Monthly Archives: November 2022

50 Years of Led Zeppelin

The title may be a bit misleading. Led Zeppelin formed in 1968 and released their first studio album in 1969. However, just over 50 years ago in 1972, Led Zeppelin began a four-week residency at the top of the album charts. As a self-proclaimed Zeppelin nerd, I could not pass up the opportunity to write about the greatest band to ever grace this Earth (yes, they are better than the Beatles).

              At the formation of the band, the world was on the brink of a major shift in pop culture. Leaving behind an era of drug experimentation, U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and the progression of civil rights for people of color in America, society in the Western World was ready to turn the page. Of course, this meant the ushering in of a new brand of popular music. Enter Led Zeppelin. The collection of leftovers from other bands, the four-man rock powerhouse was not a safe bet to end up defining a generation. They ended up doing just that.

Coming out of a decade ruled by the Beatles, Beach Boys, and Rolling Stones, rock and roll was no longer an unknown quantity. Though, the feel-good, drug-inspired tunes of that time would be blown out of water by what was to come. That is not to say that Revolver or Pet Sounds were not works of musical genius. The Beatles and their contemporaries released some truly brilliant work; it was just… different. Led Zeppelin turned the speakers up a notch, so to speak. Robert Plant’s vocals soared to new levels. Jimmy Page worked magic on the guitar. John Paul Jones went underappreciated on bass. And John Bonham was the “man on fire” behind the drums. The four English musicians came together and hit the ground running. Their talent allowed them to create an identity from their first time they recorded together. The product of that was their first of four self-titled albums that would later be known as Led Zeppelin I.

Coming in at nine songs and just under 45 minutes of run time, the album is long enough to give the listener what they want but concise enough to keep things interesting. Putting myself in the shoes of a listener at the time of the albums debut, I imagine the first listen would have been outrageous. The album kicks off with “Good Times Bad Times”. Within the first 30 seconds, there is a notable difference from the simpler dynamics of years gone by. John Bonham lays down a driving beat on drums. It features his signature “Bonham triplets”- a grouping of three notes on the kick drum played in the time one note would normally be played. It gave the song life and energy. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the rest of the band turns in stellar performances of their own to cap off an impressive first track.

The second track is defined by valleys and peaks. It is an almost seven-minute song characterized by acoustic picking and haunting vocals, as well as crashing cymbals and ambitious belts from their lead man. It is followed by “You Shook Me”- a blues-heavy tune from the group that would seamlessly find its place into a smokey bar. The next song is the iconic “Dazed and Confused”. I consider this to be a near perfect song. From the moody bass introduction to the raspy powerful vocals to the whaling guitar work, I can’t imagine how this song would be made any better. The back half of the album starts with the poetic and anthemic “Your Time Is Gonna Come”. It is followed by a gorgeous instrumental piece “Black Mountain Side”. I would say the last three songs on the project are some of Led Zeppelin’s best, but it is almost impossible to say they are better than others when the band has such a deep catalog. “Communication Breakdown” was undoubtably a hit and rightfully so thanks to its amazingly controlled chaos. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” and “How Many More Times” may be considered deep-cuts which is remarkable because they would be many other bands’ biggest accomplishments.               After listening to this album countless times, I never grow tired of it. To think that this was the first time Led Zeppelin released music as a group is incredible. Like the last couple songs on the album, the band’s first self-titled work would be the envy of most bands. It would blow many other albums out of the water and sit atop a group’s discography. If I am going to knit pick, the album is not perfect. As much as the pros outweigh the cons, there are some minor flaws. Despite its proficiency compared to other debut albums, the band had not even hit their stride yet. I would argue the band has three or four albums that are better. This is largely thanks to the improvement of the band’s studio performances as time went on. Plant improved vocally and Page played tighter riffs alongside better production on albums to come. Overall, I would give Led Zeppelin I an 8/10 (1 being a waste of time to listen to, and 10 being a perfect album) in large part to its diverse sounds and cultural impact. I consider it a strong recommendation to anyone who wants to get into Led Zeppelin or 70s rock.

Women’s Soccer Senior Night 2022

Uj Women’s Soccer hosted their senior night October 22nd 2022 here
at the Jimmie soccer field against College of Saint Mary.. The seniors
recognized were; #7 Aubree Gessel, #6 Haley Dyer, #24 Kamryn
Ficus, #16 Karlie Hintz, #20 Cassandra Diaz, #2 Eleonor Flores, #11
Ryley Bedard, and #9 Bridget VanDancacker. Each Senior was
walked out by their family members while teammates/friends formed
around to celebrate them.This game was a 4 – 0 win for the Jimmie
Womens Soccer with goals scored by, A senior #16 Karlie Hintz,
Freshman #33 Emersen Kimball, Sophomore #18 Gaby Sarkis, A
Sophmore #14 Illiana Ramirez, with all goals being assisted by, A
senior #11 Ryley Bedard. We congratulate these ladies with another
win adding to the Women’s Soccer 10-0-0 record, but it was also a
night to recognize the seniors’ success and their achievements they
have made in the course of their time with the program. Each Senior
has brought not only their talents to the field, but their personalities
and heart that shape the team dynamic to be so successful and
continuously grow. Congratulations JImmie Women’s Soccer!

UJ Students Relax and Relieve Some Stress at Yoga

Monday night, UJ students tested their yoga skills at the Hansen Center. Yoga instructor Morgan teaches yoga and cycling classes at a local yoga studio on Main Street called Flex and Flow.

Throughout the session, Morgan went through simple poses that helped with balance, stretching of the spine, and opening the shoulders. She also helped students with certain breathing techniques to calm the mind and body while doing various yoga positions. They also worked on Warrior one and two that helps with strength and balance. Furthermore, this was important for students to forget about any stressors in their lives and to be present during the session. Morgan was a great instructor that motivated the students throughout the whole class and gave great tips!

This event was very helpful for students who needed a safe space to relieve stress and to calm the body and mind. University of Jamestown has yoga classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 am located in the Foss Fitness Room. It’s free for students and staff from November 1st through December 8th!

2022 Midterm Election Recap

Election day has come and gone, and the votes have been counted. Let’s take a look at the results of your voting.

For the US House, Kelly Armstrong (R) beat the independent candidate Cara Mund with 62% of votes.

The seat for US Senate went to John Hoven (R) who beat out Katrina Christiansen (D) and Rick Becker (I) with a majority of votes at 56%.

Michael Howe (R) beat Jeffery Powell (D) for the Secretary of State election with a majority of votes at 63%.

Drew Wrigley (R) won the Attorney General election against Timothy Lamb (D) with a majority of votes at 71%.

Two measures were voted on during the election. The first measure, Constitutional Measure 1, was in relation to term limits. The measure is to create term limits for both state legislators and the governor to only allow them to serve for two four-year terms. This measure passed with 63% of voters voting yes.

The second measure, Statutory Measure 2, sought to legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota. This measure would allow people, 21 and older, to posses or grow marijuana. This measure did not pass with 54% of voters voting no.

Voting is one of our rights as citizens of the United States to help give us a voice. Voting allows us to weigh in on matters that relate to us or those we love. Speak up for yourself by voting, don’t just be a bystander.

Andor: A Stunning Must Watch

In a time of excellent shows like Barry, Succession, etc, I never would have expected a Disney+ original to be on my best-of-the-year list. Andor moves free from its franchise’s burdens to create something truly unique. It is easily the most political Star Wars has been since its original story. It’s a profound examination of fascism through the eyes of an empire’s victims. It explores the depths one would go to save themselves, but more so create a movement. Painting a story of loss, war, and nuances of conflict. Andor has set itself up to be a brilliantly written, phenomenally performed, well composed, and gorgeously shot spectacle. This was only possible with its all-star production team. Tony Gilroy, the creator of the Bourne Trilogy Films; Nicholas Britell , composer of Moonlight and Succession; Luke Hull, Production designer of Chernobyl; and Toby Haynes, the director of Black Mirror and Sherlock. At this point, if you haven’t already tuned into its weekly release, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Andor isn’t afraid to explore the real-world consequences of its politics. One of the most ignored aspects of Star Wars is how political it is. It’s a tale of fascism, and how one can easily succumb to its influence. But more than that, it shows the power an empire can have over oppressed citizens. Where the films were interested in the physical conflicts, Andor is focused on the aftermath. The shockwaves that ripple throughout the galaxy. These aftershocks incite people to act. For the empire, it’s one of oppression and overreach. For the people, it’s one of rebellion. Fascism affects us all differently, but creates lingering effects in everyone. It tackles the idea of fighting these ideas while showing immediate consequences. Characters must use the strategies of the empire in order to fight against it for pragmatic reasons. To fight for what they believe, for the good of everyone, they must sacrifice the very thing that made them free. “I am burdened to use the tools of my enemy to defeat them… What do I sacrifice… Everything!” It’s a tale full of nuance, one with real burdens. Its characters feel real because we have followed their stories in our world. Movements like the ones shown in Andor feel powerful to the viewer because we know what happens should they lose. Andor has a strong sense of purpose, It knows how to explore these themes and does so with exceptional gravitas. By creating defined characters, we empathize with them and we want them to win. Even if that means many would suffer from their actions.

                   Star Wars has a nostalgia problem, and Andor wants to correct that. For years, Star Wars has relied on nostalgia to carry itself to the finish line. Their stories rely on the viewer’s knowledge of the entire franchise. It assumes that one would understand the clichés and archetypes that have been used before as shorthand for storytelling. Well-crafted shows such as the Mandalorian have forgone their creative license to bring themselves back to a nostalgic cycle. While shows such as Obi-Wan struggle under the weight of their expectations. It can’t move forward because its nostalgia creates immense profits. Andor moves forward, free to create something truly unique. It is less concerned with setting up potential spinoffs and is more focused on fleshing out its exceptional roster of characters through meaningful arcs. With exceptional writing and phenomenal performances from Diego Luna, Stellan Skarsgård, and a surprise standout from Andy Serkis. Andor stands out from its predecessors with a well-crafted drama that consistently outdoes itself.