Chapman Alumnus Embarks on European Tour

Cameron Lew, who graduated from Chapman this spring with a major in film production, doubles as lead singer and pianist for a powerful soulful trio: Ginger Root. Lew describes his sound as “aggressive elevator soul.” Ginger Root started making music in 2015 and are now on their first European tour, opening for Texan rock-duo Khruangbin. Lew sat down with Prowl to talk about Ginger Root and how he is preparing for his first tour abroad.

Cameron, Matt, and Dylan play their instruments in a still from Mahjong Room. Photo courtesy of Cameron Lew.

Ginger Root’s Mahjong Room captures youthful expression through multiple mediums, including dance, song, and film. Mahjong Room was directed by Ginger Roots own frontman, Lew. Everyone who worked on this video is a Chapman student. 

Prowl talked to Lew, who graduated in 2018 and is now headed on a European Tour. 

How did you come up with the name for the band?

Ginger Root came from a video of Vulfpeck I was watching late at night. There was this bit about “ginger root” in the video that made me laugh so hard that that phrase got stuck in my head for the next week. Then when it was time to figure out a name for the band, all I could come up with was ‘Ginger Root.’

When did you start Ginger Root?

I’ve been playing music for awhile in various groups, but Ginger Root started two years ago.

How did you all meet?

We all met in high school. There was an after school arts program that we were all a part of, and I had just started making music under the name Ginger Root and had already put out an album. I needed people to help me play these songs live and Matt Carney, who plays drums, and Dylan Hovis, who plays bass helped me out. They’re all quite a bit younger than me, they were freshman when I was a senior in high school, but we all crossed paths and now we’re best buds.

Where can we find your music online?

There are two albums out on streaming services (Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp). I just put out an album this past June, which is all over the internet. My first album is all cover songs, and I actually recorded the entire album in my car. In between classes I would go to Hart Park and record a cover. Sometimes a car would pull up next to me and I would have to stop so people wouldn’t see me drumming in my car. The first cover song I did was on top of the DMAC (Digital Media Arts Center) parking structure, and the cops got called on me for a noise complaint.

What type of covers do you do?

It’s a mix of old and new stuff, but a lot of the old stuff is Motown, The Beatles, or soul. I am a huge Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye fan and any of that stuff is really cool and a great amount of soul for me.

Call It Home reminisces through vintage motown sounds like Stevie Wonder, while also infusing new elements of funk and soul.

How would you describe your sound?

We describe our sound as: aggressive elevator soul. Take that as how you will, if people listen to the music after hearing that description then hopefully they say “oh that sounds about right.”

Matt, Cameron, and Dylan pose in their merch. Photo courtesy of Cameron Lew.

Do you guys have any shows coming up?

We will be leaving for our first European tour this October, where we are opening up for Khruangbin. We start off in England, then Paris. Then we drive up to Brussels , Belgium, Copenhagen , Denmark, and Berlin. This is the start of it, and the shows are sold out so we are trying not to freak out. We do not get a lot of money, but this opportunity is amazing for exposure and the experience is priceless.We are using every opportunity to learn from this first run.

Khruangbin infuses elements of soul and psychedelia with Como Te Quiero, and tells it through a visually striking animation.

Do you have a dream venue/person you would want to play with?

I would love to play a show with Japanese Breakfast, Tennis, or White Denim. My dream venue would be the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles.

Jeanie captures a nostalgic and romantic feeling through somber chords and unchained melodies. The accompanying video takes a fresh and original look at what it means to be in a 21st century relationship. Photo by Cameron Lew.

You can find all of Ginger Root’s music on YouTube, Spotify, and Soundcloud. You can follow Ginger Root on Facebook, Instagram, and on gingerrootmusic.com. Their merchandise is available here

 

Hold the turkey: How to make a vegan Thanksgiving dish

Thanksgiving is a time for students to take a break from studying, spend time at home and stuff their faces. According to The New York Times, the average American eats 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving, mostly comprised of turkey, stuffing and gravy. But if you want to save some turkey lives and save some calories, consider trying this vegan recipe this Thanksgiving. Hey, if the president can pardon a turkey, why can’t you?

 

Cheesy Cauliflower Broccoli Casserole

What you’ll need:

  1. One head of cauliflower, riced
  2. Three cups of roughly chopped broccoli
  3. One tablespoon of olive, grapeseed or avocado oil
  4. One half cup of vegan parmesan cheese
  5. One teaspoon  each of sea salt and  black pepper
  6. Four tablespoons of olive oil
  7. Five  cloves of garlic, minced
  8. One fourth  cup of arrowroot starch or all purpose flour
  9. Two  cups of unsweetened, plain almond milk
  10. One fourth  cup of nutritional yeast
  11. One half  cup of chickpeas (optional)
  12. Two thirds cup of breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit  and grease a nine by 13 inch (or similar size) baking dish
  2. Buy riced cauliflower, or rice one head of cauliflower with a small knife or in a food processor
  3. Lightly steam your broccoli in the microwave in 45-second increments
  4. Next, prepare your sauce. Heat a large skillet on  medium heat. Once hot, add oil and minced garlic. Stir for one to two  minutes, or until light golden brown, then add arrowroot starch and whisk – cook for an additional minute.
  5. Slowly add almond milk while whisking, then cook for two  minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. The sauce will look clumpy.
  6. Transfer mixture to a blender, along with 1/4 teaspoon  each of salt and pepper, nutritional yeast and vegan parmesan cheese.  Blend on high until creamy and smooth.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed – you want it salty and cheesy, so don’t be shy with the nutritional yeast, salt and vegan parmesan cheese.
  8. Heat a separate skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add one tablespoon oil and cauliflower rice. Season with salt and pepper and stir to coat. Then cover and let cook for two  minutes. Remove cover, stir and cook for one to two minutes more or until slightly softened. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  9. Add the steamed broccoli to the mixing bowl and season liberally with salt, pepper and half of the vegan parmesan cheese. Add more seasoning to taste and stir well.
  10. Add all of the sauce to the mixture and stir to coat. Then transfer to your  baking dish and top with another sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese and all of the bread crumbs
  11. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit  for 20 minutes. Then remove foil and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit  for five to 15 minutes more or until bubbly and golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Sprinkle with any other desired toppings.
  13. Serve  when fresh. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to four  days, or in the freezer up to one month.

Chapman students questioning consumerism

Old is gold for Chapman students like Natalia Ventura, sophomore peace studies major, who prefers plucking used clothes from thrift stores to raiding the racks of Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and H&M for the latest fashion trends. Ventura says she is helping the planet while saving money.

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Valentina Pagliari lounging with an impressive collection of her thrifted clothing. Photo by Torian Mylott.

Sustainable shopping is consuming consciously: only buying what you need in ways that minimize one’s carbon footprint, and supporting businesses that treat and pay employees well. While sustainable shopping may involve paying premium prices to designers and companies that go to great lengths to make sure their workers are well paid, it can also involve buying on the secondary market – thrifting, in other words – and that saves money. Some also swap clothes, loan each other needed items, or raid their parents’ closets for retro items.

Shopping sustainably is “overall a greener and more ethical choice,”  says junior film studies major Kamla Thurtle. Kamla likes to shop for thrifted clothing at Buffalo Exchange, Deelux, and Goodwill.

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Ventura rocking some thrifted patterned pants. Photo courtesy of Natalia Ventura.

Many students are taking their passion for sustainable shopping further, like Ventura and Valentina Pagliari, a junior film studies major, who are starting a new club together called “Chapman Thrifties.” This group will be “a platform for Chapman students to come together and talk about sustainability, for them to become aware of where their clothes are coming from, and to instill more sustainable fashion practices into our students,” says Pagliari. The goal is to create more of a dialogue about clothing and “an awareness about how much our clothes affect the rest of the world,” says Ventura. Some of Ventura’s  favorite ways to sustainably shop are through hand-me-downs, upcycling, trading with friends, and thrifting at places like Casa Teresa.

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Pagliari posing with a vintage purse she purchased at The Orange Antique Mall. Photo by Torian Mylott.

Sustainability has even come to online shopping.

Pagliari created an Instagram page supporting and connecting thrifting enthusiasts through Depop, an online selling platform where anyone can sell or buy clothes. Pagliari’s passion for thrifting and vintage clothing began in high school where she saw other students “curate their own outfits, instead of copying and pasting an outfit from a mannequin,” she said. Pagliari has been adding her own creativity to her wardrobe ever since. She prefers second-hand shopping to buying new, because she wants her style – which she describes as “rock-n-roll chick  from the 70s that had a baby with a 90s hip-hop tomboy queen” – to be unique. Pagliari said she almost always profits from selling her own clothes. “If something is worth money, why not get money for it?” she said.

Inspired to go thrifting? Here are a few options of cheap sustainable shopping in Orange:

Goodwill 849 S. Tustin St. Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Deelux 132 S. Glassell St. Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Assistance League 124 S. Orange St Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Salvation Army 180 S. Tustin St. Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Casa Teresa 234 N. Glassell St Friday-Sunday & Wednesday – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Orange Antique Mall 118 S. Glassell St. Every day 10 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.