C Magazine Vol. 7 Edition 1

Page 1



Vol. 7 Oct. 2018

arts & culture

Beyond the Brain page 30

letter from the


Dear Readers, As this school year presents new and refreshing experiences to Paly students, the first edition of C Magazine works to support this concept by examining crucial topics and presenting them in a thoughtful manner, both visually and contextually. New developments can be identified in both the general design of the magazine as well as the rearrangement of the categorical composition. These changes include a new flag and table of contents and the incorporation of stories that not only specifically emphasize arts and culture, but music as well. For those acclimated to the hectic culture prevalent in Palo Alto and the greater Silicon Valley, it is quite common for these individuals to be attracted to the idea of challenging and reaffirming their intellect. However, the term “intelligence” and the way in which it is construed in this particular geographical area presents a conflict that serves to highlight the juxtaposition between students who are considered “book smart” and the tech-geniuses that guide the advancement of technology. In our cover story, staff writers Katherine Buechler, Ashley Guo, Claire Li and Hazel Shah examine these differences, how they have come to characterize the varying interpretations of what it means to be intelligent and how it is a fluid concept that should be malleable for the individual. As many have noted, in order to attempt to quantify intelligence, a concept that has been defined in various numerical ways, people need to look to broader ideas and formulate a more flowing understanding of what the term means to them personally. In the story “From Paly to Platinum,” staff writers Jack Callaghan, Claire Moley, Mahati Subramanian and Maddie Yen tell the stories of Paly graduates who went on to have successful musical careers. In efforts to communicate the historical origins of bands such as “Ugly Kid Joe” and “The Donnas”, both of which were formed by former Paly students, this story also touches upon the inevitable and drastic shift within the music culture in Palo Alto. We are excited for what this year brings and we hope you enjoy this first issue. Happy reading! Ryan Gwyn, Grace Rowell, Lia Salvatierra and Rosa Schaefer Bastian Editors-in-Chief

thanks to our

SPONSORS Alexandra Scheve Alyssa Haught Ann & Rob Schilling Ann Stern Bob Rowell Dana Wideman Denease G. Rowell Gregg Rowell Jacob & Julie Gerhardt Jennifer Wald & Steve Weiss Josh Rowell Juliana Lee Katie Look Kathy Sinsheimer Kenneth & Melissa Scheve Lynn Brown & Bob Stefanski Nora Bohdjielian Simon & Sarla Wright Susan & Warren Gelman


EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Ryan Gwyn, Grace Rowell, Lia Salvatierra, Rosa Schaefer Bastian

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Charlotte Amsbaugh




STAFF WRITERS Katherine Buecheler, Jack Callaghan, Angie Cummings, Sophie Jacob, Karina Kadakia, Chloe Laursen, Claire Li, Theo Lim-Jisra, Isabella Moussavi, Claire Moley, Tamar Ponte, Natalie Schilling, Hazel Shah, Raj Sodhi, Mahati Subramanian, Fiza Usman, Gigi Tierney, Tyler Varner, Nieve Wellington, Jessica Weiss


ILLUSTRATORS Charlotte Amsbaugh, Bo Fang, Leon Lau,


ADVISER Brian Wilson


COVER Katherine Buecheler, Ashley Guo, Claire Li, Hazel Shah

MANAGING EDITORS Jaime Furlong, Isabel Hadly, Emily Filter ONLINE MANAGING EDITOR Ellen Chung COPY EDITORS Jack Stefanski, Ashley Guo

CONTENTS table of



esme stotland


johhny riley

hoes can be considered one of the most overlooked artistic mediums, yet talented artists are working to dismantle this norm, stepping over the boundary between functional and flamboyant. With the use of bright acrylic paints, several Palo Alto High School students have been promoting this innovative technique by customizing their shoes with original art. These unique sneakers are not only a way to share their talent, but they also serve as a funky fashion statement.



4 • ARTS

dante garetto

“Art is a major interest of mine and I was experimenting with different mediums. I thought a shoe would be cool because I could wear my work instead of hanging it on a wall.” - Johnny Riley




In each issue of C Magazine we feature an Artist of the Month. Here we stray from the standard, as we have chosen to feature a piece of art instead, the Senior Deck. An essential part of campus, artists from the class of 2019 contributed to make the deck a unique representation of their unified high school experiences.

TEXT AND DESIGN BY ISABEL HADLY, KARINA KADAKIA AND JACK STEFANSKI PHOTOS BY RYAN GWYN • ART BY LEON LAU he senior deck, a somewhat sacred part of campus, represents the unity, pride and accomplishment of a student’s final year of high school. The ceremonial painting of the deck has been a tradition for each rising senior class as it is their first opportunity to claim the space and personalize it, leaving their mark on campus. Additionally, it shows the bonds formed between students throughout their previous three past academic years. Seen as a privilege only eligible upon reaching senior year, stepping onto the deck is a momentous tradition at Paly. As intimidating as it may seem to the grades below, the deck is idolized by most as they anticipate their chance to occupy the space. Each year, when a new class claims the prized expanse, it is christened with a fresh coat of paint, typically in the familiar splotches of dark brown, sandy beige and various greens, creating the historical camouflage print. The deck, previously a wooden platform on the edge of the quad, went under renovation last year, only finishing near the end of the spring semester. The former senior deck was remodeled into a concrete,


octagonal shape, serving as a memorial to Paly alum Emily Benatar. In the spring of 2012, her family and the Paly community suffered the tragic and unexpected loss of Benatar while she was completing her freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis. Remembered as a compassionate individual, talented lacrosse player and loving sister, the loss of Benatar was felt throughout the community. Designed by

so David Foster, the senior class president, thought of a compromise. “I thought the area in front of the deck provided the perfect opportunity to start a new tradition and showcase our spirit,” he said. Though this idea may sound like a simple solution, a variety of challenges presented themselves throughout the process. In order to enact this decision, Foster had to gain permission from the Paly administration, which he was only able to receive the Friday before school started. Once approved, he gathered a team of artists who were all well-versed in building the intricate spirit week floats. Eager to be a part of the senior deck decorating, the artists “finished [the deck] in 23 hours on the last weekend of summer,” Foster said. The team consisted of Britney Fan, Hannah Li, Jeseop Hwang, Jessica Li, Kaitlyn Ho, Natalie Churchly, Kennedy Herron, Isa Cossio, Ella Thompson, Galileo Defendi-Choi and Audrey Mechali. In order for the senior class to feel united at the start of school, the artists desperately wanted to finish the deck before

“This year, each time a student goes near the deck, they can look back on what the seniors will soon call “the good old days.” her close friend Gracie Cain, the memorial was built using a generous donation from the Emily Benatar Foundation, which hosts volunteer service events annually on her birthday to honor her memory and commitment to service. In many ways, this memorial adds another element of respect to both the deck and the unspoken rules around it. To the senior class, it no longer felt representative to paint and decorate the deck itself for this upcoming school year,

I hope it is a tradition that will last, although I know our grade is more spirited than most. the first day. This dedication presented itself through a tireless weekend where the individuals were so immersed in their work they neglected to apply sunscreen. Weeks after their sun-filled painting venture, Foster joked, “I’m still burnt.” Working late into the night these artists did not let anything discourage them from completing the task they had ahead. Throughout their years at Paly, the class of 2019 has combined their artistic and mechanical talents, utilizing them to create impressive floats. Their freshman year, they used the theme, The Lorax, to build the outskirts of Sneedville on their float. They even found ways to include additional flair, such as truffula trees. The sophomore year float was constructed with a detailed fire truck on one side, and a burning building on the other, which beautifully embodied the theme of firefighters. Last year, they won the spirit week competition with a float resembling

- David Foster

a traditional bathroom covered in rubber ducks, beating out the 2018 seniors. This particular float included a mechanical addition, with waves moving across the front of the float, as well as running water flowing from the showerhead. When painting the senior deck, it was almost instinctive to include these themes within the design, as they have come to encompass the class. “We included the previous spirit week themes on each number to make it special for our grade,” Foster said. “I don’t think any class, while we have been here, has included theirs. I hope it is a tradition that will last, although I know our grade is more spirited that most.” Including each year’s theme within the deck’s design signifies how, after four years of wonderful memories and creating significant relationships with peers, the seniors’ high school experiences are finally coming to an end. For their last year of high school, seniors must acknowledge that it will be some of their last experiences of pure adolescence. This year, each time a student wanders by the deck, they can look back and begin to reminisce on what the class of 2019 will soon call “the good old days.” Not only has the senior class successfully shown their abilities as artists throughout the years, but they have also shown their unity as a class. Their pride and class spirit is something that should be appreciated and acknowledged, especially as we approach the competition of Paly’s Spirit Week.

7 • ARTS

Painting Perspective C Magazine explored a local fine art gallery that displays a new perspective on how to maintain tradition in a innovative society like Palo Alto.

or those who have acclimated themselves to the fast paced, technology centered culture of Silicon Valley, it may seem out of the ordinary to trade an hour of exchanging innovative ideas for time in a traditional gallery indulging in fine art. However, for the last 20 years, Bryant Street Gallery has been providing a peaceful space to study art in the Palo Alto community. The exhibited pieces present a compelling aesthetic and a combination of intellectual themes. As a fine art gallery, the curators of the Bryant Street Gallery tend to exhibit the work of established artists, however, there are many unique exhibitions that feature emerging artists as well. Despite the affluence of Palo Alto, the Bryant Street Art Gallery has stayed afloat by catering to public desire and exhibiting art that represents the original intent and style of the curators. The fine art pieces displayed in this gallery indicate the evolution from traditional artistic standards to a more broad representation of art within our developed culture and society.



8 • ARTS

n the early years of the gallery, exhibits were primarily traditional, presenting abstract designs that left room for interpretation. Now, one can typically find paintings that include realistic elements such as flowers in vasses. However, there are always exceptions to the norms. The exhibit that was most recently presented, the "Third Law of Emotion", featured the artist Stephanie Shank, whose paintings differ from the abstract pieces the gallery prefers. Her work demonstrates a look into her subconscious through an array of color and a refreshing expression of non-literal nature scenes. Not only are the colors used to illustrate various themes and emotions, but they are also are another style element that is reflective of public desire and its fluctuation. Initially, the gallery held pieces with beige and neutral tones and it now presents brighter colors that denote a sense of “freshness”. Despite a shift in preference for details such as colors, there remains a unifying organic feel to each piece of art from the gallery for those constantly surrounded by the work. This includes Jeanne Vadeboncoeur, a Bryant Street


gallery employee whos passion is art. “There are some galleries where art is challenging to the viewers and it’s more about the concept of what they’re doing or how they’re doing it.” Vadeboncoeur said. “[The art] is no longer about the finished product or how it looks. We do think that’s important too, but in the end we want something that also is beautiful to look at and to be around.”

within the community, many galleries have closed and the artwalk ceased as well. Yet, despite this, the gallery has developed a loyal clientele of those who still appreciate fine art and want to incorporate original artwork in their homes or elsewhere. According to Vadeboncoeur working in a place where you’re surrounded by original pieces that have been altered and marked by artists is more remarkable than printed posters and paper. “I cannot stress how important it is to have a brick and mortar space that’s not virtual where people can see the work physically because [some pieces] look great online and some don’t transfer at all.” Vadeboncoeur said. “I think its hugely important to step into a place where you can see and experience it.” With Silicon Valley’s rapid growth art galleries, like Bryant Street Gallery , provide tranquility and the space to take a pause and observe such beauty. The works presented transform the label of solely “art”; they present a story which can be interpreted by one’s own experiences. As a viewer, investing time to look at artwork and understand the theme behind the piece allows the artist to share their own perspective on the world. “We have a little [token] in our window,” Vadeboncoeur said. “It says ‘art saves lives’ and I definitely believe that.” Bryant Street Gallery doesn’t just showcase artwork, it also creates an outlet for people to expose themselves to a whole different world. “I think society without art is just sad and cold.”

Art saves lives According to Vadeboncoeur, although the owner, Karen Imperial, maintains a strong view of the fine art she intends to present, it is recognized that a business must be courteous of what people want to see and what will sell. “We are a business and we have to stay in business by selling artwork, so we have to evolve with the tastes of our clientele,” Vadeboncoeur said. The gallery may claim not to be influenced by public opinion, but even artists are conscious of what they are creating and the idea that it will propel developments in artistic styles and production techniques. Another element that is factored into the business of the Bryant Street Gallery is the influence of technology. When the doors of the gallery first opened, they participated in an art walk with the other galleries in Palo Alto. However, as the presence of technology and its addictive qualities have become more pervasive

ARTS • 9


An examination of the evolution of religious structures and the architectural styles associated with them TEXT AND PHOTOS BY ANGIE CUMMINGS-INGRAM AND LEON LAU • DESIGN BY CHARLOTTE AMSBAUGH

10 • ARTS


he stage, elevated above the ground and surrounded with moving lights and LED lighting fixtures, resembles a setup similar to a concert performance. These are some of the structural elements that are found at the VIVE Church in Palo Alto. As one enters the sanctuary, they are exposed to the massive space surrounded by symmetrical sound -absorbing wall panels brushed in a light-colored birch. Along with the stage lights, they serve to create a warm and bright atmosphere. The enormous projection screen on stage captivates the room, establishing an atmosphere that is engaging yet still allows for contemplation, reflection, and meditation. Anyone who steps into this space will feel the intensity of the stage presence even with its minimalist design.


pace, lines, light and sound are components essential to the experience of architecture; the most profound buildings capture these details through thoughtfully orchestrated design. In recent eras, the architects behind religious structures have been driven to imitate the concepts found in modern architectural styles and incorporate it into their own. Modernday architecture is characterized as a combination of postmodern, tepping through the doors of Grace Cathedral, located on a hill in futuristic, and minimalistic styles that serve to demonstrate the San Francisco, the sprawling pews and the colorful streaks of light adaptation of architectural styles to the modern day. Additionally, that fall from the intricate glass windows prove to be incredibly technology is becoming a more important element of architecture captivating. The placidness of the cavernous space, generally filled with for many places of worship, as demonstrated in many new inquisitive tourists or worshippers, juxtaposes the bustling street that is structures now equipped with lighting, audio and video systems. found outside the thick doors. Those who decide to explore these serene spaces become enthralled by the natural beauty that can be found in this man made structure. Anyone can experience this feeling of enchantment, no matter how much they know about the religion or the history behind the ancient forms of architecture.


"the development of the forms of religious architecture throughout various eras is a process that is breathtaking in itself."


hether looking at a classical cathedral or a sleek, modern mosque, art history critics and public viewers alike can agree on one thing: the development of the forms of religious architecture throughout various eras is a process that is breathtaking in itself. More advanced viewers might be able to better identify the towering steeple of a Protestant church or the monumental ark levitating over the interior of a synagogue, but all who observe religious architecture can revel in their beauty and the themes that they represent. Although the constant advancements and evolutions of religious structures may seem to make shifts in their design, every new aspect serves the same purpose of enhancing the audience’s visceral experience.

ARTS • 11


“Fairy tales are really a great example of evolving cultural standards..."

-Erin Angell, Paly English teacher

Once Upon A Time...


child, mesmerized by the magic and beauty of an alternate reality shining from the pixels of their television, becomes engaged in their imagination and is swept out of their living room. For many, their childhood's have been shaped by the marvelous stories produced by Walt Disney Pictures, an internationally known American film studio. A few

classic characters, such as Snow White, Pocahontas and Peter Pan, are well known beyond the realm of adolescence, yet the authentic tales from which these stories were derived are widely unknown. The principles from which these films were created are representative of cultural standards and stories from the various time periods they were drawn from.

The Fairest of Them All


ost are familiar with the princess dubbed the “fairest of them all” and the animated dwarves who chorused while marching to work. The classic fairy tale popularized by Walt Disney, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” is a retelling from the first edition of the “Grimms’ Fairy Tales,” which was transformed into a more amicable adaptation of the original story. After Snow White is poisoned by her stepmother, the Evil Queen, her awakening by “true love’s kiss” is unabashedly romanticized by Disney. Contrastingly, the original story is absent of the idea of “true love’s kiss” and describes Snow White’s awakening as an accident. As an unconscious Snow White drops to the ground, the impact causes her to cough up a piece of poisonous apple, and she

12 • ARTS

is brought back to life. Additionally, the celebrated seven dwarfs, named after their individual personalities in Disney’s retelling of the story, are all charming fabrications by the Disney writers. The film presents the endearing animated characters singing and dancing about, yet in the original Brothers Grimm story, the dwarves are in fact nameless and impersonal. Although, the Brothers Grimm version of Snow White lacks the liveliness and light-hearted atmosphere of Disney’s version, the original tale displays the nature of the more dismal tales told to children in the 19th century. As time passed, society deviated from these more admonishing stories to reproductions that enhanced the imaginations’ of children.


The Boy from Neverland

eter Pan lived in

Neverland and was known for an everlasting boyhood and a group of friends called the lost boys. Displaying a lack of rules and a multitude of adventures, Disney's version of the tale is the result of adaptations spanning over the past century, omitting unwelcome details of the story's inspiration. The story was based on true events occuring in the late 19th century when J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, experienced

the tragic loss of his brother. Their mother, forever traumatized, was comforted by the thought of her golden child remaining a young boy forever, a concept that is otherwise seen as the inspiration of the tale. Later in his life, following a divorce, Barrie befriended a family who would later become his inspiration for Peter Pan and formed a strong friendship with the two sons. Because of this robust connection, Barrie gained custody of the boys when their parents died from illness, disregarding their

Colors of the Wind


he first Native American Princess, Pocahontas, is known for her distinctive cultural identity and a love story with English settler John Smith, also a fictional character created by Disney. Pocahontas was portrayed in the film as a strong, beautiful and independent woman, but in reality, she was mistreated by the English Settlers due to her race and sex. Though Pocahontas captured the hearts of many viewers with her unique fairytale, her true story unveils the fact that she was forced into marriage because of her gender and social status. During this time, women were commonly forced into marrying older men because they were considered to hold little power in relationships. Due to the many disadvantages Pocahontas and other women of minority races experienced at the time, the love story Disney portrayed between Pocahontas and John Smith never would have occurred. The fictionalized film was created to provide a younger audience with a historical

parents’ intention to leave them in their aunt’s care. This is seen as a plausible origin of the “lost boys,” a pillar of the story. Barrie was repeatedly accused of being a child predator, especially following the scandal with the children, but he was never convicted. The accusations concerning Barrie led people to question whether the original story of Peter Pan conveys the message that children should fear the potential danger of relationships with adults, something that changed as the story evolved.

When the tale of Peter Pan first came out, the conversation regarding pedophelia was more casual, allowing it to be subtly mentioned in children's stories without much commentary. Today, pedophlia is taken much more seriously and therefore, cannot be mentioned in a casual manner in kids tales. Disney has reinvented the story to meet today’s cultural standards and has created a lighter, more joyous story focusing on the theme of children living on forever and savoring unending and reckless fun.

romance, yet in reality, this princess’ life lacked both. Pocahontas is a princess devised from the real story of a woman named Matoaka, who was 12 years old when English settlers began to colonize the "new world" and disrupt the lives of Native Americans. John Smith was one of these settlers, and he was captured by the Powhatan tribe and nearly executed after he arrived to America. Matoaka is said to have saved his life by throwing herself over his body. Unlike the film, Matoaka and John Smith were not romantically involved due to her young age. Instead, Matoaka was estimated to have died around the age of 21 after being held hostage and forced into marriage with another English colonizer. The character of Pocahontas is remembered as a princess that lived happily ever after with the love of her life, not as the woman she truly portrayed; one who was married against her will and taken advantage of due to her cultural background.

Happily Ever After


alt Disney Productions has created hundreds of family-friendly movies for over half a century and continues to drive family entertainment into the future. In a world where perfection is nonexistent, fantasy and imagination create opportunities for visionary individuals, young and old, to find an escape and vicariously experience a happily ever after. Even though perceptions of the fairy tales will continue to shift over the years, the importance of their origins will never fade as they reveal previous societal and cultural norms.

ARTS • 13


east in the west East Asian pop culture has been integrated into the Western world, influencing the Lo-fi music genre and its design.

