Holiday Season Traditions


halloweentoholidayI love the holidays, especially this time of year. The weather is cold, you want to stay inside, and eating food with family is always the best solution.

Every Thanksgiving my family and I used to go to Richmond, California to visit our cousins and eat a large dinner. However, now that we are older things changed. No one is ever home because of work, school, or their own lives. Leading to us not seeing each other often.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two holidays my entire family have off. Our new tradition is staying at my mothers house the night before. I buy the pies, my sister buy the turkey, my brothers and mother buy the rest of the food. Thanksgiving morning my mom, grandma and sister get up early in the morning to bake the turkey and start the rest of the food. I wake up and talk to them as they are showing me how to cook. I’d rather not cook for thanksgiving because it is too many expectations to get a specific taste for the food.

Around ten o’clock my brothers wake up, my niece walk in the living room with joy, and we turn on entertainment. I don’t mean one specific thing either. We play music with the television on. Even of we are not paying attention to neither. We get dressed up, go to our cousins house in Richmond to eat their food. It is never enough there. So we hang out with our cousins and go back to my mothers house to eat our dinner. I usually buy about four sweet potato pies, two apple, and and two peach. That usually lasts us for two days if we eat all of the food first. I hide a fifth pie in my closet as a personal because I love pie. The next morning, someone always find my pie and we eat that with left overs. I really love the holidays.

Besides Thanksgiving Christmas is my favorite holiday. My family and I never used to have great Christmas Eve’s or mornings. Yet, as we got older we learned how to value each other and understand one another. After Thanksgiving is over my family and I decorate the Christmas tree with our mom playing holiday music. Every Christmas Eve we go in separate rooms to wrap each others gifts, then I help my sister wrap my niece’s gifts. We all put the presents under the tree once my niece is sleeping and go to sleep ourselves. The next morning my niece wake everyone up and we all gather around the tree. My niece gets her presents first, of course. Then we all open our gifts. It’s usually what each of us need or want. Afterwards, I bake chocolate chip cookies and make a ginger bread house with my brothers. Every year we decorate it differently. We watch our favorite Christmas movies while the food is cooking. They drink egg nog and I drink a little bit. When the food is done we eat dinner together and share our thanks and love to each other for another year.

Kellyanne Conway, the real star of 2016


kellyanne-conwayLet’s stop all the partisan fighting for a moment, and recognize how amazing Kellyanne Conway is. Now, I love politics. I was so excited for the final presidential debate, that it made me feel old and boring. And, I am passionate about who I support and why. But, no matter which party you associate with, or which candidate you like, you have to admit how great the GOP’s presidential nominee’s campaign manager truly is. No matter how bad it has gotten, Kellyanne Conway has maintained her incredible skill as a campaign manager. She maneuvers around reporters’ questions with such ease. She turns just about just about any discussion of her candidate back on the Democrat’s nominee, so fast it’s made my head spin on occasion. No matter how bad things seem to get for her client, Conway is there with a more flattering take on it. I love watching her. There are some conservatives that I can’t watch, and some liberals, but I love watching her on TV. I seek out clips of her on YouTube. She is a strong, smart, and extremely competent woman.

Take this, for instance. When I watched Kellyanne Conway talking about Clinton’s legal settlements, I thought she’d painted herself into a corner. “He settled a sexual harassment case for $850,000 with Paula Jones in 1998 dollars. The last time I didn’t sexually harass someone, I didn’t pay him $850,000,” she said.

Anderson Cooper went after that one right away. “Your candidate has settled numerous lawsuits without admitting any guilt on a whole number of things,” he said. “Are you implying that settling a lawsuit is implying guilt? Because if so, it means your candidate is guilty of an awful of lot of things, no?”

Conway dodged the question. And, Cooper repeated it. And, yes, Conway was briefly flustered. But, she sighed pointedly, and quickly recovered. She was barely thrown off for a second, then rapidly threw out this before quickly moving on, “I’m saying that I believe Paula Jones, is what I’m saying,” That was the closest I’ve ever seen to her being trapped, or thrown off her game. But, she zipped around that pothole, and only spilled a tiny bit of her coffee.

Kellyanne Conway really dedicates herself to her job. Before the final debate, she told reporters that her candidate would absolutely accept the election results. And, after he made it clear (during that debate) that he wouldn’t commit to that, Conway was on top of it, “Everybody, including Al Gore in 2000, waits to see what those election results are,” Conway said. This woman has an answer to everything.

