Tag: Black Skies
I can safely say that last Friday was my favorite Local Beat we have ever had. The guests on the show were wonderfully knowledgeable and entertaining, and the three hours we shared were exceptionally insightful into our local music scene. In case you missed it, I had a “roundtable” of sorts in which I invited several prominent members of the local music community onto the program to talk about the music in the area and their involvement. We chatted about everything from our favorite and least favorite local venues and bands to the history and future of our music scene.
First in was Betsy Harris, one of the most notable and certainly the most prolific local music photographers in the area. Betsy was a fantastic guest who shared plenty about her role in the local music community, her work as a photographer, and several fun stories about her experiences in the past several years. Be sure to check out Betsy’s Fotki and Youtube for some sweet local multimedia content. Also, below are some of Betsy’s favorite photographs that she has graciously shared with us:
Karen Mann of Mann’s World also joined me on the show for about an hour. Karen is one of the most prominent, if not the most prominent, local music blogger in our area and having her on the program was a special treat. Karen and I talked about her history in the area and her role within the music of our region. Karen was a fabulous interviewee and had plenty to say, all of it proving to be noteworthy and captivating about her dedication to the music and her blog. Karen is also having a special Mann’s World day party during Hopscotch on September 11th. Check out the flier below:
One of my favorite journalists in the area, Bryan Reed, made an appearance as well. Bryan is well known for his contributions to Shuffle Magazine where he is Assistant Editor and also the Independent Weekly where he covers local and national music. He was fun, witty, and full of knowledge on music scenes outside the Triangle region.
Linnie Green, the new editor of Diversions at the Daily Tar Heel, got quite a bit of crap from me for going to NC State’s rival school, but after I settled down and matured a little, she gave us some interesting insight into how Diversions works and what priorities they have with local music.
The mastermind behind NBC 17′s Music.MyNC was also a guest that evening. Jake is another extraordinary blogger in the area and also heads the live Sessions for Music.MyNC. I talked with Jake about how the Sessions came to be what it is and his thoughts about his contributions to the music.
Take a listen to the entire evening below, broken up into three parts:
by Sweet Melissa on Mar.22, 2010, under Local
Listen in for your chances to win some great tickets this week at WKNC! You can tune in or stream live to win. Here are the great shows that WKNC is giving away tickets to that are happening this week:
Thursday, March 25:
for fans of Metal/Rock/Crunk/Psychedelic
Friday, March 26:
for fans of Rock/Psychedelic/Garage/Experimental/Folk
You can always check out all the local shows happening in your area by visiting WKNC’s Rock Report.
Chapel Hill based hard rock band Black Skies is to be featured in a soon to be released movie documentary “Slow Southern Steel” that is about underground heavy bands from the southeast United States. The film will include interviews with band members, concert footage, and other great heavy metal glory.
Ear Farm recently created a list of the top 10 North Carolina Bands you should hear. Amazing choices that I’m sure most will agree upon, they include: The Proclivites, Bellafea, Lost in the Trees, Black Ses, Schooner, Hammer No More the Fingers, The Bronzed Chorus, Birds of Avalon, Megafaun and Lonnie Walker as their number one choice. Undoubtedly terrific choices, but we here at WKNC are lucky to get the up in coming, the raw recordings, the unheard vocals of brand new local bands. So here is my short list of 5 avid local listeners might not have heard of….yet.
5. Free Electric State: Described as “Crushing distorted guitar…and vocals stylishly almost like background sound..” by our very own DJ Caid it’s hard to not be impressed by this group. Formed in Durham, NC Free Electric State is very new with only a two song CD in the station. This band should take off quickly with its ability to grab attention with the 80st inspired vibe and catchy lo-fi sound.
4. M1 Platoon: Local Durham Hip-Hop crew M1 Platoon caught my eye during the joint album release show with Kooley High. The group joined together in the D.C. area and now can be found in Durham, NC. The lyrics consistently hype up their hometown as well as their new homes in Durham. The lyrics are great but it is the stage presence that immediately attracted me to M1 Platoon. With 7 group members plus a live DJ the stage itself is packed. It is incredible to watch each individual put their heart and souls out onto the stage. From jumping onto the amps, masking wearing interpretive dancing, to cheeky dance moves the group never stops moving. You see that the lyrics come from the heart and that what they are doing in the moment is what they are ment to do. If you only see one show this year I recommend checking out M1 Platoon doing what they do best.
3.Veelee: This band is one that I heard while driving to work. It was one of those music moments where your heart kind of fills up because you finally heard that sound you have been craving, something that shifts your insides around. Maybe that’s just me but to put it briefly, this stuff is good, really good. The Chapel Hill duo creates pop music with a strange dark side. With easy to follow singalong lyrics to unique keyboard sounds Veelee embraces the idea of minimalistic pop music that makes the listener want to put it on repeat.
2. Old Bricks: Raw, sad, make you curl up the fetal position and cry type songs. Greymatter says ” the vocal style is best described as desperate and pathetic, but it works.” He is right, it totally works. The songs run from about six to eight minutes apiece but each one just grows upon itself. With a Daniel Johnson vibe the listener feels connected and appreciative that someone else is saying it for them, that we all hurt. Old Bricks shares with us the beauty and raw power of putting real human emotions into music. Check them out August 31 at Slims Downtown.
