Categories
Non-Music News

Community Resources for COVID-19

Greetings to all who are apart of the Wolfpack community, and the Triangle area. It is so important for each of us to enable our friends and family to access necessary resources during the coronavirus situation. I have compiled a list below with many different resources for students and other individuals in the RDU area. For NC State Coronavirus Response updates, go to their website. For general updates, please refer to the CDC. 

Basic Resources:

  • Pack Essentials: NC State students experiencing challenges in accessing basic needs such as food, housing, and educational supplies should submit a Pack Essentials form. This form can help students get financial assistance and other resources, based on need. In addition, the Pack Essentials Emergency Grant has received generous donations, enabling it to help thousands of students. I definitely recommend applying if you need any kind of assistance. 

  • Wake County Food Pantries: This Google sheet has contact information for food pantries in Wake County. Please check the document to see locations available near you and any notes relating to changes in their hours of operation. 

Technology Resources: 

  • Internet Access: The North Carolina DIT put together a list of resources for internet access, including free and affordable internet services within North Carolina, as well as information on how to access free Wifi in certain locations. 

  • NCSU Libraries: Although NCSU Libraries buildings are closed, they are offering many useful online services for students. They allow long-term loans for technology, PDF copies of your textbook chapters, and more great resources. 

  • Textbooks: Wolfpack Outfitters and VitalSource have partnered to provide free access to ebooks through May 25th. All you need to do is create an account with your NCSU email address at the VitalSource site

Health and Wellness:

  • Telehealth and Medication: To help prevent further spread of coronavirus, many health offices are moving toward online appointments. In addition, many different insurance companies have offered free prescription shipping and other policies which may benefit anyone taking regular medications. You should check your primary care doctor and insurance company policies to see if it can help you. In addition, NCSU Student Health is offering “reduced and limited” services. You can find more information on their website

  • Mental Health: The NCSU Counseling Center is available for telehealth appointments through the phone or through secure video chat. You can find more information here

  • Exercise: NC State Wellness and Recreation is offering different programs such as virtual fitness classes, wellness tips, and at-home workout routines. Find more information here

I hope that these resources are useful. Remember that even if you do not need these resources, sharing this information with others can go along way in helping members of our community. 

Stay safe and be well, 

Miranda 

Categories
Miscellaneous

A Listener’s Approach to Problematic Artists

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Disclaimer: everything stated in this blog post reflects my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect WKNC’s views. 

Often, I come across “problematic” artists. Today, the spread of news media is nearly instantaneous and thus as music listeners we have virtually unlimited access to information about our favorite artists. Because of this availability we are easily able to judge and analyze the actions of artists. There are so many “problematic” artists today, from misogynistic lyrics, artists who are known abusers, to musicians who are supportive of causes the general public is not, and more. 

My favorite example of an artist whose views I disagree with is Kanye West. After years of political activism I aligned with, he publicly announced his support of President Trump, who has done significant damage to the country and whose political stances I am personally opposed to. Despite the unwavering support through his other allegedly problematic actions (Taylor Swift incident, anyone?), this definitely soured my opinion of West and his music. To this day, I can’t enjoy it to the same degree as before. 

In addition, there are a ridiculous amount of artists I have completely abandoned all support of when I heard the physical or sexual assault allegations against them. Especially in my own local DIY scene, so many allegations have come out against band members that I no longer feel comfortable in those spaces. 

The reason I’m writing this blog is as a discussion of how we, as music listeners, approach this conundrum. Are we allowed to like music done by bad people? Am I okay with supporting an artist whose values are extremely skewed from my own? I have reflected on these questions for years, since I was old enough to do research about the musicians I listen to. For me, it boils down to my gut reaction. When the evidence seems sufficient and the action is unforgivable (to me, personally) I feel the need to completely let go of the artist and renounce any support I once had for them. When it’s a lesser issue, like a political difference or distasteful comment it is easier for me to separate the music from the person who created it, and thus I can still enjoy the music. 

Let me know if any of you feel similarly, or different. I am always interested in different perspectives. 

– Miranda 

Categories
Playlists

Friday Favorites (4/3)

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This week I’ve been listening to almost only electronic music, including some of my favorite alt-electronica tracks from the past few years. Hopefully you all enjoy this, and as a reminder you can listen every one of my Friday Favorites here

What We Drew – Yaeji

I try to listen to a variety of music, and that extends to songs sung in a variety of languages, like this one in Korean. I adore the simplistic drum beats paired with electro tones, and Yaeji’s voice is super pitchy and high, reminding me of one of my favorite artists, Grimes. Definitely listen to this if you want to hear something out of the box. 

let’s relate – of Montreal 

One of my favorite tracks of all time, hands down. This song has nostalgic value to me, but more than that, it’s just a well-produced song that has an amazing vibe. The tones just coalesce into a gorgeous melody that I never get tired of hearing. If you are a fan of electronic or alternative music at all, I highly recommend this track. 

