Concert Review

Thursday is the New Friday – Future Islands Night 1

“Thursday is the new Friday,” proclaimed front man Sam Herring as he watched the sea of hands surge upward. The first night of Future Islands’ Raleigh performances had begun. The hype was building earlier as the shirtless front man and drummer of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat screamed into the microphone as he rapped his drum. A ghoulish low angle light illuminated his body, yet the tactic seemed appropriate and fitting. Islands’ entrance was quick, but their deliverance was timely.

Dressed in more formal attire (which Herring seemed to slowly rid himself of as the night progressed), they delivered crowd favorites like  “Tin Man” and “Long Flight” which were played back to back. Both tracks are off of Future Islands’ sophomore release “In Evening Air.” The Baltimore band also showcased some new tracks which I suspect are part of a rapidly approaching album release.  Herring’s usual stage facial expressions seemed surprising less theatrical Thursday night. I did, however, have a sneaking suspicion that the band was holding back for their second night. Fellow WKNC DJ The Mensch commented on the evening’s performance:  “Having never heard Future Islands in concert I wasn’t entirely sure of what to except.  Through, hearsay I knew they were amazing live from the chitchat around the studio… It’s safe to say that this was one of the best, if not the best concert I have ever seen in the Triangle.”


Krispy Kreme Challenge DJ Playlists

This Saturday, Feb. 5 marks another glazed filled, four mile run for the charity event benefiting the NC Children’s Hospital. The Krispy Kreme Challenge will host 7,500 runners this year, some of which will feature our very own WKNC deejays. In order to get pumped for the event, we’ve posted below a few of our playlists for the run.


1. The Black Keys – 10 a.m. Automatic
2. Generationals – Faces in the Dark
3. I Was Totally Destroying It – Done Waiting
4. Kate Nash – Kiss That Grrrl
5. M. Ward – Never Had Nobody Like You
6. Rilo Kiley – Portions for Foxes
7. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – I Learned the Hard Way
8. Weezer – Ruling Me
9. Shout Out Louds – Fall Hard

Special K:

1. Smith Westerns – Weekend
2. If These Trees Could Talk – What’s In the Ground Belongs to You
3. Kanye West – Get Em High (Ratatat Remix)
4. The Luyas – Too Beautiful To Work
5. The Light Pines – Bird Tribe
6. Washed Out – You and I
7. Kisses – Midnight Lover
8. Y La Bamba – November
9. King Mez & Commissioner Gordon – The Light
10. Future Islands – Walking Through That Door

Agent “Glazed and Confused” Orange:

1. Japandroids – Wet Hair
2. Digitalism – I Want I Want
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Y Control
4. Bloc Party – Flux
5. Queens of the Stone Age – Go With The Flow

DJ Mensch:

1. Broken Social Scene – 7/4/ (Shoreline)
2. Minus the Bear – My Time
3. The Love Language – Heart to Tell
4. The Seatbelts – Tank!
5. Blink 182 – Feeling This
6. Mute Math – Chaos
7. Rancid – Red Hot Moon
8. Rise Against – Savior
9. The Temper Trap – Science of Fear
10. +44 – No It Isn’t

Hot Tamale:
1. Donnis – Gone
2. Joy Formidable – The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade
3. The Hood Internet – Two Weeks of Hip Hop (Dead Prez vs Grizzly Bear)
4. Sleigh Bells – Run The Heart
5. Drake – Best I Ever Had
6. The Who – Baba O’Riley
7. Girl Talk – Triple Double
8. The Killers – Mr. Brightside
9. Matt & Kim – Block After Block
10. Bloc Party – Ion Square

Riff Raff/Kate-tose-intolerant:

1.Outkast- Rosa Parks
2.Best Coast – Bratty B
3.Best Coast – Crazy For You
4.Best Coast – Summer Mood
5.The Beatles – Golden Slumbers
6.The Beatles – Carry That Weight
7.The Beatles – The End
8. Bassnectar- BBC Mixtape 2010
9. Paper Tiger- The Bully Plank
10. Blue Sky Black Death – Days Are Years

Concert Review

Ellos Me Tengan (The Yo La Tengo Show Recap)

If one were to compile a canon of influential independent artists that have truly shaped the genre,  Yo La Tengo would certainly have a spot on the list. At least that’s what I’ve been told. The New Jersey trio began their debut over twenty-five years ago.  Now that’s something to contend with. I wasn’t even born. Sunday night marked the second night performance for the band at Cats Cradle and although it didn’t officially sell out (like the previous night), I still encountered parking issues and a crowded venue. I’d never seen Yo La Tengo perform, but I had spun their tracks modestly over the air in the past and was somewhat familiar with their discography. Needless to say, I had a lot of expectations.

My first surprise for the evening was the crowd itself. As someone who’s use to seeing Cats packed with a  rowdy youthful bunch for shows of the likes of Caribou or Of Montreal, Tengo’s turnout was a lot more, well, experienced. Not that I’m complaining, but it certainly did speak to the years of influence and fan base the band has acquired. My second surprise of the night was right after frontman Ira Kaplan, drummer and wife of Ira, Gerogia Hubley, and bassist James McNew took the stage. A large game show wheel was carted to the front. Its pie slices were outfitted personally to fit song choices to be played by the band that night. A few selections included songs by their associated acts, Dump and the Condo Fucks. Another pie slice featured songs with people’s names in them. The band finally chose an overly eager man in the front row who convinced us he had been waiting at Cats all week for the show.  His spin lasted a few moments before stopping on the choice for songs that started with the letter ’S’.

DJ Chuck also attended the show and commented that “Yo La Tengo have been around so long, and their catalog is so vast, that it’s hard to know every song of theirs. They did close out the set with a couple I did know however, those songs being the fan-favorite Sugarcube and Sudden Organ."  He continued on to say, ” after a half-hour break, the band came back on for their second, wheel-less set. Running through a barage of songs that ranged from quiet and pretty to loud and full of feedback, the band closed the set with a 20-plus minute song that started out quiet and gradually built it’s way up to a noisy climax, with guitarist Ira Kaplan swinging his guitar around like a madman, inducing all kinds of feedback.“

The band came back out for a short encore consisting of Autumn Sweater, their cover of Daniel Johnston’s Speeding Motorcycle, and another cover which Chuck nor I didn’t catch the name of, but was a quiet, acoustic number.

I was pleasantly happy that Yo La Tengo pulled tracks from their most recent album release from September 2009, Popular Songs. It’s a great album which features the bluesy sexual rock and roll of Here To Fall, beautiful folk with More Stars Than There Are In Heaven and nostalgic instrumental with The Fireside. Yo La Tengo’s show proved to be just as versatile where their age was showing- in a good way. The trio seems to have adapted to the trends of music over the years, but they have never let it label or define them. Their performance had me on Sunday, (Ellos me tengan), and I think I can finally appreciate their role within this eclectic music genre.

Music News and Interviews

Embarrassing Fruits to Promote their Shakori Hills Performance Tuesday

With the fall Shakori Hills Grassroots Music Festival this weekend, we wanted to speak to some of our favorite local bands performing at the festival. Tomorrow (Tuesday October 5), Special K will be chatting on the phone with Joe Norkus of Embarrassing Fruits as he promotes his band’s show at the Carson Grove’s Stage on Thursday, October 7.

Norkus will also be discussing the band’s recent album release of Frontier Justice which came out last month. The Chapel Hill band will be performing around 11 p.m. For the full band schedule, please visit the Shakori Hills website. Please listen in on the conversation only on 88.1FM or streaming online.

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 Review Local Music

Loved Language- A Look Back on the Libraries CD Release Show

For those who pride themselves on being familiar with local indie music within the Triangle, it would be a cardinal sin to overlook The Love Language’s rise within our tight knit music community in recent months. Indy Week gave the Raleigh band a nice cover photo and article last week, which chronicled the almost Cinderella story of Stu McLamb’s personal setbacks with the broken band this past December and his ability to bounce back to release Libraries on Merge Records, Love Language’s second album. Personally, The Love Language’s recent openings for international band Phoenix this June in Raleigh and Charlotte have cemented their growing momentum.

Although I admit that Libraries did not top their self-titled first album, I could not deny the raw energy that was present on stage at Cat’s Cradle Saturday night. The lead singer was composed, on point, and looked sincerely grateful to play the sold out show. He opened the night playing solo in deep spotlight, embodying the loneliness but also the his perseverance through the past few months. As McLamb finished quietly, the rest of the band transitioned perfectly in with “Horophones,” which symbolically represented the new band members’ solidarity. Although the show was aimed at showcasing Libraries, fans were treated with old favorites and special guests such as members from local band Lost in the Trees.

I couldn’t help but notice the various types of people that packed into the spacious Cradle, which signified that McLamb and friends are producing wide appeal. However, the Cradle wasn’t just teeming with life before the headliners walked on stage. Although I made a late appearance that night (due to an unscheduled pit-stop to gather some delicious French fries,) I luckily caught most of The Light Pines’ set. Last time I saw these guys was at the largest Local Beer Local Band night I’ve experienced where they attracted a huge crowd. Thankfully, things haven’t changed much since then. The boys seemed in step with one another producing their familiar haunting melodies. Guitarist Carter Gaj’s riffs were so rewarding that they warranted an impromptu and ecstatic Facebook status update.

Tommyboy was able to fill me in on opening act, Shit Horse, whom I knew relatively nothing about. However, apparently I missed a great deal of antics as the front man was extremely charismatic, soliciting responses now and then from the crowd. On their final number, they brought out a topless girl (both nipples pierced as I’m told) wearing a horse mask. Certainly, it had to have been an unforgettable performance.

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.

Music News and Interviews

Special K’s Hopscotch Giveaways

The Hopscotch Music Festival has now become synonymous with headliners: Broken Social Scene, Public Enemy, and Panda Bear. However, the Triangle’s largest music festival features plenty of local acts. That’s why every Friday for the next few weeks, Special K will be getting back to North Carolina’s musical roots by keeping spins local and giving away Hopscotch festival wristbands to lucky callers during the Local Lunch (12pm-1pm).

Listen only on 88.1FM or streaming online during Local Lunch for your favorite local Hopscotch bands like The Rosebuds, Bowerbirds, The Love Language and many more!

Local Music Music News and Interviews

Kooley High says, “See you later.” In-studio Interview

A few hours before Kooley High performs at the Pour House for their farewell Raleigh show, Foolery and Charlie Smarts wanted to come in and chat about their hip-hop legacy in North Carolina as well as their expectations for their futures in New York. The band plans to continue to make new music up north, but not before they have a great send-off tonight which will include classic Kooley High tracks mixed in with some new surprises.

Listen to part of the interview here:

Kooley High on WKNC

DJ Highlights Local Music

Kooley High on WKNC this Friday

Join Special K and the Sajhammer this Friday at 11 a.m. as they will be talking to local hip-hop band, Kooley High. The band plans to discuss their upcoming performance with Carlitta Durand at the Pour House, May 28.

During the show, Kooley High will also be giving away tickets to their show. Be sure to tweet questions you’d like the WKNC deejays to ask the band. Listen only on 88.1FM or streaming online.