Gerald Clayton Interview – March 28th, 2014

WKNC interviewed Gerald Clayton, leader of the Gerald Clayton trio, before his performance at the MotorCo Music Hall in Durham, NC. The trio, which circulates various members of Clayton’s musical “family, featured Joe Sanders on bass and Justin Brown on the drum kit. Listen to the full interview to hear Gerald discuss his related and non-related musical family, his thoughts on musical composition and performance, and his upcoming projects and tour.     

Full Interview here

Non-Music News

Merge Records 25K


This past Saturday, March 22, Merge Records (in association with Bull City Running Co.) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a 25 kilometer race from Merge’s hometown of Chapel Hill to the label’s new hometown, Durham. Over 800 runners signed up to run the grueling, 15 mile course from the streets of Chapel hill to the Motorco Music Hall in Durham. Dedicated runners, avid music lovers, and faithful supporters of Merge Records all came out to support Merge and to participate in the race. When the racing was over, food, music, and good times filled the atmosphere at the after-party as Merge Records artists, The Love Language and Vertical Scratchers, played for the crowds and rope skipping team, The Bouncing Bulldogs, performed jump roping tricks.

Merge Records is an independent record label that was founded in Chapel Hill in 1989 and has since gained much success from signing bands such as Arcade Fire, Spoon, and (WKNC, Double Barrel Benefit headliners) The Love Language and Mount Moriah. And just like the length of a 25k, Merge records has come quite a long way from their beginnings. Signing more bands and creating more successful events such as this 25th anniversary shindig, Merge continues to grow as a top independent music label. 

In return for Merge’s many contributions to WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit concerts, WKNC DJs volunteered to help out at the race. “It was really cool seeing how many people came out to support Merge and getting to cheer them on in their endeavors!  …but the food trucks were pretty great too.” says WKNC’s Yvonne Chazal, who was one of the volunteers at the race. When asked what Merge Records artist Yvonne would race a 5k against she answered, “First of all, I would/could/should never ever run a 25k, but I would definitely start a race with Autumn Ehinger from the Love Language, stop halfway through, and go get waffles.  (Autumn, hope you’re into this!!)”. Being a personal fan of the adorableness of Autumn Ehinger, it is safe to say this was an excellent answer.

Local dog fanatic and WKNC Underground DJ, Emma Badorrek, also had a few things to say about volunteering for Merge. “My favorite part was the concert afterwards at Motorco Music Hall. It was super fun and free. Another great part was seeing all of the dogs that people brought (I don’t know just really love dogs) it was also nice to live vicariously through people in good enough shape to run 25 kilometers.” well said Emma, well said indeed. When asked what surprised her the most about volunteering, Emma only had this to say “I don’t know”. Wow, short and well spoken, brilliant.

“Supporting local record labels is really important, we need to keep music accessible to people who don’t live in places like New York and Los Angeles”. Says Yvonne. And Merge Records is doing just that, bringing great music not only to North Carolina, but to music lovers of all sorts who are looking for some good ole’, solid, independent music. Keep it running, Merge!

Also, look out for Merge’s 25th anniversary music festival coming to Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC! Details can be found at

DJ Highlights

Local Beat Preview 8/24/12

Tonight on the Local Beat we are back to another jam packed program with several local bands releasing new albums.

On Tuesday Durham band I Was Totally Destroying It released their sixth album, Vexations. The album has been streaming all week in anticipation for their release party tomorrow evening at Motorco Music Hall in Durham and I must admit, I am quite smitten. We will be chatting with the members at 5pm today and while the group has been on the program almost a dozen times now and are always charming and fun, as is their music.

For the second hour we will have the pleasure of being joined in studio by the guys of American Aquarium. Front man BJ Barham has been on the Local Beat many times but this will mark the first that he will be joined by his band mates. American Aquarium has released 7 albums now, including one EP and one live full length, and their newest, Burn. Flicker. Die., is to be released tomorrow evening at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh.

For the last hour of the evening we will be joined for the first time, about half way through by Wilmington electronica group Dash. If you listen to the Local Lunch you will recognize the bands dancey electronic pop song “Into The Sounds” which has been quite a bit of airplay. You might also want to head to Kings Barcade after the interview to check the group out live.

As always, the fun starts at 5 p.m. and will last until 8 p.m.! Be sure to follow the Local Beat on Twitter or Facebook and download tons of free local music on our ReverbNation page!

Concert Review

Minus Sound Research Opening Reception, 10/7/11

On Friday, Oct. 7, I made my way up to Motorco Music Hall in Durham for the opening reception of Minus Sound Research. I’ve never been to MSR or Motorco before (actually, this was my first show for WKNC, hooray!) so I had no idea what to expect. MSR is an annual art exhibition featuring artwork by local musicians. It started in 2006, and different artists are featured every year. The art shown is specifically created for MSR, so each year is a unique experience.

After making my way through the parking lot that was I-40, I finally got to the show. People were milling around outside drinking beer, playing foosball, and eating food from the food trucks outside. Inside the building, which looks like it used to be a car garage, people were checking out the artwork on the walls and watching two women perform some sort of slow-motion body art. It was interesting, and received a few skeptical looks from the crowd.

Unfortunately, I got to the show so late that I completely missed Inspector 22, the first singer to perform. Birds and Arrows started playing at about 7:30 p.m., and although the acoustics weren’t that great, people were really enjoying their music. The lead singer, Andrea Connolly, had a voice that could sing softly in one line and powerfully in the next. Her husband (who I could totally tell was her husband, even before she introduced him to the crowd, because they had such great chemistry on stage), Pete Connolly, joined in for backups and harmony. What really made them stand out was the cello player, Josh Starmer, who added a lot of depth to their music. Throughout their set Andrea made eye contact with the audience and was all smiles; you could tell they loved being on stage.

There were other artists performing afterward, but I unfortunately had to leave early.

The MSR exhibit runs until Dec. 3, and even though it’s a small collection, I would check it out if you’re in Durham.

Concert Review

Troika Saturday

This past Saturday marked the the last night of the local music festival Troika in downtown Durham. Despite the cold weather, Anastassia and I, AndyQ, had a glorious time running around from venue to venue listening to the Triangle’s finest local music. This is our collaborative blog on our experience.

The first place we went to was at the new Motorco Music Hall, which had a nice upscale warehouse lounge vibe going on.

Filthybird started the evening out nicely with some mellow music. It was fun to watch the lead singer with her short stature play such a huge guitar.

After Filthybird, some men in snazzy suits and well manicured beards came to the stage. With their four-part harmonies and fancy finger work on the fiddle, Chatham County Line managed to crank out some good ole bluegrass reminiscent of classic Avett Brothers.

It wasn’t surprising when we looked back at the crowd and saw that they had packed the house filled with swooning listeners.

We were in for a surprise when we headed over to The Casbah.

Gray Young completely changed the atmosphere of the evening with their garage rock cords that were evocative of Explosions in the Sky. With their awesome stage presence and edgy music, it was impossible to stand still. Seeing Gray Young right after a nice folksy band like Chatham was an eye opening experience to the wide range of local music in the Triangle, and both of us really appreciated that.

Then, we saw  The Loom from Brooklyn, who were well worth the walk to the Trotter Building, which was decorated nicely with lovely lanterns. I liked the band’s ability to start off with a mellow opening, only to build up to a crescendo of high energy horns, banjo, and drums. The “Middle Distance,” showcased their driving beats that backed haunting vocals. The sweet raspiness of the female vocalist accompanied by the male lead’s voice was very enjoyable.

Next, we ran back to The Motorco for Cassis Orange. This girly, but rough band was really fun to watch, with the singer dancing and jumping around. Their use of different and sometimes odd instruments came especially handy when a flutist joined them to cover Ke$ha’s “Tik-tok”. That was probably the best cover that I have heard, hands down.

Finally, after almost five hours of shows, the best was saved for last with Hammer No More the Finger. We had heard of them, but didn’t really know what to expect, and they definitely did not disappoint. It was obvious even from the beginning that they had a solid fan base in Durham. The venue was packed and a sort of mosh pit was forming. No one stood still because the guitar riffs and catchy songs were too good to not dance to.

In general, the festival not only presented some great local music, but it showcased the noteworthiness of downtown Durham, helping to disprove some people’s sentiments that Durham is Raleigh’s ghetto. We were very disappointed that there was not enough time in the night to listen to all the bands that performed.  We also went with fellow DJ Godrik, who would like to add “beer should have been cheaper”.