Categories
Classic Album Review

Album Review: Heaven on the Rocks by Ladada

Recently a promoter sent WKNC (and I don’t use this term lightly) a boatload of vinyl records. However, our initial excitement quickly turned into confusion. Not one of these albums had been released within the past year. Furthermore, they were all from incredibly small bands. Almost nobody we asked was familiar with them, and if they were, it was a hazy memory hidden somewhere behind newer, more contemporary music. This is pretty unusual because nobody ever sends in vinyl records. They’re just too expensive to produce. But if they were going to do so, you would think it would be from a bigger band. We don’t even have a record player. And so, the vinyls sat on our shelf, resting, building up potential energy like a bowling ball preparing to roll down an alley. But little did I know that my ears would be bowling pins, hit by a strike of indie rock. Finally, one day when I was walking out of the studio, I decided to grab one of the vinyls, just to see if it was any good. I didn’t get a chance to listen to it until later that night. As I sat on my balcony, by chance I decided to play Float Away from the album. The song’s introductory harmonies first graced my ears as a cool fall breeze swept over my body. I sat down and in disbelief listened to the song get better and better as it went on. The harmonies eventually built up to a frenzy of drums and guitar riffs with echoed vocals that could not have fit the song more perfectly. I quickly listened to the rest of the album and found that “Heaven on the Rocks” is a great mix of garage punk and spacey, indie rock. With only 4,000 “Spotify Monthly Listeners,” it’s surprising that Ladada is still this small. However, you can hear the hard work put into “Heaven on the Rocks” and hopefully this band will start to get some of the recognition that they deserve. 

Hope you guys enjoy the music,
-DJ Chippypants <3

Categories
Playlists

Chip’s Picks to Get You into the ~Fall Mood~

It’s that time again, folks. Grab your scarf and sweater, get cozy around a fire, and get ready for the fall vibes to roll on in. In my opinion, fall is probably the most universally shared vibes throughout any time of the year. Everyone has their own memories associated with the different seasons. For me, winter is just the worst, spring is a time of rebirth and a finish line for the school year, and summer is always characterized by the summer camp I work at. However, when you ask anyone what comes to mind when they think of these times of year, I’m sure they are bound to have different answers. But if you were to look into the mind of a majority of people when they think about fall, you would see the state fair, football games, flannel clothing, falling leaves, campfires, and Halloween. This time of the year has the most universally shared ideas of what it should be like. And since it has such a common theme, then there must be a set of certain songs that are undoubtedly associated with this season. So finally, I would like to present to you, in no particular order, my list of songs that remind me of walking through the woods on a chilly October day while wearing flannel as my boots crunch the fallen leaves and the smell of a fire graces my senses. 

  • Touch of Grey- The Grateful Dead 
  • Ripple- The Grateful Dead
  • Brokedown Palace- The Grateful Dead 
  • Home- Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros 
  • La Belle Fleur Sauvage- Lord Huron
  • Fool for Love- Lord Huron
  • Lullaby- Lord Huron
  • Teach Your Children- Crosby, Stills, and Nash
  • Uncle John’s Band- The Grateful Dead
  • It’s Getting Better- Cass Elliot
  • Cigarette Daydreams- Cage the Elephant
  • While You Wait for the Others- Grizzly Bear
  • Yet Again- Grizzly Bear
  • Amie- Pure Prairie League
  • I Need a Life- Born Ruffians 
  • City Looks Pretty- Courtney Barnett 
  • No, But Remember?- Brightside
  • Harvest Moon- Neil Young
  • Go Easy- Mac DeMarco
  • Gypsy- Fleetwood Mac
  • Rocky Mountain High- John Denver
  • Ventura Highway- America
  • Long Distance- The Districts
  • Ooh La La- Faces
  • Peace Train- Cat Stevens

Ok sorry that list was kind of long, hope you guys enjoy it, 
– DJ chippypants <3

