Short Stories

Random Acts of Kindness: A One Direction Concert Gone Right

When I was a pre-teen, I, like millions of other people, was obsessed- and I don’t use that word lightly- with One Direction. I had posters and random branded merchandise (a toothbrush and toothpaste), I read fanfiction, the whole nine yards. My older sister was also very into them, and our obsessions fed off each other. From their first album all the way until their last, we were invested, although the sparkle did fade after some time.

By the time they were on their third tour titled “Where We Are Tour,” I had been wanting to go to one of their concerts for what felt like forever. As a Christmas gift, my parents got me and my sister lawn tickets at their Charlotte show at PNC Music Pavilion (then known as Verizon Wireless Amphitheater). We were ecstatic.

I had a soccer game earlier in the day, but after I came home and showered and got into my concert attire (a flannel, grey t-shirt, and jeans), I was ready to go. Upon arrival, my sister and I quickly realized that my soccer game had impeded us from getting there when doors opened, and that we’d be seated at the back of the lawn. 

My older sister and I at the Charlotte show of One Direction’s “Where We Are Tour” on September 28, 2014.

As disappointment crept up my throat, two middle aged women approached me and my sister, and told us that they had seated tickets that they were not going to use. At first skeptical, we further questioned them, and they explained that for some reason I no longer remember that they were leaving and no longer needed the seats. My sister, the older one, and thus in charge used her best judgement and decided that this was legit. We walked up to the guards scanning the seated tickets and they pointed us in the right direction: we were going to be astronomically closer than we had expected.

I don’t remember a single thing from that concert. The only fragment of a memory I have is that I cried during “What Makes You Beautiful.” Apparently, Harry Styles put on a banana costume. But what I will always remember is those two women making two teen girls’ dreams come true, and that for a while, it was the best night of my life.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I was a Niall girl.

Until next time,


New Album Review

New Album (EP) Review: “Red Hand Akimbo” by Paris Texas

ALBUM (EP): “Red Hand Akimbo” by Paris Texas


LABEL: Paris Texas LLC

RATING: 8.2/10

BEST TRACKS: “girls like drugs” and “BULLSEYE”

FCC: Explicit language

Paris Texas, the musical duo consisting of producer Louis Pastel and rapper Felix, brings a fullness and humor to alternative rap that’s proven exciting and inventive. The two met in community college in South Central, Los Angeles and have worked together officially as Paris Texas for over three years now, but their music tells a different story. “Red Hand Akimbo” is so tightly-crafted that you’d think these two had been working together for most of their lives. While their sound has remained consistently vibrant and interesting, “Red Hand Akimbo” sees Pastel and Felix pulling together a work far more cohesive than their previous project, “BOY ANONYMOUS.” Their new EP flows together seamlessly, even making use of comedic interludes that make me laugh a bit every time. The EP has only five tracks, but I still had trouble choosing my top two.

The second song on “Red Hand Akimbo” is pure fun. “girls like drugs” brings together rap and rock, layered with what reads as grunge inspiration (despite Paris Texas’ denial of any influence from the Seattle sound), which all makes for a unique and high-energy experience. If girls like drugs, then this track is the best medicine on the market.

“I’ve been smokin’ cigarettes until my lungs bleed,” is the moody and heavy opener that sets the tone for the fourth track of the EP just for it to be turned around with an Assassin’s Creed reference in the next line. “BULLSEYE” is angry, loud, funny, and passionate. I can imagine a crowd jumping around at a Paris Texas show, screaming these lyrics, and sweating a little too much. The vocal distortion in the chorus is King Krule-esque with just enough pop in the background to keep the energy up. The last forty seconds drop the vocals completely and showcase that specific brand of lo-fi hip-hop study beats that somehow just works in this song.

Overall, the project is criminally short, coming in at just under thirteen minutes, but I swear it’s worth every second. I can’t wait to see what the duo puts out next, and perhaps they say it best themselves on “Epilogue,” the spoken final track of the EP: “And the only path these two will follow is up, and if it is up, then it shall remain stuck.”

