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Piano major Ling-Yu Lee poses by the instrument she connected with since she was 6 years old. (Photo provided by Dr. Yu-Jane Yang.)

Piano major Ling-Yu Lee poses by the instrument she has connected with since she was 6 years old. (Photo Courtesy of Professor Yu-Jane Yang.)

Some students figure out what they want to do professionally during their time in college, while others come to college with a clear vision of their future. Some aspire to one day become doctors, teachers, reporters or business owners. For Weber State University junior Ling-Yu Lee, she knew what she wanted to be a professional pianist since high school.

Lee was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, where her family is currently living. After graduating high school, Lee moved to the United States to attend WSU as a piano performance major.

From a young age, Lee connected with the piano and began taking lessons when she was 6 years old. She began piano lessons from her aunt and progressed to advanced lessons while in third grade. While attending middle school in Taiwan, Lee became uncertain of her future with piano performance.

“I think one of the reasons I didn’t like it was because I was a little afraid of performing for people,” Lee said. “I thought maybe performing on stage just wasn’t for me.”

However, after a competition two years ago, Lee was approached by a professor who heard her perform.

“He came over and said that I touched his heart, and that gave me assurance that I should be doing piano,” Lee said.

Lee said that gradually through high school she found more confidence in her piano performance through supportive teachers.

“I think the training I’ve received here helped me focus on what I need to pay attention to as I’m playing,” Lee said. “I eventually got to where I didn’t care about the people around me.”

The piano major will also invite her friends to listen to her pieces before performances and give her feedback.

“They’re so supportive and super nice,” Lee said.

Cicely Fabiano, Sara Song and Katie Swainston are friends of Lee’s who have witnessed her musical performances. Swainston described Lee’s music as captivating.

“I love how Ling captures the audience with all her different colors, tones and characters in her music,” Swainston said. “She feels the music and because she feels the music, the audience can as well.”

Fabiano said that Lee’s position and body movement draws emotion from the audience as she plays.

“It’s so intense,” Fabiano said. “As she plays the notes, you can see from the expression on her face and the way her head and upper body move that she means what she plays.”

Song described Lee’s performances with one word: fabulous.

Lee has entered and won several musical competitions with her piano playing throughout her life. She recently won first place in the Utah Music Teacher Association competition entering her into the Southwest Division competition where she again won first place.

“I looked at my teacher and thought it couldn’t be real,” Lee said.

WSU Performing Arts Professor Yu-Jane Yang is Lee’s piano professor. Before Lee’s competitions, Yang reminds her that the key is to leave no questions in the judges’ minds.

“I tell Ling to let the music flow through her body, then come out of her fingers,” Yang said.

Aside from her piano competitions, Lee also focuses on her studies at WSU and spending time with her friends. She enjoys movies and being in the outdoors.

“Being from Taiwan in the big city, we don’t have a lot of outdoors,” Lee said. “So my friends and I went on a hike during spring break and it was fun.”

Once Lee graduates from Weber State University, she plans to attend graduate school in America to further her passion for playing the piano.

 

Piano major Ling-Yu Lee poses by the instrument she has connected with since she was 6 years old. (Photo Courtesy of Professor Yu-Jane Yang.)

Some students figure out what they want to do professionally during their time in college, while others come to college with a clear vision of their future. Some aspire to one day become doctors, teachers, reporters or business owners. For Weber State University junior Ling-Yu Lee, she knew what she wanted to be a professional pianist since high school.

Lee was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, where her family is currently living. After graduating high school, Lee moved to the United States to attend WSU as a piano performance major.

From a young age, Lee connected with the piano and began taking lessons when she was 6 years old. She began piano lessons from her aunt and progressed to advanced lessons while in third grade. While attending middle school in Taiwan, Lee became uncertain of her future with piano performance.

“I think one of the reasons I didn’t like it was because I was a little afraid of performing for people,” Lee said. “I thought maybe performing on stage just wasn’t for me.”

However, after a competition two years ago, Lee was approached by a professor who heard her perform.

“He came over and said that I touched his heart, and that gave me assurance that I should be doing piano,” Lee said.

Lee said that gradually through high school she found more confidence in her piano performance through supportive teachers.

“I think the training I’ve received here helped me focus on what I need to pay attention to as I’m playing,” Lee said. “I eventually got to where I didn’t care about the people around me.”

The piano major will also invite her friends to listen to her pieces before performances and give her feedback.

“They’re so supportive and super nice,” Lee said.

Cicely Fabiano, Sara Song and Katie Swainston are friends of Lee’s who have witnessed her musical performances. Swainston described Lee’s music as captivating.

“I love how Ling captures the audience with all her different colors, tones and characters in her music,” Swainston said. “She feels the music and because she feels the music, the audience can as well.”

Fabiano said that Lee’s position and body movement draws emotion from the audience as she plays.

“It’s so intense,” Fabiano said. “As she plays the notes, you can see from the expression on her face and the way her head and upper body move that she means what she plays.”

Song described Lee’s performances with one word: fabulous.

Lee has entered and won several musical competitions with her piano playing throughout her life. She recently won first place in the Utah Music Teacher Association competition entering her into the Southwest Division competition where she again won first place.

“I looked at my teacher and thought it couldn’t be real,” Lee said.

WSU Performing Arts Professor Yu-Jane Yang is Lee’s piano professor. Before Lee’s competitions, Yang reminds her that the key is to leave no questions in the judges’ minds.

“I tell Ling to let the music flow through her body, then come out of her fingers,” Yang said.

Aside from her piano competitions, Lee also focuses on her studies at WSU and spending time with her friends. She enjoys movies and being in the outdoors.

“Being from Taiwan in the big city, we don’t have a lot of outdoors,” Lee said. “So my friends and I went on a hike during spring break and it was fun.”

Once Lee graduates from Weber State University, she plans to attend graduate school in America to further her passion for playing the piano.

 

"Strangers to Ourselves" offers listeners a wide variety of elements to listen to.

“Strangers to Ourselves” offers listeners a wide variety of elements to listen to.

Alternative rock group Modest Mouse was formed in 1993, and over the last decade, they have become a staple for the genre. With the release of their second album in 1997, the band reached new heights with a legion of fans. The band has had two Grammy nominations and has spent time on the Billboard Top 200 at number one.

Their newest album “Strangers to Ourselves” starts out with a slow, orchestral rhythm that listeners can ease into. The track is calming, making listeners look forward to what else is to come. The preceding song is very upbeat and includes rapping, giving listeners a variance in sound.

One thing listeners should note  is the band’s ability to seamlessly blend sounds of actual instruments with computer generated sounds.

“The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box” also offers listeners a unique experience. This track has a very funky almost disco beat to it. “Pups to Dust” is a great song for listeners to relate to on this album. The song states, “Our hearts don’t change from pups to dust,” and “Love does not cost money but is not free.” These lyrics are heartfelt and give listeners something they can relate to and enjoy.

Another track listeners should focus on is “Sugar Boats.” This song offers an amazing use of piano and orchestral instruments that also fuses great sounding guitar riffs. With such a dedicated fan base, those who already enjoy Modest Mouse can rejoice at this album and enjoy it in its entirety. Those who don’t normally listen to this type of music can find solace in hearing something new and refreshing.

Fans of Modest Mouse will also enjoy Spoon, Death Cab for Cutie and Silversun Pickups. This album warrants three stars out of five. Because there are so many elements to enjoy, fans of all types of music can begin to enjoy this group.

“Strangers to Ourselves” offers listeners a wide variety of elements to listen to.

Alternative rock group Modest Mouse was formed in 1993, and over the last decade, they have become a staple for the genre. With the release of their second album in 1997, the band reached new heights with a legion of fans. The band has had two Grammy nominations and has spent time on the Billboard Top 200 at number one.

Their newest album “Strangers to Ourselves” starts out with a slow, orchestral rhythm that listeners can ease into. The track is calming, making listeners look forward to what else is to come. The preceding song is very upbeat and includes rapping, giving listeners a variance in sound.

One thing listeners should note  is the band’s ability to seamlessly blend sounds of actual instruments with computer generated sounds.

“The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box” also offers listeners a unique experience. This track has a very funky almost disco beat to it. “Pups to Dust” is a great song for listeners to relate to on this album. The song states, “Our hearts don’t change from pups to dust,” and “Love does not cost money but is not free.” These lyrics are heartfelt and give listeners something they can relate to and enjoy.

Another track listeners should focus on is “Sugar Boats.” This song offers an amazing use of piano and orchestral instruments that also fuses great sounding guitar riffs. With such a dedicated fan base, those who already enjoy Modest Mouse can rejoice at this album and enjoy it in its entirety. Those who don’t normally listen to this type of music can find solace in hearing something new and refreshing.

Fans of Modest Mouse will also enjoy Spoon, Death Cab for Cutie and Silversun Pickups. This album warrants three stars out of five. Because there are so many elements to enjoy, fans of all types of music can begin to enjoy this group.

(Photo Courtesy of Deanne Jones)

Myler as Sharpless, the American Consul to Japan, in WSU’s recent production of “Madam Butterfly.” (Photo Courtesy of Deanne Jones)

How many undergraduate music students can claim they’ve been winning national composition competitions since their early teens? Derek Myler, a senior in Weber State University’s vocal program, is doing just that.

He routinely premiers new, original compositions with the WSU combined Chamber and Concert choirs and the WSU Symphonic Orchestra. In addition, he’s taken home awards from many prestigious competitions for his work. On March 25, students will have the opportunity to see Myler perform his senior recital, in which he will premiere a new, original work with the help of several other WSU music students.

“It’s been a really tremendous experience to work with somebody with the gifts and talents that Derek has,” Karen Bruestle, head of the voice and opera program and Myler’s private voice teacher, said. “He really encompasses the whole realm of musicianship and that, as his teacher, has been really fun.”

Myler just finished participating in WSU’s production of “Madam Butterfly,” as Sharpless, the American consul in Nagasaki, Japan. Bruestle explained that it’s  rare to find individuals with skill sets similar to Myler’s.

“It’s rare to find a student that not only possesses a really beautiful voice and is a very engaged, active performer, but is also a dynamic pianist and composer,” Bruestle said. “He’s a multifaceted musician and that’s pretty rare to have all of those elements in a student.”

Bruestle encouraged all students, especially non-music students, to come to Myler’s recital. Unlike many other student recitals, Bruestle said, Myler’s is a lecture recital, meaning he will stop and talk with the audience about the music between sets.

“It’s really very novel what he’s doing and I’m hoping it will set a standard for other students and encourage them to do the same thing in their recitals,” Bruestle said. “As an audience member, I always appreciate when the performer takes an interest in me and tells me about the music and how they feel about it.”

Catie Omer, a recent WSU graduate in vocal pedagogy, echoed Bruestle’s sentiments, noting Myler’s genius is accompanied by a humble attitude.

“Derek is a genius and he’s one of the most humble people about it,” Omer said. “He would never put himself out there claiming to be what he really is, and we used to joke that he’ll be the next Bach, but really he’s the next Charles Ives and his music is just brilliant.”

Omer said one of her favorite pieces of Myler’s is an emotional, yet beautiful, choral piece called “Christmas 1942, Auschwitz.”

“You can tell he’s very emotional about his music but also very analytical as well,” Omer said. “He doesn’t just let the music get away from him. He keeps it grounded and he has a purpose for everything that he’s doing.”

Omer noted that students who attend Myler’s recital can expect to hear different and interesting classical music.

“He always does music that’s not the traditional, standard that you hear at student recitals. He always does really interesting things you’ve never heard before,” Omer said.

Caleb Jardine, a friend of Myler’s and fellow student in the voice program, said he admires that ability.

“Derek’s music is hard to describe. It’s beautiful and deep,” Jardine said. “Derek is one of the most passionate people about music that I’ve ever met. He’s a genius.”

Myler’s senior recital will be March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Garrison Choral room in the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing arts and admission is free.

Myler as Sharpless, the American Consul to Japan, in WSU’s recent production of “Madam Butterfly.” (Photo Courtesy of Deanne Jones)

How many undergraduate music students can claim they’ve been winning national composition competitions since their early teens? Derek Myler, a senior in Weber State University’s vocal program, is doing just that.

He routinely premiers new, original compositions with the WSU combined Chamber and Concert choirs and the WSU Symphonic Orchestra. In addition, he’s taken home awards from many prestigious competitions for his work. On March 25, students will have the opportunity to see Myler perform his senior recital, in which he will premiere a new, original work with the help of several other WSU music students.

“It’s been a really tremendous experience to work with somebody with the gifts and talents that Derek has,” Karen Bruestle, head of the voice and opera program and Myler’s private voice teacher, said. “He really encompasses the whole realm of musicianship and that, as his teacher, has been really fun.”

Myler just finished participating in WSU’s production of “Madam Butterfly,” as Sharpless, the American consul in Nagasaki, Japan. Bruestle explained that it’s  rare to find individuals with skill sets similar to Myler’s.

“It’s rare to find a student that not only possesses a really beautiful voice and is a very engaged, active performer, but is also a dynamic pianist and composer,” Bruestle said. “He’s a multifaceted musician and that’s pretty rare to have all of those elements in a student.”

Bruestle encouraged all students, especially non-music students, to come to Myler’s recital. Unlike many other student recitals, Bruestle said, Myler’s is a lecture recital, meaning he will stop and talk with the audience about the music between sets.

“It’s really very novel what he’s doing and I’m hoping it will set a standard for other students and encourage them to do the same thing in their recitals,” Bruestle said. “As an audience member, I always appreciate when the performer takes an interest in me and tells me about the music and how they feel about it.”

Catie Omer, a recent WSU graduate in vocal pedagogy, echoed Bruestle’s sentiments, noting Myler’s genius is accompanied by a humble attitude.

“Derek is a genius and he’s one of the most humble people about it,” Omer said. “He would never put himself out there claiming to be what he really is, and we used to joke that he’ll be the next Bach, but really he’s the next Charles Ives and his music is just brilliant.”

Omer said one of her favorite pieces of Myler’s is an emotional, yet beautiful, choral piece called “Christmas 1942, Auschwitz.”

“You can tell he’s very emotional about his music but also very analytical as well,” Omer said. “He doesn’t just let the music get away from him. He keeps it grounded and he has a purpose for everything that he’s doing.”

Omer noted that students who attend Myler’s recital can expect to hear different and interesting classical music.

“He always does music that’s not the traditional, standard that you hear at student recitals. He always does really interesting things you’ve never heard before,” Omer said.

Caleb Jardine, a friend of Myler’s and fellow student in the voice program, said he admires that ability.

“Derek’s music is hard to describe. It’s beautiful and deep,” Jardine said. “Derek is one of the most passionate people about music that I’ve ever met. He’s a genius.”

Myler’s senior recital will be March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Garrison Choral room in the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing arts and admission is free.

(Courtesy of the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities)

Root started teaching at WSU in 1984. Tuesday’s concert will mark the end of his career at WSU. (Courtesy of the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities)

While the Val A. Browning Center holds so many beginnings for students, on March 24 it will fill with finality as professor Thomas Root performs in his last concert as director of the WSU Band.

Root has taught music at Weber State University for just over 30 years, focusing on music theory, composition and the WSU Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. His final concert will exclusively feature music he’s composed during his time at WSU, performed by the WSU Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble and the WSU combined choirs.

“We’ve always done concerts together back as far as I can remember,” professor Mark Henderson, head of choral studies at WSU, said. Henderson explained that he and Root arrived at WSU within one year of each other. Since then, Henderson said the two have been happily working together on various projects.

Henderson said he would describe Root as an ideal colleague—personable, cooperative and very supportive.

“I never composed in college because we were required to do what was in academic style at the time, and I wasn’t interested in that,” Henderson said. “He was composing something almost once a year and I thought that was great. I think it kind of freed me to go ahead and compose the kind of things I wanted.”

Henderson said he recalled a time when he and Root attended a performance with a group of students. During the performance, Root whispered to the students, pointing out a favorite chord of his, an augmented sixth chord. Henderson was impressed by this experience and admired how Root continued to analyze the music and teach his students even though they weren’t in an academic setting.

Andrew Stapley, WSU senior in music education, said he appreciates Root’s attitude towards students and their unique situations.

“He really cares about everyone and he really wants them to succeed,” Stapley said. “As far as being a professor, he’s willing to work with all types of situations and help students do their best.”

Catie Omer, a graduate in vocal pedagogy, was one such student. Omer thought she would be able to graduate with no problems, but found to her great distress that she had overlooked one rarely taught class. Root offered to give Omer private lessons in the subject so she could proceed with her plans to graduate rather than having to take another semester worth of classes for one required class.

“My voice teacher Gary Sorensen once said (Root) is truly the salt of the Earth, and I would have to agree with him,” Omer said. “(Root) does anything and everything for his students for them to be successful.”

In addition, Omer said much of Root’s music is easy to enjoy, even if the listener doesn’t have a background in music.

“It reminds me a lot of movie music,” Omer said. “I know (Root) aspired to be a film composer when he was younger, and that very much shows through in his style. When you perform and listen to his music, you get that big, grand feeling.”

Root’s final concert will be March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Austad Theater of the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $6 and $7 and are available online or at the box office prior to the performance.

 

Root started teaching at WSU in 1984. Tuesday’s concert will mark the end of his career at WSU. (Courtesy of the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities)

While the Val A. Browning Center holds so many beginnings for students, on March 24 it will fill with finality as professor Thomas Root performs in his last concert as director of the WSU Band.

Root has taught music at Weber State University for just over 30 years, focusing on music theory, composition and the WSU Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. His final concert will exclusively feature music he’s composed during his time at WSU, performed by the WSU Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble and the WSU combined choirs.

“We’ve always done concerts together back as far as I can remember,” professor Mark Henderson, head of choral studies at WSU, said. Henderson explained that he and Root arrived at WSU within one year of each other. Since then, Henderson said the two have been happily working together on various projects.

Henderson said he would describe Root as an ideal colleague—personable, cooperative and very supportive.

“I never composed in college because we were required to do what was in academic style at the time, and I wasn’t interested in that,” Henderson said. “He was composing something almost once a year and I thought that was great. I think it kind of freed me to go ahead and compose the kind of things I wanted.”

Henderson said he recalled a time when he and Root attended a performance with a group of students. During the performance, Root whispered to the students, pointing out a favorite chord of his, an augmented sixth chord. Henderson was impressed by this experience and admired how Root continued to analyze the music and teach his students even though they weren’t in an academic setting.

Andrew Stapley, WSU senior in music education, said he appreciates Root’s attitude towards students and their unique situations.

“He really cares about everyone and he really wants them to succeed,” Stapley said. “As far as being a professor, he’s willing to work with all types of situations and help students do their best.”

Catie Omer, a graduate in vocal pedagogy, was one such student. Omer thought she would be able to graduate with no problems, but found to her great distress that she had overlooked one rarely taught class. Root offered to give Omer private lessons in the subject so she could proceed with her plans to graduate rather than having to take another semester worth of classes for one required class.

“My voice teacher Gary Sorensen once said (Root) is truly the salt of the Earth, and I would have to agree with him,” Omer said. “(Root) does anything and everything for his students for them to be successful.”

In addition, Omer said much of Root’s music is easy to enjoy, even if the listener doesn’t have a background in music.

“It reminds me a lot of movie music,” Omer said. “I know (Root) aspired to be a film composer when he was younger, and that very much shows through in his style. When you perform and listen to his music, you get that big, grand feeling.”

Root’s final concert will be March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Austad Theater of the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $6 and $7 and are available online or at the box office prior to the performance.

 

"Gliss Riffer" by Dan Deacon

“Gliss Riffer” by Dan Deacon

“Gliss Riffer,” Dan Deacon’s most recent album, debuted earlier in February. Following his previous works “Bromst” and “America,” Deacon creates an electronically driven theme with his new work. Influenced by artists like Talking Heads, Devo and Daft Punk, Deacon creates electronic beats fused with orchestral elements.

The short album presents elements that fans of electronic music can really appreciate. For non-electronic music listeners though, it can be easy to get lost in the repetitive emptiness of electronic sound.

For example, the track “Meme Generator” has interesting elements and easily catches the listeners attention, but the same elements repeat over and over for nearly five minutes. It’s comparable to listening to a Metallica song and zoning out for a long period of time, then coming back to the music and realizing it’s on a different song. It’s kind of trippy and a little bit unnerving.

The best song on the album is “Learning to Relax.” The track almost sounds like an 80′s pop tune with its high energy and interesting lyrics. It has repetitive elements as well but none that make the listener zone out.

Also, the track “Take it to the Max,” adds an interesting element to the album. The song as many layers that are slowly pile on top of each other. Using different stacked elements feels as if the song is building up to something.

If Deacon is an artist you come to enjoy, other artists like Animal Collective, and previously reviewed artist Panda Bear will fulfill your electronic needs. Two stars would have to be the rating for this album because this type of music caters to such a specific fan base, which I am not a part of.

“Gliss Riffer” by Dan Deacon

“Gliss Riffer,” Dan Deacon’s most recent album, debuted earlier in February. Following his previous works “Bromst” and “America,” Deacon creates an electronically driven theme with his new work. Influenced by artists like Talking Heads, Devo and Daft Punk, Deacon creates electronic beats fused with orchestral elements.

The short album presents elements that fans of electronic music can really appreciate. For non-electronic music listeners though, it can be easy to get lost in the repetitive emptiness of electronic sound.

For example, the track “Meme Generator” has interesting elements and easily catches the listeners attention, but the same elements repeat over and over for nearly five minutes. It’s comparable to listening to a Metallica song and zoning out for a long period of time, then coming back to the music and realizing it’s on a different song. It’s kind of trippy and a little bit unnerving.

The best song on the album is “Learning to Relax.” The track almost sounds like an 80′s pop tune with its high energy and interesting lyrics. It has repetitive elements as well but none that make the listener zone out.

Also, the track “Take it to the Max,” adds an interesting element to the album. The song as many layers that are slowly pile on top of each other. Using different stacked elements feels as if the song is building up to something.

If Deacon is an artist you come to enjoy, other artists like Animal Collective, and previously reviewed artist Panda Bear will fulfill your electronic needs. Two stars would have to be the rating for this album because this type of music caters to such a specific fan base, which I am not a part of.

