The Sounds of State-Danielle Stuht

Hello readers! Welcome back to The Sounds of State. This week I interviewed Danielle Stuht, who you may know by her DJ handle Daniellica.

I met up with Danielle last Monday at West Commons. She showed up early and told me to just look for the pink computer and purple hair. Lo and behold I found her in that exact condition. We chatted for a bit at a table, the one closest to the corner by the building. I wish I could have picked her brain even longer, but I was dressed up coming from work and needed to eat before setting off to class. Danielle struck me as a knowledgeable and dedicated DJ, I could tell when interviewing her that she was very involved in her show and her music. I think you readers will have the same impression.

So without further ado, we go to the interview.

Cameron: Alright we are recording. I am here with Danielle. So, Danielle, could you please tell me your radio slot?

Danielle: Yes. So it’s every Tuesday from 2 to 3, and it’s called Local Bands Unleashed and it’s just playing nothing but San Diego bands.

C: Wow that’s really cool, gettin’ all the local action in. How long have you been with KCR?

D: This is my first semester, so I’ve never done any radio before, this is the first time and it’s really really exciting. I love it.

C: Awesome, welcome to KCR. So I guess you answered what you play, but with these San Diego bands is there a specific sphere—musical area—where they, you know, trend towards?

D: So I really try to emphasize all genres of music. I want this to be very equal opportunity. You know it’s just really an outlet for the local musicians to get out and for people to hear their music. But the most love and support I’ve gotten from is from the metal community. They’re really really underrepresented when it comes to music and getting their stuff out, and so I’ve gotten just so much love from them. You know I had an entire metal hour two weeks ago where I had The No Name Gang in studio. And they had a big announcement about their show that was coming up at House of Blues. My show tomorrow I will have the singer from Dark Measure. He’s gonna actually be a guest host with me tomorrow, and they have a new cd that’s coming out Saturday. So I’m really trying to give back the love to the metal community because they’ve just given me so much support and so much love already.

C: Wow that’s awesome. Especially since at KCR we don’t really have a dedicated metal block so yeah they must love getting on your slot.

D: Exactly, I’m kind of hoping that maybe next semester to have nothing but a metal show. You know that way it can hit that genre, that specific audience that doesn’t get to hear that.

C: Alright, cool. So what do you personally like, the music you personally like to play?

D: So I am actually personally more of a rock, pop, reggae—anything like that—I’m a little bit more commercial. You know anything really in the rock genre, that’s how I was raised. My mom was a big metalhead so it’s interesting about the whole metal thing, cause life is pushing me and pulling me in every direction of metal, but it’s just not where my personal love of music is. I more enjoy something I can dance to, you know something I can sing along to and whatnot. But I’m equal opportunity for all music really, other than country, no country.

C: (Laughs)

D: No room for country around here.

C: I know a few people who feel the same way. So this is a bit more of an out there question, but you’ve been very good with answering these so far, so I think you can handle it. Why is music important to you? What made you want to be a DJ? Why is it important in your life?

D: I feel like it’s the one constant in my life. You know I’m a little bit older, almost 28, and you know I’ve seen a lot, I’ve been through a lot, and music is just the one constant that’s always been there. It’s the one thing that hasn’t changed. It’s the one thing that I can really fall back on and know that it will always be there to support me. With radio, I grew up listening to the radio, this was something that I’ve wanted to do my entire life. And you know when people bash on the radio I’m just like “what are you talking about?” This is the first medium was that you were able to hear different kinds of music, and prior to the internet and being able to find these bands. So you know it was radio that paved the way for us to be able to hear different music and different bands and be able to be exposed to it.

C: That’s very true. Yeah I think that’s a great point. I didn’t even think about that before. So is there anything lately that you’ve been listening to in specific that you know is always in your head or obsessing about? Could be a band or an album or just a song.

D: You know The Black Keys are playing in two weeks, and I bought tickets to that six months ago when those tickets went on sale. So it’s just been one of those that I’ve just been waiting and waiting and waiting for those to come up. So I’ve really been listening to a lot of Black Keys, I really love the Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, all of that kind of music which drives my metalhead boyfriend absolutely insane (laughs).

C: Are there any—I’m gonna put these on the show, what I’m I talking about, the blog—any specific song recommendations you’d have for some fans?

D: Oh man. It’s really about the hits, you know what I mean? And what’s played on the radio. You know I don’t really get too far into that. But if I’m gonna recommend that anyone listens to anything I highly recommend listening to the bands that I’m putting out there. If I could tell anyone to listen to anything please just support local music. Cause without it, without local music, these bands don’t have the opportunity to turn into these huge bands like The Black Keys, like The Arctic Monkeys. You know if you’re not supporting them, then how are they ever gonna make it? How are other people gonna be able to be be exposed to it? You know so that’s my suggestion is, you know these big bands are awesome, totally support them and listen to them, but really give your heart and soul to these local bands, and give them your time and give them your attention, because without it they’re never gonna make it. You know it’s all about the love and whatnot.

C: Alright, yeah. So just pick and choose among a wide variety?

D: Yeah, for instance The No Name Gang, they’re metal but they’re really listenable metal. You know what I mean? They’re not that cookie monster, growl-y, anything. They’ve got two amazing guitarists, a really great drummer, really great bassist, and their singer has such a stage presence that you don’t have to be a metal fan. But you’re totally rocking out to it, getting’ with it, so check out The No Name Gang. They are going to be huge.

C: Alright, cool. So last question, this is a bit of an easy one to finish off on. Can you please describe your perfect show, how it would go?

