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Photo of the Week

by The Charger Bulletin | December 10, 2014

photo of the week cmyk

“Beaches of New Haven”

By Bobby Thompson, Sophomore
Taken in Nov. 2014

“I got a new camera and wanted to try it out down at the beaches,” – Thompson.

Livewell’s Latest

by Shannon Livewell | December 10, 2014

Paper Lights: Caverns Review

Paper Lights is an Alternative Pop band, resounding from Atlanta, Georgia. The bands album, Caverns, was released in November 2013, and encapsulates their personality and charisma with every track. “The Cave” is a single off of Caverns that has acquired worldwide attention by the likes of ESPN, Chick-fil-A and Outdoor Magazine. Perhaps under-exposed based on their musical abilities, and inspirational tonality, Paper Lights exhibits true talent with no filler.

Alternative Pop band Paper Lights (Photo provided by Paper Lights)

Alternative Pop band Paper Lights (Photo provided by Paper Lights)

Consisting of members Dan Snyder (vocals and keys), Melanie Annabelle (vocals and glock) and Tim Friesen on bass guitar, the trio creates a song on Caverns larger than what they should represent, and it’s a beautiful surprise around every verse-driven corner.

“On Your Way” opens the album with Snyder’s clean and clear vocals asking questions to some Jane Doe, while Annabelle’s harmonies drive the song to a hook reminiscent of an early Dashboard Confessionals. Annabelle’s verse to follow is laced with beautiful highs and melodic lows, carrying the song like a lullaby through the strong beat, which includes multiple levels of percussion that are new for Paper Lights, but very welcomed.

If you’re searching for a song with a driving beat that will surely drive you to the finish line if it’s playing on your iPod during any marathon you’re a part of (don’t worry if the most you run is on your way to class so you’re not late, it’s the perfect soundtrack to a late night study session as well), “The Cave” will give you just that. Once again, the mix of Annabelle’s and Synder’s voices serve as the perfect recipe for musical bliss. Friesen steers the beat to a magical build with his persistent bass lines, and you can quickly see why this song has received such positive attention since its release.

My personal favorite track off of Caverns has to be “Counting on You.” With poetic lyrics and a simplistic beat, this song lends itself to Annabelle’s melodic vocals, and focuses on leading to a hook that will be stuck in your head for hours after listening (trust me, I know).

“All the victories are locked into the version of himself that you once knew.”

Just like that line in the first verse of this telling track, every line following will make you analyze it. This song speaks from a place all of us possess, can never articulate.

Five new Christmas songs that deserve a listen

by Ashley Winward | December 10, 2014

Christmas time is finally here, and with that many go instantly to what I call the “retail classics.” You know what I’m talking about—those same five songs you always hear in your favorite retail store.

Yoko Ono and The Flaming Lips cover “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” (AP Photo)

Yoko Ono and The Flaming Lips cover “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” (AP Photo)

“All I want for Christmas is You” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” are great songs, don’t get me wrong, but I believe that, much like your iPod, even your Christmas playlist needs an update at least once a year. Who knows if you’re missing out on something great just because you’re still hung up over songs that came out in the 30s (yes I’m talking about you “Winter Wonderland”). While I will admit there are a lot of bad Christmas songs, there have been some new holiday releases that I would certainly put on at my Christmas party this year.

Seth Macfarlane and Norah Jones – “Little Jack Frost Get Lost” Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame has proved that his talents expand far past the TV screen many times, including his album, Music is Better than Words in 2011. This year he’s back with a Christmas album Holiday for Swing and this duet with the beautiful Norah Jones is something I would listen to as I’m unwinding with a glass of eggnog by the fire. It’s a beautifully produced swing tune and the subtle jabs at the holiday cold are there but not as overbearing as some Family Guy jokes can be.

