The Nice Guys: The Goose Problem

nice guys 3Matt brings to our attention a rather concerning issue with some new campus residents.

You can hear The Nice Guys every Wednesday, from 4:30 to 5:30. Tune in for hosts Cory Morgan and Matt Dotson, as they provide a look into their daily lives and neurotic ticks. Self deprecation, unwarranted hostility, and overall hilarity ensues each and every week.

 

 

 

Just By Chance: Chance the Rapper’s Rise to Stardom

Kaitlyn Koegler

WGMU Blogger

chance the rapperIt was an unprecedented event; a rapper with no record label behind him winning three Grammys.

Becoming the first artist to win a Grammy for a streaming-only album, Chance the Rapper (born as Chancellor Bennett), is a 23 year-old rising star with three mixtape releases under his belt.

Releases all pioneered by none other than himself.

Chance, unlike most big names in the industry, is not signed by any record label, releasing his music on Soundcloud to avoid the restrictions that come with being signed to a huge company.

Not to say that he isn’t wanted by any; he is. Big time. Pagesix reports that the artist is reportedly turning down 10 million dollar offers just to stay out of what he believes is a pointless deal.

“It’s a dead industry,” said Chance to Rolling Stone. “What’s an album these days, anyways? ‘Cause I didn’t sell it, does that mean it’s not an official release?” 

Despite his criticism of labels, he continues to prosper. With 1.39 million followers on Soundcloud and all-star artists like Justin Beiber and Kanye West featuring on his tracks, it doesn’t look like Chance will be slowing down anytime soon.

If you’re interested in seeing Chance live, tickets for his summer tour are currently on sale at ticketmaster.com. He will be making stops in Bristow, Virginia Beach, and Baltimore.

Kaine & Mason Student Elyazgi on Travel Ban and Community Effect

 

Photo Credit: Dea McCollum

tim kaineOn Friday February 10th, former Vice President nominee and current Senator of Virginia Tim Kaine returned to George Mason. He came in the fall, accompanied by Joe Biden, to promote the Clinton-Kaine ticket. Now, after the conclusion of the election, he came not for self-promotion, but to speak about the new administration’s recent ban on seven Muslim majority countries.

Prior to the entrance of Tim Kaine, the room was quiet. Hushed conversations peppered the space as Angel Cabrera; President of George Mason peered into the room every few minutes, allowing the audience a glimpse of his festive yellow shirt and green tie.

Many feel that the diverse and international student body is what enriches the student experience here. 87 students at George Mason are from the seven countries targeted by the ban. Hadeel Al-Tashi, a Yemeni graduate student, speaks about the hardship her family members in Yemen are experiencing due to the war and resulting displacement. She speaks of scattered families seeking refuge prior to the executive order, and how this ban has impacted human lives. She emphasizes the human aspect of the issue. She stressed that policies are not simply on paper, but are causing people to suffer. Here is her speech:

 

 

Sitting in the front row was Najwa Elyazgi, a Libyan George Mason student who had only recently been able to return to the U.S. She spoke prior to the Senator, detailing her experience. She conveys the harrowing feeling of not knowing whether she would be able to return to her studies. As she waited for information about whether she could return and communicated with her lawyer, she spent her time sequestered in a hotel, applying for other universities. She sent applications out of the fear and real possibility that she would be unable to ever return to George Mason. After a week of uncertainty, her brother called her in the middle of the night with the news that a federal judge had put a hold on the ban. She immediately booked a plane ticket to the U.S. A stark contrast to the executive order that kept her away, she recalls a CVPA official in the U.S. on her arrival saying “welcome back, we missed you”. Here is her speech:

 

 

