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KZSC Show Reviews: Kendrick Lamar – 1st Annual Kunta Groove Sessions

Written by Alex Seradj

Kendrick Lamar has undoubtedly had one of the most rapid progressions of any artists in recent memory. He announced his presence with the release of section 8.0. He proved his mass appeal with the success of Good Kid M.A.A.D City. It may be too early to make such a bold claim, but it seems with the release of his latest album, To Pimp A Butterfly, he has cemented his legacy as one of the great lyricists of his generation. He’s in a stage of his career where as far as his fan base is concerned he can do no wrong. He could have easily started an arena tour back in March, when the album released, phoned in every performance, and still sold out every show.. He instead chose to play only a dozen shows in intimate venues, in cities that have supported him since the beginning of his career. That’s what made the Kunta Groove Sessions spectacular.

The show opened with a brief set from label mate Jay Rock, who made waves with his latest release, 90059, this past summer. He notably played three tracks that featured Kendrick, without him. It was perhaps the most off putting when he traded bars with the pre-recorded Lamar vocals on “Easy Bake.” That being said, it is obvious that they were trying to build anticipation for Lamar’s set. During the intermission Jay Rock visited the merch booth and met fans. He was extremely friendly and seemed genuinely excited to be there.

When the curtained opened for the headline set, Kendrick and his 4-piece jazz/funk band, The Wesley Theory, emerged. The band immediately announced their presence with a brief cover of “Can’t Hide Love” by Earth Wind and Fire while Kendrick sat on a couch. After the band fell silent he teased the crowd, stepping up to the mic to thunderous applause, only to shudder and fall away a few times. After soaking in the applause as the crowds anticipation mounted he opened his mouth and proclaimed, “This dick ain’t” as the crowd responded “freeeeeee.” “For free? (interlude)” served as a fantastic showcase for his band as they nailed its frantic pace. He went on to perform all of To Pimp A Butterfly, excluding “You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Moma Said.)” In addition he played most of the essential hits off of Good Kid M.A.A.D. City. He surprised the crowd when he free styled alternative lyrics to “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” and threw in an unrecorded track. Knowing his track record, based on his unreleased “untitled” track preformed on The Colbert Report finale and unfinished freestyle snippet in his “Alright” music video, it seems unlikely I will ever hear that track again. That being said I hope I’m wrong.

He spoke about the last time he had performed the Fox Theater, in 2012 to 350 of the loudest people he had ever seen. He did a few bars of his first major hit off Section 8.0., ADHD, acapella, leaving it up to the crowd to finish the verse. They passed his test with flying colors roaring the remainder. Prior to his encore the crowd belted out the chant “We gonna be alright!” When Lamar came back onstage he urged the crowd to get louder for a few minutes before conceding “alright,” and dropping the track. He dedicated the track to the city of Oakland and reminded the crowd he chose to film the tracks video there for a reason.

This show was far from a typical hip-hop show. There were no features or surprise guests for that matter. The stage setup resembled an art installation with canted metal bars and a neon arrow reading “pimps only” pointed at the mic. The Fox Theater itself was a spectacle. It was my first time at the venue and did not expect it to be a renovated movie palace from the silent era. It was the prefect venue for the type of show Kendrick Lamar wanted to deliver. It was equal parts grandiose and intimate. It was a thank you to his loyal fans, as well as, a celebration his success as well as the city of Oakland itself.

 

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Ari Solus Releases New Single ‘KZSC’

The mysterious and talented Ari Solus has been making rounds this year on his Somewhere to Hide label. His song klonopin was featured as one of Fonzie’s Don’t Sleep On ‘Em Recommendations earlier this year.

Ari is reaching out showing his appreciation for KZSC‘s support on his latest release. The chorus sings, “meet me up at porter//i know u wanna get away yeah//19, i know u ride the 19//u sittin’ right by me, but you wont even look at me,” and it really makes you feel what he is describing. You can read the lyrics of the song on the Somewhere to Hide website.

