main street Summer Issue 2012
Interview with Scott Avett Kony 2012: The Age of Slacktivism Q&A with The Neighbourhood 1
Editor’s Note I recently heard a UNH professor say something that really struck me: “Being a student is easy; being a student who is also a citizen is a challenge worth striving for.” I found this to be profoundly true. Throughout my time here at UNH I have learned many things, from my professors, my peers, and my friends. What will stay with me are the life lessons, the acts that were universal. It is almost effortless to get caught up in college culture, but what is more difficult is to think about the world beyond the bubble. Having enough perspective to see what is important to you, what you’re passionate about, why you’re even taking the classes you’re enrolled in – that’s what is key. The individual student might not think that they have an impact on this university of more than 14,000, but that is altogether untrue. You do have a purpose here; you do have an influence, at whatever level that might be. To the kid in your class, your freshman roommate, your professor, your neighbor, a friend - the effect people have on one another can be profound. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of students engaged in their education, taking their role in our community seriously. I thank you all for making this university a better place. So whatever you came here for, a bachelors in liberal arts or a good time, I lean toward the belief that a college education is just too damn expensive to waste. Participate in it, engage, go out, get wild, do it all. I anticipate only the best for the class of 2012, and all graduates in the future who continue to pursue their role as student citizens.
Eliza Mackintosh: Editor-in-Chief, Contributing Writer Jake DeSchuiteneer: Editor, Contributing Writer Ian Ferguson: Editor, Contributing Writer Michelle Tremblay: Editor, Contributing Writer Tynan DeBold : Photo Editor, Contributing Designer Ella Nilsen: Design Editor, Contributing Writer Brian Morin: Design Editor, Web Designer Joe Creed: Contributing Writer, Contributing Photographer Sarah Cotton: Contributing Writer Victoria Hanson: Contributing Writer Travis Harsin: Contributing Writer, Contributing Photographer Taylor Lawrence: Contributing Writer Kurt Steiner: Contributing Writer Leah Tully: Contributing Writer Olivia Whitton: Contributing Writer, Contributing Photographer Arly Maulana: Contributing Designer Katie Wisniewski: Contributing Designer Kelley Stenberg: Business Manager Nikollette Storro: Advertising Coordinator Printed by our friends at unh printing services, 10 West Edge Drive, Durham, NH The opinions expressed within Main Street are solely the opinions of the attributed writers and are not necessarily shared by Main Street magazine, Student Press Organization, SAFC, the University of New Hampshire, or anyone else, for that matter.
xx Eliza Mackintosh
Main Street magazine is funded entirely by your student activity fee and we would like to thank SAFC for continuing to fund this publication. www.mainstreetunh.com
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On The Cover Scott Avett Something short about The Avett Brothers and their banjo playing man. A few sentces will fit without a problem Another few words and more text to fill this space Eliza is eating a sandwihch.
Main Street Spring 2012 Issue 2
Featured Article Kony 2012: Fact and Fiction How Invisible Children took advantage of the social media slacktivism virus. With over 88 million views, Invisible Childrenâ€™s Kony 2012 video is one of the most viral videos of all time, but did those staggering numbers translate into participation during Cover the Night? We have it all here.
Features 34 Max Auger: Life of a Male Dance Major 36 Finding a Voice 38 Professor Spotlight: Ruwa Pokomy
Reviews 6 7 8 12
Film: Foreign Classics Book: The Hunger Games Music Restaurants: Dessert Spots & the Benefits of Chocolate
14 Drinkify 15 Skinny Dip-ing
Arts & Style 16 Inked 17 Summer Beauty Tricks & Tips
Satire 18 10 Commandments of PDA 19 Hipsters Defined
Travel 20 24 25 26
Summer Festivals in the States Feel the Rush Hike the Whites The Observatory: Bringing UNH to the Sky
Photo Spread 22 Cape Cod: Summer Teaser
Music 10 11 30 32 41
Summer Mixtape Queer Rapâ€™s Longevity Interview with Scott Avett Rising: The Neighbourhood Stone Church
CONTRIBUTORS 1 Michelle Tremblay. 2 Olivia Whitton. 3 Arly Maulana. 4 Kurt Steiner. 5 Taylor Lawrence. 6 Leah Tully. 7 Ian Ferguson. 8 Victoria Hanson. 9 Tynan DeBold. 10 Sarah Cotton. 11 Brian Morin. 12 Ella Nilsen. 13 Joe Creed. 14 Travis Harsin. 15 Katie Wisniewski. 16 Jake DeSchuiteneer. 4
Staff Picks Things that MSM Staff Love Now If there’s a reason my GPA drops after this semester, Draw Something is probably it. It’s been the perfect senioritis cure, as I spend all of my class lectured glued to this app. The Pictionary-esque game is addicting because the more drawings you successfully complete, the more points you gain which can go toward additional colors for your drawigns or receiving helpful word-guessing hints. Don’t play with friends who are actually artistic, though. That takes the fun out of it.
Lexie’s Joint: This tiny Portsmouth restaurant features the most delicious/creative burgers you will find anywhere, including the Farmhouse, the Marmaduke, Swiss Beatz...the list goes on. Added bonus are their awesome shakes (favorite staple is the Green Monster = mint oreo).
--Ella What better way to float down the river than in a designer inflatable? The Cool Hunter website started a competition to create the ultimate beach toys for boozy tube trips and they came up with life-sized blow up Mini Coopers. Awesome.
I guess I’ll have to go
with Scramble, although for an “editor,” I’m pretty awful at it. --Ian
--Eliza Thank God Mad Men is finally back! My life felt so empty without all of the intrigue and drama (not to mention the chain smoking, alcohol dependence, and extramarital sex) that Don Draper and his 1960’s Madison Avenue cohorts provide viewers every Sunday night. So far, this new season is turning out to be the best yet. --Jake Some Ecards I have seen are hilarious. Whether they are about joking about idiotic people, something to do with sex, or just being plain insulting, I have rarely seen one I dislike. My birthday was a few weeks ago, and I thought this one was very accurate. --Tynan
XKCD, which doesn’t stand for anyting,
is a webcomic constantly epitomizing what it means to be smart and funny. The jokes are written by former NASA researcher, Randall Munroe. If you’re feeling especially educated today, take a peek at www.XKCD. com. This one is pretty basic, so I’m sure you all understand it. --Brian 5
FILMS Battle Royale
s finals fast approach so does the summer movie season. This is a beautiful time in the cinematic year, which is full of ridiculous comedies, epic action films, and mushy romance comedies. Sadly going to the movie can get expensive with tickets at more than 10 dollars. Instead of visiting the theater, you can take a trip abroad by watching these fantastic foreign films. By: Kurt Steiner
Battle Royale (2000) The Closet (2001) Directed by: Kinji Fukasaku Directed by: Francis Veber Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Starring: Daniel Auteuil , Gerard Dépardieu Yamamoto I recently watched a movie set in a dystopian future where teenage kids are forced to fight and kill one another. Am I talking about The Hunger Games? Nope, it is the Japanese cult classic Battle Royale based on the 1999 book of the same name. While Battle Royale may have the same concept of the government forcing kids to kill one another that is where the similarities end. With Japan facing huge unemployment and the unrest of younger generation going on strike from school, the government puts in place the BR Act. The BR Act takes one ninth grade class each year and puts them on an island, with radio detonated bomb collars attached to their necks, and forces them to kill each other. Some refuse, some fight back, and others give in to the primal nature of the game they have been forced to participate in. The movie showcases some gruesome deaths but refrains from being a gore fest. Action movies from the Far East rarely disappoint. If you are looking for an exciting movie with a ton of action and violence then Battle Royale should be at the top of your pile.
The summer movie season is chalk full of light hearted comedies to break-up the occasional mundane workday. This film genre is no stranger to French cinema, especially with movies like The Closet (a.k.a. Le placard). The Closet with its outlandish concept and sharp tone is a movie that is truly French but is still able to appeal to American sensibilities. The main character of the movie, François Pignon as played by Daniel Auteuil, an accountant at a condom factory in Paris, France, who is constantly pushed around by his boss, ex-wife, and teenage son. When hit with the information that he is going to be fired, he takes the advice of his elderly neighbor to start a rumor that he is gay. After sending a doctored photo of himself with another man around the office the company is forced to keep him for fear of discrimination lawsuits. François bumbles along as he tries to keep the truth from his coworkers and family. This is a great comedy with a unique concept. If you don’t mind reading some subtitles I’d give this one a try.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) Directed by: Aditya Chopra Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher Many moviegoers either love or despise Bollywood. However, if you are looking for a great romance movie there is no better place to look than Bollywood. Dilwale Dulhania Le Javenge is a classic Bollywood romance film from 1995. Like with any Bollywood film when you watch Dilwale Dulhania Le Javenge you are in for a long haul at a little over 3 hours long. The movie focuses on the battle between love and tradition. Simran Singh, as played by is Kajol, lives with her family in London and falls in love with Raj Malhotra, played by Shah Rukh Khan, while on a trip to Switzerland. The problem with this is that she has already been betrothed to a man in India by her father and is taken there to fulfill the betrothal. Raj follows and fights to save his love from her arranged marriage. Dilwale Dulhania Le Javenge is fantastic movie if you’re prepared for a mushy plot and random music numbers, as are customary in most Bollywood movies. Patience is a definite must have if you plan on watching this movie.
BOOKS Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games By Olivia Whitton
y now you’ve probably heard of The Hunger Games phenomenon. If you haven’t, chances are your name is Patrick Star and you live under a rock. But even he has a television. In 2008, The Hunger Games was released to an overwhelming response. Author Suzanne Collins was praised for her observations about society and the complex world she created for her characters. The book caused quite the stir among young adult readers and an older audience, garnering several awards. But the series was labeled, to the chagrin of many, as “young adult,” and became an overnight sensation last spring when a movie adaptation was announced with Jennifer Lawrence cast as the series’ heroine, Katniss Everdeen. Once Lawrence was cast, Josh Hutcherson soon followed as the baker’s son Peeta Mellark, along with The Last Song’s Liam Hemsworth as Katniss’s best friend Gale. People have been quick to (mistakenly) label The Hunger Games as the next Twilight or Harry Potter. THG may have a humongous fan-base that lives in the precarious area between young adult series and adult fiction, but that’s about all The Hunger Games has in common with Twilight and Harry Potter. Although there is a love triangle present in THG, it is far different from the superficial romance played out inTwilight. In THG, Katniss’s interest in Peeta is born out of a necessity to stay alive, while her love for Gale carefully toes the line between best-friend-love and romantic-love. Said love triangle is a very small part of The Hunger Games. Collins goes beyond the teenage drama to make
profound statements about society through an engaging and allegorical plot. The protagonist Katniss Everdeen lives in Panem, a nation made up of 13 districts located in a post-rebellion North America, each of which sends a male and a female between the ages of 12 and 18 to the annual Hunger Games, where they will fight to the death – but you probably knew that already. What you get out of The Hunger Games and its sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, depends on the mindset with which you enter the book or movie theater. The Hunger Games appeals to an audience much older than its “young adult” label because of the brutal reality that, if we’re not careful, we might just walk ourselves into a version of Katniss’s dystopia. Collins did not create an escapist story when she wrote The Hunger Games or its sequels; escapism isn’t the reason that so many have flocked to read these books or see this movie. Quite the opposite, Collins wrote about the world we live in, where horrors like The 74th Annual Hunger Games actually happen. Maybe Effie Trinket isn’t globetrotting with a fishbowl full of our names, but people die violently every day and we watch it on television. Collins has said many times over that The Hunger Games trilogy was born out of the idea of teaching young people about war (rather than sheltering them from it like we, as Americans, often do), and that she drew a lot on American coverage of the war in Iraq as inspiration for the televised aspect of the Games. As with the almost gratuitous coverage of war in America, the overall obsession with reality television in our country is another cultural phenomenon that Collins
used to shape her novels. This influence can be easily seen in the books whenever Katniss is observing the people of the Capitol, who are usually reveling in the violence of the Games. As for The Hunger Games movie, it hits the nail right on the head with these issues. While watching the film, there was never a moment when I felt the violence was gratuitous or that the emotional toll was lost. The acting was impeccable, especially in the cases of Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci. Lawrence is young but polished and does most of her acting with her facial expressions and body language. Even if the script didn’t outright explain the dynamics of Katniss’s love for Peeta, Lawrence’s body language and features conveyed that, to survive, her character needed to appear outwardly in love with him--not necessarily that she was actually in love with him (for those of you Peeta fans ready to come after me, I didn’t say she never loves him, just that she doesn’t yet). Harrelson was spot-on for the lovable drunkard Haymitch while Stanley Tucci (who is fantastic in everything he’s ever been in) was just smarmy enough to play Caesar Flickerman, the Games announcer I loved to hate. For anyone who found him or herself lost in the dystopian world on the pages of Collins’ novels, it is likely that seeing the Games come to life on the big screen was the $250 million cherry on top of the Panem sundae. And if you haven’t jumped on The Hunger Games bandwagon, I’m not really sure what you’re waiting for. But, hey, you have a whole year (and then some) to catch up--Catching Fire premieres on November 22, 2013.
