My thoughts on KSSU


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

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

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

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

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

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

 

David is a DJ with KSSU

“Matriarch” by Veil of Maya Album Review


 

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading everyone!

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

Much Love,

DJGingerbeard

Zelda Over Finals


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

Just kidding.

That’s terrible.

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

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

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

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

Much Love,

DJGingerbeard

Dissecting The Plot In You


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

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

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

Much Love,

DJGingerbeard

Soul Stealing Puppets, and other “Avenue Q” talk…


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I have a friend who is scared of puppets. So, of course, I invited her to Avenue Q. And, I think her fear may have rubbed off a little. There were some, normally inanimate, objects that sang. The way the mouth and eyes looked was scary, and resulted in title of this piece. Avenue Q is a musical for adults featuring puppets, which is a really strange mix. The show takes its look from Sesame Street. There are 3 types of characters: Humans, puppet humans, and puppet monsters. For this blog entry, I will refer to the actors that are not puppeteering as actors. I will refer to the actors that are puppeteering in this show, as just puppeteers. That’s just for simplicity’s sake, they are all talented actors.

Avenue Q is an exception to puppet shows being for kids. It is, delightfully, not for children. A lot of puppet shows I can recall don’t show the puppeteers, so I don’t know how much this is thought about: But, are the puppeteers doing their job if I’m focusing on them, or if I’m focused on the puppet? On one hand, the puppets are meant to be characters in the musical. The puppets are having the conversations. Kids are visually fixated on the colorful fuzzy characters. But, speaking for me, I look at the actors usually. It was a difficult transition for me to look at puppets, instead of the puppeteers. I remember consciously trying to focus on the puppets. The puppeteers in Avenue Q are all in black, so it seems I should be focused on the puppets. But, these are talented people, who are characters in plays and musicals. The focus would usually on them. Also, if they didn’t put energy into the performance, the puppets wouldn’t have it either. And, I can remember the body language that some of these puppeteers had, and it seemed like it was adding to the limited body language that the puppet could show. Taylor Grossman, for example was very kinetically emotive. The puppeteers used the same body language that their puppets had. I ended up watching the puppeteers a lot, because I liked their performance so much. So, they did a good job. But, did they do their job, as it pertains to me looking at the puppet?

Speaking of body language, some of the puppets were handled by two puppeteers. But, only one could be the voice of the character. The other puppeteer would provide just the body language of the character. This was odd but necessary. Having someone on stage doing only the body language of a character, while the character is talking, is a special kind of entertainment. I loved taking some time to watch the other puppeteer. I think this supports the idea that the puppeteers added lent their body language to the puppet. They had the facial expressions, the character movements, and all while puppeteering.

And, about that puppeteering, it looks brutal. Having one person puppeteer one puppet, that doesn’t seem too bad. But, add one more person, and I was amazed at their lack of falling. Have you ever watched ice skating, and were in awe that they don’t trip all over each other? That was me every time I saw two puppeteers and one puppet. Just puppeteering the puppet seems ridiculous. The puppets’ mouths open up, so at least one of them controls that. And, each of the puppeteers use one of their hands for the puppets hands. So, the person on the left is the puppet’s left hand. The person on the right, is the puppets right hand. I can’t think of how I could manipulate the puppets hand, and make it look like it was connected to the same body as the other hand. Also, the hand movements would be strange. Then, you have to move around like that. There are song and dance numbers, and the two puppeteers need to be connected at the hip. Some of the choreography had them moving around quickly, and moving back and forth around other puppeteers. The whole thing amazed, and perplexed, me.

I did just enjoy the show. Avenue Q is a great show, and this cast and crew did really well with it.

Tracy is a DJ with KSSU

Sacramento State hosts the Corpse Flower


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Plants exist converting solar energy into something it can use, then animals come along and eat those plants. Those animals in turn are eaten by other animals and then eventually leading up to us humans, this is the food chain, and it’s law of nature as many of us perceive it. Within the world are plants that defy our understanding of nature, they exist as mere shadows on the landscape of a very bland world. One of the well known examples of these plants is the Venus fly trap, a plant capable of sustaining itself off the flies it catches. Well where one plant exists off meat there is another which maintains it’s existence through imitating meat.

The corpse plant(Amorphophallus titanum) is a native to the equatorial rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. Unlike your common garden flower this plant spends most of it’s life in a vegetative state, going 7-10 years before it first blooms. After having to wait almost a decade to bloom, it only lasts 24-48 hours before the plant will begin to whither; after the corpse flower initially blooms it can be another 10 years before it blooms again. Though the wait between it’s first blooming and subsequent occurrences can be significant, there are some rare instances that the flower has been known to bloom again within the same year. During the Corpse flower’s bloom the stench of rotting meat fills the air, it has reached record heights of 10 feet tall, and while flowering the spadix is roughly the temperature of the human body; all of this is in an attempt to call upon flies and dung Beatles to help pollinate it.

