Electric Adventures at HARD Summer ’16

Summer’s in LA thrive with everything from evening concerts on the beach to the weekend festivals. For nine years now, HARD Summer has been putting on one of the most well known and loved EDM, and hip-hop, raves of the summer. Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to attend the festival as I have been spending my summer down south in the Los Angeles heat.

On the last weekend of July, I drove over to the Auto Club Speedway in Southern California, where I made a rather quick entrance with VIP parking (which I highly recommend!). The layout of the festival was so large it took me quite a while to figure it out. My favorite stage was hands down the HARDER stage which had some of the audience on the slanted race track and the back half of the audience sitting in the stands (which was a good dancing break without taking a music break).

I stared my adventures on Saturday with Drezo at the HARD Stage followed by the surprising Rezz at the HARDER Stage. Rezz surprised me because I had never heard of her before and she was one of my favorites of the weekend with her grinding, almost punk-rock electronic set. Hip-hop artist Anderson .Paak followed not long after and smashed it on the drums with his band The Free Nationals.

Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals at the HARDER Stage

The night closed off with Ice Cube who represented his N.W.A crew and kept the crowd bouncing with his classics. The last to go on were duo J2K and Autobot who are well known in the trap music community as Flosstradamus.

Sunday started with Slumberjack who is well known for his remix of What So Not’s “Touched”. Going into the night, Zeds Dead brought out dj Twin Shadow. Following, Dillon Francis started his set with a remix of the Pokemon theme song and then proceeded to stay true to his Moombahton style and keep the audience dancing all through his set. The last and by far my favorite set of the night was Porter Robinson who has been on my list of people I need to see for years now. He did not fail. Porter’s anime influenced visuals and unexpected tempo changes were carefully planned out and perfectly executed! I left the weekend with a huge smile on my face and ready to see what else HARD has planned next.

Keep track of the next HARD event or view the photos from past HARD events with the links below. Cheers!

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Dance to the Radio: Moving Units play the songs of Joy Division

This past Tuesday night at the Catalyst here in Santa Cruz was one filled with dimmed stage lights and dark clothing as seasoned LA-based post punk band Moving Units payed their tribute to the Joy Division. The band have not been shy talking about the tour on social media and the hype was building since the tour date pop-up on the Catalyst’s concert calendar. Needless to say the crowd that night was dancing and singing along to every Joy Division and Moving Units song played.

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This summer in SoCal, HARD Summer is near

Ice Cube, Flosstradamus, Porter Robinson, Anderson .Paak, Major Lazer, Dillon Francis, Zeds Dead, Boys Noize and more this July 30th and 31st

HARD Summer in the Auto Club Speedway in Southern California will feature Ice Cube and Major Lazer this July 30th and 31st. The premier festival has made a name for itself in Los Angeles as every summer it attracts the best names in Hip Hop and Electronica. This year’s hip hop artists include artist Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals who made an appearance at UCSC’s very own quarry with a free show last year. Dillon Francis, who has made numerous appearances at our very own Catalyst Club and on our OPERS Field a few years back, will be performing on Sunday and closing off the night second to Major Lazer.

HARD Summer is back with another year of their creative and funny festival trailers! Check it out and view ticketing information and the full line up below.

More information about HARD Summer can be found here:
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Full Line Up:


Getting Ready for NorCal’s Enchanted Forest Gathering July 22-24

This July Move, Groove & Shake Some Booty in Laytonville, CA with KZSC – NorCal’s Enchanted Forest Gathering’s Yoga, Movement & Flow Arts Lineup is Here!

Laytonville, CAAmidst majestic oak trees in the sprawling fairy tale forest of the legendary Black Oak Ranch, the 6th annual celebrated Enchanted Forest Gathering touches down July 22-24, 2016 in Laytonville, CA for an inspirational weekend of conscious living, globally-renowned music and premiere yoga, flow arts and movement. Honoring a key facet of the festival, Enchanted Forest Gathering is ecstatic to reveal the lineup for its yoga, movement and flow art zones showcasing 25+ yoga offerings and three days of flow arts and dance workshops designed to explore the realms of self-expression. Adding to the essence of the festival, Enchanted Forest Gathering 2016 will also feature 70+ musical acts, including heavy bass headliners Shpongle, The Polish Ambassador, and PANTyRAiD, and live music legends such as Hamsa Lila and Ayla Nereo.

Dive deeper into elements that make Enchanted Forest Gathering truly enchanted with the fanciful 2016 Movement Teaser Video, which showcases just a few of the many offerings at this year’s gathering.


Taking strides to ensure Black Oak Ranch remains an enchanted land for years to come, Enchanted Forest Gathering has implemented numerous green initiatives including the widespread use of solar power, plentiful recycling receptacles, composting, and a renewable dish program, and has reusable utensils available for purchase. Purchase a ceramic tea cup at the Tea Zone and receive free tea throughout the course of the gathering — $5 well worth it!

Rounding out the list of marvels to discover at the festival are over 60 educational workshops and forums covering subjects around relationships and sexuality, science and spirituality, permaculture and ancestral arts, as well as health, wellness, nutrition and nourishment. Also nestled in the forest is an interactive Kids’ Village with professional day care services, and an array of playful micro-environments to find magical moments such as the Crystal Dome, Nectar Temple, Tea Lounge, Comedy Stage, and Visionary Art Gallery. Placing a heightened focus on maximizing participant comfort in as many areas as possible, Enchanted Forest Gathering boasts a healing sanctuary, dance floors made of foam, shade and chill zones provided for every stage with Kombucha on tap, trees providing natural shade for camping, delicious and healthy food vendors, and artisan merchants. Splash around in refreshing watering holes, meditate around the sacred fire circle, and relax in the natural splendor and beauty of Mendocino County.

Go here for ticket information and be sure to read about the event eameneties and camping options!

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Wakin on a Pretty Day with Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile is almost a little too “hip” to be extremely outgoing during a performance, but that’s why we love him, right? To quote one of my new friends from Alabama whom I met at Bonnaroo Music Festival, “Kurt seemed more jazzed at the Ween show than during his own performance”. (Ween is an alternative rock band with a huge cult following and they performed after Kurt Vile’s set.) Seeing Kurt Vile and the Violators was a complete contrast to when a musician “creates energy for the crowd”. It was more like a casual conversation, the interaction between the crowd and the musician became one of an intimate setting, even though Vile was performing in front of hundreds if not thousands of people. I enjoyed seeing a musician who didn’t need to work so hard to interact with the crowd in such an “energetic way”. He went on stage, sang beautifully, and didn’t perform with an over exaggerated stage presence. He was actually quite shy, but in a way that made you feel like you could relate with him. It was like he was saying “hey, I know what it’s like to not want to act in an extroverted way, and I know that’s not your personality”. That’s exactly it, Kurt Vile doesn’t act like he has an outgoing stage personality when he knows he just doesn’t have that type of attitude.


The reason I can shed some light on Kurt Vile’s personality is because I was actually able to meet him inside the press tent at the festival before his show came on. He answered questions in a timid, introverted manner. He walked about the press tent with a cool, mellow look to his face, with his curly long locks hanging down the graphic on his t-shirt. When I asked him to do a station ID for KZSC, he looked at me and said in his soft, cool voice, “Hey KZSC Santa Cruz, this is Kurt Vile, Sup’” (Shortened for What’s Up, I assume) . It was magnificent, simple, and he didn’t need anymore words to make the station ID perfect for KZSC.


During the performance of Kurt Vile and the Violators they played a number of hits off his new album B’lieve I’m Goin Down, including “Pretty Pimpin’” and “All in a Daze Work”, as well as a few others. They also delved into some older songs of Vile’s, including “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day”, which is from his album Wakin on a Pretty Daze. Kurt Vile sang in a slow, mellow, dreamy voice. He played guitar while his band supported him with beach-like rhythms that made you feel as though you were hanging out on his couch in Los Angeles on a sunny afternoon. (Which it was reported that he wanted his records to sound relaxed, like he recorded them sitting on his couch in his house.) His melodies were intricately presented, and his voice made you feel comfortable. He made the audience feel at ease and wanting to dance, and sway, because of his personality, his brevity of speech, and his way of maneuvering the stage in a relaxed manner.

I recommend going to see Kurt Vile and the Violators on August 11th in Santa Cruz, at The Catalyst! If you want a good time, and if you want to feel like you’re on some mellow vacation in a small beach town in California. (Which you probably are on vacation if you are in Santa Cruz at this time.) Go enjoy the show and see what Kurt Vile is all about!

Looking Forward to Enchanted Forested in NorCal

Shpongle, PANTyRAiD, The Polish Ambassador, Ayla Nereo and Hamsa Lila Among Headliners for Enchanted Forest Gathering 2016

KZSC, Santa Cruz is excited to be part of the sixth annual installment of Enchanted Forest Gathering. The Gathering celebrates music, yoga, flow-arts and conscious movement festival, has just announced its amazing music lineup. Taking place July 22-24, 2016 in Laytonville, CA, the Gathering’s headliners include England’s forefather of psychedelic electronica Shpongle, the festival circuit’s unofficial Funkiest Diplomat The Polish Ambassador, plus MartyParty and Ooah (of The Glitch Mob) who combine forces as the melodic bass duo PANTyRAiD making a highly-anticipated return after a three year hiatus. Rounding out the electronic list of headliners is West Coast, Santa Cruz brewed bass movement champion Minnesota and soulful Chicago trio Autograf.


Included among the live acts headlining is a three-hour, otherworldly trance set from groovy world-hip-hop fusion group Hamsa Lila, a vivid harmonic storytelling experience by ethereal melody-weaver Ayla Nereo, and two passionately devotional music sets from Fanna Fi Allah – a leading representation of ancient Sufi Qawwali music. Grammy-nominated, drum and bass Reggae stylist Youssoupha Sidibe, indie-rock electronica band Lila Rose and ecstatic vocalist and innovative composer Suzanne Sterling will also deliver spirited live performances over the course of the weekend. With over 50 acts playing across four alluring stages Enchanted Forest Gathering combines the close knit community vibes of a small festival with the upscale caliber of production and talent of a larger festival.

Throughout the weekend, Enchanted Forest Gathering will be both teaching and promoting healthy lifestyles. In addition to the stages for performances and music, the grounds will have a vendor area, home to organic food, craft and clothing vendors from local sources.

More information is available via the Enchanted Forest Gathering website.

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For our Southern California festival lovers, we have LIB’s splashy summer sibling Woogie Weekend coming up in Silverado, CA. This July 8 – 10, 2016, Woogie Weekend will play host to two strikingly prominent stages – The Hive and the Beat Nest, to showcase bouncy house beats and tantalizing techno amidst the carefree prismatic vibes found within the delightfully wet ‘n’ wild playground. Check it out: