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MISTY MOUNTAIN HOPS Former JMU student overcomes crisis at home and launches family brewer y

WINTER WARRIORS Boarders battle at Massanutten for third annual Red Bull Rivals

WORTH THE SWIPE? Tinder is changing dating... for better or worse


Table of

contents 4 Where we've been


10 Shifting to thrifting 13 Life through canvas 16 madison pays it forward


18 concrete alchemist 20 Respect the throne 23 wxjm live 26 surviving the chaos


31 'i think, therefore, i funk' 34 A Tinderella Story 37 vintage vibes 28


Photo by Art Pekun Alex Paullin from the band Philosophunk competes in University Program Board’s Rumble Down Under band competition on March 19, 2014.





About 22807 22807 magazine highlights the culture, music and lifestyle of the current generation in Harrisonburg, Va. It is published by students in the School of Media Arts and Design at James Madison University. Publication is funded by ad revenue from Madison 101, a sister publication. Dave Wendelken and Brad Jenkins are faculty advisers. Email with any questions or concerns.

Dylan Garner, Executive Editor

Michelle Franks, Executive Editor

Dylan is a senior media arts and design major with a concentration in journalism. He wants to bring a sense of journalistic direction and an extreme eye for detail to everything 22807 produces and hopes to be a copy editor after graduation. He spends most of his days jamming to his favorite tunes or nerding out over the daily happenings in the world of sports.

Michelle is a senior media arts and design major and creative writing minor. You can usually find her hanging posters for the Society of Professional Journalists or tweeting from her anonymous JMU Twitter account. After graduation, Michelle will be in D.C. doing full-time freelance work at National Geographic Channel. The thing she will miss most about JMU is Duke’s buffalo bites.

Griffin Harrington, Executive Editor

Haley Lambert, Articles Editor

Griffin is a junior media arts and design major with a concentration in digital video and cinema. Griffin will be a digital production intern at the Discovery Channel this summer and hopes to own his own media production company in the near future. He cares more about his Instagram then his health.

Haley is a senior media arts and design major with a concentration in journalism. When she’s not working as editor in chief of JMU’s yearbook, The Bluestone, she spends most of her time watching copious amounts of “The Walking Dead” and attending concerts.

Jordan Craig, Design Editor

Lucy Plant, Assistant Articles Editor

Jordan is a senior media arts and design major graduating with a concentration in corporate communication and a minor in educational media. She lives in a small town on the beach in central New Jersey and hopes to move into New York City with friends once she lands a job in digital marketing.

Lucy is a junior media arts and design major with minors in creative writing and women’s studies. Her favorite things are music, writing and killer house shows. Upon graduation in 2015, she plans to write for magazines similar to 22807.

Megan O’Brien, Design Editor

Art Pekun, Photo Editor

Megan is a senior media arts and design major from Ridgefield, Conn. She has a minor in studio art and has worked as a photo editor and graphic designer at Lance Wovens. Her passions include live music, art, architecture and design.

Art is a senior media arts and design major. He spends most of his money on travel and photography. Born in Eastern Europe, Art hopes to work overseas after graduation. He enjoys the cold and loves to ski, snowboard and play hockey.

Jen Parravani, Design Editor

Alexa Livezey, Web Editor

Jen is a senior double majoring in sociology and media arts and design. She can only use InDesign while listening to Dave Matthews Band, has an aggressive addiction to Starbucks and is pursuing a career in New York City.

Alexa is a senior double major in media arts and design and writing, rhetoric and technical communication and has a Spanish minor. She enjoys water sports, snowboarding and good food. Along with coding, she has a passion for photography, writing and graphic design.



where we've been SOUNDS OF SPRING Guitarist Dan McDonough and his band, Mammoth Indigo, take on the packed crowd at Madipalooza on April 12. The third annual Madipalooza — the “festival at Festival” — featured an eclectic mix of artists. Platinum-selling artist and pop star Ryan Cabrera headlined the show, delivering a heavy dose of nostalgia. The Fighting Jamesons, Bas, Magic Man, Adam Sanders and the aforementioned Mammoth Indigo kept things busy until the daylight ran thin. Philosophunk, the winner of University Program Board’s Rumble Down Under, served as the opener of the show. Check out how they got to that stage on Page 31.


Photo by Griffin Harrington


where we've been BLURRED LINES Fresh off their appearance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Marching Royal Dukes take their sounds through the streets of downtown at the Harrisonburg Holiday Parade on Dec. 6, 2013. Parade attendees watch over the festivities as the lock-step group makes its way through South Main Street.


Photo by Art Pekun


where we've been RUNNING OFF INTO THE SUNSET JMU runners Meghan Malloy (center) and Rachel Hagen (right) compete in the 5,000-meter race on April 19, with a deep red sunset serving as the incredible background. The steeplechase water jump mirrors the runners in stride as they make their way around the track. Malloy and Hagen would go on to finish 3rd and 4th in the event, respectively.


Photo by Justin Falls JMU Athletic Photography

Harrisonburg’s growing thrift culture provides students with cheap, recycled gems Story by Lucy Plant Photos by Alexa Livezey and Mary Kate White


hot dog suit, a Bud Light bandana and a sweatshirt that reads, “A Woman’s Place is on a Horse.” Find it all at your local thrift shop. Thrift culture usually begins to invade with any recession, but with Harrisonburg’s intense density of unique thrift shops and its continuous fluctuation of university students coming and going, it’s become what some would call a thrifter’s paradise. The above-listed items are all included in the impressive and extensive collection of ironic clothing that Lauren Jones, a senior media arts and design major, has amassed over years of thrifting. “In Harrisonburg, I shop at Goodwill, mainly,” Jones says. “The other ones are fine, but Goodwill just has better quality, in my opinion. The one on South Main is bigger and has better sweatshirts, and the one on East Market is better for T-shirts.” Lauren is known on campus for her wacky collection of more than 20 hats and sweatshirts, most of which have come from Goodwill. She loves to confuse people. “People always comment when I wear

the Merry Christmas one and it’s not Christmas, or [when I wear the Michigan sweatshirt] they say, ‘Oh, you’re from Michigan?’ and I just say, ‘No.’” Thrift shops are great if you’re looking for irony, but can also be great if you want to find some quality vintage style for less. Some lucky people can even find vintage school spirit. Jones has found several vintage JMU sweatshirts at the area’s Goodwills, including one that is strangely navy blue and gold instead of today’s recognized purple and gold.

“I just like clothes that have been in somebody’s life before.” — Chris Howard “You can find some really cool stuff there … I always like the JMU ones,” Jones says. “I’m a tour guide, so we love JMU, and there’s so much school spirit, so I always think it’s cool when I find more JMU stuff.”


Thrifting isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. It can be hard when you find a stain that won’t come out or a hole in something you really wanted to buy, and there are endless amounts of merchandise to look through. Kelley Grenn, a senior anthropology major, estimates that her wardrobe is made up of about 97 percent thrifted clothing. “It’s kind of a big-time commitment, and sometimes I’ll get very frustrated when my friends go with me and say, OK, we wanna leave, and I’m like, No,” she says with a laugh. Serious thrifters need to have some real patience in order to get to the hidden jewels they search for. “Sometimes I’ll find pants and cut them or something, so it’s more work that goes into it,” Grenn says. You can’t look through every single shirt on the rack, so it’s best to only go for the things that jump out at you. If you know what you like, it will come to you. James Chung, a junior writing, rhetoric and technical communication major, says it’s all about luck.

“You can’t go into a thrift store looking for something specific. You can try, but you’ll just get disappointed,” Chung says. “As long as you go a lot you’ll be able to find something, but you can’t really discriminate, or you’ll miss something.” Even pros at thrifting can still struggle with the random selection presented by thrift stores. “It’s a time commitment to find the right fit. I have big thighs so sometimes I have problems finding stuff. But it keeps me stable,” Chung says. Always thrift with an open mind so that you’ll be ready when an awesome piece crosses your path that you didn’t even know you needed. You might be amazed by what you find. “I think it’s hilarious when you’re like, someone owned this seriously at one point in their life,” Jones says. “And you’re just like, why? What was the purpose of this? You try to imagine them wearing it in a serious atmosphere.” Once you go thrifting enough, start giving back to the stores. That springcleaning pile of clothes has to go somewhere, so why not take a big box

TOP Junior James Chung says that it always takes an open mind and a little luck to find the perfect thrift merchandise. Senior Kelley Grenn says that her wardrobe is made up of about 97 percent thrifted clothing. BOTTOM Thrift stores could be the perfect spot for those looking to upgrade their shoe collection.


GET THRIFTY Around Harrisonburg

and give it a new life? Chris Howard, a junior sociology major and E.A.R.T.H. Club member, says he never goes to brand name stores, except “maybe to get socks.” “Everybody in E.A.R.T.H. Club thrifts. It’s cheap, it keeps s*** from ending up in a landfill, and you’re reusing things for a good cause,” Howard says. “I’m super vocal about it because I kind of want to try and get more people to thrift. It’s the creating waste aspect and avoiding that. But, yeah, people are always kind of surprised [that all my clothes are thrifted].” Most thrift stores in town do their part to support charities in the area. Mercy House and Granny Longlegs both support the Mercy House shelter, among others. Other stores support church-based charities like the Mennonite-sponsored Gift & Thrift. “For some reason, I just like clothes that have been in somebody’s life before,” Howard says. “They’re more interesting in some way… It’s some of the weirdest s***… stuff that’s been sitting around in people’s houses for, like, a decade or so.” Gift & Thrift is known for having some funny merchandise, including an odd book section featuring titles such as “Bombproof Your Horse” and “101 More Uses for a Dead Cat,” along with some themed mugs that may never be understood. Thrift stores are known best for strange treasures like these. “I found a blow-up unicorn that was hidden in the very back of Mercy House,” Grenn says. “I was like, what is this? … So we got it.” Chung started thrifting to find vintage gadgets and records. “I’d just go with my friends to find weird things,” Chung says. “I bought a banjo before, ashtrays, glassware, keyboards, a Nikon semi-pro SLR camera, a unicorn-cat picture and a keytar.” The thrift culture in Harrisonburg is growing. Although most students only tackle the thrift shops for theme parties and Greek functions, there are many that are starting to see thrifting as a viable, environmentally responsible and downright fun way to buy everything they need from furniture, to sweatshirts, to snowglobes, to a book called “How to Poo on a Date.” Lucy Plant is a junior media arts and design major. She enjoys hiking, thrift shopping and killer house shows. She has a passion for music, travel, writing and women's studies. Contact her at

Gift & Thrift 731 Mount Clinton Pike 540-433-8844 Mon­-Thur: 9:30-5 Fri: 9:30­-8 Sat: 9:30­-5 Goodwill 2475 S. Main St. 540-434-6050 Mon­-Sat: 8­-9 Sun: 12-­6 1740 E. Market St. 540-432-9600 Mon-­Sat: 9­-9 Sun: 12­-6 Granny Longlegs 16 S. Main St. 540-433-4097 Mon­-Fri: 9:30­-5:30 Sat: 9-­5 Mercy House 1005 S. High St. 540-433-3272 Mon-­Fri: 9­-7 Sat: 9­-5:30 Salvation Army 245 E. Washington St. 540.433.8770 Mon­-Sat: 9­-6 Tried & True 600 University Blvd. 540-442-7250 Mon­-Fri: 9:30­-5 Sat: 9:30­-2

CONSIGNMENT Second Time Around 1153 S. High St. 540-564-2773 Mon-Sat: 10­-6

OTHER RESALE Plato’s Closet 1790 E. Market St. #14 540-432-8648 Mon­-Sat: 10­-8 Sun: 1­-6 12

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22807 talks to artist Kevin Sabo about his inspirations, mediums and experimentation in all things artistic 13

Story by Griffin Harrington Photos by Griffin Harrington and Michelle Franks Griffin Harrington: What makes Kevin Sabo, Kevin Sabo? Kevin Sabo: I would say that in this very moment, I am doing everything I can to live a stress-free life and continue living that stress-free life. It sounds so f***ing cliche, but I just want to be happy. I just want to be pleased with my work, with my art and everything I do. You got to put love into everything you do. I just want to love it all. GH: Has that always been your mindset? KS: No, not at all. Junior year is when it started. I was very much a people pleaser. At the end of the day, if you’re just doing what you’re doing to please other people, you are losing some of your true identity and your raw art form… I’ve rapidly changed between high school and living on my own in college. I hang out with completely different people. I’m open to so many more things, which has gotten me into trouble sometimes. GH: Can you talk about the last time you realized you made a mistake and realized “that didn’t work”? KS: I notice a lot of that within my love life, which I think reflects in my painting. I’ll be really adamant about something or somebody, or think “this is what it should be like.” Whenever I make mistakes like that, and I get too caught up in it and do things I shouldn’t be doing. You want to try anything you can, but all you can do is accept exactly who you are. Be awkward. Be whatever. Go with it.

GH: Listening to you, it’s interesting how you talk about your personal life in a way that is directly correlated to your art work. Everything seems to be connected. Is that something that you’ve always done? KS: I started in kindergarten when I would draw people. They would always be holding hands or just next to each other. It was all kinda subconscious. Once you notice it, you see it might actually mean something. You don’t want to reveal yourself too much in your work. But you want to put enough information there so that people can get a sense this is coming from real-life experience. GH: I noticed a strong trend of really prominent portraits of people in your paintings. Why do you think you focus on that? KS: I rarely have a specific person in mind when I do people. They are mostly made up. Sometimes it will be Britney Spears, sometimes it will be Kevin. I don’t normally draw my friends. GH: I’ve seen a couple of your friends in your work. KS: Yeah, I’ve done a few, and it means that they are important to me at the time. But, really, I like the fact that I imagine these people as these characters, and I kinda speak to them as I create them. They are definitely a reflection of myself. I don’t know what it means. One theory could be that these are the people that I imagine myself with, or who my friends could be

or people that I could potentially want to be like. Being a gay dude, I always kinda wonder what it would be like to be a women. Gender is something very interesting to me. When I was 4 or 5 years old, I didn’t realize you stayed the same gender. I was kind of heartbroken when I found out you had to be one thing the rest of your life ... it was something I really struggled with recently. I just did a painting about it recently. It would be really cool if you wake up one day and press a button and be someone else for that day. You could have so much fun with it. GH: What or who has inspired you in your painting? KS: I hate to say it, and it sounds really f***ed up, but I don’t really like looking at paintings. I really don’t. I don’t know that many painters. I think my professors raise an eyebrow at me not knowing painters. Like, they probably think, “is this really this kid’s passion? Is he really taking this seriously?” At least that’s what I’m worried about. Right now, there is something beautiful about not looking at paintings and just working on things that I conjure up in my head. GH: When you have an idea, how does your thought process work in making it come to life?

Sabo tries not to tie himself down to any particular medium. While most of his work consists of paintings, he’s dabbled in other artistic avenues, including his hip-hop group, Go Go Leche.


KS: Experimentation. I’ll have a rough idea on how I want to start and allow myself the freedom to mess up. Then I fix my mess up. I love that look. It adds a whole ‘nother dimension. Complexity is very important to me, sometimes. How to create beauty within complexity is something I find interesting.

In this painting, Sabo embraced the theme of sexuality. As a gay man, he wanted to think about the struggles of gender identity. You have to be open to every style. Everything. Then you’ll figure out something. GH: So, talking about being open to a lot of different things and art forms, tell me about your work in music. KS: I realized I started painting from the music I was listening to. I would title paintings after song names. I draw massive inspiration from music artists. There was something in me that said, “If you don’t try, then you are missing out.” These artists inspired me to paint about their songs. So why not make a song, so that you start to paint from your songs? They could have a unique relationship. I’ve noticed, recently, that’s happened a lot. I’ve painted directly from the stuff I’m writing about. I feel like such a beginner, though, because I f***ing am. I just started recording like six months ago. The music started from a class taught by Suzanne Zubrig. It was an art course saying “f*** you” to whatever you thought you were doing before and doing something that you’ve always wanted to do but you’ve never had the balls to do. I figured it was now or never, and I figured I might as well

get a grade for it. Liv [Sohr] was such a positive influence in my life at the time, and we started vibing out and recording songs, and some magic happened. And I f***ing love it a lot. GH: Where did the name of your group come from? KS: Go Go Leche? It could mean a lot of things, but really it just means nothing. I love the way Go Go makes people move. I wanted to emulate that in the sound, and for Leche, thats really smooth for me. Like creamy, milky smooth. I think Liv is more Leche, and I’m more Go Go. GH: What’s next for you? KS: Everything I’ve done will always be there. It will always affect my next endeavor and my next art form. Who knows, maybe I’ll fall in love. Who knows. S***, maybe clay. Griffin Harrington is a junior media arts and design major. He cares more about his Instagram than his health. Contact him at


MADISON pays it forward

Scholarship allows students to stay in school when times are tough Story and photos by Alexa Livezey


parent loses a job. A medical emergency occurs, leaving a family in a difficult position financially. Extreme weather strikes, destroying belongings and financial stability. These tragedies are just some of those faced by hundreds of JMU students every year. And among the hardships for these students and their families, the question of how to afford tuition arises.

“We were one of those families that pretty much lost everything when it went bad.” – Autumn Dougherty Shortly after Autumn Dougherty was accepted into the School of Art and Art History and declared her industrial design major, her family began facing financial troubles because of the economic recession in 2009. “My dad was a mortgage broker, so it directly affected us,” Dougherty says. “We were one of those families that pretty much lost everything when it went bad.” Eventually, Dougherty’s parents had to file for bankruptcy, which meant they did not qualify for financial aid and could not co-sign on loans. “It got to the point where I wasn’t going to have any money to pay for school. None from anywhere,” Dougherty says. “I was applying for scholarships but wasn’t getting any feedback or any responses.” That was when she found out about the Madison Forever Scholarship Fund. Brad Barnett, the senior associate director at the Office of Financial Aid, helped create the scholarship in 2009. ”We realized that there were lots of students whose families were financially impacted with lots of job losses, lots of bankruptcies [and] lots of lost homes. Things were just really kind of falling apart for people,” Barnett says. Originally, it was called Madison For

Keeps. It was designed to last for one year to help students like Dougherty, who were facing sudden financial instability due to the economic recession and needed temporary help until their families regained financial security. Students who had exhausted all loan opportunities and were still struggling to garner enough money to pay for tuition could write a letter to the Office of Financial Aid explaining their situations. And that’s just what Dougherty did. After her letter was reviewed by Barnett and others, Dougherty was offered a scholarship, which gave her enough money to continue her education. Upon graduation this May, she will begin her job at Vocus as a Business Development Associate. Even though hundreds of letters had been received by the Office of Financial Aid years before, in 2009, a much greater portion of the student body was enduring similar situations to Dougherty’s. “When things went kind of south, and we hit that great recession in the 2009 year… the letters increased and the reasons were all the same,” Barnett says. With the help of the scholarship fund in 2009, 107 students were able to continue

TOP Senior Autumn Dougherty’s family lost nearly everything when the recession hit in 2009. BOTTOM Brad Barnett and the Office of Financial Aid helped keep Dougherty in school by selecting her as a Madison Forever Scholarship recipient. 16

attending JMU who otherwise would have had to go home. However, the letters kept coming. “The following school year, 2010 to 2011, we realized there’s still some fallout from this and there are still people who need assistance, so what can we do on a more permanent basis? So we got some of the same players around the table and we said, ‘Well, let’s take Madison For Keeps to the next level,’” Barnett says. The program was renamed Madison Forever and is now done every year. “It’s an annual fundraising campaign, so we only have money to give away based on what we raise. It’s not from endowments, it’s just every year people giving money then we’re turning around and finding people with need and helping them stay here,” Barnett says. In order for a student to qualify for a scholarship, he or she has to maintain at least a 2.25 GPA and, as Barnett described, be in a situation that “in its nature, is designed to be a short-term duration problem that once they get it resolved, should allow them to stay back on their feet.” Deciding who to give scholarships to is a difficult process because “every one of them, in their own unique way, really just

Junior Kevin Hickman is using his scholarship to pursue his passion for the music industry. He helped found the website NoiseCookie, which he uses to actively promote music in the Harrisonburg area. He also plays the guitar himself. was that as well.” He found out about the scholarship fund and wrote a letter to apply. “I had to do something because, otherwise, there was no way I was going to continue to be able to attend JMU,” he says. “I love JMU. From the minute I visited during Springboard and Choices, I fell in love with the campus, the people [and] the students. I just wanted to continue my schooling here and I didn’t want that to be taken away from me.”

“Essentially, the Madison Forever Scholarship just took a huge weight off of our backs.” – Kevin Hickman kind of hits a heartstring that you wish you could open the checkbook up and just write



Scholarship $6,526.00 per recipient one for all of them,” Barnett says. Kevin Hickman, a junior public relations major, had already been going to JMU for a year before experiencing a financial predicament two years ago. “My father had lost his job,” Hickman says. “It took a toll on us financially, emotionally, and on top of it, he was also diagnosed with clinical depression, so there

Thanks to the scholarship money he was able to receive, he is able to continue earning his degree. He wishes to pursue a career in the music industry upon graduation. The money received is not a loan but simply a donation, so it does not have to be paid back. “Essentially, the Madison Forever Scholarship just took a huge weight off of


our backs,” he says. Now, both Hickman and Dougherty are helping raise money for other students facing similar struggles by working at the Office of Annual Giving as callers. “I’m really passionate about it, I’m really glad I work here,” Dougherty says. They call potential donors, such as JMU alumni, faculty and staff to request donations for the Madison Forever Scholarship Fund as well as other ones. Since the fund began, more than 300 students have received scholarships. The average amount received by each scholarship recipient is $6,526.00. “I was very grateful. ... I am more than willing to spread the word about this scholarship fund and to try to help the University, especially other students who might have been in the same position,” Hickman says. The average donation given is about $90. Tiffany Shene, the senior student manager at the Office of Annual Giving, says that even current students donate. “[This fund] is the biggest most relatable fund that we have other than giving to your major,” she says. “People think, you know, ‘That could be me.’ Like, ‘What if, suddenly, one of my parents died or somebody loses their job, that could be me and I could be needing this, so why not even give $5 to something like this?’” For more information about the Madison Forever Scholarship and the donation process, visit Alexa Livezey is a senior studying media arts and design and writing, rhetoric and technical communication. She plans to pursue a career in web design upon graduation in May. Contact her at


ALCHEMIST Evelyn Tickle uses her expertise in concrete to help the environment Story by Megan O’Brien Photos by Art Pekun


oncrete is a fairly simple material made from the mixture of burning limestone and clay at a scorching 2552 to 2912 degrees Fahrenheit. But what can this material do when it is in its most refined and resolved form? Evelyn Tickle, an interior architecture professor at JMU, has been working with the hard stuff since 1994. Concrete is in good hands with Tickle. In 2002, she was awarded the prestigious Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy in Rome. “Concrete is purely a narcissistic material.

It mirrors anything you do to it,” Tickle says. So, why use such an unforgiving medium? One reason, Tickle says, is because she can make it herself. “I get to work with it from the beginning. It’s like being an alchemist,” she says. Concrete is part of Tickle’s ancestry. Richard F. Tickle, her grandfather, was responsible for the invention of the adjustable joist, a contraption that led to the first concrete skyscrapers. Russell W. Stambaugh was the young engineer who, in 1920, thought of a support that could fiddle with the


apparent weight of concrete. After Stambaugh’s attempts failed he sold his rights to R.F. Tickle. Understanding the possibilities of his recent purchase, R.F. partnered up with Harold Geneter to build the Adjustable Joist Company from the muck of the Great Depression. Tickle traces her own history with concrete back to graduate school at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. At the time, there were very few people working with fine concrete. David Hertz, an architect at SCI-ARC, was one of them. Hertz introduced the

Found in her Duke Hall office, a gradient concrete desk and a wall of undulating concrete strips show Tickle’s love of the material. concept of visually interesting concrete as an art form. Part of the art form is staying true to the materials by appreciating what they can do. Back on the East Coast while teaching at the University of Virginia, Tickle overheard that the university’s radio station, WTJU, needed a redesign. Along with a partner, she redesigned the station using primarily concrete surfaces because of its soundabsorbing qualities. The job proved to be much more difficult than she anticipated. When pouring her countertops the indigo pigment she had desperately wanted had sunk and left pinholes speckling the slab. After weeks recalculating and stripping the beautiful glossy seal off of the surface, she finally corrected the piece. “Sometimes it’s brilliant; sometimes it’s not,” Tickle says. “The more you do it, the better you get at it. It’s a material that’s difficult to teach.” In 2012 she arrived at JMU and decided to use the challenges — as well as the possibilities — of concrete as the medium of choice for her students. She charged her studio with pouring 10 to 15 concrete tiles per student, on which the surfaces were manipulated. “She has a very hands-on approach.” Sarah Rozman, a senior interior architecture major, says. “She works with it while we are working with [concrete] to show us how it should be handled.” Tickle saw one particular advantage in choosing this medium. “I started specifically focusing on concrete because it was something where I was still on the forefront of the competition,” Tickle says. These explorations led her to the idea of the urban habitat of concrete and the problems

created by it. Research showed her the repercussions of urban “heat islands” and the negative effect it had on the environment. Feeling slightly responsible for her family’s pioneering role in the skyscraper era, Tickle set out to make concrete solve the problems it was also responsible for creating. New concrete canvas technology allows for a flexible, heavy-weighted, cloth-like concrete. Using concrete canvas, Tickle’s goal is to bring wildlife back into the urban landscape through a series of concrete pouches as habitats at the tops of skyscrapers. “They would be up at the heights of the redwood forest canopies so we would almost

be bringing back more of a way for the wildlife to inhabit the cities again,” she says. Tickle is also working alongside biology professor Patrice Ludwig in researching oyster reef restoration and what concrete can do to help it. They are working on designing and engineering alternative oyster-reef constructions to move reefs to a “shell-less” construction. Currently, there is a short supply of oyster shells. Modern consumers have moved oysters and their shells far away from returning to estuaries to be recycled. Ludwig goes on to explain a new type of reef structure used to promote oyster-restoration processes. Using a 3-D printer and concrete, Tickle and Ludwig are hoping to replenish the oyster population in the Northern Neck of the Chesapeake Bay using their fabricated reefs. “To be able to really use concrete in a much more powerful and potent way. To do some restoration work and some rehabilitation work … turn concrete into a more sustainable opportunity,” Tickle says. The environment is only one of Tickle’s passions. She continues to explore the possibilities of concrete by designing pieces with her JMU studio classes, as well as through her business, Pretty Fine Concrete. Fireplaces, sinks and countertops are all designed to display the versatility of concrete. Tickle can manipulate its structure, weight, color and form. A compiled stack of formulas allows her to calculate its abrasiveness. She has become a concrete alchemist. Megan O'Brien is a senior media arts and design major from Ridgefield, Conn., with a minor in studio art. Her passions include live music, art, architecture and design. Contact her at

This massive concrete wheel in Tickle’s office was created as a materials gallery by her junior studio students to showcase their new concrete skills.





