Band/Artist Profile

Real RnB Radio’s Rising Artist Spotlight: Jason Jetplane

North Carolina’s own Jason Jetplane is a breath of fresh air to the world of music. His music is soulful, it’s R&B, it’s universal, it’s relatable,  it’s honest, it’s young, it’s fun! It’s what we need to hear more of.

Jetplane’s refreshing approach, musical sincerity and exciting production give him an edge up on the competition.

Vocally he could be compared, Musiq Soulchild and John Legend, but be clear,  Jetplane’s  style and voice is all his own. Musically, along with Janelle Monae, Jetplane’s sound is genre-bending, with its mass appeal and could be played on a number of formats.

Not only is Jetplane a singer, he writes, produces, arranges and engineers his own music, similar to R&B genius Ryan Leslie. With talented young upcoming acts such as Jetplane, the future of R&B shows great promise.

Find out more about Jason Jetplane on MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and ReverbNation.

Check out the exclusive Q&A Real RnB Radio conducted with the multi-talented singer below:

Q: How would you describe your sound?

A: I like to call the genre Electro Soul!  A fusion of Electronica and Neo-Soul/Lounge with some Techno vibes!

Q: Who are your primary musical influences?

A: My father Terence Jones, Musiq, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Beyonce, Neyo, Michael Jackson and the list goes on!

Q: What do you hope to accomplish through your music?

A: I want to give listeners an alternative to traditional r&b/soul music.  I want to make music u can feel and relate too… Fun Music!

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career thus far?

A: Performing for the children and being asked for an autograph by them. Kids are the future, so knowing I’m making music that’s touching children is a blessing to me!!

Q: If you weren’t singing, what would be be doing?

A: Wow…I would probably be either a cook, because I like to EAT and I cut hair too, so I would consider being a barber!

Q: Guilty Pleasures?

A:  lol…I have an obsession with McIntosh Apples and Sweet Potato Pie…

Q: Fave TV show/cartoon?

A: My favorite Show is Heroes!!!  And I love the cartoon Hey Arnold!

Q: Celebrity crush?

A: Janelle  Monae

Q: Biggest Pet Peeve?

A: I can’t stand seeing people stressed!! It eats me up!

Q: Anything you’d like to add about yourself in 2 or less sentences?

A: Most People don’t know I was born in Rekyvik Iceland and started making beats when I was 10 years old. I got my college education from Full Sail University too!

*Congratulations to Jason Jetplane on his recent win for “Best Male R&B Artist” at the 2010 Carolina Music Awards.

Band/Artist Profile

Local Beat Mini Exclusive: Drughorse One EP

You may or may not have heard of the local music collective that calls itself Drughorse. If you haven’t, this may be due to the fact it is not one group, but rather a collaborative of several different local bands. Mount Moriah, The Love Language, Twelve Thousand Armies, Josh Moore, The Tomahawks, plus others all claim to be a part of this mysterious and secret gang of musicians. However, it seems the veil is slowly being lifted as a Drughorse EP is hits the streets tonight at the Local 506 in the form of an EP called Drughorse One.  Only three bands are presented on the EP, The Light Pines, Max Indian, and Ryan Gustafson.  It makes for an excellent Local Beat Mini Exclusive.

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Carter Gaj of Max Indian and Tom Simpson of the Light Pines came in to chat with me about this new six-song EP as well as the Drughorse “Cartel.” The guys played four covers of songs by 4 different Drughorse associated bands, which are free to download at the Local Beat ReverbNation page and you can listen to them to the right in the music player. Album artwork, the recording of the EP, and details to certain songs were all topics of conversation. I also spent a great deal trying to pry and gather details about this mysterious musical franchise from the fellas but didn’t find out very much – just that it seems to be a bunch of amazing musicians who hang out and share bands with each other. It is a seemingly exclusive club and begs interest and intrigue to all outsiders. The new EP is absolutely fabulous and will leave you begging for the new Drughorse related albums set to be released this coming year.

Take a listen to the interview:
Local Beat Mini Exclusive: Drughorse One

Be sure to head out to the Local 506 tonight. Doors are opening around 9 p.m. and it only costs $7!

Band/Artist Profile

Double Barrel Benefit 7 presents: Midtown Dickens

Many words can cavalcade through a listener’s head when listening to the Durham based folk band, Midtown Dickens. One in particular has always caught my fancy. Organic. The beautiful duet vocals of Kym Register and Catherine Edgerton could only be fashioned with the various objects they discover to create music. ‘Objects’ seems to be the best term as they are not tied to conventional means of crafting sound. More recently, a chair and saw were used in demonstration at Pittsboro Elementary school to show Midtown’s versatility.  In fact, it is almost memorizing to see each player’s list of instruments. Unlike most bands whose members solely focus on their individual apparatuses, this front-porch group creates a sense of camaraderie with their sharing of instruments.

It’s only fitting that my recent discovery and love affair with this local band came after I saw its performance at Shakori Hills Grassroots music festival this past spring. In a place of warmth, good vibes, and acceptance, Midtown’s spontaneity was only fostered into greater appreciation. Their sophomore album Lanterns, which released this past fall, is riddled with meaningful jolts of experimental sound that charms and awakens the listener.  It is an engaging, yet actively involved listening experience not meant for the stomach of an audience bent on sole ambient noise.

Midtown had found strong support within the community for the development of Lanterns. With the dismal economy, high production costs for a large scale album, and the band’s personal financial limitations, Lanterns’ birth seemed dim. However, upon calling for help, Midtown received many generous donations from friends and fans. The band even received a $5,000 check from a complete stranger after he had seen the band perform at a festival.

Midtown Dickens is gracing the stage of Double Barrel Benefit 7 at The Pour House on its second night, February 6, performing after The Tender Fruit. The night’s remaining acts will be Chapel Hill’s Spider Bags and headliner Roman Candle.

For the complete Double Barrel schedule and ticket information, click here.

Band/Artist Profile

Double Barrel Benefit 7 presents: Veelee

When you listen to Carrboro duo Veelee, you hear music inspired by a wide range of sources. For band mates Matt Park and Ginger Wagg, elements of music from bands such as Young People, Low, Lungfish, Stereolab and Pram went into creating Veelee’s unique sound. Also, according to Matt, Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 hit “Dream” has also served as a major influence on the way he and Ginger create music – everything happening in the song goes hand in hand its unchanging baseline.

Ginger, a first-time drummer, describes her percussion style as “simple and straightforward.” Veelee is the first band in which she has been a member. However, it seems doubtful the band’s success comes from beginner’s luck. Hard copies of its EP “Three Sides,” which came out  in May 2009, are sold out. The release received local acclaim from sources such as the Independent Weekly.

Until recently, Veelee had performed primarily in Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham.

“We’ve gotten to play with all sorts of fantastic local bands. [Artists in the Triangle] are really supportive of one another,” Park and Wagg said. “They are very welcoming and inclusive.”

However, the band just embarked on its first tour, along with Raleigh’s Gross Ghost, which it said was a great success.

Now that they’re back in town, Veelee will play at The Pour House Friday, February 5, during night one of Double Barrel Benefit 7. Friday’s set also includes The Light Pines, Bellafea and Max Indian.

For the complete Double Barrel schedule and ticket information, click here.

Band/Artist Profile

Double Barrel Benefit 7 Presents: The Tender Fruit

You’ve certainly heard it before: you love local music, WKNC loves local music, local music loves us all. It’s a wonderfully symbiotic relationship, and even if the drive across the Triangle can be a pain, there’s almost always a worthwhile show in one’s given city. Seriously, it can’t be overstated that music around Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill is formidable in both quality and quantity. And there are other pockets, as well: Greenville, Asheville, and we’ll say Wilmington, too. And Rocky Mount.

Wait, Remarkable Rocky Mount? Yeah, not so much.

But Rocky Mount just so happens to be the hometown of one Christy Smith, the songwriter and leading lady in the band Nola (oh Nola, we hardly knew ye!) and the no-album-yet band the Tender Fruit. In fact, the Tender Fruit song’s “Middle State” was actually written about Rocky Mount.

It’s hard to say whether it’s Rocky Mount, Raleigh, or some combination thereof that is summoned when Christy Smith writes music, but the result is something that will melt your heart. Her booming vocals on top of calm chord progressions induce gratifyingly depressing emotion.

The Nola album is all about heartbreak and a lost opportunity at love, and I’ve heard she’s working on a new album with a special guest. While I don’t wish the difficulty of heartbreak on Christy, I sure do enjoy the shared catharsis that results. If you, like me, simply can’t wait for that album, then come check out the Tender Fruit Saturday night at the Double Barrel Benefit. They’re on first, at 9:00.

Full disclosure: I’m from Rocky Mount, too.  There’s nothing there.

Band/Artist Profile

Double Barrel Benefit 7 presents: Spider Bags

I first heard about Spider Bags at Bull City Headquarters in Durham. I had gone to see a friend play with a band called Titus Andronicus. A few songs in, the leader singer says, “This is a song by the greatest band in the world – Spider Bags,” and preceded to sing Waking Up Drunk.

