Seasaw, Canceled Plans, Young Ritual Local Show at Mac’s Bar

If you’re having summer concert withdrawals and are looking for the perfect fall show, look no further! As soon as I heard the news that Seasaw, Canceled Plans (solo set), and Young Ritual would hit the stage at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on October 3rd I’ve been buzzing with excitement! I spoke with Michaela Stock of Canceled Plans and Dylan Grantham of Young Ritual to get the scoop on the upcoming show.

Both Stock and Grantham are excited about the gig and are eager to share the stage with some new faces. “I’ve never shared the stage with seasaw or Young Ritual, but I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been gigging since April of 2017, and I’ve never gotten to share the stage with another girl who runs the show. I’m a big fan of seasaw and their work, so it’s an honor to have this first and this show alongside two talented and beautiful women.” Stock writes. It’s remarkable to see such genuine support for other female artists in a male-driven industry. One of the things I love most about supporting my local music scene is seeing the interactions and friendships forming between artists that share the stage whether it’s for a single gig or for a tour.

IMG_3108Not only are Stock and Grantham ready to play with some new faces, but they are also thrilled to get back to Mac’s Bar. For Grantham, this is his first time in performing in Michigan’s capital. “This will actually be my first show in Lansing, so I can’t wait for that part. I definitely have some tricks up my sleeve to make a good first impression.” I’m eager to see what kind of tricks he has to make this show a memorable one. Grantham has been working on finishing up his first EP, and released the first single “Prime” last month! He’ll definitely be playing some new music at the upcoming show along with old favorites.

Stock, on the other hand, is a Lansing native and she’s pumped to get back to her hometown and play at one of her favorite venues. “The last time I played at Mac’s was in September of 2017. It was my first full-band show, and I was opening for Michigander, a band I had followed as a fan since high school. That was for sure a night I’ll never forget. Every time I walk through the doors at Mac’s I’m hit with gratitude and nostalgia for the space. I have so much more to say, but I’m going to leave some stories for the show!” I’ve never seen

IMG_7791While remembering Mac’s Bar and what the venue means to her, Michaela lights up and goes into every detail of the venue and how much she loves it. “I spent the latter half of my teenage years studying the scribbled walls in Mac’s Bar at shows. It was my first “dream venue” to play a show in because I had some of my first experiences with live music in that space. I even met my best friend at Mac’s at a concert. We screamed all the words to the headlining band’s set, and it’s been history ever since. Mac’s Bar did, in fact, end up being the first place I’d ever played a billed gig with tickets, a sound-check, and other artists back in April of 2017. I remember wearing a black dress, carrying my guitar case and pushing open the big wooden door thinking, “What the HECK has my life come to?” (For the record, I’m still figuring that question out.) It was so special.”

Do not sleep on this concert! Each of the acts has a different energy to bring to the stage and it’s sure to be a good night. Get tickets to the show here!

-Swaggie Maggie

Advertisements

The Story of My Summer (part 1)

 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Hey! Welcome back to Swaggie Maggie’s View from the Pit. After a quick hiatus, I am back with more stories to tell than ever. For those who know, I spent the last four months interning with Live Nation in their Detroit office as a production assistant. It was the best, craziest, most life-changing experience I’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

If you don’t know, Live Nation Entertainment is the global leader for live entertainment. More often than not, if you’re going to buy tickets to a show it will be on Live Nation’s website. Back in 2010, when Live Nation only did event promotion, they merged with Ticketmaster to become this all-in-one company that resulted in a massive industry powerhouse that covers everything from ticketing to promotion, to production, to management. When I say that Live Nation (and the people who work for Live Nation) does it all, I mean it!

When I applied for my job with Live Nation’s Detroit office, I didn’t know what I would be getting myself into. I had heard about the opportunity from a few previous interns who were certain that I’d be a great candidate for the job. I applied, sent in my resume, and I was hired on the spot in my interview. I had to patiently wait from December until May to begin my adventure. This was my first shot at making it in the music industry. Everything I had was riding on this experience.

