Paramore reloads with new album

After countless jabs and jeers, Paramore emerged from the cloud of nasty remarks with two fewer members and a promise of returning to their former glory. Josh and Zac Farro left the band three years ago, and lead singer Haley Williams vocalized her struggle to recover from the break-up via social media. But Williams, Taylor York and Jeremy Davis come out swinging with their new album, which hit shelves April 9. The self-titled work features 17 tracks, which seem a bit much, but the fact the band waited so long to name something after themselves really speaks for itself. This collection of songs shows the talent of each member, rather than appealing to the market like previous successful singles have done. The best example of the trio’s new outlook on life can be found in the musicality of “Ain’t it Fun.” This song sounds more like one Justin Timberlake would sing. Instead, Williams delivers a perfect performance. The jazzy intro develops into a chorus the three rockers pull off flawlessly. Then, gospel-style claps and choir music interludes completely puzzle listeners. A lot like her fiery red bangs, not everyone could handle this odd assortment of styles, but it seems perfectly fitting for Williams. “Fast in My Car” features Williams’ sassy lyrical delivery that makes the simple song work for both new and old fans of the group. A future summer hit, perhaps? Undoubtedly, the band has matured over the years even with the loss of two members. “Grow Up” speaks to that process when Williams sings, “Some of us have to grow up sometimes, but I might have to leave you alone. But we get along for the most part.” While there will be plenty of head-banging to come, many things have changed for the young musicians, and the result is a terrific composition. One catchy track stands out for the younger audience the band has attracted. “Daydreaming” hits emotional highs and lows with the punk-rock sound fans have been missing for years. Famous for their “Decode” on the original Twilight soundtrack, “Proof” resembles it with honest lyrics and a drum beat that propels the song. Naturally, a lengthy album like this leaves room for a ballad or two. The band performed “Hate to See Your Heart Break” live on BBC radio before the album’s release. Fans immediately responded with positive feedback and vowed that Paramore will “always be (their) favorite.” Indeed, Williams shows off her vocals, hitting honest low notes and also entering her famous high range in this song. The album as a whole explores places the band has never gone before, while still staying true to...

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Playhouses built to host childhood memories
Apr17

Playhouses built to host childhood memories

Piles of wood, screws and soon-to-be clubhouse pieces lay outside the steps of Mabee last week for Cru Playhouses. The noise of power tools and laughter echoed through the quad as students came together to assemble scattered playhouse pieces. While the event gives Crusaders a week of an exciting, hands-on volunteer project, the houses built will represent years of memories for a child. “(Students) have the ability to build community within the different groups and have an amazing service opportunity,” assistant director of campus activities Jeff Sutton said. Cru Playhouses is a Student Life event that started five years ago to build playhouses for children of military families in Bell County. Since then, they have stayed connected with the university as the tradition continues. Various campus organizations do their part by sponsoring a playhouse. Participants are responsible for purchasing, building and delivering each house. This year, the project had 14 different university groups take on the project. Junior math major Lacy Hill came out to aid the resident assistants who sponsored a clubhouse, but stayed a little longer to help build additional houses. “I wanted to do it because I love little kids, and I think about how this is going to be some kid’s playhouse,” Hill said. “If anything was slightly off, I was like ‘No, we can’t mess this up. We need to make it perfect for them.’” Although Hill wasn’t able to help deliver houses at Saturday’s Reaching Out, she enjoyed the time she could spend building a memory for a child. The weeklong event wasn’t limited to the 14 groups that purchased a playhouse. Many students like sophomore exercise sport science major Taylor White, came on their own time throughout the week to help with the construction. “It’s really nice because not many military families have the opportunity to go out and buy a playhouse for their kids,” White said. “It’s good fellowship, and it’s all for a good cause.” Volunteers of Cru Playhouses didn’t let last week’s poor weather conditions stand in the way of building their masterpieces. Warm weather brought pristine conditions for Monday and Tuesday’s construction, but with Wednesday’s rain, the event was forced to move inside of Shelton Theater. Event leaders wouldn’t let the midweek showers put a damper on their plans. Sutton said their goal was to complete six playhouses that day, and the results were promising. “We are still going,” he said during Wednesday’s pour. Cru Playhouses were able to finish building outside the remainder of the week. While the construction process was hectic at times, Sutton enjoyed getting to see students give back to the community. He said,...

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Leah Bunkers brings Iowa talent

A sparkly tiara once balanced on the head of sophomore public relations major Leah Bunkers. But this isn’t a story of Honey Boo Boo or whiny toddlers in crowns. Bunkers grew up as an athlete and discovered that being a pageant girl means far more than strutting the stage in glittery heels. “I wasn’t the typical pageant girl growing up because I was involved in sports and other things that people wouldn’t expect,” she said. Bunker’s father, Doug, remembers Leah at age nine, creating her own business around hair ties. He said, “Leah has always been a little quiet, a very hard worker and motivated to achieve whatever her goals are.  She has always been willing to help others and extremely nonjudgmental.  Leah is intensely loyal and has very good friends.” At 14, Leah saw the opportunity to compete for scholarship money by entering the contests. “I knew I would have to pay for college. I had the skills that they were looking for in a title holder, so I took it upon myself to train for it,” she said. Leah enjoys exploring new things, so she and her family thought the decision was fitting. With her family’s support, she began a rigorous training schedule of working out, singing and poise lessons that changed her life. Bunkers first competed in Miss Capital City’s Outstanding Teen, a preliminary to Miss Iowa’s outstanding Teen. She was shocked when the crown was placed on her head. “I was really surprised I won my first contest because I was the youngest contestant, and I didn’t know what I was doing…. It was a learning experience, and I did better every year,” she said. “I ended up getting first runner-up in Miss Iowa’s Outstanding Teen next. I really bettered myself by taking a look at each phase of competition and looking at how I can be the best I can be.” Bunkers missed a lot of school her senior year. When she went on to win Miss Greenbelt, she had to travel back and forth to vocal coaches and trainers for the upcoming Miss Iowa pageant in hopes of winning and moving forward to Miss America. Bunkers joined 16 other local titleholders for the Miss Iowa pageant and spent a week doing community service, volunteer work and making appearances all over the state. “You really get to connect with the girls and make an impact on a lot of people in that one week. Then we had preliminaries to determine the top ten.” Leah qualified for the next round of competition, making the top ten in the Miss Iowa pageant. But her world came...

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CAB hooks with movie weekend
Mar14

CAB hooks with movie weekend

With gold coin chocolates, a chest full of treasure and scurvy scallywags gathered for a two-night movie adventure, the Campus Activities Board’s latest event proved a success. CAB’s pirate event docked in Shelton Theatre last Friday and Saturday. With the room completely decked in spooky style, the decor provided the atmosphere for viewing all four installments of Pirates of the Caribbean. Sophomore chemistry major Marie Stephenson explained that CAB got the idea from Howard Payne University then transformed it into a campus-wide, weekend event. “We had to buy rights to show the movie to the audience. We also had to book a venue, go shopping for all the decorations and snacks, as well as advertise,” she said. “Most of the planning was done by the committee for this event, but for advertisement we heavily relied on our ‘cabbers’ to get the word out through word of mouth, social media and chalking.” Sophomore nursing major Nathan Forrester helped plan the event and found inspiration from Treasure Island and its protagonist, Jim Hawkins. He joked about the planning process. “The idea came from the growing love of pirates on campus. We prepared by talking like pirates for a full week before in order to better understand the unique pirate culture,” he said. Guests received their very own pirate nickname and temporary tattoos before boarding the ship to the Caribbean.  When students walked through the doors of Shelton, they were greeted by a fog machine, theme music and the smell of buttery popcorn before being seated for the feature presentation. The first two films in the series showed on Friday, while the last two concluded Saturday evening. Because of the timing, the hosts were unsure of how the turnout would be. Stephenson, Forrester and their fellow cabbers were pleased by the outcome. “The turnout was great, especially for a weekend event. There are a few modifications we’ll make if we decide to do another one of these movie nights in the future, but it went great for our first venture into movie nights on campus,” she said. Sophomores Nathan Gilmore and Dawson Harmon and freshman Collin Cavendish decided to bring their own raft to the showing. “Collin and I were in the SUB really late laughing that CAB asked people BYOC, bring your own couch. We thought that was a really funny idea and then Collin said. ‘how bout we go bigger and try to get a sail boat,’” Gilmore said. “We couldn’t find a free sailboat, and Dawson had a raft.” The men decided to decorate the boat by adding an inner tube they found, then topped off the contraption with...

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Titanic voyage #2 in 2016

The unsinkable ship already sank once, so why is Australian businessman Clive Palmer building another ocean liner and dooming it with the name Titanic II? Does Palmer not remember Leonardo DiCaprio freezing to death as he clung to a piece of wood, rather than climbing onto the raft that clearly could have held two people? Sorry about the bitterness, but there is simply nothing romantic about hypothermia. But Palmer and designer Markku Kanerva assure critics of the safety of this work in progress. Sound familiar? Oh yeah, the Titanic I when it set sail for New York in 1912. The whole world saw how wonderful that turned out. With promises of a maiden voyage in 2016, thousands of people have already signed up to participate in history’s potential remaking. The new ship will feature an almost identical layout as the first, with antique furnishings and embellishments. Passengers even have the option of donning period clothing for the journey. After all, who doesn’t want to sport Kate Winslet-worthy garb? Still, wouldn’t the memory of the horrific tragedy put a damper on the party? Granddaughter of socialite and survivor Molly Brown, Helen Benziger, has given her full support of the project. “Bringing this ship back? I don’t know the words…. It is a chance to go back in time,” she told The Guardian. Sure, it would be great to reenact Jack and Rose’s highly unlikely and strangely accelerated relationship. But nothing about playing tag with icebergs sounds enjoyable. Palmer seems fairly nonchalant about the outrageous sum of money going toward the endeavor. The threat of colliding into a monstrous piece of frozen water doesn’t seem to bother him either. Why? Global warming, naturally. “Anything will sink if you put a hole in it,” Palmer told The Guardian. “There are not so many icebergs in the North Atlantic these days.” All joking aside, the proposed passenger ship could offer a blast into the past for passengers willing to open their wallets for a pricey trip. Already, millions of dollars have been offered by  eager journeyers. Thanks, Blue Star Line, for making a hopeless romantic’s dream come true. The final verdict on the project? Launch the safety rafts now, just in case. Or at least send DiCaprio to the rescue. It’s the least you can  do,...

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