And, it’s not just the press. You can tell that she does her best with her candidate, too. At a rally in Greensboro, N.C., journalist McKay Coppins tweeted “Trump supporter in the back shouting at the candidate, ‘Stay on the issues!’”

Kellyanne Conway responded, tweeting  “That was me! I was there…” Now, that could well have been a joke. But, I think it shows she is trying her best with her client. I always look forward to seeing her on television. She comes across as genuinely passionate about what she’s doing. I can’t speculate on whether this is just a job for her, or if she truly does believe in everything she’s being paid to say. But, there will be people that will link her to him from this point on. And, I don’t know if that’s entirely fair. But, it could leave her with the task of distancing herself from her candidate. I don’t anticipate her having any problems with that, though.

You should check out some of her TV appearances online. For me, Kellyanne Conway is a joy to watch. I admire her so much. If her client loses, I hope she doesn’t go away. I want to see her more often. And, if I ever ran for office, she’s exactly who I’d want fighting for me.

 

 

Like what you’re reading? Listen to me, DJ Tray Squat laugh my way through our political system, on PoliPsycho. Every Wed. at 6-7pm on KSSU.COM

Corporation USA


NEWS FLASH (SCARY ANIMATED GRAPHIC): The country is not a business. Not only is the USA a country, but it is a special country. And, I mean that. We are special.

 

The basic idea of running the USA like a business, actually violates the entire spirit of the constitution. The same constitution, by the way, that local politicians claim to be fighting for while firing guns at print-outs of bills that they hate. I wish that were a joke, no wait… not sure that I do.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIJORBRpOPM

 

That’s right, we’re going to cut the bloat out of the government and tighten it’s belt. Except, when most companies “cut the bloat,” that’s code for firing many people. And, “tightening their belt” doesn’t result in a wealth for the entire corporation. It results in the highest paid positions, getting even higher.

 

Here’s a thought experiment. Imagine a Bernie Sanders utopia. We won’t speculate on the success or failure of these policies, fight the urge. But, pay is up at every job level, every company position. And yet, even here, a corporation is still a corporation. It still has people that have radically different income levels, and radically different amounts of power over others. Even with regulations, as long as they are followed, the head of a company can do more to people than a president ever could. As for instance, freedom of speech. A company can fire you for saying something they don’t like. We can’t jail people for that, though. We are also not supposed to have inherited power in politics. What are sons, grandsons, and so on of the people that invented the famous flaming doo-hickey (from the makers of the finest flaming doo-hickeys, in the world), but financial dynasties? Financial royalty? That’s what they are, and it is against this county’s core values.

 

But, that’s in the most liberal of circumstances. We know that in reality, in our country, that too many corporations are exploitative. There are many whose lowest level of full-time employees, still need government assistance to survive. Too many middle class Americans that need 2 jobs to make it.

 

A country, OUR country, is not supposed to be set up this way. Any government is a way for people to come together, and decide how to divide resources among everyone in a fair (or not so fair) way. But, our country specifically was so afraid of tyrannical rule that we have checks and balances at every level. The president is not like a president of a company. The board of a company is not like congress. And, the rest of the American people are not their cashiers. We do not have to stay out of a bar, no matter what. We can express ourselves with tattoos, without being forced to hide them, because the taxpayer’s don’t like it. And, you can’t give an individual’s citizenship over to an individual of another nation.

 

No one should want our politicians to treat human beings like corners they can cut, especially to the extent that corporations do. Don’t spit on the founders’ ideals, while invoking their name. It is insulting to them, and to us. When politicians talk about “running the country like a business,” they should be eliminated from their run for office on just this point alone.

SlenderMan Attacks Luke’s Diner: POINTS!!!


lukeFall TV has started. As someone who watches WAY too much TV, I’m very excited. Here are some of the ones I’m awaiting.

 

American Horror Story has started. I haven’t liked the first two episodes, the faux reality show “My Roanoke Nightmare” isn’t a favorite of mine. But, I haven’t had the chance to watch the third episode yet. And, the good thing about an anthology series is that it could be completely different next season. And, a new show has decided to use the same format. Not just another anthology series, but another horror anthology series. But, this show takes all of its themes from CreepyPasta. Yes, the CreepyPasta of suicidemouse.avi and Slenderman. This show, that I’m very excited for, is called “Channel Zero,” and the first season is called “Candle Cove.” Candle Cove is supposed to be an old, probably disturbing, children’s show that very few people remember. And, it was supposedly associated with disappearances in the 80’s.

 

Scream Queens is back. The first episode was too much exposition for my taste, but their humor still doesn’t disappoint.

 

Oh, Walking Dead, always near to my heart. I’m starting to see a pattern, and suddenly I realize why my own art is so weird. I was not happy with last season’s cliffhanger. Because, it was bungled. I don’t have a problem with cliffhangers, they can be amazing devices. But, the entire last season was building to a death. But, with a whole season of everyone anticipating that, they didn’t show who it was that died. Look, a good cliffhanger comes out of NOWHERE!!! It smacks us in the face, then disappears, leaving us dying to know more until next season. Now, I more dreading this season than I am excited for it. If they were to show who died, and had a cliffhanger that worked like it was supposed to, I would’ve had the summer to be sad and wonder where the cliffhanger will end up. But, now I’m just full of dread more than anything, because I don’t know who I’m saying goodbye to. I’m kidding, I totally know. They aren’t that unpredictable. But let’s take, for instance, the show Lucifer. I’m so happy that’s back. That is a show that knows how to do a cliffhanger. And, it took a question and a 1-word answer to deliver that smack in the face.

 

I am starting to like Fear the Walking dead more, as it grows into its own. I, no joke, only began watching it so that I could get more Talking Dead. That’s still about 75% of the reason I watch it. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but I have an odd fascination with Chris Hardwick. And, to a lesser extent, I’m fascinated by the whole after-show talk show genre. It’s one of the things I’ve thought about spending my inevitable future wealth on, making Chris Hardwick watch everything I’m watching and give me analysis on it. So, as soon as I’m rich, you’re getting a call Chris!

 

Getting away from the horror genre, I’m so looking forward to Once Upon a Time. Because, I fiercely love Regina. And, the more story she gets, the happier I am.

 

You’d think, knowing my dominant taste pretty well by now, that this next one wouldn’t be my absolute favorite show. But, nothing has taken a hold of my soul like this gem. The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life. This is one of the few shows I actually watched when they all first aired. To give you an idea, I’m so obsessed with this show that I’m still angry I didn’t get to go to the wedding of Luke and Lorelai. So, if there’s not a wedding in the new version, I will never stop fuming. I know that sounds bad. But, I could go on and on about how one of media’s functions is companionship. But, that’s another blog post. But, really, for 7 years you let your audience get to know these people so much, and DON’T invite us to the wedding?! Rude. Maybe Emily, your own character, can teach you something about proper etiquette? Hmm?

 

 

 

Like what you read? Listen to me, DJ Tray Squat rant and rave about politics, on PoliPsycho. Every Wed. at 6-7pm on KSSU.COM

Let’s Review Pomades Vol.1, Review 1: Lockhart’s Goon Grease


pomade-pomadeLockhart’s Goon Grease is a heavy hold pomade created by Steve and Nichole Lockhart, owner and operators of Lockhart’s Authentic Grooming Company in Michigan. Goon Grease applies like a light hold, but keeps your hair up and shining all day according to the Lockhart’s website. Made for “The scary fellas that come from the other side of the tracks,” The Lockharts suggest that Goon Grease is perfect for slick backs, pompadours, and everything in between.

hr_465-166-00_lockharts-goon-grease-hair-pomadeTHE TIN

Lockhart’s Goon Grease comes in a nice and sturdy 4oz tin can. The tin comes in a variety of designs including the original, which just says “Lockhart’s Goon Grease” on the top of the tin (The one featured in this review), the special edition, which features the Goon Grease mascot, and the recent “Goon For President” tin, a presidential campaign button appearance guaranteeing you that Goon Grease is a “REAL” pomade that you can trust.

THE PRODUCT

The original Goon Grease comes in a teal color with either two scents: a cucumber citrus blend (Featured in this review) or a cinnamon sandalwood blend. The cucumber citrus blend is uniquely aromatic, but not too overpowering. It is an oil-based pomade made of petrolatum, microcrystalline wax, beeswax, avocado oil, lanolin, and parfum for the scent.

