RexxLifeRaj interview w/ riz aka rsd 6.24.17 via #NoPlatform

@rizzystaydizzy most recently hooked up with #NoPlatform, a group out of Vallejo, CA to collaborate with to premiere interviews. Via #NoPlatform: Riz delivers his latest interview with Rexx Life Raj. During this interview, Rexx Life Raj and Riz talk about being on tour with P-LoPSD Tha DrivahGoonsquadGame of Thrones, and more. Check out the full interview with @RexxLifeRaj below!





Gary Junior interview w/ riz aka rsd 6.29.17 #IMPECCABLE

I was able to interview Gary Junior, an artist from North Vallejo, who has been pushing his music since graduating from Jesse M. Bethel HS in East Vallejo 2013. Gary Junior has had a creative mind since then and has been on the grind for a while, still trying to push his connections even further. Check out the interview!

Follow Gary Junior on all socials & be on the lookout for more music soon!

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Additionally, check out his newest remixes as mentioned in the interview:


KZSC Exclusive: Mild High Club’s Alex Brettin talks microphones, Chicago jazz, and NPR

Robin Estrin and Syd the Kid interview Mild High Club’s Alex Brettin at Don Quixote’s International Hall of Music. Read on to see how a review of the show dovetailed into an area woman’s existential crisis, and be sure to tune in to Syd’s show, “No Pasa Nada” on Monday at 10 a.m. to hear our first and only broadcast of the conversation.

It’s the day before my twenty-third birthday and I’m walking down Walnut Avenue, away from the commercial buzz and tourist-traffic of downtown Santa Cruz. I’ve got Timeline, Mild High Club’s debut album, shimmering through my headphones, and a gentle breeze rubs shoulders with the oak trees lining the street. It’s mid-summer, a beautiful afternoon by anyone’s standards. “I should feel lucky,” I tell myself. “I should want to go to the beach.” 

Not everyone loves birthdays. If you were to ask me about my mental state on that day, the day before the big two-three, I might have offered an image for the feeling haunted: “A past lover reincarnated as the smell of late-afternoon sunlight and pine needles.” 

Or I might set the scene for the feeling stagnant; surrounded by moving parts: “Standing on the concrete median intersecting Chestnut and Mission, waiting for the light to change. Acquaintances in a car drive by.”

Better yet, I’d spare myself the embarrassment of attempted communication, pass you my earbuds, and play Mild High Club’s “Windowpane;” let Alex Brettin do the talking. The entire track is woozy with the nostalgia that pairs with completing yet another revolution around the sun. A minute in, Brettin riffs on his UV-drenched 12-string and croons, “Life/ passes on the right/ Still life/ takes you for a ride.” 

The lyric, to quote again from the band’s oeuvre, “touches me.” It nods to the way I experience time—by fearing that if I don’t aim to constantly account for it, it will escape me altogether. “Windowpane” is a song about trading in fifteen living, breathing sunflowers for an image of them captured in a vase (see: van Gogh). It’s favoring preservation over experience, a sea of iPhone cameras pointed toward a stage. But it also offers some comfort. We are voyeurs of our own lives, yes, but isn’t this photograph gorgeous? 

Mild High Club’s sound is sweet as lemonade, but saccharinely so—something like a birthday or a summer in Santa Cruz, a town that’s built entire industries around nostalgia, a yearning for an idealized past. Seriously, think about it: the sepia photos of blond, sandy surfers at your favorite cafe, the historic beach boardwalk, heck, even KZSC’s own Art O’Sullivan, who’s been bringing you the Grateful Dead, regularly, for twenty years. You can’t walk down a single street in Santa Cruz without experiencing déjà vu for some feeling without a name. And this phenomenon is especially potent, for whatever reason, in the summertime. Maybe it’s the tides. Maybe you’ve lived here a few years and know what I’m talking about. 

Skiptracing, Mild High Club’s newest record, came out with L.A.’s Stones Throw Records last year. The instrumentation is overtly jazzy, a genre-bending leap from the previous release, but for Brettin, who studied jazz music at Columbia College Chicago, it’s a return to his roots. 

“I find myself continually, gradually getting back to jazz, because it’s really the highest form for me musically” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if five albums later, if I get to that point, it is just jazz.”  

But for now, it’s not just jazz. It’s a fusion, a future nostalgic for the past. Imagine throwing Homeshake’s Peter Sagar and Miles Davis into the dishwasher with your favorite minimalist’s Instagram. Add glitter. What you get is stunningly contemporary and eerily classic. Psych pop meets upscale blues bar. Can you hear it?

Supported by San Francisco’s Healing Potpourri, Mild High Club played to a doting crowd at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall on July 11. The band mesmerized, moving the audience from funky to Zen with professional confidence, skipping the banter and drawing the final notes of one song into the first notes of the next. Wrapping up, the second guitarist, the one who, with long hair and shoeless feet, looked more Felton than L.A., took a seat on the stage and struck the first note of the final song, a cover of Roy Ayers’ “Everybody Loves the Sunshine.” I scanned the room. A dimly lit venue, Don Quixote’s, with its ‘60s era wood moulding and vinyl tabletops—its patrons clad in vintage denim and bartenders old enough to have known Santa Cruz before the earthquake, before the invasion of techies and fancy property developers—was sold this week for 2.2 million dollars.

