My Summer’s Highlight

The biggest highlight of my summer was going to a Jazz and Blues club in San Francisco called Biscuits & Blues. I was invited to join my sister for my birthday weekend. I am interested in live performances, and this was the first time I was able to see someone perform the Blues music genre live.

The performer was a nineteen year old male from Mississippi named Christone Ingram, better known by his stage name Kingfish. He is a Blues guitarist and a singer and he caught my attention on a few television shows I have been watching on Netflix over the summer. My sister informed me that he was touring this summer and was performing the weekend of my birthday so I was thrilled to see him perform live.

The night of the show, my sister and I went inside the Blues club which was filled with a lot of middle aged couples. The food was amazing and so was the service. Kingfish finally entered the stage with his pianist and drummer and the first few songs they played were his original songs which were heartwarming. I did not realize how much I enjoyed listening to live Blues music until I witnessed his performance. His voice had a mellow tone, and his lyrics were relatable. He went to the crowd to play his last written song,= and when he returned to the stage, he played the guitar with his mouth. I was very amazed with this young man.

The next few songs were from artists I knew such as BB King, James Brown, and more. The music had me reminisce about my childhood because my family would play those artists when I was younger during the holidays.

Towards the end of his show, he asked the audience what the last song should be. Someone said the belated singer Prince which made Kingfish smile. The lights on the stage were different colors, but then they all turned purple. Prince was known for the color purple because he used to wear the color often and even made a song called Purple Rain. Kingfish began to play the song with his guitar and it sent shivers in my body because I am a Prince fan.

When Kingfish’s performance was over, I left the club satisfied. I will definitely enjoy seeing him perform again. For anyone who is interested in listening to blues music, I would recommend visiting Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco. Also yes, they do serve biscuits in case you were wondering. The club has different performers every week so if you’re interested, check out their website. As for Kingfish, I plan on playing his music throughout the semester to bring a new sound to my show. Feel free to check out his music online as well.

I did not expect my birthday weekend to have such a satisfying jazz club experience. I hope all of you enjoyed your summer as much as I did and if not, enjoy this semester by attending events on campus and listening to KSSU. Make every day awesome!

Chromeo’s “White Women” Album Review


Released this year on May 12th, “White Women” by electro-funk duo Chromeo proves to be a jam packed album filled with many hip swinging tracks. This album features contributions from artists such as Toro Y Moi, Solange, Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney and Fool’s Gold duo Oliver. You can expect to get a full dance workout with this album because it is nonstop fun! It is the fourth studio album released by Chromeo, and it offers a blend of synth-pop, disco and electronic sounds to groove to.

Chromeo consists of Canadian childhood friends, Dave 1 and P-Thugg who jokingly describe themselves as “the only successful Arab and Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture.” Dave 1 provides the lead vocals and guitar while P-Thugg dishes out the talk box, keyboards and synthesizers. This duo manages to provide earnest songwriting with each track that they make. Influenced by artists like Prince, Rick James, Michael Jackson and George Clinton, it is no wonder that Chromeo would out their own modern twist on such a legendary brand of music.chromeo_may_truong_2

“White Women” starts with “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)”, the fourth single released for the album. It is very uplifting and easy to dance to even though it touches upon a hard subject like jealousy within a relationship. Like all of the tracks on this album, it has superb lyrical honesty with lines like “And is i t really my fault/I get a shiver when I see you with those other guys/Wearing the jacket I bought/I can’t help but lose my temper and I don’t know why.”

Another golden track would be “Lost On The Way Home” featuring sultry songstress Solange. It is the first slow song on “White Women”, but adds to the tension of the album without sedating the tone. Also, the smooth synth contrasts with the guttural bass also compliments the soft vocals of Solange and Dave 1. Solange also adds an intimate feel to the track with her signature sound and voice as there are hints of her compilation album “Saints Heron.”

Lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed the tracks “Hard To Say No” and “Somethingood”. They both touch the heart as they exude good messages about relationships while also happening to be over a dance track. “Hard To Say No” is shorter, slowly paced and more synth heavy; however, “Somethingood” is more bass heavy and features a delightful breakdown. As the title suggests, this track is definitely something good. Although they have opposing elements, they both deliver a strong punch.

“White Women” doesn’t disappoint as there aren’t any low points on this album. My only complaint is that it ends too soon! Chromeo describes this album as getting back in touch with their original sound so it is a joy to listen to for new and old fans alike. You can catch Chromeo on tour now. They will be closing their tour mid-October in Austin, Texas; move fast in order to see them in action.

This review was brought to you by Briana Swain. You can listen to my show every Friday at 11 a.m. here or you can search for KSSU DOTCOM on the TuneIn radio app.

Random Questions Answered By Bettina Cross

Some random questions, answered, for you to get to know me:

1. What was your first cd and what would you tell your past-self about having owned that cd?

cassette freak nasty

The first Cassette tape I remember buying was “Da Dip” by Freak Nasty. Yes, I am an 80’s baby so by the time I could afford music for myself they still had the small RCA cassette tapes that you could self-rewind with reflective brownish black ribbon that could become increasingly messy and a hassle if it became unwound. The song was made famous by a very unique but annoying hook: “I put my hand up on yo hip, when I dip you dip we dip, I put your hand up on my hip, when I dip you dip we dip. . .” What I would have had told myself now that I didn’t know then was that even though it was a top #1 song for a long time and was popular among friends, the song was a single- he never made a full CD and that was something I should have taken into consideration before purchasing. I should have saved my money and kept it in my pocket because he became a one hit wonder.

“If you ain’t dippin you must be trippin”-Freak Nasty

[Read more…]

Gary Clark, Jr. “Blak and Blu” Album Review

Blak and Blu

It came from the south and spread to cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit. Now Gary Clark, Jr. is bringing the blues back to Texas. This state is home to some legendary blues guitar players such as Albert Collins, Lightning Hopkins, Johnny Winter, but most notably and more well known to the casual fan, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. Clark was found by Vaughan’s older brother, Jimmy, and he became big around the Austin, Texas scene before achieving more notable success. Clark lives up to that standard and then some on his new offering. This is the follow up to his smash EP, “The Bright Lights EP.”

[Read more…]

The best concert that ever was

The best concert that I could ever attend would be a Prince concert, mostly because I have been a huge fan for years. He is a wonderful performer and my personal favorite celebrity crush. He has had me ever since “Purple Rain.” The thought of me being in close personal contact with him would be very overwhelming to me and I think that I would be star struck.

[Read more…]

Almost 30 years later: My Darling Nikki

Growing up in a household with two men and no women can give you a bit of a “manly” attitude. Not to say I am some kind of tough guy, because I’m not, but growing up in such a household kind of made me look at Prince a bit suspect. Not just his clothes (this was the 80’s), but his entire attitude and persona.

[Read more…]