SHOULD YOU TRUST YOUR TECH?
FLORALS ARE BLOOMING
A CONVERSATION WITH A RISING FEMALE RAPPER
EAT LIKE THE LOCALS
THE MIDWEST IS HOSTING A PICNIC
REDEFINING DATING CULTURE
Visit Goode Greenhouses for annuals, vegetables, herbs, trees, shrubs, houseplants and more!
A SPECIAL THANKS TO
GOODE GREENHOUSES WWW.GOODEGREENHOUSES.COM
19 36 42 48
EAT LIKE THE LOCALS
From beer brats to blueberry pie, these Midwest mainstays are perfect for any summer gathering.
DON’T BE EVIL
While robots haven’t taken over the world—yet—will these tech giants beat them to it?
Purity balls teach you not to do a thing without that ring.
With environmental policies this bad, Trump deserves a lump of coal.
These floral fashions are perennial.
BITS & PIECES
HEALTH & SEX
08 EDITORS' PICKS
54 NIPPLE PIERCINGS
Here’s what we’re loving this spring.
Need we say more?
09 BIT OF LIT: DYSTOPIAN READS
55 PRIVATE PREFERENCES
FOR THE TRUMP ERA Grab some covfefe and start reading.
Revamp your rubber.
56 REVENGE BODIES 10 PERSONAL(IZED) SPACE Give your room a glow-up.
Sometimes your losses can be gains.
57 A POST-WEINSTEIN GUIDE 11 RENTER’S RED FLAGS First apartment? We’ve got you covered.
TO DATING AND SEX Un-blurring the lines.
12 ADULTING 101: INVESTING
58 ESSENTIAL OILS
Finances are hard—we can help.
12 BATTLE OF THE BEANS
Hippies were onto something.
Forget wine tasting—get coffee cupping.
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
13 MEET IN THE MIDDLE
Flyover states have fun, too.
FOOD & DRINK 14 SPICE DRAWER Banish bland home cooking.
15 AT-HOME HERBS Michelle Obama would appreciate this garden.
She’s got her rap down to a science.
60 SYLVAN ESSO Hey Mami—check out this electropop duo.
61 LORDE Praise the Lorde.
62 JULIEN BAKER A singer-songwriter perfects soulful soft rock.
16 FLOWER HOUR
These petals pack a punch.
18 SNEAKY SPIRITS Drink (ir)responsibly.
FASHION & BEAUTY 24 WING IT Because basic black eyeliner is boring.
25 GET GLOWING Dewy skin is in.
26 HISTORY OF HOOPS No, we’re not talking about basketball.
27 THE COMEPACK KID Fanny packs are back in style.
28 FASHION THROUGH HER-STORY Strong fashion, stronger women.
DRAKE MAGAZINE EDITOR IN CHIEF
MEGAN MOWERY EMILY LARSON
JOSIE CARRABINE MADISON KELLY ASSISTANT EDITOR
KATIE BANDURSKI ABBY BETHKE KATHRYN BLAKE VALERIE BUVAT COURTNEI C ALDWELL C AITLIN CLEMENT JORDAN GERMAN CONNOR HARTY MADDIE HIATT ELLIE HILSCHER
ANNA JENSEN SAMANTHA JONES SKYE LAWSON NATHAN MAUGHAN NICK MCGLYNN WILL MUCKIAN CHEYANN NEADES CYDNE RATLIFF ALEC ROTH
ELLIE DETWEILER NICK ELLIS MADISON FREY MADDIE HIATT YEE KWAN LIM LAUREN MCEVOY JONDAVID OTTENBACHER LIZZIE PARKER
JENNA CORNICK ALE DIAZ SAM FATHALLAH CHEYANN NEADES ELIJAH ROCKHOLD
EXECUTIVE EDITOR | WILL MUCKIAN ASSOCIATE EDITOR | ANNA JENSEN ASSISTANT EDITOR | CYDNE RATLIFF MULTIMEDIA + SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR | ELLIE HILSCHER PR + ADVERTISING DIRECTOR | ANNA MALLIN
@2018 Drake Magazine is published with the support of the board of student communications. Opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of Drake University. Letters to the editor are encouraged but will not be published.
This past winter was cold. And long. And brutal. At Drake Magazine, we decided to remedy that by focusing on the opposite of everything frigid, dead winter represents: flowers. Lots—and lots—of flowers. We photographed them (Purity Balls, pg. 42), dressed in them (Garden Party, pg. 30), and even drank them (Flower Hour, pg. 16). We say there’s no such thing as being extra. But within these pages, you’ll also find some well reported, conversation-starting stories. Take a deeper look at President Trump’s environmental policy, and the folks in the Midwest who are doing their part to reverse the damage it’s done (Wasted Energy, pg. 48). Hear from an up-and-coming female rapper who’s friends with—gasp—Lin Manuel Miranda (Dessa, pg. 59). And we know you’re tired of hearing from Bitcoin bros, but we gathered some essential tips for investing wisely, if you’re into that sort of thing (Adulting 101: Investing, pg. 12). We’re blossoming in other ways, too. It’s going to be hard for me to say goodbye to Drake Mag—in my three years here, I’ve met amazing people, told powerful stories, and had the pleasure of working with a fabulously talented staff. But I know that Drake Mag, and its readers, will be in good hands. I look forward to the fresh perspective that Morgan Noll will bring as next year’s editor in chief. I hope you enjoy the stories within these pages. Continue the conversation by following us on Facebook (Drake Magazine), Twitter (@DrakeMag), and Instagram (@drakemagazine). As always, share your feedback with firstname.lastname@example.org—we’d love to hear it.
Direct any questions, comments, or concerns to email@example.com
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
CATHERINE STAUB, JEFF INMAN, SARAH MCCOY, KODEE WRIGHT, KATHLEEN RICHARDSON, NIC MCDOUGAL, UNSPLASH.COM, GOODE GREENHOUSES, CHRISTIAN PRINTERS
Megan Mowery Editor-in-Chief
DRAKEMAGAZINE.COM I AM NOT NEXT
DOCTRINE AND THE DEVILâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ADVOCATE
We know religion is a concept best left out of dinner conversation, but it is undoubtedly a central cog in American culture for both believers and nonparticipants.
As the debate on gun control rages on, the protestors get younger and the conversation gets louder.
COLO CHANEL A female rapper making her way in a city not known for its hip-hop roots, Colo Chanel is equal parts student, performer, and boundary-pusher.
BITS & PIECES
QUICK QUIPS AND NEED-TO-KNOWS
FROM FOOD TO FASHION AND MORE, HERE’S WHAT DRAKE MAG EDITORS ARE LOVING THIS SPRING. PHOTO: MADISON KELLY
“The circle purse is the easiest— and cutest—accessory for all your summer adventures. It’s the perfect size for essentials like your phone, wallet, and lipstick.” -Madison
“I am OBSESSED with this NYCbased beauty brand. Their skincare products are legit, and their makeup was worn by Beyoncé at the Oscars—what more information do you need?” -Megan
“This electropop band is perfect for alternative rock junkies who enjoy hype music or chill tunes that give you ~the feels.~ Their new album GALLERY hits all the right notes.” -Madi
LIVING PROOF TEXTURE MIST
“Cocofusions softens the edge on the original Bai flavors—it’s somehow delicious and nearly free of sugar and flavor additives, which is rare for the beverage world.” -Will
PAPER GIRLS “This beautifully illustrated graphic novel in a series by Brian K. Vaughan is about an all-girl group that delivers newspapers in the ‘80s. They end up being abducted by aliens and transported to the future. You won’t be able to put it down, I promise.” -Mia
“I’ve been using this finishing spray for the past few months, and it gives the perfect undone, ‘I didn’t just spend an hour on my hair’ wavy look.” -Cydne
RAINBOW KITTEN SURPRISE “This is my favorite band at the moment. Their goofy name leads you to believe that they’re some kind of joke, but after listening to the folk-rock band’s songs, I fell in love.” -Emily
“I personally hate diets. After struggling with different ones for over four years, I’ve realized that in the long run they don’t work for me. It’s time to realize that we’re all perfectly fine without them.” -Ellie
PERIWINKLE “This is a calming color that isn’t seen much in day-to-day life. A cotton candy and periwinkle sunset is, I think, the closest we’ll ever see to magic. It helps me feel at ease with life and I cherish those moments in my hectic life.” -Anna J.
BLURRED LINES: INSIDE THE ART WORLD “I like this documentary because it focuses on all the perspectives of the contemporary art world. From the artist’s viewpoint, to the buyer’s viewpoint, and everything in between, it unravels many thoughts and concerns on whether or not the art world should be regulated.” -Josie
'70S STYLE "Big lacy sleeves, chunky heels, and pastel yellow are everywhere now that the weather is warmer. I don't usually like yellow, but I'm here for it this spring." -Anna M.
BIT OF LIT
DYSTOPIAN READS FOR THE TRUMP ERA. WORDS: ANNA JENSEN | PHOTO: SAM FATHALLAH
ystopian fiction is supposed to be just that—fiction. Unbelievable, exaggerated, scary fiction at that. But in today’s world, dystopia’s wild plots and storylines seem increasingly realistic. The Trump presidency has brought us flashbacks of the “doublespeak” of “1984,” the expected submissiveness of women in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and the wild lack of leadership (and maturity) of “Lord of the Flies.” As you read through our picks, take note of the stories’ heroes and heroines, their age, and the way they use kindness, truth and grace to fight for what’s right.
THE ROAD — CORMAC MCCARTHY This 2006 novel and later HBO film is a disturbing post-apocalyptic tale of a nameless father and son as they walk through what was once America, hoping to stumble on some form of life. All of civilization has been destroyed in some unspecified catastrophe. The duo heads south towards the sea as they walk the barren roads carrying a revolver and two bullets. Along the way, they encounter cannibals, battle starvation, and fight infections. Upon reaching the coastline, they discover other families. With limited resources, they’re forced to resort to desperate measures if they want to stay alive. “The Road” is as much a story of harrowing efforts for survival in a post-civilization world as it is a lesson on the world we may face if President Trump and Kim Jong Un don’t play nice with their nuclear buttons.
THE POWER — NAOMI ALDERMAN In this dystopian world, electric powers are at teenage girls’ fingertips— literally. This throws civilization into chaos, and readers eventually discover a world with leadership and power in the hands of women. The novel follows four women across the world as they learn to navigate their powers. At first, the girls are taught not to use them, but eventually they become empowered, using the powers to fight against their oppressors. In the end, women use their abilities in wholly unexpected ways, leaving an ethical dilemma worth pondering. “The Power” explores themes of theology, sexuality, and power dynamics in a world where gender roles are reversed.
THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO — PATRICK NESS The first in a three-part series, “The Knife of Never Letting Go” follows main character Todd and his life in Prentisstown, where private thoughts are public and secrets are nonexistent—and so are girls. Weeks before his 18th birthday, Todd uncovers an area of complete silence, where a girl is being hidden away by the townspeople. Todd and the girl try to escape the town while navigating a communication barrier—she can’t hear his thoughts, and he can’t hear hers. They battle armies and townspeople in their attempt to reach safety beyond Prentisstown. The novel’s main conflict calls to mind the horrors of living in a world where privacy doesn’t exist.
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
BITS & PIECES
QUICK QUIPS AND NEED-TO-KNOWS
WASHI TAPE WALL DESIGN WHAT YOU NEED: - A BLANK WALL - MEASURING TAPE OR RULER
- WASHI TAPE—AMOUNT AND COLORS OF YOUR CHOICE - SCISSORS
Step 1: Plan your design. It may be helpful to cut the design out on cardboard first, then lightly sketch on the wall around it with a pencil so you know where to place the tape. Step 2: Prevent the design from looking tilted by temporarily placing a piece of tape horizontally across the wall to establish the center of your design. Build the design around the tape. Remember, if you don’t want this horizontal piece in your final product, don’t lay pieces of the design over it or you won’t be able to peel it off at the end. Step 3: Apply the tape to the wall, alternating colors as desired.
