Daily Archives: November 5, 2008
This past Tuesday, FUSA representative Spencer Thibodeau announced John Legend to be this year’s FUSA fall concert. Arriving at Fairfield’s Alumni Hall Dec. 6, the American soul singer/songwriter has accumulated much success since the release of his first album ‘Get Lifted’ in 2004.’ Thanks to hits such as ‘Ordinary People’ and ‘Save Room,’ Legend has earned himself five Grammy awards as well as achieving multiplatinum status.
While some students may be disappointed with this year’s unorthodox choice, I highly recommend listening before you judge. His debut album ‘Get Lifted,’ an excellent introduction to his individual style, is flawless from start to finish and a surefire way to convert non-listeners to fans. With piano driven ballads and soothing vocals, Legend’s musical style is reminiscent of a 21st century Stevie Wonder. While trying to conjure up a list of mainstream artists to compare to Legend, I came up empty handed. This, however, is not to be considered a flaw; his distinct sound sets him apart from other contemporary artists that currently take over the airwaves.
FUSA is continuing its tradition of bringing new styles and sounds to Alumni Hall, with each year varying in not only artists but significantly differing in genre as well. Much different than last spring’s act, Ludacris, Legend is still sure to be a crowd pleaser.
If you are won over by Legend’s sound, tickets go on sale Monday, with the student price at $30.
In the craziness of our lives, it is comforting to know that some things seem to never change. Recently, Australian hard rock band AC/DC proved itself to be worthy of such a distinction.
On Oct. 20, AC/DC released its first studio album in eight years. Entitled ‘Black Ice,’ the album ends the longest gap of time between releases by the band.
The album, which is being sold exclusively through Wal-Mart ‘amp; Sam’s Club stores, will certainly not disappoint fans of the revered rock band.
Formed in Australia, brothers Angus ‘amp; Malcolm Young named the band after a label on their sister’s sewing machine. In 1974, the band would become an exceptional act when vocalist Bon Scott joined the band. With Scott at the helm, the Young brothers achieved massive success throughout their native Australia.
1976 saw AC/DC sign an international record deal with Atlantic Records. The resulting albums include the rock radio standards ‘T.N.T.,’ ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,’ and the anthem, ‘Highway to Hell.’
Unfortunately, the album ‘Highway to Hell’ would become Bon Scott’s last album. On Feb. 19, 1980 Scott passed away at the age of 33.
Refusing to disband, AC/DC moved forward with new vocalist, Brian Johnson. According to Angus Young, Bon Scott had seen Johnson perform and spoke highly of his performance abilities.
Now, with Johnson on board, the band would go on to record its most successful album. Entitled Back in Black, the album contains rock gems such as ‘You Shook Me All Night Long,’ ‘Hells Bells,’ ‘amp; ‘Back in Black.’
With its status subsequently elevated to ‘Rock Royalty’ the band has remained active ever since. Now, in 2008, the band tries to maintain this legendary status.
Black Ice’s first track, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Train,’ immediately delivers rock fans guitarist Angus Young’s classic sounding guitar chords. Once lead vocalist Brian Johnson adds his signature brand of ‘scream-singing.’ the adrenaline begins to pump vigorously. Finally, complete the song with a catchy, chant-like chorus, and there is no doubt that ‘Black Ice’ is one quality hard rock album.
Fortunately, following the burst of energy that is ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Train,’ comes many more in-your-face rockers. These tracks demonstrate why AC/DC is still a musical force to be reckoned with. Amongst these notable tracks are ‘War Machine,’ ‘She Likes Rock ‘N’ Roll’ and ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Dream.’
In many ways, all of 15 tracks of
‘Black Ice’ display the signature AC/DC hard rockin’ sound. However, unless the listener is a die-hard fan, the album can easily lose its spunk around track 10. It seems that some greater variation in the sound of the songs could have helped make the album more attention grabbing from start to finish.
Regardless, ‘Black Ice’ is undoubtedly a great hard rock effort by AC/DC, worthy of purchasing. It just might be better when listened to in bits and pieces.
In support of the new album, AC/DC began its highly anticipated Black Ice World Tour in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Oct. 28.
It was 8:30 on the dot last Tuesday night when the lights in Harbor Yard went down, and emo heart throb Chris Carrabba sprinted onto stage followed by the rest of Dashboard Confessional. Carrabba greeted the not even half full arena, picked up his bright red Gibson SG guitar and busted into the band’s 2006 hit, ‘Don’t Wait.’
The band quickly jumped into the rest of its 12 song set, playing fan favorites such as ‘Screaming Infidelities,’ ‘The Good Fight,’ ‘Vindicated,’ and its most recently famous hit, ‘Stolen.’
Dashboard Confessional came to town as part of its Rock Band Live Fall tour, which also featured mainstream sensations Panic at the Disco and the Plain White T’s.
While Dashboard’s acoustic styling is much different from the pop punk of the rest of the tour, the band made a successful attempt to fit in by transforming many of its older, slower songs into more distortion driven rock ballads. Acoustic guitars were replaced by heavily distorted electric ones, being played over a heavier hitting drum kit.
The band still took time to slow down its sound, though, by playing its piano driven song, ‘The Widow’s Peak,’ off its newest album, ‘The Shade of Poison Trees.” The song was a highlight of its set not only because of its slower tempo, but also for its display of Carrabba’s amazing vocal capabilities.
The transition in sound was greatly accepted by the Bridgeport crowd, which consisted of a little less than 5,000 people, mostly under the age of 18. The younger crowd was most likely due to the main attraction, Panic at the Disco, who’s music appeals more to the younger MTV demographic.
Toward the tail end of the set, Dashboard was joined on stage by opening act The Plain White T’s to help perform a cover of Pink’s newest radio hit, ‘So What,’ which was certainly a crowd pleaser.
After thanking the crowd one last time, the band busted into its latest hit, ‘Stolen.’ The crowd was so loud singing along, one could barely hear that of front man Carrabba’s.
As the song finished, the four boys of Dashboard Confessional waved the crowd goodbye, fled the stage and left the crowd in awe at the amazing performance the band had pulled off.
Kevin Bacon, most famous for his roles in ‘Mystic River’ and ‘Apollo 13,’ has taken a career in more than just acting. The Hollywood star is also a singer/guitar player alongside older brother Michael in their band the Bacon Brothers. The brothers, who are currently on tour to support their upcoming album, ‘New Year’s Day,’ will be stopping in the Quick Center this Saturday. The brothers recently sat down in an exclusive interview with The Mirror to discuss their music and future plans.
The Mirror: When you guys were younger and just playing around on instruments, did you hope it would develop into a band?
Michael Bacon: Yeah, I can’t really remember a time since Kevin was able to walk and just banging on a pot that we didn’t play music together and didn’t really enjoy playing music together. Whether I ever thought it would ever turn into what it has, probably hadn’t specifically thought of that, but I always hoped that we would have this bond together and enjoy making music together.
The Mirror: Michael, was it a little strange to play music with your younger brother with the nine-year age difference?
MB: Well, it’s still pretty strange. I never got over that. (Laughs) No, not really. One of the great things about the music industry now compared to when I first started out in the late-60s, it was ‘age 30, hang it up guy.’ Don’t trust anybody over the age of 30. What’s really happened in the next generation, people really appreciate no matter what age they are, music that came before them, so you see, our son is now 26, when he was 16, all he thought about was the grateful dead, guys that are older than I am. I think the music business changed in that sense. You have the Rolling Stones traveling all over the world, kind of the number one live performing band and they’re pretty old guys and so I think the whole age component in music has disappeared.
The Mirror: How did you guys decided to start a band in the middle of your careers, Michael as a solo artist and Kevin, as an actor?
