New Album Review

88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week 1/27

Colourmusic’s eccentric new album is a hit
Chris Cioffi

Innovation and creativity are two of the elements to look for when listening to a new band, and the new Colourmusic album has both in spades. The ear candy that one can expect while listening to Colourmusic’s first full length album is almost overwhelming at times.

Whimsical, charming music is a guilty pleasure of mine, and f, monday, orange, february, venus, lunatic, 1 or 13 is as whimsical and charming as they come. Their poppy sounds and beautiful song-craft make listening to this album an exciting experience. Conceptually, the band has tried to fashion songs that evoke feelings specific to an individual color.

On previous EPs, for instance, they have tried to evoke the color red, but this time around, orange is the focal point. This eccentric fact wasn’t immediately obvious and came from researching the album, but on subsequent listens the orange vibe in their songs does in fact seem to come through.

One could believe that picking a single color would be limiting a band’s sound, but Colourmusic is able to transcend those limitations and puts forth thirteen beautiful tracks that not only stand individually as extremely catchy tunes, but flow as a complete and solid album. When listening to this album, you will catch yourself involuntarily singing along to the catchy songs such as “Put in a Little Gas,” and my personal favorite, “Winter Song.”

Eccentricity is their trademark, and Colourmusic has built an engaging mythology around their blend of performance art and publicity stunts. On many occasions, the band has been known to stage the death and subsequent resuscitation of band member Nick Turner onstage.

They have also been known to hypnotize particularly appealing members of the audience in failed attempts to con them into sleeping with them.

Sometimes all four band members dress alike, grow similar beards, and even date the same girl merging themselves into one stage personality, whom they call Roy G. Biv. According to Wikipedia, another publicly-known interest of the band is going to local malls while on tour and pulling the old “dollar on the end of a string” trick.

Generally, one member will act as string-puller while the others crouch behind a potted tropical plant with their Fisher-Price PXL-2000 video camera, attempting to acquire footage for the video of one of their latest songs titled, “Don’t Hollah fo That Dollah You Di-int Get”.

Colourmusic has put out one of the better albums released recently. The experience is definitely worth a trip down to the local record store to check out this eccentric entry. Who knows, you might find your new favorite band!

88.1 WKNC DJ Pick of the Week is published in every Tuesday print edition of the Technician, as well as online at and

Local Music Music News and Interviews

“Hammer No More the Fingers” Live In the KNC Studio From 6-7 pmWednesday, January 28!


One of my favorite local bands, Hammer No More the Fingers, will be coming to WKNC on Wednesday, January 28 for an interview and live in-studio performance. 

The Durham/Chapel Hill trio released a self-titled CD in 2007 and recently completed recording of a second album. HNMTF has recorded with the Sessions@KNC team and is known for its killer live performances around the Triangle.  This spring they are traveling as far away as Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, and New York City.  They are playing at the Tir Na Nog Irish Pub and Restaurant in Raleigh on Thursday, January 29 for Local Beer, Local Band night alongside Pattern is Movement.

Tune in from 6-7 pm on Wednesday, January 28 to hear more about their new release, and for a chance to hear some of their killer new tracks performed live in the studio!

Music News and Interviews

DBB Feature #2: Polvo

Up until a month ago, I often heard  “Polvo” and “Double Barrel Benefit” in the same sentence, but only in the context of: “Hey, you know what would be a cream dream?  Polvo headlining the Double Barrel Benefit."  The conversation would then spiral into fantasies of Zach Galifianakis hosting a lineup of Ben Folds, Whiskeytown, Superchunk, or Archers of Loaf.  Saying it was a long shot was an understatement.  Polvo disbanded in 1997, and despite my past inquiries and pestering of Polvo’s bassist and Kings Barcade owner, Steve Popson, it seemed forever to remain "not the right time.”

But with Polvo reforming with a new drummer Brian Quast (Cherry Valence) to play last summer’s ATP festival,  and a handful of shows afterward, the time became right and Polvo will be  headlining Saturday the 7th for WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit #6.

