Photographs by Matt Moore from the Hear Here finale Oct. 3, 2009. All photographs (C) 2009 NCSU Student Media.
If you have been listening to WKNC lately, you probably know about Hear Here, a new local music compilation from Terpsikhore, Flying Tiger Sound and WKNC 88.1 FM. The 17-song CD features new tracks from Americans in France, The Beast, Birds of Avalon, Blount Harvey, Colossus, Hammer No More the Fingers, Inflowential, The Kingsbury Manx, Kooley High, Lonnie Walker, The Love Language, Motor Skills, The Never, The Old Ceremony, The Rosebuds, Static Minds and Sunfold.
Hear Here will be officially released Aug. 29 at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro. The event will feature performances by Annuals, Birds of Avalon, Hammer No More the Fingers and The Never. Tickets to the release show are $10 and include a copy of the album. Proceeds from Hear Here will go to support Raleigh’s Visual Art Exchange, a non-profit dedicated to serving emerging artists. Local artist Ryan Cummings produced all of the artwork for the album, which showcases some of the Raleigh landscape.
At 5:00, self-described rock orchestra Easy Company will be stopping by to play a few songs in studio and to talk about a show they’re putting on June 6th at the Halle Cultural Arts Theatre in Apex. If you thought Lost in the Trees was a crowd with an 11-person band, these guys have 17 members! Not sure how many are coming in for the interview and performance, but this is a situation where the throwaway line “crazier things have happened” may not necessarily apply.
At 6:00, resident Wednesday Local Lunch DJ Cioffi will be interviewing Raleigh-based progressive/experimental band Pivot. They’re playing the Brewery June 5th and will be by to talk about that.
Lastly, at 7:00, Friday Local Lunch DJ Mikey P will be interviewing Lonnie Walker about the new album, These Times Old Times, their release show/party at Schoolkids Records on Hillsborough Street and the Ahpeele warehouse on Capital Blvd. They’re also going on tour with Brooklyn-based Motel Motel in June, so Mikey will ask him about that as well.
So as you can see, we’re cramming about as much as we possibly can into luxurious post-baseball 3-hour Local Beat this Friday, 5/29. Be sure to tune in at 88.1 FM or wknc.org/listen.
The long-time music critic for The News & Observer, David Menconi, has released the 2009 version of the “The Great 8“. The Great 8 is an annual list of local music talent that shines above the rest. This year’s list is wonderfully diverse, with acts from the classic indie format to the old-school 90s punk scene to screamo to hip-hop, and he even threw in a video game music guru (because everyone needs kick ass music to listen to when taking down Bowser). Not to toot the “WKNC is better than your mother” horn or anything, but 2 of the 8 artists featured this year where apart of 88.1′s Double Barrel Benefit 6 line-up from this past weekend! If you missed DBB6, you still have a chance to catch some of these bands at a special “Great 8 Showcase” concert at the Local 506 on February 13th, 2009 including 4 of the 8 bands featured (HNMTF, Lonnie Walker, Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies, and Double Negative). Here is the full list:
Jason Graves, Raleigh
There are people who do absolutely no work and get all the credit. Jason Graves does not fall into that category, in fact, he is quite the opposite. As a video game track composer, Graves says that it does not phase him that his work is simply the background sounds to a usually much more complicated and interesting video game (unless we are playing PaRappa The Rapper, arguably the worst video game of all time). Graves says that his contributions add to the overall entertainment value of the product, and that can evoke a lot of pride. Graves also says he tries to tell a story in the lyric-less music he creates and I must say, some of his stuff evokes very strong emotions for being merely background music. My personal favorites are his Star Trek compositions…THEY ARE EPIC!
Lonnie Walker, Greenville/Raleigh
Being a Double Barrel Benefit 6 performer, naturally, Lonnie Walker kicks ass. This down-home feeling rock/Americana band signed to Raleigh based Terpsikhore Records has been compared to artists from Bob Dylan to Modest Mouse.