Here’s to getting stuck on good music,

Silya Bennai

Concert Review

Jooselord Live Album Recording Video Recap

On Oct. 8, 2021, Jooselord recorded a live album at The Pour House with members of his collective Krawz Bonez.

WARNING: Explicit Content, shot by Brandon Whippo

The show featured local rappers Buddahbby, Godrick, Austin Royale, Nunafterhours, 3AMSOUND and Jovi Mosconi, with Jooselord headlining the event. Our very own WKNC alumnus, the legendary Iron Mic, was the DJ for the show and kept things running very smoothly on the turntables throughout the night.

It was truly a unique experience with the addition of a live band to the latter half of the show. Not only that, but Joose had The Pour House record his performance and press it to a vinyl that will be available for purchase in the near future. This was another great collaboration of local artists showcasing the talent that the Triangle has to offer.

Band/Artist Profile

Iona Fyfe Artist Profile

There are many ways to discover new artists, some better than others. While we can debate our favorite ways, I think I speak for everyone when I say the absolute worst way to discover a new artist is to find out they had to go public with #metoo allegations in response to career backlash. These headlines almost always override the artist’s music and work for exclusive focus on their victimization by the industry. In an effort to counteract that trend, here is an unusual artist I discovered through this less than ideal pipeline: Iona Fyfe.

The most immediately recognizable thing about Iona Fyfe is that she’s a Scottish artist who often sings in… well that’s kind of the confusing part. The language (or dialect of English depending on your feelings about the United Kingdom as a political entity) is called Scots, and it’s a surprisingly well preserved cousin of our tongue spoken in the rural south of Scotland, where the Celtic languages of the North mixed with Old English. It’s a strange thing to our American ears, where even the most divergent dialects of our country are still fully intelligible. In the slowest, syrupiest songs in Iona Fyfe’s catalogues, you might just think she has a strong accent. In faster folk songs like “Guise of Tough,” the language barrier is far more jarring. Fyfe’s language uses words and sounds that feel intuitive and gel with the musical/poetic vocabulary of the English tradition, but to our ears it’s mostly nonsense.

However, the effect of Scots is still artistically compelling to English speakers. Since we are steeped in the same musical and poetic traditions, and we share several roots, grammatical transformations, and entire words or sentences. The music still makes emotional sense, communicating everything important and not a lick more. Coming away from the songs, I found myself understanding what the music meant, but not what it was about, which makes for a fascinating if unmooring listening experience.

Then there’s Fyfe’s English language work, which is more accessible if less compelling. Her 2019 ep, “Dark Turn of Mind,” is entirely in English, and built around a cover of previous blog topic Gillian Welch. While the ep isn’t as good as her Scots language music, it represents something unique about Fyfe, that her music is conversation with the Southern American folk tradition. This connection is partly musical, Appalachian folk is built off the musical framework of Celtic and English folk, and partly ethnic. Since the 90s, many white southerners have begun tying their cultural identity to the Celtic tradition, rather than to the Anglo-Saxon or American Nationalistic traditions. Analyzing this cultural shift is beyond my pay grade, though it was a constant feature of my upbringing. The only place I’ve ever been outside North Carolina and the surrounding states is Scotland to visit my brother studying abroad. The label of “Scots-Irish” is a fraught identity, but it’s good nonetheless to see Fyfe reciprocating a more wholesome vision of white Southern identity from across the pond, especially by covering our music from our cannon.

