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!

Summer of TV Shows: 12 Shows to Watch This Summer 2016


The Spring semester is winding down. As finals are completed, everyone starts thinking the real questions of life: what am I supposed to do this summer? As college students, we usually don’t have the luxury to go on exciting summer trips around the world. For most of us, the greatest part of the Summer is lounging on the couch and napping all day. But in between naps, here are a few TV shows you might enjoy:

(New shows written in Italics)

1. Preacher (AMC)

May 22nd

Based on a comic by the same name, Preacher is one of the most anticipated shows of the summer. Produced by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg (Pineapple Express, Superbad), Preacher  follows a small town Texas preacher, Jesse Custer, on a journey to find God. Throughout his journey, he meets a wide array of interesting characters and faces challenges to his faith and morals.

While fans of the comics remember Preacher for its dark and morbid scenes, the TV show is likely to take a much more tame approach. Nevertheless, this show should provide memorable characters (i.e. an Irish vampire, angels) and captivating storytelling throughout the Summer.

2. Wayward Pines (FOX)

May 25th

Based on novels by Blake Crouch, M. Night Shyamalan creates a mystery around a town that isn’t quite what it seems. Though the small town seems peaceful, viewers start to realize that there are dark secrets lying underneath the surface, and those secrets might be best left hidden.

Now on its second season, Wayward Pines successfully blended mystery and science fiction into a unique experience last year. But the story has taken a great deal of twists since the series premiere, the second season is likely to offer the same degree of lunacy. If you are looking for an elaborate story filled with shocks and awes, be sure to check this show out.

If you want to try to catch up with the first season, it is available to stream on Hulu.

3. Outcast (Cinemax)

June 3rd

Created by The Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman, Outcast tells the story of Kyle Barnes, a man whose life has been connected to demonic possessions. As an adult, Kyle goes on a journey to discover the source of these possessions and their connection to him. However, as he finds more answers to his questions, he begins to open doors that shouldn’t be opened.

Based on a comic by the same name, Outcast is looking to repeat the success of The Walking Dead with the help of Robert Kirkman. The premise based around demonic possessions can make for an intriguing story, and with Cinemax having already renewed the series for a second season without the first having premiered yet, the hype around Outcast is certainly prominent.

4. BrainDead (CBS)

June 13th

Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane), BrainDead provides a quirky look at the U.S. government. With all the politicians in Washington D.C. acting a bit strangely (what’s new), a conspiracy is investigated about whether there are aliens inside the brains of politicians.

Billed as a political thriller, BrainDead feels more like a satirical comedy about the idiocy fascinating behavior of today’s politicians. With a cast that also includes the hilarious talent of Tony Shalhoub (Monk), this show is likely to provide audiences with laughs during this summer season.

5. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

June 17th

Back for its fourth season, Orange is the New Black (OITNB) brings together an ensemble cast as the inmates of a minimum security women’s prison. The series follows the story of Piper Chapman’s time in prison, chronicling the insane and remarkable events that occur during her imprisonment.

There is that I can say about this show that isn’t already known. OITNB perfectly blends different elements of humor and drama to create a show that keeps all audiences either on the edge of their seat in anticipation, or falling back laughing at the hilarious hi jinks that ensue. If you haven’t had the opportunity to witness this wonderful series, I would highly recommend checking out the first few seasons on Netflix before the fourth season is released.

6. American Gothic (CBS)

June 22nd

Centered around a renowned Boston family, American Gothic sees a murder mystery unfold as this family begins to uncover the secrets behind their recently deceased patriarch. Discovering the deadly truth behind a string of murders, this family must now keep their eyes out for the existence of a potential accomplice.

While the premise may seem a bit unoriginal, for those who enjoy the intriguing discovery behind a murder mystery, this show will more than satisfy your craving. The creator promises a constant stream of twists with an astonishing ending, so be on the look out for this show.

7. BattleBots (ABC)

June 23rd

A revival of the old Comedy Central show, BattleBots brings together some of the most innovative groups of engineers as they put their robots to the test in an exhilarating, action-packed tournament for the crown of BattleBots champion.

