Nena Koseva

St. Louis “Newsicals” tuning in for National News Engagement Day

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It is often said that art reflects life, and vice versa. In an attempt to reflect the lives of St. Louisans and Missouri natives in the art of music, we compiled a list of songs that correlated with the news stories that have come out of the St. Louis area in the past week.

While reflecting life in art, our project was also a way to celebrate National News Engagement Day (Oct. 6). In order to honor this sacred day in media, Emily Higginbotham (@EmilyHigg), Gemma Groch (@GemmaGroch), and I put together the playlist (below) full of songs that were inspired by the news stories in St. Louis over the past week.

  1. For three consecutive years, the Cardinals manage to clinch the NL Central title and avoid the wild-card game. It is also the first time in 10 years that they win 100 games despite the multiple injuries the team experienced this season. The team gained a spot in the postseason and as the band Queen put it, “will keep fighting till the end.”
  2. On Wednesday, Sept. 30, the students of Saint Louis University were surprised to wake up and find out that classes on the North campus were cancelled due to a power outage. The outage occurred at a substation near McDonald Douglass, and 23 buildings were out of power for more than 24 hours. As Arcade Fire sings in their song “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out),” students went out into the night, went out to find some light, kids were swingin’ from power lines. Maybe students weren’t quite swinging from power lines, but they were certainly excited by the university canceling classes.
  3. After more than five months on the road, Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour entered into its final leg. Swift performed two sold out shows at the Scottrade Center, and her stop in St. Louis was not without a surprise guest.  St Louis’ very own Nelly took the stage with swift to perform his hit “Hot in Herre.”
  4. On Monday, October 5, St. Louis native Jack Dorsey was named CEO of Twitter, Inc and he’s on top of the world now. His appointment is no surprise as he has been running the popular social media site since July when Dick Costolo, the previous CEO, stepped down. Dorsey is well-known for being a successful entrepreneur, founding Square and co-founding Twitter.
  5. The homeownership rate between foreign (<40%) and native-born (46%) citizens of St. Louis is rather significant in a city whose immigrant population is constantly growing. After observing the available data, the Immigrant Housing Center believes that an investment in homeownership for foreign-born citizens will bring economic growth to the city, as well as provide the immigrants with a home away from home. In collaboration with other local organizations, the project is hoping to help immigrants overcome the barriers associated with purchasing a house and be an educational resource in the process.
  6. The state of Missouri is planning on acquiring 2,500 acres of land along the Eleven Point River for a new state park. The expansion is being funded by lead-mining companies to curb environmental damage from the southeast Missouri’s long history of lead mining. This initiative will allow for the Missouri land to truly be ‘our land.’
  7. After an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate, John Brunner is still standing. On Monday, October 5, the businessman officially entered into the race for 2016 Republican nomination for Missouri governor. Three years ago, he personally spent $8 million dollars trying to win a seat in the U.S. senate and is expected to shell out a similar amount on this campaign.
  8. On September 30, the St. Louis Ikea opened its doors to thousands of customers. The Swedish store had prepared a variety of giveaways for the first visitors who had patiently been waiting in line for the grand opening. In the words of the Swedish music group, Abba, IKEA will be bringing in a whole lot of ‘money, money, money.’
  9. Emergency plans released for the Bridgeton landfill are not easing the minds of those who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. Last month, Missouri Attorney General, Chris Koster, released a report that said an underground fire was moving toward a section of the landfill that contains radioactive waste. The emergency plan acknowledges the possibility of radioactive fallout, and the neighboring communities have been informed of evacuation processes and procedures. The concerns of Bridgeton are echoed in the song “Landfill” by Daughter, in which she sings: “Throw me in the landfill, don’t think about the consequences.”
  10. On Saturday, Ameren Corp. pledged $2.5 million in support of community initiatives in North St. Louis County and St. Louis. This pledge followed the release of a Ferguson Commission report, which outlined various programs and initiatives created in response to racial inequity in St. Louis. Ameren’s pledge of hope is echoed in John Legend’s song “If you’re out there,” which calls for our generation to make a change in the world.

Hope you enjoyed our “Newsical” playlist and have a happy National News Engagement Day!

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