Virginia Tech takes crown from JMU in annual boarding event Story by Dylan Garner Photos by Griffin Harrington As the sun set and the air cooled over the slopes at Massanutten on Feb. 1, a group of snowboarders, skiers and onlookers were eagerly gathered together. With a Red Bull party van and massive inflatable Duke Dog setting the scene, an emcee took control of the PA to announce the winners of the third annual Red Bull Rivals snowboarding competition. For those who couldn’t hear the results being enthusiastically roared through the speakers, it was probably a weird sight seeing a group of about 10 students shed their clothing in celebration. However, in the heat of the moment, it seemed natural for the team. Especially considering what the group had just accomplished. The skin-exposed team was from Virginia Tech. It had dethroned JMU as the champion of the Red Bull Rivals series. The team from JMU, made up of members from the campus Boarderline Club, looked on to the celebration with the slightest hint of dismay. In the third year of the event JMU was going for its third consecutive title over the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech: the three-peat. It may have been a stretch to compare a competitive snowboarding squad to the turn-of-the-century Los Angeles Lakers, but being denied after coming so close clearly struck a nerve. Camden Kurtz, a junior biotechnology major, has been a part of the competition for all three years. “I don’t know, man, I think we were all going pretty big. We were throwing stuff that maybe we hadn’t thrown or hadn’t thrown consistently. We need to really get those things stomped and get ‘em ready for next year,” he says. “I think if we landed everything we definitely would’ve brought it home. As with any event, you’re not always going to ride your best. Thirty minutes sounds like a lot of time, but, in the end, it’s not easy to throw everything in.” Both Kurtz and Jacob Rice, a junior international affairs major, gave credit where credit was due for all the winners of the event, but one competitor stuck out for them. “That skier came out of nowhere,” Kurtz says. “There’s not a lot of really, really good skiers, usually.” “Tech’s skier actually had some pretty sweet rodeos too,” Rice says.

This twin-footed trick artist turned out to be the X-factor for Virginia Tech’s squad. Kurtz’s surprise about his abilities didn’t come from a lack of awareness in previous events. It was Tech freshman skier David Andrew Taylor’s first shot at Red Bull Rivals. Taylor joined the Tech freestyle club soon after making it to Blacksburg, “stoked” that they even had an avenue for those who live on the slopes.

In the summer, Taylor was riding at the Liberty Mountain SnowFlex Centre, a yearround slope in Lynchburg, Va. He hit the slope and was prepared to hit a double backflip, a trick he says he doesn’t usually have much trouble with. This time, however, rather than the skis making a smooth landing, it was his back that smashed into the snow. His leg took the brunt of the blow — his femur was snapped in two.

“I don’t know, competition just brings out the best of the best in you.” — David Andrew Taylor His piece de resistance during the 30-minute heat was a switch backflip he pulled off on the final feature of the course. His finish was met with immediate applause from the crowd and eventually earned him the title of best trick at the end. “I had most of it planned out. I didn’t really plan on doing a switch backflip — my skis kept popping on it — but I pretty much landed it,” he says. “I don’t know, competition just brings out the best of the best in you.” While his main concern was his skis landing clean, it technically wasn’t the only thing that was in danger of “popping.” Unbeknown to the majority of those watching, he also had to worry about the metal rod holding his leg together.


“[I] got emergency surgery the next day and [it] ruined my summer pretty good,” Taylor says. After months of personal rehab, Taylor was committed to helping out the Tech team as much as he could. He got his leg to the point where he could safely land most tricks with just a moderate level of pain, but he still faced an incredible risk competing at Massanutten. “This is my first time I’ve done flips since I broke it. I’m not supposed to. At all,” he says. “[Doctors] said that with the jumps, I could possibly bend [the metal rod],

and if I bend it, I can’t get it out because it would re-break the bone. I figured just taking one time wasn’t too bad. … I just kinda blocked out the pain and knew I had to put some stuff down to help VT.” This dedication to the sport is something shared by most that compete in events like these. When you have a group of people willing to put their bodies on the line, a certain atmosphere is fostered within the competition. “I’d say we’re all pretty stoked on each other. If we see another team throw down an awesome trick we’ll tell ‘em,” Tech junior Zach Tozier says. “We like to see other people ride, whether they are on our team or not.”

“Just keep riding, just keeping having fun.” — Camden Kurtz Mutual respect and general friendliness mean nearly as much to the riders as throwing down a trick better than their opponents. And it almost goes without saying that having fun is pretty crucial to them all as well. “Everyone is having a good time. Obviously it’s a rivalry and we definitely get heated, but at the end of the day it’s all about having fun and seeing who can outbest each other,” Rice says. “We’re all friends in the end, so it’s just a blast.” The casual atmosphere actually helps the competition thrive, as opposed to an environment that is based on hate or disrespect. Positive versus negative motivation, as Rice describes. “It just kinda pushes us. You see a guy do a trick that you’ve never done and it makes you wanna try and step out of your comfort zone a little bit.” Rice says. “And that’s how you progress. You keep

pushing each other, and in the end, you end up getting better.” Now dethroned of their title, the JMU team has to go back to the drawing board for next year’s clash at Massanutten. Their routines probably won’t change for the time being. They board and ski together on a regular basis even when Red Bull Rivals isn’t a factor. But once the competition nears, the mindsets of each team — and even each competitor — change. Do you practice a specific routine? Do you adjust on the fly? Do you think about what you did last year? What the opponents did last year? All of these things come into play. “Yeah, I’ve been losing a lot of sleep, actually, just thinking about it,” Kurtz says. “I get really excited about this kind of stuff, and it’s a once-a-year event, so it means a lot.” It will certainly take some extra effort and preparation from the JMU team to compete with Taylor and the newly crowned Tech team come this time next year. Rice doesn’t see the loss as a roadblock, however. Upping the ante is always part of the fun for these boarders. “Even just this last year, I feel like I’ve progressed a lot just pushing myself,” Rice says. “I’m definitely ready to come out next year with a new bag of tricks, ready to reclaim the throne.” Oh, and just in case the other motivations weren’t enough, the gang from JMU will always have a little bit of school spirit fueling their flips. “Just keep riding, just keeping having fun,” an emphatic Kurtz says. “Go Dukes!” Dylan Garner is a senior media arts and design major. He obsesses over sports and rock music, and he likes to think he can edit well. Contact him at



LIIIVE“ JMU’s own student radio station offers a varied taste found nowhere else Story by Lucy Plant Photos by Art Pekun


radio station. It’s known for introducing students to new and different music, a deep variety of shows and keeping everyone aware of all the concerts, house shows and cool events happening around Harrisonburg. A song plays over the waves as K Sean and Beerdog sit casually behind the mic. “People listen to this station instead of others because it’s just so vastly different from what else is out there,” says Long, a senior history major and music minor. “College radio in general is a novelty because it’s people that are not as trained.” It’s more honest, but people also love that we play music that isn’t usually played. “We’re a breath of fresh Beerdog J and K Sean Long air their pre-game show for WXJM Live, air in the midst of where they introduce live acts and get their listeners hyped. he trademark scream is heard every Thursday night at 6, and K Sean Long and Beerdog Jay (aka Kevin Long and Jay Huckle) are in the recording studio to do it in unison every time. The two friends host the WXJM Live Pregame, warming up to do WXJM Live at 8 p.m. along with their cohosts Nate Scholz and Morgan “The Machine” Schaffner. WXJM is JMU’s one and only student


the same pop song playing over and over and over again,” Long says. WXJM began back in 1984 when the SGA ballots received an overwhelmingly positive response for a student-run radio station. The station relocated to its current location next to the WMRA studios off of Cantrell and Reservoir during the 2005-2006 school year. The

“We’re a breath of fresh air in the midst of the same pop song playing over and over again.” — Kevin Long new studio has accommodated a larger music library, a garage studio and a more professional atmosphere. “Interest has really gone up this year,” says Huckle, a senior English major and music industry minor. “We’ve done such a good job of getting ourselves out there.” Harrisonburg is a hot spot for local and touring bands looking for exposure, and WXJM is more than happy to give it to them. The station is known for hosting

up-and-coming artists before they gain mainstream popularity and playing music from big names like Gotye, Lorde and Fun before they were anywhere else on the radio. “All the best bands of JMU and Harrisonburg are coming through, and we get to talk to them,” Long says. “I love meeting people and seeing where they’re going because they’re out doing things, and this is just a stop for wherever they’re heading.” WXJM has gone through many changes over the years to become the station we all know and love today, but the one consistency in its success is the dedication of its passionate and hard-working staff of students, who do all they do in the name of college radio. “People don’t really realize that college radio is an entire industry in itself,” says Schaffner, one of the WXJM student music directors. “It’s incredibly interesting, and people can get involved at this level and make a career out of it.” Schaffner, a senior media arts and design major and music industry minor, cohosts WXJM Live as well as “The Wünder Twins” with her twin brother, Tony, from noon to 2 p.m. on Sundays. “We’re best friends,” she says. “We have a good rapport on air, so I think that knowing each other our whole life really works to our advantage in trying not to sound awkward.” The two have very different tastes in

K Sean Long and Beerdog J browse their archives to prepare their music choices before airing their radio show on 88.7 F.M. music, causing the genre of the show to jump quickly. Morgan listens to indie and punk rock like the Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg and Frank Turner, while Tony prefers electric dance music, or EDM, and bands like Pretty Lights and Polish Ambassador.


“I like to try and make our show as professional sounding as possible,” Schaffner says. “And when he’s trying to throw something on real quick, it does get us into some sibling banter, but it’s great when we are actually on air we’ll finish

each others sentences.” The Schaffners aren’t the only sibling duo at WXJM. The Blue Brothers, Alan and Eric Sites, are also real brothers. By blood or not, WXJM is a large and tightknit family. “The best part is you can listen to your friends,” Schaffner says. “You can call in and make requests or use our social media … It’s incredibly interactive.”

“You can’t find the eclectic mix of different genres and DJs we have anywhere else.” — Morgan Schaffner Derek Niver, a fifth-year senior graphic design major, is programming director and one of the “Big Three” at WXJM, including Rachel Corson, the general manager, and Dominic Hickman, the business manager. It’s their job to oversee the huge family of more than 100 volunteer disc jockeys, the majority of which are students. WXJM is advised by Tom DuVal from WMRA, but as far as the day-to-day function of the station goes, it’s left completely up to the students. “We try to make the station run as smoothly as possible, which can be difficult with college kids,” Niver says, jokingly. “It’s kinda like wrangling sheep.” It’s also Niver’s job to fill the “grid.” The grid is every show time slot when WXJM is on the air: from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. “Last semester was awesome because it was the first time the grid was filled completely,” Niver says. The filled grid is just a symbol of the great increase in student interest and dedication to WXJM that the station has gained for itself over the years. “I guess people listen for the same reasons we like DJing here,” Niver says. “You can

Jordan Breeding, the lead guitarist of the band Skyward, performs live on WXJM. hear such a wide eclectic range of music, and if you turn on any other station in town, even WNRN, you hear the same songs over and over again. It’s nice to be kind of surprised and maybe discover something you’ve never heard of before.” Listeners seem to appreciate WXJM’s motto and apparent dedication to “put something different in your ears.” “I think we offer a new perspective on music,” Schaffner says. “You can’t find the eclectic mix of different genres and DJs we have anywhere else.” Lucy Plant is a junior media arts and design major. She enjoys hiking, thrift shopping and killer house shows. She has a passion for music, travel, writing and women's studies. Contact her at plantlc@dukes.jmu.


SURVIVING THE CHAOS Ben Hallock had to leave JMU to tend to his father’s mystery disease, but he came away from it with a newfound passion for brewing 26

Story by Jack Crowder Photos by Griffin Harrington As Ben Hallock walks through the production rooms at Chaos Mountain Brewing, he could probably tell you more about beer than the average 20-year-old. For every large container or machine he passes, Ben has an anecdote about how it works or where it’s from. His nose has become tuned to the strong smell of hops that envelopes the facility, and he can tell you what every beer that is brewing is going to taste and smell like — even though he’s not legally allowed to drink it. With a smile on his face, he describes the brewing process with a beaming sense of pride. He follows every description by saying this is where his father does whatever task at hand. A true family business, Chaos Mountain Brewing was conceived by Ben’s father, Joe. Ben and his mother, Wendy, help run the business with an incredible level of dedication and diligence, making the operation seem like a success even before its official opening. But only two years ago, this venture seemed like a pipe dream. There’s no way Ben could’ve envisioned the grand opening of his family’s brand new brewery in May while starting his freshman year at JMU.

new friends, played Super Smash Bros. and went to class. Unfortunately those times had to come to a premature end. After a few months of being at JMU, Ben started to realize there were some problems at home. He knew his father was sick but his parents would not tell him precisely what was wrong. “Knowing that dad was sick and he wasn’t getting better was the worst thing in the world” Ben says. And, of course, every time you talk to him, ‘oh yeah, I’m fine, everything’s great,’ and then he puts mom on the phone: ‘he’s sick, he hasn’t eaten in two days.’ And obviously you know which one is the true one, it’s obviously mom, and dad is trying to make me feel better.” Ben’s father, Joe, was rapidly losing weight. Once at a healthy weight of 160 pounds, Joe had thinned out to a mere 128. Every time Ben visited home, his condition would be worse. It became impossible for him to focus on his studies and college life. Ben describes himself as “notoriously a warrior” — to a fault, in this situation. Attempting to keep his happy demeanor ate at him on the inside, wondering if there was anything that

“When I realized that I thought my father was dying at the time, I really wasn’t concerned for my classes, in all honesty.” ­­ — Ben Hallock Ben’s freshman year at JMU started like most. When the 18-year-old from Franklin County arrived on campus, he was excited about his life as a college student. He made

he could do to help his father. This innerconflict was reflected in his schoolwork. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when Ben’s father began traveling out of

Ben Hallock (left) made the decision to leave JMU in 2011 to be close to his father, Joe, who was battling a severe esophageal condition known as Acute Spastic Achalasia.


state for treatment. He knew something was seriously wrong, even if nobody would tell him. “When I realized that I thought my father was dying at the time, I really wasn’t concerned for my classes, in all honesty,” Ben says. The family first noticed the problems in April 2011 on a business trip in California. “I stopped to have lunch and I sat down to eat and I couldn’t swallow my food,” Joe says. “It was kind of completely out of the blue.” The Hallocks were unsure of what this meant and if the problem would repeat itself. “That’s when he started getting sick and he wasn’t able to swallow,” Wendy Hallock, Ben’s mother, says. “At first you just think it’s a one-time occurrence so you don’t pay a lot of attention to it but later he literally couldn’t swallow water so we began to get concerned.” While Joe had been seeing a couple of doctors, he got to the point where he couldn’t eat at all. The doctors around the Roanoke area had no idea what was wrong with him, so they sent him to a specialist, Dr. John Pandolfino at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. He stayed there for ten days, had a surgical biopsy on his esophagus, and had a J-tube inserted through his stomach so he could be fed with a pump. Joe was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He was told the survival rate for esophageal cancer after five years is about 20 percent. “To go home with that diagnosis and then wait to see what they were going to say was not exactly the high point of my life, let’s put it that way,” Joe says. Ben was left with an excruciating decision to make: to stay at JMU or leave to stay with his dad, who could be in the last stages

of his life. Ben spoke with his professors about his situation, and they allowed him to receive incompletes on his classes. His parents, however, took some convincing. “We had to sit down and I just had to look at them and say ‘I feel like I’m not responsible enough to get my head wrapped around everything at JMU,’” Ben

“If I ever see another Ensure, I’ll probably shoot myself.” ­­ — Joe Hallock says. “Also, I had been dealing with depression at that time, which, depression mixed in with an actual serious illness in the family, is something we should really deal with right now.” Ben’s parents, Joe and Wendy, eventually agreed with Ben’s decision to leave JMU. “It probably wasn’t an easy decision and no parent likes their kid coming home from school,” Wendy says. “But it was good timing on his part.” Because of the cancer, Joe faced the possibility of having his esophagus removed. Dr. Pandolfino was skeptical of the original diagnosis. Dr. Pandolfino checked with the Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical practice group that specializes in advanced cases. The clinic confirmed what Dr. Pandolfino had suspected. Joe’s esophagus actually did not have a tumor. Joe’s esophagus had actually squeezed shut entirely due to periodical spasms. His esophagus was about four times bigger than normal, which kept him from swallowing any food or liquid. Joe had a disease called Acute Spastic Achalasia. “It’s like 1/100,000 people get Achalasia. Out of the 1/100,000, 1/250,000 gets the variety I have,” Joe says. “It’s something that they only see once or twice a year.” Now that Joe was correctly diagnosed, it was time for surgery. He had his esophageal muscles cut in order to decrease pressure. “I don’t swallow, basically,” he says. “When I eat it’s just gravity, and it will be for the rest of my life.” The surgery was more invasive than Joe had anticipated. He was unable to eat for six weeks and afterward could only eat soup, yogurt, Ensure and other soft substances. “If I ever see another Ensure, I’ll probably shoot myself,” Joe says. The recovery was very difficult, not only for Joe, but also for the rest of the family. They felt helpless while Joe was suffering. “It’s not like someone’s who’s sick where you can get someone to help them along the way. He couldn’t even take medicine for pain because it was a matter of swallowing” Wendy says. Joe had to carry a backpack with him all day long that would pump food into his system because he couldn’t eat enough. Without the backpack, he would have continued to lose weight, but wearing it was not a pleasant experience. “There was not a time where he had that feeding tube hooked up to him and he was really happy.” Ben says. The whole recovery process had put the family in a stressful and difficult place. Getting the backpack off

