Friday, December 26, 2014

San Kazakgascar headlines Davis Music Festival Revisted on Friday

From page A7 | December 13, 2012 |

In a local music scene crowded with rock, bluegrass and folk, the mighty San Kazakgascar stands out. Like an oasis in the middle of a barren desert, San Kazakgascar quenches your thirst for Middle Eastern psychedelia.

San Kazakgascar will perform at the second Davis Music Festival Revisited, along with Yellow Jacket Motel and Art Lessing and the Flower Vato. The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday at the International Bistro, 213 E St. in Davis. Tickets are $5 at the door. This show is open to all ages.

According to the band’s bio, San Kazakgascar is “a beautiful country with beautiful people. Its origins are a blend of Byzantine/Eurasian civilizations and 18th century colonialism. After much turmoil in the 20th century, the people of Kazakgascar feel they’re getting a fresh start with the end of the third World War.”

“We kind of stole the idea of a pretend nation from the ‘80s band Savage Republic,” front man Jed Brewer said in a recent interview. “They had some Middle Eastern influences but had a more punk and industrial sound.”

San Kazakgascar mixes Middle Eastern sounds with psychedelic rock and art rock vocals.

“At this point it’s difficult to come up with an original band name, so we used a made-up word,” Brewer explained. “The idea of having a fake country, you can play around with what it supposedly is. It served as a foundation for the music and lyrics.”

The band consists of Jed Brewer (guitar and vocals), John Cypher (violin), Greg Hain (bass and vocals), Paul Takushi (percussion) and Mike Woo (clarinet, vocals).

“We’re mostly a Sacramento band but our drummer lives in Davis, and we all went to UCD at one point or another,” Brewer said. “This is Mike’s first rock band. He was in the Cal Aggie Band. The rest of us have been in bands for decades.

“Three of us had another band called Cardena Straits, which was more of a psychedelic, Americana sound. After doing three albums, we felt it had run its course.”

Brewer had the idea for San Kazakgascar kicking around for a while before he gave it a go in 2007.

“The whole idea was to do something that would excite us. None of us are trained in world music per se,” he said.

The band recently released the “Drought Times” EP, which it recorded last summer at bassist Greg Hain’s house. Listen to the full EP at

The infectious opener “The Switchbacks are Crumbling” brings to mind mystic journeymen on camel back. “Crispy Lords” is another ear worm that burrows in your skull as Brewer sings “turning into drones.”

“It’s about people turning into robots and doing what you want them to,” he said.

Surprisingly, the sitar sound in the music is not a sitar at all. “It’s a guitar made by Dan from Art Lessing,” Brewer said. “It’s made from a gourd. He set up the strings with a wooden bridge so it gets that droney, sustained sound. He built a variation of that for himself, and then built me one. I used it on the new songs.”

What can the Davis audience expect?

“We’ll play new and older songs,” Brewer said. “Most of the songs from the EP we’ve been playing live for a year or two. We spread it around. Some of our songs sound good recorded but aren’t as exciting live, so we stick to the ones that excite.”

Because of their day jobs, the band does not get to tour much.

“Mike and I are teachers,” Brewer said. “We’ve done a few out-of-town shows, as far south as L.A and north of Washington. We play the Bay Area once in a while, but for the most part we play the Davis/Sacramento area.”

The band plans on keeping the sounds of San Kazakgascar alive for years to come.

“We’re all in our 40s and above, and we all have careers, but this is our outlet,” Brewer said. “We’re all music scene lifers. We’ve all played in bands for years and want to keep doing it.”

— Reach Landon Christensen at



Landon Christensen

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Exchange students bring the world to Davis

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Pastor has many plans for CA House

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Transit survey: 47 percent ride bikes to campus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis Bike Club hears about British cycling tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pick up a Davis map at Chamber office

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Special holiday gifts

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

    Woodland-Davis commute bus service expands

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Learn fruit tree tips at free class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Get a rise out of science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

    NAMI meeting offers family support

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yoga, chanting intro offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8



    Blamed for her sister’s rage

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    How much for the calling birds?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Many ensured a successful parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Thanks for putting food on the table

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10



    Patterson is college football’s top coach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Clippers get a win over Golden State

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Two more for the road for 9-1 Aggie men

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    NBA roundup: Heat beat Cavs in LeBron’s return to Miami

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery





    ‘Unbroken': A bit underwhelming

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Folk musicians will jam on Jan. 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11



    Passat: Roomy, affordable sedan with German engineering

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery



    James J. Dunning Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Floyd W. Fenocchio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Friday, December 26, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7

    Comics: Thursday, December 26, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A9