DJ Highlights

Local Beat preview 5/15/09

We have a wonderful show in store for you today (5/15) on the Local Beat.


At 5:00 Kim Gray and company will be coming in to talk about the Pick ‘n Bitch festival this Saturday at the Pinhook.



At the top of the 6:00 hour, Liza Kate of Holidays for Quince Records will be stopping by to talk about her upcoming album, Don’t Let the Dogs.  The album release show is tonight at the Nightlight in Chapel Hill alongside Max Indian and Embarrassing Fruits.  Then at 6:30, it will be the last time in 2009 that we will be preempted by NC State baseball.Be sure to tune in at 5:00 sharp on 88.1 fm or





Music News and Interviews

Kingsbury Manx’s New Music Video

The Kingsbury Manx has a brand new music video for their song “Well, Whatever” off of their latest release “Ascenseur Ouvert!"   I can’t embed it for some reason so check it out on Odessa Records website here.

I’m definitely digging this.

Music News and Interviews

Screaming Females interview this Sunday 5/17

Screaming Females will be playing this Sunday at the Nightlight with Bellafea and Caltrop, but first they’ll be coming into the WKNC studio to talk about their new record Power Move, their DIY ethic, and their time on the road for the last month. Be sure to tune in at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 17.
Screaming Females interview

DJ Highlights

Local Beat recap 5/8/09 and Gray Young at Slim’s

Well, what a pleasant surprise!  Corbie and Mike of Battle Rockets stopped by and for a band whose songs feature no lyrics, they had quite a bit to say (full disclosure: their joke, not mine).  They came in at the 5:00 hour and we talked about the show that night (with Gray Young and the Proclivities), their unique method of releasing demos and their brand new, homemade, $5 T-shirts.  As for that show, see below for more.

The demo method is pretty cool, as you’ll hear in the clips below.  The band records every practice and saves what sounds good.  Then they burn a few copies of the most recent versions of tracks, date them, and label them–or have guest labelers do it, like our very own DJ Gray Matter.  They then take their demos to shows and sell them for $1.  That’s a deal you can’t beat.

Gray Young called the studio during the latter part of the Battle Rockets conversation to let us konw that they’d been locked in the stairwell and unable to get in.  So we went and rescued them and brought them in for the second half of the interview.  They dispelled the self-contrived rumours that they’re playing with U2 in October.  We discussed both bands’ future plans, which include WE Fest.  Check out the interview with the entire cast of characters.

Gray Young and Battle Rockets 5/8


Now, onto the show that night.  

The lineup at Slim’s Downtown was this:

Battle Rockets

The Proclivities

Gray Young

Battle Rockets were entertaining and have quite a bit of energy, and it’s always fun to watch that level of energy coming from a two-piece.  The Proclivities were–and have been for a little while–sans drummer, so they had D.A.R.Y.L. fill in and rocked out as a two-piece (a very dapper two-piece, might I add).  Although the lack of a real drummer was sort of the elephant in the room (at the risk of using their song lyric), they were obviously having a good time, and so was I.  Matt Douglas was chatting the crowd up as well, as per usual.  Lastly, Gray Young took the stage around midnight.  I must say, I’ve seen Gray Young several times over the past year or so, and every time I’ve seen them they’ve been exponentially tighter (and on this night, louder).  It has been really fun to watch these guys as they play more shows together, and I can’t wait to see them again at the May 22 Lemming Malloy CD Release/Neckbeard Records Debut show at Local 506.  That’s all for now, be sure to tune in to the Local Beat this week, details to follow in another blog post soon…



New Album Review

New Local Albums on WKNC in May!

Even though May is just beginning, 2009 has proved to be one of the best musical years in the Triangle and North Carolina in my memory. As the new Local Music Director at WKNC, my mailbox has been flooded with tons of music from all around the state and our community. This blog will highlight some of the newest local material you will hear on WKNC.

