TUESDAY TUNES: Tyrone Wells

His soft melodies move and motivate the soul. His acoustic strums and sweetened lyrics come together for a musical treat. Music talents came easy and early for Tyrone. As early as 2nd grade Tyrone was tuning into music stations to sooth the soul. Coming from a musical background; mom on the piano, dad on the accordion, and sisters in a singing group, you could say it was in his blood. By the time high school was coming to an end Tyrone decided to drop the working act and pick up music full time.

In 2000 Wells launched his solo career, playing acoustic shows in California. In 2006 Wells signed a recording contract with Universal Records. They re-released his independent album Hold On on the internet in 2006, and released it in stores later in 2007. Wells released another solo album Remain in 2009. The first single from Remain, “More,” reached #13 on the Triple A radio charts. The second single “Sink or Swim” was used in promos for the season 6 premiere of Grey’s Anatomy.

In 2010 Wells’s EP Metal and Wood was released to the public. Along with touring, Wells participated in a benefit concert in Santa Barbara, California for Haiti survivors. In September 2010, Wells’s song “Time Of Our Lives” was used in the series finale promo for American daytime soap opera, As the World Turns, as well as The Vampire Diaries episode, Memory Lane.

On October 16, 2010, Wells was the featured musician at his alma mater, Hope International University’s, Spirit of Hope Celebrity Concert & Awards Gala in the Grand Ballroom at the Disneyland Hotel. Wells is a regular performer in San Marcos High School (Santa Barbara, California)’s benefit event for Unity Shoppe of Santa Barbara, Kids Helping Kids. He was the featured performer in the 2008 Kids Helping Kids event and opened for Mat Kearney in the 2011 Kids Helping Kids event. Both events took place in the Granada Theater in Santa Barbara, California.

Tyrone’s career hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet, but to be honest, I’m a fan of that. It makes it an even more special treat for those of us to hear him and get to share him with others. To check out more on Tyrone Wells visit his site: http://tyronewells.com/home/ or follow him on twitter: @tyronewells. Also, keep an eye out for his new album, Where We Meet, which hits the charts March 6th.

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IT’S A PANTHER STATE!

Following Saturday’s victory over in-state rival Drake, the UNI Panther’s men’s basketball team can officially crown themselves champions of the corn-filled state that we call Iowa. It is clearly evident that our Panthers are eating more corn than their in-state opponents.

I usually eat a can of corn for breakfast every morning,” claimed UNI guard Marc Sonnen. “I believe that corn makes me quicker off the dribble and also increases my ball handling abilities. Before I came to Cedar Falls for college I had no idea how much corn could help develop my game, but it’s pretty obvious that if you wanna ball for the Panthers you better get your daily corn.”

Not only are these “ballers” eating more corn, they are also bathing in it.Most athletes believe it’s to their advantage to take ice baths after a hard workout to help your muscles recover. We Panthers got ourselves a little secret- corn baths. Following a tough practice or game we’ll all get together as a team and sit in a tub filled with corn,” explained Anthony James. “I find it really soothing. The only bad thing is sometimes kernels will get in places that their not supposed to go.” Whoa, whoa, whoa, too much information King James…

Nevertheless, these corn loving Panthers are the state champions of Iowa. After starting out with a hard-fought victory against the Cyclones in Ames, the Panthers came back to the McLeod and put a whooping on the Hawkeyes. UNI defeated the Hawks by 20 points, their largest victory over the black and gold in a long period of time. It’s quite obvious that those Hawkeyes aren’t eating enough corn in Iowa City. Following their win over Drake on Saturday in Des Moines, our Panthers can let the smack talk begin.

I think it’s great that we were able to get the sweep against our in-state opponents this season, especially since it’s my senior year,” stated Johnny Moran. “But you know what isn’t great- when the Rialto doesn’t serve any corn for lunch. That really grinds my gears. I walked in there on Tuesday for lunch and couldn’t find one bowl of corn in that whole damn place! How am I supposed to go shoot lights-out at Creighton if I don’t get my daily corn?!? SMH.”

Be sure to come support your Panthers at all their remaining home games as they get into the thick of their schedule. They need your help to come out and pack the McLeod as they make another push towards a Missouri Valley Conference championship and a hopeful birth in the NCAA Tournament. We still have plenty of #PANTHERSWAG shirts in stock to help with your game day apparel! Be sure to visit our online store by following http://www.oskybrand.com/ Good luck to the Panthers the rest of the season! Eat that corn! Hail Our Corn-Loving Panthers!

TUESDAY TUNES: Never Shout Never!

Formed in Joplin, Missouri, Never Shout Never is an indie pop/acoustic band. Currently comprised of members: Christofer Drew, Taylor Macfee, Hayden Kaiser, and Caleb Denison, thats not how it all began.  Christofer Drew began making music as NeverShoutNever in September 2005. His first exposure came through the internet, where he achieved success on MySpace. Chrisopher than released The Yippee EP on July 29, 2008. On July 30, 2008 he hit the mainstream as he performed on the then popular show, Total Request Live (TRL) on MTV. After that he really took to the stage as he began tour with Hellogoodbye and Ace Enders in the fall of 2008.

After touring with them, Never Shout Never continued touring with bands such as The Scene Aesthetic, The Honorary Title, and The Bigger Lights in late February 2009 and then toured with bands such as Forever the Sickest Kids, The Cab, We the Kings,and Mercy Mercedes, among others in spring 2009 as part of The Bamboozle Roadshow.

Never Shout Never released the single titled Happy, on iTunes on March 3, 2009. The Summer EP released shortly after that on June 23, 2009. Within the time of releasing that album it was announced on that Ingle had signed to Warner Bros. Records, ending a major-label bidding war. As part of the deal, Ingle will run and make releases on his own imprint label, Loveway Records.

Never Shout Never’s debut album, What Is Love?, was produced by Butch Walker and released in January 2010. Never Shout Never’s second full length album, Harmony, was released in August of the same year. In November 2010, Never Shout Never co-headlined the Harmony Tour, where they had fans gather can foods to help those in need. As a gift to the fans, Never Shout Never and The Maine released a live split EP. As of December 21, 2010, the split EP is available for free download on Never Shout Never’s website.

The band’s hometown, Joplin, Missouri, was destroyed by a tornado on May 22, 2011. Following the destruction, Christofer began a relief fund with United Way to raise $1 million for his hometown. To raise awareness about the devastation of Joplin, Christofer took video footage of the destruction and posted it on YouTube on June 1, 2011. The video, which features the song “Time Travel”, encouraged viewers to donate to the relief of the town via his United Way fund.

Never Shout Never’s third full-length album, Time Travel was released on September 20, 2011. Never Shout Never is now on the Time Travel tour with the bands A Rocket to the Moon, Plain White T’s,Carter Hulsey and Fake Problems. To check out more on the band visit their site: http://www.nevershoutnever.com/frontpage or follow them on twitter @NSNOfficial.

MODERN MOTIVES: INFLUENCES IN TODAY’S ART

Here at OSKY, some of us hold other jobs as well as the ones within the OSKY Brand. Bryan Coons for example works for the Gallery of Art at the University of Northern Iowa. For the past 3 years he has held every position within the gallery and this past year was given an opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to curate an entire show for the gallery. (to curate is to plan the show from start to finish, coming up with a theme, artists, specific works, ext) The opportunity arose last Spring semester when Director Darrell Taylor approached Bryan and Stephanie Gonzalez and asked if this was something they would be interested in, easily, they said yes and took the reigns from there. They began making a list of artists they would like to bring to UNI and rounded the list down to 30 artists. From there came the idea of what theme they could use to wrap up a hand full of these artists together into one composite show. They had decided on Modern Motives: Influences in Today’s Art. The show is easily based around that title as each artist is an up and coming artist that uses objects or influences from today’s world, monopoly, shoes, dead presidents, and more. The artist include west coast-based emerging artists Kiel Johnson, Mike Leavitt, and Skinner as well as nationally known ceramic artists Tom Bartel and UNI alumnus Thaddeus Erdahl.
Tom Bartel received his M.F.A. in ceramics from Indiana University, Bloomington and has exhibited extensively in this country as well as China, Korea, Japan, and the Czech Republic. Bartel’s work is inspired by the human form and manifests in humorous, sometimes macabre ways.
Thaddeus Erdahl received his M.FA. from the University of Florida, Gainesville and recently completed an artist residency followed by a six-month program manager position at the prestigious Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Erdahls’s work is also figural, but as he states his sculptural surfaces are “metaphors for an emotional state.”
Kiel Johnson is an L.A.-based artist working primarily in cardboard, chipboard, and glue to make complex and whimsical representations of mechanical objects. Johnson is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach and is widely exhibited. In 2008 he received a Pollock-Krasner grant.

According to Seattle-based Mike Leavitt, his company Intuition Kitchen Productions is a “one-man company of fine craft, sculpture, portraiture, performance, education, architecture, and animation.” Leavitt has exhibited his cardboard Hip Hop shoes, pop culture action figures, and ‘Vita Vera’ game boards worldwide.

Self-taught artist Skinner maintains a studio in Sacramento, Calif. where he creates paintings, murals, and sculptures influenced by 80s pop culture, heavy metal bands, and Dungeons and Dragons. His work is shown nationally and internationally and has been published in Juxtapoz and Hi Fructose magazines. Check out this video, the work in the video is in the show, Modern Motives:

The exhibition and receptions are free and open to the public. Opening reception for Modern Motives is January 18th at 7 PM.  Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday; and noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The gallery is located at the northeast corner of Hudson Road and West 27th Street, Cedar Falls, on the main floor of the Kamerick Art Building.

TIEING THE KNOT, TWINNING & A NEW YEAR ALL WRAPPED INTO ONE

Today’s blog is on the more personal side but highlights a great weekend with great friends and the excitement of a brand new beginning for a couple that is very special to a lot of people. December 31st is usually a day set aside strictly for the celebration of the coming of a new year filled with promise and resolutions. This year it was just that and so much more. Saturday, December 31st 2011 Luke Thole and Samantha Brown exchanged vows dedicating their love for one another and their son Charlie in an amazing New Year’s Eve wedding.

4 years ago high School sweethearts Luke Thole and Samantha Brown welcomed one of the coolest little kids I have ever met, Charlie, into the world and started their own little family. These two are two of the strongest people I have ever met raising an amazing little boy while going to school and working to support themselves. There have been a lot of ups and down and challenges along the way as there are with any couple raising a child, but the love between these two ever continued to grow. This past summer they were engaged and on Saturday they were married in front of their family and friends bringing in the new year.

The ceremony was absolutely perfect. Christmas themed decorations filled the little church in Placid, Iowa as a beautiful bride was escorted down the isle by her father. Charlie was all decked out in his little tux with the big signature smile on his face the entire time. As Luke and Samantha exchanged their vows to each other you could feel the love that binds the two of them to each other and to their son Charlie. In high school Luke always claimed he would never get married and yet there he stood, one of the first from our class making the ultimate step into the grown up world. When you find an amazing woman such as Samantha, you consider yourself a very lucky man to be standing at the alter next to her.

After the ceremony the couple headed to the reception to receive congratulations from family and friends and begin the countdown to midnight. The reception was highlighted by heartwarming speeches from the best men Daniel and Rob Thole as they accepted Samantha into the Thole Family. After a very entertaining reenactment of the famous maid of honor speech in the movie ‘Bridesmaids’ by Krista Kirsch and Samantha’s sister Maria it was time to dance. Boy do those Thole’s know to dance! Luke can still out dance most anyone for a guy who has been through more than his fair share of knee surgeries. The night was perfect and as the clock struck midnight you could find the happy new couple in the middle of the dance floor with their first kiss of the new year and an exciting new beginning with one another.

The reasons for celebration don’t stop here. Along with the wedding and the new year it was also Samantha and her twin brother Austin’s 23rd birthday! What more can a girl ask for on her wedding day with all of these celebrations wrapped into one? I would like to personally congratulate Luke and Samantha on their marriage and a long future together. They currently live in Ames, Iowa where Samantha is working and Luke is beginning his journey through vet school at Iowa State. These two are the definition of a love and dedication between two people and one can only hope to find what they have. Congrats kids! I look forward to seeing Charlie continue to grow up and to see where the future will take you!

REPPIN FOR THE LADIES

Over the past few years here at the University of Northern Iowa, athletics primary focus has been football and basketball. With playoff births year after year and overthrowing a goliath in the NCAA you could see how they couldn’t be a focus for students and other Panther fans. But this year it’s time to share the spotlight. Tanya Warren enters her fifth season as the head coach of the Panthers after taking the team to new heights. The 2011 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, Warren has led the Panthers to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and the program’s first-ever regular season MVC title.

In 2010-11, she guided the Panthers to a 27-6 overall record and a 17-1 Valley record as UNI finished the conference season five games better than the second-place teams. UNI won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament for the second-straight year, earning the school’s second NCAA Tournament appearance. She coached a pair of first-team MVC all-conference selections in Lizzie Boeck and Jacqui Kalin, and Kalin was tabbed the school’s first-ever Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. Kalin was also named the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Erin Brocka earned a spot on the all-defensive team.

However, this year the team is back on track and ready to pick up where they left off. At 8-5 they have had a rough start that included some tough losses to Iowa and Iowa State but look to bounce back the remainder of the season and repeating their past success. With all the talent on this year’s team the goal is nothing less than winning the Missouri Valley Conference for the third-straight year and earning their third NCAA Tournament appearance. We here at OSKY, along with the rest of the UNI family, would like to wish the women the best of luck throughout the rest of the season! You have the entire Cedar Valley behind you supporting you all the way!

On the court these girls are all business, but when they have some free time they know how to have fun and be college students. They recently posted a YouTube video covering the LMFAO hit “Sexy and I Know It” that has become a huge sensation around campus. Check out the girls showing off their dance moves and stunning good looks in the video above! The lady Panthers next home game is on Thursday January 12 at 7pm in the McLeod Center. To continue to follow the girls remaining games and potential NCAA Tournament push visit www.unipanthers.com or find them on Facebook by searching ‘UNI Women’s Basketball’.

 

TUESDAY TUNES: The Envy Corps

The Envy Corps is an indie rock band from Ames, IA. Comprised of 4 members: Luke Pettipoole (vocals/bass), Brandon Darner (guitar), Micah Natera (synthesizer/guitar), and Scott Yoshimura (drums).

However, it wasn’t an easy road for the guys along the way. Formed in October 2001 by Luke Pettipoole, and originally included members Derek Powers on drums, Peter Bovenmyer on bass, and David Yoshimura on guitar. In 2003, the original rhythm section departed and were replaced by temporary members, while Yoshimura assumed drumming duties. This lineup proved short lived, and Powers and Bovenmyer eventually resumed their original posts, helping Pettipoole and Yoshimura place finishing touches on the band’s debut album. In late 2004, after the release of Soviet Reunion, the band was divided again. Yoshimura’s brother Scott took position behind the drumkit and former To My Surprise frontman Brandon Darner was conscripted as the new lead guitarist.
They spent 2005 working feverishly on the first fruits of the new lineup. I Will Write You Love Letters If You Tell Me To EP was self-released in April of 2006. The album brought more attention to the band and even an extended stay on the CMJ Top 200 chart, as well as an opening slot for The Killers on their fall US tour. Based on the success of the EP, the band signed with the Mercury Records imprint Vertigo. In March 2007, the Story Problem EP was released on iTunes and double 7″ in the UK, culling four tracks from Love Letters and serving as a teaser for the upcoming album. The band spent several months in 2007 working on their major label debut, Dwell, at a studio tucked away in the remote farmland of their home state, choosing then to mix the record in the London borough of Brixton. Than at the end of 2007, bassist David Yoshimura left the band and moved to Japan.
Dwell was eventually released in the UK on April 28, 2008, and digitally in the US on July 8, 2008. The band ended their relationship with Vertigo Records in late 2008, and soon thereafter added live guitarist/keyboardist Micah Natera as a permanent member. In February and March 2009, the band recorded material for a new EP entitled Kid Gloves, which was released June 9 and included the single Screen Test. In June 2010, the band began pre-production on their proper follow up. Sessions with Omaha engineer A. J. Mogis at ARC Studios resulted in a full length entitled It Culls You, which features new songs such as Make It Stop, Ms. Hospital Corners, Fools and Give It All Up.
The Envy Corps will be here in Cedar Falls, IA on January 12 at The Hub: http://thehublivemusic.com/shows.htm
To check out more on The Envy Corps visit their site: http://theenvycorps.com/ or follow them on twitter: @theenvycorps
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