All posts by thefcbagpiper

The mission of the Bagpiper is to provide an open forum for the unrestricted exchange of ideas and opinions and to ethically report factual school, local, and world news to the high school community while objectively explaining the meaning and significance of the news to better educate the reader, and entertain the readers using acceptable journalistic devices.

Boys’ basketball set to play Jeff Friday night

Photo by Grace Allen

Story by J.D. McKay

It is a great time to be a Highlander. Our boys’ basketball team is ranked third in the state. Last Saturday, junior Lindsey Dorsch hit a three at the buzzer as our girls’ beat New Albany. That three kept FC undefeated against New Albany this year. This Friday, our boys’ basketball team is playing Jeffersonville on the road and trying to stay unbeaten in conference.

We need to do three things to beat the Devils. We need to get senior Cobie Barnes rolling in the beginning, have fewer turnovers than Jeff, and limit Tre Coleman from scoring 12 points.

Our last couple of games, our offense has struggled a bit. However, just when it looks like our opponents may pull away, Barnes steps up and hits several big shots to retake momentum. I could see that happening again Friday. Barnes has also been our leading scorer this year, so if Jeff shuts him down our offense may struggle.

This one is obvious, but if we have fewer turnovers, we will win. Last Friday, New Albany lost to Jeff and had one more turnover than Jeff. Almost every basketball game winner has fewer turnovers than the losers, and this will be no different.

Lastly, we need to limit Coleman from scoring. He is Jeff’s best scorer and if we slow him down the game would probably be low scoring again. When we played New Albany, we only let Julian Hunter score five points, Coleman is similar to Hunter and if he has a low scoring game like Hunter did it should not be very close.

Bottom Line: FC has had a terrific season and is one of the best teams in Indiana. Jeff is coming off a big win against New Albany and seems to have some momentum, but Barnes is too good to let their momentum carry over into a W versus the third best team in the state. I expect FC to win in a game similar to the New Albany game-low scoring, but about mid-way through the fourth quarter we will pull away to a 10-point win. Final Score: 56-46

 

Expected starting 5

Floyd Central Jeffersonville
Nick Wenchell Darin Starks
Levi Siewert Jaylen Fairman
Jake Heidbreder Markez Jordan
Cobie Barnes Jacob Jones
Cam Sturgeon Tre Coleman

Daughters Return with an Absolute Vengeance

By Daniel Anderson

A key factor to a successful artist is their ability to hone their skills. It is a gradual process for sure; changes will inevitably occur in one’s work. But so long as that change can be managed and controlled, then they can still sound as good as ever.

Such has been the case for the Rhode Island-based noise rock group, Daughters.

This band first built their sound off of grindcore music. For their first two releases, Daughters did not exactly become the biggest band in the world (after all, grindcore is a genre that makes an art form out of songs that can be less than 10 seconds).

But somewhere along the way, something about the band changed. With the release of their self-titled album in 2010, Daughters abandoned their extreme, Dillinger-Escape-Plan-esque style. Instead, the sound which they embarked on leaned closer to a much more industrial vibe, while still maintaining the savagery and abrasiveness of their prior work.

For a long while, that album was considered to be the band’s swansong, as they were not heard from for years on end. But that all changed in 2015, when the band announced online that they would be making new music.

Fast-forward to 2018, and the band released the teaser tracks “Satan in the Wait,” “The Reason They Hate Me” and “Long Road, No Turns” for their newest release. All three of these tracks provided a chilling example of what was to come (the term chilling would probably be an understatement, really).

That level of uneasiness coming from those three tracks would only intensify with the long-awaited release of their comeback, You Won’t Get What You Want.

The title was well applied, as it insinuated what was to come.

Right from the get-go with the first track “City Song,” the listener is greeted with a horrifying presence. The drums open so randomly and so deafeningly in this track that it comes off a lot like a jumpscare — and it works just as effectively as well.

As the thunderous instrumentals drone on for a good portion of the track, somewhere around the four-and-a-half minute mark, they implode into a shrieking nightmare made sound. It should also be worth mentioning that Alexis Marshall’s almost spoken-word vocals combined with the sounds of him seemingly having a nervous breakdown in the background make this track even more manic and horrendous.

That was just the first track on this escapade and already this album can make even the most adventurous of listeners quiver in fear.

The ride only goes downhill from here.

Almost every track following seems to follow some sort of template, in fact one might even bear able to tell based on the song’s length. The fourth and fifth tracks, “The Flammable Man” and “The Lords Song,” both travel at blistering tempos and are the shortest tracks on the album. `

That still does not undermine the terror that these tracks bring. The crushing drums and guitars which almost sound synthesized both combine on these tracks to make the listener quake in their boots.

Although these tracks are still raw and untamed, “The Lords Song” does hinder the pacing of this album by a little bit. This is due to its placing after the “The Flammable Man.” If it came after a track longer than itself, such as the seventh track, “Daughter,” then perhaps the track would appear a bit more forceful than it already is.

