Last updateThu, 02 Apr 2020 1pm


Live From London

default article imagePop punk giants Mayday Parade and The Wonder Years, from Tallahassee and Philadelphia respectively, rocked the London Troxy last Saturday evening.

Opening acts included Pronoun, the solo indie pop brainchild of Brooklyn singer-songwriter Alyse Vellturo, as well as Southern California post-hardcore quartet Movements.

Pronoun opened the show with a brief set of infectious pop melodies against a backdrop of twinkling guitars.

Vellturo and her band performed songs off their 2017 EP Use Passport to Choose a New Location as well as some singles from their upcoming LP I’ll Show You Stronger which is due out May 24.

Movements pushed the show forward with their gritty mix of raw punk guitar tones and emotive melodies.

The band performed a set of songs from their 2017 LP Feel Something, including popular tracks such as “Third Degree” and “Colorblind.”

The Wonder Years then followed with the first headlining set of the night.

The Philly sextet dominated the stage as they established a wall of sound; drummer Mike Kennedy ripped into each song with vigor and excitement, laying the foundation for the band’s heavy guitar-laden sound.

The London performance signaled the end of the band’s month-long tour of the UK and Europe in support of their 2018 LP Sister Cities.

The tour featured stops in countries like the Netherlands, Italy, and even Iceland.

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Who’s Behind The Mask?

Behind The MaskThe new American reality singing TV competition series The Masked Singer premiered on FOX on Jan. 2.

The new show is based on the South Korean reality show, King of Masked Singer.

The show has 12 celebrities in a singing competition against one another and they sing their favorite songs whether they are professional singers or not.

The celebrities are dressed as a lion, alien, rabbit, deer, unicorn, monster, peacock, bumble bee, and raven. There’s even a pink poodle, pineapple with a six pack, and a hippo.

The catch is that no one knows who the celebrity is because they are dressed in extravagant costumes hiding their identities.

In addition to their outrageous outfits, each celebrity has a constant autotune on their voice with the exception of when they’re singing.

Upon discovering the reality competition show, assistant professor of communications, Dickie Cox, M.F.A, stated, “An early precedent for this kind of show would be The Gong Show in the 1970s.”

Before each celebrity’s performance, a video is shown.

The video consists of multiple hidden clues that are visibly seen and said by the secret celebrity themselves.

The celebrity then goes to perform and allows the judges to ask about two “yes or no” questions.

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Ricky Byrd’s Journey From Rock ‘N Roll to Recovery

Ricky Byrds JourneyThe University hosted a conversation with former Joan Jett and the Blackhearts guitarist Ricky Byrd to discuss his struggles with addiction last Thursday, Feb. 21, at Woods Theatre.

Byrd has had an incredible journey featuring some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows.

While I was waiting in the foyer for the event to begin, I saw a student emerge from the stage area and began talking to someone about Byrd. “I asked [Byrd] when he knew he had needed to get help,” I heard him say. “[Byrd] replied and told me ‘Well, I almost died.’”

Hearing that right before the show piqued my interest and made me wonder what this guy was all about.

When the event started, Byrd walked out onto the stage wearing a black button down with the two top buttons undone, blue-tinted shades and longish white hair; he has the aura of a rock legend.

Byrd was joined on stage with music industry student and fellow musician Zack Sandler, who conducted the interview and helped organize the event.

A PowerPoint played in the back featuring pictures from Byrd’s life and career, as he talked about everything far and few between.

Byrd recalled the first time he knew he wanted to be a musician while watching the Ed Sullivan Show and seeing super groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones perform.

While he had good moments in his youth, Byrd also talked about how he started to get into drugs and alcohol during this time.

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Marked, Unmarked, Remembered: A Geography Of American History Photographs By Andrew Lichtenstein

Marked Unmarked Remembered 1The Ice House Gallery on campus, is a historical site that students walk past every day without ever knowing its significance in the lives of those who used to live in Wilson Hall before it became the University we now all call home.

This is what makes it the perfect place for Andrew Lichtenstein’s photography collection, Marked, Unmarked, Remembered: A Geography of American Memory to reside (from now until March 22).

This Gallery is a culmination of many years’ worth of photos taken in historical locations around the country, that aren’t often acknowledged for their significant places in history; but that’s not the only thing connecting these places.

Upon asking Lichtenstein how he found these locations, he shared the deeper connection of all the photos, saying, “it was all history that was important to me. So history that I was particularly interested in was the history of struggle and the history for the struggle for civil rights in this country.”

Lichtenstein began his career in photography while living in the east village of New York City several years ago, where he witnessed a modern struggle for civil rights.

What he’s seen provoked him to combat the injustice through documenting everything that went on.

The artist spoke on the event with, “When I was living in the East Village, they closed the park to the homeless. Then, I watched them take all the homeless people’s belongings and throw them in the trash truck.”

According to a friend of his and observer of the gallery, it was Thomson Square Park.

Lichtenstein continued, “I just felt that that was wrong; so all my friends and neighbors were throwing bricks and rocks at the police, and then they were getting beat up. [However,] I didn’t want to get beat up. [Then,] I quickly figured out if I brought a camera, I could participate, but not really suffer the consequences.”

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Has Liam Neeson’s Career Taken a Wrong Turn?

Liam Neeson CareerEarlier this month while on a promotional tour for his new film Cold Pursuit, Liam Neeson made some staggering comments about an incident that took place nearly 40 years ago.

In an interview with The Independent, Neeson recalled a time where he discovered that his close friend was raped.

The only information about the assailant was that he was a black man.

As a result, in a blind rage, the action star admitted that he wanted to seek out revenge and “[…] hope some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could… kill him.”

Neeson talked about this time in his life and continued in the interview to display great remorse for those feelings he once had, but that isn’t the conventional issue with the comments made.

On one hand, it’s an appalling thing to reveal and it’s probably good that Neeson showed regret.

After all, he spoke truthfully and that should count for something, but still, Neeson shouldn’t come across as a hero in this story.

Neeson’s comments reflect a type of behavior that’s so incredibly despicable and something that still unfortunately exists in our society.

There are some people who will claim racism isn’t a major issue in our country—or just in general—but comments like this show there’s still a root of hate that exists.

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Your Guide to The Oscars

Commentary, Nominees, Picks, and Predictions

Guide to Oscars 1It’s that time of the year where film junkies make their picks, girls go crazy over Twitter to check out the best dresses on the red carpet, and people pass out on their couches when the ceremony runs past midnight.

Yes, the center of the universe will revolve around the 91st Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles where all the stars will be under one roof this Sunday.

Looking back, last year’s Oscars had its fair share of controversy.

The ceremony took place at a time where the #MeToo Movement was gaining momentum and many people in Hollywood were ousted.

A lot of actresses who attended last year’s Oscars wore black in solidarity with those who were victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

On the other hand, actors wore pins that read “Time’s Up,” which was in support of the foundation that pays for the legal defense of those who were sexually harassed in the workplace.

While it looked like everyone was in unison on the red carpet, it was a different vibe inside the Dolby Theater, where there were controversial wins.

NBA legend Kobe Bryant won an Oscar for Best Animated Short, but the player was at the center of a sexual assault case in 2003.

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The Biggest Winners and Losers from The Grammys

Grammys Winners Losers 1The 2019 Grammys were a wild ride from start to finish.

With amazing performances from Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Post Malone and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, H.E.R., a Motown mashup featuring some of music’s biggest stars, and many more, the soundtrack was diverse and well-received.

However, some of the Grammy winners might not have been the ideal candidates.  Here are some comments about big winners and big losers that took home the Golden Gramophone.   

Best Rap Album of the Year

Winner: Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy.

Losers: Mac Miller or Travis Scott.

Perhaps this is because I’m not a big Cardi fan, but I thought Scott’s Astroworld was outstanding.  And Mac Miller’s Swimming would’ve been a nice posthumous tribute.

Best Country Album

Winner: Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour.

Loser: Chris Stapleton, From a Room, Volume 2.

This one is an awesome country album.  Stapleton’s voice and his guitar playing are fresh.  Musgraves is still incredible though, but I feel Stapleton was snubbed.

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Thank U for New Music, Ariana Grande

Arianna Grande New SingleLess than six months after Sweetener was released, Ariana Grande decided to throw another record our way, in the name of her successful single thank u, next.

The best way to describe this album would be in the form of a quote by my older sister.

When discussing the album she said, “This was really good for an album that was supposed to be bad.”

Grande released Sweetener amidst an overabundance of chaos in her personal life. The artist was taking leaps of faith in every aspect of her life, from musical endeavors to impromptu engagements.

Like most things in life, there is no guarantee that those acts of courage will be successful in the long run.

Sweetener was not a collective record. There was a lot going on musically, and many of the tracks were forgettable.

 So when “thank u, next” was released in November, I was nervous.

The single was a monumental moment in Grande’s career because she was revealing personal details of her life in such an overt way.

The album thank u, next gave me everything I needed.  It is like Dangerous Woman’s pretty sister.

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Is Jerry F**ked?

Is JerryIf you engage with social media it is more than likely that you’re contributing to one of the most widespread crimes committed on the internet: content stealing.

One of the biggest constituents of this is the company which runs the meme providing Instagram account, F**kjerry.

You may be wondering, why is this account being called out, to the extent of losing 500,000 followers (which only makes up a small percentage of their current 14 million followers)? For F**kjerry, they have gained their popularity through content theft, and then make money from posting this content through brand deals and advertisements woven into their posts.

The account has also been in the spotlight recently after their appearance in Netflix’s Fyre documentary, which details how festival goers were scammed into a luxurious music festival that turned into a disaster. F**ckjerry ran the marketing campaign for the big scam, but claimed that they were bamboozled as well.

Thousands of users on social media have called out the account for stealing and posting content from comedians without giving them credit. Many of which, used their own social media presence to bring light to the issue. John Mullaney, a prominent comedian spoke up on Instagram posting, “They have stolen jokes from me and many other comedians and profit off it. #f**kf**kjerry.” 

The account’s founder, Elliot Tebele, has issued a statement which read, “Given the conversations over the past few days, and the issues that have come to light, it is clear, however, that we need to do better.”

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Show Us What You Got! Monmouth’s Partnership with Asbury’s Showroom Theater

Monmouth Asbury Showroom TheaterBeginning Feb. 20, Monmouth University and Asbury Park’s ShowRoom Cinema, located at  707 Cookman Ave, will proudly unveil a new event series, uniting well-known and topical films with insightful post-show commentary.

The series of screenings, titled “Monmouth University Live at The ShowRoom Cinema!” will feature Monmouth professors Walter Greason, Lisa Dinella, and Randy Abate.

It will run once a month in thematic correspondence with Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Earth Day.

Kenneth Womack, Ph.D, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, described the inception of the event series: “Last summer, I had the opportunity to present the 50th-anniversary showing of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine at The ShowRoom Cinema in Asbury Park.”

“The managerial team Michael Sodano and Nancy Sabino were pleased with the response, and we hatched a plan for bringing more curated film presentations to the Showroom with Monmouth University content experts providing post-film commentary,” said Womack.

“‘Monmouth University Live at the Showroom Cinema!’ offers another venue for sharing our faculty’s expertise with our students and the larger community beyond our campus. It is a vital means for our gifted faculty to share their expertise as public intellectuals,” Womack concluded.

Following the aforementioned thematic order, each film was selected with a purpose: to highlight the struggle of marginalized groups or concepts in our nation’s history.

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Transport Yourself to Sonic Blume’s Endless Summer

Sonic Blumes Endless SummerIf you’re looking for new music, look no further: Sonic Blume, a local indie pop band, is guaranteed to become your next obsession.

Their sound creates an indescribable alternative dreamscape, accomplished by marrying the vibes of bands like Tame Impala, The War on Drugs, Joy Division, and The Smiths.

The band’s talent far surpasses what you may expect for their age, with most of the members clocking in at only 18 and their bassist at 17.

Max Connery leads the band as an effortless jack of all trades; he serves as Sonic Blume’s singer, songwriter, guitarist, and synth/keys master.

The rest of the band consists of Chase Landgrebe (guitar), Danny Murray (drums), and Andrew Phelan (bass).

The story of Sonic Blume’s formation seems like kismet.

“We met at The Count Basie Performing Arts Academy’s Rockit Program in Red Bank when we were still in middle school. We became friends and found that we all had the same taste in music – indie/shoegaze/80’s alternative. In December of 2015, we decided to start our own band,” Connery said.

Shortly afterward in May 2016, Sonic Blume performed at Battle of the Bands at Mater Dei High School in Middletown, where they met Jon Leidersdorff of Asbury Park’s Lakehouse Recording Studios.

Connery stated, “He encouraged us to start writing our own stuff; it was that conversation with Jon that inspired us and gave us the confidence to explore our creative side.”

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151