Opinion: All Time Low rocks The Mill and Mine

Let me take you back to 2012 when Psy’s “Gangnam Style” took over the charts, “The Avengers” movie fought its way up box office ranks and Barack Obama won re-election. At the same time, a middle school version of myself listened to a band called All Time Low. I’d heard of the band before, but this marked the time I dug deeper into the music.

After years of listening to their music, keeping up with the lives of band members and watching music videos on repeat, I scored the opportunity to attend my first All Time Low show. Better than that: I met the band Monday, April 9.

That night, the band performed at Knoxville’s The Mill and Mine alongside opening acts Dreamers and Gnash. The venue filled with longtime fans and newcomers – all there to celebrate a shared love of great music.

The Meet and Greet allowed 84 lucky fans to take a photo and talk with band members Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Zack Merrick and Rian Dawson before the show.

“Do not say something stupid,” I said to myself as I stood in line. I anxiously awaited my turn, and as I rounded the corner, I could not help but to break into a ridiculous grin.

I hugged each of the guys and told them I had listened to their music from middle school until now. They asked if I attended school in Knoxville, and I promptly cheered “Go Volunteers!”

I gladly volunteered my time to listen to their music.

All Time Low’s music, often categrorized as “pop punk,” can be compared to bands like Fall Out Boy, 5 Seconds of Summer and blink-182. Like other bands, their music evolved a great deal but continues to please fans old and new. Enduring music makes for a great band, and the opening acts sounded like they will also please crowds for years to come.

Dreamers and Gnash, both great openers, warmed up the crowd with a mix of new and old music. Both thanked All Time Low for bringing them on Part II of “The Young Renegades Tour.” Gnash’s performance his hit song “i hate u, i love you,” which peaked in the top 10 on the Billboard charts in 2016, lived up to the hype as a crowd favorite.

I never imagined I would meet a band whose music I had loved since before I turned 13-years-old, let alone stand front row for the concert. From my front row position, I immersed myself in nostalgia as the band performed hits from at least five of seven studio albums including “Somewhere in Neverland,” “Lost in Stereo” and “Dirty Laundry.”

This concert marked the first time All Time Low has played in Knoxville in the band’s 15-year history. The guys released their most recent album, “Last Young Renegade,” in mid-2017. The release came after a move from Hopeless Records to Fueled By Ramen early last year, as Alex Gaskarth mentioned in an interview with Alternative Press.

My middle school dreams came to fruition with good friends and good music. As a group, we laughed at their jokes, fittingly cried during “Therapy” and begged the band to throw guitar picks our way. The band left Knoxville after the show, continuing on with the rest of the tour. But, they left me quoting the song “Good Times.”

“I’ll hate the goodbye, but I won’t forget the good times.”

I hit an all time high.

Thanks for stopping by, All Time Low. I hope we meet again.


Featured Photo: Ainsley Kelso

Edited by Lexie Little

Opinion: 2018 Oscars Predictions

Nearly ninety years have passed since Douglas Fairbanks took the stage of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to host the first Academy Awards. “Wings” won the first best picture statue in 1929, but who will take home the Oscar this year?

Best Picture:

“The Shape of Water” produced by Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale

Although “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” took home the Golden Globe in this category, the academy’s selection typically differs from that of the Hollywood Foreign Press. “The Shape of Water” received 13 nominations, only one nod behind the record holders: “La La Land,” “All About Eve” and “Titanic.” Both “All About Eve” and “Titanic” won the Oscar for best picture. If nominations alone are any indication, “The Shape of Water” may be immortalized with a win.

Actor in a Leading Role:

Gary Oldman “Darkest Hour”

Oldman’s portrayal makes him the clear-cut favorite for this category. His performance as Winston Churchill earned him the awards for best actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes.

Actress in a Leading Role:

Frances McDormand “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

McDormand took best actress at both the SAG Awards and Golden Globes. Saoirse Ronan of “Lady Bird” sits at a close second. Ronan won the Golden Globe for Leading Actress in a Comedy or Musical. Meryl Streep, who just broke her own record for the most nominations (21), might win yet another award. However, McDormand still stands as the favorite. McDormand previously won the Oscar for her performance in “Fargo.”

Actor in a Supporting Role:

Willem Dafoe “The Florida Project”

Yet to win an Oscar, Dafoe’s moment is overdue. This category could be the only win of the night for “The Florida Project.” Perhaps the academy will look to reward the film with a Dafoe win.

Actress in a Supporting Role:

Winner: Allison Janney “I, Tonya”

Janney continually proves her consummate skill in her craft. She received the SAG Award and the Golden Globe for best supporting actress. With only one other nomination for “I, Tonya,” Janney may well chalk up a win for the biopic about figure skater Tonya Harding.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

“Call Me by Your Name” screenplay by James Ivory

Based on the novel of the same name by André Aciman, this independent film is projected to win because of its flawless transition to the screen. This film also won the SAG Award in the same category. Ivory is tied for the record of oldest man nominated for a competitive Academy Award at age 89.

Best Original Screenplay:

“Get Out” written by Jordan Peele

Peele is only the fourth African American man to be nominated in this category. A win for “Get Out” would make him the first black man to do so. This film revolutionized societal perception through parallels Peele created to show how little society has actually evolved.

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air at 8:00 p.m. this Sunday, March 4.


Featured photo: Flickr

Edited by Lexie Little

Opinion: Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ gets personal

Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, “Reputation,” was released at midnight Nov. 10, and immediately shot to number one album on the iTunes charts.

It is hard to believe that the girl who just wanted to find “A Place in the World” is the same woman 11 years later who released the pop anthem, “Look What You Made Me Do.” However, artists change their style as they grow in the music industry and Swift is no exception.

Reputation opens with already well-known “…Ready For It?” which was teased in late August. The album is full of fun pop songs that will make you want to get up and dance as well as few surprises for Swift. Songs such as “Dress” and “Delicate” show a more sensual side of the singer that has not been as prevalent in previous albums.

The album also features one hip-hop-esque collaboration between Swift and artists Future and Ed Sheeran titled “End Game.”

For fans concerned that when the “old Taylor” died, the “new Taylor” would lose her strong lyrics and love ballads, Reputation has proven them wrong. Songs such as “Getaway Car,” “Call It What You Want” and “New Year’s Day,” remind fans of music from Swift’s previous albums but with new twists.

As a singer, songwriter, phenomenal performer and cat enthusiast, Swift is always changing the game when it comes to the music industry. Between her six studio albums, an app to be released later this year, sold-out tours, hundreds of appearances in movies and on television and so much more, there is nothing that she cannot do when she puts her mind to it.

Overall, this album is sure to please any dedicated “Swiftie” and anyone interested in listening to a confident, happy, in love and powerful woman perform her most personal and revealing album to date.

Swift may believe that her reputation has never been worse, but to her loyal fans, Swift has never been better.

To purchase “Reputation,” visit iTunes, Target, Walmart or the online Taylor Swift store.

Featured image by GabboT

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Ask An Editor: Valentine’s Day Dilemma

Q: I don’t know what to get my girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. Got any tips?

A: Shopping for significant others can be tricky. Here are a few options to (hopefully) win her heart:

1. Just ask
Asking is the easiest way to find out what she wants. You may feel awkward by being so direct, but she will probably appreciate that you really want to buy something she would love.

2. Stick with the obvious
If you have been together for a while, you probably know her favorite stores and restaurants. Gift cards to these places are great, especially for college students. If her favorite band is coming to town, try to score some tickets. Favorite lotion? There’s a Bath & Body Works coupon for that.

3. Listen and observe
When you are with her, be attentive to what she says and does. If she mentions she lost her makeup blender, go to a cosmetics store and pick one up. She will be excited about the sponge, but more excited you listened. If she looks at something in a store for more than three seconds and touches it, there’s a good chance she wants it. She will be impressed you noticed. Oh, stalk Pinterest too.

4. Pick some flowers
Flowers are simple and classic. Buy a dozen of her favorites. If you don’t know her favorite flower, pick some that are her favorite color. And when in complete doubt, you can almost never go wrong with roses.

5. Do something unexpected
Okay, don’t go crazy and rent a yacht or something (unless you have the means to do so), but doing something unexpected can be really neat. Go outside the norm. Handwrite a letter. Write her a song. Put together a photo collage for her wall. Paint or build something for her. Use your strengths and wit to do something cool – something she will cherish.

I hope you find the perfect gift.

– TNJN Editor


Have a question you’d like answered? Email your question to asktnjn@aol.com and an editor will respond promptly.

Opinion: ‘This Is Us’ brings warmth to fall lineup

NBC, known for its drama series like “Parenthood” and “Friday Night Lights,” is once again investing a primetime slot on a family drama. Audiences are beginning to invest their hearts in the new show, “This Is Us,” from Dan Fogelman.  This new sweet and sour drama follows a familial story through twists of time and plot.

The story of Rebecca (Mandy Moore), husband Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and their children, “The Big Three,” has already earned a 91 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Justin Hartley (“The Young and the Restless”) makes a move from daytime television to primetime as struggling actor, Kevin, opposite Chrissy Metz (“American Horror Story: Freak Show”) as his over-weight sister, Kate. Sterling K. Brown, coming off his Emmy win for “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” brings his talents to the show as Randall, a successful businessman who has just found his biological father – a former addict who abandoned Randall at birth. Kevin, Kate and Randall share a birthday tying together a piece of their relationship.

The central plot, which will remain unrevealed here, is gradually tied together through the first two episodes, but the thread of the story is not woven in a pretty fashion. “This Is Us” manages to make the audience feel the entire emotion spectrum from uncontrollable sobs to contented sighs during the hour.

Vicki Hyman, reviewer at NJ.com said, “‘This Is Us’ is a wonderfully humane and hopeful family dramedy that should, in its first hour at least, make you laugh, cry, smile — and wince — in recognition and, best of all, it should surprise you.”

While romantics who are reminiscing on the heart-warming days of NBC past become hopeful for this new future, some critics believe the show is too much.

“It’s nice when a show’s emotional resonance is earned; but here, things begin to feel like gimmicky manipulation,” Sonia Saraiya of Variety.com wrote in her review.

The multiple storylines and varied chronology may hint that the writers are trying too hard to create a compelling plot by trying to weave this messy web of family and life. However, the story has captured audiences thus far. The journey has just begun, and no one knows where it will go or take these interesting characters.

Overall, “This Is Us” is exactly what we need this fall. With a “Gilmore Girls” reboot coming soon to Netflix, audiences already desired to reconnect with Milo Ventimiglia who played Jess on the hit show from 2001 to 2004. With the air outside getting cooler, there is no better way to find warmth than curling up and watching this new presumed hit drama.

The show moves to Tuesdays at 9 p.m. starting Oct. 11 on NBC.

Featured Image by Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Edited by Katy Hill

Opinion: UT’s ‘AG Day’ was a spirited family event

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture hosted its annual AG Day on Saturday Sept. 24 in the arena inside the Brehm Animal Science Building.

Inside was a welcoming atmosphere, with booths lining the arena floor, filled to the brim with people stopping to see what each booth had to offer.

Two booths to highlight were the Center for Renewable Carbon and the Entomology and Plant Pathology booths. The Center for Renewable Carbon was getting into the game day spirit by making orange cotton candy and rock candy. The Entomology and Plant Pathology booth had a wide range of reptiles, insects, and plants for everyone to look at and observe their uniqueness.

Kids left with smiling faces after visiting the petting zoo where they were able to pet and learn about different animals available to view from alpacas to baby chicks. However, the bouncy castles seemed to bring out the kids, with many of them shrieking with excitement and joy as they jumped and played.

“AG Day is such a great opportunity for people to come out an enjoy the day learning about agriculture. The hands on interaction with the animals was a great way for the kids to experience how beneficial agriculture is to our everyday life,” AG Day volunteer, Amber Gentry, said. “The adults were able to collaborate with industry professionals and see what all UTIA has to offer,”

From the booths to the bouncy houses, UTIA’s AG Day was truly a family affair, and is something to check out next year if you missed out on it this year.

Featured image by Emily Haskew

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo