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Community A8

The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, November 14, 2013 Mark’s REmarks

The credibility of your credit score Mark Fierro community@ theplainsman. com

Contributed by Great Peacock

Great Peacock performs at Overall Company Friday, Nov. 15.

Meet and Greet with Great Peacock Ashtyne Cole Intrigue writer

For years, Andrew Nelson and Blount Floyd’s lives have been about music, and they’ve traveled far and wide spreading their “simple, poppy, infectious” tunes. Their band, Great Peacock, will perform Friday, Nov. 15, at The Overall Company, and they advise those in attendance to expect a good time. The band answered a few questions to give a little insight into their lives and their music, which are one in the same. If you’re interested in the band, tickets are $10, and the concert begins at 8 p.m. How did you both get started in the music industry? Nelson: “We both got into music on a whim, and we’ve been performing and playing for so long. We have both played in bands together, and we’ve been through a lot. We first started out in our twenties, and we didn’t know what we were doing. We did the whole playing-the-bar scene. It was really loud, and there was a lot of rock ‘n’ roll. Now that we’re a little older, we decided we wanted to do something a little different, and that’s just how Great Peacock kind of happened.” Floyd: “Well, I grew up playing in high school with a couple of bands, then I went to Auburn and played on my own. I left Auburn and went to an engineering school which led me to Nashville, and that’s about it.” It’s an interesting and striking name, where did you two come up with Great Peacock? Nelson: “Well, it started off as joke sort of thing. We noticed a bunch of bands with animals in their names, and we thought that would be pretty funny. I have to admit, we were a little inebriated at the time and thought it would be a great idea. We were in a band that just ended and decided that if we were going to keep playing music, then let’s just do it for fun. After that night, we started calling ourselves

Great Peacock, wrote a song for our indie/ folk/joke band, and that’s how it all happened. After that, we wrote one song and our friends loved it and people kept wanting to hear it and it went on from there.” You’ve been in different bands and have seen bandmates come and go, what keeps you two together and still chasing the dream? Nelson: “Blount and I pair very well together, in personality and musically. We’ve been best friends for a while, and we tend to know how to argue with each other. Whenever you’re in a band and you’re making music, it usually ends up in arguments. We tend to resolve conflicts really quick. Musically, we both like and listen to the same types of music. Blount is a little more adventurous in the bands he listens to, and I’m more pop-minded. It creates a nice balance, and we get that artistic merit and commercial appeal that we want. We also sing very well together. I can’t sing harmony; I’m terrible at it. And Blount doesn’t have a strong lead voice. When we’re riding around listening to music, he never sings the melody; he naturally sings the harmony. So we’re a perfect fit.” What’s a typical day like for Great Peacock when you’re on the road performing? Nelson: “These days, we tour off and on. At this stage, we don’t have the ability to just tour all the time, so we just mainly hit the road on the weekends. We’re going to be taking it easy after this weekend until around February. We’ll be starting to record our first full length album during that time. We have not decided on a name yet. In general, it’s a lot of going back and forth, and it’s not very exciting. It’s hours in the car, a bunch of dude jokes and a lot of listening to music. We show up, do our thing, have a lot of waiting then get to play some music. We always stay up way too

late and party way too much. “ How would you describe your sound? Nelson: “It’s more like a pop music/ Americana vein. Very southern sounding though. For us, it’s just trying to write and play a really catchy song. Like a lot of indie/folk bands, we use a lot more natural sounding instruments.” Where do you draw inspiration for your music? Nelson: “I would have to say growing up in the South has a big impact on our music. We are also inspired by rhythm and sounds that we hear throughout our day. Hearing these sounds leads to the beat in our songs, which leads to writing chords, and then there are the lyrics. It feels like a progression through life, We also love nature and that factors in. It comes from fishing, being outdoors and traveling; it’s all we ever do.” Floyd: “Well, it can be found in a lot of things. We’re connected with the South. I grew up in Dothan, and Andrew grew up in Mississippi, Birmingham and Georgia; so he’s all over the South. We try to incorporate the music we love, like old country, and have it be a little more modern and catchy. It’s weird, a lot of our songs are about birds or death. What’s your favorite song that Great Peacock performs? Nelson: “My favorite song we do changes night to night. Most likely it’s what we play best that night or whatever the crowd responds most to. A crowd favorite is “Of the Mountain Crowd.” What can we expect from Great Peacock at the Overall Company on Friday? Nelson: “They can expect lots of fun. You’re gonna want to sing along even if you’ve never heard it before. We want you to get your money’s worth and have a different musical experience. You might not know what’s going on, but you’ll feel a part of it.”

Credit scores mean everything when getting the loan needed for that car or a new credit card. Frank Abagnale, author of the bestseller “Stealing Your Life” and Leonardo DiCapprio’s character in the movie “Catch Me if You Can” (2002) gave me some tips. “You should check your credit at least once a year for anything negative or suspicious,” Abagnale said. “Such activity would be another person using your name to get a loan to purchase an item (car, house). A lot of people use other people’s identities to get credit since they cannot get credit. They have a bankruptcy, judgment or foreclosure.” Employers now also check the credit of most perspective hires, according to Abagnale, and why wouldn’t they? More information is better information. “Any employer, insurance company, or landlord is going to check your credit,” Abagnale said. “To these companies, having good credit has a lot to do with your character, and ethics. It tells them a lot about you.” The three credit bureaus in the United States, Experian, Transunion and Equifax, have websites providing tips about how to get and keep good credit. Experian recommends establishing a good-credit history while you are young and opening a credit card account. According to Experian, regardless of one’s life circumstances, establishing and protecting a positive credit history should be priority, these days more than ever before. They warn in these difficult economic times, credit scores can affect one’s ability to achieve financial goals. Banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo also have

tips on credit. Bank of America suggests never borrowing too much, but one should borrow only enough to build positive credit. Bank of America states, “If you never borrow at all, lenders have no way of knowing about your repayment habits, but if you borrow too much, you could find yourself in trouble. It’s all about finding the right balance.” One of the easiest ways to show potential lenders a person is worthy of credit is to open a credit card account and wisely use the credit card. At the end of the month, persons should ensure they pay the entire balance to avoid the interest rates credit cards commonly charge. Another way to build credit is to take out a small loan, such as on a car, and pay the bill on time. This scenario demonstrates to lenders an individual is a safe bet when lending money. According to, a credit score can range from 300-850. The higher the number, the better off that person is when getting jobs, loans, and apartments. The average credit score in the United States is 682. said, “A high score makes it easier for you to obtain a loan, rent an apartment or lower your insurance rate.” Rates above 750 are considered to be excellent credit. On recommendation of the Federal Reserve’s, an individual should always pay the bills on time. “One of the most important things you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your bills on time,” FederalReserve. gov said. If an individual does not pay their bills on time, not only will they destroy their credit, they could be foreclosed on, have their car reposed and be out on the street. Take heed, all: it’s the high flyer, elite in downtown, who never paid his bills on time and took a long trip down to the projects.

Auburn’s facelift returns in a second planning meeting Auburn citizens come out to discuss real estate and improvement concepts for the city’s future Thursday, Nov. 7 Chandler Jones Community Editor


Citizens look at potential plans together Thursday, Nov. 7.

Chandler Jones / Community Editor

City Manager Charlie Duggan estimated nearly 80 people were at the 2nd Downtown Master Plan meeting.

It’s heard all the time, this concept that every time you come back to Auburn it’s different. It’s why alumni get lost and why game day traffic lasts half an hour longer than it should. Auburn changes, drastically. Everytime someone returns something’s new, something’s different. It’s not on accident. The city remains focused on this change, and in its second Downtown Master Plan meeting Thursday, Nov. 7, another crowd gathered eager to see the future developments of downtown Auburn. The city of Auburn and the Atlanta-based developer Urban Collage revealed the points of emphasis for future development. The meeting focused on revealing survey results and provided a more specific timeline. “We want to know about what you think has been done and your ideas about what we can do,” City Manager Charlie Duggan said. “We do take your ideas very seriously. We know we don’t know everything. We want to have

a downtown that we can be proud of and can stand the test of time.” The vibrancy and draw of downtown will only be enhanced, Duggan said. The city and Urban Collage hope to mesh Auburn’s cozy quality with convenience. Bob Begle, principal designer at Urban Collage, said development planning has reached more than half way. More than 300 survey results concluded voters appreciated the “charm and sense of scale” in Auburn and its university atmosphere. People reportedly had the largest issues with parking. Also discussed was the community’s interest upgrading commercial and real estate property. Many voters established greatest priority on residential and fine dining and least priority on fast food. Walk areas and sidewalks scored high, while playgrounds scored low. Maintaining identity and vitality, refurbishing the old Train Depot and preserving citysyndicated special events were also deemed important. Streetscapes and open spaces also ranked as a high priority. “Wider sidewalks, that

kind of main-street feel and outdoor dining,” Begle said. “That kind of ambience of the street lights. That helps paint a picture.” Begle said he didn’t notice many surprises, but that younger people were looking for a denser Auburn, while voters 50 and older prioritized it as much lower. He also expected to see a negative response about the nightlife, but the majority of voters deemed it as satisfactory. “We’ve done a lot of interaction with a lot of different people,” Begle said. “We are on the cusp of the plan. It is now time to get some priorities from folks and start turning those into actual recommendations and design-specific pieces.” The exercises for this meeting constrained voters and had them make specific decisions on priorities. The next budget will be created in June for the future two years. Duggan expects the results of this study to factor into the planning and his recommendation to the city council. The third meeting is tentatively planned for January.

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