Tag Archives: Culture

American Authors debut album

You know that one song that has been stuck in your head because it’s been all over movies or television commercials?

Chances are it’s “Best Day of My Life” sung by up-and-coming pop rock band American Authors.

The band formed in Boston in 2006 when members of American Authors met at the Berklee College of Music and performed under the name The Blue Pages.

They later relocated to Brooklyn.

Although the band released their debut single, “Believer,” in 2012, it wasn’t until the release of “Best Day of My Life,” that American Authors started making waves.

American Authors’ “Oh, What a Life,” is a great debut as the album captures the fearlessness, energy and catchiness of pop music.

The plucked banjos in “Best Day of My Life” and “Trouble” shamelessly contribute to the catchiness of the tunes, the former especially.

The band also evokes the musical style of Mumford & Sons through its intensity and sincerity in songs such as “Oh, What a Life” and “Luck.”

American Authors is reminiscent of the pop flair of Foster the People, the catchy sing-along choruses of the Imagine Dragons and Fun., and the resounding urgency of Bastille, which is also gaining recognition with its song, “Pompeii.”

“I am my own man, I make my own luck,” lead singer Zac Barnett boasts on another highlight track, “Luck.”

The track depicts the lead singer as a man seeking forgiveness from his family after he ups and leaves his town in search for bigger and better things.

The sixth track on the album, “Hit It,” was featured in the video game FIFA ‘14 and revs up the mid-‘90s sound of pop rock groups such as Green Day and Blink 182.

The track’s bridge is a definite tongue twister but sure to get everyone singing along.

“One day we’ll look at the past, with love,” the band chants. “Love,” the eighth track, is a summery tune that is also a sweet and poignant introspective on life.

“Oh, What a Life” is the perfect track to close the album as it captures the joyful and earnest essence of American Authors’ musical style.

The banjo plucks and violins give the track a folksy feel, while the “oohs” and “aahs” during the chorus elevates it into a memorable pop tune.

American Authors are currently on tour around the country and will make their way to the Sleep Country Amphitheater on June 10 in Ridgefield, Wash.

American Authors’ “Oh, What a Life” is available for digital download on iTunes and available for purchase in stores. You can also check out “Oh, What a Life” on KSLC 90.3 FM and listen online at www.linfield.edu/kslcfm or stream the station on iTunes.

Vanessa So / KSLC Music Director

Vanessa  So            can          be            reached   at             linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com

Woody Allen defies gender roles in film

“Blue Jasmine” sets up the perfect platform for contrasting appreciation. In this Woody Allen film, and arguably in some of his other films, there is a veil of chauvinism making it hard to separate the artist from his work.

In this story, Jasmine, a New Yorker socialite, clashes with the reality of working-class. Played by Cate Blanchett, Jasmine loses everything due to some incidents her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin), a womanizer and financial fraud, was involved in.

With no money in the bank nor income, Jasmine has no option but to leave New York for San Francisco to stay with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Jasmine’s pathological obsession with status and affluence is challenged when she has no choice but to adapt to her new reality.

As a viewer, the severity of help Jasmine needs is clear and her episodes of panic, compulsive lying and anxiety can all be linked to her frequently talking to herself.

On the surface Ginger is aware of what her sister is going through. However, Ginger also has her own worries that seemed to have only heightened since Jasmine moved in. As a result, Jasmine doesn’t receive the right type of attention she needs.

Allen has written all the female characters disapprovingly and perhaps this is where his personal prejudice comes into play for “Blue Jasmine.”

Ginger is a victim of female stereotypes and her rendezvous with the seemingly sweet man she meets, who failed to mention he was married, doesn’t give her a reassuring sense when decides to go back to her ex-boyfriend who is also very flawed.

Ginger’s boyfriend may be seen as funny, lovable and relatable; he also is an unpredictable, hotheaded alcoholic, of which Jasmine is very disapproving, though probably for some of the wrong reasons. The strong contrasting characterization of good and bad is distasteful; Jasmine, being a judgmental, shallow and disapproving sister versus the irrational yet, charismatic and charming boyfriend.

Furthermore, Baldwin’s character is also problematic. Though he may just be there to support the plot, we see only his success and praise and then everything that falls on him is because of Jasmine, Allen’s villain.

Though she had no part of the fraudulent financial binges of her husband, and often times had a “Habit of looking the other way when she [knew] something,” as such of his cheating tendencies, Jasmine is the emotion-driven, anguished female antihero.

Now that being said, Blanchett does astounding work making up for her character through her acting by taking a villainy female role and making her sympathetic, absorbing and well worth watching.

All in all, the delusions of every character are exposed and that is what makes this film about reality. Though it is in an obvious misogynistic perspective, there is still much to appreciate at the same time.

