Festival Coverage

Brief History of Moogfest


Moogfest is an annual music, art, and technology festival held in May in honor of Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer and pioneer of electronic music. Previously, this festival has been held in Asheville, North Carolina, where Moog spent the last 30 years of his life, but this year will be held from May 19th-22nd in downtown Durham, North Carolina in 17 various locations. The festival will be headlined by such artists as Grimes, Miike Snow, and ODESZA. You can get tickets by going to

Moog developed the first commercial voltage analog controlled synthesizer with Herbert Deutsch in 1964. While there were other synthesizers on the market at the time, Moog’s invention began to rapidly gain popularity after it was showcased at the International Pop Festival of 1967. After that, the sound of his machine gained popularity through the 1970’s and was used to create the sound of crucial albums of the 20th century, like the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.”

Moogfest officially began in 2004 when one of Moog Music’s New York representatives wanted to have a music festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of electronic music. The first festival was held on May 18th, 2004 in B.B. King Blues Club in New York. It was a one night show that sold out in honor of Moog’s birthday. Unfortunately, Moog died the following year, but his friends and coworkers decided to keep the festival going in his honor.

In 2010, Moogfest was moved to Asheville, North Carolina after Moog Music partnered with AC Entertainment, a music promotions group that helps produce other big music festivals like Bonnaroo.  That was also the year it changed from a one day to a three day event, multi-venue festival. It featured artists as Massive Attack, Sleigh Bells, Caribou, and MGMT. 

Moogfest coming to the Triangle is an exciting prospect. It is big and important festival, and being in the Triangle will add to both scenes. Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill are all rapidly growing urban areas, with new night, social, and music scenes. Moogfest will find an excellent new home here.

– Marissa Jerden, WKNC Co-Public Affairs Director

Local Music Music News and Interviews

LBLB Interview: Hi-Wire Brewing

DJ Sparrovv chats with Tom from Hi-Wire Brewing. Based in Asheville, N.C., Hi-Wire sponsored the April 28 and May 5 Local Band Local Beer shows. Click to listen to their conversation.

Band/Artist Profile

DBB12 Artist Profile: Elvis Depressedly


Elvis Depressedly

While most artists move on from their solo projects to produce more publicly accepted music, Mat Cothran saw his lo-fi indie pop band Elvis Depressedly as a space to experiment without worry of his audience. Maybe that’s where the undeniable rawness of each release comes from. The songs’ inconsequential lyrics are paired with drum machines and ethereal keyboards that make you forget you’re singing about death.

Originally from South Carolina, Cothran moved to Asheville last summer where he hoped to feel more accepted in what he called the “growing artistic community.” Cothran and his bandmates did multiple tours last year with acts including Alex G of Sandy and Told Slant. The band is releasing their first full length titled “New Alhambra” in early March under Run for Cover Records.

With heart melting lyrics like, “I want to find you, a way out of your head. Snow is falling inside you, let it love you to death,” you’ll definitely want to take your lover to see Elvis Depressedly this Valentine’s Day.

– Kaanchee Gandhi, WKNC Deputy Promotions Director and Graphic Designer

Festival Coverage

Transfigurations II Festival – Celebrating 10 Years of Harvest Records

Harvest Records, beloved Asheville-based independent record store and label, will celebrate it’s 10 year anniversary with the return of multi-day music festival, Transfigurations II, a sequel to 2009’s Transfigurations I. Through these festivals, owners Mark Capon and Matt Schnable hope to reflect Harvest and the community’s tastes, as well as encourage people to discover new music. 

“In all honesty, if we look back on our earliest hopes, dreams and visions of what Harvest Records could become, it would mirror what actually ended up happening,” said Harvest Records’ Mark Capon and Matt Schnable in a press release statement. “Since our college days together, the idea was consistent: Open a record shop, yes, of course…but don’t let it stop there. Create a space dedicated to the discovery of music, the exchange of ideas, a place for broader discussions about community. Book shows for artists that normally wouldn’t come to town; host art on our walls from local artists who haven’t shown much before; start a record label and release recordings of sounds that may have not otherwise been produced physically. And it all happened.”

Transfigurations II will take place August 28-30 in Harvest’s home of West Asheville. The festival will feature more than 25 bands at three different venues throughout Asheville and Marshall, NC. Lineup highlights include Ashley Olsen, The Clean, Hiss Golden Messenger, and Mount Eerie. 

Tune into WKNC this week for your chance to win Saturday day passes to Transfigurations II. 

Visit Harvest Records for more information and tickets.

Band/Artist Profile

Moogfest Artist Spotlight: RiFF RAFF

Moogfest Artist Spotlight: RiFF RAFF

What is it about Horst Christian Simco that makes the public so drawn to him? 

Is it his love of branding? His innovative non-capitalization of the letter i? Perhaps its his rich history with the Greensboro police department? Or maybe it’s just because he committed a soft form of animal abuse by dying his husky blue while simply declaring “RAP GAME BLUES CLUES.”

Whatever it is about Simco (aka RiFF RaFF, aka MTV RiFF RaFF, aka JODi HiGHROLLER) that launched him to public figure status, he is an undeniably an entertainer (of sorts). 

The now pop-culture icon had humble beginnings as a reality TV star. Simco had made attempts to appear on P. Diddy’s “Making the Band,” to no avail but eventually earned a short-lived spot on MTV’s “From G’s to Gents,” which in turn convinced the young rapper to reserve an everlasting spot on his neck to MTV. (See “love of branding” image in the first paragraph)

JODi’s musical style ranges from characteristically over produced early 2000’s rap to sloppy school yard free style. With odd meter and minimalist refrains sometimes it’s hard to tell whether or not the man is playing some kind of big trick on America–Especially with so many tongue and check artists out there now a days (ie LIL B). 

Ultimately it matters not the source of Raff’s uniqueness—it’s got to be somewhat genuine to dedicate that much ink. HiGHROLLER’s performance in Asheville is something I am personally greatly looking forward too and will without a doubt be a great ole Versace time. 

Music News and Interviews

Moogfest Giveaway!

WKNC is excited to announce that we have partnered with Moogfest to give away a pair of tickets to this incredible festival. Moogfest has been an elite gathering of electronic musicians since 2004 and, in 2014, Moogfest is expanding its vision by becoming a 5-Day event dedicated to the synthesis of technology, art, and music. This year’s festival includes both an experimental line up of daytime conference programming and landmark nightly performances including artists such as Kraftwerk, Flying Lotus, M.I.A., Giorgio Moroder, and many more! Moogfest takes place April 23-27th in downtown Asheville, NC.

Stay tuned to WKNC all week long for your chance to enter into a drawing for this pair of passes. We will be announcing the winner one week from today, March 26th!

Music News and Interviews

Jackson Scott in the WKNC lounge

Jackson Scott “Sandy” – WKNC’s The Lounge

When Fat Possum artist Jackson Scott came by knc’s studio for an on air interview after his Chapel Hill debut performance at the Cradle with Unknown Mortal Orchestra on Oct 6th, 2013 we felt it more than necessary to stick a couple camera’s in his face and tell him to play. 

The psych-rock virtuoso out of Asheville ended up playing a stripped down 3 song set as a part of KNC’s new video series The Lounge

“Sandy” is just the first installment of the show, be on the look out for more to be premiered soon!

You can also check out our first episode with Daniel Bachman.

Local Music Music News and Interviews

Moogfest 2011 – Get entered to win!

North Carolina is on point with fall music festivals – in September, Raleigh hosted Hopscotch Music Festival. This weekend, Pittsboro will have Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival. At the end of the month, Moogfest will reign in Asheville.

Moogfest, named for Bob Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer who was a research professor at UNC-Asheville, is back for its annual music festival during the weekend of October 28 – 30.  Different venues across Asheville’s downtown will host The Flaming Lips, STS9, Passion Pit, TV on the Radio and many more.  In addition to a packed lineup, there will also be artists in panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and workshops.  One thing I’m particularly excited about is the opportunity, in honor of Moog himself, to try out a variety of Moog instruments. There will also be visual art exhibitions, installations, and film screenings.

WKNC has two pairs of weekend passes to give away for this event – but it will take a little luck! Each day until October 21, one WKNC DJ will do a giveaway to get a listener put into a drawing the tickets. During Local Lunch on October 21, DJ Kligz will do the drawing live on-air and announce the recipients of the weekend passes.


Go ahead and put our studio lines on speed dial so when the WKNC DJ asks for it, you’ll be ready to win!

(919) 860-0881 or (919) 515-2400

Concert Review

Local Natives bring in fans from all over

This past weekend, October 16, marked the longest drive to see a single concert for a large amount of people, including myself. Some fans journeyed over 5 ½ hours, if not more, all to see a few bands—Local Natives, The Ruby Suns, and The Union Line—at The Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC. Once the show began, I understood why.

The Union Line, a five-piece from California, started off the night. Creative drum beats were a staple in each song laced with pretty guitar and Natives-esque vocals. While most shows’ opener band encourages a crowd to linger at best, The Union Line had the crowd engaged and dancing within the first song.

The Ruby Suns followed with a poppier set; think Toro Y Moi if they ate too much sugar. Regardless of the slight genre change, it kept everyone energetic.

Following was the headliner for the night, Local Natives. With only one LP out, Gorilla Manor, I was surprised to see a sold-out show. The fanbase was incredible, especially for such a new band. It was shoulder-to-shoulder and impossible to move as far front as I would have liked. The set started off strong and hit every song on the album. Another pleasant surprise was Local Natives actually sounds better live, in my opinion. Everything—vocals, drums, guitar, etc.—was on point, in addition to crowd interaction. Another very unique aspect of this band is each member alternated instruments every song or so.

One of my (many) favorite parts of this show particularly was how eager the bands were to meet the fans. Every member from the three bands took time to hold a conversation with fans, sign autographs, joke around, and take pictures with the best college radio station in NC.