Blog Miscellaneous

2022 Predictions: Music Edition

I am not necessarily qualified to give music predictions, but as a WKNC employee, I can pretend that I am. Therefore, listed below are my top music predictions heading into the rest of 2022. 

I predict that…

  • Rap/Hip-Hop songs will play a bigger role in general music charts.
  • A$AP Rocky and Rihanna will put out a single together.
  • Electronic music will begin its take over of traditionally indie local DIY scenes.
  • Grunge music will make an even bigger return.
  • Paris Texas will blow up.
  • Tik-Tok will continue to dictate music trends.
  • Ski Mask the Slump God will put out an incredibly divisive mix. 
  • We will see the rise of more female rappers. 
  • Boy Harsher will continue to move back their tour dates until the eventually cancel them all.*

*This one is not really a prediction but perhaps a personal expression of sadness.

I look forward to seeing how accurate (or inaccurate) this list may become in 2022.

Here’s to making semi-educated guesses,

Silya Bennai

Blog Miscellaneous Playlists

Spotify Wrapped 2021 Reflection

I understand that some people only cared about Spotify Wrapped 2021 the day (and maybe day after) it dropped. That being said, I still care. Elliott Smith was my top artist but sixty-four of my Top 100 Songs on Spotify were rap. As the Assistant Underground Music Director, this makes sense. Which rap songs you may ask? I’m not going to list all of them, but here are some favorites:

  1. “Baby I’m Bleeding” by JPEGMAFIA
  2. “New Slaves” by Kanye West
  3. “Just How It Is”  by Young Thug
  4. “girls like drugs” by Paris Texas
  5. “EAST” by Earl Sweatshirt
  6. “Ghost (In the Shell)” by MAVI
  7. “Throw Dem Gunz” by Lil Ugly Mane
  8. “Campbell” by redveil
  9. “Primma Donna” by Vince Staples (feat. A$AP Rocky)
  10. “Please Forgive” by Powers Pleasant (feat. Denzel Curry, IDK, Zombie Juice & Zillakami)
  11. “Jailbreak the Tesla” Injury Reserve (feat. Aminé)

Here’s to rap music being the most transformative and flexible genre,

Silya Bennai

Weekly Charts

Daytime Charts 1/11

1NARROW HEADSatisfactionRun For Cover
2BLACK MARBLEFast IdolSacred Bones
3CIVICFuture ForecastFlightless
4PARQUET COURTSSympathy For LifeRough Trade
5LAND OF TALKCalming Night Partner [EP]Saddle Creek
7LITTLE SIMZSometimes I Might Be IntrovertAGE 101
93AMSOUNDIt Gets Dark SometimesSelf-Released
10CLOAKROOM“Fear of Being Fixed” [Single]Relapse
11EVIDENCEUnlearning Vol. 1Rhymesayers
13SERENA ISIOMASensitive [EP]Fashionably Early
15NATION OF LANGUAGEA Way ForwardPlay It Again Sam
16JIMMY EDGARCheetah BendInnovative Leisure
17PESSYou Can Make Hamburger Yourself [EP]Aagoo
19SPRINTS“Swimming” [Single]Nice Swan
20VINCE STAPLESVince StaplesBlacksmith/Motown
21ANUSHKAYemayaTru Thoughts
22BUTCHER BROWNEncore [EP]Concord Jazz
23HOVVDYTrue LoveGrand Jury
24JAPANESE BREAKFASTJubileeDead Oceans/Secretly Group
25LAVA LA RUEButter-fly [EP]Marathon
26MCKINLEY DIXONFor My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like HerSpacebomb
27NATIVESON 91Come Back DownInner Tribe
29PLANET GIZADon’t Throw Rocks At The Moon [EP]Self-Released
Weekly Charts

Chainsaw Charts 1/11

1FORTRESSDon’t Spare The WickedSelf-Released
2RUNDGARDStronghold Of Majestic RuinsSignal Rex
3ANTI RITUALExpel The LeechesIndisciplinarian
4DHYANABhaisajyaguru [EP]Self-Released
5CARCASSTorn ArteriesNuclear Blast
6ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINEPurifying BladeProfound Lore
7BLOODY KEEPBloody Horror [EP]Grime Stone
8PREDICTOR…thus spoke death [EP]Iron Bonehead
9ZETARDevouring DarknessSpirit Coffin
10VENUS SYNDROMECannibal SarRockshots
Weekly Charts

Afterhours Charts 1/11

1ROSS FROM FRIENDSTreadBrainfeeder
3LSDXOXODedicated 2 Disrespect [EP]XL
4DAWN RICHARDSecond LineMerge
5DOSS4 New Hit Songs [EP]LuckyMe
7JULESDelta Ajax [EP]Happy Life
8LOGIC1000“You’ve Got the Whole Night to Go” [Single]Because
9LEON VYNEHALLRare, ForeverNinja Tune
10SMERZBelieverXL/Beggars Group
Band/Artist Profile Classic Album Review

Diamanda Galas: The Masque of Red Death

We’re starting the New Year right at WKNC with death, sadness, and AIDS. If you’re tired of the general malaise and continued pandemic of 2022, let’s throw it back to the bright shiny 80s, a time of general malaise and a pandemic that continued for far longer than it should have. Today, we’re taking a look at one of the few musicians to tackle this weighty subject head on, Diamanda Galas and her avant-garde classic, the Masque of Red Death.


Songs I’m Bringing Into 2022

Howdy y’all! The start of a new year often makes me want to rearrange all of my Spotify playlists and try out new music. There are a few tried and true tunes that I will be bringing into my first playlist of 2022 with me and I wanted to share those with you. 

Oom Sha La La by Haley Heynderickx

Haley Heynderickx is an amazing artist and lyricist. Oom Sha La La has been on repeat for me at the end of 2021. I have to bring this gem with me into 2022 because it is simply just that good. 

New Romance by Beach House

Beach House never fails to deliver dreamy music that makes the listener feel like they are floating through a sky of cotton candy clouds. Perfect for the transition into a new year. 

Killer by Phoebe Bridgers

This is specifically about the 2015 single Killer, not the newer version that appears in Stranger in the Alps. Sung with such raw emotion, this song will aid in the times of crying that will inevitably happen this year. 

Ragged Wood by Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes are a staple for me, so it is no surprise that they made my list. Ragged Wood is like a shot of espresso on a hiking trail. 5 minutes of pure bliss.  

It’s Called: Freefall by Rainbow Kitten Surprise 

This song makes me feel like everything is going to be alright, and with the times we are living through that is exactly what is needed. 

Clay Pigeons by Michael Cera

This was one of my favorite songs of 2021. Michael Cera’s cover of Clay Pigeons is like being wrapped in a soft blanket. Comforting and catchy, it is a song I keep very close to my heart.

Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear

This song will make you feel like the main character as you walk around campus. Two Weeks makes the cut because I know it will be utilized for the cold walks from the car to my 8:30 a.m. entomology class.

Night Shift by Lucy Dacus

I’m a sucker for a long song, and Night Shift is no exception. Night Shift is perfectly moody, great for playing with the car windows rolled down.

Every Time the Sun Comes Up by Sharon Van Etten 

Slow and emotional, Every Time the Sun Comes Up makes me want to sip my morning coffee and make my bed. Searching for routine as the semester starts, I foresee this being a song I’ll use to start my mornings. 

These are just 9 of the songs that I’m bringing into 2022 with me, but there are quite a few more that will stay on frequent rotation. I hope your holiday and break was fulfilling, and I wish you the best with the start of a new semester!

<3 dj mozzie

Concert Review

Concert Review: The Mountain Goats (12/18/2021)

If you live in the Triangle and are into music, you’ve probably found that the Mountain Goats are more than just a band. They’re a force of nature, whose mere name being mentioned causing any fan in the room to talk about how good they are. I’ve enjoyed their music for awhile but never to the point of considering myself a diehard fan. So when I saw they were coming to Cat’s Cradle, I figured I should check it out and see if the hype was worth believing. That was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while.

It turns out the presence of the Mountain Goats overshadows even other artists in the lineup of their own shows, as it felt like even opener Bowerbirds just wanted to see the band play. This was maybe the only slight downside as I think it took the air out of what was a great opening set; singer Phil Moore brought the kind of brooding yet energetic vocal performance that was perfect for their indie folk sound and songs like “Moon Phase” were quite beautiful while also displaying a steely guitar line. I’m not at all saying that Mountain Goats intentionally took attention away from Bowerbirds; lead singer John Darnielle made it very clear that he was a big fan of their work and went into detail about how Moore in particular greatly influenced certain songs, it just felt kind of awkward when the loudest cheer by far came when Moore said they only had a few songs left.

When the Mountain Goats finally came in, anticipation had reached a fever pitch, especially as their stage entrance came on the back of a dramatic dimming of lights and instrumental intro. This fever pitch was answered with a fiery rendition of “Michael Myers Resplendent” that turned that anticipation into joyous celebration. Throughout the show they got as loud as the best of them but what really stood out were individual moments, a steely guitar attack or an individual drum line, dislocating themselves from the cacophony to make a statement.

Much like the history of the Mountain Goats, the center of this sonic universe is John Darnielle and the wondrous narratives he spins. These are not straightforward arena-ready bangers, but winding tales filled with despair and hope, with concepts ranging from intricate descriptions of wrestling moves to fantasy quests. Before the show I was concerned that the subtleties of the songs would be lost in the roar of a live show but it was the exact opposite: seeing the Mountain Goats live is the absolute best way to experience their work. I have never seen an audience so transfixed that they had to be told when to clap. At one point, I was so locked in to Darnielle’s words I didn’t notice that keyboard player Matt Douglas got up, walked away and came back with a saxophone until it came in with a thunderous line. The versatility of instruments on display here was impressive; after putting down the saxophone Douglas picked up a guitar and Darniella used at least three different guitars throughout the show and sat down at the keyboard himself. Everything about the performance was extremely fluid, with songs blending seamlessly into one another and everyone onstage clearly having a blast being around the crowd and each other.

As the Mountain Goats have over 20 albums to draw from the songs played were extremely varied. Darnielle specifically described artists who rigidly adhere to the same setlist every night as “the forces of evil” ahead of the “middle section” of the show, which for the uninitiated is where the rest of the band leaves and he plays whatever comes to mind. With every spotlight trained on him Darnielle went dark with his time alone onstage, with “Maybe Sprout Wings”, “From TG&Y” and “Isaiah 45:23” serving as an introspective and brutally honest trilogy. The spontaneity could be felt in every word and note played and what could have been just a gimmick was elevated into an unforgettable experience.

The Mountain Goats have been located in Durham for about 15 years now, and the roots they’ve put down in the Triangle were tangible in the performance. This was the last performance of a three-day stint at the Cradle and there wasn’t just an air of finality but of pride at having the opportunity to play there. Darnielle took every opportunity to thank the audience for their support and it was apparent what the roar of the crowd meant to him and the band as a whole. I saw some amazing live performances this semester but I think this one in particular is going to stick with me for a very long time.


Concert Review

Concert Review: Wednesday (12/16/21)

Concerts come in all shapes and sizes, and what I’ve found from my (limited) experience is that I prefer small shows to bigger arena events. A crowd that can fit into Cat’s Cradle is my preferred upper bound, as this allows for intimate and personal experiences you just can’t get in a stadium.

This was my first time in the Cat’s Cradle Back Room, a second stage you can find to the right of the main entrance to the Carrboro venue. I expected a much smaller version of the main stage, but I was surprised at how big it was, especially with how unassuming the outside made it look. This combined with an upstairs level for seating that overlooked the rest of the room made the Back Room feel like its own thing rather than a scaled down, lesser version of the Cradle. Here, the stage was lower down and closer, I was standing maybe 5 feet from the microphone and could feel the air displaced by the speaker with every kick of the bass.

The show was a masterclass in how to manage energy levels. The first act out the gate was BANGZZ, a very high energy act that brought everyone in from the back corners of the room to get the show going. BANGZZ are characterized not just by their hard hitting drums and attack guitars, but also the stream of consciousness interludes by lead singer Erika Kobayashi Libero, talking about everything from discrimination faced by people of Asian descent in America to how marriage shouldn’t be viewed as a achievement, the latter segueing perfectly into the song “Never Speak of Marriage as an Acheivement.” These interludes add a feeling of spontaneity that keeps the audience clued in and on their toes, perfect for a first act that wants to not just play good music but to prime the audience for what’s to come. The themes of standing up to unjust systems and taking care of oneself are on full display here, and they’re delivered with an eloquence and careful simplicity that really allows it to resonate even through the instrumental maelstrom.

Now BANGZZ could have been followed by an even more high energy band, but Truth Club was the perfect compliment to an aggressive punk opening as they slowed things down and created a palpable contrast that felt like its own instrument. Oh they could get loud, but Truth Club’s loud is more of an icy hot than a raging inferno, with Travis Harrington’s understated vocal delivery being the perfect conduit for the band’s songs. Truth Club’s stage presence was also a highlight, with members going back to back for instrumental sections and a general manic quality that felt like a continuation of the down to earth vibe of the show.

Which brings me at long last to Wednesday, the headline act of the show. If BANGZZ and Truth Club set the audience up for something special, Wednesday had to deliver on this potential. Spoiler alert: it did, and it did so in a way that synthesized the best elements of the opening acts while adding its own spin. The songs played out in a more restrained way like Truth Club’s, with the emotions bubbling under the surface, but also came through in massive freakouts that went toe to toe with BANGZZ’s opening performance. One several-minute long instrumental moment really stood out for me and was one of the best moments I’ve had at a concert, this perfect union of moshable energy and a crowd that was matching it beat for beat.

Wednesday’s heliocentric stage presence was a captivating element of their performance. Lead singer Karly Hartzman acted as this central presence, a constantly smouldering sun whose every word was captivating, and even through full instrumental barrages she shone through as the focal point. This isn’t to say the other performers were lacking at all, they were amazing, but it felt like they all orbited around the main mic in a way that maximized everyone’s contribution to the overall performance.

And what really allowed me to experience all of this in its raw potency was the intimacy of the venue. The merch table was several feet to my left and when Travis mentioned it he specifically called out my “coachable” clap in response. These are the kind of magic moments you get at these kinds of venues, a connection with local artists that you can’t find anywhere else, and one that was especially hard to find over the last couple of years.



WKNC’s Top Tracks of 2021

We’re back with another yearly tracks playlist! You can check out our 2020 post on our blog or on our Spotify.

For those that are new here, we reached out to our staff and DJs and asked them to submit their three favorite songs that came out in 2021. We made a Spotify playlist of all the tracks, but note that not all songs are available on Spotify, so we only added what we can. Songs with an asterisk (*) denotes songs that aren’t available on Spotify, so they aren’t in the playlist.

Click on the links with each staff member’s name to view their content and/or their WKNC DJ sets.

With this out of the way, let’s get into it!

Maddie; General Manager, occasional DJ

  • Spellling – “Boys at School”
  • Wednesday- “Cody’s Only”

Jamie Lynn Gilbert; Station Advisor/Station Mom

  • CHVRCHES – “Good Girls”
  • American Aquarium – “John Deere Green”
  • Michigander – “Let Down”

Molly/dj mothball; Program Director, DJ

  • Beverly Glenn Copeland – “Let Us Dance (Arca Remix)”
  • * Secret Boyfriend– “Ladies Who”
  • Xeno & Oaklander – “Raingarden”

Grant “Eubanks” Eubanks; Promotions Director, DJ

  • boylife – “amphetamine”
  • Parcels – “LIGHT”

DJ Lazuli; Daytime Music Director, DJ

  • Squid – “Pamphlets”
  • Parannoul – “Beautiful World”
  • Turnstile – “Blackout”

Marshall; Underground Music Director, Content Contributor, DJ

  • Tyler, The Creator – “JUGGERNAUT (feat. Lil Uzi Vert and Pharrell)”
  • Turnstile – “DON’T PLAY”

Calcifer; Afterhours Music Director, DJ

  • Azealia Banks – “Tarantula”
  • Arca – “Prada”
  • CFCF – “Life is Perfecto”

Harlan/DJ HRLN; Assistant Afterhours Music Director, DJ (Find non-WKNC DJ mixes/sets here:

  • FJAAK – “Basement”
  • LSDXOXO – “The Devil”

Gibson; Chainsaw Music Director

  • Green Lung – “Graveyard Sun”
  • Drune – “Giant’s Blood”
  • * Bloody Keep – “Mourning Dawn”

Whippo/Whippopatomus; Assistant Local Music Director, Content Creator, DJ

  • Jooselord – “Quarantine”
  • 1pump – “GOAT”
  • TiaCorine – “Pancakes”

dj mozzie; Assistant Daytime Music Director

  • Phoebe Bridgers – “That Funny Feeling”
  • Beach House – “New Romance”
  • Sufjan Stevens, Angelo De Augustine – “Back To Oz” 

Plover; Content Creator, DJ

  • Rezz, PVRIS – “Sacrifical”
  • Ruth Mascelli – “One For The Voyeurs”
  • Wild Pink – “You Can Have It Back”

Kyle; Podcaster

  • Earl Sweatshirt – “2010”
  • Spellling – “Little Deer”

Caitlin/carbon copy; Blog Content Creator, DJ

  • Taylor Swift – “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”
  • Indigo de Souza – “Die/Cry”
  • The Mountain Goats – “Lizard Suit”

Elle; Video Content Creator

  • Injury Reserve – “Knees”
  • Wednesday – “Three Sisters”