Special Lovincey / Columnist

Special          Lovincey      can                 be                   reached        at
linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

 

Disney’s ‘Frozen’ thaws the cold hearted

The club of Disney royalty gained two new members at the end of 2013: Queen Elsa and Princess Ana of Ardendale. These heroines are the central characters of ‘Frozen,’ which was the feature film shown last weekend in Ice Auditorium.

Disney’s “Frozen” is about Queen Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) who was born with a curse that gives her the power over cold weather, meaning she can control ice, snow, and basically anything frozen. As a child, she is taught to conceal herself and her powers in order to protect both herself and her younger sister Ana (Kristen Bell), who has no idea about Elsa’s gift.

On the day of Elsa’s coronation as queen, she is forced to go into public for the first time in over a decade, which frightens her but elates Ana. During the coronation, Ana meets a young and handsome prince, Prince Hans of the Southern Isles (Santino Fantana), and they decide during a single musical number to get married. Upon hearing the news, Elsa becomes upset and accidently reveals her powers and promptly flees the kingdom. Elsa’s powers send Ardendale into a seemingly permanent winter, unless Ana, with the help of an ice-salesman and a talking snowman, can talk to her sister and get her to undo what she has done.

“Frozen” has found itself in a blizzard of praise and has received its fair share of awards, such as the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. What sets “Frozen” apart from other Disney movies is its focus on the bond between sisters as opposed to Disney’s more popular theme of romantic relationships.

The song “Let It Go,” performed by Idina Menzel and sometimes as an awful cover by Demi Lovato, it the most well-known song from the film. Even if someone has not seen the actual movie or gone out of their way to hear this song, they have heard it at least a dozen times, be it on television or being song constantly by every girl ages 13-20 for the last three and a half months.

Another notable fact is that “Frozen” did what, arguably, no other animated movie has been able to do thus far, and that is create a weird little sidekick, in this case the enchanted snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), and make it not annoying. In contrast to some of Disney’s other attempts, the character of Olaf is equal parts hilarious and perfect.

“Frozen” has turned into something much more than just a children’s movie because it is relatable to almost anyone, be it someone with an older sister they would face the winter for, someone with feelings that they have been concealing, or someone who was raised by singing trolls.

Paige Jurgensen / Columnist

Paige       Jurgensen               can          be            reached   at             linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com

 

Student artist ‘Guggles’ his way to an artistic community, creates an art club

Sophomore Doug Sundman, one of the charter members of the “Guggle” Movement, is working to create a community of free expression around the Linfield campus.

He, along with junior Lionel Parra who coined the term “Guggle,” hope to bring back the emphasis on liberal arts at Linfield that they feel has been marginalized.

“‘Guggle’ arose out of Ron Mill’s class last year. It was classical approaches to figure. In it we were given provocations like the body in relation to society,” Sundman said.

“‘Guggle’ is about creating a culture of people who pursue provocations, but [instead of a professor assigning you one], you just kind of assign yourself a provocation,” Sundman said.

One of the many unofficial mottos of “Guggle” is to, “Have confidence and don’t worry about what happens. Just go with it,” Parra said.

“It seems like everyone has this impression that we are trying to form some sort of exclusive clique,” Sundman said.

“One of the first things we said was that anyone can ‘Guggle,’” Sundman said. “It’s more of an attitude.”

Sundman is helping to start form an art club. The Associated Students of Linfield College is scheduled to vote on a temporary charter for the club March 18, according to Sundman.

“We are trying to promote liberal arts at a liberal arts college, so we are pretty confident that ASLC will pass our charter,” Sundman said.

Sundman was one of the 16 students in the art department who helped build “Nils Lou’s Playhouse” during January term for the build to burn class, according to Sundman.

The 23 foot-tall sculpture is currently on display in the courtyard of the art department buildings.

Sundman’s contributions to the structure were two dozen or so wood feathers that pepper the exterior of the structure and two murals at its base, one of a tiger and one of a turtle. He also painted the support beams that create the structure’s base.

Sundman began his artistic journey at the age of three.

“I made magnificent [lego] sculptures that were four feet tall,” Sundman said.

“I don’t think I started doodling until fourth grade though,” Sundman said. “When we first really started using pencils to write papers in class is when I remember beginning.”

“My favorite practice in art is compulsively getting rid of all your art,” Sundman said. “I constantly whitewash my things [because] it encourages making more art.”

Sundman’s favorite medium is oil pastels. Sundman is currently an undeclared major, however, he is leaning towards a studio art major.

Ryan Morgan / Culture Editor

Ryan             Morgan         can                 be                   reached
at                     linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com

 

Faculty recital sings their way onto stage

Spencer Beck/Staff photographer

 

 

Adjunct Professor of Music Natalie Gunn (left) and Sarah Maines
perform at Gunn’s faculty recital on March 16 in the Delkin Recital Hall. Gunn teaches vocal performance in the Linfield music department. Maines, a friend of Gunn, sings while the piano is playing.