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ISSUE 27

HIGHLIGHT

MAGAZINE

JEFF MAKER – FRENDLY GATHERING – THE LONELY BISCUITS – HUNTER HUNTED & MORE

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co-founder – editor-in-chief ashley osborn

IGHLIGH

co-founder – art director cara bahniuk managing editor jenn stookey copy editor courtney dondelinger co-founder mckenzie hughes contributing photographers

cara bahniuk, matt burke, dan deslover, brendon donahue, courtney dondelinger, tarina doolittle, jordan fischels, brad heaton, megan leetz, anjel lopez, nicole mago, charlie martel, david mullis, laura murray, ally newbold, ashley osborn, heather phillips, petey place, danny raybon, sam roenfeldt, sam san roman, daniel shippey and amy willard

contributing writers (online & publication)

christina belles, haley black, jennifer boylen, colleen casey, madison convey, rebecca del castillo, trevor figge, zach murman-freer, tamara fuentes, will howard, logan kant, jessica klinner, catt kruger, daisy marietta, theresa pham, karlin reed, ryan bahniuk, annette schaefer, alyssa schmidt, steven smith, morgan waldorf and abby welsh

digital marketing team

olivia adams, geoff burns, rachel carter, megan shea and catie suliga

news posters

caroline hall, brad laplante, jordyn lockwood, megan shea and sydney wirkus

_________________________ www.highlightmagazine.net facebook facebook.com/highlightmagazine twitter @highlightzine instagram @highlightzine _________________________ thank you

taking back sunday, rachel miller, big picture media, jack mitrani, jeff maker, crash avenue, total assault, red light management, the creed company, press here publicity, the catalyst publicity group and all of our amazing readers!

_________________________ 06 taking back sunday jordan fischels

07 arum rae provided

frendly gathering provided

the lonely biscuits sammy roenfeldt

all time low adam elmakias

5 seconds of summer cara bahniuk

arielle provided

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may

05 this or that 08 clothing highlight 10 label highlight 11 venue highlight 12 highlighted artists 13 film highlight 14 industry highlight 16 frendly gathering 20 arum rae 22 arielle 24 the lonely biscuits 28 hunter hunted 30 taking back sunday 38 tour round up comeback kid 5 seconds of summer 42 reviews

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THIS

OR

THAT

MIX FIFTH HARM E L T T ONY LI 83% 17%

34%

40%

66%

60%

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TAKING BACK SUNDAY - 30

FRENDLY GATHERING - 16

JEFF MAKER - 14

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ARIELLE - 22


20 - ARUM RAE

24 - THE LONELY BISCUITS

40 - 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER

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CATCH ONTO THESE TRENDS

COMPANY: Strong Willed LOCATION: Cleveland Heights, OH STAFF: Andrew - Founder/Designer/Marketer, Zach - Designer/Marketer WEBSITE: strongwilledxxx.bigcartel.com

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HOW DID STRONG WILLED START? WHERE DID THE NAME COME FROM?

Well it all started off when I [Andrew] started Crown Clothing. Then Zach joined in and suggested we change the name to Crown & Co., because someone else would probably use Crown Clothing sooner or later. Since we’re both straight edge and we thought it would be cool to do an edge brand, so we decided to convert to a straight edge brand. But I didn’t really feel that the name fit our style and what we were going for so we shut down Crown & Co. and finally, Strong Willed was born. I like the company name so much more and I feel it definitely fits our style and what we’re going for. I promise this the LAST time we make any changes…hopefully.

WHAT YOU FEEL YOUR BRAND REPRESENTS?

Well the brand itself represents the straight edge lifestyle (abstaining from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco – for those who aren’t familiar). Do I think we’re the epitome of straight edge? Not at all. But I feel like we’re doing a pretty good job at putting our own twist on it. So many straight edge brands all use the same college font X with DRUG FREE on the shirt and things like that and we’re just trying to stray away from that.

REASON YOU STARTED YOUR BRAND?

Honestly, because we thought it would be cool to have an edge clothing company.

THREE PERSONAL FAVORITE DESIGNS?

Andrew - Mine would have to be the Hit the Dirt design, the Casket logo, and an un-released design we have coming soon. I like them all because I haven’t really seen many edge designs like them and that’s exactly what I want. Zach - The Hit the Dirt design, the Casket logo as well, and the hammer leggings we put out not to long ago.

WHY PEOPLE SHOULD CHECK OUT YOUR BRAND?

We have some pretty cool, and pretty cheap products available right now. Feel free to check them out! And every order comes with free goodies! And the occasional buy one get free card from Chipotle.

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YOU MAY WANT TO LISTEN TO... The small independent Nashville record label, Fair Trade Services, caters specifically to Christian artists who are seeking a partnership to assist them in spreading the Word. The label is fairly new, coming up on its third anniversary, but the owner and each of the signed artists are all very familiar with the music scene. Founder Jeff Moseley has been in the music industry for over 30 years, and has grown the independent label after his previous record label, INO, founded in 1999, was bought out. The artists signed by Moseley and Fair Trade Services typically produce records full of spirituality and encouraging messages of love and positivity. Groups such as Citizen Way, Ashes Remain, Audio Adrenaline, MercyMe, and a number of solo artists are happy to call Fair Trade Services home.

THE AFTERS - Texas outfit, The Afters has always consistently

brought an influential message in every single one of their songs over the course of 9 years and four full-length albums. Vocalist and guitarist, Josh Havens’ lyrics are personal testimonies of all of the trials he has faced in his life, from surviving a car accident, to fearing that his newborn son would not make it. Vulnerability is their unique way of relating to audiences and sharing their messages of faith with others to hopefully ignite a flame within their hearts. Havens and his band mates, Matt Fuqua, Dan Ostebo, and Jordan Mohilowski also strive to create music that will bring people joy, and so far they have been succeeding, being permanent residents on Christian radio stations all across the United States. Listen to: “Light Up The Sky”

HAWK NELSON -

Only one founding member remains in the alt-rock group, Hawk Nelson. Bassist, Dave Biro founded the group over a decade ago, and the band is approaching the tenth anniversary of their debut album, Letters To The President this year. Many things have changed since then, including a new lineup welcoming Justin Benner and Micah Kuiper, as well as signage under Fair Trade Services. For the past four years, Jonathan Steingard, who replaced Jason Dunn, has fronted the Canadian rockers-turnedNashville-transplants. However, the message that they strive to express has always been the same, and has since matured. Although their previous records have been upbeat and youthful, the current lineup has been working on producing music that is more emotional and inspirational. Listen To: “Words”