Kevin Bacon: We were just kind of playing and we had some stuff that we’d written for years. A friend of mine heard a demo of ours and he said, ‘Why don’t you guys come down and play a Bacon Brothers show.’ We hadn’t even thought of ourselves as the Bacon Brothers. And I turned to him and really thought about it. I mean, I’d always kind of dreamed of playing music live, but I hadn’t really thought about it in that capacity. But we said, ‘Sure why not, what’s the worst that could happen?’ We’ll go out for one gig. Mike said, ‘So you’re going to play guitar.’ And I said, ‘No, I’m not.’ And he said you’re going to have to play guitar so it’s not just me playing. Then we got a bass player who’s an old friend of Michael’s whose still playing with the band, and a percussionist. So we had a real kind of small, acoustic band. And we did the one gig. It was terrifying, but really fun and it just kind of turned into another and another one and another one. Then we just started to make records.
The Mirror: Growing up, what kind of music did you listen to? Did you share the same musical tastes?
MB: Since we are nine years apart, there was that nine-year lag. I was more exposed to folk music than my brother was. Rock-and-roll hadn’t caught on exactly the way it did by the time he was growing up more in the 60s and 70s. When the British invasion hit, I was completely smitten by it that when I really moved away from folk music and into more rock-and-roll kind of stuff. I played in a rock band during college and that’s th thing that turned me around. That being said though, Philly is a really eclectic music town and there’s lots to discuss music and lots of people started in Philly and made an impact in the music business.
The Mirror: How does your creative process work? Do you both write the songs? What inspires you?
KB: Writing comes from all different places. It’s hard to really say. I wouldn’t say it’s the type of thing where we sit down every day for two hours and try to write songs. It’s more kind of comes. Something hits you, you have some kind of experience, or some thought crosses your mind, or I don’t know, you read something in the paper, you just have some kind of feeling and a song just comes out of it. I think we both tend to write music and lyrics at the same time. It’s not like we have a whole a file of lyrics or a lyric book and we’re going to put music to it. We just tend to write both to come together.
The Mirror: Kevin, you’ve been pretty well-known as an actor, do you think that helps or hurts your band’s image and its popularity?
KB: Well, I would say for the most part it hasn’t. I wouldn’t say that it’s helped. A lot people have a lot of disdain for the idea that an actor would form a band, and a lot of distrust that it’s a joke. So that’s something that we are pretty much on an on-going basis confronting and trying to get past. But I always knew that that would be the deal just because I know when I hear about an actor that is forming a band; I do a little bit of eye-rolling myself. So, for whatever reason, that’s just the way people react to it. You can’t really do anything about that except to play as well as you can and keep the level of writing up and keep plugging away.
The Mirror: Joaquin Phoenix recently quit the film industry to focus on music. Kevin, do you see that as a possibility for yourself?
KB: You know, I still really love making movies. I love directing and I love producing. I love acting. So I don’t really see that as a possibility in my life. I read that from Joaquin today, I haven’t actually spoken to him about it, but it seems like it is as much out of frustration with the movie business as it was he wanted play music.
MB: I decided today I’m quitting music and going into acting full-time. (Laughs).
The Mirror: You have your sixth album about coming out, has you seen a progress in your music from your first album to this most recent one?
MB: Well, I do see that, but those things are hard to judge. It’s kind like these songs and CD’s are your children, so you can be all objective about it. But the thing that I see that gives me a lot of happiness is that if you look at the musicians that Kevin and I were when we were making our first record and where we are now, we’ve both, even though I’ve been involved in music a long time before that, we’re both better singers, better songwriters, better instrumentalists, better performers. We know our audiences better. Publicity and other kinds of things that go along with music. I take a lot of pride in that and if the music’s gotten better, that’s more for someone else to judge. At the same time, I feel really good about this new record and there are some songs that are kind of accessible enough that could possibly get in the public domain. We’re going to do everything we possibly can to get it out there. In the meantime, the band is so much farther and has gone so much longer than we ever expected it to. If you gauge success, I put a lot of value in what we’ve achieved in the last 13 years.
The Mirror: What genre would you consider classify yourselves as? Your music seems to be a blend of rock and country with some other things as well.
KB: Well, you know we had a joke our first record, it was called Forosoco. It stands for Folk, Rock, Soul, Country. It was a new category of music that we made up. It was basically because people reacted to our music the same way that you said, ‘It seems like a blend.’ And it is. We have a lot of different influences. We like a lot of different kinds of music. We try to write the song and then let the song take you musically where it’s trying to go. As opposed to trying to just having one specific sound and have the band sound in one specific way.
The Mirror: How did you come to play at Fairfield? Did Fairfield contact you?
KB: They contacted us.
MB: We have a booking agency out of Monterrey, California. And we’re on a list of acts that they circulate to pretty much every venue. Someone at Fairfield either heard about the band or knew the band well and decided to try to book us and it worked out great. We’re happy to be playing at Fairfield.
The Mirror: The concert is on a college campus. Is that something your looking forward to, do you expect a lot of students to come out?
KB: We don’t get the chance to play campuses all that much. But it is fun because it’s a different kind of vibe. We just played in upstate New York at Geneseo on campus, it was a fun gig, we had a good time. And we hope to get some students there.’
Tuesday, Oct. 28
12:41p.m. A theft of an iPod was reported in Regis; the student had left the room unlocked. The investigation is considered ongoing.
8:28 p.m. A disorderly conduct was reported. The student was not complying and was referred to judicial.
Thursday, Oct. 30
11:32 p.m. A harassment was reported involving two students. The issue was referred to judicial.
Friday, Oct. 31
4:57 a.m. A glass panel door in Regis was reported broken. A carpenter was called for repairs. There are no suspects at this current time.
10:00 p.m. A student requested the assistance of Fairfield Police Department for a hit-and-run while parked in the Levee.
10:12 p.m. An assault involving two students occurred. Both students were referred to judicial.
11:34 p.m. Public Safety helped RAs disperse a crowd of over 50 students from a townhouse.
Saturday, Nov. 1
4:16 p.m. A neighbor reported trespassing of a student on their property. The student was found and issued a verbal warning.
7:52 p.m. Fairfield Police Department arrested a student for procuring alcohol as a minor off-campus.
Sunday, Nov. 2
3:14 a.m. A student dressed in a Halloween costume was found to be in possession of an Airsoft gun when questioned by officers. The student was subsequently arrested for a narcotics violation and referred to judicial. The Airsoft gun was confiscated.
Monday, Nov. 3
10:29 a.m. In Alumni Hall, a basketball hoop was found dragged without wheels across the floor causing significant damage to gym floor. The event is still under investigation.
2:46 p.m. Vandalism was reported to the Kostka Hall laundry room door. The investigation is ongoing.
Major international banks warn of gloomy fourth quarter
Two major European banks warned on Tuesday that the markets will further deteriorate in the upcoming fourth quarter because customers are continually withdrawing funds from investment units, according to a New York Times article.
UBS, a Swiss bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland have both accepted government bailout plans in the recent months, which they hope will help stabilize the banks throughout the current fourth quarter. Both banks suffered greatly from investment losses in the American markets and other European banks.
John Cryan, UBS’s chief financial officer, said in the article that the investment banking business is not quite ‘at the right scale to operate most effectively given the current economic situation.’
Recent study links TV sex to teen pregnancy
The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit organization, released a study in which they found that the sexual content showed on television has a strong correlation to teenage pregnancy.
According to a CNN report, the study discovered that ‘adolescents with a high level of exposure to television shows with sexual content are twice as likely to get pregnant or impregnate someone as those who saw fewer programs of this kind over a period of three years.’ In addition, teens who watch sex on television are more likely to have intercourse within the following year.
The study attributes its finds to the fact that the media does not provide enough dialogue about sex, especially between children and parents.
Bin Laden’s son seeks asylum
According to a report by the Associated Press, Osama bin Laden’s son, Omar Osama bin Laden, sought out asylum in Spain on Monday, shortly after landing in a Madrid airport. Details of the grounds of the asylum request were not released.
Bin Laden was traveling from Cairo, Egypt to Morocco when he requested asylum during a stop in Spain.
He was being kept in the Madrid airport while the Spanish Interior Ministry debated his petition; they are given 72 hours to make a decision.