Category Archives: Featured Show

Q&A with a bae: Alex Luciano of Diet Cig

Over the past few weeks, my roommate and I have actually greeted each other in the mornings—not with “good morning,” but with the phrase “fucking slow dance” and a dramatic eye roll.

The ritual is not in reaction to telepathic nightmares, but a lyric from Diet Cig’s 2015 single “Dinner Date” which has over 85,000 plays on Spotify. We too spend the rest of our days playing Diet Cig’s seven songs on Spotify, wondering when there will be more. Or even if it’s even possible to write truer lyrics than “If I told you I loved you I don’t know who/it would scare away faster.”

The pop punk duo consists of New Paltz New York’s own Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman, whose power chord ballads strike a balance between fun-loving and fuck you, and cut as deep as your memories of shitty hometowns and suburban-school expectations. They’ve been declared “A Band to Watch” by nearly every online music news monopoly, and simultaneously propose to destroy the monopoly label “bedroom songs.” Onstage Luciano jumps off drum sets, occasionally into the crowd, and generally requires that everyone quit shuffling their feet and fucking dance.

I stumbled upon the band in March at SXSW: first at Sidewinder, then the next day at the Stereogum showcase where a friend of mine may have had too much free Sapporo beer—he asked Luciano to marry him, and then chucked an inflatable deer at her head (on accident, of course). She didn’t miss a beat.

When I asked Luciano if I could call her for an interview, I reminded her of the deer incident and she seemed receptive. Bowman couldn’t make it. I sat in my bed in Colorado Springs, and she in hers in Brooklyn. We discussed Frankie Cosmos’ simplicity and Diarrhea Planet’s masterful mayhem, and of course, the reason why being a female shredder is essentially cooler than, well, anything.

Catch Dieg Cig with Sorrel and Brick + Mortar opening for the Front Bottoms at Black Sheep next Tuesday, April 12th

 

Hannah: Have you ever had things thrown at you before?

 

Alex: No, nothing’s ever really been thrown at me before the deer. I’ve had boys hand me love notes after a set onstage but that’s the extent of people giving me stuff.

 

Hannah: That sounds worse than the deer. How’d you like SXSW besides that? Was it your first one?

 

Alex: Yeah it was our first South by, it was super crazy. We played thirteen sets. It was supposed to be eleven but then we played two extra sets called Sessions. I thought we were gonna play two songs and they would record them and then they were like “Oh play a whole set in front of this audience and we’ll record two songs out of the set.”

 

It’s kind of a blur now looking back at it, but we had a lot of fun and we got to see all the bands. It was really fun running in the streets, running into your homies and being like “see you at the show later!” There was some crazy shit…I stole a gnome and then gave it back but that was before I like air guitar shredded it. Wacky.

 

Hannah: Dinner Date was actually the first song I heard by you guys and has since been my favorite—probably because of the opening lines. Is it based off daddy issues/a true story?

 

Alex: It’s a lot of Daddy issue-type feelings. That song starts out with my dad but also touches on a lot of relationships I’ve had with other people, and is me trying to convince myself that even though there are shitty people in my life that have just disappointed me or not treated me well that I’m better than these experiences. I’m taking power back from the people that have done me wrong.

 

Hannah: Do you feel like you’re running out of shitty situations to write about? You know, like shitty hometowns or shitty boyfriends?

 

Alex: I think that life is full of shitty situations, even when you grow up and start doing what you want to. You can take the smallest ones and write a dumb punk song about them, so I’m definitely not worried about not having enough shitty situations to write about.

 

Hannah: If you could describe your music now in one word what would you pick?

 

Alex: There’s a lot of words combined that I think would describe it. Our music is fun and also really cathartic. It’s really honest—I’d say it’s very honest—it’s like taking songs that like could be sad songs and making them fun. What I’m writing about is shitty stuff, most of the stuff that I write about are like bad situations that have happened to me. But it’s me turning things into a positive, fun situation.

 

Hannah: What’s your biggest musical influence?

