Music Review: Greta Van Fleet’s “From the Fires”

I have no problems saying that Greta Van Fleet has the chance to be the second coming of Led Zeppelin.

The band is made up of three brothers – Josh, Jake, and Sam Kiszka – and their friend Danny Wagner. Josh’s killer Robert Plant-esque vocals and the Jimmy Page-esque guitar riffs make it hard not to compare them to Zeppelin. It’s apparent in every single rock-and-blues-filled song that Zeppelin has had a huge influence on these boys.

greta-van-fleet-image-josh-jake-sam-danny-sitting-on-the-ground
Greta Van Fleet. Picture via Universal Music Canada.

Recently, on Nov. 10, the band released their second EP called From the Fires.

When I heard that GVF was releasing a new EP with eight songs, I was stocked. I’ve been a fan for a couple months now, ever since my dad showed me the music video for their song “Highway Tune” when we were in the car one day. He was going to see them in Lancaster the next month and I was curious as to who they were. Obviously I was sucked in right away, but sad about the fact that they only had four songs on Spotify. I’ve been waiting patiently for new music for what feels like forever, but in reality, has only been a few months. 

I was a little disappointed to learn that the EP only included four new songs in addition to their four songs of their first EP Black Smoke Rising. I was ready for eight brand new songs. And even out of the four new songs, two of them – “Meet on the Ledge” and “A Change is Gonna Come” – are covers.

But my disappointed ended the minute I started listening to the EP.

Despite only having four new songs, From the Fires brings the same 70’s style rock that the band perfected in their first EP. It’s nostalgic and hard, and I love it. I might not have been alive in the 70’s, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know good classic rock when I hear it, and what Greta does is beyond good classic rock. 

I’ll be honest with you guys. Every single song of this EP is a highlight for me, from the new “Talk On The Street” to the old “Flower Power,” I’m mesmerized and impressed. So, for the sake of this blog post, I’m going to review what I think about each song. I’ll be going in order of how they appear on the EP. 

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Captain’s Log: Stardate 95414.95

For my Digital Storytelling class, I had this neat assignment where I had to record 10 seconds of what I was doing every day at a certain time for a week straight. The time that I picked was 4:30. You can watch the video below.

 

The quality is really bad because I had to upload it on YouTube (WordPress won’t let me upload it here because I don’t have the upgraded version) but anyway, here it is!

I named the assignment “4:30 p.m: Surrounded” because in every single clip, I’m surrounded by people. As a CA, I’m constantly around people, which makes me really happy. A lot of the clips are me and my residents hanging out (or eating dinner, because we’re all starving college kids and usually eat dinner around 4:30).

Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s happening in each clip:

Day 1 – This is a clip of me and some residents (and my fellow CA Kara) eating dinner. Later that day me and Kara went and saw George Takei speak at Pitt Main and it was wonderful.

Day 2 – This is a clip of me and my residents walking down to dinner. It was really nice that day.

Day 3 – Again, clips of residents hanging out outside of Robertshaw. Yes, we were listening to the Backstreet Boys.

Day 4 – This is a clip of me sitting in the Press Room with my people as we work on newspaper things.

Day 5 – And here we are again, eating dinner. This was Saturday, the night of the Casino thing for Blue and Gold Weekend, so they were trying to figure out what Matt was going to wear that night.

Day 6 – We were waiting to go to dinner. Yeah.

Day 7 – Me, Kara, and one of my residents, Ricky, went shopping for our ghost story/caramel apple bar program that was happening that night. As you can see, it was pouring when we left the store. The white car that pulled up was Ricky waiting for us to come outside.

I hope you enjoyed it!! Thanks for watching.

The Most Important Parts of a Good Book

We’ve all read a great book. Even if you’re not much of a reader, there’s usually one book that made you wonder where its been all your life.

I, on the other hand, have roughly 1,000 novels that I feel this way about.

There are many parts that make up a great book. Sometimes it’s not even about the actual story in the book – sometimes it’s about the feeling before (and after) you read it, or the characters. Or maybe it is the plot that makes it great. It really depends on the reader. But, here are the 6 most important things for me that comes with a great book.

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Captain’s Log: Stardate 95197.53

Listening: Love My Life – Jay Park

Wow, can you guys believe that I literally haven’t written anything all summer?

I can. I’m kind of awful at not going completely off the grid during the summertime. I spend most of my time either working or sleeping and generally not being motivated to do anything, but this time next week I’ll be back on campus, so I need to find some motivation. I go back so early because I have roughly 2 weeks worth of CA training camp that I have to go through.

Since I’m heading back to school, that means I’ll be more motivated to write (because I’ll be avoiding doing my actual assignments and writing instead). I’m giving myself a little head start by writing something now, even though I just got home from an 8 hour shift and I’m beyond tired and the only thing I’d really like to do right now is sleep for, like, 10 hours straight.

Instead I’m going to steal an idea from my best friend B’s blog and answer a few questions that I found from a tumblr post so my readers can get to know me a little better. All of the questions are named after characters and things from one of my favorite book series, The Raven Cycle (which everyone should check out).

Here we go!

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A dedication to my dad 

Last week me and my dad went out to dinner together. My soon-to-be step mom, Jill, was in Chicago for work, and my younger brother was at my mom’s house for the week, so it was just me and my old man. We went to a cozy little Italian place right down the street from our neighborhood. While we were waiting for our food, I asked my dad an important question:

“What do you want for father’s day?”

It only took him a moment to respond to me.

“You know if I want something I just go out and get it myself.”

Of course I knew that. My dad is, at his best, independent, and at his worst, hard-headed. He is incredibly self-sufficient, and hardly let’s me (or anyone else, for that matter) do anything for him (which is a trait he most definitely got from my pop pop).

So what do you get for someone who already has everything he wants?

The answer is words.

Words are something I’m good at. Writing is something I can do. But, it’s difficult, maybe even impossible, to use my words to sum up how much my dad means to me.

That doesn’t mean I won’t try.

So here is my father’s day present to you dad: a collection of words that I’ve strung together about how much you mean to me, and some of the little things I love.

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Captain’s Log: Stardate 94886.86

Hello!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, but I’ve been pretty busy. There’s only one week of classes left followed by finals week, so I’ve got a lot of things due. This is going to be a short post about some silly little life updates in the last few days.

1) I’ve recently rediscovered my love for pineapple.

So, like I said, there’s about two weeks or so left of school and I haven’t gone to the grocery store in a good month because I’ve been trying to spend the extra meal plan/flex money I have and I can only spend it on campus. Also I haven’t gone to the store because I’m broke and can’t afford to buy myself groceries. That means I make frequent trips to the coffeehouse, which is right next door to my apartment. I go most mornings to pick up something for breakfast and I eat lunch there everything Tuesday and Thursday with my Co-Editor/Life Partner/Love of my Life Ali. They have a bunch of different things there, but recently I decided to buy one of the little container of pineapple and I’ve been eating it non-stop since then. As I type this I’m currently eating pineapple for breakfast while at work. There something about that bright, refreshing taste that I can’t get enough of.

Honest to God, I can’t believe I forgot about how good pineapple is.

2) I started a new book (or two)

I’ve recently bought three new books off of Amazon. You may be asking yourself “How does she have money to buy books but none to buy food?” Well, the answer is really simple. I am the Worst™ and spend my money on things I don’t actually need, like these books. Whatever, the way I see it is that I could be spending my money on much worse things.

Anyway, the first book I bought is a political book called The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted. I’m only a few pages in to it, but as a Political Science major, these are the types of books that I love to read in my spare time. I’m excited to get a little further in this book, but I’ve been concentrating on different books more as of now.

The second book I bought and am currently reading is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I also just bought the sequel to it, called Crooked Kingdom, but it’s still on its way here. I’m really invested in this one. If you know me well, you’d know that I’m a sucker for any book series that has interesting, complex characters (like The Raven Cycle series or the All For The Game series). Six of Crows has so many good characters so far. It’s about a group of criminals from this gang who are trying to bust out someone being held hostage in a prison that’s never been broken into before. It also takes place in a whole fantasy world with magic (maybe? they don’t really describe it as magic) and a bunch of other cool made up things. Bardugo does a good job of explaining these made up things, though, so it’s not confusing to read. I started the book on Wednesday and read the first 300 pages and I’m planning on finishing the next 200 today. I might hold off though because Crooked Kingdom won’t be here until next Wednesday at least.

Books are something I’m really passionate about, so I might write up a list of my favorite books as well as do a book recommendation type of thing at some point.

3) I wrote a 14 page paper for my Legislative Process Class.

Listen, this paper honestly wasn’t hard but I didn’t want to do it so much that it felt like it took me an eternity to write it even though I wrote it in about 3/4 days. It was for my Legislative Process class, which deals with all things about the U.S. Congress, and I wrote about Thaddeus Stevens and his time as the chair of the Committee on Ways and Means and how it impacted the Civil War. Yeah, writing it was about as fun as the topic sounds. But I got it done and handed it in, and that’s all that matter. Also, Thaddeus Stevens was a badass and he’s out here reppin Lancaster, so he’s all good in my book.

There are probably other things that have happened that I can’t remember, but that’s all I have for now. I wanted to keep this pretty sure because I haven’t updated my blog in a while and I just wanted something small to put on here to let everyone know I am still alive and kicking.

Look for more posts in the future!

– Kaylee