R VOLUME 19, ISSUE 1
JUNE 5, 2017
Moogfest Full festival coverage inside Music in the Gardens Summer concert series, page 4
40 years of ADF in Durham Dance festival returns in June, page 10
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recess editors Which Nic Cage film describes your sex life?
Will Atkinson........ Gone in 60 Seconds Nina Wilder.............. National Treasure Georgina Del Vecho........ Kiss of Death Christy Kuesel.................Wild at Heart Jessica Williams.......... Vampire’s Kiss Dillon Fernando................Ghost Rider Likhitha Butchireddygari...... Kick-Ass
More Online Check out the Recess online page for more stories!
My first phone interview for the Chronicle was scheduled for 9 a.m. on a Friday morning. Taking pains not to wake my roommate barely a week into our living arrangement, I slipped out of my dorm and over to West Campus ahead of my first class. I set out for the quietest place I knew in my short time at Duke, somewhere I was sure not to be bothered at that hour: the Gardens. I took a seat under a magnolia tree by the perimeter of the big grass field and, with fifteen minutes to spare, waited. It was probably 8:56 a.m. when I noticed the lawn mower across the field, and 8:59 when I realized it was coming toward me. Forced to hurry to a more remote location, I was out of breath by the time the interview began, bungling my first question and spending the next twenty-five minutes attempting to recover my dignity as a neophyte reporter. Naturally, the new spot I’d chosen was within striking distance of a sprinkler, such that every fifteen or so seconds the left side my arm received a drizzling of water. By this point I had simply accepted my lot, and ultimately the interview was a respectable, though perhaps not spectacular, one. I hung up, feeling proud of my first efforts as a real-life journalist, and promptly realized I had forgotten to record any part of the conversation. In hindsight, that morning felt like a near comedy of errors, as if the Gardens themselves had set out to get me. I could not help but appreciate the irony of my frantic (and ultimately trivial) struggles
being staged in what should be the single place of refuge from distress on campus. This was a time of year when, like many other first-year students, my guiding philosophy was to jump into anything and everything with both feet. That episode with my first interview seemed a microcosm of many of the new experiences I encountered while acclimating to college, a disorienting, sometimes failure-ridden series of events that nonetheless felt like the greatest, most real things I’d ever done with my life. For this reason, I never really felt homesick—I suppose I never found the time to.
editor’s note So in the weeks leading up to the day I came home after exams for the summer, it was hard to feel thrilled to be surrounded by the same angst-inducing scenery of suburban North Carolina where I’d spent high school, working the same job I’d worked last summer and the summer before that and the summer before that, no longer absorbed in the constant hustle of college life. At a place like Duke, the concept of “settling down,” even just a bit, feels foreign. (It’s telling that, during my post-exam beach week, I half expected to go back to campus afterward, resume studies and do it all over again.)
This mode of thinking, however, is an exhausting and sometimes alienating one. As much as a side of my personality craves the constant action and busy-ness offered by Duke, that can’t be fulfilled without an equal measure of contentment and security—a fact I realized for the first time when, flat on my back for 36 hours with a bout of the flu in the middle of February, I found myself missing the comfort of my bed at home, the suburban scenery, the absence of constant hustle. In the weeks since I’ve been at home I have had to train myself, in some sense, to relax. I have learned to appreciate the change in the pace of life, reflecting on a year that was eventful (to say the least) and coming away with an enhanced sense of readiness for the year to come. Recently, a friend and I set out for the North Carolina Art Museum’s outdoor park late at night. Hardly a five minute drive from the center of downtown Raleigh, it’s an antidote to its post-industrial environs, the kind of place that demands serenity. That night a storm brewed just close enough to spatter us with some raindrops, and for the first time in quite some time I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular. “I wish we had a place like this at Duke,” I remarked. Then again, maybe we do—only, the last time I’d paid it a visit, I’d been interrupted by a lawn mower and doused by a sprinkler. I hadn’t really been there since. I suppose I never found the time to. —Will Atkinson
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MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017 | 3
A dubious union of wealth and protest at Moogfest 2017 Nina Wilder The Chronicle When the organizers of Moogfest announced in February that the music, art and technology festival would feature a “Protest Stage” dedicated to resisting the current wave of inequality in both North Carolina and the United States (specifically HB2 and President Trump’s travel ban), many were delighted. Moogfest, which attracts hordes of affluent individuals such as entrepreneurs and engineers, has clout: both international and national music acts grace its stages year after year, featuring the likes of Grimes, M.I.A. and Kraftwerk. The head-nod toward social justice and activism seemed noble, especially given the festival had just moved to Durham a year prior, a city with its own rich history of protests for equality. Still, there were skeptics—INDY Week, a publication that caters to the Triangle area, questioned the sincerity of Moogfest’s protest theme and pondered if it was another in a long line of corporate attempts to co-opt what they see as “trendy”: social justice movements, protests and arduous activism. (Yeah, we’re talking about you, Pepsi.) INDY reached out to numerous local and national organizations advocating for social justice—such as the ACLU, the HRC and Planned Parenthood—but none of those who responded said that Moogfest had contacted them. The festival’s activism, then, seemed to be less rooted in its partnerships
and donations and more so in its programming. So, how progressive (and impressive) was the programming for Moogfest’s protest theme? Undoubtedly, there were acts that performed during the festival’s May 18 to 21 run that epitomized what it means to protest, to make the personal into a political statement. Pie Face Girls, a Raleighbased trio “navigating feminist/ queer experiences one riff at a time” according to their Twitter profile, played on the Protest Stage as drag queens danced about. Rapper and activist Mykki Blanco, who is openly transgender and HIV positive, ended his set by reminding the crowd that black and transgender lives matter and must be protected. Talib Kweli, who notoriously refuses to vote in protest of politics and is a fervent racial activist, performed onstage as well. But even as I nodded my head enthusiastically while these artists denounced injustice and the institutions that perpetrate it, noticing a similarly positive response from the crowd around me, I couldn’t help but feel torn. On one hand, Moogfest had provided a platform and a safe space for queer performers and people of color, elevating and validating their voices. The festival has visibility and influence, and to use such power to give marginalized artists a place to perform without censoring or limiting them is admirable. On the other, 60 percent of Moogfest’s attendees have a household income of more than $100,000—a point of pride, it seems,
Brian Livingstone | Special to the Chronicle Moogfest had artists like Sudan Archives, pictured at Durham’s First Presbyterian Church.
for the festival. To put that number into perspective, the median household income in Durham was around $54,000 in 2015. And when glancing at a map that demonstrates the spread of such wealth—wherein a sizable portion of the city lives on less than $32,000 a year—the stratification becomes evident. That’s why some of Moogfest’s protest themed activities, such as “protest sign-making,” wherein attendees were encouraged to ponder the philosophical aspects of protest signs, seemed glaringly out of touch. While someone living in Durham on minimum wage would’ve had to sacrifice an entire week’s paycheck to
buy the festival’s cheapest wristband, Moogfest’s (mostly affluent, mostly white) attendees had the privilege to engage with the festival’s protest workshops—which, inherently, are more beneficial for those who are not privileged, whose livelihood depends on their ability to organize and fight for their rights. Therein lies the dilemma: while Moogfest’s attempts at incorporating protest culture were not malicious but rather earnest, the festival’s continued inaccessibility has allowed those attempts to fall flat, creating an echo chamber in which more is said See DUBIOUS on Page 15
Ensembles & Performance Opportunities
Chamber Music Ensembles, coordinated by Jonathan Bagg, explore the repertoire for string quartet, piano trio, saxophone quartet, and other combinations. Groups receive weekly coachings with a member of the performance faculty in preparation for a public performance. The focus is on in-depth study of one or two complete works, allowing students to develop and refine their ensemble skills.
The Duke Jazz Ensemble, directed by John Brown, has a rich history of excellence. The ensemble performs at least two concerts each semester with guest artists noted for their high level of artistic achievement. Last year’s guests included Wayne Bergeron, Christian Sands, Mark Gross, and Joe Locke. Small group Jazz Combos provide additional opportunities.
The Duke Chorale, directed by Rodney Wynkoop, is a concert and touring choir of 50 singers. This year’s annual Spring Break tour will go to the Northeast US. The 2017-18 season will include a concert on Family Weekend, a holiday concert in Duke Chapel, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Chapel Choir, orchestra, and soloists in March. Rehearsals are 7:309:30 pm Tuesday & Thursday. The 20-voice Chamber Choir rehearses 9:30-10:30 pm Tuesday.
The Duke New Music Ensemble [dnme], coordinated by James Chu, brings 20th and 21st century music to the fore, including new works by Duke graduate composers.
The Duke Collegium Musicum is devoted to the performance of early music in novel and creative ways, including Gregorian chant, Renaissance motets and madrigals, and Baroque sonatas and cantatas. Opportunities exist for singers and those who would like to perform on early instruments. The Collegium Musicum rehearses once a week for two hours. The Duke Djembe Ensemble, directed by Bradley Simmons, offers students the opportunity to develop skill in the art of West African drumming. The Djembe Ensemble memorizes each rhythm, just as the Mandinque people have for hundreds of years. The Afro-Cuban Class introduces students to the many exciting rhythms of the Cuban diaspora. Applied Music lessons for instruments & voice: Students may take one-hour weekly lessons (1/2 course) or half-hour lessons (1/4 course). Qualified juniors and seniors may take Independent Study in Performance, a full course culminating in a recital.
Open to all Duke students. Auditions are required for ensembles (0.5 credit) and applied music lessons (o.25 or 0.5 credit).
Ensemble Information Meetings Saturday, August 26 1:30 OR 3:00 pm (you choose) Rooms 019 & 101 Biddle Music Building
Auditions begin Monday, August 28 Audition schedule & ensemble info:
music.duke.edu/ensembles Auditions are by appointment. Sign up outside Biddle 105.
The Duke Opera Workshop, directed by Susan Dunn, presents operas, opera scenes, and musical theater revues. The 2016-17 season included a musical revue of Harold Arlen songs and a program of operatic excerpts, including scenes and arias from La Boheme, La Traviata, The Pearl Fishers, The Magic Flute, and The Marriage of Figaro. Auditions will be held on Wed., Aug. 30 from 4:30-5:30 pm in Biddle Rm. 075. The Duke Symphony Orchestra is directed by Harry Davidson. The 2016/17 season included works from Purcell to Berlioz to Bernstein inspired by Shakespeare in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of his death. A benefit concert in Beaufort, SC takes place each spring. Please join us for auditions with a prepared solo piece and the ability to sight-read an orchestral excerpt. The Duke Wind Symphony, directed by Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, performs a wide variety of high level wind ensemble music. Highlights of the 2017-18 season include concerts in Baldwin Auditorium, a Fall Break Tour, and the annual Viennese Ball. We will perform a vast variety of works including Holst, Grainger, Ticheli, Bryant, Whitacre, Mackey, and many more. Join us!
4 | MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017
Duke Gardens concert series provides affordable music Christy Kuesel The Chronicle Music lovers armed with picnic blankets will converge on the Duke Gardens this summer for the weekly series Music in the Gardens. Music in the Gardens, Duke Performance’s annual concert series in the Gardens, begins June 7. The event features artists who tend to be local to Durham or North Carolina, but have some degree of national prominence. The music performed usually comes from indie rock or Americana genres and seeks to provide interesting music in a laid-back concert venue. “The music is progressive without being aggressive,” Duke Performances Executive Director Aaron Greenwald said. The tradition of putting on concerts in the Gardens goes back for many decades, but Duke Performances took over hosting an organized music series around 10 years ago. The series is held on the lawn behind the Doris Duke Center on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., and it runs throughout June and July. The event space can hold up to 1,000 attendees, who often picnic while listening to the music. Duke students frequent the event, usually making up around one-fifth of concert goers, but the composition of the crowd varies from act to act. Artists who perform at the event often end up gaining even more national prominence or collaborating with Duke Performances at a later
Special to the Chronicle This summer, Duke Performances will present a series of concerts in the Duke Gardens.
date. The lineup for this year features a number of prominent artists, including singer Robbie Fulks, who was nominated for two Grammys last year, and Loamlands, whose member Kym Register runs the local music venue The Pinhook. Noteworthy artists from past years have included Mipso and Mount Moriah. Music in the Gardens differs from many other Duke Performances events in its affordability and accessibility. Tickets for the general public are $10, while tickets for Duke employees and students are $5. The event is free for children 12 years and under. Greenwald mentioned that the concert series tends to be
well attended by Duke employees bringing their families to enjoy lowcost summer fun. “It’s a great opportunity for them to come out with their families and get to benefit from their employer,” Greenwald said. While Duke student tickets for Duke Performances events are $10, prices for the general public are usually much more costly. These high prices reflect the quality in speakers and artists that Duke Performances strives for in its regular season. “That’s just what’s required for us to make the presentations we make,” Greenwald said. Music in the Gardens is much
cheaper, due to the laid-back style Duke Performances creates. This drop-in ticket prices make the event easier for more individuals to attend, while still providing the high level of quality found in the regular Duke Performances season. “We’ve gone a long way towards making it accessible,” Greenwald said. Duke Performances would love to put on more events in the Gardens, but the lack of infrastructure in the space makes it difficult to put on larger, more complicated concerts. The Music in the Gardens series entices people of all backgrounds to attend without creating a high-stakes, raucous concert. Jenn Wasner, going by the name Flock of Dimes, will open the music series. Flock of Dimes diverges slightly from the usual indie rock or American folk genres performed at the concert series. Greenwald expects the concert to draw a slightly younger crowd who might know Wasner through her work as a member of the band Wye Oak. Wasner was based in Baltimore until 2015, when she moved to Durham to focus on her songwriting projects. She toured with Sylvan Esso and loved Durham when she visited it on tour. Flock of Dimes is a solo venture for Wasner, but she will be performing with a full band at the Gardens concert and at a few concerts afterward. The Gardens concert will be the first concert in a long time in which Wasner is not performing solo. The full band See GARDENS on Page 15
Music Classes Open to first-year students!
Music 89S-06, Dance 89S-03, Theatrst 89S-03 CREATION AND RE-CREATION (ALP, R) F 10:05 AM – 12:35 PM, Susan Dunn
Using Shakespeare's Othello, students will trace the influence of interpretations in diﬀerent media, including diﬀerent stage versions of the play, operas, a ballet, a Japanese Noh version, movies, and visual art. Trip to The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, to see a live play in a reproduction Elizabethan theater.
Welcome to Duke 2021
People to Know on East Campus: • Your Roommate ☑
Music 161-01: INTRODUCTION TO MUSIC THEORY (ALP) WF 3:05 PM – 4:20 PM, Susan Fancher
• Your FAC☑
Introduction to music theory, including clefs, scales, key signatures, meter, rhythm, majorminor tonality, and chordal analysis. Introduction to harmony, four-part chorale writing, and musical form. Some previous exposure to music theory through playing or singing, and familiarity with elementary concepts, e.g. key signatures, scales, clefs, is helpful.
• Your RA☑
• Your LIBRARIAN
Music 290S-01, Romst 290S-01 MUSIC AND FRENCH CULTURAL IDENTITY (CCI, ALP, CZ) TTH 4:40 PM – 5:55 PM, Jacqueline Waeber Music, for the French, is first and foremost song, and “song is a French weapon”: this famous statement from 1893 by Jules Claretie is exemplary of the French specificity for cultivating song, la chanson, not only as a matter of national and cultural pride, but also as an outlet for voicing social and political frustrations. This seminar focuses on the cultivation of music in France since the Old Regime to the beginning of the twenty-first century. No specific knowledge of music is required; students from Romance Studies will be oﬀered the possibility to do the readings and write papers in French.
Meet Your Residence Hall Librarians at
MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017 | 5
AMI 340S Experimental Filmmaking The history of avant-garde in film and video combined with production exercises.
Fall 2017 Courses AMI 101 AMI 199 AMI 201 AMI 202 AMI 210 AMI 301S AMI 306S.01 AMI 306S.02 AMI 320S AMI 335S AMI 340S AMI 357S AMI 499S
Intro to AMI LGBTQ/Queer Cinema Intro to Film Studies History of Documentary Film Film Genres Moving Image Practice Writing the Movie Writing the Movie Film Animation Production Public Policy Video Experimental Film Editing for Film & Video AMI Capstone
McCarty Herbold Hadjioannou Price Sudak Cunningham Russing Russing Herbert Orenstein Kipervaser Haverkamp Kaul
M 4:40-7:40 Tu 3:05-6:05 Tu 3:05-7:00 Th 3:05-4:20 M 4:40-7:40 Th 1:40-4:40 T Th 10:05-11:20 M 1:25-4:20 W 1:25-4:20 MW 10:05-11:20 W 1:25-4:20 W 6:15-9:15 T Th 1:25-2:40 M 3:05-6:05
West Duke 202 Smith 101 Carr 103 Carr 103 West Duke 08A Smith 101 Smith 271 Smith 271 Smith 101 Smith 228 Carr 103 Smith 228 Smith 101
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Art of Cool Festival brings jazz and soul to the Bull City Nina Wilder The Chronicle
Courtsey of Wikimedia Commons
Common (above) was among the headliners of the Art of Cool Festival 2017, which took place in Durham.
Sing Handel's Messiah Mendelssohn Elijah with orchestra
Mendelssohn Elijah with orchestra Spring Break tour to the Northeast
Info & Ice Cream 5:30 pm, Aug. 30 outside Duke Chapel
Info & Ice Cream 8 pm, Aug. 27, Biddle Rm. 104
Call 919-684-3898 for information about joining the choirs. Graduate and Undergraduate students welcome! Hone your acting and movement skills for opera & musical theater in
Opera Workshop (Mus 213-1)
Info Meeting Wednesday, August 30 4:30 - 5:30 pm, 075 Biddle No experience needed! All are welcome!
Interested in voice lessons? We offer Beginner & Advanced Beginner classes as well as private lessons.
Auditions (075 Biddle Music Bldg.) Tuesday, Aug. 29 1:30 - 4 pm
Wednesday, Aug. 30 10:30 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 - 4:30 pm Be prepared to sing scales & a piece of your choice. (Bring music for the provided accompanist.)
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit music.duke.edu/ensembles
If you live in a city that hosts an annual music festival, you’re probably used to the obtrusive changes often wrought by a festival’s sprawl: blocked-off roads, flocks of visitors and unremitting noise. Basically, they stick out like a sore thumb on a city’s landscape, both visually and culturally—music festivals are rarely wellintegrated with the communities whose spaces they occupy, often creating a visible disconnect between the guest and its host. While one could hazard this generalization for most mainstream music festivals, it’s safe to say that there are exceptions to such an obser vation. Specifically, the Art of Cool Festival, whose fourth year of programming ran from April 28 to 30, has become the antithesis of an out-of-touch music festival. Created by Durham residents for Durham residents, Art of Cool has continued to make earnest attempts to remain cognizant of its surroundings and cater to Durham’s residents. The Art of Cool Festival arose out of the Art of Cool Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to present, preser ve and promote jazzinfluenced music. Founded by biostatistician Cicely Mitchell and trumpeter Albert Strong, the music festival seemed to be an appropriate way to provide a platform for jazz musicians and reinvigorate the genre in Durham, a city with a nearly half-centur y histor y of jazz. “The Durham Armor y is a place where jazz musicians played. [Durham] was not only strong in blues tradition, the basis of jazz, but also had a ver y strong soul movement,” Mitchell previously mentioned. Indeed, Art of Cool is almost inseparable from its host city—at a city council meeting, Mitchell commented that the festival’s audience breakdown “really reflects the population” of Durham: Art of Cool draws a crowd that is 66% African-American and 24% white. The demographic makeup is a welcome change from the white-washing that often plagues music festivals today, both in per formers and attendees. The music festival is mostly populated by Durham residents themselves, too, rather than out-of-towners. The per formances often felt like high-spirited community gatherings, a testament to Art of Cool’s efforts to be proximate to the people of Durham. More evidence to the idea that Art of Cool truly cares about Durham’s residents is its extensive free programming. Tickets starting at $65 could secure you a seat to see per formances by the likes of Common and George Clinton, but if you were unable (or unwilling) to pay, Art of Cool programmed free events both in the daytime and nighttime during the festival’s run. An opening part at the Museum of Durham Histor y, art exhibitions at American Tobacco Campus and concerts across downtown Durham—all were free and open to the public. “I want people to know that when they come to Art of Cool, they will be presented in a ver y unique and carefully curated way, to where that experience is one that you just cannot get at any other time, at any other place,” Mitchell said in an inter view with the News and Obser ver. However, Art of Cool has not been without its fair share of hardships. Indy Week reported that both Art of Cool and Moogfest, a music and technology festival that also takes place in downtown Durham, asked the city council for funding. Mitchell, who has invested $75,000 of her own money into Art of Cool, asked the local government for $20,000 and she received a mere $5,000. Moogfest, meanwhile, sought over $60,000 from Durham—despite the fact that it has been financially unsuccessful in the past, losing more than $1.5 million in 2014. Despite the strife, though, Art of Cool s e e m s l i k e i t ’s h e r e t o s t a y — t h e d a t e s f o r t h e f e s t i v a l ’s 2 0 1 8 r u n h a v e a l r e a d y b e e n announced—so embrace the jazz and learn the art of being cool.
MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017 | 7
In four-part return, ‘Twin Peaks’ goes even darker Will Atkinson The Chronicle Note: This article contains spoilers for the original run of “Twin Peaks.” Consider it a feat of Hollywood magic that “Twin Peaks,” the cult classic to begin and end all cult classics, finally returned in 2017. After years of speculation and months of anticipation, the first four of the eight planned episodes that will make up the third season of “Twin Peaks” became available to fans May 21. (In a manner indicative of the current television landscape, these episodes are limited for the time being to those who subscribe to the premium Showtime network.) Like many television shows resurrected from the dead, there was reason to worry, in the leadup to the third season, whether “Twin Peaks: The Return” would simply rely on the nostalgic tropes that defined the classic series in the early 1990s— a cherry pie here, some damn fine coffee there, more dancing dream men. Indeed, the highly publicized photo shoots that graced the covers of Entertainment Weekly back in March presented members of the aging original cast in near-identical garb to what their characters wore 26 years ago, a juxtaposition that was, well, a little weird. One of the oft-cited problems in the oft-maligned (perhaps unfairly so) second season was that, after the central mystery of Laura Palmer’s killer had been solved, the eccentric lives of Twin Peaks’ inhabitants could not sustain a show on their strength alone. A third season that merely renewed the action in that once-sleepy town, with all the same players, hardly seemed an improvement. These fears are put to rest by the season premiere alone. So much of what makes the newest additions to “Twin Peaks” great is what distinguishes them from their forebears. Perhaps most striking are the series’ forays out of its hometown. Though the
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Agent Dale Cooper, pictured in the show’s original run, returns to action in a dark third season of “Twin Peaks.”
Douglas firs and cascading waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest remain the scenery that greets viewers in an updated take on the iconic title sequence, it’s the action that occurs in, of all places, New York City, that is the most haunting in the first new episode. Evoking the shady bureaucracies of 2001’s “Mulholland Drive,” one of the biggest mysteries of the new season is the presence of a giant glass box in a high-security New York skyscraper. While the battle between good and evil that raged in the woods of Twin Peaks once seemed confined to that town, “Twin Peaks: The Return” makes it clear that these spirits are afoot everywhere. (Unfortunately, “Buckhead, South Dakota” doesn’t quite have the ring to it that “Twin Peaks” does.) Gone, too, is the signature jazz shuffle of Angelo Badalamenti’s score, though the composer still offers his touch to the new series. In keeping with David Lynch’s renewed vision for the show, Badalamenti opts for low, eerie rumblings over campy fare. Most indicative of the new sound is a terrifying, pitcheddown remix of Muddy Magnolias’ “American
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Woman,” used to introduce Dale Cooper’s longhaired, leather-clad doppelgängers. The series continues where the original run left off before its cancellation, with FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper trapped in the surrealist limbo of the Black Lodge. His aforementioned doppelgänger, meanwhile, roams among a seedy crowd as a remorseless murderer. Kyle MacLachlan, who played Agent Cooper’s indefatigable virtuousness with such skill in the old series, shows off his range as a veteran actor with his portrayal of Cooper and his doppelgängers (or two). It’s almost comical to see Cooper rendered as a villain, but the actions of that character are anything but—a jarring reversal of roles from the FBI agent who seemingly knew no wrong. The new “Twin Peaks,” however, does not avoid nostalgic touch points. We get appearances from familiar faces, even though it isn’t clear how or if they will contribute to the plot: Deputy Andy (Harry Goaz) and receptionist Lucy (Kimmy See TWIN PEAKS on Page 15
8 | MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017
LCD Soundsystem and Slowdive take Atlanta Will Atkinson The Chronicle The last year has been a good one for old artists looking to make a comeback. A number of the acclaimed acts of yesteryear thought to have called it quits for good are embarking on reunion tours, morethan-a-reunion tours and new music from the studio, perhaps taking advantage of the relative open range of the industry in a digital world. In this decade alone, we’ve seen the returns of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Avalanches and A Tribe Called Quest, to name a small few. This May, two such bands converged on Atlanta in the midst of the fifth annual Shaky Knees Fest, which brought a stacked lineup of indie and alternative bands to Centennial Olympic Park from May 12 to 14. England’s Slowdive, though not technically part of the lineup, kicked off the weekend Thursday night with a show at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse, less than a week after releasing a selftitled album, their first in 22 years. The following night, James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem brought their comeback tour to Shaky Knees on the heels of two new singles, their first output since a much-ballyhooed breakup in 2011 (followed by an equally melodramatic return at last year’s Coachella). Even with up-and-comers like Pinegrove and Twin Peaks giving scrappy energy to the festival, it was the returning veterans who stole the show at Shaky Knees. Formed in Reading in 1989, Slowdive arose from the “shoegaze” movement that arose in Britain in the late 1980s and early 1990s, so named for the innumerable effects pedals that lined the stage of these artists’ live shows. Maligned by contemporary critics for its ethereal, dream-like quality, shoegaze music was pushed aside by the mainstream in favor of its tougher cousin, grunge rock. But among fans of underground music, the genre has aged well, with albums like My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless” and Slowdive’s “Souvlaki” becoming hallmarks of the era. The secret to bands like Slowdive is that, underneath the wash of chorus and delay effects, the music boils down to incredibly simple pop arrangements—often played at a pace that tests the patience of any casual listener. It’s the kind of music that could fail to make an impression if played merely in the periphery. But the essence of shoegaze music
Nina Wilder | The Chronicle James Murphy (center) and LCD Soundsystem headlined Shaky Knees Music Festival one week after releasing two new singles.
is that, for all its harmlessness, it’s deceptively loud music: it’s designed to be turned up to the max (preferably through headphones, preferably alone), mimicking the intensity of an introspective mind. It is no wonder that, of all the subsets of alternative music, none is more emblematic of the lost-in-thought loner than shoegaze. Slowdive’s show at the Variety Playhouse turned this raw power outward, putting together a wholly immersive live experience. Though their set rarely exceeded a plodding mid-tempo, the soaring guitar riffs combined with the vocal interplay between Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead took on a new dimension in the packed venue than they ever could at home. It certainly didn’t hurt that the established act was backed up by a spectacle of strobe lights and surrealistic visuals, achieving a rare full-body experience for the concertgoers (many of whom sported their own noisy artists of choice—a dude in a “Psychocandy” tee was a common sight). A brief, human moment occurred midway through Slowdive’s set, when Goswell came in with backup vocals a couple measures too soon. Far from being embarrassed (though Halstead
Will Atkinson | The Chronicle Slowdive played Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse after releasing their first album in 22 years.
seemed less enthused by the error), Goswell let out an audible laugh on-stage, continuing to smile even when she had recovered her part at the correct time. In that instance it was clear that, unlike the sometimes acrimonious or depressing reunions of aging rock bands, the members of Slowdive, now well into their forties, were enjoying themselves as much as ever. On Friday, LCD Soundsystem rounded out a first day at Shaky Knees that included a formidable triple-header from Pinegrove, Twin Peaks and Preoccupations (formerly known as Viet Cong) at the Ponce de Leon Stage as well as appearances from North Carolina natives Rainbow Kitten Surprise and indie rock legends Pixies. A collective of musicians helmed by frontman James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem rose to prominence in the early 2000s with its synthesis of electronic dance music with the trends of modern indie music. In Atlanta, their set was preceded by a rowdy show from Cage the Elephant, one that seemed designed to hit the pleasure points of Shaky Knees’ target demographic. One got the impression that, after the crowd-sur fing, Jagger-esque machismo of Cage the Elephant’s Matt Shultz, the long-form electronic grooves of LCD Soundsystem may have lost the interest of more than a few in the audience—and, indeed, the crowd thinned out enough between the two sets that it was possible, though difficult, to weave a way toward the front. Amid an enviable array of analog synthesizers and at least three drum kits, Murphy stood front and center, sometimes clutching his trademark vintage cardioid, sometimes pacing the stage and fiddling playfully with his bandmates’ equipment. For the marathon two-hour set, Murphy and Co. toured their own back catalog with early hits like “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” and “Someone
Great,” before bringing out weekold singles, “call the police” and “american dream”—their first new material since the 2010 album “This Is Happening.” The music was buoyed by Murphy’s stage presence, his typical bedhead and five-o’clock shadow a hint of his wacky, sarcastic persona. He greeted the audience with an enthusiastic “Hi, everybody!” at least five times, kicking off each song by introducing his bandmates (“This is Nancy. Hi, Nancy!”). He seemed to recognize the post-Coachella dynamic of the festival’s constituents, poking fun at the youthful demographic. “If you don’t know us, and someone asks how the show was, just say, ‘They were old and they played a bunch of old stuff,’” Murphy joked. A giant digital display emblazoned with the festival’s name accompanied by various images of Instagramworthy nature landscapes provoked jabs from Murphy, who interrupted a rendition of “New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down” with a running commentary on the display’s incongruity with its home in downtown Atlanta: “Why mountains?...Why the ocean?” Noticeably absent from the set, though, was LCD Soundsystem’s breakthrough single “Losing My Edge,” which finds Murphy lamenting his loss of cool credibility to the kids “coming up from behind.” Perhaps its omission is an indication that his band has finally come to terms with its age, an acknowledgement that would fit well with the band’s recent return. For bands like Slowdive and LCD Soundsystem, their live comebacks and their new studio output shows a genuine comfort and enjoyment in making music that transcends any eras or trends. They don’t have anything to prove, which makes their renewed presence that much more enjoyable—and they know this because, to paraphrase Murphy in “Losing My Edge,” they were there.
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‘Master of None’ delivers more than a punchline Dillon Fernando The Chronicle Note: This article contains spoilers for “Master of None” Season 1. Anyone who doubts whether Aziz Ansari can be more than his shrieking and self-obsessed “Parks and Recreation” persona Tom Haverford or one of the most successful working comics today, sit down. With Season 2 of “Master of None,” Ansari and series co-creator Alan Yang have ambitiously crafted 10 episodes that capture a less explored branch of comedy: the laughs found in empathy. When we left Aziz Ansari’s character Dev Shah at the end of “Master of None” Season 1, the final scene delivered a needed shake-up to an otherwise slowly decaying segue into Season 2. The series’ strong start—which critics praised for its non-traditional, comedic exploration of interracial dating, a POC’s POV of racial politics in the entertainment industry and overall writing excellence—fizzled out toward the season’s end. It appeared that Dev’s career and his relationship with girlfriend Rachel (played by “SNL” alum Noël Wells) was heading toward a formulaic, fairy-tale ending with Dev achieving a state of woke-ness about the realities of his industry and love. With a last-minute breakup that sent Rachel to Tokyo and Dev to Italy (to pursue his pasta-making dreams), this plot wrench aptly quenched a bit of uncertainty in the series’ ability to maintain an engaging plot line. The storyline in Season 2 isn’t necessarily an improvement in subject matter, but rather in execution. If Season 1 was like an amusing biopic, then Season 2 is like if the director of any rom-com had self-respect. In Italy, Dev meets his Season 2 love interest Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi), who later travels with her fiancé to New York City. While he travels the country on business, Francesca spends her days with Dev. In love with an engaged woman? How scandalous! Alert the church elders! This clichéd storyline has been done and seen before, and most times, it doesn’t work. But somehow, “Master of None” makes it work, grooming a relationship filled with a more developed, playful tension than Rachel and Dev’s relationship ever had. Ansari acts more like a social anthropologist than a comedian this season, echoing the sentiments of
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons As Dev (right), Aziz Ansari brings out the subtle humor of everyday life in Season 2 of Netflix’s “Master of None.”
his book “Modern Romance.” When he depicts the silly, charming banter between Dev and Francesca on a date, to the bored routine on Tinder dates with varying degrees of success (I will start using “Going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?” as my opening Tinder line) to the gnawing anxiety from Dev’s feelings for an engaged woman, Ansari and Yang germinate laughs not from an obvious satire but from an emotional connection. And that’s where the comedy shines. Sure, we laugh at the obvious gags—like a tiny Fiat getting stuck between two buildings or a riff on a childhood screaming game—but the most powerful humor comes from subtle, awkward and all-too-true moments during Dev’s pursuit of love. We laugh not just when things are blatantly hilarious; we laugh because there are moments of selfrecognition in the pursuit of love that make us think, “Yeah, I’ve been there…and it sucked.” For me, the gold mine of humor succeeds because Season 2 Dev is way more put-together than Season 1 Dev. Season 1 Dev was preoccupied with understanding so many parts of his life—his parents, his career, his relationship—but these all happened in a world Dev was already comfortable in, which muddled the plot and character development later in season. Season 2 Dev has a secure level of self-esteem and a stable job as a host of a TV show, a parody of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” The motif of the season is making the ends of romance and self-fulfillment meet. It’s as if when Dev returns from Italy, he’s living in a different New York City than in Season 1. What he hopes to gain from the city has shifted. It’s a New York, though lavish and usually unattainable to the
average Joe, visualized through Dev and Francesca’s adventures and trials that is at times uncertain, naïve and unfair.If you’re an artsy person, you may enjoy the winks to Italian film (such as “Bicycle Thieves,” “La Notte,” and “L’Avventura”) that thrilled critics but were lost on casual viewers like me. One of the more successful episodes is when the season breaks from the rom-com storyboard for “Religion,” which shows generational differences in the balance between observing religion and maintaining culture. However, the best episode of the season is “Thanksgiving,” which discusses Denise’s (Lena Waithe) coming-out over a collection of Thanksgivings through the years. Waithe, who co-wrote the episode with Ansari, shines in the scene where she tells her mother (Angela Bassett) that she’s a lesbian. Let’s be clear, Angela Bassett made that scene—I have never really understood what the parent of a LGBTQ+ child goes through until Bassett, holding back tears, delivers the line, “I don’t want life to be hard for you. It’s hard enough being a black woman in this world, and now you want to go and add something else to that.” But Denise’s helpless reaction to try to get her mother to understand that this is who she is makes this scene powerful. It adds a layer of frustration to the scene: we empathize both with the child coming out and with the mother reluctant to accept her child. Such a powerful, emotional scene once may have seemed out of character for a comedy series. It’s a phenomenon that Billy Eichner poses in “Difficult People”: “When did comedies become 30-minute dramas?” And while older sitcoms have had their share of episodes dealing with more serious themes, to be an innovative comedy in the golden age of television
you need to ruminate on dramatized, societal flaws. While sitcoms like “The Big Bang Theory” dominate in terms of viewership (attracting 18.3 million every new episode), they are no longer new and their episode format has been beaten to death. These sitcoms use the winning formula of established characters that have the comic timing down to a mechanical, setup-punchline combo, but they aren’t the type of show that critics and comedy nerds talk about. Though “The Big Bang Theory” is probably the most watched comedy, 2014 was the last year the show was even Emmy-nominated as an outstanding comedy series. Unless you’re “Modern Family,” the older treatments of television shows are no longer enough to capture attention. Pioneering series like “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Louie,” and “Atlanta” are critically-acclaimed because they build the premise of a joke across a scene and the punchline manifests at the end of a scene or episode. Shows like “Veep” have fast-paced insults and situations that skewer D.C. government to the point that blurs the line between mockery and the political reality. Ansari and Yang have done none of this. And that’s a good thing. “Master of None” is not the type of show where you put one of its jokes in your back pocket to dish out in roasting your friend or even bring up in a social situation to seem funnier than you are.It’s a show whose true ambitions are being realized in playing with episode structure. It is not interested in getting the objectively biggest laughs, but instead in connecting to a viewer’s personal story. In Season 2, subtle laughs and masterful writing leave me drooling for the next season release.
Local Arts Spotlight: The Carrack Modern Art Gallery Georgina Del Vecho The Chronicle What: The Carrack is an exhibition and event space in downtown Durham. In June 2011, founders Laura Ritchie and John Wendelbo created the space with the intention of revitalizing the Durham arts community by providing an exhibition and gathering space for local artists. To date, the space has featured the work of over 500 artists, a feat made possible by the fact that exhibitions change every two weeks. In addition to showcasing local
artists, the Carrack serves as an event space for art classes, fundraisers and other various art-centered events. Who: Originally funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Carrack continues to be zerocommission and volunteer-run. For this reason, the space gives artists exhibiting at the Carrack the ability to express themselves creatively without commercial interests clouding their vision. Truly a local space, the Carrack is run completely by volunteers, advisors and community stakeholders. The space also hosts an annual fundraiser every October, and Red Dot Art Sales (one
of which is taking place this month) where donated art from local artists is sold at low, set price points. Why: The Carrack offers countless opportunities for community involvement, both for artists and for art lovers. Community members can view exhibits for free any time the space is open and also participate in monthly and weekly art classes and discussions. “PROMPTS” is a recurring series the space hosts in conjunction with artist Justin Tornow and COMPANY in which artists and community members gather to discuss a unique prompt, which is given out about a month
before the event takes place. THE DRAW happens every last Thursday of the month, at which artists gather to draw and talk about their art. The Carrack also hosts weekly meditation and yoga sessions, suited for newcomers to both yoga and art and per fect for the stressed-out student. Upcoming events: • “In Our Own Worlds” by Nasher Teen Council (5/24-6/4) • Art Salon (6/1) • Carrack Community Show + Red Dot Fundraiser (6/8-6/23) • The Exsufflation Series #4 (6/20) Visit thecarrack.org for more details on this local arts spotlight.
10 | MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017
The American Dance Festival celebrates its 84th season Jessica Williams The Chronicle
Courtsey of Wikimedia Commons
The American Dance Festival moved to Durham in 1977 and has continued to grow with the community.
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As students celebrate their freedom from assignments and exams over the summer break, another celebration will soon grace Duke’s campus: The American Dance Festival (ADF) will commemorate its 40th season in Durham this summer with six-and-a-half weeks packed with performances. Founded in 1934 and on its 84th season overall, the American Dance Festival moved to Durham in 1977 after it needed room to grow. In partnership with Duke, the Festival utilizes the University’s box office and performance venues—as well as Epworth dorm—during the summer for administrative offices. Now with over 400 students and a faculty of 50, ADF offers professional training, dance awards and community outreach in addition to its summer performances. “We present modern dance companies from all over the country and all over the world. They are some of the best artists creating work out there,” Mollie O’Reilly, ADF’s marketing and audience services associate, said. With a broad variety in performances—some from companies repeated year to year and some from companies completely new to the United States— groups are chosen to reflect the current state of the dance world. “Every show is going to be very different; there’s a wide variety and there’s something for everyone,” O’Reilly said. As the Festival selects a variation of pieces in order to appeal to wide audiences, it also works to ensure that performances are widely accessible. ADF Go, a discounted ticket program, allows people aged 18 to 30 to attend most Festival shows for only $10. While most tickets cost $20-30 fully priced, the discounted price is much more affordable for a college-agedperson’s budget. “We’re trying to make modern dance more accessible to younger art and dance lovers,” O’Reilly said. Due to the affordable tickets and number of performances on campus, attending the American Dance Festival is a great way for Duke students to become more exposed to the modern dance world. Here are a few performances to look for this season: Opening Night Performance, Durham Performing Arts Center, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. To kick off the ADF season, a variety of dance companies will take the stage. While styles will vary from ballet to improvisation, all groups are currently based in or were initially founded in North Carolina. One group set to perform—the African American Dance Ensemble—recently lost its founder, Chuck Davis. The group will celebrate his legacy at ADF with its characteristic exuberant music and dance. Sean Dorsey Dance, Reynolds Industries Theater, July 5 & 6 at 8:00 p.m. In a performance of The Missing Generation, dancers will embody the generation of survivors of the early AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s. Choreographed by Sean Dorsey, the first renowned transgender choreographer of modern dance, the work looks to be a moving personification of love and loss. dendy/donovan projects, Reynolds Industries Theater, July 12 & 13 at 8:00 p.m. As the American Dance Festival’s 40th anniversary in Durham happens to correspond with the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, the dendy/ donovan projects’ piece will commemorate the King of Rock. In “Elvis Everywhere,” the group will satirically compare Elvis’s life to modern politics in the United States. “I really like his work—it’s really compelling and interesting and vibrant,” O’Reilly said. Kidd Pivot and Electric Company Theatre, Durham Performing Arts Center, July 14 at 8:00 p.m. and 15 at 7:00 p.m. In a fusion of theater and dance, the work “Betroffenheit” looks to be deeply moving. The work focuses on dark themes such as loss and addiction, with sharp choreography and theatrical movement. “The piece seems like it’ll blow everyone away,” O’Reilly said. See ADF on Page 15
MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017 | 11
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DUKE FAMILY WEEKEND EVENT
NASHER READS Weekend of October 20-22 The Nasher Museum welcomes Duke families to meet author and Duke parent Christina Baker Kline, who will read from her new novel, A Piece of the World. She’ll talk about her experience writing the book, which is inspired by the Andrew Wyeth painting Christina’s World and based on a true story. Please check nasher.duke.edu/christina for the date and time.
2001 Campus Drive, Durham nasher.duke.edu/christina
Wanna PLAY jazz? Wanna LEARN about jazz? The Duke Jazz Program wants YOU! Get into the groove! with these courses:
Intro to Jazz (MUS/AAAS 140) Jazz Improvisation (Mus 171, 172) Special Topics in Jazz (MUS 290S) Private lessons are also available!
For info on courses and auditions check us out at music.duke.edu/ensembles/jazzprogram or contact Professor John V. Brown, Director email@example.com 919-660-3385
12 | MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017
It changes perspective to be able to see things through the eyes of others who have grown up in different cultures, with different sets of attitudes and beliefs.”
Undergraduate Study Abroad in China The Duke Kunshan semester features dynamic courses in Global Health, the Environment, and China Studies. International students engage in co-curricular activities that deepen the experience of Chinese culture, develop camaraderie, and build confidence. Students make a difference – both inside and outside of the classroom.
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Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies DUKE UNIVERSITY
Try Something New This Fall! GSF 89S Gender & Sexuality in the Middle East FRANCES HASSO, W/F 8:30AM-9:45AM
This is a survey seminar focused on gender and sexuality in the Middle East and North Africa. Assignments include fiction and film, as well as scholarship from anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, history, and other fields. The seminar addresses sex, embodiment, and masculinities/ femininities and challenges static and racist representations of histories, communities, and peoples in the region.
GSF 89S Girls Go Global
KIMBERLY LAMM, TU/TH 10:05AM-11:20AM Girls Go Global will explore how girlhood is imagined, represented and lived in various locales around the globe. It focuses specifically on representations of girls that have emerged from the United States, Japan, West Africa, and Iran. Looking at modern and contemporary literature, film, and visual culture in which girls play central roles, we will analyze the cultural meanings attributed to girls from a feminist perspective. The questions animating the course are these: What kinds of images, stories, and objects have girls from the United States, West Africa, and Iran have been given to imagine themselves in the world? How do representations of girls reflect culturally specific ideas about traditions, morals, and ethics? Why are representations of girls so rhetorically effective for creating feelings of familial and racial belonging?
GSF 202S Study of Sexuality
GABRIEL ROSENBERG, TU/TH 3:05PM-4:20PM This course surveys a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches to these questions. Drawing from literature, anthropology, biology and medicine, sociology, history, and feminist and queer theory, we will investigate the role that sexuality plays in structuring identity, gender and race, everyday life, popular culture, and national and geopolitical controversies. In addition to scholarly readings, students will draw from popular media and their own experiences to explore topics that include: the politics of sexual identities; representations of sexuality in media and film; pornography and erotica; technologies of pleasure; reproductive rights; erotic labor; sexual violence; sexuality, state violence, and mass incarceration; and the geopolitics of sexuality.
GSF 503S Cartographies of Gender & Sexuality in the Middle East FRANCES HASSO, TH 3:20PM-5:35PM
This interdisciplinary graduate seminar brings the field of Middle East gender and sexuality studies into productive collision with Western “new materialist” approaches to consider how they might inform each other; explores theories and practices related to archives and archival methodologies; and engages some of the latest scholarship on states, family, sex and sexuality. Students may use the final course assignment to develop a broadly relevant research proposal or paper using original sources, or to prepare for publication an essay or article that puts their intellectual interests in dialogue with the focus of the seminar.
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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ gets emotional Christy Kuesel The Chronicle Although “Guardians of the Galaxy” is part of Marvel’s everexpanding collection of superhero movies, it has always differed from the more mainstream “Avengers” franchise in its focus on humor and, of course, ‘80s pop music repertoire. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” lives up to its predecessor while seeking to further expand upon characters introduced in the first movie. Marvel has, for the most part, not quite been able to pull off sequels. “Thor: The Dark World” and “Iron Man 2” were not well received, and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” failed to live up to “Avengers.” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is one of Marvel’s better sequels, logically continuing what the first movie set up without trying to copy all of its good qualities. The main strength of the “Guardians” sequel is its focus on emotional development for all of the characters. The key five characters all become more complex over the course of the movie, examining their family bonds, learning about themselves and becoming more appreciative each other. The ending of the film is easily one of the most emotional Marvel endings, focusing more on characters’ responses to the action rather than the action itself. As a result, “Guardians” feels much more meaningful than many other Marvel sequels that tended to merely
serve as a way to tide fans over until the next “Avengers” movie. The principal appeal of the “Guardians” sequel (and probably why many fans came out to see the movie) is Baby Groot. Baby Groot steals the show from its opening scene and at times provides needed relief from the action. His character is not entirely extraneous, becoming a crucial plot point from time to time, and his adorableness doesn’t become the main focus of the film. Still, Baby Groot is still one of the key reasons to buy a ticket to the show. The visuals of the first “Guardians” movie hold up in its sequel. The intricacy of the planets, the realism of the action scenes and the incredible shots in the last scene all astound viewers. The movie shows the audience more of the “Guardians” universe, touching on new planets and spaceships, and it is incredible. That is not to say that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a per fect movie. The film becomes unnecessarily dark at times for what is meant to be a fun movie, and the first hour of the film does not come close to being as good as its second half. Some of the film’s morals are hammered into viewer’s minds instead of being suggested. Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) storyline is clichéd for the action scifi genre, as viewers can guess exactly what is going to happen to him over the course of the movie. Indeed, the misadventures of Rocket, Baby Groot, Yondu and even Drax save the movie, providing unique storylines that help
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develop the characters and hold the audience’s interest. By the time the credits roll, viewers can almost forget these negative qualities due to how per fectly the film comes together. The first “Guardians” movie became widely known for its soundtrack, making even actionpacked scenes comical by pairing them with classic rock songs. The sequel follows this same mold with another round of enjoyable picks. “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra kicks off a near per fect opening scene, providing the right amount of humor to show audiences that the movie does not take itself too seriously. Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son” provides a heartfelt song
to accompany the emotional ending to the film. Audience members who last through the credits (which are interrupted by a total of five extra scenes) have the great joy of hearing David Hasselhoff sing about the Guardians’ adventures. It’s even more amusing than it sounds. Overall, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” strays from the superhero movie mold with more emotional development than usual for a Marvel movie. Through overdone at times, the ending of the movie is well worth the wait, whether you’ve seen every Marvel movie or if you couldn’t pick Captain America out of a lineup. At the bare minimum, see the film for its soundtrack and for Baby Groot.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is an improvement on the Marvel’s other sequels.
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14 | MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017
Hannibal Buress and Flying Lotus talk music, creative process Will Atkinson The Chronicle On Moogfest’s third day in Durham, Flying Lotus joined comedian Hannibal Buress and DJ Tony Trimm for a conversation about the producer’s creative process and multi-faceted career. Just two nights prior, Buress had surprised fans with an appearance before Talib Kweli’s headlining set Thursday. His unexpected stint in Durham capped off the festival Sunday with a stand-up set at Motorco Music Hall, and he provided Saturday’s conversation a jolt of levity and comic relief. Joined by Trimm, who also co-hosts Buress’s podcast “The Handsome Rambler,” Buress’s quick wit drove a brief yet entertaining talk that felt more like a conversation between three friends than a formal discussion. Although his riffs on Google Drive, the laxative power of coffee and the prospect of an Animal Collective-Migos collaboration sometimes threatened to steal the thunder from his guest producer, the conversation focused on the sprawling career of multi-hyphenate Flying Lotus, who has added running a record label and a film company to a growing list of extra-musical endeavors. Born Steven Ellison, Flying Lotus filled one of the top slots in Moogfest’s lineup as the Saturday headliner. As a producer whose experimental works straddle the boundaries between hip-hop, space-age jazz and frenetic electronic music, Ellison has risen to prominence on the heels of critically acclaimed albums like 2010’s “Cosmogramma” and 2014’s “You’re Dead!” Most recently, he was intimately involved with the production of bassist Thundercat’s breakthrough album “Drunk.” Seen on stage, Ellison comes across as the consummate tinkerer. To hear him tell it, he arrived at the Carolina Theatre just thirty minutes after landing at RDU, and he wasted no words upon taking the stage, immediately noodling with the toy chest
Special to the Chronicle From left to right, DJ Tony Trimm, comedian Hannibal Buress and producer Flying Lotus talked music and creativity.
of Moog synthesizers that festival organizers had placed in front of the three speakers. Hair askew— apparently the result of the months spent working obsessively on his first feature film “Kuso”—Ellison was already more virtuosic with these synths in a few seconds than many hope to be in a lifetime. The following conversation was equal parts an exploration of Flying Lotus’s career and a goofoff session, punctuated by outbursts from the theremin (Buress’s instrument of choice). Fresh off the premiere of “Kuso,” a film so disturbing that it allegedly prompted dozens of viewers to walk out during its screening at Sundance in January, Ellison explained his creative process and gave hints (but not too many) at his next album as Flying Lotus. “I’ll just say I’ve been doing a bunch of Vangelisinspired stuff,” he said, referencing the progressive “Chariots of Fire” composer. “I have these things in mind for the new [album], so we’ll see what happens.”
He also touched on his propensity for “interlude-y” tracks that rarely exceed two minutes, a feature that is prominent on Thundercat’s album as well as Flying Lotus’s studio works, and the issue of forming an album as a unified work in an age of widespread streaming and shuffling. “I really try not to get into that,” Ellison said after Buress asked about his streaming numbers. “I don’t want to know that ‘Never Catch Me’”—the 2014 Kendrick Lamar collaboration from that has eclipsed 12 million plays on Spotify—“is my most popular song. I don’t want to be influenced by that. There’s enough stuff going on in my head that I don’t want to think about that kind of [stuff], I just want to create and do my thing.” Last week’s performance at Moogfest marked Flying Lotus’s third appearance at the festival after playing in 2011 and 2014 when the event was still See HANNIBAL on Page 15
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DUBIOUS from page 3 than actually done. How, then, can Moogfest rectify this problem? Accessibility is everything. The largest turn-off for Moogfest is its ticket prices—the cheapest option available is a $250 weekend pass and there are no single-day ticket options. At the very least, the festival could benefit heavily from selling single-day tickets or even single-event tickets. Volunteering is an option, but providing the option to trade labor for the opportunity to attend parts of the festival seems classist at best. However, given the fact that Moogfest has lost a sizable amount of money in the past, a reduction in their ticket prices seems unlikely. Even more important is community engagement. While Moogfest provided free programming during the daytime for the festival’s duration, those hours were most likely occupied by work shifts and sparsely included any protest-themed activities. Durham is alive and bustling with young activists and non-profit organizations aimed at alleviating inequality—why not reach out to them? Sure, they might not be the engineers or entrepreneurs with start-ups to throw funds behind that Moogfest mainly caters to, but they are masters of their own craft and well-versed in their city’s needs and wishes. Moogfest should reach out to both the community at large and local organizations, create genuine partnerships and incorporate locals and their efforts into programming. At the very least, Moogfest should take pause to evaluate its role within Durham and its associated industries at large. After all, it is just a music and technology festival—does it have any real obligation to work with local and national organizations to promote equality and justice? Does it have any real obligation to engage with Durham and its residents? Perhaps its only genuine obligation is to schedule musicians and workshops that honor its founder, Bob Moog, to promote electronic music and cutting-edge technology. But when Moogfest moved to Durham, it irrevocably changed the landscape of the city; when the festival decided to incorporate protests as an overarching theme into its programming, it became saddled with the duty to not simply accessorize and trivialize activism. So, yes, some introspection is in line—and considering Moogfest is staying in Durham for its 2018 festival run, that self-reflection should happen sooner rather than later.
MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017 | 15
sequences and shots held past the point of comfort— and sets itself apart from its predecessor as a show all to its own. By abandoning some of the trappings of the original “Twin Peaks,” Lynch takes the show on a deeper, darker path into its bizarre world.
ADF from page 10 Mark Morris Dance Group, Durham Performing Arts Center, July 21 at 8:00 p.m. and 22 at 7:00 p.m. Accompanied by the Durham Symphony and the North Carolina Master Chorale, the Mark Morris Dance Group will present three of their works: “Gloria” to the music of Vivaldi, “Excursions” to pieces by Barber, and “A Lake” set to Haydn. While getting a taste of modern dance, attendees to this performance will also be exposed to two local live music groups. Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Company, Durham Performing Arts Center, July 27 & 28 at 8:00 p.m. and July 29 at 7:00 p.m. In this world premiere, the Company will present
all three works of “Analogy: A Trilogy.” The works will illustrate the many forms of war humans create— including the conflict within one’s own mind.
HANNIBAL from page 14 held in Asheville, N.C. As a technically-minded electronic musician who blurs the lines of genre and medium, he seems to be a model for the festival’s vision of futurism in sound and thought. During his set Saturday night, Flying Lotus took the opportunity to praise the festival, shouting out the “synth nerds” in the crowd—a label he would undoubtedly claim for himself. Back at the Carolina Theatre, though, Ellison did make a sly jab at Moogfest’s parent company, Moog Music, whose synthesizers are all monophonic, meaning they only play one note at a time. An abbreviated version of this article appears in print. For the full article, visit dukechronicle.com/ section/recess.
First-year Duke students are invited to celebrate
NIghT AT The NASheR Saturday, August 26 8-11 PM
GARDENS from page 4 allows Wasner to perform differently. “I feel like I’m a little bit freer to focus on performing,” Wasner said. Wasner was excited to perform in the more nontraditional, laid-back venue that the Music in the Gardens series provides. She tends to perform at more traditional indoor or black box-type venues. “It’s nice to step outside of that for a little bit,” Wasner said. Greenwald appreciates the different performers that take the stage at the Music in the Gardens series. The series allows Duke Performances to take advantage of Durham’s rich music scene, which is often passed over for more nationally or internationally prominent acts during the school year. “I like the opportunity which we don’t normally have—during the normal season—to present these artists who I think are sometimes as compelling as the artists we present during other portions of our season,” Greenwald said.
TWIN PEAKS from page 7 Robertson) are adorably married with a grown child, cueing a bizarre cameo from Michael Cera; Laura Palmer’s erstwhile boyfriend Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) now works with the Twin Peaks police department alongside Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse); Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick) of the Double R Diner remarks that notoriously un-cool James Hurley (James Marshall) is “still cool”; Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) is spray painting shovels for some reason. Sometimes these scenes feel awkward and forced, but it is refreshing to see the old crew again, and the show makes sure not to dwell too much on its past. Ultimately, “Twin Peaks: The Return” showcases the direction of David Lynch—all black comedy, dream
The Medici’s Painter
DOLCI and 17th-Century Florence
2001 Campus Drive, Durham nasher.duke.edu/dolci Carlo Dolci, Poetry (Poesia) (detail). Oil on panel, 21 1⁄3 x 16 3⁄6 inches (54 x 42 cm). Galleria Corsini, Florence.
16 | MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2017
CLASSES OPEN TO FRESHMEN 115 Theater Today w/ alum & working actor Madeleine Lambert 210 American Musicals w/Bradley Rogers 211 Musical Theater Performance w/director/choreographer Thomas DeFrantz 263S Lighting Design w/pro designer Chuck Catotti 290S-2 Audition Technique w/dept. chair Jeff Storer 346S Voice & Body Gesture w/voice coach Ellen Hemphill 390S-1 Devising Theater w/director Jody McAuliffe
JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE & WELL & LIVING IN PARIS, SPRING 2017
CONNECT CREATE COLLABORATE
AUDITIONS + CREW CALL
FRESHMEN ENCOURAGED TO AUDITION AUG 29 & 30
THEATRST 350 Mainstage production class: VINEGAR TOM by Caryl Churchill
work onstage or backstage with faculty director & professional designers, earn class credit with ALP, R, CCI codes. more info/sign-up sheet: theaterstudies.duke.edu/events/auditions-fall-2017-0
DEPARTMENT OPEN HOUSE August 28, 5-6:30 in Sheafer Theater, Bryan Center BBQ & free tshirts, meet the faculty & Duke Players, shop tours
DUKE PLAYERS STUDENT-PRODUCED FREE SHOW August 25-26, 8:00pm in Brody Theater, East campus
For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls - comedy with pizza!
THE WILD DUCK, FALL 2016
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