All posts by Megan Kaliszewski

Twenty One Pilots does artistic fantastically

Tyler Joseph and Joshua Dun make up the band, Twenty One Pilots, which can be described by one word: artistic.

The two band members do things a little differently in regards to music and shows; for example, wearing a ski mask while performing as a way to symbolize the removal of the wall in between who we really are and who we portray ourselves to be.

Joseph and Dun refer to their fans as a clique and focus heavily on the needs of their fan base. The duo even went as far as changing their classic, thick line symbol to a thin line, text version because their fans used the text version in their biographies on social media.

Keeping the clique in higher spirits, Twenty One Pilots realizes the impact they can have on the lives of those listening. Joseph writes lyrics which discuss conquering anxiety and depression.

The band has worked on keeping listeners alive and happy since 2009 where Joseph formed a band with Nick Thomas and Chris Salih in Columbus. Salih and Thomas eventually left because of their busy schedules in 2011, which lead Joseph to find current drummer, Dun.

Self­-titled album, “Twenty One Pilots,” was released in 2009 and is the only project Salih and Thomas worked on. The album was independently released and introduces Joseph’s powerful songwriting abilities.

“You like to sleep alone. It’s colder than you know because your skin is so used to colder bones. It’s warmer in the morning than what it is at night. Your bones are held together by your nightmares and your frights,” Joseph wrote in “The Pantaloon.”

These lyrics emphasis the need to address a problem rather than continue to ignore it and allow room for the issue to grow and become worse.

The second album released ceased availability. Titled, “Regional at Best,” the album made an appearance in 2011. “Regional at Best” is commonly known amongst longtime, more dedicated fans because a copy of the album is difficult to find or listen to.

Although “Regional at Best” is hidden among the other albums produced, the songs on the album are the rough drafts of what would soon be remastered and put onto their third album, “Vessel.” A popular song, “Kitchen Sink” was not remastered and features Joseph’s brother, Zack.

“Vessel” was released in 2013 and is the band’s first produced album through a record label, Fueled by Ramen. The label helped the success of Twenty One Pilots expand, but the band remained the same as they were before signing with Fueled by Ramen.

A favored and powerful song on “Vessel” is “Holding on to You.” In this song, Joseph sings of taking control of the demons inside and removing the pain rather than letting the problems take over.

Joseph writes, “Fight it. Take the pain; ignite it. Tie a noose around your mind loose enough to breathe fine and tie it to a tree and tell it, ‘You belong to me. This ain’t a noose. This is lease, and I have news for you: you must obey me.’”

The band is also working on a new album titled, “Blurryface,” which is rumored to explore the darker side of Joseph and Dun. A single, “Fairly Local,” was released recently with the album set to release on May 19.

Following the release of their single, Joseph tweeted, “If you think you know what is coming after hearing one song, nope.”

Twenty One Pilots will start their world tour following the release of “Blurryface” and will play at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus on Sept. 18.

Spirit week supports a good cause

Spirit week is often used to involve students with their school, but Student Council found a way to support a good cause at the same time.

The Battle of the Classes took place during the week of Feb. 9 and involved a competition between all four grade levels. Points were earned by the amount of money donated and the winning of the events.

Events during BOTC were attending the luau, following the BOTC twitter account, being the most spirited in a class, tweeting pictures, an obstacle course, a game of dodgeball and a three-legged race.

Students were allowed told to donate money to the bins in the lobby or the buckets in the lunch room. All of the donations went to the Akron Children’s Hospital Radiothon.

The Radiothon is an opportunity for patients and parents to share their personal stories on a radio station powered by 98.1 WKDD. People could then call and make pledges or school and other groups could make donations.

Those who made pledges were considered Change Bandits and the money contributes to the purchasing of child- size medical equipment and funding research and outreach for the community.

On the first day of the Battle of the Classes, there was a twin day. The next day’s theme was tye-dye, followed by well dressed, Valentine’s Day colors and class color day.

“I like spirit week because I think it is cool to see everyone dress up,” sophomore Lauryn Jones said.

The spirit days were chosen by the members of Student Council after students voted on what they wanted.

“I think spirit week for homecoming is a good idea, but then after I do not like it; however, I do like that we get the choice of the days,” junior Taylor Hostetler said.

Even though students had the ability to vote on the days, some students were still unsatisfied with the choices.

“Yeah I like spirit week, but I wish the days were different,” freshman Abby Johnson said.

Although the spirit week brought attention to a great cause, some students disagreed with the decision.
“The only spirit day I liked was well- groomed Wednesday because I am a fashionable guy, but I do not normally like spirit week. No one participates, and I do not want to go out of my way to buy things for it,” sophomore Andrew Shockling said.

When difficult days to dress for are chosen, sometimes students lose the desire to participate because they would have to go and buy items just for spirit week.

Nonetheless, spirit week still grants the possibility for students to get involved with their school and show their school spirit. Student Council also invited the opportunity to support both the school and a good cause.

Freshman Sophie Press said, “I like spirit weeks because you get involved with the school. You get to see who is involved, and it is just really fun.”

Bon Iver fills the room with poetic melodies

Few bands or solo artists today can make listeners feel as if they are the steady snowfall on Christmas Eve. Bon Iver; however, has this technique mastered

DeYarmond was the name of the band that lead singer and songwriter Justin Vernon played in before Bon Iver. Vernon played with high school friends, but after they relocated to North Carolina, everything had fallen apart.

Altmusic.com said Vernon felt out of place, so he broke up with his band, broke up with his girlfriend and headed back to his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. While searching for himself, naturally, he found haven in a log cabin in the woods where he wrote songs for months.

When Vernon left the cabin, he emerged with his first album called “For Emma, Forever Ago.” The album was released in 2008 and is filled with soft, haunting sounds.

“I crouch like a crow contrast with the snow for the agony I would rather know,” Vernon, in his song “Blindsided”, wrote.

His voice throughout the entirety of the album is beautiful. Vernon has a calm, yet powerful tone that can put anyone to sleep, but still make them think about their life at the same time.

“For Emma, Forever Ago” is full of heartbreak, which makes the album even more significant. Vernon puts his heart on the line for every song he writes and the extreme poetic words of his writing flow perfectly together.

“I was full by your count. Lost, but your fool. Was a long visit wrong?” Vernon sang in “Creature Fear.”

Most people, at least teenagers, are familiar of the song “Skinny Love” covered by Birdy. The cover of the song is beautiful, but the original is written by Bon Iver and comes packed with a sound no other artist can produce.

“Tell my love to wreck it all. Cut out all the ropes and let me fall,” Vernon hauntingly sings in “Skinny Love.”

The second album released is called “Blood Bank.” Released in 2009, the album is shorter and follows “For Emma, Forever Ago” almost perfectly.

Vernon competes with his own lyrics, writing the songs in “Blood Bank” even more powerfully than before. Some songs are open for any interpretation, but others are very black and white.

“When you are out, tell your lucky one to know that you will leave. Don’t you look when you’re fleeing. I’d like not to hear keys,” Vernon sang in “Beach Baby.”

The way he writes brings imagination to the listener, making them feel like they are in the situation or forcing them to relive a past experience all over again.

“And I said I knew it well, the secret that you know but don’t know how to tell,” Vernon sings in “Blood Bank.”
Sadly, the most recent album released by Bon Iver was “Bon Iver” in 2011. This album, thankfully, is much longer than the other two.

Vernon, again, does not disappoint listeners as he belts out ballads with the same, if not more, amount of power and relaxation. He writes songs about truth, but delivers them in such a way no other artist can.

“At once I knew I was not magnificent,” Vernon, in “Holocene”, sang. “High above the highway aisle, jagged vacance and thick with ice, I could see for miles, miles, miles.”

When listening to all three of the albums, the feeling of sorrow and happiness hits listeners like a tidal wave. If there was an award for most poetic song filled with powerful music in the background, Bon Iver, without question, would win.

Vernon sings in “Towers,” “Open ears and open eyes, wake up to your starboard bride who goes in and then stays inside. Oh the demons, they can subside.”

Sleeping at Last provides loud messages, quietly

“Sleeping at Last” is one of those artists who has the power to soothe and relax with a voice.

The powerful albums and EPs are packed with great sounds and only the occasional “skippable” song.

“Though my hands are prone to trial and error, I’m crossing my fingers for something to hold,” Ryan O’Neal sang in his song “Outlines.” O’Neal did indeed find something to hold.

“Sleeping at Last” was created in Chicago in 1999. The band originally had three members: lead singer Ryan O’Neal, drummer Chad O’Neal and bassist Dan Purdue. Purdue and O’Neal later left the band in 2011 to pursue other careers.

Ryan O’Neal; however, never gave up on the band. He adjusted to being the only member, becoming the singer and instrumentalist.

The first album released was called “Capture” in 2000, but it does not exist on iTunes, the band’s website or any popular radio apps such as Spotify or Soundcloud.

At the beginning of their career, while the band still had Chad and Dan, they often opened for other bands, such as “Kill Hannah” and the “Plain White T’s.” They did not seal a record deal until 2002 when Interscope Records’ Billy Corgan signed them.

Their second album, “Ghosts,” was released in 2003 and is considered the band’s first major label debut.

“Say what you really want to say and the truest forms will show. Finally, you will find your soul,” O’Neal, in his song “Say”, sang.

The release of “Ghosts” introduced the sound and focus of the band. O’Neal writes about life and love, while playing calm, indie music in the background.

In 2006, “Sleeping at Last” released a third album titled “Keep No Score.” On this album, O’Neal expanded his songwriting abilities by using powerful imagery. The musical arrangements in the majority of the songs is definitely a highlight of this album.

“They say this place has changed, but strip away all of the technology and you will see that we are all hunters, hunting for something that will make us okay,” O’Neal sang in “Needle and Thread.”

“Storyboards” was released in 2009 with a beautiful water color painting of an owl as the album cover. The painting fit perfectly to the soft and elegant sound of the album.

“As the wrist of an artist pulls the foreground into frame, we must learn to focus all the same,” O’Neal wrote in the song “Timelapse.”

Never failing to impress, O’Neal proceeded to create the Yearbook series in 2011. The series consisted of two or three songs released every month for an entire year. At the end, all of the EPs were compiled into one massive collection filled with beautiful melodies and poetic lyrics.

“Concentration breaks under frivolous weight. If the right words exist, may they find our lips,” O’Neal sang in “Resolve.”

The final albums released were the Atlas series consisting of “Space,” “Land,” “Darkness” and “Light”. The songs on each of the albums hit every aspect of all things happy, intense and curious. Songs on “Space” left listeners with a universe-like feeling and clever lyrics.

“I dig until my shovel tells a secret,” O’Neal wrote in “Earth” from the “Space” album. “I swear to the Earth that I will keep it. Brush off the dirt, and let the change of heart occur,”

 Ryan O’Neal is an artist who has been through a lot, but never gave up on his dream of making music and allowing listeners to feel something more than heavy bass behind useless lyrics.

To take his career even farther, O’Neal has plans of releasing the “Atlas: Year Two” series sometimes this spring.