Music News and Interviews

Sylvan Esso Interview

Sylvan Esso performs at the 2013 Hopscotch Music Festival

Local-ish indie rockers Sylvan Esso spoke with DJ C’est La Bri in advance of their Dec. 6 and 7 performances at King’s Barcade with The Love Language.

Sylvan Esso on WKNC

DJ Highlights

Employee of the Month October 2013: dJ/dx

dJ/dx is our first ever DJ of the month! While she’s not currently up on the schedule for DJing, she has earned the title by being the single most helpful, charismatic, motivated youngin we have in our studio. She just a month ago, and she’s already on everyone’s radars for being the coolest cat in town.

dJ/dx channeled her past sound experience from working at a music venue/coffee shop in high school to help upperclassmen and sound engineer, DJ John, work to create sound for our past Fridays on the Lawn with Stu McLamb of The Love LanguageLoamlandsJonny Alright, and Virgins Family Band. She’s even committed to our next Fridays on the Lawn, featuring Naked Gods and Ghostt Bllonde!

There you have it. Tune in every first Tuesday of the month to find out the next employee of the month!

Concert Preview

Superchunk to Play Free Show at The Pinhook

DJ DiGiorno and C’est La Bri

Superchunk and Merge Records are both huge institutions for music in North Carolina. We at WKNC consider them to be the foundation of budding local music, and they have helped set the bar for great acts to come from our state.

The following is taken from a blog post written by Merge Records August 19th at 10:32 A.M. regarding Superchunk’s free show at the Pinhook tomorrow night. Their latest album, I Hate Music, hits stores tomorrow, and if you’re in the area, you can pick up both the the album and a free ticket, from one of the Superchunk band members at participating record stores in the triangle.

“Superchunk will kick off their US tour dates in support of I Hate Music in Atlanta on August 22, but Triangle fans will get a release-day treat: the band will play a surprise early show at The Pinhook in Durham on Tuesday, August 20, as part of an “I Hate Happy Hour” event from 6–8 p.m. Admission is free, but you will need a ticket to get in.

To get tickets to “I Hate Happy Hour,” visit one of the local record stores listed below on Tuesday, and follow @mergerecords on Twitter for more opportunities to win. Also, a limited number of tickets will be at the door at 6 p.m. And starting at noon on Tuesday, Mac, Laura, Jon, and Jim will each be taking the helm at a local record store, selling I Hate Music and giving away “I Hate Happy Hour” tickets. See below for a full list of stores that will be giving away tickets to “I Hate Happy Hour,” including information about the stores where Superchunk will be hard at work.

Come celebrate I Hate Music with us at The Pinhook! Have a drink, listen to some upcoming Merge releases, and stay for a live performance by Superchunk! Laura will be manning the bar making a special “signature” cocktail, and we’ll welcome Jason Narducy as the live Superchunk bassist as the band prepares to kick off its tour.

Pre-order Superchunk’s I Hate Music on CD and LP in the Merge store. The album is also available for pre-order at iTunes, where Superchunk’s full catalog is on sale now at a special price.

Get tickets to “I Hate Happy Hour” beginning tomorrow at:
All Day Records^
CD Alley^
Offbeat Music^
Bull City Records^
Nice Price Books 
Schoolkids Records
^ = Superchunk band member selling records beginning at noon”



Concert Review

Show Review: GHOSTT BLLONDE, Virgins Family Band, and Free Clinic

by John Mitchell



I was working at Morning Times in Downtown Raleigh when Mark Kuzio walked up and started smoking a cigarette outside. I took a break from the website I was designing to go talk to him. It turned out that he was playing a show downtown. We planned on meeting up at the venue, and turns out the door dude is a super awesome guy, and he let me in (with large X’s and the if-you-drink-I-will-murder-you speech, of course). I entered just in time to see Wilmington garage pop trio Free Clinic sound-checking their equipment. This new band loves lots of reverb on everything. There’s a casual start to the set, with the band slowly turning their chorus-soaked lead lines and big, jangley chords on their head through a great ear for delay-tastic breakdowns. A competent, yet reserved drummer reigned everything into a nice glow. Though they mentioned they’re looking for a bass player, the atmosphere isn’t in any particular need to be pulled down. They’ve made due and developed an impressive sonic platform that will grow as their songwriting skills do.