TOP LEFT Ben shows off one of the many parts of the process that must occur before the beer is complete. Many of these parts were bought from another brewing company based out of California. TOP RIGHT Joe pours himself a glass directly from the tank. Future tours will allow guests to try the beers before they are packaged. BOTTOM RIGHT Joe started craft brewing as a hobby 16 years ago. His wife initially bought him a homebrewing kit just to give him something to do. BOTTOM LEFT Chaos Mountain Brewing bottles the beer before packaging it for distribution — with koozies for sale.



was the turning point that would lead the family into a new and exciting venture. The foundations of Chaos Mountain Brewing started long before the appearance of any illness. Sixteen years ago, Wendy bought him a home brewing kit. “I feel like he needed a hobby, honestly,” Wendy says. “The kids were really young at the time. He was doing residential construction of sorts and it was just something nice to do in between, so I bought him a brewing kit.” Joe’s microbrewing career started with this miniature set, and he kept at it consistently

Roanoke Regional Partnership, the plant’s long term production capacity is more than 325,000 cases of bottled beer per year. Chaos Mountain Brewing will have six to eight beers year round with two more rotating seasonally. Its main beers are a scotch ale, a Belgian special dark, a Belgian blonde, a Belgian tripel, an IPA and a Belgian quadrupel. Its first seasonal beer will be a chocolate stout. The brewery runs like a family band, with more alcohol, of course. Each of the family members has their roles. Joe handles most of the brewing process along with Landy, the head brewer, and

“I know my dad, he’s not the kind of guy who can just sit down and stop doing stuff. He’s wired,” ­ — Ben Hallock while he wasn’t busy with his job at SleepSafe, a company he started that designs and creates special beds for those with special needs. He joined the local craft brewers association in Roanoke, where he met Will Landy. Landy would eventually become the head brewer for the Hallock’s new venture. Joe’s interest in SleepSafe faded while he was sidelined with his disease, but his interest in brewing had only grown. He decided to sell his share of the company and considered retiring to devote his free time to his passion. According to Ben, it’s not a surprise that Joe sidestepped retirement for something bigger. “I know my dad, he’s not the kind of guy who can just sit down and stop doing stuff. He’s wired,” Ben says. “He wakes up at 6 a.m. every day without an alarm clock, without error — unless he’s been drinking, which has happened more since we’ve gotten more into beer, of course. … I loved the fact that he wanted to stay busy, and the fact this was something I could actually help with was awesome. After so long of him being sick and just not being able to help at all outside of house sitting while he gone getting treatment, It was a good feeling.” The family spent about a year researching the brewing industry. When they decided it was feasible they wrote a check to pay for their brew house and headed off to Germany and Belgium for more research. Thus came the beginning of Chaos Mountain Brewing. The name originates from Cahas Mountain, located near the brewery. Cahas Mountain Brewing was slated to be the original name until they changed it to better fit the brewery’s personality. “Somebody suggested to us after we started fixing up Cahas that we go with Chaos instead,” Ben says. “Considering we have a very relaxed, prank-filled environment — well, a little chaos in general — it seemed to fit.” This name has also led to the fitting slogan “Chaos is Brewing” that the newly found business has adopted. Now Joe’s old 20,000 square foot Sleepsafe building has been renovated into a fully operational brew house. According to the

Ben serving as an assistant brewer. Wendy runs all of the marketing, including the branding of the beers. She enlisted the help of Okay Yellow, a design company that created the intricate designs for Devils Backbone, Three Notch’d and Starr Hill. A Scottish sasquatch, a group of crazed chefs and a mad biker bunny comprise the characters that line the walls of the tap room at Chaos Mountain Brewing. The family that has endured the long suffering of one of their members is finally able to look forward to better and brighter things. Joe, Wendy and Ben are now closer together than ever. “I think that we deserved it after everything,” Ben says. “We’ve been through enough hardship that this was really just what we needed at the end of it. Some success, some happiness, some new life, something new to try and do. I couldn’t be happier with it.” Ben is now fully on board with Chaos Mountain for the forseeable future, which means his return to JMU is unlikely. His current plan is to take as long as he can to learn the tricks of the trade from his dad and the other brewers around him. But once he’s comfortable, he might try to apply his skills beyond the family business. “I feel like once I have the skills I’d need to work a brewery or a bottling line or brew beer on a large scale, I would go and get the education to confirm it and get a license for it ... and then try my luck and see where I end up,” Ben says. If Chaos Mountain Brewing reaches the success the family expects, who knows? Ben could find his way back to Harrisonburg once again — or at least his beer. “If our beer became really popular at JMU as time passes, I would be incredibly proud. I think it would be awesome to have a presence in the state and a town that I had a lot of fun, and I know that there are more than a few avid beer drinkers.” Jack Crowder is a junior marketing major. He is studying abroad in Antwerp, Belgium, this summer, and he once wore Heath Ledger’s pants as an acting extra. Contact him at


ONTAP Check out the stories behind three of Chaos Mountain Brewing’s signature beers as well as the wild banners created by Okay Yellow. “When our head brewer used to misbehave as a child, his British grandmother called him a “Cheeky Monkey!” As a tribute, he used a British maris otter malt when brewing this Belgian-style golden ale, giving it a darker golden color and extra maltiness to compliment the fruity notes from the Belgian yeast.”

5.3% ABV “Our Mad Hopper is ‘MAD’ for this beer. He is full on streampunk and on the edge of satisfying his thirst. This IPA is brewed with six varieties of hops. After fermentation, it is dry hopped, giving it that wonderful citrus aroma. The full flavor offers just the right amount of bitterness and great citrus hop nose that makes you come back for more.”

6.7% ABV “This Belgian style quadrupel is our tribute to our chef friends who are known on occasion to go a little over the edge. They have graciously proven to us that food is art and that they love their craft. Deep brown in color with hints of caramel, plum and fig, this big beer is great with hearty fare or as an afterdinner beer.”

8.5% ABV




After a fierce Battle of the Bands, Philosophunk comes out on top Story by Joanna Morelli Photography by Art Pekun


hile Nick White, a senior music industry major, cradles a gold cardboard mockup of a Grammy award, Alex Paullin, a fifthyear geography major, and Clifford Blum, a fifthyear music industry major, discuss the fate of the trophy, won by their band, Philosophunk, at UPB’s Rumble Down Under. “Nick’s going to take pictures of it. Cliff and I are probably going to throw in some money to buy a mantle and then we’re going to put it on our mantle and just look at it,” Paullin says. The Dawn Drapes, Madly Backwards, Philosophunk and Swell Daze performed 20 to 25 minute sets in the hopes of winning the trophy and the chance to perform live at Madipalooza at UPB’s Rumble Down Under: Battle of the Bands at Taylor

Down Under on March 19, 2014. Five judges were selected to assist in the judging process; the audience also assisted by submitting their votes for one of the four competing bands. DJ Ryan Slocum, a senior philosophy major, hosted the event and spun beats in between the bands’ sets. Although the competition was fierce, Philosophunk came out as the victors. Philosophunk has been a band only since February. But Paullin and Blum have been jamming together since they first met three years ago in a jazz improvisation class. The band went through growing pains as they cycled through an additional drummer, who soon graduated, and Paullin studied abroad, forcing them to take a hiatus. It wasn’t until Paullin and Blum found Nick White, drums, and Cameron Spiece, bass, that the vision of Philosophunk became a reality. Like the band’s formation, the name of Philosophunk was a spontaneous occurrence. “Band names are always an epic tale. After band practice one day, we were trying to brainstorm and we were just throwing out random words and ideas,” Blum says. “At the core of it all, we’re all philosophical people, so the word philosophy got thrown around. And funk, it’s the core of our …

compositions. So, we just merged the two words together, and Philosophunk was born.” While Philosophunk may lack the experience of some groups it shares stages with, that has not altered its confidence nor its competence; Philosophunk has quickly gained a solid following. “The two basement shows we did, we packed the house. We’re all seniors, so we’ve made a lot of friends over the years who like good music,” Blum says. Its loyal following could in part be due to its use of trademark phrases and Paullin’s ability to draw the crowd in with his stage presence and infectious ever-present grin, which resonated well with the crowd at Rumble Down Under. After Philosophunk mounted the stage following performances by The Dawn Drapes and Madly Backwards, Paullin whooped into the microphone, “Ooh! Ow! Philosophunk.” The “Ooh!” and “Ow!” Blum later described as “a representation of the funk.” Like a shepherd calling his sheep back to him, listeners flooded the small area in between the stage and couches. Providing listeners with a quick informational introduction to their band, Paullin concluded with “I think, therefore I funk,”


the band’s main catchphrase. What followed could be compared to a musical trip to the beach. Listeners clapped and cheered as they were transported to Pacific Ocean waters, floating up and down on riffs of creamy sound waves. One of the songs the band featured at Rumble Down Under, “Waves and Waves,” held true to its name, beginning with the feeling of swimming in Caribbean calm aqua waters and then transitioning into surfing upbeat, faster rhythms, and back again — much like a journey through the ocean. The band’s name and stress of the use of “funk” can be easily heard in their music. What sets them apart from similar mellow alternative rock sounds such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers is its use of Hendrix-esque guitar solos and riffs, giving their sound a jivey, jammy feel that listeners can dance to, as opposed to the typical swaying and head bobbing in reaction to others. Philosophunk performed roughly half of its songs with vocals and half without. It was just before the last song that the crowd began chanting, “Philosophunk! Philosophunk!” To close its set, the band performed “Ticonderoga” — a fan favorite, judging by the uproar the crowd produced. Paullin’s rich, velvety, Mayer-esque vocals left the

Rumble Down Under Competition The Dawn Drapes Sure to inspire head bobbing from a crowd, The Dawn Drapes are known for their Nirvana-inspired classic rock sound tinged with a psychedelic feel. Daniel Rice, a senior communications major, knew Michael Sanzo, keyboard and guitar, from high school. Rice knew Eggy Gorman, drums, through a mutual friend. Their band officially took form when they began to practice together in the So-Be-It House downtown. During their formation, Rice says that “lots of creative forces were at work together.” The band has been performing up and down the East Coast, at downtown venues and parties, and played in UPB’s Spotlight Series at Taylor Down Under. The band hopes to play more shows throughout the East Coast, specifically in Georgia, Tennessee and Boston. As for the future of The Dawn Drapes? “We’re always playing, so we’re going to keep having shows. It’s our career,” Rice says.

Madly Backwards Alex Paullin (left) formed Philosophunk in February with Cameron Spiece (top right), Clifford Blum (bottom right) and Nick White. After only existing as a formal band for two months, the group took home the Rumble Down Under title, earning a spot as the opening act at Madipalooza in April.

crowd chanting the band’s name long after its last song had concluded. The band’s career will not conclude after its performance at Madipalooza, however. The band hopes to keep playing shows throughout the school year and summer and put together an album. “We’re a little uncertain about our future. All of this positive reinforcement from friends and fans popped up fast,” Blum says. “Three of us – everyone but the bassist – we’re all going to be moving up to Northern Virginia for internships … I secretly have hopes that we might stay together if things pick up and pan out well for us. At this point, we’re having as much fun together as we can.” But one thing is for certain – the golden trophy won at Rumble Down Under will be taken care of. “We might have to do a ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ thing and pass the trophy around,” Blum says. “As long as the mantle comes with it,” Paullin adds. Joanna Morelli is a sophomore biology major and life editor for The Breeze. Someday she hopes to hold an owl. Contact her at

Eric Sites, a sophomore business management major, steps up to the microphone at Rumble Down Under wearing a Stevie Ray Vaughan-esque wide-brim black hat with a shimmering silk green and aqua shirt — the attention of the audience immediately drawn to him. Sites, the guitarist and lead vocalist of the band Madly Backwards, leads the band’s set with breezy guitar riffs with a tinge of the blues in every lick. Sites met his fellow band member Nick Wilson, bassist/vocalist for the band and a sophomore computer science major, in his survey of the music industry class. Alex Winkley, the band’s percussionist/vocalist and sophomore physics major, was introduced to Sites through Wilson. The band’s namesake, the rock band Captain Beyond’s 1972 song “Dancing Madly Backwards,” is a hint to what the band’s general sound is like. The band looks forward to playing more concerts in the local Harrisonburg area and will play in the Pinkstone Arts and Music Festival on May 15 in Rock Camp, W.V.

Swell Daze After installing a microphone Elvis Presley would be familiar with onstage, vocalist McCoy Douglasson, an undeclared freshman at Liberty University, begins to test the retro piece: “Pop, pop, popsicle. Ice, ice, icicle. Test, test, testing.” Chuckles echo throughout the audience, and the crowd is ready to hear what the band has to offer for the competition. The classic-rock band consisting of Douglasson, guitarist Addison Smith, a sophomore chemistry major, bassist Mitch Weissman, a sophomore business management major and drummer Titus Barton, a sophomore business management major, draws inspiration for their pieces from names such as The Who and Led Zeppelin, can frequently be found at downtown venues and around the Harrisonburg area. The band focuses on what is key in performing music: forging a relationship with listeners. “The entire reason any of us to perform is that it’s an amazing feeling to connect with the audience through music and on a good night you can definitely feel that,” Smith says. The band has a bright future beyond Rumble Down Under. The band hopes to continue making themselves known in the local music scene and hopes to travel around in the summer performing. “We are just about to drop our first full-length LP … We put a lot of time into it and we’re really excited,” Smith says. “We’re looking forward to touring around the area this summer in West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. We’re going to see where it takes us.”


A Tinderella Story With social dating app Tinder, everyone goes home happy— or at least entertained

*Names have been changed to protect those who wish to keep their profiles anonymous Story by Jen Parravani Photos by Griffin Harrington


pening lines from a porno or attempted pick up line via Tinder? You tell me. If you guessed Tinder, you’re right. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about either. You know what Tinder is. In fact, you probably use it religiously – in secret of course. Since its inception in 2012, the app has been regarded as a jack-of-alltrades. From mobile dating tool to casual hookup finder to the ultimate “let’s see how fast I can creep this person out” game, there is no right way to Tinder. Honestly, it’s amazing what someone will do with the chance that they might get laid. The college environment, according to Assistant Professor of Sociology Jenny

Davis, is no stranger to a hook-up culture where casual sex is the new normal and apps like Tinder just help facilitate that process. Davis, who has extensively researched the interplay between technology and human relationships, says Tinder is a more immediate way to do what we’ve always done.

a more lighthearted way than services like or OKCupid,” Davis says. “It just makes sense to use a tool that can mediate that interaction for us in a convenient way.” Tinder allows us to put ourselves out there, anywhere, and we’re obsessed. Becca, a junior, chose to remain anonymous so Creepy Tinder Tom won’t find her, but is a fan of the service because it means she can meet new people when it is convenient for her. “I can be in bed in my pajamas and a facemask and still meet the type of guys I would meet if I got dressed up to go out,” she says. “The best part is they’ll never know that, since they only see the profile pictures I choose to put forward.” Becca believes that the application has

“If you don’t meet someone by the end of the night, you can always turn to Tinder to find someone easier.” — Jenny Davis, sociology professor “College students have been flirting and hooking up for ages, and apps like Tinder just take that process to another platform in


earned a reputation as part of popular culture on campus, and that it only adds to the notion that college life is about casual sex. “I think people go out with the intention of finding someone to go home with,” she says. “If you don’t meet someone by the end of the night, you can always turn to Tinder to find someone easier.” Davis cites Tinder’s ease of registration (you only need a profile picture and a Facebook account to sign up) as one of the reasons the app is favored among a millennial audience. It is also the ease of selection that attracts users. “It has the potential to let you ‘have sex like a man,’ and you get a confidence boost when you match with someone you think is attractive,” Becca says. This confidence boost, according to Davis, “Offers a bit more control in the dating world by letting you pre-screen and select candidates as potential matches. Like everything in the age of digital technology, it is all about the ability to know what you’re looking for and select those that meet that criteria without having to do all the hard work yourself.” For some female students, the ability to make a pre-judgment and “have sex like a man” could be considered empowering, according to Associate Professor of Sociology Matt Ezzell. “Tinder mimics the 1960’s sexual revolution in that women are able to take their sexual experience in their own hands,” Ezzell says. “Women are able to engage or interact with who they choose on their own terms.” Sounds good to me. So, yes, the app makes finding a friend for an adult sleepover an easy and accessible process. If you have low enough standards,

d e ik


“One time a boy asked if he could knit us matching sweaters. I’m still waiting on said sweater.” — Becca, JMU junior

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finding someone to match with could be as simple as making sure that they are a human being of your desired gender. But is the app really all in good fun, or could what many students consider a joke actually have a harmful side? “The program isn’t necessarily harmful, but it can be,” Davis says. “When a woman puts herself out there as looking for a potential partner that doesn’t mean she’s necessarily interested in sex or is sexually available to everyone.” However, it may not be the technology itself that is causing this threat. Davis’ research suggests that our technology use is typically a mirror of cultural patterns of behavior. “There just isn’t enough awareness of rape culture out there,” she says. In sharing a few of her own encounters via Tinder’s chat feature, Becca reflects that she holds mixed feelings overall. “A lot of the messages are inappropriate and degrading, but if you are careful while swiping, you can have some pretty funny conversations,” she says. “One time a boy asked if he could knit us matching sweaters. I’m still waiting on said sweater.” Regardless of where you stand on the debate over the app, it is actually able to serve its intended purpose: dating. Cassey*, a senior at JMU, is happily attached to her boyfriend, and all it took for Cupid’s arrow to strike was an emoji. Cassey took matters into her own hands after being matched. She found him attractive and noted that he lived in the same area where she would be attending grad school. To get his attention, she merely messaged him a smiley face with hearts for eyes (we all know the one), and from then on conversation flowed smoothly.

And they say romance is dead “A lot of my friends think it’s hilarious that we met on Tinder and poke fun, but it doesn’t bother me at all. ... If I hadn’t used it I probably never would have met [him.]” — Cassey, JMU senior The pair had a successful first date in Richmond and have spent every weekend together since. Cassey, a self-proclaimed “Tinder believer,” isn’t hesitant to tell the world that they first met on Tinder. “A lot of my friends think it’s hilarious that we met on Tinder and poke fun, but it doesn’t bother me at all,” she says. “I think using and meeting someone on Tinder, for the right reasons, is similar to meeting someone random and new at a bar. I’m thankful for the app because if I hadn’t used it I probably would have never met [him].” Yet for all that goes down in history as love at first swipe, it seems that what will be remembered are the bizarre attempts at achieving sex. Or perhaps, like Angela*, you’ll remember the time you took a chance on a boy you met on Tinder, who turned out to be the creepiest dude ever. After months of conversation and exchanged text messages, Angela ventured out to meet her Tinder-friend in person and sparks seemed to fly ­­— until the situation caught fire. “We ended up sleeping together, but the entire time he purred and roared like a lion,” Angela recalls. “So of course I had to cut that s*** off real quick.” Tinder, for all that it’s worth, might draw an analogy to the classic debate over “size.” As in, it’s not what you have but how you use it. It is no secret that the app makes it possible to match and meet people normally not in an immediate friend circle, but it is also no secret that it can give any sane human being the heebie-jeebies when someone asks if they can be their plumber. As for Davis’ overall verdict? “If I were in college, I don’t think I would download Tinder,” she says. But, hey, you can always tell your future children you met at a bar. Jen Parravani is a senior double major in media arts and design and sociology. She occasionally enjoys using Tinder and will be working in New York City upon graduation. Contact her at


Vintage Vibes Funny / Not Funny Records brings new sounds to classic listening mediums

Story by Dylan Garner Photos by Art Pekun


ou don’t go to a show and buy a CD.” The digital music disc is still the most widely used physical music format in the world, and its relationship with the MP3 lets it flex its versatility as well. While the CD’s place in mass culture seems solidified, the denizens of Harrisonburg’s music scene don’t buy — even literally — into this use. “You go to a show and you hand that CD to a person that you want to listen to your music,” Harper Holsinger, coowner of Funny / Not Funny Records, says. “You don’t ask for money in return.” For Holsinger and partner Ben Schlabach, permanence, artistic preservation and even a lighter wallet are the qualities they stand by and preach, but the medium is far from massive. Or even new.

They’re going analog. Holsinger and Schlabach run Funny / Not Funny Records in Harrisonburg. For these two longtime friends and their record label,

of art,” Schlabach says. “You want to be able to hold it and see it. If you look at a CD and a vinyl record, which one are you gonna want?” Funny / Not Funny Records doesn’t set the artistic vision for the bands it works with, nor does it produce any records in a studio. It functions solely to get the records of the duo and their friends to exist in vinyl. When you talk with Holsinger or Schlabach about their label, their infatuation with these vintage media doesn’t come from a place of pretentiousness. Rather, their love was cultivated through years in the small Harrisonburg music scene that they grew up in. Holsinger, a 2007 JMU grad and former MACROCK planner, met Schlabach, a 2006 EMU grad, at the local house and bar shows

“You want to have a physical, tangible piece of art. You want to be able to hold it and see it. If you look at a CD and a vinyl record, which one are you gonna want?” — Ben Schlabach vinyl and cassettes reign supreme over their digital counterparts. The company serves as the middleman between local bands and vinyl manufacturers. “You want to have a physical, tangible piece


Schlabach (left) and Holsinger grew up as a part of the Harrisonburg music scene. They founded Funny / Not Funny Records to simplify the process for bands looking to get their albums into vinyl and cassette. They’ve printed some of their own records, as well. today. Schlabach’s analog nostalgia was fostered from the car he drove at the time, a ’96 Sonata — and its tape deck. He also reminisced over the Plan 9 record store that was once stationed in the middle of downtown and his treks to the “Mecca” location of the store — situated two hours away in Richmond. These experiences created a lasting impression for the duo that laid the foundation for the label. “A label was something that I always wanted to do,” Holsinger says. “It was in the back of my mind. It seemed like the right time and the right spot to do it.” Both grew up with record players and cassette decks readily available, and the players became their platforms of choice. However, when it came to their favorite local bands (now on their label) such as Invisible Hand, based out of Charlottesville, their record shelves seemed thin. A music label was something the duo had discussed, and the analog issue was something they thought they could address. “For me, it was important to go that route because that’s the way I wanted to present things, and also, selfishly, that’s the stuff that

I wanted to have for my personal collection, you know,” Schlabach says. “I wanted to have Invisible Hand records for my personal collection.” Their desire to help create this niche product was born out of necessity, Holsinger says.

vinyl featuring a song from Invisible Hand and a song from the Alphabet, who Holsinger was playing with at the time. As the tour crept closer, they realized why indie, DIY vinyl labels weren’t very common. The vinyl presser that was supposed to manufacture the records wasn’t going to have them ready for the tour, which meant the tour designed to promote these vinyl records wouldn’t even have them available. In a panic to take something with them, they ordered 50 test presses, versions of the records typically distributed as qualitycontrol copies for the label to sort out any issues before the final pressing. After an error involving the color of the test presses, the plant sent 50 more of the raw, unfinished records. “So then we ended up with double the test presses for half the cost, which is great, but then all of a sudden you’re like, what the hell are we going to do with all these test presses?” Schlabach says. They were able to successfully finish their first tour as a label without another significant hitch, but the experience taught them a couple very important lessons about their business

“Apparently, I have a glutton for punishment, and I always have to be doing something.” — Ben Schlabach “Not only was it something we wanted to do, but we felt like we had to do in order to document what was going on,” he says. “Our record label is more of a family affair than it is a record label. ... We felt like that need was there, and we filled something that we thought needed filling.” Schlabach offered a much more candid reasoning. “Apparently, I have a glutton for punishment and I always have to be doing something,” he says. When Funny / Not Funny was conceptualized in the middle of 2009, they planned a tour to promote the label’s first release: a split 7-inch


from the get-go: Never expect things to be on time and always plan for the worst. This applies doubly when dealing with the nowobsolete technology of pressers. “There’s probably a handful of places in the United States that are pressing records,” Schlabach says. “There will be times where we’re trying to press 200 7-inches and the place is also pressing 50,000 Elvis represses at the same time, and you’re like, ‘But come on!’ And no matter how loud you kick and scream, your 200 7-inches are probably not going to outweigh the Elvis camp.” Funny / Not Funny’s newest addition to its catalog, Bishops’ “Silver Lining” cassette, marks the 26th release for the label. The label’s roster of artists has grown slowly since its inception, but its area of impact has increased dramatically. By meeting bands and groups with similar interests along the East Coast, the label’s analog projects have gotten bigger and bigger. While the label is a business, to Holsinger and Schlabach it works as an extension of the friendships they already hold with their fellow musicians. This means that success, variation and experimentation in a band’s future, regardless of whether that future is with their label or not, do not serve as barriers to Funny / Not Funny’s vision. When Holsinger uses the term “document,” he uses it the same way that historians or ancient scribes would. It’s not a necessity for he and Schlabach to put out these records, but it is a necessity for these records and prints to exist. This is why they don’t require contracts — to Holsinger, no “contracts in blood.” If a band wants to try another label for vinyl printing or move up in the world or music, Funny / Not Funny only welcomes it. “If you want someone else to put the record out, I’m not really gonna be sad about it. That’s not to say I don’t want to do it, but I’m not gonna feel [upset] if you are actively pursuing a bigger label or if you think there’s another label that can do something that we can’t do for you,” Schlabach says. “I feel like we … know our place in the scheme of things. If we knock on your door and say we have records for you, you’re probably gonna go, ‘OK, who are you?’ If Jay Z knocks on your door and says, ‘Hey, I’ve got records for you,’ you’ll probably recognize who he is right away.” The two also continue to promote these bands’ other projects on their site, regardless of its branding. “I would like us to be somewhat of a stepping stone because it’s not going to hurt my feelings and it’s going to benefit all of us in the long run,” Schlabach says. “Idealistically, everyone knows what we’re doing and they’re

TOP The band Bishops plays at a release party organized by Funny / Not Funny for the band’s new cassette, “Silver Lining.” The label often hosts showcases and release parties at the Blue Nile and other Harrisonburg venues. BOTTOM The new cassette is showcased alongside the rest of the Funny / Not Funny collection. comfortable working with us.” For the foreseeable future, Funny / Not Funny plans to continue the pace it’s already set for itself. More projects are planned for early 2014, with Holsinger and Schlabach holding parties and shows around the area to promote their freshest pressings. If you meet the gang from Funny / Not Funny at a show, talk about vinyl, share a PBR and take their most recent label mix CD. Just don’t expect to pay for it. “When it comes to digital music, that stuff is for discovery and for access and not really collectible. It’s stuff that should be heard,” Holsinger says. “That’s the way we do it.”

“When it comes to digital music, that stuff is for discovery and for access and not really collectible. It’s stuff that should be heard,” — Harper Holsinger

Dylan Garner is a senior media arts and design major. He obsesses over sports and rock music, and he likes to think he can edit well. Contact him at



22807 Magazine Spring 2014  
22807 Magazine Spring 2014  

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