GOLD PAINTED CANVAS
PERSONAL(IZED) SPACE CHEAP AND EASY SOUNDS LIKE A BAD TINDER DATE. BUT FOR DECORATING YOUR APARTMENT, IT’S THE WAY TO GO. WORDS: SAMANTHA JONES | PHOTO: ALE DIAZ
WHAT YOU NEED: - 1 12 X 16 CANVAS - METALLIC GOLD ACRYLIC PAINT
- YOUR CHOICE OF COLORED ACRYLIC PAINT - FOAM BRUSH
Step 1: Paint the canvas in two to three coats of gold paint. Allow to dry between coats. Step 2: Once the gold paint has dried, paint the other color of your choice in long, vertical strokes using the foam brush. Cover the canvas with this color until two-thirds of the gold paint is covered. Make your brushstrokes as uneven as possible to make the canvas more visually appealing. Step 3: Add additional coats of paint as needed and let dry.
DIY CRATE BOOKSHELF WHAT YOU NEED:
- 2 WOODEN CRATES (AVAILABLE AT HOME DEPOT) - WHITE SPRAY PAINT - MEDIUM SIZED PAINTBRUSH
- YOUR CHOICE OF COLORED ACRYLIC PAINT - COMMAND STRIPS - PAINTER’S TAPE - NEWSPAPER
Step 1: Find a space outdoors or in an open area, and lay two layers of newspaper on the ground. Place the crates upside down on top of the newspaper. Step 2: Lightly spray the white spray paint in short strokes approximately 12 inches away from the crate, until it’s a solid white color. To avoid dripping, apply three to four light coats and allow to dry for 1015 minutes in between. Step 3: Once the paint has fully dried, flip the crates right-side up and paint the inside with colored paint. Make sure that your brushstrokes follow the grain of the wood, and apply several coats until it’s completely opaque. Step 4: After you’ve painted all the crates, stack them on top of each other and use Command Strips to make them stick together. Play around with the orientation—flip crates on their sides to make a square TV stand, or stack one on top of the other for a traditional bookshelf.
START YOUR APARTMENT SEARCH OFF RIGHT WITH THESE SIMPLE STEPS. WORDS: WILL MUCKIAN | PHOTO: MADISON KELLY
enting your first apartment is a hallmark of adulting. It can be exciting or stressful— usually both. What happens if things go wrong? How do you know your super isn’t trying to trap you in his slumlord kingdom? Thankfully, there are a few simple actions you can take to avoid those pitfalls—before you sign 12 months of your life away. Kara Wilcoxon, property manager at Allterra Property Solutions, highlighted some important things to consider.
1. RENTERS INSURANCE This is less of a red flag than it is a word of wisdom: Buy renters insurance. It can be tempting to shy away from the extra monthly fees, but consider the following: Allstate Insurance estimates that the average renter in a twobedroom apartment owns roughly $30,000 in belongings. As with any sort of insurance, the question is whether paying an extra $15 to $30 a month is worth not having to worry about spending another $30K after a freak fire or flooding.
2. SAFETY GAUGE To avoid living in high-risk areas, there are a few simple checks that you can perform while checking out a potential pad. First, call
pizza places and other delivery services to see if they deliver at night. If they don’t, there’s probably a good reason why. Ask the seller how frequently apartments in the complex become available. A higher turnover period means that people aren’t sticking around—and you probably won’t want to, either.
3. BE A CITIZEN OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD The easiest way to find out if you can live in the area is to do just that. Wilcoxon recommends checking out the neighborhood at various times of the day before moving in. Is traffic miserable during rush hour? Do you feel comfortable walking around late? Are restaurants, stores, and hair salons within a reasonable distance? Keep in mind how often you’ll be going to these places. Are you willing to make that trip once or twice a week? It may seem minor, but as a part of your daily life, it’s important to know.
4. STAY CONNECTED Imagine you’ve just settled into your new place. You try to FaceTime your parents to share the news, but all you see is “poor connection.” Make sure you can get an acceptable Wi-Fi provider and adequate cell service in the
apartment. If you’re using your phone every day—and most people are—these are frustrations you don’t want to wrestle with. It’s as simple as using your phone as you tour the apartment. Can you send pictures? Can you stream video? Also, call your internet provider and see if they service your area. Getting a Google Fiber hookup would be ideal, but your landlord may try to push a different service.
5. MAKE SURE YOU AREN’T GETTING ROBBED The last consideration is perhaps
the most noticeable: making sure you’re paying a fair price for the home you’re getting. Wilcoxon recommends performing a market-rate comparison, meaning looking at ads for similar units in similar locations. Higherpopulated areas will be more expensive up front, while rural areas may charge more for utilities or internet. It’s typical for rooms with more floor space, modern appliances, and location in a building to add to the cost. Make sure you know which amenities you need and which you’re willing to part with if the price is too high.
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
BITS & PIECES
QUICK QUIPS AND NEED-TO-KNOWS
ADULTING 101: INVESTING EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INVESTMENTS. WORDS: CONNOR HARTY | ILLUSTRATION: JONDAVID OTTENBACHER
STOCK MARKET When playing the stock market, an index fund is your safest bet. It’s a single investment designed to track the performance of a larger market, like the S&P 500. Investors put their money into one fund, which is then invested in different stocks that help return similar performance as the larger market. They’re safer than other options because although the market is occasionally volatile and some industries—like healthcare and technology—are riskier than others, over a long period of time index funds show a solid upward trend.
RETIREMENT We know—you’re young, you’re invincible, you have no spare cash. But even if it’s not on your mind right now, you need to start saving for retirement as soon as possible. Tom Loftus, certified public accountant and senior investment analyst at PlanPilot in Chicago, recommends the 401(k). “You’re provided with a menu of investments that you can defer a portion of your monthly income into,” Loftus says. “In most instances, the cost of investments you can access in your 401(k) plan will be favorably lower than they would be if you tried to access the same investments on your own.” Many employers match employee contributions to their 401(k). For example, if your employer match is set at five percent and you contribute five percent, you’ll get that same amount of money—money that belongs to your company—put into your 401(k). Score. An IRA, or Individual Retirement Account, is a similar investment, but isn’t sponsored by an employer. With an IRA, you have two options: a Roth
IRA, where you generally pay taxes on your income before entering it into the account but not when you take it out, or a traditional IRA, where you generally only pay taxes on your money when you take it out of the account. Whether you go with a 401(k) or an IRA, there are limitations to how much you can contribute and when you can access your money, but they’re both worth thinking about ASAP.
CRYPTOCURRENCY Let’s talk cryptocurrency. It’s a virtual currency—like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dash—made and traded online, avoiding the fees and restrictions set by a central bank. You can buy things with them just like you would with U.S. dollars. The difference between cryptocurrencies and standard national currencies is the change in value. Every day, the U.S. dollar changes in value—the more money is printed, the less a single dollar is worth. But with cryptocurrencies, there’s a fixed supply—you can’t simply continue to “print” it. When Bitcoin was first introduced, its anonymous founder allowed for a set amount of it to exist, so while it’s still possible to “mine” new bitcoin using complex algorithms and special software, its limit will eventually be reached. Keep in mind that the value of cryptocurrency can change rapidly—the higher the demand, the higher the price that miners can charge investors. It’s also anonymous and untraceable, allowing for illegal use, which raises concerns over its lack of regulation. In the end, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are an investment idea worth considering, but only after thorough research and a healthy dose of courage.
BATTLE OF THE BEANS TIME TO HONE YOUR INNER CRITIC—THESE BREWS ARE MEANT TO BE ROASTED. WORDS: ELLIE HILSCHER f the grown-up sophistication of wine tastings is overwhelming—we’ve been there, too—try cupping. Coffee cupping—not Michael Phelps’ physical therapy routine—is a taste tour of various roasts, origins, and coffee beans. We found three Midwestern coffee companies upping their cupping game.
IPSENTO - CHICAGO
MADCAP - GRAND RAPIDS, MI
THE ROASTERIE - KANSAS CITY
Enjoy your brew with live music at Madcap’s cupping event on the last Friday of each month. While learning about Madcap’s “Seed to Cup Program,” cappuccino connoisseurs don’t just drink their coffee, they find out where it came from, too.
Every Thursday at 5 p.m., the Roasterie hosts its casual cupping event. It focuses on how the coffee tastes, why it tastes that way, and how it’s produced. From bean type to bitterness, more thought goes into your cup of joe than what meets the eye.
Ipsento offers a cupping event on the first Monday of every month. Visitors choose three coffees to pair with booze or a homemade donut of the choice. The African coffee is a fan-favorite, but if you must go decaf, try the Columbian roast.
Amy Moore, class manager and educator at Ipsento in Chicago, explains what to look for in a good cup of joe. Aroma: Does the coffee smell nutty, smoky, fruity, or spicy? In any case, it shouldn’t smell burnt or like chemicals. Acidity: What’s the sharpness of the coffee on the tongue? This sensation will feel similar to how citrus does on the tongue depending on how high or low the acidity levels are. Body: A fuller body feels thick and heavy like butter, while a thinner body feels more like water. Balance: A combination of the three components—determine if one of the components overpowers the others.
MEET IN THE MIDDLE
ROAD TRIPS ARE ABOUT THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION. THESE UNUSUAL MIDWESTERN ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS PROVE YOU DON’T HAVE TO VENTURE FAR FROM HOME TO HAVE AN UNFORGETTABLE SUMMER. WORDS: ABBY BETHKE | PHOTO: COURTESY OF THOMAS FIELDS
COSMOS MYSTERY AREA RAPID CITY, SD
CARHENGE ALLIANCE, NE
Iowa. It’s perfect for gazing up at while savoring the restaurant’s famous chocolate lava cake.
Feel like you’ve left Earth without paying Elon Musk top dollar at this gravity-defying attraction. During the 30-minute guided tour, visitors appear to stand on walls, short people seem to grow taller, and water flows uphill. You might have to call Mulder and Scully after a visit here.
Stonehenge, meet the Midwest. Carhenge is laid out exactly like Stonehenge—but in the middle of a cornfield and built entirely out of vintage cars turned vertical. It has all the mystery of its British counterpart and none of the expensive airfare.
WORLD’S LARGEST COLLECTION OF SMALLEST VERSIONS OF LARGEST THINGS LUCAS, KS
HOUSE ON THE ROCK SPRING GREEN, WI
SPRAY PAINT SISTINE CHAPEL WATERLOO, IA
A two-story tall whale and the world’s largest indoor carousel await within this eccentric mansion. Walk through an “infinity room” that sways in the breeze, watch violins play themselves, and face your fears with an extensive clown figurine collection. This isn’t your basic, boring history museum.
Eating in the Sistine Chapel may be frowned upon in Italy, but in Waterloo, it’s encouraged. At the Galleria de Paco restaurant, artist Evelin “Paco” Rosic painted the entire ceiling freehand in a replica of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel masterpiece—almost single-handedly exhausting the spray paint supply in northeast
Anyone who’s ever wanted to see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, Lutefisk, or Hockey Stick will be pleased to know that they can view them all in one place. There’s just one catch—these monuments have been miniaturized. This tiny traveling collection—with a permanent museum stationed in Lucas—is a big attraction with an even bigger name.
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
FOOD & DRINK
SOMETHING TO FEAST ON
SPICE DRAWER GET TO KNOW YOUR HOUSEHOLD SPICES. WORDS: WILL MUCKIAN | PHOTO: JENNA CORNICK
If you’ve spent any time around a kitchen, you know about “the drawer.” It’s full of jars and shakers, each a shade of brown or red or green. You might wonder—do I really need anything other than garlic? Am I immature for laughing at cumin? Though I still can’t answer the second question, it’s important that any burgeoning home chef has a few spices on hand to add an extra dimension to dishes. Josh and Jake Lamplough, retail employee and manager, respectively, of 360º Flavor & Spice in Geneva, IL, lend their expertise.
CAYENNE PEPPER Ground cayenne is great for an instant punch of heat. If you’re feeling adventurous, throw it into brownies, but generally stick to meat or eggs with this potent powder. “It’s a nice heat and it fades pretty quick too,” Jake Lamplough says. “You can use chipotle if you want something a bit hotter, but it’ll burn longer.”
NUTMEG Nutmeg falls into the same “sweet spice” category as cinnamon but packs a more powerful punch. “It’s used very sparingly,” Jake Lamplough cautions. It’s a warm taste like cinnamon, but it pairs better with baked goods like pumpkin or apple pie. Bought fresh or pre-ground, nutmeg adds a grown-up flavor profile to the amateur kitchen.
CUMIN Cumin provides grounded flavor with a nutty background. It has a small kick of heat—nothing that should overpower a dish—and is a great fit for soups or curry. “You’re going to see it more in Middle Eastern dishes and Mexican food,” Josh Lamplough says. If you’re looking to pair it, coriander can be a great addition as the two go hand in hand.
CORIANDER Coriander is a versatile spice; it can fit into a variety of recipes as a complementary flavor. The strangely citrusy spice is a halfway house between zest and a cinnamon-like warmth, which means it can be used on almost any meat or vegetable. Don’t hold back with this one—it won’t dominate the meal like some listed before.
SAFFRON “Only use a very small amount of saffron when you’re cooking,” Josh Lamplogh says. “It gives a nice golden color to the dish.” Saffron’s distinctive red-brown color and bitter, pungent flavor are highly noticeable. “Saffron goes into Spanish dishes a lot, but it will go into some curries as well,” Lamplough says.
TURMERIC This is really the cusp of obscurity for spices. Turmeric may not have the most distinct flavor, but its health benefits have been well-documented over the years—a pigment in the plant called curcumin may help fight infection and ease digestive issues. Turmeric is great with chicken or other light meats, but throw it on veggies for a double dose of healthy intake. Lamplough recommends pairing it with a small dose of saffron to bring out the golden color in curry and other meals. 14
BRING FRESH FLAVOR INTO YOUR KITCHEN. WE FOUND FIVE VERSATILE HERBS THAT’LL SURVIVE AND THRIVE, WHETHER YOU’RE A GREEN THUMB OR A GARDENING NOVICE. WORDS: CAITLIN CLEMENT | PHOTO: JENNA CORNICK
Give the plants plenty of attention in the beginning to save time later on as they grow. Keith Summerville, environmental science professor at Drake University, says any container with good drainage will work for growing herbs. “I’ve had decent success with 4-inch pots used to sell annuals at almost any greenhouse in Iowa,” Summerville says. Be sure to use the appropriate potting soil and include a piece of cheese cloth at the bottom of the pot to catch excess dirt. Summerville suggests using south and westward facing windows for a full eight hours of sun—but avoid exposing them to too much sun or overwatering them.
Mint grows well by seed and germinates in 10 to 15 days, requiring about eight hours of sun per day. Mint seeds tend to grow best without much soil coverage on top. It can become invasive, so be sure to separate it from other plants. Darland recommends using the herb in dessert dishes or cocktails to add an extra level of intensity and flavor.
Sage seeds germinate between seven and 21 days. Its preferred sandy soil means that sage grows best in its own container. To keep it from flowering, some pruning is necessary. Darland recommends sage for chicken and pork dishes.
BASIL Grow basil from a seed and let it germinate between five and 10 days. Chef Adam Darland, instructor at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA, says basil works well in dishes that are rich in tomatoes. Its savory taste provides a contrast to sweet dishes like fruit salads.
DILL Dill is easy—it can be grown from a seed or bought pre-grown at any greenhouse. This herb requires lots of sun and moist soil at all times, but be careful not to overwater—once or twice per week is enough. Dill grows taller indoors than out, you’ll have to do some trimming. Try dill with dishes like fish tacos or smoked salmon.
ROSEMARY Rosemary is best pre-grown from a greenhouse. Due to its deep root system, this herb should grow in a deep pot. “Rosemary is a very powerful and aromatic herb,” Darland says. “It needs to be with a dish that’s equally as powerful or pairs well, beef being an excellent example.”
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
FOOD & DRINK
SOMETHING TO FEAST ON
THESE FLORAL-INFUSED COCKTAILS HAVE US CHANNELING THE SUMMER OF LOVE. WORDS: MIA TIRADO | PHOTOS: ALE DIAZ
Here Comes the Sun SERVINGS: 6 GLASSES INGREDIENTS 5 hibiscus flowers 1 cup water 1 cup lemon juice 2/ cup sugar 3 1 cup mango nectar ½ cup pineapple juice 8 oz. vodka
INSTRUCTIONS Peel petals from four flowers, julienne, and set aside. Combine water, lemon juice, sugar, mango nectar, pineapple juice, and vodka in a pitcher and stir until sugar has dissolved. Once combined, refrigerate for three hours, or until cocktail is chilled. Pour in a glass over ice and garnish with remaining hibiscus.
EDITOR’S TIPS: - Make sure to inspect and wash flowers for any dirt or small bugs. - If you have mild allergies, gradually introduce flowers into your diet before trying these drinks to avoid aggravation. - All flowers listed are safe to eat. Be sure to only ingest petals on carnations.
Dark Side of the Moon SERVINGS: 4-6 GLASSES INGREDIENTS FOR BLACKBERRY LAVENDER SHRUB ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup water 1 cup blackberries ¼ tsp. dried lavender ¾ cup white wine vinegar ½ cup water
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SHRUB In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water over medium heat to make simple syrup. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. In a medium bowl, combine blackberries, lavender, simple syrup, white wine vinegar, and water. Stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
FOR COCKTAIL 6 oz. brandy 5 large mint sprigs 4 cups ice 2 cups seltzer, chilled 2 lavender sprigs
FOR COCKTAIL Blend brandy, four mint springs, ice, and blackberry lavender shrub until smooth. Pour into pitcher. Add seltzer and stir until well combined. Garnish with remaining mint and lavender sprigs.
Purple Haze SERVINGS: 1-2 GLASSES INGREDIENTS 1 tsp. fresh ginger 1 Tbsp. sugar 1 Tbsp. hot water 5 daylilies ½ bunch of lilac 1 cucumber 3 basil leaves ¾ cup ice 2 oz. gin 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
INSTRUCTIONS Finely grate ginger, set aside. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water over medium heat. Once sugar has dissolved, add ginger, and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for two or three minutes. Set aside and let cool. Extract nectar from three day lilies by separating the pollen from the petals. Peel ¾ of the petals off lilac bundle, set aside. Peel and dice a 3-inch slice of cucumber, set aside. Tear two basil leaves into ½-inch strips. Combine ice, daylily nectar, lilac petals, cucumber, and basil in a cocktail shaker. Then, add simple syrup, gin, and lime juice and shake well. Strain mixture into a chilled glass. Use remaining flowers to garnish.
Heart of Gold SERVINGS: 1-2 GLASSES INGREDIENTS 2 Tbsp. sugar 2 Tbsp. water 3 mint springs 2 carnations 1 oz. fresh lime juice ¼ oz. Yellow Chartreuse 2 oz. white rum ¾ cup ice
INSTRUCTIONS In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water over medium heat to make the simple syrup. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. Let cool. Finely chop two mint sprigs and petals from one carnation. Combine simple syrup, petals, chopped mint, lime, Yellow Chartreuse, rum, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with remaining mint sprigs and carnation.
FOOD & DRINK
SOMETHING TO FEAST ON
YOUR VODKA-FILLED WATER BOTTLE ISN’T FOOLING ANYONE. DRINK ON THE DOWN-LOW WITH THESE HIDDEN FLASKS. WORDS: CYDNE RATLIFF | PHOTO: ELIJAH ROCKHOLD
ith summer just around the corner, outdoor gatherings call for alcohol— but sometimes it’s not worth paying $9 for a can of beer. These virtually undetectable flasks can hold just enough alcohol for a good time. Whether you’re headed to a carnival, musical festival, or family picnic, get boozing with these fun and sneaky flasks.
BINOCKTAILS POWER BANK FLASK The power is in your hands—to drink. Although this flask doesn’t double as a working power bank, it does hold eight ounces of liquor to keep you fully charged on the festival circuit.
Disguise this flask in your cooler—no one will guess that the ice pack is actually packed with 20 ounces of your favorite beverage.
It’s not all your cash that’s making this wallet heavy—it’s the three ounces of beverage hidden inside.
Stay cool at any outdoor formal event with this eight-ounce tie. It’s not risky business if no one catches you.
Get a head start on your summer reading assignment with this Sherlock Holmes classic that opens to reveal an eight-and-a-halfounce flask.
BINOCKTAILS UMBRELLA FLASK This 13-ounce umbrella won’t keep you dry— from rain or lack of alcohol.
EAT LIKE THE
LOCALS FIVE MIDWEST STATES WALK INTO A SUMMER BBQ…WHAT DOES EACH ONE BRING? WE’VE SCOURED THE FLYOVER STATES TO FIND CLASSIC RECIPES FOR A GOOD OL’ FASHIONED PICNIC. WORDS: KATIE BANDURSKI | PHOTOS: SAM FATHALLAH
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
THE COB I OWA
Once you try Iowa sweet corn you’ll wish you lived in a cornfield, too.
6 ears Iowa sweet corn 1 Tbsp. butter, plus more for topping, as desired Salt, as desired
FOR SPICE RUB 2 Tbsp. lime juice 1 Tbsp. paprika ½ Tbsp. black pepper 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
WILD RICE SALAD
Editor’s Tip: Look for wild rice grown in-state, like Moose Lake Wild Rice. Buy online at mooselakewildrice.com.
M INN E SOTA
Forget potatoes. This lake-grown grain makes a mean summer salad.
1 lb. wild rice 2 cups sugar snap peas 2 cups craisins ¾ cup roasted walnuts, chopped 1 package goat cheese
FOR VINAIGRETTE ½ cup olive oil ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup orange juice 2 Tbsp. sugar ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper
Prepare rice as directed on package. Let cool, then transfer to a large bowl. Rinse, trim, and chop the peas. Add to rice, then fold in craisins and nuts. Prepare the vinaigrette by combining oil, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, sugar, salt, and pepper in a mason jar. Shake until thoroughly mixed. Drizzle over salad, then toss. Crumble fresh goat cheese to top salad before serving. 20
Shuck corn. Bring grill up to medium-high heat. Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter and brush onto each ear of corn. Coat with lime juice. Mix together paprika, black pepper, and garlic powder, then sprinkle onto cobs. Place corn on the grill and let sit over heat for 12 minutes, rotating every one to two minutes. Serve with additional butter and salt. Editor’s Tip: You’ll have to be patient to get your hands on this farm-fresh delight. Sweet corn is typically in season from mid-July to late September.
K A NSAS CITY
Would it really be a summer BBQ without juicy, finger-licking ribs? We didn’t think so.
2 lbs. ribs 1 ½ cups Kansas City-style BBQ sauce
FOR SPICE RUB 2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper ½ tsp. cumin 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. paprika 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Mix spices together. Generously rub into all sides of the ribs. Let rest for at least one hour. Set grill to low heat, then place ribs meat-side down. Make sure they’re not directly over the heat source. Cook for an hour, then slather the ribs with BBQ sauce. Continue cooking four or five hours, until ribs are tender and reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. Editor’s Tip: We recommend sauce from one of KC’s most well-known chains, Joe’s. Buy a bottle at joeskc.com.
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BEER BRATS W ISCONS IN
Beer brats are a guarantee at any Dairy State picnic.
6 Wisconsin bratwursts 1 onion 4 cans of beer (we recommend Miller High Life) 6 pretzel buns, sliced To ppings of choice: mustard, sauerkraut, onions
Heat grill to medium heat. Place brats in a large saucepan. Chop onion and add to pan. Pour in beer until brats and onion are covered. Bring to a boil, then simmer until brats are cooked through, or about 10-12 minutes. Transfer brats to the heated grill. Grill for five to seven minutes, or until skin is lightly charred and crisp. Serve on sliced buns with desired toppings. Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tip: We recommend made-in-Milwaukee Usingerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brats. Buy online at usinger.com.
CHICAGO-STYLE POPCORN ILL INO IS
Sometimes it’s the city, not the state, with notorious food.
1 cup popcorn hulls 7 Tbsp. butter, divided 4 Tbsp. cheddar cheese powder ½ tsp. cayenne 1 cup light brown sugar ½ tsp. salt 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
Pop popcorn in an air popper. Divide into two bowls. Melt 4 Tbsp. butter and pour over one bowl of popcorn. Sprinkle cheese powder in the same bowl, then toss to coat. Prepare caramel sauce by melting remaining butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and salt. Whisk until smooth and thick, for about five to seven minutes, then stir in cream. Let cool for about two minutes, then pour over the second bowl of popcorn and toss. Let cool completely. Combine both bowls of popcorn in a large paper bag, toss, and serve. Editor’s Tip: Looking for a true Windy City treat? Use plain popcorn from Garrett’s. Order at garrettpopcorn.com.
BLUEBERRY SLAB PIE M I C HI GA N
We know—dessert is the most important part of a picnic. This summer staple is bursting with blueberries.
4 pie crusts (either store-bought or homemade) 6 cups Michigan blueberries 4 Tbsp. cornstarch 1 cup sugar
Editor’s Tip: Michigan blueberries’ peak season is in July and August,but you can find them year-round at theblueberrystore.com.
½ tsp. salt 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 1 egg 2-3 Tbsp. granular sugar Vanilla ice cream, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out two piecrusts into a jelly roll pan. In a large bowl, gently mix blueberries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Spread mixture into pan. Top with a lattice crust made with 2 remaining pie crusts, sliced into strips. Whisk egg, and with a pastry brush, spread egg wash over lattice. Sprinkle with granular sugar. Bake for 50 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with ice cream. SPRING + SUMMER 2018 23
FASHION & BEAUTY
LIVE AND LOOK GOOD
BYE BYE, BROWS. MODERN EYELINER IS TAKING SPRING BY STORM. WORDS: JORDAN GERMAN | PHOTOS: SAM FATALLAH
Match vibrant orange shadow with a complementary wing to make a bold statement. Start by prepping eyelids with a nude shadow. Next, blend orange shadow into the crease. The product should be focused on the outer corners of the eye. Continue building shadow and blending until the desired pigmentation is achieved. Then, add a winged liner in a slightly darker orange shade. Finally, sharpen the wing with concealer and coat lashes in mascara.
Shake up the classic cat eye by swapping basic black liner for bright white. Begin by sweeping a shimmery neutral eye shadow across the lids. Next, draw a dramatic cat eye to the outer three fourths of the eyelid, extending upwards toward the brow bone. Using the same white liner, trace each inner tear duct in a “v” shape. Finish with mascara.
Get your rave on with this bright liner look. Start by blending a rosy shadow on the outer corners of the eye and into the crease. Using a slightly deeper shade, layer shadow in the crease for extra dimension. Next, create a thick wing with fluorescent pink liner extending from the tear duct past the outer corners of the eye. To balance everything out, finish by gliding pale pink pencil liner on the waterline, and top with mascara.
No need to color within the lines—the blank space is all you need to create this bold look. Begin with a neutral-colored shadow base. Then, using turquoise liner, draw an even line across each lash line, extending upwards. After ensuring each line is even, trace the liner up onto the eyelid, rounding it through the crease, and ending just above the inner corners. Then add a light coat of mascara and white liner on the waterline.
ewy skin is in. With the right mix of skincare and makeup products, even the most amateur makeup artists can achieve the glowy look. Jasmin Gasca, beauty consultant at Sephora, clued us in on a few of her favorite products for healthy, lit-from-within skin.
FARSALI ROSE GOLD ELIXIR Get glowing with this fast-absorbing, vegan dry oil infused with 24-karat gold. Gasca suggests using it as a daily moisturizer or mixing it with foundation to create a custom cocktail for all-over radiance.
WET N WILD MEGAGLO LIQUID HIGHLIGHTERS These luminous highlighters are not only budget friendly and cruelty-free, they’re perfect for buildable radiance without the cakey look left by most powder highlighters.
BECCA FIRST LIGHT PRIMING FILTER FACE PRIMER Don’t be alarmed by its violet hue. This cruelty-free primer brightens your complexion and smoothes skin, creating the perfect base for makeup. Prickly pear flower and sodium hyaluronate work together to boost hydration.
SEPHORA COLLECTION ULTRA SHINE LIP GEL Perfect your pout using this clear, lightweight gloss. According to Gasca, it’s hydrating and safe to use on the eyelids, too. Dab some all over for extra glow.
GET GLOWING IT’S TIME TO GLOW UP. THESE PRODUCTS WILL GIVE YOU THAT ENVIED ANGEL-KISSED LOOK— NO SNAPCHAT FILTER REQUIRED.
GLOSSIER SOLUTION Glossier Solution lives up to its name—it’s proven to reduce acne, shrink pores, and reduce redness. Apply this as you would a toner, and see naturally smooth and radiant skin within four weeks of daily use.
$24, GLOSSIER. COM
WORDS: CYDNE RATLIFF | PHOTO: JENNA CORNICK SPRING + SUMMER 2018
FASHION & BEAUTY
LIVE AND LOOK GOOD
ONE WRITER’S EXPERIENCES WITH A CULTURAL STAPLE. WORDS: COURTNEI CALDWELL | PHOTO: ALE DIAZ
here’s something about big silver hoops resting against my neck. Whether I’m wearing a name brand sweatsuit or a thrifted outfit from Salvation Army, my hoop earrings validate every outfit I wear. As Latina student Ale Diaz puts it, “When I’m wearing hoops, I feel bold and empowered.” Hoops aren’t just an outfit accessory—they’re an important part of black and Latinx culture. They’ve been worn since the days of Ancient Egypt as a status symbol for the elite. “Hoop earrings are how we embody the queens of Africa that we come from,” says Deshauna Carter, African-American Studies major. The popularity of hoops blew up in America with ‘80s and ‘90s hip-hop culture, finding a niche with icons like Queen Latifah and
Salt-N-Pepa. Growing up, my mom and other relatives were influenced by the era, wearing their silver, gold, or bamboo hoops with pride— a pride that they passed down to me. At my predominantly black and Latinx elementary school, most girls sported hoops on a day-today basis. Many Latinas, like Diaz, receive their first hoops, Aretes de Canasta, at birth. In middle school, the sassier I got, the bigger my hoops became. But with growth, stigma started to seep in. Among the insults boys tossed at girls walking through the hallway was the phrase, “the bigger the hoop, the bigger the hoe.” Hoops became a tool for the sexual objectification of girls. The jewelry girls took so much pride in soon became an object of insecurity.
Even adult women experience a stigma attached to their style choice. When black and brown women wear hoop earrings, they’re usually deemed classless and unprofessional. They carry the stereotype that the women wearing them are too loud, have poor attitudes, and lack self-respect. But self-respect isn’t defined by how you dress, it’s defined by your values and morals. Hoops are more than just fashion—they’re an important and proud part of black and Latinx culture. From historical tradition to contemporary style, hoops are essential to a woman of color’s soul—and women shouldn’t be shamed for wearing them.
The Comepack Kid
DAD JOKES ARE IN—NOW, SO ARE FANNY PACKS.
WORDS: JOSIE CARRABINE + MADISON KELLY | PHOTOS: MADISON KELLY
BLACK FANNY PACK $30, HERSCHEL SUPPLY CO. FIFTEEN
You can’t go wrong with this basic pack—there’s no limit to the ways it can be worn, and its generous size is oh-so-convenient.
MINI SADDLE BELT BAG $30, AMERICAN EAGLE
Bigger than a pocket, smaller than a purse, this bum bag is perfect for any spring look.
QUILTED BELT BAG $49, URBAN OUTFITTERS
Channel the summer sun with this yellow suede belt bag, soon to be your go-to accessory all season long.
HOLOGRAPHIC FANNY PACK $15, HOT TOPIC
Hit your favorite summer festival with this compact bag, and you can rave on without worrying about your important belongings.
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
FASHION & BEAUTY
LIVE AND LOOK GOOD
FASHION THROUGH HER-STORY GET TO KNOW FOUR STRONG WOMEN WHO MADE THEIR MARK ON SOCIETY—AND LOOKED GREAT DOING IT. WORDS: SKYE LAWSON | PHOTOS: ELIJAH ROCKHOLD
As a musician, producer, dancer, entrepreneur, and actress, Rihanna has built herself an empire. Flaunting a bold lip with a tracksuit or carrying around a wine glass like it’s the ultimate accessory, she’s always strengthening her unbothered, authentic persona. In an industry where white skin is the norm, Rihanna built a massively inclusive makeup line that allows women of all skin tones to feel represented. Her openness and bravery as a victim of domestic violence and her dedication to challenging societal views of female sexuality reinforce her role as a feminist icon.
Angela Davis is a political activist, scholar, and author who emerged as a counterculture figure of the 1960s. She led the Communist Party USA, worked closely with the Black Panthers, and currently speaks on issues like feminism, civil rights, and capitalism. At the Women’s March on Washington in 2017, she spoke on the necessity of rights and freedoms for all—including immigrants, women, LGBTQ+, Native Americans, and AfricanAmericans. Davis’s signature style speaks for itself—an afro and menswear jacket worn over a black turtleneck allow her to express her social agendas in more than one way.
Madonna—Queen of Pop, singer-songwriter, businesswoman, and actress—has been a fashion icon and female role model since the ‘80s. To this day, it’s impossible to wear suspenders over a t-shirt—or cone bra, if that’s your speed—without paying homage to her classic look. Madonna stepped into the role of feminist phenom as she shocked audiences with her songs and videos that centered around sexual liberation for women. Since then, she’s further developed her brand of self-empowerment, autonomy, and strength. Madonna sheds light on the gender inequality she’s experienced in the music industry, and society’s ever-present shaming of women who choose to be sexual.
Frida Kahlo was one of the world’s greatest artists, painting vibrant, iconic self-portraits and scenes inspired by her home country, Mexico. Her love for bold color and patterns—and iconic unibrow—have cemented Kahlo as a style inspiration. Frida is categorized by her brave, empowered, and audacious attitude as much as she is by her personal and artistic aesthetic. She was also openly bisexual long before LGBTQ+ freedoms were discussed freely. She’s widely celebrated by feminists for her shameless dedication to political activism, demonstrated in her honest representations of the female form.
TURTLENECK, MODEL’S OWN JACKET, $35, TARGET SCARF, MODEL’S OWN
SWEATSHIRT, $36, AMERICAN APPAREL TRACK PANTS, $65, ADIDAS SNEAKERS, $55, ADIDAS
LEATHER JACKET, $33, FOREVER 21 SHIRT, $16, BRANDY MELVILLE JEANS, $32, AMERICAN EAGLE SUSPENDERS, $14, J.C. PENNY HEELS, $89, NINE WEST
SHIRT, $38, FOREVER 21 SHAWL, MODEL’S OWN JEANS, $60, AMERICAN EAGLE FLOWER CROWN, MODEL’S OWN SPRING + SUMMER 2018
GARDEN PARTY FLORALS FOR SPRING? WE MADE THEM GROUNDBREAKING. WORDS + STYLING: MADDIE HIATT HAIR + MAKEUP: JORDAN GERMAN PHOTOS: MADISON KELLY
DRESS, $69, TORRID NECKLACE, $8, CHARLOTTE RUSSE
DRESS, $42, WANDERLUST HEELS, $20, CHARLOTTE RUSSE SOCKS, $4, TARGET HEELS, $17, FOREVER 21
DRESS, $158, PRESERVATION EARRINGS, $13, TARGET NECKLACE, $30, WANDERLUST SPRING + SUMMER 2018
DAYTIME DENIM Spring doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just mean dresses and skirts. Floral denim is a fun way to transition to the warmer season. Add a flowy top and pastel heels for a cheerful look.
SHIRT, $22, CHARLOTTE RUSSE JEANS, $105, WANDERLUST HEELS, $25, FOREVER 21 EARRINGS, $13, TARGET
UNDERRATED OVERALLS Overalls arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just for farmers anymore. Instead of denim, look for a cotton pair in the pastel color that complements your skin tone.
TOP, $58, WANDERLUST OVERALLS, $45, PRESERVATION
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BUTTON-UP, $16, FOREVER 21 JEANS, MODELâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S OWN WATCH, $50, FOSSIL
BUTTON UP Put a fresh twist on a spring classic by choosing a button-up in a floral pattern, or one that resembles cotton candy. Pair them with basic jeans or colored shorts.
SHIRT, $18, FOREVER 21 SHORTS, $50, AEROPOSTALE
DANCING QUEEN The statement piece this spring is vintage-inspired yellow pants. Add a ribbed sweater tank and a fun floral scarf for a modern throwback.
