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Check out the new album review this week:

Kenny Chesney – The Big Revival

The Big Revival

Jeff Burnett

Kenny Chesney brings a “Big Revival” to country music with the release of his sixteenth studio album: “The Big Revival”, courtesy of Blue Chair/Columbia Nashville Records on Sept. 23.

The “American Kids” singer is a country superstar to say the least. Chesney has been a staple in country music with a career spanning over two decades. He has released seven No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 and 23 singles reaching No .1 across multiple country charts. Regardless of his success, there is nothing standard about him or his albums. He takes each album down a different road, turning in different directions that offer something new and refreshing at each destination.

“The Big Revival” gives deliverance to country music by offering a collection of songs that combine each area of country music. The album has its roots set in country folk and classic country, but grows into a multifaceted endeavor. He delivers a solid release that is filled with sing-along party songs that his fans love to hear, while seamlessly incorporating some ballads that balance out the album’s pace. The new release is a free flowing project that offers more variety to fans, which not only showcases his versatility as a country singer, but also depth as an artist.

Chesney’s last two studio albums were considered commercial disappointments by fans and critics alike. “Welcome to the Fishbowl” (2012) and “Life on a Rock” (2013) did not connect well with fans. The direction of the albums focused on his party-like persona and beach-bum country tunes that did not feature any variation to his music. He has revitalized his image on “The Big Revival”, by pulling back on his signature “bro-country” songs, and segueing into a contemporary country sound that both fans and new listeners will enjoy.

The album features the hit single “American Kids”, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. Country Airplay and No. 2 on the Hot Country Songs. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Top Country Albums. It marks the tenth consecutive album that Chesney has debuted in the top three positions and No. 1 of the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts, respectively. The album went on to sell over 100,000 copies in its first week.

– Jeff Burnett

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Songs: “The Big Revival,” “Beer Can Chicken” and “American Kids”

Taylor Swift – 1989

1989

by Katie Bourg

Each Taylor Swift album tells a story that’s different from the next. Her eponymous debut album tells the story of a young girl wide eyed and curious about what the world has to offer.. Fearless was about living in this whimsical fairytale unafraid of what life had to throw. Speak Now tells the story of a hopeless romantic, holding out for a charming leading man to whisk her away. Red tells the story of an intense love that was lost but not forgotten. Now we come to 1989 and not only is this a new officially pop Taylor Swift, but it also tells a new story, a story of a young woman finally coming into her own and being comfortable with who she is.

1989, the year Taylor Swift was born, has many musical elements that give off a late 80’s pop vibe. For example, “Out of the Woods” sounds like a track off of a John Hughes movie and “This Love”, one of Swift’s strongest tracks, takes influence of some of the very early power ballads of the late 80’s. She’s not only inspired by the 80’s, but she’s taken influence from her new home, New York City. In the opener, “Welcome to New York”, she declares that “it’s a new soundtrack”, indicating that she has shed the country pop cutie image she has built for herself and now she’s a new woman, living a very comfortable and happy life in the Big Apple.

One question that Taylor dares to ask throughout this album is, can we change? At points, you can’t figure out if she may or may not be still the bitter young woman that the media has painted her out to be like with “Bad Blood” a scathing track about a frienemy, presumably Katy Perry. Then you wonder if she’s not still hoping for love with “Stay”, a track about a love lost. But then you hear her singing about how haters will hate in the catchy “Shake It Off” in which she swears that she’s over all the naysayers and the critics. Perhaps we can change but sometimes there are things that will stay the same.

1989 is a statement to those who think that all Taylor writes about is love songs about exes. Instead, this is about being in love with yourself before being in love with anyone else. 1989 is about coming alive and finding happiness in a world where you don’t necessarily have to be in love.

Grade: 9/10

Best Tracks: “This Love”, “That’s How You Get the Girl”, “Welcome to New York”, “Out of the Woods”

Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In The End

Weezer: Everything Will Be Alright In The End

By: John Hummel

       This month, Weezer’s new album, “Everything Will Be Alright In The End,” was released, and the band has not been quiet about it. Weezer has released two singles over the past few months, “Back to the Shack,” and “Cleopatra,” and a music video for “Back to the Shack” was released also. The album is now streaming via iTunes Radio.

            The album is strong the whole way through. The opening track, “Ain’t Got Nobody,” is a straight up loud, guitar driven song. “Lonely Girl” sounds like a blend of sounds from the “Blue” and “Green” albums. “The British Are Coming” is an interesting song, and if I’m not mistaken, is actually about the American Revolution. “Go Away” is a duet between lead singer Rivers Cuomo and guest vocalist Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast. Overall, each track is solid in its own unique way.

            However, while the musicianship of this album is great, the main thing I loved about these tracks is that they are not another weird Rivers Cuomo experiment, they gave the fans what they want: a rock album. The evidence is pretty plain. Right in the first verse of “Back to the Shack,” Cuomo sings, “maybe I should play the lead guitar and Pat should play the drums.”

