Archives for April 2017

Former VP Joe Biden Leads “It’s On Us” Campaign At Mason

JOE BIDEN

Joe Biden spoke at George Mason University on Wednesday about the “It’s On Us” campaign, an initiative to end sexual assault on college campuses. Photo By (Mimi Albano/Office of Student Media GMU).

By: Jackie Reed, WGMU’s Production Director

FAIRFAX,VA – On Wednesday, April 26, Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden stopped by George Mason University in a deliberate campaign to end sexual violence across all college campuses.

Rose Pascarell, Vice President of University Life, made the announcement on April 20 about Biden’s arrival and Mason’s mission to end sexual assault: “Mason has made eradicating sexual assault a top priority. It is the only university in Virginia to offer a 24-hour crisis hotline, which is managed by the Student Support and Advocacy Center. It also advances the critical notion that everyone at the university must play a part in ending sexual violence. That includes taking the Mason pledge to end sexual violence and understanding the importance of bystander intervention.”

The It’s On Us initiative was attended by faculty and students, members of GMU’s resources, and “13 Reasons Why” executive producer Joy Gorman and actress Alisha Boe, who plays Jessica Davis in the series.

Their mission is perpetrated on those surrounding the conversation: us. The It’s On Us campaign heavily focuses on the people involved (and not), and they admonish, “the solution begins with us.” Almost 40-minutes long, Biden’s speech enveloped into an open pledge to help survivors and improve college rhetoric circulating the topic. He encouraged students to enforce safety and intervene when situations leading up to sexual assault begin to unfold.

Biden confidently mentioned his longtime advocacy against sexual assault since 1994, when he issued the Violence Against Women Act. Since 2014, he has been a part of It’s On Us, the campaign initiated by then-President Barack Obama.

Biden presented his statements in such a way that was logical and clear to students. He ignited the crowd, leaving everyone in an uproar of compelling support and emotion. With his profound solutions, crowd-seekers were inspired to question the assumptions of scapegoating victims and survivors: “No young man or old man can justify his actions by saying, ‘It was my right. She asked for it’. That’s when we’ll have changed the culture.”

Anxious about the judgments of the future, he urged people to act out now. Be a part of the conversation and speak up, especially if victims are incapable. He connected his takeaways to treating others humanely: “Brutality is brutality. Human rights are basic. I don’t care what your religion. No religion, no culture, can be sustained or should be tolerated, that says it’s okay to abuse another human being. Period.” Readjusting common paradigms means changing the way in which college students casually communicate.

It’s On Us’ “Autocorrect” PSA, published March 28, shows viewers a familiar glimpse into a text message conversation, a possibly common way for younger generations to speak about the matter.

George Mason University backed Joe Biden’s declaration to ending the violence by involving many campus organizations and resources. University Life, Title IX, The Student Support and Advocacy Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services at Mason aim to help students in crisis situations.

Biden, along with the other well established speakers, ended with positive and hopeful anecdotes. The group of speakers as a whole showcased their public and reveling support in the fight against sexual assault stigmas. Biden ended his speech eloquently, drawing back to the ultimate mission: “What you do has profound ripples. It’s about the urgency of now. Take the pledge. Follow through on it. Change the culture.”

Audio summary recapping Joe Biden’s appearance on Wednesday, April 26, narrated by DJ Jackie Reed:

*Contains explicit content that may not be suitable for everyone*

Check out It’s On Us’ Facebook page for more information.

Check out GMU’s Office of Student Media Facebook page for additional photos.

GMU’s Student Support and Advocacy Center (SSAC): http://ssac.gmu.edu/

GMU’s Title IX: https://diversity.gmu.edu/title-ix/what-title-ix

GMU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): https://caps.gmu.edu/

COIN’s HWYKIYNT Is Past The Sophomore Album Slump

COIN wows in recent album. HWYKIYNT (2017). Photo By (COIN/Facebook).

COIN wows in recent album, HWYKIYNT (2017). Photo By (COIN/Facebook).