"First Four" is a combination of Doe's previously released EP's.

Straight out of London, the trio known as Doe released their album “First Four,” a combination of four previously released EP’s. This pop punk band is influenced by 90s favorites like Sleater-Kinney, Pavement and Weezer.

Only featuring a singer, guitarist and a drummer, the band brings a unique sound to the realm of pop punk. Although the band has no bass, there is great energy in the rhythms produced by the guitar. The album alternates from throbbing, in-your-face riffs to catchy pop licks. Along with this, singer Nicola Leel penetrates listeners’ ears with powerful vocals.

While listening, I found myself making comparisons to the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. Leel really shows off her chops in songs like “Late Bloomer,” “Oh, Nostalgia!” and “Let Me In.” Not only this, but the aforementioned guitar rhythms offered on this album are great. Songs like “Let Me In” and “Julia Survived” really get the listener pumped when hearing the rhythms.

Leel’s voice in this album is very genuine and powerful. She doesn’t force too much, and sings very honestly. To me this can give listeners a very good sense of girl power because there isn’t anything holding Leel back. She sings her heart out and jams with her fellow band mates. The London based group states on their website that they like “Feminism, horror films and brown beer.”

This band doesn’t leave much for listeners to complain about. They are a group that fans of harder music, as well as more alternative listeners, can get into. If this band tickles your fancy, bands such as The Pixies, Baby Ghosts, and Olive Drab will do the same. This album gets three stars out of five.

 

Straight out of London, the trio known as Doe released their album “First Four,” a combination of four previously released EP’s. This pop punk band is influenced by 90s favorites like Sleater-Kinney, Pavement and Weezer.

Only featuring a singer, guitarist and a drummer, the band brings a unique sound to the realm of pop punk. Although the band has no bass, there is great energy in the rhythms produced by the guitar. The album alternates from throbbing, in-your-face riffs to catchy pop licks. Along with this, singer Nicola Leel penetrates listeners’ ears with powerful vocals.

While listening, I found myself making comparisons to the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. Leel really shows off her chops in songs like “Late Bloomer,” “Oh, Nostalgia!” and “Let Me In.” Not only this, but the aforementioned guitar rhythms offered on this album are great. Songs like “Let Me In” and “Julia Survived” really get the listener pumped when hearing the rhythms.

Leel’s voice in this album is very genuine and powerful. She doesn’t force too much, and sings very honestly. To me this can give listeners a very good sense of girl power because there isn’t anything holding Leel back. She sings her heart out and jams with her fellow band mates. The London based group states on their website that they like “Feminism, horror films and brown beer.”

This band doesn’t leave much for listeners to complain about. They are a group that fans of harder music, as well as more alternative listeners, can get into. If this band tickles your fancy, bands such as The Pixies, Baby Ghosts, and Olive Drab will do the same. This album gets three stars out of five.

 

The cast of Weber State's production of "Madame Butterfly" pause for a photo during rehearsal.  (Source photo)

The cast of Weber State’s production of “Madame Butterfly” pause for a photo during rehearsal. (Source photo)

On March 5-8, the Val A. Browning Center for Performing Arts will be filled with Italian and Japanese culture as the Weber State University’s music department will perform Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly.”

Set in turn-of-the-century Nagasaki, Japan, audience members will watch as Chio-Chio san, nicknamed Butterfly, falls in love with American naval officer Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton. Butterfly is so in love with Pinkerton she converts to Christianity for him. Because of this decision, Butterfly is disowned by her Buddhist family, leaving her completely alone once Pinkerton has to return to sea. Three years later, Butterfly has borne and raised Pinkerton’s son while she pines for her lost husband. Pinkerton returns, but this time with his American wife. Distraught, Butterfly commits jigaki, ceremonial suicide.

Karen Bruestle, head of the vocal department and opera director, has wanted to perform “Madam Butterfly” for the past several years. Finally, this year she felt she had the right group of students to perform Pucinni’s Opera.

“I wanted to do something very dramatic, very passionate, something that emphasizes the tragedy of human nature and this was just the right time to do it,” Bruestle said.

The preparation for “Madame Butterfly” has taken months worth of hard work. “Auditions were in October 2014 and rehearsal began by late October,” Bruestle said. “About two weeks after auditions, rehearsals began so they really have been working on this musically since last semester.”

According to Bruestle, the most challenging part for actors wasn’t grasping the Italian language of the show but accurately portraying the emotions and passion needed for this opera.

“The music of Puccini it is very challenging for the singers and it is very dramatic,” Bruestle said. “There is a lot of give and take within the music itself. You have to know when to give and moving ahead with the music and when to pull back.”

For Christine Warren, senior and vocal pedagogy major, the excitement to perform in “Madame Butterfly” is evident in her voice.  Warren has prepared for her two roles of geisha and Kate Pinkerton by watching YouTube videos of others who have performed her roles as well as asking her director for direction on how to correctly portray her character.

Catie Omer, WSU alumni and assistant vocal director, wanted to be involved with “Madame Butterfly” because it is one of her favorite operas. Omer’s role was to fine-tune the actors’ voices and give the opera the right sound. She felt her job was rather easy because of the actors’ talent.

“There are a few things here and there, such as you need to be more intense or you need to be more angry, but they are right on point,” Omer said.

While the Italian singing can be a turn-off for some beginning opera-goers, this is one that will be easy for beginners to follow. “I think for first-time opera seers, this one is a good one to see. I remember when I was younger and hadn’t been exposed to opera, I thought ‘that is such an intense sound,’ but again, this one is the story and the way the story flows really well. I think with the supertitles you’ll get it really fast,” Omer said.

The cast of Weber State’s production of “Madame Butterfly” pause for a photo during rehearsal. (Source photo)

On March 5-8, the Val A. Browning Center for Performing Arts will be filled with Italian and Japanese culture as the Weber State University’s music department will perform Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly.”

Set in turn-of-the-century Nagasaki, Japan, audience members will watch as Chio-Chio san, nicknamed Butterfly, falls in love with American naval officer Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton. Butterfly is so in love with Pinkerton she converts to Christianity for him. Because of this decision, Butterfly is disowned by her Buddhist family, leaving her completely alone once Pinkerton has to return to sea. Three years later, Butterfly has borne and raised Pinkerton’s son while she pines for her lost husband. Pinkerton returns, but this time with his American wife. Distraught, Butterfly commits jigaki, ceremonial suicide.

Karen Bruestle, head of the vocal department and opera director, has wanted to perform “Madam Butterfly” for the past several years. Finally, this year she felt she had the right group of students to perform Pucinni’s Opera.

“I wanted to do something very dramatic, very passionate, something that emphasizes the tragedy of human nature and this was just the right time to do it,” Bruestle said.

The preparation for “Madame Butterfly” has taken months worth of hard work. “Auditions were in October 2014 and rehearsal began by late October,” Bruestle said. “About two weeks after auditions, rehearsals began so they really have been working on this musically since last semester.”

According to Bruestle, the most challenging part for actors wasn’t grasping the Italian language of the show but accurately portraying the emotions and passion needed for this opera.

“The music of Puccini it is very challenging for the singers and it is very dramatic,” Bruestle said. “There is a lot of give and take within the music itself. You have to know when to give and moving ahead with the music and when to pull back.”

For Christine Warren, senior and vocal pedagogy major, the excitement to perform in “Madame Butterfly” is evident in her voice.  Warren has prepared for her two roles of geisha and Kate Pinkerton by watching YouTube videos of others who have performed her roles as well as asking her director for direction on how to correctly portray her character.

Catie Omer, WSU alumni and assistant vocal director, wanted to be involved with “Madame Butterfly” because it is one of her favorite operas. Omer’s role was to fine-tune the actors’ voices and give the opera the right sound. She felt her job was rather easy because of the actors’ talent.

“There are a few things here and there, such as you need to be more intense or you need to be more angry, but they are right on point,” Omer said.

While the Italian singing can be a turn-off for some beginning opera-goers, this is one that will be easy for beginners to follow. “I think for first-time opera seers, this one is a good one to see. I remember when I was younger and hadn’t been exposed to opera, I thought ‘that is such an intense sound,’ but again, this one is the story and the way the story flows really well. I think with the supertitles you’ll get it really fast,” Omer said.

Most people are in a constant search for new music or new musicians. These are some up-and-coming musicians who are on the rise in 2015.

Bea Miller

Bea Miller, at the young age of 15 is just as, if not more, accomplished than most musicians much older than her.

In 2012, Miller signed a record label with Hollywood Records after becoming a finalist on the X-Factor. This is the year that Miller will release her debut album “Young Blood.” Her hit single “Young Blood” is frequently heard on radio stations.

Ella Henderson

Another X-Factor contestant, Ella Henderson finally debut her single “Ghost” this January. The song quickly topped the charts in the UK, Germany and Australia.

Ella-Henderson

Musician Ella Henderson posing on the red carpet. (Source: Healthyceleb.com)

Henderson is on the rise and definitely worth checking out in the music world.

Will Butler

Will Butler is an indie artist with a lot of ambition. After playing with Arcade Fire for almost 10 years, Butler has finally decided to return as a solo act.

His newest album “Policy,” will debut in March of this year.

Maddie + Tae

Maddie and Tae are a dynamite country duo, though they sparked some controversy with their chart-topping song, “Girl in a Country Song.”

Maddie and Tae currently sit at top five in the country music chart, let’s see where they go in the country music world from here.

Wolf Alice

These London rockers present a sound that resembles the band Hole. Wolf Alice opened at London’s O2 arena at the beginning of this year.

They plan to release their debut album sometime this year, so keep your eyes peeled for that album.

Most people are in a constant search for new music or new musicians. These are some up-and-coming musicians who are on the rise in 2015.

Bea Miller

Bea Miller, at the young age of 15 is just as, if not more, accomplished than most musicians much older than her.

In 2012, Miller signed a record label with Hollywood Records after becoming a finalist on the X-Factor. This is the year that Miller will release her debut album “Young Blood.” Her hit single “Young Blood” is frequently heard on radio stations.

Ella Henderson

Another X-Factor contestant, Ella Henderson finally debut her single “Ghost” this January. The song quickly topped the charts in the UK, Germany and Australia.

Musician Ella Henderson posing on the red carpet. (Source: Healthyceleb.com)

Henderson is on the rise and definitely worth checking out in the music world.

Will Butler

Will Butler is an indie artist with a lot of ambition. After playing with Arcade Fire for almost 10 years, Butler has finally decided to return as a solo act.

His newest album “Policy,” will debut in March of this year.

Maddie + Tae

Maddie and Tae are a dynamite country duo, though they sparked some controversy with their chart-topping song, “Girl in a Country Song.”

Maddie and Tae currently sit at top five in the country music chart, let’s see where they go in the country music world from here.

Wolf Alice

These London rockers present a sound that resembles the band Hole. Wolf Alice opened at London’s O2 arena at the beginning of this year.

They plan to release their debut album sometime this year, so keep your eyes peeled for that album.

Pete RG features a soulful experience for listeners.

Pete RG features a soulful experience for listeners.

To start, Pete RG offers a wonderful surprise to those who give this duo a try. From the first track, it’s easy to fall in love with the music featured on “Lightning Strikes.”

