“22, A Million”: Bon Iver’s New Sound

Whether you pronounce Bon Iver’s name as “Bon Eye-ver” or “Bon Ee-vair” or “Bony Bear”, we can all come to a consensus that Bon Iver has been in our autumn/winter playlists ever since he came out with his first album, “For Emma, Forever Ago”. In his past albums, which includes “Bon Iver, Bon Iver”, the indie folk group maintained a more soothing, folk sound and inputted lyrics that pulled right at your heartstrings.

We’ve been waiting a long time for a new album to be released and finally, after five years, a new masterpiece was given to us. Their new album, “22, A Million” strips the group’s usual slow and relaxing music and creates a totally new sound for Bon Iver. “22, A Million” was released in late September and is the third album to be made by Bon Iver.

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In a press release, Bon Iver’s main singer Justin Vernon stated that “22, A Million is part love letter, part final resting place of two decades of searching for self-understanding like a religion. And the inner-resolution of maybe never finding that understanding. The album’s 10 poly-fi recordings are a collection of sacred moments, love’s torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard as coincidence. If Bon Iver, Bon Iver built a habitat rooted in physical spaces, then 22, A Million is the letting go of that attachment to a place.”

Something unique that stood out in this album was Bon Iver’s new way of conveying feelings through their music. In past albums, it relied solely on their lyrics and the way the instruments interacted with each other. In 22, A Million”, they branched out and started using new techniques in their music such as more auto tune and a new technique called “the Messina” (named after their engineer, Chris Messina) in which they were able to harmonize Vernon’s vocals with live musical instruments. Most of the vocals in this album are heard to be more distorted, almost alien-like, adding a different/unique flair to this album compared to his past albums. You’d think that it would take away from the raw emotion of brilliant, heart-felt lyrics, but as I said earlier, it’s simply just added techniques to convey different aspects of how Vernon is feeling.

jv1A few strong tracks from this album includes “29 #Strafford APTSand “715 – CR∑∑KS”.

Take a listen to their new album and don’t forget to listen to my radio show at 11 PM on Tuesdays!

Ashley Bajet, signing out.

Beach Goth 2016: Success or Bust?

Over the weekend, I was able to attend Beach Goth 2016 presented by The Growlers! Lately, there’s been much debate as to whether or not this event was successful or just a hot mess. Personally, the bands that did play were amazing! However, I think in this festival’s case, the negatives outweighed the amazing set-list.

First off, they changed the location weeks before the actual event. Initially, The Growlers planned to have the event be at Oak Canyon Park, a very spacious and peaceful venue where many festivals are held. However, they silently changed the location on the actual event page to their usual business park parking lot venue without addressing it to people who already bought their tickets until a couple days later. The lack of communication played a factor in the outcries of many event attendees who were unsatisfied with their experience.

Beach Goth

Second, the security (although mostly seen in a bad light anyways) is getting major hate from festival-goers who claim they were mishandled/mistreated. Although I have no context for this situation, many are upset about two men getting beat up by the security at Beach Goth (watch the video here).

Third, there was a huge issue of overcrowding. I felt as if a couple fire codes were broken during the festival in all honesty. The tickets for Beach Goth seemed to be oversold, thus making every stage very crowded. Having the stages crowded made it hazardous for many festival goers. Many were crammed like sardines (being uncomfortably stuck between 4-5 people), and on the first day, some even passed out due to heat exhaustion. On day 2, the weather took a turn for the worse. It started raining — and instead of being crammed together in the heat, we were crammed together in the rain — which definitely put everyone in a goth mood.

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Beach GothFourth, even though the event stated it was a “rain or shine” event, Beach Goth was proven to not be a “rain or shine” event. Once it started raining, festival goers made a bee-line to the indoor stages to take shelter from the rain. However, the indoor stages can only take so many people. Crowd control for this problem was handled poorly, with many people cutting in the line to get in and many people trying to force their way in. Here’s a good video portraying the many people crowding the entrance of the indoor stages of the OC Observatory. Not only was the crowd control an issue, Beach Goth had to shut down one of the stages due to flooding, thus having to move the acts from that stage to the indoor stages and having the festival goers confused as to what time and where the acts would perform! For example, The Drums had to play at the smallest indoor stage (Constellation Room). Grimes (one of the headliners) had to even cancel her show due to the rain ruining their equipment. View her tweet below!

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Fifth, the food was below average and there were no water stations! Our 8 inch pizza was half crust and half actual pizza. It was $11. Not only that, but there were no water fountains or water refill stations. So whenever we were thirsty, we had to pay $3 for a water. This definitely played a role in making many people mad at the festival planners.

Anyways, enough of being a negative nelly. The show (minus Grimes) went on and I’m glad to have seen such big names such as King Krule, Bon Iver, and Violent Femmes.

Thanks for listening to my rant and tune in to my 11 pm radio show on Tuesdays!

#TEAMELLEN – Breast Cancer Awareness

October – the month known for all the spooky scary skeletons, demons, and ghouls that come out to play. However, to many across the globe, it also represents a month of strength to those who have braved and taken on one of the scariest trials anyone can ever face: cancer.

Specifically, breast cancer, as October is the official month for breast cancer awareness.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, it’s estimated that over 246,000 women in the United States alone will be diagnosed with breast cancer, as it’s most common among women worldwide. In contrast to that, however, there are 2.8 million women survivors in America today.

With that being said, I not only want to raise more awareness about this, but also send praise to someone in my life who is currently fighting the hard battle against breast cancer.

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Source: Coral Avery

Meet Ellen Erickson. Home grown San Diegan of 20 years old, as of today. (Happy birthday, El!) I’ve personally known her for nearly eight years, through our family’s deep love and devotion to baseball. When we first met, Ellen was already fighting the battle against cancer, specifically with Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that was located in her left knee. Besides the many treatments and doctor visits she underwent during this time, this period in her life took a huge toll on her physically, mentally, and emotionally, as it did for her family and loved ones as well.

But, it never stopped her from having the brightest smile in the room, no matter what the circumstance was.

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Source: Giselle Jasmin

And after years of battling with Osteosarcoma, that smile never faded. Throughout all her struggles, family and loved ones watched Ellen as she blossomed into the strong, beautiful young woman she is today. Graduating from Eastlake High School in 2014, Ellen grew not only in her accomplishments, but in strength as a survivor as well. She attends Camp Reach For the Sky annually, always meeting both new and old cancer survivors throughout the years, bringing both the love and compassion she shares equally with anyone and everyone she meets.

So when her diagnosis of breast cancer came back this year, that love that she cultivated and spread out amongst everyone she met came back in more ways than I could ever count.

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Source: Cyndi Erickson

From t-shirts, wristbands, pink hair, fundraisers, and shaved heads, support from the Eastlake community and even worldwide came together to show their love and support for Ellen as she takes on cancer for a second time in her lifetime.

As the battle continues through chemo therapy, Ellen continues to be the strong individual that I’ve always known her to be. So here’s to you, Ellen Erickson: may you kick cancer’s ass for a final second battle, and continue to inspire many, many more to follow in your strength and love to overcome anything that stands in their way.

And to the countless others who have taken on breast cancer- or any cancer for that matter-, may you continue to fight and inspire, and never lose faith.

Now Listening: Solange

Hey dudes and dudettes! I hope you like power house because oh man! Solange is killin’ it with her new album. A Seat at the Table was released a few weeks ago. Just like her older sister Beyoncé, Solange is a queen. She compiles R&B with soul and jazz to eloquently create an album worth talking about.

Solange has beautifully grown into herself as a woman and is shares her art in an exquisite way. A Seat at the Table is soft yet stern. Solange is empowered in her identity and independence. Rich, generous, and honest, this album is already a historical landmark for black cultural and social history.

A Seat at the Table documents the struggle of indignities of the current society in 2016. Artistic and emotionally rich, this album is open and radical. Solange does so all the while opening songs with rich piano solos and jazzy ensembles. Her R&B roots show through in a minimalist way. Beats, bass lines, synths, drowsy horns and trembling guitars, Solange pays tribute to the era and funk and soulful groove.

Impressive and provoking, Solange’s A Seat at the Table is a remarkable album full of power that is brutally honest and tender. It transcends space and time and will be a beautiful artifact from 2016 forever and ever.

Check out a few of the best tracks below. ❃