FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
ILLUSTRATION BY JINWOO CHONG/THE HOYA
friday, december 2, 2016
COURTESY FREDERICK BINKHOLDER
The Georgetown University Chamber Singers have performed for such distinguished guests as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell and Jimmy Carter, in addition to performing in concert with Jessye Norman and 10-time Grammy Award-winner Bobby McFerrin. Chamber choirs are typically smaller and more selective than church choirs.
Chamber Singing in the Modern Age Derek Haase
Specal to The Hoya
While a capella groups have popularized singing among university students, few students know that traditional choirs are thriving as well. On the Hilltop, the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir offer opportunities for students to hone their vocal skills under assistant professor of music Frederick Binkholder, while studying musical compositions ranging from Bolivian baroque masses to contemporary works by Philip Glass. Participating in a choir at the university level provides students of all experience levels with unique performance and travel opportunities. The Chamber Singers traveled to Bolivia this past April to perform in the International Baroque Music Festival and sang works originally performed by the indigenous peoples of Bolivia living in Jesuit missions. At John Kerry’s bi-annual “Our Ocean” conference at the Kennedy Center this past September, the Concert Choir and the Chamber Singers also performed Eric Whitacre’s “Water Night” and had the privilege of working with the renowned conductor himself. The Chamber Singers and Concert Choir performed their annual joint concert on Nov. 16, with the theme “Art in a DataDriven World.” This semester’s musical selections included songs that combined ancient text and contemporary composition,
such as renditions of “Ave Maris Stella,” “I Sing of a Maiden,” and completely original arrangements, such as Philip Glass’ simply titled work: “Three Songs for Choir.” In an interview with The Hoya, Binkholder said that the performance of more modern compositions was a welcome change of pace from traditional arrangements.
My entire teaching philosophy is for growth, but also to engage.” FREDERICK BINKHOLDER Assistant Professor of Music
“For me, it was a great learning experience. In my art form, most of the compositions have been around for hundreds of years. For this concert, because we had to learn a modern composition for the performance at the Kennedy Center, I decided to specifically program music that had been composed within the past 10 years,” Binkholder said. Phillip Glass’ “Three Songs for Choir” utilizes compositional motifs that depart
from the baroque style that is typical of Chamber Singers pieces, including pages of repeated syllables and abrupt cutoffs. These songs also feature text written by the late Leonard Cohen and text from French poems. Binkholder’s selection of purely modern works demonstrates the incredible variation within the contemporary choral music scene, proving that even the classical music genre is ever-changing. Surprisingly, very few members of Concert Choir and Chamber Singers are music majors. Singers in Chamber Singers and Concert Choir study everything from economics to nursing and involve themselves in other organizations such as the Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Services and Georgetown University Jewish Life. For some, including Concert Choir President Madison Stingray (COL ’17), singing in choir provides an outlet for the stress induced by Georgetown academics. “Concert Choir is great, because at a school like Georgetown, where everything is very competitive and stressful and highintensity, it’s really nice to be able to have a place to go where everyone’s working together, and there’s a great sense of community. You’re doing something love, but you’re not competing,” Stingray said. Despite the drastic difference in styles between traditional choirs and a capella, singers at Georgetown often find that the two go hand-in-hand. Nine of the 13 students in Chamber Singers are in other
singing groups. These groups sing songs ranging from Top 40 hits to barbershop classics to gospel music, proving that Georgetown singers’ love of music transcends genre barriers. Ultimately, the decision to sing in choir stems from a collective passion for music. Binkholder, in his 17th year of conducting Georgetown choirs, shares this passion for music and seeks to foster musical growth in his students. University students provide a new perspective on music, which encourages Binkholder to grapple with music on a daily basis. “They are so smart and inquisitive, and I love that. I can program anything I want, and they accept it and enjoy it. I try to engage my students, and they most definitely engage me. It keeps everything interesting, because I want there to be a dialogue. My entire teaching philosophy is for growth, but also to engage,” Binkholder said. While students continue to make leaps and bounds academically, the collective musical knowledge of this campus never falters. Next week, the two choirs will be hosting a sing-along concert of Handel’s “Messiah” and will be accompanied by the Baroque music ensemble “Modern Musick.” This concert will be held in Dahlgren Chapel on Monday, Dec.5. Doors open at 7 p.m. The concert is free of charge, and no singing experience is required.
COURTESY FREDERICK BINKHOLDER
A St. Louis native, Binkholder came to Washington from Atlanta, where he was on the choral faculty of Georgia State University. He also served on the choral faculties of Washington University, the St. Louis Conservatory and School for the Arts, Georgia State University and Mercer University.
friday, december 2, 2016
Best New Artists of 2016
Hoya Staff Writer
Nao, the edgy East Londoner, first made a name for herself in the rhythm and blues scene in 2014, when she released her first extended play “So Good.” Since then, she has gone from strength to strength, playing at U.K. festival Glastonbury, being lauded by Pitchfork Media and New Musical Express and featuring on Disclosure’s album “Caracal.” Nao combines R&B synth beats and electronica with high-pitched, soulful vocals. Through revealing an element of the ’90s American R&B sound that FKA twigs has mastered, as well as the poppy-electronic fusion of Disclosure, Nao’s sound is unique. She is not afraid to let the beat and the baseline take forefront, leaving her saccharine vocals to fade into the background. This process results in hazy and psychedelic yet passionate tracks that may not be catchy but are pioneering a music genre that Nao herself coins as “wonky-funk.” The UK’s BBC Radio 1 already proclaimed her first album, “For All We Know,” the “Hottest Record in the World.”
Abra produces a hybrid sound known for mixing rhythm and blues and electronica with a touch of soul. Her vocals sound oddly despondent yet melodic and emotional, giving her music a quiet intensity. Her songs themselves are dreamy and hallucinogenic but also raw. Born in New York to strictly religious parents who only permitted her to listen to folk and Christian music, the R&B singer used music as a means of escape and eventually began uploading covers of Radiohead and Waka Flocka to YouTube. After purportedly coming up with her sound when she triple-dosed on acid, she has gotten into trouble with her record label, Awful Records, for recklessly using drugs.
At only 19 years old, Londoner Jorja Smith has made an early splash in the music scene. She sprung to fame in March of this year with her powerful single “Blue Lights.” The track centered on a young boy running from the police -— the “blue lights” — knowing he would be inevitably charged with the crime, thus feeling trapped. Contrasting with its tumultuous political message, the song is smooth and understated, and Smith sings her striking lyrics like a simple lullaby. For the moment, most of her success has come in the U.K. but she looks poised for international success after 2016.
The party anthem “Golden Boy” went viral at the beginning of 2016, marking the beginning of Elf Kid’s rap and hiphop career. Commercial and critical success is a true rarity so early on in a rapper’s career, separating Elf Kid from the crowd. Part of what is best described as London garage-meshed-with-house music scene, he is a member of the U.K.’s “Grime” generation. A frenetic sound combined with arrogant lyrics helped launch his name into public consciousness, and, although new to the game, he is an exciting urban artist who is sure to make his mark on the rap market.
THE BIG MOON
Dua Lipa is so fresh she has yet to release a debut album but is touring this year with the teen fangirl darling Troye Sivan. Lipa is more than your typical Taylor Swift or Katy Perry. Her vocals are much more impressive as her deep voice has a raw and powerful edge to it, reminding the listener more of Nelly Furtado or Amy Winehouse. Additionally, singles like “Be The One” incorporate synth sounds and a certain ’80s slickness, which is reflected in her edgy, bohemian style and in the recurring neon theme of her music videos. Lipa has a definite star quality with an eclectic sound that is inherently captivating and exciting to watch.
From the same realm of fusion of rhythm and blues and hip-hop as Fetty Wap and Ty Dollar Sign comes PnB Rock. Although he comes from the same generation of rappers as Drake, PnB’s backstory and talent distinguish him. The power of music intrigued him while he was in prison and saw fellow inmates singing and lamenting their lives. Through moments like this, he began to develop his voice and talent for creating melodies. Encouragement to release more music came in the form of fan letters received whilst in jail. His mix tape series, “RNB3: Rockadelphia,” is but a tribute to such a difficult upbringing in his home city of Philadelphia.