MUSIC = Classic
“Break It Yourself ” Bella Union/Mom and Pop Records
= Forget It
Personally, I’ve never thought it would be possible to go wrong with any Andrew Bird album, and this is no exception. His sixth solo album, Break It Yourself, is as clever and brilliant as the last five. Bird’s laidback yet profound sound warrants attention from listeners of all musical preferences. His music blends folk, classical, jazz, blues, and alternative rock genres into one style that is uniquely and unmistakably his. A variety of string instruments such as the violin, glockenspiel, and guitar, along with polished vocals and signature melodic whistling, work together to create the masterwork that is Break It Yourself. The shifts in tempo and instrumental buildups that Bird produces in this album appear strategic, making for a completely cohesive and fluid journey from the first to the final track. What has always caught my attention about Bird’s music is his lyrical creativity. This most recent release yet again displays his clever choices of plays on words, puns, and rhymes. Reminiscent of the tongue twister within the song “Anonanimal” off of his 2009 album, Noble Beast, Bird wittily plays with the lyrics in Break It Yourself’s first single, “Eyeoneye,” with back-to-back terms “ionize” and “eye on eye” in somewhat of a lyrical conundrum. Another instance, though the song is instrumental, is in the title of the album’s second track, “Polynation.” Bird also makes an effort in this album to tie in lyrical selections from past albums. Break It Yourself is great for longtime Andrew Bird fans and newcomers alike. His music has always been my top choice for studying, so with finals just around the corner, I don’t think there’s a better time to give this album a listen. Michelle
The Shins are back with Port of Morrow, their first album since 2007’s “Wincing the Night Away.” Well... this isn’t really the same Shins. James Mercer is still there, so at face value things are the same, but what some may not know is that this is a band that has undergone an almost complete overhaul. On Port of Morrow Mercer showcases some of the best, most interesting songs he’s ever penned, and as for the new members, they’re fitting in just fine. The Shins seem to have found new life on Port of Morrow and their excitement is evident right from the beginning. The album opens with the fast paced, electro-fueled “The Rifle’s Spiral,” a cluster of synthesizers, tom-tom beats, and phased vocals. “You’re not invisible now,” Mercer’s effect-laden, echoing voice sings in the middle of the song, “you just don’t exist.” The album keeps right on moving with the second track, the album’s single, “Simple Song.” A triumphant staccato guitar riff, dizzying synthesizers, and epic-sounding background vocals characterize this awesome track. Mercer, at different points in the song explores both the peaks and depths of his vocal range. And lyrically, he is at the top of his game too. “You sure must be strong, when you feel like an ocean being warmed by the sun,” he sings. After “Simple Song” things slow down decidedly, and we see the mellower side of the Shins, to which fans may be a little more accustomed. The quintessentially Shins-y fifth track, “September,” shows a return
“Port of Morrow” Columbia/Aural Apothecary Records
to the band’s Oh, Inverted World form. The rest of the album shows off the Shins’ endless ability to create mellow indie pop gold. The peppy “No Way Down,” the melancholy “For a Fool,” and the falsetto vocal delivery of the jazzy, middle-easternsounding closing track Port of Morrow are among the album’s other highlights. On the long list of the highly anticipated albums of 2012, the Shins are the first to produce. And they didn’t disappoint. Jake DeSchuiteneer
1/2 The Shins
This was my first time listening to anything by Frankie Rose, outside of her work in Vivian Girls, so I approached her newest album, Interstellar, with hopeful optimism, but no real expectations. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had brought expectations though; this remarkable album would have instantly shattered them. Formerly of the bands Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls, Rose released her first album with the selftitled Frankie Rose and the Outs in 2009, but now she’s simply performing as a solo artist. Interstellar features just over a half hour of music on 10 tracks, all with a captivating 80s vibe. The album begins with the title track, “Interstellar,” which starts out with an ambient tone before picking up midway with a catchy drum track, and slick synthesizer work. Rose softly sings of traveling across the universe, singing, “travelling faster than the light / faster than the light / is the only way to be;” Rose’s lyrics hint at the mystical experience to come. The next track, the featured single, “Know Me,” begins with a steady drum beat before a light guitar track kicks in, backed by the synthesizers, with Rose singing “...don’t know me, / I hear what they said / It doesn’t hurt me I rather be deaf,” which possibly alludes to the new direction her music has taken away from garage rock. Other favorite tracks include “Daylight Sky,” “Pair of Wings,” “Had We Had It,” and “Night Swim.” Interstellar is a peaceful, revitalizing musical journey by an upcoming alternative artist whose progress should be monitored closely over the next few years. If you need a calming escape from the stress of finals, look no further than this album. Travis Harsin
“Interstellar” Slumberland Records 1/2
“Put Your Back N 2 It” Matador Records 1/2
Seattle’s Mike Hadreas, known to the music world as Perfume Genius, has a serious knack for crafting sad, sad music. On his new album, Put Your Back N 2 It, Perfume Genius has put together a collection of some of the dreariest songs you’ll ever hear. At points, this highly emotional effort resonates in very strong, meaningful ways. At others, that emotion gets lost amidst murky fits of self-pity. The album opens with the beautiful, piano driven “Awol Marine.” “Turn toward the camera,” Hadreas sings through waves of reverb. The delicate main piano motif that runs through the song is like the sound of teardrops falling into the ocean of vocals and resonant instrumentation that Hadreas creates. The album’s opener being the true highlight here, there are several other songs that work quite well on Put Your Back N 2 It. The album’s second track, “Normal Song” is a folk-guitar centric gem. “Hold my hand,” sings Hadreas, “I am afraid.” “No Tear” features one of the more interesting and engaging vocal performances on the album, as Hadreas’ voice is accompanied by mysterious deep backup singing in the chorus. “Dark Parts” may be the happiest (Actually, happy may be the wrong word. We’ll go with celebratory or hopeful instead) song on the album. The song contains quick moving piano chords, and a chorus of subtle triumph. “He’ll never break you baby,” sings Hadreas before entering into a chant of “Whoa’s” and “Oh’s.” There isn’t so much that is “bad” about this album, as there is just not so much about it that is “great”. The best moments on the album are purely and utterly beautiful, and Hadreas proves to be a very talented songwriter in a number of these songs. At other points, however, his wallowing becomes a little bit too much to stomach. This is not necessarily because that wallowing is annoying, but because it isn’t always backed up with interesting melodies or instrumentations that would make it worthwhile to listen to. Jake DeSchuiteneer
Summer Mixtape Brian
1. “I Woke Up In A Car” - Something Corporate---The quintessential road trip anthem. I saw these guys a few summers ago on their re-union tour. The pop punk nostalgia mixed with a rhythmic piano arrangement is flawless. 2. “The Island - Pt. 1” - Pendulum------------------Rob Swire’s voice, most commonly known for Deadmau5’s ‘Ghosts N’ Stuff,’ flows with the hard synth behind each measure of this electro rock song. Blast this on your way to a party. 3. “Years (Vocal Mix)” - Alesso------------------The transition from piano to synthesizer and back distinguishes Alesso from his peers on this track. We’re still waiting on a release date for this one, but a BBC Radio 1 preview has been floating around.
1. “Get Free (feat. Amber Coffman)” - Major Lazer Major Lazer’s track featuring Amber of Dirty Projectors came out a few weeks ago and has been on constant repeat on my iTunes since. Lazy, sunny, super beautiful. This song is summer. 2. “Every Morning” - Sugar Ray------------------I loved this song when I was an awkward middle schooler, and I still love it. It holds up so well and is about as carefree summer as you can get. 3. “Teenage Crime (Original Mix)” - Adrian Lux One of my all-time favorites, perfect for beach party/bonfire playlists. And road trips, and everything else that is summer.
1. “Regulate” - Warren G featuring Nate Dogg -The groove in this song is much too raw, and this is also the theme song for all summer nighttime mischief. 2. “Rock Your Body” - Justin Timberlake---------This song brings me back to last summer, riding around with kids in my car on those hot and humid nights, passing to the left and sailing to the right in our seats. Mr. Timberlake, please stop acting and re-
turn to singing amazing pop songs. 3. “Suga Suga” - Baby Bash featuring Frankie J--The effervescence of this song is difficult to match. Maybe it›s that guitar lick, the chorus, or the fact that they sampled a Barry White song. Either way, it reminds me of the lightness and liveliness of summer.
1. “Dancing with the D.J.” – The Knocks------------Plugging a song for a DJ with local roots is easy when the track is so good. Frontman of the Knocks, Benjamin “B-Roc” Ruttner is originally from the Upper Valley in NH. Now based in NY, NY, Ruttner has shared the stage with the likes of RJD2, Big Boi, and Ellie Goulding, performing most recently at Ultra and Coachella. The song “Dancing with the D.J.,” is the epitome of summer cool with a catchy electropop sound. 2. “Beach Comber” – Real Estate---------------“Beach Comber” makes me nostalgic for listening to old Beach Boys’ cassettes while cruising in my parents’ station wagon. The song by the New Jersey band Real Estate is a mix of breezy vocals, set to an ambient guitar tone. Perfect for driving with the windows down. 3. “Return of the Mack” – Mark Morrison--------If you’re a 90s baby, then you know what I’m talking about - the jam transcends time. 4. “Me Gustas Tu” – Manu Chao----------------You can’t get more carefree than lyrics like “Me gusta marijuana, me gusta tu.” Reggae and ska is emblematic of summer, and Manu Chao’s style takes on the spirit of warm weather with no worries.
1. “Taken for a Fool” -The Strokes-----------------Ever since it came out last spring, this has been a sunny day go-to for me. The chorus is super catchy and always puts me in a good mood. 2. “Ar ms”-Seabear------------------------------The light, airy, carefree nature of this one easily makes my list of all-time favorites. It’s not very musically or lyrically intricate, but there’s something about
this song that’s so easy to love. (Plus, the band’s from my favorite place in the world: Iceland!) 3. “Island in the Sun” -Weezer-----------------Is an explanation really necessary?
1. “Summer Mood” – Best Coast ------------------Really anything off of “Crazy for You,” Best Coast’s 2010 debut album, would fit in on this mixtape. These lo-fi surfer rockers come straight out of Los Angeles, and their sound perfectly captures that sunkissed, beach-y vibe. That may end up being the soundtrack to my summer. 2. “He Doesn’t Know Why” – Fleet Foxes ------I got into this Seattle folk-rock band’s gorgeous first album a couple of summers ago during August, school fast approaching. This song, with its echoing choral harmonies, and its emotional climax, resonated with my mixed feelings about summer’s end. While I‘m not ready to think about the end of summer quite yet, August will be back again before we know it, and I will be listening to this melancholy, pastoral gem once more. 3. “Summer Skin” – Death Cab For Cutie --------“Summer Lovin’ had me a blast. Summer lovin’ happened so fast.” Okay, you caught me! Those aren’t the lyrics to this Death Cab tune, but that’s the basic idea. It’s a song about a summer fling that runs its course, dying a natural death as summer gives way to autumn. Cute, right? Except singer Ben Gibbard puts a depressive spin on things like only he can. “Then Labor Day came and went…” Gibbard sings, “and we left our love in our summer skin.” Damn. Bummer, dude.
1. “Strictly Game” – The Harlem Shakes-----------A happy, hopeful song for when all your old friends are assembling in a field for beers around a bonfire. 2. “We Are Your Friends” – Justice----------------Meant to be played at high volume when you’re deep into an altered state and want to dance belligerently and throw stuff around.
From Left to Right: Big Freedia, Mykki Blanco, Zebra Katz
Queer Rap: Here to Stay By: Ella Nilsen
ip-hop is constantly changing, and over the last decade, the genre has diversified wildly. Lead by Nicki Minaj, the entrance of young female emcee’s including Azaelia Banks, Iggy Azalea, and Kreayshawn into the mainstream has proved lasting and popular. But one are in hip-hop is still vastly under-represented.
Where are the gay rappers?
Week” from fashion writer Derek Blasberg. No wonder; “Ima Read” is the definition of ‘fierce.’ Katz was recently signed to Jeffees, an imprint of Diplo’s Mad Decent label, and has gotten shout-outs from fellow fashion industry favorite Azealia Banks. In contrast, Mykki Blanco, born Michael Quattlebaum, has openly confrontational talent. Quattlebaum invented the character of Blanco and started cross-dressing a few years ago. Her “Cosmic Angel” video diary on Vimeo, opens with Quattlebaum on the street saying, “This is something I feel like people in the gay media period don’t talk about: teenagers harass gay people to an insane amount.” The video shifts to Quattlebaum as Mykki, full drag on full display. Directly after being provoked by a group of Harlem schoolchildren, she stands on a street corner in front of them. “I bust it down,” she says, before spitting into full freestyle action. “I’m a mercenary/Break bread with nobody/If my rhymes was a gun, you’d be some dead somebody’s/I’m in the passenger of the purple Maserati/Cuz hotties sit shotty/Cuz the honeys counts the money.” The kids crowd around her in admiration, instead of judgment. They are obviously impressed. Even though instances like this are extremely localized, they still point to a growing trend of gay rap being able to break through to the mainstream. In a genre where flow determines status, gay rappers are certainly not to be underestimated. In contrast, the New Orleans ‘bounce’ scene (also known as ‘sissy bounce’ for its proliferation of gay rappers) is characterized as highly frenetic dance music with obscene lyrics and ass shaking. Lots and lots of ass shaking. Any bounce music video or photos from bounce shows crowds of women bent over at ninety degrees and
For the past decade, gay rap has been thriving on the outer fringes on the music world. It’s the next great musical frontier, and there has been speculation for years as to whether it can successfully enter the mainstream. A good clue that the tides are turning is the aforementioned Nicki Minaj, whose gay, male, alter ego, Roman Zolanski, has been dominating Billboard 100 for a solid year. In New York City, the burgeoning queer rap scene has steadily gained notice. In New Orleans, the explosive ‘bounce’ scene, dominated by gay and transgender rappers, has been going strong since the eighties, but is just starting to break out nationally. Each scene boasts a diverse number of performers, with different styles and personas. Many of the artists from both cities cross-dress, but there are others that do not. The music is often flamboyant and assertive, but musical styles of the rappers differ, offering a wide listening range. New York rapper Zebra Katz, born Ojay Morgan, made waves with his recent single ‘Ima Read.’ Katz does not cross dress, and ‘Ima Read’ is a track with a very simple beat and menacing lyrics. Katz and female cohort Njena Reddd Foxxx spit about outdoing rivals, rapping, “Ima read that bitch/Ima teach that bitch./Ima give that bitch some knowledge/Ima take that bitch to college.” The track has garnered high praise from the fashion industry in particular; it was the only song played in fash- out of control. ion designer Rick Owen’s Paris show last month, and Typically, this music and the dancing it is specifically subsequently garnered the title “song of Paris Fashion
designed for would be seen as rap culture objectifying women, but the dynamic becomes totally different considering that the man on stage is gay, not straight. In bounce culture, the room is dominated by women, and straight men are often discouraged from joining the throng. Arguably most famous bounce rapper, Big Freedia (pronounced Free-da) is synonymous with bounce music and dance. In a 2010 New York Times article, Freedia’s DJ, Rusty Lazer, stated that bounce was empowering for the women Freedia performs for specifically because it is a female dominated area where the ‘threat’ of straight men is nonexistent. Like Katz and Blanco, Freedia is making large and recent strides into the mainstream. With sets at Bonnaroo and Electric Forest music festivals this summer and tour dates all over the country, she is taking her brand of music from New Orleans into the national arena. Other gay rappers will undoubtedly follow suit.
Essential Listening: Zebra Katz feat. Njena Reddd Foxxx – “Ima Read” Mykki Blanco – “Betty Rubble” Big Freedia – “Excuse” Diplo feat. Nicky Da B – “Express Yourself”
Byrne & Carlson’s display of truffles
Restaurant Reviews: The Sweet News About Dessert By: Victoria Hanson
ccording to a recent New York Times article, a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that adults who eat chocolate more often tend to have lower body mass indexes than those who don’t. Researchers aren’t yet quite sure why this is, though it is speculated that antioxidants may act as a boost to our metabolism. This new finding goes along well with other recent discoveries that have been made about the health benefits related to chocolate. Through research it has been discovered that chocolate (mostly dark chocolate) contains something called flavonoids, or pigments that are often found in
fruits and vegetables, which act as antioxidants. Those antioxidants then help contribute to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Chocolate has also been found to increase our serotonin levels (the anti-depressant chemicals in our body), as well as our production of endorphins, which help to boost our mood. These health benefits are great news to all of you dessert lovers out there. Having a large sweet tooth myself, I figured this was the perfect time to explore the sweeter side of the southern NH area. Here are a few nearby spots that cater to the inner sweet tooth in all of us. So go ahead—indulge!
Byrne & Carlson Chocolatier 121 State Street Portsmouth, NH, 03801 (603) 559-9778
Queen City Cupcakes 790 Elm St Manchester NH, 03101 (603) 624-4999
Stonehouse Baking Company 46 Calef Highway Route 125 Barrington, NH 03825 (603) 664-2307
This cozy little brick building is one that should not be overlooked. Like most things in Portsmouth, its small size comes with great character and the promise of timeless quality. Byrne & Carlson is a delicious chocolatier and confectioner that offer beautifully crafted chocolates and candies. Founded in 1999, the chocolates have always been hand crafted and easily considered pieces of art. With a taste that satisfies both locals and visitors alike, Byrne & Carlson has succeeded in creating confections with natural and unique ingredients. Their artisan bars are artfully decorated with nuts, dried fruit, flower petals, and other touches of nature to add wonderful color and taste to each bite. Their tasting bars reflect tastes from places all over the world and range from sweet, to salty, to a hint of spice (chipotle anyone?). They also offer truffles, as well as boxes, that can be pre-made or handselected. Byrne & Carlson is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Because this is a high-quality chocolate shop, the prices are also a little high, but well worth it for both the taste and quality. I recommend trying out their pieces inspired by French confiseries. The pairing of smooth chocolate with dried fruit or flowers may sound off to some chocolate lovers in the states, but makes for sensational taste and is extremely similar to those offered in France. For even more information and some great eye candy, visit their website at http://www.byrneandcarlson.com/index.html.
