0 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 5
Emily Hearn to bring
country-pop to The Ark
the decline of
By REBECCA GODWIN
Daily Arts Writer
Though she's still playing
below the radar, at the age of 22,
Emily Hearn has already opened
Rucker, starred Emily
in a music video
with Bill Mur- Ha rn
ray and per- Tuesday at
formed for a 8 p.m.
crowd of 15,000
Girl Scouts. The Ark
formance at The
Ark wouldn't have been possible
just four years ago if it weren't
for a bad breakup that inspired
her to begin songwriting. She
never thought the songs would
take her anywhere, but when fel-
low student-producer Trey Rose
decided to produce them into an
EP, everything changed.
"It was kind of an experimental
thing and maybe just a fun thing,"
Hearn said of her music career's
beginning. "I labeled it as some-
thing I was just doing for me; I
wasn't really thinking it was going
to be a career."
But the first few songs sparked
Hearn's creativity, and she began
writing more. Soon a passion
"By the time I released (my first
EP), I was like 'Oh my gosh, I real-
ly want to do this,' " Hearn said.
"It developed slowly but surely
into my passion and what I love
Born and raised in the South,
Hearn grew up listening to coun-
try music artists like The Dixie
Chicks and, like many children,
took piano lessons.
Her upcoming performance in Ann Arbor will be Emily Hearn's first musical tour to take on the North.
"My piano teacher was try-
ing to teach me how to read the
notes, the theory and everything
behind piano, but, for some rea-
son, I was just better at playing by
ear," Hearn said. "So I ended up
quitting piano lessons, but I kept
playing piano by just listening to
Later Hearn's interests turned
to her dad's old college guitar, on
which she had listened to him
play country songs for years. With
the help of some of his old chord
books, Hearn proceeded to teach
herself how to play.
"You can look up chord charts
to popular songs, so I would just
look up different songs and teach
myself how to play them," Hearn
said. "And after practicing, I could
play those songs and then I start-
ed writing songs from there."
Her writing abilities developed
with each new song and eventu-
ally those songs helped to create
her EP "Paper Heart" in 2010 and
then her follow-up album "Red
Balloon" in 2012.
"I think that I create pop music,
but there are elements of folk to it
and maybe a little country," Hearn
said. "But the main thing that I'm
going for is pop because it's relat-
able - the melodies are catchy
and upbeat, and so it kind of falls
into that category."
Despite the pop classification,
Hearn works hard to make sure
her lyrics are as real and genu-
ine as possible, often putting her
own experiences into some of her
"While most popular music
might not have lyrics you relate to
- it's just kind of upbeat, fun and
catchy - I think mine has the lyri-
cal elements of someone who tells
the truth about relationships and
life," Hearn said.
With her upcoming perfor-
mance, Hearn is excited to have
those lyrics listened to by unfa-
"I've mostly played in the
South in the past, and I just
decided that playing up north, if
I was going to get any opportu-
nities, I was going to take all of
them," Hearn said. "I've gotten to
play some colleges up north, and
I've gotten to play some venues in
a few different states, and relat-
ing to a crowd that doesn't have
the southern or country back-
ground was really fun and inter-
esting for me."
With a new EP coming out
this summer and with multiple
performance stops, (includ-
ing the Key West Songwriter's
Festival) Hearn has very simple
hopes for her future in music.
"I love being able to do this on
whatever level, and I hope that
I get to meet as many people as
possible and see as many cities
as possible," Hearn said. "But
I just want to be able to do this
and pay the bills, and whatever
else comes will be welcomed."
t's 10:43 p.m.: I'm like a
tourist admiring the Lean-
ing Tower of Pisa in an
empty aisle of the local Meijer.
I can feel them staring, those
pizza in tow.
a nametag -
between sags JOHNSON
on a limp
line - eyes the bulges of my
coat pockets. How many DVDs
have you got stuffed in there,
sweetie? How many have you
smuggled, darling wrongdoer?
Her suspicion is valid. After
all, Sunday inches toward Mon-
day, and here I am, some college
kid camped out in front of a
four-foot-high cardboard DVD
promotional display. The time
has come. A decision must be
To buy "Les Miserables" or
not to buy "Les Misdrables"
- that is the ... first-world prob-
lem. But a problem nonetheless.
Does anyone buy movies any-
This isn't a hypothetical
question; I'm genuinely curious.
Between Netflix, OnDemand,
local video rental houses, online
streaming and YouTube, why
drop $20 for a movie that can be
so easily accessed for free?
I was raised on a steady sup-
ply of blank discs, the titles of
movie after movie scrawled
onto the surface in permanent
marker. To burn a friend's copy
of"Donnie Darko" or "Eter-
nal Sunshine of the Spotless
Mind" was, and is, as natural as
Sure, I've sacrificed the plea-
sure of, say, holding the official
packaged product in my hands.
And who knows how many
directors' cuts I've allowed to
slide by - unwatched and unap-
preciated. What kind of person
would I be today had I not
grappled for that special edition
of "Twilight" five years ago, the
one in which a tiny strip of film
was included then admittedly
lost somewhere beneath my bed
But even that DVD purchase
remains underutilized, and I
must ask myself: Why bother?
Don't sound so surprised.
I - and every other viewer and
potential consumer - haven't
fooled the film industry. Studios
and distributors have combat-
ted our persistent apathy (and
piracy, if we're being honest) for
years, but the urgency to wring
our wallets dry has intensified
with the ever-increasing acces-
sibility of pass-along and online
content, a.k.a.free content.
Rather than coerce audiences
to theaters through notions of
artificial scarcity - if I don't
watch "Spring Breakers" right
now, I'll have to suffer months
in "Breakers"-less limbo until
its DVD release! - retailers
have begun to offer our favor-
ite titles in such a short period
of time that one may say "Les
Misdrables" hit shelves before
the movie itself had even fin-
ished. But why? To coast on
that post-Oscars buzz; to take
full advantage of Les Relevancy
before our collective cultural
memory trades in the giggling
glory of Anne Hathaway, and
we fall for J-Law all over again
(or she falls for us ... literally).
Or because Universal Pic-
tures knows that I've been
itching for a copy since Night
One, and some smart executive
thought to her or himself, "Fans
are going to get their grubby,
little hands on this film regard-
less; we might as well release
it to the masses in the hopes
that some diehard - namely
a particularly obsessive film
columnist - will gawk at the
product during her regular gro-
To buy or not to
buy... that is
Oh, how right you were,
Universal Pictures. Gawk I did.
I planted myself at the foot of
that "Les Mis" display like a
starry-eyed stalker worshipping
her idol, willing to down what-
ever Kool-Aid that cardboard
shelf had to offer. And yet ...
It wasn't enough. Andrew
Jackson remains snug in my
pocket because my earlier
doubts resurfaced: Really, why
bother? It was no secret that
I'd already attained my own
personal copy of the film for
late-night sob sessions months
ago, yet I was still drawn to the
polished packages nested (call-
ing - no, singing - my name!)
near the check-out line. To buy
or not to buy?
The last hardcopy DVD (for
which a receipt exists) that
found its way into my posses-
sion is "The Artist." It was
last year's stocking stuffer,
still yet to be opened. As much
as j'adore charming, toothy
Frenchmen, I don't think I
could've, or would've, shelled
out the cash even for the best
100-minute silent treatment of
So, at what point do we
decide that not even the most
beloved of films can persuade
us to break out the big bills?
As any media industry worker
will lament, nobody knows. But
continue to plaster the local
grocery store with the faces of
Hathaway and Hugh Jackman,
and I might just be sold.
Johnson is ballin' on a
budget. To ball with her,
Wavves laments the realities of
adulthood on honest Heights'
By ERIKA HARWOOD
Daily Arts Writer
Usually, public meltdowns
coupled with a fair share of per-
sonal woes breed self-destruc-
tion and a trip
or two to rehab.
Wavves, this Afraid of
of Heights: an Wavves
with (some- Warner Bros
and Wavves's most confident
sound to date.
At times during the past few
years, it seemed hard to really
understand what Wavves was all,
about, mostly because the group
itself had no idea. The attitude
of previous albums Wavvves
and King of the Beach was care-
less yet extremely confident for
a 20-something-year-old guy
who lived with his parents. Lit-
tered with excess noise and an "I can show
apathetic attitude, this earlier
mentality embodied that of a OK, s
generation. Who needs a job? age, ma
We're young! We can go to beach wouldn't
and skateboard and smoke weed of burge
- all at the same time! real-life
Then comes the inevitable phrenic,"
bummer. As Wavves's master- statement
mind/frontman, Nathan Wil- ber of gen
liams, told SPIN, "In general, the can relate
realness of life starts to hit you
later on. That's more prominent
on this record."
Most of those who have lis-
tened to Wavves since the band's V
inception in 2008 are most likely
beginning to feel the same "real- ret
ness of life," which makes Afraid
of Heights resonate that much a
more. The lyrics circle around
topics of paranoia, depression
and anxiety, and Williams even
labels the narration as a whole as While
"schizophrenic." album mu
you the world."
o maybe the aver- for listeners, for the most part,
turing 20-something it holds onto the surf rock sound
identify his feelings expected from Wavves. "Sail
oning adulthood and to the Sun" glistens and shim-
problems as "schizo- mers before transitioning into
but it's probably a fair a bassline which controls the
tto say that any mem- sound, after which Williams
neration Y and beyond cries, "I don't wanna / Get left
on a certain level, behind." The song has more
control than the pure "noise
rock" from past albums but is
Nathan still aggressive and catchy even
while ending with the repetition
illiam s of Williams singing, "in a grave,
in a grave, in a grave,"
urns with With song titles like "Beat Me
Up," "Everything is My Fault"
ressive LP. and "Paranoid," the catchiness of
the tracks come as a surprise but
also a godsend. Tracks filled with
sing-along-style choruses and
the heavy lyrics of the upbeat tempos keep listeners from
ay result in mild shock fully descending into deep pits of
despair as Williams wails lyrics
like "Holding a gun to my head /
So send me an angel" on "Demon
to Lean On."
Wavves also brings in indie-
rock goddess/former Beverly Hills
girl scout (if you don't remember
"Troop Beverly Hills," what are
we even doing right now?) Jenny
Lewis for the title track. Her con-
tribution isn't obtrusive - it's
helpful with maintaining the
catchiness of the album.
With all of the turmoil and
distress captured in the lyricism
throughout Afraid ofHeights, it's
probably safe to say that Wavves
is growing up. Williams's bru-
tal honesty and more controlled
sound is refreshing but also still
notably Wavves. Growing up
does suck, Nathan, but we're
pretty sure you're doing it right.
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