An Overview Of The Extended Play "Sage And Stone" By Avriel And The Sequoias

An Overview Of The Extended Play "Sage And Stone" By Avriel And The Sequoias

If you haven't listened to it yet, you really should.
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In May it was announced that Avi Kaplan would be leaving the acclaimed a Capella group Pentatonix. Quoting the breakneck pace of his involvement with the quintet over the past few years for his departure, he has decided to move toward different musical avenues. The most prominent of those avenues in the present day is none other than a folk outfit named Avriel and the Sequoias. Yes, Avi Kaplan's full first name is "Avriel." And he loves sequoias. Who knew?

I'd never guessed that Kaplan had an interest in folk music before stumbling upon one of the music videos for his new group's EP. I don't know how much of a secret it really was, but it threw me a bit, and I was also surprised to hear that he played guitar for the group in addition to his leading vocals. Go Avi!

"Sage and Stone" was released on June 9th to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Google Play. It contains five songs, and its total duration is 21 minutes and 57 seconds. The extended play speaks well to its title and to the name of the group. "Sage and Stone" offers a breath of calm wind to the musical landscape. It feels green and calm, but there is also a hardiness to it, as well as a tension. Even as nature may be serene, it is always tinged with chaos and calamity. The workings of Mother Earth are like a bowed low-note on a cello, one might say. This EP has a few of those, I'll tell you.

The first song in the tracklist, "Fields and Pier," harkens to the legendary folk duo Simon and Garfunkel. It has an early-summer-at-evening feel, with rich, echoey vocals. The song makes great use of bowed instruments in pair with bright guitar plucking. While the lyrics lack storytelling power, the atmosphere of the track makes up for any literary holes. In some ways, the tune may have a story to itself, like the wordless orchestral pieces a few centuries gone. You can watch the official music video for "Fields and Pier" here if you would like to match some visual cues to the music.

"A Quarter Past Four" follows in the list, a darker, moodier appeal to the visceral senses. Here, Avi's mastery of an aged-oak timbre radiates through the trunk of the work, heightened bass notes rawer and purer than ever. As the song develops, piano joins with meandering guitar and a strange metallic hum; then it falls away, replaced with a backing vocal echo. It returns for a second pass before the tune begins to fade, washing out into a sky-like emptiness. The music video for the song is also quite good. You can watch it here.

The longest track on the EP, positioned in the middle of the play, shares its name with the album. Its fresh guitar strokes and drawn-out phrasing show a kinship to Hawaiian tradition, though the roots of the song rest firmly in contiguous land. The tune opens up in the middle. I can identify the violin, but the full complexity of the passage is beyond my skill to pull apart. A hearty bass thump and the jangle of brass permeate until all fades into two (or possibly a few) echoed voices.

"Song for the Seeker" offers a more Appalachian tone. Female voices back some of Kaplan's lines and repeat others. A banjo lends its distinctive sound to the ground level of the work, adding texture to the genteel, full vocals.

For a Mumford and Sons vibe, look no further than the EP's final track, "Sweet Adeline." The video for this song is so fun that I'm going to link to it up here instead of at the end of this paragraph. Complete with whistling, low-pitched utterances of "hey," and some clapping, the bouncy tune of upright bass, mandolin, two kinds of guitar, banjo, and more complements a pleading, energetic vocal backbone.

It's a bit of a pity that Kaplan is leaving Pentatonix, but if he's going to continue producing music similar to "Sage and Stone" with his new group, I think I'll be all right with it. This EP shows different sides to the bass than had ever been exposed, and there is a wonder to it that is lacking in much of the music of today. In fact, the intensity of these five tracks may be rare from any age. So what are you doing? Go. Buy it. Listen. Take it all in for just a moment.

Cover Image Credit: Bureau of Land Management

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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
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In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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5 Cheap Summer Concerts That Are Worth The Trip To Camden, NJ

Nothing like a good outdoor concert to cure any "summertime sadness!"
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Well, y'all, it's finally here. Summer. And that means that one of my favorite past-times is back in season -- outdoor concerts. Now, I've only been to a handful, mostly with my family, but outdoor concerts have the potential to be the most fun that you'll have the whole summer! As a West Chester resident, there aren't too many venues that hold outdoor concerts near us, but the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey is one of the best, especially with their impressively cheap selection of lawn seats (my personal favorite seating for any concert). And this summer, BB&T has some impressive names performing. With over 35 performances set for before August's end, I took the liberty of compiling the top five performing in Camden that you will not want to miss this summer, especially not at these prices!

1. The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore.


Who: Kesha, Macklemore, Wes Period

When: Wednesday, July 25, 7 pm

Price: Starting at $30.50/ticket

2. Wiz Khalifa and Rae Sremmurd: Dazed and Blazed Tour.

Who: Wiz Khalifa, Rae Sremmurd, Lil Skies, O.t. Genasis

When: Friday, August 8, 6 pm

Price: Starting at $29.50/ticket

3. Logic Presents: Bobby Tarantino vs. Everybody Tour with NF and Kyle.

Who: Logic, NF, Kyle

When: Wednesday, June 13, 7 pm

Price: Starting at $21-22/ticket

4. 2018 Honda Civic Tour presents Charlie Puth Voicenotes.

Who: Charlie Puth, Hailee Steinfeld

When: Tuesday, July 24, 7:30 pm

Price: Starting at $25/ticket

5. Weezer / Pixies.

Who: Weezer, Pixies, Sleigh Bells

When: Saturday, July 21, 7:30 pm

Price: Starting at $25/ticket


If anyone needs me, you know where I'll be all summer!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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