Over the past few years, I had changed my mind about going to graduate school immediately after undergrad. I had changed my major from arts and humanities to professional writing. For the past two years, I have been telling people that my dream was to write for Rolling Stone Magazine, and I was always met with excited responses and congratulations for something I hadn’t even achieved yet.

Of course, my excitement was also plagued with uncertainty. What if I wasn’t good at it? I’d be crushed. What if I didn’t like it? I’d have to start over from square one, again. I’d have to change my hopes and dreams, and figure out new ones. I don’t know if everyone else has this kind of anxiety at the start of something new, but I was just as terrified as I was excited.

Everything I thought I knew changed last summer. Isn’t that dramatic? I always thought people who said crap like that were full of it and trying too hard, but I get it now. Sometimes you just experience something so magnificent it changes you completely. Over the course of 3 months I grew in ways I didn’t know possible. I watched myself change from a girl with a dream to a young woman with drive and the tools to make those dreams happen. I grew professionally and realized that I didn’t have to have just one career goal. I grew personally and learned that I am still so much stronger than I think.

I can’t wait to share more of my experiences and stories with you so come back next week for Part 2 in my new series!

-Swaggie Maggie

Bucket List Concerts: Dr. Dog

A week ago I finally got to see Dr. Dog after three years of loving their music. Over the past few years that I’ve been a fan of their music, all of my attempts to see them failed. I was either out of the state while they were in my city or I had no way of getting myself from college to the venue. When I first started listening to Dr. Dog, I quickly found that I preferred their live album to their studio recorded work. There was just something about the way they sounded during their performance that made me feel like I was experiencing something special. When Dr. Dog announced the release of their latest album Critical Equation, along with an accompanying tour I bought my tickets right away. Their Detroit date miraculously fell on my first day of summer break and I knew that I would definitely be in town for the show.

IMG_1040

When my semester finally ended, the only thing on my mind was seeing Dr. Dog. I had been listening to all of their music in preparation and I was getting ready for a great concert. I didn’t want to get my hopes too high, but I definitely was excited. When I got to the venue I weaved my way through the crowd toward the stage and found a spot that was close to the action. One thing I noticed is that I was definitely one of the youngest people there. I’d say that most of the fans were between 25 and 35 years old and they were all having a great time. As I waited for Dr. Dog to take the stage, I wondered which songs they would perform. They have a huge catalog of music and it would take them all night to play every single fan favorite, but I knew that they would for sure play their most popular songs as well as songs from Critical Equation.

IMG_1039As far as the performance goes, it’s undeniable that Dr. Dog is incredibly talented. They knew exactly when to bring the energetic fire to songs, but they also knew when to pull back and take a more emotional route. The band and the fans worked together to create a dreamy concert experience. I danced, sang, and cried along to their songs, and felt the music in my bones. That doesn’t happen at every show, so when it does I get excited. Dr. Dog was so comfortable up on stage, and it was refreshing to see a band that commanded the energy of the room through music so effectively.

 

Dr. Dog’s song “Shadow People” is one of my favorite songs of all time, so when the opening line rang through the venue I was content. Honestly, I think that the band could have performed that song on a loop for an hour and I would have been completely happy about it. Although, I was happy about the variety of songs they chose to add to the setlist. They played all of my favorites and helped me appreciate their newer songs as well. Like I said, they do their best work live.

-Swaggie Maggie

Redefining Success — COVERing April/May 2018 Print (co-written with Michala White)

“A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.” That is the dictionary’s definition of success. In reality, the idea of success changes over time and means something different to everyone. We know that sometimes it feels as if there are only a handful of options after you graduate. In reality, you can do whatever you want as long as it makes you happy! Whether it’s grad school, accepting a job offer, or taking some time off, there are plenty of ways to lead a fulfilling life and reach your personal version of success.

