Tag Archives: Entertainment

Review: New album from Indie pop and folk artists Angus and Julia Stone

Aleah Cady, Staff Writer

Snow is the fourth album released by singer-songwriter siblings Angus and Julia Stone. The album was completely written and recorded in Angus Stone’s home over a six month period, a new creation process for the siblings.

The atmosphere was a relaxed environment for the duo to write, and many of the songs were created while playing around on instruments or coming up with simple four-chord melodies.

The first single, sharing a name with the album title, Snow, is a calm-feeling song, using a drum machine and a few strums on an acoustic guitar to create a simple, stereotypical “indie” sound.

Over simple instrumentals, both siblings provide vocals for the song, which has a whimsical type of vibe, but stays true to the duo’s older music. Overall, in my opinion, while Snow is not one of their best songs of their discography, it is a great song from the album.

Other songs I personally enjoyed were Cellar Door, Make It Out Alive, and My House Your House. I would have liked to hear more singing from Julia in the album.

In a lot of songs, she provided “ah” and “oh”s for the bridges or choruses, but because she has a voice that compliments her brother’s so nicely, I would have liked to hear more from her.

The album has received mixed reviews since its release in late September. Personally, out of 5, I would give this album a 3.5 rating.

It’s a good album, but with a bit more ‘push’, it could be a great album. As I mentioned, I would have liked to hear stronger vocals from Julia, and maybe a bit more variation in some of the melodies of the songs.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Cover image from Angus and Julia Stone website

Wingate football beats Pembroke to remain undefeated and advances in AFCA ranking

Sarah Thurman Staff Writer

After a big win at home on Saturday against UNC-Pembroke,  the undefeated Wingate Bulldogs will be on the road for their next two football games.

Wingate, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the South Atlantic Conference, will travel to Salisbury to play Catawba on Saturday and to Mars Hill on Oct. 21. Both games will kick off at 1:30 p.m.

The next home game will be against Newberry at Irwin Belk Stadium on Oct. 28, at 6 p.m.

The Bulldogs are one of only two undefeated teams playing NCAA football in North Carolina (the other one is North Carolina A&T) after taking a 31-28 victory over UNC-Pembroke (1-5).

Wingate is ranked No. 24 nationally in this week’s  AFCA/NCAA Division II Coaches’ top 25 poll. It’s the first time we’ve been in the rankings this season

Wide receiver Jay Hood scored the winning touchdown on a 14-yard pass from quarterback James Whitaker with 1:34 left in the game. Senior running back Lawrence Pittman ran for 165 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.

It was the first time the two teams had played each other since the 2014 season. Wingate leads the all-time series 6-3.

The game was the first for the Bulldogs since a 22-14 win at Lenoir-Rhyne on Sept. 23.

In that game, Pittman rushed 37 times for 127 yards and one touchdown. Redshirt senior place kicker Freddy McCollum made a career-high three field goals for Wingate.

By the end of first quarter Wingate led 3-0 with McCollum scoring a 19-yard field goal. At halftime L-R got the lead with a 9-yard touchdown run. But Wingate regained the lead at 10-7 on Whitakers 16-yard touchdown pass to Malik Bledsoe.

In the third quarter, McCollum kicked a 21-yard field goal for a 13-7 lead

During the fourth quarter Pittman got a 3-yard touchdown run and with 3:12 on the clock, McCollum scored a 31-yard field goal, making the score 22-7.

L-Rs Nelson Brown got a 1-yard touchdown run for the final 22-14 score.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Photo Credit: Wingate Athletics Website

Southern Circuit film series debuts for a third year at Wingate

Ryan McKeel, Staff Writer

The Union County Community Arts Council and the George A. Batte, JR. Fine Arts Center at Wingate University have joined together for the third straight year to sponsor multiple free film screenings as part of the Southern Circuit Film Series.

The next film in the series, at 7 p,m. Wednesday, will be “Dalya’s Other Country.”

Founded in 1975 as a community project attempting to build on southern heritage, South Arts, the creative organization behind the film tour, is the largest artistic council in the southeast. The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, often referred to simply as the Southern Circuit, is a brainchild of South Arts and is the nation’s first regional tour of independent filmmakers.

“Southern Circuit was developed to connect audiences with new, independent films that they normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to experience,” said Teresa Hollingsworth, Senior Program Director at South Arts in a 2014 interview. “We send directors into communities for screenings as well as audience discussions about their work and the filmmaking process.

The Southern Circuit will be visiting Wingate University for the third year in a row. With free admission and Lyceum credit available to students, the tour aims to provide both the filmmakers and audience members with an opportunity to grow.

“South Arts works collaboratively with screening partners to expand their programming and to provide audiences with the opportunity to meet filmmakers and learn about the art of filmmaking,” says the Circuit’s website.

