To state the obvious, we here at WKNC love music. A lot. We also love live music. A lot. Most, if not all, of us attend many concerts and music festivals each year. What follows are lists of some of WKNC’s deejays’ favorite shows of the year. They range from national to local acts, regular shows to festivals. Some (myself included) went to so many it was hard to narrow it down to five, so we listed ten. Some lists are in numerical order, others are not. Caribou, Future Islands, and the inaugural Hopscotch Music Festival were some of the most common favorites, among dozens of other acts. Check it out:
Synthesiser Patel (Daytime/Afterhours)
- Metric @ Lollapalooza
- of Montreal @ Cat’s Cradle
DJ Mensch (Daytime)
1. The National @ Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
2. Minus The Bear @ Lincoln Theatre
3. Max Indian @ Hopscotch Music Festival
4. Broken Social Scene @ Hopscotch Music Festival
5. The Rosebuds @ Hopscotch Music Festival
May Day (Daytime)
1. Broken Social Scene @ Hopscotch Music Festival
2. Camera Obscura @ Duke Gardens
3. Surfer Blood @ Cat’s Cradle
5. OK Go @ Lincoln Theatre
DJ Mollypop (Daytime)
1. Paul McCartney @ Sprint Center (Kansas City)
2. The Weepies @ Lincoln Theatre
3. Phoenix @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre
4. Crooked Still @ Casbah
The Noobhammer (Chainsaw)
5. Boris @ Cat’s Cradle
Iris G (Daytime)
- Mumford & Sons @ 9:30 Club (Washington, D.C.)
- Ratatat @ MeetFactory (Prague)
- Active Child @ Hopscotch Music Festival
- Cassis Orange @ Duke Coffeehouse
- Veelee @ Duke Coffeehouse
- Old Bricks @ Kings
- Deerhunter @ Cat’s Cradle
Sarahnade (Daytime/Post Rock Block)
1. Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ RBC Center
3. Phoenix @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre
6. This Machine Kills Cancer benefit
DJ Ones (Daytime)
1. Phoenix @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre
2. The New Pornographers @ Memorial Hall (UNC-CH)
3. Broken Social Scene @ Hopscotch Music Festival
4. The Big Pink @ Cat’s Cradle
5. Sharon Van Etten @ Hopscotch Music Festival
DJ Hammerhead (Chainsaw)
The Blog Lady (Blog Editor/Staff Photographer)
1. The Avett Brothers @ Asheville Civic Center Arena
2. Lost In The Trees @ Cat’s Cradle
3. Mandolin Orange @ Troika Music Festival
4. The Rosebuds @ Hopscotch Music Festival
5. Chatham County Line @ Troika Music Festival
DJ Vice (Daytime)
2. Passion Pit @ The Fillmore Charlotte
3. The Avett Brothers @ Asheville Civic Center Arena
Just John (Daytime)
2. Beach House @ Cat’s Cradle
3. Every Future Islands show
4. Joanna Newsom @ Carolina Theatre
5. Ponytail @ Siren Music Festival
The Cosmic Cowboy (The Church of Bluegrass and the Truer Sound)
1. John Prine @ Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
2. Joanna Newsom @ The National (Richmond) and Variety Playhouse (Atlanta)
4. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy @ Borque’s Social Club (Scot, LA)
5. Charlie Louvin @ Borque’s Social Club (Scot, LA)
DJ Elly May (Daytime)
1. Delta Spirit @ Cat’s Cradle
3. Holy Ghost Tent Revival @ The Pour House
4. Minus The Bear @ Lincoln Theatre
5. Turbo Fruits @ Local 506
8. Alice In Chains @ Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
Agent Orange (Daytime)
1. Broken Social Scene @ Hopscotch Music Festival
Riff Raff (Daytime)
- Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros @ Cat’s Cradle
- Ludacris @ Reynolds Coliseum
DJ Kligz (Daytime/Local Lunch)
4. Beach House @ Cat’s Cradle
1. LCD Soundsystem @ Pitchfork Music Festival
3. The National @ Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
4. Wilco @ Durham Performing Arts Center
8. Deakin @ Hopscotch Music Festival
9. GWAR @ Lincoln Theatre
What were your favorite shows and/or music festivals of the year?
