vol. 12 | issue 13 april 22 - may 5
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
"No one is gonna drink to matt kearny. this has got to be a joke." "SUA: What you've just planned is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent lineup were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone at this university is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul." LOL. If you didn't already guess, those were some of the Facebook comments in reaction to the Student Unions & Activities announcement that Mat Kearney is this year's Spring Jam headliner.
So there's this thing called "Spring Jam" happening this week. "Really? Even some random frat could get the Ying Yang Twins." "The person(s) on the board that actually thought this overall lineup was a good idea should slap themselves."
I couldn't help but LOL my way through all of them, because the joke isn't SUA—the joke is all of you who are taking the time to type out hateful and super lame comments.
Established in 2002, The Wake is a fortnightly independent magazine and registered student organization produced by and for the students of the University of Minnesota.
I know a lot of people that left these inane comments have a lot of free time too, so why not join the SUA Program Board????? I even looked up the website for you: www.sua.umn.edu/program-board/join But FOR REAL for real—if you wanted a concert worthy of the U of M, you should have come to The Wake's Bday Show at the Triple Rock. If you missed out, sorry I'm not sorry.
Alex Lauer Editor-in-Chief
Would I have picked Mat Kearney, Theophilus London, and Greg Bates for the Spring Jam lineup? Hell no. But did I take the time to vote in a survey asking who I would like to see? Yes. And am I on the SUA Program Board that plans Homecoming and Spring Jam for the rest of us? No.
©2009 The Wake Student Magazine. All rights reserved.
SO YEAH. If you haven't done one of those things, then stop complaining you whiny baby. People find it really easy to complain when the lineup is chosen, but they have absolutely NO TIME to take a 5 minute survey anytime during the rest of the year about Homecoming/Spring Jam or even type a comment on the SUA Facebook when asked about it.
Sean Quinn, Katie Schalow, Sondra Vine
Art Director Dan Forke
Voices Editor Justin Miller
Social Media Manager Tara Mrachek
Sound & Vision Editor
The Wake Student Magazine 126 Coffman Memorial Union 300 Washington Avenue SE
12:13 Business Business Manager Chee Xiong
Advertising Manager Matthew Cermak
Advisory Board James DeLong, Kevin Dunn, Courtney Lewis, Eric Price, Morgan Mae Schultz, Kay Steiger, Mark Wisser
Staff Writers Courtney Bade, Tommy Finney, Tyler Lauer, Logan Wroge
Minneapolis, MN 55455 www.wakemag.org The Wake was founded by Chris Ruen and James DeLong. The Wake is published with support from Campus Progress/Center for American Progress (online at www.campusprogress.org).
DISCLAIMER the purpose of the Wake is to provide a forum in which students can voice their opinions. opinions expressed in the magazine are not representative of the publication or university as a whole. to join the conversation email alauer@ wakemag.org.
This Issue Cover Artist
Photographers Mike Chocklan, Sean Cole, Dan Forke, Tyler Lauer, Peter Mariutto, Kelcie McKenney, Justin Sengly
What's Inside? Filmzilla p. 4 Working for the Underdog p. 6 Food at the U p. 7 The U of M Experience p. 11
Dan Forke, John Garnett, Jennifer Yelk
Hollow Boys Q&A p. 16
Arrested Development p. 19
Courtney Bade, Matthew Cermak, Grace Birnstengel, Kyle Domuz, Herbert B. Ferguson-Augustus, Tommy Finney, Sara Glesne, Kara Hakanson, Nathaniel Kitzmann, Allison Kronberg, Ethan Lauer, Tyler Lauer, Brittany Long, Peter Mariutto, Kelcie McKenney, Sean McSteen, Sarah Mevissen, Justin Miller, Cat Yanish, Shengying Zhao
Show Calendar p. 21 Record Store Day p. 22
Filmzilla: A Dinosaur Living Past its Time One of Minneapolis’ last movie stores goes against the grain By Allison Kronberg
The past decade has brought about plenty of change for the movie rental industry. With competition from Netflix, Redbox, and online streaming, it seems that movie stores may have become obsolete. However, here in Minneapolis on East Franklin Avenue, is a movie store called Filmzilla that defies the norm; it has since its opening in June of 1995 with its current owner, Chris Becker.
We would rather own one of everything than five hundred of the most popular movie ever made. Becker has quite the story to tell of how he came into the business. He was originally a horse trainer, but a few years before the idea for Filmzilla was born, his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease with no known cure. As her condition worsened, more money was needed than training could accommodate. Luckily for him, Becker’s friend, Rick, had connections with the chain Mr. Movies. Mr. Movies was working with a stock market launch and was expanding the size of several of its locations. Becker and Rick did the construction. With Rick’s help, they were
able to afford Becker’s wife’s medical needs. She died safely at home a few years after her diagnosis. Not long after, one of the remodeled locations was having trouble with the business and its owners wanted out. Rick got the idea to buy the store’s assets. According to Becker, Rick “was always looking for something that was going to make us rich.” They planned to spend six weeks and a small sum of money making an old furniture store into a video store. If everything went accordingly, six months later, Mr. Movies would buy the store from them for more than they had put into it. Becker didn’t like the idea, but agreed to help because of everything Rick had done for him. The project took them eleven months and cost four times what they had predicted. Additionally, Mr. Movies had not excused them from a franchise fee of $20,000. After everything collapsed, Rick left to roof houses in Florida in pursuit of another quick-money scheme. So, Becker took down the corporate logo and decided to give the business a shot by himself. “The guy left at the point of the spear was me, because I actually had to pull it off,” Becker said. Becker knew that the best bet for success was in catalog. He decided to purchase a large assortment of movies instead of what was most popular. At the time, this was not the way one was supposed to run a movie store. “My favorite thing was to walk into a Blockbuster and ask one of those kids in the blue knit shirt, ‘What’s good?’ And the answer would invariably be whatever was the highest grossing movie that had come out that week,” Becker joked. Becker attributes the store’s success to its huge archive of nearly 100,000 titles. “We would rather own one of everything than 500 of the most popular movies ever made,” he said. “Catalog is what we’re about.” JUSTIN SENGLY
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It’s no secret that stores like Filmzilla are harder and harder to find. According to the Minneapolis Yellow Pages, there are only 25 locally owned video stores left in the city. The same goes for locally owned bookstores and record stores. For those of us who prefer the sound of an old-fashioned record to an MP3 file, a hardcover copy of a favorite book to a kindle screen, or even a welcoming employee to help find the perfect movie over scrolling through Netflix, the thought of these stores disappearing is hard to imagine. One thing is certain: if ever anyone is in need of an uncommon movie, movie recommendations, or great conversation, Filmzilla is the place to go.
A Garage Prodigy The “Psycho” Enthusiast By Peter Mariutto
I have been invited into the workshop of Trygve Brolander, local South Minneapolis tinkerer and, more recently, a budding entrepreneur. Strewn about his shop, amongst the metal shavings and motor oil, are the fruits of his labor: car parts made custom for the inspired driver, and made to order for a well-connected community of friends. These parts tend to be less complicated as Brolander restricts them to shift knobs, brackets, and other aesthetic memorabilia, although he does extensive cleaning, refurbishing, and modification for already made parts as well.
well with the addition of car audio equipment sales and the occasional car radio installation. The personality of old analog equipment is not lost on this guy, who has plans to implement a marketable tube car stereo for the nostalgic collector. Tryg, as his friends know him, possesses a strong connection with his customer base by being present at most local car expositions and the occasional drag track. Being able to share interests inside and outside of a business context ensures that
every customer is also a friend. In addition, being local presents the best service plan, with all of his customers having the ability to contact him directly about specific problems. Off the job, Brolander frequents the many auto shows and race scenes in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and thus has become very well connected. Others just entering car culture may be surprised to learn how widespread and involved it actually is. With many up-and-coming hobbyists presenting their “road art” in motley exhibitions all over the connected Twin Cities area, these gatherings contain many friendly and supportive individuals who are open to the experience.
Many names have been attributed to the business, but the most popular to date is “psycho-customs,” the name originally given to the operation Brolander started for customized paintball guns. An actual registered name has yet to be decided. Previously, Brolander worked in his machine shop to service audio equipment such as tuners and power amplifiers, antique furniture, as well as paintball guns, which all reflect his developing hobbies. These interests have carried over into his current work as
Minneapolis’ Flea Market Flip Out
Ban on flea markets lifted By Brittany Long
Summer is coming and that means Minneapolis residents get to defrost. Every year, Twin Cities residents flock to lakes, public swimming pools, natural parks, and music festivals, but there’s one place they haven’t been able to go in the summer for more than 60 years: the flea market. Minneapolis residents might have been unaware of the quirky former law that forbade them, but it’s true. Minneapolis, for the last several decades, has banned the sale of vintage and used items outdoors: forcing sellers to move to indoor locations. This regulation gained attention in the past couple years with renewed attention to used, vintage, and restored furnishings and clothing.
