Thursday, May 22, 2008

Justin: the artist

Justin Crisostomo is a Bay Area raised, San Diego art student, avid YouTuber, and musician extraordinaire. He graduated from UCSD in 2007 with a degree in Psychology, and quickly put his talents to better use by working full time to "level up" on his art skills.

Justin has played guitar for The Rio Trio, The Snapsons, The Snapkins, Starpower, and Zsos. Zsos is self-described as YouTube's house band who takes requests from viewers. (Nota bene — not house as in electronic dance music... but rather house band as in band who regularly plays at an establishment. And yes, the establishment in question is the Interwebs.)

(Zsos strikes a pose. Zandi, left, and Justin, right, take a break from playing in Chula Vista, CA.)

The name Zsos is a portmanteau of its group member's names: Zandi de Jesus and Justin Crisostomo. They often feature talented guitarist and San Diego resident Mu-Hua Cheng. All three musicians graduated from UCSD, though Zandi recently moved to New York and is currently slated to play Marcy Park in the national tour of the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Check out this Zsos (feat. Mu-Hua Cheng) clip. They're covering Jason Mraz's song "Who Needs Shelter?"
The song is hopeful and happy and stoically sad all at once. Justin's girlfriend points out in this clip's YouTube comments that he is playing his not-often seen guitar, Michelle. I especially like the harmonies in this song, and the guitar dialog. Is that a valid thing to say? I think guitars talk. (Also, I think that if I leave the closet doors open at night the closet monster will kill me... so what do I know. I digress.)

Justin rarely presents non-collaborative efforts, so here is a rare solo effort. He is covering "When I Fall" by the Barenaked Ladies:
The guitar work is particularly impressive; faithful to the original while still infusing original emphasis. The vocal work conveys more tranquility than Ed's slightly more anguished version. Justin is equally comfortable finger-picking crisp notes and driving a rhythm with lush strums.

(Justin meets his musical idol, Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, left.)

Overall, A+. Obvious awesome points for multidisciplinary creativity and technical competency. Triple bonus points for being the house band of the Interwebs.

PS: SURPRISE JUSTIN! Happy Birthday!!! Disclaimer: This review is completely biased, like the entire Interwebs, due to my personally knowing 3 of the 4 people pictured. Justin was my buddy RA in college and he is 23 years old (+1 day) today. Oooooooooldzors.


Justin Crisostomo said...

Best. Post. Ever.


I finally made it... on the interwebs...

That's it.


word verification: "clyku" ... initially read as "dyku"

Christina said...

How did you get a hold of my pictures? Your deft internet usage impresses me. And scares me.

The Teej said...

Seriously, best post you've made so far. Congrats, Justin!

W. E. B. Du Blag said...

Haha yaaaaaaaaaay glad you guys like it. Christina: if it's on the Interwebs I will find it!!!

This reminds me of back when I was making the RA Orientation book cover for 2005-2006, (which was supposed to be a Brady Bunch style cover) I asked the futrue RAs for pictures of themselves. I warned them: if you don't send me one, I'll find one. And if it's on the Interwebs, I will find it. Of course some people didn't send me pictures, and were surprised to find themselves on the cover anyway with a crappy picture.

Hey, I told them I was an Interwebs ninja! ;)

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