Virgins Family Band take the stage next, and I’m impressed again. The toneless guitar and incredible keys make way for two drummers and some very fun bass lines. And while their compositions are much more complicated than those of Free Clinic, the psych-outs a little more reserved. Both bands worked extremely well together on a line-up for reasons that can’t be explained with your ear; it’s all because of the curatorial skills of that fellow I ran into at the coffee shop several hours before. Granted, it’s a little funny to say that, because I usually associate curation with quiet guys that have huge beards, not bombastic and wiry kids. But it’s this guy’s sunny presence, very similar to Iggy Cosky of the Lollipops, that makes all the bands he’s assembled for the show and all the friends he’s amassed in the crowd sync into place.

Ghostt Bllonde is a band that popped up on my radar several months ago through a taped-together cd-r sleeve in the local rack at KNC. There are blown-out tracks withered with melodramatic hooks and way-too-heavy percussion. There was real potential there though; potential to turn these ideas into hooky songs everyone wanted to sing along to. With the recent release of TrashPop//DoomWop, they’ve gotten much closer to that goal. It doesn’t lose the super-saturation or the booming drums that made the band unique to begin with, but it amplifies everything with comparatively razor-sharp articulation. Live, the energy was brought back up to the level of those first recordings, without all the necessary straining to understand what’s going on. That’s a great thing, because this isn’t heady music at all. It had the crowd, which consisted of 30-something guys with dreads, girls who’d look less out of place at the Architect, and a fair amount of plainclothes college kids bopping their heads, pulling out lighters during the slow points, and best of all, smiling. It’s going to be hard not going to Slim’s Downtown for another three months. In a few hours, the general divey-ness, tiny corner stage and half-a-foot of room I had to stand in started to feel like home.

Concert Preview

Concert on the Lawn Monday, 8/19 feat Museum Mouth and Heyrocco

WKNC presents a Concert on the Lawn, our part of our free outdoor concert series Fridays on the Lawn. We’re spicing it up for this new year of freshman by hosting in on Monday, August 19th from 5-7 PM to welcome them on their first day on-campus. This event is free and open to the public, so we hope to see you there!

This time around, we have two great indie rock acts, Museum Mouth from Southport and Heyrocco from Charleston. Museum Mouth have been featured numerous times on mtvU, which also featured WKNC last year for college radio, and are known for their lively performances and their indie rock meets pop-punk sound. From loud and bouncy to beat up and lonely, Museum Mouth carry through their sets with a sense of earnest and memorable, catchy guitar riffs. Their vocals are reminiscent of Beat Happening- if you can imagine it put to high powered pop-punk.

Watch “Sexy But Not Happy” by Museum Mouth.

Heyrocco have probably played in North Carolina more than they’ve played in their homestate, so we’ve claimed them as our own. They are the first non-local band to join us in the Concert/Fridays on the Lawn series, and we’re glad to have them! The group has a knack for writing catchy, indie pop songs and adding personality layered behind them. They’re dynamic, and they bring with them a great live performance: from listening to them, you’d think they’d been doing this for years, but they’re just a few years out of high school! Heyrocco composes smiling music- the kind you have to dance to.

Listen to "Elsewhere“ by Heyrocco.
"The Lawn” is at West Campus Amphitheater behind the Bragaw building on Dan Allen Drive. For your GPS needs, its street address is 2520 Sullivan Drive, 27650. Parking is available in Dan Allen Deck and all spots marked “C”.

Come out to Concert on the Lawn at West Campus Amphitheater for a FREE evening of local music, free food, prizes, and giveaways!

Add our Facebook event for updates!

Festival Coverage

Hopscotch Must-Sees: Marnie Stern

This is a personal artist spotlight on Marnie Stern by C’est La Bri for Hopscotch. 

I became googly eyed over Marnie Stern in the tenth grade, when my cooler-than-I-was boyfriend made me a mixed tape with “Prime” off of This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That. It became the track I played on repeat until I could get all of the words and rhythms down from its off-kilter chaos.

While past releases have excelled in dizzying their listeners, her most recent album, The Chronicles of Marnia, has less cluttered tracks aimed to put her masterful finger tapping to the task of conveying a whimsical indie-pop Stern.  This new album creates a distinction of sounds in tapping versus the past of layering and confusion.  But this isn’t taking away from the musicianship of Stern’s guitar writing- it’s highlighting her new philosophy on songwriting and composition.

