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Programmer of the Month: Marley Lix-Jones (Marles Barkley)

In just a few short days, KZSC will bid a “see-you-later” to senior programmer, Marles Barkley aka Marley Lix-Jones. Earning her staff badge during her freshmen year, Marles went on to be Rock Director for one year, followed by Music Director for one year. Marles Barkley had her debut show, Hairdresser Blues with fellow DJ Justin Credible during the Spring of 2012, where “hairstyles rotate[d] weekly.” In the Fall of 2012, Marles began Soulacoaster, which will have it’s final edition this week—just short of three years on KZSC’s program schedule. With her diverse array of musical tastes, Marles has also hosted neo soul show No Love, indie rock show Pop-Rock-Sicle, and post-punk show Rebellious Jukebox. Marles and I caught up on spices, curling, college, and of course, radio.

  1. If I were a nut butter I would be… peanut butter. I mean, of course she would, it’s the title of Joanna Gruesome’s newest album and Marles is all about Joanna Gruesome.
  2. My favorite pepper/spicy spice/hot sauce is… I like black bean chili sauce. The oil is good as hot sauce for soups and stuff and the actual sauce is really good in a stir fry type thing. Versatile sauce. 
  3. My favorite summer Olympic sport is… soccer.
  4. My favorite winter Olympic sport is… I’m not passionate about any winter Olympic sport. What about curling? How do you feel about curling? Waste of time y/n? I think curling is pretty chill. It’s fun-ish to watch and seems fun to play. It is one of those Olympic sports where the people who play it are just regular people with day jobs and they are just mad good at curling, which I think is cool but also kinda sad. I feel like if you are the best in the world at something you should be allowed to just do that for a living. 
  5. Best meal of the day? Of today? All I’ve eaten is coffee and goldfish. 
  6. Are you a sandwich person or more of an anything-wrapped-in-a-tortilla person? Both. 
  7. Most college meal you’ve ever created? Sometimes I eat uncooked ramen.
  8. CD you would put in a time capsule? A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness by Rocketship.

Marles Barkley can be heard with Brickfrog on Soulacoaster, this Friday from 4-5:30pm, and on The Jangle Book, Tuesday from 2-4pm.

Written by Shay Stoklos.

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KZSC Show Reviews – Ceremony at the Echoplex

Ceremony: an L-shaped band led by an L-shaped man. A dynamic so powerful that each member has their own shining moment on stage from the band’s rambunctious lead singer, Ross Farrar, to the band’s bassist, Andy Nelson, who seems to work more with the guitarists than the drummer to create a lush rhythm section for Ceremony’s on-stage performance.

This all started when I made the long trek down from Santa Cruz to the Echoplex in Los Angeles just to see a band whose latest record I’ve been hyped about since the first single was released. After listening to Ceremony’s latest album, “L-Shaped Man”, over and over again, I wasn’t sure how this show was going to go. The last time I saw them was about a year ago when Ceremony still primarily retained a very punk sound, but I wasn’t sure how a crowd was going to physically react to songs off of the more post-punk “L-Shaped Man”. Still, I went regardless of any other persons opinion but my own. After the opening sets of Mrs. Magician, Gun Outfit, and the fantastic Negative Approach, I wasn’t even sure if the crowd would have enough energy for Ceremony.

As Ceremony’s set time was approaching, the crowd that stayed in the lowly dark rear corners of the venue crept out from their dreary depths and doubled the size of what I thought was a full crowd. There was so much anticipation building in that room. Any person present at the show could feel a strange aura of anxiety and excitement as Ceremony’s gear was being tuned and placed. The crowd even falsely cheered for what they thought was the set starting when it was just Ceremony’s guitarist, Anthony Anzaldo, checking messages on his phone. After a few more minutes of an empty stage, it was filled.

As I sat in the press pit/security barrier that was set up at the Echoplex and the band was walking on-stage, the security team was walking behind the barrier. There were about four other press people there besides myself and each security guard there said, “three songs, then out”. As disappointed as I was, I completely understood why after the first song. The opening song Ceremony opened their set with was “The Separation”, the first single released off of “L-Shaped Man”. While the song is a very dark, emotional, somewhat mellow post-punk song, the crowd would have said otherwise. Everybody in the band exploded on stage with massive amounts of energy, and the crowd reciprocated the energy right back at the band. Crowd surfing, stage diving, mic grabbing, punching security in the face, and a broken pair of glasses all happened within the first few songs. Then, when Ceremony played their more hardcore stuff immediately afterwards, the crowd went even wilder. Most of the songs, rather than hearing lyrics from the lead singer, were sung by punk choir complete with its own mosh pit. Ross Farrar was well aware of this and did occasionally cross the security barrier to let people take their turns at the mic. Although there was chaos, the band was in complete control. After 2-3 songs, I was already on the outskirts of the security barrier so I wouldn’t be in the way of security being able to turn back crowd surfers.

