Artist ready to dish out new music in 2015
Feb04

Artist ready to dish out new music in 2015

Music plays a huge role in society today. New songs are always finding their way to the radio and iTunes, surprising people, or giving them something to look forward to.   It is only a little more than a month into 2015 and some groundbreaking music has already been released, leaving many people with high hopes for the upcoming new music for the rest of the year.   In the middle of January, Kanye West teamed up with Rihanna and Paul McCartney to record the song “Four Five Seconds.” It’s a little different sounding than any of these artists are really known for, but they work it.   While one of her songs, “All About That Bass,” became incredibly popular at the end of 2014, Meghan Trainor has let the world know she won’t be just a one-hit wonder. Her album, “Title,” also was released in January, shooting her newest single “Lips Are Movin’” to numbers three and four on the Billboard Hot 100.   Of course, it being so early in the year, there is more music from old and new artists that should peak just about everyone’s interest.   The new Imagine Dragons album “Smoke + Mirrors” is coming out later this month, finally feeding their fans new music since their last album was released in 2013.   Female rapper Iggy Azalea, who became popular in the middle of last year, is releasing her untitled album. The date is currently still pending, but she has been promoting it on her Twitter for several months.   Many artists who haven’t put out new music in several years are planning on making their debut this year. In March, Madonna and Ludacris are both releasing their albums, giving music lovers something to look forward to since both of these artists ran the music industry at some point in their careers.   Rock music junkies will be happy to know that Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and Muse are bringing new music in this year. Though the dates haven’t been announced, they have done a good job of promoting it on their websites.   Plenty of hip-hop and rap music will be making its way into the year with artists such as Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi and 50 Cent.   The women in the music industry are about to start reigning. Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani as a solo artist and her band No Doubt, Ellie Goulding and Lorde have also let it be known that they are releasing albums in this year.   The music industry is giving music lovers a lot to anticipate this year. With all the variety...

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Nick Jonas breaks “Chains” of Disney
Nov25

Nick Jonas breaks “Chains” of Disney

Toto, I have a feeling we aren’t in Disney anymore.   Breaking away from his former Disney image and a little more than a year after his band of brothers split up, Nick Jonas has finally stepped out with some new music.   His self-titled album is almost unrecognizable, showcasing some rap, R&B and soul, but continuing with the pop music his fans have always known and loved.   The 22-year-old solo artist told Rolling Stone in a recent interview that his plan is to “surprise the world with the unexpected.”   He did just that.   Jonas quickly sheds his “good boy role,” which is apparent in some of his songs that use explicit language. This may not sit well with Jonas’ long-time fans, who may not appreciate the artist’s change in style.   Before the album’s release on Nov. 11, Nick’s first single, titled “Jealous,” was played on the radio and has been in the Billboard’s Top 40 for a couple of weeks now.   The album made it to streaming services like Spotify, even before the debut, showcasing songs like “Numb,” which features the upcoming female rapper, Angel Haze.   Surprisingly, his songs have also become popular, with “Chains” having more than one million “clicks,” showing how many times it has been listened to. “Numb” is right behind, with just under a million.   Jonas also proved he’s more than good-boy-gone-bad with the questionable lyrics from his other songs.   “Warning,” “Avalanche” with Demi Lovato and “Closer” featuring Mike Posner — these are just a few of the songs that have a lot of meaning that people can relate to.   It’s pretty obvious Nick will be bringing plenty of fans from his Jonas Brother’s days, but it’s unsure if they will stay after hearing what he has to say through song.   “I’m trying to make bold moves,” Jonas told People. “If not everyone comes on that journey with me, that’s okay. Now I get to do what I want and say what I want, and that freedom feels amazing.”   Following this statement, a lyric video for his new single “Teacher” was released, and it is racier than the words that the song incorporates.   The video displays male and female models dancing provocatively with the lyrics from the song written on different parts of their body.   Scandalous.   This had fans questioning his past motives of being a good Christian guy with a purity ring, and how he could turn his image to a man singing lustful lyrics while posing in underwear.   His controversial photo spread featured jeans, a tight tank...