Amidst a list of new artists that is dominated by rhythm and blues and electronica, Ella Vos offers a completely alternative genre and sound. Fans of Imogen Heap and Birdy should listen up as her music comes from a similar domain: emotional and vulnerable pop clothed in mellow and smooth sounds, sung with the soaring silky vocals that were popularized by singers like Gabrielle Aplin. Her track “White Noise” is based on the depression and confusion that Vos felt after becoming a mother. Broaching a subject that is often passed up in the music industry so early on in her career represents a bold move, which differentiates Vos as an artist from her contemporaries.
Isaac Gracie may look like the fourth brother from Hanson, but he sounds a lot more like Jeff Buckley. Ed Sheeran and Jake Bugg, in recent years, have proved that one can make it to the pop chart with just an acoustic guitar and clever songwriting and have thus paved the way for artists like Isaac Gracie to do the same. So far, Gracie seems to have followed Sheeran’s suit. His first singles, “All In My Mind” and “Terrified,” simply feature his raw vocals and an acoustic or electric guitar. His talent in songwriting succeeds in bringing his listeners to tears with his turn of phrase. This year, Gracie released “Last Words,” a poignant and stirring bluesy track about lost love. Gracie’s early success is testament to his online presence: Despite little help from labels, the singer has nonetheless been able to rack up around 60,000 plays on SoundCloud.
The Big Moon
The Big Moon is a girl band with a twist. The quartet of Londoners abandon the traditional girl band’s pop association altogether. Instead, The Big Moon goes down the indie-rock route. Instead of being polished and manicured, the quartet appear grungy onstage. Despite having known each other for only a year, the band members come equipped with a tangible energy and chemistry amongst them, along with a raucous, anarchic feel in their sound and onstage persona. The latter characteristics make them reminiscent of The Runaways. The Big Moon consciously rejects the Spice Girls model in favor of The Strokes, Palma Violets and The Vaccines. Their first studio album “Love in the 4th Dimension” will be released next year, which will hopefully be a breakout album for the band.
At 18 years old, Lil Yachty is incredibly young to have made such an impact on the hip-hop scene. The teen caught public attention when he was chosen for Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 show at Madison Square Garden in February. With bright red dreadlocks and a tendency to dress only in red, he has a distinct and eccentric style. His melodic and unconventional style of rap attracted the likes of Chance The Rapper, D.R.A.M, Lil B and Soulja Boy, who have collaborated with him on various mix tapes. He released a music video for his biggest commercial success to date, “1 Night,” which featured memes, cartoons, kittens, a sing-along chorus, and — fittingly — a yacht.
THE BIG MOON
Friday, December 2, 2016
The upcoming year promises to be a busy one: from rock band Bon Jovi’s first full tour since 2013 to guitarist Eric Clapton’s abbreviated 2017 tour; from Kelly Clarkson’s new album to the four-day celebration that will take place in Paisley Park, Minn., to honor the one-year anniversary of international pop-icon Prince’s death.
Highlights to Watch for in 2017 Kate Kim
Hoya Staff Writer
“This House Is Not for Sale” tour — Bon Jovi Next February, beloved American rock band Bon Jovi is set to embark on its first full tour since 2013 to showcase material from its upcoming LP “This House Is Not for Sale.” This album is the band’s first without longtime guitarist Richie Sambora, who departed in 2013. Compared to the band’s 102-show “Because We Can: The Tour,” the dates for its 2017 leg seem relatively scarce, with 20 dates spanning six weeks. Beginning in Greenville, S.C., on Feb. 8, then wrapping up in Indianapolis on March 22, the tour is expected to add dates. “kaleidoscope” — coldplay Earlier this fall, the critically acclaimed British rock band announced its “Head Full of Dreams” tour. The North American leg of the tour launches at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 1, and contains 18 dates in total. Featuring Coldplay’s first performances in Canada in five years, this highly anticipated tour is the band’s most extensive. Its latest EP “Kaleidoscope” was disclosed just weeks after the band announced its 2017 tour, to the delight of fans. The name for the EP comes from an interlude track in 2015, and details including the track list are still an enigma. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Chris Martin described his spurt of inspiration after “Ghost Stories” back in 2014: “I was being sent so many songs from the universe that I said, ‘I’ve got to just keep recording.’” album release — ariana grande After the huge success of “Dangerous Woman” in 2016, the upcoming year will most likely be blessed with yet another album release from Ariana Grande. She will embark on the United States leg of her world tour Feb. 2, 2017, with 37 dates in North America and 21 across Europe. On this tour, it seems likely that she will be debuting some of her new work. On the new content, in an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Grande said, “I really want to experiment with playing little bits of what I’ve been creating recently for my fans, and just kind of getting their feedback and sharing that with them.” The content on her albums is generally difficult to predict, as she told fans on Snapchat: “I didn’t mean to make an album, and I don’t know if it’s done at all, but I just have a bunch of songs that I really like.”
“a girl, a bottle, a boat” — train Although fans were shattered by the departure of lead guitarist Jimmy Stafford, who announced in October that he had left the band temporarily, American rock band Train will appease fans with the release of its newest album, “A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat” next year. Due in January, the band’s seventh studio album will feature the debut single “Play That Song,” which has been wildly successful since its Sept. 29 release. The single incorporates the melody from the 1938 song “Heart and Soul,” allowing the catchy tune to reach a younger generation of listeners. Best known for its pop-rock songs that have soared to the top of charts, the San Francisco-based band has and will continue to top the charts again in the coming year. 2017 tour — eric clapton One of the most influential guitarists of all time, Eric Clapton announced to a surprised but ecstatic public the launch of an abbreviated 2017 tour. In 2015, Clapton vowed he was done touring, writing, “I swear this is it, no more. I know I’ve been threatening retirement for the last 50 years, but I didn’t think I’d ever really want to stop” in the program for an event celebrating his 70th birthday. After an apparent reconsideration, he will return to the stage with four dates in March, two in New York City and two in Los Angeles, as well as a trio of dates in May at London’s Royal Albert Hall. This upcoming tour is by no means an extensive one. Yet with Clapton now celebrating a long and renowned 50 years in music and being joined by blues-rock guitarists Gary Clark Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan, this upcoming tour may be one of the most anticipated of 2017. Hangout Festival The Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala., revealed its 2017 lineup Nov. 29 and does not fail to deliver. With headline sets from Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper and Mumford and Sons, accompanied by other acts like MGMT, Young the Giant, The Head and the Heart and DJ Snake, tickets to this festival are sure to sell out quickly. The acts this year for the Hangout Festival are said to be the strongest and most popular in all of festival history. The three-day tickets went on sale Thursday Dec. 1. The site of the festival includes the public beach and is centered around the Hangout Restaurant. The sold-out 2016 festival was also a huge success, with lineups including The Weeknd and Florence + The Machine.
THE JAPANESE HOUSE
The Japanese House holds promise for making a name for itself, while more established names like Bon Iver and Imogen Heap build on their past success. The Japanese House Ranked on BBC Sound of 2017’s Longlist, an annual list compiled by influential figures and leading experts in the music industry, The Japanese House is one of the favored up-and-coming artists of 2017. Originally from the U.K., 20-yearold Amber Bain chose the pseudonym The Japanese House for her project to remain identity-free when she first began her career. She intentionally chose to have a band name instead of using an individual’s for additional ambiguity. Bain is often compared to Bon Iver and Imogen Heap, and her single “Still” was Zane Lowe’s last Hottest Record on Radio 1.
Celebration 2017 The one-year anniversary of the death of iconic American singer and song-writer Prince will be honored by Celebration 2017, a four-day celebration from April 20 to 23 in Paisley Park, Minn., a museum dedicated to Prince in his former estate. Performers include The Revolution, New Power Generation, members of 3rdEyeGirl, Morris Day & the Time and Liv Warfield & Shelby J. The celebration will highlight the life and legacy of Prince, bringing together fellow musicians and those who worked closely with the legend himself. The four days will be filled with live music, panels and presentations that all focus on his achievements, talent and life. Tickets start at $499 for general admission passes and $999 for VIP passes. “love and war” — brad paisley Everyone’s favorite country artist has recently announced the release of a new album called “Love and War,” set to release in 2017. The longtime co-host of the “Country Music Awards” made this announcement at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles to a very favorable reception. The album will feature many star guests, with a collaboration with Demi Lovato in “Without a Fight” and guest features by Mick Jagger and Timbaland. This album will be Paisley’s 11th studio album, and will cross genres in a way that Paisley has not previously done before. Paisley himself described a collaboration with singer-songwriter Brent Anderson that is featured on the album as “one of the best songs I’ve ever written.” The album is projected to be released sometime in February, and a headlining tour is soon to follow.
ARIANA GRANDE, ERIC CLAPTON, KELLY CLARKSON, TRAIN
After the huge success of “Dangerous Woman,” Ariana Grande, top left, will be debuting some of her new work on her world tour. In parallel, Eric Clapton, Kelly Clarkson and Train are set to take the stage in what will be some of the most anticipated shows of the year.
album release — Kelly Clarkson Following her 2015 album “Piece by Piece,” 34-year-old singer and 2002 American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson is already back at work. The songstress recently announced she is currently working on a new “soulful” album to be released in 2017. This new album is under her new deal with Atlantic Records, soon after she left her longtime label, RCA Records, with which she has released six full albums. Clarkson said about this new album, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, “I’m so excited because they want to make the album that I’ve been dying to make since I was a kid and since I was on ‘Idol.’ Everybody’s been asking me to make a soulful record for years.”
friday, december 2, 2016
Best New Albums of 2016 Tom Garzillo
Frank Ocean — “Blonde”
Hoya Staff Writer
Solange — “A Seat At The Table”
In a year marked by many as one of increasing racial strife and division, 30-yearold Solange Knowles’s third full-length album is a gorgeous, thematically consistent and musically daring exploration of what it means to be a black woman in contemporary America. From start to finish, “A Seat At The Table” blends elements of jazz, funk, R&B and soul to confront painful realities and celebrate the history of black music. The album draws inspiration from a wide range of artists — Janet Jackson, Aaliyah and even Herbie Hancock — but never once seems derivative. Solange’s airy, glossy delivery is unique and compelling.
CHANCE THE RAPPER
Chance the Rapper — “Coloring Book” No other album this year exudes as much joy, positivity, love and passion as the third mixtape from Chicago’s best young MC. Equal parts spiritual and grounded, reverent and rebellious, the project is a triumphant moment for both independent artists — Chance remains unsigned and plans to keep it that way — and fans of hip-hop looking for optimism in the next generation. “Coloring Book” is bursting with personality, as Chance nostalgically reflects on lost love in “Same Drugs” and gleefully challenges record labels to stop him (the infectious “No Problem,” featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. No other rapper today is doing what he is doing or how he is doing it, and he continues to improve his craft with every release.
Skepta — “Konnichiwa”
Uncompromising, aggressive and pissed off. U,K grime MC and producer Skepta brought the genre back to its gritty roots for his fourth studio album, released a full five years after his third and proved that a combination of fierce bravado and earnest self-reflection is a winning formula: The project garnered the Mercury Prize, beating out David Bowie and Radiohead. On “Konnichiwa,” Skepta shuns the trappings of wealth and fame but also warns his rivals that his throne is not up for grabs.
BOYS DONT CRY
Anybody still dismissing Young Thug as a throwaway “mumble rapper” is not paying attention. The Atlanta hip-hop star may not be exploring any groundbreaking themes, but his wordplay and delivery when it comes to debauchery are unmatched and thoroughly inimitable: name another rapper who could pull off the voice cracks and guttural yells on the impassioned “Harambe,” or the “e-e-e-ee-e-earn it” stutter in the hook of “RiRi.” Thug’s sense of flow and rhythm is endlessly impressive, as is his unbridled energy.
DEF JAM RECORDS
Kanye West — “The Life of Pablo”
In some ways, West’s seventh studio album is his first that does not completely redefine what a hip-hop album can be. Still, even in the absence of major statements and reinventions, “The Life of Pablo” is an infectiously energetic project exploding with big ideas about love, forgiveness and karma. It forces listeners to balance undeniable artistic genius with crass provocation: In other words, it is a microcosm of West’s legacy and everything that makes him such a compelling figure. The album may be his least thematically cohesive, but that also makes it one of his most authentic and revealing. “I been thinking about my vision, pour out my feelings, revealing the layers to my soul,” West sings on “FML.”
Beyoncé — “Lemonade”
Although “Lemonade” is in part a personal narrative about heartache, supposedly at the hands of an adulterous Jay Z, Beyoncé’s opus speaks to the ubiquity of human struggle, particularly that of black women. Sonically, the album is unrelentingly adventurous: few, if any, other artists can explore bluegrass, hip-hop, rock, reggae and gospel on the same album and still present a cohesive, captivating project. From the unfiltered rage of “Don’t Hurt Yourself” to the defiant exuberance of “Freedom” — featuring Jack White and Kendrick Lamar, respectively —, Beyoncé asserts herself as one of the most important voices in music today.
Bon Iver — “22, A Million”
of fear and paranoia. “This is a low flying panic attack,” Thom Yorke sings on the leadoff track “Burn the Witch.” The album was years in the making — the lyrics for “Burn the Witch” were in the liner notes of 2003’s “Hail To The Thief” — but feels tailor-made to today. Yorke sounds more isolated than ever before, floating his way through gorgeous, meticulously crafted arrangements. The beauty of a swelling orchestra often masks the gloom of Yorke’s lyrics: In this way, “A Moon Shaped Pool” is simultaneously the band’s bleakest and most bewitching album.
Young Thug — “Jeffrey”
A Tribe Called Quest — “We Got it From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service”
Legendary New York hip-hop outfit A Tribe Called Quest waited 18 years to deliver its sixth and final album. However, “We Got it From Here” proves that the group is more relevant and necessary than ever. The album refuses to rest on nostalgia, boasting experimental production that effortlessly merges jazz influences with leftfield electronic flourishes, bottom-heavy beats and smooth arrangements. Q-Tip, the late Phife Dawg and Ali Shaheed Muhammad rekindle their infectious chemistry alongside an all-star list of features including Kanye West — on the standout track “The Killing Season” — André 3000 and Kendrick Lamar.
Few albums this decade have been as anticipated as the follow-up to Ocean’s breakout 2012 project “Channel Orange.” When “Blonde” finally arrived in August, it was not the album that many were expecting. Rather than continuing to embrace the pop-friendly, maximalist aesthetic of his first album, Ocean instead opts for a far more subdued, stripped down and intimate sound. Ocean sings of lost friends and lovers, youthful trysts, drug use and sexual desire but also philosophy, isolation and vulnerability — sometimes all at once. “Blonde” is hazy and beautiful, an album rife with intricacies and hidden revelations.
Indie folk band Bon Iver, the brainchild of singer-songwriter Justin Vernon, has undergone quite the transformation since its inception. Gone is the downcast, acoustic sound of debut album “For Emma, Forever Ago.” “22, A Million” is experimental and deeply strange, full of stuttering glitches, pitch shifted vocals and electronic waves of sound. There are still echoes of the group’s earlier folk sound — the leadoff track “22 (OVER S∞∞N),” for example — but the album is largely a leap into the future of sound manipulation and abstract melodies: the grating buzz that forms the backbone of “10 dEAThbREasT,” or the otherworldly vocal effects on “33 ‘GOD’”.
BOY BETTER KNOW
Anderson .Paak — “Malibu”
After bursting onto the scene with his attention-grabbing performances on Dr. Dre’s underrated 2015 comeback album “Compton,” the West Coast’s most soulful crooner, drummer and sometimes rapper released a 16-track neo-soul masterpiece that cemented his status as one of music’s best emerging artists. Rife with salutes to old-school R&B and 1970’s soul — but never dwelling on the sounds of the past — “Malibu” is .Paak’s most personal project to date. The album shines with gospel flair, lush soul and even a dose of trap flavor.
