They Did What? – Jonas Brothers

A series dedicated to what the media does not broadcast about your favorite musical artist. Now, I present to you the Jonas Brothers.

The infamous Kevin, Joe, and Nick. The Jonas Brothers are back together in 2019. If you were to ask anyone a year ago if this band would reunite no one would have guessed it.

Where did the brothers come from?

The Jonas Brothers have had an interesting ride to success and their career is unlike any other musical group to ever exist. Coming from a small town in New Jersey with a family that does not have much money, to signing a record deal, then getting dropped, to get a gig with Disney channel, to prove themselves as artists, to breaking up, to reuniting as a band. It has been a bumpy ride for the band but they could not be in a better state than they are in today. Happiness truly begins with this new era.

Disney Days

Becoming famous from Disney Channel can have its negatives in this day and age. The brothers even admit on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden that they were robots back in the Disney days. They were afraid to be themselves because Disney was a clean-cut “machine,” as Nick says, that was giving them this opportunity to be performers while also controlling their actions in a way. Artists who come from Disney are often viewed as artists who only appeal to younger audiences who don’t have real talent. Because of how fast their life changed from Disney, the boys were scared of it leaving just as quick as it came; they were afraid to be themselves. This was all a part of the Disney management, as they were expected to keep a squeaky clean reputation.

What people may not know is the reason the Jonas Brothers were even considered by Disney was that they were already a band putting out music. In the documentary, which was released on Amazon this past year, Nick says that many people think they were a manufactured group put together by the Disney, but in fact, they were signed to a record company before Disney and started writing and performing songs together at a very young age.

Did you know that the Jonas Brothers write all of their own lyrics?

In the new documentary, it revealed that one of their most famous songs, “Lovebug“, was written by Nick in response to his first real love with co-Disney star Miley Cyrus. Not only can the brothers perform, but they are also all songwriters. Their newest album, Happiness Begins, was all written by the brothers themselves. This album reflects where they are in life showing love and happiness to the world.

The Jonas Brothers worked very hard to be where they are today.

They were dropped from a record label after their first album release.  At the same time, their family was living in a two-bedroom apartment because their dad lost his job at a church. The family began to receive judgment from the church due to the brothers not singing Christian music. This was one of the lowest points for their careers and also their personal life. However, the brothers kept pushing towards their dreams; they had no other choice but to keep trying. Then one day… Disney called and changed their whole life.

Never give up.

Disney may have helped them skyrocket their fame but they are always performers and talented young men. They prevail through the hard times and reach the light at the end of the tunnel. The brothers wrote the majority of their self-titled album in that one apartment basement during the most difficult time of their life.  They never gave up on their dreams. In life, you cannot appreciate the happy times without going through the hardships. One thing that people need to understand is how the brothers represent hard work and dedication and to never give up on what you want in life.

The Jonas Brothers always thank Disney for what they did for them but in the documentary, they all agree that they regret doing the second season of their show, Jonas, because it was not who they were anymore. It felt too young for them and feel like it stunted their growth as a band. They were young adults wanting to continue on with life but were stuck in a show for children playing a 14-year-old at age 23, as Joe says in the Bazaar interview from this year.

The Music

The Jonas Brothers produce catchy music that people jam to all the time. However, what people do not notice is the deeper meaning behind these songs. The brothers are just normal human beings from a small town who happen to write songs and perform. Have you ever stopped and actually listened and processed the lyrics you are so energetically singing? One big hit song they have is called “Hold On” which is about how you have to keep pushing through the hard times life throws at you. It is not the happiest of songs lyrically, but the brothers paired the words to an upbeat tempo that makes for a great anthem to sing when one is feeling down.

“There’s more to life than just to live, ’cause an empty room can be so loud
It’s too many tears to drown them out, One single smile a helping hand
It’s not that hard to be a friend
So don’t give up stand ’til the end.”

Hold On – Jonas Brothers

The brother dynamic and connection that they bring to their songs and performances is undeniable. In their most recent performances since their reunion, their presence oozes happiness. They brought together the band because they missed the magic that was the Jonas Brothers. All they were craving was to be happy together again and playing music.

I can say from personal experience that the Jonas Brothers are incredible live performers. The feeling they bring to their concerts is something that only brothers can create. Happiness truly begins at the start of their shows.

Break up?

You may or may not know that when the band broke up it was not at all a happy moment for anyone, including Kevin, Joe, and Nick. It was not a mutual break up, as Nick was the one to say that the Jonas Brothers should be no more. In their new documentary, you find out that the brothers did not even talk after they called it quits for the time being. I cannot imagine not talking to your best friends for more than a day. They went through a rough patch as a family but it was much needed for them to come back even stronger. What makes the Jonas brothers so relatable is that they do not hide anything in regards to their journey as a band and family.

Diabetes Turned Positive.

At the beginning of the Jonas Brothers journey, Nick was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 13. This was a hurdle in his life that he has now found a way to help others who have the same chronic diagnosis. He is the co-founder of Beyond Type 1 which is an organization that uses social media to educate young people on how to live with type 1 diabetes. Nick has been vocal about how he knew no one with diabetes and felt alone when he was diagnosed. He uses his platform to help others not feel the same way he did. Nick even posted on Instagram that it has been 13 years since he was diagnosed and he is now a happy and healthy man.

Click here for the full post

He vocalizes that it can be hard but you can live with this disease as long as you take care of yourself. Out of all that, Nick wrote a song called “A Little Bit Longerback in 2007 that was about his diagnosis. He embraced his sadness and fear in the song and hopes that it can help people living with the same disease. That is what music is all about.

I am so happy the Jonas Brother are back together. When they were younger, the media was so caught up in the purity ring “scandal” that they were not focused on the music. Side note, if you don’t know what the purity ring scandal is, then watch this interview here where the brothers explain it. It was a running joke that every media platform loved to talk about. People began to question the Jonas Brothers for no reason. Nick expresses what it felt like back then.

“The very simple answer is that it was incredibly annoying. And then it became a defining factor of who we were as a band, which was disappointing. I was just trying to navigate love, and romance, and what sex even meant to me, at a sensitive age. The question should have been: Is it appropriate for people to talk about a 16-year-old’s sex life? It’s absolutely not—and it wouldn’t necessarily fly today.”

Nick Jonas – Bazaar, 2019

This Happiness begins album is the start of a new era for them.

The Jonas Brothers stand for those small-town kids who may think they cannot go anywhere in life. Never stray away from your dreams no matter what happens. Keep pushing for what you believe in. In the spirit of the Jonas Brothers, chase the happiness you are so longing for in life. Happiness is what matters in life and the Jonas Brothers have now shared that with the world.

Written By: Adrienne Murdock

Sunflower Seeds: Holiday Cheer!

It’s time for Holiday Cheer! Christmas is coming up in a few short weeks, so here are some family friendly holiday activities to do in San Diego!

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (November 10 – December 29, 2019)

Balboa Park is decked out in “Whoville” decorations in the plaza outside the Old Globe Theater. They are on display in correlations with the theater’s annual holiday production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Hotel del Coronado: Skating by the Sea (November 26, 2019 – January 5, 2020)

Take your ice skates to this spectacular beachfront ice rink with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean while benefiting Make-A-Wish San Diego. You can even reserve your own rink side lounge at Frostbite – A Place to Chill; guests will enjoy skating passes and seating around a fire pit with full food and beverage service. 

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights (December 14, 2019)

This free event features boats decorated for the annual holiday season that will take place in Mission Bay. The parade begins at 6:00 PM from Quivira Basin. To end the parade, fireworks ill be displayed and the Sea World Sky Tower Tree of Lights will be lit at 9:00 PM.

The Vet + Pet West Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade (December 15, 2019)

This holiday furry friendly event returns to Downtown San Diego to take over the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. Pet owners and their furry companions are invited to deck their paws with their favorite holiday costumes for this jolly promenade.  

Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade  (December 26, 2019)

Watch America’s largest balloon parade during the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade. This event brings marching bands, beautiful floats, drill teams, and a procession of enormous balloons to the bayside streets of downtown San Diego.

There are so many more Holiday Events in San Diego, but I just listed a few unique ones that I think you should do during this holiday season! You can find even more holiday events here!

Written by: Nina Capuani

An Experimental Album Collective: Oscar Lang, Big Thief, and More

I decided to do an experimental four album collective review and recommendation this week. These four albums from Oscar Lang, Big Thief, Meth Wax, and Keane are ones I’ve just recently been getting into, and I’ve been loving all of the varying genres and moods that come along with each one.

Oscar Lang’s release gives off a more indie and thrilling vibe, while Big Thief is more eerie, warm, and noisy. Meth wax is explosive, wild and punchy whereas Keane emits a softer, more nostalgic mood. Overall, these four LP’s have something to offer everyone, no matter the music preference or taste. All four are dynamic, emotional, and thrilling experiences. These are definitely some of my go-to’s when picking from my record collection.

1. Oscar Lang – bops etc. 

A friend recently recommended this album and it perfectly fits the mood of waiting for school break and reminiscing on summer. It was released in June of this year and recently on the Dirty Hit record label. Being 6 songs, it is more of an EP, but the mood and feeling is summed up overall in these few tunes. I especially like the light mood around all of the tracks and how airy the record feels and sounds. “French Girl” definitely stood out to me, the melody is strong yet up and down. It also features Johnny Utah, who is a great indie-go to and is known for his song “Honeypie.” The synth is very arpeggiated and I like it in front with the guitar, bass, and drums being more focused towards the back. “Change,” being more guitar focused, is a cute, nostalgic tune with catchy lyrics; the walking bass line gives the slower guitar chords a boppy groove. The last track, “Pull Me Up,” is a ballad type song over hearty synth and slower drum beats. This is a great one for indie and alternative listeners.

2. Big Thief – Masterpiece

Every melody on this line surprises me and leaves me grabbing for more. Adrianne Lenker’s vocals stand out against the music yet complement it so perfectly at the same time. Her voice is elegant and soft yet so strong, being fitting for the genres Big Thief fronts. The guitar riffs beautifully go against the vocals and melodies of each song. The chords are surprising which is very refreshing when listening to Masterpiece as I feel as if I’m experiencing something new every time I listen. Every song on this album gives off ease and confidence, yet angst through the dynamics, shifts, and balance between the full band at times and the guitar and vocals at others.

The whole album feels like a long, heartwarming, reassuring journey through the depth of lyrics and maturity of sound over the 12 tracks. Two songs that particularly stand out are “Little Arrow” and “Velvet Ring.” “Little Arrow” sounds like it is played over an old radio or cassette machine; a more lo-fi track with just guitar and vocals. “Velvet Ring” is one of the only acoustic songs, the guitar picking style and walkdown chord choice vary to the rest of the album but nonetheless, fit it in a perfect way. The melody choice and lyrics are immensely unique here, and go so well with the background noises that it almost sounds eerie. Overall, I would rate this album a 10/10 and definitely recommend it to anyone who likes alternative and experimental music.

3. Meth Wax – Meth Wax

The lower quality of this album gives it a lot of character and makes all the difference in the energy that the album gives off to the listener. This lo-fi garage group gives off a slower, grunge vibe but there are also a few more upbeat, surfy tracks that stand out. Instrumentally, the production is the perfect pop-punk and garage tone and release. The guitar has a deep gutty and punchy feel to it and the drums are washy, muted, and perfectly balanced between surfy breaks and beatdowns and head banging fills. The vocals and lyrics are especially unique, being fronted and catchy. Released in 2016, this independent release is an easy listen and great for driving, hanging out, or just as background music. This release is an engaging and impressive listening experience, it mixes non-serious topics with deeper subjects together. I recommend to any Ty Segall fans or any lofi, garage, or punk lovers. 

4. Keane – Under The Iron Sea

One of my best friends recently showed me this album and I fell in love with it the second I started listening. This is a sentimental and mesmerizing album. Under the Iron Sea is my go-to rainy day album and it is a great walking and driving album as well. This release, being an older album from around 2006, captures the listener and takes them on a journey of finding themselves and being in the world. The lyrical content is hooking and powerfully written, alongside the string instrumentals, almost unnoticeable harmonies, and fronted piano lines and chords. It feels like a winter cold fairy tale, and a sense of warmth coming from it, almost like a fever dream. My favorite track is definitely “A Bad Dream” as it’s almost nostalgic and makes me feel like I’m in a different time period. Dominic Scott’s vocal range is always surprising and leaves the listener not knowing what is coming next. Keane’s music feels somber yet refreshing, and I’m always in the mood for it.

These four albums are there for any mood and time, and have become some of my favorite records over this past fall season. Hopefully, this becomes a new favorite record for someone or a song that makes someones day. Have a great winter break, stay warm, and keep updated for more tunes to come!

Written by: Jesse Miller

The Art of Makeup

I started playing with makeup when I was four-years-old. I would sneak into my mother’s bathroom and smear my face with lipstick and pat eyeshadow onto my cheeks because I thought makeup would make me as beautiful as my favorite Disney princesses. Since then, my longing for beauty has grown into my love for artistic expression.

For a long time, makeup has been a tool to shame women. Makeup has been used to make women seem unintelligent and shallow as if we care about nothing else besides our appearance. Men have made jokes about taking women swimming on the first date to see if we are attractive or not without makeup. Women even get shamed by other women who base their personality off of how they are “not like other girls.”

Some people do wear makeup to hide their insecurities, and maybe we do need to talk about why we feel like we need to look attractive at all times, but many of us genuinely enjoy wearing makeup. Why do we feel the need to shame women for doing what they enjoy? Why is anything associated with femininity taken as a joke? Some people, especially men who are attracted to us, love to tell us that we look better without makeup as if that is a compliment, but it is actually degrading and frankly many of us do not care to hear it.

Art is for Everyone

Makeup isn’t reserved for people who identify as a woman. As seen by YouTube’s (chaotic) beauty community, makeup can be enjoyed by anyone. Men, or people who appear to look more masculine, are often shamed for wearing makeup as well. When men wear makeup they are often insulted and told that they appear too feminine as if that is a bad thing. If art is neither reserved for men or women, then the line should not be drawn at makeup. Promoting the idea that makeup isn’t tied to gender can help young girls, boys, and everyone else explore their artistic abilities without fearing judgment.

My Favorite Artist

My favorite makeup artist is not anyone I’ve seen on YouTube, but someone who I’ve known for her entire life, my sixteen-year-old cousin Halle. Halle dreams of going to cosmetology school and becoming a makeup artist for actors, and I absolutely believe that she is capable of fulfilling that dream. When Halle does makeup, she doesn’t simply do typical everyday looks, she makes her face look so unique that it looks like a painting that belongs in a museum. She pays close attention to the colors she chooses and all her looks require such intricacy that many of us (including myself) do not have the patience or the talent to do.

When I look at Halle, I wonder how anyone could not understand that makeup is a serious art form. I was never very artistic growing up, but knowing Halle has caused me to bring out my creative side and try bold makeup looks that make people stare. Next time someone has something negative to say about wearing makeup, remember that you are an artist and not everyone appreciates art.

Written by: Maya Dixon
Photos by: Halle Wilson