Attending Warped Tour 2018 was a dream come true. As a kid who’s been told his music taste was weird—and being asked if I worshipped Satan after showing off a favorite band—being in an atmosphere where my kind of music was celebrated was a welcoming shock. There were loud bands performing to even louder crowds, setting the scene for every angsty kid in his newly acquired “Make America Emo Again” hat. 
Sadly, 2018 marked the final full country run of Warped Tour, for reasons unknown.  Warped Tour is the biggest celebration of alternative rock and roll in the United States, so the final tour went out with a bang, thank to these amazing bands.

Ever had a person in your life who you want to politely ask to stop breathing? Well, MAKEOUT’s debut album, “The Good Life,” is the soundtrack to that feeling. The album is a mix of pop-punk jams with slower, more meaningful songs in between. Standouts include “Crazy,” a ridiculously catchy and original song about a girl who can’t make up her mind, and “Lisa,” an almost comedic track about, you guessed it, a girl named Lisa and why lead singer Sam Boxold is not a fan.  MAKEOUT’s sound is a love letter to bands like All Time Low and All-American Rejects, with songs that feature engaging instrumentals and lyrics that are both catchy and meaningful. With a real garage punk vibe, MAKEOUT is definitely worthy of a place on your playlist.

Doll Skin
If you are looking for something a bit heavier, look no further than Doll Skin.  Boasting a sound that perfectly blends pop with metal and punk, lead singer Sydney Dolezal has a very distinct and powerful voice combined with some of the best rock guitar the scene has to offer. If you needed anymore proof that Doll Skin are some of the coolest girls in rock and roll, their song “Shut Up (You Miss Me)” will put any worries to rest.

Palaye Royale
Palaye Royale is a modern day gothic version of a 70s glam rock, and it slays.  The band’s style is very distinct, looking as if they were ripped straight from a Tim Burton movie.  There is far more to Palaye Royale than just makeup and flashy outfits. Songs such as “Mr. Doctor Man” feature strong instrumentals and Remington Leith’s unique vocals make it a song that is catchy, but also has a deeper meaning rooted in mental health and self-expression. The band, in both look and sound, pay homage to My Chemical Romance while still creating something really exceptional. Palaye Royale is not a band to ignore and is a definite win for all the emo kids out there.
Warped Tour On-the-Go
Now that I’ve gassed up the scene, here’s some rad jams to satisfy the head-banging angsty kid we all are on the inside.
The Rock Show: Blink-182
Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous: Good Charlotte
Lisa: Makeout
Mister Doctor Man: Palaye Royale
Dear Maria, Count Me In: All Time Low
I’m Not Okay: My Chemical Romance
Shut Up (You Miss Me): Dollskin
Check Yes Juliet: We The Kings
December (Again): Neck Deep
The Middle: Jimmy Eats World

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Fan Expo! 
Fan Expo, previously known as Boston Comic-Con, is Boston’s premier fan experience—Boston’s own little slice of nerdy goodness. It wouldn’t be ridiculous to believe that a comics convention is just a bunch of guys arguing about the superior Star Trek captain (it’s Piccard by the way)—but, while Fan Expo Boston is the perfect place to geek out over your prefered movie, book or video game, there is so much more to the three-day experience. Whether you’re a convention vet or just testing the waters, here are the sights to see at Fan Expo Boston.

Soak Up the Pop Culture
People pass off comics conventions thinking non-comics fans have no reason to go. However, according to comic book artist and Fan Expo veteran Joe St. Pierre, “If you have any interest in pop culture or anything that's happening nowadays, the source material is all in comics. So, if you’re interested in any of those things—all the creators, the people who make the movies and TV shows, and the actors are all here in one spot.” 
In years long past, this sort of convention was a group of guys talking about Wolverine fighting Batman, but it has evolved into the ultimate celebration of pop culture. A five-minute walk across the convention floor is like a fandom safari. You’ll spot anything from Disney princesses to Sith Lords. 
Now, it’s very easy to be intimidated by the 6’4’’ cloaked man holding a giant glow stick, but don’t worry, you’re not about to be force-choked: it’s just a cosplayer. Cosplay is a fundamental of the Fan Expo experience, with fans going to extreme lengths to pay tribute to their favorite franchises. Some of this year’s standouts included a woman dressed as Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty,” and someone in a full suit of MJOLNIR Mark VI armor from the “Halo” series. 

