All posts by Alanna McAuliffe

Alanna is a twenty year old New Yorker studying journalism and political science. Even though she is technically an adult, she owns an inordinate number of socks with tiny pictures of cats on them. She is strangely okay with this. She’s a collector of odd facts and figures and a proponent of quirks, oddities, and eccentricities. Powered by caffeine and an inability to sit still, her hobbies include reading, writing, manically playing air guitar while belting out off-key renditions of classic rock songs, and penning slightly awkward, self-deprecating biographies in third-person.

Artists in the Army: An Interview with Dash|Ten

Combine a dash of nineties grunge with a punch of pop then scour off the sheen of post-production trickery. What you’re left with is the organic, straight-from-the-garage power-prog trio Dash|Ten, who released their self-titled debut album this past week.

The band consists of bassist and vocalist Corrin Campbell, guitarist Steve Ebert, and drummer Pete Greenberg. We had a chance to catch up with them and talk about their latest release, their military beginnings, and their upcoming stint on Van’s Warped Tour.

The Daily Slice: Can you tell us a little bit about where you’re from?

Dash|Ten: We are based out of Louisville, KY, though we are kind of from everywhere because we’re in the Army. It’s funny, though, because we’re all mid-western kids originally, so we have a bit of common ground there. We all moved south to get to warmer climates!  Continue reading Artists in the Army: An Interview with Dash|Ten

Black Panther: The Hero We Need (And Deserve)

In June of 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson and a panel of community leaders, activists, and politicians gathered at the White House Conference on Civil Rights, shortly after the promise of equality was supposedly ensured by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In the wake of these legislative motions, it quickly became evident that it was no less dangerous to be an individual of color in the United States as the racial tensions that were supposedly ameliorated by these measures were more evident than ever. Four days after the conference, Civil Rights activist James Meredith began a protest walk that would take him and a group of his peers from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi, a tour of black men defiantly walking across the landscape that represented a historical hotbed of violence, discrimination, and prejudice. On the second day of this march, Meredith was shot by a white supremacist and it became clear that while white politicians proclaimed the dawn of a new era, burning crosses scorched picket fences and sodden earth while racial epithets hung in the stale southern air.

That same summer, the first black superhero in mainstream canon was introduced as the Black Panther hit the pages of Fantastic Four #52. And this past Friday, in an era no less rocked by institutionalized discrimination, ingrained prejudices, and longstanding bias, the hero hit the big screen for the first time as the stand-out star of Marvel’s latest blockbuster Captain America: Civil War.

Continue reading Black Panther: The Hero We Need (And Deserve)

Andrew Jackson Jihad Shares New Name, New Track

In a statement published yesterday, folk-punk quintet Andrew Jackson Jihad announced that the band would be permanently changing their name to AJJ, an abbreviation that fans of the group have been using since their early days on the scene. A politically conscious group, AJJ attributed the name change, twelve years in the making, to an increased sensitivity and understanding about the implications of their referential choices.  Continue reading Andrew Jackson Jihad Shares New Name, New Track

Silver Linings Playlist: Auditory Remedies to Battle the Darkness

Last night, it snowed for the first time in New York all winter. It was absolutely frigid. (Note that my perception of this may be affected by the fact that I was wearing a summer dress without tights as I ran weekly errands. Because I am an idiot with no foresight.) The sky was this incredibly dismal grey color, deep and gloomy. If a vibrant sunset is a work of art, oil on canvas, this sky was the murky, opaque water left behind after the brushes are washed between colors. It made a jarring contrast with the ivory falling fast, coating the ground with a thin layer of icy down, shockingly white in a black-and-grey landscape.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about grey areas. Not so much the uncertainty or the vagueness that the colloquialism implies, but the grey areas in which we contain ourselves, hearts heavy and heads buzzing, the moments in which our lives are so consumed by violent darkness and weariness that even the brightest moments are covered by a thin layer of ash. The greyness can be dusky, a storm cloud hanging over the sun, preventing any lightness from breaking through, or it can be leaden, like your lungs are suddenly filling with cement, you, human pavement, footprints left by those who couldn’t wait for the concrete to settle. But either way, the greyness reduces you to a silent film, the color drained from your cheeks, your eyes dull and tired.  Continue reading Silver Linings Playlist: Auditory Remedies to Battle the Darkness

From One Alien to Another: Remembering David Bowie

When I was thirteen, I made a MySpace account. It was a clandestine affair, a hush-hush site kept secret from my folks that made me feel grown-up, hip, cool. In actuality, I spent the entirety of my time on this social media platform avoiding the “social” aspect all together; I was more into altering the design of my page, which became near habitual. I changed my profile song like the weather, flitting from Sonic Youth to Britney Spears depending on whether or not I ate lunch alone that day, a barometer of loneliness or disconnection or youthful exuberance, all the swinging emotions that accompany being a newly minted teenager with a cowlick and a Beanie Baby collection. My mood statuses were always vague, hinting at angst, self-indulgent little nothings, passive aggressive and purposeless.

The one thing that rarely changed was my bio. At any given moment, a friend could scroll through my page and read the phrase, “When words fail, music speaks.” And though I certainly have outgrown tYp3in liek dis for some sort of quasi-cute effect or idolizing Hello Kitty and Jeffree Star as if they were deities, those five words still ring true, echoing in the hollows of my heart. For me, there has always been a visceral connection to music, as if my veins had been rewired and hooked to an internal stereo, my brain driven by beats and echoes, lyrics sprawled on skin with Sharpie seeping through my pores and into my blood.

Continue reading From One Alien to Another: Remembering David Bowie