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CRSSD Review

The recently re-designed Waterfront Park in San Diego was the venue for this year’s first ever CRSSD Fest, a two-day event featuring dance, electronic, and underground music. The 21-and-up festival was a fresh, much-needed surprise for San Diego’s tame concert scene.  Both San Diego’s ideal location and weather amplified the CRSSD Fest experience. Its sunny skies and proximity to Downtown and the marina provided CRSSD Fest with ample scenery. Within the festival, there was plenty of space to frolic and enjoy the music – which was loaded with impressive, high-caliber performances.

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A notable performance by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem got the crowd dancing with an all vinyl DJ set. The first night closed with an exceptional set by Empire of the Sun, an Australian electronic duo known for their vibrant stage theatrics. Their costumes were even more elaborate on stage than in their videos thanks to CRSSD Fest’s impressive lighting and production. Other memorable sets were performed by Hot Natured, Kaytranada, Harvard Bass, Odesza, Lee K, and Chromeo. Even between these awesome sets, CRSSD did not resort to a generic dance playlist. Instead, it featured live DJ sets and fun crowd interactions to keep everyone amped up.


Each of the three well-spaced stages helped create their own unique atmosphere depending on what you prefer to listen to and do – dance, lounge around the fountain, mingle, or people watch. The diversity of the crowd did not disappoint. CRSSD definitely catered to a variety of festival goers – including the freaks you’d want to meet and the music-loving hooligans dressed in their festival best.

CRSSD Fest brought the view, the music, the people, and the food. Without a doubt, the festival made San Diegans proud, incorporating food from various local joints – including one of North Park’s favorite eateries, Soda and Swine. Representing San Diego’s brewing culture, CRSSD Fest had a lot of beers to choose from. Whether you’re a casual drinker or on the highest echelon of beer snobbery, CRSSD had your liquor fancies covered.

KSDT enjoyed coming out to this FNGRS CRSSD and Goldenvoice-promoted festival and looks forward to this becoming an annual San Diego event.

Preview: CRSSD Festival

Hello fellow music lovers! For those of you who are going to the CRSSD Festival and want some information on the upcoming artists playing at the event, this article is for you! Those of you who just love music and discovering some new talent, this is also for you. Here is a list of some of the artists we are excited to see be playing.

First off is George Maple, who will be playing Sunday at Ocean View Live. She is an Australian Soul-Pop artist with a recently released EP called “Vacant Space”. She is currently on her California-Austin-NYC tour, with the CRSSD Festival being the second stop. She will also be a part of the SXSW Music Lineup, so you can catch her later this month in Texas! Be sure to check her out, we recommend “Talk Talk”.

Next up is Giraffage, which some of you may remember from the past Sungod. This San Francisco electronic music recorder and producer graduated from UC Berkeley, and will be playing Saturday at The Palms, and is an artist you will not want to miss. He just finished the “No Reason” tour, and sold out many shows as well gained a reputation for having rad light shows during his performances. Giraffage has produced two full length studio albums, as well as an EP entitled “No Reason” which was released this last November. Check him out here!

Our last artist to look out for is ODEZSA, who will be playing Sunday at Oceanview. This electronic duo from Seattle is a show you do not want to miss. There most recent studio album was released this past September, entitled “In Return”. Their popularity has been steadily on the rise, so be sure to check them out and catch them at CRSSD Festival! They will be also be playing a few other shows in the SoCal area, including Coachella. Check out their Soundcloud, as well as some of their remixes of other bands playing at the CRSSD Festival!

Remixes: Giraffage-

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There are many great artists playing at this event, but unfortunately we cannot talk about them all. We hope this list helped, and hope those of you going to the festival have a great time! Happy music hunting!


CRSSD Full Lineup

CRSSD Fest Ticket Giveaway

Hey! We’re giving away free tickets to CRSSD Fest. Be sure to tune in this Friday during KSDT Studio Session hours if you want to score these FREE WEEKEND PASSES. We’ll also be playing mixes from artists performing at CRSSD.


KSDT presents March Radness

Join us this Friday, March 6th for FREE good vibe tunes, in-n-out burgers, and Krispy Kreme donuts —



Show is outside of KSDT at the HUMP in the Old Student Center, by Main Gym.

See ya there!


crssd festival

Stay tuned for free tickets to this chill San Diego event – CRSSD Festival.


Album Review: Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

In describing the nature of his showy, theatrical Father John Misty persona, former Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tillman said that “more often than not what you hear are actually the affectations of an ‘alter-ego’, or a cartoon of an emotionally heightened persona,” a statement which perfectly encapsulates the narrative tone of his newest album, I Love You, Honeybear. The material in I Love You, Honeybear is decidedly hyperbolic, grandiose, and downright absurd—in “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment”, Tillman describes finding his lover with “her best friend in the tub,” then ending up “singing ‘Silent Night’ in three parts”—but beneath the surreal, gonzo sheen of the album is a biting rawness that only a ludicrously over-the-top narrative could accomplish. Moments like the tub scene in “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment” are merely red herrings which distract from darker content—”The Night Josh Tillman…” is not humorous, but rather a spiteful account of the darker side of romance, with lyrics featuring the Father John Misty character venomously critiquing his narcissistic lover for her malaprops and vanity, only for him to end up declaring that he “Obliged later on/When you begged me to choke ya.” This harrowing tone that pervades I Love You, Honeybear separates it from many other concept albums in that it truly blurs the line between reality and fantasy; while the theatricality of Honeybear may rightfully invoke comparisons to the work of glam icons David Bowie and Elton John, Tillman also finds himself among a certain class of brooding, sardonic American lyricists that includes The National’s Matt Berninger and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, lyricists which, like Tillman, heavily fixate upon the abstract, gargantuan topic of the American Dream.

This question of the American Dream is at once secondary and central to the message of I Love You Honeybear, for while I Love You, Honeybear is ostensibly a love story, it’s also about what being in love in modern America actually means. Such a broad topic, of course, takes more than just a few arguments to make a truly effective point about, and apocalypse, alienation, and loneliness are just a handful of the themes Tillman touches upon in the sprawling I Love You, Honeybear. This aforementioned millennial loneliness is in part defined by Tillman’s discontent with the digital age: “Isolation, online friends,” “Infotainment” and “The golden era of TV” are just a few of the topics scrutinized in “Holy Shit,” and in “True Affection”, he asks “When can we talk/With the face/Instead of using all these strange devices?” This jaded reaction to technology does not mean that Father John Misty is just some cranky Luddite, as the track is ironically a blissful electro-pop song in the vein of Baths or Age of Adz-era Sufjan Stevens; rather, these qualms with technology are merely meant to underscore bigger themes, such as the failure of Father John Misty to properly communicate with his significant other, and how truly alienating all the hubbub and information overload of the digital age can be. The modern demons Misty runs from in “Bored In The USA” and “Holy Shit” are catalysts for a loneliness so fearsome, so aggressive that once he finds love, he can’t imagine life without his lover—in “When You’re Smiling and Astride Me”, he woefully laments that “I can hardly believe I’ve found you/And I’m terrified by that.” Perhaps even more important to the message of Honeybear is how this deep infatuation is just as draining as it is invigorating—in “Strange Encounter”, Misty swears off his wayward lifestyle after a scare with his lover, and in “The Ideal Husband”, Misty breaks under the weight of his guilt and pretentiousness, ending up confronting his lover with an unabashedly affectionate rant. These sudden catharses hit home so well because they aren’t sugar-coated, but rather drip with self-efficacy so candid that it’s nearly cringe-inducing, and that is what makes Honeybear such a work of lyrical genius—the album’s abundant cynical humor and general absurdity are perfect channels for addressing harsh, sensitive human emotion.

All these different gripes Tillman expresses via Father John Misty, however, are merely fragments of his overall thesis, which reaches a poignant conclusion in “Bored in the USA.” Misty’s conundrum in “Bored In The USA” is a problem as old as America—a terminal case of ennui—wherein so much of the modern world is dull, insipid, or worse, depressing to him. After all his incisive commentary and acerbic wit, Father John Misty finds himself questioning the American Dream, asking “Is this the part where I get everything I ever wanted/And if so, can I get my money back?” only to be met with the vacuous laughter of a hidden audience. A pessimist would take this to mean that life in America is a sick joke being played on the individual, and given the lyrical content of I Love You, Honeybear, that may not be too hard to believe, but Tillman at least proves to be a somewhat hopeful Romantic in the end. In “I Went To The Store One Day,” Father John Misty finds himself still enamored with some vague notion of American escapism, fantasizing about plantation homes and dowries—while there may not be such a thing as unequivocal happiness for Misty, Tillman seems to acknowledge that there is still real magic in some events, like chance encounters at the store that end up as much more.