BombadilTarpits & Canyonlands:
While this album is not set to release for a couple more weeks, Bombadil was kind enough to leave WKNC with a copy a little while back. Needless to say, after my first listen to Tarpits & Canyonlands, I knew this would become an instant classic in our area. After the second listen through, I grasped that it was indeed a musical masterpiece. After my eighth listen I realized it was the best album I have heard in the past six years, local or not.
This is the third release by Bombadil, a band out of Durham, North Carolina, in three years and by far their best output. Bombadil is well known for its generally upbeat folky and lyrically witty sounds, backed by instrumentation that carries the listener to a grassy field filled with barefoot serfs tipsy on bootleg mountain whiskey and rum. Or, as a review of their first album by ex-WKNC DJ Big Fat Sac more blatantly put it, “It sounds like a bunch of hobbits in Durham got together and made folk music.” Tarpits & Canyonlands does not stray far from this unique sound, but a definite sense of maturity is noticeable as compared to their 2008 release A Buzz, A Buzz. And while Bombadil delightfully keeps their catchy and original sonic personality within the music that has made them so popular, the main themes delve deeper into more serious and somber issues such as marriage, relationships, and growing old. Many songs reflect a more somber tone and feature unaccompanied harmonies unlike previous releases (such as “Reasons”, “Cold Runway”, & “Marriage”), while others retain that familiar goofiness and playful innocence of their first release (“Oto The Bear”, “Laurita”, & “Malaysia”). Even still some of the more stand out tracks such as “I Am”, “Sad Birthday”, “Needless to Say”, and “25 Daniels” offer a new glimpse into Bombadil’s creative genius.
Bombadil has certainly grown up the past three years and become one of the premiere bands to see and hear not only around these parts, but elsewhere as well. Be on the lookout for this album to receive massive attention from our DJs.

Lonnie WalkerThese Times Old Times:
Another yet to be release album has made its debut on WKNC this month. Lonnie Walker, a local favorite from Greenville has slowly been gaining in popularity as noticed by their pick in the N&O’s Great 8, and as a choice for WKNC’s own Double Barrel Benefit 6. If you have never heard their material before, picture a hardier Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks with intense vocal outbursts and crushing guitar. This is their debut release and features several new editions of songs already in WKNC rotation from their demo album. Popular tunes such as “Wider Than White,” “Summertime,” and “Pendulum’s Chest” stand out as ferociously better than their original counterparts while newbies such as “Grape Juice”. “Back Home Inside With You”, “Ships”, and my personal favorite “Crochet” make a stand as a mark of growth within their work. These Times Old Times certainly deserves the attention this band has been getting.

Roman CandleOh Tall Tree In The Ear:
It’s hard to believe this is only the second full length album by this former Chapel Hill band (now based in Tennessee) but it doesn’t miss a beat. In comparison to their first album it is remarkably similar, yet better at the same time. Oh Tall Tree In The Ear features the same poppy lyric style and musicality but manages to come off as wittier, catchier, and seemingly more developed.

American AquariumDances For The Lonely:
This album has been in rotation for a couple of weeks now but is worth mentioning. Meet Bruce Springsteen the second with even more of that down to earth heartland rock. Luckily, this is not a bad thing and tunes such as “Katherine Belle” and “Louisiana Beauty Queen” keep your foot tapping for more. Dances for the Lonely has a solid country/southern rock groove that will be a staple on WKNC for some time.

Many other new tracks you will hear on WKNC this May include some older tunes that were either overlooked or not brought to our previous attention.  These include:
AminalA Face To Fight
AminalA Will To Fight
Brett HarrisSide Two EP
Brett HarrisYesterdays News
ConnellsDarker Days (yes, this album is from 1985, but it completely kicks ass!)
Kickin Grass BandThe Kickin Grass Band
Lemming MalloyThe Return Of The Norfolk Regiment
Luego WKNC Sexclusive Pre-Sampler
Our Velvet RevolutionOur Velvet Revolution EP
Stars ExplodeThe Stars Explode
Water CallersSpringboard
Waumiss- Waumiss LP

And More!

Concert Preview Local Music

5/14 Local Beer Local Band Night – Sorry About Dresden, Dirty LittleHeaters, and Le Weekend

Old school local rockers Sorry About Dresden will be headlining our weekly event Local Beer Local Band Night at Tir Na Nog, thursday at 10!  Playing alongside are the Dirty Litte Heaters and Le Weekend.   It’s FREEEEE to get in and Tir Na Nog has some mouthwatering local brews on tap.  Come out and support your community!

Check out this video of Sorry About Dresden playing live for the DotMatrix Project in Greensboro!

And here’s a video of the Dirty Little Heaters playing live back in ‘06. This girl know how to rock!!!