14 • ARTS

arm and muted tones fill the background of a Lo-fi music video. An animated character sits squarely in the center of the scenery as the gentle trum of a melody permeates the air. The unique characteristics found in east asian culture can now be found around the world, and throughout American commercial fashion and contemporary art. Additionally, modernizing cultures have allowed for east asian pop culture to become popularized in western society through music and animated shows. The cultural integration between eastern and western cultures, has led to the rise of animated shows and mellow jazz hop beats. Lo-fi, the shortened name for “low fidelity”, is known for its distinct association with east asian visual aesthetics like Japanese animations, known as anime. This genre of music is produced with a quality that is lower than songs generally heard on the radio, displaying imperfections, resembling that of a vinyl record. Generally, Lo-fi is associated with its attempts to apply the aesthetics found in anime to their respective music videos on popular streaming platforms like YouTube. Visual representations of Lo-fi music most often include repetitive loops of scenes from popular anime shows. The nostalgic, serene ambience is further demonstrated with screenshots of scenes from anime. Lo-fi music has been popularized by many individuals, including Japanese hip-hop artist Nujabes. The Lo-fi movement was launched when the anime show “Samurai Champloo” was released, featuring Nujabes’ music. It envouraged the blending of Japanese animation and Lo-fi songs. By mixing both eastern and western hip hop elements into his tracks, Nujabes popularized Lo-fi, a sub genre of music that promotes this fusion of cultures. Many iconic animes, including “Samurai Champloo” and “Cowboy Bebop”, are followed by a diverse global audience and praised for their graphics. They include cinematic themes that are prevalent in mainstream films, and are accompanied by a powerful and fitting soundtrack. This relationship has inspired artists to borrow Japanese pop culture and is now being avidly listened to and applied in western entertainment. Such influence can be seen in the vastly popular cartoon series, “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, in which east asian mythology, Taoism and Buddhism are drawn upon. Although Lo-fi music has begun to flourish, the genre can be seen as an inauthentic way of creating music, given that its roots rely heavily on published beats and graphics. A popular pianist and digital musician, “In Love With a Ghost”, describes the Lo-fi genre as one that borrows heavily by sampling or using animated clips from outside sources. In Love With a Ghost says,“It doesn’t help me connect with someone knowing that the base of this art is coming from another independent perspective. On the other hand, some very creative people manage to take that inspiration and make it something totally new.” Some artists draw from the music and imagery of others, but instead of simply copying it, they utilize some aspects entirely forming their original style.


Regardless of the heavy use of other works, many are appreciative of how Lo-fi artists create their music and the aura they build within the genre. Kudasai, another Lo-fi artist, also draws inspiration from both Japanese melodies and anime to create his music. Kudasai says, “Art from everywhere can be very beautiful but nothing can [perfectly] recreate the pure aesthetic that can be found in Asian [Japanese] art.” Utilizing his interest in animation, Kudasai creates light and relaxed tunes with steady melodious beats that transport the listener into a state of tranquility and mindfulness. This borrowing of graphics raises questions amongst the general public such as, is it acceptable to use these designs without any further knowledge of the culture? As Japanese and Chinese culture is becoming increasingly prevalent in western art, society is presented with a debate centered around cultural appropriation versus appreciation. The usage of these aesthetics without proper education and appreciation of the culture runs the risk of appearing as disrespectful. Many Palo Alto High School students, including senior Bridget Li, are avid listeners of the Lo-fi genre. Li says, “In terms of cultural boundaries, as long as the channel has a true appreciation for east asian animation and extends this open-minded, culturally-literate sentiment to their everyday actions, [the anime clips are] acceptable.” But the usage of animated backdrops does not deter students from enjoying this unique style of music. “I think the serenity of the animated clips channels usually use complement the soothing ambience of the music. Nevertheless, Japanese anime along with the cultures and languages of various other countries have inspired countless artists, musicians and designers worldwide. This inspiration has taken off into unique and genuine forms of art that are influencing others. Despite the detrimental effects of cultural appropriation, east asian influences can also inspire cultural appreciation and the drive people to learn about others and how art and culture intertwine. East asian stylistic aspects, especially from Japanese animation, have transformed music and contemporary digital art and have inspired artists to create new innovative styles. Thus, the fascination of this style has spurred the welcoming of foreign designs in western media and arts. As these different cultures continue to combine the sea of creative talents seems to be unending. It is clear that asian pop culture will advance and broaden the horizon for artistic possibilities worldwide, leading artists to appreciate and understand the influential culture.

“In terms of cultural boundaries, as long as the channel has a true appreciation for East Asian animation and extends this open-minded, culturally-literate sentiment to their everyday actions, [the anime clips are] acceptable.” - Bridget Li

ARTS • 15

While it can be used for entertainment, music reaches new heights when used to tell stories, regardless of the time period.



arratives and art exist at the core of one another. Concept albums are a way in which music expresses these narratives, and simultaneously illustrate the stories that inspire music. In order to achieve this concept albums hold a greater message than that which is conveyed throughout the tracks, and serve as more than just entertainment to the public with their tunes. Each song contains a different piece to the puzzle and, when all tracks are played chronologically, they tell a story. Throughout the early 1940s and gaining popularity in the ‘60s and ‘70s concept albums have been continuously reconditioned into contemporary music industries. Although associated with rock music, bands and artists of many genres have decided to release concept albums such as Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” and, more recently, Travis Scott’s “ASTROWORLD” . The Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd’s album “The Dark Side of the Moon” is split into two different parts: Side One and Side Two. The album works to tell a story about how life can easily go unfulfilled, and includes social commentary regarding the factors that can lead society into chaos. Released in the early ‘70s, it is a perfect example of gapless playback, where the tracks run seamlessly into one another; when played chronologically it sounds like a single song. Starting with a simple, quiet heartbeat, we dive into the first track “Speak to Me.” As the heartbeat grows louder, the listener first hears sounds of a cash register opening and receipts being ripped out of it,

which plays on a loop. Two spoken verses begin to explain how the speaker has “always been mad,” which contributes to the message that the album is attempting to promote: society is driving people insane. As the last seconds of the track run into the next song,“Breathe,” the artists’ suggestion regarding the idea that we should value the time we have outside of work and enjoy experiences as they occur, shines through. “On the Run” personifies these themes through a character, representing the singer, who is constantly traveling. Throughout the track, the character serves as a mode of examining the unique pressures of life on the road. Towards the end of the song, a faint sound of a plane crash can be heard, representative of how this lifestyle can be associated with extensive consequential pressures. “Time” focuses more on the idea that we don’t realize how our finite our lifetimes are. One of the lyrics reads, “Time is gone… Thought I’d something more to say,” which suggests the quickly-dissolving nature of time and our absence of awareness in regards to it. The final song on Side One, “The Great Gig in the Sky,” has the lyrics “I’m not afraid of dying” and “Any time will do I won’t mind,” illustrating the artist’s acceptance and understanding that they have no more time left in their life. As Side One comes to a close, listeners are left with the idea that many of them go about their lives without appreciating the time they have. The artists want listeners to realize that when time starts to run out, there is so much that they haven’t seen or done and, by then, it’s too late to go back and change the past.

MUSIC • 17

Side Two distinguishes itself with more individualized songs, while still demonstrating gapless playback and an encapsulating theme. The music relates to the concept that we are harming ourselves by letting a corrupted society and its values destroy the human race. One of the lyrics from the first track, “ Mo n e y,” s a y s , “[Money] is the root of all evil today,” speaking to how money and economic status creates a divide within our society between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots.’ “Us and Them,” the next track, contains a deeper meaning that reflects the band’s point of view on war and the altruistic soldiers. The line “Us and them/after all we’re only ordinary men,” contributes to the idea that underneath all of the armor and uniforms, men are being controlled by their generals like pawns on a chess board. As the song fades into “Any Colour You Like,” we are introduced to the first, and only, song on the album that is solely instrumental. Afterwards, “Brain Damage” touches on mental wellbeing, saying, “There’s someone in my head but it’s not me,” implying that as individuals, it is easy to morph into an alter ego in order to feel accepted by peers. The final track on the album, “Eclipse,” displays the duality of life and how there are two sides to everything: good and bad, black and white, the dark and light side of the moon, reflecting the two sides of the album and their contrasting meanings. In thematic terms, the artists work to suggest that the light can always be reached, but first the darkness must pass over. The final sound of the album is a heartbeat gradually fading away into silence, bringing the album to a close. As the examination of how

society leads us to insanity, it proves how a concept album can have an astroworld impact on those who listen to it. Travis Scott’s newest album can be separated into sections, similar to the two sides of The Dark Side of the Moon. The beginning of the musical journey highlights Scott’s old lifestyle, one riddled with meaningless interactions with drugs, sex and other actions typically associated with fame. The first three songs, “STARGAZING,” “CAROUSEL” and “SICKO MODE,” are intense, high BPM roller coasters filled with constant beat changes; their melodies sprint in short rotations, up and down musical scales. The lyrics of the songs relate to the overall theme of the album as they revolve around how many drugs Scott is doing, and how famous he is. While the songs do not flow into each other, they are meant to be played without gaps. In “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD,” Scott transitions into a selfreflective tone. The song begins with a ghostly howl that grows, twists and turns onto itself. Through this personal rumination on his life, he hints at a simpler life through the lyrics “‘cause air traffic controls the landing,” emphasizing that he believes that God has a plan for everyone. He uses air traffic controls as a metaphor for the work of God and suggests that one’s life is a result of how one works towards God’s plan. Scott’s cadence is frantic and uneasy in “NO

"Concept albums are a way in which music expresses these narratives, and simultaneously illustrate how stories inspire music."

