Tremaine Album Review


For this heavily anticipated new album Trey Songz comes back with a pretty solid album named Tremaine. Tremaine is an album Trey Songz wanted to show the listeners that he is still one of the best if not the best R&B artist in the game today. Trey Songz expressed in his interview with the Breakfast Club that he named his first track on his album named Playboy because of his current situation with women. He explained that being at the stature that he is in he feels that he can not trust a woman with his heart because, there is always more calling and does not fill the urge to be committed in one relationship.  The interview with the Breakfast Club he discussed his issues with Nicki Minaj and simply put he felt that it was weak on Nicki’s part to get at him for no reason over the allegations claimed in the Shether song. Once the interview was over the anticipation of this album has gone up. There are 15 total songs on this album. I will review the once that are highly recommended to check out and listen to on rotation.

#2 song- Come Over: This song is one of the best songs on this album that brings fans right in to show exactly why Trey Songz is one of the best in his group. A must download with great vibes, hooks, and chorus throughout the whole track.

#5 song- Playboy: A song with context and understanding where Trey Songz is coming from I feel that this song is a great song to listen to in certain moods. I enjoyed the sound the message of the song and Trey Songz delivered well on this track.

#6 song The Sheets…..Still: To me this best song on the album, with how great he switched up his flow and how smooth his voice changed talking about the experience with the woman in the song definitely makes this a favorite song on the album to me.

#10 song 1×1: This song instantly is a summer vibe song that could be a great radio song to play. Nice vibes and high upbeat rhythm to this track makes you want to vibe. Highly recommended song for those looking for a summer jam.

#12 song: What Are We Here For?: One of my favorite songs on the album that is an instant radio play. With the beat and rhythm this is a quality track that will be played a lot more in the summer.

Review Score: 7/10 Very solid album that will be played from time to time.

-DjLeodawnus

Joey Bada$$- All Amerikkkan Review


The heavily touted single Land of the Free from Brooklyn’s own Joey Bada$$ made the anticipation of his All Amerikkan album sky rocket in expectations. Coming to towards this album I knew that Joey Bada$$ is on of the most lyricist rappers in the game today. My expectations for this album before listening to it, was that it was going to have a political standpoint of how Joey sees the world within his eyes. Once listening to it couple times that is something was accomplished. With features of TDE’s own ScHoolboyQ, Styles P, J. Cole, Flatbush Zombie’s own Meechy Darko, Nyck Caution, Kirk Night, and Chronixx. I had an idea of what type of sound that Joey Bada$$ kinda like old school melodic deep lyrical type music. The songs that i really enjoyed and recommend on this album.

Land of the Free: A song that has a Biggie sample that I felt he used very well in what he feels the status of being a black person with a voice in society.

Rockabye Baby: My favorite song on the album that has a great sound rhythms and lyrics. ScHoolboy Q came in hard and had a great feature on this album that makes this song come together to be one of the best songs on the album.

Y U Don’t Love Me?: Most interesting and very insightful track from Joey. He puts this song as a message of being in a relationship with the country he lives in. Very good insightful track.

Legendary: With having J. Cole on this song he fits very will with the sound and hook. Both J. Cole and Joey Bada$$ fit very well together and just feel good music that has a very good message in it.

Devastated: To me has the best rhythm sound that has a very good radio value. Joey made on of the best beat on this song that is instantly catchy and has a lot of replay value.

Temptations: A song with a heavy message that comes with a very good up tempo beat. Having insight of the media is hurting the cause and it was a plot to have all this outrage to push certain agendas.

Rating: 8/10 Very good album has a lot of replay value.

-DJLeodawnus

A Close-up of “The Sickness”


Palette.“The Sickness,” by Rich Beckermeyer is in the Sac State Library’s Gallery right now. Beckermeyer is a photographer, filmmaker, and writer.

His work in this exhibition consists of very large photos, in the form of Dibold Metal Prints. This is where the ink is infused into the metal, aluminized metal. This makes the prints durable, water-proof, and shiny. Beckermeyer used his grandfather, and his failing health, as his subject. His goal was to engage with the overall conversation of aging, care, and end of life.

Many of his photographs are very close up, and all of them are very large. This gives such an intimacy to the viewer. It’s done in grayscale. The achromatic nature of the work gives it a little bit of emotional distance, and sets a tone of the past and memories, to the work. And, the shine to these types of metal prints always strike me as really springing them to life. It adds dimension to it, which highlights different aspects of the picture, as you move around.

We can see the small flakes of skin, coming off of the grandfather’s back. The oxygen tubing is blown up so large, and still is not contained inside the frame. The blow-up of a page of the bible is mostly blurry, because the grandfather was losing his sight, but it was still a huge part of his life. Making these items, these moments so large gives them such an emotional weight. You can feel how much these items meant to the artist, and/or his grandfather.

I personally really liked the print titled, “His Caregiver Walking Away From Her Childhood Home.” Nothing seems cleaned up for the shot. The tree branches he included in the shot add to the feeling of age to this home, further highlighted by the grayscale of the photo. The caregiver looks contemplative, with a touch of sadness. It was one that I kept going back to. I tried imagining what was going through her head. And, it could be a myriad of things, even when only put into the context of the rest of the show.

 

“The Sickness,” will be at Sacramento State’s Library Gallery until March 18th, 2017

Like what you’re reading? Listen to me, DJ Tray Squat laugh my way through our political system, on PoliPsycho. Every Wed. at 4-5pm on KSSU.COM

Art Round-up


Palette.

Often, I’m out looking at local art in Sacramento, for inspiration. And, often, I find art pieces that I really want to share with people. Here are a couple of exhibitions I found interesting.

Fine Art to Enhance Your Life & Surroundings by Steve Memering

The Smith Gallery, 1020 11th St #100, Sacramento, CA 95814

The exhibition represents painting. The theme of the works was nature and city-scapes. The imagery was figurative. It was easy to tell that the city-scapes were mostly of the Sacramento or Bay area. The nature paintings were of trees, fish, etc.

Some of the architecture was pretty. It had bright colors, and I recognized some of the buildings and places that were depicted.

But, my favorite was (what appeared to be) an old map-like collage of Sacramento. There were renderings of old Sacramento architecture surrounding a relief map of how Sacramento used to look. It was done in a burnt sienna-type coloring to look old. It seemed really fun. I liked the color. I liked that the buildings on the map looked like they might in real life, stood up.

I liked the subjects the artist chose. I didn’t like the final product of most of his paintings. The color, line, and style felt so familiar that it made me skim over most without really looking at it. They seemed like paintings that had been done a million times before. But, the one that caught my eye had one color. It had different things in it to look at. This taught me that the color palette and style you choose can really impact the interest a piece gets. And, how powerful juxtaposing things can really be.

Wings and Things: Michele Fisher and Vicki Sarantopulos

Art House: 1021 R St at 10th, Sacramento, California 95811

The exhibition was ceramics/mixed media. The pieces had elements of collage and assemblage. The theme of the works was psychology and nature. The works endeavored to explore the narratives of universal human struggles, metaphor, symbolism, and archetypes. The artists are also psychotherapists. So, they explored their experience dealing with human mind and emotions in their work.

The imagery was abstract. The works had a lot of mixing/melding of human and nature, nature and architecture, human and architecture, and so on. Different things were used, such as cloth, paper, and feathers. These items either covered or fit inside of the ceramic elements of the pieces.

I like the use of the other items. The cloth, for example, cut across where a face was fused with wings and a castle. This face had wings attached to the sides of it, and a castle attached to it’s forehead. But, we never see were these things are fused. The cloth looks like a wrap around the head, but doubles to hide the location of the juxtapositions. I think this separation eases the transition from each element, making it more pleasing for the viewer. The same is true of other elements in other pieces. They both smooth out the piece, and move your eyes along.

I really loved these pieces. These pieces all looked like they could have come from one artist. I learned that juxtaposing things can be too powerful, and that there are things that you can do to tone down the transition while keeping the effect.

If you are an artist at Sac State, and would like some of your art reviewed, contact me: DJTraySquat on facebook. And, listen to Poli-Psycho on KSSU.com every Wednesday at 6-7pm

Weekly Staff Picks #3


Hello hello wide world web! We have congregated here again to choose on your behalf  what you should listen to. I know, how kind of us to do. No need to thank us, we do this for the sake of finding something we love and nothing more.

 

Staff Pick 1: Claudia Rivas

The Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come to Expect, Aviation

The Last Shadow Puppets have finally released their sophomore LP, Everything You’ve Come to Expect, eight years after debuting, The Age Of The Understatement, in 2008. The brilliant collaborative duo of the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and former The Rascals’ front-man Miles Kane have a new batch of songs ready to take on their scheduled upcoming tour. Turner and Kane have created a LP that not only mixes guitar-rock and classical-violins seamlessly, but also rendered a collection of songs that clearly serve as a soundtrack for dangerous summer romance. In their single “Aviation”, these themes are clearly portrayed. Backed by somber strings, the tune plays out like a dramatic vintage spy film. The opening graduation of noise and dissonance of heavy guitar riffs and fluttering string arrangements that give it a Bond-like quality. Sounding like music that would be the centerpiece for a early-00s’ spy movie similar to Mission Impossible, “Aviation” is the opening song that sets the dramatic romantic tone for the entire LP, well worth the listen.

