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07 2016

Bookmarks and Big Screens: “Dances with Wolves”

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***}

Dances with Wolves book

This Month: Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake

A close friend of mine recently suggested I read Dances with Wolves. At first, I was hesitant because the book doesn’t fall within my usual genre. However, I am very glad I decided to give the book a chance.

Dances with Wolves follows John Dunbar, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, who is sent to an abandoned army post. Living on the frontier, Dunbar encounters a Native American tribe. As he learns more about the tribe’s customs, Dunbar begins to understand and respect the Native American culture.

What really strikes me about this book is the message of cultural appreciation (which is different than cultural appropriation). Dunbar was respectful of the tribe’s culture. He learned the language, listened to the members’ stories, and participated in their customs. In turn, the Native Americans did not get angry when Dunbar did not understand their traditions. By learning about each other, the fear between them melted away. This message of understanding and respect can easily be applied in the present-day.

Dances with Wolves movie

(moviepilot.com)

After reading the book, I settled down in a comfy couch to watch the long movie version of Dances with Wolves. Here are some of my thoughts:

  • How was the scenery?

Dances with Wolves is the preeminent South Dakota film. So, I was curious to see how my home state looks on the big screen. The book’s description did not even come close to the movie’s visual of the prairie. The only way to describe the picture is with a big sigh and a “wow.”

  • Use of the Lakota language?

I really appreciate the filmmaker’s attempt to use the Lakota language. I didn’t mind reading subtitles because it made the movie feel more realistic. The use of the Lakota language also demonstrated the difficulty Dunbar and the Sioux members had communicating in the beginning.

  • Exceptionally long movie?

Not counting previews, Dances with Wolves is a 3 hour 56 minute film. If you work hard enough, you probably can read the book faster than the time it takes to watch the movie. Despite its length, I don’t think anything should be cut from the film. Instead, maybe the story could have been split into two movies.

  • Different ending???

For the most part the movie followed the plot of the book pretty closely. The only surprise was how the movie ended. Dunbar makes a different choice in the book than the movie. Hint – this choice can be easily explained by some of the lyrics from a song by The Clash: “Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble, and if I stay it will be double.”

 

Final Rating:

Book – 4 stars

Movie – 5 stars

As much as I liked the book version of Dances with Wolves, I LOVED the movie. The movie combines the positive message cultural appreciation with beautiful cinematography. I could tell the filmmakers didn’t spare any expense in making Dances with Wolves. Now, I completely understand why the film received seven academy awards!

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Related:

Meet the Interns: Ellie Trebilcock

Bookmarks and Big Screens: Me Before You

07 2016

Locally Grown: Addison Avery

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

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Addison Avery is an activist with an appetite. From starting his high school’s GSA Alliance, to devoting his life to changing the agricultural pyramid of the Midwest, Avery is quickly becoming one of the leading forces of food in Sioux Falls. He is in the last stages of opening the first branch of his grocery store/restaurant/food market.

Keller’s Green Grocery is located on the first floor of the Carpenter building, and is anxious for its first customers. I sat down to chat with Avery about how he got where he is today, while simultaneously weaving his way through academia, before getting the insider’s look at the soon-to-open Phillips Avenue market.

Were you always interested in running a business in food?

Addison Avery: No. As a high schooler, I was really into punk rock, mohawk and all. I played guitar, bass, drums, piano and saxophone. Honestly though, most of my life was outside of school.

Did you find food in college?

AA: I actually went to the University of South Dakota for Music – composing. I found that it wasn’t what music should’ve been about. There were two paths I could have taken, and I didn’t fit into either of them.

So, then what?

AA: I ended up dropping out of USD and moving to Chicago. I started working at Maria’s Bakery, which was very Italian. There was so much diversity and little to no English spoken. I started by cleaning dishes. Then I found myself doing bike messaging and small parcel delivery. My routine turned into work – house show – gallery opening – bars – home *repeat*. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Okay, after Chicago and realizing you needed something different, how did you decide to return to food?

