Categories
Blog Music Education

Short Dip into Japanese Hardcore Punk

Okay, hello, hi. How are we doin’? I’ve been doing a little digging around in my free time this past week to find some cool bands and sounds for my future DJ sets here at WKNC, and I stumbled upon a little bit of treasure for myself. 

I’ve taken a dive into the Japanese Hardcore punk scene. With a little bit of background research “sponsored” by Google translate, Wikipedia and Discogs, we can explore some of the limited (on my end) originations of this genre and see some of the directions it has spread until today’s time.

History Time:

Wikipedia says Japanese Hardcore started in the 1980’s to protest social reforms that were occuring at the time in Japan. With these musical protests came what is regarded as the first band on the Japanese Hardcore scene: SS.

Unfortunately, SS does not have any of their music released onto streaming services like Spotify or Bandcamp, but you can take a listen to this YouTube recording to get a taste of their sound. They have a similar style to renowned punk bands like Bad Brains and Black Flag’s earlier vibes.

SS’s sound was a perfect platform for the explosion of noises that have taken off from this point on in Japan. 

Recent Times:

One of my favorite websites I like to use for exploring genres is Every Noise at Once (shoutout to the previous GM of WKNC for teaching me about it). I was able to find tons of new, classic and stale sounds from Japanese Hardcore music here.

One of the drawbacks is that it only lists artists and bands that can be found on Spotify, so I had to do a little more research through Bandcamp (great article covering neat bands from this genre) and YouTube to discover the unique sounds that I knew were out there. 

Here a few of my favorites and links to their work:

Sicilian Blood – I loved their flashy play style, the quick vocals, rapid-fire drums and the noise level. They’ve got a mix of English curse words and Japanese lyrics, so anyone listening can have a fun time thrashing.

Sekiri – This band’s name translated to English is “dysentery”; they’re an all female group who formed in 1983 and disbanded in 1995 by 14 to 15 year olds according to Discogs. Who has more punk spirit than the youth? Sekiri’s got mellow, husky vocals, loud drums and a quiet but efficient guitar. I love listening to their track “4649, but I’m excited to explore their limited discography in depth. 

One more band I got for y’all is THE CONTINENTAL KIDS. I’ve really only listened to a few of their tracks (because I haven’t been able to find more of their content) and it’s got the energy that I was looking for. In “BANZAI ATTACK” the band unleashes a barrage of noise with some classic metal influenced guitar riffs, throaty and evil vocals and some fast paced drums which add to the nostalgic feel THE CONTINENTAL KIDS produces. 

Conclusions:

I really enjoyed perusing this genre of music and I can’t wait to create a future set out of the artists and bands I’ve taken a liking to. I hope some of this has been informative or even an interesting perspective on this genre. There’s tons more of these sounds and variations out there.

As a treat, if you made it this far, here’s a cool “Holy Diver” cover of Dio’s legendary track.

Categories
Local Music

NC Hardcore Delights – Mutant Strain and Scarecrow

Today it will be my pleasure to introduce and talk about a few North Carolina native hardcore bands. We’ll be exploring debilitating sounds from Mutant Strain and Scarecrow.

These two bands have very few or only one EP/ LP released into the wilds of internet land that I could get my hands on. So, without any experience from seeing them live and in action, I’ll be judging their sounds from headphones that only play music out of one side. 

Mutant Strain:

Ah, my hometown heroes, Mutant Strain. These guys hail from my neck of the woods, Charlotte, NC, and they offer up some grisly, sharp sounds. Mutant Strain has one EP on which they’ve released their tracks in sets of three. 

This self-titled EP was released on November 13th, 2020 under Sorry State Records, a Raleigh based recording company.

My favorite set of tracks is “Pt. 2 The Evil Hand” with “Gross” and “Hogtied” being the two songs that stand out the most to me. They flow into each other seamlessly, while bringing a really cool harsh sound to our ears as we delight in the headbanging and thrash-indicing noises.It really makes me want to punch a wall and hug someone with ferocious steroid bear strength all at once. 

Mutant Strain released a full length album just last month called, “Murder of Crows”. I still haven’t listened to the full thing, but of the tracks I’ve heard, “Carolinian Jawbreaker” is my favorite. It’s got the face-smashing, nose-breaking drums and sick, throaty and evil vocals, which combine and form unparalleled pleasantries in my head. 

Scarecrow:

This Raleigh, NC based has released two EPs and a demo tape on the recording label, Bunker Punks Discs & Tapes, which is also based in Raleigh. We love local musicians. Scarecrow’s first release was in 2018 with their demo and their most recent release is called “Crisis EP”, released in 2022. 

Scarecrow’s band members consist of Daniel Lupton, Jeff Young and Usman Khan. All of these guys are part of other bands too, so their experiences come filtering in to make some crazy good, fast punk.

To describe their sound you’re going to need to imagine a combination of high voltage electricity and bricks slamming down on your body all at once. Take a listen to “Rationalization” from their “Crisis EP” released last year. It opens with static-y guitar and then drums and guitar jolt through your ears with jumpy vocals to make me feel on edge and antsy. It’s primal emotions spewing forth from raw emotion and great lyrics.

Wrapped Up:

Both of these bands will be playing at a Sorry State Records 10th anniversary concert on the weekend of October 20 in Raleigh (of course). Luckily the tickets seem mighty affordable and the multiple other bands will produce some glorious tunes to mosh, headbang, scream and enjoy.

Categories
Local Music

Local Shows in Your Neighborhoods

Howdy! Hope everyone is doing well post-Hopscotch partying and celebrating. I’ve seen many wonderful experiences and posts on our own blog site about how it went, which you can easily check out under WKNC’s “Festival Coverage” blog tag.

But, I am not here to talk to you about Hopscotch. Over the next couple weeks there’ll be quite a few wonderful artists comin’ through the Triangle area that you could easily go see if you’re not tuckered out from Hopscotch.

Durham/ Chapel Hill:

In Durham and Chapel Hill over the next couple of days alone we have Ben Folds, Cosmic Charlie (a Grateful Dead cover band), The Connells and Nick Cave that will all be making separate shows in the area. 

If any of these shows are too spontaneous for you to go to, well good news, there are even more artists coming later this month like of Montreal, Hand Habits, Osees and Soul Glo (with Zulu). All of these shows have varying ticket prices depending on popularity and venue. 

Of course, there are like thirty bands I didn’t mention, and even more that I don’t know about, but go explore and find some cool new sounds that inspire you or make you feel good. 

Raleigh:

For you Raleigh homebodies, there are also quite a few artists (and comedians) coming to the area throughout the rest of this month. Over the next couple days Craig Robinson (a comedian) will have a few improv shows; Schoolkids Records is hosting Keep Flying; and Lil Yachty will be at the Ritz in just over a week. 

Also, the Pour House has weekly shows from Monday to Saturday and Kings has some improv and music shows on Saturdays for the rest of the month. If you’re interested in any of these shows, spend some time enjoying Raleigh’s local music venues who help attract and support local talents.

Categories
Miscellaneous

Tampopo: Ramen, Westerns and The Perfect Bite

Alright, so this week I’ll be taking a short break from my regularly scheduled blogs focused on hardcore and local music, but I’ve prepared a nice treat as a substitute. I will be writing about “Tampopo” by Juzo Itami. 

This movie was introduced to me by a good friend, and has quickly become a comforting favorite to rewatch every now and again. The biggest draws towards this movie are its comedy, food presentation, and wacky characters. “Tampopo” is all about a novice ramen maker trying to become a full-fledged ramen master by the end of the movie. 

I’ll dive a little deeper into the plot, but not too much so that it ruins the movie. Honestly, I think even if this film were to be spoiled it’d be terrific to watch anyway because of how the actors deliver their jokes, lines, and emotion on screen. I could never capture the beauty on the screen and translate it into words here. 

Serving 1 – Plot

The movie opens in a movie theater with a dapper man and woman talking through the fourth wall to us about how to enjoy a movie with food (no chips!). These two characters are fun additions to the main plot of Goro (played by Tsutomu Yamazaki), Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto) and Gun (Ken Watanabe) trying to fix up Tampopo’s ramen shop. 

Tampopo is a vibrant woman running a ramen shop with lots of beautiful smiles, earnest attempts at improvement and so much love towards everyone and everything. She is one of my favorite characters in the movie as she is so cheerful and wonderful throughout the film. 

This film has many characteristics of a classical Western in that it has a strong vagabond protagonist trying to better the people around them, Goro wears a cowboy hat, and loves to fight to make a point. “Tampopo” also is a comedy. It satirizes the tropes of Westerns and makes fun of many cultural customs like eating quietly.

By the end of the film we are in love with the whole cast of characters and rolling around laughing because of the ridiculous behaviors, scenes and gags that we get to witness on Tampopo’s journey to becoming a ramen master.

Serving 2 – Music

“Tampopo” blends jazzy instrumental scenes with classical scores to elicit emotions like awe, love, joy and comedic shock. The composer and sound workers for this film created a life-like city while adding in sound effects to enhance the noodle-slurping madness that makes this move so appealing. 

There’s also a great scene with a group of unhoused people from the city singing a beautiful song in appreciation for their one true ramen master who taught them to appreciate food. 

Plate 3 – A Sip of Sake before We Go

“Tampopo”, a lot like “Monty Python” and other satirical movies, has many gag scenes that aren’t focused on the characters of the movie, but do have to do with the general theme of the film. Many such scenes include an old woman fondling soft items in a grocery store, a Charlie Chaplin-esque scene focused on sneaking into a kitchen to make a beautiful egg and rice dish, a sick mother dying and her family eating her meal she made as a sign of respect and a few other naughty scenes played out by the couple from the beginning of the film. 

I don’t know what y’all look for in films but if you want comedy, food, music, emotion and anything else, “Tampopo” is the place to go. It’s easy to watch on HBO (or other places if you’re not willing to pay for a subscription…). There are many unmentioned treats in this film because there’s so much to explore and love. 

Categories
New Album Review

“Only Constant” by GEL

GEL is a band that has recently emerged onto the hxc and punk scenes within the past couple years. They’ve released two EPs and now, their first album, “Only Constant”, back in March of this year. This newest release has a runtime of sixteen minutes and twenty-nine seconds. It features a unique blend of hardcore punk and metal. 

The band is currently composed of Sami Kaiser (vocals), Anthony Webster (guitar), Bobko (bass), Madison Nave (guitar) and Zach Miller (drums). GEL’s previous EPs are “Shock Therapy” released in 2022 and “Violent Closure” released in 2021. 

As for their sound, I would consider them to have one foot in a pool of molten, hardcore punk and the other foot sinking in the sludge of metal. They are able to get the edgy lyrics and lighter vocals from punk, while drawing up the guitar and deeper sounds from metal very well.

Only Constant” in Detail:

Composure

I have to say this track is by far my favorite from the album. It’s longer than the rest by at least a whole minute and features instrumentals that can induce some heart palpitations. The quick bursts from the guitar and drums jolt my head. It’s a great album closer and it feels like it has the most ties to metal in the album with coarse vocals. 

The Way Out” 

Next on my list of likes from this album is “The Way Out”. It is short, but definitely not sweet. Fifty-three seconds of raw energy compelling me to headbang and mosh wherever I am. Also to note in this track are the lyrics:

“I’m tugging on the bone don’t want them to be known

Feelings come in quick – brace for your turn and hit

Still waters thickly sit, beneath the buoyant brink”

Lyrics from “The Way Out” by GEL

I love the consonance on the third line with ‘beneath the buoyant brink” and the extended use of water and pressure imagery. This lyricism is smart with tons of emotion and thought poured into it, so I love being able to appreciate the band’s ability to make it enthralling too. 

Fortified

This was not one of my favorite tracks. Unfortunately they can’t all be winners. Of course, it’s not bad, but it lacks the same appeal and attention grabbing that many of the other songs have on this release. “Fortified” blends into the background of this album being surrounded by “Honed Blade” and “Attainable”.

GEL-ing Up:

This is a great first full length release for GEL. I think they’ve got some unique flavors and sounds that will (hopefully) continue to grow in strength as they progress forward into their future. 

I don’t really know who reads these posts, but be sure to form your own opinions based on your listening experience. Don’t take my silly perspective on this genre as credible or incredulous. All this is my view on how this music makes me feel. If you like this music, cool. If you hate this music, cool. Just try your best to take in what these artists and bands are putting forth for us, the consumers, to enjoy.

Categories
Classic Album Review Local Music

“Demo” by Slug Salter

Raleigh’s hardcore (hxc) scene is wonderfully diverse as I mentioned in my first article of this year. Slug Salter’s appearance on the NC hxc scene as a power violence and death metal band hasn’t made too many big waves or headlines just yet, but you should be prepared.

This three piece band from Raleigh has one demo tape currently released into the wild world of music. It was released a little over a year ago and has a run time of twelve minutes and forty-two seconds with seven tracks. I know, I know. This isn’t very lengthy, but the quality of music in a few of these tracks makes this band worth listening to.

I’ve seen that they’ve had shows at the Pour House in downtown Raleigh and a few other venues on their Instagram posts, but I haven’t had the chance to see them live myself. As they’re still a young band, they don’t headline many, if any, shows yet. 

Below, I have laid out three standout tracks from this demo, but feel free to check out the whole thing on their Bandcamp page or Spotify page. And, as a precaution, this band uses very foul language, so plug your ears if you hate “dirty words”.

Check Out This “Demo”:

RAT TORTURE

Jarring and torturous drum beats concuss your head slam after slam into drywall. Envision that and you can picture just how much violence is in this track. It’s absolute god-fearing insanity which chills and thrills the skin. I love the mix of high and low pitched vocals and the sickly, nasty guitar. 

The name “RAT TORTURE” is horrifically dark. Why would anyone want to listen to anything like that? It’s the peace and quiet after this track ends that helps me appreciate this kind of music. Strange moments of absolute misery then abrupt peace are all too common, and I think music like this helps us figure out how to navigate these moments with emotional wisdom and odd clarity. 

APE BECOME MAN

Another hxc track that has a ridiculous soundbyte that leads into rapidly evolving chaos. I’m not gonna lie, I cannot decipher the words in this song at all, but I love how evil and angry it is. The band is able harness their sounds of chaos very well and use it to create a terrifying landscape of vast horrors capable of inciting mass hysteria. Perfect.

EARTHF*** SPEEDKILL

If this demo were to have a title track, I’d say this is the one. It has the most noticeable and constant rhythm out of any of the tracks and a bit of a longer intro compared to the others too. As it’s the longest song on the album (a whole two minutes and thirty-five seconds), it can take the liberty of expressing a few more unique instrumental sounds without vocals or anything laid overtop. 

Any Final Words?

Hey, if you’ve got thirteen minutes to spare, or need to quickly explode and vent some anger, I’ve found Slug Salter’s “Demo” to be a great emotional catalyst. Don’t go hurting anyone, but be sure to get your feelings out there and heard. 

It’s been great to be able to focus on small hxc bands in the Raleigh area so far this semester. I’ve found quite a few other bands that I am excited to explore in-depth in the next few weeks on this blog segment, so be sure to keep an eye out for these posts every week.

Categories
Local Music

Now Spinning: To Live a Lie Records

Why would I take time out of my day to talk about an independent record label? It’s probably due to the similar urge that drives me away from big name grocery stores and into small locally managed markets and stores to buy produce – I want to know the people that live around me even better. 

To Live A Lie Records (TLAL) is a local Raleigh based record label (and record store) run by Will Butler. They focus on cultivating sounds from the grindcore, fastcore and a variety of other delightful hardcore subgenres. 

Now, I wouldn’t want to spread any words about a local business that I found boring, but To Live  A Lie harbors a truly unique sound coming from hardcore (HXC) around the world. In an interview, Butler mentions the reason he started this label was to help bands like his own to get their sounds into the wild (CVLT Nation interview). 

Who is TLAL?

Will Butler founded TLAL in Raleigh in 2005, which makes it a whopping 18 years old. Butler, as mentioned in an interview, started this label all on his own, working an “adult job” and putting money from that into this business (Idioteq interview). 

Some of the big bands that TLAL has worked with or works with are Crom, ACxDC (also known as Antichrist Demoncore) and Fading Signal (local Raleigh band), and their more recent projects include Realize (Arizona industrial metal) and Endless Swarm (blisteringly speedy grindcore). All of these artists and bands can be found on TLAL’s Bandcamp page.

I absolutely love the music this label continues to find and release. Butler has done a wonderful job of finding a niche genre and working with artists to produce high quality products year after year. One of the joys of looking through TLAL’s catalog is noticing where some of these bands come from. There are bands from Michigan, Indonesia, Turkey and more.

What does TLAL offer besides good tunes?

TLAL’s website might be a bit outdated and slow, but the content on there is wonderful. There are release updates and posts regularly by Butler. Sometimes there are touring dates posted. Generally, there’s an abundant wealth of information available to anyone that spends some time digging and pilfering the nuggets of gold littered throughout. 

Also, TLAL has a brick and mortar record shop in Raleigh, which I still need to go check out myself. I don’t know how much money I’d be draining out of my wallet if I stepped foot in the store, so I’m a little scared to visit. 

Butler’s To Live A Lie records has its place cemented in not only Raleigh HXC history, but also the history of the genres that TLAL releases. Independent record labels like this one support so many deserving artists because they actually care about the art and emotions being put into the records that are produced.

TLAL’s discography spans a deep 18 years, and I cannot wait to swim my way through the slurry of screaming sounds over the next few months. It’ll be like panning for gold when everything glitters and catches my eye.

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Itchy Kitty: Cats in Spotlight

So, Itchy Kitty, a wonderfully perverse band name, clawed its way into my ears through chance a few years ago when I watched Built to Spill’s performance at Cat’s Cradle way, way back in 2022. I wrote a little about their performance and who some of the members were in this article, but I haven’t stopped listening to their music. 

Their harsh sounds and self described “bubblegum p***” genre labels got me addicted to their music and kept me returning for more and more of their sounds (quote from The Spokesman-Review). Itchy Kitty has four releases within their seven-ish year existence as a band and focuses their sound within the punk genre by using shrill, explosive vocals, cranked-up guitar and heart-thumpin’ drum beats. 

Who’s this Band?

The members of Itchy Kitty are made up of Ami Elston (guitar, bass, vocals), Naomi Eisenbrey (bass, vocals), Michael (Sug) Tschirgi (drums, percussion), and their guitarist known as Catman. They are currently signed with CORPORAT Records and they’re based out of Spokane, Washington.

Itchy Kitty, as previously mentioned, has four releases out-n’-about, three of which are found on Spotify and all can be found on their Bandcamp. Their releases (in order of earliest to latest release) are “Careless Whisker” from 2016, “Mr. Universe” from 2018, “Under the Covers” from 2020, and “Feargasm” also from 2020.

Album and Sounds

“Feargasm” (EP)

A few the most memorable tracks from this EP are “Fish Money” and “Sexy Requiem” These two tracks differ almost violently, as one is a classic sounding punk track with a strange subject matter (fish money), and the other is an eight minute track with calm, wispy vocals and ethereal sounds. 

“Under the Covers” (EP)

This EP focuses on covers from four different bands. My two favorites are “Sonic Reducer” and the “Psycho Killer” cover. I was lucky enough to see the “Psycho Killer” cover live at the Built to Spill show I mentioned earlier, and Eisenberry’s method of signing this track led to her convulsing on the stage floor in a horrific manner. Itchy Kitty pulls new electric emotions from both these tracks, which I found added to my appreciation of the original sounds. 

“Mr. Universe” (LP)

In this LP I found “Size Queen”, “Bore” and “Walk Towards Work”  to be exhilarating additions to their discography and band’s sound. “Size Queen” focuses on a feminine perspective of body shaming particular parts of a male body with good humor and thrash-y sounds, while “Bore” opens up the album with scratchy vocals and throwing insults towards the boring folks that infest various parts of life. 

“Careless Whisker” (LP)

And in Itchy Kitty’s first LP (that’s available on streaming services), the top couple of tracks I’ve fallen in love with are “Tomcat Society”, “Year of the Slut” and “NoMe”. “Year of the Slut” stands out the most to me on this album. It feels like the backbone of what Itchy Kitty wants to sound like. The lyrics are comedic and crass, while the music exudes an air of wonderful ‘moshability’

Itchy Kitty’s main drawback for me is that they don’t have more content out yet. This band is quite young and I cannot wait to see what they continue to do. On their Instagram page they’ve been pretty active with tours and concerts, so hopefully once they settle down for a few months they’ll be back in the studio recording some new “bubblegum p***”.

Categories
New Album Review

Memorrhage’s “Memorrhage” Album Review

ALBUM: “Memorrhage”

RELEASE YEAR: 2023

LABEL: Big Money Cybergrind

BEST TRACKS: “Memory Leak”, “Exit”, “Brain Wield”

FCC: Some tracks have explicit content.

The rage and passion in Memorrhage’s self-titled release still has its dirty, disastrous cybernetic probes stuck in my brain after listening to it three months ago. The Nü-Metal inspired sounds and highly electronic atmosphere the whole album exudes fits into a niche of metal music I never considered I needed for my ears. 

Memorrhage is just a side project done by prolific metal artist Gary Brents. He has been (and still is) a part of Cara Neir, Gonemage, and has been part of multiple other bands over the years. Brents experimented with a multitude of music genres to achieve the sound of Brents’ “tribute to growing up with nu-metal in the 90s/00s” (As stated on Memorrhage’s Bandcamp bio).

But enough about that. Let’s dive into the album.

“Memory Leak”

Each song on this album tells its own narrative. Each is in their own Sci-Fi cyber-hellscape. To start the album off, “Memory Leak” is telling us about a rogue videogame entity wreaking havoc in the digital world through a data leak. Bizarre, I know, but look (and listen of course) to these lyrics:

“It starts with a flicker and an itch

In my dreams and the corner of my eye

Then it’s all over my skin, it’s scalding

A million voices screaming

And I can’t make them stop

I can see the circuits breaking

It lost its mind to technicolor

Dreams of cloaking schemes”

Lyrics taken from “Memory Leak” by Memorrhage

Memorrhage’s horrid beauty forces itself through your ears and makes you understand the emotion and artistry of pain coming from this odd perspective. The brutal sounds drew me into this track at first and then diving into the strange world building in the lyricism made me go slack-jawed and wide eyed in appreciation of the thought and love poured into “Memory Leak”.

“Exit”

And that doesn’t change throughout the whole album. Each song is filled with love and raw emotion that drives further from your expectations at every turn. In “Exit” the pitter-patter, then builds to explosive vocal screams is so good at exciting me for the ‘boom’ I experience at the beginning of the song every time. Any time I want to feel an explosive force of energy course its way under my skin and into my nerves, I flip on this track and start jittering just at the start. 

“Brain Wield”

So… track eight of this album brings us to a particularly heavy variety of instrument and technical diversity compared to the other tracks on this album. “Brain Wield” is listed as the track with the most guest appearances with a total of nine different artists playing a role in the creation of this track.

From Mr. Rager, a DJ makin’ brain ripping record scratches, to a slew of metal vocals coming from Brent’s connections in the industry, “Brain Wield” seems to be the most technically advanced track and I believe it pays off in a big way. 