There was a certain weight to the set, a gravitas. Time slowed and sped up again, and as much as the music beckoned me to presence, I had, tugging at me, the feeling of missing something. I checked my pockets. 

Mild High Club at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall on July 11, 2017. Alex Brettin on the right.

Center Stage: Lucas Nathan of Jerry Paper, Alex Brettin of Mild High Club, and Rikky Gage of The Memories play The Echo in Los Angeles, August 2016.

Jean-Luc Ponty Interview w/ Test of Time’s DJ Carol!

Carol of the Test of Time speaks with legendary violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.  A virtuoso violinist, Ponty was the first musician to treat the violin like a guitar, applying the use of distortion boxes, phase shifters and the wah-wah pedal to fuse this classical instrument with jazz and rock! Ponty talks about his vast recording career, his influential work with Frank Zappa, and the freedom allowed by his move to California. Listen to this informative interview here in it’s entirety, and catch DJ Carol every Friday this summer from 12-2pm, bringing you an eclectic mix of rockin, rollin, r&b and soul! Visit Ponty’s website for upcoming tour dates and additional information about the man himself.

Representation in Media and Music is Important

by Kimberly Balmorez (DJ AWKCUARD).
Growing up I really wish I had Filipino-identified folks to look up to. Other than my own family, I wasn’t surrounded by my culture at all and no one in my family was politically or culturally active. That still stays true to today; there’s so much about my culture that I don’t understand. For example, I can’t speak or understand any of my parent’s languages, but I want to be proud and know the history of Ilocanos and Kapampangans. With only so much having been recorded throughout history and stories my parents feel comfortable sharing, it is my own responsibility to keep myself aware and accountable. Luckily, I’ve found a small community of people throughout my college career who have kept me grounded. Through them I’ve found Filipino hip-hop artists and activists such as Prometheus Brown, Bambu, and Rocky Rivera.

Although my upbringings are somewhat different from theirs, it’s been empowering and motivating to see other Filipinos doing work to uplift their communities. If it weren’t for artists like these, I wouldn’t have realized how the implicit violences of societal and institutional oppression have affected me. If it weren’t for their presence in media and music I wouldn’t be as passionate as I am today to learn more about my own culture and be a comrade to others.

My personal advice is to find a platform to express yourself and remember to be respectful of that space. Representation matters.

The Frights at the Catalyst 05.20.2017 Interview

Written by: Serena Ozonur / Audio by: DJ Maladroit

On Saturday May 20, 2017, The Frights played at the Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz, touring with Hunny and King Shelter. As their tour came to an end, I had the opportunity to interview The Frights. The sold-out venue had excited fans lining up to the see the band before the doors opened at 8:00pm. In our interview, we talked about their song writing process, how it feels to be on the road, the difference in albums (in terms of sound), what the band is listening to, and upcoming projects fans should be on the look-out for. The Frights began by discussing the new album, “You Are Going to Hate This.” As Richard Dotson (bass/vocals), stated, “The album cover’s art is 80s’ inspired, particularly Black Flag Covers…really violent, but colorful images.” Their previous self-titled album carries a different sound from “You Are Going to Hate This”. This difference essentially came from the help of Zach Carper of FIDLAR who helped produce “You Are Going To Hate This.” Mikey Carnevale (guitar/lead vocals) commented “he [Zach Carper] was the Dragon Force behind this… he was very influential on this album”.

We then went into the song writing process in which Mikey stated, “What I’m doing now is that I record the melody on phone, take it back, play it on guitar, separate verse/chorus, then put everything together, and if I’m lucky I do a bridge. Then I write lyrics, right before recording the demo.”

The Frights are San Diego Natives, and believe that if they were from anywhere else they would just get blended in with everything else. The Frights were considered to have a “Doo-Wop” sound in their previous record. However, now they don’t consider themselves to have that sound anymore. Mikey believes, “early on in the band, I really liked the “Doo-Wop” sound, but now I don’t even think about it…I wouldn’t say we are a “Doo-Wop” band anymore, definitely not surf-punk. I guess we are just a rock n’ roll band.”

I asked The Frights how it feels to be on the road. They think Vegas being the first stop of the tour was a big mistake. Mikey jokingly stated, “It was super fun, but I feel so bad… the shame is real.”  Marc Finn (drums), added, “We just eat worse and drink more. I mean we are scarfing down some pizza right now.” I asked them who they look up to now, in which  Mikey responded, “I look up to most people, since they are taller than me…” I also asked Richard about his YouTube Channel “Here Lies Music” and I’m sorry to say to the fellow fans that it’s not looking like that channel will be up and running anytime soon. However, when I asked them if fans should be on the look-out for anything new Mikey told me to “tell them yes.” So keep an eye out fans! The Frights, still get very excited and anxious before a performance, which brings us to the actual show. 

This show probably had more people in the air than the ground. The crowd surfing was real. I positioned myself at the very front, right by the stage (big mistake on my part because I left the concert with a mild concussion). Like I said, those crowd surfers were wild, but it was an amazing concert with mosh after mosh. What else would one expect from a rock concert? The band performed hit songs, and a new song at the end of the concert so keep an eye out for that! Songs such as “You Are Going to Hate This”, “All I need”, “Afraid of the Dark”, and “Crust Bucket”. The crowd had amazing energy and so did the bands with incredible opening performances from King Shelter and Hunny. Don’t miss The Frights live, it’s definitely an experience of a lifetime.