Concert Preview

A Peek at the Hopscotch Menu

Hello and welcome to a preview of my coverage of Hopscotch 2022. The Hopscotch schedule is live on the website and I will be doing my best to watch as many artists as I can this year.

Most of my focus will be on artists and bands that I have covered here in the past like Perfume Genius and Yaya Bey.

Performances To Look Out For:

Some new artists, well new to me, that I am excited to see are Courtney Barnett, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, MJ Lenderman and Black Haus

Courtney Barnett is an Australian indie rocker who just released a new album, “Things Take Time, Take Time”. She is headlining Thursday night and her calm style reminds me of Big Thief, so it should be a fun time.

Next is Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, a Nigerian band with a focus on the afrobeat and jazz genre. They released an album a few years ago called “Night Dreamer”, which they did all in one take. I’ve only listened to a few songs of theirs so far, but I am itching to see them live. They will blow everyone away with their performance on Friday.

Another promising performance is MJ Lenderman’s, the guitarist of Wednesday, and he has released a solo album this year that has gotten much acclaim, “Boat Songs”. Our very own Eilee reviewed this album a few months ago. Be sure to check it out if you’re interested in seeing him play on Thursday or Friday night. 

The last band I am pumped to witness is Black Haus. This Greensboro, NC band mixes electric indie beats and grooves with wavy and beautiful vocals. I expect Black Haus to get the crowd on their feet and grooving on Saturday at the Pour House. 

Of course I won’t be limiting myself to the above artists, but with so many artists playing I won’t be able to see them all. I hope to find new passion for bands and artists I have yet to listen to.

Also, if you don’t have the money to attend the festival itself be sure to check out Hopscotch Day parties happening all around Raleigh.

Concert Preview

Eight September Shows in the Triangle

The Triangle has a lot to look forward to this September: from Hopscotch Music Festival to the weather hopefully getting cooler. In my opinion, the end of the summer is best celebrated with attending a show and getting out into your community. Here are eight shows you won’t want to miss in the Triangle this month.

  1. Friday, Sep 2 @ 9:00 PM: Sk the Novelist Album Release Show @ The Pour House
  1. Saturday, Sep 3 & 4 @ 7:00 PM: Mipso @ Cat’s Cradle
  1. Saturday, Sep 3 @ 7:00 PM: Oliver Tree @ The Ritz
  1. Sunday, Sep 4 @ 8:00 PM: Interpol @ The Ritz
  1. Thursday, Sep 8 @ 1:00 PM: WKNC Hopscotch Day Party w/ Max Gowan, Kenny Wavinson, & Tiger Beach @ DH Hill Library
  1. Tuesday, Sep 13 @ 8:00PM: Haley Heynderickx w/ Illegal Son @ The Pinhook
  1. Thursday, Sep 22 @ 9:00PM: Wednesday w/ Truth Club @ Motorco
  1. Sunday, Sep 25 @ 9:00 PM: Pie Face Girls w/ Dream Boat & Head Kicker @ The Pour House

Grab a friend, a partner, a family member or a classmate and schedule a night to see a show. Whether it’s your favorite band/artist, one you’re only vaguely familiar with or one you’ve never even heard of before: get out there, try something new (or revisit something familiar). Some of my favorite memories have been at shows, and I hope to be able to attend at least one in September.

Concert Preview

Preview: Red Hot Chili Peppers with the Strokes and Thundercat at Bank of America Stadium

Off their latest release, “Unlimited Love”, rock funk legend Red Hot Chili Peppers announced a global tour across North America and Europe. Touring with other legends such as the Strokes and Thundercat, they are offering a promising tour across the Atlantic.

The Strokes and Thundercat are the musicians opening for them in Charlotte. I credit the Strokes with introducing me to “good” music and have been itching to see them for years. Them opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers seemed like the perfect opportunity. I would get to see them live and delve deeper into Thundercat’s and the Chili Pepper’s discographies.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Unlimited Love” album art

“Unlimited Love” is the first Chili Peppers album in 6 years. After 35 years of making music, they still capture the simple pleasures their music has always been about. This classic sound is what has made them so legendary, able to fill any given stadium anywhere in the world.

As the headliner of the show at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, fans can expect a mix of classics and deep cuts as well as a dabble of songs off their new album. Following this will be an encore of “Give It Away” and “Under the Bridge” which have been encore staples of the Chili Peppers for years.

The Strokes

Fans of the Strokes, known for their garage rock sound, will not be disappointed by their setlist at the show. The Strokes have one of the most consistent discography’s ever and they will be putting that on full blast before the Chili Peppers come on.

Fans can expect to hear songs from every release besides “Angles” and “Comedown Machine”. I am personally most excited to hear “Reptilia”, “Juicebox”, “The Adults are Talking” and “Hard to Explain” live. Each of their albums provides something new with the same instantly recognizable sound they are known for.


Known for his mastery over the bass and his spacey funk sound, Thundercat will kick off the show with a quick seven song setlist before the Strokes come on. Fans can expect him to finish off with “Funny Thing” followed by “Them Changes”. Other songs such as “Dragonball Durag” and “How Sway” will be performed.

Setlist information provided by

Enjoy the show,


Concert Preview

8 December Concerts in the Triangle to Look Forward to

December can be an uncharacteristically busy month for a lot of folks. But, if you’re looking to get away from family, or spend time with them making memories, I’ve compiled a list of 8 shows the WKNC crowd may be interested in seeing throughout the month.

  1. Medium Heat — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 @ 8 p.m.— The Pour House Music Hall
  • Openers: Roar the Engines & The BQs
  1. Jeff Rosenstock — Thursday, December 2, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — Cat’s Cradle
  • Openers: Slaughter Beach, Dog & Oceanator
  1. Old Crow Medicine Show — Thursday, December 2, 2021 & Friday, December 3, 2021 @ 8 p.m.—  Carolina Theater (Fletcher Hall)
  1. Milky Chance — Saturday, December 4, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — The Ritz Raleigh
  1. Slow Pulp — Sunday, December 5, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — Cat’s Cradle Back Room
  • Opener: Strange Ranger 
  1. Lawrence — Tuesday, December 7, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — Lincoln Theatre
  • Openers: Proxima Parada & Reliably Bad
  1. Wednesday — Thursday, December 16, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — Cat’s Cradle Back Room
  • Openers: Truth Club & Bangzz
  1. The Mountain Goats — Thursday, December 16, 2021, & Friday, December 17, 2021 & Saturday December 18, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — Cat’s Cradle
  • Openers: Mac McCaughan (Night 1), Flock of Dimes (Night 2) & Bowerbirds (Night 3)

Maybe concert-going isn’t quite as festive as going ice-skating or seeing an old Christmas movie in theaters, but don’t count it out in the month of December. The Triangle is an awesome place with some amazing venues, try to check them out.

Until next time,


Concert Preview Festival Coverage Local Music

Preview: Chapel Hill’s Manifest Aims to Break Barriers

In my training class to become a WKNC DJ, among the many pieces of advice our then station general manager gave us was to “not just play music made by four white guys”. This was met by laughs, but that line stuck with me because of how relevant it still is. When I was a daytime DJ I tried to have sets with a strong female representation, but four or so guys still made up most of the songs aired from 10 to 11 p.m. on Thursdays. And that doesn’t even take into account the “white” part of that; many genres such as modern indie rock are overrepresented by white artists and artists of color will often have their work labeled as R&B even when that label doesn’t fit the music, which can box in both exposure and creative freedom.

Enter Manifest. This is a festival that, according to the website, is “focused on dismantling patriarchy, misogyny, and white supremacy” with a diverse lineup that draws from a wide variety of races, sexualities and gender identities. Now dismantling vast social hierarchies is a lofty goal, but they’ve definitely got the lineup down. This is a festival that has seen acts like Skylar Gudasz and Hopscotch 2021 attendee Sarah Shook, and this year the acts range from Basura who make minute-and-a-half long death metal bangers to trans experimental artist KHX05 who brings a nervy and rebellious energy to her mixtapes and remix EPs. 

Manifest bills itself as mostly a punk festival, and there are a number of punk bands making an appearance. Gown is a hardcore metallic punk band that has seven members, three of whom play the cello, while Fortezza is an doom punk band out of Asheville whose long guitar solos and verses screamed over a lone drumbeat create a chaotic and apocalyptic feel to fit their hand-drawn album covers. The artists have a distinctly local flavor too. Of the 28 acts coming to Chapel Hill this weekend, 21 are from the Triangle area, and five of them won’t have to leave their hometown to make it there. 

This is the fifth iteration of Manifest, and it’s the fifth time in these exact three venues. The festival is mostly based around Local 506, a bar and club that, when not hosting live acts, is known for having themed dance parties such as the 80s-style one that I went to this summer. This is where tickets and wristbands are picked up and where WKNC is running the merch table. When not at the Local 506, festivalgoers can head to two other locations, one of which is The Cave. This is another bar/club hybrid, iconic in Chapel Hill for its alley location and will often host rock and punk rock bands. 

Now despite having essentially grown up in downtown Chapel Hill, I’ll admit I had to look up the last venue, Rosemary Street’s The Nightlight. It’s the only one of the venues not located on Franklin Street, and its website is at time of writing a single page detailing its closures due to COVID and in the spirit of Manifest, a link to a mutual aid fund. All of these are within a quarter mile walk of each other so it should be easy to go between any of the simultaneous shows being played.

Continuity is a major theme here, and not just in the venues. Manifest 5 marks the fourth appearance of Raleigh’s Fruit Snack at the aforementioned festival, a band whose members work at multiple venues in the Triangle and whose themes of anti-capitalism, openness about sex and dislike of the police fit right in with Manifest’s mission statement. It also features a ukulele player. Meanwhile, punk act Pie Face Girls has attended every single iteration since the festival began in 2016. This in combination with its many local sponsors including Orange County Arts Commission, Chapel Hill’s own Midway Market and this radio station gives this festival a strong feeling of community that puts those goals of social change front and center.

I’m personally quite excited to cover Manifest. While I won’t be able to see every artist (The Cave being 21+ is unfortunate but understandable) there are a lot of acts I really want to see and blog about, and a lot of artists I had never heard of before and really want to get to know as part of my ongoing efforts to further connect with the local music scene here. After all, homegrown music with a message is the new punk rock. And the old one too.


Concert Preview

Function / Newa @ Basement

The dark dancefloor of Basement
Photo Credit: Paper Magazine

Over a year and a half later, Basement is back open.

Facing financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unclear whether the newly established Basement would ever reopen their doors. Until this past August Basement made a total of 6 social media posts, most of which centered around fundraising and live streamed DJ sets with proceeds going towards the NYC club scene. However, on July 27 they posted a simple image onto their Instagram reading “WE ARE BACK” followed by a lineup for the month of August.

The August lineup was stacked with some of my favorite DJs including LSDXOXO, DJ Stingray 313, and DVS1. The monthly lineups have only gotten better and October is shaping up to be the best month yet. Opening the October lineup this Saturday is none other than Function and Newa. Function is a New York City native and has been a part of the techno scene for over 25 years. His move to Berlin in 2007 alongside the formation of the duo-turned cult classic label “Sandwell District” solidified his influence in the underground techno scene, producing various EPs and singles which Octopus Agents described as “decentralizing the artist ego, blurring the lines between the artist, label and DJ; rearranging the DNA of modern dance music.” Playing alongside Function will be Bassiani resident Newa. Newa started out as a DJ in 2012 in her hometown of Tbilisi, Georgia, quickly making a name for herself through her deep basslines and intense melodies. Since 2016 she has co-ran the diverse Icontrax imprint, presenting undiscovered local talent from the flourishing Georgian techno scene.

I am extremely excited to be attending this show, not only to see the artists but also to experience the venue. Basement is the only one of its kind in the US, and soon enough I will find out why.

Concert Preview

MerleFest 2021 – Our Most Anticipated Ask

Merlefest is back after a year off (there was some kind of virus last year?) and it’s a packed four day weekend with plenty of local bluegrass and big country names. Sturgill Simpson opens the festival this Thursday night, but WKNC coverage begins Friday afternoon – here’s what we’re most excited for (listed in bullet form, not numerical, because we refuse to rank):

  • Amythyst Kiah: Wary + Strange, Kiah’s third album, came out earlier this year and we’re more than ready to hear it live. We’re most excited to hear the new electrified version of her song Black Myself, previously released in 2019 with her group Our Native Daughters (composed of Kiah, Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell) and getting to feel her voice vibrate through our bodies. Friday at 7:50pm.
  • Leann Rimes. Perhaps after hearing Blue live, we can die fulfilled and content. A revisit of the critically acclaimed 2000 film, Coyote Ugly, was necessary to prepare for our visit with Ms. Rimes. Fun fact: we all know that Leann’s first album, Blue, dropped when she was only 13 years old, which is crazy enough. Even crazier, she had recorded Blue as an 11 year old, re-recorded it two years later for the album, but the tracks got switched and the earlier version was accidentally released. She was eleven years old, singing like that – she won a Grammy for the album at age 14. We’ll see her Friday at 6:45pm.
  • Tedeschi Trucks: Although great through headphones or in the car, the full power of this group is only unleashed in their live performances. In lieu of a formal discussion, I’d like to direct you to this cool graphic showing their shifting band over the past 11 years. We’ll see them Friday at 8:30pm.
  • Sarah Shook and the Disarmers: Although well known around the triangle music scene, this is the group’s first Merlefest. In our interview with the group, they teased that they’ll be playing some tracks off of their upcoming album, Nightroamer, at the festival. We’ll be seeing them Saturday at 5pm.