Double Negative, Raleigh
This old-school, hard-hitting, punk rock compilation sounds like, in terms our friend Jason Graves would understand, a band pulled directly off the soundtrack of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Yes, I mean the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater from the Playstation/Nintendo 64 era. If that description is not your bag of chips, maybe you will just have to listen.
Violet Vector And The Lovely Lovelies, Chapel Hill
The second of the Double Barrel Benefit 6 bands on the list. Pop on steroids with a whipped cream and cherry topping (after bathing in a rainbow shower). That is my best description of Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies. You can tell that these guys & gals truly enjoy what they do, and it shows in their music.
If you could get as far from the type of music we just explored with Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies, Alesana would be right there smiling (well, maybe smiling isn’t quite the appropriate word). This rift crunching, double-bass pedal pounding, mosh-it-out-over-breakfast screamo band is sure to have you with your hand in the air, fist clinched, and head banging all night.
The Loners, Raleigh
The Loners have a unique history in the Raleigh music scene. They can be considered the diamond in the rough (the rough being the closing of King’s Barcade in downtown Raleigh in the spring of 2007). After reuniting to play the last show at King’s, the band decided to stay together because of the outpouring of support they receive from the show. Fast forward almost two years and The Loners are getting set to release their first album since 2002, entitled “Revolution!” (hmm maybe a reference to THE Revolution, 88.1fm…okay probably not, but I can dream).
The beat boxes are crazy, and the live show is amazing! If you have not seen/heard of this group and you have been in Raleigh for more that a year, then you need to catch up. Inflowential (not to be mistaken for Kooley High, another hip-hop group that has crossover members) can be seen at local venues or maybe you remember seeing them place in the top three nationally in mtvU’s Best Music on Campus (a competiton with rising new music artists) last year.
Hammer No More The Fingers, Chapel Hill
Classic indie rock at its best from the town that cranks out indie-alternative like it is a day job. Its very interesting to see how three driven musicians that grew up in Chapel Hill in the 90′s turn out musically given the crazy musical scene in the town during the past decade or two (I am trying not to dwell to much on a place that is home to the ever so horrible Tar Holes, but it is hard in this case).
Lonnie Walker: it’s a band, not a dude. Although I suspect that in due time, that will be common knowledge. The one-man act—Brian Corum playing a guitar and stomping on a bass drum—turned five-man band has really caught on among WKNC DJs and listeners, self included. There seem to me to be 2 sides to Lonnie Walker, as we’ll demonstrate with 2 of their songs.
First, let’s take a look at “Summertime,” a song you’ve definitely heard if you listened to WKNC with any regularity in 2008. It’s awfully hard not to tap your foot or dance along as they alternate between spewing clever lyrics and frantically banging away on guitar while a drum beat in what, to my untrained ear, sounds like 2/2 time moves the whole thing along at a breakneck pace. And if you’re thinking about accusing Lonnie Walker of taking themselves too seriously, consider this verse:
“And I do the best I can with this head that I got.
And it’s a mighty fine nice head, and it’s got mighty fine nice thoughts.
And if my brain had legs and it could walk around the block,
it would wear a pair of sunglasses and Coppertone sunblock.
And all the people would be jealous as they saw it walk with style,
with its spinal cord a-wagging and its neurons running wild.
But there is no need for bragging all the words that it may speak,
because there are no legs attached to the ideas that it keeps.”
Very clever and playful word use that moves along so quickly that you don’t quite realize it the first few times you hear the song.
But a look at “Wider than White” reveals their other side. From the somber keyboard intro to the overlaying chord progression to Corum’s unmistakable moan to the shredding guitar solo a mere 50 seconds into the song, the entire orchestration has a very epic feel. The lyrics that operate in the not-quite-literal world lead us to the realization that there’s another, more sober side to Lonnie Walker. I’m not sure which I like more, but I do know this: I haven’t heard a song of theirs that isn’t damn good.
They have yet to release an album, but it is reportedly in the works. Which means that you’ll just have to check them out at the Pour House on the first night of the Double Barrel Benefit 6, Friday, February 6. See you there.
In the meantime, check out their interview with Mz Kelly on WKNC from June 5, 2008: