Relient K lyrics weave metaphors
Nov12

Relient K lyrics weave metaphors

Relient K is in a constant state of metamorphosis. The band’s newest release Forget and Not Slow Down is a drastic difference from their Blink 182-inspired full length release in 2000. Matt Thiessen, the brains of the operation, tries on different musical styles like pairs of shoes. Part of me wishes he would just keep that old pair of black Converse from his punk days. Experimental as ever, their songs have a little Jason Mraz, Ace Troubleshooter, jazz and Latin touches, or, with songs like “I Don’t Need a Soul” a full assault of Mae-influenced rhythms and patterns. New drummer Ethan Luck is a prolific musician whose credentials include guitarist for the OC Supertones and lead guitarist for Demon Hunter. Luck proves that guitarists do make great drummers. The song about getting over a relationship, “Over It,” gently showcases Luck’s prowess with smooth, relaxed fills. Thiessen is still verbally exuberant in his lyrics, weaving ironic word pictures and metaphors. In“Part of It” he sings, “When a nightmare finally does unfold, perspective is a lovely hand to hold.” It’s a catchy, radio-destined song with addictive vocals. In the poignant song “Therapy,” about how God is the only one listening to him, since his girl isn’t taking his calls, he makes a distinction: “Loneliness and solitude are two things not to get confused, cause I spend my solitude with you.” “Savannah” is the standout track of the album with Latin beats, strings and acoustic guitars. That song makes listeners want to dance. Unlike the old K with guitar solo-driven songs like “Charles in Charge,” these new tunes are delay and snare roll driven. Another highlight, “This is the End” begins with Thiessen’s classical piano stylings, and his voice, with hardly any of the nasally punk bite from previous albums, sings, “I can’t keep a straight face and say this is not the end. Not if you want it. It’s upon us and I want to say it’s sinking in.” A punk metal beat kicks in and the song pushes quickly to the end, which doesn’t sound like an ending as it transitions seamlessly into the post-song “If you want It,” picking up where his piano solo leaves off. The lyrics allude to both The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the tale of the Prodigal Son. “Blisters on my feet I crawled back home. Frozen from the sleet burned sand and stones, nourished back to life by life alone, with one shake of the mane regain the...

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Flesh-craving zombies invade Earth
Oct27

Flesh-craving zombies invade Earth

By Tiffany Hoover Zombieland is horror comedy at its best. It takes place after a zombie plague has become global, leaving most people dead and many infected. In this apocalyptic wasteland, it is hunt or be hunted. The film’s main focus is a teenager played by Jesse Eisenburg. The young man explains bits of his life to the audience – he is a loner, he is an average nerd, how he has survived so long, where he is headed. He claims to have survived for so long because he adheres to a set of rules he makes up as he goes, such as “check the back seat” and “beware of bathrooms.” On his way from his university in Austin, Texas, to his home in Columbus, Ohio, one of his encounters with the infected leaves him without transportation. Not too long after, he is picked up by a man in an SUV, played by Woody Harrelson. The man does not want to get too personal, and decides to refer to the boy as Columbus. Harrelson’s character is headed to Tallahassee, and as the two try to avoid getting too close, they come to know one another by their destinations. Columbus and Tallahassee serve as foils to one another. Columbus is scared of everything and has several strange phobias, including clowns. Tallahassee is scared of nothing and is driven by something unknown to kill as many zombies as possible, all while searching everywhere for any remaining Twinkies. After the pair begins to grow on one another, they decide to stick together. Eventually, they meet up with two more survivors who are dubbed Little Rock and Wichita, played by Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone. The two claim to be sisters headed to California, and after cheating Columbus and Tallahassee a few times, the four decide to head to California together. While the film is full of hilarity and contains pop culture references galore, it also has more than its fair share of zombie head-bashing gore. There are several action-packed sequences in which hoards of zombies are dealt with, including a final showdown in a California theme park. The cast is superb. Though the story is science fiction, the cast makes the characters real and quite believable. The characters have diverse backgrounds, but come together and grow as they fight to survive vicious zombie attacks. Zombieland has a little bit of everything, yet it does not disappoint. is uproariously funny much of the time, there are action-packed sequences, some creepy scenes featuring the undead, and, yes, a touch of romance. Zombieland is rated R for violence, gore, language and contains some drug...

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Comic book series strikes ‘Black’ gold
Oct27

Comic book series strikes ‘Black’ gold

Light can be separated into seven different colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. In DC comics this has been taken into consideration, and it has helped start the newest incarnation of their series of comic books. DC comics has decided to incorporate the science of light and the spectrum into the Green Lantern: Blackest Night. In the comics, Green Lanterns are a type of space corps, patrolling different sectors of the universe to protect. They have power rings that can project different constructs of light, in this case green, and are powered by the wearers’ willpower. The rings help them enforce law in the universe. Green Lantern: Blackest Night has been anticipated since last year. In the series, all of the past characters who have died (Firestorm, Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man, etc.) have been resurrected as zombies by the villainous Black Hand to put an end to all life in the universe. The series also introduces many other corps, which harness the power of the other colors of the spectrum. For instance, a Blue Lantern powers his rings with hope, a Yellow Lantern with fear, and a Red Lantern with hate. Normally, these different corps are at war with each other, but because of the Blackest Night, they must all work together to stop the Black Lanterns. Geoff Johns came up with the story for the Blackest Night. Johns has been the writer for many other story lines, such as the Justice Society of America, The Flash: Rebirth, Teen Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War and Infinite Crisis. He has also been very involved in the making of DC comics characters as they become animated for film and television. He seems to have lots of experience in his line of work, and he has been working with comics since 1999. He began to make a large impact in 2000 when he took over writing The Flash. For Johns to have the idea to use the dead characters as Black Lanterns is genius. These ‘heroes’ have come back to haunt their former friends and partners. Since black is the absence of light, the only way to defeat them is for all of the different corps, who represent the different colors of light, to work together to ‘white out’ the Black Lanterns. This is a great series to get into and has been kept going since Green Lantern: Rebirth back in 2004. Overall, it gets five out of five...

