DJ Highlights

The Local Beat Preview 1/20/12

This week on The Local Beat we only have one guest to welcome. At 6 p.m. Jeff Crawford of Arbor Ridge Studios is coming on to chat about a new project. In addition to being active in over five dozen bands (only a slight exaggeration) and heading popular local recording studio Arbor Ridge Studios, Jeff is also the music director at The Gathering Church in Durham. The Gathering Church has been meeting since 2009 at Creekside Elementary School and has become well known for its worship services with Jeff’s musical talents taking stage. In 2010 the church released Christmas Nights: Music From The Gathering Church to great fanfare. Now, just a little over a year later, a new album is being released: Hymns From The Gathering Church. The album features a plethora of well-known local artists performing their takes on traditional Christian hymns.  Phil Cook (Megafaun), Heather McEntire (Mount Moriah), Seth Kauffman (Floating Action), Mandolin Orange, Skylar Gudasz, Ryan GustafsonBrett Harris, Nick Jaeger (The Tomahawks), Mark Simonsen (The Old Ceremony), and James Wallace all contributed to the record.

Join Jeff and I on The Local Beat as we take a listen and chat about this new album.

As always, the fun starts at 5 p.m. and will last until 8 p.m.! Be sure to follow the Local Beat on Twitter or Facebook and download tons of free local music on our ReverbNation page!

Festival Coverage

A Safe Haven with Arbor Ridge Studios, Shuffle Magazine, and WKNC

Arbor Ridge Studios of Chapel Hill has put together a day party for Hopscotch – but this isn’t any day party.  Titled “Saved Haven” and presented in conjunction with Shuffle Magazine and WKNC, the party will present local bands at Tir Na NOg on Friday, September 9 from 12-5 p.m.  Oh, and the bands will be paired together on stage.

That’s right, instead of a set of just Mandolin Orange, it’ll be a set of Mandolin Orange and Josh Moore.  Not just Luego, but Luego and Wylie Hunter and the Cazadores.

The live collaborations are (in reverse order of appearance):

Sounds amazing, right?  Can it get any better?  Yes.  While all of this magic is going on, Arbor Ridge is giving listeners a sneak peak into what’s been recorded recently at their studio.

It’s a 2-in-1 day party – collaborations + listening party – and it is a must for Hopscotch.

Local Bands (together), Local Studio, Local Magazine, Local Station, Local Pub

12-5pm, Tir Na nOg, September 9. It will be beautiful.

Concert Preview Local Music

Brett Harris and The Tender Fruit LBLB July 14

Beat the July heat by cooling down with a nice cold North Carolina brew this Thursday, July 14 at Tir Na nOg. You’ll want to double check their selection when you get there, but feel free to scope out their beer menu in advance.

For the local band part of the equation, this week features Brett Harris and The Tender Fruit. Durham-based Harris has been on the scene since 2007 and hooked up with WKNC in September 2010 to play during Habitat for Humanity’s annual Shack-a-thon on the NCSU Brickyard. He also stopped by our studios earlier that year to talk with Adam Kincaid during “The Local Beat.” Our friends down the hall at Wolf TV graciously recorded that performance, available for your review below.


WKNC fans will also recognize The Tender Fruit from their February 2010 performance at Double Barrel Benefit 7 and November 2010 Fridays on the Lawn show with The Tomahawks.

Local Band Local Beer is a weekly collaboration between WKNC and Tir Na nOg. It starts every Thursday after 10 p.m. and is free and 21+. Coming up:

  • July 21 – Birds and Arrows, Free Electric State and Gray Young
  • July 28 – Nests and Lilac Shadows
  • August 8 – Big Picture and Kid Future
Concert Preview

Hank Sinatra headlines benefit concert for familes of tornado victims

For years, Tir Na nOg Irish Pub has hosted events to benefit local organizations like Hopeline, The Haven animal shelter, InterAct and countless others. Just Thursday they collected donations of food and $960 in cash for the Triangle chapter of the American Red Cross to help those affected by the tornadoes that ravaged Raleigh and other parts of the state April 16. The nOg Run Club also raised $600 on April 18 for the Triangle Red Cross.

Ten musicians/bands will grace the Tir Na nOg stage Tuesday to help raise money for burial costs and other necessities for the families of four children who were killed after a tornado hit the Stony Brook North Mobile Home Park – just five miles from the Pub. There is no cover charge for the event, but donations are strongly encouraged. According to a statement on the Tir Na nOg Web site, the restaurant will also be honoring storm victims and volunteers with free hamburgers (donations encouraged for all others).

The event begins at 5 p.m., with music to start at 5:30 and follow this schedule:

5:30 p.m. – Stella Lively
6:00 p.m. – Brett Harris
6:30 p.m. – Richard Bacchus
7:10 p.m. – This House on Fire
7:50 p.m. – Jack The Radio
8:30 p.m. – Maldora
9:10 p.m. – Anitbubbles
9:50 p.m. – The Olympic-Ass Kickin Team
10:30 p.m. – A Rooster for the Masses
11:10 p.m. – Hank Sinatra

If you are unable to attend this event, there are a number of other way to help tornado victims. From now until May 20, IndieNC is sponsoring an online fundraiser to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County. The Pour House has scheduled a two-night “We Are Raleigh” benefit for the Triangle Red Cross May 25 and 26, with details and performers to be announced. If you know of any additional benefit efforts, please post them in the comments below. You can also visit the City of Raleigh Web site for information on where to give and get help.

Full disclosure: WKNC and Tir Na nOg have been partners since March 2007 to present the weekly Local Beer Local Band free concert series.

Concert Preview

The Pinhook’s Second Great Band Swap

This Thursday through Saturday, December 3-5, The Pinhook in Durham will be hosting The Great Band Swap—based on a 2007 concert.

The format: three nights, four local bands a night, and every artist must cover at least one song by one of the other three artists that night.

The Pinhook website ( provides the following line-ups and descriptions

Thursday, December 2 features the anthemic punk rock of Pink Flag, the soulful, old-school pop of Brett Harris, the classic-rock hooks of The Pneurotics, and the shambolic majesty of Dry Heathens. The WXDU deejay team.

Friday, December 3, local legend Billy Sugarfix leads the way with his whipsmart catalog of charming, confessional pop. Juan Huevos brings ebullient homemade hip-hop, and Durham duo Joy In Red squares off with Raleigh art-garage outfit Antibubbles. Deejay sets will be provided by WXYC.

Saturday, December 4 is the wildest bill, hitting most of the genre extremes in indie rock. Cassis Orange provides distilled electro-pop with a subtle Japanese edge. Mosadi Music is hard-edged, political hip-hop with searingly tight live instrumentation. HOG takes heavy-metal and stretches into psychedelic dirges and molten, fleet fingered hooks. And Embarrassing Fruitschannels the finest guitar rock of the past 20 years, mixed with lyrics about girls, partying, and small-town ennui. The WKNC crew will spin records.

As listed, after the performances local college radio stations WXDU (Duke University), WXYC (The University of North Carolina), and, of course, WKNC (North Carolina State University) will provide the music by deejaying.  I will be representing the station with my co-host and valiant General Manager of WKNC 88.1. It should prove to be a most interesting and entertaining local happening each night and overall, and may earn a status as an annual event.

Music News and Interviews


This week we’ve got some golden giveaways on WKNC!

Be the right caller when the DJ asks for it and you could win tickets to:

10/27: MiMOSA at Lincoln Theatre

10/29: Jason Isbell at Casbah

10/30: Blonde Redhead at Cat’s Cradle

10/30: Howlies at Slim’s

10/30: Mantras at the Pour House

10/31: Caribou at Cat’s Cradle

10/31: Marxtravaganza (featuring Bright Young Things, Tomahawks, Brett Harris, and more!) at Slim’s


11/3: MGMT at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium

Remember, you have to listen to win!

Concert Preview Local Music

LIVE at Tir Na nOg! LBLB October 14!!!

Come down to WKNC and Tir Na Nog’s Local Band Local Beer on Thursday, October 14 to see AMINAL, BRETT HARRIS, and THE HONORED GUESTS! The show is FREE. Ages 21 and up. 10 p.m.

Don’t forget to visit the fancy shmancy new Local Beer Local Band website! Loaded with show schedules and a download-able mixtape!


“If pop music is a wild animal, then this Chapel Hill trio’s domesticated it, teaching it to sit up, roll over and lay in their lap. Their songs amble with unhurried grace and purr with ineffable charm. Frontman Patrick O’Neill has a gift for vocal melodies that insinuate themselves into your confidences so completely that, after a couple of listens, you’re ready to buy them a round of drinks. The songs boast a woozy ebb and flow fueled by a vibrant rhythm section that’s capable of unspooling the sound with the measured skill of a master angler loosening and locking his reel.”

– Hopscotch Music Festival

You might have missed these guys at Hopscotch because they were playing at the same time as Best Coast. No worries, catch them this Thursday!

Brett Harris

“…equal amounts of jangle and drift, pop and pontification, like a Nick Lowe and Randy Newman acolyte dreaming in FM ballad Technisound.”

-Grayson Currin, Independent Weekly

“…Durham’s version of Paul McCartney.”
-Zach Hanner, Shawna Kenney & John Staton, Wilmington Star News

Brett Harris recently played on NC State campus for Shack-a-thon. A week-long camp-out to support Habitat for Humanity.

The Honored Guests

“Perfection is better in concept than practice, as most anyone who’s lived with a perfectionist will tell you. It nearly brought down the Chapel Hill band The Honored Guests until they learned to scale their ambitions and expectations to a place where the means of playing music were as important as the ends of making the perfect record.

That struggle is encapsulated not only in the title of the Guests’ third album, Please Try Again, but also in the songs themselves. Sure, the album suggests The Flaming Lips’ Soft Bulletin with its richly layered songs, oddly shaped and resolutely catchy arrangements and dreamy countenance. But rather than being infused with hope, Please Try Again comes shadowed by a sense of frustration and dissipation, tracing a psyche at war with itself.” – The Independent

All of the above bands will be in the station this Thursday from 7-8 p.m. for an interview. Tune in!

Non-Music News

WKNC @ Shack-A-Thon

For those of you unfamiliar with the Habitat for Humanity annual tradition, Shack-a-Thon, it is a week-long fundraising event for Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. Campus organizations build a shack and live in it all week, 24/7, panhandling for donations to Habitat.

WKNC is present this year at Shack-a-Thon, providing publicity, T-shirt making, cornhole, and a concert by Durham local Brett Harris. He will be performing September 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the WKNC Shack/Stage.

Come and check out the awesome shack in The Brickyard near Bostian Hall!

Pictures will be up soon. Stay tuned to hear about all the shenanigans occurring this week. As always, listen to WKNC for updates, live streaming from Shack-a-Thon, and the best in independent music!

Concert Preview Local Music

LBLB Preview: Mount Moriah and Brett Harris

In advance of their show tonight (Thursday), Heather McEntire of Mount Moriah and Brett Harris will be stopping by at 7pm.  I’ll be asking them the tough questions about new music and such, so be sure to tune in at 88.1FM or

Concert Preview Local Music

Local Beer Local Band for May 20

Looking for great local music? You never have to look further than Thursday nights at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub for Local Beer Local Band. This Thursday, May 20, WKNC and Tir Na Nog host Durham’s Brett Harris, Mount Moriah from Chapel Hill and Raleighites Jack the Radio. As always, the fun starts at 10 p.m. and it’s free.

The show poster isn’t one of ours, but it’s damn good.