If You're A Fan Of Country Music, You Should Be Listening To Locash

If You're A Fan Of Country Music, You Should Be Listening To Locash

6 Songs you need to hear

Last March I had the opportunity to see the country music band Locash, and I fell in love with their sound. I have only seen them once since that chilly evening in Boston, but I listen to their music all the time. They are entertaining as hell, can really sing, and are down to earth. Their songs are relatable, catchy, and meaningful -- if you haven't heard them yet, I suggest you start with these songs:

1) I Love This Life

This song shows appreciation for the little things; boots broken in, a fresh cut field with the first frost on -- you'll have to listen for more! It makes you remember things that we sometimes take for granted, and that it's important to be thankful for what you have.

2) I Know Somebody

This song is very catchy and cute. It's all about the first time meeting someone, going out and getting to know them, and falling in love. It's the exciting first steps of a new relationship, thrown into a memorable, feel good song without being overly pushy.

3) Ring on Every Finger

I LOVE this song! It's so cute, telling the story of how in love a guy is with a girl. He wants everyone, including her, to know how much he loves her, and how special she is to him. She deserves a "ring on every finger," he's that serious about her. This is easy to sing along to, with a variety of singing styles throughout. This song was especially great to hear in Boston in March of 2017 as the Patriots just won their fifth Superbowl -- perfect timing!

4) God Loves Me More

The first time I saw this song title I thought "well that's kind of rude!" Then, after giving it a listen, I absolutely loved it. It tells the story of a couple where the man keeps messing up -- he has his flaws, but his lady still stands by him and loves him. God loves him more because he was blessed to be given such an amazing woman -- "an angel to hold on to." This song shows how much your significant other loves you -- they are willing to stay through your flaws, and while you may think they are perfect, they have their flaws as well. You just love them so much that it's a part of what makes them perfect. And that's how they see you too. Your flaws are what make you, you, and if they love you anyway for it, it's something special. God loves you both equally, because you were able to find and love each other, even if you don't always see it that way.

5) The Fighters

This song is for the every day person. It is for the hard workers, the people sometimes taken for granted or forgotten about. Everyone is fighting their own battles, have to make sacrifices, and try their best to provide for themselves and their families. This song is honoring them -- saying that their hard work, dedication, and sacrifices do not go unnoticed.

6) I Hope

The song we sing to our family, friends, ex-friends, even the ex boyfriend or girlfriend. To show that even if you have grown apart from someone, they still cross your mind and you really do want them to succeed, even if it's not with you. This song captures those complicated feelings perfectly, delivering them in a sincere way.

I hope that you go and listen to these songs and become one of Locash's newest fans. They are truly a great band, and if you ever have the chance to listen to them live, take it!

Cover Image Credit: Nick Tiemeyer

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31 Reasons Why I Would NEVER Watch Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

When I first started watching "13 Reasons Why" I was excited. I had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time and thought this show would be bringing light to those issues. Instead, it triggered my feelings that I had suppressed.

With season two coming out soon, I have made up my mind that I am NEVER watching it, and here is why:

1. This show simplifies suicide as being a result of bullying, sexual assault, etc. when the issue is extremely more complex.

2. It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

3. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention has guidelines on how to portray suicides in TV shows and movies without causing more suicides.

"13 Reasons Why" disregarded those guidelines by graphically showing Hannah slitting her wrists.

4. It is triggering to those who have tried to commit suicide in the past or that struggle with mental illness.

5. It glorifies suicide.

6. It does not offer healthy coping solutions with trauma and bullying.

The only "solution" offered is suicide, which as mentioned above, is glorified by the show.

7. This show portrays Hannah as dramatic and attention-seeking, which creates the stereotype that people with suicidal thoughts are dramatic and seeking attention.

8. Hannah makes Clay and other people feel guilty for her death, which is inconsiderate and rude and NOT something most people who commit suicide would actually do.

9. This show treats suicide as revenge.

In reality, suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and depression, and it's a personal decision.

10. Hannah blames everyone but herself for her death, but suicide is a choice made by people who commit it.

Yes, sexual assault and bullying can be a factor in suicidal thoughts, but committing suicide is completely in the hands of the individual.

11. Skye justifies self-harm by saying, "It's what you do instead of killing yourself."

12. Hannah's school counselor disregards the clear signs of her being suicidal, which is against the law and not something any professional would do.

13. The show is not realistic.

14. To be honest, I didn't even enjoy the acting.

15. The characters are underdeveloped.

16. "13 Reasons Why" alludes that Clay's love could have saved Hannah, which is also unrealistic.

17. There are unnecessary plot lines that don't even advance the main plot.

18. No one in the show deals with their problems.

They all push them off onto other people (which, by the way, is NOT HEALTHY!!!).

19. There is not at any point in the show encouragement that life after high school is better.

20. I find the show offensive to not only me, but also to everyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

21. The show is gory and violent, and I don't like that kind of thing.

22. By watching the show, you basically get a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide.

Which, again, is against guidelines set by The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

23. The show offers no resources for those who have similar issues to Hannah.

24. It is not healthy for me or anyone else to watch "13 Reasons Why."

25. Not only does the show glorify suicide, but it also glorifies self-harm as an alternative to suicide.

26. Other characters don't help Hannah when she reaches out to them, which could discourage viewers from reaching out.

27. Hannah doesn't leave a tape for her parents, and even though the tapes were mostly bad, I still think the show's writers should have included a goodbye to her parents.

28. It simplifies suicide.

29. The show is tactless, in my opinion.

30. I feel like the show writers did not do any research on the topic of suicide or mental illness, and "13 Reasons Why" suffered because of lack of research.

31. I will not be watching season two mostly because I am bitter about the tastelessness.

And I do not want there to be enough views for them to make a season three and impact even more people in a negative way.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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3 Must-Read Native American Novels To Add To Your Summer Reading List

These novels will offer a fresh and complex perspective on Native American history and ways of life.

This past year at Eastern Michigan University, I had the chance to take a course that specializes in Native American literature (LITR 361- Studies in Native American Literature). I'm not sure what I was expecting when I went into the course, but whatever it was, I ended up getting so much more.

Throughout the course, we read three novels: James Welch's Fools Crow, Linda Hogan's Mean Spirit, and Louise Erdrich's The Round House. All three were spectacular in their own way, providing a memorable glimpse into Native American culture while simultaneously raising awareness of the various challenges that Native Americans have faced and continue to face today.

1. Fools Crow

The first on our course list was Fools Crow, which was my favorite of the batch. If you're interested in learning about more traditional Native American practices and ways of life (as well as the unforgiving history which has led to current situations) then this novel is the perfect choice!

A tale of happiness and sadness, strength and weakness, and the undying spirit of Native American culture, Fools Crow takes its readers on a journey to the past- and in some respects, the present and future. One of just a handful of novels that depict traditional Blackfeet ways of life, this novel has played an important role in keeping those traditions alive in our practices and memory.

It taught me the value of tradition as well as gave me insight on some of Blackfeet beliefs and customs- all of which make Fools Crow an essential read!

2. Mean Spirit

The next novel in our course list was Mean Spirit, which skips forward in history to the 1920s. Set in a time when the pursuit of oil threatened Native American culture and lives, this novel tells the story of how Native Americans of the Osage tribe were affected by forced assimilation and cultural clashes between the Osage and white citizens.

Mean Spirit is truly a story of change, though there's an underlying theme of preservation that makes it a long-lasting and important read. Though Mean Spirit is unforgiving in its tale of challenges and death, it also provides a gleam of hope. If you're looking for a bittersweet novel to learn about Osage history in the 20th century, then this is the right choice!

Reading this novel helped me to understand the struggle that exists with many Native Americans in terms of trying to keep traditions alive while also learning to survive in a mostly-white society. The lesson of sacrifice, survival, and hope is one that will stay with me forever, and has earned Mean Spirit a place on this list!

3. The Round House

Last on the course list was The Round House, which is set later in the 20th century. This novel pushes to raise awareness on a truly heartbreaking issue in many Native American communities, which is the instances of rape on reservations that often go without justice. In a continued story of cultural clashes between Native American and white citizens, The Round House focuses on a young boy as he deals with the long-lasting effects of his mother's attack.

This novel contains defeat but also triumph, humor but also pain, as well as attacks and revenge, and how both can affect a community. The Round House is the perfect read for a reader who is interested in some of the more modern challenges that Native Americans face as well as a glimpse into life on a reservation.

From family bonds and struggles to the importance of friends and community, The Round House allowed me to step into life on a reservation and see a little bit of the struggles that many Native Americans face (as well as some of the highlights of their culture!) It taught me some of life's important lessons, such as caution when it comes to revenge and patience when it comes to injured family members.

As somebody who has always wanted to learn more about Native American history, traditions, and challenges, these three novels offered a fresh and complex perspective on Native American culture. They have helped educate me on historical and modern ways of life for many Native Americans.

This is very important to me, as many of the obstacles faced by Native Americans in these three novels continue to threaten Native American society today. Though there are too many factors to be covered in just three novels, Fools Crow, Mean Spirit, and The Round House are an excellent place to start, and can offer lessons and memories that will hopefully stay with you forever!

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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