Given the majority of Daughters’ discography, one might think that these shorter tracks are the ones that the band would fancy the most on the album. But, strangely enough, the biggest highlights of this project are the much longer tracks.

Now that more time is given to the band to focus on expanding their sonic boundaries, they have since crafted some of the most harrowing listening experiences of the past few years.

Tracks such as the previously mentioned second track, “Long Road, No Turns,” and the monstrous ninth track, “Ocean Song,” not only help give the album some weight in its tracklist, but are each as spine-shivering as the track before them.

“Ocean Song” in particular may just be the most defining track on the album. Lyrically, it paints an unhinged image of a man named Paul who returns home and is struck by a sense of unreasonable fear, causing him to run away. All the while he feels as if there will inevitably be something that catch up and grab him by the shoulder, “Knocking over trash as he makes his way/Sprinting like some wild animal/A blur beneath the streetlamps/Overhead, a terror-scream.”

Once again, the instrumental work on this track still makes the listener feel as if several needles are slowly, agonizingly piercing them from all sides and directions. It kind of feels like the album in a nutshell: a sense of overwhelming yet unexplainable fear grasping for the listener ever so frequently.

However, none of the other tracks have balanced the sheer malevolence of this album with just the slightest tinge of serenity quite as well as the lead single to this album, “Satan in the Wait.”

The track still welcomes the listener with as much paranoia as they would expect. The driving force of the drums gives off the feeling of some monstrous beast stomping ever nearer. It does not help that what’s delivered through Alexis’ crazed vocals mixes seamlessly with lyrics that resemble the inner ramblings of a madman, “Some faces not even a mother can love.”/ Says the spit and spatter of broken glass from above/ “There’s a tombstone where your headboard used to be.”/ They tell him every night before sleep.”

Even throughout the lunacy, there is still a well placed and, one would dare say, serene instrumental interlude during the chorus. It is this fill that provides comfort (or lack thereof) to the listener during such a demented experience.

But for the listener, it all changes during the final section of the track, when the instrumental that once provided them a shimmer of light during the chorus turn completely south, becoming part of the horrific experience that looms over the experience of the album.

What was once an illusion of serenity has now shown itself to be a hideous murder scene.

And that’s what makes this such an unforgiving experience. The album is like a stalking killer: no matter the efforts, there is nothing that the listener can do against the sheer force that this album brings.

Even during the sixth and seventh tracks, the “slowest” points on the album, “Less Sex” and “Daughter,” there is a bigger feeling of uneasiness and paranoia than most of the other tracks.

Yet, after all that, the album will not let up its animalistic nature. The final track, “Guest House,” goes full-throttle on the ears. Every bit in the instrumental with its panicking drums and guitars make the whole track sound like an alarm signifying the end of the world. It is as if some violent creature has escaped its prison, and has set out on a merciless rampage.

At this point, Alexis’ vocals have reached peak hysteria. On this track in particular, the lyrics he flat-out yells in this track go along perfectly with its desperation, especially with the repeated “let me in!” mantra.

This album, in its entirety, is the perfect recipe to make the listener uneasy. The insane and frantic vibe that it gives with its haunting instrumentals and yelping vocals make this perhaps the most electrifying audio experience this year; like a David Byrne album from hell.

While it is not as weird or experimental as something like Death Grips’ Year of the Snitch, it still should be noted that casual listeners would probably not be fond of sitting on the edge of their seats.

Even still, those looking for a challenge with their listening experience will surely suffice. With this album, the band has reached a milestone in the evolution of their soundscape.  Daughters fulfilled the title of their latest release, they didn’t give what the fans wanted. But what they did give was more riveting than what they could have ever imagined.

Verdict

Production A
Instrumentals A
Vocals B+
Lyrics/Songwriting A+
Accessibility D+
Final Score A-

Favorite Track: “Satan in the Wait”

Least Favorite Track: “The Lords Song”

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch v=5NB7RBZ1yGY&list=OLAK5uy_lRNKcLYcmtc-CHuytwrTRoGgiX54MasxE

5 things to do or watch over Christmas break

By J.D. McKay

College Football Playoff, Dec. 29

These games are what the college football world waits for the entire season. Third-ranked Notre Dame plays second-ranked Clemson at 4 p.m., and fourth-ranked Oklahoma plays first-ranked Alabama at 8 p.m. The winner of these games will face off in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 7. The winners will be Clemson in a close game and Alabama in a blowout.

Wrestling Rage on the Stage, Dec. 20

Wrestling is a sport that does not get very high attendance, but Rage on the Stage normally draws a crowd and makes wrestling more interesting. Rage on the Stage is a wrestling meet held on the stage in the auditorium. The light and sound systems are also used to create a very unique experience for a wrestling event.

U of L vs UK, Dec. 29

This game is always meaningful to people in the Kentuckiana. It hurts me to say this, but UK will probably thump U of L for the second straight year. It will also be the third consecutive time that U of L loses to UK in football and basketball.

Hockey game

I have written several times about why you should go to a hockey game, and I will do it once again today. Hockey is the best sport to watch live and you can watch hockey almost anywhere you travel to over the break. Evansville, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati all have minor league teams that you can pay $10 to get in. If you are going to a bigger city like St. Louis, Nashville, Columbus, or Chicago you could watch a NHL game. However, those cost much more than a minor league hockey game.

Colts vs Titans, Dec. 30

Even before the playoffs, some games are win or go home. This game will be a win or go home game for the Colts. If they win, they should be the sixth seed and go into the playoff having won nine of the last ten. If they lose, they will be out of playoff contention and the Titans could slide in as the sixth seed.

Q&A with therapist Amanda Hurd, LMHC

By Annalise Bassett

Bagpiper: How are mental and physical health connected?

Amanda Hurd: “These two are deeply connected as they impact and influence one another. A person who is physically healthy is more likely to be mentally healthy, and vice versa. Mental health plays a significant role in how one functions and maintains their lifestyle, especially on a physical level. For example, a client suffering from depression may experience decreased pleasure in once pleasurable activities and withdraw from them. This same person may also sleep too much or not enough, have reduced energy levels, overeat/undereat, as well as gain or lose weight. These depressive symptoms can bring an increased risk for physical health problems. In some cases, a person’s physical health decline may be the first sign of a mental health problem. Being physically unhealthy can also contribute to a decline in mental health with symptoms such as low self esteem, depressed mood, and panic attacks. In addition, research shows us those suffering from chronic illnesses are at increased risk of developing mental health disorders.”

BP: How can school impact a teenager’s mental health?

AH: “Attending school can both positively and negatively influence a teenager’s mental health. Factors such as having too heavy of a workload, short deadlines, social difficulties (low self esteem, social anxiety), not meeting expectations of teachers/parents/themselves, etc can all negatively impact a student’s mental health. On the other hand, it can also positively influence a teen’s mental health by providing support and fulfillment for one’s educational goals, create an environment for the development of quality friendships/relationships, and positively impact one’s self esteem/self confidence as they succeed through the years.”

BP: What can schools do to help anxious and depressed students?

AH: “Assist them in finding an attainable, customizable balance. What works for one doesn’t always work for another. Schools can support students by checking in with them, praising them, being the consistent positive in their day. If the school has concerns, potentially make a referral for therapy services, if services are available, and/or speak to their parents about their concerns. See question 4 also for parental recommendations, schools can create an open line of communication as well, where students can speak freely and be heard.”

BP: How can parents help their kids cope with mental disorders such as anxiety and depression while pushing them to do school work and get good grades?

AH: “I often tell parents of my teenage clients to create an open line of communication with their teens and listen, listen, listen. Validate their feelings and try to work together on solutions, whether that be something they do in the home and/or with the help of a therapist. I also recommend parents to establish healthy boundaries and set attainable expectations for success of their child. Then, revisit these boundaries and expectations after a few months to see what is working, what is not, and what may need to be adjusted. Everyone gets a voice in these situations and comprises should be expected. Overall, setting up an environment where teens are comfortable, able to speak freely, AND be heard are crucial steps to finding solutions that work for the teen and the parents. I would recommend parents with anxious teens to read the book ‘Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children’. This book explains how anxiety is a normal part of life and the role parents can take to assist their kids in responding to their worries versus running from them.”

BP: What is the balance that teenagers and their parents and teachers should find between hard work and helping themselves with anxiety and depression?

AH: “I’m unsure how to answer this one. I will say checking in with those in your support group, and checking in with yourself are helpful ways to see how things are going, what should be added, removed, or adjusted in one’s life to maintain balance. Give yourself room for errors and celebrate accomplishments.”

BP: What do you think are the major causes of such a spike in teenage anxiety and depression?

AH: “Technology; social media and cyberbullying come to mind first. Social media creates a false sense of the ‘perfect’ lives of others and can set unattainable goals. Research has shown an increase in anxiety and depression from exposure to social media and I have worked with clients in my office who have reported an increase in their mood after eliminating some of the stressors of social media, or closing their accounts altogether. Is this the case for all students? No, but this has been my experience with some clients. Cyberbullying is widely talked about for its detrimental effects on teens. It can lead to anxiety, depression, or even suicide. With a high percentage of teens using cell phones and the internet daily, chances also increase of being a victim of cyberbullying.”

BP: Do you think that society as a whole downplays the importance of mental health? Why or why not?

AH: “I think the idea of the importance of mental health is improving with each decade and is being given increased attention, unfortunately, with acts of violence being shown through the media in our country. I don’t think society necessarily downplays the importance of it, I’m not sure if society knows what to do with it at times.”

BP: Is there anything else my readers need to know?

AH: “Anxiety and depression are among the most common mental health disorders in the United States and both are treatable. Feeling anxious or sad are normal emotions and a normal part of life. When these emotions linger, worsen, and/or reduce one’s satisfaction of life, that is when they become abnormal, and additional support may be needed. Learning how to recognize and cope with these emotions can significantly impact one’s quality and satisfaction with life. I never want your readers to feel reluctant to ask someone for help if their normal emotions become abnormal. Help is always available. Always.”