Show Review: Snow Tha Product Gettin’ It At Empire

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Written and photos by Tracy Fuller

I have been a fan of Snow Tha Product’s music for about five years now, but oddly enough, I have never seen her perform in concert. So naturally, when the opportunity arose to review this show after the Sound On Sound Fest cancellation, I jumped on it. Snow, originally from San Jose, California, ended up moving to Texas in 2010. It was then she started to make a name for herself by performing here in Austin at South By Southwest.Snow The Product

This performance was originally scheduled to take place at Sound On Sound Festival but was rescheduled to take place at Empire Control Room.

Within the first few minutes of her hitting the stage, I realized that this is no ordinary hip-hop show, this was a full-fledged party! You could quickly call this a family celebration, since it was the last stop on Snow’s tour that her mom would be present.

Snow is not your average hip-hop artist. She could be pitted against the best of the best, and would utterly school them with her chopper styled flow. She transitions between spitting bars, melodic singing, and jumps between English and Spanish without missing a beat. Snow also does not not hold back when it comes to expressing her political views.

Snow kept the crowd turned up as she played a bunch of songs from her Good Nights & Bad Mornings 2 mixtape.  She performed “Play,” “Lord Be With You,” “Cookie Cutter B*****s”, “Business Is,” “Hopeless,” “Waste of Time,” and even took to crowd surfing for the hype party track “Gettin’ It.”

Snow and her fans have a robust Chicano pride in common. Between songs, she takes time to connect with them personally.

I couldn’t close out this review without giving a shout out to the venue staff at Empire Control Room. The staff are always on point and accommodating. For a Sunday night and a first-time experience with Snow Tha Product, I had an absolute blast – even with a 10:30 PM curfew![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/wfISNlnN0bI”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Show Review: The Story So Far, Turnstile, & Drug Church Throw Down at The Mohawk

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Written and photos by Taylor Kokas

Despite this year’s sudden cancellation of Sound On Sound Fest, many artists were able to be rescheduled at various venues around town to perform for the live music capitol audience. The festival continued on in spirit, early that Saturday afternoon. Fans lined up on both corners of The Mohawk, awaiting performances from their favorite punk bands: Drug Church, Turnstile, and headliner The Story So Far.

Thirty minutes after the doors opened, Drug Church warmed up the crowd playing songs like “Banco Popular,” “But does it work?”and their newest single “Weed Pin”. After finishing up their short, 30 minute set, the crowd continued to grow. As casual fans played it safe and settled along the railing of the upper levels of the venue, dedicated fans and avid moshers made their way down to the front of the stage. For a good 45 minutes, Turnstile performed songs like “Drop” and “Fazed Out” inciting the crowd to throw down in the pit. Crowd surfers made their way to the stage hoping to be handed the mic from lead vocalist Brendan Yates (who occasionally tossed the mic out while he dancing around on stage). After their set, fans dispersed to grab a drink, buy some merch, or re-situate themselves for the final act.

The Story So Far Knife

The Story So Far kicked off their set playing two of their most popular songs, “Things I can’t change” and “Nerve” while also performing their newest single “Out of it.” It was a wild set, as some fans surfed their way up to the front, attempting to get a hug from lead vocalist Parker Cannon. At one point during a break between songs, Cannon was handed a switchblade, causing some shock amongst the band. Parker put it away safely in front of the drum kit and continued on with the show. Throughout the remainder of the night, fans jammed out to a setlist of the band’s greatest hits from their past three albums while also squeezing in a couple covers from Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Fans left with a fun, memorable performance to reflect on as they exited the venue to go home and recover from their ringing eardrums.  

Pick this review up in the Spring 2018 Life4U magazine on campus.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_media_grid element_width=”6″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1511810261224-29b3621a-8ad3-4″ include=”4204,4203,4202,4201,4200,4199,4197,4209″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Wizard World Comic Con

Written by Tracy Fuller

Calling all cosplayers, pop-culture and comic book lovers, Wizard World Austin is here! If you’ve never attended Wizard World, you are in for a real treat. It’s filled with tons of panels, workshops, celebrities, gaming competitions and more.

This year’s line-up is looking particularly sweet. Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Kate Beckinsale (Underworld), Val Kilmer (Batman Forever, Top Gun), the Firefly trio of Summer Glau (Arrow),  Jewel Staite (Stargate: Atlantis) and Sean Maher (The Playboy Club), Michael Rooker  (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead) and Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek) are celebrity guests scheduled to visit this comic con and pop culture extravaganza.

WWE Superstars, the Hardy Boyz will make an appearance on Saturday, November 18. They will embrace fans, pose for photo ops and sign autographs from 3-6 p.m.

Momoa, Glau, Staite, and Maher are scheduled to arrive on Saturday and Sunday, November 18-19; the others will be on hand, all three days.

Wizard World Comic Con Austin will also highlight non-stop live entertainment, gaming, exclusive Q&A sessions with top celebrities, movie screenings hosted by stars and directors and more.

Wizard World is the home of the most creative comics artists and writers on the planet. Artist Alley in Austin will feature Jorge Molina (Thor, Avengers), Katy Farina  and Rian Sygh (Rick & Morty, Steven Universe), Shawn Coss (Cyanide & Happiness),  Steve Geiger (Punisher, Spider-Man), Stuart Sayger (ROM, Micronauts), Guy Gilchrist  (Nancy, Muppet Babies), Phil Ortiz (The Simpsons), Tom Cook (Masters of the Universe),  Mark Kistler (Secret City), Clinton Hobart (licensed Disney Fine Artist), Genese Davis  (The Holder’s Dominion), Victor Dandridge (The Samaritan),  Dr. Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Night, Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the Truth) and many others.

Wizard World Comic Con events bring thousands of fans of all ages to admire the greatest in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. The 14th and final event scheduled on the 2017 Wizard World calendar, Austin show hours are Friday, November 17, 4-9 p.m.; Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, November 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

Wizard World Comic Con Austin is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor and participate in the famed Wizard World Costume Contest on Saturday evening.

Film Review: Mudbound

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Written by Tracy Fuller

The McAllan family is a working-family raising their children on a Mississippi farm. The Jacksons are a sharecropping family on a Mississippi farm. Both families have a son returning from the World War II to work the land. Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) suffer from PTSD post-war.

Ronsel is a sergeant, wrestling with the terror of being a free man in Europe, but one with no rights when being back in America – the nation he defended in battle.

Jamie is an airborne captain, struggling with the horrific memories witnessed in the sky.

Both Ronsel and Jamie, come together with the bond of PTSD. Their friendship is an opposite perfect connection to status, mental health and racial division of that era.

Dee Rees and Virgil Williams did a excellent job turning Hillary Jordan’s novel into a cinematic ride. Mudbound invokes various emotions from the viewer to feel both families’ level of poverty, struggles to get ahead and what life was like for that period. This sure to be award-winning film hits Netflix on November 17th.

Pick this review up in the Spring 2018 Life4U magazine on campus.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAZWhFI9lLQ&feature=youtu.be”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Show Review: YELLE

Written & photo by Wes Eng

I’m not a typical fan of electropop, but I wasn’t going to miss seeing YELLE during their re-scheduled show for Sound on Sound Fest. YELLE is an electropop band from France who has been making waves since 2005. YELLE’s distinct style of sound is a mix of disco and electropop. This mixture, paired with the french vocals creates quite a unique sound. All of the songs were in French, but that really didn’t matter. The vocals were what really made the sound so iconic. The performance from Julie Budet (lead singer) and the two dummers lead to quite a show. Everything seemed to be choreographed. The drummers had a routine where they would mirror each other’s movements to produce an amazing visual and audible display. It was more like being in the front row of a music video. If you are a connoisseur of electropop YELLE is a must!

Show Review: Gatecreeper

Written and photo by Wes Eng

Opening up the Friday night of the previously scheduled, Sound On Sound Fest at Mohawk was Gatecreeper for Cannibal Corpse. The show was a rager as they shredded the night away with dark, grungy metal. Being in the crowd was something I will always remember. As the band got into their rhythm the whole crowd began to head bang in unison. The love for the music was definitely there. As to be expected there was a lot of action in the crowd. The mosh pit was going nearly the whole time. Unfortunately it seemed to me as if the mic for the singer was too low. With all the guitars and bass tones, the lyrics were drowned out, which was unfortunate. All in all it was a great concert with some really killer songs!

 

Film Review: Murder on the Orient Express

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Written by Nate Torres

Persevering mystery of Agatha Christie and her hero Hercule Poirot return to the big screen in the latest adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.  The classic mystery attracted an all-star cast including Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Judy Dench, Daisy Ridley, Derek Jacobi and many others who portray a group of passengers all traveling aboard the luxurious Orient Express.  As the title suggests, a passenger falls victim to murder leaving 12 dynamic individuals suspect to the crime.  It is the archetypal “who done it” story as Detective Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) helps find the murderer amongst the train’s passengers before they can make their escape at the next stop – or worse, kill again.  

The setting takes place in 1934 Europe and though the main events all revolve around the train and its compartments, the production found ways to deliver some amazing scenery, beautifully captured in 65mm. Audiences who find themselves fond of traditional mystery will certainly find this film delightful. The scenes involving Poirot’s interaction with the passengers and his demeanor makes room for comic relief.  Branagh shows great respect for Christie’s original story through script and visual adaptation, while staying true to Poirot and his “magnificent moustaches.” There is, also, some magnificence in the way the cast subversively play out their characters, making them relevant to today.  Touching on issues like race, addiction, greed, guilt and death, the film explores how the human psyche can be pushed to a breaking point and drive one to murder.  Each one of the suspects holds their own quirks and eccentricities that give rise to suspicion and also make for good entertainment.  

Murder on the Orient Express is not at attempt to blow your mind as a mystery. The film contains twists and turns that push even “the greatest detective in the world” to his limits.  If not a fan of playing sleuth, however, cinephiles can still enjoy the film’s gorgeous pictures and camera work while taking their best guess on who did it.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z68frP9Q7XA”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

ACC Ranked Top Transfer School

Written by Melisa Hernandez

Slip on your boots and two-step down to ACC because it is ranked the number one Transfer Community College in Texas, according to successfulstudent.org.

“What makes ACC different from all the rest is the time and effort that we as advisors put in for each student’s future,” says Advising Specialist Angelica Diaz-Miranda De La Rosa.

ACC is known to be very accommodating to the diverse student body by providing courses during the weekdays, weekends, and through distance learning.

Professor Paul Brown says, “ The Distance Learning courses allow students who may be working one or two jobs to also have time on the weekend to go over their readings. In addition they’re able to complete homework and exams.”  

Flexibility in the classes offered, is one reason ACC scored at the top of Successful Student’s ranking.

Audiology major Annette Kveton says, “being a student at ACC makes me feel very proud. I am transferring in the fall of next semester, and consider myself very lucky to be a part of the number one ranked school in Texas for transfers,”

In addition, many are aware of the diversity ACC offers and Diaz-Miranda De La Rosa feels this is a big contribution to this ranking. “Because ACC is so diverse with our students and faculty, students find it easier to feel like they belong. There are pieces of students’ culture and background that are celebrated here that I feel other institutions would not have the gumption to do. When students feel like they belong that creates a culture where people are accepting of others.”

Affordability is ACC’s mission to ensure that all students are able to receive an education at a low cost.

Early childhood education major Jessica Powell says, “Additionally, ACC is affordable and accessible to lots of people. It makes taking basic classes much easier and cheaper, and in my opinion, there is no real need for basic classes to be taken at an expensive university.”

Many students, teachers, and staff feel honored to have received this ranking.

Brown says, “I think ACC earned this ranking because of the quality of the faculty, many of whom have practiced the profession they teach for decades before sharing their knowledge in the classroom.”

Austin Community College registration is open for the spring semester of 2018. Visit austincc.edu/register to sign up for classes.

Pick this story up in the Spring 2018 Life4U magazine on campus.

ACC number one

A Disguised Education

Written by Sam Douglas

Many students struggle with time management, motivation to attend class and the sheer will it takes to crack open a textbook. Even once the studying begins, the next momentous task is staying focused. It’s not rare to re-read a paragraph, again and again; this could be a sign of disinterest in a subject. Staying focused can be hard, but what if there was a way to make it interesting – to look at a subject in a different light. What about podcasts?

Image result
photo courtesy: dancarlin.com

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
Maybe history isn’t your favorite subject. Let Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History change the way you understand a history lesson by making the facts and stories a personal interaction. Carlin tells about historical figures, places and time as if he lives it. The series “Blueprint for Armageddon” gives the listener an in-depth look into the lives of soldiers and civilians on both sides of the first world war, painting a horrifying image of the carnage that took place. A great podcast for students who will be studying this period of time in a U.S. History class.

The Joe Rogan Experience
This is one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes and for good reason. Host, comedian Joe Rogan, invites guests from all walks of life; such as geologists, nutritionist, psychologist, neurosurgeons, athletes, comedians, business gurus and more. There are more than 1,000 free episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience available for download, spanning 2-3 hours each. It’d be hard to not find content relevant to your studies from the conversations with various professionals.

Radiolab Presents: More Perfect
Like everything Radiolab releases, More Perfect is a wonderfully, high-quality audio experience, focusing on Supreme Court cases that set precedent today. This can be a great tool to use when trying to remember the names of those court cases you know are going to be on the test in your government class.

startalk radio logo
photo courtesy: startalkradio.net

StarTalk Radio
Join host (and astrophysicist) Neil deGrasse Tyson and travel the galaxy with some of the most brilliant minds in science. Learn about new theories moving through the science community and contemplate the mysteries our cosmos has to offer. StarTalk Radio may be that little bit of extra help you needed in an astronomy or physics class.

A different interpretation of a subject may spark an interest in topics previously disliked. Thus, allowing the mind to retain information in an alternate way and, hopefully, encourage better study habits. With all the increase of podcasts out there, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one, or a few, helpful to your studies and future career.

Pick this story up in the Spring 2018 Life4U magazine on campus.

Cosplaying Characters

Written by Marianna Foran

The sun is rising and your bank account suffers from cardiac arrest. The bathroom smells like Urban Decay makeup as the face staring back in the mirror is now a mask for the next 24 hours. This created identity allows many to practice, cosplay.

“I like it more as an escape,” psychology major Kai Arguelles says. “When you go to the convention it’s a three to four day weekend of just complete fun with strangers, that you connect with on a different level because you like the same thing.”

Dressing up, for many, has its pros and cons. “I like it more as a theatrical appeal,” theater major Tori McElroy says.

“The best way to decide what character you want to be, is to choose somebody you really connect with or admire,” Arguelles says. “Some people like to pick characters that are completely the opposite of them, because they get to be somebody else.”

The term cosplay was invented by Japanese reporter Nov Takashki. Looking to combine the words costume and play, Takashki introduced this term to the world while covering the World Con in 1984.

Cosplay has continued to grow, with the largest attendance on record in 2013 at Comiket with 590,000 players. Costumes vary at every convention in skill level.

McElroy says she chooses her characters for the fun of making a costume. “It’s something small…also, [I like] to see how it goes with my sewing skills,” she says.

And in fandom. Some of the more popular categories of fans focus on Anime (66.9%), video games (70.6%) and comics (36.1%), according to cosplaycalamity.com.

According to the Daily Dot, 32.1% of cosplayers spend between $100-$200 on their costumes, while 27.7% spend $200-$400 on each of their costumes.

Some cosplay to take a break from daily occurrences.

“My family was alright with cosplay as long as I’m happy. It’s another way to express my artistic self.” McElroy says.

Arguelles says, “My family thinks cosplay is a little weird but they’re OK with it, I guess.”

One thing cosplayers seem to have in common, is their love for stepping into someone else’s shoes for a day and walking out into public.

“I would love to keep cosplaying 10 years from now,” Arguelles says. “It’s such a great experience and a great pass time for all ages there. There is no restriction, which is what’s so nice about it. Plus the older you get, the more experience you get, and the better your cosplays turn out.”

“I think I will continue because it’s fun to be a completely different character or person,” McElroy says.

Cosplay Costume