Category Archives: A&E

Learn about FC’s new arts directors

By Hannah Tarr and Abby Chovan

Assistant band director Briston Hatchell 

Number one fun fact He once auditioned for The Voice.
“It was just kind of on a whim. It’s very unlike me, I’ve never wanted to be on TV or anything, but for some reason I just had this idea of, ‘I’m going to go audition for The Voice.’ And it was interesting. I didn’t make it, it wasn’t televised, but it was interesting. It was in 2012.”
Birthday August 20, 1988
“It’s today (the day he was interviewed). It’s on my shirt, I think. ‘Established 1988.’ My mom got me this shirt, so I figured I’d wear it.”
Number of tattoos One
“Maybe more soon. Or eventually.”
Places he’s lived Here

Cincinnati, Ohio

Thibodaux, Louisiana

Columbus, Georgia

McAllen, Texas

Favorite holiday Christmas
“Probably a toss-up between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I really like the food of Thanksgiving- well, I’ll say Christmas because I just make the same food for Christmas.”
Favorite food Tacos/ Mexican food
“I could pretty much eat that all the time.”
Favorite book The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch
Favorite movie Snakes on a Plane
“I do have a birthday tradition that goes back to high school, so I’m going to put it here, which is watching Snakes on a Plane. In 2007, I think, on my birthday, yeah, we went to see Snakes on a Plane. So put Snakes on a Plane as my favorite. It’s a goofy movie. And the soundtrack is really good too.”
Favorite TV show Big Brother
“The reality TV show. It’s terrible, and horrible for you. It’s like the TV equivalent of eating candy, but that’s it.”
Favorite drum corps Carolina Crown
“Well, I have to say Carolina Crown. I have to.”
Role model His mom
“She’s always taught me to follow my passion and work hard at whatever it is, and she’s never let me take the easy way out.”
Movie of his life would be called Goofy Socks
“I wear goofy socks all the time. I like to stand out in weird ways like that, like I don’t want to wear a goofy shirt, but I like to stand out in the subtle ways like socks.”
Life motto Strike a match, hope it lasts.
“It’s a Less than Jake song lyric.”

 

Technical director Jared Willis

Number one fun fact His first and only time acting onstage was during Celtic Dreams, as the Fairy King. He wore a morph suit and a dance belt and had to dance around under the black lights.
“You could see my entire butt.”
Birthday November 16, 1994
Number of tattoos Two
“How many do you see?”
Places he’s lived Here
“I am a resident of this area. Born and raised.”
Favorite holiday Christmas
“Yesterday was National Chicken Wing Day. And Cowboy, and Lipstick… the holy trinity.”
Favorite food Salmon
“I’m trying to move away from red meat.”
Favorite book The Lord of the Rings
Favorite movie Pirates of the Caribbean
Favorite theatre show Les Miserables
Favorite TV show Game of Thrones, or Parks and Rec
Role model His father
“You know, there’s so many individuals who have just taught me so much about my life. It’s hard to just pin on one single individual. But there are just countless figures from history that I constantly look to for inspiration. FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, are two that come to mind. But really, if I think I was going to say my one personal role model, it would be my father.”
Movie of his life would be called Young, Scrappy, and Hungry
Life motto No worries

Video games do not cause teen violence

Art by Jaclyn Refrow

Story by Gracie Vanover

Hi there. I am a teen gamer who has no self-control because I play more violently-rated video games, which leads to “irrational” thoughts.

Video games have been on the rise for generations and have grown widely in content. With a growing fan base companies produce new games yearly with more intense content. Although this content grows harsher, video games are not to blame for things like school shootings and other heinous acts done by teenagers.

Since 2000 there have been approximately 188 school shootings on high school and college campuses. With 97 percent of teens playing video games, it’s easy for people such as politicians to throw the blame towards this form of media. But not is all that it appears to the naked eye when looking at the research or what’s being said about video game violence.

Although gaming has grown more intense and violent in content studies show that video games have no long-term aggression on teenagers. Video games have equal effects than other forms of media like cartoons and movies do. Even though these facts are out there for quite literally anyone to look at and read politicians continue to bash video games as an easy way out and to appeal to other adults with these similar morals.

However, the real underlying contributor to these events are factors like mental health or gang activity. Most politicians and local officials refuse to step into the mental health territory as they don’t want to look like they’re discriminating against the mentally ill. As someone diagnosed with mental illnesses I would rather my government be transparent instead of completely disregarding mental health as a factor.

Blaming video games rather than the actual factors is quite childish .It shows that they do not dig and research the facts enough. When you really look into it it seems politicians are just playing the blame game. For example, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin suggests that these violent games and media throw us into a dangerous loop of aggression and unreasonable thoughts which lead us to these situations. However, that is far from true.

As someone in a school environment and gaming community, its presented to us teen gamers as politicians shrugging us off and saying, “Well you made this mess you better clean it up.”

Video game industries are worth billions of dollars so politicians figure “hey, let’s just throw a little bump in the road their way it won’t hurt right?” Throwing these claims can actually be quite harmful to some. You are throwing tons of graphic artists and animators a hard curveball for all their hard work and possibly causing job shortages due to the decrease in sales.

As an average 16-year-old gamer who plays games on the more violent spectrum, I do not think these games are the issue. The real issue leading to these tragic shooting events and outbursts of violence is simply what is going on inside these teeangers’ heads and how their world around them is treating them. Shying away from the true issues of these matters and putting blame on forms of art and media helps no one.

Death Grips is online once again

Art by Sam Haney

By Daniel Anderson

Easy listeners beware, as this band is not for the faint of heart.

Industrial hip-hop and digital hardcore icons Andy Morin, Zach Hill, and Stefan Burnett, aka MC Ride, have apparently been quite busy for the past two years. The last time they were heard was in 2016 with their previous full-length album, Bottomless Pit. This album perpetuated their incredibly unique soundscape by adding even more layers of obscurity to it.

Bottomless Pit seemed to combine everything that had built the band from its foundation, such as their acclaimed 2012 effort The Money Store, with newer and more experimental elements introduced in their 2015 double-sided album, The Powers that B. It was as if they were claiming their dominance among all others who were attempting to duplicate their sound.

Buzz revolving around Death Grips did not just stop at the content they released. The band has had a notorious reputation on the internet for being quite meme-centric, and it is clear that they revel in their reputation. Such was the case for their enigmatic Twitter profile.

After self-deleting their previous account for a short time, they announced their return to the site with the phrase “Death Grips is Online.” Soon enough, seemingly everyone following the account was being retweeted by typing down the same phrase. Often times the followers would accompany the phrase with a meme or an unsettling picture to further the band’s reputation for being disturbing to the average listener.

As 2018 came rolling in, fans were all too eager for Death Grips to make their response to all the internet madness. Alas, the release of the tracklist for their latest concoction drew in as much attention from fans as one would expect. The trio really must have been listening, since the titling of the track, “Death Grips is Online,” certainly confirmed it.

Months strolled by as the band routinely cherry-picked tracks from the new album as teasers for what was to come. The first teaser track, “Streaky,” was considerably more accessible than what most expected, whereas “Black Paint” seemed more of a call-back to the more experimental rock sound of Jenny Death, the second half of The Powers that B.

All the traps were set for Death Grips to hold the listener’s ears hostage. The major concern then was how the band would put the album together, seeing as how they had routinely changed their sound from album to album. Or perhaps a brand new sound for them would better fit the mold. Whatever the case, the band had to surprise the listeners somehow.

Luckily for them, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, particularly  among fans.

There could not have been a better way to kick off the track-listing than with the song everyone was waiting for. “Death Grips is Online” welcomes the listener for what should be a wild ride ahead of them. Distorted vocals and turntable scratching galore, this track is essentially the audio equivalent to an intense fever dream.

Speedily following the opening is, “Flies,” another teaser track. While it does not add too much to the album sonically or conceptually, it is still an enjoyable track nonetheless. Standard traits that make a Death Grips song great are all present here: unusual synths, cryptic lyrics, and MC Ride’s usual unnerving vocal performance.

Much like the song “Trash” from Bottomless Pit, the actual content of the lyrics from “Flies” portray what appears to be another statement of the band cherishing their disgusting reputation. Ride compares himself to some sort of morbid fantasy: “Should the opportunity arise, vomit me flies/Flies vomit me, together’s unwise, sever all ties.”

Transitioning afterwards comes, “Black Paint,” which could not have been a more different track. The band essentially abandons the industrial hip-hop sound and vibe in exchange for a track that bears more resemblance to a krautrock, almost even alternative rock song. It truly is atypical, even for Death Grips standards.

Malevolent and unsettling as their image typically is, there are moments on this album where it seems as if the band is not taking their content too seriously, but that is not inherently a bad thing. As mentioned before, “Streaky,” is a track that is considerably easier to listen to than most of their other material. It just sounds like the band is having fun with themselves.

There is more than one way that Death Grips expresses their sarcasm. The instrumental track “Outro” is quite hilariously titled, as it is not even the final track. That place goes to another experimental rock-esque track, aptly named, “Disappointed.”

In contrast with some of the more satirical cuts, there are also moments that are truly shudder-inducing. The 11th track,“The Fear,” (also aptly titled) borders on being unlistenable; in a good way, that is. Awry and delayed instrumental-work combined with Ride’s manic screaming make for possibly the most provocative listen on the whole album.

Track #4, “Linda’s in Custody,” is unnerving in a bit of a different way. Despite it being more relatively toned-down, it also serves as what many fans consider another instance of Death Grip’s unusual obsession with incorporating Charles Manson in their work (previous references include “Beware” from their 2011 mixtape Exmilitary and “Spikes” from Bottomless Pit).

Even though Year of the Snitch is not the most hard-hitting or caustic release that Death Grips has put together, it certainly strikes as something the new listener should not start with. Yet the challenge of merely listening to it is one of its most admirable traits.

This album finds the band once again in peak form, but not in the same way they were on more accessible projects like The Money Store. What they present here is bringing their melting pot of soundscapes to new heights; another change of pace.

The instrumental track from The Powers that B, “Death Grips 2.0,” is all too prophetic. Perhaps this album really does fulfill the title.

It really is quite an achievement for a group that has been together for almost a decade to be able to still surprise listeners with each release. Year of the Snitch is definitely no exception.

Verdict

Production: B+
Vocals: B+
Accessibility: C-
Variety: A+
Final Score: B+

Favorite Track: “Dilemma”

Least Favorite Track: “Outro”

Release date: June 22, 2018

Composers: Stefan Burnett, Zach Hill, Andy Morin

Producers: Zach Hill, Andy Morin

Genres: Industrial hip-hop, Alternative hip-hop, Rap rock, Experimental Rock, Krautrock, Digital Hardcore, Cursed-Images-in-Sound-Form