Senator Kaine begins his speech by noting the inherent American value; talent from around the world is what energizes our country. When the ban went into effect, Senator Kaine was in Blacksburg. Even in an area not assumed to be a home of immigrants, the community there is connected to families affected by President’s Trump’s executive order. Senator Kaine learned of a Syrian family that had become important and loved members of the community. This family spoke of another Syrian family coming to live with them that had been in a “refugee camp in Jordan for four years being vetted”. Despite having successfully completed the lengthy vetting process, they could no longer enter the country. The small Virginia community ready to welcome this family would have to wait, as the family was detained due to the ban. In Many other areas of Virginia Senator Kaine visited, there was a great deal of uncertainty about how members of the community from the targeted countries would be affected. Here is his speech:

 

 

Tim Kaine remarks that while the administration denies accusations that this executive order is a Muslims ban, the ban affects Muslim majority countries, but has provisions for religious minorities – meaning provisions for non-Muslims.

He recognizes the issue with the ban turning away green card holders, or permanent legal residents. It should cause one to question whether those who follow the legal entrance process into the US should be punished. He takes issue with discriminations based on religion and country this ban appears to promote. He criticizes the fact that the ban applied too broadly, restricting those who were already legal residents.

The Senator spoke fondly of those he saw protesting in airports, standing with welcoming signs trying to convey their message so that it would be received by those who felt anything but welcome.

He notes specifically the affect of this ban on universities, who house many international students and faculty. The wildly diverse audience nodded at this, feeling his point to be incredibly relevant to their experience, no matter their background.

So what happens now? Or, more specifically, what will the administration do? According to Tim Kaine, the administration might try to repeal to the Supreme Court, fighting to prove the constitutionality of the executive order. It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court has a vacancy, making it possible for a ruling to be tied. If the case is repealed to the Supreme Court and tied, the 9th Circuit Court ruling would stand, continuing the freeze on President Trump’s Immigration order.

The second possibility is that the administration could try to make their case and present evidence in a lower court, fighting the decision. Another possibility, however unlikely, is that the administration could choose to retract the order and admit fault. As events continue to unfold, the administration’s choice will become clear.

The Senator closes by reminding us to have pride in the immigrant nation that we are, and to celebrate the strength of our diversity. In the diverse and international community that composes George Mason University, this event provided a venue for students to voice their fears, concerns, and their staunch dedication to working towards a more welcoming and inclusive community.

Lit&Local: A Live Set With L.A. Trip

IMG_7984On February 12th, WGMU’s Jackie Reed (Jammin’ with Jackie) interviewed L.A. Trip in WGMU’s live on-air studio, to talk about their upcoming album, Intervals I (2017). From Fredericksburg, Virginia, the rock band came together to put on a live performance showcasing the best of their music. Bobby Barber, guitarist and vocalist, and Sean O’Neill, drummer and percussionist, came by the studio to talk about their band’s background, to reflect on their first album L.A. Trip (2016), and to expand on their future productions as a rock duo. You can listen to their new album, complete with a fresh tracklist and innovative cover songs, next week.

 

Interview:

Studio Tracks “Crime” & “Hey Now”:

Live Set:

 

Intervals I

L.A. Trip’s Intervals I is available for listen February 21st.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/latripband/

Bandcamp: https://latrip.bandcamp.com/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/latrip/

Instagram: @latripband

 

All photos courtesy of Jennifer Shaskan of Office of Student Media. Special thanks to Jennifer Shaskan and Lottye Lockhart for their involvement and for representing OSM during the interview and performance.

 

Holtby/Grubauer- The Best Goalie Tandem In The NHL

Nick Colletti

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Friday February 10, 2017

caps goaliesIt is without a doubt that the Washington Capitals possess the greatest goalie tandem in the NHL. No other organization has such outstanding depth and versatility at the game’s most significant position. Braden Holtby and Philip Grubauer have been lights out and rarely give up any easy goals. Both standing strong in their creases and their Dominik Hasek-like acrobatic agility has been the key ingredient behind some of their remarkable shutouts within the last few months. The team in front of them is playing better than anytime in recent memory, scoring profusely and shutting down teams with strong grit and brutal intensity. But all the players in front of these two great goaltenders are given the energy and confidence they need because of their goalie’s stellar play between the posts.