 

Alex: I really don’t feel like one artist or any thing specifically influences me. I feel like I’m making simple live music that I like. But I’ve been influenced by the attitudes of a lot of musicians. I’m really influenced by Frankie Cosmos in the way that she just writes and writes and writes so many amazing songs and only recently has held off on releasing them because she’s been writing and releasing official records and stuff—but I’m really inspired by the way she released her early songs She would just release them on bandcamp and not worry about who would listen to it. It was just pure, real, honest music that she wrote.

 

I’m really inspired by a lot of other like strong female musicians. l like Hop Along. I think my music sounds very different than theirs, but at the same time I’m really inspired by what they’re doing and they’re songwriting and the fact that they’re out there and doing it.

 

Hannah: I really love how short Frankie Cosmo’s songs are—it’s the wave of the future you know? Everything’s getting shorter.

 

Alex: It’s true and it’s no frills, there’s no jam out guitar parts that last for like four minutes or anything. It’s just like honest lyrics and music that complements it.

 

Hannah: The biggest thing for me watching female musicians perform in bands is that it’s a breakdown of the male tendency to show off with all these crazy guitar solos.

 

Alex: It is such a masculine stereotype to do guitar solos and rip out and shred out. But I really don’t like the idea that that’s a male thing because I know so many female fucking shredders. Alicia from Bully fucking shreds—she’s amazing. I think there’s definitely a place for that though. I love Diarrhea Planet and they’re like the ultimate dude-shredder band. It’s all four guitars and guys guitar soloing, which is awesome, but I think that it’s equally as important for artists who aren’t technically proficient guitar players to be represented.

 

She Shreds the magazine has this really awesome philosophy that shredding isn’t your technical ability on an instrument, it’s the amount of emotion you can evoke through your instrument. I really respect women, or any musician, that can evoke a lot of emotion through their music without having to completely guitar-solo shred. I also have so much love and respect for everyone who’s just like slammin’ out guitar solos because it’s just the coolest thing ever.

 

H: Diarrhea planet: rock n’ roll done right.

 

A: Seeing them live is a joyous experience and they represent the kind of guitar-shredding that should be the ultimate. A lot of “serious” musicians take themselves too seriously. They’re serious musicians—but they don’t take themselves too seriously, which is why I think people like them.

 

H: So what’s a show that you’ve seen—besides Diarrhea planet, of course—that’s really inspired you to write or play music? A show that made you say “I gotta go home and practice the guitar right now.”

 

A: There’s been a couple that really stick out. When I was a freshman in college at New Paltz I was just getting introduced to the idea of DIY shows and artists producing their own music and I saw Frankie Cosmos’ show. It was actually hosted at my friend Chris Daley’s house (he recorded our music, our EP and our 7 inch) and I saw Frankie Cosmos perform at his studio. It was a really intimate performance and I didn’t really know who she was. I was just so floored by the simplicity of her songs and how beautiful they were, but also how accessible they were, and I was like “hey, I could write songs that are simple and honest like that, I have a lot to say too.” That was definitely one of the first moments that I was like “I can write songs that people will relate to and like.”

 

Then we did that tour with Bully this year, and Alicia really inspired me to start learning more on guitar, and to want to be more rock n’ roll as opposed to tweeny pop/rock or whatever people like to call us. I’m trying to find that balance all the time.

 

H: According to Pitchfork, you just need to “mature.”

 

A: (laughs) Yeah they were like “Well we can’t wait for them to mature.” And I was like okay no one asked you to write about my record. That’s the one thing about Pitchfork, it’s a love/hate thing because most blogs will write about the stuff that they like but Pitchfork will write about stuff that they like and they don’t like. And at first when we had that new record I was like in the back of my head like “Oh my god we have to write a record that is similar to the old stuff, but mature because we gotta get Pitchfork to like it!”

 

I’ve realized that after touring and playing those songs over and over again that we have to write songs that we like to play. You never know what people are going to like. So the only thing that we can do is write music that we like to play and that we’re proud of. This next record is going to be really awesome and I’m not sure if Pitchfork will like it—but I know we’re gonna LOVE it.

 

H: This is hard to ask without Noah here to speak for himself—but do you feel like you would have gone in a similar direction without each other? Would you be playing music with other people today if you guys hadn’t met in the first place?

 

A: I don’t know. I know he would be playing music with other people because Noah’s always been a musician and that’s always been his path. But I had some songs that I wanted to like perform and work on. It could have gone in a very acoustic low-fi bedroom pop kind of direction or it could have been “the band sound” with drums, a little more rockin’ direction—Noah was a really big influence in the music going in the direction that it did. It’s just as much Noah’s artistic vision as it is my own. Maybe I would have done something with music but I it wouldn’t have taken off and been what it is now if we didn’t meet.

 

H: Do you have any words of advice for people with “bedroom songs”? I feel like that’s a trope when people write about music like “Oh yeah they wrote all these songs in their bedroom.” But you guys got the songs out there, and there are a lot of talented people who haven’t.

 

A: Like you said “bedroom songs” is such a stupid trope and I feel like a lot of music writers or critics attach that label to women’s music. It’s so funny because Steph Knipe who’s in Adult Mom wrote online that “The difference between bedroom music and dorm music: one of them you’re paying 20,000 dollars a year to write your music” and it’s pretty funny because like what even IS bedroom music, does it mean you wrote it in your bedroom, does it mean that it’s soft and you’d wanna listen to it in your bedroom? I definitely can’t fit a drum set in my bedroom so I don’t know why people are calling my music bedroom pop.

 

I think some advice for people who are starting off writing songs in their bedrooms is to not feel hindered by the fact that you wrote it there—that shouldn’t define your music. You can write music in your bedroom and you can literally be any genre that you want. You can be anything you want.

 

H: If you could write a song for any one person who would it be?

 

A: I’d write one for my sister. She’s 12 and she’s in middle school and middle school is tough. I’m actually kind of in the process for writing this one song for my sister that will probably be on this record but it’s also tough because there’s so much I want to say to her. I want to tell her to be herself but in a way that’s not cheesy like “YOU CAN DO IT” because she is such a special person. She rocks.

CONCERT REVIEW- Ominous Animals and Kauzmann On Ice

 

leo (use)This past Saturday night CC students gathered at 666 Uintah to let out some energy to the sounds of CC student bands Ominous Animals and Kauzmann On Ice. Above the roar of friends gathered around, upbeat guitars and smashing symbols keeping the room sweaty, lively, and full until the bitter end.

 

While I personally showed up late to the Ominous Animals set, friends like Lena Farr-Morrissey shared that they brought a lot of energy to the room with groovy jams like their rendition of “Whiteguitar (use) Room” by Cream. They have been consistently creating an incredible atmosphere for every live set. These talented musicians have been around the CC music scene for a few years now and they that have come together under the name of Ominous Animals. The crowd always adores their performance and were sad to see their set end.

After the crowd filed out quickly for a short smoke break, Kauzmann On Ice followed Ominous Animals to complete the night. While Kauzmann On Ice was the name of this band this past Saturday, the official name of this group has yet to be decided. So continue to keep an ear out.  With influences from CC student bands such as the beloved Randy and the Reptiles, curiosity elevated the crowds excitement.  Extended downtempo jams on the guitar gave the room a spacey ambience as those nexdrummer (use)t to me began to shut their eyes and dance for nobody but themselves. As the tempo increased so did the amount of collisions in the crowd. A perfect mixture of groovy bass, upbeat guitar, and loud, rhythmic drums riled up the crowd for the climax of the night. A crowd surfer passed overhead and fell soon after, but everyone still had smiles on their faces.

With another dynamic performance from  Ominous Animals and Kauzmann On Ice’s lively debut show, Saturday night was one to remember. The intimate venue, the abundance of tigers, and high-spirited music created an exhausting yet refreshing experience for those who were lucky enough to attend. Keep an ear out for these bands next show, you don’t want to miss it.

Photos by Leo Turpan ’18

DJ Profile- “Jazz n’ Shit” with Cole Emhoff

Monday nights from ten to eleven pm you’ll find Cole Emhoff in the SOCC studio djing his radio show, Jazz n’ Shit. The name is pretty self-explanatory- Cole plays his favorite jazz music, and the ‘shit’ is basically an excuse to play whatever else he wants at any point.