I have to say that I was completely captivated by the first track on this album, “Still Here.” The vocals are so unique and different that it wasn’t hard to listen to this album in its entirety.

Pete RG’s voice is rustic and soulful. In a way, RG’s voice sounds like an alternative version of Frank Sinatra. Along with co-producer Brina Kabler, this duo puts their listeners in a sort of trance with their music.

“Still Here” is the track that caught my attention the most. Because it’s the first track, it opens the listener’s ears and makes them not want the song to end. Not only are the words sweet and emotional, but the instruments pair so well with RG’s voice that it creates a calming and happy effect that makes you want to sit down and listen to the track over and over.

Later in the album, there is an acoustic version of the song that is just amazing. I’ve made it known in previous reviews that I love acoustic tracks, but I’ll reiterate it once again. There’s something magical about taking out all instruments besides a guitar that makes a song tug at your heart strings.

The other great song on this album is “I’m on Fire.” This song allows listeners to get a taste of the duo singing together on another acoustic track. This song captivated me just as much as “Still Here,” but my only complaint is that it’s two minutes shorter than the rest of the songs on the album.

While these songs hit it out of the park, the rest of the album couldn’t get me quite as excited. For instance, the track entitled “Patient Hearts” seemed to have a disconnection that made it difficult to enjoy.

Overall, this Los Angeles native duo is worth looking into, especially with such a unique vocal aspect. If Pete RG’s sound is one you enjoy, check out other groups like Rachel Mac & the Revival, Valeri Lopez, and Avi Vinocur. This group gets four stars out of five because, as I mentioned before, listening to this group has been a pleasant surprise. I would recommend them to fans of alternative, as well as fans of heavier music.

Pete RG features a soulful experience for listeners.

To start, Pete RG offers a wonderful surprise to those who give this duo a try. From the first track, it’s easy to fall in love with the music featured on “Lightning Strikes.”

I have to say that I was completely captivated by the first track on this album, “Still Here.” The vocals are so unique and different that it wasn’t hard to listen to this album in its entirety.

Pete RG’s voice is rustic and soulful. In a way, RG’s voice sounds like an alternative version of Frank Sinatra. Along with co-producer Brina Kabler, this duo puts their listeners in a sort of trance with their music.

“Still Here” is the track that caught my attention the most. Because it’s the first track, it opens the listener’s ears and makes them not want the song to end. Not only are the words sweet and emotional, but the instruments pair so well with RG’s voice that it creates a calming and happy effect that makes you want to sit down and listen to the track over and over.

Later in the album, there is an acoustic version of the song that is just amazing. I’ve made it known in previous reviews that I love acoustic tracks, but I’ll reiterate it once again. There’s something magical about taking out all instruments besides a guitar that makes a song tug at your heart strings.

The other great song on this album is “I’m on Fire.” This song allows listeners to get a taste of the duo singing together on another acoustic track. This song captivated me just as much as “Still Here,” but my only complaint is that it’s two minutes shorter than the rest of the songs on the album.

While these songs hit it out of the park, the rest of the album couldn’t get me quite as excited. For instance, the track entitled “Patient Hearts” seemed to have a disconnection that made it difficult to enjoy.

Overall, this Los Angeles native duo is worth looking into, especially with such a unique vocal aspect. If Pete RG’s sound is one you enjoy, check out other groups like Rachel Mac & the Revival, Valeri Lopez, and Avi Vinocur. This group gets four stars out of five because, as I mentioned before, listening to this group has been a pleasant surprise. I would recommend them to fans of alternative, as well as fans of heavier music.

The Districts' latest album offers music to a wide variety of listeners.

The Districts’ latest album offers music to a wide variety of listeners.

Pennsylvania natives The Districts offer a great listen to fans with their latest work “A Flourish and a Spoil.” Driven by emotion and high energy, this album is great for any alternative or rock fan.

Formed in 2009, the band’s website said they are excited to share their new album with the world. The first thing listed on their website says, “We write honest music and are passionate about doing so.” Reading this after listening to “A Flourish and a Spoil,” I can tell the band definitely lives up to this idea. Upon beginning the album, I got a feeling the music was very well thought out. The band is able to produce a fun sound and honest lyrics.

The songs that stick out the most are “Suburban Smell,” “Bold” and “6 AM.” Two of these songs are acoustic, and while I am a huge fan of heavy rhythms produced by electric guitar, I think acoustic songs let the listener hear a different, more personal side of the artist. With acoustic music, more emotion is evoked, and when you can hear the lyrics, it’s very raw.

The track entitled “Bold,” however, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. This is a very high energy, almost angry song. With a different tempo and a darker sound, the band does a great job of conveying their feelings.

The other thing about this album that is enjoyable is that the music doesn’t overshadow the vocals and vice versa. There is a great balance of tone with the guitar and drums. Personally, I enjoy when I can hear what a singer is saying, especially with The Districts’ interesting lyrics.

There isn’t much to dislike about this group, and the album isn’t hard to listen to all the way through. During the course of listening to this album, I didn’t feel compelled to skip any of the songs.

If The Districts is a band you enjoy, check out other artists like Pickwick, Hey Anna and The Futures League. This album can easily score a four out of five when it comes to ratings. This album can make you want to dance, want to sit and listen to the words in great detail and even pick up a guitar and play a soft melody.

The Districts’ latest album offers music to a wide variety of listeners.

Pennsylvania natives The Districts offer a great listen to fans with their latest work “A Flourish and a Spoil.” Driven by emotion and high energy, this album is great for any alternative or rock fan.

Formed in 2009, the band’s website said they are excited to share their new album with the world. The first thing listed on their website says, “We write honest music and are passionate about doing so.” Reading this after listening to “A Flourish and a Spoil,” I can tell the band definitely lives up to this idea. Upon beginning the album, I got a feeling the music was very well thought out. The band is able to produce a fun sound and honest lyrics.

The songs that stick out the most are “Suburban Smell,” “Bold” and “6 AM.” Two of these songs are acoustic, and while I am a huge fan of heavy rhythms produced by electric guitar, I think acoustic songs let the listener hear a different, more personal side of the artist. With acoustic music, more emotion is evoked, and when you can hear the lyrics, it’s very raw.

The track entitled “Bold,” however, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. This is a very high energy, almost angry song. With a different tempo and a darker sound, the band does a great job of conveying their feelings.

The other thing about this album that is enjoyable is that the music doesn’t overshadow the vocals and vice versa. There is a great balance of tone with the guitar and drums. Personally, I enjoy when I can hear what a singer is saying, especially with The Districts’ interesting lyrics.

There isn’t much to dislike about this group, and the album isn’t hard to listen to all the way through. During the course of listening to this album, I didn’t feel compelled to skip any of the songs.

If The Districts is a band you enjoy, check out other artists like Pickwick, Hey Anna and The Futures League. This album can easily score a four out of five when it comes to ratings. This album can make you want to dance, want to sit and listen to the words in great detail and even pick up a guitar and play a soft melody.

(Courtesy of Ogden Symphony Ballet Association)

Ann Hampton Callaway, above, will be the guest soloist at OSBA’s “The Streisand Songbook” event. (Courtesy of Ogden Symphony Ballet Association)

Utah Symphony and the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association have joined forces for over 60 years to bring performances to Ogden.  Their concerts appeal to all audiences and ages. This weekend, they’re teaming together to honor Broadway diva Barbra Streisand.

“These concerts are really popular,” Sharon Macfarlane, executive director of the OSBA, said. “It’s a tribute to Barbra Streisand and her songs. We expect a pretty amazing rendition of her.”

“The Streisand Songbook” is one of five concerts where the OSBA teams with the Utah Symphony in order to honor music and musicians. This concert features Jerry Steichen as the conductor and Ann Hampton Callaway as a guest vocalist.

“It’s the second best thing you will see to seeing Barbra Streisand live,” Susan Campbell, education development coordinator of OSBA, said. She added that Calloway has written many songs for Streisand and she is “knowledgeable in her style”

According to biography.com, “Barbra Streisand is the highest-selling female recording artist of all time, and has won awards that acclaim in every medium that she’s worked in.” The site added that Streisand has also done a range of charity work.

“Each concert is a little bit different than the other,” Macfarlane said. “But I think the fact is that when you say ‘Streisand’ you know immediately pretty much what it’s going to be sounding like. I think this will appeal to most all ages.”

According to their website, the Utah Symphony was founded in 1940 and is one of America’s major symphony orchestras. While many symphony orchestras play strictly classical symphony music, “The Streisand Songbook,” would be considered a pop concert.

“The pop series was not something that I would have attended on my own,” Campbell said. “I’m more of a classical girl. What I really enjoy about these concerts is the opportunity to see Broadway singers.”

The most popular Broadway shows Streisand is known for are “Funny Girl” and “I Can Get It For You Wholesale.”

She added, “It’s just amazing to see how personable they can be in singing and how entertaining they can be and how they interact with the audience.”

Callaway, the guest artist for “The Streisand Songbook,” is a singer, actress and producer, according to annhamptoncallaway.com. She’s bringing her unique style to the Browning Center to honor Streisand by singing some of her famous pieces.

“The symphony is amazing on its own but when you add in these guest artists, it’s like you’re getting two shows in one,” Macfarlane said.

Tickets for “The Streisand Songbook” range from $26 to $44. WSU students can get into any available seating for only $12 with a Weber State issued ID when tickets are purchase at the venue or over the phone the day of the performance.

Campbell explained this is a great opportunity to see the Utah Symphony in Ogden. Usually audience members have to travel to Salt Lake City to enjoy the Utah Symphony.  “We’re the only people who bring the symphony up to Ogden,” Campbell said. “It’s important to bring that up here so it can be a part of the community.”

Ann Hampton Callaway, above, will be the guest soloist at OSBA’s “The Streisand Songbook” event. (Courtesy of Ogden Symphony Ballet Association)

Utah Symphony and the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association have joined forces for over 60 years to bring performances to Ogden.  Their concerts appeal to all audiences and ages. This weekend, they’re teaming together to honor Broadway diva Barbra Streisand.

“These concerts are really popular,” Sharon Macfarlane, executive director of the OSBA, said. “It’s a tribute to Barbra Streisand and her songs. We expect a pretty amazing rendition of her.”

“The Streisand Songbook” is one of five concerts where the OSBA teams with the Utah Symphony in order to honor music and musicians. This concert features Jerry Steichen as the conductor and Ann Hampton Callaway as a guest vocalist.

“It’s the second best thing you will see to seeing Barbra Streisand live,” Susan Campbell, education development coordinator of OSBA, said. She added that Calloway has written many songs for Streisand and she is “knowledgeable in her style”

According to biography.com, “Barbra Streisand is the highest-selling female recording artist of all time, and has won awards that acclaim in every medium that she’s worked in.” The site added that Streisand has also done a range of charity work.

“Each concert is a little bit different than the other,” Macfarlane said. “But I think the fact is that when you say ‘Streisand’ you know immediately pretty much what it’s going to be sounding like. I think this will appeal to most all ages.”

According to their website, the Utah Symphony was founded in 1940 and is one of America’s major symphony orchestras. While many symphony orchestras play strictly classical symphony music, “The Streisand Songbook,” would be considered a pop concert.

“The pop series was not something that I would have attended on my own,” Campbell said. “I’m more of a classical girl. What I really enjoy about these concerts is the opportunity to see Broadway singers.”

The most popular Broadway shows Streisand is known for are “Funny Girl” and “I Can Get It For You Wholesale.”

She added, “It’s just amazing to see how personable they can be in singing and how entertaining they can be and how they interact with the audience.”

Callaway, the guest artist for “The Streisand Songbook,” is a singer, actress and producer, according to annhamptoncallaway.com. She’s bringing her unique style to the Browning Center to honor Streisand by singing some of her famous pieces.

“The symphony is amazing on its own but when you add in these guest artists, it’s like you’re getting two shows in one,” Macfarlane said.

Tickets for “The Streisand Songbook” range from $26 to $44. WSU students can get into any available seating for only $12 with a Weber State issued ID when tickets are purchase at the venue or over the phone the day of the performance.

Campbell explained this is a great opportunity to see the Utah Symphony in Ogden. Usually audience members have to travel to Salt Lake City to enjoy the Utah Symphony.  “We’re the only people who bring the symphony up to Ogden,” Campbell said. “It’s important to bring that up here so it can be a part of the community.”

'Picture You' is The Amazing's third album

‘Picture You’ is The Amazing’s third album I think we need a source on the photo?

The Swedish group The Amazing and their outspoken front man, Christoffer Gunrup, were able to do a lot with their latest work “Picture You.” With everything from funk sounds to acoustic melodies, this album was very well thought out.

The Amazing is a somewhat difficult band to describe, and even Gunrup has stated on the band’s website, “I have no idea how to describe the songs.” He also states that it’s just best to play and to not theorize about the music too much.

This is a group that not only has the ability to sound somber and ambiguous at times but can also switch feeling and sound from song to song. Many of the songs utilize completely instrumental portions that make one feel a release of pent-up emotions. Songs such as “Circles” and “Fryshusfunk” are prime examples of this.

In “Circles,” the song digresses into a musical progression that really builds on itself. You can hear each instrument, and it creates a soulful and tranquil feeling. The melody played in this song adds a very human quality to the music that any listener can relate to. “Fryshusfunk,” as the name indicates, turns into a funky fusion of guitars and drums that you could easily dance to.

I don’t have many complaints about this group other than perhaps the vocals. In this album, distinguishing the words is not as easy as I personally prefer. To me, lyrics can be very powerful, and I feel that if the words were more clear, the group could have made a bigger impact on their listeners.

If The Amazing is a group you enjoy, bands such as The Black Swans, Cass McCombs and Jonathan Wilson will also do the trick. As for ratings, this album gets 3.5 stars out of five. The differing sounds and instrumental portions are amazing to listen to, but  the vocals just aren’t all there. Sorry Gunrup, it’s my job to theorize.

‘Picture You’ is The Amazing’s third album I think we need a source on the photo?

The Swedish group The Amazing and their outspoken front man, Christoffer Gunrup, were able to do a lot with their latest work “Picture You.” With everything from funk sounds to acoustic melodies, this album was very well thought out.

The Amazing is a somewhat difficult band to describe, and even Gunrup has stated on the band’s website, “I have no idea how to describe the songs.” He also states that it’s just best to play and to not theorize about the music too much.

This is a group that not only has the ability to sound somber and ambiguous at times but can also switch feeling and sound from song to song. Many of the songs utilize completely instrumental portions that make one feel a release of pent-up emotions. Songs such as “Circles” and “Fryshusfunk” are prime examples of this.

In “Circles,” the song digresses into a musical progression that really builds on itself. You can hear each instrument, and it creates a soulful and tranquil feeling. The melody played in this song adds a very human quality to the music that any listener can relate to. “Fryshusfunk,” as the name indicates, turns into a funky fusion of guitars and drums that you could easily dance to.

I don’t have many complaints about this group other than perhaps the vocals. In this album, distinguishing the words is not as easy as I personally prefer. To me, lyrics can be very powerful, and I feel that if the words were more clear, the group could have made a bigger impact on their listeners.

If The Amazing is a group you enjoy, bands such as The Black Swans, Cass McCombs and Jonathan Wilson will also do the trick. As for ratings, this album gets 3.5 stars out of five. The differing sounds and instrumental portions are amazing to listen to, but  the vocals just aren’t all there. Sorry Gunrup, it’s my job to theorize.

'Control' by Milo Greene recently released offers an expanded role from previous endeavors.

“Control” by Milo Greene offers an expanded role from previous endeavors.

Old styles always have a way of coming back into fashion. Milo Greene brings back the ’80s in his latest work. With their own style, the band fuses rock with pop elements as an homage to the unique decade.

Many bands have gone by the name of one person in their group. Pat Benatar, Ozzy Osbourne and even Bon Jovi go by one name, but there is, in fact, an entire band to give credit to. Frontman Milo Greene does the same thing with his group in their latest album “Control.” They previously released a more folk-sounding album, but “Control” offers a sound that can be described as pop or rock.

It’s always a gamble when picking up a new artist. You never really know what you’re going to get. With Milo Greene I was pleasantly surprised. Each member of the band contributes to the great sound, and once again, with this band, a female singer brings a lot to the table.

According to the band’s Facebook page, Milo Greene can be described as having “ethereal wisps of guitar, drums and vocals that are both calming and a call to action. Milo Greene both soothes and invigorates the soul.”

The very first song on the album, “White Lies,” definitely captures this feeling. The song is calming and very well put together. The vocals sound great and fit into the song perfectly. I find that bands with this style of music tend to sound disconnected when it comes to what is happening with the vocals and the instrumental aspect, but that doesn’t happen here. The sound this song produces is great and makes me want to listen to it over and over.

There’s not much to complain about with this group, but for me, I got a little tired half way through the album. Many of the songs sound very similar, and it makes it hard to distinguish between tracks. Although, I can appreciate the fact that they didn’t rely heavily on a synthesizer and make the album completely unbearable.

If you’re looking for a similar sound, bands such as Lord Huron, Sea Wolf and Blind Pilot will do the trick. I give “Control” three stars out of five. This is a great album that isn’t too heavy, so you can listen to it while studying or having a small get-together. There isn’t anything too overused in the album, making it refreshing to listen to. Also, if you’re a child of the ’80s, “Control” is bound to give you some flashbacks!

“Control” by Milo Greene offers an expanded role from previous endeavors.

Old styles always have a way of coming back into fashion. Milo Greene brings back the ’80s in his latest work. With their own style, the band fuses rock with pop elements as an homage to the unique decade.

Many bands have gone by the name of one person in their group. Pat Benatar, Ozzy Osbourne and even Bon Jovi go by one name, but there is, in fact, an entire band to give credit to. Frontman Milo Greene does the same thing with his group in their latest album “Control.” They previously released a more folk-sounding album, but “Control” offers a sound that can be described as pop or rock.

It’s always a gamble when picking up a new artist. You never really know what you’re going to get. With Milo Greene I was pleasantly surprised. Each member of the band contributes to the great sound, and once again, with this band, a female singer brings a lot to the table.

According to the band’s Facebook page, Milo Greene can be described as having “ethereal wisps of guitar, drums and vocals that are both calming and a call to action. Milo Greene both soothes and invigorates the soul.”

The very first song on the album, “White Lies,” definitely captures this feeling. The song is calming and very well put together. The vocals sound great and fit into the song perfectly. I find that bands with this style of music tend to sound disconnected when it comes to what is happening with the vocals and the instrumental aspect, but that doesn’t happen here. The sound this song produces is great and makes me want to listen to it over and over.

There’s not much to complain about with this group, but for me, I got a little tired half way through the album. Many of the songs sound very similar, and it makes it hard to distinguish between tracks. Although, I can appreciate the fact that they didn’t rely heavily on a synthesizer and make the album completely unbearable.

If you’re looking for a similar sound, bands such as Lord Huron, Sea Wolf and Blind Pilot will do the trick. I give “Control” three stars out of five. This is a great album that isn’t too heavy, so you can listen to it while studying or having a small get-together. There isn’t anything too overused in the album, making it refreshing to listen to. Also, if you’re a child of the ’80s, “Control” is bound to give you some flashbacks!

Courtsey of Billboard.Com/ Fall Out Boy

Courtesy of Billboard.com/ Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy’s new album “American Beauty/American Psycho” is sure to capture the attention of audiences everywhere. Released on Jan. 20, these 11 songs add to Fall Out Boy’s collection of five other albums.

The album runs about 39 minutes long, and for the most part consists of upbeat music with a few slower songs. With their unique sound, catchy lyrics and fast-paced sound, even the slow songs make this album stand out.

One song that many are sure to recognize is the hit song, “Centuries.” It’s currently No. 11 on the iTunes most-popular chart. “Centuries” was released as a single before the album’s debut this January. Its beat and intensity is echoed throughout the other songs on the album, and it gives a good preview of what to expect from the rest of the songs.

I did feel the album was a little repetitive, and it wasn’t as unique as Fall Out Boy’s previous albums, but I have to wonder if that is due to how amazing I believed their previous album was. Since this album was  released a year after their previous album, I think they may have rushed to release “American Beauty/American Psycho.” Their sound is catchy, but after a few songs it gets a little repetitive and makes you start to lose interest, even the first time you are listening to it.

While the album as a whole isn’t a huge must-have, there are some stand-out songs such as “Centuries,” “Uma Thurman,” “American Beauty/ American Psycho” and “The Kids are Alright.” I think all of these songs have the potential to grow in popularity due to their sound and simple lyrics.

As with their other albums, listeners hear empowering but strange lyrics. The song “American Beauty/American Psycho,” which the album is named after, is a really unique song. The sound changes a couple of times during the song, becoming faster, then slower, and has very unique lyrics. I found it really interesting that at one point in the song it almost sounds very close to screamo, although overall the album takes on a rock/alternative sound.

The other song I really enjoyed was “Uma Thurman.” Its sound was almost like the James Bond theme song. I think the lyrics are also pretty simple and easy to sing along with. Overall, I think this song was just a fun and enjoyable song to listen to. It is currently No. 86 on iTunes top chart, but I’m sure it will gain popularity as more people hear it.

I’m not sure “American Beauty/American Psycho” is going to be as popular as Fall Out Boy’s last album. However, I think “American Beauty/American Psycho” will climb in the charts because of its unique song lyrics and the upbeat tempo. This album, with the right audience, could be very popular.

Fall Out Boy will be coming to Salt Lake City this summer on July 30, so check out their new album before you hit the concert.

Courtesy of Billboard.com/ Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy’s new album “American Beauty/American Psycho” is sure to capture the attention of audiences everywhere. Released on Jan. 20, these 11 songs add to Fall Out Boy’s collection of five other albums.

The album runs about 39 minutes long, and for the most part consists of upbeat music with a few slower songs. With their unique sound, catchy lyrics and fast-paced sound, even the slow songs make this album stand out.

One song that many are sure to recognize is the hit song, “Centuries.” It’s currently No. 11 on the iTunes most-popular chart. “Centuries” was released as a single before the album’s debut this January. Its beat and intensity is echoed throughout the other songs on the album, and it gives a good preview of what to expect from the rest of the songs.

I did feel the album was a little repetitive, and it wasn’t as unique as Fall Out Boy’s previous albums, but I have to wonder if that is due to how amazing I believed their previous album was. Since this album was  released a year after their previous album, I think they may have rushed to release “American Beauty/American Psycho.” Their sound is catchy, but after a few songs it gets a little repetitive and makes you start to lose interest, even the first time you are listening to it.

While the album as a whole isn’t a huge must-have, there are some stand-out songs such as “Centuries,” “Uma Thurman,” “American Beauty/ American Psycho” and “The Kids are Alright.” I think all of these songs have the potential to grow in popularity due to their sound and simple lyrics.

As with their other albums, listeners hear empowering but strange lyrics. The song “American Beauty/American Psycho,” which the album is named after, is a really unique song. The sound changes a couple of times during the song, becoming faster, then slower, and has very unique lyrics. I found it really interesting that at one point in the song it almost sounds very close to screamo, although overall the album takes on a rock/alternative sound.

The other song I really enjoyed was “Uma Thurman.” Its sound was almost like the James Bond theme song. I think the lyrics are also pretty simple and easy to sing along with. Overall, I think this song was just a fun and enjoyable song to listen to. It is currently No. 86 on iTunes top chart, but I’m sure it will gain popularity as more people hear it.

I’m not sure “American Beauty/American Psycho” is going to be as popular as Fall Out Boy’s last album. However, I think “American Beauty/American Psycho” will climb in the charts because of its unique song lyrics and the upbeat tempo. This album, with the right audience, could be very popular.

Fall Out Boy will be coming to Salt Lake City this summer on July 30, so check out their new album before you hit the concert.

10_700_700_538_twerps_900px

The Twerps’ self entitled albums will leave listeners with a wide range of emotions.

Admittedly, Twerps wouldn’t be a band I would be inclined to listen to while browsing music at a local media store. However, now that I’ve had the chance to listen to them, I definitely recommend them to fellow music lovers.

This relatively new band from Australia has made a big impression in the short time they’ve been together. Classified as ‘janky pop’ on their Facebook page and ‘noisy pop’ on Pandora.

Formed in late 2008, the band has enjoyed much success. After a set of singles, the release of their 2011 self-titled album established their name in the music scene.

According to Pitchfork, the band’s previous album can be described as “songs fraught with universal, emotional sentiments.” I agree with Pitchfork’s comment.

Initially, this album made me feel joyful. The band has a way of using their sound to evoke very cheerful feelings or more morose ones when the occasion calls for it. Another reason I enjoyed this album was because they utilize their female band member’s voice.

Evocative of a Fleetwood Mac, the band switches from having their main vocalist Martin Frawley singing on certain tracks to guitar/keyboard player Julia McFarlane singing on others. While Twerps can be compared to other bands, they surly have a sound of their own.

If you end up liking this band, you should also look up Spectrals, Eternal Summers, Super Wild Horses and Big Troubles. I would give this band 3.5 stars out of five because I can really appreciate unique and enjoyable sound. This band is one that seems to stay true to themselves and is great to listen to on any occasion.

The Twerps’ self entitled albums will leave listeners with a wide range of emotions.

Admittedly, Twerps wouldn’t be a band I would be inclined to listen to while browsing music at a local media store. However, now that I’ve had the chance to listen to them, I definitely recommend them to fellow music lovers.

This relatively new band from Australia has made a big impression in the short time they’ve been together. Classified as ‘janky pop’ on their Facebook page and ‘noisy pop’ on Pandora.

Formed in late 2008, the band has enjoyed much success. After a set of singles, the release of their 2011 self-titled album established their name in the music scene.

According to Pitchfork, the band’s previous album can be described as “songs fraught with universal, emotional sentiments.” I agree with Pitchfork’s comment.

Initially, this album made me feel joyful. The band has a way of using their sound to evoke very cheerful feelings or more morose ones when the occasion calls for it. Another reason I enjoyed this album was because they utilize their female band member’s voice.

Evocative of a Fleetwood Mac, the band switches from having their main vocalist Martin Frawley singing on certain tracks to guitar/keyboard player Julia McFarlane singing on others. While Twerps can be compared to other bands, they surly have a sound of their own.

If you end up liking this band, you should also look up Spectrals, Eternal Summers, Super Wild Horses and Big Troubles. I would give this band 3.5 stars out of five because I can really appreciate unique and enjoyable sound. This band is one that seems to stay true to themselves and is great to listen to on any occasion.

On Jan. 24, the Weber State University department of performing arts will hold their winter symphony orchestra concert in the Val A. Browning Center for Performing Arts. This year, the concert has a twist; instead of the usual, classical concert pieces, the symphony will play movie scores, ranging from the “ET” theme, to the James Bond medley.

Many students feel excited and challenged by the movie score theme of this concert. “This has been fun because it takes different techniques and different methods,” Lindsey Cramer, a flute performance major said. “It’s a more modern sound than on the soundtracks.”

Nick Johnston, a music education major, said he’s excited to be performing in the concert. Johnston said he thinks audience members “will really enjoy the ‘Mission Impossible’ theme because everyone knows it.”

Cramer agreed with Johnston.

“The ‘Mission Impossible’ and ’007′ themes will go over well because they are recognizable and fast paced,” Cramer said.

The WSU band and orchestra has put months of hard work into perfecting their sound for this concert. “We have been preparing for this since last semester, probably starting around the beginning of November,” Andrew Stapely, music education major and senior, said.

Johnston said he and the other symphony orchestra students spend many hours practicing and rehearsing for concerts like this one. “We’ve been practicing in class time Mondays and Wednesdays for two hours, but practice outside of class for me is anywhere for two hours a day to four hours,” Johnston said. The amount of time spent rehearsing outside of class shows just how much dedication, time and passion goes into making the best show for the public.

One of the unique features of the show will be the diversity of the instruments. Students will be playing everything from percussion to woodwinds during Saturday’s concert.

The feeling among all the interviewed students was that the public will enjoy this concert, more than other symphony orchestra concerts, because they would be able to relate to the music and hear familiar songs.

Johnston said he was excited for this show because “(With) the music from movie soundtracks, compared to normal, classical concert music, there is a lot more involvement from the battery percussion like the snare drum … instead of just the marimba or keyboard set.”

Tickets are $6 for students, military and seniors, and $7 for the general public. Tickets are available at weberstatetickets.com or in the administrative offices of the Val A. Browning Center.

On Jan. 24, the Weber State University department of performing arts will hold their winter symphony orchestra concert in the Val A. Browning Center for Performing Arts. This year, the concert has a twist; instead of the usual, classical concert pieces, the symphony will play movie scores, ranging from the “ET” theme, to the James Bond medley.

Many students feel excited and challenged by the movie score theme of this concert. “This has been fun because it takes different techniques and different methods,” Lindsey Cramer, a flute performance major said. “It’s a more modern sound than on the soundtracks.”

Nick Johnston, a music education major, said he’s excited to be performing in the concert. Johnston said he thinks audience members “will really enjoy the ‘Mission Impossible’ theme because everyone knows it.”

Cramer agreed with Johnston.

“The ‘Mission Impossible’ and ’007′ themes will go over well because they are recognizable and fast paced,” Cramer said.

The WSU band and orchestra has put months of hard work into perfecting their sound for this concert. “We have been preparing for this since last semester, probably starting around the beginning of November,” Andrew Stapely, music education major and senior, said.

Johnston said he and the other symphony orchestra students spend many hours practicing and rehearsing for concerts like this one. “We’ve been practicing in class time Mondays and Wednesdays for two hours, but practice outside of class for me is anywhere for two hours a day to four hours,” Johnston said. The amount of time spent rehearsing outside of class shows just how much dedication, time and passion goes into making the best show for the public.

One of the unique features of the show will be the diversity of the instruments. Students will be playing everything from percussion to woodwinds during Saturday’s concert.

The feeling among all the interviewed students was that the public will enjoy this concert, more than other symphony orchestra concerts, because they would be able to relate to the music and hear familiar songs.

Johnston said he was excited for this show because “(With) the music from movie soundtracks, compared to normal, classical concert music, there is a lot more involvement from the battery percussion like the snare drum … instead of just the marimba or keyboard set.”

Tickets are $6 for students, military and seniors, and $7 for the general public. Tickets are available at weberstatetickets.com or in the administrative offices of the Val A. Browning Center.

Screenshot_2015-01-19-10-58-04

Patrick Pickett, vocalist and guitarist for Alter Ego, performed at Mojos as part of the Jan. 16 show (Photo Cred: Cara Darr)

I have never heard the beautiful sound of a keyboard or smooth, jazzy guitar solos flowing out from Mojos music venue in downtown Ogden like I did on Jan. 16. Darnay Affair, James Allen Spirit and Alter Ego are the three local bands that performed at Mojos last Friday, leaving a groovy musical vibe in their wake.

Nicklaus Johnstun, Weber State University freshman and music major, performed as Alter Ego’s drummer. Johnstun and his band are proud to announce the release of their first CD, which includes their most popular songs, “Canyon Drive” and “Maria.” Johnstun described being on stage as a way of “embellishing the music,” and said that he has the “freedom to improvise” and “express himself.”

“The show was a very chill atmosphere,” said Daniel Crosby, WSU freshman and computer science major. “There was no one trying to be rowdy and obnoxious, so that was nice.”

The atmosphere was created by a night filled with alternative rock that Johnstun described as having “many different influences,” such as funk, pop rock, blues, reggae, pop punk and progressive rock.

While Crosby wanted to see more energy from the crowd, instead of them just sitting and listening, Johnstun enjoyed the calm in the venue. “I hope (my music) affects (the crowd) in whatever way they want to feel,” Johnstun said. “If they just want background noise, that’s awesome. If they feel inspired by it, that’s fantastic. If they just feel like they want to dance to it, by golly let them dance!”

Ron Atencio, owner of Mojos, said he always looks forward to the shows he puts together. “The first two bands (Darnay Affair, James Allen Spirit) are actually new,” he said.

Atencio said he’s excited for what’s to come from the bands. He also said he’s excited to see a more sophisticated and mature atmosphere in the venue during the show.

“It’s going to be really chill, and these are the kind of shows I really like,” Atencio said.

A lot of Mojos shows tend to be based around a hardcore music scene. The transition from hardcore to a smoother and calmer environment for one night was a huge one.

“I didn’t really go to the show expecting anything,” Crosby said. “I just wanted to go for the experience and to try something new.”

Atencio said he hopes anyone could walk out of his music venue with a positive vibe, knowing they have a place they can express their creativity whether it be through music, drawings or writing.“(The shows) are about creating that energy and that environment to be a safe place,” Atencio said. “If I can take my own little corner of the world, maybe it will ripple out.”

The reaction to the music from the crowd and support he received makes Johnstun very happy. “As long as listeners enjoy it, and it doesn’t affect them in any way that would ruin their day, I’m happy.”

Patrick Pickett, vocalist and guitarist for Alter Ego, performed at Mojos as part of the Jan. 16 show (Photo Cred: Cara Darr)

I have never heard the beautiful sound of a keyboard or smooth, jazzy guitar solos flowing out from Mojos music venue in downtown Ogden like I did on Jan. 16. Darnay Affair, James Allen Spirit and Alter Ego are the three local bands that performed at Mojos last Friday, leaving a groovy musical vibe in their wake.