A popular TV show called “Flea Market Flip” features contestants running down the aisles of flea markets, buying items for cheap, redesigning or fixing them up, and “flipping” them for a large sum of money. The growing use of the social networking site Pinterest has also boosted interest in flea markets by giving users DIY and redesigning tips, like how to remake a coffee table into an ottoman, or how to turn an ancient scuffed-up dresser into a more modern and chic equivalent. You might wonder what difference will be made by encouraging the spread of flea markets. According to Council member and mayoral candidate Gary Schiff, “They encourage the re-use of items. They provide space for people who are collectors of vintage, antique, and other reused items, and they help really create part of that sustainable local economy that we need.” Allowing flea markets to set up shop on Minneapolis property could boost local economy. Every year, The National Flea Market Association reports more than $30 billion in sales nationwide.
This communal way of thinking is what keeps Brolander hacking away in his office, the homemade machine shop he’s set up in his garage. He is equipped to handle the most creative of situations, provided someone can find the resources to make it a reality. His art is his business and he has found a way to both enhance the automotive community with a unique take on modification and turn his hobby into something he can make money on—a premise we would all love to have.
If you’re into DIY or re-used items, then you may want to know about some current events in the area. Since the law has been in effect for the past 60 years, there really aren’t any full-blown flea markets around, although expect to see them cropping up quickly. One event that found a loophole in the law is the “Really Really Free Market” which is located in Powderhorn Park. It meets every second (sometimes third) Sunday. Since, technically, there is no selling of items, this event has been allowed to continue for several years. The Free Market’s website sums itself up as: It’s like a swap meet, a potluck, and a block party all rolled into one! Bring stuff you want to share, take whatever you need. Everyone has old stuff lying around, taking up space and never getting used. Why not share it with someone? Flea Markets are bound to be cropping up in Minneapolis this summer. Be sure to get out in the sun and haggle to your heart’s content.
Offers an Outlet for Social Change Unique educational opportunities for students off campus By Sean McSteen
College. In response to the urban crises of its beginning days, the program was first known as the Crisis Colony. It started at Augsburg College by taking students off campus and placing them in the heart of a particular community in order to encourage immersive learning. HECUA quickly expanded to reach other state colleges and universities by creating a collective organization for urban studies. What makes the nonprofit organization so powerful is that, since its point of origin, HECUA’s mission and goals have not changed.
Using intense educational programs comprised of a selected, small group of students, HECAttending any university for an extended UA’s goal is to create a personalized educationperiod of time, it is easy to fall into a patal experience around the subject of creating tern of consistency, never straying from the social change within a community. Currently 15-credit path to graduation. Yet, as universi- HECUA offers domestic courses on writing for ties and students alike lay emphasis on offsocial change, creating environmental changes campus learning experiences, many programs within communities, and creating social have been created that thrive on the initiative change through the use of different forms of and educational drive of students who seek a media, just to name a few. Students who have broader spectrum of education. taken HECUA courses in the past have expeHere in the Twin Cities, there are many rienced an unconventional format through its such programs created to educate students courses: working one day in the classroom and with courses designed to provide real world another in the field, collaborating and speaking experience by educating through participawith working professionals. tion within one’s own community. One of the most popular nonprofit educational organiHECUA courses are designed individually to zations within the Twin Cities metro area is build a connection between students and the the Higher Education Consortium for Urban world around them. Educating with a mixture Affairs, HECUA of classroom for short. discussions (not HECUA’s origins date back to the late ‘60s, when racial tensions following Martin Luther King Jr.’s death were manifested in riots and fires in North Minneapolis. HECUA was created by Ewald “Joe” Bash, who was National Youth Director of the American Lutheran Church, and Joel Torstenson, a sociology professor at Augsburg
april 22 - may 5
lectures) and real projects created in partnership with one or more communities is key to the program’s ethic. With some courses offering up to eight transferable credits, the learning experiences HECUA offers won’t necessarily stop one’s academic plan, only take it on a unique educational detour.
Working for the underdog By Kara Hakanson
“You read The Wake?” said a voice from behind, dripping with disgust. The Wake got me out of my apartment and into the hidden gems of Minneapolis. I met local bands and artists, Prez Kaler, and heard some of the best slam poets in the area thanks to the creative articles The Wake puts out.
It was a regular Wednesday in Murphy Hall. A new issue of The Wake had just come out, so after class I headed over to the racks to The Wake lets you get the experipick up a fresh copy. ence you need to strengthen your journalism skills without making I was flipping through it when… you feel like a loser because you haven’t done much (or any) pro“You read The Wake?” said a fessional writing before college. It voice from behind me, dripping wants to give you the experience with disgust. you need to get those “bigger and better” journalism jobs. “Yeah. I actually work for The I don’t know what it is—maybe it’s Wake,” I replied with as much because The Wake isn’t like a typicontempt as I could muster (I cal, boring newspaper—but people really can’t be mean, so it was don’t always take it seriously. tough. It’s something I know I need to work on). But it tackles big issues like Monsanto and the U.S. leaving It’s moments like this that make Afghanistan and still has time to tell me even more proud to be work- you which cafés have the best cining for the underdog publication namon rolls. The Wake does it all. and not the big name on campus. See, last year I was denied the internship that I thought would be the kick start to my career and would help me accomplish all of my wildest journalism dreams. I worried how else I would get that experience. I thought that newspaper was the only option.
Don’t think The Wake is the only underdog either! For me, The Wake was the type of journalism I wanted to do. There are other publications on campus that may catch your eye like the Wake eye caught mine.
Check out the listings online (http://sua.umn.edu/groups/) and you’ll find the other publiFall of sophomore year I rediscov- cations out there that could be ered The Wake and emailed the the perfect fit for your writing editor-in-chief to tell him a little needs, wants, and desires. about myself and that I was interested in working for the magazine. Best. Decision. Of. My. Life. Oh, how wrong I was.
Craving › Progress ›› Campus food, The Food Coalition, and Fresh Market Madison By Grace Birnstengel
College food is notoriously underwhelming, overpriced, and filled with more calories than taste, but the University of Minnesota takes this to another level. Our main source of healthy goods on campus is prepackaged carrots and celery from a Java City Café; a full-service and high-quality grocery store cannot be seen for more than two miles from campus; and the most appealing and promising food item in a UDS dining hall is often a bowl of Corn Flakes. I could sit here and type angrily about crappy college food all day, but thankfully a group of students took it upon themselves to actually do something about this issue. Senior Global Studies major Phillip Kelly gained statewide attention by forming a group of students called The Food Coalition in an effort to create a student-run grocery store in Dinkytown. …and it’s much overdue. Here’s why:
At the end of a long day, all I want is a nice home cooked meal courtesy of my loving mother. I cannot bear the thought of eating another meal at the dining hall, so I contemplate my other options: 1. Dedicate the rest of the evening to a trip to the grocery store (waiting for buses, hauling groceries around, etc.) or, 2. Purchase a meal elsewhere. I choose the latter. I eat a Five Guys and regret it immediately after. In conclusion, I give my campus eating adventure one out of five stars. These three “meals” leave me feeling yucky and dissatisfied at both the taste bud and stomach level. But what if this were different? Imagine a world where you could count on finding fresh, locally grown produce and organic choices on campus. Three years of engaging in student leadership opportunities gave Kelly the resources to begin this process for the benefit of us all. In late February, Kelly started holding meetings for any and everyone interested in increasing grocery access at the U. His first promotional flier read, “We’re gonna create a student grocery store or something so come to our first student coalition meeting!” The Food Coalition then began to meet on a weekly basis—tossing around ideas and solidifying main priorities. Soon enough, they had their potential location: the Donhowe building on the corner of University Avenue and 15th Avenue Southeast.
A typical day eating at the U of M starts with just enough time to catch a quick breakfast from the dining hall. The options are slim, but I end up slopping cold and soggy pancakes on my plate and grabbing a fruit smoothie for good measure. Before I sit down to eat, the smoothie separates into layers of juice and seeds, with weird foam on top. Other options range from bacon to hot cereal (questionable mush) and what looks like a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin. Overall, breakfast is a greasy way to clog your brain and arteries before class. Lunch is a difficult feat to accomplish as a college student, but I manage to swing by Walter Library’s Wise Owl Café between classes. The menu consists of coffee drinks only— but the display case features donuts and pastries, among other sugary, over-processed goods. I resort to one of their prepackaged salads. Six dollars for a bit of spinach and some croutons? I wish I had time to protest. I accommodate this choice with a cup of “fresh fruit,” aka a couple of grapes on top of four chunks of almost-white cantaloupe. I later notice this fruit medley expired yesterday. Oh well, time for class!
Everything seemed to be moving along perfectly for the grocery store, until the meeting on April 10 rolled around. Kelly entered the room in his usual laidback manner and made a big announcement: someone is building a grocery store on the former U-Tech lot in Dinkytown. That someone is Jeff Maurer, a Minneapolis-bred grocer who opened Fresh Madison Market in 2010 on the UW-Madison campus. Maurer is interested in expanding his stores to other Big Ten communities. Fresh Madison Market offers a wide variety of products including a bakery, deli, seafood, produce, and general grocery. Maurer, like members of The Food Coalition, stresses and believes in heavy community involvement, access to locally grown foods, and environmentally sustainable food choices. So what does this mean for The Food Coalition? Simply put, the ideas fostered within the minds of these 20-25 members will be put to use collaborating with Maurer to ensure a positive grocery experience for University students. Kelly and the rest plan to meet with Maurer to exchange ideas and to build on the foundation that The Food Coalition created. “It will be worth coming to him [Maurer] with some bullet points, encouraging him to do certain things and telling him what we want,” Kelly told the group. While some members are disappointed that the new Dinkytown store will not be entirely student owned and run, most are excited to see a small business taking the initiative on a much needed matter. Coalition-ers have hope in their hearts and progress on their minds. The tentative move-in date for Maurer’s new store is fall 2014, so get excited. As for me, I’m looking forward to the day when I can give a campus eating experience five stars.
VANITY AFFAIR The Interview Epiphany: Just be yourself By Tommy Finney
I’ll be honest, I am a very insecure person. Presenting in front of others in any shape or form has always intimidated me and probably always will. Applying for jobs is scary enough, but when you are actually called in for an interview the stress hits like a ton of bricks. Throughout this past year I have applied and interviewed for about 20 different positions. In the beginning, most were on-campus interviews at the STSS building, during which I formed very boring habitual interviewing skills. After being rejected from every position, I finally realized interviewers are looking for personality and a human connection. That being said, my personality is pretty similar to that of a stripper or low-end prostitute. Unfortunately, corporate jobs do not want to hire on someone who may or may not have a side job at Déjà vu. So over time, I found a formula that seemed to impress prospective employers as well as provide the professional demeanor they were looking for. Although it took almost five months to figure this out, I finally found a sense of confidence that allows me to be myself in interviews while also impressing the interviewer. My best advice to anyone who is applying for a job or internship is to just be you. This is probably the most typical and boring advice I could give, but it really is the truth. Prospective employers want someone who will be able to relate and interact with the customer, not someone who appears to have little to no social skills. That is, of course, dependent on what type of position you are applying for. Looking into the future, it’s useful to think about where you want to be in five years. A lot of interviewers will ask this question and it’s something that took me off guard at first. It’s a harder question to answer than I thought. I mean, where do I see myself in five years? Not just location-wise, but mentally and personally. I don’t even know what I am doing a week from now; how the hell can I plan for five years? In reality, they don’t want to know specifics, but more about your aspirations and goals. Saying something like, “Well… probably with a job and a house,” is not a great answer. The more specific you can be, the better. Where do you want to live? What kind of job do you want? Family? Friends? Meth? Try to think about what you are actually looking for from the job before going into the interview, because if you are unsure—trust me, they will know!
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The P.C. is Killing Me Does political correctness miss the point? By Cat Yanish
The Associated Press recently stopped using the term “illegal” in its reports because of issues involving undocumented people in the United States. At the same time, AP shifted to person-first language, meaning it is more appropriate to say “a person with mental illness” than “a mentally ill person.” It is clear that language changes showing more respect toward previously degraded groups should be a good thing. It also seems sensible that retailers like Victoria’s Secret and Urban Outfitters should avoid capitalizing on traditional Japanese, Native American, and other ethnic clothing by using white models with taglines such as “Exotic!” or, God forbid, “Thanksgiving!”
“By focusing so much on the words, political correctness obscures the issues truly at hand.” With examples of offensive actions both big and small hitting the news every day, it is clear the language we use has become loaded. In an attempt to lessen the touchiness of issues regarding power and discrimination, we have been changing the rules on what we should say and to whom we should say it about as fast as they can be written down. The problem now is that this web of linguistic laws we have woven has become awfully tangled, and somehow, in spite of all these rules, today’s language doesn’t seem any less offensive than it was before. In many ways, political correctness can be as divisive as the issues being ever more carefully discussed. Whistleblowers in the
media and on the Internet use gaffes and bad jokes as opportunities to throw political adversaries under the bus. Any off-hand statement can be fuel for media uproar. This watch dogging has also found its way to classrooms, where students in sociology, LGBT, Asian American studies, and African American studies classes may find that they don’t know how to appropriately address each other, or that the words with the PC blessing are too limiting to be helpful. In this way political correctness creates a culture of watching what you say and limits free dialogue due to the fear of choosing the wrong words. When politically powerful groups force the adoption of their phrases, they alienate those who disagree, or those who aren’t up to date on the news. Groups pushing political correctness can also spend so much time deciding what to call a population that the new label ends up generalizing more than ever. By focusing excessively on the words, political correctness obscures the issues truly at hand. While outrage over injustice has led to great change through civil rights and women’s rights movement, outrage over semantics seems more likely to lead to a never-ending argument leaving both sides offended. Language is complicated, and well-meaning changes can turn out to have unintended effects, including confusion and offense. Although increasing respect towards all people is definitely a worthwhile goal, it takes open-mindedness, not rigidity, to actually improve communication.
Dead Formats: Do we ignore quality for the appeal of convenience? By Peter Mariutto
What if you could have your turntable, your slide projector, and your DVD player all in one very convenient but extremely heavy package? You might point to your Smartphone or some related device and go on and on about its convenient superiority. However, there is something we have all forgotten about in recent years: a little thing called hi-fidelity. Fortunately, there have been a couple of past formats that really hit home with quality media: the LP turntable, being the most common; as well as the Magnavision Laserdisc player, which possessed the capacity for uncompressed surround sound audio and a picture clearer than anything before it. However, with all of their advantages, these media players were quickly overlooked in pursuit of more convenient formats. Ultimately the vinyl LP declined because of the increase in demand for a more mobile system. The Sony Walkman, a device favoring the much smaller and lighter cassette tape,
The Wake Presents:
Masculinity and its societal effects By Shengying Zhao
When asking men about what masculinity is, most would think about it in good sense: it is equated with dominance, because people think men with masculinity are more popular and have more social power. It is having an advantage over others in terms of knowledge and physical strength; it is a kind of sexual discrimination. So, why do we need to look into masculinity? Because there are few who actually notice that masculinity can be a problem for all and it is only made worse when ignored by society. For example,
greeted this demand. Consumers were no longer interested in the sound quality if it meant they could take it with them. In addition, the Laserdisc met its demise due to the VCR, which had already been on the market for two years. These other formats were not only cheaper to own, but cheaper to produce. They also contained components far more sympathetic to our disposable culture.
its gentle whir of the disc that helped to calm its viewers, the familiar push buttons such as that of a cassette player, and a wireless remote roughly the size of a roll of toilet paper. Although they have not been given their deserved attention in the 21st century universe, hi-fi formats such as these may continue to surface with support of the populace, and will forever hold a place in our hearts.
Regardless, these “dead formats” still carry a personality that is both amazing and confusing. Regardless, these “dead formats” still carry a personality that is both amazing and confusing. They pose the question as to why more of our generation hadn’t caught on to the entrancing qualities machines built to last far more into the future from which they appeared to have come, and why humans continue to seek out sub-par formats like .mp3s in the interest of convenience. Records can still be found, however, and have enjoyed a recent revival in men some circles. There is also who certain nostalgia to the have a unpopular Magtendency to navision, express themselves are with not accepted by the society, because according to this general social acceptance, masculine men are not supposed to be emotional. However, masculinity’s inherent influence seems to be dwindling in some ways. Nowadays, college-aged men who grew up surrounded in rapid social movements addressing gender roles, as well as the GLBTQIA movement, have shifted away from a masculinity-obsessed mindset. These changes have created new life experiences and identities for whole generations of both women and men. Consequently, many young men of all races have embraced this new notion of sexual equality and are experimenting with new ways of being in better relationships with women, as friends, lovers, and colleagues.
Not surprisingly though, some men have reacted poorly to these social movements. The proliferation of hegemonic masculinity in the mass media contributes to this male backlash. Hegemonic masculinity demands a hierarchical view of gender in which masculinity is associated with economic and social power. Within this logic, the “badass” masculinity
portrayed in movies and advertising is easily digested into the hegemonic ideal. This can sometimes lead to physical abuse or domestic violence toward women.
Men should learn to avoid being patriarchal while being able to challenge or diverge from social norms of masculinity, accepting differences and treating themselves and others with respect. Besides media’s effects, the politics also have an impact on masculinity. It is easy to notice that in every four years the U.S. presidential candidates show a criticizing tone to both their domestic political opponents and foreign adversaries. Political masculinity means to take a more aggressive and offensive posture: favor war, conflict, and adventure. Consequently, politicians tend to portray themselves as unwavering—never looking for an excuse, and never backing down. These previous examples show there is an urgent need for proper guidance for men in terms of how to be a man. I hope this short piece makes you reflect on yourself and encourages you to look at masculinity in a new way. Not as a fixed natural style, but rather as a projection or mask men often wear to hide their vulnerability. Men should learn to avoid being patriarchal while being able to challenge or diverge from social norms of masculinity, accepting differences and treating themselves and others with respect.
Math Sucks to Begin With, But…
On Eye Contact Aversion
By Kyle Domuz
By Justin Miller
For those of you lucky enough to be unaware, let me speak a few words about our beloved School of Mathematics. “Beloved” being a euphemism for something certainly not beloved, and “school” being a technical term to fool the populace into a false sense of security.
Oh, hey. Yeah, I see you standing 50 feet away on your street corner in your pink or green vest. Thanks, now my mind is spinning with a number of quick and possibly witty retorts to your impending, “Hey dude, how’s it going? Ya got a minute?”
Simply put, the setup of the School of Mathematics is akin to that of a Malibu medicine shop: everything is overpriced, you have to pull out the sniffing cotton from the medicine bottle just to get to what you actually paid for, and naturally, this being Malibu, the store has no website. Those things all taking place before the actual class begins as well. Other than the overt waste of cash, the fact remains that the School of Mathematics does not have a website.
Sure, I got a minute. In fact I have more than a minute. But I’d rather not spend those minutes listening to your uninspired, guilt-tripped pitch about how I can contribute for just dollars a month in an effort to end poverty in Africa or keep our water clean. Now by no means am I for poverty in Africa or ignoring the need to protect our water sources. It’s just more that I’m against your motivations for pretending to want to end poverty in Africa. I’d be more than glad to throw some money your way if it weren’t for the predatory way you lurk about your street corners, sulking around only as a way to earn your $12 an hour with the extra commission for each pledge you get.
Can’t make it to a lecture? Rest assured there is no resource to tell you what you have missed. Miss a discussion section and would like to see class notes on it, or even just answers to the questions? Better hope you have a friend in the class. Need to shoot a question over to your TA through email? Rest assured that if you do happen to get a response at all, it will most likely be a week after you need it. Love repeating verbatim what is written to you, and then typing it up weekly into a lab report? Love doing one weekly assignment for seven hours and then having at most 40 percent of those problems graded? Then boy, oh boy is the UMN School of Mathematics for you.
When you stop me with the line, “Yo man, you already know what I’m going to say so let’s make this fast,” it’s clear where you stand. That is the exactly the opposite thing I’d like to hear from someone who’s supposed to be representing a worthy cause. So, no thanks—I’m just gonna time my walking pace so I can get that green light across the street while avoiding any resemblance of eye contact with you.
Power and where power comes from
Reify THIS! Why I’m glad I didn’t major in Cultural Studies
By Herbert B. Ferguson-Augustus
By Sara Glesne
I hate democracy because it’s a game of numbers and it’s a game that has become boring as fuck. However, the U, like seemingly all of Western civilization, indulges in “democracy” as a kind of political fetish. That fetish for us is MSA.
In every young liberal arts student’s formative years there comes the temptation to major in something that could never single-handedly help them find a job. In many a cultural studies classroom the gratifying echoes of voices agreeing on Lacanian theory, the differentiation between id and ego, and how Freudian-ly fucked up we all are act as a foot massage to the egotistical fetishist inside us all. I think I learned the word “esoteric” from a cultural studies class I took here at the U, and it proved to be a solid descriptor for the course itself. I’ll concede that pop culture is rife with references to philosophers, linguists, and scholars covered in cultural studies courses, but this sort of intellectualism is still so highly privileged and inaccessible to so many that dedicating an entire college career (along with the tuition) to it seems almost arrogant. The bone I have to pick with these classes is the general homogeneity of opinion I’ve encountered in them. There’s no challenge in having a discussion with a room full of likeminded individuals. Defending your opinion in a room mixed with advertising and public relations majors: now that poses a worthy ethical dilemma for most non-Carlson students. As a relatively young field (it was only formally founded in 1964), cultural studies has come a long way. But until the theory behind it becomes more practicable, I’ll leave it as a side dish, not the main entrée for my education. Check, please.
With a voting body of less than 15 percent, the legitimacy of the Edwards and Schmitts presidency is rather laughable. People forget that their vote does not simply decide power—it gives power. After all, Democracy is an investment—sometimes a stupid investment, but an investment nonetheless. You get out of it what you put into it. MSA could be the voice of the student body if 70 percent of that body actually participated in the election and could claim to represent the interests of constituency of undergraduates, whose combined tuition payments amount to more than $287 million a year. Now, I am not the administration, but I would like to think they might try to deter that $287 million from transferring schools. In that threat there is power. A political body that represents a constituency of that size cannot be ignored. The U’s budget cannot afford such a loss or even one a quarter of that size. Thus incentivizing continual patronage is the administration’s best interest. Appeasing an organization such as this is easy enough. I hate democracy because of how it works, because its success depends on people actually caring and taking an interest. Just like most of Western civilization today, people do not care, so democracy fails.
Go to wakemag.org/BLOGS to read A LOT more Wake Rants. Let us know if you have something you want to rant about too—we’d love to post it.
april 22 - may 5
Did you know that there are over 50,000 students enrolled at the U of M Twin Cities? Despite this vast and diverse group, everyone—the rest of the media, your extended family, your old neighbors down the street, maybe even you—seems to have a singular view of the college experience. Maybe you’re in Carlson, maybe you’re working towards med school, maybe you’re in the individualized degree program—whatever the case, a lot of people
get stuck within the walls of their own school. We sent Kelcie McKenney, one of our best new writers, to interview four different students from four different schools within the U of M Twin Cities. She sat down with them to talk about what the hell they do all day. A future dancer, civil engineer, non-profit starter, and veterinarian—how different could their lives really be? CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >>>
Feature Jon Melgaard
Carlson School of Management Major: Nonprofit Management & Entrepreneurial Management Year: Sophomore with Junior status Age: 19 The rustle of khakis and the soft squeak of Sperrys fill the broad halls of Carlson, located on the West Bank. As the furthest west corner of campus, Carlson School of Management creates a small world of its own, one that involves nearly as many suits and ties as your high school prom. “There are less sweats in Carlson,” Jon Melgaard said as we walked across the skyway connecting Carlson and Hanson Hall, which would make sense considering one would never be able to show up at a professional job in a cotton-based ensemble. And this is exactly what Carlson is doing, preparing students to work in professional businesses, which includes teaching them how to dress. The biggest thing that stands out about being in Carlson is the end goal: working for a business. “There is always a corporate presence at Carlson. If you’re interested, it’s a great opportunity,” Melgaard said. Even Target’s giant bull’s-eye is perched in the corner of Hanson looming down at you. Almost every room in that building is sponsored—Best Buy Learning Lab, International Dairy Queen Classroom, and SUPERVALU Classroom are just some examples. While Jon
“The stereotype of Carlson students is one that everyone endures, whether that person personifies that embodiment is up for debate. I’d like to think that I defy that generalization.” is more interested in working for a non-profit company and helping out the world around him, he’s still found plenty of opportunities. Along with the business aspect, Carlson classes are designed to teach students how to work hard and as a team. With a group paper to look forward to after our interview, Jon sighed over the ominous “Carlson Curve,” a college wide grading system which either helps you out or screws you over. Every class has a group work aspect. Amidst the lecture halls filled with rows of seats, Hanson and Carlson also have many “break down” rooms that never seem to be empty. While group work can be intimidating, Melgaard explained that he felt a sense of community in Carlson. Sophomore year everyone participates in a class called I-Core, short for Immersion Core, which is four different classes with the same people, resulting in a firm foundation of familiarity in the school and a fair number of recognizable faces. While Carlson’s classes are a big commitment, Jon finds time to live it up at the U. He’s spent the past two years on the Gopher diving team, is extremely interested in local theater, and loves participating in the occasional late friday night—but he tends to spend much of his time thinking towards his future. He laughed, “Well, I guess my life is all a resume.”
"I think that CSE provides basic needs for students in my program in an academic sense, but ultimately I don't feel connected to it as a school. Their job is to create engineers, and that is what CSE is good at." laptop and one projector that “sometimes works,” according to Erin.
College of Science and Engineering
After confronting the fact that nearly the entire building is underground, the second thing noticed is the number of females, or the lack thereof. In one of her classes, Erin is only one of three girls out of 27 people. “You notice, but you get used to it, and you get to know everyone,” Erin said. The odds are definitely in your favor, ladies. Everyone did seem to know each other and, as Erin warned, if you walk in alone CSE students can literally smell your fear—strangers are all too obvious.
As Erin walked confidently through the dark halls, she tried to explain her major a bit more by noting the four separate paths students can take: structures, transportation, water resources, or environmental. The programs are a little confusing, but Erin joked The Civil Engineering Building, or what Erin Kayser calls her that everyone says “you can either be a structures or a “seven story tunnel home,” is the heart of CSE’s Civil Engineerstructures,” due to the redundant set up of classes that ing program. With few windows and an even smaller chance may not pertain to the major. of cell service, this underground world is where Kayser spends a lot of her time. All five of her classes are in one of Erin’s focus is matched with environmental studies, her two rooms—two very big rooms. Most of CSE lecture love of nature clearly shining through. Between very classes have about 200 to 300 students, a class filled long lab write ups (15-30 pages) and hours of homework, with less than 100 is considered small, and there is one Erin tends to find herself a little busy. “There is never a time Major: Civil Engineering with a minor in Sustainability Year: Junior with 3 semesters left Age: 20
april 22 - may 5
where I say everything is done,” Erin said about her own homework schedule. Even the tests sound excruciating, and with an average around 65% it isn’t hard to imagine that getting through CSE would be a challenge. CSE isn’t impossible to pass though. If you do your homework, show up to class, and get at least an average on the exams you’ll be fine, at least that’s how things have been going for Erin. Between the math problems (“My whole life is math, every class I am in is an equation.”) and the underground labs, Erin and other CSE students are just working towards the light at the end of the tunnel—graduation. Erin said, “I think CSE, unfortunately, is a means to an end, and right now we just need to get to the end.”
Feature Nellie Mattson
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
College of Liberal Arts
Major: Animal Science with Pre-Vet emphasis Year: Sophomore Age: 19
“Compared to other programs at the U, it’s very intimate and you have a personal relationship with your professors. You’ll have conversations about your life and career, and you carry that relationship out your entire four years here and well after that.”
“A lot of people think CFANS is a farm-based, chicken-chasing group of rednecks, but I think it is a group of diverse people with common interests in a small community. Just because I hang out with animals all day doesn’t mean I don’t love the city, too.” The St. Paul campus is one of those odd places where one minute you’re walking by hipsters in the design school and the next you’re trudging through mud with the sound of sheep bleating in the background. Welcome to CFANS.
who apply, only 99 make it in. “It’s like med school, but worse,” Mattson said.
To help with the stress and pressure of her classes, Nellie writes and plays a lot of music in her free time. “I actually started playing on As a Pre Vet major, Nellie Mattson tends to accident,” she said as she strummed quietly on socialize a lot with our four-legged friends. her guitar. Her parents bought Nellie her first With a mixture of lecture-based science guitar as a gift after hearing her sing. It started courses and hands on involvement with real out as something small, but “once things animals, the Pre Vet program is a fuzzy one. started happening in my life, I had inspira“There’s a lot of cow stuff here,” Mattson said, tion,” Nellie said. While she doesn’t play at big “everything is about cows.” That may be an events, performances at her church, camps, understatement. During sophomore year, Pre and at the senior home she works for have had Vets get their own baby calf to take care of by a huge impact on her life. Between the stresses grooming, bathing, tagging, and even show- of Pre Vet school, music has been solace. ing them at the end of the semester. Along with bonding with our fuzzy friends The baby cows looked as cute as they sound- and playing music on the side, Nellie was also ed, like a group of little puppies just dying for involved with the Pre Vet Club, one of many your affection. Every time we moved they clubs in CFANS designed to give students would chase after us. Affectionately named more opportunities. “We talked about what the “beef barns,” the St. Paul campus is home it was like to be a vet, but mostly I ended up to these and more crazy animals that Nellie meeting people,” Nellie mentioned. But the considers a second group of best friends. memory that stands out most to her was the black and white calf, Perry, she got to show While this may sound like fun and games, her freshman year. Nellie reminisced, “Perry’s the Pre Vet program is a lot more than the reason I want to be a vet. It must have playing with baby animals. It is extremely been all the nuzzling.” competitive—of approximately 2,000 people
Major: BFA in Dance and a BS in Human Resource Development Year: Sophomore Age: 19 The Barbara Barker Center for Dance has tall ceilings, open white walls, and the best natural lighting a building could wish for. It’s a calming place for the Dance majors who hang out in its lobby and practice spaces chatting about their upcoming pieces and long hours ahead of them. It also paints a stage that meshes flawlessly with the fluid movements of Alex Pham as he dances around the room. As a Dance major, Alex tends to spend a lot of his time in the Barker, located on the far end of West Bank. With classes and rehearsals, he spends approximately 8 hours a day dancing, which really adds up. “As Dance majors we’re always performing and dancing, in the program and outside of it,” Pham said. The classes Alex takes are mostly technique courses—that involve actually dancing—with a few that are lecture based. In the only traditional classroom, the chairs are arranged in a circle since everyone is expected to participate and keep up with the discussions. While these classes are necessary, the real magic happens in front of mirrors and ballet bars. Alex is particularly interested in modern dance. “It’s learning through the body,” he said, and watching him dance showed he has certainly learned a lot. He turned into an effortless twist of motion. His body seemed to fly across the floor, arching and turning like feather in the wind, as cliche as it sounds, it’s true.
There are many events throughout the year where students can show the results of all this practicing. The one that stands out the most is the Student Dance Concert, which is completely put together by students in the Dance program. Not only do they hold auditions, choreograph the pieces, and dance in them; they also handle the funding, planning, managing, and all other aspects of the performance. It gives dancers the ability to get a feel for the real, professional aspects of the business Pham explained as he stretched on the floor. He was working on a piece for the show, which was last weekend. As a male in the Dance program at the U, Alex is definitely a minority. Between the faculty and the students, there are far more females than males. Even so, the U of M has more males than most other schools, a fact regional competition judges always point out. When asked about his experience, he said, “As a male dancer, you definitely are part of the minority in a female-dominated profession, but you get noticed more and have many more opportunities, not only in the profession but as an artist challenging the perception of men in dance.”
Sound & Vision
Don’t Call It A
A talk with Ryan Wurst about his label: Always Human Tapes By Tyler Lauer On April 9 I met with Ryan Wurst, a grad student studying art at the U of M, who got his undergrad in music. He’s starting a music label. Some might say, “Who cares?” Well, it’s a tape label. As in: he makes music, finds other people who make music, and puts the music on cassette tapes. Here’s my interview with him. The Wake: What made you want to start this Always Human Tapes label? Why can’t you just put your music online like everyone else? Ryan: I’m very into the idea of a musical object, something that you can actually own that becomes more than just the music on there. So much of the music that we’re listening to we can download at any point, and I stopped paying for music a long time ago... I just don’t pay for it. It seems useless to pay for something that you don’t get any actual product. W: So doing tapes—it’s kinda born out of necessity? You don’t have money so—tapes! But you’ve obviously thought about the fact that it’s a dead technology. Who’s got a tape player, unless it’s in your car...
history with cassettes and stealing music that I’m really interested in... Like, when people started making mixtapes. I remember I was in seventh grade recording Green Day and being really happy about it like, “YES! I RECORDED GREEN DAY!” It was just this liberating moment, being able to own the music. W: So why the name choice? Why Always Human? R: Well I’m very much in this world of computers. I write a lot of code. I live in a computer. W: Because that’s how you make your music.
R: Yeah, then it’s done. So we can make this [cassette tape] an actual art object versus making a .jpeg of your album art and then people are like, “That’s neat,” and then they just forget about it when it goes onto iTunes unless they have that shitty iTunes viewer up... So with cassettes, it just becomes a different kind of music listening experience... I still think there’s something to be said about having the object. W: Kind of like people who buy LPs just because they like having it. R: Yeah. But I’m also super against the fetishizing of these objects as well, because there are people who go on forums and are like, “TAPE SOUNDS THE BEST!” But it’s like, nah, it’s just a different kind of sound. So being able to release in different forms and different sounds... It opens up this world. It offers this different kind of listening. W: So you’re not someone trying to bring back tapes and have that be the best. You’re just trying to open up possibilities. R: Yeah. I don’t care if tapes come back. This is not a mission. I think it’s a really interesting medium, especially now with how hard it is to actually listen to tapes, but if they went away I wouldn’t be super upset about it. It’s just cheaper than vinyl and I think it has an equal amount of interest and a really nice history. The first company who made the recording cassette, they open-sourced it. So there’s this great
R: Yeah... It’s all computer-based. Most of the music is coming from samples and then software that I write for it... There’s always this conversation about computer space. Like, hearing old people talk about the space like, “I’m worried about people sitting around on a computer.” But I’m not so worried about that because we’re still always human—no matter what space we’re living in. It doesn’t make this [computer] space less good than, like, going camping, because I honestly hate camping. I’d rather be on my computer. I don’t think anything is wrong with that. I don’t think being on a computer is ruining our humanity... I think there’s a really strong dialogue between computer space and this label. And DJ Flying Saucer—who is going to release a bunch of mixtapes for the label—he loves techno and has a been an amazing friend as far as getting into techno. And techno has always had this “future music” vibe. So looking at future music, but with that realization that we’re always human. Read the full interview online @ wakemag.org Always Human Tapes will be hosting its launch party on Saturday, May 18th, with performances by pleasurlife, DJ Flying Saucer, NINETEEN90s, Bunnies In Baskets, and Greg The Nerd. This will be the first time you can get your hands on the f-ing tapes! To get more info on the event location and the label, keep checking alwayshumantapes.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
R: Well another reason why it’s even more interesting to me is that if people buy a cassette, they are going to make an effort for your music. If you’re downloading something online you’re not making a lot of effort [as an audience]. So if you buy a tape, you have to get the object, you have to find something to play it... I find that much more interesting than just [annoying voice] “O, I play it on my computer speakers...” I’d much rather have it on car speakers than iPod headphones. W: Yeah, because often I’ll download or stream something online and if I don’t like it within a minute it’s like: DELETE. TYLER LAUER
april 22 - may 5
Sound & Vision
A Kingdom of Criticism
Roger Ebert’s passing brings an end to a dynasty in film criticism By Herbert B. Ferguson-Augustus Heavy is the head that wears the crown. For film icons and top grossing directors, staying on top is harder than making it there. Yet the Steven Spielbergs and the Tom Hanks of our time did just that, they carved a kingdom for themselves in the average moviegoer’s heart and mind. Still, another kind of king built his empire on far weaker foundations. His name never appeared in a blockbuster’s opening credits or even in its ending credits, yet he too claimed a crown. He constructed his castle in tabloids and on television, not as an artist but as an appreciator of art. Roger Ebert died on April 4, leaving behind an empty throne. Starting his career in 1967 at the Chicago Sun-Times with a review of Le Dolce Vita, Ebert entered a realm already claimed by the “Elvis of film criticism,” Pauline Kael, who was already a bestselling author by the time he got started. Yet Ebert toppled the queen less than a decade into his career, when he
The ComeAround Machine
The Strokes have gone full circle By Nathaniel Kitzmann So what’s it like being a Stroke in 2013, after all? If the band’s latest, Comedown Machine, is any indication, it sucks. Never in their disaffected career has this band sounded so sadly like themselves. Triumphant lead tracks have never been a selling point for the Strokes, but Comedown Machine starts on an even more uncertain note than usual. “I don’t listen and I don’t speak,” Julian Casablancas drones in a bored monotone on “Tap Out.” “It’s a talent and I don’t know why.” This time around, the insincerity is real. The band that collectively drowned in a room full of gurgling oil in 2006’s “You Only LIve Once” video was a completely different beast from the one that emerged five years later with Angles, to a world
was the first film critic to be awarded a Pulitzer in 1975. Not only did he usurp Kael as the go-to critic of the film industry, he expanded his domain into television with the premier of Sneak Previews on PBS in 1975. Sneak previews became At the Movies with Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert in 1985; it transformed into At The Movies With Ebert & Roeper in 1999; and then again in 2009, when it became simply Ebert Presents: At the Movies. Despite changing ownership, co-hosts, and cable stations, Ebert endured as television’s most prominent film critic, eventually being inducted as an honorary life member of The Director’s Guild of America. Throughout his rise to power, Ebert went beyond a film’s artistic value. Whereas his predecessors made movies matter, he made the audience matter. Whether he reviewed Hellboy or The Last House on the Left, he delved deeper into the subjectivity film itself. He recognized tastes, accounted for them, and adjusted the rating scale accordingly. He thus empathized with his readers, making him less of a film critic and more of a film guide for audiences. This is not to say that his critiques were not without their flaws—they often lacked consistency. Nevertheless, he pioneered the idea that films should be evaluated on their value as entertainment, not simply by their value as art. Whereas innovations in technology toppled the likes of Kael in the public’s eye, Ebert endured and even grew in response to web based sensations. Despite the explosion of blogs, YouTube channels, and film databases that tried to carve out a piece of his domain, his reviews remain a point of reference for challengers of all kinds. On every film’s Wikipedia entry, IMDb profile, and tomato-meter, you will find a link to, a snippet from, or even a nod to his review. Toby Turners
come and go, but Ebert was an icon until his death. Two days before his passing, Ebert’s final blog post said, “See you at the movies.” But now his throne is empty. Film criticism is dying too, it seems. The field has grown so saturated with bloggers, webhosts, and journalists that it’s tough to distinguish trash from treasure on the big screen. Even Ebert may have failed to make that distinction, but he convinced generations of Americans that he could. Rightly so, he claimed a crown that was all his own.
