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The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

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La-La Land Takes a Stand Against the Law Law Law

August 19, 2019 - 2:32pm

Earlier this year, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a law effectively banning abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. Needless to say, reproductive rights advocates were very upset, and they weren’t the only ones. Media giants including Netflix, Disney, NBC Universal, Sony and CBS threatened to reconsider all affiliations with states that approve of “heartbeat bills” like Georgia’s. The first TV show to drop plans for filming in the state was Amazon’s “The Power. Director Reed Morano told Time Magazine, “There is no way we would ever bring our money to that state by shooting there.” 

These days, it’s not surprising for big brands, like Target and Gillette, to use products or advertising to establish their wokeness. But the move by studios and streaming services to boycott locations linked to politics they don’t support? That’s an as-yet unproven and controversial tactic Hollywood is using to take a stand. 

As we keep an eye on future developments around the Georgia ban set for 2020, we thought we’d also take a look back. What can we learn from recent moves by Hollywood to change the world, one red carpet — or Twitter thread — at a time?

1. Actresses wear black to the 2018 Golden Globes 

Meryl Streep, America Ferrera, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis and other stars wore black to the 2018 award show to stand in solidarity with sexual assault survivors. While the move raised awareness of the Times Up campaign, just a couple months later Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a United States Supreme Court justice despite very public allegations of misconduct. 

2. We Are All Dreamers campaign 

After President Trump threatened to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which offers protections to children of undocumented parents, celebrities including Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mark Ruffalo posted pictures of themselves wearing “We Are All Dreamers” t-shirts. Hard to say whether the display of support made a difference, but the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hold off until its next term to weigh in on whether the Dream Act will continue.  

3. Supporting stricter gun laws after Parkland 

When Florida lawmakers failed to ban assault rifles after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Ben Platt, Jenna Fischer and Alyssa Milano were among the celebrities who praised student activists or joined March for Our Lives demonstrations. Since then, activism has spread. After the March, other campaigns such as Road For Change are bringing gun activism to all parts of the country.

4. Protesting the “border crisis”

From ICE raids to inhumane detention centers to family separations, there’s plenty for celebrities to speak out about on immigration rights. While many take to social media to protest, some are actually traveling to the border to provide aid. Actresses Evan Rachel Wood, Lena Dunham, Constance Wu and others have visited, offered support and donated materials to families. Despite the “cancellation” of the family-child separation policy, children at the border are still being separated and serious reform has yet to happen. Social media has been promoting the Know Your Rights Campaign and stories of those being mistreated at the border. 

Celebrity platforms reach far and wide, which is why a simple tweet can spur a political movement. In Georgia, the ACLU is suing to stop the fetal heartbeat ban from ever going into effect. As the studios that have taken a public stand against it decide where to shoot their shows, fans will be watching.

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Categories: Blog

5 Things You Missed in Music Business News

August 19, 2019 - 1:28pm

Things are constantly changing in the music industry and it’s important to stay on top of trends and news updates, especially as an independent artist. We’ve got you covered with a weekly recap of the top stories you need to know.

SoundExchange Creates Website To Help Podcasters License Featured Music

SoundExchange is collabing with PodcastMusic.com to develop a quick and easy shopping experience for podcasters. The project will launch next year and will provide licensing for publisher-owned as well as label-owned music. They will also provide global licensing to feature music in a podcast including: performance, synchronization, mechanical rights and master use.

De La Soul Battling And Boycotting Ex Label Tommy Boy Over Their Catalog And Royalties

Legendary hip-hop group De La Soul are battling with their ex-label over unpaid royalties and more. They’ve been unable to reach a compromise which is why a chunk of the group’s catalog isn’t available on many streaming platforms. The group stated the following in a social media post: “We’ve been unable to reach an agreement and earn Tommy Boy’s respect for our music/legacy.” They’ve urged their fans to boycott their music on streaming platforms since everyone involved EXCEPT for them will benefit and receive profit from the streams.