SHANE AND SHANE - Southern gents Shane Barnard

and Shane Everett joined together to construct a Christian folk duo in 2001. The two are simple artists; usually playing intimate shows with just their vocals and guitars to deliver their message. The basis of the duo’s most recent album, Bring Your Nothing, was recorded in just seven days with help from fellow Christian artists, including members of Third Day, Fiction Family, and Caedmon’s Call. Their band is their ministry. Shane and Shane use their spiritual gifts to convey messages of hope that provide healing for themselves, their family, friends, fans, and even their students. Barnard is not only a musician, but a teacher, who has a weekly class that teaches students all about songwriting and theology so that they will be able to become future songwriters as well. Listen to: “That’s How You Forgive” 10 - HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET

WORDS: Haley Black


VENUE HIGHLIGHT THE TABERNACLE - ATLANTA, GA

HISTORY:

The name of the venue makes a lot more sense if you know the history of the building. The Tabernacle started off as an actual tabernacle in 1910. When the church relocated in the mid eighties, the building was left vacant until the 1996 Olympics when it served as a House of Blues club. After the Olympics, the building continued to serve as an entertainment venue and came to be known as The Tabernacle. The venue has operated under a variety of owners, but currently, Live Nation operates it.

WHY PLAY HERE?

The Tabernacle lies in the heart of downtown Atlanta within walking distance of the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coke and Centennial Park. Since it is located in one of the most visited parts of the city, The Tabernacle is the best place to play a show. The interior of the venue is stunningly beautiful with stained glass windows, a chandelier and organ pipes originally from when the venue served as a church. The slanted floor area and multiple balconies makes it easy to have a great view of the show from anywhere in the 2600 capacity venue.

TWITTER: @tabernacleatl FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/tabernacleatl WEBSITE: tabernacleatl.com MAY 23RD

MAY 30TH

MAY 31ST/JUNE 1ST

JUNE 3RD

Neon Trees

Manchester Orchestra

NEEDTOBREATHE

DigiTour

REVIEW: Jessica Klinner

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HIGHLIGHTED

ARTISTS FINE FINE TITANS

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan Current Single: “Dance of the Omega” Members: Jenn Bartlett – Vocals, Kris Sosa – Guitar, Evan Bartlett – Bass & Joe Smith – Drums Fine Fine Titans, a female fronted post-hardcore group from Grand Rapids, Michigan, are emerging into the scene. The band began by merging Jenn and Evan’s love for music and their love for each other. After holy matrimony, they created Fine Fine Titans with the addition of Kris and Joe. Their music will keep your feet off the ground and your heads thrashing.

THE NORTH Location: Hampton, VA Current Single: “Tradewinds” Members: Justin Pyles – Vocals, Dan Interrante – Vocals/Bass, Napoleon Brown – Vocals/Rhythm Guitar, Robby Latalladi – Lead Guitar & Mike Christensen – Drums The North is a post-hardcore band from Hampton, VA that formed accidentally. Drawing influences from bands like Defeater, As Cities Burn, and Silverstein, The North has certainly made a sound of their own. However, this band behaves more like family than just band, and that sense of closeness is what comes first in their career.

SOMETHING YOU WHISPER Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, North America, and Earth Current Single: “Anti-Conscience” Members: Wes Will – Vocals, Kyle Adshade – Guitar/Vocals, Austin Palladini – Guitar/Vocals, Brian Shepard – Bass, Tom McArthur – Drums If you’ve been around the Warped Tour scene for a while, you know it can be hard to find a good post-hardcore group that stands out from others. We have been searching far and wide and have found just what we were looking for! Something You Whisper is a post-hardcore/rock band based out of “Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, North America, and Earth,” according to Wes Will, the band’s vocalist. This group is fresh, talented, and driven. Having already achieved all of their early goals, it looks like it is time for them to create new ones! 12 - HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET

WORDS: Jenn Stookey


HIGHLIGHTED

FILMS

HITS//MISSES//RISKS

SUMMER FILM FORCASTING

Last summer is going to be a tough season to beat, boasting box office smashes such as Iron Man 3 and Despicable Me 2 with a total gross of over $4.76 million in just three short months. Yet this summer is definitely going to give it a run for its money. Although summer 2013 was a record-smashing season, this summer aims to fix the gaps where the last fell short. Suffering from too much concentration of “in-your-face action” films summer 2013 also created some of the biggest flops in years like The Lone Ranger and RIPD. By utilizing clever counter programming this summer has a film for everyone. With more breathing room between similar films this year hopes to avoid self-cannibalization by intelligently spreading out movies throughout the summer. Through organically built word of mouth not only the big blockbusters should do well, but also smaller art films have a chance at breaking through the noise of the season. Here are our guesses for the best, the worst, and the risks of this upcoming summer:

HITS

Standing apart in a crowded summer season is no easy task yet Godzilla makes this look effortless. With a contemporary re-imagination of the classic, this monster film is long over due. Capitalizing on new up and coming stars like Elizabeth Olsen, Godzilla brings freshness to the screen while anchoring on Bryan Cranston as a strong lead. Boasting a slow lead to the monster’s reveal much like Jaws this monster’s presence is incredibly realistic and sure to strike box office gold. On the opposite side of the spectrum our other prediction lies in the tear jerking The Fault in Our Stars. Based on the best-selling novel by John Green this film already has a strong following of young adult readers. Exploring the tragic but thrilling struggles of being alive and in love this film is sure to connect with audiences and provide a nice break from all the action films this summer.

MISSES

From a million miles away it’s not hard to see Adam Sandler’s downward spiral into cheap slapstick family films. Despite the surprising success of 2010’s Grown Ups its obvious Sandler has run out of luck with Blended. Once again collaborating with Drew Barrymore this film seems to miss the mark with its stretched plot and lack of creativity. Our other prediction is bursting with a bold imagination but could Jupiter Ascending have too much? Being one of the only big budget original concept films this summer this sci-fi action may struggle to find an audience in its niche genre.

RISKS

Riding the coat tails of the comic book to film boom Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles attempts to mirror other superhero successes this summer. Yet this one leaves us confused, directed by Michael Bay this seems like a Transformers knock off “Turtle-formers” pumping an excessive amount of CGI turtle battles and special effects into each scene. Having the difficult task of appealing to both kids and fans of the classic we are worried about how this one will turn out. Yet the biggest question mark of the summer is with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Introducing a new superhero family is never easy especially one so off beat and bizarre. Having a smaller following than other Marvel favorites like The Avengers this film relies on its quirkiness and smart humor to draw in interested viewers. We have high hopes for this one as it brings a fresh unconventional perspective to the superhero scene. REVIEW: Rachel Carter

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NAME: Jeff Maker LOCATION: Boston, MA WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL STORY?

Professionally, I’ve been doing this since 2003; I got into lighting by accident actually. In the early 2000s I booked shows for local/ regional bands in New England. During that time, I was going to school at Emerson College in Boston, MA for TV production. I went to a few shows, I was booking in my free time, and I noticed that nothing was being done with the lighting. Mind you, they were small venues that didn’t really have much in the visual department but still I thought SOMETHING could be done. So I started inquiring about the lighting and basically began pushing buttons during the sets. I had no idea what I was doing but it was fun. While in college a venue in Boston called The Paradise Rock Club had just re-opened and I decided to apply for a job there...as a bar back to make some extra money as well as being surrounded by live music. The house lighting guy at the Paradise (Shane Kocher, who is still there today) heard me talking about lighting as he walked by one day and asked me if I was interested in learning more/training. I said yes and he took me under his wing. As I learned more and more another club in Boston called Axis (no longer around) had just lost their LD and wanted to know if I wanted to be their house lighting guy. They hired me. While there, I worked on my timing, studied gel color numbers, saw what worked and what didn’t, took house fixtures apart, and fixed them by reading a whole lot of manuals. Axis was a smaller venue and artists rarely brought in an LD there. This gave me the opportunity to light up many bands that were basically starting out at the time. Bands like Paramore, The Jonas Brothers, and Maroon 5 to name-drop a few. I even got to light WWE Superstar John Cena when he toured as a rapper. That was a little strange. By 2006 I had established myself in Boston as a legit LD and was offered my first tour overseas in Europe with the Dresden Dolls. The dominoes kept falling after that, I got better, word of mouth got around, people saw my work, I began getting a bunch of tour offers, and here I am today!

MANY PEOPLE KNOW YOU FROM DESIGNING LIGHTS FOR ALL TIME LOW. IS THERE ANYONE ELSE YOU HAVE DESIGNED FOR AND/OR WANT TO?

I’ve been the LD for Pierce The Veil, Brand New, Yellowcard, Boys Like Girls, Belinda Carlisle (of The Go-Gos), and The Dresden Dolls to name a few. I’d love to work with Sting, Phil Collins, NIN, and Imogen Heap. Also, I would have loved to light up The Doors and Jimi Hendrix back in the day.

WHAT IS YOUR MAIN GOAL WHEN DESIGNING A LIGHTING SETUP?

I try to do something original. Which can be tough sometimes since a lot of straight up lighting designs have been done. Which is why set pieces, video elements, and special effects are used so often I think. So I look into what has been done already (in the genre of music that I’m designing for) and try to be as original as possible. And from there my goals are to help magnify each song visually and do my own personal visual interpretation of it. Every song an artist writes has its own meaning and personality. I light them that way. 

TO YOU, WHY IS A GOOD LIGHTING DESIGN IMPORTANT FOR A LIVE SHOW?

Without a good lighting design or good lighting in general it’s just an expensive band rehearsal in front of a lot of people. Why go to a show, why pay for a ticket, if you’re not going to get the best possible

experience? And trust me, I understand that lighting isn’t essential to every artist or band. To many, it’s a luxury to have lighting or an LD. But if an artist can afford to sound larger than life with expensive backline gear and audio equipment, they most certainly can afford to LOOK larger than life as well. But budgets can be tight on the road and lighting can be an easy thing to cut. People live through their phones. Hell, most people watch an entire show through their phones. And photos always look better with a great lighting design. But obviously this is just my totally bias opinion as a LD. 

DO YOU TRY AND ADD SOMETHING NEW EACH TOUR? DO YOU ALSO MAKE AN EFFORT TO CHANGE THE LIGHTING TECHNIQUES FOR EACH SONG EACH TOUR? Yes. I never recycle a design in a market. I change color schemes for each song, each tour, but timing never changes unless the artist extends certain parts of the song or do sudden stops or pauses. New fixtures come out every year and when I see what they’re capable of...and if I like it, I think of how I might be able to use it in my newest designs.

YOU TEND TO USE A LOT OF LASERS. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR LIGHT THAT YOU LIKE?  I’ve actually never used lasers in any of my designs. Although, I’d love to! Believe it or not you need to be certified to use lasers live since, if used carelessly, they can cause blindness. There are certain fixtures that I use where I can create an effect that looks like lasers but aren’t. The Clay Paky Sharpy and the Robe Pointe are the fixtures you’ve probably seen me use to create “lasers”.

OUT OF ALL OF THE SHOWS YOU HAVE DESIGNED LIGHTS FOR, IS THERE A FAVORITE THAT STANDS OUT TO YOU?  I’d have to say the one I did recently with All Time Low at the Brixton Academy in London on March 15, 2014.

WHAT ARE THREE OF YOUR MOST MEMORABLE CAREER MOMENTS? 

1) Being nominated for Lighting Designer of the Year for the Parnelli Awards in 2012 2) Lighting All Time Low’s DVD shoot at the Hammerstein Ballroom 3) Doing lights at Radio City Music Hall in NYC for the Dresden Dolls

IS THERE ANYTHING ACCOMPLISH?

ELSE

YOU

WANT

TO

 A bunch of things! But 2 of my main goals right now are doing a show in Madison Square Garden and making enough money to live/retire in Hawaii.

t@jeffmaker Photos: Adam Elmakias

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PHOTOS: Submitted

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JACK MITRANI Founder of The Frendly Gathering

FIRST, EXPLAIN TO ME WHY FRENDS IS SPELLED WITHOUT AN I (FOR THE READERS).

Well, we chose to snowboard for a living rather than go to college so I guess these are the mistakes we are going to have to live with! Totally kidding, we truly believe that it’s a simple way to help get what we stand for across easily, which is living selflessly and working as a crew to be the best version of ourselves.

YOU ARE KNOWN FOR YOUR SNOWBOARDING BUT IT’S NO SECRET THAT MUSIC HAS BEEN A HUGE PART OF YOUR LIFE. HOW HAS MUSIC INFLUENCED YOU?

I like to think of it like in the sense of a movie, what is a movie without a soundtrack? What is my life without a soundtrack? It helps me dream bigger, get motivated, wake up, fall asleep, get down the hill, through a road trip, and keeps me smiling both through the hard times and the best times. I wouldn’t be where I am out it, you can be sure of that.

YOU AND SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS IN THE SNOWBOARDING COMMUNITY CREATED THE FRENDS CREW, BUT WHEN WAS IT WHEN YOU DECIDED TO TAKE IT INTO THE MUSIC MARKET 18 - HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET

AND TRANSFER THAT OVER TO THE FRENDLY GATHERING? (WERE HEADPHONES BEFORE OR AFTER THE FESTIVAL?)

It goes a little something like this… snowboarding came first. Then the Frends Crew sparked from the love we all shared snowboarding. We all really, really, ridiculously loved music. We all wanted to create something attainable that would unify us, which is where the idea of creating a headphone company came from. Another thing we loved was getting our frends together to celebrate and have as much fun as we humanly possible. Naturally, the Frendly Gathering was then born from all of the above thrown into one.

IT SEEMS VERY STRANGE TO THINK ABOUT STARTING A FESTIVAL FROM THE GROUND UP. HOW DID YOU START THE FESTIVAL AND WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT THE BEGINNING STEPS?

It actually started more as a camping trip where we invited everyone from frends, fans, to family to come celebrate life and the outdoors. We had one single PA that we shared, leading to serious drama for who got to play the next song. After the fun was done on year one, we wanted to take it a notch higher and book a band (Led Zeppelin cover band). Once we booked one band the next year, we thought,


“Hey, let’s see what happens if we book 35 bands!” It really has just been growing very organically and at a pace that feels authentic and just right. My favorite part about the beginning steps is defying my preconceived impossibilities and realizing there is no reason not to shoot for the moon. Truly realizing the excitement of challenging the limits and boundaries that you learn are actually non-existent. There is no reason NOT to try and book your favorite band that you listen to day in day out because the worst that is going to happen is they are going to say no. When it seems like there is no possible way to make it happen, it’s important to remember there is always just another human on the other end of the line.

HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL DURING OR EVEN AFTER THE FESTIVAL TO KNOW YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS HAVE DONE THIS WONDERFUL THING? DO YOU EVEN GET A CHANCE DURING THE WEEKEND TO BREATHE AND TAKE IT ALL IN?

It really is surreal during the festival to watch the world we spend so long sculpting and dreaming about come to life. It is by far the best feeling in the world watching all the hard work come together and most importantly everyone enjoying it. After the festival I feel like sleeping for four weeks straight! Then I reminisce and look through the photos and videos and start looking at ways to improve for the next year to come.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MAKE THIS A LARGER THREE-DAY FESTIVAL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC INSTEAD OF KEEPING IT TO A SMALL NUMBER OF A FEW HUNDRED?

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE ARTISTS TO PERFORM? AND IS THERE ANYONE WHO HASN’T PERFORMED WHO YOU WOULD WANT TO IN THE FUTURE?

WHEN DISCOVERING HOW TO MAKE THE FRENDLY GATHERING A REAL AND BIG THING, WHAT WERE SOME OF THE KEY THINGS YOU WANTED TO BE INCLUDED IN IT AND WHY? DID YOU USE MODELS OF OTHER FESTIVALS OR ONLY THINK OF WHAT YOU THOUGHT WOULD BE RIGHT?

DO YOU HAVE ANY GOALS OR EXPECTATIONS TO WHERE YOU EVENTUALLY WANT TO TAKE THE FRENDLY GATHERING OR EVEN IF THERE’S ANYTHING MORE YOU WANT TO COME FROM IT?

It’s all about inclusivity! We felt setting the cap at 3000 people is a perfect number where you can still have intimacy, short lines, and a feeling of knowing everyone there on a frendly basis by the time you leave. Plus, when you spend a year creating a world, you want to share it with as many frends as possible.

We were always inspired by a select group of Festivals. Pickathon was a major role model to us as well as Gathering of the Vibes and Newport Folk Festival. Our model was really simple, just aim big and see what we get. Follow the opportunities that make sense and keep creating until the last millisecond. It’s what got us to here. Now we have models, mind maps, and a full Frendly Crew helping us keep the ship floating which changes everything for the better. Cue the song, “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger!”

YOU LIVE A POSITIVE AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO TRANSFER THOSE TYPES OF BELIEFS AND “WAYS OF LIFE” INTO A MUSIC FESTIVAL FOR OTHERS?

With everything I do in life, I want there to be purpose that comes along with it. I want to leave a legacy behind that shines positivity and inspiration. When you believe firmly in in something and making the world a better place, everything you do will start to reflect that.

YOU’VE BEEN TO FESTIVALS AS AN AUDIENCE MEMBER BEFORE. HOW DOES BEING A VIEWER DIFFER FROM BEING BEHIND THE SCENES? IS THERE ONE POSITION YOU PREFER OVER THE OTHER?

Definitely always prefer to be the attendee that’s front row, smiling, and running around beaming with excitement for the week with no responsibilities or cares in the world. So at other festivals it is my time to be that guy, but at our festival it brings me joy to be apart of creating that experience for others… Remember now, “there is no I in Frends.”

We usually start with dream bands that we know would take a miracle to get. After they say no, we hit up the next batch of dream bands until we find a few that say yes. Everyone on the crew has a band they want to see, so we usually try everything we can to make a lineup that all of our frends will enjoy. If Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros would come and play, my life would be complete.

If I don’t set any goals or expectations I will never be let down if I don’t reach them. Totally joking… I definitely would love to have Frendly Gatherings all over the globe. Each experience custom to it’s natural environment while still holding true to what the Frendly Gathering is, came from, and stands for. Wanderlust is a great example of what it could turn into one day.

ARE YOU ADDING ANYTHING TO THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL THAT YOU HAVEN’T DONE IN PREVIOUS YEARS? Yes, tons of secrets will be revealed June 26th on Timber Ridge. Bring your frends and see them first hand.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE EVERY CAMPER WHO COMES GETS OUT OF THE WEEKEND IN VERMONT? A stomach full of free Ben and Jerry’s, a Martin guitar, and a new Burton t-shirt! I hope every camper leaves inspired to be frendly to themselves, their community, and the World we all share. To also recognize they are a cause of the rippling effect of positivity and how it can take over anything by just being nice to the people that surround them. Take the positivity and frendly feelings from the festival into the real world and spread them far and wide!

AFTER A YEAR OF HARD WORK PUTTING TOGETHER A FESTIVAL, THE WEEKEND COMING AND ENDING, WHAT DOES THIS FESTIVAL MEAN TO YOU? It means I am one more event towards leaving behind a legacy I can look back on and be proud of. PHOTO: Alex Scully INTERVIEW: Jenn Stookey

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HOME: Austin, TX NOW JAMMING: Warranted Queen EP

FOR MOST OF ARUM RAE’S

When Rae starts writing a new song, she usually starts with an acoustic guitar. But one thing she keeps in mind while writing is if the song can’t be played on the piano and sound complete, then it’s not a real song. And with the struggle that comes with being a musician and making a career out of it, the pressure is always there.

But Rae didn’t learn everything she knows about music from growing up in grade school. The musician attended Berklee College Of Music, a highly ranked and largest institute of music in the world. While attending, her experience consisted of learning more about music theory and how to incorporate professionalism while constructing her own songs. The school was able to give her tools to prosper.

“The most difficult part of trying to achieve a career in music is the heartbreak,” she expressed. “Constantly experiencing rejection can rip your heart out. But once you realize you don’t need anybody’s permission to do anything in this world, everything opens up and the sky is the limit.”

life she has found a passion in singing and writing music. The singer/songwriter just released her most recent work Warranted Queen EP with producer Sandford Livingston as a digital copy and said the fivesong collection has the most perks in “its production.”

“Berklee was intimidating for me as a singer and I certainly didn’t feel like I deserved to call myself a musician, but after attending and entering the real world of music I realized and valued how much I had learned and walked away with,” Rae said. “To understand chord structure and have the ability to know why I thought something sounded good verses bad helped me investigate and create songs.” While the musician attended Berklee, she has noticed a bit of a difference in her live show performance. Rae’s earlier shows in her career consisted of the songwriter trying to make her vocal performance sound like someone else other than her own while performing. She also performed under the name White Dress. The songwriter was still trying to figure out her true self as a musician and it happened after she realized the “name just didn’t stick” with her fans. She took advantage of the opportunity. “After playing a show people would write on-line or tag me under my own name as apposed to White Dress,” Rae said. “I loved performing under that moniker but it wasn’t so effective. Now I’m proud of the things that make me different.” And Rae’s music consists of different genres such as rock, blues and country adding to element of the musician trying to find her own sound musically. Even after learning about music theory at Berklee, she still remembers her mom saying, “keep it simple” while writing songs.

While Rae still struggles with getting comments from people about when she is going to give up music and focus on something different, she still has her family and friends for support. Rae understands her family’s concern because of the musician giving everything up in her life to pursue this passion. Even thought he lifestyle consists of pulling all-nighters and being on the go every day, she makes it work. “I love challenge,” Rae said. “So maybe that’s why I always just stuck at music because it certainly isn’t boring. And I have really enjoyed the people I’ve met through out each experience.” And that experience has allowed the musician to release a nine-track album called If I Didn’t Know Better and her most recent work Warranted Queen. She has also had the privilege to share the stage with BB. King and Willie Nelson. But throughout all of her accomplishments so far in her career, she was the only person who could truly make her dreams come true. “To overcome past failures and struggles, I stopped looking for approval and listened to my own self,” Rae said. “What I’ve dreamt about for so long has become reality. I don’t know anything better than that feeling.” PHOTOS: Provided INTERVIEW & STORY: Geoff Burns

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HOME: Los Angeles, CA NOW JAMMING: “California” CURRENTLY: Working on new music and preparing for a US tour

WOMEN IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

are not exactly breaking news, but they are not always taken seriously. Sometimes it appears as if they have more to prove when beginning their music careers in order to be seen as innovative and influential contributors who are capable of producing art that is universal, as opposed to being viewed strictly as sex symbols. Arielle, a young Los Angeles pop singer and songwriter is a prime example of a strong woman paving the way for other women who are trying to come into their own and make a living as a musician. “Women have always been in the industry. The difference is how they are being represented and recognized which it is has always been, and forever shall be. The change I see is that now is that women are coming in with a bigger vengeance. They have a louder voice to stand up for themselves in a way that is undeniable,” Arielle said. Discovered by Brian May of Queen, her talents have not gone unnoticed. Her music possesses a slight country twang infused with pop and acoustic based melodies. Arielle is not only a powerhouse vocalist, but also a skilled guitar player, playing since age ten. Growing up, her artistry was not always appreciated by her male counterparts. “Being a female guitar player was such a challenge when I was younger. No one wanted a girl in their band, but now it is a piece of me that makes me unique and different.” Facing such adversity is ultimately what lead her to becoming a solo artist. Finding a band that would treat her like an equal partner was a challenge, so she used that as motivation to work harder on her own. Her confidence and belief in herself is exactly what has made her stronger, and has only enhanced her creativity. She believes in inspiring girls to chase their dreams despite if the odds are against them and if they are at first not taken seriously. She offers this piece of advice: “I don’t want to scare any females out there who are reading this article so I am simply going to say this: use what you have that is different, your strong points, and let them flourish and be the things that benefit others the most. It may be a longer road, but in the end you will shine through.”

our own species,” Arielle explained. ”This is where the change begins, as we start to understand our place in the world, and how we affect it. The moment we lose that, we forget how we can change it.” Many have heard about the Netflix documentary, Blackfish, which follows the heartbreaking, behind the scenes events of an orca whale’s abusive life in captivity. It is the exact cause that she devotes a lot of her time to and strives to raise awareness. Last month, Arielle ventured on a whale watching excursion and was an honorary guest on the lineup for the Orca Freedom Concert in Seattle with big names like Heart and Joan Jett, who are not only strong women in the music industry, but strong animal activists as well – two things that Arielle loyally supports. “It was nothing short of an honor to be on the same bill as Heart and Joan Jett. These musicians have done so much in the industry through the influence of music and activism. They are extremely strong people and women in the business who have surpassed the expectations and previous success of any before them. Greater than that, however, was the mutual respect, love and passion for the animals we share the planet with,” said Arielle. “They were two of many other artists who dropped out of the SeaWorld Concert at the beginning of the year. Joan Jett refused for them to use their music during the Shamu Shows. I respect that infinitely.” By using her voice and her youth as ways to relate to young people, as well as various audiences through her music, she hopes to educate those on important matters and open up their eyes to the issues going on in the world around them. While supporting two causes simultaneously, which are animal rights and the importance of powerful women being represented in the industry, she has faith in herself that she will start changing the game for the better. PHOTOS: Provided INTERVIEW: Haley Black

Arielle is also an avid believer of standing up for those who do not have a voice. She has been a huge supporter of animal rights movements, specifically for dolphins and whales, visiting various locations around the world to speak and play benefit concerts. “I think that it’s our responsibility to take care of what ever takes care of us at some point. The earth nurtures us, feeds us, gives us a home so it is only right that we love and respect the other inhabitants and living beings on this planet the way we would

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HOME: Nashville, TN NOW JAMMING: “Pool Day” CURRENTLY: Getting ready to tour playing different festivals around the country

MOST BANDS WAIT UNTIL AFTER

college to do major releases and go on tour, but that’s not stopping The Lonely Biscuits from doing just that. These four guys all live, record, go to school, and tour together. But even being around each other 24/7 doesn’t make them want to be around each other any less. “We’re just really used to it,” said bass player Nick. “Yeah, I think we’re just really used to it. We know each other’s limits and what will piss each other off and how to respect each other. Our sense of humor is really weird and the same thing now,” added guitar player and vocalist Grady. Like some bands, The Lonely Biscuits started off in college and kept adding more members as their time went along. “Me and Grady were roommates freshman year and hung out, started jamming,” said drummer Sam. “Then these guys lived on the same floor as us.” All the members of the band currently attend Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. John, who also plays guitar and vocals, is currently studying Studio Art. Grady is an Entertainment Industry Study major while Sam and Nick both are Audio Engineering majors. Even though they are all still in college and studying different things, they say it helps their writing and recording process. According to Grady, “I feel like a lot of our classes make us think a lot differently and inspire writing and other things and inspire us to work harder. If you have lots of work to do then you’re just going to work harder.” “And you’re connected with thousands of kids automatically where as if you just moved to Nashville and you were just living here, you don’t have that automatic connection with all of these kids who have the same goal as you,” added Sam. However, even being in school and trying to make it big has its downsides. “The part that sucks is you can’t put all your effort into school or music because you’re in both so you feel like in both you’re half-assing everything,” said Grady. Even then, that hasn’t stopped them from accomplishing big things. Just last year, the bad won the first MTVU Woodie Award for College Artist of the Year, the first band to do so. According to Grady, he doesn’t think the band has changed much since winning the award. “We’ve gained some fans,” he added. Sam also says that they’ve gotten a booking agent and manager as well, something that he believes has helped them out a lot. “We have a booking agent that’s just waiting to book us and we have a couple bands who want to go on tour with us so I feel like once we’re done it’s just going to be a lot of seeing the country,” Grady explained about their plans after graduation. Their hard work and subsequent success has certainly has paid off as they are set to play big festivals this summer like Hangout Fest, Bonnaroo, and Austin City Limits. “We’re super stoked to play them, and we’ve played some festivals, but nothing to that caliber,” said Sam. He even says that playing an outdoor festival stage is the best place to play their music because it fits the vibe of their show. Even though they’ve been together for quite a while now, they are still having trouble classifying their music under one genre.

“We all have different musical backgrounds and it filters in to a weird place but whenever someone asks us what our music sounds like it’s pretty hard to lay down something,” explained John. And when asked what’s the best way to describe their sound, the boys decided on a strawberry smoothie. “It’s a thick groove and there’s lots of weird inspirations in there. Like it’s not too crazy of a taste – it’s kind of smooth,” said Grady. In terms of their song writing process, Grady and John stated that although it’s all very collaborative they create their own parts and weave them together to create their unique sound. “One of us will come up with a guitar part or a bass part and then we all just kind of jam for a while and then just as we’re jamming John will sing some melodies that is in his head and stuff and he’ll write the basis for his chorus and then if we have any input we will throw it in,” Grady explained. “After the instrumental is all down we have all of our parts I’ll write a verse and I’ll show it to them before we record it and they will all give there input and we will change some lines and stuff.” “Everything is based off of jams,” Sam added. “If the jams stick more then a day then we might make a song.” It certainly does stick as the band has released four EPs in the past three years, something that they recognize as important for a new band, especially if they want to find their audience. However, even with their constant releasing, they have slowed down recently due to reasoning that “people might get sick of you, so you have to have that demand for it.” Finding a balance is a commonality for the band, especially since they’re still in school. “The only friends we can have outside of the band are friends who are down to only see us like every two weeks,” said Grady. And it’s not just their social life and education in the mix; it’s their career too. “Our booking agents, they deal with a lot bigger bands and they have a certain path they go down. They get together, make an album, put it out, go on tour,” Nick explained, “We’re in school so we do it a lot different and we don’t fit into a certain mold or anything so at times it’s kind of hard to figure our what’s next.” Despite this, they’re focused on the future and are solidifying goals for where to go next in their musical careers. Ultimately, the band wants to be able to have enough success to support themselves, family, and friends by doing what they love and playing music. As The Lonely Biscuits continues to grow, the band has found the most enjoyment in traveling and meeting so many different people. “It’s just cool how many people get thrown into your path and they’re supportive,” said John. One thing is for sure, these guys are going to go big and they are not going to slow down anytime now. Whether you catch them during one of the festivals that they’re going to be at or if you see them at one of their own shows, you won’t be disappointed. PHOTOS: Sammy Roenfeldt INTERVIEW: Jenn Stookey STORY: Tamara Fuentes HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 27


HUNTER HUNTED

HOME: Los Angeles, CA NOW JAMMING: “Keep Together” off of Hunter Hunted CURRENTLY: On tour with Twenty On Pilots and NONONO

LAUGHTER AND THE SMILING FACES

From there the band began writing songs together and just this last September they released their first self-titled EP. The release features five songs including singles “End of the World” and “Keep Together.” The EP garnered and overwhelming reaction.

to unimaginable levels of success in very little time.

“The reaction has been unbelievable. More than we could have ever expected,” expressed Chang.

of friends surrounding a bonfire is probably the perfect environment for the music of Hunter Hunted. This lighthearted music, created by musicians Dan Chang and Michael Garner, has brought the band

In 2012 these two musicians began a collaboration that would be Hunter Hunted and in less than two years time the band would be touring with Twenty One Pilots, performing on Conan O’Brien and preparing to play Bonnaroo. Even with only one release so far, the band has barely had a moment to look back and see exactly how far they’ve come. Hunter Hunted began as a simple need for an extra creative outlet for both Chang and Garner. The duo wanted a way to improve as artists and give them an entirely new platform to do so, thus, Hunter Hunted was born. “Hunted Hunted became a rebirth for us,” said Chang, “which is rather appropriate given that our name is all about the cycles and circles in which we fluctuate in life. One minute we can be on top of the world as ‘hunters’ and in the blink of an eye, we can be on the ground ‘hunted’ and feeling like the whole world is out to get us.” 28 - HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET

The band approached the album in a somewhat untraditional manner. Instead of thinking “how can we write a hit song?” the band asked, “How can we make this genuine?” “The inspiration behind each of these songs was all very organic. There was no motive to write these other than the very sincere desire to say something. More often than not, songs these days face the risk of going through a manufactured process. To write for the sake of getting that ‘single’ can be so disheartening at times. But these songs on the EP could not have been more sincere,” explained Chang. The songs on the EP range in theme from the dealing with the reality that we can’t always succeed even in matters of life and death (“Operating”) to sticking together in a world where bullies always seem to win (“Keep Together”) to a tale of unyielding love even in the face of great tragedy (“Dora Maar”). Each track is inspired by something different and tells a unique tale.


Since the release of their EP Hunter Hunted has now had to learn to juggle rising success with a newly packed schedule. Such a task can be daunting to even the most experienced band, but despite this the band moves forward paving the way for an even brighter future.

Not only does the band value the help from others, but they also value positive thinking when it comes to moving forward despite all the odds, “No matter what the world around takes from you, there’s no excuse not to give back anything but positive energy,” said Chang.

“Our manager says it best. We are like a ship. We always have to keep it moving forward. Yes, there are always things here and there that we need to focus on. Maybe we need a new paint job, maybe there’s a dent on the starboard side. Or maybe the lower deck is flooding. Whatever it may be, so long as we have our eye on the horizon, we can keep the ship moving forward while working on all these things,” Chang described.

This really is only the beginning for Hunter Hunted. For a band that has only been around for a couple of years they have already achieved so much, but there’s no need to slow down quite yet. Chang described the band’s future: “New cities, domestic and abroad. New music: happy and sad. Introduction to new fans and reunions with old friends.”

But what has pushed the band to this level of success at this rate? The band says they couldn’t have done it without some much needed help. “We have the best team behind us that has given us so many opportunities other bands only dream of,” Chang explained, “It’s also about relationships. We’ve been in this industry for the past five years and have always had a deep respect for the power of relationships everywhere we go. You never know who is going to have a huge impact on you later in life. Therefore, you might as well be nice to everyone you meet.”

In a whirlwind career such as Hunter Hunted’s, they haven’t had much of a chance to stop and take it all in, but the band is no less grateful for the ride so far. “We haven’t really had a chance to catch our breaths quite yet. I use my inhaler every day. Ha. But seriously, it’s been insane. We will be the first ones to tell you how lucky we feel and how intense these past 16 months have been as Hunter Hunted. And it’s only just begun!” PHOTOS: Provided INTERVIEW & STORY: Annette Schaefer HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 29


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HOME: Amityville, NY NOW JAMMING: Stood A Chance CURRENTLY: Just finished a US tour with The Used, just released Happiness Is

THEY ARE BY NO MEANS a new band, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t surprise us. It seems like Taking Back Sunday always has something new up their sleeve and the rest of us hang on the edge of our seat waiting to hear what it is. With the release of their brand new album Happiness Is, there was plenty to wonder and talk about.

The band is known for having a writing process where they try to just let the songs take them where they will, instead of forcing a certain message or sound to come through. It’s a natural process, which logically takes more time to nurture such an album. John Nolan (guitarist and vocals) had a lot to say about how it all came together, “Everyone in the band has influences that hadn’t made their way onto a Taking Back Sunday album yet. With this album I think we just felt like it was time to start letting some of that stuff in. We also decided we didn’t want to limit what the songs could sound like.” With that in mind, it was clear that the band opened themselves up a lot, which has to be a vulnerable experience for a musician. John told us how liberating and exciting it was. They weren’t too conscious of being in a vulnerable place while making the record, fortunately. It wasn’t until after it was done that they started being worried about how people were going to respond to it. “I think the time between when the record was done and when it was released was when we felt most vulnerable,” Nolan expressed.   When recording, someone in the band generally comes up with a guitar part and shows it to everyone else. Then the guys get in a room together and all work together to make it into a song and after that Adam and John work on lyrical and vocal ideas. Then there’s usually a very rough demo made, followed by a studio demo and then finally the real recording. Usually the song will continue to be changed and worked on all the way up until the final recording. So far the new album has been received really well, especially getting to see how people react to the new songs live. John felt that the response to the new songs in concert has been much more immediate in comparison to their last record. They actually started writing almost immediately after the self-titled album was done, and worked on the album on and off for about two years on the writing and demoing. Once that process was complete, they spent about two months in the studio recording it. And of course while recording a record, there’s always a chance for hilarious memories to be made. John had an interesting story to tell from while they were at Marc Hudson’s (one of their producers) studio in Michigan. They were

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sleeping in a loft above the main studio. It was pitch black up there at night. One night he woke up groggy and tried to make my way to the stairs to go down to the bathroom. He felt a bunch of amplifiers standing in the way of what he thought was the path to the stairs and he thought someone had moved them there as a joke even though that made no sense. So he decided the best thing to do would be to climb on top of the amp and hop over it. It turned out that what he was actually doing was hopping from the amp over the wall of the loft and down a twelve-foot drop to the studio floor. Luckily he only got a few cuts and bruises, but I’m sure after the pain was over, everyone had a good laugh about it.   They’ve just completed an awesome US tour with The Used, which brings us fond memories of all the amazing bands that Taking Back Sunday has toured with over the years. On that topic, we wanted to know who is on their list for a dream tour. When John was in Straylight Run, they toured with Minus The Bear. So that was number one to add to the list, since he loves their music and felt they were really great guys. Next would be The Maine, who he’s also toured with and would love to do again. Manchester Orchestra comes in as a band that he’s never toured with officially, who wouldn’t agree with John in regards to that being a pretty amazing tour? Now that their US tour has come to a close, next up, they’ve just played a festival in Belgium called “Groezrock,” which will be followed by more international touring. After that, the rest is a mystery. But, Taking Back Sunday never fails to surprise and amaze their fans, so we’re not worried. Since we’ve talked all about the best and funniest times, it’s only natural we were curious about the toughest times. John felt that the toughest times in their careers are times when they release a single or a new album which they are so excited about and proud of, and the reaction from fans is “lukewarm at best.” Luckily, he’s learned that once music is out there you have to just let it go and start looking forward to the next thing. In his wise words, “There’s no use in over analyzing what people think or what you could’ve done differently.”


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THERE’S NO USE IN OVER ANALYZING WHAT PEOPLE THINK OR WHAT YOU COULD’VE DONE DIFFERENTLY.” Fortunately, releasing this new album has been one of the biggest highlights of the band’s career. They reunited against all odds and went through tons of highs and lows recording and touring on their self-titled album. They got through all of that and now have made an album that John refers to as a huge step forward for the band, which feels great. In the past few years, there have been so many moments where John has been lucky enough to look around and say to himself, “I’m living my dream.” Sometimes it’s in the studio, on stage, or even traveling to some crazy place he though he would never go. At this point, he feels the goal is to continue to have the kind of career where they keep having those moments.   PHOTOS: Jordan Fischels INTERVIEW & STORY: Daisy Marietta

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TOUR ROUND UP PHOTO: Charlie Martel

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P

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k ara Bahniu PHOTO: C

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album

reviews artist: Conor Oberst album: Upside Down Mountain rating:

Sounds like: Wilco Fleet Foxes My Morning Jacket

Recommended tracks: “You Are Your Mother’s Child” “Night at Lake Unknown” “Hundreds of Ways”

Tracks: 1

Time Forgot

2

Zigzagging Toward the Light

3

Hundreds of Ways

4

Artifact #1

5

Lonely at the Top

6

Enola Gay

7

Double Life

8

Kick

9

Night at Lake Unknown

10

You Are Your Mother’s Child

11

Governor’s Ball

12

Desert Island Questionnaire

13

Common Knowledge

Release date: May 19th, 2014

website: conoroberst.com REVIEW: Theresa Pham

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As Oberst’s ninth solo effort, Upside Down Mountain is complex, layered and absolutely magnetic. Thematically, the lyrics are darker and gloomy, but the music adds a joyous light that counteract the tragedy; as if he is helping the listener cope with the juxtaposition of emotions. The album is surprising and unpredictable. Oberst takes the listener down a scenic winding path with his musicality and lets all sparks fly with the imaginative metaphors in his lyrics. With songs like “Time Forgot”, that includes a drum fill that can only be described as Phil Collins-esque to the blissful guitar strums of “Hundred of Ways”, this album solidifies Oberst’s brilliance. The most luscious moment of the album has to be the end of “Night at Lake Unknown”. The overlaying of bubbles are the perfect touch and magically transports you to a dreamy alternate underworld universe. My favorite song off the album, “You Are Your Mother’s Child” is heart wrenching, sentimental and sweet. The song is a father’s apology to his son that walks the listener through snapshots of his son’s life from birth until the graduation card he is writing. The song ends with the “Now that you’re grown / may you never feel this alone.” Not the most optimistic, but honest and full of regret. Upside Down Mountain is just beautiful. The craftsmanship and ability to make you think about your feelings on such a deep level are mind-blowing. Upside Down Mountain is definitely one of my favorite albums of 2014. I have had the album on repeat and cannot stop. It is cool, strange, pushes boundaries and will keep you engaged the entire time. You’ve really got to hear this one.


Artist: The Black Keys Album: Turn Blue After so many years and so many albums from a certain band, I think one starts to build a certain expectation. Either the expectation is of a certain sound, or it’s that the band is going to keep surprising you and getting even better. The Black Keys have actually been around since 2001, although it seemed they hit their “peak” exposure with the release of Brothers, in 2010. One of my favorite things about this album was the use of piano/keys, as I really enjoy the integration of piano music into music of all genres, especially more mainstream or “radio” music. Turn Blue is a solid album that stays true to the band’s sound, but I felt like it left something to be desired. It wasn’t that it was a huge disappointment; it just didn’t meet the expectation that their last two stellar albums left me with. It may seem a little snobbish of me, but it was just one of those things you couldn’t quite put your finger on. It starts out soft, but strong, and seemed to build a little bit with each track. But it never quite built enough, it always left me hanging on the edge of my seat, waiting for it to get just a little more exciting, or more edgy. A good album all around, just not what I had hoped for.

recommended tracks: “10 Lovers” & “Gotta Get Away” review: Daisy Marietta Artist: Firestarter Album: Forget The Past Group vocals, accelerated guitar riffs, perpetual drum beats, gravelly lead vocals, and a hint of angst and nostalgia are the ingredients for a typical pop-punk song, and Firestarter’s six track Forget The Past EP follows the instructions. The rapid drumbeats in “If You Ain’t First, You’re Last” get a little redundant during the chorus and provide little variation. Firestarter illustrates their best work when they take things down a notch for “Tiny Bandages,” with a solid melody in place as the cadence of Matt LaPerche’s voice fluctuates in a consistent tide. “Woodlawn,” the slowest track, has a smooth intro conducted by a simple guitar melody that carries throughout, adding a second guitar to add another dimension. It is a calm break from the energetic songs that come before it. The EP begins to lighten up on the use of cluttered instrumentation during the second half, showing that Firestarter is a pop-punk band filled with endless amounts of potential, and with the right formula, they have the opportunity to succeed in a genre that comes with such a loyal following.

recommended tracks: “Tiny Bandages” & “Woodlawn” review: Haley Black Artist: Lykke Li Album: I Never Learn Listening to this album felt somewhat like a journey, as though each track was part of a story being told. Apart, the songs didn’t have the same strength as they did put together. As usual, Lykke Li leads with a gentle tenderness to her voice and lyrics that serenade you into a peaceful state. I’m very into music that has a well-rounded sound and that doesn’t have nine tracks of virtually the “same song” over and over, with the same subject. Lykke’s talent doesn’t just stop at her singing, fortunately. Her song writing just adds to the package, making her music such a pleasure to listen to. Somehow, tuning into these songs make me feel both productive and relaxed at the same time. The album is the perfect soundtrack for dancing around your bedroom in your pajamas, cleaning the house, or just laying in bed and relaxing. It can make you thoughtful and introspective, or it can help give you the perfect chilled out state.

recommended tracks: “I Never Learn” & “Gunshot” review: Daisy Marietta HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 43


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Issue #27