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POP INTERVIEW: Singer/Songwriter Carter Beckworth Wants to “Lead the Resurgence”

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Meeting Carter Beckworth at lunch, I realized through the course of the interview he was unique. He is an artist you haven’t heard of whom you probably will hear a lot about when history looks back at his songs. He himself sums his style up, “Aside from the Black Keys, who plays rock ‘n’ roll that’s popular today? The most recent band before them was probably Kings of Leon. The reason it’s hard to classify my music for me is because it’s meant for a mainstream audience, but its not riding the coattails of anything that’s currently breaking ground or any kind of scene that currently exists. It’s more my music has a unique personality to it. I could see it sort of changing the landscape.”

“There’s a song called ‘Terrified’ on my first solo-album (There is also a version on the Baker Hotel album). I remember writing that song when I was 19 in the bedroom of my first apartment, in Oxford, Mississippi and thinking ‘That is a good song!’ I’ve always believed that the best songs almost write themselves. Songs that are written in one sitting tend have a sound that is both cohesive and Satisfied. ‘Let’s Just Dance’ (from the new album) is another one that was written that way. So is ‘Humble Heart,'” says the man whose songs have been on the soundtracks of several indie films.

carter beckworth

An English major at the University of Texas at Austin, Carter Beckworth learned that once acquired, strong writing skills apply to anything, including song. “Language was the one subject in which I excelled in school, so naturally I got more excited about it than the other required classes. More than anything, I think it facilitated the space and time for me to practice writing. I am fortunate in that I have always knew that I wanted to write, so studying literature and creative writing just provided me with more incentives,” he said.

“”I’ve lived a lot of places. I’ve lived in Mississippi and Alaska in addition to Texas. I used a fishing guide in Alaska. I would play for guests at the lodge I worked at. I guess I started playing in high school, in seventh grade, but I started playing professionally while I was in college in Mississippi. Which is where I lived when I putout my first album in 2007.”

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His arrival in Austin was preceded by tragedy. “When I was 20. I got stabbed.”

“It was a catalyst. I had been playing shows in Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia for the college crowd. I’m kind of a hippie at heart, and the Deep South wasn’t a conducive environment for my style of art. That incident sort of, it sounds cliched to say it, it put everything in perspective, but it made me realize I knew I always wanted to live in Austin. I first started coming here in high school. I knew I wanted to play music. It was a wake up call of sorts. It sort of it scared me bec I thought, ‘Anything can happen. Today can be the last day of your life. If you’re not doing what you want to do right now, you better have a good reason. I transferred to St. Edward’s University for a year and ended up finishing my degree at UT Austin.” His degree also included a minor in Spanish.

“From the time that I moved to Austin in 2008 until I graduated in 2010, I was playing with a band called Baker Hotel. We wee gigging full time. I was having to build my schedule and make up classes we put out two albums, played some major festivals and big shows and did a lot of tours around Texas. I started the band with two other guys that went to Ole Miss. We all relocated to Austin except our drummer. We still play shows every once in a while, but everybody got involved with other projects. I released two of my own albums and have done several tours across the country as a deal with the cellist and Steve Bernal. He and I play a lot together as a duo and when we do full band shows, he’ll play electric bass.”

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For women, there’s nothing like a guy singing love songs with his guitar. “Girls in particular can relate to my music because it’s really sensitive, I think, often vulnerable. More than anything, it’s relatable and a lot of times, it’s easier for girls to champion a new artist or song and get behind something they like and want to share it, whereas men, while they might relate to it just as much, if it’s not necessarily their favorite style of music, they’ll be less likely to listen to just the lyrics unless it’s their particular taste. They’re not gonna be as easily persuaded to listen to some guy singing the song. You’ve got to have the girlfriends first because then, the guys go where the girls are. Conversely, if you are playing an acoustic show that isn’t full, a middle aged man may be willing to listen to the lyrics more than teenage girls, which is one reason I love acoustic shows,” he said.

“I have changed styles of music several times. The band was a grunge rock band, while my solo stuff is still rock with a bit of a singer-songwriter element. That being said, I would never change the subject matter. As you grow and change, your outlook on the world changes and your approach to your craft changes and therefore, your style changes with it. As long as I’m able to record my own material, I don’t think I’m in danger of drastically altering my sound, and I also think I’m past the point of being someone else. I’m not a Michael Bublé, I’m a songwriter. I’m not like frank Sinatra where I have this whole act and this image. My art and my live show is about the lyrics in the songs I have written. Plus being a live performer from Texas, if that [traditional country music] were a possibility, I would’ve started playing straight up honky tonk music a long time ago. I would’ve brought in a fiddle player and started singing about dirt roads and beer. It would’ve been a lot easier out of Austin.

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“The people in the country scene I have written e it’s are more Americana artists. Some of my favorite songwriters could be classified as country songwriters, but I liked them because of their songs, not their style of music, so the writers I sought to write with are people whose subject matter is more thoughtful and deeper than your average country song. Some of my favorite country writers are guys you’ve never heard of who have written songs you have heard of. Most of the country artists I’ve collaborated with are songwriters that write for other people more than doing their own live shows. While I was born and raised in Texas, I can’t related to dumbing down the subject matter to be a pop country artist. I play a rock and roll, Americana, folk music. Whatever you want to call it, but by the subject matter and lyrics alone, there’s nothing country about it. I think Keith Urban could record one of my songs, and it could be a country smash hit. When you listen to my new album you’re gonna hear more rock. Kid Rock has done a lot of stuff I would call Americana, a lot of people would call country. It’s Southern rock.”

In the end, he says, “I’m not out to define a new genre. I just think my music has something to offer the music listening world that there isn’t a whole lot out there. I’m not putting out music that sounds like any popular music, and that’s not to say it doesn’t sound like any pop music in general, but I do feel like with all the the tech and club music, the resurgence in organic rock music is inevitable. I would like to be one of the people that leads that resurgence.”

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Can’t Go Out? Here’s Six Ways You Can See The World Right From Your Very Own Home

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Turns out there are plenty of ways to beat the boredom blues!

Countries around the world are being asked to practice social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. Most businesses, attractions, theaters and museums have been closed down to help prevent the spread of the virus. Just last night here in the U.S., it was announced that the self-quarantine guidelines are to remain in place until April 30th of this year. Another month at home doesn’t have to mean another month of carb-loading and channel flipping though! There are actually quite a few ways to keep your brain stimulated during these unprecedented, sedentary times. Below you will find six ways to experience the world from your very own house…and don’t worry, I wouldn’t put anything on this list that would require changing out of your comfy sweats.

Virtually experience the happiest place on Earth.

Safe to say we can all use a little happiness during these troubling times so why not turn to the home of happiness itself, DisneyWorld. YouTube channel, Virtual Disney World, offers dozens of 360 degree videos that allow you to virtually experience DisneyWorld attractions, shows, hotels, monorails, trains, boats, park areas and more. These videos are fully immersive meaning you simply pan your VR-headset, phone or tablet in any direction to experience all of the excitement happening around you. Now, you can relive the magic you’ve loved your whole life anytime from anywhere! *Giant turkey leg smell not included….unless you’re actually cooking turkey legs while watching these videos, in which case I applaud your commitment.

Tour a national park on Google Earth.

Take a hike…well sort of. Hiking is a fun activity that can be done alone or with very few others, remember we are in socially distant times, but making your way to a trail might be a challenge these days. Public transportation schedules have been drastically altered and even if they weren’t, a crowded train or a bus just sounds like the breeding ground for some heinous germs right now. You could try to carpool but again…germs! You can avoid any viral risk by simply checking out one of the 30+ virtual hikes on Google Earth. Last year, Google Earth released virtual tours of some of the most beautiful parks in the country. Grand Canyon National Park, Redwood National Park, Everglades National Park and so many others are featured in this exciting experience. On your “hike” you will see some of the most breathtaking trails and views these parks have to offer. Best part? You don’t need bug spray.

Google Earth

Check out some of NYC’s finest street art.

It’s hard to feel particularly cultured when you’re wiping the crumbs from your second lunch off your overly worn pajamas. With that being said, we should not let our love for the arts fade like our flannels have. Instead, check out some of New York’s coolest street art via Google Arts and Culture. Their online experience 9 Amazing Street Art Murals In New York provides a fully immersive, virtual tour of some amazing art. In this tour you will see stunning artwork from prolific artists such as Eduardo Kobra, Keith Haring, Banksy and more. No need for a MetroCard to see these murals which is great because now you can put that $2.75 towards your next Seamless order.

Sing along while streaming your favorite Broadway shows.

Broadway has taught us all how defy gravity but now it’s helping us defy boredom too! Theater has been the perfect vehicle for escapism since it’s inception and now you can escape without even leaving your home! BroadwayHD is a streaming service that began broadcasting beloved Broadway shows back in 2015. With over 300 shows in their catalog, you can belt along to all of your favorite shows without having to worry about being escorted out of a theater. The platform is currently offering a free 7-day trial along with a very affordable $8.99/month plan. A one-year subscription is still cheaper than tickets to just one broadway show!

BroadwayHD

Virtually wander through some of the most impressive museums.

Staring at the same four walls of your apartment for weeks on end definitely won’t keep your mind stimulated, trust me I know. Combat the brain laze by learning about some of the world’s most fascinating arts and histories. Many of the world’s finest museums are offering virtual tours that provide users with a fully immersive experience. Never made it to that dream trip to Paris? Tour the Lourve from your couch! Embarrassed by how out of breath you were when you finally climbed all of those stairs getting into The Met? Skip the stairs and see it all online! Never perfected that English accent? That’s ok, no one will hear you on this virtual tour of The National Gallery in London! There are dozens of museums providing these tours and you can find most of them through a quick internet search. I listed a few below because this is the most brain stimulation I plan on having today.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Musei Vaticani, Vatican City

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Natural History Museum, London

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Go to a house party.

NOT LITERALLY!!! We all know with the social distancing guidelines the last thing we should do is host a house party. To remedy our social urges is the new digital platform called HouseParty, which allows users to throw virtual parties with their friends. Like on many other live-streaming apps, HouseParty allows you and your friends to simultaneously FaceTime. What makes this app special, however, is its gaming feature. With HouseParty you and your friends can choose from a variety of party games to play all while maintaining a safe distance. The app is available for iOS, Android, macOS, and Chrome and is truly putting a new twist on classic pajama parties.

HouseParty Icon

Be sure to try something new today otherwise you might just go crazy. We are living in unprecedented times so we might as well try some unprecedented ways of entertaining ourselves. Stay safe out there and stay socially distant…only physically of course!

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Foodies Rejoice! You Can Build Your Breakfast With This New Lego Waffle Maker

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Kickstarter

Finally an excuse to play with your food.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but maybe it can be the most fun too? Well there is a new kitchen gadget in the works that would definitely bring creativity to your morning routine. The Building Brick Waffle Maker turns ordinary waffle batter into interlocking building blocks so you can construct your own carb castle. The waffle maker makes 14 bricks at a time so there are plenty of pieces to play with. The company behind the maker also produces construction plates that make for the perfect base for your waffle creation.

Kickstarter

If you’re hankering for a waffle brick you might have to wait just a little bit longer sadly. The maker launched on Kickstarter with a goal of raising $7,500. At the time of writing this, the Kickstarter is up to a whopping $77,000! That’s a lot of legos! According to the site, pledging $50 will get you one waffle maker, $75 will get you one waffle maker and two construction plates, $95 will get you two waffle makers, and $100 will get you one waffle maker and four construction plates – all of which will be delivered in August 2020.

Maybe it’s time to Leggo the Eggo and start making waffle creations at home!

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VIDEO: “Quarantine With Me” Is The Perfect Song For Social Distancing

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“You can put your hand in mine…once you washed it for the recommended 20 seconds time” is just the first line of this comically informative, coronavirus-themed ballad.

They say “necessity is the mother of invention.” Well, you may not have known you needed a coronavirus-themed ballad but once you hear it, your quarantine will never be the same.  David Sikabwe, a 22-year-old student at UT Austin, took to Twitter to give a little corona-concert with a charming song he wrote entitled “Quarantine With Me.” The song is oddly beautiful while still chock filled with good information about staying healthy during the global pandemic.

When speaking with Mashable, Sikabwe said the reasoning behind writing the song was sort of random:

“The song was really just a random idea I had. There are a lot of songs written about staying home with someone you care about like ‘Nothing’ by Bruno Mars an ‘Do You Wanna Do Nothing with Me’ by Lawrence. I figured that sentiment had a special significance with the looming specter of this disease.”

Hope this song helps bring some levity to your quarantine. Be sure to share with friends…FROM A SAFE DISTANCE!

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