Category: A&E

Fortnite takes IHS by storm

By KAYLEE BECKER-GEORGE – Everyone has heard of the free game by Epic Games that has captured the interest of the world and held it: Fortnite. Players spend hours and hours at a keyboard, controller, or mobile device just to secure that victory in its Battle Royal mode. The fact that it’s free makes it all the better because anyone can play. As of February 2018, there are 3.4 million players. However, is Fortnite as good as its worshippers say it is?

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Black Panther smashes box office, splits IHS

By JOE LUETKEHANS–  As Marvel continues to fill movie theaters with its monthly offerings of new additions to the “MCU” or Marvel Cinematic Universe, audiences have seemed to have consistent expectations for each new film.  

According to critics and moviegoers alike, however, Marvel seems to have bested even its own formula with its newest offering, Black Panther, released on February 16 and starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan.  

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The Greatest Showman’s message makes it stand out

By DEBRA FLINT- At first glance The Greatest Showman may not seem like much, but a message of acceptance is clear. The movie brings forth actors that don’t usually get a lot of screen time. The cast is both physically and racially diverse making it different from a lot of other movies.

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Series saturate popular movie culture

By JENNIFER BRICE — This time of year, everyone loves to spend snowy days inside watching their favorite movies.  Freeform just ended 2017 by running its Harry Potter Weekend,” giving high school students a reason to spend their final days of winter break procrastinating.  It’s easy to dedicate entire weekends to series like Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, to name just a few.  But what does our endless obsession with such captivating franchises say about how we value entertainment?

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Diaries of a fake gamer girl

By KALYN MENIFEE

A game I love: Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon ★★★★★

A genuinely good time, this game is so pure and good it’s like watching The Land Before Time as a kid all over again. The content is engaging and colorful and it seamlessly funnels you through content in a way that isn’t overwhelming and still allows you to explore the endless wonder of the world.

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Lady Bird addresses growing pains, navigating teenage years

By INDIA KRUG – Coming-of-age films are becoming increasingly difficult to make without seeming cliché, simply because Hollywood is already stocked full of them. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Edge of Seventeen, or basically any movie made in the 1980s has told the story of the quirky teen.  So what makes Lady Bird different from the latter?

Let’s begin with the protagonist.  A girl with messily-dyed pink hair wears a vibrant arm cast — the result of leaping out of a moving car during an argument with her mother.  Her dramatic features stand out against the warm hues of California.  

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi causes a disturbance in the Force

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By KAYLEE BECKER-GEORGE – The newest installment of the infamous Star Wars Trilogy aired on December 15 in the United States, and it has already proven to be well worth the two-year wait. Rian Johnson, the director, really blew fans away and made 450 million dollars at the box office worldwide in the first weekend since release. The movie received high ratings, with a 93% from Rotten Tomatoes, 7.9/10 from IMDb, and a ⅘ from Common Sense Media.

The Star Wars Trilogy continues the story of characters introduced in The Force Awakens: Rey, a scavenger from the middle of nowhere, Finn, a deserter from the Stormtrooper army, Poe Dameron, the best pilot in the Rebel Alliance, and BB-8, a small droid and great source of comedy. They were joined by characters from the original movies, such as Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO, as well as some new characters.

The plot of the movie is intense and filled with plot twists and complete surprises that even dedicated fans couldn’t guess what was going to happen. There was just the right amount of emotional moments, matched with comedic moments.

Although, as with every movie, there were some issues. Mark Hamill, the actor who played Luke Skywalker, didn’t like the way his character was portrayed. It was also bittersweet for longtime fans of Star Wars to see the late Carrie Fisher on screen again.

Freshman Audra Moore says “My dad and I always nitpick movies in the car on the way home from the theater, and the only real point against it I could come up with without explaining a whole lot is that it’s trying really hard to be the original episodes, even with a new cast of characters.” She then proceeded to rate the movie an 8.5/10.

However, reviews are mostly positive. Freshman Dustin Miller says, “I enjoyed the new Star Wars movie because it was nice to see all the old characters.” Dustin, who is a fan of the Star Wars series, went to see it as soon as it was released. Freshman Kaitlyn Marshall said, “The new Star Wars movie was entertaining to watch.”

Overall the movie was very good, and it definitely deserves its good ratings.

Christmas movies put students in the holiday spirit

Xmas Movies

By ADRIANA GUTH-BOROWSKI – Getting into the Christmas mood is sometimes a challenge, but with these timeless movies, it is impossible not to fall into the spirit of the season.

Elf if the perfect movie to get into the holiday mindset. This hilarious movie starring Will Ferrell follows a human-sized elf on an adventure to New York City to find his birth father. Sophomore Paige Mitsko stated, “It is one of the funniest Christmas time movies. I love Will Ferrell, he is the best!”

Based on the well-known children’s book, Polar Express is great to watch with the family. This movie follows a boy who boards a train to the North Pole on a journey of self-discovery and belief in the wonders of Christmas. Senior Alex Detwiler said, “There is a lot of catchy songs. It gives off an Alice in Wonderland type whimsical vibe.”

Another iconic movie is Home Alone. After a sizable family forgets their eight-year-old son at home after they leave for vacation, two criminals try to rob the house. This hysterical movie follows many traps set by this young boy.  Junior Grant Minnick stated, “It is one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies. It is a very well shot movie, and every time you watch it you find something new in it. Also, the acting is great.”

Though not a full-length movie, everyone knows the catchy jingle of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. However, the iconic Christmas special allows people to put a visual to the struggle of Rudolph being an outcast in society. Sophomore Reese McFarlane expressed, “It’s cool how he overcame adversity, and it is very heartwarming to watch.”

Some may be skeptical of the beauty of Christmas. For those people, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the perfect movie. This adaption of Dr. Seuss’s famous book follows a green Grinch who wants to steal all of the Christmas related items from the people of Whoville. However, his plans were spoiled after encountering lovable Cindy Lou Who. Sophomore Maggie Conjelko said, “I loved watching it when I was little. Also, Dr. Seuss is great.”

Some other IHS favorites were A Christmas Story, A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, and The Santa Clause. Whether people are Christmas fanatics or not, these movies guarantee a heartwarming smile.  

 

[Photo by Adriana Guth-Borowski}

Photo Caption: “Freshman Audra Moore reminisces about her childhood holiday favorite, Home Alone.”

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Horror Movie cliches may turn movie lovers away

Horror Movies

By JUSTIN REESE – When done properly, a horror movie can be one of the most invigorating, exhilarating, and thrilling experiences one can have. Unfortunately, most audience members have seen the same horror movie cliches over and over again, making these “thrilling movies” not so thrilling.

From classic thrillers such as Scream, The Ring, and The Shining, all the way to the recently produced horror movies like IT, all include these stale cliches. Whether it be the mundane splitting of the group or the infamous car stalling, all of these and more are horror movie cliches to look out for during the next trip to the movie theater.

The most common of cliches being the very predictable, splitting up the group. This is the common Scooby-Doo type cliche. The group is completely unharmed but someone had the great idea to split up the group because obviously, pairs of people are much stronger than a large group of people. Sophomore Tyler Pruitt thinks, “It shows a lack of creativity in writing. Writers should really push the limits of premise and conflict to find something that fits our generation now, not the 70’s.”

Perfect, the protagonists have finally made it to the car and are ready to get away from the scary murderer. Time to drive away, right? Oh wait, the car battery is dead, the tires are slashed, the brakes have been cut, and the car is out of gas.  When hasn’t this corny cliché been used? This cliche isn’t exclusively used in horror movies, it’s also used in many genres such as comedy.

Apparently, technology isn’t as great as it was thought to be. Of all times for a car to break down, being chased down by a murderer isn’t the most ideal position. Freshman Hannah Reilly thinks this ruins the movie saying, “The car stalling is overused and it doesn’t provide any suspense because most people can already predict what can happen from seeing other movies.”

Those who have watched any horror movie have witnessed a protagonist walk into the room everyone knows not to go in. The dramatic irony of these situations is just plain old and unoriginal. Freshman Kaitlyn Marshall states,  “That it is overused, but it honestly depends on how the plot of the film is conducted and interpreted. If it’s a well-made film and the cliche is done tastefully, then I think it’s okay.”

It is commonly seen that horror movies are chock-full of corny, overused, unoriginal, and mundane cliches that, for some students, can ruin a film. Even though these cliches may be predictable, they don’t completely ruin these movies and a good horror flick can still make for a great Halloween experience.

[Photo by Justin Reese]

Photo Caption: “Junior Marie Marcoline gets into the spirit of Halloween while watching Stephen King’s IT.”

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Things get strange with the return of Stranger Things

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By JUSTIN REESE- Stranger Things, a Netflix original television series, follows Will Byers and his journey with the Demogorgon in the mystical land of the Upside Down. Season one of the series had left many unanswered questions, which left fans eagerly awaiting the thirteen new episodes that will be streaming beginning October 27.

The return of the show is bringing back ardent fans that enjoyed season one.  Freshman Ian Steele says,  “I really enjoyed the first season and I hope that the second season will be even better. Hopefully, Eleven is in season two.”

In addition to returning fans, the continuation of the show is reeling in new audience members such as freshman Anna Romance, “I’ve heard about it and never really checked it out, but there seems to be a lot of hype surrounding season two. I will definitely start watching it to prepare myself.”

The trailer for the second season that was released by Netflix at the comic convention left fans to question the conflict of the plot, which seems to be very similar to that of season one. Will the mystical beast, the Demogorgon from the popular board game “Dungeons & Dragons” return for season two, or will there be a new similar beast terrorizing the town of Hawkins, Indiana?

It looks like season two will introduce new characters as well. Youth actress Sadie Sink debuted during an interview with the main cast members, hinting at a possible addition to the notorious group of misfits. Netflix has released information on their Wikipedia page regarding season two, such as Sadie Sink playing a “tomboy like character” with the name Max.

Some returning fans are looking forward to the new season in order to gain closure from season one. Sophomore Eric Atherton says, “I think that a lot of things in the first season were left unfinished.” Sophomore Kiara Smith agreed with Eric saying, “I definitely plan on watching season two because there are so many questions left unanswered that I am excited to find out.”

It can be seen that Stranger Things has a fervent fan base.  The return of the series with season two is bringing returning fans, but also new fans that have heard of the new series and are jumping into the fan base.

 

[Photo by Justin Reese]

Photo Caption: Freshman Anna Romance binge watches Stranger Things season one in preparation for the return of the series.

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Lil Uzi Vert coming to KCAC

By DYLAN LATORE – Hip-hop powerhouse and entertainment rockstar, Lil Uzi Vert, is coming in concert soon, and it’s much closer than you think. For IUP’s homecoming concert 2k17, our local university has booked Uzi to perform for this year’s homecoming concert at the KCAC on Thursday, October 5 at 7:00 pm.

This is a somewhat impressive feat for our smaller university, especially because of how big of a name the young rapper has made for himself after both appearing on #1 Billboard hit “Bad and Boujee” and producing his own #1 chart-topper “XO Tour Lif3.”  While Uzi has his own already well-known hits, the artist has also recently dropped his first debut studio album: Luv is Rage 2, which follows the rapper’s hit mixtape: Luv is Rage.

Already, the studio album has earned its top place on the Billboard hits, with a large portion of the album securing their own top 10 spots.

To say the least, there is a lot of hype built up for his performance. The general consensus on the album is scattered. Senior Nathan Hilliard stated, “The album was hard, but I like the first Luv Is Rage better, while almost every song on the new album is listenable, Uzi definitely has changed.”

Uzi has been described in the past as one of the most lively and exciting performers in the hip-hop industry, even being known for stunts such as climbing the scaffolding of stages and leaping into the crown from them. The aura he brings on stage with him immediately transfers into the crowd. Junior Mikail Bajwa stated, “I think he (Uzi) personally made the album more for himself than just to make a ton of money, he personally enjoys the music on this one a lot more. As for the concert, it’s definitely gonna be crazy.”

The general consensus among many IUP and IHS students is that it will be very easy for Uzi to top last year’s IUP Homecoming concert, headlined by Pittsburgh-raised rapper, Mac Miller. Miller was almost an hour late to his set and put on a less than lively show for a crowd of extremely rowdy college students.

Senior Will Luetkehans described the show as, “Not that great, not even close to some of the better shows I’ve been to.” Speaking from personal experience, the concert was not as bad as some may say, but even still, I have high hopes for Uzi’s ability to light up the Kovalchik center for one exciting night.

 

[Photo by Dylan Latore]

Photo Caption: “Seniors Nathan Hilliard and Brandon Brocious  listening to Uzi’s new album”

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Let’s talk music

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By WILEY BELLE FRUMKIN – Music is incredible. Musicians are the best people, the coolest people. They see the world differently than any non-musician-human-being would. The experiences that the world has to show them soak into their minds like a sponge. It’s something that’s come to my realization a lot lately, which is why I’m going to talk about all the cool jams I’ve been listening to.

I was going to make a list of my favorite songs or albums or something like that, but then I realized that lists are pretty boring. So here’s me talking and bein’ real about what I’ve been listening to recently.

I have found myself listening to a lot of early Americana/country/folk stuff. Blaze Foley and Steve Earle are two guys I’ve been listening to often.  It bothers me when people come out and say, “I hate all country music.” No honey. You can’t just do that, you’re forgetting that, oh! It doesn’t all sound the same!

It really says something when people generalize a genre’s sound by one Kenny Chesney song. Maybe twangy country doesn’t please most ears but hating Willie Nelson because you hate Luke Bryan is just straight up disrespect.

There are a lot of forgotten folk musicians from the 60s and 70s that I’ve stumbled upon. In particular, Michael Hurley is one guy I just can’t believe more people aren’t appreciating. The first song of his that I discovered was Be Kind to Me, originally released in 1971. It was such a sweet simple sound that had a good message about being nice. “I told you once and I told you twice / why be mean when you can be nice?”

I knew I had to dive deeper. His song Sweedeedee is the epitome of classic porch folk, talkin’ tunes. It’s a spoken word song with the chorus being sung. He wrote it about his “little woman” and their past. Super cute!!

There’s such an accomplished feeling that comes along with finding a modern Americana band that actually represents the genre while incorporating just enough of a twist to where it’s not too modern. A band called Natural Child does that so well. This trio formed in 2009 out of Nashville, Tennessee and combines the classic rock n’ roll “I don’t care, I’m living my life” mentality with a simple picker-circle-acoustic-guitar sound. Wild boys Wez Traylor, Zack Martin, and Seth Murray make up the unique outlaw band.

They say they’re influenced by artists like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. After listening to these country kings while traveling on tour they decided to spice up their sound by recruiting fellow Nashville native Luke Schneider to play pedal steel, and Benny Divine out of New Orleans to play the keyboard.

Their newest album, Okey Dokey, was released on September 16th, 2016. It’s a fresh way of bringing traveling tunes back onto the scene. I think it really helps some of the younger generation appreciate this type of sound a lot more.

In the 60’s an instrumental band called The Ventures swept the west coast off their feet with their style of beachy surf rock. There are so many good bands that have taken influence from them and are recreating that sound today. Tijuana Panthers, Jurassic Shark, together PANGEA, Wavves, FIDLAR, they’re all doing it and doing it pretty well. All of them just sound like whiny boys with bad attitudes who mostly don’t shower. But there’s something very liberating about that.

 

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April’s April Playlist

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By APRIL BLAIR Other than the continuous jamming out to Chance the Rapper, The Front Bottoms, and Modern Baseball, here are some other artists I listen to that give off the ‘totally ready for warmer weather’ vibe:

 

You Won’t – First of all, this is a great band to dance and cry to. Especially at the same time,  just because the songs are so delightfully written. The feel good music combines with the deep and meaningful lyrics to produce two sweet-sounding albums.

Recommended tracks:

“No Divide” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4VyNvv1DSk

“Ya Ya Ya”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnxbhEQzuBE

 

Spook Houses – “I’m trying to try” are lyrics so very relatable, as well as this song’s tone, which is perfect for listening to when trying to fall asleep or trying to get rid of a nasty headache, that made me fall in love with this band.

Recommended tracks:

“Witching Hour” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_njAzuiN8Q&index=2&list=PLK7xDNbEcIrhBJ-jRH01aC0tLP__aBe_k

“Try Pt.1 / Try Pt. 2” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIhI0mq1Ew0&index=4&list=PLK7xDNbEcIrhBJ-jRH01aC0tLP__aBe_k

 

Wild Child – Baritone ukulele. That’s enough for me. As well as the incorporation of trumpet, cello, and violin. Lyrics written and sung by members Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins, blend together for perfect, mellow yet quirky tunes. “‘All the Years’ is a very happy, upbeat song but mellow at the same time. I’d say it’s calming with uplifting lyrics,” says senior Jade Fleming.

Recommended tracks:

“This Place” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyHtOfN9lfg

“All the Years” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfA–QS2hAU

 

Radiator Hospital – One person who knows my obsession with this band is Mr. Nath, whose  sound he described as “a cat in a blender.” However, the lyrics are packed with pure emotion.

Recommended tracks:

“Our Song” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2eelBo0afQ

“Fireworks (Reprise)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDaFEGxOsXg

 

Bad Bad Hats – This band consists of Chris Hoge (drums), Noah Boswell (bass), and Kerry Alexander (guitar and beautiful vocals), and I am completely capable of wanting them to make more music non-stop. Plus, they’re coming to Karoondinha Music & Arts Festival in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania on July 22!

Recommended tracks:

“Midway” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yl1rF_bsq4&list=PL8VrDtP5YOCF8a1Qgp0nfosJTJ9j_HQSq

“Psychic Reader” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL0WjBtZ1Zs

 

Acid Ghost – Released in 2016, the album “Warhol,” obviously named after Andy Warhol, features the pop art advocate himself in the 53 second track, “Life”. Most songs are written and produced by the brilliant Ace Barcelon, and supply the listener with a feeling of nostalgia.

Recommended tracks:

“Letters” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af3Bkel-2Aw

“All Alone” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64MMP_a1I0I

 

Only Real – Niall Gavin could easily be the love child of Mac DeMarco and King Krule, in both look and sound. The album “Jerk at the End of the Line” delivers a peppy rather than dismal appearance.

Recommended tracks:

“Jerk” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UriL_jArQYw

“Cadillac Girl” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q5nFR-EW7U  

 

Peach Pit – Peach Pit is pure summer. This band makes me want to dance like I’m in an indie music video smiling toward the camera as the sun sets, with the occasional sip of peach iced tea. Senior Heather Lang says, “‘Peach Pit’ is a very catchy tune, and it definitely gives off the summer feels.”

Recommended tracks:

“Peach Pit” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRXtbLqIx04

“Sweet FA” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoacAiQZtZM

 

We’ve all been anxiously waiting for June 7 to arrive, but in order to get there, we have to pass through April, the rainiest month of the year, as well as May. Feel free to listen to these songs to rid that rainy mood.

 

[Photo by April Blair]

Photo Caption” Seniors Victoria Mbogo and Kyle Lear look to April’s April Playlist for sonic guidance.

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Gone too soon: We lost many beloved figures in 2016

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By KATE RAIRIGH– All good things must come to an end. The world lost many inspirational people in 2016 as there were many deaths of well-loved celebrities. Senior Kyle Lear remarked, “It’s shocking how many celebrities died within this year, most of them were influential when I was growing up.”

One prime example was rock icon David Bowie, who passed away on January 10, 2016. Bowie was one of the most popular music figures of the 1970’s and wrote some of the most memorable pieces of music during that era.

Bowie discovered in 2014 that he had developed cancer. As a result, his last album, Blackstar, was a reflection on the fact that he knew that he was dying. It’s been rewarding to gain a deeper understanding of Bowie’s mindset and motives towards the end of his life with his production of songwriting and performances.


Along with Bowie’s passing, four days after, the beloved and sometimes loathed Harry Potter actor, Alan Rickman also passed away from cancer. Many young viewers recognize him as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series, along with a big role in Die Hard. His death profoundly affected the cast of Harry Potter due to the many years that he had worked with them. Although he has passed, he has given laughter, life lessons, and joy to the world. Many expressed tribute to Rickman including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling who said, “There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.” As devastated as people are concerning his death, his legacy will live on.


A hero of the American space program, explorer John Glenn was a national hero and astronaut. Ohio State University announced on December 8, 2016,  the death of the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. After years of working with NASA, Glenn retired and moved on to run in the Senate. In 1970, Glenn ran for the Senate, but lost in the Democratic primary. He then won four years later and easily seized victory in the general election, beginning a 24 year Senate career. Glenn was a flier to the end.


And certainly one of the major deaths of 2016, was the passing of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher. She suffered a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles on December 23, then later died four days later on the December 27. Fisher appeared in Star Wars as the beautiful Princess Leia and reprised that role in The Empire Strikes Back to The Force Awakens, for franchise fans, The Force will always be with her. Senior, Lauren Makara commented, “The deaths of the celebrities were terrible and awful, but we have to remember what they have given to the world and their legacy will live on.”

As tragic as her death was, her mother Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds died soon after learning of her daughter’s death. Reynold’s death was essentially caused by a stroke. Many feel that her death was caused by grief over her daughter’s death. Reynolds was mostly known for starring in Singing in the Rain, Halloween Town, and Charlotte’s Web.Whether she was a witch or a talking spider, she will always be remembered and never forgotten. Senior, Charlie Bennett, “Many of these celebrities were from my childhood, Debbie Reynolds was an amazing actress, along with her daughter.”


2016 was a year we would rather forget as we lost many beloved musicians and Hollywood stars. Here is to hoping and wishing that 2017 will end on a happier note.

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Chance the Rapper breaks Grammy history

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By APRIL BLAIRMany teenagers tune in to award shows such as the Grammys every year to support their favorite artists. This year, the 59th annual Grammys takes place on February 12, 2017. In June 2016, the Grammys announced the official rules have changed in order for streaming-only releases to be eligible for nominations, with the intent that the rule change would apply to Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book” and Frank Ocean’s “Endless.” However, with nominations revealed in December 2016, Ocean was not nominated, and Chance broke award show history by being nominated for seven Grammys.

Chance the Rapper is nominated for Best New Artist along with Maren Morris, The Chainsmokers, Kelsea Ballerini, and Anderson .Paak. Junior Leo Lezzer says, “It’s great he’s becoming more popular and he’s a great rapper, but his old stuff is definitely better.”

In 2012, Chance released his first official mixtape “10 Day” as a free digital download. His second mixtape “Acid Rap” earned him further deserved recognition. Three of his songs from his “Coloring Book,” his third mixtape, released May 16, 2016 are nominated for “Best Rap Song.” These being “No Problem” featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, “Ultralight Beam” by Kanye West featuring Chance The Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Kelly Price, The-Dream, and “Famous” by Kanye West featuring Chance the Rapper, Rihanna, Swizz Beatz.

Senior Danyal Bajwa says, “His music is entertaining and the songs on his new album have a special meaning behind them. They’re very nostalgic and the style of music hits you.”

This independent artist has turned down all record labels to remain individualistic. He even incorporates his feelings about this topic into his song “Blessings 2.” “Kanye’s best prodigy, he ain’t sign me but he proud of me,” referring to Kanye’s offer.

Chance the Rapper has collaborated with many rappers like Kanye, Action Bronson, Childish Gambino and many more. Junior Tommy Arbuckle says, “Chance has something different than other rappers, and his sound is more chill.”

There is a possibility of Chance snatching these Grammys even though he’s up against some big competition such as Kanye West, Drake, and Beyonce.

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Beloved actresses Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds remembered

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By JORIE MEIL- Carrie Fisher, the beloved actress well known for her work in the Star Wars series shockingly passed away at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016 at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Fisher was an actress, author, and all-around inspirational woman.

Fisher’s fame was mainly attributed to her performances in the Star Wars films. She played Princess Leia, a member of the Imperial Senate, and an agent of the Rebel Alliance. Fisher wrote a book about her experience on playing this character called The Princess Diarist. This memoir came out shortly before her death, and she died shortly after coming back from a press tour in London for her book. Senior Bricelyn Webber says, “She played Princess Leia, who was a very pivotal female heroine; she sort of taught girls that they can kick butt without a man helping them.”

Although Fisher is most famous for her work in Star Wars, she had many other successful films. She made her film debut in 1975 in a movie called Shampoo. She was also in the movie The Blues Brothers in 1980, as well as When Harry Met Sally in 1989.

Alongside being an accomplished actress, Fisher was a successful writer. She wrote twelve books, a one-woman play called Wishful Drinking (that she performed herself), and many screen plays. Some of her books include her most recent The Princess Diarist, Postcards from the Edge, and Shockaholic. Fisher’s one-woman show and book Wishful Drinking was a hit on the Broadway stage.

Fisher did not always have it easy. She struggled with bipolar disorder, yet her experiences shaped her into an amazing woman. Fisher took her troubles and used them to help others by becoming an advocate for issues concerning mental health disorders. Her official website has a page that gives information on her work with mental health, and also has sources for people to get help if they are struggling.

Fisher’s mother, actress and singer Debbie Reynolds, died the day after her daughter at age 84. Her heart was physically weakened by the death of her daughter and it proved too much and she suffered a stroke. Reynolds last words were “I want to be with Carrie,” and were spoken to her son Todd Fisher. Reynolds was very famous in her time, starring in movies such as Singing in the Rain and Tommy and the Bachelor. A sophomore Jess Morse says, “It was just devastating that two wonderful actresses were gone in a matter of two days.”

Fisher’s memory lives on with her siblings Todd, Joely, and Tricia Fisher. Fisher also had a daughter with her ex-husband Bryan Lourd. Her daughter Billie Catherine Lourd is also an actress. Her most well-known performance is in the horror comedy television series Scream Queens.

Carrie Fisher will be missed by family, friends, and fans all over. A documentary about the lives of Fisher and Reynolds will soon be aired on HBO. Broadway theaters all dimmed the lights on their marquees in honor of both actresses. A freshman Will Ferguson says, “Carrie is one of those characters you see in your childhood and can only think of as the character they made famous. They have a timeless existence and it’s shocking when that abruptly ends.”

Carrie Fisher is was an amazing actress that will be missed on film and in life.

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Alice Cooper makes Indiana sick again

alice-cooper

By JOE LUETKEHANS – The room is pitch black, with only two dim spotlights illuminating the desolate stage. A mysterious and terrifying voice over telling stories of black widow mating rituals is the only sound to be heard aside from the ragged, excited breathing of the crowd. Suddenly, onstage, the horrifically decorated curtain drops and black-clad minions march it offstage, revealing a demonically-staged band setup complete with bloodied doll heads and malicious, torturous toy boxes. The roaring guitars and bone-shaking drums immediately take over the audience and the captivating show begins.

When a titan of rock and roll history comes to your town, it would be blasphemy to not see him perform. On Saturday, September 24, thousands of Indiana residents gathered at the KCAC to witness one of shock-rock’s greats: Alice Cooper, perform his greatest hits live as a part of his “Make America Sick Again” tour, complete with stunning pyrotechnics, astounding theatrics, and a musical showing that will be remembered for a lifetime.

From beginning to end, the show rocked its audience to the core. Something about Cooper’s music awakens a thrill in everybody, making the polo-and-khaki wearing accountants don leather jackets and face paint as they bow down to the calls of the rock & roll gods. He and his band show off an unmatchable stage presence as they stand at attention at the front of the stage for several songs, appearing as six horsemen of the musical apocalypse.

Cooper is currently touring with several world renowned artists who make up his band on tour: Chuck Garric on bass, Ryan Roxie on guitar along with Tommy Henriksen and the ever-beautiful Nita Strauss, as well as the unbelievably talented Glen Sobel on drums. His voice is every bit as shriekish, growly, and powerful as it was “in his prime”, proving that he has done nothing to dampen his performing chops over the years.

Junior student Tanner Bush, a self-proclaimed fan of Cooper’s who attended the show, shared these positive feelings, “Alice Cooper performed a very lively and head banging concert”. Bush, along with many others who attended the concert, were very impressed with the agility and energy shown by the almost elderly performer. “He outperformed any 68-year-old I know.”

The legendary performer, who is only two years shy of the ripe old age of seventy, looks like a shambling, possessed skeleton draped in a thin sheet of wrinkly skin, yet still retains the stage presence and charisma that he has had since his youth.

He does not utter a word out of his mouth that isn’t a note until the very end of the show, going from song to song with a level of stamina surprising for someone of his age.
Throughout the concert, appearances were made by an enormous boa constrictor draped across his shoulders, an electric chair which Cooper is strapped to and escapes from, a 10-foot tall Frankenstein that terrifies the audience, and a full-size, 20 foot tall guillotine that spurted blood across the audience after it takes off Cooper’s head.

As the show slowly winds down to an end, Alice and his band eulogize several of Rock’s greats. Enormous gravestones marked with the names of Keith Moon, David Bowie, and Lemmy Kilmister are shown across the back of the stage. After leaving the stage for only moments, Cooper and his band return for an extremely powerful and just-as-shocking encore of “I want to be Elected”, which returns the show to its presidential themes and roots.

Alice Cooper’s “Make America Sick Again” show will be an event that anybody there will never forget, and rightfully shouldn’t. If ever given the chance to go, do not miss out on the concert opportunity of a lifetime by seeing Cooper and his band. His unmatchable stage presence and bone-rattling performances are unreal, and make for a completely unforgettable experience.

[Photo by Joe Leutkehans]

JOE LUETKEHANS