The Holiday Spirit

ThxgivingThe holidays are suppose to be known for bringing families together, welcoming the winter season, and giving gifts to people you love. When I was a child this was all we looked forward to, along with a very long winter break, but as we get older we have to get jobs and reality sets in. This reality of the holiday season is actually angry crowds, fighting families, and braving the cold winter storms, praying for the summer season to begin again.

What happened? Where did the holiday spirit go wrong? The festivities are no longer filled with joy and good tidings, but instead filled with rage and empty wallets. Yet I suppose this was how it always was. Trying to make our kids and families happy to give them what they want and we as children didn’t understand the concept of a paycheck and a resume. All we cared about was seeing all of our distant cousins and aunts and uncles, and eating great food. Luckily some of us, including myself still fight for the holiday spirit, even while working in retail.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because I get to see my family and eat an insane amount of mashed potatoes. Our family doesn’t have many traditions, but the one we do have is going to a different house each year. My Mother is one of three sisters, so we switch off every year to which house we will be having dinner at. This year will be located at South Lake Tahoe. We have a small family but getting to see all my crazy cousins is my number one reason why I love Thanksgiving.

These days, however Thanksgiving seems overshadowed by Black Friday. Honestly, whoever invented Black Friday should be castrated. Working in retail already makes it tough to like customers or people for that matter, but to create a Black Friday pretty much on Thanksgiving night is outrageous. What’s more shocking is that people would actually choose to spend Thanksgiving waiting in a line to spend money rather than spending time indoors, all cozy with your family stuffing your face full of Turdunkin. Let’s face it, you are not saving money because there is a sale, you are just plain spending money.

If you speak to most people in retail, they will tell you how awful Black Friday is. Not just because of how it takes up the Thanksgiving holiday and takes away time from their families, but how mean customers are to the employees and to other people in general. Many retailers will tell you how customers can suck your soul away and it breaks my heart that many people will treat employers like they are not people. Not one good thing comes from Black Friday, other than huge corporations getting an insane amount of profits.

Despite all of this, some still find the joy in Thanksgiving and the holidays. I am glad my family still comes together to make this winter season special and gives me hope that some traditions still never die.

DJ Jaws is a DJ for KSSU

Cookbooks Are Checklists

2015-11-01 09.27.58Cookbooks are relevant. Trust me.

You look at a cookbook, you browse through the pages and see tons of tempting dishes that appeal to you. You dog ear the pages that interest you with full intentions to go back and make that dish. But you don’t. Each page you dog ear is a promise you make to yourself that you almost always break. It’s a conscious thing, too. You are fully aware that you more than likely will not make the sweet potato casserole with lemon zest dumplings. It’s just not going to happen. We think to ourselves, “This looks great! I’ll have these people over and make these things. It’ll be fantastic.” But do you? More than likely not. Do we truly WANT to carryout these plans, but life gets in the way OR do we know deep, deep down that the plan will never be reality the second we make it..yet we make it anyway.

Same goes for any plans really. We make them to break them. It’s our habit, it’s our hobby, but it’s truthfully become our lifestyle.

There’s a notion that there is so much time, time to spare even. If you really stop to think about it, time seems like an old friend. You’ve experienced a lot because of it, you’ve watched your family bloom with time, maybe time has healed you in some way or another. The point is, time is always there, but you won’t be. Putting off goals and plans and dreams is just another way of cheating yourself out of a quality life. Maybe it’s the little promises that we break that equal a quality life as well as time spent wisely. Perhaps we’re breaking the very thing that’s holding us together.

Each time we let one item slip through the cracks, we do not hesitate to find something new to fill it’s gap in our schedules. We are moving on to “big”, WAY BIGGER things. Constantly chasing our tails because, well, we can…and nobody told us not to. Every second of spare time we have gets violated and reformatted to take on a new responsibility and get sucked in to the vortex of obligation. We forget about what we’re sacrificing when we make those split second commitments. We lose sight of our little commitments and brush of our initial plans. Do we truly want to carryout these plans but life gets in the way OR do we know deep, deep down that the plan will never be reality?..yet we still make plans.

Perhaps mentally making these plans, or as I like to put it “little promises,” is a way for us to satisfy our desire to enjoy ourselves without actually doing so. We entertain a notion of a false fulfillment that holds us over only momentarily until our brain passes it off along with the other whims that flash through. We think we’re being strategic with creating events/goals/dreams, but maybe we’re creating a void instead because “We’ll get back to it”. It’s like pre-heating the oven without ever putting the chicken in. You won’t be able to enjoy what you don’t put energy in to. We are enabling ourselves to be less accountable…plus you’re wasting a perfectly good chicken. Regardless of it being a meringue pie recipe or telling yourself you’ll go to the gym more, we make checklists that fall short EVERY TIME.

