1989: an album reimagined
Oct15

1989: an album reimagined

On Sept. 21, Ryan Adams released his reinterpretation of Taylor Swift’s newest album 1989. Ryan Adams is best known as an indie rock musician, but has also been successful as an alternative country artist, poet, painter, and producer, producing albums for artists such as Willie Nelson and Fall Out Boy. Adams’ take on 1989 comes from a dark time in his life as he and Mandy Moore, his wife of six years, were going through a divorce. This heartbreak adds a sense of vulnerability to Swift’s playful album. Adams’ emotion-filled track list takes listeners on a journey of the sadness and loneliness Adams felt. Many of Swift’s more upbeat titles such as “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space” are slowed down in this rendition and infused with Adams’s whispery vocals, creating a sense of daunting distress. The powerful ballad “Out of the Woods” is stripped and lengthened to six minutes in Adams’ version of the song. Although the track has a darker tone to it than the original, the beautiful violin at the end of the song leaves the same hope of the future that Swift’s version does. One of the most raw and real moments in the album occurs in “Bad Blood” as Adams sings the line “You say sorry just for show.” Whereas Swift’s take on the song sounds more about revenge and anger towards her subject, Adams instead focuses on the sadness of losing someone who was once so close to him. Adams does, however, offer a few light-hearted moments throughout the album. “Welcome to New York” begins with the chirping of a flock of birds and keeps the same upbeat nature of the original song, just replaced with his signature rock sound. “Wildest Dreams” also keeps its whimsical instrumentation, but loses its dream-like sound as Adams’s burden-heavy voice tells a new story. Adams’ overall interpretation of 1989 is bittersweet. Many of the fun tracks on Swift’s album were reinvented as ballads, and many ballads were given an even deeper and new meaning. Saying that, Adams is very serious in his rendition of the pop album, causing many of the tracks to lose their exciting, amusing sound. But Adams keeps the integrity of the album, rarely changing lyrics, and instead simply applies each track to his own life in this hard time. However, the honesty in Adams’ voice can’t be replicated. He often sounds as if he’s about to break down in the middle of a song. It’s this realness that makes you feel like you are at a Ryan Adams concert and he is standing just feet away. Yet Adams’s take on Swift’s record hasn’t...

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Cru Culture

Large t-shirts, Nike shorts and Chacos. This has been the long-going trend for college girls, especially those at UMHB. This look has illicited the taunting of college guys who claim that all girls look the same with their typical attire and similar hairstyles – long, straight hair thrown into a ponytail, messy bun or worn down. It has become a running joke for the male population around campus. But, who are these guys to judge now? Recently, the guys have been sporting their own version of the “sorority girl” look. Here are some examples of the style these mockers have been perpetuating. Footwear: This is one of the most important things to look for when identifying the “frat look.” They are strictly limited to boat shoes. The brand is open-game, but popular ones include Sperry’s and Polo. They are known for being comfortable, but they lack in hygiene department when worn without socks. Chacos might not be the cutest shoes, but at least they allow for comfort and breathability. Pants: You’ve probably seen this trend; the ever-so-popular cargo shorts with one-too-many pockets and 50 shades of khaki. Another popular go-to choice are Chubbies; the short, vibrant colored shorts that make you question whether a guy was even in his right mind when he chose to wear them. Let’s make this clear: The shorter the shorts is not better. Shirts: We can’t forget about fishing shirts and collared polo shirts to add to the outfit. You will almost never see a guy wearing a graphic t-shirt unless it is to promote their club. Solid, bright colors or plaid button-downs are also a must with this style. Add a frocket to the shirt of choice, and you are basically wearing a sign that says “frat guy wannabe.” Accessories: To complete the trend, top it off with a pair of Oakley’s or Raybans, a hat (backwards, of course) to go atop their semi-long hair and a watch of your choosing. Frattire is a real epidemic these days, and it has made its way to UMHB’s campus, despite the fact that we don’t have fraternities. Long gone are the days where the college males ganged up on females for looking the same. The tables have finally...