Memorrhage combines Nü-Metal, some glitch elements, and one of my favorite 90’s genres: turntablism. “Brain Wield” also has a few spoken narrative elements weaved in to help tell the story of this song too (you can read a synopsis of it on the Bandcamp page that is linked above).

All of these additions to this one track are wonderful tools to aid in storytelling and don’t inhibit listeners from obtaining the emotional wasteland this album continues to shove into our ears. 

The Other “Scraps”:

This isn’t to say the other tracks on this album are lame or don’t have the same pull the previous three do, but the magnetism of the aforementioned tracks are so great that I don’t have enough time and space to dive into what makes each song in this album so sickeningly pleasing to me. 

I’ll instead give quick one-liner description for a few tracks:

Reek” is just that: an offensive odor that doesn’t leave your nose but still leaves you addicted to it.

Finesse” includes high pitched electronic bleeps and heart stopping pauses leaving my adrenaline coming to jolting starts and stops.

Utility” has the classic Nü-Metal choruses mixed with hard record scratches and alluring space opera ballad content.

Finale:

This whole album is a unique take on the Nü-Metal genre and I think it does a great job of improving and inventing new sounds within the genre that might’ve inhibited it from reaching greater renown in the past. The glitch-techno aspects of this album are huge draws to me as it feels like a ginormous Sci-Fi adventure in a gorier version of a “Blade Runner” type universe (but far more interesting, sorry Philip K. Dick). 

Memorrhage’s opening album holds great promise to inspire old and new artists alike to return to old, worn-out genres of metal that could use some new sounds and approaches. I am excited to see where Gary Brents takes this project and to see the impact it might have on future sounds in metal.

Categories
Miscellaneous

Dipping Toes into Raleigh’s Local Scenes

Hello all! I am Ben/ DJ chef. I have done some writing for WKNC’s blog before, but these next few months I am going to be doing something different than my usual variety of articles.

Once a week I will be focusing on an aspect of Raleigh or the surrounding Triangle area’s local artists, bands, and venues. I will be exploring what makes these performances or places a unique staple to this section of the Carolinas.

Venues:

Last summer I had tons of fun writing a silly article about some of Raleigh’s parks, and since then I wanted to do similar articles by exploring the Triangle’s music scene via its venues, sounds, and smells (of food of course).

I have some specific spaces in mind that I want to get to know better and to share my experience at a few of Raleigh’s staple music venues, like The Pour House, which has been one of my favorite spots to take friends and go see smaller shows in a low-key environment. I witnessed a wonderful country and americana performance by Joshua Hedley and Lauren Morrow. Also, I had my ears shredded to a fine liquid by one of the loudest performances I’ve had the pleasure of being present at with AUGURS at The Pour House in May. 

A few venues I plan to experience in full over the next few weeks are Slims, a little bar and very tight space for the best intimate crowd experiences; Local 506, a Chapel Hill spot that many hardcore (HC) bands perform at; The Pinhook, a Durham venue that I’ve been to once and really enjoyed – it reminded me The Pour House; and of course I will do my best to visit more places I haven’t heard of yet too.

Record Companies:

Another aspect of this series I want to dive into are the local record companies based in the Triangle area. I will see and experience the investments people are making in music that are right here in this area. For example, Sorry State Records is based right here in Raleigh and I’d love to pick up on the pulse of music they encourage, and what kind of sounds they want to blossom.

Local Music:

Of course I want to continue unfolding my love for HC bands around here too because this section of North Carolina has great potential for an even larger audience for these bands and artists. I believe we already have a great foothold in this genre with bands like Fading Signal, Super Reg, and Corrosion of Conformity

But don’t worry, I won’t be focusing solely on HC and metal, but I’ll return to my roots and spread my enjoyment of local artists with some country twang, bubbly pop, or even smooth jazzy styles. 

I really want to show how much Raleigh’s music scene has to offer those who want to explore it. This city and the entire Triangle area is full of a wide variety of folks that help keep the multitude of flavors swirling and shifting to new directions. Hopefully y’all want to adventure forth into this music scene with me.