New Album Review

Double Barrel Benefit #8 Compilation CD

88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week 2/8/11, written by DJ Switch, WKNC deejay

You never think your kid’s ugly. Well, at least you never tell your kid you think they’re ugly. My parents never did. They did say I have a face for radio, but I never quite got what that meant. Either way, there’s no need to lie about the beauty of WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit compilation, because even though the student radio station put it together, it’s a handsome piece of local music by all objective accounts. Recorded mostly in Caldwell Hall, this album was passed out to the crowd at 88.1’s annual benefit concert as they watched those very same bands bring down the house.

Showing the diversity of Raleigh’s music scene right off the bat is rapper Inflowential’s “Wherever.” It has a cheerful rhythm that reminds of Sugar Ray. As soon as you’re swaying to that, he slips in nonchalantly and starts commanding a pitter-patter of rhymes. Inflowential has an easy mastery of words like Nas or Jay Z, but with none of the intimidating lyrics.

Kid Future has some seriously artful song lyrics, such as “you were born with no blood, wind in your veins,” and the Old Ceremony has that simple beauty that you used to only be able to find in Bob Dylan or James Taylor songs.

Luego are students of the Guthrie school of folk rock, but, like Blitzen Trapper, they bring their modern indie rock sensibilities to give it a modern twist. Don’t let the song title fool you, “California” is an ode to the good old North State, done right by a group of native musicians with true Carolina accents.

Cassis Orange easily became one of my new favorite bands with their contribution, “May, June, July.” Now, normally I don’t like dance music. I think this aversion stems from a childhood of getting rejected by girls at the middle school dances – and an adulthood of getting rejected by some of those same girls at college parties – but this track made me forget all that entirely. It’s sort of like a mellowed-out Madonna, but not so dancey that it loses its beautiful, trippy melody and its mature songwriting.

Yardwork makes order out of chaos with “Hot Balloons.” The guitar solos seem to climb around the impassioned vocals like ivy, wrapping over the pounding snares in an effort to quell this eminent crescendo of emotion. Bright Young Things is a sort of happy hodgepodge resembling something like Kula Shaker or maybe even an experimental-era Beatles.

Like their name, Hammer No More the Fingers is something both indescribable and obvious. You can’t pin down exactly what it is that works for this band, but you know that it works— and “Blanko Basnet” definitely works. The vocals are some of the most unique I’ve ever heard. They have a slight adolescent twill, but still retain the power and resonance to howl above the rich intensity of the song.

No lie, this compilation is beautiful. Me, on the other hand—that might be another story.

88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week is published in every Friday in the print edition of Technician, as well as online at and

Music News and Interviews

Double Barrel Benefit compilations available at Schoolkids, Bull CityRecords

There’s still time to get your own little piece of Double Barrel Benefit 8, while also supporting your local independent record store!

Compilations are $7, and are now available at Schoolkids Records in Raleigh and Bull City Records in Durham.

WKNC DBB 8 Compilation:
1. “Wherever” Inflowential
2. “Like a Camera” Kid Future
3. “Day That I Was Born” The Old Ceremony
4. “California” Luego
5. “May, June, July” Cassis Orange
6. “Hot Balloons” Yardwork
7. “King of Fools” Bright Young Things
8. “Blanko Basnet” Hammer No More the Fingers

Tracks 1-7 were engineered and mixed by WKNC staff, under the direction of WKNC Sessions Director Eric Scholz, in Caldwell Lounge on the campus of N.C. State University; track 8 was engineered and mixed by Pete Kimosh; all tracks were mastered by Kitchen Mastering in Carrboro, NC, and CD duplication was provided by Triangle Duplication Services in Raleigh, NC.

Concert Preview

Moving Island Buoyancy Benefit!

Get your socks on!  The 28th and 29th is going to be a music packed weekend! A new warehouse for music and art is opening up in downtown Raleigh called Moving Island. Moving Island is a community education facility focused on emerging arts, empowering technology, and the business of living. Top founders include Chris Riddle, Adam Crane, Maria Albani, and Kelly Crisp. A couple of these kids are going to join me in the station on Friday the 28th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Be sure to tune in!

The benefit will feature some of the best bands in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area as well as DJ sets, comedy, and dance. These artists are donating their time and skills to help jump-start Moving Island for their opening in March:

The Big Picture 7:30 p.m.
Organos 8:15 p.m.
Wowser Bowser 9:00 p.m.
Gray Young 10:00 p.m.
Veelee 11:00 p.m.
Lonnie Walker 12:00 a.m.

Young Volcanoes 3:00 p.m.
Old Bricks 4:00 p.m.
Special Mystery Guest! 5:00 p.m.
Schooner 6:00 p.m.
Intermission/Q&A About what Moving Island is/does/plans to do! 7:00 p.m.
Kid Future 9:15 p.m.
Naps 10:00 p.m.
Juan Huevos 10:45 p.m.
Heads on Sticks 11:30 p.m.
Motor Skills 12:15 a.m.
DJs presented by Denmark Records 1:00 a.m.

Tickets are $8 per day in advance ($10 per day the day of) or $15 for both days in advance. Tickets will be available through Schoolkids Records in Raleigh, CD Alley in Chapel Hill, and Bull City Records in Durham, as well online through Brown Paper.


Information was found at the Moving Island website found >> HERE! (click me)

Concert Preview

Lineup for Night Two of Double Barrel Benefit 8!

Night two of Double Barrel Benefit 8 features Kid Future, HaLo, King Mez, Yardwork and Hammer No More the Fingers.

Kid Future
(Kieran Moreira, WKNC Program Director)
Kid Future could possibly be one of Raleigh’s best kept secrets. The indie band maintains a low profile online only featuring one of their recorded tracks. However, it can only be a matter of time before their talent betrays their anonymity. After catching them at a packed Slims Downtown in July and seeing them perform at Hopscotch in front of Raleigh Times, it’s clear that Kid Future has a knack for mesmerizing audiences. What’s to be expected from their performance? Dreamy synth sounds mixed with frontman Bryan Costello’s moody voice creates a recipe that is very reminiscent of the National and the Killers.

(Tommy Anderson, WKNC General Manager)
Ahem, that’s “hah-low,” or “Mr. Ben Ready” to you, good sir.  This guy is witty, upbeat, and dare I say funky hip hop out of Raleigh. HaLo is connected with 9th Wonder, and he appears on Kooley High’s much acclaimed recent album Eastern Standard Time. This gentleman has already developed a name in the area and beyond (he’s also got one Local Beer Local Band under his belt.) Request his stuff on WKNC during Local Lunch and Underground. Fantastic stuff.

King Mez
(Tommy Anderson, WKNC General Manager)
What can you say? If you were fortunate enough to catch any of King Mez’s performances in the area (or elsewhere), you know what an energetic, committed show he is able to put on. Street-wise lyrics, lush beats (provided by Commissioner Gordon on his most recent release “The Parapalegics” ), and a style that is all his own, King Mez is unforgettable and singularly compelling. As with HaLo, request this during Local Lunch as well as Underground. We’re very very excited to have King Mez on board making night two that much more of a treat for anyone lucky enough to get a ticket.

(Nicole Kligerman, WKNC Local Music Director)
Hailing from Charlotte, NC, Yardwork is described as playing “South Eastern Minimalist Pop/Prog.“ No matter what you call this band’s music, it is awesome, and those who have seen this band live know that this will not be a show to miss. Complete with a large and eclectic cast skilled in multiple instruments, this group puts on a kaleidoscopic show that will entertain your eyes as well as your ears. Usually working with two simultaneous percussionists, the sound is so rich and deep that you’ll find a completely new array to look for in each song.

There isn’t a lot known about Yardwork, and the biography on the band’s Myspace is a story including feral, mutant school teachers and PV rays. Whatever the history of the band, the music they play is bad ass and great for jumping around.

Their Local Beer Local Band performance in 2010 was barely contained by the stage. The larger space at Kings should be a perfect opportunity for this helter-skelter outfit to unleash their full furry upon downtown Raleigh. I saw Yardwork for the first time at last years TRKfest and am so psyched for another chance to see the live energy at this years’ Double Barrel Benefit 8.

Hammer No More the Fingers
(Kieran Moreira, WKNC Program Director)
Possibly the coolest name for a band, Hammer No More The Fingers, hailing from Durham, are local heavy hitters with a UK tour under their belt. They’ve graced WKNC’s airwaves since 2007, so it’s only natural that they take their place as Double Barrel Benefit night two headliners. Looking For Bruce, which released in 2009, cemented the band’s success meshing a blend of quirkiness, mid-twenties male humor, rock, and pop. What’s to be expected from HNMTF at Double Barrel Benefit 8? Raw energy. Although a lot of indie artists delve into bubbly pop sounds, HNMTF tries to remain edgier and grittier with sharp guitar licks and soaring vocals. We are very excited to have these fellas on board as headliners.

Concert Preview Local Music

LBLB Thursday 11/18

Come down to WKNC and Tir Na Nog’s Local Band Local Beer on Thursday 11/18 to see Embarrassing Fruits, Kid Future, and Americans In France! The show is free! 10 p.m. 21+.

Embarrassing Fruits

These guys played on NCSU’s Harris Field for the first installment of Fridays on the Lawn this semester.  I thoroughly enjoyed their show. On the one hand, they sang a song about conspiracies and on the other, something so love sick my heart ached. My favorite line? something like, “I want to be the one to kill spiders for you.” Oh please, Embarrasing Fruits, if you kill spiders for me there will be no Long Distance Breakup Summer.  Promise.

Kid Future

Seriously the sexiest new band to hit the Raleigh scene.

“The three-dude Kid Future is an upstart in the most absolute sense, having played about a dozen shows and released only a handful of rough recordings online. Those tunes are keyboard-and-guitar gestalts, given to verses and hooks that look to serve the mood, not themselves. Think The National in the basement with drum machines and synths.” —Grayson Currin, The Independent

Americans In France

“Though they’re a little more Black Flag than Buddy Holly, there’s a sloppy, rudimentary straightforwardness to Americans in France. That’s not to call their debut, Pretzelvania, simplistic, though. Actually, the Chapel Hill trio plays with a great deal of skill, shifting styles (punk, post-punk, ballad, droning space rock, peppy rave-ups) with the precision of an Indy car shifting gears coming out of a caution flag. But their ragged, kitchen-sink experimentalism is far from pretentious, striking a playful, clowning tone that doesn’t take itself too seriously.” —Chris Parker, The Independent

All three bands (hopefully!) will join me at the station this Thursday at 7 p.m. It will be a cozy interview.

Concert Preview Local Music

LBLB Night! July 22nd!

This week we have three awesome acts playing at Tir Na nOg: Jenna Smith, Kid Future and Midtown Dickens! Thursday nights at Tir Na nOg are always partnered with WKNC, is FREE FREE FREE and of course, 21 and up.

Jenna Smith:

This gorgeous singer and songwriter will be playing solo on her acoustic guitar.   This woman will give you goosebumps all over!  Her voice is so beautiful and soothing;  not surprising since she does music therapy.   Get here early to make sure you don’t miss this, otherwise all of your buddies who did show up early will tell you over and over again how awesome it was and you will beat yourself up for being late all night and won’t be able to enjoy the other acts.   Seriously.

Kid Future:

If you missed their act at Slim’s last Thursday (perhaps because you were at LBLB!) then no worries!  Here they are this Thursday for free at the one and only Tir Na nOg.  Chris Parker of Independent Weekly calls their jams, “burbling indie synth pop… reminiscent of ‘80s acts like New Order but more sedate and dreamy.”  YES!

Midtown Dickens:

From Durham, this band delivers folk-y bluegrass.  Try your best to learn all the words.  My favorite thing to do when listening to MD is to sing along.  The song I started with?, “Airplane.”   Writer for the Independent Weekly, Brian Howe, said, “This band’s long let itself f**k up. Now they’ve learned to allow others to f**k up, too. They don’t gloss over failings and disappointments. They let them be and sing them into songs. You can sing them, too.”  See you on Thursday, friends!

DJ Highlights Local Music

Local Beat recap 7/9/10

Last Friday’s Local Beat was slammed full of live local music. We welcomed a new group to the scene, an old one getting back together, and announced some new local releases all in three hours. All the bands who came on the program also played some live tracks (nine total), never before heard, so be sure to listen to and download all of the brand new songs on the Local Beat ReverbNation page.

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In the first hour of the show, I welcomed in Raleigh group Kid Future who made some news when they played at Local Beer Local Band back in April. It was their second show ever, but they made quite the impression on the crowd, and I welcomed them onto the show to learn more about the group and introduce them to those who have not seen them live. Unfortunately, we learned that even though the group is relatively new, drummer Robert Fisher is leaving the band to head to Boston for grad school. Remaining members Bryan Costello and Kevin Donnelly plan on continuing the band, and you can still see the original Kid Future lineup for two more shows. The first is at Slim’s Downtown on July 15 with The Cellar Seas and Thomas Costello (of Mount Weather), and the second is at Local Beer Local Band a week later at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub on the 22nd with Midtown Dickens. Check out the live acoustic songs Kid Future played in the widget above!
Kid Future on the Local Beat 7/9/10

The 6 p.m. hour was certainly a special treat, as I was joined by Mike Roy and Rob Watson of The Whistlestop (also of Watson & Roy). The Whistlestop have not played live in over a year as the group took a hiatus due to the birth of Mike’s daughter a year ago and the release of his solo album Shot Friction.  Rob has also been working on his long awaited solo album but, in the meantime, the pair has had time to begin work on their second album and debuted some brand new material for us during the interview. In total, five live songs were played, including three brand new, never before heard tracks, which you can listen to and download on the Local Beat ReverbNation page. You can see The Whistlestop for the first time in 2010 this next Friday at Mac’s Tavern in Cary.
The Whistlestop on the Local Beat 7/9/10

For the last hour, I was joined by Billy Sugarfix of Billy Sugarfix’s Carousel along with Pete and Andrea of Birds and Arrows. The two groups are releasing a split 7" vinyl single through 307 Knox Records this coming Friday, July 16 at the brand new 307 Knox headquarters located at 618 Foster Street in downtown Durham. We spent time discussing vinyl’s relevance in today’s music industry and the death and possible rebirth of the “single”.  Billy Sugarfix is signed to Pox World Empire and recorded his new single “If There’s A Secret” there even though it is being released on 307 Knox (whom B&A are signed to), and we chatted about the two record labels and decided on a new name for them: “307 Pox”.  Both groups played their brand new singles for us, which you can listen to and download from our Local Beat ReverbNation page.  Also, check out the brand new Birds & Arrows music video directed and produced by Billy Sugarfix:
Birds & Arrows and Billy Sugarfix on the Local Beat 7/9/10

DJ Highlights Local Music

Local Beat preview 7/9/10

Tomorrow Local Beat is jammed full of great local bands and musicians who will be playing plenty of live tracks for us!

At 5 p.m. I will be joined by Raleigh-based band Kid Future, a relatively new group but one that is making great strides already in the area. Kid Future has a show coming up on July 15 at Slim’s Downtown in Raleigh, which we will be talking about as well as hopefully playing some live songs.

6 p.m. will bring in longtime favorite The Whistlestop who are playing their first live show in over a year on July 16 at Mac’s Tavern in Cary, NC. From what I am told, the boys in Whistlestop have enough new material for a second album, so hopefully we can get them to play us some live tunes on the air!

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7 p.m. will bring in a couple members from two groups: Pete and Andrea of Bird and Arrows are coming by alongside Billy Sugarfix of Billy Sugarfix’s Carousel. We will be talking about their new split 7" single that is coming out on 307 Knox Records on July 16 at the 307 Knox headquarters. From what I understand, both groups are planning on dropping by with their instruments as well!

It should be a great program with plenty of brand new music and a lot of great conversation! So tune in tomorrow evening from 5 p.m-8 p.m. right here on WKNC 88.1!

Concert Review Local Music

Local Beer Local Band Photos on April 23

Kid Future

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Light Pines

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Concert Review Local Music

4/22 LBLB Photos

Photographs taken by WKNC photographer Katie Hill

Kid Future

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

The Light Pines

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.