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Battle of the Bands Opened by Past Winner WinterHaven
Written by Ainsley Fraser Last Thursday, four groups competed at our semi-annual Battle of the Bands, presented by KJACK Radio and hosted by the Orpheum Theater. After great performances by everyone, Gone Before Us was declared the winner by the audience, earning free time at a recording studio and a Tiny Desk Concert in our booth. WinterHaven, a pop-punk band from Flagstaff, won the contest in the spring of 2019. This year, they returned to open the show and wish luck to the ones after the trophy. The lead vocalist, James “Jack” Hernandez, started their set off with, “Anyways, here’s ‘Wonderwall’.” Once the room settled their laughter, the four-piece band erupted into a symphony of drums and guitar. Since their success in this competition two years ago, WinterHaven has released two full length albums called “Apparition” (2020) and “B3” (2021). Some of their music has even been played on both local and state radio stations. Said to be heavily influenced by Blink-182, Pierce The Veil, and other bands, they want to, “Bring music they’ve fallen in love with back into the mainstream.” Just as they rocked the house this week for primarily NAU students, they have no plans of stopping anytime soon. With having shows in places like Mesa and Prescott recently, it will be no surprise when you see them playing across the country a year from now.
An interview with BATTLE OF THE BANDS WINNER gone before us
Interview by Joey Davis On November 4th 2021, Battle of the Bands happened and it was a blast. So much cool music was played by some really stellar bands while everyone in the crowd moshed and just had a good time. Flowing to the music. It was such a cool experience that will be remembered for sure. Afterwards, I got to talk a bit with the winning band of the competition, Gone Before Us. ● Joey: Let's start off by just saying, congrats on winning. How did you enjoy the show? Have any favorite parts? ○ Gone Before Us: Honestly, our favorite part was all of it. All the bands were amazing, we did really well, and then we won at the end. This was probably the biggest venue we played at and people liked the songs we were playing. We can’t say that we are Arizona/Flagstaff’s number one boyband without actually proving it. ● Joey: Listening to you play the show and listening to your music while I was researching for this interview, I noticed a really cool kind of punk rock vibe. Do you guys plan on continuing in that genre or are you going to explore genres a bit? ○ Gone Before Us: We do love that punk aspect but we are also going to funk a bit. We don’t really go in with a set genre in mind. ● Joey: I really like your guy’s name. It really goes with that punk rock vibe. Is there a specific meaning behind it? ○ Gone Before Us: It can mean the historic, iconic artists that came before us but we leave it up to the fan’s interpretation mostly. ● Joey: What are your biggest influences for your music? ○ Gone Before Us: James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Rage Against the Machine, Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Hendrix, Blink 182, bands and artists like that. ● Joey: Do you guys have anything coming up that you’d like to tease? ○ Gone Before Us: We have some shows coming up and some songs coming out. Now that we have more studio time, we are going to have a lot more content coming out. We are playing in Beverly Hills, with our good friends Bethany Home from phoenix. I really loved talking to them and listening to what they had to say about these questions. This night will definitely be one to remember for sure.
WHAT I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO: HERMAN
Recently a song I’ve been listening to almost every day is ‘Obviously’ by Lake Street Dive. I think I like it for a blend of a lot of reasons. It’s about starting a relationship/dating and all the positivity and hopefulness of that. Very sweet to me hehe. But I also love it because it feels like a really nice blend of vocal jazz and alternative. So it’s both vocally interesting AND instrumentally interesting. This song makes me wanna dance around my room and clean and I’m really excited to give the full album of the same name a listen.
WHAT I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO: JASON
In Colour by Jamie xx is probably a top 5 album for me. Whether you’re on a late night drive home or are up late vibing in your room put this album on. It takes you somewhere that I can’t put into words. When I think of vibey music I think of this album. Tracks like “Sleep Sound,” “SeeSaw,” or the uplifting “I Know There’s Gonna Be Good Times” with Young Thug make this album a front to back experience everyone should take part in
What’s “The Scene” and How do I Sign up?
A “scene” is typically any recognizable social group, or a subculture that’s known for a specific niche or interest. In Flagstaff there are all kinds of scenes, for example, the poetry scene has a solid group of people who usually meet to perform poems for each other. There’s also a biking scene, a skating scene, and even a country cover band scene. For this article, the scene I’m referring to is the music scene, but more specifically, the younger/college music scene, one that’s more drawn to rock, punk, and experimental genres. You’d be surprised at how many music scenes are thriving in smaller towns; you don’t need to be in a big city or a college town to find people who are inspired by music and dedicated to bringing the musical community together. That being said, it can still be difficult to navigate the scene and find out where shows are happening. Scenes are heavily genre-influenced and some genres mix better than others, such as rock and punk, rather than EDM and country. While all of these scenes can exist in a single town, some scenes will have a stronger presence than others based on what kind of bands and artists are local. If there are a lot of punk bands in a town, you can expect there to be a strong punk scene. For example, Flagstaff has a lot of up and coming indie rock and punk bands, so the shows (small concerts/gigs) you’d go to here will be filled with people who like those genres. If you’re into music and you want to go to more live shows, this article will guide you through the process of becoming more connected with your local music scene. Since Covid-19 has changed the way the live music industry works, a lot of these tips may seem obsolete (see go to shows), nevertheless over the course of the last year, many artists have come up with Covid-Safe practices to keep us all safe while keeping the spirit of live music going, such as livestreams. Since most of these tips were made up before the Covid-19 Pandemic, there will be an extra section at the end of this article to discuss the impacts of the virus on live music and how getting into the scene has changed. Find where the music is at Let’s pretend that you’ve just moved to a new city in a new state and you want to get yourself situated into the scene right away. Your first step should always be to find where the music is at. This means going onto the internet and researching where the venues in your town are, which mostly turn out to be bars, but you never know what you’ll find if you don’t look! Once you've found venues in or near your town, follow them on social media if possible. Instagram is good; Facebook is usually better because it has an event function that archives old events and shows upcoming ones. You can go through those, pick out local band names, and follow those artists on social media as well. Following bands helps you find other bands in the area, as well as other venues. Go to shows The whole point of wanting to get in the scene is to know where all the cool shows are, right? So start going to the shows you find! If you’re alone at first, that’s fine, I used to go to shows by myself all the time. I know how daunting it can be to show up to bands setting up on stage, people starting to crowd the venue, and no familiar faces in sight. The thing that helped me get comfortable with the thought of being alone at a show was telling myself that I was there for the music and nothing else. It’s easier to let your walls down when you know what you’re there for. I personally made a lot of good friends through dancing by myself at shows- if you start dancing, most likely, people will dance with you and you won’t be alone anymore. If dancing isn't your thing, you can always just sit in the back and enjoy the music if you like a band, maybe go up to them after a set and tell them that you liked what they played. It might seem intimidating, but bands are just a bunch of people who got together to create and most of the time, the members will be very open to praise and conversations about their music. Use social media to make connections My second tip is to try and make friends with people you see regularly at shows, get their contact information, and BOOM- you suddenly have a possible person to go to shows with and also another source of information about what’s going on in the music scene. There’s a reason old (and new) show flyers say “ask a punk” instead of giving out an address; Scenes rely heavily on community based interactions and word of mouth to survive. Social media also makes it easier than ever to find shows and to make friends with people who are already established in the music scene. You can look at posts to find new venues, bands, and events that the musical community is hosting. You can also reach out to local promoters and bands, ask them what their favorite local artists are or where you can find more creative spaces in town. I even started an account on Instagram, @Flagstaffmoshsociety, to make this endeavor easier. Most of the time, small bands and artists love to interact with their fanbase, but the worst that can happen is that they don’t respond. Stay active in the scene Sometimes you’ll hear people say how the scene is “dead” or “dying” and usually that means there are no local bands playing shows or events going on. One way to prevent this from happening is getting involved in the scene yourself. Keep commenting on artists posts, listen to their new singles, and tell your friends about shows or live streams going on. When shows are happening, go to them, and bring people if you can. The scene is essentially the people who are in it, and with no people actively putting time into spreading the love of music, it will inevitably dwindle out. Artists are just as important as the people who support them in a scene. With no music, there’s no scene, but with no people to enjoy the music, there’s still no scene. How to get connected in a post-Covid-19 world Obviously now, you’re not going to be going to shows and dancing with strangers. It’s not safe to go to shows, and for the most part, shows are not being booked. While this may seem like a barrier to getting into the scene, there is still social media!Facebook is a great tool because there are tons of groups made specifically for regional and smaller scenes. Even the small town I’m from in the middle of the desert has its own group where people regularly post their band’s new music, live streams, and updates about events. Instagram is a great platform for bands and promoters to hold live streams. People are holding online open mics. Artists are collaborating and throwing online festivals. This is the new age of going to shows and keeping the scene alive- technology has been a great tool for connecting people together when connecting in person is no longer an option. I hope these tips were helpful, almost all of them were derived from experience and my own personal opinions on what keeps a scene afloat. I was first introduced to live music in my small town, where there was a really tight-knit scene. When I moved to Flagstaff, I had no idea how to get back into the music scene, and I had to do a lot of guesswork and flyer hunting downtown. These strategies helped me find new music, new friends, and a new passion for live music; I hope they do the same for you.
