Congratulations to Keylen Newsome, who was honored Friday, April 15, as Student Employee of the Year – not only for Sacramento State but for the entire state of California!
He and 14 other nominees for the University honor were celebrated at the annual Student Employee Appreciation Luncheon in the University Union Ballroom.
A second-year Economics major, Newsome was honored for his work as an academic mentor with Improve Your Tomorrow, a college preparatory program that provides services and support for young men of color with academic and disciplinary issues.
Each year, the National Student Employment Association recognizes exceptional student employees at the university, state, and federal levels. Keylen was selected as the winner from both Sacramento State and California for the outstanding work he does in our community and the differences he makes in others’ lives every day.
From trashy horror flicks and macabre comics to skin-tight leather and ghoulish makeup, punk-rock pioneers The Cramps were masters of sordid kitsch and sleazy pop culture. They were also among the most influential and enduring rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time.
Few better embodied their era’s provocative punk-rock spirit than singer Lux Interior, an iconic frontman known as much for his music as for his wild stage presence and larger-than-life persona.
This year marks the 40th since Interior and his wife, guitarist Poison Ivy, founded the band, which recorded eight albums from 1980 to 2003, released dozens of singles, and garnered a massive cult following over their lengthy career.
Of course, Lux Interior and Poison Ivy went by very different names when they first met in 1972 when both were art students at Sacramento State. Back then, they were Erick Purkhiser and Kristy Wallace, and they met when Purkhiser and a friend stopped to give Wallace a ride as she was hitchhiking back to her apartment from the Sacramento State campus. The pair bonded over shared interests in kitschy pop culture, flea markets, music and art, even taking classes together such as “Art and Shamanism.” They began playing music and soon founded The Cramps.
Purkhiser graduated in 1973, and two years later, the pair moved to Ohio and then New York. There, they married and became a part of the city’s thriving punk movement. Outrageous, spirited, sometimes offensive, and wholly unique to the American music scene, The Cramps became regulars at legendary New York rock clubs CBGB and Max’s Kansas City before releasing their first EP, Gravest Hits, in 1979. Their first long-player in 1980, Songs the Lord Taught Us, became a huge hit with audiences riding the first wave of punk music. The Cramps blended 1950s-era rockabilly with hard-and-fast, edgy garage rock to form a style all their own, a genre known as psychobilly.
Though the band never reached a level of mega-stardom like fellow American punk pioneers The Ramones, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, or Patti Smith, The Cramps are widely credited as rock trailblazers who influenced countless musicians and bands, from Tiger Army to The White Stripes.
Lux Interior passed away in 2009 after one of the longest and most impactful musical careers of the past century. He is survived by Poison Ivy and a legacy — in all its leopard-clad glory — that profoundly changed music culture in ways still felt today.
When Maritza and Roshaun Davis met at Sacramento State in their first communication studies class together, they had no idea how profound an impact they would have on the cultural landscape of the capital region.
The Davises are the founders of Unseen Heroes, the events-marketing company behind some of the region’s biggest celebrations of local culture. Having helped launch and manage everything from local urban markets and art festivals to businesses and major conferences, these heroes are anything but unseen.
Last month, Comstocks Magazine recognized Maritza (’07, Communications) and Roshaun (’08, Journalism) as two of the capital’s top emerging young leaders, and this month they’re expanding their already-extensive portfolio in more ways than ever.
Kicking off April 15 at Folsom Boulevard and Power Inn Road, the Unseen Heroes’ latest venture, The Market at Power Inn, will feature the team’s signature blend of local food, art, design, beer, music, and more, transforming an otherwise empty lot into a bustling neighborhood hub for a few hours each Friday. “It was a blank canvas for us,” says Roshaun.
In addition, the company’s popular monthly neighborhood block party – Gather: Oak Park – is adding a second location in Rocklin, and its Midtown Farmers Market, which the Unseen Heroes took over in March 2015, is expanding down the block to accommodate nearly 100 vendors after starting out with a couple of dozen.
“Our intentions are always to build these third spaces so people can come out and connect,” Davis says. “It’s a connection point for people to have and explore and learn more about what’s going on in the region and their district, and then also have this place that they’re proud of as well.”
As the Unseen Heroes team gears up for the launch of The Market at Power Inn, which will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday, April through October, take a look at some of the sights from past events: