Friday, June 3, 2016

Cover Letter to Sub Pop Records

Bekah Zeitz
Sub Pop Records
2013 4th Ave #300
Seattle, Wash. 98121

Dear Bekah,

I was a freshman in college, sitting in my “Intro to Criminal Justice” class being fairly certain that I wanted to work in Law Enforcement. Next thing I knew we got our finals back, mine had a big “D” written in the corner. I remember going home and thinking “man, that was so unbelievably depressing.” Not even just flunking the class, but the material! Why on earth was I doing that? Memories of my childhood came flooding. The first time I strummed a guitar, the first time I saw my aunt work a soundboard for the band she was producing, the first time I met an A&R for a real label. Every show I had ever been to seemed to play in my head, I thought of the happiest moment in my life. What was that moment? Right in the front for the Naked and Famous at Sasquatch Music Festival 2014. That’s when I knew, I had to change directions. Following some family trouble and mental road blocks, I joined the ranks of my family’s finest dropouts. In that time, I went to shows weekly. I would go to local shows and think “damn, if I had my own label, I’d snatch them in a heartbeat.” Then, just like the last major teenaged epiphany, I decided that I had to go back to school and get my degree. After speaking to a few A&Rs and producers, I knew what my path was. I ventured shallowly into the world of music journalism and became the music editor for Sucker Magazine, an online publication that me and a few other losers started. (See what I did there?)
Becoming an A&R seemed like a faraway dream so I tucked it away, in the hopes becoming a big and bad child protection officer. I believe I truly have what it takes. I love music more than anything, it saved me. Music lights a fire in me that nothing ever has before. With that fire comes dedication. Sucker Magazine doesn’t bring in any revenue, yet every day I’m writing new material for it and applying for press passes, and running all over Portland trying to score interviews with musicians. Being a hard-working individual despite speed bump after speed bump has been my biggest strength in propelling me forward. Additionally, I have a firm understanding of the music industry, seeing as though I grew up in it. I have learned an incredible amount from my aunt Linda Perry, who is a grammy award-winning musician/songwriter/producer. Ultimately, she was my inspiration to venture into this industry. Lastly, I am a vibrant and positive person. Life has thrown me through the ringer to say the least, but what’s the use in letting it knock you down right? Those obstacles have shaped me into a motivated and driven individual. When I lock my eyes on what I want, I will do what I need to get there with a big, dorky smile on my face.
I hope to grow and immerse myself in Sub Pop Records. As a Seattle native with a musical family, I have been raised listening to Sub Pop bands. This may be cliche, but it’s truly my dream. Not only is it my dream to work among some of the most talented people in the industry, but it is my dream to be a part of the fun and vibrant community you all promote. No matter what my heart will always hold a place for Sub Pop, but hey, if it doesn’t work out we could always just start a kick-ass band?

Dylan Conner
111 N.W. 11th St.
Corvallis, Ore. 97330
Apartment #102

Photo Essay: Late-Night DJ's at KBVR fm

Two students at Oregon State University, Madison Butler and Trevor Swope, run a show at which is a student-run radio station located in the Student Experience Center on campus. Their show titled "Low End Hypothesis" airs on Tuesday nights from 11 p.m. to midnight. As it nears their airtime, the two select the required three public service announcements they have to announce during their set.

Butler, a sophomore at OSU, prepares a list of specific tracks he would like to play. Both he and Swope have curated their own mixes that they made on their own free time to use for their show on Tuesday, May 24. The theme of their show, "Low End Hypothesis", is EDM or "electronic dance music."

OSU sophomore and co-host Trevor Swope expresses his excitement for the mix he created. When asked what was going to be played, he says, "You'll see, I'm apologizing in advance." The two of them agree that the late-night shows are more fun because you get to use less discretion with what you play on-air.
Swope watches as Butler takes a lap around the station in between songs. The two of them love goofing off during their downtime because "There is nobody there to yell at them." One game they've created is seeing who can race around the station the fastest before the song ends.
At the end of their show two other students and fellow DJ's, Zack Barry and Glen Galant, stop by to say hi and chat before their show that begins at midnight. "It's really fun when we overlap because sometimes we walk in and interrupt their show and start cracking jokes on-air," says Galant. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hip Hop: a Voice to Those Who Need It

Hip Hop group, N.W.A. poses in a green room before a show. (Source:
“What do you mean you like Hip-Hop? Even with what It promotes?” This is the most common generalization about this genre by far. Ask anyone who enjoys Hip-Hop.
"Hip-hop is the single greatest revolution in the U.S. pop charts by far," said Armand M. Leroi in an interview with the LA Times. Leroi is a professor of evolutionary developmental biology at Imperial College London.
There are people who are so quick to close the entire genre into a box with descriptions such as “misogynistic” and “supportive of drug culture”. Like every other genre of music, there is a culture that surrounds it, why is hip-hop so quick to be demonized?
In it’s short 30 years of existence, it has moved in waves from the streets of south-central Los Angeles to New York, and eventually, to the entire world. Think about it, that is a LOT of listeners.
Hopefully, a majority of you have some knowledge on the background of Hip Hop and how it became. You know, block parties in the 70’s, free styling over percussive beats and yadda-yadda. The purpose here isn’t to give you the full run-down on Hip Hop history, however we’re talking about a genre that formed with the mentality of bringing attention to the violent and unstable conditions of inner-city youth. (Shout out to the work of N.W.A. and others of their time for that).
Blending music with social commentary, sounds scary and offensive right? Now, I get it, you probably listened to a lot of Tyga or something and thought “where has REAL hip hop gone?” The point is, it didn’t go anywhere, you just aren’t listening.

"It's really cool how much music can bring people together, especially Hip-Hop. It's almost like once you're immersed in that culture, you become one with a community." says Hip-Hop fan Madison Killian. "I'm not African-American, I can't relate to what the artists are saying but I's really beautiful and empowering to listen from the outside."
Today we’re seeing more and more well-known Hip Hop artists bringing attention to social issues, and whether you agree or not, people are listening. Macklemore, just for example, raps about the destructive nature of prescription drugs, Joey Bada$$ sheds light on police brutality.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar photographed by Ari Marcopoulos
One of the best examples of social activism in Hip Hop today can be granted to Kendrick Lamar. Your homework following this article is to go sit down and listen to “to Pimp A Butterfly”. Start to finish. Oh, and read the lyrics. One particular track, “Alright”, has become a power song for the Black Lives Matter movement.
What we associate “We Shall Overcome” to in terms of historical context, is hopefully what this song will be to our generation’s children, and their children as well. “if God’s got us then we gon’ be alright” has become a statement of unity and hope for people of color in this day an age where we are seeing an epidemic of violence towards their community.
“The beauty of musical protest is it’s not confined to any single genre. Today, Kendrick Lamar is continuing the tradition.” writes John Haltiwanger in an article for Elite Daily.
Enjoy Hip Hop or don’t, we all have music preference but please recognize that it is more than “drug promotion and misogyny”. Hip Hop is a culture, and it’s contributions to social progress should be respected.

At a Glance: 

Notable Hip-Hop artist/groups to listen to include N.W.A., Wu-Tang Clan, Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco and many more.

Upcoming Hip-Hop shows:
  • Casey Veggies @ the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater on Sept. 1 in Ridgefield, Wash.
  • Curren$y @ the Hawthorne Theatre on Jun. 25 in Portland, Ore.
  • Ghost face Killah @ the Crystal Ballroom on Jul. 26 in Portland, Ore. 

A Battle You Can't See: What it Feels Like To Have an Anxiety Disorder

I was eight or nine when I had my first panic attack. I remember staring down at the paper of what seemed like an endless amount of math problems. Students around me were chugging away with ease yet for me, the room was closing in.

Breathing was hard and I became sensitive to every sound and every light, my heart was pounding and I had never felt my thoughts race that quickly.

Growing up, this became a pattern. Oftentimes onset by school, I would get that oh-so-familiar feeling of dread. Was I just stupid? Or lazy? I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I sat across from a teacher and tried to explain why I couldn’t complete my work.

After years of defeat and anguish, I was finally diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. G.A.D. is not your run-of-the-mill sense of stress you get when you walk into a classroom to take a test you didn’t study for. It’s loss of senses, it’s the feeling that you cannot speak or breathe. It’s absolute torture.

It’s a cruel voice in your head that tells you to worry about everything. It makes you question yourself and your worth more often than you can catch a breath. It makes you worry that everyone hates you even though you go out of your way to be generous and kind. It makes you sit, staring at an assignment for hours and not being able muster the strength to start it because all you hear is “you’re stupid, and worthless, there’s no point in trying.” All you want, so desperately, is for that voice be quiet.

Oregon State University student Yasmine Rifai was diagnosed with G.A.D. when she was 19-years-old. “The inside of my head is never quiet. I am constantly worrying about things that I know I shouldn't be worrying about. Objectively, I know how I should be thinking. I reason with situations and see a plausible outcome. But anxiety is a mental block that you can't get around.” she says.

When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you become scared to speak up. Everyone is so quick to tell you just to “calm down and think positive.” Tell me, if it was that simple, don’t you think we would have done that years ago?

How do we think positive about something that hasn’t even happened? The creeping sensation that something is wrong is impossible to escape because it digs a hole of despair, and throws you to the very bottom.

All we ask for is support. We need to know that our friends and family care about making us feel better, and care about the nature of our condition. The best thing you could possibly do for us is to just listen, and learn.

“Know that sometimes you'll be the trigger for the attack. Don't take it personal. And please, for the sake of humanity, don't tell us that we're overreacting, that we need to calm down, or that worrying isn't going to make anything any better.” writes Bridgette Borden, student writer for the Odyssey.

For those of you who battle the voices in your head daily, just know you are not alone. You are more than your anxiety and the dents it put in your self esteem. You are brave, and strong and facing the day may seem daunting but you have every right to be proud of yourself.

At a Glance:

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms such as extreme dread or panic over problems that either haven't occurred or seem virtually small, it might be a good idea to educate yourself further. Additionally, if you/someone you know experienced shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, sensitivity to lights/sounds and/or overwhelming mental fog, seek out help from a psychiatrist as soon as you can. Anxiety symptoms can sometimes be connected to other, more severe mental illnesses.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Two (Of the Many) Faces of Corvallis' Punk Scene

(Left to right) Indiana Laub and fellow group founder, Caitlin Garets aim to bring attention to the growing music scene in Corvallis, Ore.

You may have been walking up Monroe Avenue on any given night of the week and heard the loud music emitting from a tiny coffee shop. Interzone Coffee in Corvallis, Ore. is one of the handful of spaces that makes up Corvallis D.I.Y.

Friends Caitlin Garets and Indiana Laub are the two main faces of this growing community that aims to provide an all-inclusive environment for punk rock lovers in Corvallis.

Garets, a Corvallis native, has been involved with D.I.Y. Punk since she was in high school. Growing up in that area and in the local music scene has made her one with the music community.

The two met when Laub moved to Corvallis a mere two years ago from Santa Barbara, Calif., to Corvallis after her partner made a tour stop there with his band, who by a strike of fate played a show with Garet’s band, Angries.

Over the course of a few months, Laub got more involved with booking shows in Corvallis. “A lot of shows I booked here ended up being bands that I had booked in Santa Barbara” she said. After a few years, the community began to expand, thus creating Corvallis D.I.Y.
Laub chats with fellow Corvallis D.I.Y. member during a group meeting at her house in Corvallis. 
They host meetings every month to come up with new ideas for shows, 
events and other methods of community outreach.

The pair have made great efforts to begin reaching out to a new demographic as a method of making their community more known via social media. As of recent, they created a Facebook group that allows anyone to join in, and contribute to discussions. Currently, there are 302 active members.

They both agreed that this was the most effective way to not only bring everyone together, but to reach a new demographic of college students.

Both Garets and Laub have not only networked Corvallis D.I.Y., but they both play music as well. To them, music was what birthed their friendship, and the rest of their community as well.

Garets plays with household dog, Ruth, during the meeting.

“It’s a different kind of relationship.” said Garets. “The strongest friendships I have were built from music.” She has been playing with her current band, Angries, for 10 years now and considers them her family.

Laub found her sense of community through making music as well and has expressed her difficulty connecting with others on a surface level. “It’s just what I do”, she said, “since I was 13 years old. When I started booking shows, It was the only way I knew how to meet people after moving up here.”

To the two of them, punk culture and music is what drives them to make everyone feel welcomed. They expressed that people who enjoy this environment went on some kind of journey to find it. Whether it be from a political standpoint, or simply a sense of common values.

“That’s what sets D.I.Y. apart from other genres”, Garets said, “nobody is in it for the fame or the money.” D.I.Y., or “do-it-yourself” represents a subculture of music that strays away from being competitive and out for the glory.

Vocalist Ryan Mangione of punk band Vacant Life out of Seattle, Wash., has expressed a similar thought. “Bands in D.I.Y. support each other, and care about each other, not about who can sell the most records.”
Garets and Laub exchange a laugh and look at the stickers
 on one of the many guitars in the living room

Unfortunately, both Garets and Laub know what it’s like to not have their community taken seriously. “You can tell that some bands that come through want to use it as a crutch.” said Garets. Their goal is simple- to provide a supportive and encouraging environment for musicians of all walks.

“Anyone who legitimately gives a shit is welcomed to join in” Laub said. Earlier that day during a group meeting they expressed that “[you] simply gotta’ show up.” To this group of passionate individuals, the most important thing you can do is be active and show that you care.

While Garets and Laub are the two most visibly active members, they do not want to be known as being in charge. To them, nobody is really in charge, it is a community effort to bring attention to an overlooked local scene.

Laub’s advice to others is “there are always going to be people that don’t take it seriously, you just need to ignore it and put yourselves out there.”

The event page can be found on FaceBook as well as their website, and is definitely worth a trip to one of the local shows. 
Collection of cassette tapes adorn the wall of Laub's living room.

(All photos by Dylan Conner)

At a Glance:

  • Indiana Laub was born in Santa Barbara, Ca. and moved to Corvallis, Ore. with her partner to pursue music in a growing local scene. 
  • Caitlin Garets was born and raised in Corvallis, Ore. and met Indiana through music, where they both aim to expand their small, yet growing, community. 
You can listen to a compilation of the Corvallis D.I.Y. bands at

Additionally, you can view the page and see upcoming events at or


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

More Campus Shots!

Two students study in the shade in the Linn Benton Community College courtyard. The courtyard is a common place for students to unwind and study while also getting some fresh air. Not only does it provide an excellent study space, but campus events such as the Diversity Fair are held there as well!

Oregon State University junior, Celeste Donnelly enjoys the shade while relaxing in between classes. "Spring term is my favorite" Donnelly said, "besides allergies of course, but hanging out outside is always so nice this time of year because it's not too hot yet."

OSU student Liam Moran (right) and a friend (left) "photobomb" MUPC president, Sarah Sutton (middle) as she watches over the intramural fields behind Reser Stadium. The two were members of her I.M. soccer team this year as well as fellow volunteers for MUPC, which is a student body organization dedicated to facilitating concerts and events, such as Dam Jam, on campus.

Campus Photos

 Occasionally around the Linn Benton Community College campus, Diana Edwards and Anna Skinner, can be seen handing out free Biblical literature to curious students. Edwards and Skinner are both Jehovah's Witnesses. "It makes us happy when students stop by!" said Edwards, "even if they just come by and take a quick glance."
Student body member Celine Swanson-Harris exchanges a laugh with fellow student Savannah Winters. The two were taking a break from what seemed like a busy day at the office. 

The L.B.C.C. library is a relaxing place for students to sit and study, or even just to unwind. Many students take advantage of the times during the library in which midterms or finals aren't going on to catch a quiet area to work.