Thanks to the current onslaught of cupcake shows on TLC and The Food Network, I’ve been craving for a taste of the creative concoctions. Luckily, on my last trip to Manchester, I got to satisfy my craving. Queen City Cupcakes is a fairly new addition to the busy downtown area of Manchester. Located on Elm Street it’s a short walk away from the Verizon Wireless Arena and already wildly popular. It is a family owned business that joined the Manchester community in May of 2011. They have been featured in many newspapers and news stations, including ABC News and Channel 9 WMUR. They were originally so popular that their lines extended out the shop door and all the way down the street’s sidewalk. Since then they have accommodated the public with longer hours and more cupcakes. I visited the bakery during a weekday and did not have to wait in line at all. Although I choked a little at the cash register (a single cupcake costs $3.50 plus tax), I wasn’t disappointed. I sampled one of their signature cupcakes, known as the 5 Layer, which consist of “a graham cracker cupcake frosted with vanilla buttercream, sprinkled with coconut and butterscotch chips and drizzled in chocolate.” A friend of mine tried their Red Velvet with a cream cheese frosting. Both were moist, flavorful, and very sweet. Their four other signature flavors are the Sweet N Salty (Ritz crackers, peanut butter, chocolate, butter cream frosting), Rice Krispies Treat (vanilla cupcake, marshmallow butter cream, frosted Rice Krispies, and chocolate), Joy of Almond (toasted almond cupcake, almond and coconut topping, and chocolate) and Drumstick (brown sugar cupcake, vanilla frosting, crushed waffle cone, peanuts, and chocolate). The bakery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until they sell out, which is typically around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, which is good to keep in mind. Because they do all of their baking from scratch right inside of the store, which is on the small side, they are limited in the number of cupcakes they can produce in a day. Their specials change daily and are posted to their Facebook page, so check them out!
Stonehouse Baking Company is one of my all-time personal favorites. As a third generation family owned business it caters directly to its customers in a friendly and personal way. Denis St. Pierre, the owner of the bakery, got his passion for baking from his grandfather who originally opened up the business in Portsmouth during the Great Depression. The bakery is best known for its amazing donuts. I have gone out of my way on several occasions to visit right as it opens to get a freshly baked Maple Cream donut. Their donuts are made from scratch, and like all of the other pastries in the shop, are baked fresh daily. They offer a variety of pastries, including Danishes, Croissants, Strudels, Turnovers, Muffins, Cookies, and Brownies made from Lindt Chocolate. They also bake many different flavors of cakes, pies, cupcakes, cheesecakes, and bread. The bakery is always brewing a fresh selection of coffee and even makes fresh sandwiches, Paninis, and smoothies during lunch. They are currently working to expand their menu even further. The inside of the bakery is small but there is seating, Wi-Fi, and it always smells amazing. The price ranges are extremely reasonable (some things costing just under a dollar) and they do take credit cards. They are open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you want one of those fresh donuts make sure you get there early as they tend to go quickly! You can check out their website at http://www.stonehousebaking.com/index.html to get a better idea of exactly what their menu has to offer. The trip will be well worth it!
121 State Street Portsmouth, NH
Byrne & Carlson candy by the pound
Drinkify By: Eliza Mackintosh
What better way to mix your drinks than with music?
That is the premise of Drinkify.org, which suggests the perfect cocktail recipe based on your taste in tunes. The site was developed in 2011 during Boston’s Music Hack Day, created by Hannah Donovan, Lindsay Eyink and Matthew Ogle in just 24 buzzed hours. Their concept: “Never listen to music alone again.” Drinkify plugs into The Echo Nest and Last.fm’s APIs to bring you an endless supply of musicians and their boozy match. Forget Pandora and Grooveshark, the possibilities of Drinkify don’t end at discovering new artists. Johnny Cash is provided as an example of who to enter into what you’re listening to. Click the button, “What should I drink?” and it suggests Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey stirred with honey
According to Drinkify…
“The Avett Brothers” • 2 oz. Moonshine • 2 oz. Lime juice • 10 oz. Armagnac
“The Neighbourhood” • 6 oz. Glenmorangie Scotch • Serve on rocks. Stir vigorously.
“The Shins” • 1 bottle Buckfast • Serve at room temperature. Garnish with umbrella. “The Andrew Bird” • 1 oz. Cachaça • 1 oz. Grenadine • Combine in highball glass and serve
“The Perfume Genius” • 1 oz. Żubrówka Vodka • 1 oz. Nordic Mist • Combine in highball glass and serve
“The Frankie Rose” • 4 oz. Fernet • Serve neat.
and served in a highball glass. This sort of specificity is not lost on other artists. “The Bob Marley” requires marijana, club-mate, and kirsch – combined in a shaker, strained into a cocktail glass and garnished with the national flag. Jamaican, obviously. After playing around on Drinkify for long enough you’ll find that many celebrities and politicians are also listed for whatever reason. “The Barack Obama,” is one Berliner Weisse served cold. For the sake of comparison, “The Ron Paul” is 1 oz. Macallan Scotch garnished with a maraschino cherry. If you’re wondering what you should be sipping on while listening to the musicians featured in Main Street mag, look no further.
Clockwise from top right: The Avett Brothers, The Perfume Genius, The Neighbourhood
Skinny Dip-ing By Leah Tully
As the weather heats up in New Hampshire, students begin their quest to shed their oversized clothing, and also some pounds. This leaves us with only one option: to skinny dip. Nothing leaves you feeling more refreshed than a quick dip into a giant pool of…guacamole! As a self-proclaimed foodie and total health nut, I have spent my summers experimenting with quick ways to turn some of my backyard barbeque favorites into healthy treats that even my bikini-clad friends will be willing to eat! Great for those scorching summer days when there’s not a body of water in sight!
Creamy Spinach Dip
Layered Bean Dip
You’ll never go back to store bought hummus once you grind up your own chickpeas and toss in a food processor with tahini, lemon and whatever other ingredients suit your fancy. Try garlic, tomato, basil and any other veggies or herbs you think might be good on a cracker. Use less oil by adding water to reach a desired consistency and skip the salt altogether.
Hummus, tzatziki yogurt dip, and eggplant dip
You’ll need: • A strainer • A food processor • A large container Guacamole • 2, 19 oz cans of chickpeas Spice up your guac with fresh tomato salsa for a • 1/4th cup of tahini (sesame paste) lighter version that’s just as tasty! Mash in some avocado, • 1 clove of garlic squeeze a little lime and enjoy! You can also try experi• 1 can of sun-dried tomato paste or 1 bag of sunmenting with non-conventional ingredients like mangoes dries tomatoes or strawberries! Try this super easy, super tasty recipe • 1 lemon that I recently came up with on a whim after I was eyeing • 1 tablespoon of olive oil the avocados in the grocery store! • Water (as needed) *please note that this makes a huge batch. If you’re making this You’ll need: just for yourself I would cut the recipe in half but if you’re making • A large bowl it to share with your friends at a backyard barbeque, it’s perfect! • A sharp knife • A fork or whisk 1.) Start by putting your sun-dried tomatoes or sun-dried • A cutting board tomato paste into a food processor. If you are not using • 2 avocadoes (Pick avocadoes that are soft, the the paste you’ll want to add a splash of olive oil or water softer the better, provided its not rotten or to the tomatoes to help the food processor chop them up moldy) 2.) Add the garlic clove and about a fourth cup of tahini • 1 jar of your favorite salsa to your sun-dried tomatoes (feel free to add it whole! The • 1 lime food processor will tear it up for you and your hands • 1 bag of guacamole or taco seasoning won’t stink!). Pulse the food processor a few times until *This recipe yields enough guacamole for about five people. the ingredients are finely chopped. 3.) Open your can(s) of chickpeas and place in a strainer 1.) Slice each avocado using a sharp knife. There is a pit in the sink. Rinsing the chickpeas to remove some of the in the middle so slice around the pit being careful not to sodium that they add for preservation. cut yourself. 4.) Slowly add the chickpeas (about 1 cup at a time) and 2.) Remove the pit and toss. turn your food processor on high until you are left with a 3.) Grab a spoon and scoop out your avocado into a smooth, uniform texture. bowl. 5.) Add in 1 tbsp of olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon as 4.) Next you want to mash up the avocado like you would the mixture becomes thicker. You may also add water to a potato. reach the consistency you like your hummus. 5.) Once you’ve mashed your avocado, gently fold in your 6.) Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. other items (salsa, seasoning, etc.) 7.) Enjoy! 6.) Refrigerate for 2 hours then enjoy!
Make your creamy spinach dip with reduced fat cream cheese, nonfat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese instead of full-fat cheese, mayo, and sour cream for a tasty treat that won’t weigh you down on a summer day.
Blue Cheese Dip
Skip the canned refried beans and try layering with black beans, salsa, reduced fat sour cream and fresh veggies like avocado, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and olives. Sprinkle with your favorite low-fat cheese and dive right in! This one is sure to be a party pleaser and goes great with a game of two-hand touch!
Pair your buffalo wings with a mixture of reduced fat sour cream, blue cheese crumbles, distilled white vin- French Onion Dip egar and a little bit of cayenne pepper instead of a store Forget the canned Lay’s version and create a healthier bought dressing. Make it hot or keep it cool by adjusting version by follow the steps of almost any online recipe, the amount of pepper you put in! but substituting their ingredients for fresh chopped onions simmered in vegetable broth, and reduced fat sour cream and plain yogurt. You’ll get the same creamy texture of your store bought favorite for half the calories!
Inked By Joe Creed
statement of style and creativity, tattoos adorning the bodies of UNH students stand for tradition, culture, and remembrance. The permanence of the ink in their skin is a constant reminder of inspiration and virtues sometimes forgotten. Not just stories, but works of art, they are anything but skin deep. From family crests to personal anthems, the images and words give students a public yet intimate expression of their traditions, beliefs, and virtues. For these four students the expression of
freedom, life, and family is a physical manifestation they always carry with them. Spanning senior Nate LeClair’s back is homage to his time in Iraq and represents his service to his country. Sophomore Cassandra Hale got her tattoo, a rendering of the tree of life, with the intention of starting a sleeve down her right arm someday. Some ornate, some simple and straightforward, these tattoos and many more distinguish the backs, biceps, and other body parts of UNH.
Andy Robitaille (sophomore) “My tattoo is my family crest, combined with crucifix and “X”. DEI INDUCIUM, “Judgement of God” in Latin, is written underneath. The crucifix has my family’s initials, and the “X” has my initials, as well as those of two patron saints. I got it in May of freshman (last) year at Spiderbite in Manchester, NH, and it took three hours to complete. When I turned 18, I got this tattoo to commemorate my family and religion.”
Nate LeClair (senior) “While I was in Iraq, I thought a lot about getting a tattoo that would represent my outlook on life and my experiences so far. I decided to go with ‘Live Free or Die’ because it represented my New Hampshire upbringing, my military service, and my appreciation for the freedoms we have as Americans. It took 10 hours to complete.”
Cassandra Noelle (sophomore)
“While I was in Iraq, I thought a lot about getting a tattoo that would represent my outlook on life and my experiences so far. I decided to go with ‘Live Free or Die’ because it represented my New Hampshire upbringing, my military service, and my appreciation for the freedoms we have as Americans. It took 10 hours to complete.”
Kayla Ovaska (sophomore)
“My grandma and I were very close. She was very warm and loving towards everyone she met. After she passed away, I told myself I wanted to be more like her. I got the saying ‘Live By Love’ because I truly believed my grandma lived that way. This tattoo is a constant reminder of who she was as a person and who I strive to be like everyday.”
Clockwise from top left: Chelsea Borkovitz, Erica Costa, Adriana Duffin, Cassandra Noelle, Kendra Moffett, Hilary Cooper, Kate Duchaney
UNH’s Summer Beauty Guide: Looking Hot in the Summer Heat By Taylor Lawrence
ears of high heels, makeup meltdowns, and painful push-ups have taught women that looking good is not easy, and beauty is pain. In the summer months, when sweat and frizzy hair are as plaguing as winter’s Ugg boots, the fight for beauty wages on. We asked some of UNH’s sun-kissed summer survivors for tips on how they stay looking hot in the heat.
Erica Costa, Sophomore
“Bare Essentials’ SPF 15 Foundation works well to cover any blemishes on your face while also fighting to block the sun. Garnier Fructis’ Wonder Waves is awesome for beachy waves without the sticky, crunchy look of scrunching. Just spray it in your damp hair, and it will dry with tousled waves.”
Hillary Cooper, Junior
“Baby powder at the roots of your hair keeps them grease free, or TIGI’s Rockaholic Dry Shampoo works just as well! Bare Essentials’ Mineral Veil Makeup keeps your skin grease free, holds your makeup in place, and absorbs oil when applied on top of your makeup. I use St. Tropez’s Foam Mousse Instant Tan when I feel as though I don’t look as bronze as the other ladies. I also use Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray if I want beachy looking curls with-
out the tangled feeling that ocean water gives my hair.”
Kendra Mofett, Junior
sonally would recommend Nivea’s Smooth Sensation after you’re nice and crisp from the beach. It leaves your skin feeling moisturized for days, and smells fresh. For bathing suits I usually find myself in the ‘Sexy Steal’ section on Victoria Secret’s website. The suits are about fifteen dollars a piece, and are still wicked cute.”
“Baby oil after you shower, on damp skin, keeps your skin really soft and moisturized, which holds in your tan. Also, dusting baby powder or bronzer on your hair at the roots makes it not look greasy. Also, L’Oreal’s Subliminal Bronzing Lotion is by far the best I’ve ever used. It’s Adriana Duffin, Sophomore instant and looks pretty natural if blended correctly. For “Baby powder in the roots of your hair, flip your head nails, Avon’s Silk Wrap Base Coat is literally the best thing over, and blow dry it a little to blend it. This process lets ever. My nails barely ever chip with that stuff!” you go longer without washing. Best lotion after a day in the sun is Queen Helene’s Cocoa Butter. It’s unreal how Cassandra Noelle, Sophomore soft you get, and it smells delicious. After straightening or “Aloe Vera and Burt’s Bees. Enough Said.” styling, use Aveda’s Brilliant Spray-On Shine, it makes your hair silky soft. Aveeno has some pretty good face lotion Chelsea Borkovitz, Sophomore with SPF 30 for the summertime as well. “Sephora’s Forever Smoky Eye Waterproof Mascara is the BEST. Aveeno’s Face Sunscreen (SPF 30) keeps your Courtney Eaton, Sophomore face protected but not oily. Aussie’s Moisture Shampoo/ “Always wear SPF chapstick! Sunburned lips SUCK! BaConditioner is cheap and makes your hair not fried.” nana Boat’s Aloe After Sun Lotion keeps you tan longer, I swear! Plus if you get a little fried it feels so good. NeutroKate Duchaney, Junior gena’s Age Shield Sun Block for your face is SPF 70, and “My best friend in the whole world to get beachy sumgreat! I don’t want wrinkles! I also don’t want a sunglasses mer hair is Garnier Fructis’ Curl Shaping Spray Gel. It’s tan either. Lastly, Hawaiian Tropic’s Dark Tanning Lotion perfect for when it’s wicked humid out, and straightening SPF 4 is both waterproof and moisturizing. It smells so your hair is a big no-no. It doesn’t get your hair gross and good. I wish it was a normal lotion. Plus, the SPF works crunchy, and smells awesome. Being a lotion addict, I pergreat while allowing me to get a beautiful golden glow!”
t s u j , e v o l e k a M in front not . e m of 10 Commandments of PDA By Taylor Lawrence
1. Thou shalt not hold hands in Hoco.
Although Hoco may seem large, I promise you won’t get lost. In the hours where stampedes are common within the dining halls, (12:30 & 6:30) your hand holding is an additional physical barrier for everyone who’s already trying to avoid that ex-Applebees waitress who thinks it’s appropriate to carry four plates at a time.