WHAT I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO: GRACE
If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and go listen to Peter McPoland. With his new single, “Eloise”—that was just released as of last month—and his first published single released in 2018, “Lady Bird,” listeners can easily see the dynamic that this artist has to offer. His song writing is simply poetic; allowing listeners to escape reality, and his voice captures many listeners ears. With his growing audience on both Tik Tok and Instagram, big things are sure to arise with this young artist. Additionally, his new song, “Prom Queen” is set to release today, Wednesday 24th, and with just the 15 seconds that I have heard, I’m sure that this song is definitely going to be a favorite."
One To Watch: Maude Latour
Maude Latour's music is like a perfect mashup of Lorde and The Strokes! She is a college student at Columbia University making music out of her room and has curated a small but loyal fan base of young creatives. Her songs encompass the experience of life and love as a teenager so specifically, but in a poetic way unlike anything I have ever heard before. She’s been slowly making her way onto Spotify’s new teen music playlists. I truly think she’s someone to watch, and anticipate her music becoming very popular soon!
WHAT I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO: Daniela
Here's some tracks our social media manager, Daniela, has been listening to! One of my favorite groups is Parliament! You might know some of their hits like Give Up the Funk or Flashlight! George Clinton (*funk legend*) formed sister groups Parliament and Funkadelic in the 60s with other icons like Booths Collins and Eddie Hazel. Parliament stays true to funk fundamentals vs Funkadelic which combines funk with more psychedelic rock influences! Some of my favorite Parliament songs are Mother Connection, Aquaboogie, and Wizard of Finance! Give em a listen! I'm also loving It’s Gone by Janet Jackson! This is a super groovy jam that samples the iconic Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi! If you like either Joni or Janet, please check this song out, you won’t be disappointed!
My Top Five Albums: Scout
My top five albums of all time, plus an honorable mention. These albums are all pretty different from one another, and brilliant in different ways. This is pretty much my whole music taste boiled down, like if all other music was erased from society, I’d be satisfied with these six albums. Special shout out to Grace, which I’m convinced is the most technically brilliant and beautiful record ever made. Check out these albums for basically everything from gnarly guitar, operatic vocals, incredible bars, angst, maybe some tears, etc. Thanks for listenin! 1. Grace - Jeff Buckley 2. Blond - Frank Ocean 3. Abbey Road - The Beatles 4. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West 5. The Front Bottoms - The Front Bottoms Honorable mention: Upside Down Mountain - Conor Oberst
Young roster set to shine for NAU volleyball
“Trying to earn MVP, that has always been a goal of mine, but winning a conference championship is something I really want this year,” Jacobsen said. Part of that leadership comes from the lone senior on the team in Harris. She was named to back-to-back Big Sky All-Conference First Teams in 2018 and 2019. Even though she missed 11 games in the 2019-20 campaign, she is looking to come back stronger than ever, which may be difficult with the success she attained last season. She finished second on the team in hitting efficiency last season and is seventh all-time in NAU volleyball history in hitting efficiency at 30.3%. Even though Harris is the oldest on the team, she likes to view herself more as the “fun aunt” rather than the mom of the group. Murphy has only one losing season in his NAU tenure that began in 2013, but that team still went 9-7 in conference play during the 2017 season. Murphy has a 69.4% winning clip through seven years at NAU, while winning 73% of the time in conference games. The Lumberjacks look to continue their strong seasons under Murphy while only playing in conference games. “I like what I’m seeing in the gym,” Murphy said. “We are getting better and better every day.” The expectation for this team is a championship. They do have a leg up on some of the competition as they were able to practice last semester, while other teams couldn’t. Murphy said he hopes to lead them to another Big Sky Championship as they lost in the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament last season. He has led them to two conference championships throughout his NAU tenure. Murphy can lead the Lumberjacks to the Big Dance for a third time with a conference title. The NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship will take place in April with the national semifinals and national championship game scheduled for April 22nd and April 24, respectively. There are high expectations for the season and the Lumberjacks will look to make a push for the tournament with the leadership of Harris and Jacobsen. NAU’s schedule consists of back-to-back games against their Big Sky opponents. The only conference teams they will not compete against are the University of Montana and Idaho State University due to the shortened season. The 2021 season is scheduled to begin Jan. 24 at home against California StateUniversity, Sacramento. The COVID-19 pandemic led to the postponement of the NAU volleyball team’s season as the