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The Black Sheep

e... li oh ke th wa at it, do it' llar s a bi poo ll yo dol u fo lar un d... !

• a college newspaper that’s actually about college •

Volume 2, Issue 4 3/22/12 - 4/12/12

theblacksheeponline.com @BlackSheep_OM

breaking news! ryanne wrote this

“Attention Everyone! The Maynard W. Quimby Medicinal Plant Garden is on fire! Get inside immediately! People have already been affected and the city is being overrun! All of the area’s restaurants and gas stations are filled to capacity. It’s not safe to drive in these conditions! Let’s check in with our correspondents around Oxford to get a look at the madness.” “Thank you, Sarah. I’m here on the Square with the managers of some of the restaurants. Here we have the manager of Old Venice Pizza. Sir, can you tell me what your restaurant has been experiencing?” “Yes ma’am. Our restaurant has been taken over by ravenous patrons. They’ve been ordering massive pies, and some bills have totaled well over $100 for just a couple of people. Even the older people are ordering entire pizzas for themselves. I’ve never seen anything like it. We’re running out of food, and the kitchen staff is exhausted.” “Yes, it’s like that at Boure as well! We’re cooking anything we can find at this point. Our cooks are emptying out the freezers. There are lines upstairs and downstairs, but no one seems to be getting out of control. They’re just lazily waiting for more food.” “Is it like that at every restaurant?” “Yeah! At Irie some of the people found where we keep the extra food, and now there are people eating blocks of cheese and pickles.” “Well then. Back to you Sarah.” “It certainly is a sight out there guys. We’ve got a helicopter hovering above the highway, and there doesn’t seem to be any traffic trouble. If anything, everyone is

Other stuff

Inside

driving way slower! Let’s check in with the captain of Oxford Police." “Currently, we’re not pulling anyone over, because we just don’t have the manpower. The drivers seem to be moving slowly, and there haven’t been any wrecks. This is probably the calmest day we’ve ever seen on the roads. Hopefully, we can keep this up. We’ve got all our guys out keeping an eye on everything just in case something occurs, but if things continue this way we won’t have a problem. The only indication of something out of the ordinary are the people getting trapped on the roundabouts. They don’t seem to know how to get off, so we’ve got our guys out there directing traffic.” “Apparently the gas stations are experiencing crowds as well. We checked in with the cashiers at Double Quick and they say the slushy machines were completely empty within half an hour. The chips, candy, and drinks are flying off the shelves. No one seems to have a problem with the lengthy lines.”

The Top Ten Munchies

“The store most overrun is Wal-mart. The cashiers say the patrons have been mainly buying food and drinks. They also report unusual grocery combinations. Customers have been buying things like Velveeta and marshmallows, Nutella and Doritos, hot dogs and ice cream, among many other crazy things. All employees unaffected by the blaze have been asked to come into work, but there’s still outnumbered. Every register is open and the lines are growing by the minute.” “Once again, if you are not inside, get there quickly. The plant is still burning and more locals are being affected. The worst of the smoke is surrounding Hwy 6. If you’re on the other side, you should be safe. There have been reports of increased traffic on the highway as some seem to want to see for themselves. The fire department is trying to find the cause of the fire, and police are keeping an eye out for possible suspects. Stay tuned to WCBU for more details.”

Getting Over the Spring Break Slump

Free Kony?! Alright!

Ten tasty delectables for your munchie needs, not for the calorie conscious.

There’s no need to sit at home crying and eating your weight in frosting.

Really, who is going to turn this idea down?

see page 4

see page 7

see page 10


02

Table of contents PAGE 4 >>>

From the Streets

What’s the most unflattering thing that the opposite sex can do? .

PAGE 6 >>>

The Black Sheep Dictionary

page 11 >>>

Bartender of the Issue

page 12 >>> PAGE 13 >>>

6

Let’s get all jrunk and get some McBitchin’s.

11

Winn from South Depot walks into a room with “X Gon Give It To Ya” in his ears.

Keeping Up With...

the Real Bad girl pawn stars of the new york shore... yeah, it’s like that.

13

The Black Sheep Interviews: Maps & Atlases these chicago rockers never get lost on tour.

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page three

pic of the week >>> the best things in life are free.

the second best are cheap drinks. download our free app for iphone and android spend less. get more. what's not to love?

Sweet tattoo, brah!

Search: Black Sheep Mobile

Think your caption is good enough for Page Three? Psh, we’d like to see it! Send your caption to

got party pics? we really, really want to see them. really. pics@theblacksheeponline.com

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Can you guess these hotties?

Send your answers to celebs@theblacksheeponline.com

The first 5 right answers win prizes! word of the week >>> spendor

Eyelash Genre

A Denial Miked

submit your own word at word@theblacksheeponline.com if you think you’re so clever.

Definition: A halo of magnificence that surrounds a girl who just spent over $2,000 shopping on her dad’s credit card. Kara had an aura of spendor around her after she came back from the mall with a new wardrobe purchased by her father.


04

From 'da Streets What is the most unflattering thing that the opposite sex can do?

“Cursing in public is trashy. I can't stand a foul mouth.” - Thomas S., Sophomore

The top ten: munchies

ryanne wrote this

10) Taco Bell Big Box, Cheesy Nachos, 3 Carmel Apple Empanadas, and a Mountain Dew Baja Blast: It’s important to get the Big Box because it offers both crunchy and cheesy flavors. It’s also the only thing on the menu that will almost fill you up. Plus, it comes with a drink. And no meal is complete without Cheesy Nachos. Seriously guys, crunchy, melty, cheap cheese is the bomb.com. Don’t forget dessert! And yes, you do need all three. Mountain Dew Baja Blast is a must, it’s the only real option when at Taco Bell. 9) Arizona fruit punch and gas station nachos: The 99-cent fruit punch in the massive can is key. The bottles just won’t do. You need this canned beverage’s sugary, preservative-laden delight. Paired with the delightful bev, the gas station nacho cheese will taste like it’s a gift straight from the gods. 8) Papa John’s The Meats pizza with tomatoes: As the name implies, it’s meaty and delicious. Add the tomatoes for a touch of lycopene, which helps your brain or something. Be aware that you will eat the whole pizza, but that’s okay. The tomatoes and sauce count as vegetables (Or fruit, technically. Whatever, don’t judge us.) which makes it only the 3rd worst thing in the world. 7) Zaxby’s with extra sauce: It doesn’t really matter how many tenders you get, but you have to make sure to get extra sauce. You’ll need it to put on everything. Yes, even your bread. And especially your fries. 6) Sonic Route 44 Watermelon Slush and mozzarella sticks: Only a grade-A moron wouldn’t get the logic behind this one. The Slush is delicious. Fried cheese is delicious. You can’t go wrong with this. Since you’re not getting much food you’ll have to get the Route 44 drink to fill up that cavernous stomach.

5) Big Mac meal, no onions, Dr. Pepper, 4 McNuggets, and sweet and sour sauce: Big Macs are good. Onions are gross. Dr. Pepper is good. McNuggets are better. It’s not a McNugget without sweet and sour sauce. Dive in, tubby.

“Being rude and disrespectful towards females is a huge turn off.” - Chrisyatta H., Junior

4) Movie theater popcorn, peanut butter sandwich, and a box of CapriSuns: Now, this is for those who aren’t braving the streets to purchase food. Rummage through your cabinet for what little you have left, and modify as necessary. The little CapriSun packs are so small that it would be best to just have the entire box ready. 3) Slim Jims cooked with a lighter: This may sound gross, but it’s awesome and easy. Step 1: Get a Slim Jim. Step 2: Remove the wrapper from the upper portion of Slim Jim. Step 3: Light Slim Jim and let sizzle. Step 4:Rotate to ensure even cooking. Once you feel your Slim Jim is crisp enough, let cool slightly and eat. 2) Hot Pockets with strips of bacon shoved in them: Hot Pockets are generally undesirable. The outside is dry, and whatever minimal filling exists is lava-hot. However, there’s a way to make them better: Bacon. Bacon makes everything better, and it’s incredibly easy. Just bite the top off and stick the bacon inside. It’s like two fat, greasy people banging; they know it looks wrong, but it feels so right. 1) Breakfast: The most pleasing of the day’s meals. If played right, it can cover every craving. We suggest the pick-a-pancake from IHOP. With it you get a choice of any flavor of pancake, hash browns, eggs, and sausage or bacon. You get salty, sweet, crispy, fluffy and everything! Yum.

“I can't stand listening to girls who have bad Northern accents.” - Chase P., Freshman


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the black sheep dictionary black sheep staff wrote this There are some nights that are simply too fun to describe with boring, Webster words. Likewise, there are some things too unspeakably heinous to describe with standard vernacular. There are some people too stupid or otherwise unpleasant to belittle with basic curse words. For these moments in your collegiate life, look no further than The Black Sheep Dictionary. Edited with a magic marker, scrawled upon the backs of a pizza box and first published two days ago, it’s the modern student’s go-to handbook for relatable vocabulary. Jrunk (adjective): A modified version of “drunk,” the level of intoxication one unit above “white girl wasted.” Used to express the highest level of intoxication in the sorority community. I had like, a billion shots at The Levee. I’m so jrunk right now, guys. Can we get IHOP? Productive Skipping (verb): The act of skipping class on the day of a quiz or test one is unprepared for with hopes that increased study time will lead to a high score on the make-up. My productive skipping of BIO turned into me going to Bisc and Bop's for ice cream. Alone. Nojob (noun): Oral sex lacking in quality and pleasure due to improper technique or intoxication, generally unpleasant and resulting in cancelation of said act. Man, last night was brutal—that girl I met out last night tried to give me head,but it turned out to be a nojob all because of that last Red Headed Slut shot. TomTom (noun): Similar in nature to a nojob, but for the female anatomy; a noun describing the lackluster giver. Your friend was a total dud in bed. He tried going down on me, but he was so lost down there he needed a fucking GPS. Total TomTom. Blank Chat (verb): To converse with a past acquaintance without knowing said person’s name. Blank Chats usually last up to five minutes, but can sometimes exceed the halfhour margin. (See: Quick Sand Dan). Man, I had the most uncomfortable Blank Chat with that guy who took me to 1/2 price

steak night at Rooster's for our first date while we were waiting to talk to our advisers. He smelled like ground beef so badly I couldn’t remember his name. Quick Sand Dan(ielle) (noun): An acquaintance with which one has no interest in speaking with, yet can pull people around him/her into conversation with little intention to have a swift exchange. Tina, you need to save me— I’m stuck at City Grocery with Quick Sand Dan. The harder I try to get out, the more drinks he buys. Threshold (noun): The feeling an individual experiences when reaching the peak of inebriation. The threshold can occur due to alcohol or a mixture of intoxicants; known in the 90s as “the spins.” Whoa, brah, think I just hit the threshold with that last bong rip. McBitchin’ (noun): The combination of a McChicken and a McDouble. Bro, McDonald's is open 24 hours, let’s just go get a McBitchin’ and go to bed. Dibs on the top bunk. This is just an excerpt of the volumes upon volumes of vocabulary genius that The Black Sheep dictionary holds. The good news is: You can own your own copy today for just three easy payments of $19.95. Or two cases of beer.

writing - sales - pr marketing - distribution weekly and monthly newspapers. daily website. mobile apps. regional and national expansion. campus and city ventures

this is some of the stuff we're doing this summer... how 'bout you?

now hiring spring & summer & fall interns apply online at theblacksheeponline.com or email us at jobs@theblacksheeponline.com


07

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Getting Over the Spring Break Slump

ryanne wrote this

The two months after spring break are the worst two months ever. Spring break was the last considerable amount of time off before summer rolls in, meaning Ole Miss students are facing two full months of actual work. Also, sorry, but midterm grades are in, and you’re still a failure. These last couple of months will be devoted to pulling your grades up to something that reflects some semblance of smarts, because the thought of moving back home is legitimately puke-worthy. Lucky for you, we have some ways to get over the depressing post-spring break months. If you’re failing, you’re going to need to devote some time to academics. This sounds like it would bore you to tears, but it’s possible to make the whole ordeal fun. Just like most things, you can turn homework into a drinking game. The only difference is the outcome. The objective is productivity, not intoxication. So, instead of having multiple triggers that require participants to take shots of hard liquor, the sauce will be more of a reward system. We’ll use beer in our example. If you’re writing a paper, take the amount of pages and correlate it to your beverage. For instance, if you’re writing a three-page paper, you can drink a third of your beer after each page. Assuming you have at least four classes, you should have drunk four beers by the end of the night. That’s reasonable, right? Second, study with hot people. It doesn’t matter if they’re smart. Form a study group and discuss the subject matter. Read some passages. Whatever. It’s more than you would do at home, anyway. Also, please take this to the J.D.

Williams Library or some other boring place. There can’t be any distractions. This may not sound very fun, but at least you get to stare at someone cute instead of watching Jersey Shore reruns with your hand in your pants. If you’re not struggling with your grades, all you have to do is stay awake for the last two months. You probably have a grasp on the real world, so the final projects won’t completely derail you. It might be tempting to skip class, but you have to avoid that. Plan out your remaining absences. If you have three left, decide what days you want to use them. It will give you something to look forward to. You could also use the extra time to plan your summer vacation. If you didn’t do anything for spring break, the beginning of summer provides a great opportunity to do something, anything, outside of Oxford. Make this the summer where you don’t take classes. Buy a tent and a cooler and live on the beach for a month. Go visit an elderly relative that will give you money and let you sleep all day. Mingle with the people in your hometown, and look for desperate folks trying to find a summer booty call. The possibilities are endless. If none of these things work for you, just mark the calendar day after day while sobbing into your Taco Bell. These last two months will only be back if you let them. You can choose to be sad, or see it as two months before you have to go home and stare at your family. If that doesn’t motivate you, well... you’re screwed. Hey, we’re not miracle workers.


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Free Kony?! Alright! black sheep staff wrote this There’s no point in my day in which I am hungrier or more bored than my 11a.m. math class. I logged onto my Facebook in the middle of class the other day and all I saw were posts about “Invisible Children” and “Joseph Kony.” Now, I don’t know anything about all this Twilight and Harry Potter bibiddy-babble, so I just dismissed the first part as being a side effect of my only being friends with 15-year-old girls on Facebook. The second part caught my eye, though. I leaned over to the girl next to me - let’s call her Biggie McD-Cups—and asked about all these, “Konys,” curious as to whether or not there was some sort of delicious meat giveaway. She stared at me dumbfounded, “Surely you mustard of him by now,” Biggie said. She piqued not only my curiosity…but my hunger as well. If they’re letting you put free condiments on this Kony, this was certainly not something that I could let myself miss out on. “How do we get ‘Kony’?” I asked her, “Is it free?” “He’s free now, but we’re going to make him pay.” Shit. A limited time only offer. Now I understood why people were so excited about it. Thankfully, everyone posted statuses about it to keep me informed, otherwise

I would have had to settle for eating at Topio's again. “Free ‘Konys’ sound great,” I said, “Why would we want anyone to pay?” She called me a fascist pig and turned around. While I prefer all beef franks, I’ll still get excited by the idea of any meat at all, regardless of how it rules its people. With that lead dead, I turned to my other side to see if anyone else knew how I could get some free eats. “Hey, do you know what the deal with this ‘Kony’ thing is?” I asked. He responded by saying I needed to 'ketchup' with the times. “I don’t like ketchup,” I told him, “It just masks the great natural flavor of a Kony.” He called me a sick fuck and gave me a lecture about child soldiers and some other not-tasty bullshit. “I don’t understand,” I pleaded, “There’s nothing not to love about a free ‘Kony’!” His eyes went bloodshot. He screamed about Invisible Children, and when I yelled back that Harry Potter sucks he just got even angrier. He screamed about liberation, slavery, rape and murder, but nothing about Harry Potter, ironically. Weird. I must need to watch the movies again, because I DEFINITELY missed out on the rape scene. Or maybe that part is only in the book…and man, reading sucks. But anyway, I told him I just wanted some

free food. He yelled that bad things had just recently started happening in Africa and that watching a 30-minute YouTube video and liking a status made him into the activist that stood right before me. I cried, desperately telling him that I just wanted a free ‘Kony,’ while also desperately trying to find this activist he was talking about. He explained that Kony was a dictator, not a delicious variety of hot dog. He yelled, “I’m really going to relish this,” before he swung at me. I blacked out. I woke up in the forest five hours later, chewing on what little I hadn’t eaten off of his arm. Looks like I never got my free hot dog—or did I?