For anyone interested in a fun, thrilling competition show that involves robots tearing each other apart, this is the show for you. After being revived last year, BattleBots has reignited its fans and established itself as one of the most fascinating shows of the summer. You aren’t gonna want to miss this.

8. Vice Principals (HBO)

July 17th

Created by and starring Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down), Vice Principals is an upcoming HBO comedy show about two vice principals battling for the soon-to-be vacant principal position. While dealing with issues in their personal lives, Neal Gamby (Danny McBride) and Lee Russell (Walton Goggins) will do anything to outwit the other and prove that they are the better candidate for the promotion.

With the hilarious success of Eastbound & Down, HBO’s second venture with Danny McBride looks to find continued success with this adult comedy. Taking advantage of the freedom that HBO gives, Vice Principals is likely to give a large dose of uproarious humor throughout this season.

9. Degrassi: Next Class (Netflix)

July 22nd

If you are searching for teenage melodrama, look no further than Degrassi: Next Class. Based in a fictional Toronto high school, Degrassi tackles the many hardships of being a teenager. From topics as typical as dating and getting good grades to deep, emotional struggles of depression and suicide, Degrassi places a much needed spotlight on today’s youth.

Degrassi has existed for decades, spanning many generations of teens. The newest iteration of this show covers the Generation Z teens. Although many of us in college may not fully relate to the problems that these teens have, the issues that are discussed are still relevant in many parts of society, and Degrassi provides an excellent platform to start those tough conversations.

10. The Get Down (Netflix)

August 12th

Created by Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby), The Get Down takes a look at the lives of those in 1970s New York. With the city on the brink of bankruptcy, the youth living in the Bronx struggle with gangs, oppression, and poverty, but also find themselves in the middle of a musical revolution, as Hip-Hop, Disco, and Punk are born from this struggle.

Baz Luhrmann has always been known for his unique, musical style, and this project is a excellent showcase of that style. Creating a setting filled with music and drama, The Get Down has the feel of a show that an audience can immerse themselves into, and discover a world truly distinct and and remarkable. With a core of young talent and rounded out by exceptional actors in Jimmy Smits and Giancarlo Esposito, The Get Down is one to keep in mind when August comes rolling in.

11. The Strain (FX)

August 28th

Created by Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth), The Strain showcases a new look at a classic horror monster. With a virus spreading throughout New York, thousands of people begin to die. But their bodies continue to live, as they become blood-sucking creatures of the night. It is up to CDC Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team to discover the cause of this outbreak and prevent the potential apocalypse.

Del Toro’s experience with the horror genre is well respected, and The Strain only continues to show just how creative the director can be. By giving a different spin on the original “vampire”, this show re-examines the potential dangers of a fatal disease spreading across the world. With creative monsters and fun action, The Strain  is worth a viewing or two.

The first season (and soon the second season) of The Strain are available on Hulu.

12. Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)

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In the early 1980s, computers evolved from office machines to personal appliances. Halt and Catch Fire explores this “personal computer boom” through the eyes of two men, Joe MacMillan and Gordon Clark, as they attempt to claim their piece of the American dream. However, they soon find out that achieving this dream is much harder than either of them thought.

As the spiritual successor to Mad MenHalt and Catch Fire delves into the relationships between these partners, as well as their workers around them. Add in the 1980s setting and excellent performances from the show’s leads, and you have an endearing look at the struggle to capture success in business. Having existed for two seasons already, Halt and Catch Fire has been a critical success, but not so much a commercial one. Perhaps a new wave of fans can help this show reach its potential.

The first two seasons of Halt and Catch Fire are available on Netflix.

 

It is very possible that you might have the opportunity to take exciting trip this summer. Or perhaps you are too busy watching the Summer Olympics in Rio. Either way, if you have the opportunity, make sure to give these shows a try this summer. Hopefully, you find them to be the highlight of your break before classes come back around.

Have any other shows that people should watch this summer? Tell me about them in the comments.