Laura Kratt, Director of Cultural Events at the Batte, graciously noted the generosity the Union County Community Arts Council in their grant sponsorship of the films. “None of this would be possible without the help of the arts council,” said Kratt. “I hope that students engage in a productive conversation with the film’s directors.”

The films that will be screened at the Batte center each have a different genre and theme, yet all will tackle various global topics.

Between “Do Not Resist”, a film that explores the militarization of local police departments—in their tactics, training, and acquisition of equipment—since 9/11, and “Dalya’s Other Country”, a project that tells the nuanced story of members of a family displaced by the Syrian conflict, audience members will explore the stories of people and organizations affected in various ways by wartime tragedies.

While viewing both “Swim Team”, a film about parents with a child on the autism spectrum who form a competitive swim team, or “First Lady of the Revolution”, the remarkable story of Henrietta Boggs, audience members will admire the passion and endurance felt by those of us with a powerful mission.

All viewers will find a common idea of hope in the films. The important message disguised in different global experiences is something that artists and community members alike can bond over. Audience members will have the opportunity to engage in a rich dialogue with the film directors about the content and impact of the films after each screening in a Q & A session.

More information on the films, dates and show times can be found at battecenter.org

Edited by: Brea Childs

Photot Credit: Batte Center

Jim Wand Returns to Wingate As New Semester Begins

Harrison Taylor, Staff Writer

Dr. Jim Wand arrived on Wingate’s campus this past Tuesday to hypnotize students once again. Wand, a hypnotist, has been coming to Wingate for decades, and is currently on a college tour spanning nearly 200 shows in just a year.

Students lined up over an hour beforehand outside Austin Auditorium, as the seating was first come, first serve. “My friends and I got here as early as we could,” said junior Cameron Walser, a Marketing Major. “There was no way we were missing this.”

Backstage, Dr. Wand went over his notes half an hour before the show’s start. He tells some of the Batte Center crew a couple of jokes he has planned for the night, before going over a sound check with his sound technician.

Wand goes into extreme detail when asked what he can and cannot do. While the earlier 8 p.m. show is typically PG, the later show at 10 p.m. has been known to be a lot raunchier. The adult themes explored in the 10 p.m. make the show more popular than its predecessor, which is why some students do whatever they can to see both shows.

“It’s definitely worth the wait,” said senior Kamery Reynolds. “It’s one of my favorite things to happen on campus.”

In the beginning of the show, Dr. Wand calls up students, then points out which students have been hypnotized. He quickly hypnotizes them, then he works on hypnotizing the new volunteers.

During the show, Wand poked fun at Wingate rivals such as Queens and Catawba. He also asked students to do various stunts, such as making up new dance moves to pop songs or belting out any song that comes to their mind.

The hypnotist show was a good final end to welcome week as Wingate has welcomed its first largest freshmen class of over 1,200 new students.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Union Symphony Orchestra performs at Wingate with guest artist

Ryan Mckeel, Staff Writer

A local symphony orchestra with deep roots at Wingate University performed on the evening of April 29, 2017 with a guest artist from the University of South Carolina.

The Union Symphony Orchestra, also known as the USO, and Dr. Jennifer Parker-Harley, associate professor of flute at the University of South Carolina and principal flute of the USO, performed a concert at Wingate University.

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Photo Source: Union Symphony Orchestra

The concert, titled Sonica Vista, featured works by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Johannes Brahms, and was free for Wingate University students.

The ensemble’s artistic director and conductor, Richard Rosenberg, arranged Étienne Méhul’s Overture to “La Chasse de Jeune Henri” (Young Henry’s Hunt) and opened the evening with its performance. “That was an amazing performance and a really a beautiful evening! I can’t believe that was free,” said Wingate junior Simone Freeney.

Parker-Harley’s performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s concerto in D minor marked her second performance at Wingate University. “I really enjoyed the flute concerto,” said Wingate junior Tabitha Viola. “It was fun to be exposed to a new kind of music, and she was so talented! It was a delightful concert.”

Many of the performers onstage were Wingate University music professors, including Dr. Dawn Price, Director of Bands.

The orchestra has two pops concerts scheduled for the summer. A pops performance is one that includes popular music and show tunes as well as well-known classical works

Those performances will take place in Monroe, NC, while a Labor Day pops concert will be performed on the Stegall lawn at Wingate University on Labor Day. Pops concerts feature family friendly works that are enjoyable for patrons of all ages.  

“The pops concerts are a great time for our community to gather and enjoy some wonderful music,” said Dr. Martha Asti, founding member of the symphony and a Wingate University administrator. Dr. Asti was the group’s organist and harpsichordist during their initial performances.

The USO gave its first performances at Wingate University almost three decades ago. “The Union Symphony Orchestra was founded as a volunteer orchestra at Wingate University in the 1980s,” said Asti.

Dr. Asti has rejoined the symphony’s board. “We are humbled and grateful to have Dr. Asti with us on the board,” said Kim Norwood, a former member of the symphony’s board, now the current executive director.

The ensembles history has always included deep support from the university’s staff and facilities. “We performed in Austin Auditorium, as the Batte Center hadn’t been built yet,” she said. “We took a break around 1990,” said Asti.

In 2004, Wingate University’s current music department chair and director of choral activities, Kenney Potter, took to the podium as the symphony’s artistic director.

Union Symphony incorporated as a 501c3 in 2007. The orchestra now has a youth symphony that is led by Wingate University adjunct professor Sabrina Howard.

The USO has plans to fill the stage with more musicians for their 2017-2018 season. “We have goals for growth,” said Kim Norwood. “We would like to put 68 musicians on stage next season.”

Professor of piano, Dr. David Brooks, will be a featured performer with the symphony this fall.

For more on the Union Symphony Orchestra, visit their website at unionsymphony.org Ryan McKeel is a PR major at Wingate University. Follow him on Instagram @ OatmealMcKeel!

Edited by: Brea Childs

Persona 5 takes on a new plot from Persona 4

Danny Stueber, Staff Writer

When Persona 5 was announced back in 2013, I knew it be my top game of the year whenever it came out. Time and time again it was delayed until this past April when it was finally released and what do you know, I was not wrong all those years ago.

Persona 5 is a long-ride filled with great characters, a great story, a plethora of things to do, and even after completing the game after 100 plus hours, I was ready to jump right back in for another play through. Not only is it one of the most stylish games ever made, it’s possibly one of the best RPGs ever made period.

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Photo Source: PlayStation Universe

Presentation

When Persona 4 was released back in July of 2008, you played as a kid who moved to a small town with your uncle for a year in and right away you were the most popular student around. Everyone loved you and everywhere you went you felt like no one could be cooler than you.

Persona 5 goes in the complete opposite direction. You are forced to go live in the big city after being expelled from your previous school and receiving a criminal record for a crime you did not commit (you stopped a man from abducting a woman but it turns out that man was a high-ranking government official and was able to have you arrested for attacking him).

You go to live with a guardian while you serve your probation period and everyone stays away from you thinking you’re a hardened criminal that could snap at any moment.

The complete contrast was very refreshing after Persona 4 and being treated differently and not having a power trip was something I have not really experienced in a game before. You feel like garbage because of how everyone treats you even though you did the right thing in saving that woman and you must work your way to being seen as a good kid through the game.

To do this, you hang out with friends, go to your jobs, read books, take exams, and everything else you’d assume a high school student would do. Half of the Persona series is life management and simulators; that might sound boring but it’s the complete opposite when everything you do has flair or helps make your character stronger.

You also only have a year in the city before you are sent back home and you can only really do two activities a day (one after school and one in the evening), so you need to spend your time wisely.

Like I said though, this is only half of the game. The other half is dungeon crawling through the hearts of corrupt adults to make them realize their misgivings. You and your friends are able to go to another world where if you steal the “treasure” of these corrupt adults, you can cause them to have a change of heart and to become better people, even admitting to their crimes.

The game does an amazing job at setting up your opponents and making you want to take them out with some examples being a school coach that physically abuses his athletes, an artist who plagiarizes his students work for his own gain, and a mob boss who uses students as drug mules.

The villains are complete scum and it’s up to you and your friends to take them out while also balancing your real everyday life. This all takes place in what is known as “Palaces” which are all completely different from the previous one before it.  They take the physical representation of the adults desires so a school will look like a castle or a city will look like a bank with the citizens as ATMs.

All of this is held together with the most stylish visuals and a perfect soundtrack. Every menu, loading screen, battle animation, purchase option, etc. has extravagant visual design that continuously impressed me. I even felt anger at some points seeing how much polish went into this game’s design compared to other games.

Additionally, the game is filled with an incredible soundtrack, one in which is full of wonderful compositions and vocals that makes Persona 5 one of the most stylish game I have ever seen in my life hands down. If you ever see me walking on campus, there’s no doubt the soundtrack is being played in my head.

Gameplay

In Persona 5, you fight with personas, physical representations of your inner resolve to rebel against evil adults. In this case, each team member’s persona takes on the look of famous thieves- since you are, after all, stealing the corrupted desires in treasure form from your enemies. For example, Captain Kidd, the pirate and Robin hood steal from the rich to give to the poor.

Every teammates persona has strengths and weaknesses like your friend being strong with fire attacks but weak to ice damage. As the main character, you can use multiple personas though that you collect through the Palaces. It has an almost Pokémon style but not nearly as many compared to that series to collect.

Battles in Persona 5 are turn based. What that means if you have never played a turn based game before, your team and the enemy team each have turns to attack until there is a winner. The main goal of each fight is to find the enemies weakness and if you can do that, the enemy is knocked down.

If they are down, you can attack them with every member at once for a lot of damage, or talk to the enemy to try to convince them to join your Persona team, give you money, or give you items. Every motion of attack whether you’re calling on help from your persona, to firing your gun, or to just straight up attacking, has the same amount of visual flair as the rest of the game.

If you just want to rush through fights, you can just press a button and it will play out for you. The game has thought of everything when it comes to accessibility and making sure no matter how you want to play, you can do it. It even has an option where you can make it so that your character never dies and you can just enjoy the nearly perfect story.

I don’t want to go too much into the story but it plays out seeing your character captured at the start because one teammate betrayed you and turned you into the cops. You then speak to a prosecutor and recall the events of the game trying to figure out who the traitor was while also trying to see the bigger picture in the grand scheme of things.

If there was one flaw with the game, it was that near the end I wanted to just get through battles quickly so I could get back to the story with how engrossed I was in it. Also the combat is a blast but I just wanted to see what was coming next!

Conclusion

Persona 5 is amazing and everything I wanted ever since it was announced. It took years to come out but you can see in the polish and overall design that the developers really put all their heart and soul into their product. I would say the story is slightly less intriguing than that of Persona 4 but that’s probably just because I was so attached to those characters for years and this game is brand new.

The only negative I would say about this game is that, there were times when i just wanted to continue to fight battles, but I couldn’t. Other than that, I loved hanging with friends, making relationships, trying to live a normal life while being a thief in another world, the humor of the game, the times it became dark and you felt for the characters, the design and flare are the strongest of any game I have ever played.

I really like this game and it was completely worth the wait. I cannot praise this game enough. If you like JRPGs or RPGs pick up this game. If you are on the fence about it, trust me and pick up the game. It has something for everyone and by time the credits roll it will be an experience that sticks with you for a long time to come. This will be the first game I have ever given a perfect score to.

Persona 5

10/10

Danny Stueber

Edited By: Brea Childs

NCG movie offers a great movie experience to the Monroe area

Andrew Elliot, Staff Writer

You open one of the many doors available, and you are greeted by the smell of delicious popcorn. The friendly staff greets you from across the room over the hum of the icee machines; “Hi! Welcome to NCG!” they call. Now this, is a movie theater!

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Photo Source: NCG Movies website

Many of the locals have taken the opportunity to go and spend the day at the new NCG (Neighborhood Cinema Group) Cinema Monroe. The first run theater is located at 1911 Dickerson Blvd. in Union Square; where the old theater was when it closed in 2012. In 2015, the wait was over for people looking for a place to catch the latest movies as NCG opened its doors on December 12th.

NCG Monroe is a place the whole family can come and enjoy the latest blockbusters; NCG is wheelchair accessible and hosts birthday parties. The theater has eight screens and is open seven days a week; NCG is open 365 days a year.

The ticket prices are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors, students, with valid I.D, military, and children under 12 years of age; $6 matinee tickets are available before 6 p.m. and $5 tickets on Reel Deal Tuesdays. The theater accepts credit cards and cash; as well as reward vouchers from the NCG Club Card, free on purchase.

If you decide to go to see a movie, be sure to arrive early, should your movie be a popular hit. Parking is available in front of the theater.

When you enter the theater, you will buy your tickets at the registers on the right; there are plenty of concession items to choose from such as popcorn, candy, nachos and pretzels; all items are discounted on Reel Deal Tuesdays as well.

After buying your tickets and concessions, you will take your popcorn bucket to the popcorn counter; where you can get unlimited refills throughout your movie.

The popcorn is best when you ask for the popcorn server to fill the bucket halfway, so that you can apply butter and flavoring to make your already tasty popcorn even more delicious; the popcorn server will then fill the rest of your bucket while you fill your cup with either a coke product drink or an icee from the frozen and Coke Freestyle machines on either side of the popcorn counter.

On your ticket, there will be a number for the theater, ranging from one to eight. On the far side of the theater, are theaters one thru five; on the side nearest the counters, are theaters six thru eight.

After you give your ticket stub to the ticket taker, if there are any the day you go, you are ready to enter the theater and sit in there comfortable reclining seats; just make sure you don’t fall asleep and miss your movie!

For more information on tickets and birthday party hosting, go to https://ncgmovies.com/monroe/ or call them at (980)-313-8503

Edited by: Brea Childs