Chicago 17 – Album Review

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By Christian Perez


 

Imagine the perfect band.

For some, that might involve massive guitars, pounding percussion, and vocalists that hit astronomically high notes. Others may be picturing a traditional ensemble, draped in the velvety colors of the symphonic orchestra. You might even prefer the artist’s focus on songwriting instead of musical skill!

My idea of the perfect band comes in the form of Chicago. Not only is their individual musicianship excellent, but their collective knowledge and application of jazz sets them apart from other rock groups from the 60s-80s. They found a way to seamlessly blend the intricate harmonic devices of that genre with an accessible approach to songwriting and lyricism.

While Chicago 17 maintains that essential integrity, this album doesn’t always stay consistent in terms of re-imagining the 80s pop formula. Some songs fare better than others, but the overall vibe seems much more manufactured and produced than their earlier jazz-rock works (such as Chicago V).

The opening song of this album is a wonderful example of this supposition. “Stay The Night” sits in this strange middle ground for me. The guitars, synths, and drums hit harder than a brick wall, but the rather odd delivery of the lackluster lyrics brings the whole track down a couples of notches. There’s just not enough depth to this song to keep me engaged, and that tarnished the initial impression I got from the excellent instrumental track.

However, the album gets progressively better after the opening.

Take for example, one of my favorites off of the album, “We Can Stop The Hurtin'”. It directly proceeds “Stay The Night”, and immediately lifted my hopes for Chicago’s seventeenth collection. It opens with an arpeggiated synth bass, a funky clean guitar, and a bare drum beat. Robert Lamm starts his verse by describing the rather desolate condition of society, but transitions into the harmonically-dense chorus by admitting that “If we found a way to reconcile, we could stop the hurtin’ for a while”. I’d recommend that you give this track a listen!

I couldn’t really complete this review without mentioning the two hit ballads off of this album: “Hard Habit to Break” and “You’re The Inspiration”. These are some of my favorite songs of all time, and I’d like to share why these stand out to me.

“Hard Habit to Break” is one of the most intricate power ballads I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. In terms of the song’s composition, I find that Steve Kipner keeps the song interesting by changing the keys many times, as well as emphasizing his wonderful lyrical contributions. Of course, this song wouldn’t have been as successful and as poignant without the fantastic vocal performances provided by Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin! The unique timbre of both of these performers only supplement the excellence of their vocal abilities.

Performed at the Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas.


The song “You’re The Inspiration” follows a similar standard in performance. However, this song serves as a wonderful vehicle for showcasing Cetera’s vocal ability and his skills as songwriting (with a little bit of help from producer David Foster). I don’t believe I can properly explain to you all how great this song is, so here’s a link to a live performance of the song:

Peter Cetera performs this song, independent of Chicago, for the DVD Peter Cetera with Special Guest Amy Grant.


Overall, I think that this album deserves a listen, but keep in mind that the songwriting and 80s aesthetic can sometimes feel both underwhelming and overwhelming. The high points on this album are glorious, but the low points seem to bring you down as well.

Here’s the album on Spotify:

Final Score:

7/10

 

Additional Information

Chicago 17 came out on May 14, 1984 to massive sales (1). It became the group’s best selling album of all time, and cemented the aging group’s musical influence for years to come. The singles from this album include “Stay the Night”, “Hard Habit to Break”, “You’re The Inspiration”, and “Along Comes A Woman”.

Sources:

  1. https://www.chicagotheband.com/albums/chicago17.html
  2. http://vinylalbumcovers.com/chicago-17/

 

 

Yesterday, I Walked Out.

I’m writing this because I’m mad.

On Tuesday morning at 10am, a group of us in the Clarke community stood outside in the 30 degree weather. I was surrounded by students, professors, staff, BVMs, and even local Dubuquers. I should feel a sense of happiness to see this group standing up. But I’m not. I’m mad.

I’m angry that this has to happen. I’m angry with myself that there are students my age and younger in fresh plots of grave and I am here complaining about the cold. I’m mad at you, the gunman. How could you?

I’m mad at those who won’t listen to us. I’m pissed at the people who won’t take a call to action. I’m angry that the crowd who showed up on campus was so small.

I’m mad because there have been 14 school shootings this year and it’s only March (CNN).

I’m done just “keeping the victims and families in my thoughts and prayers.” We need action. We need change now. This can’t keep happening.

You may be wondering, why did I even attend the Walkout if I’m so upset about needing one in the first place?

That’s exactly why I’m here. I can’t keep letting this get pushed into the nooks and crannies of my brain, feeling sad for a day and then moving on.  Did the victims get to move on?

I’m saddened that there were so few who joined this powerful moment, today. I know it’s cold. I know it’s midterms and we are overwhelmed and busy. I know we don’t have time to give. That’s the point. We don’t have the time, we have things to do, but we pause. We walk out anyway. We take a stand. I want my voice to be heard. I want all of our student voices heard. We are smart, fierce, passionate, and fearless.

I looked around the small crowd and I saw anger, I saw tears, I saw passion, and I saw fear. I hope this leads to something more. I don’t want another shooting to just become a dusted over book, a vague memory of what once was. I don’t want to forget. As one woman in the crowd reminded us, “It wasn’t always like this. It doesn’t have to be like this.” There was silence and then applause and understanding from the crowd.

After the walk out, some of us chose to join in a small group discussion in the Fabiano conference room. We were faced with the questions, “What do you think we should do about gun violence?” and, “How can we prevent gun violence here at Clarke University?”

I had plenty of thoughts, comments, stories, and examples to share. But, I had no answer. We all had great discussions and conversations, shared worries, views, and connected with each other…But, we had no answer. Maybe part of the answer we are looking for is to start talking and listening to each other. We need to take the time to check in with one another; don’t let people get lost in the crowd. We need to listen to others’ stories, concerns, and worries. We all have something to say, so please, listen to us.

 

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/us/school-shootings-2018-list-trnd/index.html

 

By: Megan Kane

Can We Be Honest About Gun Control?

Guns.

I feel like my world often revolves around them. I have never fired one, touched one, I haven’t even been in the same room as one, but they always appear in my world. 

<> on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida.

Photo Credit: CNN 

I remember my roommate turning on the news about the high school shooting in Florida. My mind couldn’t help but think about those terrified kids, and the horror the parents faced, not knowing if their child was dead or alive.  Just a few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend who had someone they care about in a similar situation. After that I had heard stories around Dubuque, the shooter at Senior high school and then the man at the women’s lacrosse game, threatening them with a gun. Guns just never seem to want to leave me alone.

All these stories, they just keep sending me back into images of when I thought my life was truly threatened and how lucky I have been. No one was harmed during the the threats that occurred at my schools but, the fear was real, and you don’t forget it.

To most people, my story would sound uneventful. No one was killed, even harmed for that matter. Heck the band kids were still practicing during lockdown. Even though the boy was in custody, we were unaware that the shooter was not out there, and that alone was enough to send several of us into a state of panic. The second time we experienced this, it was a bomb that may or may not go off. It’s not a gun but its a weapon and that’s enough for me to mention this.

It wasn’t brought to my attention about about how dramatizing these experiences until I told my story to a professor.I reassured them telling them that it was alright, but it really isn’t. No one should live with the fear of someone possibling walking into your class and taking a shot at you.

In response to recent events, I’ve been hearing a lot of chat that included  protests about gun control. In fact my brother was telling me about the silent protest at my high school, but then I heard that a similar protest is going to take place on campus.

Gun control. Not once has anyone asked me on my views of gun control after hearing my story. I can only assume that they believe that I think we need more control over how people get guns, but I never believed that to be true.

Guns were designed to kill, but they are only a tool. They’re like a knife, if miss used they can cause serious damage and harm, but we don’t get mad at knives. It’s how the person uses that tool, thats what causes the damage.

I’m sure a lot of you reading this are disagreeing with what I’m saying. I bet some of you have been in similar situations like me and think the opposite of me, and that’s fine, I understand why but I just need someone to understand where I’m coming from.

When I sat in fear during my lockdown, I wasn’t terrified of the .25 caliber handgun that could possibly shoot me. I was terrified of the boy holding the gun that could possibly shoot me.

*Submitted Anonymously to crux@clarke.edu. Contact Allie or Megan with any comments or concerns.

BEAUTY IN THE PAIN

exclusion
EXCLUSION
Grow
GROW
Heart in the Cosmos
IN THE COSMOS
You+Me2
YOU + ME

 

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL ROSE

I REACH OUT TO TOUCH IT

 

BUT SILLY ME

I GRAB IT BY THE THORNS EVERY TIME

 

MY GRASP IS TOO TIGHT

BLOOD IS ALL I SEE

 

I WANTED A HANDFUL OF BEAUTY AND

ALL I GOT WAS A HANDFUL OF PAIN

 

TELL ME HOW IS THIS FAIR

FOR I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME

-mariah j. pellino

CUDM Kicks Off Year 3

By: Caroline Herrig

Dance Marathon is an organization that supports the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, and this is Clarke’s third year of hosting their own Dance Marathon event.

This organization works throughout the school year to raise funds and awareness for the hospital, and at the end of the year at the “big event”, the total amount of money raised is revealed to all of the members and dancers who helped raise it! In the past two years, Clarke Dance Marathon, an entirely student-run organization, has raised over $25,000 and with that money, was able to purchase a prep/recovery room at the hospital that is named after Clarke’s program.

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Kaitlynn Pate, one of CUDM’s Co-Presidents, expressed how critical each and every member and dancer is to the success of the organization.

“It is amazing to me that college students can make such an impact on the lives of those treated at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. We are all part of a movement that is larger than all of us participating combined. We are the face to end pediatric illness,” Pate stated.

This year, the organization has been especially busy with fundraising, as the goal this year is to raise $20,000, all of which goes directly to the hospital to provide things like meal tickets for families during their stay, toys/gifts for the kids, as well as funding for research for pediatric illnesses.

The executive committee has also been working to ensure the big event runs smoothly, and has been working to schedule entertainment for the event such as dodgeball, karaoke/lip sync battles, minute-to-win-it games, a bounce house, Zumba, therapy dogs, plus more! All of these activities are free for Dance Marathon committee members and dancers to participate in. The only hard part, is that there is no sitting or caffeine allowed during the 8 hour event. This is a way for the Dance Marathon members to take on the struggles that the kiddos at the hospital regularly face.

Most importantly, at the big event, the miracle families that are the face of the Clarke Dance Marathon program are given the opportunity to share their stories of their experiences with the hospital for all of the members and dancers to hear. These stories are shared throughout the event to serve as a reminder of what all of the hard work is for. Chelsea Pierce, CUDM’s Family Relations Director, stated, “I have never met and gotten to know stronger families than our CUDM miracle families. They let our organization into their lives and let us become a part of their families. They share with us their difficult times, and our organization helps life them up.”

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CUDM’s big event is held on Saturday, April 14th from 4 pm – midnight, and is held in the Kehl Center on campus. Dancers can still register for the event, and donations can be made now, through the duration of the event. If you would like to register, donate, or learn more about Dance Marathon and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, you can visit clarke.edu/dancemarathon.

A Fresh Look at the Tenth Muse

The Tenth Muse, Clarke’s literary magazine, is revamping its brand this year, as the staff puts together the eighth volume of the magazine. Professor Emily Goodmann has taken the reigns on the project, with help from editor-in-chief, Jenna Weber, a sophomore here at Clarke University. Changes will be seen this year in brand, logo, and overall tone of the Tenth Muse. It’s a very exciting time for the Tenth Muse staff.

Weber took some time to reflect on her experience with the Tenth Muse, thus far. She explained to me, “My role as an editor started last year when, as a freshman, I agreed to do an internship with the professor who was the previous faculty advisor of the magazine. I was interested in taking the class after getting my first poem published through the Tenth Muse but was the only student who signed up for the course in the Fall 2017 semester.”

Weber then goes on to say, “However, I was still determined and excited to be a part of this literary magazine at Clarke. After this professor left, I took the course with Emily Goodman and worked one-on-one with her on understanding copyediting, improving my skills in this field, and learning how to serve as a positive leader.”

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I then asked Weber about her experience as the editor-in-chief position. She said, “The experience as Editor-in-chief has been challenging and rewarding as I learn more every day about the publishing process as well as what it means to be a part of a literary magazine. I am and always will be passionate about the Tenth Muse and its mission.”

The Tenth Muse supports the creativity of Clarke students and among any creative minds wanting to submit their work for publication, and sharing it with the local community.

Weber’s final remarks were, “I plan to keep working with others to expand its voice across the Clarke campus as well as the Dubuque community. I look forward to the changes this magazine will go through and hope those who follow the Tenth Muse share in my excitement.”

Now, with 5 students on staff, and the hard work and dedication of Emily Goodmann and Jenna Weber, the process of putting together and publishing the magazine is underway. Clarke University is proud of all the students who submitted and contributed to the making of the Tenth Muse, and we all should give some thanks to ambitious, dedicated students like Jenna Weber, who has kept the Tenth Muse alive, fresh, and better than ever.

The Tenth Muse will launch in late spring at the Tenth Muse’s launch party. Details to follow from the staff at the Tenth Muse.

 

By: Megan Kane

$4 Million Festival In Cedar Rapids Ft. Maroon 5 & Kelly Clarkson

By Allie Evans

Cedar Rapids, IA, is debuting a brand new $4 million cultural festival named newbo evolve, in the heart of little bohemia featuring headliners Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson, from August 3rd through 5th. newbo evolve celebrates not only the Bohemian creative spirit in Cedar Rapids, but the rebirth of the city after the 2008 flood.

This festival, according to their website, newbo evolve has a purpose of celebrating “the creative Bohemian spirit through music, art, fashion, dance, food, and technology” by providing 40 keynote speakers, various activities and experiences, alongside the well-advertised concerts of Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson.

Watch a video by Go Cedar Rapids about newbo evolve, here!

Interested attendees have the option of purchasing a 3-day pass for the festival at $375 dollars, or individual tickets to the headliner shows of Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5. The festival directors are receiving criticism for the pricey 3 day pass, the lack of a-la-carte passes for sessions, and that tickets are limited to 18+ audiences.

In response to this criticism, KCRG, did some research about the costs of festivals and confronted the directors of newbo evolve. Lollapalooza, the 4-day all music festival near Chicago only has a 4-day admission of $335. Aaron McCreight, the President of Go Cedar Rapids, and the creators of the festival stated that “So for the evolve pass for $375 you get reserved seating, preferred seating right up front in front of the stage. You get there whenever you want. Nobody will be in your seat, and it’s actually a chair,” and expressed their desire to create a reasonable and affordable price for all the activities provided.

According to the festival website, the price of everything included in the $375 package is well worth over $600. This price includes reserved seating at both headlining and to-be-announced local artist concerts, access to all celebrity lead keynotes throughout the three days, and exclusive access events and locations that are listed on their website, here.  

However, do not be discouraged by the price tag if you were interested in seeing Maroon 5 or Kelly Clarkson. There are general admission tickets available for purchase through the US Cellular Center for Maroon 5 starting at $70, here, and Kelly Clarkson starting at $54.50, here.

 

What do you think about a festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, costing more than Lollapalooza? Would you attend newbo evolve for the span of 3 days, or would you rather attend only the concerts? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

newbo evolve logo courtesy of gocedarrapids.com

5 Things To Do If You’re Single on V-Day

By: Maggie Christianson

Let’s be real, Valentine’s Day is for chocolates, roses and romantic dinners with that special someone. How sweet. If you’re me, however, you could care less for this holiday because you are single and your date is a box of chocolates with the disgusting cherry filling. Over the many of years of being single, I have perfected the best way to enjoy my Valentine’s day by showing myself a little love. Here are my top 5  activities I like to do on the most romantic day of the year.

  • Do a little shopping.

I’ve been working hard, I should treat myself, right? Absolutely! Nothing big and flashy, but maybe that cute tee you have been eyeing for a while now. Think of it as a good job reward. Something that will remind you that “Hey, your special, so get something special.”

  • Pamper yourself.

I don’t know about you, but I stress myself out like crazy. Between school, sports and my own personal projects, my mind and body are always sore. To counter that daily stress, give yourself a chance to get pampered. Valentine’s day is the perfect day to do so, whether it’s putting on a face mask or painting your nails, allow yourself to decompress and chill.

  • Romantic Comedy

I enjoy a good laugh and love story, so I enjoy Valentine’s day by popping in a movie. It doesn’t have to be a romantic comedy, just something you enjoy that makes you smile. This year’s top two picks for me is 10 things I hate about you (Highly recommend) or Deadpool (Because I can).

  • Storybook time

I am always reading new books and traveling to new places. It’s the best way to unwind and relax. Find a comfy corner, your bed, couch or futon. Then get a bunch of pillows and blankets, and finally curl up in your nest. Pick a book you haven’t read before, or one you love. Allow yourself to escape for a little bit. You’ll feel refreshed after (Unless you choose the an intense book. Then you’re in trouble.)

  • Share the love

If you see someone down, give them a smile, or offer them a hug. Pass someone some candy to show how sweet they are. I always go out of my way to give someone a smile and hug a friend because everyone deserves a little bit of love, not just those happy couples.

 

How did you spend your Valentines Day? Did you try any of these out? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @TheClarkeCrux !

A Delicious and Melodious Night in Japan

By Maggie Christianson

On October 25th, 2017 the Edward and Cathy Gallagher Arts at Clarke series hosted A Night In Japan in Jansen Music Hall. The event, starting at 7:00pm,  began with music ensembles from Clarke under the direction of Andrew Alegria and David Resnick and concluded Tsukasa Taiko’s Japanese drumming performance.  Alongside these acts, the series provided food options ranging from sushi to matcha white chocolate mousse before the event at 6:30 in the Atrium.

My adventure to A Night In Japan started when I arrived at the Atrium with an empty belly, ready to enjoy some sushi, only to discover the long line almost headed down the hall. It felt like forever, but once I received my plate, I grabbed as much food as I could. I tried everything they had, from veggie and tuna sushi to their dumplings filled with delicious pork.

For dessert, the staff had prepared a creme cheesecake puffball and white mousse. I wasn’t a huge fan of the cheesecake, which was perfect for my friend, Mariah, who attended the concert with me because she fell in love with the flavor. I really enjoyed the mousse. It had the texture much like frosting and a sweet flavor that wasn’t too rich, making it easy to enjoy.

After finishing our dish, some friends and I headed into the Jansen Music Hall and found ourselves right in front. The wind ensemble started off the 1st act by beautifully performing Japanese folk songs. My personal favorite was Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song by Samuel Hazo.

The 1st act continued with Sharon Jensen playing Hanawa- Saku (Flower will Bloom) by Yoko Kanno, on the piano. Following her was Cantabile, singing two songs, Nanatsu No Ko, a Japanese Children’s Song, and Sakura Sakura- arranged by Douglas E. Wagner. All the students and professors did an amazing job performing all these beautiful Japanese songs and created a great beginning to this wonderful night.

The 2nd Act was performed by Tsukasa Tako. Here is where they performed on the taiko drums and showed the different festival performances the drums were used for. Part of the show was demonstrating the movements of the beating of the drums which I found very memorizing. The speaker was very engaged with the audience, telling us stories about the music and how he started this group.I was amazed by the classical dance, getting to listen to live music as well as watching a dancer perform to said music.

 

I honestly enjoyed my evening. It was overall a great experience, from the delicious food to the wonderful music. I feel that whether someone went only for the food or the music, everyone found something to enjoy, as I heard nothing but good things about the night.

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