Community Matters—Volunteering Event at Food Gatherers


This week, a group of us from all different committees came together to volunteer at Food Gatherers, a food rescue and food bank that serves Washtenaw County. Not only did we get to volunteer, we had the chance to meet and bond with other members of the club. What’s better than helping out the community AND making new friends?!

Upon our arrival, James, a volunteer coordinator, greeted us. First, he gave us a tour of their warehouse, which comprised of rows and rows of rescued and purchased food. He also told us all about how Food Gatherers works extremely hard to serve the Washtenaw community. Fun fact—Food Gatherers has 7 refrigerated trucks filled with food on the road to be delivered to pantries and other agencies every day of the week!

Next, we got fully equipped with hairnets and gloves (we all looked dope in our hairnets, if you were wondering). We then got to work sorting and boxing fresh produce. We learned what constitutes good produce, and how to spot bad produce that should be composted. After a few hours of sorting potatoes, grapes, avocados, lettuce, and more—the  seven of us who were volunteering had put together a TON of boxed food. We also shared a lot of laughs along the way. Overall, participating in this event was an amazing experience. It felt great to help out the community and spend quality time with fellow MUSIC Matters members.

Putting on a sold out concert with Quinn XCII and ayokay


    A couple months ago, MPowered approached us, MUSIC Matters, to help them plan an event called Spotlight -- a 48-hour music and film-making competition capstoned with a concert. Since this was a new event for MPowered, members of their organization had little experience in putting on a concert, so they reached out to us to help with the planning, marketing, and overall production of the concert. We were glad to help. MUSIC Matters and MPowered are two of the largest student organizations at Michigan and share a passion for entrepreneurship and large-scale, campus-wide events. We quickly organized a diverse team of MUSIC Matters leadership members -- an executive team member as well as a member from the fundraising, communications, and talent & concert teams -- to work with MPowered’s Spotlight team.

    The concert was headlined by performers Quinn XCII and ayokay, a rap and DJ duo. The two grew up just a few blocks away from each other in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and starting making music together in high school. Although they attended rival colleges -- Quinn XCII attended Michigan State University, while ayokay attended the University of Michigan -- they continued to make music together. Since Spotlight was about highlighting the importance of the arts, creativity, and collaboration to college students, having these entrepreneurial artists perform for the event ensured that the purpose of Spotlight was encapsulated in the concert.

    About a day before the concert, the show completely sold out. There were posts all over the University of Michigan Class of X pages with students searching for tickets. Texts messages between friends trying to hunt down more tickets were typed out urgently. Everyone was getting excited for the show. The night of the Spotlight concert, the line outside of Necto, the Ann Arbor concert venue, was all the way down the block with young people eagerly waiting to get in. Once inside, the energy was palpable. Michigan graduate Aash Mehta performed the opening of the show, after which Quinn XCII and ayokay came on. Necto was packed with dancing, energetic students, eager for endless music. The artists performed many of their hits and incorporated some verses of song covers into their music as well. The crowd went wild and everyone sang along when they sang Vance Joy’s Riptide. To close the show, Quinn XCII and ayokay ended with their popular song Kings of Summer, which everyone seemed to know.  The concert and collaborative work with MPowered was a clear success in our eyes and has created huge momentum within our organization as we move closer to SpringFest and our 2017 capstone concert.

"22, A Million" Review


Fellow folk lovers beware-- Bon Iver has ventured far from the rustic Wisconsin cabin that produced their raw debut album, F or Emma, Forever A go. But, while the front man Justin Vernon has led the band into the realm of the electronic with their third album, 2 2, A M illion, Bon Iver remains rooted in the iconic emotion that has defined them from the start. This album pushes the group’s boundaries; a bold yet natural progression from the dreamlike symphony that was their second and self-titled album. 2 2, A Million is experimental--bizarre even--an electric ocean of swelling vocal harmonies and instrumental fervor.

There is a glitchy chaos that permeates most of this album-- both the vocals and instrumentation are multilayered. It sounds as if something is constantly trying to break through the static. This overwhelming montage of noise-- often a combination of a new-found electronics and Bon Iver’s trademark acoustics-- is likely an embodiment of the internal chaos Vernon felt in his five years off from the band. Suffering from anxiety attacks and receiving treatment for depression , Vernon explained, “ I felt that the only thing I could do was to go into myself a little bit. ” 22, A Millionis the aftermath of his introspection, letting us into what exactly he might have encountered inside his unsettled mind.

22 gives us higher-voltage, more frenzied Bon Iver-- you can envision bright, crackling sparks while listening to opening tracks “22 (Over SooN) and “10 d E A T h b R E a s T.” While these initially sound foreign and entropic, beneath the static, you’ll find Bon Iver’s same ineffable core: those sweeping waves of harmony and emotional overflow.

“22 (OVER SooN)” begins with auto tuned vocals that could be straight from an Odesza hit. The distorted voice repeats the existential line, “it might be over soon.” Reassuringly, there are familiar bits here too: the angelic vocals, light guitar plucks, and smooth saxophone that made up Bon Iver. “22 (OVER SooN)” ends where it began, humming “it might be over soon,” and giving way to the anxiety-inducing “10 d E A T h b R E a s T.” The song’s title is disarrayed, mimicking the auditory anarchy that climaxes at its final dissonant chord. This track, along with its title, almost repels listeners in its indecipherability.

The more digestible “715-CREEKS” settles into a moody, electrified a capella piece. It sounds like the younger brother of Vernon’s pixley 2010 feature on Kanye West’s “Lost in The World.” CREEKS tells a story of fleeting love, reminiscing on the band’s early Thoreauvian roots with its nature-infus ed lyrics. Hints of Bon Iver peek through here, too. The fluttery line, “that leaving wasn’t easy, all that heaving in my vines” is the exact same note sequence as the
o pening vocals of Bon Iver’s “Michicant.”

Resonance of the band’s past is strongest within the unplugged instrumentation and raw vocals of “29 #Strafford APTS” and “8 (circle).” The nostalgic strums of “29” build steadily in a s imilar fashion to a For Emma track . Minus its soft, hip-hop beat, the dream-like horns of “8 (circle)” could sit right next to “Calgary” on Bon Iver.

The album concludes with the mellow piano ballad “00000 Million.” It’s easy to get lost in this song, as a distant voice echoes of a place “where days have no numbers.” The lingering piano chords enhance the feeling of warped time and place. Vernon ends the track by embracing vulnerability, singing “it harms, it harms me, it harms, I’ll let it in.” Closing far more at peace than where it began, the record finds clarity through amidst the chaos.

22, A Million is a multidimensional ode to ambivalence, introspection and growth. From F or Emma, Forever Ago, to Bon Iver, to this pivotal record, Bon Iver has skillfully morphed, in tune with mastermind Justin Vernon’s personal evolution. Each experiment in sound has been fully embraced and unapologetically executed. Bon Iver’s woodsy passion is still woven throughout 22, just cloaked in a fresh, high-voltage layer--you might just have to go a bit deeper into the record—or yourself—to hear it.

Grade: A- 

Get Excited for MUSIC Matters 2016-2017!





Guess what? IT’S AUGUST, which means a new and exciting semester is just a couple of weeks away! The MUSIC Matters executive team wanted to reach out to YOU – a fabulous club member who we’re excited to see back with the team in the Fall – to give you an update on the awesome stuff we’ve been working on this Summer and what we have planned for the Fall.



2015 // 2016 RECAP

  • Migos: THIS awesome video was made and then Migos lit up the stage at Hill Auditorium

  • Open Mic Night: We hosted extremely successful Open Mic Nights at the Kerrytown Concert House and Circus!

  • SpringFest: 8 non-University sponsoring organizations and over 40 student organizations filled the diag to engage with students throughout the day

  • Fundraising: Last year you sent more than 500 letters to family and friends to raise over $13,500, and helped to raise $8,300 from Giving Blue Day donations




  • MUSIC Matters Picnic: Get excited for a fall picnic with all of MUSIC Matters, during which you can meet new and old members

  • MUSIC Matters Website Revamp: Keep an eye out for an exciting new look!

  • MUSIC Matters Welcome Week Bar Night: Location still to be determined, but it will be a fun way to reconnect with MM before classes start!




  • Pistons Partnership: Grants the MUSIC Matters team the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with executives from The Palace followed by a Pistons Game

  • Volunteer Opportunities: There will be more and better opportunities this year for you to get involved with (see a “save the date” for one below!)

  • MUSIC Matters Curriculum: This is an opportunity for you to take part in a variety of workshops with professors and leaders in their fields to enhance real-world skills useful to your work in and outside of MUSIC Matters

  • MUSIC Matters Summer Camp: The theme of the camp will be “Civic Leadership”, with each day focused on a leader in a different industry and how they are giving back to their community

  • Facebook Group Early Launch: We are launching a new MUSIC Matters Facebook group next week in order to get a head start on keeping you in the loop




  • September 5: Northfest (11 a.m. - 2 p.m.)

  • September 9: Festifall (3 - 7 p.m.)

  • End of September: Mass Meetings

  • October 4: Kerrytown Open Mic Night

  • October 12: Student Leaders Gala & Auction

  • October 21: Volunteer event with Growing Hope (more info HERE)


In the coming weeks, we encourage you to take a little time to reflect on your participation in MUSIC Matters last year and consider how you would like your involvement to look this year. Is there something specific you would like to work on this year? Do you have a great, new vision you want to see in action? Regardless of what you decide to reflect on, be sure to GET HYPE, because this year in MUSIC Matters is going to be WILD.