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David Morales

David Morales’ professional background includes work as a writer, journalist, musician, and in human services. He has a BS in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University and has a deep empathy for the creative process, establishing relationships with a wide range of media sources including publishing houses, editors, and authors.

Three Ways to use Lighting this Christmas with John DeCosmo

On the third day of Christmas, CN gave to me, three ways to use lighting this Christmas

John DeCosmo, president and owner of Ulta-Lit Tree Company, knows Christmas lighting. Recently speaking with College News magazine, John tells us three ways to light up for Christmas, and to kick off “Test Your Lights Tuesday”, a new campaign aimed at keeping your lights shining bright and holiday’s merry. One way to stay ahead of the game is to be prepared this holiday season. DeCosmo and his team know all too well about the agony of broken light sets. That is why he developed The LightKeeper Pro, an easy-to-use hand-held tool that sends a mild charge through the wires, so you can easily find the bad bulb. He also provided some valuable lighting tips for a safe luminous season including how and when to use LED versus incandescent lighting.

College News: What are three different ways to use lighting for the holidays?
JD: The opportunities are endless. We have a great display here. We use plastic cylinders that are 18 inches in height, so that we can stuff a light set inside. Some people put lights in a glass bowl, just to give the appearance of a gazing ball in the back yard. There is also lighting by lamps like lava lamps. I see many college students using lights in their dorm windows, spelling out names or draping across the room for some supplemental lighting. Light sets get cheap the day after Christmas! All of the inventory at major stores will expunge their inventory and do it willingly at half price. So that is a great time to grab some lights. I recommend LED lights if you are going to use them all year around but incandescent lights are great for the holiday season.

CN What is the difference between incandescent lighting and LED lighting?
JD: Incandescent is lower coast, LED is longer life. There is a science to LEDs. They were invented at the university of Illinois in 1963. They have a kind of space aged look. Incandescent are the Christmas lights that we are used to seeing for the holidays. You can secure them along your house and in your yard for outdoor use safely. LED are great to add supplement lighting and have a different appearance.

CN: What can you tell me about the Light Keeper Pro?
JD: I’m one of two companies who in 1996 were the only two sources of pre lit artificial Christmas trees. We are no longer in the tree business, but our story gets interesting in 1999 when most of our imported trees were defective! Instead of getting thousands of hours out of them, we only got hundreds of hours of life. In February of that year, I had hired an engineer long before the trees came in to teach me about electricity and lighting. To solve the problem, he developed a tool that we call the LightKeeper Pro. It is a $20.00 repair tool available in most major outlets like Target, Lowes and Home Depot. Over 20,000 outlets. It truly can fix any set of incandescent light sets out there.

CN: Can you tell me a bit about the Test Your Lights Campaign?                 
JD: We advocate that you test your lights prior to the holiday season. Look at whats wrong. Sometimes it is a matter of just one bulb. There is a toll free number if you have lighting questions at 1-888-858-2548. Our website is ultalit.com and you can get help. If you are wondering about that to get Dad for Christmas, this will impress him. After all, when one bulb goes out, all the Christmas bulbs go out.

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Wyclef Drops New EP J'ouvert

Wyclef Jean drops new EP, “J’ouvert”; part of his upcoming album “Carnival III: Road to Clefication”. “J’ouvert” is a tribute to the official start of Carnival and is full of Caribbean Sonics. Wyclef Jean is well known for producing the soulful sounds of the Caribbean. As an eclectic and well-rounded musician and producer, Wyclef has helped shape the music industry for the past 20 years. Nearly two decades after The Fugees dropped “The Score”, Wyclef Jean AKA The Sheriff prepares “Carnival III: Road to Clefication” in three parts. With his new EP “J’ouvert”, Wyclef Jean proves he is still making music for the people. College News recently had the honor to speak with this legend. We had the pleasure of discussing his new EP, the importance of acknowledging the Bernie Sanders movement and where we can go from here. He also told College News what we can expect from him on his amazing journey within the coming months.

“Whether you’re going to Brooklyn Carnival or whether if you’re in Brazil or Trinidad, you can travel through that eclectic energy and what it sounds like and feels like with this audio sonic movement”. — Wyclef Jean


College News: What can you tell me about your new EP “J’ouvert”?
Wyclef Jean:
“J’ouvert” means the night before the carnival. The EP is part of a full-length album that comes out in June. “J’ouvert” comes in three parts starting this fall, setting the scene for the beginning of the carnival! I wanted to kick off from where I left off, and where I left off was “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Sweetest Girl”. So I had  these Caribbean Sonics rolling through my brain—we are going through like a Caribbean theme on the airwaves now, you know?
Everything is so islanded-out! So being the island man, I’m going to take all these sounds, put them all together and take you through a journey of what the carnival would feel like when we say J’ouvert. So whether you’re going to Brooklyn carnival or whether you’re in Brazil or Trinidad, you can travel through that eclectic energy and what it sounds like and feels like with this audio sonic movement.

CN: It has been nearly 20 years now since The Fugees released “The Score”. What has your journey been like?
It’s been incredible for me! Starting out with was great! The Fugees was like a high school band. I remember we would be doing, like, Tibetan Freedom concerts and Rock the Vote. We were inspired by people like U2 out of Ireland and we always wanted to be that musical voice for people that didn’t have a voice. One thing that I’m most proud of, is that “The Score” is a piece of work that I did in my uncle’s basement and the idea behind it is that as long as you have a dream, anything can happen. “The Score” is a testimony to that. You know with absolutely no money, you can be in your basement and if you believe and are willing to take the chance, you can create your own way.

