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WRNR Winner's Blogs Archives for 2014-07

Angela B Flies to Toronto to see Beck!

So it all began with my sister and I leaving on a jet plane. Seriously. I must admit, I was quite nervous sitting inside of the sardine like cabin, looking around at fellow passengers expecting to see the same look of udder terror in their eyes, but I didn't find it. That is what gave me comfort. We were in Toronto in 1 hour.


From the Toronto airport, we caught a cab to the heart of the city, which incased the Pantages Hotel, where we were told by the concierge that we had the best suite in the house, and upon opening the door; it was confirmed. This place was beautiful! Everything was spotless and looked new. The décor was edgy and modern, the amenities were great, and the comfort of the bed was unbelievable. I felt like a queen staying here.


My sister and I immediately left the hotel to explore the city. We ate at a cool burger place called The Works and drank out of measuring cups while sitting at a table that was aligned in front of a huge open window, front row to the city. We told our server that we liked her accent and she politely insisted that it was us that had the accent. I suppose she was right.


We wandered around the city, checking out a bunch of different shops, while making our way to the Sony Centre of Performing Arts where Beck was performing. What an amazing theater! The sounds within this theater were bouncing off of the walls like ping pong balls filling my ears with a complete richness. The music played that night blanketed my existence. The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger (Beck's opening band) were really good. Different, in a good way. If I had to put them into a category, I would call it spacey, modern funk-rock. I won't be surprised if we hear them on the radio soon.


Beck took the stage and I watched the past 20 years of my life pass before me as the band played the soundtrack. It was a warming experience to see an artist, whose music has been a part of my life since High School. Music is like a tattoo of the soul; it is always engrained within you and has a unique meaning to each person who holds it.

Beck was such a great entertainer, dancing around (as much as he could) and talking to the crowd on a personal level. He told us that he had read a review after one of his recent shows on the tour that said they were glad that he was sticking with the older music and wasn't playing a lot from the new record. Then he said, "so.........were going to play some of the new record anyway." :)


He said the type of songs he plays on the new album are the type of songs he wrote when he was younger and that they are comforting to him. He said that we shouldn't be scared of the quiet things. I fully agree with him and I find his new music to be wonderful and moving. I feel like Beck is an artist that has done it all, and is still going. In my opinion, he is the true definition of an artist, someone who explores, experiments, and provides a new experience from within.


Toronto is a fantastic city! I would recommend anyone to visit there. It was the cleanest city I have ever seen, hands down. I have also never felt safer walking around anywhere late at night than I did there. We had time to do plenty of shopping and we got to see Chinatown, and Toronto's legendary Kensington Market. Toronto was also celebrating their very first World Pride festival on the same weekend we were there. It was exhilarating to be able to witness the supportive and friendly atmosphere of equality that was literally everywhere we went.


It is still unbelievable that I won this experience listening to my favorite radio station, WRNR. Thank you a millions times for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I will remember and share this forever.



Check out these photos from Angela's trip!














RNR's Been Very Very Good to Me

Since my wife started commuting to Annapolis from DC for work a few years ago, she’s been a dedicated WRNR listener. And anytime we’re headed up 95, we’ll listen for as long as we can get a signal. So when she heard that RNR and the Old 97’s had partnered up for a t-shirt design contest, she insisted that I enter.


While I do some graphic design, I’m by no means a professional, so I wanted to do something simple and catchy. I decided that using an old 7up logo would look kind of cool, blending it with the band’s name and their new album. I entered just a day or two before the contest closed, not expecting to hear anything back anytime soon (or at all, really). Just a week or so later, Bob Waugh wrote me to let me know I had won a free, private concert for me and 50 of my friends with the Old 97’s!


My wife and I are both big Old 97’s fans, so she was ecstatic to hear the news. From the time we won, Bob couldn’t have been any cooler, constantly updating me on when and where the concert would be and getting the t-shirts printed. When he found out we lived just a few blocks from the 9:30 Club, he even connected us with a representative from ATO Records, who offered up the opportunity to meet Rhett Miller backstage and attend the concert the night before our private show. Rhett couldn’t have been nicer when we met him and, as always, the band put on a great show.


The next day, we headed to Annapolis for the private show at the Annapolis Smokehouse and Tavern. With a ton of our friends and family there, the band came on and did a 6 or 7 song acoustic set. And even though they had just played a sold out 9:30 Club, they played with the same energy as the night before for a crowd a tenth of the size and sounded great.  Total professionals.


My wife and I have had a tough year dealing with endless doctor visits for our now 20-month old son. Our weekend with the Old 97’s at the 9:30 Club and the private show with our friends and family was such an amazing experience and offered us the chance to take our minds off of things for a while and have fun. We can’t thank WRNR, ATO Records, and the Old 97’s enough. 




The Old 97's playing at their sold out 9:30 club show.



Ben and his wife hanging out with Rhett Miller Backstage.



Though it's a bit wrinkly, Ben's awesome Shirt design!



A Private show with the Old 97's with 50 of your closest friends? Heck yeah! 




2014-07 | 2014-03 | 2013-11 | 2013-04

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