Not everyone idealizes the American dream anymore. The perfect vision of success used to be a house fit for a married couple and their two children, enclosed in a white picket fence. But now, success can simply mean achieving your definition of true happiness. Sometimes we want to reach certain goals and follow certain paths to please others. But what really matters is making sure you are happy with what you are doing, because you are living your life for you. That is what success is today.

The slogan “Spartans Will” is a phrase that each student has carried close to their hearts after receiving their acceptance letters. We see it plastered around campus, in ads and some of us even analyze the campaign in classes. To many, “Spartans Will” encourages a mentality of tackling difficult problems head-on, overcoming challenges and changing the world. It means standing up for what you believe in, speaking out and making a difference. When you look at what “Spartans Will” means to students, it’s obvious that there is a direct link to success. This slogan empowers and encourages students to define success in their own, unique versions. At any stage of a college education, it’s scary to stop and think, “well what’s next?” It seems as though there are endless options and opportunities.

If you didn’t want to jump right into your career after graduation, an option that you might consider is taking a gap year. But we already know why you might not consider doing that. You could be risking financial instability; your family will question every move you make and you could feel weird about taking different paths than your friends or peers. There isn’t one particular reason why people take a gap year, but it certainly allows them to experience life in new ways outside of school and work. While taking time off, you could travel the world, learn new skills, focus on your mental health, join the peace corps or do something abroad to learn about other cultures. Your gap year might not be a cookie cutter experience like you’d expect it to be. But who knows, it could be everything you didn’t know you needed.

To get the inside scoop on this kind of path after graduation, here are some insights from Meghan Green — an MSU alumna who has recently been traveling the world and has taught in Thailand.

“I think I realized while sitting in one of my final lectures that if I wanted to do something like this it would be now or never,” said Green. “I know the world is huge and there’s so much we can learn from one another and from our own experiences in a different culture.”

Green taught English in Thailand and hasn’t second-guessed her decision yet. She kept a blog during her time teaching as a way to reflect on her experiences.

Green loved the education she gained at MSU, and she can’t wait to eventually start her career. But for now, she wishes to travel throughout more of Southeast Asia before heading home.

“There are so many things I have learned in Thailand that I will be able to come home with. I don’t even know where to begin. Learning to navigate and adapt to a foreign culture, problem-solving foreign concepts like transportation, learning to communicate in another language, learning to be flexible and learning life lessons from people who grew up with a totally different perspective,” said Green.

Experiencing a different culture has taught Green that once she begins the start of her career, she at least wants to dedicate a couple weeks per year for traveling. You could say her definition of success is to become more of a global citizen and to become more culturally aware.

If taking a whole year off after graduation isn’t your speed, but you still want to travel and explore the world, you can definitely find a way to balance your career and your adventures! Nicole Jakubik graduated from MSUin spring 2016 with a degree in media and information technology, and a concentration in television, film and radio. She now works in the Metro Detroit area for an independent television and film studio as an associate producer. Her plans and goals changed a lot over the course of her senior year.

“During my first semester I was super confident that I was going to move to New York City and work at a major television network,” said Green. “Second semester came around and it became very clear that my plan was not going to happen anytime soon. The thirty jobs I applied to quickly turned into over a hundred, and I still had no job offers. I was totally freaking out. It’s so easy to get this idea in your head of what your plan in life should be, and think that somehow that plan is going to fall into place.”

After weighing her options and working hard to figure out a backup plan, one of her mother’s coworkers was able to put her in contact with someone starting a film company and she landed the job she has now.

While Jakubik thinks taking a gap year sounds like an amazing opportunity, she didn’t personally feel that she could take an entire year off to travel. “I knew I needed to start my career as soon as I could. As much as I love traveling, I also love working.” She decided to take control of her days off, and make sure she is able to fulfill her travel goals while also pursuing her career goals.

“It’s easy to get trapped into the career mindset that Americans have that you have to work all of the time, and if you take vacation or personal days, it means you’re lazy,” said Jakubik. “Don’t listen to that. Traveling can absolutely fit into your career. Use weekends. Where can you go from Friday to Sunday? If it’s a short plane ride or trip in the car, I’ll leave after work on Friday and get back as late as possible Sunday. Use long weekends for trips where you want extra time, or use personal days to create a long weekend! If I want to go somewhere international, that’s when I’ll use vacation time.”

Once you hit college, you have been in school for about 16 years non-stop — if you go straight from high school to college. That is a long time without getting a break. It is drilled into our heads that we can only reach success from going to school, but that’s not always the case. You can learn something new from every experience you have, and what better way to learn than to have rich, diverse experiences?

You can learn about different walks of life just by traveling the world, observing and talking to others. It is okay to jump right into your career after graduation, and it is okay to take some time to tend to yourself if need be. Your definition of what success is and how you reach it is truly up to you.

Springtime in Lansing — FEATURing April/May 2018 Print

Spring is a period of rebirth and growth, and there are plenty of activities and events that reappear in our community during the warmer months. Once the season of skiing, sledding and skating comes to an end, festivals, ball games and concerts are welcomed with open arms. No matter where you are in Michigan, the Mitten State has a lot to offer after the snow starts to melt.

April showers lead to beautiful views on MSU’s campus. Many students lay out picnic blankets and study, while others hang hammocks and lounge; pickup games of basketball, soccer and volleyball can be found in each neighborhood, along with friendly faces who encourage others to join the fun. Junior Drew Bartlett is excited to enjoy the MSU Food Truck once the nice weather rolls in! “When I have a long day of class in the spring, I love to get my lunch from the food truck and eat it outside. The food is fresh and delicious, and it’s a perfect break from school work,” Bartlett said. Students who live on campus will often seek out the Food Truck because the meals are a pleasant change from the dining halls.

Another fun activity students enjoy in the spring is walking. Junior Sydnee Levine is a fan of taking walks along the Red Cedar and River Trail at night. “A big group of my friends and I always like to take walks at night in the spring. It’s warm enough where you’d only need a light jacket, and the cool air is refreshing, and it’s cool to experience campus in a way you wouldn’t normally see it,” Levine said.

The Greater Lansing area hosts a myriad of events in the spring that draw in audiences of all ages. The Capital City Film Festival from April 11-15 is a local favorite, as well as for those who travel from out of town. The website states that the festival is a “multimedia showcase of independent films and live touring bands with engaging audiences in Michigan’s capital city.” Not only does the festival celebrate artists from our community, but it lets creators from around the world promote a diverse, cultural atmosphere. With individual events that range from free of charge to $15, this is a great, inexpensive way to get out the residence hall and into the community.

Lansing’s Beerfest at the Ballpark on April 28, is another springtime tradition – for ages 21 and up, of course. The festival is held in the concourse and front lawn of the Cooley Law School Stadium and is a dream for every beer lover! With over 300 craft beers, ciders, meads, spirits and wines from over 70 Michigan breweries, there’s something for everyone. The event’s location is a fitting backdrop as baseball is a springtime favorite for Lansing residents.

If you love music, then make sure to mark Lansing’s StoopFest on your calendar. For its third year in production, the festival will be bigger and better than ever. When StoopFest was established, the goal was to create an inclusive environment for Lansing’s music and art lovers, showcasing talented individuals within the community while promoting Lansing’s eastside. The community embraced the festival, holding nearly 100 performances in six different houses with music ranging from rock and folk to hip-hop. This year, the goal remains the same, but the plan is much larger. By expanding capacity, including more well-known artists and occupying more spaces within the community, the event is setting itself up to become a staple of Lansing for years to come.

Spring is a perfect time to enjoy all that our lovely state has to offer, and the Greater Lansing area makes it easy to do so. With events beginning in early April, the season is a wonderful time to explore the community. When the sun begins to shine and the snow melts, the opportunities to get outside and have some fun are endless.

