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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Meet Your New Music Writers

Eric MendesBioI was born and raised in Boston, Roxbury to be precise, and I’ve loved music since I was a small child. Hip-Hop has always influenced me; I’m always enthused to hear creative word play and imagination, especially when an artist uses these techniques in unique ways. As an only child I always found myself listening to music for hours and hours. It wasn’t until my freshman year in high school where I found another hobby that would compliment my love in music – web development/design. After attending the best middle school in the city of Boston – The J.P. Timility – I decided to attend Excel High School because of their focus on information technology. Oddly enough, the best thing to happen to me at high school wasn’t based on information technology, but rather was an internship offered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Fast forward three years later, and I’m still working at the “Fed” and I don’t see leaving anytime soon. Currently I attend the University of Massachusetts at Boston, where I’m a Beacon Ambassador Tour Guide and a member of the Student Arts & Events Council. In five years time, I should have my MBA and have my foot squarely within the business world.

Most Anticipated Album for 09

Personally, my most anticipated album for the New Year would be Lupe Fiasco’s “Everywhere”. Currently, Lupe finds himself squarely at the top of his league and his peers. His first two albums are arguably the best albums of all time, his first effort “Food & Liquor” was cosigned by the Jigga man himself, and his second album could be the best concept album of all time. Now Lupe looks to cement himself as a top tier MC with a third classic effort. While all the other major releases this year will be by proven hip-hop vets, this album will either establish the FnF capo as a legitimate threat for the crown, or it can just show that he needs more years to season. Either way, expect this album to be one of the best albums of the year.

Ben WalshBioBen Walsh was birthed onto the angel-dust-coated floors of a sleek Kenmore Square discotheque in 1974. His mother forgot that she birthed him moments after she stepped from the bathroom, as she was under the influence of fun. Ben never had human parents. Ben was raised by disco. Raised in disco. His supreme intellect and physical grace were nurtured and nourished by the Messianic bass-drum beat emanating from the likes of Larry Levan.

Where as most people lived in their houses and went to party at the discotheque, Ben lived in the discotheque. He occasionally went to what he called “parties” in friends’ houses. He would eat dinner with their family, nap in their bed, and then return to dance at the disco. Ben quickly rose to disco fame at the tender age of 11.

As disco waned, a vacuum formed in Ben’s life. He replaced it with television.

From 1986 to 2006 Ben spent his time watching television. He made three trips everyday to the Stop and Shop in Jamaica Plain to purchase bagels and Cracklin’ Oat Bran.

In 2007 Ben witnessed a television commercial for UMass Boston featuring an astronaut. Overwhelmed by the idea of traveling to space after an easy four years at UMass, Ben enrolled.

The editor in chief of Umass media, Ben Whelan, found Ben Walsh vomiting on a television in the student center so that no one else would watch it. Whelan immediately asked Walsh to become a music reviewer for The Mass Media.

Most Anticipated Album for 09

The album release in 2009 that I most anticipate is volume one of the Neil Young Archives. Call me dork. Call me a hippy. Call me out to ask me out to dinner and a movie sometime…please? (617-899-1985) Tell me I’m stuck in the past. Tell me a music reviewer shouldn’t give old archived music as his most anticipated album for the year. But goddamn, Neil Young had some talent you just don’t see today.

Volume one of the archive will be composed of 10 Blu-Ray discs of Neil Young’s unreleased material from 1963-1972. These years cover Young’s early start as a solo singer in coffee houses in Canada, to his brief career with Buffalo Springfield, to his first recordings with his famous backing band, Crazy Horse. Young chose to release his archives on Blu-Ray disc because of their superior sound quality, something about which he is notoriously obsessive.

I look forward to two things in these archives: first, intimate recordings of Neil Young singing emotionally-deep songs with unique melodies in a voice that lets listeners peer into his soul; second, raw Crazy Horse performances with drunken tempos that just can’t seem to settle down. This stuff might be a little older than what the college youth listen to today, but it’s much more real and powerful than a lot of stuff being recorded now.