The Independent

Transitions of Sound

Desiree Dylong

November 14, 2012

  Review: 4 stars The album Transitions from C S Yeh (C. Specer Yeh) offers listeners a break from the current norms of pop music.  Throughout the past few years, Yeh has established a name for himself when it comes to experimental music. Transitions, from DE STIJL records,  has a mix of trance-inducing instrumentals and distorted vocals that help to further cement Yeh’s experimental sound. The 10-track album begins with the bass heavy, “The New Guy,” and starts off Transitions with a nice dose of a solid garage rock sound. “Starts with a Look,” brings listeners to more experimental territory with an electro pop sound and distorted monotone vocals that still succeed in entrancing the listener. “Starts with a Look” sparks intrigue due to Yeh’s instrumental style, yet this intrigue fizzles with the third track “Whose Life.” The beginning of “Whose Life” seems promising since it mixes electro pop and garage rock without being too messy, but the track starts to lose its appeal once the vocals come in. The instrumentals juxtapose with Yeh’s off-key vocals, but the song sounds more clumsy than experimental. “Transitions,” is easily a standout song, successfully doling out another jolt to the album as Yeh uses his distorted trance setting vocals once again. The next track, “Masculine Infinity,” is among the more experimental tracks on the album. With echoing vocals and lyrics like, “One year you built a castle. Thrice sons I bared for thee. Spencer one, Spencer two, Spencer three.” At first listen, this track reveals Yeh’s vocals to be a bit jarring. Yet, its synthpop style saves the song by garnering a few more listens. Eventually the vocals become less distracting and more tolerable. “Don’t Make Me Chase You,” further takes listeners into C S Yeh’s experimental style. At first, the vocals seem unintelligible, but after a closer listen Yeh can be heard saying “don’t make me chase you” in a heavily-produced slow drawl. The song continues as he sets an eerie tone while repeating “Don’t make me chase you.” “Rooms on Fire,” keeps the pace of the non-confirmative sound and showcases Yeh’s vocal ingenuity. None of the songs on Transitions sound the same and that is partly because Yeh consistently changes his vocal style. Since his vocals differ in each song, tracks can be very hit or miss for listeners that may not enjoy his more off-key and natural vocals compared to the more produced ones. In “Something Forever,” Yeh returns to his natural voice and, despite its off putting monotone sound, this track works better than “Whose Life.” By the time “Laugh Track” comes on, Yeh’s natural voice grows on a listener. It becomes easier to sit back and enjoy the fearless ingenuity of the album instead of trying to tune it out. Closing out Transitions is “I Can Read Your Mind,” an epic-like track that ends on the trance setting note present throughout Transitions. By the time the album is over, regardless of whether it was enjoyable or not, it is tough to deny that the album brings forth a complete listening experience. Yeh’s vocals are sometimes awkward and jarring, but his skillful attempt to give listeners a sound that they’ve never heard before makes this album memorable and appreciated....

Roky Erickson, Lost Leader of Psychedelic and Horror Rock

Patrick McIntyre

October 31, 2012

Songs detailed with the everlasting charm of two-headed dogs, aliens and demons in love are simply to be respected. Roky Erickson, with his thick tufts of matted hair and increasingly rotund build, is currently living a life nothing short of a blessing to his former self. The proclaimed pioneer of psychedelic rock, with his wildly influential first band The 13th Floor Elevators, was always a man lost in a mainstream pop culture too mild for his tastes.  Tumultuous years of manic drug consumption left Roky bruised and bloodied to the extent his songs often depict.  But as Roky currently performs at 65 and tours the world, when 35 once looked like his peak, his indelible mark on rock now extends well into his golden years. Born in Texas, Roky exemplified the acid era of the ‘60s with the 13th Floor Elevators, championing a raspy and transcendent voice for a group that left numerous treasures for the rock world, including the classic song “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”  With wailing vocals and intense, personal lyrics, the songs Roky delivered felt like nothing else, rightfully earning his recognition in the psychedelic rock genre. A born eccentric, Roky’s mental stability progressively came into question, exasperated by an abundant consumption of marijuana and LSD, and was soon diagnosed as a schizophrenic.  By 1969, a single joint became the elusive beginning to a seemingly endless bout with struggles for Roky.  Faced with a decade-long sentence resulting from the marijuana charge, Roky pleaded not guilty for reasons of insanity to avoid prison.  He spent several years in the state’s Hospital for the Criminally Insane and endured involuntary shock treatment.  The mishandling and useless damage done to Roky resulting from this was tragic at best.  His life would later spiral into madness, with endless stretches of seclusion entombed by ruthless poverty. Released from the hospital in 1974, Roky continued to make music for a time with his backing band the Aliens and forged deeper into the macabre with lyrics delving into monsters and demonic figures, often layering his songs with deep political and social issues—many were simply the incantations of a man put through shock-treatment.  This blend of horror-rock is often the most admired of his entire musical repertoire.  Songs like “Two-Headed Dog” and “Creature with the Atom Brain” perfectly capture Roky’s voice howling about terrifying monsters backed by crunchy guitars.  By the ‘80s, seclusion and instability became deeply entrenched in his life.  Roky rarely produced music, never toured, and utilized the static from television sets to sleep and cope with his descending mental stability.  In 1982, Roky declared publicly his assertion that a Martian had inhabited his body, officially cementing his tenure with madness. Largely absent from public view through the ‘90s, the 2005 documentary You’re Gonna Miss Me reintroduced Roky to a new generation.  It chronicled his life, focusing on his attempts of rebuilding a fractured life and salvaging lost dreams, strongly assisted by the help of family and friends.  By 2007, Roky began touring again, and in 2010 released a new album for the first time in close to more than 20 years.  With the help of Okkervil River as his backing band, Goodbye Sweet Dreams may be Roky’s most intimate portrait of his life and family, with songs focusing on faded dreams and coping with insurmountable hardships.  During a period in his life that it was difficult to believe he doesn’t treasure every moment of, Roky’s voice, and the incredibly influential mark he’s made on rock, resonates deeper and stronger with every passing day. Roky Erickson will be performing Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave. Five Roky Erickson songs for Halloween Night: I Walked with a Zombie Mine Mine Mind Bloody Hammer I Think Up Demons Don’t Shake Me Lucifer...

Music’s Purgatory: An Album

Jacklyn Nowotnik

October 31, 2012

5 STARS When one thinks of Halloween, images of pumpkins, vampires, candy, and colors of orange and black come to mind. Who would ever think to think of purgatory? Luckily Purgatorio: Wrathful Ashes by Righteous Ones gives music lovers a reason to want to be in music limbo. Righteous Ones should be a recognizable name on Northeastern Illinois University’s (NEIU) campus as they have performed for Que Ondee Sola and Union for Puerto Rican Students’ Que la Que Hay event in 2009 and NEIU’s Hip Hop for Haiti event in 2010. Back then Righteous Ones consisted of a few band members that incorporated the live sounds of drums, guitars and vocals into a type of music that combined many elements of different genres. Righteous Ones still incorporates many different genres and stays true to its signature sound. Righteous Ones now consists of lyrical flows by band member Righteous. Although it is now a solo act, Righteous says he kept the name Righteous Ones as a tribute to his old band members. It’s been two years since Righteous Ones’ last album, and while the wait seemed to last like an eternity in music purgatory, music lovers can now go to heaven.  Purgatorio: Wrathful Ashes has an overall dark sound to most its music, but there are a few songs that tickle your funny bone and pull at the heart strings. In track three, “What’s Wrong,” Righteous definitely expresses his dislike for the slaughter of his love of music.  He pokes fun at rappers such as Gucci Mane, Chief Keef, and Waka Flocka, but to really understand the humor you have to listen carefully to the lyrics and the effects on his voice. In track five, “Loving Hate,” Righteous talks about a relationship that many know too well, a relationship that wants to wants to grow in its love but is constantly fighting doubts. Interestingly enough track ten, “LIP,” seems to pay a tribute to NEIU’s Latinas In Power (LIP) organization. Righteous uses slick rhyme and rhythm to address issues of beauty, self esteem and a sense of pride all of which affect the Latina identity. If those songs weren’t enough, the track 16, “Just a Dream (Remix),” is a song that can appeal to anyone as it is about accomplishing one’s dream regardless of the obstacles and doubts. Purgatorio: Wrathful Ashes takes the listener on a wild ride that deals with identity, personal struggle, and musical satire. It combines the musical influences of Midwest rap, rock, jazz, freestyle and club all into one for a sound unlike any other.  Instead asking for tricks or treats this year and hoping for that giant candy bar, treat yourself to the sounds of Purgatorio.  The album will be released on Oct. 31,2012 for seven dollars. For more information, visit

Deadmau5 – Album Title Goes Here

Syed Ahad Hussain, Senior Staff Writer

October 3, 2012

  Dance music enthusiasts rejoice. A new record from Canadian electronic music prodigy Deadmau5 is out now. Just like his previous records, >album title goes here< is another feast for the ears featuring some of today’s big names from various genres, including Wolfgang Gartner, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Cypress Hill, Imogen Heap and Chris James. Joel Zimmerman aka Deadmau5 merges dub step with progressive house, electro house, trance and hip hop, resulting in a surprisingly delightful blend of genres. The album opens with “Superliminal” and “Channel 42” (featuring house music producer Wolfgang Gartner), the track which reminds listeners of Deadmau5’s earlier dub step gems such as “Ghosts N Stuff.” Next on the track list is “The Veldt (8 Minute Edit),” featuring Chris James; the soothing and trance oriented track seems influenced by the works of German producer Paul Van Dyk. “Fn Pig” is another pure Deadmau5-esque dub step track destined to become the next dance floor craze. Gerard Way appears in “Professional Griefers,” a solid electro house track with alternative rock elements that proves to be the best and strongest of the album. “Maths” is a brilliant track—not as boring as its name might suggest. The next track, “There Might Be Coffee,” redefines Deadmau5 as a serious and efficient electro house producer rather than a mere dub step DJ. “Take Care of the Proper Paperwork” brings Zimmerman back to the strong dub step sounds reminiscent of his earlier singles like “Sofi Needs a Ladder” and “This Noise.” “Closer” and “October” are examples of tracks with strong European, particularly German, electronica influences with trance veterans such as Van Dyke, Armin Van Buuren and ATB. The new progressive house direction Deadmau5 has taken with this track is quite impressive and should be applauded. The following track, “Sleepless,” is a haunting, subtle, and hypnotic single which comes across as quite a surprise because with this track, Deadmau5 ascended towards ambient electronica with heavy drums and synthesizers. The track reminds the listener of the down tempo and dream pop sounds of French electronic duo AIR and British trip hop and ambient veterans Zero 7. Next is a hip hop oriented track called “Failbait” featuring Cypress Hill; with gangsta-rap influences, this song will remain on the track lists of radio stations for some time. The album concludes with “Telemiscommunications” featuring Imogen Heap. The track is reminiscent of Deadmau5’s earlier chartbuster “Raise Your Weapon” with a similar structure and layout. With >album title goes here<, Deadmau5 attempted to redefine dance music yet again after 2010’s 4x4=12, and he has succeeded. Deadmau5 should be known and recognized more as a producer of an album like >album title goes here<, rather than of his earlier records because this record surpasses them all with its variety of genre bending and exceptional sounds. The album seems like the celebration of electronic and dance music....

A Doubtful Push and Shove

Aaron Massey, Staff Writer

October 3, 2012

  Electronic dance fans who are eagerly awaiting the next crisp album should wait no longer. The queen of bubble gum pop has once again delivered a new menu of bouncy tunes to put some glitter into one’s day. Coming back from a career centered on songs about being a rich girl touting pirate hooks and rubies, Gwen Stefani has made quite the name for herself amongst the teenage music junkies of our day. A few successful hits and a few sold out tours later, Stefani is eager to make more music with her old band, No Doubt, to make a musical granola bar of rock, ska and pop. For those unfamiliar with the band No Doubt, don't be alarmed, they haven't churned out an original piece of work in over 11 years. Despite all this, the band has kept a steady fan base and their reputation for mediocrity, thus producing their newest album. Push and Shovemay actually be the way this album was intended for you to feel while listening to it, pushed and shoved. While listening to the album one cannot help but notice the constant change between styles and themes as it merges into more than one genre. Push and Shove showcases Stefani’s vocal ability as she belts out pop electronic tunes that she’s known for. The album starts off with their new hit single "Settle Down” an instant radio gem, keeping the hips moving and bass bumping like it should. In a deviation from disco-pop, Push and Shove drops you into a confusing world of fast reggae beats and loud thumping bass kicks, which makes for quite an enjoyable moment. Or to put in the words of bassist Tony Kanal, "Push and Shove is our ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’" After a few more fist pumping dance jams punctuated by a few mediocre love lullabies, the album is over, and a listener is forced to justify the last hour-and-a-half of their life. While the album does have some truly fun moments, it seems to wither away into the back shelves of musical has-beens. Gwen Stefani says it best, "Push and Shove is a series of accidents and mistakes."...

Review: Bloc Party of Four

Jon-Paul Kreatsoulas

September 19, 2012

One of England’s most favored indie rock quartets, Bloc Party, released their fourth studio album, Four on Aug. 20. This is Bloc Party at their loudest and most cut-throat state of being. This is Bloc Party in the pain they needed to be in after four years. The vocals of Kele Okereke, lead guitar man Russell Lisack, rhythmic bassist Gordon Moakes and technical percussionist Matt Tong gathered to produce a different release in comparison to their former 2008 release, Intimacy; a record in which electronic elements were easier to come by as opposed to the traditional guitar band set up that made Bloc Party the post- punk go-to act that put them on the map in 2005 with their debut album Silent Alarm. With the band returning from a four-year hiatus, each member being formerly preoccupied with their own creative side project, Four isn’t necessarily a “back to basics” record. There are familiar nods to fans but there is also a wave of dabbling in things that are of the bands own potential as a collective. A standard release of 12 tracks in just over 43 minutes, Four opens with “So He Begins to Lie,” a heavy drum and guitar piece that whirrs in with feedback to introduce the band after a long absence, followed by “3x3” that is a supernatural sadistic treat. The next track, “Octopus” the album’s first single, seems like filler aside from Lissack’s trickery with his tremolo and delay pedals. “Real Talk” is Okereke’s moment as he exclaims “you’re my one and only friend” with emotion and honesty. It is the album’s simplest song, musically and lyrically and it’s the most enjoyable. “Day Four” will send Bloc Party fans back to when they first discovered Silent Alarm, as memories of “So Here We Are” are made up with Moakes’ strange bass arrangement that fits perfectly. Typically, if someone is familiar with Bloc Party, they could point out a song from the vaguest of riffs or drum improvisations, but “Coliseum” changes all of that. It begins as a western soundtrack, dusty spurs, gun holsters and all, until the lyrics “In time you’ll see/ The Empire never ended” trigger a heavy metal onslaught as it transcends to “Pain is hopeful/ Pain holy/ Pain is healthy/ Pain heals.” And “The Healing” is the band’s collective achievement as far as the album is concerned. It’s a reverb-y, slow jazz lounge burn that gives Matt Tong room to breathe around his drum kit as he is relieved of any sign of tension as listeners envision loose limbs clashing the hi-hat just over the heavenly string arrangement. Four isn’t a perfect album and it will never share the same light as Silent Alarm, but there is always room for growth. It is a project that shows the cramped joints of a band itching to play music together after a long hiatus. With the finished product thoroughly absorbed, the album has legs of its own to stand on without question. If listeners are expecting a second experience of an extended Intimacy phase with samples, synthesizers, bells and whistles, Four will seem like a bust....

Norah Jones – Little Broken Heart

Syed Ahad Hussain, Opinions Editor

September 19, 2012

    “Would you please let me go now?” is the plea of Grammy-winning songstress Norah Jones to her ex-lover in her fifth studio album, “Little Broken Hearts.” Breakups are painful when they are least expected. Jones’ fifth album has a somber and personal feeling like a journal she wrote after her eventual breakup. But don’t let this anecdote misguide you. Little Broken Hearts is one exceptional album with some strong and heart-touching lyrics for the masses, including those like myself who are not die hard Norah fans, to feel and appreciate it. The album marks Norah’s first ever collaboration with Producer Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse. The album is Norah’s departure from a jazz and blues sound present in her first two albums ascending more towards ambient and pop sounds. The album’s opening track ‘Good Morning’ is reminiscent of Norah’s Grammy-winning debut record ‘Come Away with Me.’ This song literally moves one to break- fast. The following track ‘Say Good- bye’ is the heart of the album, summoning its themes of breaking up, letting go and realizing that you are better off alone. With cautionary lyrics like “I know that you’re dyin’ to come back, please come on back/ Well it ain’t easy to stay in love, when you tellin’ lies/ So I’ll just have to take a bow, and say goodbye,” the single comes across as a promise to one’s self to move on with life and leave all the miserable memories of love behind. Next is the titular single, ‘Little Broken Hearts’ a dark, haunting track ideal for a long midnight drive. The song’s beats and higher tempos sound like British synth- pop band Goldfrapp’s earlier re- cords. The song has fantastical, surreal and metaphorical narration of a warrior’s struggle to make a dying relationship work with his princess despite constant failure. “Trying to pick up the pace, trying to make it so I never see your face again, time to throw this away, wanna make sure that you never waste my time does it feel, Oh, how does it feel to be you right now, dear? You broke this apart, So pick up your piece and go away from here, please just let me go now?” The lyrics of chartbuster “Happy Pills” are powerful and heart- touching. Funky beats and haunting chants (Out, I’ve gotta getcha, out of my head, get out!), and an amazing and well constructed accompanying music video make ‘Happy Pills’ the year’s most exceptional and epic song. The final track, ‘All A Dream’ and the last page of Norah’s journal declares her ex-lover her enemy: “Enemy teases every minute in my mind, he’s in my mind, enemy throws all my money away, enemy knows how to make me always pay, I always pay” Norah makes a promise to herself to never see him again and be strong, “to fight off this weakness, and tell him to guard me ‘cause god knows I’m sorry.” She looks forward to what the next morning brings. With Little Broken Hearts, Norah reinvents herself as a classier, elegant, and genre-bending artist. Two things are certain- Norah never disappoints her fans, and secondly, she always accepts the challenge of sounding unique and different in all of her records but still managing the subtlety, smoothness and purity in her songs, a classification that created a league of devoted and loyal fans ever since 2002’s Come Away with Me to this day....

Ocean’s 1 – Big Splash

Joseph Daddario, Staff Writer

September 6, 2012

  Frank Ocean has made a splash, pun intended, with his debut studio album “Channel Orange.” This R&B/neo-soul album does not disappoint. With the advent of iTunes and the ability to buy a single song off of an album, I feel artists have ditched the idea of having an album full of great songs and now focus on dropping an album with 2-3 great songs with the rest as just filler. Ocean’s album does not follow that rule. Overall, the album has 3-5 songs that are just amazing. “Thinkin’ Bout You” and “Crack Rock” are my personal favorites. Although I suggest not singing the chorus of “Crack Rock” while walking down the streets like I have- you may get some pretty strange looks. This is the type of album that you could put on repeat and listen to while doing some chores or cooking, or just relaxing, and never have to worry about skipping a track or hearing that one song on the album you don’t like, all the songs on this album definitely raise the bar for his next album. Frank Ocean has made a splash, pun intended, with his debut studio album Channel Orange. This R&B/neo-soul album does not disappoint. It mixes different styles such as jazz-punk, pop-soul and electro-funk to give it an original one-of-a-kind sound. The album covers subjects such as unrequited love, spirituality, desire, and decadence. Ocean’s songwriting integrates empathic lyrics, dreamlike imagery and descriptive narratives to really draw the listener into his songs. With the advent of iTunes and the ability to buy a single song off of an album, I feel artists have ditched the idea of having an album full of great songs and now focus on dropping an album with 2 to 3 great songs with the rest as just filler. Ocean’s album does not follow that rule. Overall, the album has 3 to 5 songs that are just plain amazing, Thinkin’ Bout You and Crack Rock being personal favorites. Although I suggest you don’t sing the chorus of Crack Rock while you’re walking down the streets like I have. You’ll get some pretty strange looks. This is the type of album that you could put on repeat and listen to it while you’re doing some chores, or cooking, or just relaxing. You never have to worry about skipping a track or hearing that one song on the album you don’t like. Compared to his previous work, Ocean still delivers a smooth sound and great beats. All the songs on this album definitely raise the bar for his next album. To learn more about Frank Ocean, visit him at:

Garbage Emerges With Genre-Defying New Album

Joshua Mueller, Contributing Writer

September 6, 2012

  Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Garbage, the post-grunge electronic pop rock team of producers and one fiery front-woman has been through a lot. After making their hay day in the ‘90s with their self-title debut and their sophomore album Version 2.0, Garbage has seen more than one near-breakup, a sluggish third album sale, a few lengthy gaps between albums and their share of label conflicts. So how does a band that has survived so much make their return to the music scene? By writing an album tailored specifically for the fans that gave them their initial success. Not Your Kind of People is Garbage’s fifth album, but one would be forgiven for mistaking it for their earlier work. Garbage’s third and fourth albums were considered a departure from their first two albums; first venturing into the pop realm with their third album, then into a low-tech rock environment with their fourth album. Not Your Kind of People brings Garbage back to their roots with their signature dirty-production rock and their sound is as refreshing as their debut 17 years ago! Fierce, tender and as unique as ever, Not Your Kind of People is a firm testimony that Garbage hasn't suffered any loss of style in their absence. The album opens with the fast-paced and far-too-catchy Automatic Systematic Habit. A thick groove is pumped into Control. Sugar offers up a vulnerable vocal performance and a sexy bass line. Battle in Me channels Garbage’s famous rocking femme fatale side. And the album is punctuated by the touching and uplifting Beloved Freak. Steve Marker’s unique riffs are refined and rich. Duke Erikson’s siren-like guitar work is irresistibly charming. Shirley Manson’s smoky and sultry vocal work offers up the same seductive appeal that has made her a regular name amongst the great female vocalists in rock. But the most admirable performance comes from legendary producer/drummer Butch Vig, who has ventured away from the rock and roll beats that we are all familiar with and has evolved into new territory. His updated arsenal helps set the band apart from the new generation of bands that Garbage helped inspire more than a decade ago. My glowing admiration aside, the album is not perfect. The heavy-production value serves as a double-edge sword that will serve to make Not Your Kind of People difficult to perform live. Shirley’s vocal work finds itself drowned out in some of the more intense moments of the album. But the biggest mark against the album is probably found in the mid-album song Felt, which comes off as a phoned-in effort at a ‘90s grunge salute. Not Your Kind of People is a rock-solid album, with few holes and even fewer dull moments. The band that can survive anything has shown that they can take it all in stride, and do it with style. Whether you were a fan of their youthful efforts or their more recent projects, you will not find yourself disappointed with their new album.    ...

Cab Drivers and Dream Chasers

Desiree Dylong, Assistant Arts and Life Editor

September 6, 2012

  Cab drivers. Where would city folk be without them? A heaping amount of New Yorkers rely on taxis for transportation, and even the Chicagoan hails a cab from time to time. But what does someone get when they go to Seattle and their Taxi driver is a hippy who goes by the name of Ted Narcotic? You get handed a copy of Because I Like to Do Nice Things for You. No, seriously, that’s what happened to two fellow staff members of the Independent. This random circumstance makes for an interesting story, but what makes it even better is that Ted Narcotic’s album is an experience within itself.  At first listen, his off key sing-talk vocal style is reminiscent of musical figures like Lou Reed and Jonathan Richman. His use of power chords and the audio that sounds like it was recorded in his garage is also what gives the album its nostalgic proto-punk/garage rock sound from the ‘60s. But after fully listening to tracks like Because I Like to Do Nice Things for You, and I Want You Feel You, listeners can experience how Narcotic is not just an imitation of those who came before him. His lyrics are what really set him apart as they lend a sense of humor, but also a fresh take on song writing. In Because I Like to Do Nice Things for You, he expresses his desire to do nice things for someone he cares for. One line in particular goes, “If your car was all dirty and it was covered with bird poop and alcoholic puke, well I’d go ahead and I’d get some soap and some hot water and I’d wash it down/ I’d wash it up and clean it, and I’d do it just for you/ ‘Cause I like to do nice things for you.” At first listen, the phrases of “bird poop” and “alcoholic puke” may bring forth a chuckle and may even make you wonder how sober Ted actually was while writing the song. Sober or not, Narcotic manages to write a new and refreshing type of love song. There are countless love songs that express the same sentiment of how one would go leaps and bounds for their significant other. Yet few songs reach the random yet creative lyrics that Narcotic accomplishes. How many songs out there talk about a guy cleaning up puke and bird poop for a girl simply because he likes doing nice things for her? It’s a fresh take on the expected lyrics one hears in love songs. Anyone who likes to wonder, “How does he come up with this stuff?” when they listen to music, will enjoy Ted Narcotic. Other than his lyrics, it’s also what Ted Narcotic represents that makes the album. Ted is a man who works hard driving a cab but still pursues his music. He’s among the everyday people who brave it out and try their hardest to achieve a goal despite any risk of failure.  Whether or not Ted Narcotic ever achieves any fame is not important; what’s important is that he attempted to.  To learn more about Ted and to hear his music, go to Rating : 4 ½ Stars...

Sons of Mary Rocks It Out!

Lluvia Carrisoza, Visual Media Editor

April 27, 2012

    Photos by NEIU Sons of Mary is a local band led by NEIU student Donald Moreland and his brother Dallas. The band was named after their mother, Mary Moreland, and the brothers have pledged to bring good music for a good price to the masses. Sons of Mary has played venues around the greater Chicagoland area for several years now, and recently played to a packed crowd at the House of Blues on March 29, 2012. They graced the NEIU NestFest event on April 14, 2012, contributing their music styling, which are described as an eclectic mix of hip-hop, jazz, soul and funk. Sons of Mary played original songs as well as innovative covers of current popular hits. Front man Donald Moreland swaggered onto stage wearing a Vikings football helmet, while his brother, drummer Dallas Moreland, surprised the audience by wearing what looked like a cheerleader’s uniform. The first song they performed was a cover of “Can’t Stop” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, sung by Dallas Moreland, with special guest appearance of lyricist R-dub. The second song was a cover of Bruno Mars’ “I Wanna Be a Millionaire” featuring R-dub’s free style rap. They kept the crowd going with originals songs such as “Erase My Heart” and their signature composition, “Calling Me Home.” Band members threw shirts and CDs to the crowd, took over the entire stage, and had everyone’s feet moving. They really stole the show with their energetic performance. For more information on Sons of Mary, or to listen to their music go to their Facebook page:  ...

There’s Always Room for ‘Fun’

Desiree Dylong, Staff Writer

April 27, 2012

  There are some songs that never lose their ability to make you think of the past. One can be up to their nose in frustration while sitting in rush hour traffic, until a familiar song like Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit or Forever Young by Alphaville plays on the radio. Before they realize it, the once frustrated...

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