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DEAR READER

Making a magazine is an experience hard to forget, especially when you’re working with the Invisible staff. We will have fond memories (and maybe some not so fond memories too) of collaborating with a team such as this. Invisible is a magazine focused on contemporary music and art, a factor of our society that is hard to overlook. For this reason we named our magazine Invisible. You might be a little confused how we came to that title, but please, let us explain. Our title encompasses work of anyone that can be called an artist. When taken as an entire word, our title represents music, an art form that cannot be seen. When split into two words, “in visible”, it represents the visual aspect of artwork. In visible art we can find the invisible art of music. We made it a priority to embrace every aspect of the creative world: from personal to sensational. This is how we came to final product. What you will see here is visible, but we hope what you take away will not be.

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TABLE CONTENTS O F

18 What is Art? 27 Top Ten CDs of ’08

6 Bluegrass

Boots 8 Not your Average Joe 12 A Bowl of Community

15 A Walk in Art

34 Boyish

Charm

10 Recorded History

38 Choosing the Right

Rules for Rhythm

40 Playin’ our Culture

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Headphones

30 Foods for your Voice

41 How to Take the Per-

32 Well-Brewed Coffee

42 What paint color are

fect Photograph you?

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BIOGRAPHIES Laura A.

Meet the editors of Invisible.

Gabriel G.

doesn’t like to admit that she secretly enjoys fantasy books and Spanish pop, but will be sure to let you know if you’re singing off tune. Her guilty pleasures include American Idol and singing in the shower. She loves musicals and loathes refried beans. Laura’s favorite moments when working with the Invisible staff were her group members’ facial expressions during her outbursts. AY!

loves doodling in class and, although he doesn’t want to admit it, listening to Adele and Rockferry. He really does not like being bombarded by questions by many people at once and thinks that squeeze cheese is gross. If there’s one thing that Gabe will take away from this class, it is the satisfcation of creating a good-looking design.

Kira P. cannot stand it when people stack their feet, and when they tap off-rhythm to music

Mark S.

keeps his hair stylish by combing it everyday. He brushes his teeth daily and loves tea, but does not like it when people do not answer his questions. He always wears sweaters in the winter, and detests the color orange. Mark’s favorite memories of being part of the Invisible Staff are his random laughing fits, brought on by his loveable group members.

she just wants to slap them. She is in love with Mika, but loathes Lady Gaga. Her guilty pleasures include eating unhealthy food and listening to T-Pain. Kira’s favorite part of working on the Invisible Staff was finding her soul through rad designs.

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by Laura A. Ruby Jane has never been to camp. She has never sat in the sticky leather seats of a yellow school bus on the way to school. She has never played on a school softball team, or been to the Homecoming Dance. Ruby Jane Smith, a 14-year-old bluegrass prodigy, has been so caught up starting her music career that she has never had the time to be a

kid. “I’ve never been camping, or been to a camp, or stuff like that, things that regular kids do, but it doesn’t really bother me because I realized that I’m doing things that a lot of kids don’t get to do and so it’s okay if I don’t get to do some normal things,” Ruby said, “It’s a sacrifice that I’m willing to make.” Since the day Ruby was born, music has been

part of her life. Whether it was her mom playing Mozart when Ruby was still in the cradle or Ruby humming along to her Willie Nelson tapes, music has always been with her. “My mom had a pottery shop, and whenever she was gone and a babysitter would come, she wouldn’t let me watch Barney and stuff like that, she would only let me watch these [Itzhak Perlman] videos.” Ruby said, “And so I would watch them over and over and over again, [watching] these violinists.” Soon enough, Ruby herself got swept into the world of music. She wanted to be the next Itzhak Perlman, one of the finest violinists of our time. She wanted to play music. But most of all she wanted a violin for her birthday. After all, she was turning two. On Ruby’s birthday morning she tore through the colored wrapping paper to find exactly what she was hoping for – a violin. Mind you this was only a ten-dollar FAO Schwartz violin, but for the time being, that was good enough.

Ruby Jane after a concert with world-renowned artist, Willie Nelson. Photo by JoBelle Smith.

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Awards and Honors In 2005 • Second place on National Beginner Country Musicain Competition for Mandolin • First place in her category at the TN valley Fiddle Convention in Athens, Alabama • Played at International Bluegrass Music Association • Won the Fiddle-Off at the Mississippi State Fair Southern Championship Fiddle Contest • Mississippi State Fiddle Champion for ALL age groups (youngest state champion) In 2006 • Played at International Bluegrass Music Association In 2007 • Won an American String Teachers Association Alternative Styles Award • Played at International Bluegrass Music Association In 2008 • Performed at SXSW as one of the youngest performers


“It was only a toy,” Ruby said, “you can’t actually play it, but I carried it around like a baby doll for six months until finally [my mom] got me a real violin – it was a 1/16th size.” At the age of two and a half, the age at which most kids are pedaling their Dora tricycle around the driveway while shout-

I think everyone has their special outlet where they can express themselves...That’s always been music for me. Ruby Jane Smith

ing incomprehensible statements, Ruby Jane began classical violin lessons. Despite her interest in classical music, Ruby grounded herself in her country roots. “I would ride around in the car with my batterypowered jam box playing Willie Nelson songs all day.” Ruby said, a smile growing on her face as she remembers her childhood. For six years Ruby Jane played the classical violin, and she soon became a master of the instrument. When Ruby was 8, she attended a Suzuki summer camp, a rigorous violin camp. Though the students trained classically all day, at night some of the older students would

gather around the campfire and play fiddle tunes. Immediately Ruby knew that bluegrass music was what she wanted to play, and so she did. After only six fiddle lessons Ruby Jane entered her first contest, and despite the fact that she was a novice, she won. Her prize? An apprenticeship with Charles Smith, a wellknown bluegrass fiddler. Even when Ruby’s scholarship ended, she continued to take lessons from Charles Smith. For several years all Ruby Jane did was practice and compete. During this period she managed to rack up many prizes and titles, among them, first place in the 2005 Mississippi State Fiddle Championship for all age groups. When Ruby turned 12, her mother decided it was time for a break. Ruby and her mother sold their house in Columbus, Mississippi, bought an RV and headed on a 6-month road trip. On their pit stop in Austin, Ruby chanced on seeing Dale Watson at the Continental Club, a legendary Austin nightclub. Before the show started, Watson and Ruby chatted and soon realized they had a mutual friend, Marty Stuart. Watson quickly invited Ruby to grab her fiddle and join him onstage for a little fiddling fun. Ruby knew just then that Austin

was the place for her. “I was pretty much hooked on Austin.” Ruby said, “So I asked my mom, cause we didn’t have a house, ‘Can we move here?’ And she goes, ‘Sure!’ So we went on to San Diego and then came back and parked the RV and never left. It was spontaneous, but I’m so glad we moved here.” Over the last couple years Ruby has immersed herself further into the world of music that she loves so much, performing with world-renowned artists such as Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and Asleep at the Wheel. “I think everyone has their special outlet where they can express

themselves. In whatever way you can express yourself, when everything else is confusi n g ,

Ruby Jane practicing violin, as she does for up to 6 hours each day. Photo by JoBelle Smith.

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there’s always that something that [allows you to] let yourself go.” Ruby said, “That’s always been music for me.” Perhaps Ruby has never rushed through the halls to make it to class on time, or played on a softball team, or done many of things that “regular” kids have, but she has always had music. And anyways, who would need a yellow school bus when you have your fiddle? Not Ruby, definitely not Ruby.


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not your average

Joe

by Kira P.

In a yellowed newspaper clipping from 1959, 2-year-old Joe Morales smiles, holding a guitar across his body. Now, it is 50 years later, and still a rare moment when Joe isn’t holding an instrument or laughing. Dressed in a loosefitting T-shirt and Levi’s jeans, he reclines and smiles happily around a room in his house in North Austin, which is littered with instruments. When asked about his life at a musician, Joe offers a familiar smile and picks out a few chords on the faded Ibanez at his feet, which is never lying far away. One wouldn’t expect him to give anything other than a warm rec-

Awards

and

ommendation of a musical lifestyle to any aspiring musician today. However, his response is far from encouraging. Joe considers himself lucky, and tries to emphasize the precarious position of anyone who depends on music to supplement their lifestyle, despite his current blissful existence. “Don’t think that it’s an easy thing just because you know how to do something well,” says Joe, solemnly. “It’s a really cut-throat business.” When he was 15 years old, Joe didn’t know this. After winning over the high school talent show singing and playing guitar,

Recognitions:

• Morales attended Southwest Texas State University on a music scholarship. • Joe recieved a Grammy Plaque for his work in arranging and performing

he dove headfirst into the world of music. “The whole school heard me sing, and it felt good,” says Joe, reminiscing about the show, after which he began playing at private parties. But the talent show wasn’t the first interest Joe had in music. Music ran in his family, as his dad was a mariachi and his sister was a singer. Inspired by his family, Joe began to pick up instruments. “Music was passed on generation to generation,” Joe says. “My sister would sing and [my dad] would play, and I would listen…I wanted to be like them.” From the talent show on, Joe began

on Flaco Jimenez’s awardwinning song. • Joe was one of the founders of the Austin School of Music’s summer Jazz Camp for children. • In 1993. Mayor Bruce Todd declared the “Joe Morales

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playing for bigger and better audiences. In 1982, he sang in a McDonald’s commercial. From there, record companies began to take notice of him. In 1991, Warner Brothers offered Joe a record contract.

