The Best Of Chwomp: October Edition

Since Chwomp has been steadily rising in popularity of the past few months, I figured why not do a monthly ‘Best of’ feature? There have been a ton of quality posts this entire month, and I will do my best to put them in this piece but being scatterbrained I may miss a few! Enjoy them for the first, second, third time!

(Thanks again for over 3000 views this month alone! You’re all the best!)

Here are several of our favorite pieces this month:

Relive when I went to a Taking Back Sunday concert in Columbus, Ohio!

The crowd, including myself and my friend, sang every song in unison with the band. Every chorus, every backing vocals, every lead vocals. Everything was sung by the crowd. It was truly a fantastic experience. Taking Back Sunday played popular songs ‘Cute Without the E (Cut from the Team)’, ‘Liar (It Takes One To Know One)’ and ‘Make Damn Sure‘ (last song of the night), but also played fan favorite songs ‘My Blue Heaven’ (one of my favorites), ‘One-Eighty By Summer’, and ‘What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?’ The band also sprinkled in ‘Catholic Knees’ (the only song off the album New Again to be played – to my knowledge) and ‘Call Me In The Morning’ – which is a fantastic song.

The Rambler Series:

We are a nation asleep. A nation that has been sedentary for decades just laying about waiting to be woken from our empty slumber. We have become a dreamless country and there seems to be no hope for our dreams to return.

Almost a week after the government has re-opened (this piece was featured 10/23), I felt it was the right time to throw my two cents into this whole ordeal. I am not going to talk about certain issues or agendas that Congress has but simply this: it is literally the Red Republicans versus the Blue Democrats. George Washington warned us in his farewell address that a rise in political parties would be detrimental to our government and society. Well, I think, wherever good old Georgie is, that he is laughing his ass off and saying, “I told you so.”

Here is an archive of all the daily music news!

Dave Grohl is unsure of this situation.

Dave Grohl is unsure of this situation at hand. Charles Barkley wants you to check out ‘The Rambler’ pieces!

Band of The Week Features:

All right, so technically Ylvis isn’t a band in the traditional sense, but a group rather – very similar to Lonely Island – that makes music. In fact, many [new] fans consider them the Norwegian Lonely Island. That’s pretty good company for Ylvis to be in as a comedic music group, but I’m going to elaborate more on Ylvis than just Ylvis being the Norwegian Lonely Island.

The band formed in 2005 and had already played their first show by March 4th of the same year. Near the end of 2005/beginning of 2006, the band signed to Fallout Records. The Fratellis were on their way. Their first EP was released in April of 2006 simply dubbed The Fratellis EP. Songs on the EP include ‘Stacie Anne’ and most notably ‘Henrietta’ (their first single).

Before Jukebox The Ghost were Jukebox The Ghost, they were Sunday Mail (2003) – a band formed by the trio while attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Within two years of creating Sunday Mail, the band decided to go on hiatus. During this hiatus, each member grew as a musician and individual, and began working on their own material. They wanted to regroup and collaborate on music together again, but with a new name for the band; thus the renaming to Jukebox The Ghost.

Do not confuse the band Polar Bear Club with the Polar Bear Club of Coney Island. I was utterly befuddled when I tried to find biographical information on the band and it led me to a site dedicated to ‘the oldest winter bathing organization in the United States.’ That’s awesome, Polar Bear Club of Coney Island, but I’m much more interested in the band.

The group now known as ‘OutKast’ was formed in 1992 in Atlanta, Georgia by André Benjamin (André 3000) and Antwan Patton (Big Boi). The original name of the hip-hop group was Two Shades Deep, but quickly became named as OutKast. The group is known as a hip-hop duo, but the pair use many different genres in their music, including:  blues, electronic, funk, jazz rock, spoken word poetry, and soul. Not quite a hip-hop duo at all, but that’s what makes OutKast great – the inability to pin them down onto one genre.

Big Boi and Andre 3000 implore you to read the 'Band of  the Week' piece on them. (Source)

Big Boi and Andre 3000 implore you to read the ‘Band of the Week’ piece on them. (Source)

NFL Predictions:

Fun Feature: Pokémon of the Week!

Meowth is a small, feline Pokémon with cream-colored fur that turns brown at the tips of its hind paws and tail. Its ovoid head features four prominent whiskers, wide eyes with slit pupils, and a gold oval coin embedded in its forehead. Its ears are black with brown interiors, and are flanked with an additional pair of long whiskers. Meowth is a quadruped with the ability to walk on its hind legs; while the games always depict Meowth on two legs, the anime states that Meowth normally walks on all fours. It can freely manipulate its claws, retracting them when it wants to move silently. The tip of its tail curls tightly.

According to the scientific logs found in the Pokémon Mansion of Cinnabar Island, Mewtwo was born of a pregnant Mew, found deep in the jungles of Guyana, whose embryo had been tampered with to alter its DNA. It was held and studied in the mansion where the scientists, including Blaine and Mr. Fuji, performed horrific gene-splicing experiments that made it vicious and extremely powerful. It eventually broke free of the Mansion, destroying it in the process, and fled. It can be encountered in Cerulean Cave, accessible only after a Trainer has proven his or her skill at the Indigo Plateau.

Other Features:

 

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The Rambler: We Stopped Dreaming

Ed. Note: I would like you all to welcome a new contributor, Eric, and his first piece. This will become a weekly piece called ‘The Rambler‘ in which Eric dissects certain popular topics/themes/issues and connects it with music in some way, shape, or form. It’s really the antithesis of rambling and is substantiated with sources and facts. It’s great, and we would love to hear any feedback that you may have for this weekly piece.

We are a nation asleep. A nation that has been sedentary for decades just laying about waiting to be woken from our empty slumber. We have become a dreamless country and there seems to be no hope for our dreams to return.

Neil deGrasse Tyson with several of his instruments. Photo by David Gamble (2008)

Neil deGrasse Tyson with several of his instruments. Photo by David Gamble (2008)

Neil got it right. For those who may not know, or heard of, Neil deGrasse Tyson, he is an Astrophysicist that works at the Hayden Planetarium in New York. I personally believe he is also a philosopher, but that is just my opinion. Nonetheless, he makes a truly compelling argument in the short video. It is hard to disagree with him when you look at the current state of our government. A government living quarter-to-quarter, spreading itself inconceivably thin, making a mockery of our nation. Our Congress fighting meaningless battles and portioning funds to unnecessary sectors and their ridiculous salaries; instead of funding more for NASA, and not just for space exploration but technological improvement.

However, to me, Neil’s point is more than argument for resurgence in space activities but a comment on our nation as a whole. The only dreams the young generations have (including mine) is to find a stable job and make money. We have no fundamental reveries pushing us to challenge human capability. Sure we have our “dream jobs” or “dream lives” but those are intrinsically selfish. Our personal dreams do nothing for our society. We need another moon landing, so to speak, we need another space race, and we need a global challenge that brings our creative minds together. What made the space race so spectacular is that it created Heroes. People like Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong (shout out Wapakoneta, Ohio), and the lesser known Michael Collins were national heroes with children around the nation looking up to them. They created a nation of children who dreamt of being scientist or astronauts who would later push the innovations of mankind. Yet today we have no heroes. No national figure to guide us to prosperity. Why? Because we have stopped testing our limits, we no longer seek, we no longer hunger for the unknown. We have a strong need for men that have the resolve to change, to seek, and not for men who sit idly atop propaganda and rhetoric. (Cough, cough, Congress, cough, cough)

I would argue that another Cold War would revitalize our nation. In fact, I once wrote a research paper arguing that very fact. The Cold War brought panic and paranoia sure, but without it our world wouldn’t be where it is today in terms of technology.

Fun fact: the modern kitchen today was first conceptualized during the Cold War as the United States and Russia competed to prove that they had a higher standard of living.

Imagine the possibilities today, with our technology, what we could accomplish if faced with another Cold War like that of the ‘70’s and 80’s. Well, minus the constant fear of nuclear Armageddon, but you get my point.

Buzz Aldrin stands next to the American flag during the Apollo 11 mission. What will be this generation's moon landing? (Photo Credit)

Buzz Aldrin stands next to the American flag during the Apollo 11 mission. What will be this generation’s moon landing? (Photo Credit)

But where do we begin? Another Cold War is highly unlikely and the progress of human capability often seems stagnant. To me, the answer is this: education reform. Now this is a whole other topic in and of itself so I will be brief. First, we need to make the qualifications to becoming an educator immensely more difficult to achieve. My point: I know plenty of people that I graduated with from college with degrees in education who should not be allowed anywhere near young minds in a classroom. Second, get rid of standardize testing; it proves nothing and takes away from the quality of our education. Teachers spend more time teaching for the standardized tests than they actually do teaching. Third, put more emphasis on Math and Science, help those subjects become more desirable for children. Fourth, allow for education to be seen as a reward and not a punishment. What I mean, for example, when a child acts out don’t punish them with word problems, essays, or reading, it only reinforces that learning can be associated “bad.” I will be writing about education reform in the future so stay tuned for that.

I have ‘Explosions In The Sky’ coupled with this post because it draws emotion out of me. I often sit alone with this song on repeat letting my imagine wander. It fills me with inspiration and desire and helps me confront my troubles. It also helps me see the bigger picture and realize that even the desires of one man can change the world. I want you to listen to it. Go sit somewhere alone, turn the lights down low, put your headphones on, and close your eyes as you listen to the melody. Let it consume you. Embrace the feelings and thoughts that come flooding. They might terrify you but they could change your life.

Share your thoughts with us. We would love to hear them.

-The Rambler

 

Source Material: “We stopped dreaming…” video of Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Bio found on the Hayden Planetarium website

Explosions In The Sky – Your Hand in Mine