Song permeates life of a college student

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By AMANDA GROVER/Montana State News

Walking across campus, you notice music – not coming from your headphones – hanging in the air. You may not know it, but a young woman named April Seymour is around. You can spot her easily blending in with those around her, in hoodies and boots and jeans.  While many would feel self-conscious singing in public, she says “I started – I  think – just singing in church when I was really little, and I’ve always loved doing it so I just kept going.”

Her red hair stands out against her black hoodie when it’s not hidden under her D­­­­­­­­­­­­­eadpool beanie. However, she’s got a voice that hovers naturally in the air as she commutes from class to class. Song choice varies widely, and often has eclectic hints to it. Sometimes, it’s a pop hit, or it can even be an original song she’s written.

Seymour is a part of the on-campus a cappella group. She says that she checked to make sure that Montana State University had an a cappella group before she sent in her application. She got into it four days after arriving on campus freshman year. She said that she knew about the group auditions when she stopped by their booth during Catapalooza. While she wasn’t nervous for the solo round, she was extremely nervous for the round working as a group. So nervous, in fact, that she tried her best to harmonize with everyone. This ended up getting her into the group. More

Sports writer took unlikely route to career

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By JARED MILLER/Montana State News

Just a scant distance down I-90 midway between Missoula and Seattle sits a birthplace. Not only the birthplace of Washington’s Brian Scott but the place in which a very talented columnist was born. It was important to him that I use that term: columnist. “Not a reporter,” he stressed. And right there is where Scott’s story finds its core. A love for sports and a talent for writing met in the middle ground and that middle ground is where he resides today.

Picture a young boy watching the Seattle Mariners and trying his hardest to replicate the swing of the great Edgar Martinez. Or maybe imagine a college grad from Gonzaga entering the big bad, bad world of radio as an intern “playing the hits and poppin’ the zits,” as he put it. This is Scott. Sports and Washington are ingrained in him. It was the gift of writing, though, that would come later and ultimately define his career arc.

“I worked at a radio station during the early 90s,” Scott explained. “During my tenure there the AM station switched formats from old-school country music to an all sports format.” Bingo. The seeds of Scott’s career had been planted. More

Western writer puts down roots in Boston

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By SAMANTHA SUNDLY/Montana State News

Jeremy Soldevilla is a Western writer living in Boston, Massachusetts. He’s a lover of alpacas, horseback riding and the powdery slopes Bridger Bowl, and his two thriller novels highlight the beauty and mysteriousness of the Rocky Mountains, where Soldevilla lived and worked for several years.

Soldevilla ran the Silver Forest Inn Bed and Breakfast on Bridger Canyon Road for two years, even though his initial desire in moving west was to work on a dude ranch. Soldevilla had been working for over thirty years with various publishing companies in Boston, and needed a change of pace in order to focus on writing his novel.

In Soldevilla’s time here in the Gallatin Valley, he has left a lasting legacy for writers and publishers. After the bed and breakfast proved unprofitable and he was struggling to publish his first book, Soldevilla and his wife moved to Belgrade where in 2011, he founded two publishing companies: Christopher Matthews Publishing and Soul Fire Press. More

Wine barrel-brewed cider a first for Lockhorn

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By NATALIE WALTERS/Montana State News

Glen Deal, the current owner of Lockhorn Cider House, started the business with the help of Adam Olsen, a carpenter, who became one the of the cider makers. Both Deal and Olsen are now looking forward to tasting their first wine-barrel fermented cider, which has not been named yet.

Currently, Lockhorn produces and sells cider flavors from bourbon barrels, but their wine-barrel fermented cider will be something new for the duo. Lockhorn Cider House is one of first cider houses in the state of Montana to prepare tasting a dry cider fermented in a 2014 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon barrel, according to Lockhorn’s monthly newsletter.

A dry cider is traditionally fermented in an oak barrel, according to Olsen. However, Olsen anticipates that the new unnamed cider will pick up a lot of the oak and berry taste from the wine. According to Lockhorn’s monthly newsletter the Lodi wine is described as a “smooth, bold, full bodied, slightly tannic (acidic) and bitter” wine.

Due to the brightness of the wine berry, Olsen thinks that the cider is going to be “more of a magenta color, or close to a rose color.”

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Artist changes neighborhood landscape

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By ADAM SCHREUDER/Montana State News

Amidst the suburbia of Bozeman there is a house plastered in telltale signs of creativity. Its neighboring residences serve as the epitome of the American dream: two-car garages, well-manicured lawns, a child’s bicycle here and there.

This particular house, however, is not concerned with these status symbols. Instead, it boasts upwards of 30 ceramic pots and vases on its front porch alone; most intact, some broken by weather and even others that appear to have been damaged before only to be meticulously pieced back together by their eccentric creator. Their birthplace was once a two-car garage that was entirely gutted and rewired to accommodate their earthly womb a massive ceramic kiln.

The mastermind behind the creation of this ceramic display is David Dennis, who graduated from Montana State University with a focus on ceramics. One doesn’t need to have been to Dennis’ house before to know which one it is; the permanent taupe footprints that lead from his walkway, through his house, and into his garage studio make it quite discernible to anyone passing by.

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Record store is a medium of self-expression

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By CONOR GLESNER/Montana State News

Stepping into Cactus Records feels like entering a carefully curated world. Every square inch of the walls are covered in colorful bits of musical memorabilia, patchwork squares of vinyl records; row upon row of CDs interspersed with odd curios and locally-made bits of this and that. This atmosphere is partially due to the shop’s long, 45-year history in Bozeman. But most of it springs from the shop’s latest owner and proprietor, Mike “Bueno” Good.

A native Montanan, Good was born and raised in Billings, but feels his true love is Bozeman.

“… (I)t has always been home more than anything to me,” he says.

Fourteen years ago he decided to combine his passions for Bozeman and music by buying Cactus Records from its previous retiring owners. The shop was first established in 1970, but when Good took over in 2002, it transformed. These days he can be found often behind the store’s counter, a conductor to the orchestrated chaos of music, clothing, jewelry, memorabilia and assorted quirky knick-knacks.

When Good first took over the shop it was a fairly standard music store, CDs and the like. The first change Bueno made was to build a massive collection of vinyl records. His previous job was in vinyl distribution for a record label in San Francisco so when he started at Cactus it was only natural to introduce more vinyl.

“I’m not a huge audiophile,” he says, “it’s more of a collecting thing for me.”

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Happenstance meeting leads to new band

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By EMILY FOWLER/Montana State News

I’m standing towards the front of a large crowd at the Filling Station, a local favorite of the Bozeman bar scene. If I tried to stand still, I would be jostled by the crowd dancing and moving around me. Instead, I dance with them, partly because I would fall over if I tried to be stationary, and partly because it’s hard not to. The band onstage has an energy that is infectious.

Their speech is sprinkled with yurt puns. They all own tee-shirts proclaiming themselves “Members of The Steve Buscemi Fan Club.” They are delightfully weird and delightfully talented. They are YURT.

When I first approached the Bozeman-based band to ask them some questions, I was told they’d agree as long as it was conducted in an actual yurt. Although I wasn’t able to find a portable, round tent with a fireplace in the middle, the band eventually came around to meeting at the singer, guitarist and keyboardist Shane Laver’s, house.

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