I like to say that I live the life of a millionaire because... nobody tells me what to do. Joe Morales

“Kenny G had just come out, and [Warner Brothers] wanted me to be the Mexican counterpart,” recalls Joe. “They

Day” for recognition of his work and teaching of children in the Austin community. • In 2000, Joe was one of the artists chosen to perform at the Presidential Inauguration.


wanted me to sing in Spanish…they wanted me to get on a bus and open up for all these people, and work my way into the recording industry.” Joe crosses his legs, folding his hands over his knee, “It was too weird and too demanding so I did not do it.” Becoming famous was never really part of the plan for Joe Morales. Though music was obviously his career path of choice from junior high onwards, he learned quickly that being well known wasn’t worth it. He toured with many famous musicians, but found his calling when he retired from the road. “The road was very hard. Very aging. A lot of drugs and alcohol were involved,” he remembers, shaking his head. “I found God and I decided that I wanted to do something more fulfilling, more life giving, rather then having a good time.” After settling down, Joe decided to start teaching. After beginning in 1982, he was quickly drawn to passing on his musical knowledge to the future generations. Now he teaches almost full time to supplement his income, as well as for enjoyment.

“It’s not a luxurious living, it’s not a lot of money, but it’s a fulfilling job,” says Joe. “The teaching is my favorite thing to do in the world, other than anything.” Joe is could not be more content with how he lives his life today. He has six kids—ranging from ages 32 to nineteen months—and has nothing but good things to say about them, and his present lifestyle on a whole. “I am totally happy with [my life]. It’s a scary situation sometimes because…it could go bare. My students could disappear. My arm could break and I wouldn’t be able to play,” Joe cannot stay talking about the tedious points for long, and adds, “But I’m happy, yes, I’m happy…I like to say that I live the life of a millionaire because I wake up when I want, I go to bed when I want, and nobody tells me what to do,” He laughs, “Except for my wife.” Music is Joe’s only way of life. Looking around his house, this is very apparent. Keyboards and guitars are strewn around his 19-month-old twins’ crib, and along the walls saxophones and trumpets are lined up. “Music has been my life. I dream about it,

swim in it, think about it all the time,” says Joe. “It’s something that is fulfilling as far as knowledge because you never get it all, you know? It’s just a wonderful thing; I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.” Joe considers himself lucky. Though he is content living a life supported by music, this isn’t a career he would recommend for anyone else. His advice to an aspiring musician? “Get a real job.” “It’s not who you become, it’s not how famous you are,” Joe says, “It’s how happy you are—that’s the important thing.”

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ABOVE: Morales playing his first saxophone, given to him by his brother-in-law when he was nine years old. “I started blowing on that,” ’ Morales says, “and I thought ‘Woah, this is really easy.’” BELOW: Morales playing the guitar, his very first instrument.


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RECORDED HISTORY BY MARK S.

Music has only been recorded for about 130 years. In that time, recordings have ranged from the first stanza of Mary Had a Little Lamb in 1877 to Seldom Seen Kid by Elbow just last year. Early recordings could only be a few minutes in length, and only lasted for a few playbacks. Since then, recording devices have become more durable, smaller in size, and better in quality.

PHONOGRAPH

Invented in the 1880s, the first phonographs used cylinders for recording. These later became disks, but the machines remained manually powered, usually using a crank. The sound quality was relatively low, the machines were bulky, and they had to be cranked often. Still, it was music.

RADIO

Although it had been around since the ‘20s, the radio was not widely used to broadcast music until rock became popular in the ‘50s. Since, radio stations have appeared for music genres from Classical to Underground Hip Hop to Contemporary Christian Alternative Rock. Radio remains popular, both in the traditional airwaves form and more recent Internet radio.

RECORD PLAYER

JUKEBOX

Electric Record Players functioned similarly to the manual phonographs that preceded them. The electric motors improved the consistency of the rotation speed, leading to higher quality sound. The electric players were also smaller and lighter. Although their popularity fell when cassettes and CDs became popular, the players keep a niche following among music enthusiasts.

Jukeboxes were coin operated units that held about 30 records. The listener was able to select a song off of one of the records, which would then be played over the shop’s speakers or or speakers in the jukebox itself. The ancestor of the Jukebox became common around the turn of the twentieth century. Known for yellow plastic and later chrome, jukeboxes were especially popular in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Jukeboxes remain in CD and digital form, mostly in places that want a retro feel.

WALKMAN Sony introduced the Walkman in the late ‘70s as a way to take music with you. By using cassettes, the first small, relatively durable form of consumer audio storage, The Walkman was able to fit in a pocket. Throughout the ‘80s, many copycats emerged, but none had the success of the original.

CD PLAYER

The CD player is the most common form of music consumption today. Found in cars, home stereos, alarm clocks, and portable units, CDs have become wildly popular since being introduced in the mid-80s.

MP3 PLAYER

BOOMBOX

Portable MP3 players have become popular in the 21st century. Apple’s iPod has been the most successful. MP3 players are small enough to fit in a pocket, and have captured almost the entire portable music market since their introduction. This industry has created a large market for docks, earbuds, cases, and other accessories. Each generation of player is smaller than the last, but has more storage space, longer battery life, and is cheaper that the last. These trends have shown no sign of slowing.

The boombox, which originated in the late ‘70s, was a portable system for listening to the radio and for music playback. Boomboxes were bulky and heavy, but unlike the Walkman, played music through large speakers, not headphones. The boombox was popular throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Modern boomboxes tend to have iPod docks instead of a cassette player.

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Rhythm

F

O R

by Mark S.

Every day pesky individuals, both those listening to music and near listeners, annoy others, ruining their enjoyment of an otherwise great song. Here are some simple rules that will make music listening more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Turn Down the Volume

Don’t be the person whose music can be heard five feet away, despite having headphones. If they fit that badly, get a new pair - they often cost less than twenty dollars. Your music will sound better and everyone around you will be much happier. If your headphones fit just fine, turn the volume down. Plus, then you’ll still be able to hear that music in forty years.

Talk or Listen, Not Both •

If we’re talking, both of us need to remove any earbuds or headphones we might be wearing. Wearing them makes it impossible for us to carry on a conversation, as I can’t tell if you are listening to me or your music. Listening makes the music seem more important than our conversation. And I still haven’t met anyone who can listen to both and still carry on a conversation, so taking out just one earbud just doesn’t cut it.

You can’t multitask and learn. It’s hard enough to remember the lesson when you are paying attention. Music isn’t going to help you get an A on that final, especially since the teacher won’t want to help you if you don’t pay attention in class. Also, it’s downright disrespectful. You should also avoid listening at religious services or meetings.

Chances are, you don’t have a good singing voice. If you are one of the few who really can sing, I still don’t have any desire to be serenaded by your absolutely wonderful, unique, and beautiful voice. Humming sounds even worse. If we wanted to listen to the song, we would listen to it on our own--not through your voice.

Just like singing, most of the people who try to dance to their music can’t dance. And chances are, you aren’t one of the few who can. Don’t headbang either. It annoys everyone else, plus you just end up looking like a fool. Who wants to look like a fool?

Don’t Interrupt

I’m just sitting, enjoying my music, chilling on the bus. And you feel the need to come ask me what I’m listening to. We end up in a conversation about the artist, and the whole time I am just thinking “I’m not listening to anything now, except your excuse for a conversation.” It is not possible to enjoy music that is being stopped by useless conversation every thirty seconds. So don’t start a conversation with someone unless it is really necessary (note: asking what I am listening to is NOT necessary... unless you’re really attractive. And single).

