Concert Preview

Double Barrel Benefit 11: Full Lineup Announcement

2014 marks the eleventh year for WKNC’s annual fundraiser, Double Barrel Benefit. We are breaking tradition this year by venturing outside of Raleigh to include more of the Triangle! Our first night will be hosted at Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle on February 7th and the second night will take place at WKNC’s home in Raleigh at Lincoln Theatre on February 14th. This will make for a special Valentine’s Day celebration for you to bring your loved ones to sway to some local jams. Stay tuned to win tickets we’ll be raffling away, which will feature four tickets for both nights of DBB11. 

A few weeks back, we announced our two headliners: The Love Language and Mount Moriah. Be sure to tune into the Local Lunch this Friday, January 24th with DJ C’est la Bri from 12:00-1:00pm to hear the full lineup for DBB11. 

In the past, we’ve had Polvo, Lonnie Walker, Bowerbirds, Lost in the Trees, Schooner, The Mountain Goats, Megafaun, Spider Bags, Midtown Dickens, and Future Islands. This year, we’ve got some great artists that will make you proud of what North Carolina has to offer! We’ll see you in February!

Concert Review

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings Bring Melancholy Folk to NCMA

Wow. Take all your expectations of Gillian Welch’s mournful voice and David Rawlings’s flawless guitar riffs from your favorite albums, whether it be the most recent The Harrow and the Harvest or the now 14 year-old Revival, and sum them all into one balmy evening. If you add a bit more guitar and bit more emotion, as well as interjections from Gillian and David, you just might have what we had the pleasure of experiencing August 3 at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Fans from all walks of life were pleased– old fans who had been with Gil since the beginning, or new hip 20-somethings who heard them on NPR. There were children with mothers, falling asleep to the lullaby sounds of slower numbers, and curly-topped youngsters bouncing to the banjo lines, and of course, the Rawlings tune “Sweet Tooth”. The brief rain couldn’t put a damper on anyone, not even Gillian and David. They were pleased with the temperature drop and claimed it wasn’t raining, just “really humid”. The rain brought more people to the front, some to dance, others to take cover in the overhang, and more still just to get closer to their folk idols. As a huge Gillian Welch fan, this was probably one of the best shows I’ve been to so far this year. Local artists came out, surely paying homage to one of their influences– I think I saw some members from Kickin’ Grass Band, Mandolin Orange, and Midtown Dickens.

Gillian and David get the award for mixing the new and the old impeccably. The crowd was especially pleased with “Red Clay Halo”, “Caleb Meyer”, and of course, “Orphan Girl” was requested at least a dozen times (though, notably, not performed). As an Ohio native, one of my favorites was “Look at Miss Ohio,” closely followed by one of the encores “Six White Horses”. Their minimalist sound and traditional instrumentation was perfect for this North Carolinian show, providing a sense of belonging when playing “Tear my Stillhouse Down”.

I will admit that I probably cried at least twice during the show, enjoying Welch’s melancholy melodies and bittersweet harmonies of Rawlings. I wanted to quit looking like such a wuss  so I started focusing on the precision of David’s guitar. Then I got caught in a predicament– whether to focus on the guitar or the vocals. I was soon comforted by a fellow DJ’s insight; Gillian’s voice and David’s guitar complete each other. Awww.

This was the third of four shows I plan on attending at the North Carolina Museum of Art this summer; the line up has been so amazing. Check out blogs about Bela Fleck, Lucinda Williams, and soon to come, The Carolina Chocolate Drops.  As always, if you’re looking for the best in Americana, tune in to Americana, Blues, and Company every Saturday from 10-noon.

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 Preview

Fridays on the Lawn returns yet again!

WKNC has again teamed up with our friends in the Union Activities Board and Student Government to bring some of the finest local bands to campus, totally free and complete with fringe benefits!

Come out Harris Field on  April 8 and catch free live performances from two area favorites: Durham’s happy-folk darlings Midtown Dickens and Chapel Hill’s groovy alt-Americana Butterflies.

Midtown performed at last year’s Double Barrel benefit 7, and have since made stops at Local Beer Local Band, Troika Music Festival, Hopscotch Music Festival, and just about everywhere else in between. And with releases on both 307 Knox Records and Trekky Records, Midtown has quite the rap sheet.