He came up with the name long before he actually had a radio show, or even thought he would have one.

“I remember fantasizing in my car one time while I was driving and pretending I was a DJ, putting on songs and announcing them. I was thinking of things I could call a show and ‘Jazz n’ Shit’ came to my head. I knew that’s exactly what I wanted to call it.”

Cole always intended to have his show focus on jazz music. His taste for jazz developed when he was young and involved in musical theater. He performed in a surprising amount of productions, but his favorite musical was Anything Goes by Cole Porter, a notable jazz standard composer. The score for Anything Goes has been called Porter’s best composition, and many jazz musicians continue to play and interpret these songs. The songs from the musical resonated with Cole from an early age, before he knew exactly how influential they were to more popular jazz songs of the time.

His actual interest in popular jazz music comes with a notable story. It started in 10th grade after he’d gotten his license. His mom enforced a strict curfew at the time, and one night Cole spent a little too much time at his girlfriend’s house and was going to be late.

“I was freaking out and bolted out the door. I was driving back on the freeway pretty fast and I knew I needed to relax. My friend Jake had told me he was listening to Kind of Blue, a classic penultimate jazz album. I put it on, specifically the song Blue in Green, and it really mellowed me out. I was a different person after hearing that song. It’s still my favorite jazz song. I remember listening to it and being amazed at how it affected me emotionally. I’d enjoyed other good music objectively, but I hadn’t really heard anything that had that kind of physical affect on me.”

After his initial exposure Cole began researching other jazz artists, spending hours on Wikipedia and music blogs. He sought out information on jazz artists he’d heard of and then went further to see who they played with and who they were associated with. In the process he discovered not only the music, but the stories surrounding the musicians, as well.

“I mean, Charlie Parker lit himself on fire and jumped out a window. They’re all crazy, but it was the epitome of cool. They were cool when being cool meant something different than it means now.”

Jazz n’ Shit is Cole’s attempt to bring awareness to the music he loves and to share it with others. He says sternly that jazz is under appreciated, as it was before, and wants people to recognize the historical elements and the skill that surrounds the music.

“There’s talent behind the music they’re playing. The way they use their instruments is amazing, and I feel like there’s not that many parallels now in terms of just pure skill. You gotta be crazy and the best, and these musicians are.”

His radio show also serves his own sanity, and offers him a time during his busy day to forgo what weighs on his mind and simply relax.

“I love jazz and I love sitting and listening to it. The show gives me an excuse to drop whatever I’m doing and whatever is stressing me out and just chill. That’s why I started listening to it originally. It mellows me out.”

Cole says he will definitely continue Jazz n’ Shit for the rest of the semester, and hopefully into his remaining time at CC. He has developed an incredible taste for jazz over the years through diligent research and a natural ear for good music. His show is perfect for Monday nights, and listeners who are looking to expand their jazz repertoire or, as Cole says, mellow out, should tune in.

YOU ME & APOLLO Rocks Out @ CC

Yet again, The SOCC brought an awesome band to campus. I would be really bummed if I hadn’t made it to the You Me & Apollo concert on Thursday night in Shove Chapel. You Me & Apollo is a band based in Fort Collins, CO, started and now led by the talented singer/songwriter Brent Cowles, a Colorado Springs native. With great variety in their musical repertoire, their songs range from country-ish, almost folky music, to a more mellow bluesy vibe. Only half-way into the first song, CC students couldn’t resist getting up and rushing the stage to dance along with the band. While listening, I was trying to place who Cowles sounded like from other bands I know. Finally, I figured it out. His voice and overall vibe was a mixture between Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Nathan Willett of Cold War Kids, and even Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes (because, lets face it, we all thought that her voice was a man’s the first time we heard it). Great combination if you ask me. They seamlessly interacted with the audience which I always appreciate, because what’s worse than awkward interactions between band members and their audience? They especially appreciated the animated dance moves of the students and called attention to them more than once.

The band released an album entitled Cards for Cheats back in 2011 which I highly recommend. They are expected to release their second album on May 9, so be sure to keep an ear out.

 

 

 

FEATURED SHOW: Theme Party with A-Strauss — Saturdays 5-7pm

Major? Studio art
Grade? Senior
Name of show? Theme Party
How long have you been DJing on the SOCC? 
Since November 13, 2010. It’s my one-year anniversary!
Does your show have a concept, genre, or theme guiding it?
I choose a different theme each session. For instance, this week the theme was crime. DJs typically devote their shows to specific musical genres, but I ran with the theme idea because it provides cohesiveness to a session while allowing me to pull from whatever genres offer songs relevant to the theme. I love lining up songs from disparate genres in sets that allow you to hear their similarities. The sets can also be like the game Telephone or Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon. Like last week, I started a set with Janet Klein and Her Parlor Boys, and ended it with The Velvet Underground. The fun is how a set gets from A to Z.
Additionally, every Theme Party starts with a rundown of “This Day in Music.” So if it’s, say, April 3, I report on significant album releases, concerts, birthdays, deaths, etc. in music that took place on April 3 in whatever year. I spin related songs as I go. Major events sometimes determine the theme–I’ve done a Great Guitar themed show in honor of Jimi Hendrix’ birthday, and a Muddy Waters Blues Memorial.
5 Favorite Bands/Songs?
Only five? I can’t do that! I’ll feel guilty about the ones I leave out. To be unbiased and to show a little more range, here are the top ten most played songs in my iTunes library:
Casa Abandonada–Julieta Venegas
Victim Of Circumstance–Joan Jett
Motorcycle Mama–Neil Young
London Song–The Breeders
Intro–Ojos De Brujo
Sleep To Dream–Fiona Apple
South Side–Moby
Barefoot Rock–The Blasters
Truckin’–The Grateful Dead
Rockaway Beach–The Ramones
Why do you DJ, what value do you see in Student radio?
I got my ears pinned to the radio at a young age. When you like something, especially when you’re a kid, you try to do it too. But how do you “do” radio? You DJ. In elementary and middle school, my friends and I huddled around a tape recorder on the floor in my room, singing and talking into the microphone for hours. One friend and I improvised a housekeeping show hosted by two British ladies, Victoria (me) and Petunia, who turned out to be strict German governess-types named Gretchen and Doris (me). We also did an improv “radio play” about Valley girls gone camping. The tape is mostly screaming. By middle school, another friend and I were captivated by the different formats a radio show could take. The elderly woman who lived next door to my friend listened to a late night show on AM on which lonely truckers called in on their CB radios and told their stories. I think it clicked that a radio show could be humorously idiosyncratic, as well as play excellent music. That is, DJing could unite my love of music with my propensity toward improv and silliness.
As for student radio, I think it’s musically healthy for our generation. It probably goes without saying that websites–particularly ones anyone can contribute to like Last.fm and MySpace–allow the individual to easily listen to new music, that genome-based sites like Pandora cater “radio” to personal taste, and that features like iTunes playlist basically make anyone a DJ. These are all good resources, but what is missing is the traditional radio experience of tuning in with many other people in your community to hear what a musically knowledgeable person has to share. Tuning in or streaming a radio show to hear what a student DJ has to offer, what they are being intentional about sharing with their peers, is a genuine treat. It’s like eating out. It’s public, and something has been prepared for you. There is a shared element of surprise.

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(Setlist)

