How many chances do you get to fall in love? Some say once, some say many, but is it really worth risking? I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve dated in college that have used graduating as an excuse not to. But if I’ve learned one thing about dating and love, it’s that it doesn’t come when it’s convenient. If you’re escaping for spring break to somewhere sunny, somewhere like home, or sticking around Boston to get stuff done, give yourself the opportunity to form a relationship with someone. Give yourself the opportunity to fall in love (The less you know someone the easier it is to fall for them, in my experience). But in all honesty, I consider myself extremely lucky to have been in love. There are people who never get to experience that pleasure. Protecting your heart from the pain that comes after isn’t worth skipping out on the pleasure. Now that February is out of the picture, settle down about intentions and expectations. If you fall in love with someone for five minutes, it’s better than not having loved at all.
10 14 34 41
The Least Hopeless Places
Article by Danielle Barker and Kierston Rusden
You Donâ€™t Know JACK Photos by Nelson Ramm
Berklee and Emerson Collide Article by Kiera Murray
Portlandia Meets Bostonia Article by Olivia Moravec
YOUR introduction Editor-In-Chief / Founder Olivia Moravec Assistant editor-in-chief Kilian Webster
managing editor Krista Firkins
head copy editor Rachael Moore
creative director Pete Ivanecky
head STYLIST Valeria Navarro
BLOG editor Lorena Mora Photo director Hope Kauffman
romance editor Madeleine Andrews
fashion editor Emily Tannenbaum
features editor Beata Rybka
a&e editor Nick Johnston
romance Writers Matthew Grossbart Caitlin Anders Frankie Olito Danielle Barker Kierston Rusden Grace Gibson
Fashion Writers Elijah Clark-Ginsberg Haile Lidow Olivia Hoffman Andrew Favorito Adriana Herdan Amanda Gomez Melanie Katz
feature Writers Kiera Murray Christina Jedra Taylor Smith Liz Mantey Cheyenne Boccia Beth Treffeisen Alexa Swartz Nancy Valev Emily Labes
a&e Writers Jen Prince Molly Oâ€™Connor Lorena Mora Matt Merkasamer Marc Hecht Charis Talcott Steve Selnick Ian Clayton Eric Gaudette Roxy Ashiru Talia Steff
STYLISTS Lacey Russell Bonnie Ong Jenna Losavio Amanda Gomez Audrey Geiger Emily Lacroix Victoria Soto
WEB Writers Raymond Bellinger Madeleine Andrews Claudia Mak Amanda Gomez Silvia Stantcheva Kaela Holmes Norma Torrey Emily Lacroix Hilary Donoghue Victoria Soto Shannon Dwyer Adrian Adamo Micaeli Rourke
Copy editors Madeleine Andrews Katelyn Oâ€™Brien Devan Norman Eric Gaudette Caitlyn Budnick Claudia Mak Olivia Jacobini Hilary Donoghue Emily Labes
Photographers Kevin Sweeney Alex Fierro-Clarke Hannah Wallace Rebecca Roche Nick Hayes Brian Annis Mimi Vechionne Layout design Maddy Wojdak Claudia Mak Danielle Barker Claire Reinganum Elise Mesa Jacqueline Thomas
T able of Contents ROMANCE 6 Profile of a Virgin 7 How Love Grows 8 Why Its Better to Keep It Casual at First 9 Monthly Date Ideas 10The Least Hopeless Places
Frankie Olito Caitlin Anders Matthew Grossbart Madeleine Andrews and Grace Gibson Danielle Barker and Kierston Rusden
12 Popping Polka Dots 13 RED Alert! 14 You Don’t Know JACK 17 Men’s Spring Essentials 18 What Do I Wear? 19 Thrift Pull of the Month 20Pop of Color 22 On Holiday
Haile Lidow Andrew Favorito Nelson Ramm Adriana Herdan
Elijah Clark-Ginsberg Valeria Navarro Olivia Hoffman Hope Kauffman
FEATURES 25 26 31 32 33 34 36
Next Stop: The Museum of Fine Arts Lady Fest Get Intimate with the Cast of Darling Teaser Reading Between the Cyber Space Where to Meet Hipsters Like You Berklee and Emerson Collide Matt Reagan’s Hand-and-a-Half Records
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
37 A St. Patty’s Day Sound Track 38 Why I’m Nervous About John Carter 40 The Nerdy Side of Downton Abbey 41 Portlandia Live 42 The End Is Nigh 43 The Arena: Spider-Man 3 44 Nerd Rage: Why Big Events Suck 45 What We’’re Digging This Month 46 Lana Del Ray 47 Songs in the Key of You 48 Monthly Calendar
LIz Mantey Beth Treffeisen Beata Rybka Cheyenne Boccia Christina Jedra Kiera Murray Taylor Smith
A&E Staff Nick Johnston Eric Gaudette Olivia Moravec Ian Clayton Marc Hecht Nick Johnston Talia Steif Charis Talcott Jen Prince
YOUR romance Text // Frankie Olito Photography // Alex Clarke
Profile of a Virgin Redefining Different: Jamie Bradley
There is always the smaller population that does not exactly fit the social norm. In college, the social norm is to test our freedom of expression, freedom of exploration, and freedom of sexuality.
Bradley is not alone in being a virgin at college. According to a National Center for Health Statistics study in 2008, 12% of female and 13% of male students are virgins, which is 8% more than the percentages in 2002. In addition, the number of virgins are increasing on college campuses, according to a USA article titled “More college ‘hookups,’ but more virgins, too.”
Jamie Bradley, Emerson College freshman, is different. She is a virgin in college and has often experienced difficult and frustrating circumstances.
“[This increase] means that people are giving it some thought, which is important because it is not a decision you should make lightly,” Bradley said.
“I like to consider myself a hopeless romantic but it can get frustrating waiting for love when I feel like I’m being left behind,” Bradley said.
Although numbers are increasing, Bradley recognizes the difficulty of being a virgin in a promiscuous college campus environment.
Bradley’s choice to wait is constantly being challenged as she battles the social pressures that surrounding her.
“Now, you have to be careful with who you trust because you can be taken advantage of,” she said. “Men expect a lot more of you now, not just a quick hook up.”
Every litter has its runt, every stampede has its straggler, and every game has its loser.
“It’s hard watching people around me grow up in a sense,” she said.
Bradley has actually found that many guys find her all the more desirable because they view her as “innocent.”
Bradley has resolved that she wants to be in a relationship before having sex. She said she wishes to respect her body instead of giving herself up to a random person. However, Bradley makes it clear she does not judge people who have sex; she does not think they are disrespecting themselves.
Virginity is a very fragile topic. It touches base with morals, religious beliefs, and cultural backgrounds. It is about finding strength in yourself when society is pushing you in another direction. Although virgins are considered “different” in a college campus environment, it is an empowering, personal choice. The word “different” often comes with a negative connotation, but Bradley is redefining the word.
“It’s a personal choice,” Bradley said. “I don’t want to feel used if I just randomly hooked up.”
HOW LOVE GROWS What We Thought and What We Think Now
Being in college, sometimes it’s hard to remember how I felt back when I was in elementary school, middle school, or even high school. Even though those times in our lives aren’t that far away, it seems that way when you consider exactly how much has changed since then. Only when I’m around kids who are younger than myself do I remember how I felt at their age, hearing them talk and thinking to myself, “Oh right, I remember those feelings.”
Text // Caitlin Anders Art // Pete Ivanecky
with a set of triplets, and they started asking me about my boyfriend, with not so subtly stifled giggles. I explained that I didn’t have a boyfriend and that my last one and I broke up because we lived too far away from each other. The boy in the set was puzzled and told me that was a stupid reason for someone to break up with someone. He said, if you like someone then why does it matter how far away they are from you? They are, after all, still the person that you like. It makes so much sense when you put it that way, but we complicate things by dragging in feelings of anxiety and jealousy. If a child cares about and loves someone, it doesn’t matter where they are. However far away, they still just do.
There are days when I have to sit in the Boston Ballet Academy to wait for the girls I nanny. It’s always fascinating listening to the 13-year-old girls getting ready for their ballet class talk about their so-called love lives and romantic escapades. They talk about how special it is when a boy texts you, and relay stories of how a crush wrote down who he liked on a piece of paper and the girl did the same, and then they went to opposite sides of the room to read the pieces of paper. The girl’s giggles told me the paper brought good news. It’s such a simple way of telling someone your feelings for them; it’s honest and straightforward. And yet now that we’re in college we would never contemplate doing something like that. We’re too cryptic and unwilling to be completely honest for fear of getting our feelings hurt. When did we become so cynical about love? When did we make the switch?
Children and preteens have such hope about love, and somewhere along the line those of us who are older seem to have lost that. We aren’t all completely cynical, but we’re certainly not as trusting and open to the idea of love. We get mad too easily and cut people off. Maybe all we really need to do is just remind our loved ones that we care. If we each look a little closer into how kids approach love, I think we could all learn to just love, no complications needed.
When we think about the word “love”, we are immediately struck by how complicated it is. We view it as such a loaded word, a concept that is hard to understand and define. For kids, love seems to be very simple. Children understand that if you care about someone, then you love them. You’ll always love them no matter what, even if they can make you mad sometimes. The 9-year-old girl I babysit told me that her cat was sick and might not make it. Losing people is scary, she explained. She listed the people she loves, her parents, and how sad she would be if she ever lost them. As we get older we sometimes end up cutting off the people that we love because they don’t do or say exactly what we want them to. To a 9-year-old girl, that would never even be an option. We often regard kids as being really stubborn, but they are so much more willing to forgive than those who are older. That’s one of the biggest changes that happens to us after childhood ends. It always strikes me how much smarter the children I babysit are than myself. They make better observations because they think about things in such simple terms. I went to the park
Why it’s Better to Keep Things
Text // Matt Grossbart
Towards the end of freshman year, I was seeing this guy, and while I liked spending time with him, I didn’t feel any need to define what we were to each other. My friends apparently did not feel the same way, because they were always asking me what “our deal” was. The pressure finally got to me, and I felt like I had to make things official. Soon after I did, it became clear that in my rush to define our relationship, I had missed out on some important red flags, like his casual racism. Needless to see, six weeks later, it was over between us. This would have been avoided if we had just kept it casual, instead of rushing into a relationship. We’ve all heard the quintessential, fairly douchey protest about not rushing into relationships known as, “I don’t like labels.” We’ve all been obligated to put on our best “disgusted” face and tell our friends that the guy who said that to them wasn’t worth their time. Maybe it’s time that we reconsider that position, because that guy (even though he might be a massive tool) has a point. Relationships are a lot of work – they take a lot of time and a lot of care. They’re not something you should rush into. It’s better to keep things casual for as long as you can. My friend Sarah was casually seeing this guy John for three months, during which time she wasn’t sure she wanted anything long-term, but all that time getting to know John convinced her otherwise, and they made it official. Last week, they celebrated their 1-year anniversary.
