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Spartans on Spotify: Music Festival Vibes

Spartans on Spotify: Music Festival Vibes

It’s almost festival season! Whether it’s one day or a weekend long, not many things quite beat being outside in the summer, listening to your favorite bands and music artists live. This month we put together a playlist that features songs from artists on this summer’s most popular festival lineups!

Have a great summer, and if you are heading out to any of these festivals, stay safe!

Chiodos on stage at Warped Tour in 2013. Photo: Rene Kiss.

Chiodos on stage at Warped Tour in 2013. Photo: Rene Kiss.

1. “Burnin’ It Down” – Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean will be playing at Faster Horses in Brooklyn, Michigan. The festival is July 15-17.

2. “Good Times Roll” – Big Gigantic and GRiZ
‘Big G’ and GRiZ will both be at Summer Camp Music Festival (May 27-29) and Camp Bisco (July 14-16)

3. “Californication” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers are headlining Osheaga in Montreal, Quebec, on July 29-31.

4. “Sirens” – String Cheese Incident
If you’ve ever been to Electric Forest, you know String Cheese Incident. The group will be back playing three nights at the festival on June 23-26 in Rothbury, Michigan.

5. “High by the Beach” – Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is headlining Lollapalooza on July 28 in Chicago and Osheaga in Montreal.

6. “Native Son” – Gramatik
Gramatik will be performing with Big Gigantic and GRiZ to form “Big Grizmatik” at Summer Camp in Chillicothe, Illinois, and Camp Bisco in Mariaville Lake, New York.

7. “In The Kitchen” – Umphrey’s McGee
Umphrey’s McGee is headlining Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, and will play three nights there.

8. “You & Me” – Bassnectar
Bassnectar is headlining Summer Set Music Festival on August 14-16 in Somerset, Wisconsin. He will also be performing at Electric Forest in June.

9. “Mad at Myself” – Issues
Issues will be touring with Van’s Warped Tour from June 24 until August 13. Warped Tour will be coming to Michigan on Friday, July 22.

10. “Downtown” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are headlining Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee, on June 9-12.

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The Historical Evolution of the High Heel

What are seen as a symbol of the female population, high heels, have a very interesting backstory.

Contrary to what the majority of people know and believe, heels were originally invented for men (like so many other things). According to Roman Mars in his article “A Short History on the High Heel,” from class status to butcher shops to war, the heel played a few different roles in the lives of European men.

Wealthy men wore heels to flaunt their money to those less fortunate. Butcherers wore heels to avoid getting blood all over their shoes and pants. Soldiers wore heels on horseback so they could stand up and balance in their stirrups in order to use their guns.

High heels didn’t become something really designed for women until about the 18th century when men regarded them as impractical. After that they became highly marketed to women.

It was first in pornography that thin high heels, such as stilettos, were embraced. Later they became a big deal in fashion, like in magazines and seen on celebrities, and the epitome of femininity.

What does this tell us about our society and values?

Though it’s not very clear who invented the first high heel, the shoe has evolved through centuries and is now mainly worn by women. The big gender shift is interesting because it makes you wonder what the standards for clothing and accessories are, and who is “supposed” to wear them.

After talking with a few ladies about their heels, I have found a common theme. It seems that many women own at least five pairs. Also, to them high heels are empowering. They bring sophistication, confidence and elegance. None of the women said they wear heels to impress a man, as is a stereotypical assumption.

High heels can be a form of artistic expression. Megan Griffee a sophomore at Bethel College said, “I wear heels because they make me feel good about myself. They make my legs thinner and add some flair to my outfits.”


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Spartans on Spotify: Campus Commute Groove

Spartans on Spotify: Campus Commute Groove

Running out of songs to listen to on your daily campus commute? Whether you walk, ride your bike or take the bus, here’s a list of some jams to listen to during your trek across Michigan State University’s beautiful campus. Follow us on Spotify at TheBigGreenMSU to stay up to date with our latest playlists!

Photo courtesy of Ursula O'Connor.

Photo courtesy of Ursula O’Connor.

1. “Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles

What better song to walk to your 8 a.m. than this one?

2. “I’m Doin’ My Thing” – Gramatik

Keep doin’ your thing.

3. “Where Is The Love?” – The Black Eyed Peas

Thoughts that cross your mind when you see how angry everyone looks on their way to class.

4. “Billionaire” – Travie McCoy & Bruno Mars

The reminder of why you shouldn’t skip “CEM 141” today.

5. “Clint Eastwood” – Gorillaz

You can’t help bobbing your head to this one, even if it looks weird to those people across from you on the CATA bus.

6. “Day ‘N’ Night” – Kid Cudi

The relaxing vibes from this song will keep you (somewhat) calm when you just left Akers at 10:15 a.m., you missed the bus and your 10:20 a.m. is at Berkey.

7. “When I Come Around” – Green Day

Try and tell me that you don’t feel like you’re in a 90s punk music video when this song comes on.

8. “Shut Up and Dance” – WALK THE MOON

And now this song is stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

9. “Like Toy Soldiers” – Eminem

“Left right left we all fall down…” on the couch once we get home from a long day on campus.

10. “Ain’t It Fun” – Paramore

No, Hayley Williams, it’s not fun walking around campus all day. But, it could always be worse; you could live in Ann Arbor.

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Review: ‘Deadpool’

Review: ‘Deadpool’

It is hard to imagine a superhero movie that does not cater to the largest possible audience, a movie that has something for everyone. Yet, on Valentine’s Day, “Deadpool” was released under an R-rating with large amounts of graphic violence, a lot of nudity and a sex montage.

For some background, Deadpool, Wade Wilson, is a Marvel Comics character created in the 1990s by Rob Liefeld. Deadpool is an anti-hero who does not shy away from killing people, not just bad guys because he is a mercenary for the most part. He does work closely with the X-Men when he decides to be more heroic. However, Deadpool is most famous for his ability to realize that he is a fictional character and to talk directly to the reader or viewer. Because of this, Deadpool tends to reference pop culture and crack jokes. He also tends to be very vulgar.

The film is an almost perfect replication of the comics that the character appears in. The filmmaker and writers do not pull any punches in fully utilizing the R-rating of the film to allow the character to accurately be translated from the comic to the big screen. The dialogue is full of sexual jokes and the F-word is thrown around from the very beginning of the movie. While the movie is less than two hours in run time, the movie does not let up at all, packing as many of the jokes, winks to the audience and well-choreographed fight scenes. The pacing of the movie is especially impressive considering that there are several flashbacks during a very long fight scene.

Ryan Reynolds, who plays Deadpool, plays the character perfectly. His comedic timing as the character is amazing throughout the entire movie. He captures the fourth wall-breaking (he talks directly to the audience), near-insanity of the character perfectly, which allows for him to commit murders and still have us root for him. His love for the character shines through his portrayal of the character, and he lights up every scene that he is in, even before he has the red suit on.

The other performances in the movie are okay, the only other performance of note was from Morena Baccarin, who will be a familiar face to the fans of “Firefly.” In the movie, she plays the love interest of Wade Wilson, Vanessa. But instead of being a damsel in distress, though she does get kidnapped, she puts up a fight for the record. The best thing about Baccarin in the film is the chemistry that she has with Reynolds. In fact, with a movie about a character who kills people and is completely insane, Baccarin’s presence in the film allows for an honestly touching love sub-plot.

Surprisingly, “Deadpool” is not only one the funniest movies to come out in a long time, but in an hour and forty minutes it became one of the best superhero movies that has been released. The comedy, action and even the romance make the movie completely enjoyable. Just don’t bring your kids.

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Spartan’s on Spotify: Spring Break Road Trippin’ Tunes

Spartan’s on Spotify: Spring Break Road Trippin’ Tunes

Photo via Rene Kiss.

Photo via Rene Kiss.

Driving to your spring break destination and you’ve run out of songs to add to your road trip playlist? The Big Green compiled a list of road trippin’ songs just for you. We even added a few extra so you’ve got tunes for miles!

1. “Wake Me Up” – Avicii

For the people who plan on sleeping the whole way to the destination.

2. “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down” – Fall Out Boy

Okay let’s be real: who doesn’t sing this song as loudly as possible?

3. “Dani California” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ low-tempo vibes are perfect for riding in the car, especially on a sunny day!

4. “Jumper” – Third Eye Blind

And I bet you still know all the lyrics to this one!

5. “Roses” – The Chainsmokers

Featuring Elizabeth Roze Mencel, this song is number nine on Billboard’s Hot 100 as of Feb. 28.

6. “My Own Worst Enemy” – Lit

Please tell my why…we’re not there yet?

7. “Fun, Fun Fun” – The Beach Boys

‘Til your daddy takes the T-bird away.

8. “Sexual Healing” – Marvin Gaye (Kygo Remix)

Kygo released this remix in 2014 and since then, it’s gained 24.1 million listens! It’s a great feel-good song for a road trip.

9. “Good Time” – Owl City ft. Carly Rae Jepsen

You don’t even have to try…

10. “Home” – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Whether you’re driving home or not, it’s hard not to move your head to this one.

11. “A Thousand Miles” – Vanessa Carlton

Because at this point, you’ll feel like you’ve been driving that long.

12. “Life is a Highway” – Rascal Flatts

You were probably expecting this song would be on here. You were right.

13. “Young Blood” – The Naked and Famous

This song by the New Zealand indie-electronic band is a perfect song to get you through those last miles.

14. “What I Got” – Sublime

This list wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of Sublime.

15. “Under Pressure” – David Bowie and Queen

This is our last dance. You made it!

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Student and faculty opinions on the Oscars

Student and faculty opinions on the Oscars

oscarsIt’s Oscar season! Tune in this Sunday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. Get ready for sparkly Valentino gowns and black Armani suits. Will Leonardo DiCaprio finally win his Oscar? Students and faculty members of Michigan State University weigh in.

Bob Albers, senior video specialist and film enthusiast, believes “Spotlight,” the gripping drama based on a true story of Washington Post journalists digging to the bottom of a Catholic church scandal of child molesting, will win best picture this year. Albers connects personally to the issue because he grew up in a Catholic setting.

Albers said he hasn’t seen all of the movies that are nominated for categories, so it made choosing a winner difficult. For the best actor award, he said the best option is Matt Damon in his performance in “The Martian.”

“I don’t think Leonardo DiCaprio did much acting in ‘The Revenant’,” Albers said. “I think the situation the director put him in, out in the wilderness for months at a time, did the acting for him. It’s not his year.”

Albers, a documentary filmmaker himself, said the cinematography of “The Revenant” was well executed.

“It’s beautiful,” he said.

He believes that along with best picture, “Spotlight” should win the award for best directing and that Rachel McAdams (of “Spotlight”) should win best supporting actress for the film.

Freshman social work major Riann Rohn also weighed in on the nominees.

“As a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, I really believe ‘The Revenant’ is Oscar worthy. It’s his year,” Rohn said. “Also, I believe his competition isn’t as strong as it usually is.”

Rohn believes Jennifer Lawrence will receive best leading actress for “Joy.” She also comments that she believes “The Revenant” will also get Best Picture.

“I think it’s a compelling story and I think the movie was enough to substantiate the hype it received,” she said.

Who will receive an Academy Award this Sunday night? Tune in to ABC to find out!


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7 tips to get through the winter blues

7 tips to get through the winter blues

At some extent, we all know the feeling that comes around every winter, at least for those of us who dread the winter months. It can be anything from feeling depressed to tiredness and hypersensitive emotions. Not everyone will experience this, but for those who do, here are some hacks to get through the winter blues.

Photo by Morgan Smith.

Photo by Morgan Smith.

1.  Shine some light on the situation

During these cold winter months, people tend to not go outside as often, and that can lead to a deficiency in Vitamin D. Opening the blinds or sitting closer to the windows can give you enough sunshine to fight the blues. There is also an invention, called a Lightbox, which sends out artificial light. Brigitt Hauck, associate editor of Real Simple, says it can be “as effective as antidepressant medication.”

2. Start a healthy diet

Eating healthy and at specific times will not only help you with the winter weight, but also with your mood. Nichole Nichols, fitness instructor and health educator, suggests to stay away from refined and processed food, and take in more carbohydrates and to keep up with the daily dose of, at least, eight cups of water.

3. Exercise

Get up and get active. It’s easy to be lazy in the warmth of your home, cuddled up in bed and watching Netflix as the snow laughs at you from outside your window. It doesn’t have to be anything complex, though. Do a simple routine that will keep you pumped up for the day. Nichols says it will give you “more energy throughout the day, and your metabolism will stay elevated too.” Healthy exercise will stabilize your body as well as your mind. Along with a healthy sleeping schedule.

4. Turn up the tunes

Finding some jams that get you pumped up is another way to get you out of the slumps. Take 30 seconds to jump up and down and belt out your favorite song. Just like exercising, it can raise your mood and energy. In a study conducted in 2013, Yuna Ferguson (who was a University of Missouri doctoral student in psychological science at the time) stated, “participants successfully improved their moods in the short term and boosted their overall happiness over a two week period”.

5. Make goals and follow through

Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions, but they are rarely followed through. A good way to keep out of the deep hole of the winter blues is to make goals and complete them. Even if they’re little things, such as “Clean up the room,” “Go for a walk,” “Complete an assignment early.” Do something that will help you feel accomplished.

6. Be social

If you live alone, get out of the house and see your friends or family. Plan a day of fun activities that will remove you from the lonely and familiar environment of your home. If you live with other people, get out of your room and do something with your family or housemates.

7. Talk to your doctor

If you are finding that you can’t cope with what the winter brings, talk to your doctor. It is commonly known as the winter blues, but the medical term is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If you think that you may have this, contact someone to be properly diagnosed. On campus, if you don’t have a doctor nearby, the Olin Health Center can be of help, and possibly be able to set you up with someone in that branch of medical science.

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Spartans on Spotify: Workout Beats

Spartans on Spotify: Workout Beats

Trying to stay true to that New Year’s resolution but sick of listening to the same songs during each workout? The Big Green compiled a playlist perfect for hitting the gym! Follow us at TheBigGreenMSU on Spotify to keep up to date with our latest themed playlists.

1. ‘Til I Collapse – Eminem

This song is sure to keep you motivated and working hard…’til you collapse.

2. Funk Party – GRiZ

This upbeat song is perfect for keeping you moving on the treadmill or elliptical.Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

3. X Gon’ Give It To Ya – DMX

Finance senior Kevin McCoy says this is his favorite song to work out to due to it’s motivational lyrics and beat.

4. Get Back – Ludacris

Spending most of your time hitting the heavy bag? This tune will put you in the zone!

5. Can’t Hold Us (ft. Ray Dalton) – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This song landed number seven on Spotify’s most popular workout songs in 2014!

6. Memories (ft. Kid Cudi) – David Guetta

This song’s high tempo makes it one of the best to run to.

7. Run It! – Chris Brown

Throwing it back to 2005 with this one!

8. All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled

This is a self-motivating, up-tempo song, which is why we’ve included it at number eight on the list!

9. Dedicated To The Service – Manic Focus

There’s no better way to wrap up your workout than by slowing it down with this Manic Focus song.

10. Invincible – Machine Gun Kelly

This slower tempo song is a perfect way to finish off a great workout!

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Review: ‘Jessica Jones’

Review: ‘Jessica Jones’

Photo via Creative Commons.

Photo via Creative Commons.

Since the superhero movie came into prominence with films such as “The Dark Knight” and “Iron Man” there has been a push to make the heroes that were once godly, more human. Give them flaws, and make the movies more gritty and realistic. Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy did that, and Marvel for the most part still made their superhero movies light-hearted, at least when compared to the Batman movies.

As more movies were made, especially by Marvel, they started to combine genres. “The Winter Soldier” was part superhero and part political thriller, but it was still family friendly. Then, Netflix teamed up with Marvel and made “Daredevil.”

Similar to the comics about the character, the “Daredevil” show was dark, gritty and met with very high praise. However, “Daredevil” was the start of something bigger: a street level hero project similar to The Avengers. The second show was released one week before Thanksgiving, called “Jessica Jones.”

“Jessica Jones,” like “Daredevil,” is very dark. However, unlike “Daredevil,” it is even more adult. This tone is because the show is about a former superhero who decides to quit the hero business because of her dark and broken past.

Jones becomes a private investigator so that she can still help people. The fact that she is a private investigator lends the series (13 episodes in all) to being part superhero and part noir. Just like the private investigators in classic film noir stories, and even some modern ones. Jones is a hard-drinking loner, who makes wise-cracks at inappropriate moments. The story begins with her taking a case that soon begins to involve the person that broke her in the past. Jones not only hides a dark past from those around her, but also suffers from PTSD, a result of her traumatic past. This plays an important role in her journey to find answers.

Krysten Ritter plays Jones. She not only excels at showing Jones’ witty, hard-drinking side, but her broken side as well. As Jones deals with the case, and the reemergence of her enemy, her past comes back to haunt her and she is forced to deal with more than she can handle. Through it all, Ritter manages to balance the tough exterior that Jones has created to hide the very broken individual.

The supporting cast of the show is not as strong as it was with “Daredevil,” but the cast is still very great. Besides Ritter, the standout performance definitely comes from “Doctor Who” alumni David Tennant.

Tennant plays Kilgrave, the villain for the season who has ties to Jones’ past. Unlike his counterpart in the comics, known as “Purple Man” who is a complete sociopath with no redeeming qualities, Tennant’s character Kilgrave is not played as someone who is completely irredeemable and fleshed out more than he is in the Alias comic series that the show is loosely based on.

The other supporting characters are portrayed with varying degrees of success. Mike Colter’s performance as Luke Cage, the next hero of Hell’s Kitchen to get a show and an important person in the life of Jones, was a disappointment, especially when he was in a scene with Ritter.

All of these things considered, Marvel hit this one out of the park. The show is full of emotion, mystery and style. With more focus on the characters and the effects that tragic events can have on a person’s life, Marvel has created a superhero show that even people who don’t like superheroes can enjoy. People who do like superheroes will enjoy the unique tone that is offered by the show.

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What to watch on Netflix: Winter Break

What to watch on Netflix: Winter Break


What has no stress, three weeks of free time and relaxation? Winter break. ‘Tis the season for the end of the semester. A perfect idea to enjoy your time off is to watch Netflix! Here is a list of worthy movies and television shows to watch.

Action and Adventure

“Top Gun” – 4 stars, PG

  • Watch Tom Cruise balance his love life and the weight of being one of the top pilots in the military pilot jet crew.

“Django Unchained” – 5 stars, R

  • This excellent movie stars Jamie Foxx. He plays a free slave who travels across America to save his wife. Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson also star in this film.

“Kill Bill” – 4 stars, R  

  • Watch an assassin, played by Uma Thurman, place vengence on members of her assassination circle.

Romantic Comedies

“Hitch” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Will Smith plays a character that helps people have successful first dates. See how he gets a taste of his own medicine in this movie.

“Clueless” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Never seen or heard of “Clueless”? Ugh, as if! Watch this classic romantic comedy from the ‘90s.

“Moonrise Kingdom” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Enjoy this cute movie about two 12-year-olds who runaway in love together.


“Rocky” – 4 stars, PG

  • If you have never seen this underdog classic, take the time to watch it. Keep count of how many famous references you notice!

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – 4 stars, PG

  • Audrey Hepburn stars in this witty and classical movie from the ‘60s.


“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • See all the activities that Ferris Bueller can get into in just one day of skipping school in this classic ‘80s movie.

“Coyote Ugly” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Get a glimpse of what it’s like to make it work in a bar in New York City.


“Silver Linings Playbook” – 4.5 stars, R

  • This Academy Award nominated movie stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  

“Pulp Fiction” – 4 stars, R

  • This film directed by Quentin Tarantino stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman.


“Blackfish” – 5 stars, PG-13

  • Warning: if you love Sea World, do not watch this documentary film.

Romantic Dramas

“Beyond the Lights” – 4.5 stars, PG-13

  • Watch this movie about a star who is under the pressure of fame. Can someone save her from this pressure?

“The Best of Me” – 4.5 stars, PG-13

  • This movie is a tearjerker, so make sure to have tissues and ice cream by your side while watching.


“The Loft” – 3 stars, R  

  • Try to solve the mystery between five friends and their love affairs in this movie.

Holiday Favorites

“Christmas with the Kranks” – 3 stars, PG

  • Watch this movie about a family who tries to skip out on Christmas. That is, if their neighbors and friends let them!

“12 Dates of Christmas” – 3 stars, TV-PG

  • Wouldn’t you love the chance to retry anything until you get it right? Watch how a character in this movie gets that opportunity.

“The Mistle-Tones” – 3 stars, TV-PG

  • This Christmas movie is a musical. Be sure to warm up your vocal chords before watching!

“Bad Santa” – 2.5 stars, R

  • Santa is on the naughty list in this movie.

“A Christmas Carol” – 4.5 stars, G

  • This movie is a classic Christmas film that is perfect to watch during the holiday season.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” – 4 stars, PG

  • This is a movie that can be watched twice a year during two holidays. Is it meant for Christmas or Halloween? The more, the merrier!

“The Legend of Frosty the Snowman” – 2.5 stars, TV-G

  • This movie is always a childhood favorite. Watch this to bring back those cherished memories.

“Love Actually” – 4 stars, R

  • This romantic Christmas movie features multiple different love stories.

TV Shows

“Friends” – 5 stars, TV-14

  • Kick back and watch this smash hit sitcom with some friends for a great time.

“New Girl” – almost 5 stars, TV-14

  • If you need a good laugh, “New Girl” is the show for you to watch. The dorky character Jess is played by Zooey Deschanel.

“The Walking Dead” – 5 stars, TV-MA

  • Watch this TV show based off of comic books about survivors in a zombie apocalypse.

“Orange is the New Black” – 5 stars, TV-MA

  • This Netflix original series gives a look into life in prison. Interestingly enough, it is based on true events.

“Dexter” – 5 stars, TV-MA

  • This show follows a serial killer who only aims to kill other murderers.


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