18 • MUSIC

BYSTANDERS,” and in the pre-chorus, where he expresses feeling trapped on a plane, it becomes clear that he is yearning to get off the plane to do drugs. This is followed by the song “SKELETONS,” a synth-heavy track with soaring vocals, symbolizing Scott on a druginduced trip. Throughout “WAKE UP,” Scott and The Weeknd alternate verses and, while on the surface it seems to be sentimental, it is in fact about a harsh comedown from drugs. The theme of drugs is seen again in the songs “5% TINT” and “NC-17,” which are connected through describing some of the common side effects. While “5% TINT” reeks with paranoia, “NC-17” showcases unapologetic animalistic lust, complemented by 21 Savage. In “ASTRO T H U N D E R ,” the beat is well thought out and Scott says that it “Seems like the life I need, seems like the life I need’s a little distant.” The beat fades into static and Scott returns with “YOSEMITE.” Rapper Gunna skims the surface of the beat gracefully and consistently. The roller coaster melodies are present, swelling and deflating delicately like the rhythm of breathing. Launching into “CAN’T SAY,” the song ominously begins, and it is clear that Scott under the influence of drugs once again. This time, however, the lyrics and beat suggest that he is

the dark side of the moon

more confident and more in control. The energy of his previous song “SICKO MODE” is present, yet the restlessness has disappeared. In contrast to the rest of the album, “CAN’T SAY” is the first song to close with the beat fading off into the distance, similar to that of a regular song. “WHO? WHAT!” showcases a new, confident Scott who refuses to fracture his consciousness with drugs. He’s taking control of the song and, by extension, his life. The concept of “ASTROWORLD” shines through in “BUTTERFLY EFFECT.” The lyrics “For this life, I cannot change” speak to how being famous, doing drugs and staying in an endless, toxic lifestyle is too stagnate, and how lack of change is unnatural. Scott speaks of a transformation from a life dependent on drugs and fame to discovering that there is more to life. The first line of his next song “HOUSTONFORNICATION” is “I might need me some ventilation,” and the mention of ventilation indicates that he is ready “to open up the window,” to accept change. This is representative of Scott’s conscious decision to move away from his past choices and to become a brighter, more genuine figure for his daughter. This culminates in “COFFEE BEAN,” the last song in the album. In contrast with the rest of “ASTROWORLD” , “COFFEE BEAN” is more mellow than the rest of the album, akin to R&B. Scott is alone for the first time in the album, with no features to distract him from himself or the reality of his life. The instrumentals fade off, away the closing beats of the song, and “ASTROWORLD” comes to a close. Almost a half a century passed between the release of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” and Travis Scott’s “ASTROWORLD” , yet in both concept albums, the lyrics are woven together seamlessly, with each line part of a bigger picture. While Pink Floyd discusses how society is being driven to insanity by the very people in it, Travis Scott reflects on his own life decisions regarding his drug use, both formatted in a relatively similar way that fulfills both of these messages. If both albums were played without shuffling the songs, the listeners soon come to realize that there is more than meets the eye, and there is an ongoing story behind the lyrics present throughout the album. As a result of their platform and worldwide influence, many artists leave a mark on society through releasing music. Intertwining music and stories together in a compelling way has allowed concept albums to continue to make a name for themselves. Music is so widely loved by today’s society, maybe for its ability to paint a picture and to pull you deep inside.


scan qr codes to listen

Timeless Artists A glance at influential muscians throughout history and their impact on the music industry today.

bove all, music is unifying; nothing brings a crowd of complete strangers together more than singing off-key, wholeheartedly and in unison to their favorite song by their favorite artist in concert. Although millions of individuals discover a passion in music, however, only a select few are lucky enough to share it with the world. Even rarer are artists who create music that make a dramatic impact on its listeners and their lives. These special individuals are the only ones who have created music that will forever be considered timeless. Countless artists are considered exceptionally talented, yet the ones that earn the title of “timeless” are set apart from the rest. The lyrics of their songs enlighten, liberate, frighten and challenge their listeners. These musicians have the power to make sense of the personal experiences of their audience. Not only have they impacted their own genres, but they have also incorporated other genres into their music, transforming them as well. The music created by these influencers will forever be relevant and continue to stand for more than just a catchy melody. Here are a select few who meet the requirements of each genre.

Aretha Franklin

retha Franklin’s voice defines a generation; her music is a rare sound that evokes a sense of pride, love, empowerment and a history of rebellion and social reform. It has the ability to capture the soul of the listener. and reminds them of the emotions felt during times of political and racial upheaval. This includes the civil rights, women’s suffrage and anti-war movements in the US during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Franklin begun her career as a child gospel singer at a Baptist church in Detroit, Michigan. Although her devotion to her gospel roots continued to be prevalent in her life and music, she evolved into a sultry R&B artist, a powerful pop phenomenon and most famously, the “Queen of Soul.” This musical ambiguity led her to become the first female artist admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is also known for her strikingly fierce and astonishing stage presence. Franklin’s legacy, however, is centered around more than her tremendous persona on stage, unforgettable lyrics and melodies /* and her unparalleled voice. She is also honored for her revolutionary influence on the female empowerment and civil rights movements. TEXT AND DESIGN BY ELLIE FITTON, JESS WEISS AND TYLER VARNER • ARTWORK BY LEON LAU

Honorable Mention (Soul): James Brown, Whitney Houston,

Stevie Wonder


Bob Dylan

uccessfully achieving the unheard feat of creating triumphant folk music that is adaptable for pop radio, Bob Dylan made a name for himself in the music industry. His songs were playful, yet carried depth that symbolized hard truths about relationships and human nature. Throughout his career, he wrote and performed countless folk-based songs which influenced the industry in the way that prominent pop artists, the likes of Cher, Elvis, Johnny Cash and Sam Cooke famously covered many of his songs. Dylan continually created music that played major roles in the cultural

and generational movements of the mid ‘60s, such as protest and political anthems. his best known song, a surreal hit called “Like a Rolling Stone,” used thought-provoking language that was rarely found in a pop song and discussed the taboo subjects of homelessness and class, including in the renowned chorus “How does it feel?/To hang out on your own/With no direction home/Like a complete unknown/Like a rolling stone?” In 2016, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature, immortalizing the poetic expression he had through song which provided brutal glances at humanity and what it entails.

Honorable Mention (Folk): Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez


ame any aspect of music production and Prince has mastered it; singing, songwriting, production and guitarplaying, he excelled in it all. Today, most pop artists struggle to master even one of those categories through the course of their entire career. Prince’s voice sounds smooth and rich throughout all of his albums, even while switching between different vocal personas, crooning sweetly bluesy jazz, radiating desperation or experimenting with sounding like a

cyborg. His unique ability to switch seamlessly between an insane range of five octaves is what made his songs first noticed by the public. With topics ranging from geopolitics to partying to reincarnation to love, Prince’s authenticity radiated from his performances and his refusal to conform to the standard of the other artists of his time. Because of this, Prince faced restrictive rules from record labels, causing him to rebrand himself. By changing his name to an unpronounceable “love symbol,” he

escaped oppression from the groups managing him. It was this quality of fiery perseverance that started a period in which he became “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince” and pioneered selling albums and concert tickets online, independent of a label. His personal struggle for artists’ rights kicked off the larger fight to protect their products and images, which continues to have a lasting impact on the music industry.

Honorable Mention (Pop): Madonna, Michael Jackson, Elton John

o one would have expected a self-taught musician, as well as a high school and military dropout, to be regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists of all time. As an extremely talented singer and songwriter, Jimi Hendrix is one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. Hendrix’s career was short-lived, spanning about four years until his tragic and fatal drug overdose. Nevertheless,

he managed to alter the world of rock music, producing a number of hits such as “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” “The Wind Calls Mary” and “Along the Watchtower.” He received various awards, including Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Performer of the Year” in 1968. Inspired musically by American Rock and Roll and electric blues, he is known for popularizing the previously unwanted sounds of guitar amplifier feedback and was one of the

Jimi Hendrix

first guitarists to introduce tone altering effects, such as “fuzz tone,” in their music. Rolling Stone declared that “Players before [Hendrix] had experimented with feedback and distortion, but [he] turned those effects and others into a controlled, fluid vocabulary every bit as personal as the blues with which he began.” Hendrix will forever remain someone who largely impacted the evolution of rock music, shaping it into what it is today.

Honorable Mention (Rock): David Bowie, Queen, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Green


Miles Davis iles Davis was the ultimate jazz musician, encompassing qualities of an outrageous trendsetter. Growing up in the ‘30s, a time filled with war and economic depression, Davis used his music to make sense of the world around him. This was shown in his very controlled and precise playing style, which reflected the intense focus Davis dedicated to his work. His performances were rollercoasters of bright, soaring notes that dropped off quickly into melancholy staccato

rhythms. He filled his concerts with legendary, improvised solos, with seemingly discordant, yet gorgeous, chords and multiplex rhythms during a time when very few other jazz artists were willing to experiment on stage. His effortlessly restrained sound was wanted by musicians of all genres, opening his horizons to styles such as bebop, avantgarde, hip-hop, fusion and hard bop. The styles he was inspired by and played during his career placed him at the forefront of movements within jazz.

Honorable Mention (Jazz): John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong

Bob Marley he line, “one good thing about music when it hits you, you feel no pain,” starts off Bob Marley’s hit song, “Trenchtown Rock,” and many would say it is the perfect epitome of his music. Marley was an extremely successful reggae singer and songwriter whose music became internationally and culturally iconic. He started in a group called The Wailers, who released

some of the earliest reggae records. After spending years producing music with his band, he started a solo career. In 1977, he released his most popular album, “Exodus,” containing hits such as, “One Love,” “Jamming” and “Three Little Birds.” Along with all of his success, Marley focused on infusing his music with his spirituality and wisdom, with lyrics such as “don’t gain the world and lose your soul/

wisdom is better than silver and gold” and “none but ourselves can free our mind.” Marley is also known and cherished for his generosity and charity work, inspiring the Bob Marley Foundation which protects the earth, fights for education for all and invests time and resources into humanity’s well-being. Bob Marley is one of the biggest influencers on reggae and is remembered by all as a spiritual, kind and

Honorable Mention (Reggae): Winston Rodney, Toots Hibbert

Biggie Smalls he Notorious B.I.G or Biggie Smalls, originally known as Christopher Wallace, is considered one of the most influential rappers of all time. Smalls discovered his interest for writing and rapping freestyle as a teenager living in Brooklyn. He began as a jazz saxophonist, which led to his talent for diction and phrasing. He started becoming known for his unique voice: raspy, soulful and gritty. In 1983, he caught his big break when his song “Party and Bulls**t” was featured in the movie “Who’s the Man.”

His signature, witty, rhythmic pattern matching each beat was evident in that first song. Each song that followed was written from a vulnerable place and contains raw and genuine content that tell the unheard stories of those who also came from troubled backgrounds. This is clearly present in his song “Warning,” an example of his captivating storytelling abilities. The baritone flow of his voice is unpredictable, containing wordplay that could seem bizarre and out of place, and constructs a style

that was unique to his music. Today, the subgenre “mumble rap,” a controversial term used for current rap which is characterized for its often simple and inscrutable lyrics, is what usually tops the charts. However, Smalls manages to weave his way into the presentday rap scene with his original play on rhythm constantly being emulated. His legacy lies with his lyrics that pushed the boundaries of the rap genre and gave an unparalleled insight into his view of the world.

Honorable Mention (Hip Hop): Missy Elliot, Lauren Hall, Tupac

Paly to


rior to the late 2000s, band culture played a large role in Palo Alto, especially in Palo Alto High School. The music scene was integrated throughout the city and influenced high schoolers to form bands and pursue their musical ambitions,. While many of these bands were formed for fun among friends, some of them rose to fame, leading to full-time careers in music. From playing gigs in garages to playing sold out shows across the country, the Palo Alto band culture was a big part of people’s daily life. C Magazine takes a look at what this exciting experience was really like and how the band culture in the area has morphed since then.

Ugly Kid Joe


prominent band during this cultural era was Ugly Kid Joe, a group whose sound ranges from rock to heavy metal. It was formed by two longtime friends, Whitfield Crane and Klaus Eichstadt, both Paly graduates. The band released four full-length studio albums, two of which went certified double platinum, along with two compilation a l b u m s and two EPs. Before all of their success, Crane and Eichstadt were two Paly students with a dream of pursuing music as a career. “When I was 14, Klaus and myself went to learn guitar from this guy in Palo Alto named Ken Brown,” Crane said. “I gave up on guitar immediately because of my attention span... I was kinda jealous of Klaus because he was learning how to play the guitar and was way cooler than I was , so I decided that I was gonna be the singer.” The two spent hours at Crane’s house, blasting Crane’s mom’s speakers while working on their music. Despite their mutual interest in creating a band together, Eichstadt was apprehensive of Crane’s singing abilities. “I thought that I could

be the singer of the band so in the bike racks of Palo Alto High School, I walked up to them [Eichstadt and his friend] all excited because I wanted to be the singer of their band, Jigsaw,” Crane said. “But there was another singer that they thought was cooler than me, so I was out.” Following graduation, Crane moved to Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, where he began to take music seriously. “I moved to Isla Vista in 1989 with a skateboard and a backpack and I got in a band there called Overdrive,” said Crane. “Klaus still didn’t believe I could sing so I made a demo [with Overdrive] and brought it back to [Eichstadt’s] house in Palo Alto and showed him.” Impressed, Eichstadt dropped everything and moved to Isla Vista, where he and Crane created Ugly Kid Joe. Early on, Ugly Kid Joe performed around Santa Barbara, drawing crowds of around 800 people. However, it didn’t take long for the band to get a record deal with Mercury Records, who provided the resources to create their first music video to their song, “Everything About You.” MTV, a TV station that, at the time, was very known for broadcasting music videos and giving exposure to smaller artists, discovered Ugly Kid Joe’s music video for “Everything About You” and helped the song blow up. “After that it went boom, boom, boom,” said Crane. “We went from messing around on skateboards and drinking beers in Isla Vista to touring with Ozzy Osbourne and Motorhead within about four or five months.” In 1991, Ugly Kid Joe gained worldwide fame. They worked in studios all over California, creating albums such as, “As Ugly as They Wanna Be” (1991) and “America’s Least Wanted” (1992). Along with creating music, they continued to perform with Ozzy Osbourne, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Van Halen and Bon Jovi. The band’s solo tours were immensely popular, selling out stadiums


across America. “We got to do all the things that one hopes to do as a 23 year old kid in a rock band,” Crane said. “It was everything we hoped and prayed for times one million, but it was a lot to deal with.” Crane described fame as being very serpentine and seductive. “It is almost like a drug addiction, so we always had to keep an eye on it,” Crane said. “But at that age you don’t really know what it is, and it sends you out of your comfort zone. It is something that a lot of people don’t survive, if you look at the casualties of rock history … it is just how it is. But we survived and it was scary but also beautiful.” As Ugly Kid Joe gained popularity, they moved from performing in concerts and festivals in the US to performing around the world. “I had never traveled out of California, nor did I ever think I was gonna travel,” Crane said. “Imagine landing in Australia and having five to eight thousand people come see you … or walking on stage in a country you have never been in, in a town you have never been in and playing for people who know who you are.” After immense success, Ugly Kid Joe

broke up in 1997; however, both Crane and Eichstadt continued to pursue music. Eichstadt

remained an accomplished guitarist while Crane worked on other bands such as Another Animal and Richards/Crane. Despite the long time apart, the road was not over for Ugly Kid Joe. In 2010, the band reunited and have since continued to tour the world and make new music.

The Donnas


rett Anderson, Allison Robertson, Maya Ford and Amy Cesari made their first debut at a lunchtime show in the Jordan Middle School cafeteria, eventually forming the Donnas. At the age of 12, these girls had already found their own way of expressing themselves: through rock music and various colored tights. Due to their individuality, they received a lot of backlash from their peers throughout the beginning of their careers. In high school, Anderson remembers other students not being supportive of their music. “People would leave notes on our lockers saying ‘go home and play with your dolls,’” Anderson said. Despite their peers’ criticism, the girls did not let anyone hinder their success, reminding themselves that there is a much bigger world outside of high school. In 1992, while they still attended high school, the


band officially signed to a small indie record label. After signing, their careers took off. During their junior year at Paly, they travelled halfway around the world to Japan, where they were greeted by a crowd right as they stepped off the plane. Outside of their high school, these girls were a smashing success. Despite the rebellious image the band had built for themselves, they were very studious and dedicated to school. “We have a song called ‘Don’t Wanna Go to School’ but we actually loved school,” Anderson said. “We would trash dressing rooms and clean them up at the end.” To portray a certain image, they felt that they had to stick to playing a role for the public. Anderson states that they put a defiant façade forward when they were truly quite the opposite. In order to be able to follow their dreams at a young age, they had to prove to their parents and teachers that they were responsible enough to do so. “We always got good grades, that was important, your ticket to ride, your parents can’t tell you what to do, you’re kind of checking all the boxes,” Anderson said. Toward the end of the Donnas’ high school careers, students at Paly began to appreciate their work, but still, even when they were performing in clubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Anderson remembers Paly students not truly recognizing their success. “Those clubs were real scenes,” Anderson said. “And then we got to Paly, people would be like, ‘who do you think you are?’” After high school, the Donnas dropped the smaller label, signing with the acclaimed “Lookout Records,” notable for signing Green Day. The girls only attended college for a semester, leaving to fulfill their dream of playing music. However, their struggles with criticism and judgement didn’t stop after high school— being one of the first major all-girl bands isolated them. “A dude in a band is going to get laid,” Anderson said. “If you’re a girl, it’s the total opposite; it’s kind of a strange alienation.” Even though they did not receive the same attention that an all-boy band would, they still had quite a large following. “We got to be role

models for people who didn’t want to just watch popstars,” Anderson said. She remembers travelling to Brazil and being in awe of the crowd. “It is just such a populated country, our crowd was filled with tough girls,” Anderson said. “It’s just really cool to look out to.” Being able to reach a crowd who was not as interested in mainstream music in the 90’s was something they were appreciative of. “The support we received was really contagious,” Anderson said. She felt as if pursuing music was focusing on the art and following those they admire, so having many people listen and love their music was surreal. Their music career sparked many more opportunities for them. A memorable moment Anderson recalls is when the band went on the TV show “Saturday Night Live.” “That was, like, the peak of my life,” Anderson said. “It’s not like it went downhill, I feel like after we put our first seven-inch out we were a real band, everything after that was like icing.” The band also appeared in many movies, such as “Jawbreaker” and “Drive Me Crazy,” and even had a cover of Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself ” in the movie “Mean Girls.” Anderson has left her life of fame and rock and roll and said she would only go back for one thing: “If I could drop into an encore I would

be stoked,” Anderson said. “But there are like 23 other hours in the day… lots of driving, and doing so much paperwork and legal things while negotiating with old white men.” Traveling the world for months at such a young age is not a life many teenagers can handle. Anderson recognized it was difficult, but through this, they all became more independent and mature much earlier than most. “It was hard, but we really had each other,” Anderson said. “We’d be in a hotel room, two beds, two in each bed, so you really can’t get lonely.” Even though the band has now split, they still keep in touch. She describes their bond as a gang mentality, filled with lots of slang and inside jokes, things that will bond them forever. Anderson warns aspiring musicians to not lose sight of the music. “It is very discouraging,” Anderson said. She feels like they struck gold so many times because they kept loving the journey. “If you love what you’re doing it really doesn’t matter if you succeed or not,” Anderson said. “If you’re trying to get famous you’re in the wrong game.” To her, it wasn’t about the success and fame, it was about sharing something she loved with people who shared her passion. Anderson has continued to make music on her own and just mess around without any deadlines. “Losing track of time in the music is really all you can do if you love it that much.”

Paly Today


oday, although not as prevalent, band culture still plays a role at Paly. In 2017, ASB began to host music events on the quad throughout the year. Spun off of actual music festivals, events such as Quadchella and Quadglobe became a huge hit. Not only did they provide entertainment for Paly students during lunch, but they also gave Paly musicians a platform to be recognized. Oscars Band Tribute Band, formed in August of 2018, debuted at Quadside Lands this fall. Composed of almost all seniors, the band focuses on playing rock. “We really like rock and funk music,” drummer Zachary Weitzman said. “We also love jamming, basically just get a group of friends together with some instruments and see what happens.” However, besides these ASB organized events, there aren’t many opportunities for Paly musi-

cians to perform. “Paly needs more bands,” drummer Miles Schulman said. “I think having a space where people could play as a club would be sick. We used to be able to play in the dance studio once a week, and I think if we brought that back, there would be a spike in music culture.” While band culture is not as big as it used to be, bands like Ugly Kid Joe, The Donnas and Oscars Band Tribute Band, have kept it alive.


While My Guitar Gently Weeps Guitars played a major role in music for decades, but with the recent lack of interest in the instrument, will they be buried underground? TEXT AND DESIGN BY KAILEE CORRELL AND THEO L.J. • PHOTOS BY PATILLE PAPAS


ith music constantly evolving, instrumental talent slip into the background. the trends that define the Although the the decline of the guitar serves as a prominent standards for popular music discussion, it is imperative that rise of guitar be acknowledged in a are developing with it. Throughout similar manner. The electric guitar was invented in the early ‘30s; the past decade, the number of blues and early rock icons such as John Lee Hooker, Link Wray and guitars heard in modern music has Muddy Waters made up the first wave of guitar heroes, pushing the fallen drastically, and there is no limits of the guitar while captivating audiences and inspiring millions way of knowing when, where and if of music-lovers to pick up the instrument. Next came the virtuosic they will become relevant again. Well guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Keith Richards, to name a known guitar companies such as Fender, few. During this period, guitar sales hit an all time high, and1.8 million Ibanez and Gibson make instruments were sold in 1974. Five years later, the Japanese electronics company that are used Tascam invented “Something about it [the across the world by the Portastudio, a many musicians. guitar] seems more human.” device that gave any However, with the musician the ability -Kiki Chang decline in use of the to record a number of instrument, these tracks onto a cassette. companies have begun to struggle. This innovation was a huge success and became a valuable asset to Many of these corporations have musicians everywhere, particularly guitarists, as it gave them the recently reported huge losses in revenue, ability to overdub their parts, making their music more complex pushing them to make economic and innovative, as well as assisting in the economic success of the sacrifices. In 2013, Fender had to instrument. withdraw their initial public offering, or At the dawn of the ‘80s, sub-genres of rock, such as hair metal, IPO, due to poor market conditions and started to become more prominent within the music industry. Eddie slow sales. In May of 2018, Gibson filed Van Halen and Slash, rockstars of their time, enthralled audiences for bankruptcy protection after spending with their grandiose and flashy styles of playing. Towards the end large amounts of money of the decade, people’s music preferences started to change from the acquiring smaller happy-go-lucky feel of metal to the darker, more serious demeanor brands and working on of grunge. Grunge was a short lived movement in the early ‘90s a guitar that tunes itself that bought many new people to the guitar. At the forefront of the electronically. Due to movement was the angsty, short-lived rock icon Kurt Cobain. Since these losses, a spotlight has then, we are starting to see fewer bands that have guitarists whose been cast on the decreasing talent and style is unique and distinct compared to other musicians. number of guitar heroes, Critics and fans alike have said that rock seems to be absorbing the guitarists who inspired characteristics of jazz and blues, in the way that rock appears more as millions to pick up an influence in modern music rather than a universally popular and the instrument stand-alone genre. and play. Now, Kiki Chang, a music producer who runs a Palo Alto studio in his people are free time, works with many local artists. Chang got his start in music creating music thirty years ago, around the time metal hit its peak. “Thirty years ago, almost entirely guitar’s role was more prominent. But the guitar as an instrument has digitally, using made no technological advancements in well,” Chang said. “Towards beats and loops the late 90s, electronic and hip hop music started to take over the with computer market. Now, twenty years later, music festivals, like Coachella, as software apps such as well as the market [within the music industry] are quickly moving Ableton and Pro-Tools, away from harder edged music.” consequently letting real Chang also touched on the tactile draw that guitars have. “When

28 • MUSIC

Top: Amps and guitars for sale at Gryphon. Middle: Kiki Chang in his Palo Alto studio. Bottom: Gibson guitars for sale at Gryphon

making [modern] music, everything is centered around beats instead of individual notes. That’s the thing about guitar, it’s such a soulful instrument. Almost like a representation of the vocal cords.” As music starts to branch away from guitar solos and the rock genre as a whole, the decrease in idolization of guitar heroes is affecting guitar shops all around the nation. However, this does not mean that the guitar industry has ceased production. The oversaturation of the guitar market during the height of rock music in the ‘60s, has allowed the used market to continue booming. Gryphon Stringed Instruments, a guitar store in Palo Alto, now primarily sells used guitars, basses and mandolins, but started their company in 1969 when guitars were abundant throughout the nation. Gryphon’s sale manager, Matthew Lynch, has not seen a decline in sales and believes that “the used guitar market has been much bigger than in past years.” Additionally, Lynch added that the declining fortunes of big names such as Guitar Center and the aforementioned Gibson are “due to how they are run.” On new people taking up the instrument, Lynch believes that there is still promise in regards to the increasing interest held by music-lovers for guitar. “The interest “They [Gibson and in learning guitar is still there … Fender] are iconic names but I think we’re just seeing less and and I think they’ll be less standout guitar players in new around for a long time.” bands.” Walt Zeigler, a Palo Alto High - Matthew Lynch School alumni who graduated in 1991, was a music instructor at the School of Rock from 2012 to 2018. He states that kids simply are not educated about older music. “We picked music that stands the test of time, be that modern music that uses guitars as a rhythmic background or an ‘80s act like Living Colour, featuring virtuoso’s like Vernon Reid,” Zeigler said. “Innovation is key here, because no one new seems to be popping up.” School of Rock promotes the education of today’s youth in regards to the greatest hits in music that otherwise would soon be buried under today’s music. “When you’re young, you love music but know very little about it. I find that the older you get, the more you appreciate it. It’s all about learning and listening.” Even if guitars are not as dominant on the radio and in popular culture, we can still cherish the beloved instrument and restore the prominent guitarists who may begin to fade into the backs of our minds. However, with music’s evolution, veterans and novices alike can agree that there will be a whole new generation of musicians wanting to play guitar and a unique genre that will emerge as a result.

MUSIC • 29


Brain the



In an effort to expand Paly’s perception of intelligence, C Magazine investigates the nuances and psychological reasons behind this abstract concept.


umbers are objective and letter grades are concise, but beyond being a scale for measurement, they are meaningless. In the endeavor to quantify intelligence, the Palo Alto community has forgotten what it truly entails. This narrow-minded view of intelligence has proven to be detrimental to the student population in many ways. By using letters and numbers to diminish the meaning of intelligence, societal pressures warp students’ perceptions of their self-worth and undermine the effectiveness of the school system. As times have progressed, however, it has become clear that intelligence is not accurately represented in standardized tests or GPAs. Instead, it is a constantly evolving mixture of attributes that depends on an individual’s perception of their own intellectual potential. At Palo Alto High School, tests and grades are inherent to students’ lives. They often find themselves choosing the most challenging courses to take, especially in science and math, primarily to prove their intellectual excellence. This culture is promoted by the competition between students in order to to feel as though they are excelling in their academic courses. Each year, the pressure to maintain a high GPA and take advanced courses increases as the deadlines for college applications draw nearer. This strict idea of intelligence does not accurately reflect what students believe it should mean. Sophomore Jean-Pierre Meluge says, “I think intelligence should be measured through understanding instead of ‘smartness,’ because most of the kids just regurgitate information just to get good grades on tests.”He believes that students do not learn because they are genuinely interested, but instead do so to compete with their peers and earn a higher grade. Many of the staff members at Paly work to challenge the traditional notion of intelligence through their curriculum and interaction with students. Eric Bloom, a teacher in the Social Justice Pathway, emphasizes that there is a clear distinction between the idea of “intelligence” and “smartness.” “I don’t believe in smart,” Bloom said. “I do believe in intelligence. I think intelligence is the ability to gather, acquire and collect information and then do something with it.”

ARTS| 31

Unfortunately, Paly’s perception of intelligence is rather one dimensional. “The generic Paly kid thinks intelligence is smartness,” Bloom said. “That’s why I get so frustrated when kids say ‘Oh well, she’s smart and he’s smart and that’s why they get good grades.’” He believes that those who excel in classes are actually those who put in hard work to achieve their goals. S t a n f o r d Psychology Professor Michael Frank, who studies children’s language learning, says “intelligence is a general problemsolving ability, but there are many people who are better or worse at certain kinds of problems too, for example verbal or spatial problems.” In the Palo Alto Unified School District, many of these problemsolving abilities are not recognized as different types of intelligences, but simply as natural aptitude in these different areas. For this reason, students whose strengths lie in areas not reflected in academics are commonly overlooked and often feel that they are objectively less intelligent than their counterparts. Although the multiple intelligences theory has been widely accepted by psychologists for many years, an

individual may not necessarily land squarely within a specific area defined by this theory. What makes the concept of intelligence so abstract is that the various definitions do not have explicit boundaries and interact in many different ways, making it difficult to objectively measure it in one definite way. The interaction between one’s intellectual strengths and weaknesses contribute to a complex entity that must be studied both separately and collectively in order to get a true understanding of one’s intelligence. Stanford Psychology Professor Hyowon Gweon, who studies the processes that allow humans to learn and communicate, explains that intelligence can be perceived in a variety of ways due to its nature as a unified whole composed of moving parts. “It’s important to remember that it’s a single brain that makes us understand how things work, how others feel and interact with others, so there are reasons to study [different intelligences] independently but also important to study human intelligence as a single thing,” Gweon said.

“A person’s intelligence is a complex mixture of their ability and the ways that their environment help them build that ability.” -Michael Frank

32 | ARTS

As a culture built on equality, a fundamental source of tension between people is the concept of “natural talent.” People are born with different intellectual strengths which only drives their instinctive obsession to rise above others. Ironically, many who strive to hold equality in high regard attempt to demonstrate their “natural” superiority by displaying said strengths. In fact, it has become increasingly common for people to flaunt minimal effort accompanying high achievement to insinuate that they are “naturally” more intelligent, and therefore superior. “ C e r t a i n l y intelligence is heritable in the sense that it varies genetically,” Frank said. “But a person’s intelligence is a complex mixture of their ability and the ways that their environment helps them build that ability… ‘natural talent’ exists in that some people tend to be stronger than others and can lift heavier things, but anyone can get stronger by training.” Therefore, natural intelligence only relates to one’s abilities at birth. An individual’s intellectual potential is ever changing and extremely dependent on hard work

and constant curiosity. Those who neglect the value of hard work only prove that they have reached the end of their potential. Those who recognize that they have not reached the limits of their intelligence, however, will only see growth their capacity to learn and understand new problems. Since intelligence is such a broad concept that is reflected in various aspects of life, it is unrealistic to measure it purely based on academic achievement. Rather, Gweon explains, it should be measured in the way one lives every day. Gweon says, “Intelligence in a person is recognized by everything that you, I, or anyone, including young babies, do in their everyday lives — you would be surprised how nontrivial it is to do many everyday things that seem so mundane.” Life presents people with problems every day, so it is only natural that people’s responses to simple life events can demonstrate their intelligence. These environmental influences not only reveal intelligence in a person, but they also serve to develop new thinking pathways. This reinforces that constant learning and hard work are the

“Intelligence in a person is recognized by everything that you, I, or anyone, including young babies, do in their everyday lives.” -Hyowon Gweon