TANK, $13, FOREVER 21 PANTS, $42, PRESERVATION SCARF, $6, FOREVER 21
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
BURST THE BUBBLE GOOGLE, AMAZON, AND FACEBOOK ARE SET TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD—OR MAYBE THEY ALREADY HAVE. WORDS: ALEC ROTH | PHOTOS: SAM FATHALLAH
s you enter the convenience store, your face is pounded with 30,000 imperceptible infrared dots. They pick up on the unique details of your face, matching you with your digital identity. After stopping by the self-serve coffee machine for your morning pick-me-up, you’re out the door with nothing more than a nod to the security camera. As you hit the pavement, your phone notifies you that your bank account was charged for the cup. Within a couple steps’ distance, your self-driving car automatically opens the door to the driver’s side as you enter. It soon speeds off as you enjoy your coffee and check your notifications. You’re making your way through the world, without having to leave the digital one. What sounds like just another Black Mirror episode could be our future. Every day, new technological advances are being developed and released to bridge the gap between our physical and online worlds. Our current world is not far behind—your smartphone holds the power to control your home, transportation, personal information, and productivity. We have the largest collection of knowledge ever known to mankind at our fingertips—and it’s indestructible, unlike the long-lost Library of Alexandria. In many ways, our lives are easier than they’ve been at any point in history—yet the applications and corporations that make this possible aren’t so simple. Three of today’s largest tech companies—Google, Amazon, and Facebook—are such vital elements to our everyday lives that we barely realize it. We can’t imagine a world without them, but they’re pushing us into a world that may be equally as unrecognizable.
What derived from a college research project in 1996 currently stands as the number one website in the world. Today, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is currently valued at a steep $581 billion, according to Fortune. Google’s products and services are everywhere. Since the release of their Chromebook, many elementary and secondary educational institutions have provided these Google-built laptops to students to help with schoolwork. Chromebooks’ operating system is used in more than 50 percent of all electronics used for education in the U.S., according to the New York Times. Cameron Tuai, computer ethics professor at Drake University, believes capitalism comes before social conscience for tech giants like Google. “Google’s motto is ‘Do no harm.’ At the end of the day, their responsibility is to their shareholders and their
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
employees to make a profit,” Tuai says. “If it’s easier for them to make a profit by having a social conscience, they will. If it’s easy for them to make a money without a social conscience, they will.” Google Drive, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps are all essential apps for education, collaboration, entertainment, and ease of day-to-day life. “I trust Google [Drive] more than I trust my portable [external hard drive],” Tuai says. “It’s more likely that I drop my [hard drive] rather than Google getting hacked and everything getting deleted.” But Google products aren’t just limited to the obvious. In true “Smart House” form, Google’s goal is a fully connected and automated home living experience. From Nest Thermostats to Google Home speaker assistants and Google Fiber, it’s now possible to control your entire home from the tap of an app—and without
leaving Google’s realm of influence. But all of these life-easing services come at a cost: our privacy. As soon as we’re old enough to type—and before we’re able to realize the gravity of what we’re signing up for—we’re given these products that monitor our usage history, collect data on our personality, and hand the information to outside parties. The top-down integration of Google products into our lives begins before we can consent to everything else that comes with them. Google personalizes search results on all individuals, even when not signed into a Google account. According to Google, the data it gets from these curated searches are presented—but not sold—to partnering businesses, which create targeted advertisements based on a user’s searches, personality, interests, and identity. Users get
trapped in bubbles of information by Google’s own curation of the search results. Anything you search can and will be used against you in the court of Google. But this gathering of data doesn’t just target us for advertisers—it can also trap us in ideological bubbles. When Google’s algorithms sense that a user is more likely to harbor liberal political beliefs, they’ll present search results and advertisements that tend to be more favorable to liberals. The information you receive depends upon the bubbles Google places you in. And the more sophisticated the algorithm becomes, the further entrenched within your bubbles you become. “It’s a good feeling in a weird way… It gives us what we want,” Tuai says. “Can it form as a solution? Can we solve issues of civic discourse by using the technology in order to create civil discourse?”
Your self-driving car echoes a soft ding, notifying you that you’ve arrived at your destination. The sound draws you out of the digital world, which you’ve been suctioned to the entire drive. Whole Foods hasn’t changed much physically since the 2017 Amazon buyout, but the shopping experience is now completely streamlined. You enter the store through subway-like turnstiles, tapping your phone to connect to your Amazon Prime account. Using state-of-the-art sensors and computer vision technology, your every move in the store is tracked. Items you pick up or put down are detected and added to your digital profile. Cameras monitor every item in your basket at any time, so there’s no possibility of theft here. No checkout necessary—you simply walk out of the store, Amazon Prime account soon to be depleted.
Amazon’s foray into the grocery business is, unsurprisingly, changing the industry. Amazon has launched multiple grocery delivery services, including one called Prime Now that delivers goods for free in a matter of hours. While most services are only available in certain cities, Amazon has plans to take its services nationwide. Now competing grocery stores are forced to update their practices, or risk being left in the dust. Iowa native Hy-Vee has launched an online shopping and delivery service to compete in the new marketplace, though its technology is nowhere near as advanced as Amazon’s. Despite venture capital investing in startups that promise to bring these new technologies to mom and pop locations, the class curve has already been set. The only game to play now is catch-up. From Amazon’s start as a web retailer in Jeff Bezos’ garage in 1994, it’s evolved into
a technology company with unparalleled reach into our world, both online and off. Introduced in November 2017, the Amazon Key allows Amazon couriers to deliver your Prime packages not just on your doorstep, but within your home. An Amazon Cloud home security camera and smart lock on the front door pair with Alexa—a device used by about one in five American adults, according to a report by Gallup and Northeastern University—to make sure deliveries happen without incident. The Amazon courier uses a one-time code to unlock the front door, with the camera trained on them at all times. When the delivery is complete, the homeowner receives a notification straight to their phone. Ideally, the system protects packages from porch pirates, and the connected smart lock and camera can be used to remotely unlock the door for plumbers, friends, or friends who
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
are plumbers. The convenience will come at a cost of $290—plus granting Amazon complete autonomy over your home. The retail heavyweight is investing in technologies to merge supermarkets, expand its shipping empire, become the leading cloud computing provider, and offer an attractive selection of apps, videos, songs, and audiobooks. Amazon will soon be combined into an unbeatable ecosystem—one designed without a lock to keep them out.
After the Whole Foods run, your self-driving car parks itself in your driveway. You use your Amazon Key system as you walk through the doorway and settle on the couch for more social media time. As you open up Facebook, a banner and confetti pop up, reminding you of your 15th anniversary on the site. In that time, it truly has grown with you—a nostalgic thought, until you realize Facebook is a multibillion-dollar company with arguably more power than the government, and you’re just a millennial sitting on your couch. Facebook gathers gigabyte after gigabyte of information on each of its users—1.4 billion daily users in total, according to Facebook— using all the permissions that are automatically set in place when agreeing to use the app. It then shares that information with advertisers and, occasionally, that data ends up in the hands of Russian trolls and political groups. Each Facebook user has a distinct set of data— and a distinct set of truth. The information we gather through our entire time on the internet comprises our individual truths—a mix of news articles, fashion blogs, toxic YouTube comments, and memes are all stirred together, generating a truth that is unique to specifically you. Every person has a different view of the truth. A rainforest conservationist in Brazil will have different interactions on the internet, and therefore different beliefs and truths, than an American corporate banker. The information Facebook collects on you is used as digital fuel to keep you on the website. With the invention of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm in 2006, time spent on the website blew up, and continues to increase
year after year. According to audience profiling company GlobalWebIndex, the average person spent 135 minutes per day on social media in 2017 worldwide, up from just 90 minutes per day in 2012. Altogether, this is a whopping increase of 1 billion hours spent on social media by humans. The News Feed has become a target for controversies time and time again. It uses your advertisement preferences, political biases, and profile information to curate a high-tech bubble of the exact information that you agree with. The more you interact with the site, the more it pushes content targeted to you, the further developed your truth becomes, and the deeper into your bubble you become. The bubble acts as an echo chamber of others who share the same truths, beliefs, morals, or lack thereof. This echo chamber of the digital world is invisible, impenetrable, and achieves Facebook’s goal of keeping you on the website.
“If it’s easy for them to make money without a social conscience, they will.” -Cameron Tuai
According to Zenith, a marketing and advertising firm, Facebook and Google account for 64 percent of the total advertising budget growth across the globe across all media types over the last four years. For the shareholders of these companies, this is a very good thing. But that growth hasn’t been without its bumps. In 2017, Facebook quietly announced that as many as 60 million bot accounts, made of fake and duplicate profiles, mingled with the 1.4 billion overall users. The bots have the power to falsify advertising, derail political debates—ahem, Russia—and influence the bubbles of anyone using the site. The fake
accounts can then trick Facebook’s algorithms into pushing the fake news they promote to the top of its “Trending” board. Of course, it’s impossible to talk about Facebook in the modern era without mentioning the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Cambridge Analytica is a political consulting firm that received the personal data of approximately 87 million Facebook users through a personality analyzing app, according to estimates by Facebook itself. The New York Times found in March that when users downloaded the app and signed in using their Facebook account, they unknowingly had data from their accounts scraped, along with the accounts of everyone on their friends list. The app sold the data to Cambridge Analytica, which used it to consult various political campaigns, including possibly Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. While Facebook changed its policy in 2014 to stop allowing companies to scrape friends’ data, there was nothing it could do about the millions of profiles that had already been affected. And as of yet, no one knows how many other companies could have been working with the same information or harvesting completely new data. Due to these scandals and others, distrust in technology is at an all-time high. Weaponizing this distrust could turn the tides, brining more protections to the consumer. Data piracy and regulatory laws that hold corporations accountable for the data they collect have recently been passed in Europe, and there’s talk of bringing them overseas, too. “Regulation is a way to curve capitalism,” Tuai says. “We’re naive to think that [capitalists] are looking out for our better interests, unless our better interest serves their better interest.” The current world often seems dim and veiled in controversy. The gap that separates humans from technology will shrink, but the gap that bridges human connection may grow wider as we fall deeper into our bubbles. The future is scary, and always will be. Everyone thought Y2K was going to be the end of the world. But the ball dropped in Times Square on midnight of 1999, and the world kept moving. This world we live in keeps moving, too.