Nicklaus Johnstun, Weber State University freshman and music major, performed as Alter Ego’s drummer. Johnstun and his band are proud to announce the release of their first CD, which includes their most popular songs, “Canyon Drive” and “Maria.” Johnstun described being on stage as a way of “embellishing the music,” and said that he has the “freedom to improvise” and “express himself.”

“The show was a very chill atmosphere,” said Daniel Crosby, WSU freshman and computer science major. “There was no one trying to be rowdy and obnoxious, so that was nice.”

The atmosphere was created by a night filled with alternative rock that Johnstun described as having “many different influences,” such as funk, pop rock, blues, reggae, pop punk and progressive rock.

While Crosby wanted to see more energy from the crowd, instead of them just sitting and listening, Johnstun enjoyed the calm in the venue. “I hope (my music) affects (the crowd) in whatever way they want to feel,” Johnstun said. “If they just want background noise, that’s awesome. If they feel inspired by it, that’s fantastic. If they just feel like they want to dance to it, by golly let them dance!”

Ron Atencio, owner of Mojos, said he always looks forward to the shows he puts together. “The first two bands (Darnay Affair, James Allen Spirit) are actually new,” he said.

Atencio said he’s excited for what’s to come from the bands. He also said he’s excited to see a more sophisticated and mature atmosphere in the venue during the show.

“It’s going to be really chill, and these are the kind of shows I really like,” Atencio said.

A lot of Mojos shows tend to be based around a hardcore music scene. The transition from hardcore to a smoother and calmer environment for one night was a huge one.

“I didn’t really go to the show expecting anything,” Crosby said. “I just wanted to go for the experience and to try something new.”

Atencio said he hopes anyone could walk out of his music venue with a positive vibe, knowing they have a place they can express their creativity whether it be through music, drawings or writing.“(The shows) are about creating that energy and that environment to be a safe place,” Atencio said. “If I can take my own little corner of the world, maybe it will ripple out.”

The reaction to the music from the crowd and support he received makes Johnstun very happy. “As long as listeners enjoy it, and it doesn’t affect them in any way that would ruin their day, I’m happy.”

Crazy-looking metal fans aren’t doing the genre any favors when they scare off music lovers from even trying to listen to metal bands.

Even fans of the Eagles and Aerosmith can find something to like in the best metal groups, and In This Moment is one of those. This band continuously pours their soul into every record they release.

“Black Widow” is the band’s latest album, and now that the band is with Atlantic Records, this album has been quite a success. Upon the release, singer Maria Brink told blabbermouth.net, “‘Black Widow’ is a metaphor for this innocent young girl who gets infected with life, traumas, experiences and the balance of light and darkness. She becomes this poised and powerful creature. That’s the album.”

The songs on the album reflect Brink’s concept. “Dirty Pretty,” “The Fighter” and “Natural Born Sinner” all explore feelings of alienation, acceptance and the importance of being yourself. They convey this through more synthetic melodies and beats.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s still plenty of heavy guitar for all your metal needs.

The band has poured their soul into this album, and when you’re looking for some inspiration, this album provides it. It’s also great for driving around and just jamming out.

If you like this group, you’ll also like bands like Halestorm, Lacuna Coil, New Years Day and The Letter Black. I give this album 4.5 out of five stars.

Crazy-looking metal fans aren’t doing the genre any favors when they scare off music lovers from even trying to listen to metal bands.

Even fans of the Eagles and Aerosmith can find something to like in the best metal groups, and In This Moment is one of those. This band continuously pours their soul into every record they release.

“Black Widow” is the band’s latest album, and now that the band is with Atlantic Records, this album has been quite a success. Upon the release, singer Maria Brink told blabbermouth.net, “‘Black Widow’ is a metaphor for this innocent young girl who gets infected with life, traumas, experiences and the balance of light and darkness. She becomes this poised and powerful creature. That’s the album.”

The songs on the album reflect Brink’s concept. “Dirty Pretty,” “The Fighter” and “Natural Born Sinner” all explore feelings of alienation, acceptance and the importance of being yourself. They convey this through more synthetic melodies and beats.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s still plenty of heavy guitar for all your metal needs.

The band has poured their soul into this album, and when you’re looking for some inspiration, this album provides it. It’s also great for driving around and just jamming out.

If you like this group, you’ll also like bands like Halestorm, Lacuna Coil, New Years Day and The Letter Black. I give this album 4.5 out of five stars.

Classic fairy tales like "Jack and the Beanstalk" are showcased with a modern twist in "Into the Woods," which stars Daniel Huttlestone as Jack and Tracey Ullman as his mother. In theaters Dec. 25, 2014. (Peter Mountain/Disney)

Classic fairy tales like “Jack and the Beanstalk” are showcased with a modern twist in “Into the Woods,” which stars Daniel Huttlestone as Jack and Tracey Ullman as his mother. “Into the Woods” is now playing in most theaters. (Source: Peter Mountain/Disney)

Laced with fairytale antics, just the right amount of star-studding and vocals that even this musicophile can enjoy, the recent fairytale mashup creation by Steven Sondheim was a total thumbs-up.

Take an over-worked scullery maid, a dim-witted little boy and his frazzled mother, a little girl with a penchant for childhood diabetes, a witchy old lady and a young couple desperate to never get a good night’s sleep, squish it together with award-winning music, and the result is Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.”

One pitfall of this kind of Broadway-turned-Hollywood show is that producers and casting directors tend to star-stud the cast as insurance. If the show isn’t good enough to draw crowds, maybe an attractive list of stars can.

At first glance, it seemed that’s exactly what happened, but, thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

Yes, there are big names on the cast list, but they aren’t just for show. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a woman of Meryl Streep’s age belt quite like she does, and I mean that in the best of ways.

Seriously though, the vocals in this reinvention of “Into the Woods” were spot-on. Sondheim isn’t the easiest of music composers to sing, and there wasn’t one dropped note or missing lyric anywhere in the show. Of course, that is the magic of Hollywood and the ability to take enough shots to patch together the perfect cut. Still, all things aside, this is one Hollywood Broadway movie I will be buying the soundtrack to.

Anna Kendrick did a fantastic job as Cinderella. Even though Cinderella isn’t the most complex character written, she isn’t the simplest either. All Cinderella wants is a few evenings off from her slave labor to have fun, party, drink and dance a little. Getting the prince was far more than Cinderella ever imagined.

Kendrick does a great job as the reluctant princess. In particular, I love the way she crafted “On the Steps of the Palace.” Both playful and pensive, Cinderella is lamenting what to do with her prince. Does she choose to be caught by the prince and live in the lap of luxury the rest of her life, or does she run back to the comfort and torment of her father’s house? The debate between the options is clear on Kendrick’s face, and that kind of emotional acting is something rarely seen in many of the actresses in the industry.

One thing you should know about “Into the Woods” before you see it is the plot line. Not understanding where the show is going makes it a little confusing and hard to enjoy. It’s not that “Into the Woods” is an acquired taste or is hard to understand, but still it helps to know where the story is going. Take 10 minutes with the Wikipedia article, don’t worry about lists of revivals and awards, and the whole experience will be much more pleasurable for everyone.

If audience members remember one thing from “Into the Woods,” I would want it to be this: “Someone is on your side/ Someone else is not/ While we’re seeing our side/ Maybe we forgot/ They are not alone/ No one is alone.”

Classic fairy tales like “Jack and the Beanstalk” are showcased with a modern twist in “Into the Woods,” which stars Daniel Huttlestone as Jack and Tracey Ullman as his mother. “Into the Woods” is now playing in most theaters. (Source: Peter Mountain/Disney)

Laced with fairytale antics, just the right amount of star-studding and vocals that even this musicophile can enjoy, the recent fairytale mashup creation by Steven Sondheim was a total thumbs-up.

Take an over-worked scullery maid, a dim-witted little boy and his frazzled mother, a little girl with a penchant for childhood diabetes, a witchy old lady and a young couple desperate to never get a good night’s sleep, squish it together with award-winning music, and the result is Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.”

One pitfall of this kind of Broadway-turned-Hollywood show is that producers and casting directors tend to star-stud the cast as insurance. If the show isn’t good enough to draw crowds, maybe an attractive list of stars can.

At first glance, it seemed that’s exactly what happened, but, thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

Yes, there are big names on the cast list, but they aren’t just for show. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a woman of Meryl Streep’s age belt quite like she does, and I mean that in the best of ways.

Seriously though, the vocals in this reinvention of “Into the Woods” were spot-on. Sondheim isn’t the easiest of music composers to sing, and there wasn’t one dropped note or missing lyric anywhere in the show. Of course, that is the magic of Hollywood and the ability to take enough shots to patch together the perfect cut. Still, all things aside, this is one Hollywood Broadway movie I will be buying the soundtrack to.

Anna Kendrick did a fantastic job as Cinderella. Even though Cinderella isn’t the most complex character written, she isn’t the simplest either. All Cinderella wants is a few evenings off from her slave labor to have fun, party, drink and dance a little. Getting the prince was far more than Cinderella ever imagined.

Kendrick does a great job as the reluctant princess. In particular, I love the way she crafted “On the Steps of the Palace.” Both playful and pensive, Cinderella is lamenting what to do with her prince. Does she choose to be caught by the prince and live in the lap of luxury the rest of her life, or does she run back to the comfort and torment of her father’s house? The debate between the options is clear on Kendrick’s face, and that kind of emotional acting is something rarely seen in many of the actresses in the industry.

One thing you should know about “Into the Woods” before you see it is the plot line. Not understanding where the show is going makes it a little confusing and hard to enjoy. It’s not that “Into the Woods” is an acquired taste or is hard to understand, but still it helps to know where the story is going. Take 10 minutes with the Wikipedia article, don’t worry about lists of revivals and awards, and the whole experience will be much more pleasurable for everyone.

If audience members remember one thing from “Into the Woods,” I would want it to be this: “Someone is on your side/ Someone else is not/ While we’re seeing our side/ Maybe we forgot/ They are not alone/ No one is alone.”

KWCR Shows

KWCR Specialty Show Schedule

Current KWCR Staff

General Manager

Program Director

Sponsorship Director

Promotions Director

Content Director

Production Director

Music Director

Music Director

Engineering

Asst Promotions Director

Assistant Content Director

Asst. Music Director

Spanish Program Director

Asst Promotions Director

Web/IT

KWCR is taking applications for 2015-2016. Apply Today!

To supervise and manage the daily operations of all units and students of KWCR-FM. Work with Faculty Advisor to ensure that KWCR lives up to the station’s mission statement. Like all positions, the General Manager is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience.  The GM must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Requirements:

  • Organize and oversee the KWCR DJ Workshop class with Program Director.
  • Manage public relations and KWCR station image.
  • Oversee and regularly update KWCR FCC Public File.
  • Have technical knowledge of music systems related to station operation.
  • Meet with Faculty Advisor regularly.
  • Chair weekly staff meetings and retreats.
  • Execute all policies set by Weber State University, KWCR and the FCC.
  • Oversee scheduling and programming of the station.
  • Primary supervision of web, production, programming, engineering, sports news and sales departments.
  • Meet with each department head and conduct regular staff performance evaluations.
  • Co-chair staff selection committee with Station Advisor.
  • Read and pass a basic test on the FCC manual “The Public and Broadcasting,” adhere to all relevant rules stated therein.

 

 

To assist the General Manager and Station Advisor in the daily operation and management of KWCR.  Responsible for programming implementation of KWCR, including music, sports, news, Spanish, on-air personalities and special programs. Like all positions, the Program Director is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience.  The PD must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Requirements:

  • Schedule all KWCR programming, collect all shift logs.
  • Maintain regular hours at station.
  • Train, evaluate, advise and discipline the KWCR air staff.
  • Post and enforce studio guidelines.
  • Ensure (with General Manager and Engineer) that FCC and EAS guidelines are followed.
  • Program and maintain GSelector and NexGen.
  • Maintain a log of all issues known to GSelector and NexGen, and each support call.
  • Ensure that KWCR website is up-to-date with latest information.
  • Meet with Music Department regularly to discuss programming.
  • Ensure (with Production Director) that all specialty shows are formatted for podcasting.
  • Meet with General Manager and Faculty Advisor regularly to set goals.
  • Work with General Manager to plan DJ KWCR Workshop class (Comm 2730).
  • Coordinate with News, Spanish and Sports Directors for all on-air programming.
  • Work with local high schools to find prospective WSU students for KWCR.
  • Work with General Manager on updating KWCR FCC Public File.
  • Read and pass a basic test on the FCC manual “The Public and Broadcasting,” adhere to all relevant rules stated therein.

Responsible for maintaining a current music base for the station. Making sure that all music is appropriate for FCC guidelines and fits the current music format. Like all positions, the Music Director is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience. The Music Director must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Responsibilities:

  • Select new music as deemed appropriate for the established program format—both national acts and local musicians
  • Make sure music related web content (reviews, new additions) is regularly updated
  • Learn and teach others to use Gselector and NexGen, in collaboration with the Program Director
  • Regularly contact record company and PR representatives to receive promotional music for the station.
  • File regular reports with the College Music Journal.
  • Attend all staff meetings and station retreats.
  • Meet with General Manager and Program Director regularly.
  • Read and pass a basic test on the FCC manual “The Public and Broadcasting,” adhere to all relevant rules stated therein.

To oversee all aspects of production audio and video for KWCR including announcements for social media, sponsorship, news, sponsor/underwriting mentions, PSA’s, programming, liners & sweepers, promotions, public relations, sports.  Like all positions, the Production Director is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience.  The Production Director must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Responsibilities:

  • Produce new underwriting mentions, liners, sweepers, and station promos regularly.
  • Advise and assess work of COMM 1560 Audio Production & Performance student sweepers/positioners.
  • Train KWCR employees on production software as needed.
  • Maintain basic upkeep and organization of the KWCR Production Studio.
  • Help produce audio content for KWCR social media sites as needed.
  • Maintain archive of all original copies of on-air production.
  • Work with Program Director (and Production assistants) to turn live programming into podcasts
  • Meet with Program Director and Partnership Director regularly to discuss possible ideas and improvement.
  • Follow the Sponsorship & Production agreement for all underwriting production.
  • Approve all production made for on-air use, making sure FCC rules are followed and the item is in harmony with the station and current format.
  • Attend all staff meetings, Comm 2730 and retreats.
  • Read and pass a basic test on the FCC manual “The Public and Broadcasting,” adhere to all relevant rules stated therein.

Oversees and directs the news programming for KWCR. During Fall semester 2015, responsible for implementing a weekly 30-minute news program. This position requires a driven, highly responsible student who can manage others. Like all positions, the News Director is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience. The News Director must maintain full-time student status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with The Signpost (and, as necessary, Studio 76) in the production of a weekly news/talk program. Based on success of program, may increase to 2x/week.
  • Coordinate audio coverage of press conferences and other events as needed.
  • Work directly with Program Director to learn, use, and maintain NexGen and G-Selector software.
  • Collaborate with Production Director to maintain at least 10 PSAs in rotation.
  • Attend all staff meetings, Comm 2730 and retreats.
  • Adhere to all other regulations, rules, procedures, and policies deemed by the FCC, WSU, KWCR, General Manager, and Station Advisor, which are not within this description.

To promote listener loyalty and create interest in KWCR through a variety of creative and high profile promotions at WSU.  Work directly with WSU to promote and involve KWCR on campus and off. Like all positions, the Promotions Director is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience.  The Promotion Director must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Responsibilities:

  • Develop promotional plan for each semester.
  • Work closely with Studio 76 and The Signpost to organize Weber Media Group events.
  • Plan and execute all on-campus promotional events. Schedule in cooperation with WSU activities, campus organizations and others in the greater Ogden area.
  • Act as a liaison between WSU, the Union Building staff and administration, and KWCR.
  • Work closely with Production Director to create on-air promo material for events.
  • Work closely with Content Director to co-promote events and online initiatives
  • Work with Partnership Director in scheduling and planning for remote activities.
  • Attend all staff meetings, Comm 2730, and retreats.
  • Attend meeting sponsored by campus organizations.
  • Read and pass a basic test on the FCC manual “The Public and Broadcasting,” adhere to all relevant rules stated therein.

In charge of creating online content for KWCR.  Works with station social media to promote KWCR through a variety of creative and high profile online promotions at WSU. Works directly with General Manager and Program Director. Like all positions, the Promotions Director is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience. The Promotion Director must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Responsibilities:

  • Maintains all KWCR social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr); interacts with users on these sites as necessary
  • Works with Program Director and Faculty Advisor to institute a “best practices” and “style sheet” for all social media platforms (similar to “AP Style Guide”)
  • Creates unique online contests and periodic viral/meme content for social media platforms.
  • Collaborates with IT and Promotions Directors, along with campus organizations, Union Building Directors and all other campus affiliates to promote KWCR.
  • Files weekly reports to the General Manager
  • Attends all staff meetings, Comm 2730 classes, and retreats.
  • Reads and passes a basic test on the FCC manual “The Public and Broadcasting,” adheres to all relevant rules stated therein.

To oversee all aspects of KWCR sponsorship.  Maintain the integrity of KWCR with its sponsors and provide the community with the opportunity of sponsoring KWCR. Like all positions, the Sales Director is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience.  The Sponsorship Director must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Responsibilities:

  • Reports to the General Manager of KWCR.
  • Attend all staff meetings, Comm 2730, and retreats.
  • Recruit a sales staff to help accomplish the tasks of the department.  Meet with the sales staff regularly to help train, evaluate, and set goals.
  • File and keep original contacts and agreements of sponsorships.
  • Make copies of all contracts and agreements and give them to the Station Advisor to file.
  • Follow-up on all current and dormant sponsors to make sure needs are being met and payments are being made on time.
  • Meet with Production Director regularly to update current underwriter spots.
  • Work with Promotions in planning and scheduling live remotes for sponsors.
  • Follow the sale and production agreement for all underwriting production.
  • Maintain a professional and ethical relationship between KWCR and sponsors.
  • Adhere to sales/commission agreement under the direction of GM and Station Advisor.
  • Adhere to all other regulations, rules, procedures, and policies deemed by the FCC, WSU, KWCR, General Manager, and Station Advisor, which are not within this description.

To oversee and direct the affairs of the sports staff.  Responsible for broadcasting all sporting events relating to WSU and the community as well as creating content for KWCR social media.  Like all positions, the Sports Director is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience.  The Sports Director must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Responsibilities:

  • Broadcast WSU men’s and women’s team sports.
  • Oversee other types of sports programming and work with Content Director to maintain sports-related social media web content.
  • Monitor broadcasting assignments for all games to be broadcast by KWCR. Provide board operator for all events.
  • Meet with Program Director to regularly coordinate schedules.
  • Recruit and maintain a sports staff.
  • Develop a rotating schedule for play by play, color, board operator and stats.
  • Maintain all sports remote equipment.
  • Attend all staff meetings, Comm 2730 and retreats.
  • Read and pass a basic test on the FCC manual “The Public and Broadcasting,” adhere to all relevant rules stated therein.

To supervise all programming implementation of the weekly Spanish show on KWCR; including DJ’s, sales, and promotions.  Enhance KWCR image with Spanish speaking community. Like all positions, the Spanish Program Director is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience.  The Spanish Program must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Responsibilities:

  • Oversee all Spanish language programming for KWCR.
  • Select new Spanish music or music deemed appropriate for the established program format.  Make sure all music follows FCC policy.
  • Recruit student DJs for all shifts during Spanish programming block.
  • Develop a DJ schedule for Spanish block that fills all available shifts.
  • Work with Partnership Director to establish community relationships for Spanish programming.
  • Work with Promotions and Content Directors to develop Spanish Language initiatives and events.
  • Attend all staff meetings, Comm 2730, and retreats.
  • Read and pass a basic test on the FCC manual “The Public and Broadcasting,” adhere to all relevant rules stated therein.

Maintain and improve the KWCR computing systems, both hardware and software, Windows and Mac, including the NexGen and GSelector music system unique to KWCR. Like all positions, the IT Director is first a student at Weber State and must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Responsibilities:

  • Maintain a regular schedule of 8-10 hours per week in the station.
  • Work with GM and staff to maintain the KWCR station computers.
  • Work with Program Director to learn the GSelector and NexGen station music software. Maintain this software, which includes periodic telephone support to resolve issues.
  • Maintain a log of all issues known to GSelector and NexGen, and each support call.
  • Meet with GM and PD regularly to discuss computer maintenance issues.
  • Work with RF Engineer to maintain online streaming 24/7 and other wireless routing issues related to the station
  • Work with GM and PD to maintain KWCR’s presence on the Weber Media Group’s converged site, which includes content from The Signpost and Studio 76.
  • Attend all staff meetings and retreats.
  • Attend and contribute to KWCR Workshop class (Comm 2730).
  • Read and pass a basic test on the FCC manual “The Public and Broadcasting,” adhere to all relevant rules stated therein.

 

To make sure all broadcasting and RF equipment at KWCR is properly maintained and runs within FCC regulation. Like all positions, the Student Engineer is first a student at Weber State and this job is first and foremost a learning experience. The Student Engineer must maintain full-time status and a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Responsibilities:

  • Establish and maintain a regular maintenance schedule for all KWCR broadcast equipment.
  • Oversee and manage the maintenance of all on-air equipment, within FCC guidelines
  • Ensures that the station’s broadcast signal is at the highest-possible quality within FCC guidelines
  • Ensure that the station’s EAS system airs the FCC-mandated signals, and maintain the log of these broadcasts
  • Be on-call for equipment emergencies and technical problems.
  • Help to design and install all new equipment purchases, as necessary.
  • Meet bi-weekly with General Manager, Program Director and Faculty Advisor.
  • Attend and contribute to KWCR Workshop class (Comm 2730).
  • Attend all staff meetings and retreats.
  • Read and pass a basic test on the FCC manual “The Public and Broadcasting,” adhere to all relevant rules stated therein.

Current KWCR DJ's

DJ Tan Man

DJ Cinnamon

DJ Geeky Gal

Count Bassie

DJ Zombie

DJ Jammin Jamin

Rebel Rick

DJ Stud

J Mac

DJ M&M

DJ Dave

DJ Hay Worthy!

DJ Katy

DJ Abby Road