KSSU Celebrates 25 years of Student Run Radio


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Sacramento, CA: KSSU, Sacramento State’s student run radio, turns 25 years old this semester. Although the actual anniversary is on May 14th, the official celebration is slated for April 15th in the University Union from 10:00am to 8:00pm.

KSSU is an online radio station that broadcasts live 24/7 on KSSU.com. It is run entirely by Sac State students. Being the only student radio station of Sacramento State, KSSU provides the opportunity for Sac State students to learn about broadcast media with no prior experience necessary. KSSU is a non-commercial and free format radio station, which allows students the ability to express themselves with each show. This brings a diverse selection of programming to the station, which reflects the diverse interests of the Sac State student body. KSSU is a Student Engagement and Outreach (SEO) program of Associated Students, Inc., (ASI) at Sacramento State. For more information on KSSU and its history, go to kssu.com/about.

The celebration of being a radio station on campus for 25 years will happen throughout the day on April 15th in the University Union. KSSU alumni will be taking over the airwaves in honor of the anniversary. Various alumni from the past 25 years will program radio shows throughout the day for all to listen on KSSU.com. Some highlights of the day include: a student-produced video presentation on KSSU’s history, and a panel discussion with the founders Jim Bolt and Chris Prosio. At their panel discussion, the founders of the station will discuss their journey to start what is now known as KSSU. Following the panel discussion will be a Q&A. At the conclusion of the day, there will be a reception for attendees. Music will be provided by KSSU Alumnus, DJ Mappquest. The reception also features a photo booth. Food will be provided by Epicure Catering. A photo slideshow highlighting the achievements of KSSU alumni will be on display. The specific schedule for the day is as follows:

  • In-studio sessions with KSSU Alumni: 10:00am – 3:00pm, 5:00pm – 8:00pm, live on KSSU.com.
  • Panel discussion and presentation with KSSU Founders: Jim Bolt and Chris Prosio: 3:30pm – 5:00pm, Delta Room in the University Union
  • Reception: 6:15pm – 7:45pm, University Union Ballroom 1.

More on KSSU: To stay updated with the anniversary and KSSU, follow us on social media. Follow @KSSUsparky on Instagram and Twitter or like KSSU, Sac State Student Run Radio on Facebook. Go to KSSU.com for more information and to listen to KSSU live.  

 

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Album Review: “Lost Isles” by Oceans Ate Alaska


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is a metal-core band the United Kingdom with a unique taste. Some flavors of Djent, Thrash, Death, Pop Punk, and even Electronica float around in this UK Combo. When I first listened to Oceans Ate Alaska, they were a scene/emo kid band performing the class “screamo” music with open note breakdowns. This album “Lost Isles” has been a metamorphosis for Oceans. They started out as puny, long-haired caterpillars and evolved into fire-breathing dragons. Here’s my take on “Lost Isles”.

The intro, “Four Thirty Two” is an instrumental with some radio and television broadcasts on natural disasters playing in the background. Great work done in this song, piece and also in the instrumental interlude. The pure talent and raw sound during these pieces show how the band has progressed in accordance to music theory. Tempo changes, experimental tuning, drum variety, all sorts of vocals (both clean and screamed), and of course some master guitar shredding amplify this bands talent ten-fold. You can tell how much work they put into this album just by these pieces alone.

But wait! It gets even better. Oceans Ate Alaska released three tracks before the actually full length release date, which was February 24th. These songs are “Blood Brothers” (Lyric video), “Floorboards” (Lyric Video), and “Vultures And Sharks” (Music Video). One thing you will notice is how thick the accent is coming out of the front-man. It works really well because with the knowledge of where these guys came from, you can match up the style with the accent. With technical drops, crazy good melodies, and use of techno in the background (but not overdone) made me so excited for the release of the full length. Maybe a little too excited because I listened to “Blood Brothers” about five times a day for a week.

Other songs worth mentioning are “High Horse”,”Linger”, “Entity”, and the debut hit “Lost Isles”. “High Horse” is heavy as frick and is similar to Attila’s lyric style. Basically, we are better than you and will hurt you if you try to take us down. With a little bit of Djent influences, this song made me sweaty and flexed out while just sitting in class, which probably made it uncomfortable for the shy girl next to me. “Linger” and “Entity” cannot be fully appreciated without deciphering the lyrics. I will not ruin the surprise, but your mind will be blown. Also, “Linger” as both clean and distorted guitar throughout, which is strange for metal, but it worked out fantastic! Last but certainly not least is “Lost Isles” which is pretty much everything I have just written, but precisely placed together in one masterpiece. I feel like this should have been on the last song on the album just to give listeners those last tears of joy and bliss before popping the album out their car radio.

To hear some new stuff from Oceans Ate Alaska and a variety of other bands, go listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” on http://www.kssu.com Tuesdays at 8 o’clock!

Thanks for reading, DJGingerbeard out.

An Easy Class Is Not Always the Best Class


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Here I am, drinking a homemade mocha, thinking about which class I should write for as my “Favorite Class” this semester. I have some pretty laid-back classes due to either a fantastic professor or easy material. However, there is one class that is quite strict and has a lot of work. A class that students take just for a GE requirement. A class that people either laugh or dread at (unless you major in it of course). This class is THEA 9: Appreciation of Acting.

I took Drama/Theatre all throughout high school. I enjoyed it, but never pursued it into college. In this class, we cover the basics of acting while also studying up on well-known productions, techniques, and actors. From the first day we were required to stand in front of everyone and “state our business” (name, major, favorite food, etc.). From then on we signed a contract that says if we are caught using our electronic devices in class, we will receive an automatic “F” for the whole course. At first I died a little bit in my heart, but then quickly realized that Brazo, our Professor, is doing this so we actually stay focused and participate in class. This is good because some of the material we zoom quickly through and we also get participation points in class. Another “strict” policy Brazo enforces is that if we are over ten minutes late, we are marked absent. After 3 absences, we are dropped from the course. The lesson is pretty obvious do not be late.

After getting homework every class, mandatory performances, and presentation projects this early in the semester, I realized that this is probably my favorite class. Maybe my brain turned backwards, but I think all this work and focus in the classroom is actually helping us students become living breathing people who can us critical thinking as opposed to sitting in others classrooms like zombies and regurgitating material we have memorized onto a test that we will not remember three weeks later. THEA 9 is turning out to be a challenging course, but in an entertaining sort of way. Like Brazo says every class, “I do not just give out A’s. You have to work for them.”

Thanks for reading my post! If you want to hear a variety of metal/loud-rock/punk/pop-punk/djent music on my show, tune into http://www.kssu.com Tuesdays mornings at 8 o’clock!!!

Signing off, DJGingerbeard

Theatre Is Not Lame… Sometimes


Cole Theater smallAs a mandatory requirement for my Theater 9 course, I had to attend an acting showcase last night in the University Theater. This showcase was put on by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (or KCACTF) where nominees from Sacramento State show off their talents with about six minutes of material and one song. The nominees put on two skits, a monologue, then later on sang a song. Also, they were able to choose anyone they wanted as an acting partner for the two skits. All I have to say is, this showcase re-ignited an old passion for theater inside of me. Here’s how my day went.

I work at a burrito joint in Vacaville where I roll burritos. Simple enough, except for that day we were slammed (and I mean SLAMMED) with orders. I get off around 2:30pm, roll myself a tasty burrito for the road, and go to pick up my girlfriend who volunteered as tribute to go with me to the showcase. After a minor argument as to why she needs to hurry and why I am a “Butt” we were on the road. The line was long, but it went by fast and we quickly got seats towards the back or in Actor’s Terms, Upstage House Left.

Honestly, I had no idea what the showcase was about until half-way through the performance. However, I did not need to know what it was about because I was already captivated by some of the performances. These actors knew their stuff and could range from comedy to tragedy in under six minutes. There were some memorable performances.

One of these worth mentioning was a skit called “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged]” performed Cole Winslow and Steven Amaral. It was a Shakespeare satire that had me laughing the entire time along with the rest of the audience. One line, Steven said “Call me but love and…” he continued on with mushy gushy words about passion, where Cole replied “Fine, I shall call you ‘Butt Love’.”

Another performance that I found to be quite strong and at a moment shocking was “Ruined” performed by Taylor Vaughn and Tiffanie Mack. This piece was about an African woman telling a story to a friend about how soldiers beat her and molested her in front of her daughter Beatrice, who was then stomped to death by a soldier. The sadness and vividness on Taylor’s face hit me right in the heart.

The only critique I would have is that some of the acting partners were better than the nominees themselves. There was a duo who I thought the partner WAS the nominee, until the actual nominee came out later and sang for the audience.

When I was taking drama in high school, we did a lot of older plays and musicals which put a distaste in my mouth for Theater. After watching some Modern Day performances and material at the showcase last night, I am glad to say that Theater is not lame… sometimes.

Thank You for reading! Check out my show “Shred the Gnar” Tuesday mornings at 8 only on http://www.kssu.com!

DJGingerbeard

Album Review: “The Night God Slept” by Silent Planet


SP.CoverThe very first song I heard from Silent Planet was “Tiny Hands (Au Revoir) off their EP titled “Lastsleep (1944-1946)” was love at first listen. I thought, “Gee, these guys already sound experienced and professional.” Turns out, they have only released a demo CD and one self-recorded EP. The album that just came out titled “The Night God Slept” is their first album- ever. Silent Planet is a Christian Metalcore band from Los Angeles. Although they are christian, they do not like to have labels on them and during an interview, their guitar player claimed that they do not want to play in churches, “but we want to play for the broken.” The link to the interview is at the bottom. With this new album, Silent Planet has been signed to Solid State Records and already have some recognition. Bands like For Today and August Burns Red are backing up the release of this new album and on eight of the eleven tracks there are featured christian artists. Silent Planet is coming into 2015 hot with no signs of braking.

Let’s break this album down real quick. First off, the lyrics are amazing. All the lyrics are direct quotes, paraphrases, or interpretations by the vocalist of other sources. These sources include philosophical books, historical events, the Bible, and many more other things. Not only that, but the lyrics all flow together around a central main idea while also remaining connected to all listeners. All instruments at one point do show their max amount of talent, but they remain humble when needed. The instruments are not focused on being the heaviest or most technical, but they are very talented and get crazy at times. The keep the song entertaining while also complementing the vocalist. Also, one of the guitar players sings to bring in that “clean” aspect to the Metalcore genre. By the way, it is good singing not like a girly man kind of singing either.

My favorite songs (in order of appearance) are XX (City Grave), Native Blood, Tiny Hands (Au Revoir), and Wasteland. “XX (City Grave) talks about the objectification of women as sexual beings instead of equals to men and how that is wrong. The song explains how we should treat all women as sisters and abolish pornography, regardless of profit being lost or desires that men have. “Native Blood” is about how Native Americans were kicked out their land by people who claimed to be Servants of God. Silent Planet retaliated against the idea of the settlers being servants by explaining what it really is to be a Servant. They then compare the idea of False Servant-hood to most preachers today. “Tiny Hands (Au Revoir)” is a Holocaust survival story about a Jewish woman who escaped a Synagogue being burned by Nazis by jumping out a giant window into a garden. There are also topics such as the Garden of Eden and the existence of both forces of Good and Evil. Finally, the song “Wasteland”. This song is about the rise of Joseph Stalin and his attempt to abolish God completely, making himself the new supreme figurehead that everyone are supposed to worship. The song also looks at the lives of the soldiers under Stalin who were dying unnecessary deaths after losing their faith on the battle field, hence the name “Wasteland”.

I can go on and on, but you should go check it out for yourself. I highly recommend that you check out the album playlist on youtube (which I have provided a link) and read the lyrics while the songs are playing. I promise you will not regret it and your mind will be blown.

Thanks for reading! If you want to hear more music like Silent Planet and other great artists, tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” Tuesdays at 8am on http://www.kssu.com

Much Love, DJGingerbeard

Links:

Playlist= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d9HHQqtguY&list=PLCslpjrb7cYjhht_4wASD6IGoivkLfD-z&index=10

interview= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi_VYGnuHl8

“Shred the Gnar” Version 2.0


For those of you who do not know me, my name is DJGingerbeard and I have a metal/random show Tuesday mornings at 8am called “Shred the Gnar” on KSSU. When I started at KSSU, I wanted to play music that people would not typically hear in the mainstream, or music that when it comes up in conversation would make them cringe. Examples are metal, death metal, post-hardcore, Djent, etc. Last semester I found myself sticking to one type of metal and even replaying songs from already popular artists. My original intent on becoming a DJ had vanished. Two events made me realize i must return to my Alpha Form.

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I was checking out some bands on Instagram when I saw a band that I thought was already great and pretty well-known had released a new album. That album is titled “The Night God Slept” by a Southern Californian Metal band called “Silent Planet.” The lyrics are all direct quotes, paraphrases, or interpretations of the vocalist cited from historical events, intellectual books, and scriptures. I was blown away by the awesome creativity on this album so I looked up an interview with the band. I found out that this album was their first album ever and they just got signed to a record label (which happens to be Solid State Records). That’s when it hit me. One of the things I wished to do as a DJ was to find great bands in the heavy music industry that are not well known and give them exposure.

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The other event that made me realize what I have become was a few days ago in my girlfriend’s car. We were having a nice day going out to eat, when two songs back to back played in her radio from a mix CD. One was from Underoath in their more recent years, so the music was not that heavy. The other was a pop-punk song by a band called “Knuckle Puck”. I loved both songs so i told my girlfriend “I would play this stuff, but it’s too light”. She replied, “You tell your listeners that you play a wide variety of metal and other stuff, but you seem to only stick to a select type of music.” She was right, so now I am changing my ways.

“Shred the Gnar” version 2.0 will not have just metal, but also thrash, djent, hardcore, punk, post-hardcore, electro-metal, pop-punk, and all other sub-genres. Not only that, I will try harder to find not-so-known bands like “Silent Planet” and play them on my show to give them the credit they deserve. I promise you fellow musicians and music lovers alike, Spring Semester for DJGingerbeard will be better than ever.

Listen in for some great stuff at http://www.kssu.com

Tuesday mornings at 8am

Much love, DJGingerbeard

Thanksgiving Extravagance


ThanksGiving

What other day of the year can you eat until you throw up?

None other than Thanksgiving, where we stuff stuffing and good times into our bodies. During Thanksgiving, I usually head up to Chico to my grandparent’s house, or they come down here. Either way, the whole family collects under one household and everybody brings some sort of food or dessert. My mother creates a “Thanksgiving Lasanga”. This Lasagna is like other Lasagnas, except in between each layer of pasta is stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, and the sauce is substituted for gravy.

HOO MA GAWSH

It is Heaven in your mouth. Its greatness reaches your taste buds whether it be hot or cold.

After all the typical festivities shenanigans and small talk about who did what where, a brave group of us go out shopping for Black Friday at midnight. Once I went Black Friday shopping and witnessed people fighting over shoes. Shoes! At Wal-mart! They are already cheap!

Last year, I applied for seasonal work at Hot Topic. The Manager was not there the first time I showed up, and was on an “extended lunch break” (smoke break with food) so the assistant manager came to my aid. He said they had a spot to work on Black Friday, so I signed up. I had my employee card, paperwork, and everything. On the day before Thanksgiving, I called to see what time they wanted me to come in and they replied, “sir, we don’t have you scheduled to work here.” Apparently, because the manager did not employ me, my paperwork and card did not matter. After the holidays, I returned to the manager, who promised me a job, only to ignore my calls, texts, e-mails, and visits after an interveiw.

This Thanksgiving, I am heading up to Chico. My grandmother, being a Filipina, is making Lumpia. A relaxing, Lumpia-filled, no work, mini-vacation up to the countryside of Chico is exactly what I want this Thanksgiving.

To hear more about my life’s randomness and shortcomings (with Metal/hardcore/heavyrock music) listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” every Thursday at 9am on http://www.kssu.com.

Until next time, this is DJGingerbeard, heading out.

Re-Introduction of DJGingerbeard


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Hello beautiful people! It is a new year; this means new eyes to see this blog and new ears to listen to KSSU. Most of the DJ’s here play a mix of music, mainly consisting of hip-hop, Alternative, or Indie.

I play “Heavy Music”. What is Heavy Music you ask? Anything ranging from Post-Hardcore (Singing, double-bass pedals, drop tuned guitars) to death metal (blast beats, pig squeals, crazy sweeps). Music is all subjective, but i like to play both mainstream and unknown or unsigned metal artists. Heavy Music is not created to be a fad, a phase, a trend, or a revolt. It is meant to surge power into your veins. The euphoria is meant to make you instantly grow out your hair and head-bang or sing til your throat is dehydrated. Frission takes over your skin! Sounds great, right?

In between each song I speak for about thirty seconds. My narratives are filled with many things. For example, I talk about the bands, albums, CSUS spider problems, digestion, memories of injuries at concerts, cats, food, the love/hate relationship with water, deep philosophical ideas, and many more things that sound interesting and may never concern you. It develops a sense of entertainment and reflection on your own life to be spontaneous and happy. Speaking of spontaneous, my show is unscripted, unplanned, and never outlined. The only thing I plan ahead is my playlist.

Every playlist I try to play a mixture of Heavy Music. Also, I will play music from three bands who like and/or follow me on Instagram. Each show I post a picture, add information on my show, hash-tag the bands I play, and also tag the bands. So, any similar bands who like my music follow and/or like me. In turn, I can check out their stuff and if I like it, they will end up on my show.

I guess the main reason why you should listen in on “Shred the Gnar” is because my show is heavy, random, funny, and meaningful to metal lovers, musicians, and hippie-folk.

Check me out on Thursday mornings at 9 o’ clock yo!

“Shred the Gnar” with my DJGingerbeard on kssu.com!!!

 

The Dr. J Show


kssu studio

The Dr. J Show on kssu.com is a versatile show that truly dives into the depths of music that you rarely hear. It is every Monday Morning at 11am and it is a great way to start the week.

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Heirs To The North


heirs to the north

Released this Halloween, “Heirs To The North” is a compilation album produced by Las Vegas rapper T.R@bb.

H*T*T*N is a mashup of various up and coming rappers from Las Vegas bringing the very finest of hip hop to their listeners.

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