Category Archives: A&E

Waterparks’ new album Fandom needs more spotlight

By Morgan Walker

The Texan band Waterparks is one of the most underrated bands. Their music is so unique, but so are the members of the band. The band was created in 2011 by Awsten Knight and previous member Owen Marvin. Then later Gage Matthieu joined the band as well. Both Marvin and Matthieu ended up leaving a year later, and guitarist Geoff Wigington and drummer Otto Wood joined. 

According to a Rock Sound interview with Wood he said he met Knight when he was trying out for his old band. He remembers that his first perception of him was that he was really weird. He described Knight wearing a bathing suit and having one leg completely shaved and other having a natural hair length. 

The members, Knight, Wigington, and Wood are all really busy with their own lives outside of the band. Knight does a podcast with his best friend and author Travis Riddle. Wigington is a boyfriend and a father. Wood is more private with his life than the other members and even stays away from social media.

Lead singer Knight namedrops himself in multiple tracks, such as “Turbulent.” Waterparks released their third album on Oct. 11 titled Fandom after their previous albums Double Dare and Entertainment.

The self proclaimed “God’s Favorite Boy Band” released several tracks before the album came out, including, “Turbulent,” “Dream Boy,” and more.

Music videos also came out with the tracks “Dream Boy,” “Watch What Happens Next,” and “ High Definition,” and later after the albums release a video came out for the track “Easy to Hate.” 

The “Easy the Hate” music video is similar to their previous music video “Gloom Boys” from their previous album Double Dare. They both follow a fan of Waterparks. “Gloom Boys” is about a fan that wants to be in the band and “Easy to Hate” is about the fan getting terrorized by the band and he hallucinates that the band is appearing and playing the song. It is nice to see something older fans can get a fresh take on a song they already love.  This concept goes really well with the lyrics, “It’s too easy to hate you, and hard to love. It’s too easy to hate you, when was it not?” Because the life of a fan is hard and sometimes, the fan can not help but hate their favorite band because they are so amazing.

Fans fell in love with the new sound and they could not wait to hear the full album. The sound of this album has heavy instrumentals, but it is used in a distinctive way that is not heard often. It is similar to Billie Eilish’s music in some ways with the unusual sounds and talking in the music, and that is something Eilish does often. The track “Group Chat” is the members introducing themselves by just talking. This is similar to Eilish’s track “!!!!!!!” of her album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” where she introduces the album just by talking.

Like Eilish, the lyrics are also really eccentric and fun. Many of them humorous in nature. A line in “Dream Boy” really encapsulates this: “Do you believe in love? Oh, and is it because of me? Yeah’ if it’s up to me.” The clean version of the track “Turbulent” replaces many cuss words with lyrics that make the song hilarious. They change one lyric to “I’d unhug you if I could.” This humor is something more musicians should want to achieve with their music. 

Fandom was meant to played over and over again. The last track “I Felt Younger When We Met” perfectly transitions to the first track “Cherry Red.” This transition also really encapsulates who the band really is. Waterparks is so in touch with what fans want and what they do. They knew fans would listen to this album on repeat so they made it so the tracks transition between each other.

Waterparks needs more love from everyone. Their music is great and has amazing lyrics. The band is really confident with their music, because of the authenticity of it. They always tell people to stream Fandom and that is something everyone should do because these three talented people deserve more credit for their incredible music.

Tracklist:

  1. Cherry Red
  2. Watch What Happens Next
  3. Dream Boy
  4. Easy To Hate
  5. High Definition
  6. Telephone
  7. Group Chat
  8. Turbulent
  9. Never Bloom Again
  10. War Crimes
  11. [Reboot]
  12. Worst
  13. Zone Out

FC Theater rolls perfectly into Guys and Dolls

Photo by Presley Vanover

Story by Gracie Vanover

As the lights dim sophomore Syd Landrum slips out from behind the curtain in a magnificent blue dress. As she gracefully strolls down the stairs the other Hotbox Girls follow behind. 

FC Theater opened their run of Guys and Dolls on Nov. 8 and are running the show through Nov. 17. This classic theatre production is a hit for audiences of all ages with fun musical numbers and a great storyline. 

Our story takes place in New York with streets full of gamblers and their ever-so-lovely dolls. The number one thing on most these gamblers minds however is not their beautiful dolls. It is their favorite game: craps. 

Nathan Detroit, played by freshman Haakan Packwood, is out to have his craps game but is low on funds. He and his pals decide to bet the notorious Sky Masterson, played by senior Nick Landrum, that he cannot take the missionary Sarah Brown, played by Grace Platt, to Havana. Sky gratefully accepts the deal and the race is on. 

One of the best scenes in this production is the scene including the number “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.” Junior Tre Gaines brings the character of Nicely Nicely Johnson to life in this scene with his charisma. Along with the vocals of Gaines, the scene is full of color from the array of costumes and backdrop. 

Another great number from this show is “Take Back Your Mink” performed by  Miss Adelaide, played by Caroline Siegrist, and the other Hotbox Girls. This number is a silly little number full of drama and the occasional whistle from a man in the background. The song is full of playful lyrics and at the end the girls scoop everything back up and say “Well, wouldn’t you?” With even little phrases like that it gives character, especially with the high pitched girly voices. 

In this show there are two sets of vocal combos that are absolutely stunning. Platt and Siegrist in the song “Marry the Man Today” have an amazing blend and tone quality. Their voice combination pulled an astounding reaction from the audience full of clapping and whistling. 

The other amazing vocal combination is Landrum and Platt. In the song, “I’ll Know” the two sing of when and how they will know they are in love. Platt’s unique voice style plays off of Landrum’s lower tone and creates a lovely mix. “I’ll Know” is definitely one of my favorites in the show along with the song “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” mentioned beforehand. 

Overall, FC Theater’s production of Guys and Dolls is one you do not want to miss. There are still shows this weekend. Tickets range depending on seating and the age of the ticket holder. For tickets and more information go to: http://www.floydcentraltheatre.org

Melanie Martinez ends music hiatus with K-12

Art and story by: Scarlett Hatton

For years, many loyal fans have long-awaited Melanie Martinez’s return to the music industry. However, on Sept. 3, 2019, Martinez surprised her supporters with a 90-minute film that she directed and a studio album that she produced, ending their wait. K-12, the film, includes 13 of Martinez’s highly anticipated tracks from her newest album with dialogue in between. With aid from her unique style and artistic lyrics, the album landed number three on the U.S. Billboard 200, and the film has gained over 31 million views on YouTube. Despite this, her followers still wonder if K-12 was truly worth the wait.

 

The film takes a twisted take on a normal musical. It follows a headstrong, clever little girl named Crybaby [played by Martinez] and her supportive best friend, Angelita [played by Elita Harkov], as they are sent off to a foreboding sleepaway school with dictatorial leaders. The movie has an innocent, light aesthetic that adds to the creepy situation the characters are being put in. These contrasting manners of purity and brutality can be observed in many of Martinez’s older songs such as “Dollhouse.” The lyrics to this 2015 single include, “Throw on your dress and put on your doll faces. Everyone thinks that we’re perfect; please don’t let them look through the curtains.” 

Years later, Martinez carries forward this message of hiding pain behind beauty and innocence. K-12 continues this tone throughout the entire film as Crybaby quite literally tears her evil principal apart while wearing her bright, pink dress. While this might be too dark for some viewers, others appreciate this artful approach to portray insanity and to illustrate the inhumanity of modern school systems.

 

Nearly every Melanie Martinez song confronts a problem in society. While her lyrics do an excellent job of portraying these issues, the film was so important to help tackle them head-on and show real-life examples that her audience can relate to. This album alone exhibits the effects of a negative body image, eating disorders, bullying, gender roles, fake friends, and many other serious topics. The song “Orange Juice” is about a girl with bulimia learning to accept herself. A lyric says, “Your body is imperfectly perfect. Everyone wants what the other one’s working.” This message is absolutely necessary for young people to hear given the growing mental health issues faced in society.

 

Martinez is also completely vulnerable in the song “Show and Tell.” While it is unclear if the song was written about her personal life, specifically, it can be assumed the message of the song is very close to her. The lyrics say, “Buy and sell, like I’m a product to society.” In the film, Crybaby was trapped inside of the school. She felt like she was being controlled by power-hungry villains. The principal made her feel worthless with his unjust rules and she would do whatever it took to get herself out. She said, “Pretending everything’s alright is detention.” Martinez made K-12 to share this message to her audience. Aside from the magic, singing, and dancing, the film was very realistic to modern society in some form or another. Martinez’s ability to connect with these real-life situations through art is definitely one of her biggest strengths.

 

After taking a three-year hiatus, high expectations were set for Martinez’s album. It is hard to deny the visual appeal of the film and the beautiful message that it portrayed. However, there were some problems with the film that needs to be addressed. There were so many different subplots that each felt incomplete and lacked a true value to the overall theme. This made the main plot harder to follow and understand. At times it seemed as if it has been just 13 music videos strung together without any order. Furthermore, the dialogue between songs felt weak and messy at times. Instead of connecting the songs together, the remarks just seemed to be there to fill up time. It is a shame that the plot could not live up to the beautiful costumes and amazing albums that Martinez is known for.

 

K-12 continues to expand Martinez’s audience and break music records. It is clear that so much well-spent time, money, and production went into making the film possible. Ultimately, Martinez made the film available on many different platforms for free which was such an admirable thing to do, especially if she was trying to spread awareness and positivity. As Crybaby said in the film, “Everyone is worthy of love.”

 

Tracklist:

Wheels on the Bus

Class Fight

The Principal

Show & Tell

Nurse’s Office

Drama Club

Strawberry Shortcake 

Lunchbox Friends

Orange Juice 

Detention 

Teacher’s Pet

High School Sweethearts 

Recess

 

Visuals: A+

Plot: B-

Acting: A-

Production: A+

Vocals: A+

Songwriting: A

Overall: A-

 

K-12 the film: https://youtu.be/2HtaIvb61Uk

 

Oliver! photo coverage

Following Highlander Band: SynchroniCITY stopped short in Greenwood

Photo by Presley Vanover

Story by Gracie Vanover

This past weekend was one of the toughest marching band competitions in the nation right here in Indiana. ISSMA Regional competition at Center Grove High School in Greenwood had some of the top names like Avon and Carmel. With only 10 bands moving from this regional to semi-state, the Highlanders were in for a long night.

The band placed 11th this weekend, barely missing the chance of being in the top 10 for semi-state. However, the night was not a rough one at all. 

“I felt happy. I was excited to be back and I felt really good about how we were going to perform,” said sophomore pit member Lupe Rufing. “When we got done play I felt really good because I played so well and we sounded really good.”

Many members of the band and guard felt this was the best performance for the group to date.

“I think our performance was the best one yet. The features , solos, and notes we normally splat on were the best they have ever been,” said junior tuba player Bailey Durrett. 

With every performance there are hardships members have to face whether it be injury or the competition itself.

“I was also nervous because I knew that there [were] five national championship schools there,” said Rufing. “[But] I was glad to show everyone how good we are because we practice really hard and work together to make a good performance.”

Although band members are sad about not advancing they are ready for next season and are okay with their results.

“I’m sad we didn’t advance but I know we did the best we could have done and that the placements between all the bands were fair and we got what we deserved,” said Durrett. “Since we were so close to making it in I’m excited to see how we will do next year because we just keep getting better [each season].

The band will be performing the show two more times even without semi-state and state competition. To follow the band and find their schedules go to their website: www.floydcentralband.org. Be sure to catch them one more time before the season’s end at Bands of America Grand National Championships on Nov. 14.