Sacramento state is home to one of these corpse plants and has been for about 10 years; ours is roughly 20 years old now. It currently resides in Sequoia Hall room 105 which appears to be meant for the study of biology, home to the fossils of wooly mammoths as well as many other creatures. At the moment of my writing this March 22, 2015 we are currently waiting for our corpse flower to bloom, it is possible for it to bloom any day now. If you’re in time and would like to catch the event there is a webcam online currently catching the feed: here. The school is currently on spring break so here’s hoping that everyone gets a chance to see it whenever it does finally bloom.

My name is Chris Diel and i’m a DJ at KSSU, Sacramento State’s  student run radio station.

5 Behaviors in the University Union that really shouldn’t fly


The University Union is a unique social hub at here at Sacramento State, offering options for students and faculty that run the gamut from quiet rooms to provide solace for those who just need a nap, to large venues for loud, rocking events that bring life and color to our school. But it’s most valuable functions by far are as a place to both hang out with friends and to study, and sometimes those two functions tend to clash with each other. If you’ve ever tried to study in the Union during the annual Phlagleblast, you understand what I mean.Untitled-3

In my four years at Sac State I’ve come to prefer studying in the Union over the library, and I’ve found plenty of things and behaviors that have proved to be common and reoccurring annoyances. Here’s five of them.

1. When people take outlet tables with no intention of using the outlets.g1377032210992151440

Though the Union has come a long way in providing electrical access in the common areas of the union, outlets are still often hard to come by, especially if you are planning a six hour study and essay writing session and having your laptop and six weeks worth of lecture notes strewn across your lap while you sit on a outlet sofa doesn’t sound very appealing. And while it is very possible to just ask a lone person sitting at an outlet table if you can join them to use it, sometimes it just feels strange and intrusive; “You’re sitting next to electricity that I need, can I sit here with you even though we don’t know each other?”. So if you have the fortune to come by an outlet table and all you plan on doing is catching up on your reading or to kill a wait time between your classes with a game of Flappy Bird, consider leaving it for someone else!

2. When people play their music. Loudly. And without headphones.

I bet your musical taste is wonderful, really, I honestly do. Music is great; I wouldn’t have become a DJ here at KSSU if I didn’t like music. But I don’t need to hear your EDC hype playlist from all the way across the room. If you absolutely need to rock it out with the volume on full blast to help kill some stress or put some life back into your post-midterm shell of a body, the Terminal Lounge on the 2nd floor provides private, sound muffled rooms for free to use on an hourly basis. While your time may be limited during the day due to request reservations, the evening sees less Union traffic overall, so you ostensibly could stay and rock out longer.

3. Playing musical instruments.

Seriously. Don’t be that guy. Don’t be that “anyway here’s Wonderwall’ guy. If you need to practice your playing, consider looking into using practice rooms in Capistrano, or the Terminal Lounge. If the Union is deserted, by all means play on. But I come to the Union to study and eat unhealthy food, not for open mic night.

4. When people leave food residue and water rings behind.food

Ew. Do you know how disheartening it is to set down a pristine printout of your midterm paper for a split second and pick it up to find the ink of your conclusion smudged by water rings or grease? You are all adults, and the Union staff are not your maids. Please clean up after yourself.

5. When large congregations of friends hanging out block walkways.

No one is saying that you and your squad can’t chill for hours in one large area, it’s your Union too. But when piles of backpacks and hordes of rolling chairs start making it hard for other people to get around to the bathrooms and the stairways and walkways, that’s just being inconsiderate.

The Union is a shared space for both work and play, if we are all considerate and respectful of each other and each other’s space, it makes the unique experience of the Union all the more pleasant for everyone.

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

My Time at Sac State


 

by Dj. Kevin J

As we rapidly approach the middle mark of the semester, and I inch closer to the graduation line, I find myself almost nostalgic for the campus that has been my home for the past year and half. Coming from LA, a city virtually on the other side of California, was mind-altering to say the least. In a matter of days I had to quickly adjust to a landscape I was completely unfamiliar with.

I had to learn how to co-habitate with strangers I’d never met a day in my life. I had to learn how to budget money and make sure my dollar lasted for a while ( Top Ramen truly is a college student’s best friend. I basically had to learn how live, all over again. However, nothing compared to adjusting to a new college campus.

When I was at my junior college back home, everything felt so natural, which seems like an obvious statement. Yes, the beginnings of my college experience was an adjustment in its own right, but after doing it for three years I had managed to get the hang of it. Now here I was, a newly minted 21-year-old, who now had to navigate new terrain with what felt like very little guidance. Terrified would be an understatement.

And yet, despite the pit of terror the formed once my family drove off, I knew freaking out would be the wrong way to go. So with that in mind, I laced up Vans, rolled up my sleeves, and got to work in order to make sure the seven hour drive I took wasn’t wasted. I was lucky that I was in the company of people who knew Sacramento fairly well, my roommates, and I honestly can say that it was because of them that I was able to survive the initial impact.

Despite my initial fears about coming to Sacramento State, I quickly found myself immersed in the campus. I joined the Hornet newspaper as a freelance writer during my first semester, and continued with them for year and half. Through my time at the Hornet, I was able to make some amazing friends, and picked up some invaluable skills that have come in handy on numerous occasions.

I also became familiar with Mendocino Hall. Mendocino has hosted at least 75 percent of my classes. And while Mendocino may not be my favorite part of Sac State (lol), it certainly has become a landmark forever etched in the corners of my mind.

If I had to, however, pick my favorite location on Sac State’s campus, it would be the Sac State tunnel. Located directly under the train tracks, that tunnel has served as the marker that I either came, or had left campus. Corny as it is, I’ll miss my daily walks under it. There were so many pictures taken under that tunnel. So many instances where I would watch as a train rumbled over it. The Sac State tunnel served as my official welcome during my first day, and in my eyes, will serves as my final goodbye as a student.

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Kevin Hendricks is a DJ with KSSU you should like listen to him, and stuff.

Hands Down for Impending Doom


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Hands down, my favorite band of all time is Impending Doom. Not only have they been around for a while, they were one of the first bands that got me into metal. Their first album “Nailed. Dead. Risen.” is a classic Deathcore album with a little twist, they are Christian. The took something evil and made it into something good, and it does not sound terrible! The song though that started it out for me was “My Nemesis” which basically describes destroying evil in the world and stomping on Satan. It sounds cheesy that way, but trust me, it is brutal. Impending Doom has gotten progressively lighter over the years. They went from grindcore/death metal to beat down/metal core music today. Less blast beats, more structure, more discernible lyrics, but still bringing the heavy. Impending Doom has stayed fantastic throughout the years and I cannot wait to hear more from them. With Five full length albums out, the latest being “Death Will Reign”, I do not see impending Doom breaking up anytime soon. In fact, they are writing new material as I sit here typing, and that makes me sweat… sweat for joy. I thought about writing lengthy paragraphs on why I love this band, but i felt numerical points would be sufficient.

  1. They call themselves “Gorship” which is a mixture between Gore Music (Guttural screams, blast beats, super drop tuned guitars, fast tempo, etc.) and worship, which is pretty dang tight.
  2. They are amazing live. The first time I saw them live was in Walnut Creek in a small venue called “The Red House”. It was pretty cramped, but it did not matter because my feelings of discord were replaced by feelings of euphoria filled my heart and frission overtook my body. Then on the very last breakdown of the very last song “There Will Be Conquerors” I got sucker punched by a drunk man in the back of my head. Even that punch could not keep me from being in the front of the crowd and devastating the floor with stomps as Impending Doom broke down the stage.
  3. They are very friendly and very humble. Meeting them afterwards was like talking to a close friend. Not only that, they knew some of the guys I used to jam with and gave me free clothes!
  4. They invented the “Repentagram”, a symbol of Repentance and casts out evil. The Repentagram is a 9 pointed star which forms an “X” over a pentagram. I have a giant one on the back of my windbreaker.
  5. Last but not least, they are consistent with their music and beliefs. All their newer songs are carefully and beautifully written and they can actually back up their lyrics. Some metal music talks about killing and death and revenge on ex girlfriends, but none of them even seem capable of such. Brooke Reeves, front-man of Impending Doom, is also a preacher along with the other members of the band. These guys have credibility.

If you guys want to hear some more music like Impending Doom, check out my show “Shred the Gnar” Tuesday mornings at 8 o’clock on http://www.kssu.com! Thanks for reading!

DJGingerbeard

My Time at KSSU


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It’s been the greatest experience of my life. It’s like my wildest dreams have come true. I cannot confirm nor deny that this is the happiest I have been in my life. That’s the emotions I get when I am on the air for KSSU.com. I feel like it has become a part of who I am and it has helped add to my personality and added confidence in being an outgoing person.

This is my second semester at Sacramento State University but my first at KSSU and I’ve felt like I’ve been able to fit in very well here. The people that work with KSSU are some of the nicest people I have met.

For me I look at KSSU as a job. I personally want to go into radio after college and it’s such an awesome thing to be able to have these resources on campus and be able to get practice at the art I want to master one day. To be able to have a live microphone and be able to speak my mind for an hour is such a great thing to me.

I have only been a part of KSSU for a month now and I can say that it has been the most enjoyable time I’ve had at this University since I started attending Sac State. Being able to be with these people I have met the past month and getting to know them the way I have so far has been great. If it weren’t for KSSU, I would have never met so many great people.

KSSU is something I recommend all students try to apply for. To be able to have an hour to yourself where you pretty much control what happens whether you talk about the news, sports, or playing music, it’s the DJs choice. That’s what’s best about having my own show. I have control over what happens.

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