Tuesday, June 13, 2017

We're Back + Perfect Gifts for the RK Fan

LONG TIME, NO BLOG! But I'm back! I graduated from high school on Saturday and now I've got a lot more time to get the blog back up and running. I'm planning the podcast, still working on those button packs, and polishing off the professional side of the blog by designing some stationary! As far as Relient K news, there are still a bunch of shirts on sale for $5 on relientk.com, so be sure to snag one if you can! Now, on to today's post...

I know buying gifts for someone can be stressful, especially when you have no idea what to get. So I've compiled this little list of things the Relient K fan in your life is sure to love.

1. Bummin' themed art. Price varies. 
Bummin' by Youu
(from Redbubble user Youu)
This really cute drawing can be made into anything from shirts to post cards, and even phone cases!

Click HERE to shop!

2. Deathbed sound wave art. $35.00 

Deathbead - Relient K Print, Canvas, or Framed Print, Christian Rock Song - Wall Art - Gift Idea
(from Etsy shop VoiceAndSound)

Click HERE to shop!

3. Air For Free bracelet. $7.50

Relient K Air For Free bracelet
(from Etsy shop shop315)

I spotted this bracelet a few months ago when I was online window shopping on Etsy. It's absolutely adorable and I hope to buy one for myself soon!

 Click HERE to shop!

4. High of 75 handwritten wall art. $10.00


 (from Etsy shop handstolearn)

Click HERE to shop!

5. Be My Escape print. $20.00
Be My Escape Print
(from Etsy shop RivyePrints)

Click HERE to shop!

I hope you found a cool gift idea! Personally, I'd love to buy each of these things. Guess I'll have to save a bit of money up!

Hopefully soon I'll have some fresh new RK news to be reporting to you all, but until then...

Don't blink
- Sarah

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Artist Spotlight: MILKK

Image may contain: 3 people
Picture from Twitter
Feel good, sad songs.

MILKK is an indie-pop trio based out of Nashville and Minneapolis. Comprised of Pat Kiloran, Jack Vondrachek, and Joel Ogelby, the three guys are no strangers to music, but their band is. They've only been around since March, but they did something that captured the attention of people from all over the world. On top of all that, MILKK already has a strong fan base despite the fact their debut song "Pacific Kiss" won't be released for another 9 days!

Yesterday I got the opportunity to sit down and have a casual chat with Pat through good 'ole Twitter.

First of all, I gotta thank you again for taking the time to do this! I'm excited to learn more about you guys and the music you make. So, how did the idea of MILKK come about?

Pat: Jack and I grew up together in MN playing in bands and working on music. After high school we went off and did our own things for awhile. I moved around to Toronto, Los Angeles, etc, and Jack built up his studio in the Twin Cities.

Then just earlier this year, after a few years of working in the industry, some circumstances came about that brought Jack and I together, discussing and working on a new project. The idea for MILKK just started as something fun we thought we could do on the side. We did not expect it to gain the support it has so quickly.

Then after playing a few gigs with him around Nashville, I met John and almost immediately knew that he was the exact right person to be a part of this band. It was just sort of obvious.

When you and Jack were in high school, did you consider music to be a hobby or did you already know that you really wanted to pursue it?  

Pat: We played in a lot of bad bands ha. I think we both knew it was what we wanted to do. I remember at 14 or 15 being very excited by the idea of making records and touring. It's been a weird twisting road since then, but it seems like things are heading in the right direction.

So technically you've both been musicians since high school. That's cool. Was there a specific person or artist that influenced that?

Pat: I don't think specifically.

I remember back then I was a big fan of bands like Green Day and Fall Out Boy. Jack was really into classical guitar and Led Zeppelin. I honestly don't know what John was into haha. But he has also been playing for a long time. We all grew up studying and working in the industry in some way.

Lastly, the one big question that's been on my mind since I found you guys...  How did you come up with the name MILKK? Why two K's?

Pat: If you want the honest answer haha. We were originally going to call it "MILK" just because we thought it would be funny, but Facebook wouldn't let us name a page that because it was such a common word. So I called Jack and asked what we should do. I randomly hit the "K" key again and looked at it. Then I told Jack "We're good. I think this will work."

It's really dumb, but it's the truth.


Click above to hear a clip of the song!

Pacific Kiss comes out May 26th, 2017, and you can pre-order the song on iTunes (which I have gladly already done).

I hope you fall in love with this band as much as I have. I look forward to seeing where they go from here, how they grow, and the day I get to see them live!

Again, I would like to thank Pat, Jack, and John for creating this amazing music, and I would also like to thank the Milkk Cartons group on Twitter! You are all so kind and I'm lucky to have met such nice people.

Find MILKK on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat: wearemilkk

Don't blink!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Local Wave + Earth Day Updates

Hello friends, welcome back to the blog! I've been a little inactive recently due massive cold, but I'm on the up and up. Hehehe.
ANYWAY, today I want to talk about two things! First up is the podcast Matt Hoopes did with The Local Wave last week, and second is the Earth Day stream the guys did a couple of days ago.

However, I do recommend you check out The Local Wave's podcast (click HERE to listen online and download). It's a little over an hour but it's really a great listen.

The thing I really loved about it is hearing some of the stories around certain events and albums (like how they were first discovered and how the AFF primary color theme was an accident).

The bit about Empty House was another great moment. It's by far one of my favorite songs from the record for the reason of perfection in the midst of imperfection, and listening to Hoopes' opinion and thoughts about the song was really great!

Now as far as Earth Day, the guys released a surprise song (you can download it for free at relientk.com) and did a livestream straight from Thiessen's porch. They played Mountaintop and Air For Free as well as the new song, then did a mini Q&A!

Some highlights from the stream (in no particular order):

• The actual vase that inspired Mountaintop (there's an actual bluebird on the vase and that missing piece)

• Matt T mentioned a solo project and Goodbye Dubai (confirming the project with Owl City's Adam Young for a second time)

• Jake Germany's rice cake shoes

• M@ ate dirt and threw some at Hoopes

• M@'s improvised lyrics to Awakening by Switchfoot: "Here we are now with a piece of toast and jam"

If you missed the stream, you might be able to find it on YouTube. I know for a fact the Instagram stream is on there somewhere.

So until next time, I'm signing off!
- Sarah

Monday, April 10, 2017

Just another fan of the freshest band

Although my main goal in this blog post is to cover the recent show at IWU, I thought since Sarah (which I’m quite grateful) offered me the mic, I could dig a bit deeper on how I feel about this band.

I first started listening to Relient K back in 2001 when Anatomy dropped and my eight-year-old ears were blessed through the walls of my brother’s room blasting the album almost every weekend when my mom would make us deep clean our rooms. I can vividly remember hearing the intense opening to the album with “Kick-Off” into the next two songs that would change how I saw/loved music. “Pressing On” was the first song where my young, ignorant and tasteless music self was shown that music could be good and have a purpose behind it. Then transitioning into “Sadies” blew my mind and the rest of the album was just golden. I didn’t realize it then, but this band and their music would have me hooked for years.

I tweeted this out a few weeks ago about how I felt Relient K was that neighborhood friend that I grew up with and spent a lot of time together, but then that friend moved and had only recently moved back into my life with a ton of new friends. I was hoping to unpack that tweet just a bit more on here if I can. RK was an integral part of me growing up, going to youth group, church camp, and as I mentioned before, deep cleaning our house. On road trips, we would put on their albums because my parents (who are really picky with music) didn’t mind it and it was all me and my siblings could agree on and sing to. Although were not the closest family out there, I’m realizing now that it sort of, for a short amount of time, brought us together. Which, I wouldn’t learn until only about a year ago, that they tend to do that: bring people together.

Their music has changed and developed in my life from the different things that I have gone through and struggled with. Some things very personal and other things a bit more superficial. However, no matter how hard I tried to NOT like them, they would always come back into my life. I didn’t have a lot of friends who knew or liked them so the only way I could jam with a friend is if I forced them to liked them (which I’m sure they did to an extent) and we would jam out together and it just felt right when we did. I felt really close to their music when I first heard them but since no one I knew at school really knew or liked them, I kind of felt embarrassed to like them. That embarrassment would unfortunately transfer over to high school, college, and even still a bit to this day. I hate that I have felt this way for so long but I’m glad that, because of the community I have found on social media, I feel less insecure and more confident in loving a band that deserves to be loved!

The first time I officially introduced myself to the Matts and Dave was back in July for the AFF album release show in Akron (on my top 3 best shows). I was pretty awkward and nervous and definitely embarrassed myself (another story for another time) and the guys weren't exactly what I expected. The Matt's personalities felt completely switched in my mind and Dave was a lot nicer than I thought he looked. After the first meeting, the next few encounters would be A LOT better and less putting-foot-in-mouthy. It's crazy to think that I have established some solid rapport with a band that has meant so much to me. I probably owe it all to my wit and trolling that Hoopes enjoys on twitter and to the great friends that I have made through the band who also had their own established relationship with them.

ANYWAY, I could say a ton more but I'm sure you're all bored from hearing my personal stories and want me to get into how IWU went so let me start:

First off, I had no idea this was a youth conference when I bought the tickets so getting there I was a bit confused on the mass amount of high schoolers. Also, since I had work till 2PM, I didn't get there till about 630PM. So a huge shout out to Kess and her family for going to every show, being there early and letting me jump in line with them! So we get into the chapel where they're gonna perform and we didn't know if they were gonna allow us to stay in front of the stage or force us to sit down so we decide to get seats close to the front and also stand in front the stage. We were all relieved they didn't make us sit down because I HATE when venues with seats do that; as I'm sure the guys do too because the energy doesn't compare. Anyway, they had a DJ playing first, then some women from the Bahamas sing a few songs, then this worship band, and then the RK. Before the guys even came out, some of us could tell that the acoustics were a bit off in the room. Regardless, the guys were still great and brought it just as they always do. Some huge changes that I felt they made to the set list in comparison to Looking for America tour was adding "Prodigal" /Doxology mix and "God"; which I'm sure had everything to do with the setting (even with that, M@ said he still felt weird playing them but also felt right).

If you have seen the guys before, you can kind of know already how the show went. They always do a stellar job, but there are obvious moments that happen that aren't the same for each shows. The main moment that sticks out to me was actually something that I shouted out. M@ was going on a small rant before playing AFF and how it's a song about motivation when he didn't want to do anything. How this motivation was what helped push him to finally finish and release the album. He said something along the lines of "So yea, this album just took a bit longer to release..." and there was a silent gap and I carpe diem the crap out of that moment and shouted "WE KNOW" and the crowd and the guys DIED. Hoopes, Dave and Jake were shaking their heads but also livid that I came at Thiessan like that. So that was my favorite moment of the night. A close second was during Candy Hearts (Which THANK YOU JAKE for always pushing them to play it AND pushing them to make similar pop punk sounding album!) when Hoopes came up to where I was standing and just shredded his guitar over me #blessed.

Now if you know how to cheat the system, you'll be able to hang with the guys post show. Tom (Bass) was the first one out so we went to talk to him first to get an update on his life and see what he thought of the show. Aside from obvious feedback and acoustic issues, he said it was a solid show. Also his intro to "Must have done something right" was SICK. Hopefully they play it again so the rest of ya'll can be blessed by that intro. Hoopes came out next and he went in for a big hug which was new but hey, no complaints. We talked for a bit about stuff, I fake apologized for the jab I made earlier at M@ and I usually take a polaroid pic with him at every show so this time I wanted to have a look from just after the moment I yelled "WE KNOW" and the face Hoopes first initially made. See below for results:

I then brought up to him that I was guest writing this blog and used my phone as a microphone to interview him about how he felt about the show that night. This is a rough cut of that transcript:

Me: How did you feel about tonight’s show?
Hoopes: I have no words. There was good energy. Although there were slight issues with audio and feedback, there were good vides. It went a lot better than I thought it was gonna be.

Well I was glad we were on the same page when it came to how we thought the show went. I also mentioned that this show felt a little extra important since it was show #20 for me since 2008 when I first saw them with Switchfoot at the Appetite for Construction tour.

After I let him go talk to other fans, Jake came out and him and I had a good talk about music, Phangs, how he first got connected with RK, and some stuff for the future. Here are a few things I got from our convo:
- The music industry is so freakin complicated and what he said made me a lot more patient for waiting new Phangs music.
- As I mentioned before, he's trying to push the guys to writing the next album as a pop-punk-candy-hearts-sound type. Which I mean, Jake was a huge influence on pushing AFF out, so THIS MIGHT HAPPEN. But M@ seems to decided everything so fingers crossed ya'll.
-There's one other main huge thing he spilled but he said it's on the DL and I don't want to break his trust or confidence, but just know it's big when it comes to the future of Phangs, Jake and Hoopes.

We were talking to Jake long enough that everyone else had left and Hoopes came over to us to talk some more. We all just stood in a circle for a bit and just talked, hung out and it was real chill. Now there's a ton of stuff that happened after that that was really cool. I won't share all the details but here's a few:
-They needed a ride to Walmart and Jake was gonna come with me, show me some new music, and even carpool karaoke with me. But he ended up going into the bus so that didn't happen. Instead Hoopes and Nolan (their photographer for the night) came with and Hoopes (as usual) just had a lot of really good insights on things. We talked a lot about the science of popularity and twenty one pilots. It's always cool to talk to him and I encourage everyone who likes RK, to really try to get to know them as people because they're really wise and have real good things to say.
With the cash that Hoopes forced me to take for the ride, we bought taco bell and it was a great way to end the adventurous night.

When it comes to these guys, you never really know what you're getting yourself into. It's always a pleasure spending time with them and I always look forward to our next weird/fun/crazy interactions. Thanks for reading and I hope you found my insights somewhat entertaining and informative. Thanks again to Sarah for offering this opportunity and I hope to get the chance to do it again in the near future.

Here are also a few pics that I took of the show:
(for those who don't follow me on social media: Jerry_thehuman  #shamelessplug)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Full Scoop: Air For Free on r/place

Few days ago I'd been posting something Air For Free related on all the blog's social media that had something to do with r/place (for those that don't know, it's a subreddit where you can place one colored tile every five minutes to create art).

My friend Nathan (AKA u/relientkfan), proposed the idea that we try to place a 7 by 15 rectangle design featuring the AFF dots somewhere on the canvas. He made a post on the Relient K subreddit and some of our friends from the Discord chat (shout out to Chris, Joe, and Ben!!) agreed to help.

The design started in an area that was held by r/edBoxes. We ended up forming a treaty with them, so we abandoned that spot and headed about eight squares north. We were above most of the red boxes, but eventually had to leave because of a "HAN_SX" design that was moving our way.

After this, the design was moved to an area above the "HAN_SX" design. We built there for almost a day, completely untouched, but then Quebec arrived. Nathan asked if they could stop covering our design, but it seemed we had found ourselves in the middle of a political battle between Canada and Quebec.

SO, to avoid that whole situation we decided to hit the road and move down south, settling above a sign that said "r/HEYYEA". At this point, things were going well. We almost had our entire boarder complete, but then we started to lose control and suddenly we were battling "the brown splotch" and r/ainbowroad. Turns out, the brown splotch was actually a shoe. Of Mappy the mouse. After some peace talks with r/heyyea and r/ainbowroad, Mappy the mouse and Rainbow Road were no longer an issue.

At this point, it was almost 5:30 AM, Monday morning. There were some rogue bots attempting to cover our design, but Nathan had a connection through r/porterrobinson who taught him how to use a bot code. He made some modifications, then sent to code to Joe and myself so all three of us could run it at once.

The next day, I kept an eye on the design. and by that afternoon r/place had ended! Thankfully the design was intact and recognizable. If Reddit ever does this again in the future, I'd love to work on a bigger design. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun and it's cool to think a part of Relient K is immortalized in this piece of internet history.

See if you can find the design below in the final canvas, or keep scrolling to see it up close!

The final canvas from r/place

Air For Free design on r/place

Lots of thanks to Joe and Nathan for helping with the bot install, and to Nathan for sending me all the screenshots and a play by play of what happened when I wasn't there! 

So, until next time (hopefully I'll have some nice new Relient K news).

Don't blink,

Monday, March 27, 2017

New Music??

Oh boy, do I have a big and exciting one today.

Most of you, if you've been keeping up with the RK social media (specifically Instagram) or talking with other fans, you'd would know the guys are being pretty sneaky about something. So, let's break it down!

The first clue we got was this:

I thought it was amazing the guys released Air For Free and The Creepier Ep...er in the same year, then they threw in Truly Madly Deeply and my mind was blown. I didn't think it could get any better, but apparently I was wrong. They're cooking up something, and I can't wait to see what it is.

Next came talk of more live music. Live 2009 is the first and so far only live Relient K album to exist, but that isn't going to be the case for too long. Live 2016 may be (and probably is) coming soon.

Finally we come to this very mysterious post.

I legit freaked out a bit over this one! I'm thinking possible B sides album or an acoustic album (although I had a dream they released a book, not even sure where that one came from), and I've seen some others talking about a deluxe version of Air For Free, but either way I'm beyond excited for this.

PLUS! Series 4 of the 7 inch vinyl sets are set to be released soon. Not exactly sure when, but I'm guessing in the next few months or so. I'm really excited about this set specifically because I think this is one where Look On Up will be making her debut. There's also the 7 inch version of Five Score, not sure when he'll be making his appearance though.

I have no idea how the guys manage to do all this stuff at once, but MAN I am excited. They're some pretty awesome dudes. #relientlove

Before I go I've got two other things I want to mention. First, if you're interested in joining a RK chat, I've got just the thing for you. Introducing: the Relient K Fans Discord! Click HERE to be directed right to the action! You'll definitely find me hanging out there!

Second, we've hit over 2000 page views since the blog's formation back in November! I was so shocked, I never expected this blog to make it past my friend circle. Thank you all so much for stopping by to check this out, it means the world. 🎉✨

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The (Near) Future of the Blog

A little bit of a sad post today, but an important one nonetheless.

First of all, let me properly introduce myself. My name is Sarah. I'm a high school student, artist, amateur photographer, and most importantly, a blogger. The whole purpose of this blog is to spread positivity; to create a place people could come to read about and celebrate a great band, and maybe make some friends in the process. The point is: I wanted it to be personal. Like a little family of sorts. And then the other day I was thinking, how is it personal when I'm hiding behind a fake name (although to my defense, Sahara is one of the best songs). So alas, now you know the real me.

Now that's out of the way, I need to inform you that the release of the podcast will be delayed to either later this year or early 2018, instead of April, like I planned. Between managing the blog, its social media accounts, and the emails, along with my personal life and quickly approaching graduation date, I just cannot manage to make the April deadline. I sincerely hope you understand.

That being said, I will continue to update the blog and its social media when I have updates for you!

If you ever want to reach out to me, or just want someone to talk to, please do. You can find me through the contact form, and all of the blog's main social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest)

Don't blink,