2. Thou shalt not cuddle in the dining hall booths.
This ain’t your boyfriend’s couch, and I’m pretty sure eating with your head on his lap is a choking hazard. Chin up, chew it down, and move along to frolicking throughout the MUB like a civilized wildcat.
love.” Rubbing your relationship in the faces of singles via Facebook statuses, wall posts, and make out selfies is passive aggressive cyber bullying.
5. Honour thy T-hall lawn
The moment the thermostat - or for those of us who do not reside in the 90s – your weather app, reads a temperature of over 65, herds of students swarm T-hall lawn. Your girl adorns overly revealing bikinis, and you chuck your t-shirts at some unsuspecting tight roper but wait! Before you start sensually rubbing sunscreen on each other’s backs, just remember: This is not your own private beach. That’s not the ocean, but Main Street.
of all sorts makes the librarians and fellow students want to shush your hormones into submission.
8. Thou shalt use lab tables for experimenting with scientific solutions, not thy sexuality
Heavy petting under lab tables is not only a form of public display of affection, but also a form of public display of affliction. One excited reaction could leave you blinded by some strange substance from the periodic table.
9. Thou shalt not feed one another in the 6. Thou shalt not use the wall of a house dining hall You may call your current hook up “baby,” but con3. Thou shalt not take thy boyfriend/girl- party, frat party, or bar as a vertical bed trary to popular belief, they are not, anatomically speakAlcohol has been proven to blur your judgment. Howfriends name in vain. ing, an infant, and therefore do not need you to spoon-
ever, I would like to make clear that although the beer feed them fro-yo. splattered concrete wall of a house may seem comfortable, it is not you and your significant other’s vertical rest- 10. Thou shalt not engage in full-blown public make out ing ground, so stop humping to “Call Me Maybe.” Unless you are Rachel McAdams, and Ryan Gosling 7. Thou shalt not reserve a study room as just so happens to meet you at Libby’s, engaging in a a sex dungeon. 4. Respect thy singles Notebook-esque love scene on the streets of Durham is Okay this is an exaggeration, BUT… we have all seen Public displays of affection can also flood the virtual not only a traffic hazard, but also an eyesore. Please conworld. Sometimes, these online displays of affection those couples that seem dumbfounded upon realizing tain these dramatic moments within that house he built can prove hurtful for those of us who aren’t “sooo in that the glass walls and doors of a study room are actual- you, or rather the dorm bunk he lofted. ly a clear window into their sexual exploration. Fondling You may be her “googly bear” and she your “baby boo boo” at home, but here you are making me vomit. Lock those kinky little teddy bear pet names back into that bunk bed in Christensen, and check your birth certificate for the name that is appropriate for use outside the den.
By: Ella Nilsen and Michelle Tremblay
y this point, we should all know how to spot a general, stereotypical hipster: the skinny jeans, the v-neck shirt, the knit hat, the cigarette in hand. But we need to dig deeper, because hipsters these days come in all shapes and sizes (not only skinny and gawky… well, mostly). They, believe it or not, have a wide array of hobbies aside from discovering new, obscure music and sleeping for twelve hours each day. We should know.
ing you with a banjo or accordion. Guitar is just too mainstream. Don’t forget to complain often about your low-paying, mediocre job!
your gnarly chest hair. Winter is your favorite season because you can leave home every morning in your fitted pea coat.
4. The City Slick-ster
8. The American Apparel Hipster
1. The Hipster Bro
5. The Wannabe Pin-Up Hipster
You can be found long boarding all over campus. You spend March-August rolling your balls off at Ultra, Bisco, and Electric Zoo. You’re a confused soul, with a finance textbook in one hand, a PBR pounder in the other, and a teensy man-crush on Skrillex.
2. The Vegan Hipster
You invented hip, according to you. You seduce girls with just a look, because talking is for amateurs. That tiny moped is your only form of transportation, but it gets great gas mileage and is the reason for your constantly wind-swept hair.
Posing with ‘50s convertibles and wearing bright red lipstick are two of your favorite things. Liquid eyeliner and cat-eye are two others. You shop etsy.com for everything and have at least one sailor tattoo.
6. The Dirty Hipster
You wear Toms exclusively and your occupation is jewelry-making/telling everyone you’re vegan. Your vegan furniture consists of living trees and your vegan cat has 76 lives.
Showering is not hip. You simply have no time to practice good hygiene when there is so much sitting on your ass in your parents’ basement to do. And your No Shave November challenge? It’s May. Time for a serious re-evaluation of your life choices.
3. Anyone from Dover/The Dover Hipster
7. The Poser European Hipster
Your life looks like the cover of a Washed Out album, and your profile picture is purposely faded, featur-
If your v-neck could swoop any lower, it would be a considered a jacket. It’s a good thing your oversized plaid tasseled scarf is in place to cover the majority of
Well hello there, Roy G. Biv. Whether it’s day or night, you permanently look like you’re headed to a tight-andbright party. As a plus, you love rocking AA’s signature gold lame spandex… even during the daytime.
9. The Wolf Tee Hipster
Wolf tees are so nineties. The nineties are so in!!! Yeah, we get it; you wish you were forever living on the set of Napoleon Dynamite. We know this because of the clip-on rawhide and miniature dream catcher in your hair. PS – now that it’s springtime, you can stop wearing your fur moccasins.
10. The Rich-But-Wants-To-Look-Poor Hipster
It’s almost festival season! Time to start perusing the ‘Festival Lookbook’ section of every overpriced online store for $50 foot wraps and $500 headdresses. It’s not like your costly apparel is going to get rained on, puked on, lost, or covered in beer at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Telluride, etc. Better stick with the Salvation Army – or at least continue telling everyone that’s where you shop...
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Summer Music Festival Lineup: With thousands of options for summer concerts to attend, from California to the New Hampshire Seacoast, here are just a few music fests across the nation to try and hit up this season. 20
Telluride Bluegr ass Festival, June 21 st - 24th Telluride, CO
Austin City Limits Festival, October 12th - 14th Austin, TX
Osheaga Festival, August 3rd-5th Montreal, Quebec Camp Bis co, July 12th-1 4th Mariaville , NY
Summerfest, June 27th-July 1st, July 3rd-8th Milwaukee, WI
Electric Z oo, Aug. 31 stSept 2
Electric Forest, June 28th - July 1st Rothbury, MI
Brooklyn HipHop Festival, July 9th-14th
Newport Folk Festival, July 28th-29th
Newport, RI Electric Daisy Carnival NY, May 19th-20th East Rutherford, NJ
Pitchfork Music Festival, July 13th-15th
The Bamboozle, May 18th-20th Ashbury Park, NJ
Starscape, June 9th
August 6th-8th Chicago, IL
Wakarusa, May 31st - June 3rd
ne 7th - 10th Bonnaroo, Ju TN Manchester,
Cape Cod: A Summer Teaser By: Tynan DeBold
Feel The Rush By: Sarah Cotton
t’s a law of nature that when temperatures increase, my motivation and productivity decrease. And by the looks of T-Hall lawn on any day in May with a hint of sunlight, I’m not alone. Why sit at a desk or at a laptop when you can be outside with your bare feet in the grass? Forget being stationary, forget job searching – I want to move, and I’m looking for the best places to get my adrenaline rush on.
Skydive New England
Located in Lebanon, Maine, this is an awesome place to go if you’ve never been skydiving. There’s absolutely nothing like the thrill of free falling from 13,000 feet in the air, passing through clouds and watching the world grow bigger and bigger... Then a leisurely parachute ride takes you back to the ground, safe and sound. The staff here is laid back (read: hippies), and you can hang out at the picnic tables or outdoor restaurant all day while watching people fall from the sky. You can camp on site, and at night, they hold a bonfire and BBQ, often with bands from the Boston and Portland area.
Zipline in the White Mountains
Hey, it’s not Costa Rica, but it’s close enough. Head to the Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH, and you can spend a half-day flying through treetops on a cable zip line. You reach speeds of 30 miles per hour on 10 different lines, 165 feet in the air. I’d say the views are pretty stunning, if you can pry your eyes away from the drop to the ground below. The tour ends with a dual zip line cable, so you and your friends can race back to solid land.
New Hampshire is right in the heart of it all; you couldn’t ask for a better location in the summer. Mountains, ocean, and city are all within a decent drive, and each offer a ton of ways to get your heart pumping. Some of these activities can get pretty pricey, but really, what else are you going to spend your graduation money on? Would you rather “invest” in that future apartment (we know you’re living back home anyway), or splurge on skydiving? Yeah, no contest here either.
Alpine Racing at Attitash
Ski resort Attitash Bear Peak in Bartlett, NH, offers some cool summer activities, but the alpine slides are probably the best. It’s like Mario Kart meets a toboggan. You sit on a little cart on a concrete track that winds its way down the mountain and control your speed by using a lever on the front of the cart. But really, you’ll just leave it all the way down and fly like a maniac to the base, whizzing through smears of green where individual trees should be. Watch out for those sticklers who listen to the “SLOW” signs, though, because you’ll end up ramming right into them.
NASCAR Racing Experience
This is the next adventure lined up for me this summer – my dad and I are headed to the Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH, to get behind the wheel of a real NASCAR stock car. Yes, you actually get to drive it. That is, after a 45-minute orientation and safety course. You get outfitted with a driver’s suit and sent out on the track for 12 laps of racing, where 100 miles per hour is nothing and passing is not just encouraged, it’s expected. Of course, if that seems like too much, you can also ride shotgun alongside a professional for a 4-lap run. Either way, everybody wins!
White Water Rafting on the Kennebec River
There are tons of rafting companies in our area, such as Crab Apple Whitewater, that arrange day trips down this Maine river. You can opt for a more “family-friendly” ride, or take the plunge on a 12-mile tour through Class III-IV and V rapids. In the summer, water temperatures can reach the mid-70s, an awesome way to cool off on those hotter days. After a long day of battling the river, you’re served a hearty cookout lunch and get to look through epic photos and video of your ride.
Franconia Ridge Trail
Hike the Whites By: Ian Ferguson
here’s nothing like spending some time on a mountaintop to make you appreciate just how big and beautiful the world is. You gaze across a vast open space, the world folding out in undulating waves of green below you. You’re tired but satisfied, and the strong breeze feels good on your sweaty skin. You’re with your buddies, or maybe your girlfriend or boyfriend. Maybe you’re by yourself. You take a swig out of your Nalgene and eat a handful of granola. Or maybe you crack open a beer. The stress of school and work and whatever else is miles away, beyond the horizon. You are in the White Mountains. New Hampshire is home to some of the most spectacular mountain trails east of the Mississippi (or in the world, if you ask me). Anyone who has hiked the Appalachian Trail will tell you that the best section of the three-month long journey from Georgia to Maine occurs right in our backyard. I grew up in Mt. Washington Valley, and started hiking the Whites when I was fourteen. Below are some of my favorite day hikes of varying difficulty. This may be obvious to some readers, but any hike, now matter how easy, requires proper footwear, ample water and food, and the ability to read and follow a map. Equally important is the Leave-No-Trace philosophy: don’t litter, stay on marked trails, and follow the rules when it comes to camping. Use your head and make a serious effort to minimize your impact on the land. For maps and route details, pick up AMC’s Guide to the White Mountains at any outdoor sports store. Find your own favorite day hikes, and then progress to the two- or three-day tours to get deep into the wilderness and really experience nature. How neat is that? That’s pretty neat.
Foss Mountain, Eaton, NH Difficulty: Wicked Easy Drive from Durham: 1.5 hours
end of the Whites, with a clear view of the Presidentials, the Sandwich Range, the Moats, and the Green Hills, plus many lakes and the flatlands to the south. Hike it in August and get your fill of wild blueberries.
Mt. Chocorua via Liberty Trail, in Chocorua Difficulty: Moderate Drive from Durham: 1.5 hours
Mt. Chocorua has the views and rocky summit of a four-thousand footer, but is way more accessible. Dig the Sandwich Range to the west, the Moats and the Pemi’s to the north, and the Presidentials beyond them. The Liberty Trail is probably the easiest and fastest way up, but be prepared to scramble over rocks near the summit. Take a breather at the Jim Liberty cabin on your way up, or camp there on your way down.
Mt. Lafayette in Franconia Difficulty: Challenging Drive from Durham: 2.25 hours
The Lafayette ridge may be the most scenic hike in New Hampshire. You are eye-level with the Presidential Range to the east, and can look down into the desolate Pemigewasset Wilderness. The ridge is completely in the alpine zone; observe the delicate flora and fauna, but take care to stay on marked trails. Sunset on this ridge is a romantic sight to behold.
drops, rushing waterfalls, and Wildcat Mountain far below and behind you. Crest into the Alpine Garden on the shoulder of Mt. Washington, and you aren’t far from the highest summit in the Northeast. If the thought of going back down Huntington Ravine is too daunting, take the easier Lion’s Head trail back to the same parking lot.
Mt. Chocorua via Champney Falls Trail in Albany Difficulty: Moderate Distance from Durham: 1.75 hours
Chocorua is so good, you have to hike it two (or twenty-three) times. This trail is cool because you can check out Champney Falls on the way. Also, the Champney Falls Trail switches back a lot making it not as steep as the Liberty Trail, but quite a bit longer. Find the trailhead ten miles down the Kancamagus Highway on your left coming from Conway.
The Bonds via Lincoln Woods Trail in Lincoln
Much like the Lafayette ridge, the Bonds (Bond, West Bond, and Bondcliff) offer spectacular alpine scenery, but this time, instead of looking down into the Pemi Wilderness, you’re right in the middle of it. From the summit of Bondcliff, you can see for miles in every direction with nary a sign of human development. That’s an inspiring and increasingly rare sight. It will make you appreciate national forests and the preservation of natural landscapes.
Mt. Washington via Huntington Ravine Trail in Pinkham Notch Difficulty: Very challenging Mt. Kearsarge North in North Conway Drive from Durham: 2.5 hours Difficulty: Moderate Huntington Ravine trail is often called the most chal- Drive from Durham: 2 hours
lenging hike in the Whites. If you are an experienced hiker, don’t let that designation scare you – it doesn’t require any technical climbing, but occasionally some If you can find your way through the dirt roads to hands-and-feet scrambling up rocky features. It’s an inthe parking lot, you’ve accomplished the hardest part of credibly rewarding hike. At the base of the ravine, check this hike. Head a couple hundred yards up through some out Pinnacle Buttress to your left (if you are facing upblueberry fields, and you’ve reached the summit of this hill). As you ascend straight up the ravine, take time to small but rewarding hill. Foss is situated at the southern appreciate the gnarliness of your surroundings: dizzying
Slightly more challenging than Chocorua, Kearsarge North has a closer view of the Presidentials, as well as a unique view of Evans Notch and the Mahoosics in Maine. The trail starts on Hurricane Mountain Road, meandering up to a ridge before gradually increasing in steepness. There is a cool fire tower on the summit; be sure to sign the guestbook.
Photo by John S. Giaforte, Blue Sky Observatory
The Observatory: Bringing UNH to the Sky By Victoria Hanson 26
Photo by John S. Giaforte, Blue Sky Observatory
ho hasn’t taken the time, at least once in their life, to stop on a crisp, clear night to tilt their head back in awe at the sky? Or listened, amazed, as their second grade teacher spoke of nearby planets that existed in a place that we could not yet wrap our minds around? I think that as human beings we all have an inbred sense of wonder for the things that are bigger than us, and long to find meaning behind the uncharted territory. Luckily, the University hasn’t forgotten about that childhood excitement and skyward gazes, so it’s brought to us the UNH Observatory. The UNH Observatory is a small silo-shaped structure located in the fields off of Spinney Lane, a road off of Mast Lot Extension. Inside of the observatory is a large, 14-inch reflecting telescope hooked up to a computer. A reflecting telescope is one that uses a curved mirror, rather than a lens, to reflect an image back into your eye. Reflecting telescopes are used most commonly in astronomy due to the fact that they allow very large diameter objectives and help to correct the issue of chromatic aberration (a distortion of the image due to the inability of a lens to focus at certain wavelengths). The telescope was donated to the University sometime in the early 80s and uses a computer to help better locate exact positions of objects in the sky. Thanks to the Physics department, several students, and around 18 volunteers, the observatory is open to fellow students and the public for free. They offer public viewing sessions on the first and third Saturday of every month from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. September through March and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. April through August. They also offer private sessions for groups with a minimum of eight people
and receive visitors from all over the seacoast. Some of the their most common visitors are local schools; families; and Boy Scout, Cub Scout, and Girl Scout groups. The Introduction to Modern Astronomy class at UNH also visits the observatory as a lab and commonly views objects such as Jupiter and its orbiting moons, Venus, and the moon, depending on the time of year. Because the observatory has a moving roof to help allow the telescope to view the sky, it can get very, very cold during the winter month sessions. Make sure that you dress as if it were going to be 10 degrees colder than the forecasted temperature, and wear layers! The observatory also uses red lights to help your eyes adjust to the night sky, so your vision will be much better off if you keep those brightly backlit cell phones in your pocket… or even at home. It’s also a neat idea to bring binoculars on your visit! There is time during each session to spend outside of the observatory with the staff and your group to talk about constellations and bright stars in the sky. Another exciting event that’s brought to us by the observatory team is something called Sidewalk Astronomy. Ian Cohen, the manager of the Observatory, said, “the idea of Sidewalk Astronomy is just to expose the campus to astronomy. Even though we hold free public sessions out at the observatory twice a month, it’s easy for students to never go out there.” So they bring the sky to you! Staff members often set up their telescopes in front of the wildcat statue or the traffic triangle at the intersection of Main Street and Mill Road. The hope is that this will help bring awareness of the observatory and astronomy to campus. “It’s hard to say no when you’re walking down the street and someone with a telescope asks if you want to see Jupiter,” said Cohen.
I’d have to add that it’s hard to not stick around and view something else once you’ve seen Jupiter! Cohen says that the main object viewed during the sidewalk sessions is the moon. Other objects include Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, depending on the time of year and Earth’s position in orbit. You can often find the Observatory staff set up for these sessions around the first quarter moon, so keep your eyes peeled! The observatory is a fun tool offered to us here on campus, and can often fly under the radar. The department and staff work hard to bring the sky to campus and feed the inner explorer in all of us. For those of you who are interested, Cohen explains that they are always looking for “new, enthusiastic, and reliable volunteers,” especially since the number of sessions they can offer heavily depends on the availability of volunteers. No experience is needed! They are also currently working on bringing a UNH Astronomy Club to campus. The next time you find yourself gazing at the moon, think about attending a public session at the observatory or keeping an eye out for a fellow Sidewalk Astronomer so you can get a closer look! Not only will you be glad that you did, but you will most likely want to come back for more.
Upcoming public observing sessions: • Saturday, April 21, 2012, 9-11p.m. • Saturday, May 5, 2012, 9-11p.m. • Saturday, May 19, 2012, 9-11p.m.
Kony 2012: The Age of Slacktivism By: Ella Nilsen 28
“We were hoping for 500,000 views in the year 2012. That was even an ambitious goal for us. We had no idea it was going to get as big as it did.”- Invisible Children
t first glance, I thought the Kony video was spam. One of my Facebook friends had posted it on his timeline, and I’m not usually accustomed to seeing a college boy post a video about war torn African nations accompanied with the caption, “PLEASE watch this video all the way through; it’s important to me.” In my experience, this sharing applies to memes or viral videos. In my subconscious, a voice said that the college guys I knew didn’t know or care about this stuff. It had to be spam. I didn’t click on the video, and kept scrolling through my newsfeed. The next morning, Kony 2012 was Sinescapable. College friends and high school acquaintances were changing their profile pictures to Kony posters, attendance for the UNH Cover the Night event was topping 1,000, and the video was posted on timelines and feeds everywhere. For a few short hours, on March 5th, before the Kony movement was controversial, the video had transcended race, class, and gender, and was enjoying wide support. Invisible Children had been working up to the video for years, but even they were caught off guard by how successful it was. “We were hoping for 500,000 views in the year 2012. That was even an ambitious goal for us,” said Invisible Children Lead Movement Intern Addie Horn in an email interview. “We had no idea it was going to get as big as it did.” As the viral appeal of the Kony video grew, however, the controversy surrounding it grew also. There’s the problem that, despite the video’s call for military intervention against Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Northern Uganda, the LRA is no longer in Northern Uganda. There was the problem of the “white savior industrial complex” and the noticeable diversity gap in the video. There was the infamous TMZ video of Invisible Children co-founder and filmmaker Jason Russell having a very public and naked psychotic episode in the middle of a San Diego street. For better or for worse, the Kony 2012 campaign generated media attention from every possible angle. More than any opinions or controversy surrounding Kony 2012, the campaign is the defining moment of triumph for activist social media in the West. The sheer force and sudden success of Kony 2012 made Occupy Wall Street pale in comparison. The video resonated to the tune of 88 million views (and counting) on YouTube. Kony 2012 marked a drastic change for what works in social media. The debates for and against the movement will continue, and multiple advocacy groups will undoubtedly try to replicate its style and success. As it turns out, finding out what works raises a lot of
questions. The only thing that remains is to deconstruct structions from God. Kony drew inspiration from Lakwena, but his LRA represented a violent counterpart to the reasons why Kony 2012 worked so well. Lakwena’s Holy Spirit Movement. The fact Joseph Kony and the LRA killed, raped, and Step 1: Simplicity One of the major criticisms of the Kony video is the maimed thousands is indisputable. Kony is a particularly simplistic way that it portrayed a complex issue. But the fanatic leader and cult figure, and his tactics are brutal beyond anything we can imagine. However, it is imporsimplicity of the video is also the key to its success. “It’s one of the issues with trying to create a media tant to recognize that other groups in Uganda and other spectacle like this,” says UNH Communications instruc- countries employ the same tactics. A recent article by the Christian Science Monitor tor Mike Soha. “You’re not going to get people to watch a really detailed, complex, nuanced video about Central points out that child soldiers have been used in a staggerAfrican history and geopolitics. That’s not going to get ing 81 percent of civil wars worldwide from 1987-2007. Child soldiers are used by rebel groups like the LRA, but 100 million viewers in two weeks.” According to Soha, who specializes in media studies also authoritarian governments such as Saddam Hussein and digital activism, several aspects of the video translate in Iraq. The United States government has sent military into its viral effect. “The production value, the simplicity aid to regimes that use child soldiers, most recently, Chad of the story, and their ability to piggyback on a pre-exist- and Yemen. Trying to put an end to Kony is an admiing narrative, it really created a perfect storm in terms of rable effort, but does not go far in addressing a serious global problem. creating a viral movement for that film.” A relevant critique that has been raised to Kony 2012 Kony 2012 is one of the most straightforward films out there. As the narrator, Jason Russell presents his au- is Invisible Children’s advocacy of military action in redience with the basic premise of problem and solution; sponse to the LRA. Military action has been used to there are no points of divergence from this premise and target Kony in the past, unsuccessfully. Ugandan soldiers several points in the video where, in response to Kony’s looking for him right now are having no luck. Ugandans crimes, Russell tells the viewer what to do and how to who disagree with Invisible Children openly reject the notion of military involvement as a solution to problem, do it. Kony 2012 is pure marketing, and it works. Instead and look to homegrown African movements as ways to of marketing clothes, food, or other consumer products, help rebuild. Russell and Invisible Children are marketing collective action, and appealing to the emotions and sensibilities of Step 3: Social Media and Hype their audience to achieve a specific goal. They present a With Kony 2012, Russell and his fellow filmmakers simple narrative, and the video itself employs excellent were able to go beyond informing. They created an graphics and is expertly constructed. atmosphere that appealed to their viewers’ sensibilities. “We get this story of the ultimate bad guy, a Hitler- Using the fervor of the Arab Spring in the East and the level bad guy, doing the worst thing you could possibly Occupy Movement of the West, Russell sets up the Kony do,” says Soha, “But there’s zero context as to why it’s video by saying: happening.” “Governments are trying to keep up, and older generations are concerned. The game has new rules.” He certainly has a point. Social media is defining our genStep 2: Context Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance eration, and has already proven itself a catalyst around Army, a fundamentalist Christian military group in the world. Watching the video evokes the sense that Northern Uganda. The region of Northern Uganda one could participate in history and change the world. where Kony and the LRA originated, Acholiland, has Watching the video, it’s very difficult not to feel excited long been a place of conflict between warring tribes and about the power of the digital generation. A recent article in Time by Carina Ray echoes this cultural factions. The LRA itself is ideologically complex, drawing on a mix of mysticism, regional national- sentiment. Ray, an African history professor at Fordham University, discussed talking about Kony 2012 with ism and Christian fundamentalism. Joseph Kony rose to prominence around 1986, following in the footsteps of religious resistance leader Alice Lakwena, a self-proclaimed prophet receiving in-
Continued on page 42.
Interview with Scott Avett By: Jake DeSchuiteneer 30
ountry, folk, alternative-country, folk-rock, Americana, roots-rock, indie: The Avett Brothers have been described in many ways, and packaged with a vast array of different genre labels. The truth is they are really an engrossing combination of all of the above: emotional yet aggressive, roots-y yet progressive, modern but old school at the same time. They’re a band that deftly dodges these labels, despite being so much a product of them all. However you’d categorize the Avett Brothers’ sound, there’s no denying they brought it in full force to the Whitt on April 17, entertaining a sizable crowd with an awesome 23 song set (with a 4 song encore) that spanned just over two hours when all was said and done. The band came out with a high level of energy that didn’t relent all night. Both Avetts, Scott and Seth, were physically engaged during the show, jumping around the stage like it was their first show ever. The Avetts’ most recent, and most commercially popular album, “I and Love and You” was well represented in their set list. They played 8 of that album’s 13 songs to very warm reception from the crowd. But they left plenty of room for deep cuts from older albums too, pleasing the die-hard fans in attendance, and exposing the crowd to some of their lesser-known material from albums like 2007’s “Emotionalism” and 2003’s “A Carolina Jubilee.” With a new album slated for release sometime later this year, the Avetts gave the crowd a taste of some new material as well. “Down With the Shine,” a new song that will be released on the upcoming album, was played to excited applause from fans that are anxiously anticipating the new album’s release. Some of the show’s highlights included a crowd singalong to what is arguably the Avetts’ most popular song, “I and Love and You” to close the show, a stellar performance of the epic “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise,” and a stripped down, portion of the set, during which Scott Avett sang a solo performance of a fan-favorite, “Murder in the City,” a song about the love
that binds a family. “I wonder which brother is better, which one our parents love the most,” sang Avett, “A tear fell from my father’s eyes. I wondered what my dad would say. He said I love you and I’m proud of you both, in so many different ways.” The song closes with a poignant lyric about family love. “Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name,” Avett sang. This lyric seems fitting for a band that is made up of just that: members who share their name. That theme of family, and what it is like to be in a band with a brother is just one of many topics Scott Avett discussed when he sat down for an interview with Main Street magazine just a few weeks before their UNH performance. In the interview, Avett gave insightful answers about The Avett Brother’s upcoming album, his musical influences, and among other things, his opinion of another emerging folkie: Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.
as being away and doing what you know you’re supposed to be doing. MSM: With your last album, “I and Love and You,” you guys gained a lot of new publicity. What was that experience like? Has life changed since that album got so popular? SA: Well, life hasn’t. We did play for more people over the years, but we’ve continued, or we’ve kind of been on a progression since we started in 2001, when we would play for a certain number of people in one town, and then we’d come back and play for some more. The release of “I and Love and You” was just a continuation of that. We just watched some numbers grow. But life has continued to move forward, as it did before that. So, it hasn’t changed in any drastic way.
MSM: One of the coolest moments must have been MSM: Is this going to be the first time you’ve come your Grammy performance with Bob Dylan and to New Hampshire? Mumford and Sons. What was that like? That must have been unreal. Scott Avett: No. We’ve done a venue near Lake Winnipesaukee, last year I believe. SA: It was. It was very unreal to be on stage with Bob Dylan, to be in a practice space with him, and watch him MSM: What does your upcoming tour look like? Is work out our performance, and interact with the producit crazy? Do you have a lot of concerts coming up? er, T-Bone Burnett. Then going on to the night, where we performed, and the excitement of it all was awesome, SA: Yeah we do. It does look crazy. It’s kind of on and and the experience was awesome as a whole. But it was off non-stop from next week until September. as surreal as you could imagine, Bob Dylan being such an influence, inspiration and hero of ours. MSM: What are some of the positives and negatives to touring in your mind? You must be on the road a MSM: You have an album coming out soon. Have lot. What is that like? you guys decided on a release date for that album yet? SA: Well, it’s part of what I signed up for. And there’s, of course, a part of you that misses home, being away from Continued on page 43. family and loved ones. But there’s part of you that loves what you do. And that is gratifying. It serves you as far
Scott Avett, UNH Whittemore Center
Rising: The Neighbourhood
W By: Ella Nilsen
hen I call on a Tuesday afternoon, Jesse Rutherford is busy ordering a burrito. “If you ever want to know what I want on a burrito, you’re going to find out,” he laughs. “Cheese, beans, rice…real simple. Doesn’t get too messy.” Rutherford is genial, easygoing, and on the edge of what will likely be an extremely successful career in pop music. He is the front man of the Neighbourhood, a little-known LA band who released two singles with accompanying well-crafted, black and white music videos in mid-March, and promptly found themselves at the top of the HypeMachine. Lying low until now, the Neighbourhood has released very
little information about themselves in the past month. Nevertheless, they have gotten endorsements from major music blogs including Pigeons and Planes, Earmilk, Nylon Magazine, NME, and the popular BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. With gorgeous pop melodies and Rutherford’s voice, reminiscent of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koening, the Neighbourhood is definitely one to watch over the next year. The free release of new EP “I’m Sorry” on May 7th and their Califournia tour in May is just the beginning for this immensely talented group. Main Street recently talked with Jesse Rutherford in an exclusive interview.
Main Street Magazine: You guys are coming off of a great past couple of weeks. How does it feel? Jesse Rutherford: It feels really good. I guess the best way I can describe is that people seem to care. I mean, you’re calling me right now, so, people seem to like the music; it’s the coolest shit in the world. It’s awesome; we’re all really happy. MSM: What was your reaction when Sweater Weather and Female Robbery attracted so much attention on the major music blogs/the Hypemachine? JR: It’s funny, “Sweater Weather”…we had a plan for that song. It was done with our vision and everything. You know, the mystery and all that bullshit, its all been part of our plan. When it was actually happening, it was like, “Wait, hold on…really? Really?? When it got to number one on Hypemachine, it sat there for three days, and we’re just seeing our Facebook likes and our Twitter followers skyrocket. It’s unbelievable; it’s the coolest thing. We’re so excited. MSM: After “Sweater Robbery and “Female Robbery” were released, all the blogs were speculating on who exactly the band was. No one knew. JR: As far as the mystery goes, there wasn’t a point for us to have our faces to be a part of it; it didn’t go along with the music yet. Putting ourselves in the video, it just wasn’t something we thought was essential. A lot of it was because we genuinely wanted people to hear the music. It’s cool that people just got to hear the music and see the vision. MSM: How many people total are in the group/who are they? JR: Actually we’re not putting out any names right now, we’re still keeping that under wraps for now. But there’s me, and then two of the guys play guitar, another one plays bass, and another one plays drums. There’s five of us total, I guess a pretty standard five piece band. Me and the two guitarists are the writers of the band. But all of us are really, really close friends. No one’s been recruited or any bullshit like that. We’re all just really, really close buddies and luckily all of our close friends know how to play music really well, and it’s fucking awesome.
any sort of music and make it great, that’s kind of what gotta work the machine, whether it be Facebook and I’ve tried to do. blogs, and social media networks and shit, or whether it’s a major label. You have to find the rules, bend them, MSM: Describe the sound of the Neighborhood. break them…but you have to know the rules first. And we have a really, really great team behind us that really JR: As far as the Neighbourhood goes, it’s not a plan to concentrates on keeping it all going. And as far as our be a cool, under-the-radar indie band. We don’t want social network goes, we post everything. It’s always me that. I want to be the biggest artist in the world; I don’t and the rest of the guys that are posting on Twitter, Tumthink you should reach for the goal of being a cool, hip, blr, Facebook, etc. But with the blogs and everything, indie band. We can’t stand any of those indie, snobby we’ve had tremendous success. kids. We think all that shit’s really annoying. We make fucking pop music; we make popular music. The best MSM: You said you are in charge of the visual look way to put it is, the Beatles made pop music…it’s not for the band. What does that entail and how imporBritney Spears, but it’s pop music. That’s what we’re do- tant is the visual aspect? ing. JR: I take on as much as I possibly can…more than I We just want to make good music…we want the snobby should maybe, just because this whole thing is my child. kids to like us, and we want the fucking moms to like It’s what I want to do. I don’t want to go down in history us. Whether anyone likes us at all, we think the music as just the fucking coolest rock star in the world. I have we make is fucking cool. The only band I really listen to brands on my mind. Design and art is just as important is the Neighbourhood, honestly, whether it be “Sweater as the music. If some has boring cover art or something Weather” or the other 30 plus demos we’ve made. on a blog, I’m really not going to check out their music, because I’m really not interested. So, I think that the art MSM: What are some of your influences? has to tell the tale of the music. Sometimes it has to be better than the music. Because if its better than the muJR: Yeah, I don’t really listen to music. I don’t really like sic, then, to me, the music will shine a little bit more. listening to music… my friends, when they first started hanging out with me and driving around with me in the MSM: Best case scenario, where do you see the car, people had to get used to not listening to music be- band in a year or so? cause I like talking and conversation, and I never really turn on music. At first, all the guys in the band were so JR: Um…probably the Grammies. (Laughs) I mean, weirded out by it. honestly, I don’t know. At the pace things are going, I’m not going to say I’d be the most surprised person if we MSM: You guys have been using a lot of social me- ended up at the Grammies, but at the same time, it could dia to get going. A lot of EDM producers and rap- all fucking end tomorrow. Honestly, I don’t even know pers are actively using social media to self-promote what’s going to happen. What I can imagine happening but rock/pop seems to be a little slower to do so. is that I’m still working my ass off a year from now and if Would you say social media has is helping propel you ask me what I’m doing five years from now, I’m still you? working my ass off. I live for this…my whole life, these conversations, what you’re doing right now. So I hope JR: Oh, it is us. It’s everything. Our base thing is, you’ve I’m still doing this; I hope I still love it.
MSM: How long have you been playing together? JR: This whole thing went pretty fast. We played in bands around the area for quite a while, but separate from each other. We’ve been playing together for about eight months. MSM: How would you say that your sound has changed over the years? JR: I look back at stuff that I was doing… I think every artist goes through the point where you’re embarrassed with your old stuff, but I can’t see that anymore. There’s stuff that I’ve done that was like, fucking bullshit. It was awful, genuinely bad, and cheesy. But I still think that doing those stupid poppy, catchy melodies got me to the point that I’m in with the Neighbourhood now. I like pop melodies, that’s what I like, a good pop melody. This has cool music behind it and a cool feel to accompany it. I can’t say I’m embarrassed with what I’ve done, I think it’s really awesome growth. I went from the hardcore scene originally, so I went from that to pop-rap, to hip-hop, to the Neighbourhood. I feel like I can take on
Max Auger: The Life of a Male Dance Major By: Jake DeSchuiteneer 34
t’s nearly 11 p.m. on a weekday. Max Auger is walking buoyantly through the first floor lobby of Mills Hall with a wide smile and a giant army-bag filled with laundry, doing what he does best: sticking out like a sore thumb. Max’s face is covered in makeup: deep eyeliner, blush, and pale white foundation. He looks like a bizarre mix between Charlie Chaplin and David Bowie, but seems totally unfazed by the fact that he is probably…well, definitely the only guy on the UNH campus doing his laundry in makeup. The makeup is from a rehearsal for an upcoming dance performance, Auger explains. “I have to wear it because the lights will drown out my expressions on stage,” he says. Rewind about 12 hours to just before noon of the same day. Auger is lying sprawled across his bed with his eyes closed, staying awake, but barely. After an early morning comprised of two hours of jazz/tap/ aerial dance rehearsal, he is now faced with the daunting physical task of several more hours of dance class. He doesn’t look particularly up for it. “I don’t know if I can go to Ballet Two today,” he groans, “I think I need a nap.” Ballet Two only lasts for two hours, but Auger usually stays after class for extra help, and to get more practice in. Extra practice is something that basically defines Auger’s life. He is the only male dance major on the UNH campus, and one of very few men who are a part of the dance program at all. It’s a lifestyle choice that requires a great deal of physical commitment, and Auger, who is restless by nature, never really gives himself a break. Outside of countless hours of dance classes, rehearsals and performances, Auger commits himself to an intense regimen of stretching, exercises and weightlifting. Almost every night, while his roommates are sitting at their laptops surfing the Internet or typing papers, Auger clears off his dorm room floor and stretches for an hour and a half. He can do a split with his right leg in front, and he’s close to his split with the other leg, a vast improvement from last year, he says. After stretching, he exercises for another half-hour: 160 crunches, 160 pushups, leg lifts, and bicycle kicks make up his workout, which even after all this time, still
go too well,” he admits, laughing. What followed was a restless period of soul-searching. Should he go back to communications? Is there really money acting? Was the performance world really for him? During that time of intense self-doubt and questioning, one lingering answer kept coming back up: dance.
Size 12 Shoes and Tie-dye
The Stage Studio is sort of a pain-in-the-ass to find. Walk into New Hampshire Hall, turn left and take the stairs down to the basement. At the bottom of the steps take another left and walk all the way down to the end of the hallway, then open a doorway to another set of stairs; walk up and turn left and you’re there. If you go into the Stage Studio on any given day, assuming that you are able to find it, you will notice that it looks like a dojo. It’s a narrow, rectangular room with walls completely covered by large mirrors. The floor is almost entirely covered by a black mat, called marley, leaving only a sliver of hardwood floor exposed, where dancers leave their bags, shoes and other belongings during class. On this Wednesday afternoon, a ballet class is taking place. Girls are nimbly flying through the air, executing a number of dance maneuvers that the average person would break their neck trying to pull off. And then there’s Max. You might not notice him in the crowd at first, but once you do, you wonder how you missed him. He’s sticking out like a sore thumb again. Standing at six feet in height, a solid five inches taller than the tallest girl in the class, Auger is dressed in a bright, swirling, yellow, pink, and orange tie-dye shirt. He wears size 12 shoes, and on his head is a neon-yellow bandana, which is holding his medium-longish hair up and out of his eyes. As he makes his way through class, Auger goes through all of the same motions that the girls do, with most of the same grace. This studio is the place where Auger spends most of his time on campus, a home-away-from-home of sorts. He gets along well with all the girls, and it’s a place where he feels comfortable, but when he started out in ballet during his freshman year, he says he felt out of place because of his gender and lack of experience. “I was actually scared shitless,” Auger said, smiling
“I literally had to kind of force myself to go to ballet classes that I didn’t feel comfortable in and I did feel judged in.” leaves him winded by the end. “On a free day, I try to go to the gym for 45 minutes to an hour for weight-training,” he says. The body of a dancer is one that needs to be in peak physical condition, but Auger pushes himself for another reason: because he is sort of playing catch-up. Although he has been attracted to performance his whole life, starring in musicals in high school and participating in some jazz dance as a kid, he came to ballet later in life than most serious dancers. “I didn’t really step foot to a ballet bar until October of my freshman year [in college],” admits Auger, whose journey toward becoming a dancer was anything but direct. “That was my first ever encounter with ballet.” He had a difficult time choosing a path for college. After very briefly considering marine biology, (a high school chemistry teacher talked him out of that one) Auger enrolled at UNH as a communications major. That didn’t last long either. Before his freshman year even started, he switched his major to Musical Theater, with a minor in dance. In musical theater, Auger found what he thought was a comfortable niche, but then… “Singing didn’t
broadly, “I literally had to kind of force myself to go to ballet classes that I didn’t feel comfortable in and I did feel judged in.” To look at him during this class, you wouldn’t suspect that Auger had ever felt this way. He seems to have gotten over that initial awkwardness completely. In class, he laughs and jokes around with the girls, asks the instructor questions about his form, and in a phrase: he fits right in. At the front of the studio stands their teacher and mentor, the Director of Dance at UNH, Larry Robertson, a small-framed but muscular man who Auger describes as his “hero.” Robertson leads the girls (and Max) through their combinations, playing piano music on a stereo for the students to dance to, and giving instruction in his soft but commanding voice. If the studio looks like a dojo, Robertson most definitely looks like the sensei. After class, he stops the music. Everyone claps, the girls curtsey, Robertson and Auger bow. It’s a traditional end to class that signifies the shared appreciation between the students and their teacher.
Class is done, but as usual, Auger is not. He and dance partner Melissa Chmielewski stay after for some extra instruction from Robertson for their upcoming performance of the tango later that night. They aren’t quite getting it perfect, and they are getting a little frustrated, but with Robertson’s help they work out some of the kinks in their routine. Chmielewski is no stranger to Auger’s dedication. “He kicks his ass,” Chmielewski says, “He really does. He has been working really hard, and all of us dancers have noticed since we started working with Max last year how much better he has gotten. He’s just very dedicated. He’s just always going and working and trying to make things better for all of us.” Robertson says that Auger’s presence, as a male dancer who can partner with the girls, is very helpful and important to the dance program. “I can’t do some of the pieces that I do unless I have a strong male dancer,” Robertson said, “Partnering is the most critical thing. It requires a real understanding of physics and timing.” He also says that Auger’s greatest skill is his dedication. “He can pick up very quickly,” Robertson said. “He learns very quickly. He listens. He applies himself. He’s disciplined.”
Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You
Fast forward to later Wednesday night. Auger and Chmielewski’s tango performance (the first in a series of five performances in as many days) is over and it went okay, Auger says, but… “I missed an arabesque press,” he groans (the arabesque press is one particular lift he had to perform for the tango). He’s upset, but he gets over it and sets his sights on the next night’s performance. His ability to “get over it” is probably the reason Auger has gotten to this point. When asked if people make inaccurate assumptions or stereotypes about his sexuality because of his major, he says that even if they do, it doesn’t bother him. Auger is straight, but he understands why people may assume otherwise. “It was kind of tough my freshman year,” Auger said, “I would wear my Dance Company sweatpants around campus. You’re always wondering what the person behind you, reading your sweatpants is thinking of you. I do my best not to let things bother me.” Auger says that the worst incident came last summer, while he was working a job stocking shelves for Pepsi. He encountered a woman who worked for Green Mountain coffee while on the job. They got to talking, the subject of school came up, and Auger told her that he is a dance major. “She just kind of gave me this look, and she was like ‘Why are you doing that?’” Auger said, “It didn’t feel good, but she wasn’t like ‘Oh, so you’re gay?’ or anything.” Auger says that, if anything, being a dancer has helped his relations with girls. “When I talk to girls and tell them I’m a male dancer, I think they’re pretty interested,” he says laughing. It seems things are starting to work out pretty well for Max Auger. The same guy who felt so awkward when he first stepped foot in that ballet studio is now starting to feel more comfortable in his position. Apparently, other people are noticing too. He was recently awarded the Jean Mattox award, a prestigious dance scholarship at UNH, and with the aforementioned tango performance, he had his first experience as a lead in a dance recital. Auger has a magnet on the fridge in his dorm that says, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” That’s a saying he’s lived by. And so far it’s working out pretty well.
Finding a Voice By: Sarah Cotton
hat if you had to ration out the number of words you could speak each day? Who would you talk to if you were only allowed five minutes? What would you say? We can text and Tweet and Facebook message all we like, but how conscious are we really of each word we say out loud? For Lydia Abend, thinking about speaking is just as crucial as everything else in her day-to-day life. In the past few months, vocal cord surgery has entered the media spotlight, because of singers such as Adele and John Mayer who have recently gone under the knife (or laser, in Adele’s case). Mayer was forced to cancel his upcoming tour because of the
surgery to remove a granuloma –a mass of tissue– in his vocal cords. Recovering from the surgery is long and painful, and according to Mayer via his Tumblr blog, “one giant pain in the ass.” While it’s actually pretty rare, the procedure hit home for Abend this January. Lydia Abend is a junior at UNH, a bubbly, bright-eyed girl who always looks put together. But for the past two years, she has struggled to find –and keep– her voice. In January, she underwent extensive vocal cord surgery, and recovery meant a solid seven days of no speaking, with a very slow reintroduction over the next few months. Not only that, her doctor also ordered her not to cough, laugh, or even cry.
“I can’t talk to my friends or emote at all,” Abend said, recalling the initial stages of her recovery. “I am using my voice like a smoke signal, like Morse code, just needbased things like what I want for dinner.” She remembers being voted “Class Clown” in high school, because of her loud and boisterous, outgoing personality. During Abend’s freshman year of college, she constantly lost her voice, about once a week, though she was never sick. She chalked it up to going out on weekends and maybe having too much fun. “It sounded like I was partying all the time,” she said with a laugh. “At first it was kind of cool.” But after a while, it started to get old. Abend went to a throat specialist who diagnosed her with nodules in her vocal folds, meaning there were small calloused growths preventing her vocal cords from coming together all the way, allowing air to pass through and making it difficult to speak. Abend spent that summer in an intensive speech therapy program, but felt embarrassed and frustrated that she needed this therapy at all. She decided to stop going. The next year, her throat had gotten worse, and she had to make a decision for her health. Abend turned to the UNH Speech-Language-Hearing Center, working with a speech therapist once a week in Hewitt Hall. Things were going well physically, but the program was taking a toll on her self-esteem. “We would do things like reading a story. ‘The cat jumped over the rainbow,’” she said, with a hint of sarcasm. “Right now I’m counting. I was frustrated because I felt like this was moving backwards. I’m a college student.” By that summer, her nodules had decreased, but Abend was still losing her voice. Although her doctor deemed her medically better, she could no longer take the effects this ordeal was having on her lifestyle, the time she spent in a lab with someone measuring her voice, making her do breathing exercises. “Just by using my vocal cords in my daily life, I was hurting myself,” she said. In her eyes, the only option left was surgery to remove the nodules. As any invasive surgery, there were risks and complications were high. Abend’s doctor advised against it, saying, “If you were my daughter, I would tell you not to operate.” He compromised by telling her to give it six months, with no treatment or therapy – use your voice as you normally would and time will tell. By November, her doctor changed his mind. Abend’s throat was feeling better. She was optimistic and expected positive feedback from her doctor. Instead, he told her, “Now, if you were my daughter, I’d tell you to operate.” Her nodules had grown so far into her vocal cords that the surgery was no longer elective – he was mandating it. “I didn’t really know what to expect [about the surgery], so I didn’t think about it. It didn’t seem like a huge deal, and I also couldn’t really wrap my head around it,” Abend said. “I just kept saying, ‘January 4, that’s the day.’” On January 4, Abend lay on an operating table, counting, waiting for the anesthesia to kick in. “It was the first time I was like, ‘Holy shit, there’s nothing I can do now.’” She doesn’t remember the last thing she said before surgery. When she woke up, Abend remembers a nurse asking what her pain level was. Naturally, she began to say the word “seven,” only to see the nurse flailing and trying to get her to stop before she said a word. That was the first time she realized what a challenge this silence would be. “The first week was actually the easiest,” Abend said. “I was on the couch, watching movies, recovering like anyone would after surgery.” She wrote on a white board
to communicate with her family, unaware that the hardest part was yet to come. Once Abend was allowed to speak, she could only do so in five-minute intervals, both because of her doctor’s orders and because after five minutes, the pain became too much and she physically had to stop. Her voice was scratchy, gravely, and sounded like she was hurting it by talking. She was. Abend had just turned 21, and back at school, she constantly felt self-conscious and anxious. She couldn’t have a normal conversation with anyone, though she was physically able to speak; she couldn’t explain why either.
but it’s just a little breathy, not scratchy or gravely in the least. She still has three or four months of recovery to go, though, and in that time she must always be aware of her environment and the level of her voice. She can’t be talking at a concert, for instance, or yelling at a bar. When friends are in a conversation, she can’t even speak over one. “My voice physically can’t compete with the noise,” she said. “When I yelled over someone at Libby’s for my friend’s 21st birthday, I knew what I was doing to myself.” For Abend, the difficulty of carrying around this dis-
“Right now I’m counting. I was frustrated because I felt like this was moving backwards. I’m a college student.” “I thought, what did I do to myself ? I felt like I didn’t have a personality.” Abend felt trapped inside her own mind, her own body. The emotional and psychological recovery was just as painful as her physical battle. For a social butterfly who was used to being loud and goofing around with friends, she felt she couldn’t recognize herself. To anyone just meeting her, Abend does not sound as different as she thinks. There is a slight rasp to her voice,
ability every day is the invisible struggle of it all, the mental toll of counting out every “thank you,” every “hi,” not being able to order your own coffee or acknowledge the person holding the door. It feels rude, and socially unacceptable in our culture of routine pleasantries and automated responses. It’s certainly made her look at people differently, more closely. “You can see other ailments,” she said. “But you can’t see this.”
Professor Ruwa Pokorny, middle
Professor Spotlight: Ruwa Pokorny By: Michelle Tremblay 38
hen Baghdad native Ruwa Majid was 12-years-old, life as a non-Muslim in the heart of Iraq was a daily struggle for safety, peace, and freedom. Going to bed at night and fearing what the next morning would bring became routine, especially after her whole world was altered in one overnight tragedy. “I grew up with such a tight-knit, loving family. Waking up one morning – as a 12-year-old child – and seeing that your parents aren’t there… You know exactly why, and you wonder which is worse: losing them to this or to death.” Ruwa had dreams of fleeing Iraq at a young age to achieve a better life in the United States, as many immigrants from countries with far less freedom do. The story of this bold woman began at a young age when the imprisonment of her parents under Saddam Hussein’s rule left her and her two siblings to fend for themselves. One by one, Ruwa and her two siblings left Iraq for the United States and never looked back. Growing up in a predominantly Muslim community, as much of the Middle East is, was the source of Ruwa’s family’s hardships. Her family was persecuted because of religion alone, as followers of the Baha’i faith – a religion that believes in such ideals as the equality of men and women, the oneness of humanity, and development of a peaceful world. With such peaceful worldviews, it’s terribly discomforting to think that followers of this faith, or any non-Muslim religion, were so often persecuted for their personal beliefs alone, simply because it was not the culture’s (or government’s) standard. In the case of Ruwa’s family, seven years of imprisonment was the result of following their beliefs. “There were several Baha’i families in Baghdad, but mine was the only one to lose both parents to imprisonment,” Ruwa reflected on her hardships, “and, as if it weren’t torturous enough to see the two people you look up to most be in this condition, they were placed in separate prisons. Sometimes, our visitations with our mother and our father were scheduled on the same day, and we would have to actually choose only one of them to see.” Ruwa’s pre-teen and teen years were the hardest of them all: with the imprisonment of her parents, the only safe place she and her siblings could live was at their nearby uncle’s home in Baghdad. There lived the children’s uncle – a frightening, rigid drunk – and grandmother – an old woman, burdened with the sadness of losing three daughters, one son, and a son-in-law to imprisonment. In this environment, in this fundamental time in a child’s life, with a lack of both support and comfort, “life was truly not worth living.” Immediately following her high school graduation, with her parents still detained, Ruwa made a plan to leave Iraq. The process of reaching the United States took a full year, with her journey beginning in Turkey, where she stayed for eight months while sorting out issues with her passport. She then spent four months in various cities in Italy, attempting to obtain a refugee visa. Finally, she made it to the United States by way of her aunt and refugee sponsor in Indiana. She was reunited at her aunt’s home with her brother, Abir, and sister, Alhan, for the first time since they had all left Baghdad
separately a year prior. Their parents had been released from imprisonment around this time, as well; though the family would still have to wait more than a decade to be reunited in the U.S. Ruwa was eager to start an adult life for herself in America with the guidance of her siblings. Abir had met friends at the Green Acre Baha’i School in Eliot, ME, which led the three siblings to move east and Ruwa to pursue enrollment in college, as well. “I had applied to UNH but was denied because I did not bring my official high school transcript with me to the states. I had to take classes to earn my G.E.D. here, which was only really a minor setback because I knew all of the material,” said the woman whose secondary school test scores – similar to the U.S.’s SATs – proved her to have the capability and likelihood of pursuing a career in chemical engineering. Ruwa enrolled in the University of Massachusetts upon G.E.D. completion to study Food Engineering, but after a year of engineering coursework, she realized this area of study was not her top interest. She took a year off of school, taking the time to figure out exactly what it would be that she would excel in and enjoy studying. In this time, she more actively got involved in local Baha’i
and more outspoken than many of her students think at first glance. This openness and confidence brings great motivation to the classroom; this is necessary with such a difficult subject of study. Sharp and witty, her playful sense of humor has sometimes been misunderstood. I remember she told my class a story in the beginning of Elementary Arabic that went like this: “It was in my earlier days of teaching at UNH when the word ‘Baghdad’ was on a spelling quiz for Arabic 401. After the quiz, I joked with tongue in cheek while reviewing it with the students, saying ‘and, of course, you all spelled the most important word of all, “Baghdad,” correctly. Otherwise, you might as well pack up and leave.’ They all smiled and some laughed, knowing that I was teasing them, as I often do,” she continued, “but one student, who clearly had a hard time understanding my sense of humor and had apparently been confused by it for all that time, took my words literally, and packed up and left the classroom. She wrote me a long e-mail ‘admonishing me’ for my cruelty in holding the students to such high standards as to have expected them to leave my class if they had not gotten the spelling of my place of birth correct. Though I tried my best to clarify things
“There were several Baha’i families in Baghdad, but mine was the only one to lose both parents to imprisonment.” community activities, and met her current husband, Brad Pokorny, having their faith as a commonality. The two married when Ruwa was only 21- years-old. Deciding upon pursuing a field involving language study, she applied again to the University of New Hampshire and was admitted into the Communication Sciences department, in which she completed her undergraduate studies in only two and a half years. As many Communication Sciences graduates do, she took the path toward speech language pathology to aid others in better verbal communication. Her experience becoming fluent in a second language so different from her native Arabic helped in this field. She worked in public elementary and middle schools as a speech therapist, helping children ages 3-12 with speech practice in individual and group settings. After nearly eight years of this, she was offered a job as an interpreter, translating English to Arabic and vice versa. Though this was fulfilling, Ruwa hoped to expand her skills even further and help in bridging the Arabic-English language and cultural gap. In 2007, Ruwa accepted a position as an Arabic language instructor at UNH: a job that she felt was a perfect mix of putting to use her speech skills, teaching skills, and translating skills, while being able to influence students to gain skills in the Arabic language, one that the U.S. government deems “critical.” She is currently the only Arabic instructor at UNH, teaching both elementary and intermediate levels of the language each semester. The petite woman with long, straight, black hair is always impeccably dressed – right down to socks that perfectly match her headbands – will come off bolder
to this student, I became more on guard when expressing my humor. I will never give up inserting humor into my lectures. For one, it’s who I am, and two, it lightens up an otherwise stuffy atmosphere of learning a very difficult subject such as Arabic.” “She is easily one of the most straightforward people I’ve ever met. I like that about her as a person and as a professor,” stated a past Arabic student, Tim Connors. If you’ve ever considered taking a class with Ruwa, first toss your insufficient excuses for late homework or skipping class that may slide in larger, less individualized classes out the window. “If the reason related to family, health, or anything else that might be serious, she is more than understanding,” Tim stated. As most Arabs do, Ruwa puts the utmost importance on family and health. With the extreme tribulations she endured throughout her childhood, she not only understands, but endorses the value of family and safety – more than any educator at any level of schooling I’ve been taught by. Having to wait more than seven years before her parents were released from prison, at which point she was no longer in Iraq and had to wait an additional 11 years for her parents to arrive in the U.S., her family values were and are still immeasurable. “I formed such a strong identity early on because I was not Muslim, I had different views than what was common, and because I did not have an effortless upbringing. I’ve had to work for all I’ve accomplished, and not under the circumstances I could’ve ever imagined,” Ruwa declared. “But I believe that through persecution, I’ve found strength.”
Ronald Noble: 2012 Commencement Speaker By: Kurt Steiner
our years, eight semesters and at least 32 classes is what most college students endure before getting to graduation day and receiving a college diploma. On this day students have the opportunity to hear from a speaker who will give them insight into what challenges they might face going forward, while adding inspirational messages of success. In the past years UNH has had a range of commencement speakers, mostly successful within the business community. Some of these speakers were well received, while others fell short of students’ expectations. Last year the speaker was David Cote, CEO of Honeywell International. Honeywell is a large corporation whose operations range in the production of commercial and consumer products. Guthrie Andres, 2011 alum had this to say about the Honeywell CEO, “[Cote] just sounded like the stereotypical graduation speaker.” Another alum of 2011, Gideon Spitzer said, “He was ok, [I] wish we got someone cooler!” In 2010 the commencement speaker was the co-founder of Life is Good, Bert Jacob. Alex Knuuttunen, class of 2010 said, “He was awesome. I really liked him.” The predecessor to Jacobs was the CEO of the popular organic yogurt company Stonyfield Yogurt, Gary Hirschberg. So one might ask, whom did the University of New Hampshire manage to get to speak at this year’s graduation and why? The process of picking the commencement speaker starts with the general student population who nominate potential candidates. Then a committee consisting of a faculty representative from each college, two students representing the junior and senior class, and a representative from the University Events and Programs reduces the field of candidates. Once the committee has narrowed the nominees to a single candidate it passes the selection onto the university president who reviews the selection and hands it off to the Board of Trustees for
final approval. Ronald Noble will be this year’s prestigious commencement speaker. Noble is currently the Secretary General of Interpol and is the first American to hold the position. Noble started his education at UNH in the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, graduating in 1979. After UNH he continued his education at Stanford Law School, graduating in 1982. He is a tenured professor at New York University School of Law. During the 1990s he held the position of Undersecretary for Enforcement of the United States Department of the Treasury. This position put him in charge of the Secret Service, ATF, and many other law enforcement agencies. It wasn’t until 2000 that Noble was elected the secretary general of Interpol, the position he holds today. Director of University Events and Programs Susan Entz informed me that this year’s student committee members were very instrumental in the selection process. Being the head of Interpol, which helps to fight crime on a global scale, carries with it some unique challenges and responsibilities. The secretary general is in charge of the General Secretariat, which is headquartered in France and is in control of Interpol’s day to day operations. On the international level Interpol is not only faced with fighting terrorism, but they are also in charge of battling financial fraud and corruption. In 2009 Noble wrote a paper on the use of police and military forces to fight crime and terrorism in the 21st century. Reflecting on past efforts and future posturing following the peaceful transfer of power in the United States following the 2008 presidential election. “Out of the potential candidates for this year’s commencement speaker, Ron Noble was an easy choice in my opinion. His diverse list of lifelong achievements and service to this country speak for themselves,” Peter Duffield, Senior and Member of the Selection Committee, said. “The transitional time between college and life
outside of school is a pivotal moment for many people, a moment that should be filled with thoughts of hope and inspiration. We believed that these thoughts would be instilled best if they were presented by someone who students could relate to and find relevant. I think the fact that Mr. Noble is a UNH alumni will particularly allow students to relate and find inspiration from his words. Over the past several years we have also had mostly business leaders and company CEOs and we wanted to spice things up a bit this year by going with someone who doesn’t exactly fit this mold.” Carter Bascom, Junior ad Member of the Selection Committee, said, “My personal opinion is not a reflection of the committee’s decision or the Junior Class, which is my represented constituency. I hope that Ronald Noble will share a wealth of knowledge about his numerous political experiences and provide invaluable advice for the future of the graduating class of 2012.” This year, breaking a long string of successful business people, the class of 2012 graduates will hear from a person who has succeed in the public sector and for many UNH students this is an exciting choice. Nick Murray, graduating senior in political science said, “I’m definitely interested to hear him speak. I don’t know anything about him but I’ll look him up.” “I think anyone that UNH would’ve chosen would be equally relevant to me…I think it’s kind of pointless to demand a famous speaker to give a speech that no one will remember anyways,” said senior Lauren Brydon. “I am really interested in forensics and criminal justice and all that jazz, so I’m kind of excited for it,” said Alyssa Freedman, Senior Psychology Major. The student body overall seems intrigued by the choice of Ronald Noble. His position is enough to suggest his previous accomplishments and life experience. Let us hope that his speech lives up to the expectations of the students.
The Stone Church: A Historical Monument to Music and the Newmarket Community
By: Travis Harsin ocated atop Zion Hill, The Stone Church is a local legend with a 180-year legacy. It was originally built in 1832 as the first Unitarian church in town, and was constructed using stones from the mills. The building later came under ownership of the Catholic Church, and over the years the edifice underwent several transformations, from a meetinghouse, a VFW Hall, a roller skating rink, and even a heel factory. In 1969, a couple of UNH professors bought the building, and transformed it into a music club. The new owners brought a Woodstock-era “free love” attitude to the new venue. The evidence is apparent, judging by the ‘70s-style artwork that adorns the boarded-up windows. “They’re supposed to be stained glass-looking paintings that kind of reflect the hippie origins of this club,” said Christian Pearson, co-general manager of The Stone Church. “Because of that ‘forever Woodstock’ kind of vibe, we ended up with bands playing here that were far too big for the venue and far too big for Newmarket, New Hampshire,” said N.H. State Representative Adam Schroadter, who is the current owner of The Stone Church. Bands that have played at the Church over the years include the likes of Aerosmith, Phish, and Jerry Garciaera Grateful Dead. Others include Bonnie Raitt, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelics, and the late Bill Morrissey. “I’ve spoken with people here in town who have shown up to The Stone Church 20 to 30 years ago, met
people in the parking lot sort of jamming out, playing a guitar or fiddle, and in one instance it was Bonnie Raitt,” said Schroadter. “There is a lot of mythology around this place. There’s a lot of stories passed down. You never actually know what’s true and what isn’t,” said co-general manager Abby Winzeler. For all its history and local popularity, The Stone Church has faced financial and structural woes over the years. The venue traded hands with several owners until recently, when it was purchased by Schroadter and his wife at a town auction in 2010. Challenges have included a strict fire code that requires the installation of expensive sprinkler systems, and ongoing maintenance issues. Because of these problems, Schroadter and his wife decided not to renew their lease in April 2011, and closed the venue until last September. Since its reopening, the Church has been doing fairly well, with a stronger focus on community, charity work, great food, and serving craft brews from local breweries such as Allagash, North Hampton’s Switchback Brewery, and Peak Organic out of Portland, Maine. Maintenance of the upper floors remains ongoing, but the staff hopes to renovate and reopen the outdoor patio for the summer months. “To me, this place represents not just a music club, but a hub for the community and a place to support local farms, brewers...I like the idea of being a tight-knit community, and us being able to help these people,” said Winzeler. Brandon Amico, a UNH student, likes the new direc-
tion that the Church is taking. “I was upset that it closed,” Amico said, “but since they have re-opened, the new management seems to be doing a great job running the place. There are a bunch of great bands each month, and a full menu every night now too!” The Church plans to host over 200 live acts every year, and tickets to these 21 plus shows can be found both on their web site and at the venue itself. The staff is planning to broaden its horizons with movie nights and other fun events. Current weekly events include free Open Mic nights on Sundays for all ages, Bluegrass Jam every Tuesday for ages 21 plus, trivia night on Wednesdays from 7-9 p.m. for all ages, and electronic dance music on Thursdays for ages 21 plus, with a $5 cover fee. There are a few deals for UNH students on Thursday nights as well. UNH ID holders get in for free until 10 p.m., and those who sport anything UNH related, from IDs to apparel can enjoy their first drink for 25 cents. According to Amico, the Church’s real issue is publicity among students. “I think the problem isn’t with what The Stone Church is offering, it’s more of a problem of getting the knowledge about all this stuff to the UNH students,” said Amico. “One can get pretty tired of waiting for seven minutes to get a single drink at Libby’s.” In the future, Schroadter wants the public to see the Church as more than a music venue. “Please think of us first as New Hampshire’s destination for craft beer and live music,” he said.
Continued from page 29. a group of her undergraduates. “The video was wildly popular, they said, because its makers knew exactly what would appeal to its youthful target audience: a cool aesthetic that would require a minimal effort on their part to execute.” Soha agrees, saying that the participation that the Kony 2012 video requests of the viewer is “a relatively simple buy. The call to action is, ‘share the video; buy your action kit.’” Social media is what got people excited about Kony. It is also the entirety of what is propelling the video, but also what is providing the overwhelming critique. Invisible Children Lead Movement Intern Horn said, “I don’t know all the details of their [IC’s marketing department’s] strategy, but I do know that we wanted as many people to see our Kony 2012 film as quickly as possible. This was done almost completely through social media.”
Epilogue: Lasting Effect?
The ultimate test of whether the viral movement built up around Joseph Kony would actually work was Cover the Night on April 20th. Invisible Children’s second video, “Beyond Famous,” garnered 1.8 million views, a fraction of its predecessor. When I asked Lead Movement Intern Addie Horn if the organization was worried about Cover the Night participation on April 20, she shrugged it off. “We’re not worried at all. We weren’t ever expecting the same amount of views as the first one,” Horn said. “Even before Kony 2012, Invisible Children had a very strong network of supporters that are leading the charge on Cover the Night. Now, our group of supporters has grown exponentially and we can’t wait to see what happens on the 20th!” Flash-forward to April 20, the day that ‘Cover the Night’ will take place. The Invisible Children email list I was put on March 5 has been sending me emails all week, one ‘mission’ per day, and I’ve ignored each one. The same UNH Facebook group for ‘Cover the Night’ that had over 1,000 people attending in a few hours has been deleted, and the replacement group currently has 18 people attending. When I walk over to Dimond Library to check out the group, there are a total of four people sitting on the steps, hoping for more to show. “We’ve got about 18 on the Facebook group, at least 10 of which I know won’t be here,” says Andrew Becker. Becker, a senior, and President of student group UNH Net Impact, has interesting thoughts on Kony and how involved his peers are willing to get. “When the video first came out, no one knew about it, so all they could base their thoughts on was the video itself,” said Kecker. “The video was really well made, but it was obviously biased…it became more of a fad to be against Kony 2012 than it was to support it.” Even though Kecker understands the video’s flaws and the criticisms surrounding it, he was still hanging up posters to show support for the larger cause. “Personally, I support the concept and idea of making a war criminal as famous as possible and making him known to the world,” he said. As for his fellow students, Kecker seems disappointed, but not necessarily surprised. “It’s too bad that its easy to just click share on Facebook and say you support it, but when it comes down to actually acting on it…that’s how it works on college campuses and at UNH,” he says. “Whatever’s cool at the time to support, people support, but then when it comes down to acting on it…and as soon as people found out, ‘Oh, people may think negatively if I do support Kony 2012,’ then they stop their support altogether.”
UNH students “cover the night.”
Continued from page 31.
believe that there’s an amount of songs that is digestible, for you or me or anybody else. We don’t want to over-do SA: We haven’t thought of an exact date. It looks like it that. We do hope to release the songs beyond what will will probably be by August. That’s kind of the best that come out on the album in the future. We certainly do. I can get you right now. We’re finished, and we’re just We’ve had conversations about that. We’ve spent a full hammering out some loose ends that we have with it. year and two months on this album. We started recording it last January, and it is now finished. It won’t be a MSM: What would you say fans can expect from the double album initially. new album? With “I and Love and You” I think you guys moved in a direction toward more grandeur MSM: For “I and Love and You”, you worked with and bigger production. Is that a trend that has kept Rick Rubin (producer), and he’s producing your upgoing through this new album? coming album as well. What has it been like working with him? SA: If that’s the trend, I think that it’s headed in that direction still. We’ve tried to let ourselves grow natu- SA: Well, we’ve become great friends with Rick, luckily. rally, and I think that growth has equaled broader views You know, when you go into a business agreement with in how we write and how we put together songs, and how someone, you don’t have to become friends. You might we’ve recorded. How we view writing, and how we view just be really good business partners, or be able to deal our travels in the world, they all come through in those well with each other. But with Rick, luckily, the business songs. I think that equals the bigger sound and the big- was kind of the last thing we all really want to talk about.. ger nature of the songs and the music. So, I think that We all want to talk about first and foremost, how’s evthis record will be seeing the next step in that, from “I erybody doing, and ‘What’s up, everybody?’ And then and Love and You.” the most important topic of conversation is always songs and music, and art, and creating. That’s why we wanted MSM: What’s the songwriting process like in the to work with Rick. That’s why we wanted to do a busiAvett Brothers? You and [brother] Seth [Avett] ness agreement with Rick, because those we’re the prishare singing duties. Who does the majority of orities. And we’ve kept those the priorities, and it’s been songwriting? Or is it a collaborative process? very good for us, and very translatable for us. So, our friendship has grown with Rick. That being the case, SA: It is. I think I can describe it in hindsight. It’s there’s a freedom in friendship, where people care about hard to really say, or to project how we’re going to write each other and they look after each other. So everybody’s anything. I can tell you that, in hindsight, as you watch freer. They’re freer to do what’s right for them, because a song finish, that there is really all-hands-on-deck, equal they’ve got people around them looking after their interinput on the songs, to complete the songs. The songs ests, or for them. I think all of us agree that that’s what start in many ways, and Seth and I have maintained to friendship is about. That’s what caring and love is about. move when inspiration pushes, and write when we feel So, those being a part of our relationship with our prothe need to write, be open to inspiration when it comes, ducer, that doesn’t feel like it’s probably the norm, you and document that the best we can. And let those docu- know? A lot of times, you work with a producer, and if it mentations, or let those notes, let those pieces of songs goes well, cool. You might do another thing. If we don’t turn into songs if they will. We try to do it as naturally work with Rick, that’s cool. I’ll keep up with him either as we can. way though, because conversation is good, and we care about each other, and we really enjoy making things toMSM: When you guys performed a new song, “The gether. We really see eye to eye on a lot of it. He’s done Once and Future Carpenter” on CMT Unplugged great things to teach us a lot of things. I’m sure we’ve last year, Seth (Avett) said you wanted to “present taught him things. I couldn’t tell you what that was, but a current version” of where you’re at musically. Do it’s been a great exchange. We’re very, very excited about you feel a certain obligation to your fans to do this? what we’re going to unleash here very soon. SA: Yeah, and for ourselves. I mean, it’s really healthy for us. We’d have to say that we’ve been probably guilty on this one of holding back quite a bit of where we are now, because these songs have kind of become these works that have been very precious and very delicate, and something that we’ve worked on in very intense sort of ways, focused ways. We have not presented them as readily as we have in the past. Now, but there are several of the newer songs like, “The Once and Future Carpenter,” “Down With the Shine,” “Never Been Alive,” and a song we’ve been playing, I’m not sure what the title of it is yet, we’re still working on that. There’s several of the newer songs that we do play, but there’s more that we’ve kept back, and I think that’s because we don’t feel like they’re finished yet. But we do feel obligated to ourselves, and our fans to keep updated as well as possible.
MSM: What is it like being in a band with your brother? SA: My perspective is whenever things would get tense, or if things are tough, or if there’s a debate, we have to just pull each other in tighter, and communicate on yet another level. Sometimes when things feel unfixable, or when things feel impossible, we just work on it together, and talk through it. That’s caused us to continue working together, and continue the old Will Farrel trick, “keep truckin.’” And it’s been good for us, through the hard times, and through the easier times, it’s all good. It’s much more complex than just being “all good,” but one day at a time, we try to just keep moving forward and progressing together.
MSM: You guys have been described as country, MSM: I read that you have recorded 24 new songs. alternative country, folk, folk-rock. How do you deHow do you choose which ones make the cut for the scribe your sound? Or is that something that you new album? Is a double album something you’ve don’t try to do? considered? SA: Well, you know, I don’t because I’m not a writer. I’d SA: Well, that’s the process that we’re in right now, as encourage you to come up with the best that you can, we speak, back and forth comparing and contrasting the and it’s probably not that difficult. It’s probably someconceptual views in regards to sequencing. Something thing very simple. You know, maybe somebody should like half of those songs. We’re not sure what the num- just say, ‘they’re just songwriters. Maybe they’re just pober will be, but something like half of it, because we do ets.’ If we’re lucky, we’re poets. Maybe they’re just writ-
ers. Maybe we’re just artists, and we just make things, and for the time being music is one of the things we make. Maybe, eventually we’ll build houses, or maybe we’ll make playsets for kids instead, I don’t know. But we try to be craftsmen of some sort. That’s kind of the movement, the need to make something. I know, personally, that I can say that that’s been the priority. And music has been something that I’ve had quite a bit of joy in making, and there’s beautiful challenges in it. As long as I’m moved emotionally, there’s a need to do it. As long as I’m breathing, and observing, that I’m affected, and as long as I’m affected, I write for some reason. Sometimes I don’t really know why. A lot of that other stuff, the industry of it and everything, the genre, the title and the names of it, they’re so very far from what the root of it is. I think [Bon Iver’s] Justin Vernon has talked a little bit on that in a very articulate, and very good way. As far as genres are concerned, it’s such a mixed bag now in the world, and there’s so many great bands. It’s sort of irrelevant what they are, and that’s a beautiful thing. MSM: Are you a Bon Iver fan? SA: I am. I really am. I haven’t listened to the new album (2011’s “Bon Iver”) yet. I’m kind of saving it. I’ve heard great things. I’m very excited. I spoke with Justin [Vernon] at the Jimmy Fallon show. We got a chance to speak and say hello. [Bon Iver’s] first album, “For Emma,” just…It’s such a moving album, and it’s so pure. That’s my translation of it. The purity, for me, communicating with the songs was just beautiful. I loved it very much. I had a very close relationship with it. I thought it was beautiful. I’m looking forward to the new one, I’m just not ready to digest yet (laughs). MSM: Who are some of you’re greatest musical influences? SA: You know, I’ve answered this lot’s of times, and it changes a lot. It’s kind of funny how I’ve idolized different people at different times. There’s sort of this kid in me that just always comes back. Different artists at different moments, I’ll look at and be like, ‘I want to take something from that,” or ‘I want to do that’ or ‘What’s my version of that?’ You know, it’s funny. Earliest on, Daryl Hall was somebody I looked at, and was like, ‘I want to be just like him.’ Michael Jackson, I wanted to be just like him. But as I got older, and started getting different tastes, even though their music is terrific and they’re brilliant musicians, artists, creators, everything, I really was affected for years by Mike Patton from Faith No More and then onto all of his different projects. He was somebody that I admired, and he continued to do things that made me admire his liberty, and his aggression, but yet his refinement too, which is awesome. He never got held down by anything. So, Mike Patton was huge for inspiration to me. Will Oldham is a huge inspiration to me, his freedom in songwriting, and his unchained sort of approach. Bryan Adams to me, over the years has been a pretty free and unchained artist that’s just made beautiful songs. “Strawberry Wine” is one of my favorites from him. Of course there’s the moments where you go back and you just can’t help but listen to [Bob] Dylan over and over and over. Townes Van Zandt as a songwriter, as far as a pure, damaged documenter sort of, like, he documented the sadness so well and so direct. He meant a lot. Lately, there’s been a sound, with a guy like Jerry Jeff Walker, that I have looked at as very easy to relate to, very strong, and sort of down home, yet worldly mixture. Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Charlie Poole, you know it is a big question and I could answer it with lot’s of people.