Short Stories

Concert Rats at the Coffee Shop Show

My good friend, Doris (a.k.a. DJ Babycakez on WKNC 88.1), told me a story the other week that I’ve thought about every day since. As I remember, when Doris was in high school, she’d go to a local coffee shop to see her friend’s band, among others, perform in a weekly show. The crowd was apparently quite the mixed bag. It really comes down to the rats. 

Among the crowd was a small community of rat owners that would bring their pets to the show each week and allow them to crawl up and down their bodies as they walked around the main floor. As Doris recalls, the owners would sometimes approach groups of people and introduce their rats as if they were people. My favorite rat name that Doris relayed was Stargirl. What a name for a rat. 

This story is a prime example of the generally intriguing nature of a concert crowd. In my experience, and clearly Doris’, concerts tend to draw out some fascinating people with equally fascinating stories. Even among a niche music genre or band, there’s usually a jarring combination of people compared to other sorts of gatherings. 

It is with Doris’ story in mind, I call upon everyone to remember their favorite concert crowd encounters and to savor the fact that you’re likely to meet someone outside your average realm at nearly any concert you attend. 

Here’s to concert rats, unique individuals and Stargirl, of course,

Silya Bennai

Classic Album Review

Album Review: Breath From Another

ALBUM: Breath From Another



RATING: 9/10

BEST TRACKS: “That Girl,” “Superheroes,” “Country Livin’ (The World I Know)” and “Lounge”

FCC: Clean

“Breath From Another” by Esthero is an album that grew on me slowly but surely. It took me at least a month after discovering it to sit down and listen all the way through. However, even before I gave it a chance, it is an album I would visit at least once a day. My love for this record began with “That Girl,” then spread to “Superheroes,” then to “Country Livin’ (The World I Know),” and eventually the whole album.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post “All I Listen To Are Lady Voices,” I am captivated by the classically 90s sound of feminine voices layered over electronic tracks. I am not exactly sure what to call the genre but “Breath From Another” encapsulates the sound perfectly.

The album as a whole fits into the downtempo electronic category while still incorporating elements of jazz and pop making it enjoyable for a wide range of music enthusiasts. If you enjoy artists like Opus III and Morcheeba, then this album is for you.

Click HERE to check it out on Spotify.

New Album Review

Scout by Samia EP Review

“Making it look easy is the hardest thing in the world to do” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

One of the best ways an album can be enjoyable to listen to is by sounding effortless. This works for any genre; being able to settle into a groove and make the listener think the carefully planned lyrics are just coming out in a stream of consciousness. Samia’s last album, 2020’s “The Baby,” thrived off this concept. Lines didn’t sound forced but like they flowed out under their own steam, taking center stage over minimal and light instrumentals. This wasn’t an album that clicked with me right away, but a year later, it’s stayed in my music rotation and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. It managed to walk that very thin line between trying too hard and sounding lazy. This is a very difficult balancing act, and it’s one that at times hurt “Scout” but kept its true potential in check.

One thing it got perfectly right was its choice of the lead single. “Show Up” has been one of my favorite songs of the year and one that perfectly captures this spirit of effortlessness. It tells a vaguely defined story, name-dropping characters we don’t hear from again, to draw the listener into its world before hitting us with its understated and inspirational chorus. The ability for Samia to pull narratives from conventional song structures and not feel like it was forced in is a highlight of the EP and Show Up was the best example of that.

Ironically, the other highlight was the song that ditched the understated feel the most and went big with hard-hitting drums and a strong vocal feature, “The Promise.” This made no effort to hide its best qualities and was some of the most immediate fun I’ve had with a Samia song.

The other two tracks weren’t bad by any means, but they had some issues that require a separate category to mention. “As You Are” had a vocal sample at the beginning that lasted for far too long and got in the way of the actual singing. These kinds of choices jump out to me. I really don’t know why that was played as long as it did, and consistency is a big part of why I like any song, so having something irksome like that is when I tend to look at a song less favorably. It, along with the other track “Elephant,” also ran into the issue of trying to mimic a style rather than go for something different. It’s not too egregious, as it is her style, but both of those songs to me felt like the weakest off “Scoutm” or maybe B-sides. Elephant” did come alive at the end with some neat wordplay and a well-executed chorus but it just didn’t grab my attention that way I’ve come to expect from Samia’s discography.

I was probably a little too hyped coming into this EP. While of course EPs aren’t a bad art form, in my experience I tend to prefer an artists’ album output. “The Baby” was intimate, gripping and meditative, but most of all it was surprising, a debut album that absolutely blew me away. “Scout” was a strong EP and follow-up, but it just couldn’t surprise me like her previous release. Now her next album though…

– Erie Mitchell

Weekly Charts

Chainsaw Charts 7/27

1ABSENCE, THECoffinizedM-Theory
2CANNIBAL CORPSEViolence UnimaginedMetal Blade
3SIEGE COLUMNDarkside LegionsNuclear War Now
4IRON MAIDEN“The Writing On The Wall” [Single]BMG
5REBEL PRIESTLost in Tokyo [EP]Batcave
6COGNITIVEMalevolent Thoughts Of A Hastened ExtinctionUnique Leader
7POWERWOLFCall Of The WildNapalm
8NANOWAR OF STEELItalian Folk MetalNapalm
9AT THE GATESThe Nightmare Of BeingCentury Media
Weekly Charts

Underground Charts 7/27

1DEZRON DOUGLAS AND BRANDEE YOUNGERForce MajeureInternational Anthem
4BUTCHER BROWN#KingButchConcord Jazz
5LAVA LA RUEButter-fly [EP]Marathon
8RICO NASTYNightmare VacationSugar Trap
9HIATUS KAIYOTEMood ValiantBrainfeeder/Ninja Tune
10BILLY DEAN THOMASFor Better Or WorseSelf-Released
Weekly Charts

Afterhours Charts 7/27

1MAGDALENA BAYMini Mix Vol. 2 [EP]Luminelle
2SOFIA KOURTESISFresia Magdalena [EP]Technicolour
3PAULA, POVA, JERGEPrimavera [EP]Moshi Moshi
4BICEPIsles (Deluxe)Ninja Tune
6INDIA JORDANWatch Out! [EP]Ninja Tune
7LSDXOXODedicated 2 Disrespect [EP]XL
9BLUE HAWAIIUnder 1 House [EP]Arbutus
10CECILE BELIEVEPlucking A Cherry From The VoidSelf-Released
Weekly Charts

Daytime Charts 7/27


1SPELLLINGThe Turning WheelSacred Bones
2JAPANESE BREAKFASTJubileeDead Oceans/Secretly Group
4A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERSHologram [EP]Self-Released
5BLACK MIDICavalcadeRough Trade/Beggars
6ENUMCLAWJimbo Demo [EP]Youth Riot
7SOFIA KOURTESISFresia Magdalena [EP]Technicolour
8TOBIElements Vol. 1Same Plate/RCA
9EVIDENCEUnlearning Vol. 1Rhymesayers
10ILLUMINATI HOTTIES“Pool Hopping” [Single]Snack Shack Tracks/Hopeless
12POM POM SQUADDeath Of A CheerleaderCity Slang
13TASHAKI MIYAKICastawayMetropolis
16LOUNGE SOCIETY, THESilk For The Starving [EP]Speedy Wunderground/PIAS
17LUNAR VACATION“Shrug” [Single]Keeled Scales
18DAWN RICHARDSecond LineMerge
19LAVA LA RUEButter-fly [EP]Marathon
20SNAPPED ANKLESForest Of Your ProblemsLeaf
21JOESEFDoes It Make You Feel Good [EP]AWAL
22BILLY DEAN THOMASFor Better Or WorseSelf-Released
24HIATUS KAIYOTEMood ValiantBrainfeeder/Ninja Tune
25MINAXISialia [EP]Self-Released
26SQUIDBright Green FieldWarp
28BACHELORDoomin’ SunPolyvinyl
29L’RAINFatigueMexican Summer
30MARKEE STEELEVet & A Rook [EP]Thee Marquee


1SPELLLINGThe Turning WheelSacred Bones
2SNAPPED ANKLESForest Of Your ProblemsLeaf
3TASHAKI MIYAKICastawayMetropolis
4PEARLYMellon [EP]Eto Ano
5SEND MEDICINEBy Telepathy And ReputationVery Possible
6BABEHOVENNastavi, Calliope [EP]Self-Released
8COMA CULTURECamouflageRepost Network/Gourmet
9DEUCEDEUCEDinosaur City
10SLEEPMAKESWAVESThese Are Not Your DreamsBird’s Robe
New Album Review

New Album Review: I Know I’m Funny Haha by Faye Webster

ALBUM: “I Know I’m Funny Haha” by Faye Webster


LABEL: Secretly Canadian

RATING: 8/10

BEST TRACKS: “I Know I’m Funny Haha,” “Kind Of” and “Cheers”

FCC: “I Know I’m Funny Haha”

The soft and sultry vocals of Faye Webster wash over you in her new album. “I Know I’m Funny Haha” is her fourth album on Secretly Canadian Records. Atlanta native Webster blends folk, r&b, and indie with her own spin. Released on June 25, this album is perfect for a sweltering summer. 

My Favorite Tracks:

I Know I’m Funny Haha

The shortest song on the album, “I Know I’m Funny Haha” is also the title track. Webster sings about her boyfriend’s sister “I made her laugh one time at dinner, She said I’m funny and then I thanked her, But I know I’m funny haha”. There’s something about how she sings “Haha”, it’s sharp and cutting. 

Kind Of

This groovy track has a swinging beat that has you nodding your head and tapping your feet along immediately. You can hear the 90s soul and r&b direction. Webster takes her time, the leisurely chorus lets her instrumental back up shine.  


The baseline of this track is almost hypnotic, chugging along throughout the song. This track has the most rock influence of the album but still feels light and fresh. I love how unrushed Webster sounds in this song. She makes her vocals serene even as she belts out the chorus “And let’s cheers to you, And let’s cheers to me”.

If you’re looking for chill songs to accompany you sitting out in the oppressive southern summer heat “I Know I’m Funny Haha” is the album for you.

-DJ lil witch


2000s Film Soundtrack: A Playlist

Certain songs give off a very particular energy, and I’ve decided the energy I like most in a song is the following: songs that sound like they could be in the soundtrack coming of age film via the early 2000s. To indulge myself and to share the wealth, I’ve compiled a playlist of songs released in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s that radiate that vibe. Granted, upon some research a couple of these songs were in films from around that time, but not any that I’ve seen, so it seems like I might just have a good radar for soundtrack songs. 

“You You You You You” – The 6ths

“What Will Give” – The Radio Dept. 

“The Future Pt. 1” – Voxtrot

“You Are My Face” – Wilco

“The Good That Won’t Come Out” – Rilo Kiley

“Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying” – Belle and Sebastian

“Another Travelin’ Song” – Bright Eyes

“Across The Universe” – Fiona Apple

“Blue Flower” – Mazzy Star

“The Morning Sad” – Veruca Salt

“I’ll Believe in Anything” – Wolf Parade

“Magic 8 Ball” – Cub

I’ve made a Spotify playlist of this list just for you. If you check it out, I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time,



Songs 4 NYC

I’m headed to NYC in a week with three of my closest friends (and Emma’s sister – Hi, Aliza), and I think it’s about time to set the music expectations. Traveling with the WKNC Program Director, Underground MD, and two more heavy music listeners is exciting. The aux will hold a lot of power, perhaps more than the steering wheel, so I seriously doubt we’ll follow the “driver chooses the music” rule. Therefore, there’s a certain level of importance in curating a playlist prior to the drive up. Here’s what we’ve put together so far:

  • “Inner City Life – Radio Edit” by Goldie
  • “D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L” by Panchiko
  • “Live Without Out” by Todd Terry
  • “Tu Dégages” by Sexy Sushi
  • “Another Routine Day Breaks” by Brokeback
  • “#1 CRUSH – Re-mastered 07” by Garbage
  • “Alec Eiffel” by Pixies
  • “Sketch Artist” by Kim Gordon
  • “Do You Be” by Meredith Monk
  • “Into The Death” by Atari Teenage Riot
  • “Reasons To Be Beautiful” by Hole
  • “Superheroes” by Esthero
  • “Xtal” by Aphex Twin
  • “What’s Important” by Beat Happening
  • “Novocaine” by Fog Lake
  • “The Witch” by The Sonics
  • “Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex” by CSS
  • “Little Deer” by Spellling
  • Find Hihs Password 003 (96 BPM)” by Vegyn
  • “Mordecai’s Bad Sex Dream” by Joy Again
  • “Miss Camaraderie” by Azealia Banks
  • “Ur’0000s” by Slater
  • “That Girl” by Esthero
  • “Alphabet” by Jeffrey Lewis, Jack Lewis, Anders Grieffen
  • “Beauties can die” by M83
  • “September Dark Planet” by ARTHUR
  • “Fucking Hoes Heads Based Freestyle” by Lil B
  • “Greygoose” by Yung Lean
  • “Pulsewidth” by Aphex Twin
  • “I’m In Love With A German Film Star” by The Passions

Click here to listen to our ever-growing collaborative playlist on Spotify.

Here’s to that perfect underground show we absolutely are going to find and attend,

Silya Bennai