The Parkland College Blog

Going Down Perimeter Road

Many, many to thank for the year's successes at our student-led record label

The last two semesters have been quite a journey for Perimeter Road Sound Recordings and its members.

Not only did we record and release a full length album by our newest addition to the PRSR lineup, The Churros (marking the fourth band release for the label!), but we also planned and executed the first-ever Perimeter Road Music Festival right on Parkland College’s campus! So much effort went into both projects, and we want to thank many people, groups, and organizations for making this year for Perimeter Road a success.

First off, a big thanks to the wonderful acts for the music festival: Elsinore, Zorila, Nectar, The Data Waves, Matt & Cubs, Prevalence, and The Churros. We could not have asked for a better debut; you all did an awesome job, and we were so honored to have such a talented lineup for our first music festival. From all of us at Perimeter Road Sound Recordings, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to try something new, and we can’t wait to give it another go soon!

Another huge thanks to MMS Rentals for giving us a stage to stand on, sound systems to use, and professional guidance on the part of Geoff from MMS. There is a lot that goes into stage setup and mixing live sound, so big props to MMS for being ready and willing to take us through it, step by step. We couldn’t have done this without you. Additional thanks to WCIA’s “ciLiving” show for inviting us to share our organization with your audience; we love what you guys do for our community!

Of course, none of this could have been possible without Parkland College and its staff and student body. Since the inception of the label in 2016, we have been supported by the college nonstop and were given all the resources we needed to succeed. What more can we say about our home? We love it here at Parkland; it’s awesome.

It has been an awesome year. And we can’t wait to show everyone what we have in store for next year. Until then, stay tuned here at Perimeter Road!

The Churros: Debuting New Album at Music Festival

DJ Luke holds Q & A with bands' members on The Churros' formation, influences

So, exactly who are The Churros?

No doubt you've all been hearing them as part of our numerous promotions for the upcoming Perimeter Road Music Festival this May 4. Since the day they signed with Perimeter Road Sound Recordings in May of last year, they've been doing prep work and writing for their upcoming album, "Anxious," which is dropping this Friday, May 3. To bring everyone up to speed on the hot new release, WPCD DJ and Perimeter Road Sound Recordings student engineer Luke Matias brought in The Churros band members Lance Meuser and Alex Maloney to talk a little about the album, their time together as a band, and what they’re looking forward to as we approach the final release of their debut album.

Luke: How did The Churros come together as a band? How did you all meet?

Alex: We've had a long history with our lineup. It started with just me and Myles on guitar and drums and wanting to start something up in junior high. Then Colton, we met him on a bus ride and he was like, "Hey, I play bass," and we started practicing together, and we were terrible for a couple of years (laugh). Then after a while, we started coming into our own, playing our instruments and moving from covers to trying out different things. We've had a number of vocalists, it was always the vocalist that was the issue. But then we found Lance at one of our last shows at the high school, and he joined the band. Once we heard him sing we were like "put this dude in our band immediately!" And it's been like that ever since.

Lance: Yeah, I went to one of their shows, and I've been looking for a band to join. I saw these guys playing and I was like "these guys rock." That's how I met them.

Luke: So we're in the final stages of releasing your record at Perimeter Road. What were your inspirations coming into writing the songs for this album?

Alex: It's a lot of different stuff. It's stuff that I listen to a lot that just shows up in [the album]. I'd say a lot of the guitar tones have been inspired by garage rock sounds. Really just a lot of garage bands have inspired what I wanted out of the band. Then Lance came in. There's a thing between three songwriters here. Colton's stuff is different than my stuff that's different than Lance's stuff. I think unifying that in some way has been really interesting.

Lance: Most of my writing influences come from the bands I listen to obviously. Muse, Royal Blood, Gary Clark on the blues side. That's kinda how I write, ya know?

Luke: So what would you classify The Churros as?

Alex: Punk rock in some ways, bluesy with the stuff that Lance writes. I really love how we have an eclectic sound. We can go from something like our single, "If You Need Anything," to something like "Prisons," which is just such a brooding song.

Luke: What is the overall theme or mood you're looking to cultivate with this album?

Alex: Specifically, I want to keep the listener on edge throughout the album.

Lance: Anxious? (laugh)

Alex: I think that having our different writing styles coming through the album, I think it's kind of a soup. It's a bunch of different things.

Luke: What are your favorite tracks or highlights on the album?

Lance: I like to single out my solo track "Wild Horse." It's set apart from the rest of the album like a bonus track, but it creates a different dynamic for the group, and to show people how we can have these different styles all work out.

Perimeter Road Music Festival

Enjoy great music acts from across Champaign-Urbana May 4

Perimeter Road Sound Recordings, the student-staffed music record label here at Parkland College, is hosting the first-ever annual Perimeter Road Music Festival this May 4th! This free-admission, all-ages event is packed with great music acts from across Champaign-Urbana as well as featured artists signed to our record label, Perimeter Road Sound Recordings.

In conjunction with the annual Parkland Motorsport Club Car Show, the Perimeter Road Music Festival will have a variety of food trucks to keep festival goers happy and well-fed. In addition, booths and tables hosted by various student-run clubs and organizations will be nearby, allowing anyone visiting the festival to learn more about what Parkland College has to offer.

The festival will take place from noon to 7 pm Saturday, May 4 in the Parkland College B1 parking lot. For more information, visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/perimeterrd/), and our Instagram page (@perimeterroad). For business inquiries, email us at perimeterroad@gmail.com or message us on Facebook. See you there!

 

 

Join Us at the Human Library, April 5

Experience real stories. Bring an open mind.

We’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, for we might miss out on an amazing story. On April 5, from 1 to 3 p.m. in our Student Union, Parkland's Diversity Committee and Office of Human Resources invite you to take a journey with a select group of individuals who will be sharing such amazing stories.

The setting of our first-ever Human Library™ event will be informal, more like a conversation. You, the audience member or 'reader', will have an opportunity to listen to personal stories from these human 'books' on loan to you, with time after the storytelling for questions and dialogue from the audience. 

What are some titles of the books you might borrow? They include “Refugee,” “Broken behind the Badge,” “Muslim in America,” “Black & Queer,” and “Migrant Story,” among others.

The Human Library event is designed to make Parkland College a more inclusive and diverse environment, where people are not judged as one might judge a book by its cover. Instead, the real stories of these human books are meant to challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue, according to humanlibrary.org, the website for this worldwide movement of social change. 

Ready to visit the Human Library? If so, please register for this event by emailing benefits@parkland.edu with the subject line “Human Library.” You will then receive a link to register online and select your books.

All we ask is that you bring yourself—and an open mind.

Changing Lives: Highway Construction Careers Training

Join the HCCTP by attending a free orientation session in January

In just under four months, local residents Frankie Hernandez and Dylan Trimble have transformed their lives.

Last winter, they decided to join the Highway Construction Careers Training Program at Parkland College after attending an orientation session. HCCTP, a state program, offers free critical skills training and education in the highway construction trades to women, minorities, and disadvantaged individuals, but the program is open to anyone.

In early July, on the day before Hernandez and Trimble officially graduated, we spotted them working, on Mattis Avenue, and stopped to talk. While an apprentice’s pay is good, they remarked, their employer decided to give them over $7/hour more than they expected.

“Yeah, we are getting the full rate of pay,” Hernandez said. Trimble nodded and extended his hands outward.

“It’s awesome,” he said, referring to either the pay or the job, or both.

One of the seasoned workers on the crew stepped out from the shade of a nearby tree and looked directly at me, adding, “These are good guys. We’re glad to have them.” In fact, if you had just passed by the crew, you would never have guessed who the new guys were. They were focused, working, and part of the team.

So how did Hernandez and Trimble get here? Like many of our HCCTP students, every story is different, but they both wanted to make a lasting change.

“It’s good work. It’s real work,” said Hernandez, standing half in and half out of a square hole their crew had cut out of Mattis Avenue, his gloved hands resting on his waist. “I’m really glad to be working.” Hernandez had attended one of the three orientation classes we offer that inform potential students of the expectations of the HCCTP: Show up on time and do your best.

Students have to have a high school diploma or equivalency, and they must pass a drug screening test. They must be at least 18 and have an interest in the construction trades.

During their first six weeks, Hernandez and Trimble learned math-specific skills for the industry; life skills; construction site safety; equipment training (aerial lift, scissor lift, skid steer, backhoe/end loader, crane safety and rigging, crane signaling, extended reach fork lift, and fork lift); and flagger training. For the following nine weeks they performed hands-on general-construction and skilled-trades training, including stick welding, basic plumbing, electrical work, and sheet metal work.

“The math skills really helped me,” Hernandez said. “I improved a lot in that area so I could do my job.” Trimble had a different takeaway from the experience.

“I like the big machines,” he said, laughing.

Before their first working gig on Mattis Avenue, both men were paid to learn skills to enter the trades. The HCCTP also provides pens, pencils, paper, books, work boots, tools, etc. All students have to do is make sure they wear jeans that are free from rips or tears and be punctual, ready to work, and ready to learn.

Anyone interested in joining the Highway Construction Careers Training Program must first attend an orientation session at the Business Training and Community Education office, 1315 N. Mattis Avenue in Champaign. Our upcoming sessions take place Jan 29 at 2 p.m. and Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Please call 217/351-2235 for more information, or apply online.

 

[This blog post first appeared July 11, 2018.]

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