Music is a huge part of campus life for many students; there are many CC events that center around music of some sort. The Sounds of Colorado College (affectionately referred to as the SOCC) plays a huge role in the CC music scene, from their DJ radio station where students can obtain one-hour slots to play music, to their blockly events, to their website for “music reviews and musician publicity.” Nelson Kies, a junior sociology major and studio art minor, is the event manager at the SOCC and was responsible for their student showcase last Saturday night. The SOCC has been around since 2008. Originally headquartered in the basement of KRCC, they now have their own independent studio on the first floor of Loomis Hall.
Kies, who tries to organize an event every block, got involved with the SOCC as a first-year when he started his own radio show on Friday nights playing “upbeat, rambunctious music.” From there, he “immediately jumped in on getting into events, which is something that [he’s] been into since the beginning of college,” he said. “[It’s] such a good community and fun thing to do every week, since there’s lots of creative space within the SOCC.”
While he still has his weekly radio show, Kies has focused his efforts more strongly on event planning. Saturday night’s Student Showcase, the second one of the year, was described by Kies as an “empowering experience” for everyone involved. The showcase took place at 802 N. Nevada St., a space run by the Art department, typically used as a gallery space for studio art majors.
The showcase featured three student artists along with an assortment of visual and culinary artwork that had been specially curated and collected by Kies. Planning the event with all student bands “is a lot easier than planning an event with an off-campus band,” said Kies. “All these musicians and artists are here within this 4 block radius. I’m also a studio art minor, and I know people that are constantly producing new art.” The artwork presented included photography, paintings, and sculptures.
The three student performances all brought something different to the stage, creating an eclectic and diverse set of music. Seal Eggs, the stage name of sophomore Gwen Wolfenbarger, “makes really ambient beautiful songs,” Kies commented. “It just sort of completely filled the space and put everyone into some sort of meditative state.” He added that it was a great opening for the show, since it got everyone in a great place to hear the rest of the music.
The Wet Dreamers, the showcase’s second act, is a group of senior musicians who have worked on a lot of projects and have played a lot of shows at CC over the years. “I thought they deserved the stage since they’ve given so much to our community and they’re always so willing to play live music.” Cisco the Nomad and Bruce Leanin (of the rap collective Sketch Fam) closed out the show. “Clay [Edwards] has made a lot of really good songs,” said Kies. “I didn’t think that enough people have seen his talent in terms of rapping,” and a lot of people who were there typically wouldn’t have seen him. “He killed it on stage,” Kies added.
In addition to the visual and auditory art, Kies arranged for food to be catered by The Last Supper, a group of sophomores trying to start up an eatery. “They made delicious pork buns and mushroom buns as well as these really tasty, well-seasoned edamame,” Kies said. “They do a great job and they really work hard at it.” The combination of music, art, and food was one of the things that made the student showcase such a popular event, like the rest of the SOCC’s ventures.
Kies however, is already looking forward to next block’s event, which he described as being “a really fun dance party. I’m trying to get a producer/DJ called Flamingosis to come and do a set. Hopefully I would get a student musician to open up for him.”
Kies’ event will take place during Block 6, along with the numerous weekly radio shows that the SOCC is continuously offering. Their website, thesocc.org gives students full access to their radio program schedule as well as their extensive music reviews including a “song of the day” to broaden your musical horizons.