APPLICATION

Surprisingly, the product was easy to apply for a heavy hold pomade. Though the top layer of the pomade is pretty hard, a few seconds under the hot air of a blow dryer should make the top layer easier to scoop. Just a knuckle’s worth of Goon Grease did the trick for my hair, but you may need more or less depending on what you are trying to achieve with your hair. The break down of the pomade took about fifteen seconds. Like the Lockharts stated on their website, Goon Grease does not apply like your average heavy hold pomade. There was not much hair tugging or struggle to run a comb through the hair like the past experiences of dealing with heavier pomades, but a more simple process.

STYLING

Using a fine-toothed comb, styling with Goon Grease was moderately simple. Though the short hairs on the sides were resistant at first, I managed to get them down as well as creating an executive contour-like look with a clean part on the right side under ten minutes. In other experiences with heavier products, it has taken as long as twenty minutes to style my hair, but in this case, I got the style I wanted in half the time.

ENDURANCE

Heavy holds have the reputation to keep your hair up all day even through the roughest of working and extracurricular conditions. Goon Grease has a strong endurance. After an afternoon work shift exposed to the California heat, Goon Grease kept my hair looking good throughout my shift. The cucumber citrus scent became subtle as time passed by, but still stood out as an evening breeze passed by. Goon Grease’s shine is great for a heavy, but the shine will dip down as time goes by, but that’s normal

 

 

WASHING IT OUT

Compared to heavy hold oil-based pomades, Goon Grease can take a couple of washes to completely remove from your hair, which may be a good thing or bad thing depending on your preferences. To get Goon Grease out of my hair, I used a little dab of Brylcreem to reduce the build up in my hair and proceeded to shower. Most of the product washed out thanks to the Brycreem and thoroughly shampooing my hair.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Goon Grease has a big following in the pomade community, praised by reviewers for its easy application and its impressive hold. Though I’d recommend Goon Grease for styles such as vintage pompadours and slickbacks, Goon Grease can be a reliable product to use for many styles from the quiff, executive contour, and everything in between. With a variety of good scents, easy application, and low styling difficulty, Lockhart’s Goon Grease is a must try for all of you who prefer heavy hold oil based pomades and for those of you who think you are one of “The scary fellas that come from the other side of the tracks.”

Binge watching TV Shows


TVThe last TV show I binge watched was Charmed. It’s an old show but my roommate and I watched it during the last month of summer. It’s a show about three sisters in San Francisco who find out they are powerful witches. They try to live normal lives but realize they have to save the world from demons who are trying to take over the world. Eventually, they have children and their lives get more challenging because the demons are trying to take control of their children. It’s pretty much a show about good versus evil. This show opened my eyes to many relationship problems and how the world can be with negative people. I just enjoy watching shows that combines fiction with real life situations. If you have not watched Charmed I suggest you watch it. I would advise you to watch the first few episodes to understand the background of the show, then skip to the end of season 3. There is more drama when season 4 begins through the last episode of the show. I know it sounds strange to recommend skipping almost three seasons, but the show is better that way. If you have watched the show, then you know what I am referring to. If not, you will find out the show is better when season 4 begins.

The next show I am looking forward to binge watching is Grey’s Anatomy. I began watching it towards the end of Spring semester. And watched at least four seasons before July. It still premiers on cable and has over ten seasons. I am trying to catch up with the episodes on cable, so I can watch the new season that’s already premiering. The show is about doctors who work in Seattle, WA. Everyone knows that doctors have a busy work schedule. So, it focuses on what doctor’s deal with inside and outside of work. Most of the characters are dating, competing, dealing with health issues, getting hurt, whatever you think of is in this show. Grey’s anatomy is not only a medical show, it addresses life situations. On top of that the show is hilarious. There are random moments where you have to think about what just happened and laugh. So far I really enjoy the show. I am excited to catch up with the new season. I am guilty of watching some of the episodes of season 9 on cable. I have never seen a show to last for more than at least eight seasons. And this show has over ten. I enjoy the mystery of what is going to happen next in this show. Many people are aware of this show, but I really think this a show to recommend to everyone. There is never a dull moment. You will learn to love all of the cast over the season’s. Although some of them may annoy you at times. There are different things that each character deal with that draws you to them even more. So if you all are looking for a show, check out Grey’s Anatomy.

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)

Unknown

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.

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

 

Tracy is a dj with KSSU