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Artist Spotlight: Cheap Time

Cheap Time Album Cover

Hey guys, I wanted to put a little bit of a spotlight on a band that I don’t believe many people have heard, although they more than deserve the recognition. Cheap Time, a punk garage rock band that started all the way back in 2006, is most likely not around anymore. In fact, they haven’t released anything since they were featured in the 2014 video game “Sunset Overdrive.” However, their music is timeless. With songs such as “Ginger Snap” and “Too Late,” it almost feels like you’re a teenager in some dry, dingy garage listening to your buddy’s band as they’re just getting started. Even though their music was made in the late 2000s, Cheap Time has a sound that belongs to the late 80s and early 90s, when garage punk first started picking up speed. 

I would have to say that my favorite album of theirs is, without a doubt, the self-titled “Cheap Time.” With short, fast paced songs like Back to School, Glitter and Gold, and Permanent Damage, the album fits right in in any playlist. However, Exit Smiles is a close second. Made in 2013, it is their last full album, not counting the work they did with Sunset Overdrive. The two best songs from here are 8:05 and Same Surprise. While “Exit Smiles” bears a sound that shows the growth of the band over its seven-year exhibition, it still holds that same teen angst, garage band feel that makes Cheap Time’s music so unique. Their ability to create a mental image with such ease is why I still listen to them today, and why I think you will too. 

Hope you guys enjoy the music, 

-chippypants 

Categories
New Album Review

Album Review: A Day in a Yellow Beat

Oh do I have a special treat for you. As I rolled out of bed this morning, I could have expected nothing more than what has dropped into my Apple “New Music Mix” from the heavens above today. Yellow Days, the artist who released such songs as A Little While and Your Hand Holding Mine, has released a new album titled “A Day in a Yellow Beat.” First of all, let’s start out with the album art. It is incredible. Right in the middle is a classic style seen by this artist, in which he places a picture of him and a guitar with a blurred out face. But looking around you can see he has added an array of instruments situated in a field of hummingbirds and geese. Starting out with the intro, we have a cut from an interview between a talk show host and a musician discussing how young musicians struggle to enjoy successful longevity while blocked by the control of their producers. The whole conversation is underscored by a harmony of instruments which transitions perfectly into the second song, titled Be Free. Counting the intro and a few interludes, the whole album has a riveting 23 songs, but I’d say the best are Be Free, Getting Closer, Come Groove, ! (feat. Bishop Nehru), The Curse (feat. Mac Demarco), and Love is Everywhere. A Day in a Yellow Beat mixes Yellow Day’s unique style and voice with a newer fusion of upbeat, psychedelic funk. This album is meaningful and sounds pretty, but it’s also the kind of music that you could blast in the car with friends. A Day in a Yellow Beat marks a unleashed creative style for Yellow Days, and I am excited to see where it takes us next. 

Hope you guys enjoy the album, see you next week. 
-Chippypants 

Categories
Music News and Interviews

Layers of the Earth Described by Albums

Recently my friends and I had a conversation about what layers of the earth we thought we would be. So, I thought it would be fun to pass on the idea, but with music. So here are five albums that I feel truly represent the layers of the earth. 

Kids by Mac Miller: Crust
First up we have K.I.D.S. by Mac Miller. This album is totally the crust. It’s light, upbeat and like the mountainous terrain of the crust has a wide range of melodies throughout the album. It’s god-tier Mac Miller music, of course, but it also talks a good deal about growing up and changing all while keep a light and upbeat tone throughout the album. 

Play With Fire by L.A. Witch: Asthenosphere 
The asthenosphere is the layer that rests right below the crust and is made basically of magma. It’s hot, but because the magma needs to reach the crust it flows a lot. Just like magma, Play With Fire is hot (I mean they even titled the first song Fire Starter) but it also has some great flow to the songs on the album. What I’m trying to say is, I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw L.A. Witch standing on a piece of cooled magma playing Play With Fire as they rode down the side of a volcano in a river of lava. It’d just be fitting. 

By and By by Caamp: Mantle
The mantle is the largest layer of the earth. It’s incredibly wide and I imagine travelling through it would be comparable to a mid-July day in North Carolina. Hot, humid, and nowhere to go. That’s why I think it’s so fitting that By and By by Caamp would be perfect for this layer. When I think of this album, it reminds me of hot summer nights with friends, sitting outside around a fire with nothing in particular to do but let the time pass by. 

Goosebumps by Boyscott: Outer Core
Honestly this might be my favorite album of all time. Every song on this album is a Certified Bop, and with its dreamlike guitar and echoey lyrics it’s able to have a deeper tone while somehow still staying rather upbeat. In fact, the whole album makes you feel like you’ve astrally projected right into the center up the outer core. 

French Exit by TV Girl: Inner Core 
This is another great album. There is hardly a bad song on here and it’s actually quite similar-sounding to Goosebumps by Boyscott. However, French Exit brings in an older feel for its musical style, with 80s-style synths and movie dialogue throughout the album. In my mind, it is undoubtedly the inner core. 

See you guys next time! <3

-DJ Chippypants 

Categories
Playlists

8 Great Songs That Make You Feel Like the Main Character in a Movie

Deliver Album Cover The Mamas and The Papas

Has this ever happened to you? 

You, walking down the street: “Wow what a perfect day. I’m seeing all my friends and doing all my favorite things. You know what would make this day even better? Some music playing in the background that fit every action I was doing as if I were in a movie.” 

Well now, thanks to the power of Playlists, I bring you 10 songs that make you feel like you’re in a movie. 

1. Peace Blossom Boogy by the Babe Rainbow 
Turn on the lights, pan the cameras, and play this song. Here we find you, the main character, driving your convertible with the top down along an unadulterated stretch of beach road. Dressed in bright colors, the sun reflects off of your yellow sunglasses as the wind rolls through your hair. A great introduction scene like none other. 

2. Chapstick (Demo) by Hippo Campus 
You know those summer days when you’re with a few close friends, you’ve got no worries, and you feel like things could stay that way forever? Well boy have I got a song for you. 

3. Dedicated To the One I Love By The Mamas and The Papas
This one is for Quarantined Lovers, separated by a pandemic that has forced them to be apart from one another. The screen would split between the two, each in their different rooms, trying to distract themselves from thinking about each other.

4. Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan 
This song is perfect for a day when you’re just running around with a million things on your mind, you have a million things to do, and there’s more caffeine running through your body than blood. It’s one of those songs that says get out of my way, I don’t have time for chit chat, there are things to be done. 

5. European Vegas by Mac Demarco 
To set the scene: you’re sitting at a bar, late at night, drink in hand. You’re nicely dressed but in a bit of a distressed state. This would be the part of a movie where the main character has had enough. Maybe they risked something and lost it all, or maybe they just had their heart broken. But whatever the case, they’ve somehow found themselves in this dimly lit, antiquated bar, thinking about all the mistakes they’ve made. 

6. Weak Hearts by Felly 
Perfect for a time in your life when you, the main character, are going through some major changes and you’ve finally come far enough to look back on how you’ve changed and the decisions you’ve made. You can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

7. Heroes by David Bowie 
This song would totally be in the climax of the movie, where the main character realizes their true potential and finally faces whatever was troubling them. 

8. Ooh La La by Faces
This would be a great ending scene song. Similar to driving through a pretty place and looking back on a long week, the main character looks back on everything that has happened throughout the movie and realizes how they have grown. 

Well there you have it, eight great songs perfect for their respective situations, that really make you feel like the main character in a movie. 

See ya next time, 
DJ Chippypants

Categories
Music News and Interviews

Chip’s Guide to Surf Music

King of the Surf Guitar

Quarantine crazies got you down? Do you need a break? A getaway from the humdrum of everyday, normal life? Well here at WKNC we can’t offer you that, but we can offer some great music for when you finally do.

Surf music has always had a special place in my heart. It first arose in California in the early 60s, pioneered by Dick Dale and the Del-Tones. Their music was mostly instrumental with heavily reverbed guitar riffs, made to mimic the sounds of waves crashing on the beach. It is truly a visually descriptive style of music, perfect for transporting your mind to memories of summer. No matter where I am or what time of year it is, those upbeat melodies take me back to visions of cruising down a beach road. Top down, sun in my eyes, the wind rolls through my hair as I hear the waves crash onto white sand beaches. This is a feeling that comes with only a few artists, and I would like to share them here in an attempt to give you the same feeling that I hold so dear.

Miserlou, King of the Surf Guitar, Let’s Go Trippin’ by Dick Dale
Starting off the list hot and heavy, we have the three best songs ever made by Dick Dale. The fast paced intro to Miserlou emulates the chaos felt when a wave takes control of your surfboard as you first drop down. However, the next two songs are much more lighthearted. The female background chorus in King of the Surf Guitar chimes in perfectly with the strong riffs of guitar made throughout the song. Finally, the bouncy melody of Let’s Go Trippin’ is a perfect representative of the fun, upbeat style of Dick Dale’s music style.

Catamaran, Sandy, Ferus Gallery, Don’t You Forget It by Allah-Las
Allah-Las is a fairly old band that’s been producing pretty solid beach music for a while now. Theirs is much more relaxing and laid back than that of the early 60s style while still bringing that same summer feeling. Ferus Gallery is completely instrumental and probably the most reflective of their style of music, however the background harmonies on Catamaran and Sandy are unmatched.

 
Sol Del Sur (EP) by Surf Room
This EP by the band Surf Room represents a good transition of the surf music genre to surf rock, which is a little heavier but still captures the same energy given off by surf music. Sol Del Sur has a great rhythm and is by far my favorite song on the EP, however Summer’s Here is another great representation of the lighthearted, fun kind of music that makes up surf rock. 

Other great honorable mentions: Surf Rider (LP Version) by The Lively Ones, California Sun by The Rivieras, He’s a Doll by The Honey’s, Golden Earrings by The Hunters, and Bustin’ Surfboards by The Tornadoes.

-Chip 

Categories
New Album Review

Album Review: Goodbye, Nowhere! by Double Grave

Goodbye, Nowhere! album art

This week in WKNC we received a new album by Double Grave called Goodbye, Nowhere! As their first full album since 2017, you can really tell how their time away has allowed for the band to grow into themselves and find the perfect melodies to emulate the feeling that this album gives. Starting off with the first song, Out Here sets the scene for the album as it leads us in with a background of soft wind chimes and sparse guitar riffs. It paints a picture that matches the album art, giving the listener the feeling of being stuck in a place called nowhere. 

Following the intro, The Farm starts a momentum that carries a pretty steady pace through the first half of the album. The flow is broken only momentarily by the song Actor. However, it is made up for by the emotion in Jeremy Warden’s voice when he reminisces on his past life choices and how, as the song progresses, he realizes everything would still be the same in the end. The second half of Goodbye, Nowhere! takes a more introspective turn when Warden says that if you can’t run from your problems, cover them up, or make them disappear, then “learn how to love.” 

My only criticism of this album is that Double Grave is still in that middle ground of finding their own, unique sound. However, Goodbye, Nowhere! is a progression of Double Grave finding their feet, slowly making their way out of that grave of ubiquitous, empty feeling, almost-emo rock. 

As a whole, the album gives a mixed feeling of leaving things behind yet continuing to love after you leave. As Warden said on the song The Farm, you can “walk a thousand miles,” but “take care of the ones you love.” 

Favorite Songs: 
The Farm 
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Slime

Thanks for tuning in,
Much love, 
Chippypants