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03 2017

Locally Grown: Courtney Albrecht

Interviews with South Dakotans finding success outside their college major by Kyle Hallberg.

Images submitted

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For most people, being a collegiate athlete, a Nursing student and still finding time to sleep would be a major accomplishment within itself. For Redfield native, Courtney Albrecht, the addition of raising feeder pigs was necessary for the summer to feel equally packed and busy.

In between the beginning of school and the selling of her pigs, Albrecht sat down with me, a self proclaimed city slicker, to explain to me the inner workings of balancing farm life and academic life, piggies and all.

Kyle Hallberg: What is your major?

Courtney Albrecht: I am going for Nursing.

That takes a certain kind of person. Have you always been into science and stuff?

CA: I guess you could say that. I like it more than anything else.

Nice. So besides school, what do you do when you are home or during the summer?

CA: Well I live on a farm just outside of Redfield, South Dakota. During the school year I am on the Track team, and I play a ton of softball during the summer, as well as taking care of my piggies.

Speaking of your piggies, can you explain to me what exactly that means?

CA: Basically, I buy little feeder pigs that weigh about 50 lbs, feed them until they’re around 250 lbs, and then I sell them as butcher hogs.

Interesting. Did this start as a family thing?

CA: No, my Dad raises cattle, so I’ve always been around livestock, but I wanted to do something myself. I originally wanted my own heifers, but the return of profit would be too long and my dad would end up taking care of them while I’m at school. Hogs don’t take as long, so it is something I can do during the summer while I’m home. I also really liked the idea that I could sell them all locally when they are ready.

So, you’ve grown up in the world of livestock sales. There is a lot more to it than I thought. How many pigs do you buy at once?

CA: Well, I only bought 39 pigs since it was my first time. But next time, I’d get at least 75.

That is a lot of piglets to take care of. Is this strictly a summer activity?

CA: Yes. I did that so I would be able to balance school, track and my hogs.

That’s a really smart idea. I feel like work on a farm is so time consuming, that it would be close to impossible to do both school and work. The one thing that I keep thinking about is getting attached to the pigs. Does that ever happen to you?

CA: I mean, I have my favorite, his name is Wilby. But with livestock, you have to remember that it is a business and as much as you love them, they are not pets.

Yeah, I think that would be the most difficult part for me. Do you think you’ll keep doing this after you graduate?

CA: I guess I haven’t really thought that far ahead yet, but I probably will. I love my piggies!

This is all pretty interesting to someone who has never lived on a farm. Do you think you’ll stick with hogs?

CA: I’m sure! It is kind of hard to explain to people who know nothing about livestock, so I hope I’ve done alright. But yeah, I think I’ll continue to work with hogs.

You have done a great job, don’t worry!

From running races all over the midwest, to raising over 30 piglets into fully grown feeder pigs, Albrecht has found the perfect way to balance two important aspects of her life, while still going to school full time to become a nurse. After speaking with Albrecht and discovering the ins and outs of feeder pigs, I realized that school, track and her piggies are all equally important to Albrecht’s future, an example of someone who finds success and achievement from multiple outlets available in her own backyard.

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Related:

Locally Grown: Ben Gertner

Locally Grown: Cassia McLoon

Meet the Interns: Kyle Hallberg

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Locally Grown: Addison Avery

02 2017

605 Outdoor Wonders: Sioux Falls Bike Trail

By Anna Stritecky

Images courtesy of siouxfalls.org

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Our next outdoor destination is not just one place in itself, but an entire trail that loops all the way around the city of Sioux Falls. The bike trail takes any traveler through 22 stops that compose Sioux Falls to what it is as a city. The trails are described as “home to connection of over 70 public parks. The centrally located Falls Park is the hub of the park system and connected to many of the city’s other parks via the bike trail corridor which encircles the city.”

The bike trail comes with many advantages, such as being able to individually explore each park that it connects. Whether it be stopping for a quick time on the swing set or a few games of sand volleyball, the trail allows you to ride right up to the parks around Sioux Falls.

