INSIDEBEAT FEBRUARY 4, 2010 • VOL. 28, NO. 3
THE WEEKLY ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE OF THE DAILY TARGUM
Vintage Findings Collegiate fashion never looked this good
Page 2 • Inside Beat
Two weeks ago I reached the biggest milestone ever y college kid desperately waits for: I turned 21. It’s amazing how much things change when you hit that magical age when you are no longer terrified of the liquor store cashier. All of a sudden I found myself making small talk with the weathered old woman running the store instead of hiding sheepishly behind my older friends as they purchased the goods. Parents no longer look at you as the little kid sneaking alcohol into your basement with friends. They no longer frown upon the thought of their oldest daughter stumbling into the kitchen at 2 a.m., drinking underage. My parents have always been “the coolest”— as my friends refer to them — when it came to drinking. Since I was 18, I have been of fered shots of vodka or a glass of wine at the dinner table. Don’t get me wrong — we’re not alcoholics, we’re just Russian.
Legal, Finally BY ROSANNA VOLIS
February 4, 2010
Column • TV
Twenty-one also changes cops from foe to friend. While in Tampa at Gasparilla, a Mardi-Gras type festival where drinking in the streets is encouraged, I watched one of my friends get an underage drinking citation as I proudly showed the cop my ID. The officer wished me a happy birthday as he took my friend away. I’ve come to think of drinking as a rite of passage, and I’ve come to hate the age limit on drinking even more. I’m 21 and I still can’t par ty with all of my friends, even though they are only a month away. I hate the fact that not ever yone could be there with me as I downed shot after shot, leaving my roommates at home as I drank legally for the ver y first time. As the normally scar y bouncer wished me a happy bir thday after inspecting my ID for what seemed like forever, I felt like I was finally an adult. As much as we all hate the dreaded wait to finally turn the magic number, at least it gives us all something to look forward too, and believe me it is worth the wait. Next up, renting a car at 25.
BY BECCA ZANDSTEIN STAFF WRITER
FX Network’s newest show, Archer, delivers choppy comedy that appeals to dirty-minded and hormonal young viewers. Archer was created by Adult Swim, which is blatantly obvious from its humor and similar animation style. Archer brings laughter in all forms, from the silent snickers to the uncomfortable yet delightful ones from below. Archer takes place at the International Secret Intelligence Service where Archer (H. Jon Benjamin, Family Guy), the top agent, works under his very loud and sexually open mother Malory (Jessica Walter, Arrested Development). Archer is assigned the feminine code name “Duchess” and is constantly creating awkward situations in the workplace because of
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FX Thursdays at 10 p.m. | B
his good looks and irresistible charm. Agent Lana Kane, voiced by Aisha Tyler (Balls of Fury, Ghost Whisperer), is Archer’s exgirlfriend and works alongside him despite the tension. Lana’s sex appeal isn’t subtle in the slightest, and Archer’s polished style does not cover up his lack of manners and respect for others. The ISIS comptroller Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock) is dating Lana even though he is the average computer geek with looks and moves inferior to Archer’s. Judy Greer (Love Happens, 27 Dresses) voices Cheryl, a secretary at ISIS whose actions match her words — foolish and juvenile. Without Cheryl, ISIS would be empty and Archer would receive worse ratings. The racist jokes on Archer poke fun at Jews, blacks, gays and
women; the show is trying to be like Sarah Silverman but cannot pull it off. It is difficult to not chuckle at the statements that slip out of the oblivious and unaware characters in Archer even though it brings a sense of guilt. Archer’s inconsistency is bearable thanks to the short spurts of humor that make up for it. The episodes are each a half-hour long — which is nothing to complain about, because if they were any longer, the lack of an extensive plot would be evident. Archer is a character whom radical feminists would despise; he may be sophisticated but the comedy of the show is nothing of the sort. Archer’s late-night slot is sure to satisfy its demographic, but on a Thursday evening there probably won’t be many college students in front of a television.