Backup goaltender Philip Grubauer has 10 wins in 15 games with a save percentage of .931. Holtby ranks third in the league in wins with a goals against average of 1.97. Statistics like these clearly illustrate that whom the Capitals have in net this season is very special. Holtby continues to remain a viable candidate for his second Vezina and Grubauer continues to show he can replace other NHL teams starting goalie with ease.

As great as winning in the regular season is, what happens in the spring is what really counts.  A team knowing they can trust their goalies from giving up easy goals and preventing their mistakes from ending up as tally’s is a huge psychological necessity a team must have if they want to go deep into the postseason. With these two goalies in the Caps lineup, fans should be confident that this is the year this snake-bitten franchise gets over the hump.

Giant Food Reopens in University Mall

Matt and JamieeditWGMU General Manager Matt Dotson (The Nice Guys, Up to Eleven) had the opportunity to tour the brand new Giant Food Grocery Store in University Mall on February 7th, two days before the grand opening on the 9th. You can hear the report featuring exclusive audio of the store managers below. With ID, all Mason students receive a five percent discount at the store through the end of February 2017. Thank you to Giant for the tour, and supporting the Mason community!

 

Pictured: Matt Dotson and Community & Public Relations Manager Jamie Miller. Photo by Lottye Lockheart.

 

The Capitals – The NHL’s Most Complete Team

Nick Colletti

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Tuesday January 24, 2017

capsThe Washington Capitals have been the league’s hottest team for nearly a month. A potent offense, strong special teams, and the impenetrable Braden Holtby between the two posts have made the Caps on top of many league analysts’ power rankings. Last night against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Capitals would score six goals and only allow one on a power play.   The goal scoring has been distributed by every line and even with defenseman John Carlson out the defense has remained to stand tall.

Before the season started, the Capitals were stronger on paper and even deeper than the previous season and it’s starting to show. With the addition of former Montreal Canadien Lars Eller, the third line center position was filled by a player that would easily be a first/second liner on most squads around the league. Eller has also shown his value for the Capitals for his penalty-killing ability and sacrifice.

Philip Grubauer, the Caps backup goaltender to Braden Holtby, has fulfilled his role magnificently. Grubauer has gone 9-0-2 this season and has given his team confidence when Holtby needs the night off. With a dynamic duo in the net it is much harder for a team to steal two points away from Washington.

Both special teams have been impressively efficient as well. The penalty killing has been strong, consistent, and clutch in crucial segments of a game. The power play has found its mojo with clean tape-to-tape passes and rocketing shots from everywhere on the ice. As of now, it is very hard to see the power play start to recede when the chemistry between all the players is this synchronized.

Last year’s Vezina winner Braden Holtby has been close to perfect ever since he was chased out of the net weeks earlier. Rebound control, flexible leg pad saves and watching the puck through screens have been executed tremendously by Holtby, getting in his opponent’s heads and frustrating them endlessly. Holtby will be a Vezina candidate again and most likely the favorite to win it if he keeps this performance going.

Last year’s Presidents Trophy winning team ended in yet another disappointing postseason for this snake-bitten D.C franchise. Will this year be different or will it be another premature exit with the Stanley Cup just out of reach? I am a strong believer in this year’s team to go all the way judging by their play over the last month. If they can bring this consistency and momentum into the spring it’s hard to see any team beating them, even those birds from Pennsylvania.

 

Capitals Pummel Habs On Historic Night For Ovechkin

Nick Colletti

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Tuesday January 10. 2017

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 09: Washington Capitals Left Wing Alex Ovechkin (8) meeting Washington Capitals Goalie Braden Holtby (70) to celebrate his goal, the fourth of the game making the score 4-1 Capitals during the Washington Capitals versus the Montreal Canadiens game on January 9, 2017, at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)

Hockey history took place last night at the Bell Center in Montreal, the successor of the hallowed Montreal Forum. The Capitals, winners of five straight, skated on enemy ice in hostile territory looking to keep their impressive winning streak alive. The Caps would claim victory and another coveted two points, but it would be Alex Ovechkin who stole the headlines.

