Sage The Gemini brings the winter to Sacramento


indexThe NorCal hip hop scene is amongst the most passionate in America, and no one knows that better that Dominic Wynn Woods, otherwise known to the public as Sage the Gemini.

A native of Fairfield, Sage the Gemini is prepping to bring his “West for the Winter Tour” to Northern California this month, with stops in Petaluma, Arcata and Sacramento. And for Sage, he sees this as a chance to makes this a big house party with him and all the hometown faithful.

“It’s amazing to be close to home,” Sage the Gemini said. “You always get the best reactions from people who know you. You kinda feel like Michael Jackson.”

While Sage is used to performing in front of his friends and family, he’s going to be bringing some new tunes to the stage. In December, he dropped the single, “Now and Later” from his upcoming sophomore album, “Bachelor Party”. In less than a full month, the single garnered over six million views; part of it was due to a unique marketing strategy that included a Snapchat filter for the song when it was released.

The tune, which he describes as one of his favorites, is an example of how Sage the Gemini has grown since his first album, “Remember Me”.

“Sometimes you gotta be catchy, and you gotta tend to people’s imaginations,” Sage said. “I’ve noticed that when you do that, it seems to get the job done. The Snapchat filter played a big part of it. When we released it to radio, it was just the right timing.”

While Sage the Gemini has been known for being one of the most unique artists out there due to his work ethic, he gives a lot of credit to his label, Atlantic Records, for giving him the creative freedom to pull off what he sees in his head.

“I’ve been working with this label since I was 18 years old,” Sage said. “We’re fully connected with the way they work, and they give me the space to do what I need to do. It’s like going into a classroom with the same friends from last year.”

Since his career took off in 2013 with the release of his first single, “Gas Pedal”, Sage the Gemini has become a nationwide success. And while he knows how to separate his stage persona from real life, he admits that it’s still something he is getting used to.

“I still don’t realize who I am sometimes,” Sage said. “I’ll be in Chuck E. Cheese attending a friend’s birthday party, and people will be like, ‘Oh my God’. I tell them, ‘I know, I’m too big to be in the ball pit’, and they’re like, ‘you’re Sage the Gemini’. It’s crazy.”

Coming back home for the “West for the Winter Tour” is special to him, especially the Sacramento stop, where he will be performing at Ace of Spades.

“Ace of Spades is my number one venue,” Sage said. “When I hear I’m performing there, I get excited. It always sells out, and they know every song. It’s like a hip hop ray of black waves.”

The “West for the Winter Tour” comes to town on September 23 at Ace of Spades.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

A Trip Down Concert Avenue


ace of spades

Recently I attended the Mastodon concert at Ace Of Spades here in Sacramento. Numerous times I hear people complain about the sound quality at Ace Of Spades, or even at The Boardwalk and Harlows. I admit I do not have an hear for music, but to me I think all venues have the same sound. I am more concerned with the layout and organization of a concert hall. Ace Of Spades or the Boardwalk to me are quite fun to go to since the stage is so close that you can get pretty close to the artists.

I have been going to concerts as long as I have been going to movie theaters. I actually grew up in the East Bay area so I had the privilege of experiencing amazing concerts and venues. Slim’s, Great American Music Hall, Bill Graham Civic, and The Shoreline Amphitheater which I have attended specifically too many times to count. During all these performances did I pay attention to the sound coming through the speakers but rather the entire atmosphere. The smell of drugs, sweat, dirt, and alcohol even the noise feels like it has a smell to it. The lights or lasers that flicker through the night or the bodies pressed against you swaying through the night become a cosmic blur. And you keep feeling that adrenaline long after the concert ends, with the buzz of that music humming through your ears.

Mastodon had the same feeling. They are not one of my top favorite bands and usually not the kind of music I listen to, but still a great band to see live. This high paced rock/metal band always gets the crowd moshing to no end. I don’t mind mosh pits, as long as I am not stuck in the middle. I like to be right by the edge just to get that intense feeling, but at the same time not attacked by sweaty men who could accidentally punch my ribcage.

Ace of Spades is a great venue as well. Since I have moved to Sacramento, I have seen multiple bands here. It’s crazy to have so many bars inside but logically seeing how many people can get packed in there. I’ve never had a bad experience other than paying an arm and a leg for drinks, but is not really a surprise for over charging at concerts.

I think going to see bands live can be a beautiful experience. Yes you may have to sacrifice your wallet but standing in historical venues and getting to experience the sights and sounds is something that money cannot buy as cliche as that sounds. Everyone should attend at least one live event and I hope to continue enjoying these artists for as long as I can.

 

DJ Jaws is a DJ at KSSU

The Zombie 5 Tour Review


ace

Last Sunday, I went and saw (in order) Secrets, Born of Osiris, Word Alive, and the Devil Wears Prada at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento. The name of the tour was the “Zombie Five Tour” because it has been five years since the Devil Wears Prada released their “Zombie Ep”- one of their greatest achievements. There was laughing, crying tears of joy, and a lot of sweat in a human sardine can. Here’s how my night went.

Started off with the usual tradition- Dutch Bros. drive thru coffee in Davis. Got myself a strawberry and lime iced Rebel, which is their trademark energy drink, so I was ready for the long night ahead. Accompanying me was my girlfriend while the rest of my crew was saving us a spot at the front of the line. Walking to our spot in line, I could feel the teenage angst staring me down while everyone is decked out in gear ranging from Goth streetwear to gym clothes with band logos. I myself went in some nice khakis and a windbreaker. After hanging out in line and farting on some teens behind me, we quickly hurried inside the venue when the doors opened.

Usually, Ace of Spades has a band open up for the other bands, but Secrets was the first band to go on. The last time I saw Secrets was also at the Ace of Spades, but when they had their old vocalist. For being the first band, Secrets did great. They played some classics, some new stuff, and even a song that has yet to be released. Aside from some ear-piercing highs from the singing, they did a good job.

Born of Osiris

Born of Osiris came next and they straight up murdered the stage. Stage presence out the ying-yang, sound effects on point, and the heavy/technical guitar skills from Lee McKinney reminded me why Born of Osiris is one of my favorite bands. Born of Osiris was like a shot of espresso after the creamer, started off sweet and escalated to a level of strength that even Goku would be impressed by. Well done BOO, well done once again.

The last time I saw The Word Alive was at Warped Tour, and they were all hyped about their newest release, the “Real.” Album. Some of those songs are pretty light, so I thought, “Aw man, I’m gonna see the same performance twice.” I was proven wrong. The Word Alive played a lot of heavy songs, including oldies like “2012” and “House of Anubis”. Before the breakdown to 2012, Telle Smith (the frontman) split the whole entire front half of the crowd like the Red Sea and told them that when he counts the breakdown in, that everyone run at each other as fast as possible. This is what we call a “Wall of Death” and the last Wall I partook in ended up with my shirt getting ripped in half, fighting some fat guys, and almost passing out in the crowd. Fun fact: that was also during a Word Alive set in that very same venue.devil wears prada

Last but certainly not least, the men of the hour, The Devil Wears Prada. I thought that TDWP would only play their EP and a couple more songs. Then I found out from an outside source that their set list was 16 songs. 16 SONGS. The first five were some classics, then the next five were the Zombie EP all in order, all with the sound effects in between the songs as well. After the EP, I did not stay for the whole set list, but I was okay with that. Also, the stage had crazy light displays, including a giant symbol from their album 8:18. The Devil Wears Prada was the very first band that got me into Metal, and to see them live almost eight years after I heard their first album made the night all worth it. They were the best band up on that stage, and I cannot wait to hear what they have next.

Speaking of that, I heard a rumor (which has yet to be confirmed) that The Devil Wears Prada is back on Rise Records and is going to release a Space Ep.

We will just have to wait and see.

Thanks for reading my lengthy memory written onto this blog! If you want to hear more music from these bands and bands alike, or if you know of a band you want on my show, listen in on Tuesday mornings at 8 o’clock on www.kssu.com or contact me via Instagram @gingerbeardthefoot

Much love,

DJGingerbeard

Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, A Smashing Good Time


SOOOOPERSMAAAAAAAASH

I know the game has been out for a while, but I just wanted to give credit where credit is due. The older Smash Bros. fans will shout “Super Smash Bros. Melee was the best and will always be the best”, but what Nintendo did for SSB for Wii U has taken this series to another level. Enhanced graphics, new characters, different combo options, even more dangerous maps, and 8-player mode all come with the new and improved Super Smash Bros. Also, a player can still use regular Wii remotes on the Wii U, so this makes it easier for lazy people (like me) who do not wish to adapt to the new Wii U controller, which has a screen in the middle of it in case you wanted to use the bathroom without interrupting the game for everyone else.

A list of the new characters include: Mega Man, Wii Fit Trainer, Animal Crossing Villager, Rosalina & Luma, Little Mac, Greninja, Customizable Mii Fighters, Palutena, Robin, Shulk, Lucina, Pac-Man, Dark Pit, Bowser Jr. (with all other koopa kids), and the duck and dog from duck hunt. Also, Zero Suit Samus is available as a starting character as opposed to Regular Samus from SSB Brawl, where you would need to hit a “special ball” in order to become zero suit samus. As for DLC characters, there is only one: Mewtwo. Mewtwo from Melee and Lucario from Brawl had very, very similar attacks so I hope that this new Mewtwo comes with new attacks or other surprises. I personally only got to play as Palutena, Little Mac, Bowser Jr. and Shulk. Palutena you have to get used too. Little Mac is HIGHLY powerful and if you can hone in on timing his attacks, you will be unstoppable. I played as a Bowser Jr. who had a cannon and could also detach himself from his little vehicle thing to place a bomb inside it before returning, which killed my friend about eight times. Shulk is a swordsman character, but his “B” move allows you to use a sort of perk with choices of speed, power, or defense. Trust me, they really do help.

This is pretty much the extent of my knowledge because I just spent thirty minutes in a GameStop doing a trial run of the game and now I wish i wasn’t a broke student so I could purchase a Wii U just for this game. If you live a life without regrets, buy this game and you will not be disappointed.

Thanks for reading! To hear some awesome music and more shenanigans coming straight from my pie-hole, tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” Tuesdays at 8am only on http://www.kssu.com!!!

Much love,

DJGingerbeard

Album Review: “Lost Isles” by Oceans Ate Alaska


maxresdefault

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.

The Ghost Inside/ Attila/ Volumes Album Reviews.


I want to take a moment and talk about some news albums that came out recently, and by recently I mean within the last six months. The Ghost Inside, Attila, and Volumes all dropped some heavy stuff and I checked out all their new albums. Holy snap crackle and pop, they were extravagant. The Ghost Inside with some hardcore melodies, Attila with their IDGAF in-your-face attitude, ad Volumes with a melodic change for the better.

14299793d9b358af434316abc668847c

Once again, the Ghost Inside have proven themselves to be one of the leading bands in the hardcore scene. To all those who say they went “mainstream” and are not underground anymore, I say to you, screw that. If a band can make it big and get paid more so they can actually afford nice things instead of sticking to the underground and getting paid diddly squat for a run down apartment, I say go for it and get big. The first song “Avalanche” straight up pumps up the mood for everybody with a nice build up in the beginning and gang vocals to breakdown as a finisher. The debut song “Dear Youth” covers all aspects of a great song; powerful riffs, relatable lyrics, empowering breakdowns, and a harmony that is off the chain. Well done The Ghost Inside.

atilla-about-that-life

First off, Attila is not a band meant to be taken as “meaningful” or important to your life goals. They are a party hard, DGAF kind of band with a new album called “Guilty Pleasure”. With a mix between brutal exhales and rapping, Fronz (vocalist) has multiple virtuoso moments throughout the song. Some tracks make me shake my head and say “what the heck is this” but tracks like “Guilty Pleasure” and “Horse Pig” get me throwing chairs and flipping tables. Again, they are not very deep and philosophical, but they kill it live. I speak from past experiences when i say they put on a fantastic show with lights, and 8O8 drops. This new album will take their concerts to the next level. I saw an Instagram video of a huge wall of death to one of their new songs and that is enough to convince me that this new album is worth purchasing.

volumes-no-sleep-600x600

Last but certainly not least, Volumes. Volumes is a Djent band well-known for their breakdowns, but their album “No Sleep” was not what fans expected this album had a lot of lighter, more melodic tracks on it. Don’t get me wrong, the tracks are amazing and I am happy to hear that Volume’s use of music theory and desire to do less heavy music in their future, but Volumes received a lot of fire. In their song “The Mixture”, the lyrics say “you can have metal back” and in an interview, the vocalists said they are dropping from their label to pursue music on their own path. The album “No Sleep” is the first step in Volumes new style and wave of music, and I love every bit of it.

Thanks for reading, I am DJGingerbeard and to hear music from The Ghost Inside and Volumes (Attila is too vulgar) tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” every Thursday at 9am on http://www.kssu.com.

Ace of Spades: Venue For Great Live Experiences


So seeing the Dirty Heads live marked my eighth time going to Ace of Spades in Sacramento, Ca. Quite honestly… I am not sick of that place at all! Each experience was great and left me with no problem coming back for more. I’ve been to a wide variety of shows over at Ace of Spades, from a small crowd to sold out, hip-hop to rock, heavy to chill, indie to punk; you get the picture. Now, three and a half years and eight shows later, I want to share why Ace of Spades will always hold a special place in my heart.

5. The Layout

venue_floor

Ace of Spades is essentially set up like a large disfigured diamond. With the main stage up against the corner, they utilize the rest of the floor space for good use. Facing the stage, on the left side is a 21+ section, for people that want to sit down. I haven’t been to that section due to my 21st birthday being in November, but from what I heard, it still provides a great view for those that want to be on that side. The second 21+ section is in the back, elevated on a second story. From back there, you have a bar and an overview of the whole venue. Facing the stage, on the right hand side, there’s a bar open to all. This is for the regular drinks and even the food items. A little overpriced on the food and drink items, but then again, what venue isn’t? The floor space is very open, great for crowds to go crazy and mosh or vibe to the music and chill. In the sold out shows that I went to and didn’t partake in a mosh pit, I had enough personal  space to myself. The stage itself is big enough to accommodate large bands and groups. There’s lights up top facing the stage and lights on the stage, which make for some great light shows. This might not seem like a big deal, but the bathrooms are big, and they’re always clean (at least for the times I needed to use it). The design itself is just great, with chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and red walls, the venue is appealing to the eye.

4. The Sound

aceI’m not sure if there is an in house sound person, or if every artist had their own, but Ace of Spades has been able to provide great sound either way. With some venues i’ve been to, the voice cannot be heard over the music. That or there was too much bass (I know there are some bass enthusiasts out there, but really, too much is too much). Over at Ace of Spades, the sound has always been crisp and well balanced, no matter where I was standing. Maybe I was just lucky enough to go to all the shows with great sound, but I never had a bad experience.

3. The Artists / Acts / Names

What’s great about Ace of Spades are the artists and bands that they bring to Sacramento. Without Ace of Spades, the only big artists that would come through Sacramento while on tour would be the big stadium performers, but since there’s Ace of Spades, some pretty big names have come to hit Ace. Bands such as Two Door Cinema Club, AWOL Nation, Motion city Soundtrack, Rebelution and  many more have come through. Rappers such as Snoop Dogg, Tech N9ne, Childish Gambino, Schoolboy Q, and many more has performed at Ace also. Even big random acts came to Ace of Spades such as Backstreet Boys and The Fray. It doesn’t stop either, more bands and artists will be hitting the stage soon. Just keep up with their calendar on their website!

2. Intimacy

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

I hope you guys understand the context I’m using this word for. The venue is smaller than most, with high quality and big artists. Which means, no matter where you stand in the venue, you will always be close to your favorite artist! Even if you’re farther away from the stage, you’re still closer to them if you were to see the same artist at a music festival or stadium. Even then, you get to shove your way through to the front (even though that is frowned upon) if you’re a huge fan. No paid seating, no overpriced close area, every time, it’s general admission. Think about your favorite artist up close and performing your favorite song. It’s a great feeling. And the pictures/video can turn out great!

1. The… Crowd?

This might seem like a stretch and super subjective, but the crowds have always been great, and probably will keep being great. For each show that I went to, almost the whole crowd was into the show and artist, vibing out and singing along. You still have the stragglers that just stand there and do nothing, but that’s unavoidable. If you were to go to a stadium concert, you would have a good %40 of attendees not be real fans of the artists. Some would go, just to go. They would attend since it’s such a big event and they can put it all over social media.  Which means that some people have the nerve to be on their phone most of the time because they don’t really care of the live music going on in front of them. That or you’re a parent of a fan girl and/or boy. This may also be the case of attending a large music festival. You may be seeing your favorite artist live while you’re far away near people who don’t even know who is on stage. Why have all of that, when you can be close to the artist and be surrounded by fans who love them just as much as you do. It’s a great feeling, and Ace of Spades provides just that. Due to it being a smaller venue, the crowd who usually buys the tickets and sell out the show, are huge fans. At least, that’s how it was for me all the times I’ve gone..

So bottom line, if you’re near Sacramento, go to a show at Ace of Spades! If you live in Sacramento and haven’t gone yet, then well, shame on you. If Ace of Spades ever announces a new show you really would want to go to, do not hesitate and buy the tickets right away!

 

Jerel is a DJ with KSSU he plays the music and stuff.

Ace of Spades: My Favorite Venue in Sacramento


ace of spaces sac

In the Sacramento area, there are a numerous amount of venues, but  Ace of Spades at 1417 R Street is by far my favorite. I have only gone to metal shows at Ace, but all types of artists are featured there ranging from T-Pain, to Papa Roach, to Impending Doom. When you first walk into Ace everything is painted black in order to keep outside light from entering the musical domain. This makes any stage lights/effects more vibrant and appealing. There is a bar immediately to your left and a little farther ahead there is seating for those who do not like to stand or enter the Pit.

What is the Pit you ask?

[Read more…]

Father and Gangster: ScHoolboy Q


oxymoron

The sweet voice of Schoolboy Q’s four-year-old daughter is the first one you hear on the opening of “Oxymoron.”

[Read more…]

“Voices” by Phantogram: Album Review


phantogram

I can’t say enough good things about Phantogram‘s new album Voices. In recent years there have been albums I have been dying to get released and every time my expectations seemed to be too high, and every time I have been disappointed. Once I got my hands on Voices I immediately fell in love. It brought me back to the first time I had discovered this band. At the studio I am often asked to choose my favorite songs from an album I’m reviewing and with this album I just can’t pick two or three. Every time I hear the album I love each song more and more.

[Read more…]