Local Music Faves

Most people discover music through Youtube or Pandora, but I’m here to tell you that great music can be discovered right under our noses, right here in southern Cali. It’s quite gratifying to go to a local show and realize that woah, you actually really like the music being played. Then, you’re at home, on their Facebook page, trying to figure out what song you fell in love with. Let me make it easy for you. Below are my favorite songs from bands that are from SoCal.

Alone Today – Neutral Shirt

A band that just toured across the country, Neutral Shirt got its roots from right here in San Diego. Initially getting their start playing at the Che Cafe, the band has maintained their lo-fi sound — applying their focus on the lyrics. Having an alternative sound, Neutral Shirt’s song Alone Today is perfect for lying in bed staring at the ceiling (which is precisely what I did last night).

I Work For The City – Mandarin Dynasty

Mandarin Dynasty is a band that originally got its foot into the music world by playing shows around San Diego. With it’s high-quality production, the album Perpendicular Crosstalk includes 11 songs that are all equally beautiful. It involves beautiful harmonies, a couple weird (a good type of weird) instruments, and thoughtful and poetic lyrics.

Carey finds herself (with a new fascination) – California’s Bellow

With catchy lyrics, bass-riffs, and beats, California’s Bellow is a Los Angeles based singer. All the songs and lyrics created are credited to Ben Levinson, the main singer and producer.  His music mainly features two fictional(?) characters by the names of Harri and Carey. The song “Carey finds herself” offers ~cool~ synth noises and a bass-riff that you won’t be able to get out of your head!

Condensate – T.Rexico

T.Rexico is a band based out of San Diego (more specifically, Chula Vista). The band includes 3 young pups who are seriously still in high school. Their music involves a heavily reverb-ed guitar and a surf-punk/rock sound. The difference between T.Rexico and the many other surf-punk bands in San Diego is that they have such high skill levels in the individual instruments that they play. They mostly play here in San Diego, so keep an eye out for them! Their live shows are always awesome.

Yuri Yuri Flex (ft. Mangaboy Jun) – Digi-Gurl

For those who are into hip hop, I suggest taking a listen to Digi-Gurl. Also a pretty young pup, his music suggests absolutely nothing about his age. His music radiates a new level of “coolness” that is definitely hard to have. If you’re looking for some fun tracks to blast in your car with your friends, his music is p e r f e c t for it.

That’s all I have for now! Tune in to my music show today at 11 pm!

Ashley Bajet, signing out.

 

Vinyl of the Week – Introduction

I don’t know if you know this, but KCR is kind of a big deal. It’s been around since 1969, and was one of the premiere college radio stations in the nation. In its heyday, roughly 1975-1990, KCR received record service from dozens of major labels, as well as vinyl submissions from countless local bands. The albums would arrive at the station, DJs would listen to them, pick what they liked, and play it on their show. Some of it was music that eventually got picked up by mainstream stations and is still known and loved today, but much of it has faded away, never breaking the college radio circuit or simply going out of style.

When music shifted to primarily digital format, promotional records became promotional CDs. At KCR, like other radio stations, decades of vinyl albums got locked up and forgotten and clunky turntables put in storage to make room for new, more user-friendly methods of playing music on air.

(image via kcralumni.org)

(image via kcralumni.org)

(image via kcralumni.org)

(image via kcralumni.org)

(image via kcralumni.org)

(image via kcralumni.org)

(image via kcralumni.org)

(image via kcralumni.org)

(image via kcralumni.org)

(image via kcralumni.org)

What this means for us at KCR in 2014 is that there are a whole lot of vinyl records stored away, many virtually untouched since the year they were released. And I’ve been possessed by the Spirit of DJs Past to catalogue it all, making me KCR’s Head of Inventory.

There are over 15,000 vinyl albums in the collection. I’ve only scratched the surface cataloging them so far, but I’ve already found so much mind-blowingly amazing music that I can’t bear to keep it to myself. I want to tell you about it! But writing about music is like dancing about architecture, as the saying goes – it’s nearly impossible to evoke the characteristics of one form of art through another. So I’m not gonna try! What I’m gonna do in this weekly column, Vinyl of the Week, is tell you about the neat albums that I find and why they’re so neat. I’m not a critic, I’m just a fan of old music and appreciator of vinyl. You can judge them for yourself – I’ll be linking a recording of each album I write about.

This column will be incredibly biased. I’m picking whatever albums I find and fall in love with to write about, so they’ll be specific to my taste. Lucky for you, I have good taste! Right now I’m mostly into ‘70s and ‘80s punk, so expect a lot of that. Albums that stand out to me from the collection are local records, rare records, valuable records, underrated records, records by bands that only released one album, and records that look particularly beat up (meaning well-loved!). Also, most of the records have comments from KCR DJs written on them from when they were first released. I’ll listen to anything that’s highly praised or fawned over (there were some ‘80s girls with a SERIOUS thing for Nick Cave). Some albums I choose will be somewhat well-known. Others may only have 100 copies in existence. Everything will be good.

I can’t wait to share all this great music with you! Check back every Wednesday for a new post.

Photo by Danielle Quinones

Photo by Danielle Quinones