Category Archives: Class projects

Student band builds fan base on campus

Written for a class. Publication date: February 14, 2017.

Albright College is one of the rare places on this earth where girls swoon over the idea of being a “hot dad,” thanks to the college’s very own Hot Dad Calendar. This is not your stereotypical calendar featuring middle-aged men with bodies of 20-year-olds posing next to white picket fences and grills. Hot Dad Calendar is a student musical group on the rise with a dedication to the “dad” motif: bold-patterned polos, khakis above the waist, and songs about angst-ridden teenagers.

The idea for Hot Dad Calendar formed when junior Savannah Peck, junior Jack Duncan, and sophomore Jordan Santiago took a music business management class together during this past fall semester. According to Santiago, their class was assigned the task of fictitiously managing a band, and the three decided to work together. “It was a concept I had in my head last semester, and once we got the assignment I knew immediately that we had to make it a real thing. ‘Hot Dad Calendar’ is actually a song title, so that’s where I got the band name from. I thought it would be hilarious,” he said.

Peck, Duncan, and Santiago each have their own extensive roots in music. Duncan, who now plays guitar for Hot Dad Calendar, has been playing guitar since he was 10. At age 12, he joined his first band and has been searching for the best one ever since. Hot Dad Calendar’s vocalist, Santiago, participated in his high school’s musical theater and choir, and practices guitar today. Both Santiago and Duncan are members of Albright’s Mane Men choir group. Peck is a self-taught guitarist and drummer; she has mostly performed as a solo act in the past, but she was a member of her high school marching band as well as a faculty band.

Here at Albright, the three students are music business majors and members of Lion Enterprises, and they have the same eclectic music tastes. “It’s a lot harder than many people think to form a band. You have to find people you agree with musically. Luckily, when we’re together it all just comes easily,” said Peck. Duncan added, “We all have the same goals, so we’re always on the same page which is so important.”

Over the past six months, Hot Dad Calendar has performed at campus events when invited by student organizations, such as ASTEP’s First Friday in January. They also hold shows at The Musty Basement, a small music venue located in the basement of the Music Affinity House. One of their biggest performances, however, took place at Lion Enterprises’ Albright Idol last semester. Peck, Duncan, and Santiago took the stage dressed in their best “dad” attire, complete with bright patterned socks paired with brown loafers and oversized button-down shirts.

Before performing their most popular indie song, “PBR Light,” Santiago ensured the crowd that “anyone can be a hot dad.” The echoes of fans shouting along the lyrics roared through MPK Chapel, and energy filled the room as soon as Duncan struck the first chord on his guitar. Hot Dad Calendar ended up winning Albright Idol that night, which earned them a recording contract with Lion Enterprises.

Junior Kaitlyn Kirkpatrick attended Albright Idol solely because Hot Dad Calendar would be there. “I just love how confident they are on stage. You can tell that they know what they’re doing and that they love every second of performing, and that energy circulates to everyone in the audience.”

“Albright Idol was definitely a different kind of performing experience for us. We were pretty nervous, but we had the comfort of each other to get us through it. It was more of putting on a performance and less of just playing the music,” said Peck and Duncan.

The trio cannot stress enough how important it is to have a good attitude towards performing. “You have to really be into it and have good energy,” said Duncan. “Crowd involvement and reactions is such an important factor. We really love to build the confidence in our fans, so I always tell people that they’re hot dads, too,” added Santiago.

Recently, Hot Dad Calendar has been working to record a demo of their first single, “PBR Light.” The song tells a story from the perspective of a father reminiscing about times when he and his son drank PBR Light together. The son has become distant, cutting off his friends and staying in his room. “PBR Light” boasts unique lyrics, such as “Stop following porn stars on Snapchat,” which makes the song memorable and humorous.

According to Santiago, “PBR Light” and most other Hot Dad Calendar songs were created entirely by spewing random lyrics and riffs until a solid idea was formed. “Jack was writing a riff one day, and I was ad-libbing lyrics. I was kind of combining two songs. We both looked on the table across from us and saw a case of PBR Light, and it all aligned. Savannah came in and bridged the gap between the two songs, and that’s how ‘PBR Light’ came to be.”

A busy Spring semester has put Hot Dad Calendar on a bit of a hiatus. However, they will continue to record whenever possible, perform at The Musty Basement, and inspire everyone to become hot dads.

 

Advertisements

The digital age: a blessing or burden to music critics?

Final project for a communications class. I was to write a 1200-1500 word feature article on a topic of my choosing.

Publication date: December 5, 2015.

Once upon a time, you waited months for the day your favorite band released a new album. Then you waited even more until you got a chance to run to the music store and buy a copy. However, there was one group of people standing in between you and that CD−people with journalism degrees and loud opinions that needed to be shared. The most experienced of these people could make or break a musician’s career. These ruthless writers were known as the music critics.

The prominent figure Continue reading The digital age: a blessing or burden to music critics?