Categories
Weekly Charts

WKNC 88.1 FM Charts: November 17th, 2015

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1. CAR SEAT HEADREST – Teens Of Style – Matador
2. BEACH SLANG – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us – Polyvinyl
3. ALEX G – Beach Music – Domino
4. SPORTS – All Of Something – Father/Daughter
5. DEERHUNTER – Fading Frontier – 4AD
6. PALEHOUND – Dry Food – Exploding In Sound
7. SPENCER RADCLIFFE – Looking In – Run For Cover
8. PWR BTTM – Ugly Cherries – Miscreant-Father/Daughter
9. BEACH HOUSE – Thank Your Lucky Stars – Sub Pop
10. THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE AND I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE – Harmlessness – Epitaph
11. PROTOMARTYR – The Agent Intellect – Hardly Art
12. BABES – Untitled (Five Tears) – Barsuk
13. JOANNA NEWSOM – Divers – Drag City
14. FOXING – Dealer – Triple Crown
15. PETAL – Shame – Run For Cover
16. MARTIN COURTNEY – Many Moons – Domino
17. BEAT HAPPENING – Look Around – Domino
18. MANTLES – All Odds End – Slumberland
19. FLORIST – Holdly – Double Double Whammy
20. U.S. GIRLS – Half Free – 4AD
21. LUSHES – Service Industry – Felte
22. A SUNNY DAY IN GLASGOW – Planning Weed Like It’s Acid/Life Is Loss – Self-Released
23. HELVETIA – Dromomania – Joyful Noise
24. BOOGARINS – Manual – Other Music
25. BORN RUFFIANS – Ruff – Yep Roc
26. GUN OUTFIT – Dream All Over – Paradise of Bachelors
27. JULIA HOLTER – Have You In My Wilderness – Domino
28. COKE WEED – Mary Weaver – Beyond Beyond Is Beyond
29. BOYTOY – Grackle – Papercup
30. SLAUGHTER BEACH – Love/Venice EP – Brilliance

WKNC TOP 5 ADDS

1. FRANKIE COSMOS – Fit Me In [EP]
2. PHILOSOPHICAL ZOMBIE – Loneliness Is Blue And Not Blue – Killer Wail
3. BREAKFAST – Amulet – Self-Released
4. KELLEY STOLTZ – In Triangle Time – Castle Face
5. WARM BRAINS – Big Wow – Milk Milk Lemonade

WKNC RPM CHARTS

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1. NEON INDIAN – Vega Intl Night School – Mom And Pop
2. BOB MOSES – Days Gone By – Domino
3. MADE OF OAK – Penumbra [EP] – Partisan
4. A TRIBE CALLED RED – “All Day” [Single] – Radicalized
5. SPORTING LIFE – 55 – 5s
6. CLAPTONE – Charmer – Pias-Different
7. CHAD VALLEY – Entirely New – Blue Cascine
8. DJ SPINN – Off That Loud EP – Hyperdub
9. CARAVAN PALACE – Robot – Le Plan
10. FKA TWIGS – M3LL155X [EP] – Young Turks

Categories
Festival Coverage

MoogFest: A Look Back

 

 

 

This coming Thursday sees the arrival of the annual Thanksgiving holiday here in America. Like everyone else, I’ll be eating turkey among family. I’ll also be thinking about what I was thankful for this year, and perhaps the thing that pops up the most is live music. I’ve seen plenty of it this year, mostly great, and one of the highlights was the second annual MoogFest in Asheville, North Carolina.

Friday, October 28

Atlas Sound

My first stop at this year’s MoogFest was at The Orange Peel to catch Atlas Sound. With Deerhunter, Bradford Cox tends to mix sprawling psych-rock landscapes with gorgeous melodies. His solo project, Atlas Sound, follows a similar sound, but whereas Deerhunter can get very loud and very rocking, Atlas Sound songs tend to be quieter, more fragile affairs, usually absent of electric guitars. Sitting on a stool in the middle of the stage, Cox played and sang delicate melodies that he would then loop over one another. Songs would build from vocals and guitar to a great wall of sound. This was the third time I had seen Atlas Sound, and while I enjoy Cox’s solo performances, I’ve seen what he’s capable of with a band backing him (Atlanta band The Selmanaires backed him at one of those prior shows). While he certainly does a fine job on his own, the songs just sound better when he brings a band along. After catching a few songs, I decided to move along and head over to the Asheville Civic Center.

Tangerine Dream

I must make a confession: prior to MoogFest, I had not listened to one second of Tangerine Dream’s music. So when I first walked into the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium half-way through the band’s set, I was pleased to hear psychedelic, ambient soundscapes coming from the speakers. This went on for a couple songs. Then things just got….. weird. The music quickly devolved into cheesy, Mannheim-Steamroller-like synth-schlock. Guitarist Bernhard Beibl and saxophonist would play solos that sounded straight out of a 1970’s porn flick. While it was interesting to watch leader Edgar Froese experiment with all manner of Moog synthesizers, plus the fact that he looked like some sort of urban witchdoctor with his hat, scarf, glasses, and long white hair, I ultimately walked away disappointed, knowing what the band was capable of.

Moby

 

TV On The Radio

 

Brian Eno’s Illustrated Talk

Crystal Castles

Amon Tobin

77 Million Paintings

Active Child

M83

Neon Indian

Passion Pit

Ghostland Observatory

Gold Panda

 

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Categories
New Album Review

Neon Indian makes weird coherent with their sophomore album

“This in no way a return to basics; it is an example of how to successfully tackle the complex.”

If there was one thing Alan Palomo would have to answer to with his second album as Neon Indian, it would be the huge amount of hype and acclaim from his 2009 debut Psychic Chasms. The Texas-based musician, coming off of rave reviews and praise, also had the distinct problem of being grouped among a handful of musicians making similar, yet compelling music. All this combined did not necessarily make it easier for Palomo and company to make a successful second album.

With labeling and comparisons easy to make in a market of music that includes a wide range of rising musicians including Toro y Moi, Washed Out, and well-established artists like Caribou, they had to make an album that was different from an ever-growing crowd of talented musicians and grounded favorites, yet true to the essence of their sound.

In the face of this diversity, Neon Indian was able to answer with one of the most compelling synthpop albums of the year in Era Extraña.

The art of mixing layers of synthesizers is one of the distinguishing factors of this album. Delicately placed and perfectly timed, the ability that Neon Indian has in execution in an area that could have easily been cluttered is one of the more admirable qualities of the record. The expertise of placement lays in the fact that Neon Indian is able to get these really poppy, intricate patterns of synthesizer without being cluttered or ruining their sound.

The best example of how this execution works so masterfully comes within the track “Polish Girl.” The track is able to build upon itself, adding diversity and spouting with moments of colorful synthesizer that shoot from the heart of the track itself. On top of this includes subtle moments that add rhythmically and effectively to the overall track.

With all this in mind it’s also necessary to point out the amount of variation that Neon Indian goes through from track to track. From glittery synth tracks like “Polish Girl” to grittier, harder sounds like “The Blindside Kiss,” Neon Indian demonstrates how they are able to change up their sound while keeping the essence of their synthpop intact.

Much of the credit of this album is in response to how Palomo’s harmonic arrangements hold this collection of wild songs together. It is his effort as a singer that has the impact of charging this coherent sound forward.

Coherence is a big part of the story of this album. Though it is able to change, the album still holds onto its original focus. This not only keeps it compelling to listen to, but it gives the listener a sense of anticipation on how Neon Indian will go about making the next track different.

This in no way a return to basics; it is an example of how to successfully tackle the complex. At its core, it’s a rewarding, fun, electro-pop record that leaves much to the imagination, and demands its listeners to hold on for what is coming up next.

At 23 years of age, Palomo is creating complex musical arrangements at a level that seem way beyond his years. Throughout Neon Indian’s sophomore release, they are able to tackle the hype of their previous success, and leave the listener wondering what the boundaries of such a young act are.

-DJ Ones

Categories
Festival Coverage

Asheville meet Moogfest

I had the pleasure this past Halloween weekend of attending the inaugural MoogFest in Asheville, North Carolina. Surrounded by the beautiful sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I witnessed sets ranging from the achingly beautiful sounds of jónsi to the infectious electro-pop of Hot Chip. The festival was a huge success and one of the most fun weekends I’ve had all year. Instead of doing the usual “write a paragraph about each act you saw,” I offer you a list of various this and that’s. Stay tuned for a gallery of photos from the weekend coming soon. Enjoy.

Best show of the weekend: Massive Attack and jónsi (tie)

Most common theme of the weekend: Acts who are laid-back on record being not-so-laid-back live (see Thievery Corporation, Four Tet, Massive Attack)

Coolest instrument: Neon Indian guitarist Ronald Geirhart’s guitar, featuring an embedded LED screen

Most common smell: It was a music festival. In Asheville. Figure it out.

Best surprise guests: Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale of Devo (who were forced to cancel their set due to a hand injury sustained by guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh) coming out at the end of The Octopus Project’s set to perform a couple songs (including my personal favorite, “Beautiful World”)

Best stage show: Massive Attack’s absolutely stunning set-up, featuring several LED screens displaying socio-political messages alongside striking visuals

Most amusing moment: Part of the floor in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium sinking in due to hardcore dancing during Sleigh Bells and Neon Indian, forcing security to clear the pit and front row

Best non-musical moment: Yelling “WOOT WOOT” at a gaggle of (real) Juggaloes

Biggest surprises: RJD2 and Pretty Lights, neither of which I’d been a huge fan of before the festival

Best costume: The giant sasquatch

Person having the most fun: According to a brief exchange I had with him, head of AC Entertainment (one of the main forces behind this festival, as well as Bonnaroo) Ashley Capps

Did you attend MoogFest? Who were your favorite acts? What were some of you favorite moments?