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Cru Culture – Back to school 2015
Sep01

Cru Culture – Back to school 2015

Summer is over. And we all know what that means; school is back in session. It is overwhelming, yes. We just had a four month-long break and now we are expected to jump into school like we never stepped away from it. Yes, some people took classes over the summer. Some went above and beyond and went to class Monday through Friday. Others who couldn’t do that, due to summer jobs and vacationing, decided that online courses were the way to go. Either way, we can all agree that summer classes just aren’t the same as going to class during the fall semester. What most people are worried about is getting back into the swing of things and getting as close to smooth sailing as possible before the semester gets harder. One thing that might help is to wait after the first week of classes to get books. We’ve been there before; that second day after you’ve been to all your classes and your professors have confirmed which books you need to get. It sounds like a good idea to go buy them now, but you might have better results if you wait. The lines in the bookstore are winding through clothes racks and bookshelves and out the door during the first week of class. It takes more than an hour to get your books. No one has that kind of time. Wait until after the first week. You probably won’t use your books the first week of classes anyway. Another rule of thumb is to get a planner. Most students start out with one, and then kind of hop off that boat when they realize it gets difficult to keep up with as the semester progresses. This might get you into trouble, especially when the homework starts piling up and papers are due every other week. Without a planner, poeple tend to forget about those simple things that actually end up being worth a lot of their final grades. Lastly, manage your time wisely. College is a great experience and it’s about having fun and gaining new friends for a lifetime, but it’s also about getting an education. Don’t forget to have fun and make memories, but make sure you’re staying on top of your classes, deadlines and getting enough sleep. Yeah, summer is over and it’s bittersweet. Freshman are getting used to campus life and everyone else is just excited to see their friends again. It’s going to be hard, but one thing is for certain: Christmas break is only a few months away and that’s enough motivation to get anyone through the...

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Faculty art inspires students
Sep01

Faculty art inspires students

Professors of the College of Visual Arts have a chance to show off their talents through the 2015 Faculty Art Exhibition. The exhibit opened Monday in the art gallery of the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts and features works of 10 professors. The department holds a faculty exhibit every other year, but this year’s exhibit serves a dual purpose as the department is a candidate to receive accreditation from the National Association for Schools of Art and Design. “We’re having a sight visit team come and they’re interested in seeing both the student art and faculty art, so we’ll have both displayed all over the building,” said Department Chairperson Hershall Seals. The exhibit is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 17. A reception will be held Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public. The exhibit offers a wide variety of media including: painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpting and graphic design. Seals said this opportunity allows professors to put concepts they’ve taught their students into practice. “This exhibit displays for the student that their teachers know what they’re talking about, and shows a variety of art practices,” he said. “We have a range of two and three dimensional work in the gallery, and it brings legitimacy to what we preach and practice in the studios and the classrooms.” The gallery is a way for professors to serve as inspiration for their students outside of a traditional classroom setting. “The teachers are role models for our students, and this display is a visual way that we can communicate to our students what we’re all about as creative people,” Seals said. Professor John Hancock has a series of mixed-media pieces on display that combine painting and printmaking. He believes it’s important for art professors to practice what they preach. “I like to put my money where my mouth is and let them know that I’m not just a teacher, but an artist,” he said. “I make art without purpose or reason, other than I make art, and they should make art too because that’s what an artist does.” Seals said Hancock’s work allows the viewer to find meaning in what they see. “They are works of art that are intended to be confrontational,” Seals said. “It’s highly charged with the possibility of interpretation. Anybody can imagine what they want to from his work and it tells a lot about the person that’s imagining what they see.” The work of Professor Ted Barnes on display include paintings that were inspired by his travels. “I have made trips to Egypt, Rome, Israel and the Canary...

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Get pumped for summer flicks
Apr15

Get pumped for summer flicks

Summer is right around the corner and for most college students, that means relaxing, binge-watching Netflix and checking out the new movies expected to be released during the few months of a much-needed break.   A highly anticipated film premiering on June 12 is Jurassic World, the fourth movie in the well-known prehistoric series released in the late ’90s and early 2000s. It has been 22 years since the first Jurassic Park was released in 1993. After the chaos in the third movie in 2001, audience members were left to think the dinosaur world had fallen apart.   The storyline for Jurassic World is telling us otherwise; it goes into depth about the success of the park in the last 10 years and how they are trying to regain their visitors by creating a new attraction. It has taken almost a decade and a half for a new movie, but longtime fans have been ranting about it since the trailer came out last year. The wait might be worth it considering CGI effects and movie quality has only improved.   Last summer, John Green’s book The Fault in Our Stars was adapted into a film and was a huge success. This year, another one of his books is taking to the big screen. Paper Towns is about a teen who is searching for his missing friend. It’s apparently as much of a tear-jerker as his last book and movie, so there are only high expectations from his fans. The movie is set to be released on July 24 with a lot of fresh, young faces portraying the main characters.   A popular theme in Hollywood right now is remaking well-known kids’ movies with a twist. Pan is an adaptation of Disney’s Peter Pan. Warner Brothers has set the release date for July 24. The movie explores Peter Pan’s life before he lived in Neverland, how he got to Neverland and his relationship with Captain Hook before he was his arch nemesis. Popular actors such as Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried play supporting roles alongside Levi Miller, who is Peter Pan.   After more than two years, the Barden Bellas are back in Pitch Perfect 2. The girls have entered a competition that no American Team has ever won, and though the stakes are high and the competition is fierce, they definitely didn’t leave out the humor from the first movie that made us fall in love. This one is coming to theaters May 15, just in time to kick off the summer after finals.   From scary movies, to sequels, dramas and anywhere in between, there’s most likely a...

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Jon Stewart, signing off from The Daily Show
Mar04

Jon Stewart, signing off from The Daily Show

Jon stinkin’ Stewart signs off; he leaves The Daily Show at the end of the year. ‘Bout time. The only thing he contributed to the world was a sub-par satirical act and the occasional laugh when he attempted to combine the show with hard news.   The New York Times deemed him the nation’s satirist in chief. That seems to put him on the same level as our commander in sleep, Barack Obama: the hip, young, pointless president we all know and love.   I’ve got a Buzz Feed article for you. It’s entitled “The top three knuckleheads who make a joke out of our nation:”   1)   Barack, the selfie-stick groper, Obama 2)   Joe, the wife-groper, Biden and 3)   Jon stinkin’ Stewart   At least Stewart’s job description allows him to be an idiot.   He’s no Jimmy Fallon, however. Fallon’s no friend to a conservative base. Shoot, I wish he could be NBC’s only pundit, though. He’s hilarious. He and Bruce Springsteen spoofed The Boss’ Born to Run making fun of Gov. Chris Christie’s ‘Bridgegate’.   It’s real comedy, whether I agree politically or not. It’s like when Frank Caliendo impersonates George W. Bush. I get a little upset. Bush is a hero of mine. (Heck, he gave an amazing speech at the McLane Lecture). I still chuckle. Know why? It’s well-executed comedy.   Can’t say the same for Stewart’s 15 painful years on The Daily Show. So, what’s next for him?   There is talk of him taking Brian William’s spot. Let’s just hope Williams’ is responsible for that rumor. The only good thing the world ever received from The Daily Show is Steve Carell.   Stewart isn’t going anywhere. You think he’d disappear? Heck no. He couldn’t stand not getting to duke it out with Bill O’ Reilly and other conservative talking heads. And as cynical as this Op-Ed is to his comedic career, Jon Stewart might bring something viable to the media world’s table.   We saw a glimpse of it when he took a hiatus from The Daily Show to direct ‘Rosewater,’ a well-done film adaptation of Iranian-born journalist Maziar Bahari’s memoir. He was imprisoned for 118 days after reporting on the nation’s disputed 2009 election.   In our field, Stewart is a necessary evil. For his entire progressive, pompous thought, not having him is like the Roadrunner not having Wile E. Coyote. It’s a relationship.   And as joyous an occasion it is to not have to hear his antics on The Daily Show, it’s also nice knowing the bird-brain’s coming back to the media world in some...

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