Although I was off to the side for most of the show, I didn’t lose my front row seat to an amazing show. Ross Farrar was one of the most active stage presences I’ve ever seen. There are two types of hardcore singers, the strong stance singers and the ball of energy singers. Ross Farrar was definitely a ball of energy freely dancing around on stage while singing, taking breaks whenever necessary but still retaining the same vocal energy, and being in complete control of the mic as he was passing it around to various audience members. Anthony Anzaldo was just as, if not more active, than Ross Farrar but was flawlessly playing a guitar while moving around. Despite his limited range of movement on stage, Anthony was still able to match the intensity of Ross’s movements and nail down the guitar portion of the song while doing it. Anthony’s movements were at times reminiscent of Elvis’s swinging hips but so much more energetic. Andy Nelson, once a bassist, is now a guitarist and a great one at that. Andy has a more intimidating presence on stage reminiscent of Henry Rollins. Andy will stare you down and will make you regret your existence while his glare meets your eyes. I didn’t want to look at him for most of the show because he legitimately scared me. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but that all changed when he went on stage. Justin Davis profusely sweated through his job of playing the bass throughout the set. He was wearing a long sleeve shirt at the beginning of the set, but by the end it became more of a towel. Still, it did a fantastic job of playing the bass which is all the more important on Ceremony’s latest record. Then, there was Jake Casoratti. A drummer so passionate that his drums are beat so hard to the point where the drum heads sound like they’re about to break. Jake sounded like he was hitting and kicking boxes through the entire set, but in a way where it worked with everything the band was doing.

For one hour and fifteen minutes, it was their world. Covering their entire discography and even doing a cover of “California Uber Alles” that had me singing along, they nailed it. Now I wish I would have remembered where Ross said the after-party was at.

 

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KZSC at Shaky Knees!

It’s been a little over a week since Shaky Knees has come to an end so it’s time to look back at all the great bands that played in the humble city of Hotlanta. I flew across country to check out what I thought was the best festival lineup I’ve seen thus far. With headliners, The Strokes, The Avett Brothers, and finishing off the weekend with Tame Imapala, this weekend was filled with great music and great people everywhere you turned. Southern hospitality is not a joke around here, this is the friendliest festival around.

Surfer Blood kicked off this three-day long festival, missing guitarist Thomas Fekete, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and has been unable to join the band for their tour. The band set up a Go Fund Me to raise money for the alternative treatment plan that is needed to treat this cancer. The South Floridian band just released their new album 1000 Palms this past Tuesday and played a few of their new songs during their set. It was a perfect start to this hot weekend with their sunny, surf rock, poppy tunes
that are reminiscent of a nice, cool day at the beach.

Tennis, which consists of husband and wife Alaina Moore and James Barone, wooed the crowd with Moore’s charming voice and the band’s airy rhythms as everyone got to cool off under the shade. The band recently came out with a deluxe edition of their album Ritual in Repeat on May 12. We had a chance to talk to Alaina a few days before the festival so listen in on what she had to say.

 

Mac Demarco always knows how to entertain a crowd. He began by singing happy birthday to one of his bandmates and later on fixed his guitar strings as his other bandmate belched Yellow by Coldplay along with the crowd and finished off by crowd surfing at the end of his set.

The crowd waited as The Strokes were 15 minutes late, but it’s THE Strokes, they can do whatever the hell they want. Julian Casablancas seemed to be in his drunken state as usual, but everything was still so beautiful; from the stage lights where all you could see is their silhouettes with slight glimpses of the band from time to time to the off-beat singing, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.  As Rolling Stones put it, “if he weren’t a rock star, he’d be the neighborhood drunk with a heart of gold (Vadukul).” Mac Demarco did make an appearance on stage but did not perform with the band as others have reported. All in all, seeing The Strokes was a life changing experience and it was an amazing end to the first day of the festival.

Real Estate were the dreamy selves they were. Their hazy sound complimented the dusty haze in the air, except it was actually bright and sunny during their set and not so hazy at all, but it did feel like it as the sweat dripped down everyone’s faces into their eyes… but it was a nice way to start off day 2 of the festival as the rest of the day would be hot and muggy with a lot of dancing for the rest of it, especially with FIDLAR following.

FIDLAR WAS REALLY FUN. The band played a few of their new songs from the new album they’re working on, and ended with Cocaine as they normally do. But it’s always a sad time when they don’t play Cheap Cocaine, but definitely a fun set nonetheless. Neutral Milk Hotel performed live as the sun set and the rays shined through the clouds as the crowd swayed back and forth. It was a spiritual experience. That’s all I have to say. I took sneaky pictures of the band, I’m sorry… I just really had to capture the moment.

The Avett Brothers created a beautiful crowd. Everyone sang along and danced together. There was just so much love in the air.

Tame Impala was the perfect end to this three day weekend and is always a crowd pleaser with their trippy visuals and atmospheric sounds that surely epitomized the atmosphere of the festival that night.  It was definitely a great way to mellow out from the hustle and bustle of the weekend.

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Regulating Our Local Music Scene with a Legend of the Bay – by DJ Jazzy Jefe

The last place I’d ever expect to find myself on a miscellaneous Tuesday night is on stage during Warren G’s 21+ show watching him drop regulate, a 90s gem that’s aged like wine. The life of a KZSC DJ can be an unpredictable one as I learned that night. It all started with a call from our very own broadcast advisor Keith that very day asking if I was interested in conducting an interview with Rappin-4-Tay at the Warren G show that night. I gazed down at my half finished Blaxploitation essay on Blacula, but knowing I’d never get this opportunity again accepted the responsibility. I churned out what I could of my paper and headed to the venue. That’s when it hit me. I looked down at my ticket and it read 21+. My 20th birthday is later this month, so I likely had no business covering this event. I called the contact number I was given and reassured my age would not be a problem.

When I got to the venue I was greeted by Chris, manager of the local studio digital recordings, which operates on Mission Street. He gave me my all access wristband and really made me feel comfortable in an environment that would have been overwhelming otherwise. He immediately introduced me to Rappin-4-Tay. Something that immediately struck me about 4-Tay was the way the community responded to him. When he entered he was greeted by countless hi fives, handshakes, and friends hollering at him to help them enter the venue. It was clear he had a natural charisma and reveled in the love he received from fans. I managed to squeeze in a short interview with him where he discussed his new project, what it takes to stay in the game, and his experience with the late great Rick James. His set was fantastic, and his seminal hit The Playaz Club still gets audiences bouncing over 20 years after its release.

After 4-Tays set Chris texted me alerting me that Warren G had arrived if I was interested in inquiring about an interview. Chris got me past the steel door separating the backstage from the greenroom. Warren G was there with his family and close friends. I didn’t want to impose so I let Chris do the talking. Alas it was clear Warren’s intention was to give the audience a show first and foremost, but he could chat after. The set was surreal as I was encouraged to come onstage as the greenroom entirely emptied onto the stage. It’s clear Warren G still has all the technical skill on the mic and stage presence that landed him the triple platinum Regulate…G Funk Era in 1994. Of stage however its clear the man values his privacy. Whenever the green room door swung open he was the first to remind security to close it. He respectfully declined my interview request, so I thanked him for allowing me to be a part of his show and allowed him to relax and enjoy the rest of his night. I was invited to the after part at Digital Recordings, but still had that Blacula essay looming over my head keeping me from participating. Nevertheless it was a night I’ll never forget.

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KZSC Album Reviews: Chloe by Matthew Azrieli

An EP (extended play) sits in the realm between a single and an album; anything from 2 to 6 songs qualifies. Matthew Azrieli’s “Chloe” is at the outer limit. Six indie folk rock love songs in a row, so it has an album feel to it anyway. Now, I will confess a strong dislike of love songs that do not have a tinge of sadness or pain in the lyrics. Fortunately for us, these songs are not kitten fluffy, and the words are backed up with musical skill and complexity. Oh baby, that trumpet was layered in just right. My first impression of the vocals not having enough range was wrong, especially when I got to the last track, Where Are You Tonight. The only track that fell flat for me was the shortest one, Baby It’s Hard (Not To Love You). It was an abrupt departure stylistically from the rest of the EP; an add-on. It did not seem as genuine as the other 5 tracks and should have been left out. Nonetheless, Matthew Azrieli and his crew are putting together some fine work. Relax your ear and tune it in.

– by David Anton Savage

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KZSC Show Reviews: Mikal Cronin

The notion that Monday’s are destined to terminally suck, no matter what you do, can be quickly unraveled by a mad, impulsive dash up the Highway in search of adventure and rad tunes. Luckily for me, a surprise stop by renowned rocker Mikal Cronin at Felton’s dingy dive bar Don Quixote’s gave me the perfect opportunity to do just that. As I was soon to see for sure, Mondays don’t really get much better than sipping an ice cold beer and watching one of your favorite artists serenade you and 15 others in a quiet bar nestled far from any major metropolitan area.

 


I arrived with a buddy at Don Quixote’s shortly after opening, having been forced to backtrack due to a road closure on Highway 9. The vibe was tranquil; the bar was mostly empty, aside from a few regulars and the members of the band watching the Giants game on the Flatscreen in the corner. It was only 10 minutes after doors, however; who knows what could happen. So, like any warm-blooded American would do, we bought a beer and waited for the inevitable awesomness that would begin at any moment.
Opening for Mikal Cronin were Fine Points, a band that the singer described as “from San-Francisco… ish.” Sonically, they resembled a dope combination of Surfer Blood and White Fence; an amalgamation of indie-surf jams and shoegaze fuzz. The band members mostly refused to take their eyes off the floor, but the rowdy late-show stage presence of the rhythm guitarist/singer set the stage for Mikal Cronin, who came on after a punctual gear setup.
Cronin’s set, one of the more intimate concert experiences of recent memory, was above all else a testament to his rock n roll prowess. Opening with the first two tracks off his new album, MCIII (Out May 4th on Merge Records), Mikal and his band . He then went into an old favorite, “Apathy”, a catchy as hell fuzz-punk jam off his self-titled first record. He broke a string on his beautiful 12-string guitar towards the end, and immediately went about tuning it at the end of the song, whistling as he worked.
“We’re glad you’re here!” shouted a girl in the front row. At that point I counted 18 people, including myself, in attendance.
“Yea, thanks for coming!” Mikal said, still tuning his guitar. “This is a real chill show. Super intimate, I love it.”
The rest of Cronin’s set was a carefully calculated mix between favorites from his first two albums and potential hits off his newest release, MCIII. Released on May 5th from Merge Records, Cronin’s newest effort sees the culmination of the creative trends embarked upon on his last album, MCII. Venturing far from the Garage Rock scene that birthed him (Before launching a solo career he has consistently performed as part of Ty Segall’s backing band), Cronin’s album and live performance rejects the fuzzed-out norm of said scene in place of piano driven melodies, clean production, and a B-Side “Concept Album” of sorts, chronicling a critical juncture in the musicians life. Cronin also experiments with a variety of sounds on his new album, including the use of a Greek Instrument known as a tzouras. Once again, the album sees nearly all of the recording and songwriting credit going to Mikal, a clear indicator of his musical prowess.
The show continued to go on without a hitch, as the small audience was mesmerized at the very thought of practically being serenaded by such talent. Finishing off the set with the song “Change” from MCII, Cronin said his thanks and began to triumphantly walk off the stage. It didn’t take more than a second for the small crowd to begin politely demanding an encore. Mikal and co returned with wide smiles on their faces, as if they were fraternity kids about to get into some crazy shenanigans.
“Alright” he smirked, “We’ve NEVER played this live before. It’s a cover” His bassist looked at him cautiously, mouthing the words “dude, are we even tuned?” before laughing and letting out a satisfying “oh, fuck it lets do it!” What followed was a tremendous Cronin-esque cover of Big Star’s “Ballad of El Goodo”, a power pop staple, covered by a garage rock artisan. The set was one for the books as is, but this small addition really capped off the whole experience.
After the end, my friends and I got a chance to meet Mikal and his band out in front of the venue. It’s always fun getting to bullshit with a musician you’re really into, and his laid back demeanor went hand in hand with the intimate set we had just witnessed. We also pointed out that this date of the tour wasn’t even listed on his website, as a possible explanation to the small turnout.
“Oh… shit, I guess that explains it!” He laughed.
We left Don Quixote’s that night relatively pleased. We were not only content that we had just seen and met one of the pre-eminent musicians in the California Garage Rock world, but also stoked that we had officially made Monday, for lack of a better expression, our bitch.

 

– Written by Alec Whitson