The TSA Spirit
A magazine by students, for students
Welcome to The TSA Spirit! We started the elective with high expectations. A class of only six, we clustered around Carter’s round table and threw out ideas for articles. “We could write about politics!” we shouted. “Movie critiques!” “Explore the way that Irene damaged our community”. In the next classes we narrowed down our focus to things we know and care about, topics closer to home and our school community. As a team of seven we wrote and produces this magazine during elective. All contributed and edited to a diverse collection of writing pieces. So, without further ado, please put on some socks and shoes and then hold on to them! You are in for a humorous, informative and entertaining journey through The TSA Spirit. Enjoy, The Spirit Staff
Contents Spring 2012 Issue 1 Around the School What Does TSA Spirit Means to You? • Katrina Alden…………………………….4 Exhibition Expert’s Experiences • Annabelle Roberts………………………………5 News from the Back Row • Katie Spencer…………………………………………6 Student Travel at TSA • Grayson Levy…………………………………………...7 Issues Inappropriate? • Katie Spencer………………………………………………….10 The Message in the Mess • Katrina Alden………………………………………..11 Personal Letters Adoption: What a Surprise! • Cora Swanburg……………………………………12 10 Things College Guidebooks Don’t Tell You • Caroline Atwood…………………14 Music and Movies The Avengers: The Phenomenom • Grayson Levy………………………………….15 Coachella 2012 Highlights • Dakota Jensen……………………………………...16 The New Immigrant Songbook • Dakota Jensen……………………………………19 Odds and Ends May 27th, 2012 • Katie Spencer……………………………………………….20 Sandbandits • Dakota Jensen……………………………………………………21 Horoscopes • Annabelle Roberts………………………………………………...22 Sharon Academy Bucket List • A. Roberts, K. Alden and K. Spencer.....................24
What Does TSA Spirit Mean to You? by Katrina Alden I went around the school one day to ask community members what they thought when they hear the phrase “true TSA spirit”. Here’s what I found.
“ TSA Spirit means being a free thinker. A person who thinks outside of the box.” -Jay Mead (Parent)
“ Means coming back from our losses!” - Eliza Putnam ('13)
“ Caring about the people in your community. To me it is also feeling proud about being a part of the community. It’s not school spirit; it’s community spirit!” -John Marshall ('12)
“uhhh… I’m not really in the mood to think right now” -Max Buskey ('15) “S w ag ” -Corey Robicheau ('12)
“Well, it is hard to sum up, but it is a certain close relationship between teachers and students.… also tree huggers” -Liam Rossier ('15)
“From a parent’s point of view, I see the TSA spirit as nurturing. Something that really helps people grow” - Cynthia Masterman (Parent)
“Students supporting each other, where ever they are and whatever they are doing.” – Janice Stumpf (Administrator)
“Bravery!” -Larry Satcowitz (Teacher)
Around the School Exhibition Expert’s Experiences Seniors Suggest Strategies by Annabelle Roberts
“You just can’t make seniors care,” claims Ysi Galdone ('12) while comparing the junior and senior exhibition processes. It’s true that every spring the nation-wide epidemic of senioritis grabs 12th graders hard. One way The Sharon Academy tries to combat this plague of skipping school and lagging behind on homework is with senior exhibitions. With a paper due in the beginning of April and a presentation the second week of May, the exhibition process reaches its finish right when students start to give up on high school. Some immerse themselves in the exhibition process, while others trudge through this seemingly useless assignment and never think about it again. As one senior described, they simply try to “pound it out and move on.”
Nearby seniors responded to this addition with a chorus of excited “oooh”s and “yeah”s. Interviewing experts, joining a protest, or traveling somewhere new were a few of the suggested ideas that could enhance a senior’s knowledge and overall exhibition experience. However, this idea needs more clarification before becoming an actuality, and it is certainly not the only improvement suggested by seniors.
Some say presenting on a Tuesday would be better than a Monday, while others claim the entire project should be assigned and tackled in a shorter period of time. For every criticism, an equal number of people enjoy that same component. One student “didn’t use the exhibition elective at all” their junior year while another claimed the “exhibition elective was really helpful.” Junior and Senior Exhibition papers One student likes the amount of time given in the process because it, “allows me to get and presentations are graded on the same rubric and have the same criteria. Doing the into it, and then lose track of it, but still have time to get back into it before it’s due” same project twice is meant to improve students' presenting and writing skills, and while another only comments that the whole exhibition process is “too much seniors are expected to learn from their time!” mistakes. However, for some a similar project two years in a row “seems Certainly for some it is “a complete redundant and repetitive.” waste of time” but for others the process is “We know exactly how much work “enlightening.” Overall, most students are proud of the work they accomplished in the we need to put in,” says Dakota Jensen ('12), who suggests an alternative. Seniors end. Even though it’s a lot of work, as one student said with a smile, “you think should have a “senior interim for like a exhibitions are gonna kill you, but you end week, where we keep up with our classes up killing it.” § but have to go somewhere and do something active with our exhibitions.” 5
News from the Back Row The Spirit Investigates the “Slackers” at All-School Meeting by Katie Spencer
Our school’s weekly meetings in the pit have changed over my four years as a Sharon Academy student. For one, the “Anuncios” title from the Judy Moore years has been dropped for the less-language biased name: “All-School Meeting”. Secondly, our well-mannered Student Government members efficiently direct the flow of notices, appreciations, and bi-weekly parking complaints. Gone are the days when two impish Senior boys ran the proceedings by simply plopping down at the front of the pit. The announcements themselves are ordered in a list. In this format, there are not as many frantic, last-minute messages yelled over the sound of scraping chairs. It seems the student body is hesitant to disrupt the newly oiled machine that is All-School Meeting.