The Capitals’ captain scored his 544th NHL goal tying the legendary Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s all time goal record, in Montreal no less. It would be the future Hall of Famer’s 19th regular season goal and now the superstar is only 1 point shy from his 1,000th career point total. But it was an impressive team effort that helped the Caps claim the W in the end.

Nicklas Backstrom got the party started with a dirty goal off a Carey Price rebound in the slot that gave the Capitals the opening tally. No red lights would be ignited until the third period, due to the Capitals impressive defense and Braden Holtby’s exceptional performance in the crease. Unfortunately Holtby would have his shutout streak ended when Tomas Plekanec followed through on a rebound amidst a pile of humanity in the slot. Habs fans erupted and Montreal finally had life, but their momentum would dissipate very quickly.

Evgeny Kuznetsov broke the tie off with a deke past a Montreal defender and then chipped the puck past Price to quiet the Bell Center and their passionate inhabitants. The goal would only be the beginning of an offensive clinic by the road team that prevented the Habs from making any real comeback effort. Kuznetsov would register another point as he aggressively forced a turnover behind Price’s net and gave a beautiful feed to Brett Connelly who beat Price and scored a very valuable insurance goal. The scoring wouldn’t end that night as the man of the hour tied Richard’s career goal record with a Howitzer on the point. Ovechkin is now only 1 point less than a 1,000 and has a chance to earn that last point at home against their fiercest rival in the Pittsburgh Penguins. 4-1 would be the final score for the road squad in what can be a very loud and fierce environment for the visitors. The Capitals have won six straight and look sharp in all facets of the game. The schedule that looms ahead looks daunting, but Caps fans should be confident that their team is starting to play their best game at the right point of the season. Every game is winnable and every playoff game is winnable if they can stick to their game and not compromise it for any opponent.

Mike On The Mic’s Top 5 Albums & Songs of 2016

Michael Bamarni | Top Five Albums

  1. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

e3c43867Radiohead’s first release in five years will stand the test of time as being one of their best releases ever. For a band that has been around for over twenty years and with multiple classic albums already in their discography that is quite a great feat.

It also might be their most personal album to date. Thom Yorke’s lyrics throughout are full of sadness and openness not seen by many current artists nowadays. With all that being said the album isn’t just a tear fest, the music’s simplicity keeps the listener fully engaged and there are some crazy string sections, guitar solos, and choir chants to keep you rocking too.

Stand Out Tracks: Burn The Witch, Daydreaming, Identikit, True Love Waits

  1. Frank Ocean – Blonde

frank-oceanOne of the biggest music jokes on social media over the past few years has revolved around the release of Frank Ocean’s follow up album to the wildly successful Channel Orange. Release dates were switched so many times, whether by the man himself or just the media reporting inaccurate information. Finally though, four years after his last album, Blonde was released and it did not disappoint.

Much like Radiohead’s album, Blonde does more by doing less. There are very few songs with actual drumbeats or loud production; instead you get more guitars and pianos. It’s a great release because while it is an R&B album at heart, Ocean is not afraid to explore other genres and sounds. If Ocean’s going to continue to release albums of this high quality, I don’t mind waiting another four years for a follow up.

Stand Out Tracks: Ivy, Self Control, Nights, White Ferrari

  1. The Growlers– City Club

maxresdefaultThis is the album that might get the most polarizing response out of any on the list, but if you give this new Growlers album a proper listen, and maybe even a few more listens after that, you will see why this album is as high on this list as it is.

An album that sounds modern and also extremely reminiscent of 60’s/70’s rock, it gives the listener an incredible mix of funky bass lines, catchy choruses, and somber ballads. Brooks Nielsen’s voice is incredibly unique, and his lyrics are no joke. It may not be the stuff you hear on the radio, or an album you hear much about in general since the truth of the matter is that rock music that is this upfront with its influences isn’t as commercial as it was maybe 20 years ago, but that doesn’t stop the fact that it is still heavy on killer tracks, and few on the filler.

Stand Out Tracks: City Club, I’ll Be Around, When You Were Made, Too Many Times

  1. The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

the-1975-i-like-it-when-you-sleep-for-you-are-so-beautiful-yet-so-unaware-of-it-2016-officialTake a rock band creating an album over an hour long, plus an album title longer than anything seen in modern music, an album full of instrumental tracks, and that’s being released in the year 2016, what could go wrong? A lot is the answer, especially since it was coming from the same band whose debut album was shut down by many critics for being too poppy and radio friendly just three years prior.

The 1975 went bold, and as what might be the biggest musical surprise of the year, it paid off. The album is a journey that is almost better to listen to in it’s entirety instead of just picking and choosing songs. The lyrics are very self aware but also very poetic. The genre changes are constant and invigorating. Overall this album is fantastic, and even if you’re not the biggest fan of “rock” music, that doesn’t mean this album won’t work for you. It has it all. You’re bound to like some of it. You might even like it when you sleep.

Stand Out Tracks: Love Me, Change of Heart, Somebody Else, The Sound

  1. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo

ca9xf0eweaapibgThis man doesn’t stop. Call him anything you want, but you definitely can’t say he’s lazy. Kanye West had a year for the record books. He released and rereleased the same album at least three times, each time with mixing changes, added tracks, added vocals, etc.

First the album was solely available on Tidal, then eventually went on all the big streaming services (yet there is still no physical copy available.) Then he created a tour stage unlike anything ever seen before. Not only that, but he returned to the Yeezus-era Kanye by going on huge concert rants which while fun at first, ended up being a sign of mental exhaustion along with who knows what else, but here’s the thing, with all that being said…the album is fantastic.

With 20 tracks to its name, it is by no means a quick listen.  That doesn’t stop it from being amazing. It has influences from all of his other albums, while still pushing his sound forward. To some it may not be his best album-there are some tracks here that are really unnecessary, but that’s kind of what makes it work. The album fits the person, a genius, but one with flaws and mistakes that even he can sometimes admit to having. This is Kanye’s White Album. It has a little bit of everything and for the most part, it’s all incredible.

Standout Tracks: Ultralight Beam, 30 Hours, No More Parties in LA, Fade

 

Michael Bamarni | Songs of the Year

  1. Burn The Witch

You ever hear a song for the first time, and think to yourself that you’ve never heard anything like it before? That was how Burn The Witch was for me. By using a string instruments instead of guitars and also building a slow but steady intensity that ends up reaching it’s climax just as the song ends, you never really get a chance to breathe. It’s okay though, because suffocating never sounded so good.

  1. Miracle Aligner

For those who don’t know, Alex Turner is one of the greatest musical minds of the past 10 years. His albums with the Arctic Monkeys show that he not only knows how to make a catchy song, but that he is an incredibly intricate and detailed lyricist who can make you laugh or cry at a moment’s notice. Miracle Aligner, the stand out track from the overall somewhat disappointing second Last Shadow Puppets album is a beautiful track that has an extremely fun chorus and lyrics throughout that make you think how a man who just hit 30 years old can be so lyrically creative.

  1. Somebody Else

Many people thought The 1975 were a joke after their first album. They were even voted worst band by NME back in 2013 so to see them ranked as the number one album of the year by the same magazine is quite incredible. The song on the album that stands out the most is the R&B inspired Somebody Else. It’s on the longer side and is definitely not super loud or energetic, but what it does have going for it are beautiful lyrics and an overall vibe that is hard to describe, but once you hear it you know. It’s almost as if Matt Healy is aware that he has created his own unique sound on this album, and this song in particular does the best job of showing off the sound.

  1. Oblivius

What side you standing on? I haven’t heard Julian Casablancas sing this impassioned on a Strokes song since 2006. Clearly a comment on the current political climate of  mid-2016. He asks the listener to make a decision on what they want out of their country.  Not only do the lyrics stand out, but the breakdown might be the best musical moment of 2016. It builds and builds until you reach that loud chorus once more. Then it ends with a Casablancas yodel. What else could you ask for?

  1. I Feel it Coming

Daft Punk have a gift. The gift is that they make really good songs, and I mean REALLY, REALLY good songs. Sadly, they don’t release much music nowadays. So when Starboy dropped, the lead single from The Weeknd’s new album, and it had (feat. Daft Punk) at the end of the song, it was good news.

I Feel It Coming is a better Get Lucky, and it has Daft Punk written all over it. In an interview with The Weeknd he admitted that the song was finished when he entered the studio and that it was really just a matter of writing lyrics and a melody. While The Weeknd might not be the best lyricist in the world, his voice is so soothing and reminiscent of Michael Jackson, that you can’t help but smile while listening to the track. It’s the song of the summer, guys.

 

Lit&Local: OK Go at Hirshhorn, Awarded for Music Video Visuals

photoFormed in Chicago, Illinois, rock quartet OK Go defines imagination with daring exhibition and innovative graphics. Their most recent release “The One Moment” literally scopes the idea of creating something out of a blank slate. “The One Moment” comes from their 2014 album Hungry Ghosts (2014), and its video works as an addition to their complex portfolio of well-acclaimed music videos popularized on YouTube – let’s not forget “This Too Shall Pass” with their Rube Goldberg machine, or their more recent “Upside Down & Inside Out”, with the bandmates freeform dancing, mind you on a Russian jet, mind you again, in zero gravity.

OK Go (Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka, Andy Ross) may not be flashy about their talents or overtly flashed by paparazzi, but maybe it’s better that way. Fans pay attention to not only their sound, but the experience associated with it, the visual arts that embrace their music. Seeing their videos is like watching a story unveil, with the guidance of a single camera, and seeing a visual film unfold from the comfort of your computer. The videos are widespread, have a universal “wow” factor, and have an ingenious motion. Each video and work claims their territory in whatever setting they are examined under – an urban bar, a city hotel, a quiet gas station television, anywhere!

Their music has evolved from their 2002 boy band vibes with hits like “What To Do” and “Return”, to now, a streamline collection of upbeat anthems like “Turn Up The Radio”, “The Writing’s On The Wall”, and now, “The One Moment”. Think of them as a fusion between Weezer’s iconic storylines, Rooney’s distinct use of guitar, and Vampire Weekend’s dynamic identity.

The band and directors associated will be receiving the American Ingenuity Award for Visual Arts for their “Upside Down & Inside Out” music video, provided by Smithsonian Magazine in DC. Damian Kulash, lead singer and guitarist of the LA-based band, is a DC-native, so the experience will be a momentous homecoming for him and a success for his team.

OK Go’s The One Moment

OK Go’s The One Moment, Behind The Scenes

OK Go will be at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden this coming Friday, December, 9, at 6:30 p.m. They will be having an unplugged performance and exclusive conversation about the artistry behind their music videos. Free tickets will be released online tomorrow, Monday, December 5, at 10 a.m. EST. The event will also be available for livestream on Hirshhorn’s Facebook page.

Link to tickets: http://hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/programs-calendar/#detail=/bio/ok-go-conversation/&collection=programs-calendar

Link to Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1779811782293846/

Livestream the event: https://www.facebook.com/hirshhorn/?fref=ts

More information about OK Go and the Ingenuity Awards 2016:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/ingenuity-ok-go-visual-arts-anti-gravity-180961102/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/2016-smithsonian-american-ingenuity-awards-180961117/

Facebook/YouTube: https://www.facebook.com/okgo/?fref=ts / https://www.youtube.com/user/OkGo & https://www.youtube.com/user/OkGoVEVO

Instagram/Twitter: @okgo / @okgo

Website: http://okgo.net/