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Chan challenges Christians in love
Oct27

Chan challenges Christians in love

Love is crazy. Francis Chan, teaching Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Calif., demonstrates God’s love for His creation in a simple perspective: “the Creator loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love.” Chan supports this by elaborating with evidence of God’s love. Because of Chan’s research, experiences and his personal relationship with Christ, Crazy Love leaves readers wanting more. He challenges Christians to take the Bible seriously by backing up his statements with different parables and scripture to help readers capture the grace of a loving Savior. Chan describes how followers can become ‘lukewarm Christians’ to fully living a life for Christ —by not giving, living materialistically or not sharing faith — to name a few of the convictions. Chan states how “a relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions or commitments are piled up on top of it.” He shows ways for Christians to understand how to truly live a life seeking the ultimate Creator. He emphasizes that “God knew us before he made us” to make sure readers comprehend the intimate relationship he wants with his sons and daughters. To put it simply, Chan gives readers the opportunity to get back to the basics. He uses scripture and real-life accounts throughout the book to show God’s true grace and the “crazy love” He has for His children. Chan’s strife for following a life of Christ is infectious. He allows Christians to see how stereotypical the worldly lifestyle can be, and shows and alternative by explaining how God wants the Christian lifestyle to be portrayed and lived out — “God wants to be glorified, because this whole thing is His,” he writes. This spiritually refreshing book can put God in everyday things one wouldn’t expect to find him in. Chan’s passion for the Lord is evident throughout the entire book. A page turner, easy read and the ultimate love story, Crazy Love will leave readers wanting more of Jesus. This beautiful book of truth, hardship and knowledge of an unfathomable love receives 5 out of 5...

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Design Cru, more than a name
Oct13

Design Cru, more than a name

Students often come to college with artistic talents, but they have no way to express these abilities. Consequently this can take away motivation that they had for going to school in the first place. Now, there is a solution to the problem. The Design Cru exists to give students a means to funnel their gifts for art and graphic design. The organization is made up primarily of students majoring in information technology, graphic design, mass communication and art, but it is open to all students interested in any aspect of graphic design. This includes, but is not limited to, film, web, animation and print. The organization’s faculty sponsor is Donna Teel. She helps the group by assisting, advising and supporting the members in their activities. “I have been affiliated with the club since it was first constituted in 2005,” Teel said. “A computer graphics design (CGD) major Timothy Walker, suggested the club, and under the guidance of Ms. Effel Harper, developed the proposal and spearheaded the beginning of the club.” Last semester, members submitted T-shirt designs to Joy Childress for the parent teacher organization. The winner would receive a purple iPod, with the UMHB logo etched on the back. The Design Cru is always busy making different designs for organizations and events that take place on campus. “Since the organization began, we have welcomed students from all disciples that have had an interest in any aspect of graphic design, computers, art and film,” Teel said. “The club has hosted classes by film and flash animation professionals, had field trips to watch and then discuss current films, taken a group of club members to South by Southwest in Austin, had presentations by students on a variety of topics such as developing and printing T-shirt designs, participated in activities on campus and are always open to suggestions from club members for anything that will help broaden their creativity and design knowledge. We will also be revamping our Web site soon, which should help attract new members.” Senior computer graphics design major Katie Smith is the president of Design Cru. She started working with the organization after hearing her adviser, Teel, speak of it. Smith decided that she wanted to be involved in something that would challenge her as well as encourage her while she is working in her major and discovering what direction to point her career in CGD. “Design Cru is more about bringing in speakers and letting anyone interested know about opportunities to help advertise for a campus event or organization, or pick up a design part time job,” Smith said. “I have had the opportunity to run sound...

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Houston, we have a comeback

By LaKeshia Sauls From one-hit wonders to lavish, long standing careers, the secular music world has seen many artists come and go. With her latest release, I Look to You, Whitney Houston tells why she isn’t ready to leave. The 1980’s songstress with hit songs such as “The Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You” has returned from what some have said to be a drug-propelled hiatus. Whatever the case, Ms. Houston has more than poured her life woes into her comeback. A day before it was to release, Houston’s seven-year hibernation came to an end Aug. 31. “I Look to You,” Houston’s first single from the anticipated comeback CD is a great indication of what is to come. If set to be an autobiography of such, the single shows the beauty of her return. With the piano, Houston sings alongside the melodies, pouring out her heart and soul. “A Song for You” glides into line with her vocals and shows the sensitivity of the lyrics. The song itself is touching enough and topped with Houston’s vocals will leave listeners in awe. With “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” tales of her past despairs are brought front and center. By chance autobiographical, Houston more than empties her heart, finding her way through the cords of such a great melody. Making her return in 2009 in the midst of auto tunes and such, “Worth It” and “Million Dollar Bill,” joins the ranks of upbeat, dance-gathering rhythms. Carrying the song with what some say is her “new sound,” Houston’s sassy and savvy appeal is heard through the tempo. Once being a solo artist who did things her way, Houston teams with Akon on “Like I Never Left,” showing through her new-found range she is here to stay. Topping her first album which debuted in 1985 would be over modest, but there is no doubt that I Look To You, joins the ranks of bests for Houston. Her performance on her latest CD shows a new Whitney with a limited range yet deeper vocals to match. Ending the album with “Salute,” the well-rounded release from the musical icon is a delightful return for true rhythm-and-blues lovers. Whitney’s career is far from over, and her most recent work is the...

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