Basic Vacation

by Jocelyn Suarez, Staff Writer

Basic Vacation, a trio of boys from New York City, have hit the ground running with their debut self titled EP. With only 5 songs this mashup of men have created a fresh sound of happy go-lucky lyrics and alternative pop rock with just enough synthesizer to feel the electro in the songs. This electrifying pop-rock has captivated many with “I Believe” and “Jamie”. The album, released from the famous Capitol Records, is just a taste of what this band can become.The band is formed by Chris Greatti, Vocalist/Guitarist, bassist John Paul, and drummer Mike Montalbano. The three, from separate states, formed a strong friendship when Chris (from PA) met Jon (from FL) and Mike (from NJ) was asked to join. The three bonded over their musical roots, from bands such as Led Zeppelin and Queen, to bands that share their genre like The Killers and Foster the People. While taking inspiration from 80’s New Wave, Classic Rock, and Alternative pop- rock, Basic Vacation has actually popped onto the scene. No surprise with help from a wonderful producer, Grammy-nominated Machine and Jon Kaplan. The EP was recorded with David Kahne, and for all the lyric lovers out there, each song is written by Chris Greatti with others from the band and outside as well.

    Basic Vacation is scheduled for a much anticipated full length album the soon approaching 2014 year, and will be in Los Angeles January 27th at The Satellite. Tickets on their website: Also, if you check on itunes each song is only 69 cents for December!

Basic Vacation – I Believe (Audio)

Who Killed Laura Palmer?

Jocelyn Suarez, Staff Writer

           If you’ve been on the radio in the past year, you’ve heard Bastille’s single: “Pompeii.” Bastille is definitely one of 2013’s hot new bands, hailing from London, England. Pronounced Ba-Still, the band is composed of Daniel Smith, Chris Wood, William Farquarson, and Kyle Simmons. Bastille, known as BΔSTILLE is named after Bastille Day, an English holiday celebrated on Dan Smith’s birthday: July 14th. The band fuses contemporary indie rock with singer songwriter qualities that bring a fusion of pop, indie, and delicate yet strong vocals. Their debut album, Bad Blood has great pop singles like “Pompeii” and “Things We Lost In the Fire” with wonderful indie rock such as Icarus and Bad Blood. Bands such as Holy Fire and The Vaccines are similar and share the indie rock genre but no other can quite replicate the unique sound Bastille has created through their use of synth, vocals, and guitars.

          One of the taglines for the bands is “I Killed Laura Palmer,” a reference to the song Laura Palmer off the Bad Blood album which is a reference to the 90’s TV show Twin Peaks. Bad Blood, released September 3rd of this year ,was recently released in an extended version with remixes by RAC, Tyde, and Distance. Bastille’s album is on iTunes for $7.99 and the remix EP for the same price. Six music videos have been released by Bastille, all from Bad Blood. “Pompeii,” “Flaws,” “Thing We Lost In the Fire,” “Overjoyed”, “Bad Blood” and “Laura Palmer” were all released in 2013. The band is under Virgin Records and all songs off the Bad Blood album are written by Mr. Smith himself. They were on the main stage for the iTunes Festival this year and have gained such popularity this year that it almost seems they came out of nowhere. First gaining popularity in the U.K., crossing over into the alternative stream and then popping into the pop music scene only months later. All in all, if its fun, contemporary, thoughtful, original music then Bastille is a great band for you.


Bastille – Pompeii

DE-Evolution of Miley Cyrus

By Folasade Bamimore, Staff Writer

Destiny Hope, Smiley Miley, Miley Stewart, Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus: different names for the same person right? Well not exactly, because there have been some major identity changes with each name, coming a new persona, a new side of her. Some call what she has become today, growth, but is it really? But it’s not  necessary to grow in the direction that she has now. There are less flamboyant paths to take, when sharing self-discovery with the world.


Destiny Hope- Born November 23, 1992 in Franklin, Tennessee. Daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and mother and current manager, Tish Cyrus. Has three half-siblings, and two siblings.


Smiley Miley- So how did the name Miley come from Destiny? Well, as a child, Destiny would smile a lot, so her family came up with calling her “Smiley”, but then it was eventually cut off to Miley, which has obviously stuck.

Miley grew up on a farm with her family. She was raised a Baptist Christian. She was a competitive cheerleader.


Miley Stewart- Miley began her role as Miley Cyrus/ Hannah Montana in 2006.


Hannah Montana- This is where it all started. The moment when virtually every young girl in the world, including me, became a die-hard fan of hers. It was the hilarious show, the music, the quirky personality, the Southern twang.

Miley Cyrus- After establishing herself as Hannah Montana, in 2007 Miley decided to make music, still with Disney, but  under her real name, and a different image. With her fans there began this debate of: “who do you like better, Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?” (I always chose Miley Cyrus).

In 2008, her self-image started to go downhill after she took inappropriate pictures of herself and when her near nude self made the cover of Vanity Fair magazine at the age of 15. However, despite this she still remained very popular for her music.


In 2009, she released her single, “Party in the USA” which became very popular, but at the time also raised some new thoughts about Miley, especially her Kids’ Choice Awards performance,  In retrospect, however, it is nothing compared to her behavior today.

In 2010, she was starred in the heartwarming, The Last Song, where she wanted to expand her fan base to older audiences. Also in 2010, she came out with “Can’t Be Tamed” which made some people begin to worry, but made more excited. “Can’t Be Tamed” seems to be the precursor to what she has become now.

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Present-day Miley- First it was the hair, the new skimpy wardrobe, the substance use (which started earlier, but she did not make her use of it casual with the public until now), the partying, then new music, the music videos and the performances.

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Changing one’s self image and self identity is fine, but the way Miley chooses to do it does not show her own self-modesty. this is important because she has a little sister who is looking up to her, young fans, including teenagers. The least she can do is not flaunt her substance abuse. Sure, other celebrities do use and abuse substances, and they are not loud about it because they know it is not good for health at all, or a good example. There is more to life, and more to “coolness” than relying on substances to make one happy.

And yes, she does indeed have a talented singing voice, but she has taken advantage of it to portray vulgar messages.

The way in which she chooses to portray her music videos and the performances is unnecessary. Where is her self-respect, her self-worth? Would any of you like to have your sister, or cousin, friend, or future wife, or even daughter show herself to the world in this way? There are definitely cleaner ways of showing growing up, or portraying another message, where one does not need to expose their body, or show how much they are a fan of substance, or use vulgar language to do so.


Take Demi Lovato, for example, yes she has had her ups and downs (from a diagnosed mental illness, which is different from Miley’s case). She has gone through virtually the same exact upbringing as Miley. Raised in the South, started acting at a very young age, went through the Disney path, sang with Disney, and then stopped Disney. Now, she has created her own music the way that she wants (not being forced into the style) just like Miley. But the difference with Demi is that she has found a clean, full of integrity, self-respectful, means of showing her change into adulthood, and still allowing her music to be good and stay famous. And on top of that she keeps herself covered up. So that just shows how Miley’s exhibits are purely unnecessary to remain successful.


And for those of you who say, “but I can relate to Miley, and how she feels the need to change as she grows up”, is the way she changed necessary for everyone? Is it going to make you successful if you celebrate and imitate the way she has changed.

Is this the Miley Cyrus what you want to invest your money in?

Cool Tunes

“Team” by Lorde
LORDE – Team (Audio)

“Ways to Go” by Grouplove
Grouplove – "Ways to Go" [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

“Counting Stars” by One Republic
OneRepublic – Counting Stars

“Demons” by Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons – Demons (Official Music Video)

“Wake Me Up” by Avicii
Avicii – Wake Me Up (Official Video)

“Pompeii” by Bastille
Bastille – Pompeii

“Mountain Sound” by Of Monsters and Men
Of Monsters and Men – Mountain Sound

“Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood
The Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather

“Now” by Paramore
Paramore: Now [OFFICIAL VIDEO]


Miley Cyrus vs Justin Bieber

Shelby Campbell, Staff Writer

The year is 2013. The curtain is opening and out emerges a thin young woman with short pigtails and a fuzzy leotard. She struts across the stage as giant stuffed bears prance around her and thus the performance begins…


“We can’t stop, we won’t stop,” sings 20 year-old Miley Cyrus. And not stopping is exactly right. The ex-Hannah Montana star has made her point by far, first with the new cropped hair and later with a brand-new stage persona. But, how different is she really?

Isn’t the well-known Justin Bieber on almost the same exact page?


At first glance, Bieber seems to have nothing against Cyrus. He has recently found himself out as the limelight just as Cyrus made her way back in. But, as you look deeper, it’s difficult to gainsay that Bieber’s wrong-doings are just as bad as those of Miley Cyrus.


Cyrus began as a young thirteen year-old girl who loved to sing and act. But, as time progressed, she began the experimentation of a teenager; her very first slip up being the Teen Choice awards of 2009. She terrified tons of her fans with her somewhat racy performance of “Party in the USA” that year, and this became the event that changed the way people viewed her. More time progresses and Cyrus takes another risk with drug use and once again changes the way American minds viewed her. Eventually, Cyrus fell off. She had a period of time in which she was not heard from. That is, until the release of her hit single “We Can’t Stop”. This was the game changer. From that moment on, the world saw Miley Cyrus in a different way, a different light. She still continues to surprise the world, much like she did with her 2013 VMA performance with Robin Thicke and her break up with Liam Hemsworth.  Not to mention, the controversial music video for her second single, “Wrecking Ball” awed audiences all over the world. There is no telling when Cyrus will finally stop, and it does not appear to be coming anytime soon.


Justin Bieber’s story is not much different in how people have changed their minds about him. In fact, they are almost the same. When the world came to know the young and talented Justin Bieber, he was a humble 15 year-old boy with a strong passion and love for the stage. It came naturally to him, and, although many may deny it, it is something all came to admire. “I’m just a kid from a small town in Canada,” Bieber quotes in various interviews. And that was true, at the time. He was still a silly child who loved to sing and dance and just have fun; there wasn’t much more to it than that. But then the fame got to his head, he became something he’d sworn would never occur. And then he started using himself to the world fame and fortune. Most of the trouble began with the long-term relationship with Disney star Selena Gomez. Gomez did not in anyway corrupt Bieber, but he did seem to lose the humble persona he had worked so hard to create. Beginning with the renting-out of the Staple Center for a date for two, Bieber fell seemingly head-over-heels in love with his girlfriend as well as with the power of his ego. In 2012, he received a Fisker Karma, a $100,000+ car for his eighteenth birthday, and had it chromed. The chroming of his car proves pointless because it is next to illegal to drive a car that can reflect that much light in day. In addition to his irrational purchases, Bieber’s personality has gone from a sweet and talented teen to an egotistical and irrational juvenile. In January of 2013, Bieber was caught in drug use, in July of the same year he allegedly spit on a fan, and in the past month released the song “Lolly” with Maejor Ali and Juicy J., a song that does not appropriately fit the age group of his fans. As his irrational choices continue to pile up, so does the proof and thus, his following dwindles.


So, why does Miley Cyrus receive more ridicule for what she does than Justin Bieber? The answer is simple and all the same unfortunate. This is largely in part to gender roles in our society.  Cyrus is female as Bieber is respectively male, therefore, it is easier for him to get away with his actions. That is not to say that Bieber gets away scott-free, but it will be eaiser for him to escape with praise from his fellow males as poor Cyrus is forced to deal with the constant hatred from teens and adults alike across America.