With Hopscotch right around the corner, and WKNC’s Day Party at Legends following closely in its wake– how better to promote both events than by give y’all a lil’ insight into our Day Party Line-up!
WKNC’s Day Party description is as follows.
This year has been full of milestones, and WKNC aims to celebrate them all. 2019 held Raleigh’s first ever Pride Festival, was the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and marks ten years of Hopscotch. With this in mind, WKNC’s Hopscotch Day Party aims to promote and celebrate LGBTQ+ affiliated artists from across the state to keep the Pride Party going all year long! Featuring Petrov, Emily Musolino, Juxton Roy, Through the Tallwoods, Black Bouquet, and To Julian, the party will be hosted on Saturday, September 7th at Legends Club. This event is all-ages and supported by the NC State GLBT Center.
First and foremost, though not the opener, is Black Bouquet (and that’s simply because they answered the fastest– we love that).
This will be a series up until the Day Party, so the questions will be the same, but we can guarantee that every artist will add their own personal flare to each answer.
See Black Bouquet’s answers below!
Give us a lil rundown of how your band got formed! When/where/how/why! Ian and Jake (me) met in high school chorus class, Tristan and Hunter met through a flyer Tristan put up for an Americana band at Wake tech. We all came together through craigslist.
What can an audience member expect from one of your shows? Audience members can expect dramatic flailing, needlesharp guitar work, modulated bass, and dynamic drums. Also probably some flowers and Halloween decorations for flair.
Do you see performance as a task or an endeavor? In that vein, what part about performing is most challenging or liberating? Performances are what we thrive and depend on as a band to know how well we are functioning as a music making unit. All of the work between shows (writing, recording, practicing) is done to make sure the next show will have something new to stand out from the last. It’s also the best opportunity to communicate to an audience where we’re all at artistically, in real time.
What does Pride mean to you? How do you embody those meanings in your music? In your everyday life? Pride to me is about being unapologetically yourself, even when other people or your own brain want to discourage it. We make a point to be unabashed with our music, stage presence, art, and how we dress and present ourselves to the world using the band as a vehicle to do so. I personally just try to carry that same energy the band gives me everywhere I go.
What are you most excited about during Hopscotch? I’m excited for the streets of Raleigh to be flooded with people who have love and appreciation for art and music! Even if it makes getting to work a pain for a couple days.
For the tenth anniversary of Hopscotch, what would you ten years ago think about you now? Me 10 years ago would probably look at me now and say “huh. nice hair.”
Please list some fun facts about your band!
#1. Some of the employees at the Taco Bell by Ian’s house know us each by name
#2. I’ve been drawing Petunia (our cat logo) since I came up with it doodling in an Art History lecture in 2015
#3. Listen to Birdland by Patti Smith
#4. The first one on one response to our first show ever at Schoolkids Records was “You got bullied a lot in high school, right?”
You can learn more about Black Bouquet by visiting their Facebook page, Bandcamp, or Instagram (@blackbouquetband) and, of course, by attending WKNC’s Hopscotch Day Party. It will be held at Legends Club on Saturday, September 7th and begins at noon!
Lincoln Theatre is an old movie theater converted into a music venue. It is located at 126 E Cabarrus Street which is only one block away from Fayetteville Street, making it a prime venue for Hopscotch! With a capacity of 1,225, it’s the perfect place to take your friends and go dance; it can be cozy at times but usually, there is enough space to move around. On Thursday night of Hopscotch, you can expect the music to be centered around hip hop and rap with artists such as Ric Wilson, Injury Reserve, Joey Purp, and Earth Gang. Friday night will be very indie-rock heavy with artists such as Black Surfer, Truth Club, Yowler, Caroline Rose, and Deerhunter. Saturday night will be centered around folk and Americana with Blue Cactus, Kelsey Walden, Mike and The Moon Pies, and Sarah Shook and The Disarmers. No matter what kind of music you’re into, Lincoln Theater has got your back at Hopscotch.
