tradition.  You will have the honor of joining or at least witnessing some of the most skilled old-time musicians in the area.  As time goes on, we see more and more musicians who have played in major acts joining in.  You'll recognize them, particularly if you've been around for a while.


For the past six months or so, we've hosted these wonderful local musicians and their friends who travel across the world to participate in these special events. Typically, 15-30 folks join together and graciously welcome new participants.  We're impressed at how many people rotate through the group from all over the country, sometimes just back from touring across the world reviving and celebrating the music's long lost roots.


In addition to guitars, banjos, fiddles, and the like, there are also folks who bring their stand-up basses, sticks, spoons, harmonicas, accordions, and occasionally more unusual contributions... not to mention the regular clogging sessions that add percussion in the background or even in the center of the circle.



7pm-10 or 11pm-ish

$Free... no cover (as usual) to enjoy or join in with good neighbors and musicians



Thursday June 9th - "Ramblin' Fever" Real Country DJ Sessions

The Kraken is excited to introduce the "Ramblin' Fever" Real Country DJ Sessions. Tonight's not only the inaugural night, it's also a perfect warm-up for the massive Merle Haggard Tribute the very next night.  "Sing Me Back Home" starts at 7pm on Friday and features over forty local artists paying tribute to The Hag.


DJ Brian Burns joins us on the second Thursday of every month, spinning the best in 60's and 70's Country with some Blues, Rockabilly, R&B and Rock obscurities thrown in for good measure.  Brian will be inviting fellow DJs to add their vinyl skillz spinning an engaging mix of classic tunes and hidden gems to get your weekend started right.



$Free - please tip your DJs and bartenders generously!



The Kraken online links and news!

There are a few other North American Krakens: a bar in California and one in Washington, a food truck in British Columbia, and a "gastropub" in South Carolina.  I think it's safe to say that we our venue is the most storied of them all.  We do look forward to visiting each of them and rubbing tentacles.

Happy Spring Everyone!


Kraken Early Spring Update!


* As always, we've got a solid lineup of spectacular bands every Friday and Saturday and a few other special nights.  Stay tuned!


* The Food Truck situation is once again up in the air, but we're hoping to re-establish a new regular weekend schedule.  We'll keep you posted.


* Come out for Monday Movie Matinees on our big screen!  We'll also project big sporting events, and other special broadcasts.  Over the Summer we may do some of the projections outside.  Also, Rocky Horror Picture Show.


* Thanks to all of you for suggestions regarding our liquor and beer menu!  The newest spirits are Wild Turkey 101, Tanqueray, Bullet Rye, Glen Livet 12 year, Sauza Silver and Don Julio.  We've also introduced local bottled beers from Big Boss and Nantahala Brewery:  Hell's Belle Belgian style ale and Angry Angel Kolsch style ale from Raleigh, and Noon Day IPA and Dirty Girl Blonde from Bryson City.  We're also introducing selections on tap from Yesteryears Brewery in Carrboro in addition to our Mystery Brewing and Haw River Farmhouse choice beers.  We plan to keep rotating good local beers on tap.


* Our sweet dart board is inspiring some good games recently. Ask your bartender to turn on the stage lights when you request one or both sets of quality darts we keep behind the bar.  Scoreboard coming soon.


* Keep posted for other exciting events coming up, such as the Chili Cookoff on April 30th!




Main website right here:  http://thekrakenbar.com We're hoping to update the CMS and redo the website when we can wrap our tentacles around it.


Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/KrakenBarChapelHill This is the best place to keep up with day to day announcements.


Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/TheKrakenBar or @TheKrakenBar  We not big tweeters, but we try!


Reverbnation:  http://www.reverbnation.com/venue/thekrakenbar This site is mostly geared towards bands, and we don't always update our schedule there since bands usually make their own links, but it's another online resource.


Indie On The Move:  http://www.indieonthemove.com/user/TheKraken This site is entirely geared towards bands and venues looking to combine and book shows


Kraken Email:  info at thekrakenbar.com We use this address for booking, and occasional questions.  Please don't spam us, since we get hundreds of emails a week.  Thanks!



Keep up with us online, and stop on by to enjoy the best porch in town during warm weather, the coziest inside during cold and wet weather and free music every weekend!  Don't forget the free pool and darts and the new events coming up!

There's never a dull moment at The Kraken.  Stop by and see for yourself.