 

Staff Pick 2: Emiliano Martin

Frankie Cosmo – Fit Me In, Next Thing

Frankie Cosmos’ EP “Fit Me In” shouldn’t be overlooked in light of her newest album this year, “Next Thing.” The track “Young” and the EP itself are a departure from her earlier work with its drum machine and synth combo in place of her earlier bedroom-recorded guitar and microphone. Like a lot of her songs, “Young” is simple but serves to communicate a thought Cosmos had in a particular moment. Her music is able to deliver a sense of comfort while contemplating what it means to be “young,” “fun,” and “alive.”

 

Staff Pick 3: Lucy Morales

Club Cheval – Discipline, Legends

When you gather different and brilliant minds together into one collective, the end result is either disastrous or exceptional.  Canblaster, Sam TibaMyd and Panteros666 are four French DJs who have conjoined their electronica expertise to form the dynamic Club Cheval. Their track “Legends” is an exceptional place to start for those new to their R&B and house blended sound. The smooth croonings of Rudy seamlessly interchanges with swaggering beats and deeply penetrating basslines. What propels forward the energy and eventually settles the the direction of the track is the premature climax of dark chorus of children boldly announcing “fight for life… live to fight… ”. Easily, “Legends” has all the necessary elements to cross into American EDM territory.

 

Staff Pick 4: Lucas Oliveira

Quilt – Roller, Plaza

Are you as sick of hearing new music that sounds like updated versions of the schlocky pop songs of the 80’s as I am? Well, lucky for us, Quilt draws its inspiration from an earlier time, shirking the shotgun-snare synth-pop that many indie bands are turning to in favor of tremolo-heavy psychedelia. But while their last album wore its Jefferson Airplane and Syd Barrett influences on its sleeve, their latest release is less obviously indebted to the late 60’s. The first thirty seconds or so of “Roller” would sound perfectly at home on a Spoon album, with its chugging guitar and bass and wavering vocal-like synth harmonies. Come the chorus, the noodly bassline and chiming guitars reveal that Quilt hasn’t completely abandoned its psychedelic roots. The result is a sunny, swaying mid-tempo track that merges the music of the late 60’s with 21st century indie, and I definitely recommend it.

 

Staff Pick 5: Andrew Garcia

Tacocat – Lost Time, Dana Katherine Scully

The three words I can find to best describe Tacocat’s sound are feminist, bubblegum, punk. They harness the power of all three of these adjectives to create my new favorite song “Dana Katherine Scully,” a musical letter of adoration for the fictional FBI Agent of the X-Files department. Tacocat groove out to the charming sonics of surf punk affability and the hilarious yet fully sincere nerd love usually reserved for the most dedicated of fan-fic writers. However, they skirt obsession, in favor of endearing respect of the way in which Agent Dana Scully sees the world through logic and rational. As Tacocatputs it, “She wants to know what’s out there/but she need to know why”. It’s a groovy good time.

 

Musings on Money


Here’s a short write, meandering through the concept of money and success. By DJ Tray Squat.

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 “Here we stand, on the edge of unfamiliar territory. It has been charted before, many times, many ways. But, the tracks are all different sizes, tailored to each of the vehicles of their drivers. Most are long gone. None of the tracks are suited to me, they are too big, too small, too, long, too short, too deep, and too shallow. In the land of many paths, I fit none of them. I would scrape my flesh on the path with sticks, rocks, and dirt. I would get lost and suffocate in the track that is so deep, even the tallest had trouble navigating. I would still be here, needing a path, on the roads that end too soon. How to lengthen the short roads, or shorten the long ones? I don’t have the time to take the long route. Yet, I stand here, needing a way. Carving out my own path seems near impossible. Can I connect two roads? Fuse the tracks from your street with the sticks sticking out from another, and add in some of the depth of the path that travels underneath? What if it leads me nowhere? I can’t connect a path to a destination, without that destination’s approval. How, then, do I create a path just right for me, that will be just right for the destination I like? I want a helicopter to pick me up, pluck me from this precipice, and offer me any destination I wish. I could visit any number of paths and/or destinations and stay there as long as I like. I could provide assistance, from my perch, to some still forging a path. Those I know, those that have been in the same boat as me. I wouldn’t send a helicopter for each one, keeping in mind that there are a limited number of helicopters. But, I could provide insight, and opportunity to see their way through the options ahead of them. I could make the territory more familiar, and offer them a fast track to getting to their chosen destination. And I would take them all for rides in my helicopter, just for fun.”

 

Tracy is a dj with KSSU

Why Theatre?


Cole Theater small

Being a first year student, I already knew what major do I want to go in, but I wasn’t too sure what I really wanted to do in the field. What I had decided to get into is Theatre. How did I come about that choice? Well, let me just bring everything back before I even gotten into college.

At first, I didn’t have any ideas what to do in the theatre. All I ever knew was just working behind the scenes, being a part of the crew and production. I was interested in being a part of the theatre because I treated this major like student government, which was what I experienced my entire time in high school. Being in student government, I am used to working in teams to get a task done. That was how the system always worked. We would set up and outline ideas for a show like school events and rallies. We would run rehearsals for the events. Everything’s all practiced and planned, so when the day came, we put the show out. Even if we messed up, we continued to get the show running. That’s my favorite part of being in student government. Help the needs and then run the show by observing everything and everyone. For what I want was to find a major that I can do something similar to that. Theatre was a way for me to continue that group work to put up a show.

Coming into Freshmen Orientation, I had that mindset on. I then finalized that I was able to go into becoming a stage manager for the show. I was always leading the students in student government like a stage manager would do and I was always just watching in action. That was my motivation for the first time. Stage Manager sounded really great and exciting. You get the chance to run everything yourself this time. In September, there was even an offer for stage manager position from department chair of Theatre for the upcoming play that she was directing. I really wanted to do it, but I thought hard about my consequences of if I took on this path. Yes, it would be fun to experience of being the stage manager, but would I be able to handle the stress? I was taking two lecture class and a seminar class. That I knew right away, I wouldn’t stand a chance. It’s not because I had low expectations of my abilities, but I didn’t want to build stress in me. It was my first year and I didn’t want to push myself to the limits of being a stage manager. I passed up the offer. Did I regret it? No, I am thankful with my decision. There’s a long way for me to go and if I really wanted to do this, I probably will or will not.

At the time, I had no idea what to do now with theatre. I was unsure, and it is fine to be unsure about your major, especially when you’re just a first year. I just decided that stage managing is not the right time now, so I just thought to stick with my original idea of being a part of the crew. It wasn’t until I began taking Theater History 2 this semester with Dr. Pomo when I discovered my admiration with costumes. In this course, I had definitely fallen in love with Sanskrit Drama, Yuan Drama, and the Japanese Drama (Noh, Bunraku, and Kabuki). Their costumes were amazing. The Sanskrit Drama were full of arts because of how the actors and actresses move around gracefully with their colorful costumes. I find that so catchy because the color represents their character. This goes the same with the Yuan and Japanese Drama. The colors are symbolic to a specific character trait like green stands for demon and black stands for courageous. The Asian Theatre is just too beautiful to pass up. With the love of the colors and designs, I decided to take costumes as my concentration in my major.

When people questioned me, “You’re a Theatre Major? Do you like to act?” When I answer no and explained that I am interested in the production. The next question would be, “Do you want to be a director?” No, no, not anymore. I am into stage managing and all of those good stuffs, but I am not focused in that. I tell them specifically about the interested of costuming and styling. For this concentration, there are skills I have to know. I have to learn how to sew. I’ve done sewing a few times because I try to tailor my long pants, but it never turned out to look professional. Instead, it looked really lame. I also need to understand specific of fabrics and tools, all the needs I need to understand. Speaking of which, I am thinking about becoming a Fashion minor. That way, I can further build onto my costume knowledge. That is the plan.

I am able to connect Theatre and Student Government together. It’s all of natural thing to do when I get into a group together and work things out. I get to associate with more people and can get closer. I am so proud of saying that I am a Theatre Major because I love how the entertainment can present stories and folktales into a production play that is artistic. Theatre is a form of art that expresses emotions through dialogues, music, dance, and simply just a playwright. I don’t care if Theatre does not make high incomes like other majors do. This field is all about understanding and appreciating the art.

Looking at me, of course, you wouldn’t expect my interest of being a Theatre Major and being a Fashion Minor. I mean, just look at my style. I do not match to be those types, but don’t judge anyone on the outside right? It’s just something I’ve been thinking and reflecting on myself. This is what I am looking forward to do. Even if I had no idea at the beginning as a new Theatre Major of what I was going to do, I know that I have made a choice that’s my own.Thanks to Theatre History 2 Lecture class, I was able to plot these out. I’m satisfied with my decision.

DJ Alexx is a dj at KSSU

BIGBANG MADE TOUR 2015


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It’s been 4 days since the BigBang MADE Concert and I’m still empty inside….

Three years ago I wasn’t that into that BigBang and I went to their Alive Galaxy tour and sat in the nose bleed section because I only liked them a bit and just wanted to see them perform. Seriously, hands down that was one of the best concerts I’ve been to, and vowed the next time they come, I’d get better seats!

Fast forward three years later, they announced another world tour for their M.A.D.E albums. My friend Julie and I knew we HAD to go. It was a must. No doubt about it. They released the details for the VIP packages which were different from the general admission with sound check and the regular seated tickets.

The 2 VIP packages:

MADE ULTIMATE VIP EXPERIENCE

  • One GA Pit ticket to the show!
  • Exclusive access to the BIGBANG Soundcheck
  • Early entrance into the venue before general doors
  • Send off Artists post show at the BIGBANG Send Off Event!
  • One VIP parking space per order (where available)
  • Crowd free merchandise shopping
  • Commemorative VIP laminate
  • Specially designed BIGBANG gift bag (exclusive to VIPs)
  • Designated VIP Nation check-in
  • On-site VIP host

BAE BAE VIP PACKAGE

  • One GA Pit ticket to the show!
  • Exclusive access to the BIGBANG Soundcheck
  • Early entrance into the venue before general doors
  • Commemorative VIP laminate
  • Specially designed BIGBANG gift bag (exclusive to VIPs)
  • Designated VIP Nation check-in
  • On-site VIP host

Let it be known that they didn’t tell us the prices of these packages until it went on sale. So the morning of, my friend and I, both at work, waited by our computers and decided whoever could, just buy both tickets first, because the Alive tour sold out within 2 hours, so we didn’t want to risk not being able to get the tickets.

Right when it hit 10AM, we logged onto TicketMaster and the prices for the packages freakin dropped kicked me in my face and then a hadouken to the heart.

I immediately texted Julie and said I couldn’t do any of the packages because I’m a poor student, but we could do the VIP General Admission!! Which was still expensive, but I was willing to dish out.

Then she told me…. “Oops I just bought us the Bae Bae”
My heart plummeted to the pits of my stomach, all the way down to the burning holes of my empty wallet.

But in the end, I told her eff it! It’s going to be my last BigBang Concert anyways. I wasn’t that big of a fan still. 

So days leading up to the concert, I didn’t feel that excited about the concert. Their albums was good but wasn’t great in my opinion and I was dreading the pit the most. I’m 5’1. Pits scares me. All the pushing and shoving and tall people… Let’s just say I never had a good experience with General Admission standing concerts.

Day of the concert, we arrived at the Honda Center 4 hours early to wait in line, because we wanted a good place in the pit. We were still #200 and that was JUST for Bae Bae. There were fans (who we thought at first were staffs) writing numbers and type of ticket on our wrist and divided and organized everyone into certain lines accordingly to make sure it was legit-ly first-come-first-serve. Supposedly they had come from the Vegas show, and it was chaos, so they decided to do something about it at the SoCal shows… can you say dedicated fans?!

As they ushered us in. My heart began pumping like crazy when I realized how close we were to the stage, I looked around and realized that only 2/3 of the pit was filled, which was awesome because there was so much room, which also meant… I WAS ABLE TO SEE!!

I started to jump up and down excitedly as their Quentin Taratino-ish movie started to play indicating that the concert was starting soon. Gahhhhh the video was so badass with explosions, guns and car races. As their music started playing and you hear their voice through the speakers and I freakin lost it!

The concert was MIND BLOWING! From the lighting to the moving bridges that connected the main stage to the front stage, fireworks, and the boy’s stage presence that oozed nothing but high energy was so freakin perfect! It was amazing because you can actually see their popularity and the love from their fans when you look out to see the ocean of gold-crown light sticks that lit up like stars in the sold-out arena.

I did not stop dancing and screaming throughout the whole concert because all the song that they performed were all upbeat and full of hype. The only 2 mellow/sad songs that they performed were “If You” and “Haru Haru.” They probably took 2 little breaks, but other than that, they performed the entire duration of the show. I thought that the Alive Galaxy show was the shizz, but this concert blew their last one out of the freakin water! Their English improved immensely, besides TOP, all the boys spoke in English the whole entire time.

I died and came back to life and died again repeatedly like a freakin phoenix because of their fan service! They would make eye contact and personally connected and reacted to each section of the pit and general admissions. Yo, even the freakin back up dancers, who were so freakin attractive as heck, were even dangerously flirting with the fans, with their winks and seductive dance! Ugh! I can’t even..

I wish I could describe the whole concert even more, but it was just so incredible. I didn’t once look at the time wondering when it’ll end or wondered about my surrounding or even if my friend was still around me, I was so immersed in the show, completely in my own universe that when they said farewell, it yanked me back to reality and I was so bewildered.

The post concert depression is worst than my last break up with my ex…. real talk. *sigh*

Everyone who likes KPOP neeeeeeds to experience BigBang in concert. My friend brought her friend who never even heard of KPOP, let alone BigBang.. let’s just say, she’s now a fan. hahaha

But word on the street.. they won’t be back for at LEAST another 2-3 years, since they’ll be going to the Army soon (it’s mandatory in South Korea for men to join the Army before they turn 30).

Ughhh… selling my soul for the Bae Bae package was mos def worth it.

Remember when I said it was my last BigBang concert.. It won’t be. LOL.

I’m officially KPOP-ed out for the rest of the year.

Saved the best for last, and it definitely went out with a BANG! (pun intended)

DJRONAROCKSS

The Moments that made TBD Fest


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My good friend Jerel and partner in crime for TBD Fest just put up his all encompassing TBD wrap up blog, which you can check out here. In it he covered all the broad strokes of the festival experience, highlighting all the different bands we saw, food we ate and artistic installations we witnessed. So in interest of not covering the same ground I bring to you a more microscopic look at TDB through the lens of my favorite individual moments of TBD. Each festival is a collection of miniature moments forged by the fires of the collective consciousness and frenetic energy that is unique to each individual event. This is a celebration of those moments which helped to make the second annual TBD Fest the powerhouse of artistic expression it ended up being.

I’ll start with the first and altogether funniest moment I experienced at TBD. During Joywave’s entire set they had kept the crowd entertained, not only with their killer and perfectly sequenced set but also with the jokes and witty charisma of lead man Daniel Armbruster. However, nothing that came before it was quite as funny as when Armbruster began the chants of “one more song,” essentially calling for his own encore. Armbruster feigned surprise at such an outpouring of support and proclaimed that this had to be the very first encore in TBD Fest history. Having got his laughs and the “encore” he wanted, Armbruster and his fellow band mates kicked off the last song and tore down the house in magnificent style.

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The next moment comes to you in the form of a song, more specifically a cover song. Even more specifically Tears for Fears cover of 1992 Radiohead mega-hit “Creep”. Now this moment really resonated with me for two reasons, even outside of how brilliantly it was performed. First and foremost, as any good rock historian will tell you, there is no way in hell you will hear “creep” performed by it’s original makers. With all the vitriolic hate Radiohead have for for the song it might even be best experienced as a cover. Despite all of the negative vibes surrounding this song it still holds a special place in my musical history and I’m glad to have seen it live in one capacity or another. Secondly and perhaps more deeply, I could not help but feel a sense of a changing of the guard occurring. No Tears for Fears are still clearly a cultural powerhouse being able to headline festivals in 2015 and Radiohead aren’t exactly the new kids on the block anymore but to me this cover signaled a nod of respectful appreciation from the 80s to the 90s. A retroactive vote of confidence and plea of appreciation for carrying the tradition of odd outsider music for the next generation. Perhaps that’s me just being sentimental though.

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This next chewy morsel of festival good will has less to do with a particular artist and more to do with the festival goers themselves. Allow me to set the stage. The Black Lips had been putting on quite the show for their whole set, talking in weird voices, shouting out to their potentially imaginary friend Luna, and generally being quality showmen. A bit of a light mosh pit had been forming and had slowly been gaining speed as the set went on. This caught the eye of someone who I assume was The Black Lips roadie, as he was up on stage with them at one point. This man, who was a larger individual, came down off the stage to provide a buffer between the rowdy moshers and the people near the front of the stage who had no interest in moshing. As The Black Lips counted off their last song Jerel and I jumped into the pit, correctly predicting it would be the final mosh of the festival. As we aggressively pranced about I noticed a particularly wild mosher continually slamming around and getting pushed back by the resident “larger man” mosh boss. As the song continued on they began exchanging heated words and I immediately smelled a fight brewing. The tension did not subside but managed not to boil over for the remainder of the fight. As The Black Lips said their goodbye and the crowd began to disperse, before I even knew what was happening both men were in an lovingly respectful embrace! I could not quite hear what they were saying but I imagine it was along the lines of “thanks for keeping me in line man, I really respect that,” “I respect you too man, take care of yourself and have a good festival.” Now that might be a little far off but the crux of why I liked this moment so much was the way in which festivals can bring out each person’s camaraderie and I certainty felt that camaraderie at TBD.

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Lastly but not leastly we come to none other than Chicago native Chance the Rapper. My personal favorite performer of the entire weekend. This moment ends up being a bit more aqueous than the previous moments but it started as soon as Chance kicked off his set. Bringing an energy and closeness to the audience unmatched throughout the whole festival, Chance immediately had us on his side. Even though I was not familiar with every Chance the Rapper cut, I would sing along every time that I could halfway catch on to the choruses.  The crowd seemed to be giving all the energy they had and Chance was dishing it right back at us in a monumental showing of skill and passion. Suddenly the mood slowed down as Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment began to chill down and vibe. Chance then proclaimed he was gonna play a song we never heard before but one we all knew the words to. I immediately assumed it would be an old school rap/R&B throwback, one of which I was hoping I would in fact know the words to so that I would not let my new found hero Chance the Rapper down.  However, I could not have been more wrong as Chance began to sing “And I said hey.” Now I will give you a second to ponder what that line might be from…but I myself immediately recognized it as being the Arthur theme song. For those that are not in the know Arthur was a PBS kids show in the 90s era and it had arguably one of, if not the best theme songs of the decade. Along with being a killer tune, the Arthur theme song has a wonderful message of learning to work and play and get along with each other. At this point I am ecstatic along with the rest of the crowd as Chance the Rapper, Donnie Trumpet, and The Social Experiment throw down a deconstructed and all around awesome rendition of one of my favorite childhood memories. Needless to continue to say, that was my favorite moment of TBD Fest.

Beautiful Noise, Exquisite Tastes, and Creative Minds: The Complete TBD Fest 2015 Experience


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This past weekend TBD Fest has left a mark of music, art, design, food, and ideas in the city of Sacramento. The festival drew in thousands of diverse people, locals and visitors alike, to experience the unique Sacramento festival that is TBD.

To start off, this weekend was incredible. Everything from the acts to the food was something to look back on. The lineup fit the flow of the weekend; starting Friday off with bang, reaching a pinnacle of epicness on Saturday, and concluding with a sure sense of satisfaction on Sunday       (sorry for the tongue twister).

 

Festival Grounds

A vital part of any festival is to get a feel of where you will be for the next few days. The first thing to do is find a schedule and a map. They weren’t readily available, but the customer service tent had no problem handing out printed schedules (nothing too fancy, just a print out). Since there was no map, the only option was to explore the grounds.

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Having fun with the displays!

The grounds weren’t too vast and the layout was simple: a main stage on opposing sides with smaller stages near them. In between there was the “Rise + Create” space. A vendor village, complete with local vendors selling food, drinks, art, and clothing. All the food and drink being carefully crafted, the clothes being hand-made or hand-pressed, and beautiful pieces of art being created. This section of the festival truly shows the creative and tasteful minds of Sacramento. Near and around the “Rise + Create” space there were some awesome displays. Changing pillars of light, painted pyramids, murals, and the great display by PORTAL SAC. the perimeters of the grounds had the bars and food trucks. The festival even had it’s own giant ferris wheel (which all the proceeds from went to helping those recently affected by the California wildfires). There was a lot to see and do at TBD Fest besides watch the musical acts.

 

Demolicious Derby

If none of the musical acts were catching your attention or it was just too hot for you to be standing outside, then the “Demolicious Derby” was the place to go! It took place under a shaded tent with a nice patch of grass (I’m assuming so none of the dirt or dust flies into your food). It’s a cook off between two Sacramento chefs of the fine dining scene. They both have to use a certain ingredient. They also have to cook and serve out of a food truck. The food was completely free and completely delicious.

While waiting for the food, festival goers could watch the cooking from a live video feed screened on a large screen outside. The visuals and smells would make the audience even more hungry. Some moves such as adding the spice would make the audience “ooo” and “ahh.” A comedic MC would be hosting the event so it’s not just two dudes cooking food. Attendees would have to partake in both dishes and place their used forks in their respective choices. Both competitors were always good and humble chefs.

A little example of a cook off: both chefs had to use lamb. One made street tacos, but instead of a tortilla, he a used flattened and fried pork bun. The other made a greek style lamb poutine. Drooling yet? We were.

 

The Music

As mentioned  earlier, each day had a lineup that made a great flow for the weekend. Little disclaimer: I’m not really a big fan of EDM, so I didn’t catch much of the DJ sets.  

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Toro Y Moi

Friday was explosive. The first artist was the band, Cathedrals. With their chill, new wave sound, and heavy bass, Cathedrals gave the crowd something great to vibe to. Then I was able to catch Towkio, Chicago based rapper associated with Save Money and Vic Mensa. Even though the crowd didn’t know the words, Towkio and his DJ were able to pump up the crowd. Head back to the main stage and you would be able to catch the dreamy set of Toro Y Moi. This was one of the artists I was looking forward to watching the most, and they did not disappoint. Playing a good blend of the newest album, What

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Tyler, The Creator

for?, and their older stuff, the set was great. Ty Dolla $ign got the entire crowd dancing or jumping to his songs. The best part of his set was when he pulled out a bass and started groovin out (I didn’t know he could even play instruments). He was even able to stage dive into the crowd during the end of his set. The only EDM set I caught on Friday was some of was RL Grime’s. Playing a heavy trap set for the festival, he had everyone moving. The craziest crowd goes to the set of Sacramento native, Death Grips. The experimental industrial noise rap group made the biggest mosh pit of the weekend, bringing the first big dust cloud into the air. Being in the mosh, I breathed in a little too much dirt. The night ended with Tyler the Creator bringing  energy to the stage. Although he couldn’t bring the visuals he wanted, the set was still crazy. The crowd moshed, jumped, and sang along to the words. It wouldn’t be a Tyler the Creator set without his comedic side comments. The day really set the mood for the rest of the weekend.

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Chance the Rapper

Saturday was big. With the longest day of TBD Fest, there was a lot to do. Although the day was spent mostly walking around the grounds, eating, and hanging out, all the musical acts were great. Dark pop duo, ASTR, started the day off for me. They gave an electrifying performance with some heavy bass hits, melodic scales and licks, and some crazy dance moves. I even had the pleasure of interviewing them backstage (interview coming soon, really cool people). Joywave, an electronic indie band, drew one of the larger crowds for the small stages. Before playing, they took time to perfect their sound and it was worth it. The crowd was very responsive with each song and it was awesome to be apart of. Ratatat was one of my favorites for the weekend. The electric guitar duo had holograms and lasers, putting on one of the best visuals for the weekend. Porter Robinson had some nice visuals as well. Although I couldn’t really vibe to the music, he still put on a good show equipped with anime graphics and massive confetti shots. The crowd loved it. I was able to catch the tail end of Magic Man’s set on the opposing small stage. Although there weren’t that many people watching the set, they still gave it their all and ended with their hit, Paris. Chance the Rapper was the main act I was looking forward to for the whole weekend. The set was amazing. He came with his full band, Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment, which made for a much fuller sound. The visuals weren’t top notch, but it didn’t matter because the music and energy put out from the performance was, to me, the best for this weekend. Sing alongs, jumping around, crowd participation, amazing trumpet solos, it had it all. Even though he admit to go out of order of their intended set due to excitement (Chance would become a father two days later) they still made it the best. Saturday had something big for fans of all different music genres.

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Tears For Fears

Sunday was a great way for the weekend to wind down. Up and coming rap/r&b artist (who recently made a song with Kanye West) Post Malone put on a good five song set to start off our day. Although he has blown up due to the success of his hit song, White Iverson, Post Malone still kept it humble, and kept it entertaining. He even performed White Iverson again for his closer, having the crowd sing the entire last verse to closer. After, we were walking and on the nearby small stage, this band O began to play. They were able to keep us and the others for their whole set. They’re an indie band from San Francisco, do check them out. I was sad to have missed Dr. Dog and A Place to Bury Strangers due to attending a Demolicious Derby, but I heard the sets were amazing. Right when we got to A Place to Bury Strangers, the lead singer had just smashed his guitar to end his set. Sad to have missed that, but it was on to the 90’s alt rock band, Dinosaur Jr.! Although they are getting old, they can still play flawlessly. With great

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Madeon

tunes and heart reaching solos, Dinosaur Jr. had a high-caliber set. After, Black Lips took the smaller stage. This goofy garage rock outfit from Georgia had a really fun set. After some jokes and moshing ensued, it was time for the OG (an older act, usually more famous in the 80’s)  headliner (every festival has to have one amiright?), Tears for Fears! Watching their set was like jumping back into the past, a time where most of the people attending TBD were either not alive or too young to go to a concert. Of course, the crowd sang along to classic hits such as Everybody Wants to Rule the World and their closer, Shout. They even surprised the audience with a slower yet full version of Creep by Radiohead. Madeon electrified the crowd as the last EDM performance of the weekend. I had to jump around a few times for that performance. I wasn’t able to stay, but I heard and read that crowd favorite Chromeo properly wrapped up TBD Fest with their funky tunes.

 

Closing Remarks

2015-09-22 04.01.12Overall, TBD Fest is a must-go for anyone in Sacramento, the surrounding Northern California area, or anyone in the world that wants to have a good time. Although not as big as famous festivals such as Cochella, TBD Fest is able to provide some of the top acts in music today in a comfortable yet enthralling environment. Everyone from the acts to the volunteers to the workers to the security to everyone else helped make this weekend what it was. It wasn’t just  about the music, but about the local artistic minds and tastemakers coming together to bring entertainment to Sacramento. It’s exactly what this city needs, a positive driving force in today’s creative culture.

 

 

Check out our mini Instagram Vlogs of the Festival!

If you liked this article, be sure to tune into KSSU.com on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-7:00pm for the 30/30! 30 minutes of music followed by 30 minutes of talk with me, Jerel Labson! 

Also be sure to follow my personal blog, jmbldup.wordpress.com!