KZSC is still all-abuzz from the exciting conference we just pulled off! We met more than 100 college radio programmers from all over California–sharing ideas and excitement to help us all sound better and better. Jennifer Waits, co-founder of the must-read radio blog Radio Survivor was in attendance and filed this nice write-up.
Julie Snyder, KZSC’s former news director (1990s) and the co-creator of the world’s most popular podcast, Serial, is the cover star of Feb 17th’s Good Times weekly! Don’t miss the Q&A with Good Times Editor-in-Chief Steve Palopoli, where she talks about being a Senior Producer at This American Life and how that led to the birth and explosive growth of Serial–a Peabody-award winning true crime podcast series. And see if you can make it out to see Julie Snyder and Serial co-creator Sarah Koenig talk at The Sunset Center‘s ‘Binge-Worthy Journalism: Backstage With the Creators of Serial’ on Wednesday, March 9th.
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.
It’s the 50 year anniversary of Jefferson Airplane’s formation, and Kaukonen spoke about how he helped developed their distinctive psychedelic sound. Other topics include meeting Janis Joplin, a new composition with Woody Guthrie and memories of the Sticky Wicket in Santa Cruz.
Jorma will be performing two solo acoustic shows at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Sunday Nov. 8.
The mysterious and talented Ari Solus has been making rounds this year on his Somewhere to Hide label. His song klonopin was featured as one of Fonzie’s Don’t Sleep On ‘Em Recommendations earlier this year.
Ari is reaching out showing his appreciation for KZSC‘s support on his latest release. The chorus sings, “meet me up at porter//i know u wanna get away yeah//19, i know u ride the 19//u sittin’ right by me, but you wont even look at me,” and it really makes you feel what he is describing. You can read the lyrics of the song on the Somewhere to Hide website.
UC Santa Cruz student Mikey Solomon described his experience listening to the new song, “He captures a lot of moments and experiences here in a really penetrating/melancholic way that’s just beautiful.” Ari Solus really created something special here with the feeling and emotion of the music in conjunction with the lyrics. You can download all of Ari’s releases on his bandcamp.
It’s time again for the Fiesta de Artes in downtown Los Gatos! This free annual art and wine festival – brought to you by the Los Gatos Kiwanis Club – offers something for the whole family: food trucks, a variety of live music performers, a play zone for kids, artists selling handmade crafts, and local beer and wine vendors.
The Fiesta de Artes is Saturday and Sunday, August 8th and 9th, from 10am to 6pm at the Civic Center grounds in downtown Los Gatos. Visit LGFiesta.org for more information. Don’t miss out on this free summer fun event!
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