Art// Pete Ivanecky
Before you’re even officially together, your friends will probably put pressure on you to decide what to call your relationship. I will concede that, yes, it is tempting to finally have an excuse to change your Facebook status from “single,” but ultimately it might not be worth it. If you’re in a relationship, there’s an expectation that you’ll behave a certain way, but there’s very little guidance as to how to do it correctly. For example, people will think it’s weird if you’re spending too much or too little time with your significant other, but no one ever tells you where to draw the line on either side of that scale. If you’re just hanging out with someone, there are no (poorly defined) expectations about how much or how little time you’re spending with them. Keeping things casual allows you the freedom to decide for yourself, on your own time, what you want out of your relationship with someone else – if you even want a relationship at all. There’s also the added benefit that by not rushing to commit, you get to spend more time getting to know someone, which will keep your time together more fresh and interesting, and it’ll make you appreciate your time together more. So maybe you should give that tool’s (or Suffolk student, whatever you want to call it) actions a second thought – consider that it’s better to leave things unlabeled and casual for now, and wait and see what happens.
Monthly Date Text // Madeleine Andrews and Grace Gibson
It’s March and if you’re reading this, congratulations, you’ve survived the majority of the soul-crushing season most commonly known as winter. Whether you’re in a committed relationship (props for sticking it out through these past few months!) or in the beginning stages of a courtship or flirtation, the following date ideas are a great way to ring in the vernal equinox.
Spend a night at the museum.
The recently renovated Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum unveiled its new look last month; its modern yet cozy appeal provides a peaceful environment for you and your date to browse art from a broad spectrum of time periods and cultures. The museum is open six days a week (closed on Tuesdays) from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. except for Thursdays, when it closes at 9 p.m.. Students pay just $5 for admission. Good news for those of you robbing the cradle or dating someone named Isabella: admission is free for visitors with that name and who are under the age of 18.
Have a classy lunch.
Vapiano, just on the other side of City Place, offers fresh, Italian-style food and a casual yet visually striking interior, perfect for couples that want to have a special meal but don’t feel like having a formal dinner. Their lunch special costs just $5.95 and includes a salad, choice of pasta or Panini, and a dessert. For those of legal drinking age, they have an enticing selection of wines.
There’s always a good, old-fashioned picnic…
The beautiful and peaceful Massachusetts Korean War Memorial on 90 8th Street in Charlestown is a great destination for history buffs and fresh-air lovers alike. The grassy area is a popular picnic spot and the perfect place to spend a sunny day. The memorial is located near the U.S.S. Constitution, which is currently open Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Catch a matinee.
The Somerville Theatre is Davis Square is worth riding the Red Line for. They screen a good variety of mainstream blockbusters and thought provoking indie films. Ticket prices are just $5 for weekday showings before 6 p.m., and $7 on weekends and holidays. Their concession stands boasts snacks made with fresh ingredients and beer/wine for patrons of the legal age. Better still, bathroom-adjacent is the “Museum of Bad Art,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Be sure to arrive on time, as another awesome feature of the theatre is that they run only five minutes of ads and trailers before films.
The Least Hopeless Places Text // Danielle Baker and Kierston Rusden
Maybe you dress yourself in heels or a tie and go to parties to pick up the one who catches your eye. Or maybe (if you’re old enough or have mastered a fake), you finally hit up the bar scene. Either way, we all know how difficult it can be living to find love in a city and well on Emerson’s two-block campus. We went around campus to ask Emerson students where they go to get their flirt on. Based on our findings, these are the least hopeless places:
Marisa Perkins 2014, Interactive Media
I go to other schools to find other boys. I tend to charm the pants off them...figuratively. Mallory Meyer 2015, Journalism
I usually hear about lesbians through friends, or I go to clubs like GSA or BAGLY which are obviously for gay people. I have the best success at those kinds of clubs. But now that we’re in college I usually just find people through class. I ask the person out first and hang out with them to test the waters. I just act natural. I mean, if I’m not myself then they won’t be legitimately attracted to me and vise-versa.
Chelsey Moody 2014, WLP
Elsa Hsieh 2013, Marketing Communications
I go to parties and sporting events. I’m too shy to approach people, so I’ll wait for them to approach me. My method is smiling and always being approachable.
I’ve found success through Facebook messaging. I’ll see someone I like that I’m too shy to talk to at first. My method is to always ask them stories. People love talking about themselves. If you keep talking to them about them, they’ll stay interested.
Hilary Kee 2014, Marketing Communications I go to Machine with my friends for fun, but otherwise talking to girls at parties and being genuine and interested in interactions with others works best. Sometimes I’ll just swoop and pounce though (kidding... kind of).
Timothy Taylor 2014, Film Production
I don’t really go out to certain places to find certain girls. I “find girls” through going out with my friends. The method is simple: conversation. Talking with people to find interests.
Erin Mahoney 2015, Broadcast Journalism
I mostly go to other schools around here. On the weekends my friends and I go to Northeastern and Suffolk parties. I think it’s easy to find guys there because a lot of guys at those schools are chill and straight.
Regina Lutskiy 2013, Entertainment Marketing
I’m a bartender and have impressive skills in that department. If someone tells me a drink they like, I can suggest something they’d like even more. I strike up a conversation, offer to buy a drink and take it from there.
YOUR romance Jessica Griffith 2015, Broadcast Journalism Around Emerson we all know it’s pretty hard to find straight, normal guys so I try to go to the sporting events around here. Most of the guys that go to the sports games are fun, athletic and straight which is what I go for.
Clubs and organizations on campus. There is always someone new there so if you set your mind to it, you can meet someone new each time. I think the hardest part is actually just going up and introducing yourself so I usually do something like ask for a pen and let it blossom from there.
David Galinato 2015, Marketing
Megan Mitchell 2014, Broadcast
2014, Film Production
Personally, I meet a lot of girls in class. I usually see something that they’re wearing, like a necklace, and I’ll compliment them on it, which leads into further conversation. Also, the airport, oddly enough.
Well, when the girls aren’t flocking to me, I usually meet people through friends. It’s important to me to be friends first. So rather than go to a club or something, I prefer meeting someone casually. My method is to be myself! I know it sounds cliché, but I want someone to like me for me, then there’s no need to try to be something you are not.
Mellie Ghaffari 2014, Film Production I’m really forward, but it’s either hit or miss. I’ve found the most success at parties and concerts. Around Emerson we all know it’s pretty hard to find straight, normal guys so I try to go to the sporting events around here. Most of the guys that go to the sports games are fun, athletic and straight which is what I go for.
Usually I stay on campus to meet girls, but I don’t think looking for girls is the right thing to do. If something is going to happen it will just come to you.
Jessica Griffith 2015, Broadcast Journalism
Matt Tompkins 2015, VMA
As a straight woman, I find it pretty difficult to find straight guys on campus. If I were to expand and broaden my horizons and travel to other schools, I would do that (but my only other friend goes to Tufts and he says that it sucks so I’m not trying to date anyone from there). I think the pressures of there being more women than men has actually helped broaden my sexuality; I am pretty open and am interested in both genders because it’s the type of setting that sparks that interest. I meet people through friends, at small parties and through organizations. It’s a fun experience to keep your options open, because then you can meet anyone.
Claudia Mak 2015, Journalism
popping polka dots Text// Haile Lidow Photos// Rebecca Roche
Since Marc Jacob’s Fall 2011 collection polka dots have been showing up everywhere. Strutting down Boylston I have seen polka dot tights, dresses, cardigans, and the likes. Now it’s obvious that they’ve become less of “that print you wore to play dates when you were five” and more of a high fashion statement. And if you’re still hesitant about reintegrating that childhood trend into your wardrobe, don’t fret. You can start with some simple black polka dot tights from amazon.com for $13. But for those fashion dare devils out there, try channeling the man that started it all; pull a Marc Jacobs and sport your new tights with a polka dot skirt and polka dot cardigan. In the midst of fashion month you’ll be sure to look like you just stepped off the runway.
Alert! Text//Adriana Herdan
When you think of the perfect black pump, a ton of designers may come to mind. But when you add “with a red sole” the only thing that should be associated with this image is the man who brought stilettos back into fashion: Christian Louboutin. At least that is what the he hopes for. The designer recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of his brand with a huge party at none other than Bergdorf Goodman in NYC. In honor of his anniversary Louboutin also released a book where he re-tells the story of the past 20 years of his brand, including his infamous lawsuit against Yves Saint Laurent. In an effort to stop the flow of the red soles oncompeting YSL shoes, Louboutin not only wishes to patent his trademark red soles, but also sue the brand for unauthorized use of them. YSL fought back with references to red soles from Louis XIV’s heels to Dorothy’s ruby slippers to examples from their own archives, adding that no one can claim the color red - and that the Louboutin trademark is invalid. Since we have seen other brands such as Tiffany’s trademark their little blue boxes and Gucci their greenred-green stripes, it is not such a far stretch that CL could patent his famous red soles. However, many believe that Louboutin’s request is far more vague.
The verdict from Judge Victor Marrero sided with YSL, though the outcome of the case still remains uncertain. Legal representatives believe that the color red is not eligible for protection and therefore the trademark should be cancelled. The judge claimed that this would be unfair to other designers because it would limit the gamma of colors they could work with, giving Louboutin and his brand an unfair advantage in the shoe industry. While this may be true, Louboutin can play fair and still have an advantage over other brands since the quality and design of his shoes is incomparable to any other designer. However, with other brands using the red soles as well this takes away the “status symbol” these shoes represent. Even though when most see red soles they make an association with the CL brand only a very educated eye can tell the difference between who is wearing a Louboutin and who is wearing someone else.
you donâ€™t know
Photos // Nelson Ramm Model // Cody Franklin
Pink Polo $145 from Jack Spade
White Oxford $195 Burgundy Knitted Tie $125 from Jack Spade 15
MEN’S SPRING ESSENTIALS Text//Andrew Favorito
Unlike a typical New England winter, something seems a bit off this year in a completely divine way. Am I complaining? Absolutely not. This obscenely confusing weather is making my spring online shopping during class a lot more bearable - it’s essentially warm enough to actually wear what’s currently being sold. For this spring, it’s all about transitioning from drab to fab. How can you make this happen? Well, here’s a list of five essentials that will turn your fashion resurgence into a triumphant return.
1//One Word: Color
I’m not telling you to go buy the entirety of Prada’s men’s collection (although those colorful shirts are to die for), but to incorporate color where you normally wouldn’t. Wear your spring brights as you would your winter neutrals – pair them with basics and you’ll stand out from the crowd.
You may be partial to your Wayfarers (in typical Emerson fashion), but branch out to other styles that are equally as timeless, such as round or aviator-style frames. For those of you unwilling to shell out three digits for eyewear, there are options from Warby Parker and Lookmatic, who offer trendy yet affordable handmade frames for $95 and $58, respectively.
Flip-flops are so démodé, darlings. Yes, you may have the urge to wear your Havaianas with your denim cutoff shorts in homage to your alma mater. This spring, resist it. Loafers without socks are my go-to option once the weather is above 50 degrees, but they might not be for everyone. Tuck your boots away and try some leather brogues or suede bucks that look equally as good with jeans as they do with shorts.
4//The Lightweight Jacket
Once the weather gets warm, ditch the heavy wool coat for something lighter to help make the transition to warmer weather easy. The classic anorak has continued its resurgence into 2012, proving to be a big hit for spring, as well as the waist-length trench and the toggle coat. Avoid drab neutrals and make them pop with the colorful options available.
5//The Tote Bag
Yes, it does sound girly. But with designers like Louis Vuitton and Burberry Prorsum sending monstrous totes down the runway on their male models it’s difficult to ignore them. Tuck away the Jansport backpack you’ve been carrying since September and opt for a seasonally appropriate bag in either canvas (they’re only $25 at L.L. Bean) or a leather version, a quality investment that will last for years.
WhatMen's DoSpring I Wear Break Edition Text//Elijah Clark-Ginsburg Photos//Pete Ivanecky
You know what that smell in the air is? That’s freedom (and maybe a bit of what the DH is cooking up, too). In just a few short days, we’ll be given a short respite from classes to live it up spring break style. From South Beach to South Jersey, here are some tips to make your spring break a fashionable one:
The Beach Vacation Lucky you, escaping to somewhere warm for a week of sun, sand, and surf. If you’re heading to somewhere where there’s a chance of the thermometer hitting the 70s in March, you’re going to need to change your Boston wardrobe up a bit. The foundation of any sunny spring break ensemble will be a pair of slim, do-anything chino shorts. From lounging on the beach to hitting the shops, they’ll be perfect for when the going gets hot. The checklist is simple: slim, above the knee, made of cotton chino, and devoid of cargo pockets or other needless complications. Let me say that one more time. Absolutely no cargo shorts. Swim trunks follow a similar rule. Keep ‘em relatively short and simple. Avoid elastic waists whenever possible. A solid or tastefully patterned seveninch trunk will blow your below-the-knee floral print board shorts out of the water. J. Crew and Saturdays Surf can satisfy your entire short and swim trunk needs. Supplement your shorter leg wear with some fulllength chinos or well-worn jeans. Cuff ‘em, throw on some boat shoes, and you’re ready to hit the beach. For those times when a completely bare chest is frowned upon, pack some solid v-neck tees and polos (but don’t even think about popping that collar). If you want full arm coverage, don a slouchy buttondown or rugby.
The Urban Vacation Whether you’re hitting the mean streets of New York, spending a week in lovely Montreal, or even staying in Boston, spring break is a great opportunity to spruce up your city style. Unless you’re heading further south than NYC, it’s probably a little premature to start breaking out the shorts and t-shirts. However, there’s no time like the present to start injecting some spring color into a cold-weather wardrobe. Pair chinos or jeans with colorful button-downs (pink, purple, or aqua, anyone?), or switch things up and wear colorful chinos with a more subdued shirt. Mid-weight layers like sweaters, varsity jackets, trench coats, and even pea coats will keep you warm as the sun makes its exit. For your feet, consider a pair of classic penny loafers or suede bucks, which made a huge showing at Fashion Week.
of the Month
Text// Olivia Hoffman Photography // Alex Clarke
Urban Renewals, located at 122 Brighton Ave in Allston, has everything—and everything for the cheapest price. Most of the items I own myself from Urban Renewals are fashionable in an ugly/pretty kind of a way. The store has giant, comfy, grandpa sweaters galore, racks upon racks of colored blazers, old furs, leather coats and some of the wildest boots and pumps you will ever find. So what makes Urban Renewals an exceptional thrift store? You can find a plain shirt in pretty much every color of the rainbow. All colored tees are somewhere between $1 and $5.
You can find nice blazers in every color and in crazy patterns, all of them somewhere between $3 and $15 They have coats in leather, pleather, fur, . They have a wide selection of floor length dresses and minis (around $5) and pretty much every style of skirt, including my personal favorite: a $5 floor length black skirt that I literally wear every week. jean, and every other kind of fabric coats (anywhere between $4 and $15). The faux fur lined, leather jacket that I’m wearing in the picture was a steal at $10! I recently purchased a tan, suede IZOD jacket from Urban Renewals and it is now my favorite piece of clothing. Price? $10. So, bottom line, Urban Renewals is a thrift shop for people who don’t take brand names too seriously (although once in awhile they have something branded and quite cool) and like to add a little bit of funk to their daily apparel.
of Color Text // Valeria Navarro Photos //Nick Hayes Model // Jess Dyer
Mixing and matching colors to achieve the perfect outfit is already scary, so when it comes to incorporating colors to your makeup it can be even more intimidating. Dont fear! This spring is all about being daring, fun and playful with the different shades of colors. Tones of pink, oranges, purples and soft blues are all over the runway this season, and you can easily recreate these looks at home. The trick when wearing colorful makeup is to either apply a bright eye shadow or lipstick, wearing both my result in a Nicki Minaj disaster. Get inspired by these looks and remember, “Go bold or go home.”
Look#1: Ultra Violet
Try a classic cat-eye with purple eyeliner (Beauty Trick: dip the tip of the eyeliner brush into a small amount of water and then into any eye shadow color you want to make your own eyeliner) Finish the look with bright pink lips. This look is a good way to put a fun spin in the classic cat-eye. Note: you can also try the opposite style by wearing a pink cat-eye and a lavender lipstick if you dare to be a rebel. For this look: Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Eyeshadows in “Painted Purple”($9.99), Cover Girl Lash Blast ($6.94), and MAC lipstick in “Pink Nouveau” ($15).
Look#2: Blood Orange For this look: NYC City Duet Eyeshadow in “Upper Zest Side” ($2.99), Cover Girl Lash Blast. ($6.94), and MAC lipstick in “Media”. $15.
This fruit is not only a delicious type of orange, but it’s also the source of inspiration for this look. Apply a bright orange eye shadow all over your eyelid and highlight the inner corners of your eye with some yellow eye shadow. Finish this look with a maroon lipstick. Feeling romantic? Apply a pink eye shadow all over your eyelid then highlight the inner corners of your eye with a shimmery white eye shadow. Add rosy cheeks and devilish red lips to complete the look that conquers all.
Look#3: Romance in Red
For this look: NYC City Duet Eyeshadow in “Upper Zest Side” ($2.99), Cover Girl Lash Blast. ($6.94), and MAC lipstick in “Media”. $15.
FASHION YOUR fashion
Photos // Hope Kauffman Models // Kyna Doles and Meredeth Barry Stylists // Valeria Navarro & Emily Tannenbaum
On Holiday march
Neon-Yellow Bag $78.08 from Juicy Couture, Navy Dress $140, Teal Long Skirt $78, Scampshirt $110 from Holiday, Dew Drop Skirt $88, Throwback Knit shorts $60, On Again top $199, Sheary Spring $39, Boatie $70, Illusion Stripe Skirt $60, Bettie Bag $128, Luna Sunglasses $15 from Lit
Above: Bettie Bag $128 from Lit, Golden Long Earrings $40 from Holiday, Dew Drop Skirt $88 from Lit, Mustard â€œCoral Reefâ€? Cuff from Holiday, and On Again Top $199 from Lit. Left: , Illusion Stripe Skirt $60, Luna Sunglasses $15 from Lit
To Die vs. To Buy
Text // Olivia Hoffman
The Floral Pant
As an avid Fashion Week follower, I know how it feels to dream of stocking up on all the latest designer duds and strutting our stuff across town. But then we wake up and realize that, although fabulous, we are on a budget and can’t spend hundreds on Newbury Street without giving up eating. So when I find a trend that I love, I search and search for where I can get the same threads for much less “moolah”. And for this issue of Your Mag, I’m going to do the searching for you!
You can find the same great spring print for almost $100 less than the designer brand!
To Buy: $68 BDG Cigarette Mid-Rise Jeans in Black Floral at Urban Outfitters
To Die: $165 Moschino’s from Wasteland
To Buy: $34.95 Platform Shoes from H&M
The neon Blazer
Yes, color is in right now if you hadn’t already noticed. The two are almost identical. No need to break the bank.
To Die: $165 Vince Camuto Single Button Blazer at Nordstrom
To Buy: $59 Blazer at H&M
To Die: $124 Swagger Contrast Toecap Shoes at Top Shop
Emerson College has spoken and this trend is definitely a winner. But I’m sorry, $40 for an iPhone case is kind of steep. To Die: $40 Kate Spade iPhone 4 Case
To Buy: $3.99 Black Hard Case with Polka Dots from eBay
So before you spend your last dime on an ever-changing wardrobe, check out some other options. You might be surprised by what you can find for significantly less. Hey, then maybe you can go eat somewhere other than the DH. Doesn’t that sound better?
NEXT STOP: MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS Sure, The Green Line E-train doesn’t come very often but the next time it does hop on and get ready for some artistic experiences you won’t soon forget. The Museum of Fine arts is just to the right of the MFA stop. Most students in Boston know about the MFA but may have not taken the trip to go see it. One of the best thing about this museum is that Emerson students get in for free. You can explore Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, the Ancient World, Contemporary Art, Photography, and many other unique exhibits. Upcoming special exhibits at the museum include Alex Katz Prints, Collections from Rose- Marie and Eljk van Otterloo, and Edward Weston’s 1941 photography collection Leaves of Grass.
Also off the MFA stop is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. This museum is also close to the T stop. The museum contains a collection of fine and decorative arts. The house is a beautiful 15-century Venetian style palace. One of the most notable fixtures of the museum is the flower-filled courtyard that immediately transports visitors to Venice. A special exhibition titled “Making of the Musuem: Isabella Stewart Gardner as Collector, Architect, and Designer comes in early April. For those music lovers the museum celebrates music through concerts from musical legacies around the world. A plus of the museum is that students get in for just five dollars.
For the post-museum hunger, check out one of the many good eateries around the area including Il Mondo Pizzeria. Their buffalo chicken pizza is a hot pick as well as their point-sized calzones. Il Mondo is just a hop skip and a jump from the MFA stop and is adjacent to Wentworth Institute of Technology. This area is great for meeting new people as it is full of students not only from Wentworth but also Northeastern, Simmons, and MassArt. Text // Liz Mantey Photos // Beata Rybka
YOUR features Text, Photo // Beth Treffeisen
“CAT POWER, CAT POWER” Alice Bag belted out at the top of her lungs as she tore the stage apart with her punk-rock music. The quiet audience who until this piece, sat cross-legged on the floor quietly chowing down vegan food while managing hangovers from the night before, suddenly stirred to its feet. Alice Bag, a singer/songwriter and poet performed a mix of readings from her new book Violence Girl and then sang a punk song following the reading. Bag, in her music and poems showcases a woman who not only had to overcome being a girl in a dominantly male punk age, but also as a Chicano as well. Bag also talked about how important it is to spread your word through activism, protests, and music. “I’m happy to see your generation is starting to test the status quote,” Bag said after her performance. Ladyfest of Boston 2012 has been fundraising for months, gearing up for the big festival at the Cambridge YMCA that took place February 3-5. They were able to raise $5,200 for the EMA fund (Easter Massachusetts Abortion Fund). The auditorium held about 50 people where various girl-powered bands such as Grildfriends, Thick Shakes, Honeysuck, and Hilly Eye performed. This is the first time Boston held the Ladyfest festival but other cities throughout the country have hosted it before. “People have seen how great community building can be and helped us be influential and be a part of something,” said Rachel Rizzo, a board member of Ladyfest. Ladyfest celebrates the creativity of women and their struggles as some of their rights are still being fought over as the right to birth control and abortion remain politically controversial. The showcase of
bands that featured women along with workshops and inspirational signs on the wall showed its support for the nearby Planned Parenthood and the EMA fund, where they hope to help women in need. “It’s crazy how much $50 can change a women’s life,” said Danni Murphy who is a volunteer at the EMA Fund emergency hotline. In this time of revolutions and pro-life protests, raising money for an abortion fund can be a difficult task, especially when so many vocal Americans want to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. All over the nation, Planned Parenthoods are suffering from lack of funding, but here in Boston there seems to be no problem finding support. “Every event we’ve done I’ve seen more people than I’ve ever seen in my life and it’s so kool that they are so interested,” said Rizzo. Emerson Feminists made an appearance at the event to bring awareness and add more volunteers for their upcoming events. This year, there has been an increase in membership and the group was able to get SGA approval after applying for three years. They enacted the counter protest to the anti-abortion posters hung up on the Common last semester. Emerson Feminists found out about the Ladyfest event and was excited to be part of it. “It’s not so much an outrage event but more of a community event,” said Rose Perry, a sophomore majoring in writing, literature and publishing and Vice President of the club. The fight for women’s rights is not over and Boston’s Ladyfest shows that people in the city’s community are here to support them.
Get IntimateTextwith the Cast of Darling // Beata Rybka Photos // Brian Annis Everybody knows all about the musical theater acting majors. They sing in elevators, hallways and staircases. They always have dancing shoes on. And if you ever try to make an appointment with them, theyâ€™re busy -- #soemerson. But this month, the wonderful cast of Darling, A New Musical has made all the time in the world for us, and you, to take a peak into the backstage world of theater at Emerson.
Join us in a magical excursion beyond the curtain as we get intimate with the cast and crew of Darling, A New Musical. Go to yourmagemerson.com to see the exclusive photo shoot, and read about what our stars are like when theyâ€™re not on stage.
March 1 at 8 PM March 2 at 7 PM in the Semel Theatre
Reading Between the Cyber Space Text // Cheyenne Boccia
The weight of a book and the soft rustle of pages or the pitter-patter of keyboards and the soft clicks of scrolling? In this modern age of technology, the world’s oldest and simplest form of communication is slowly becoming obsolete and falling victim to the powerhouses that create computers, tablets and phones. These devices are wedging the written word right off the radar of the average student, especially Emersonians who have a tendency to worship at the alter of the late, great Steve Jobs empire. This shift leads one to wonder just how many of us on campus are using print media versus electronic mediums. There are obvious benefits to acquiring an iPad or Kindle for your literary purposes. Even though a 2010 Pew Internet and American Life survey indicated that only 5 percent of Americans owned an e-reader, they continually grow in popularity as new technologies emerge. They are lightweight, sleek, shiny and just plain cool in that tech-geek sort of way that drives people to stake out the local Apple stores. It’s like having your own minilibrary where everything you ever wanted to read is oh-so-conveniently wrapped up in a stylish case about the size of a wallet. This can be of great use to a college student. Books are not only heavy, but also one-dimensional in terms of their usefulness—what you see is what you get. The only way to elaborate on their information is to get another book (or simply turn to the Internet which is the controversy at hand), and so the process continues. “It does save paper! And [these devices] make it easier to carry books around,” said Karina Assad, Acting BFA ’14. Not only does modern society boast tech reliance, as Assad suggests, it’s environmentally conscious tech reliance. Less waste, more innovation please! Clearly a single device that can hold a Barnes & Noble-sized amount of literature is not a bad thing, but among students, the consensus seems to be that you can’t beat the classic methods of reading. “Though I am not against Kindles, I guess I am partial to books. There is something timey and original about an old book,” Assad continued. It’s true that paperbacks and hard-covers tell their own stories beyond the words on their pages. Each book is an individual almost with a personality of its own. Nothing can compare to turning the pages of a favorite novel on the beach or flipping through the latest Vogue in a nail salon. “My grandfather bough me a Nook when I graduated from high school because reading has always been a passion of mine,” recalled Joanie Jenkins, Communication Disorders ’14,“I found using the Nook had a completely different feel. I missed turning the pages and being able to highlight passages I liked.” For recreation, the Nook is a viable option at times, but Jenkins feels that it’s out of the question for textbooks. “When it comes to textbooks I always and will continue to buy the paperbacks [hardcopies]. It is easier to highlight and study from in my opinion. I only use my Nook for pleasure reading and vacation.” Paperless reading has been around for some time and continues to grow in its popularity. However, paper reading has yet to be fully phased out of most students’ radar. Each form of reading serves a purpose and both are useful in some respects. It would appear that this battle of old vs. new boils down to personal preference. After all, functionality, like beauty, is in to the eye of the beholder.
Where to Meet Hipsters Like You Text // Christina Jedra
Berklee College of Music - Looney Tunes Location: 1106 Boylston Street
Emerson College – The Thinking Cup Location: 165 Tremont Street
Fans of Newbury Comics, listen up. If you like oldschool music and movies, Berklee has just the thing for you. This rustic music shop offers a massive variety of records, cassette tapes, and CD’s as well as movies on both VHS and DVD, all for a more-than-reasonable price. “There aren’t many like this still in business,” said Berklee freshman Eva Gertz. I love walking by this place because they always play music like the Beatles and other bands from that generation.” Walking in is to be transported into another time.
This is the place you want to go to have a social experience while eating a (somewhat overpriced yet trendy) scone. The café is always packed and you’re likely to bump into at least one person you already know (I ran into my writing professor from last semester) or some good-looking strangers in knit hats and hipster glasses.
Northeastern University – Au Bon Pain Location: 369 Huntington Avenue
Boston University – Café Royale Location: 736 Commonwealth Avenue
This chain café has lots of seating and is conveniently located right across from the green line T stop. Northeastern students can be seen studying here with a bagel in hand since the eatery is conveniently located in the university’s Marino Center. “The broccoli cheddar soup is my favorite!” said NU freshman Rohini Rakhit.
Walking in to this popular café, it can be a bit overwhelming at first, with students occupying every couch space to study and refuel with coffee. However, the social atmosphere is a friendly one, with folk music playing and students chatting over sandwiches. “Everything in here is healthy,” said BU freshman Brianna Vieira.
Suffolk University – The Boston Common Coffee Company Location: 515 Washington Street
Harvard University – TeaLuxe Location: 0 Brattle Street, Cambridge
This coffee shop is located between Paramount Theatre and Suffolk’s buildings. While it has more of a mixed crowd in terms of age, it provides a quieter atmosphere than some other java providers. “I like the casual atmosphere and also their coffees are really good,” said Suffolk freshman Greg Fortier. “It is just out of Downtown Crossing but close enough to be a convenient spot. It’s also one of the few coffee spots that are not chains and serve good stuff near where I live.”
This quaint shop sells tea grounds to take home as well as steaming cups to go. The server (mine was an attractive 20-something with a blonde streak in his hair) will help you choose from dozens of out-there tea flavors (think mango and coconut) and will create it onthe-spot before pouring it into a cup partially made up of recycled fibers. Choose from dozens of flavors and then enjoy a street performance in the nearby Harvard Square.
YOUR features Text // Kiera Murray Photos courtesy of Sounds of Venus
Berklee and Emerson Collide
Emerson’s film students create video for Berklee’s Sounds of Venus
The only way to learn is to do, and the only way to get anywhere is to get out there. This is what we learn at Emerson as we work, intern, live, and don’t sleep to stay on the pulse of a world-class city like Boston. But we’re not the only ones. It turns out we have much more in common with Berklee College of Music than a Boylston address and a nice selection of hipsters. Down the street, there are some like-minded musicians marching to a similar beat as us, along with a remix of their own. “Time - it will not chase after you” -- or so read the lyrics to the song “Time” by Sounds of Venus, an alternative rock band made up of five driven Berklee students. The sentiment is that as we grow and change, we can only watch the time go by. The line is true of our pasts, but can also be said of our futures. Your passion, your career and your life will not chase after you. It’s the other way around.
Sounds of Venus is made up of Mario Borgatta, Paige Califano, Josh Canevari, Logan Coats and Nick Susi. Their sound ranges from British noise rock to more floating and ambient pieces, influenced by legends like Radiohead, Bjork, The Edge, and Modest Mouse. They’ve been making music together for almost a year and are currently working to release their first album in the spring. And in the midst of playing venues like The Middle East, T.T. the Bear’s Place, Great Scott and Café 939, they’ve also joined forces with a team of Emerson students to direct, film and produce a music video for “Time.” Studying theory in a classroom and actually practicing a major, craft or passion in the real world are two entirely different processes, especially for a musician. “It’s weird studying music in such an academic environment,” said Susi. “It’s very simulated and it’s very artificial and at times it feels like we’re in a petri dish.”
YOUR features Keep an eye on YourMagEmerson.com for the “Time” video, and check out Sounds of Venus on Facebook for more information about the band and their upcoming shows, including a New England tour over spring break.
The rest of the band agreed. Califano described it as being inside of a bubble, while Coats said it resembles a controlled test-drive of an airplane. “A flight simulator versus actually flying a plane,” he said. “At school when we play we’re focusing on honing a skill and developing, where when we’re playing together as a band we’re more focused on the communicative and enthusiastic aspect of music. The more fun part. The part that actually matters.” The video collaboration has been a chance for both sides to use all those skills they’ve honed in school to produce something creative, personal and tangible. Director Doug Porter pitched the idea to Sounds of Venus and gathered a team to bring it to life. “Overall the theme of the video is the passage of time, how it is confusing and strange and it never stops, and a person can change so much but
still have a connection with who they were in the past,” said one of the producers Aly Boden. “Working with the band was great,” said director of photography Skylar Wilson. “Everyone was willing to do whatever it took to make the video as good as possible. They gave Doug the creative freedom to carry out his vision while making some of their own notes along the way. It was a really solid collaboration.” So what is Sounds of Venus chasing? “Realistically our goal is just to make really good records and put on a hell of a show,” said Coats. “The music industry should be called the relationship industry,” said Susi. “It’s so important to really enjoy the people you’re playing with. Music is sound but it feels – that’s why it’s music and not…a car horn. As long as we enjoy each other I have no doubt we’ll still make music together.”
Matt Reagan's Hand-and-a-Half Records Text // Taylor Smith Photos // Brian Annis
Matt Regan is no newcomer to the music business. Starting in his high school day the film major displayed a passion and talent for music in all forms. Matt started off playing in a metal band called Acacius, an acoustic duet called The Candelight Design, and an alternative pop rock band called Trading Hats. Regan recalls there was a time where he was playing a show every month. “We played with a lot of different bands, we saw bands and musicians come and go, rise and fall. It just all seemed so visceral to me, it was like its own world and for the first time I felt I was a part of something bigger than myself,” says Regan. The summer before college, Regan performed for the band Trading Hats. It was there that he met the future co-executive producer of his record label. Mike taught himself audio production and with Regan’s help, they recorded a ten song album with Trading Hats. “He made it sound absolutely incredible and I’m so excited to be working with him still,” explains Regan. The label is called Hand-and-a-Half Records, a little known reference to a type of sword. It is currently set up as a non-profit organization. As Regan says, “We’re basically a valve for local music.” They record the band, produce the files for a CD, and promote it digitally. All of the profits go straight to the band, making this not only a great opportunity for Regan and his team to get experience, but also a great opportunity for the artists that sign with them. “I think that most labels these days are looking to make money, and because everyone and their mother has a ‘home studio’, bands aren’t going to these smaller indie labels, so they have to charge more for their bands which turns more bands off from going to those labels... It’s a stupid cycle.” Regan says he is attracted to music because it’s his medicine. “I know it sounds cliche, but I could really write about what was upsetting me or bothering me... I was able to write about things like my own battles with religion, and just being a kid, I was able to wonder what happens after we die, to make commentaries on social rules and the like... So music has really been like a vehicle for me to channel my own thoughts into something productive.” Regan says everything he’s learned about music has been through trial and error. He believes the only way to create anything worthwhile is by using what you learn in a new unique way. “I think the same goes for any type of art... People can teach you how to paint lines to portray point of view and focal point, but no one told da Vinci how to paint the Mona Lisa, you know?” Regan has said he plans to continue his experiments will all aspects of music, including the recording label. He loves creating art, and truly believes his work can benefit a lot of people. Regan calls it an opportunity to learn more about the business and help out artists. He says, “I’m going to keep running HnH (Hand-and-a-Half Records) until there is absolutely no way I can continue to do so.”
Monthly Playlist: Who doesn’t like a strong drink to celebrate a holiday in honor of an Irish saint? Here at the YourMag A&E section, those of us who are 21 definitely do. We did our absolute best to catalogue a typical St. Patrick’s Day night for you in song form, and we hope that this playlist tells a decent story. It starts at the first drink with your friends at the beginning of the night, and ends with you lying on the stairwell of some strange apartment building under really harsh fluorescent lights having lost your shoes two hours ago and only realizing all this now. Hopefully you stay responsible: after last year, we definitely will be. As always, check our Grooveshark for a digital version of the playlist.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
Bomb” 14. “Cherry The Runaways on Mars?” 15. “Life David Bowie People “ 16. “Common Pulp Like Me” 17. “Wolf TV on the Radio Hair” 18. “Wet Japandroids of Whiskey“ 19. “Stream The Pogues Alexander” 20. “Brandy Feist of the Sad Assassin” 21. “Song WHY? Drunk to Fuck” 22. “Too The Dead Kennedys in a Lifetime” 23. “Once Talking Heads 24. “Disappointed” Morrissey Night” 25. “The Morphine
“Gin Soaked Boy” Tom Waits “Tequila” The Champs “My Head” Times New Viking “The Punk Singer” Julie Ruin “Color in Your Cheeks” The Mountain Goats “Gin and Juice” Snoop “Juicy” The Notorious B.I.G “Midnight City” M83 “West End Girls” Pet Shop Boys Lights and Music Cut Copy “Get It On (Bang a Gong)” T. Rex “Coconut” Harry Nilsson “Six Pack” Black Flag 37
For around 80 years, various studios have been trying to bring Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars to the screen and each have failed miserably. You’d think someone would have done so earlier; the tale of a Civil War solider who gets transported to the world of Barsoom, as the Martians call it, and fights in a struggle for the good of both Mars and Earth seems like the kind of property that any right-minded executive would love to have on their summer release slate. There’s a copious amount of action, danger and romance; it has the pedigree of being one of the founding works of space opera- something that’s not exactly science fiction due to it being nowhere near the realm of possibility, but still involves conflicts in space; and Burroughs is a still-recognizable pulp writer, creating characters like Tarzan in addition to this. Some of these failures are incredibly fascinating to imagine (the first was pitched as an animated film in 1936, rotoscoped in a similar fashion as Disney’s early feature-length epics) and others just reek of studios attempting to grab a quick few bucks of an established property. Somehow, the money never materialized and the talent never showed up. Now, times have changed. Based on the incredible grosses of films like Avatar, Walt Disney Studios is preparing to release its own adaptation of the novel, first titled John Carter of Mars and then later shortened to John Carter to appeal to other people besides nerds, and giving it a proper treatment as well. There’s incredible talent behind the camera, featuring Pixar alum Andrew Stanton (director of Wall-E) and author Michael Chabon helping to pen the screenplay, a fascinating cast comprised of names that would make nerds explode with excitement (Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, Bryan Cranston) and, most importantly, a reported $250 million dollar budget. So why should I be worried? After all, it seems like the stars
really aligned themselves for this adaptation, and that the great nerd gods should be smiling down upon this endeavor. Yet, every trailer and clip from the film that’s been released seems incredibly dry and tone-deaf. It seems to be taking itself super seriously and the sense of wonder and fun that’s present in the books has disappeared. But that’s not really the reason at all. I couldn’t care less about what’s changed from the source, or the quality of the performances, or even the writing or directing. Mainly I’m bothered by the fact that there really doesn’t seem to be a point of making this at all. That kind of criticism is normally pretty boring; frankly, when someone says that there’s no point to a movie existing I kind of roll my eyes and visualize dollar signs (after all, that’s pretty much the point of all studio filmmaking). Even from a business standpoint, though it makes little sense to release this movie and to put that much manpower and cash behind it. This is due to several factors, the first being the fact that it has influenced so much over the years. People are looking for something decently new in their filmmaking, especially when it comes to the story. That’s not to say that there are a ton of original ideas floating around Hollywood, but most genre films that make money generally have some sort of hook. What does John Carter have that something like Star Wars doesn’t? When distilled down, their plots share enough similarities, and a great amount of other popular fiction such as Avatar pillage enough from it. Why do we need to adapt the monotext for a good amount of our entertainment to film? The iconography of the story and even the illustrations have filtered their way through our collective cultural consciousness, and all people see when they look at the trailers is another boring sci-fi movie that they’ve seen a dozen or so times throughout their lives, usually when not knowing what to do on a date.
WHY I’M NERVOUS ABOUT
JOHN CARTER Text//Nick Johnston
Secondly, the people that have pushed this throughout their lives and have actively attempted to get this made in the modern era don’t really know what an audience would want. I mean, Harry Knowles (the owner and headmaster of Ain’t It Cool News) has been one of the driving forces to get this made. It’s funny the kingmaker-like hold that Knowles has had on aspects of nerd culture from time to time. He and other online critics have the ability to enhance or destroy a movie, especially at the box office. There are three main examples of this; first, the preview reviews he ran of Batman and Robin framed it as one of the worst movies of all time, slightly influencing the gross and leading the WB to reboot the franchise; second, a script review he ran of J.J. Abrams’ Superman movie and the reactions to it destroyed the project before it even got to principal photography; and third, he helped pitch the concept back in 2005 and courted Jon Faverau (Iron Man) to direct it. That version didn’t get off the ground, but Disney saw a potential interest and snatched it up. Knowles is a fascinating guy and undoubtedly loves film and classic sci-fi, but I don’t think he truly understands the commitment that a studio makes when producing a film. If this project fails, sci-fi epics of its scale would become increasingly rare to see, as most studios would desperately hope not to have another bomb like John Carter on their hands. This reaction would be similar to how they reacted when Batman and Robin failed and it took five years for another company, Fox, to greenlight an adaptation of another major hero, Spider-Man. Avatar would be seen as a fluke, and I really couldn’t stand to live in a world like that. It would make overly entitled nerds even worse, and then even a director who does everything right with a property a target for criticism.
Knowles had his heart in the right place, but it’s fair to say that we’ve moved on from the time where it had any relevance. However, Disney isn’t helping their chances at all either. By moving the film to March from it’s original position in June, they attempted to do two things: avoid competition with Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and also to capture that coveted 300 success, where an unknown property that’s not exactly amazing grosses a shit-ton of cash simply because there’s nothing else playing. This was a good idea, but it rushed the post-production process and also rushed the 3-D conversion, the latter being a sin that audiences hate more than most due to the surcharge on the ticket price. Their marketing hasn’t been great either, in which they’ve released dozens of TV spots and trailers each that appeal to their own particular market. Changing the film’s title didn’t really help either, as people shrug their shoulders when hearing it, and it doesn’t exactly draw one’s attention to the cinema. All of this results in a film that looks to the public like it doesn’t know what it’s trying to be. Is it a romance? Gladiator-like action movie? Campy sci-fi with weird animals? There’s one thing to be said for not showing enough or showing in a preview, and there’s another for trying to make it into something for everyone based on 30 seconds of footage. All I know is that I hope the money and the talent that has gone in to this pays off, because if the studio really has a quality film there, the box office may simply appear due to word-of-mouth and whatnot. But if it doesn’t come, it’ll make decades of development look like a game of hot potato, and Disney look like the loser; an insult to all of those invested in the project and the audience for coming out. And that’s a goddamn shame.
The Nerdy Side of
Text//Eric Gaudette I never thought that I would seriously be excited to turn on the TV and switch the station to PBS at this age. I always thought there were only two sorts of people who watched that station: little kids, who are excited for Sesame Street and Arthur, or old folks who wanted to watch news or some boring, highbrow British show. And yet here I am, watching one of these highbrow British shows, only this one is far from boring. Downton Abbey, is actually one of the best TV shows I’ve ever watched. I’m not the only one who was surprised to be suddenly looking forward to this show. Patton Oswalt, a comedian and actor who recently played a nerdy cripple in Young Adult, was immediately fascinated by the show (or, as he puts it, “besotted as a vicar at a crumpet orgy”) after watching the first episode late last year. But why do Oswalt and I love it so much? Well, let’s look at what the show is about first. The show stars Robert Crawley, the patriarch of an aristocratic family in Great Britain during the early 20th century. He is responsible for looking over the eponymous house, Downton Abbey (not Downtown Abbey). The show revolves around him, his wife, his daughters, his mother (played by the great Maggie Smith), and the servants of the house. While that may not sound like much, all of the residents of Downton are some of
the most three-dimensional and interesting characters ever conceived. His three daughters are Mary, the attractive, arrogant, and somewhat defiant eldest sister; Edith, the middle child, who lives in the shadow of her older sister who isn’t as appreciated; and Sybil, the youngest daughter, who is a radical feminist and
political activist. Mary and Edith have a sibling rivalry. Unlike a lot of rivalries you see on TV, though, there’s no clear one you’re supposed to root for. Sure, Edith is severely unappreciated and Mary does sometimes taunt her about this. But this doesn’t necessarily justify her actions. She once even tried to ruin Mary’s entire life. But she has some scenes that make her sympathetic. And Mary, while having many advantages, has the huge disadvantage of
being unable to make a mistake. Otherwise, all of England will know about it and judge her for it. For an aristocratic society, appearance is everything and she therefore leads a stressful life. The servants of the house are also a lot of fun. There’s Carson, the uptight but caring head butler. There’s Mr. Bates, the earnest but mysterious footman. There’s Daisy, the nervous wreck of a kitchen maid. And lastly, there are the villains of the show: the first “footman” (servant) Thomas who is an ambitious and backstabbing man, and O’Brien the maid of Robert’s wife, who feels undervalued in the house. Like the sisters, the staff gets involved in a lot of real moral issues, the most poignant one being the issue of the draft: is it okay to avoid it? Both sides of the issue are examined, as well as what the Great War was actually like. It’s a fascinating issue that many shows wouldn’t have the gall to cover. The last episodes of season two are being released this month. Patton Oswalt live tweets the show, so make sure to watch it in tandem with that. He’s hilarious. If you haven’t watched the show before, try Netflix (first season only) or Amazon Instant video.
Meets Bostonia Text//Olivia Moravec
It’s said that there is a place young people can go to retire; a place where all the hot girls wear glasses; and yes, a place where making shell art and jewelry is a job. The pre-Bush administration inspired ideas of pursuing a career as a clown are still acceptable in Portland, Oregon (pronounced “Port-lund” according to Fred and Carrie). It’s an alternate universe. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein took IFC’s hit show, Portlandia, on the road this month to humbly and proudly represent the city of Portland. On February 20, they sold out their show at the Berklee College of Music Performance Hall after adding dates to the tour. “You’re late,” said Armisen to Brownstein after their introductory theme song. “And you’re kind of Boston.” Brownstein took off a slouchy beanie and held up the infinity scarf she was wearing. “It’s like a gross engagement ring,” she said. Even though Armisen and Brownstein were there to riff off the stereotypes of Portland, they personalized their content to Bostonians throughout the show by comparing Jamaica Plain to Portland and joking with the Berklee students about their knowledge of music theory. They did their best to bring the television show to a stage. Kyle MacLachlan, who plays Portland’s mayor, introduced the show with a pre-recorded video making it seem that Fred and Carrie were in Boston to represent Portland. He also used his status of mayorship to create the human megaphone, by having the audience repeat everything he said for a good few minutes. The Performance Hall was the most formal setting they used on the tour, but they still made most of the show conversational. They projected a three-part sketch from an upcoming episode above the stage to divide up the sketches they were performing live. Along with their expected comedy sketches, the Portlandia stars played some music, showed some unseen videos from upcoming shows, and just ‘hung out.’ And, just like in their show, they brought out a few unexpected guests along the way. J Mascis, who is known as the singer, guitarist, and songwriter for Dinosaur Jr. and a top 100 rated guitarist of all time, appeared in the “Woman and Woman First” sketch with a cake from Boston’s Sweet and Nasty, located near the Hynes Convention Center green-line stop, then played a song with Armisen and Brownstein. “Why is this cake in prison?” Tony, Brownstein’s feminist character, offended-ly asked her ‘brother’ played by Mascis. She was even more offended to see that the cake had two sets of frosting boobs and “Breast Wishes” written below it. Aside from the laughs, they took the time during the show to answer questions from the audience, revealing exclusive info about the filming of the show. For example, the mayor’s assistant in the show is played by Portland’s actual mayor. Armisen also said filming
in Portland is different than any other place he’s filmed, especially in comparison to SNL. “The city just gave us a police car, no questions asked, and there was still a gun in it,” said Brownstein. Unlike New York City or Chicago, no one watches or approaches them in Portland. They simply walk into the City Hall and film the show. “I have some friends from Portland, and they think the show is derogatory. What do you guys think?” asked an audience member. They respectfully disagreed. Brownstein and Armisen described it as a love letter to the city, and said that most of the characters come from pieces of their own personalities (which shouldn’t be a surprise as nearly 99% of the dialogue in the show is improvised). Both performers have their own special connections to the place. Armisen claimed he spends most of his summer in Portland and Brownstein lives there year-round. The dynamic of Fred and Carrie’s friendship was shown to the audience in a way that a television show doesn’t. They showed us pictures of themselves growing up, and shared things with the audience on a personal level. Don’t tell Fred I told you, but he even showed us a picture of himself with Steve Jobs. I’ve already said too much! The rest is just between Fred, Carrie, and I.
Editor’s Pick march
The End is Nigh
Picture this: a ghost in a cloth sack mask is beamed down from a spaceship during a solar eclipse. Meteors hit the rising tides at sunset and I’d call it breathtaking but for the super-virus that’s already taken your breath. Scared yet? This is a slice of media that particularly interests me. People love to feel fear. As one of our innate emotions, fear has always been close at hand, but it has recently taken a new face. When I say recently I do not mean the face of the approaching job interview or deadline, I mean recently on the timeline of humanity; we have rid ourselves of a number of primal fears that used to dominate life. Bears are scary, doubtless, but unless you’re Timothy Treadwell you don’t have to face that fear on a daily basis. Paleolithic man had many such worries—the howling of a wolf at night, the scent of infection, poisonous plants and of course death itself. With the advent of modernity we have escaped many of these physical dangers and, therefore, the fear that they foster. Death remains the ultimate fear and, arguably, the basis of all others—but let’s leave that topic aside for a moment. Today our fears have moved further into the realm of the abstract: economical and social anxieties (public speaking is terrifying to many). What I see in the media today is a desire to reclaim these carnal fears, to feel them without the danger present and be reminded that we are, after all, mortal. Horror movies. That’s too easy. More compelling is the rising tide of documentary style television shows that play upon our innate fears: Armageddon, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Finding Bigfoot, Ancient Aliens, or even When Vacations Attack. These shows seem to cheat towards the nonfiction end of the spectrum. Freddy vs. Jason they are not, but neither are they NOVA documentaries. These shows inhabit a niche wherein minor suspension of disbelief can allow for fear based in “fact.” The apocalypse is coming—we all know that. When science tells us our galaxy spirals a black hole, this conclusion is inevitable. But given that the the Mayans predicted that it’s coming in a few short months, though, the news is a bit more arresting.
Apocalypse Island is an episode in the History Channel’s Armageddon series. This show attempts to provide some believable (note my avoidance of the term “credible”) analysis of history, geography and archeology in order to make us jump and gasp. The first and most important technique is the narrator, Robert Davi who has acted in such films as Verdict in Blood, The Butcher, and Game of Death. Following the dramatic narration, any show about the apocalypse must have a terrifying, drum-heavy soundtrack with plenty of unsettling ambient drone. Mentioning such lofty and indisputable concepts as the cosmos, ancient civilizations and the Mayan calendar lends the show its authority. Jargon is carefully chosen: the word “final” is used as often as possible, as well as the phrase “before it’s too late.” Add in a mystery element to the whole thing; it’s a puzzle to be solved. The Mayans left us (Americans) a message to decode so that we might save ourselves by purchasing freeze-dried beef and canned corn. With such dire predictions being aired on national television, I am left wondering who is cashing in. The first and most obvious answer is the television networks. It seems a contradiction to me that the History Channel would air shows about the future (impending doom), but as evidenced by the recurrence of these shows, they clearly bring viewers. The Travel Channel has started to hop on board the disaster train, as well as National Geographic with its new show Doomsday Preppers. Herein I see the most obvious exploitation of doomsday fears. According to their website, in this show we see a number of “otherwise ordinary Americans” (just like you) “preparing for the end of the world as we know it” by purchasing survival equipment. The message I’m getting here is “BUY”. Not surprising in our capitalist society, but I have to wonder what I’ll do with all those rations, guns and oil lanterns once January 2013 rolls around. The same thing I did with all those water sanitation tablets after Y2K, I suppose. The end of times is trendy, no doubt about it. After General Motor’s Super Bowl ad featuring a post-apocalyptic city dominated by their vehicle, it’s clear that no area of media resists cashing in on this phenomenon. If people want to be afraid, what better way to do so than to herald the coming destruction? If they happen to buy some things along the way, all the better. Perhaps Nostradamus was more marketing wizard than prophet.
Every issue, we give our writers a chance to make the case for why a critically reviled or universally loved movie deserves re-evaluation.
Text//Marc Hecht I call it the Bruce Campbell Effect. The more screen time given to Bruce Campbell in a Sam Raimi movie is directly proportionate to how comedic the film is supposed to be. Let’s take, for example, the Evil Dead series, possibly the most wellknown Raimi films outside of Spider-Man. First off, we’ve got Evil Dead (naturally). It begins as a pretty conventional horror b-movie. A bunch of teenagers (or people in their early twenties) go off to a cabin in the woods to spend a have a fun weekend, where they inadvertently unleash unspeakable horror. It’s a pretty standard horror movie, besides the tree rape. Bruce Campbell stars, but he shares the screen with three other characters, splitting the time with them pretty much equally. Less Bruce, no comedy. Evil Dead 2 comes along, and it opens with Bruce and his girl going to the cabin together. She dies in the first five minutes. For long stretches of the film it’s just us and Bruce. It features laughing clocks and stuffed animal heads, a Three Stooges routine involving a severed hand, and a giant tree with a human’s face. More Bruce, more comedy. Finally, we’ve got Army of Darkness, the third and final film in the series. Bruce has travelled back in time. It’s all Bruce, baby, and it pretty much drops the horror genre entirely. All Bruce, all comedy. My proposal, if you kept reading long enough to see this, is that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man series follows a similar progression. It, too, can be quantified in the amount of screen time Bruce Campbell receives in each. Instead of horror, we are now distinguishing between the comic book hero elements and, once again, the comedy. The first movie has maybe five minutes of Bruce, tops, and has a fairly standard comic book origin, retelling a similar story to every other superhero movie. Campbell level equals minimal, comedy level equals nonexistent. Spider-Man 2 enters the picture. Bruce is, once again, minimal, though slightly more significant than in the first movie. The surrealism and comedy ramps up a bit. We’ve got Harry Osborn having freaky hallucinations of his father in the mirror; we’ve got Doctor fucking Octopus. A little more Campbell, a little more weirdness. Now, I can finally get on to Spider-Man 3, and, my god, is there a lot of Campbell. He plays a French maître d’ who helps Peter Parker propose to Mary Jane and is featured heavily in the few scenes he is in, regardless of having almost no bearing on the plot, except for—you guessed it—comic relief. The thing to remember about Spider-Man 3 is that when it gets too ridiculous that you just have to laugh that’s probably intentional. Yes. I do believe it is intentional. How could Raimi direct a scene in which Peter Parker does a jazz dance routine without intending some form of bizarre comedy? How could he give Spider-Man an over-the-top angst-y plotline and Harry Osborn partial amnesia if he didn’t want a certain level of absurdity? That’s the other thing. Spider-Man 3 is the only comic book movie I’ve seen that really, truly feels like a comic book. With that, you get the good and the bad. Though it is novel to see such a literal translation of the medium to the screen, some elements really, really do not transfer, like a lot of the goofiness. The bizarre, out-of-left-field retcons (changes to prior aspects
of the plot, normally done out of editorial laziness) don’t help either, with the Sandman becoming Uncle Ben’s assassin being the most blatant. While these elements don’t work too well, they capture the essence and feel of the comic book medium to a T. This is a medium that, like any other, has a few glaring flaws that take a little getting used to. Yes, I’m willing to admit the film has numerous flaws. The addition of Venom as a main antagonist is unnecessary, shoehorned in by the studio at the last second, and it shows. Although Venom is one of the coolest superhero villains of all time, it’s not the story Raimi wanted to tell. The story of the Sandman is much better thought out, and even experimental. For a comic book movie to have an antagonist that has noble motives, is completely sympathetic, and ends the story as friends with the hero is frankly unheard of. This risk pays off, but it’s not what the fans expected. The movie is colorful and bizarre, the plot has a bunch of holes, and there’s way too much crammed in there - just like most comic books. I believe that Spider-Man 3 is a comedic attempt to literally translate the feel of the comic book medium to the big screen and, in that sense, it’s a total success. And yes, my affection for Raimi is clouding my judgment.
Why Big Events Suck Text//Nick Johnston
Marvel Comics is about to start their new big event, Avengers Vs. X-Men, in a few months, and you couldn’t even measure the immensity of the fuck that I do not give. Really? That title? Couldn’t you have picked anything less obvious, Marvel? And please don’t give me the argument that you’ve learned your lesson from naming your last one after an FDR quote and that people “just didn’t get it.” Your readership isn’t completely stupid; people generally think things with “Fear” in the title will involve just that. I could spend hours bitching about it, but I need to lose weight, shave and get a job (see, Mom?). Still, something just really irks me about the entire ordeal, especially when you have to drudge up the most overused aspects of your universe in order to get sales. And why does every event have to have “shocking implications for the X-Men as a team!” now? You already had the X-Men fight Norman Osborn, each other and Joss Whedon’s worst instincts as a writer. It’s a damn shame that you can’t even walk into a shop anymore without having every stupid tie-in or something pitched to you, and DC Comics’ last event, Flashpoint, took this to a whole new level. In addition to having something close to twenty tie-in miniseries relating to the story all hitting the streets within five months, the publisher devoted all of its resources in order to make the zombies buy them all. If you bought the debut issue of any of the miniseries, you got a button (while supplies lasted, and trust me, they went quickly). Of course you don’t want to miss the EARTH-SHATTERING implications for the DC universe, meaning the
introduction to their latest attempts to court an audience that hasn’t paid attention to their publications for years: mainstream teenagers and children. How the hell did we get to this point? How could comic fans easily forget the lessons of the 90’s? In case you don’t live in your mother’s basement, let me explain this to you. In the late 80’s/early 90’s, after a string of events (successful or not) from both publishers, sales began to drop in a big way. Collecting older comics had become popular because of a resurgence of interest due to Tim Burton’s first Batman movie, and it got the attention of the higher-ups. Eventually, every comic had a gimmick--holographic covers, variant covers that you could assemble into a giant panorama--and we fell for it like the bunch of chumps that we are. The competition between the companies heated up, and after a series of volleys, DC dropped an atomic bomb on the industry. They killed Superman for the press attention. It was dumb. Lots of dumb people bought it. Soon it started happening to every other character as well; Batman broke his back, Green Lantern went nuts and killed tons of people, and Wonder Woman was diagnosed with breast cancer (just kidding, why would they risk losing the eye candy?). People caught on, an increasing amount of people stopped buying the books, the collecting market went to hell, and the publishers lost an important audience: kids. The big two have never fully recovered from that, and shops everywhere closed down. I’m desperately afraid that we’re going to fall into that same trap again, and the Pax Nerdana that we’re immersed in at
the moment will fade away. “But they’ve got a bunch of big movies coming out,” people say. “Surely that means something!” Turns out it doesn’t. It doesn’t effect sales one way or another, and even drastic measures like DC’s “New 52” (or, as I like to call it, “Reboot ALL the things!”) failed in that regard after several months. Here’s an idea: give up the “big event” culture. Let them die a peaceful death, or at least just let them fade away for a little while. Maybe then people would start buying them heavily again. Maybe you should focus on making single issues again. You know what I’m talking about, right? The ones where you tell a complete story within 24 pages and have it decently illustrated and just keep people coming back on the quality of the storytelling. And there’s nothing wrong with making long storylines that happen over several issues. Just don’t make me feel like an idiot for buying them when absolutely nothing happens every issue until the absolute last one. Hire writers and editors who respect the intelligence of all members of the audience, no matter race, gender, or sexual orientation. Make sure you don’t pander to the fanboys like myself, because your readers will leave you so fast that Newt Gingrich will ask them for tips. Get rid of the grim and gritty, and replace it with some sort of optimism. Kids love comic books, and that’s something we all know and that you believed in particularly well for a long time. Remember how you got turned on to comics yourselves, folks. I’m pretty fucking sure it wasn’t through an Avengers Vs. X-Men tie-in or trying to get a Flashpoint pin.
(What We’re Digging This Month) Text// Talia Steif
As every review of Field Music’s fourth full-length album, Plumb, will surely point out, the two brothers (Peter and David Brewis) derive inspiration from British legends like Pink Floyd, ELO and Queen. Despite this, the band manages to create their own lively sound that can be placed within many genres, with the most popular one being experimental indie pop. From the first few seconds of twinkling keys and smooth strings, it is evident that this is an album of surprisingly grand proportions. The album takes no time to warm up and immediately pushes the listener into a musical world that can seamlessly shift from post-punk to psych-rock to prog-rock at any second. These smooth movements can be credited both to the highly thought-out song structures and to the fact that this is a gapless album. Clocking in at only 35 minutes, it contains 15 short songs, most spanning about two minutes or less. But because it is a gapless album, many of the tracks blend into one larger piece. With tight arrangements, the album allows for moments of quiet surrounded by walls of large, orchestral sounds. These moments of dynamic volume shifts come quite often. At the end of the track “A New Town,” the brothers give us wordless singing, an animated bass line and driving percussion complete with cymbal crashes and handclaps. Within a few seconds everything falls away except for the bass and a sample of flowing water that bubbles onto the following song. This surprising moment is just one example of Field Music’s keen sense for how to move songs from one musical motif to another. In such a short album, the band manages to include so much, yet leaves plenty of room for the songs to breathe.
Strange Weekend Born in Italy and currently living in London, Mauro Remiddi has been around for a while. At 37, he has taken part in numerous worldly adventures, which include playing for the Berlin Youth Circus and scoring independent Italian films. Porcelain Raft is his current recording project, with Strange Weekend the first full-length release. Strange Weekend is a difficult album to describe. At times it contains instrumentals that call to mind the larger-than-life shoegaze of M83 (touring partner of Porcelain Raft). In other moments Strange Weekend gives us Beach House’s dream pop mixed with chillwave similar to Toro y Moi. Overused labels aside, Remiddi describes his music as “sleepwalking pop.” One listen through and it’s clear that Remiddi’s label is incredibly accurate. “Sleepwalking pop” captures the atmospheric combination of instrumentals, as well as the continual release of bouncing energy. Remiddi’s voice permeates through the songs with a subtle power that compliments the sleepy, floating progression of the album. All 10 tracks seem to take place in a psychedelic dreamland, giving the songs an extraordinary cohesiveness. Even the titles play into this dreamland, including “Put Me to Sleep” and “Drifting In and Out.” From beginning to end, Remeddi never exits this world of calming guitar strums and languid beats, leaving us with an album that calls for multiple listens.
Lana Del Rey
An Evolution Text//Charis Talcott
I’m gonna admit it. Finding the right angle to approach writing about Lana Del Rey has stymied me for quite some time. Going on two weeks into delving into what the internet has to say about her, reading blogs, watching her failed SNL performance, watching her music videos, watching interviews with the lady herself, listening to Born to Die and have it burrow progressively deeper into my head only after failing to get in to her packed show at Amoeba Music… this level of detached confusion about what to say about her is not for lack of effort. It’s one thing to evaluate a singer’s debut album making the rounds on the music blog circuit. It is quite another thing to interrogate the hype (and hate) machine(s) around an up-and-coming artist who simultaneously follows and bucks the trends around her. Lana Del Rey obviously wants to be famous. She began as blonde and Brookyln-based singer Lizzie Grant, releasing an album to petite Internet fanfare. That first album, Kill Kill, was then retracted from the market to make way for the newly-brunette “Ghetto Nancy Sinatra” known as Lana Del Rey. Singers package and reinvent themselves all the time. Thoughts point to Lady Gaga’s similar evolution from New York-based Stephanie Germanotta to the overblown fantasy figure she has become. Declare your own uncompromising desire for fame? Check. Sing about how your uncompromising personal ideals got you there? Not so much for Lana Del Rey. Herein lies the rub: she doesn’t overtly sing about female empowerment. In fact, she sounds pretty desperate. Her songs are rife with, depend on how you look at it, hopelessly
romantic or just hopeless lyrics such as “I will love you till the end of time / I would wait a million years.” Package these sentiments up with retro-vintage style infused with a touch of ghetto fabulousness and apply them to the persona of an attractive (for a reading of our media, also see: “skinny”) singer with a somewhat husky vocal affect, and you, apparently, have the recipe for a shit-ton of media controversy surrounding “who this girl even thinks she is.” Conversations about the artifice that is Lana Del Rey don’t stop at discussing the nerve she has in choosing the way she presents herself through clothing, style, and affect. Many music bloggers have decided that Del Ray is taking it a whole larger step further. She has, in fact, taken it upon herself to reverse the course of feminism! The gall. By singing about getting the attention a boy as he’s wrapped up in a video game, Lana Del Rey is laying in wait for the male gaze to recognize her precious “to-be-lookedat-ness.” Is the number of times Lana Del Ray discusses what she is wearing in order to attract a man a rallying cry toward progressivism in gender relations? No. Should she be allowed to sing about these things from her own experience, even if they aren’t in line with diva-like notions of female empowerment that we have come to expect from the Lady Gaga and Beyoncé set? Yes. Far be it for me to assume that every song lyric a female singer puts out doesn’t have to be on the straight-and-narrow when it comes to a feminist reading. Am I a fan of perpetuating the idea that women have to be “pretty” in a very certain way and work hard for the approval of a male figure? No.
Do I acknowledge that dealing with that experience and feeling those feelings has been a part of my own development as a woman/ feminist/person? A thousand times, yes. In this way, I can relate. I cut Lana some slack. It seems that the only place Ms. Rey can catch a break is on my Tumblr dashboard. In a rather notable fashion, she has bucked a trend I constantly observe: gushing posts about new music have almost always been dubbed “Best New Music” by Pitchfork. For Lana Del Rey, this is not the case. The site’s review charmingly referred to Born to Die as “the album equivalent of a faked orgasm.” Meanwhile, my cohorts in pastiche over at Tumblr generally feel that Lana Del Rey speaks to them. At a very basic and private level, sometimes people really do need to proclaim that “You fit me better than my favorite sweater” whilst staring longingly at a picture of a James Dean-derivative in their sundrenched teenage bedroom. It’s not a call to action, but it’s a feeling to feel, valid even if it seems somewhat pathetic in hindsight. And when it comes to the patriarchydriven male rock establishment, apparently this deviation from the norm of straight-up female empowerment scares and confuses them even more. I owe a debt to Liz Phair’s take on Del Rey when I say that it’s refreshing that a female singer lacking God-give talent but making up for it with a heck a lot of desire for fame is continuing to pursue what she want to do in the face of myriad complaints. Let’s sit back and watch what she does next. You know she wants us to.
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Songs in the Key of You During my senior year of high school I cut off all my hair, smoked my first cigarette, got a few piercings, denounced religion, became a vegetarian, and decided that I hated the South. I wish I could say that these were my ‘rebellious’ years, but to be honest, they weren’t. While I desperately wanted to have some sort of transformative coming-of-age experience in the face of graduation and decisions regarding college, it was probably a little forced in retrospect. Ask my parents, and they’ll tell you I changed. Maybe I did. But I think, for them at least, that stemmed from my refusal to attend our southern Baptist church every Sunday morning and Wednesday night as I had done my entire life. And in Arkansas, I suppose that could be seen as a rebellion against God and society. Come to think of it, that’s a lot of pressure for a 17-year-old. In my opinion, I just developed better taste in music, but I can see where they’d be confused. Regardless, somewhere between getting straight A’s and becoming the drum major of the marching band, I decided to be cool. Yes, it was a conscious decision, which automatically made my pursuit highly uncool. But then again, I’m sure it’s something people can identify with. Right? In any case, I set upon this goal with fervor the likes of which I had expressed few times otherwise. I suppose the catalyst for this endeavor was my best friend Will, (incidentally, it was Will who convinced me to chop off my
locks in favor of a more post-V-for-Vendetta Portman style). A haircut and a month later, I was devouring The Shins, Neutral Milk Hotel, The New Pornographers; anything that Will would kindly burn onto a CD for me. It was, admittedly, a late start for my musical development. In my defense, Arkansas is not the pinnacle of hip (if I was any indication). On the heels of a two-day stab at veganism, Will handed me The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers. I wasn’t even aware it was Jack White on the cover. I hadn’t even listened to The White Stripes before, for god’s sake. Regardless, I popped that bad boy into the CD player of my dad’s old Toyota truck and drove home. In that 10 minute drive, I didn’t manage to make it to the end of the album. But the next morning on the way to school, whilst arguing with my sister, I arrived at the final track, “Blue Veins,” and it all came together (I know, I chuckled as I typed it). Having adequately reduced my little sister to ineffective sulking, I replayed the song, listening intently. In the parking lot of the school I sat alone in the truck, ignoring the incessant window-tapping of my friends. I must have listened to that track four more times before surrendering to the tardy bell. That was one of the most relaxing days I can remember- aside from the sweatpants days, but I don’t want to relive those. Yes, I had to finish four college applications. Yes, I had homework. Yes, I had to go to work. As Jack White put it, “Yeah but all of these
things, all these things, they’re all truly nice but ain’t nothing.” And I know he wasn’t really referring to my life in Arkadelphia that I so desperately wanted to forget, but the song lulled me into a controlled content. There have been few songs with the ability to actually alter my mood (I live my life in various stages of mellow), but “Blue Veins” made me snap out of my pretention, to some degree. It became the anthem to my senior year in high school and saw me through preparations for leaving the South and everyone I knew. I feel like my life has been divided into eras. And saying that, I realize that maybe not all my pretention was abandoned back in high school. There was life in Arkadelphiagrowing up in a small, southern town with hardly a drop of booze in sight, then life in Boston. I find it increasingly difficult to connect them in my mind, and it’s getting hard to remember my high school days. I can’t recall too many specific moments of clarity in the blur that is my past, but listening to “Blue Veins” that morning in October was one of them. When I think about that, I can sort of bridge the gap between who I thought I wanted to be and who I am now. Whoever that is. I don’t mean to say that “Blue Veins” changed my life. Rather, my life was undergoing some pretty big changes and I happened upon a brilliant, soulful song. Call it luck.
Eastern Promises (with Viggo Mortensen in attendance!) @ The Coolidge
The Lord of the Rings (the whole goddamn thing!) @ The Coolidge Mortified: Mortified Nation @ Oberon
Futurity: A Musical by the Lisps @ Oberon
Grimes @ Great Scott (18+)
21 Andrew fuckinâ€™ W.K @ The Paradise (18+)
Fiona Apple @ Royale (18+)
Ashes of Time Redux @ HFA (free!)
The Lady Vanishes/The 39 Steps @ The Brattle
Ma Vie En Rose @ The Coolidge
18 Cloud Nothings @ Brighton Music Hall (18+)
5 The Wonder Years @ Royale (All Ages)
11 Dropkick Murphys @ Brighton Music Hall (18+, go at own risk)
The Black Keys @ TD Garden (All Ages) Meshes of the Afternoon @ HFA (free!)
Wild Swans @ A.R.T
4 The Lady From Shanghai/The Postman Always Rings Twice @ The Brattle
Arvid Noe, Grass is Green @ Great Scott (18+)
MUSIC: moe. @ House of Blues (18+)
The Full Monty @ Boston Conservatory Theater
The Holy Mountain @ The Coolidge after Midnight!
The Road @ The Coolidge 1 Literary Death Match @ Oberon Atlas Sound @ Paradise (18+) Rock The Village Style Show @ Brighton Music Hall
Bob: A Life in Five Acts @ Oberon 2 Cannibal Holocaust @ The Coolidge after Midnight
In A Lonely Place/Sunset Boulevard @ The Brattle
The Pill @ Great Scott (21+)
Starbuck @ The Brattle
9 Obits @ TT the Bear’s Place (18+)
22 Youth Lagoon @ The Middle East Downstairs (18+)
“Heroes” @ TT The Bear’s Place (18+)
The Pill @ Great Scott (21+)
Bowerbirds @ Paradise (18+)
Everything Is Terrible presents DoggieWoggiez! PoochieWoochiez! @ the Coolidge After Midnight
“Heroes” @ TT The Bear’s
23 Autochrome @ TT the Bear’s Place (18+)
24 Beckett Shorts @ A.R.T Wild Flag @ Paradise (18+)
Second City @ The Wilbur
10 The Room @ The Coolidge After Midnight
SHOGUN ASSASSIN @ The Coolidge After Midnight
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