We say farewell this month to KZSC’s longest-serving (suffering?) Broadcast Advisor and host of our Thursday morning Beatles show, Michael Bryant. Michael started at The Great 88 in 2001 and helped move us into the Millennium with technical changes such as bumping the signal up to 20,000 watts, station remodels, a new air studio, webstreaming, social media and mobile apps. In 2007, he was appointed as a Lecturer in the Division of Social Sciences. This began an era of offering an academic course to educate UCSC students in broadcast media. During his tenure, KZSC was also named, “The Most Listened-To College Radio Station” by the website radio-locator.com. Back to The Beatles: when Dan Morookian (aka DJ Apple) moved away, Michael became the regular host of Dan’s show, “Here, There and Everywhere” in 2010. Like the name of the show, that’s what his retirement will be. Travel well and often Michael.
Perfect Pussy’s full-length first album, Say Yes to Love is a fantastic showcase of the unique, unclassifiable sound that the band has to offer. After the band’s debut EP last year, several people got excited about the band’s future. And after almost a year of waiting, I don’t think fans will be disappointed. The overall sound can be summed up as a masterfully crafted wall of noise. Guitars mimic the shoegaze bands like Loop and My Bloody Valentine; the drums add a very upbeat, thrashy element to the music. Then there are the vocals-barely coherent from all the feedback added-which are inspired. I think there are some really well orchestrated tracks on the album, but the feedback that dominates over the other instruments gets in the way of the instrumentation on some tracks. The best description of Perfect Pussy’s sound would be “thrash-gaze”; very easy to visualize a mosh pit forming in front of the band at a concert while Perfect Pussy plays their emotionally driven noise. It’s as if D.N.A and Deafheaven got together to record but had really low quality microphones. The album isn’t perfect, but it still leaves you wanting more. After Say Yes to Love, I join the other very curious fans to hear how (and if) the band progresses in sound.
- Brandon Oleksy
If you’ve ever wondered who the very first voice heard on The Great 88 was in 1974, here he is. KRUZ, the early “pirate” version of broadcasting on campus, went legit in 1974 with a license to broadcast at a whopping 10 watts as KZSC. Bruce Larsen stepped up to the microphone and history was made. Hosting a wide range of programs at KZSC while getting his UC Santa Cruz degree, Bruce Larsen was bitten by the radio bug. He moved over to fledgling community radio station KUSP, where he continues to host a program called “It Takes All Kinds”. Thankfully Bruce has returned to his roots at KZSC has the Monday morning musical mix master of “It’s All Good”. Bruce has also done a great deal of custom woodworking for the station and recently served as a member of the hiring committee to replace Broadcast Advisor Michael Bryant. When asked about his musical favorites, Bruce quotes Duke Ellington who famously said, “There are only two kinds of music; music that sounds good and whatever you want to call that other stuff.” Examples of this axiom can be heard Mondays from 6-9 AM with your friend and mine, Bruce Larsen, on KZSC.
If you weren’t at Kuumbwa Jazz Center for progressive jazz-fusion group Synapse(!) last Saturday night, you surely missed out! The dynamic, sharp styling of saxophonist Nikki Mokover and trumpeter Nick Bianchini was backed by an amazing rhythm section; featuring percussion monster Jaime Sanchez, keyboardist Ittai Rosenbaum and bassist Robert Ross. Oliver Whitcroft provided live sampling and looping throughout the show as well. The 1.5 hour set took the entire audience by force- with wild dancing, cheering and general mind expansion as a result.
Synapse(!) is “a cultural culmination of musicians whose diverse backgrounds each add a unique flavor to a fresh yet mature sound. Synapse is alchemy, melting multiple genres into one in pursuance of solid gold.”
Club Kuumbwa is a concert series launched by Kuumbwa Jazz Center’s own Bennett Jackson, and strives to be a venue that provides a casual setting to showcase local/independent artists, all while being accessible to a larger community audience at a lower cover charge. Bennett encourages up-and-coming artists to contact them for booking, and new dates continue to be added, so don’t miss the next Club Kuumbwa Show!
Arantxa Figueroa, better known to listeners as DJ Harvey, began at KZSC last spring as a guest on our sports show “Slug Talk”. After talking soccer over the airwaves and sitting in on friends’ music shows, she got swallowed whole by The Great 88. She took our radio class and began hosting a Britpop show titled “London’s Calling”. DJ Harvey explains, “A close friend was introducing me to new bands and next thing I knew I was stuck on the accent-crazed “BritPop” generation. I fell in love with bands like Pulp, Blur, Suede and Elastica. I knew I wanted to put BritPop in the spotlight, with mellow music and high energy.” In addition to “London’s Calling”, DJ Harvey also subs for others and now serves as KZSC’s PSA Director. Why would a Slug want to volunteer like this? “What attracted me to KZSC ” says Harv (as we are known to call her), “was definitely the wide range of shows. I knew I wanted to have a music program where people could listen to me around the world. I also wanted a ‘voice’ to represent my university, and I found our campus radio station to be the best place for that.” You can listen to DJ Harvey and “London’s Calling” Tuesdays from 4-6 pm on KZSC. And if you send us a misspelled Public Service Announcement, you can thank her for fixing on your behalf.
John Ridley won an Oscar for his screenplay adaptation of “12 Years A Slave”, but he has a hard time containing his excitement over his next film, “All Is By My Side” Both “12 Years a Slave”and his Jimi Hendrix biopic made their debut at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, but it’s the former that he wrote, directed and executive produced. A complicated man and a difficult movie to make when the Hendrix estate would not allow any of his music to be used. Will people believe Outkast’s Andre 3000 as Jimi? “All Is By My Side” is due for release in May.