North Carolina

Episode 232: Skylar Gudasz

Episode 232: Skylar Gudasz

Singer/songwriter Skylar Gudasz's debut LP, Oleander, is a sublime exploration of modern romance that wears its influences on its sleeve and is bursting at the seams with humor, heart, and class. It's also one of the best albums of 2016.

When she's not busy making great albums, Gudasz can be found palling around on stage with members of Big Star, Wilco, R.E.M., and more.

She's KINDA a big deal.

Lucky for you, Skylar had time to hang out with us in the basement to talk about her unique approach to songwriting, the making of Oleander, performing with music legends and much more.

Guys...we're gonna need you to get hip to this, OK?


Episode 225: Hiss Golden Messenger - Heart Like A Levee

Episode 225: Hiss Golden Messenger - Heart Like A Levee

In the 21st century one of the greatest scourges on the music industry is piracy. Time was though that Seymour Butts could get twelve albums for one shiny penny. 

M.C. Taylor's Hiss Golden Messenger is back with his follow up to 2014's critically lauded, Lateness Of Dancers. On Heart Like A Levee, the North Carolina singer/songwriters second album for Merge Records, Taylor is going deeper into questions of faith and explorations of country soul, and we're tagging along for the most excellent ride.

Because everything is better when it's country AF, we're taking a look at a new track from Atlanta, GA's Chris Stalcup and The Grange off of their latest album Downhearted Fools. Country. A.F.


Interview with Ben Asbury aka Axxa/Abraxas

Interview with Ben Asbury aka Axxa/Abraxas

Monday night the one-man project of NC’S Ben Asbury, Axxa/Abraxas, played the vaunted Galaxy Hut in Arlington, VA so we took a trip down the road to chat before his set about the new record, his recording process, and possible future plans for his current project.

Chunkglasses: You’ve recorded previously on your home label for several recordings. What made you want to take a shot on a label besides your own?

Ben Asbury: There are a lot of things that you have to do to get your name out there that I hate doing. I still love putting cassettes out on my own label or recordings of my friends. Hyping up a record isn’t really what I want to do. I did want to move onto a label besides my own though I originally was going to send the demo to Woodiest records since I love a lot of their stuff.


LIVE: Mount Moriah w/Blessed Feathers @ DC 9 - 3/27/13

All photos by Kevin Hill (kevin@chunkyglasses.com)

On Wednesday night, North Carolina-based Mount Moriah took the stage of a sold out DC9 with “Swannanoa,” a compelling rocker with a deceptively quiet start that’s perhaps a perfect introduction to the band.  Like many of the night’s selections, the framework of the song shows off the traditional country beauty of singer/guitarist Heather McEntire’s voice, and proves why

Mount Moriah’s music performed live is an inviting and engaging blend of rock and twang.

The twang derives from the guitar and McEntire’s voice -- lending a touch of sadness and regret to the lyrics, her voice aches of sorrow, heartbreak or longing on the slower songs, while delivering strength and resolve to faster-paced numbers.  

Even through lyrics than can be dark and heavy, the band proved comfortable and approachable. When McEntire asked if anyone was from North Carolina, it was clear that quite a few tarheel ex-pats had made their way to the club. After that exchange the tone for the performance was set, turning it into a seeming casual affair in front of friends.  When someone yelled, “Where’s your beard?” McEntire replied with “My beer?,” looking around her feet. After a bit more back-and-forth revealed the misunderstanding, she drew a lock of hair across her chin, thus joining her bandmates In their beardiness and laughing along with everyone else.


TO DO LIST: Mount Moriah TONIGHT @ DC 9

The last time Mount Moriah played in DC (opening for Mirah at the Rock and Roll Hotel), guitarist/vocalist Heather McEntire couldn’t contain her enthusiasm, telling the sold-out crowd “this is the best show ever.”

A lot has happened to the trio out of Chapel Hill since then, most notably the release of their stellar sophomore album Miracle Temple. McEntire’s voice calls to mind Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris as much as ever, but Miracle Temple is leaps and bounds past the band’s self-titled debut. It’s easy – almost too easy – to label Mount Moriah’s music alt-country, but the term doesn’t do them justice. It is, instead, music of the cloth it’s cut from; McEntire spent her early career with an indie rock outfit called Bellafea, while guitarist Jenks Miller spent his time in the infinitely more psychedelic (and “Southern” sounding) Horseback. When the two met at (where else?) a record store, the worlds collided.

While Mount Moriah is a subtle, brooding record with flashes of beautiful anger (“Lament” is a highlight), Miracle Temple is a crisp, confident burst of energy and twang that’s perfect for throwing the windows open and bopping around the house. Or, in this case, bopping around DC9. It’s the opposite of a sophomore slump, and the songs are wonderful when performed live.

Opening act Blessed Feathers, made up of Donivan Berube and Jacquelyn Beaupre, hails from West Bend, Wisconsin but are already well traveled; their 2012 EP Peaceful Beasts in an Ocean of Weeds is a wonderful five song travelogue. The slow-burning Western Massachusetts anthem “Holyoke/Springfield” may be the highlight (though they likely won’t make any friends in the area they describe as “living in the asshole of a shit castle.”)

Both bands are fresh off numerous well-reviewed shows at SXSW; don’t miss your chance to see them in your own backyard.


TRACKING: The Sweets - "Red Nose"

SOUNDS LIKE: A  sweaty garage, the bottom of a beer can, a full ashtray…in short Rock N’ Roll
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: These North Carolina brothers are on a mission to scandalize and won’t stop till they’ve made more music than ANYONE this year.

The simple pleasure of plugging in, turning it up to 11 and screaming about it is what’s at the core of all garage rock/lo-fi, and so it’s no wonder that every few years we see a resurgence in this most vital of all genres. In 2012 artists like FIDLAR, Ty Segall, The Oh See’s and more found success by the masses, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for more noise. Enter brothers Justin and Zack Romano of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who are on a mission to not just be as LOUD as they possibly can in 2013, but to do it as often as their eardrums will allow it.

“Red Nose”  the lead off track of the first of TWO EP’s thebrothers have already produced this year is a burst of overdriven rock and roll fantasy that captures everything The Sweets are about in a messy cloud of fuzz and bong smoke.

Check out what the brothers have to say about their “mission” below:

Justin and I grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. At an early age we fell in love with The Strokes and started playing the guitar. From then on we became obsessed with making music, playing in little bands around town, mostly shitty. Garage rock was our passion, but there was no crowd for it down here.

Once we split up and went to college however, we stopped caring about that and started making the aggressive music we love. Taking a lot of inspiration from Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, we started howling away in the garage. Our songs are about all of our experiences growing up in suburbia – from working as waiters at retirement homes to getting arrested shoplifting, from having our parents give our first dog away to sneaking out and dropping acid. The plan is to release more music this year than any other artist, and having it all be free. We’ve got plenty of sweetness to spread around and we plan on doing just that. 

 -Zach (sweets4evr)

That’s ROCK AND ROLL folks, pure and simple.

There’s no telling what we’ll be getting by the end of the year from The Sweets, but  if “Nose” is any indication, it’s sure to be a loud, catchy ride into the dark corners of their garage and beyond. We’ll be checking back with the guys periodically so be sure to stay tuned, but in the meantime stream their latest work below and check their site for new material and more.