UC Santa Cruz student Mikey Solomon described his experience listening to the new song, “He captures a lot of moments and experiences here in a really penetrating/melancholic way that’s just beautiful.” Ari Solus really created something special here with the feeling and emotion of the music in conjunction with the lyrics. You can download all of Ari’s releases on his bandcamp.

 

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Waterman: The Life and Times of Duke Kahanamoku

Duke and the Author

Join the usual Wiki Wiki Wednesday Wonderland as we welcome author David Davis, promoting his new book about one of Wiki Wiki’s favorite subjects; the globetrotting, record making and breaking Duke Kahanamoku.

Duke Kahanamoku defined the idea of “Waterman” ~ in and out of the sea, the surf, from the Ocean to Olympic pools, this book will drop you in on the history of this Hawaiian Son.

Join us, as ever, you are welcome at all times, but  an Especially Satisfying start to your Wiki Wiki Wednesday, from 6:00 – 9:00 am, Wiki Wiki brings it quickly; the new music of the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands, the old classics. Come on by and find your new favored tune AND hear David Davis speak on his process, the writing about this, our beloved Duke Kahanamoku.

David Davis & local surf historian Kim Stoner will speak at Bookshop Santa Cruz Thursday evening at 7:00 ~ aloha no a me a hui hou! “Greetings, until we see one another again!”

 

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New World Charts- start of September

When will the weather cool!? Here I remain with a craving for sweet, cold ice cream at the beach and the shops are prepping for spooky nights yet to come. What a mismatch! Well, in the meantime, you can enjoy the coolness of these new top picks in world music! Zooming into our top spot in Bomba Estereo with their mix of traditional Colombian song, with a whole lot of electronic dance. Next up is more shaking grooves with Chico Trujillo with what they call “Chilenocumbia”!

1 BOMBA ESTEREO Amanecer
2 CHICO TRUJILLO Reina De Todas Las Fiestas
3 NATALIA LAFOURCADE Hasta La Raiz
4 LILA DOWNS Balas Y Chocolate
5 FORRO ZINHO Forro In The Dark Plays Zorn
6 SHTETL SUPERSTARS A Day In The Life
7 DAYME AROCENA Nueva Era
8 LOS CREMA PARAISO De Pelicula
9 MIGGUEL ANGGELO La Casa Azul
10 TOURE-RAICHEL COLLECTIVE The Paris Sessions

New adds include some great funk from Ethiopia with Qwanqwa!

1 QWANQWA Volume Two
2 BALLAKE SISSOKO AND VINCENT SEGAL Musique De Nuit
3 WOUTER KELLERMAN Love Language
4 TIGGER BENFORD AND PARTY Vessel Of Gratitude

ahab

Loud Rock Charts — Third Week of August

Top Ten:

  1. AHAB — The Boats of the Glen Carrig
  2. REANIMATOR — Horns Up
  3. WORRIERS — Imaginary Life
  4. KINGS DESTROY — Kings Destroy
  5. ACRASSICAUDA — Gilgamesh
  6. DOG PARTY — Vol. 4
  7. DELETIST — 3rd Class Cover Songs
  8. CEREBELLION — Regeneration
  9. PRONG — Songs from the Black Hole
  10. CHEMICAL BURN — Raining Anvils

Top Add:

  • GAYTHEIST + RABBITS  —  GAY*BITS
ahab

Loud Rock Charts – Second Week of September

If today’s weather was any indication, the summer sun is receding in favor of autumn fog and drizzle. Though the weather may be (hopefully?) getting cooler, the tracks our DJs are spinning are still hot as ever!

Top Ten:

  1. AHAB — The Boats of the Glen Carrig
  2. REANIMATOR — Horns Up
  3. WORRIERS — Imaginary Life
  4. KINGS DESTROY — Kings Destroy
  5. ACRASSICAUDA — Gilgamesh
  6. DOG PARTY — Vol. 4
  7. DELETIST — 3rd Class Cover Songs
  8. CEREBELLION — Regeneration
  9. PRONG — Songs from the Black Hole
  10. CHEMICAL BURN — Raining Anvils

Check out Like Red Foam (The Great Storm) off of Ahab’s latest album, The Boats of Glen Carrig: