A Nooner with The Ghost Town Rebellion


Today, Wednesday, August 29th, kicked off the first Nooner at Sac State.  Those of us that were not sitting through run-throughs of syllabi, or the awkward, “I’m (blank) from (blank), and my major is (blank)” speech, got to stop by the book store and hear The Ghost Town Rebellion perform.

The native Sacramento band ran through a solid fifty-five minute set playing mostly originals with some covers of songs by the Foo Fighters and Elle King. The set kicked off strong, with high energy, loud guitars, thundering bass, and banging drums.

Steven Martin, The Ghost Town Rebellion’s drummer, was quite the spectacle, slapping the cymbals and skins and then throwing his sticks away on multiple occasions.  For being in direct sunlight at noon in one of Sacramento’s hottest months, he did not stop or slow down his performance at all. Shawn Peters is the band’s singer as well as a guitar, trumpet, and kazoo player. He owned his chunk of the stage the entire set, and even strutted off the stage and took a solo surrounded by the crowd.

Speaking of the crowd, there was an issue I thought should be brought up.  Here we have a national touring band, local chaps that also play around town with big names, and the only advertisement I saw for this shindig were two signs that were easily lost in the sea of campus clubs and fraternity posters that are all over the place.

There was probably fifteen people there; tops.  The Ghost Town Rebellion brought their A-game too.  They kicked out the jams, threw out hats and shirts, gave away CDs and posters, poured out their heart and soul, and there were fifteen of us there. Bands playing at on our campus is an awesome experience that we get to have.  If we want more of it, we need to step up the attendance.

Now, sometimes it’s just impossible to make it to these events.  Luckily, for those of you that missed The Ghost Town Rebellion, you can easily find them online on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  They have a couple of EPs and an album out, and according to Shawn Peters, they have another album coming out in November.

There is also a video for their song “Silver & Gold” which can be found here. If you find yourself looking to find a new local band to check out, you can catch The Ghost Town Rebellion around town if they’re not out on tour. They also happen to have a couple shows coming up here in Sacramento: Saturday, September 1st at Chalk It Up! and Saturday, October 13th at Old Ironsides.

If you are into any type of rock, I suggest checking these guys out.  They killed (in a good way) “Everlong” by Foo Fighters, and turned Elle King’s pop rock hit, “Ex’s and Oh’s” into a high-octane rocker. Their original songs were well written, well orchestrated, and well executed.  I am definitely looking forward to seeing these guys again and in the future, let’s get up, get out, and support the acts that come and perform on campus!

[Album Review] Andrew Castro – Inside Out [EP]


Andrew Castro Inside Out EPA collaboration of local Sacramento artists Andrew Castro and Casey Groat comes together in this fantastic acoustic pop album from Andrew Castro titled “Inside Out.” The album features six of Castro’s songs, all written by Castro himself. There are no covers here, this is all original work. What Casey Groat (local Sacramento artist and producer) brings to the table is excellent mixing and supporting instruments. Castro himself is a solo acoustic act, but with the help of Groat it adds some great instrumentals including drums, bass, and some extra guitar work. However, this does not take away from Castro’s own talent.

Seeing Andrew Castro live is quite the experience. His voice work is stellar, and his guitar playing on his Martin LX1E, or Little Martin as it is more commonly called. Also for songs “Wired” and “Headlights” (and sometimes “Inside Out”) Castro will use a loop pedal to record guitar loops live. Something that I had never seen before but is, apparently, a common technique. Regardless I still thought that it was fascinating the first time I saw it.

Now let’s focus on the music. To describes Andrew Castro’s sound is to think of him as a local Ed Sheeran or early Jason Mraz. Castro has that bright and fun sound that makes pop very enjoyable to listen to and accessible by a large audience. The songs themselves follow this sort of love song pattern. Not the sappy “Oh I love you and here’s a song” drivel that seems to plague modern pop. It’s more of a “Here’s how you make me feel and I’m going to sound sexy telling you.” The song I’m mostly referring to is “Wired”, the fourth song on the EP. It has this seductive tone to it between the smooth not-quite-spoken-word-but-still-singing and the subtle bass line that really adds to the flow of the song.

