Unique Venues in Detroit

As a music lover, Detroit Rock City was a great place to grow up. The city is filled with music history, local bands, and venues fit for any artist. Each musical venue that the city has to offer is unique. The artists that play there, the vibes, and the historical significance combine to create thrilling concert experiences that are exclusive to the motor city. Here are some of the most unique concert venues you should check out when you are in Detroit.

 Saint Andrew’s Hall

Built in 1907, Saint Andrew’s Hall was used as the meeting place for the Saint Andrew’s Scottish Society of Detroit. During World War II the membership dwindled and other groups began renting the building for concerts and events. In the 80s, Saint Andrew’s became highly regarded as a trendsetting music club. Breakthrough artists such as Iggy Pop, NirvanaPearl Jam, and Bob Dylan have graced the stage at Saint Andrew’s. More recently, the hall has become a launching pad for up and coming artists. Pierce the Veil, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and more have played here before moving to larger venues. With a 1,000-person capacity, Saint Andrew’s is a mid-size venue that allows for personal interaction between artists and fans. With a full-service bar, ADA seating, and Greektown right down the street, Saint Andrew’s Hall is a great venue for every concert goer.

The Shelter

Located beneath Saint Andrew’s Hall, The Shelter is one of the more intimate venues in Detroit. While it is connected to Saint Andrew’s, a show at The Shelter is unlike any other. It’s an intimate venue with capacity at 400 people. Visitors can get as close to the stage as humanly possible without being up there with the performers. Something interesting about The Shelter is its role in Eminem’s musical career. While the venue was featured in “8 Mile” Eminem actually rapped there in the early years of his career. More recently the rapper hosted a “Mom’s Spaghetti” pop-up event at The Shelter to promote his latest album “Revival” and he went back to his roots to film some freestyle rap in 2018. Eminem’s unique relationship with The Shelter makes it one of the most fascinating venues in Detroit. While you may not find Slim Shady at The Shelter on a random night, there’s no denying the energy that the venue holds in its bones.

The Masonic Temple

The Detroit Masonic Temple is one of the most beautiful and historic music venues in Southeastern Michigan. Architectural firm, George Mason and Company completed construction in 1926. The first performers at The Masonic were Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The building itself is full of interesting rooms. There are three theaters in the venue, but one is currently used by film production. Other rooms include a chapel, two ballrooms, office spaces, a cafeteria, a dining room, a barber shop, and sixteen bowling lanes. Today, the venue hosts countless concerts, building tours, private events, and weddings. Artists that frequent The Masonic are Lana Del Rey, Tyler, The Creator, and The Killers. With a diverse range of music that rolls through, the venue offers something for every concertgoer. The venue sits on the corner of Temple and Cass which is now a part of “The District Detroit” which offers countless trendy restaurants, breweries, and small businesses to check out before a show.

Little Caesars Arena

The opening of Little Caesars Arena is one of the most exciting things to happen in Detroit recently. During its inaugural year (2017/18) LCA easily became a staple of Detroit by hosting a myriad of exciting events. The arena is home to Red Wings hockey, and Pistons basketball, but it also hosts the hottest artists that come to town. Superstars from every genre and generation including Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Lorde, and Janet Jackson have brought their shows to town. The eight-story, bowl-shaped arena’s floor is 40 feet below street level. There are no bad seats in the house! Around 20,000 fans can fit into the stands and there is innovative “gondola” seating that is suspended above the stands. LCA also offers ADA accessible seating and parking as well as first aid stations. There are countless restaurants, bars, and VIP sections throughout the arena, making it a full-blown destination.

Historically, Detroit has been overlooked by the rest of America. People seem to think that its heyday was in the past and that the city is crime-ridden and somber. In recent years, Detroit has been anything but! Its interesting history combines with the influx of new residents and businesses to create an exciting downtown area.

One of the most special things about Detroit is its music scene. Growing up just fifteen miles from downtown, I got to experience all that the city has to offer. The music history, the bands, and the venues. My exposure to the rich music history of the city and love for live music inspired me to pursue a career in the music industry. I have been frequenting The Shelter since I was in High School and I was fortunate enough to work at Little Caesars Arena over the summer. While the venues I have detailed above are certainly not the only concert spaces the city has to offer, they are unique places to begin falling in love with the sounds of Detroit.

 

 

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Movies for Music Lovers | Netflix

Calling all music lovers and movie buffs! Countless streaming sites available are at our fingertips and it is easier than ever to catch up on movies that bring the musical charm. If you are looking for films that seamlessly incorporate music into the cinematic world, look no farther. To start, let’s take a look at what Netflix has to offer in terms of movies for music lovers.

Netflix's Music & Movies Page

“Across the Universe”

I’ll admit, “Across The Universe” is my favorite movie of all time. There is no way it wouldn’t make it onto this list. The 2007 film uses music by The Beatles and the Vietnam War as a backdrop for the love story of Lucy and Jude. The film uses experimental visuals and combines action, romance, and music seamlessly. The cast’s performances are beautifully accompanied by the genius songwriting of the fab four.

“Michael Jackson’s This is it”

This 2009 documental concert film documents Michael Jackson’s rehearsals for his concert tour that was originally scheduled to start on July 13, 2009. The tour was canceled eighteen days prior to its start due to his passing on June 25. The film portrays Jackson as he rehearses his musical numbers, directs his team, and holds dancer auditions. Director, Kenny Ortega, revealed that the footage was never intended for release, but after Jackson’s death, it seemed right to create the film.

“Jersey boys”

Clint Eastwood’s 2014 musical drama, based on the Tony Award Winning musical of the same name, tells the story of Franky Valli and The Four Seasons. The film follows the band as they discover themselves as a musical group, and as they discover life as well. The film portrays the massive trials and tribulations that came with the the success of their music career. The incredible true story comes to life on the screen.

Netflix Originals:

“taylor swift’s Reputation Stadium tour”

A front row ticket to one of the most anticipated tours of 2018, without the insane cost? Count me in! Before watching the Netflix Original I thought it would be a concert documentary, much like the “1989 World Tour Live” on Apple Music, but this was just concert footage from the last night of the Reputation Tour at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Swift’s setlist includes every song from “Reputation”, as well as old favorites. The energy that She brings to each and every song in this 2-hour long extravaganza is fascinating and well worth the watch.

“Springsteen on Broadway”

After reading Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography “Born to Run” over the summer, I knew I needed to see his Broadway show. As luck would have it, the weekend I visited New York City in July it was an off week at the Walter Kerr Theater. I was devastated. Flash forward to December and news spread that Netflix would be releasing a special recording of the show. Springsteen performs to a small crowd of less than a thousand people. The show follows the arc of Springsteen’s life and work. He speaks, sings, and plays guitar and piano in a tender and nostalgic fashion. The American Icon is captivating in all of his pursuits, and this Netflix special is no exception.

In the age of streaming,  music and movie lovers can unite to watch musical films in countless genres. From concert films to documentaries, to good old movie musicals. There is something for everybody, especially movies for music lovers. Netflix has a huge selection of films including Netflix Originals that music lovers will be happy to watch. The next time you’re scrolling through, wondering what to watch check out one of these films. They won’t let you down.

 

 

New Music, New Year

The new year has finally arrived after the craziness that was 2018. While there are many things to look forward to in the new year, I’m most excited about new music. Only a few days into the year and we already have releases like  Longshot from Catfish and the Bottlemen and Land Of The Free by The Killers. Since it is so early in the year, I’m sure that this must be a prediction for what’s to come.

Based on some theories, facts, and new singles there are quite a few artists who are releasing new music in 2019 that I am excited about. Maggie Rogers, Bring Me The Horizon, FIDLAR, and Lana Del Rey are just a few artists releasing albums this year. While some of these are just predictions, it will still be interesting to see what’s in store for listeners.

Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers is releasing Heard It In A Past Life on January 18th. She has been promoting the album by posting hand-written lyrics on her Instagram feed. The single Light On is an upbeat love song that resembles more a modern girl’s anthem. Roger’s pop instrumentals and folky vocal style work well together to create a playful yet nostalgic sound.

The 1975

One of the most acclaimed albums from 2018 was The 1975’s brilliant A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relations. In an interview with Annie Mac for BBC Radio 1 lead singer Matt Healy, revealed that the band would be releasing a two-part update to their catalog of music. Fans were delighted by this news. Healy had previously stated that The 1975 would release only 3 records. Look out for Notes On A Conditional Form in May 2019!

The 1975 Concert

One of my new year’s resolutions is to incorporate more media into my posts by starting a YouTube channel. There I’ll be doing new music reviews, covers, concert vlogs, and more. I also hope to write blog posts more frequently. Which artists are you most excited to hear new music from this year?

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

The Story of My Summer (part 1)

 

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Melodies of MSU How MSU’s students and faculty embrace music as a community — COVERing March 2018 Print

MSU’s College of Music is a hidden gem on campus. It’s listed in Niche’s top 50 music schools in America and offers many different bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree options. It even offers non-degree programs, including a minor in music and a performance diploma. The College of Music however offers far more than just degrees — it creates a unique community on campus by offering inclusive sessions and workshops called Listening and Healing that are enjoyed by students who are involved with the college. These events are the basis for a supportive environment in which students, faculty and staff participate in, to initiate a unanimous responsibility that embraces students’ similarities while celebrating their differences.

Casey Sherwood and Connor Bulka are freshmen who benefit from the community aspect of the College of Music. Sherwood studies vocal performance with dreams of singing for international opera companies and beginning a nonprofit that brings the benefits of learning and performing music to children, who do not have the opportunities in their daily lives to do so. Bulka is studying music performance, and his instrument is a tuba. He plans on either performing in a professional orchestra or becoming a music professor for small groups of students.

The pair are part of a tight-knit community that is created by the College of Music. “It’s two buildings; you’re with the same people all day. You get really close, really fast,” said Sherwood, thinking of how she was instantly able to make friends when she came to campus in the fall. “The voice department all comes together on Thursday afternoons and has recital hours, so you get to see the entire vocal department perform and see what they’ve been working on. You’re there to support each other and aspire to be better together.”

Bulka has found his community by making personal connections with music majors outside of the college, especially in university-required courses. “Since our schedules are so similar, I’ll be going to my Africa Studies class and see someone from my music class, and I can go over and spark up a conversation,” said Bulka.

Sherwood and Bulka are also huge advocates for non-music majors participating in music on campus. “There are choirs here that you don’t need to be a music major to be in. All you have to do is audition!” Sherwood explains. This is a perfect opportunity for students who have a passion for music performance but decided not to study music in college. “Some professors even do individual lessons,” Bulka adds. The College of Music offers countless performances that are free to students and anyone who enjoys watching and listening to live music. “On Fridays, the College of Music puts on concerts in the lobby of Landon Hall,” Sherwood mentions while listing off countless musical events that are free to Spartan students. “Music enhances life in the right ways.”

The College of Music aims to share its community spirit with the rest of MSU by making it easy for students who are not music majors to get involved in all the fun; music is a universal language, and everyone has some sort of experience with music. While music can provide a personal experience, it’s also a factor in creating a fiercely inclusive community. Concerts, open mic nights and karaoke at Crunchy’s all contribute to the community aspect. There are also plenty of courses that non-music majors can enroll in and get their fix of music education.

Professor Joseph Steinhardt, Ph.D., is a perfect example of how music courses can become inclusive and reach even non-music majors. He teaches in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences under the department of advertising and public relations. He may be a professor now, but back in 2003 he started Don Giovanni Records while in college. The record label started while Steinhardt was in a band at Boston University, and he moved the label to New Brunswick after graduation. Don Giovanni typically focuses on bands local to the New York and New Jersey scene and has a formidable reputation for backing female and LGBT artists. Now that Steinhardt is a professor, he shares his wealth of knowledge in the music industry with his students. In his Independent Music Culture and Society course, students from any major can spend a semester learning about the operations of an independent record label by gaining hands-on experience in the manufacturing, distribution, press and marketing functions of a label. The goal of the course is to prepare students who are interested in working in music-related fields for any sort of job they could possibly apply for. Through this course, Steinhardt came up with the idea to create a minor in indie music production.

“The idea of this class is that you don’t have to be a musician or a music major to work in the music industry,” Steinhardt said. “The culture side fosters community and it fosters political change. It has a significant impact on culture. Music can’t just be a product; it’s more important than that.”

While Steinhardt cannot promise that this minor will show up in MSU’s degree navigator any time soon, he is excited to continue to work with the college of Communication Arts and Sciences to make it happen.

The MSU Community Music School is located on Hagadorn road, right across from campus. It was founded in 1993 with the goal of providing everyone in the community with an access to music education. They are inclusive of everyone, regardless of age, ability or income. The music school offers private lessons, group classes and ensembles, summer camps and music therapy. Jamie DeMott, director of the music school, is an MSU alumna who has always had a passion for music. DeMott graduated from MSU in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in music education and pursued her master’s degree in arts and youth development in 2009. As director, she “oversee[s] all programs, all faculty — basically the operations of the Community Music School as a whole. Every day is different.”

The range of services, sessions and courses that the MSU Community Music School offers to members of the community is expansive. “We offer music education and music therapy from birth through senior adults,” DeMott said. “It truly runs the gamut. We have had students as young as just days old.” One of the most special aspects of the school is the use of music therapy to help children and adults. The courses aim to use “the therapeutic use of music to address anything from closed brain injuries to autism.” The sessions are taught by MSU music students, professional musicians and music educators who each bring unique methods and style to each class. The school also functions as the lab for MSU music students, giving students hands-on experience as music educators.

Music is a force that has the incredible ability to create community and culture. It brings people together every day and serves a critical role in students’ lives at MSU. From music majors and professors to students studying an array of different topics, music is one thing that connects them all.

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.