by Noobhammer on Dec.23, 2009, under Chainsaw
There are many great metal albums that were released in the decade known as the 1990s. However when you ask many metal heads to name some of their favorite albums, and what they think some of the best ones are, you generally hear the same albums listed. Generally the albums mentioned are Death’s Human, Sepultura’s Arise, Carcass’ Heartwork, Megadeth’s Rust In Peace, Cannibal Corpse’s Tomb of the Mutilated, Slayer’s South of Heaven, Blind Guardian’s Nightfall In Middle-Earth, Iced Earth’s Burnt Offerings and many many more. Now don’t get me wrong, these are all great albums and I enjoy them every time I listen to them. However everyone I talk to about this always seems to leave out one album, and not even mention it. Or if I do mention it, will say that they have not listened to it. This album is Strapping Young Lad’s City.
This is one hell of an album, and quite possibly one of the best albums of the 90s. Every song on this album flows perfectly, and Devin’s rage is controlled, but at the same time wild and untamed. From the opening bells of “Velvet Kevorkian”, we are set up to some of the most intense 40 minutes I have ever listened to. As soon as Devin kicks in screaming “HEY! I WANT TO BE WHERE THE ACTION IS!!”, we get a picture of the rage that Devin has pent up and he wants to release on us. With his tirade on how fucked up we are, and how much our society is pissing him off, we then get sucked into the vortex of “All Hail The New Flesh” with swirling guitars falling out as he wails into our ears with a piercing scream before telling us to go fuck ourselves. With blistering guitars and drums just pelting us sonically we are then thrown to the ground to be kicked in the stomach by “Oh My Fucking God”.
This song adds to the one-two punch that goes with the song before it. With the sound byte saying how they can’t fail, the drums suddenly kick in with a brutal solo, until Devin screams and his wall of sound comes in and blows us away with his guitars. A nonsensical tirade of words that are nigh untelligable until he gets to the chorus screaming “OH MY FUCKING GOD!!” Until it suddenly cuts off and leaves us with “Detox” and quite possibly the catchiest song on the album. This song showcases perfectly all of Devin’s abilities. From his brutality to his ability to express his pain while still being heavy as hell. A catchy riff, and catchy lyrics make this a catchily brutal song.
As soon as the song quietly goes away, “Home Nucleonics” blows you away with a wail and blistering guitar wall. Belting to us about how we have failed as a society. With stop and go riffs, the song feels like it is picking you up and slamming you on the ground with its sonic assault. Constantly beating you until it dissolves into all the members of the bands screaming madly, fading into to “AAA” which is a catchy song about Devin’s various addictions, slowly building up intensity until it hits you square in the face with its chorus screaming “NO ONE! NO ONE FUCKS WITH ME!!”. “Underneath The Waves” then blasts us in the face with double bass pedals and Devin taunting us with his voice repeating “on and on”. Until kicking in with the signature wall of sound and Devin singing about how he’s tired of the shit of world, making this not only intense sonically, but also vocally. After this song, the album begins to slow down it’s sonic intensity for a more brooding intensity.
“Room 429″ is a cover of a Cop Shoot Cop song. It’s very dark and very mid tempo, but it still has all the intensity of the earlier tracks. How dark and empty the city is, how we go through the motions of life. “Spirituality” is the final track of the album, with layers and layers of guitars stacked upon each other. This sheer heaviness of the stacked guitar tracks just seem to pile up on you, putting all the wait of city on you, making you feel overwhelmed. Which is the purpose of this album, to make you feel insignificant and tiny. That you are really nothing in this world, an insignificant speck in the grand scheme of things.
All these songs are catchy and instantly memorable. As soon as you hear one of these songs, you will be humming along with it, singing along with it, or just going buck wild. It is a classic album, and it should be remembered as one of the best albums of the 90s, if not one of the best metal albums ever made.
Greetings metal community, the Noobhammer here with my top ten albums which smashed the gates with a hammer full of steel.
10. Trenches-The Tide Will Swallow Us Whole
This album was a complete shocker for me. Yet from the instant I popped in the cd, I knew I had something special. This cd combines the heaviness of Isis with the melody and intensity of Haste The Day. This cd mixes these two elements perfectly into an album that doesn’t disappoint and will continually surprise you and have you listening to it again.
9. Arsis-We Are The Nightmare
This album blew me away with its sheer technicality and intensity. Arsis have always been one of those bands that just shock you with their skills on their respective instruments. This cd is no exception. With a step above United In Regret production wise, Arsis shows us what they can do when they flex their muscles and release that Virginian Death Metal machine.
8. Battlelore-The Last Alliance
Can you go wrong with Lord of the Rings? The answer is no, no you cannot. Battlelore has proven this by releasing their 5th full length album based off the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. They seem to gain their stride back with this release after releasing the much softer Evernight album previous to this one.
7. The Sword-Gods of the Earth
The Sword have quickly become one of the best stoner bands to ever come out. This cd is no exception. Their best work to date showcases what The Sword do best: Black Sabbathesque riffs that hook you and lyrics that just make no sense but will have you singing along nevertheless. That is what makes this album so great, their simplicity.
6. Sabaton-The Art of War
Sabaton has made a name for themselves as a power metal band that sings about wars. This album though is a album about the art of war. It has Sun Tzu’s teachings throughout it as we hear about Rommel’s Tank Division, the deaths in the trenches during WWI. This cd is just epic with its material and depth. It also has some very catchy songs that will have you banging your head.
5. Into Eternity-The Incurable Tragedy
The opening lines of this album, “The story is over”, paint the bleak outlook this album has with its concept about a patient who has cancer. This emotionally driven cd is some of the best work Into Eternity has done to date. Stu’s voice really shines on this album as well as Tim’s guitar playing. The mature growth that this band has shown over their last few albums is amazing and makes me impatient for the next album.
4. Avantasia-The Scarecrow
Tobias Sammet’s brainchild guest musician band is one of the best things to hit the metal world with it’s rock opera story and guest singers. I kept coming back to this album alot over the year due to it’s catchy songwriting and “can’t help but make you smile” lyrics. Michael Kiske, Alice Kooper, Jorn Lande, and kai Hansen all appear on this album making it a true masterpiece and hit album.
Pyramaze rose from ashes with the great Matt Barlow on vocals bringing out Pyramaze’s true potential and showing us what we all missed when Matt Barlow left the metal world. This cd just wakes you up and smacks you in the face with powerful lyrics and music. This is truly the year of the phoenix for most bands as they rose from the ashes into the spotlight of greatness.
2. Iced Earth-The Crucible of Man:Something Wicked Part 2
This was almost my album of the year just for its sheer genius and beauty that is contained within its walls. This album showed us what Iced Earth truly is, that no matter how many members they go through they can always release a great album. This album though brought back the prodigal son, Matt Barlow back to the folds of Iced Earth. His voice just fits so natural with John Schaffer’s guitars. This showed us the true power of Iced Earth and left us wanting more.
THIS IS IT!!! MY ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!! IT IS……
1. Cynic-Traced In Air
This is it. The big enchilada. Did you really not see this coming? I mean come on I even said that it was the year of the phoenix for most bands, and Cynic is truly a phoenix. They died in ’93 with Focus and were recently reborn with Traced In Air. They have truly made a masterpiece that many will be talking about for the next fifteen years. This album can be listened to so many times, and yet you wish that there was more. That’s how good it is. It wants you to have more and just shows what a truly masterful beauty this album is that many bands could only dream of attaining. These guys deserve the album of the year for writing a true masterpiece that goes along with A Piece of Time.