Not in Class

Don’t Sing

Don’t Dance

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A

Bowl of Community

On a roasting Wednesday in the middle of an Austin summer, a couple dozen children play among shelves of drying pottery inside the cool interior of ClayWays, a pottery studio that has summer camps for youth. Monday, the children had sat in relative silence, pinching clay into pots that would be fired and treasured by parents. While working near each other, every child gets to know the others. For kids, familiarity leads to commotion. For them commotion is acceptable; they only have one responsibility: to have fun. Kit Adams, who founded and works at ClayWays, watches the children get to know each other. She observes

by Mark S.

their carefree nature, playing without responsibilities. With age, Kit has gone from being

Bowl project, which sells hand-made bowls of soup to benefit food banks, to Austin, and founded the non-profit Project ClayPlay, which I love making is dedicated to enabling pottery, and I children in economicaldon’t make pot- ly disadvantaged areas tery anymore. I to express themselves through pottery. haven’t thrown Graduate school was a turning point in Kit’s in about a year. life and later served as a It’s been hard. model for ClayWays. Kit Adams “Two in the morning there would be half a hyper child to being a dozen of us making responsible for manag- pots. And you’d stop; ing a non-profit and en- you’d talk to each othsuring that ClayWays’ er. If you got stuck on patrons enjoy class. something, you could Since opening Clay- turn to the other people, Ways, Kit has devoted and they would be brumuch of her time and tally honest with you. effort to the community, It was just a ton of fun both in ClayWays and to make pots together.” throughout Austin. She Both during school helped bring an Empty and at ClayWays, the

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studio is a place for many activities beyond using a wheel to make, or as potters say ‘throw,’ pots, mugs, and bowls. “We have a whole dining area, we call it the ‘Dirty Diner,’ and it’s the hub of this place. And even though we might want to utilize the space in a different way, we shouldn’t. It’s an important part of ClayWays to be able to go over to the lunch area and just sit and talk. I can’t put a price tag on that.” Unfortunately, managing ClayWays used much of Kit’s time that used to be devoted to pottery. “I actually opened this place to teach, and I don’t teach anymore. I love making pottery, and I don’t make pot-


tery anymore. I haven’t thrown in about a year. It’s been hard,” Kit said. “I’m hoping I can start throwing again. And teaching, especially teaching.” Kit says the kids’ classes are the most fun to teach. “[They] just dive in and make something, and if they don’t like it, they just mash it up and do it again. And adults have a tendency, they get locked in and pots get precious.” Kit says that creative experience is important, regardless of a child’s eventual career. In lower income homes, many children never have a chance to express this creativity in art. To remedy this, Kit founded Project ClayPlay. Project ClayPlay is re-equipping a vintage Airstream trailer for use as a mobile pottery studio. After being remodeled, the Airstream will be driven to children in economically disadvantaged areas. Kit hopes to have the first trailer

on the road in April 2009. Kit’s charity efforts are the result of her family and teachers emphasizing community service to the point that such service became ingrained. Her latest philanthropic effort is ClayPlay, which was inspired by her late brother, Jim. Shortly after spending a month in Austin to help Kit work on her house, Jim passed away. He taught woodworking at a high school in Wisconsin. For much of his career, one of his projects was working with the students on Habitat for Humanity homes. “He had such an influence on me, that it made me want to take what I do well, which is pottery, and try to give back to the community in some way with pottery, which is why I started the non-profit Project ClayPlay.” “It’s a lot of work, just starting something from scratch,” she said.

Graduate School: Kit attended the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse. She happened to take a pottery class, and fell in love with the art form and the pottery community.

ClayWays: Kit founded ClayWays in 1996 to create pottery in a communal setting and teach to youth and adults. The classes and summer camps quickly became popular.

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ABOVE: Kit making a large bowl for a demonstration during one of the many classes she has taught over her career at ClayWays. LEFT: Project ClayPlay’s Airstream trailor. Photos courtest of Kit Adams.

“I don’t know what I was thinking. I knew how hard it was opening ClayWays, and then this, it’s a little nuts.” Despite the amount of effort and time needed for Project ClayPlay, Kit feels that the sacrifices are worth the ben-

efits. Another charity that Kit is involved in is the Austin Empty Bowl Project. Kit founded it after reading about Empty Bowl projects in other cities. The organization holds an annual event

Austin Empty Bowl Project: Kit started the AEBP in 1997 after reading about a similar effort in a magazine. The money that the AEBP has raised has provided a million meals for Texans in need.

Project Clayplay: Kit’s latest effort, started in 2006, is working to refurbish an Airstream trailor as a mobile pottery studio for letting economically disadvantaged children build with clay.

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where soup is sold in hand-made bowls to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank. The bowls are donated by potters while local restaurants

We celebrate birthdays and weddings and we get to know each other. It’s a community; we take care of each other. Kit Adams

give soup. In addition to selling bowls of soup, autographed bowls are auctioned. In 2007, over 1200 p e o p l e

walked through ClayWays in four hours to buy bowls of soup, prompting a move to the larger Mexican American Culture Center. The ClayWays studio did not have the capacity to serve anymore people. When it was taken out side of ClayWays, The project was able to expand, serving more soup, auctioning more bowls, and raising more money. Despite not hosting the event, ClayWays still manages much of the back-end of it. “We still make bowls; we fire all of the auction bowls,” Kit said. “We are going to host certain

ABOVE: One of Kit’s pots on sale in ClayWays’ studio. The studio also houses pottery from many other artists. LEFT: Kit throwing a pot. Photos courtesy of Kit Adams.

bowl making parties and bowl painting parties.” She is also quick to mention that all of this is really a result of a team coming together. She says “I’ve learned is you’re as good as the team that does the work.” Teams, which grow into communities share both the high and low points in life. Kit says, “We celebrate birthdays and weddings and we get to know each other. It’s a community; we take care of each other. And that’s a bonus, to have such wonderful people.” This community provided solace for Kit after her brother’s passing. Jim, who pursued a quiet life unknown to the family, was a reminder for her of the

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value of people. “It’s made me a better listener. I want to hear peoples’ stories, and I want to know who they are, what they are passionate about.” Kit has learned more about her passions with time. “[Pottery] just grabbed me, grabbed me young and kept a hold of me. With clay it’s just amazing that it starts so soft and gets so hard and can last so long and you’ve got all the fire and water and earth.” Kit is adamant that that everyone should pursue their interests when choosing a career. “Find what you love and do it. For the longest time, I thought it was pottery, but it is really people. People and pottery.”


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WALK ART in the

by Gabriel G.

How do you fit the insights and thoughts that provoke feeling and emotion of many artists in one place? What better way than a museum of art. The Blanton Museum of Art has been showing just that since 1997 when it reopened. Today there is between 400 and 1000 people that come in on an average weekday to see the art. “I love going to the Blanton!” says Megan Mattson, one of the many Blanton visitors, “The traveling exhibits are really well done. And I thought that a lot of the art was really unique, like the piece with pennies and cow bones. I like all of the art. You don’t get to see art like that at other places.” But how does the Blanton keep their exhibits feel new and original? The curators plan the temporary exhibits about two years before they are actually shown to the public. The curators need to map out how exactly the environment should feel like when the art is

exhibited. “Right now curators are planning for the exhibit that will come out in 2011,” says Connie Shortes, one of the

cents. To find art, curators go into the museum’s inventory and choose the art that seems best for the exhibits. For

Sometimes artists come to the Blanton and put up their own art, the way they like it. The Blanton became what it is today when a donor named Archer M. Huntington thought that the University of Texas should have an art gallery. So in 1963, a gallery space was built in the new art building. It was renamed the Blanton Museum of Art in 1997 after Houston Endowment Inc. purchased it. Then in 2003 a new facility was made with more space and other things like a shop, and café. I, along with four other people, received a tour of the museum. The tour began with what seemed like a big blanket from a distance, but was actually many tin liquor labels, sewn together. The colors of the laFound in the modern art exhibit “Le Roi a la Chasse” by Kehinde Wiley, this piece can be a good bels went from yellow example of how things in today’s world can copy and black to silver and older art. Photo courtesy of the Blanton Museum of red with blue. The tin Art website. labels were arranged docents that give the newer pieces, curators so that it is darker with tours, “a lot of planning can go out, to the art- the black labels in the goes into the exhibits to ists, and purchase or middle and fade out tomake it just right.” do- rent the art from them. wards the edges of the

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The “Head of a Young Man,” by Peter Paul Rubens, is not facing the viewer because of some distraction. The head is incorporated in other works by Rubens. Photo courtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art website.

sculpture, with the yellow and red with blue labels. The labels were from the liquor bottles found in Africa. A painting called Head of a Young man by Peter Paul Rubens was next in the tour. It is an oil sketch made during the 1600s. The sketch shows a head of a boy that has his head turned. “It seems that something off the painting,” said Shortes, “has caught the boy’s attention.” The sketch shows

The legs and ears of the horse in “Christ on the Cross between the Two Thieves. by Peter Paul Rubens leads your eye to Christ. Photo courtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art website.

the boy from the neck up. The artist made this piece so that later when he makes larger pieces he could make this part of the bigger piece. Rubens was famous at the time for the way that he painted flesh; the boy’s cheek appears fatter than the rest of his face and the blood inside his cheek is visible. “To me it looks so gorgeous;” said Shortes “the way his face looks like and the boy’s skin looks so soft.” The next stop of the

tour lead us to a room with many black and white paintings. They were actually prints made by Rubens using ink and metal. He printed many of his paintings to sell and carry around with him. The tour stopped in front of one particular print of the painting named “Christ on the Cross between the Two Thieves.” It shows Christ being crucified next to the two thieves that were also being crucified. There are two