EDITORIAL BOARD M ARGARET D ARIAS ........................................ EDITOR
THIS WEEK’S CONTRIBUTORS TO INSIDE BEAT :
S TACY D OUEK ................................ ASSISTANT EDITOR NIDHI SARAIYA...............................................BOOKS EDITOR A DRIENNE V OGT ..................................... COPY EDITOR MICHAEL MALVASIO..................................FASHION EDITOR EMILY SCHACHTMAN.........................................FILM EDITOR JASON STIVES...................................................MUSIC EDITOR R AMON D OMPOR ....................... PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR
Amanda Litchkowski, Amy Rowe, Ashley Park, Becca Zandstein, Molly Mulshine, Natalia Tamzoke, Rosanna Volis, Sukamya Dutta, Theo Jones, and Tracy Loenzo.
Cover photo courtesy of Rutgers University Archives
Rutgers Student Center 126 College Avenue, Suite 431 New Brunswick, NJ 08901 Phone (732) 932-2013 Fax (732) 246-7299 Email email@example.com Web www.inside-beat.com Advertising in Inside Beat, Call (732) 932-7051 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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Art • Books • Fashion
February 4, 2010
Inside Beat • Page 3
The eBay of the Art World:
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Etsy So Bad It’s Good
ABOVE: MONA JOHANNESSON PRINT BY DANNY ROBERTS, $20 RIGHT: LOTUS PILLOW COVER BY CYNTHIA WINWARD, $27
The world is often unkind to those who pursue a living through the arts. Struggling artists are affluent in passion and vision, but short on cash. Etsy.com allows an artist to sell their handmade items online with products ranging from handbags to paintings to baked goods. Using Etsy allows many artists to rise to fame. Jody McGill, owner of 1ofmykind, has designed vintage jewelry for celebrities like Anne Heche, Fergie and Jessica Alba. Necklush creates beautiful scarf-necklace hybrids and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and Us Weekly. Season 5 Project Runway finalist Carol Han-
nah Whitfield has a shop featuring her originally designed clothes as well. Etsy, founded in June 2005, has since grown to a community of more than 200,000 sellers from 150 countries. It is a mass market of cross-cultural goods and a haven for artsy eccentrics and avid gift-givers. For customers bored of visiting the same stores at the mall, Etsy offers unique items to suit every personality. The site makes it easy for shoppers to browse through a wide variety of items. Shoppers can click through different categories, peruse the editor’s picks or use a gift guide. Often sellers are friendly, and they are willing to bargain and even customize their products. If you’re
The Reflection of Consumption BY AMANDA LITCHKOWSKI STAFF WRITER
Take Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” but replace Jesus and disciples with the Pillsbury Doughboy, the bread with Big Macs and the wine with large cups of Coca-Cola. This piece and ones just like it are on display in Con$umed, an exhibit at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts in Princeton. Con$umed consists of artistic commentary on American consumerism. About half the gallery is devoted to Andy Warhol pieces and memorabilia, and the remainder is adorned by independent local artwork. During a time of economic downturn and a resilient culture of brand obsession, artists have turned to American spending as a source of inspiration. Con$umed throws a spotlight on the overwhelming presence of brands in everyday life. For the average American consumer this exhibit appears radical at first, but after a few moments of self-reflection, viewers realize that McDonald’s and Nike are the societal extremes. A photograph of a frighteningly serious, unemotional Warhol pushing a cart full of Brillo pads and Campbell’s Soup cans brings a stark realization to unsuspecting viewers: Brands have taken the lead and rendered some Americans mindless sheep. Local New Jersey artist Andrew Wilkinson takes this realiza-
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tion and slams it into viewers’ faces. Playing on religious references like that in the Pillsbury “My God It’s Good” piece, a church kneeler decorated with McDonald’s golden arches, the Nike swoosh logo and Chanel double-C commands attention in the middle of the gallery. Just to push it even further, McDonald’s ketchup packets lay where biblical text should be. For the anti-consumerist and ritualistic Adbusters reader, Con$umed is a must-see. Yet the tongue-in-cheek humor of the exhibit makes it worth visiting for anyone. After witnessing the Pillsbur y Doughboy’s Big Mac sauce-covered mitts, viewers will never look at the roly-poly master of ready-to-bake treats the same way again. Con$umed: An Exhibition about Art, Money and Consumption is on display until Feb. 27. For more information, visit www.artscouncilofprinceton.org.
worried about scammers Etsy, like eBay, allows for customer feedback as a valuable tool for judging the seller’s reliability. With so many sellers, it is difficult to sift out the quality items. Babooshka Boutique offers a hip selection of women’s clothing, which is affordable and tres chic. Meringuedesigns sells quirky throw pillows, which could mean a new gift for mom or a funky decoration for your dorm room. You can also head over to DannyRoberts or juliebcreative for cool prints and paintings. In a world of mass-produced products, Etsy is a refreshing introduction into the soulful and the idiosyncratic, giving new meaning to the items we create and own.
The fashion industr y is always coming up with ways to keep us on our toes and dipping into our wallets. From hats with character to edible outer wear, our items this week are whimsical, fun, and of course, so bad that they’re actually good. First up is edible eveningwear. That’s right, dresses you can eat. During Fashion Week in Berlin, Munich’s Lambertz Bakery created several outfits made entirely of chocolate. The models were dressed in everything from a cocoa cocktail dress to a Michael Jackson-inspired ensemble complete with a single glove. If that wasn’t enough, Lukka Sigurdardottir created an incredible edible wedding dress. Obviously no
bride would ever be able to walk down the aisle in this kooky confection, but who ever said fashion has to make sense? Another trend fashionistas everywhere are embracing is the comeback of animal-eared hats. The knitted hats, once reserved for Andrew from The Real World and hipsters in Tokyo, are taking over. Critters such as Kermit the Frog and the Paul Frank monkey were seen in the streets of New York City on both young and old folks alike. The New York Times’ street style guru Bill Cunningham described the cute hats as a trip down memory lane, “I think it’s time for a little whimsy in fashion. Everyone’s gotten so serious ...You have to have a light moment.” In the spirit of whimsy, get over the back-to-school blues and have some fun with fashion.
J.D. Salinger Remembering
BY ASHLEY PARK
BY NIDHI SARAIYA BOOKS WRITER
When you look at his oeuvre, J. D. Salinger seems little more than a one hit wonder. But now, more than a week since his passing, it is clear that he has made a considerable impact on the literary world, as nearly every literary media outlet chimes in on his legacy. As great a novel as The Catcher in the Rye is, one book hardly constitutes a legacy. It is unmistakable, then — what his iconic coming-of-age story has really left behind is a craving for more. Salinger struck gold when he wrote The Catcher in the Rye in 1951, discovering a vein of the market never touched before. His rebellious school dropout protagonist, Holden Caulfield, attracted teenage fans across the globe. The themes of isolation and identity alongside Holden’s crisis of choosing between childhood innocence and adulthood responsibilities won over teachers and critics as well. Angry parents’ requests to ban the novel for its profanity and sexual misadventures only fueled the book’s popularity. The Catcher in the Rye became the “cool” book to read in schools and was “literary” enough for celebrities to name-drop as their favorite story. Unfortunately, it may have been all this phony attention, the kind that Holden himself rallied against, that led Salinger to become more private about his writing. With every news article printed about him or his stories, Salinger became more reluctant to publish his work. Although he wrote three short stor y collections and many other short stories in magazines such as Cosmopolitan and The New Yorker until 1965, a second novel was never published. The short stories, particularly those featuring the Glass family, established Salinger as a fixture in the world of fiction, yet they never
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satisfied the public’s desire for a sequel or an equally inspired original book. Talks about making a film about Holden’s exploits were unsuccessful as well. After one less-than-stellar adaptation of his short stor y, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, Salinger was averse to seeing any of his stories on the silver screen again. Despite requests from actors such as Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio and directors like Steven Spielberg, Salinger refused all offers for a film adaptation of the book. Now after his death, Salinger is once again receiving the press he always longed to avoid. But maybe this time, without having to worry about the scrutiny of the media himself, Salinger will finally answer his fans’ requests. In his letters and in memoirs written by his loved ones, there have been references to his willingness to sell the film rights to The Catcher in the Rye and publish certain unreleased works after his death. Only time will tell if these claims can be substantiated. But for now, one thing is certain: Even from the grave, Salinger will always keep us clamoring for more.
Old School Rutgers has a long history. Founded as Queens College ten years before our nation was established, the university has gained credit for a wide variety of advancements in science, music, literature and sports. However, people usually do not take the time to consider Rutgers as having a history in fashion, and Googling images or sifting through old textbooks does not do justice to the actual day-to-day styles of past students. We decided to do a little homework and seek out images that shed light on the past fashions at Rutgers. Searching through the University Archives located in Alexander Library, we came across several folders filled with shots of students from years past. Photo subjects range from formal dances, where students dressed up for a night of glamour and romance, to guys hanging out around campus and girls decorating their dorm rooms. These pictures reveal the typical lives of university students during those times while also capturing iconic moments in collegiate fashion.
Back on the 40s, 50s and 60s, dances were all the rage at Rutgers. Similar to high school proms, college students would dress up in formal wear and head to the student center on College Avenue for some dancing and mingling with friends. This image, taken in 1950, shows the ancient ritual of the handsome escort picking up his lovely date before the dance with the strict chaperone in sight. The three dresses worn in the photo are simple, yet beautiful gowns that could be worn even in the present day.
This image shows some unfortunate students who happened to get caught in the rain. The oversized umbrellas, straw hats and classic Keds make for a scene straight from an old Audrey Hepburn film.
When thinking about the 1950s, images of preppy, clean cut gentlemen usually come to mind. This particular picture (1950), however, shows a student who had some fun with his Rutgers inspired outfit. A loose fitting tie and bowl hat, matched with his RU sweats must have been a comfortable option compared to his more conservatively dressed peers.
This good-looking group (1960) includes a pair of freshman twin boys (left) and three former winners of the Miss New Jersey pageant (right). Unlike todayâ€™s pageant winners who drip in sequins and diamonds, the ladies of the 1960â€™s opted for more conservative outfits, including cardigans, blazers and knee-length skirts.
BY MICHAEL MALVASIO •
Back in the 1930’s, smoking was the trendy thing to do. Girls around campus would meet up after class, talk with friends, complain about professors and light up Marlboro cigarettes. These girls (1936) knew how to keep warm during the cold winter months — they opted for tweed and fur coats that extended all the way down to the lower shin. The shoes, usually made of leather, were either flat like men’s shoes or had a heel, similar to the oxford heels many girls have been wearing in recent years. Standing outside the Douglass Student Center, this couple (1963) knew the importance of the basic cardigan. A staple even today, the cardigan is the perfect way to pull together any outfit.
If it weren’t noted that this picture was taken in 1957, you may have mistaken it for a recent photograph of someone relaxing around campus. Paint splattered shoes, socks with anchors, pleated pants and a crisp white shirt make it look like a photo taken straight from the pages of a JCrew catalog.
The 1950’s usually evoke images of our 80-year-old grandparents — people who are full of wisdom, but have aged and wrinkled over the years. This photo is evidence that grandpa was once a young, goodlooking guy. The young man in the photo understood that fashion isn’t always about what you wear but how you look.
TO CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOGRAPHS LIKE THESE, HEAD OVER TO THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES IN ALEXANDER LIBRARY. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES
Page 6 • Inside Beat
February 4, 2010
Film • Theater
The Book of Eli
Theater on a Budget
Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes | C+
BY NATALIA TAMZOKE STAFF WRITER
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BY MOLLY MULSHINE STAFF WRITER
The Book of Eli tells the postapocalyptic story of a man named Eli (Denzel Washington) who makes a pilgrimage westward at the command of a divine voice. He totes a well-known book with him that he and the voice believe will save civilization. The powerhungry Carnegie (Gary Oldman) has been searching for a copy of this book since “The Flash” 30 years ago. When he finds out Eli has it, stylized post-apocalyptic hijinks ensue. The movie has heart, but both story and style seem to be beyond the control of directors Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes. For the first 20 minutes, The Book of Eli is somber, artful and visually stunning. Once Eli reaches Carnegie’s town, we’re suddenly watching a futuristic and unintentionally campy Western. There’s
nothing wrong with the latter style. In fact, if the movie were a bit campier and self-aware, it would have been more entertaining. Instead, it seems that the directors are doing their best to keep The Book of Eli from being funny. This is a shame for the audience. The serious parts are overdone and eye-roll-inducing, while the three or four jokes they allow in are actually hilarious. There are a lot of distracting inconsistencies in The Book of Eli. I wonder how so many pairs of sunglasses remained intact for 30 years after the apocalypse. Because “The Flash” left a huge hole in the sky, the survivors have to wear sunglasses every time they go outside, lest they develop cataracts. Drinking water is scarce, but even the most downtrodden characters have a flawless pair of shades. Apparently Oakleys are resilient enough to survive a catastrophe that destroys most humans, animals, plants and major roadways.
The Lovely Bones Peter Jackson | C+
As far as acting goes, Washington gives a charming and heartfelt performance. The rest of the cast, though, tends to chew the dilapidated scenery. Mila Kunis plays a prostitute with a heart of gold named Solara, Eli’s very own Mary Magdalene. Kunis doesn’t give the performance of a lifetime, but it’s not her fault that the screenwriter didn’t feel like giving Solara a real personality. By the time Malcolm McDowell randomly appears in the last 15 minutes of the film, it seems as though the actors and directors alike have given up. If you’re a fan of sci-fi or religious epics, you may want to give Book of Eli a tr y. If not, save your $10. While enter taining enough, the film’s identity crisis renders it too flakey to invest any interest in. And if you’re really into Christianity, you might be genuinely touched by the film’s message, but if not, you’ll be unenthused at best. COURTESY OF ALLMOVIEPHOTO.COM
Has the recession gotten to you? Most Americans have found themselves pinching pennies in recent times to avoid unnecessar y costs due to a shaky economy. Of course, some of the first hobbies to go are those weekend trips to Broadway or any other theater productions. However, there is hope! The good news is that there are many ways to see shows without breaking the bank. Great deals are all around, so here are some ways to save:
STUDENT/GENERAL RUSH Many theaters offer a discounted ticket price to students and/or the general public. Depending on the venue, interested parties stand in line prior to the performance (sometimes before the box office opens). Valid student or other ID is needed, and theaters generally only accept cash as a form of payment. Tickets tend to range anywhere from $20 to $40. (The cost may be less for non-Broadway shows.) For a list of theaters that offer these types of tickets, try typing “student rush” into a search engine or call the box office directly.
STANDING ROOM Don’t mind watching the performance on your feet? Then SRO (“Standing Room Only”) tickets might be a great alternative when short on cash. Costing only about $20 to $30, the view is not usually too obstructed. Not all theaters offer this type of ticket, so call or research participating venues in advance.
THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND Available to full-time students, teachers and others, qualified theater-goers can become a member of this program and reap the benefits. By paying an annual fee of $25 (normally $30 but currently discounted due to a winter sale), members have access to a plethora of shows at reduced prices. Visit http://www.tdf.org/ for more information.
TKTS Associated with the Theatre Development Fund, TKTS has offered tickets for 20-50 percent off the original price. There are three locations: Times Square (Broadway and 47th Street), South Street Seaport (186 Front Street at the corner of John Street) and Downtown Brooklyn (1 MetroTech Center at the corner of Jay Street and Myrtle Avenue Promenade). The lines tend to be lengthy, so get to a booth early!
THE BOX OFFICE IS YOUR FRIEND When in doubt, call the Box Office and ask about any deals or promotions they may be running.
BY THEO JONES STAFF WRITER
Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones was the very best film he could make out of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel. This doesn’t mean he ended up with a fantastic film. In fact, The Lovely Bones is a perfectly fine film that never stalls and truly shines in technical efficiency, but it lacks something of a human element, muting the overall result. It’s hard to blame this on Jackson or anyone involved; Lovely Bones is not a book that can translate perfectly to the big screen. As a result, audiences won’t be entirely disappointed as much as they will walk away slightly entertained. The Lovely Bones is told from the perspective of Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan). Murdered at the age of 14, her voice guides us through much of the film as we watch
her family, friends and even her killer in the wake of her demise. Such grim material would seem to make for an outright disturbing film, and much like the novel, Jackson’s story has its gruesome moments. But central to this tale are the ideas of quelling revenge and letting go. The problem with the film is that we are never really caught off guard or startled by what is going to happen next. The stor yline is so easily predictable that, even if you haven’t read the book, the film simply plods along for its 2 hour and 15 minute run time. Jackson’s brilliant special effects team of The Lord Of The Rings and King Kong do what is expected as Susie travels through “the in-between.” Giant waterfalls, vast expanses of golden fields and changing environments are part of this spiritual world; each holds a particular significance to Susie and exhibits Jackson’s attention to detail.
However, as an audience, we never really get that true emotional connection to Susie. Partially to blame is the acting of Mark Wahlberg as Susie’s father, who, if not playing a tough guy, does a variation of his timid character from The Happening. Stanley Tucci takes on the character of the creepy George Harvey. Tucci was an excellent casting decision and he falls into the role with particular menace, but it’s not a role so central that it manages to completely turn the film into something above par. Instead, it just works within the environment created and sorts itself out with everything else. What Jackson did with what has become one of the most popular word-of-mouth books of the past decade is completely respectable. However, the simple pacing, predicable plot and sub par acting really just make this a completely average film and nothing personally biting or over-the-top.
February 4, 2010
Inside Beat • Page 7
Motion City Soundtrack
My Dinosaur Life | A
BY JASON STIVES MUSIC EDITOR
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Transference | A
BY SUKANYA DUTTA STAFF WRITER
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Texas indie-rock quartet Spoon lifted the title of their seventh album, Transference, from the Freudian defense mechanism where one mistakes (transfers) their feelings for one person to another person or object. The title is apt, as the album’s excellent 11 songs all convey a disillusion of confusing past happiness with present frustration. On Transference, Spoon continues using the tightly-wound guitar and bass notes with metronomic yet subversive drums that they are known for. This blend typically yields an ironically cocky sound. That signature Spoon sardonicism is still there, but it now serves as a complex cover for the ambiguity
and anxiety that lies beneath. Reluctantly, Spoon’s vocalist and guitarist Britt Daniel reveals his mortality via a distinguished voice that elicits both the earnestness of a wizened adventurer and the crackle of a nascent teenage boy. The lyrics from one of the record’s best tracks, “Get Nuffin,” are sung in a resigned tone, and beside the optimistic instruments, produces an almost tragic hallucinatory effect: “I look for what matters/And I notice what matters/And I got nothing to lose but darkness and shadows.” Transference, like any good story, starts off slowly and hopefully. Daniel lets out his suppressed anger in “I Saw the Light,” and toward the end of the album, a sense of sad surrender is evident in his voice. Regardless of its heavy heart, Transference is, in typical Spoon fashion, a fun and thoughtful listen.
There is no doubt that a portion of mainstream culture hates emo music and its unfortunate subgenres. Our culture takes delight in making fun of the lifestyle and the tropes that normally accompany its music: the whiny lyrics, the girl-obsessed tone of each song and the fact that every singer is on the verge of either cr ying or jumping in front of a bus. For these reasons, many may hate Minnesota-based emo pop outfit Motion City Soundtrack. Yet they are just too good at being clever. More than a decade into their storied career, they have survived rehab, critical failure and dissidence amongst fans, and now the band has released their most ambitious album to date, My Dinosaur Life. Following the lukewarm reception of 2007’s Even If it Kills Me, lead singer Justin Pierre and company have not let the Jones’ get them down. Instead they were inspired to follow off the mainstream pop sound of their previous album and to regroup with Commit This To Memory producer Mark Hoppus to move forward, if not regress in sound. Like any album, it’s easy to throw away certain tracks for being very typical of the band, but it’s hard to pinpoint on Dinosaur Life. Even the relatively simple and cornball tracks like “The Weakends” and the O.A.R.-sounding “History Lesson” find time to be as important as thunderous cuts such as “Hysteria” and “Pulp Fiction.” The album’s lead single, “Her Words Destroyed My Planet,”
plays once again with the tongueand-cheek nature of Pierre’s songwriting as he filters through pop culture references and girl drama. Very reminiscent of their concert staple “The Future Freaks Me Out,” it features fuzzy guitar licks from guitarist Joshua Cain and Jesse Johnson’s everpresent synth sound taking the band into directions never thought possible. For what seems like the first time in a long time, Pierre addresses the pressures of his musical high life and the drugrelated problems that he suffered
from throughout the years on the song “A Lifeless Ordinary (Need a Little Help).” Pierre sings desperately and defiantly into the mic, “I didn’t think I would make it/ thought everybody was against me,” blaring out the pain he has had to endure personally through the band’s existence. But the rock star crisis in conjunction with trying to live comfortably has culminated on My Dinosaur Life, giving Motion City possibly their big mainstream breakthrough and cutting all ties to the sub culture they have been labeled with.
Iggy Rocks The World
Astro Coast | B
BY TRACY LORENZO STAFF WRITER
COURTESY OF LAST.FM
BY AMY ROWE STAFF WRITER
Surfer Blood’s debut, Astro Coast, may have been recorded in a Florida dorm room, but the album contains concordantly simplistic chord progressions and echoing vocals for a laid back, beach rock vibe that delivers an easy listening experience. Astro Coast contains many lyrical references to the beach and surfing, which clearly spawns from the experience of these Palm Beach natives. The album opens with “Floating Vibes,” which features John
Paul Pitt’s velvety vocals claiming, “If you’re moving out to the West/ then you better learn how to surf” against underwhelming guitar riffs. Yet the album picks up with the next track, “Swim,” which begins with Pitt’s bellowing vocals, power-packed riffs and a noticeable amount of reverb. The track’s fast-paced rhythm cranks up the energy and is maintained throughout the album. “Take it Easy” actually encourages the opposite. The song is completely inspired by Afropop influences such as Abe Vigoda and Vampire Weekend, and displays groovy guitar riffs and percussion beats. “Neighborhood Riffs” acts as a natural
break within the album, for it is two minutes of impressively intricate guitar riffs juxtaposed with a simple bass line and drum beat. A notable track from the second half of the album is a song that truly speaks of the young musicians’ innocence. “Twin Peaks” is an incredibly catchy song that chronicles a road trip to Syracuse where Pitt reconnects with a girl, watches David Lynch movies, and ultimately parts ways after tiring of her company. Surfer Blood’s first effort is bliss, as Astro Coast is enjoyable because of its simplicity. Despite its January release, the album contains tracks that exhibit innocent sunny vibes that will complement any summer playlist.
It’s hard to find good music these days, and the radio is not exactly the best place to find new and different sounds. Enter MTV Iggy – the music channel’s international brand created to serve its fans with fresh music, trends and pop culture from all over the globe. Available online, MTV Iggy offers new music everyday. It includes ever y genre and subgenre possible: indie rock, hip-hop, house music and all those other sounds that mainstream culture has a hard time understanding. You can listen to many new and featured albums such as OK Go’s Of the Blue Colour of the Sky and Animal Collective’s Campfire Songs, as well as stream tons of videos, ranging from trippy productions of Steve Aoki’s “I’m In The House” to crazy parodies of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” All the songs and videos include accurate descriptions of the kind of sound that can be expected, making it easier for fans to find the kind of music they are looking for. The international perspective of MTV Iggy does not stop at music and videos. The Web site also includes witty blog entries about cultural trends like eyeglass tattoos in the hipster community, Korean zombie outfits and Bollywood productions. They feature fashion from the streets of Tel-Aviv to Chanel’s runways in Paris. The site also spreads awareness of important issues today in a mission called Change Initiative. Not too long ago, the Web site covered the conflicts surrounding the land of Kashmir with different stories, videos and voices from real people. Now MTV Iggy is promoting the movement to help Haiti in their time of need by featuring many video performances for the cause, including a powerful cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” by Justin Timberlake. With its colorful interface, interactive features, Facebook/Twitter sharing options and daily updates, MTV Iggy is the place to be no matter where you are around the world.
Canâ€™t get enough? Neither can we.