• Changing with The Head and the Heart

    You know a band has imprinted on your soul when you remember the exact moment you first heard them. I was a freshman in college when I first heard “Lost in My Mind” by The Head and the Heart. I distinctly remember sitting at Starbucks, studying for my midterms on the downtown Phoenix campus. It was kind of a moment of clarity while my discombobulated brain feebly attempted to decipher “z-scores” in statistics. Hearing Charity Rose Thielen’s voice allowed me to reach a level of comfort I hadn’t yet achieved while being away from my house in Wisconsin.

    I listened to their first, self-titled album religiously and was able to watch them play at Summerfest in Milwaukee. Another indication of an ace artist is when they grow with you. As strange as it sounds, I know I’m not the same person I was when initially sipping my latte three years ago. I dress differently, take less s— from people and have finally evolved my tidbits of interests and hobbies into something tangible: me. The Head and the Heart has not only supported that, but also assisted in it. This melodic, therapeutic blend of country, folk and indie rock has fostered the soundtrack of road trips, plane flights, study sessions and beach days. I think they’ve helped me fall in love with places, and even a few people.

    Here are two of my favorite songs. The first is from “Let’s Be Still.” The second is from “The Head and the Heart.” see more


    February 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

  • Sun Devil Athletics spokesman: Security not an issue at basketball games

    Sun Devil Athletics spokesman Doug Tammaro refuted claims by Oregon basketball officials that ASU basketball and Wells Fargo Arena have a security problem. see more


    February 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm

  • Thoughts on J.K. Rowling’s Change of Heart

    About a week ago, J.K. Rowling, the author of the “Harry Potter” series, admitted that Harry should have married Hermione. From the moment the story broke, the Harry Potter fandom erupted in debate. Did Hermione belong with Harry or Ron?

    Rowling stated that she began her creative process with Hermione and Ron being together, and married. I remember one of my closest friends in middle school (the pre-”Romione” days) reading and writing fanfiction about this pairing, hoping it would come true. see more


    February 10, 2014 at 7:00 am

  • Relationship Status: Forever Alone

    Author Mark Rayner said, “People who have so much of their personality invested in the Internet can’t really survive as whole individuals without it.”

    Facebook is a wonderful creation. It opens lines of communication between people far away and it allows individuals to build their social status. As great as social media is, there are plenty of downfalls.

    Social media paves the way for sadness, life envy and feelings of loneliness. We look at the picture-perfect lives of our friends and wish that we had those things ourselves. The party pictures, the funny status updates, the wall comments — all of it coalesces into a socially constructed image of the perfect life and people yearn for it. see more


    February 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

  • Third time is a charm

    This week, the editors at State Press Magazine and the design team completed a third print issue. Compared to previous production weeks, this one was relatively seamless. I guess that goes to show that the third time’s a charm and we’ve finally figure our sh-t out. We only had a total of two nights in the newsroom that lasted past 10 p.m. and last night we finished the pages by 8:30 p.m. I must admit, it was bizarre to not be scrambling to get things together in the last minute.

    I have to give most of the credit to my kick-ass staff. My writers pulled together eight stories in just two weeks and my photographers supplied photos for every single one. As for my editors, they were calm, cool and collected every step of the way. I could not have done it without them.

    I am particularly excited about this issue because we have some inspiring stories and what I believe is our best layout. The theme is Thinkers & Doers, and everyone in our issue is pursuing a dream to make an impact. Keep your eye out for it next week on newsstands. (The cover alone is sure to catch your attention!) see more


    February 7, 2014 at 11:22 am

  • An homage to Justin Vernon and home

    I feel like Bon Iver became a household name chucked into the indie music genre after the “Bonnie Bear” fiasco of the 2012 Grammy Awards. How sad. Fortunately, that most ironic and uproarious release of Justin Vernon’s songs to the masses did not deter from his music making or my obsession with it. Here’s a Tumblr post I created a couple of years ago that puts this into words:

    The first time I heard the ethereal bliss that is Bon Iver, I was—seriously—in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Any Justin Vernon semi-fanatic knows he not only grew up in this little city, but he is completely dedicated to it. He even has an Eau Claire tattoo, and if that’s not hometown dedication, I don’t know what is. I digress. I was in Eau Claire, as fate would have it, and it was fall. I was 16 and had yet to have anything at all really “strike” me. You know, I was never awestruck. Never dumbfounded. Never inspired. Although it’s admittedly unnecessary for me to do so, I feel compelled to describe Eau Claire. I’ve seen my share of the country and understand there’s nothing quite comparable to a Wisconsin town. It’s an exit sign off the highway. It’s grey skies and crumbling buildings. It’s a modest town square complete with Indian corn and jack-o-lanterns. It’s a smiling elementary school. It’s one Starbucks, a few gas stations and excess camouflage. (Something I still haven’t embraced, but hey, home is home.) That’s where I was. Fall in Wisconsin. How perfect. As I drove through the residential parts with my friends, we passed by a typical suburban home. “Have you heard of Bon Iver? That’s where Justin Vernon lives,” said my friend from Eau Claire. “Nope, never heard of him,” I responded. My other friend said she had some of his songs on her iPod and would play them for me later. My Eau Claire friend’s house was a glorious, old-fashioned, two-story masterpiece of cozy goodness. We created a giant makeshift bed in her room with a plethora of blankets and pillows. She handed me her iPod. “This one’s called Lump Sum.” I listened. I wasn’t immediately smitten and it wasn’t love at first listen. Like all great love affairs, it took time. I listened intently as the tempo picked up, the guitar was strummed faster and Justin Vernon’s downright angelic voice soared through the cheap ear buds. It sounded so foreign, yet somehow familiar. It sounded like nature and feelings. It was beautiful. And that’s what Bon Iver is to me—beautiful. Bon Iver is the crushing of dead leaves under heavy boots. It’s snow falling at Christmas time. It has serenaded me at the beach, on road trips, while trudging through slush, walking to class and falling asleep. It’s my anthem when I’m homesick. It’s raw, heavy, light, joyful, sad, melancholy and serene. It’s a reminder of my roots and my struggles. It’s a representation of me. Bon Iver brings me back to where I need to be, on every occasion. Bon Iver brings me home. see more


    February 7, 2014 at 11:16 am

  • Five books turned theater performances

    I am always so fascinated by the idea that someone’s artistic idea can inspire and transform into other media. This is often the case with songs influencing new songs, plays inspiring movies and even paintings spurring on movies.

    One of my favorites is when a book becomes a movie. That is the world I grew up in; it’s such a hit-or-miss enterprise, but it’s an exciting thought. Whenever I read a book I love, I think, “Man, this would be a great movie.”

    Even more powerful, is when a book becomes a play or musical. When a novel is transformed into a movie, we are able to see close-up emotions and impressive angles. With theater, the emotions are raw and pure, night after night on stage. The set isn’t as put together as a movie, but it leaves just enough room for your imagination. see more


    February 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

  • A psychedelic and atheist-rock playlist

    I don’t know about you, but the music I listen to varies. Sure, some particular artists and songs will forever hold a special place in my heart, but one of the most exciting aspects of music for me has always been discovery. My heart races when I hear a song good enough to “Shazam” or read lyrics that resonate with me on a blog. I have a methodical approach to music-listening that was subconscious for a long time. I create playlists on iTunes according to emotional and spiritual phases of my life. These often end up satisfying me through semesters, seasons or even lengthy trips.

    Here’s a look at what’s streaming through my most recent playlist. I’ve named it “forward.”

    see more


    February 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

  • Sports culture exemplified in the Super Bowl and Literature

    I am a self-proclaimed basketball dream, and football isn’t my favorite sport. Thus, my excitement for the Super Bowl is mostly geared toward the halftime performance and the gluttonous amounts of food. I pay attention to the last 10 minutes of the game most years.

    This year was a bit different, since it wasn’t such a close game. Sorry Denver fans.

    I will admit, there is a wholesomeness and deeply cultural quality attributed to football that my beloved basketball can’t match. H.G. Bissinger’s “Friday Night Lights” captures this love of football and fits the essence of the Super Bowl. see more


    February 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm

  • How to Navigate the Internship Struggle

    Internships are the bane of my existence.

    I completed 27 internship applications this past week; 27 stinkin’ applications and I’ve only heard back from two so far.

    During my time at ASU, I have completed three internships. None of them were related to one another in the slightest, but I managed to rule out jobs that I didn’t want to work ever again. see more


    February 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm