Music

Take time to appreciate the greatness of Mac Miller

Anyone else out there a Mac Miller fan? He is a young rapper from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a whole lot of talent and even more heart. Let us take a moment to appreciate just how great this rap star really is. Now, I understand that he’s no Jay-Z or Kanye West yet, but he is really working his way up there. “Watching Movies with the Sound Off” is one of my all-time favorite albums.

Songwriters collaborate at local music venue

Apart from worldwide acclaim, Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Strait and Randy Rogers have one thing in common: they all participated in Cheatham Street Warehouse’s  Songwriter Circle, a Texas honky-tonk tradition established in the ‘70s by Kent Finlay, the warehouse’s owner and founder.

“Back in the day, there were five or six of us in the circle sitting around a wooden stove, writing songs,” Finlay said. “It has become a bigger thing than I expected, but it still revolves around the song and listening to each other.”

Q&A with Commandah Panda, Riverfest performer

Fusing an eclectic mix of musical stylings to create a unique, danceable sound, DJ and Riverfest performer Commandah Panda spoke with The University Star about his origins, performance style and his future.

EM: When did you start your career as a DJ?
CP: I started my DJing in 2009.

Q&A with Glowkids and Fuse, Riverfest performers

A self-described intergalactic DJ duo, electronic dance music partners Glowkids & Fuse take the stage Thursday for Texas State’s annual spring concert, Riverfest. The University Star spoke with the pair about their music and upcoming performance.

EM: What’s the story behind Glowkids & Fuse? How did this collaboration come to be?
F: We were resident [solo] DJs for a weekly event in Boston—he was Glowkids and I was Fuse—and eventually, promoters started booking us to play together on a regular basis. We decided to officially collaborate as the Glowkids & Fuse duo in May 2012.

EM: When did Glowkids & Fuse become a reality?
G: Summer 2012 when we played Identity Festival.

Cheatham Street Warehouse celebrates 40th year

Kent Finlay will never refer to Cheatham Street Warehouse as a bar. The music has always been the most important part of the venue, which celebrates its 40th year in San Marcos this June, Finlay said.

When Finlay and his partner Jim Cunningham opened Cheatham Street Warehouse in 1974, it was the first music venue of its kind in San Marcos. An outlet for local singer-songwriters to perform their latest pieces and gain a fan base, the venue drew attention early on thanks to small shows by then up-and-coming musicians including George Strait and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

“The focus was to promote local live music. That’s the mission we’ve stayed true to,” said Sage Allen, Cheatham Street Warehouse manager.  

Free concert series promotes environmental awareness

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Uniting the San Marcos and Texas State communities through art, music and sustainability, the Keep San Marcos Beautiful Spring Concert Series returned Thursday evening and will run through the second week of April.

The free annual event kicked off in San Marcos Plaza Park with a performance by ‘80s new wave group The Spazmatics. The concert series will feature a new musical act every Thursday in the park through April 10. The concert series promotes themes of sustainability and ecological conservation.

Q&A with members of Blue October

Blue October was in town for a special two-night performance last weekend on the heels of its latest album release. Frontman Justin Furstenfeld and bass player Matt Noveskey, San Marcos residents, spoke with The University Star about their new album “Sway,” a new tour and almost 20 years  of success in the music industry.

Community orchestra crescendos in its fifth year

After four decades the San Marcos Artists’ Retention and Training Orchestra is finally filling a long-standing void: creating San Marcos’s own community orchestra.

The nonprofit organization known as S.M.A.R.T. Orchestra was founded in 2009 by music educator Christopher Hanson. The ensemble began with a collection of string students from public schools and has since expanded to include both wind and string players of all ages. Approximately one-third of the group made up of adult musicians from the San Marcos area.

ZEALE: Valin Zamarron • musician • former student

Leaving behind a career in social media marketing and an unfinished advertising degree at Texas State, Valin Zamarron, known as ZEALE, has found success in the music industry. With a Red Bull sponsorship, a song in the trailer for one of the year’s most anticipated comedy movies and a tour opening for industry heavyweights, ZEALE is on the rise.

EM: How and when did your music career start?
Z:  I started back in high school writing poetry and doing things of that sort. I started writing, performing and creating my freshman year at Texas State. The music that I made at those early stages was very different from what I make today, but it definitely was a predecessor to my present path in music.

Q&A with Roger Sellers

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Shaped by fond memories of his time as a student musician, Texas State alumnus Roger Sellers prepares for a nationwide tour, new album and performing at Fun Fun Fun Fest.

AR: How did your time at Texas State and in San Marcos shape you and your music?
RS: My time in San Marcos definitely shaped me in a big way. A lot of people that I met there made a big impact on me. I studied music at Texas State. It’s really when I started to take myself and my music seriously. I liked taking classes on things that I felt so strongly about. To this day, San Marcos is one of my favorite places to play because it was so important to my development as a musician. The people here are just genuine and unique.

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