New album by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness balances thought-provoking lyrics with fun dance beats

Originally published in Issue 9, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 16, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness released its second album “Zombies on Broadway” on Feb. 10. The indie rock/pop album, full of well-written lyrics and music perfect for dancing, is a follow-up to the self-titled debut of Andrew McMahon’s solo project Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, which featured the Billboard Hot 100 single “Cecilia and the Satellite” about McMahon’s newborn daughter.

McMahon began his music career in the early 2000s with pop- punk band Something Corporate and ventured off into his rst solo project Jack’s Mannequin. Before Jack’s Mannequin’s first album was released in 2005, McMahon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. About a year later, McMahon started the non-profit charity The Dear Jack Foundation, to raise funds for adolescent and young adult cancer (ages 15-39).

After a three-album journey using the moniker Jack’s Mannequin, McMahon was

ready for his next solo project: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.

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Possibly explaining the split image of himself on his cover art, McMahon writes on his website, “What I found; I have always been two people; One in search of peace and the other in search of whatever makes my hair stand up and my heart beat faster.” Photo courtesy of anderwmcmahon.com

 

The new album “Zombies on Broadway” features 11 tracks and opens up with the sounds of New York City subways in “Zombie Intro,” which quickly leads into “Brooklyn, You’re Killing Me.” The lyrics are more spoken than sung, but the song is still catchy and fun to listen to.

If it’s not obvious from the first two tracks, “Zombies on Broadway” is based on McMahon’s experiences in New York.

“I wrote this album in the middle of a whirlwind, when the future was unclear. Isn’t it always?” writes McMahon on his website. “I found my way to the city, thinking I could settle a score with a ghost. You can’t, so I came home and rewrote the ending.”

The album’s hit-single “Fire Escape” truly gives the feel of spending a night in the big city and being in love. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure to sing and dance along to. Verses are backed up by McMahon’s piano playing, which leads up to a bass drop

and a catchy chorus utilizing his distinct voice.

“So Close” is another fun, pop song, about being on the verge of success or failure.

“So close to giving up, so close to going all the way,” sings McMahon in the chorus.

McMahon mixes up his style with country elements in “Walking in My Sleep” and slows things down with “Don’t Speak for Me (True).” On the surface of the latter song, the story seems to be about getting over a breakup, but looking deeper, it could actually be about McMahon surviving cancer.

“Every day I feel a little bit stronger than I was when I was, when I was with you,” he sings.

McMahon’s clever lyrics often utilizes similes; “You’ve got a heart like a neon sign,” he sings in “Shot Out of a Cannon,” and also metaphors, such as comparing love’s strength to a building in the song “Love and Great Buildings.”

The album closes strong with “Birthday Song,” featuring strong soaring vocals accompanied by the piano and wraps things up with more sounds from New York City.

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness is touring with alternative bands Atlas Genius and the Night Riots in the Zombies in America Tour. Catch the tour at The Fillmore in Philadelphia on April 7. More tour dates and information can be found at andrewmcmahon.com.

 

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From the editor’s desk: Online health information, abortion inaccuracies

Originally published in Issue 9, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 16, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

At this point in the semester, you’re either one of three things: about to be sick, sick or just got over it. Unfortunately, I currently fall under the “sick” category.

When I’m sick I do two things. First, I Google my symptoms and find out from WebMD that I have cancer. Then I panic and text my sister, who is an RN, and nd out that WebMD is wrong and I’m not dying.

Most likely, you also fall under the category of googling your symptoms. According to a Pew Research Center 2013 survey of online health information seeking, 77 percent start with search engines like Google or Yahoo instead of going to a health-oriented site.

This may not sound problematic, but most people do not try and decide if the sources they are looking at are credible and trustworthy. They most likely choose the first source on the page and work their way down.

Additionally, many people have confirmation biases. If they believe they have the flu, they are going to look for websites telling them they have the flu in order to confirm what they already believe.

Most people are satisfied with their searches; however, many websites contain inaccurate health information. Once a lie is told on the Internet, it tends to spread. Health information is sometimes syndicated, so it appears on multiple sites. This means they are verifying their information with multiple sources, but they have really read the material from the same syndicate on two different websites.

Information is often misleading to set certain agendas and one of these is the pro-life agenda. In December 2016, the French Senate signed a bill criminalizing the posting of misleading pro-life information online. They believe it is unlawful for sites to pose as neutral sources of information but promote anti-abortion agendas.

In the last issue the article “Pro-Life Club attends 44th March for Life in D.C.,” quoted a student who stated that having an abortion could cause their mental and physical health to suffer such as damaging reproductive organs, causing infertility and leading to emotional trauma like PTSD.

As the editor, I read every article before the issue is sent to the publisher. After reading this, I was unsure if the information was true or not and a quick Google search confirmed what the student said, or so I thought. Unfortunately, I fell into the trap of inaccurate information being falsely spread around the Internet. I’m not trying to argue for or against abortion here, but as a journalist, it is important to me that the facts are presented accurately and that lies do not spread out of control (i.e. for the hundredth time, vaccines do not cause autism).

