Musical Fridays: Hip-Hop

by Richard Southard, The River editor I’ll admit: I’ve been dreading to write the Musical Friday post for Hip-Hop. Not because I don’t enjoy the music. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I enjoy the music so much that figuring out just five suggestions has been a bit of a struggle. A few days ago, I sat down at my desk with the intention of reading. Instead, I spent a half hour staring at the pages as I thought of what music I could pick for this post (and I didn’t even reach a conclusion). The time has come to release this curse. Of course, Hip-hop is an incredibly diverse genre with hundreds of potential choices for great albums. My first exposure to the genre was some of the “classics”, such as 2Pac, Jurassic 5, and The Notorious B.I.G. Most of these songs came from the soundtracks of video games I’d play on my Playstation 2. I also heard the occasional

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Musical Fridays: Rock (ish)

by Richard Southard, The River Editor I find “rock music” to be such a general term. I don’t often find myself describing music off the word alone, or at least not without some other descriptor attached to it. Most other blogs, websites, and databases don’t appear to have a problem with it, though, so perhaps it is just me. I have been known to be picky with labels. I’m sure that I’m not alone when I say that the first music I heard was rock. I recall many car rides throughout my childhood where my father would put in a cassette tape of Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Beatles, or Creedence Clearwater Revival (his all-time favorite). I began to call it “old-people music” despite not knowing any other music to compare it to. Of course, I’m not just referring to classic rock. As I went through school, as well as the many phases that come out through adolescence, rock music was the go-to

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Musical Fridays: Electronic

by Richard Southard, The River editor “For me, electronic music is like cooking: it’s a sensual organic activity where you can mix ingredients.” -Jean-Michel Jarre I find that quote interesting, mostly because the idea has proven quite true to me over the past year. However, rather than seeing it from a cooking perspective, it’s been more on the actual results (i.e. the food itself). Preparing for a new electronic album has sometimes felt like looking at a strange, unusual new dish  that I can’t always pin down the origins or taste of. Sometimes it reminds me of the first time I saw pineapple on pizza, questing if two certain ingredients should even be put together. But, as such foods have proven, even a strange mix of ingredients can make for a decent result. At other points, it makes an amazing one. However, in this case, we’re not looking at cooking (at least not now). This week, I’ll be talking about a few

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Musical Fridays: Jazz

by Richard Southard The River Editor My very first exposure to jazz came in the form of a Spongebob Squarepants episode, when I was about six years old. In the episode, Patrick informs Spongebob that he should “acquire a taste for freeform jazz”, in which a short sound clip of a composition by Duncan Lamont (which I later learned was titled “Pressure Point”) plays. For years, every time I even heard the word, it was the only sound that came to mind (albeit, it was a good one). Funny how that episode, along with the writings of Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison, brought a curiosity to explore the music years later. I am now a fan. What I find interesting is how, when asking others about jazz music, most feelings have been surprisingly indifferent. It’s a different case than genres like country, or metal, where I often find that opinions are a strong like or an even stronger dislike. While it is

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My Musical Safari of 2017

by Richard Southard, The River Editor Over the summer, I worked a job where I patrolled dams throughout several Maine towns. Over the course of twelve hour shifts, I would drive to seven individual dam/river sites, check for any signs of incidents (vandalism, littering, fires, etc.), and do it all over again. Being in a car for most of those days (four a week, on average), I decided to make use of the time by discovering new music, most of which was suggested to me by both friends and strangers across different internet discussion pages. For my first personal blog post, I’ve decided to share some of my personal highlights from the mountain of albums I listened to. To share even most of what I listened to would be a gauntlet to read through (and an even greater one to write). So, I’ll just restrict it to five. Daigo Hanada – Ichiru (Solo piano, modern classical) Ichiru is a collection of minimalistic, short piano compositions.

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The New Editors of Fall 2017

With the new season beginning, and new submissions already beginning to flow in, we thought we would begin the season with a formal introduction of the Fall 2017 editors. We’re both excited to begin sharing the work we’ve been receiving, and we are looking forward for what is to come. Richard Southard is a senior at the University of Maine at Farmington, and will be graduating in the spring of 2018. He began as a Creative Writing major in the fall of 2014, and added English as his second major in 2016. He took interest in writing in his senior year of high-school, and shortly after, took interest in the writing program at UMF. He has also held a long passion for magic, performing in high-school and continuing the hobby into college. In fall 2016, he received a Wilson Scholarship award for research into magic as a form of literary adaptation, where he looked into a history of magicians using

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