Mavis Staples: Mavis Staples. In the flesh. You may have seen the gospel legend in Questlove’s documentary Summer of Soul about the Harlem Cultural Festival that took place in the summer of 1969. Fifty two years later, at 82 years old, Mavis Staples has only become more of a commanding presence, both musically and as an icon. We’ll be seeing her Sunday at 2:25pm.

Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview Festival Coverage

Hopscotch Music Festival 2021 Series: Animal Collective

Animal Collective is difficult to pin down and a lot of fun to consume. Luckily, the band is performing this year at Hopscotch Music Festival on Saturday, September 11th at 9:30 pm at City Plaza. Keep reading to learn a little bit about the band and their discography.

The American experimental band came together in Baltimore, Maryland in 2003. Animal Collective, consisting of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb), and Geologist (Brian Weitz), weave genres through their unique vocal combinations, ambiance, and pop foundations. The members began to musically collaborate when they met in school before the band was officially formed. Their discography consists of a variety of retroactively added music, studio albums, extended plays, live albums, visual albums, and a soundtrack album. 

Check out their full discography below:

Studio Albums:
– Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished (2000) (as Avey Tare and Panda Bear)
– Danse Manatee (2001) (as Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist)
– Campfire Songs (2003) (as Campfire Songs)
– Here Comes the Indian (2003) (also known as Ark)
– Sung Tongs (2004)
– Feels (2005)
– Strawberry Jam (2007)
– Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)
– Centipede Hz (2012)
– Painting With (2016)

Extended Plays:
– Prospect Hummer (2005) (with Vashti Bunyan)
– People (2006)
– Water Curses (2008)
– Fall Be Kind (2009)
– Keep + Animal Collective (2011)
– Transverse Temporal Gyrus (2012)
– Monkey Been to Burn Town (2013)
– The Painters (2017)
– Meeting of the Waters (2017)
– Bridge to Quiet (2020)

Live Albums:
– Hollinndagain (2002) (as Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist)
– Animal Crack Box (2009)
– Live at 9:30 (2015)
– Ballet Slippers (2019)
– 2 Nights (2020)[112]

Visual Albums:
– ODDSAC (2010)
– Tangerine Reef (2018)

Soundtrack Album:
– Crestone (Original Score) (2021)[113]

I know I’ll be at the Animal Collective set at Hopscotch and I hope you will be, too.

Here’s to my favorite Animal Collective track, “Who Could Win a Rabbit,”

Silya Bennai

Concert Preview

Hopscotch Day Parties

For over ten years Raleigh has been home to the three day music festival, Hopscotch. Because of Covid-19, there was no festival last year, but it is returning this week with a star studded line-up of acts which include Carolina Polachek, Animal Collective, Parquet Courts, and Dr. Dog. 

For many people it might be too expensive to attend the festival, but unlike most festivals, Hopscotch has day parties that are free and open to the public. All you need is proof of vaccination or a negative covid test and you can enjoy shows at Hopscotch for free! Music venues all over Raleigh are hosting day parties with a variety of local bands. Venues like the Pour House, Ruby Deluxe, Slim’s, The Night Rider, Lincoln Theater, and other locations will be home to these day parties. 

WKNC and the NCSU Libraries are hosting a party on Thursday September 9th from 12pm to 3pm. Outside of the DH Hill Jr. Library, Sand Pact, en-decay, JOB, and Mid Century Modular will be performing. There’s a few acts that will be playing multiple shows throughout the weekend that you can catch like BANGZZ; a punk duo from Durham, The Veldt; an alternative-shoegaze band, and Tongues of Fire; a heavy alternative band from Asheville. 

Day parties are a great way to spend the weekend, hanging out with friends and seeing live music, you can even discover your new favorite artist. I haven’t listened to many of the artists, but I am excited to go to some day parties and see different bands. One day party I’m already excited to go to is at Ruby Deluxe on Friday. Wednesday, an indie rock, shoegaze band from Asheville, NC is playing and their latest album, Twin Plagues, is one of my favorite releases from 2021. The album effortlessly blends blissful guitar sounds, heavy bass tones, classic indie rock guitar licks, and admirably raw and honest lyrics. The show will be outside from 12-5pm along with Google Dolls, BANGZZ, Tall Juan, and Spider Bags.

You can view the official day party schedule on the Hopscotch website to plan your weekend of shows! 

Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview Festival Coverage

Bands to Watch at Hopscotch 2021: Patois Counselors

General Manager Maddie here to tell you all about a band I’m very excited to see play this year’s Hopscotch Festival: Patois Counselors.

Before I indulge in my own personal relationship to the band, the important information to know is that they’re playing Hopscotch tomorrow, Sept 9, on the Moore Square stage at 3:45PM. In terms of genre, they fall under the wide umbrella of “post punk”, so check ’em out if you like stuff like Parquet Courts or Gang of Four.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I’m going to tell you my story about the discovery of one of my favorite local bands. We have to go all the way back to October 2018, the fall of my first year at NC State. One of my favorite bands, Screaming Females, was playing a show at one of my favorite venues, the Milestone, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The only problem with this fantastic set-up was that I was stuck in Raleigh without a car. So, I got together with a friend of mine who had a car, agreed to skip my calculus class (the first class I ever skipped in college!) and we drove 2 and a half hours to see Screaming Females.

They were great, of course, but that’s not who I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about the second band I saw at the Milestone that night, a local opener called TKO Faith Healer. I didn’t have high expectations; based on the band name, I was expecting some sort of Southern garage-rocky type dad band. However, as they began playing, I found myself enjoying their music a lot more than I was expecting. I’m not gonna say it was like nothing I had ever heard before, but at this time in my life, I wasn’t really listening to bands like Wire or Powerplant much, and I certainly didn’t know how much I would come to love bands like that later on in my life. Besides being sonically interesting, they also played just an overall super clean and tight set.

Also, I have to add that their singer came out wearing an Amnesia Scanner long sleeve t shirt. I did not know who Amnesia Scanner was at the time, but now, I look back on this move and realize how cool it is. Any guy in an “indie rock” band wearing an Amnesia Scanner shirt is a cool guy.

Unfortunately, TKO Faith Healer didn’t have any songs up on Spotify at this point (and they sadly still do not, but they have one EP on Bandcamp), so I more or less forgot about them after the show. I’ve gotten better at this since 2018, but really, the convenience of being on Spotify is a selling factor on if I’ll listen to a band’s music or not- I know, I know, but I gotta make sure all my songs scrobble!

In October 2020- two years later- I was browsing Instagram and came across a post from Charlotte independent record store Lunchbox Records (the second best thing about Charlotte, with the first being the Milestone) that instantly captivated me. I’m a big album artwork guy, and my opinions on an album can strongly be swayed by the album art alone. I had one glance at the eerie, larger-than-life eyeball painting and knew I was gonna like the album. Also, the band was from Charlotte, and I’m always looking for more local bands to love.

I remember quickly going to Spotify and checking out songs from the band’s previous album, Proper Release, in anticipation of the new album. When the new album came out, I proudly uploaded some songs from The Optimal Seat into WKNC’s Local Lunch segment, because our local segment definitely needs some more post-punk.

Since then, the album has been a local favorite of mine, and I find new songs and parts to enjoy with every listen. Some of my favorite tracks are the super-danceable yet anxious The Galvanizer, and angular, jerky Give Me Voltage. I also still continue to be absolutely transfixed by the album artwork; it’s probably one of my favorite album covers of all time (you can see more paintings by the artist on her website, although none of them strike me like the red eye featured on the Optimal Seat).

Now, to get back to TKO Faith Healer- I’m not quite sure when exactly it was, but at one point, I thought back to the band I saw open for Screaming Females and thought they sounded familiar to a new band I had recently discovered. I did some research, and sure enough, TKO Faith Healer lead singer and Amnesia Scanner-enjoyer Bo White was the vocalist in Patois Counselors. While doing research for this post, I discovered White actually has a slew of other Charlotte bands under his wing- basically, I have a lot of new music to listen to.

But, for now, I’m gonna get ready for Patois Counselors’ performance by re-listening to the album that captured my attention from the first second I saw it. I hope you’re able to catch Patois Counselors’ set tomorrow, but if not, you can listen to their music anytime.