In this episode, Emma and Annie discuss the fallout of the previous bonfire and everything that transpires after.
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In this episode, Emma and Annie discuss the fallout of the previous bonfire and everything that transpires after.
The Namby Pamby is an alternative band composed of three female artists: McKenna Parks on guitar, Emily Parks on bass, and Payton Knerr on drums. The group was established at the end of 2021 and has been performing since the beginning of 2022. The band agreed to be interviewed over Zoom to talk about themselves and their future plans.
Peacehead is a rock band composed of two band members, Raven Milligan and Aden Johnson. The band started in early 2019, releasing their first album, Escargot, in October 2019. The multi-instrumental duo originally came from Kokomo, Indiana, and are currently playing in the Indianapolis and Muncie areas. Band member, Raven Milligan, agreed to be interviewed about the band and its future.
It is National Hispanic Heritage Month and that means the Spanish music on my playlists will be played nonstop to celebrate. In high school, I asked a friend, who was enrolled in a Spanish course, for music recommendations that she had discovered in her class. After sifting through the songs that she suggested, I added some to a playlist. Slowly, I weeded them out and selected the ones that I thought should make it onto my primary playlist. That’s when I recognized there was one repetitive name—Alvaro Soler. After realizing how much I enjoyed his songs, I did a deep dive to listen to more of his discography and became enamored with his music. His song “Sofia” made it onto my most listened to music on Spotify multiple years in a row. Recently I looked back at his Spotify profile to see if he had released any new music and was not disappointed. On July 9, 2021, Soler released another album titled Magia, that rekindled the magic I felt from falling in love with his previous music years ago.
Right off of Ball State University’s campus sits a small strip of shops. When you scan the stores in this strip, commonly referred to by students as “The Village,” there are bookstores, bars, and pizza joints. But, above a café, lies a hidden gem: Body Language Tattoo. The shop, which opened in 2015, offers tattoos and body piercings.
The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.
by Annie BastianThe opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board. One of the best feelings in the world in finding new music through an artist that you already love. Recently I was listening to songs by the artist eaJ, also known as Jae from the K-pop band Day6, when I came across a collaboration he had done with an artist I had never heard of called Seori, a South Korean R&B artist. Naturally I clicked on the video to listen to it, and it took approximately 30 seconds for me to completely fall in love with her voice. The song “It just is” captured Seori’s dream-like voice that makes you connect to both the song and the emotions that come with realizing you are in love, even if you do not speak Korean. I was hooked and I needed to hear more of her voice.
The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.
by Annie Bastian The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board. As 2020 comes to an end, I realized that even though I have spent more time inside this year than just about any other person, I have yet to read a book. I then decided that my mission for the last month of the year was to read the top books of 2020. I originally planned to space out the reads throughout the month, but due to schedule changes I spent most of the week before Christmas completely immersed in books. I struggled to find a list of top books that I found to be both interesting and credible. I finally stumbled upon the Goodreads Choice Awards 2020. I felt that this reader-based list would be unbiased and reflect the true best reads of the year as it took into account how readers think about the books. When looking through, I found the Young Adult Fiction list to be not only the most interesting to me but it also had all of the books available at my local library. The books seemed to feature both diverse stories and perspectives. I love experiencing a new perspective through the pages of someone else’s story. Clap When You Land [caption id="" align="alignright" width="229"] Image from Amazon[/caption] The winner of the Young Adult Fiction book for 2020 with 39,335 votes was Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. From the very beginning, the book stood out for its writing format. Clap When You Land is a verse novel, which is a book written using poetry. This was hard for me to adjust to at first as I do not read a lot of poetry, but the rhythm of each girls’ voice grew on me. The book is written from the perspective of two young ladies who live very different lives but have one very important thing in common: their father. One of them is from New York and the other is from the Dominican Republic. The differing perspectives created an easy compare and contrast of not only their day-to-day lives, but also how they each grieve for their father. I found the book to be pretty sad, but can definitely see why it was voted as the highest of the young adult fiction category as it was my favorite book that I read on the list. It was a story that felt real and connected the reader with the characters while also presenting a unique writing style and diverse perspectives. And though I won’t spoil it, I enjoyed the ending a lot more than I thought I would. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder [caption id="" align="alignright" width="234"] Image from Amazon[/caption] The second book on the list with 36,285 votes is A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. This is a story of a young girl, Pip, who decides to investigate a murder from five years before as her capstone project. The murder involved the disappearance of a high school girl and then her boyfriend’s dying days later. The murder was pinned on him, but Pip does not think that the evidence adds up. Pip and the alleged murderer’s younger brother, Ravi, team up to investigate. I enjoyed how the author presented certain parts of the book as though the audience is reading her project logs and interview transcript. As for the plot, I was less impressed. I enjoyed the build of the book but found the ending to be a little disappointing. As a “whodunit” mystery, I was hoping the reveal would be satisfying, but I found it to be a little bit of a stretch for me. I was surprised that it was so high up on the list, but that could be due to the characters, who I found quite enjoyable. One of Us is Next [caption id="" align="alignright" width="234"] Image from Amazon[/caption] One of Us is Next is the third book on the list with 34,540 votes, written by Karen M. McManus. As this was the sequel to One of Us is Lying, I chose to read that book first. After reading the first book I was not looking forward to reading the second one. The first book was from the perspectives of four students who witnessed another student die and are then considered suspects for his murder. It follows the four students and what becomes of their lives after these traumatic events and through the investigation. I felt specific parts of the ending were a little too much of a stretch for me. Luckily though, the second book was a lot better. The second book is told from the perspectives of three more students from the same high school years later. All three of them were featured in a school-wide truth or dare game where an anonymous individual targets people and threatens to tell everyone their secrets. I enjoyed all three of the narratives given and found the characters a little more relatable. The plot also felt less predictable compared to the first. I also loved that part of the second book was from Mauve’s perspective who is the sister of Bronwyn, one of the main characters in the first book. It was a nice transition that allowed the books to flow from one to the next. Personally, this book should be above A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder on the ranking. Felix Ever After [caption id="" align="alignright" width="227"] Image from Amazon[/caption] The fourth book on the list is Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender with 24,077 votes. This book is written from the single perspective of Felix and follows him through his struggles of applying for college, navigating love, and accepting himself. I thoroughly enjoyed the viewpoint of the book as I have never read a book from the perspective of a black, queer, transgender teen. The ups and downs of his search for self-discovery were presented with great balance that showed the true turmoil individuals go through when trying to figure out who they are. Though the book didn’t have a lot of action, it wasn’t missed that much. It was one of the slower reads on the list, but it was a read that I felt made me put myself in someone else’s shoes, and therefore felt was worth it. I completely understand why this book was on the list and would rank it higher than fourth. You Should See Me in a Crown [caption id="" align="alignright" width="235"] Image from Amazon[/caption] Last but not least, You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson came in fifth with 22,779 votes. This book follows a teen, Liz, who is trying to chase her dream of becoming a doctor after her mother died and her brother was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. Throughout the book, she is striving to become prom queen, not for popularity, but for a scholarship to be able to go to college. Throughout the book, the reader sees character growth as she climbs the ranks to become the prom queen. This book also is based in Indiana which added a fun connection for those of us from the Hoosier state. The book was enjoyable and took its time to cover many issues that are present and relevant to high schoolers. The book had very few slow points which helped to keep me interested. Though it was aimed at a younger audience than college students, I thought it was a worth-it read. In conclusion... I was surprised by how diverse the reads on the list were. From mystery to realistic, the list was well rounded. It also had perspectives from different genders, sexualities, and races. As a reader, I felt that it gave any reader the opportunity to experience something they would never be able to themselves. Though some of the books fell below my expectations, the list as a whole was well-rounded and a fun way to fill the end of my 2020 year. Sources: Goodreads Images: Amazon Featured Image: Audible
Despite restrictions put in place by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ball State's performing arts have found some ways to still perform for the university audience or just for themselves. In preparation for an upcoming performance, the Ball State Women's Chorus rehearsed the song "Go Where I Send Thee!" a gospel song arranged by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory, conducted by associate professor of music performance Kerry Glann on Nov. 19, 2020. This routine rehearsal was done in a non-routine place, the third floor of the McKinley Parking Garage. [ngg src="galleries" ids="41" display="basic_imagebrowser"]
For anyone looking for new music, I highly recommend checking out Sammy Rae. Last year when I was getting prepared for a long car ride, I reached out to people asking for new music recommendations and a friend of mine told me about Sammy Rae’s EP, The Good Life. I remember that the first song that came on shuffle from the EP was “Kick It to Me.” I was automatically captivated due to the saxophone during the introduction and her unique voice. I vividly remember that when I stopped for gas after hearing it, the first thing I did was text my friend thanking her for telling me about this EP. I then sent the song to my father who used to play saxophone and therefore has a strong appreciation for any music that features one. While stopped, I also queued the rest of the EP on Spotify. I have been in love with Sammy Rae’s music ever since. I am strongly attached to the EP The Good Life, but Sammy Rae also has some other music that is well worth a listen. Unlike some groups where if you’ve heard one song you have heard them all, Sammy Rae keeps the listener interested by reflecting many genres such as jazz, pop, blues, and rock in her music. With a diverse array of genres in her music, every song has a distinctive sound.
by Annie Bastian For anyone looking for new music, I highly recommend checking out Sammy Rae. Last year when I was getting prepared for a long car ride, I reached out to people asking for new music recommendations and a friend of mine told me about Sammy Rae’s EP, The Good Life. I remember that the first song that came on shuffle from the EP was “Kick It to Me.” I was automatically captivated due to the saxophone during the introduction and her unique voice. I vividly remember that when I stopped for gas after hearing it, the first thing I did was text my friend thanking her for telling me about this EP. I then sent the song to my father who used to play saxophone and therefore has a strong appreciation for any music that features one. While stopped, I also queued the rest of the EP on Spotify. I have been in love with Sammy Rae’s music ever since. I am strongly attached to the EP The Good Life, but Sammy Rae also has some other music that is well worth a listen. Unlike some groups where if you’ve heard one song you have heard them all, Sammy Rae keeps the listener interested by reflecting many genres such as jazz, pop, blues, and rock in her music. With a diverse array of genres in her music, every song has a distinctive sound. Who is Sammy Rae? [caption id="" align="alignright" width="393"] Image from Sammy Rae & The Friends[/caption] Sammy Rae, or Samantha Bower, has plenty of music that precedes those on her current Spotify page, due to getting into music at a young age. She began her career by performing at local venues in her home state of Connecticut. Before the age of 18, she had already released 3 LP records that she self-composed. Since then, she has moved to New York to immerse herself in the music scene. She performs her music with a team of rotating musicians, “The Friends” that provide accompaniment in the form of various instruments and backup singing. After some time, she is now signed with Nettwerk Music Group. The Good Life EP and the following single “Saw It Coming” attracted multiple sold-out shows for Sammy Rae & The Friends. These releases got Sammy Rae on the map, or at least on Spotify, and since then she has released six other singles. With COVID-19 limiting some aspects of their engagement with the audience, singles are news that anyone following Sammy Rae looks forward to. Dissecting the discography Sammy Rae’s discography on Spotify may not be the fullest, as it only features her newest EP and a handful of singles, but it is amazing. When you take into account that it is mainly self-produced, it becomes quite an impressive collection of music. In 2018, her first single was released “Kick It to Me”. This is the song that I already mentioned but is still one of my favorite songs that Sammy Rae has released. The song starts out with a saxophone introduction to set the smooth vibe of the song. The lyrics in the first verse of the song introduces the theme of a relationship that has slowly improved to become one of love. Sammy Rae’s smooth tone from the first verse is then interrupted by a more staccato articulation in the hook that adds a nice bounce to the song as it builds moving forward. The lyrics, “You’re gonna bet all of me or none at all,” from the bridge really emphasizes the idea that they had to accept one another to build the comfortable love that they now have. Overall, the song projects a relaxed feeling that never fails to improve my mood. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9PNyzWtM7I&ab_channel=SammyRae Moving forward in her music, a month later Sammy Rae released the EP The Good Life. I personally am obsessed with every single song on this EP, but the first song on the EP “, The Feeling,” is a very interesting listen that I really enjoy playing due to its upbeat, jazzy tone contradicting introspective lyrics. “The Feeling” dives once again into the world of relationships. This song goes back and forth as to whether being in a relationship is worth it and how strong feelings can cause a relationship to get out of hand quickly. In lyrics such as, “When I wanna say my part and then you take it all to heart and then we get on a roll. I wanna get lost in the night,” she emphasizes the want to just feel and not be burdened by a relationship that will end in hurt. The flow and the voice inflections that are utilized in this song are quite uncommon to hear from artists these days, making the song stand out. Since the EP’s release, Sammy Rae has released seven singles. In April, her single “Whatever We Feel” was released. The beginning is her singing while playing the ukulele. With the song striving to have a very playful and lighthearted feel to it, this beginning sets the tone quite nicely. The lyrics that follow are focused on being unapologetically yourself and not worrying about others. This is shown in the chorus with the lyrics, “It’s whatever we feel, it's whatever we want to do. It's the thing I wanna do, it's the thing I wanna do, I'm doing it.” [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="351"] Image from Sammy Rae & The Friends[/caption] To get a full scope of the diversity that Sammy Rae’s music brings to the table it is also worth mentioning that her single was released at the end of August, “Living Room Floor”. This song is a piano ballad that takes the reader through moments in life that are set on a living room floor. The choice of making this song a ballad gives the song a reflective tone, almost like reminiscing on the moments that are being shared. The simplicity of the music allows for the story that is being told to really shine through. Near the end of the song, there is also a moment of acknowledgment of the past and the change to moving forward with the lyrics, “I tell him ‘babe I made this, with my own hands, ain't it something?’ Sitting cross-legged, because we haven’t got a table yet. Saving up, gonna get a few chairs, gonna get a whole set. I’ve got my bed and my closet and a living room floor.” Looking forward to the future With Sammy Rae & The Friends beginning to draw in a larger audience, more people will find her and enjoy her music as much as I do. She has still been releasing music throughout this year, so hopefully, after the pandemic, she can expand even more. I look forward to hearing more from her in the future and I hope that she is able to perform at the dates she has scheduled for April and May of 2021. Sources: Music Connections, Sammy Rae & The Friends Images: Sammy Rae & The Friends, YouTube Featured Image: Soundcloud
by Annie Bastian Nothing beats sitting in a stadium seat and hearing the roar of the crowd, as the floor nearly shakes from the endless stream of fans screaming, cheering, and singing along to their favorite artist. Before 2020, going to concerts was something that countless people across the globe would plan weeks in advance to attend. But as COVID-19 has brought the ability to attend in-person concerts to a halt, the music industry has had to get creative to still connect with their audiences. To overcome this obstacle, many artists have taken to performing live stream concerts online. Recently, South Korean Male Group, BTS, hosted their “Map of the Soul ON:E” shows, which consisted of two pay-per-view online concerts that were live-streamed on back-to-back days. Not Their First Rodeo [caption id="" align="alignright" width="376"] Image from Forbes[/caption] Before the “Map of the Soul ON:E” concert was broadcasted, BTS was a group that already had experience connecting with their fans through the internet. The international boy group had been planning their Map of the Soul world tour that was scheduled to begin in April 2020. As COVID-19 began shutting down international travel, the group, like many other artists at the time, had no choice but to delay their tour. Instead, the group had a 2 night back-to-back free concert weekend where past concerts from their old tours were streamed online for fans to see. This streaming event, called “Bang Bang Con”, consisted of nearly 24 hours worth of concert content in the span of two nights, or days depending on the time zone. After this streaming event, there was also a “Bang Bang Con: The Live” concert which was a pay-per-view concert shown in June. “Bang Bang Con: The Live” set a Guinness World Record for the most viewers for a music concert live stream with 756,000 paid viewers from over 100 countries. As the pandemic dragged on, BTS released the official announcement that they would be having another online concert: “Map of the Soul ON:E”. Originally, there was supposed to be a live component of the concert in Seoul, South Korea but it was canceled once again due to COVID-19 which left the entire event online. The Experience Going into this experience, I was a little hesitant. When concerts were in person, people knew what they were signing up for, and more or less could expect the quality of the performance they were paying for. So as a fan, it was hard to decide whether attending an online concert is worth the money. I have streamed two different free concerts since the beginning of the pandemic just for fun, but have yet to spend money to watch one. As someone who has seen BTS both in an in-person concert and in online concert streams, I had high expectations for the experience. To see for myself, I bought the $45 ticket and woke up bright and early Saturday morning at 6 am to watch BTS’s “Map of the Soul ON:E” day one concert. Two and a half hours of BTS performance later, I closed my computer quite impressed. When I say BTS spared no expense, I mean there was a full-blown carousel on stage for one performance. BTS went above and beyond to make their virtual concert an experience that their fans could enjoy and remember. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="373"] Image from NBC News[/caption] As a fan, it was hard getting into the experience without being in a stadium, but the technology and set pieces that were presented took the viewer to what felt like a different dimension. It was a very different experience without other people. It almost felt like I zoned into my own world watching the performances. Was the concert the exact same as an in-person one? Absolutely not. If it was, the production companies would be charging you a lot more. But as a fan of the group, I would say that it was a worthy experience. The concert was formatted exactly as an in-person concert: the intense dances, outfit changes, and breaks for the artists to talk to the viewers. The only difference was you weren’t actually in the same room. Online concerts take away the feeling of community that comes with being in a stadium filled with other fans, but it still allows the artists to be in touch with the audience. BTS live-streamed some of their fans into the concert venue on screens around the room to fill in for the audience during the concert as well. During the ending song, there were cubes suspended around the room with live videos of fans broadcasted on them. It made for a very whimsically surreal experience as a fan, and I applaud BTS’s team for thinking of such amazing ideas to incorporate fans even though we are in a pandemic. It was also a multi-view stream, so fans were getting not just one view, but six they could choose from to watch. This, along with the rebroadcasting of the performance later that evening, at 10 pm, for those wanting to watch the concert again or who missed it the first time, made the concert worth its money for me. The Takeaway I don’t believe online concerts will ever be as good as an in-person concert, but some may be worth the money that you are paying to stream. If the artists go above and beyond to alter parts of the concert to cater to the distance, it can be a very worthwhile experience. Concerts still allow for a person to have something to do to break apart days that are quickly beginning to blur together in the current pandemic. As a K-pop fan, concerts also allow for fans to see new choreographies and performances. After the two days of concerts, my social media erupted in chaos due to the excitement of having new content from the group. But if you are someone who is just a casual fan of the group and go for the fun atmosphere, online concerts would probably not be very engaging and entertaining. Deciding what draws you to a concert, the performers, or the atmosphere, is definitely the deciding factor on whether online concerts would be an enjoyable experience for you. I would say it is worth it to see the sets, performance, and live music. Not every artist will do their concerts the same way, but I would definitely still attend BTS’s concert if I had to do it all over again Sources: Los Angeles Times, US BTS ARMY Images: Forbes, NBC News Featured Image: Showbiz Cheat Sheet
With COVID-19 cases still high across the nation with nearly 50,000 new cases in the last 7 days, individuals from all walks of life are having to alter their schedules and plans. Coming back to Ball State University this fall has demonstrated that there will have to be a new normal for everyone. It is currently unacceptable to embrace a friend, walk around without a mask, or congregate in large groups. Even though the average person may miss these small gestures, some Ball State students do not have time to dwell on them as their entire academic lives have been turned upside down. One major that has had to do a lot of adapting for the recent semester is the acting major.
by Annie Bastian With COVID-19 cases still high across the nation with nearly 50,000 new cases in the last seven days, individuals from all walks of life are having to alter their schedules and plans. Coming back to Ball State University this fall has demonstrated that there will have to be a new normal for everyone. It is currently unacceptable to embrace a friend, walk around without a mask, or congregate in large groups. Even though the average person may miss these small gestures, some Ball State students do not have time to dwell on them as their entire academic lives have been turned upside down. One major that has had to do a lot of adapting for the recent semester is the acting major. Classroom Change The theatre majors at Ball State are currently having to reconstruct their way of working to accommodate for social distancing. Currently, for the studio classes for acting majors, or classes that they attend for acting work, they are being confined to their own separate boxes. Sophomore acting major Bernadette Harding said, “there are 12 boxes taped out on the ground and each student has to stay in their own tiny box. Everyone else is zoomed into class, which is really tricky because then the teachers have to be teaching two things at the same time sometimes.” With the limited space and availability for social interaction, the students in these classes are having to get creative with how they are learning. Harding expressed that it is not very easy to alter acting classes in such a way that they are as effective as they were for her last year. “Acting is fully based on human interaction and with all that is going on it is something that we can’t do. We are having to work in our own spaces which is great for safety, but it really has its limitations regarding how you interact with others,” said Harding. “When you're acting, you're taking cues from a physical human being, but when you can't see their face, and the only thing that you can see is their eyes, there's lots of emotion you lose.” Even with the tough task put in front of them, the theatre department has attempted to make the classroom a productive environment for their students to grow with quite a lot of success. “Some stuff just doesn't work at all and it's really impossible to do without the natural feeling of touch. It's very strange. But we're finding new stuff that works really well too,” said Harding. Exit Screen Right Along with the changes in the classroom, the productions that theatre majors put on are having to be altered as well. With limited access to space and audiences, the theatre has taken to Zoom for a portion of their performances. Both the preparation for performances and the productions themselves are becoming Zoom-based. The upcoming performance of She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms is scheduled to open on Oct. 29 and will be completely virtual. The production, by Qui Nguyen, was written to be performed online. It was created this way to overcome the obstacles set in place by the current pandemic. Other productions that are being moved online are the Cave Theatre series. Both Overpass by Julia Specht, opening on Oct. 6, and Babel by Jacqueline Goldfinger, opening on Nov. 10, have been arranged to premiere virtually. The Show Must Go On Even as the department is making alterations to do online performances, there is still hope for in-person work as well. While maintaining social distancing rules to keep their actors safe, the department has begun to do both Zoom and in-person rehearsals. Harding gave insight into how the theatre has begun finding creative ways to allow for their actors to interact with one another for her upcoming role as Amelia Pilford in The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman. “As of now we are wearing masks and the stage is set up like a grid. We're doing it in an abstract manner where all the blocking is on this grid. So, one actor stands on an 'X', and then your scene partner will stand on another 'X.' You then travel around the stage, but you have to stay within the grid and on an 'X' so that you maintain social distancing,” said Harding. Though this is not a perfect solution, it allows for the students to get out from behind the screen and work with one another. This new and inventive way of going around a problem has allowed for the program to overcome some of the barriers that were placed before them. Finding solutions is the only choice the theatre has to continue during COVID-19. To help support the theatre department during COVID-19, please take some time and keep an eye open for productions occurring in the near future by going to: https://www.bsu.edu/academics/collegesanddepartments/theatredance/whats-on-stage/season-listing Sources: Ball State University, CDC Images: Ball State Theatre and Dance Featured Image: Ball State Theatre and Dance
Welcome back, witches, to another season of the Coven! Bubbling in the cauldron this week is the controversy engulfing the World Athletics Association and South African Olympic runner, Caster Semenya. Semenya has a condition called Hyperandrogenism which causes higher levels of testosterone. This has caused raised questions surrounding gender identity and regulations surrounding athletes with sex development disorders. What makes a woman a woman? How is this justified through science or societal means? Find out all this and more in this week's episode of The Coven!Hosts: Shwetha Sundarrajan and Annie BastianEdited by: Annie BastianGraphic by: Kellyn Harrison