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Check out the new album review this week:

U2 – “Songs of Innocence”

U2 “Songs of Innocence”

By: Emily Roux

U2 releases their first album for the first time in five years. The album is titled “Songs of Innocence”. Being a die-hard U2 fan myself, the day the surprise album was released, I almost fainted. When I found out the album was free, I almost peed myself. I was very excited to hear that after five years that the band was ready to come out with another album. I was not disappointed. The album is really good. It takes me back to their earlier albums. One problem with U2 album sales in the last couple of years is that the music is not relatable by the new generation of music lovers. It has been a long time since the release of their iconic album “The Joshua Tree” in 1987. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched “Where the Streets Have No Name” music video of the band performing on top of a liquor store in Los Angeles (a la The Beatles), for which they did so without a permit. That video is legendary and possibly the biggest of the entire career of the band. Even most people in my generation have seen the video.

U2 needed to do something that could draw in a new audience, so they decided to team up with Apple. For the release of the iPhone 6, U2 had their new album automatically download to everyone’s iCloud. Genius! Now some 33 million people have listened to the album thanks to the amazing marketing move. Some say the move is too intrusive, but I think that it is pretty incredible that U2 spent time and money to make this new album and they are giving it away for free. That says something about the band: they care. They care about their fans and the music, which is more than I can say for most of the new artists of today.

The album has so much to offer. From the incredibly honest vocals to the ridiculous drumming and incredible guitar all tied together with their signature sound. After listening to the songs that include “Iris (Hold Me Close),” a tribute to Bono’s mother, and “Song for Someone,” a heartwarming song of love and life, if I had to say one thing about this album I would say that U2 still has it. They continue to be one of the world’s best rock bands ever and one of the most genuine. If you have not checked the new album out, I suggest you do. You will not regret it. The album is free until October 13, 2014 so go download it while you can.

- Emily Roux

G-Unit – “The Beauty of Independence”

G-Unit “The Beauty of Independence”

By: Jeff Burnett

After being on hiatus for more than six years, the infamous rap group G-Unit returns to the rap game with their newly released EP: “The Beauty of Independence” courtesy of G-Unit Records. The EP was released at midnight on Aug. 25 to digital outlets without any major label push, promotion or radio play. All original members of the group (50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck and Tony Yayo) appear on the EP with the addition of a new member to the group Kidd Kidd.

“The Beauty of Independence” revises the group’s renowned rap style of gritty beats and grimy lyrics. Each member brings back their individual styles that cohesively make the EP come together. The G-Unit general 50 Cent delivers his slurred laid back flow, combined with Lloyd Banks’ relaxed approach. Young Buck brings his energetic southern style, while Tony Yayo steps up his overall skill for the project. Kidd Kidd does not really add anything unique to the group or the EP. His rap style is basic, his flow is watered down and he does not showcase any kind of lyrical ability.

The six-song project comes across more like a mixtape than an actual EP, because of its low production value, simplistic hooks, and average rap song subjects. However, the EP does offer a change of pace in the current hip hop environment, which draws the group’s focus back to street centered songs about gangster life, hustling and drug dealing. The group does take a different approach with the song “Changes,” which talks about how people in the music industry have turned their backs on the group. It also gives some insight into the troubles each member has gone through while being on hiatus.

In the past several years, numerous stories had surfaced about inner turmoil amongst the group. The group recently shocked fans when the now five member group appeared at this year’s HOT 97 “Summer Jam” concert in New York, N.Y. Shortly after the reunion, the group released a new song titled “Nah I’m Talking Bout,” which generated moderate attention from long awaited fans. Additionally, the song is not featured on the EP.

-       Jeff Burnett

Rating: 6/10

Recommended tracks: “Changes” and “The Plug”

Christina Perri: Head or Heart

             Christina Perri broke out with some of the most depressingly beautiful ballads on her debut album, lovestrong.  The Philadelphia native was destined for the artist lifestyle taking after her brother Nick, who has played with the likes of Perry Farrell and Shinedown.  When she first began learning the piano, she claims that her songs were written almost organically.  The immediate response from her first single, “Jar of Hearts” sprung a record deal with Atlantic.  Since then, Perri has been capturing the hearts of her fans by seemingly taking her diary entries riddled with her personal demons and planting them to grow into artistic success and inspiration.

The biggest concern was whether or not the sophomore release would be another set of songs subliminally bashing the same ostracized lover.  Fans have been taken on an exciting journey in anticipation for the release of Head or Heart.  Now they must prepare themselves for the emotional journey.  She mixes her love-note ballads with upbeat new tracks like the roaring “Burning Gold” and the positively quirky duet with Ed Sheeren, “Be My Forever”.  Perri goes back to the well with the first single “Human” and the newest gut-wrenching tune “Sea of Lovers”.  Industry experts are quickly realizing that she may be most effective when it involves an unplugged piano and her engaging melodies.

Perri has incredible control over her voice and how she chooses to utilize it in her recordings.  In a moment’s notice, she can change volume, tone, or pitch angelically and open up her virtual basket of feelings.  This transfers over to the mixture of the album when Perri introduces her triumphant expressionist style and poetic motivation.  Most artists that deliver smash hits on their first time around crumble under the pressure of failing to freshen their sound and cash in on short-lived stardom.  She claimed new territory with this album and solidified her ability to tell a balanced and beautiful story.


Rating: 8/10

Recommended Tracks: “Burning Gold”, “Be My Forever”, “Sea of Lovers”


Check out all our album reviews!


Area concerts happening in your neck of the woods!

Avicii “#TRUETOUR”



Allstate Arena

6920 North Mannheim Road

Rosemont, IL 60018

Doors Open: 7:30pm

For Tickets Click, HERE.

The Avett Brothers- February 13, 2014


U.S. Cellular Coliseum

101 South Madison Street

Bloomington, IL


Doors Open: 6:30pm

Show Starts: 8:00pm

For Tickets, click HERE

Yellowcard: Ocean Avenue Acoustic




Castle Theatre

209 E. Washington Street

Bloomington, IL

Doors Open: 7:00pn

Show Starts: 8:00pm

For Tickets, click HERE

We The Kings



We The Kings

w/ This Century & Crash The Party

The Castle Theater

Bloomington, IL

Doors: 7:00 p.m.

Show: 7:30 p.m.

For Tickets, Click HERE

‘Chicago’ – Live In Concert


Chicago – Live In Concert

January 29th, 2014 @ 7:30 PM

U.S. Cellular Coliseum

101 South Madison Street

Bloomington, IL

Doors Open: 6:30pm

Show Starts: 7:30pm

For Tickets, click HERE

Full Concert Calendar

Request Line:
(309) 438 -1033

Main Office:
(309) 438 -5491

Fell Hall 007

ISU Festival of India

NORMAL- Festival of India brings culture to Illinois State campus.

The quad  will be multicultural this Saturday as the McLean County India Association is bringing the Festival of India to campus. The festival will take place from noon to 6p.m. on the quad of ISU Saturday, and is free and open to the public.

The MCIA brings this cultural event to ISU every year, and is used for having fun while promoting Indian culture and values to the local community.  The festival will showcase Indian culture to the fullest, and give visitors the chance to learn what makes the country unique.

Festival of India will offer Indian food, demonstrate Pranayama-style yoga and traditional folk dances, as well as a parade of Indian states, and many more fun activities.

Late-night bus driver charged with DUI

NORMAL- A Bloomington man has been charged with aggravated DUI early Sunday morning.

Bob’s Blue Night Limo bus driver, Stephen McKenna, was driving downtown around 2:30a.m. when the Bloomington police department was called.

Reports state that multiple people were chasing after the bus banging on its sides while the doors were open.

The driver struck a guy wire for a utility pole, just before police approached the bus.

A breathalyzer test revealed he had a blood alcohol content of .175.

Mckenna is being charged with aggravated DUI.


Possible study of Industrial Hemp

NORMAL- Universities and the Illinois Department of Agriculture may be allowed  to study industrial hemp due to a law signed by Governor Pat Quinn.

Quinn announced his signing of the law on Tuesday, that states an institution of higher education or the state’s Agriculture Department can study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of hemp.

There are similar programs in many different states because Hemp can be used in the production of plastics, fuel, textiles and food.

The law will take effect in January for the state of Illinois.

Check Out Our News Stories

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Redbirds Take Down Panthers in Family Weekend Matchup


NORMAL – The Illinois State Redbirds improved to 2-0 on the season with a dominant 34-15 win over the Eastern Illinois Panthers in the 103rd Mid America Classic. Quarterback Tre Roberson and wide receiver Lechein Neblett had a huge game, teaming up for two touchdowns and the Redbirds improved to 53-41-9 in their series with Eastern Illinois.

A packed Hancock Stadium was treated to a show on ISU’s Family Weekend. The Redbird defense came away with three interceptions and a fumble recovery in the matchup. Meanwhile the ISU offense got to work as quarterback Tre Roberson threw for two touchdowns, and running back Marshaun Coprich rushed for 106 yards on 21 carries.

The Redbirds got off to a quick start, scoring on their first offensive drive of the game. Coprich ran the ball six times for 56 yards, and capped off the drive with his first touchdown of the game. Lechein Neblett ended up with three receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns, as he repeatedly scorched the Eastern Illinois secondary.

A two-quarterback system by Eastern Illinois did not fool the Redbird defense that shut down the Panthers for most of the game.

The Redbirds will be back in action on September 27, when they host the Austin Peay Governors.

ISU’s Dana Ford headed to Tennessee State


FordNASHVILLE – Tennessee State has hired Illinois State assistant coach Dana Ford as its men’s basketball head coach. He takes over for Travis Williams, who was fired last month after going 23-40 in two seasons. Tennessee State went 5-25 this season.

Tennessee State said in a statement Monday that Ford would be introduced at a news conference later in the day, Monday. Ford worked at Tennessee State from 2009-11 as an assistant under former coach John Cooper. Williams became coach in 2012 after Cooper left for Miami Ohio.

Ford spent the 2011-12 season as an assistant at Wichita State and has been at Illinois State his last two seasons. Ford played at Illinois State from 2002-06.

ISU Golf Gains Momentum

NORMAL – The Illinois State men’s golf team grabbed some momentum moving towards the Missouri Valley Championship earlier this week. The Redbirds took third place as a team at the 21-team ASU Red Wolf Intercollegiate with a score of 878 (306-283-289). 

Tyler Gentilella led the team by playing the final two rounds at 4-under-par after an opening round 77. Gentilella finished tied for third place overall with a score of 215. Parker Freiburg finished not too far behind with a score of 218, good for eighth place overall.

Head coach Ray Kralis was pleased with the performances from his top two performers and hopes to see it carry over in the coming weeks.

“I thought we finished the tournament in strong fashion and can take many positives going forward,” Kralis said. “In both the second and third round, we played well as a team with some solid individual performances. Top 10 finishes are not easy to come by in fields this size, and both Tyler and Parker were right there in the hunt finishing third and eighth respectively.

The Redbirds added two more top 20 finishers with scores of 222 and 223 from Jordan Fahel (t-18th) and Wils Hawn (t-20th), respectively. Kyle Meihofer finished with a score of 242 to round out the team score. Christian Crabill also competed as an individual and finished with a score of 236.

The Redbirds won’t have much of a layoff, as they will be right back on the course this weekend at the Hoosier Invitational in Bloomington, Ind., which will be the final tune-up before the MVC Championship at the end of the month.

“Going forward, we need to be more consistent over all three rounds and need some help from the 5th spot,” Kralis added. “But I like where we are at going into Indiana to finish the regular season.”

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Teacher Gives Non-Alcoholic Beer to Students *Idiot of the Week Nomination*


The teacher was trying to teach his students that people used to drink alcohol instead of water because their water was tainted.  Makes sense to tell your students about this, but you don’t need them to know how alcohol taste.  It is irresponsible as a teacher and adult.

Cruising Down the Street

Starting Monday you can rent a bike from the Student Fitness Center.

Full Story Here.

Would You Buy A Dog For 2 Million Dollars?

In China, a new craze has started for purchasing Tibetan Mastiff puppy.  They go for 1 to 2 million dollars.

I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much money on ANYTHING! How about you?

Full Story Here.

Lorde Wants Fans To Kiss Westboro Baptist Church

Taking to Twitter Lorde wants her fans to show their support for same sex marriage and kiss her protesters.

The church recently remade Lorde’s hit “Royals” and plan to protest her concert tomorrow in Kansas City.  At least some people will have fun…

Full Story Here.