Is Venom as bad as Critics Say?



Venom (2018) (Sony Pictures)
Black Panther Spider-Man.. I mean.. Venom, released October 5th, 2018 to a slaughter of critic scores in the cine-plex. At the time of this writing, Venom sits at a 32% on Rotten Tomatoes which makes it officially a certified load of crap, but does that translate across all boards? Could viewers disagree with critics? Rhetorical; the fact of the matter is that fans and the average viewer alike agree that Venom is a smash hit and here are my reasons for the divide:

A Story Lost to Madness (And Funniness?)
Venom is absurd (the character and the film) but that’s not a bad thing! Quite frankly, the film starts at a bad pace and really doesn’t pick up until the 2nd act with the introduction of Venom himself. The majority of major blockbuster films are now suffering from an interesting concept of “Marvel-it-up,” which translates to “make all movies funny.” What happens when you try to make more things funny? Critics get tired of the same-old, but the average movie goer who takes a trip to the movies once a month doesn’t experience the same fatigue of “Marvel-itis” (yes I made my own word, sue-itis me).

What Makes this Redeemable?
Tom Hardy, despite some of his questionable roles (I’m looking at you Bane in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises), is quite the extraordinary actor and certainly gets to flex his acting chops in Venom as both his roles as Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote, which he provides voice over work for. The bread and butter of this film is churned through the character interactions between Brock and Venom

Where did Sony Stumble?
Sony (the movie studio) has a bad habit of showing too much in their movie
trailers and some could make an interesting case for this film’s trailers ruining all of the best action sequences in the film itself. The surprise is that, although it is an interested marketing strategy, it shouldn’t be a pejorative to movie goers. It isn’t and shouldn’t be the “end-all, be-all” for a film to have a questionable trailer production team, but yet here we sit talking about it’s importance (so… hint-hint Sony…).

Isn’t Venom a Bad Guy?
The Anti-Hero isn’t that much of a new frontier. It was done recently by DC and the like (à la Suicide Squad, Spawn, DeadPool, Wolverine, Ghost-Rider…), but where does Venom sit on the hero-scale spectrum? Without getting too much into spoiler territory, Venom becomes a person (symbiote) whom the audience can get behind. In their own individual spin-off movies, of course they’ll be the hero to their story!

Should you See it or Not? Who Do I Believe?
No one! Believe no one! I typically love to get my media reviews from famous YouTubers such as “Beyond the Trailer,” and “Angry Joe,” (all of whom I highly recommend, both for entertainment and astute critical analysis values, which are credited to different demographics) but I’ve even disagreed with their views on different products of media. The best way to form your own opinion is to form it yourself (and listen to me of course).

What are your thoughts on the Venom (2018) movie? Did it surpass your expectations?

Comment and write below, and for all of your Anti-Hero news, keep it locked to KSSU.com

The worst & best Halloween costumes I’ve seen


The worst Halloween costume I have ever seen is a banana costume.

When I was in high school I saw both a student dressed up as a banana and one dressed up as a banana with the peels split down. It was not funny to me until I sat down to hang out with my friend at a table.

When I looked up from my food, I saw the student dressed up like a banana with the peels split down running across the school yard getting chased by a student dressed as a gorilla. Not only that, the gorilla was roaring as it was chasing down the banana.

I realized that the other banana was hiding on the side of a building to avoid being chased by the gorilla and I just couldn’t stop laughing. Even though this was years ago, I could never forget the costumes of the three students because of that movie-style chase scene. Even without the hilarious chase between the bananas and the gorilla, I could not accept the idea of me wearing a banana as a costume for Halloween. Everything is not meant for everyone, and a banana costume is not something meant for me to wear.

The best Halloween costume I have ever seen was when rapper “The Game” dressed up as vocalist Jidenna for Halloween.

For those of you who do not know who Jidenna is, he made the hit song ‘Classic Man’ in 2015. The same year, The Game dyed his hair, wore a suit, and looked similar to Jidenna. The following year, Jidenna dressed up as The Game for Halloween by putting a fake tattoo on his face, wearing a baseball hat with comfortable clothing and jewelry. There was a similar resemblance to The Game as well.

These were such great Halloween costume choices for both celebrities because it has been over two years and it is still shared all over the internet. If any of you have not seen The Game and Jidenna dress up as each other for Halloween, I would recommend you take a look, it is bohumorous and mind blowing how similar they look.

If anyone has a great or horrible costume experience in mind please share your stories. I love Halloween and enjoy the stories that come along with it. If you do not have any humorous stories to tell, meet up with friends or family this year and make some amazing memories.

Have a great October!

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!

I Used To Cosplay in My Free-Time, But Now, It’s Just Depressing


Image courtesy of Hope Smith

I’ve been part of the anime fandom for years. I enjoy reading manga and being involved in discussions about current anime and poking fun at my friends who liked the ones that “weren’t that great”, or went down hill (I’m looking at you, Sword Art Online fans!).

I also have been involved in the cosplay community ever since 2008, and I’ve always loved seeing people put in effort each year at the conventions. I was amazed at how someone could spend so much time on a cosplay, that I wanted to take a stab at it myself.