D: Oh man, my perfect show. Well I would say the most perfect part would be that I don’t have any extra time left over, and that all the songs actually get to play full through. That’s one of the first ones, I’m really really working on, on getting that full hour of you know not cutting any music off or anything. But if I had the perfect show it would just really showcase a different band from a different genre and everyone. You know what I mean? I would like to have a metal band, and then I’d like to have an indie rock band, you know and then a harder band like Gunner Gunner. They’re local and they’re rock but they’re really easily listenable. And they you know maybe some kind of reggae thing like Slightly Stoopid, you know they’ve made it but there are other bands like that out there. So if I could just have one show that was super eclectic, that I think is the ultimate show for me. And that’s what I’m striving for, to make it like that.

C: Okay, thank you for taking the time out of your day to be interviewed for this spot. I’ll have this up soon.

D: Yeah absolutely, thank you.

Danielle and I talked for another minute or two before we had to part. I snapped a photo for the blog than had to be on my way. Remember kids, listen to your local bands. Who knows, maybe someday they’ll make it big and recall your die hard support.

Thanks for reading The Sounds of State.

The Goldmine-Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin

This week on The Goldmine we will be giving Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy a listen to. Released in 1973, Houses of the Holy was the follow up to Zeppelin’s hugely popular untitled fourth album. The album was a musical turning point for the band, who explored a growing number of sounds that added greatly to the diversity in their music. Houses of the Holy is a wonderful mix of many popular musical styles, with the fantastic talent of its collective musicians to hold it all together.

Side A

The albums starts off with a bang in the form of The Song Remains the Same.  Guitarist Jimmy Page plays overdubbed 12-string guitars ferociously, the song (along with Achilles Last Stand on the Presence album) is the best realization of Page’s dream of a symphony-like guitar army completed through multiple overdubs. With both the 12-string and Robert Plant’s slightly sped up vocal performance the song is in a much higher tonal register than much of Led Zeppelin’s work. The Song Remains the Same became a concert staple and lent its name to Led Zeppelin’s concert film released in 1976.

Following up The Song Remains the Same is The Rain Song. The quintessential rock ballad, The Rain Song is allegedly inspired by George Harrison of The Beatles, who at a concert told the band that they should write more ballads. The song has multinstumentalist extraordinaire John Paul Jones on his traditional bass as well as piano and mellotron, giving the song its lush string orchestral backing sound. Vocalist Robert Plant used The Rain Song during his fantasy sequence in the aforementioned film The Song Remains the Same, which had all band members and manager Peter Grant playing out dreamlike short stories. At 7 and a half minutes, it’s the longest song on the album.

The third song on the album is Over the Hills and Far Away. Another ballad-like song, this time Jimmy Page gets back to his 6-string with both electric and acoustic overdubs and an extended outro. It was released as the single to promote the record backed by Dancing Days as the B-Side. Over the Hills and Far Away, like The Song Remains the Same, became a concert staple and a popular radio hit. It is one of the best examples of Led Zeppelin’s acoustically styled writings brought forth from Plant and Page’s vacations at Bron-Yr-Aur in the Welsh mountains.

The last song on the first side is The Crunge, a James Brown styled funky jam. A short and comparatively trivial song when held next to the first three songs on the album, The Crunge was derided by critics early when the album was released as more of a joke. However, the song was a band favorite even though they never played it live and one of the most lighthearted songs on a very fun and lighthearted album.

Side B

The second side starts off with Dancing Days, another fun song with light, if not a little quirky lyrics. Dancing Days could be considered the most generic song on the album, a mid-tempo rocker with some interesting guitar and organ melodies. While it’s the closest thing to filler on the album, you can hear it on the radio all over still, which is a testament to the strength of the songs on the record.

The second song on the second side is D’yer Mak’er, which was also the second single released on the album. It’s pronounced “D’jer Make-er” after a joke with a punchline mimicking the pronunciation of Jamaica with an accent. The song was written in reggae/dub style and is credited to all band members. Along with The Crunge, D’yer Mak’er is one of the songs singled out by critics and fans as more disposable because it didn’t fit Zeppelin’s ‘sound.’ Nevertheless, the track is very catchy and all band members give it their best.

Following this up in the complete opposite musical spectrum is No Quarter. A moody and murky piece, the song features Page’s guitar playing one of his heaviest and dirtiest riffs and one of his most melodic and subtle guitar solos of his storied career. But No Quarter really belongs to John Paul Jones, whose keyboard expertise on synthesizer and piano truly makes the song great. It was his ‘dream sequence’ song in The Song Remains the Same. Stop me if you’ve heard it before but No Quarter became a live staple, featuring Jones playing extended keyboard solos stretching the 7 minute song to an epic 20 plus minutes.

From drummer John Bonham’s countdown to start the song to the very end of the feedback fading out The Ocean is everything an album closing song should be. The track is four and a half minutes of unbridled joy, dedicated to the band’s legions of fans who looked like an ocean when viewed from the stage. Robert Plant’s vocal performance saunters along with Page’s raunchy guitar riff and we can’t forget the Bonham/Jones backbeat that swaggers behind everything. The Ocean’s doo-wop coda brings the song and the album to a thrilling finale to close the album.

Houses of the Holy crams a lot into 8 songs on a single album. Each track is wildly different from the last and shows a much more multifaceted face of an already diverse band. Led Zeppelin never wrote a more varied single album. Their next release, the sprawling double album Physical Graffiti, would see them follow this path of making a wide array of great sounding rock (spectrum) music. Most albums are unified by tones and sounds or lyrical and musical themes, Houses of the Holy is unified by the presence of four supremely talented musicians as they enjoy creating a wild and fun album.