Music News and Interviews

The ExMonkeys on WKNC Wednesday night

Local electronic duo The ExMonkeys will be coming in to the WKNC studio for a full live performance and interview this Wednesday, February 24, at 8 p.m. Yes, I looked at the NCSU sports broadcast schedule this time and no, we will not be broadcasting a game on Wednesday. As mentioned, they’ll be doing a full live set, followed by an interview where we’ll discuss their sound, electronic music in the Triangle, and their monthly electro/noise night (co-hosted with the awesomely insane Cheezface) at The Pour House, Technoiz. So tune in, bob your head, and move your feet if you feel the need to do so.

Non-Music News

EOT 2/22: preview

In honor of Black History month, this week’s episode is dedicated to the Civil Rights era and the Triangle’s role in the movement. From VIP to Hear This to Wolfpacker of the Week, our segments will be focusing on some aspect of civil rights.

Here is a preview of a couple of our segments, but you definitely want to tune in to today’s show to hear more!

On this weeks’ Hear This, we take a different approach to local music. We’ll look at the cultural significance of Freedom Songs. Correspondent Michael Jones will sit down with Toni Thorpe, program coordinator for the African American Cultural Center on campus, to discuss the importance of this topic, Freedom songs passed down through the generations and what can be considered modern-day Freedom songs.

For our Wolfpacker of the Week, Correspondent Jacob Downey will be talking with accomplished author and N.C. State journalism Professor Dick Reavis about his role in the Civil Rights Movement from his days as a Texas undergrad spending his summers and holidays campaigning for reform in Alabama in the 60s to his life as a pragmatist living and teaching in Raleigh, still allowing himself to hope form race reform today. Tune in Monday evening on Eye on the Triangle to hear how college activism shaped our Wolfpacker of the Week’s perspective for a life time.

That’s as much of a look into today’s episode as we’ll give you for now. Be sure to listen in at 7 p.m. either on the dial at 88.1 or at!

Non-Music News

EOT20 Service Corps 2/15/10

Whether you’re a graduate looking into service corps organizations or someone who wants to know how local music can benefit charity, you’ll want to check out what this past week’s EOT had to offer.

Joining us live in studio were Teach for America on  campus student coordinator Joe Wright, N.C. State Peace Corps Recruiter Marques Anderson, and senior in graphic design Ana Andruzzi. Wright and Anderson discussed the organizations they represent and the benefits students can take from joining these service corps. Andruzzi talked about her decision to teach in Prague after graduation through Teaching English as a Foreign Language and what she hoped to get out of it. *Make sure to also check the EOT blog this week for interviews with a graduate who went into the Peace Corps in Armenia and one who went into Teach for America.*

This week’s top headlines:
Mayor proposes new financing plan
Erskine Bowles to step down as BOG president, take on role with Obama deficit panel
Western cities fare best in well-being index
Democrat Evan Bayh of Ind. to retire from Senate
Clinton warns of Mideast nuclear arms race
Toyota may lengthen warranties to keep customers

Check out Correspondent Tyler Everett’s weekly sports analysis.

In honor of chancellor-elect Randy Woodson’s ceremony at Reynolds Coliseum Feb. 10, Evan Garris gave listeners his opinion on what the new chancellor should be prepared to do for his constituents. Woodson will take on his new role as chancellor April 5. Agree or disagree with Evan? Let us know at

This week on Community Canvas, Arts Correspondent Kieran Moreira spoke to Jason Cooper, a sophomore in communication, and Laura-Nelle Parnell, a senior in political science, about their parts in the musical Into The Woods, an Arts N.C. State performance.  Kieran tackled questions specifically dealing with the intricate storyline, which mixes popular bedtime stories into a cohesive musical plot. Both Cooper and Parnell gave Eye on the Triangle a showcase of their performances. Parnell got into character as the Witch giving a haunting monologue, while Cooper delved into a more lighthearted musical number from his character Jack who sings about the loss of his beloved cow, Milky White.

Last week, Schooner celebrated the release of its latest EP entitled Duck Kee Sessions. Aside from the new songs and new sounds, Duck Kee Sessions had something else new. It was released exclusively on CyTunes, a music downloading service where all of the proceeds are dedicated to the Tisch Brain Cancer Center in Durham. CyTunes was originally created in 2008 in memory of WXYC DJ and local music maven, Cy Rawls. Cy gained a following among many people in the local music scene whom he loved to listen to and he became the close friend they would love to see at shows, according to his colleagues. After his passing, a small group of his friends came together to create a music downloading service in order to raise money for the Tisch Brain Cancer Center, where he was treated. Correspondents Alyssa D’Avanzo and Michael Jones interviewed Chris Rossi and Janet Park from CyTunes about how they came to know Cy and how they plan on expanding the service to include more local acts, as well as the frontman of Schooner, Reid Johnson, on how he came to know Cy and on Schooner’s decision to donate its latest release on CyTunes.

Comments, questions or suggestions? E-mail us at

Listen to episode 20.

Concert Review

Annuals, Gray Young and Bright Young Things concert review

Halfway through the Annuals set on Friday night I had the thought, “if you aren’t at the Pour House tonight, you’re missing out.” The thought came as Adam Baker thanked the crowd for choosing the Pour House over wherever the Black Eyed Peas were playing at on Friday night. It’s true – -if you weren’t there, you did miss out. Annuals destroyed it, but who wasn’t expecting that? Let me tell you about what you missed that you might not would have expected.

Just before 10 p.m., bright tones began to sound from hollow body electrics and classic tele’s. Though the atmosphere was thick with loud anticipation of the upcoming night, the subtle pitches of the tuning process let the audience know that Bright Young Things was about to start an incredible night. I was still at the bar ordering a sweetwater, cold, off the tap, when the sound of a pure American style rock band began to change this bar atmosphere into a rock and roll music show. Bright Young Things kept it high energy, played a tight set, and before it seemed any time had passed, had to wrap up their set to let the next act come on.

By the time the set was over, I had slithered my way through the crowded bar to about 10 feet back from the stage, middle. I didn’t want to lose my spot (to ensure you a great blog entry, of course) so my friend stepped to the bar in the back to refresh our beverages while I held tight. A fellow concert goer that I had never met before noticed I was standing there alone. After the usual “whats up man,” he asked if I knew who was playing tonight. I smiled a little bit, just knowing how lucky my new friend was, and told him Gray Young was up next and then Annuals were taking the stage. He asked the likely question: “well, are they good?” Response: “Well, everyone like Annuals man, but if you listen to rock music (I could tell he did), get ready for Gray Young. Its just a loop pedal and hard rock, you’re going to like it.”

The conversation ended soon, but I later found my friend in the bathroom line after the show. I asked him what he thought. His only response was, and I quote, “you were right man, Gray Young (expletive deleted)ing rocked.” We were both right, Gray Young drove a rift through the room with an explosive resonance sounding from the striking of the first chord. The bombardment of sound, full of rhythm and tone-hope and a touch of longing, didn’t stop until the stage had to be set for what was to come.

I’m not sure of the time, but I know the moment that Annuals began to trickle out onto the stage. Suddenly everyone in the room began to notice that one of Raleigh’s favorite children, the very one that welcomed 2010 into our realm at the downtown new year’s party, was taking the stage. Ears were treated to Nick Radford taking shots at his drumheads, checking the tones. For the eyes, there was the beautiful Anna Spence checking her patches and keys while Kenny Florence operated his tuning pedal. The taste of cold brew for the mouth and for the nose the smell of spring only days away and a thick room already subjected to great local rock. Nothing immediate to the touch, instead hands and minds were reaching out to moments later when the music would start. The set list began and seemed to end before I knew what had happened. Annuals destroyed the room , like we all knew they would, but few would have called that the entirety of the room would know all the words – that the crowd would be so energetic that the band would exclaim again and over again that “this is (same expletive as before)ing awesome!”

The point to all of this? Friday night was a great display of local music in Raleigh. If you weren’t there, you missed out. It was an eclectic night with elements of alt. rock, post rock, indie, folk, and so much more. If you did miss out, don’t fret don’t sweat. It happens every week somewhere here in the triangle. The local music scene is exploding around this town, you should get there. Maybe I’ll catch you in the crowd next time.

Concert Preview

Local Beer Local Band 2/25

WKNC and Tir Na Nog are proud to present another exciting line-up for Thursday’s Local Beer Local Band night.  Expect to see grand performances from bands Small Ponds, The Jackets, and Starmount.

As always, Tir Na Nog will have a superb selection of local beers on tap! Show starts at 10 p.m. Be sure to come early –this show is sure to be packed full of local music enthusiasts.

Hope to see you there!

DJ Highlights

Due to NC State Baseball, No Local Beat 2/19/10

As will become a recurring theme from here on out, there will be no Local Beat this Friday evening, February 19th.  Barring weather and field conditions the NC State Baseball team will be playing La Salle here on campus at Doak Field at Dail Park.  The game is scheduled to begin at 3pm, with broadcast starting at 2:30pm right here on 88.1 WKNC.  Typically, games last around 3-4 hours.  If the game does end earlier then feel free to listen in to local music up until 8pm, but the Local Beat will not be broadcasted.

This is the first game of the regular season for our men’s team, and throughout the spring many Local Beats will either be short or bumped.  However, be on the lookout for our brand new Local Beat “Mini Exclusives” which will hopefully start popping up here on the WKNC Blog.  Our first one was posted this past Saturday about the Love Hangover at the Pour House.  Feel free to check it out!