The venue is all general admission with standing in the room closest to the stage, a seated area with barstool towards the back, and a balcony overlooking the stage. Lincoln Theatre has always been one of my favorite venues for this reason. You can dance in the standing room then take a seat when you get tired, and then eventually make your way up to the balcony to watch everyone else dance. Since the venue was once a movie theater, the bar is located in the lobby. Overall, the staff is super friendly and helpful. Every time I have been to Lincoln Theatre I’ve had a positive experience and I can always count on them to have a good time.
J.Cole’s Dreamville festival will happen this Saturday, April 6th in Raleigh’s own Dorathea Dix Park & although the line-up features some of hip-hop & RnB’s top artists, Cole has done an exceptional job planning to make Dreamville more than just your average music showcase. Dreamville will include a putt putt golf course, beer garden, local merchants in a bazaar of vendors, & the “Dreamville Festival Art Wall.” Furthermore, there will be an exclusive lounge space set aside for members of the Divine Nine (black Greek letter organizations/BLGOs).
However, the most unique part of Dreamville– in my opinion– is the “For the Students” session put on by Dreamville in coalition with William Peace University. As a student, employee of the music industry, & attendee of Dreamville hearing the announcement of a “For the Students” greatly excited me. The full title of the off-location event is “For the Students: A Conversation with Ibrahim Hamad & Sacha Stone-Guttenfreund.” This assembly will be held, as previously mentioned, at William Peace University & is open to the public at 6:30 PM. The specific address is 15 E. Peace St, Raleigh, NC 27604. I have copied below the overview of the event provided to WKNC by Dreamville.
“OFFICIAL OVERVIEW: An in-depth conversation featuring Ibrahim Hamad and Sascha Stone Guttfreund. This conversation will focus on how the relationship between ScoreMore Shows and Dreamville developed, as well as how each "mogul” got to where they are. The event will offer students perspectives & insights on the industry directly from two of the most intelligent behind-the-scenes figures in the game today.“
I took it upon myself, after reading the overview & having my interest piqued, to research both featured speakers. First, Ibrahim Hamad. Hamad is a self-labelled "International Dreamvillain” but is also a close friend to J.Cole as well as his personal manager & the president of Dreamville. Hamad has been working with Cole since before the release of 4 Your Eyez Only, & believes– as stated in an interview done with Billboard– “grinding at a slow pace leads to success well worth the wait.” Aside from working with J.Cole, appearing in the Eyez documentary, & building Dreamville Records, Hamad also helped to set-up the Dreamville Foundation. Clearly, Hamad is a worldly man of many talents & experiences, & has a fountain of wisdom to share at William Peace. For more information on Hamad & his work with Dreamville, I have posted the link to the 3rd installment of Dreamville’s “Born Sinner” series, which features Ibrahim Hamad.
Next, Sascha Stone Guttfreund, is another key player in the music industry. His work with J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, & Tory Lanez has been noted through his promoting company, ScoreMore– which describes itself as “your favorite rappers’ favorite promoters.” The company, which Stone-Guttfreund started in college, is now a massive promotion business, which makes Stone-Guttfreund a massive music industry mogul– & he isn’t even 30 years old yet. Stone-Guttfreund went at the game with a very DIY approach. Billboard reported on Stone-Guttfreund in an interview in which he described the development of ScoreMore. He attributes his experience in door-to-door sales, development of a street team, & word of mouth to the initial growth of his business. The man that was once promoting concerts with less than 100 audience members, years later & out of college, is now helping to coordinate Dreamville, which is sure to garner thousands of attendees.
While there is no Born Sinner video on Stone-Guttfreund, you can find out more about him at the “For the Students” session this upcoming Thursday. Audience members must RSVP at forthestudents.co AND at hiphopedwpu.com. Although this event is open to the public, non-WPU students are required to pay a nominal fee & must fill out a separate registration form.
J.Cole & his team at Dreamville are attempting to literally put the tools to success in the hands of his fans. Don’t miss out on this incredible event, for the students.