The other quality that Castro’s songs have are a sort of story telling element. To use my favorite slower song “Fall” you can picture in your head exactly how it would play out. The lyrics transport you to the world of this song and you can feel yourself connecting to the character as he watches the love of his life walk out. The subject of this song is very relatable which is probably why I found so much beauty in the words. This song is also aided by the wonderful voice of Sandra Dolores who adds harmonies not only to this song, but also “Headlights.” Dolores’s addition gives me chills with how well she syncs with the ambiance of the song. Listening to this song, the best way for me to describe it is “basically asking to be turned into a music video.” Yeah, it’s that good.

So to wrap up this album review, I love this album. I think it’s a great showcase to what local artists have to offer, and, if you listen to my show on KSSU.com you know that I am always for supporting local music. Andrew Castro has earned my support in the effort to bringing great local artists to the spotlight. Andrew Castro’s album “Inside Out” is available on iTunes and through him directly. I’d highly recommend picking this up if you’re looking to get into local Sacramento artists.

DJ Bluebomber (Zach Kaminski) hosts an Alt/Indie music show on Tuesdays from 7-8 PM Pacific Time. If you’re looking for a wide range of music from indie synth pop, to garage rock, to various metal then tune in

Sacramento State Battle of the Bands: Inside Look


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Last week at CSUS, Sac State’s campus entertainment group, Unique, put together their (not so annual) Battle of the Bands! And it was a great time! I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to watch every single band’s performance, due to the fact that I was part of one of the bands (Good Neighbor Kids). So I can’t necessarily give a rundown of every single band, but I can give a little insight of how everything was and how it went down.

Unique gathered a total of ten bands together to battle it out in what turned out to be one entertaining show. Each band brought something to the stage that was different.

The event was split into two stages. While one band was performing the other one was setting up, waiting to go on. This proved to be very efficient. I’ve been to some shows where it took waaaaay too long for the next band to set up and have it sound horrible. Here, it was well organized with great sound techs on the spot to help each band. Back stage, the bands kicked it and hung out, some going out to see the others perform. It was great to be apart of this musical community of local bands. It was very interesting to meet the different bands to see who they are when they’re not playing music.

Out of the bands that I did personally watch, a few favorites come to mind. To start off the whole show, took the stage. They started off the show with high energy and hard sound reminiscent of  early 2000’s rock (the like of The Deftones, Chevelle, Thrice, etc). It was great hearing that sound again, and it was done very well. Their high energy performance got me pumped up for my set. Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/OverwatchTheBand (Current facebook page is Overwatch, but they will be switching to Facebook.com/controltheband soon, trust me). The Shafts, which was one of the only other three piece bands besides ourselves, lightened the show and got me moving. They got some of the crowd moving with their choppy guitar riffs, moving bass lines, and playful drumming. Also, their cover of Feliz Navidad was definitely priceless. Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Shafts. Epsilona, a Sac State favorite, took the stage and killed it with their mellow vibes and awesome set. Check their facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/epsilonamusic. Stand Out State went on right before us, pumping me up and get us ready for our set. Their cover of “Sail” by awolnation was awesome, and so is the rest of their music. Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/standoutstate. Those were all the bands and sets I really got  to see and hear, but from what I heard backstage, everyone sounded great!

IMG_1983When it came to our performance, we gave it all we got. We started with our only recorded track, Fences, which can be heard here: http://goodneighborkids.bandcamp.com/. Went on to our more mellow reggae rock song, Crystal Bells (Fall Away), recorded version coming soon. And ended with our rendition of the classic song, “Allstar” by Smash Mouth, video maybe coming soon ;). I don’t want to really describe our performance for the risk of sounding vain, but it was one of the best times we had performing a set. If you liked our set, then definately like our Facebook page: goodneighborkids.

Even though we didn’t place top 3, it was an amazing experience overall. Congrats to winner Mr. Hooper and his live band (www.facebook.com/MrHooperRaps) , The Stand Out State, and Epsilona. For us it was never about winning, it was about being able to share the stage with and meeting other local artists, all of which were great. It was about being able to share our music and passion with the audience. And it was about having an unforgettable experience.

Thanks to Sac State Unique for putting on an amazing show, let’s make this an annual or biannual event!

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Shameless Plug: Listen to my show, the 30/30, hosted by me, Jerel Labson. Wednesdays, 5:00pm-6:00pm. 30 minutes of music followed by 30 minutes of talk, only on KSSU.com!

The 30/30 (Thirty-Thirty) with Jerel Labson


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Hey everybody, this is KSSU radio host Jerel Labson here to talk about my new radio show for Fall 2014. To start off, my schedule for this semester are Wednesdays from 5:00pm-6:00pm. Tune in by going to KSSU.com, then clicking “listen live”. Or by downloading the tunein radio app available to the Itunes app store, the Google Play store, and the Windows app store, and adding KSSU.com to your stations.

Now that all that technical stuff is out of the way, let me tell you guys exactly what the 30/30 is all about. With the 30/30, I wanted to provide an entertaining radio experience for people to tune in to. So the first half hour will consist of straight music with no interruptions. Then the second half will be straight talk with a different guest every week (so you don’t have to hear a radio host talk to himself for half an hour straight).

The Music

I decided that this was best because if you want to just listen to music, then you could do so for the first half hour. No DJ telling you what each and every song is, or going off on tangents without you knowing when the next song will play, it’ll be just pure music for a half hour straight. The type of music that i’ll be playing will be most subgenres of rock. So genres ranging from indie to alternative rock, to punk, to pop punk, and so on. Although I will not be including hardcore or metal (there are plenty of great metal shows on KSSU to tune in to, just check the schedule ;D). If you are familiar with radio stations in Sacramento,  the music i’ll be playing will be similar to the music they play over at Radio 94.7. If you are more familiar with radio stations in the bay area, it’ll be similar to the music over at Live 105.3. So with my show, no need to worry about the same top billboard hits being played over and over again. Expect a great variety whenever you tune into the 30/30!

The Talk

After the half hour of music, then listeners can listen in on a half hour of talk. Every week there will be different guests on my show to discuss various topics such as music, movies, art, pop culture, etc. It’ll be different with every guest, and the great thing is, everything is unplanned and unscripted! So listeners can hear real and natural interaction. I feel that listening to the half hour of talk can stimulate listeners to think, whether it be about themselves, what’s going on, or to think happy thoughts. It’s not a serious NPR vibe if that’s what you’re thinking. So expect for guests to include regular people such as you and I, musicians, entertainers, poets, and so on. Also, if you want to be on the show and want to express yourself and talk, feel free to contact me! I am open to anyone wanting to experience being on the radio! Just email me with any questions or inquiries at KSSU_JLabson@aol.com.

A Little Bit About Myself

 

This is my fourth year of being apart of KSSU.com and I am loving it. I started as a freshman in college, and will keep going until I graduate. My show used to be The Jumble with DJ Jabson, but that is all changed now. I feel more like a radio host rather than a disk jockey. Other than that, just tune into my show to get to know who I am as a person!

General

374602_243913382340916_1150561487_nAgain, my show is The 30/30, every Wednesday, 5:00pm-6:00pm. Tune in by going to KSSU.com and clicking listen live or by downloading the tunein radio app and finding KSSU.com. If you want to be on or apart of the show, email kssu_jlabson@aol.com and we’ll chat! Also, don’t be afraid to hit that phone line during my show! The number is (916)278-3666. Thanks for reading, and remember to support college radio!

California State Fair 2014


Entrance to the California State Fair

The state fair is in town, and I had the pleasure of attending. Now I don’t find myself going to these things much anymore as the allure seemed to dissipate after reaching a certain age but there’s still plenty to see and enjoy. A few buildings had some promising artwork one seemed to focus on the pre-18 crowd, but another was dedicated to some astonishing artwork from what I believed to be local colleges. My favorite was a black and white photo of some flowers in a vase; the creator used a 19th century plate technique that I don’t really understand, but the results really blew me away. Sadly I can’t share a photo of that but there was an awesome dancing porcupine that I can share a picture of.

aag0fAt the fair there’s a section dedicated to teaching people about trees plus a little coloring area for the young’ins. Along the path you can see various animals such as Racoons, owls, I think there was a fox, and the porcupine to the left which had one of the coolest reactions out there. He actually got up and started to dance for us while we were walking by. I have no idea why, he may have expected food, but I don’t think you’re supposed to feed them. Either way it was a pretty cool thing to witness.

One of the coolest things that I saw at the fair was one of those Zoltar speaks machines, now I know whaZoltart you’re thinking(get it?) there are plenty of these psychic machines, but what makes Zoltar so special? It just so happens that Zoltar was the star psychic machine that drove the supernatural circumstances which were the essential building blocks of a movie called Big(1988). If you are unfamiliar with this classic piece of cinematic gold, and happen to have never come across a Zoltar machine the process is simple enough. Zoltar with all of his magical mysteriousness will move around with glowing lights and dispense a fortune for a price, these fortunes tend to be similar to a horoscope giving you some advice as well as some general observations of the world.

If you haven’t gotten out there yet and are planning on it the fair will be running until July 27th. If on the other hand you’re interested in reading more blog posts then you have come to the right place. Below you can find a list of other blog posts I’ve made, or feel free to look around and view some of the contributions by our other fine DJ’s.

Movie Reviews: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Knights of Badassdom, Godzilla 2014,

Show Reviews: Sleepy Hollow, From Dusk Till Dawn, Archer, 30 Rock, Defiance Season 2

Comics: Transmetropolitan

Games: Flappy Bird, Glow Golf

Bands: Acacia Strain, Die Antwoord

Food: Pescatarian.

The Earth: Earth Day at Sac State

Computer Stuff: Version Control,

I’m DJ Good Deal a DJ with KSSU Sac State’s only student run radio station.

New BBQ spot near Sac State: Fahrenheit 250


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The new replacement of former bar Bislas is now open! Located on Folsom Boulevard near the Sac State campus, Fahrenheit 250 offers a wide range of BBQ, sandwiches, appetizers, and more!

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Jake Abbott: The Carpenter’s Son EP


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Jake Abbott and his production team have just come out with a new EP, The Carpenter’s Son. Bluesy, gentle-on-the-ears guitar, and violin with easy, creamy vocals make this EP something you should definitely look into. There are times when the lyrics leave something to be desired, with repetition taking up the largest section of some songs, but the overall style is absolutely lovely. While it is an obscure reference, this EP reminds me a lot of Troy Baker’s band: easy listening with a hint of twang and well deserved conceit.

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Why College Radio Is Awesome!


By: Joanne Serrieh

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College radio stations have been around for years and they are here to stay. Mainstream local radio stations are usually geared towards one specific audience or they only play specific genres. With college radio there are so many more options. Because these are usually student-run stations, many students with diverse backgrounds and interests come together to form these stations on different college and university campuses.

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Food Review: Shoki Ramen


When I was growing up as an Air Force brat, I had the opportunity to travel to Misawa, Japan for my middle and high school years. Besides sushi, I was introduced to a delicious staple of the Japanese diet: ramen. This dish consists of noodles served in a meat or fish broth with various toppings such as onion sprigs, seaweed, egg or bamboo. Once I had tried the dish, I was hooked, and the cold winters of Northern Japan had me clamoring for ramen on a regular basis. Since the weather is finally getting colder for such food, I would like to share one of my favorite places to eat in Sacramento.

Alas, when I graduated and moved here to California, I had thought I lost the opportunity to savor the ramen I had grown up with in Japan. One day I was searching for a place to eat on my lunch break and came across Shoki Ramen on 24th Street off of Broadway. Curious, I ventured inside and was immediately greeted by the staff with a loud “Irasshaimase!” and I remembered my times in Japan.

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Sac Burger Battle 9/18/2012 – Raley Field


Get excited! Sac Burger Battle happens at Raley Field on September 18th. Burgers, beverages, live music, raffles…what more can you really ask for? More info and tickets available here!

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