Albert is a dj with KSSU

 

SacAnime Summer 2015: A Nerd on Nerds by Anne Thorp (DJ Blossom)


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A brief preface: I have been attending SacAnime for what should probably be considered an embarrassingly long time: a decade of attending a biannual con is twenty cons, and while my attendance is more like fifteen or sixteen, I still consider myself a veteran attendee. I’ve seen SacAnime change locations three times as it grew, and it kind of has felt like watching a child grow. I’ve never even volunteered for the con, and yet I’m emotionally attached. I don’t know. Blame video games. Everyone does.

Anyways, I’ve been around. I’ve seen some stuff. Sacramento stuff. Vic Mignogna, voice actor extraordinaire, has literally watched me grow from age 12 (my first con revolved around a Fullmetal Alchemist panel!) to age 21 and he doesn’t even know it. I’m not involved in the gritty details of con-planning and behind-the-scenes, but I was with a friend’s artist alley booth when they tried to put artists in a hallway at the Radisson Hotel, and no one sold hardly anything. I remember when the single Jesus cosplayer started showing up. The Predator cosplay guys have always been there, I’m pretty sure; I think they keep them in a box somewhere, to be released for the weekend and then herded back in to be shipped off to SoCal cons.

So, I’ll admit getting a little jaded the past couple of years, especially as ticket prices have doubled since I started. $45 is a lot of money for someone working part-time on minimum wage, man!

I’m super glad I went this summer anyways, because it was a GREAT con. SacAnime moved to the Sacramento Convention Center proper three or four years ago, but it’s this year that it feels like they really filled the space, and used it to their best. Crowd management for cons is a huge issue, even moreso when your attendees are roughly fifty percent (Sixty? Seventy? A lot) giggling, clueless high schoolers more interested in shouting memes at each other and shrieking over costumes than actually, like, paying attention to the staff trying to shepherd them into the Dealer’s Hall.

You might be getting the impression that I don’t like nerdy high schoolers. It’s a lie. I love them. I love con-goers. We’re ridiculous, and usually in only the best ways.

I went the full weekend, and though I FREELY admit that I only attended one event where I waited in line and therefore might not have had the same experience everyone did, it seemed pretty organized to me! You go, SacAnime staff! You da real MVPs!

By the way, I believe it was their first year having a Kpop dance competition, which is the event I attended, and it rocked. Please go next time, if you didn’t. I was expecting some awkward shuffling to dances that Korean pop stars did better, and was pleasantly surprised. By surprised I mean blown away. Man! I wish I could dance.

The Dealer’s Hall is kind of the beating heart of a con, in my experience. People (like me) who don’t necessarily do a bunch of panels or competitions or the maid/butler cafe will all still pile in to buy pocky and cute accessories and a body pillow of your anime waifu (though how people walk around with those I have no idea). They’ve combined the Dealer’s Hall with the Artist’s Alley before, putting both sellers and re-sellers of imported merchandise in the same room as artists who produce all their own stuff, and it’s….not worked. The artists get shoved into not enough space and the traffic clogs up getting to see them, or they get ignored. This time, though, through some sort of organization wizardry, it worked super well! AND the autograph lines were in there! There was space! There was room to step away and breathe air not contaminated by con funk! Glorious!

Also, the artists get TONS of traffic, which always makes me very happy. I’ve not sold as an artist more than once, but I have friends who do, and I love supporting individuals over the dealers, especially as a lot of the t-shirt vendors are rumored to steal popular art off Deviantart or Tumblr or wherever and printing a shirt with no benefit to the creator. Not that I’m pointing fingers at SacAnime or even at a particular dealer, but it’s a bad habit cons have had for at least all the years I’ve gone, and I personally tend to stick to booths with official merchandise or booths with the creator right there selling their stuff, out of habit.

(Disclaimer, selling merch that’s fan art or unlicensed Star Wars stuff or other legally weird is covered better elsewhere, in articles specifically about it–suffice to say that brands like, say, Nintendo, don’t care enough to sue thousands of con artists across the nation making a couple hundred bucks on a weekend selling their LinkxMalon fan art.

All told, this summer’s SacAnime, I can honestly say, is the con that reminded me why I go to cons. It was so much fun, and the staff did their best to enable why we go to cons in the first place, which is to all collectively geek out over our favorite game and cartoons and comics! I’ll be going to the winter one in January for sure, and, with luck, I’ll see you guys there!