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horses on the bottom left hand corner, one of which has a soldier another horse’s back holding a spear, stabbing Christ. There are people on the bottom right hand side of the painting that are crying about what is going on. The other horse on the left is in the middle of moving its leg as if to move back. “It seems to me,” said another visitor receiving the tour, wearing a blue-buttoned shirt with painter jeans


and glasses “that the horse is sort of pointing towards Christ with its leg and ear in a diagonal line.” We were then told that the painter could have done that on purpose to direct the viewer’s eye towards Christ. The docent then later explained that at the time diagonal lines were considered to be more dramatic than vertical and horizontal lines because they were unstable. These diagonal lines were more popular in that era. After everyone finished commenting on the prints, the tour moved into a room with walls painted green and paintings full of color mounted on them. There where light green tables holding green lamps. The lights were dimmed except those pointing at the paintings. The exhibit was called “Workspace by Marcelo Pombo: Ornaments in the Landscape, and the Museum as a Hotel Room”. The room was supposed to look like a hotel room with paintings appropriate for the setting. Most of the paintings were South American. The paintings shown had many squares and rectangles shaded with different colors in the middle of

a green landscape. The exhibit is supposed to be showing paintings that aren’t paid much attention to. The paintings had paint strokes that made it look like as if it was raining. “I was almost looking on the floor for the paint drops,” remarked

symbol. He had a tattoo on his arm that read “God is with me.” He was wearing a white shirt and a pair of black walking pants with a red and white stripe going threw them. He also wore a pair of black and red Nike shoes. The man was looking at the

Made with 2000 cowbones, about 60,000 pennies and black veil “Missão/ Missões” amazed many of Blanton’s visitors. Photo courtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art website.

the visitor with the buttoned shirt, “because it almost looked like the rain on the painting was coming off.” After we finished observing all the art in the room the tour continued into the modern art room. We walked down the room and came to a stop in front of a big painting. The painting had an African American man holding a walking stick in one arm, and had his other hand on his hip shaped with gang

viewer, with the eyes that follow you where ever you stand. But the twist in this painting that took away from the idea that he was a “gangster” man was that he was surrounded by flowers. A range of different colors of flowers was around the man. “One visitor in another tour mentioned that the person in this painting may be dead,” said Shortes when everyone else was left speechless. “I never

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really thought of that, and the idea gave me chills!” After everyone finished observing the piece we moved on the last part of the tour. The last work of art was more part of the floor, or built into the museum. It didn’t seem moveable at all. Thwwe piece was called Missão/ Missões [How to Build Cathedrals] by Cildo Meireles. The piece was a small room that had no walls but just a roof composed of 2000 cow bones, each one suspended on strings. On the floor there were 60,000 pennies, all from the year 2005, the year the piece was made. 80 paving stones surrounded the pennies, which aloud visitors to stand on. A string of 800 communion wafers ran down the middle of the whole piece, which connected the bones and the pennies together. The whole thing was covered up with black, thin cloth, making it look like a room. The Blanton Museum of Art is a great place to visit every now and then. A visit can inspire curiosity and provoke emotion. Many of the visitors will surely get inspired to make their own works of art, brought by the many great artists’ work that


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wha

exploring the definition of art

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at is

?

art 19


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RED

The by Laura A. I like art – correction, I love art. But that doesn’t mean I love red squares. Because, to put it bluntly, red squares aren’t art. Over the years art has become more and

Square

more simplistic. At first we distorted images and then we started to change colors, things became shape oriented, then art was just a collection of lines, and now today art is color.

Red Paintingby byJoseph Joseph Marioni Red Painting Marioni

That’s it. Color. A red square is all art can give to us. It’s as if all the artists were competing for simplicity. ‘Look I can draw two circles and paint them purple and green!’ ‘Ha! That’s nothing. I can paint an entire canvas blue!’ Ok, I’ll admit looking at a blue canvas can evoke loneliness and reminiscence, but if all it takes is the color, shouldn’t my English binder suffice? As more and more “red squares” enter art museums, questions arise about art – if these blue and white stripes are art, what does that make art? To many people art is perception – that is, anything one perceives to be art is art. And though I like this idea, maybe we’ve taken it too far. Stop

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and think about this idea for a second – if art is perception, then everything is art, and if everything is art, art isn’t that valuable anymore, now is it? While walking around the Blanton’s Modern Art Exhibit, I chanced passing by one of their new pieces, Horizontals Tiered by Jo Baer. I didn’t really know what to think. I mean, its two blank white canvases with painted black and gold colored frames… really? I tried to think of some way that this might evoke emotion or represent a hardship in the modern world, but this piece really had me stumped. I couldn’t think of one emotion that it evoked from me, other than confusion – what is this doing in


ABOVE: Horizontals Tiered by Jo Baer

an art museum? It’s not art. This, once again, brings us back to the idea of the definition of art. The hard thing about defining something like art is there isn’t just one answer. Since the dawn of modern and abstract art, humans have tried to pin down exactly what art is. But so far, no one has come up with an answer we can all agree on. Some of my favorite definitions talk of art being emotion and creativity. The Oxford English Dictionary de-

fines art as “the expression of creative skill through a visual medium such as painting or sculpture.” A smaller source, the Bluemoon Original Oil Painting Art Glossary, defines art as “the completed work of an artist which is the expression of creativity or imagination, or both that portrays a mood, feeling or tells a story.” So, meshing these two definitions, art is the expression of creativity that portrays emotion or tells a story. That’s pretty simple, right? Let’s give this definition a test run.

Take Richard Tuttle’s piece, Light Pink Octagon – literally a light pink octagon of cloth pinned to the wall. Creative? Despite it’s simplicity it is original. So, check. Does is evoke emotion? Tell a story? Here is where I get stuck. Hmm. Well, it’s pink... love? And the octagon… alright, I give up. I have absolutely NO clue what this means, or how in any way this could portray emotion or a story. So, art? That would be a negative. Alright, how about Joseph Marioni’s Red Painting? Literally a red painting. Original? I don’t even know if I can give it points there, it’s a red rectangle – not exactly the newest idea. Well, what about emotion or story? I once again am stumped. What is this? I guess if you stretch it, it could represent heart break or anger, but, come on! So, art? Nope, no can do. Many people argue that the octagon or rectangle might have had a deep personal meaning or story behind it, but if the meaning doesn’t get across then what good does that do the viewer? Art should not have to come with a manual. Art should be

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able to stand on its own without explanation or help. And if it can’t do that, well, then maybe it doesn’t deserve to be called art. A lot of people seem to have this idea that art to one is art to all, but that’s not necessarily true. All people have an item in their lives that they made or got from someone that means something to them, something that reminds them of a friend or a time in their life – something that’s important to them. Having these objects is part of life, part of memories, but that does not mean it is part of art. I respect having personal mementos, I have plenty myself, but if you put something out for the entire world to view and judge as art then it has to do something more than be a personal memento – it has to get a message across. Next time you visit the local art museum and pass by a “red square” take a second to look at it, really look at it. Does it make you feel anything? Does it tell you something about life? Because if not, then maybe its not art. If not, then maybe its time to walk away from red squares.


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Art: The creation of beautiful or significant things -Webster’s Dictionary, 2001

In the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, pinned to a wall is an octagon of pink fabric. The sides are irregular, imbalanced. The pale fabric is slightly wrinkled. The delicate color is spread unevenly over the cloth. In the next gallery can be found detailed portraits and elaborate sculptures. When visitors to the museum enter

and behold the modest octagon, which looks more like a castoff than a work of art, they often scoff or chuckle. How could this dejected piece of fabric be worthy to hang in a museum? Is this even art? Richard Tuttle’s Light Pink Octagon is the perfect example of many speculations that are beginning to circulate

about what art is becoming. What is an octagon even supposed to represent? Who decided that this could be considered art? When people see a pink octagon pinned to a wall, just steps away from more recognizable paintings, they question what its purpose is. It is such a different concept than what many people think of as art, so it obviously raises speculations. However, what many people don’t realize is that maybe the piece of art’s point is to draw criticism. Richard Tuttle’s Light Pink Octagon makes viewers question what can really be considered art. Minimalist art like this is a cognitive expe-

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rience. It is more than merely looking at a photograph of a man driving a car, or a painting of a sunset. Modern art has another dimension—one that draws living, breathing reactions from the viewer. Though it may not speak for itself, it challenges the spectator to draw personal conclusions about its meaning. Art began with scratches in the dirt of a cave. As the complexity of human society progressed, the complexity of art did as well. By the 14th century, forms and shapes were mastered; by the 17th century, it was hard to tell a painting from real life. As the 20th century came around, people began getting bored with this perfect pictorial real-


ism. A more modern mindset meant new, dynamic ideas that called on more creativity than just painting what was in front of you. Today, the argument is obviously—has art evolved backwards? Are we back to the beginning? But seriously, you can only paint that many pictures of naked people. Art history travels in a circle. It starts with the basics, continues until it can get no more complex, which is when a more inspired outlook sets in. Many pieces of modern art embody emotions in a way different from the traditional conception. While artwork produced fifty or so years ago might show anger in a painting of a person with an angry expression, today a piece of art might just have a canvas, painted smoothly with the color red. The color red offers a world to jump into. The observer might connect with the color more than they would, say, a photograph of a car. When standing close to a solid-color painting like this, the immersion in color unlocks a certain feeling in the person that you wouldn’t find any other way. This other dimension requires human interaction with some-

thing that would usually be inanimate. When you see one of these paintings, like the fourfstripes of color in #4 by John McLaughlin, you often think ‘I could paint that.’ Maybe you could. Thing is, artists don’t create art so it will be hung in a museum. They don’t compose art to make money. In fact, for many people, making art prevents them from making money. Point is, artists don’t make art because they can. They make art because they need to make art. It’s not an affluent life, it’s almost always not a lot of money, but that isn’t the point. The point of art is to make a statement. People unappreciative of simple pieces need to put themselves behind the eyes of the artist. Joseph Marioni wouldn’t paint a red square because it was easy. He wouldn’t paint a red square so a museum would buy it. He would paint a red square because it had significance

in his life, and by sharing this with the

world, maybe it would have significance in someone else’s. Joseph Marioni pours his feelings, his emotions, his life into the work— not only for personal necessity. You don’t have to love modern art pieces. You don’t have to even really like them. But when you see, say, a light pink octagon pinned to a wall in the art museum, just stop to consider how an artist interprets changes in our society.

