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A Floral review (playing Jan 7 in SF)

Nothing really says DIY like a good ol’ house show, and nothing says underground like bands that have forged their own distinct sound. Last night, standing in a crowded living room in Silicon Valley, I gazed and gawked. Fingers flashed and blurred. Feet flew over massive and elaborate pedalboards. Surely, math has never before been this rock.

Or rock been this math. You know, whichever.

A solid line-up of friends and associates, the show opened with Equator, a jam band with D-Boonesque guitar, poppin’ bass, and a baritone sax. The thick and tasty jams, about a half hour in, started to seem directionless, but was still quite enjoyable. Then again, I think that’s most jam bands. The sober people applauded and the stoned people applauded harder.

Next on deck, straight from the OC came Hollow Ran. Suffice to say that after seeing that performance, I have a new pedal on my want-list. Although there were nearly a dozen pedals being masterfully worked by busy feet, the Super Shifter caught my eye, as it made the entire room go into slow-mo every time he hit it. In fact, the guitarist for Hollow Ran seemed to spend the entire set on one foot, his other craftily adjusting knobs, setting levels, and warping the sick sounds of his already unreasonable tap’n’shred.

Finally came Floral, the band I’d come to see. I’d known the guitarist since his punk rock days back when our bands were equally pissed off and equally terrible in that beautiful way that only punk is, and what a few semesters at Berklee had done to him was simply mindblowing. With only a compressor to cut out feedback and static, his high treble tapping brought the room to a mathy frenzy, a mathy frenzy meaning that people were bouncing around in place.

I thought it was odd that Floral wasn’t headlining their own house show, but once Sumdeus took the stage I saw why. The first tip off that this would be interesting was when the guy in the audience with the Napalm Death hoodie unzipped to reveal a Grateful Dead bear, popped on some John Lennon sunglasses, and picked up a Flying V. What happened next was a half hour of one long hostile jam. While a solid rhythm section kept some semblance of togetherness, this terrifying grind-hippie spewed out an epic, bending solo that had no beginning and no end.

Although the influences are apparent, none of these bands came off as knockoffs or posers. Everyone had their own thing to do, and they did the ever-lovin’ sweet hell out of it. You can find their tasty musical treats below, and you can catch Floral at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on January 7th.

 

Equator
Hollow Ran
Sumdeus

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KZSC Interviews: Jorma Kaukonen

On October 30th, Carol from KZSC’s  Test of Time spoke with Jorma Kaukonen, the legendary guitarist, singer-songwriter and founding member of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.

It’s the 50 year anniversary of Jefferson Airplane’s formation, and Kaukonen spoke about how he helped developed their distinctive psychedelic sound. Other topics include meeting Janis Joplin, a new composition with Woody Guthrie and memories of the Sticky Wicket in Santa Cruz.

Jorma will be performing two solo acoustic shows at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Sunday Nov. 8.

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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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Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes, Sat and Sun August 8th – 9th

It’s time again for the Fiesta de Artes in downtown Los Gatos!  This free annual art and wine festival – brought to you by the Los Gatos Kiwanis Club – offers something for the whole family: food trucks, a variety of live music performers, a play zone for kids, artists selling handmade crafts, and local beer and wine vendors.

The Fiesta de Artes is Saturday and Sunday, August 8th and 9th, from 10am to 6pm at the Civic Center grounds in downtown Los Gatos. Visit  LGFiesta.org for more information. Don’t miss out on this free summer fun event!

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Dag Weiser Painting For KZSC’s Top Donor

Local artist Dag Weiser has donated this amazing painting for KZSC to give to its top donor in the Spring Pledge Drive! The drive wraps up on Thursday April 30th.

Your generous donation during the drive bring you live, local radio all year long. But if you can beat $1000 (thanks Steve!), then you can have this one-of-a-kind Thank You Gift. We can even deliver it–in the Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay area.

The “Two Henrys” painting is designed in such a way that–depending on your viewing angle–you see either local literary legend Henry Miller, or you see punk rock legend and TV host Henry Rollins. The piece hung at The Rio Theatre and is signed by Henry Rollins! The dimensions are 45 inches tall by 32 inches wide.

You can view more of Dag’s art at cardboardart.org

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Groundation’s Harrison Stafford interviewed by DJ Tiffany

Professor Harrison Stafford, the leader of Groundation, was speeding across the California desert when he connected with KZSC’s DJ Tiffany on “Joy in the Morning.”

He lays down a history and culture of reggae music and discusses his documentary called “Holding on to Jah.” He also talks about Groundation and their upcoming new album and concert in Santa Cruz on Friday Aug 29th at the Catalyst, with J Boog.