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Carrboro Rock Singer Builds LGBTQ And Women-Led Music Festival

Manifest music festival's poster: A person with a heart shaped face holds a baby and a piece of cake that's on fire.
Ria Aubry Taylor

No one ever asks Henbrainto turn up the bass. The band features two electric basses chugging alongside one another, which defines its low-frequency acid rock sound.

Michelle Sontheimer plays lead axe, running her sound through a guitar amplifier and effects processor, which produces a meaty buzz that she describes as a “2,000 pound angry bee.” Cutting through the low-frequency symphony are Erika Libero’s vocals. Her lyrics are a select cross-section of mythology, exploring topics from the Greek Elysian Fields to a Nekomata, an ancient Japanese demon cat. The band also includes Ryan Yancey on bass and drummer Derrek Spronk.

Henbrain performs live in studio and shares its story with host Frank Stasio. Libero also previews Manifest, a two-day festival in Chapel Hill that she co-created to carve out space for marginalized members of the music scene. Bands with members who identify as women, trans or non-binary will play shows at The Local 506, Nightlight, and The Cave beginning tonight. North Carolina acts like ZenSoFly and Charly Lowry will play alongside Mallwalker, Lobby Boy, and other touring groups. Henbrain performs Saturday, Oct. 19 at 9:30 p.m. at The Local 506.


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Grant Holub-Moorman coordinates events and North Carolina outreach for WUNC, including a monthly trivia night. He is a founding member of Embodied and a former producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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