Neighborhood Jams: Young the Giant

While waking up for my Tuesday 8:00 a.m. class today I was hit with a reminder that we are in the middle of the semester.  Nights are a little bit longer in the library; mornings are cold and come too soon; and midterms are creeping up faster than finals.  All of this can only mean one thing – we need to take some time for ourselves and our wild sides.  We need good music for our souls, and I know just the band. This week I am featuring a band that is playing two nights in San Diego this week – YES, TWO NIGHTS THIS WEEK! So between all the page flipping and essay cramming, we can definitely take a break – in the name of rock ‘n roll of course.

Young the Giant is an alternative, indie rock band formed in Irvine, CA back in 2004.  Before they decided on their current name they were formerly known as The Jakes back in the day. The band consists of: Sameer Gadhia on lead vocals, Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannata on guitar, Payam Doostzadeh on the bass, and lastly Francois Comtois on drums.  Together they have released three albums titled Young the Giant (2010), Mind Over Matter (2014), and Home of the Strange (2016).  In 2011 the band’s two singles “Cough Syrup” and “My Body” hit charts both reaching to the top five of America’s top alternative music. My personal favorite song is “Cough Syrup”  because when I first heard this five years ago, it was a sound that I was not familiar with.  They are happy and poppy without sounding like a cookie cutout of Top 40 pop.  Their lyrics are different yet meaningful.  For example, my favorite lines are:

“If I could find a way to see this straight
I’d run away
To some fortune that I, I should have found by now”

 

Two months ago Young the Giant released their latest album Home of the Strange on August 12th and have since been on tour selling out almost every single venue.  You guys can check them out tonight, October 18th, and tomorrow, October 19th, at the House of Blues downtown at 7:00 o’clock.  Tickets are sold out – but you are more than welcomed to stand on the corner and try to scalp some tickets with me tomorrow night.  Until then be sure to check out their Facebook page in order to stay up to date with tours, news, and all that jazz.

 

Photo Credit: Young the Giant

Get rocked: Behind the scenes of two campus movements

I had the pleasure of interviewing two campus leaders about two major initiatives taking place at SDSU : Sarah Bentley (California State Student Association Advocacy Officer) and Carmel Alon ( Vice-Chair of the External Relations Board of Associated Students). These women shed light on the Aztecs Rock Hunger and Rock the Vote campaigns happening for the duration of October through mid-November. The interviews originally aired on kcrlive.com during the Tuesday morning news show Coffee and Tee.

ROCK THE VOTE

Both Sarah and Carmel are heavily involved in political advocacy efforts for higher education. Regardless of party affiliation, they encourage students to register to vote. Rock the Vote is a segment hosted through the External Relations Board of Associated Students, but their work does not stop after October 24th (the deadline to register) or November 8th (election day). ERB works throughout the year to propose legislation, address campus-wide or CSU-wide issues, and represent the students of San Diego State within local and statewide political spheres. ERB will also be hosting events to increase voter knowledge about measures and propositions within the California ballot. A local plan proposed by the College Area Community Council that is directly applicable to San Diego State Students calls for a raise in the Community Assisted Party Program fine from $1,000 per household resident, plus the landlord, to $10,000 per resident on the lease.  Students have the ability to sit in on these college area meetings, and certainly have the ability to vote on any local legislation that arises. Students can register to vote through the AS website link, or during any one of the tabling events this week.

AZTECS ROCK HUNGER

Sarah is the very literally the voice of the Aztecs Rock Hunger campaign, as it is her voice you hear in this video that was sent to students to kick off the  2016 food drive. From this video, and the ARH website, it was made known that food insecurity is prevalent on this campus. The funds collected will directly benefit the Jacobs and Kushman Food Bank, but 20% will also be allocated to SDSU students in need through the economic crisis team. There are five ways to donate that include cash donations through the Aztecs Rock Hunger venmo account, collections during tabling initiatives, opportunities to donate at all Aztec Market Shops and campus Starbucks, online at the ARH website and physical donations of non-perishable items to the red bins located throughout campus. Aztecs Rock Hunger has a goal of raising 400,000 pounds of food for the local San Diego community, with a one dollar donation equivocating six pounds of food. Election cycles often leaves students feeling discouraged, or motivated to get involved and make a difference in their community. This program, as mentioned by Sarah and Carmel, is a great way to hone in on the latter. Aztecs Rock Hunger will last through mid-November, and more information can be found on their website, or any of their social media pages.

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.

 

Neighborhood Jams: Alive & Well

Happy Monday, KCR readers!  There’s something happy about this Monday, and I think it has a lot to do with this week’s neighborhood jams.  On my morning show from 9:00-11:00 a.m. I got the opportunity to sit down and interview a member of Alive & Well. We were also joined with Hard to Hit’s lead singer, Jason Kubo.  You can check out my write up on Hard to Hit right here. It was a fun morning of discussing music, boy bands, middle school nightmares, and hitting up the San Diego music scene.

Alive & Well has three members right now including: Matt Vernon on vocals and guitar, Mike Mule on bass and vocals, and lastly Eric Brozgold on the drums.  This trio is really hitting up the scene all while looking for a new lead vocal and guitarist.  The band is labeled as a pop punk and alternative rock band, which I personally think fits them perfectly.  They sound like a combination of Saves the Day and The Starting Line. I spoke with Mike, and he gave me the inside scoop of where the band gets their inspiration for their songs – the answer is the struggle moving from the east coast to the west coast.  Their lyrics are real and relatable; their sound is happy yet extremely meaningful; they are a perfect combination for a great rock band.

Their single No Winter in the West has great visuals including locations all over Ocean Beach, San Diego and the east coast.  This is THE song and video that got me hooked.  Mike shared with us how difficult it was for the band to carry their equipment on Sunset Cliffs and people passing by thought there was going to be a show.  I would love to see Alive & Well performing right by the ocean.

The boys just performed at the Casbah last week, and they are scheduling more shows in the near future including Jawsfest at The Legacy Room in Chino, CA on May 7th. You can buy tickets here. They will also be playing at Soma in San Diego on May 21st – get tickets here! I also heard we should keep our ears open for a band spankin’ new EP in early June!

It was such a pleasure to interview Mike and hear all about the great things Alive & Well is working on. I am extremely excited to see where these boys end up – maybe main stages instead of Sunset Cliffs – either location I am rooting for you guys. Give them a like on their Facebook and let’s get them to a 1,000 likes – they are so close! Hope you guys are listening good!