Skill of a Gypsy King v. Power of the Bronze Bomber

By Vito Basile

Deontay Wilder (42-0-1) is statistically the greatest knockout artist ever in boxing’s heavyweight division with an 98% KO rate. The other 2% of the time, his opponent survived being in the squared circle with the Bronze Bomber. The two men that were lucky enough to get out while remaining conscious (although, I’m not sure if Fury knew where he was in that 12th round after the knockdown) were Bermane Stiverne and of course, the Gypsy King himself, Tyson Fury (29-0-1).

Until the first fight between Fury and Wilder, his only other real test was in Ortiz v Wilder 1, where Ortiz was leading the entire fight until Wilder put him away in the 10th with a right hand. Wilder is very unorthodox for a boxer; he doesn’t follow the “traditional” style of boxing, and he fights every fight like you just stepped on his Jordans in the bar or you said something disrespectful to his girlfriend. Stylistically, no one can match him as a sparring partner. Not only does the man have a brick for a right hand, but he’s proven that he’s got a chin. We saw this in the first bout with Fury when he was hit with some nice combinations that probably would’ve hurt most other fighters, but Wilder is just a wild man (pun intended). I’m already looking forward to Wilder v Fury III because I know this fight is going to be epic.

It may sound like I’m drinking the Wilder Kool-Aid, and I might be just a little, but it’s hard not to like a guy who’s so lethal with one punch that the fight can end at any time. I think Fury will come out very similar to his last fight, but I expect him to push the pace a little more and be aggressive earlier in the fight and not leave any doubt in the judges’ minds. I also believe Fury, being more aggressive, will make himself more vulnerable, and when you leave spots for a guy like Wilder, you’re going to bed a little early. Look for Wilder to throw that right a lot more this fight; he tasted blood in the first matchup and it’s going to be kind of hard not to go for that kill shot early on, which may gas him quickly, allowing Fury to take rounds with the use of his technical skill.

My Pick: Wilder finishes Fury by KO, sometime after the 5th round

Fury v. Wilder 2 – Keys to a Wilder Victory

by Vito Basile

Now that my keys to victory are out of the way for Tyson Fury, I want to focus on the champ, Deontay Wilder, and his keys to victory. In the first fight, Wilder looked so composed for a guy who’s never really fought in such a high-profile fight like the one against Fury. Sure, I get the point that for Wilder, every fight is huge, especially as the Main Event on the card, but none of the fighters that Wilder has fought hold water to the caliber of fighter Fury is. In their first bout, Wilder had a game plan, he followed it closely, and it played very well for him to the point that he was able to remain undefeated and retain his title due to the split decision.

Almost certainly, though, fans felt like they were ripped off because of the draw, especially the Fury fans. At the end of the fight, I got the sense that Wilder felt like he didn’t do enough to really win convincingly, but instead “stole” the victory away from Fury. It was evident when Bruce Buffer announced the fight was a split decision; Wilder smiled and knew that he caught a break (although I scored it 115-111 in favor of Fury) and his undefeated recorded still was intact. I think if Wilder wants to win convincingly and leave zero doubt in the minds of boxing fans that he won the first fight, there are five keys to a victory for him on Saturday:

Use the jab: As I mentioned in regard to Fury using the jab to set up his other punches, I’m saying the same for Wilder. Wilder is very dangerous when he can use his jab to set up that big powerful right hand. The jab should be his best friend on Saturday. He needs to throw it for what it’s intended: a set up punch.

Change levels: In the first fight, Wilder came out throwing jabs and other punches to the body. I thought that was a great game plan, and it could be very useful in this fight. He should show Fury different eye levels, meaning go high then low, and throw that right hand to the head and body. He needs to work Fury’s body, and neutralize the speed and movement that makes him so effective. If he can make Fury drop his hands, Wilder can drop his powerful right hand and put him down if the moment comes.

Be more aggressive and pick your shots: In the first half of the first bout, Wilder was aggressive, which is why I thought he won (besides the 9th and 12th knockdowns). He should stay on Fury, keep him honest, and follow up a combo with another combo. He needs to be aggressive, but not get too aggressive, because that’s when he starts to get sloppy. Wilder surprised me by not getting too aggressive and trying to finish the fight quickly. He picked his shots in the first half of the last fight, and it help him steal rounds from a good technical fighter.