Cardi B, Master P, French Montana and More Sued Over  DJ JMK “Choppa Style” Sample

Producer DJ JMK is suing Cardi B, City Girls and French Montana for copyright infringement over “Choppa Style.” The song was sampled in Cardi B and City Girls’ “Twerk,” as well as Yo Gotti and French Montana’s  “Oh Yeah.” Kirk Edwards aka DJ JMK is looking to collect a couple of bags from the artists who illegally sampled his track.

Drake Brings In 9th #1 Album With “Care Package”

Drake’s newest project entitled “Care Package” recently debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. That makes it his ninth #1 studio album! “Care Package” is also the first #1 album off Drake’s new label, OVO Sound.

Apple Music Reveals New Tool For Artist Managers That Provides Detailed Streaming Data

Apple unveiled a free tool for artist managers that provides detailed information about artists’ streaming data and guess what?…it’s free! Apple Music for Artists, which debuted on Apple Music, provides daily data on who’s listening, what they’re listening to, where they’re listening from and more. Apple literally thought of everything…it even includes artists’ Shazam data! Apple also stated that they’ve been working on this project for years in order to get it right, accepting and requesting feedback from multiple artists.

The post 5 Things You Missed in Music Business News appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Social Media Polling for a Sense of Self

August 19, 2019 - 7:30am
Categories: Blog

The Lowdown: Trump’s New Sneaky Green Card Rule

August 16, 2019 - 4:02pm

Every week, Malachi gives you the lowdown on news you need to know. This week, he explores why people are drinking bleach … again, how an invasive banana fungus may soon change your morning smoothie ritual and, finally, how the Trump admin may be targeting lower-income Green Card holders. 

The post The Lowdown: Trump’s New Sneaky Green Card Rule appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

How to Follow Through with Your Marathon

August 16, 2019 - 11:53am

August 15th marks the late Nipsey Hussle’s 34th birthday. Nipsey Hussle’s impact on his community is immeasurable. His legacy inspired South Central and beyond, creating countless opportunities for those in his community. His career emblematizes perseverance, Nipsey showed that even with all the odds against you, you can win. He showed us that no matter your circumstances, you can create the tools you need to succeed. His clothing store, The Marathon, was proof of that, as was his music career.

As an independent artist who was catapulted to the masses by his like-minded fans, Nipsey’s legacy stands tall. The Marathon mantra continues to serve as a blueprint for those who are starting to embark on their own. 

In honor of Nipsey’s legacy, we asked young people at YR Media about Nipsey’s marathon and what their marathon looks like. 

Will Flattery-Vickness, Photographer

Marathon: Learning to express myself

In the beginning, it was Nipsey’s passion that caught my attention. Even in his lyrics, he preaches about his pride for his neighborhood. The bravery when it comes to standing up for what he believes in. There are so many examples from his life, like how he bought a whole business park and hired people from his community — that shouldn’t be ignored.

Nipsey’s legacy has impacted my creativity in the way that it kind of made me think about being as honest as possible in every art form that I participate in. My marathon is being able to fully express myself while being less sensitive and defensive to take comments as constructive feedback. I think that both improves my wellbeing and how others see me. The support from friends and family is what motivates me on my marathon, which I definitely think is why Nipsey got to be as successful as he was. 

Annie King, Singer 

Marathon – Each one teach one/Never give up 

Nipsey wasn’t afraid to be himself despite his background and being in a gang. He still had morals and things he actually stood for. That didn’t change with his success. He always told you to be yourself and to work for it. He always said it was either hidden or it’s known. He wants you to go for your dreams, stand for what you believe in and don’t be afraid to do that —to stand in your truths.

You can’t allow anybody to define you, you have to define yourself for yourself. Don’t let these titles define you, you define yourself. I think that’s something I would uphold on my own. Me, myself and I. I don’t know how I would describe my own marathon, because, honestly, I’m still running it. Honestly, inspiring others and sharing wisdom to my friends or anyone willing to take it as I learn and grow.

My wisdom is bigger. I know that sounds cliche, but I’ve been motivating myself my whole life. That will never change, so it’s me, myself and I. My growing and glowing process. My dreams and aspirations. I have big dreams. I feel like it’s bigger than me already, I know that I’m going to touch a lot of people. I already know…and as long as I already know, I have to keep going so that when I get there, I can say I did it.

Jordan Gill, Musician

Marathon: Spreading love and peace 

I just want to be able to take care of myself and my family — like Nipsey with Lauren London. He took care of her children even though they weren’t his blood. It takes a lot for someone to do that. That amount of selflessness, love, and trust is hard to find these days. So my marathon is one that is going to be focused toward peace, love and compassion.

My family motivates me to stick to my own path. I appreciate their love because not very many people get it. So, I hold them close. Nipsey’s career made me open up more. A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have even done this interview with you. Honestly, I used to be closed off and didn’t talk about how I felt. Nipsey helped me open up to the world.

Jessica “Money Maka” Brown

Marathon: Being true to my vision and myself

I would just say the fact that he was so young and had a lot of knowledge that he was trying to pass onto his community for sure caught my attention. His mindset was “go buy yourself some property and invest. Invest in your community. Put your people on.” It kind of made me want to talk about some more real topics. Not talking about what everybody talks about — cars and money and all that.

I want to talk about some deeper things now. I want to bring Oakland closer together. I mean, Oakland is already pretty close but I feel like we’re kind of losing touch now. I feel like Oakland just isn’t as intact as it was back in the day.  I would say that I think my marathon is to get people to care about what I’m doing, or why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m a female rapper from the Bay and I go stupid, and I just want people to rock with true talent.

The post How to Follow Through with Your Marathon appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Where the 2020 Democratic Candidates Stand on Gun Control

August 15, 2019 - 1:37pm

Recent deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio have Americans on edge, provoking fear, anger and grief in communities across the country. This year alone, at least 59 people in the U.S. have been killed in mass shootings, according to a database on mass shootings maintained by Mother Jones. 

In the wake of this constant stream of tragedies, young voters are asking: which presidential candidate will take action on gun violence if they win in 2020? And will their ideas reduce gun deaths and mass killings? 

Focusing on five hopefuls vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination, YR Media examined policy proposals and what the candidates have said about gun control before and after the attacks in El Paso and Dayton. 

The candidate: Joe Biden

The policy: Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading the polls in the primary race, does not currently have a gun policy platform on his website. But on Sunday, he wrote in The New York Times that he would reinstate bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, citing his efforts to pass the original legislation in 1994. 

To make the ban more effective, Biden said, his administration would push for a universal backgrounds check bill and implement a voluntary buyback program to get assault weapons off the streets. The candidate has touted his reputation as a politician who “stands up to the NRA” and the gun lobby.

Thoughts and prayers won’t solve our broken gun laws. We need politicians with the courage to stand up to the powerful gun lobby and tell them that they don’t own this country.

I’ve beaten the @NRA twice, and I’ll do it again in the White House.

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 6, 2019

The candidate: Cory Booker

The policy: Even before the most recent massacres in Texas and Ohio, Sen. Cory Booker made gun violence a central issue in his campaign. Booker, who lives in a community plagued by violence in Newark, New Jersey, released his 14-point plan in May, pledging to “end the gun violence epidemic” by creating a federal gun licensing program, banning assault weapons and limiting buyers to one handgun per month, among other proposals. 

The licensing program would require prospective gun owners to pass a comprehensive FBI background check and provide proof of completion of a gun safety course before they could receive a license, which would be valid for up to five years with the option to renew. Ten states have already implemented “permit to purchase” systems that require gun buyers to obtain a license or permit before buying at least some firearms, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

How we #EndGunViolence:
federal gun licensing program
universal background checks
ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks
close loopholes that allow domestic abusers & people on terrorist watchlists to buy guns

My full plan: https://t.co/PxlqlrwFmR

— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 11, 2019

The candidate: Kamala Harris

The policy: If elected president, Sen. Kamala Harris says she would give Congress 100 days to send “comprehensive gun safety legislation” to her desk, including universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and the repeal of a bill that gives gun manufacturers immunity from lawsuits. Most notably, the former California attorney general said she’d revoke the licenses of gun manufacturers and dealers who break the law and collect fines for up to $500,000 per violation.

This week, Harris released more policy proposals regarding her goals of “disarming the threat” of domestic terrorism and white supremacists. The plan would give federal courts the power to issue “domestic terrorism prevention orders,” which would give law enforcement the ability to temporarily seize the gun of a person who may imminently perpetrate a hate crime or terrorist act. 

Whether at a festival, place of worship, school, movie theater, or Walmart, you should always be able to feel safe. As president, I’ll give Congress 100 days to send gun safety legislation to my desk. If they refuse to act, I’ll take executive action to protect our communities.

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 7, 2019

The candidate: Beto O’Rourke

The policy: For Beto O’Rourke, the tragedy in El Paso was deeply personal. The former Texas Senate candidate previously represented the city in the House of Representatives and is a fierce defender of its residents against criticism from President Donald Trump. 

If elected, O’Rourke says he would not hesitate to take executive action to reverse Trump administration policies that permit “fugitives to purchase guns” and allow access to 3D printing of plastic guns. Beyond echoing Democratic calls for closing loopholes that give domestic abusers the ability to buy firearms, O’Rourke said he would increase funding for communities affected by gun violence and advocate for the passage of “red flag laws,” which allow law enforcement to prevent people who pose an imminent danger to themselves or others from keeping their firearms. In an interview with Pod Save America after the El Paso shooting, O’Rourke said he was open to supporting a mandatory gun buyback program and a gun licensing system. 

After the Santa Fe shooting, I reached out to students who survived it and parents whose children did not. After Saturday, they reached out to me. Whenever I start to lose hope, I remember their strength. If we follow the lead of these young people, I know we can end this crisis.

— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 6, 2019

The candidate: Elizabeth Warren

The policy: Just a week after the shootings, Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced her plan to reduce gun deaths by 80 percent through a combination of legislation and executive action. Those executive actions would include stricter background check requirements, raising the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21 and investigating the National Rifle Association. 

Alongside calls for a gun licensing system, an assault weapons ban and a $100 million annual investment in gun research, Warren echoed her calls for “sweeping anti-corruption legislation” to remove NRA influence from politics and to eliminate the filibuster in the Senate, which would lower the threshold to pass bills from 60 votes to a simple majority, or 51 votes. 

Gun violence is a public health crisis. That’s why I have a comprehensive gun violence prevention plan—a plan to make big, structural changes to end the NRA and corrupt lawmakers’ ability to block our government from defending the lives of our people. https://t.co/fcDY6hZzdI

— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 10, 2019



The post Where the 2020 Democratic Candidates Stand on Gun Control appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

All Day Playlist 8.14.19

August 14, 2019 - 6:42pm

The post All Day Playlist 8.14.19 appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Play of the Day: Lazers #11

August 14, 2019 - 2:24pm

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Categories: Blog

“You Never Expect It To Happen to You”: How Dayton Teens Are Coping

August 14, 2019 - 11:07am

The country turned its attention to Dayton, Ohio, when a gunman killed nine people at a bar in the city’s Oregon district. But for the residents of the city, this summer has felt like a never-ending onslaught. In recent months, the city has been hit with a tornado, a Ku Klux Klan rally, and now a mass shooting. 

How are young people in Dayton coping with a shooting in their own hometown? Dayton Youth Radio’s Jack Long, a YR Media contributor, sat down with two teens who go to school and live near the Oregon district, Eleanor Dakota, 16, and Malcolm Blunt, 14. 

This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

Initial reactions to the shooting

Eleanor Dakota: I immediately looked up all the people that were hurt and made sure I didn’t know anyone. And after that, I felt a sense of relief — like everything’s going to be OK — but those [killed] are still people. And it feels a little inhuman that I would think that way. I feel guilty about not feeling as bad as some people feel right now.

Malcolm Blunt: I was at camp when I heard. My mother told me about how my cousin was there. He didn’t get hurt, but the person right next to him had gotten shot. And he had to help a girl who was next to him. [He] pulled a dead body off of her. My sister was on her way [to the bar] when it happened. And I’m kind of glad she ended up being late because there was a chance that she could’ve gotten hurt too. 

ED: I was at a motel [when I heard about it]. Where it happened was within earshot of my home, so I’m glad I wasn’t home for that. I didn’t really believe it at first, but I walked downtown the day after it happened. I didn’t want to go like in front of the bar, because there were bullet holes in the glass, and that made me really upset.

Daily life in the Oregon district 

ED: It’s like a historic place. There’s a lot of funky shops — like a really weird thrift store and a hat shop. There’s no big buildings. They’re all old buildings with cool architecture. Everyone kind of knows everyone, not like by name. You’d kind of see the same faces and you smile.

Jack Long: How does it change from night to day?

ED: In the daytime all the shops are open, but during the night, all the people are [at] bars. You just have to be careful about who you talk to.

JL: Did you ever think that you would be texting [your friends in Dayton], “How are you doing? Are you safe?”

MB: [No.] Because before really this year, [Dayton] seemed like a nice place where nothing really happened.

ED: Like you never expect it to happen to you in real life. You see it on the news and stuff. But it really does. 

Conversations with parents

JL: Have you ever talked to your parents about shootings or mass violence?

ED: Definitely after the shooting, my mom has been a little more cautious about having me go out and stuff.

MB: I feel like I’ve been talked at by my parents a little bit more recently, because they’re worried and trying to make sure what happened to my cousin doesn’t happen to me.

JL: So when [you] say they’re “talking at you,” what do you mean by that?

MB: Since it’s so new and so fresh, they’re so worried about something happening to me that they just kind of forget that I have a social life outside of them.

JL: Do you feel like you’re, like 10 again, being told where to go?

ED and ML: Yeah.

Encounters with guns on social media and in real life

ED: On Instagram, people [are] like, “Yay, I have a gun! I’m going to point it at the camera and take a picture. That’s very funny, very cool.” [And I’m] like, “Ok, where’d you get that? Your parents? Where do they put it?

JL: Have either of you shot a gun before?

ED: I have. I went once with my friend’s parents.

JL: How did that make you feel?

ED: I mean, I was good at it, but I don’t know. It’s silly to me why her dad would even need a gun. Like it’s nice to have, but it’s such a dangerous thing. My cousin got a gun when he was eight — it was like a BB gun. Things like that normalize the idea of owning a gun and needing to use that gun.

Feeling desensitized to gun violence

JL: Do you know anyone personally who has had experience with gun violence before this?

ED: I think someone once brought a gun into our school.

MB: Growing up in Dayton, it’s kind of out there that gun violence happens a lot. And so I have become desensitized to hearing, “Oh, this person got shot.”

ED: It just doesn’t feel like [gun violence] should be a thing [that] people even have to deal with — the feeling of “Oh, it’s happening again.” It’s happened so much. And it’s just here [in America]. It’s really stupid.

JL: When people say that they’ve become desensitized to shootings, what are your feelings towards them? It sounds like you would count yourself as one of them.

ED: I’ve never been a fan of guns, but seeing it happen to your own people really shakes you.

The post “You Never Expect It To Happen to You”: How Dayton Teens Are Coping appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

Playlist: Songs to Be Sad To

August 13, 2019 - 9:10pm

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Categories: Blog

Video: Is Disney Becoming More Diverse?

August 13, 2019 - 3:41pm

Disney’s lack of POC representation has been an issue in the past. Do you think the new live-action remake movies are the solution? Kiarra, Nyge, and Merk break it down.

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Categories: Blog

5 Things You Missed in Music Business News

August 13, 2019 - 12:49pm

Things are constantly changing in the music industry and it’s important to stay on top of trends and news updates, especially as an independent artist. We’ve got you covered with a weekly recap of the top stories you need to know.

SONY/ATV GETS THEIR WRITERS PAID FASTER

Sony/ATV has developed a new system to get writers paid faster. They have created a new system in which royalties will be accounted for and paid out at the same time. Soon, artists will have access to their royalties using the Cash Out feature, allowing artists to collect some or all of their royalties at once. 

DRAKE LANDS PANDORA DEAL

With the launch of a new shared radio station between SiriusXM and Pandora, the two companies quickly made a big move to sign a deal with Drake. With this deal, Drake will have his own stations, playlists, collaborations and more.  

RAPPER NF TAKES #1 BILLBOARD SPOT FROM CHANCE THE RAPPER 

Rapper NF knocked Chance the Rapper off of the #1 album spot on Billboard charts. Both artists utilized bundle deals to boost sales, but, as of August 4, 2019, NF was able to come out on top with 130,000 units sold while Chance had 108,000 units sold.  

MARSHMELLO INKS DEAL WITH WME

Monster producer Marshmello signs a deal with WME talent agency for representation. Marshmello is one of the top-ten artists in the world — racking up more than 10 billion streams and 45 million monthly listeners on Spotify. 

BABY SHARK CEREAL 

The people behind the hit children’s song Baby Shark will be releasing their own brand of cereal. With over three billion views on YouTube, the product will reportedly be available in Sam’s Club locations on August 17th as well as Walmart in late September.

The post 5 Things You Missed in Music Business News appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

5150’d: My Journey Through a Psych Ward

August 12, 2019 - 7:41pm
Categories: Blog

A Close Look at Gun Laws in Texas and Ohio

August 12, 2019 - 3:33pm

In less than 24 hours, 31 people lost their lives in two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

On the morning of August 3, 2019, a 21-year-old gunman took 22 lives and injured 26 others at a Walmart in El Paso, located five miles from the Mexican border. Prior to the attack, the Texas shooter published a white supremacist manifesto. In it, he expressed hate against immigrants, Latinos, and both the Democrat and Republican parties.

And within a day of the El Paso attack, a shooting in Dayton left nine people dead and 27 injured in the city’s nightclub district. Though the majority of lives lost in the shooting were black, law enforcement is not, as of now, calling the attack racially motivated.

YR Media reporter Emiliano Villa took a look at gun access in Texas and Ohio. Here’s what you need to know about these states’ gun laws.

Both are “shall-issue” states.

This means that anyone can get a gun if they pass the state’s basic requirements, such as reaching the legal age and having no felony background. In Texas and Ohio, you can buy a firearm at 18 but must be 21 to purchase a handgun. 

Both Texas and Ohio allow concealed and open-carry.

Both states require people to apply for a concealed carry permit. One must demonstrate they have knowledge of safety in carrying and using a gun. 

Gun control advocates have pointed out a loophole in both Texas and Ohio.

Gun buyers who are purchasing from a private individual do not have to pass a background check. 

Minors can have and use a gun.

There is no minimum age to possess a gun in either Texas or Ohio. So while a teenager or child can’t buy a gun, they can, under the right conditions, legally be given one by an adult.

Still, there’s a catch…

In Texas, adults are criminally liable for gun activity by minors.

The Texas penal code holds adults responsible if a minor gains access to a “readily dischargeable firearm” (i.e. one that is loaded) and fires it. The penalties are even stiffer if a person is shot by the minor. This means that adults can be held liable for something like a school shooting by a minor, if it can be proven that they were criminally negligent with regard to that minor’s access to weapons.

For more on Texas gun laws, see YR Media’s first report on this issue, following the 2018 Santa Fe, Texas school shooting. 

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Categories: Blog

Long Reach of Grief After Gun Violence

August 11, 2019 - 9:48pm

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Categories: Blog

Sunday Night Oldies V. 1

August 10, 2019 - 3:43pm

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Categories: Blog

The Dispatch: Mass Shootings, 8chan & India vs. Pakistan

August 9, 2019 - 3:53pm

Too scared to step outside these days? You’re not alone. Let Malachi comfort you with hot takes live from the YR Media Nuclear Bunker.

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Categories: Blog

3TEETH’s New Album, ‘METAWAR,’ Is a Masterpiece You Don’t Want to Miss

August 9, 2019 - 2:39pm

The LA-based industrial metal band 3TEETH rose to prominence after they opened for the band Tool during their 2016 tour. “METAWAR” is their third album to date, following a self-titled debut in 2014 and a 2017 album titled “<shutdown.exe>.”

3TEETH frontman Alexis Mincolla said in a statement to Loudwire that “if our debut album was focused on man vs. the world, and our sophomore album was man vs. himself, then I really wanted ‘METAWAR’ to focus on the idea of world vs. world, and the notion that if man doesn’t create his own world then he’s often crushed by the world of another.” The brilliance of this album lies in its timelessness. “METAWAR” portrays a deeply divided society grappling with technological advancement, political corruption and the resulting isolation and existential fear. Instead of taking a distinct left-wing or right-wing stance, “METAWAR” takes a step back to examine the larger context.

The album begins with the one-minute instrumental song “HYPERTENSION.” In this opening track, clips of contemporary news reports and political commentaries are laid into anxious chaos. The second song, “AFFLUENZA,” is a scathing but catchy attack on corporate greed. The focus of the band’s frustration switches to the unhealthy way in which some people self medicate in the song “EXXXIT.” The lead single, “AMERICAN LANDFILL,” summarizes two of METAWAR’s major themes: conformity and the societal implications of evolving new technology. The fourth track, “PRESIDENT X,” discusses the inherent dishonesty of politicians, the song is especially timely considering the upcoming 2020 election. The band created an entire character for this song, a red lizard man who presents the image he believes the public wants and has no principles or beliefs. 

The sixth song, “ALTAER,” is one of my favorites because of the sheer emotional weight it carries. This song is about how humanity has abused our natural environment, and how the damage we have inflicted on our planet will destroy us in the end. “It will be there when the tides rise/You will hear it when your god cries/You will see it when the sun dies/Upon the altars of change”

Mincholla sings over synths which seemingly sound like humanity’s march toward its destruction. “TIME SLAVE” is about the repression of foreboding. “BORNLESS” and “SURRENDER” continue to explore the idea of profound loneliness in a polarized world. “SELL YOUR FACE 2.0” is a lovely change of pace, due to high-pitched almost poppy vocal effects in the chorus that switch up the tone of the track. This song is about thoughtlessly allowing tech companies to have all your information. Unlike anything else on the album, “SELL YOUR FACE 2.0,” relies on synths instead of heavy guitars and drums. Until this point, this album is comprised of tightly structured songs with distorted electronics, guitars and drums which pair perfectly with Mincolla’s dynamic vocal performance. METAWAR is a well-oiled heavy war machine plodding deliberately forward and crushing anyone in its wake. 

In “SELL YOUR FACE 2.0,” that machine becomes a bit erratic, and in the next song “BLACKOUT,” the machine slows to a sputtering stop, and breaks. These two songs take a more individualistic perspective on political division. They show individuals surrendering to their confusion and accepting the dishonest nature of the world’s leaders.

In “THE FALL” we hear an individual desperately hoping that the next plane of existence is more honest and kind. The final track, a cover of “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People, captures the emotional trauma of eminent gun violence with its controlled guttural vocal performance and slow instrumental. Unlike the originally upbeat song, 3TEETH’s version of “Pumped Up Kicks” is a truly bone-chilling experience.

“METAWAR” stands out because of the intricacy of the album. Each song tells a complete story on its own while adding to the album’s larger message and sound. The choruses are loud and catchy, the verses are a punchy take on each theme and story. The production creates a heavy atmosphere to match the emotion to the vocals and lyrics of each song. METAWAR is impossible to ignore, the synths and drums thrash with angry sarcasm, and the images that these songs project are both clear and applicable to modern life. This is not just music you can bang your head to, each song requires you to use your brain long after their last notes have faded.

The post 3TEETH’s New Album, ‘METAWAR,’ Is a Masterpiece You Don’t Want to Miss appeared first on YR Media.

Categories: Blog

In El Paso, the Creative Community Helps with Healing

August 9, 2019 - 11:36am

All this week, YR Media has been reporting from El Paso on the aftermath of the mass shooting there that left 22 dead and dozens injured. Again and again, culture and creativity have emerged as key sources of the city’s resilience.

El Paso businesses, organizers and residents are providing relief and aid to the victims and their families, consoling one another as the nation looks on. Funeral homes offer free services to victims. Banks and cell phone companies supply water and snacks at the memorial outside the Walmart where the shooting took place. Red Lobster employees even took biscuits to mourners. 

The dance groups that performed at vigils throughout the city set the stage for others in the creative community to help El Paso move forward.

The El Paso Plaza Classic Film Festival

El Paso Plaza Classic Film Festival is a 10-day festival that bills itself as the largest of its kind. The shooting took place on the third day of the festival, just as viewers were settling in to watch “Shrek.” 

A jar for donations is next to a long sheet of paper where people can write a message to the victims of the Walmart shooting. This set up is located inside the Plaza Theatre in EL Paso, TX. (Photo: Antonio Villaseñor-Baca/ YR Media)

While many businesses closed their doors for the day to participate in relief efforts, the film festival resisted canceling because “part of it, is to not let this person dictate to us,” said Doug Pullen, program director at the El Paso Community Foundation, which organizes the festival. “I think of the U2 line, ‘Don’t let the bastards get you down,’ and in this case, it’s don’t let the bastard get you down,” said Pullen. Also, Pullen believes that entertainment can be a good diversion. “We felt people would need some kind of solace, would need some kind of comfort, a safe place.” 

The festival also set up a stand for people to write messages on a long sheet of paper. “The idea, we’re hoping, is to showcase the [messages written] to the public so the people directly affected by the shooting can see there are people who support them,” Pullen said.

West Texas Tattoos

El Paso has plenty of tattoo shops, and many are offering deals on ink to raise money for the victims of the shooting. One of these shops is West Texas Tattoo. This Friday the shop will offer $60 palm-sized El Paso-themed tattoos, with proceeds going to victims.

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Please read the instructions thoroughly. No exceptions. Thank you everyone see you soon.

A post shared by West Texas Tattoo (@westtexastattoo) on Aug 7, 2019 at 8:02pm PDT

“The owners of the shop wanted to help out the community,” said Stevie Mclean, shop manager at West Texas Tattoo. “People aren’t being selfish. It’s surprising and it’s not at the same time. Everyone just came together.”

Proper Print Shop

It is difficult to go anywhere in El Paso without seeing a shirt made by Proper Print Shop. This is where the famous “No Mames Way” and the Chihuahua calavera (skull) t-shirts are made. People come to Proper Print Shop not just because of how soft their shirts are but also because of how vibrantly they show the El Paso culture on the tees. 

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This tragic event will Not define us! All profits donated to the El Paso Community Foundation. Available in-store tomorrow at noon. Thanks to @viva.la.mocha and @emedesignstudio for use of their designs! Stickers, buttons & pop sockets on the way. Additional donations can be made at www.epcf.org #elpasostrong #elpasotx #elpasoproud @elpasocf

A post shared by Proper Printshop (@properprintshop) on Aug 5, 2019 at 11:01am PDT

The t-shirt shop is among several in the city that are selling custom products like their “El Paso Strong” shirt, to support the community of El Paso. Proper Print Shop is donating the proceeds to the El Paso Community Foundation. 

The shop released the t-shirts on Monday and reports that they’ve sold out each day so far. “We’re just raising money. The whole point is to raise money for the foundation,” said Alan Hudson, part-owner of Proper Print Shop. “We’ve never been this busy. Thousands of people are coming through every day, in person. And thousands of orders online,” said Hudson. The number of sales has surpassed their normal workload.

“We’re just trying to do what we can. And what we do is shirts,” said Hudson. 


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