Now, if you were at this show you would probably remind me that Spider Bags themselves had played that night, but I got lost on the way to the venue and missed the set. Nevertheless, I made sure to look up this so called “greatest band in the world” – and you know what? Titus Andronicus wasn’t far off.

Spider Bags is made up of long time friends Dan McGee and Gregg Levy, two Jersey boys who magically ended up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Rock Forbes from the band Bad Checks is the drummer. The band themselves formed in 2006 and have been growing ever since.

Their tunes themselves sound like southern, gritty rock and roll with lyrics that consist of drugs, booze and just livin’ the hard life. Now there have been thousands of bands that have all sung the same tunes but some how Spider Bags figured it out. The mix sloppy with unique and transfix the listener with the sounds they are creating.

Spider Bags not only writes incredible music, they also put on an incredible live show. Comparable to other local favorite Red Collar,the band never lacks on emotion and energy. They can induce their audience to scream, shout or even cry.

This year the band released “Goodbye Cruel, Hello Crueler One” on Birdman records.

Spider Bags will be performing Saturday, February 6 at The Pour House after The Tender Fruit and Midtown Dickens. Roman Candle will end night two of Double Barrel Benefit 7.

For the complete Double Barrel schedule and ticket information, click here.

Band/Artist Profile

Double Barrel Benefit 7 presents: Bellafea

One of the first local bands I was ever introduced to and also one of the most influential in our area, Bellafea has been gradually building quite a following since their first split 7" with Des Ark back in 2005.

Though often overlooked by local indie pop groups with a more comfortable sound, once you see this threesome live you will forever be forced to compare every live show to the raw energy, hardcore attitude, and head-bobbing punch you in the mouth feel that they electrify your ears with.  No North Carolina band rocks harder, plays louder, and gets in your face as Bellafea does.

It is strange that such force comes from such a petite lady.  You might have seen Heather McEntire playing solo from time to time sitting in a chair strumming her acoustic without a microphone or amplifier, her voice barely breaking a whisper as she is surrounded by an attentive audience, entranced by her angelic voice.  Perhaps you have heard her from her side projects Un Deux Trois or Mount Moriah as the sweet sounding front lady of the two soft folky pop groups that has everyone’s ears buzzing.

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But with Bellafea the shy placid persona falls off her and is replaced by an alter-ego of sorts, a powerful and inflamed diva whose personal demons come out in the form of a woman possessed, obliterating her guitar while bursting into her lyrics with a post hardcore attitude.  Along side Heather is Eddie Sanchez (also in Fin Fang Foom and Death Came Down the Mountain) whose blistering and electrifying bass playing ignites the crowd.   Always jumping, banging, and seemingly tearing his bass apart, he is the fire that ignites the group and transcends them into the local punk gods that they are.  Add on to that Nathan Buchanan’s crushing drums and pounding beats and you have a remarkable live act that sends your mind into a whirlwind of loud music madness that is sure to get your head rocking and your feet moving.  They are not a band you want to miss live.

Bellafea will take the stage for night one of Double Barrel Benefit 7 on Friday, February 5 at The Pour House along with The Light Pines, Veelee,, and Max Indian.

For the complete Double Barrel schedule and ticket information, click here.

Band/Artist Profile

Double Barrel Benefit 7 presents: The Light Pines

Go ahead and set every clock in arm’s reach thirteen minutes fast.  This is the necessary preparation for the first night of Double Barrel Benefit 7.  Thirteen minutes will allot for an extra two minutes to get out the door, seven minutes to figure out that the best parking place is in the City of Raleigh parking deck on Wilmington Street, and four minutes to grab a sweet spot for the first band –Chapel Hill’s The Light Pines.  The six-piece will kick off Friday night at The Pour House and will serve both as  the opening band of the night and the first performance of the two day mini-mecca of local music.  It could, perhaps, be thought of as intimidating, being first in two senses, rather though, it should be deemed cherished.  Especially after last year’s opening act, Lonnie Walker, took the opportunity to ramp their buzz in the following year and create quite a stir in the local music scene.

The Light Pines is a band of familiar faces.  It is the project of the bassist for The Love Language, Josh Pope.  The members have shifted since its incarnation over two years ago, but the current line-up is an assembly of long time locals, including Love Language members Kate Thompson on keyboard and vocals and Tom Simpson on drums, as well as three members from Max Indian: Carter Gaj on guitar and vocals, James Wallace on keyboard and vocals, and Ryan Gustafson on guitar and vocals.

The 24-track EP that was recorded in rehearsal spaces, bedrooms and living rooms across Raleigh was made available eight months ago (no official release yet).  It has started to circulate and create quite a stir, including earning them a spot at MusicFest NW in Portland, Oregon in which the band received an instant label offer post-performance. However, DBB wil be the band’s first Raleigh performance, and one of the very limited Triangle performances to date so far.  This is a video from a December performance at Chapel Hill’s Local 506.

The sound that The Light Pines creates is built on a foundation of lo-fi pop but it flares into realms of mysticism and fantasy that at times can feel eerie.  The collection of songs is like a maze of mirrors that serves as the entrance to a grand party hosted by Jay Gatsby.  In order to attend the party the guest must wind their way through the complex pathways of of twisted, tilted, and manipulated mirrors all while listening to infectious, slightly fuzzy, and undeniably catchy music.  Pope explained that the inspiration for the sound of The Light Pines came from the adolescent excitement of perhaps the best holiday of the year, Halloween,

“Do you remember what it was like being 8-years-old on Halloween?  Before you came to appreciate it is as an adult?  On that day, as a kid, there is so much excitement and mystery and this overall darkness to everything.  That’s what I want it to feel like when listening to the Light Pines,” Pope said.

Keep an ear to The Light Pines.  With The Love Language wrapping up recording at Flying Tiger Sound in the next month and half, The Light Pines are planning on recording for an official release and ramping up their show dates in the months to come in 2010.  Who knows, maybe the Triangle will see the best Halloween party to date, hosted by The Light Pines.

The Light Pines will take the stage for night one of Double Barrel Benefit 7 on Friday, February 5 at The Pour House followed by Veelee, Bellafea, and Max Indian.

For the complete Double Barrel schedule and ticket information, click here.

Band/Artist Profile

Double Barrel Benefit 7 presents: Max Indian

If you were to categorize bands based on how long they’ve been around, Max Indian would be a toddler, I guess.  To continue the metaphor, they would be a toddler who paints excellent watercolors, reads Machiavelli, and tutors eighth graders on the weekends.

The band’s sole release, “You Can Go Anywhere You Can Do Anything,” dropped in December of 2008 , and everyone who has had the good fortune of hearing it has been pining for more ever since.

After releasing the record – themselves,  mind you – the band beat a path around the triangle that included a live performance on The State of Things, a headlining night  during the Troika Music Festival , a headlining night at N.C .State’s Fridays on the Lawn Concert Series, and a number of  live shows that left a trail of satisfied and eager fans in its wake.

Solicit the opinion of anyone who has seen Max Indian, heard one of their songs, or even heard someone else talk about them, and the response is always the same. These exceedingly catchy, down to earth, warm, and rusty compositions will work their way into your inner ear, buy a nice piece of land,  and set up shop.  Don’t worry, though. The freshness doesn’t wear off, the melodies are top notch, and the lyrics will stick.

Max Indian will take the stage for night one of Double Barrel Benefit 7 on Friday, February 5 at The Pour House following The Light Pines,Veelee, and Bellafea. Say WHAT? If you miss this, well, I guess you think you have a good reason, but I would seriously question your priorities my friends.

For the complete Double Barrel schedule and ticket information, click here.

Band/Artist Profile

Double Barrel Benefit 7 presents: Roman Candle

Back in 2006, Roman Candle’s release of The Wee Hours Revue impressed listeners everywhere with the excellent songwriting and catchy pop-rock present in the album. It was a personal favorite in high school and everyone who received the album from me became an immediate fan. Pitchfork gave it a 7.6 out of 10 and Paste Magazine a 4.5 out of 5. Since then, Roman Candle fans everywhere have anticipated the release of a new album to love. Enter Oh Tall Tree In The Ear, the long awaited 2009 LP.

This most recent album is everything that listeners have been craving, a “modern rock masterpiece” as told by Paste Magazine. “Oh Tall Tree In The Ear” is a breath of fresh air; it’s catchy, foot tappin’ music that’s good to its core. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the reviews the album has gotten. Pop Matters has given Roman Candle’s newest effort a 9 out of 10 and Daytrotter describes the music as “tearing us out of the present, despite such modern feels and scents,” and I tend to agree. Listening to “Oh Tall Tree In The Ear” is an experience, a period of time where the listener can get away from their hectic life and escape, escape to the world of Skip Matheny’s vocals and Roman Candle’s melodies.

We at WKNC are very excited about having Roman Candle back in the Triangle to play in the Double Barrel Benefit 7. You may recognize Roman Candle if you went to the N.C. State Pack Howl homecoming concert in September 2009.  The band will take the stage at The Pour House on Saturday, February 6 as the headliner of night two of the benefit. Bands The Tender Fruit, Midtown Dickens and Spider Bags will kick off the night.

For the complete Double Barrel schedule and ticket information, click here.