Any Plans For Halloween? BOO! SF 2018


With Halloween just around the corner, Insomniac Events returns to San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Historically, Insomniac Events have been known to throw some of the best parties in California all year ’round. From ringing in the New Year with “Countdown NYE”, and a Valentine’s day rave called “Crush”, you can never go wrong with buying tickets to a party hosted by Insomniac.

This year’s Halloween themed rave “BOO!” returns for another year. Much like last year, it will be a two day event. Since the line up for this year’s event has been released there has been a clear divide on the types of genres being represented this time around.

Day One features some of the world’s most celebrated House DJs and producers. Featuring the likes of Habstrakt, the creator of last summer’s festival anthem “Chicken Soup” this first day is full of bass lines and House records that are guaranteed to have you dancing all night. What I find the most interesting is that Malaa is headlining the show and is scheduled to preform right before the well known DJ Afrojack.

Image courtesy of BOO!

Malaa is signed to the label Confession, pioneered by the French electronic producer Tchami. The Confession recording label has gained a reputation of putting out a number of House records which bring the exotic and seductive sounds of Europe to the United States. Making his debut to the electronic music scene with his single “Notorious”, it is no doubt that the western rave culture has taken a liking to the Future house sound.

I have noticed that a new trend is starting to take over in the Western Electronic Music scene here in Northern California. Around the time of my first rave in 2016, I saw the Trance and Progressive house DJ ATB. In 2016 Big Room House music was trending here in California through the sounds of Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia.

Fast forward to present day and in 2018 I’ve noticed a number of California raves and festivals are moving away form the Big Room House sound. Instead, there seems to be a trend of Bass House and Future House talent being booked for most of the events here in California.

I am excited to finally see a whole lineup dedicated to the House genre and I am the most excited to see Malaa live, as well seeing Afrojack closing out the show. BOO! SF’s day 2 line up is more of heavy, head banging sound with GTA and Flosstradamus. Be on the look out for my Day 2 preview. Till then, keep it locked here on KSSU.

My Portal Into Yesteryear


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If you have listened to my show on KSSU or have taken the time to get to know me, there is one thing that you’ll probably discover, and that is that I love  jazz music from the 1930s and 40s. I get several questions about my strange taste in music. Why do you like such old music? How did you get into this music?  Well, that’s what I plan to tell you guys about, my portal into yesteryear.

It must have been 2007 or so and I was in visiting Disneyland down in Anaheim with my family. Our next destination was the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. As we approached the giant, art deco themed building, ghostly sounding music started fading into my ears. For me, it was as if I was entering a different time. It started with this wonderful trumpet solo that wasn’t like anything I have heard before. As we moved deeper into the line, the louder the music got and the more I was mesmerized by the music. As the trumpet solo ended and the orchestra joined the trumpeter and created an even more mesmerizing melody. It was a new, pure sound that I never thought I would enjoy and it became more sentimental as a ghostly vocalists filled the halls of the Tower of Terror. I knew at that second that I enjoyed this music and had to find out the name of that song.

After weeks of searching (smartphones weren’t  around yet so I couldn’t just open Shazam to identify the song), I found the song on iTunes and got to enjoy the performance once again. It was titled, “I Can’t Get Started,”by Bunny Berigan & His Orchestra. Bunny Berigan, the talented vocalist and trumpeter, masterfully used his talents to bring me to in a new world. From there, I found other songs like “Moonlight Serenade” and “Lets Dance”and artists like Frank Sinatra and Doris Day. As I listened to more music, I then realized that jazz was my kind of music.

When people ask me why I like jazz, I give them a variety of answers, but the answer I use the most is that it is different. Jazz is relatively simple, yet elegant. I liked the elements of jazz from the trumpets, to the saxophones, and the occasional crooner. Sure, a lot of the music is old and can be considered “elevator music” by many, but the material is fantastic. I enjoy the sentimental lyrics and the sound of each instrument. Sure many of my favorite songs are 70+ years old, but recorded music is made to last forever.

For anyone who wants to get into jazz or anyone interested in the 1930s, 40s, or 50s, I would suggest to just find a few songs and give them a careful listen. Listen to the sounds of each instrument, the lyrics, and ( if you’re listening to a 78rpm record or an old recording) the scratches and old radio sound. In fact, here are songs I recommend. Some of these songs have lyrics and some are instrumental:

 

  1. “Moonlight Serenade” by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra
  2. “I Can’t Get Started” by Bunny Berigan & His Orchestra
  3. “Long Ago (And Far Away)” by Glenn Miller & The Army Air Force Band
  4. “Ciribiribin” By Harry James & His Orchestra
  5. “Saturday Night is the Loneliest Night of The Week” by Frank Sinatra
  6. “Let’s Dance” By Benny Goodman

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Griffin does music on KSSU

Cookbooks Are Checklists


2015-11-01 09.27.58Cookbooks are relevant. Trust me.

You look at a cookbook, you browse through the pages and see tons of tempting dishes that appeal to you. You dog ear the pages that interest you with full intentions to go back and make that dish. But you don’t. Each page you dog ear is a promise you make to yourself that you almost always break. It’s a conscious thing, too. You are fully aware that you more than likely will not make the sweet potato casserole with lemon zest dumplings. It’s just not going to happen. We think to ourselves, “This looks great! I’ll have these people over and make these things. It’ll be fantastic.” But do you? More than likely not. Do we truly WANT to carryout these plans, but life gets in the way OR do we know deep, deep down that the plan will never be reality the second we make it..yet we make it anyway.

Same goes for any plans really. We make them to break them. It’s our habit, it’s our hobby, but it’s truthfully become our lifestyle.

There’s a notion that there is so much time, time to spare even. If you really stop to think about it, time seems like an old friend. You’ve experienced a lot because of it, you’ve watched your family bloom with time, maybe time has healed you in some way or another. The point is, time is always there, but you won’t be. Putting off goals and plans and dreams is just another way of cheating yourself out of a quality life. Maybe it’s the little promises that we break that equal a quality life as well as time spent wisely. Perhaps we’re breaking the very thing that’s holding us together.

Each time we let one item slip through the cracks, we do not hesitate to find something new to fill it’s gap in our schedules. We are moving on to “big”, WAY BIGGER things. Constantly chasing our tails because, well, we can…and nobody told us not to. Every second of spare time we have gets violated and reformatted to take on a new responsibility and get sucked in to the vortex of obligation. We forget about what we’re sacrificing when we make those split second commitments. We lose sight of our little commitments and brush of our initial plans. Do we truly want to carryout these plans but life gets in the way OR do we know deep, deep down that the plan will never be reality?..yet we still make plans.

Perhaps mentally making these plans, or as I like to put it “little promises,” is a way for us to satisfy our desire to enjoy ourselves without actually doing so. We entertain a notion of a false fulfillment that holds us over only momentarily until our brain passes it off along with the other whims that flash through. We think we’re being strategic with creating events/goals/dreams, but maybe we’re creating a void instead because “We’ll get back to it”. It’s like pre-heating the oven without ever putting the chicken in. You won’t be able to enjoy what you don’t put energy in to. We are enabling ourselves to be less accountable…plus you’re wasting a perfectly good chicken. Regardless of it being a meringue pie recipe or telling yourself you’ll go to the gym more, we make checklists that fall short EVERY TIME.

It’s the little things that matter, and often times, it’s the little things that get shrugged off. People weren’t kidding when they said the devil is in the details because it most certainly is. Deviled eggs without paprika are just boiled eggs that have been re-purposed. The little hint of paprika that is called for in the recipe (plan) makes all the difference. Those little plans, little details, little whatevers are what we need most. They might be small, but we can’t lose sight of them.

If we keep looking ahead at the bigger picture we’ll miss what’s right in front of us. Don’t allow yourself to be left with check-less checklists of what you hoped to accomplish in your lifetime. Make your life count. Give those little things a bigger time slot, and add a little spice.

Mia Kagianas a DJ at KSSU

The Moments that made TBD Fest


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My good friend Jerel and partner in crime for TBD Fest just put up his all encompassing TBD wrap up blog, which you can check out here. In it he covered all the broad strokes of the festival experience, highlighting all the different bands we saw, food we ate and artistic installations we witnessed. So in interest of not covering the same ground I bring to you a more microscopic look at TDB through the lens of my favorite individual moments of TBD. Each festival is a collection of miniature moments forged by the fires of the collective consciousness and frenetic energy that is unique to each individual event. This is a celebration of those moments which helped to make the second annual TBD Fest the powerhouse of artistic expression it ended up being.