More head and body movement: In the first match-up, Wilder stayed flat-footed a majority of the time, and I’m sure the first thing he was taught was to never stay flat-footed because a still target is an easier target than a moving one. Wilder needs to move around more, use more head movement, keep Fury from landing clean shots, and force him to make a mistake on which he can capitalize. This is usually difficult for power punchers like Wilder because they stay flat-footed to put force into their knockout punch. This is beneficial to Wilder if he just moves a little more and causes Fury to make mistakes, and it would really give Wilder an advantage. Guys like Fury love to counter punch, and there’s no better way to beat a counter puncher than with a counter punch.

Leave some in the tank for the later rounds: This can probably tie in to picking your shots, and I’m kind of contradicting myself a little because being aggressive and being more active does use energy. However, if it’s done correctly, you can be effective while also maintaining energy for the late rounds. Fury got stronger as the fight went on, and he’s a well-conditioned big man. The good news is that Wilder has already gone the distance with him once, so we know he can do it. It’s all about conservation of energy and knowing when to use energy and when not to.

Wilder already has the recipe to defeat Fury, but now he needs to clean up some areas of his game plan and put it into action. Wilder is very dangerous due to his ability to finish the fight with one punch. Fury lacks that ability, and we saw Wilder nearly put Fury away in the beginning of the 12th round. Wilder is a wild man (pun intended), and Fury, no matter his game plan, always has to account for the right hand that could finish the fight at any moment.

Fury v. Wilder 2 – Keys To a Fury Victory

by Vito Basile

December 1st, 2018 is the day that the heavyweight division in boxing was resurrected. Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury shook the boxing world in what was one of the best performances by two heavyweights since probably Klitschko v. Lewis, or any of the Klitschko brothers’ fights in the early 00s. On that night, judges scored the match a split decision draw; one had Fury winning 114-110, another had Wilder winning 115-111, and the third scored it a 113-113 draw. Re-watching the fight recently, I scored it 115-111 in favor of Wilder, but I felt that a few rounds could’ve gone either way, and could easily have changed the outcome of the fight. If it weren’t for two knockdowns by Wilder, I think the judges would have scored those rounds differently, and it might’ve been just enough to edge Wilder in the 9th and 12th rounds.

In that fight, I thought Wilder surprised most analysts. I feel like he won the majority of rounds against a very technical, and much quicker, opponent. Fury, meanwhile, looked very comfortable, with great head and body movement, and he had good control of the ring, even when he was backpedaling. With Fury v. Wilder 2 on Saturday, I’ve got five keys to victory for Fury:

Control the ring: Fury did a great job in the first fight with his ring awareness and keeping Wilder moving, preventing him from getting good angles and really landing his right hand (minus the 2 knockdowns). Fury needs to do the same thing he did in the first fight, and use his length to his advantage.

Pick up the pace: Fury is a very technical, methodical fighter, so I know saying this goes against what he does: the reason the first fight was so close was that Fury started very slow in the first half, allowing Wilder to be more aggressive and keeping him vulnerable. Fury needs to push the pace early on, avoid gassing himself out, and throw everything at Wilder to pressure him and force him to throw bad punches.

Head and body movement: This is where Fury shines and makes his opponent pay. He did an excellent job in the first fight of moving and not taking much damage from the power punches Wilder threw. The same needs to happen this fight; Fury must keep Wilder from connecting, and keep him to doing minimal damage.

Jab, jab, and more jab: Fury excelled in the first fight because he used his jab to keep his distance and set up combinations. The same thing needs to happen in this fight. He needs to establish the jab and follow it up with a hook, straight, etc. Wilder struggles against volume punchers.

Counter punching: This is something I don’t think Fury did a whole lot of in the first fight. He needs to utilize his quickness and his movement. If Fury can establish his jab, followed by his head and body movement, Wilder will have a hard time lining up his right hand, and this fight could be a lopsided affair.

If Fury can repeat the first fight and just tweak a few things, I think he can win without the controversy of a split decision, and allow the judges to determine close rounds. Fury is a great fighter who can win rounds without knockdowns, although he has enough power to put a fighter away, and he can fall back on his endurance and late round effectiveness. For his size, he’s a well-conditioned heavyweight that can wear down Wilder, much as he did in the first match-up. Fury is one of the best heavyweights in boxing, and this will be a great fight, likely setting up a third bout.

Gorillaz Change Things Up With New Audiovisual Series, “Song Machine”

by Jared Moser

Gorillaz, a band that has remained a mystery for almost 22 years, present their new project, Song Machine. Created by British musician Damon Albarn and cartoon artist Jamie Hewlett, Gorillaz are a virtual band of four animated characters: 2-D (vocals), Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar), and Russel Hobbs (drums). These four animated musicians make up the band’s faces and story-telling element through altered interviews, music videos, and virtual concert experiences. Since their self-titled debut dropped in 2001, Albarn has released many other hits under the name Gorillaz. Albums such as Demon Days in 2005 and Plastic Beach in 2010, reached sixth and second on the U.S. Billboard Hot 200.

Following the underwhelming release of their sixth record The Now Now in 2018, Gorillaz bring us a new project titled Song Machine. In an unorthodox way of releasing new music, Albarn plans to release individual audiovisual episodes consisting of a new song with a music video of sorts, implementing real video with the animated characters weaving in and out of reality. With one episode out already, and an entire season planned out, it’s exciting to see this creative way of releasing music.

Episode one, “Momentary Bliss,” featuring Slowthai and Slaves, is a single that packs more than enough Gorillaz feels into about four minutes. It begins with a smooth, melodic guitar riff, weaving in and out of the spaced out drums and gentle vocals from Albarn. It has a soothing “vibe” feel that sounds amazing, but it sadly gets cut off, and slowly transitions into a tuba-like keyboard and synth section. Slowthai, a British rapper who found his fame in 2019, raps over the ever-building chorus, which gets busier and more crowded as the song grows. When the song hits its climax, everything builds, from the keyboard, guitar, and drums to the vocals and background vocals.

As energetic as it is, nothing is leading the charge in this section of the song. Many things are lost and washed out due to the congested chorus. The drums have potential because of how punchy and crash heavy they are, but they’re buried under two or three layers of synths and guitar. This build happens once more, only to fade out into a beautiful section identical to the introduction, only this outro implements melodic piano behind the guitar, drums, and vocals.

“Momentary Bliss” isn’t flawless, but it’s enjoyable, and I would go back and listen to it on my own. Though the middle section isn’t my favorite, due to its congested chorus and length, the beginning and end carry the song for me. The rap section isn’t bad, but it could have been used in a much more impactful way. It seemed as though it’s written as a bridge section rather than the body of the song. If the intro and outro could have been the heart of the song, it would have been spectacular.

Overall, “Momentary Bliss” has production that’s decent, it’s never flat, and all the different elements of the song have depth, hearing distant background vocals and sound effects from the other fictional characters. I’m curious to hear whether this is a taste of what the rest of Song Machine will sound and feel like, or if every episode will house something special.

Check out the video for “Momentary Bliss” here (NSFW: language):

Locals On Love

love music heart headphones wallpaper

It is that lovey-dovey time of the year again! Whether you are a sucker for Valentine’s Day or think that it is just another Hallmark holiday, you cannot deny a good love song! The Chicago-land music scene has pumped out many gorgeous ballads and up-beat anthems recently with themes ranging from “I have a crush” to “I have found the one”. Struck by Cupid or not, these tunes by some of my favorite local musicians are sure to melt your heart. 

1.) “Crush”- Ava Morse 

Listening to this song, I was taken back to 7th grade where I had my first major crush. His name was Jake and his resemblance to Kurt Cobain was uncanny. “Crush” will turn the nostalgia dial all the way up! Ava does a wonderful job at explaining the special feeling that you have when you crush on someone. Listening to the song, you can practically feel all those butterflies in your stomach! It is fun, sweet, and catchy. Warning: “Crush” will be stuck in your head for several weeks after your first listen.  

2.) “Loving You”- The Darling Suns 

I can picture this song being featured in an Indie film where two people embark on a road trip to anywhere and fall in love along the way. “Loving You” makes me think of a long drive or picnic in the park with that special someone. Sadly, it is not the best time to set up a picnic in snowy Chicago right now. However, this song will warm your heart! The Darling Suns know how to write a song that pulls every last heart string and that is proven by their debut full-length album “Midnight Feelings”. My favorite lyric from this tune is: “Love like a best friend or not at all”.  

3.) “Just Kidding, It’s Trust”- Each Day 

Each Day does a fantastic job encompassing the vulnerability it takes to love and be loved in their song “Just Kidding, It’s Trust”. It is scary to be open and let people into your heart! Despite how a great amount of people can relate to this, I have not heard many songs that have this message. The soft harmonies and melodic guitars make “Just Kidding, It’s Trust” a beautiful listening experience. My favorite lyric: “You have my heart and the power to hurt me”. 

4.) “Sexy Woman”- Saltwater Tap 

Although “Sexy Woman” is not claiming to be a love song, it talks of two people who find themselves in their own little world. The line “So here we find ourselves sitting In esoteric, solitary song” makes me think of a couple who is alone in a state of mind that only they can understand. The instrumentation is stunning. The violin contributes greatly to making it as moving of a tune as it is. “Sexy Woman” is a great song for one to slow dance to with their lover. 

5.) “Our Wedding”- Peter Hunt and The Great Outdoors 

Peter Hunt and The Great Outdoors is known for the lively, big sound that they have in every song they put out there and “Our Wedding” is no exception! With the vibrant horns, bright acoustic guitar, and witty lyrics, this song will leave you with a smile on your face the whole time. It is a song that is perfect to listen to when daydreaming about walking down the aisle with that special someone someday. This one is definitely a favorite of mine on their new album ‘Downers Delight’. 

6.) “I Do”- Christian JaLon

Christian’s angelic and powerful voice soars in “I Do”, a song all about believing in love. “I Do” speaks of being swept by love unexpectedly, which is something many of us could relate to. Although she did not see this love coming and does not know what the future holds, she is confident in her bond with this person. The part where all the vocals layer up that starts at 2:45 gives me chills. There are many parts that leave you breathless on Christian JaLon’s album, ‘If You Let Me’. My favorite line is: “I’ll be the sunflower to your summertime”. The music video is also extremely charming and would be a great viewing for you and your sunflower.

7.) “She’s There”- Larry Anthony

“She’s There” is such a great tune to walk down the street to. The beats add a bouncy-feel to this feel-good, electric song. Larry Anthony sings about young love and overcoming obstacles like long distance. The music video is equally as vibrant and fun. There is another layer of genuineness that is added to it with the female love interest in the video being Larry’s real-life wife, Emilie Lesniak. I cannot handle this extreme level of cuteness!

8.) “Cheers”- Sam Trump

This song is possibly the most romantic song that I have ever heard. Sam Trump praises the love that he has found in “Cheers”. This love is strong, passionate, and long-lasting. Sam’s smooth voice and the sultry groove sets an intimate tone. It is a beautiful song off of a beautiful album titled ‘Love Notes’. ‘Love Notes’ is the perfect album to listen to with your person this Valentine’s Day.

If these songs do not make you believe in love, I do not know what will. Click here to check out these and some more local love songs in a playlist! Do not forget to request your favorite Chicago-land artists every Sunday from 8-10 pm for Local Chaos!

Green Day’s Father of All…What, Exactly?

by Jared Moser

Dropped on February 7th, Father of All… is Green Day’s thirteenth studio album. Originating in California, the world-famous pop-punk band follows their 2016 album, Revolution Radio, which hit number one on the Billboard Hot 200, with this ten song record.

While seemingly lacking musical direction with their ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré! albums in 2012, Green Day got back on track with a pretty solid album in 2016, carried by hit tracks such as “Bang Bang,” “Revolution Radio,” and “Still Breathing.” Fast forward four years, and Green day has given us Father of All…. Unfortunately, I don’t even know what this is.

With ten songs, the album somehow only clocks in at a little over 26 minutes. The album kicks off with a track that gives off a false sense of hope for the album. “Father of All…” is a powerful and fun way to introduce the album with quick and creative drums, and distant alternative indie rock vocals. It’s a pretty average Green Day song, though; by no means should it be the best song on any album. To put it lightly, the fun stops there.

The rest of the record is boring, repetitive, and lacks creativity. The only standouts are “Oh Yeah!,” “Stab You In The Heart,” and “Junkies on a High.” Honestly, I wouldn’t even go back to listen to these; they’re so mediocre that they stand out against the rest of the bland nothingness of the rest of the album. Billy Joel Armstrong’s vocal patterns are repetitive and boring, Mike Dirnt’s bass is non-existent, and Tré Cool’s drums are the same spiritless beat every song. The album has no message, no drive, and saddest of all, no Green Day flare that we know and love.

To make matters even worse, the record ends with the worst song on the album. “Graffitia” has the same unoriginal guitar riffs, and same beginner drum beat the entire song. The only reason it’s worse than the previous song on the record, “Take the Money and Crawl,” is because it’s a minute and nine seconds longer.

I do have to keep in mind, though, that if I was listening to this album and it was made by a no-name band, it actually wouldn’t be that bad. But, to know that this album was made by Green Day, a band with an absolute beast of a discography, world-wide respect, and a previous record that was really enjoyable, is just saddening. I hold Green Day to such a high standard that when they put out something this mediocre, it’s going to seem so much worse than it might actually be.

Father of All… sounds like everything that people disliked about punk bands in the 90s that Green Day didn’t do. The only rewarding characteristics I can get from listening to this are the experimental flare that “Father of All…” and “Junkies on High” bring to the album, which I appreciate. I’m giving Father of All… a 3/10, and I hope Green Day can come out with something more worth listening to in the future.

WONC’s Open House Celebrates New Era

You may have read that our studio was recently upgraded with new, digital equipment. On February 11th, we celebrated with an open house for NCC students, alumni, faculty and staff.

We opened our doors to the campus community, and welcomed a number of guests throughout the day. Many alumni came to visit the station, and shared their memories of working at WONC.

As we head into a new era at WONC, we’ll keep playing the best Pure Rock on the radio!

The Daily Herald also came by our open house. You can read their article here!

My Chemical Romance are Back!

Anyone who has listened to one of my shows on FM89 knows how much I love the band My Chemical Romance. So, when they announced last October that they’d reunite after almost seven years of being broken up, I freaked out. They reunited for one show on December 19th at a venue called the Shrine in LA, and it sold out in less than 2 minutes. Since then, the band has been dropping teasers for different shows abroad, causing fans in the US to become a little impatient for the suspected North American tour.

On Wednesday, the band released a theatrical video on their Youtube channel and their website that explored every era of MCR, from the beginning with I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, to the end with Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Finally, at the end of the video, the US tour dates began to flash across the screen, starting in Detroit and ending in Las Vegas. For fans in Chicago, it was announced that MCR will be headlining one of three days of Riot Fest in Douglas Park, Saturday, September 12th.

Tickets for the US tour went on sale last Friday and within a few hours, every show had sold out. This prompted the band to announce a second show in their hometown of Newark, New Jersey, as well as three more shows in LA. After these final few announcements, and only 6 hours after the first tickets had gone on sale, every single date of MCR’s North American tour had completely sold out, an impressive achievement, seeing as every venue the band is playing is a stadium holding thousands of seats.

As for me, the minute I heard My Chemical Romance will be headlining Riot Fest, I went ahead and bought myself an early bird 3-day pass. I go to Riot Fest every year regardless, but I’m especially not going to miss out on my first chance to see the band that started my love and passion for music and dark imagery. This band has been such a big influence in my life, and the life of die-hard fans around the world. It feels so good to have them back.

FM89 Goes Digital

The start of 2020 came with a lot of conversation of new decade resolutions, hopes, aspirations, and, of course, friends and coworkers flaunting what they got for the holidays. Here at FM89, we were given possibly the best gift of all: a new studio console. This was something that, if you asked the students working behind the mic, was long overdue.

WONC’s new digital console

The new console is fully digital, cutting edge, and something even some commercial stations don’t have. The upgrade of the studio included not only a new console, but a new setup more comfortable for the staff, and new opportunities to learn this updated technology.

WONC Facilities Director Matt Hehl said, “This will be a great asset for students both now, and far into the future,” and he’s right. The new console means the students at FM89 are working with technology more closely related to that of the technology in commercial stations, where many FM89 students will go to work post-graduation.

WONC Facilities Director Matt Hehl

Needless to say, the students are incredibly grateful and ready to continue learning the ins and outs of the console. Chris Duffy, host of Duff Stuff and FM89’s Public Affairs Director said, “It’s a huge privilege to use this. I’m still learning how to use it fully, but it’s a great opportunity for us.”

As a staff, we can’t say thank you enough to all the generous people who donated to the station and made this possible, and of course, thank you to the college for allowing us this space to learn such important skills for our futures.

Show Spotlight: Midgard and Beyond

A brand new show is coming to FM89! Midgard and Beyond will take you on a musical journey every Friday night from 8 to 10. Just in time for the show’s arrival, we’ve received a transmission from the host, Loremaster Peefnor:

Salutations, mortals of Earth. I am Loremaster Peefnor, and I come baring excellent news! Your typically drab Friday nights are about to be enlightened like never before.

I type to you now from the Nexus of Infinity, a distant place far beyond your reality. Here, I am able to observe all the realms, including your own. I have gathered many tales of brave heroes, mighty battles, and sorrowful sights. Their conduit of deliverance is METAL, and only the finest I can get my hands on.

The keepers of rock most pure at FM89 have allowed me to hijack your station’s feed from 8 to 10 p.m. every Friday night so that I may share from my ever-expanding library. Expect an emphasis on progressive, power, and symphonic metal from across the seas. Later in the show, from 9 to 10 p.m., I shall tell you a story from a different world, all while I weave its parts together with tangentially related METAL.

My word count grows thin and my fingers weary. Keep well, mortals of Earth, until next time.

Tune in every Friday night from 8 to 10 for Midgard and Beyond!