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Coldplay’s new album ‘Mylo Xyloto’ the next ‘Viva la Vida’?

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mx-EDITEDNearly three years after the release of their album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, Coldplay has produced their fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto.

Coldplay is known for a sound. It’s a sound that their fans crave. It’s a sound that conveys so much emotion that listeners are able to feel exactly what the band wants them to which might just be why they have so many fans. In albums like X & Y and A Rush of Blood to the Head they made such a smooth acoustic sound, which to me is what made all of the songs on them so amazing. The tracks on all albums leading up to Viva la Vida had an honest sound, and fans were able to really feel something.

Viva la Vida introduced a whole other side of Coldplay, and one that fans loved. They produced a much more digital sound, which is completely different from their previous albums. The almost electric sound they produced took me a while to come to terms with, but the more I listened to the album, the more I loved it.

Mylo Xyloto has definitely followed in the footsteps of Viva la Vida. It has an even more digitized sound, which is great but is this really Coldplay? The Coldplay I know and love gives listeners a concert anthem in every song. There are three songs on the album that are under forty five seconds, and don’t get me wrong, they are great melodies but are they really album-worthy? The band is trying new things with this album, but there is nothing wrong with sticking with what works.

Although I was really hoping for a more acoustic sound from the band, I’m not at all disappointed with what they produced. I think “Paradise” is completely genius. From the catchy chorus to the amazing beat to the awesome bass, the song is undeniable. I also think that “Charlie Brown” is a hit. I love how it starts with the empty sound, which then turns into a fast upbeat song. Other songs I like on the album are “Don’t Let it Break Your Heart” and “Moving to Mars”.

This album and I are still going through our awkward phase, but the more I listen to Mylo Xyloto the more I adore it.
 

Chili’s ‘I’m With You’ satisfies after 5 year lull

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ChiliPeppersalbum“I’m With You,” the newest album from our dear friends the Red Hot Chili Peppers kicks off with a seemingly rough start. Track one on the album, “A Monarchy of Roses,” begins with what sounds to be a band tuning their instruments for the first time in years. Judging by the fuzzed out sound and lack of catchiness, it seems as though the Chili’s have lost it. Lead singer Anthony Kedis begins to pour his watery, moaning vocals into the chaos, and then suddenly we are saved by a pounding surge of upbeat guitar and funky bass. A relieved sense of content brings you back down to earth and you hear Kedis’ voice sounding just like we left it.

It has been five years since they blew our minds with 2006’s “Stadium Arcadium,” although this time they’re back with yet another new guitarist. After John Frusciante left the Chilis for the second time in 2009, he was replaced with Josh Klinghoffer who had already spent time playing with them on the road. “Monarchy” continues to please for the rest of its four minutes and we get introduced nicely to Kinghoffer. The rest of the album proves to be conservatively surprising. The band has managed to retain their signature “Freaky Styley” funk-pop style while giving us a new experience and fresh sound that derives from the previous styles of Frusciante.

The newest and youngest member, Klinghoffer, really brings the band to a new place, where they leave the spacey arrangements and commanding guitar sound of Frusciante. While often serving as a subtle background support in the songs, Klinghoffer’s immense range and talent surprised me in almost every song.

From “Factory of Faith,” in which the fractal, spacey guitar meshes perfectly with the mechanical sounding drum and bass combo, to “Meet Me at the Corner,” where the soft voice of Kedis is layered over Klinghoffer’s graceful and pleasantly smooth guitar, it is apparent that the Red Hot Chilis are continuously evolving in their sound and will continue to please their fans.

My Top 3

Ethiopia 

This song begins with a heavy, funk baseline followed by some affected guitar that slides in along with the drums. It sounds like it might have been a song off of “Stadium Arcadium,” except without the high-pitched background vocals or as much spacey guitar. Josh Klingkoffer gets to show off his skills with some Jimmy Hendrix style jamming and a slammin’ bluesy/rock solo. We see the Chili’s ever popular wall of sound effect during the chorus, which fades into the same trippy effected guitar that we hear in the beginning, thus ending the song.

ETHIOPIA

 

“The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”

The single that we all identify this album with, “The Adventures Rain Dance Maggie,” is what seemed to me at first to be a mediocre song. But after secluding myself in my room and listening to it through nice headphones (as opposed to on the radio, stuck in traffic), I really began to appreciate its quality. It’s a fresh style for RHCP, and yet the chorus is so classically them. Flea’s funk/blues style and Klinghoffer’s toying with psychedelic guitar really complement each other nicely.

RAIN

 

“Did I Let You Know”

Klinghoffer’s guitar in this song hit me with the softest and most powerful sense of happiness, which nicely contrasted the loud and excited drums. “Did I Let You Know” invokes images of driving on a summer day with all the windows down. Suddenly it moves into a sassy trumpet line and African sounding drums, only before coming back to the beautiful guitar/vocals combination. We get another guitar solo from Klinghoffer, and the song wraps up with some upbeat guitar and synth parts.

KNOW

 

NOVA Firearms opens in Falls Church

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gun_shop_editThe first Virginia gun shop inside the beltway opening its doors has led to many mixed reactions from Falls Church citizens. NOVA Firearms is located right above Bito’s on Broad Street, across from Famous Dave’s. The week following its opening on October 3, many citizens wrote to the Falls Church News Press editor with concerns that a new gun shop will bring violence to the city. However, in the October 13 edition of the News Press, a Falls Church citizen wrote it is “just another business” and we should not treat them any differently.

Another concern of Falls Church citizens is the risk of guns being brought into the school system. In an email from Falls Church City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones, the gun shop is a legal business and it “does not heighten our concern- or make it easier- for students to bring weapons to school.”

If a student does bring a weapon to school, however, standard School Board policies and Virginia state laws will be enforced. Jones later said that if somebody is seen in possession of a gun within 1,000 feet of any FCCPS property, Falls Church City Police will be called immediately to have the person processed according to the legal system

On a personal note, I don’t see anything wrong with having a gun shop in the Little City. The business is only trying to earn an honest living by selling guns. It doesn’t break any laws and in order to purchase a gun in the state of Virginia, you have to be at least 18 years old so that eliminates chances of most students bringing weapons to school. In addition, there has not been much gun violence in the city over the past several years which means citizens are smart about gun safety and keeping them out of the hands of the wrong people.

Any questions or concerns about gun laws as they relate to FCCPS may be directed Jones directly by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Questions and concerns my also be directed to FCCPS Facilities Supervisor Seve Padilla by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 

No vegetables in ‘healthy’ school lunch

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No-veggies-editedWe had chicken sandwiches for lunch today (October 11, 2011), and yet again there were no vegetables in the little trays above the drinks. As a result of this, many other students tried to go over to the salad bar to add some nutritional value to their meal. They were stopped by the lunch ladies and told you can’t put any lettuce on your sandwich, without buying another lunch.

So we go to a school that prides itself on “healthy” lunches.  Last spring, Falls Church City Public Schools’ “Access to Healthy Meals” program was recognized nationally as a 2011 Magna Award winner by the National School Boards Association, but we can’t add vegetables to our sandwiches (or anything else) without an additional lunch charge, when the tray of one piece of lettuce isn’t available to us? Don’t you think that’s a little strange?

Mr. Kane our Food Service Coordinator, explains, “If you see that there isn’t any lettuce or fruit, etc, then all you have to do is ask the lunch ladies. If we have any more, normally we have tray cooling in the fridge so all you need to do is ask. And if we’re out, then yes, you’re allowed to ask to go to the salad bar. We just don’t like to openly allow this, because you might be honest but some other kids are not and we don’t want them going over there and filling up a whole other tray without paying for it.”

So there you have it from Mr. Kane himself, all you have to do is ask the lunch ladies if they have any more of anything they’re missing at lunch, whether it be fruit or vegetables. Remember, a healthy choice or addition to lunch is only a simple question away.
 

Mastodon releases new album ‘The Hunter’

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Mastodon-The_HunterIf your idea of metal is just bands screaming and yelling, you are wrong. One of metal’s most famous bands, Mastodon, does not worship Satan or just play their guitars fast. They play what people in the metal world know as “Sludge Metal” and “Progressive Metal.”

You may know Mastodon already from their most famous song “Sleeping Giant” off their album “Blood Mountain.” That song has appeared in numerous movies, tv shows, and even was available to play on Guitar Hero.

Mastodon just released their new album “The Hunter,” which is their fifth studio album and their first since 2009 when “Crack the Skye” was released. The album has 15 songs and is almost an hour long.

The album came out to rave reviews from places like CraveOnline.com who gave the album 10/10 and Thrash Hits who gave it a 7/7.

Mike Davis from BBC music said about the album that it "is sure to connect with anyone who’s previously rocked out to the band's wares just as easily as it will absolute beginners."

The general public made it popular also by making it the fifth best selling rock album currently on iTunes.

Although some of their song names are silly like “Octopus Has No Friends” and “Blastroid,” their music is very serious, like their song “All the heavy lifting” which features lyrics like “Just close your eyes. And pretend that everything’s fine” and their song “The Hunter” which has the lyrics “Free from it all, breathe in the darkest fall. We laugh and cry through a brother’s eye for now.”  Their two singles off the album are “Black Tongue” and “Curl of the Burl.”

Their music isn’t dirty at all so parents will appreciate it. The album is labeled under “clean” meaning that there aren’t any curse words or even suggestive themes, which is rare in today’s times when almost every album has a “Parental Advisory” sticker on it.

Mastodon will be coming to Washington D.C. on November 27 at the 9:30 Club.
 

A day in the life: working at the Fall Festival

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fallfestivalphoto2edited

Many of George Mason students have attended the Falls Church Fall Festival through the years. Going about from booth to booth looking for interesting items is almost always fun, but what is it like working in one of those booths? Lasso decided to find out.

Set-Up, Saturday Morning

For those people staffing booths at the Fall Festival, the day starts early--too early. I have to get there at 7:30 a.m. to help get the booth for The League of Women Voters set up, and it is freezing and overcast out. Thankfully, the parking lot by the Community Center is bustling with activity, from vendors rushing about setting up their wares to Special Event Staff helping cars through and giving people directions. The air had a slightly sleepy feeling mixed with excitement. Setting up did not take as long as I had expected--the tent was already up and really all that was left to be done was filling a bowl full of candy for people to take and laying out pamphlets for The League (the non-profit, non-partisan organization running the booth I was assisting. They help people get registered to vote and get more informed on local issues).

Staffing the Booth

Fortunately for the League of Women Voters volunteers, running the booth happens in shifts. My grandmother (the Vice President of the National League) and I get there on time for our 3:00-4:00 p.m. shift and get started. Unfortunately, running a booth is not as exciting as I thought it would be; all I seem to be doing is smiling at strangers and saying hello to the few acquaintances who pass by. Only one person comes to take a serious look. A few kids come by to see if they can have some candy from the bowl, which they can as long as they promise to vote when they turn eighteen! The temperature is also still pretty cold, so I am grateful when a couple other League members arrive to help take the booth down.

Take- Down

Take-down does not take very long, and all I really have to do is put all the pamphlets and papers back in their box and take down the sign. Taking down the table and tents gets left to the adults. People working at the other booths also seem to be in a bit of hurry to take down their booths, but probably nobody is really comfortable in this cold weather.

 

To summarize, working at a Fall Festival booth might be relatively interesting if I were selling stuff instead of membership, but the cold was somewhat unpleasant, and I am not sure if it is an experience I would like to repeat.
 

Is it fair that eighth-graders get lockers first?

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8th-grade-lockers-MI-004-Edited

At the beginning of a new school year, students feel a renewed sense of excitement for new classes, new people, more privileges, and getting a new locker.

In the past locker assignments have been assigned by grade-- seniors, of course, get first pick, and eighth-graders get dead last. However, that recently changed when we found out that the eighth graders got their lockers first this year. Not only did they get lockers first, they got them in the most popular hallway that almost everyone in the school wants.

Is this fair? Personally I would say no. As an eighth-grader I did not get my locker before school, in fact, like everyone else in my grade, I got my locker last.

While most upperclassmen agreed with me, a few, such as senior Christina Park, said that they “don’t mind because it helps [the eighth-graders] get more comfortable.”

 

Most of us had a very different point of view, however, such as senior Sarah Sarkar who complained that the seniors “never got [theirs] first. I’ve been waiting my whole life to get senior privileges and once it was finally time, the eighth-graders got first priority!”

 

Juniors Jeremy Brown and Sumner Askin had similar feelings saying that “they don’t deserve them. They don’t even take real classes” and “they don’t need a big locker for three binders” referring to their homework and class load.

 

Even the sophomores and freshman had negative feelings towards the eighth-graders getting their lockers first.

“They didn’t do that for us” said sophomore Sally Karstens.

 

Freshman Alfonoso Banks voiced his and his friend’s opinion on the subject saying that “it’s not fair because we’re older than them!”

 

Principal Mr. Ty Byrd claims that “the eighth-graders need their lockers sooner than others. They’re small kids and they need to alleviate physical strain on their bodies. We also want to make them feel more comfortable in the new environment.”

I can see where Byrd is coming from, however, can’t we make them feel more comfortable by Mr. Block’s room or the science wing? Giving the eighth-graders the best lockers when they’re at the bottom of the ‘food chain’ is annoying and an inconvenience to all the other grades above.
 
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