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Check out the new album review this week:

Christina Perri: Head or Heart

             Christina Perri broke out with some of the most depressingly beautiful ballads on her debut album, lovestrong.  The Philadelphia native was destined for the artist lifestyle taking after her brother Nick, who has played with the likes of Perry Farrell and Shinedown.  When she first began learning the piano, she claims that her songs were written almost organically.  The immediate response from her first single, “Jar of Hearts” sprung a record deal with Atlantic.  Since then, Perri has been capturing the hearts of her fans by seemingly taking her diary entries riddled with her personal demons and planting them to grow into artistic success and inspiration.

The biggest concern was whether or not the sophomore release would be another set of songs subliminally bashing the same ostracized lover.  Fans have been taken on an exciting journey in anticipation for the release of Head or Heart.  Now they must prepare themselves for the emotional journey.  She mixes her love-note ballads with upbeat new tracks like the roaring “Burning Gold” and the positively quirky duet with Ed Sheeren, “Be My Forever”.  Perri goes back to the well with the first single “Human” and the newest gut-wrenching tune “Sea of Lovers”.  Industry experts are quickly realizing that she may be most effective when it involves an unplugged piano and her engaging melodies.

Perri has incredible control over her voice and how she chooses to utilize it in her recordings.  In a moment’s notice, she can change volume, tone, or pitch angelically and open up her virtual basket of feelings.  This transfers over to the mixture of the album when Perri introduces her triumphant expressionist style and poetic motivation.  Most artists that deliver smash hits on their first time around crumble under the pressure of failing to freshen their sound and cash in on short-lived stardom.  She claimed new territory with this album and solidified her ability to tell a balanced and beautiful story.

 

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Tracks: “Burning Gold”, “Be My Forever”, “Sea of Lovers”

 

Shakira- Self Titled

Shakira has come a long way since she first burst onto the music scene twenty years ago as a Latin pop star. Now a bonafide world pop icon, a coach on the hit singing competition show The Voice, and a proud mom, the Colombian singer-songwriter releases her tenth eponymous album. In her latest effort, she sticks with what she knows best from her Latin roots but incorporates a variety of different music genres.

             The album opens up with “Dare (La la La)” and it sounds like a huge celebration that mirrors Carnival in Rio. It has such a huge global sound that could get the whole world up on its feet and start dancing.  “Can’t Remember to Forget You” is the lead single, which features the best of both worlds with the reggae flavor from Rihanna and the Latin elements from Shakira. Their voices complement each other and therefore, it works. “Empire” is such a grand song but it also has this intimate feel to it. It starts quiet, much like the building of an empire.  Then it just progressively gets louder and its booming, much like a conqueror of an empire. “You Don’t Care About Me” lacks spark with flat lyrics and monotonous sounds.

“Cut Me Deep” is a collaboration with reggae-pop group Magic!  It’s an interesting mixture of reggae, pop, and ska which may be overwhelming if not blended properly but for this song, it’s a good mix. “The most unlikely collaboration on this album is with Blake Shelton on “Medicine” manages to actually be a winning combination. Their dynamics are spot on and this song has the potential to be a crossover hit on both pop and country radio stations. “23” is a love song that talks about Shakira’s boyfriend, Gerard Pique, and how destiny brought them together. “Broken Record” is another personal song that talks about her son, Milan and with that and “23”, they’re her strongest songs on this album.

Shakira’s eponymous album is a great effort that takes all different genres to produce something more than a pop album. She’s come a long way from her Latin roots and has almost come into full circle of Americanizing her sound, making her more accessible to a wider audience.

Recommended Tracks: “Can’t Remember to Forget You”, “Empire”, “Medicine”

 

Overall: 8/10

 

By: Katharine Bourg

Foster the People- Supermodel

Foster the People: “Supermodel” Album Review

By Tyler Bachman

            It’s been 3 years since California Indie rockers Foster the People took over the world with their chart topping debut record Torches. A summer record that perhaps hoisted the seasons biggest hit “Pumped up Kicks” put the Los Angeles trio on the map, and now the group is back with their highly anticipated sophomore follow up in the beginning of spring.

The album is called Supermodel, and judging from the name alone you almost have to expect an extraordinary sound to go along with the visual. From the beginning of the record, band-leader and songwriter Mark Foster does not disappoint with this notion. The first two tracks show a new, more sophisticated side to the band that was not heard nearly as much on Torches. That same 80’s synth driven beach rock that was so catchy to the ear is now fused with hints of jazz tempos and driving bass lines in the rhythm section. Let’s not confuse this with a concept album though. The first single off of the sophomore record called “Coming of Age,” shimmers just as much pop glory as “Pumped up Kicks” did three long years ago. This time however, the top ten single comes in a new formula.

Progressing through the heart of the album, we hear songs like “Pseudologia Fantastica” and “A Beginners Guide to Destroying the Moon,” that are reminiscent of the spacey synthesizer driven tunes we are used to hearing from Foster the People.  Supermodel is certainly not a major departure for the group, but this time every song on the record shows that the band can write a well-balanced story.  Perhaps one of the best things that this listener noticed, is that throughout the record, a fair amount of stripped down guitar parts accompany a wide array of vocal harmony.  A major drawback from Torches was that the same formula was used for almost every song; “keyboard programming, followed by a driving drum beat.” This time however, Foster changes up his writing style, giving us the best of the writing spectrum. Songs like “Fire Escape” tie the album together, hinting at a cross between the Beach Boys and Bon Iver.

Overall, Supermodel is a solid follow up for Foster the People. Judging by the influence on the record, FTP seems to be exploring many new techniques, all while keeping their own style in mind. Will it have the same commercial success that “Torches” brought? Maybe, maybe not. Supermodel has the potential to blow up, and brings the ability to please both the average party goer and hardcore hipster.

 

Recommended Tracks: “Coming of Age”, “Pseudologia Fantastica”

Overall: 8/10

-          Tyler Bachman


Check out all our album reviews!

 

Area concerts happening in your neck of the woods!


Avicii “#TRUETOUR”

Avicii #TRUETOUR

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Allstate Arena

6920 North Mannheim Road

Rosemont, IL 60018

Doors Open: 7:30pm

For Tickets Click, HERE.

The Avett Brothers- February 13, 2014

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U.S. Cellular Coliseum

101 South Madison Street

Bloomington, IL

(309)-434-2843

Doors Open: 6:30pm

Show Starts: 8:00pm

For Tickets, click HERE

Yellowcard: Ocean Avenue Acoustic

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Yellowcard

Castle Theatre

209 E. Washington Street

Bloomington, IL

Doors Open: 7:00pn

Show Starts: 8:00pm

For Tickets, click HERE

We The Kings

WE THE KINGS

 

We The Kings

w/ This Century & Crash The Party

The Castle Theater

Bloomington, IL

Doors: 7:00 p.m.

Show: 7:30 p.m.

For Tickets, Click HERE

‘Chicago’ – Live In Concert

CHICAGO

Chicago – Live In Concert

January 29th, 2014 @ 7:30 PM

U.S. Cellular Coliseum

101 South Madison Street

Bloomington, IL

Doors Open: 6:30pm

Show Starts: 7:30pm

For Tickets, click HERE



Full Concert Calendar

Request Line:
(309) 438 -1033

Main Office:
(309) 438 -5491

Location:
Fell Hall 007


2 Buses Crash Near ISU Campus

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NORMAL – Two school buses carrying students crashed on the corner of University Street and College Avenue.

As of now it is unknown if any have been harmed, the children are currently leaving the damaged buses to new vehicles to be transported home.

Slippery road conditions are believed to have been the cause of the crash.

Stay tuned for updates on the story as they come in.

Hazardous Weather Outlook

LINCOLN, IL – The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a hazardous weather outlook for
the rest of today.

The slow moving storm system is expected to have the potential to be severe, with large hail and damaging wind gusts the primary threats. Isolated tornadoes are also possible.

The storms come just two days before the service’s National Day of Action, when they will encourage emergency planning including preparing a weather emergency kit with a  plan of action.

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Theatre of Ted Four Square Tournament

by: Melissa Williams

NORMAL – The Illinois State University group “Theatre of Ted” is hosting it’s annual four square marathon to raise money for the Theatre of Ted Student Scholarship. The marathon starts today and ends on Sunday and will be held in the north courtyard in front of Centennial West.

The event has raised over $25,000 since it’s start in 2000. The current record for longest individual play is 37 hours straight. The game will run all day and through the nights, so long as there are people there to play. The current record for longest consistent group play is 68 hours, which was achieved last year.

If you’d like to participate financially, go to http://finearts.illinoisstate.edu/support/square


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ISU’s Dana Ford headed to Tennessee State

 

FordNASHVILLE – Tennessee State has hired Illinois State assistant coach Dana Ford as its men’s basketball head coach. He takes over for Travis Williams, who was fired last month after going 23-40 in two seasons. Tennessee State went 5-25 this season.

Tennessee State said in a statement Monday that Ford would be introduced at a news conference later in the day, Monday. Ford worked at Tennessee State from 2009-11 as an assistant under former coach John Cooper. Williams became coach in 2012 after Cooper left for Miami Ohio.

Ford spent the 2011-12 season as an assistant at Wichita State and has been at Illinois State his last two seasons. Ford played at Illinois State from 2002-06.

ISU Golf Gains Momentum

NORMAL – The Illinois State men’s golf team grabbed some momentum moving towards the Missouri Valley Championship earlier this week. The Redbirds took third place as a team at the 21-team ASU Red Wolf Intercollegiate with a score of 878 (306-283-289). 

Tyler Gentilella led the team by playing the final two rounds at 4-under-par after an opening round 77. Gentilella finished tied for third place overall with a score of 215. Parker Freiburg finished not too far behind with a score of 218, good for eighth place overall.

Head coach Ray Kralis was pleased with the performances from his top two performers and hopes to see it carry over in the coming weeks.

“I thought we finished the tournament in strong fashion and can take many positives going forward,” Kralis said. “In both the second and third round, we played well as a team with some solid individual performances. Top 10 finishes are not easy to come by in fields this size, and both Tyler and Parker were right there in the hunt finishing third and eighth respectively.

The Redbirds added two more top 20 finishers with scores of 222 and 223 from Jordan Fahel (t-18th) and Wils Hawn (t-20th), respectively. Kyle Meihofer finished with a score of 242 to round out the team score. Christian Crabill also competed as an individual and finished with a score of 236.

The Redbirds won’t have much of a layoff, as they will be right back on the course this weekend at the Hoosier Invitational in Bloomington, Ind., which will be the final tune-up before the MVC Championship at the end of the month.

“Going forward, we need to be more consistent over all three rounds and need some help from the 5th spot,” Kralis added. “But I like where we are at going into Indiana to finish the regular season.”

ISU Women’s Tennis Team Weekend Preview

Emmie MarxNORMAL – The Illinois State women’s tennis team (8-6, 1-1 MVC) is on the road this weekend to take on conference opponents Northern Iowa and Drake. ISU will be without their No. 2 player Emmie Marx and Head Coach Chris Hoover will be forced to make some changes before their matches this weekend.

The Redbirds will head to Cedar Falls, IA on Saturday to face-off with Northern Iowa, followed by a Sunday matchup against Drake in Des Moines, IA.

With the harsh Normal, IL spring weather conditions, the women’s tennis team has yet to compete in a match outdoors. The team, however, has hosted five home indoor matches resulting in a 3-2 record. The Redbirds will return home on April 18th to take on the Evansville Purple Aces and Coach Hoover believes the thought of playing their first home outdoor match can be used as motivation for the team.

Illinois State will wrap up their regular season April 19th at home against Southern Illinois. These last few conference matches will help the team try to improve their game and their seed before the Missouri Valley Conference Championship tournament.

The MVC Championship tournament is scheduled for April 25-27 in Normal.



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Teacher Gives Non-Alcoholic Beer to Students *Idiot of the Week Nomination*

WHY WOULD YOU THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA!

The teacher was trying to teach his students that people used to drink alcohol instead of water because their water was tainted.  Makes sense to tell your students about this, but you don’t need them to know how alcohol taste.  It is irresponsible as a teacher and adult.

Cruising Down the Street

Starting Monday you can rent a bike from the Student Fitness Center.

Full Story Here.

Would You Buy A Dog For 2 Million Dollars?

In China, a new craze has started for purchasing Tibetan Mastiff puppy.  They go for 1 to 2 million dollars.

I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much money on ANYTHING! How about you?

Full Story Here.

Lorde Wants Fans To Kiss Westboro Baptist Church

Taking to Twitter Lorde wants her fans to show their support for same sex marriage and kiss her protesters.

The church recently remade Lorde’s hit “Royals” and plan to protest her concert tomorrow in Kansas City.  At least some people will have fun…

Full Story Here.