Polvo formed in 1990 in Chapel Hill and after releasing the double 7" “Can I Ride” on Kitchen Puff, signed with Merge Records to release their debut album “Cor-Crane Secret”.  They followed tours wtih Babes in Toyland and Superchunk with the release of “Today’s Active Lifestyles” in 1992 and the EP’s “Celebrate the New Dark Age” and “This Eclipse” in 1994 and ‘95.  After switching to Chicago label Touch and Go in 1996, Polvo released the double length album “Exploded Drawing” and put out their final record “Shapes” in 1997.

In the 12 years since their final release, Polvo’s members have kept making music and staying involved in the Triangle music scene.  Guitarist and vocalist Ash Bowie played with Helium and released an album in 200o under the name Libraness.  Dave Brylawski (guitar, vocals) played in Idyll Swords and joined bassist Steve Popson in Black Taj.  And of course Popson was one of the owners of beloved Raleigh music institution Kings Barcade (RIP).

Now, it is entirely possible that some of you may not be as utterly geeked as I am about this development.  Some of you may not have already bought your tickets for the second night (as if the promise of I Was Totally Destroying It, Violet Vector & The Lovely Lovelies, and Birds of Avalon wasn’t enough).  That is fair.  Polvo stopped putting out albums in the 90’s and some of the listeners of this station may have been born in that decade.  So let me do you a favor and provide the following three good reasons you must not miss out on catching Polvo, Saturday February 7th at the Pour House.

1. Polvo put their own stamp on the Math Rock genre.

Along with bands like Slint, Drive Like Jehu, and Shellac, Polvo’s use of different tunings, complicated time signatures, and dense layering of sound, created a whole new twist on rock music.  Polvo especially involved rhythms and drone-type sonics that drew heavily from Eastern music, creating music that could be appreciated by both shoe-gazers as well a punk rock fans.  But their songs were never without that great pop hook, making Polvo a great band for new fans to acquaint themselves with the Math Rock genre

2.  Polvo influenced your favorite bands.

Explosions in the Sky were such fans, when they curated last years All Tomorrow’s Parties in England, Polvo was on the top of their wish list.  You can hear Polvo’s influence in national acts such as Pilot to Gunner and Pterodactyl, as well as local acts Des Ark and Noncanon.  Even looking back at previous Double Barrel Benefit vets, you can hear Polvo’s inventive sonic layers in The Nein and complex beat counts in We Versus the Shark.

3.  This is a rare chance to see a legendary band, in an intimate venue, in their home base.

Polvo may or may not play another show.  Getting an opportunity to see a seminal band from the hey-day of the Triangle’s indie rock expolsion is a rare treat.  This is along the same level of  Slint’s 2005 reunion; an infuential band, whose members have not lost a step, coming together because they love the music they made.

Speaking as the past curator of Double Barrel Benefit’s, this year’s lineup ranks as one of the best.  Top to bottom, both nights, is a solid representation of our vibrant local music scene.  And if you have been to past DBB’s, you know that bands kick it up a gear when they play this event (Red Collar, Mountain Goats, and The Nein come to mind).  And to have a band like Polvo reform and play this event for no compensation is both humbling and exciting.  The Pour House looks to be rocking, and so will I.  See you there.

– see the Polvo Myspace for tracks, or just make a request.


Music News and Interviews

Inflowential Live on January 31st

Inflowential will be live at The Pour House Music Hall on January 31st. The concert will be from 8:00 pm until 2:00 am and will feature special guests Blount Harvey and Halo.

DJ Highlights

Local Beat recap 1/23/09

On Friday Stevo, Hand Banana, and I were joined by Bart Tomlin of Blatant Mischief Promotions to discuss the upcoming inaugural Raleigh Undercover event. Raleigh Undercover is an event that is being put on by Tir Na Nog and Blatant Mischief Promotions as a charity event for the Beehive Collective. Several local bands will be donating their time and playing short sets solely devoted to covering either their favorite bands, bands who have inspired them, or any combination thereof.  The event was inspired similar events in Champaign, IL, and at the venue-turned-parking deck Kings.

