Debo Band Tues July 16th

Outstanding Ethiopian-Pop Debo Band makes an appearance in Santa Cruz tonight, Tuesday July 16, 2013 at Moe’s Alley. This large 11-member group includes musicians and dancers from Addis and Boston, plus local fiddler Kaethe Hostetter formerly of Bonny Doon. They’ve received raves for pushing the envelope of traditional Ethiopian music by incorporating funk, soul, jazz and Eastern European influences into their dance music using a varied assortment of instruments that includes sousaphone, accordion, and electric and acoustic violins. Debo’s most recent CD release was on NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012 and is available streamed in its entirety here. Sun Hop Fat, another group playing Ethiopian dance music opens.

Too ‘Modern’ for the 1920s?

Jay-Z, Andre 300, Beyonce, will.i.am, Fergie, The xx, Florence and the Machine, Lana Del Ray, and Jack White.

Now, lets mull on those artists a bit… What comes to mind? Obviously the Roaring 20’s, right? Wrong! Or, at least it would have been up until May 1, 2013. Director Baz Luhrmann decided to shake up his interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, ‘The Great Gatsby’ with a ‘young’ and ‘modern’ musical vibe. Was this choice a hit or miss? Two viewer based websites took a poll and the responses varied largely. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a painful 34% out of 100%, while imdb.com awarded it an impressive 7.5 out of 10. What causes such a large disparity among viewers? My opinion, the soundtrack.

I personally loved the film and its soundtrack, but many viewers (of all ages I might add!) felt the soundtrack pulled the audience out of the story with its distracting dupstep beats and multi-layered rap/full orchestra compositions. Luhrmann has been known to add a ‘fresh twist’ on films set in different time periods, such as  Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet. Viewer’s opinions of these films vary, but a unanimous amount agreed that the beautiful cinematography was the breath and heartbeat of both films. I agree that The Great Gatsby also possessed a magical visual quality that could entrance any audience member, but whether the soundtrack kept you in that world is up to you!

 

Free Movies on the Beach!

Calling out all movie, beach, and fun lovers!

Every Wednesday night at 9pm on the beach located next to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, our beautiful city will be hosting a FREE movie for anyone looking to have a wonderful evening! Films that have already been shown include The Lost Boys (which was filmed at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk  & in parts of Pogonip state park), The Wedding Singer, and the original 1971 Wille Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. If you weren’t able to attended those fine cinematic features, don’t despair! There are still 5 more films coming your way! Hope to see you there 🙂

July 17: Tremors

“Run Kevin Bacon, Run!”

July 24: Ice Age

“Watch this cool flick on the warmest of beaches”

July 31: BIG

“All ages and sizes are encouraged to attended”

Aug 7: Footloose  

“Dance Kevin Bacon, Dance!”

Aug 14: Chasing Mavericks    

“See the six packed star of 300 walk the streets of our very own Santa Cruz”

Programmer of the Month: Danny Croft

Our featured KZSC programmer for July is “Living in the ’80s” host “DJ Danny on the Radio” aka Danny Croft. He also puts together the Concert Calendar played at noon every weekday on the Great 88. Danny started in radio at the San Diego City College at the end of the ’80s (no surprise) during the legendary Analog Era, using reel-to-to reel tape machines to record LPs from a turntable, editing audio by splicing with a razor blade and utilizing a tape cartridge machine that looked like an 8-track player. His next stop was at “Real People, Real Radio” KXCI in Tucson, Arizona. He’s been at KZSC since the summer of 2005 starting with the “Blues Connection”; “Living In The ’80s” was born in the summer of ’07. Back to the Future: ’80s music is Danny’s favorite. His most-loved bands from that era are The Smiths and The Smiths, but also The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees and Depeche Mode. Danny considers himself a Pitbull fan and appreciates Moby, Killers, and “anything he can dance too”. When asked what got him into radio, Danny replied that, “I wanted to be that announcer guy on ‘Laugh-In’ [Gary Owens]”. Besides being on the far left of the radio dial, Danny has worked as a DJ at clubs, private events,  dances and weddings. He loves being able to see the audience react to the music played, a good live concert show and seeing all the old bands he didn’t get a chance to see in the ’80s: Morrissey (if he ever shows up), OMD, Human League, Yaz, New Order and perhaps someday…Bowie. “Living in the 80s” can be heard this summer every Monday from 9 am-noon on KZSC.

Disclosure’s “Settle”

After dropping single after single, brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence have finally come through with their debut album. Filled with the sounds of UK’s past, the album draws heavily on UK Garage and deep house, and infuses it with the best pop vocalists the UK has to offer right now. Not only do the Lawrence brothers produce a mean house track, but they also display a gift for pop sensibilities; “Settle” is impeccably sequenced, both opening and finishing strong, with their instrumental tracks smartly placed to highlight the numerous guest vocalists on the album. A standout track is “Latch” featuring vocals by Sam Smith – check it out:

Disclosure’s live set has also picked up steam, with the duo amassing an ever growing collection of live instruments to liven up the traditionally stale visual aesthetic of most electronic shows – this is not just a couple dudes hunched over a laptop. If you are able to catch them live I recommend you do!

“Settle” was released June 3rd and is available in all the usual formats – MP3, CD, and LP.

From MJ to MJ: Take a Chance on “Acid Rap”

Chancelor Bennett is not old enough to buy alcohol. Chances are (heh), he probably doesn’t remember when mixtapes were actually tapes. Despite all of this, Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, recently released his highly-anticipated second tape Acid Rap. Following up his highly-acclaimed first tape 10Day, whose title is a reference to the amount of time he was suspended from school, during which time he recorded it, Acid Rap (whose title comes from the fact that Chance did a whole lot of LSD during the albums writing and recording process) takes his music to another level, filled with scratchy, soulful samples, clever wordplay, and high-profile guest spots. Beginning with uptempo, Beyonce-esque vocals ushering in opening track “Good Ass Intro”, the album oozes good vibes, with a chorus featuring an ecstatic Chance chanting “you did it, you did it/you did a good-ass job” (Fun fact: “Good-Ass Job was a working – and in my opinion much better – title for Kanye West’s 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). The album quickly moves into highlight “Pusha Man”, likely a callback to Curtis Mayfield, and a two minute fast-paced banger which quickly ends and we’re left with fifteen seconds of silence before secret track “Paranoia” begins. Here, Chance gets serious for a bit, lamenting the murders that happen every summer in his hometown of Chicago, which go unreported in mainstream media. The song is mellow and contemplative, with a catchy hook floating in a river of questions that don’t seem to get an answer. Other highlights on the album include the party-starter “Juice”, which soundtracks a hilarious and heartwarming video of Chance handing out roses to people on the streets of Chicago; the funky bass grooves of “NaNa”, featuring Action Bronson (or is that Ghostface?); and “Chain Smoker” whose “bridge” section I will defy anyone not to get hyped on. Finally coming to “Everything’s Good (Good Ass Outro)”, the album closes on a feel-good note, with everything feeling just about right. All in all, I highly recommend you take a trip through Acid Rap, and keep a tab on this Bennett kid, ’cause he’s goin’ places.

Download Acid Rap for FREE here!