The Pinhook’s roots in alternative music and renowned artists will be on full display with a show this Thursday.
The Screaming Females, a punk outfit hailing from New Brunswick, New Jersey, is composed of Marissa Paternoster on guitar and vocals, Jarrett Dougherty on drums and King Mike on bass and will showcase their sound this Thursday, Aug. 27 at the Pinhook, a venue on West Main Street in Durham.
While the defining aspect of their repertoire is raw energy combined with a melodic sensibility, most impressive is the band’s overall cohesiveness. They routinely pull back from driving choruses to reveal articulate, detailed builds.
“It was pretty much what you’d expect,” Paternoster said. “A bunch of twenty-somethings hanging out in someone’s dirty basement waiting for a band to play. Just people waiting to hear some music.”
The band got their start ten years ago in the basement shows of New Brunswick’s sprawling punk and indie rock scene. Since then, The Screaming Females have released six studio albums and toured internationally. Despite the relatively heavy output, they still spend more time touring and performing for fans than recording in the studio.
“We just wanted to meet a great wealth of different people and play music for them,” Paternoster said.
The band succeeds in attracting a diverse crowd as they gain fans of all ages, some who aren’t even necessarily into rock and roll.
Paternoster herself has attracted national attention for her guitar work. She began playing when her father suggested it and showed her his guitar. Eventually, her frenetic solos and melodic riffs led Spin magazine to name her the 77th-best guitarist of all time in 2012. Still, every note is carefully thought out and each band member complements each other’s playing to form a cohesive artistic statement that is still developing.
“On our last album we tried to focus more on vocal melodies, take away some of the things in our songs that we thought were kind of superfluous, and make really precise arrangements,” Paternoster said.
The Screaming Females return to the Pinhook’s its fall lineup after performing as one of the Pinhook’s first shows. Kym Register founded the venue seven years ago as a place to foster a love for music.
“I just felt a need to provide a space for musicians in Durham because there wasn’t a lot,” Register said. “My friends were amazing and helped out. They made it happen as much as I did.”
Interestingly, though, the venue has begun to function as a community space. Recently Eddie Conway, a former Black Panther, came to speak. Bands at the The Pinhook encompass a variety of genres, including punk, indie and hip hop, and are recognized both at the local and national level.
“It’s kind of becoming my dream,” said Kym. “I’m just hoping it can be everything all the time.”
Register also stressed that while The Pinhook is a queer-owned establishment and issues of gay and lesbian rights are very important to them, they are certainly inclusive of everybody. Crowds usually are made up of a combination of Duke students and local kids who come from a variety of backgrounds.
The Pinhook continues this spirit of inclusiveness in their weekly Really Open Mic Night, where local artists come to showcase their talents. Kym describes it as a “meeting of the minds,” as groups are exposed to genres of music and art mediums that they might not have heard otherwise.
“I think it is important for us to stay like an accessible queer-supported, community-oriented space,” Register said on the future of the venue.
Paternoster echoed a similar sentiment when recalling The Screaming Females’ goals from the start.
“Besides for making music that we care about we just wanted to go out and have exciting life experiences before we die,” she said.
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