Park at NC State’s Wolf Ridge apartments’ parking lot!!! NC State is charging $20 for event parking at the coliseum deck and other parking lots, but NC State resident spots are free and open to the public on the weekends. You could realistically park anywhere on NC State’s campus that is a resident’s spot, but the Wolf Ridge apartments are the closest to Dorthea Dix. As pictured below, the red circle is the parking lot and the yellow line is the path you will walk to the festival grounds. The path is 0.4 miles which is a 9 minute walk. Even though you will have to cross the Centennial Parkway, there is a light and crosswalk where you have to cross.
What to Bring
Or consider buying a locker with built in phone chargers for $20
The festival will have multiple water stations but if you really want to stay hydrated and save the environment bring a small empty water bottle
Note: this must be empty when going through security
Some kind of light and portable jacket
Bonus if its a rain jacket
Raleigh’s weather is weird and even though it says 75 and cloudy the weather could change in an instance
What NOT to Bring
I was really surprised by this! You are not allowed to bring backpacks into the festival grounds unless they are clear and only have one pocket. You are allowed to bring a fanny pack so pull up in style and rock that fanny pack instead.
Get there earlier than expected
This is the first Dreamville festival ever!! Security may take a little longer than expected simply because they want this festival to run as smooth as possible. Instead of missing an artist you really care about, get to the festival grounds a little earlier than intended so that you can ensure you see all your favorite artists.
The time has finally come – after an unfortunate postponement due to Hurricane Florence, Dreamville 2019 is less than a week away. J. Cole’s Dreamville Fest will take place right here in Raleigh on Saturday, April 6th at Doretha Dix Park. The WKNC staff and I are very excited for the jam-packed day of music and here is why
1. First and foremost, I’m looking forward to potentially getting the chance to hear the music Dreamville has been working on for their new collaborative LP, Revenge of the Dreamers III.Sources indicate that some of the innovative producers in hip-hop, such as Mike WiLL Made-It, Kenny Beats, !lmind, and ChaseTheMoney were invited to the album’s recording sessions. In addition to Dreamville emcees (J. Cole, EarthGang, JID, Bas, Cozz, etc.), some of my favorite artists like Ski Mask The Slump God, Raleigh-based Mez, Smino, Saba were rumored to have attended the recording sessions as well. Some have been previewing some of these tracks during their live shows, and I have loved what I’ve heard so far. Considering many of the artists involved in the recording process will all be in the same place on Saturday, it’s safe to say those attending Dreamville Fest will get a chance to hear some of these new songs.
2. Second, It’ll be interesting to see Dorthea Dix Park be put to good use and transform into lively festival grounds. Raleigh has put forth a master plan to expand and transform Dix park, and Dreamville Fest is the first major event to be held on the land. I’m hoping the the festival can be used as an example of using the park in creative and interesting ways.
3. Next, If you know anything about WKNC you know we love us some North Carolina music. We cannot wait to see the talented Raleigh artists billed on the lineup play for large crowds in a local space. NC artists featured on the Dreamville Fest Lineup include: J. Cole, Rapsody, King Mez, and Loot. It’ll be cool to witness Raleigh hip-hop fans show these talented artists love for keeping the NC music scene alive and well.
4. Last and most obviously, we are excited for Dreamville Festival because the line-up is stacked with great artists. Whether it’s 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was, JID’s DiCaprio 2, J. Cole’s KOD, or Saba’s Care For Me, most of the lineup contributed to some of the strongest hip-hop releases in 2018. JID, EarthGang, J. Cole, and Saba have all proved themselves to be incredible performers when I’ve seen their shows in the past, and I believe the rest of the lineup will do the same this weekend.
Day One is DONE. The WKNC team had you covered djing live downtown, capturing photos and videos, and I’m continuing the coverage for you here. To recap the night, H.C. McEntire and Real Estate kicked off the night prior to the crazy show that The Flaming Lips put on for us with tons, I mean TONS of confetti in City Plaza. I’m talking I was pulling confetti out of my being until I got home and showered. This morning I still woke up with confetti in my apartment; I think it’s going to follow me for a while.
The fans went wild last night; someone tried to steal my shoe (off of my foot) since it had gotten attached to a prop that had been thrown into the crowd, I had gotten a piece of my ear plug lodged so deeply into my ear canal authorities couldn’t assist me, and someone outside of King’s was trying to show me some “VERY legal marijuana” of which I politely declined. What a crowd!
