KSSU Celebrates 25 years of Student Run Radio


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

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

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

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

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

 

Ray on the Radio


MicrophoneHello there KSSU listeners.  I am DJ Ray (although most of the time I omit “DJ”). Here I will answer the most common and basic questions in getting to know someone: what my major is, where I am from, why did I become a volunteer DJ here at KSSU.  I will also be letting you know a little about what my show is about.

First off, my major is Communication Studies with an emphasis in Digital Video. I am technically a senior, but I still have a few semesters left here at Sacramento State.  The reason for this is I underwent not only a major change, but a change in universities.  I stared college at UC Davis with an intended major in Aerospace Engineering.  As you can guess…that did not work out. Sacramento State wound up being an excellent fit for me instead and I wish I would have transferred sooner.

Whenever someone asks me where I am from, my usual response is just “Southern California.”  The reason for that is because I am from a REALLY small town in SoCal that most people have never heard of.  That is usually sufficient for those who do not know SoCal very well. For those that do, I am from Lucerne Valley, a small desert town between Big Bear and Barstow, close neighbors with Apple Valley and Victorville.

Growing up I rode both horses and quads, what I like to call “the best of both worlds.”  I grew up listening primarily to country and bluegrass, with maybe a little rock thrown in once in a while.  After moving 300 miles to attend college, I expanded my musical palette with blues, rock, and electronica/EDM.  There is something about the sonic magic that music creates that I really enjoy.

I have a few shows under my belt already.  My hour long show, Ray on the Radio, is every Wednesday at noon.  If you have tuned in during lunch, then there is a chance you may have heard me on air.  Hold on, so maybe you HAVE tuned into my show, but, you have noticed I only play rock. Why is that?

Rock, and all of its subgenres, has turned into the primary genre I listen to.  As I said, when I came to college I expanded my musical palette.  Country was just starting to “go pop” and I stopped listening so much.  I took a History of Blues course for units to make full time status and I REALLY enjoyed the course and started exploring from there, rock being a natural progression. The expressiveness of rock ended up defining me better at the time and I haven’t stopped since.  In my show I might play some blues, classic rock, metal, and everything in between.

After transferring to Sacramento State, I took an Audio Production course I found that I really enjoyed being in the studio.  Though being a radio personality/DJ is slightly different than producing, the environment is the same. I decided to give KSSU a shot and have no regrets in doing so. KSSU is awesome.

Next time you are in the union and it is around noon on a Wednesday, feel free to wave through the window!

Raymond is a dj with KSSU

Becoming DJ JAWS


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May I begin by saying it is an absolute honor to finally become a radio DJ. Ever since I was a kid, I grew up listening to the radio, usually during long road trips with my parents. I wanted to be the person behind those airwaves to orchestrate a well balanced musical journey. Music is what makes people come together, as cliche as that sounds. Every store you enter has music; every night club and bar is nothing without that rhythm. I wanted to release that same energy through the airwaves and have fun doing it.

I love being behind the scenes, which is why my major is Film Studies. I am currently working towards becoming a film editor.  Just like radio, movies have been with me through my entire life. Jaws happens to be my favorite movie, which is why I named myself DJ JAWS. And if you ever meet me in person, you could tell it would be my favorite movie based on my entire right arm. An (almost) complete tattoo sleeve of the great Spielberg movie.

Most of my taste in movies and music have a wide variety, which I find is common for most people. Some days I like the slow, melodramatic taste, while other days I like the upbeat tempo. My family has given me this variety which I am every thankful for. From Slipknot to Led Zeppelin to Frank Sinatra, my collection is always entertaining and has something good for everyone.

This variety and also my desire to try and please everyone with different entertainment is a good reason to listen to my show. My show adds that diversification by being surrounded by different flavors of music. Some weeks I will play oldies and classic rock, and other times I will play old school hip-hop. I hope to add a certain mood that listeners can appreciate.

I also work at Dimple Records and every time I mention this, I always get the same reaction which is, “Oh my God I LOVE Dimple Records!” We are even recognized by random customers at gas stations and shops, shouting at us that they love us and our store. This is never a bad thing and we take pride in our customer service. I can honestly say that working at Dimple Records has been my favorite job. Myself and another old co-worker actually got the Dimple logo tattooed on ourselves. That my seem extreme to get a job tattooed on you, but to get to work at a job you love everyday and discover new music and movies is an experience many should have.

I hope others like what I can put out on over the radio waves, and land some fans along the way. Either way, to finally be behind the scenes of what I always dreamed about doing since I was a kid is just another dream come true. Maybe I will have to add the KSSU Sparky mascot to my tattoo collection next to the Dimple logo. Remember, “Insanity Begins Here!”

DJ Jaws is a dj with KSSU

The Greatest Misfits You Will Ever Meet


In the very deepest depths of the ocean, there are fish that live and die without ever seeing or sensing the sun. If they stray away from the ocean floor and swim towards the surface, they combust—perishing almost instantly. It is not the external pressure that destroys them, but its absences.

In life, stepping beyond comfort zones and personal limitations in a gradual way is a key component in living a life of purpose and fulfillment. That is why I’m a radio show host at KSSU. It is the essence of exploration and passion. It is what you make it.

KSSU is an opportunity. It’s a safe zone to test your own personal boundaries at the pace you determine. Whether it’s challenging yourself by starting a new weekly segment or reaching out to local bands for a live interview, the opportunities are endless. It’s the one place where failure ceases to exist.

To many people, college radio means very little, and to few people, college radio means freedom. Those who haven’t experienced it can’t see what’s below the surface.

So let’s talk about it. What’s the deal with college radio?

For starters, college radio is a direct link to community engagement. Not only does KSSU feed the airways with campus PSA’s, but it is a bridge for community partners to reach our students as well. Nearby events, public information, or even some hardy food for thought from off-campus entities would no longer have a home if there wasn’t a college station to be the voice. Local bands gain a decent amount of traction with college students simply because students turn to college radio to hear something different, something they haven’t heard yet. It’s a lose lose without our stations.

2015-02-23 10.26.22This day in age, many students don’t have access to college radio. They don’t think about it, it’s not important to them. Where else are you going to hear all these innovative tracks and up and coming artists? The mainstream stations? Probably not. You’ll hear the same recycled tracks on any given station and think, “Why should I bother with radio especially when I have my ipod or Pandora? Why should I listen to someone else choose what I listen to if I already know what I like?” Those stations play McDonald’s music. It’s produced to taste good, or in this case, sound good even though it’s full of unnatural fillers with no redeeming qualities, but college radio is different. You hear local talent. If you just listen to Spotify and Pandora you’ll hear well known artists, but you won’t hear from the 200+ artists that are stacked on our walls or that are driving up and down our local streets. You won’t even know what you’ll be missing out on, therefore, our station exposes artists to an audience they don’t have access to. This is what makes college radio authentic and personal.

Also, college radio is, in itself, a home. For the students that don’t identify with one specific club or are interested in something unique and different, KSSU is where they can express all of their interests. Sure there are organizations that I am involved with on campus other than our student run radio, but there’s no place else that is truly comparable. I’m able to be completely and utterly myself when I’m running in and out of the station. Sometimes I feel as though I don’t belong anywhere else simply because that’s the only place I can be whoever I want to be, and I’m sure the other volunteer DJ’s can agree to some level. Whether we’re playing Smash Bros. or Magic the Gathering or even discussing different music selections, we are engaging in something you won’t always find in one place or with anyone else. We’re all a bunch of misfits really, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

College radio is so ridiculously important. I could write a novel about it (believe me). It challenges one to go outside of their comfort zone and into a realm of misfit toys. College radio is a beautiful thing.KSSULove

Mia is a DJ with KSSU listen to her once a week on the Mighty Mia Power Hour

DJ Name Pending – Who is this guy?


Hello world, my name is Derek Yorton and I am the one, the only, DJ Name Pending. For the first episode of my show Why Not. I will let everyone know how I came up with my DJ and show name plus much, much more. First, I’m going to first let you get to know the man behind the voice, then get to know the show I will air for you all.

I am a transfer student from Shasta College up in Redding, Ca. I spent two years thinking I was going to be a Music major only to switch to Digital Video Communication Studies and spend another year and a half getting all the prerequisites and my lower-division general education out of the way. Back at home, I have my three year-old daughter, Natalie Rose, who is living with my folks while I’m here at the University. I travel up to Redding at least twice a month if not more in order to see her and Skype with her frequently. I have a busy school life with 16 units under my belt, responsibilities with my daughter and with KSSU, I am also looking forward to rushing with a Fraternity. baby

Even that doesn’t really describe who I am, who I really am. Growing up in Redding, there is nothing to do. You either are at the mall with friends, at the pool hall with friends, or out in the wilderness somewhere camping or muddin’. I didn’t do too much of the latter, I don’t have an obsession with Ford or putting 32’s on it. What I do have an obsession for is both nerdy and cool, information. I am always on my phone or on the computer but not always for Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I love reading into new world, national, and local news stories, looking up things that I don’t know, and writing down ideas for a later point in time. I also have a thing for playing video games, not WoW or DOTA or even League of Legends, but console games like the Batman Arkham series, Bioshock, Elder Scrolls, and my personal favorite the Borderland series. I say favorite because I have a tattoo that references the game pretty hardcore, ask me about it sometimes.

Now that you know a little bit more about me, let’s move on to the show. The show’s name is Why Not and well, I’m going to play anything I want, when I want, and how I want (within reason) because, well, why not. Since I went to college for two years intending to be a music major I have a huge range of music tastes from Electronica to Indie, Metal to Pop, Hard Rock to Classical, and yes even some country. I enjoy supporting the local music scene as much as possible so I am going to be going to local shows and talking about my experience there, I might even have a couple of guest stars. I will be to every single Nooner here on campus until I graduate, you can count on that. I might also be talking a little bit about politics and world news because, well, that’s what I’m into. I don’t know what time my show will be yet, but I’m going to shoot for Thursday’s between 9 a.m. and noon.

Thank you all for reading and sticking with us all here at KSSU, I’ll catch you on the flip side.

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

Sylvan Esso – A Concert Experience


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Just a couple weeks ago I went to a concert I think you guys should know about. And I’d like you to know that I will check my jazz snobbery at the door. The group is called Sylvan Esso, an indie pop duo from Durham, North Carolina composed of Amelia Meath on the mic and Nick Sanborn producing, and they are currently blowing the socks off of the indie AND dance scene. Their eponymous record has been out for a year and it is easily my favorite record of 2014. It’s unique beats, harmonic complexity and utter danceable nature made me watering at the mouth to see these two at the Fillmore Theater in the city.

For starters, the Fillmore is an awesome venue. It fits about 1,200 underneath the many chandeliers in a mostly standing room space so no spot is a bad spot. However, my lady and I got there early and snagged an excellent piece of front row real estate.

The opener was a group from Oakland called Naytronix. They were a quirky duo sporting jump suits and playing spacey, trance, yet oddly danceable electro-pop perfect for your music loving buddy. Being right in front, this means you bear the full the brunt of the speakers so if you don’t want your ears to sound like there’s a mosquito stuck in them, bring a pair of earplugs along to dampen the noise – or stuff paper towel in them like yours truly.

Then Sylvan Esso came on and absolutely nailed it. Their tunes were even cooler with all their improvised sections and additional layers that made the air wet with sound. It was especially neat to see the two of them look up and smile at each other when they did something the other hadn’t heard before. It gave the music a fresh quality. I walked away with a whole new appreciation for their music. At the end, everyone in the place was dripping with sweat because they left you with no choice but to get down.

But let’s not forget Amelia’s stellar dance moves. Damn, that girl can work it.

Devan is a dj with KSSU

Death Cab For Cutie: Kintsugi Review


death-cab-for-cutie-kintsugiKintsugi def. is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

 

It’s also the title of the latest work from indie rock giant, Death Cab for Cutie. It is the first album released from the group since the departure of founding member and guitarist, Chris Walla. Walla’s exit from the band and the title of the album are not at all unrelated. The band is broken, but frontman Ben Gibbard refused to let that hinder their musical ability. And boy, did they deliver.

The whole album is laced with an undertone of sadness and distance most likely related to Walla’s departure and Gibbard’s love life – possibly still recovering from his divorce with Zooey Deschanel in 2012. Gibbard’s ability to convey his emotions musically and lyrically is absolutely unparalleled. For this album this is especially true for the tracks, “No Room in Frame” and “Hold No Guns.” Both are incredibly sincere and you can hear the intent behind the lyrics in the timbre of his voice alone.

Their album prior to Kintsugi, Narrow Stairs, Death Cab made it a point to create a less guitar-centric record. Kintsugi, however, is definitely a departure from that. It still plays with cool sounds and pushes the limits of electronic textures in a standard rock band setting. Something Ben Gibbard is not uncomfortable with based on his side project, the Postal Service.  New textures aside, Kintsugi is still so inherently Death Cab. Their mark is left in all the tracks and it makes you nostalgic for “The Sound of Settling” and “We Laugh Indoors.” The guitar lines that pop, the brilliant Ben Gibbard pre-chorus, and the memory of their 90’s grunge days are all things I love about this band.

Like most of my blogs, this leads me to a nearly unrelated diatribe. Death Cab for Cutie continues to produce music with a certain factor that a lot of modern bands don’t: authenticity. This is something I feel very strongly about and so I end up discussing it a lot, and this is mostly a criticism of the modern pop music machine. A lot of “artists” perform a song, it gets publicized, tons of radio play, and the record company makes a killing. The song goes out of style and the artist is chewed up and spit out by the public. This has cultivated a one-hit-wonder culture in our country that is ruining the music business. A Top 40 artist might produce an album, but that’s only used as a vehicle to deliver their single to our ears. Kintsugi is so carefully stitched together by the band, you can hear every sound, every bass drum hit has a purpose. That’s the kind of music industry that I’d like to see put in place. And there are artists out there that I can make it happen. I believe in you.


Devan is a DJ with KSSU; thoughts and opinions of the DJ may not reflect the station as a whole.

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