Dion — “A Teenager In Love”
Booker T. & The MG’s — “It’s Your Thing”
Neil Young — “Comes A Time”
The Velvet Underground — “Rock and Roll”
Sex Pistols — “God Save The Queen”
Rex — “Ride a White Swan (BBC Live – Top Gear 26/10/70)”
Germs — “Richie Dagger’s Crime”
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones — “The Rascal King”
Bob Marley and the Wailers — “I SHOT THE SHERIFF”
Taj Mahal — “Frankie And Albert”
Woody Guthrie — “Pretty Boy Floyd”
This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb — “Rebel Girl”
X — “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene (Live)”
Dead Kennedys — “Stealing People’s Mail”
Dead Kennedys — “I Kill Children”
Iggy Pop — “Little Electric Chair”
Blondie — “Kung Fu Girls”
Joan Jett — “Victim Of Circumstance”
Sublime — “Date Rape”
The Brian Setzer Orchestra — “Switchblade 327”
The Ventures — “Fugitive”
The Ventures — “Slaughter On Tenth Avenue”
The Slackers — “Married Girl”
The Ramones — “You’re Gonna Kill That Girl”
Violent Femmes — “Dahmer Is Dead”
Son House — “Mississippi Country Farm Blues”
The Aggrolites — “Prisoner Song”
Babyshambles — “Pentonville”
The Clash — “Stay Free”
Queen — “Killer Queen”
Elvis Costello — “Watching The Detectives”
Adam & The Ants — “Killer In the Home”
Neil Young — “Human Highway”

FEATURED SHOW: Sunday Brunch with Tom and Drew — Sundays 2-3pm

Sunday Brunch with Tom and Drew is a radio program to bring the masses together. It was created with a vision to share with the world the two things that Drew and Tom hold most dearly: Music and Brunch. Since the technology to deliver food through the airwaves does not yet exist, Tom and Drew can merely provide you with a lovely range of soundtracks to sooth the mind and titillate the ears. So chef up some eggs and tune in to SOCC on Sundays from 2-3pm. For more information and random musings, check them out on Facebook
and Twitter

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(Setlist)

LCD Soundsystem–“All my friends”
Jay Z, Kanye West, Otis Redding–“Otis”
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons–“Walk like a man”
Passion Pit–“Little Secrets (Plus Move Remix feat. Future Kiddd)”
Rick Ross–“Aston Martin Music (feat. Drake & Chrisette Michele)”
Erykah Badu–“On & On”
Mayer Hawthorne–“Henny & Gingerale”
Vampire Weekend–“Mansard Roof”
Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi–“Season’s Trees”
Lil Wayne–“Shooter”
Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim–“How Insensitive (Insensatez)”

FEATURED SHOW: Outta Site (outtamind) — Mondays 7-8pm

Show: Outta Site (outtamind)–Mondays 7-8pm
Name: Katie Reichard
Grade: Senior
Major: Biology!
Years at the SOCC: Since my sophomore year. January of 2010.

Is your show guided by a central concept, genre, or theme?
My show centers around the concept of folk music as something more than a guy playing acoustic guitar and singing about picket lines (Though I do occasionally play Pete Seeger songs). I like to play covers of folk classics and discuss variations on the genre we see with new technology and the merging of different musical styles…

5 Favorite Bands/Songs:
Wilco (Yankee Hotel especially), Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams, the Head and the Heart, and Bob Dylan…

Why do you DJ? what value do you see in Student radio?
I DJ because I spend absurdly large amounts of time reading music blogs, going to shows, and searching the ends of the internet for new musicians. I see my show as a way of sharing that with other people. A lot of people love music and want to hear new things, but not everyone obsesses over it like me, so I can help people out and also have a great excuse for procrastination.
Student radio gives a voice to our community, and is great because of the diverse show types – you never know what you’re going to hear…

Is there anything that you’d like to mention about the particular set that is being featured?
As you can tell — I don’t always play only “folk”… I like to amp up the energy every once in awhile, but, when doing so, I try to play songs that aren’t top 40 — I’m more likely to play Blue Scholars or Common Market (or a mashup) than Jay Z or Kanye…

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(Setlist)
Bob Dylan–“I Shall Be Released”
Wilco–“Born Alone”
Feist–“Graveyard”
Ryan Adams–“Do I Wait”
Blue Scholars–“North By Northwest”
Lumineers–“Ho Hey”
Girls–“Magic”
Blind Pilot–“Get It Out”
Mumford & Sons–“Timshel”
Mases of State–“You Are Free”
Neutral Milk Hotel–“Two-Headed Boy”
The Decemberists–“After The Bombs”
Notorious B.I.G. & The X.X.–“Juicy R”