College Radio Day: Round Two

If you were here last year, you probably heard of the College Radio Day Parade – a loving ode to College Radio Day created by 88.1 The ‘Burg featuring a parade and live music at the El Mira in Downtown Ellensburg. Well now, it’s time for year two. And with experience comes expertise, so this year, The ‘Burg is pulling out all the stops and making the College Radio Day celebration bigger, better and Ayron Jones-er.

If you didn’t know, Ayron Jones and The Way is a heavy rock trio that literally drips with pure talent. The energy, sound and emotion that these three guys can create will have you swearing that there’s at least nine people on stage. Their music sounds like a mixture between the heavy vocals of Seven Mary Three, with the masterful guitar work of Jimmy Hendrix and the technical drumming prowess of Dream Theatre or Avenged Sevenfold with the late Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan.

I can’t oversell how much talent Ayron Jones and The Way has. It’s not possible. They were here last year, and while only about 30 students showed up to check out their FREE show (okay, it was the Friday before Mother’s Day, but still) they were treated to one of the best live shows Ellensburg has ever seen. Yeah, I know Macklemore was here before he took off, and I’m aware we had Phillips Phillips but honestly, I would put Ayron Jones up there with some of the greats of rock ‘n’ roll.

Look at this video. He’s playing the guitar with a drum stick. WITH A DRUM STICK.

At this year’s College Radio Day celebration, make sure to check out Ayron Jones and The Way. They’ll be the guys on stage rocking your socks off. And remember to support your College Radio State of the Year, 88.1 The ‘Burg. Ayron Jones and The Way starts at 9:15 p.m. on the stage behind Iron Horse Brewery.

For more information, check out the calendar listing here.

Sitting down with standup comedian Iliza Shlesigner

You read the story in Hype, now get the full scoop. CWU Hype had a chance to catch up with Iliza Schlesinger, who is busy shooting her new TBS relationship game show, “Separation Anxiety,” performing live and writing new material.

She answered a few our questions, and we couldn’t be more excited to share with you her opinions on social media, how her life changed after winning “Last Comic Standing” and her role in creating entertainment content for a streaming-centric youth.

What inspired you to become a comedian? Were you class clown and it’s something you’ve always dreamed of or did it come to you later in life?

It literally never occurred to me to do anything else. I knew all roads would have to lead to this end result. Also? I can’t do math, so that really limited my horizons.

What’s your favorite type of venue to perform at? What’s your least favorite? Do you have a story of a worst/best experience?

I like big venues because I enjoy feeding off a crowd’s energy. I love commanding a large crowd and I’m used to it from touring so much. That being said, an intimate group is a beautiful thing because you have to really pause to take the time to be mindful of your energy and theirs and how they fit, if it sounds like a new age holistic approach, it isn’t, it’s just a fancy way of talking about timing. I believe there is a lesson to be learned from every show, so I always try to book mainstream and alternative venues, that way I am always prepared. I love it all. 

Did your life change drastically after you won “Last Comic Standing”? How?

Yeah, I had only been doing comedy for three years, so I went from having no career to being a headliner basically overnight. It taught me a lot fast, but I’m glad I got a head start on my life.

You probably get asked this all the time, but I think it’s necessary in today’s climate: How has performing as a woman been throughout the years?

Yeah, I do get asked that lot. Can’t answer it since I’ve never performed as a man.

Were you ever discouraged in becoming a comic because you’re a woman?

No. When you’re funny, people love to tell you that you’re funny. The sad part is when you aren’t funny and people tell you that you’re funny and you try to have a career in it anyway, that’s how you end up holding a sign on a corner to an open house for eight bucks an hour or you get a TV show… Could really go either way.

How has it been working with Netflix and more online-centric entertainment partners? Is this the future for stand-up comedians (rather than Comedy Central specials being the gold-standard)?

Netflix kicked the door in and took no prisoners. They basically pioneered the whole idea of non-linear programming. They put creative people in charge and gave them license to create what they wanted – a great example of that is OITNB. They are exceptional at spotting talent and letting that talent shine. They totally changed the stand up game. It used to be you got a special and it aired whenever a network aired it.

Netflix came in and was like, “How about we give you creative control, put a ton of money behind you and give fans access 24 hours a day?” You would have to be insane not to think their formula is better.  

Have you noticed a change in your style of humor and how well you can craft a joke throughout the years? What was that like and when/how did you start noticing?

The more I do it the more syntax and detail matter. Comedy is a science and pacing, syllables and word choice are huge factors – once you have the heart and the intention, the icing on the cake is the perfect word choice and order.

You’re an avid user of social media; what do you like and/or hate about the experience? Do you feel more connected to fans this way or do you find yourself using it almost as an outlet for distraction like the rest of us?

I hate that total losers feel that they have the right (and no you don’t just because you have the opportunity) to be horrible to people and hide behind the anonymity of a screen. It’s gutless to harass someone and have a locked profile; it just shows how weak they are.

I don’t mind it as much for me because I have a tough skin and don’t read THAT many tweets. I feel for women who are harassed, I feel for any kids that get bullied – I just wish people would remember that the person being mean to you is more afraid of themselves than anything and them lashing out is just them demonstrating how much they hate themselves. No two ways around it.

That being said, I think having a direct connection to fans gives you insight and, if you do it right, you can really lean on them in times of need – I look at my fans like a big group who is all in on a great inside jokes. I love them so much. They are my #PartyGoblins. And yes, I use social media as a remedy to how bored I am (sadly) with every moment my mind isn’t occupied with something worthy of my full attention – like most conversations.

What kind of humor can a crowd of college students expect from your live set? Do you have different material than you’d normally perform?

Do you guys like blood? Do you like balloon art? No? I’d say go watch my Netflix special to prepare, and then come to me with your Raptor Claw sharpened and an open mind.

HAWAI – We’re talking about the band, not the state

If you haven’t heard of HAWAI (pronounced huh-way), I don’t blame you. They’re still new; it takes time to find an audience, and they’re still working on their yet-to-be-named, debut EP. However, if you’re in Ellensburg Friday, Sept 30, and you’re not planning on seeing them for FREE at 8 p.m. in the SURC Pit, then shame on you.

These guys are the real deal and I would be shocked if they aren’t famous by the time 2017 rolls around. Their singles, “Fault” and “In My Head” – which they recently released on Soundcloud and Youtube – are radio ready and sound as if they were produced on equipment worth millions of dollars. Well, they weren’t. Though, recently they’ve collaborated with Lars Staffers who produced for Cold War Kids and The Mars Volta – and with his expertise – HAWAI has been able to create some of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard.

I recently had a chance to catch up with lead singer and song writer Jake Pappas who spoke on behalf of his bandmates, Casey Lagos, Jared Slaybaugh, Matt Gillen and Jesse Dorman who all make up the five-piece southern California alternative rock band, HAWAI.

Jake Pappas is second from the right, in the white shirt.

First question I have to ask: where did the name HAWAI come from?

We racked our brains for a while trying to come up with a band name. Everything in the entire world is already taken. Not only is it already taken, it’s taken by three different bands. We had a lot of things we were considering. We actually had a list of what we wanted the band name to encompass, and HAWAI checked off on every part of it. We wanted people to hear something with the name. We went through every process: combining two words together and see how that works or taking stuff from childhood and see how that connects. We thought it would be cool to have a statement, and have a name that hasn’t been taken yet. You think about something when you hear about that state and it’s normally good things. It’s kind of what we felt our music was; it’s good vibes. We wanted and we always will want our music to take people places. The plan is at some point, when people talk about HAWAI, for them to think, ‘Are you talking about the band or the state?’

You five had a previous band called J.Thoven. Why did you guys decide to start over and what’s different this time around?

This particular project is not like a start over at all, it’s more so a continued thing we’ve always known. It’s a different sound. It’s basically like a new chapter of what we’ve always done together. It’s been great, this time around the song writing has been really different. We’ve actually focused on structure; following the rules of songwriting if you must. Playing live has been a lot more fun, you can engage people a lot better. Our past projects, we never did any of that. We had 10 songs in one. We’ve just kind of straightened out a little bit more.

I noticed you guys have brought in Lars Staffer to produce your EP. What’s that been like?

We signed a publishing deal and they hooked us up with a couple of different producers and we immediately meshed with Lars Staffers. He did the last Cold War Kids record, did the last Matt and Kim record. He’s done a couple of The Mars Volta records. His catalog is getting better and it’s already awesome. We met with him and immediately clicked. He caught our vibe right away and it felt just immediate. Working with him was a huge success in terms of understanding the process. Ever since working with him, we feel an ease when we go to write songs. It doesn’t have to be crazy difficult.

While playing at these different venues, have you had the moment of ‘Oh wow, these people are singing my lyrics right now’?

We’ve got an under the radar thing a little bit. We’ve reached out to blogs and attempted to get our music online as much as possible. Right now is where we’re in the stage of playing out more. So, the locations that we’re playing at, there’s not really anybody that is familiar with us yet. We play our home town in Orange County, but even then, playing our home town is kind of different because you get a lot of your friends. So far this tour has been rad. The kids seem to really really enjoy what we’re doing.

What does playing live mean to you guys?

We all love music so much and it’s what we spend the majority of our day thinking about. And we’re super critical too about what we do and what music is about. So much goes into that, and when you get to play live, you let all of that out. It’s an outlet for us and it feels really good to play a show and feel the energy of the crowd and feel the energy of each other. The live show is like the payoff of that.

You mentioned the songwriting process has changed. Is this from maturing as musicians?

We kind of have a new structure of songwriting that’s just worked the best for us. I will come up with a melody and our lead guitarist has been really into recording over the past few years and has gotten really good at it. We’ll start with a drum beat to say what kind of vibe we want the song to have. We learned from our producer that the drum beat is the vibe of it. Do you want to do something that’s upbeat, a ballad? It’s all structured off the beat. From there, we add a melody of what I think of. Then we layer on top of all of that. We’ve figured out all of that best. Everything is building off of what makes the song best which is the melody. All of the other stuff is secondary really.

How did you meet the other four members in the band?

The drummer and bassist of the band, I had played music with prior to starting community college. While there was when I started writing for the first time. When I was in college, I started writing lyrics and singing. I shared with them the first song I had written. We started playing music again and it led to something that we never expected to do. I fell in love with something I never thought I would pursue.

Don’t miss the chance to catch something truly special when HAWAI visits CWU this Friday at 8 p.m. in the SURC Pit.

What is Fred Meyer Night?

Well, I’m glad you asked! The ASCWU Student Government and Fred Meyer host this event every year, and it is FUN. After the store closes to the public, Fred Meyer opens its doors for two hours exclusively for CWU students, and it’s a party.

Your CWU Connection Card grants you access to the entire store from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. and you’ll find deals and discounts everywhere. Food, school supplies, swag for your dorm room and lots more will be on sale at this midnight event and it’s all happening just for you.

I’m not done yet, there’s more.

Do you like free things? Fred Meyer Night has free things. Be one of the first 100 shoppers and you’ll get a free goodie bag. Eat some free food. Enter for a chance to win a free $50 or $100 gift card. Ride the free shuttle.

Free is good.

Speaking of that shuttle, here’s where to be: At 9:45 p.m., the shuttle’s route will start at The Grove Apartments and will stop at Timothy Park, Brooklane, Student Village, The SURC and Kamola/Sue Lombard Halls on its way to Fred Meyer. Don’t freak out if you miss the bus, it’ll be back every 20 minutes or so. At the end of the night, they’ll drive you back home.

Fred Meyer Night! Tonight! Don’t miss it!

Who needs friends when you’ve got movies like this?


We see two roommates sitting on separate beds on opposite sides of the room facing the south wall, both characters are facing each other. They are both students at Central Washington University. One is paging through a Hype publication, looking at all of the upcoming events for fall quarter. The other is mindlessly fingering through his Facebook feed on his phone.

While flipping through the pages, Jeff looks up at Mike.


Hey Mike, did you see that there’s all these movies playing for free? These all seem to be newer.


Huh? Oh, that’s cool.



Oh, look! Jurassic World is playing this Monday actually, I really wanted to see that. Isn’t that still in theaters? That’s awesome. Wanna go watch it with me? Looks like it’s free for us.


Nah, not really. I’m not really into movies.


(Confused look)

What? You’re not into movies? Not even ones that are free and are played at theater right here at school?


Yeah, just not my thing. Ever since Star Wars: Episode 1 I just haven’t been that into it.


Well, I can’t say I blame ya there. But come on man, at least check it out with me. If not this Monday, next Monday they have the new Avengers.


Oh yeah? I did want to see that…


Great. It’s set then!

The camera slowly pans back as both characters talk, muted by music playing.



Come check out Monday Movie Madness each Monday at the SURC Theatre. For more details on fall quarter’s lineup, head to and click on the calendar and check each Monday. Or, head here for more information. 

When clocks are scarier than glocks

If you’ve been following the news today, then you’ve no doubt seen a story about a 14-year-old student at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas named Ahmed Mohamed who was arrested for bringing a home-made clock to school. Teachers misidentified the clock for a bomb and promptly called the police who arrested and detained Ahmed. You can read about it all here and here.

The police interrogated Ahmed for hours alone, without his parents present. The school also suspended him for three days. At a press conference, an Irving police officer said Ahmed was arrested for bringing a “hoax bomb” to school. A bomb squad wasn’t called, nor was the school evacuated. Odd right?

If you search #IStandWithAhmed on Twitter, you’ll find a plethora of tweets in support of Ahmed’s fight against the Irving Independent School District and the Irving Police Department. Many tweets juxtapose a photo of Ahmed in handcuffs with those of white children holding guns. In this case, one child was arrested for building a “suspicious” clock, while other children hold actual weapons are not bothered by the law.

As it stands now, Ahmed was not charged legally with any wrongdoing. But his school suspension was still upheld, and even after a letter was sent out to community members from the school, they have not apologized publicly for the debacle. If you read the letter, you’ll notice it makes no mention of any mistakes or wrongdoing by either the school or the police department. It’s important to note that knee-jerk reactions the teachers of Irving had are not the correct course of action when dealing with instances like this.

It’s important for us as students at CWU to recognize issues like this and learn from them. Not everyone pays attention to the news (and for sometimes good reason). If we ever want to change, however, we need to be enlightened and tuned into the world around us. Ahmed’s story is something we can all learn from. It’s hard not to inject opinion into this matter and while we don’t know the whole story (yet), we do know that no child should be suspended for a harmless science project.

If you notice instances of institutional or personal racism or discrimination, don’t be afraid to speak up. And as if this story wasn’t already big enough, our own POTUS had something to say about it.

Your School, Your Town, Your Community

Experience Ellensburg and Get Involved with CLCE’s “Kittitas Connect”

Did you ever study algebra? Of course you did; you’re in college right now, so algebra must have been a part of the academic path that led you here. It has been a long time since I studied math (and as a writer and English major that subject certainly is not my forte), but there is one theory that I vaguely remember: the law of transitive relation. It states that when element A relates to element B, and element B relates to element C, then element A also relates to element C. If A=B and B=C, then A=C. Look familiar?

Chew on this: you are element A, CWU is element B and the Ellensburg community is element C. So, with this in mind let’s take another look at the law of transitive relation. You (element A) just moved into your new dorm room at CWU (element B), and CWU (element B) is a part of the Ellensburg community (element C). Therefore, if A=B and B=C, you are now a part of the Ellensburg community! Simple, right??

Listen, my point is this: don’t keep yourself locked away in your dorm room! As a member of the CWU community you are also a part of this great city and all it has to offer. Our region of the state is absolutely full of outdoor recreational opportunities and community engagement projects, and you owe it to yourself to take advantage of everything that is within your reach. Education is more than books and quizzes; it’s about exposure, engagement, growth and interaction with the world in which you live.

In pursuit of this side of higher education, the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement (CLCE) presents their series, “Kittitas Connect.” According to CLCE Program Manager Kim Jellison, “Kittitas Connect” is a series of events that brings Central students together with a purpose of getting them involved with their community in positive ways while heightening a sense of civic responsibility and developing leadership skills.

“The (Kittitas Connect) projects focus on connecting students with their beautiful surroundings,” Jellison said. “It gets them out into the community and involved in Ellensburg and its surrounding areas. It’s a shame how many students can spend their entire college experience here without ever discovering what Ellensburg has to offer and how beautiful this part of the state really is.”

Kittitas Connect will offer students various community engagement opportunities throughout fall quarter, including a Yakima River Canyon cleanup effort, a downtown storm drain stenciling project and a downtown “Make a Difference Day,” in which students can participate in preparing the 65 downtown flower pots for winter.

Volunteers are always welcome at the CLCE. For more information about the center, its mission and projects, or to register for Kittitas Connect events, visit the CLCE website at or stop by their offices in SURC room 256.