Orange Shirt – Discovery 

The entire album LP by Discovery is a good one. I chose Orange Shirt particularly because it’s lesser known than some of Discovery’s other tracks, but I think it deserves a little attention. It’s such a catchy song with the best mixture of synth pop elements. It’s definitely been an earworm for me in the past, hope I can put someone else on to it! 

Are You Feeling Sad? (ft. Kali Uchis) – Little Dragon

Little Dragon has had a great impact on my life as a music lover, and she helped me really dig into the electronic scene. I also happen to be a big fan of Kali Uchis’s vocals, so I really appreciate the vocals in this song. Its melody is a bit chaotic and leans more toward the genre of pop than I usually like, but overall I think it’s such a cool song. 

As always, I’m so thankful to everyone who takes time to read my posts and listen to my recommendations. Wishing that everyone is keeping safe and healthy!

– Miranda 

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Artist Spotlight: The Internet

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My favorite tracks: Hold On, Special Affair, Dontcha, They Say 

Listen if you like: Phony Ppl, Steve Lacy, Noname 

The Internet is an L.A.-based group which blends together a mixture of R&B soul, hip-hop, electronica, and funk to create the most inspired music out there. It all began in late 2011 when some of the members of Odd Future decided to create a side-project under Odd Future Records. Thus the album Purple Naked Ladies was birthed. Together, the members of The Internet masterfully create a sound unlike any other in the modern R&B scene. Although the band was founded primarily by Syd, along with Christopher Smith, Matt Martians, and Patrick Paige, they were joined by Steve Lacy in 2015. The Internet has a total of four albums, Purple Naked Ladies (2011), Feel Good (2013), Ego Death (2015), and Hive Mind (2018). Ego Death was nominated for a Grammy in 2015 and the band has received clout throughout the alternative hip-hop circles and beyond. 

While I truly appreciate all of the albums The Internet has made, I especially adore Ego Death. I love Steve Lacy’s contributions to the production of the album and think highly of it, as one of the most smooth and well-made R&B-hip-hop albums of my lifetime. Syd’s vocals and the electronic-inspired melodies blend together perfectly. Ego Death is a unique experience of an album. Since high school, these songs have brought me comfort in times of struggle and have allowed me to embrace the weirdness and beauty of life. If you’re looking for some tracks to start out with, I highly recommend Just Sayin/I Tried and Palace/Curse, which are my go-tos to this day whenever I need a mood boost. All this said, I do enjoy the entirety of the band’s discography, which is extremely rare for me. Check the band out, and you’ll see why. I appreciate the emotional ties I have with each album and I continuously hope to see new projects from them soon. 

– Miranda 

Categories
New Album Review

Album Review: King Krule’s Man Alive!

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My favorites: Stoned Again, Perfecto Miserable, Slinky

Listen if you like: Ariel Pink, Blood Orange, Toro y Moi 

I really like King Krule’s (alias for Archy Marshall) music, specifically his lyricism, which is filled with wit and strangeness I haven’t found in any other indie artists. His voice stands out, a scratchy baritone with a thick English accent that is a delight to the ears. King Krule’s 6 Feet Beneath the Moon helped him accrue popularity in the indie/alternative scene. I particularly love this album; its melodies are relaxing and each song is shrouded in emotional depth. 

I found Man Alive! to be an interesting contribution to King Krule’s discography. I loved that while listening, I could feel more emotion throughout this album than most of his previous works. There is a palpable anguish in the tracks Comet Face and Alone, Omen 3. Perfecto Miserable is a track where he expresses a deep love and longing, which specifically stuck out to me as less grim and more emotionally charged than his past works. The entirety of Man Alive! allows the listener to step into the mind of a grim, pessimistic Londoner, and I love any album that can show so clearly the perspective and storytelling of another person. Throughout all the darkness in sound and nightmarish lyricism, there are the lighthearted snippets “Please, complete me/ It must be the answer” and “You’re my everything/ You make me feel alright” which must be a reference to Marshall’s current relationship. Even the ending of the album with Please Complete Thee transforms from a dark, grungy melody to light uplifting notes in the last minute of the song. This album is filled with such contrasts. King Krule also played with a variety of new sounds compared to his previous work. Specifically, there is more electronic influence in tracks like Cellular and Comet Face. As a big fan of electronic music, I really appreciated this as a breakaway from some of his more guitar/piano based songs from older albums. Although 6 Feet Beneath the Moon will always be my favorite of Marshall’s discography, this album is a lovely look into the evolution of King Krule as a musician and makes me excited for what’s to come. 

– Miranda 

Categories
Playlists

Comforting Music

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Something that I’ve realized while being under quarantine inside my house is the need for hours of self-care, including music that helps relax and comfort me. This blog posts includes some of my favorite comforting albums and songs as well as a playlist to help keep you well during times of concern and anxiety. 

Oncle Jazz – Men I Trust (2019)

This album is the epitome of relaxation with soothing melodies and calmness that is perfect to keep you feeling light even when things are difficult. I particularly like this album because it remains upbeat and cheerful in its lyrics which is perfect when paired with the soothing beats found throughout the album. 

Duke Ellington & John Coltrane – Duke Ellington, John Coltrane (1963) 

I am not a fan of jazz, however, this album could put me to sleep with its relaxing saxophone and piano notes. My favorites from this album are In A Sentimental Mood and My Little Brown Book, two tracks I listen to quite often while focusing on work. 

Carrie & Lowell – Sufjan Stevens (2015)

Most of Sufjan Stevens’ albums include relaxing tracks, but Carrie & Lowell is likely the most melancholic. Although this album is sad, its beauty overshadows the grimness of the topic (the loss of Stevens’ mother and his childhood as the focus of the album). Can’t recommend this album enough. 

This Is All Yours – alt-J (2014)

I’m a big alt-J fan, especially since seeing them live and seeing how amazingly well their music transfers to an in-person experience. This album has some of the more relaxing, less tonal electronic and more instrument- and vocal-based tracks of their discography. All are beautifully made and have vocals which are sure to comfort you.

Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (2008) 

The vocals and soft guitar strumming on this album help it remain one of my favorite comforting albums. Something about it is so inspiring, like warmth in the middle of a cold winter. 

You can find my favorites from all of these albums as well as other comforting tracks from artists like Keaton Henson, Beach House, and Elliot Smith on the Spotify playlist linked here. Hope you enjoyed this blog post!

– Miranda 

Categories
Playlists

Friday Favorites (3/20)

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Hello everyone, I hope you’re all doing well and staying indoors(!!) and healthy during this crazy time. One of the best ways to take control of your own self-care and occupy your time well is to listen to new music. Hopefully my Friday Favorites for this week inspire you to find some new tracks to check out. 

9 to 5 (ft. Freddie Gibbs & Tedy Andreas) – Adam Snow 

I am a really avid follower of Freddie Gibbs and adore his music, which led me to finding this recent release. I like Andreas’ voice and the beat created by Snow. Definitely a must-listen especially if you like rap or R&B. 

We Got Love (ft. Ms. Lauryn Hill) – Teyana Taylor 

I was a Teyana fan back in middle school, and this song is so cute. Lauryn Hill is also one of my absolute favorite artists of all time, so this song is instantly good to me. Lauryn Hill’s verses on this song are so melodic and lovely. 

I Wanna Ride – Porches

This track is my favorite from the new Porches album, I think it’s a pretty sweet song about ~young love~ with a cool beat. “I wanna ride with you/ wherever you are.” It’s also a bit different from the typically sound we usually get from Porches, which is probably why I like it. 

Je disparais dans tes bras – Christine and the Queens 

This one is nice because it somehow meets in the middle of electronic and pop in an appealing way that is actually pretty underrated. Very unique in its sound, and the French adds an elegance to the track. 

Climb That Mountain – Sufjan Stevens, Lowell Brams  

This song is a comforting instrumental made by Sufjan Stevens along with his stepfather, Lowell Brams (referenced in his absolutely fantastic album Carrie & Lowell – which I highly recommend). The singles that the two have been releasing have me extremely excited for the release of their collaborative album. 

If you’re interested, you can find all of my Friday Favorites since I began writing them for WKNC on a playlist at this link. 

– Miranda 

Categories
DJ Highlights

My Best Concert Experience

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One of the best bands I’ve ever seen live was Cults. Cults is an indie pop/synthpop band from New York City which was formed in 2010 by Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin. Their track, Go Outside, helped them get on the map, and they have gained more popularity over the years with exposure from their appearance on the new Stephen King’s Carrie remake and the release of their most recent album, Offering, in 2017. I’ll go ahead and say that if you haven’t heard of the band or haven’t gotten a chance to listen to them, definitely look them up. 

Before Cults released the album Static, they were pretty underground. I’m not sure how I even discovered them, but regardless they quickly became one of my favorite bands. I’m sure I listened to Cults (their first album) over a hundred times. I really adore their sound and to this day I appreciate them as one of the most unique bands out there. In 2015, after a lot of begging, my parents took me to The Fillmore in Charlotte (on a school night!) to see Cults. The concert was memorable to me especially because it was one of the first times I’d ever seen a band live. Cults put so much energy into their performances and have a live sound that was very similar to their recordings. I loved the high energy and all the excitement in the room that night and it was such a good way to be introduced to the music scene. The highlight of the night was afterwards, my dad somehow helped me get backstage to meet the band. I had just gotten their album and shirt, and Madeline Follin signed my Static CD and chatted with me briefly. It was a really great experience for me as a young woman to meet such a cool, down-to-earth female musician. She really inspires me and I think it definitely helped make that concert even more memorable to me. 

If you haven’t checked out Cults yet, definitely do!

-Miranda 

Categories
DJ Highlights

Top Choice: Movie Soundtracks

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Her (2013)

The main melody that plays throughout Her is such a nostalgic sound to me and it ties in all of the emotion encompassed throughout the film. The music has such a heavy hand in making the film what it is, a heart-wrenching romantic story, which is why I fully believe Her has one of the best music soundtracks. I love the simple piano melodies created to enhance the movie. The score is credited to the band Arcade Fire, and it was nominated for an Academy Award. I also absolutely adore The Moon Song by Karen O and am so glad it was included as a duet with Ezra Koenig. 

Electrick Children (2012)

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, definitely do. It is such an interesting indie film that I happened upon while browsing Netflix. Somehow, nearly six years later I still find myself pulling up the soundtrack to it because it is so compelling and well-put-together. The soundtrack helped me find some new favorite artists, and I won’t spoil too much, but the song that is most important in the film is really cool. *Please note that some content in the film may be triggering.* 

Juno (2007) 

I actually adore Kimya Dawson and loved hearing her music in Juno. I also think it’s a pretty iconic coming-of-age movie, especially its humorous (but very real) tone. I love the inclusion of such a wide variety of musical influence from The Velvet Underground to Barry Louis Polisar. The soundtrack is so cute and romantic and I definitely listen to it outside the context of the movie. 

Donnie Darko (2001)

This movie is definitely a weird one and will have you walking away wondering what you just watched – BUT the soundtrack will keep you coming back. It is such a well-mixed selection of music with the best of songs by Tears For Fears, Nine Inch Nails, and Brian Eno. It is definitely one of the most interesting soundtracks on this list. 

Harold and Maude (1971) 

Okay, as I’m making this list I realize I like some pretty dark films. This one is certainly no exception – but I wanted to include it because I think Cat Stevens is such a cool dude and was really surprised to know that two of his songs that I like most, Don’t Be Shy and If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out, were composed and performed by him specifically for this film. 

Thank you all for reading! I hope to eventually come out with a part two to this series because I have such a deep love for movie soundtracks. 

– Miranda

Categories
Playlists

Friday Favorites (3/6)

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Spring break begins after this week, and in anticipation I (and I’m sure thousands of other State students) have been listening exclusively to the most upbeat music I can find. Typically I tend to gravitate toward indie and electronic music but this week I’ve mixed in some more popular music as well as some tracks that are spring break-esque that I’ve been looking forward to sharing. 

The Other Side (from Trolls World Tour) – SZA, Justin Timberlake

SZA is one of my favorite vocalists and so this track gets an instant heart from me. I also appreciate Justin Timberlake’s harmonious addition to the chorus on this song. I feel like this song is great for a dance party or even the drive home from school, it definitely makes me want to get up and move.

ringtone (Remix) ft. Charli XCX, Rico Nasty, Kero Kero Bonito – 100 gecs

This song is so addictive. The chorus, sung by Charli XCX, has been stuck in my head all week. I love the verses by all of the artists and think this is such a bubbly pop song perfect for listening to during a vacation. It’s a bit all over the place, chaotic, but that only makes me adore it more. 

Boogie – BROCKHAMPTON

I’m sure any BROCKHAMPTON fans reading this know and love this song already, but in case you haven’t heard it yet, this track is one of the most hype songs ever made. Every time I listen, I want to go crazy and dance. It also has a chaotic element, but I freaking love this song so much. Definitely perfect for your spring break party. 

Hot Girl (ft. Kari Faux) – Yung Baby Tate

I love Yung Baby Tate and Kari Faux and think this song has near-perfect lyricism. Just like Kari raps, I’ve been dreaming about getting tan lines and visiting the Bahamas. Anyway, this song has a nice beat and both singers add soothingly smooth vocals to the track. 

100 Degrees – Rich Brian 

This song is one of my favorites because it’s so refreshingly different from most Rich Brian songs (though I enjoy a majority of his discography). It’s such a bouncy song and features both rap verses and singing by Brian. It has such a warm-weather vibe that is sure to warm you up, even during unpredictable North Carolina weather. 

Hoping you all enjoyed this list, and am wishing you all an exciting and hype spring break!

– Miranda