I encourage you to check out the Iona Fyfe discography. If you aren’t a folk person, it will probably remain a minor curiosity to you, but it’s a gimmick that’s worth your time. I wish her the best on her post-Covid career, and hope to see her extend her relationship to American in the coming years, because God knows her nations relationship to Europe is strained right now

Weekly Charts

Afterhours Charts 10/19

1AMON TOBINHow Do You LiveNomark
3DUTCHIAN SOULLove Talk [EP]Salted
4ARCA“Born Yesterday” [Single]XL
5CORBUBad Trip Reports Vol. 1 (Original Soundtrack)Trash Casual
6MACHINEDRUMPsyconia [EP]Ninja Tune
8AURORA“Cure For Me” [Single]Glassnote
10FJAAKSYS03 [EP]Self-Released
Weekly Charts

Underground Charts 10/19

1ILLISMFamily Over EverythingThe CRWN
2MCKINLEY DIXONFor My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like HerSpacebomb
4INJURY RESERVEBy The Time I Get To PhoenixSelf-Released
5SMOKEY SMOTHERS“Go Nutz” feat. Chakara Blue [Single]Destine
6SHADTAOSecret City
7COMMONA Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2Loma Vista/Concord
8LAVA LA RUEButter-fly [EP]Marathon
Weekly Charts

Chainsaw Charts 10/19

1ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINEPurifying BladeProfound Lore
2CARCASSTorn ArteriesNuclear Blast
3BLOODY KEEPBloody Horror [EP]Grime Stone
4MORBID MESSIAHDisgorged in the CoffinChaos
5ANNIHILUSFollow a Song From the SkyFederal Prisoner
6ANDREW WKGod Is PartyingNapalm
7CHARREDPrayers Of MaledictionEntertainment One
8BLACK WOUNDUnending LabyrinthDry Cough
9MALIGNAMENTHypocrisis AbsolutionPrimitive Reaction
10IXTLAHUACTeyacanilitztli NahualliNuclear War Now!
Weekly Charts

Daytime Charts 10/19

1ILLUMINATI HOTTIESLet Me Do One MoreSnack Shack Tracks/Hopeless
2LITTLE SIMZSometimes I Might Be IntrovertAGE 101
4STRANDEDMidnight SunDouble Phantom
5LAVA LA RUEButter-fly [EP]Marathon
7INJURY RESERVEBy The Time I Get To PhoenixSelf-Released
9FILM SCHOOLWe Weren’t HereSonic Ritual
10JIMMY EDGARCheetah BendInnovative Leisure
12EVIDENCEUnlearning Vol. 1Rhymesayers
13DEAFHEAVENInfinite GraniteSargent House
14HOVVDYTrue LoveGrand Jury
15NEAR BEERSleeping Is For SuckersSelf-Released
16TIACORINEThe Saga of 34CorineSouth Coast
17WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKSEnjoy The ViewBig Scary Monsters
18TOBIElements Vol. 1Same Plate/RCA
19DAWN RICHARDSecond LineMerge
20JAPANESE BREAKFASTJubileeDead Oceans/Secretly Group
21LALA LALAI Want The Door To OpenHardly Art
22MACHINEDRUMPsyconia [EP]Ninja Tune
23SPELLLINGThe Turning WheelSacred Bones
24GUSTAFAudio Drag For Ego SnobsRoyal Mountain
25ONE STEP CLOSERThis Place You KnowRun For Cover
26SNAIL MAIL“Valentine” [Single]Matador
27SPUD CANNONGood Kids Make Bad ApplesGood Eye
29INDIGO DE SOUZAAny Shape You TakeSaddle Creek

Daytime Adds

1GUSTAFAudio Drag For Ego SnobsRoyal Mountain
2HOVVDYTrue LoveGrand Jury
4IDLES“The Beachland Ballroom” [Single]Partisan
5BLACK COUNTRY NEW ROAD“Chaos Space Marine” [Single]Ninja Tune
6AUDIOBOOKSAstro ToughHeavenly/PIAS
7NYLON SMILE“Only You Know” [Single]Self-Released
8LALA LALAI Want The Door To OpenHardly Art
9WOMBOKeesh Mountain [EP]Fire Talk
10NEAR BEERSleeping Is For SuckersSelf-Released

Screen Time: What to do Instead of Doom-Scrolling

I treasure my screen time (my weekly screen time report is an embarrassing number). But sometimes, even when I want to be taking a break, scrolling through all of my endless feeds can be very emotionally and mentally draining. When I want to be on my phone or computer, but don’t want to scroll myself into the void, here’s what I do instead.