Having lived in Sioux falls my entire life, I have always known about the bike trails because they were so popular amongst residents, but I didn’t fully take advantage of them until these last couple years. In my most recent experience, I set myself out on a mission to bike the entire trail straight through, finding beauty within the limits of Sioux Falls. I was able to see wooded forest all the way to the airport, all with the sun shining down on my journey. The bike trails take you along the scenic route of Sioux Falls, into many places that one wouldn’t see usually that included forest greens and the Big Sioux. As I was riding my bike, I also quickly realized that the trials were not just meant for biking, seeing that there were a fair amount of runners, rollerbladers, walkers, and skateboarders along the trail because it is so nicely kept and you don’t have to worry about car traffic.

Though the trails are manmade, one can see an entirely new part of nature, and Sioux Falls, along this concrete path.

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Related: 

605 Outdoor Wonders: Pactola Lake

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Meet the Interns: Anna Stritecky

02 2017

Dining In and Out: Spezia

One young foodie explores the local restaurant scene, bringing quality cuisine into your kitchen, sans doggie bag.

By Kaylyn Deiter

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Dining Out

Pasta, bread, wine, tiramisu, the list of mouth-watering Italian staples goes on at one of Sioux Falls’ premier Italian eateries: Spezia.

Though the restaurant is located in the midst of traffic-heavy Louise Avenue, Spezia itself is a welcome retreat from all the craziness—lights strung from the ceiling, traditional music playing softly in the background and wine flowing by the bottle—it’s all in the southern European style Spezia prides itself on.

“I like that you have the ability to see somewhat into the kitchen,” patron Mason VanEssen said. “It’s an entertaining atmosphere, being able to see where your food is coming from. Sitting around those big round tables, it makes me feel like I’m part of a big Italian family.”

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(Photo courtesy of speziarestaurant.com)

If a trip to the Colosseum isn’t in your near future, what better way to experience the wonders of Italy than through the food this country is famous for? Luckily, Spezia’s got you covered.

An Italian trademark, Spezia’s spaghetti and meatballs do the country of gladiators and vespas proud. But spaghetti isn’t the only thing this restaurant gets right. The pizza is top notch, the wine list is extensive (and authentic) and the bread is refilled constantly (though for a girl who has been to Italy, this is more of an American than Italian thing, but who’s complaining?). That’s not to mention Spezia’s weekly Sunday brunch buffet, aka feast, featuring the best the restaurant has to offer, plus its enviable list of Italian-inspired desserts. Giant tiramisu, anyone?

“The pasta was extremely rich, delicious and perfect,” VanEssen said. “I would order it again. I had no complaints”

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(Photo courtesy of speziarestaurant.com)

Although everyone seems to love Italian food no matter what, Spezia doesn’t bank on familiarity alone to keep customers coming back. Each feature is prepared to perfection, and it’s evident that care is taken to ensure the cuisine is as true to its Italian heritage as possible.

That attention to detail, and the delectable food, of course, make Spezia a delicious European transplant that’s here to stay.

Three reasons to eat at Spezia:

  1. Extensive list of Italian wines
  2. Interior that feels like you’re sitting on a streetcorner in Rome
  3. Tiramisu that’s the size of your face

Dining In

Want to try carb-loading the Italian way at home tonight? Look no further than this recipe courtesy of my mom, Jana Hurley of Aberdeen, SD. Warm up some bread, toss a bit of salad, and I promise you’ll be singing bella noche in 25 minutes flat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package spaghetti noodles
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 8 oz. can mushrooms
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Begin browning the hamburger in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Boil noodles until al dente, about 8 minutes.
  3. Once hamburger is fully cooked, add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and mushrooms to hamburger.
  4. Mix together and simmer for about five minutes, adding in spices as you go.
  5. Once sauce mixture and noodles are fully cooked, drain the noodles and combine the two in a pasta bowl.
  6. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
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(Photo courtesy of Kaylyn Deiter)

I might be a little biased (after all, this is my mom’s recipe), but this is one of the simplest and best spaghetti recipes I’ve ever tasted. If you want your spaghetti more sauce-heavy, consider upping the amount of tomato sauce from 8 oz. to 16 oz. Otherwise, enjoy your pasta Lady and the Tramp style and see where the night takes you.

Three reasons to enjoy Spezia at home:

  1. Everyone loves pasta night
  2. Second helpings are a must
  3. Light a few candles, throw on some music and you’ve got a fine Italian dinner on your hands

Spezia is the ideal dining locale if you’re craving Italian comfort food with a touch of Roman style. Recreate that pasta-centric dinner at home from our recipe and we guarantee you’ll be planning your trip to Tuscany in no time.

 

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Dining In and Out: Crave

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Meet the Interns Kaylyn Deiter 

02 2017

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 2003

By Sean Calhoun

I’ve already covered some rap-rock on this blog (Rage Against The Machine, Korn), but there is one band that really shaped the genre in the early 2000s with their slickly produced, aggressively individualistic music. First up on this week’s Music Yearbook…

Meteora – Linkin Park

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If you listen to enough early Linkin Park, you begin to realize that just about every song fits into an easily defined formula. There’s a crunchy guitar intro, some singing from frontman Chester Bennington (often dripping with adolescent angst), an occasional Mike Shinoda rap verse, a chorus with some yelling and a message about individuality and “not needing anyone else”, all wrapped up in around three and a half minutes.

The formula worked to great effect on the band’s debut full-length, Hybrid Theory, and Meteora is more of the same. The tone is set early, and there’s nothing particularly unique about any of these tracks. Yes, there are singles – very successful singles at that – but if I hadn’t known which songs they were, I’m not sure if I could have picked any of them out, as just about everything here sounds the same.

“Somewhere I Belong” is the first single to appear on the tracklist (following an instrumental prelude and “Don’t Stay”). It’s perhaps the purest distillation of the Linkin Park formula, with Bennington disdainfully singing, “I will never know myself until/I do this on my own” and a number of similar sentiments over pretty basic backing instrumentals.

The need to “be yourself” is an oft-repeated theme on Meteora, and it becomes really tiresome after a few too many consecutive tracks concerning Bennington’s (and Shinoda’s) need to “break away” or “separate” from who I can only assume is an authority figure or parent (generally presented as “you” – see “the very worst part of you/is me” in “Lying From You”).

(On a slightly different note, it’s pretty easy to see how this album spoke so clearly to the suburban middle schoolers of the early 2000s – a rather profitable target audience if not necessarily a particularly artistic one.)

There are a couple of reasonably solid tracks on this album. “Breaking The Habit”, another hugely popular single, is the closest thing to a ballad in Linkin Park’s discography, and the production decisions and Bennington’s vocals at least allow it to distinguish itself somewhat from the rest of the record. For this reason alone, it stands out as one of Meteora’s top tracks.

The best of the album’s singles, however, is its final track, “Numb”. I have a relationship with this song that extends beyond the album – I first heard it as part of a mashup track (also featuring Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” and Pendulum’s “Witchcraft”, along with Rick James’ “Superfreak”) made by a Canadian DJ I was briefly obsessed with in high school – and it’s always been my favorite Linkin Park song. While it’s just as angst-filled and formulaic as most of the album, it’s a strong performance from Bennington and doesn’t lean too heavily on Shinoda’s rapping (honestly one of the weaker facets of the band).

In the end, it’s rather obvious that Meteora isn’t a particularly artistic or ground-breaking album, but it sold a ton of copies and went a long way to defining the second wave of rap-metal. There’s something here for the angry 13-year-old in all of us.

Score, Adjusted for 2017 Ratings Inflation: 6.5/10

 

2003 was the beginning of a trend that would quickly dominate American television for the next several years. With the debut of “American Idol,” the United States developed an obsession for musical competition shows, eventually spinning off into “The Voice,” as well as others. Here, I’ll take a look at the debut album from the show’s first champion…

Thankful – Kelly Clarkson

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Strangely enough, Thankful was only one of three albums by early American Idol luminaries to reach number one in 2003 (the other two being Clay Aiken’s Measure of a Man and Ruben Studdard’s Soulful). Kelly gets credit for coming first, though, and she’s certainly had more long-lasting musical success than either Aiken or Studdard (not to mention Justin Guarini, whom she beat out for the season one title).

Clarkson’s debut album is largely a transitional work – it’s the sound of a newly minted star finding her footing and making a few missteps along the way. As her career moved forward, Clarkson settled into a rock-influenced pop groove, as typified by some of her biggest hits (“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” and “Since U Been Gone” are two that come to mind). There’s definitely evidence of this direction on Thankful, but there are also a couple of songs that clearly miss the mark.

One example of this is the opening track, “The Trouble With Love Is.” Here, Clarkson is miscast as some sort of Mariah Carey-style R&B crooner – while she certainly has an impressive voice, the track is cheesy and wholly unremarkable. There are a number of tracks like this interspersed throughout the record, with “Some Kind Of Miracle” and “Thankful” serving as further lowlights. While these tracks are performed capably enough, they just don’t really fit.

Artistically speaking, Clarkson is far better served by songs like “Miss Independent”, where she can show more of an edge (both musically and lyrically). She delivers a serviceable Alanis Morissette impression on “Low” and “Just Missed The Train”, perhaps the album’s two strongest tracks. Here, Clarkson begins to show some of the raw power and artistry that would serve her well on later albums.

Overall, while Thankful is not a great album, it’s an album that at least provides some idea of what Kelly Clarkson would eventually develop into on her gradual evolution from “reality show winner” to “legitimate pop star”. Everybody has to start somewhere, and there’s no shame in taking some bumps along the way.

Score, Adjusted For 2017 Score Inflation: 6.7/10

 

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THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 1996

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 1997 

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 1998

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 1999

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 2000

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 2001

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 2002

02 2017

Locally Grown: Kyle Brunick

Interviews with South Dakotans finding success outside their college major by Kyle Hallberg.

Images submitted

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Recent graduate from the University of South Dakota, Kyle Brunick, was never shy when it came to talking with others, or talking at all. Known for his loud and proud presence, Brunick decided to put it to good use, which just so happened to coincide with a life long dream of his. Auctioneering. While he was finishing up his Business degree at the U, Brunick found himself applying to auctioneer schools, looking for something that differed from the norm.

Now, after graduation from both USD and auctioneer school, Brunick is busy at work, holding onto his Business degree, while traveling around the state for auctions on the weekends. Brunick sat down with me and explained to process of auctioneering, while talking about the balance between conventional and non-conventional school.

What did you go to college for?

Kyle Brunick: I went to the University of South Dakota for Business Management. It was the last semester at USD when I didn’t really know what I wanted to with my future. So I enrolled into auctioneer school which is called Western College of Auctioneering. I enrolled in February and went in June.

While you were going through USD, did you have any ideas at all about a future career?

KB: Well back in high school I wanted to go to auctioneer school and become an auctioneer. I knew at some point I would actually go, but I didn’t know it would be this soon. I figured since I had just gotten out of college it would be a good idea. It really was always a dream of mine and a goal of mine to go to auctioneer school. I looked up schools for auctioneering and found that the Western College of Auctioneering was the one that I thought I would do best at.

What pulled you towards being an auctioneer?

KB: Just that it is such a unique profession. People had told me that I wouldn’t be able to do the chant or talk that fast. I worked really hard on my chants, and speaking with a lot of diction and pronunciation – that way people could understand what I am saying, and I practice a lot on my rhythm and pace.

Wow, I guess I never realized how much time and practice when into it. That’s really cool- I always envy the people I see on TV shows.

KB: Yeah, it’s definitely an interesting profession to watch.

So, did you have to study or test to get into school.

KB: Well, there were two tests and an auction bill that were graded during our time at the college.

Can you explain what an auction bill is?

KB: It would be what is being sold at the auction location, along with the time of the auction.You can also have a time where people can look at the merchandise.

Did you study for these while you were still finishing up your classes at USD?

KB: No.We were at auctioneer school for two weeks, where we studied and had class from 7:30 a.m. to 6 or 8 at night.

And where was your school located?

KB: Billings, Montana. I had never been there before, which contributed to my decision to go there, instead of other schools.

Montana seems like the perfect place to learn about auctions. How did your family and friends feel about your change in academic course?

KB: They have been very supportive. They just came out to support me at my latest auction.It’s such a great feeling to have their support. I actually have another one in Trent coming up.

You are really diving into it, then. Do you have a favorite type of auction?

KB: Well there are cattle auctions, estate auctions, benefit auctions and farm auctions. I’d have to say I really enjoy estate and farm auctions, since that’s all I’ve done so far. But I would really like to get into benefit auctions. I want to be able to auctions anything, make a career out of it and to just keep getting offers.

Whether Brunick is crunching sales numbers or spewing off cattle numbers, there is an obvious sense of dedication that he puts forth towards his work. Brunick continues to find offers and make a name for himself, while never settling for the last thing, but always searching for the next best thing. We are sure to see Brunick’s name at the top of the list for benefit auctioneers in the very near future.

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Locally Grown: Mari Ibis

Locally Grown: Ben Gertner

Meet the Interns: Kyle Hallberg

Locally Grown: Mato Jacob Standing Soldier

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Locally Grown: Kyle West

Locally Grown: Addison Avery

02 2017

Bookmarks and Big Screens: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

By Ellie Trebilcock

Is the book or the movie better?

It’s the most controversial topic between bookworms and movie-buffs. To resolve the long battle between these two passionate types of media consumers, I will compare and evaluate the quality of the book and movie versions of the story.

{***SPOILER ALERT***}

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This month: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is about Greg Gaines, a teenager whose main goal is to keep a low profile through the end of his senior year of high school is finished. However, his plan is foiled when his mother forces him to befriend a girl after she is diagnosed with cancer.

The author did a very good job in writing the book from a teenage boy’s perspective. The narrative was dripping with sarcasm and the thought patterns were scattered and erratic. The author’s use of screenwriting in parts of the dialog is brilliant because Greg is known for making mediocre films with his friend Earl.

I’m not really sure how I feel about the ending. The book doesn’t have a surprise happy ending and the main character doesn’t have big insightful revelation about life. In the end, Greg is confused and struggling to figure out what to do next. But maybe the ending for the audience is just the beginning of the story for Greg, who had to hit rock bottom before he could start to change. The audience doesn’t need closure because Greg’s story hasn’t ended yet.

After reading the book and sat down and watched the movie version of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

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Here are some of my reactions to the film:

  • Greg has a heart

In my opinion, Greg came across as a bit heartless in the book. But, the actor who played Greg, Thomas Mann, was amazing in showing how hard Greg is just trying to keep his emotions hidden. Greg used humor and sarcasm to conceal his feelings of hurt and discomfort. This portrayal of Greg really shows the struggle he faced with Rachel’s cancer and how much he actually cared for her.

  • What happened to Earl?

I really wish the film would have addressed what happened to Greg’s friend Earl. How was Earl affected by Rachel’s cancer? What were Earl’s plans after graduation? I  was left with so many unanswered questions.

  • Warning! Waterworks

This movie will make you sob so much that your roommate will become concerned about you. (Thanks for the emotional support Katie). It is an emotional roller coaster and I suggest watching it alone.

Final Rating:

Book: 3 stars

Movie 4 ½ stars

Although you are likely to bawl your eyes out, I highly suggest you watch the movie version of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. The book just doesn’t seem to catch the emotional depth that the movie does. If you are looking for some dark humor with a lot of heart, check out Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

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(variety.com)

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Meet the Interns: Ellie Trebilcock

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Bookmarks and Big Screens: The 5th Wave

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Bookmarks and Big Screens: The Giver

Bookmarks and Big Screens: The Da Vinci Code

01 2017

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 2002

For my first album of 2002, I’ll be covering one of the biggest albums from one of rap’s most polarizing superstars. Guess who’s back, back again, it’s…

The Eminem Show – Eminem

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Marshall Mathers is an angry man. He’s angry at himself, his mother, the rap community, the United States Congress, and the world in general. More so than most, though, the rapper otherwise known as Eminem has been able to harness this anger and direct it into his music, cultivating one of the most successful and controversial careers in rap history.

The Eminem Show is perhaps the purest distillation of the artist’s aesthetic. It’s seventy-plus minutes of fully embraced, transgressive anger, and while he describes “so much anger aimed/in no particular direction” on the album’s first track, “White America”, there are a few common targets (see above).

Eminem is, first and foremost, a showman, and this comes through often on this album. Even when, for example, he’s rapping about his strained relationship with his family, he’s showing off, trying to top himself in terms of how shocking and faux-vulnerable he can be. While there are a number of lyrically emotional moments on The Eminem Show, the fact that they’re sandwiched around a number of grossly offensive skits and sex boasts like “Superman” and “Drips” definitely cheapens the feeling to a degree.

As for the gross songs, I understand that Eminem’s shtick has always been, to some level, the controversy that he invites with his lyrics. The thing is, though, it’s a style that gets really tiresome when spread over the length of a full album. You can only push the envelope so far before it stops becoming interesting.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t highlights on this album. “Say Goodbye Hollywood” is a highly personal track about the struggles of fame. “Sing For The Moment” makes excellent use of an Aerosmith sample and is one of the more genuine tracks on the album, and “Till I Collapse” is an arena-sized track reminiscent of “Lose Yourself” that borrows the stomp-stomp-clap from “We Will Rock You” to great effect.

There’s no question that Eminem is a talented rapper. His flow and rhyme schemes have always been among the more creative in the game, and his wordplay is solid. The problem, though, is his repetitiveness (not to mention the rampant misogyny and homophobia present in a number of these tracks). Eminem is at his best when he’s genuine and emotional, and this doesn’t happen nearly often enough on The Eminem Show.

Score, Adjusted for 2017 Ratings Inflation: 5.4/10

 

For my second album, I dipped back into the seemingly endless well of early-2000s alt-metal to find one of the biggest albums in the history of the genre…

Believe – Disturbed

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In the interest of transparency, I was expecting very little coming into this review. I had always seen Disturbed as one of the many interchangeably mediocre hard-rock/metal bands (Drowning Pool, Papa Roach, etc.) to come out of the beginning of the decade.

Imagine my surprise, then, when this album opened with “Prayer,” a guitar-driven powerhouse of a track that showcases perhaps the best thing Disturbed has going for them: a lead singer in David Draiman who actually has a legitimately good voice (see the band’s more recent cover of “The Sound of Silence” for more proof). He’s not just growling or yelling here – there’s actual melody to the vocals, which automatically elevates Disturbed above a solid chunk of the nu-metal crowd.

The title track is another clear highlight. Draiman’s voice here almost seems like it was custom-made for Disturbed’s musical style, and the lyricism leans into religious themes that appear consistently throughout the album. There’s also some unexpected rhythmic experimentation here, showing a level of musical competence that a lot of the group’s peers had a hard time reaching.

A good deal of the middle of this record is rather forgettable, although none of the songs are particularly bad; rather, they’re more or less inoffensively average and have a tendency to blend into one another. The final track, however, is another story.

“Darkness” is easily David Draiman’s best performance on this record. Here, the band is stripped down to a piano, a cello and some percussion, and Draiman’s vocals cut through easily. A weaker singer could have turned this track into a muddled mess, but it’s handled excellently and functions as a very strong sendoff to Believe.

The guitar work on this record, while somewhat repetitive, is really solid and anchors most of its 47-minute run time admirably. There are a few melodic twists that keep things interesting, and the percussion, while not particularly noticeable in the mix, is consistently good. Overall, Believe is the sound of a band at the top of their genre delivering work that, while not fantastic, is better than almost anything their contemporaries could offer up.

Score, Adjusted for 2017 Ratings Inflation: 7.8/10

 

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THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 1996

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 1997 

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 1998

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 1999

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 2000

01 2017

Dining In and Out: Crawford’s Bar & Grill

One young foodie explores the local restaurant scene, bringing quality cuisine into your kitchen, sans doggie bag.

By Kaylyn Dieter

Images courtesy of facebook.com/pg/crawfordssf

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Dining Out

Originally the site of a butcher shop in 19th century Sioux Falls, Crawford’s Bar and Grill is steeped in a history nearly as old as South Dakota itself.

Today that history plays a role in everything from the jeweled walls and cowhide upholstery to the natural stone bar and artisanal food at this upscale eatery located in the heart of downtown.

“Ultimately what we want our customers to take away from their time at Crawford’s is a great experience,” co-owner Dave Graham said. “This is a place where they can just let their worries go and enjoy time with friends and family.”

Arguably one of the most unique restaurants in the city, Crawford’s touts an atmosphere all its own. Velvety furniture of all shapes, sizes and colors line the entryway, while a sizable bar composed of authentic Sioux quartzite gives way to rustic wooden tables as the restaurant stretches further back. With the kaleidoscopic Moroccan chandeliers and blue-hued walls literally adorned with jewels, it’s like being inside a genie’s lamp—if that genie also happened to harbor a flair for the Wild West.

“The inspiration behind the decor started as a collaboration between my wife and I,” Graham said. “She wanted one thing and I wanted another and we ended up with what we have today.”

But although stepping into Crawford’s is half the fun, the festivities don’t stop there. Culinary prowess is just another way this restaurant stands out from the crowd.

A seasonal menu makes staples hard to come by, but nevertheless Crawford’s makes it easy to find things to love with its handcrafted style, unexpected pairings and whimsical spirit. I mean, who else would do s’mores complete with mini fire pit for dessert?

“We want to be a place that serves quality steak and quality seafood,” Graham said. “We try to source locally when we can and help make an impact on the local economy. At the end of the day this is a fun business to be in with great people here in Sioux Falls.”

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This all to say that if you’re wanting dinner to be more Chopped than Rachael Ray, have a knack for the creative, and are looking for a downtown dining spot that’s a bit more upscale and out of the box, Crawford’s is the place to be. I promise you won’t regret this latest dining out adventure, and neither will your taste buds.

Three reasons to eat at Crawford’s:

  1. Dessert menu to die for
  2. Cool bar seating
  3. Trying something new (and delicious)

Dining In

Not feeling the downtown dinner rush tonight? Eager to test out your creative culinary cooking chops at home instead? Get the evening started with some spinach and artichoke dip courtesy of addapinch.com, a signature appetizer that’s a sure-fire favorite on the Crawford’s menu.

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ cups parmesan cheese, grated
  • Pinch garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together until well combined and pour into a shallow baking dish.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Serve warm.
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(Photo courtesy of Kaylyn Deiter)

Probably the easiest spinach and artichoke dip I’ve ever tried, and quite possibly the most delicious. Enjoy this recipe hot or cold, with bread or chips and you’ve got yourself an appetizer that is sure to please everyone on the guest list.

Three reasons to enjoy Crawford’s at home:

  1. Make this appetizer into a full-blown meal with a side of chicken or pasta
  2. Entertain at home
  3. Save some quarters on those parking meters

Crawford’s is a dining experience to remember. The decor alone is reason enough to keep coming back, top that off with a menu full of delicious options and this could be your new favorite place. Take that Crawford’s vibe home with our simple take on their classic spinach and artichoke dip. Add a few jewels to the wall and maybe a chandelier or two and you’ll have everything you need for a Crawford’s night at home.

Related:

Dining In and Out: Crave

Dining In and Out: Oh My Cupcakes

Dining In and Out: Fiero Pizza

Dining In and Out: Phillips Avenue Diner

Dining In and Out: Mama’s Ladas

Dining In and Out: Ode to Food and Drinks

Web Extra: Ode’s Dirty Arnold

Meet the Interns Kaylyn Deiter 

 

 

 

 

01 2017

Locally Grown: Mari Ibis

Interviews with South Dakotans finding success outside their college major by Kyle Hallberg.

Images submitted

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When most of us graduate from high school, we have a dream or a goal, to be apart of something bigger than our academic career. For Mari Ibis, that dream started before high school, and that ‘something bigger’ was way bigger than she could have ever imagined. Ibis found herself involved in the South Dakota Special Olympics, a 48-year-old program that is based on sportsmanship, competition and responsibility.

In great anticipation of the opening of the Unify Center, a South Dakota specific Special Olympic Training Center, Ibis and I sat down to talk about the meaning the games have held in her life, in and out of school.

Kyle Hallberg: When did you first get involved with the Special Olympics?

Mari Ibis: I believe I started Special Olympics in 2003.

That’s a while ago. Did you ever play sports in school?

MI: I played Y-ball in 4th and 5th grade, but I never played sports in high school.

So, what made you want to join the Special Olympics.

MI: I wanted to start participating in the Special Olympics so I could have the opportunity to play different kinds of sports.

That’s awesome. After you graduated high school, what did you do? Work, school, something else?

MI: After I graduated high school in 2010, I went to the community campus in the mornings and worked in the afternoons.

What kinds of classes did you take at the community campus?

MI: It was actually a program through the Sioux Falls School District for people with disabilities. It was designed so they could work on their independent living skills for people between the ages of 18 and 21.

That’s so great. So, going back to the Special Olympics, what events do you compete in?

MI: I play softball and basketball. I also bowl, swim and compete for the track and field team.

Wow, that’s a lot of events for one person. Do you have a favorite?

MI: Probably bowling.

That would probably be mine too. Since you started with the Special Olympics, almost thirteen years ago, what has the experience meant for you?

MI: They just give me the opportunity to feel proud.

As a quintuple athlete, Ibis has a great future in the South Dakota Special Olympics. Speaking with Ibis gave me a new insight into the world of athletics, whether they be through the YMCA or the Special Olympics. With five age groups that span across the entirety of the games, it is obvious that Ibis’ time in the Olympics will not be ending any time soon. Ibis turned my attention to the multiplicity of ways we can be involved with the Special Olympics, which you can look into too by going to sosd.org.

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Related:

Locally Grown: Ben Gertner

Meet the Interns: Kyle Hallberg

Locally Grown: Mato Jacob Standing Soldier

Locally Grown: Tevyn Waddell

Locally Grown: Kyle West

Locally Grown: Addison Avery

Locally Grown: Cassia McLoon

01 2017

Bookmarks and Big Screens: The Choice

By Ellie Trebilcock

Is the book or the movie better?

It’s the most controversial topic between bookworms and movie-buffs. To resolve the long battle between these two passionate types of media consumers, I will compare and evaluate the quality of the book and movie versions of the story.

{***SPOILER ALERT***}

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This month: The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

Well, it’s official! I finally read a Nicholas Sparks book. Now, I understand why so many women read novel after novel by this author. The Choice is a romantic novel which will melt your heart and teary eyed all in the same storyline.

The Choice follows two people who, in the beginning, feel they are missing something in their lives. After getting off to a rough start, neighbors Travis Parker and Gabby Holland soon find they can’t deny the chemistry between them. The Choice follows their relationship through young love, marriage, and also hardship.

The Choice is split up into two parts. The first section of the book reminds me of something I would want to read on the beach. The plot is relaxing and makes the reader feel like the characters don’t have a care in the world. The early years of Travis and Gabby’s relationship is idyllic, like a story someone’s grandparents would tell them about how they met. Their love story is warm, loving, and simple.

However, the second part of The Choice seems like another story entirely. The reader finds out Travis and Gabby were in a car accident which put her into a coma. Travis struggles with the guilt of hurting his wife and longs for her to awaken. Travis then must ask himself, how far he is willing to keep the hope of love alive?

After finishing the book, I settled down to watch the movie version of The Choice.

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Here are my thoughts:

  • Why the small changes?

There were a lot of small changes from the book version. For example, the name and profession of Gabby’s boyfriend was changed. Travis did not have an on-again-off-again girlfriend. Also, there are different circumstances involving the car accident. Yet, the movie still came to the same conclusion. So I guess my question is, why? Was it necessary?

  • If Superman fought Abraham Lincoln, who would win?

Wait! Before I lose you, allow me to explain. Actor Tom Welling (Gabby’s initial boyfriend) played Superman in Smallville and Benjamin Walker (Travis) was cast as Abraham Lincoln vampire slayer. It was a bit distracting for me to watch these two characters on screen together. In one scene Welling’s character punched Walker’s character. Throughout the entire scene all I could think about was “Wow, Superman just hit Abraham Lincoln in the face!”

  • Southern accents, am I right?

Am I right?

Final Rating:

Book- 4 stars

Movie- 3 stars

If you are looking for a romance that will play with your emotions, I highly recommend The Choice. I promise you won’t cry too much. 😉

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Related:

Meet the Interns: Ellie Trebilcock

Bookmarks and Big Screens: Me Before You

Bookmarks and Big Screens: Dances with Wolves

Bookmarks and Big Screens: The Giver

Bookmarks and Big Screens: The Da Vinci Code

Bookmarks and Big Screens: The 5th Wave