Johnnyswim – “Christmas Day” Speaking of something that you can curl up by the fire with, Johnnyswim has the most gorgeous acoustic track with “Christmas Day.” The harmonies and the sleigh bells makes me feel warm inside. The lyrics are also so sweet and wonderfully crafted, my favorite being, “I’m too old to be so excited” showing that even as we get older it’s still okay to wake up feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. Any country or acoustic fans would love this song on their Christmas playlist.

Judith Own and Harry Shearer – “Christmas with the Devil” Now, while this is a cover of an older song, the new way in which it was performed makes all the difference. The original song was written by Spinal Tap, however this cover by Own and her husband Shearer uses only piano and an upright bass to bring a smoother jazz feel to the song. Another thing that I love about this song is that if you purchase it, it will benefit a mental health organization called Bring Change 2 Mind. A great song with a great cause tied to it!

The Both – “Nothing Left to Do (Let’s Make This Christmas Blue)” While the holiday season is all about good spirits and happiness, it’s not always the most wonderful time of the year for everyone. The Both put just the right spin on the classic elements of Christmas time with a melancholy twist.

It’s okay to be sad at Christmas time whether it be missing a loved one or just because the holiday season makes you feel a little blue. I put this song on my list for all of those people and I hope that you can find something to brighten your spirits this holiday season even a tiny bit.

The Flaming Lips and Yoko Ono – “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” I end my list with a classic with a new twist that absolutely blew me away. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” was covered by The Flaming Lips, originally sung by the late great John Lennon; however they invited his wife Yoko Ono to sing on the track as well. The mix of The Flaming Lips usual psychedelic twist on things with Yoko Ono’s voice made this song absolutely mesmerizing. I also love this song itself because I think that it brings a hope and optimism into the New Year, something I think we all need.

I wish all of my readers a Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate and I can’t wait to bring you all new music in the New Year!

What makes a classic?

by Glenn Rohrbacker | December 10, 2014

What makes a song a classic? Why is it that when “Don’t Stop Believing” comes on the radio or when yet another band plays it at a concert, we all just instantly drop everything and proclaim the lyrics to the sky, despite our ability to actually sing?

The Beatles, pictured above on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, are still as relevant today as they were back then (AP photo)

The Beatles, pictured above on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, are still as relevant today as they were back then (AP photo)

What about songs like “Piano Man,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “Hotel California,” “Baba O’Riley,” and about half of the Beatles’ repertoire?

How do songs that were written in a time so different, for people so different, and by people so different who we now view as legends make it in to the 21st century and still have relevance as if they were written just recently.

I can give you the short answer: they make us feel good! But there are very few songs that do it like a classic. Sure, I’m sure we all jammed out time and time again to “Baby” by Justin Bieber, but think about it—when was the last time you actually heard that song? Excluding of course those who still have Bieber-fever. But to hear songs like “Don’t Stop Believing” or “Hey Jude,” you really don’t have to be an avid Journey or Beatles fan. In fact, you may not have even known who sang those songs up until I just told you, but you love them. Why? To be honest, I don’t think we will ever know. It’s a cultural and social phenomenon that we are experiencing for the first time as pop music’s first generation is still alive and well. As time passes, we will definitely be able to tell what goes into a classic song, but for now it’s just an observation.

What I’m sure a lot of people wonder when they hear these classic songs is: “When will they be over?” In other words, when will the time come when the songs that we all know and love and once defined a generation suddenly aren’t relevant anymore? Maybe that’s the secret. Try to think of a situation or time when “Don’t Stop Believing” was unnecessary.
Also, music today is so diverse that its hard create something that reaches every demographic for several reasons. One would be that there are a lot more people and a lot more music out there for them to experience.

Second, once people experience so many different types of music they develop their opinion so that they like a very specific type of music. It is so much harder today to break out and become a top musician and even harder to make a hit.

What will be the classics of the future? Are we looking at these future legends right now like Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Drake or the plethora of artists in the mainstream?

Personally, I haven’t come across a mainstream pop song that I could see myself still loving the same in 20 or 30 years. Has the window to make a classic song closed? Maybe these are just thoughts a music obsessed teenager has but I think they are valid to everyone. Do society a favor: teach your children to appreciate the classics of yesteryear. And more importantly: teach them to teach their kids as well and hopefully we can keep these classics alive.

Farro holds his own with “Color Rush”

by Andrew Lagambina | December 10, 2014

Josh Farro was the backbone of Paramore until his departure in 2010. Over the course of three records and countless amazing arrangements, he stole the hearts of many people, and even managed to earn three Grammy nominations.

Farro with Paramore in 2007 at Van’s Warped Tour  (Photo obtained via Facebook)

Farro with Paramore in 2007 at Van’s Warped Tour
(Photo obtained via Facebook)

Paramore was the little band that could from Franklin Tennessee, and by all accounts, they still are.

But this is not that band.

Farro is the new project from Josh Farro, and their new single “Color Rush” premiered on Thanksgiving, showcasing a bright, refreshing sound from the man who brought you some of the best songs of the mid to late 2000’s. If this isn’t a comeback, I don’t know what is. The song starts with a slightly overdriven guitar, which, surprisingly, breaks into a synth lead, and keeps time at a just-barely-over moderate tempo. Farro’s vocals are surprisingly on point. He has an extremely pleasing tone, almost Chris Carrabba-esque, and his falsetto is, in a word, gorgeous. Any worries I had were quickly demolished upon my first listen. The dude can sing.

What’s best is to hear the fun behind this song. There’s no pretense anymore. This band doesn’t need to rely on their guitarist/vocalists’ previous band to make it big; they can do it on their own.

They’ve written at least one song worthy of people’s attention, and that’s an accomplishment these days, what with singles often being the weakest tracks from their full-length counterparts. For fans of the Farro brothers, great songwriting should be expected, but for anyone who previously wrote off Paramore for being too “teen-y” or “Emo,” this is definitely worth the time.

Surprise seems to be the common theme with this new single. After the disappointment that was Novel American, and hearing that Josh would be taking over lead vocals, there was a fair amount of doubt going into this reviewer’s first listen. However, Farro has boatload of potential, and now, a fantastic new single under their belt. If they keep up the momentum they’ve started with this new piece of music, there’s no telling how far they could go. The sky’s the limit, really, so I highly suggest you get in on the ground floor.

Local Gigs of the Week

by Ashley Winward | December 10, 2014

local gigs of the week

Toads Place
Dec. 11: A Kushmas Vacation with Curren$y, Smoke DZA, Young Roddy and Tribe Worldwide

Dec. 12: Gwar with Corrosion of Conformity and American Sharks

Dec. 13: Marion Meadows Annual Jazz Christmas Show

The Oakdale
Dec. 10: The Piano Guys – A Family Christmas

Dec. 11: The 1975

Dec. 12: 96.5 Tic All Star Christmas with Train, Daughtry, Ingrid Michaelson, Matt Nathanson and Echosmith

Dec. 13: Mike Epps: After Dark Tour

The Space
Dec. 11: Pearl and the Beard

Dec. 12: Allston Police with The Story Unfolds, Brett Steinberg, and Somewhere in Time

Dec. 13: Modern Baseball with Knuckle puck, Foxing, Crying and Somos – SOLD OUT

BAR (21+)
Dec. 10: The Pass with Ian Biggs and Glamour Assassins

Album of the Week

by Ashley Winward | December 10, 2014

Films to catch over break

by Ben Atwater | December 10, 2014

As we all cram for finals, none of us have had much time to go out to the movies. Yet that will all be compensated for in the upcoming month while we are home. Here’s my list of films you might want to catch over break.

James Franco and Seth Rogan star in The Interview, a comedy worth seeing over break (AP photo)

James Franco and Seth Rogan star in The Interview, a comedy worth seeing over break (AP photo)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (December 17, 2014)

The Lord of the Rings films are collectively one of my three favorite movies, alongside Ben-Hur and Lawrence of Arabia. While the past two Hobbit films, An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug, have not come close to the level of epic mastery of filmmaking LOTR has, they are still consistently engaging and well made films.

An Unexpected Journey detailed Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit in Middle Earth, leaving his quaint life to assist a party of dwarves to reclaim their kingdom which was conquered by the dragon Smaug. The second film, The Desolation of Smaug, had Bilbo and company arrive at the dwarve kingdom of Erebor only to find Smaug, and the only thing warm about his reception was his fire breath. So, the stage is set for an epic finale, as Smaug must be taken down and the wealth of Erebor will be fought over in what is sure to be a sweeping battle. My tickets are already bought, and I cannot be more excited.

The Interview (December 25, 2014)

I am not normally a fan of comedies, yet the trailers for The Interview have made me chuckle. Reuniting James Franco and Seth Rogen from This is the End, the two actors play talk show hosts who are sent by the CIA to assassinate the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Subject matter that could be a political thriller like Zero Dark Thirty will surely be made light hearted with Franco and Rogen, who seem to be less than sly as they fail at all of their tasks in the trailer. But The Interview is sure to please fans of comedies like 22 Jump Street and Neighbors.

Unbroken (December 25, 2014)

Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, a high school track star who is called into combat in World War II. His plane is shot down, and he must survive for 47 days on a raft before being captured by Japanese to serve over two years as a prisoner of war. I love old wartime epics, and Unbroken seems like a cross between Castaway and Bridge on the River Kwai, which are both excellent films. Jack O’Connell, who plays Zamperini, is already getting Oscar buzz for his performance, so Unbroken will surely have me in the theater.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (December 12, 2014)

Technically, Exodus comes out before semester ends. But no one is really going to the movies in the heat of finals, so if you’re going to see this, it will surely be after semester ends. Exodus is Ridley Scott’s take on the story of Moses, also depicted in The Ten Commandments and The Prince of Egypt. Earlier this year, Noah reinvigorated the Hollywood biblical epic, and Exodus seems to be following this trend. Starring Christian Bale as Moses, Ridley Scott has attracted other A-listers such as Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley. Ridley Scott has a knack for large scale storytelling, proven by Gladiator and Prometheus. I cannot wait to see the Ten Plagues play out on the big screen. Of course, a spring date near Passover would be a more appropriate release date.

Into the Woods (December 25, 2014)

Some have said that cinematic adaptations of musical do not happen often enough. The last major movie musical was Les Miserables in 2012. Well, another one is coming our way on Christmas Day. Into the Woods combines various Grimm fairy tales such as Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood and puts them into a musical crossover. Starring Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp and Chris Pine, Into the Woods is sure to attract musical lovers.

Space, time, and adversity

by Dylan Rupptrecht | December 10, 2014

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones star in the new Focus Feature, The Theory of Everything. The two play Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde in the story of how their relationship together would shape the course of their lives.

Eddie Redmayne, as a young Hawking, meets his future wife Jane Wilde, played by Felicity Jones (AP photo)

Eddie Redmayne, as a young Hawking, meets his future wife Jane Wilde, played by Felicity Jones (AP photo)

After discovering that he has an extremely rare motor neuron disease and finding out that he only has a maximum of two years to live, instead of simply wallowing in the dark reality of this disease, Hawking and Wilde decide to marry and get the most out the remainder of their days together.

The story picks up right at the notorious, prestigious school of science and arts at Cambridge University in England. At a party at one of the residency halls, you see the fantastic chemistry of Wilde and Hawking as they introduce themselves for the first time with a simple declaration of their majors. Not long after do the signs of Hawking’s infamous disease start to reveal itself; and this is one of the jewels of the film – Redmayne’s ability to portray the same physical defects that this disease causes. He not only convincingly contorts his body to mimic the picture of Hawking, which most people are familiar with by now, but he also is able to pull off the same degradation of speech, which will cause every person with a basic sense of empathy to tear up.