Anohni — “Hopelessness”
David Bowie — “Blackstar”
Never before has an artist given a musical farewell quite like Bowie’s “Blackstar.” The legendary musician’s twenty-fifth studio album is a grand, unflinchingly introspective work that reveals something new with each listen even a year after its release. The Starman, who drew inspiration from artists like Kendrick Lamar and R&B singer D’Angelo while recording, brings listeners along on a journey through galactic jazz ballads like “Lazarus,” bittersweet epics like the 10-minute title track and driving rock grooves on songs like “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime).” Bowie died of liver cancer just two days after the album came out, but it is clear that he knew all along that the end was near: After 50 years of shaping rock & roll, it was time to go out with a bang.
On the first track, entitled “Drone Bomb Me,” English singer Anohni — formerly Antony Hegarty — sings from the perspective of a nine-year-old girl whose family in Afghanistan falls victim to a targeted attack. The contrast between the darkness of the lyrics and the beauty of her voice is perhaps the most striking aspect of Anohni’s artistry on this project, which explores the depths of modernized warfare, mass surveillance and the toxicity of rampant masculinity. Brimming with stunning electronic soundscapes of rumbling bass and blaring horns, the album is a somber yet ultimately inspiring take on the world in which we live.
Danny Brown — “Atrocity Exhibition” Detroit’s Danny Brown is hip-hop’s greatest oddball — would any other rapper name their album after a Joy Division song? — and arguably the genre’s most versatile MC. “Atrocity Exhibition” is grim, anxietyridden and haunting but also a masterclass in mind-melting wordplay and experimental production. Brown continues to prove that he can take command of any beat, be it in a dusty, propulsive banger like “Really Doe” or a psychedelic curveball like “White Lines.” The former, produced by Black Milk and featuring stellar verses from Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Earl Sweatshirt, is quite simply one of the best hip-hop tracks of the year.
Radiohead — “A Moon Shaped Pool”
For its long-awaited ninth album, Radiohead delivered a brooding, symphonic and eerie rock epic well-suited for our age
PJ Harvey — “The Hope Six Demolition Project” The ninth studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician PJ Harvey has a title referring to a controversial U.S. government program meant to revitalize the worst public housing projects in the country and convert them to mixed-income developments. As such, it is a politically charged rock project that finds optimism in droning guitars and steady drums. Inspired by Harvey’s trip to Washington, D.C., the album drew criticism from local politicians for its negative portrayal of the city.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
In Defense of John Mayer Can he save pop music from itself? JOE SONZA
Hoya Staff Writer
Judging by its title alone, John Mayer’s seventh studio album, “The Search for Everything” — scheduled to release early next year — sounds a little pretentious and lacks the anticipatory characteristic of his previous albums. To naysayers, Mayer is just another 39-year-old pop star whose greatest hit, 2007’s “Say,” repeats the same line eight times in the chorus. More often in the press for his tempestuous love life or strange antics in interviews, Mayer faces a public who may know him more for his personal life than his musical one. While sometimes it may be lost in his pop discography, Mayer has a great deal to say with his ever-impressive virtuosic musical vocabulary. A chameleon throughout his 18-year career, Mayer has gone through many phases: the breathy, dorky kid who sang “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” the long-haired, angst-filled phase when he relied solely on the electric guitar and the adult-contemporary, heartbreak-in-your-thirties phase. It was in this latter phase that things started to go south for Mayer’s reputation. In a pair of widely-scorned interviews with Playboy and Rolling Stone magazines in 2010, Mayer divulged some regretful confessions, namely about his past relationships with famous women, including Jessica Simpson, as well as some appallingly irreverent remarks on race. His 2001 song “My Stupid Mouth” started to unfurl as a self-fulfilling prophecy for Mayer. In the following two years, he withdrew to Montana, grew his hair again and retreated to the mountains without any tabloid exposure or paparazzi. As for now, in some peculiar way, John Mayer seems transparent and honest. A self-deemed “recovered ego addict,” Mayer still wears glasses every so often, a cowboy hat sometimes and remains unhesitant with the bandanas. But he also seems at peace, secure in his identity, with all its quirks. Mayer is not trying to be a character anymore. His latest single, “Love On the Weekend,” released Nov. 17, is a sweet, feet-onthe-dash song about that warm kind of feeling lovers get when they spend time with their significant other. It is a delicate pop-rock ballad that features lyrics like, “We found a message in a bottle we were drinking,” and “I’ll be dreaming of the next time we can go/Into another serotonin overflow.” While admittedly not a groundbreaking musical masterpiece, the song is radio-friendly and listenable.
Rising to popularity in 2002, John Mayer has since entertained many sartorial and musical phases in his 18-year career. Despite many controversies, he remains one of modern pop music’s stars, able to back up his writing and vocals with strong musicianship. This latter part is critical, because Mayer has failed to a produce a radio hit such as “Say,” “Waiting on the World to Change” and “Gravity” since 2007. What many people don’t know is that beyond his most overplayed, saccharine tunes, Mayer is a prodigious, widely-respected musician. Mayer has been repeatedly invited to play alongside musical legends like B.B. King, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock and Buddy Guy. That is in addition to more contemporary stars like Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran, Kanye West, Keith Urban, the Roots and Frank Ocean. Eric Clapton once called him “extremely gifted,” and a “master.” Alicia Keys called him a “beautiful friend.” The Jackson family invited him to play at Michael’s memorial. His virtuosic control of the guitar and deep concern for matchless musicianship has elevated his reputation beyond tabloids and profiles among his musical peers. After all, artists understand better than most that they are perpetual victims of their inability
to express themselves beyond their art. The implication here is that, in objective evaluations, pieces of art must often be separated from their imperfect artists. It is why Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” are still great. And that is why Mayer’s “Daughters” can still break hearts, and “Gravity” can still drop the jaws of 60,000 people in packed arenas around the world. The same point can be made with other contemporary artists, like the oft-controversial Kanye West or Woody Allen. Even though Mayer is often described, as a tepid artist in the rising waters of the pop industry, he is still exceptional. John Mayer is not just a good vocalist or passionate performer, he is, at his core, a phenomenal musician, a dying breed in pop music. Sure, there are the likes of Norah Jones and John Legend. But John Mayer is in that perfect intersection of masterful musician — in the same air as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan — pop artist
The Weeknd PRANAV MARUPUDI Hoya Staff Writer
Rising from the streets of Toronto to international stardom last year, Abel Tesfaye, better known by his stage name The Weeknd, attempts to redefine his pop image in his recent album “Starboy,” released Nov. 25. With the album, Tesfaye sets out to emphasize that the pop culture icon he has become is not the identity he desires and traces his attempts to deviate from this image. While he may succeed lyrically, he fails to do so on a musical level. The title “Starboy,” a Toronto-Jamaican slang word that suggests a playboy lifestyle, is a reference to The Weeknd’s public image. He tries to shed the image he received from his last album, 2015’s “Beauty Behind the Madness,” notably starting by shaving his hair which figured prominently on the album cover. This was the first of many calculated moves evoked through
and songwriter. He is one of the most dynamic guitar players in today’s age, being able to saunter through the Grateful Dead catalog or reinterpret a Hendrix tune with ease. He has won seven Grammys, four of which are pop-related. He has the ability to be a radio songsmith, not to mention one who does not have a team of writers and producers to back him. There is usually one other producer in addition to himself and no other writers on his tracks. So, it turns out, the ex-boyfriend of Taylor Swift may be carrying a fading torch that Jimi Hendrix, Billy Joel and Simon and Garfunkel used to champion themselves. Artists like them come in far fewer quantities these days — those who have an unrelenting passion for first-class musicianship and true songwriting. Yes, “The Search for Everything” may sound haughty, but the album might be just what contemporary pop music needs — the work of a musician who, despite his age, can save pop from itself.
