Jazz singers compete for place on Ben Folds album

A couple weekends ago, I managed to catch Sacramento State's jazz vocal ensembles perform at JB's Lounge at the Red Lion Inn.

It wasn't the first time I saw the program's ensembles and it probably won't be the last. After all, the versatile vocals of the entire CSUS vocal jazz program may very well be coming to a Ben Folds Five album near you soon.

Those familiar with the program know that they prefer a forward-thinking brand of vocal jazz underpinned by an inclusive aesthetic espoused by Kerry Marsh, director the jazz vocal ensemble program.

Marsh seems to encourage his students to embrace pop influences, from Biz Markie to Radiohead. That night a couple weekends ago, C-Sus, the program's flagship ensemble, performed a pretty deft take on "How to Disappear Completely."

So when Ben Folds said he was looking for college a capella groups to contribute to a forthcoming album, it was no surprise then that Marsh and Co. jumped at the opportunity.

The video above was the vocal jazz program's official entry and damn if they don't have a good chance.

The next jazz vocal concert is December 12 at the music recital hall in Capistrano Hall on campus. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for students.

As soon as we learn more about the contest, we'll let you know. And catch them now so you can say you saw them before they were famous.
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Tejano Rock Concert: Raul Midon

Raul Midon opened for Los Lonely Boys and played for one of the largest crowds this semester in the Union Ballroom on Thursday. Midon has been playing guitar since he was six years old. Midon created his own style he describes as 'classical Flamenco jazz guitar,' using pop lyrics, and improvisational percussion beats on his guitar as well as making trumpet sounds with his mouth.

Midon is more well known in countries in Europe and Asian. His "not jazz, not rock" genre has made it difficult for him to air on radio stations in the U.S., but Midon says "I am fortunate to be a full time artist and be recognized anywhere for what I do. If your not sure if you want to be and artist, don't do it. It is brutal and unfair, but if it's your calling it is the most rewarding experience."

Midon hopes that the acceptance he has been met world wide will eventually be the same in America. He has three albums out and continues to play small venues where he can in the states.

Photo Credit: Claire Padgett
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Britney Spears' new single 'Womanizer' doesn't suck

I thought I'd never say it. I like a Britney Spears song. It's embarrassing. I claim to know about music and I can't get this song out of my head.

Here is a link to the smokin' (literally) video of Spears in her glorious and freshly fit state:

Now take a minute, and if you haven't watched it, do it now. If you've already seen it, watch it again. See that product placement? Nice phone, huh? Cool calendar it has, yeah? What about that camera on it. It's the Nokia 5800 Music phone, cleverly placed for your consumer salivation. iPhone competition much? Capitalism win. Sneaky!

Besides being marketing saavy, the video is definitely sexy. But didn't Spears do this 'dance' before in a video? Wasn't she a flight attendant or something? That's right. She was. 'Toxic.' Search it on youtube.com and see for yourself.

Seeing the repetition from her music videos got me thinking. How many times is Spears going to have a comeback? How many times is she going to pull one over on us? Or is she not really having a comeback any of these times?

Sometimes it feels like the money hungry record labels force these comebacks on us. It certainly is them signing the checks that get this girl on the airwaves in the first place.

They could have been the ones to blame for her downfall, that embarrassing chain of events that made Spears a laughing stock, and not just because she got drunk and married that guy she went to high school with in Las Vegas.

The one thing to remember when watching these videos or listening to her songs on the radio - even in snippets - is that this still is the troubled girl that 'wigged' out with that infamous VMA performance, ended up in rehab and had her sons taken away - and not necessarily in that order.

It obviously doesn't make her a bad person, but it certainly means that this 3nd supposed comeback should have taken longer than the methadone to wear off.

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Places to hear Sac State music this weekend

alt : Concerts

RED = happening tonight
BLUE = happening Saturday
GREEN = happening Sunday

(note: if you can't see the map, you're probably using Internet Explorer. Click here.)

It's been a busy week for music, what with the Festival of New American Music and all. But sometimes it's hard to sneak away from the weekday grind to catch some live music. Now that the weekend is upon us, we can all bask in the free time and enjoy the music that Sacramento State has to offer. Here is a map of campus-related concerts this weekend; some are related to the festival, some are not.

See something we missed? Send an e-mail to ckitaura [at] statehornet.com. Continue Reading>>


KSSU to feature extended five-hour R&B show tonight

Anyone planning a late-night study session or a romantic evening tonight will have an extended soundtrack thanks to KSSU's Mike "The Smooth Operator" Smith. Smith, a senior communication studies major, is the host of the station's weekly R&B show, "The Seductive Slow Jam Session."

Tonight he'll be burning the midnight oil as he extends his show to a five-hour special, set to run from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. He said this week is the perfect time for the special show. (click here to listen live)

"This week there's a lot of big things going on," Smith said. In addition to the presidential election, he wants to build anticipation for the Causeway Classic football game against UC Davis Saturday.

"Let's really stick it to UC Davis to show our R&B radio show can last longer," Smith, who is also KSSU's sports director, said.

He encourages listeners to make requests or shout-outs by calling in (916-278-3666) or e-mailing or commenting on his MySpace page - which he refreshes regularly during the show.

Smith said he's had callers say they appreciate the show as a mellow backdrop to a night of studying, but his aim is "definitely romantic."

Smith said he's "hoping there's people out there (listening to the show) with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Whether they're in the act or not . . . I'm all about the love."

Tonight's show will be a mixture of "mostly '90s and 2000s," Smith said, adding that no artist will be repeated during the five-hour block.

Some of the artists played tonight will include Earth, Wind & Fire, R. Kelly, K-Ci & JoJo. Here are a couple more songs that will be played tonight:

LSG - My Body

Silk - I Can Go Deep

Keith Sweat - Put Your Lovin' Through the Test

KSSU can be heard on AM 1580 or online at KSSU.com (click here to launch streaming broadcast).

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