The Durham imprint that brought you the Durham Rocks compilation, 307 Knox Records, documents another slice of Triangle music culture on some new releases. Punk true believers Blackstrap’s Media Slut debut EP is just out. Unfortunately, this is also the band’s swan song, as they played their final show in November. Maybe we’ll see some of them in other outfits soon. Co-released with the Ms. Films festival camp, Chicks Rock is a limited-edition comp of all the bands who’ve supported the festival, and a free zine. Check out this local lineup: Fashion Design, Roxotica, Natasha, The Pink Slips, Gerty, des_ark, Bellafea, Rocket Fire Red, The She-Mamas, Regina Hexaphone, Blackstrap. Durham instrumental soundscape artists Topography just released a three song EP with 307, and a split seven-inch with neu new-wavers Gerty and Chapel Hill pop unit My Little Phony is set for January. For more info on the label and these artists, go to

506 free-for-all
When weighing one’s options for going to see live music, the issues that often ride above all else are cover charge and free time. The folks at Local 506 in Chapel Hill decided to mix things up some by having occasional free local shows with a pass-the-hat option for the bands. It’s a respectable goal to give bands more regular exposure and get more bodies in the door to see them. We’ll have to see how this works for measurable benefit to the bands and local music show-goers. That money not spent at the door could go towards a CD or T-shirt that might have been missed previously. Here’s hoping this option play works for some points on the board for local bands looking to get their music heard–and seen–by more people. Upcoming Free for Alls include Can Joann and Feeding the Fire on Thursday, Dec. 30, The Quarantines and Glissade on Monday, Jan. 3, and Iconic with The Truth Is (Music) on Sunday, Jan. 9.

Butchies go back to high school on VH1
Durham pop-punk group The Butchies were featured this month on the VH1 show “My Coolest Years” on the “I Was In the Closet?” episode. The show is a collection of interviews with people discussing their time in high school. Other guests include Richard Hatch from “Survivor,” singer Jill Sobule, and members of Le Tigre. If you missed it, look for the show in repeats on VH1.