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INSIDEBEAT FEBRUARY 17, 2011 • VOL. 29, NO. 1

THE WEEKLY ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE OF THE DAILY TARGUM

Fashion Fashion Week Week NYC NYC Fall Fall 2011 2011 Elegance prevailed at New York’s biggest trade show.


Page 2 • Inside Beat

RANT

February 17, 2011

Column

Sony NGP e r u l i a F r o f d e Doom

BY RYAN SURUJNATH VIDEO GAMES EDITOR

Sony’s NGP is undoubtedly a stylish looking piece of hardware. Though somewhat large, the NGP does not appear cumbersome, as it is quite sleek and thin. Sony’s gaming division has also announced a collaborative effort with the Ericsson phone division in hopes of incorporating PSN into everyday life. Yet, despite these promises, all is not well for Sony fans. When the NGP was formally announced, I don’t think anyone

expected the type of hardware powerhouse that Sony decided to show off. The graphics card and quad core processor are more powerful than those found in many entry-level PCs. These, plus a highresolution screen, will supposedly deliver graphics rivaling the PlayStation 3. In addition, the NGP will include 3G connectivity, two touch screens, a gyroscope and a compass among other ridiculous, unneeded gadgetry. Exactly what was Sony thinking? While it sounds nice, we can effectively throw initial price esti-

mates of $250-300 out the window. Now, a price range closer to $400 seems more realistic. There has been no release date for the NGP, but it has been confirmed for late this year, presumably around the holiday season. The 3DS would have been out for half a year before the NGP would even be released. So, if I were in Nintendo’s position, I would cut the price of the 3DS by about $50. Furthermore there is the issue of cost of ownership. A new PSP game costs $40. Obviously this will go up. $50 seems inevitable. Sony

EDITORIAL BOARD S TACY D OUEK .......................................................... EDITOR ROSANNA VOLIS.........................................................ASSOCIATE EDITOR KATHERINE CHANG...................................................ASSISTANT EDITOR FREDDIE MORGAN.............................................................................TV EDITOR EMILY GABRIELE........................................................................MUSIC EDITOR OLIVIA KINTER......................................................................THEATER EDITOR ZOË SZATHMARY.....................................................................FASHION EDITOR NANCY SANTUCCI...........................................................................COPY EDITOR RAMON DOMPOR..........................................................................PHOTO EDITOR ASHLEY PARK............................................................................ONLINE EDITOR RYAN SURUJNATH............................................................VIDEO GAMES EDITOR

THIS WEEK’S CONTRIBUTORS TO INSIDE BEAT : Inayah Bristol Diana M. Cholankeril Tiffany Gonzalez Josh Kelly Alex Natanzon Charlie Rawcliffe Michael Rosenthal Gianna M. Stefanelli Cover Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

may even use HD graphics to justify $60 for a new game. Hopefully, Sony would not be so stupid as to do that, because by doing so, they would effectively have NGP game sales inhibit those of their own home console. I cannot see a rational human being paying that kind of money for a portable game. In addition, 3G will also cost a monthly fee. Sony forgot to consider what is important when creating a handheld. The Nintendo DS sold so well because it promised a novel new way to play games in a touch screen. A single touch screen pro-

vided a new way to play the types of games that are perfect for handhelds. These games are amusing and easy to get into. They are meant to be nice little time wasters for those occasions when a gamer is away from their home console. The NGP is, by contrast, a PS3 in the palm of your hand. But I don’t want the NGP to replace my PS3. I don’t want a portable Uncharted game, because I would rather have the whole cinematic experience on my PS3. Unfortunately, I just fail to see the point of the NGP.

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February 17, 2011

Book • Fashion • Theater • TV

Inside Beat • Page 3

Private $ales, Exclusive Deals BY YORBELID HERRERA STAFF WRITER

We use clothing to express ourselves, but trying to keep up with the latest trends can burn a hole in one’s pocket. Stores like Marshall’s and TJ Maxx have become immensely popular for offering great discounts. However, walking through these stores is like being in a maze where you’re never guaranteed to find what you want. Luckily, there is an online alternative. Private websites offer their members great discounts on designer clothes, accessories, home furniture and even travel. To gain membership you have to be invited by an existing member, sign up and in some cases, pay. The catch is that the sales last only a couple of days and have a limited amount of merchandise. Here are some of our virtual hideouts.

gilt.com

editorscloset.com

hautelook.com

ruelala.com

jackthreads.com

This site offers deals for the family and for cosmopolitan jetsetters, with everything ranging from clothing to vacations. If you’re visiting any major city soon, make sure to look for gilt’s exclusive local deals.

Editor’s Closet offers a great variety of bargains for women, including clothes, accessories and shoes. By signing up, you also get access to its sister website Beauty Story, which focuses on cosmetics.

Haute Look is a larger website that offers multiple sales in a variety of departments, including clothing, travel and beauty. Look for its weekly “Saturday Blowout” where prices are lowered even more for a select number of hours.

Another favorite is Rue La La, with discounts for the entire family and the home. Frequent online boutiques include Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg. Look for its “Style-a-thon” on Sunday nights for even better prices.

Men need to be fashionable, too. Jack Threads exclusively offers some great discounts, and their merchandise isn’t too stuffy, either. Jack Threads incorporates some surf and skate gear to appeal to every kind of guy.

The Subject Was Roses

Red Riding Hood Sarah Blakley-Cartwright | B

Little Red Riding Hood is a fairy tale that has been around for many years, with various adaptations made of it. Sarah Blakley-Cartwright gives the story a brand new spin with her retelling of the beloved classic. Cartwright, a first time writer, has been chosen to write the novel for the 2011 film Red Riding Hood that will be released in March 2011. With the novel, Cartwright gives readers a first glimpse of what they could expect in the theaters this March. The book begins with the 7year old protagonist Valerie, who is visiting her grandmother with her family. As night approaches, the family makes their way back to their village, Daggorhorn. The residents of Daggorhorn live in fear of a werewolf that has terrorized them for centuries. So far, they’ve managed to appease the wolf by providing it with offerings of farm animals every full moon. But 10 years later, Valerie’s sister is killed, putting an end to the peace the village had embraced for so long. The villagers are suddenly left to deal with the haunting fact that one of their very own may be the werewolf in human form. This begins a capturing tale that leaves readers questioning every character, wondering about the true identity of the werewolf.

With Red Riding Hood, Cartwright puts together a story that will leave all readers both intrigued and frustrated with the abrupt ending. To build up even further hype for the movie, the last chapter to the book will not be released until the movie comes out on March 11. Red Riding Hood, though incomplete, provides a different but satisfying version of the tale. Despite the various adaptations, the story has never been told in such a dark, enthralling way. This book is definitely not suited for young children as a fairytale, but if you’ve read the original or if you’re into fantasy novels, this might be just the book for you.

Traffic Light Fox, Tuesdays 9:30 p.m. | B BY TIFFANY GONZALEZ STAFF WRITER

If you hear there is going to be a show called Traffic Light, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Try as you may, but you’ll never guess the unique metaphor the Fox comedy is trying to convey to its viewers. The quirky comedy focuses on three friends: Mike (David Denman, The Of fice), a married lawyer with an 18-month-old son; Adam (Nelson Franklin, The Office), a magazine writer who just moved in with his girlfriend; and Ethan (Kris Marshall, Love Actually), a single paramedic who is scared of commitment. What does a traffic light have to do with these men? It turns out each friend represents one of the colors of a traffic light. Red means stop, symbolizing Mike who is set-

tled down, happily married with a baby. Yellow means slow down, which depicts Adam as he commits to a serious relationship. Lastly, green signifies go, representing Ethan living life as it goes. The humor exists in how the characters are intertwined, even though they are in different stages of their lives. Adam hilariously deals with the new sacrifices that come with living with his girlfriend, like nightly beers with his friends. Mike balances satisfying his wife while trying to retain his ever-shrinking private space. Ethan is funny in his own right; through his lack of commitment, he lives off the surprises life throws at him. Traffic Light tries to make its audience laugh in every scene. Though not always funny, it’s a good way to kill an hour and still feel satisfied.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GEORGE STREET PLAYHOUSE

