Sitting on Stacy at Soma

The existence of software programs, music sharing sites and social media has encouraged the growth of independent music production. These opportunities allow for complete creative liberty and control, invigorating a movement of aspiring DJs, producers and musicians. Sitting on Stacy is no exception. They wrote, recorded and produced the music found on their debut album, “Obsessed.” Their DIY music has led them to play at venues like Rocky City Studios and most recently, Soma, alongside Mt. Eddy.

I had the pleasure of attending their show on Sat. March 31 where they put on a stellar, high-energy performance. This Venture County-based band has developed a sound comparable to those of Green Day, Nirvana and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Guitarist and vocalist Hoyt Yeatman, bassist Kyle Hart and drummer Jeff Demorest owned the stage and drew the crowd in with their blaring instruments.

The trio’s performance of “Mailman” livened the audience and was a personal favorite. The intensity of the music paired with the crowd’s upbeat attitude electrified Soma’s sidestage venue. The technicolored lights, as well as the tiny mosh pit, made the experience an even better time. Other performances like “Apple Pie” and “Piece of Me” showcased the band’s dynamism and ability to blend genres. “Apple Pie” is reminiscent of the Red Hot Chili pepper’s distinctive rock sound, especially Hoyt’s mellowed vocals. On the other hand, the guitar intro and upbeat rhythm heard throughout “Piece of Me” is comparable to the surf rock/ska music scene. Finally, their closing song “I Can’t F—” is a perfect mixture of both. The rhythmic verses and punching chorus were enthralling to watch.

Local bands like Sitting on Stacy deserve a platform to express their creativity. Through SDSU and organizations, the trio has played at open mic nights, backyard shows, fraternity events, a Nooner and even a KCR gig in Montezuma Hall.

Social media, music sites and open-minded audiences have made it easier to share music created by aspiring musicians. I hope the SDSU community and the rest of southern California will continue to give Sitting on Stacy a chance to bring back an edge to modern music.

Featured image from Sitting on Stacy

HalfNoise at the Echo

Alternative rock project HalfNoise is an ambient effort fronted by current Paramore drummer, Zac Farro. After quitting the band in 2010, Farro took a different musical route than his former bandmates. Instead of the guitar driven melodies and head banging tunes, the HalfNoise sound is mellow, vibrant and synth filled. I had the pleasure of attending their LA show on March 12 at the historic concert venue, The Echo. The show was groovy, high energy and, to be completely honest, unexpected.

Albacore Club opened up the show with their gimmicky, sea-oriented music. Adorned in sailing hats and boat captain attire, the band played a variety of songs pertaining to shrimps and swabbing the poop deck. I am still not sure whether or not it was meant to be ironic. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the music. Afterwards, The Gloomies took the stage with tracks like “Fire Escape” and “If We Were Older.” This San Diego-based group heavily submerges itself into the atmospheric beach-y rock outfit: washed out guitars, tri-chord synth effects and reverb drenched vocals. These acts successfully warmed up the crowd for the band we were all waiting for.

HalfNoise put on an awesome show. They opened up strong with “Sudden Feeling,” a track that takes influence from Tame Impala and the likes. The distinct bass lines coupled with Joe Mullen’s drumming made the performance vibrant and undeniably groovy. Standout performances include “Leaving,” “Scooby’s in the Back” and “French Class” because of the band’s high energy that kept the crowd movin’ and groovin’. Throughout the rest of the night, the group never missed a beat and continued to spread good vibes all around. It was definitely one of the most carefree and happy shows I’ve ever been to.

Not only was the crowd feeling the music, the band was too. It’s amazing to see bands love the sounds and experiences they create live. During the concert, Farro admitted, “sometimes I don’t like to play shows because we do it all the time, but when I see smiles on people’s faces, it reminds me why I love to play music.” And one could really see that. Armed with his trusty tambourine, Farro danced and grooved onstage alongside smiling bandmates and even invited family friends onstage for their encore. The show was genuine and is a reminder that artists are people too. To create unforgettable content, they must also love what they do and follow their own ambitions. Zac Farro and his project HalfNoise exemplifies this authenticity in a compromising music industry.

Check out their new single Flowerss and keep and eye out for their new EP, which will be released on May 4.

Underrated: Roy Blair’s Cat Heaven

Art is a form of self-expression that requires consistency and patience to perfect. LA based singer/songwriter Roy Blair took his time in creating and releasing his debut project, “Cat Heaven.” Set to release in the summer of 2017, Blair admits the final product’s quality was not up to par with his expectations, ultimately postponing its release. The artistic decision to push back the date was met with recognition and praise, as this project feels personal and nearly perfect.