In the past 9 years, I’ve cosplayed many characters: Jack Frost (Rise of the Guardians), Nick Wilde (Zootopia), Danny Phantom/Fenton, Tadashi and Hiro Hamada, Bill Cipher, Dipper Pines, Sombra from Overwatch, Yuri Katsuki from Yuri on Ice, Sans from Undertale, Adrien Agreste from Miraculous Ladybug, Peter Pan, “Other Mother” from Coraline, Happy Tree Friends characters, Dark Link from Legend of Zelda, Kevin from Ed, Edd, and Eddy, Sock from the YouTube short Welcome To Hell, Nagisa Shiota from Assassination Classroom, Prompto and Noctis from Final Fantasy XIV, and more! I love to do a range of characters from different shows and video games.

Though, I have little money to spend and only so much time to put together a cosplay, I’ve found myself using clothing I already have in my closet to recreate a character. This is called Closet Cosplay (really original, huh?). I’ve been closet cosplaying for 8 years, and I only started getting sick and tired of it after seeing how much the community has thrashed my side-profession/hobby.

It’s really interesting how people will find anything to complain about, especially in a community that is supposed to have the nicest people. The toxicity of the community has pushed me over the edge multiple times, and it was only a few months ago when I decided it best for me to get out while I still could.

From body shaming to the minimal impact of one’s skin color, I find myself almost disgusted at the thought of judging a cosplayer by anything other than the level of craftsmanship they have. Even then, it is constructive criticism. It’s depressing to read about my community being so nasty to others within it, and I will not stand for it. I will back up the victim in any means necessary, because being shamed for cosplaying a white character, when your skin is darker, shouldn’t be reason enough to start a comment war on Facebook, nor say it to that person’s face.

I have a cosplay account on Instagram, and I’ve hardly touched it since summer because I didn’t feel welcomed in the community anymore. I am of African-American and Asian ethnicity. My skin is darker, but I will still get into any character that intrigues me.

I’ve been told, on multiple occasions, that I should stop what I love because I don’t look “exactly like Peter Pan”, or  I’m “too dark to cosplay Moana.”

I’m sorry; Since when do you run this account?

How people have the audacity to tell me to my face that I’m “too black to cosplay a Disney Princess, other than Tiana,” is beyond me.

I was a coward and ran away from what a lot of cosplayers deal with on a day-to-day basis. I’m sensitive when being critiqued, but strong enough to hold my own when it comes to something I love.

To the men and women who deal with people like this each day, I must say ‘thank you’. You deal with what I can’t, and that makes me no better than the people spewing hate your direction. but I will always stand behind you when the time comes.

Cosplay is meant for everyone. We’re all just a bunch of nerds who still play dress up!

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


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

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

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

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

 

 

Understanding the markets and a shaky start to 2016


Business

The month of January has come to a close and it has not been a good start to the year. Wall street had its worst start since 2009. The Bank of Japan has implemented negative interest rates. Trump still leads the GOP despite boycotting the final republican debate before the Iowa caucus. China’s era of exponential growth seems to have come to a sputtering halt. Now some of the world’s biggest hedge funds are placing their bets, shorting the yuan in anticipation of a further slide in the Chinese currency. It has been a tumultuous start to the year, but what does it all mean? Are we doomed for another financial crisis? Is this just a market correction?

We can read all the tabloids we want but fully understanding their implications can be a daunting task. I do not purport to know anything about the markets, or politics, or even the best way to tie shoes, but I can learn. We can all learn. For this reason I am excited for my classes this fall, particularly Finance 137 taught by George Jouganatos. The course is titled “Financial Institutions and Markets,” and although it is an upper-division course it is merely an introduction to the inner-workings of the financial markets, much like an introduction to Political Science course would be to global politics. In just one week and two class sessions, the class has retouched on economic fundamentals, you know, supply and demand, classical versus Keynesian theory, and so on. It really gets your brain working and it is in our class discussions that I worry that not enough people really understand these topics. Maybe now is a good time to say I chose to be a business major because I wanted to know about the one thing that rules the world, money. It may be a morbid reality but it is the way the world works. Personally I do not need millions to be happy, taking finance courses is not just about getting rich, it is more about understanding the rules we all live by. It is my goal in taking three finance courses this semester, FIN 135, 136, and 137, that I will leave with a better understanding of these rules.

I guess this is my call to arms (or disgruntled Senior plea):
True expertise takes a lifetime of study, but as voting citizens of these United States, and as a Homo sapiens, it is our duty to think critically about  our world. Living passively won’t bring progress for our country, or humanity. College is a time to have fun but it is also a time to soak in the teachings of the experts that teach our classes. As the semester gets into full swing I look forward to building upon what I already know, and even more excited for finding out the things I don’t.

Maybe this post is just a Senior four months from graduation voicing a biased opinion about why finance is important in the vain of ethnocentrism, but I hope to have struck a chord with some of you.

-Anthony Parenzin (DJ Ricky Sueños)

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