Sacramento Local Bands & Shows


Lately, there hasn’t been an influx of recognition for local bands. Support the young and locals! Here are a couple of rad upcoming bands in the Sacramento area:

Rosemother

soundcloud.com/rosemotherr | instagram.com/rosemother

Rosemother is a fun loving Sacramento band. The band is fronted by Haley Junker on the vocals/keyboard/guitar, Carson Junker on the drums, Maddie Edel on the guitar, and new addition Avery Mcpherson on the bass. They incorporate aspects of indie, synth and psychedelic rock into their music. In many of their tracks, you can catch Mac Demarco and Mild High Club influences. A favorite track is “For One Thing”, with catchy vocals and a garage rock sound. Check out their Instagram & Soundcloud for show dates and new tracks!

Pierce and the Gals

soundcloud.com/pierceandsomegals | instagram.com/pierceandthegals

Pierce and the Gals is a funky rock and roll band from Sacramento. Within the past year, they’ve released a new single and self-titled EP. Musically, they’re inspiration comes from Pink Floyd. A favorite track of their’s is “Molly”, a song with funky guitar and melodic vocals. Their next show is with Enjoy and Wyatt Shears from the band, The Garden. It should be a rad show. Check out the info for it below! Check their socials for more details on show & new music.

Destroy Boys

destroyboys.bandcamp.com | instagram.com/destroyboysband

Destroy Boys is a female fronted, garage rock trio from Sacramento that joined together in early 2016. They signed to Uncool Records in August of 2016 and are kicking off their graduation tour this summer as the members graduate from high school. DB’s music encapsulates themes of feminism, relationships and growth during hard times. Check out their Instagram and keep up with their tour info!

Shows you should go to this summer:

Destroy Boys, June 9th @ Honey Hive Gallery, San Francisco

Rosemother w/ 1800 & Weird Fun, June 14th @ Naked Lounge, 1111 H Street, Sacramento (7 p.m.)

Pierce and the Gals w/ Enjoy & Cowgirl Clue, June 29th @ The Colony, Sacramento (4-7 p.m. $10)

 

 

Album Review: Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?


Black Lips’ new album is just like any other album they’ve released in the past 15 years, exciting and very different than any other release out there right now. In Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?, they’ve introduced a full time saxophonist Zumi Rosow, while two long-time members, Joe Bradley and Ian St. Pé, left the band. Black Lips’ sound has been altered since the original drummer and long time guitarist have left, but their reckless and eclectic sound has shown itself in this album as well.

Points are given to their attempt of making Satan’s graffiti or God’s art? a conceptual album, but it wasn’t quite executed in a creative and consistent way. Had there not been short interlude tracks that feel like filler songs and no sense of consistency, it would have definitely exceeded expectations. Even though it was produced by Sean Lennon and had background vocals from Yoko Ono, it felt like they were just hanging out; you couldn’t feel their presence throughout the album. Maybe they were just there as a big names to get people to listen to this release?

As a conceptual album, I didn’t feel the vibe of a overarching theme or influence. Most of the tracks had okay vocals, but nothing throughout the album excited me to be a repeat worthy album. I would give “Can’t Hold On” and “Crystal Night” a listen when you first dive into the album. They’re easy listening tracks that had a road-tripping kind of sound but have them in the background at a party as well.

All in all, I didn’t love Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?. It feels like Black Lips need to evolve their sound and change it up a bit. A few songs are worth listening but definitely not my go-to for hot new albums of 2017.

 

 

Twombly, Twombly!!!


 

I recently visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This is one of the exhibitions that caught my eye.

Cy Twombly was an American artist, who belonged to the same generation as Robert Rauschenburg. He was a painter, sculptor, and photographer. He was born in 1928, died in 2011. In 1954, Twombly served as a cryptographer for the U.S. Army. In 1957, Twombly moved to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life. His work was mostly Abstract Expressionism.

 

Second Voyage to ItalyCy Twombly, Second Voyage to Italy

 

Twombly lived in Rome after World War II. He ended up being among a generation artists, in 1950’s Europe, that were trying to forget about the war. For his inspiration, Twombly used his surroundings in Rome, combined with the new style of American painters. He used these sources, and combined it with his own emotional reactions to them.

His paintings mostly had a solid color background that was usually gray, tan, or off-white. On top of the solid color background, Twombly scribbled. A few of these, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, resembled a chalkboard. And, what looked like chalk, was in the form of scribbling. Many of his paintings use this scribbling style, which sometimes resembles cursive handwriting (a calligraphy style). Other times, Twombly’s work resembles grafitti. One of the large paintings, at the Museum of Modern Art, looked like random chalk marks. But, some looked more like cursive handwriting. Though, there were no actual letters represented, just vague shapes that resembled the structure of letters. Later in his career, he would focus more on romantic symbolism.

Untitled Cursive-style piece

Cy Twombly, Untitled

Cursive-style piece

When I stood next to a large Twombly art piece “Untitled, 1971,” a museum employee told me that it was worth $1 Billion dollars. That intrigued me. I looked into why Twombly’s work would be worth so much money. Twombly was a big influence to generations of younger artists. He is considered a very important artist. He is said to have influenced Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Clemente, and Julian Schnabel. Another reason that Twombly’s work is so expensive now, is scarcity. Twombly has a small body of work, only creating about 650 paintings. When compared to artists, such as Andy Warhol who created over 10,000 works of art, Twombly has a relatively small amount of completed works. If every major art museum in the world sought to acquire an important Twombly piece, there wouldn’t be any his artwork left.

 

Untitled 1971.jpg

 

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1971

Me Next to a $1 Billion dollar art pieceMe next to a $1 Billion dollar art piece

I liked the artworks by Twombly that were more of calligraphic style, that looked almost like cursive handwriting. My favorite piece of Twombly’s, n the Museum of Modern Art, was a piece titled “Note I” from the series “III Notes from Salalah” 2005-2007. It had that chalkboard aesthetic, the forms that resembled cursive handwriting, and drips. The calligraphic-style faux lettering looked watered down. And, the letters were dripping.

Note I from the series III Notes from Salalah 2005-2007Cy Twombly, “Note I” from the series “III Notes from Salalah” 2005-2007

New semester, who dis.


The best part about starting a new semester is being able to curve people with a legitimate reason, such as, “Oh, sorry! I can’t make it today, I have a new school schedule!”

Okay I am totally kidding (well kind of), but here we are again in the semester where students scramble for classes like we are playing twister, bending over backwards, standing on our heads, reaching over our competition while trying to land our feet on without breaking our backs. However, during this chaos coupled with the insanity of finals, we forget about the opportunity for self-growth.

The transition between each new semester allows you to reflect on what you have learned, where you started, and where you are going next. It is amazing that we as students have the freedom to choose which classes we will take and use them as tools to discover ourselves, with very few limitations. For instance, if your major is still declared as undecided, you can shop an endless list of creative classes, such as art, social studies, and philosophy, which can assist in creating yourself and who you want to be.

One of the best parts about college is there are hundreds of GE courses that may have nothing to do with your major or your career, but the knowledge you gain from each professor, lecture, and project gives you a new perspective.

College should not be treated as a stepping stone to land a corporate job that will pay for your retirement; the worst thing a person could do is enter college just to find a good job. Higher education is revolutionary because it is an open space for self creation and enables you to cultivate your own individuality. The second worst thing a student could ever do is take a class for a mere unit filler and not grow from its content. Each class a student takes should be strategized based on what you want to learn, what you have not learned, and what will be useful for you.

Although some GE courses are required, as students we have every right to choose classes that nurture our own interests; we pay for the classes we take, therefore we are entitled to choose what material we will spend 9 hours of our lives studying each week. Hence, our schedules should be filled with courses that stimulate our curiosity.

College is also a playground to discover new ideas, cultures, and self-awareness. We as students should seek out classes that will give us a new perspective. Learning about different cultural experiences will not only expand our knowledge about the world around us, but will also lead to self-realization of our own consciousness.

This process of narrowing down classes should also be filtered by what is valuable to us as future world leaders. However, this should not be confused with treating college as a pipeline to the workforce; college should be a supplement to your future career and livelihood. A useful example would be a student going to college to become a doctor, but seeking out ethnic study courses to widened their knowledge about other people’s experiences to assist their craft in the medical field.

Again, it is fair to say that a new semester is stressful because finding the right courses can create so much anxiety. However, amongst all the turmoil, remember one thing: do not work for college, instead let college work for you.

All In My Mind And All Of The Time: Spoon – Hot Thoughts Review


There have been a number of popular indie rock bands that have been lovingly (or deridingly depending on who you talk to) labeled “dad rock” – a title given to older bands who put out a consistent stream of quality albums that are dependably good (nothing more and nothing less). While bands like Yo La Tengo and The National come to mind (the latter having a full Billboard article written about this distinction), no other band has been carrying this title quite like Austin-based indie rock band, Spoon. Spoon has been kicking for over two decades now, and while their discography hasn’t reinvented the indie rock wheel, all of their albums are still quality listens. With that being said, their new record, Hot Thoughts, is a surprising album. After a successful two decades worth of music, Spoon could have come out with an album like their acclaimed 2014 release They Want My Soul as a victory lap of sorts. However, Hot Thoughts sees the band with a newfound energy and an album that is their most playful, emotional, and experimental yet.

In terms of sound, Spoon has been known for some fantastic grooves (look no further than “Me and the Bean” from Girls Can Tell and “Eddie’s Ragga” from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga), but no groove in their discography has been as danceable as the one on the title track which starts off the record on a high note. The groove, the bells underlying the beat, and the layered sections of instrumentation (such as the violins near the end of the track) is like a kickstart to the heart and shows right away that the band isn’t set on making another conventional indie rock record. This newfound experimentation continues on album highlight “WhisperI’lllistentohearit” who’s first-half features a tasteful, low-key brooding that’s highly reminiscent of Spoon’s discordant “The Ghost of You Lingers.” Songs like “Do I Have to Talk You Into It” and “First Caress” both feature some enjoyable piano-laden rock along with interesting electronic elements that add another layer of variation and flourish to their tried-and-true formula. But none of the tracks here exemplify Spoon’s goal for experimentation as much as the songs “Pink Up” and “Us.” “Pink Up” is a moody slow-burn that features a prominent xylophone melody and flourishes of warped vocal samples from frontman Britt Daniels. On the weirder “Us,” the band sees fit to end the record with a four-minute instrumental jazz track which builds upon the xylophone motif from “Pink Up.” It’s something that you could hear as an interlude in an instrumental post-rock album, definitely not from a band like Spoon. It’s spacey, wild, moody, and gutsy. I was definitely put off at first listen, but subsequent playthroughs definitely helped solidify the song’s place in the track listing.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Spoon purists shouldn’t be put off by the new sounds of the record. There are definitely vintage-Spoon songs such as “First Caress” and Tear It Down.” “Can I Sit Next To You” is an energized Spoon track that sounds like they listened to Rolling Stone’s Some Girls (especially “Miss You”) before they hit the studio. If I had a major gripe with the album, I would highlight “Shotgun” as being a weak song in the track listing, especially since it feels awkward as a transition to the album’s closer. As far as vocal performance and lyrics go, Britt Daniels hasn’t sounds so spirited in years. Whereas frontmen like Matt Berninger from The National find ways to sing without putting too much strain in their voice after years of wear-and-tear, Britt Daniels’ voice is still as dynamic and pleasing as ever.

Spoon is a road-tested band that continues to show that they are capable of staying around for many years more. You would think a twenty-plus-year band would begin to sound drab, but Spoon, with every release, prove capable of putting out fantastic records that sound modern in any age and do so with extreme fervor. I would highly recommend this album to fans and novices alike.

Recommended Tracks: “Hot Thoughts,” “Can I Sit Next to You,” and “WhisperI’lllistentohearit”

Taking a Break with Adventures!


This semester has not been stressful as previous semesters. But I have been busy with a lot of essays and projects for classes. Last week I decided to take a break from all of the work and go home for a few days. It was my niece’s birthday and my sister decided to go to a place called “The Jungle” in Concord, CA. I did not realize how stressed I was  from school until I was on my way to “The Jungle.” I was thinking about all of the assignments I had to do the following week. However, once I got to the place there were children playing in tunnels, slides, and bouncy houses. My sister was in the arcade playing a racing game with my niece. Their shoes were off and they were having a good time. My niece ran up to me with her two friends and they asked can I go to a bouncy area with her. I said yeah. At that moment all of my worries about school was over. I was in the moment of enjoying my niece and finally having a day to enjoy myself.

My sister joined us and we went inside a bouncy play area. It was amazing how everything was set up inside. It looked like a world of Super Mario with blown up flowers, and shapes to grab onto if you fall. We climbed up blown up stairs leading us to a slide. My sister and I went down to wide slide with my niece and her two friends all at once. It was scary and amazing at the same time. We all tried to get up and constantly fell. It was funny because we could be clumsy and silly without any judgement. Of course, with younger children around there is never judgement. My sister and I realized how old we were because we were out of breath. We went up the slide once more and got out. When we got out we did not have enough energy so we rolled out and landed on our backs. It was so funny that we could not stop laughing.

When we finally got up my niece ran to the tunnel and invited me. Of course, I was crazy enough to get in. We were climbing, sliding, and going through so many things I thought it would never end. I tried to keep up with my niece, but I realized I am taller now and older. When we finally got out my heart rate was beating quicker than I expected. Afterwards, we went to the arcade and played games. I have never played the dancing game or air hockey. I played and was pretty good at them. I have not felt so free in a long time.  I was happy that I took a break from school and went home for my niece’s birthday.

For all of you readers, if you want to take a break from school for just a day. I would not suggest to go to a party, night club, or do something that you are used to doing. I would suggest going out and doing something where you could feel like a kid and be silly for once. As we get older we forget how to have fun because of our load of responsibilities. Taking that one day off will be worth it. If you do not have time right now, try it after finals week. It will be worth the wait.

Working Is A Glass Half Full


Today at work I was given a field day, which basically means I get to work outside and out of the office. The work site is an hour and a half away in the middle of the San Joaquin Delta. The objective is to locate siphon pipes that go through the levees and go into the water so that they can divert water from the river to the land beside it. Now that you have some perspective on what today will be like, I would like to introduce you to the theme of this entry.

I feel the strain of work and the slow moving clock, but it is a stressful life to concentrate and focus your energy on that. You must try your hardest to look at the work that you do and look at it with the Half Full Perspective. If you are unfamiliar with this it is when you focus your energy on the upside pieces of the labor that consumes your time. People will down this form of optimism, but that’s the beauty of half full. You still recognize that there is a balance and that the half emptt is also present. I could concentrate on the allergies I have, the mosquito bites I will get, and the rainy weather, but that’s not the way I see it. You can dramatically change your life by just altering your perspective on the way you look at things.

It is challenging to go through life always trying to make the best if things. There are plenty of things I wish I had and there are plenty of times where I don’t always feel the best, but I actively try to maintain the joy in my life. Life will always try to get you down and that will never change, just be a little more open to the fact that statistically we will all eventually feel pain. Not all the same, but all people hurt some way or another. Embrace that and try hard to overcome and beat it.

All the things I have learned is that taking care of yourself and your well being is the first job and the most important job. If you don’t work, the world around you doesn’t work.

Work is a cycle and that is a scary thing to imagine. The same thing for x amount of years. That is why it is important to try and find things to be thankful and happy for. If you need change, initiate the plan that needs to be done to get ahead. Good things do not come easy, but it is fun working your ass off for something you really want. You need dreams, turn those to goals, turn those goals to actions, turn those actions to habits. I blamed people, quit blaming people. People will always let you down. Count on that, and take accountability to the things that are important to you. Blame yourself and allow your ego to forgive yourself. We sometimes treat everyone fair and treat ourselves cruelly. Treat your self you deserve it. Be happy for no reason, allow yourself to see the light in things that are not there. Being happy is sone thing to fight and work for.

Surviving The Devil’s Anvil: Staying Motivated & Healthy Until Graduation


As of April 12th, 2017, spring graduates are just about a month away from graduating from Sac State and either entering entering the job market or heading to graduate school. It seems like just yesterday, we were entering our freshman year here at Sac State or just transferring from our community college. Now, we’re just about to call ourselves alumni of this great university.

 

But don’t get too ahead of yourself, fellow graduate as we got a almost a month or so left to survive. That means that final or that late in the semester midterm could still make its mark on those final grades and if those final grades aren’t good enough, you may be having an extended stay at good ol’ 6000 J Street. Do not fear for you are not alone! For you, I have some advice on how you can survive what will possibly be the longest four or so weeks of our lives.

 

  1. Stay On Top Of Your Assignments & Study Well

 

You’re probably feeling the same senioritis that you were feeling in high school some time ago. Your motivation is probably slowly dwindling and your mind seems to float away in those early morning lectures. It may seem that your body and mind can’t take anymore of these factors and just wants to break down, but you’re a strong person and have the ability to keep pushing on. Allow yourself an hour or two each day to keep up on your reading and homework each night. I know having work, meetings, or a social life can interfere with this time, but even the smallest of commitment to some studying can make your grades survive the final push through the semester.

 

  1. Get Some Sleep & Eat Well

 

It may be hard to not stay up so late, but to feel revitalized for the upcoming commencement and summer season, it may be a good thing to get some adequate sleep and some good nutrition along the way. Instead of all of those all-nighters and sleepless nights (less than five hours of sleep), jump into the sheets and count some more sheep and shoot for six to eight hours of shut eye. It will allow your body to get that energy it deserves and keep you going strong through the day.

 

To accompany that sleep, try to get some healthier grub into your stomach as well. I understand that as college students, we don’t have the capital that can get us the freshest foods and healthiest ingredients, but it is still possible to make it work. Try to get some fruits and vegetables into your system and get some of those key vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Try to skip out on a panda bowl in the union and enjoy a delicious whole wheat sandwich with an apple as a lunch. Your body will feel more energized as you make your way through these last few weeks of classes.

 

  1. Get Some Exercise

 

Something some of us dread is a nice workout; something to get us off of our behinds and making our hearts pump a little bit. However, getting a little exercise can be therapeutic and serve as a break from the stress of exams, homework, and big term papers. Exercise doesn’t mean lifting heavy weights or running miles on end, but even a stroll through the park, a midtown bike ride, or even a swim can count as some exercise. Just 15-60 minutes of exercise a day can make the case and as someone who exercises on the daily, it contributes to my days being a little less stressful. Though it may sound dreadful, take the stairs, take a stroll around campus, or get your gym clothes and head for the Well.

 

  1. Enjoy Yourself

 

We’re in the twilight of our college careers and that time is quickly coming to an end as our final semesters is coming close to ending. Enjoy it while you can. Gather your closest friends and take some time to appreciate the moment. Go one a night out on the town and enjoy the company of your friends. Go on a hike, to a ballgame, or enjoy a board game night in your apartment, house, or dorm. We won’t get this time back so make the best of it all while you can.
As graduation looms, we will be leaving the comfort of our fellow Hornets and try to find a career or opportunity for higher education. We will join fellow alumni into making a difference in the world. However, until we walk the commencement floors and earn our final grades, we must stay strong, stay healthy, stay on track, and enjoy life. Congratulations on reaching this point and good luck with the rest of your semester! Stingers, up

Tremaine Album Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-DjLeodawnus

Midterm season


Yes everyone, Midterms are here and I am trying to get through them as soon as possible. My classes are going well so far, and proud of the progress I have been making this semester. However, many students are stressed out about classes right now. A few of my secrets for passing classes is 1) do not procrastinate and 2) pretend to enjoy each class.

When you do not procrastinate, assignments will be caught up before it’s time to study for an exam. And when you pretend to enjoy a class, the information will make sense. Or at least you can show up to class without frustration. These two choices may help you on track with class assignments, and motivate you to attend class.  Many students are not doing so well in their classes, which is discouraging them to attend class. If this is a reason you are not attending class, find a way to bring your grade up. We have about a month left to get caught up. So everyone, please do not discourage yourself we will have another break soon.

Unfortunately, Spring Break is over and it was kind of short. Everyone is not only worried about their classes, but in a down mood at this time of the semester. At least five of my friends called me the first week back from Spring Break for advice. The only advice I could give them is my 2 secrets. Do not procrastinate and pretend to enjoy class.  I do not blame anyone for being exhausted this time of the semester. Teachers are giving exams, quizzes, and essays right now. Furthermore, this bipolar weather has everyone’s mood up and down. It’s like an emotional roller coaster.

Luckily, there is not a lot of time left until summer break and it is making some of us anxious to have that break finally. All of your time and effort will be worth it once the semester is over knowing that you put in effort to pass your classes and can take an entire summer to relax, work, or whatever is planned for the summer. I honestly do not have plans for the summer yet. But I am looking forward to getting through my midterms to get one step closer to summer!