After TFL I hopped over to King’s and caught Erica Eso from Brooklyn, made my way to The Basement to chill in the nice air conditioned space and snap a few shots of Skeletonwitch before catching some of Sleep. After that I trekked back to King’s/Neptunes and caught Kilbourne’s set and a smidge of HOLYCHILD before crawling back to my apartment for some good Zzz’s.
Hey guys, its that time of year again- the weekend of Hopscotch Music Festival. For us indie teens/young twentysomethings here at WKNC, its an exciting time to see our favorite artists live and close by. Or if you aren’t lucky enough to score tickets, it is most likely covered on someone’s snapchat story in blurry video segments where the artist is not clearly discernible.
As afterhours music director, I am pretty stoked about this years lineup so without further ado, here are the Top 5 Picks for electronic music this year u cant afford 2 miss <3
1. Negative Gemini: Saturday @ 12:30am @ Neptunes
2. Gudiya: Thursday @ 8:30pm @ Neptunes
3. Alex Brown: Saturday @ 9:30pm @ The Wicked Witch
4. Breathers: Friday @ 10:30pm @ The Basement
5. Thoom: Saturday @ 11:30pm @ Neptunes
But its not all fun and games at Hopscotch..You may assume that I, as a music director, am invincible, however, while coming to this festival I may or may not have left my car in drive and had it roll into a collision with another parked car as I walked away. Other than that, 10/10 experience here in downtown Ralz.
On Friday, August 24th, the Raleigh music venue, Imurj hosted a “Local Artist Spotlight” show which featured three up-and-coming artists who were personally selected by Imurj. The lineup was as follows:
1. Stranded Bandits (opener)
2. Darren and the Buttered Toast
3. Mosquito Washington and the Bloodsuckers (headliner)
I listed the artists in their performance order but I will be describing their sets based on which I enjoyed the most (my favorite act being the last one).
Although Mosquito Washington was the headliner, I was least impressed by them. This band, comprised of 5 classic metal old-heads had little impact on the crowd. For the first few songs audience members– many of whom were very clearly not traditional metal heads– excitedly began head-banging and participated in a center-stage push-pit. Eventually, however, the crowd dissipated as riff-after-repetitive-riff drawled on. Now, don’t get me wrong, the members of Mosquito Washington are vastly talented men who clearly have a solid taste in music, but it is safe to say that their time is long over. Each song could have easily been an Alice Cooper or Black Sabbath cover, which may have been preferable to their lesser-known originals. It was nostalgic to hear such classic song structures, but maybe they weren’t suitable for this event. The vast majority of the crowd were in their early 20s and if they weren’t attending as part of the entourage of other performers, they were mere frequent customers of the bar and probably not diehard hair-metal fans. Overall, I feel as though Mosquito Washington could have had a better draw at a tribute show or by marketing themselves as a cover band. Kudos to the members for carrying on the spirit of the 70s and 80s, and such a pity that it was lost on the ears of the crowd.
Up next was Stranded Bandits, a 4-piece rock group that is relatively new to the Raleigh scene, but for those invested in its culture it won’t be long until their name becomes familiar. The band isn’t visually cohesive, unlike the other two artists on this lineup, but the sound each member produces mix to form an incredibly exciting set of songs.
They opened with a tune called, ‘Debauchery,’ which was steeped in classic rock elements and used riffs that the Foo Fighters themselves could have written. The crowd, at this point mostly made up of family and friends of Darren and the Buttered Toast, received the music warmly, with one audience member shouting out, “these guys rock!” Up next was a song called, ‘On the Run–’ I was very lucky that they announced the title of every song they played– and it featured main vocals and a solo by their drummer, Douglas (DJ) Schilens. The solo directly mimicked the performance style of Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham, particularly his Moby Dick solo in which Bonham transitioned between using sticks and his hands to play drums. Schilens used this same technique, although his solo wasn’t 15+ minutes long. In fact, Stranded Bandits seems to have a knack for showcasing their individual skills. Matt Barton, the lead guitarist of the group, was featured on an instrumental track entitled, ‘Beach Bum Blues.’ Furthermore, the group continually pays homage to their classic rock heroes, with Barton next honoring Jimi Hendrix by attempting to play guitar with his teeth. Although this was a courageous feat of showmanship, it may have fallen flat for the juvenile band– or maybe only the rock god himself, Hendrix, can successfully pull that trick off. Either way, Barton’s suave stylings outside of that moment proved to be well-suited to their music and he never made another mistake.
At the end of ‘On the Run,’ and truthfully between every song that was performed, Stranded Bandits’ bare-footed bassist, Arjun Sheth, kept up a strong, constant bassline and ensured that never did a moment pass when the audience wasn’t engaged by music. They swiftly transitioned into a Hendrix cover of the song, ‘Purple Haze.’ At this moment it was their frontman– Isaac McDaniel’s– time to shine. The frontman, though youthful, carries an air of unadulterated self-confidence when performing– I saw a clear connection to Steven Tyler. McDaniel never stopped moving, both on and off-stage, and even initiated dance circles during the following set. During their Hendrix song he threw himself to the ground, vivaciously slamming his fists against the ground, wholly consumed by the music.
This group is definitely one to keep an eye and ear on. The vibrancy of these young men won over the crowd and began the show with an explosion of sound. A few dissonant sections arose where it seemed as though the band members were drifting apart from one another, but unless you were listening critically, it would have been impossible to tell. Even so, I was informed that this was their very first real gig and that up until this point they had only done open mic events. These guys play with more finesse and flair than some veterans to the scene and I can safely say that I was beyond thoroughly impressed by Stranded Bandits.
After their set I was able to approach a friend of the band’s– Anya Johnson– who was kind enough to share her photos of their performance with me. Below are a couple of the pictures she took for Stranded Bandits.
Although the rockers in Stranded Bandits fulfilled their purpose of beginning the show with energy, it was their following act that really blew the crowd away. Darren and the Buttered Toast, as advertised on their website, are a group that draw on influences from “…the soul of R&B, Jazz, Rock, Gospel, and other musical traditions…with a focus on a positive vibe to lift the spirit and move the feet.” Without a doubt they achieved their goal. This group, having been active since 2013, had an extremely well-done set. Despite the fact that much of their music was improvised it flowed so well that it was as if they had practiced every note beforehand. Of course the skeleton of the songs were pre-written and practiced, but the meat of their performance comes from the vitality of their members. I have good things to say about all of them.
Darren Curtis (lead vocalist/guitar)
The charismatic frontman of Darren and the Buttered Toast kept his eyes ever-scanning the crowd, flashing a row of glittering teeth to anyone who matched his gaze. Curtis started off with the energy high and never let it fall. He spent the whole dancing in-front of his microphone and behind his guitar, tantalizing jazz lines seducing the audience’s eardrums. Curtis’ lyrics, especially during ‘Mr. Bass Man’ told a story set to music, and were easy to follow for the duration of the set. A true showman in every sense of the word.
Isaac Capers (backing vocals/drums)
Although Capers wasn’t showcased in the same way that Stranded Bandits had done with Schilens, there was no doubt that Capers is deeply talented. Instinctively I want to call him robotic, because to my knowledge he never missed a single beat all night, however, he was too fluid to be considered robotic. No, Capers is a definitively human drummer, and his heart guided the music he created. In pairing with Anthony Dyal, the two kept the audience dancing so frivolously that we were quite literally begging for more. Darren and the Buttered Toast performed two encores.
Delante’ Randolph (backing vocals/saxophone)
Let me start by saying that I was wholeheartedly floored by the talent that drips from this man’s fingertips. Saxophonists are notoriously creative musicians, and Randolph was no different. In coalition with Curtis– the two musicians bounced off one another effortlessly–, he created a sonic landscape fit for anyone to dance around in. Switching between a classic sax– I’d like to assume it’s an alto– and an electric sax allowed him to variate his sound in numerous ways. The electric, which looked like the biggest Juul I’ve ever seen, was hooked up to a pedal board which even furthered his ability to manipulate the music. This was something I had never seen before and it was phenomenal. Every note, every solo, every run was immaculately conceived and blessed our ears similarly. Furthermore, he was incredibly nice to talk to after the set and provided me with all the band’s contact info for future listening. Definitely an incredibly friendly man.