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War film causes ‘Fury’ in box office
Nov07

War film causes ‘Fury’ in box office

A white-saddled horse escorts a German officer through a corpse-littered battlefield. Silhouettes of burning tanks trace along the morning light. David Ayer’s opening scene of Fury invites us to April 1945.   The Allied Forces advance further into Germany as the final months of World War II come upon them. Part of that effort includes the film’s focus: the crew of a M4A3E8 Sherman tank, which was given the name “Fury.”   While it displays the brutal realities of World War II, most of the movie details the bonding of the crew.   “One thing that made it stand above other war movies is the fact that it showed how the soldiers act during war,” junior business management major Troy Robinson said. “War is not a fun place to be in, and they really showed how it effects the soldiers.”   Fury’s commander, Sgt. Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) leads his diverse group: Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LeBeouf), Grady “Coon Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal) and Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Pena) through swaths of German ground and SS troops.   History major Joshua Hosack said he marveled at the accuracy of one scene in which the Fury crew is joined by two Stuart tanks from another American platoon in a fight against a much stronger German Tiger tank.   These Tiger tanks were the pennacle beings of Axis firepower, showing off their dominance first in North Africa — occasionally Wardaddy refers to his time fighting Axis troops in Africa.   Movie-goers find themselves perplexed at this dynamic character. He is certainly cold; he is a veteran of the war, despiser of all things Nazi and a ruthless killer. Yet somehow, the film allows the Pitt character to prove himself a noble leader. His one source of pride is keeping his crew alive despite insurmountable odds.   “World War II was an emotional time and place,” Senior Christian Studies major Rusty Pregeant said. “The attitudes that the actors portrayed and the setting showed that.”   It isn’t Collier’s point of view that tells the story. The film is a right of passage for young clerk, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman). He receives orders to join the Fury crew as assistance driver. Ellison soon finds out why, as Collier hands him a rag and a bucket of hot water. The seat where the previous assistant sat is covered in blood and body parts.   Ayer leaves us wondering whether or not this tank will be the crew’s guard or grave.   “I am trained to type 60 words a minute, not trained to machine gun dead bodies,” Ellison complains on his first outing....

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Cru Culture: Swift brings buyers ‘Out of the Woods’
Nov07

Cru Culture: Swift brings buyers ‘Out of the Woods’

“Where were you when…?”   People ask that question after significant events in a state, nation or world’s timeline.   So where were you when 1989, Taylor Swift’s groundbreaking album was released last week?   The country music princess officially traded in her cowgirl boots for red lipstick and Keds. Love her or hate her, the much-awaited track list took over social media, covering every part of iTunes on T-Day.   Her fifth contribution is the first album outside of the country genre she honed as a teenager. In the words of Tay herself, “haters gonna hate,” but the music world should be praising the star for rejuvenating the face of the entire industry.   In case you’ve been wrapped up in studying and going to class, a really big thing happened this month in terms of music.   No artists went platinum in 2014. Let that sink in for a moment. One Direction didn’t sell a million copies of their CD, the qualification of a “platinum” title. Even Beyonce, Queen B, couldn’t rake in enough purchases to make the lofty cut. The only one to achieve the big million was Olaf and friends in Disney’s Frozen soundtrack. Apparently, people want to build snowmen and buy the CD to sing along while doing so.   The last artist to sell 1 million copies in a week was Taylor with her previous release, Red.   And now she did it again.   So, over the course of hundreds of days, no artist hit a million. But T.S. did — she literally outsold the entire industry in one week. That deserves a little bit of attention, or a lot, depending on how much you love the blonde bombshell.   Crusaders purchased their own copies of the polaroid-inspired collection, posting selfies via social media and tweeting lyrics to their favorite tracks. Even those who would rather listen to “Let it Go” than “Shake it Off” knew about the big day. When you know, you know.   The collection as a whole provides nostalgic hints of the 90s and early 2000s, which appeals to Taylor’s young adult audience, Crusaders included.   And though several tracks have traditional T-Swift lyrics with an entirely new sound, the work disappoints in terms of originality. Yes, it’s original for Taylor. But very few songs provide anything different to pop music.   Sticking to what she does best, Swift pens lyrics about ex, Harry Styles in “Style,” a witty stab at the boyband star. Though it may hurt Harry a bit, the track is one of the best and does present a new side of Taylor that the...

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‘Sader serves local ministry strokes of genius
Oct23

‘Sader serves local ministry strokes of genius

Stoke by stroke, the artist layers rich colors of paint on a massive wall. Alternating between sitting, standing and climbing a ladder, he works for hours at a time on a mural of Jesus flanked by his followers.   Sophomore graphic design major Edgar Ortiz embarked on a daunting creative mission after being chosen by Hershall Seals, chairperson of the art department at the university.   “Dr. Chuck Taylor … former UMHB faculty member and volunteer for Christians Touching Lives for Christ called me … to consider re-designing the old mural,” Seals said.   Taylor presented a challenge: Creating a life-like depiction of Christ on the wall of CTLFC, a local food and clothing bank located in Temple.   The organization wanted a visual representation of their group’s mission and decided to commission a talented, local artist. They then decided an image of Jesus helping others would effectively convey their own purpose, as well allude to the faith behind their cause.   Seals said, “Edgar Ortiz made his talents known his freshman year, so his talent and proven work ethic made him an ideal artist for the mural.”   After being selected by administration, Ortiz followed the requirements set before him, choosing an existing work to model his own after, and taking the wisdom of Seals to heart.   “We collaborated on a design … and worked together one evening to draw it on the wall, and Edgar took it from there,” Seals said.   By adding more dimensions, changing the background and elongating the piece to fit his work space, Ortiz made the painting his own. And though he didn’t choose the subject matter himself, he effectively expressed his own taste through the work.   “I did have freedom in what style I wanted to paint it. I’ve always liked to be as accurate and realistic as I can, but have also liked to use lots of color, with dark shades,” Ortiz said. “Although I painted another painting, I still had lots of fun in challenging myself to make my own version of an already-excellent painting. I learned a lot by looking at the colors in the original work and how they were used.”   Ortiz began the project this summer and continued to work throughout the semester when he wasn’t attending class or working.   After a total of 15 days consisting of three to eight hours each, the Bible story came to life.   The 80 hours of work paid off, and Ortiz expressed his happiness with the product.   “The most difficult part of the painting was getting the right colors for the faces and...

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Gotham: Not to bat an eye at
Oct23

Gotham: Not to bat an eye at

The Fox hit show this fall is Gotham, and it has all of its newly-acquired viewers on the edge of their seats Monday after Monday.   The showed premiered on Sept. 22, and a few episodes into the season, it is evident that the story line is packed with countless twists.   The plot centers around a young James Gordon, who is new to the police force. As we all know, Gordon later becomes Commissioner Gordon and works side by side with Batman.   But in the Gotham television series, Gordon is trying to figure out who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents. Wayne is still a child in the show, so if you were expecting to see Batman, you will be disappointed. But producers do a great job of laying out the back story of how and why Wayne became Batman.   Bruce Wayne, played by the young actor David Mazouz, is 13 at the time of the show and is already showing signs of being a hero.   He is amazed at the amount of effort Gordon gives in order to bring justice and safety to Gotham.   Viewers can see the light go off in the young Wayne’s mind when he asks Officer Gordon if there is even a chance that Gotham could be saved from the dangerous people running the city.   Gordon responds, “However dark and scary the world might be right now, there will be light.”   This show gives Batman enthusiasts a glimpse of how Gordon and Wayne came to be such loyal friends.   Officer Gordon seems to be the only law enforcement person who isn’t crooked or part of the mob that controls the city.   He promises Bruce that he will find his parents’ killer, and Wayne trusts Gordon, seeing him as almost a father figure.   The show is packed full of all the old players in the Batman movies.   For example, Penguin has already played a major role in the first three episodes. He continually causes problems for Gordon in the early stages.   To begin with, Gordon is faced with a tough decision: Kill Penguin or be killed himself.   Gordon decides to keep Penguin alive but forces him to leave Gotham.   Penguin is now back though, creating more problems for Gordon.   What makes this show stand out from the others is the detail that went into filming the. The producers did an excellent job portraying Gotham as a dark and dangerous city, run by criminals.   The show is casted perfectly, as well. Jada Pinkett Smith plays a dark, sadistic and manipulative mob boss...

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