the album and its presentation. Previously recognizable by hair that added a foot to his height, The Weeknd abandons the intricate styling for a short fade, as shown on the album cover. In the music video for the titular song, he smashes the awards he received for “Beauty Behind the Madness.” The most explicit example of his rejection of the fame he has attained comes in the form of the song “Reminder,” in which he recounts, “I just won a new award for a kids show/ Talking ‘bout a face numbing off a bag of blow/ I’m like god d--- b----/I am not a Teen Choice.” Despite his aversion to how he has been publically characterized and his lyrically explicit reaction to it, The Weeknd fails to deliver offer an alternative image of himself. Since 2011, The Weeknd has thematically focused on dark interpretations of party life in his songs. He continues this idea in his latest album, rapping profusely of a girl he loves but cannot accept due to her
undisclosed past. The relationship starts in “Party Monster,” an ominous track that details the dubious circumstances under which he met the girl. The nameless girl recurs throughout the album, as The Weeknd discusses aspects of her that he appreciates but also the need for her to be more emotionally available. During “Stargirl Interlude,” featured artist Lana Del Rey lyrically personifies the character, adding a dimension of reciprocity to the relationship between the mysterious woman and The Weeknd. “I Feel It Coming,” the last song on the album, signifies that the relationship is currently in a stable phase through the pleasant EDM-influenced atmosphere on the song. The flow throughout is seamless, made all the more impressive with the array of genres featured on the album. Pop music comprises more than half the album, featuring songs that greatly appeal to the general public. Standouts here include “Starboy,” “I Feel It Coming”
Launched into fame by his 2015 pop-R&B album “Beauty Behind the Madness,” Abel Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weeknd, now tries to shed the public image that has accompanied his rise and hopes to craft a distinct, innovative sound.
and “Secrets.” The Weeknd also deviates from his typical sound by infusing EDM elements throughout the album. They are especially prominent on two tracks featuring Daft Pink, as well as in the production by electronic DJs Cashmere Cat and Diplo throughout the album. Although this mixture creates uniquely textured songs and demonstrates The Weeknd’s genre-hopping creativity, the influence makes the album more mainstream. Furthermore, most of the songs in this category are boring, cookie-cutter songs that lack any artistic individuality; songs to blame especially include “True Colors” and “Ordinary Life,” which cause the cohesive album to have sections of utter boredom. However, the album is not without its strengths. Almost all of these songs have captivating features that engage the listener, whether they are the ominous beginning of the relationship in “Party Monster,” the tirade against public perception in “Reminder” or the chorus backed by rapper Future in “Six Feet Under.” This album could prove divisive for The Weeknd’s fan base, due to the various musical influences featured. Recent fans accustomed to the pop sound characteristic of “Beauty Behind the Madness” may be off put by the revival of the sound that typified “The Trilogy.” The standout songs of the album — “Sidewalks,” “Party Monster” and “I Feel It Coming” — all represent different dimensions of The Weeknd and show how much potential Tesfaye has yet to explore. While The Weeknd may not enjoy his image as a “Starboy,” his latest album has only further proved his star potential.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016
Troye Sivan Mesmerizes Audience, Oﬀers Hope JEANINE SANTUCCI Hoya Staff Writer
Australian singer-songwriter and electro-pop artist Troye Sivan took his audience on an emotional journey during his Nov. 17 performance at George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena. The penultimate stop on his “Suburbia” world tour, Sivan’s show appealed to both the sadness and hope audience members felt in the wake of the recent election. The 21-year-old’s successful music career sprang from the impressive fanbase he garnered as a YouTube sensation. Much like the demographic groups that fueled his online rise, the audience at the Fairfax, Va. show largely comprised millennials and young teens accompanied by their parents.
Because many members of the audience had been watching Sivan’s vlog-style videos since he was in his early teen years, there was a dynamic of friendship. Sivan opened the show with “WILD,” his second EP’s eponymous track and the first song on his 2015 album “Blue Neighbourhood.” The enthusiastic crowd sang along to every word, setting the tone for an energetic evening. Sivan’s sensual dance moves, his use of the entire stage and the thematic, colorful lights provided nearly as much entertainment as the song itself. Quirky, endearing and confident, Sivan’s personality shone through in his delivery of the first few songs, including “BITE,” “COOL” and “TOO GOOD.” He engaged with his fans throughout, asking them to sing choruses that they happily belted out. The relationship Sivan has with his following is a special one, and it played out in the show. YouTubers often feel a close connection with their viewers, and because many members of the audience had been watching his vlog-style videos since he was in his early teen years, there was a dynamic of friendship between performer and audience. In his 2013 video “Coming Out” on YouTube, Sivan revealed that he is gay, an identity with which fans have strongly
Despite the large arena venue, Troye Sivan’s show had an intimate atmosphere thanks to his endearing personality, the personal nature of his popular YouTube videos and the heartfelt message of unity delivered through his music and activism. resonated, showing support across social media platforms. Sivan’s concerts have thus always been somewhat of safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ community who enjoy his music. At the “Suburbia” show, the atmosphere was one of solidarity, with the arena bespeckled with rainbow flags. While introducing his song “HEAVEN,” Sivan accepted two pride flags from audience members and fashioned them into a cape for himself, prompting a roar of approval from the audience. Sivan took time to describe happenings at recent concerts, including two women getting engaged and a teenager coming out. Sivan spoke about hope in the LGBTQ community following the win of Presidentelect Donald Trump. “We definitely have our work cut out
for us, but I have complete hope and complete faith in the people like you guys who come here and just inspire me, show me so much love,” Sivan said. “HEAVEN,” written about Sivan’s experience growing up gay in a religious household, was one of the night’s emotional high points. With the arena illuminated by hundreds of swaying cell phones, he sang, “Feeling like my heart’s mistaken / So if I’m losing a piece of me, maybe I don’t want heaven.” The energy never faltered as Sivan continued with “for him.” and “EASE.” When he sang his first single from 2014, “Happy Little Pill,” which he credited for launching his music career, it was evident that he was having fun while performing. The last leg of the show included “SUBURBIA” and “THE QUIET,” followed by a
reggae rendition of “FOOLS.” “BLUE,” “DKLA” and “TALK ME DOWN” wound down the show, but Sivan was soon called back for an encore. His performance of “YOUTH,” which has seen mainstream success at No. 23 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, was Sivan’s strongest of the night and had the whole arena on its feet dancing. Sivan delivered not only a performance with his “Suburbia” tour but also a message about unity in the face of hatred. “We’re going to kick a-- for the next four years and forever,” Sivan said. He has reinforced this message through the content of his music and his videos, but nothing quite beats the in-person experience. Fans left the stadium that night satisfied, in a trail of glitter and rainbow flags.
ILLUSTRATION BY ESTHER KIM AND CLAUDIA CHEN/THE HOYA
friDAY, december 2, 2016
the water cooler
swimming & diving
GU Preps for Invitational Selection Process Questionable Mary burke
Special to The Hoya
This weekend, the Georgetown swimming and diving team travels to Bucknell for three days of competition at the Bucknell Invitational meet. Coming off Thanksgiving break, the team has shifted its focus to the upcoming meet, and Georgetown Head Coach Jack Leavitt says the team is ready for competition after weeks of training. “They have something to look forward to right away,” Leavitt said. “We have a couple more days of work, but then we are going to get up and race quickly. Everyone is really excited about the opportunity.” This is the first year that the Bucknell Invitational has been after Thanksgiving, as opposed to before the holiday. Despite the break from team training, Leavitt sees this as a huge benefit to the team. Leavitt asked his athletes to keep fresh and find the opportunities to get into a pool any way possible over the break. “It’s not always the easiest wherever they go home or go to visit family,” Leavitt said. “We trust that they did the work they needed to
when they were home. They showed up the first few days looking great, so we feel everyone did what they were supposed to do.” The Bucknell Invitational marks the midpoint of the team’s season, and Leavitt views it as an opportunity to evaluate where the team stands prior to the Big East Championship in late February. “We don’t want to treat it any differently than anything else,” Leavitt said of the invitational. “It’s sort of like a dress rehearsal for Big East. Even though no other conference teams are there, the way the meet is set up is very similar … If we want to try to win [the] Big East, we are going to try to win this meet.” The Bucknell Invitational will be the first competitive meet for Georgetown in three weeks. Leavitt believes that the break between meets has allowed his athletes to focus more on training and getting mentally prepared for the upcoming race. “All of the challenges will be our challenges. We are trying to minimize them by preparing every day and giving the athletes the confidence they need in order to compete at the levels they are ca-
pable of,” Leavitt said. “They should be able to go into the meet relaxed, have fun and race fast.” “We’re looking forward to seeing who’s going to step up and show us that they really want to be a part of a championship team this season.” The Bucknell Invitational also provides opportunities for the Hoyas’ top relay teams to gain more experience racing together and create chemistry. “This meet is the first opportunity that we are able to put together our best relays over the course of three days. We haven’t had the opportunity to do that yet since each meet only offers one or two relays that we need to split our athletes up in. This meet, we have the chance to enter our top relays in everything,” Leavitt said. Heading into the weekend, Leavitt encourages his team to keep a humble perspective. “We really try to not let the highs get too high and the lows get too low day to day, staying focused and trying to compete at the highest level we can.” The Bucknell Invitational meet begins this Friday, Dec. 2 in Lewisburg, Pa.
Last season, junior Bailey Page broke a program record in the 100-yard freestyle event in the preliminary round of the Big East championships with a time of 50.46.
he current equilibrium in college football is delicate and subject to go awry on any given game day, but this weekend — conference championship weekend — the playoff selection committee and millions of fans could be forced into a very awkward and unanticipated situation: a nonconference champion making the playoff instead of a conference champion. Given the committee’s self-imposed emphasis on conference championships, this weekend has the potential to jeopardize the legitimacy of college football’s latest mechanism to crown a champion. Out of Alabama (12-0, 8-0 SEC), Ohio State (11-1, 8-1 Big 10), Clemson (11-1, 7-1 ACC) and Washington (11-1, 8-1 Pac12) — teams set up to advance to the college football playoff — three have something in common: They are probably going to be conference champions. Awkwardly, Ohio State is idle this weekend because it lost the Big 10 East to Penn State (10-2, 8-1 Big 10) on a headto-head tiebreaker. At No. 2 in the rankings, the Buckeyes are surely safe despite what happens around them. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions or Wisconsin Badgers, one of which will be the Big 10 champion, will probably not make the playoff. To make things more complicated, the Lions and Badgers both have to climb over a Michigan Wolverine (10-2, 7-2 Big 10) team that beat them both but lost to Ohio State and Iowa (8-4, 6-3 Big 10) near the end of the season. It did not have to be this complicated this year. The selection committee created its own problem by essentially making being a conference championship a requirement to be a playoff team. Back in 2014, the Big 12 had two stellar teams that ended the season tied atop the standings. TCU and Baylor each had one conference loss, but the conference lacked a championship game. The Big 12 conference chose to declare each team a co-champion, and as a result, the Big 12 was left out of the top four and was not repre-
sented in the college football playoff. The committee specifically cited the lack of a championship game and the emphasis it places on conference championships as a deciding factor. With Ohio State essentially guaranteed a spot, two of college football’s Power Five conference champions will be excluded from the playoff.
Michael Ippolito For the sake of argument, I am going to assume that Alabama and Clemson, both of which are double-digit favorites, will take care of business on Saturday and win the conference. With Ohio State snug at No. 2 and not playing, it also seems to be safe. That leaves one playoff spot for the winner of the Pac-12, Big 10 and Michigan. Sorry, Big 12 — your best teams, Oklahoma (9-2, 8-0 Big XII) or Oklahoma State (92, 7-1 Big XXII), were just not good enough. The absolute worst scenario for the selection committee would be Colorado (10-2, 8-1 PAC 12) beating Washington and Penn State beating Wisconsin. Ranked fourth in the current standings, the Huskies have no margin for error — if they lose, they will not be selected to the playoffs. It is highly unlikely that Colorado would then make the jump from No. 8 to No. 4. It would have to jump Penn State and Wisconsin, one of which must win, and Michigan — the same Michigan that beat Colorado by 17 points earlier in the season. If this happens, the selection committee has an entirely new problem of justifying how it can rank a team that lost a head-to-head matchup ahead of the winner. You can already hear Jim Harbaugh and his army preparing for war. The Penn State situation
is eerily similar. Michigan blew Penn State out and beat them by 39 points. Even if Penn State beats Wisconsin, the committee cannot ignore that much of a thrashing just because Michigan is not playing for a conference title. Ultimately, the committee shot itself in the foot by caring about conference championships. The aim of the playoff should be to enable the four best teams in the country to compete for a national title, regardless of conference. If that is two SEC teams and a Big 10 team, for example, so be it. If Clemson and Washington lost, I would be fine with three Big 10 teams making the playoff. However, because the committee does care about conference championships, the question remains: Is a two-loss conference champion more deserving of a spot than a one-loss team that did not make the championship game? Probably not. Wisconsin lost to Ohio State in a primetime game in Madison — the Badgers could not have asked for much more and even though the game went to overtime, they still lost. Penn State, to its credit, did beat Ohio State in Happy Valley, but blocking and returning a field goal for a touchdown is more of a fluke than something that is consistently replicable. On a neutral field, I would take the Buckeyes over either team. In a strange way, then, the destiny of both Penn State and Wisconsin is out of each team’s respective control. Colorado will determine it all. Should the Buffaloes win, the Big 10 champion has an in as it will probably leapfrog Michigan and claim Washington’s current spot. Maybe none of this will matter, but that is not usually how college football works. Expect the unexpected this weekend, and embrace the anarchy. A little chaos is good every now and again.
Michael Ippolito is a senior in the College. This is the final installment of The Water Cooler.
Around the district
Injuries Halted Hot Start Redskins Season in Doubt A D
s time ran out in Hamilton, N.Y., last Saturday, 16 Georgetown seniors trotted off the football field for the last time in their careers. The team filled the bus back to Washington, D.C., bearing the pain of a crushing 38-10 loss to Colgate (5-5, 4-2 Patriot League) and a disappointing 3-8 record to mark the fourth straight losing season for Georgetown football (3-8, 0-6 Patriot League). Although this year’s campaign began with a 3-0 start, it was ultimately damaged by key injuries, a difficult schedule and an inability to finish games. Early in the season, a sense of confidence and excitement existed in a unit that was finding success in all three areas of the sport. On Sept. 24, the Hoyas survived two late scores from Columbia (3-7, 2-5 Ivy League) to scrap out a 17-14 victory and bring the team to 3-0, its best start since 1999.
The maturation of young players this season is inspiring for the future. In commemoration of Georgetown alumnus Joe Eacobacci, who was killed in the World Trade Center the morning of the Sept. 11 attacks, one player each year is honored with wearing the number 35. This year, senior quarterback and captain Tim Barnes was selected for the distinction. Barnes led the way through the first three games with 553 passing yards and seven total touchdowns. Riding momentum, Georgetown travelled to Cambridge to face a ranked Harvard (7-3, 5-2 Ivy League) team that had thumped the Hoyas 45-0 the year before. This year, however, Georgetown managed to stay competitive with the Crimson, only losing by a two-possession
margin. The 31-17 defeat was perhaps more impressive than the team’s three wins, and everyone radiated confidence in follow-up interviews.
Dean Hampers At the time, most people did not realize Barnes had already played his last down of football. On a 2-yard quarterback run in the second quarter at Harvard, he landed hard on his shoulder, sustaining an injury that would end his season. Barnes’ absence was devastating for the Hoya offense, which had to regroup around sophomore quarterback Clay Norris, who had yet to start a game prior to this season. In its next two games, the offense only produced one touchdown and converted six of 27 third downs, resulting in ugly losses to Princeton (8-2, 6-1 Ivy League) and Lehigh (9-3, 6-0 Patriot League). The defense, on the other hand, was stout and kept Georgetown in games. Several underclassmen began to shine, including freshmen defensive linemen Khristian Tate and Marquis Parris, sophomore defensive back Jethro Francois and sophomore linebacker J’V’on Butler. The Hoyas embodied the “bend but don’t break” mentality as they made several stops in the red zone. In the following week, the defense held Fordham’s (8-3, 5-1 Patriot League) Chase Edmonds, one of the best running backs in I-AA football, to zero touchdowns. That game remained tied for nearly the entire second half, until a late field goal sealed a 17-14 Fordham victory. Even as Georgetown sat at 3-4, there was hope. Harvard and Princeton were both pre-
mier Ivy League opponents, and Lehigh and Fordham were the top two teams in the Patriot League. There was little shame in losing to top-tier opponents. A frustrated Georgetown Head Coach Rob Sgarlata chose to make a change under center, replacing Norris with freshman Brock Johnson. However, the offensive stagnation only worsened. Georgetown produced just 173 total yards en route to a 17-3 loss against a Lafayette team that would finish with a 2-9, 1-5 Patriot League record. Norris returned the following week, but the team could not recover from its skid as other injuries piled on. Tate and junior running back Isaac Ellsworth became inactive against Holy Cross (47, 2-4 Patriot League), and senior linebacker Leo Loughrey was sidelined against Bucknell (4-7, 3-3 Patriot League). Even though the special teams crew made outstanding plays such as blocked punts and return touchdowns, the inconsistent offense and crippled defense could not produce another winning performance for the rest of the season. As disappointing as this year was, the team fought every step of the way. The offense embraced the challenge of rallying behind three different quarterbacks, while the defense faced some of the best offensive talents in I-AA football. Body language, which Sgarlata stresses immensely, remained positive as players sprinted off the field after extra points even when games were out of reach. While the team was admittedly outplayed on many occasions, the obstacles in injuries, strength of schedule and inexperience are noteworthy. Although it has been a difficult stretch for the program in recent years, the maturation of young players this season is inspiring for the future.
Dean Hampers is a freshman in the College.
espite defying skeptics and pleasantly surprising cautious fans, the Washington Redskins still do not seem to have offered a clear picture of their capabilities and trajectory. At 6-4-1, Washington is still very much in the playoff picture. However, with a slate of games against competitive, potential playoff teams waiting to round out the schedule, the future of the Redskins’ season still remains questionable. Regardless of the final win total, though, this season will have serious implications for Washington moving forward as a franchise. A Thanksgiving Day loss to the Dallas Cowboys was hard to stomach for a number of reasons. Losing to any Cowboys team, especially one that is the hottest in the NFL, hurts. Missed opportunities again stand out — particularly two missed field goals from Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins. Glare from the sun aside, this team cannot afford to leave any points on the table down the stretch. While the Thanksgiving game felt out of reach for the most part, the Week Eight tie against Cincinnati in London — a result of a missed Redskins field goal on the last play in overtime — could ultimately break the Redskins playoff hopes in a crowded wild card field.
Beyond this season, bigger questions loom for the Redskins. The Redskins currently hold onto the six seed, or last seed in the NFC playoffs. Behind them lurk 6-5 Tampa Bay and Minnesota, along with the Eagles at 5-6, hamstrung by a loss to the scrabbling Packers. Ahead are the Lions and Falcons at 7-4 and the Giants at 8-3. For Washington to keep pace with this
pack, it must compete with a series of essentially desperate teams — the Cardinals, Eagles and Panthers — along with one more game against the Giants.
Matt Raab While Washington holds a slight edge, the team is in a tenuous situation. At best, the team is lined up to play the Cowboys — to whom it lost twice — in the second round of the playoffs. A much more optimal four seed could be reasonably expected with 10 wins, but that is still not guaranteed. Thus, the fate of the 2016 Redskins will become much clearer in the next couple of weeks, as things tend to do after Thanksgiving in the NFL. With tough contests in Philadelphia and New York looming, and the Redskins seeking at least three wins, a win against Arizona this week would provide critical breathing room. In the case of a loss, however, Philadelphia could quickly be circled as a season defining game, requiring a win for the team to stay afloat. Beyond this season, though, bigger questions loom for the Redskins. The first, and most obvious, is what to do about Kirk Cousins. Cousins did not receive his long-term deal last season, settling with a oneyear franchise tag. His performance this season would determine his future with this team, and, by all accounts, Cousins has done all that could be asked of him — and more — this season. Cousins sits behind only Drew Brees and the supercharged Saints offense in completions, passing yards and yards-per-game and owns the sixth highest passer rating in the league
with a 101.4 rating. The dynamics of the quarterback market, however, may necessitate that Cousins receives another one-year, $24 million franchise tag, while his true value is assessed. People more versed than I in the politics of contracts indicate that Cousins does not appear likely to get a big deal this year, simply because with the franchise tag the Redskins feel no pressure. Another hurdle in resigning Cousins is the team around him. Looming free agents include wide receivers Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, critical parts of the elite receiving corps that turns Cousin’s passes into completions. Defensive end Chris Baker will also need a payday to stick around, and if the Redskins wish to preserve an offensive line that looks consistently competent, some extensions are probably in order. In short, the Redskins will have a lot of people who deserve bigger paychecks, yet not enough money to go around, which is the classic conundrum of the parity-driven, strict-on-cap-space NFL. The relatively advanced ages of players like Garcon and Jackson make these decisions even more difficult, adding to the risk of paying them. Kirk Cousins is not going anywhere. The franchise is going to do what it must to keep him in D.C., but his supporting cast remains a big question. The final weeks of the season allow the team to continue to assess younger talent and consider its options. But the puzzle of the Redskins payroll at the moment appears to have too many pieces. For now, that is a good place to be, and this team has a realistic chance to win more skeptics. But the questions are going to keep arising for the Redskins, and the answers are murky.
Matt Raab is a senior in the College. This is the final installment of Around the district.
friDAY, December 2, 2016
Kickers Left Misunderstood ANALYST, from B10
Such is the life of a field goal kicker. And even if a kicker makes an exciting, mentally and physically challenging field goal, that achievement is often met with bitterness, scoffing and an overall lack of respect from the football community. For some reason, sports fans consider a field goal kick not nearly as laudable as other forms of game-winning scoring, such as a walkoff homerun or a buzzer beater. The field goal kicker does not get a pie in the face or Gatorade dumped on the head like a baseball player would after hitting a walkoff homerun. No one has the urge to storm the field as when a basketball player hits a buzzer beater from half-court.
Kickers’ accomplishments are often met with bitterness and a lack of respect.
Sophomore goalkeeper Ariel Schechtman, top, junior defender Taylor Pak, left, and junior midfielder Rachel Corboz, right, have started 24 of 25 games together this season. Corboz was named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy.
Second-Seed Trojans Await Hoyas TROJANS, from B10
year, we’ve proven we can score goals against anybody. We have different people stepping up and scoring goals in a variety of ways. And each game it’s someone different.” Interestingly, the Hoyas are familiar with the USC team, as Paul is from Southern California and graduate student forward
Crystal Thomas played with USC standout senior midfielder Morgan Andrews when she played at Notre Dame. “I know a lot of girls just because they’re all from Southern California, so I grew up playing club against them,” Paul said. “For me, it’s more fun, because I’m playing people that I know. It’s so much more personal, on top of
it being the semifinals.” The Hoyas have vaulted from an unranked team before the season began to one of the nation’s top teams, but even after five successful seasons, Paul admitted she still gets nervous stepping onto the field. “It’s a completely different atmosphere. I still get those butterflies in my stomach, but it’s more of
an excited nervous energy. The biggest thing for me is just remembering yes, it’s the semifinals, but it’s just another soccer game with the team I’ve been playing with all season,” Paul said. “The biggest thing is to stay confident and stay true to what we’ve been doing all season. And I know that our ability will help us win out.”
When a field goal kicker wins a game for a team, the winning team celebrates minimally. In the meantime, the losing team often scoffs that the game’s outcome could almost be deceiving, given the nature of the one-man job of a field goal kicker and the way that kicking a field goal is easier than scoring a touchdown. In other words, Skip Bayless is not the only sports personality who lacks the respect for kickers that he awards other football players. More than just lacking respect, Bayless believes that kickers should not even exist in the NFL. Back in 2013, Bayless argued that the possibility of the 2013 49ers-Ravens Super Bowl outcome could ride on the cleated heels of a field goal kicker was “madness.” And though his grievances have gone largely untouched by the NFL, the league did make the ex-
tra point distance longer, subsequently increasing the number of missed and blocked extra points this season.
Sports fans fail to fully appreciate the challenge that is kicking a field goal. Maybe it is because a kick is a different way of scoring than a touchdown. Maybe it is because attitudes against field goal kickers stem from questioning the kicker’s masculinity in comparison with that of “more athletic” players. Or maybe it is because no one wants to handle the nerves that come with a game-ending kick. No matter the argument against the field goal kicker and how compelling it may be, the rest of the 2016 season will be rife with kicking issues, from missed and blocked extra points to a host of other heartbreaking finishes, whether we like it or not. In order to cope with the fact that we will all have to hold our breath between the snap and the raised or outstretched hands of the officials – at least for the rest of this season – the NFL should consider adapting the mental strength of the kickers so often disrespected. Even then, maybe it is not the field goal kicker who is lacking in strength, toughness or athleticism. Maybe it is the rest of us who cannot seem to handle the stress of a game ending kick, or reconcile with the idea that our teams’ defenses have to do more than just prevent a touchdown. Sports are funny that way — finding a way to win is not always pretty, not always conventional and not always going to be approved by everyone. The field goal kicker gracefully reminds the football world that sometimes, life is just not fair.
Amanda Christovich is a sophomore in the College. This is the final installment of The Analyst.
GU Sweeps Final Round to Capture Championship SAILING, from B10
and advance to the final. In the finals, Georgetown defeated Hobart & William Smith in two races to take its third match racing national title in the last four years. “I can’t claim any credit for it, it’s the four kids on the team,” Georgetown Head Coach Michael Callahan said. He particularly commended the leadership of senior skipper AJ Reiter. “I don’t think a lot of people gave AJ the credit he deserved,” Callahan said. Reiter was the tactician for Nevin Snow during his illustrious career at Georgetown. Reiter spent a significant amount of time training with assistant coach Janel
Zarkowsky, who still sails successfully at the professional level.
“I can’t claim any credit for it, it’s the four kids on the team.” Michael callahan Head Coach
Reiter’s impeccable execution in San Diego with the team’s limited practice and resources was truly impressive. He was,
however, not the only sailor who performed at the caliber necessary to win a national championship. All four team members sailed cohesively, showcasing the immense talent that has characterized Georgetown’s long and successful sailing history. “Everybody really complimented each other,” Callahan said. “They all brought a different skill to the table.” The team is competing in the final event of the fall season in January — the Rose Bowl Regatta. This race consists of 30 teams and will give Georgetown an opportunity to scout some of the high school talent so that they may continue to bring home hardware to the Hilltop.
COURTESY INTER-COLLEGIATE SAILING ASSOCIATION
The Georgetown sailing team came from behind to defeat Dartmouth in the semifinals to advance to the final round against Hobart and William Smith College. The Hoyas won both races in the finals, winning their third match racing national championship in four years.
Women’s Soccer Georgetown (20-2-3, 6-1-2 Big East) vs. USC (17-4-2, 8-2-1 Pac-12) Friday, 7:30 p.m. EST
friday, DECEMBER 2, 2016
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Georgetown looks to extend its winning streak to four games on the road against Delaware. See thehoya.com
If we want to try to win Big East, we are going to try to win this meet.” HEAD COACH JACK LEAVITT
The number of goals allowed by the women’s soccer team in the NCAA tournament.
The women’s soccer team will face No. 7 USC in San Jose, Calif., in its first Final Four appearance in history Friday evening. Georgetown advanced to the College Cup after graduate student forward Crystal Thomas, second from left, scored a late goal in the team’s 1-0 victory over Santa Clara last weekend.
GU Prepares for Historic First College Cup Appearance Chris Balthazard Hoya Staff Writer
Having advanced to the College Cup with a win over Santa Clara last weekend, the No. 2 Georgetown women’s soccer team will take on No. 7 USC in San Jose, Calif., Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST in its first ever trip to the Final Four. Joining the Hoyas (20-23, 6-1-2 Big East) and USC (17-4-2, 8-2-1 Pac-12) in the Final Four are No. 6 North Carolina (17-3-4, 6-2-2 ACC) and No. 1 West Virginia (22-1-2, 8-0 Big XII). Georgetown (20-2-3, 6-12 Big East), having already earned its Big East championship, flew to San Jose on Wednesday with a lot
of confidence. The Hoyas, who are the only team to beat the Mountaineers this season, are aware of the tough challenge ahead.
“If you’re serious about winning, you can go out with the mindset that it’s just another weekend.” DAVE NOLAN Head Coach
“It’s wide open,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “It really is wide open. For the first time in a few
years, there isn’t that one loaded UCLA team, or that one loaded Stanford team, where everybody deep down knows they’re playing for second. All four teams will genuinely feel, ‘This is our year. This is our year to win it. We won’t have a better opportunity.’ And that’s how we’re approaching it.” With the extra media attention, a Thursday night banquet and a police escort to the 18,000 capacity Avaya Stadium on Friday for the semifinal, Nolan knows the team faces distractions. He hopes to mitigate those with consistency, by keeping the same scouting reports and
same practices, but foresees the biggest potential distraction as people wanting to be a part of the momentous occasion. Nolan’s hope is that it will feel like just another weekend road trip for the players. “It’s the key to the whole thing,” Nolan said. “You can tackle this in two different ways: You can go out and make it all about the experience, and that’s fine. Or if you’re serious about winning, you can go out with the mindset that it’s just another weekend. … But it’s going to be hard, because there are so many new things, there are so many distractions.”
Much of Georgetown’s postseason success has been a credit to its defensive line, which has yet to concede a goal in the tournament. Graduate student defender Marina Paul has been a vocal leader all season and sees how that back line has developed over the course of the season. “Every shot, every opportunity is do or die, so we put our bodies on the line,” Paul said. “I think we’ve gotten a lot better at playing together, covering each other, knowing our certain tendencies as defenders.” Georgetown has played exciting soccer all sea-
son and has scored the second-most goals in the country with 61. Junior midfielder Rachel Corboz’s 16 assists lead the nation, and as a result, she has been named as one of 15 semifinalists for the Hermann Trophy, college soccer’s MVP award. In preparing for USC, Georgetown seems to be only growing in confidence. “They’re going to present us some problems with their athleticism,” Nolan said. “But I’d like to think that we are good enough to present them with problems too. Listen, at this stage of the See TROJANS, B9
Sailing Takes Home National Title tyler welsh
Special to The Hoya
The Georgetown sailing team took home the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Match Racing National Championship on Nov. 20. The three-day event took place in San Diego, Calif., and hosted 10 of the best collegiate sailing teams in the nation. The winning team consisted of senior A.J. Reiter, junior Meaghan MacRae, junior Roger Dorr and freshman Sean Segerblom.
Georgetown emerged 8-1 from the roundrobin process, claiming the first overall seed with its only loss to the College of Charleston. Match racing refers to the competitive structure at the regattas — only two teams face off at one time during the races. For the national championship, teams competed in a round-robin tournament. The nine and 10 seeds after the round-robin
Kickers Deserve More Respect
C Courtesy Inter-collegiate Sailing Association
Senior A.J. Reiter, left, junior Meaghan MacRae, junior Roger Dorr and freshman Sean Segerblom defeated Hobart and William Smith College to capture the national championship. process were then eliminated, and the remaining eight engaged in a tournament to crown the national champion. Georgetown emerged 8-1 from the round-robin process, claiming the first overall seed with its only loss to the College of Charleston. In the semifinals, Georgetown faced
its greatest challenge of the season. The first team to win two races would advance to the finals, and Georgetown was up against one of the most prestigious sailing teams in the country, Dartmouth. Dartmouth swiftly won the first race leaving only one victory between them
and the finals. In the second race Dartmouth sailed admirably, but Georgetown was able to pull out a win, marginally taking the second race at the finish line. In the final race, Georgetown carried its momentum from the second race to defeat Dartmouth See SAILING, B9
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onsider the field goal kicker. He stands on the sidelines for most of the game, attempting desperately to keep warm. His best friends are the water cooler and the kicking net. And when the kicker finally reaches the field, it is often to perform one of the most nerve-wracking jobs in all of professional sports. As lackluster, forgotten and sometimes small in stature as the kicker may be, coaches frequently ask him to single-handedly win a game for his team. Sometimes, the field goal in question is a rather doable distance. More often than not, however, these desperate attempts place the kick at farther than 50 yards. Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus con-
tributed two field goals against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. In other words, he alone scored the equivalent of a touchdown — without the extra point — in probably less than two minutes on the field. Despite those two field goals, many targeted McManus for narrowly missing a controversial 62-yard field goal in overtime. A 62-yarder is not an easy field goal, and even so, McManus missed it by a hairline. But his name was all over sports media coverage regarding whether Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak should have chosen to try to convert on fourth down or concede a tie instead of sending poor McManus out to fail. See ANALYST, B9