Findlay First Edition takes First Runner-up at Ada Music Feast

(Above photo: In addition to its performance in Ada, FFE also hosted and performed at Fall FEst earlier this year.)

FFE competed at the 37th Annual Ada Music Feast on November 8th. The group accomplished many things, and received First Runner-up at the competition. The First Edition also received several other caption awards, making the day well-rounded and filled with dedication from the group.

“I feel we did pretty well in Ada, but we could have done better on certain things we knew how to fix already,” junior Kelton Young said. “As a group we work well together, and with some more hard work we’ll go very far this year.”

FFE also won the following caption awards: Overall Best Instrumental Combo, Overall Best Show Concept, Overall Best Tech Crew, Runner-Up Class AA, Overall Best Female Vocalist (Gabbi Calvert), Best Instrumental Combo Class AA, Most Dynamic Performer (Devan Kline).

Photo by Tess Marshall

Hozier mixes soul and indie rock, religious feeling and romance

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New Artist Spotlight: Andrew Hozier-Byrne

Sounds like: Hozier’s soulful, powerful voice creates widely-varying music that is reminiscent of Jeff Buckley’s sheer emotional power and Van Morrison’s “Celtic,” “lapsed-Catholic style,”
voice. Regular drumbeats, cascading melodies, and the clap and humming of a choir in the background of some songs create a mood of religious feeling.

For fans of: Independent rock with a great deal of emotional power

Why you should check him out: Hozier’s first, eponymous album Hozier took over the charts of Europe and America this past month. He has performed on Saturday Night Live and his single Take Me to Church

Check these songs out: Work Song, Take Me to Church and Cherry Wine. All of these songs can be found on his album, Hozier.

Fury is memorable, ultimately fails to overcome Hollywood’s pitfalls

Title: Fury

Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal.

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Plot: An American tank crew faces tough odds as they fight behind German lines at the end of WWII.

Review: On the surface, Fury is a gripping war movie that presents an interesting portrayal of the often overlooked aspect of WWII era tank-warfare.  Fury is not afraid to show the gruesome reality of total war and the physical and mental effects it has on those caught in the crossfire. One of Fury’s most interesting aspects is its examination of the ability that war has to change people and completely gut them of any former sense of morality.  Fury’s main failing point is that it very often lacks a sense of realism when it comes to moments of battle.  With the exception of a phenomenal scene in which a superior German tank faces off several lesser American tanks, the German’s are largely portrayed as unintelligent and incompetent soldiers.  To portray the German’s like this is not only unrealistic,  but it also dilutes the sacrifice American soldiers made to defeat an enemy as formidable as the Germans.   As a result of this inaccurate portrayal, Fury is occasionally burdened with unrealistic and indulgent battle scenes.  Overall, Fury is a memorable and enthralling movie but is unfortunately unable to escape certain unoriginal, Hollywood pitfalls.

Rating: ★★★


Season 5 of The Walking Dead presents new, exciting apocalyptic situations

Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Chad L. Coleman,
and Danai Gurira  

Plot: Rick (Lincoln) and company escape Terminus but must now deal with lingering repercussions as they try to make their way to D.C. with a cure for the “Zombie” apocalypse.

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Review: Unlike the meditative, foundational season 4 premiere, season 5 of The Walking Dead started off with a bang.  A bloody, cannibalistic, walkers on fire, kind of bang, that is.  And with a few episodes into season 5, The Walking Dead shows no signs of slowing down.  The Walking Dead has always been full of action and gore, but in past seasons it placed a larger focus on exploring the human condition in relatively speaking, stable locations and settings that
normally lasted the entire season.  This season, however, the show has taken a slightly more adrenaline rush like take on that format by constantly changing the setting and challenges facing Rick and company.  As a result, this season examines the human condition in a much more violent and extreme way than before.  At this point, Rick and Co. are tired of making mistakes and are making decisions with much more precision and finality.  If the first few episodes can be taken as any indication, season 5 of The Walking Dead looks like it will be an exciting, adrenaline filled examination of new and disturbing apocalyptic situations.

Grade: ★★★

The Kooks shine despite abysmal opening acts

Tour name: Listen

Headliner: Priory, Halsey

Artist: The Kooks

Venue: Newport Music Hall

Why you should see this artist: While The Kooks are an indie band, I was not expecting such a small, intimate venue. Although the amount of people stuffed into the tiny music hall may have been a fire hazard, it was definitely worth it. The crowd eagerly waited for the show to begin, when the opening act took the stage. I can honestly say I was bored and unexcited. Priory, the first act, was a very electronic-based band that sang about their love for the weekend and getting paid. I was left irked by this band and their vapid lyrics. After this, when I thought The Kooks would finally make an appearance, another opening band took the stage. This was a band called Halsey, which consisted of one female lead singer and a backup band. While I really tried to like this artist, I couldn’t muster up the energy. They had one or two original songs, with a ridiculous amount of covers that seemed to go on and on. Halsey Taylor, the lead singer, spent a long time rambling on and on about the “new generation”, being “different” and not conforming to society. While I appreciated her energy, her approach to the audience was cliché, over the top and annoying. Finally, after hours of waiting, The Kooks finally made their way onto stage. This is when I felt like the concert truly began. As the type of fan that knows every word to every song, I had so much fun. It was unreal to be so up close and personal with the band. While The Kooks played a lot of their new songs, they also stuck with many of their fan favorites. The set was exciting and well balanced. Luke Pritchard, the front man of the band, truly gave it his all. While there were a few “antics” that the group pulled, they mostly stuck to performing their music to the best of their abilities. The music was authentic, and all of the members of the group gave a great show. The Kooks were so good, that they almost made me forget about the opening acts.

Rating (Out of five stars): ★★★

Photo by Tess Marshall


Taylor Swift shows new pop style in 1989

Album:  1989Taylor-Swift-1989-300x300

Artist:  Taylor Swift

Sound: Electropop, technopop

Why buy it: Swift strays from her past country-pop style – 1989 is an entirely pop album. 1989 shows a more casual side of her, with lyrics that aren’t as meaningful or in heartfelt detail as those previously seen on her last album Red. Swift experimented with many new singing styles and leaves behind her signature acoustic guitar sound. In Wildest Dreams, it seems like she aims for the swoon and “bad boy romance” that Lana Del Rey portrays. Whereas, Bad Blood slightly resembles Avril Lavigne’s distinctive “pop punk” style. Overall, this is a catchy album and a good listen just because it is so different from anything else Swift has produced.

Download This: Blank Space

Grade: ★★★

Ouija shows fictional, real-world horrors

Title: Ouija

Starring: Olivia Cooke, Shelley Hennig, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas
Smith and Bianca A. Santos

Plot:  This film is about a group of friends who try to communicateMV5BMTQ1NzcwMTU5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTE5MzEyMjE@._V1__SX1066_SY803_with their friend Debbie (Shelley Hennig) who recently committed suicide by hanging in her home. Laine (Olivia Cooke) gets the group together to play Ouija and reminds them to never play alone or in a
graveyard. While trying to contact their friend they actually contact D.Z. who was a 10 year old girl murdered by her mother because she was true evil.

Why see it/skip it: If you are a big fan of horror Ouija is a movie to see. The film shows not only the horror of the Ouija board, but also the horror and emotion of losing a family member or close friend to suicide.

Rate:  ★★★

With a Little Help from My Fwends lends Flaming Lips’ twist to Beatles’ sound

flaming lips CD coverAlbum: With a Little Help From My Fwends

Artist: The Flaming Lips

Sound: Alternative

Why buy it: This album is a cover of The Beatles’ Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Even though A Little Help From My Fwends is an entire track-by-track recreation, there is still an obvious sort of originality to the sound. All of the songs are titles that almost, if not everyone, know but The Flaming Lips add their tormented psychedelic sound to build something that sounds like nothing ever heard before. Each song features a guest musician, with artists ranging from Miley Cyrus and Tegan and Sara to My Morning Jacket and Dr. DogThe Flaming Lips’ newest release has something to offer for music fans of many genres. Although the songs are almost unrecognizable due to the drastic genre difference when discussing The Flaming Lips with The Beatles, there is no excuse, especially for this band in particular, to pump out ‘reboots’ of classic albums. Especially when they have been innovating the Alternative music scene since the mid 1980’s. No matter how cheesy this recreation may seem, the album still has that Flaming Lips sound that has been keeping the band alive for over three decades.

Download these: Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! and Lucy in the Sky of Diamonds

Rating: ★★★

Gaines qualifies for Cross-Country State Championship

Junior Isaiah Gaines qualified for the OHSAA State Cross-Country Championship this season.

Gaines at National Trail Raceway on Saturday, November 1st. His time of 16:09 at the regional meet on October 25th qualified him for the state competition. At state, Gaines achieved a time of 16:20 and finished in 47th place.

“We gained a lot of good guys this year who challenged each other and pushed one another to keep battling,” Gaines said. “Many of these gents backed me through the entire season though theirs was officially over, and I love having teammates that care about me as I do them.”