I’ll start with the first and altogether funniest moment I experienced at TBD. During Joywave’s entire set they had kept the crowd entertained, not only with their killer and perfectly sequenced set but also with the jokes and witty charisma of lead man Daniel Armbruster. However, nothing that came before it was quite as funny as when Armbruster began the chants of “one more song,” essentially calling for his own encore. Armbruster feigned surprise at such an outpouring of support and proclaimed that this had to be the very first encore in TBD Fest history. Having got his laughs and the “encore” he wanted, Armbruster and his fellow band mates kicked off the last song and tore down the house in magnificent style.

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The next moment comes to you in the form of a song, more specifically a cover song. Even more specifically Tears for Fears cover of 1992 Radiohead mega-hit “Creep”. Now this moment really resonated with me for two reasons, even outside of how brilliantly it was performed. First and foremost, as any good rock historian will tell you, there is no way in hell you will hear “creep” performed by it’s original makers. With all the vitriolic hate Radiohead have for for the song it might even be best experienced as a cover. Despite all of the negative vibes surrounding this song it still holds a special place in my musical history and I’m glad to have seen it live in one capacity or another. Secondly and perhaps more deeply, I could not help but feel a sense of a changing of the guard occurring. No Tears for Fears are still clearly a cultural powerhouse being able to headline festivals in 2015 and Radiohead aren’t exactly the new kids on the block anymore but to me this cover signaled a nod of respectful appreciation from the 80s to the 90s. A retroactive vote of confidence and plea of appreciation for carrying the tradition of odd outsider music for the next generation. Perhaps that’s me just being sentimental though.

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This next chewy morsel of festival good will has less to do with a particular artist and more to do with the festival goers themselves. Allow me to set the stage. The Black Lips had been putting on quite the show for their whole set, talking in weird voices, shouting out to their potentially imaginary friend Luna, and generally being quality showmen. A bit of a light mosh pit had been forming and had slowly been gaining speed as the set went on. This caught the eye of someone who I assume was The Black Lips roadie, as he was up on stage with them at one point. This man, who was a larger individual, came down off the stage to provide a buffer between the rowdy moshers and the people near the front of the stage who had no interest in moshing. As The Black Lips counted off their last song Jerel and I jumped into the pit, correctly predicting it would be the final mosh of the festival. As we aggressively pranced about I noticed a particularly wild mosher continually slamming around and getting pushed back by the resident “larger man” mosh boss. As the song continued on they began exchanging heated words and I immediately smelled a fight brewing. The tension did not subside but managed not to boil over for the remainder of the fight. As The Black Lips said their goodbye and the crowd began to disperse, before I even knew what was happening both men were in an lovingly respectful embrace! I could not quite hear what they were saying but I imagine it was along the lines of “thanks for keeping me in line man, I really respect that,” “I respect you too man, take care of yourself and have a good festival.” Now that might be a little far off but the crux of why I liked this moment so much was the way in which festivals can bring out each person’s camaraderie and I certainty felt that camaraderie at TBD.

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Lastly but not leastly we come to none other than Chicago native Chance the Rapper. My personal favorite performer of the entire weekend. This moment ends up being a bit more aqueous than the previous moments but it started as soon as Chance kicked off his set. Bringing an energy and closeness to the audience unmatched throughout the whole festival, Chance immediately had us on his side. Even though I was not familiar with every Chance the Rapper cut, I would sing along every time that I could halfway catch on to the choruses.  The crowd seemed to be giving all the energy they had and Chance was dishing it right back at us in a monumental showing of skill and passion. Suddenly the mood slowed down as Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment began to chill down and vibe. Chance then proclaimed he was gonna play a song we never heard before but one we all knew the words to. I immediately assumed it would be an old school rap/R&B throwback, one of which I was hoping I would in fact know the words to so that I would not let my new found hero Chance the Rapper down.  However, I could not have been more wrong as Chance began to sing “And I said hey.” Now I will give you a second to ponder what that line might be from…but I myself immediately recognized it as being the Arthur theme song. For those that are not in the know Arthur was a PBS kids show in the 90s era and it had arguably one of, if not the best theme songs of the decade. Along with being a killer tune, the Arthur theme song has a wonderful message of learning to work and play and get along with each other. At this point I am ecstatic along with the rest of the crowd as Chance the Rapper, Donnie Trumpet, and The Social Experiment throw down a deconstructed and all around awesome rendition of one of my favorite childhood memories. Needless to continue to say, that was my favorite moment of TBD Fest.