The Best Healthy Snacks from Around the World — BLOGGing April 2018

We all love to say that we’re being healthy but how often do we make healthy choices? While choosing healthy snacks is not the only way to maintain good well-being, it is a great place to start. For some, the idea of eating healthy food means eating uncooked brussel sprouts for every meal (don’t hate on brussel sprouts! They’re delicious!) but there are so many options that are considered healthy.

The hardest thing to find are alternative snack foods. With oreos, cheese wiz, and pop readily available in the US, it can be easy to choose snacks that won’t do anything positive for your body. Netflix has a few food documentaries such as Food Inc. and What the Health that have totally freaked everyone out in regards to the American food system. For healthy snack inspiration, looking to other countries for recipes is a great idea. Every country has different snacks that will boost energy, mood, and relieve hunger throughout the day. Here are the best healthy snacks from around the world.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves – Lebanon

This Mediterranean favorite is high in protein and will keep you full between meals. The vegetarian version gives you a plant fueled kick. The best grape leaves are stuffed with rice, pine nuts, tomatoes, and a bunch of herbs and spices.

Hummus – Egypt

Hummus is a staple of many cultural cuisines, but it was first found in Egypt. This chickpea dip is delicious and has become an obsession over the past few years. For a filling snack that is good for you, dip cucumber, celery, or carrots in hummus and enjoy!

Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls – Vietnam

Think of spring rolls as a healthy alternative to a burrito. Fresh vegetables, mint, cilantro and shrimp are wrapped in rice paper and served with a tangy peanut sauce. You can munch on these bad boys all day without feeling any guilt.

Bruschetta – Italy

Italians know how to do food, and bruschetta is a staple of Italian cuisine. This dish is created simply out of toasted bread topped with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Bruschetta feels like a decadent treat, but it’s actually healthy!

Veggie Sushi – Japan

For those who are sushi obsessed, but don’t love how expensive it is, you can easily make sushi at home! Since we live in the midwest, we don’t have great access to sushi grade seafood, but fresh veggies are just as delicious and make for the perfect vegan/gluten free snack! You can even make sushi without a mat by laying plastic wrap on a dish towel. Slice up fresh carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers and avocado, wrap in sticky rice and dried seaweed sheets for a perfect roll.

 

Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

Music Festival Lineup Recap — BLOGGing March 2018

Summer is the best season for countless reasons, but for music lovers, summer marks the start of festival season. Many people love music festivals because they are able to see a bunch of their favorite artists in the same venue, while enjoying the energy and atmosphere. This summer, the line ups are what dreams are made of, including classic bands, hot new artists and even reunions!

June 7-10 in Manchester, Tennessee is Bonnaroo Music Festival, and the lineup has a lot of people buzzing. Artists set to perform include Muse, Bassnectar, Paramore and Dua Lipa making it perfect for fans of any genre. One artist that has caught the interest of many fans is Bon Iver. Bon Iver is scheduled to perform two unique and separate sets, which should be a special experience for fans.

Firefly music festival in The Woodlands of Dover, Delaware has been a favorite for both indie and hip-hop lovers alike since 2012. June 14-17 will be filled with performances from Logic and Kendrick to Foster the People and alt-J. Big names for the festival include Eminem and The Killers and a special reunion performance from the Arctic Monkeys —their first live show together since 2014! A lineup like this would make a road trip out east worth it.

Vans Warped Tour is making its final cross country run after 23 years in operation. While many fans who have been going to the festival when it comes to their city for years are sad to see the fun come to an end,  but the lineup makes it sting a little less. All Time Low, The Maine, Mayday Parade, Sum 41, Taking Back Sunday and more can be found playing the festival this summer, as well as additional special guests that are yet to be announced. This may be the last Warped Tour, but it’s sure to be one of the most memorable.

