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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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Dec 16: Paula Fuga & Anuhea At Moe’s Alley

Warm it up, Santa Cruz!  Welcome the Island sounds of Paula Fuga to Moe’s Alley Wednesday, December 16th at 8:30 pm.

Paula has a truly exquisite voice and she uses her talents to be a cultural ambassador for her Hawaiian home and people.  Powerful positive social change is her mission, she sings it exactly as she means it.

The doors open at 8:00 pm Wednesday, Paula begins at 8:30, don’t miss a note.

All is bright and right with Anuhea, as she brings her new holiday music to the stage at Moe’s Alley.  The Maui native has a new song entitled “Shoulders,” so be ready for all the feels.

These singers are here, help welcome them to the West Coast, Wednesday night. Get your Island sway going on, groove to the music and the rare treat of having these two talents together on the mainland.

Treat yourself to a holiday boost, get the music and the spirit of Aloha

 

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Dec 12: Nahko And Medicine for the People

Coming to the Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz Saturday, December 12th, with the Wheeland Brothers opening the show up at 9:00 pm, is Nahko and Medicine for the People.

With the power of Real Talk Music, Nahko gathers a tribe of truth seekers to each concert and event.  Nahko is of Apache, Puerto Rican and Filipino cultures and adopted into the family of music. Help make the movement move Saturday night. Doors open at 8:00 pm, the Wheeland brothers of Orange County start the festivities with their beach rock reggae.  The show is 16 and up, get ready to dance, heal and sing.

Come let’s build a bridge!

 

 

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Mike Neider of Blast! – KZSC Interviews

Recently, we at KZSC had the opportunity to talk with the guitarist of the legendary Santa Cruz Skate Punk band, Mike Neider. Recently, the band put out a new EP with Dave Grohl on drums and Chuck Dukowski on bass. Hear more about the EP, Blast’s first album release in almost 30 years, and  info about the punk scene in the 1980s here on KZSC.org

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The Merrie Monarch, David Kalakaua

King David Kalakaua of Hawaii governed from 1874 - 1891.

King David Kalakaua of Hawaii governed from 1874 – 1891.

Wiki Wiki Wednesday honors the birthdate of the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawai’i.  David La’amea Kalakaua was born November 16th, 1836 and known as ‘The Merrie Monarch‘ for his enthusiastic revival of Hawaiian music, dance and sport.

As the cultural ambassador of his nation, the king took a globe spanning trip in 1881, the first king to travel around the world. He met other heads of state, and the trip was documented by one of his cabinet members, William N. Armstrong, who accompanied the king. The book, Around The World With a King, chronicles this trip and the amazing times in which he lived.

The sweeping drama of his times: with treaties and tragedies, revival of hula and Hawaiian culture alongside a forced ‘Bayonet Constitution.’ There were boom times in Hawai’i, an uprising and a Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. The king had ‘Iolani palace built, the only royal palace that today exists on American land.

Fluent in English and Hawaiian, the young David Kalakaua studied law in his younger years, and led the group the Young Hawaiians, whose motto was “Hawaii for the Hawaiians.”

On Wiki Wiki Wednesday, please join us as we celebrate the life of a Royal One, whose musical talents include writing the song, “Hawai’i Pono’i” the state song of Hawaii today.

We will have many musical tributes to the king, along with a very special guest co-host, Welcome, e komo mai, Wednesday morning from 6:00 – 9:00 California time, Ku Imua Kalakaua!

 

 

 

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KZSC Show Reviews – Of Montreal

This past week, the Catalyst presented the wonderfully weird indie sounds of Of Montreal and KZSC has exclusive photos from the fanatical festivities. Led by lead singer Kevin Barnes for almost twenty years, Of Montreal has always had a reputation for putting on psychedelic, artful, and avant-garde stage shows. The night of November 3rd was no exception to Of Montreal’s antics. Found footage projector films synced to live songs, Donald Trump ravers, human eating skull dragons, all-American poodles boxing, and so much more were graced the stage as an added cherry on top to an already fantastic live set.

Of Montreal’s latest album Aureate Gloom is currently available online and at a record store near you. Also, Of Montreal announced work on another album at the show, so be on the lookout for that as well.