It’s the little things that matter, and often times, it’s the little things that get shrugged off. People weren’t kidding when they said the devil is in the details because it most certainly is. Deviled eggs without paprika are just boiled eggs that have been re-purposed. The little hint of paprika that is called for in the recipe (plan) makes all the difference. Those little plans, little details, little whatevers are what we need most. They might be small, but we can’t lose sight of them.

If we keep looking ahead at the bigger picture we’ll miss what’s right in front of us. Don’t allow yourself to be left with check-less checklists of what you hoped to accomplish in your lifetime. Make your life count. Give those little things a bigger time slot, and add a little spice.

Mia Kagianas a DJ at KSSU

Nostalgic For Halloween


Ah, it’s that time of year again when stores will begin selling Thanksgiving decorations and radio/television commercials will play Christmas ads and families will start planning the holiday season. That’s right, it’s Halloween time. It seems every year the Thanksgiving/Christmas spirit pushes and shoves Halloween’s spirit out of the way, but luckily my friends and I ignore those annoying winter ads (for now) and begin planning our Hallow’s Eve adventures. This isn’t just a celebration to the dreadful Summer heat being over, but the absolute joy of dressing up as pirates, movie stars, or big penguin outfits.

I think Halloween is always more fun and exciting for children. To dress up with friends and go door to door to get free candy just seems too crazy to be true! Then of course we graduate to teenagers and at some point we think that this Halloween game is lame and criticize the younger ones for something we did not too long before. And lo and behold we reach another certain age closer to adulthood and start to feel nostalgic of the once fun childhood games. Only this time, the clothes are more tight fitting, more short and more vulgar, and the gummy bears are filled with magical Russian happy juice. “The times they are a-changin'”

Halloween was fun when I was a kid and it’s still fun as an adult. What makes it fun is that my group of friends do not go for the sultry, short skirt look, but instead try to be the most creative and outlandish in our attire. Being the film major I am, I like to dress up as different film characters. Last year my friend and I dressed up as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World. This year I will attempt to be Ash from the Evil Dead series. Not only do we take our costumes seriously, but the entire month of October is our Halloween.

Ever since I was a teen, I watched the countdown of the best horror movies and scariest scenes from films. Most of which I got my movie information from, even without having to view the film. Everyone should watch Halloween movies, just like most people do with Christmas movies in December; it is just a fun tradition! Not only that, but to attend corn mazes and haunted houses and carve pumpkins. So much is involved with Halloween it’s too hard not to crack a smile just thinking about all these activities.

And yet with most people preferring to go out and knock door to door or travel to parties to have a swell time, I don’t mind sitting at home, watching scary movies and waiting for kids to come knock on my door. I love seeing other people’s costumes and how creative they can get. I used to live up in the hills near the East Bay, so I never had a real neighborhood that you could walk door to door to. We never really had neighbors in general. So when I tell people I love passing out candy, it’s only because I was deprived of it when I was younger.

I wish Halloween came around more than once a year, but when time it does, I am thankful to have so many friends to enjoy it as much as I do and not be the only crazy one to dress up.

DJ Jaws is a dj with KSSU

Midnite Mayhem


Getting straight to the point, Safe In Sound left many music lovers disappointed this last Friday night when they weren’t allowed into the venue. Doors opened at 7:00 pm, and from what other ravers told me, capacity was reached by 9:00 pm. Many people were still showing up at later hours of the night, but sadly for them, they were left at the door. Having been among those that couldn’t get in, I got to experience firsthand how badly this venue was unprepared.

I was looking forward to Safe In Sound all Friday long. Having recently discovered the beauty of EDM, I was ecstatic to see what new tracks I would come across. Sadly, all I got was a night of dead air. I arrived at the Memorial Auditorium with my bud Abe ready to experience a night full of positive vibes and great beats. The line wasn’t too bad, so we waited in excit ement talking with other ravers until we got to the door. That’s was when our night took a turn for the worst.

As we approached security, I told them that we were on the guest list, and they directed us to where said list was supposed to be. When we got there, staff told us that we had to wait outside until the list was found. Apparently they had lost track of where it was, and those that claimed to be on it were escorted back outside until the list was found. We went back out thinking that it wasn’t going to take long for them to find it. After thirty minutes of waiting, I went back up to the security and asked them if the list was found. He directed me back in to talk to someone in charge. When I was addressed, I was told that there was no guest list.