AA: I knew I needed to go to school. I needed some sort of stimulation. My mother is an amazing cook, one of the best cooks ever. I remember waiting for her meals every single day and my grandfather gardened all the time. If he had extra of anything, he would knock on people’s doors and would constantly give food to people. Food was always in my family, so I decided to go to Culinary School at Mitchell Tech.

Tell me about that.

AA: I would be at school by 7:30 each morning and cook until 2. At 2 we would eat and then go to class until 5. After class I would drive back to Sioux Falls and work until 9. I was exhausted. But I told myself, ‘You have to be exhausted for x amount of years, and then you’ll be a good chef.’

After school, I went from working at Bros to Parker’s. Working at Bros single handedly taught me how to completely clear my mind while I was cooking, which is what I needed. When I finally moved to Parker’s, things started to change.

How so?

AA: At the beginning of my first year at Parker’s, my grandfather was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and did not have much longer. When he passed away, we inherited his land and decided to use that to make our grocery store, to finally make a family name for ourselves in the food world. Keller’s.

Keller’s. So far, you’ve told me about your journey, now tell me about what’s next.

AA: My view on Keller’s is this – I wanna take South Dakota’s agricultural pyramid scheme and screw it. We are in the middle of climate change, we need to teach people why we plant legumes next to tomatoes, and then carrots next to that. Sustainable farming needs to happen. From there, we will go to the state level and talk about lowering tax for farmers, which will stop forcing them into maximum agriculture. People don’t realize that we are the most harvestable breadbasket in America. We need to make South Dakota what it should be.

All of this from a grocery store?

A: Keller’s will be more than just grocery. Our goal is to have bike delivery of packages with our label on them to homes and offices downtown. We will eventually have different stores that are specific to different areas. Garden, Bakery, Wine – Cheese – Meats. Between late June and early July we will open our store downtown. We will sell beers from local breweries, local eggs and coffee. We are working on getting catering up and running, too. We will change the agricultural system for the better with all of this, firsthand.

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After talking with Avery, he was kind enough to give me a tour of Keller’s and explain all of the work they have put into the building. From refurbishing the original floors to finding the windows true to the building, Keller’s is likely the next big thing in grocery and produce. Avery is one of the most inspiring business owners and I really do believe he is going to make a significant impact on farming in the Midwest.

 

Related:

Meet the Interns: Kyle Hallberg

Locally Grown: Kyle West

 

07 2016

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 1997

By Sean Calhoun

They can’t all be winners – even in the world of #1 albums – and this year’s first album is proof. It was #1 in the US for exactly one week and has been largely forgotten. Let’s see if there’s any real reason to remember…

Secret Samadhi – Live (Radioactive)

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As a band, Live is a strange case. They were one of the most successful bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s, and yet they don’t have much of a legacy at all. I knew very little about them coming into this review, and in complete honesty, what I learned didn’t particularly motivate me to dig any deeper.

This album is mediocre at best and unintentionally hilarious at worst. From the get-go – opener “Rattlesnake” – it’s clear to see that lead singer Ed Kowalczyk fancies himself as some sort of brooding, introspective storyteller. There’s one hitch, however. Very little of what Kowalczyk says on this track (or on the album as a whole) makes a whole lot of sense.

Musically, the album isn’t anything particularly groundbreaking. There are obvious grunge influences – certainly not uncommon in 1997 – and the sound as a whole is very typical of alternative rock at the time. (The closest analogue I could make from personal experience was the Goo Goo Dolls, who are really a far better band.) This is not an area in which Live stands out.

Where they do stand out, unfortunately, is in the lyricism. As I listened to Secret Samadhi, I often wondered if there was something I was missing. I understood Kowalczyk’s vocals and recognized the lyrical content of the tracks, but never really managed to figure out what kind of statement was being made in any given song. The effect is that of words being vomited out onto a page and then sung with little to no regard for context or cohesion.

As much as an album like this can be said to have “highlights,” the last couple of tracks, “Merica” and “Gas Hed Goes West,” are both up there, if simply because they don’t quite sound like rehashes of the rest of the record. At best, though, these are C+ tracks on a D- record.

This album is a slog to listen to. Very few individual tracks stand out in either direction, and they all kind of blend into on another. It comes off as an attempt by Live to express what they must have believed to be big and important ideas, but which really ended up being neither of those things. The best thing that I can say for Secret Samadhi is that the instrumentals, while bland and rather uncreative, are well-executed.

I have to say, though, I’m glad I never have to listen to it again.

Score, Adjusted for 2016 Ratings Inflation: 3.6/10

 

For my second album of 1997, I made both a stylistic and geographical departure from Live’s grungey alt-rock, diving into one of the defining electronic music albums of the decade…

The Fat of the Land – The Prodigy (XL Recordings)

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I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with electronic music. I was a big fan of dubstep when Skrillex first became a pop-music force, but as EDM has infiltrated an ever-growing number of genres, electronic music has started to get tiresome. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit an album that could probably be considered a ‘foundational text’ of a number of electronic subgenres.

The Prodigy is described as a “big-beat” act, and even for someone with little prior knowledge of that subgenre, the truth of that statement becomes apparent very early on when listening to this record. The production is no-holds- barred, driving and aggressive, with plenty of heavy bass and percussion.

The first (and most well-remembered) track on The Fat of the Land is the controversial hit “Smack My B**** Up”. The song is best remembered for its violent and provocative music video, and that’s honestly the most remarkable part of the song – its production doesn’t sound all that much different from anything else on the record. The other singles on the album – “Firestarter” and “Breathe” – are two of its best tracks.

The production is consistently dark and driving, and the album’s vocals, while nothing mind-blowing, tend to accent the instrumentation well. “Narayan” is another highlight, with strong vocals and multiple melodic twists over the course of the song.

If The Fat of the Land has one consistent flaw, it’s length – both of the tracks and of the album as a whole. A few of the tracks drag out longer than they need to (most of them clock out at around five minutes, with “Narayan” reaching just over nine) and the album’s 56:24 running time is physically difficult to listen to in a single sitting without developing some sort of exhaustion or headache.

In the end, though, the importance of this album on the development of electronic music in the 2000s is impossible to deny. Acts like Pendulum owe much of their musical philosophy and popularity to the groundwork laid by The Prodigy, and Liam Howlett and company certainly deserve credit for that.

Score, Adjusted for 2016 Ratings Inflation: 7.4/10

 

Related:

Meet the Interns: Sean Calhoun 

THE (MUSIC) YEARBOOK: 1996

 

07 2016

Dining In and Out: Ode to Food and Drinks

By Kaylyn Deiter

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

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(Photo courtesy: odetofoodanddrinks.com)

Dining Out

Ode to Food & Drinks is a diamond in the rough of Sioux Falls’ downtown restaurant scene. Situated on the ground floor of the futuristic office complex that is Cherapa Place, few passersby would guess that an eatery as charmingly nuanced as Ode resides within its revolving doors.

But, that’s the way this restaurant likes it.

Bar manager Frank Gajardo described Ode this way: “Gourmet in blue jeans.” And that’s exactly what this little eatery on the prairie is – refined, yet relaxed, just like your favorite pair of Levi’s.

“We make fresh, simple, unique dishes in a west coast style that’s different from the norm,” Gajardo said. “We’re not trying to be like anyone else.”

True to Gajardo’s word, Ode isn’t like anyone else.

The eatery’s interior is contemporary—with its sole sculpturally abstract white wall, bar replete with the requisite big-screen TVs and streamlined minimalist feel—but there’s also an inherent ode to hominess: the chalkboard back wall printed with the day’s features, inviting blue-gray color palette and a single hand-picked flower nestled in a glass jar on every table.

And don’t even get me started on the food. The cuisine itself is a continuation of the home-meets-metropolitan vibe, serving up the classics with a twist. Their signature pasta, Ode to Carbonara, tops my list of the restaurant’s must-haves, while even classics like bruschetta and burgers invite the unexpected, with goat cheese and candied cherries galore.

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(Photo courtesy: vspotlounge.us)

But at the end of the day, people trump food, every time.

“I’ve been in the industry for years and I’ve never seen the kind of quality and service that we have here,” Gajardo said. “There’s that family feel. We treat our staff like family, and in the end that’s how we treat our customers too. It’s about serving people right.”

Three reasons to eat at Ode:

  1. The home-meets-metropolitan ambience
  2. The food (the bruschetta trio is the best thing since sliced bread)
  3. The drink selection – options on options on options

Dining In

Not feeling the drive over to Cherapa Place tonight? Want to test your own culinary prowess instead? Check out this carbonara recipe courtesy of Recipes.com and enjoy something resembing Ode’s signature pasta from the comfort of home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dry spaghetti
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ lb bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil
  2. Add pasta and cook, stirring frequently until done (9-11 minutes)
  3. Cook bacon and garlic with olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until cooked, but not crispy (about 5 minutes)
  4. Drain most of the fat from pan except 2 TBS
  5. Drain, but don’t rinse, pasta
  6. Break eggs into a serving bowl and whisk with fork
  7. Throw eggs in just drained, piping hot, pasta and mix to coat. Hot pasta will cook the eggs
  8. Toss in bacon, garlic and remaining fat
  9. Stir in parmesan cheese, add salt and pepper to taste

Though I didn’t think this pasta recipe turned out quite as delicious as Ode’s (I mean really, what could top that?), it was still a pretty simple recipe for a carbonara novice like me to follow, and for people who like their noodles a bit more mild, this is a nice staple.

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(Photo courtesy: Kaylyn Deiter)

Three reasons to make Ode to Carbonara at home:

  1. It’s less spendy
  2. Cooking as creativity
  3. You have the power—throw another ingredient or two in that carbonara, no one’s stopping you

Ode to Food is a restaurant like no other. The atmosphere is top notch and the food is even better. If a little kitchen creativity is just what you need to satisfy a craving for your favorite restaurant, try our carbonara recipe and thank your lucky stars for dining gems like Ode to Food.

 

Related:

Meet the Interns Kaylyn Deiter 

Dining In and Out: Mama’s Ladas

Web Extra: Ode’s Dirty Arnold

07 2016

Eat Right on the Road

Getting behind the wheel doesn’t have to mean eating greasy, salty and fatty. With a little bit of planning, you can snack on fresh, high-energy foods and feel better for it!

Caprese Skewers

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Ingredients:

  • Mozzarella pearls or cubed soft cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Fresh tortellini (Buitoni or your preferred refrigerated type)
  • Skewers

Directions:

  1. Boil the tortellini until slightly tender (very al dente). Drain and cool.
  2. Alternate torellini with cheese, tomatoes, and folded basil leaves on skewers.

***Alternative:

  • Combine ingredients in a bowl with pre-made pesto (like this) for an easy pasta salad.

 

Turkey Roll-Ups

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Ingredients: 

  • Thinly Sliced deli turkey
  • 4 T shredded carrots
  • 1/2 C low fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
  • Baby pickles
  • Toothpicks

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix garlic salt and pepper into cream cheese.
  2. Chop shredded carrots into teeny, tiny pieces. Mix evenly into cream cheese.
  3. Fold turkey slices in half.
  4. Spread a layer of cream cheese on the folded turkey slice.
  5. Place pickle at one end of each turkey slice and roll.
  6. Secure with toothpick.

 

Veggie Wrap

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Ingredients: 

  • Whole wheat tortilla (burrito-size)
  • Low fat cream cheese
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Garlic salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Baby spinach
  • Bell peppers, sliced in strips
  • Black bean patty, cut in strips (Find an easy recipe here)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix garlic salt and pepper into cream cheese.
  2. Chop shredded carrots into teeny, tiny pieces. Mix evenly into cream cheese.
  3. Spread cream cheese mixture onto tortilla, nearly to the edges.
  4. Layer spinach, peppers and black bean patty atop one another in the center of the tortilla.
  5. Fold like a burrito and refrigerate.

 

Crudites with Yogurt Mint Sauce 

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Ingredients:

  • Veggies, cut for easy eating
  • 1 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Directions for dip:

  • Chop mint into teeny, tiny pieces.
  • Thoroughly combine yogurt, lemon juice, mint, and garlic in a small mixing bowl.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Simple Fruit and Cheese Plate

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Ingredients:

  • At least three distinct cheeses (I like something smoked, something sharp, and something nutty or with fruit. For example: smoked Gouda, aged cheddar, and lemon Stilton. Avoid creamy and crumbly cheeses, like brie, blue and Camembert.)
  • At least two fruits (Berries and sliced apples or pears are easy to eat)
  • At least one salted nut or small cracker variety
  • 1 T lemon or lime juice

Directions: 

  1. Cut cheese into easy-to-eat cubes.
  2. Cut fruits to they are easy to eat. Remove strawberry stems, core apples or pears and cut into thin slices.
  3. Fill mixing bowl halfway with cool water. Add lemon juice. Add cut fruit and let it soak for a few minutes. Drain thoroughly.
  4. Pack components in a multi-compartment container, or separate small containers.

 

Related: 

You Can Pickle That (Fruit)!

Four Make-Ahead Freezer Meals

Staycation Party Recipes

Four Easy, Tasty Campfire Recipes

Stretch it Out

Active on the Road

Get Some Fresh Air at South Dakota’s Newest State Park

Stop and Smell the Wildflowers

No Excuses – There’s a Trail for Everyone

Hiking is for History Buffs, Too

 

 

07 2016

Active on the Road: Stretch it Out

By Kaylyn Deiter

Cramped from sitting in the car for hours on end? Try out these yoga poses to stay limber while you ride.

Crescent Moon Pose

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  • Inhale, bringing your hands above your head and grabbing your right wrist.
  • Exhale while while leaning left into your rib cage.
  • Switch sides.

 

Pigeon Pose

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  • Lift your right leg, placing your right ankle on your left knee.
  • Inhale as you lean forward to feel the stretch in your lower back, hips and inner thighs.
  • Switch sides.

 

Twisted Chair Pose

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  • With hands in a prayer pose, twist hooking your right elbow outside your right thigh.
  • As you exhale, try to sink lower into the pose.
  • Switch sides.

More ideas for stretching it out on the road.

 

Related:

Active on the Road

Get Some Fresh Air at South Dakota’s Newest State Park

Stop and Smell the Wildflowers

No Excuses – There’s a Trail for Everyone

Hiking is for History Buffs, Too

 

07 2016

2016 605 Summer Classic: A Comprehensive Recap

The 7th annual 605 Summer Classic was two-day celebration of regional music, local beer, and all around good times. Sandwiched between two nights of live music was 605’s second annual all-South Dakota beer tasting. Photographer Bill Tetrault was there through all of it, making sure we remember all the fun. 

It all kicked off Friday, June 24 with Maddie Todd on the main stage…

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…Followed by Gordo Ji’Bang

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Union Grove Pickers

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Heatbox

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…And headliner Hippo Campus!

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Saturday, June 25 began with a little rain, but that didn’t deter hundreds of beer enthusiasts from showing up to sample offerings from 12 South Dakota breweries.

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For the first time, patrons were asked to vote for their favorite beermaker. Competition was tough. In fact, only nine votes separated the winner from the first runner up. In the end, newcomer Watertown Brewing Company came out on top, winning the inaugural 605 Cup!

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During the beer tasting, the crowd was entertained by acoustic jams courtesy of Rich Rislov

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…Had the chance to dunk a Sioux Falls Roller Doll

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…And played some serious bean bags on the custom 605 Summer Classic boards.

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As the beer tasting wound down, the action was starting up on the main stage. Saturday evening’s entertainment started with Strawberry and the JamIMG_8079 IMG_1394

…Followed by Sol Fredo

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Down Lo & Depoli

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Nikko McFadden (and his many talented friends)…

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…And closing out the event, the triumphant return of Brother Ali!

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The 605 Summer Classic was a major team effort. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our generous sponsors…

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…Our amazing emcee, V the Noble One

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…The Ecomaniacs, who kept things clean…

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…The food vendors, who kept us fueled…

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JAM Art & Supplies, who stimulated our creativity…

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…Our staff, volunteers, and crew…

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…Man buns…

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…Flower crowns…

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…and the dancers, selfie-takers, families, and friends who made it the most memorable weekend of the summer.

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Thanks to everyone who joined us! We’ll see you in 2017!

 

06 2016

Locally Grown: Dylan West

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

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University of South Dakota graduate, Dylan West, is not your typical beertender at JL Beers. With a degree in Contemporary Media and Journalism, an emphasis in Strategic Communications, and a minor in Political Science, he found himself employed by Capital Services, but still wanting more out of life. That “more” was not hard to find, since his love fell with music and producing, more so than dark beers and IPAs (though he does love a good IPA).

West, also known as Disco James, has switched his career path, found himself a recording studio and produced songs for some of the biggest names, in the time span it takes most of us to finish the entire Grey’s Anatomy series.

Through the help of social media, I was able to discover some of his music, and set up an interview with the Pierre native, who is making a name for himself outside of his college major, and even further outside of the Midwest norm.

How did you get started?

Dylan West: I was about twelve and my brother came home for the summer and built a studio in the garage. “He asked me to record a few tidbits for his songs, and I just kind of fell in love with it.”

So do you write, too?

D: I can do everything.

Okay, so speaking of music, let’s talk about other people. Favorite band?

D: I gotta say Smashing Pumpkins – just because their 90s style always caters to me.

Favorite non-vocal musician?

D: Flume. His song Tennis Courts single-handedly warped the way I think of music.

That is pretty cool that you can pinpoint one thing that changed your future in music.

D: Honestly, I have a handful of songs that define me in certain ways.

Favorite singer of all time?

D: Shawn Mullins. I was fourteen and driving across South Dakota by myself and his album was playing over and over again – it was a very defining moment in my life. I just knew then that music was my calling. His album spoke to me, you know? Do you, be true, and find your spiritual being.

That’s a very good answer. You say you write, as well as produce. What’s your favorite key to write in?

D: F major or E minor.

Do you have a specific place you create?

D: In my studio, with a microphone in front of me, a mini keyboard and my machine, that is the best way to write, when you can create on the fly. It’s all about what sounds right. For example, you can play the same three chords every day and nothing will ever come of it. And then one day, it feels different, it speaks to your heart…I think that’s the definition of inspiration.

West is currently working on a new album for release, one he says is different from his previous sound, but in the best way. So, if you haven’t heard his creative additions on SoundCloud, Kid Cudi’s album, or on E!’s Total Divas, you can be sure to hear it straight from him in the next couple of weeks.

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West was a pleasure to work with, as well as an incredible source of inspiration – reminding me that while academics and school is important, finding your light does not always correlate with those things, and that is perfectly fine.

Related:

Meet the Interns: Kyle Hallberg

 

06 2016

Bookmarks and Big Screens: “Me Before You”

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***}

mebeforeyou

This Month: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I recently picked up the book Me Before You and was so charmed I read it, cover-to-cover, in less than a day.  While reading Me Before You be prepared to laugh, gasp, and bawl your eyes out. The story follows Louisa Clarke, who becomes a caretaker for Will Traynor; a man disabled after being hit by a motorcycle. When I first bought the book, I was expecting the story to be another over-the-top romance. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of the typical rushed confession of love, the characters’ feelings were gradually realized.

There is also witty banter between Louisa and Will which brings an endearing comedic feel to the novel. In contrast, the book seriously questions the popular notion love is enough to save someone. A compelling theme of the book is accepting the decisions your loved ones make concerning their future, even if you know the decisions will cause yourself pain.

A few days after finishing the book, I went to the theater to see how the movie compared. While watching, I jotted down a few of my thoughts:

  • Did the book’s author write the movie???

It is very rare to find a movie which follows the plot of the book so closely. After watching the movie, I learned the author actually did help write the screenplay. (Would all authors do this please?)

me before you movie (1)

  • Was the acting convincing?

I want to give the main actors, Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin a bear hug. The acting in this movie was phenomenal! They portrayed their characters’ personalities perfectly. Their subtle glances (and their not so subtle glances) captured the chemistry between the two characters.

  • Where is the sister drama?

In the novel, the sisters’ fights are an important part of Louisa’s personal growth. In the movie, the sister plays more of a best friend and moral support role.

  • Why was the implied sexual assault cut out from the movie?

The film left out an important part of the plot which explains a character’s backstory. In my opinion, cutting out the the sexual assault from the plot of the movie undermines the pain the victim of sexual assault experiences. Even if it wasn’t the movie-maker’s intention, it feels as if they are silencing the victim’s story. Media reflects our society. Not mentioning the sexual assault (which is apart of the book), can lead to the unintentional consequence of making victims feel alienated and ashamed.

Here’s a good Washington Post article on the subject.

  • Ugly Crying?

Check. Prepare to bring tissues to the theater.

Final rating:

Book— 5 stars

Movie— 4 stars

Even though I think both versions of Me Before You are worth reading and watching, I think the bookworms narrowly win this round. The book provides the audience a better understanding of the characters’ motivations by going more in depth into their growth and development. While the movie is more focused on the relationship between the main characters and not how they evolved after meeting each other.

WOW me before you (ew.com)

(Image: ew.com)

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06 2016

605 Outdoor Wonders: Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum

By Anna Stritecky

As summer steps up to swing, South Dakota tourists and residents both strive to find locations to enjoy time outdoors, all within an affordable budget. From Garretson to Rapid City, destinations call for South Dakotans to come and enjoy them. As I venture out to a plethora of venues, I’ll share a few of South Dakota’s natural beauties worthy of exploration.

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The Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum was at the top of my list of the 605 wonders, due to its vast history and green space. The arboretum is self-described as “nurturing connections between plants and people, past and present, in an inspiring natural setting that invites discovery.” When visiting, that’s exactly what this garden will accomplish. This land isn’t just flourishing for its outside, but instead holds a historic place in Sioux Falls’ history.

Mary Jo Wegner was a doctor in Sioux Falls, but also a longtime supporter of the arts, humanities and the environment. After Wegner lost her fight to leukemia in 2003, her family dedicated her favorite spot in Sioux Falls to her to remember the history that has occurred there. The house on the grounds, the Mabel and Judy Jasper Educational Center, recreates the L-shaped schoolhouse that once stood in East Sioux Falls. Inside, the classroom gives visitors an opportunity to step inside history and see how students learned in country schools.

The MJWA holds a museum containing the land’s history, a field behind the museum, and acres filled with fountains, lakes, luscious trees and an array of plants. When I first arrived, I was skeptical of its lack of activity, worried I would run out of things to do. Alas, I proved myself wrong, as I spent almost half of a day wandering around the grounds.

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The MJWA is beautiful, set up with a long gravel road surrounded by green forests, and that is where I initially started my trip. Lured by the unknown, I walked around the forest alongside the stream of the river, and found myself sitting down on a thick patch of grass to enjoy what was going on around me. After I crossed the bridge to the other side of the arboretum, I walked back up behind the museum, where they have brilliantly kept many fountains and different sitting areas with information about the grounds that you can enjoy.

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As I was sitting around the fountain, I realized that the arboretum isn’t about celebrating something man-made, but instead what Sioux Falls has to offer. They throw different events for historical societies, fundraisers and all the way to weddings. Citizens of South Dakota can learn to appreciate what is right in their backyard through the MJWA

 

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Meet the Interns: Anna Stritecky