Local Music Music News and Interviews

Colossus on Cannibalism

Raleigh metal act Colossus is back in the studio to record a new EP, as yet unnamed.   The album is being recorded outside Chapel Hill at Warrior Sound Studio.  According to guitarist Nicky Nixon the album will have five songs that “address a number of topics, including humans eating human corpses, human corpses reanimating and attempting to eat living humans, fish eating whale carcasses, and yet another song about cannibalism.”

No word on when the EP is set to release, but you can catch Colossus live at Tir Na Nog January 22nd, as part of WKNC’s Local Beer Local Band night along side Durham band Tooth.

Music News and Interviews

WKNC Presents an Animal Collective Listening Party

Come one, come all to the Pour House on January 5th for an Animal Collective listening party hosted by WKNC & Schoolkids Records.  Animal Collective’s new album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, is set to be relased on vinyl (including an mp3 download of the album) January 6th and on CD January 20th.  However, if you want to listen and buy it before it hits the shelves, Schoolkids will be on location selling vinyl copies during the show.

WKNC will also be presenting three fresh local bands:
Old Bricks
Mr. Goodtimes
& an as yet un-named band consisting of two members of The Cumberland County Mean Gang

WKNC will also be giving away two prize packages from Domino Records to two lucky attendees.  Come on out and make it a night!

Music News and Interviews

Live Electronic Music Every Monday Night in Downtown Raleigh

Every Monday night until March, The Big Easy is hosting Rumble Sessions – Fine Electronic Music. The music starts at 10 pm, 21+ only.

Check GruvGlu for a detailed schedule.

DJ Highlights

Goodnight Raleigh: The Afterhours Ten Year Reunion Show

John Morris, of popular local blog Goodnight, Raleigh! wrote up a fantastic piece on WKNC’s annual Afterhours Reunion Show hosted by Afterhours’ founders Rob Rousseau, Ben Thomas, and Steve Brown.  read on:

On Monday night, three former WKNC DJs got together for an Afterhours reunion show lasting from 6PM until 1AM. Pictured above from left to right are Rob Rousseau, Ben Thomas, and Steve Brown. For the past ten years, Ben and Steve have got together shortly before the beginning of the new year for the show. Rob participated in the set for the first time this year, although he has made guest appearances on past shows.

The Roots of Electronic Music on WKNC

Afterhours officially got its start as a nightly format in early 1997. It was named for the initial time it started, 12AM. Not long after it began, the show as well as the electronic dance music scene in general started to gain in popularity. It then moved to the 8PM to midnight slot, where it has been ever since. Prior to the beginning of Afterhours, electronic music on the station consisted of a few scattered shows here and there, mostly without a slot title. Rob called in to one of these shows, hosted by Dave Brock, and began his stint shortly thereafter in 1996.

Around the same time, Steve had been getting more and more interested in bringing electronica to the station. After hearing a show syndicated via newsgroups and cassette tape titled “The Digital Dream” out of Bath, England, he was inspired to start a program on WKNC that focused exclusively on this relatively new form of music.


During the first reunion show in 1998, Ben (above) called in and was invited to the studio. He then pursued an interest in being a DJ. His first slot was referred to as the PSA shift, as it was at 4AM and the first 30 minutes consisted of playing a recorded program before he got to select some of his own tracks for airplay. Shortly thereafter, he continued the show in the more primetime hours for a while after graduation.

The Reunion Show and the Future

Ben and Steve prepare for the show for almost a year prior to it. It’s always between Christmas and the New Year, which is more convenient when juggling a family and a full time job.

Lasting between six and seven hours, there is a lot of music to play. The sets are arranged and selected ahead of time, so they can concentrate on discussing the music amongst themselves and listeners of the show. They had 10 copies of the entire set to give away during the show, and several of the people calling in have been listening to the reunion show for the past few years.

They plan to continue on with the tradition and host the show again next year at around the same time. You can enjoy the legacy they started by tuning in to 88.1 or the web stream Monday – Thursday from 8PM until 12AM.

If you’d like to be a part of their mailing list to be informed of news and information on future shows and electronic music, contact us and we will forward your information to them.

DJ Highlights

An Intrusion of Roaches

Deep in the realm of interesting but somewhat useless information is a list of the correct names for groups of animals. Google it some time. The images these names bring to the mind’s eye makes the time wasted well worth it. A group of barracudas is a battery, a group of ferrets a business, and a group of weasels a gang. Most important to us is a group of roaches: an intrusion.

An intrusion. Perfect. For decades, these songs have been lurking behind pop rock’s radio facade, out of sight and out of mind. Now, on Saturday mornings, the Mystery Roaches intrude. They crawl up your walls. They sample your scraps. These songs hide under your wall hangings and swing on your nose hairs while you sleep. There might be one sucking on your toothbrush at this very moment.

This entry marks the first of what will be a weekly post about Mystery Roach, WKNC’s weekly look at progressive, fusion, psychedelic, and garage rock from the 1960s and 1970s. Posts will be short, and they won’t follow any particular format; they might contain thoughts on a song, album or artist I found or became obsessed with that week. They might contain the text with comments of a call or email from a listener that week. They might contain a story of how I almost spilled split pea soup on my computer as I was putting the show together (which just happened as I was typing this, a cautionary tale to anyone who tries to be thrifty with a ham bone).

You just never know.

Listen to Mystery Roach Saturday mornings from 8:00 to 10:00 am, and check the WKNC blog weekly for posts about the show.


-La Barba Rossa


Cookie Monster of Death

Many people refer to the vocal style used in death metal as “Cookie Monster vocals.” As a metalhead, I don’t usually use this term, but I am aware of the similarities between the voices of death-metal-ers like Chris Barnes (Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under) and the ravenous blue Muppet.

Although I haven’t watched “Sesame Street” in many years, I do remember Cookie Monster…and I believe there may be other links between Cookie Monster and Death Metal music.

Both Cookie Monster and death metal bands are obsessed with particular subjects. But instead of incessantly blathering about cookies, death metal bands tend to stick to their lyrical guns (knives, ice picks, etc.) and write sinister and disturbing music about destruction, mutilation, and of course, death.

This got me to thinking: are cookies evil? Maybe not, but, I know firsthand that they can definitely be used for evil.

When I was a kid, every winter my mom would buy those assorted butter cookies that come in a big blue tin. I always thought it wasn’t much of an assortment because four out of the five varieties tasted exactly the same (though they did come in different shapes).

The only cookies in the tin that I could tolerate were the chocolate chip ones; they were better than the taste-alike ones, but were poor representatives of the chocolate chip cookie ilk. My sister, on the other hand, liked the cookies, and chocolate chip were her favorite, too – they were always the first to go. Just like when we got Neapolitan ice cream: the chocolate portion always disappeared first.

Anyway, one early winter afternoon, I came home to find the first cookie tin of the season sitting on our kitchen table and I had an idea. I grabbed the tin and ran up to my room, emptied its contents onto my bed, and waited for my sister to get home. When she arrived, I snuck back downstairs with the empty tin under my shirt. I caught a glimpse of my sister reclining on the living room couch as I ran into the kitchen.

I placed the cookie tin on the stove and turned the burner on high. After about a minute I figured that the tin was hot enough and I removed it from the flame with potholders and put it on the kitchen table where I had first found it.

I strolled into living room with a satisfied smile on my face and informed my sister that there was a tin of cookies in the kitchen. She immediately headed for them, as I knew she would. Seconds later, I heard a scream and the sound of a hot aluminum hitting dirty linoleum.

Why did I do it? Well, because I was a kid and it seemed hilarious at the time. But…were there any underlying factors at play? Did I do it because my mind had been corrupted by years of listening to death metal?

Nah. I think the real reason is something that crazy blue Muppet knows all too well…those butter cookies are evil.

DJ Highlights

David Menconi on Afterhours Reunion Show

Just a special thanks to David Menconi, who helped promote the Afterhours Reunion Show on his N&O blog, On The Beat.  And just in case you were wondering, the show is tonight from 6pm-midnight.  Be sure to tune in to WKNC and kick back to the best Afterhours reunion show yet!

Concert Preview

The Beast with Natalie Stewart of Floetry January 23, 2009

The Beast will be at The Brewery with Yo Majesty, Natalie Stewart Of Floetry on January 23, 2009

Armed with keys, bass, drums, and an emcee, The Beast makes revolutionary music – revolutionary in its genre-defying compositions, imaginative lyrics and political content. Tapping into the rich wellsprings of a conscious musical tradition, one could think they were listening to Bob Marley, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Gill Scott Heron or Public Enemy, at any point during a Beast performance. Infusing the best in jazz composition and improvisation with Hip-Hop poetry and soulful grooves, The Beast is North Carolina’s own independent revolution. Beautifully rebellious and refreshingly conscious, The Beast creates music to engage/enrage one’s mentality, and impassion all bodies to get up and move.

Hailing from the city of Durham, The Beast started as a chance encounter between Pierce Freelon (of local hip hop duo Language Arts and the Blackademics blog) and his old high school friend, drummer Stephen Coffman. In deciding to hold a casual jam session with local bass phenom Pete Kimosh and award-winning jazz composer Eric Hirsh, they had no clue what journey was in store for them. The musical connection and spontaneous creation that day were so powerful that one year later, entire pieces of music and lyrics remain unchanged from their original, improvised form.

Music News and Interviews

Kooley High’s “One Day” Trailer

“One Day,” the soon to be released documentary movie about Raleigh-Durham Hip-Hop act Kooley High (directed by Napoleon Wright for Becauseus Films) is set to come out soon. The release date is January 24th at the Galaxy Cinema. Here is the official trailer:

“One Day” Movie Preview from Kooley High on Vimeo.

WKNC Underground alum, DJ Ill Digitz, will be spinning at 7pm when doors open.

Music News and Interviews

Give the Gift of Music

The Raleigh News & Observer recommends filling your loved one’s stockings with awesome local tunes this year. If you can only choose one, I recommend Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies’ EP-1.