Big Sky Conference moved all fall sports to the spring. For all NAU and Big Sky fans, spring is arriving and sports are returning. NAU volleyball has a lot to look forward to this season as they will play a 16-game, conference-exclusive schedule. With the Lumberjacks having only conference play, a sense of optimism is in the air as they finished third last season in the Big Sky with a conference record of 13-5. The Lumberjacks will host eight home games this season, which may bode well for them as they dominated at home last season, posting an 11-1 record. With modifications from the pandemic, no NAU fans will be able to attend games at the Rolle Activity Center. Fans can still watch as all Big Sky sports will be broadcast on Pluto TV. The team, however, looks very different compared to past rosters as they are a young group who lost two key players from last season. Abby Akin and Sydney Lema, two of the team’s former veteran leaders, both graduated. Lema is still with the Lumberjacks as she is now a graduate assistant for the team. They will rely on their young stars to help make a push for the postseason. Head coach Ken Murphy spoke highly of the team’s leadership despite its youth, as did senior opposite Heaven Harris. “The freshmen proved they can play with the rest of us,” Harris said. Sophomore outside hitter Taylor Jacobsen, who was named to the 2019 Big Sky Volleyball All-Conference Second Team, excelled last year as she finished second on the team in total kills. Now, with a whole year of experience under her belt, she will look to take her game to the next level. Jacobsen said she wants to step into a bigger leadership role with this team. Story courtesy of The Lumberjack
REVIEW: "Be the Cowboy" by mitski
Mitski’s latest album, "Be the Cowboy," is a musical, heartfelt masterpiece. Mitski is often crowned as the Queen of Sad Alt Pop, in a sense. Her lyrics are as cutting and brutal as they are gentle and honest. With "Be the Cowboy," Mitski makes a shift to being the centerpiece of her own music. Her vocals are not drifting, fleeting, or in the background. She is belting, so clearly, it feels like she is right next to you. With this more intimate shift, the lyrics walk the line between fact and fiction. Mitski has always been honest with listeners, but not everything on "Be the Cowboy" is first hand narrative. Some tracks, such as Nobody, are visceral and painfully real. Mitski has described the development of the chorus as her on the floor in a “semi-fuge state” saying “nobody” again and again. However, tracks like “Me and my Husband” tell narratives, not far from Mitski or the listeners, but ones that remain only stories and fictions. The tracks on "Be the Cowboy" emulate show-tunes at times, carrying a realistic story that is clearly influenced by Mitski as a writer and a human, yet are at arms length from her personal experiences. Mitski allows her listeners to live in a fictional world, not too different or less painless from the real one, but one crafted for us, the listeners.
Artist Profile: Lana Del Rey
Elizabeth Grant – better known as Lana Del Rey – is an American singer songwriter. She’s appeared in commercials and has modeled for brands such as Gucci and H&M. Though the star first appeared on the mainstream music scene in 2011 with her debut single “Video Games,” she started singing in her church choir when she was just a child. From there, she began performing in the underground music scene of Long Island, New York. She started playing club shows at the age of 18 and continued to do so until she went off to college. She picked her music career back up in 2005, then known as Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, with an extended play release. In 2008, she released an EP titled "Kill Kill" under the name Lizzy Grant while working with producer David Kahne and 5 Points Records. Her first complete album, Lana Del Rey, was released in early 2010. At this point, she was still going by Lizzy Grant. Grant went through multiple stage names before sticking with her iconic front. Shortly after the release of Lana Del Rey, Grant bought the rights to her demo back from David Kahne and 5 Points Records. She then met the managers she still works with today, Ed Millett and Ben Mawson. She got an amazing opportunity in late 2010 when she was a featured artist on the MTV Unplugged concert in Berlin. The next few years would be big for Grant. She debuted both “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” on her youtube channel in 2011, both turning out to be almost immediately popular. She received a Q Award for “Next Big Thing” because of “Video Games,” as well as an Ivor Novello award for "Best Contemporary Song" in 2012. Her next EP, Paradise, was released in late 2012. It was also in 2012 that she signed with Polydor and Interscope Records. Together, they began working on Born To Die. From there, Grant gained more and more popularity. She worked on a song for The Great Gatsby, and well as having her song “Summertime Sadness” end up at #6 on Billboard in 2013. Since then, she has released 3 more albums: Ultraviolence, Honeymoon, and Lust for Life. With the anticipation building for her sixth album, titled Norman F*cking Rockwell, she has released the singles “Venice Bitch,” “Mariner’s Apartment Complex,” “How to Disappear,” and “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing For a Woman Like Me To Have- but I Have It.” Her newest album is expected to be released on March 29th, 2019.