Tag Archives: music

I’M BACK

31 Mar

elephantsineasterhats

Ohhhhhhh man, what a year I’ve had. It’s been a while since I wrote anything substantial here, so LET’S CATCH UP.

RADIO

Starting in May of 2012, I began working at KZSC Santa Cruz, 88.1FM. What do I do? I write the PSAs. Oh, what’s a PSA? Hold on to your seat; Public Service Announcements. Yeahhhh, I tell you what to do when there’s a flood or you see a mountain lion, I write the diddy about the local farmer’s market, or where to volunteer with the homeless. Does this sound boring? Only sometimes, and only when dealing with people who write perfect drafts of their public service announcement, but for some reason write the whole piece in caps lock. The DJs will not shout your PSA, I am sorry.

OH! I also DJed a show or two. From June to about September of 2012, I hosted my first radio show. It was a hip-hop/electronic program called “B-B-Beats”. We played stuff like Gorillaz and BBNG and I learned a lot about what not to do on air. One memorable caller phoned in after an unedited hip-hop song just to say, “freedom of speech sure is great, huh”. Sure is, although nothing beats the guy who requested I ask people to call in and tell him to put WD-40 between his toes. I’m still a bit befuddled on that one.

Since September, I’ve been DJing an indie rock show that showcases newer artists and more recent bands. Katie’s Tree House has been wonderful. It got me back into indie music and I think I’ll probably be sticking with it for my final quarter as a DJ and student at UC Santa Cruz.

WRITING

Around the same time that I started working as the PSA Director at KZSC Santa Cruz, I started writing for Uloop News. College news written by and for college kids, it was a good experience but I believe my time with Uloop has come to an end. My contributions can be found here. I also got to be a contributor for the Huffington Post and USA Today through Uloop News, which is pretty sweet. However, I missed the freedom and personality of this blog so I’m back! Sunday updates will happen, even if it’s a picture of me apologizing for not writing anything. While we’re on the topic of writing, last quarter I wrote my senior paper for American Studies. I discussed gender roles in reality television with a focus on masculinity and perceptions of men as a whole in the domestic realm (non-existent or incompetent). During my research, I found an interesting exception to the dated gender roles of reality television in food-based reality programs, which is interesting considering how food preparation has been heavily gendered. Men grill and cook on special occasions and ultimately cooking is executed by men as a hobby and craft. In comparison, women cook daily and perform a labor. Men can cook in a domestic setting and not be pegged as ‘feminine’, just as women can be in a professional competitive environment without sacrificing a part of their feminine image. If you want to read it or discuss the topic further, let me know.

LIFE

I work a part-time job at a pizzaria. We get new beers each month, so I’ve been able to try a lot of new beers this year. My favorites have been the Ruthless Rye IPA by Sierra Nevada, Ninkasi IPA, and the Amber Ale by the Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Company. The new beer we have on tap is a lager by Anchor Steam and it is a foooooamy mess. Tastes sweet, but it is a pain in the butt to pour.

Oh, I’m moving to San Francisco in June. I’m going to be working as an intern and hopefully they like me and I like them and we can go steady (income). Tomorrow I’m going to round up all the abandoned Easter candies and melt them down into a new, super candy. I’m also going to be reviewing the Santa Cruz Secret Film Festival again. If you’re looking to follow something I contribute to more than once a week, check me out on tumblr at conkerrtheworld.tumblr.com . I’m back, kiddos! Stay tuned.

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Shinny Shin Shins

25 Apr

It was early, an uncomfortable early where if I fell back asleep I wouldn’t get a sound night sleep, but not so early that I could start my day. I couldn’t sleep. It seems I never sleep anymore. I rolled over and checked my phone and the glow reminded my eyes just how long they had been staring into darkness. I heard scuffling in the quad and people giggling. It then dawned on me what day it was; April 20th, 2012. “HAPPY FOUR-TWENTY!!!” shouted a bodiless voice. “420” is Christmas for stoners, so of course giddy Mary Jane enthusiasts were up at 4:20am to commemorate . I can only imagine the sheer look of glee as they snapped the first of many bowls to be smoked that day.

The origins of 420 are vague at best. I find it hard to believe that a group of stoners coordinated to meet up after school at 4:20pm, and that the tradition of that evolved into one of the most recognizable icons for cannabis culture. But, stranger things have happened. If you go on Wikipedia and look up “420”, there is actually a picture of the Porter Meadow full of people partaking in the toking, so it is safe to say that “420” is kind of a big deal here. Each year, thousands of people pour into the Porter Meadow, and at 4:20pm a visible cloud of smoke rises up from the redwoods before dissipating into the air. I actually missed the initial lighting up since I was on the opposite end of campus. I got to the meadow as quickly as I could. I passed an older couple holding hands. The man was bearded and weathered.

He was shaking a feather at his companion, “Just think about it! Think about the memory we will always have when we like, look at it.”

“Exactly”, she nodded in agreement.

The scene at the meadow was ridiculous. Thousands of people were walking away from the main clearing and a few handfuls of late people were fighting the crowds to head towards the festivities. There was a police officer leaning against his cruiser who seemed to have given up on any notion of controlling this unsanctioned event. A troupe of students started blundering through the brush near the officer and he halfheartedly mumbled, “Watch out for ticks”.

One of the students turned to their friend as they walked away and remarked, “Bro, you’re gonna get Lyme disease”.

Weed followed me this weekend. I went to see The Shins at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, which is an indoors venue. This did not stop people from lighting up right in front of the stage. What I found to be more disturbing than the blatant pot smoking was the over-saturation of iPhones in the audience. People had them out as flashlights, cameras, modern lighters, video recorders, texting, calling friends to let them know where they were in the crowd, etc. which is remarkable. The crowd was pretty docile for a rock show, but it was The Shins show, so it makes sense.

Well, with the exception of one short, terrible, person. A taller man stood in front of her and she took the opportunity to open her mouth and unload this hateful dribble on him, deeming him an “inconsiderate asshole” for being tall. Being tall myself, I was personally offended by her slanderous attacks on the vertically endowed. The peaceful Green Giant eventually moved, primarily because of how uncomfortable her ranting was making everyone in a 10ft radius. Even after he left, she continued to complain to her friends about his ‘rudeness’. She was bumming out the mood, and I didn’t pay $32.50 to be bummed out. I called out how ridiculous she was acting. She got huffy at first, but then everyone else around piped in in agreement and she grew quiet.

Randy Newman knows what's up.

The Shins were a delight to see live. My favorite song of the night is off of their new album, Port of Morrow.

I never noticed it before, but James Mercer, the front-man for The Shins, looks like he could be Kevin Spacey’s little brother, or cousin.

<3

<3

There was a beautiful moment when “The Rifle’s Spiral” was playing where the smoke from the fog machine on stage was mingling with the smoke from the crowd. It was illuminated by the orange and purple light of the stage lights and lazily rose upwards to the ceiling. Great show, great weekend.

KZSC 88.1

1 Oct

The local college radio is pretty awesome. I started getting involved over the past few weeks and have greatly enjoyed all of the time I’ve spent there. I got to sort the comedy vinyls and recolor code them when I was there this week. Plus, I get to see gems like this.

I’m not sure if his pants are comically high up or if the 80s was just a time when folks rolled their pants up to their pits and never looked back. You know, because of the pockets in their peripherals. Ayuk yuk yuk…

Speaking of yucky, some of the music volunteers process is just foul. Fortunately, I have yet to encounter anything (ear)itating yet, mostly just mediocre to fair music. One of the albums I listened to today actually stuck out to me and I burned it to my music library for continued audio loveliness.

The album, Perfect Darkness by Fink, is beautiful. The lead vocal sounds like it could be thrown on a Jack Johnson track, but the instrumental accompaniment brings out a sincerity that pushes the songs beyond a mainstream standard. Something about the tone of the vocals reminds me of  \”You\’re a Wolf\” – Sea Wolf, yet Fink finds its own place in my library. It’s rainy day music; it’s for when you want to be alone, but not with your thoughts. The first track,  \”Perfect Darkness\” – Fink sets the mood for the whole album. But for me, the defining track is \”Honesty\” – Fink. It is exactly what the track name implies; honest. Give Fink a listen and let me know what your thoughts are.