What is simply captivating about this movie is the way the film is able to display Hawking’s immense stature in the field of science while also drilling through your emotional core; it’s both intellectually and emotionally exhilarating. Hawking is the exemplary role model for tackling adversity, as you see him overcoming so many obstacles throughout the film. Redmayne is certainly deserving of at least an Oscar nomination for his stunning performance.

The Theory of Everything will make you appreciate adversity and how it transcends people to even greater levels of achievement—both world-wide and personal. This movie is well worth seeing twice, and will soon find a nice resting spot within my movie collection!

Weekly Roundup

by Ben Atwater | December 10, 2014

A lot of news in the world of movies has dropped over this past week.

Will Smith is set to star in his very first comic book movie Suicide Squad, debuting in 2016 (AP photo)

Will Smith is set to star in his very first comic book movie Suicide Squad, debuting in 2016 (AP photo)

In the world of superhero films alone three separate stories have broken. For starters, the cast of Suicide Squad has been announced. Suicide Comics is a DC team of supervillains, similar to the Sinister Six and the Shadow Council. The team announced in the upcoming film includes Jared Leto as the Joker, a character not seen in film since Heath Ledger’s renowned performance in 2008’s The Dark Knight.

Will Smith will play Deadshot, also seen on the CW TV show Arrow. Deadshot is basically a very skilled sniper hunter, and this will be Will Smith’s comic book movie debut. Tom Hardy will play Rick Flag, the leader of the Suicide Squad. Tom Hardy is no stranger to playing DC super villains, as he portrayed Bane in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.

Margot Robbie, well known form The Wolf of Wall Street, will portray Harlie Quinn, the Joker’s kinky girlfriend in the comics and video games. Captain Boomerang will be played by Jai Courtney, who is sure to yield several high tech boomerangs as per the character.

As the Flash’s archenemy, there is speculation that Courtney could very well reprise his role as Captain Boomerang in The Flash in 2018 as well. Cara Delevinge will play Enchantress, who is primarily a magical sorceress.

Suicide Squad is set to come out Aug. 5, 2016, in the same year as Sony’s Sinister Six, which comes out a few months later on Nov. 11. Time will tell which villain centered film will be better.

Also coming out in 2016 is Deadpool, set to release on Feb. 12.

There has been much debate as to whether Ryan Reynold’s would return to the role after X Men Origins: Wolverine. Well, it has been confirmed that he is returning, much to the fans’ pleasure.

Yet another comic movie is coming out in 2016 with Marvel’s Doctor Strange set to release on Nov. 4. This week, Benedict Cumberbatch, well known from the TV show Sherlock and Star Trek: Into Darkness, has been confirmed to dawn the titular role. This is Cumberbatch’s first superhero role, and another face of talent in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Outside of superhero news, the first trailer for the upcoming Terminator: Genisys has been released. Coming out July 1, 2015, this film will feature the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger after his absence in Terminator Salvation (2009). The trailer seems to detail humans in the post-apocalyptic world sending a terminator, the robots that have destroyed humanity, back in time to protect the Connor family yet again.

From a critical point of view, this trailer reeks of “been there, done that.” The visual effects look unfinished, the plot seems convoluted and seems to ride off of the other Terminator films. Yet the merit of trailers are not always indicative of the merits of a movie, and a fresh cast including Doctor Who’s Matt Smith and Dawn of the Planet of the Ape’s Jason Clarke could pull in a refreshing film, as the Terminator franchise needs a refresher.

Lastly, the twenty-fourth James Bond film has been given the tile of Spectre, set to come out Oct. 23, 2015. After 2012’s Skyfall made over one billion dollars, it is not surprising that MGM wants to make another Bond film starring Daniel Craig. Christoph Waltz and Dave Bautista are also slated to appear, with Waltz portraying the villain. It will be hard to top Skyfall, but the production team will surely try.

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