The acts that will be performing (in no particular order) are as follows:

Embarrassing Fruits

The T’s

Bright Young Things

Valient Thorr

Left Outlet

The Whalewatchers

Hearts and Daggers

I Was Totally Destroying It

The Jackpot Non-Stars (no telling what this means…)

Static Minds

Mike Roy

The Nevers

Gray Young

Ronnie Wabbs

The shows will take place this Friday, 1/30, Saturday, 1/31; and Sunday, 2/1.  Again, rumors abound about who will be playing what, but the only way to know for sure is to be there.  We’ll see you there!

Concert Review

Recap: Rosebuds, Megafaun and Love Language at Cat’s Cradle

Saturday night at Cat’s Cradle was perfect. I trudged through last week, snow and school and all, and what was really getting me through was knowing that on Saturday, I’d get to see The Rosebuds and just dance it out.

Every time I see The Rosebuds, it reaffirms my theory that Kelly and Ivan are actually the coolest people on earth.  It’s so obvious that they give it their all, and that’s why as a result their shows are always really fun. Saturday was no exception. I won’t go into great detail about their set, because if you weren’t their it will just make you feel jealous and bummed out, but rest assured, they put on an excellent show, complete with pink Christmas lights and a very confused little dog who appeared on stage during the encore.

The Rosebuds, photo by Mike Alston

The Rosebuds were great, but they’re always great. What made Saturday night so especially awesome was that it was a great show from start to finish.

Lately I’ve been really loving  The Love Language, who started off the night. They are all so energetic and cute, I saw them at the Local 506 back in December and had been looking forward to seeing them again ever since.  Even though they apologized several times for having colds, they did not disappoint. If they hadn’t mentioned it, I don’t think I would’ve suspected that they were not feeling up to their A-game. I highly recommend checking out their MySpace, because every last one of their songs is spectacular.

Oh, and Megafaun. They’re from your backyard. These guys seriously rule. Much like The Rosebuds, they were very in touch with the crowd. I like feeling like a show is interactive, so I give them points for initiating an elaborate singalong during which they divided the crowd into three sections with three different singing parts. Bonus points also for burning incense during their set, and for their very long, very manly beards.

Bradley Cook of Megafaun, photo by Mike Alston

Long story short, Saturday night at Cat’s Cradle was totally awesome. There is such a wealth of local music in the Triangle, and I think that’s something that we’re all really lucky to be a part of. This music comes from your neighbors, you know? Whenever I’m listening to these bands and thinking about how much they rule, that’s what really blows my mind about it all. This music comes from my neighbors.

Local Music Music News and Interviews

Local Metal Act, Colossus, Brings Goodies To WKNC

On 1/22/09, Colossus band members  Sean Buchanan and Bill Fisher dropped in during Local Lunch for a quick interview.

The day started off with Colossus’s Sean Buchanan and Bill Fisher stopping by the studio for a quick interview and exclusive debut of two tracks from their next album.

Colossus brought WKNC a belated Christmas gift in the form of 2 exclusive, not yet released, songs from their next album that is set to hit the streets in a few months. Colossus played at WKNC & Tir Na Nog’s Local Beer, Local Band on Thursday, January 22nd, with Double Barrel Benefit 5 alumni, Tooth.

Check out Murdoc’s Picture Blog and exclusive review of Colossus’s next album!

You can listed to the songs Kill More Better and The Mountain in the interview below.

Colossus interview

Local Music Music News and Interviews

Zombies + Cannibal Warriors = Metal Awesomeness

Local metal act Colossus is at it again with another very solid CD release. Colossus’s thrash metal music mixed with power metal lyrics combines to produce a 5 track record about killing zombies, cannibalizing one’s fallen enemies, and kicking ass. The album is full of awesome guitar solos, and hardcore headbanging. The album is yet to be named, but it is well worth putting on your list of CD’s to keep an eye out for in the coming months.

