The Booket List Episode 24: Spring Break, What’d You Read?

Hello Everyone! This week on The Booket List, Kimmy and Brennan talk all about the books they read over Spring Break. Kimmy keeps to her usual stomping grounds. Young Adult novels. Just the same as Brennan stuck to his. Political Thrillers and Historical Fiction as well as non-fiction. Let us know if you have any new novels that you want to hear us talk about! Or even recommendations for our next Book Club Read.

Sanctuary Campuses and Earl Grey

Anthony Scoma, Theresa Nielson, Christian Hartshorn, and Jonny Nee discuss the long history of U.S. universities protesting unjust federal laws and policies. They report on the university protection of escaped slaves, Japanese students during WWII, draft resisters during the Vietnam War, and how this relates to the ongoing fight for undocumented and Muslim students in the modern day.

Music: “Hands Off!” by Material Support

The World Around You Episode 13: The Trump Administration’s Russian Contacts

Today, we talk about the recently uncovered and deeply disturbing ties of key members of Trump’s administration to Russia. These contacts include business and governmental ties, and include possible perjury to cover them up. Additionally, the members involved reach as high as Cabinet-level officers. As of the beginning of March, those currently implicated include:

Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor,

Jeff Sessions III, Attorney General,

Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer,

along with several aides to both the specific people named and to the Trump campaign in general.

We discuss how these came to light and the consequences of such ties. Spoiler alert– it’s not pretty.

Listen to it above, or download it for offline listening here!

MUNA – About U

When people ask me what albums I’ve been listening to recently, MUNA, an all-girl band from California, is definitely at the top of the list. Their style is extremely unique, and with songs that include lyrical depth as well as catchy pop beats, they’re a band you’ll say “I knew them before they were cool” when they climb up the pop and alt charts.

Surprisingly, I first discovered MUNA’s music through my mother. I was lying in bed when she sent me a text saying she bought two tickets to MUNA’s concert at Kilby Court on February 13th. However, being the ornery college student that I am, I brushed them off thinking they just wouldn’t be my style. But after their concert, I realized how wrong my judgements actually were.

MUNA entered the stage with members Katie Gavin (Lead vocals/Production), Josette Maskin (Lead Guitar), and Naomi McPherson (Rhythm Guitar/Synth/Production). Even though the stage was small, they definitely put on quite the show. Their microphone stands were adorned with white flowers and Gavin’s audience rapport made the show feel very intimate and organic; an experience that’s sometimes hard to find in a live performance.

As soon as the concert ended, I went to iTunes and downloaded their CD “About U.” Though their song “I Know A Place” is the main single from the album, my personal favorites are “Promise,” “Crying On The Bathroom Floor,” and “End of Desire.” But no matter the song, there’s always a catchy element to their music that leaves you tapping your foot and humming along. Plus, Katie Gavin’s vocals have a certain unique tinge, similar to Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries, that pulls you in and leaves you wanting more.

One of my favorite things about MUNA, however, is how they combine the sound of an indie-pop band with an aesthetic that’s dark, eerie, and unexpected. Their album cover is mostly black featuring images of roses and chains; a somewhat 90’s goth look for a band that’s so pop. But I think this is why I like MUNA. They juxtapose their pop sound with lyrics that are darker and deeper than what’s typical of the pop genre.

Along with their unique image, MUNA identifies as a “queer girl band.” None of the band members identify as straight, and they all made a conscious effort to exclude any gender specific pronouns in their songs. They also challenge current political issues, such as adding the lyrics “He’s not my leader, even if he is my President,” to their live versions of “I Know A Place.” While some of MUNA’s songs may cover touchy subjects, their overall message is that of acceptance and being confident with yourself even if that means not adhering to social norms.

MUNA is still a relatively new band, but I have a feeling that won’t last for long. Their sound, image, and message combine into something that’s a breath of fresh air for the current pop scene. And with appearances on both Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Shows, I can only imagine we’ll be seeing more of them in the future.

 

The World Around You Episode 12: Utah’s State Government

Today, we talk about some of the issues the Utah legislature and governor’s office are tackling this year. The legislative session is wrapping up, so we discuss two in particular: the modifications to the Zion Curtain law, and the Bears Ears National Monument. We talk about their history, the current effects these laws are having, and what the actions the Utah government takes are doing.

 

Also, we aren’t sponsored by any of the products we talk about today. :P

Listen to it above, or download it here for offline listening!