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 Review

Triangle locals take the stage at Kings

By C Creature

Saturday night at Kings Barcade brought a packed house and good tunes from the killer line-up of headliner Annuals, Luego and Jenna & the Jintlemen. I was super excited about Luego as I saw them a few months ago and knew they put on a good show. I had heard good things about Jenna & the Jintlemen and after meeting the lead, Jenna Smith, a few weekends ago while out with friends, I was excited to see her and her “Jintlemen” do their thing. Headliner, Annuals, had their national debut on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, so having never seen them perform, my expectations were high.

When I got there Jenna & the Jintlemen were just finishing up with two songs left in their set; however, I only needed to hear about 30 seconds to know that I loved her voice and band. She’s got a sweet, dreamy and delicate voice, which makes listening to her easy and ever-so-pleasant. Since I was late, I’m not sure if she played “Marcello, Marcello,” but that is one of my favorites by her and it showcases her voice beautifully.

After Jenna & the Jintlemen exited stage left, Luego took the spotlight to bring us some indie/alternative country rock, a few of the songs laced with a soft Spanish influence (especially those from the Ocho album). Lead, Patrick Phelan, has a unique voice and is unmistakable for anyone else’s in the Triangle and definitely makes you think of voices like Paul McCartney’s and Bob Dylan’s…maybe a little Rod Stewart. Dressed in a simple white v-neck decorated only by an ambiguous rectangle rolled into his sleeve (he claimed they weren’t “real” cigarettes), grey Levi’s and cowboy boots, he convinced me we were in years bygone. His  songs have lyrics that  are simple and melodic with out being kitschy. Supported by Peter Holsapple, William Moose, Mark Connor, Cameron Lee, Charles Cleaver, Jeff Crawford and Will Goodyear, Luego is a collective band of friendly, endearing outlaws just singing about what they know. I’m honestly struck by how classic the themes of their songs are and how good they pull it off. Some bands try and seem like they can sing songs like “You Better Run,” or “Atta Boy,” or “Jesse James,” or “How ‘Bout Them Rules,” but can’t with out sounding painfully cliche. Luego has a great talent for using their inspirations to make fresh songs that only later make you think, “Wow, that sounded kind of like ’_______’.”

Standing in the crowd officially feeling like if I walked out side I’d see cacti, tumbleweeds and maybe a sheriff, Luego finished and was rewarded with gracious applause from the crowd. Luego smiled, said thanks and introduced headliners, Annuals.

Now, as I previously stated, I’ve never seen Annuals perform before; however, I’ve heard nothing but great things from people whose music taste I respect AND they’ve played on Conan twice. While they were setting up, people continued to pour into the venue, showing me just how serious of a fan base they have and just why they headlined: people love them.


I do not, I found out. I was actually really disappointed because I just knew that after Jenna & and the Jintlemin and Luego, two groups I love, Annuals would only further my “I’m at such a great show” high, but as it turned out, they did quite the opposite and sobered me up. Led by Adam Baker and supported by Kenny Florence, Mike Robinson, Zach Oden, Anna Spence and Nick Radford, they sang a bunch of songs I couldn’t understand the words to and really didn’t care to find out. I was reminded of too many songs I listened to when I was 16 and add that to Adam’s “yell-singing” as I call it, I just had to shake my head. I expressed my concern and confusion to a compadre of mine at the bar and he looked at me like I was crazy and went on to tell me how much he just “loved, loved, loved” Annuals and why they were so great. For the rest of the night he and many of my other friends witnessed to me and tried to convert me into a fan because apparently if you don’t like Annuals, you’re going to musical hell where Rebecca Black reins supreme.

In any case, none of them convinced me and since then I’ve tried to find a song I at least kind of like, but I just can’t. My ears do not like them and here is why: there is no real melody just a lot of yelling, loud guitars and drums.

That being said, are they talented? Yes. Do they know how to put on a show? Yes, very much so. Did they pack the house? Yes. Do I understand their appeal? Yes. So there it is, I can 100% endorse the fact that they did a great job at Kings, tickling the fancy of all their fans and never made a mistake that I could tell.

So IN CONCLUSION, anyone who went to Kings Saturday night had no excuse to not have a freakin’ awesome time. Every band rocked it out with their respective fans loving it. It was definitely one of my favorite shows of June and flawlessly executed by all groups involved.

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

Announcing: Lineup for Night One of Double Barrel Benefit 8!

Since 2004, the Double Barrel Benefit has since served as the station’s primary fund raising event. As a department of a state university, NCSU Student Media consistently faces budgeting concerns (read: small budgets, which are made smaller each year). Similar fund raising efforts are absolutely integral to any non-commercial radio station, especially those that have very little in the way of guaranteed annual funding. Is that a shameless appeal? Not really, just part of the framework of the event.

What better way to secure some operating funds than to expose and promote local music? It’s unarguable that the Triangle area (conveniently covered in full by WKNC’s 25,000 watt transmitter atop D.H. Hill Library) is brimming with musical talent. WKNC has been a gracious actor within the local music scene for years, and helping local musicians reach their target audience (and beyond) is a major part of what we’re all about.

This year, local music fans who are generous (and indeed lucky) enough to attend the Double Barrel Benefit will receive something more than just two nights of great music and the knowledge that they helped the station keep the lights on for another year. All eight acts supplied a previously unreleased track to an eight-song compilation album; seven of the eight tracks were engineered and mixed right on the N.C. State campus. Kitchen Mastering, one of the South’s premier mastering facilities was responsible for the fantastic mastering work, and Triangle Duplication, located right in Raleigh, NC, provided duplication services; a free copy of this compilation is included in the $10 ticket price (buy a two night pass, get two compilations).

This year, Double Barrel Benefit 8 will take place on Friday and Saturday, February 4 and 5, at Kings in downtown Raleigh. Friday, February 4, will feature Cassis Orange, Luego, Bright Young Things and The Old Ceremony.

Cassis Orange
(Nicole Kligerman, WKNC Local Music Director)

Cassis Orange has got to be one of my favorite bands to come out of the Triangle in the past year. The poppy sweet sound is addictive, and I’m so happy about all the love this band has been receiving after the release of their Cassis Orange EP. I’m even happier about their inclusion in our Double Barrel lineup for this year.

Cassis Orange is the project of Autumn Ehinger and friends, and it’s actually the name of a popular Japanese cocktail drink. Japan is quite a large source of Autumn’s inspiration for song writing as her songs are, directly or indirectly, about the time she lived in Tokyo teaching English.

When trying to describe the music of Cassis Orange, I am reminded of a trip to the candy shop or being surrounded by color on a sunny day. The music is full of lo-fi pop sounds coming from Autumn’s Casio keyboard and lyrics about love and the like. The video for “Listen Heartbeat” was even filmed with a Locopop making its way around Cameron Village. The songs have the perfect sound for any happy time, and Friday night’s DBB8 is sure to be just that.

(Adam Kincaid, host of The Local Beat)

To say Luego is a super-group is a bit of an understatement. Fronted by talented young troubadour Patrick Phelan, this band features an ever rotating cast of a who’s-who of the Triangle Music Scene, all friends and contemporaries of the ever expanding congregation under the tutelage of Jeff Crawford.  The likes of Peter Holsapple, William Moose, Mark Connor, Cameron Lee, Charles Cleaver, Rob DiMauro, Will Goodyear, Stuart Robinson, Brett Harris, Nick Jaeger, Caitlin Cary, James Wallace, and Dale Baker can all claim ties to Luego in one way or another. And yet despite this massive accumulation of local music demi-gods, it is Phelan who shines through with his vibrant stage presence and catchy lyrics layered on top of craftily set lo-fi blues rock that gets your feet moving while speaking to your heart.  The latest release, Ocho, was put out just a mere eight months following the debut release of Taped Together Stories setting a prolific trend that we hope can continue.

Bright Young Things

(Tommy Anderson, WKNC General Manager)

There are several ways one could take the now-infamous tongue-in-cheek description of the BYT as “the Beatles on a bad day,” but the fact remains that there is only one way to take their live show. Energetic, creative, playful, yet still down to earth, Raleigh’s Bright Young Things weave their way right into the audience’s consciousness. (“I feel like I’ve known this band my whole life, and I’ve been a fan the whole damn time.”)

Lead guitarist Cameron Lee’s searing guitar licks slide right in next to Matt Damron’s crooned hooks; smooth and in-step keys along with the driving, bolstering rhythm section round out this attractive and impossible to forget outfit. The BYT are unassuming, polite, and darn catchy.

The Old Ceremony
(Adam Kincaid)

Django Haskins formed The Old Ceremony back in 2004 as a “mini-orchestra” of sorts with the aspiration of creating music that could not be composed by typical rock bands. What resulted was one of the catchiest and most sought after North Carolina groups in recent memory. After the release of their self titled debut full length the band struck a chord in the heart of music critics with their most successful output in 2007’s Our One Mistake, which was listed as one of the top 100 albums of that year by Paste Magazine. Without hitting a slump the band has dropped two more sophisticated masterpieces, Walk On Thin Air and Tender Age, while continually building upon the legacy that their live shows have garnered. Behind Haskins on stage, Mark Simonsen, Daniel Hall, Gabriel Pelli, and Matt Brandau fill out the fitting pieces into an intimate yet high energy show that has yet to repeat a set-list or let an audience down. The Old Ceremony is certainly a legend in the making.

Concert Preview Local Music

LBLB September 30—Luego and Schooner!

Come down to WKNC and Tir Na Nog’s Local Beer Local Band to see LUEGO and SCHOONER! The show is FREE and starts at 10 p.m. Ages 21 and up.

Don’t forget to visit our fancy new Local Beer Local Band Homepage for the Fall schedule for LBLB and to download a FREE MIXTAPE with one song from each artist playing this season.


“I cannot emphasize enough how the sincerity of Phelan’s lyricism makes this album a cut above. If you can appreciate alt-country sounds like Wilco and Blitzen Trapper, you’ll also appreciate Taped-Together Stories.” -Tara Lacey, Performer Magazine

“Ocho thrives on trying more. Influences are a burden. Finally folding them until they’re beneath your tunes rather than simply on top of them—which Luego does on Ocho—is an accomplishment that can’t be understated.”-Grayson Currin, The Independent

And some feedback of our own… “Ocho relies much more heavily on background harmonies and a thicker and deeper sound that is stacked with layer upon layer of grooviness and cool.  The bluesy ruggedness and heartfelt emotion of Phelan’s voice is still present but the album seems to be much more of a family affair and holds a certain friendly attire about it….”


“…rarely has a sibling relationship created something this harmonious….swooning vintage pop, fuzzy Guided By Voices-ish rock and
woozy Sinatra/Hazlewood-like country for an overall effect that’s equal parts dreamy, deadpan and doomed.” -Rebecca Raber, CMJ

“This is the best, most balanced material by Schooner yet…Sonically, lyrically and structurally, Schooner supplies a perfect mix of apathy and anguish to these songs, and there’s no better conduit for such than the voice of Reid Johnson.-Grayson Currin, The Independent

Tune in this Thursday, September 30 at 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to hear a full interview with Luego! Schooner might show up too so listen in!! See you on Thursday, friends!

Music News and Interviews

This Week’s Fun Giveaways

On July 28, we have tickets to Streetlight Manifesto at the Lincoln Theatre, and The White Cascade at Slim’s.

The Old Ceremony @ Smith's Olde Bar, Atlanta GA 02.09.2007 by pierrotsomepeople.

On July 30, we have tickets to J. Roddy Walston & The Business at Slim’s, and The Old Ceremony at The Pour House.

On July 31, we have tickets to Corrosion of Conformity at The Pour House.

On September 1, we have tickets to Joan Baez at The North Carolina Museum of Art.

REMINDER! the July 31 Luego show at Slim’s has been rescheduled to August 13

We also have tickets to Salt at Crossroads Cary 20.

Local Music

Local Musical Chairs Compilation

If 2009 was the year of Hear Here, then 2010 could very well be the year of Musical Chairs.  Carrboro based recording studio Nightsound Studios is releasing a compilation album in a similar vein that Flying Tiger Sound pulled off at this same time last year.  The project is to be titled The Musical Chairs Compilation.  The kicker is that the bands are covering other local bands and have to choose the band they are covering at random.  The compilation is being released for free with all donations going to the production of the free CDs and a local concert, and all concert proceeds will benefit a charity. You can read more about it here.

Bands on the project include:
Birds and Arrows
Erie Choir
I Was Totally Destroying It
Lizzy Ross Band
New Town Drunks
North Elementary
Puritan Rodeo
Soft Company
Wylie Hunter and the Cazadores and Pecosa

IWTDI has already announced that they are covering a North Elementary track while Puritan Rodeo is covering one of their’s.  I will post more information as I know it.

Concert Review Local Music

Aquatic Americana and Counting to Ocho

Friday night I had the privilege of seeing three great acts at the Pour House. The night started off with a solo show by BJ Barham of American Aquarium. He played some of his own material as well as stripped down versions of songs by the band. One gentleman in the balcony took the opportunity between songs to heckle, and BJ quickly turned the tables. Several minutes of hilarious banter ensued and by the end of it, BJ had clearly conquered the room. Besides hilarity, the music was great, even if some of the lyrics were a bit worn.

Luego took the stage after BJ and played tunes from both their Taped-Together Stories album as well as their forthcoming Ocho album. The performance lacked some of the energy I had seen in previous Luego shows, but the sound was amazing and the new songs had just as much confidence and southern swagger as the older songs.

During Luego, I also had the tremendous privilege of meeting Caitlin Cary. Caitlin was formerly a member of Whiskeytown with Ryan Adams and has now teamed up with The Proclivities front-man Matt Douglas to form Small Ponds. She still puts out great Americana, and she’s even sweeter in person than the thoughtfully romantic lyrics she belts out on-stage. Douglas still croons and swoons with the greatness of The Proclivities, but the new depth added by Caitlin and her violin made for an amazing ending to my Friday night.

Music News and Interviews

This week’s giveaways

This week on WKNC, we are giving away tickets to the following events:

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra at Cat’s Cradle on Thursday, 5/20

Superchunk at Cat’s Cradle on Friday, 5/21

The Small Ponds and Luego at the Pour House on Fri, 5/21

PRESS | murs

Murs at Cat’s Cradle on Sun, 5/23

Make sure to listen for your chance to win!