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PURITY BALLS ARE MEANT TO EDUCATE YOUNG GIRLS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ABSTINENCE. ONE WRITER'S EXPERIENCE ATTENDING THEM LEFT HER QUESTIONING WHO'S REALLY IN CHARGE OF HER BODY. WORDS: EMILY LARSON | PHOTOS: MADISON KELLY + ALE DIAZ
y mom gently curls my hair behind me, letting the long blonde locks cascade down my back. In the mirror in front of me she smiles wide, gushing over how exciting tonight is for me. It’ll be a night to remember, she says. My dad waits downstairs, probably watching the news. My nails and makeup are done and I’m wearing a beautiful new dress especially for the occasion. I’m 14 and about to attend a purity ball with my dad. Purity balls are an annual event sponsored by organizations that promote abstinence for girls. Fathers and daughters dress up, listen to speakers, and the girls make commitments to remain pure until marriage. This commitment is solidified through signing a purity pledge and wearing a ring to represent virginity. Once my mom has taken a million pictures of my dad and me, we go to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Then, we head to the ballroom next door. A flood of daddy-daughter duos swarm in with us. The space is awash with tween and teen girls ready to pledge themselves pure. Everyone is smiling—it’s a joyous occasion. The girls are about to make a decision for their futures, for their future husbands. Sparkling lights dangle above. There’s a stage in the back and a dance floor in the
“AT THE TIME, I FELT INSPIRED. NOW I’M NOT SURE I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THEY WERE TRYING TO PUSH.” –VANESSA KALER
center. Round tables with pretty centerpieces and delicate tablecloths fill the rest of the room, almost like a wedding reception. I’m nervous. No one’s watching me or making me go on stage, but I feel on display all the same. A sacred part of me is being vowed to someone else tonight. I had never given my virginity much thought—I’m 14, why would I? But if my parents and my church are encouraging me to, it’s probably the right thing to do. Speakers come on stage while we’re served desserts, and they tell us stories about why keeping our virginity until marriage is vital to womanhood. It’s our Godly duty—the Bible tells us to. Our bodies are not our own; they’re temples, meant to be honored. Later in the night, covenant cards are passed around. Made of fine paper with script text, they’re our purity pledges—signed contracts to our virginity. My dad signs one side, then passes me the pen and I sign the other. I’m signing more than my name—I’m signing away my virginity until I find a Godly man to marry and give it to. I look to my close friend, Vanessa Kaler, as she does the same. Kaler, another girl who attended purity balls, didn’t really understand what she was getting herself into the first time, as she was only 12. But the second time, at 14, she had a better understanding based on encouragement from her parents. She knew pledging herself pure was what they wanted, so she did it. “Afterwards, I felt a lot closer to my dad and a lot closer to God,” Kaler says. “It was at that point that I made a promise that I was going to wait for the right man. Now that I’m older I look at purity balls a little differently. I’m not sure if I would want to bring my own daughter to a purity ball. I think it’s nice to have a night for girls,
but I don’t think you need to push purity on young girls as much as everyone thinks.” For her family, it wasn’t a light matter. They made it fun for Kaler, but it was a serious topic. Keeping her virginity intact until marriage was of the utmost importance. “I don’t think taking your kids to a purity ball is bad, but I think it almost makes them nervous that they’re going to do something wrong,” Kaler says. “The message I felt like I was getting was, ‘If you have sex before marriage, you’re going to hell’ and that shouldn’t be a thought on any girl’s mind.” From a young age, Kaler can remember learning the concept of purity. She was taught by her parents and her church that, as a young woman, she was a prize to be won by her future husband. Phrases like, “Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?” and, “Do you think your future husband will want you if you act like that?” were frequently thrown around in our households. We were taught that we’re something for a man to get. Sometimes it felt like we were the sum total of the baby-making machine between our legs. Pastor Jacob Koenes and his wife, Rachael, are youth leaders at Crosswalk Community Church in Sioux Falls, SD. They were Vanessa’s youth leaders growing up. They believe sex is meant for marriage, and when done outside of this commitment, it’s extremely harmful to the people involved. “When an individual gets in and out of relationships, particularly sexual relationships, it causes emotional disconnect with future significant others,” Jacob Koenes says. “Mentally, I’ve seen many young ladies get a skewed view of who they are and feel that their value comes from the physical intimacy that they provide. Physically, there are biological and chemical transformations that take place
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while engaged in sexual relationships.” Rachael Koenes agrees with her husband. Above all, they stress that purity is about the heart and keeping it guarded. “In Thessalonians 4:7 it states, ‘For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life,’” she says. “The consequences of not remaining pure until marriage vary, but any way you look at it, it’s the desires of your heart. If it’s your desire to honor God, then you’ll examine what that means and do it.” Amy Bix, women’s studies professor at Iowa State University, says that the idea of women’s purity, and that it’s held by men, is an old one. “[It’s believed that] men are strong, women are weak, men are rational, women are emotional, and part of the ideology that got built into that was an emphasis on women’s purity,” Bix says. “Women being sexually pure, ideally. This goes along with the legal and cultural framework that they often saw women as property. So the idea was that taking a woman’s purity didn’t necessarily harm her, but it harmed her father or husband, who she ‘belonged to.’” The color white plays a large part in the culture of purity: white dresses, white flowers, white women. A young, white woman running through a field of daisies in a summer dress— this is the daydream of many western idealists. Where do women of color come into play? According to Bix, women of color are assumed to have looser morals than European women simply because of their darker complexion. “Settlers assumed Native American women were sexually promiscuous without any real evidence of that,” Bix says. “Unfortunately, those assumptions became coded in, and have continued in so many ways today both implicitly and explicitly.” The Alpha Center is a pregnancy resource center for people facing unplanned pregnancy, located in Sioux Falls, SD. Within its walls is a sister organization, the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, and its representative, Alyssa Blankespoor. The organization works
nationally with parents, educators, and other pregnancy centers to encourage abstinence. The Alpha Center is the organization that runs the purity balls in South Dakota. Its objectives are clear. “The goal of the balls is fostering a parentteen relationship—that’s huge,” Blankespoor says. “50 percent of teens are more likely to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and sex if their parents address the issue and have that ongoing discussion. Our primary goal is to make a parent the primary sex educator of their child.” But according to Advocates for Youth a nonprofit dedicated to sexuality education, “Abstinence-only programs are inaccurate, ineffective, and may even cause harm.” The Alpha Center isn’t just focused on women’s purity, though—it now sponsors a counterpart to purity balls for mothers and their sons aged 12-18. It’s called A Knight to Remember. It similarly focuses on abstinence until marriage and helping boys become “men of integrity.” The boys at A Knight to Remember also receive a purity ring, or a leather bracelet with the same significance. “It’s a visual reminder,” Blankespoor says. “In marriage you’re making a commitment and that ring is a symbol of that commitment. Likewise, with the purity balls and the Knight to Remember, you have the purity ring as a visual reminder of the commitment you made that evening.” Purity is a tough commitment to make. People don’t get married at the age of 13 like they did in the Bible. Remaining pure until you find the right person and marry them can be a very long time. Especially considering that, according to the 2015 U.S. Census, the average age women get married is just over 27. If you choose to keep this purity promise, it’s a battle of the flesh. You’re constantly denying what your body naturally wants. Kaler and I grew up with this path laid before us. The Bible is clear on the topic— there weren’t blurry lines when it came to
THE BIBLE SAYS... “For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20) “The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave…To those without good judgment, she says, `Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!’ But the men don’t realize that her former guests are now in the grave.” (Proverbs 5:3-5, 9:17-18)
keeping our virginity. But when entering the “real world” and becoming adults, things get confusing. Secular society isn’t as strict as the church when it comes to sexuality. And no matter how you’re raised, your body is your own. Your spirituality and how you honor it is up to you. Whether you’re wearing a purity ring or not, you have to decide what you believe in. Listen to those around you, but make that decision for yourself.
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WASTED ENERGY LET’S FACE IT—COAL IS A DYING INDUSTRY. BUT OUR CURRENT PRESIDENT DOESN’T SEEM TO KNOW THAT. THE MIDWEST, THOUGH, IS INCREASINGLY TURNING TO AFFORDABLE, EFFICIENT CLEAN ENERGY. THE ANSWER, MR. TRUMP, IS BLOWING IN THE WIND. WORDS: NATHAN MAUGHAN | PHOTOS: ELIJAH ROCKHOLD + MADISON KELLY
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ulling out of the Paris Agreement, dismantling the Clean Power Plan, and removing climate change from the list of national security threats—Trump seems to have beef with the environment. According to President Trump, “nobody knows” whether climate change is real. But this is in stark disagreement with wide scientific consensus. Most of his cabinet appointees deny—or avoid the question of—climate change. So how do the Trump administration’s actions reflect these opinions? The administration’s environmental policy direction became clear just four days into the president’s term. Trump issued memoranda to accelerate the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines, which
were both widely protested. This foreshadowed his greater environmental plan: a seeming disregard for both science and the health of the environment in favor of the interests of fossil fuel industries.
THE PARIS (DIS)AGREEMENT One of the most significant actions taken by the president in 2017 was his decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Ratified in 2015 by 147 nations, it set guidelines and goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by the year 2020. Trump retreated, citing the agreement as “unfair,” since it didn’t require some large nations like China and India to make changes until 2030. As the United States is the secondlargest producer of greenhouse gases, our inaction could further harm the environment,
despite the actions of the nations still in the Paris Agreement.
CABINET APPOINTMENTS The administration’s attitude toward the environment is a product, in part, of Trump’s cabinet appointments. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry called for the elimination of the Department of Energy during his 2012 presidential campaign. Fast forward six years, and he now runs that department. In front of the Senate, the future Secretary of Energy refused to accept that climate change is real. His department is responsible for the reduction of carbon emissions, but it’s now led by a man who doesn’t believe those emissions are doing much damage to the climate. When asked during an interview on
CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in June 2017 whether carbon dioxide is “the primary control knob for the temperature of the Earth and for the climate,” Perry said that “No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.” A bright side to Perry’s cabinet appointment is his history with wind energy. During his tenure as governor, Texas became the largest producer of wind energy in the nation. Another climate change-denying Trump appointee is Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt, who has close ties to the fossil fuel industry, is skeptical of carbon emissions’ role in climate change. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, he sued the EPA several times in order to fight federal regulation. Now as the head of the EPA—as of this magazine’s press time, anyway—Pruitt’s crusade against environmental regulation began with the removal of the word “science” from the EPA’s mission statement. He instead replaced it with a new emphasis on "economically and technologically achievable performance standards." With no importance placed on science, the EPA now plans to throw out the Clean Power Plan—the last piece of Obama-era regulation that could keep the U.S. within the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. The Department of Interior is in a similar predicament. Led by Ryan Zinke, the department rolled back regulations on dumping mining waste into streams, suggested the shrinking of several national monuments, and reduced protections on endangered birds. Zinke reportedly refused to meet with the National Parks Advisory Board, leading to the resignation of nine of the 12 members.
TRUMP AND HIS LUMP OF COAL Throughout his campaign and first year as president, Trump vehemently defended the coal industry in his speeches, emphasizing a desire to revitalize the struggling industry. While Trump sings the praises of coal, his words may be for naught. “The energy industry is trending away from coal and towards renewable energies
because they’re more economic,” says Josh Mandelbaum, staff attorney with the Environmental Law and Policy Center, a Chicago-based environmental advocacy group. “The technology and the cost of other energy resources coming down means that they’d have to push massive subsidies for old coal plants,” he says. “Utilities aren’t going to change plans and invest in something that would otherwise be uneconomic. Even if the Trump Administration wants to bring coal back, the facts effectively prevent that.” Mandelbaum is confident that the administration’s denial of climate change will not stop progress. “You can deny those facts, but the markets will keep pushing to the forefront,” Mandelbaum says.
ENERGY IN THE MIDWEST Providing a glimmer of optimism within the smog of the Trump administration’s actions, the Midwest seems to be following the facts. Several states are making strides in clean energy and environmental awareness despite Trump’s opposite trajectory. With an early start in 2007, eight years prior to the drafting of the Paris Agreement, Minnesota enacted a resolution that required utilities to produce 25 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2023. According to a March 2018 report by the Minnesota Department of Energy, the state currently gets 25 percent of its power from renewables, meeting its goal—five years early. Well ahead of their schedule, some legislators want to start talking about their next goal. A bipartisan pair of state senators have recently authored a bill to get Minnesota to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. Nick Frentz, democratic state senator from North Mankato, MN, co-authored the bill. “We don’t have any coal in the ground in Minnesota,” he says. “We don’t have any oil. We have wind, and we have sun.” Minnesota’s clean energy industry is taking advantage of these natural resources. Due to that, and the lowering cost of renewable energy, the state’s clean energy sector grew almost four times faster than any other sector during the past year.
Interestingly, many of the Midwestern states leading the way in renewable energies are red, including Kansas. In 2017, Kansas saw the largest increase in the percentage of renewable energy generation of any state. This growth is driven by the abundance of wind energy newly installed there. “The wind in western Kansas is so good, so strong, so steady, that the wind turbines there hit 50, 55, and sometimes 60 percent [of their capacity],” says Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director of the Climate and Energy Project, a Kansas nonprofit that promotes renewables. Kansas receives 31 percent of its power from wind. The extreme affordability and capacity for wind energy drives the state’s clean energy goals, which are supported by voters across partisan lines. “More than 80 percent of [polled voters] said we should have more wind power,” Barnett says. Growth doesn’t appear to be slowing, and that may soon make Kansas the first state to have produced 50 percent of its energy by wind. Of course, that’s only if Iowa doesn’t beat them to it. Iowa has one of the best clean energy economies in the country, with 37 percent of its power generated from wind. Only Texas produces more wind energy. Iowa’s wind generation looks to soon usurp coal as the state’s main source of energy. Mandelbaum attributes this success to the fact that Iowa was one of the first states to adopt renewable energy standards. “We adopted the first renewable portfolio standard in the country,” he says. “We’ve long since exceeded it, but it was something that we were doing long before anyone else was. We have a long history of implementing energy efficiency, and other states had to catch up to us.” Other states may soon have to catch up with Iowa on another aspect of clean energy: energy independent cities.
ENERGY INDEPENDENT CITIES The Hawkeye state is conducting an unconventional experiment in the city of
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Bloomfield. Its goal is to be completely energy independent by 2030—meaning any energy they consume is produced locally. With a population of less than 3,000, this rural town seems an unlikely candidate for such a large-scale experiment. But Bloomfield’s small size, energy consumption levels, and the fact that it owns its own utility provider make it the prime candidate for the experiment. Fueled by a $1 million AmeriCorps grant, Chris Ball, the city’s energy efficiency leader, keeps the environmental benefits of the project in the back of his head. He says that energy independence provides something more for the community. “We were trying to figure out how to use energy as a catalyst to turn the community around,” Ball says. “It’s really about trying to inject life back into rural communities.” Bloomfield has chased its goal with a twopart plan: 1. Increase energy efficiency, and 2. Create its own power. In increasing efficiency, Bloomfield has taken advantage of AmeriCorp’s human resources, sending teams and city employees into the community to do the dirty work. They weatherize homes, insulate water pipes, and perform energy audits. Ball stresses the importance of these tasks, saying they’re just as beneficial as producing renewable energy. These tasks can be as simple as changing lightbulbs. The crews changed all the fluorescent bulbs in the public schools with LEDs, saving about $2,000 per month, and allowing the schools to put more money in the classroom. “LED bulbs reduced the school’s energy consumption by about 10 percent,” Ball says. “The school takes about 10 percent of the city’s energy consumption, so when we save them 10 percent, we’re saving one percent city-wide.” A single percent may seem small, but everything adds up. Ball’s crews have switched 450 homes to LED bulbs, adding to about 40 percent of all homes in the city.
“For every 20 homes we go into, we save enough to power another home,” Ball says. Those 450 homes saved enough energy to power 22 homes. As for creating their own power, Bloomfield just built the largest tracking solar array in Iowa. A tracking array has panels that follow the sun, maximizing the energy they harvest. It accounts for 10 percent of Bloomfield’s power needs. The array was constructed by a private business from another rural Iowa town, Fairfield. This business, Iowa Wind and Solar, is run by president Tyler Anderson. According to Anderson, solar energy is cheaper than fossil fuels in every regard, even when you strip away all subsidies for both. In Bloomfield’s case, solar energy seemed to be a no-brainer. “I think it was five to 10 percent cheaper than buying from the nearest coal plant in Missouri,” Anderson says. However, that’s not common knowledge. In Anderson’s experience, some utilities are still using five-year-old data, which say solar is more expensive than coal. “That’s the biggest headache of the business, actually,” Anderson says. In reality, solar is much cheaper. Ball also finds himself spending a lot of time spreading the discoveries that Bloomfield makes. “Sometimes I get frustrated that we’re moving slow,” he says. “But there’s still some changes we’re making here that we can share with other communities.” It’s easy to get frustrated with actions of the Trump administration. The president’s love affair with a dying industry and refusal to accept scientific consensus seem to have our federal government looking backwards, at a time when we crucially need to be making progress. The Midwest is not only looking forward, but progressing at an extraordinary pace. Projects like Bloomfield and renewable energy’s new affordability promise a more optimistic future for the United States. For now, the Trump administration can try to stifle progress, but they can’t snuff it out completely.
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HEALTH & SEX
FOR THE BODY AND THE MIND
NIPPLE PIERCINGS HERE’S THE FULL-FRONTAL ON THE INCREASINGLY POPULAR PIERCING. WORDS: ANNA JENSEN | PHOTO: ALE DIAZ
hether it’s for the looks, thrill, or self-empowerment, nipple piercings are on the rise among young women and men. Haley Christianson, freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, got her nipples pierced for her 18th birthday to mark the milestone of adulthood. “I thought nipple piercings were really sexy and would look good on me,” she says. “They look just how I expected them to and I love them for it.” Kayla Lieberman, sophomore at the University of Iowa, says that at least half the girls in her sorority have them. “Most people just think that it’s really cool or ask what it’s like or how painful it was,” she says. “I don’t think I’ve ever been judged for having them.” Even though the piercings aren’t exactly on display, both Christianson and Lieberman don’t feel a need to hide them. While their parents were the most hesitant to the idea of the piercings, Christianson believes that’s because of how uncommon piercings were 10 or 15 years ago. Even so, she likes being able to tell others that she has her nipples pierced. “It makes me feel badass,” Christianson says. Lieberman agrees. “It’s more for yourself than anyone else, so I don’t think most people care,” she says. Kathy Crimmins, manager of Impressions by Permanent Collection Inc. and 20-year piercing veteran, says the pain is generally more severe for women, since they have glands affected by the puncture. But she finds that the number of men and women getting their nipples pierced is pretty evenly split—rather, the demographic difference is age. Crimmins finds that the piercings are most common in young people. There are outliers, though—Crimmins pierced a 61-year-old woman’s nipples in February.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR NIPPLE PIERCING
It takes the piercings six months to one year to fully heal, which involves caring for them diligently. Crimmons and Andrea Giamalva, family physician at the Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, IL, recommend these steps. 1. D on’t over-clean. Fluid can build up in the nipple, causing an infection—not fun. Use a salt-based aftercare solution two or three times per day for the first few months, then gradually decrease to once per day when sensitivity subsides. 2. A void touching the piercing, which, again, can lead to infection. “Your hands are dirtier than your mind,” Crimmons warns. 3. Wear clothing that covers your chest when you sleep to keep the piercings protected as you move around. 4. P iercings shouldn’t be removed until one year post-procedure—the hole closes up quicker than you’d expect. 5. I f the jewelry falls out or rips after catching on clothes, go back to the shop where you received the piercing. The piercer will usually re-do the piercing for little or no cost. 6. If you see any signs of redness, warmth, discharge, or swelling, visit your doctor right away. “If someone presents it to a doctor soon enough, we can prescribe oral antibiotics for the infection,” Giamalva says. But if you wait too long, you could develop mastitis—pockets of pus that fill the milk glands and can require surgery if left untreated.
PRIVATE PREFERENCES WHEN IT COMES TO CONDOMS, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. FROM TEXTURE TO FLAVOR, THESE CONDOMS RANGE AS MUCH AS SEXUAL INTERESTS DO. WORDS + PHOTOS: CHEYANN NEADES
PASANTE COOLING CONDOM
When things get a little too hot and heavy, cool down with this ribbed condom. It creates an exciting tingling sensation while relaxing any uncomfortable friction.
Don’t be childish—swap your nightlight for this glow-in-the-dark contraceptive. Its thicker latex allows for a prolonged experience while providing a guiding light in the dark. Open the seal and get glowing—no electricity necessary.
BEYOND SEVEN ALOE This standard-size condom is thin and fully infused with aloe vera for soothing, natural lubrication. Dr. Stephanie Powell Morgan, OB/GYN at The Iowa Clinic, warns that aloe may be irritating for people with sensitive skin, but generally, “there’s no particular harm.”
LELO HEX (AT RIGHT) This condom is ribbed with hexagonal texture for endless pleasure. Its waterbased lubricant and overall durability allows for a comfortable fit and extended playtime.
SKYN COCKTAIL CLUB Sweeten up with piña colada-, cherry sunrise-, and passion daiquiri-flavored condoms. These hypo-allergenic contraceptives are made with natural rubber and offer extra sensitivity. With fun colors and flavors, this thin condom satisfies every desire.
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HEALTH & SEX
FOR THE BODY AND THE MIND
sex d n a g in t a d o t guide in e t s in e w t s o p a ILLUSTRATION: SAM
WERY WORDS: MEGAN MO
IT SHOULDN’T TAKE A LAWSUIT FOR CONSENT TO BE RESPECTED. NOW, ACTIONS NO LONGER SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.
ey guys. Let’s have a chat. Things have been weird for all of us since last fall’s revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s— and countless other powerful men’s—abuses of power. The rise of the #MeToo movement, showcasing just how many women have been affected by sexual assault and harassment, only highlights the change our culture desperately needs. But the dating scene—never an easy realm to navigate—has become infinitely trickier: Are office relationships appropriate? When does flirting cross the line? When does a bad hookup become sexual assault? That’s why we’re here. Not to condemn or impose judgment—think of this as your friendly guide for handling the intricacies of the #MeToo era of dating. We spoke to Kerri True-Funk, associate director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, to set the record straight on appropriate, respectful sexual behavior.
THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN Here’s what Harvey Weinstein has been accused of: Abusing his role as a powerful Hollywood producer to manipulate women into giving him sexual favors. Raping women. Exposing himself in front of non-consenting women. And yeah, masturbating into a potted plant. This guy is allegedly the end-all-be-all of sexual predators.
The Lesson: “The root of sexual violence is active oppression,” True-Funk says. “It’s used not as a tool of sex, but as a tool of power over a group or individual.” So, for future reference, don’t use a power imbalance to proposition people or make them feel obliged to do something they wouldn’t otherwise do. Don’t purposefully put people in situations that are uncomfortable for them. Don’t sexualize a situation unless you know for certain that it’s desired on both ends—the easiest way to know is to make like the kindergarteners and use your words. Straight-up ask for permission before acting. “I urge people to have those hard conversations,” True-Funk says. “What comes out at the end is healthier sexuality that’s more enjoyable with your partner.” It doesn’t have to be un-sexy—use your creativity, folks.
THE JAMES FRANCO James Franco—actor, provocateur, and dude-bro extraordinaire—has long been on the edge of sexual harassment allegations that somehow have yet to derail his career. He first garnered scandal in 2014 after allegedly asking a 17-year-old on Instagram to share a hotel room, while fully aware of her age. Since then, several women have come forward with stories of Franco using his position as a teacher and mentor at his Los Angeles acting school to
put women in uncomfortable sexual situations. The allegations range from exploitation, unsafe practices when filming nude scenes, and forced sexual contact. To top it off, he flaunted a Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globes, a move many saw as hypocritical. The Lesson: Franco’s situation is more nuanced than Weinstein’s, so its solution may not be as obvious. To start, stay away from underage people. That shouldn’t need to be said, but here we are. Respect people’s boundaries in the workplace setting—strive for professionalism at all times. Someone’s harmless flirting is another person’s unwanted sexual attention. “I’ve had conversations with folks about what their definition of flirting is,” True-Funk says. “Oftentimes, it’s really catcalling or street harassment, not having a conversation.” And while we’re all for positive change and realizing one’s own mistakes, don’t profess to be a non-problematic, “progressive” dude in the process. Recognize where you’ve gone wrong in the past, and rather than erase it, strive to be better.
THE AZIZ ANSARI The accusation against Aziz Ansari seemed to come out of left field: He’s the lovable comedian and actor who fights against racism, pushes progressive story lines in his shows,
and is an overall liberal darling. So when a woman under the pseudonym Grace accused Ansari of sexual misconduct in January, her story was met with confusion and disbelief. And it’s true that her story is less cut-and-dry than others. She’s the only person to come forward against Ansari so far, and what she saw as sexual assault, many see as just a bad date. She explained that, while on a date with Ansari, he ignored her physical displays of discomfort, made her feel as though he expected her to perform oral sex on him, and was generally insensitive to what she thought or wanted. The Lesson: This situation is a blurry line between a bad date and full-on sexual assault. In any case, there’s a lot to learn: It’s possible to be legally innocent while still being an asshole, and that behavior is still unacceptable. Women are groomed by society to be polite, agreeable, and generous—ideals that don’t grant any
favors in sexual settings. We often believe that if we just wait out an uncomfortable situation, we can move on, forget about it, and try to avoid it in the future—without recognizing the lasting harmful effects a bad sexual encounter can have. This is exactly what Grace says she experienced with Ansari—a situation she felt she had little control over, but that she didn’t outright object to out of politeness or societal expectations, which she came to regret. While regret doesn’t retroactively reverse consent, it does go to show that society needs a major update in the way it grooms women. “Consent isn’t the absence of a no,” True-Funk says. “It’s not a threatened yes, either. It’s an individual choice made about whether or not you’re going to participate in any sexual behaviors, and it can be revoked at any time.” When it comes to sex, we need to be better communicators. “To truly eliminate
the possibility that somebody is going to be accused of sexual violence, it comes down to clarifying what everybody’s intent is in the situation,” True-Funk says. We need to listen to what our partners are saying, verbally and physically, and encourage them to speak up about how they’re feeling. We need to be responsive to our partner and also proactive in communicating our own desires and comfort levels. We must break our fear of coming off as impolite, and feel comfortable entering or leaving a situation on our own terms. While it may take a major societal shift to get there, we’re on our way. “More and more people are saying they find these forms of violence unacceptable,” True-Funk says, “Which really works for changing the culture around the inevitability of violence.”