COIN is leading a front in the independent pop artist game. Their newest album, How Will You Know If You Never Try (2017) also known as HWYKIYNT, came out this past Friday, April 21. With leading singles “Talk Too Much” and more recently “I Don’t Wanna Dance”, they leave indie pop fans vacating all music elsewhere and directing themselves to the album. Their second album is a familiar pop series that embodies a mixed bag of emotions, all with a stagnant and cheerful disposition.

Two years after the release of COIN (2015), featuring some prominent go-to pop singles like “Run” and “Atlas”, the new album shows the very development and confidence of the band. The Nashville band takes their dreamy vocals, pumping drums, and wildly smooth guitar riffs up a notch. Their lyrical growth and outreach of emotions makes the listening experience a familiar yet enjoyable one.

COIN’s album starts with an empty and slow introduction “when I talk about the future.” They quickly adjust their momentum and bring back their usual windy drums and pushy beat. Chase Lawrence, the lead vocalist, assures his Nashville heritage by mixing his vocal twang with jumpy indie pop instrumentals. It is rather reminiscent of indie artists who share optimism in their tracks, like Magic Man, LANY, The 1975, Grouplove, and Smallpools.

Following songs have a similar format, each containing relatable story, undeniable cheer, and riffs true to the band. “Talk Too Much” is the third song off the album, and it is the talk of the town; this anthem emulates the insecurities of many individuals in a cute and honest approach. Their fourth song “I Don’t Wanna Dance” also has a similar message, validating the goodness of the song through irony, in a way.

COIN’s album holds a theme: challenging the realities of teenage/young adult love and relationships. With relationships comes insecurities, blunt conversation, and of course, courtship. Their lyrics prove this. In their sixth song “Are We Alone?”, parts of the script add to the very emotion that comes with young love. “Pulling teeth just to ask how your day was” is one notion which many may relate to.

A part of young love, however, comes along innocence and a fresh start. COIN ends their album slow, like the beginning. The last songs “Miranda Beach” and “Malibu 1992” simply add to the narrative, ending in such a way that is filled with nostalgia.

Overall, COIN’s HWYKIYNT (2017) is the ultimate go-to summer album to add to any indie pop playlist. Though there is little variety between songs, they still contain positive messages that are relatable on so many levels.

Rating 7/10, would recommend.

Check out COIN’s full album HWYKIYNT (2017) on Spotify, Soundcloud, and iTunes.

Frank Iero Interview (April 2017)

Frank-IeroMusician Frank Iero (Frank Iero and the Patience, My Chemical Romance) called in to WGMU Radio to catch up with DJ Matt Dotson, since their last interview in March 2015 (found here). Frank and Matt talked about Record Store Day, humor on social media, Rob Trujillo’s son in Korn, and a very special story about Matt’s grandma (it involves the picture on the left). WGMU thanks Frank for coming on the station, he’s our absolute favorite interview!

Listen to the interview HERE:

 

You can catch Frank Iero and the Patience on their US tour now. Buy tickets here.

You can buy Stomachaches and Parachutes here.

 

P.S. – Frank can say all the bad words he wants. We love him.

The Capitals Even the Series in A Pulse-Pounding Thriller

Nick Colletti

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Thursday April 20, 2017

tom wilsonThe heavily favored Washington Capitals have faced an opponent in the Toronto Maple Leafs that many predicted would be eliminated with ease by a D.C hockey club that has played some of its best hockey in franchise history. Three games into this series, the Maple Leafs have surprised hockey fans and audiences everywhere. Their ability to challenge the Presidents Trophy-winning Capitals with nifty goaltending from Frederic Andersen and a potent offense led by Toronto’s premium young talent has abruptly disturbed Caps fans everywhere.

Heading into a pivotal Game 4 in the rambunctious Air Canada Center full of passionate hockey-mad Ontario citizens, the Capitals needed to be at their best to quiet the chaos. Two quick goals from the sticks of TJ Oshie off a rebound and a laser slap shot from the hashmarks by Alex Ovechkin steered momentum in favor of the visitors, at least for a little bit. The puck luck for the Maple Leafs would continue to frustrate Washington as Zach Hyman deflected a pass from the point past Braden Holtby and resurrected the Toronto faithful. At this moment, Caps fans felt a familiar “here we go again” feeling and braced for another blown lead that has eviscerated significant games in recent past. But it would be two quick goals from an unexpected hero in Tom Wilson that allowed Caps fans to exhale heading into the first intermission.

