March’s programmer of the month is KZSC’s very own New Media Director, Brandon Oleksy. Brandon is a sophomore originally from San Marcos, studying computer game design, although his passion lies in photography. The DJ Name BrandX was bestowed upon Brandon by Jaws at his very first mentee session. His initial name was DJ idon’tknow (for lack of a better name). Jaws assumed that meant Brandon didn’t know his DJ name, and therefore spontaneously dubbed him BrandX. And from there the name stuck. You can catch Brandon on his show “Teenage Kicks” every Sunday 10pm-12am, and occasionally on “Morrissey Boulevard,” Mondays 9am-noon, if he’s up that early.
“Teenage Kicks” is “the artier side of punk,” as he puts it, bringing together post punk, college rock, and garage rock. He was first introduced in early high school to bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam by going through his Dad’s music collection. And from there, one thing led to another. He found himself researching and finding out about bands and labels like Public Image Ltd, Hüsker Dü, and SST Records. He used his Dad’s musical influences as a springboard for discovering his own personal tastes, because “Dad’s CD collection can only go so far.” Brandon’s musical tastes have certainly evolved since his first concert–*NSYNC when he was 7.
When I asked Brandon why he wanted to be a DJ, he said it just sort of happened. As a freshman he noticed a banner for a KZSC Open House and stopped by. And when he came in and saw the walls filled with records and CDs, he knew he was going to be staying with KZSC and came in the very next day to start volunteering. Less than a year later, he was elected as KZSC’s New Media Director. As New Media Director, Brandon is in charge of monitoring KZSC’s social media, including KZSC’s Facebook page, blogs, and instagram. He is also the brain behind KZSC’s abounding twitter puns.
Not only does Brandon monitor KZSC’s social media, he also just created his first news report on the UCSC “96 Hours of Action” protests earlier this month. During those protests, he documented each day with photography, video, and interviews. He was at the base of campus during the campus-wide strike at 4:30 in the morning and stayed until 6 in the evening documenting it all. Brandon’s photography skills aren’t just used for reporting; he is a semi-professional, and he plans on pursuing a career in photography, with game design as his backup. You can check out his photography here, where you can see all the live concerts he’s photographed.