DJ Highlights

Local Beat recap 2/12/10

Play Gigs


Last Friday on the Local Beat was one of the first full programs I have had in a while.  Several different members from a variety of bands from across the Triangle came in to chat with me.  As always, all songs performed live on the show are available for listening and download off of the Local Beat ReverbNation page and widget to the left.  We added 5 new songs this week, two by Schooner and three by Wembley.  Sorry for taking so long to post this, schoolwork got in the way once again.

Reid Johnson from Schooner came in at 5 p.m. to talk about the band’s brand new release, the Duck Kee Sessions EP.  All proceeds from the album go to benefit which in effect goes to benefit cancer research.   CyTunes is the only place where you can download the album.  In addition to the CyTunes we talked about the release show for the EP this Friday at the Pinhook in Durham.  Veelee, the Erie Choir, and the Popular Kids are also performing.  This release show is unique in that instead of selling hard copies of the album, local musicians and artists have donated artwork that comes with a downloadable copy of the Duck Kee Sessions EP.  For more listen in below and check out the artwork as well at the bottom of the post:
Schooner on the Local Beat 2/12/10

Three members of Wembley came in at 6 p.m. to chat with me about their newest release, Keywords for Robots EP, which the band put out late in 2009.   I got a little upset with them for not promoting the album and sending it to me, all in good gesture of course.  The band members provided an insightful view into their lives as hobby-only musicians and I had a lot of fun sitting down with them for the hour.  You can listen to that conversation below:
Wembley on the Local Beat 2/12/10

I had two members each of Annuals, Bright Young Things, and Gray Young to come in and talk about their show this Friday night in downtown Raleigh at the Pour House.   The fellas were a little shy and all seven of us had to share four microphones, but we did manage to play brand new songs by all of the bands, including the entire brand new EPs by both Annuals and Bright Young Things while chatting about the recording process. Listen below:
Annuals, Bright Young Things, & Gray Young on the Local Beat 2/12/10

Music News and Interviews

Giveaways, giveaways, giveaways!

Be sure to tune in for your chance to win tickets to  these great local shows happening through the rest of the month!

Wednesday, February 17
The Urban Sophisticates w/ Kaze, Inflowential, & The Beast @ Cat’s Cradle

Thursday, February 18
Carlitta Durand w/ M1 Platoon, Jocelyn Ellis, Thee Tom Hardy & Jabee @ The Pour House

Friday, February 19
Annuals w/ Gray Young & Bright Young Things @ The Pour House

***In excitement for this show WKNC will also be giving away Annuals CD’s and T-Shirts! WKNC DJ’s will be playing song clips and when announced, be the correct caller with the right song title to win some awesome swag!***

SWASO w/ Violet Vectors and The Lovely Lovelies & The Guns of el Borracho @ Cat’s Cradle

Wednesday, February 24
The Clientele w/ Vetiver @ Cat’s Cradle

Thursday, February 25
State Radio w/ Big D and The Kids Table & Cobalt and the Hired Guns @ Cat’s Cradle

Don’t forget to check out the Rock Report for a complete listing of great shows happening in your area!

Music News and Interviews

Bull City material online for free download

If you listen to the Local Beat, you might recall me complaining several weeks ago that Durham rock band Bull City seems to have dropped off the map.  While this is true, it isn’t without cause – members of the band have been finishing school, welcoming new little ones to their family, or in John Kurtz’s case, moved out of the area to New York City .

However, to add to this weekend’s already insane amount of fantastic local shows Bull City is putting on a show at the Pinhook with fellow locals The Dynamite Brothers. The show is just $5 and starts at 10 p.m. This might be the last time for another long while before you can see Bull City rock out on stage.

Additionally, the band just put free downloads of its Guns and Butter EP, a Sessions @ KNC live recording, and some new songs up on their bandcamp page.  Check it out and download away.

Music News and Interviews

WKNC chart toppers at Schoolkids Records

The next time you’re in Schoolkids Records on Hillsborough Street, be on the lookout for the current top Daytime albums played on WKNC!  Interspersed among the CD racks of Schoolkids are homemade WKNC placecards that feature thoughtfully-written reviews by staff of our top-played records.

Part of the magic of browsing the local record store is the thrill of the search: thumbing through the record collection and discovering a true gem.  We hope that by offering our picks at Schoolkids we can have a more intimate dialogue with our listeners and with other fellow music lovers and that our relationship with Schoolkids can help us to further spread our passion for the many fantastic albums we sing along and dance to.

As the weeks go by, we expect to include among our recommendations the many genres of music we play on our station including picks from our fantastic local music scene, hip hop, afterhours, chainsaw, and music from our station’s many specialty shows.  Check this blog each week for a post from our music directors about the current chart topper,  and let us know what you think!