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Programmer of the Month: Jacob Block (Brickfrog)

Jacob Block, known on-air as “Brickfrog” has been tearing up the airwaves of Santa Cruz for four whole years. Since his radio debut in May of 2011, Jacob has programmed over 200 shows on KZSC.

Jacob’s older brother, who programmed for KRFH in Humbolt, planted the seed for Jacob’s radio future. When Jacob was admitted to UCSC, he knew immediately that he wanted to be a part of the Great 88. Instead of only programming a show for KZSC, Jacob went above and beyond, quickly finding his place among the station’s governance. In his sophomore year, he was the teaching assistant for the Intro to Radio class. His junior year, he taught the radio course. Senior year, Jacob became KZSC’s volunteer coordinator.

Jacob is also a well-oiled humor machine. When we sat down for a brief interview, the conversation leaned more toward absurd banter than journalism. But hey, it’s college radio, what did you expect? (cliché snare fill to cymbal noise).

Should I give you pull quotes?? …I GOT INTO RADIO TO ROCK….

Wait, don’t use that. That’s awful.” -Jacob

Listening to and sharing music is Jacob’s bread and butter…

Radio is like making a mixtape for everyone. It’s a way to show people music they might really like.” -Jacob

Jacob has programmed shows in almost every genre during his career at KZSC. From hip-hop, to psychedelic rock, to metal mixed with Sienfeld Bass breakdowns… if it makes you move your hips, Jacob has spun in.

In the near future, Jacob plans to apply for grad school, eventually shooting for a PhD in writing, and a career as a teacher. As far as broadcasting goes, Jacob claims that he would want nothing to do with the commercial radio industry.

I can see myself sticking with radio, but I cannot see myself working for commercial radio, because that would take all the fun out of it.” -Jacob

This spring quarter will be Jacob’s last program on KZSC. Jacob is one of the grooviest and wittiest deejays to have ever called our station home. Farewell, Brickfrog. Station Lobby banter will never be the same…

It’s been crazy, but it’s been one of the best things I have ever done. It has made me a different person, and I’m proud…” -Jacob

You can catch Jacob’s show “The Jangle Book” every Tuesday afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00 on the one and only, KZSC Santa Cruz.

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Fresh Faces at KZSC

Congratulations to the newest staff members of KZSC!  They’ve completed our rigorous training and their new shows are now debuting on our spring 2015 schedule (which hits the airwaves on April 13th). We can’t wait to hear what they’ll come up with, and we’re sure you’ll love what they do on KZSC.

UC Santa Cruz students should contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Jared, so you can join them. We offer a training class (for credit!) every quarter, and you can take it after you volunteer at the station for 20 hours.

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brandon potm

Programmer of the Month: Brandon Oleksy (BrandX)

March’s programmer of the month is KZSC’s very own New Media Director, Brandon Oleksy. Brandon is a sophomore originally from San Marcos, studying computer game design, although his passion lies in photography. The DJ Name BrandX was bestowed upon Brandon by Jaws at his very first mentee session. His initial name was DJ idon’tknow (for lack of a better name). Jaws assumed that meant Brandon didn’t know his DJ name, and therefore spontaneously dubbed him BrandX. And from there the name stuck. You can catch Brandon on his show “Teenage Kicks” every Sunday 10pm-12am, and occasionally on “Morrissey Boulevard,” Mondays 9am-noon, if he’s up that early.

“Teenage Kicks” is “the artier side of punk,” as he puts it, bringing together post punk, college rock, and garage rock. He was first introduced in early high school to bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam by going through his Dad’s music collection. And from there, one thing led to another. He found himself researching and finding out about bands and labels like Public Image Ltd, Hüsker Dü, and SST Records. He used his Dad’s musical influences as a springboard for discovering his own personal tastes, because “Dad’s CD collection can only go so far.” Brandon’s musical tastes have certainly evolved since his first concert–*NSYNC when he was 7.

When I asked Brandon why he wanted to be a DJ, he said it just sort of happened. As a freshman he noticed a banner for a KZSC Open House and stopped by. And when he came in and saw the walls filled with records and CDs, he knew he was going to be staying with KZSC and came in the very next day to start volunteering. Less than a year later, he was elected as KZSC’s New Media Director. As New Media Director, Brandon is in charge of monitoring KZSC’s social media, including KZSC’s Facebook page, blogs, and instagram. He is also the brain behind KZSC’s abounding twitter puns.

Not only does Brandon monitor KZSC’s social media, he also just created his first news report on the UCSC “96 Hours of Action” protests earlier this month. During those protests, he documented each day with photography, video, and interviews. He was at the base of campus during the campus-wide strike at 4:30 in the morning and stayed until 6 in the evening documenting it all. Brandon’s photography skills aren’t just used for reporting; he is a semi-professional, and he plans on pursuing a career in photography, with game design as his backup. You can check out his photography here, where you can see all the live concerts he’s photographed.

Lennon Stankavich

Programmer of the month: Lennon Stankavich (Jaws)

Hailing from Long Beach California, Lennon Stankavich is a sophomore at UCSC studying film. He is interested in independent films, documentaries, and travel films.  Lennon’s most recent projects for film class have tapped his creativity in scoring music for film.  From composing all original music to playing and recording all the instruments with a digital interface, Lennon combines his love of music with his interest in cinematography.

Under the “subliminal” reference name Jaws, he spins “shark rock” tunes on  Swimmin’ With The Sharks, Thursday nights from 7:00-8:30.  Lennon says that Shark Rock includes original 60’s surf rock music, alongside any more modern rock, garage and punk that uses lots of reverb and treble.  Lennon notes, “There has been a resurgence of new surf rock artists from southern California and the Bay Area.  If it can fool me into thinking it’s old school, then I like it”

Between being raised by parents who were adamant about his exposure to alternative rock and working at a local record store in Long Beach, Lennon was exposed to a wide variety of music.  Starting his collection at a young age,  his first vinyl acquisition was a White Stripes 45.  Even with all this musical input,  it was 2003’s Richard Linklater film “School Of Rock” that influenced Lennon more than any other media.  Growing up having a cousin involved with radio in Boston, Lennon was naturally drawn to KZSC.  This, along with DJ brickfrog‘s day glo shades at a KZSC recruitment fair, cemented Lennon’s devotion to KZSC.

When I asked Lennon to invite 3 people infamous or deceased to his party, Lennon replied with the question, “What kind of party is it?”  Fittingly deciding upon a bonfire party at the beach, Lennon said he would invite Teddy Roosevelt, not only because he was the most interesting president, but he could probably build a good fire.  His second choice would be Morgan Freeman because having had his heart ripped out more times than others, Morgan would tell some good camp fire stories.  Lennon’s final choice would be Steve Martin.  Not only would Steve bring balance to Morgan’s heartbreak hotel stories, but he would bring his banjo too.

Lennon is currently a member of the Program Review Committee and is considering a run for Station Manager next year.  You can follow Lennon’s talent for photography at instagram.com/lenstank