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Family tragedies help shape Garrett Hermansen’s heartfelt music

Last May, Garrett Hermansen made his return to the Anchorage music scene after spending nearly five years Outside. A departure from his childhood gigs with Alaskan troubadour Hobo Jim, Hermansen’s comeback tour was a far more humble affair. Standing on a doormat sized carpet in an empty Saturday Market stall, Hermansen busked for change as tourists clamored for the best deal on Alaskan t-shirts. But their disinterest had no effect on Hermansen. Eyes closed and fingers raw from hours of playing guitar, he belted the words to Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You into the Dark” with such force one might have thought he was playing for a sold-out crowd. A year later, a more established Herma

No Justice, No Peace

“Say his name,” cried George Floyd protesters on Saturday as they marched in downtown Anchorage Organized by Anchorage’s young social activists Markus Vinson and Taylor Steinmetz, Alaskans gathered in town square to march for social justice. "When we organized this just a few days ago, I didn't think people would come. I thought maybe my friends and family would come but now, you are all my family," an impassioned Vinson told the crowd of hundreds. The protest brought together a diverse cross-section of Alaskans who turned up to not only protest the unlawful death of Floyd but also the systemic mistreatment of people of color. As one protester put it, “this will continue to happen to black p

Vinyl tap

SalmonFest is just another major music event to bite the dust in the last few weeks.

Palmer-based artist John Budnik releases ‘Messenger’

There’s an old adage that necessity is the mother of invention. In the case of Palmer-based singer-songwriter John Budnik, a band breakup mixed with an inspirational album from Sturgill Simpson was the necessity that sparked his new solo album, “Messenger.” “I just got to the point where I thought, ‘fuck it, I don’t have a band, but that’s fine. I’ve got a computer and some equipment, so I’m just going to go for it and let the album be a reflection of where I’m at musically,” Budnik says. As a graduate of both UAA’s philosophy and journalism programs, Budnik is adept at writing. But when it came to adding instrumentation to his lyrics, he had to dig a little deeper. “Of course, I would have

The Nameless move on from underground gigging to recording

In 2013, Chris Alsup got his band, Undercover, their first gig. The only problem was, he didn’t actually have a band at the time, and the gig was in a month. For most people, this would be a sign to fess up, or at least come up with an excuse not to play. Luckily, Alsup took it as a challenge. “I had been sending Facebook messages to Kyle [Wilson] because I had jammed with him before and knew I wanted to play with him again,” explained Alsup. Wilson wasn’t as keen on a reunion. “He literally ignored every message I sent him. Like, you can look back at the message log, and he literally never wrote back. So, I started writing to his sister and was like, ‘I see that Kyle is online, can you tell

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Editorial Photography and Journalism