3 Some of the old spunk remains, however. It is found on the outskirts of the gathering, in the Back Row. Here, there is giggling and poking and (out of the eyesight of Carter Glass) some good old-fashioned TSA cuddling. This is where the impassioned pleas for better parking originate, and the fiery responses to the issue of foul language. Many “I lost my…” announcements begin here as do the requests to "please speak up!"- partially due to the Back Row's own inattention. Do not write off the Back Row as being uninvolved, however. In fact, it may be the complete opposite. Though they are tapping their cell phone keyboards and harassing each other for snacks, the back row is listening, engaging, participating in its own way. It is a remnant of an older TSA, a more rambunctious (and perhaps more obnoxious) one that many of us still remember. §
Student Travel at TSA Where in the World Have the Students Gone? by Grayson Levy
The Sharon Academy is known for welcoming exchange students to the community, but many TSA students have traveled abroad. Students like Cassie Lee, Mia Aldrich, and Jill Gramling all traveled abroad recently. Jill, a first year student, traveled to Nicaragua for a week. Mia, a junior, stayed in Colombia for a month. Cassie, also a junior, traveled to Guangzhou, Chengdu, Guanghan, and Beijing, China for two weeks. These are their answers to some questions about their travels:
Why did you choose to travel to the countries you did? Cassie: I was invited by a program I had worked with previously to do a follow-up visit at their sister school in Guanghan. It was a great opportunity to pursue my interest in Chinese, meet new people, visit old friends, and make connections. Mia: I wanted the chance to volunteer at an orphanage in South America. I specifically chose the orphanage FANA, because my family has ties there, as my brother and five of my cousins are adopted from Colombia. Jill: There was an opportunity for me to travel with Rotary International and help equip hospitals with medical equipment. 7
What were your living and travel arrangements? Cassie: I lived with a family for 3 days, and the rest of the time I was in hotels. That was fine, but I felt more like a tourist than I would have liked to. Traveling was less than pleasant with 20hour flights, but we were lucky to have translators, and everything went much more smoothly than I thought it would, considering that we had kids between the ages of 10 and 13 with us. Mia: Since I was not going through a program I needed to find a suitable place to stay that was safe and close to the orphanage. I was able to get in contact with FANA and they recommended several places, however getting in contact with them proved to be difficult. Another piece that was hard to organize was transportation to and from FANA. Part of the time I had a driver that picked me up in the morning and brought me back to the house that I was staying at in the evenings. Other days a woman who worked at FANA would come and get me. Did you experience culture shock upon arrival? Cassie: I did, especially with a 12-hour time difference and new food. The culture shock was much worse coming back though. When I was there I was more able to go for it during the day and get some rest, but when I got home all the differences between the US and China were made even more apparent. Mia: The first week that I was there, it was Semana Santa (Holy Week), and there were lots of families in the airport and holiday festivities going on. I don't think that I experienced a major culture shock but I did slightly. Jill: No, I was able to adapt quickly to their culture. Was it difficult coming back? Reverse culture shock? Cassie: YES. I still miss the food, the people, and the weather. I dont think I'll ever miss the public bathrooms. I'm going to be getting used to being back home for a while. Mia: It was very difficult to come back. In the couple days leading up to my departure I began to become less and less excited to come home and wish more that I could stay longer. I do feel as though I experienced and still am experiencing some reverse culture shock. Jill: It was really tough to come back because I realized how much in my life I take for granted and also how many opportunities that I have in my life compared to the people in Nicaragua. What were some of your favorite moments? Least? Cassie: Visiting the Guanghan Honghua Foreign Language School, the sister school of the program I was a counselor at last summer. I was taking classes and playing with the kids, and I bent down to pick up a ball and suddenly became enveloped in a crowd of about 50 first graders, shouting in Chinese, hugging me, and wanting their picture taken. I also loved connecting with sophomores and juniors in Beijing, and spending time with the American kids on the trip who became like brothers and sisters.
Mia: Everyday when I got the opportunity to bottle-feed a 7 month old his lunch. Another favorite moment was getting the chance to hear the 11-year-old girl whom I had been teaching English, proudly practice her newly learned words to the administration office at FANA. Thankfully I did not have many moments that I did not enjoy. One hard moment was when I first arrived in Bogotรก at the airport and the person who I was supposed to meet was not there. Jill: Every moment was excellent except leaving the country to come back home. I was able to meet people with amazing stories to tell about their lives and others who really needed the help that we could give them. What from your experience have you/did you bring back to TSA? Cassie: I'm hopefully going to bring a Chinese culture or language elective to the school next year, but mostly I'm still processing the trip right now. I hope to connect anyone interested in Chinese culture or education to some of the people I met. Mia: If you're passionate enough about something and wish to travel abroad, make it happen. Traveling alone forces you to learn a lot about yourself, things that you may or may not have already known. Plan ahead. Not only your travel plans but schoolwork and for other things that may come up while you are away. Jill: I now appreciate all the resources that we have in the school, even the horrible textbooks. In Nicaraguan schools, they are lucky if they have a 60-year-old chalkboard to write on, but somehow they make it work. What is your advice to students in the school that are considering traveling abroad? Cassie: The sooner you are able to embrace the new place you're in and just be in the moment, the better memories you'll bring home. Don't say no too much. Just try things. Mia: Take every opportunity you can to learn more about the country you're in whether it's taking a small trip out into the countryside or meeting new people.
Jill: I learned some of the most important life lessons while I was in Nicaragua, I ended up liking it more than in America and I have every intention of going back. ยง
Issues Inappropriate? Student Government Addresses Concerns about Dress by Katie Spencer
Hemlines are creeping at the Sharon Academy. As the school year has progressed, skirts have become shorter and necklines lower, and the school community has become collectively more uncomfortable. In true TSA style, meetings have been called to address the issue. The first two were female-only gatherings. Faculty members and students debated, discussed, and disagreed on what constitutes inappropriate dress for school and what to do when someone’s clothing is making you or others uncomfortable. Teachers talked about implementing a stricter dress code or a uniform. The term “not in the TSA spirit” was thrown around with frequency. The meeting ended with the decision that more meetings were needed. The females decided it was wise to include more of the student body, so on May 3rd the Student Government called a general meeting about clothing at the school. Though the meeting was rather sparsely attended, both genders were represented, which leant a broader perspective to the proceedings. Firstly, the guidelines from the student handbook were read out: "Students are required to dress appropriately. Clothing cannot be distracting, frightening, disrespectful, suggestive, too loose, too tight, or too short (for example, low cut shirts, spaghetti straps, exposed underwear, bared midriffs). If necessary, students will be asked to change their clothes. Shoes must be worn at all times. Hats may be worn in school at the discretion of staff. We ask parents to oversee these guidelines."
It was news for many people in the room that guidelines for dress are addressed in the student handbook at all - an indication of the amount of time people spend reading that piece of literature. Though the rules are not common knowledge, they provide a good starting point for teachers, who are responsible for talking to students about what is appropriate. Teachers contend that it is awkward to make any comments about what a student is wearing. Perhaps this task would be easier if teachers adopted the philosophy that Div. III History Teacher Carter Glass brought up in the meeting. "It wouldn't hurt", he suggested, "to worry less about hurting someone's feelings". § 10
The Message in the Mess Are You Doing Your Share? by Katrina Alden
Do you remember those days when playtime ended with a loud enthusiastic rendition of ‘Clean up Time’? Those inspiring lyrics ‘everybody do your share’ lit up the room as four year olds scrambled to put away their globs of play dough and finger paints. Those days may not be over! Here at The Sharon Academy we need a friendly kindergarten song to remind us not to leave a mess wherever we go. A hot topic around TSA this year is the cleanliness of the school. Week after week teachers and peers beg each other to clean up after themselves, yet we see little change. What makes TSA students feel entitled enough to leave their crusty plates in the sink, or backpack entrails up and down the hallways? Do we need to convert back to our pre-k years? According to our facility coordinator, Randy Levitt, scattered backpacks are a serious fire hazard, and can make the hall a frantic maze. For Randy Levitt, this is about how kids show respect to our community. Randy spends all week working to make this school look pleasant and functional. He wants parents and alumni to marvel at what a beautiful campus we have. Leavitt says “we are living on a 3 million dollar estate, and some people treat it like it isn’t worth anything.” It is a frustrating sentiment that many TSA patrons are beginning to recognize. The scattered and messy ways of teenagers may just be an unnoticed habit but to others it is perceived as rude and selfish. Leaving personal items in a space that is shared by the entire school community is irresponsible. So how can we get to the root of this problem? Let’s take the school’s kitchen. The sink used to be in Kate’s office, but the dishes kept piling up there. This left a sink full of dishes for Kate to deal with. Randy Leavitt noticed this problem, and decided that it was unfair for Kate to carry the burden off our unwashed plates, so he moved the sink into the current home in the corner of the pit. By doing this Randy gave the responsibility of the sink to the entire school, he made it a visible problem. The sink still remains a big problem, dirty utensils get wedged into the bottom of the grody water mixed with peanut butter smudged plates, and people casually walk by ignoring the mess. So how do we fix this? Besides preaching about it every day we all individually need to start motivating ourselves to make this a better more beautiful place, so that may be washing someone else’s dishes or simply cleaning your own. If we create personal awareness we can really work to change this problem. It is not hard to do your share. When your feeling lazy and uncompelled to wash your dishes fight that urge and realize that you are becoming the cause of a larger problem. There have been many discussions about promoting a time where every advisory or class takes five to ten minutes to clean up the school everyday. We are a community; we share this building, which means it truly is all of our responsibilities. We are so privileged to have access a beautiful campus. We all need to star thinking of the “we” and not the “I”. So, maybe our preschool teachers had it all figured out, that encouraging “Clean Up Time” song may be just the motivation we need to keep this school beautiful! § 11
Personal Letters What a Surprise! An Account of Adoption by Cora Swanburg
I started wrestling with the notion of adoption and being adopted when I was about four. My mom told me as much as she could about the woman who gave me life; she told me about my 2 sisters and my half brother. She told me I was from Houston, Texas and that my birth mom, Monique, had placed me for adoption because she already had 3 kids. She was working and living with her mother and her brother who was and continues to be handicapped. At first I was amazed. “Whoa. I had siblings?” She gave me the two or three pictures she had of them: real people. Some of them even had the same skin tone as me, my family. But then I started to think, well wouldn’t they have kept me if they loved me? What was wrong with me? Why didn’t they love me? The relief of seeing pictures of my family vanished. It turned to hurt, anger, and a little disbelief. I carried these feelings until recently. I began to let go of those feelings in about 3rd grade. I got to meet them. Until that point I wasn’t sure why they hadn’t contacted me, but finally they did. My mom found my great grandmother’s obituary and did a Google search to find my birth family. The first time I met them I remember thinking how loving they were. They weren’t ashamed of me, but at the time I was born, it was nearly impossible for them to take on yet another human life. My birth father was a big Athlete in high school, he played Football and Basketball and went on to play college ball and went on to scout for colleges, coach AAU teams, and even was my sister’s personal coach her Junior and Senior year of high school which resulted in her too going off and playing college ball. But his dream was cut short by a knee injury. At that time, I think my mom truly believe he loved basketball more than his own family. He pretty much disappeared out of her life entirely. In fact, they had to track him down to get him to sign the adoption papers. And even as a kid my half brother, was a trouble maker. Most of you know that he’s been in and out of jail since the age of 16. They had their work cut out for them. It was too much to raise a 4th kid.
Knowing all these details helped me begin the process of forgiving. This has not been an easy thing to come to terms with. When I was visiting them in 2010, my birth father apologized to me over breakfast. He apologized for not having his act together when I was a baby. He honestly thought that it was his fault they had to place me for adoption. It’s easier for me to understand now why I was placed for adoption. Although the majority of the family doing well now, it wasn’t always like that. Through conversations with my birth mom and birth father, it has become more and more clear that they love me unconditionally and that the most loving thing they could have done for me was to place me for adoption. After years of knowing my birth family and beginning to learn how they fit into my life and I fit into theirs, they told me there aren’t just 4 kids. There are five. I wasn’t the first kid they had placed for adoption, I was the second. In fact the fifth child I knew. I grew up with him; he was one of my best friends. I was overjoyed but I felt as though they were keeping if from me for some reason. To have my brother so close to me for my entire life and to not know until 2011, the feelings of joy and hurt stayed with me. The day we found out we were related was a winter January evening, I had just gotten off the bus from Suicide Six, a popular skiing place, my mom was waiting for me when I got off the bus, something I wasn’t expecting her to be there. “I just need to talk to you for a second” I remember my mom saying “They found Zamir’s birth family.” “Yay! I said with excitement.” “And want to know the craziest part?” “Our birth families know each other?” “No, even crazier.” I guessed again. “He’s my cousin?” “No, EVEN crazier…” “TELL ME!” “He’s your brother!” I remember calling my birth mom right after I found out. She apologized over and over again telling me she wished she had never let us leave Texas. I knew that she was telling the truth. But I was still hurt. Later on I began to think, if we had known we were related would we have the same connection that we’d developed over the years? Or would we have just taken each other for granted. At least we finally did realize we were related. And how stupid, I should have figured out we were related sooner, there were such obvious signs. We have always fought like we were related to each other, and ever since I can remember he’s called me his little sister. Although I would have loved to know one of my best friends was actually related to me, we got to know each other on a different level than most siblings know each other. I think I cherish our relationship more than I would have if we had always known. § 13
Ten Things College Guidebooks Don’t Tell You by Caroline Atwood Take it from a wannabe expert. Getting your wisdom teeth out is more fun than applying to college. But luckily, here are some tips, not often found in college books, to ease you through the process.