Colossus singer Sean Buchanan and guitarist Bill Fisher dropped into the WKNC studio last week for a quick interview and to debut 2 new singles from the upcoming album. Click here for a taste of metal awesomeness.

DJ Highlights

Liar, Liar

This will be a short post about a short song for a short week.

Point is, with the holiday and the snow day, it was a short week.  Appropriately, the song I got stuck in my head fit the truncated work schedule.

“Liar, Liar” by the Castaways is fantastic.  It was their hit, reaching number 12 on the charts in 1965.

I think, though, it was the video I found on YouTube that caused me to listen to this song so much.  Check it out. Dancing party chicks and everything.

That is all.  Carry on.

-La Barba Rossa

Listen to Mystery Roach every Saturday from 8-10 am for Garage, Prog, Psychedelic, Fusion and noise from the 60s and 70s.

New Album Review

88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week 1/20

‘Onmyradio’ Fails to Disappoint

When Musiq Soulchild stepped on the scene in 2000 with his classic debut album Aijustwanaseing, he carried on the tradition of Neo-Soul music started by artist including Erykah Badu and D’angelo. From “Just Friends” and “Love” to “Don’t Change” and “B.U.D.D.Y.”, Musiq has remained a consistent force in the realm of Neo-Soul for almost a decade. With his latest release “Onmyradio”, the 30 year old Philly native fails to disappoint.

For Musiq fans, the release of the first single from “Onmyradio”, “Radio” was a confusing. The crunk track does nothing to compliment Musiq as an artist or appease his fan base and failed to chart. With the state of R&B as it is, the watered down production, uninspired vocals and no originally, one would wonder why Musiq, would try and conform. Thankfully, the poor choice of a lead single is in no way indicative of the remainder of the album.

“OnMyRadio” opens with the up-tempo, hard hitting, bass driven “Backagain”, where Musiq explains how he thought he was over a break-up, until they came back.

“Until”, reminiscent lyrically of Stevie Wonder’s classic “Always”, tells of how he’ll love his significant other until the end of time. It is one of the albums stand-out tracks.

The second single, “IfULeave”, a duet with the Queen of Hip/Hop R&B Soul, Mary J. Blige is a well balanced duet of back and forth banter between a couple on the verge of a break-up. Production-wise, it is similar to”Teachme”, a gem released from Musiq’s last album, “Luvanmusiq”.

Momentum comes to a stand still with “Special” and “Deserveyoumore” On “Special” the melody and beat are competing with each other and “Deserveyoumore” sounds like a 70’s bland love song by an all male vocal quartet.

The piano driven “Dearjohn” is a letter explaining how Musiq, lacking the courage to break up in person instead opts for a pen and piece of paper. The sadness in Musiq’s voice, remorseful lyrics, vocal arrangement, harmonies and production make this the best track on the album.

Next, “Loveofmylife”, is equally endearing and gross as Musiq sings how he “can loose a car, even body parts”, but could never live without the love of his life. Feeling the recession, “Moneyright”, an up-tempo electro-pop groove has Musiq pledging to give his love all they desire once he gets his funds together. In terms of production, where as John Legend has “Green Light”, Musiq has “Moneyright”, minus Andre 3000.

On “Someone” Musiq delivers what he does best. Love ballads. The dulcet melody and beautiful words express how we all want someone to love us despite our imperfections.

The only other feature on the album, “Iwannabe” featuring Damian Marley infuses a bit of Reggae and Caribbean vibe on a song surely to make you want to move.

“Sobeautiful” is another moving love ballad where Musiq displays how his vocal prowess has matured in the past 8 years trying out his falsetto.

Albums are often judged by their first single, but there are exceptions to every rule, “Onmyradio” being one. Musiq, although with a few missteps, has stayed true to who he is as an artist while remaining relevant. Although “Onmyradio” may not be Musiq’s best, it is a solid effort and a solid effort from Musiq is still better than what’s currently playing—on the radio.

88.1 WKNC DJ Pick of the Week is published in every Tuesday print edition of the Technician, as well as online at and