Friday, October 22, 2010
WKNC & Tir Na Nog's Local Beer, Local Band, Raleigh
Oct 21, 2010
Mein auto is beginning to represent the character featured in Aaron Tippon's classic country song about the junker car that was worth keeping for the merits of the radio. ...indeed "more than once it's left me on the side of the road" and "the older it gets, the slower we go." I would also offer that the vents no longer vent and the defrost no longer defrosts. I feel a parting of ways in the air so I'm treading lightly and remembering the good times most of which involve its one redeeming quality, "there aa-iiin't nothing wrong with the raa-aa-dio." GM got one thing right, their radios are brilliant. Volume and seek controls in the steering wheel, speed compensated volume (gets louder the faster you go...fucking brilliant) self learning eq settings per radio station, but the best is its LCD which smartly scrolls artist and song name across the display when dialed to a station that can broadcast it and WKNC 88.1 does a keen job in flowing that out on to the airwaves along with the jams. WKNC is a juggernaut for launching new music to the local indy populace and when I'm dialed in cruising to or fro and something fantastic comes on I train to the read out and watch my new favorite a song be revealed one letter at a time. Thanks to 88.1 and and its clever merging with my radio I've recently become hip to The Generationals, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, and Edward Sharpe (of whom I purchased the album, listened to it non stop for three months, and saw the show at Cat's Cradle. Now just listen to them when they come on a Ford or NFL commercial.) Never before however, has a band pulled my attention from steering between the lines to staring at my radio more than once, Mount Moriah in fact has on three occasions with three different songs.
The first head turn was a couple months ago when "Lament" started to play just as I pulled into a parking space and went for the seat belt (click-it or ticket suckers.) The angular guitar pattern and eerily crisp vocals were an immediate hook and I pulled back for a moment, watching and listening. I was surprised as the word MORIAH began to scroll after MOUNT...I was familiar with Mount Moriah having even seen them live as an opener for a Nightlight show a few months back and while I left the show with a good feeling about them, the "wow" impression happened after hearing "Lament" on the car speakers. Deja Vue a few weeks later with "Reckoning", a low-fi string sliding Americana rhythm telling its fractured tale with constrained emotion and deeply reflected melancholy. By the end of that track I had pretty much decided I wouldn't miss another of their local shows. By the time "Telling The Hour" drifted through the speakers a couple weeks ago I was already pretty well tuned into their style but glanced at the LCD anyway, just to be sure I was sure. And I'm sure.
Last night at Tir Na Nog for Local Beer Local Band (sponsored by WKNC, is that irony?) was my follow up to the Nightlight show where I was introduced to Mount Moriah, but this time with the appreciation of having been blown away by their recorded works for the past month and a half. These songs that I had been digging into on the radio emerged on stage last night with deep seated and primal emotion. Heather McEntire and Jenks Miller tag teamed with a pair of extremely hot guitars and lead the crowd through a forty minute long energy field of Americana seared rock and roll. Mount Moriah is in style with the vintage folk/country rock sector of the broader indy music genre and based on crowd reaction last night they have found the right way to wear it. Judged also by the excited chirps from the audience as Heather picked up the tambourine, the wild swaying during and the deafening cheers ending, "Lament" is a stone cold hit and one that shouldn't wait to get on the road. Mount Moriah begins a dozen stops up and down the East beginning Sunday in Alexandria, VA and finishing up roughly a month from now in Baltimore. Here's to hoping that the newest "most exciting" local band turns a few heads on tour. --Carrboro Ninja