1) Take all advice from parents with a hefty grain of salt. They applied to college thirty years ago. Things were very different back then; even the Ivies still had positive numbers for their acceptance rates.
2) Don’t judge a school based on its dorky mascot. All mascots are dorky if you think about it. But do judge a school based on its dorky students.
3) If you get rejected from a school – don’t give up on it. Keep harassing them until they accept you. Just ask Brian Tonks.
4) You will inevitably receive tons of pamphlets from colleges, some of which may be exceedingly prestigious. These colleges don’t want you. What they do want is your application so they can reject more applicants and lower their admittance rate. On the flip side, there are tons of schools who do want you, so apply to those instead.
5) If getting your wisdom teeth out is more fun than the application process then getting your leg amputated is a much happier party than dealing with financial aid. Be warned.
6) Here’s a hint if you want to get accepted into a highly selective school – have your parents donate a building. Works like a charm.
7) If you come across any school that spells college with a “k”, it’s probably best not to apply there.
8) You know you’ve applied to too many schools if the total cost of application fees exceeds what you would pay for the first semester of college.
9) If you’re a male, I would recommend applying to either Smith or Wellesley College. They are both excellent schools
10) Don’t rule out Clown College.
Best of Luck! § 14
Music and Movies The Avengers: The Phenomenon The Spirit Reviews this Spring’s Biggest Marvel Movie
by Grayson Levy Marvel and Paramount Pictures embarked on an incredible endeavor when they decided to produce The Avengers. They took the risk and injected $220 million into the project. Needless to say, it paid off, and the movie made over $1 billion in only 19 days. Children around the world donned the red and gold helmet of Iron Man, the giant green hands of The Hulk, or the shield of Captain America in celebration of a movie that broke records left and right. It was a movie that raised the bar far above other recently released movies, such as The Hunger Games or Dark Shadows. Everyone should see The Avengers. It has a ‘wow’ factor that stuns audiences of all ages. The casting was strong. Mark Ruffalo, who played The Hulk/Bruce Banner, put in a stellar performance that critics around the world have praised. Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. were able to portray their characters in a way that made people sit back and enjoy the movie. Other than a bunch of superheroes joining forces to defeat the villain, The Avengers is also about community. The superheroes in the movie come from very different backgrounds: Iron Man is a billionaire, Thor is a god of thunder, Captain America is a super soldier from World War II, and the Hulk is a scientist who has to control his anger. All of these characters have massive egos and their own ways of doing things, but they learn to work together to accomplish a common goal. This message is an important one. If a band of individuals can come together at a time of need, it speaks to everyday people to step out of their comfort zones and help others in need. I now see why the producers of Marvel and Paramount Pictures included such an immense topic in what has quickly been recognized as one of the greatest movies. §
Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPoHPNeU9fc
Coachella 2012 Highlights Reviewing the Best of the Desert by Dakota Jensen (All photos accessed from Google Images) Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place annually in Indio, California. The three-day event hosts about 150 bands and several hundred thousand very sweaty audience members. The following is my personal account of the best shows I witnessed.
Friday, April 20th honeyhoney 1:20-2:05 This duo performs alt-rock with a sweet Southern twang and a kick that I attribute to singer (also banjo and fiddle player) Suzanne Santo. Guitarist Ben Jaffe wielded his instrument with blues-y swagger. Energetic despite the heat, their fun and downto-earth set kept the audience cheering. Listen if you like: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Sleeper Agent Givers 2:35-3:20 Best-known for their infectiously happy song “Up Up Up”, Givers is a quintet whose sound could probably banish depression more effectively than most medication. They giddily demonstrated a mix of skill and enjoyment. Indie pop at its most delirious, Givers delivered a tight show of songs crafted from positive energy. Listen if you like: Grouplove, Dr. Dog Girls 5:40-6:30 Girls is fronted by singer/guitarist Christopher Owens, a dead ringer for Kurt Cobain with a sadly sugary voice. The San Fransisco natives perform indie pop/rock laden with prescription drug-fueled emotions. In particular, Owens’ undistorted guitar rings sharply through the sleepy backing melody. Girls entertained subtly with light tunes about love, misery, fun, and belonging. Listen if you like: The Smith Westerns, Yuck, Real Estate
The Black Keys 9:45-11:00 Composed of guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, The Black Keys were the first of Coachella’s three headlining acts. Carney hammered away with a constant face of extreme concentration while Auerbach humbly assumed just a touch of frontman attitude. The pair collaborated beautifully to nail their trademark mix of blues and psychedelic rock for over an hour. Masters of their trade, The Black Keys proved that they deserved their place in the spotlight. Listen if you like: The White Stripes, Wolfmother, Gary Clark Jr.
Saturday, April 21st The Vaccines 1:40-2:25 The Vaccines could be called just another British indie rock band if they didn’t deserve better. These four London boys banged out their set with a rare mix of precision and punk attitude. Clever lyrics and skilled playing separated them from the bunch. Listen if you like: Arctic Monkeys, The Horrors, The Drums The Buzzcocks 5:15-6:05 Originally formed in 1976, The Buzzcocks joined the ranks of this year’s veteran performers. If the Sex Pistols had possessed any sense of melody, they might have sounded like the Buzzcocks. Seasoned experts at their set, the band delighted both old and new fans with a level of energy usually reserved for caffeinated whipper-snappers. Still sneering, Pete Shelley sang and strummed through classics such as “What Do I Get?” and their oft-covered “Ever Fallen in Love?”. Refreshing and rocking, the Buzzcocks still sound hot off the vinyl press. Listen if you like: The Damned, The Clash, The Jam
Jeff Mangum 7:20-8:10 One of alternative music’s most beloved recluses, Jeff Mangum’s performance was one of only a handful he has played in the last decade. Backlit by blue stage-lights and almost invisible, Mangum shyly captivated his audience with his acoustic set. Beautifully melodic, ranging from the inspiring to the 17
melancholy, his songs are the antithesis of artistic indulgence. Listen if you like: Neutral Milk Hotel, The Gerbils, The Music Tapes
Bon Iver 9:30-10:20 Having recently caught the public eye with songs like “Holocene”, “Blood Bank”, and “Skinny Love”, Bon Iver are one of alternative music’s most original craftsmen. They presented their music as artwork, leaving notes lingering in the air between the audience members. Perhaps the perfect afterdark show, Bon Iver demonstrated their skill with soaring sounds and a stunning light show. Their soft but formidable set lit up the eyes and the ears of all those in attendance. Listen if you like: James Vincent McMorrow, The National, Iron & Wine Sunday, April 22nd Le Butcherettes 1:55-2:40 The phrase “Mexican garage punk band” is not one which frequents my ears. This, however, is the designation of possibly my favorite Coachella discovery. I wandered into the Le Butcherettes show and was completely riveted. Teri Gender Bender sings in fluent English and Spanish with ferocity that justifies her blood-stained apron. Halfway through her band’s set, she flung her keyboard across the stage and ignored it for the rest of the show. Their music is aggressive and enjoyable, punk at its roots but always with clear melody. Le Butcherettes left the crowd cheering with multi-lingual performance art. Listen if you like: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Dead Weather, Destroy All Monsters The Hives 6:05-6:55 At approximately 6 pm on Sunday, a 5-piece Swedish garage rock band took the main stage in full tuxedos. Each member rocked a a top hat, coat and tails, and cummerbund (the temperature was still in the 90s). The Hives proceeded to rock the hell out out of their set. Stripping down to eventually just pants and shoes, singer Pelle Almqvest resembled a young Joe Strummer both in appearance and enthusiasm. Easily one of the most energetic shows, the Swedes demonstrated their smorgasbord of talent and swagger. Listen if you like: The Vines, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs Girl Talk 8:25-9:15 It’s easy to say that Girl Talk is a DJ who specializes in mash-ups, but that really doesn’t cover it. To illustrate, this is the lineup of one of his songs: Jefferson Airplane, Micheal McDonald, The Pixies, LL Cool J, SWV, Sophie B. Hawkins, Better Than Ezra, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz, 18
Missy Elliot & Pharell, The Game feat. 50 Cent, Ying Yang Twins, and Juelz Santana. Yes, that’s one mashup. Within about a minute of beginning his first song, Girl Talk opened the stage, flooding it with dancing audience members. His set was everything a dance party aspires to be. Listen if you like: Super Smash Bros, Milkman, E-603
The New Immigrant Songbook Gogol Bordello and Das Rascist by Dakota Jensen
“I AM A LION!”
roars Eugene Hütz at a New Years Eve show in New York City. The tiny, wiry frontman of the most culturally diverse band in pop culture today puts on an unrivaled show. Alternating between English and his native Ukranian, Hütz expertly riles the crowd into a sweaty, dancing, universally happy mass. The crowd gets wild, but a spirit of celebration and unity prevails. The scene at a Gogol Bordello show is undeniably a party with a distinct lack of wallflowers. Their music is self-labelled “gypsy punk”, a lively mix of ska, rock, punk, reggae, hip-hop, traditional Roma and Ukrainian folk music, and latin for starters. Gogol Bordello boasts the following members: Eugene Hütz of Ukraine: main vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion and “fire bucket”, Sergey Ryabtsev of Russia: violin and backing vocals, Oren Kaplan of Isreal: guitar and backing vocals, Elizabeth Chi-Wei Sun of China: percussion and backing vocals, Yuri Lemeshev of Russia: accordion and backing vocals, Oliver Charles of Trinidad: drums and backing vocals, Pedro Erazo of Ecuador: MC and percussion, Thomas “Tommy T” Gobena of Ethiopia: bass and backing vocals.The lineup is as musically impressive as it is diverse. The members have made America their home, and the whole project is perhaps the best modern example in popular culture of our country’s “melting pot” status. The band’s artist statement (available on their website), states their intent to “provoke audience out of post-modern aesthetic swamp” and declares in broken English “from our point of view it is clear that World’s cultures contain material for endless art-possibilities”. The band’s lyrics demonstrate the spirit of joyful protest and celebration. “Legalize me!” sings Hütz and company on “Immigrant Punk”. The band often references the concept of “immigraniada” (the group’s fabricated word for the immigrant community) and stresses the importance of celebrating our cultural differences. The fun-loving tribe brings a worldly view to its listeners by mixing cultural awareness with one thing that easily bridges the language barrier: fun.