Get Artsy
For our more creative readers out there, the artist’s alley is the place to be. Featuring creators large and small, it is an excellent exhibition of some of the best local artists, as well as some of the biggest names in comics. Strolling down the red-carpeted aisles, you can enjoy or even purchase watercolor portraits of your favorite characters, official signed merch, and even get a tattoo if you’re old enough. The artist’s alley is a must-see for anyone seeking to combine a love of art with a pop culture obsession.

Give Back
A big pull for those who aren’t into the nerdier side of Fan Expo is the many affiliated charities such as Extralife, an organization that allows streamers to game for a good cause, with the proceeds going to a charity of their choice. There’s also the 501st Legion, an all-volunteer organization of Star Wars cosplayers who dedicate their time towards fundraising and charity, often dressed in Sith or Imperial costumes. 

Hear from the Experts
 This year, we were lucky enough to see the “Back To The Future” reunion. Actors from the classic time travel film got together on stage to talk about the film and answer fans’ questions. It is uncommon that fans have an opportunity to interact with their heroes, and that’s why Fan Expo’s most notable attraction is these panels. 

It’s not the comics, the costumes, or even the creators. It’s the atmosphere of comradery inspired by a common love of pop culture and everything nerdy that makes the event special. Whether you’re a Dungeon Master, a Potter fanatic, a Trekkie or just looking for a cool place to spend your weekend, Boston Fan Expo is for you.  

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I kick off my shoes and pull on my slippers before entering the house. The aroma from the kitchen overwhelms the dining room. I lift the curtain and see my aproned mother handling the wok, covered in a cloud of steam. Her spatula clangs against the metal, the ingredients sizzling as they stir-fry.
Of all the foods I’ve eaten, I cannot give up my mother’s Cantonese home cooking, a southern Chinese style of cuisine. Cantonese food is healthy; vegetables are not over-seasoned, but clean and light, and the food isn’t spicy because it is meant to cool you down from the dense, southern heat. Everything is either punch-in-the-face flavorful, or easy on the tongue. There is no in-between. 
These easy and authentic Cantonese recipes can be made anytime. Most of the vegetables in these recipes can be found in any farmers’ market, but the dried ingredients and seasoning may be found in your local Asian grocery store, like Super 88 or H-Mart.

Stir-fry Glass Noodles
My family is Buddhist, and this dish has elements that reflect Buddhist philosophy, which is why we often eat it during traditional holidays. 
  • 1 pack of thin glass noodles 
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery 
  • Scallions
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 2 chinese sausages
  • Seasoning: 1 pinch salt, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, maybe some MSG. 
  1. My mum likes to soak the noodles in cold water before cooking them. I always skip this step, but we should listen to mum this one time. 
  2. While the noodles are soaking, chop and mince the ingredients. My mum specifically slices everything diagonally for this dish. The vegetables and sausage should be long and thin to mimic the noodles. 
  3. Pour your preferred oil into a hot wok together with garlic. 
  4. Garlic burns easily when cooking with high heat, so quickly throw in the sausage, carrots, and celery after the garlic releases its scent. 
  5. Drain the glass noodles, toss them in, and stir quickly so the noodles don’t stick to the wok. 
  6. Add one or two cups of the water that was used for soaking. Stir until a majority of water evaporates. 
  7. Now it’s time to season. Mum only uses soy sauce, but it is going to end up being bland, so I add salt first, then soy sauce for some color. 
  8. Toss all the ingredients in the wok one final time. The dish should look golden brown when served.

Baby Napa Cabbage
My uncle made the best stir fry napa cabbage! My mum tries to replicate it all the time.
  • 1 pack of baby napa cabbage
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (sliced)
  • Tiny knob of ginger (minced)
  • Handful of dried shrimp 
  • Handful of dried scallop
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Wash your cabbage and peel the leaves apart. 
  2. Give the dried shrimp and scallop a quick wash. Dry with paper towel.
  3. Put oil in a hot wok and quickly toss the shrimp and scallop in.
  4. After crisping up the shrimp and scallop, toss in garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. Mum never gave measurements, so you’ll have to eye everything. 
  5. Sprinkle in some water. Mum says the wok should now look like “a milky broth.”
  6. Toss in the cabbage, put the lid on for one or two minutes, then remove the lid. 
  7. Stir until the cabbage leaves soften and the excess water evaporates. 
  8. This dish is formally served with the leaves all facing the same direction and the shrimp and scallop as topping. I usually eat this with rice to balance out the saltiness. 

Homemade Wontons
Wonton soup is oh-so-Cantonese. It can be eaten any time of the day. 
  • A pack of square wonton skins (preferably yellow)
  • 1/2 lb. ground shrimp 
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • Scallions
  • Seasoning: 1 tbsp white pepper, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp salt, and 1 tbsp soy sauce. 
  1. Mince the scallions finely. Add the ground pork, shrimp, and seasoning. Mix until a paste-like consistency. 
  2. With a spoon, ladle 3/4 spoon worth of filling. 
  3. Place filling in the middle of the wonton skin, fold in half, and pinch the ends to seal. 
  4. Repeat until all filling and skin have been used up. 
  5. Boil your wontons in water or stock until they float. 
  6. Serve soup and wontons in a bowl, topped with scallions and extra soy sauce (of course). 

“I’m home!” I yell in her ear, but she gives no reaction and continues working the wok. I peek over her shoulder and see black mushrooms, lotus roots, snow peas, and pork belly all dancing around in the wok. She hands me a sample and asks in Taishanese: “Is it salty enough?” I’m her designated taste tester. 
My mum shows her love and appreciation through her cooking. I will continue her legacy and learn to show love through my cooking as well. 

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When asked about racism in America, Asians probably do not come to mind. But, catch a glimpse of us on the big screen, and you’ll see how America only has misrepresentation and mockery to offer. In today’s films, Asian actors often don’t play a role unless they do the stereotypical accent. Opportunities are not being taken away, but they are narrowed down to the idea America has of us. 
“We don't have a history here, Asians aren't in the Bible,” said Andrew Fung, a YouTuber based in LA, in an article for Vice. “Our accents are comparable to having a lisp or some kind of speech impediment, they aren't used for authoritative voices.” 
America has a prejudiced history with Asians, beginning with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 created to prevent Chinese laborers from immigrating to America to “steal” jobs. It was not just the Chinese who were denied access into the country, but all South and Southeast Asians. 
During the influx of Asian immigrants, the “coolie” stereotype began and Asian women were commonly associated with prostitutes. Many other racist depictions of Asians also derived from propaganda during the Korean and Vietnam War. 
Discrimination against Asians in America has formed a negative stereotype towards the Asian accent. Despite this, Asians continue to be in films, although most representations of Asians have not been positive because many non-Asians continue to mock our accents and reinforce negative stereotypes.
Lynn Nguyen of Roxbury said, “American media has found comedy in Asian accents. They use to cast white people to star as Asians in movies, and to be ‘authentic’ they would make an accent, their role was meant to be funny.”
In the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, actor Mickey Rooney played a Japanese landlord. The director had him stomping instead of walking in an attempt to dehumanize his character. He had buck teeth to emphasize his horrendous accent, and to show how being Asian is meant to be unappealing. 
Yvonne, from the Hebei Province in China, said, “ I think it’s uncomfortable when white actors play Asian characters.” 
 These issues can be resolved by having more Asian directors, diverse casting directors who do accurate casting and for Asian actors to have the opportunity to accurately represent our many communities. There is a large populations of Asians in America that are missing representation. The idea that Southeast Asians represent the entire continent need to be erased. 
My mother has a heavy accent. I see my mother’s accent as resilience. When our pronunciation becomes a stereotype, the identity of the Asian community becomes reduced to nothing more than misconceptions. 

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Curveball: Packy Naughton’s Journey from BLS to the MLB
“I was 4 years old,” Patrick (Packy) Naughton recalls. He’s sitting in his hotel room, resting after pitching five innings and earning seven strikeouts for the Dayton Dragons just a couple hours earlier. 
“I started going out to the field with my older brother, Jake, and my dad. I wasn’t on the team, but I was always out there with them practicing.”
That practice paid off for 22-year-old Naughton, who was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in June 2017. He now pitches for the Dragons, their minor league team, and is still following his dream of making it big.
His persistence inspires many Boston teenagers. “I’d say many of the high school baseball players look up to him,” said 18-year-old Lauren Cloherty of West Roxbury. “In a way, he makes ‘making it’ real.” 
18-year-old Maria Levine of West Roxbury agreed. Levine particularly admires how Naughton “follows a path that takes him out of Boston, yet still remains very connected to his roots.”
Naughton began following this path in eighth grade, when he became a starting pitcher for Boston Latin School’s varsity baseball team. By his sophomore year, his coaches were pushing him to fulfill his remarkable potential. 
“My pitching coach...said I could make some real money playing the game of baseball,” Naughton recounts contemplatively. He smiles subtly and continues. “I thought, ‘Yeah, okay. I could see myself playing this for the rest of my life.’”
But Naughton, more than anyone, is aware of the physical risks of pursuing an athletic career. He experienced them firsthand during his junior year of high school. As he began talks with various college coaches about his future baseball career, Naughton suffered an injury in his left (dominant) arm, and had to endure Tommy John surgery. The procedure, which replaced a torn ligament in his elbow with a tendon from his wrist, put him on his team’s injured list for longer than any athlete would like. 
In the 15 months before Naughton started pitching again, he was in physical therapy up to four times a week. He had to work to obtain full range of motion back, and then to strengthen his shoulder and elbow muscles. Thankfully, Naughton made a full recovery from the injury, but the surgery constantly reminds him of the fragility of a professional athlete, as it jeopardized his career before it even had a chance to take off.
“Going out to the field each day, I definitely don’t take it for granted,” he says. “I know that this can come to an abrupt end, but as long as the game of baseball is giving me time, I’m going to make the most of it.”
What exactly is making the most of it for Naughton? It’s rigorous weight training, daily long toss, working seven days a week and pitching one out of every five games. When he isn’t pitching, he’s taking notes on other pitchers and batters, warming up other players, stretching, working out and reviewing film. It’s always something, he says. The constant work is important for Naughton if he wants to stay on top of his game. But the first time he pitched for Virginia Tech, in a game against Clemson, he wondered if the top of his game was even enough. 
“It kind of slapped me in the face when I got to college where I was facing 18- to 23-year-old men who I can’t just throw a 90 mile an hour fastball by,” Naughton says. “I actually have to work for it more. I came in that game against Clemson in relief, there’s a runner on first with no outs, top of the tenth inning and a tie ball game. I wanted to come in and shut the door, give our team a chance to take the win.” The detail with which he presents this story make it clear just how much it’s stuck with him.
“I walked a kid, gave up a single, and all of a sudden, it’s bases loaded. I went on to give up a grand slam that ended up winning the game.”
 It’s almost hard to hear Naughton’s low voice and slow speech at this point. He’s lost in his own memory, reliving the first game that made him fear he was not cut out for this sport. But he did what he knew he had to: “I worked even harder.”
His coaches have noticed this dedication, specifically Seth Etherton, a pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds. “The [Reds] organization holds him in high regard as a young left-handed pitcher,” Etherton says. “He should move through our system pretty quickly if he continues on this track.”
When Naughton is having a particularly tough game, he is able to recognize how far he’s come and how one small detail, whether that be a rocky field or a bad pitch, won’t determine his entire career. 
“It’s just an error. One error isn’t going to make or break your career. Battle through it.”
And battle through it he does. When he recalls a home game against Boston College—just weeks after the devastating Clemson loss—Naughton grins, as if he’s realizing why he plays the game for the first time all over again. 
“I had pitched six innings perfect, without allowing a base runner,” his voice is noticeably lighter now, excited, even. “Again, I’m facing 18- to 23-year-olds, but this time I’m absolutely dominating them.”
Naughton’s sense of belonging is contagious, Coach Etherton notes.
“When it’s time to work, he works,” he says. “When it’s time to be a teammate, he’s 100 percent supportive, keeping everybody laughing.”
As Naughton finishes reflecting, he emphasizes the preciousness he finds in every moment of his career and his life. 
“No matter what, it isn’t as bad as you think it is,” he says. “From having career threatening surgery at 17, to facing challenging opponents on tough days, your head can get caught up in the hard parts. But don’t let it. You’re out here playing a game for a living.”

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