CN: I recently saw you on the Larry Wilmore show and you expressed the importance of the millennials in regards to the Bernie Sanders movement. What can you say about that?
Well, the millennials are the future. A generation up from them is my daughter, who is 11 years old. People have very strong views, and the millennials are very strong supporters of Bernie Sanders. At the end of the day, we all felt the Bern. It was very real! The idea of staying behind and not being active —say you wanted to fight for free tuition or you wanted to fight for health care—these policies don’t happen overnight. Somebody had to lead the fight!
So Bernie Sanders wasn’t a wasted movement. To have real change, I want the millennials to understand that we don’t have to stop. Meaning, Bernie is still going to remain a Senator, the cause is going to continue, the policies can continue; it just made the movement much stronger. Bernie has already started a movement—let’s capitalize on that and press these issues through congress.

CN: As a political representative, you have this fairytale story being a migrant from Haiti and now a rock star. What has that experience been like for you?
For me it started in 1996. I was at the Grammys and I wore a Haitian flag. That night, 24 million people saw that flag. The reason I did that is because I wanted the world to understand that Haiti is within the Americas. It is a country that is literally an hour from Miami. For me, the message has always been the same. It’s not really a Haitian thing or a Jamaican thing, it’s a worldly thing. Looking at it from a satellite point of view—we are close to each other, we share culture, we share food; we share all things. Why should we separate that? I have fought and I continue to fight, I mean they call me The Sheriff because somehow, I get all the cultures together and the soup comes out very eclectic! I definitely plan to do that.
But “J’ouvert” is the first phase. The second phase comes out in February, and then the full length album in June which is called “The Road to Clefication”. It just reminds me of people like John Lennon or Bob Marley, it’s like—you’re not going to be poplar all the time! When you decide you are going to step up and decide that “I’m not going to be just a singer, I’m not going to just make people dance”, at times, you go from loved to being hated. But you always have to remember that hate will turn into love again. So “J’ouvert” is me spitting back out that love and reminding people that this is who I am.

CN: In regards to your previous albums, what might have you done differently?
For me it is always like a learning curve. My bar is Quincy Jones. He is who I look up to. He is like the Godfather! In high school, I was a Jazz major. I started with upright bass. If I wasn’t a rock star, I’d probably be teaching music theory at Berkeley somewhere! So for me, I look up to a lot of different people! I love Kanye West’s work and those kids who are producing for Drake.
I love Kendrick Lamar’s work the same way that I love Thelonious Monk’s work or Miles Davis. So for me, every day is a learning curve. On this project, I got a chance to work with Nick from Walk the Moon. We had a great writing session. That was incredible! I also got a chance to work with The Knocks. So I wouldn’t necessarily change anything. I would just want to constantly keep progressing. I think every day you can learn something from somebody different.

CN: You have a single that you released. What can you tell me about it?
There were actually two that we let out. One was called “My Girl” setting you up for the Caribbean mood. The second was a recording called “Hendrix”. The idea behind it is a prequel to Hendrix. Like Batman Begins, what was Batman before he was Batman? So if Wyclef never became who he became, who might he have been? It is a story of some of my friends who are doing time in prison, now doing double life. Some got crossed into the drug game. I still want the youth to know that you do have a choice.
So “Cuzzo on the block man they gang bang,” when I say that, it’s for real. I have cousins that have gang banged. I have family that’s in prison. The response to that online has been crazy, just watching how the kids have been reacting to that new sound called acoustic trap. It is just another tale, another story of real life. When I write for myself, I’m not worried what’s going to be on the radio; I’m more worried about self-expression, like what Bob Dylan wrote. I write for the times.

CN: I really like the Spanglish version remix and how you are constantly changing things up! It’s really cool! What else can you say about it?
The most exciting thing about the music is the discovery of new talent. When I was coming up we had Lauren Hill before Beyoncé was Beyoncé. I was responsible for a lot of those hit records. So the idea of being able to come back and being able to do all of this with this space with an indie label and with a lot of new young talent is amazing! That is what is exciting to me. The idea of discovery and being able to put out a piece of music where you’re like—who’s this, I don’t know, but this person is dope! Just like when you hear the Hendrix Spanglish version, you know you are like, “holy shit”, here’s something that I can just discover. For me, that has been the most passionate part about it.
The second part of the EP is coming out in February and you’re really going to love it. It is the hip-hop side. It is coming out around black history month. The actual full-length album is really exciting because of the singer songwriters that are on the album. Emeli Sandé, Daryl Hall, Pusha T, and Joey Badass are on the album. So it’s going to be a ride!

CN: Is there anything out there that you want your fans to know about you?
I want everyone to know that they can subscribe to me at wyclef.com so you can keep in touch with my tour. I really look forward to seeing you all this fall, coming to your city with love and having a good time on the road!

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Interview with Punk Rock Duo 18th and Addison

Kait DiBenedetto and Tom Kunzman are Punk Rock Duo 18th and Addison

18th and Addison are a powerful American punk rock two-piece from Toms River, New Jersey and they rock! Consisting of vocalist, Kait DiBenedetto and guitarist, Tom Kunzman, 18th and Addison are a young new punk rock band ready to hit the road. Having recently released a new album named “Makeshift Monsters”, Tom and Kait express the value of having a mindful imagination.

“It’s about having fun and not being distracted by the dumb things in life that hold you back from doing the things that you want to really do.”—Kait DiBenedetto, 18th and Addison

College News magazine recently had the opportunity to catch with 18th and Addison’s frontwoman Kait DiBenedetto right after their Nashville tour. Kait let us in on why having an album is so important in addition to an EP, what it’s like playing on the road and their plans for the near-future. But what struck College News the most was their dedication to having fun, being real and never giving up on your dreams. Nothing illustrates this more than their single titled “War” that sets the tone for their second ever recording and first full-length album. Make sure to check out this awesome punk rock duo that will be sure to be a new favorite on your playlist.  

College News: You have this punk rock two-piece with Tom! Why a two-piece?
Kait DiBenedetto:
We were both in separate bands when we were younger. Those bands decided to move on, so we decided to jam together. It felt right to start writing our own songs together. Then it slowly developed into something more serious. That is kind of how it started. We both played music separately, and it just felt right to do something together.

CN: Now the two of you have your second recording, “Makeshift Monsters” with your single titled “War.”
“Makeshift Monsters” is awesome! We’ve been writing songs ever since we put out our first EP called “Little Parasites”. It is a continuation of a ton of inspiration. We took a bunch of songs that we had written from around the same timeline of the release of our debut EP then wrote some new ones. It all came together organically and naturally! The album has something for everybody. So whether you like pop, rock or punk, it has a bit of everything! 
It is kind of a mix of all the genres that we love and everything that we love to write as well. The EP only had seven songs on it, so we had to pick and choose. But having an album is so much easier, because we got to play more songs and just had more options. We felt like “War” was a really good fit for our first single and representation of the actual album itself. It is an aggressive song! So that is why we decided to make that song a single and do the music video for it. We feel like people can relate to it!

CN: How were your recent tour dates for 18th and Addison in Nashville?
I’ve always loved Nashville; it was awesome! Nashville is always a great place to go for a musician. There is always music going on. We were walking around downtown Nashville, and we couldn’t take two steps without a band playing in one bar and another band directly next to them. It was just a lot of music everywhere! It was great! There is also a lot of history there, so playing there was an awesome experience. We played with other bands who were very welcoming to us! It was a great experience for us and a very long drive, but it was fun!

CN: You guys have this video of the two of you, rocking on in this office. What can you tell me about the video for “War?”
“War” is fun because it is a song about not forgetting who you are and living your dreams. It’s about having fun and not being distracted by the dumb things in life that hold you back from doing the things that you want to really do. That is why we had the little younger versions of ourselves in the video. It helped portray our message like—stop worrying about bills, stop worrying about a job and do what you want to do. Whether your dream is music or being an entrepreneur, whatever it is, it’s something that were really excited to do! We had our family in the video. They played the little versions of us, so it was fun to include them. The story really came together well with the video. I think a lot of people put two and two together behind the meaning of the song. It made a lot of sense and it was really fun to shoot.      

CN: What’s next for you guys?
We really just want to keep touring and travelling! There is nothing really left to do here in Jersey. We’ve done all that we feel like doing, and we are ready to get out of here. Our recent tour got us really excited to start traveling more. So we are going to start doing stuff up and down the east and west coasts. Maybe we will move off to the mid-west in the next couple months or within the next year. We are also constantly writing, so there might be some new music along the way. We will see. In the meantime, you can follow us on our social media channels to keep posted with tour dates.  
Check out punk rock duo 18th and Addison’s facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/18thandAddison/

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TV Chef Jeffrey Saad Talks Chili Choices this Halloween Season

Video Interview with Chef Jeffrey Saad

TV Chef Jeffrey Saad shares with College News a few seasonal twists this Halloween; a great time of year to be talking about chili choices. There is nothing quite like a bowl of chili as the temperatures drop. That is why October has long been known as National Chili Month, and even though you may have a family favorite, Chef Saad prepares a dish that is hearty, warm and tasteful all year around. Now the host of United Tastes of America, Chef Saad has partnered with Bush Beans to bring a new seasonal twist based on the results of survey findings. Revealing how Americans prefer to eat this hearty dish, Chef Saad tells College News a few tricks that will add more flavor and texture to your favorite dish. He has also written multiple cook books and has been featured on several TV cooking shows including Chopped-All-Stars, Moveable Feast and Iron Chef America.

College News: What is it about chili that makes it such a family favorite?

Jeffrey Saad: I think we all love the one-pot pleasures. Preparing a great soup or a great stew, is a great way to gather people and have a fantastic meal. Chili is the best version of that one-pot dish! I think it’s great, because every family has its go-to recipe. Whether it’s mom’s recipe, your favorite TV chef or something you have been doing since college, people have the chili they love. The one thing they all have in common is that they are all delicious. But what inspired me as a Chef, is that there are endless ways to amp it up and put a twist on your favorite chili, as well as creating a new ideas.

CN: Your hometown is Los Angeles and you are the host of United Tastes of America on the Cooking Channel. Being that LA doesn’t get chilly, how do people prepare chili during the Halloween season? 

JS: Our version of chili is when it gets below 70 degrees. The fire places start and we love to eat chili. As a result, maybe I’ll do a white chili and then, in the dead of winter when it gets closer to 60, we will switch to a black or kidney bean chili.

CN: What are some of the most popular ways to make chili? 

JS: I think that what is really popular right now are these [Bush Beans] chili beans. Bush Beans does a great job of giving you huge flavor right in the can. They take the kidney beans and simmer them in a chili sauce. They do the same thing with the white beans and the black beans. This white chicken chili is a fun one because there are two ways you are getting texture. There is a cream of chicken soup in there, but also half of the can of the white beans are smashed, and then stirred in. The black bean chili is vegetarian, but it has the kidney beans that give it almost a meaty quality. So these options are a great way to start. Then you can start playing with the toppings.

CN: Is there anything extra what we can add this season?

JS: Absolutely! Once you have your chili going and it is kind of simmering away you can think—hey what am I going to do with those toppings? Chili is such a simple and quick meal to make. You can spend a little extra time on the toppings to make it unique. Char some chilies—whether it’s bell peppers or jalapeños—char them, blacken them and peel off some of the black. Put them in a bowl and it can add a little heat. Take the onions and grill them or caramelize them in a pan. That gives you a little sweetness and texture. You can always use some cheddar or Jack cheese, but why not a little bit of manchego cheese or a creamy goat cheese that will kind of melt and make a creamy texture? You can also add sour cream and stir in some paprika to get a beautiful bright orange color. Maybe add rosemary or fresh chopped cilantro. I do a cilantro pesto and mix that into a Mexican chili.

CN: Where can we go to get more recipe inspirations?

JS: I definitely recommend going to Bushbeans.com. I ‘ve partnered up with them to create great recipes. There are a lot of great tips there as well. Whether you’re an experienced Chef or someone who is just starting to play around in the kitchen, you can get a lot of inspiration from the website. You will have great chili all year long!

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Brad Davis of Fu Manchu talks his latest project, DUNSMUIR

DUNSMUIR is a tribute to old-school heavy metal that consists of a timeless collaboration of legends in the industry. Providing a new look to an old-school sound, DUNSMUIR captures the classics with the drummer Vinny Appice of Black Sabbath and lead singer Neil Fallon of Clutch. Now, DUNSMUIR’s bassist Brad Davis of Fu Manchu, tells College News what it’s like working with the team.  In our interview, Brad discusses the complexities of the heavy metal industry that make DUNSMUIR both an exceptional treasure and an historical milestone. But what makes DUNSMUIR different to past tribute bands? Not only does DUNSMUIR make up incredible stars like Dave Bone of The Company Band, but they give their fans a blast of that traditional heavy metal.    

“My taste in heavy metal tends to stick with the classics. Our influences primarily include Black Sabbath, Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and a lot of British heavy metal bands”—Brad Davis

Brad also informs College News a bit about their creative process and how the band has come together over the past few years.

College News: How did DUNSMUIR come together?

Brad Davis: I’ve known Dave, the guitar player, for about 24 years. We grew up together in Del Toro, California. The first time we played together, I joined The Company Band. He already had it going with Neil, who is also the singer of DUNSMUIR. The Company Band put out a full-length [album] and an EP. After we did that, we had both discovered that we had been privately writing more metal type riffs. So we started to build. Then we hung out with Neil when Clutch was playing a show in Anaheim. Neil asked us what we were up to, so we told him about the project and he said that he wanted in! At that point, we knew we wanted to do it right, so we tried to think of who we could get to play drums. I was not even serious at the time, but I was like, how about Vinny Appice; one of our favorite metal drummers of all time. We were pretty excited when he got back to us and said he was into it.

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CN: What is the purpose of DUNSMUIR?

BD: My taste in heavy metal tends to stick with the classics. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a new record come out that shared our collective tastes.  

CN: What can you tell me about your new album DUNSMUIR?

BD: The record itself took a while to do. I recorded it with a guy named Andrew Giacumakis. I met Andrew through a mutual friend in LA. He plays with a band called Moab. He mixed and recorded his album and I loved it! So I was like “oh damn—we’ve got to hit this guy up!” So we ended up doing a Fu Manchu 7” with his band Moab. Then we did the Fu Manchu record “Gigantoid” with him. It went really smooth and we were happy with it, so we figured he would be a good match for DUNSMUIR. Like I had mentioned, it was a pretty long process because we are limited to working on the weekends and as we were recording, we were hearing the band for the first time. So we finished up around the summer of 2015. As far as releasing it, it is something that we wanted to do carefully because it had taken so long. We have been planning it carefully for years.  

CN: What’s it like playing with a legend like Vinny Appice, the drummer of Black Sabbath?

BD: Our influences primarily include Black Sabbath, Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and a lot of British heavy metal bands. My favorite style of metal drumming stems from the old-school birth of heavy metal, which most of the time came from Jazz-influenced drummers. Both Vinny and his brother Carmine were big into Buddy Rich. For me, it creates a more fiery, soulful, style of drumming rather than the clinical or technical style that became more popular. We wanted the record to have that kind of tone and his contribution was invaluable.

CN: I had an interview with JP Gaster from Clutch earlier this year and he would definitely agree with you there. Do you guys have any tour dates planned with Clutch or the other bands you are associated with? 

BD: I haven’t planned much as far as playing shows or touring. Even recording the record took forever because everyone is so busy. When Clutch isn’t playing a show, they are writing a record, and Vinny is all over the place. He is, like, flying everywhere from shows to drum clinics and of course I am in Fu Manchu. I’ve a less active schedule than they do, but still, it’s enough to throw a wrench in the process of putting together touring dates for shows. I know that we would like to. I guess it is a question of: Is there a demand and do our schedules line up? We have only been in the same room together during pre-production. But I know we would be interested in touring. Hopefully people wouldn’t be mad that we only had 10 songs. It would be a short set.

CN: What would you like your fans to know about you?

BD: I love music. All kinds of music make me happy. This was just another opportunity that helped make people’s summer better. I’m hoping that people are going to enjoy our record and have a good time. That’s what I like to do! Im also going to be touring Europe with Fu Manchu and we are putting out a 7” in a couple months. 

With this creative collaboration of stars, DUNSMUIR puts together their full-length album. Now you can check out their 10-track record on Bandcamp.

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Under The Radar's 2016 Election Protest Issue

Interview with Mark Redfern

The senior editor of Under the Radar magazine, Mark Redfern, tells College News the inspiration behind their latest Protest Issue. Mark and Wendy Redfern, who have run the magazine for nearly 15 years, publish a Protest Issue every election year. This year, Mark has a message about the dangers of Donald Trump and why you shouldn’t vote for a third-party candidate in the upcoming presidential election this November.  

“I think that if you don’t want Trump to win then you got to vote for Hillary. So I think it is incredibly important to first of all vote, and second vote Clinton.”—Mark Redfern

In our interview, Mark also shares a few inside strategies on arranging a photoshoot. He tells us a bit about his diverse family back ground, a heads up on the next issue of Under the Radar magazine and why he is donating to the American Cancer Society.  

College News: Can you give us a bit of background about you?

Mark Redfern: I was born in England and I moved to America when I was seven. My mom is American and my dad is English. I was born in London but when my parents split up, my mom decided to return to America. So I have a complicated background. I have two passports so if Trump gets elected then I can go live in Europe!

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CN: It is such an appropriate time to come out with a Protest Issue with all the protesting going on right now in North Carolina and North Dakota. How did you pull all of this together?

M.R: The first Protest Issue we did was back in 2004. That was when Bush Jr. was up for re-election. My wife Wendy and I obviously weren’t big fans of the Iraq war and we weren’t big fans of George W. Bush. When we do these Protest Issues, we are open to hearing from both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly hard to find any indie rock type musicians and artists that are Republican leaning, but in a way, we just wanted to make a difference. I’m not sure how we came up with the idea to come up with protest signs with musicians, but we had a great response from our readers. So we decided that every four years, we would tie it into each presidential election and this is the fourth one we have done. This one feels like when we were up against Bush because Trump is probably the scariest candidate that’s run in my adult lifetime. You’d be surprised about how many musicians actually don’t want to take part in making protest signs. But we got about 40 to 50 musicians. You start doing these things and at first, you are like “oh no, is it going to come together?” because you don’t know if you are going to get who you want. But then we got Lauren from Chvrches and we got Tegan and Sara and a couple big names like that. So we felt pretty good about it.

CN: You can make your own sign and share your photo on social media using the hashtag #protestissue?  

M.R: We are encouraging people to do that! We have had a few people who have done it.
When we did our 2004 Protest Issue, we encouraged readers to submit photos of themselves voting. That was cool! We had a lot of readers send in photos of themselves voting [in the election].

CN: I recently interviewed Wyclef Jean and he spoke about how the Bernie Sanders movement isn’t a dead movement and what people can do moving forward. What can you speak on that?

M.R: I agree with that. I think that if you don’t want Trump to win then you got to vote for Hillary. My wife and I were big Bernie Sanders supporters. We happened to be up in New York on the day of the New York primary and we went to one of his rallies. It was really cool. I know a lot of people who are progressive that are disappointed that Bernie didn’t win. Some said that they were not going to vote. Others said they were going to vote third-party.
I know people have issues with Hillary Clinton. Some of my friends on Facebook call her a war monger. She is for the establishment, but compared to Trump, she’s a million miles more sensible. She has a lot of experience. Maybe she has done things that are questionable. I don’t really know. Most of the stuff you hear negative about her is from the Trump campaign.

CN: What do you think about Republicans not voting as a means to defy Trump in this election?     

M.R: I was in England over the summer for two months and everyone was just appalled by Donald Trump. They just couldn’t even imagine he was one of the nominees of a major party for this election. The embarrassment it would be internationally on this country if Donald Trump became our president. I was in England this year when the EU referendum vote happened. Most of my friends and family there were against leaving the EU. Everyone thought that there was no way England was going to leave the EU and the polls seem to indicate that they weren’t. However, enough people voted and Brexit went through. People in America need to realize that they might think that America isn’t going to vote Trump in this election, but in Virginia, all I see is Trump signs. I don’t want to paint the picture that the Protest Issue was all pro-Hillary and anti-Trump. That is not necessarily the point.

CN: You have the protest signs being auctioned with the proceeds being donated to the American Cancer Society. Where can we go to follow that?

M.R: It starts October 18 and it ends October 25 at 2 PM. Every year we choose different charities to work with; last time was War Child. They benefit children in war torn countries, so it’s a great charity. The reason why we went with The American Cancer Society this time was because my sister and dad both passed away from cancer in the last two years. I just felt like I needed to benefit that charity. We see all this money spent on the military and on wars—if only a bit more money was funneled into cancer research.

CN: Where can we find the Protest Issue?   

M.R: We are distributed nationwide at book stores like Barnes and Noble and most newsstands in cities like New York, L.A and Chicago. Under the Radar is also available digitally! Under the Radar has recently launched a Patreon page and you can support them there: www.patreon.com/under_the_radar

Check out Under the Radar’s website, here: www.undertheradarmag.com

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Sunflower Dead: "It's Time to Get Weird"

Interview with Michael Del Pizzo of Sunflower Dead

Sunflower Dead gets weird and hit the road this October, featuring their new album “It’s Time to Get Weird”.

College News got a chance to catch up with Sunflower Dead’s lead, Michael Del Pizzo, after his long summer tour with Avatar, promoting the release of their new single, also called “It’s Time to get Weird”. The song is super-fun and sets a precedence for the rest of the album; one that is sure to get your attention.

A rock band from Long Beach, CA, Sunflower Dead is a group that has progressed by developing a theatric identity, reminding us of why the fans are so important.

“We learned who we are from touring the U.S… we started performing, having fun and smiling and the fans started smiling back. So we were like—maybe the tough guy thing really isn’t us.”—Del Pizzo

Formed of Jamie Teissere of the band Droid, Michael Del Pizzo and Leighton Kearns of Memento, this collaboration of talent and music is only the spark of a creative platform for Sunflower Dead. Michael Del Pizzo is very much involved in the literary context of his music as well as the artistic, leading Sunflower Dead into the world of music, art and literature.

“We are leading our fans into this feel of the comic book world… we are trying to lead people down that road and associate ourselves with the world of comics, animations and Sunflower Dead.”—Del Pizzo

Now with the arrival of their new album “It’s Time to Get Weird”, Del Pizzo and the crew set out for Dayton, Ohio, ending their tour date on Devils night in Detroit Rock city, at St. Andrew’s Halls on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Make sure to check out their new album and catch one of these shows along the way.

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College News: What was your inspiration for stepping into the role of a larger than life musician?
Michael Del Pizzo: It basically came from the idea that we wanted to have some fun for a change! The guys in the band wanted to do something that was more than just your regular jeans and T-shirt kind of band. We figured, why not! It seemed like a good time in music and it’s just about entertaining people at the end of the day. Why not just give people an escape for an hour when we play?

CN: What is the biggest difference between “It’s Time to get Weird” and your last album “Evil Seed”?
Well, we progressed a lot since 2012.  We learned who we are from touring the U.S. Some of our first performances were a little more agro and a little more aggressive, like, you know—tougher. Then we started performing and having fun and smiling and the fans started smiling back. So we were like—maybe the tough guy thing really isn’t us! When that started happening, the whole “Let’s Get weird” thing started happening, which lead to the whole statement “It’s Time to Get Weird”. That lead to the album title and now the single. So it was something that grew over two years of touring the country.

CN: The album art done by Scott MonsterMan Jackson looks like a dead zombiefied version of the band Kiss. What can you tell me about it?
M.D.P: Yeah! Exactly! You know what’s funny about that cover is, originally he painted a picture of us, like, bleeding thousands of evil seeds into the world. At first he didn’t like it and then we didn’t like it, so he was like—give me a week, I’ll paint something else—and what he came back with was super cool! We loved it!

CN: Who did the animation for the official “It’s Time to Get Weird” music video, featuring Jonathan Davis of Korn?
M.D.P: That was done by Steven Seivers and his team at Smorgasbord Productions. I got together with them, told them my ideas and they wrote out the treatment for the video. They took the treatment and just went to town with it. They are just an amazing group of animators who really understand how to get things across, how to tell a story, how to make it comical and still a little twisted. We had a great time—they just really knocked it out of the park! It’s kind of like with my first video “Dance with Death”; you see that comic book theme because lately, what we are doing is we are leading our fans into this feel of the comic book world. Right now, I’m writing a graphic novel—“The Sunflower Dead”—and that will come out in a year or two. So we are trying to lead people down that road and associate ourselves with the world of comics, animations and Sunflower Dead.    

CN: So you are writing a graphic novel and working with a nefarious theme core author, to be announced at next year’s Comic con! What can you tell me about that?
M.D.P: Well it’s going to be really cool! It’s going to be me, him and his people getting together—probably after our next tour. The story of “The Sunflower Dead” is fleshed out. We are basically going to come up with things that are gruesome and kind of pop. It’s going to be a 60-page graphic novel. If we can get it done by next year—great! If not, then the following year. We will debut it at Comic con, get it published and let it go! It will be something completely separate of the band because it won’t have anything to do with the music. I originally wrote the story for “The Sunflower Dead” before there was a band. Now, it’s because of the band I’m able to do this graphic novel.

CN: What do you want your fans to know about you?
M.D.P: I always tell them that I’m hungry, so come and bring me food, but they already know that. But you know, I’m a very down to earth person. Anything that is onstage is a performance, but offstage I’m very shy. I like to have my own time to myself and take it slow when I’m not on stage! I like to spend time with my family and girlfriend and relax a little bit.

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The Baha Men Are Back!

Dyson Knight of the Baha Men Talks “Ride with Me”

You might be a fan of the Baha Men. They are major players in the industry; their music is on TV and film soundtracks including “Miss Congeniality”, “Rat Race”, “Scooby Doo” and “Shrek”—the list goes on. In 2000, the Baha Men topped the billboard charts with their hit cover of “Who Let the Dogs Out”. Now, with the release of their new album titled “Ride With Me”, the Baha Men are back to making that festive music we are all so familiar with!

“We want people to reconnect. We want people to know that we are still here and that the dogs are still out!”

The Baha Men have a long musical history even before their hit song “Who Let the Dogs Out?” I was fortunate enough to have a chat with Dyson Knight about the Baha Men’s full list of animated songs. Their first of a three record deal with Sony Music Latin featured tracks by Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Santana and Shakira. Now the Baha Men have released another wonderful collection of feel good junkanoo with the release of their new album “Ride with Me”.

College News: How did you involve yourself with the Baha Men?
Dyson Knight: I got a call in 2004. I joined the Baha Men when they were planning an Asian tour, a long time after they had brought the band together. One of the members was ill and couldn’t make it so they brought me in. I was rushed in and I had to learn a whole lot of stuff within a matter of a couple of weeks and that was my introduction to the band. The person I replaced wasn’t able to come back to the band, so I ended up replacing him.

It was a sad situation because he died from his health complications, God rest his soul. He did a lot for the band. We all miss him, but it opened a door for me to come in and bring a new dimension to the Baha Men. So I’m sure he’s looking down on us from heaven saying “good job”. The Baha Men has a lot of history considering all the people we have performed alongside with and collaborated with for many years.

CN: What gives the Baha Men that satisfying sound that we are so familiar with?
DK: It is the island! The Bahamas! Junkanoo is our native sound here; it is feel good music; celebration music. Celebration music is its proper definition. It’s giving-thanks type music. It’s music that can be used for a parade, during Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and then the New Year! Just bringing in the new year! It is a party that goes on all through the night and that’s the foundation of our music. Even if we slow it down to a mid-tempo jam, it’s going to have a good feel. So it’s feel-good music all around! That has been the Baha Men formula and it has been working for us.  

CN: Now you have a new album called “Ride with Me”. What can you tell me about that?
DK: The World Cup compilation album, “One love, One Rhythm”, featured the song “Night and Day” which is also on our new album “Ride with Me”. It wasn’t an easy task getting on a World Cup compilation album. The World Cup is like the biggest sporting event worldwide with soccer being huge in all parts of the world. So I think we won a spot on the list because of our secret formula; that Junkanoo flavor. It’s similar to Latin styles of music and we tied the two styles together for a remix of “Night and Day”. It is a song about living life, having a good time with friends and having a big party. Pretty much what sportsmanship is all about.

We are fortunate enough to be with Sony Music Latin. However, “Ride with Me” wasn’t an easy task. It is the third song we wrote just to find the right balance between a simple message and wit without a watered down, gimmicky feeling to it. That is something we want to stay far away from considering that people know of “Who Let the Dogs Out” more than they know of the Baha Men.
With this new album, “Ride with Me”, we wanted to give our fans as much music as possible. One strength of the Baha Men is the fact that we are real-life musicians with experience and an education. We also play our own instruments. So to hear us live is a totally different sound to that which you hear on the record—our live performance is turned up! We wanted to get that flavor with “Night and Day”, I think we accomplished that and really scored big.                   

CN: When does the Baha Men go on tour?
DK: We don’t have a set tour date as we have just been going through promotion [of the album]. In promotion, whatever door opens you walk through. It’s been a nice journey! We would like to go on tour more but it has been 12 or 13 years since our last album and it has taken some time to reconnect with our families. It’s still a work in progress but it’s coming along. We should have a set tour anytime now!

CN: Dyson, is there anything that you want your fans to know about your new album “Ride with Me”?
DK: Yeah, absolutely! Just go ahead and take a listen and let your friends listen to it! I’m not even going to say it’s the greatest album you’ve ever heard—that is not my place as an artist to say. I want people to have the opportunity to hear it so they can make their own opinion on how great the album is. It has feeling, it has soul and it will make you feel good, so we want people to reconnect [with us].

We want people to know that we are still here and that the dogs are still out! We still perform that song and there is a song on “Ride with Me” that is an ode to “Who Let the Dogs Out” called “Off the Leash”. It’s another fun song and we threw it in there for all of our fans. Make sure to follow our social media and our website for updates and take a listen. Our social media stays lit, from Instagram to Snapchat! It is a good way to keep in touch with us and to learn more about “Ride with Me”.cn

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Natives in School: Coping on Campus

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For a variety of historical and cultural reasons, conventional education is often devalued among Native students in North America. Because of the history of boarding schools in the United States and the residential schools in Canada, approaching western modes of education can be a challenge. The children that attended these schools experienced many traumatic losses. They were exposed to physical, psychological and sexual abuse that carried on for years. As a result, many Natives today suffer from a cultural disconnection that remains at the heart of our nation.    

But what can Native students do to help enhance their education? Cultural isolation and poverty are only a few factors that come into play when discussing Native experiences on campus. Acknowledging educational disparity is important, but recognizing that it also intersects with race, class and gender is equally important. These multidimensional constructs interplay and affect education, adjustment, substance abuse and crime; consequently overwhelming Native communities.

According to the National Center for Statistics (NCES), Native students have the lowest graduation rates for public high school in the United States—and that’s not all. Statistically, Native students have some of the most troubling numbers against them. According to Indian Country Today Media Network reporter, Simon Moya-Smith, “Native American students will continue to remain the minority among minorities through 2019, according to federal government projections”. The NCES also reports that the number of Native students will gradually decrease through the next five years and drop from 1.1 percent to 1 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Report projects that the Native population will increase.

It is fair to say that Native students deal with a much different type of stress than their peers. “Every [Native] alive today has been affected by the policy of assimilation implemented by the United States government not that long ago,” stated Simon Moya-Smith. And there is new evidence that suggests that Native students experience stress due to intergenerational trauma.

According to Michelle M. Sotero, an instructor in health care administration and policy at the University of Nevada, intergenerational trauma is a symptom of psychological distress that offers a three phase definition. In the first phase, mass trauma is inflicted such as colonization or war. In the second phase, signs of clinical trauma are present. Finally, the trauma is passed along to the next generation. Sotero goes on to explain how intergenerational trauma continues to undermine psychosocial health and overall emotional well-being. It has also been linked with more contemporary stressor experiences.  

Boarding schools were established by the US military with the belief that Native culture was inferior to modernizing society, and that Native children could be successfully assimilated by adopting Christian beliefs. “An Army officer, Richard Pratt, founded the first of these schools. He based it on an education program he had developed in an Indian prison,” said NPR reporter, Charla Bear.

Tens of thousands of Native children attended boarding and residential schools and many of them faced inhumane abuses. For the United States and Canadian government, this was the solution to the so-called Indian problem. Students were taught to suppress their Native language and were discouraged from practicing their traditions. They lived in substandard conditions and were exposed to government experiments, torture and rape.  

NPR reporter Charla Bear, tells the first hand story of a survivor. In 1945, Bill Wright, a Patwin Indian, was sent to the Stewart Indian School in Nevada at the age of six. Wright remembers an administrator at the school striking a student.  “Busted his head open and blood got all over,” Wright recalls. “I had to take him to the hospital, and they told me to tell them he ran into the wall and I better not tell them what really happened.”

Wright explains how he still is haunted by nightmares from the severe discipline and talks about how he and other former students have inadvertently re-created that harsh environment within their own families.
“You grow up with discipline, but when you grow up and you have families, then what happens? If you’re my daughter and you leave your dress out, I’ll knock you through that wall. Why? Because I’m taught discipline,” Wright said.

Boarding schools and residential schools in Canada directed a platform toward assimilation and migration, rather than preparing students academically, socially or vocationally for urban life. The intent was clear; it was to completely transform them inside and out. Teachers who educate Native children today must understand this history. They must treat each child as an individual within the tribal structure and not a product of their disposition. It is also important to understand that students from collective cultures have a different scope of identity formation and motivational outcomes.

Native students can be exposed to new and exciting ways in which different communities have worked to reconstruct the foundations of familial systems that are directly related to the education of their children. One educator in Canada does that by teaching about the power of healing. Shibastik is a Northern Cree painter, lyricist and hip-hop artist. He is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation, Moosonee, Ont. He is a proud hunter and was taught to live off the land utilizing the traditional seven grandfather teachings.

Through his work in human services, Shibastik has received a wide variety of training in everything from cognitive and dialectical-behavioral therapy, to building sweat lodges and managing sharing circles. He also runs a series of workshops called Healing Through Hip Hop and Hurt People Workshop, which focuses primarily on a discussion of the intergenerational effects of the residential schools in Canada. “We do not have these issues because we are Native,” says Shibastik. “We have these issues as a direct result of our historical trauma.” Shibasitik told College News Magazine from a camp near Moose River, Ont., that he hopes to raise awareness about intergenerational trauma and to promote healing. His workshops focus on that very issue and illustrates a way for Native youth to cope.

The reconnection and return of Native people once separated from their traditions involves both unity and self-determination, but it is through collaboration and the strengthening of kinship systems that will direct their recovery. To overcome the devastation of the federal government’s policy of assimilation and to heal from the boarding school movement, we must listen to the voices of our children and the wisdom of our elders. 

You’ll also find “Revealing Black Men” an eye-opening read. 

Vincent Castiglia and John Borowski in “Bloodlines”

The blood painter gets his own documentary called “Bloodlines”

There was a point when Vincent Castiglia learned to trust his intuition as an artist, which is most evident with the use of his own blood as a medium. Now film director John Borowski, captures Castiglia’s life works with his new documentary “Bloodlines”.

“We have a lot of amazing material chronicling the creation of several paintings and interviews with a lot of different collectors of mine. ‘Bloodlines’ is going to be a really interesting mix.”

Castiglia spoke with College News detailing his latest paintings and tattoos. Our recap included an upcoming album cover that will be painted in a musicians own blood and a summary of the Gary Holt ESP signature guitar. But what truly amazed me about Vincent Castiglia is his deep empathy for the creative process and the intimacy involved in his collaborative works. “Bloodlines” is a documentary that reveals a captivating story of a modern American surrealist who has captured our imagination with his blood yielding compositions, making his works one of the most unique and modern art collections of all time.              

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College News: How is everything going with ESP and the Gary Holt blood guitar?

Vincent Castiglia: It’s all done man! Gary has had it for a minute now. He’s been on tour with Slayer. I believe ESP is in the middle of doing what they need to do to make a reproduction of it, because it will eventually be offered as a limited edition.

CN: I saw your recent tattoo featured in Inked Magazine, the Roman guard and Christ figure. How long did it take you to do that tattoo?

VC: That took me about 50 hours. The Christ portrait actually wasn’t me. That was the only tattoo he had on his back and it was there already. So I worked around it and worked it into the design.

CN: That tattoo had some amazing detail and I thought it was a good arrangement. What’s next for you?

VC: Well as mentioned last time, I do have this album cover. It’s going to be painted in my as well as the musician’s blood. It’s a big deal to me because I respect the person and I’m looking forward to it! I just finished up my portrait of John Borowski, the director who is working on a documentary called “Bloodlines” that is about my life and work. So this other painting will be next!

CN: Can you tell me a little more about the special editions you have on your website?

VC: I have limited editions available. What is brand new is a large format canvas limited edition of “The Sleep”. This is the first time I’m offering a reproduction and a limited addition reproduction at the same scale. So the print will be seven feet tall and its limited to only 12 pieces and that’s available on my website now.              

CN: What is your favorite piece?

VC: I think it would probably be “The Sleep” for many reasons. I do have that tattooed on my back also. It’s a powerful piece. It was extremely symbolic at the time when I painted it and it’s just as relevant today. I find that it’s a piece that a lot of people connect with.

CN: Who do you trust to do your tattoos?

VC: That was done by Tim Reid in Canada. Tim is an amazing tattoo artist and a great friend.        

CN: Vincent is there anything that you want your fans out there to know?

VC: Ive been working on this new body of work “Autopsy of the Soul”. I’m in the middle of it and that’s going to take a while still but it’s in progress. It will probably be showing somewhere in the middle of 2017. Also there is this documentary called “Bloodlines” by an award winning film maker named John Borowski that is being worked on right now. It will feature my life and my work. I don’t know if we got a chance to talk about it last time, but I’m definitely honored to be working with him on it. “Bloodlines” has been going on for a year and a half almost two years now. It’s been a while! We are just coming to a close and we have a lot of amazing material chronicling the creation of several paintings and interviews with a lot of different collectors of mine like Margret Cho, Gregg Allman, Kerry King, and Gary Holt. “Bloodlines” is going to be a really interesting mix.

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CN: When does “Bloodlines” come out and where can we see it?

VC: It’s probably coming out in the fall and if not the fall the following spring. It will either be fall or spring and most likely it’s going to be on Netflix. If “Bloodlines” gets on a bigger network great, but most likely this is going to Netflix.