“Brown Elvis-I can’t help it/Brown Larry Bird-y on the ’97 Celtics/All brown everything/Better than you’ve ever seen/Never have you ever seen anything like it” raps Kool AD on “All Brown Everything”, the opening track of Das Racist’s mixtape “Shut Up, Dude”. His partner in rhyme Heems 19
chimes in a few verses later, “Now some, I may say, they call me Heems/The word is the herb and I’m deep like Cream/The truth like Bruce, yes, Baker and Clapton/I’m cruisin’ down the block riding shotty in a Magnum”. The sheer number of references, obscure and obvious, packed into the lyrics these mixed race MCs write and perform make Das Racist an alternative hip-hop phenomenon. Joined by their hype-man Dapwell, Kool AD and Heems formed Das Racist after meeting at Wesleyan University. The group has been alternately hailed as an important new voice in the evolution of rap or dismissed as joke-rap. Heems and Dapwell are both of Indian descent, while Kool AD is Italian and Afro-Cuban. Das Racist’s attitude is notoriously laidback. The song “hahahaha jk?” from their second mix-tape exemplifies this in its hook. Both rappers deadpan “We’re not joking/just joking/we are joking/just joking/we’re not joking”. Their lyrics are either poignant or silly. “We’re not racist/we love white people/Ford trucks, apple pies, bald eagles” recite the duo, making a point-or perhaps not. Attitude and classification aside, Das Racist is one of the most talented alternative rap groups around. Their cultural roots translate into their music, as several of their songs include background samples of traditional Indian music (sitar, etc) and occasionally a few lines of Spanish. Fascinating, entertaining, and criminally hilarious, Das Racist is great whether they’re joking or not. Gogol Bordello and Das Racist, although different in genre, style, and generation, are both exemplify culturally diverse music that leaves the listener craving a more global perspective. Das Racist’s American-born members represent the perspective of second-generation immigrants, while Gogol Bordello shares the immigrant experience first-hand. In a pop culture where few non-American acts make it to our ears, these two groups are examples of how music can connect a world that sometimes struggles to find common cultural ground. Whether you’re a “Rainbow in the Dark” or an “Immigrant Punk”, please enjoy with a global attitude. §
Odds and Ends
May 27th, 2012 Katie Spencer
The moon rushes into our sky early the clouds are still clean white on a blue plate I hold the sun burning orange down the treetops and this eager growing moon in both eyes 20
Sandbandits A Tale of Airstreams and Majors by Dakota Jensen “We found another abandoned encampment, sir. Looks to be about 4 days old.” Radio static followed the report. Major Merkin hooked his receiver onto a belt holster with practiced deliberation. Damn them sand bandits. Four days ahead of my squad, he thought, grinding his tobacco-yellow teeth. Who knows where they are now. Desert devils, pirates of the parched land, dirty criminals. He’d been hunting them for years, attempting to keep Walmart delivery trucks and the caravans of glistening Airstreams safe from raids. That’s how his team tracked them: the debris they left in their wake. Sometimes the trucks they robbed contained only cleaning supplies or children’s bicycles or flat-screen TVs but they never left anything, no matter how useless. The Major’s screen flashed to life, downloading the images his team had sent him from the abandoned encampment. Hundreds of synthetic leather armchairs were littered around a giant cold bonfire site. His resolve strengthened at the site of those beautifully affordable products deserted, denied of their purpose. No chubby, smiling kid would ever be able to sink into those now-sandy cushions with candy in one hand and a TV remote in the other. Pure tragedy. It almost brought a tear to the hardened military man’s eye. “Hunt ‘em down like they killed your kin,” he growled into his receiver. Sitting heavily in his cushioned leather desk chair, the Major poured himself his traditional 10 am glass of Scotch. Slurping distractedly, he went back to the map detailing the pirates’ progress in the five years he’d spent tracking them. In that time, they had managed to capture only one bandit alive. Her name had been Sasha, and she was only 16 when his men detained her. The infernal girl had managed to escape after only a fortnight, taking the Major’s prized German Shepherd, Nixon, with her. She had been stupid to give him another reason to hunt her, but as of yet, she remained on the run. Scotch drained, the Major strengthened his resolve and donned his army-issue aviators. “Get me on the next plane to Arizona,” he said into his receiver, “I’m going pirate poaching." §
What the Stars Have in Store for TSA As Foretold by Annabelle Roberts Aries (March 21-April 19) Today you will have to park on the soccer field. There just isn’t any room in the parking lot. Thanks, Billy.
Taurus (April 20-May 20) You will be able to compost with increasing frequency over the next few months. Take advantage of this new opportunity and you will be rewarded (perhaps with some fresh, nutrient-filled soil in a year or so)!
Gemini (May 21-June 21) The moon in your sign indicates that it is time to finally get rid of all that old food from your locker that’s been stinking up the hallway. A family of rats has been making it their home for weeks now. Cancer (June 22-July 22) The stars have revealed if you spare half of your sandwich at lunch today, you will quickly make a new, four-legged, tail-wagging friend.
Leo (July 23-August 22) You know there is a cause that needs funding somewhere at TSA. Become more generous and donate a few dollars, you won’t regret it. Those quesadillas look quite tasty. Virgo (August 23- September 22) Although you may be very emotional over the next few days, as Pluto continues to lurk near your sign, refrain from shouting in the Humanities hallway during class time. People are trying to get work done.
Libra (September 23- October 23) Appreciate the person who has been washing the dirty dishes you keep leaving in the school’s kitchen sink. Announcements next Tuesday is the perfect time, as Jupiter is in your sign, which ensures there will be an extra powerful “power clap.”
Scorpio (October 24- November 21) The sun has been warming up your sign for weeks now, explaining your intense craving for vanilla soft-serve. The stars say if you promise your last period teacher rainbow jimmies, he’ll take the whole class to Sandy’s.
Sagittarius (November 22- December 21) Although lately your love life has been lacking, Mercury is emerging in your sign. That means it’s time to perform that love poem you have been slaving over at the next Thursday Night Café. Your admirer will appreciate your bravery.
Capricorn (December 22- January 19) All day you will feel exhausted and overwhelmed. All you want is some time alone, but no one gives it to you! Luckily you can find the solitude you crave in the abandoned storage yurt. Louise has keys. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) The stars have blessed you with a study hall, if not today, then tomorrow. Unfortunately, you’re too distracted by the recent prom drama to get any work done. Venus in your sign indicates your best friend is planning on asking the same person you are, so act fast!
Pisces (February 19-March 20) Today is your day! You will win every argument, a friend will buy you a whole piece of Miriam’s pizza, and you may even get a gold star in 23
The Sharon Academy Bucket List Don’t Print This One Out by Katrina Alden, Annabelle Roberts and Katie Spencer Check off all of these 50 must-do activities before you graduate from The Sharon Academy! __Start an unscheduled fire drill __ Try on Michael’s magnetic glasses
__Start a small fire in a microwave
__ Cry in Michael’s office
__Stand in line all lunch for pizza
__ Perform something at TNC you’ve never practiced before
__Get out of class early in order to make it to the front of the pizza line
__ Jump off the rocks into the White River
__Wear something from the lost and found for a day (but give it back!)
__ Drink a large milkshake from Sandy’s
__Take a nap on a couch
__ Have a picnic lunch on the South Royalton Green
__Have a piece of art hang in the pit
__Take Michael’s chair for a spin
__Leave someone a present in their locker
__Pee on the mission statement __Hide the eagle
__Hang out with Tom, the Spanish teacher (he’s awesome)
__Get a song recommendation from Carter
__Have a bake sale fundraiser
__Babysit a teacher’s kid __Bring something questionable to a potluck
__Eat only food from bake sales and potlucks for a whole semester
__Hug a freshman
__Solve the weekly math puzzler and write your name on the pig
__Take a class with someone related to Silas and Cedar
__Write a paper in your dreams and turn it in
__Make your carpool late for school
__Take a break from class to run around
__Tell someone to stop idling in the “Idle Free Zone”
__Wash someone else’s dirty dishes __Eat leftovers from the fridge __Whip your hair back and forth (in class)
__Say something that ends up on the yearbook quote page __Learn a new style of dance during Interim
__Start a back-massage Conga line
__Dance your heart out on the stage during the play
__ Start a club that lasts two weeks
__Go to a foreign country
__Wear your pajamas to school
__ Have Pat fix your computer
__Use your pre-calc brain break points to go to Sandy’s
__Compost your lunch
__ Hug a Ginger
__Get the whole school singing the song that's stuck in your head
__Lead an X-block
__Lose your shoes at school __Park one car in a spot meant for two
__Have a panic attack before your exhibition (or don’t)
__Quote a pop song in your graduation speech §
Have a great summer.