1. You and Your Effects: Astounding folk rock built upon banjos, violins, flutes, accordions and incredible lyrics. DJ Chuck compares them to Bowerbirds, DeVotcka and Sufjan Stevens. The band is made up of five kids all under the drinking age which says a lot when listening to the lyrics these guys write. Dealing with adult issues and putting a intense,almost orchertratal(?) sounds as the background makes You and Your Effects an instant favorite to new listeners. Don’t be fooled though, they also hop to upbeat, jamish twangy rock and roll turning that frown right upside down. Unfortunately the college students are out and about doing what college kids should do…traveling the world, so don’t expect to see them live anytime soon.
Keep your eyes peeled and your ears tuned in to WKNC. For now I highly suggest checking out the links to hear for yourself just how incredible the scene around us is becoming.
Ok so it is June… but it isn’t my fault that May kicked ass. I mean seriously. I graduated from NC State, saw my family, and went to some of the best local shows I have been to in a while.
I had planed to attend several big shows in the weeks following graduation, however, I was sadly only able to make it to 3 shows featuring 8 bands. But what great shows they were.
Click on any picture to go to the full Gallery
This show was a mystery for me going in, because I was not familiar with any of the acts; also, I had never been to Cat’s Cradle before.
Now on to reason I was interested in the show- Whole Wheat Bread
I had looked forward to this concert for months because Clutch has been one of my favorite bands for the last few years. Native to Maryland and with more than 10 albums to their credit, Clutch passes through the Triangle roughly once a year; and unfortunately does not allow photography at their shows. This year’s show, while fun, was a bit of a disappointment from previous times I had seen them. The mosh pit broke out fast, but disappeared just as quickly as it had started, the lead singer didn’t have much to say to the crowd, and it was difficult to see the band due to an unusually tall audience. I dare to say metal/hard rockers Maylene and The Sons of Disaster put on a better, higher energy performance.
This show featured some of the best Raleigh has to offer in hard rock and metal, and I hate myself for not realizing what pocket I had put my camera in. It wasn’t until Colossus took that stage that I realized that I hadn’t left my camera at home.
Black Skies is from Chapel Hill and was celebrating the vinyl release of Hexagon (5/26/09). I look forward to seeing more this band in the future because I’m not entirely sure about how much I enjoyed the performance. Part of it was the stage presence of the band, part of it was the annoying buzz that was feeding into the mix from a bad cable. However, I do encourage people to check out their music none the less.
Caltrop, also from Chapel Hill, is the embodiment of local music history with members having been part of Hazerai, Pegasus, El Sucio, The Ladderback, and Valient Thorr. Caltrop produces a hard rock jam band feel that just oozes potential. The band’s LP, World Class, lives up to its’ title fully.
So in 3 weeks time, I saw 4 local bands and 4 non-local, nationally touring bands. Beleive me, the local bands certainly held their ground and put forth some great acts; and not all of the national acts were that great. Going to these shows made me think about the nature of concerts, and to a certain extent, music itself. Perhaps the biggest difference between great music/concerts/bands and everything else, is the experience one walks away with. A show by a great act makes the audience walk away pumped up, or full of memories and opinions of what they just experienced; a show by a not so great act does not. Part of why this is, is the reason people go to the show in the first place, and part of it is the showmanship of the band. When I went to see Hey Euphony, Whole Wheat Bread and Clutch, I walked away feeling as though I had experienced something. However, if I hadn’t stayed for Colossus, and had simply gone home after seeing Black Skies, I may not have felt the same way.
Part of what causes this differentiation in experience lies on the individual at the show, and the other part lies on the shoulders of the band. Colossus, Whole Wheat Bread, Hey Euphony, and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster showed up to perform; not to simply play a gig, but to rock out and have an awesome time. Now this isn’t to say that the other bands didn’t; perhaps the crowd just wasn’t into it, or came to see someone else.
It is for this reason that I ask everyone that goes to support local music, to be active at it. Don’t just go to a show to have a couple beers, hang out, or just b.s. around: Go to the show to have an experince. Get into the music, the people on stage, and the people around you. For the love god, dance, hand bang, jump around, or whatever else comes to mind. Just don’t stand there with a stick up your butt and bounce your head like a bobble head doll. One thing that bands like Colossus, Red Collar, and other local bands excel at, is bringing the audeince to the edge of thier comfortable “chill” zone and pushing them into having an awesome time.
My my my, the hits just keep coming on the Local Beat. If you thought DJ Stevo was gone for good, then you thought wrong. He’s only expressing his love for the North Carolina music scene in a different way now, through his brand new label, Neckbeard Records. And as part of the Neckbeard Records launch, they’re throwing a free show at the Local 506 on Friday night. The lineup is Gray Young, I Was Totally Destroying It, and Lemming Malloy–who will be releasing their album on Neckbeard that night. So some combination of Stevo, Lemming Malloy, and others will be stopping by right at 5:00 to talk about what the band and the label has been up to — and what they have in store.
Then at 6:00, we’re going to switch directions completely–Colossus will be stopping in to talk about their show next Wednesday (5/27) at the Pour House. They’ll be playing alongside Black Skies and Caltrop in what promises to be a pretty epic local metal show. It’s not confirmed yet, but Caltrop may be joining them. It remains to be seen. What is certain, though, is that we’ll be having a good time and getting to know our favorite bands a little better. And baseball is over, so we get the full 3 hours again! Be sure to tune in at 5:00 at 88.1 FM or wknc.org/listen.