Non-Music News

Last-Minute Voting Resources

I hope that if you’re reading this you’ve made it to the polls already, but if not, that’s okay too. There’s still time! With November 3 officially less than two weeks away, it’s absolutely essential that everyone makes a plan to vote if they are able. If you are planning to vote early, keep in mind that October 31 is the last day you can do so in North Carolina. There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion out there, so here are some common questions (and answers!) about voting.

Q: If I want to vote early, where can I do that?

A: You can vote early at any early voting site inside of the county you are registered to vote in. Here is a tool where you can look up your early voting site. Keep in mind that your Election Day polling place is different than an early voting site. You are assigned a place to vote on Election Day, which you can look up using this search tool.

Q: If I’m uncomfortable going to the polls in-person, can I still vote by mail?

A: YES, but not for long. The last day to request your absentee ballot is October 27. You can do this digitally or on paper. Return your request form through the online portal or by sending it to your county Board of Elections office through email, regular mail, fax, or in-person. Once you receive your absentee ballot, fill it out and make sure to have a witness sign it. You have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 to return it to your county Board of Elections, either in-person or through the mail. You can also drop it off at any early voting site before early voting ends.

Q: I know who I want the President to be, but where do I find information about the other candidates on the ballot?

A: NC Voter, a nonpartisan voter engagement organization in North Carolina, has some amazing resources to look at for state and local elections. Here is a link to their ballot guides, which are free of political bias.

Q: I’m not registered to vote. Can I still do that?

A: The deadline for registering to vote by mail and online has passed, BUT you can still register on-site at early voting locations. If you’re not registered, make sure you vote early, otherwise, you will not be able to participate in the 2020 election. You must have a photo ID or document that shows your full name and address to vote on-site.

Q: Do I need to wear a mask to the polls?

A: Absolutely. Even if there are long lines outside of your polling place and you have to wait outside, make sure to wear a mask at all times to keep yourself and your community safe!

I hope this was helpful. Good luck, don’t lose hope, and vote vote vote!

– DJ Butter



Top 5 Halloween TV Episodes

If you can’t tell already, I’m trying to squeeze in as many spooky blog posts as I can before the 31st. To try to get in the Halloween spirit, I’ve been watching A LOT of the films that I mentioned in my previous post, but sometimes I’m too tired to sit through an entire movie. So, if you need a little pick-me-up, here are some of the best Halloween episodes from my favorite TV shows:

  • King of the Hill: Season 2, Episode 4 “Hilloween”

Bobby loses his Halloween spirit when an overexcited religious zealot moves into Arlen and convinces the town that Halloween is a satanic holiday. Hank, Bobby’s dad, tries to get him back in the mood for trick-or-treating.

Favorite Quote: “You’ll go to hell!” “You’ll get candy!”

  • Bob’s Burgers: Season 5, Episode 2 “Tina and the Real Ghost”

An exterminator/spiritual medium comes to Bob’s Burger’s to get rid of their bug problem, but the Belchers find out that they have a ghost living in their basement who was a 13-year-old boy named “Jeff.” After trapping him in a shoebox, Tina develops a crush.

Favorite Quote: “Where’s Tina, crying into her butt?” “No, my butt is dry…and strong.”

  • New Girl: Season 2, Episode 6 “Halloween”

Jess takes a gig at a haunted house and confesses feeling for a handsome doctor who just isn’t into her. A lovestruck Schmidt accidentally matches with Cece while her own boyfriend dresses as a Ninja Turtle.

Favorite Quote: “What am I looking at here? Robbie, man to man, you didn’t want to wear something a little more form-flattering, maybe like a pile of towels? Or the number 8?”

  • Spongebob: Season 1, Episode 13 “Scaredy Pants”

Couldn’t leave this classic out. Spongebob wants to be a real ghost for Halloween but his square shape makes him look more like a mattress. Patrick gives him a makeover so he’ll look more realistic under the white sheet.

Favorite Quote: “Pink hat? Oh, that’s not a hat. That’s my brain.”

  • Nathan For You: Season 1, Episode 5 “Mechanic/Realtor”

This isn’t exactly a Halloween episode, but it’s absolutely worth a watch. Nathan Fielder helps a struggling real estate agent by rebranding her as “The Ghost Realtor,” who promises to only sells houses that are demon-free.

Favorite Quote:

“I could tell Sue was thrilled with her new image, but to fully rebrand as the ghost realtor, she’d need to work with a professional psychic medium who could verify whether her homes were truly ghost-free.

So I found a local psychic online.”

Happy watching!

– DJ Butter


Book Review: Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”

This book came to me at a very special time in my life, and I will never forget the impact it had on me. When I was 15, I stumbled upon a small bookstore in Asheville. I told the owner about the books I had previously been interested in, (“The Outsiders” and “Palo Alto”) looking for a good reading recommendation and he put “Just Kids” in my hands. Little did I know this book would get me through some of the hardest times of my teen years, provide endless inspiration, and make me fall in love with 70s rock.

“Just Kids” is a memoir written by one of the most notable female rockstars of all time, Patti Smith. It is an exquisite testimony to her talent as a poet, songwriter, and artist. The main focus of the memoir is her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, the renowned photographer known for his risque black & whites that explored sexuality in never foreseen ways. As another goodie, photographs from their time together are sprinkled throughout the book that give a lovely glimpse into their life.

Having to give up her baby after an unplanned pregnancy at 18, Smith moves to New York looking to immerse herself in the arts and get a new start. There she meets Mapplethorpe, a bohemian wanderer in search of the same thing. They enter a life together, exploring what it means to be young, poor, and in love. The novel continually references the icons she meets along the way, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and the members of Blue Öyster Cult.

It is a poetic novel that tells of the joy and pain of being a starving artist, growing apart, and exploring one’s true identity. Mapplethorpe’s struggle with accepting his sexuality and Patti’s desire to see the world drives them apart and brings them back together over the course of decades. Though their relationship ebbs and flows, their connection is one that transcends distance.

I’m usually not an autobiography kind of person, but I HIGHLY recommend reading “Just Kids.” It is truly one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I promise you won’t regret it.

– DJ Butter

New Album Review

Album Review: “Other Here Comes the Cowboy Demos”

Album: “Other Here Comes the Cowboy Demos” (Continuation of “Here Comes the Cowboy” and “Here Comes the Cowboy Demos)”

Artist: Mac DeMarco

Release Date: October 9th, 2020

If one demo album of Mac DeMarco’s “Here Comes the Cowboy” wasn’t enough, the lovable gap-toothed singer released another one merely days ago. Mac truly blessed us with the hidden tracks that didn’t quite make the cut for “Here Comes the Cowboy” OR the “Here Comes the Cowboy Demos.” Unlike his original demo album, this version includes songs that aren’t featured at all on HCTC.

“Other Here Comes the Cowboy Demos” is mostly made up of instrumentals that slightly mimic the sounds of his first release. Mac’s signature acoustic guitar and synth sounds are heavy throughout. Only a couple of songs have actual lyrics to them, but it’s interesting to get a glimpse into Mac’s creative process as he was recording HCTC. Personally, I love it when artists release their previously unheard music. It’s fascinating to connect the scrapped versions of songs to their final form and compare them.

While it’s fun to hear unreleased music from artists that we love, you can see why Mac chose the tracks he did for the finished version. Many of the songs on this demo don’t exactly fit in with the rancher-on-the-prairie vibe of HCTC. Though they have considerable merit, Mac’s decision to keep them separate was a good one.

Favorite Songs:

  • Out of My Head
  • Velvet Johnny
  • Powers Back On
  • Very Spooky

Rating: 9/10

Take a listen!

– DJ butter

Band/Artist Profile

Band Highlight: La Luz

If you’re into any type of psychedelic surf rock, you’ve got to check out La Luz. The all-girl quartet makes a great contribution to the modern psych-rock genre. Their music is a delightful mixture of fun and deep feeling. In a genre that tends to be dominated by men, it’s refreshing to hear female voices on the mic playing along to heavy guitar and garage keyboard.

La Luz has been on the scene since 2012 when Shana Cleveland, who was originally a part of both Curious Mystery and Shana Cleveland & the Sandcastles, formed the band in Seattle. Inspired by the sounds of 60s rock, girl pop, and surf music, the band set out to create a playful yet intriguing sound. Their first EP, called “Damp Face,” was released in 2013, closely followed by their first album, “It’s Alive.”

After hitting some bumps in the road, including a car wreck that destroyed all their instruments and bassist Abbey Blackwell leaving the band, La Luz emerged stronger than ever in 2015 when they began producing another album, “Weirdo Shrine,” with Ty Segall. Lena Simon took up their bassist position, and they went on to create their newest album, “Floating Features,” produced by the Black Keys vocalist and guitarist Dan Auerbach.

I am absolutely in love with this band. It’s amazing to see other women represented in one of my favorite genres. I 10/10 recommend giving them a listen. Here are some more key facts about the band:


  • Shana Cleveland (guitar and vocals)
  • Alice Sandahl (keyboard and vocals)
  • Marian Li-Pino (drums and vocals)
  • Lena Simon (bass and vocals)


  • Damp Face EP (2013)
  • It’s Alive (2013)
  • Weirdo Shrine (2015)
  • Floating Features (2018)

Song Highlights:

  • Floating Features – Floating Features
  • The Creature – Floating Features
  • Sleep Till They Die – Weirdo Shrine
  • Morning High – It’s Alive

Here’s a link to their website and instagram!

– DJ butter


DJ Butter’s Heavy Rotation Playlist

Ever wonder what a WKNC DJ listens to when they’re not in the station? A lot of my music isn’t quite 88.1 worthy due to it being too well known, too old, or having way too many curse words to bleep out. If you’re like me, your music taste lacks any sense of consistency or organization, so this playlist is truly an “eclectic” mishmash of songs that are true masterpieces regardless of genre, artist, or decade.

If your curious about some gems that couldn’t make the radio cut (but are still absolutely fantastic), here are some key songs I’ve been listening to on repeat for the past couple weeks:

  • Travelling Riverside Blues (BBC Session) – Led Zeppelin
    This fall, I’ve been obsessed with Led Zeppelin. It is an unexplainable obsession, but an obsession nonetheless. This song, from their 1969 BBC Session, is a playful testimony to how well they can cover the blues.
  • Since Way Back (feat, PARTYNEXTDOOR) – Drake
    PARTY and Drake will always be an unstoppable Canadian duo, but this swoony track off “More Life” really outstrips the rest in my humble opinion.
  • Cinnamon Girl – Neil Young & Crazy Horse
    How could I forget Neil Young? This song is such a lovely little track that reminds me of groupie life in the 70s. Though his voice has never been my favorite, somehow Neil Young’s music always makes me feel good.
  • coordinate – Travis Scott
    Travis has so many bangers that it’s impossible not to have at least one on my heavy rotation playlist. This song, off “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight” is possibly one of my favorite rap songs of all time.
  • (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters
    Muddy Waters will always have a special place in my heart. The blues is one of my favorite genres, and in my eyes, he is still the reigning king.
  • Feel It – 21 Savage & Metro Boomin
    Another great dark rap song, 21 Savage & Metro Boomin make an unstoppable team. I’m excited to listen to their newest album together, “Savage Mode II.”
  • Kind of Woman – Stevie Nicks
    Where would this playlist be without featuring the queen of witchcraft herself? This song is an absolute gem and speaks to the brilliancy of her solo work.
  • Love or Confusion – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    If you decide to only listen to one Jimi Hendrix song in your entire life, let it be this one. The lyrics are fantastic and really show how the guitar god himself can be as poetic as he is metal.
  • The Birds, Pt. 2 – The Weeknd
    While The Weeknd’s new music isn’t exactly to my taste, “Trilogy” is a beautiful, woozy album filled with ballads that show off Abel Tesfaye’s true talent. This song is a deep cut that I’ve always appreciated.
  • 12.38 (feat. 21 Savage, Ink & Kadhja Bonet) – Childish Gambino
    Last but not least, we have my FAVORITE song off “3.15.20.” This track got me through the beginning of quarantine and continues to be on heavy repeat for me. 21 Savage’s part is simply divine.

– DJ Butter


Book Review: Logic’s “Supermarket”

Bobby Hall, more commonly known as the rapper Logic, isn’t just in the hip-hop game. Get this: he’s also a fiction writer.

Over the summer, I was perusing in Barnes and Noble when my eye was caught by a bright red book with the words “Supermarket” on the front. They were having a buy one, get one 50% off sale (and I was already buying a copy of “Practical Magic”), so I took a chance and bought it. It wasn’t until after I got home that I realized Logic was the author, which made me super excited to read it. I’m not an avid listener of his music, but I appreciate when musicians branch out into other forms of media. It’s a great way to get to know them as a person and as an artist.

Let me just say that “Supermarket” was one of the trippiest books I’ve ever read. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers the best I can, but just know that the novel is hard to describe fully without giving the entire plot twist away. The book takes place in a small Oregon town and centers around our main character, Flynn, a young tortured writer. After finally getting a publishing deal following months of post-breakup depression, he decides to take up a job at a supermarket in search of inspiration for the plot of his new book. There, he meets characters that inspire and disturb him; most specifically his coworker, Fred, a ridiculous and dark anarchist. While balancing anxiety, manic creativity, and love, Flynn’s mind is revealed to be more complicated than he originally thought.

The novel tackles topics like mental health and creative blocks, which made me wonder if the narrative of “Supermarket” reflects some of Logic’s own creative struggles. Overall, it’s a great balance between witty and dark. You can’t help but fall in love with Flynn and his earnestness. The way the book sequences events and ties up at the end is CRAZY. Think of a “Black Mirror” episode translated into 267 pages, and then you can kind of get the feeling. If I said anymore I would give too much away, but it’s definitely worth reading. The only thing I didn’t love about “Supermarket” was how it seemed a bit corny at times, especially during Flynn’s dialogue with his love interest, Mia. Other than that, I recommend it highly to anyone looking for a quick, interesting read.

– DJ Butter


31 of the Best Halloween Movies

It’s officially spooky season! Here in Raleigh, the leaves are changing colors, the 12-foot-tall Home Depot skeletons are making an appearance, and the air is crisp with the scent of fall. Amid the stress of a global pandemic and the impending doom of election season, a little bit of Halloween is what we all need right now (safely, of course). What better way to do celebrate than with the best spooky movies you can imagine?

To get you in the perfect spooky mood, here are 31 of my favorite Halloween films:

  1. Us (2019)
  2. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)
  3. Beetlejuice (1988)
  4. Addams Family Values (1993)
  5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  6. Coraline (2009)
  7. Corpse Bride (2005)
  8. Practical Magic (1998)
  9. Young Frankenstein (1974)
  10. The Shining (1980)
  11. The Conjuring (2013)
  12. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  13. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
  14. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
  15. As Above So Below (2014)
  16. Gremlins (1984)
  17. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  18. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
  19. Twilight (2008)
  20. Creep (2014)
  21. Warm Bodies (2013)
  22. The Babadook (2014)
  23. It Follows (2014)
  24. Carrie (1976)
  25. The Craft (1996)
  26. Donnie Darko (2001)
  27. Midsommar (2019)
  28. The Purge (2013)
  29. Poltergeist (1982)
  30. Hocus Pocus (1993)
  31. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Stay Spooky!

– DJ butter


Album Art Gems: Part 5

Welcome to the grand finale of the Album Art Gems series! If you haven’t been keeping up, here are links to the firstsecondthird, and fourth installations. This has been such a fun blog series for me and I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it!

1. Negro Swan – Blood Orange

I literally can never get tired of looking at this cover. It is just absolutely exquisite. The way the winged model is posing out of the car is so elegant, and I love the minimal, organic color palette.

2. Currents – Tame Impala

I know this is very basic of me, but I couldn’t NOT include “Currents.” It’s an excellent allusion to the psychedelic covers so often found on 60s and 70s album art, which Tame Impala tends to channel in their music.


3. Wolf – Tyler, the Creator

In Part 4, I mentioned “IGOR,” but how could I only highlight just one Tyler album? The “Wolf” cover perfectly encapsulates his ridiculous and dark style of production. I love how it reminds me of a cheesy high school portrait from the 80s. The inhaler in his hand really tops it all off.


4. Melodies – Jan Hammer Group

This album is a recent discovery of mine, but I was blown away by the colors and composition of the cover. The ways in which the photos zoom in and are made up of multicolored line patterns are a type of unique that is rarely found in modern album art.


5. Getz/Gilberto – João Gilberto & Stan Getz

Last but not least, one of my favorite albums of all time, we have “Getz/Gilberto.” Seeing this cover is so nostalgic for me and brings back such fond memories of my childhood. The colors remind me of the warmth of a Brazilian jazz club in the 60s, which is always where I imagine myself while listening to it.

Happy listening!

– DJ butter

DJ Highlights

DJ Tips from DJ Butter

(DJ butter in the stu)

This is my third semester working for WKNC, and it’s been AMAZING. The best part of my week is ploppin’ down in the studio, playing my music, and getting on air. It’s honestly such a great feeling to share my favorite music with Raleigh. To anyone who’s considering being a DJ at WKNC: DO IT. You for sure won’t regret it, and there are tons of opportunities for paid positions too!

At the beginning, I had major imposter syndrome every time I came to do my shift. I was so scared that I was going to mess up somehow (which I did do many times in various ways). Here are some things I wish I could tell myself when I first started:

1. RELAX. Take a deep breath before you start speaking on air. It’s okay to be nervous at first, but the more you calm down, the less you’ll stutter.

2. That being said, it’s OKAY TO MESS UP. I mean, don’t say something that’ll get us fined, but if you fumble over your words or accidentally say the wrong song title, I assure you the world will not collapse and burn.

3. When you first start, write your script down. We learned this in DJ training, but a young, naïve DJ butter thought she could just go in headfirst and ended up failing miserably. Eventually, you’ll be comfortable enough to improv, but it’s always good to keep using a script if you want to!

4. Don’t be intimidated by all the technology. You’ll learn it with time, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re unsure, either from whoever’s in the office or by getting in touch with your trainer!

5. Plan ahead and know your playlist well, especially if you know your songs have a lot of curse words in them. Editing them out will take longer than you think it does.

6. The more you put into it, the better it’ll be. When you’re excited about the music you play, people can tell! One of the best feelings is having someone call in and tell you they like your set.

7. Have a friend or two listen in to your set. They can tell you if you’re too quiet or if anything sounded awkward so you can know how to improve next time. It also helps to know that someone kind is listening!

8. Draw something on the whiteboard, leave a song in the song sharing jar, and introduce the next DJ!

I hope this helps, DJs! Special shoutout to one of my favorite DJs, Midsize Joe, for helping brainstorm this advice, you rock.

– DJ butter