Archive for the ‘md’ Category

The Art of Stencil Apparel

April 14, 2008

Who knew that a stencil, spray paint and a shirt could make a great piece of clothing? This is Drew Dawes’s approach to making his signature clothing. He simply searches Google Images for what he wants, draws that image on a stencil, cuts it out and spraypaints it onto a piece of clothing.

Drew first started making stencil apparel for his high school band The Pones. After that he started making clothes for his Geneva-connected band Heart 2 Hart.

Megan Drew took the opportunity to sit down with him and ask him a few questions over lunch.

Megan: My favorite work that you stencil is the people. Do you enjoy stenciling people?

Drew: Yeah, no one really knows who they are, you know? So only those who know who that person is get a kick out of it.

Megan: Do you ever sell your apparel?

Drew: I started a fake company called Dazé. It turned a small profit but it was just over one summer.

Megan: How do you know what to make?

Drew: I just make what I want and if people like it and want it then I give it to them.

Megan: The question that everyone has now is: can we place orders?

Drew: Yes! adawes[at]geneva[dot]edu is my e-mail. It would be best if people would bring their own shirt or sweatshirt or whatever because the costs will be lower and that way we know it fits.

I have been impressed with Drew’s ability ever since I traded him my high school field hockey shirt with “DREW” on the back for his Pones t-shirt. His work is both impressive and stylish. I think everything looks better in stencil now.

Megan Drew

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Alanis Morissette: Live in Reading, PA

March 20, 2008

Some naysayers call her a man-hating, greasy, angry femi-Nazi, but that’s what I love about Alanis. I don’t mean that I am any of the above or that I think those qualities are always a good thing, but if that’s what makes her produce the music on the Jagged Little Pill tape that my dad no-so-randomly bought me just to spite my mom, then so be it. That tape changed my life at the impressionable age of thirteen. It changed the way I dressed, what I listened to and how I acted.

I drove four and a half hours and spent $70 on a ticket to see Alanis in Reading, Pa. Some people think that is too far and too much money to see a concert. But I say that it wasn’t far enough! It wasn’t expensive enough! I would take back any of the great concerts I’ve been to just to see Alanis. She founded my musical experience — how do you pay somebody back for that?

She opened perfectly with the powerful and haunting “Uninvited.” Her hour-long set hit every one of my favorite songs (except her hidden track on JLP; please listen to it), and she concentrated mainly on Jagged Little Pill with “Ironic,” “Hand in My Pocket” and “You Ought To Know.” She also pulled songs from some of her other albums, though. It was a beautiful performance, just like I knew it would be.

I thought I had missed the chance when I was young to see many great bands while they were in their prime. I guess that must be why this concert meant so much to me. I thought that I would miss Alanis perform live and experience that same feeling that I got as a grungy 13-year-old. If you think that is crazy or dumb, then I don’t want to be sane or smart because I know that you have a band that meant so much to you growing up that you would drive more than four-and-a-half hours and drop more than $70 to see.

-Megan Drew

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Dustin Kensrue – Please Come Home (2007)

February 26, 2007
“I get a little heady with the Thrice songs. And I like doing that—I think people like engaging in that—but I wanted these to be more folky, in the sense that this is music coming from a natural place.” Thrice frontman Dustin Kensrue’s newly released solo album came about this way, as an outlet for his songwriting outside of his band.

Please Come Home is an eight track album that pulls from a variety of musical directions. Kensrue and guitarist Teppei Teranishi crafted this album using heavy folk, country and blues tones while adding a driving beat that leads you through the song. The first ten seconds of the CD begin with a fast guitar while the last ten seconds of the CD end with a slow drumming and quiet cymbals. Kensrue reaches to each of those rustic genres in individual songs in addition to fraternizing them; this combination is done with his use of guitar, drums, bass, organ and harmonica.

Many of his songs deal with girls, drinking, bars and cars. While Kensrue is a Christian–but not an exclusively “Christian artist”–his lyrics show a clear witness of Kensrue coming to grips with his faith. His voice in Please Come Home is harsh and similar to that of Gavin DeGraw, moreso than his work with Thrice.

The transition from the vocalist of an emocore band to a rough folk singer may seem to be unnatural, but Kensrue presents it effortlessly.

–md

Third Places

February 21, 2007

For competitive individuals, coming in third place just isn’t acceptable. But I am not writing this to talk about the third place in a negative light but probably the most positive light that the third place has been talked about, ever.

What I am talking about is the term “The Third Place” coined by Ray Oldenburg (Oldenburg is an urban sociologist and author of Celebrating the Third Place and The Great Good Place and a contributor to Parallel Utopias: The Quest for Community). There are three places in our lives. The First Place is home. The Second Place is work. I couldn’t define The Third Place in one word and neither could Oldenburg. To quote, he says that Third Places “host the regular, voluntary, informal, and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work.” Third Places become a neutral ground for meeting and provide a no pressure atmosphere.

Third Places are typically thought of as coffee shops. While coffee shops definitely attract a Third Place atmosphere we are not limited to that. Other Third Places could be parks, bars, even sidewalks or hardware stores like Kelly’s in Beaver Falls.

To some frequenters, the Beaver Falls Coffee & Tea Company may already be a Third Place. That is exactly what owners Russell and Bethany Warren desired for their business; they understood the need for a comfortable, relaxed place where you don’t necessarily have to be, but rather choose to be.

The need of association is the main point to draw from this concept. Home is where you live and work, you have to go there but do you have a place that you are compelled to be? Sorry to bust your Geneva bubble, but if you don’t have a third place then you are depriving yourself of the essential necessity of association. If you don’t have one then you’re depriving yourself of the essential necessity of association.

Interested in reading more? Celebrating The Third Place and The Great Good Place can both be found on the bookshelves at BFC&T and the McCartney Library.

–md

Pilot Speed – Into the West (2006)

February 7, 2007
If you’re into the voice of Bono and the music of Radiohead then Pilot Speed’s latest album, Into the West, is one worth putting on your never-ending list of albums to buy. Even if you don’t dig U2 or Radiohead I dare you to not be impressed with the poetry of this Canadian band’s lyrics.

The continuity of this twelve track disc alone is enough to draw a person into their message. Their overarching theme focuses on the pains of the world. In this theme they draw out the search for self, wrestle with the idea of what love is all about, and simply say that life isn’t simple. The symbolism of light and darkness in ten out of the twelve songs can not be overlooked all the while. We see this is “Barley Listening” with lines like “Light tears through open windows/for now the day has won.”

The band contrasts that with track eight “Into Your Hideout” with lines like “I’ll still kiss the darkness/what I’ve wasted I’ll still taste it.” This drastic contrast appears in their music as well as their lyrics. “Hold The Line” could be easily mistaken as an easy going U2 song while “Ambulance” begins with a head-bopping intro. Why listen to this album? For lines like this, “I hear the drum/I just can’t keep the beat” from “Turn the Lights On.”

Best listening environment for this album: driving.

–md