-Anne (DJ Blossom) a DJ with KSSU

Summer Fun at Upcoming LAUNCH FESTIVAL


If you are like me, you are probably looking for fun things to do during summer (not that I don’t appreciate all the summer syndications of my favorite shows). Being a person that was raised during some of the greatest Warped Tour lineups and big band outdoor festivals here in Sacramento, I love festivals!!! The atmosphere is thick with elatedness and the smell of new friendships being made. This is why I am super excited about LAUNCH Festival here in Sacramento in September!!!

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What is LAUNCH Festival? I’m glad you asked. LAUNCH Festival is, of course, a festival that celebrates and brings together people who share interests in art, music, fashion, and design. Its very desire is to enrich the community, which it is certain to do. This year LAUNCH is sure to be spectacular because of the talent it is bringing in. The festival is a multiday event starting on September 4 and ending on September 8. (Below you will find a day-by-day itinerary).

Day 1 will be LAUNCH MARRS (Midtown Art Retail Restaurant Scene) Retail Complex and is all ages. MARRS is a great shopping district located on 20th street and is home to such establishments as Luigi’s Slice and Fun Garden , Azul , Asha Yoga, Sacramento Comedy Spot, and many offices. This area also happens to be involved with Second Saturday. For LAUNCH, MARRS will have such acts as 8th Grader, Penguin Prison, and D.A.M.B (Shaun Slaughter).

Day 2 will be LAUNCH Party at Ace of Spades. This sure-to-be very fun night will include the unique band Mister Metaphor, local alt/indie band An Angle, and the always fantastic Wallpaper.

Day 3 will be LAUNCH Fashion at the Tsakopoulos Library Galeria where designer’s collections are put on the spotlight for fashion-lovers to enjoy. Designers include: Adolfo Sanchez Designs (known for inimitable styles with the goal of empowering women all over the globe), Frock La (women’s fashion designed with the intent to be luxury sustainable fabrics, low-maintenance care (the entire collection is hand or machine washable), and timeless yet edgy designs, and Glaudi by Johana Hernandez (an avant-garde collection for women who stand out for their great success and just as great style).

Day 4 and Day 5 will be LAUNCH Music, both taking place at Cesar Chavez Park with 2 stages. Day 4 will include such great acts as Girl Talk, Tera Melos, and Syncro. Day 5 will include such amazing acts as The Bell Boys (a personal favorite of mine!), Minus The Bear, and Imagine Dragons!!!!

So you can totally see why I’m excited, right?!?!? I highly recommend festivals of any kind, but I especially recommend LAUNCH. It is sure to be a great and joyous event.

Some not to secret ideas to having a great summer


Summer is upon us in sunny Sacramento!  Getting tired of sitting around watching “Jersey Shore” re-runs?  Well I don’t blame you, but don’t just sit around and waste your summer!  Do some of these ideas to beat the heat and boredom!

1.  Pack up your favorite friends and foods and head down to a local park for a picnic.  A personal favorite of mine is McKinley Park downtown; they have a large pond and plenty of play structures for your kids (or even you) to play on.

2.  Every Wednesday Big Spoon has dollar days, so bike over and get some tasty frozen treats!

3.  Spend a day at a local shelter and play with the animals!  Happy Tails is a cat sanctuary that allows you to spend time with all the adorable felines.

4.  With the warmer weather coming in, head downtown every second Saturday of the month and spend your night wandering throughout the free art galleries and support local artists.

5.  Head to Raley Field and check out the Oakland Athletics AAA team the River Cats.

6.  Check out both local and famous comedians at the Punchline comedy club and The Comedy Spot.

7.  See what used to be at the “Old Towns” of Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville and Elk Grove.

8.  Ever wonder what politicians do?  Me too!  Go check out the capitol and see!  Maybe even wander the grounds and see the beautiful foliage.

9.  Put on sunscreen and head to the American River!  You can have a barbecue or even float down it.

10.  Have you ever wondered what a room full of happiness looks likes?  Well then go to Sky High and see the magical sight that is the trampolines and foam pit.

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