Say hello to the O Hellos

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor

Say hello to The Oh Hellos, my new favorite folk band.

Born and raised in southern Texas, sibling duo Maggie and Tyler Heath started their musical career in a cluttered bedroom, and it has all been uphill from there.

Their newest album, “Dear Wormwood,” starts out with the track “Prelude,” which only lasts about a minute and is a great introduction to the album. It sets the tone for the amazing harmonies that are in the album.

“Thus Always to Tyrants” has a lot of strong vocals from Tyler and is honestly tied for my favorite song in the whole album, rivaled by “Dear Wormwood.” My favorite lyric in the whole album is “I know who you are now,” and it just brings out a lot of different emotions for me.

Every song has it’s own tune and doesn’t have the same sound like other folk artists’ albums.

“Bitter Water” reminds me of Phillip Phillips because both artists use guitar generously in their music. It is upbeat and the lyrics remind of Helena’s love for Demetrius in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” because the lyrics talk of being in love with someone, knowing it is impossible, and them not feeling the same way.

There is a lot of focus on the instrumental aspect of the album, and it makes it just that much better because the would-be awkward moments between lyrics just make my heart blow up like a balloon with the almost overwhelming music.

Each song is unique, short, and sweet. Folk music isn’t for everyone, but I would recommend this album to anyone who loves this genre with such meaningful lyrics and soaring duets.

Top 5 reasons to be politically aware

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

Being politically aware is hard, especially when you are young. Older generations often underestimate the power of young people who are politically aware and it can be hard to convince anyone otherwise. Here are a few reasons to be politically aware, even though no one wants you to be.

  1. The Future.

Even though the Baby Boomers and GI Generation like to say that they were the last good generation and that our generation will be the downfall of American society, they could not be more wrong. Paying attention to what is going on in the big scary world of politics and using your voice to stand up for what you believe in and how you want your government to be run is important to safeguard the future of America.

  1. Preparing for 18.

Minors often have the mindset that since they are not eligible to vote yet that they do not need to worry about politics, but I could not disagree more. Knowing what is going on in your government can make you aware that are changing and laws that are being passed that may affect you. Even minors are affected by laws and although you may not be a legal adult, it is still important to be prepared for what you will face when you go out into the real world.

  1. Reassurance

In my 16 years, not once have I met someone who does not want to make their own decisions. Having a say, or at least an opinion about what is going on in my life is a great feeling and being aware of what is going on on the world of politics is, for me, very reassuring. Even though I can’t vote yet, I can still use my voice to promote the people I would want to represent the country I live in. Knowing what is going on in the government can give you a sense of freedom, if you will, that can help you to better understand the world around you.

  1. Ignorance, or lack-thereof

It’s really hard to be taken seriously when you do not know who the vice-president of the United States, and yes I have actually met people who do not know that Joe Biden is the VP. I suppose the point I am trying to make here is that ignorance is not bliss. Being ignorant is not cute or funny, despite what some people think. Ignorance is just laziness trying to disguise itself.

  1. It’s Easy

It is a common misconception that being politically oriented is hard, but really, it’s as easy as riding a bike. There are infinite amounts of resources available to you; from peers, to TV to online news outlets, there is no shortage of information about the world of politics. It is not hard in the slightest to educate yourself or to have someone educate you about politics. I know for a fact that here at MV there are people willing to talk about politics for days on end. You need only ask.

Christmas traditions

Story by: Sydney Shurman, Reviews Editor
Photos by: Elizabeth Miller, staff photographer

Christmas treeOn Christmas morning, many children across America wake up early, eager to see which presents they have received from good old Saint Nick. What about other children who celebrate Christmas, though? What are they eagerly awaiting on Christmas morning, if anything?

Not every child pictures a jolly man in a red suit climbing down a chimney at night to deliver presents. On the flip side, some do not dread receiving coal in their stockings either. In fact, coal may seem like a pretty awful gift to receive, but punishments in other countries can be quite a bit worse.

For example, some children believe in a horned beast called Krampus, who is now becoming more well-known in America in light of the recent movie. The legend originated in Germany, but over the years has become popular in all of the Alpine countries. Krampus is a sort of anti-Santa, who instead of bringing a sack full of toys, stuffs bad children into a sack to take them away. He also carries birch sticks in order to swat at the misbehaving kids.

Greece also has some rather strange Christmas lore. According to their legends, there are goblins that live underground and saw away at the World Tree all year, which will eventually collapse and destroy the world. However, on Christmas, they forget all of their plans and come up to the surface in order to terrorize people. When Christmas is over, they return to their home to begin their mission again, creating an endless cycle.

On a more positive note, there are many festive and fun winter traditions too. St. Lucia is a festival of sorts which involves the oldest daughter in a household performing several simple but meaningful duties. She wears a white dress, red sash, and a crown made of twigs and nine candles. Then, she wakes up her family members and they eat breakfast in a candlelit room. Later, all of the people gather to have a parade with torches. At the end of the parade they all throw the torches onto a pile of hay to create a bonfire. St. Lucia originated in Sweden but is now celebrated in all of the Scandinavian countries.

Australians really mix it up by celebrating Christmas in the middle of their summer. People will even go to the beach or have a barbeque, in typical Australian fashion. Otherwise, the celebration is fairly similar to American traditions, with family gatherings, gift exchanges, and a nice meal.

Even within our own borders there is a wide variety of ways to celebrate Christmas. Some people opt out of putting up a Christmas tree, others go out to eat instead of cooking, the possibilities are endless.

holidays“We celebrate Chanukkah, which is a combination of Christmas and Hanukkah,” said Hailey Patton. “We celebrate it because my grandpa is Jewish, and the rest of our family celebrates Christmas, so for him we combined it and made it Channukkah. We still do the lighting of the candles on the Menorah and then we get ‘gelt,’ which is money, every night of Hanukkah. Then we also celebrate Christmas, but with an added Hanukkah gift to it.”

It may seem cliche, but everyone truly is different, and Christmas is made even more wonderful by all of the different celebrations. Whether someone says “Merry Christmas,” “Froehliche Weihnachten,” or “Feliz Navidad,” Christmas is a magical time of year.

Trump gets trumped

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief

Adding to a lengthy list of political blunders, or as some see them, political successes, Donald Trump has once again managed to create a PR scandal– but this time, for himself.

Trump scheduled a press conference in preparation to announce that he is receiving support from over one hundred black ministers across the nation. The move was part of an effort to appeal to the black minority in the United States, which largely supports the Democratic party. Trump sent out invitations to several ministers to come to a meeting with him to discuss his endorsement.

Earlier this year, Trump held many smaller meetings with black ministers, some of whom ended up supporting him. They all stated that Trump did not make any sort of monetary donation to the church.

However, things fell short of Trump’s expectations. Several ministers refused to meet with Trump, some even denounced the invitation. As a result, Trump canceled the press conference, which was met with a strong media response as he had been advertising the conference beforehand.

Ipsy makeup review

Story by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor
Photos by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor

IPSY.jpg

During November, I had the amazing privilege of having ordered a service called Ipsy.

Ipsy is an company where avid makeup consumers, such as myself, can receive custom chosen makeup samples in a small makeup bag once a month for only ten dollars.

In the bag, I received an eyeliner from Be a Bombshell Cosmetics, and an eyelid primer from Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics, a Robanda Mood lipstick, a mascara from Smashbox and an eyeshadow blending brush from Crown Brushes.

Of the cosmetics I received, I was not displeased with any. My favorites, however, were the Smashbox Mascara and the Crown brush.

The Crown brush is very soft and perfect for blending. Not once have I created an eyeshadow look with the brush that I was displeased with. I am very satisfied with the quality of the brush and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for good blending brushes. I am also looking forward to purchasing from this company in the future.

The mascara I received was high quality. It is called “full exposure” by Smashbox, which is one of my favorite makeup companies. The formula is very smooth and the brush does not clump the lashes. Mascara usually varies from person to person based on the desired look, but I would definitely say that this one is a winner for anyone. It elongates the lashes and is very dark. It also does not flake or run onto the under eye.

I would say that all together Ipsy is a winner, and so are all of the cosmetics that came in my November bag. I would definitely recommend Ipsy or any of the products to anyone I knew that was interested in makeup.

Donald Trump gets trumped

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief

Adding to a lengthy list of political blunders, or as some see them, political successes, Donald Trump has once again managed to create a PR scandal– but this time, for himself.

Trump scheduled a press conference in preparation to announce that he is receiving support from over one hundred black ministers across the nation. The move was part of an effort to appeal to the black minority in the United States, which largely supports the Democratic party. Trump sent out invitations to several ministers to come to a meeting with him to discuss his endorsement.

Earlier this year, Trump held many smaller meetings with black ministers, some of whom ended up supporting him. They all stated that Trump did not make any sort of monetary donation to the church.

However, things fell short of Trump’s expectations. Several ministers refused to meet with Trump, some even denounced the invitation. As a result, Trump canceled the press conference, which was met with a strong media response as he had been advertising the conference beforehand.

Andrew Roembke takes to state

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor
Photos by: Caty McGovern, staff photographer

Andrew

Mt. Vernon has an ever-growing music department and has achieved much in the past few years. Just recently a member of the MV Jazz Band, Andrew Roembke, 10, has been chosen to be a member of Indiana’s All-District Jazz Band and All-State Jazz Band. The MV Current was able to meet up with Andrew and ask him a couple questions about it.

Q) What are the All-District and All-State Jazz Band?

A) All-State Jazz Band is sort of like a “dream team.” Instrumentalists from all around the state all send in an audio recording of audition music. They then send those recordings to a selection committee that then decides who is going to be in, and who isn’t.

Q) How common is it for a sophomore to be accepted into these bands?

A) I do not know how common it is for a sophomore to make it, but I do know that only four trumpets in the whole state made it, and there were about 350 applicants. I will most likely be surrounded by all seniors, maybe a couple juniors.

Q) What is the application process?

A) The first thing you have to do is send in a written application with an audition fee. You basically just submit a form with your name, instrument, school, grade, the basic stuff for an application like this. Then you have to prepare the audition. You go online to get the PDF files from the website, print them off, and start practicing. There were 7 total excerpts that I had to play. Once you feel that you are ready for the audition, get a recording device and record you playing the excerpts. You then send that in and you wait for them to make contact with you on whether you made it or not

Q) How long have you been playing the trumpet?

A) I have been playing the trumpet since 5th grade, so about 5 and a half years. In 6th grade though, I played French horn for concert band. However, I enjoyed trumpet more, and in 7th grade I switched back to trumpet and never looked back

Q) What does this mean for your future in music? Do you plan to pursue a career in music?

A) This could actually mean a lot for my future. There will be many college recruiters at the concert for this, and them seeing a sophomore could definitely stand out. I for sure want to keep playing trumpet throughout college, but I’m not sure if I want to make a career in music.

Q) Do you know any of the other trumpet players selected to be in these bands? What grades are they in?

A) I looked at the list of accepted people in the bands and did not recognize. I did notice that they were all from some of the best schools in the state though, such as Bloomington North, Carmel, and Ben Davis.

Q) Are you nervous about being surrounded with other very talented musicians?

A) I’m not really nervous about being around other musicians. I’m more excited that I get to perform high level music that will challenge me and push me to my limit.

Diamond Candles are a girl’s best friend

Story by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor
Photo by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor

diamond ring

Of my many favorite things in the world, jewelry and candles rank in the top ten. I never imagined that combining the two would be a possibility but I have been proven wrong.

Recently I have become familiar with a company called Diamond Candles. This is a service that will create, and deliver, candles that have diamond rings in the wax.

It works like this: you buy the candle which is ranges from about 20 to 30 dollars, depending on the scent. The candle is burned until the foil-wrapped ring is revealed. Once the ring is revealed from the wax, it can be pulled out and unwrapped from the protective foil covering. There is also a code attached to the ring in which can be entered online for the chance to win another ring of $10-5,000 dollar value.

My experience with this company and their products was outstanding. The pumpkin spice candle smelled fantastic and arrived in a timely manner. They offer other great scents like caramel apple cider, guava berry, and french toast. Also, the ring I received was gorgeous.

Having discovered this company is truly amazing. For $22 I got an awesome candle as well as a diamond ring.

Overall I would definitely give this company an A+ and I would suggest them to anyone looking for a cool gift or for my fellow jewelry and candle lovers.