DJ Highlights

Local Beat Preview 9/16/11

It seems as if September is the month of festivals in our area. Following Hopscotch last weekend is SPARKcon in downtown Raleigh this weekend, and the following weekend is the Carrboro Music Festival in Carrboro. With Hopscotch out of the way we now have time to cover these longtime favorites in our area.


At 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, I will be joined by Gerry Williams, the coordinator for the 14th annual Carrboro Music Festival. The CMF has a long tradition and was one of the first music festivals in our state, starting before Hopscotch, Troika, Artsplosure, and SPARKcon, when it was called The Fete De la Musique. In 2002 the festival changed its name to what it is today but the goal remains the same: feed music to the masses. The event is taking place on Sunday, Sept. 25, and will feature 180 different acts at 25 venues. Join Gerry and me as we look to the past and the future at this great event.

At 6 p.m. musicSPARK organizer Stephanie Brinson is stopping by to chat about the SPARKcon art festival in downtown Raleigh. SPARKcon began six years ago and musicSPARK has been one of the central SPARKs throughout its duration. It started Thursday night and will continue through Sunday evening. This year’s musicSPARK is free for the first time and is very different from previous SPARKs. Listen in with Stephanie and me as we chat about this year’s event.

Continuing on with the SPARKcon trend at 7 p.m., I will be joined by Nikhil Shah of Locus Recordings, a start-up record label from Raleigh. Nikhil is providing the music for “Wear What You Are,” one of the fashion shows of fashionSPARK  happening on Friday evening. This one will mainly exhibit Raleigh Denim, which will be featuring 17 new “looks” in City Plaza at 8 p.m. Nikhil is also providing the music mixtape for the afterparty at the Flanders Art Gallery, which will be following the fashion show. The afterparty is from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

As always, “The Local Beat” starts at 5 p.m. and runs through 8 p.m. every Friday evening on WKNC. Listen live here and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and ReverbNation!

DJ Highlights

Local Beat recap 9/17/10

Because of SPARKcon on September 17 we were limited to only one hour once again for the Local Beat. However, that hour was dedicated to SPARKcon as editor of “The Word” Kestrel Lemen joined us to talk about the giant art festival. As many were, I was extremely overwhelmed by the massiveness of all the different sparks, but Kestrel broke it down one by one for us. Give the interview a listen below:

SPARKcon on the Local Beat 9/17/10

Non-Music News

EOT34 Sustainability and Tuition Increase 7/14/10

There are two VIPs this week: NCSU Sustainability Outreach Coordinator David Dean and Student Senate President Stephen Kouba. Dean will talk about his office and Kouba will discuss the recent $900 tuition increase at N.C. State. The D.H. Hill Color Wall is the subject of Community Canvas and Hear This focuses on the MusicSpark component of September’s SparkCon Festival.

Listen to episode 34.

Non-Music News

EOT04 Raleigh v. Durham 9/14/09

Monday’s episode of Eye on the Triangle focused on the Raleigh-Durham divide and how various people view the two cities, in addition to a couple of segments on SPARKcon, and more.

In this week’s VIP segment, Adam Compton interviewed Durham Mayor Bill Bell and Caitlin Cauley spoke to Triangle residents Josef Komenda and Rachel Nabors. I also spoke with our resident Triangle expert, who many of you may remember as WKNC’s general manager last year, Kyle Robb, about the history of the two cities and what he thought about Caitlin and Adam’s interviews.

In Hear This, Kelly Reid gave listeners a sneak preview into the SPARKcon music lineup.

For the full lineup of MusicSpark events, click here. To also listen to an interview Kelly conducted with Telekensis, check out this blog post.

In Community Canvas, Mike Alston gave listeners a look into SPARKcon arts, and interviewed Sarah Powers, who works with Visual Art Exchange, to talk about the call for artists at ArtSpark.

Jacob Downey sat down with the student of the week, Scott Richardson, former membership president of the N.C. State Chapter of Toastmasters. Richardson discussed his involvement with the organization and the leadership opportunities it provided him with.

Caitlin Cauley went around campus asking students what they thought about the University’s athletic program.

Send all your comments, suggestions and nominations for Wolfpacker of the Week to, and check out tomorrow’s blog post about next Monday’s show at 7 p.m.

Listen to episode four.

Concert Preview Local Music

Local Beer Local Band Night

This Thursday at Tir Na Nog is the Sparkcon Kickoff show. Sparkcon is
a annual DIY festival that showcases Raleigh’s top artists. This show
has a great local lineup: Starmount, Aminal Music, The Jackets and
Bright Young Things. Starmount is a psychedelic, down-tempo, four
piece band headed by Greg Elkin, who has produced albums for many well
known local artists (including Goner- YEAH!). Aminal and The Jackets
will bless the stage with a heavy dose of Americana-Indie rock
followed by Bright Young Things, which will crush you with its pop

This event will also provide local beer tasting from Foothills beer, a
Winston Salem brewery.

Tune in Thursday at 7  p.m. for an interview with Bright Young Things.

DJ Highlights

SPARKcon Sets Fire to Mystery Roach

Listen to Mystery Roach, Saturday September 12 from 8-10am on WKNC for a discussion with Aly Khalifa and Mary Ellis, two minds behind SPARKcon.   Aly is one of five “bobbleheads” that facilitate the event.  He, along with four others work with the organizers of each individual SPARK to help ideas become reality.  Mary is is the lead organizer of MusicSPARK, the musical aspect of the festival.  MusicSPARK will feature a large, diverse group of  94 Local Bands in 15 Raleigh Venues.

In all, SPARKcon will include more than 1200 performers from gaming to dancing to street painting to poetry reading.  Check the full schedule for details.

IdeaSPARK will kick off SPARKcon Thursday night at 6:00pm at the Marbles Kids Museum with
Pecha Kucha, a rapid fire presentation of ideas where each presenter has 6 minutes and 40 seconds to communicate their SPARK using 20 slides and discussion.  After that, head down to The Pour House, where WKNC will be hosting Local Beer Local Band as part of MusicSPARK.  The show will feature local acts: Bright Young Things, Animals, The Jackets, and Starmount.

Talk to you Saturday morning, and see you at SPARKcon.

-La Barba Rossa

Music News and Interviews

SPARKcon Wants You!

I’m the general manager, not a music director. So if you send me an e-mail telling me to listen to your music, I’m not going to do it. In fact, I’m not even going to forward it to the music director, because I don’t want to waste my time.

But inevitably, I still receive e-mails from people like this:

From: Jaylyn Ducati and the Sirens

Subject: “heyyyyy!”

Body: “check out my new single!

Now, I’m not here to comment on the quality of Ms. Ducati’s music, because I haven’t listened to the .mp3 she attached to her e-mail.  And I don’t care how hot the Sirens’ hot pants are, I’m not one to succumb to such flattery as an emoticon heart.  Ms. Ducati got the delete treatment that so many others have gotten before her.

But every so often, something lands in my inbox that’s worth reading.  Such was the case a few days ago when a SPARKcon representative e-mailed me asking WKNC to pass the word along: it appears that SPARKcon is in the planning stages for its fourth annual event.  If you’re asking, “What is SPARKcon?” then let me save you the trouble of Googling it:

SPARKcon is a showcase of creativity, talent and ideas of ‘The Creative Hub of the South,’ the Triangle NC.  A 100% volunteer effort organized with an ‘Open Source’ approach, SPARKcon is a ‘creative potluck’ of SPARKs or creative themes such as art, music, film, fashion, etc.  Each SPARK is put together by individuals who are deeply embedded in that specific local scene.  Using a combination of networking and open calls for participants, organizers create diverse and representative events to show off local talent and connect disparate creative scenes.  SPARKcon grows every time a new person gets involved with a SPARK category, creating their own event, or joining in to help an existing one.  It’s an open-source, ‘for the people, by the people’ approach with an intentionally dynamic focus.’

That information comes from the SPARKcon homepage.  Either way, they’re accepting submissions for musicSPARK now through July 20th.