Music News and Interviews

Giveaways are a lot like hot cakes…

They are delicious and they are going FAST! (only you don’t have to pay for them… )

This week at WKNC we have some amazing giveaways we are pretty excited about. We’ve also got something AMAZING coming next week, so stay tuned (literally). Or become our friend on facebook to find out NOW.

4/6 Black Lips @ Cat’s Cradle

Bronzed Chorus @ Pinhook

4/7 Destroyer @ Cat’s Cradle

Surf City @ Kings

Movie: Hanna @ Mission Valley Cinema

4/8 Fridays on the Lawn: Midtown Dickens and Butterflies @ Harris Field (Just kidding, you can’t win tickets… its FREE for everyone!)


4/9 Dr. Dog @ Cat’s Cradle


Rotting Christ (Chainsaw) @ Volume 11

4/13 The Greenhornes @ Kings


Remember, you have to listen to win!

Concert Review

Paul McCartney Performs in Kansas City (Hey Hey Hey)

Paul McCartney  has been traveling around the world on his “Up and Coming Tour” this year. Because of a job I took in Lawrence, KS, I had the amazing opportunity of seeing Paul McCartney perform at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO on Saturday, July 24. I had amazing seats on the floor about 30 rows away from my musical role model and first love, Sir James Paul McCartney.The concert was everything I hoped it would be; his childish banter and energy kept me laughing, while the emotion in songs such as “Here Today” and “Something” made me cry, as he dedicated them to the late John Lennon and George Harrison, respectively.

McCartney dedicates a ukelele (and guitar) version of “Something” to the late George Harrison.

He played many Beatles’ songs like “Ob La Di Ob La Da,” “All My Loving,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Hey Jude,” “Let It Be,” and many others. He played music he wrote in Wings, such as “Jet,” “Band on the Run,” and of course, a fire-filled “Live and Let Die.” He even played a few songs from his solo career; “Dance Tonight” was specifically used to lift a melancholy move after dedicating “My Love” to his late wife, Linda.

I have never met nicer people than those attending the sold-out concert in Kansas City. I sat next to a woman, Katie, who told me how she saw the Beatles perform in San Diego, CA, in 1965. When I screamed as he came on stage and jumped up and down as he played, she smiled at me and said, “You remind me of me 35 years ago.” Although Katie may have gotten the better end of the deal, having seen The Beatles in their prime, Paul McCartney played an awe-inspiring three-hour set that did not show his 68 year-old age.

As has been tradition with this tour, he ended the concert with “The End,” with ever-fitting lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Concert Review

Why I Love Bluegrass: Del McCoury Band

I received the privilege of attending a traditional bluegrass show last night.  I watched the Del McCoury Band perform at Lincoln Theatre Friday, June 4. This show reminded of why I enjoy bluegrass:

  • The way all of the men in the band dress. The coat and tie get me every time.
  • Each musician looks like he is completely enjoying himself.
  • Each instrument gets a solo—in every song!
  • Simple lyrics get the point across (yep, you’re in love… okay, you’re sad… oh, you’re drunk…) and complex instrumentals make every song into a masterpiece.
  • The adoration of fans from every walk of life.  This show was full of older folks who had probably followed Del McCoury since the 60s,  Southern men in camouflage hats,  hip 20-somethings new to the scene, and of course, me (DJ Mollypop) and my bluegrass companion, Rob.

Del McCoury just celebrated 50 years of making music, starting out as a Pennsylvanian banjo player and making it to Nashville decades later with his music-making sons. Del and his band have earned numerous awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Called “the best bluegrass band, period” by fellow musicians, this show epitomizes why I love bluegrass.  They played older originals like “Rain and Snow,” even older bluegrass tunes, such as “Bluegrass Breakdown” and “Get on Your Knees and Pray,” and covered a few famous songs by artists like Willie Nelson and Slim Whitman. Del and his band played songs “Hello Lonely” and “I Remember You” off their new album, Family Circle.

McCoury senior kept up a lively banter with the audience, whether it be to admit that he forgot the lyrics, or to take shouted requests. He introduced the members like a proud father (or father figure): Ronnie McCoury on mandolin, Rob McCoury on banjo, Jason Carter on fiddle, and Alan Bartram on bass.  These boys were all significantly younger than him, but I think even they sometimes had a hard time keeping up with 71 year old Del McCoury.

Inspiring to any musician, Jason Carter worked with a broken string in the last song of their two-song encore; he quickly re-tuned his violin to make up for the lost E string and finished off the song with the rest of the band impeccably.

Maybe it’s the suits, maybe it’s the smiles, maybe it’s just the twang, but the multiple standing ovations the Del McCoury Band received Friday night proves their place in bluegrass.

Concert Review

Josh Ritter at Carolina Theatre

I had the opportunity to acquire tickets to the Josh Ritter concert on Tuesday, May 11 at Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC through the amazing giveaways on WKNC.

We sat on the balcony level, which only somewhat took away from the concert’s intimacy, something I have grown fond of in some of the Triangle’s smaller venues. I knew the night would turn out well as I sat down and found the pre-show music to be Spoon’s Transference. The opening was an adorable 3 person folk group called  Dawn Landes and the Hounds, which I found out to be Josh Ritter’s wife’s band. Their pieces were upbeat and about memories, love and lollipops. They were all too excited to show off their new toy, those awesome bells you can play with your feet! I, along with the rest of the full house, really enjoyed their music and the energy they exuded.


Interesting fact about Josh Ritter – he went to Oberlin College (a school I applied to!), intending to major in neuroscience. Instead, he changed his major to American history through narrative folk music. He certainly practiced what he learned in that small Ohio liberal arts college at his show Tuesday night. Songs about war, radio, old men, and stories of the stars filled the air. Ritter and the Royal City Band kept the crowd pleased, whether it be with mournful ballads like “Folk Bloodbath”, to more upbeat and borderline rock numbers, to the Josh Ritter I know and love with “To The Dogs or Whoever” and “Good Man.” No matter the genre of choice, the crowd was extremely responsive to the 5 person band. My only complaint is with the band playing background music at parts– clearly providing musical sounds not produced by any member of the band at that time.

Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band kept a consistent pace of music, usually allowing themselves one slow song and two upbeat folk or twanging southern rock. There was a different feel as Josh Kaufman, of The Hounds, recited Edgar Allen Poe’s Annabel Lee to a background of contra bass and steel guitar as provided by The Royal City Band as a set up for the Josh Ritter song “Another New World”. In between songs Ritter kept up a jovial banter for the audience– discussing mustaches, Baby Spice, and his need to brush his hair.

As Ritter left the stage, the crowd of course demanded more. Ritter then played a three part encore consisting of a song dedicated to Matt Douglas of The Proclivities, a love song that included all members of The Hounds and The Royal City Band behind the musical couple, Josh Ritter and Dawn Landes, and of course, “Harrisburg”.

All in all, Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band put on a great show. The crowd loved them, and all of the members of both bands seemed to rightfully enjoy themselves too.

Local Music Miscellaneous


Friday night, WKNC promotions team members headed out to DesignBox Gallery in downtown Raleigh in order to provide a presence at the PBaRt Show and Concert, part of Raleigh’s First Friday.  The event was a partnership between Pabst Blue Ribbon and Paul Friedrich, during which local music and other art were showcased.  Kellie Ann Grubbs, Monologue Bombs, and Lake Inferior all took turns putting on amazing performances while artists created new works and the WKNC team got the word out about our great programming and support for local creativity.

WKNC koozies were especially popular during the evening, but the promotions team also gave away t-shirts, stickers, and Hear Here compilation CDs with all proceeds going to the Visual Art Exchange.  Everyone had a great time and the event seemed to be a great success.

Catch the WKNC promotions team out and about again downtown next weekend, May 15 and 16 at Artsplosure in Moore Square!

Concert Review

The Big Pink rock Cat’s Cradle

After winning an NME award last month, The Big Pink embarked on their North American tour, and were so kind as to give Carrboro’s own, Cat’s Cradle, a visit.

Playing tracks off of their latest album “A Brief History of Love” the band started off their set with fuzzy synthesizer and heavy guitar tracks.

Without taking any breaks the band went from one excellent track to the next. Their high energy intro included such songs as “Too Young to Love” and “At War With the Sun.”

The band then transitioned to slower songs from their latest release. The crowd enjoyed songs like “Velvet,” “Crystal Visions,” and “Love in Vain.”

As the set progressed they eventually started to take a break to thank the audience. At one point during the set he said he felt so much love in the room he wanted to “Fuck out all of our brains.”

The band then gave a special treat to the audience by playing some new songs that have yet to be released. Easily the highlight of DJ Ones’ night was drummer Akiko Matsurra and Milo Cordell, whom both played amazingly.

The band finished off an already amazing set with their hit song “Dominoes” which had the packed Cat’s Cradle jumping unlike ever before. The highlight of the night for DJ Mollypop came when the energy that had been building and flowing throughout the venue during the set reached its ultimate zenith during “Dominoes." All in all, The Big Pink put on an amazing set which featured some of their best tracks, and tracks we’ve never heard before. For the fans of The Big Pink, these guys are a great to see live!