Phone Games

I feel like everyone is entitled to at least one silly little phone game that they are way too into. For me, it’s the app/website (right now I am going through a major Farkle phase but I have played most games on there). Whether it be a card game, an adventure game or something where you have to tend to crops, let yourself have a game or two on your phone. It’s all in good fun.

Make A Playlist

If you’re in a creative mood, check out my blog “Struggle Making Playlists? Have Some Playlist Prompts.” It could potentially give you some new ideas for ways to freshen up your music library. 


There are two types of quizzes I frequent in my free time: personality quizzes and knowledge quizzes. Recently, I’ve been loving the Taylor Swift Sporcle quiz where you have 11 minutes to try and name every song on every album. Sporcle is a generally good resource for the knowledge/trivia based quizzes, but you can find them on all corners of the internet. 

The “Wikipedia Game”

You know the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” phenomenon? It’s kind of like that, but with Wikipedia. As Wikipedia describes it on the Wikipedia page for the game the objective is: “Players (one or more) start on the same randomly selected article, and must navigate to another pre-selected target article, solely by clicking links within each article. The goal is to arrive at the target article in the fewest clicks (articles), or the least time.” This is fun on your own, but is especially fun racing a friend. 

Catch Up On Favorite Podcasts/Current Audiobook

I feel like all I do is recommend my own blogs but I have written a blog with some podcast recommendations, as well as several blogs with book reviews (“You Have A Match,” “Tweet Cute,” “The Unhoneymooners”).  But if you have your own personal favorite that you haven’t listened to in a while: do it, it’ll be worth it.

Set The Phone Down

If you’ve exhausted all of these, maybe screen time should come to a close. Or not, I won’t tell you what to do. 

Here’s to no more doom-scrolling,



Why WKNC Rocks

As I wrote about in “My Year Writing For WKNC,” I’ve been involved one way or another with WKNC for about a year now, and I want to share a few of the many wonderful things about the Triangle’s very own 88.1.

The People

Whether it be sharing memes in the Discord, eating lunch together in the lounge, or waving to one another on campus, I’ve met some wonderful people at the station. It’s a blessing to be surrounded by people who have seemingly infinite knowledge about music and who are incredibly talented.

New Music Everywhere, All The Time

I used to have this irrational fear that I would never be able to listen to all the music in the world, and that I could have a favorite song out there that I just hadn’t listened to. WKNC has exposed me to hundreds of new songs and bands and diminished this fear almost entirely. If I ever get bored with my music, I know I can always tune into HD-1, HD-2, go to the blog, the YouTube channel, or our Discord to find something new to listen to. 

The Interior Design

I cannot stress how many stickers and posters adorn the doors and walls of the station. I notice something new every time I walk into the station. Not to mention the LED lights that set the ambience in the HD-1 and HD-2 studios.

The Coolest Opportunities

I’ve gotten to DJ at The Den, write blogs for the station, and interview my peers. I’ve also seen my fellow DJs get to attend festivals and conferences, express themselves creatively and achieve other wonderful things through WKNC.

Creative Outlet

Making playlists has always been my jam, but getting to share them with people live for one hour every week is such an immense privilege. 

Our Amazing Advisor, Jamie

I’ve never met someone so radically supportive and accepting. Not to mention, she’s pretty cool, herself. I, and I’m sure the other DJs agree, could not ask for a better advisor.

If you’re a student at NC State on the fence about getting involved at WKNC, go for it. Seriously, it’s changed my life, and your time at WKNC can be whatever you want it to be. 

Long Live College Radio,