Christopher Millard, Founder and Contributor
Christopher Millard is a freelance writer, music publicist and cultural critic. Since 2012, he’s been a voice for San Jose’s music scene and local rock columnist for Examiner. He co-founded the entertainment blog 40ozRobot, and has served as musical director for Hollywood North Studios in San Jose. When not promoting music and musicians, Chris discourses on cannibis in the magazine Hybrid.life and reviews cultural hotspots for CBS Local. He brings unusual breadth to his knowledge of local music scenes, having lived throughout North America in Minneapolis, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver, San Jose and Kansas City. Chris enjoys health and wellness, meditation, progressive politics, baseball, Angry Birds, and exercising his legal right to medical marijuana (while playing Angry Birds).
Benjamin Mah, Co-Founder, Photographer
Benjamin Mah is a Salem, Oregon based photographer specializing in portraits and events. He’s a huge fan of music, but has no musical talent whatsoever. Instead, he uses the talents he does have to document those who pour their passion into their music. See his work at www.benmaphoto.com.
Bob Bucko, Jr., Contributor
Bob Bucko, Jr. has been in a thousand bands you’ve never heard of. He has released three solo LPs (as BBJr) on Captcha Records and presently is a member of the bands Sex Funeral, Venereal Crush, Arc Numbers, and Dirty Swears. Bob operates the Personal Archives label and works for the Dubuque Area Arts Collective in his hometown of Dubuque, Iowa. Writing music reviews is his escape from the certain hell that is grant writing.
Valecnik loves metal. Black metal, death metal, doom metal, sludge metal, prog metal, power metal (okay, not too much of that), post-metal, speed metal, thrash metal … metal, metal, METAL. But above all he is eclectic. Flip his music collection to random and you’re likely to hear Tori Amos, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Morrissey/The Smiths, The Decemberists, and many more pop up amongst the metal hordes. When he isn’t listening to metal, or often while listening to metal, Valecnik enjoys time with his wife of 20 years and his two children, one very large dog, three smallish cats, and a handful of fish. An occasional disc-golfer and competitive home brewer, Valecnik also has an unhealthy obsession with the Zombie Apocalypse, due in no small part to reading and watching too much The Walking Dead. Which goes pretty well with all the metal, really.
Andy Kirk, Contributor
Andy Kirk is a multi-instrumentalist living in Kansas City, Missouri, and a 16-year veteran of KC’s local music scene. His musical curiosity began during the heyday of hair metal, when Poison and Bon Jovi were the rulers of his tape collection. Their reign was a brief one, as they soon had to face competition from increasingly strange corners of the Columbia House Tape Club (Nirvana, Sonic Youth, The Pixies, Public Enemy, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Fugazi, N.W.A., the Violent Femmes, the Descendents, the Cure, Morphine.) Andy survived the regimes of Rave, Ska, Industrial, Pop-Punk, Emo, Post-Punk, Post-Rock, Shoegaze, the “KC Sound,” Glo-Fi, and even the catastrophic summer of DubStep, 2011. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Putting the trials of his past to the common good, Andy aims to assist in the navigation of the digital wasteland, pointing out the hazards (soul-sucking wobble bass) and the highlights (a nice early reflection pool of reverb) to be found on stages and in headphones today.
Diana Reed, Contributor
Diana is a music enthusiast who got all of her music taste from her Dad. She was raised with a very eclectic taste that has only expanded since sitting in the back seat of her parents’ car. She’s obsessed with making playlists for all occasions, but mainly for cooking, comic reading, and commuting. Diana is based in the Bay Area, and moonlights as a UX Designer. You can always find her at Outside Lands, partying with her Dad, who is her favorite concert buddy.