Final Project

We sat down with two Berklee College of Music students to discuss with them what makes Berklee different from other musical colleges. The Berklee College of Music is a highly selective college in Boston, Massachusetts focusing on music and the arts. The two students we sat down with are members of the band Indiana Heights which was started at Berklee College. Frank Shelton, an Indianapolis native and Berklee junior, is the lead singer and pianist for Indiana Heights his band. Crawford Lyons, a Nashville resident and another Berklee junior, is the lead guitarist for Indiana Heights. The rest of the band consists of Zander Sugarman, the saxophonist, Billy Bernstein, the drummer, and Myles Clemons, the bassist. The band got together their freshman year, Crawford and Frank met in a class, and have been friends ever since.

The band credits Berklee’s education as a major reason for their success. Berklee’s admission of non-traditional music students has been a major reason for the band coming together and being as talented as they are. Sitting down with Frank and Crawford their talent and love for their school was obvious and undeniable.

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What do Boston Residents Think of the Boston Marathon

This past Monday the city of Boston was host to the annual Boston Marathon, a tradition dating back all the way to 1897. This year, as always, the marathon had some incredible stories, like the marine veteran who ran for his fallen friends and crawled to the finish line, or Marko Cheseto, who lost his feet due to frost bite, set a world record for best time ran by an amputee. These amazing stories make it almost impossible to not appreciate the Boston Marathon, so what do those who don’t participate in the race think of the event?

Everyone has a different way of celebrating the Boston Marathon and finding out what the event means to different people is fascinating. Answers ranges from a celebration of the city and its’ accomplishments, an excuse for college students to drink during the day and just not caring at all. This wide range of answers makes talking to citizens of Boston about the marathon an interesting task, and learning what it means to each person individually is fascinating. After talking to five people around the Boston University area, these differences in the importance of the marathon to them became obvious.

Ethnic Ambiguity: A Race Relations Podcast

As the United States continues to become more and more diverse, more and more people are discussing the problems that people of mixed race face in today’s society. The podcast we hope to create would be a series discussing race relations with people who face such struggles in the United States with an emphasis on people of mixed race. For our pilot episode we sat down and talked with 黄淑仁 (Wong Su-Ren) a singer and performer from southern California who attends Berklee College of Music and identifies as mixed race. Wong Su-Ren describes herself as a “multi-ethnic American woman” who is a part of seven different ethnic groups. Her name is Chinese and was given to her by her grandfather, but she also identifies as part French, German, Scandinavian as well as multiple other groups.

Wong Su-Ren discusses both the positive and negative experiences she has as a person of mixed race both in the United States and abroad. One thing that often goes unspoken in these discussions is members of their community often discredit the people of mixed race’s issues with racism, and Su-Ren (along with many others) believes that is a real problem. Hopefully, with open and honest dialogue like this, our podcast can address the problems that people face in modern society regarding race, especially as we continue to live in a more and more diverse United States.

North End Twitter Story

The North End is often associated with a night out on the town, so if you find yourself there on a Friday night to enjoy some Italian food and a cannoli or two you will be far from the only person there. But how about late on a Tuesday afternoon? What does it look like then, and what are the people who work there doing on the days when the North End isn’t filled to the brim with tourists and college kids.

While walking around outside the restaurants and pastry shops it almost felt like a ghost town, there was almost nobody else even out on the streets. Inside the stores it was a similar story, as the only people there seemed to be workers and the rare customer.

https://twitter.com/zachdupont2/status/1113836724269015040?s=21

https://twitter.com/zachdupont2/status/1113837065920229376?s=21

https://twitter.com/zachdupont2/status/1113837784538734597?s=21

https://twitter.com/alexandralile_/status/1113566094739030018?s=21

https://twitter.com/alexandralile_/status/1113566818852061184?s=21

https://twitter.com/alexandralile_/status/1113567459762679808?s=21

News Track Assignment: what exactly is Infowars?

For my news track story, I decided to analyze one of the most infamous news websites on the internet, Infowars.com. Going into this, I knew next to nothing about Infowars as a standalone website, besides the fact that their banned from most major online platforms, but had some knowledge about their owner and flagship commentator, Alex Jones. So my goal with this assignment was to look a little deeper and decide if Inforwars is truly as bad and biased as people say it is.

Upon opening the Inforwars site, it became obvious that my first stop had to be listening to a segment from Alex Jones’ radio show, I settled on the clip with the exciting title, “Trump Fighting For Freedom Despite Generation Of Zombies.” This clip really showcases what Inforwars is all about, using fear tactics to prop up their insane political beliefs. Although the main takeaway from this clip could very easily be just to laugh at the ridiculous things Alex Jones has to say about “human-animal hybrids” this clip is important because it displays that there is a real audience for this. Jones isn’t just sitting alone in his basement yelling into a computer, he has a full studio which indicates that people are taking his nonsense seriously, which in turn means we have to take his nonsense seriously.

View count on the video in question
Other videos featured on the Infowars website.

https://www.infowars.com/watch/?video=5c80600196f802002664d989

While Alex Jones may be exciting, he isn’t the only thing on their website. My next stop on the site was to their featured articles selection where I started by reading “Another Liberal Hate Hoax? This Time AOC Was the Alleged Target,” by Kevin McBreen. This article is about whether a tweet posted by David Corn was real or not as he provided no evidence and the Phoenix Airport did not find evidence either. Not very interesting or even biased (for the reputation Inforwars has at least) until the second to last paragraph where the author makes the claim that “In fact, most reported ‘hate crimes’ since President Trump was elected have been proven to be hoaxes.” A rather dangerous thing to claim. The sentence links to a video on the Infowars website that you must have an account to see, so needless to say I did not watch the video.

Other headlines featured on their site

https://www.infowars.com/another-liberal-hate-hoax-this-time-aoc-was-the-alleged-target/

They also have a store, where they sell “DNA Force Plus” which is just a giant jar of protein powder. They also survival preparedness kits which really lean into the scare tactics that Infowars like to use.

So in short, is Infowars.com as bad as people say it is?

Yes.

The Songwriting Process

On a cold Monday night in Boston, we sat down with singer/songwriter Blythe from Berklee College of Music. She showed us what she normally goes through when creating a new song including writing, setting up audio, playing the piano, and actually singing the new piece of music. Originally from LA, Blythe decided to make the move to Boston to pursue a dream career in music by working on her craft at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Now a senior Blythe, along with her 16-person band, is preparing for life outside of college and gearing up for a hopefully long musical career.

This project was shot by Zach Dupont and Alexandra Evans and edited by Zach Dupont.