M.C. talks with Jennifer Halweil about the Hillsborough Street Renaissance, an environmentally-friendly effort to revitalize the street that borders N.C. State’s campus. M.C. also spoke with Mor Aframian and Michael Perros about the Redress Raleigh Fashion Show, part of the Renaissance festivities.
Here’s what we got for your listening entertainment this week. Tune in for your chances to win!
Check out our blog for more info on this great show!
WKNC will be off the air for brief periods throughout the afternoon. In the meantime, please listen to us online at wknc.org/listen. We thank you all for your patience.
We’re back it again, folks. Please excuse our static as our engineers do their thing. Join us for The Local Beat with guest host Gray Matter at 5 p.m. and N.C. State baseball at 6:55 p.m.
Modest Mouse (presented by Cat’s Cradle ) will be playing at Disco Rodeo on Wednesday March 11th. WKNC is giving a pair of tickets each day starting March 7th till March 11th. Listen to the daytime rock deejays for details on how to win.
Known for “Float On”, their first breakthrough single into the mainstream alternative movement in 2004, most people are unaware that Modest Mouse had been around for quite some time. In fact, Good News for People Who Love Bad News was the 6th album released by the indie rock band. Issac Brock , the band’s singer, songwriter and guitarist, grew up poor in suburban Washington and quit school at the tender age of sixteen. Inspired by the grunge era formulating within his own state, Brock created Modest Mouse in the early Nineties and began rehearsing in a shed near his mother’s mobile home.
Today, the band is well accustomed to playing sold out shows, touring the world, and are known internationally. Don’t forget to tune in for your chances to win tickets to this great show!
The N.C. State women’s basketball team will take on Wake Forest for the third time this season in round one of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. WKNC will have all the action on 88.1, beginning with a 2:45 p.m. pre-game.
For sports-free WKNC, log on to wknc.org/listen.
Our trusty team of engineers is once again working to tame our renegade transmitter. We will be experiencing signal outages from now until the basketball game begins at 2:45 p.m. We apologize for the inconvenience.
According to indie web-publication Pitchfork, due to the tumult of our current economic situation, Touch and Go Records, the label that brought the world Shellac, Polvo, Blonde Redhead, Pinback, Naked Raygun, the Jesus Lizard, TV on the Radio, and Slint has announced that they will no longer be releasing new music. It, however appears that Pitchfork may have made this up.
The official news from Touch and Go is that they will no longer be manufacturing and distributing records for other labels. This is still a big deal in the indie music industry. For a long time Touch and Go has been the go-to distributer for fairly priced and honest distribution of independent music. Touch and Go did manufacturing and distribution for over 20 prominent indie labels, including Chapel Hill based Merge records. The implications of this are pretty dire for independent music. Merge, Thrill Jockey, Kill Rock Stars and about 20 other labels are going to have to find an alternative means of manufacturing and distribution, possibly effecting thier costs and quality. In this already bad economic climate this is a pretty serious hit to independent music.
Tape ‘n Tapes
Matt & Kim aims for the sweet spot with ’Grand’
Matt & Kim, in all its lackadaisical glory, is an indulgence. The bubbly Brooklyn duo is the musical equivalent of Cinnamon Toast Crunch–sweet, sugary and perfect for those late Saturday mornings after you’ve slept for ten hours.
Just spin its self-titled debut from 2006 and listen for yourself. The album has the haphazard energy of a second grader after a bag of Sour Patch Kids. There’s an air of excitement and mild chaos, but the music isn’t in your face. On their latest release Grand, Matt and Kim have maintained their pop sensibilities while exploring new dynamics.
The opener, “Daylight,” encapsulates the album’s carefree mood. A triumphant piano riff cascades over a jaunty marching rhythm while synthesizers drone and wail in the background. The carpe diem lyrics evoke memories of summer, with lines like “Open hydrant, rolled down windows / This car might make a good old boat / And float down Grand Street in daylight.” The track is the perfect anthem for sunny afternoons and captures the positive vibes of Grand.
The album’s upbeat energy is channeled into the next track, “Cutdown.” A buzzing bassline underlies gentle synth strings that launch into a beautiful, drum-heavy crescendo at the end of the track. As quickly as it built up, the momentum slows down a bit with the wistful and slow “Good Ol Fashioned Nightmare.” This shift in dynamics makes Grand sound more varied and mature than its predecessor. Matt & Kim delve into slower, more relaxed moods throughout the album in tracks like “Turn This Boat Around” and the outro remix of “Daylight.”
Of note is the impressive production quality–clean and loud. In particular, the drums have a powerful presence that lends itself to the album’s energy. The rhythms on Grand sound huge, especially in “I Wanna” and “Don’t Slow Down.” Both are unrelentingly upbeat tracks driven by Kim’s lively percussion and Matt’s frenetic synth work. As with The Black Keys or Death From Above 1979, it is hard to believe that all the music comes from only two people.
The drums drop out completely for “Turn This Boat Around,” which is carried completely on vocals and simple keyboard parts. The calmness quickly turns into madness with “Cinders,” a short instrumental that spirals upward into synth-and-drums euphoria. Grand closes with an interesting, stripped-down mix of “Daylight,” which nicely ties back to the beginning of the album. The entire album is only a scant 29 minutes long–just like the weekend, because you’ll wish it lasted longer.
Full of energy and free of care, Grand revels in its youthfulness. Pop music is meant to be fun music, and this album convincingly validates that claim. The next time you find yourself in the middle of a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon, put this record on. You won’t regret it.
88.1 WKNC DJ Pick of the Week is published in every Tuesday print edition of the Technician, as well as online at technicianonline.com and wknc.org.