And make no doubt about it, Marnie Stern is a show you can’t miss at Hopscotch this year. She brings with her an energy that makes a festival worth seeing. This year’s festival is a study on dynamic- you’ve got an artist like Stern on a lineup with Angel Olsen. High Highs are playing the same gig as Sleep.  So if you’re going to Hopscotch for some diversity, Marnie Stern is definite must-see.

Favorite Track: “Prime” on This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That

Playing: Lincoln Theatre Thursday, September 5th 11:30PM- 12:30AM

Non-Music News

Want to work at WKNC 88.1?

– Do you want to be apart of Indy Week’s Best College Radio Station in the Triangle? – Have the chance to DJ the Raleigh/Durham (and beyond) airwaves at 25k watts? – Volunteer at Hopscotch Music Festival? – Help organize popular local events like Fridays on the Lawn & Local Beer Local Band? – Get hooked up with free tickets to local shows? –

You are in luck! WKNC will be holding training classes this summer for students interested in getting involved at North Carolina State University’s award winning radio station.

Attend our interest meeting on Tuesday, July 9 from 6-7 pm

All interest inquiries will be due Friday, July 12 at 5 pm

Training classes: July 16-August 13 : Tuesdays from 6-7 pm

(interest meeting attendance is required in order to apply for training classes. all meetings and classes will be held in Witherspoon 324.)

Concert Preview

WKNC Show Picks for the Week

If you’re not being slaughtered by exams, I recommend you check out some of these shows this week. I AM in the slaughter, and I will still be there. Cinco de Mayo has never looked so good y’all.


Thursday 05/02: WKNC presents LBLB with DOCO at Tir Na Nog

Friday 05/03: Mandolin Orange/Ryan Gustafson at Kings Barcade

Saturday 05/04: Youth Lagoon at Cat’s Cradle

Saturday 05/04: Oberhofer/Wool at Kings Barcade

Sunday 05/05: Lost in Trees/Loamlands/Love Language at Cat’s Cradle parking lot (DAY show from 4-9 PM)

Sunday 05/05: Telekinesis/Deep Sea Diver at Local 506

Wednesday 05/08: Band of Horses at The Ritz


Cest La Bri

Concert Preview

WKNC Show Picks for the Week

I’m DJ C’est La Bri, and here are my show picks for this week in the triangle. These are opinions and only reflect the preference of one DJ: Bri. Hope to see you all at the shows, support your local musicians, and thank goodness for the resurgence of warm weather! Only a short while until Hopscotch!


Thursday 4/25: WKNC presents LBLB with Virgins Family Band and Diali Cissohko at Tir Na Nog

Friday 4/26: Airstrip/Birds & Arrows at the Pinhook

Saturday 4/27: Fleshwounds/Wax Idols at the Pinhook

Saturday 4/27: The Snails/Lollipops at Kings Barcade

Sunday 4/28: Akron/family/Loamlands at Motorco

Sunday 4/28: HEYROCCO/Clockwork Kids at Local 506

Tuesday 4/30: Shabbazz Palaces at Kings Barcade

Concert Preview

WKNC Show Picks for the Week

Apart from this week being my birthday (C’est La Bri turns 21 on Saturday y’all!), it’s also another great week for spring shows in the Triangle.

4/17 (Wed): Bleached/Hunters/Gross Ghost at Pinhook

4/18 (Thurs): Bob Mould/Barren Girls at Cat’s Cradle

4/18 (Thurs): WKNC presents Local Band Local Beer with North Elementary/Antique Firearms/Natural Science at Tir Na Nog

4/19 (Fri): T0W3RS/Estrangers/Cassis Orange at Kings Barcade

4/19 (Fri): WXDU presents Letha and Dan Melchior Benefit feat Greg Cartwright/The Dirty Little Heaters at Pinhook

4/20 (Sat): Schoolkids Records presents METZ etc as a DAY SHOW for Record Store Day

4/20 (Sat): Pet-Tich-Eye NC music collaborative project at Motorco

Check back next Wednesday for another weekly update on some of the Triangle’s biggest shows!

-Cest La Bri