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A B O V E

Richard Tuttle’s Light Pink Octagon hangs in the Blanton Museum of Art.

F A C I N G #19 by John McLaughlin is housed in New York, though more of his pieces are displayed in Austin.

When we examine an antique column, we are no longer interested in the fitness of its construction to perform its technical task in the building but recognize in it the material expression of a pure feeling. - Kasimir Malevich 23


Photo courtesy of user Birzer on flickr.com

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by Gabriel G. Walking down a street I come up to the intersection of Guadalupe and 21st Street. Looking up I see a wall with the words “Hi, How Are You?” and below these words is a picture of a frog with a pair of eyes that stick out of its head. The frog is not only asking about my being but it

also asks “Am I Art?” Put up by Daniel Johnston, “Jeremiah the Innocent,” has become an icon for Austin, Texas. But it is still graffiti. It is writing on public property. But is it art? People come up to a wall and make up some elaborate picture of a face, or simply write their name on a

wall. Many people call it vandalism and others may call it art. Artists find it easy to express an idea because they can choose who is seeing their work by choosing where to put it up. If the painting is in the right space, the artist will know he accomplished his mission of getting an idea

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across. If the piece does that then, I consider it art. It is one of those “It depends” kind of things. On one wall you can see a picture of someone praying, and on the other you see the name “Johnny.” This is still graffiti but, it doesn’t get a point across, it is just text. It doesn’t achieve trans-


ferring a thought to the viewer, it is just graffiti, writing on a wall, nothing more, and nothing less. The government tries to prevent people from painting in public places. It is considered a crime, and I can understand why. If I woke up one day and went outside to find out that my house was tagged, I would probably call the cops, followed by a trip to Home Depot. It is my property and I should do what I want to do with it. The artist did not get permission. Like in the case of “Jeremiah the Innocent,” people can like it and change their mind over what to do with graffiti. If the painting that appeared on my house was really good and took a while to make and just looked impressive, I might call the cops and make the person who did it pay for not asking permission, but I wouldn’t take the painting off. There should still be some more freedom for taggers out there. Punishment for vandalism in Texas can vary depending on the occasion. It can range from a grade C misdemeanor, in which the suspect has to pay $500, to a first degree felony, where the suspect has

to pay $10,000. Five to ninety nine years of jail time can also be issued depending on the situation. These laws are similar in most states. Graffiti clean-up cost can cost taxpayers an average of $1-3 per person resulting in thousands and thousands of dollars.

Graffiti does not always destroy property, but sometimes it makes it look better. If the graffiti beautifies or becomes a benefit to the area then I would be okay with it, and most of the time the whole community would be okay with it too because they have

Like in the case of “Jeremiah the Innocent,” people can like it and change their mind over what to do with graffiti.

The artist would feel pressure with all of these years in prison on his back, but all of it doesn’t go unnoticed. For example Mister Cartoon, an outlaw graffiti artist now gets clients from Nike and Universal Studios. He has been arrested before for illegal tagging but turned his life around after he served his time. He is now a tattoo artist and car customizer and even a fashion designer. His popularity rose drastically when rap star, Eminem walked into his studio, wanting a tattoo of his daughter. Mister Cartoon then had other artists wanting his work on them, like 50 Cent and Travis Barker.

something to look at. For example, Banksy, an internationally famous grafitti artist, never fails to make great paintings that look good in the area. The commutity usually likes the art he makes and I bet people would be upset if they saw if it was taken down by the city, and some of them have. One painting of a soldier searching a little girl was painted over or another one of a maid that was “cleaning” the city has been written over by other taggers. The grafitti and paint that blacks out the art in this case, also in a sense, has a purpose. It is to stop people from having to see the painting. But just because it has a purpose, I don’t

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consider it art. What the grafitti’s mission is matters, too. So why can’t the blackout be art? In this case the spray paint is not used as a tool, but a weapon. It destroys the art, and that is what I consider vandalism, the destruction of a perfectly good picture. Kind of like if you used a toothbrush as a spoon. It is not being used for what it’s made for. The spray paint was not meant to stop other art from being seen by the public, but to create something that the people who look at it would appreciate; unless the piece is supposed to evoke no appreciation then, as art, it is doing its job. Art serves different purposes, to entertain, to learn, to get an idea transferred from person to person. But it should not be limited to just paper, canvas and journals. This is why graffiti is used, so that people could make art and other people could see it without having to go to the trouble of going to a museum where only museum goers would see it. A person, on his way to work, can walk by, see someone’s work, and think “Well, Jeremiah, I’m doing good, thanks for asking.”


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is this art “Horizontals Tiered” by Jo Baer

37% 63%

reviewed thought this WAS art.

?

reviewed thought this was NOT art.

“Light Pink Octagon” by Richard Tuttle

62% 38%

reviewed thought this WAS art.

reviewed thought this was NOT art.

94%

6%

reviewed thought this graffiti WAS art.

reviewed thought this graffiti WAS NOT art. Photo by Franco Folini

WHAT THE PEOPLE

THOUGHT Polling the student body of LASA High School 26


invisible the year of 2008 proved to be a year of take-offs for many emerging bands, as well as a year of comebacks for our old favorites. More obscure bands are beginning come into light thanks to exposure through new technology. Variety is a trend of the top albums of the year, as artists begin to show off their talents in more than one style on the same disk. All in all, 2008 has brought a fresh wave of faces and a brand new sound.

top

10 1.

OF

MIKA

albums 2008

The Seldom Seen Kid In this stunning album by ELBOW, we once again delve into the magic of music that Elbow creates every time they pick up their instruments. While still managing to resist the mainstream sound, the album’s driving chants and instrumentals demand attention. The Seldom Seen Kid debuted high on the charts, at number five on the UK album charts. The album ended up winning the Mercury Music Prize in 2008, and also received practically unanimous praise from outlets such as NME and Planet Sound, which both gave The Seldom Seen Kid a 9/10 album rating. This is definitely an album worth listening to!

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2.

3.

Vampire Weekend

For Emma, Forever Ago

From Ivy League School to the music industry VAMPIRE WEEKEND‘s debut album immediately shows the music world that they’re something to look out for. Ezra Koenig’s unique voice compliments their rhythm based groove. Vampire Weekend peaked at the #1 album on the UK Indie Chart, not a small feat. Vampire Weekend is a band that we should keep eyes open for.

The haunting sound of BON IVER fills this selfreleased album with a feeling of solitude that is not easily forgotten. The simplistic guitar and eerie vocals leave the listener seeking more. This album climbed its way up in the charts peaking at #1 album in U.S. Top Heatseekers and #4 in U.S. Top Independent Albums. Bon Iver will no doubt return to surprise in the future.

5.

4.

Fleet Foxes

Viva La Vida

The very first album of FLEET FOXES immediately gained attention from the music world. Their unique harmonies and acoustic brillance creates a sense of peace that anyone would enjoy. The five piece band makes a layered multi-faceted spirit. This album peaked at #3 on the UK charts. If you haven’t heard this, it’s a must buy.

In the fourth studio by COLDPLAY another side of Coldplay’s classic sound is brought into life. More instruments and more variety make this album a note worthy release. This album peaked at #1 in the Europe Top 100 Albums Chart and #1 in US Billboard 200. As the charts show, this is an album you can’t miss.

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6. Oracular Spectacular

The first album by MGMT showcases the dynamic duo’s genius for creating psychedelic pop that can easily be called some of the most catchy music of 2008. After being signed originally in 2006, the two have made a name for themselves. This CD peaked at the #1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Top Heatseekers. The glam compositions that fill the album are guaranteed to have you dancing!

7. Modern Guilt

BECK doesn’t fail to impress with his eighth studio album. His versatility and musical brillance have been further developed in this project, which showcases and perfects everything he’s learned form his musical career. Modern Guilt ranked #8 in Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of the Year 2008. You don’t want to miss this composition of genius.

8.The Stand Ins

In the second part to their album The Stage Names, OKKERVIL RIVER continues their fascination of popular culture, which is reflected in their eerie lyrics. The musical quality and elements used mirror the story being told, which keeps the audience’s attention. This album peaked at #42 on U.S. Billboard 200. This album is a piece you don’t want to pass up!

9. Furr

In the fourth studio album by six-piece BLITZEN TRAPPER, rough vocals and grinding sound drives the album’s root in the modern world. Anecdotes are told through their dense choruses, and the compositions leave the listener with a contented feeling. Furr ranked #13 on Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2008 and the title track made #4 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Singles of 2008.

10. Rook

The serene sound of SHEARWATER’s fifth studio album mixes elements of piano and guitar with the dulcet voice of Johnathan Meiburg. However, the members’ musical experience is apparent, and they experiment with the non-conventional instruments such as glockenspiel and harp. Rook was generally well recepted and received an 8 out of 10 rating from Pitchfork Media.

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invisible Drinks

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. That is the number one rule of singing nutrition. Not only does drinking water keep our body healthy, it also keeps the vocal chords moist - something singers always need. A little tip for performance day: right before you sing, have a glass of lukewarm water to soothe the vocal chords and throat, and to moisten the tissues and muscles involved. Tea (if it isn’t caffeinated), can also soothe the throat. So if you want a little variety in your drinks, try some herbal tea. Any kind is fine, as long as it is caffeine free.

Foods foryour

VOICE by Laura A.

Fruits and Veggies Fruits and veggies are great for your voice. They keep your body hydrated and healthy, as well as keeping your mucus membranes in your throat in good shape. So if you’re looking for a snack try a bowl or carrots, or slice up an apple. It’s all good.

Candy

Yes, that’s right. Candy is actually good for your voice. That isn’t to say that you can gorge on every candy bar you see though. Chocolate bars and candies of that sort aren’t good for your voice, but sometimes having a piece of candy right before you sing can help open up the throat so you perform better. There isn’t one prescribed candy that works for every singer, so experiment around. Some candies might hurt you and others might really help. Jolly Ranchers seem to be a general pleaser, so give those a try.

Photos by Laura A.

Protein Singers need to keep a balanced diet just like anybody, so this means protein. Vegetarians, don’t freak, you aren’t required to eat meat - beans are a great source of protein, as are some vegetables such as broccoli or potatoes.

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Grains

Keeping a balanced diet means that we need some grains too. Whole grains are generally better for both your body and your voice than processed grains. Whole grains have vitamins in them that help keep the body and the mucus membranes in your throat healthy.


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DAIRY

FAST FOOD AND FATTY FOODS

Although it’s hard to avoid dairy completely, try not to have too much dairy the day or two before an audition or show. This means no milk, no yogurt, no cheese, and I’m very sorry, but no chocolate. Dairy products create excessive mucus production which can clog up the vocal chords, making it hard to sing. If you’re a big milk drinker, resort to water for a couple days. It might not be what you really like to drink, but it’ll strengthen your voice for the big day.

Fast foods and fatty foods are just bad for you. They put strain on both the body and the voice, and also dry out the throat. This means avoid all fast food chains, and fatty foods, like mayonnaise. If you aren’t convinced yet listen to this - if we eat too much fast food, our vocal folds getted coated in fat. Gross, right?

DRINKS Finding drinks that are good for the voice is one of the most difficult things for singers. Almost every drink we have is bad for the voice in some way or another. Caffeinated drinks dry out the voice and irritate the mucus membranes that line the throat. This means no coffee, no caffeinated tea, and no soft drinks. Even if you find caffeinefree sodas, sodas and other fizzy drinks still aren’t good for you - they put air in the stomach which makes it harder to sing and dehydrate you. If you’re of age, don’t drink alcohol near a performance date. Alcohol creates a reduction of vocal control, which is not good for a singer. A couple hours before your performanc,e you don’t want to drink things that are the extreme temperatures. So, no steaming hot drinks and no ice cold drinks. Picky, I know, but anything for the voice, right?

THE SALT AND THE SPICE The extremes are generally not good for your voice. This means avoid overly salty or spicy food. Overly salty foods cause dryness and irritation of the throat, making it hard to sing. Spicy foods cause irritation of the vocal chords and make stomach acid move into the throat - not exactly an appetizing thought for a singer.

NUTS AND SNACKS This isn’t to say you can never a snack in your life, all I’m saying is that a couple hours before you sing, you shouldn’t be having snack food or nuts. Because these foods are chunky, they leave pieces of food in your throat that can cause excessive irritation to your vocal chords when you’re singing. So if you get hungry with 2 hours to go before the show, have some carrots not pretzels.

Foods

CITRUS

I know, I know, I said that fruits were good for you, but there’s just one teeny weeny exception - citrus. Both the fruits and the juices can dry out your throat, so it’s generally good to avoid them!

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(CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT): Senior Winston Myers reflects on his LASA experience through song; Leith McMillan keeps things in order as Master of Ceremonies; Zoey Yin performs an original song; Laura Austin sings to piano accompaniment.

well-brewed LASA’s Coffeehouse in 2009, held at Fiesta Gardens, showcased a more creative aspect of the student body.

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(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP): Student band “The Diving Captain” perform on stage while students join in the fun; Freshman Lamson Nguyen shows off his B-Boy moves; Punk-rock band Shotgun Synthetic tunes up before their thrilling performance.

OFFEE

All photos taken by Kira Prentice and Losa DeLeon

by kira p.

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M H S R I A Y H OC

B

AN HOUR WITH THE DIVING CAPTAIN

LOCAL AUSTIN BAND THE DIVING CAPTAIN

have that knack of working audiences into a screaming frenzy during their shows, but have just the charisma off the stage. We met with the four boys at a small coffee shop off South Congress for a chat. Guitarist Erin Teasdale explains to us that he has a concussion after a rather rough basketball match, while bassist Colin Jenkins flicks crumbs across the table and drummer Wells Barber fidgets with a plastic cup. The band harasses Jake Lauterstein, the lead singer, for joining us about ten minutes late. He starts off our interview:

Jake: The Diving Captain is a non-for-profit organization, designed to… Colin: Anti-profit organization. Wells: Yeah, we are definitely not for profit. Erin: On the rare occasion that we make money, I don’t know if we’ve ever not spent it on food right after we play.

So what did you have for breakfast today? E: I don’t ever eat breakfast. W: Three microwavable sausage biscuits and a cup of juice. C: Three sausage biscuits? J: I had a cigarette. E: --Just ate a cigarette. J: Yum.

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C: I had something to drink… Oh, a Mountain Dew. I had a Mountain Dew. W: Did you not have breakfast? E: I don’t ever eat breakfast. W: It’s the most important meal of the day. That’s why you’re feeling like s***. E: I’m feeling like s*** because I have a concussion. C: Maybe a banana. E: Get you a banana, son.

How did the Diving Captain get its name? W: My condition for being in the band was that it was named The Diving Captain, and it came from a random name generator that made something kind of faintly like “The Diving Captain”. It was like “The Driving Commander and His Muffin Friends”, and that’s what I got from it. E: We don’t have any muffin friends. We do enjoy muffins though. Are there plans for a CD? E: We’ll have two EPs eventually. C: Hopefully this summer-ish. W: The first one should be out in a month or two. And the one after that will probably be out by the end of the summer. C: Then again we’ve been talking about releasing a CD for as long as we’ve existed. E: We’re not good with deadlines. We really aren’t. We’ll tell you when it’s done. It’s gonna rock your ears off. W: Some of those [songs we have on Myspace] will be on the new EP and some of them will not. E: Our plan is to have two EPs. It’s really kind of a jerk move but I think you’ll like it in the end. So, on one CD we’ll have some of the songs that everyone knows now, maybe two or three, and then some brand new songs. And then on the next one, it’ll be the same thing but with other songs. Where are you guys going to college? C: I’m going to St. Ed’s. J: I’m going to the University of Oregon. W: I’m going… to college. University of College State. [Erin laughs] Are you going to keep the band together? C: Reunion tour in twenty years. E: We haven’t really thought about it. J: We don’t think in the future. I guess it’s unwritten. W: Chances are, if our lead guy leaves… I don’t know how that’s going to work. E: I mean, the three of us [Erin, Colin, and Wells] will definitely be around in some form or another. But it won’t be the same. We’ll see what happens. What has been your favorite band moment? E: It’s not the stage dive. Although I did love the stage

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dive at Coffeehouse. That was the first time I’ve really trusted a crowd. Was there a time when one of us fell at a show? J: Yeah, I fell. W: Jake’s fallen many times. J: I fell in between two amps, and I was trapped there for a little bit, still playing, and I managed to like karate- you know that move where you propel your legs? W: He just rocked himself out. C: I would say Coffeehouse. W: There was one time- it was a long time ago- when you were hitting my crash cymbal with the tambourine or something, and you hit it wrong and knocked the crash cymbal across the stage, and I turned around and was like ‘what the hell’. You smacked it and it went ‘fwwiiing!’ and flew sideways off of the stage. C: I was playing my heart out. W: Actually, I’m going to change that. My favorite musical Diving Captain moment was the feast that we had after Emo’s. C: That’s true. We went to Kirby Lane at 2:00 in the morning and ate all the food. E: We had the beastliest meal because we got paid for a show at Emo’s, but it was like $5 each, so we just ended up going to Kirby Lane at like 2:30 in the morning and getting the most insane meals. For just a teaser, Jake got a slice of ham— C: I got a baked potato omelet. W: I got two meals. E: One of my favorite moments was when we were playing a show at Stubb’s and I jumped up on top of an ampmy amp, I guess it was- and the amp rocked forward and I was like ‘oh, s***!’, and then it rocked backwards and I was like ‘oh god!’, and for a second there I was so sure I was going to have a concussion. But yeah, that was really fun. I really just like all of our shows. There’s always something really fun. Like at the most recent show Jake hid in the bathroom of this Art House and turned the lights off, and then when I opened the door… J: It was during someone else’s set. E: And it was a really quiet set, and then I open the door and Jake’s just like ‘GAHHH!’ and flips the light on right as it gets super quiet. I have not laughed that hard in a long time. So I just really like all of our shows. C: The bacon, stealing bacon! W: That’s it! We were playing a show at this really fancy place, and we found this waiter’s bacon that she had stolen from the kitchen and left on a table in a to-go box, and we had to secretly walk by and take some. It was really good bacon. C: The Belmont has really good bacon. E: She had no idea what hit her, and then she came back and opened the box and was just like ‘What the—’. W: The point was that it was the best bacon I had ever had. J: My favorite moment was when- it was the the second Coffeehouse we played- I threw the guitar over my head

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Photos by Losa DeLeon

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and I successfully caught it and almost hit Bobbie, and that was probably my favorite moment. W: In the video you can see her go ‘oh, s***!’. E: And then he totally catches it and keeps on playing, and it is really bad-a**. W: Although you did hit a wrong note. It was cool though. E: We just have fun anywhere. Anytime we’re together is just good times. I could think of a million, but it would take forever. W: And none of them would be funny to you. E: Yeah, they’re all inside jokes and awkward humor.

What advice would you give to kids starting a band? E: Do not give up. I’m telling you right now, you can get all the concussions in the world and you can still be in a good band. I think that if you really want to be in a band and if that’s really what you want to do, not just as a hobby, but if you really want to make music as a career, and I wouldn’t suggest it, because the guy [a man next to us is strumming a beat-up guitar] over here’s still losing, the best thing you can do is to just really work hard at it. That’s all we’ve done. W: All we do is just go for every show that we possibly can, because you never know which one someone who can help you out will be at. And be exceptionally nice and courteous to the people at every club. That’s the sole reason we’ve played at Emo’s five times in the last two months. We’re nice guys. C: We don’t have any talent, or anything. E: And I think one of the most important things is to play every show like it’s the biggest show that you’re ever going to play. Unless it’s outside, because then you just want to try and get through it. Just don’t give up, that’s the thing. Unless you suck. C: There’s a lot of people who should give up, don’t say that Erin. I have two, I have two, and they’re kind of related. Don’t suck and don’t be in a blues band. Please. There’s thousands of them. And they all suck. J: I’ve got two, I’ve got two also. If you’re going to be in a blues band, have soul. That’s good. C: Yeah, but if you’re twelve, and starting a blues band, you don’t have soul. J: If you’re somebody who’s got soul, I’m down! I’m going to do my homework on time! Duhnuh nun nuhnuh! C: Unless you’re some guitar prodigy, or raised in the

The Diving Captain playing at Coffeehouse 2009

dirty South. J: Have soul, and play what you want to hear. Play what you want to be playing. C: Honestly don’t expect anything, because most bands that get started don’t do anything. E: Yeah, that’s the biggest thing. Right here, bands that are starting: do everything yourself. No one is going to do it for you. And don’t let your parents do everything for you. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why we are able to get so many shows and things like that, it’s because we don’t have--I mean not that I don’t commend parents for being involved in their children’s music, but if you really want to learn how to do music, you’ve got to learn how to do it yourself. The biggest thing is doing it yourself. And playing it yourself . C: Parents are the reason most of those crappy little blues bands exist! E: And why they don’t go anywhere. So, if you want to make it, do it yourself. It’s all about hard work. And no one is going to find you. So, you’ve got to make yourself be found. Oh, and one more thing. Don’t play it just because you think it’s going to be popular, because it won’t be. Just be playing it because you dig it. W: Can you dig it? C: The biggest thing that everyone asks is ‘how do you play Emo’s’ or something like that. It’s not even about enough fans. You have to be good enough, and be confident enough to go and say ‘hey, we want to play some shows’ or talk to bands that have shows booked like ‘hey, we are real f***ing awesome’. E: And I’m going to be brutally honest here: if you’re not f***ing awesome, don’t do it yet. Just wait until you’re f***ing awesome. J: Unless you’ve got the confidence. Then you just screw yourself over.

How’d you guys get to be so sexy? J: I work out a lot. W: Yeah. Working out. Jogging places. E: Here, we’ll put it this way: we’ll let them make up their own story for that. C: Wait, I have a cool answer! By being in a band! All: Oh yeah!

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STORY TIME “JAKE

AND

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W THE DIVING I T CAPTAIN: H

THE

ASSAULT

RIFLE”

Jake: In Louisiana when we all slept in one bed with an assault rifle. I found an assault rifle in Wells’ aunt’s

closet. I also found really big motorcycle helmet, and I put it on and while they were eating, I came out there with an assault rifle and this big-a** space helmet. Erin: You looked like a robot with a gun! Wells: It was f***ing weird too, because I walked into the house and they were both out on the porch, and I looked in the mirror and there was nothing there. Then I looked back out at them and I was like ‘hey guys!’, and then I looked in the mirror and Jake’s standing there with an assault rifle. Erin: I just want to point out that not only were we staying in Wells’ relatives’ house while they were not there, but this was like half an hour after we had been like… What was I saying? Okay, so right after we got to the house, Jake goes back into their room into their closet and finds a gun and brings it back out, and he’s just like ‘this is so heavy!’, and we’re like ‘F***!’.

ERIN TEASDALE:

-Instrument: guitar, keyboard, backing vocals -Favorite band: Converge, Fall of Troy, Trash Talk

JAKE LAUTERSTEIN:

-Instrument: vocals, guitar -Favorite drink: fountain Pepsi with lemon

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COLIN JENKINS:

-Instrument: bass, backing vocals -Favorite style of food: Thai, Indian, Ethiopian

WELLS BARBER:

-Instrument: drums -Favorite music-themed movie: Kiss Vs. The Phantom of the Park


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Choosing the Right Headphones by Gabriel G.

Circumaural

Supra-aural

This type of headphones is a circular earpad that covers the ears. They are good at blocking out noise from the outside. They are not as portable as earbuds, and they can sometimes be irritating when carrying them around the neck. Also after a while they can warm up the ears, making one want take them off for a while. They are usually rather cheap, but there are some that are more expensive, because they have more features like noise-cancelling, which uses a microphones to block off noise. Photo placed under the GFDL by Users PJ and Piko on Wikipedia.

Supra-aural headphones do not cover the ears because they don’t have circular earpads. Since they do not cover up the ears, they are not good at blocking off noise from the outside. So in order to get a better sound, the user has to turn up the volume. This can cause hearing loss after an extended amount of time because the headphones have to compete with outside noise. They can be smaller than circumaural and cheaper.

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Earbuds

invisible Earbuds are very portable, and now are the standard for headphones. They usually come with music players today. Earbuds are small and can easily fit in your pocket. Unlike earcup headphones, you can wear one earbud without having to put both of them on. Earbuds go on your ears which give less space to make sound. They don’t totally block out noise from the outside, so it has to compete with the noise, which can cause hearing loss. Photo placed under the GFDL by user Dvortygirl on Wikipedia.

Canalphones

So which is best?

Canalphones are like earbuds except they go right into the canal of the ear. Canalphones can physically block off noise from the outside, allowing the user not have to turn up the volume to get the same sound quality as other headphones. Since they go in the canal, it has even less space to make sound, the eardrum vibrates more to sound which can cause some hearing loss if the volume is really high. They can give the best sound quality but are more expensive. Photo courtesy of trustedreviews.com.

It all depends on the person. If you want some cheap headphones, try supra-aural or earbuds. For better sound quality its best to use circumaural or canalphones. For an even better quality, make sure you check out noisecancelling headphones. If you are really worried about hearing problems, and want the safest headphones, maybe circumaural headphones or canalphones would be best, because they block off noise.

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Save energy on your iPod! by Gabriel G.

• Turn down the brightness. • When you do not need the backlight, just turn it off. • Use the hold button to prevent accidentally turning on the iPod. • Try not to use the “Next/Previous” to skip to the next song. • Keep iPod in room temperatures. • Turn the equalizer off. • Pause iPod when when not attended.

Photo by user Aconcagua on Wikipedia under the GFDL


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Playin’ Our

B*tch I’ma kill you! Girls neither — you

You don’t wanna f*** with me / ain’t nothing but a sl*t to me.

This quote, from Kill You by Eminem, is undeniably degrading. There is no polite, sensitive way to tell someone that she is a slut. At the end, he laughs it all off, saying that he was “just playin’.” So, if I spend four minutes and twenty-two seconds talking about how much I hate you, how much I would delight in killing you, a two second message that I was kidding makes it all better, right? None of the girls I know would forgive me quickly, if at all. Many wouldn’t want to talk to me again. My friends are not sluts. The women around Eminem might be sluts, but his casual casting of all females as “nothing but a slut to me” is demeaning to everyone, male or female, young or old.

Girls and women still listen to Eminem. Normal people, who would balk at being called sluts by anyone besides famous rappers, buy his music. Why? Because it’s cool. To quote the lyrics of Cigarettes by Fort Minor, “ [I’m] just suckin’ up the guns, drugs, and misogyny” because “I don’t want the truth, I wanna feel f***ing cool.” It has become “cool” for men to call the women around them sluts, to physically abuse them, or threaten to do so. Misogyny, or contempt of women, is highly prevalent in rap music and popular culture. As a country, we have prided ourselves on the fact that all people are considered equal.

Now, we pride can ourselves on glorifying control and objectification of women. Teenage girls who are frequently exposed to degrading rap music are more likely to get arrested, use drugs, or have sex with multiple people, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health. Ralph DiClemente, one of the authors of the study, an AIDS researcher and former Chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University, suspects that these behaviors are due to role-modeling in videos where “men hold the power and women don’t, and as a result, are subservient.” It does not help that women are commonly perceived as devious or crafty. Fergi, in the Black Eyed Peas song My Humps, allures to using her body to extract money, clothes, and other goods from men. When asked “What you gon’ do with all that junk?” she replies that she will “Get you love drunk off my hump.” She says “[I’ve got you] spendin’ all your money on me and spending time on me.” This designing reputation is used a justification for hating women by rap artists. In this and other songs, women are portrayed as de-

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by Mark S. pendent on men for money, power, and self-worth. The rap industry continues to market and promote these songs. It is a business, and the only way to survive is to sell as much as possible. Because misogynistic music sells, the industry has no incentives to stop production. Proponents of this music often claim that the songs are metaphorical, that they are not really about killing or abusing. Many metaphors besides those about killing women could be used. Talking about killing women isn’t funny; it isn’t witty. It is tasteless. It is our responsibility, as consumers, to condemn sexist rap music. By not purchasing or listening to music that is degrading, we can send a message to record companies that demeaning women in not acceptable. We can also educate young children about misogynistic rap and encouraging them to listen to rappers like Common, who have respect for women We will never have a completely equal world. Still, we can work to make the world as fair and caring as possible. As individuals, we must show that misogyny will never have a place in our culture. I’m not “just playin’.”


invisible how to take the

PERFECTPHOTOGRAPH by kira p.

Have you ever wanted to take your point-and-shoot photographs to the next level? These simple tips offer easy, creative ways to liven up your photography!

KEEP IT SIMPLE:

The background of the photo can draw eyes from the main image. Try to keep the background simple to direct the focus to the foreground.

WRONG

RIGHT

WRONG

RIGHT

WRONG

RIGHT

WRONG

RIGHT

WRONG

RIGHT

OFF THE CENTER:

Called “rule of thirds”, by moving your subject slightly off center, the picture is much more interesting. Draw a tic-tac-toe board and keep your subject in the intersections.

FOCUS IN FRONT:

Even a slightly blurred background can bring out the focus on the main image and boost the professional look. Be sure to keep the subject in strong focus.

LEADING LINES:

Lines that draw the viewer into the photograph, and perhaps to the center of interest, can aid the flow of the eye’s movement across the image.

EXPERIMENT WITH LIGHT: Light can not only reduce blur, but different types of light can create different effects. Try natural light, backlighting, or candle light for another atmosphere.

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invisible What paint

are you? by Laura A.

3.

You’re in the middle of your biology quiz when you notice the person sitting next to you sneaking a look at your answers. What do you do?

1.

You woke up late this morning which made you be late to your first period class, English. Your teacher, in a bad mood interrogates you about being 15 minutes late and then slams down your in-class essay from last Thursday. Circled in bright red on the top of the page is a big fat ‘53’. You trudge through your next two classes until you go to advisory, which you have with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Much to your surprise your boyfriend/girlfriend tells you that they have been cheating on you, that they’re sorry, and now they don’t know what to do. You’ve had a terrible day, and it’s not even half way through. So, how do you deal?

A. Whatever. Everyone cheats every once and a while. If they do it again you’ll tell. B. You catch their eye, whisper ‘quit,’ and shield your answers from any other wandering eyes. C. You raise your hand and tell your teacher during the quiz. The person looking at your paper is CHEATING, and deserves the consequences. D. After class is over you talk to your teacher - you didn’t want to call them out during class, but the teacher should still know. E. After the quiz you write an anonymous note to the teacher about the person who was cheating. You hate being a tattle-tale, but you want the teacher to know. F. After class you find the person who was looking at your paper during the quiz. You tell them you don’t approve of them cheating and if they needed help in the class they could ask for help, but you would tell on them next time they cheated.

A. Well, it could be worse. B. Today was a bad day, tomorrow will be better. C. When lunch time rolls around you find your bestie, go to an abandoned hallway in your school, and vent. Nothing helps more than screaming and crying. D. You wait until you get home after school, but once you walk in your front door you break down. E. You mask it at school but when you get home you go to your room, crank the music, and let it all out. F. You hate having bad days, but you know your friends will help you out just like you always help them out.

2.

4.

Your best friend is turning fifteen and you’re throwing her a party. What type of party are you throwing? A. It’s a SURPRISE party. Nothings more fun than spooking the birthday girl. Plus, it’ll be so much fun to plan. B. You’re doing a throw-back party. That is, a party you’d have if you were turning 5. Yes, that means the bouncy castle, piñata, and face paint - the whole shebang. I mean, what could be better than pretending to be in kindergarten? C. You’re throwing the biggest party that you have ever been to. You’re inviting every person that you know. And you bet they’ll be dancing. It’ll be HUGE, amazing the party talked about for the rest of the year. D. You don’t want to do anything big. You’ll invite a few close friends to spend the night. Basically just a night in. E. Something simple, like a backyard BBQ. It’ll be a smaller party, 20 people or so - the group you usually hang out with. Maybe you’ll play guitar-hero, maybe you’ll go putt-putting, or maybe you’ll just hang out. Either way, as long as its fun. F. You’re going traditional. That’s right; you’re throwing her a Quinciñera. It’ll be hard to organize, but it’ll totally be worth it.

How would you describe your social status?

A. You’re friendly to everyone, but there are only a few people that you’re actually close with. B. You know everyone but you prefer to stick to your own group - it’s where you feel most comfortable. C. You know everyone and everyone knows you. You have lots of friends and that’s the way you’d like to keep it. D. Okay, so maybe you don’t have millions of friends but the smaller group of people you hang out with are close friends. E. You like to consider yourself friends with everyone and in a way you are. Out of this large web of friends though there are a select few that you are extremely close to. F. You belong to one group of friends and you’re friends with everyone in that group. Maybe you don’t know everyone in the school, but you’re happy with the friends you have.

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5.

7.

Your parents are gone for the weekend. And for once they trusted you so you’re home alone. What do you do?

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What’s your favorite instrument of the following?

A. Flute B. Clarinet C. Saxophone D. Violin E. Piano F. Guitar

A. You call up your friends, all of them. You’ll probably just talk the day way, or go to the mall. Maybe you’ll see a movie. B. You invite some friends over to hang out. Maybe one will stay the night, but probably not. C. Are you kidding?!? You’re throwing a party. What else would you do? D. You call up a friend and ask what their plans are for the night. Party? Double date? You’re up for anything. E. You call up your parents to ask if you can have a couple close friends over. F. You love being home alone. You’ll rent a movie, order Chinese food, and chill the entire night.

8.

If you had pets, what kind of pets would you want?

A. None please. B. A hamster – they’re so cute! C. A snake or some other type of reptile, they seem like really cool animals. D. Dogs. Duh. I mean, they’re man’s (and woman’s) best friend! E. A cat. They’re really sweet and extremely easy to take care of. F. You’ve always wanted a horse. It would definitely be hard to take care of, but it would completely be worth it.

6.

Finals are in three weeks, and you know you need to study. What’s you plan for preparing?

A. You’ll make a study group and get together a couple times before the test, probably during lunch. B. Three weeks – that’s a long time. Maybe you’ll start studying next week… maybe. C. You haven’t started studying quite yet. But you’re planning on going to a couple review sessions that your teachers have, not too much else though. D. You’ll probably study by yourself one or two weeks before the exams. E. You’ve already started creating review sheets. You’ll look them over every night until you feel prepared! F. You’ll start review next week, but you know you’ll be ready when they come.

So

what

color are you? If you answered....

Mostly As You are YELLOW You are the eternally cheerful one, but every once and a while you sound consider toning it down – your happiness can get overpowering.

Mostly Bs You are Orange

Mostly Cs

You are the happy, hyper one. You always have energy and aren’t afraid to show it. You’re fun to be around and always can pep up the conversation.

You are RED

If there’s one word that can describe you, it’s emotional! Not only are you emotional, but you’re also extroverted. You have feelings, and you aren’t afraid to show them.

Mostly Ds You are Purple

Mostly Es You are Green

You are the well-connected person that everyone knows, and are often referred to as the “goody-two-shoes.” You always appear to be in control of your emotions, but you can often be an undercover red or purple.

Mostly Fs You are Blue

You are emotional, but you’re shy about things. You have plenty of feelings, but you don’t like to show them. To you emotions are a private thing, and you’d like to keep it that way.

You are calm and in control. You are on top of your emotions and life and because of this people come to you for advice. Essentially, you are the guru of your friend group.

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