George Street Playhouse | ABY OLIVIA KINTER THEATER EDITOR

The Subject Was Roses is about more than just a bouquet of flowers. In fact, coffee, waffles and an apple are also thrown into the mix. But little details such as these create a chain of events that can throw our lives off course and cause personal changes throughout life. Many may not realize that sometimes the little things do indeed matter, particularly when a story is being told. Frank D. Gilroy’s award-winning play opens in the year 1946, with a young soldier’s first morning back home after completing his service in World War II. His parents, Nettie (Stephanie Zimbalist, Remington Steele) and John (Lee Sellars, West Side Story revival) welcome him home warmly remarking how much he has matured into a young man. As Timmy (Chris Wendelken, Law & Order: SVU) begins to spend individual time with his mother and father, he realizes that hearing stories of the past

and present, their perspectives of both him, as well as each other have affected them emotionally. By the end, Timmy realizes that he is caught between a negative, fading relationship between his parents, all because of a simple thoughtful act. One aspect of Gilroy’s play that director Michael Mastro highlights beautifully is the irony of action and circumstances with words and dialogue. At the start of the story, John mentions how Timmy had grown into a man relative to the boy he was three years ago. Yet, the first thing Timmy and John do together is attend a baseball game, a tradition that typical fathers start with their young boys. In the second act, however, Timmy’s drinking — a privilege of adulthood — causes John to treat him like a child again. The combination of Mastro’s overall vision along with his professional cast is what makes the production move so well. Sellars was a lot of fun to watch; his delivery and chemistry with his fellow performers showed not only a

BY INAYAH BRISTOL STAFF WRITER

Heather Gudenkauf | A-

STAFF WRITER

These Things Hidden

BY INAYAH BRISTOL

Many writers are capable of releasing debut novels that grip the attention of readers. But there’s always a question that lingers on everyone’s mind after reading the novel: Will the next one be as good? These Things Hidden, the second novel written by Edgar Award nominee Heather Gudenkauf, proves to be a great follow-up to Gudenkauf’s bestselling book, The Weight of Silence. These Things Hidden coincides with its title perfectly, as it is a book filled with many hidden secrets. The story centers on Allison Glen, a young woman who is released from prison after serving five years of her 10-year sentence for murder. As Allison re-enters the real world, she finds herself trying to put the pieces of her life back together. But that proves to be quite difficult, as her parents have erased her completely from their lives, and her younger sister wants nothing to do with her.

good actor, but also a believable father happy to celebrate with his son. Wendelken’s Timmy was boyish, charming and loveable. Though at times he seemed to go in and out of character, he gave a delightful performance. And Zimbalist, who warmed up to her role by the end of the first act, held everyone’s attention during a simple, but mentally deep monologue in the second act. Artistically, the period set on the George Street Playhouse stage was natural and realistic, with beautiful, smooth lighting and sound cues designed by Christopher J. Bailey. The Subject Was Roses has its memorable funny moments as well as heavier ones that will move audiences. Perhaps this is due to the central idea of a look inside at a family and how they handle their conflicts within Gilroy’s rich script. We can all relate to such similar mishaps because we are all part of some family; to relive the choices that people make, or facing the idea of being in the right place at the right time. The Subject was Roses runs through Sunday, March 6.

Gudenkauf also provides glimpses into the lives of several other characters, including Brynn Glenn, Allison’s damaged young sister who suffered the most after her sister’s conviction; Charm Tullia, a young woman whose stepfather is dying from lung cancer; and Claire Kelby, a woman who has finally found happiness after adopting a son with her husband. At first glance, readers may wonder how the characters are related. It is not until later in the book that the pieces begin to come together and you begin to see how these four women’s lives are closely intertwined, even more so than they may realize. The book flows in a very cohesive, effortless manner and it creates suspense that will leave readers unable to put it down Just when the ending seems clear, Gudenkauf supplies a twist that will throw readers completely off balance. Though the book isn’t completely without flaw, These Things Hidden is a true gem. It deals with everything from teenage pregnancy to murder, and does so in a very compelling manner. If you do happen to pick this book up, brace yourself.


FASHION WEEK

Fashion Week is always a spectacle. With powerful editors sitting front row, starlets clamoring for freebies backstage and models posing for photographers, it’s possible to forget that it’s one of the world’s largest trade shows. For Fall 2011, designers at Lincoln Center tried out a handful of trends, soon to trickle down into luxury boutiques, department stores and even college campuses. Building on Spring’s minimalistic basics designers embraced a classy and elegant New York woman. Inside Beat presents some of the best fall collections to dream about before they arrive on the hangers. By Zoë Szathmary, Fashion Editor.

J ASON WU

Hot for Teacher

Counting Michelle Obama among his celebrity fans, Jason Wu is at the top of his game. His bevy of models looked like chic teachers with tight shirtdresses, whimsical polka-dot tights and leather pencil skirts. Austere slicked buns and intense eyeliner added an edgier touch. One can’t help but think of the art-house film classic Mademoiselle, with Jeanne Moreau as a sexually repressed yet sadistic schoolmarm. Wu also managed to incorporate references to the historic Palace of Versailles. His self-professed “baroque meets sportswear” aesthetic was seen in the brocade detailing of jackets, skirts and blouses. Both day and night ensembles were luxurious and trendy — and soon to be worn by every girl about town in Manhattan.

DOO.RI

Mysterious Skin Doo-Ri Chung’s fall collection, inspired by the work of ar tist Beverly Simmes, was an enchanting witch’s brew of draped clothes with suggestive details. Her somber models strutted down the catwalk in getups fit for a Tim Bur ton movie. One repeated element in the collection was cutout evening wear, including a gray dress with mesh on the sides and chest. Another was thigh-high pirate boots, which lent an immediate fetish element to any ensemble. Chung also spread cobweb lace details, sheer blouses and shaggy furs throughout the show. While a handful of the label’s ideas seemed awkward and outof-date, including floor-length coats and gaucho pants, Doo.Ri managed to provide attire for macabre fashionistas.


NEW YORK

FALL 2011 A CLASS ACT PHOTOS COURTESY OF STYLE.COM

J ILL STUART

Dream Weaver

’70s-inspired styles were extremely popular for spring and continue to be so for fall with tastemaker Jill Stuart. Fox and owl motifs in desert tones appeared on shirts, skirts and dresses. Stuart also incorporated an animal theme into other outfits with fur scar ves and vests of var ying lengths. Long, heavy skirts and woolen scar ves called to mind Ali MacGraw in the melodrama Love Story as a Radcliffe coed. For nights on the town, however, subtle shimmer worked its way in — reminiscent of Studio 54’s heyday. Stuart’s intellectual collection is for the young woman who’s not afraid to get out of the librar y on a Friday night and live it up.

L IBERTINE

Mad for Plaid Designer Jonathan Hartig dispelled any doubts about Libertine’s success at Fashion Week, despite his creative split from co-founder Cindy Greene and general absence from the industry. Hartig’s creations were a reinvented fever dream of the 1960s. Mad Men shift-dresses, skirt suits and collared coats were all tightly cut, but came in a candy-land variety of plaids. Models even sauntered down the runway in blue and pink tights. (A notable deviation, though, was a fanciful blouse with poufy cropped sleeves.) Libertine’s fall collection is quirky-chic, and will definitely be a hit with women like Zooey Deschanel and Alexa Chung. However, it clearly references Prada designs from seasons past.

Editor’s Picks Fall Palette

PRABAL GURUNG

EDUN

MARC JACOBS

NAHM


Page 6 • Inside Beat

B E H I N D

COURTESY OFNJFF

February 17, 2011

Film • TV

Cedar Rapids

T H E S C E N E S

PICK BY ALEX NATANZON STAFF WRITER

Through the use of an 8mm camera and heavy emphasis on abstract imagery, Benjamin Ross Hayden depicts the shattered lives of two souls trapped in purgatory in his experimental film, Pick. Hayden bestows tribute on the city of Calgary and its rich history by paying homage to the violent riots that swept the streets of downtown Calgary on Oct. 11, 1916. In a Dali-esque fashion, Pick will immerse viewers, even shock some, but undeniably provide a glimpse into the meticulous and creative realm of Hayden’s mind; which is what filmmaking is ultimately all about. Benjamin Ross Hayden was able to answer a few of Inside Beat’s questions about Pick. Inside Beat: How did you initially come about with the idea for Pick? Benjamin Ross Hayden: My concerns about purgatory and perpetual realms sparked the idea for Pick. When thinking about the afterlife with regard to environments charged with ghostly presence; I wonder what the ghosts are thinking? How are they unaffected by our idea of chronological time? How does their universe operate?

Miguel Arteta | B+ BY MICHAEL ROSENTHAL STAFF WRITER

In Cedar Rapids, Tim Lippe (Ed Helms, The Hangover), a hard-working small-town insurance salesman, gets the chance to fill in for a recently deceased co-worker at a large insurance convention in Cedar Rapids, Ill. Lippe, a man who’s never left his hometown and has always fallen short of any real expectations, has to give his co-worker’s presentation in order to preserve his insurance company’s image. The humor Lippe provides stems from his naivety, such as unfamiliarity with standard hotel procedures, and constant calling of his teacher (Sigourney Weaver, Avatar) from seventh grade, to whom he thinks he’s “pre-engaged.” He acts like a cross between a wide-eyed tourist and a timid child. Lippe soon meets his two roommates on the trip, Ronald Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr., The Wire) and Dean Ziegler (John C.

Reilly, Step Brothers). Wilkes and Ziegler are almost polar opposites. Wilkes is a hard-working, simple man who doesn’t know how to relax, and Ziegler is a hard-drinking, recently divorced party animal. Lippe’s boss (Stephen Root, The Men Who Stare at Goats) warns Lippe to stay away from Ziegler, but despite his rowdiness, Ziegler and Lippe form a close friendship. A woman named Joan Ostrowski-Fox (Anne Heche, Spread) completes their posse. In order to win the company’s fourth consecutive Double Diamond Award, Lippe must give a one-onone presentation to its bearer (Kurtwood Smith, RoboCop). Helms plays the lead role very well, providing plenty of laughs and putting in a solid performance. Reilly nearly steals the show with his loud and appallingly hilarious comments and actions. Every time he’s on the screen, you know he’s going to do or say something funny. The reserved

SNEAK PEEK

COURTESY OF ALLMOVIEPHOTO.COM

quality that Whitlock Jr.’s character has adds another comedic ingredient into the mix, as he often delivers lines in a hilarious deadpan style. Cedar Rapids keeps the audience interested and laughing the entire time and has plenty of quotable lines. Even when the plot appears to take a serious turn, more laughs follow. Simple ideas can go a long way when well-written and acted. The storyline does a good job of staying linear and on track, and while the plot remains simple, it leads to a quality ending. The characters are put into situations with many comedic possibilities, and the actors go on to use their talents and the screenplay’s nuanced dialogue to create simple, but brilliant comedy. Seeing Cedar Rapids is not a life-altering experience, but it is definitely a well-executed movie that can be viewed with friends time and time again. COURTESY OF ROCKSTAR GAMES

l.a. noire

IB: Why did you specifically call your film “Pick”? BRH: The pick is a symbol for the “inter” aspect of a pick’s main function, insertion. It is a physical metaphor for dimensions. The characters are the pick and the ice is the purgatory, they are frozen in time. IB: Why did you decide to use abstract images as symbols of the violence of the riot? BRH: I have a spiritual connection with artifacts. To me, they become charged when experiences occur around that item … It is a concept any storyteller can empathize with. IB: Did any films/directors influence your style for Pick? BRH: Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon is an inspiring experimental film distinct from any conventional narrative model … Guy Maddin’s film My Winnipeg mythologizes his hometown. I am also interested in experimentally referencing my city, Calgary, while doing so from the basement of a forgotten boudoir. Salvador Dali’s Un Chien Andalou holds an abrasive moment in film history; a damsel’s eye is slit. I am captivated by that visceral moment. IB: What is the main message you want to convey to your audience? BRH: I want to convey the possibility of realms beyond our living experience. I want to tell a ghost story in a way operative to how a ghost would experience it. I want audiences to open their minds to alternate modes of storytelling, to appreciate cinematic form and its potentialities. Be sure to catch the premiere of Benjamin Ross Hayden’s Pick at the 2011 United States Super 8 Film & Digital Video Festival in Voorhees Hall Room 105 on the College Avenue campus at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8. Tickets are $9 for students. For more information, visit njfilmfest.com.

BY RYAN SURUJNATH VIDEO GAMES EDITOR

Developer Team Bondi and publisher Rockstar have released the first of a series of in-depth gameplay videos about their upcoming game, L.A. Noire. The video, entitled “Orientation,” details some of the core gameplay mechanics that the game will feature. L.A. Noire is set in 1947 Los Angeles, during one of the most violent periods in the city’s history. Players will assume the role of Detective Cole Phelps, who is tasked with solving several homicide mysteries throughout the game. As the title suggests, L.A. Noire will draw heavily from the film noire movies of the ‘50s. This is seen in some of the artistic elements, such as the harsh lighting, and black and white scenes. One thing about the game’s graphics that particularly stands out is the amazing detail of facial animations. Even in the low-resolution video, it

is possible to see how smoothly characters display facial expressions. For this, Rockstar credits a new piece of technology called Motion Scan, with which a human actor’s facial expressions are caught from every angle and the information is applied to the game’s character models. While the graphics look promising, the gameplay looks even more so. L.A. Noire appears to use similar aiming and cover mechanics as Red Dead Redemption. The video shows off several action sequences, including a very cool looking scene in which the LAPD must stop a group of bank robbers. Rockstar and Team Bondi emphasize that action is not L.A. Noire’s only gameplay facet. The game promises to combine traditional action sequences, such as shootouts, with mystery. As such, one of the game’s main elements is solving cases. Throughout the game, players will work in vice, homicide and arson. In order to

solve a case, players must go through the process of investigating a crime scene, collecting evidence, questioning witnesses and interrogating suspects. These sequences look very interesting and will hopefully create variety in the game’s missions. In particular, the Orientation video describes in detail the process of questioning witnesses. These sequences make use of the detailed facial expressions captured by Motion Scan. Detective Phelps will ask NPCs a series of inquiries, and it is up to the player to determine if that character is telling the truth or if they are lying by examining their expressions. Hopefully, the result of the sequences will affect of the outcome of the game’s plot. Rockstar and Team Bondi will release several more videos showing the game’s different features. L.A. Noire is shaping up to be fine new title and is set to release on May 17.


February 17, 2011

Music

COURTESY OF MYSPACE.COM/CUTCOPY

STAFF WRITER

Cut Copy’s third LP Zonoscope makes listeners ride a wave of sound and emotion from the start to finish. Zonoscope streams from song to song, focusing on a coherent flow and complete transitions; resembling of the album’s cover art, a surreal picture of a waterfall flowing through Manhattan. An obvious increase in song complexity and production since their 2008 In Ghost Colours, the album is best

to listen to in its entirety. As each song in the 11-track album has its own unique feel, Cut Copy’s electro-pop/rock sound transforms in all of the right ways. Despite the collaborative current that runs throughout the album, each song can still stand alone as a single. “Need You Now,” the first track on the album, builds up tension to set transcendent tone for the rest of the album. Heavy on bass and contagious guitar, Cut Copy makes you want to dance with their next track “Take Me Over.” An adventurous use of percussion runs through next track “Where I’m Going.” It emits a bouncy and

psychedelic vibe and is easily the most rewarding song on the album. Frontman Dan Whitford croons, “All you need is a dream and a lover too.” Even though Cut Copy’s sound is somewhat reminiscent of ’80s new wave, they surprise listeners when they pull out an acoustic guitar in their track “Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat.” Cut Copy ends their album with an incredibly long 15-minute song titled “Sun God.” This large accomplishment transitions through many stages in itself. Beautifully crafted, the song fades away and concludes Zonoscope leaving listeners completely satisfied.

Esben and The Witch

COURTESY OF STACY SMALLWOOD

Zonoscope | A

Local Corner

Bayside at Vintage Vinyl

cut copy BY GIANNA M. STEFANELLI

Inside Beat • Page 7

Vintage Vinyl in Fords has many in-store exclusive performances, last year it was Circa Survive and this year it’s Bayside. On Tuesday, Feb. 22, Bayside will have a meet and greet and play an acoustic set for fans as a promo for their upcoming album, Killing Time. Pre-order the album online and score yourself a wristband to the event. The event starts at 7 p.m. and the first 150 fans in get a free T-shirt. —Emily Gabriele

COURTESY OF MATADOR RECORDS

Violet Cries | A

LL aa uu rr ee nn

H H ii ll ll

t o o li t t le t o o la t e

BY DIANA M. CHOLANKERIL STAFF WRITER

STAFF WRITER

Nestled somewhere between post-punk and goth, Esben and The Witch are riding on the success of similar British acts such as The Horrors and The xx; they couldn’t have timed the release of their debut album more perfectly. However, Violet Cries brings far more than a perfect example of scheduling to the table. The Brighton-based trio combines electronic beats, swirling guitars

and haunting vocals to great effect, creating a dense sound from start to finish. There have been no attempts to tone down the intensely dark sounds typical to Esben and the Witch. The vocals are free to soar, and the whole album could easily be molded together as one long artistic soundscape rather than ten tracks. “Hexagons IV” builds delicately around lead singer Rachel Davies lingering reverb drenched vocals. “Warpath” provides the album’s most energetic guitar riff and the closest you’ll find to singa-long lyrics, and their song,

“Marching Song” is so fantastically dense that it’s almost energysapping to listen to. It’s anti-radio, anti-pop and most certainly not mainstream, but for those with an open mind, Violet Cries is definitely worth listening to. Don’t expect to see them embarking on a worldwide stadium tour anytime soon, but already known in England for providing intense live shows, intimate venues may be a good thing. For anyone inclined to dark and somewhat experimental music, pick up a copy of Violet Cries and get yourself a ticket to their New York show on March 5. You won’t be disappointed.

JAMES BLAKE BY JOSH KELLY STAFF WRITER

February has arrived, and with it Blake’s much anticipated self-titled album. James Blake is unlike anyone you’ve heard before. His style juxtaposes the likes of Bon Iver, John Legend and Skream, meeting somewhere in the middle of these distinct sounds. Blake’s album contains a chilling sense of space and time, met with soulful vocals, punchy piano and exquisite, deep bass.

Songs such as “I Never Learnt to Share” show his incredible diversity and ability to build layers in his electric mixing, with a drop that’s as sweet as honey. James Blake is a collection of songs from a singer and songwriter perspective, so he doesn’t come across as your usual Dubstep act. Blake mixes very modestly at times, with amazing subtleties that are at times unimposing. His songs will throw off many at first listen — be it by the timing he chooses to cut his sampling or the multi-layered vocals — but his music is an acquired taste like fine wine. The most notable tracks on the album include, “Limit to Your Love,” “The Wilhelm Scream,” “I

James Blake | A+

Never Learnt to Share” and “To Care (Like You).” “Limit to Your Love” is definitely the first song to sample from this artist, putting his vocals and piano at the forefront, met with one of the most intense Dubstep breaks imaginable. At 22 years old, James Blake is just an emerging artist, getting his first breath of fame and notoriety in the music scene. When looking back at music, there are certain albums, certain points in time where music saw significant change with a new face. James Blake is going to be one of those albums. If you love music, pick up this album, listen with open ears, and get hooked by this eerily addicting album.

COURTESY OF JUICYCARTER.COM

BY CHARLIE RAWCLIFFE

Lauryn Hill graced the audience with her presence on Friday, Feb. 5 at the Wellmont Theatre … five hours after she was due on stage. The famed singer-songwriter and rapper garnered an unfortunate reputation in recent years for arriving to shows inexcusably late. Hill opened with “Lost Ones,” a song recognizable solely by diehard fans from her Grammy-award winning album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. For the unfortunate others in the crowd who were merely superfluous fans, they could barely understand the words that escaped Hill’s mouth. The

members of the house band played their instruments so loud it was deafening, creating a lyrical void for the show’s attendees. The noise of the house band became so maddening that, 60 minutes into the show, audience members began to file out. Her revered talent, sound and skill is what lured many to attend the performances on this concert tour; her scholarly rhymes and angelically raspy voice against the backdrop of hip-hop and R&B melodies has brought sheer bliss to many music listeners. However, I doubt any of these concertgoers will be recommending their friends to go see Lauryn Hill. This musical and lyrical genius needs to take some time to mend her mind, body and soul.


Inside Beat 2011-02-17  

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