Owen/hermajesty; Interview Content Creator, DJ

  • thanks for coming – “Free Willy”
  • Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers – “AHHHH!”
  • Pist Idiots – “Juliette”

satyr summer; DJ

  • KETTAMA – “Saint Laurent”
  • NANORAY – “Tempest”
  • * Against All Logic – “Cus I’m Different Now”

Deethony Jaythony; DJ (Graduated May 2021)(we miss him)

  • Porter Robinson – “Look at the Sky”
  • Japanese Breakfast – “Paprika”
  • Injury Reserve – “Top Picks For You”

President Shrimpo; DJ

  • IDLES– “Car Crash”
  • Amyl and the Sniffers – “Hertz”
  • Pip Blom – “It Should’ve Been Fun”

Fullmetal Racket; DJ

  • Jeff Rosenstock – “Airwalks (Alt)”
  • SeeYouSpaceCowboy… – “Life as a Soap Opera Plot, 26 Years Running”
  • Undo K From Hot – “Missing Information”

Your Friendly Local Bird-Themed Noise Maker; DJ

  • voljum – “café mañana”
  • Bent Knee – “Queer Gods”
  • Efterklang – “Åbent Sår (feat. The Field)”

Ewan; DJ Off Belay

  • Paris Texas – “Bullseye”
  • Earl Sweatshirt – “2010”
  • Clairo – “Amoeba”

Eddie; DJ Osiris

  • Madlib – “Road of the Lonely Ones”
  • Isaiah Rashad – “Headshots (4r Da Locals)”
  • Yeek – 3000 Miles (Baby Baby)

H.W. Longfella; DJ

  • Lil Ugly Mane – “porcelain slightly”
  • Fievel Is Glauque – “Goodbye”
  • Bruiser Wolf – “Use Me (I’m Dope)”

toad maiden; DJ

  • Webbed Wing – “Taylor’s Theme”
  • Turnstile – “HOLIDAY”
  • Fuzz – “Earthen Gate – Live”

johnny ghost; DJ

  • Shannon & The Clams – “Midnight Wine”
  • Des Rocs – “Ruby with the Sharpest Lies”
  • La Luz – “The Pines”

young iowa; DJ

  • Knocked Loose – “Permanent”
  • Spiritbox – “Hurt You”
  • Gulch – “Bolt Swallower”

Lise Nox; DJ

  • Arlo Parks – “Eugene”
  • HAIM – “Los Angeles”
  • SEB – “god of the sunsets”

T-Time; DJ

  • SeeYouSpaceCowboy… – Misinterpreting Constellations
  • Pinegrove – “Orange”
  • Origami Angel – “Neutrogena Spektor”

Brice; DJ Snapdragon

  • Smino – “I Deserve (w/ NOS.)”
  • Bad Bunny – “Lo Siento BB:/”
  • Father – “Let’s Kick His Ass!”

Zen; DJ

  • The 8-Bit Big Band, Tiffany Mann – “Snake Eater (From “Metal Gear Solid 3″)”
  • H ZETTRIO – “風待月”
  • La La Lars – “Det Blev Sent”

DJ Zoink

  • Dumb – “Pretty Sick”
  • TV Girl, Jordana – “Summer’s Over”
  • Xiu Xiu – “A Bottle of Rum (ft. Liz Harris)”

DJ lil witch

  • Kero Kero Bonito – “Well Rested”
  • Japanese Breakfast – “Be Sweet”
  • Rosie Tucker – “Ambrosia”

space cadet; DJ

  • Wednesday – “Cody’s Only”
  • Shame – “Snow Day”
  • Black Midi – “Ascending Forth”

DJ Ethanol

  • Stan Christ – “Trepidation”
  • UNIIQU3 – “Microdosing”
  • L Major – “Can’t Do It”

Ben; chef

  • DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ – “Spirit”
  • Lael Neale – “How Far Is It to the Grave”
  • Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine – “Back to Oz”

Wild Waste; upcoming Chainsaw DJ and Podcast Creator

  • Mastodon – “Pain With An Anchor”
  • Animals as Leaders – “Monomyth”
  • Gojira – “Sphinx”

dj carabiner

  • Hand Habits – “Clean Air”
  • The Weather Station – “Tried to Tell You”
  • Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen – “Like I Used To”

DJ Head Hunter

  • Jessie Ware – “Please”
  • Doss – “Puppy”
  • Hiatus Kaiyote – “Red Room”