Lutes cut loose at LollaPLUza

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Otieno Terry’s performance was powerful, to say the least. Terry has played multiple fests in the Seattle area and was accustomed to performing in front of a large crowd.

This piece was originally published in Mast Magazine via mastmedia.plu.edu
Photos by McKenna Morin.

   Lutes cut loose at LollaPLUza 2016, just two weekends before the end of the semester. Students and community members sprawled across the golf course on the uncharacteristically-warm day in early May; dancing, singing or listening to the live bands the LollaPLUza team had booked for the event.

     At 1 p.m., the gates opened and student band Head Portal started the day off strong with a set of classic covers to get the crowd going. Caleb & Denae followed them up on the B stage while seattle locals Prom Queen set up. Runaway Satellite, an acoustic rock duo,  played between Prom Queen and Otieno Terry.

     Terry’s music is a charming mix of many different genres.

     “My biggest influences were video game soundtracks, and a lot of orchestral stuff,” Terry told the Mast after his set. “Eyrkah Badu, Little Dragon, Kanye West, Outkast, Crying Baby Ray. R&B, electronic music, and hip-hop.”

     “Last year, we did Madaraka festival at the EMP, we did Sasquatch, we did Capitol Hill Block Party, Bumbershoot, and the Homeskillet festival in Alaska and the John Coltrane Festival in North Carolina,“ he said. With a history of performing for large crowds, it’s no wonder Terry was a natural on stage at LollaPLUza. He credits some of his success to winning Sound Off! 2014 at the EMP, an all-ages music competition that helps artists showcase their music and launch their careers.

     “Sound Off kinda set things off a little bit,” Terry said. “Sound Off got me that Bumbershoot performance and Block Party, kinda opened the door to my name, people just started booking me. Also, it was cool to hook up with other people from the sound off, and the people from the EMP are really nice. Super down to earth.”

     The following hours saw sets from Navvi, Dave B., and the PLU Dance Team.

     This year’s headliner, Pickwick, blended sweet dancing melodies with driving guitars and came into a sound all their own on stage.

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Pickwick’s vocalist Galen belts out a high one over their groovy rock sound. They’re new album is scheduled to come out in fall.

     “I’d call our music rock and roll, but it’s fun to go disco at times, be chill at times, it’s been fun to try different things,” said Pickwick vocalist Galen Disston.

     Pickwick’s been hard at work recording their new album with producer Erik Blood. Blood also produced albums for Seattle artists Shabazz Palaces and Tacocat.

     “Here’s what I’ll say about it: It’s the best experience I’ve ever had making a record, we made [Can’t Talk Medicine], but it was kind of like a compilation, some songs we’d done two times already by the time we got here,” Disston said. “It felt fresh, some of [the songs] we had written right before we went into the studio. I don’t know how to describe it, but the record made this place that I want to be in […]  not the studio, just this place, metaphorically, that we were at when making it, and that i go to when i listen to it.”

     Throughout the day, a number of non-musical activities were available for participating Lutes as well; the rock wall, the obstacle course and food trucks were all hits.

Friends of 88.5 FM propose cheaper sale

This piece originally appeared in The Mast at mastmedia.plu.edu

JEFF DUNN; News Editor: dunnja@plu.edu

Friends of 88-5 FM released a letter of intent last Tuesday asking Pacific Lutheran University to lower its asking price for KPLU from $7 million to $6 million, citing the $1 million the university would save by not paying severance and unemployment benefits.

Additionally, the letter of intent proposed to let KPLU continue operations on-campus in the Martin J. Neeb center, rent-free, provided that they would consolidate all of their operations to the first floor.

Former chair of KPLU’s advisory council and current chairman of the Friends of KPLU governing board Stephen Tan called the deal “substantially similar” to the offer to KUOW.

“We’re saving them over $1 million, so we’re asking for a $1 million reduction in the cash to be paid,” Tan told Current the day of the announcement.

“They are ignoring costs to the university of allowing the six month fundraising period that has already more than offset those savings.” Allan Belton; Vice President of Finance and Administration

Vice President of Finance Allan Belton said that they had received the proposal last week and are currently analyzing it. Belton also pointed out that the cost of allowing the community group effort has reached $1.5 million, which far exceeds the savings indicated by their offer.

“They are only counting what they estimate as perceived savings to the university for accepting their offer,” Belton said. “They are ignoring costs to the university of allowing the six month fundraising period that has already more than offset those savings.”

The Save KPLU campaign just passed $5 million at press time, meaning that if PLU agrees to the new proposal, Friends of 88-5 FM would only need $1.3 million more to prevent the impending sale to KUOW. Tuesday was also #GiveBIG Day, a donation holiday ran by the Seattle Foundation. Friends of 88-5 FM received so many donations through #GiveBIG, the Seattle Foundation’s website actually went down for several hours, prompting the Seattle Foundation to extend the donation time period another 12 hours.

Nate Hansen on working at OMM

IMG_0602-copy1-620x264“Its great to see your friends all the time. I live off-campus, so I don’t get to interact with students on-campus as much anymore, especially first-years and sophomores,” Nate Hansen, a senior this year, said. “You can see what gets them going and have those conversations you don’t often get to have.

Nate Hansen’s extroverted personality makes working at Old Main Market a breeze.

“I’ve had a couple on-campus jobs, I’ve been an RA, I’ve worked in the music hall as an usher and I’ve been a note-taker, but this has been one of my favorite on-campus jobs by far.”

Nate found his vocation as an Economics major with a Women’s and Gender Studies minor.

“I’m a feminist economist,” he said. He thinks the way the two disciplines intersect is very important to the world right now.

“A lot of the issues that face our world right now are deeply rooted in economic inequalities and some of those are deeply rooted in gender issues,” Hansen said. “I think the interplay of the two disciplines is really interesting, especially in developing countries.”

Focusing back on his job, I asked Hansen which drink he absolutely hates making for people.

“No! I love it when people order anything!” he responded, loud enough for his boss to hear from the other side of the market.

Besides his classes and on-campus work, Hansen also competes for PLU’s Track and Field team. He runs the 200 meter and said he’s “trying” to be a sprinter.

With all this on his plate, Hanson had to learn the hard lesson of time management.

“That’s something I learned in my first year. It’s something you’ll have to learn. Being a student-athlete and holding a job on campus teaches you a lot of skills you can use in your life outside of college.”

Hansen also took time in our interview to reflect on his years here at PLU.

“It’s crazy how the time flies, next thing you know you’re a senior, you wonder ‘what did I do that was meaningful to me and to other people?’”

I asked him why he loves his major, and he told me he loves the way others are inspired by Economics.

“Other than loving the subject material –  when you meet people in your discipline that are really excited about what they do, it makes it so much more easy and a lot more fun, and that’s what I found in the Economics department. Get in contact with the professors. They’re more than willing to help you. Everyone’s really nice in the departments and it’s a great choice,” he said, not forgetting to add: “Pick it over science.”

Mollie Parce on Philosophy & Opera

mollie-620x264Note: This piece was originally published in Mast Magazine, Pacific Lutheran University’s monthly student magazine.

J-Term is a time of transition for Lutes and junior Mollie Parce is no exception. Her last two J-Terms were dominated by Pacific Lutheran University’s annual opera performances. This year, the opera class was held during the fall, freeing up Mollie’s January to fulfill her Philosophy credit by taking Ethics and the Good Life with Professor Mike Rings.

“I feel like [Ethics and the Good Life] makes me question my own opinions and views, which is weird because I am really passionate about what I believe in,” Parce said. GURs, or general university requirements, such as the philosophy course Parce is taking, offer a unique opportunity to gain perspective.

“I usually am pretty stubborn about my opinions,  I can talk to other people about it but usually don’t change my mind,” she said. “This class makes me see things from a different point of view.”

“It makes me use a different type of thinking,” Parce continued. “Opera is more of a habitual thing and I can pick up the material a lot faster because it’s what I’m good at. But when I have a different class it challenges me a bit more. Last year I did both a J-Term class and opera and it was awful just because I had a hard timemasksbalancing both. This year I’m having an easier time in my GUR because it’s really the only thing I have to focus on.”

Comparing this year’s opera to the last two she’s performed in, Parce preferred performing during January. Last year, the opera class performed “Alcina” by Handel. The year before that, they performed an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“I thought it would be better during the fall because we had more time, but I think J-Term is a better setting for it. It’s intensive, and you do it for five hours a day, every single day, Monday through Friday. It’s harder because you have to memorize your music quicker, but I think it’s better because it keeps you more focused on that specific thing because it’s your J-Term class.”

“During the regular semester you have all these other classes going on, so it doesn’t feel like as much of a priority as it really should be, especially for people who are vocal performance majors.”

It takes a special kind of crazy to become a music major, especially with a focus in vocal performance. It’s a lot of hard work and dedication to produce those kinds of results. The results they produce speak for themselves, though. All that great music follows naturally from the amount of work they’ll put in to honing their craft.

“It’s a cliche, but you are your biggest critic. It’s hard because your body is your instrument, so when you get sick or you’re tired you can feel it and hear it in your voice. Even if you’re fatigued from carrying boxes all day you can feel it in your voice.”

“I question it almost every day; ‘is this the right major for me?’ The difference is it’s me saying that and not my vocal teacher or a professor.”