AJR Hits The Charts With "What Everyone's Thinking"

AJR Hits The Charts With "What Everyone's Thinking"

Making an impact on the music industry with unique themes.

A small electronic/pop-influenced band called AJR, from New York city released a new EP called “WHAT EVERYONE’S THINKING” which was uniquely impressive. This band is a band of brothers made up of Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met. This band is infamous for their uniqueness, as their debut single was “I’m Ready” which included a SpongeBob sound sample, which was one of their sillier ones. This song made it to the top 100, and in the top 50 for the pop chart on iTunes. That song kind of was the start for them, and after that they built a bit of a fan base which only grew from then. They still aren’t really to be considered famous, and they kind of like it that way. They have lots of smaller, intimate shows in which they make time to meet each individual fan which says a lot about them as musicians.

The EP “WHAT EVERYONE’S THINKING” in general brings so many unique things to the classic definitions of what “pop” music is or what it talks about. They talk about living with being a musician and making it work with a semi-normal life with lines like “I skipped prom for Elvis Duran In the morning”. They also talk about resisting peer pressure and the struggle of resisting it, along with things like complicated love. To generalize these examples given, their main purpose of this EP was to give voice to things that everyone is thinking, but not vocalizing.

Within 24 hours of the release, they were in the top 10 albums in the pop section of the iTunes charts, which is the highest they've ever charted in their musical career which is huge for them as a band. what is also huge about this is that they're talking about such things that aren't talked about nearly enough, and its getting listened to! by it being listened to, means that they have the opportunity to make an impact on the music industry, and its expectations.

Their single off of their new EP is called “I’m Not Famous” which essentially talks about all of the reasons they like that they’re not famous. This is one of those songs that is so unique that the theme of the overall song is so different than what is typical within the music industry. When have you ever heard of a musician singing about where they are in regards of fame? I haven’t heard one ever, which is one of the things that makes AJR as a band really stick out. This song is also something that you can dance to which is also a very good quality to have in a single because it gets people hooked once it's attached to an album or EP it can give them an incentive to listen to the other songs on the album or EP.

Cover Image Credit: Vinyl

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School Funding Matters

A rich, robust, well-resourced public education is one of the best routes out of poverty and a pathway to prosperity.

In 2014, the U.S. ranked at the bottom of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s countries for graduation rates. This is a huge concern our country faces: American youth do not receive the educational opportunities that they need and deserve to be able to compete in today’s global society.

In some areas, schools are unable to provide for their students because they lack the proper resources. In rural areas, students are less likely to do well on End-of-Course (EOC) exams and have lower graduation rates than other areas. Local school districts base their funding on property tax (local government source of revenue), formula assistance (state source of revenue), and a special education grant (federal government source of revenue). It is not fair to the students and faculty that attend schools with minimal funding because it reduces their chance of success.

Think about how some schools are able to provide iPads, updated computers, and SmartBoards to all their classes in comparison with schools that use outdated textbooks and do not have enough resources to provide for the teachers and classes. Some schools have classes like digital media or astronomy, while others do not. This all boils down to the funding and resources available.

Rural school districts are lower performing academically in comparison to their urban and suburban counterparts. However, rural school districts have greater levels of parental and community involvement and lower student-teacher ratios. The big issue is that rural school districts are not getting the fair amount of funds, which affects the poor and minority students in those areas.

Rural school districts generally have a smaller amount of financial resources and, therefore, are unable to meet typical necessities. such as purchasing new textbooks or funding bus transportation. There are also new challenges, such as providing services to the increasing number of English Language Learners.

With a limited budget, there is a difficulty in teacher recruitment and development, and poorly funded school districts are unable to meet the expectation of other districts. For example, they are unable to match the salaries and development opportunities offered in other areas which reduces the number of advanced degree teachers and forces teachers to look to other areas in order to be able to provide for their own families.

In my opinion, students are able to retain more information when they are in a better environment and have access to the necessary educational resources. Schools that do not have sufficient materials show lower test scores and less student participation. Also, teachers are able to create more inclusive lessons when provided with the materials and equipment to teach.

Unequal funding to school districts is a social problem that should be our top priority. The government has tried to solve this problem by creating multiple federal policies; however, school districts are still suffering from unequal funding.

Schools that are capable of providing a respectable learning environment will be able to get kids to value their future through becoming better learners. With equal funding and resources, more school districts will have a fair chance at providing students and teachers with the best opportunities for success.

Cover Image Credit: Laurie Sullivan

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