Music festivals can be great experiences, and many fans wait the whole year for summer to roll around so they can attend one. People often take road trips to see their favorite bands and end up falling in love with music they’d never listened to before while waiting in the crowds. Make sure to check out the full lineups, and see all of what festival season has to offer.

 

Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

Hit Reset – The Julie Ruin

In 2016, American garage-rock band The Julie Ruin released their second album, Hit Reset. This hidden gem is reminiscent of lead singer, Kathleen Hanna’s days in Bikini Kill and the Riot-grrrl movement, while staying on point with the cultural, social, and political aspects of life in 2016 to 2018. After releasing a solo album under the alias of Julie Ruin in 1998, Hanna decided to make the band a full time project. In 2010, The Julie Ruin was formed in New York City by Hanna, Carmine Covelli, Sara Landeau, Kathi Wilcox, and Kenny Mellman.

Hit Reset.jpg

Hit Reset was received well by music sources and critics, and received an 8.2 out of 10 in a Pitchfork review, making it clear that the record is definitely worth listening to. Since the music falls into the punk-sphere, the album is not commercially known due to the popularity and demand for pop and rap music. I had never heard of Hit Reset or The Julie Ruin until just a few weeks ago, and I consider myself musically diverse, especially in the rock world. After listening to the album on repeat for a few weeks, I’m positive that everyone in The United States needs to hear it. They need to hear Hanna screaming, and feel her pain, and realize her triumphs with her.

I believe that music is powerful, in any capacity. That’s why it makes me upset when pop music on the radio is mindless and inappropriate. Musicians have a huge platform and they should use it to promote positive messages, and stories about their lives that people can relate to and learn from. Hanna uses Hit Reset to tell her story, and I think that people would gain a sense of empathy towards people by hearing this record. By traveling through Hanna’s journey, listeners are able to share her experiences with her, and feel for her. In a review from Pitchfork, the album is described as “The chance to tip her experiences onto a sterile surface and assess each memory’s impact before dropkicking it into oblivion; the kind of process that’s often only possible when you’ve looked death in the face. It’s Hanna’s most personal work” (Snapes). Hanna proves her power and “she triumphs at every decibel” (Powers).

Hanna has Lyme disease and has been battling it for years. It has forced her to take time off from making music, but she has never backed down from a fight. A review from NPR Music describes Hanna as “both the dissembled survivor and the furious avenger” (Powers). In 2013, a documentary titled “The Punk Singer” was released about her life, and that experience rings through Hit Reset. When I first listened to the album, I was a little conflicted. I was immediately reminded of sounds from the 90’s, and of my best friend. My best friend from home has a voice kind of similar to Hanna’s, being that it isn’t perfect or pristine. It’s not technically good, but it’s interesting and passionate. There were songs that I didn’t like at all, such as “Be Nice”, because I couldn’t understand the lyrics through Hanna’s frenzied screams. I’ll be honest, I got a little bit of anxiety as I listened to the album for the first time. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, but the music was definitely anxiety inducing.

I’d listen to this album when I’m pissed off. Maybe I’d be in my room or driving home from work, but this is the kind of music you listen to when you’re so angry but you may not know how to express the anger in a constructive way. This makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs, kick things and cry until I calm down. I think that it’s important to feel those emotions every once in a while. Emotions make people human.

While we have learned in class that the Riot-grrrl movement was not perfect, I think it was a great place to start in terms of getting everybody to notice women, see them as legitimate human beings, and understand that every woman is equal to every man. The Riot-grrrl movement only encompassed straight, white, middle class, women, and the documentary is pretty reflective of that. It seems as though most of the women interviewed and showed in the film are white and supposedly middle class (They all met in college, so they could afford a college education). Women of color, transgender women and men, and members of the LGBTQ+ community also needed a voice, as well as members of lower classes. It is unfortunate that so many people were not included in the Riot-grrrl movement, but it is understandable that the very first step in a movement is not perfect. There is no possible way for something to be perfect upon conception, but the important thing is that a first step was taken.

Hit Reset is reminiscent of 90’s punk, and combines techno-rock influences with classic punk attributes such as fuzzy guitar riffs, strained vocals, and manic rhythms. At first listen, tracks can be split up into two categories. The first kind of song you’ll hear on the album is wild, all over the place, and frenzy-inducing. These songs mimic classic punk and bring about a manic style. The second type of songs are almost monotone sound, following one rhythm, have repetitive lyrics, and could be classified as punk ballads. After listening to the album a few more times, it is obvious that each song follows a similar style that is unique to The Julie Ruin. The “New-wave romp didn’t lack energy, some of Hanna’s lyrics were unusually tentative” (Snapes). The album is cohesive, and follows Hanna’s experiences and thoughts as a female artist.

There are a few running themes that are apparent and maintained throughout the album, and tell a story. Love, being feminine, feminism, and identifying as a dreamer, can be found woven throughout the lyrics of each song. While Hit Reset cannot necessarily be considered a rock-opera like The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers or The Who’s Tommy, it definitely follows a theme and tells stories. The lyrics all seem autobiographical and personal, even in the songs where many of the lyrics could not be understood. They still felt unique and distinctive, because  “Hanna faces down the abuse she’s suffered in her own life” (Powers). Half of the songs, such as  on the album sound manic, and anxiety inducing. The lyrics are screamed with a high-pitched-frenzy and the instruments are all over the place, creating a craziness. The other half of the songs, such as “I Decide” and “Time is Up” sound almost monotone and flat, but not boring by any means. They seem so much calmer than the other songs on the album. Both of these styles work together to create a unique record.

A song that immediately stood out to me on the album was “Rather Not. It sounded so familiar, and I could have sworn that I’d heard it before.I think that my subconscious knew it was a song I personally needed to hear. The low, catchy bass and guitar riffs that are continued throughout the song are reminiscent of Pixies’s “Here Comes Your Man, and they compliment Hanna’s unique vocals perfectly. Hanna’s voice is one-of-a-kind. She’s no opera singer, but in her context and situation, there is no other way these songs could sound and still have the incredible weight that they possess. With lyrics that are pointed and deliberate, “Rather Not follows a disastrous relationship that has ended. Although there is significant history, Hanna sings about throwing all of that history away for the sake of moving on and feeling comfortable and alive again. She sings “If you love me I’d rather not know” over and over throughout the song, which resonates with anyone who has fallen out of love and the relationship keeps coming back to haunt them.

Another interesting song is “Mr. So and So”. It starts with a catchy guitar riff and then Hanna comes in with a monologue. The lyrics up until the chorus are spoken as a speech, detailing an awkward and inappropriate encounter she had with a male fan. When the chorus starts, the lyrics echo “You can’t say goodbye until I get my hello. Mr. So and So. It’s all just for show.” It’s heartbreaking and makes me angry to hear about the uncomfortable things male fans have said to her.  “Mr. So and So” is “an anti-ode to an entitled male fan” (Powers) that allows listeners to feel the same disgust that Hanna does.

 

Works Cited

Powers, Ann. “Review: The Julie Ruin, ‘Hit Reset.'” NPR Music, NPR, http://www.npr.org/2016/06/30/480605934/first-listen-the-julie-ruin-hit-reset. Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.

Snapes, Laura. “The Julie Ruin Hit Reset.” Pitchfork, Conde Nast, 16 July 2016, pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/22073-hit-reset/. Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.

-Swaggie Maggie

Seeing Artists More Than Once

Something that has been on my mind a lot lately is why we see artists and bands more than once. As a working college student, I’m always trying to save money. This can be difficult when there are so many concerts I want to make it to. The price of concerts tickets adds up, even when they are held at smaller venues that don’t cost as much per ticket as concerts held in stadiums would. However, as hard as I try to save money, if one of my favorite bands is coming to town I’ll go see them, no matter how many times I’ve seen them before.

