by GRZA on Dec.01, 2012, under Daytime
I’ve only recent caught on to the wonderful music that Ponderosa is putting out. Based out of Atlanta, Ponderosa aren’t afraid of wearing their influences on their sleeves and adding subtle twists to their sounds to create something that’s unique in its own sense, but still straddling close to home base. It’d be easy to say that they’re a My Morning Jacket/Band of Horses knock-off because quite frankly they’ve got astounding amounts of similarity, guitars that are laden with delay and reverb and equally ethereal vocal melodies driven home by powerful harmonies. However, if your only drawback is sounding too much like another stellar band then my opinion is that you’re doing something right. Studio recordings can warrant these comparisons, but when it comes to live shows Ponderosa brings an intensity that supersedes these expectations.
The show kicked off with a local act, The Cousins. I went into this show blind to their music and not knowing what to expect, and while the band was incredibly tight for it being one of their first shows together, the tunes just weren’t really up to par for the kind of night I was expecting at Kings. While I’m not saying lineups need to be cookie-cutter and a band should sound like their headliner, I certainly wasn’t expecting a Diet Drive By Truckers. The Cousins combined the grit and intensity of southern driven indie rock tunes with classic rock sentiments of clean electric leads that glide in and out with the rise and fall of their mostly static melodies. While they certainly filled the room with energy and excitement, I just couldn’t get into their music. They did it in for me when they pulled out their Merle Haggard, “Long Black Veil” cover…and maybe that’s just because I’ve been spoiled to a personal treat of watching Mandolin Orange cover the tune with Josh Oliver and Josh Moore, but their modern-classic rock take on the country classic just did nothing for me. There’s definitely promise within the band, but the songwriting and composition needs a bit of improvement before I go singing any praises.
Ponderosa on the other hand provided exactly what I’d hoped for from their live performance. Their full length, Pool Party has been my morning soundtrack for the past few months and I must say that they’re a band that puts it all into their live performance. While their studio recordings are equally dynamic, still capable of evoking strong emotion and nostalgia, their live show exudes a sense of dedication and passion that can only be felt inside of a venue. Ponderosa delicately lays out beautiful southern imagery through an echoed indie rock lens that makes for a joyous listening experience. Tracks like “Pool Party” draw on teenage experiences of fading memories, taking the listener back to the humid summer nights that make up the life of southern youth. ”Find a bed and never sleep/Awake at night and steal the sheets”, Ponderosa’s simplicity is oftentimes the reason that you can connect so deeply with this band, they’ve taken away all of the filters that can be found within a songwriter’s approach and the result is a beautifully honest and relatable record.
While they made a bold leap from the blues driven tunes found in their debut, the new loud/soft/loud psychedelic sound that they’ve adopted fits them perfectly. Vocalist Kalen Nash is capable of soft spoken melodies that sweetly fill the airwaves or a startling shout that matches the sudden intensity of tracks like “Navajo’”, which boasts a booming chorus and low-key verses. Ponderosa left my floored, they’re a stellar band that has truly re-invisioned themselves between releases, something that was made evident when they came out for an encore of older tunes. While the tracks were far more blues driven, they contained equal amounts of intensity and honesty. Ponderosa is a band that can package themselves however they wish, but the passion and talent will always bleed through no matter what. And that’s what makes the mark of a fantastic live band, a title that Ponderosa can proudly wear upon their chests.
by Danielle on Nov.30, 2012, under Daytime
Sitting just three blocks from the White House in downtown D.C. is the extravagant and elegant Warner Theatre. Never had I imagined getting the chance to see the notable Conor Oberst, let alone at such a remarkable venue. This had to be one of the most memorable Thursday nights I have experienced in quite a while, which made the four and a half hour journey to get there all the more worth it.
Opening up for Conor Oberst was Daniel Johnston, a legend himself. A shaky performance by the well-known artist was much appreciated by the entire crowd. He ended his set with the great “True Love Will Find You in the End.”
Although best known for his band, Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst’s music career also includes Monsters of Folk, Desaparecidos, and Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. Even though on a solo tour, Conor played songs from almost every one of these bands. One might think that the lack of variety in instruments and voices that normally accompany him would take away from the overall quality of the show; however, none of these were really missed and it’s what made for a truly special performance. His emotional vocals filled the entire theatre as the audience sat and listened to songs such as “Milk Thistle,” “Land Locked Blues,” “June On The West Coast,” “Map Of The World,” and of course “Lua.” He would stop once in a while to explain how he wrote the preceding song when he was fifteen years old and how it made him feel slightly embarrassed. This made me remember an interview where he stated that he does not usually play these old songs, which made this particular performance even better.
He also played a couple new songs. One he dedicated to his brother’s second child and the other told the story of an old friend. It was these personal connections and his lyrical improvisations that kept the crowd captivated creating a truly memorable night. His two-hour performance was all I had expected and more.
The good news is that everyone in the triangle can experience some Conor Oberst magic for them selves in February when he stops by the Cat’s Cradle on the 17th with his band, Desaparecidos.
Each week, WKNC compiles a list of charts and adds.
by sarahnade on Nov.28, 2012, under Charts
by sarahnade on Nov.28, 2012, under Promotions
Back in September you may have seen WKNC featured for a week on mtvU‘s College Radio Countdown. We had some of our wonderful staff put together a video and more, that can be found here. mtvU shared on Twitter that they would be having an encore feature of the most loved college radio station (who we think is us, duh).
But we need your help!
So, if you’d like to see WKNC featured again, tell the Twitter world! Make sure you use the hashtag #CRC to get your vote in.
Throughout the past decade Sufjan Stevens has cemented himself as one of the most talented and unique artists of our generation, with a diverse array of talents ranging from classically inspired folk pop to the aural adventures of the past few years with Age of Adz and BQE, it’s a toss up as to what direction any new music from Stevens is going to take. When he announced his most recent release, Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10, I wasn’t too sure of what to expect…especially with the lead-off single of “Christmas Unicorn”. The track was as bizarre as it was insightful and infectious (especially the seamless transition into Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”), which can pretty accurately describe the three plus hours of Christmas inspired material on Silver & Gold. Shortly after the album announcement came news of the “Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Season Affective Disorder Yuletide Pageant On Ice” tour, a string of shows which would feature good ol’ “Sufjy Pants” spreading Christmas cheer by way of his modern takes on Christmas classics as well as his incredible new holiday inspired originals.
While some of the Christmas inspired material is brief and zany, like “Happy Family Christmas” a jaunting yet melodic track wishing that “Just this once for Christmas I want us all to be like one great big happy family”, and while the holiday is exactly a month away, Sunday at Haw River Ballroom felt like a gigantic family Christmas gathering. With hundreds of concertgoers decked out in festive sweaters and unicorn horns, Sunday provided one of the most unique and magical show experiences one could ever wish for. While opener Sheila Sapputo (better known as singer-songwriter Rosie Thomas) donned a Santa suit for a quirky Portlandia-esque bit of dry comedy, the highlight of the show could be nothing other than the marvelous display put on by Sufjan and company.
The show was broken up into bits of Sufjan originals and highly enjoyable breaks for Christmas classics from the Wheel!Of!Christmas!, a Price Is Right style spin-wheel designed to randomize the carols we’ve all grown to know and love. Upon entrance we were all given a songbook, endearingly referred to by Sufjan as our “book of hymnals”, and these carols provided for some of the most memorable concert moments in recent memory. While Sufjan originals like “Sister Winter” and the aforementioned “Christmas Unicorn” stood out amongst the set, the true highlights came from the innovative takes on old classics. An electronically driven version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” was a show-stopping performance, featuring vocoded Sufjan vocals and spastic electronic melodies that excellently juxtapose the calm and soothing stylings of the original. After the Wheel of Christmas selected “Joy to the World” early on in the set, Sufjan brilliantly transitioned into a refrain from “Impossible Soul”, a track from Age of Adz, inducing shouts of approval from the crowd.
Sufjan himself described the show as, “running the gamut of Christmas from the profane to the insane”, and with inflatable unicorns being thrown out at the same show as inflatable Santa’s I’d say it’s a pretty accurate description. The end of Sufjan’s set was haltered by the second fire alarm of the evening, but the band took it all in stride and led the crowd in an a cappella rendition of “Silent Night” divided between males and females in the first two verses followed by a harmonious ending as monitors blasted back to life and the set came to a beautiful end. A roaring ovation from one of the most dense crowds I’ve seen at Haw River resulted in a three song encore of Sufjan originals from Illinois and Michigan. Starting off his encore with a beautiful take on “Concerning The UFO Sightings Near Highland, Illinois”, the crowds anticipation was rapidly rising and greeted with “For The Widows of Paradise” which started as a solo banjo track and blossomed into a full band performance. Closing with fan-favorite, “Chicago”, Sufjan thanked the crowd for being so wonderful and patient, but all thanks is graciously pointed towards Sufjan, the band, and the fine folks of Haw River Ballroom for housing such a beautiful show. It’s very rare to build a sense of community within a single show, but the “Surfjohn Stephenopolous Sing-A-Long” certainly achieved just that.
by sarahnade on Nov.23, 2012, under Local
For everyone still drinking in the Thanksgiving spirit, there’s an event tonight you may be interested in. While we appreciate what we have, we should also be mindful of what we can do to help others. Tonight The Pour House combines our love for music with altruism and is hosting a benefit concert and silent auction for Hurricane Sandy victims, called “Blow Me, Sandy.”
“ I mean a lot of people got nothing. I was lucky enough that Jeff from Hank Sinatra was already trying to do the same thing. He gets credit for the lineup,” Cain shared.
The silent auction will have items including recording sessions, gift baskets and more.
“I’m excited about the silent auction,” Cain said. “Tres Chicas are donating a house concert. Eric Ambel is donating a day of recording at his studio in NYC. The Pour House is donating a hotel room two tickets and dinner for New Years. Lots of people are contributing.”
If you aren’t able to make it out today but would like to help out, you can donate or volunteer with The American Red Cross.
I hope everyone is excited to get fat and stuff on Thursday. And then on Friday, to buy LOTS OF LPs!!! You can peruse the releases that you (might) be able to purchase here (more on that later), but first, check below to see what some real local record store employees are excited about for this upcoming sales extravaganza.
Schoolkids Records’ employee Kyle Rosko is excited about a whole lot of releases. Namely, the Beach Boys Surfin’ Safara 10″, the White Stripes Live at Hotel Yorba 7″, and the Skrillex Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites first press to wax. I may have made up that last one.
Chaz of Bull City Records fame is really excited about the Scettore Studios Sessions from The Velvet Underground. This is an acetate release from way back before The Velvet Underground & Nico was released, and features demo/alternate versions of some songs that ended up on that classic album.
Some guy from Offbeat Music in Durham, NC (sorry I didn’t catch you name, but your store is great!!) is apprehensive about the day, because as of when I called him, he didn’t know what was going to be coming to the store. He brings up an interesting point–that retail can be stressful, especially when you’re dealing with a bunch of stocking agencies that are smokin’ doobies rather than employing high-quality analytics systems that can give record store owners a better idea of what they’re getting. Alas.
That’s all I got,
Have fun, eat good food, buy good music!
by ABeatz on Nov.19, 2012, under Public Affairs
In December, during winter break, many of the buildings on NC State’s campus along the Cates Avenue corridor will have their electricity cut off due to construction and renovation of Talley Student Center. This includes the building that houses WKNC, Witherspoon Student Center. According to an email from Stephanie White, a customer service representative from the Facilities Service Center:
“This disconnect is necessary for the contractor to enter the manholes along Cates Ave to install pull strings, bell ends, pull mandrels and grout around raceways.”
WKNC will be discontinuing on-air and online broadcasting during the following days and times:
- 12/16 – 12/17 10pm – 8am
- 12/17 – 12/18 9:30pm – 8am
- 12/18 – 12/19 9:30pm – 8am
- 12/19 – 12/20 6pm – 8am
- 12/20 – 12/21 6pm – 8am
- 12/21 – 12/22 6pm – 8am
- 12/22 – 12/23 6pm – 8am
Two side projects shone bright on Thursday at Tir Na Nog, as Phil Cook and James Phillips shed their usual full-time bands for a more stripped down and intimate performance for the weekly Local Band Local Beer. James Phillips (of Bombadil) made his first solo outing with the help of Elyse Thebner (Some Army, JKutchma & The Five Fifths) to fully flesh out his minimalistic electronic act inspired by his stay in Oregon earlier this year.
A far cry from his work in the quirky folk act of Bombadil, Phillips’ set up consisted of a laptop from which to blast beats and an array of synths to produce the dense soundscape that sets the somber yet hopeful tone of his solo work. Joined by fellow local musicians like Stuart and Daniel of Bombadil and Christy Smith of The Tender Fruit, Sumner James transitioned surprisingly well for a debut live act. Closing with the album’s lead-off single of, “Home”, James was borderline shouting his heart out on “Losing his mind” in the state of Oregon. These tunes can be just as therapeutic to the listener as it evidently was for Phillips, much like the deep emotion and soul poured into the mostly instrumental tunes of Phil Cook.
by Possessed on Nov.17, 2012, under Chainsaw
Both touring bands and local ragers destroyed Katmandu on Hillsborough Street the night of November 9th. The bill for this devastating display of hardcore and grind madness was BrainXToilet (first show!), Mad Dog, Last Words, and Cheap Art, from Atlanta, Georgia.
Opening this killer show was BrainXToilet, a refreshing mix of blistering, technical grindcore and crushing breakdowns from Greensboro, NC. This band features members of another grind band from Greensboro, Priapus. Jordan, also the vocalist of Priapus, stomped in a fit of rage, pushing bystanders away as he yelled into the microphone. Jeremy, guitarist of Priapus, blasted away on his drumset while the guitarist shredded with ease.
Mad Dog made the crowd go wild as Ira, Mad Dog’s drummer, unleashed his raw, speedy drumming. Mad Dog is a high-energy powerviolence act from Raleigh, NC. Being a year since their first show, it’s great to see how much they’ve progressed musically. Ace, the guitarist, also plays bass in Abuse, another Raleigh powerviolence band. Despite minor technical difficulties, Eli’s harsh vocals were loud and clear.
Another Raleigh favorite, Last Words, played yet another unforgettable set packed with high-speed riffing and crucial moshing. Marina, vocalist, made it clear that not moshing was absolutely not an option! For not a single second did the crowd go dull.
Cheap Art, a ripping hardcore band from Atlanta, killed their set with poser-crushing, chaotic female-fronted fastcore/powerviolence. The songs were short and sweet. A 20-minute set of high-energy, crushing blasts riddled with mosh parts was all they needed.
Hopefully there will be more hardcore shows at Katmandu’s. Really enjoyed this one.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, Mystery Roach will be celebrating its 5th anniversary. The show began on Nov. 17, 2007 as a study of 1960s and 1970s Progressive, Garage, Fusion, Psychedelic, and noise on Saturday mornings. As the things evolved, guests became a part of the show. I’ve welcomed an eclectic mix of interesting people from around NCSU’s campus and the Triangle over the past 5 years. We’ve had conversations about beer, insects, bee keeping, educational films, movie soundtracks, ultra-cold neutrons, the suburbs, the roots of punk music, the Mellotron, roller derby, fungus, hot peppers, comic books, oysters, citizen science, censorship, and more. Frank Stasio has even stopped by as part of his parole agreement.
I will be celebrating the 5th anniversary quietly. No guests in the studio. I’ll play some of my favorite songs from over the years and read some emails. Be a part of the show by calling the Mystery Roach Hotline (919-322-8863), posting on the Facebook Fan Page, or sending an email. What do you like about the show? What do you hate about it? What do you do whilst listening to the show? Is it part of your Saturday ritual? Do you have ideas for themes or guests? Have you noticed any trends over the years?
Thanks for listening. I’m still amazed when I meet excited fans around town.
by DJ Ones on Nov.12, 2012, under Promotions
Ever wanted to join the cool kids at WKNC? WKNC 88.1fm is looking for students of NC State to become members of our lovely staff. We offer our volunteers on and off-air positions if they are full-time students of North Carolina State University with at least 2.0 grade point average. Individuals interested in qualifying for an on-air position will need to complete the 5 week training class and pass a written as well as an in-studio exam.
Anyone interested in becoming a DJ must attend one of the two interest meetings.These will be Jaunary 14 and January 17 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in Witherspoon Student Center room 201. At these meetings we will be handing out applications to those that wish to undergo our summer DJ training course. Applications will be due by Friday January 18 at 5 p.m. in 343 Witherspoon Student Center. Individuals are highly encouraged to apply if they show particular interest in our metal, hip-hop, and electronica genres. We will also be discussing the variety of ways that people can get involved with the station if they do not feel like they have the personalities to tackle an on-air position. We will be discussing exciting ways of getting involved with the station that includes everything from production to public affairs to promotion. If you are not accepted into the training class there will still be a variety of ways that you can become involved with the station that do not require DJ training, and people interested in how they can get involved are highly encouraged to attend one of the meetings.
After reviewing all applications, the general manager will contact you to notify whether or not you have been accepted into the training course. Decisions will be made by the general manager and program director, in consultation with the student board of directors.
Training for the summer will take place in Witherspoon Student Center room 201 Mondays from 6:00-7:00 p.m. on January 28, February 4, February 11, February 18, and February 25. If you cannot attend four of the five sessions or need to come late/leave early, please do not apply for the training program.
RSVP on the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/350381848391254/
by sdgooch on Nov.09, 2012, under Promotions
According to Paste magazine this is going to be one hell of a “sticky dance riot.”
(11/12) Young Prisms @Nightlight
(11/14) Pinback with Solos @Motorco Music Hall
(11/15) Dopapod @Motorco Music Hall