that no longer cared. Whether or not the shift in direction was for the better, it wasn’t as if the band had options. Musical shortcomings and lack of ambition aside, Comedown Machine remains an intriguing snapshot of a collective in the midst of a crippling identity crisis. While Angles was tense and splintered, Comedown Machine can’t be bothered to exert the energy for anything resembling volatility. It transcends the binary of “good art” and “shit art” and simply exists on its own passive, purposeless terms.
Maybe a few minutes in our “light” are all the Strokes ever wanted anyway, a little time to sing their pretty punky pop songs and take a bow and exit back stage left with dignity intact. But fame isn’t just a flattering, fluorescent spotlight in which criticism can be forgotten with a shrug and a mumbled, “Fuck you.” Wielded by critics and the revolving door of popular taste, it turns into a harsh incandescent glare that hurts—one the Strokes have beaten themselves to death against like so many moths in the night.
Twelve years ago, a more youthful Casablancas snarled: “I wanna steal yer innocence, to me my life don’t make any sense,” backed by criss-crossing electric guitars and a paradoxically belligerent and precise Fab beat. “Call it Fate, Call it Karma” makes the same request for intimacy, but in a falsetto-inflected Billie Holliday croon and without the misplaced confidence or rhythm section. “Can I waste all your time here on the sidewalk?” Julian intones shyly over a pretty melody that crackles like the Hungarian Suicide Song. “Can I stand in your light... just for a while?” he sings. If the lack of a supporting tour, muted promotion, worn down vibe, and telling song lyrics don’t bring the band full circle, then “Call it Fate” does.
Or maybe it was us, the loyal fans, who finally did the Strokes in. We wanted rock ‘n’ roll saviors; they just wanted to do their thing. We wanted more albums like the seminal debut, Is This It; they wanted to move on, expand, and grow. And when the Strokes occasionally do return to their roots, as in the propulsive “All the Time,” somehow it’s still not good enough. This time around, the question isn’t, “Is This It?” It’s “Are You Happy Now?” Casablancas once gave fans the rather straightforward directive to either “Take It or Leave It.” Now he’s calling our bluff.
BY COURTNEY BADE There’s something deeply poignant about the melancholy pop sensibility Minneapolis three-piece Hollow Boys injects into their music. It’s the type of music that will make you elated and dreamy on a good day, and will indulge your self-pity and cynicism on one that’s not so good. Their music is affectingly powerful. In fact, it’s addicting. Lucky for us (and our emotions), it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more from these guys, what with their recently established deal with local label Modern Radio; their upcoming full length, It’s True, to be released on June 8; and a western U.S. tour. We sat down with Hollow Boys in their living room, just below front man Ali Jaafar’s very own attic studio—aka Ecstattic, where Prissy Clerks, Crimes, Regal Treats, and other names have recorded—to chat about all their good news, and why you really, really shouldn’t call them a goth band. The Wake: Do you anticipate this new deal with Modern Radio making things easier for you, or changing things in any way? Liz Elton (Bass): I don’t know if it’s changing much of what the plan was specifically for this record, but it’s absolutely making it easier. It’s a huge financial strain that has been lifted. It definitely allows us to do more things that we want to do but wouldn’t be able to do. Also I think it’s good to have someone putting the pressure on you to get it done, ya know? We probably would’ve either thrown it together really quickly or never really fully completed it until absolutely necessary. Monica Coleslaw (Drums, Vocals): Yeah. It would’ve been a CD-R. Ali Jaafar (Guitar, Vocals): Well, it probably would’ve been a tape, but it would’ve sounded like shit. But
april 22 - may 5
yeah, that’s the main thing. When we met them all of our ideas about releasing our record and promoting our band were—we were all on the same page. But now it’s like, OK, here’s someone who actually knows how to do this, as opposed to us kind of bumbling around and kicking out records into the world. Like Liz said, we really half-assed all of our other albums. L: Well, I don’t think we half-assed them, but it’s good to have someone. And they had things that they like to do with their records that they put out, which lines up with things we like to do, like trying to do things by hand when possible. Things like that. And having someone tell you, “You should do it that way,” makes it easier to just do it that way and not find an easy way out. The Wake: For the last record, When You Think of Us, Pray For Us, you did the recording live. Did you approach It’s True that way as well?
or edit things a lot. It’s just all there. So this one is even more live. The Wake: I wanted to ask you about the inspiration behind the video for “Hater.” M: Basically, I have a very expensive film degree and the one thing I learned from four years of film school is that whatever you can just pull out of your ass in five minutes is probably your best idea. And I also really wanted to make a bunch of fake blood for some reason. And I’m like ninety-eight percent sure I just thought it was funny. A: Yeah you were giggling a lot when you were lining up the song to the video. M: Yeah. And I didn’t want to make something super... deep? Or contrived, or something. A: I’d say that’s a general rule for our band.
L: Well, the bass, drums, and guitar were all done live. And then vocals and guitar overdubs, I think, were separate. A: Yeah. Vocals and guitar overdubs, otherwise it’s all unedited. The record we did before was actually all done live—and there’s overdubs obviously—but there was a lot of editing too, because Monica and I just did that one and we didn’t really know the songs, I felt. They were all really new, and so there was a lot of editing where a part was weird or we just played a part wrong. With this new record we had gotten back from tour and had been playing the majority of these songs every day on tour, so we just went up there and played them. And even with the overdubs it was just to accentuate certain parts, but there wasn’t any reason to actually engineer things
M: Also, our heat was off for ten days in the middle of winter and we were kind of losing it. The Wake: Yikes. A: Yeah, we had space heaters everywhere and we had to stay upstairs. You couldn’t come down here. It sucked. The Wake: How did you go about writing the album? The way you talk about it makes it seem like it happened very naturally on its own. A: That’s a pretty good summation of it. Things happen very fast in our band. There will be just a couple parts or a few different things for a song. We’ll try
playing it a few times, and it usually just comes together really fast. And the more we play it, the more the songs change and evolve as far as what happens. I don’t know. After playing a song for a couple weeks, it’s just there. M: I mean, he’ll also be like, “Oh, I wrote twelve new songs today.” [laughs]
The Wake: [laughs] Well everyone calls you gloom-pop, right? L: Who coined that? I feel like it’s something someone said two or three years ago about Hollow Boys, or maybe you guys did as a joke. But now it’s this thing. M: I think it was a joke from when we made the Facebook page.
The Wake: At your shows, do you always play a set straight through with no breaks? A: Yeah, every set is twenty minutes, there’s no stopping, there’s no talking to the crowd. The Wake: Any reason why?
L: Yeah, there’s like two more albums already written. A: There’s a backlog of like, 31 songs at this point. Since the last album. We’re just slowly trawling through all this music and seeing what sucks and what doesn’t. There’s certain songs on the album that are really just three songs. There’s a song called “Alone” that started off as one song that was kind of mediocre, and then eventually I was like, “Try this, try this, try this.” And usually our songs get shorter the more we play them. Usually Monica or Liz will cut out parts.
L: It was funny, and then it became frustrating, and now it’s just a title. A: I think it was originally a longer, four-word phrase. Because older bands I had been in said when they heard us play that it’s goth. And that is horrible. It’s not goth.
A: But yeah, it was pretty easy. Also, I think this album had a few songs that were a bit older that Monica and I already knew just from—not even playing live—just from messing around, so it was really easy to bring Liz into it. That’s usually not the case. Like I said, the EP before was all new stuff and Monica and I were just trying to figure out how to play it. Whereas some of this stuff is older and we have the time to actually play a lot. The Wake: What were your major influences or inspirations when writing this album, or music in general? L: I mean we just only talked about The Smiths the whole time we were making this record. “Oh, this is totally a Smiths song.” [laughs] That was said like, a hundred times. A: Yeah especially after tour. We only listened to The Smiths on tour. Now that you mention it, I think I can think of every Smiths song that our record is ripped off of. M: I just wrote this one pager about our band for this zine, and I wrote that we only like bands that are dead because they don’t care about being ripped off. [laughs] So I guess that makes sense. But I don’t think we rip anyone off directly. I also don’t think that we do anything thinking, “Oh, I want to be like this.”
M: I don’t like stage banter. Er—well, I don’t mind it, I don’t have anything against it, I just feel like it’s really hard to do well. I guess the only banter I do like is everything Nice Purse ever said, but it’s not for us. We would just be like, “I’m sad,” or I would be like, “I’m tired.”
M: We tried to kill a bat once. Not goth. A: I pretty much did kill a bat once. Not goth.
M: Yeah, because I get bored. “It’s too long. This song is too long.” [laughs]
A: Because that stuff sucks.
M: Wanting to spray a bat in the eyes with Windex. Not goth. L: Not goth. We’re not goth. A: I think that was the thing though, because it is depressing music, but it’s music about being depressed. But it’s not necessarily musically this slow... Like, there’s tons of ‘80s reverb... Whatever! It’s not like that. So what other term is there, or what can you say that can connote that sort of thing without saying we’re a goth band? I feel like that’s the biggest influence on our music: trying to make sure nobody can be like— M: “Oh, cool chillwave.” A: It’s music that can be it’s own thing, in the sense that the lyrics can be one thing and they can be weird and depressing, but the music can also be upbeat and more garage-y or punk-y or whatever. And we don’t have to worry about thinking, “Oh, are we this cool goth band? Are we going to get to play goth nights?” I don’t give a flying fuck.
A: I think the best of it is entertaining in a Schadenfreude way, like watching Tim Kasher be extremely drunk and talk about his life, in a way that you’re just enjoying this person’s misery. Otherwise it’s not good, I think. It’s not for us. I used to just make fun of people and say really, really mean things on stage. Even the first Hollow Boys show was not good as far as that went... I don’t want to talk about it. I would just say really mean stuff. There’s no place for it. It detracts. Also, if you listen to the intro to “Cold Gin” on the Kiss album, Alive!, Paul Stanley of Kiss essentially does the worst fucking stand up routine before the song, and now I realize that’s what all stage banter sound like to me. He basically just stands up there and looks at the crowd and goes, “So I hear some of you like... TEQUILA!” and then the drummer does a huge fill and everybody cheers. And then he goes, “And I hear some of you like... ORANGE JUICE AND VODKA!!” and then there’s another huge drum fill. And then he’s like, “And I hear some of you like... WHISKEY!!!” and that’s ALL it is. It’s bad. And my friend, Colin, was telling me about how when he was a teenager, he was all excited to go see Hatebreed, and they were up there saying, “We’re all on tour, we’re all on acid. Are you guys having fun!?” And they’re supposed to be this really crazy hardcore band and they just asked me if I’m having fun? And telling me about how they’re taking acid? That sucks. The Wake: [laughs] Well, it works pretty well with your sound to play straight through. A: Yeah. Yeah, sure. There’s some artistic reason, too.
A: I think mostly it’s just trying to hit a sweet spot between the stuff we like, like The Smiths. L: I feel like when you were writing When You Think of Us, Pray for Us it was all ‘60s. And I don’t know... now it’s not. It’s The Smiths.
Check out “When You Think of Us, Pray For Us” at hollowboys. bandcamp.com, and check out the video for the song “Hater” off their new record on YouTube.
M: Maybe we’re just influence by how bad we feel at the time. A: Yeah. There you go. That’s probably the best answer. DAN FORKE
Sound & Vision
U of M students called to make their mark and draw a blank.
OU Y E V O L I
By Sarah Mevissen
The Resurrection of Arrested Development TV’s Cult Classic sitcom makes its triumphant return By Matthew Cermak
“I’ve made a HUGE mistake.” The goal: “We want this raw, creative outlet to increase the presence of the arts in everyone’s life by providing an environment where everyone can express oneself.” This is what the 2013 exhibition of “Le Blanc,” held at the Larson Art Galley from April 2 to April 12, hoped to accomplish. It seemed ambitious to me. Unless sending regards to your parents through a postcard is considered expressing yourself, I wasn’t struck by the impression that this exhibit was by any means an environment where a circulation of creativity existed, or where a declaration of bold individuality could be recognized.
I wanted to splatter paint across it; I wanted to draw a field of daisies disappearing into the distance; I wanted to throw up a single black dot and call it a”bstract.” There were postcards. Postcards which the attendant of the exhibition was encouraged to pin up on the conveniently designated cork boards, numbering in a whopping three. Predetermined and predestined, any mark one intended to make in this gallery was at the hands of the gallery curators. In a way, this made it easy and accessible; it was already set up, and imagination being the only requirement. Looking at the situation from another angle, this was an insult to artists everywhere, squandering the very idea of artist integrity. In the world of art, what is good, what is bad—it’s all subjective. What’s tiring, however, is repetition of the bland, the uninspiring, the lifeless. The gallery didn’t strike you upside the head with any sort of inspiration. I doubt any of the contributors did, in fact, mind those shameful postcards. Then again, there is no right or wrong way to express oneself. It is unfair to trounce the artistic view, values, abilities (or inabilities) of someone else simply because you don’t agree with it . But the art there was flat, and that flatness was simply off-putting.
The most beautiful part was the corner of blank walls, highlighted by spotlights from above and nothing else. Completely bare, nothing disturbing their unmarked, white surface. I mistook this as the canvas, “le blanc,” the environment where my so-called self-expression yearned to become realized. I wanted to splatter paint across it; I wanted to draw a field of daisies disappearing into the distance; I wanted to throw up a single black dot and call it “abstract.” But the chalkboards and the 4” x 6” postcards glared upon me with disapproving eyes. Their look of deprecation prohibited this act of unintentional vandalism. So I left “Le Blanc” feeling empty.
The gallery didn’t strike you upside the head with any sort of inspiration. Saying college students don’t care that much, or don’t have time to care might be somewhat true, but it seems to me like a lazy excuse. I don’t buy it. I think it isn’t much to ask to get excited about art and really make something meaningful. The annual exhibition, “Le Blanc,” should be utilized to its full potential.
That may be the phrase leaving the mouths of the FOX executives responsible for canceling what is arguably the best sitcom of the last 20 years. But the truth is that they tried, and it was our fault. Low ratings forced FOX’s hand. We killed Arrested Development. You can’t say that no one tried to warn us either. During its first season, Arrested Development was nominated for seven Emmys. The next year it was nominated for eleven. Critics hailed it as one of the best sitcoms of all time, even while it was still on TV. It also had one of the most fervent cult followings of any series, with cultish fans who protested each cancellation threat with massive S.O.B. (Save Our Bluths) campaigns. Yet even after all the praise heaped on Arrested Development, it was prematurely ended due to low ratings. For both the few fans and the many critics who praised the series, it was a travesty. Perhaps it was too ahead of its time. The show featured no laugh track, the jokes were subtly layered, and viewers often had to exhibit behavior that may not come naturally to the average American viewer: thinking. Or maybe it was simply how we watched television then, compared to how we watch television today. Arrested Development is best when watched in marathon sessions or repeat viewings, where fans can pan for more comedygold with each subsequent replay. It is a show perfectly suited to 2013, whereas the numerous callback jokes between episodes left viewers confused in 2006. Either way, very few people got to know the Bluth family during its original run. Just in case you fall into that category, Arrested Development’s story is simple and summed up during its opening credits: “This is the story of a wealthy family who lost everything. And the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.” Viewers observe the hijinks of the Bluth family while they feebly attempt to maintain their lifestyle. Meanwhile, the
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april 22 - may 5
Sound & Vision
Arrested Development (cont.) only responsible member of the family, Michael Bluth, attempts to restore the clan to its former status. For those fortunate enough to have watched, it was a smart, unique, and hilarious ride. When FOX finally pulled the plug, the final episodes were played as a two-hour block, put up against the opening ceremony of the 2006 Olympic games. After all of the accolades, Arrested Development was killed off quietly in front of its fans. In the months following the finale, there were rumors that the show might find a new home on Showtime or HBO. But a deal never materialized. It looked as if one of the most brilliant sitcoms ever created might simply fade away forever. But miraculously, Arrested Development didn’t fade away. In fact, quite the opposite. From a small ember of hard-core fans, the show grew by word-of-mouth into an inferno. Chances are that you’ve heard about Arrested Development from friends, likely sandwiched between phrases like, “You’ve gotta watch it” and, “It’s the best show ever.” Seven years later, the program became more popular than it ever was on FOX. In October of 2011, a revival was announced to an audience of screaming fans at The New Yorker Festival. Netflix has picked up the series for a new season. What
had seemed like a pipe dream just two years ago is actually happening—15 episodes are being simultaneously released for streaming on May 26, with a feature film to follow. Fans, proceed to rejoice. But this time Arrested Development will undoubtedly have an audience that is befitting of its brilliance. The show is among the most popular on Netflix, especially with fans now preparing for the new season. Additionally, many members of the original cast have raised their profiles considerably since the series was canceled in 2006, giving the show the star power it did not possess years ago. For instance, Arrested Development was the beginning of a comeback for the ‘80s star, Jason Bateman. The actor has since revitalized his career and become a leading-man. You can see him starring in pretty much every other comedy film released in the last few years. At the same time, Michael Cera has become a household name with movies like Superbad, Youth in Revolt, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Juno. Cera is often criticized for allegedly playing the same character in every movie. Well, that character is named George-Michael Bluth and Cera plays him brilliantly. Will Arnett has also been busy, appearing in commercials, films, and sitcoms, including 30 Rock. Arnett played G.O.B. Bluth, the
arrogant and eldest Bluth son. Portia De Rossi played Lindsay Bluth. Since the series she has starred in Better off Ted and married Ellen in 2008. Yeah, that Ellen. David Cross, who played fan-favorite Tobias Funke, scored a minor hit with The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, released the comedy album Bigger and Blackerer, and has a recurring role on the ABC comedy-juggernaut Modern Family. Veteran actors round out the cast, with Jessica Walter reprising her role as the perpetually drunk and deranged family matriarch, Lucille Bluth. Jeffrey Tambor also puts his well-documented talents on display as the criminally insane George Bluth. Several recurring and cameo appearances help form the rest of the stellar cast. In hindsight, we should probably forgive FOX for their boneheaded move. What we have now is a story of resurrection. Arrested Development returns to well-deserved fanfare. Though we can ultimately blame ourselves for not tuning in during the series’ run on FOX, it’s unlikely that we’ll make that HUGE mistake again. This time there should be plenty of viewers when Arrested Development debuts its 4th season on May 26 on Netflix.
3REVIEWS Tyler the Creator
BY ethan Lauer
BY sarah mevissen
With the immense success of his previous album, Goblin, and the Best New Artist award at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2011, Tyler the Creator had a lot to live up to with his third album, Wolf. The album opens with a jazzy piano driven melody with Tyler singing various hateful obscenities, setting a tone for the rest of the album that is much more musically conscious than his first two, while simultaneously being much more angsty and emotional in the lyrical content. Wolf loosely tells a story (mostly through skits or spoken words on songs) of a guy named Sam, who is one of Tyler’s alter-egos, detailing his emotional relationship with his girlfriend, Salem, which is ultimately ended by Tyler’s other alter-ego, Wolf. The song “IFHY” is the climax of this storyline, where Sam expresses his conflicted feelings about how he can still be so in love with a girl who broke his heart. Yawn. At least it has potential to be an anthem for overly emotional middle school kids breaking up with their girlfriends. Aside from a few clichéd themes, the album, musically at least, is exponentially better than his previous two albums. He melds jazz piano styles and guitar riffs into his raps seamlessly, which is not an easy feat and has troubled many rappers before (see Lil’ Wayne’s, I Am Not a Human Being). He also takes advantage of the irresistible crooning of Odd Future’s Frank Ocean, featuring him on “Slater” and “Bimmer”—arguably the catchiest songs on the album. To alleviate some of the album’s seriousness, Tyler throws on tracks like “Trashwang” and “Tamale,” which remind us that he’s still a member of the ridiculous and obscenely vulgar group Odd Future. Overall though, this album shows the extent to which Tyler has been successful in experimenting with different styles and themes, so it will be exciting to see how he continues to evolve with new music.
A red light urgently flashes in the back of 7th Street. “Is that a bad thing?” asks one of the guitarists, stepping momentarily outside of his intense and inebriated rock fury. When there’s no answer, he shrugs. Feedback and distortion immediately crash into the next song. The brief acknowledgement of the flaring light is forgotten.
Wolf - album review
That snowy April night, an energy incomparable pervaded 7th Street Entry’s stage the moment The Men hit their first chord. The crowd fed off this energy: they ate up every guitar lick and every drum kick. Once “Turn It Around” began mid-set, an enthusiastic mosh pit ruptured from within the center of the floor. It was ideal chaos.
in the flesh
The bbc gives an original take on zombies BY sean mcsteen As the zombie post-apocalyptic genre increases, it can be difficult to find an original take on the genre that stands out amongst the mediocre norm. One such unique take is the BBC’s recently released three-part series, In the Flesh, that tells an intricate narrative with an original spin on the zombie genre. Centered not around the zombie uprising, but instead around the aftermath of the uprising during the time of rebuilding, In the Flesh introduces viewers to themes more deep and moral than one would find while watching a stereotypical zombie film or television show. The program is centered around Kieran, a young man who is introduced as he is being sent back to his hometown after receiving treatment and rehabilitation for his PDS, or Partially Deceased Syndrome (or in other words, being a half-dead, functioning being). Having committed suicide before rising from the grave, Kieran’s return to his family and to his small town is filled with the obstacles of trying to assimilate himself back into a society that had previously banded together with a common hatred toward zombies—or “rotters,” as they are known in the program. Kieran struggles to forgive himself for the horrible things he unconsciously did in an uncontrolled state, and he must learn to live (or half-live) with the guilt and flashbacks of attacking and killing individuals. And with a constant threat of death from local paramilitaries, Kieran must assimilate into the community, breaking down the distrust caused by past actions. With another season in the early stages of planning, In the Flesh has the ability to demand instant attention. The program gives viewers gritty zombie-killing in a quaint English town with a level of emotional intensity that is relatively rare within undead films or television, and is a must watch for anyone interested in seeing a new take on the still classic genre.
april 22 - may 5
Pure rock and roll, with a country, punk twist, is exactly what you’ll get from this Brooklyn-based band. They have a certain quality about them, almost perfectly encapsulating that timeless desire to be in a rock band: a love of fast, crashing drums, loud, shouting vocals, and raging, dual guitar solos. Ben Greenburg, one of The Men’s three guitarists, has perfected the art of rock in its entirety. He would slash and swing his guitar wherever and everywhere. You’d be afraid he’d break something, but the man kept on. It seemed his supply of unbelievable guitar solos was endless. He clearly knew how to drink as well. Local band Fury Things started the night off right with their hard, garage rock sound, while Gun Outfit followed in preparation for the great performance ahead. Ending their set with “Open Your Heart,” the people clearly had not had enough of The Men. Shouting, “MEN! MEN! MEN! MEN!” and, “ROCK AND ROLL! ROCK AND ROLL!” brought the glorious musicians back to rock the stage once more.
UPCOMINGEVENTS TUESDAY, APRIL 30
TUESDAY, APRIL 23 Johnny Marr w/ Alamar
Palma Violets with Guards
Varsity Theater, 7pm, 18+, $22/35
7th Street Entry, 8pm, 18+, $12
WEDNESDAY, MAY 1
THURSDAY, APRIL 25
James Blake w/ Faltydl
Free Energy with Hollow Boys and Old Moon
First Ave, 8pm, 18+, $20 First Ave, 8pm, 18+, $20
Triple Rock, 8pm, 18+, $10
THURSDAY, MAY 2
FRIDAY, APRIL 26 Danny Brown with Kitty
Purity Ring w/ Blue Hawaii
Triple Rock, 8pm, $20, 18+ (Sold Out)
First Ave, 7:30, 18+, $15.50
Birthday Suits and Leisure Birds with Painted Pony’s and Jan
SATURDAY, MAY 4
Turf CLub, 9pm, 21+, FREE?
JD McPherson w/ The Cactus Blossoms First Ave, 8pm, 18+, $17/20
SATURDAY, APRIL 27 L’Assassins “Lovin’ On the Run” EP release and Pink Mink 7” Release w/ Sex Rays, the Pinsch and DJ Lady Heat
The Magnolias w/Vicious Lips and Rodeo Night PURITY RING
Triple Rock, 9pm, 18+, $8
Turf Club, 9pm, 21+, $7 SUNDAY, MAY 5 Crystal Castles w/ PicturePlane First Ave, 7pm, 18+, $25
Spring Jam Battle of the Bands FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 5:00PM Coffman Memorial Union, Front Plaza
COME VOTE FOR WEALTHY RELATIVE TO OPEN UP FOR MAT KEARNEY!
april 22 - may 5
| MAY 6
|| The U of M Experience || We profile four students from four different schools within the U of M Twin Cities || PLUS +++ Q&A w/ Hollow Boy...