ARTS | 33

most significant contributors to intellectual growth. Due to the academic culture at Paly, a concept that seems difficult to grasp is that intelligence is a malleable trait. “I’m trying to move away from the idea that either you have [intelligence] or you don’t,” Bloom said. In helping students realize their true intellectual potential, Bloom seeks to educate in a way that allows growth. In the end, the speed at which one learns is not as significant as the depth of understanding one reaches. “If it takes you ten minutes to do something that takes me twenty, it just means that you can do it faster than me,” Bloom said. “And why is fast important?” Additionally, Silicon Valley influences the students’ perceptions of intelligence by placing a severe emphasis on STEM. In the Bay Area, computer science and biomedical companies line every street and give students the impression that logic and computational skills are valued more highly than creative or social skills. Many companies, however, are beginning to value these previously overlooked skills. Companies have a strong self-interest in combining different types of intelligence and capabilities to build strong teams and ensure long-term success. Because they have come

to see intelligence from a wide point of view, every company has different expectations, standards and goals for both their business and employees. “We look for people who take risks and who draw inspiration from lots of different disciplines,” Pinterest Event Coordinator, Kimmie Glass, said. “People who roll up their sleeves can help us grow and be team players. Innovation happens when disciplines knit.” Today, most universities accept students based on their past grades and test scores as a prediction of future success. Contradicting this method, many studies, including a Time Magazine response that compared the success rates of Sonoma State and UCLA graduates, concluded that the college one goes to does not affect long term success. “You need a strong work ethic to make it far in life, but you always need to be curious and creative,” Glass said. “Being creative is a mindset, not a skill set.” This mindset seems to be one variant perception of intelligence, in which problem solving and creative thinking are highly valued. Many of these desired characteristics and expectations of employees seem to be analogous among corporations worldwide.

“We look for people who draw inspiration from many different disciplines. Innovation happens when disciplines knit.” -Kimmie Glass

In the real world, companies emphasize that success is based on a person’s motivation to work towards and realize one’s full potential. One highly-valued aspect of employees in companies is emotional intelligence, which translates to people with integrity, openness and potential for selfimprovement. High levels of emotional intelligence allow one to be insightful and to motivate others to complete an objective. In high school, emotional intelligence is vastly undervalued, as many do not realize and ignore its pivotal role in success. Emotional intelligence largely affects how humans interact with others and perceive certain situations. Because it determines most of our daily actions, research suggests that it is responsible for as much as 80% of the success in our lives and is one of the most vital examples of how intelligence differs from “smartness.” After experiencing both high school and working environments, many young, successful entrepreneurs and innovators desire a different type of intelligence. “As a high school student, I gave too much credence to external recognitions that supposedly marked someone as intelligent, such as awards, having articles published and degrees,” Jeff Collins, CEO of After School App, said. “Many companies today are placing

greater emphasis on emotional intelligence, roughly defined as the capability to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior and adjust emotions to adapt to environments.” Using GPAs and math lanes as measures of intelligence narrows many students’ perceptions of their abilities. The working world, however, celebrates all different types of intelligence including logical, emotional, creative, physical and artistic intelligence. Successful companies often have an appreciation for a diverse set of skills. To truly understand this concept in a real-world context, Paly students need to broaden their narrow definitions and balance academic performance, hard work and their own, unique blend of these skills. The conventional definition that is popularized in Palo Alto schools hinders students’ intellectual development by influencing their perceptions of self-worth and limiting their potential for a higher intelligence. As generation after generation is brought up with a different definition of intelligence, it becomes clear that there is no single interpretation, as everyone has the power to influence how intelligence manifests within themselves.

“Companies are placing greater emphasis on emotional intelligence, the capability to adjust emotions to adapt to environments.” -Jeff Collins


icture yourself surrounded by piles of clothes in the sale section of your favorite store. Have you ever considered where these clothes end up if they are never sold? Unfortunately, the truth is that excess stock often goes to the landfill— and there is much more of it than you may think. According to the New York Times, H&M has accumulated a staggering $4.3 billion in unsold clothes. In fact, the retail giant has produced so much extra inventory that a power plant in Vȁsterås, Sweden, where H&M was first founded, burns its discarded clothes as a source of energy. The demand for cheap clothes has increased significantly in recent years, prompting major retailers to take shortcuts in order to mass produce clothing at the lowest possible cost. This has established a consumer-driven industry known as fast fashion. However, most of the shoppers causing this are oblivious to the cost of consuming and producing clothing in excess. The true cost of clothing production goes far beyond money— it takes an irreversible toll on the environment. Shopping at trading posts, pop-up stores where people can exchange their unwanted clothes with one another at no charge, is a great alternative to buying new clothing. This cost-free way of getting new clothes has continued to grow in popularity because it is a simple and environmentally-friendly way of upgrading a wardrobe.

“The true cost of clothing production goes far beyond money— it takes an irreversible toll on the environment”

After developing a passion for thrifting and wearing secondhand clothing, UC Santa Barbara sophomore Sophia Willis decided to spread awareness about the importance of thrifting and donating clothing. Willis knew she had an eye for secondhand clothing when people began to take notice of her trendy style. “People love the look of streetwear but struggle when it comes to thrifting and creating their own style,” Willis said. After people continually praised her style, she started a trading post in her community. As her obsession with thrifted clothing began to grow, the Isla Vista Trading Post (@ivtradingpost) that Willis created became a great way for her to involve her community in her passion and help others find second-hand clothing. Working with other eager students, Willis put on the first of many successful trading posts last spring. The event attracted hundreds of students and community members through promoting stylish and unique fashion for free. Due to the immense success of her first trading post, Willis put on four more events in the following three months, allowing thousands of clothing articles to be reused. By following the simple ritual of “collect, curate and rehome,” the Isla Vista Trading Post committee has seen tremendous success in their events, as


everyone who donates leaves with four to five new pieces for their wardrobe. Trading posts are a simple way to create positive environmental change and spark creativity. Willis hopes to spread awareness about second-hand fashion and its positive impact on the environment by inspiring others to give thrift stores a shot before buying new clothes from large name brands. “I really want people to understand how making a small difference in your life can create so much change,” Willis said. “Fast fashion is one of the most environmentally dangerous issues in the world but people do not talk about it because they are not aware.” Several students at Palo Alto High School have adopted a more conscious mindset and purchase clothes second hand, allowing them to acquire affordable clothing in a manner that is both economically and environmentally viable. Paly Junior Kate Milne is one of the many students who has utilized alternative shopping methods to build an ethical wardrobe. “Whenever my family has too much stuff, instead of throwing it away, we donate it,” Milne said. The cycle does not end with donating, however, as Milne partakes in thrift shopping as well. After having a successful experience thrifting, Milne realized that thrift stores are a great place to obtain unique clothing and decided that recycled clothing would become the primary source of her wardrobe. “I really liked the idea of getting stuff for a cheap price,” Milne said. She was also attracted to the individuality thrifted clothing gave her closet. “I don’t like wearing something that five other people are wearing to school that day,” Milne said. “It is more exciting to wear stuff that people are not wearing.” Milne is not the only one who has realized the benefits of buying clothes second hand. Senior Robert Vetter has also fallen in love with thrift shopping and takes every opportunity to find fresh clothing at low prices. “I started thrifting more clothes because it was more environmentally friendly than buying new clothes,” said Vetter. “It’s also cool that they have a more unique look.” He ventures out to thrift stores located both nearby and in other cities. “I usually get clothes from Goodwill or Buffalo Exchange because they’re almost everywhere,” he said. “There’s also a cool store called Community Thrift in the Mission District.” Many feel as if they have to be “trendy” or “hip” in order to thrift shop, but this is far from the case. Junior Ella Ball spent a semester abroad in a small town where clothing stores were sparse, prompting her to give thrift shopping a try. She returned home with many unique clothes and feels strongly about the misconceptions about thrifting, saying, “People think that thrifting is just a trend — but it is a cool trend that everyone should try.” The Bay Area is home to many thrift stores and trading posts that strive to make positive change — each with their own unique style and flare. Next time, before purchasing new clothes, take a moment to think about where you’re shopping and the impact it will have on the environment. Consider stopping by your local thrift store or participating in a clothing swap — who knows what gem you might find.


Trading posts and thrift stores have become popular places to buy unique and affordable clothing. Paly students have given us an inside look on their thrifted wardrobes and the benefits of buying clothes second hand.






Religion and spirituality differ, yet coincide in the sole purpose of granting meaning to the life of an individual.


umans have always looked for a force greater than themselves based on individual personal preference and interpretation. While to define life’s meaning and purpose in attempts to they both center around a divine power derived from a supernatural understand their circumstances. For centuries, religion and being, spirituality focuses on a power that is mainly internal whereas its practices have been the primary source of fulfilling these desires. religion commonly finds this power in an external force. More specifically, spirituality defines an individual’s sacred path of In addition, faith has impacted civilizations through the ideals and ethics of different cultures. However, there is also a more extreme connecting with greater force to find personal identity and purpose. and rare side to religion that has ignited revolutions and isolated The phrase “in the flow” illustrates a feeling that many spiritual differing cultures from one another. For many, an alternative to people experience when they give up control to align with a higher traditional religious customs is an emerging practice rooted in history power. This ideology is prominent within the traditional beliefs of and centered around self-discovery: Native Americans and is described spirituality. Although spirituality as a force that intertwines all paths and religion are generally interpreted Although spirituality and religion are generally of life. The notion of spirituality consists of thought-provoking as two separate concepts, they both interpreted as two separate concepts, they questions such as: where are sources serve one essential purpose. To grant both serve one essential purpose. of happiness? What is the meaning a practice, whether it be prayer or of love? What do I fear most? How meditation, that achieves the hopes of those who seek a sense of meaning in their lives and an alignment do I want to be remembered? Finding answers to these questions helps individuals move past self-created barriers in order to fully devote with a greater force than themselves. Both religion and spirituality are accompanied by negative themselves to a higher awareness of life and its true meaning. Religion can also include an intricate path to self-discovery, found connotations that shape how one perceives them. Spirituality can be viewed as a self-centered adaptation of religion based on the through the faith and worship of a super-human power and the search fundamental aspect of personal-discovery. Alternatively, religion can for salvation. People who center their lives around religious practices be viewed as life-controlling and fear-based. This is driven by the usually find a sense of purpose and a moral code they agree with. possible notion that those who are introduced to religious practices Religion also establishes reliable and loyal communities that are joined are blindly following them. In reality, they have various meanings by similar beliefs and participation in devotional rituals.


Antonia Martinez


ntonia Martinez, a Bay Area community member, discovered her relationship with religion in order to overcome times of grief due to the loss of loved ones in her life. Growing up in a low-income neighborhood in East Los Angeles and raised Catholic, religion was a huge part of her life, she says “I would pray every night before bed, asking God to make sure no one in my family was shot or killed.” She never thought her ideas of her faith would change. Upon leaving her Catholic community at 18, she began to read the Bible in a more investigative and curious manner than in her childhood. Through further research, Martinez felt that Catholicism was more of an interpretation, only loosely based on the literal passages of the Bible. This was a turning point for her becoming a “born-again” Christian, one who no longer blindly follows a religion after discovering a personal form of faith. Growing up Martinez remembered acting and behaving in certain ways, in fear of God’s


punishment. But once she converted, she felt as if she discovered God with a new identity; a forgiving and loving one. After converting, Martinez’s genuine faith is one that is so deeply involved in her life and even gives her a sense of peace and comfort. After her religious realization, Martinez lost her father. This was a difficult time for her, but even in the deepest times of loss and sadness, she found great comfort in religion and firmly believed in God’s plan for her. Weeks before her wedding to her college sweetheart, the couple was jumped by people in the streets of New York, resulting in the murder of Martinez’s fiancé. After these losses, Martinez was consumed by depression, briefly questioning her faith, yet these thoughts of uncertainty were soon diminished. Martinez said “I had to practice faith in order to realize God’s plan is greater than my own.” Throughout this journey, Martinez continued to grow as a “born-again” Christian while still following God’s agenda for her. Religion and the uttermost faith that comes along with it, has been a guiding light that has encouraged Martinez to allow it as a governing aspect of her life.

Amy Cassell


began memorizing Bible verses at the age of two,” said Bay Area parent, Amy Cassell, who was introduced to religion at a very young age in South Carolina. A majority of her adolescent life was filled by apocalyptic conspiracies from her father, who was a fundamentalist Christian. Cassell was not allowed to celebrate certain holidays, including Halloween, as the family considered themselves Pagans, and devoted every day life to the worship of God. It wasn’t until high school that Cassell decided that her beliefs didn’t align with the values she grew up with. She began to break away from her father’s strict rules in order to discover her own beliefs and during her sophomore year of high school, she started to attend an Evangelical church. This was a life-altering experience, as the church introduced new experiences and showed her an alternative approach to religion. Despite this new approach, Cassel continued to be uncomfortable with the notion of baptism and the meaning it carries: in order to be saved and go to heaven, one has to be baptized. “I had an issue with the fact that there were people who were on the planet before Jesus and people who have never heard of him, so how could [those people have been] saved,” Cassell said. Cassell explained how she carried that confusion for years and despite trying to come to terms with it, it was never truly resolved. To attempt to answer her question, Cassel looked towards the Mormon teachings. “I was attracted to their view that even if you weren’t baptized in your lifetime, you could be after you die…and still, be saved,” Cassell said. Despite discovering an answer to one of her issues with the Christian religion, the Mormon faith was unable to relieve the sense of dogma Cassell felt with organized religion. This caused her to look to a manner of spiritual

fulfillment that lay beyond the boundaries of religion. Cassell befriended a woman who defines herself as a Celtic Druid and actively believes in connecting with the earth and energetic fields that lay below ground called ley lines. “I have had a few fascinating experiences where I haven’t interacted with her in a long time or told her what was going on with me,” Cassell said. “And she has done a reading [with tarot cards] and pulled cards which said things that really made me pause and wonder ‘how the heck did you know that?’” Cassell explained how she was also introduced to Tibetan Buddhism, where she became immersed in meditation and worshiped with a group of people lead by a Rinpoche, a group of monks who are highly respected religious teachers in the religion. Cassell says “Learning about all of that is when I did a lot of work around setting an intention around becoming a mom.” Despite her longing for motherhood, Cassell was unable to have her own child. “Within a year of that occurring, Stephanie [the birth mother of Cassell’s adopted daughter] came to me. I believe that being exposed to all of that created the path that lead me to Catie [Cassell’s daughter]” Along with Buddhism and Druidism,

Cassell spent much of her journey exploring energy fields which flow throughout the body by having Reiki, a healing technique where therapists channel energy into a patient, performed on her as a way to restore her physical and emotional well being. Cassell says “I have had people do energy work on me and know things that were going on with me physically as well as in my life in other ways, even without me speaking of them.” As of today, Cassell has used all of her experiences, religious and unconventional, to decipher her personal beliefs. “It is fascinating to me that there is truly a lot of overlap,” Cassell said. “I have decided [that] because of the overlap and because I see value in many different pieces, whether it be spiritual practices or religious beliefs, [it has] caused me to synthesize those pieces and come up with what truly resonates with my spirit.”


As high school students it is easy to become absorbed in the pandemonium of day-to-day lives and forget about the little things that can offer us so much. C Magazine decided to hand the lens over to a couple of young, inexperienced photographers in attempts to gain some refreshing perspectives and understand all of the little things adults might overlook. This collection includes photos by four photographers, from the ages eight through ten, as they document a week from their perspective.

“I just really like cats, ‘cause they rock.”

“[Having the camera] felt real and it was a responsibility.”

“I’ll definitely join the photography club now!”

“I like taking pictures of my little brother and friends because we make funny faces.”


The movement towards accepting the beauty of different body sizes, shapes and skin tones has spread across the country. These movements combat the social construct of ideal images of beauty and empower men and women alike.



n today’s world, social progress is strategically used by major corporations to include branding as part of every movement. Whether it’s the Black Lives Matter movement or the MeToo campaign, companies alter themselves to utilize media momentum. Before early 2015, there was an absence of gender neutral clothing, but over the years clothing brands producing this type of clothing have slowly become more dynamic and found their way into the racks of popular clothing brands such as Target and Asos. Kate Milne, a member of Girls Learning International, finds importance in promoting men and women the equal ability of men and women to present themselves individually. “Society is set up so individuals are expected to choose either a masculine or feminine style from infancy,” Milne said. “I think that if someone wants to dress in a way that isn’t traditional, or exclusively masculine or feminine, then all the power to them.” Not all brands, however have joined in on this movement, however. Some companies have retained an exclusive image by solely providing “one size fits all” sizing in their collections. This includes clothing brands such as Brandy Melville and Tiffosi, both of which cater to younger consumers. As a sales associate at Brandy Melville, Palo Alto High School senior Maddie Lindsay has seen girls come in thrilled to shop, only to be pushed away when the clothes are unable to fit all shapes and sizes. “Brandy Melville is [considered] the most popular store among teens nowadays, and it makes people feel so insecure when they can’t fit into their clothes,” Lindsay said “They want to fit in with everyone else and wear [Brandy Melville clothing], but they can’t.” Tiffosi, a Portuguese clothing brand, sells one-size jeans, but with an alternate approach: they are advertised as fitting sizes 00-12. The jeans are made with 3% elastane for a higher degree of stretch, allowing more

sizes and body types to fit into them. Lindsay attributes this marketing strategy to production productivity. “This way, they can mass produce,” she said. “They don’t have to worry about sizing or spending more money on the extra fabric for bigger sizes.” Instead of producing a wide variety of merchandise, mass production of one size allows for more units to be exported in a shorter period of time. It lets them cut down on production costs because they can macufacture all their items without having to worry about the different sizes. Not only is it easy and efficient, but it also maintains lower labor costs so companies benefit more from their capital. However, their desire for profits can be outweighed by the loss of customers

“I think that if someone wants to dress in a way that isn’t traditional, or exclusively masculine or feminine, then all the power to them” -Kate Milne who cannot purchase their clothes. Tiffosi, who also benefits from the mass production of one-size clothing, instead keeps their profit low while simultaneously reaching a wider customer base. Beyond the fashion realm, the exclusion of specific categories of consumers is fairly common in the beauty industry. Some cosmetic brands, under scrutiny due to the production of makeup lines with limited shade ranges, leave many consumers unable to find their true match, specifically men and women of color. Anne Igiebor, a makeup artist who has been practicing professional makeup for the past six years, has experienced this discrimination firsthand.“I’ve never had a perfect [foundation] match for myself and most times have to mix shades for clients,” Igiebor said. “That would [imply that

companies] do not think people of color matter.” As someone who is constantly accentuating appearances through the art of makeup, Igiebor has seen just how much variety there can be when it comes to complexion. While the exclusivity within a few makeup products affects her professional and personal life, she still hopes for more businesses to advocate for increased diversity and equality no matter the costs. Igiebor says “With the rise of new beauty and indie brands that have decided to focus on this problem, it seems reassuring that it will only get better.” A popular cosmetics brand, Glossier, is among those with a limited shade range. The company released both a concealer and “perfect skin tint” that solely offered five shades. While the majority of the public raved about the company as a whole, they stated that they were unable to attain the right shade without mixing multiple together. Other retailers have branched out, including Cover Girl, who named social media influencer and makeup artist, James Charles, as the newest Covergirl. The title itself portrays the brand’s roots of targeting only women, but with the recent progressive steps the brand has taken, it is apparent that the tradition no longer remains. This addition is representative of the shift towards widening their target market and ending gender-specific associations with makeup. Mixed opinions have arisen concerning what types of products companies should produce and what their audience should sell. In the recent decades, the definition of beauty has transformed to incorporate a wider range of body types and skin tones. While much progression has already occured, many companies continue to promote previously established norms that heavily contrast those of the current day. As more movements centered around body positivity have gained momentum, the future conformity of many




* *

* * *










Out of the 2000’s emanated an era of quintessentiaL fashion characterized by Low rise pants, denim skirts paired with sequin haLters and bright hued graphic shirts. C Magazine put together an ode to the PaLy archives and ceLebrated Looks from the iconic decade. TEXT BY KARINA KADAKIA AND MAHATI SUBRAMANIAM PHOTOS BY PATILLE PAPAS AND COURTESY OF PALY MADRONO • DESIGNED BY MAHATI SUBRAMANIAM, KARINA KADAKIA AND PATILLE PAPAS CULTURE • 47