STEPHEN SMITH: Good Kids: Committee Is Bringing Young Acts to Sunrise
Everyone who lives in Southern Pines ought to contribute a little extra oomph to ensure that the good things in our community get better and bad stuff gets gone.
The Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Sunrise Theater, and umpteen other local organizations are run by volunteers who put in many hours and much effort in order to realize their vision for the community. And after more than 30 years of hanging out in Southern Pines, I can testify that the town has gotten a whole lot more interesting. Every weekend there are concerts, lectures, films, and literary events galore, all of which add to the quality of life.
But I also have to admit I've been worried. Whenever I look out at the audiences that pack the Sunrise Theater and the great room at the Weymouth Center, I wonder who'll be volunteering for board work 30 years from now. I don't have access to any startling demographics, but it's obvious to me that we're a community that's a trifle long in the tooth.
But we can take heart. There's good news: Martin Locklear and David Young have helped organize a group known as the SunTeens whose job it is to book acts at the Sunrise that will appeal to our younger folk -- and maybe to a lot of us geezers and geezerettes, too.
Are the SunTeens doing good work? Heck, yeah! On April 10 at 8 p.m., they'll be hosting their first rock concert, "An Evening with Eisley," a group of five talented young musicians whose new CD I've been playing nonstop for the past three weeks.
Eisley, a family band from Tyler, Texas, is made up of four siblings -- Chuntelle, Sherri, Stacy, and Weston DuPree, who are assisted by their cousin, Garoon DuPree. Their music is solid folk-rock fusion which, I dare say, resembles Fleetwood Mac. The 10 tunes on Eisley's new CD, "Combinations," are marked by strong harmonies and lavish, band-generated production.
Eisley's cryptic lyrics are sometimes mildly morose and touched with occasional angst. Here's a verse from "Many Funerals": "Oh and now they have no chances/They fill the empty caskets/And leave you with your tears/And oh now we take our chances/We all will take more chances/Before our lives end too."
And there's not, I assure you, a bubblegum lyric on the entire CD. You can catch snippets of their concerts on YouTube or visit their Web site, www.eisley.com/index.php/.
Eisley broke into the Dallas music scene in 2001 and was signed by Warner Bros./Reprise in 2003. The band won "Best New Artist" from the Dallas Observer Music Awards that same year, and experienced radio success with their song, "Telescope Eyes." And they've recorded videos to accompany "Marvelous Things" and "I Wasn't Prepared."
Reviews of Eisley's first non-indie CD have been enthusiastic. Rolling Stone noted that "the slo-mo pop songs on Eisley's full-length debut were written around the angelic voices of Sherri and Stacy DuPree, which intertwine in melancholy harmonies that grow. ... Outfitted with soft piano and sparkling guitars, 'Marvelous Things' and 'Lost at Sea' conjure a teenage neverland where everyone is sad and beautiful, and punk never existed."
Reviewer Andy Greenwald wrote of "Combinations": "On their second CD, the DuPree kids expand their sound -- contrasting soaring, Radiohead-aping vocals with big-bottomed prog-rock grooves. Singer Sherri has a flirtatious soprano able to glide from tunes about body snatching ('Invasion') to tales of body holding ('I Could Be There for You'). Thanks to her, even Eisley's far-out moments seem intimate."
So the SunTeens have chosen a band that's likely to appeal to their peers and to a larger, older audience. I plan on attending the concert, and you might give some thought to supporting the Sunrise's newest subcommittee. They've been working hard at becoming an important part of the community and the Sunrise board -- and we need to support them.
Members of the SunTeens are Amanda Dans, Kane Graves, Kelsi Bebout, Taelor Dailey, Taylor Christensen, Tony Ogden, Trey Ogburn, Tai Mofield, Michael Madden, Tim LaCroux, and chairperson Deidre Rose Locklear.
Tickets for Eisley are available at the Sunrise for $20 advance general admission. Or you can pick up a ticket on the day of the show for $25.
Stephen Smith can be reached at email@example.com.
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