Summer of TV Shows: 12 Shows to Watch This Summer 2016


The Spring semester is winding down. As finals are completed, everyone starts thinking the real questions of life: what am I supposed to do this summer? As college students, we usually don’t have the luxury to go on exciting summer trips around the world. For most of us, the greatest part of the Summer is lounging on the couch and napping all day. But in between naps, here are a few TV shows you might enjoy:

(New shows written in Italics)

1. Preacher (AMC)

May 22nd

Based on a comic by the same name, Preacher is one of the most anticipated shows of the summer. Produced by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg (Pineapple Express, Superbad), Preacher  follows a small town Texas preacher, Jesse Custer, on a journey to find God. Throughout his journey, he meets a wide array of interesting characters and faces challenges to his faith and morals.

While fans of the comics remember Preacher for its dark and morbid scenes, the TV show is likely to take a much more tame approach. Nevertheless, this show should provide memorable characters (i.e. an Irish vampire, angels) and captivating storytelling throughout the Summer.

2. Wayward Pines (FOX)

May 25th

Based on novels by Blake Crouch, M. Night Shyamalan creates a mystery around a town that isn’t quite what it seems. Though the small town seems peaceful, viewers start to realize that there are dark secrets lying underneath the surface, and those secrets might be best left hidden.

Now on its second season, Wayward Pines successfully blended mystery and science fiction into a unique experience last year. But the story has taken a great deal of twists since the series premiere, the second season is likely to offer the same degree of lunacy. If you are looking for an elaborate story filled with shocks and awes, be sure to check this show out.

If you want to try to catch up with the first season, it is available to stream on Hulu.

3. Outcast (Cinemax)

June 3rd

Created by The Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman, Outcast tells the story of Kyle Barnes, a man whose life has been connected to demonic possessions. As an adult, Kyle goes on a journey to discover the source of these possessions and their connection to him. However, as he finds more answers to his questions, he begins to open doors that shouldn’t be opened.

Based on a comic by the same name, Outcast is looking to repeat the success of The Walking Dead with the help of Robert Kirkman. The premise based around demonic possessions can make for an intriguing story, and with Cinemax having already renewed the series for a second season without the first having premiered yet, the hype around Outcast is certainly prominent.

4. BrainDead (CBS)

June 13th

Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane), BrainDead provides a quirky look at the U.S. government. With all the politicians in Washington D.C. acting a bit strangely (what’s new), a conspiracy is investigated about whether there are aliens inside the brains of politicians.

Billed as a political thriller, BrainDead feels more like a satirical comedy about the idiocy fascinating behavior of today’s politicians. With a cast that also includes the hilarious talent of Tony Shalhoub (Monk), this show is likely to provide audiences with laughs during this summer season.

5. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

June 17th

Back for its fourth season, Orange is the New Black (OITNB) brings together an ensemble cast as the inmates of a minimum security women’s prison. The series follows the story of Piper Chapman’s time in prison, chronicling the insane and remarkable events that occur during her imprisonment.

There is that I can say about this show that isn’t already known. OITNB perfectly blends different elements of humor and drama to create a show that keeps all audiences either on the edge of their seat in anticipation, or falling back laughing at the hilarious hi jinks that ensue. If you haven’t had the opportunity to witness this wonderful series, I would highly recommend checking out the first few seasons on Netflix before the fourth season is released.

6. American Gothic (CBS)

June 22nd

Centered around a renowned Boston family, American Gothic sees a murder mystery unfold as this family begins to uncover the secrets behind their recently deceased patriarch. Discovering the deadly truth behind a string of murders, this family must now keep their eyes out for the existence of a potential accomplice.

While the premise may seem a bit unoriginal, for those who enjoy the intriguing discovery behind a murder mystery, this show will more than satisfy your craving. The creator promises a constant stream of twists with an astonishing ending, so be on the look out for this show.

7. BattleBots (ABC)

June 23rd

A revival of the old Comedy Central show, BattleBots brings together some of the most innovative groups of engineers as they put their robots to the test in an exhilarating, action-packed tournament for the crown of BattleBots champion.

For anyone interested in a fun, thrilling competition show that involves robots tearing each other apart, this is the show for you. After being revived last year, BattleBots has reignited its fans and established itself as one of the most fascinating shows of the summer. You aren’t gonna want to miss this.

8. Vice Principals (HBO)

July 17th

Created by and starring Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down), Vice Principals is an upcoming HBO comedy show about two vice principals battling for the soon-to-be vacant principal position. While dealing with issues in their personal lives, Neal Gamby (Danny McBride) and Lee Russell (Walton Goggins) will do anything to outwit the other and prove that they are the better candidate for the promotion.

With the hilarious success of Eastbound & Down, HBO’s second venture with Danny McBride looks to find continued success with this adult comedy. Taking advantage of the freedom that HBO gives, Vice Principals is likely to give a large dose of uproarious humor throughout this season.

9. Degrassi: Next Class (Netflix)

July 22nd

If you are searching for teenage melodrama, look no further than Degrassi: Next Class. Based in a fictional Toronto high school, Degrassi tackles the many hardships of being a teenager. From topics as typical as dating and getting good grades to deep, emotional struggles of depression and suicide, Degrassi places a much needed spotlight on today’s youth.

Degrassi has existed for decades, spanning many generations of teens. The newest iteration of this show covers the Generation Z teens. Although many of us in college may not fully relate to the problems that these teens have, the issues that are discussed are still relevant in many parts of society, and Degrassi provides an excellent platform to start those tough conversations.

10. The Get Down (Netflix)

August 12th

Created by Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby), The Get Down takes a look at the lives of those in 1970s New York. With the city on the brink of bankruptcy, the youth living in the Bronx struggle with gangs, oppression, and poverty, but also find themselves in the middle of a musical revolution, as Hip-Hop, Disco, and Punk are born from this struggle.

Baz Luhrmann has always been known for his unique, musical style, and this project is a excellent showcase of that style. Creating a setting filled with music and drama, The Get Down has the feel of a show that an audience can immerse themselves into, and discover a world truly distinct and and remarkable. With a core of young talent and rounded out by exceptional actors in Jimmy Smits and Giancarlo Esposito, The Get Down is one to keep in mind when August comes rolling in.

11. The Strain (FX)

August 28th

Created by Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth), The Strain showcases a new look at a classic horror monster. With a virus spreading throughout New York, thousands of people begin to die. But their bodies continue to live, as they become blood-sucking creatures of the night. It is up to CDC Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team to discover the cause of this outbreak and prevent the potential apocalypse.

Del Toro’s experience with the horror genre is well respected, and The Strain only continues to show just how creative the director can be. By giving a different spin on the original “vampire”, this show re-examines the potential dangers of a fatal disease spreading across the world. With creative monsters and fun action, The Strain  is worth a viewing or two.

The first season (and soon the second season) of The Strain are available on Hulu.

12. Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)

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In the early 1980s, computers evolved from office machines to personal appliances. Halt and Catch Fire explores this “personal computer boom” through the eyes of two men, Joe MacMillan and Gordon Clark, as they attempt to claim their piece of the American dream. However, they soon find out that achieving this dream is much harder than either of them thought.

As the spiritual successor to Mad MenHalt and Catch Fire delves into the relationships between these partners, as well as their workers around them. Add in the 1980s setting and excellent performances from the show’s leads, and you have an endearing look at the struggle to capture success in business. Having existed for two seasons already, Halt and Catch Fire has been a critical success, but not so much a commercial one. Perhaps a new wave of fans can help this show reach its potential.

The first two seasons of Halt and Catch Fire are available on Netflix.

 

It is very possible that you might have the opportunity to take exciting trip this summer. Or perhaps you are too busy watching the Summer Olympics in Rio. Either way, if you have the opportunity, make sure to give these shows a try this summer. Hopefully, you find them to be the highlight of your break before classes come back around.

Have any other shows that people should watch this summer? Tell me about them in the comments.

Albert is a dj with KSSU

 

¬A Fanboy Paying Respects: An Ode to Dangers


Dangers

Everyone has a favorite band, or at least they should. My favorite is Dangers out of Los Angeles. Ever heard of them? Shamefully few people have. Having spent the summer in DC I spent countless nights at DIY venues listening to great DC bands that have a lot recognition in scene today, but when people back east asked me who my favorite group was and I said, “Dangers,” I was often left with a blank stare. This to me is tragic. Although LA has all its celebrity idolatry, spray tanned legs, endless rows of bumpers fuming smog, Dangers is a real Los Angeles angel.

Led by Al Brown on vocals the band has had a lot members come and go over the years but the current line up features Justin on guitar, Tim on bass, and Anthony on drums. The band is signed with Vitriol Records, run by Justin, and Secret Voice Records run by Jeremy Bolm  of Touché Amore. The group has released one demo, two EP’s, and two LP’s. Their catalog has evolved over time, at no surprise, the group is definitely not one for complacency. Blah blah, most of this stuff you can discover for yourself on their new website, they seemed to have abandoned their WordPress but I still recommend checking that out too. Check it at: http://www.wearedangers.com

We’ve covered the basics so now is time to go full fanboy. Simply put Al Brown is one of my heroes, falling in third behind my mother and Aldous Huxley. Al grew up in LA, and was discovered the punk scene after hearing Nirvana as a youngster. He then got a hold of Green Day, Bad Religion, Black Flag, Descendants, and Minor Threat. Minor Threat is undoubtedly a huge influence in Al’s early lyrics, as they have been to so many bands. Al was a presence to be remembered in the LA punk scene, as Jeremy Bolm recalled on his Secret Voice Podcast, Al was an intimidator with a tough guy attitude, however this tough guy was no meat head. After high school Al went on to attend Princeton where he finished his undergrad with a bachelor’s in English. From there he went on to attend Columbia University where he completed at masters in Creative Writing and acted as editor for the Columbia Journal. After finishing his masters Al returned to Los Angeles to attend USC, where he completed his PhD in Creative Writing and Literature. Al is currently a professor at USC which has, to my dissatisfaction, put Dangers on the slow track.

Al is an academic, a thinking animal. His provocation for his fans to be thoughtful is reason enough to listen to their music. We don’t need more people who act according to a book, for the possibilities of the human brain abound, and it is up to all of us to push this world into a brighter future. Cliché as that statement is one cannot deny the truth. Dangers’ entire catalog features calls to arms, since we are all armed with minds, but their song “We Have More Sense Than Lies” should be the national anthem for punk if there ever was one. Contrary to what I said about a call to arms the song goes, “… And this is not a call to arms. Just a hope that we might try. To use our heads and open eyes. We have more sense than lies. We have more sense than lies. And nothing changes if we don’t change ourselves.” Such a simple message but still something I am always having to remind myself of.

I don’t know if it is appropriate to review your own article but this piece is not my best work even though I wish it was. It is hard to make people see things the way you do. I cherish Dangers the way a mother would her newborn child, maybe an extreme metaphor, but what do I know? I don’t have children. Similarly to a mother I think my child is better than the rest, and I just want others to see that too. So go forth and check out Dangers, they might change your life and they more than likely won’t… I guess I’m finding solace in something Al once said, “We’d rather change the lives of six kids than be background music to the lives of six thousand.” I am thankful to be one of those six.

Whoops, I almost forgot, Dangers third LP will be coming out at some time in 2016 so be on the lookout.

by DJ Ricky Sueños (Anthony Parenzin)

Weekly Staff Picks #2


Welcome back to another installation of KSSU’s Staff Picks! We have for you 5 recent songs that are resonating with everyone at the station. Now that we are all back from the almighty spring break, we have plenty of music to grace your ears. May these songs also become your new favorites. Cheers.

 

Staff Pick 1: Lucy Morales

James Supercave – Better Strange, Better Strange

The trio consisting of Joaquin Pastor, Patrick Logothetti, and  Andrés Villalobos bring to us from Echo Park, CA their debut LP “Better Strange.” Having released their debut EP “the Afternoon” in 2015, and now going on tour to support Wild Belle, the synth pop group is riding on unstoppable momentum. Their featured track Better Strange is ethereal and hypnotic with its use of harmonizing synthesizers. While sonically it’s zany, the song also celebrates the intrinsic value of eccentricity. Certainly, James Supercave has revitalized the indie electronic scene when there are overwhelming amounts of oversaturation.

 

Staff Pick 2: Anthony Parenzin

Basement – Lose Your Grip, Promise Everything

Basement’s classic grunge sound persists on half the tracks but the other half sound like they were written for a Nicholas Sparks movie. Needless to say my favorite song, “Lose Your Grip,” in all its glorified angst sounds like it could have come straight off their sophomore album Colourmeinkindness. It is also the only song on the album were we get a little screaming, so enjoy it because it is short-lived moment. Despite their newest album being hit or miss Basement is still a band that people should turn out to see. They are currently on finishing a European tour and they kick off a month long U.S. tour with Turnstile and Defeater in April. Don’t miss out! I’ll be at their Orangevale show on April 10th.

 

Staff Pick 3: Jared Torrez

Wet – Deadwater, Don’t You

Wet is a fairly new band within the Alt/Indie genre coming out of New York, and were called the most promising group by The Fader in 2015.  They just recently dropped their first official studio album called “Don’t You,” as well as finished their North American album tour in February.  Wet has been a favorite band of mine for a few years now and I have gotten the chance to see them live multiple times.  At the last concert of theirs I attended, they performed my favorite song from the album, “Deadwater” .  The lyrics are genuine and really bring out the feels as you can hear the vulnerability in the lead singer’s voice.  This is definitely a band you do not want to miss out on.

 

Staff Pick 3: Brianna Swain

Saul Williams – Think Like They Book Say, MartyrLoserKing

If you can expect one thing from Saul Williams, it’s that he will make politically and socially conscious music that you can dance to. The song starts with energetic drums reminiscent of 90’s breakbeat and slowly builds into controlled anarchy with pulsing synths, echoed bleeps and crunchy guitars. Personally, I’ve been following his work since he released “The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!” in 2007. Williams always has something relevant to say and just as he doesn’t pigeonhole himself into one mode of expression, (actor, singer-songwriter, musician, poet, writer) his music defies categorization as well.

 

Staff Pick 5: Emiliano Martin

DIIV – Under The Sun, Is The Is Are

DIIV’s most recent record, “Is the Is Are,” is a sunny shoegaze album that feel like it may have been better suited for a spring release. Though the gloomier backdrop of a winter release might make more sense given the context; this is DIIV’s first record since singer, guitarist and producer Zachary Cole Smith, left rehab for drug addiction. It’s overall a brighter album, perhaps signaling a change for the better. So, with the seasons soon changing and the last of the heavy winter rains coming to a close, the track “Under the Sun” is the perfect lighthearted song to help wish away those clouds quicker.

 

 

 

 

Musings on Money


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

download

 “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

The 4 Things I Love About Being a KSSU Volunteer


KSSULove

Hi. My name is Josh and I have a confession to make. I really love being a part of KSSU.

Choosing to become a KSSU volunteer is probably one of the best decisions I have made in my college career. I’m not sure if that says more about the quality of decisions I’ve made or how awesome this place is, but I’m leaning towards the latter.

Here are a few reasons why I like being a part of this radio station so much, in no particular order.

1. Meeting New People

It might sound like a bit of a cliché , but meeting people really is one of the biggest benefits of being a part of this station. I can honestly say that I never would have met most of the people I know now without being involved at KSSU.

We have such a diverse group of DJs, with many different colleges and majors represented among our ranks. Obviously there are those majoring in Communications, but there are also History majors, Music majors, and Business majors. That’s just off the top of my head.

That’s part of what makes this place special. It brings together people who would otherwise not have interacted at all and let us all find common ground, whether it’s music, academic pursuits, Magic the Gathering, movies, or chili dogs.

2. Being on the radio

Let’s face it, a big benefit to being a KSSU volunteer is the opportunity to have an hour each week to share a part of ourselves with the world. Whether we concentrate on music, sports, or some other third thing, we have a rare opportunity to share things we think are important with as big an audience as we can draw.

My own show has evolved since I first started on KSSU. At first it was just a general music show, with me just looking through the shelves to find something to play, but now it has become something completely different — a soccer talk show.

I love having the opportunity to yell into a microphone for the better part of an hour each week and have people actually listen to the things I have to say. Call it what you will, but the fact that I have the platform to broadcast my ideas on the beautiful game across the internet is awesome.

3. Finding new music

Like I mentioned before, my show was originally one focused mostly on playing music, back before I succumbed fully to my soccer addiction. It was during this time that I made my first music discovery as a KSSU volunteer, The Pirate Flags.

Yes, that’s right. The first band I was really excited to discover was a bunch of people from Indiana singing pirate tunes. I had never really heard anything like that before and I just loved it.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to discover some great songs and artists through reviewing CDs for the station as well. Without KSSU, I probably wouldn’t know names like Courtney Barnett, Kyle Williams, and Black Pistol Fire.

4. The video games

This is just simple, really. I had not played Super Smash Bros. in years until I came to KSSU. But now I can get together some of my fellow DJs and get my virtual behind handed to me whenever I want to.

So there you have it, four reasons why choosing to become a part of KSSU has been one of the best decisions I have made in a while. And while we’re on the topic of good decisions, listening to KSSU will be one of the best decisions you will make in your entire life.

Josh Beeman is a volunteer DJ with KSSU. His show, Beeman’s Republic, is every Wednesday at 10am. Check it out for all the Sacramento area soccer talk you could ever want.

Understanding the markets and a shaky start to 2016


Business

The month of January has come to a close and it has not been a good start to the year. Wall street had its worst start since 2009. The Bank of Japan has implemented negative interest rates. Trump still leads the GOP despite boycotting the final republican debate before the Iowa caucus. China’s era of exponential growth seems to have come to a sputtering halt. Now some of the world’s biggest hedge funds are placing their bets, shorting the yuan in anticipation of a further slide in the Chinese currency. It has been a tumultuous start to the year, but what does it all mean? Are we doomed for another financial crisis? Is this just a market correction?

We can read all the tabloids we want but fully understanding their implications can be a daunting task. I do not purport to know anything about the markets, or politics, or even the best way to tie shoes, but I can learn. We can all learn. For this reason I am excited for my classes this fall, particularly Finance 137 taught by George Jouganatos. The course is titled “Financial Institutions and Markets,” and although it is an upper-division course it is merely an introduction to the inner-workings of the financial markets, much like an introduction to Political Science course would be to global politics. In just one week and two class sessions, the class has retouched on economic fundamentals, you know, supply and demand, classical versus Keynesian theory, and so on. It really gets your brain working and it is in our class discussions that I worry that not enough people really understand these topics. Maybe now is a good time to say I chose to be a business major because I wanted to know about the one thing that rules the world, money. It may be a morbid reality but it is the way the world works. Personally I do not need millions to be happy, taking finance courses is not just about getting rich, it is more about understanding the rules we all live by. It is my goal in taking three finance courses this semester, FIN 135, 136, and 137, that I will leave with a better understanding of these rules.

I guess this is my call to arms (or disgruntled Senior plea):
True expertise takes a lifetime of study, but as voting citizens of these United States, and as a Homo sapiens, it is our duty to think critically about  our world. Living passively won’t bring progress for our country, or humanity. College is a time to have fun but it is also a time to soak in the teachings of the experts that teach our classes. As the semester gets into full swing I look forward to building upon what I already know, and even more excited for finding out the things I don’t.

Maybe this post is just a Senior four months from graduation voicing a biased opinion about why finance is important in the vain of ethnocentrism, but I hope to have struck a chord with some of you.

-Anthony Parenzin (DJ Ricky Sueños)

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!  

 

CSUS: Hitch a Ride


CSUS: Hitch a Ride
By: Josue “Josh” Alvarez Mapp (a.k.a. DJ Mappquest)

Parking issues are as synonymous to Sacramento State as water issues are to California.  To help remediate the issue, Sacramento State has constructed four parking structures over the decades.  The largest parking structure (Parking Structure III) can accommodate 3,000 vehicles parked in it.  As an attendee of Sacramento State, the structure is constantly packed, along with all “close” parking lots.  In total, Sacramento State has 15 parking lots and four parking structures sprinkled around campus.

However, in a day where convenience is everything, some lots are outside of the realistic range of some.  For example, Parking Lot 11 is situated across J Street, the main entrance to Sacramento State.  In relation to the buildings for classes, and anything else, it can be a “hike” to get there with the amount of traffic around the J Street Main Entrance intersection.  There are a number of other lots outside of the convenience range.  However, parking to this day is still bad.

There are many things to alleviate this, such as the Hornet Shuttle, plus a major bus junction by the north end of campus, numerous bike routes and bike parking, dorms, and local apartments.  But with all this, Sacramento State is still seen as a “commuter campus”.

I’m not saying parking close helps, but it is a step.  What doesn’t help is when parking lots or services close at specific times.  Sacramento State has provided something along these lines.  In a previous article I referenced the Ramona Ave Parking Lot.  This lot will be re-opened in the Fall Semester for students.  Because the lot currently resides a distance away from campus, a Hornet Shuttle service will be taking students from the lot to The Well and back. Nice, right?  What’s the catch?  The lot and the shuttle operate from 7:30 AM to 6 PM – prime time for most daytime classes, but not so much for events, meetings, club/organization activities, etc. Though parking alleviates by the evening time, it is a hassle to move your vehicle.  By the time you sit in the driver seat, temptation of life away from campus may set in.

An incentive for the Ramona Lot is a much cheaper parking permit that works only at the Ramona Lot.  The permit costs $84 and provides approximately 250 additional parking spaces (to help with the loss of 280 Residence Hall parking spots).

The proposed Ramona Avenue Extension to be completed by 2016.

Ramona Avenue is slated to be extended and connect with Folsom Blvd for a more direct line to campus.  But that’s not my issue here.  As I hinted in my last article, none of this helps with the campus spirit and campus community.  The campus is vibrant with activities from programs like ASI and UNIQUE, clubs and Greek organizations, and much more.  But when people get to their cars, they may not be driving closer to campus to attend these functions.  Instead, they may go somewhere else.  The campus has much to offer, and the campus administration is not aiding that cause what so ever.  The Ramona Ave lot may stop the bleeding, but it won’t close the wound.

Welcome to Sacramento State!  We are a “commuter campus” that struggles to rise above that stigma.

CSUS: Pardon The Mess


CSUS: Pardon the Mess
By: Josue “Josh” Alvarez Mapp (a.k.a. DJ Mappquest)

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One of the planters added into Lot 7.

For much of the summer of 2015, Sacramento State has been getting various sorts of touch ups here and there.  The one that grabbed my attention most was the various amounts of fenced off parts of Lot 7, one of the parking lots on the south end of campus.  On my most recent visit to campus, I discovered parts of the project was the removal of parking spots to include planter space for drought resistant plants (or so that’s my guess).  Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for doing our part to help fight the drought and do our parts for the environment as a whole.  I am also all for beautification of the campus.  Sacramento State’s campus is a beautiful one.  Hands down one of the best in all of the CSU system.

It wasn’t too long ago that the campus had a beautification project around Brighton Hall, as well as along the path from the University Union to the Library.  I thought these were solid touches on otherwise bland land.  It doesn’t serve a function in the sense of helping students get the classes they need, or help them with additional parking spots, but it didn’t take away from that either.

A corner of Brighton Hall that was spruced up a while ago.

A corner of Brighton Hall that was spruced up a while ago.

The Lot 7 project is one of many happening currently.  I have not seen them all as I only see or frequent half of the entire campus.  Some of the other projects to be noted this summer include:

  • Adding a physical median divide on the southern tip of State University Drive East by the Capital Public Radio station.
  • Major sidewalk construction (for what it seems to be something good for pedestrians) on Callery Pear Way between the Public Services Police Station and Parking Structure 3
  • Construction for something unidentifiable at the time I went by in the Library Quad close to Brighton

There are more, I’m sure, but I haven’t been across all of campus.  Part of Parking Structure 1 will be dedicated to Residence Hall Parking for people living in the dorms.  To alleviate parking, UTAPS has (re)introduced parking at the Ramona Lot (which is located on Ramona Ave which is off the beaten path by Power Inn Rd, off of Cucamonga Ave), with a shuttle to take students from there to campus and back.  The lot is open 7:30 AM to 6 PM.  Any cars still there will be locked in the lot.  This is a decent solution for students who come strictly for classes in the morning or afternoon.  However, this counteracts possibilities of fostering a campus life (i.e. clubs, organizations, events, etc.).

The unknown project in the Library Quad.

The unknown project in the Library Quad.

What is going on in Lot 7 (and perhaps Lot 8 as well), is a waste.  It is not good for the students, which should be the focus of anything and everything the campus does.  It doesn’t increase quality of life on campus by any stretch.  All it does is take away space for parking in a place where parking is still a premium (the planter pictured above takes what use to be 8 parking spots). The only project I would welcome on campus that could temporarily take away parking would be converting a lot, or part of a lot, into a parking structure.

Welcome back to Sacramento State!  Please excuse the mess, and less parking in convenient locations.

“Matriarch” by Veil of Maya Album Review


 

Veil-of-Maya-Matriarch-artwork-600x600So here I am, chilling in my philosophy class before the professor shows up. I whip out my iPod and check out the channels I am subscribed too. I mostly use YouTube for finding new music and cool skate videos. Browsing through the videos, I noticed that Sumerian Records put out the whole new Veil of Maya album “Matriarch” and I about exploded. I had to sit for an hour and fifteen minutes anticipating the awesomeness of VoM. Luckily, I only stayed in class for about twenty minutes because class today was an optional Final Exam Study session. Who needs to study for finals anyways? I’ll just wait until the day before my finals.

So I had already heard a few songs from the Album and had already been in love. The rest of the album was fantastic as well. I did not even need to listen to the entirety of each song before clicking to the next and welcoming in frission (where you get goosebumps from good music). There was the usual VoM stuff; technical math-core (complicated song structure), drop tuned guitars, and ominous background sound effects. VoM threw in some new stuff such as clean vocals (in comparison to the low gutturals from the “Common Man’s Collapse” Album), guitar melodies in the higher registry, and an overall album theme, hence the name “Matriarch”. Before the album was released, my favorite of the leaked songs was Mikasa, which also had a music video. There was heavy breakdowns, awesome never-before heard clean vocals, and an overall empowering feeling brought forth by the entire band.

Looking at the track listing, each song is named after Matriarchs or powerful women, both fictional and non-fictional. In one of the YouTube comments, someone even mentioned that one of the song names is a very threatening character from an action anime. I took the Youtuber’s word and moved on to the music. I will have to say that my favorite song, other than the leaked ones, would have to be “Daenerys”. I have no idea where the name Daenerys comes from, but it did not spell check me on Microsoft Word, so it is legit. Anyways, the song starts out really light with some nice moving around on the guitar. It then goes into a two-measure guitar solo before the vocalist pops in and the song takes a more serious turn. With some power chords blasting right into a heavy breakdown, Veil of Maya shows off what they are known for. Right after are some clean vocals from their new vocals, which were pretty impressive by the way. The chorus is repeated throughout with some technical instrumentals in the background, before closing the song with a guitar solo build up to more cleans and a mini breakdown. Finally, a guitar playing a riff in the higher register ends out the song.

Most of the time I listen to music on YouTube except for when I really like a whole album, which I purchase to support the band. Veil of Maya, I’m going to support you and buy your new album “Matriarch” when I get home tonight.

Thanks for reading everyone!

I may or may not have a show during finals week due to, well, finals. However, check out www.kssu.com and listen to other DJs do their stuff!

Much Love,

DJGingerbeard

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