DJ Highlights

The Local Beat Preview 1/20/12

This week on The Local Beat we only have one guest to welcome. At 6 p.m. Jeff Crawford of Arbor Ridge Studios is coming on to chat about a new project. In addition to being active in over five dozen bands (only a slight exaggeration) and heading popular local recording studio Arbor Ridge Studios, Jeff is also the music director at The Gathering Church in Durham. The Gathering Church has been meeting since 2009 at Creekside Elementary School and has become well known for its worship services with Jeff’s musical talents taking stage. In 2010 the church released Christmas Nights: Music From The Gathering Church to great fanfare. Now, just a little over a year later, a new album is being released: Hymns From The Gathering Church. The album features a plethora of well-known local artists performing their takes on traditional Christian hymns.  Phil Cook (Megafaun), Heather McEntire (Mount Moriah), Seth Kauffman (Floating Action), Mandolin Orange, Skylar Gudasz, Ryan GustafsonBrett Harris, Nick Jaeger (The Tomahawks), Mark Simonsen (The Old Ceremony), and James Wallace all contributed to the record.

Join Jeff and I on The Local Beat as we take a listen and chat about this new album.

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!

Music News and Interviews

Want to go to Shakori Hills?

Of course you do! Four days of music, dance, art and education in the heart of North Carolina; what could be a better way to spend fall break?

The Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance is holding its Fall Festival October 6-9 in Chatham County. Over 60 bands are scheduled to perform, including Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Sharon Jones & The Dap-KingsDonna the BuffaloBrett DennenSidi Touré, The Duhks, Rosie Ledet, Nawal, Emmit-Nershi BandEilen JewellToubab KreweBearfootThe Old CeremonyLocos Por Juana and HOBEX.

Keep your ears open for one-day pass giveaways for you and a friend. One pair will be given away each week leading up to the festival. When the WKNC DJ asks for it, be the correct caller on our studio lines, (919) 860-0881 or (919) 515-2400.

New Album Review

Double Barrel Benefit #8 Compilation CD

88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week 2/8/11, written by DJ Switch, WKNC deejay

You never think your kid’s ugly. Well, at least you never tell your kid you think they’re ugly. My parents never did. They did say I have a face for radio, but I never quite got what that meant. Either way, there’s no need to lie about the beauty of WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit compilation, because even though the student radio station put it together, it’s a handsome piece of local music by all objective accounts. Recorded mostly in Caldwell Hall, this album was passed out to the crowd at 88.1’s annual benefit concert as they watched those very same bands bring down the house.

Showing the diversity of Raleigh’s music scene right off the bat is rapper Inflowential’s “Wherever.” It has a cheerful rhythm that reminds of Sugar Ray. As soon as you’re swaying to that, he slips in nonchalantly and starts commanding a pitter-patter of rhymes. Inflowential has an easy mastery of words like Nas or Jay Z, but with none of the intimidating lyrics.

Kid Future has some seriously artful song lyrics, such as “you were born with no blood, wind in your veins,” and the Old Ceremony has that simple beauty that you used to only be able to find in Bob Dylan or James Taylor songs.

Luego are students of the Guthrie school of folk rock, but, like Blitzen Trapper, they bring their modern indie rock sensibilities to give it a modern twist. Don’t let the song title fool you, “California” is an ode to the good old North State, done right by a group of native musicians with true Carolina accents.

Cassis Orange easily became one of my new favorite bands with their contribution, “May, June, July.” Now, normally I don’t like dance music. I think this aversion stems from a childhood of getting rejected by girls at the middle school dances – and an adulthood of getting rejected by some of those same girls at college parties – but this track made me forget all that entirely. It’s sort of like a mellowed-out Madonna, but not so dancey that it loses its beautiful, trippy melody and its mature songwriting.

Yardwork makes order out of chaos with “Hot Balloons.” The guitar solos seem to climb around the impassioned vocals like ivy, wrapping over the pounding snares in an effort to quell this eminent crescendo of emotion. Bright Young Things is a sort of happy hodgepodge resembling something like Kula Shaker or maybe even an experimental-era Beatles.

Like their name, Hammer No More the Fingers is something both indescribable and obvious. You can’t pin down exactly what it is that works for this band, but you know that it works— and “Blanko Basnet” definitely works. The vocals are some of the most unique I’ve ever heard. They have a slight adolescent twill, but still retain the power and resonance to howl above the rich intensity of the song.

No lie, this compilation is beautiful. Me, on the other hand—that might be another story.

88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week is published in every Friday in the print edition of Technician, as well as online at and

Music News and Interviews

Double Barrel Benefit compilations available at Schoolkids, Bull CityRecords

There’s still time to get your own little piece of Double Barrel Benefit 8, while also supporting your local independent record store!

Compilations are $7, and are now available at Schoolkids Records in Raleigh and Bull City Records in Durham.

WKNC DBB 8 Compilation:
1. “Wherever” Inflowential
2. “Like a Camera” Kid Future
3. “Day That I Was Born” The Old Ceremony
4. “California” Luego
5. “May, June, July” Cassis Orange
6. “Hot Balloons” Yardwork
7. “King of Fools” Bright Young Things
8. “Blanko Basnet” Hammer No More the Fingers

Tracks 1-7 were engineered and mixed by WKNC staff, under the direction of WKNC Sessions Director Eric Scholz, in Caldwell Lounge on the campus of N.C. State University; track 8 was engineered and mixed by Pete Kimosh; all tracks were mastered by Kitchen Mastering in Carrboro, NC, and CD duplication was provided by Triangle Duplication Services in Raleigh, NC.

Concert Preview

Announcing: Lineup for Night One of Double Barrel Benefit 8!

Since 2004, the Double Barrel Benefit has since served as the station’s primary fund raising event. As a department of a state university, NCSU Student Media consistently faces budgeting concerns (read: small budgets, which are made smaller each year). Similar fund raising efforts are absolutely integral to any non-commercial radio station, especially those that have very little in the way of guaranteed annual funding. Is that a shameless appeal? Not really, just part of the framework of the event.

What better way to secure some operating funds than to expose and promote local music? It’s unarguable that the Triangle area (conveniently covered in full by WKNC’s 25,000 watt transmitter atop D.H. Hill Library) is brimming with musical talent. WKNC has been a gracious actor within the local music scene for years, and helping local musicians reach their target audience (and beyond) is a major part of what we’re all about.

This year, local music fans who are generous (and indeed lucky) enough to attend the Double Barrel Benefit will receive something more than just two nights of great music and the knowledge that they helped the station keep the lights on for another year. All eight acts supplied a previously unreleased track to an eight-song compilation album; seven of the eight tracks were engineered and mixed right on the N.C. State campus. Kitchen Mastering, one of the South’s premier mastering facilities was responsible for the fantastic mastering work, and Triangle Duplication, located right in Raleigh, NC, provided duplication services; a free copy of this compilation is included in the $10 ticket price (buy a two night pass, get two compilations).

This year, Double Barrel Benefit 8 will take place on Friday and Saturday, February 4 and 5, at Kings in downtown Raleigh. Friday, February 4, will feature Cassis Orange, Luego, Bright Young Things and The Old Ceremony.

Cassis Orange
(Nicole Kligerman, WKNC Local Music Director)

Cassis Orange has got to be one of my favorite bands to come out of the Triangle in the past year. The poppy sweet sound is addictive, and I’m so happy about all the love this band has been receiving after the release of their Cassis Orange EP. I’m even happier about their inclusion in our Double Barrel lineup for this year.

Cassis Orange is the project of Autumn Ehinger and friends, and it’s actually the name of a popular Japanese cocktail drink. Japan is quite a large source of Autumn’s inspiration for song writing as her songs are, directly or indirectly, about the time she lived in Tokyo teaching English.

When trying to describe the music of Cassis Orange, I am reminded of a trip to the candy shop or being surrounded by color on a sunny day. The music is full of lo-fi pop sounds coming from Autumn’s Casio keyboard and lyrics about love and the like. The video for “Listen Heartbeat” was even filmed with a Locopop making its way around Cameron Village. The songs have the perfect sound for any happy time, and Friday night’s DBB8 is sure to be just that.

(Adam Kincaid, host of The Local Beat)

To say Luego is a super-group is a bit of an understatement. Fronted by talented young troubadour Patrick Phelan, this band features an ever rotating cast of a who’s-who of the Triangle Music Scene, all friends and contemporaries of the ever expanding congregation under the tutelage of Jeff Crawford.  The likes of Peter Holsapple, William Moose, Mark Connor, Cameron Lee, Charles Cleaver, Rob DiMauro, Will Goodyear, Stuart Robinson, Brett Harris, Nick Jaeger, Caitlin Cary, James Wallace, and Dale Baker can all claim ties to Luego in one way or another. And yet despite this massive accumulation of local music demi-gods, it is Phelan who shines through with his vibrant stage presence and catchy lyrics layered on top of craftily set lo-fi blues rock that gets your feet moving while speaking to your heart.  The latest release, Ocho, was put out just a mere eight months following the debut release of Taped Together Stories setting a prolific trend that we hope can continue.

Bright Young Things

(Tommy Anderson, WKNC General Manager)

There are several ways one could take the now-infamous tongue-in-cheek description of the BYT as “the Beatles on a bad day,” but the fact remains that there is only one way to take their live show. Energetic, creative, playful, yet still down to earth, Raleigh’s Bright Young Things weave their way right into the audience’s consciousness. (“I feel like I’ve known this band my whole life, and I’ve been a fan the whole damn time.”)

Lead guitarist Cameron Lee’s searing guitar licks slide right in next to Matt Damron’s crooned hooks; smooth and in-step keys along with the driving, bolstering rhythm section round out this attractive and impossible to forget outfit. The BYT are unassuming, polite, and darn catchy.

The Old Ceremony
(Adam Kincaid)

Django Haskins formed The Old Ceremony back in 2004 as a “mini-orchestra” of sorts with the aspiration of creating music that could not be composed by typical rock bands. What resulted was one of the catchiest and most sought after North Carolina groups in recent memory. After the release of their self titled debut full length the band struck a chord in the heart of music critics with their most successful output in 2007’s Our One Mistake, which was listed as one of the top 100 albums of that year by Paste Magazine. Without hitting a slump the band has dropped two more sophisticated masterpieces, Walk On Thin Air and Tender Age, while continually building upon the legacy that their live shows have garnered. Behind Haskins on stage, Mark Simonsen, Daniel Hall, Gabriel Pelli, and Matt Brandau fill out the fitting pieces into an intimate yet high energy show that has yet to repeat a set-list or let an audience down. The Old Ceremony is certainly a legend in the making.

DJ Highlights

Local Beat recap 9/24/10

The evening of September 24 was quite a full show on the Local Beat.

Django Haskins and Mark Simonsen of The Old Ceremony sat down with me for the first hour to pick up where we left off last February about their brand new album, Tender Age. The album has been released for a couple of weeks now and the fellas and I played several tracks off of the album and a couple in studio, which you can listen to in the mini player at the bottom of the page and download here.  Give the entire interview a listen below:
The Old Ceremony on the Local Beat 9/24/10

A newer and less known band from Raleigh called Scarlet Virginia dropped by for the second hour of the show to play some live songs and talk about their debut release, By Lamplight EP which was put out back in August.  The group is a soft, folky-pop group, and they played several acoustic songs for us, which you can listen to and download here. Check out our conversation below:
Scarlet Virginia on the Local Beat 9/24/10

Lee and Bert of the Milagro Saints came in for the final hour of the show, and we chatted about a wide variety of things from their shows last weekend to the evolution of the band through 15 years of staying together. The Milagro Saints are one of the more storied and traveled groups in our area, and the guys had plenty to share:
Milagro Saints on the Local Beat 9/24/10

Music News and Interviews

Swanky Giveaways for this Week!

The local shows keep rolling, after a successful weekend of Hopscotch Musical Festival, and the upcoming SPARKcon, the Triangle is the place to be!

We have a lot of giveaways for you this week. You know what that means—listen to WKNC throughout your entire day and you could win tickets to:

9/15- Jay Clifford at Cat’s Cradle

9/16 – Shooter Jennings at Cat’s Cradle
The Small Ponds at The Pour House

9/17 – Holy Ghost Tent Revival at Lincoln Theatre

Old Ceremony at Cat’s Cradle **CD release party!

Urban Sophisticates at The Pour House

9/18 – Billy Bragg at Cat’s Cradle

Free Electric State at The Pour House

9/19 – Drive-By Truckers at Lincoln Theatre

JP Chrissie & Fairground Boys at Cat’s Cradle

On-going  movie tickets—The American and Resident Evil: Afterlife at Crossroads 20 in Cary

Even if you don’t win tickets, stay up to date on all local shows with our Rock Report!

Music News and Interviews

This Week’s Fun Giveaways

On July 28, we have tickets to Streetlight Manifesto at the Lincoln Theatre, and The White Cascade at Slim’s.

The Old Ceremony @ Smith's Olde Bar, Atlanta GA 02.09.2007 by pierrotsomepeople.

On July 30, we have tickets to J. Roddy Walston & The Business at Slim’s, and The Old Ceremony at The Pour House.

On July 31, we have tickets to Corrosion of Conformity at The Pour House.

On September 1, we have tickets to Joan Baez at The North Carolina Museum of Art.

REMINDER! the July 31 Luego show at Slim’s has been rescheduled to August 13

We also have tickets to Salt at Crossroads Cary 20.

Concert Review

Roman Candle puts on a great show in Carrboro

by Travis Hargett

Since taking over one of the local lunch shows with DJ Megan, Roman Candle has become a weekly favorite. I’m not sure there’s a song on Oh Tall Tree in the Ear that we haven’t played at least once, so when i saw the DJ pass for the show at the Cat’s Cradle last week, I snagged it.

Unfortunately we didn’t make it for either of the openers (The Parson Red Heads and Ravenna Colt), but the Roman Candle set was great. After months of listening to a bands cd it’s always great to hear them live. When we walked in they had just kicked it off with “That’s why modern radio is A-OK”… it’s probably their most popular and it was pretty good live. The next two songs “A heartbeat” and “Sonnet 46” were both backed up with some guys from The Old Ceremony. Other than that, they played through most of Oh Tall Tree in the Ear and it sounded like they played some older stuff I wasn’t too familiar with. Best of all, it was over by 11:40 p.m. – gotta love a weekday show.

Music News and Interviews

Giveaways for the rest of April — check It!

Check it – Check it – Check it out!

WKNC has tickets to great shows for YOU! Here are the shows happing during the rest of April that we are giving away tickets to:

Thursday, April 22

Shakori Hills Grassroots Music Festival (April 22 to 25)
**Be sure to tune into WKNC for an interview with The Honeycutters on Friday, April 23 from11 a.m. to 12 p.m. w/ DJ Kligz as the last of WKNC Shakori Interview series**

Friday, April 23

The Old Ceremony w/ Benji Hughes @ Cat’s Cradle

The Old Ceremony photo by Scott Simontacchi

Sunday, April 25

Frightened Rabbit w/ Maps & Atlases, Bad Veins @ Cat’s Cradle

Monday, April 26

Quasi w/ Let’s Wrestle @ Cat’s Cradle

Wednesday, April 28

Clipse w/ XY & Ninjasonik @ Cat’s Cradle

Friday, April 30

Kaki King w/ An Horse @ Cat’s Cradle

As always, be sure to check out The Rock Report for a complete list of local shows. Tune into WKNC 88.1 FM for your chance to win tickets or stream us online.

Rock on!