Weekly Charts

Top 30 albums from the past week

Here are the top 30 records at WKNC for this week, compiled by Daytime Music Director Jenna St. Pierre:

1. Telekinesis! by Telekinesis
2. Ascenseur Ouvert by Kingsbury Manx
3. To Lose My Life by White Lies
4. The First Time by Embarrassing Fruits
5. Inside Your Guitar by It Hugs Back
6. Technicolor Health by Harlem Shakes
7. Power Move by Screaming Females
8. Pretzelvania by Americans in France
9. Walking on a Dream by Empire of the Sun
10. The Love Language by The Love Language LOVE LANGUAGE
11. (A)spera by Mirah
12. Set Em Wild, Set Em Free by Akron/Family
13. Everybody Come Outside by Pomegranates
14. It’s Blitz by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
15. Devotion Implosion by Gliss
16. Romanian Names by John Vanderslice
17. Fantasies by Metric
18. Jupiter by Starfucker
19. Mama, I’m Swollen by Cursive
20. Seven Days Now by Xu Xu Fang
21. Bromst by Dan Deacon
22. Bunny Gets Paid by Red Red Meat
23. Welcome To Mali by Amadou and Mariam
24. Looking For Bruce by Hammer No More The Fingers
25. Mouthful Of Bees by Mouthful of Bees
26. Hazards Of Love by Decemberists
27. Suckers [EP] by Suckers
28. Outside Love by Pink Mountaintops
29. Kid Moves by Kinetic Stereokids
30. Cold Warrior by Grandchildren

Here are some new albums we’ve added to our library, which you can look forward to hearing:
These Times Old Times by Lonnie Walker
Pilgrim by Red Collar
American Folklore by American Folklore

Local Music Music News and Interviews

Prabir and the Substitutes On-Air Interview

by Spaceman Spiff

This past Thursday was a busy day for Prabir and the Substitutes! After being stuck in traffic, the band dropped by the 5 o’clock Shadow for an in-studio interview with Mikey P and me. Then, the band headed to Tir Na Nog where they completely rocked out WKNC’s weekly Local Beer Local Band Night with Chapel Hill natives Embarrassing Fruits.

Considering their hectic touring schedule, I was excited to have such a relaxed discussion with the band about their music. Prabir and the Substitutes are a pop-rock group from Richmond, Virginia with a knack for melody and harmony and a keen appreciation for the joys of playing music. Appropriately enough, we discussed the trials and tribulations of touring and the many ways the band keeps their lives enjoyable (everything from maintaining an amusing website to smashing their instruments after their shows). We also spun some great tracks off of their new EP “Hello.”

Check out the interview below!

Prabir and the Substitutes interview

In today’s digital world, it’s great to see a band that cares so much about the physical release of an album. I love having something I can hold in my hands when I buy my music—the thrill of driving to my local record store, thumbing through the collection, talking with the clerk as I pay, peeling off that damn sticky tape before prying open the cover, admiring the pictures in the liner notes—owning the physical CD gives me more of a connection with the artist.

In the 1960s, the single was the primary means by which an artist released their music before bands like the Beatles and the Beach Boys demonstrated the artistic importance of the album. In 2007, Prabir and the Substitutes demonstrated their respect for the physical release of an album by intending for the duplicate copy included with their EP, Share, to be given to a friend. The group might not save the physical album from certain doom, but they’re putting up a valiant fight.

Concert Preview

Artsplosure this weekend

Artsplosure, the Raleigh arts festival, celebrates thirty years this Saturday and Sunday with a little help from 88.1. WKNC is the media sponsor of the North Carolina Stage, which will feature music by Annuals’ alter-ego Sunfold and Mel Minton & the Wicked Mojos, winner of Artsplosure’s Be That Band contest.  Mel and his band will be opening for Saturday’s festival headliner Buckwheat Zydeco. Big Bad Vodoo Daddy will close things out on Sunday. WKNC favorites Lonnie Walker will also grace the main stage for a Saturday 6 p.m. performance.

The complete schedule, along with everything else Artsplosure has to offer, is at

Music News and Interviews

Daft Punk Revealed

This 13-year-old video of Daft Punk performing without costumes in Furthur, Wisconsin has been circulating the internet. Wikipedia makes the following statement about the video:

… a rare bootlegged video featuring the duo in Wisconsin matches the verified identity of Thomas Bangalter. Less clearly seen, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo is to Bangalter’s right and is mostly cut off from the camera. Comparing the artwork packaging of Homework to the video footage, one can verify that the album’s liner note photo was taken during this event.

So, why does Daft Punk wear costumes now?

Daft Punk have said that they donned their robot masks to easily merge the characteristics of humans and machines. However, Bangalter later stated that the costumes were initially the result of shyness. ‘But then it became exciting from the audiences’ point of view. It’s the idea of being an average guy with some kind of superpower.’ When asked on whether the duo expressed themselves differently within the robotic suits, Bangalter stated ‘No, we don’t need to. It’s not about having inhibitions. It’s more like an advanced version of glam, where it’s definitely not you.’

More about Daft Punk’s approach to managing fame is in the Wikipedia article.