Bleachers MTV Unplugged Record Stuns

Bleachers MTV Unplugged Record Stuns

From features from Lorde to raw instrumentation this performance is one for the books.
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Jack Antonoff has been getting much acclaim lately for his remarkable production skills on records like Taylor Swift's reputation and Lorde's Melodrama. Besides being an incredible producer he has his own band, Bleachers. They have put out two records, the first being Strange Desire, with Gone Now following it.

On November 10th, a live album was released comprised of the songs that were recorded for MTV Unplugged. Something is to be said about music that can be completely stripped of its production, which it is solely based off of, yet still retain all of the emotion and meaning behind it. Artists such as Tegan and Sara and Bruce Springsteen, who have influenced Antonoff and his writing, have a strong presence in these altered versions.

The record starts off with a song from Gone Now, "Let's Get Married". Originally a fast paced, 80's pop infused song, Bleachers completely strip it of its production. The MTV Unplugged version starts with Antonoff and a guitar, singing it at a slower tempo. At the chorus, some piano comes into play following Antonoff's vocal line. Starting the album off with this song is an interesting choice, due to the vulnerability that was displayed by taking away all production and drastically changing the tone of the song, while still keeping it cheerful.

Having recorded these versions at The Stone Pony, in Asbury Park, New Jersey, in front of a live audience, added even more meaning to this performance. The Stone Pony, known for launching the careers of both Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, is a historic venue that Antonoff felt honored to be playing in, especially since it is in his home state.

One of their most popular songs "Rollercoaster" was played during the beginning of the set. Antonoff's vocals sound as if he is telling a story to the crowd. It retains the feel good vibes and highlights the instrumentation of an acoustic guitar and piano as the song builds.

A few songs on the album feature other artists that he's worked with. Lorde sings on an acoustic, slowed down version of "Don't Take the Money", which she co-wrote with Antonoff. Lorde's breathy, yet sharp vocals add an entirely new layer to the song that makes it all the more appealing. Carly Rae Jepsen is featured on this version of "Shadow" having worked with Jepsen on some of her own music a few years ago, as well as working with her on her current project. Both Jepsen and Lorde sing background vocals on "Hate That You Know Me" giving the track a three dimensional feel. The performance starts off with a drum pad with an overlapping bongo and adds in the harmonization of Jepsen and Lorde, for which Jepsen was originally featured on.

This performance was the first for the songs off of "Gone Now". The band had been working on it for two years and this performance was a few months before the fully produced album was released to the public. This was the first performance of its kind for Bleachers and they nailed it.

Towards the end of the album they perform "I Miss Those Days", which they currently have a tour video out for. The raw sound of the saxophone, piano, and guitar add so much to the meaning of the lyrics, "And I'm sorry that you saw me when I lost my way/ But it's all coming back, yeah/ Like the feeling isn't over/ Hey, I know I was lost but I miss those days". He then asks for audience participation and its one of those moments that gives you chills.

The record ends on "I Wanna Get Better", that starts with a speech about the celebration of music that both Antonoff enjoys as well as the audience. While it's about anxiety, depression, loss, etc., it's also such an uplifting and motivational song that to end it on this note is genius. It allows the audience to feel less alone in any struggles that they may be having and assures them that pulling yourself out of the darkest of times is feasible. The audience joins in completing lyrics making it feel like a big group of friends shouting into the void for their happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pitchfork

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11 Things You Understand If You Hate Physical Contact

Please keep your hands and feet away from me at all times.
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We currently live in a world where EVERYONE LIKES TO TOUCH EACH OTHER. People enjoy hugs, high fives, tapping others on the shoulder, pokes, ect. For someone like you and me (I'm assuming you too since you clicked on this article), this is the WORST thing in the world. Whenever I think of someone touching me (even just a poke) without my permission my reaction is like Sofia Vergara in Modern Family.

I mean, when I take that love languages quiz, physical touch is always on the bottom of my preferences. So I thought to my self, you know I can't be the only person in the world that hates physical touching. So here are 11 things every person who hates physical touch will understand:


1. When people tickle you

I don't care that it's just for fun and jokes; I'm not laughing because I want to, you are literally forcing me to laugh. I hate you, get your greasy hands off of me before I make you get them off of me.


2. When people think they need to tap your shoulder to get your attention

As if simply saying "Hey" followed by my name wasn't enough. I don't need your grubby little fingers touching me. Now I'm annoyed with you before this conversation even started, what do you want?


3. When someone you barely know reaches in for a hug

I don't know who the heck you're thinking you're about to hug because it sure isn't going to be me. Hugs are reserved for people I know well and like, not you. Okay release me now, I am not enjoying this. LET ME GO.


4. When people tell you that you aren't an affectionate person

Are you aware there are ways to show my affection without constantly being all over you like a koala bear? Yes, I'm affectionate, hop off.


5. When someone is in your personal space

We could be best friends, we could be complete strangers. We could be lovers, I could hate your guts. We could be in private, we could be in public. I don't care what the situation is, if you're in my personal space uninvited GET OUT. There is no reason to be so close to me unwarranted.


6. You don't know how to comfort people

When you see an upset loved one, most people think they you should comfort then by pulling them into a long lasting hug. But, that's the kind of things that your nightmares are literally made out of. So, you stand there confused how you should comfort your friend/relative while also not sacrificing your touch moral code.


7. When people say you "look like you could use a hug"

Um no. I never could use one, get off of me. I will let you know when I want one.


8. When you're hugging someone wondering how soon you can release

Please end my suffering.


9. When you arrive at a social gathering and people rush to greet you with hugs

Let's not.

10. When you try to leave a social gathering by just waving to get out of goodbye hugs

Please no one make me hug you.


11. That one person who is allowed to hug you/touch you

This person, typically a significant other or best friend, gets to break all the "no touch" rules and we gladly accept their hugs and cuddles and public displays of affection. But only them, no one can copy them.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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12 Classics That All College Students Should Read

Reading is important — yet many people forget about books.

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These are the classics that I think all college students should read.

1. "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

This classic by J.D. Salinger is a staple for many high school kids. Yet, I believe college students should revisit this novel, as it's a great portrayal of adolescence.

2. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Love him or hate him, Jay Gatsby is one of literature's most recognizable characters. "The Great Gatsby" is a tragic story of a man stuck in the past, and a grim warning of the empty happiness money buys.

3. "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells was far beyond his time. His novel, "The Time Machine," explores what would happen if time-travelling could happen. It's both an evocative and frightening tale, full of important philosophical questions.

4. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde 

This novel is about the degradation of Dorian Gray, and his descent into depravity. It showcases one of the greatest character declines in literature. By the end, Dorian Gray finds his life to be empty, his hedonistic lifestyle pointless.

5. "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami 

Haruki Murakami is famous for his surreal novels. "Norwegian Wood" follows a college student in Japan, as he navigates life after a tragedy. It's both beautiful yet melancholy. If nothing else, it'll get you listening to the Beatles' Norwegian Wood.

6. "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte 

I consider "Jane Eyre" to be one of the first feminist novels. It's a fantastic Gothic novel about an independent and strong woman — Jane Eyre — who meets the mysterious Mr. Rochester. It's more than a romance — it's a commentary on Victorian societal expectations of women, with Jane representing objection to it.

7. "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

This novel is a beautiful story about a girl in Nazi Germany. Liesel Meminger knows the importance of books, and uses her knowledge and kindness to save a Jewish refugee. It's a poignant novel that expresses the importance of literature and books.

8. Any Sherlock Holmes mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

If you've watched the Sherlock series with Benedict Cumberbatch, then you should definitely give the novels a go. The mysteries are exciting and intriguing, despite their old age.

9. "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens

This is one of my absolute favorites novels. It follows a young boy named Pip, who befriends a beggar, meets the depraved Miss Havisham, and falls in love with unattainable Estella. This novel is at once a bildungsroman and a tragedy.

10.  "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov 

This controversial novel by Vladimir Nobokov follows the perspective of Humbert Humbert, a depraved man who falls in love with 12-year-old Lolita. Nobokov showcases his mastery of the English language, while writing a depraved and tragic story following two terrible people.

11.  "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Perhaps one of the most famous novels of all time, "Pride and Prejudice" stands the test of time by showing how two outwardly opposite and contrary people can come together and form an amazing love. It's about accepting one's flaws and getting to know people beyond surface level.

12.  "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque

This is a fantastic novel that depicts the absolute horrors of war, particularly World War I. If this doesn't enlighten you about the realities and horrors of war, then no book will.

Reading is important as it broadens one's horizon. Literature is one of the greatest inventions of mankind.

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