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, abortion is a low-risk procedure. Fewer than one in 100 women have complications from an abortion performed before 14 weeks of pregnancy and up to two in 200 women after. Additionally, the risks from an abortion are less than the risks of giving birth.

Going back to abortion inaccuracies, a 2010 study “Informed or misinformed consent? Abortion policy in the United States,” found that one-third of informed consent information is inaccurate. Most states have informed consent statutes, which require that a woman seeking an abortion receive a state-authored informational packet before an abortion is performed.

Researchers found that 31 percent of the information was medically inaccurate ranging from 15 to 47 percent across states with Pennsylvania averaging to 24 percent. Most of the inaccuracies were about the first trimester of the pregnancy, and among women who have abortions, 90 percent do so in the first trimester. The patterns of inaccuracies included accelerated fetal development, especially size and weight.

Similarly, a 2014 study, “Crisis pregnancy center websites: Information, misinformation and disinformation” looked at a total of 254 websites of crisis pregnancy centers (348) referenced in state resource directories for pregnant women. A total of 203 out of 254 websites had at least one false or misleading piece of information. The most common being mental health risks, preterm birth, breast cancer and future infertility.

Now that the facts are straight, you should definitely check out The Minstrel’s new “Volunteer of the Month” section honoring students dedicated to service. There’s also an ice hockey double feature on the back page and lots of great reading in between.

Peace, love & DeSales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

DeSales alum Dom Carlineo talks “Rachel Ray Show,” coaching at Lehigh

Originally published in Issue 8, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

Alumnus Dom Carlineo ’15 and his mom Nina of Philadelphia, Pa. won the first-ever mama’s boy cookoff in a “Rachel Ray Show” episode that aired Jan. 4.

Getting on the show was a completely random process.

“A great friend of mine from pre-school through high school worked on the show after college,” says Dom. “She heard how they wanted to do this segment and were looking for a local representative. She threw my mom and I out to them on a whim and they loved our story.”

Dom has loved cooking, and eating his mom’s food, since a young age.

“The kitchen was always where everyone gathered and hung out in our home growing up. I always loved to eat and, sometime between middle school and college, wanted to learn how to cook. I would watch my mom and mentally just take notes of how she’d do things.”

To win the show, Dom and Nina made a Philly Cheesesteak with an Italian twist. The ingredients consisted of shaved steak, a fresh roll, mozzarella and provolone for the cheese, sautéed peppers, onion and garlic topped off with homemade tomato sauce.
Chef Emeril Lagasse judged the competition based on taste, presentation, originality and most importantly, love.

The competing mom and-son duo made barbeque chicken wings with a secret sauce and loaded mashed potatoes, and although competition was tough, Dom and Nina came out on top.

“I love competition so winning was the plan,” jokes Dom.

On a more serious note, he says that spending the day with his mom meant the most to him.

“I’ve always been so close with her, so to be able to do something like this on TV and to have all of our friends, family, acquaintances and literally everyone watch it and reach out to us about it, is something that I’ll never forget.”

“It’s rare right now that we both get a full day off together due to our schedules, so this was the perfect excuse,” adds Dom.

In addition to bragging rights, Dom and Nina won a mama’s boy cook-off trophy, a spa day for mom and dinner for two at a local restaurant.

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During a football game, Dom jokes with Lehigh’s senior starting linebacker who was hurt and had to sit out during the game. Photo courtesy of Lehigh

Since graduating from DeSales with a B.S. in sports and exercise science, Dom is working as a strength and conditioning coach at Lehigh University. He enjoys his job so much that he says, “so far, I haven’t worked a day in my life.”

One aspect Dom enjoys is thathe has so many different responsibilities that his days never get stale or redundant. He is responsible for programming, nutrition and scheduling for eight of Lehigh’s varsity teams, which is surprisingly only about a third of Dom’s job. He also handles administration work, equipment ordering, recruiting events and serves on a few Lehigh committees.

“I always loved the training and mental toughness aspect of sports even more so than sports themselves,” says Dom. “Once I completed my first internship at Lehigh with their strength and conditioning department, I knew what I wanted to do for my next phase in life.”

Dom works with hundreds of athletes a week, ranging from college to elementary school students counting the camps and individual sessions he runs.

“I have the opportunity to affect each one of their lives positively and that is my exact goal,” he says. “It is a very cool process to witness young people grow and develop both physically and mentally.”

Of course, DeSales played a large part in preparing Dom for where he is now. He says the two biggest lessons he learned at DeSales are ones that he heard every day. “Be who you are and be that well,” from Saint Francis de Sales and “God did not make any of us alike,” from Rev. Douglas Burns, OSFS, instructor and coordinator of sports and exercise physiology.

“Not only was it verified in our sports and exercise science curriculum, but [Burns] explained it to us throughout all aspects of life,” says Dom. “I continue to witness it constantly throughout every day life, especially with a job like mine where I work with so many people.”

As an alum, Dom hopes to stay involved with DeSales as much as he can. Currently, Dom works with DeSales sports and exercise science students who are interning at Lehigh and he also trains the DeSales’ men’s lacrosse team.

As most students have heard, the four years at DeSales fly by.

“It’s full of lifelong friends and faculty and staff who are willing to do absolutely anything for you as long as you put forth the effort,” says Dom.

From the editor’s desk: life is waiting

Originally published in Issue 8, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

I ended last year’s letter from the editor with a quote so I feel like it’s only appropriate to come full circle and start this year’s letter with a quote too.

“As long as you live, there’s always something waiting; and even if it’s bad, and you know it’s bad, what can you do? You can’t stop living.”—Truman Capote, “In Cold Blood”

I love this quote because I think it’s perfect for entering 2017. There is so much waiting for us this year. We will learn, laugh, cry, love, make mistakes, try new things, meet new people, discover ourselves, have good days and have bad days.

Whatever is waiting for us, it’s there. It’s waiting. You have to keep living and taking chances. There’s no one who doesn’t experience hurt and pain in the world, so do your best to make each day brighter for yourself and others.

One thing that has already been affecting everyone this year is the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Most of the country has accepted the fact that he is our president; however, citizens aren’t sitting back and waiting to see what happens. On Trump’s rst full day in office, an estimated 2.5 million people united together at women’s marches in the nation’s capital and cities around the world.

Many are already infuriated that pages on the official White House website, whitehouse.gov, have been disappearing. Some of the pages include those on climate change, civil rights, health care and LGBT rights. It is important that America does not move backwards on these issues and citizens have a greater responsibility now than ever to be informed.

A lot of people have strong views for or against Obamacare with many believing Obamacare is better than the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vice versa. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” recreated a 2013-segment where he asked people on the street which they preferred. Four years and a lot of media coverage later, people do not realize Obamacare is the nickname for ACA.

While funny, the video is also horrifying, specifically because the reason most people gave for not liking Obamacare was because they don’t like Obama. So let’s concentrate on the facts. We can’t believe every word and fear Trump puts inside our heads because we like him and we can’t dismiss every word he says because we don’t like him. The most important thing is to continue to educate yourself on important issues.

So give 2017 a chance. There’s going to be highs and there’s going to be lows. Most of us have witnessed both already. CJ Bamert talks about his experience at the Women’s March, Jaci Wendel covers the Kraft lecture and Steve Manzo predicts the winning team of Superbowl LI.

Peace, love & DeSales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

LVAIC director of sustainability no longer employed at DeSales

Originally published in Issue 8, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

Campus Environment is no longer employing the environmental consulting services of Nick DeSalvo, director of sustainability with the Lehigh Valley Assoc. of Independent Colleges (LVAIC).

Robert Snyder, vice president of administration, finance and campus environment, made this decision in December saying that Nick was “spread too thin” by being at DeSales a third of the time and spending the other two thirds at Lafayette and Moravian.

This does not mean the campus is taking a step backwards in sustainability, though.

“It wasn’t that we were looking to eliminate [the position],” said Marc Albanese, vice president of Campus Environment. “We were looking to bring it back in house.”

Albanese says that by bringing DeSalvo’s roles in house, the program will become more comprehensive and expand by having staff members focus on specific issues.

One of the expansions is the new role of campus environment data entry, which will examine how much electricity, water and natural gas DeSales uses and compare the data to previous months to determine if the data is trending up or down.

earth2desales

Members of the Earth to DeSales picked up trash at Lake Nockamixon in October 2016 and have numerous sustainability plans for this semester. Photo courtesy of Megan Arnold

DeSalvo also served on the Campus Environmental Committee and was the advisor to Earth to DeSales, a club dedicated to sustainability. 

“Nick had so many great contacts and resources at his disposal and that was a huge part of getting the club up and running again,” said president of Earth to DeSales Megan Arnold.

DeSalvo attended all their meetings to contribute  ideas and came to a Lake Nockamixon trash clean up last semester.

“Needless to say, Nick was a huge part of the club, and a huge help to me individually. The club is really going to miss him personally and professionally,” said Arnold.

Dr. Joseph Leese, assistant professor of biology, will be replacing DeSalvo as Earth to DeSales’ advisor.

Leese was initially concerned about why DeSalvo was no longer employed. He saw the value of having DeSalvo’s communication network and knowing about the sustainable initiatives other LVAIC schools were implementing.

However, after learning Campus Environment’s plan, he said, “I do think on a practical level that having people on campus dedicated to [sustainability] makes more sense.”

Leese says that it’s all about making students aware and educated on sustainability issues. In recent years, DeSales replaced fluorescent outdoor lighting with LED lights, Gambet received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and a wildflower meadow was planted to reduce DeSales’ carbon footprint.

Leese does his part as well by occasionally riding his bicycle to work.

“When I ride to work, it saves me almost nothing on CO2 emissions, but I think it shows students I care about the next generation.”

Arnold agrees with Leese on the importance of education and aims to increase knowledge about sustainability on campus. Upcoming Earth to DeSales events include a dorm-energy competition where the dorm who uses the least energy each month receives a prize, a trip to the Nurture Nature Foundation in Easton, documentaries to raise awareness and fundraisers to get the word out about sustainability.