KUSF Fest Transforms Undercaf Into DIY Indie Concert

KUSF brought San Francisco’s vibrant “DIY” music scene to campus with performances by Buddy Junior and Green Cat on Apr. 18 in the Undercaf. The performances were part of “KUSF Fest,” put on by USF’s online radio station. The evening featured live music from San Francisco-based bands, specializing in indie and alternative shoegaze. 

Red and orange lighting set the mood for the show as the bands prepared to play and the Undercaf was transformed into an indie rock paradise. Completed with a handmade banner, black and red streamers and KUSF’s #1 fan, Hazel the Skeleton, the usual design of the Undercaf was uprooted. Tables and chairs were pushed aside, creating ample space for dancing. Attendees of the show dressed the part, with unique outfits ranging from cheetah print pants to DIY band merch. 

“I’m a pretty big proponent of DIY culture,” said Miranda Morris, the general manager of KUSF.  “This is, to me, where students learn how to plug in the mics, plug in the speakers, run the mixer, and how to put on a show all by ourselves…We’re not hiring any production companies … So every show we kind of try to build on maintaining our equipment and procuring equipment that we need,” she continued.

The first band to take the stage was Green Cat, a trio composed of  Hailey Girandola and cousin-duo Oskar Veloz and Owen Veloz. After the first strum of the guitar, heads began to nod and people began to dance. 

Born out of their garage, Green Cat has been playing together for two years and are signed to Chris Records out of San Francisco. Owen Veloz, the band’s drummer, spoke about how important it is to support local bands beyond just paying to watch them perform. “We’re getting paid for this show,” he said. “It’s not the reason we’re doing it, it’s the reason we’re able to make merch tonight, which we’ve never really had official merch before.”

Girandola said, “It’s crazy because you never think something you like to do will give you something back. You usually just play a show, you talk to people and then you just go home… The support did get us to level up a little bit to where we can say that we will have an album coming out in the summer and merch.”

JB Lennar (left) and Kiana Endres (right) make up half of Buddy Junior. Photo by Veston Smith/SF Foghorn

As Green Cat wrapped up their set, they let the crowd in on the exciting news of the release of their upcoming album, set to be recorded at Hyde Street Studios in May. 

Next up was Buddy Junior, a local emo-influenced shoegaze band signed to Cherub Dream Records based in San Francisco. The band consists of Cassady Dunn on drums, Kiana Endres on vocals and guitar and JB Lennar on vocals and guitar. Christina Bussler, USF ‘15, plays bass and vocals. 

“It’s very weird, but oddly comforting, to be back and see there’s a lot of things that are different about the campus,” Bussler said. “The Undercaf has stayed the same, and it has the same kind of cozy vibe to it, so it’s fun to play here.”

Lennar founded Cherub Dream Records, and Buddy Junior was the first band signed to the label. The group has officially been playing together for two years, and they plan to add an additional guitarist in the near future. 

Veronica Palmer, senior media studies major and KUSF music director, was credited by her peers at the station for being the mastermind behind the whole event. “I grew up around music, and I think just doing it yourself and putting energy and care into what you’re doing is really important,” she said. Palmer discovered the two bands through her passion for the Bay Area music scene, which led to Green Cat coming up in KUSF station’s currents playlist. 

Palmer continued, “KUSF doesn’t have an airwave anymore…and so it’s, like, screw it. We’ll embrace that kind of DIY… we’ll just put this s—t together, and we’ll do it ourselves.” 

Inés Ventura contributed to the reporting of this story. 

Editor-in-Chief: Megan Robertson, Chief Copy Editor: Sophia Siegel, Managing Editor: Jordan Premmer, Scene Editor: Inés Ventura

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