Beautiful Noise, Exquisite Tastes, and Creative Minds: The Complete TBD Fest 2015 Experience


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This past weekend TBD Fest has left a mark of music, art, design, food, and ideas in the city of Sacramento. The festival drew in thousands of diverse people, locals and visitors alike, to experience the unique Sacramento festival that is TBD.

To start off, this weekend was incredible. Everything from the acts to the food was something to look back on. The lineup fit the flow of the weekend; starting Friday off with bang, reaching a pinnacle of epicness on Saturday, and concluding with a sure sense of satisfaction on Sunday       (sorry for the tongue twister).

 

Festival Grounds

A vital part of any festival is to get a feel of where you will be for the next few days. The first thing to do is find a schedule and a map. They weren’t readily available, but the customer service tent had no problem handing out printed schedules (nothing too fancy, just a print out). Since there was no map, the only option was to explore the grounds.

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Having fun with the displays!

The grounds weren’t too vast and the layout was simple: a main stage on opposing sides with smaller stages near them. In between there was the “Rise + Create” space. A vendor village, complete with local vendors selling food, drinks, art, and clothing. All the food and drink being carefully crafted, the clothes being hand-made or hand-pressed, and beautiful pieces of art being created. This section of the festival truly shows the creative and tasteful minds of Sacramento. Near and around the “Rise + Create” space there were some awesome displays. Changing pillars of light, painted pyramids, murals, and the great display by PORTAL SAC. the perimeters of the grounds had the bars and food trucks. The festival even had it’s own giant ferris wheel (which all the proceeds from went to helping those recently affected by the California wildfires). There was a lot to see and do at TBD Fest besides watch the musical acts.

 

Demolicious Derby

If none of the musical acts were catching your attention or it was just too hot for you to be standing outside, then the “Demolicious Derby” was the place to go! It took place under a shaded tent with a nice patch of grass (I’m assuming so none of the dirt or dust flies into your food). It’s a cook off between two Sacramento chefs of the fine dining scene. They both have to use a certain ingredient. They also have to cook and serve out of a food truck. The food was completely free and completely delicious.

While waiting for the food, festival goers could watch the cooking from a live video feed screened on a large screen outside. The visuals and smells would make the audience even more hungry. Some moves such as adding the spice would make the audience “ooo” and “ahh.” A comedic MC would be hosting the event so it’s not just two dudes cooking food. Attendees would have to partake in both dishes and place their used forks in their respective choices. Both competitors were always good and humble chefs.

A little example of a cook off: both chefs had to use lamb. One made street tacos, but instead of a tortilla, he a used flattened and fried pork bun. The other made a greek style lamb poutine. Drooling yet? We were.

 

The Music

As mentioned  earlier, each day had a lineup that made a great flow for the weekend. Little disclaimer: I’m not really a big fan of EDM, so I didn’t catch much of the DJ sets.  

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Toro Y Moi

Friday was explosive. The first artist was the band, Cathedrals. With their chill, new wave sound, and heavy bass, Cathedrals gave the crowd something great to vibe to. Then I was able to catch Towkio, Chicago based rapper associated with Save Money and Vic Mensa. Even though the crowd didn’t know the words, Towkio and his DJ were able to pump up the crowd. Head back to the main stage and you would be able to catch the dreamy set of Toro Y Moi. This was one of the artists I was looking forward to watching the most, and they did not disappoint. Playing a good blend of the newest album, What

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Tyler, The Creator

for?, and their older stuff, the set was great. Ty Dolla $ign got the entire crowd dancing or jumping to his songs. The best part of his set was when he pulled out a bass and started groovin out (I didn’t know he could even play instruments). He was even able to stage dive into the crowd during the end of his set. The only EDM set I caught on Friday was some of was RL Grime’s. Playing a heavy trap set for the festival, he had everyone moving. The craziest crowd goes to the set of Sacramento native, Death Grips. The experimental industrial noise rap group made the biggest mosh pit of the weekend, bringing the first big dust cloud into the air. Being in the mosh, I breathed in a little too much dirt. The night ended with Tyler the Creator bringing  energy to the stage. Although he couldn’t bring the visuals he wanted, the set was still crazy. The crowd moshed, jumped, and sang along to the words. It wouldn’t be a Tyler the Creator set without his comedic side comments. The day really set the mood for the rest of the weekend.

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Chance the Rapper

Saturday was big. With the longest day of TBD Fest, there was a lot to do. Although the day was spent mostly walking around the grounds, eating, and hanging out, all the musical acts were great. Dark pop duo, ASTR, started the day off for me. They gave an electrifying performance with some heavy bass hits, melodic scales and licks, and some crazy dance moves. I even had the pleasure of interviewing them backstage (interview coming soon, really cool people). Joywave, an electronic indie band, drew one of the larger crowds for the small stages. Before playing, they took time to perfect their sound and it was worth it. The crowd was very responsive with each song and it was awesome to be apart of. Ratatat was one of my favorites for the weekend. The electric guitar duo had holograms and lasers, putting on one of the best visuals for the weekend. Porter Robinson had some nice visuals as well. Although I couldn’t really vibe to the music, he still put on a good show equipped with anime graphics and massive confetti shots. The crowd loved it. I was able to catch the tail end of Magic Man’s set on the opposing small stage. Although there weren’t that many people watching the set, they still gave it their all and ended with their hit, Paris. Chance the Rapper was the main act I was looking forward to for the whole weekend. The set was amazing. He came with his full band, Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment, which made for a much fuller sound. The visuals weren’t top notch, but it didn’t matter because the music and energy put out from the performance was, to me, the best for this weekend. Sing alongs, jumping around, crowd participation, amazing trumpet solos, it had it all. Even though he admit to go out of order of their intended set due to excitement (Chance would become a father two days later) they still made it the best. Saturday had something big for fans of all different music genres.

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Tears For Fears

Sunday was a great way for the weekend to wind down. Up and coming rap/r&b artist (who recently made a song with Kanye West) Post Malone put on a good five song set to start off our day. Although he has blown up due to the success of his hit song, White Iverson, Post Malone still kept it humble, and kept it entertaining. He even performed White Iverson again for his closer, having the crowd sing the entire last verse to closer. After, we were walking and on the nearby small stage, this band O began to play. They were able to keep us and the others for their whole set. They’re an indie band from San Francisco, do check them out. I was sad to have missed Dr. Dog and A Place to Bury Strangers due to attending a Demolicious Derby, but I heard the sets were amazing. Right when we got to A Place to Bury Strangers, the lead singer had just smashed his guitar to end his set. Sad to have missed that, but it was on to the 90’s alt rock band, Dinosaur Jr.! Although they are getting old, they can still play flawlessly. With great

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Madeon

tunes and heart reaching solos, Dinosaur Jr. had a high-caliber set. After, Black Lips took the smaller stage. This goofy garage rock outfit from Georgia had a really fun set. After some jokes and moshing ensued, it was time for the OG (an older act, usually more famous in the 80’s)  headliner (every festival has to have one amiright?), Tears for Fears! Watching their set was like jumping back into the past, a time where most of the people attending TBD were either not alive or too young to go to a concert. Of course, the crowd sang along to classic hits such as Everybody Wants to Rule the World and their closer, Shout. They even surprised the audience with a slower yet full version of Creep by Radiohead. Madeon electrified the crowd as the last EDM performance of the weekend. I had to jump around a few times for that performance. I wasn’t able to stay, but I heard and read that crowd favorite Chromeo properly wrapped up TBD Fest with their funky tunes.

 

Closing Remarks

2015-09-22 04.01.12Overall, TBD Fest is a must-go for anyone in Sacramento, the surrounding Northern California area, or anyone in the world that wants to have a good time. Although not as big as famous festivals such as Cochella, TBD Fest is able to provide some of the top acts in music today in a comfortable yet enthralling environment. Everyone from the acts to the volunteers to the workers to the security to everyone else helped make this weekend what it was. It wasn’t just  about the music, but about the local artistic minds and tastemakers coming together to bring entertainment to Sacramento. It’s exactly what this city needs, a positive driving force in today’s creative culture.

 

 

Check out our mini Instagram Vlogs of the Festival!

If you liked this article, be sure to tune into KSSU.com on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-7:00pm for the 30/30! 30 minutes of music followed by 30 minutes of talk with me, Jerel Labson! 

Also be sure to follow my personal blog, jmbldup.wordpress.com!  

 

My thoughts on KSSU


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KSSU – Sacramento State’s very own student run radio station. What I have learned and experienced from my time here has truly been amazing, and I wanted to take this time to talk a little about my time here at KSSU.

I am not sure what exactly made me apply to be a DJ in the first place, however I am sure it had to do with my love of music and people. This seemed like sort of a perfect fit for me to share my passion and enthusiasm for music with all of you. I was also drawn to the station because I had initially done some research on KSSU before applying and it looked like an amazing group of people who enjoy working together, as well as being a part of the Sacramento State community.

I was a bit intimidated as well, however, given this impressive work record and prestigious place in college radio. Nonetheless, I decided to apply and see what happened. So I did, and here I am. The process was rather straight forward, and I have no complaints. I think that the hiring process (if it can be called that for unpaid folks like me) was as easy and logical as it could be, and from the moment that I set foot in the KSSU offices, I was made to feel right at home.

But then came the first day. That day when you realize that you actually have to fill an hour with content and think to yourself, dear god, what have I gotten myself into! But after the first few shows, I began to find my groove. I started to experiment with what music I played, what order I played PSA’s and talked, or even changing up the ratio of talking to music for a particular show.

I am still not one hundred percent confidant about my show, but I certainly have come a long way from that first day when I timidly entered the studio with a USB drive of some music and a vague idea of what it was I wanted to accomplish. I think, perhaps, that the point of KSSU is exactly that. The ability to find your own voice and to pave your own path. The very anxiety of that first show transitioned into the competence of my shows now.

There is still a ways to go, for me at least. Twelve shows is hardly time to find my footing proper. I do hope to continue my show over the summer, but we’ll see. Since I am a graduating senior, this may just be goodbye. I hope that this goodbye will not be an end. While I may no longer be on the air Tuesday afternoons, KSSU will most definitely continue to broadcast from the tiny studio in the University Union of Sacramento State. Brave new DJ’s will take my place, build up their own shows and audiences, and share their message with the world. That is, I think, the greatest thing about KSSU. The ability for us as students to share our voice with whoever will listen, and to shape the very future of a little internet radio station known as KSSU.

 

David is a DJ with KSSU

“Matriarch” by Veil of Maya Album Review


 

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading everyone!

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

Much Love,

DJGingerbeard

Zelda Over Finals


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The best way to prepare for finals is not at all.

Just kidding.

That’s terrible.

I only have two “real” finals. “Real” meaning using scantrons, studying from a study guide, and bringing in a notecard. The real finals are for philosophy and geography, so it is probably a good idea to study and bring in notecards. However, I work two jobs, so studying does not really seem like a good idea when I could be sleeping or getting music for my show or even playing Zelda, because Zelda: Skyward Sword is taking too long to finish. I will probably study an hour before my classes and put some chicken scratch writing on a tiny index card. Seems like the best option.

For my other two classes, Music and Theatre, we have “different” assignments. “Different” meaning not using notecards, scantrons, or formal study guides. In theatre, we all passed around papers, writing one entry on a paper about a given dialogue. You cannot write your name, and you have to write about whatever the professor says. For example, he says write a name and greeting and you write “What’s up, my name is Gregorio.” You can make it normal or comedic. We did this for ten entries, then opened up the paper. There are a bunch of ridiculous things written, but for our final we have to tie in all ten entries and turn it into a monologue that makes sense. We then perform the monologue in front of the whole class. Good thing I have some experience acting, or else I would die. As for Music class, we have a choice of playing a solo or a duet. The duet has two options: two moderate songs or on hard song. The solo is just a choice of three hard songs.

So yeah, my finals are not going to be too hectic. I just have to make sure I beat Zelda before finals week so I can focus. If not, I will be tracing and retracing my steps trying to find the next dragon in my mind while I’m sitting in class.

Thanks for reading! For more shenanigans and random subjects to talk about (along with some great music) listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” on www.kssu.com every Tuesday morning at 8 o’ clock!

Much Love,

DJGingerbeard

Dissecting The Plot In You


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Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of “The Plot In You” because one of their new songs popped up in my feed on YouTube, and I opened up my brain to see what I can recall of TPIY. Basically, I liked one of their songs a whole lot, but never took the chance to really check them out. The Plot In You is a four piece metal-core band from Ohio, with One EP and two Albums out. Notorious for their harsh lyrics and calling out particular groups of people while keeping that metal vibe, TPIY quickly gained fame after releasing their debut song Wifebeater from the EP “Wifebeater” (which one could assume was about his father). The Plot In You is signed onto Invogue Records, and will be releasing a new album which currently has an unknown release date.

The song that popped up in my feed was called “Crows”, which is about Landon Tewer’s (the frontman) life and how he has changed, but so has everyone else. The “Crows” symbolizes death and how in the end, everyone faces it. This is emphasized with the line “The crows are waiting on me”. This song was an unreleased track from the b side a 7” they never released. My curiosity took me further, so I played the album stream from “Could You Watch Your Children Burn.” I had already heard tracks from their album “Firstborn” a long time ago, but this album really got to me. Most songs consisted of talking about how people who are hypocrites and live a mundane existence should separate themselves, or simply die, from society. Tewers talks about religious folk, lustful males, rapists, and his own family very unkindly. One of my favorite songs is “Troll” which I also saw live when TPIY was on the “About That Life Tour” with Attila. The song basically empowers the listeners individuality and gives the belief that you are a juggernaut and will not take any flack from anyone. Another song that was a favorite by TPIY on YouTube was the song “Premeditated”. In this song, Tewers talks about his plan to kill a rapist who violated someone very dear to him. With clean vocals, dark breakdowns, and the usual “I will destroy you” moments from TPIY, I could easily see why this was a favorite by fans.
All in all, TPIY is a very angry band. Their song “My Old Ways” that was released in a music video on February 23rd seemed to be quite lighter in comparison to “Troll”. To hear that kind of change and it still be a good song makes me very excited to hear their upcoming album. To make a long explanation short: The Plot In You is a band full of angry dudes, relatable stories, great songs, and a uniqueness that I have not heard from any other band. They are probably not sane people, but hey, who is really?

Thanks for reading you lovely people! If you want to hear music from The Plot In You and other bands that I just so happen to enjoy, tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” on www.kssu.com Tuesday mornings at 8 o’ clock!

Much Love,

DJGingerbeard

William Theophilus Brown’s painting at the Crocker


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I grew up hearing stories about how my family members worked for the Crocker family. One of the members of my family was their driver, another supposedly tutored someone in the family in art. I like seeing all the different art styles. I decided to look at some contemporary works on my recent visit to the Crocker.

I saw an acrylic painting named “Untitled (Industrial Cityscape)” by William Theophilus Brown. Brown was an American artist, born in Moline, Illinois on April 7, 1919. He died at 92 on February 8, 2012. Brown began painting recognizable figures at a time when non-objective paintings were the norm. During the 1960’s, Brown became a member of the “Bay Area Figurative Movement.” These group of artist went against the prevailing art style of the time, which was abstract expressionism. These artists wanted to return to a style that focused on figurative representations of what they saw. The Bay Area Figurative Movement is broken up into three groups: The first generation, the “bridge” generation , and the second generation. Brown was a member of the bridge generation.

The untitled industrial cityscape painting was completed in 1988, and is 54 inches by 60 inches. The painting is representational. It wasn’t extremely detailed. Mostly, just the basic architecture of the buildings were represented. The perspective of the painting was done from a particular point in the alley. Most cityscapes that I can remember seeing put the viewer dead center in the middle of the street. This painting puts you off to the side of an alley. You can tell this, in part, because the angles of the lines on the right side of the painting are almost straight, the ones on the left side are much more diagonal. The light source was represented by light gray on the street in the background, and progressively darker shadows toward the foreground.

The painting reminded me of an architect’s 3-dimensional drawing. I liked it. Even though it wasn’t highly realistic, it still captured the feeling of being in an alley. I think the placement of the viewer’s perspective really helped to create this. Putting the viewer dead center in the middle of the street, in my opinion, gives it an unrealistic feel. It’s feels artificial. Brown put the viewer off to the side, and made it feel more like you might actually be walking down this street.

Tracy is a DJ with KSSU Sacramento States only student run radio station.