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11

Month Age: 24

Celebrity you love: Skrillex

Major: Liberal Arts

Favorite gum flavor: Pina Colada

Favorite Drink: Black Maple Hill on the rocks.

Life motto: ‘Live, laugh, love.”

Worst Drink: Jager, Crown Royal Personal Theme Song: Anything by DMX.

tt o l a W n n i W ot canopy club South dep

Funniest thing you've seen happen on job: People falling down drunk. Celebrity you hate: Jimmy Buffet

drinking game:

the vegetable game You say “potato,” I say “po-tah-to.” You say “tomato” I say “to-mah-to.” What do you mean neither of those things are vegetables? They’re certainly not fruit, and by our count, you can’t hunt either for sport. What You Need: Suds and buds, man. Number of Players: At least three. But you should consult the food pyramid, just to be safe. Intoxication Level: Your puke is gonna look like one big Bloody Mary. How to Play: -Before the game begins each person is assigned a vegetable. This vegetable is now that player’s name for the duration of the game. -During no point in the game is a player allowed to show his or her teeth. -If a player exposes his or her teeth, the round ends and that player must drink. -The game begins with one player citing their own vegetable name, pointing at and calling on another player to act. For example, “Broccoli calls on pepper!” -In this case, pepper would then announce themselves, then point at and call on another player. For example, “Pepper calls on asparagus!” -This continues until a player calls someone they point at by the wrong name, or until a player does not respond correctly when called upon. -The loser drinks. The Game Ends When: You start squeezing someone, hoping to turn them into potato vodka.

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What did you want to do when you grew up: Own the New Orleans Saints. Favorite Disney character: Fox from The Fox and the Hound because he's such a good friend. Favorite movie: The Sound of Music

recipe for disaster:

waffle burger For many, waffles are the preferred breakfast item for a variety of reasons: The syrup basins, the crunch, the texture. At the same time, the hamburger is the quintessential American sandwich, packed with calories and heart disease in equal measure. By our powers combined! What You’ll Need: 1lb. ground beef, Eggo waffles, condiments. Cook Time: 8-10 minutes. Fatty Factor: You’ll waffle between going to the gym and taking another nap. Let’s Get Baked: -Form the meat into ¼ pound patties. Add seasoning as desired. -Begin cooking meat. (We recommend using a George Foreman Grill, as grilling or griddling can start fires when you’re…inebriated.) -When the meat is 2 minutes from being done, throw two Eggos into the toaster. -When Eggos are fully toasted, remove and slather with the condiments of your choice. -For a breakfast-style sandwich, we recommend maple syrup and butter. Maybe a microwavable hash brown if you’re feeling lucky. -For a dinner sandwich, add ketchup, cheese, you know, stuff you’d put on a hamburger. Oh yeah, that hits the spot. It’s like a McGriddle evolved into something that was actually meant for human consumption.


Welcome to Keeping Up With The Real Bad Girl Pawn Stars of the New York Shore, the show that has your favorite bitches, morons, douchebags and idiots from America’s scummiest reality TV shows! These contestants are vying to win the only truly important prize: their lives! Let’s see what these dolts are made of!

THE CAST: Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio (The Real World) Dani and Gabi Victor (Bad Girls Club) Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola (The Jersey Shore) Kendall Jenner (Keeping Up With the Kardashians)

WEEK 3 The Outcome: Unsurprisingly, Abby Lee Miller leads this challenge, as she convinces the remaining contestants to do a striptease to the Mos Eisley Cantina song from Star Wars: A New Hope. All is going well until Kendall Jenner removes her top, “just like Kim taught her.” Because Jenner is a minor, she gets

WEEK 6 The Outcome: Kendall easily passes as she chats up a high school male about what it’s like seeing Kim Kardashian naked “like, every day.” Chumlee approaches a mentally handicapped person waiting in line to play the demo Playstation 3 at Best Buy. After ten minutes talking they decide that blue is the best color. Soulgee isn’t

Abby Lee Miller (Dance Moms) Soulgee (Ice Loves Coco) Kelly Bensimon (The Real Housewives of New York City) Chumlee Russel (Pawn Stars)

THE CHALLENGE: LEARN A CHOREOGRAPHED DANCE, TO BE PERFORMED IN FRONT OF A CLASS OF 3RD GRADERS. off scot-free, while Miller is arrested for breaking public indecency and child pornography laws. Karmic Death: Wearing only a leotard and eight-inch heels, she’s forced to fight a herd of 25 six-year-olds until she succumbs to their tiny fists of fury.

THE CHALLENGE:

ENGAGE IN CONVERSATION WITH A TOTAL STRANGER FOR TEN MINUTES WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF.

so lucky, as he accidentally references himself when discussing the loving relationship Ice-T and Coco have, the one he “tries not to force himself into.” Karmic Death: Suffocation via a gay black man’s nightmare: Coco’s enormous white tits.

WEEK 1 The Outcome: Most of our contestants do well, some surprisingly so. Abby Lee Miller scores a 29, and upon hearing the results lambasts the others for, “Doin’ so shitty cuz your moms didn’t raise ya’ll right.” Pawn Stars legend Chumlee scores a lowly 4 after skipping the English and Reading portions, but is saved when Sammi Sweetheart fails to complete the test in time.

THE CHALLENGE: TAKE THE 'ACT'. She’s busy sobbing on the phone with her mom because Ronni forgot a smiley face emoticon in the text message he sent her wishing her good luck on the test. Karmic Death: Suffocated to death in a gas chamber set to emit a deadly mix of hair spray and spray tanner. LMFAO’s “Shots” plays at her wake.

WEEK 4

THE CHALLENGE: BUILD A SPACESHIP OUT OF LEGOS.

The Outcome: Used to constructing makeshift dildos on the fly, Soulgee produces a sex toy that judges deem a reasonable facsimile for a spacecraft. The Victor Twins - having never played with Legos before - hastily slap some blocks together, but continue onto the next round after secretly switching their construction with rival Johnny

Bananas. Bananas calls their deceit, but producers refuse to believe him, citing his frivolous lawsuit against the producers of Entourage as a reason not to believe him.

WEEK 7

THE CHALLENGE: PITCH A SHOW TO FAMED WRITER/PRODUCER DAVID SIMON (THE WIRE, TREME)

The Outcome: Kendall Jenner pitches Simon a show about, “You know, me, and stuff.” Chumlee, struggling to breathe under the weight of his own obesity, tells the writer/producer that he’d, “like to do one’a them shows where them girls come in and give Chumlee them blowjobs, and shit.” Simon attempts to walk off set before his

agent reminds him that this appearance will help provide funding for his criticallyacclaimed but little-watched show.

Karmic Death: Devenanzio is forced to hang out with Kevin Dillon until Devenanzio kills himself.

Karmic Death: Distraught with the state of modern media, Simon commits a murder-double-suicide. His final words are, “Let’s see McNulty solve this one.”

WEEK 2 The Outcome: Kendall Jenner cries as she hands over the money, certain that her mom will bestow on her the beating of a lifetime. Chumlee Russel tries to talk the homeless man down before realizing he’s the one trying to give the cash away. In a purely malevolent move, the Victor twins turn their bill into a “Poo Lincoln” before

WEEK 5 The Outcome: In a moving moment that will forever go down in the annals of reality TV history, Chumlee apologizes to pawn shop owner Rick Harrison for the litany of fuck-ups he’s had since the show’s inception. The Victor twins lose when Gabi apologizes to Dani “for being dad’s favorite,” while Dani apologizes to Gabi “for being

THE CHALLENGE: GIVE A HOMELESS PERSON $5. dropping it in front of a homeless man while walking away. Bensimon fails when she gives her $5 to Soulgee, as she assumes all black people are homeless. Karmic Death: The producers drop her off in Harlem dressed as a Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard. No one attends her funeral.

THE CHALLENGE:

SINCERELY APOLOGIZE TO AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER OR CLOSE FRIEND YOU HAVE WRONGED.

dad’s favorite.” A brawl ensues until the producers drag each off set, preparing them for their execution. Karmic Death: From behind a two-way mirror the twins’ parents push a big red button that electrocutes the twins to death. The parents go on to live full, happy lives in their twilight years.

While th at we expe didn’t end how c ended b ted, it certainly etter th an w have ho ped! Join e could u year as we cont s next inue the small-sc ale are actu genocide people ally hap py abou t!


the music page

the black sheep interviews:

Maps & Atlases

Our compasses pointed due north when we were lucky enough to score an interview with loveable rockers Maps & Atlases. Guitarist Erin talks to us about keyboards, soy products and his pet Pegasus. The Black Sheep: Your new album, Beware and Be Grateful, is set to be released on April 17th. Can you talk about your progression as a band, from your EPs to Perch Patchwork to this album? How is this the next step in your sonic evolution? Erin Elders: I think it’s a continuation of things we were exploring on Perch Patchwork. On that album we really started with texture, whereas our earlier EPs were more stripped down with a lot of guitar. Here we moved on past the Perch Patchwork orchestration, but we found new ways to layer sound with crazy guitars and whatnot. I think the writing style is a steady evolution from our previous album. TBS: How does the writing process work for you guys? Erin: Every record has been different, but I think that’s what most bands hope to do, where you let the process and story behind the record be its own thing. It’s good to break out of your own habits and artistic patterns. For this record there was these group of songs [lead singer] Dave had been working on during his tour and when we had a little off time. It happened in a really stripped down way. We figured out which songs worked as an album, fleshed them out and worked it out over multiple sessions. We’d then throw as many ideas down as we could, then see what worked and what doesn’t. TBS: Considering the length of time it takes to put a record out, how much of what you work on actually ends up on a record? Erin: It’s really interesting. When you think about how much time writing, recording and playing music and you contrast it with the amount of time you actually produce the sounds that end up on the record,

cd review

out now

The shins port of morrow Five years later, The Shins still don't disappoint.

The Shins are like your best friend from high school who you haven’t seen in five years. You’re slightly nervous things might have changed, but as soon as you sit down (at a bar, of course), it’s like you just saw her yesterday; you’re as comfortable as you’ve ever been and it’s just as familiar as when you were causing a ruckus together back in band class. Formed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, James Mercer (your imaginary best friend), and the gang have technically been putting out alternative-rock goodness since 1996 when they released their first EP and gained popularity by touring with bands like Modest Mouse. Things were going swimmingly, albeit slowly, but they were eventually signed to Sub Pop in 2001, releasing their classic album, Oh, Inverted World with such gems like “New Slang” and “Caring is Creepy.” With a slew of tunes featured in all sorts of movies and television shows, The Shins officially became a band with integrity—one that produced quality songs that were both earnest and catchy. Two more popular albums later, the boys ditched Sub Pop to release albums on Mercer’s own label, Aural Apothecary. Switching out a few band members and letting half a decade fly by, Port of Morrow is upon us and it’s certainly worth the wait. The album has an all around classic Shins sound— never breaching the barrier of being too heavy and never slowing down enough to bum anyone out. The first single “Simple Song” isn’t my favorite on the album, but it’s by

GRADE B+

no means a bad tune; softly building up to an optimistic chorus that is safe and upbeat, it’s kind of like nice spring weather. “September” is a stand-out song that slows you down a bit, but keeps you interested with little patches of breezy beats. In fact, the entire album consists of numerous wonderfully upbeat tracks that make it a great listen without ever really needing to hit next. By the end of it, you’re not going to hear anything too crazy or shocking, but you’ll be pleased if standard Shins music always seems be the perfect thing to listen to when you don’t know what to listen to at all.

it’s small. You have to get to that point, though. TBS: How do you strike a balance between making music you find personally gratifying, but also something your fans want to hear? Erin: It’s a tough thing. Everyone has different interests, and some are able to pursue them under the moniker of their band. But there’s other bands where an out-there record doesn’t work in the parameters of what the band is. Our band, we want to grow and change every record, but the way we move in the same direction, together, allows us to explore new things. TBS: How ambitious do you get with your sound? When you incorporate a new instrument is it out of necessity, like, “This thing makes this sound, so we will use it,” or is it, “We want to push the boundaries of how we consider ourselves as musicians”? Erin: With Beware and Be Grateful we started with these cheap Casio keyboards to get the sound up and running, and from there it was experimenting and seeing what stuck. Running with our instincts. We’ve tried doing it before, and it’s worked on certain songs. On this record, though, it helped us produce a really loose sound. TBS: You guys are headlining a tour right now. How do you prepare? Do you prepare? Erin: I think when you’re on tour it’s one of those things where you’re constantly trying to stay on schedule while being exhausted all the time. It’s basically keeping up until you crash and just stop caring about a timetable. TBS: Is there different pressure being the tour headliner? Erin: I think we’re always making sure we’re playing well and presenting the songs as best we can every night, regardless. I mean, you feel obligated to put on a good show for people who paid money to see you. Plus, how often do you get a chance to play a place like Shreveport, Louisiana? Once a year? You want to put on a good show for someone who might be seeing you for the first time. TBS: For someone who hasn’t seen you play live before, describe your show in five words or less. Erin: Four guys, lots of sound.

Admittedly, none of this can be very shocking to anyone who is even remotely a fan of The Shins – they’ve just never let us down and, four albums later, they keep getting better. If you are a part of the handful of people in this world who have never listened to them (maybe their hype from Garden State a billion years ago turned you off for some reason), it’s certainly time to give them a chance. But for those who are longtime Shins fans, it’s worth the five-years-coming to hear them again, just like your high school BFF.

TBS: What’s a band or artist you listen to that no one would think you like? Erin: I listen to a lot of top 40 radio. When we’re on tour peoples’ iPods get exhausted pretty quickly. I think Nicki Minaj’s “Superbass” is an incredible song.

Sounds Like: A plaid shirt smiling. Download: Simple Song, September Listen to it When: You’re the first one done with classes waiting on the porch for your roommates to get back to start drinking, gifting them with a beer.

TBS: If you could have any mythical creature as a pet, what would it be? Erin: A Pegasus seems ideal, you can ride it into town if you need to, or you can fly.

TBS: Describe to me your perfect sandwich. Erin: I think a sandwich is a great culinary invention. I think a baguette, smoked tempeh, some tomato, avocado and spicy mustard.

TBS: The most practical of the mythical creatures.

UPCOMING RELEASES Brad Mehldau - Ode Melanie Fiona - The MF Life

Casey James - Casey James Odd Future - The OF Tape Vol. 2

Paul Van Dyk - Evolution Anti-Flag - The General Strike

Diggy - Unexpected Arrival Margot and Nuclear So & So’s - Rot Gut Domestic


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class tim e Holy ___1___ I’m exhausted, but I’m not about to punk out on my last night in ___2___. I’m really hoping to run into that ___3___ look-alike again, man he was good in the sack. Well, by sack I mean ___4___ but you understand. And now that I’m not burnt like a ___5___ and my ___6___ has cleared up a bit, I’m looking better than ever! Sure, the tattoo of ___7___’s face on my ___8___ probably isn’t going to be so funny once I get home but, hey, isn’t that was spring break is for? Making mistakes? Like (lol) flashing my ___9___ during the ___10___ show at the beach, getting kicked out and slipping in a pile of spilled ___11___-margaritas, then lapping it up like a dog? #embarrassing But Thursday afternoon was the most ridiculous. Meeting those cuties from ___12___ and bonging ___13___ was epic! Well until I saw his uncircumcised you-know-what. But it was fine, we ate some ___14___ and got so messed up we were watching ___15___-dubbed ___16___ videos on YouTube, and dreaming of some ___17___. Then banged. It was bliss, basically. But tonight… tonight we go hard. Listen to some ___18___, drink my ___19___ + Diet Coke and wear the outfit I’ve been waiting for all week – my ___20___-skin dress! Ahh!!!

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