Buffalo based quartet Aqueous continue to impress fans with every move, playing some of the best live performances that captures the group’s unique penchant for songwriting. The band will continue to capitalize on that effect, as they just kicked off an extensive fall tour and will release a brand new album, Best In Show, next Friday October 14th.On Best In Show, the quartet expertly displays their unique ability for meticulously crafted arrangements with soulful lyrics and a dynamic musical range, while maintaining their signature dual rock guitar onslaught, anthemic choruses, melodic synth lines, and a tight rhythm section that always gets the party going. Guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist David Loss speaks to the excitement captured on Best In Show, saying, “Although Aqueous is primarily a live touring band, I feel that we all work very well in the studio environment; you can be creative in different ways and I like that the possibilities are endless. Personally, recording ‘Best In Show’ was a unique experience because I got to really explore my role on keyboards more than I ever had previously, and it was cool to challenge myself like that, and also to utilize some classic instruments to capture the sounds I was hearing just right. Ultimately, if someone had never heard Aqueous, I’d definitely give them ‘Best In Show’ because it showcases so much of what we have to offer as a band.”Each track on the four-song EP showcases a diverse and powerful side to the band’s ever-evolving sound. “I really like the song selections on this EP, they encompass the many facets of the band’s sound,” said bassist Evan McPhaden, “We touched on soul, pop, prog, dance and rock which makes for a really fun and enjoyable listen.”With Aqueous out on the road and Best In Show coming out shortly, the band has offered up a very first taste of the new release. We’re excited to offer up a stream of “Random Company,” which you can hear below.Now that rocks! Drummer Rob Houk shares his take on Best In Show, saying “As the new guy in Aqueous, I was enthralled with how much focus, dedication and care that goes into AQ’s studio process, and I couldn’t be happier or more excited with this album and to make music with such a great crew.”Guitarist Mike Gantzer says, “I’m really proud of the work we did on this project, it feels like a definitive step forward in our band’s sound, and the vibe is really great on the whole album, which I attribute to the fact that the vibe was really great while we were making it! Everyone in the band crushed their parts and stepped their game up, and I think the sound is really cohesive throughout. We had a blast and put our all into making Best In Show, and I’m psyched for people to get down with it.”Fortunately, fans can get down with Aqueous throughout the fall, as the band is touring extensively in support of Best In Show. The band will celebrate the album’s release with a two night run at their hometown Buffalo Iron Works venue, with support from BIG Something and Natalie Cressman on October 13-14 respectively. All tour and album details can be found on the band’s website, and a teaser for the album as well as the full tour schedule can be viewed below.
Issues of history and race played an important part in Annette Gordon-Reed’s young life.In the early 1960s at age 6, she enrolled in an all-white elementary school as the only black student in her first-grade class. Later, after reading biographies of Thomas Jefferson, she found herself drawn to the nation’s third president, in part because of his fascination with books, much like her own, his insatiable curiosity, and his claim to support equality even though he owned slaves.Those early experiences may have helped to inspire Gordon-Reed, now a Harvard Law School professor, to write two seminal books that have been credited with redefining the nature of scholarship on Jefferson.In 1997’s “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy,” she explored the relationship between the Revolutionary leader and his slave, the half sister of his wife, presenting a convincing case that Jefferson fathered several children with Hemings after his wife’s death. The assertions in her work were ultimately validated by DNA evidence showing that Hemings’ descendants came from Jefferson’s male line.Building on that work, Gordon-Reed authored “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” in 2008. The book won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in history, the National Book Award, and a genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation. The Pulitzer board called her book “a painstaking exploration of a sprawling multi-generation slave family that casts provocative new light on the relationship between Sally Hemings and her master, Thomas Jefferson.”During an informal talk at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study on March 10, Gordon-Reed discussed the plans for another volume of her award-winning work that will follow Sally Hemings and her descendants from 1830 through the early 20th century. Her research has taken her to Charlottesville, Va., where Sally Hemings and her extended family lived after Jefferson’s death.Exploring the history as well as the social and cultural dynamics of the Southern city, Gordon-Reed, who is also Carol Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute as well as a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said she was trying to “re-create the world of Charlottesville and the Hemingses, and to go deeper than people had done up until this point.”Much of her work has involved examining records in which census workers from the community determined a person’s race.Gordon-Reed noted that members of the Hemings family were described differently by the census, some designated as white, others as mulattos, still others as Negroes. Sally Hemings herself was listed as a free white woman in 1830, but she wasn’t legally free, said Gordon-Reed.“This family is skirting the boundaries here of race and of even freedom … Sally was never formally freed; she was informally freed by Jefferson.”With an old letter, Gordon-Reed explored the complicated dynamics between the Hemingses and the Jeffersons.Madison Hemings, one of Jefferson’s sons with Sally, did carpentry work for Jefferson’s grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph. Angry at not being paid, he wrote a testy note to Jefferson demanding the money owed for a job he had completed. The document, said Gordon-Reed, offers insight into the “tangled relationships” that continued between the Hemingses and the Jeffersons “after everything has fallen apart and is destroyed at Monticello.”“This is not simply black history, African-American history — it’s very much American history,” noted author and historian Nell Painter of Gordon-Reed’s work.
Christian Post 11 May 2013The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that it will no longer use the terms “mother” and “father” when collecting information about a student’s legal parents when those parents apply for federal student aid. Instead of using the words “mother” and “father,” the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) will use “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.” The announcement states that the changes to the 2014-2015 federal student aid form “more accurately and fairly assess students’ need for aid” and that “Gender-specific terms fail to capture income and other information from one parent when a student’s parents are in a same-sex marriage under state law but not federally recognized under the Defense of Marriage Act.”http://www.christianpost.com/news/department-of-education-to-eliminate-mother-father-from-federal-student-aid-forms-95679/