We are also just as thrilled to feature Trekky comrades Butterflies. With only one release to their name, you may be surprised should you be fortunate enough to catch them live–you’d think they have been at it for a while. Well now’s your chance, and for completely free!

The show starts at 6:30 and is FREE and open to the public. There will be limited supplies of free food, ticket giveaways, and more! So come out, bring a couple friends, and  enjoy the weather while supporting some of the finest in local music!

WKNC thanks our fine sponsors at Chubby’s Tacos, Vitamin Water, and Ultimate Entertainment.

Concert Review

Ben Sollee played a great show at Casbah on Saturday, February 12

Saturday night, my man and I celebrated Valentine’s Day early with a great show at Casbah in Durham. The only other time I’ve been to Casbah was to see Crooked Still, which was in an intimate seated setting. I was expecting this, but the venue quickly filled to standing room only.

After the first song, it was evident why opening band Humble Tripe was “humble.” The one man band slammed on a travel dulcimer, and chugged out a few repetitive chords on his acoustic guitar while singing cute lyrics about his life. I’ve heard studio recordings of Humble Tripe and described them as “if Bob Dylan and Bon Iver had a baby and then dropped it off in Durham,” but I don’t think those expectations were met. This could be because his recordings usually feature more than just Shawn Luby on guitar. Shawn brought to stage Catherine Edgerton of Midtown Dickens to play the occasional harmonica, tambourine, and of course her signature singing saw. Her bubbly presence took the heat off Shawn for a little while and as a budding saw player, I took notes on her technique. Humble Tripe is a band to listen to while sitting on a blanket at a small music festival feel, not as an opening band for a critically acclaimed artist like Ben Sollee.

Ben Sollee, former member of the Sparrow Quartet, is a dapper young cello player from Kentucky. He started things off with a short vocal performance, bluesy and emotional. He then brought in Phoebe Hunt (of The Belleville Outfit) on violin and Jordan Ellis on drums to do “Something, Somewhere, Sometime” off Dear Companion. This live rendition was a bit different from his version with Daniel Martin Moore, bringing in some rock elements and definitely changing my idea of going to a “slow cello concert.” They continue playing upbeat, jazzy at times, bluesy at times music occasionally featuring a bass guitar, drums, cello, and violin. It was fast paced and well instrumented. I enjoyed the more down-tempo songs, but I can see the newer songs really catching on in the indie rock scene—look out for his upcoming album. Ben’s voice was amazing in every song and so perfectly melded with Phoebe Hunt’s, which was reminiscent of Norah Jones or Regina Spektor at times.

Ben was also a great banter-er; a quality many musicians lack. He told tales of how he came to the ideas of songs—his description of “The Prettiest Tree on the Mountain” was as poetic as the tune itself, and he constantly introduced his friends on violin and percussion. The group definitely had chemistry; probably from their adventures on bike, touring across America. That’s right. On bike, with a cello and a drumset.

The best part of the show, aside from the group dynamic and perfect instrumental choreography, was the first encore “Only A Song.” Ben Sollee explained how this song is off of Dear Companion, an album to raise awareness about mountaintop removal coal mining. He doesn’t want this song to be a protest song, thus its name, but rather to inspire people to think a little harder about their actions in the world.

DJ Highlights Local Music

Local Beat recap 7/30/10

Jenks Miller and Heather McEntire of Mount Moriah got stuck in heavy traffic on the way to the station, and, unfortunately, we only had around 12 minutes to chat about the band and their brand new limited edition 12" called The Letting Go during the first hour of the evening. We discussed the history of the band and their future as far as releasing their upcoming album is concerned. We also promoted their sold out show at the Pinhook with Midtown Dickens and the Mountain Goats Saturday, July 31. Jenks and Heather run Holidays for Quince Records, and each is in several different bands, including Un Deux Trois and Horseback, and are two of the busiest people I know. It was interesting to talk about their other projects in relation to Mount Moriah. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I had to hold back many of the questions I had for them, but what we did talk about was certainly fascinating and worth a second listen:
Mount Moriah on The Local Beat 7/3/10

At 6 p.m., John Booker and Rachel Hirsh of I Was Totally Destroying It came in to promote their new 7" The Get Big 7", which is officially being released at Tir Na Nog this Thursday for Local Beer Local Band (alongside Museum Mouth, Jews & Catholics, and The Beast).  The new single is being released by their record label, Greyday Records and can be purchased at any local record store as well as online or at their shows. If you buy the vinyl, it comes with a digital download and bonus track! I also had to ask them about their band name and their answer might surprise you! Listen to our interview as we talked about the new release, IWTDI’s upcoming shows, and their penchant for wearing costumes on stage:
IWTDI on the Local Beat 7/30/10

Alex Iglehart and Wylie Pamplin of Calico Haunts came in at 7 p.m. for their first-ever radio interview to promote their first show in Raleigh since 2007, which was at the Berkely Cafe Saturday evening. We also debuted some brand new songs from their upcoming record that is scheduled to be released in October this year. Many of you might be familiar with Calico Haunts last release After All, which was one of The Independent Weekly’s albums of the month last year. Unfortunately, the band dissolved shortly after the release and little promotion was done for the record. A short time later the band was pieced back together and they started recording a follow up album only to have their work stolen two weeks before it was scheduled to be finished. With all of these mishaps you might think the band would throw in the towel. Listen below for their side of the story and their reactions:
Calico Haunts on the Local Beat 7/30/10

Band website design
DJ Highlights Local Music

Local Beat preview 7/30/10

Can you believe it is already August?! Seven months of the Local Beat come and gone already in 2010 and almost exactly a year since I took over as host of the program. However, this Friday’s show just might be one of the best ones yet.

At 5 p.m., we are starting off the show with Mount Moriah, a band I have been raving out for over a year since I first saw them at their second show ever back in May 2009. The group is releasing their first LP after debuting their first song “Lament” on the Holiday’s For Quince Compilation Vol. 1, which has been getting airplay on WKNC.  The album is entitled Letting Go and is officially being released at the sold out show this Saturday July 31 at the Pinhook with Midtown Dickens and The Mountain Goats.  The 12" vinyl record will be released on the streets on August 3. We should have plenty to talk about and hopefully you will hear some new tunes!

I Was Totally Destroying It is coming in for the second hour. They are also playing Saturday evening at Cherry Bounce Festival in Raleigh but we will mostly be talking about their new 7" single “Get Big,” which should be in the running for best album artwork of the year so far. We also have quite a bit to talk about, including their Sound Around app, their contribution to the Musical Chairs Compilation, and their U2 cover band. It should make for an entertaining hour!

For the final hour I am having in Wylie Pamplin and Alex Iglehart from Chapel Hill-based Calico Haunts who are making their radio interview debut. Calico Haunts put out one of 2010’s best records with their After All album in the fall of 2009. They have just finished a new record and are planning to leak a couple of new tracks on the show! In addition, we will chat about their first ever Raleigh show at the Berkley Cafe with the Dead String Brothers on July 31.

As always the Local Beat starts at 5 p.m. and runs through 8 p.m. every Friday on WKNC.  Feel free to follow us on Twitter (@WKNCLocalBeat), ReverbNation, and Facebook.

Music News and Interviews

Do Itcha Damn Self (with Friends): The July 16 Interview

Last week, the Sajhammer and I were joined by some local guests to promote the Do Itcha Damn Self show at the Pinhook last Friday night. The premise for the event entailed taking some of your favorite local musicians and allowing them to perform on stage by themselves. Vocals, instruments, and abundant creativity were needed in order to play in sync and pull everything together.

Phil Cook of Megafaun and Catherine Edgerton of Midtown Dickens were two major proponents in starting the inaugural event. We asked them various questions, such as the types of instruments they planned to use as well as the ideas that jump started Do Itcha Damn Self. Check out the full interview below:

Do Itcha Damn Self

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!

Music News and Interviews

Do Itcha Damn Self! WKNC Interview about the One-Man-Band Extravaganza Today

Take a few of your favorite local artists and stick them on stage by themselves to perform songs both familiar and original. Essentially, that’s what Do Itcha Damn Self aims to accomplish. The event at the Pinhook marks Durham’s inaugural one-man-band jubilee and art fair, which will feature select band members from Triangle favorites like Megafaun and Midtown Dickens. In order to promote the event a bit further, Phil Cook of Megafaun and Catherine Edgerton of Midtown Dickens will come chat with DJ Special K and DJ Sajhammer at 11 a.m. this Friday morning (July 16).

If you have questions you’d like to ask our guests, be sure to tweet at us at: wknc881. Listen only on 88.1FM or streaming online.