Show Review: Soft Lions at The Maltese


soft-lionsOn November 18th Soft Lions made their way to Chico, Ca as the last stop of theirtour. Soft Lions is a trio from San Diego, Ca made up of Megan Liscomb (Vocals/Guitar), Ana Ramundo (Keyboard/back-up vocals), and Jon Bosner (Drums). With a sound that combines garage distortion, surf rock, and 60’s pop into what is self-described as “moody psychedelic post riot grrrl noise,” Soft Lions delivers a wall of noise and emotion that makes for an amazing live show that can’t be forgotten.

The venue was the Maltese a small bar in Chico, Ca that resembles the den of a vampire, but is yet oddly welcoming. This isn’t your average bar in a college town filled with students, young couples arguing, and binge drinking; instead you have a small bar situated near a neighborhood with a different crowd. Older people are much more present with a very small portion being college aged, making for a different atmosphere. It felt like the people at the Maltese were there for the music, and not just to be on their phone the whole time. As the opening act The Feisties started to end their set you started to see a group prowl near the stage. A small blue haired woman carrying a guitar case that was the same size as her, another woman with straight across bangs, and a bearded man in glasses confidently made their way to the stage. It was Soft Lions and what came next was an experience that can’t be forgotten.

The trio opened with “Free Way” the first track off of their new album XOXO and from the moment the first chord was struck by Liscomb the energy in the room changed. Liscomb started to command attention not only with her voice and unique guitar sounds, but with her mannerisms. Liscomb started to move as if she was one with the so metaphysical sound waves the trio were producing. From standing on the tips of her toes, stomping, and swaying she was giving physical expressions to not only the sounds being made but the lyrics of their songs. Behind the primarily in your face up tempo style that occasionally slows down are songs of frustration and vulnerability.

I walk for miles when there’s nowhere to go

I get so lonely I just can’t stay home

I can’t stand my thoughts

My thoughts are gray when the sky is blue

Gray in my bones straight through the goo

I can’t think my way up

This is from the song  “I Get Lost” which sonically resembles an upbeat pop song from the 60’s  with more distortion added. But the lyrics paint a different story of a person frustrated with their life but has someone to help them through.

That’s when I thank my lucky stars

That I love you and you love me

That’s when I thank my lucky stars

Those stars

A lot of their songs share these themes and it creates an interesting juxtaposition when combined with their sound. As the night went on and they started to play “Run in Dreams” Liscomb threw her beanie off to the side and entered into a mini-solo that brought the song to life. As magnetic as Liscomb may be she would be nothing without her fellow band mates. The band has no bassist and you don’t really notice since Ana Ramundo does a fantastic job on the keys. It creates the deeper and more bass heavy tone that the band needs. She is the backbone of the band and is highly present in every single one of their songs, never buried by the guitar and drums. Jon Bosner does a fantastic job on the drums creating a tempo and sound that not only exemplifies the other instruments, but also the lyrics of whatever song they are playing.

As their set drew to a close and Liscomb started to say her thanks the crowd called for “one more song.” After the band deliberated between themselves they came back and played two more songs to a roar of applause and cheering. Soft Lions not only won over the Chico crowd, but also seemed to have played their entire song list. After the show I had started a conversation with Liscomb. She told me that “it’s shows like these that help remind me why I play music…and because of people like you who keep on supporting music.” I ended buying some merch from them, which they were selling out of an old suitcase surrounded by blue Christmas lights. I bought a shirt and XOXO on vinyl, Liscomb even gave me small buttons which she drew herself. After a bit of conversation the band signed the album and we took a photo together. Once I started to leave the venue I realized that I had witnessed a show with so much charm, emotion, and energy that I could never forget it. Soft Lions are a band that have a sound that is unique and band members who are charming and great people. Hopefully they visit the Chico area again soon, because their live show is something to witness.

Reviewed by Carlos Rodriguez

Read More

KCSC Internview: Jaclyn “DJ Jac Black” Blackwell

14680559_10155457779288298_8622504365327935913_n

DJ Jaclyn “Jac Black” Blackwell and her friends, Kiana and Laura in the KCSC broadcasting booth.

Jaclyn “Dj Jac Black” Blackwell is a veteran of the KCSC DJ staff in her third semester slapping the filthiest EDM beats from the broadcast booth in the basement of the Bell Memorial Union. Since finding her passion in blending her love for music and broadcasting at Chico State and interning at KCSC, Jaclyn is now an employee at the local Chico country radio station “103.5 The Blaze” where she continues to forge her own path in the music broadcasting industry. KCSC.com sat down with the senior media arts major to talk about her weekly EDM show “Back at It” that airs every Wednesday night from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

KCSC: What type of music do you usually play on your show?

DJ Jac Black: “I play EDM music. I usually play the lighter EDM in the beginning and get to the heavy dubstep and trap towards the end of the night. Get people pumped up!”

KCSC: What’s your favorite thing about working at KCSC?

DJ Jac Black: “I like the freedom that we have on the show. I like how I can play my favorite music, I actually really like being on the music staff and reviewing new albums each week.”

KCSC: Awesome. So you work at 103.5 The Blaze now, can you talk a little bit about what you do there?

DJ Jac Black: “I will work at events, like the Taste of Chico. That was pretty fun. But, when I work at the station, I will do on-air work, like voice tracks for commercials. I update their website and do a lot of random stuff too. But, I really like doing the voice tracks because I was on the radio one day, and (my manager) said he might be able to get me a on-air segment for a little bit, which would be awesome.”

14581345_10155440088693298_2811617627915092293_n

DJ Jac Black has been bumping EDM beats over the past three semesters of interning at KCSC Radio.

KCSC: Have you ever heard yourself on the radio yet?

DJ Jac Black: “Yeah, I get all my voice tracks sent (to me.) We always practice my different on-air radio voices, but when I’m at KCSC I just talk most of the time.”

KCSC: What are your favorite things about working in radio and broadcasting?

DJ Jac Black: “Just being around music. It’s just so exciting. During one of my shows last year I made a Facebook status telling people to listen, my friends from Los Gatos, Chico, and San Luis Obispo were texting me during my show and telling me I was doing awesome, I could not stop smiling and it was such a great feeling.”

Dj Jac Black checking out some vinyl before her show in the KCSC broadcast office.

Dj Jac Black checking out some vinyl before her show in the KCSC broadcast office.

KCSC: How did KCSC Radio help you get your job at the Blaze?

DJ Jac Black: “Actually, my major really did. But, it really helped that I had background in radio. One of my teachers told me to email three different stations about interning there, and The Blaze was the only that contacted me. And I got hired right on the spot (during the interview.)”

KCSC: Who are some of your favorite artists right now?

DJ Jac Black: “That’s really hard. For more filthy trap, I would say Yellow Claw. I really like Yellow Claw. Taking it down, probably What So Not and Flume. Flume is always great, a lot of stuff like that.”

DJ Jac Black will be graduating from Chico State this semester with her degree in Media Arts on her birthday, December 15th.

DJ Jac Black will be graduating from Chico State this semester with her degree in Media Arts on her birthday, December 15th.

Check out Dj Jac Black’s EDM show “Back at It” next Wednesday from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. during our final week of shows for the Fall semester of 2016.

KCSC writer and reporter Lars Gustafson can be reached on Twitter at @larsonsports.

Read More

Internview: Lars Gustafson

Lars Gustafson

What’s Your Major?
Journalism. I really found a passion in sports media in the past couple of years and was really happy to find that at Chico State

Favorite Genre Currently?
Classic Rock

What’s your favorite show/concert you’ve ever been to?
Rage Against the Machine, Muse, & Immortal Technique at the LA Coliseum. It was Rage Against the Machine’s reunion concert and the first show they played in 20 years.

If you could see ANY artist right now in concert, dead or alive, who would you choose?
I’ve always really wanted to see the Foo Fighters live. Or Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’d say they’re tied.

Do you play any instruments?
I play guitar. I’ve been playing for about 6 years now.

Favorite song to play on your guitar?
That’s a tough one. Saw Red by Sublime is a pretty fun one to play.

What’s your DJ name?
DJ Gussy. I didn’t choose it but it was sort of given to me and I kind of liked to so I just stuck with it.

What kind of music do you play on your show?
I’m actually doing a sports radio show. So I talk a lot about fantasy football, NFL predictions, and Bay Area sports. It’s on Thursdays at 7pm.

What’s your favorite sport?
Definitely Football. Basketball comes in a close second.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I’d go to my aunt’s house in the Bahamas.

What is your spirit animal?
Definitely a grizzly bear because I’m hairy.

picture1

Read More