Categories
Playlists

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

Categories
Miscellaneous

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

Categories
Miscellaneous

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

Categories
Miscellaneous

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

Categories
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

Categories
New Album Review

Album Review: Pedal Steel Guitar – Will Van Horn

I cannot stop listening to this EP. It only has five songs, but each one of them is full of merit.

Will Van Horn’s 2018 album is the perfect little collection of instrumental psychedelia. As his one and only release, “Pedal Steel Guitar” is fittingly named. Van Horn’s instrument of choice that dominates the sound of the EP is, in fact, the pedal steel guitar. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of these crazy things, but it is a horizontal type of steel instrument that looks almost like a keyboard from the side. However, on top, it resembles the neck of an electric guitar. It was originally invented in Hawaii in the 1800s but is now used primarily in country music. However, Van Horn takes the instrument to a whole new level by pairing it with the drums and fretless bass to create an ambiance of mystery and groove.

If you’re familiar with Khruangbin, Van Horn is actually featured throughout their discography, sneaked into several songs on each album. He emulates a similar but more bluesy sound with his solo work. I really enjoy the slow, moody touch he adds as well that contrasts his more funk-based work with Khruangbin.

My favorite song, which also happens to be the highlighted song of the album, is “Lost My Mind.” It was the song that also introduced me to the album. His guitar work is just genius on it, and I highly recommend taking a listen if you’re a nerd for that kind of sound (like me). It’s been almost two years since Van Horn released “Pedal Steel Guitar,” and I can only hope that there’s more on the way, considering it is his only solo discography.

Songs:

1. Lost My Mind
2. Alberto Balsalm
3. Pleasure Is All Mine
4. Plug Me In
5. Yekermo Sew

Tune In!

– DJ butter

Categories
Miscellaneous

Album Art Gems: Part Four

Here we are again! Get ready for this week’s installment of Album Art Gems. If you haven’t been keeping up, here are the links to the first, second, and third parts.

1. Presence – Led Zeppelin

Quite a different energy than their other album covers, “Presence” is often ignored in comparison to their more popular LPs (but “Tea for One” is actually my favorite song currently). However, I find this cover really endearing, especially when I researched the meaning behind it. The cover shows a suburban family observing a strange, unidentifiable object in the middle of the table. On the inside of their vinyl covers, there are even more images of happy suburban people holding, staring at, or touching the same object. According to the band, the object was supposed to represent the Led Zeppelin’s place in society, and how they had a powerful yet mysterious presence in the world.

2. IGOR – Tyler, the Creator

This series would be incomplete without mentioning Tyler, the Creator’s most recent album. It is such an amazing visualization for the content of the album. Tyler looks rough, lost, and almost scary his collage-like portrait, but is contrasted by a bright pink background. To me, this is a great representation of the broken-hearted lyrics of “IGOR” and how they’re juxtaposed with happy, upbeat rhythms.

3. Copulating Rhythm, Volume One – Blues Compilation

This is a tad bit NSFW, but it was recommended by our lovely supervisor, Jamie. “Copulating Rhythm” is a blues and jazz compilation featuring artists like Lil Johnson, Rosetta Howard, Bo Carter, and many more with a rare collection of huggin’ and lovin’ songs (for adult listeners is right). Nevertheless, the colors and design of this cover are exquisite. (Apologies for the very small picture)

4. Horses – Patti Smith

If you haven’t read “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, go to the bookstore and pick it up right now. It is a beautiful, poetic autobiography by Smith and the amazing connection she had with Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most influential photographers of our time. The book describes the exact moment when this photo was taken as Smith was entering the world of rock and Mapplethorpe was blossoming in his creative work.

5. Are You Experienced – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

I know, I know, it’s bad to give Jimi two features in this series, but I just can’t help myself. This album was the trio’s first, and my personal favorite. “Foxy Lady,” “Love or Confusion,” AND “Third Stone From the Sun”?? It’s amazing how so much genius can be in one album. The typography on this cover alone represented an entire cultural movement and is recognized even today as a masterpiece of letterform art. The colors, the fisheye, WOW. I could geek out about this album forever.

– DJ butter

Categories
Playlists

What if We Made Eye Contact Across the Parlour Like in Pride and Prejudice (2005)?

(Image: Hugh Thomson (1860-1920) / Public domain)

“Pride and Prejudice” is perhaps my favorite novel ever written. It is the perfect mixture of humor and elegance, and it’s my go-to reread book. It would be embarrassing to say how many times I’ve read it, especially since I’ve lost track at this point. If you haven’t had the opportunity to pick it up, it’s a lovely, satirical story written by Jane Austen about the expectations and pitfalls of upper-class women when it came to marriage in the 18th century. The Bennet’s, a family on the fringes of the English gentry, have five young daughters who their mother is desperate to marry off before money runs out. Elizabeth Bennet, our main character, forms a spiteful (yet enticing) relationship with Mr. Darcy, a member of the most elite family in England. It is a delightfully witty and heartwarming novel and I 10/10 recommend.

Listening to this playlist makes me feel like I’m living a life of luxury on the English countryside in the late 1700s. Now I know this time is crazy romanticized, especially since the vast majority of people were not a part of this elite class, but a girl can dream. I’m normally not a big listener of classical music, but these tracks are just too beautiful.

1. Liz on Top of the World – Jean Yves Thibaudet (Pride and Prejudice 2005 Soundtrack)

2. Yes! – Dario Marianelli [feat. Jack Liebeck] (Jane Eyre 2011 Soundtrack)

3. Suite Bergamasque, L. 75: III. Clair de lune – Claude Debussy

4. Awaken – Dario Marianelli [feat. Jack Liebeck] (Jane Eyre 2011 Soundtrack)

5. Concerto in D Minor, BWV 974: II. Adagio – Johann Sebastian Bach

6. Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven

7. Moceaux de Fantasie, op. 3: no.1, elégie – Sergei Rachmaninoff

8. The Secret Life of Daydreams – Jean Yves Thibaudet (Pride and Prejudice 2005 Soundtrack)

– DJ butter

Categories
Miscellaneous

Album Art Gems Pt. 3

Without further ado, here is this week’s installment of my favorite album covers of all time:

1.     Midnight Snack – HOMESHAKE

I think I’ve talked about this before in another blog post, but I love how this album art looks like the “Goodnight Moon” book cover, which was one of my favorite books growing up (fun fact: I would cry every time my mom read it to me because it made me so happy). It really fits in with the whole LP’s vibe, which feels very woozy and dreamy. The hand painted look in this piece feels delightfully playful and cozy.

2.     Pregnant With Success – Junglepussy

Junglepussy is honestly such a goddess, and this cover really captures her power. This portrait of her is composed so nicely, and I love how she simultaneously blends in with the elevator yet contrasts it with her gorgeous hair. The way the florescent lighting makes her face glow is exquisite. 

3.     BUSH – Snoop Dogg

This is another mm *chef’s kiss* cover. Produced by Pharrell, “BUSH” has a retro funk feel to it that complements Snoop’s smoothness perfectly. The simple surrealist-like feel this album cover gives off with the perfectly shaped bushes and bright bluedog is so great.

4.     Steve Lacy’s Demo – Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy consistently gives us amazing album covers, but this one is my personal favorite. The colors are fantastic and I love how the photo of him is juxtaposed on top of this bright pink mystery material. The way he stands between his bass and guitar is so casual yet speaks so powerfully to his talent on both.

5.     blkswn – Smino

Wow! Smino really overdid himself on “blkswn.” Not only is the actual content exquisite, but the cover art is too. The colors are divine and so is the composition. I love the way the album title is written on his comb, and the hands doing his hair seem to have personality and an air of movement to them. Keep it comin’ Smino.

– DJ butter

Categories
New Album Review

Album Review: Here Comes the Cowboy – Mac DeMarco

Cowboys are back in style. Lil Nas X is just one example of the cowboy aesthetic gaining recognition in pop culture, but what about on the indie scene?

Mac DeMarco’s most recent LP, “Here Comes the Cowboy,” is a playful homage to the simplicity of Western living. The album is slow and swoony, filled with the classic DeMarco strums, love songs, and odd humor. You can really just imagine him sitting in a rocking chair in front of a prairie, wearing a flannel shirt and cowboy hat, plucking along to this album as he stares longingly at the blue sky. Maybe even a cigarette between his front teeth gap, who knows.

This has actually been one of my favorite Mac DeMarco albums so far. It’s really nice to play while relaxing or in the background, but it has its own merits for more focused listening as well. The first five songs definitely follow a definitive mellow Western sound, but things start to pick up and diversify with “Choo Choo,” which is a bit more upbeat, and “Heart to Heart,” which includes more synth-bass vibes. “On the Square” also has a bit more of a jazzy feel with the light piano notes. “Skyless Moon” is honestly heavenly with his characteristic crooning. “Hey Cowgirl” holds a very special place in my heart because yours truly is living on a farm right now. The album ends on another cowboy note in “Baby Bye Bye,” a strong finish for one of Mac’s most relaxing collections.

Overall, I really just love how Mac combines Western acoustic, synth-like strums, and prominent bass to make a really unique tone on “Here Comes the Cowboy.”

– DJ butter