Ultimately, I Love You, Honeybear is simply one of those bona fide masterpieces that captures a moment in time in a nearly inexplicable way. Never mind that much of the album could have been made a few decades ago, rather than in 2015—I Love You, Honeybear is such a gorgeous, deep work that it is instantly timeless. From the soaring doomsday-march of the title track to the wistful coda of “I Went To The Store One Day”, I Love You, Honeybear hardly misses a beat lyrically or musically, every orchestral arrangement, vocal melody and drum beat interlocking perfectly. According to a recent interview, Tillman’s wife told him that he “needed to not be afraid to let the songs be beautiful,” a challenge that Tillman fully meets on Honeybear; “Chateau #4 (In C For Two Virgins)” is perfect evidence of this, a vibrant, bombastically orchestrated piece that still, somehow, speaks to small, private emotional matters, imbued with a true feeling of intimacy at its core. Even more minute touches affect the album’s impact drastically—it’s hard not to notice even the smallest bits of genius on Honeybear, such as the frenzied bursts of guitar on “The Ideal Husband”, or the clever drum work on “Strange Encounter” that makes Tillman’s delivery of the line “The moment you came to I swore I would change” that much more emphatic. Together, Tillman’s lyrics and music evoke otherworldly feelings that almost seem too trite to put into words; I Love You, Honeybear defies rote mental analysis, a work too achingly human, too searingly passionate to be doomed to the fate of being taken apart like a broken contraption. Father John Misty’s greatest strength is that he does not preach, but rather, like any good artist, he vividly demonstrates his meaning in an abstract, human language, resulting in an absolutely essential, truly beautiful work of art.



Review: Alex Calder – Strange Dreams

As Canadian musician Mac DeMarco becomes more famous with each passing day, it only seems fair to give his friend and former bandmate Alex Calder some consideration. While Calder and DeMarco are both still making lo-fi retro-pop in the vein of their former band, Makeout Videotape, Strange Dreams exhibits just how different the styles of DeMarco and Calder have become, despite their similar inclinations towards dousing their music with reverb and general sound-warping. Of the two, Calder seems the most bent on making his music considerably less clean-cut—while DeMarco has garnered widespread acclaim from critics and casual listeners alike for crafting accessible guitar-pop with distinct verses and choruses, Calder’s music is hardly so straightforward. If DeMarco’s most recent release Salad Days inspired critics to aptly compare him to singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson, a quirky-yet-accessible pop guru, then Calder must be further out on the singer-songwriter spectrum than DeMarco is; Calder’s music seems to draw from more free-form sources of inspiration, his sound recalling various 60’s psychedelic outfits such as Jefferson Airplane or 13th Floor Elevators. This approach leads to a few overly odd moments—the nearly formless track “The Morning” comes to mind—but Calder’s strangeness also produces some of the most compelling dream-pop in recent memory. While many similar artists develop their music with a sense of urgency or meticulousness, Calder instead coasts along in a relaxed haze, an approach resulting in languidly-paced and lush-sounding tracks like “Retract”.

Calder seems to be at his absolute best, however, when he takes all his unique ideas and compresses them into taut, simple pop songs, an approach that works extremely well on Strange Dreams. The appealing nature of such songs speaks to Calder’s greatest strength, which is his ability to make complete songs out of very little material—by following Deerhunter’s songwriting method of pairing a couple catchy phrases with some ethereal sighs, Calder manages to write some pop gems that even Bradford Cox would envy. Indeed, many of the songs on Strange Dreams would not sound out of place on any given Deerhunter record, such as the punchy “Marcel”;  likewise, the simple “Lola” exemplifies Calder’s gift for making great pop without over-thinking, the song’s lyrics consisting solely of Calder saying the titular name and drifting into a wispy falsetto. While Strange Dreams may seem to be too densely lo-fi for the masses, “Lola” and other relatively conventional songs help ground the otherwise disorienting album, providing stable, accessible alternatives to the wonky material surrounding them. Calder does it best when he keeps it simple, and when the simple, single-ready material being produced is as good as the music Calder makes, simplicity is hardly a bad approach.

Winter applications closed

Welcome new and returning DJs to the Winter Quarter. You can see the list of winter shows on the ‘shows’ tab.

Applications for spring quarter 2015 will come out soon.