The Local Beat
It seems as if September is the month of festivals in our area. Following Hopscotch last weekend is SPARKcon in downtown Raleigh this weekend, and the following weekend is the Carrboro Music Festival in Carrboro. With Hopscotch out of the way we now have time to cover these longtime favorites in our area.
At 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, I will be joined by Gerry Williams, the coordinator for the 14th annual Carrboro Music Festival. The CMF has a long tradition and was one of the first music festivals in our state, starting before Hopscotch, Troika, Artsplosure, and SPARKcon, when it was called The Fete De la Musique. In 2002 the festival changed its name to what it is today but the goal remains the same: feed music to the masses. The event is taking place on Sunday, Sept. 25, and will feature 180 different acts at 25 venues. Join Gerry and me as we look to the past and the future at this great event.
At 6 p.m. musicSPARK organizer Stephanie Brinson is stopping by to chat about the SPARKcon art festival in downtown Raleigh. SPARKcon began six years ago and musicSPARK has been one of the central SPARKs throughout its duration. It started Thursday night and will continue through Sunday evening. This year’s musicSPARK is free for the first time and is very different from previous SPARKs. Listen in with Stephanie and me as we chat about this year’s event.
Continuing on with the SPARKcon trend at 7 p.m., I will be joined by Nikhil Shah of Locus Recordings, a start-up record label from Raleigh. Nikhil is providing the music for “Wear What You Are,” one of the fashion shows of fashionSPARK happening on Friday evening. This one will mainly exhibit Raleigh Denim, which will be featuring 17 new “looks” in City Plaza at 8 p.m. Nikhil is also providing the music mixtape for the afterparty at the Flanders Art Gallery, which will be following the fashion show. The afterparty is from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
This Friday evening on “The Local Beat” is going to be a fun one as we are going to try to do the show live from downtown Raleigh at Wristband City in the Sheraton Hotel for Hopscotch Music Festival. With power outages and bad Internet connections we will cross our fingers to see if we can make it work.
Hopscotch will be beginning its second day as the Local Beat takes the air and we will be joined by a variety of guests that may include WXDU‘s Ross Grady, old school local band Soccer member and Lenovo Social Media Editor Gavin O’Hara, as well as several different local musicians who plan on dropping by. The conversation will focus on Hopscotch and the people and music involved in it.
It all starts at 5 p.m. with plans for the show to only last until 6 p.m. so we can all join the Dodos, who are playing live in City Plaza starting at 5:45 p.m.
Feel free to come by and watch the Local Beat from Wristband City, whether you are a Hopscotch goer or not!
Friday, Sept. 2 on “The Local Beat” is the first live program since July and it is jammed full of some amazing guests.
Last year we had Independent Weekly Music Editor and Hopscotch Music Festival Curator Grayson Currin on the program for a full three hours to talk about the first ever Hopscotch. This year we toned it down a bit and Grayson, along with Hopscotch Marketing Director Greg Lowenhagen are coming in for one hour from 5-6 p.m. Join us as we chat about this year’s festival from the eyes of the men behind it.
At 6 p.m. local hip-hop act Kooley High is dropping in for the first time in quite awhile. The group is playing at Kings Barcade with King Mez, HaLo, and Drique London. The show is all ages and cost $1, with the starting time planned for around 10 p.m. I’ll be catching up with Kooley High and talking hip-hop.
The final hour of the show will belong to Hunter MacDermut, aka The Tourist, who is releasing a brand new 12 track album Sept. 3 at Marsh Woodwinds in Raleigh. Scott Phillips (of Goner, Monologue Bombs, and about 20 other local bands) will be opening and the show at 8 p.m. Hunter and I are going to talk about the new album and the show and spin some tracks off of it.
It’s another flashback on “The Local Beat” Aug. 12 as we dive into the vault once again to uncover some great interviews from the past year. This week, however, we are not dropping too far back as we relive some interviews from the past couple of months.
The first hour will be our interview with Kelly Reid and Suzie Hook from Sound Situations, recorded in June. Sound Situations is a fantastic new local music based interview and performance TV program on the Raleigh Public Access Channel. So far the show has several new episodes under its belt. Kelly and Suzie joined me to talk about the new show and what plans they had in store for it.
At 6 p.m. we will rehash and interview with one of my favorite local bands: I Was Totally Destroying It. IWTDI came on “The Local Beat” back in April to discuss their newest album, Preludes, which was being released at the time. John and Rachel are always fantastic guests and I have yet to have a dull conversation with the duo.
The last hour was one of my all-time favorites in recent memory with The Small Ponds and Filthybird. Both bands played at Marsh Woodwinds on May 20, which turned out to be my favorite show from Spring 2011. Both groups have a lot of new material which the Small Ponds played live for us in studio.
Friday, August 12 on “The Local Beat” is the beginning of our next Local Beat Flashback Series which we do one month a year. Throughout the rest of August we will be looking back at past episodes and dusting off some oldies from the vault.
This week we are bringing back two Local Beat Mini Exclusives from April and a live interview from back in November 2010.
Starting off the hour will be an interview we did on November 5, 2010 with members from The Light Pines. The Light Pines have been in the news recently with their free downloadable release of their debut album which came out just a short time ago. In the interview from last year we talked about that new album and the future plans of the band. It should be interesting to see how things panned out for the group between November and now.
The second hour of the show goes to a Local Beat Mini Exclusive from April with The Huguenots. The band’s bassist, York, came in to chat about the band’s debut release. However, not even two weeks after the interview with me, the band called it quits. Still, it made for an interesting conversation.
The final hour of the episode belongs to another April Mini Exclusive, this one with Adam Eckhardt of A Rooster For The Masses, who sat down with me to chat about their newest album, No One Is Ready. Adam is always a great conversationalist and it made for some fantastic discussions.
The Huguenots have been getting airplay on WKNC for nearly four years now, but the group has yet to release anything official but some spare demos. That is until April 8, when the group is putting out their first LP. The Huguenots are known for the super poppy and upbeat music they seem to craft effortlessly and their enjoyable live shows, but finally, the band will release some tangible music. Founding member York Howie came in to represent the band and share a couple unheard tracks from the upcoming album. It had been awhile since I interviewed the Huguenots, so we caught up and took a look back at where it all began at UNC Asheville. York was a wonderful guest and gave us an insightful look into the recording of the album and told us how it all came together.
It has been quite some time since A Rooster for the Masses put out a new album, but the popular local group is doing just that on April 15 at Kings Barcade when they release their third and newest LP No One Is Ready. Still upbeat with a touch of disco and an air of reggae, ARFTM has certainly kept the same vibe with this record as their past discs, and that is a wonderful thing. Founding member Adam Eckhardt and myself shared a brief 30 minute conversation where he reflected on the history of the band and its current state as well as the new album. We also listened to several new tracks including “No One Is Ready,” “Make Much Sense,” “At The Gates,” and “Die By Day.” Give it a listen below:
If you are anything like me you love this time of the year with the lights, food, family, and music! I personally am a huge fan of Christmas music and any holiday related tune I can get my hands on is put into my non-stop playlist for the month of December.
That is why I am excited to announce the Local Beat Christmas Special. This coming Friday December 24th the Local Beat is dedicating all three programming hours to local Christmas music. Instead of interviews and talking this week we are only playing Christmas and holiday tunes recorded by North Carolina musicians. In total we should have around 50 different holiday songs by North Carolina artists. Some may be traditional but we are mostly shooting for original material.
Be sure to tune in whether you are driving to visit family, at a tacky sweater party, or roasting chestnuts over and open fire!
This coming Friday on the Local Beat I am dedicating two hours of the show to Troika Music Festival. Of course by the time the interview airs the festival will be well underway since it is beginning tonight. Melissa Thomas and Stuart Horne came in to pre-record the interview with me earlier in the week and I felt that it was important to share our conversation before Friday evening and before Troika begins. Among many things we chatted about the history of the event, compared it to Hopscotch, and discussed what is going on differently in this years festival. Give it a listen below:
Friday evening on the Local Beat will be one you surely do not want to miss.
The first hour of the program Chapel Hill band the Light Pines are coming on to talk with us about a plethora of topics as we promote their First Friday show at Tir na Nog alongside 12000 Armies and Nudehues. The Light Pines are almost finished with their debut 10 track album and we will talk about that in plenty. Also stick around and listen as we chat about their connections with the Love Language and their future touring plans.
From 6pm-8pm I am dedicating two hours to the Troika Music Festival in downtown Durham. Melissa Thomas and Stuart Horne dropped by earlier in the week to pre-record the two hour interview and it was rather entertaining. You can go ahead and listen to that interview here, but you can only listen to the Troika bands during the airing of the interview!
Tonight on the Local Beat we begin our second installment of the Local Beat Roundtable Series. If you remember from back in August when we had our first in the roundtable discussions with Betsy Harris, Karen Mann, Jake Seaton, Linnie Green, and Bryan Reed the focus on these roundtable discussions is not to focus on the music that make up our scene but the people who promote it and document it.
This evening we are having several exemplary characters in on the program for what should turn out to be some great conversation.
Ross Grady has been the most prominent local music documenter probably ever in our region. It seems his dedication to the scene knows no bounds. In addition to running Triangle Rock and starting up Alt Music Chapel Hill Ross is also the guardian of his radio program on WXDU that happens every Sunday from 4pm-6pm. Be sure to listen in on 88.7 or stream it live on the internet!