Anthony Dyal (bassist)
This man is the true backbone of Darren and the Buttered Toast. The funk and finesse he brought to the stage got the crowd off their feet, onto the dancefloor, and into each other’s’ arms. A steady rocker, which was exemplified during his mini solo, Dyal is a master of his entire instrument. Incredible bass lines, incredible tone, the absolute cherry on the top of this buttered toast-erpiece.
Overall, Imurj did an excellent job of picking a line-up with a wide variety of genre-influences to pander to the interests of every show-goer. Every performance had its appeal and provided an excellent evening of rock n roll. I’m very excited to see where each of these groups go and how they musically progress.
If they’re ever playing in the area again, you can bet I’ll be there for another showcase of talent– I hope to see you all there.
Now that we’ve all been able to recover from the weekend, it’s time for a recap of this year’s Moogfest. 15 miles of walking around Durham + at least 5 meals consisting of free sandwiches from the media lounge + 17 shows = one unforgettable weekend.
The first show I went to was Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Maybe it was because I had gotten several free drinks at the opening party beforehand but I left Carolina Theatre absolutely sobbing, which was a good start to the weekend.
Next we checked out Madame Gandhi. Her performance was dynamic and multifaceted, ranging from drum solos to rapping to reading poetry.
I only caught a bit of Jamila Woods’ set but I enjoyed what I was able to hear. I really loved her recent album HEAVN and highly recommend it.
I ended night one on a high note with Kelela, who put on a captivating performance. I was a little bit concerned when I heard she’d be playing Carolina Theatre- a seated venue- but they opened up the pit so people were able to dance.
On Friday afternoon I stopped by the Raund Haus local producer showcase (check out my interview with Raund Haus a little further back on the blog!) Pictures is Double Barrel Benefit alum RGB.
I headed back to Carolina Theatre for Jon Hopkins, which I wasn’t really feeling to be honest, but had a great light show.
After quickly realizing I had lost my phone and retrieving it from the nice people at the Caroline Theatre front desk, I saw Suicideyear, a producer best known for his work with Yung Lean. This was honestly a weird show, complete with very unsettling visuals, but pretty fun.
I LOVED Yves Tumor’s performance- it was the perfect kind of abrasive and weird. My friends all complained about their ears hurting afterwards and didn’t want to stay for the whole time but I highly enjoyed it.
Next up was Shabazz Palaces. This was a really fun set and the crowd was absolutely loving it. I didn’t witness this myself but apparently there was a man in the front row dancing like crazy and swiping left on Tinder enthusiasticall during the set, which rocks.
I actually ended the night by checking out new Moogfest venue Fruit and Company and then going to an afterparty, but I didn’t get any pictures because both locations were too crowded.
I was THRILLED when Moses Sumney was added to the Moogfest lineup mere days before the festival. I’m honestly a bit of a stan of his.His show was the first I saw on Saturday and it was a beautiful one. Very different from when I saw him at Moogfest in 2016- this time he had a full band with him!
Pete Rock was another artist added last-minute (and as part of the free programming).
I was really excited about Psychic TV! None of my friends wanted to go with me to this show but I still enjoyed myself. Their bassist was wearing one of their own T-shirts, which absolutely owns.
Jenny Hval killed it as per usual. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen her three times and each time has been amazing. She always incorporates weird performance art into her sets, and this time it consisted of a gigantic inflatable clam and a few inflatable pears that she had her collaborators blow up while she performed.
Later in the night I caught excellent sets by Fatima Al Qadiri and DJ Stingray but unfortunately didn’t get photos due to poor lighting.
Overall, I had a great time and caught some sets by artists that I wouldn’t expect to be in North Carolina for any other reason- even if some of the bigger names dropped off the lineup this year.