YES! FINALLY! After putting up with “experimental” albums such as 2009’s “Raditude,” and pretty much everything after that album, Weezer has finally listened to their fans and given them what they wanted! All we wanted to do is, as the “Shack” lyric says, rock “like it’s ’94.”

All of which prompts the question: why don’t other bands get back to their roots? Too many bands that we love take a bad turn, and they almost always refuse to go back to the sound that made us love them in the first place.

Remember Metallica’s 2008 album “Death Magnetic?” If you don’t, I can’t really blame you. As pretty much any Metallica fan will tell you, Metallica hasn’t been much good since 1988’s “…And Justice For All,” or maybe their 1991 self-titled album, “The Black Album.”

But when Metallica announced that they were getting back to their roots with “Death Magnetic,” their fans, myself included, were excited. We wanted classic, head-bangin’ Metallica. We wanted tracks with fast riffs and loud guitars like “Master of Puppets” and “Seek And Destroy.” We wanted interesting ballads that started slow and somber, but sounded like a bat out of hell by the end, such as “One” and “Fade To Black.” In the event, what we got was more generic, over-produced crap. More dull guitar parts and weak vocals. Oh well.

So maybe Weezer isn’t the only band to acknowledge that they strayed from the sound that got them where they are today. But they are the only band that comes to mind which have been actually successful at going back to their classic sound.

To give Metallica some credit, it’s probably harder than it looks. These are middle aged dudes trying to write music like they’re 20 again. But whatever the secret is to getting back to your old sound, Weezer found it.

My only hope is that Pink Floyd takes note for their new album for November, “The Endless River.”

So I applaud you, Weezer, for actually listening to the people who supported you over the years. Thank you for not giving the fans another “what were they thinking?” album, and getting back to the sound that made us love you in the first place. To anyone that thought that Weezer had lost it over the years, “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” begs to differ.


Check out all our album reviews!

 

Area concerts happening in your neck of the woods!


Eric Church: The Outsiders World Tour

ECConcert

Eric Church: The Outsiders World Tour

The Peoria Civic Center Arena at 7:00 P.M.

201 SW Jefferson St., Peoria, IL 61602

November 21, 2014.

Ticket prices are $25, 39.50, and $59.50

http://www.ticketmaster.com/eric-church-the-outsiders-world-peoria-illinois-11-21-2014/event/07004C90B1835A8D?artistid=1020885&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=2

 

 

 

The Avett Brothers- February 13, 2014

913497ce27b5389900248b0919d7a9ae_w616

U.S. Cellular Coliseum

101 South Madison Street

Bloomington, IL

(309)-434-2843

Doors Open: 6:30pm

Show Starts: 8:00pm

For Tickets, click HERE

Yellowcard: Ocean Avenue Acoustic

27-emd

 

Yellowcard

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

 

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

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

Location:
Fell Hall 007


ISU student assaulted near Vrooman Center on Tuesday

NORMAL-An ISU student was allegedly  assaulted near the Vrooman Center on Mulberry Street, Tuesday March 24. The victim was approached by four unknown male suspects who repeatedly struck him in the face, stole his cell phone and fled the scene.  The victim has minor injuries and refused medical treatment.

This incident remains under investigation by the Illinois State University Police Department. Anyone with information can contact the ISU police department at (309) 438-8631.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1000 for information that would lead to the arrest of these offenders. Contact McLean County Crime Stoppers at (309) 828-1111.

 

Two ISU Softball Players took MVC POW Awards

NORMAL- Annie Heineman was named player of the week, and Sara Finck was named newcomer of the week. Heinemen hit .550 throughout seven games, finishing the week 11-20. The sophomore has been a constant leadoff hitter for ISU all season.

Fink had four starts during the week, finishing with a 3-1 record. Fink threw 27 2/3 innings, gave up 26 hits, and finished with a 2.28 earned run average.

This is the Redbirds third player of the week award this season. ISU will play next at Indiana State this weekend for a three-game series.

Governor Rauner Discusses Economy in Livingston County

NORMAL- Gov. Rauner was in Livingston County yesterday to discuss the economy.

The governor addressed pension reform and the need to grow the Illinois economy. Rich Burbridge, CEO of the Pontiac area  Chamber of Commerce was happy with Rauner’s suggestions, but wish he also addressed workers compensation.

State Senator Jackson Barickman of Bloomington is excited to see the governor showing interest in the political process.

State Rep. Tom Bennett of Watseka is optimistic the governor will make good things happen for Illinois.


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Women’s Golf Takes 12th at Bearcat Spring Classic

HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla – The Illinois State Women’s Golf team completed the Bearcat Spring Classic Sunday finishing in 12th place out of 17 total teams with a team score of 953 (319-318-316). Senior Lauren English led the Redbirds by finishing in a tie for 28th place overall and entering the clubhouse with a three-day score of 235 (78-80-77).

Also a senior, Brianna Cooper finished just a few strokes back of English with posting a 239 (80-80-79), which was good enough or a 48th place tie. Just behind Cooper, Freshman Abby Luchtenburg finished with a  three-round total 241 (81-78-82) and was followed by the other freshman on the team, Kiley Walsh, who came in with a 243 (80-85-78).

Rounding out the Redbirds roster was Hayley Guyton who finished the tournament with a 264 (97-80-87). Sophomore Renee Solberg competed for the Redbirds as an individual this weekend and finished with a three-round total of 254 (84-81-89).

Taking home first place in the team race was Memphis with a 892 (298-304-290). Memphis was followed by Jacksonville (892) and Seminole State (923).

The Redbirds are back in action on March 30 and 31 as they travel to Maumelle, Arkansas for the UALR/ASU Invitational in their last tournament before the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament which will be held on April 19-21 in Burlington, Iowa.

Thunder survive late charge, defeat Team USA 2-1

NORMAL- With all of the player’s parents in attendance during “Parent’s Night,” the Bloomington Thunder gave an effort sure to make them all proud as they edged out the United States U-17 Junior Team 2-1 last night at the US Cellular Coliseum.

Despite both teams only combining for 12 shots in the first period, the Thunder ended the first third of the game up 2-0. Nikolas Koberstein got the scoring started when he scored five-hole after receiving an accurate pass from Jacob Slaker during an odd man rush. But the highlight of the night came exactly 14 minutes later, courtesy of Thunder rookie Mitchell Mattson.

Mattson, who started in only his 6th career USHL game last night, scored his first career goal on the power play after finding the loose puck in the slot and firing it past Team USA goalie Michael Lackey. It was an extremely rewarding result for the University of North Dakota prospect, who was forced to quickly transition from playing high school hockey in Grand Rapids Minnesota to junior hockey here in Bloomington.

“It always feels good to get your first goal,” said Mattson after the game. “It’s been a tough transition from high school to the USHL. It’s a lot different, a lot faster and stronger players here. But the guys on the team have been great and it’s been a good experience so far.”

After a scoreless second period, the Thunder experienced a late scare when Joey Anderson scored a power play goal for Team USA with just over ten minutes to go in the third to make it a 2-1 game. But despite multiple opportunities for US Juniors, Bloomington goalie Logan Halladay stopped every shot he faced after that for both a 19 save victory and a well deserved third star in the game.

With only seven games remaining in the season, the Thunder now begin a six game road trip this Wednesday night when they head up north to Green Bay to face the Gamblers.  Every game counts now as Bloomington sits 11 points behind the Muskegon Lumberjacks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Puck drop for Wednesday’s game will be at 7:05 pm.

Two ISU Softball Players took MVC POW Awards

NORMAL- Annie Heineman was named player of the week, and Sara Finck was named newcomer of the week. Heinemen hit .550 throughout seven games, finishing the week 11-20. The sophomore has been a constant leadoff hitter for ISU all season.

Fink had four starts during the week, finishing with a 3-1 record. Fink threw 27 2/3 innings, gave up 26 hits, and finished with a 2.28 earned run average.

This is the Redbirds third player of the week award this season. ISU will play next at Indiana State this weekend for a three-game series.



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ISU student assaulted near Vrooman Center on Tuesday

NORMAL-An ISU student was allegedly  assaulted near the Vrooman Center on Mulberry Street, Tuesday March 24. The victim was approached by four unknown male suspects who repeatedly struck him in the face, stole his cell phone and fled the scene.  The victim has minor injuries and refused medical treatment.

This incident remains under investigation by the Illinois State University Police Department. Anyone with information can contact the ISU police department at (309) 438-8631.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1000 for information that would lead to the arrest of these offenders. Contact McLean County Crime Stoppers at (309) 828-1111.

 

Two ISU Softball Players took MVC POW Awards

NORMAL- Annie Heineman was named player of the week, and Sara Finck was named newcomer of the week. Heinemen hit .550 throughout seven games, finishing the week 11-20. The sophomore has been a constant leadoff hitter for ISU all season.

Fink had four starts during the week, finishing with a 3-1 record. Fink threw 27 2/3 innings, gave up 26 hits, and finished with a 2.28 earned run average.

This is the Redbirds third player of the week award this season. ISU will play next at Indiana State this weekend for a three-game series.

Governor Rauner Discusses Economy in Livingston County

NORMAL- Gov. Rauner was in Livingston County yesterday to discuss the economy.

The governor addressed pension reform and the need to grow the Illinois economy. Rich Burbridge, CEO of the Pontiac area  Chamber of Commerce was happy with Rauner’s suggestions, but wish he also addressed workers compensation.

State Senator Jackson Barickman of Bloomington is excited to see the governor showing interest in the political process.

State Rep. Tom Bennett of Watseka is optimistic the governor will make good things happen for Illinois.

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

WHY WOULD YOU THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA!

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.