Puzzled by what I had heard, I explained to them that I was there on the behalf of KSSU to cover the event. Having disregarded what I said, I was told once again to wait outside to see what they could do. There were many other people with us waiting outside anxiously to get in. The night grew longer as we had waited an entire hour without any updates as to what the situation was. After that hour, more people showed up, and they were in the same boat as we were. They weren’t let in and were told to wait by the grass just as we were. Eventually, they were only letting in people that had a paper copy of the ticket. Those that had them on their phones were denied access. From what security had heard and told us, they said that only people with paper copies were being permitted in since people were faking the emails.

Needless to say, a group of us were left outside with the buzzkill that we weren’t going to have the night we had planned. Those of us that waited outside stayed strong, hoping to see something happen in our favor. We waited until midnight and still weren’t allowed into the event. I approached one of the promoters so that I could ask what was going on and if we were going to be let in. He asked me where I got my ticket from, and I told him that we were on the guest list. His words to me were, “Waiting list is least priority,” and then walked off. If you ask me, I don’t think that’s something that people want to hear after waiting patiently for two hours to get into the event. We were neglected and left outside without any hope of getting in. At some point I showed them the screen shots of the email from the promoter that reached out to us to cover the event. They told me that they were going to get in contact with said person and have her come out to see what could be done. I never heard back from anyone and was left waiting once again. Sadly to say, Abe and I never made it in. We stayed until the event ended at 1:00 am and left when security told us that we couldn’t stay there anymore. Not a good first impression with Midnite, and I doubt that I would ever want to attend any of their future events.

However, not all was bitter that night. The one thing that kept us with a smile on our faces was the PLUR vibe that was being shared among those that stayed with us. We shared stories of other events we went to and the ones that were still to come. Ravers traded kandi and interacted with each other in such a way that kept positivity going strong. At some point of the night, we all huddled together and took a group picture before we all headed our ways. Even though most of us didn’t get in, we made the most of the time we had with each other. Friendships were made and the PLUR vibe was kept strong.

When Alejandro is not busy sitting outside of a club, he is a DJ at KSSU

SacAnime Summer 2015: A Nerd on Nerds by Anne Thorp (DJ Blossom)


A brief preface: I have been attending SacAnime for what should probably be considered an embarrassingly long time: a decade of attending a biannual con is twenty cons, and while my attendance is more like fifteen or sixteen, I still consider myself a veteran attendee. I’ve seen SacAnime change locations three times as it grew, and it kind of has felt like watching a child grow. I’ve never even volunteered for the con, and yet I’m emotionally attached. I don’t know. Blame video games. Everyone does.

Anyways, I’ve been around. I’ve seen some stuff. Sacramento stuff. Vic Mignogna, voice actor extraordinaire, has literally watched me grow from age 12 (my first con revolved around a Fullmetal Alchemist panel!) to age 21 and he doesn’t even know it. I’m not involved in the gritty details of con-planning and behind-the-scenes, but I was with a friend’s artist alley booth when they tried to put artists in a hallway at the Radisson Hotel, and no one sold hardly anything. I remember when the single Jesus cosplayer started showing up. The Predator cosplay guys have always been there, I’m pretty sure; I think they keep them in a box somewhere, to be released for the weekend and then herded back in to be shipped off to SoCal cons.

So, I’ll admit getting a little jaded the past couple of years, especially as ticket prices have doubled since I started. $45 is a lot of money for someone working part-time on minimum wage, man!

I’m super glad I went this summer anyways, because it was a GREAT con. SacAnime moved to the Sacramento Convention Center proper three or four years ago, but it’s this year that it feels like they really filled the space, and used it to their best. Crowd management for cons is a huge issue, even moreso when your attendees are roughly fifty percent (Sixty? Seventy? A lot) giggling, clueless high schoolers more interested in shouting memes at each other and shrieking over costumes than actually, like, paying attention to the staff trying to shepherd them into the Dealer’s Hall.

You might be getting the impression that I don’t like nerdy high schoolers. It’s a lie. I love them. I love con-goers. We’re ridiculous, and usually in only the best ways.

I went the full weekend, and though I FREELY admit that I only attended one event where I waited in line and therefore might not have had the same experience everyone did, it seemed pretty organized to me! You go, SacAnime staff! You da real MVPs!

By the way, I believe it was their first year having a Kpop dance competition, which is the event I attended, and it rocked. Please go next time, if you didn’t. I was expecting some awkward shuffling to dances that Korean pop stars did better, and was pleasantly surprised. By surprised I mean blown away. Man! I wish I could dance.

The Dealer’s Hall is kind of the beating heart of a con, in my experience. People (like me) who don’t necessarily do a bunch of panels or competitions or the maid/butler cafe will all still pile in to buy pocky and cute accessories and a body pillow of your anime waifu (though how people walk around with those I have no idea). They’ve combined the Dealer’s Hall with the Artist’s Alley before, putting both sellers and re-sellers of imported merchandise in the same room as artists who produce all their own stuff, and it’s….not worked. The artists get shoved into not enough space and the traffic clogs up getting to see them, or they get ignored. This time, though, through some sort of organization wizardry, it worked super well! AND the autograph lines were in there! There was space! There was room to step away and breathe air not contaminated by con funk! Glorious!

Also, the artists get TONS of traffic, which always makes me very happy. I’ve not sold as an artist more than once, but I have friends who do, and I love supporting individuals over the dealers, especially as a lot of the t-shirt vendors are rumored to steal popular art off Deviantart or Tumblr or wherever and printing a shirt with no benefit to the creator. Not that I’m pointing fingers at SacAnime or even at a particular dealer, but it’s a bad habit cons have had for at least all the years I’ve gone, and I personally tend to stick to booths with official merchandise or booths with the creator right there selling their stuff, out of habit.

(Disclaimer, selling merch that’s fan art or unlicensed Star Wars stuff or other legally weird is covered better elsewhere, in articles specifically about it–suffice to say that brands like, say, Nintendo, don’t care enough to sue thousands of con artists across the nation making a couple hundred bucks on a weekend selling their LinkxMalon fan art.

All told, this summer’s SacAnime, I can honestly say, is the con that reminded me why I go to cons. It was so much fun, and the staff did their best to enable why we go to cons in the first place, which is to all collectively geek out over our favorite game and cartoons and comics! I’ll be going to the winter one in January for sure, and, with luck, I’ll see you guys there!

-Anne (DJ Blossom) a DJ with KSSU

The Moments that made TBD Fest


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.


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.


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.

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.

The Greatest Misfits You Will Ever Meet

In the very deepest depths of the ocean, there are fish that live and die without ever seeing or sensing the sun. If they stray away from the ocean floor and swim towards the surface, they combust—perishing almost instantly. It is not the external pressure that destroys them, but its absences.

In life, stepping beyond comfort zones and personal limitations in a gradual way is a key component in living a life of purpose and fulfillment. That is why I’m a radio show host at KSSU. It is the essence of exploration and passion. It is what you make it.

KSSU is an opportunity. It’s a safe zone to test your own personal boundaries at the pace you determine. Whether it’s challenging yourself by starting a new weekly segment or reaching out to local bands for a live interview, the opportunities are endless. It’s the one place where failure ceases to exist.

To many people, college radio means very little, and to few people, college radio means freedom. Those who haven’t experienced it can’t see what’s below the surface.

So let’s talk about it. What’s the deal with college radio?

For starters, college radio is a direct link to community engagement. Not only does KSSU feed the airways with campus PSA’s, but it is a bridge for community partners to reach our students as well. Nearby events, public information, or even some hardy food for thought from off-campus entities would no longer have a home if there wasn’t a college station to be the voice. Local bands gain a decent amount of traction with college students simply because students turn to college radio to hear something different, something they haven’t heard yet. It’s a lose lose without our stations.

2015-02-23 10.26.22This day in age, many students don’t have access to college radio. They don’t think about it, it’s not important to them. Where else are you going to hear all these innovative tracks and up and coming artists? The mainstream stations? Probably not. You’ll hear the same recycled tracks on any given station and think, “Why should I bother with radio especially when I have my ipod or Pandora? Why should I listen to someone else choose what I listen to if I already know what I like?” Those stations play McDonald’s music. It’s produced to taste good, or in this case, sound good even though it’s full of unnatural fillers with no redeeming qualities, but college radio is different. You hear local talent. If you just listen to Spotify and Pandora you’ll hear well known artists, but you won’t hear from the 200+ artists that are stacked on our walls or that are driving up and down our local streets. You won’t even know what you’ll be missing out on, therefore, our station exposes artists to an audience they don’t have access to. This is what makes college radio authentic and personal.

Also, college radio is, in itself, a home. For the students that don’t identify with one specific club or are interested in something unique and different, KSSU is where they can express all of their interests. Sure there are organizations that I am involved with on campus other than our student run radio, but there’s no place else that is truly comparable. I’m able to be completely and utterly myself when I’m running in and out of the station. Sometimes I feel as though I don’t belong anywhere else simply because that’s the only place I can be whoever I want to be, and I’m sure the other volunteer DJ’s can agree to some level. Whether we’re playing Smash Bros. or Magic the Gathering or even discussing different music selections, we are engaging in something you won’t always find in one place or with anyone else. We’re all a bunch of misfits really, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

College radio is so ridiculously important. I could write a novel about it (believe me). It challenges one to go outside of their comfort zone and into a realm of misfit toys. College radio is a beautiful thing.KSSULove

Mia is a DJ with KSSU listen to her once a week on the Mighty Mia Power Hour

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.


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.


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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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 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! 

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California State Fair 2015: and Queen Nation

CalStateSignThis past week I visited the fair, I laughed, I cried, I learned to crochet, and fun facts about crocheting such as how crocheting was originally developed by fisherman to make nets. Fascinating stuff! I was probably one of the worst crocheters at the fair though, I was barely able to get things started without dropping everything.


I also really love the art exhibits, but because of certain copyright laws I couldn’t take pictures to share. My old friend Zoltar was there too! In the Science Fiction exhibit it was a pretty cool theme for this year it didn’t just cover old Science Fiction to the tune of old Lost in space shows from 50 years ago. There were also some relevant facts about historical figures in science such as Tesla, and apparently about how Google wanted to build an elevator to Space!


The fair food was a little disappointing in my mind, but that doesn’t mean it was lacking. You could get fried oreos to fried cheesecake. Personally I tried fried cheese curds for the first time and I found them to be a bit tasteless. Kind of like if I took mozzarella sticks and fried them, it was all just a bit flavorless. When I think about fair food what comes to mind is something very bizarre the unordinary, an escape from our everyday foods into a land of the unnatural or atleast something you can’t find at your local fast food place. I wanted something akin to fried scorpian or alligator. Or one of those donut burgers, but I couldn’t find anything like it. It is possible that I just happened to miss the stand I was looking for in favor of yet another place that sells garlic fries.

While I was there I saw a tribute band called Queen Nation. While I was waiting in line a full 90 minutes before they started I heard some people talking about them behind me. About how they had the mannerisms down and how they sounded just like Queen. Sitting in the crowd people had the anticipation of people who had seen Queen live, but I was not one of them, so I can’t say whether the act was faithful to the real deal. I have heard Queen many times though and I have to say the sound was pretty close, i’m sure they’d have some cheers in any karaoke setting.

All in all it was a riveting day, and I hope you all find the happiness that I did that day. Hanging out with Zoltar and eating cheese curds.

My name is Chris Diel and when i’m not at the fair i’m playing music on KSSU

Where are all the hoverboards?


So it’s 2015 and everyone are asking where their hover-boards are. After all Back to the Future foretold the future in much the same way that the Jetsons and pretty much everyone back in the 60’s did. We should be traveling in vacuum tubes and flying in cars while our robotic butlers do the cleaning and house work. The reality of things seems fairly far off, but when you take a closer look you may notice that the future is actually closer then it appears.

For starters back in the Jetsons we had Rosie who ran around vacuuming, although possibly not as intelligent as Rosie, we do have small electronic vacuum cleaners which interestingly enough were based on an algorithm developed for military applications. Of course that shouldn’t be too surprising considering we did the same thing with Radar and the microwave.

Looking a little closer to Back to the Future’s predictions we may not have tiny pizzas that hydrate into delicious full sized pizzas, but Nike is planning on making the self tying shoes.

As for Hoverboards which are the hot topic of debate these days we do have a few not so great hoverboards, let’s call them prototypes in the works at the moment. Recently there was a Kickstarter by Hendo who did create a functional hoverboard. The campaign has already ended, but the board isn’t exactly what you might expect. It really only works on a special surface and it hovers a small distance above the ground, apparently the creator intends on using the technology to float buildings in case of emergencies in the future. Seems like a noble effort to me, but if you’re interested in roleplay Marty Mcfly this isn’t the board you’re looking for.

The second hoverboard prototype that i’m aware of operates more like Goblin’s glider from Spiderman, but if the Guinness world record people accept it as a hoverboard then so shall I. It does have certain limitations, and apparently it’s only considered safe to fly over water as well as apparently running for a limited amount of time it does reach an impressive height, and honestly it looks like a whole lot of fun. It does fall short of the hoverboard image, but even if you were looking forward to this hitting the market you may be in for a world of disappointment as apparently the creator has no intention making it available to the public.

So we may not have mass produced hoverboards, and we may not even have hoverboards in the style of Back to the Future, but the way I see it we seem to be heading in the right direction.

My name is Chris Diel and when i’m not pondering the future of Hoverboards i’m a DJ for KSSU


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