Ryan Sweeney is another radio personality who was the general manager at 89.3 WSOE in 2009. He is now living in Cary and the Director of Communications at the popular website Choose Local Music. In addition to other things Ryan is a great local music connoisseur who should have plenty to share.
Glenn Boothe is the main man at one of the most significant local venues in the Triangle, the Local 506 in Chapel Hill. Commonly the central hub of local music in our area, the Local 506 is commonly mentioned by bands and fans alike as their favorite place to watch live music in our area. I can’t wait to chat with Glenn about his thoughts on the music in our area.
Another music venue owner, Chris Tamplin is stopping by. Chris was the main organizer for Local Beer Local Band and booked shows at Tir Na Nog before starting his own venture with Durham’s newest local venue, Motorco. Chris should have some fascinating insight into the different cities and their relationships to the music surrounding them among other things.
Eric Chen is also dropping by. You might have heard Eric on WXYC for nine years or seen him at many Hammer No More The Fingers shows (as well as others) with his video camera in tote. Eric has been documenting the music in our area for some time now and I am sure he will have plenty to add to our convseration. Check out his Vimeo Account here.
It is certainly a special treat to have each of these amazing individuals on the show all at once. It is not going to be a Local Beat you will want to miss. Be sure to tune in at 5pm on 88.1 or listen live online. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and ReverbNation.
This coming Friday on the Local Beat will be another fantastic evening as I will be joined by several different guests.
5 p.m. brings in one of my favorite groups in the area, Carrboro folksters Mandolin Orange, coming on to promote an upcoming show at the Local 506. The show is this Saturday, October 16, with Greg Humphreys. It should make for a fascinating concert on Saturday but also some great conversation and live radio Friday evening.
And I also interview Greg Humphreys recently as well:
At 6 p.m., Gray Young is coming back on the show once again to talk about their brand new album. If you recall the group came in back in early August before the album was ready to be released. Staysail is going to be released on October 23 at the Pour House, and we will talk about that in full.
For the final hour of the show, local hip-hop star King Mez is dropping by with ex DJ Big Fat Sac and several other representatives of the Cooke Street Carnival that is being held this Saturday on Cooke Street in downtown Raleigh. We will be talking about the festival and catching up with the King.
Two weeks ago on the Local Beat was a full evening of fantastic interviews featuring some amazing musicians in our area.
Greg Humphreys has been making music locally for over two decades now. His newest and second solo album Realign Your Mind has been available for download for a couple months but only recently has he put the album out on CD. Greg came in and chatted with us about his history in the area and his evolution as a musician. In addition, Greg played several brand new tracks, which you can listen to and download in the music player to the right. Listen to our interview below:
Songs of Water is a band out of Greensboro, and I am not afraid to say they have taken the top position as my favorite new band with their incredible release of The Sea Has Spoken, which came out earlier this year. Only three of the eight members made the trip down I-40 but that was plenty as they brought so many instruments into the studio, one could hardly walk around. We only had a short time with the group as it took them several minutes to set up but check out the amazing songs they played for us live:
Maria Albani (Schooner, Organos), John Harrison (North Elementary), Drew Robertson (Phon), and Lincoln Hancock (Strange) came in to present Minus Sound Research, a visual art exhibition featuring works from only North Carolina musicians that is going on throughout the month of October at the Carrboro Arts Center. This interview turned out to be one of the most hilarious and entertaining I have had in awhile so be sure to give it a listen:
The evening of September 24 was quite a full show on the Local Beat.
Django Haskins and Mark Simonsen of The Old Ceremony sat down with me for the first hour to pick up where we left off last February about their brand new album, Tender Age. The album has been released for a couple of weeks now and the fellas and I played several tracks off of the album and a couple in studio, which you can listen to in the mini player at the bottom of the page and download here. Give the entire interview a listen below:
A newer and less known band from Raleigh called Scarlet Virginia dropped by for the second hour of the show to play some live songs and talk about their debut release, By Lamplight EP which was put out back in August. The group is a soft, folky-pop group, and they played several acoustic songs for us, which you can listen to and download here. Check out our conversation below:
Lee and Bert of the Milagro Saints came in for the final hour of the show, and we chatted about a wide variety of things from their shows last weekend to the evolution of the band through 15 years of staying together. The Milagro Saints are one of the more storied and traveled groups in our area, and the guys had plenty to share:
Due to the happenings of Hopscotch, I only had a one hour show on September 10 but was happy to have the Small Ponds’ Caitlin and Cary and Matt Douglas as guests on the program as we promoted their new album, Caitlin Cary & Matt Douglas Are The Small Ponds. The album was released the following week at the Pour House and currently the band is on tour up and down the East coast. We chatted about the history of the group, along with many other things. Matt and Caitlin are both amazing, hilarious guests, and the interview was one of my favorites. Give it a listen below: