Categories
Playlists

The Saw’s Choice Cuts: Hard Rock

What’s going on Butcher Crew?! It’s your Master Butcher, The Saw and I am back with some more choice cuts! Instead of a band, I have a genre that I have been listening to a lot here recently, and that is hard rock. Not just any type of hard rock but late 90s/early 2000s hard rock. I have always been a fan of this era of music because this was the era that I grew up in. 

Also, this beautiful weather puts me in a hard rock mood. Nothing gives me as much serotonin as driving down the road with all my windows down on a warm sunny day, singing along to some hard rock. It gives me big summer festival vibes as well which is also something that I enjoy. 

Here are some of my favorite hard rock songs that I have been listening to recently:

  • The Red – Chevelle 
  • I Stand Alone – Godsmack 
  • Whatever – Godsmack 
  • Speak – Godsmack 
  • Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine 
  • Bodies – Drowning Pool 
  • Youth of the Nation – P.O.D. 
  • Paralyzer – Finger Eleven 
  • Chop Suey!  – System of a Down 
  • Toxicity – System of a Down 
  • Got the Life – KoRn 
  • Break – Three Days Grace
  • Painkiller – Three Days Grace 
  • Control – Puddle Of Mudd 
  • Through Glass – Stone Sour 
  • Fine Again – Seether 
  • A Careless Whisper – Seether
  • Drive – Incubus 
  • Sober – Tool 

What are some of your favorite hard rock songs? 

Stay Metal, 

THE SAW 

Categories
Classic Album Review

Album Review: Psychotropic by Los Tones

ALBUM: “Psychotropic” by Los Tones

RELEASE YEAR: 2015

LABEL: Groovie Records

RATING: 10/10

BEST TRACKS: “Psychotropic”, “Buchanan Hammer” and “Ordinary Man”

FCC: Clean

I am a firm believer that Los Tones are one of the most underrated psych-rock bands out there. Hailing from Syndey, Australia, the foursome specializes in fuzzy, heavy surf rock. If you’re a garage fan, you may have heard their hit song “Buchanan Hammer” off this very album. However, “Psychotropic” has so much more to offer than their most popular single. It’s stuffed to the brim with heavy, sludgy, spooky goodness. Think skeletons-surfing-at-Goo-Lagoon-type-beat.

“Psychotropic” is both fast-paced and rich, keeping you enraptured at all times. I know we like to think of The Growlers or Allah-Las as the modern kings of “beach goth,” but I’d argue that Los Tones could easily snatch that crown away. Though they very obviously draw inspiration from old-school garage bands like The Sonics and The Seeds, they add a modern spin with their high energy and intense ferocity. Many acid rock bands mimic that signature growling vocal style, but their lead singer adds a sneering provocativeness that is truly unmatched. It’s easy for that style to sound abrasive or even apathetic, but Los Tones master it perfectly.

The best part about “Psychotropic” by far is their guitar work. Their axeman is obviously a guru when it comes to the reverb pedal. Though each song is extremely lively in its own way, the way they switch speeds and intensities is relishable. Tracks like “One Horse Race” and “Waste of Space” especially show off this artistry, especially the latter. Right at 1:33, there’s an amazing solo transition that’s absolutely to die for. “Speed Boat” is a spine-chilling tune, reminiscent of The Cramps’ horror-core punk.

If you’re a fan of any type of garage, surf, or early punk, you’ve just got to give “Psychotropic” a listen. You won’t regret it!

– DJ Butter

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Band of the Week: Gatecreeper

What’s going on Butcher Crew?! It’s your Master Butcher, The Saw, and I am back with another band of the week! If you like O.G. Death Metal, but also enjoy components of hardcore, then Gatecreeper is the band for you! 

This band combines death metal riffs and also hardcore riffs in order to formulate their sound. It gives their music a violent groove that you can both mosh and dance to! I first heard about Gatecreeper when they randomly started playing on my Spotify. I really like the feature that Spotify has in which it plays bands that they think you will like after listening to an album. I immediately added Gatecreeper to my library. They have that sound of death metal that I cannot get enough of. It’s so eerie but yet, so groovy! 

Gatecreeper is an American death metal band from Phoenix, Tempe, and Tuscan, Arizona that formed in 2013. They took the scene by surprise and seized the underground after their 2014 release of their self-titled EP. The band has combined the death metal style of Entombed but also added hardcore components. All the members of the band are fans of both death metal and hardcore, and listen to both genres frequently. Two members of the band are also in a hardcore band, Territory; of course, Gatecreeper will have some hardcore components. Their vocalist, Chase Mason, says that hardcore influence has always been there, and they do not use it any more or any less on their other albums. 

The lyrical content speaks about Mason’s heroin addiction, his former life before he joined Gatecreeper. Mason has been 8 years sober and will be at 9 years this coming August. I think it is great that Mason is open with his past and will talk about it within Gatecreeper songs because I’m sure people can resonate with the message. This is just another example of music being used as an outlet for not only the listener, but also the creator. 

Current Members: 

  • Chase “Hellahammer” Mason (vocals) 
  • Eric “The Dark Cowboy” Wagner (guitar)
  • Matt “Thunder Rage” Arrebollo (drums) 
  • Sean “Hell Mammoth” Mears (bass) 
  • Israel Garza (guitar) 

Discography: 

  • Gatecreeper (EP) (2014)
  • Sonoran Depravation (2016)
  • Deserted (2019)
  • An Unexpected Reality (2021) 

Stay Metal, 

THE SAW 

Categories
Playlists

Friday Favorites

Written by Miranda

Kiss Me More (ft. SZA) – Doja Cat

I definitely couldn’t let this legendary new single fly under the radar. If it’s been on your “to listen” list, go check it out now. It’s just as good as you’re imagining a collaboration with the two best pop artists of 2021 would be.

Nobody But You (ft. Jorja Smith) – Sonder

A single-track collaboration between Sonder, a project between producers Atu and Dpat with vocals by Brent Faiyaz, and vocalist Jorja Smith. Beautiful and simplistic.

Balloon – Crumb

Soothing vocals with an ethereal synth and drum beat makes for something great on Crumb’s newest single release, along with the track “BNR.”

EYEZNOLIEZ (ft. Burial & Nosaj Thing) – Gooodnight

An endlessly upbeat instrumental collaboration between Gooodnight, Burial, and Nosaj Thing with some truly terrifying album art is exactly what I need to get my workout flowing.

Awake (ft. Mahalia) – Chiiild

A flirty track marking the third release of Chiiild’s single tracks so far this year.

Listen to this week’s Friday Favorites, as well as my favorites from past weeks, on WKNC’s Spotify.

Categories
Music Education

So What Is Hyperpop Anyway?

Keeping abreast of all the latest buzzwords in music can be disorienting. The growth of internet subcultures has created a bourgeoning vocabulary of microgenres with differences too minute for the average normie to grasp. Metal is usually the butt of the jokes about this (blackened death-doom: a real genre name), but electronica is guilty of much the same sin. If you were to ask me to differentiate Chillwave, Synthwave, and Dreamwave I wouldn’t be able to give you much more than ‘I don’t know man, it’s kind of like Duran Duran with no hooks.’ I’m not sure whether the same can be said about Hyperpop. Love it or hate it, the music is… distinct.

Hyperpop is a quasi-genre of delusional gay screeching atop loud, sometimes unpleasant noises. Big names in the field include 100 Gecs, Charli XCX, Sophie (RIP), Dorian Electra, Slayyyter, Hannah Diamond, etc. The sound is polarizing. Many people love it, and just as many are utterly bewildered as to why someone would be interested in such an unquestionable train wreck of a music scene. Now, considering that delusional gay screeching is both my native genre and primary form of communication, I thought I’d take you on a trip through the historical roots of this kind of music, and see what it is that makes Hyperpop unique.

Industrial

Arguably the earliest precursor to Hyperpop is traditional industrial music. While heavily associated with 90s alternative metal and rock, the original wave of Industrial musicians worked in what we would now refer to electronic music. The progenitors of this sound, British group Throbbing Gristle, were fairly low-volume and subtle. The music was less punishing than the noise music that would come later, and the overall effect was more creepy than destructive. This style was initially tethered to art galleries and the weird hipster parts of West Germany, but it would spill over into dance and metal music in the 80s. Hyperpop sensibilities fall firmly into the dance music side of things, which is where the association between gay and trans subcultures and noise music first developed. Gay clubs in the Chicago area began playing exaggerated and energetic forms of early Industrial music and imported obscure experimental recordings from Europe into America for the first time. This “Wax Track” Industrial is an important touchstone for Hyperpop and related genres.

Electroclash

This is probably the most obvious forerunner to Hyperpop. Electroclash was a very small scene and has been talked to death, so I’ll be brief. At its core, this music is a stylistic fusion of 80s New Wave and 90s Techno that emerged in the early 2000s. It used the technology and sound palate of techno but was more geared towards song structures and weird artistic experiments, the artistic ethos of the new wave. Like New Wave, it also utilized visual and multi-media aspects, and a lot of the hype for Electroclash came as much from breakthroughs in fashion and video as it did from the music. As a result, the term was almost immediately rejected by those it described, and it has gone down as a quintessential example of blogosphere hype that the purveyors of Hyperpop might note.

Electropop

The most recent and significant influence on Hyperpop comes from the barely past-tense genre of Electropop. This is less a genre and more of a descriptor for a specific era in mainstream pop from around 2009-2012. This includes artists like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kesha, and a host of less remembered and less liked imitators. If you do a quick survey of the age and, let’s be honest, sexuality, of most Hyperpop artists, you probably know where this is going. Most Hyperpop musicians would have been tweens to young adults when this hit the mainstream, and the nostalgia factor for this music bleeds over into Hyperpop. A defining feature of Electropop is the kind of surreal sincerity of its stars. All of these women gave off the impression that they were smarter than the music they made, but they did so without ironic detachment or devaluing trashy pop music. Lady Gaga was also many people of our generation’s introduction to the very concept of gay people, giving her music a kind of cultural importance to a lot of young queer people. I suppose Katy Perry introduced kids to queerness as well, but let’s just say “I Kissed a Girl,” is not even the most questionable song on that topic she released

Hyperpop

So now we get around to the history of Hyperpop itself, and to tell that we have to talk about one Mr. A.G. Cook and the PC Music label. Cook is the founder of PC Music, an indie label in Britain, and the proximate cause for this whole genre. He rose to prominence as the attaché and producer for Charli XCX, and his personal collaboration with SOPHIE cemented this status. From here, he has basically become the A&R master of Hyperpop, identifying relevant artists and networking them together While the label doesn’t have any big-name signees, the orbital of remixes and collaborations orchestrated by Cook encompass basically everyone who could conceivably be called Hyperpop.

Does any of this music have a future? Internet microgenres are pretty limited in their scope, and despite the insistence of many critics, it doesn’t appear any closer to the mainstream in 2021 than it was two years ago. Personally, I have my doubts about whether Hyperpop will ever become the dominant ethos of radio pop. However, this disguises something that’s perhaps relevant: the defining ethos of mainstream music is Hip-hop, and it has been for some time now. I am hardly the first to point out that mainstream pop radio is an increasingly desolate wasteland of people who are not actually famous. The only big names I can really think of to emerge from radio pop in the last 5 years are Dua Lipa, Lizzo, and Billie Eilish, and of those three, Lizzo got her start on the independent hip-hop circuit, and Billie Eilish would honestly be considered a Hyperpop artist if she didn’t have such universal support from the industry. Pop is rapidly becoming a secondary genre, in the vein of country, metal, and what little remains of rock, so why not declare that the independent artists are the scene? In that sense, Hyperpop isn’t Pop Music’s future, it’s pop music’s present.

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Artist to Watch: reggie

There is a special feeling to hearing a song that stops you directly in your tracks. I was simply scrolling through music on Youtube when I came across the track “I Don’t Wanna Feel No More.” by reggie. The harmonies and guitar at the beginning of the song were warm and nostalgic. Yet it was once reggie began singing, that this song rocked me to my core. I knew at that moment, that this artist was something special.

Hailing from Houston, Texas, reggie delivers soulful and beautifully crafted music that is hard to ignore. With three singles available on streaming platforms, I can with absolute faith tell you he is going to be a very successful artist. Each one of the tracks he has put out has been unique in its own way while still capturing the reggie’s style and sound. The even better part? Each song is phenomenal. And this is not even exaggerating. As previously mentioned, the song “I Don’t Wanna Feel No More” separated my mind from reality for nearly three and a half minutes where all I could do is feel. It made me think about memories of youth, hard times, and in many ways hit very close to home.

Yet it doesn’t stop there. reggie’s other two tracks, “Southside Fade,” and “AINT GON STOP ME,” are also incredibly high quality. “AINT GON STOP ME,” is his more recent release, and creates a positive feel with lyrics that build up determination. On top of this, reggie has consistently quality visuals to accompany his songs. I especially love how the beauty of Black people and Southern Black culture are highlighted in them as well.

In conclusion, I am very excited to see what reggie does next and am very confident that he will exceed expectations for his fans. If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear his music yet, I highly recommend taking some time from today to check it out.

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Silver Apples: The Sounds of 60s Glitchpop

I have a special place in my heart for primitive uses of now commonplace technologies. There’s something so delightful about past people marveling over the revolutionary changes that, say, the microwave, will bring to our lifestyles. This extends into music. Electronic music technology was available 80 years before anyone had a clue what to do with it. Double credit for hippies convinced that synths will be the next brain-expanding discovery in the counterculture. So, given my interest in these kinds of cultural artifacts, I was surprised when my brother forwarded me an apparently prominent band in this genre whose name I’d never heard before: Silver Apples. This mystery was compounded by his only description for it, “It’s like straight up Glitchpop, but from the late sixties.”

Let’s make our introductions, there are two apples in this bunch, Danny Taylor and Simeon. They have a pretty standard hippie story until about 1967 when Simeon started to incorporate an audio oscillator into their psychedelic rock band, which promptly drove away everyone but Taylor. For context, an audio oscillator is not strictly an, uh, instrument? It’s a piece of technology used in telegraphs and radio transmissions to produce regular intervals of electric current. Like, if you set it to the right frequencies, it makes a sound, but only in the pattern of a sine wave, with a cyclical change in pitch and absolutely no change in timbre. It almost comes off as the endless repetition of a two-second recording, because the oscillator creates an identical cycle of sounds until the frequency or amplitude is changed. This limitation is doubled by the fact that there is only one audio setting total, and that is the sound of blooping robot noises.

So how does one go about making a disassembled telegraph into a musical instrument? Well, the honest answer is probably some form of now illegal drugs, but more to the point you stack like thirty of these things on top of each other and hook them to the same control panel, which is exactly what Silver Apples did. Now, for a bunch of technical reasons I’m not going to get into because trust me, you do not care, this machine is technically a form of very basic synthesizer. I did not know it was possible to make a homemade synthesizer, but Simeone managed to make one. Like most homemade instruments, Simeon’s synthesizer had its eccentricities. For instance, it wasn’t controlled through a keyboard like most synthesizers, it was controlled through a panel of telegraph levers that could be set on or off. This effectively means that playing Simeon’s “instrument” was like playing one of those flash game pianos that set each key on your keyboard to a note, except your playing it with sticky keys on, so to stop a note from playing you have to press the corresponding key. Oh, and each note isn’t one discreet pitch, but a sine wave of pitches oscillating from one extreme to the other.

If this sounds like a bit of a hot mess, you would be correct. While the music itself definitely has telltale signs of the technology used to create it, the overall effect is more calculated than you might expect. The lyrics, which yes their music has lyrics, were often written by non-musical poets the group was friends with, and Taylor is a decent art-rock drummer, comparable to her fellow female drummer in a male band, Mo Tucker. This means that their music is not an avant-garde experiment with emerging technologies, if it was it would have probably been listened to by a hand full of college professors before being forgotten. No, Silver Apples are a pop band… somehow. I can’t explain it but the whole is radically different than the sum of its parts here, and with early electronica, there are a lot of parts.

Does all this add up to Silver Apples being good? Well, to be honest with you I’m not sure. The band is certainly interesting, but there are some serious flaws. For one, I question their decision not to hire another singer, because Simone and Taylor have fairly limited ranges both vocally and in terms of expression, which isn’t great when the primary instrument is so monotonous. Also, despite the lyrics being contracted out, they are still not great. Don’t get me wrong, the lyrics have unparalleled camp value, but I’m not quite sure if “The flame is its own reflection,” is really the deep meaningful poetry Simeon thought it was.

Criticisms aside, I think there’s something to be said for primordial uses of basic musical elements. Listening to music like this reminds us that our current techniques for assembling sounds into songs are not final. Even fundamental concepts like pitch and rhythm are, at best, oversimplifications of the truth. Pitches can in fact be cycles, rhythms can be oscillations, and sometimes, music can spring from a Frankenstein’s telegraph someone built in their backyard.

Categories
Music Education

What Your Music Taste Says About You

For some of us (*cough* WKNC DJs), music is heavily intertwined with our identities. But how did we develop our taste in music? Where did it come from, and what does it mean? Of course, there’s no perfect way to measure personality, but we’ve come pretty close to pinning down what exactly our unique music tastes say about us as individuals.

In 2003, researchers Peter Rentfrow and Samuel Gosling were curious as to how our personalities correlate with our music taste. After conducting a test with over 3,500 people, they were able to identify four major personality categories based on music preferences: reflective and complex, intense and rebellious, upbeat and conventional, and energetic and rhythmic. Since this study, other researchers have refined these categories even further:

1. Refined Observer

Favorite Genres: jazz, blues, folk, classical

Personality Traits: Refined Observers are introspective, analytical and creative. They appreciate music for its complexity, structure and “genius factor.” They also prefer abstract, emotionally rich topics.

2. Heated Defiant

Favorite Genres: heavy rock, metal, grunge, punk

Personality Traits: As you could probably deduce from their title, Heated Defiants tend to be rebellious and explosive, though they may not show those traits outwardly. They also value the spontaneity of new experiences and unconventionality.

3. Easy-Going Conventional

Favorite Genres: pop, country, religious music

Personality Traits: This is for all those G105 listeners out there (no shade). Easy-Going Conventionals tend to be light, warm and optimistic. Rather than looking for the complexity in music, they prefer simplicity and catchy tunes.

4. Outgoing Mingler

Favorite Genres: hip-hop, rap, funk

Personality Traits: Energetic, sociable and friendly, Outgoing Minglers appreciate music with a strong rhythmic and lyrical feel. They’re natural extroverts, enjoying the company of others in all types of gatherings.

5. Serene Enjoyer

Favorite Genres: world music, electronica, soft indie

Personality Traits: Last but not least, the Serene Enjoyer loves music that is unconventional yet chill. They tend to be laid back and unafraid to venture into unknown musical territory. Though they’re very creative, they prefer music that airs on the lighter side of things.

Of course, this is not an extensive measure of personality by any means. Many of us like tons of different genres! Either way, it’s fun to see how your taste might correlate to certain personality traits. What’s your personality type? Do you have more than one? Let us know!

– DJ Butter

Source for the information in this blog.

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Miscellaneous Music Education

Carolina Beach Music

When you bring up the topic of beach music, most people immediately think of The Beach Boys and perhaps lesser known bands such as Dick Dale, The Ventures, The Lively Ones, and The Tornadoes. However, there is a distinct difference between these styles. The Beach Boys had a much more profound “doo-wop” sound to their music. In fact, lead singer Brian Wilson even said that he disliked when people described the Beach Boys as “surfin’ music” just because they were from California. Is his mind, they were their own subset of beach rock. 

The “surf music” that Brian Wilson was so ready to be detached from was pioneered by Dick Dale in the early 1960s. Around this time, Fender had just incorporated the reverb sound into their amps, allowing electric guitars to mimic the sound of a wave. This can be heard in almost every surf rock song. Dick Dale popularized this effect, while adding Mexican and Middle-Eastern influences to give us the surf rock sound we know today. 

While this was all happening on the west coast, a much lesser-known style of beach music was taking hold on the east coast, particularly in North and South Carolina. This style of beach music found its influences through blues and rock R&B. While surf rock exhibits the use of electric guitar, Carolina beach music incorporated more brass instruments, such as the trumpet and the French horn. All of this music was closely associated with “the shag,” which was a popular dance at the time. 

I was first introduced to this music by my parents, so some of my favorites that they used to play include “I Love Beach Music” by The Embers, “Give Me Just a Little More Time” by The Chairmen of the Board, “Ocean Boulevard” by Band of Oz, “Mrs. Grace” by Tymes, “Myrtle Beach Days” by The Fantastic Shakers, and “Summertime’s Calling Me” by the Catalinas. 

Hope you guys enjoy the tunes,
-The DJ Formerly Known As Chippypants

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beach_music#History
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surf_music

Categories
Weekly Charts

Daytime Charts 4/13

ArtistRecordLabel
1ADULT MOMDriverEpitaph
2ANTONIONIAntonioniLauren
3COOL GHOULSAt George’s ZooEmpty Cellar
4REALLY FROMReally FromTopshelf
5BLANKETMANNational Trust [EP]PIAS
6IAN SWEETShow Me How You DisappearPolyvinyl
7JULIEN BAKERLittle OblivionsMatador/Beggars Group
8SHYGIRLALIAS [EP]Because
9BUTCHER BROWN#KingButchConcord Jazz
10DOOHICKEY CUBICLEDon’t Fix Anything 😉Self-Released
11DRY CLEANINGNew Long Leg4AD/Beggars Group
12FAT TONYExoticaCarpark
13GOAT GIRLOn All FoursRough Trade/Beggars
14LAVA LA RUEButter-fly [EP]Marathon
15PINK SIIFU AND FLY ANAKINFlySiifu’sLex
16STATIK SELEKTAHThe Balancing ActMass Appeal
17ORIELLES, THELa Vita OlisticaHeavenly/PIAS
18YOUNG RJ AND MEGA RAN2HANDSUPNe’Astra
19BLACK MIDI“John L” b/w “Despair” [Single]Rough Trade/Beggars
20BLU AND EXILEMilesDirty Science
21CHAD VANGAALENWorld’s Most Stressed Out GardenerSub Pop
22KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARDL.W.KGLW
23TOBIElements Vol. 1Same Plate/RCA
24TIGERS JAWI Won’t Care How You Remember MeHopeless
25NATIVESON 91Come Back DownInner Tribe
26PRINCESS NOKIAEverything is BeautifulPlatoon
27JOESEFDoes It Make You Feel Good [EP]AWAL
28DREAMWEAVERCloud9MagicCrafters
29BABE RAINBOW, THE“Your Imagination” [Single]Eureka/Kobalt
30SOFIA KOURTESISFresia Magdalena [EP]Technicolour

TOP ADDS:

ArtistRecordLabel
1SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVEEntertainment, DeathSaddle Creek
2CRUMB“Balloon” [Single]Crumb
3MILLYWish Goes On [EP]Dangerbird
4ORIONS BELTEVilla AmoriniJansen
5FRANCIS OF DELIRIUMWading [EP]Dalliance
6YO KINKYYo Kinky [EP]Self-Released
7PACKS“New TV” [Single]Fire Talk
8PONYTV Baby [Advance Tracks]Take This To Heart
9PROUD PARENTSAt Home With…Self-Released
10MIDDLE KIDSToday We’re The GreatestDomino