Pierce Pioneer

A Tribe Called Red: Revolutionizing Electronic Music

This Canadian Band embraces their Native Heritage.




Over the past few centuries, news stories regarding Native American or Aboriginal tribes have been usually either been absent or negative. Many people know the Trail of Tears, the smallpox genocide, and recently the Dakota pipeline controversy. Mainstream media covers mostly one side of Native-American culture: pain. That’s why music groups like “A Tribe Called Red” is especially important in contributing positive or inspiring music made for and by First nation people.

A Tribe Called Red consists of band-members, DJ NDN, Bear Witness, and 2oolman, who collaborate on mixing native tribal rhythms with contemporary electronic beats.

This technique unites the young with the old, the modern with the traditional. The finished product becomes a composition of thought-provoking melodies and four-by-four beats.

Their group is infamously known for “Native Puppy love,” a song that debuted on a tampon commercial; “Electric pow-wow drum,” and recently “Burn your village to the ground.” According to Historica Canada, they have collaborated with people like Northern Cree and Angel Haze, who are also native musicians.

A Tribe Called Red is a hit with the youth. Not only do they portray of a modern outlook on First Nation culture, but they also have a political consciousness that resonates with today’s current events.

According to Historica Canada, the group debuted a song called “Woodcarver,” inspired by John T. Williams, who was killed by a Seattle police officer in 2010. Their activism goes further than just music when it comes to cultural appropriation (i.e. Redskins) and discrimination.

Recently, non-native music listeners were seen wearing native headdresses, a huge disrespect to native culture. That’s why this group has a strict rule for music festivals: anyone red-facing or wearing feathered headpieces will not be given admission to the show.

Their music fits perfectly with the times. It is a fresh perspective on native music and electronic music. They have songs that sound like battle anthems and just make people feel pumped and ready to take on the world. They are an example of First Nation people triumphing discrimination and degrading stereotypes. It’s almost like their music is saying “We are still here, and we’re stronger than ever.”

Their albums are on Youtube and Spotify. Their most recent album, “We Are the Halluci Nation” was released in late June. They will also be playing at The Crocodile in Seattle on November 16.

Aaryn’s Fall Music Picks


Shovels and Rope- Devil is All Around


Kishi Bashi- Bright Whites


Shakey Graves- Dearly Departed


Wild Child- Pillow Talk


The Lonely Forest- We Sang in Time


‘Ghost Stories’ is a darker side of Coldplay

Though the album may feel dreary, the tracks are still solid

Parlaphone/Courtesy Photo
Parlaphone/Courtesy Photo

Sean Hobbs Staff Writer


Ghost Stories is the most recent entry into the discography of the famous British rock band, Coldplay. While the songs on the album have their strengths, none of them stand out as hits in the way their previous entries have.

Coldplay is no stranger to melancholic songs, and ‘Ghost Stories’ is made up almost entirely of them. From start to finish, the album feels like it is following the adventures of a sad teen in a less colorful version of ‘(500) Days of Summer’. ‘Oceans’ is especially evocative of this, feeling like a literal ocean of music that leaves you adrift.

It’s likely that this theme is present due to the troubles Chris Martin has had with his now ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow. The album is part love letter, part apology note, and it shows.

The first song on the album, ‘Always in My Head,’ serves as a sample of what the rest of the album is going to be like, but stands out as one of the stronger songs overall. Unlike a few of the later love songs, specifically, ‘Another’s Arms’ and ‘True Love,’ ‘Always in My Head’ delivers a more varied and interesting rhythm throughout.

Three tracks, ‘Magic,’ ‘Midnight,’ and ‘Sky Full of Stars,’ were released as a teaser for the album, and with good reason. They’re probably the closest to the past work of Coldplay in terms of style, and are far more likely to pull potential listeners in. ‘Sky Full of Stars’ in particular stands out as the most like their previous work, with strong lyricality and catchy rhythms.

‘O,’ the last song on the album, is probably the most bleak of them all. Between the gentle piano and the literal two minutes of silence near the end of the song, it becomes difficult not to feel a little worried about Martin. Not to mention that the vibrato in Martin’s voice that makes it sound like he’ll start crying at any minute.

All that said, there’s nothing really wrong with any of the music.While some of the songs do get a little repetitive, it’s not to an annoying degree, and though the music may be depressing, it’s still well performed. While it’s unlikely to be Coldplay’s most well known album, ‘Ghost Stories’ has it’s strong moments and still shines a few times, despite all the gloom.



Editors Music Picks: Sean Hobbs

Hello readers!

I’m Sean and I’m the A&E and Opinions editor for the Pioneer.

My playlist is made up of a bunch of different artists that I like, and I tried to limit the number of songs by a single artist. This is so I can give a large variety or artists without becoming overkill.

I mostly like indie music and songs that my friends have described as “depressing”, but there’s fun music on my playlist as well.

I find new bands frequently, so look for updates on the regular.



Aaryn’s April Music Picks

Bear Hands- Giants
Bear Hand’s music was first featured on 1077 The End’s new band discovery. Since then they’ve been featured on other popular music radio stations. The band was formed in 2006  and formed their first show in New york, shortly after they released their EP “Golden”.If you like MGMT’s style of music you’ll definitely like some of Bear hands other songs.


New Politics- Tonight You’re Perfect
You know New politics from their popular radio hit Bad Girl in Harlem, but Tonight You’re Perfect is their new up and coming radio hit. New politics is from Copenhagen Denmark, the band was formed in 2009.


Lake Street Dive- CLear a Space
Lake Street Dive band was formed by Mike Olson (Trumpet player/Guitarist), who hand picked each member to be a part of this four man smooth jazz band. The band was formed in Boston at New England Conservatory. The band has five albums included their new 2014 release “Bad Self Portraits”.

Shakey Graves- Built To Roam

Shakey Graves is a one man band, that does it all. Artist Alejandro Rose Garcia finger picks guitar, sings, and plays a suitcase drum. He is from Austin Texas and started playing when he was 15-years old. Only in recent years has Shakey Graves started going public with his music. Shakey Graves first EP, Roll The Bones was released in December of  2011 and featured 10 original songs. His new EP, Donor Blues was released in January of 2012 and features seven new songs.


The Killers- Shot At The Night

The Killer’s have been a classic favorite ever since Sam’s Town was first released. The band rejoined after lead singer Brandon Flowers released his own solo album, Flamingo. The result of which was their newest song, Shot At The Night released in 2013 as one of their greatest hits.

Foster The People- Coming of Age

They’re the band with the pumped up kicks, yes Foster the People  is back with a new hit song Coming of Age. The band formed in 2009 and found themselves with a popular radio hit in the summer of 2012 off of their first EP. The song Coming of Age was released in 2014.

Aayn’s Music picks for March

Birmingham- Shovel and Rope

Shovel and Rope is a band from  Charleston South Carolina and consists of Michael Trent and Carry Ann Hearst. The pair released their First album together, O’ Be Joyful, in 2012 debuting their song, Birmingham.

Boxcar- Shovel and Rope

Boxcar was first played by Hearst and Trent in 2008 and is not a part of the album.

New Ceremony- Dry The River

Dry The River, from London United Kingdom, are a folk/indie band. “New Ceremony” was released on their first album ‘Shallow Bed’ in 2012.  Dry The River has recorded sessions with Berlin, Mahogany, and Black Cab Sessions.


Look Out Mamma- Hurray For The Riff Raff

Lead Singer Alynda Lee Segarra originated Hurray For the Riff Raff, who hail from New Orleans.  “Look out Mama” is from their EP record. In 2013 the band signed with According To Our Records (ATO). On March 31st , 2014 they will release their album Small Town Heroes, which they are currently preforming and recording.


Dangerous Times- Wildlife

Wildlife is an Indie Folk band from Toronto Canada. Wildlife records with Wax Records and released their EP “On The Heart”, containing nine songs, in 2013.


The Justin Timberlake full 20/20 experience

Aaryn Kornbau  Staff Writer

Before you knew his name, as a break out solo artist Justin Timberlake was one of your favorite bleach blond members of NSYNC. Since the band’s split in 2002 Justin Timberlake has only become an even bigger name and charmer.JT-Greyright

Justin’s first solo album “Justified” was an instant hit with “Cry me a River” and “Rock Your Body” especially after the recent split from Brittany Spears.

His first part of The 20/20 Experience was released on March 15, 2013 with radio hits “Mirrors” and “Suit and Tie”, featuring Jay-Z . The much anticipated part two (with the other tens songs) was released September 27,2013.

The entire album definitely pushed the envelope with its classy and sensual tones in its tracks. Especially with it’s euphemisms for women and slower tempos.

Another addition to Justin’s new album was that every track has melodic extended interludes, hence part of the experience. The goal of this album was to capture the audience with the ambiance of the 1920’s mixed with the lyricism and style of the twentieth century hence being the 20/20 experience.

While this album had more mellow tempos it still held rhythmic beats for dancing. As usual his voice was on pitch the whole album through. None of the tracks sounded like they were too modernized with auto tune or influenced by the techno era. The album definitely suited audiences geared toward pop and soul. Over all I’d say the album was dressed to the nines.

‘Art Daze” brings relaxation, creativity

On the latest music scene, Justin Martin

Kristoffer Hayward Staff Writer

Striking out on his own, Justin Martin is booking his own gigs and gathering momentum on the local scene. j.martin_

Though Martin is still with Oh Dear!, he has recently started making music on his own. Some people may recognize Martin as a student at Pierce College, and his success with booking local gigs started in early 2009 under the band Oh Dear! And started being a solo musician this year.

Martin has no agent currently, doing the booking himself, and has just come back from his west coast tour “awake or just a dream”. The album has a combination of sad and melancholy lyrics offset with brighter and upbeat instrumentals. As Swoon, the label that picked Martin up, describes as melancholy folk-rock.

By booking himself and following his music, Martin has found a place in a local record label named Swoon as well as lining up a number of gigs in October. Martin had taken classes with Evin Lambert, a music teacher at Pierce College and has since started to gain local popularity. The current album, released in early August, features six songs and can be found anywhere from the Swoon website, i-tunes, or Amazon.

Beyond his budding solo career, Martin is still with Oh Dear! and they plan to keep making their music as a band. Martin said that it took some time to get his confidence up to be lead guitar and vocalist, as he was background guitar in the band Oh Dear!. Though he has recently found the spotlight for himself, he doesn’t seem to be shy in it and grows bolder when he plays.

Having seven more gigs to play until 2014, there’s plenty of chances to see Martin in action. Event dates and related musicians can be found online.

Direction’s gone south

From charming to crude, British boy band One Direction’s second album does not live up to fan hype

Healani Brennan
Staff Writer 

The latest album from One Direction has fallen musically flat. The charming British boy band (plus one Irish) first captured the hearts of teenagers everywhere with their breakout single “What Makes You Beautiful.”

Their newest single, “Live While We’re Young” is less romantic, with lyrics about hooking up for one night. Their line “but let’s pretend it’s love” would make some girls want to punch the guy in question in the face.

Their whole album is irritating in this sense, with weak tracks that all seem to be about the same thing. They lack variety in their meanings and lyrics. Not only this, but they were accused of ripping off the Clash song “Should I Stay or Should I Go” on their single “Live While We’re Young,” apparently making their music unoriginal as well.

The song “Little Things” has caused quite the commotion on Twitter, at one point trending more than Hurricane Sandy. The reason for the social media frenzy is that the boys croon that even if you’re fat, will still love you. The lines “You still have to squeeze into your jeans” and “I’m joining up the dots with the freckles on your cheeks” are observations that most girls would be embarrassed to hear from their boyfriends.

This album just makes the boys look like jerks, which is what their target audience, teenage girls, already deal with every day. They have lost the charm of their first album, and now come across as simple, horny teenage boys going from girl to girl, fortunate enough to make money off of their cockiness. The song “C’mon C’mon” demonstrates this beautifully.

The song basically says that their date left early and she couldn’t dance, so they’re going to get with the hot girl they’ve been watching all night. This album demonstrates the downfall of music and lack of creativity within the pop genre. The boys should have stuck to the boyish charm they became famous for rather than trying to become “men” with their immature adolescent hookup songs.

‘Wicked’ shows audiences a new side to the land of OZ

Broadway adaption of famous book comes to Seattle to dazzle audience with references to classic ‘The Wizard of OZ’

Healani Brennan
Staff Writer 

The popular Broadway production of the novel “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire, does not fail to entertain. The show is not the most accurate depiction of the novel, but rather creates a more colorful song-inspiring show.

The play takes place in Oz and tells a different story from before Dorothy came around. Mainly the storyline focuses on Elphaba, the wicked witch of the west, and how she came to be wicked. Underlying political tones from the novel become apparent in the production as well with the outcast of the animals of Oz.

The two main characters, Elphaba and Glinda, have strong personalities that are kept consistent throughout. The actresses portraying each, Dee Roscioli (Elphaba) and Patti Murin (Glinda) shine through and hit every note with power and perfection.

Murin portrays Glinda as more of a goofy character than she is like in the book which makes for tons of laughter and comic relief in intense scenes. She turns the smallest sentences into moments of hilarity with little effort but is touching and heartfelt in the strong scenes in which her and Elphaba have to take different pathways of good and evil.

Dee Roscioli in the role of Elphaba is more similar to the book version in that she is sarcastic and sardonic. Roscioli’s depiction of Elphaba’s emotions from her relationship to her father, to the worry she feels for the animals of Oz is spot on.

All of the credit does not go to just the two main characters though. Cliffton Hall as love-struck Fiyero shined through on the number “Dancing through life” and had audience members swooning by the end of the number.

For people that know the original Wizard of Oz story and have seen the movie will enjoy the many references to the original that are thrown in. Lines such as “there’s no place like home” are subtly put in and one can hear the scatters of giggles in the audience from the recognition of the line.

The production of Wicked at the Paramount Theatre is playing through Nov. 17 and is worth the time and money. The cast is wonderfully put together and it’s a fun event for the whole family to attend.


Van Halen returns; new album, old vocalist

(Coming back with a vengeance, this rock band hits the studio to record first full-length album since 1998)


In January of 2011 the impossible had begun to happen, much to the excitement of rock fans everywhere: iconic band Van Halen was recording a new album with their original vocalist David Lee Roth.

Fans thought they would never see the day, as the last Van Halen album with Roth on vocals was released 28 years ago.

Along with that, the band had not released a full-length album since 1998.

The albums first single, “Tattoo,” was released in early January, and then was followed up a month later with their highly anticipated album, titled “A Different Kind of Truth”.

“Tattoo” received mixed reviews from critics but some fans found the song to be lacking in the signature Van Halen ‘oomph.’

Other songs such as “Big River” and “She’s The Woman” were revamped works from early demos of the band, dating as far back as the late ‘70’s.

While the 13 tracked album offers a dose of nostalgia for fans there also seems to be a severe lack of pizzazz.

Some washed up and questionable tongue-in-cheek lyrics are present through out the album and while guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen brings catchy riffs and his signature slashing solos to the tracks, there seems to be something missing.

Perhaps it’s the absence of original bassist Marc Anthony whose shoes are being filled by Eddie Van Halen’s 20-year-old son, Wolfgang Van Halen.

Without Anthony the band lost his uncanny ability to lay down some perfect harmonies to Roth’s vocals.

Tracks like “Stay Frosty,” “Beats Workin,” “China Town,” and “Tattoo” failed to assure the starry-eyed hope that ‘Diamond Dave’ and the crew were back and ready to take over the world.

Though the album has received mixed reviews, it would seem that fans were so amped by the return of the Roth fronted Van Halen that they were willing to accept any music the band had to offer.

“As Is” and “Honeybabysweet- iedoll” were the only tracks that captured the real down and dirty Van Halen.

Tracks “Blood and Fire” and “You and Your Blues” were found to be a halfway decent listen.

Where the band lacked musi- cally, they make up for it with their showmanship.

David Lee Roth still has the power to capture the audience with his cartoon character approach to live shows, providing a highly enjoyable performance to live shows.

Van Halen are currently embarking on a world tour in support of the album and live videos have reassured fans of their status as one of the best live bands in rock history.

If you wish to indulge in the highly enjoyable live performance that the band has to offer, they will be at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday May 5.


Written by: Ashley Dixon/Staff Writer

Photos by: Van Halen Album Covers- ‘Tatoo’ and ‘1984’/Courtesy Photos



Singer-songwriter Teitur brings out different side of music


Fast paced, low beat this local hip-hop artist is on the right track. Incorporating many different types of hip-hop styles he is out to grab locals attention with his music by adding a constant variety.

A fellow Pierce student, Justin Harmon (aka Justis), goes back and forth from school to the studio, doing what he loves and is passionate about.

By doing this, he has succeeded in making a CD called “Financial Aid and Food Stamps”.

Within every track there seems to be a different beat, the familiar trends of Drake and Whiz can be detected in his music, placing him in the new hip-hop era style music.

Not only does he reach out with his beats, but incorporates heart-felt lyrics in his songs meant for everyone.

“My music is a little more down to earth, something people can relate to,” Justis said.

With most of his songs about the familiar struggle it is easily relatable to other people.

The music is for all types of people “but really hits home with the college crowd,” Justis said.

“Who typically have it the hardest, during economic crisis,” Justis added.

As a student himself, he is able to speak out for most of his peers on familiar topics and issues that we are all going through.

Unlike most hip-hop songs that brag about money, Justis takes a step on the other side of life, where the money doesn’t come as easily.

With the title of “Financial Aid and Food Stamps” his CD takes a stand in trying to grab peoples attention to the current issues.

Justis felt “writing was an outlet” for him growing up, something he could do to express himself.

You can feel in most of his writing, a part of him speaking out even religiously, though there are some less serious songs each emotion is conveyed.

You can find J.U.S and some tracks on the following sites: http://www.youtube.com/user/MrTeamJustis or http://www.jango.com/music/J+U+S+?l=0,

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