Categories
Short Stories

Random Acts of Kindness: A One Direction Concert Gone Right

When I was a pre-teen, I, like millions of other people, was obsessed- and I don’t use that word lightly- with One Direction. I had posters and random branded merchandise (a toothbrush and toothpaste), I read fanfiction, the whole nine yards. My older sister was also very into them, and our obsessions fed off each other. From their first album all the way until their last, we were invested, although the sparkle did fade after some time.

By the time they were on their third tour titled “Where We Are Tour,” I had been wanting to go to one of their concerts for what felt like forever. As a Christmas gift, my parents got me and my sister lawn tickets at their Charlotte show at PNC Music Pavilion (then known as Verizon Wireless Amphitheater). We were ecstatic.

I had a soccer game earlier in the day, but after I came home and showered and got into my concert attire (a flannel, grey t-shirt, and jeans), I was ready to go. Upon arrival, my sister and I quickly realized that my soccer game had impeded us from getting there when doors opened, and that we’d be seated at the back of the lawn. 

My older sister and I at the Charlotte show of One Direction’s “Where We Are Tour” on September 28, 2014.

As disappointment crept up my throat, two middle aged women approached me and my sister, and told us that they had seated tickets that they were not going to use. At first skeptical, we further questioned them, and they explained that for some reason I no longer remember that they were leaving and no longer needed the seats. My sister, the older one, and thus in charge used her best judgement and decided that this was legit. We walked up to the guards scanning the seated tickets and they pointed us in the right direction: we were going to be astronomically closer than we had expected.

I don’t remember a single thing from that concert. The only fragment of a memory I have is that I cried during “What Makes You Beautiful.” Apparently, Harry Styles put on a banana costume. But what I will always remember is those two women making two teen girls’ dreams come true, and that for a while, it was the best night of my life.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I was a Niall girl.

Until next time,

Caitlin

Categories
Miscellaneous

Screen Time: What to do Instead of Doom-Scrolling

I treasure my screen time (my weekly screen time report is an embarrassing number). But sometimes, even when I want to be taking a break, scrolling through all of my endless feeds can be very emotionally and mentally draining. When I want to be on my phone or computer, but don’t want to scroll myself into the void, here’s what I do instead.

Phone Games

I feel like everyone is entitled to at least one silly little phone game that they are way too into. For me, it’s the app/website Cardgames.io (right now I am going through a major Farkle phase but I have played most games on there). Whether it be a card game, an adventure game or something where you have to tend to crops, let yourself have a game or two on your phone. It’s all in good fun.

Make A Playlist

If you’re in a creative mood, check out my blog “Struggle Making Playlists? Have Some Playlist Prompts.” It could potentially give you some new ideas for ways to freshen up your music library. 

Quizzes

There are two types of quizzes I frequent in my free time: personality quizzes and knowledge quizzes. Recently, I’ve been loving the Taylor Swift Sporcle quiz where you have 11 minutes to try and name every song on every album. Sporcle is a generally good resource for the knowledge/trivia based quizzes, but you can find them on all corners of the internet. 

The “Wikipedia Game”

You know the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” phenomenon? It’s kind of like that, but with Wikipedia. As Wikipedia describes it on the Wikipedia page for the game the objective is: “Players (one or more) start on the same randomly selected article, and must navigate to another pre-selected target article, solely by clicking links within each article. The goal is to arrive at the target article in the fewest clicks (articles), or the least time.” This is fun on your own, but is especially fun racing a friend. 

Catch Up On Favorite Podcasts/Current Audiobook

I feel like all I do is recommend my own blogs but I have written a blog with some podcast recommendations, as well as several blogs with book reviews (“You Have A Match,” “Tweet Cute,” “The Unhoneymooners”).  But if you have your own personal favorite that you haven’t listened to in a while: do it, it’ll be worth it.

Set The Phone Down

If you’ve exhausted all of these, maybe screen time should come to a close. Or not, I won’t tell you what to do. 


Here’s to no more doom-scrolling,

Caitlin

Categories
Miscellaneous

Why WKNC Rocks

As I wrote about in “My Year Writing For WKNC,” I’ve been involved one way or another with WKNC for about a year now, and I want to share a few of the many wonderful things about the Triangle’s very own 88.1.

The People

Whether it be sharing memes in the Discord, eating lunch together in the lounge, or waving to one another on campus, I’ve met some wonderful people at the station. It’s a blessing to be surrounded by people who have seemingly infinite knowledge about music and who are incredibly talented.

New Music Everywhere, All The Time

I used to have this irrational fear that I would never be able to listen to all the music in the world, and that I could have a favorite song out there that I just hadn’t listened to. WKNC has exposed me to hundreds of new songs and bands and diminished this fear almost entirely. If I ever get bored with my music, I know I can always tune into HD-1, HD-2, go to the blog, the YouTube channel, or our Discord to find something new to listen to. 

The Interior Design

I cannot stress how many stickers and posters adorn the doors and walls of the station. I notice something new every time I walk into the station. Not to mention the LED lights that set the ambience in the HD-1 and HD-2 studios.

The Coolest Opportunities

I’ve gotten to DJ at The Den, write blogs for the station, and interview my peers. I’ve also seen my fellow DJs get to attend festivals and conferences, express themselves creatively and achieve other wonderful things through WKNC.

Creative Outlet

Making playlists has always been my jam, but getting to share them with people live for one hour every week is such an immense privilege. 

Our Amazing Advisor, Jamie

I’ve never met someone so radically supportive and accepting. Not to mention, she’s pretty cool, herself. I, and I’m sure the other DJs agree, could not ask for a better advisor.


If you’re a student at NC State on the fence about getting involved at WKNC, go for it. Seriously, it’s changed my life, and your time at WKNC can be whatever you want it to be. 

Long Live College Radio,

Caitlin

Categories
Playlists

Albums On Repeat This Fall

Autumn is in full swing (although, I wish it were at least 15 degrees cooler outside), which means my rotation of albums to circle through is autumn to its core. So, let’s get straight into it and look at the albums I frequent during the fall time. Hopefully this list can give you some inspiration or remind you of an album you haven’t heard in a while.

  • “Tapestry” — Carole King (1971)
  • “Tender Buttons” — Broadcast (2005)
  • “Any Other City” — Life Without Buildings (2001)
  • “Figure 8” — Elliott Smith (2000)
  • “Lesser Matters” — The Radio Dept. (2003)
  • “The New Abnormal” — The Strokes (2020)
  • “Just As I Am”— Bill Withers (1971)
  • “Hypnic Jerks” — SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (2018)
  • “Emmerdale” — The Cardigans (1994)
  • “Painted Shut” — Hop Along (2015)
  • “songs” — Adrianne Lenker (2020)
  • “Dark In Here” — The Mountain Goats (2021)

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • “Our Extended Play” — beabadoobee (2021)
    • Unfortunately only four songs, so it’s not an album, but it’s so, so good.
  • “Speak Now” — Taylor Swift (2010)
    • Controversial to not list “Red,” but “Speak Now” (despite having a song called “Back To December” on it) is much more fall to me. An honorable mention because this probably isn’t up the alley of most WKNC listeners, but hey, you never know.

Happy listening,

Caitlin

Categories
Music News and Interviews

Mitski’s Return to Music

On October 1, Mistki fans rejoiced as they noticed that she had made a return to Twitter and Instagram, which had both been deactivated by the artist since July of 2019. On October 4, she (or rather, her management, as the bios on both of these accounts read “Account run by Management”) posted a cryptic image indicating that music would be coming the next morning.

New music came indeed. At 10 a.m. ET on October 5, Mitski released a brand new single, “Working for the Knife.” I have been consistently disappointed by my favorite artist’s comebacks this year, but Mitski is an exception to that rule; she never disappoints. 

“Working for the Knife” Music Video

From the lyricism to the production to the nihilistic subject matter, this single is Mitski through and through. My favorite lyric comes in the very first verse: “I cry at the start of every movie / I guess ’cause I wish I was making things, too.”

Along with the single, she announced tour dates, and she begins her tour with two North Carolina stops, and I’m excited to say the least. She’ll be performing at The Orange Peel in Asheville on Feb 17, 2022 and at The Ritz in Raleigh on Feb 18, 2022. I was able to snag tickets to her Raleigh show, and am tentatively going to attend.

Here’s to good comebacks,

Caitlin

Categories
Playlists

It’s Fall, Y’all (October Edition)

As you may have seen previously here on the blog, I started a Fall themed playlist in September that that I said I’d be adding 15 songs to each month of Fall (September, October and November) to celebrate this wonderful season. 

Where the last playlist was melancholia and cold warmth, this section of the playlist is synth and October-chill. Picture it: trick-or-treating in 50 degree autumn chill, decorative skeletons on your neighbors’ porches, apple cider, haunted mansions and the controlled fright of horror movies. 

  • “Texas Choir” — St. Vincent
  • “Elm” — Clever Girl
  • “Caught in the Briars” — Iron & Wine
  • “Tonight I Feel Like Kafka” — Jealous of the Birds
  • “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft” — Carpenters
  • “monumental shame” — SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE
  • “Call off the Dogs” — Marika Hackman
  • “the devil’s dance” — Dafna
  • “Animals” — Big Thief
  • “Lights Out” — Broadcast
  • “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” — Bon Iver
  • “Séquence de Rêve (Parts I and II)” — Whatever, Dad
  • “Love Song” — Vashti Bunyan
  • “Sore” — Emily Yacina
  • “Everyone I’ve Never Met” — Leith Ross

I hope this playlist fulfills your spooky October needs, and I can’t wait to show you what I have in store for November. As always you can stream this playlist on Spotify.

Until next time,

Caitlin

Categories
Miscellaneous

My Year Writing for WKNC

Although my first blog “Best of Phoebe Bridgers” wasn’t published until the end of November, I first expressed interest in being a contributor to WKNC’s blog around a year ago now. I have come a long way since that first blog, and want to reflect on my year writing for the best college radio station in the world (or, at the very least, in my world). 

Firstly, what started as a hobby, has resulted in a complete change in my life. If I never began writing for WKNC, I most likely would have never become a DJ, never been hired as a content creator, or changed my concentration (previously interpersonal communication, now communication media). I’ve slowly but surely dipped my toe into the wonderful world of radio, meeting wonderful people along the way. I’ve gained friends, experiences I’ve only dreamed of, and have fulfilled my dream of writing about music. To think I was just bored at home for the semester, looking for a way to pass the time, and walked unknowingly into this world feels nothing short of a miracle.

I figured I’d pull back the curtain just a bit and let you know what are my favorite blogs I’ve ever written, in case you missed them and are looking for a good read (or 5).

  • Struggle Making Playlists? Have Some Playlist Prompts: This is a semi-recent addition to the blog but a favorite nonetheless. If you struggle organizing your music, I recommend following some of the tips outlined in this blog. Who knows? It just might help you.
  • “Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night” New Album Review: I, despite being a longtime Bleachers fan, was disappointed in their recent release.  I was very proud of myself for being able to convey that through my writing without being too scathing. Hooray for constructive criticism.
  • The “Rosyln” Mystery: This mystery still bugs me even though I seem to have gotten to the bottom of it. If anyone has any information as to why the name of “Rosyln” by Bon Iver and St. Vincent on the “Twilight: New Moon” soundtrack is a typo, please let me know.
  • How to Find New Music: I know far too many people that say they struggle with this. Finding new music is a delight, so why not find a way to do it that suits your fancy?
  • The Timeless Magic of “The Parent Trap” (1998) Soundtrack: My favorite movie of all time, and a concept I’ve been discussing for years, all wrapped up into one blog. I’m no movie buff, so it’s likely that this may be the last time you see me writing about a movie’s soundtrack.

Thank you WKNC, I’ll write for you as long as you let me,

Caitlin

Categories
DJ Highlights

DJ Profiles: Big Hoss and DJ Lizzo

DJ Names: Big Hoss and DJ Lizzo

Show Name: Girls’ Guide to the Outlaw Spirit

Show Time: Thursdays 9-10am

Show Description: Feelings music – country, rock, Americana, cowpunk, alternative for listeners who enjoy Waylon Jennings, Liz Phair, Guided by Voices, Tom Waits, etc.


Where was the idea for “Girls’ Guide” born?

BIG HOSS: We both had shows originally on our own. And we were like we want to do a show together that would be fun, and the whole concept and the name and our first set pretty much was all conceived on her parents for the porch, one night at the end of summer over that first COVID summer.

DJ LIZZO: Yeah, we were like sitting on the porch, I guess maybe we were making a playlist first. And we were like, and we were trying to think of what to call it. And we spent like an hour just trying to think of a name. And there was this book called girls guide hunting and fishing that Big Hoss introduced me to and we were obsessed with and still are still are. 

BIG HOSS: And then we spent a long time trying to come up with what it was the “Girls’ Guide” to. I think we were going through colors for a while and listing color names we liked. But then we were looking on Wikipedia pages of music we liked trying to find common description words. And one of them was on the “Outlaw Country” Wikipedia page, it talks about the outlaw spirit. Yeah, so we were like, that’s it. 

How do you go about curating sets, is it a collaborative process or more of a trade off?

DJ LIZZO: Yeah, it’s definitely collaborative. Usually, it’s just like, throughout the week, one of us makes a playlist and then we both add songs. And sometimes it’s like, I don’t know we’ve gone through little “Girls’ Guide”phases… like, when was that, last fall?

BIG HOSS: Yeah, last fall we went through a really big, like, 90s girl phase, where we would play Poe and Garbage and stuff like that every week. We definitely have the phases and sometimes we’ll make the playlists together at night. 

DJ LIZZO: Yeah, that’s really that’s really fun. 

BIG HOSS: Those are some of our favorites. 

Do you guys have any guilty pleasure music, stuff that wouldn’t normally make it on “Girls’ Guide”?

BIG HOSS: Yes, but sometimes I’m like “maybe we should put this on the show.” Yeah, we definitely do. Honestly it’s been really hard for me over the past year to not put Lana Del Rey. I don’t feel guilty about it, but you can’t play her on WKNC because she’s too big. But she is one of my top artists. 

DJ LIZZO: Actually the first night we planned out our name, it was like a week after “folklore” by Taylor Swift came out and we were listening to “mirrorball” all night.

How has your show evolved over time?

DJ LIZZO: I feel like in the beginning we had this specific sound in mind. I think a lot of it was like, both of us brought our music tastes from each of our separate shows. So we had an idea of what our sound would be and how our tastes overlapped. 

BIG HOSS: Yeah, I feel like our first set. We were like, this is the perfect set. And for a little while we thought “this is the formula for every other set” and were like, “we need a song that sounds like this and we need a song that sounds like this” and so on. I think over time, we’ve definitely loosened up the boundaries of our show.

What are the stories behind your DJ names?

BIG HOSS: Big Hoss is a country term of endearment and Waylon Jennings was called  that, people always called him “Hoss.” And it’s just like, what you would say to a country man: “Hey, hoss what’s the deal with this?” But I don’t remember how I came up with it,  it just appeared one day. 

DJ LIZZO: I guess not as many people called me “Lizzo” in college, maybe or something, but it was a nickname I’ve had since preschool and I wanted to carry it on into college. So I thought that like it being my DJ name would be good. But, pretty much everyone just calls me “Lizzo” at the station now. 

When I first saw your DJ name was Lizzo, it did not occur to me that Lizzo could be a nickname for something, so for a little while I thought you named yourself after Lizzo, the pop star. 

DJ LIZZO: I think that a lot of people probably think that. Sometimes I forget there’s an actual famous person who goes by Lizzo so that’s what everyone associates the name with. 

Favorite aspect of being a DJ?

DJ LIZZO: I like that I have an outlet for doing things I love, like making playlists or talking about music and  learning more about music. I’ve been given an amazing outlet to do that. And I get to do that with my best friend, it’s so fun.

BIG HOSS: Yeah, it’s something to focus our energy on. We both just enjoy making and creating things, And it’s nice to have something we can gravitate around and have it be the basis of what we’re doing.

DJ LIZZO: And it’s every week we have this thing that we work on together and create together.

BIG HOSS: I like our show being Thursday mornings. It’s nice to have that thing to wake up to and now Thursday is our favorite day of the week.

Do y’all have a favorite phone call you’ve ever gotten?

BIG HOSS: There have been a couple times where somebody will call and follow up with an email.

DJ LIZZO: When anyone calls, the fact that they had they cared enough to call in and tell us means a lot.

BIG HOSS: Yes, especially because you don’t have to do that, listeners can listen and just not do that. For people to take that extra step is very meaningful and we appreciate it a lot. I just remembered my favorite. Last fall, I played “The Highway Kind” by Townes Van Zandt, which is a soul crushing song and it’s a journey to get through because it’s a super harsh song on the soul. Someone called in and said “That song killed me.” I feel like sometimes when you play a song that you have a lot of emotion with, it can just go out there and you feel like nobody is responding. To me, it was proof that people are having an emotional experience with what I play.

DJ LIZZO: You can be connected to on a very intimate level that you’re having through the air waves, it’s so cool.

Do you hope to do radio after college?

DJ LIZZO: I definitely think working at KNC has given me an idea of what sort of job I would want to have post-college. I don’t know that it would necessarily be being on the radio but maybe something where I’m somehow involved with music. It would be cool to do radio as a side-thing still. I know a few people in the workforce that are able to do radio as a hobby and I would love to do that.

BIG HOSS: I’m not going into a career related to radio, but if there are ways I can do it outside of my career I would like to keep doing it, it’s just fun.


DJ Lizzo and Big Hoss have been creating a lot of content recently, including their Instagram for their show @girlsguidetotheoutlawspirit. They also recently attended MerleFest, and posted a few videos to the Youtube Channel as well as created a blog about their experience. Be sure to check that all out, and to listen to Girls’ Guide to the Outlaw Spirit every Thursday at 9am. 

Categories
DJ Highlights

Set Overview: 9/28 “passing by”

As I’ve written about previously, “passing by” is my show on WKNC where I put a soundtrack to life’s big and small moments using the best of indie and rock that airs every Tuesday from 1-2pm this semester. This past Tuesday, I curated a set I really loved, and wanted to share it here on the blog in case you didn’t get to catch it through the airwaves.

The set was centered around Elliott Smith. The show was divided into four themes: his inspirations, Elliott Smith himself, covers, and artists who are inspired by him.

His Inspirations

  • “Summer’s Gone” — The Kinks
  • “Rocky Raccoon” — Charlie Parr, Nicholas Mrozinski1
  • “Bob Dylan’s Dream” — Bob Dylan
  • “No One Is There” — Nico
  • “Parasite” — Nick Drake2

Elliott Smith Himself

“Everything Means Nothing to Me” — Elliott Smith

Covers

“The Biggest Lie” — Bright Eyes
“Ballad of Big Nothing” — Julien Baker
“Clementine” — The Decemberists

Artists Inspired By Him

“Ceilings” — beabadoobee
“How Long” — Palehound
“Big Surprise” — Prateek Kuhad
“Deep Sea” — Snail Mail
“Stranger Things” — Yuck
“It Just Is” — Rilo Kiley3
“Punisher” — Phoebe Bridgers4

  • 1: This is a cover of a song by The Beatles, off their self titled album (known commonly as “The White Album”). Smith cited this song as a huge inspiration for him.
  • 2: Although Smith never explicitly cited Nick Drake as an inspiration, people often draw comparisons and parallels between the two.
  • 3: This song is about Smith’s tragic death, as Rilo Kiley were close to him and opened up for his final shows prior to his passing.
  • 4: Bridgers has stated that this track is about Elliott Smith, and how if she got to meet him, she would have made a fool of herself by being such a big fan.

If you want to listen to my set in its exact order, you can queue the songs based on their appearance on my Spinitron page, or if you’re a Spotify user like myself, you can stream it via the playlist.

Until next time,
Caitlin (a.k.a carbon copy)

Categories
Concert Review

Concert Review: Phoebe Bridgers – Raleigh, NC (09/21/21)

On Tuesday, September 21, I had the pleasure of attending the Raleigh show of Phoebe Bridgers’ Reunion Tour at Red Hat Amphitheater. I got my tickets back in July when it was going to be held at The Ritz, but because of the changes Bridgers made to make the tour more COVID-conscious with rising cases (which I covered in “Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Reunion Tour’ Makes Some Changes”), it got moved to Red Hat. Due to this change, my two friends and I were in the pit. I’m not the biggest fan of pits, especially after avoiding crowds for so long, but with everyone masked and vaccinated, it made the experience a lot better.

Doors opened at 7:00pm, and MUNA came on a little before 8:00pm, and boy, were they great. The electro pop trio gelled together perfectly. Their chemistry, talent, and stage presence combined was truly something special. Not to mention, Katie Gavin, the lead singer, had a spectacular outfit. 

They performed several songs including “I Know A Place” and “Crying On The Bathroom Floor.” They also performed their brand new single “Silk Chiffon” that has a feature from Bridgers, who came on stage to perform it with them during their act.

MUNA was energetic, fun, and electric, and I was worried (albeit very momentarily) that Bridgers’ melancholic sound would not lend itself to the same energy.

That worry faded to dust once Bridgers and her band walked on-stage in a single file line to “I Gotta Feeling”  by The Black Eyed Peas. They then jumped into performing “Motion Sickness” and the screen behind them morphed into beautiful visuals. Don’t be fooled by her whispery-singing, Phoebe Bridgers is a solid vocalist, and she delivered during “Motion Sickness,” at one point holding a rather high note for what felt like ages (but was probably like thirty seconds, an impressive feat).

Her stage talk was frank and honest, and she made comments throughout the show about how humid it was, saying that the air in North Carolina was like clove-cigarette smoke (it rained on and off during her and MUNA’s sets, and torrentially downpoured after). Before performing “Kyoto,” a song about her rocky relationship with her father she remarked “This one’s for everyone who’s ever had to lie to CPS.” Similarly, before “Savior Complex,”’ she said, “This one’s about alcoholism.” 

Uniquely, Phoebe did something she said she had never done before; she let the crowd choose two songs for her. Firstly, she let us choose between “Scott Street” and “Georgia.” How did she determine it? How loud we cheered. The crowd was loud for “Georgia,” but everyone erupted for “Scott Street.” Toward the end of the show, she stated that she enjoyed letting us choose earlier and that we could choose again. This time, between “Georgia” and the boygenius song “Me & My Dog.” “Georgia” lost out again (I love the song, but I wanted to hear the other two just a tad more, so I was happy with both choices).

She closed out the night with a beautiful cover of  “That Funny Feeling” by Bo Burnham. Shortly after the release of “Inside,” Phoebe said on her Instagram stories “every bone in my body wants to plagiarize this.” Instead of doing that, she added it to her setlist, doing what she says in the first verse of “Chinese Satellite”: “I wish I wrote it, but I didn’t so I learn the words / Hum along ’til the feeling’s gone forever.” 

The visuals were stunning, her band was fantastic (especially the trumpeter, JJ Kirkpatrick), and overall, the night just felt safe. The show was very intimate and magical, and for me, an amazing return to seeing live music, after not seeing anyone live for over two years.

If you’re interested in the setlist of exactly what MUNA and Phoebe played whilst in Raleigh, Spotify user Noah East created a playlist that you can stream.

Be sure to also check out Lise Nox’s review of her experience at the Charlotte show.