IMG_0348

Recently, I bought tickets to see All Time Low with a few of my friends. The concert is being provided by the residential services of my college, so the tickets were relatively inexpensive, and I was able to get great seats! After purchasing the tickets, I started thinking about why we want to see bands or artists more than once. Take All Time Low for example. I have seen them once before, but that was back in 2015 before the release of their latest album. Often times we see bands more than once because we want to experience their new music live.

IMG_5196

There are some bands that I’ve seen more times than I can remember off the top of my head. I’ve seen both Mayday Parade and Sleeping With Sirens 6 times each, and in multiple settings. I’ve seen them at festivals, at headlining tours, and in intimate venues. A few times, I saw the bands when they hadn’t released any new music. The setlist sounded similar to the one at the previous show, but I still had the time of my life!

My personal philosophy when it comes to buying concert tickets is simple. I ask myself three questions before purchasing. 1. Can you afford it?  2. Will you have fun? And 3. Will you be sad if you don’t go? If I can answer yes to those, I know that buying the ticket will be worth it.

-Swaggie Maggie

 

How MSU Students are Challenging the University’s Culture of Silence — BLOGGing March 2018 (co-written with Emily Orlando)

In 1997, Larissa Boyce told Kathie Klages, who was then MSU’s head gymnastics coach and the head of the MSU junior gymnastics program that Boyce was a member of, that an MSU physician named Larry Nassar had touched her inappropriately during medical treatment. At 16 years old, Boyce put her trust in Klages, a woman Boyce referred to during her victim impact statement on Jan. 19 as someone she “looked up to. She was the person I thought had my back.” Instead of protecting Boyce, Klages discouraged her from filing a formal complaint, convincing her that the medical treatment was legitimate and that she had just misunderstood Nassar’s actions.

Though Boyce was the first woman to report Nassar, she was far from the last. This much was made evident during Nassar’s Ingham County sentencing hearing, which took place Jan. 16-Jan. 24 of this year. At that hearing, 156 women and girls came forward detailing stories eerily similar to Boyce’s: they were assaulted, and then they were silenced. Women on MSU’s campus, women involved in gymnastics and other sports on campus, and women coming to MSU for medical help were repeatedly let down by those in positions to help them. And it wasn’t just Klages. A Detroit News report outlines as many as 14 people who, over the past 20 years, were notified of Nassar’s abuse — and did nothing. The inaction of athletic trainers, coaches, a university police detective and others will forever affect MSU. But for the time being, the students won’t let it define their university.

The New York Daily News stated that “the students are the only ones acting like adults in response to the Larry Nassar scandal,” and we find that to be true to this day. On Jan. 26, students rallied at the rock to show support for the victims of Nassar. After students, professors, and athletes spoke, the crowd marched, homemade signs in hand, to the Hannah Administration Building, chanting “silence is compliance.” Later that same night, on a different part of campus, hundreds of students gathered at the Breslin Center to watch the Spartans take on the Wisconsin Badgers. Student leaders provided teal t-shirts to every member of the Izzone and passed them out as students walked into the stadium. The entire student section was participating in the #IzzoneTealOut to show their support for the survivors. The State News, The Detroit News and even CBS News wrote articles detailing these two events and commending the students for rallying together to show that this is important to us. Our University, however, hasn’t said a word about students coming together in this way. The announcer at the Spartans vs. Badgers game didn’t even acknowledge it.

What more will it take? The students want to talk about this. The students want the survivors to find peace and justice. The students want to make sure that this never happens on our campus again. If our administration won’t even comment on our efforts, what will it take for them to recognize that the students see a problem and actively want to fix it?

 

Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

 

Emily Orlando is a podcast lover, a Food Network connoisseur and a senior majoring in professional writing with a focus in editing and publishing—in that order.