Roy first hit the scene in 2016 alongside alternative rap boyband BROCKHAMPTON and even provided backup vocals for Kevin Abstract’s solo project “American Boyfriend.” That same year he released his first single “Thunder.” Opening up with mellow vocals and guitar strums, the track crescendos into an emotive and vibrant final production. Produced by BROCKHAMPTON’s Joba and Bearface, “Thunder” depicts the struggles of a teen transitioning into adulthood which sets the tone for the rest of the album.

“Cat Heaven,” released in December 2017, takes an indie-pop approach with a tinge of RnB. He bounces back and forth from his angelic vocal abilities to his upbeat rap delivery. Standout tracks like “Alex,” “Grow Up,” “Switchblade” and “Kansas” show off Roy’s honest lyricism and top-notch production quality through creative vocal effects and samples.

Roy proves he has artistic potential but there is always room for improvement. From the lyrics to the sampled beats, songs such as “Jane,” “Grand Theft Auto” and “California” feel awkwardly delivered. They lack the catchiness and ear-wormy sounds heard in “Thunder” and “Kansas.” They are decent songs but not my cup of tea – a cup I cannot even finish.

New to the scene, Roy Blair has the bold creativity and talent to make it in the industry. With his strong ties to BROCKHAMPTON and other producers, Blair is an underrated artist who deserves more recognition for his work. “Cat Heaven” is a stunning effort from 2017 and I regret not listening to him sooner. His lo-fi style with RnB influences bears a similar sound to those of Rex Orange County and Yeek, yet maintains its originality. I am a big fan and am excited to see his future projects.

Favorites: Grow Up, Alex, Happy, Thunder, Kansas

Least Favorite: Jane, Grand Theft Auto, California

Featured Image from Pinterest.

Behind the Mic: Arvin Domier, Andrew Kaitcer, Gautham Dixit and Trevor Mass

Known to keep fans on the edge of their seats, sporting events are high energy, competitive and passionate environments that bring all types of people together. KCR’s Arvin Domier, Andrew Kaitcer, Gautham Dixit and Trevor Maas successfully translate these epic moments onto the airwaves through their sports radio show, “Undefeated.”

Every Friday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., this quartet cover topics such as football, basketball and, most recently, baseball. At first, Arvin had no idea KCR existed until his guest interview on Weston Lowe and Ruairi McCann’s show. Following his appearance, he fell in love and proposed creating their own show to his current cohosts/roommates. Soon after, “Undefeated” was born.

In Fall 2017, Arvin, Andrew and Gautham took a more casual approach to their show format during their first semester as DJs. “Thirty minutes before we went on air, we would jot down notes and figure out what we would talk about from there. An example would be discussing our top five players in the NFL. We were still trying to figure everything out so it was very relaxed,” says Arvin. Now, since they’ve gained more listeners and added Trevor Maas as a cohost, more preparation is put into their content.

Each week, this group tackles huge topics covered on big name sources such as ESPN as well as events from SDSU’s intramural teams. In fifteen minute segments, the cohosts share their take on anything and everything sports related. Arvin focuses on football, baseball and basketball, and has even taken a keen interest on hockey. Andrew and Gautham concentrate on basketball and football whereas Trevor is the main man for baseball. Trevor, an economics major, admits, “The only professional sport I follow is baseball so KCR helps me to stay up to date with all of the players.”

One of their favorite segments was their Superbowl preview. Each cohost gave a break down of the coaching side and player side of both teams. In-depth predictions and analyses on team advantages were also brought up. By creating good sports dialogue, it keeps listeners engaged in open-minded opinions and perspectives. Their inspirations include Skip Bayless who is known for his raw and controversial viewpoints. Computer science major Gautham adds that shows like “Undisputed” and “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman are other influences.

In addition, changes in the show include a live-stream on their Facebook page and, according to Arvin, an unwavering hope to interview beloved former men’s basketball coach Steve Fisher. These four have big plans for improvement in order to create awesome content.

What sets them a part from other sports broadcasting shows? “Undefeated” is real and passionate.”My roommates and I decided to follow our love for sports and open up our daily living room talks to an audience,” says marketing major Andrew. One thing is clear: sports hold this dynamic team together.

Besides being DJs, Arvin, Andrew, Gautham and Trevor are third years who play on intramural teams like basketball, bowling, football, volleyball, softball and dodgeball. With their loaded course work, KCR has become a creative escape to unwind and speak their mind on a topic they all love.

Don’t forget to tune in to “Undefeated” every Friday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m on KCR college radio. You can also watch their live-streams on their Facebook page.

Featured image by Arvin Domier