Dex Romweber and band are embarking on tour starting Aug. 14 in Bristol, Tenn., hitting Bloomington, Ind. among some dates with Southern Culture on the Skids, and finishing up with shows with Reverend Horton Heat, including one on Sept. 18 at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre. On the heels of his newest Blues That Defy My Soul, Dexter has gotten some overdue acclaim from artists who owe him big. Here’s what Jack White of The White Stripes had to say: “Dexter Romweber was and is a huge influence on my music…. He seems to live the desperate world that he sings about, and it shows in his songwriting and live performances. I love him.”

Merge wrap-up
Plenty of magic moments at the recent Mergefest, but a lot of them were offstage.

During his five days in town, part-time New Pornographer and full-time Destroyer Dan Bejar visited Bynum General Store, warmed a barstool at the Orange County Social Club like a regular and walked Franklin Street in the rain before nailing a 30 minute set with his “Merge Clowns” –Mac McCaughan, Lee Waters, Paul Cardillo, Spot and Paul Finn. All the while, he rocked that hair.

Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service/All-Time Quarterback/indie heartthrob Ben Gibbard was also in town for the four days of shows, digging on Camera Obscura when he wasn’t waxing the Cradle’s mahogany. That boy likes the Foster’s Lager.

Superchunk also used the occasion to release When We Were 10, the band’s first full-length live recording, as Volume 3 of its Clambake Series. The concert was taken from the hot-as-hell gig the band played on Night 2 of Merge 10k back in 1999. That Jim Wilbur is just full of jokes.

Lantern, the downtown Chapel Hill eatery owned by Andrea Reusing (Mac’s better half) and her brother Brendan, was the hot spot for dinner during fest week, serving the likes of Georgia and Ira of Yo La Tengo and Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner among others.

Other stuff
The Moaners drummer Laura King has finally decided to put her precious (and rare) 1973 Volvo 1800E fastback up for sale.

Speaking of automobiles, the Utah! touring van caught a BB in the window recently–days before the trio headed north to catch some shows with Raleigh pals The Rosebuds. Luckily, though, the touring plans were salvaged by a piece of metal welded across the window.

Contributors: Chris Toenes, Grayson Currin, Kirk Ross