REVENGE BODIES NO, WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT KHLOÉ KARDASHIAN’S TV SHOW. WORDS: NICK MCGLYNN | PHOTO: JENNA CORNICK
n a late afternoon, Chloe Janich laces up her running shoes and starts to stretch. It’s Friday, so she’s preparing for her tri-weekly run around campus. As she makes her way outside, she focuses on pushing toward her fitness goals. This drive has been inside her for quite some time—but Janich’s fitness routine was prompted by a breakup, rather than a lifestyle change. Cheating had occurred, amplifying her unhappiness with the guy she dated on-and-off for years. “When I was with him, I was constantly comparing myself to others,” Janich says. “I was viewing myself through the perspective of others.” It wasn’t until June of 2017, six months after the breakup, that Janich decided to put it behind her. She began an intense workout routine: weight training four days per week and cardio for three, using workouts she found online. “Talking to others about the breakup started to get redundant,” Janich says. “That’s when I discovered that working out would put a lot of those emotions into something good for myself.” However, some believe the emotional motivation to work out doesn’t
always hold up in the long run. Tim Ives, certified specialist in strength and conditioning and owner of The Body Project in Des Moines, argues that the motivation to work out solely for revenge is not sustainable long-term. Positive and objective goals, he says, ultimately lead to long-lasting fitness. “There will come a point when this motivation wanes and the regimen stops, which will quickly reverse any short-term gains,” Ives says. Janich realizes that while her decision to get fit was in part because of her ex, she was determined to make sure this wasn’t something she picked up for a few months and then let fall by the wayside. This project was for her own fulfillment, and she was going to see it through. “This was the first big thing that I stayed consistent with,” Janich says. “The breakup was so significant to me, and there were issues that affected who I was, and I wasn’t going to let that happen again.” Janich learned to evolve her initial revenge body mentality into a legitimate lifestyle change—and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Embracing the fitness grind has been rewarding for Janich, but the most rewarding feeling is finding worth in herself.
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
essential oils HEALTH & SEX
FOR THE BODY AND THE MIND
OILS AREN’T JUST FOR COOKING—THEY’RE ALSO POWERFUL TOOLS OF HOLISTIC HEALING. WORDS: KATHRYN BLAKE | ILLUSTRATIONS: YEE KWAN LIM
timulate your senses with aromatherapy. Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils for improved physical, mental and emotional health. According to Jodi Baglien, certified aromatherapist from Osseo, MN, it uses integrative healing to affect our emotions and energy levels while strengthening mental cognition and memory function. Use an oil diffuser to infuse a room or rub a few drops into the skin for a more concentrated effect. Be careful not to use pure oils on the skin, though—they can often burn the if they aren’t diluted using a carrier oil like apricot oil. Common spots to apply them are the crown of the head and behind the ears, neck, and temples. Essential oils can be found on Amazon and in health stores like Whole Foods. Jane Blake, massage therapist at Peace of Mind Bodywork in Osseo, MN, recommends incorporating these five essential oil blends into your everyday life.
Insomnia Lemon- 3 drops Lavender- 2 drops Vetiver- 1 drop Wind down and ease your mind into a state of relaxation. Vetiver provides grounding and centering, while lemon and lavender aide harmony and clarity of thought.
Exhaustion Eucalyptus Globus- 3 drops Rosemary- 2 drops Grapefruit- 1 drop Skip the energy drink and diffuse this blend, which offers the perfect pick-me-up without the shakes. The aroma helps provide restoration and balance, while grapefruit adds a pop of pep.
Bergamot- 3 drops Geranium- 2 drops Lavender- 1 drop
Orange- 2 drops Lavender- 2 drops Chamomile Roman- 1 drop Cypress- 1 drop
This healing blend works to alleviate stress and anxiety. Bergamot inspires strength and happiness, while geranium soothes and relaxes. Lavender—the mother of essential oils—can help ease physical and psychological problems.
Stuck in a rut? Don’t worry, these oils bring a sense of satisfaction and forward motion. Orange is energizing and warming, lavender calms, chamomile roman soothes, and cypress relieves tension.
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
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DESSA HER APPEARANCE ON THE HAMILTON MIXTAPE CEMENTED THIS MINNESOTA-BORN RAPPER’S SPOT AT THE TOP OF HER GAME. WORDS: VALERIE BUVAT | PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHAD KAMENSHINE
n this patriarchal music industry, the road to success isn’t exactly paved for women— especially when it comes to hip-hop. Popular, commercially-successful female rappers are more or less limited to Nicki Minaj, SZA, and a handful of others. But some Midwestern up-and-comers are looking to change that. Take rapper and spoken word artist Dessa, for example. As a member of Minneapolis-based hip-hop group Doomtree, and a contributor to The Hamilton Mixtape, her career has taken off. We spoke with Dessa on our quest to find some girl power in hip-hop.
though we all have very different music tastes, we’re connected through this group. My biggest influence would definitely be the other guys in Doomtree. The best thing about this group is that we all make our music together and produce each other’s solo projects.
Drake Magazine: At what point did a career in music seem like your calling? Dessa: Before I ever got into music, I was a writer who struggled with getting published. It wasn’t until 2001 when I attended a poetry slam that I met the members of Doomtree, and everything started from there.
DM: Lin Manuel-Miranda has become a household name, with Hamilton taking the world by storm. How did you get involved with The Hamilton Mixtape? How has it affected your fan base? D: The Hamilton Mixtape was such an amazing experience. Lin and I actually got in contact over Twitter. I saw Hamilton in New York City, and Lin and I traded notes afterwards. He asked me if I wanted to join this project, and I immediately jumped at the opportunity. Hamilton has been such a force culturally and has been shared by people of different genres, so it’s really helped to reach new fans and establish credibility.
DM: With its atypical indie influences, Doomtree is something we’ve never heard in hip-hop. Who are your biggest influences? D: Growing up, I listened to artists like Tina Turner and Rod Stewart. In Doomtree, even
DM: Your life must be a little hectic right now with a recent album release and tour. Tell us a little bit about this album, “Chime.” D: I have a very deep interest in various musical styles, whether it be vocals, hip-hop, or indie rock. Making this album, my hardest struggle
was finding a way to combine my interests in a way that doesn’t seemed forced. Andy Thompson, a member of Doomtree, actually produced this album, along with Lazerbeak. Andy has a great ear for music theory and Lazerbeak makes you bang with percussion, so this must be my most cohesive work I’ve ever done. It’s important for my fans to know that there was an element of neuroscience that went into this record. I had to fall out of love and learn things about myself that I never knew I needed to know in order to make this album. DM: What’s next in your career? D: I have a memoir coming out on September 18. "My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love" will be about my career as a female rapper, experiencing a rocky love life, and my life as a surprising science enthusiast.
Want to hear more from our favorite Midwestern female rappers? Check out drakemagazine.com/music-culture/ midwestrappers for more great content.
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
MUSIC MUSIC & & ENTERTAINMENT ENTERTAINMENT
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JULIEN BAKER THE SINGER-SONGWRITER TURNS OUT THE LIGHTS IN IOWA CITY WITH A MOODY FESTIVAL APPEARANCE. WORDS: NATHAN MAUGHAN | PHOTO: SAM FATHALLAH
ulien Baker doesn’t need much in the way of stage props—her oversize presence fills the room on its own. She’s accompanied on stage by only two guitars and an electric piano, and is backlit by four bare bulbs. Without saying a word, she picks up a butterscotch blonde Telecaster and starts the opening chord to “Turn Out the Lights,” the title track off her sophomore album, released last October. The song is isolating, with plainspoken lyricism. Like most of her songs, it’s a slow build, increasing in reverb-laden intensity as Baker shouts with a toothy bellow, leaving the audience wondering how that rich voice comes from such a small person. The song tapers off, ending as it began. In the fallout from her vocal barrage, Baker whispers a thank you to the crowd before continuing onto the next song. During her appearance at Iowa City’s Mission Creek Festival in April, this structure prevailed until three songs in, when Baker invited violinist Camille Faulkner onstage. As the two began the next song, what can only be described as the sound of a church organist’s dozing forehead colliding with the keys stabbed through the mix. Baker promptly stopped playing and addressed the crowd. “Let me tell you something,” Baker said. “I’m human, and I make mistakes.” With the ruse of the song shattered, Baker realized one of her guitar pedals had broken. After an exchange of laughs between the musicians and the crowd, the set continued, leaving both parties more intimate and vulnerable. It’s only been three years since Baker’s debut album, “Sprained Ankle,” but she’s quickly becoming a critical darling for the way she unapologetically presents her traumas and doubts in her lyrics. She writes of substance abuse and newfound sobriety, desires of self-demolition, and a faith in God that follows her through it all. It’s these one-sided conversations with God that make Baker’s performance so captivating. Watching her sing, the audience is placed in the uncomfortable position of God. It’s this discomfort, and Baker’s honest, uncensored delivery, that’s to blame for the near-complete silence during her Iowa City performance. “I feel surprisingly disarmed by your silence,” Baker says. She’s as upfront in her speech as she is in her lyrics. The audience whooped and hollered after that statement, attempting to correct their behavior. But how can you make noise during a Julien Baker performance, as you’re stupefied by the devastating sincerity in which she delivers some of life’s darkest anxieties? Baker finished her hour-long performance, whispered one last thank you, and left the audience to digest—without the comfort of her ambient guitar to help.
BOW DOWN. LORDE’S KANSAS CITY SHOW WAS HOMEMADE DYNAMITE. WORDS: ERIN MUMFORD | ILLUSTRATION: KATIE SEGLER
he Pure Heroine silently entered the empty stage to perform her song, “Sober,” packing a punch to open her concert. Lorde’s Kansas City appearance was just the third stop on the American leg of her Melodrama World Tour. With several years of growth and life experiences between her freshman album, “Pure Heroine,” and 2017’s “Melodrama,” the now-21-year-old has developed a more mature sound and lyricism in her music. Heartbreak, loneliness, and dejection are themes in the sophomore album, but they’re paired with up-beat dance rhythms. Piano melodies mixed with electropop elements and layered vocals make up the unique sound on “Melodrama.” On the day of the show, Lorde was seen on her Instagram story joyriding around the Sprint Center on her tour staple, a scooter. In the five years since “Pure Heroine” was released, her venues and audience have grown along with her music. Throughout the show, she expressed wonder at the size of the crowd worshipping before her, while maintaining that it felt like everyone was “sitting at a dinner table together.” This mix of intimacy and surrealness is a trademark of Lorde’s show. Her background dancers felt like a natural extension of herself without drawing from her stage presence, only enhancing it. Her energetic dancing was echoed by the crowd. With effortless dramatic flair and perfect vocal pitch, Lorde manages to sound even better in person than in recordings. If given the chance, we’d bow before the Lorde all over again.
SPRING + SUMMER 2018
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
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Sylvan Esso THE FOLK-ELECTRO DUO STOPPED IN DES MOINES FOR AN EXPLOSIVE SHOW. WORDS: MEGAN MOWERY | PHOTO: JENNA CORNICK
folk singer and an electronic music producer walk into a bar. Two years later, a band is formed and their debut album is born. Sylvan Esso, an electropop band comprised of singer-songwriter Amelia Meath and Milwaukee-native producer Nick Sanborn, is currently on tour promoting its sophomore album, 2017’s “What Now.” Its sold-out stop at Des Moines’ Hoyt Sherman Place on March 27 made the vintage venue quake. Following an eardrum-bursting, seizure-inducing, chestvibrating performance by DJ Suzi Analog, Sylvan Esso took the stage in a burst of light and energy. The combination of Meath’s bold, unprocessed vocals and Sanborn’s intricately layered beats makes for an intriguing listen, while remaining accessible for the average tap-your-feet, sing-along listener. It’s impossible to stay still while listening to Sylvan Esso. Despite the assigned seating at Hoyt Sherman Place, nearly the entire crowd was on its feet clapping, swaying, and making “the sound of many, many wolves” at Meath’s request. Though the lyrics on “What Now” dive into politics, heartbreak, the music industry, and the fame that comes with it, its light, breezy sound
provides a welcome contrast. While singing along to album highlight “Radio,” listeners may not realize the gravity of its repetitive chorus, “Slave to the radio.” In that way, Sylvan Esso is sort of meta—they’ll create hits we can’t tear ourselves away from, while ripping into the industry that enables those hits. While “What Now” has its fair share of slow, meditative moments—like “Slack Jaw” or “Rewind”—the band keeps its concert high-energy and explosive. Meath and Sanborn are endless fun to watch on stage. Their chemistry is unquestionable—a broad smile frequently spread across Sanborn’s face as he looked up from his setup to watch Meath writhe and sway in her platform sneakers. Their connection only amplifies the audience’s excitement. After a satisfying set and two encore performances, Meath bounced off stage with kisses for the crowd as Sanborn lagged behind, betraying a shy smile. Sonically, a folk-electro duo shouldn’t be a perfect match, but what could have been conflict became undeniable harmony when they met in that Milwaukee bar six years ago.
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