Toronto would score first in the second stanza off yet another lucky bounce to cut Washington’s lead into two, courteous of James van Riemsdyk. The rest of the period would remain scoreless but at the end the Capitals started to play with fire. After a slashing penalty from Brooks Orpik, the Capitals faced a difficult 5-on-3 penalty kill heading into the third period.

The Capitals would be successful in killing the penalty and gave them much needed momentum any road team strives to obtain. That momentum would be strained after Auston Matthews buried the puck into the net off yet another lucky bounce. Less than a minute later however TJ Oshie would find himself a narrow lane of ice heading right toward Andersonn and made no mistake in striking the back of the net with a gorgeously executed five-hole goal. The crucial insurance goal would make the contest 5-3 in favor of Washington and it would be up to the defense and Braden Holtby to stand tall and close this game out. The Capitals resilience would be tested again when Tyler Bozak notched a late goal with 27 seconds left in the final period, but it wouldn’t be enough as Washington fought and tied the series heading back to D.C.

Many have been surprised so far on how competitive and difficult the Maple Leafs have been to the heavily favored Capitals. As Game 5 approaches, fans should expect this to be a long series and extend to seven games. In recent years most Game 7s on home ice have not treated the Capitals favorably. Even though this is a different team since those last season-ending disappointments, you really can’t blame any Caps fans for worrying if history will repeat itself.

Crystal Fighters @ Black Cat 04/14

crystal fighers

Sasha Toophanie, Music Director

On April 7th, 2017, Washington D.C.’s Black Cat was humming with anticipation for Crystal Fighters! The electronic/folk band hails from London and their third studio album, “Everything is My Family” released October 21st, 2016. Crystal Fighters have gained a loyal following since their first album release in 2010, and much of their DMV fan base supported the UK band.

Machineheart opened the show with a phenomenal set, including tracks like, “Stonecold”, “Best Thing”, and “Speak”. Electric energy poured from the artists into the crowed and the pit could not get enough of Machineheart! They used the smaller stage to make the set more intimate between themselves and the audience. Despite one minor technical difficulty, Machineheart created an incredible atmosphere for Crystal Fighters.

After intermission, six men and women dressed in Native American garb began chanting as they took the stage. Sebastian, the lead male vocalist, waved a bundle of leaves at the crowd and began their set with, “Follow”. The interesting approach to their set stirred an outburst of adrenaline among the audience, and a surge towards the stage encouraged Crystal Fighters of their support. That opener was followed by 15 additional songs like, “LA Calling”, “I Love London” and “Everything is My Family”, and an encore. The unmistakable energy the audience produced for Crystal Fighters will be one for the books!

Lit&Local: Electric Heart

Electric Heart

Based in Sterling, VA, Electric Heart pulls at the strings of music lovers everywhere. The duo consists of Padi Goudarzi and Sean Ghosh, two childhood friends who mix soul, folk, alternative, and indie into their own distinct genre. They reach out to the D.C. and Virginia area by playing at open mic nights and local gigs. Almost a capella, Ghosh adds to the soulful vocals by switching it up with some raspy guitar, wispy and acoustic at its finest. Much of their music is rooted in optimism, very much alike the works of local artists Cinema Hearts and Nemes. Sometimes a guitar and a voice or two is all you need, and they show listeners the endless possibilities of music, simplified and amplified. Electric Heart duets with passionate melodies, wagging instrumentals, and a la-dee-da energy that goes beyond the typical Kumbaya vibes.

Interview with DJ Jackie Reed

Surrender – unreleased track

“Wanderer” – from their Be Alive EP (2017)

 

For a full setlist of their Be Alive EP (2017), check it out on Spotify, iTunes, and Bandcamp.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0REQkGerEKHhaDQl30ObBo

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/electric-heart/id1122232737

Bandcamp: https://electricheart.bandcamp.com/releases

Check out Electric Heart’s Facebook for news and updates.

Electric Heart will also be playing at Epicure Café, Friday, April 28. Free copies of their Be Alive EP (2017) and merch will be handed out. For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/235404703595716/.