Wednesday, April 28, 2010

“Liminal”: A Theater Thesis Success

Attention anyone who has not yet seen “Liminal,” Pilar Castro Kiltz’s senior thesis production: you are missing out. Today, Wednesday, you have one last chance to get to the Matthews Acting Studio at 185 Nassau Street for this phenomenal, unique piece of theater.

If you’ve seen the posters for this production, you know that “Liminal” is somehow related to doorframes. If this is too vague for you, let me explain. In the beginning of the show, a voice from above gives the Wikipedia definition of liminality, “a state characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy.” Kiltz uses this concept to illustrate the influential and transitory events that we all experience in one way or another as we grow up. Physically, Kiltz represents these transitions by having her actors walk through five colored doorframes at key points in the show. Warning: these moments, along with many others, are likely to give you chills.

In the production, Kiltz’s actors tackle a myriad of issues, from losing one’s belief in Santa Claus to teen suicide and manipulative relationships. A treatment of these matters has the potential to come across as hackneyed, but Kiltz presents her concept in a unique and incredibly compelling manner. As a work of tanztheater, “Liminal” makes use of many artistic media, with a transparent reference to reality. Here, genuine dance is intertwined with storytelling, and the actors often speak to the audience directly. They will let you in on everything, from moving out of a childhood home to experiencing the psychological repercussions of divorce. You must be willing to follow the actors, because you never know what type of narrative will be thrown your way. But if you trust them, you are in for an extraordinary journey.

A great part of what makes “Liminal” so successful is the fantastic cast that Kiltz assembled. The fifteen actors not only act, but also dance, play music, and sing – all at the highest level. They are dressed in black for the majority of the show, but each stands out in his or her own way. These costumes, as well as the minimalist set and distinctive lighting, are completely effective.

I think I’ve made this clear, but in sum, I truly was blown away by “Liminal.” It was one of the best productions I’ve seen at Princeton, and because of its short length – less than 1.5 hours – it is totally seeable on a weekday night. As I said, you have one last chance to make it to the theater. Go!

5 paws

Pros: Concept carried out in a unique and incredibly compelling manner, extremely talented cast

Cons: Only one more performance left!

“Liminal” closes today, Wednesday, April 28 at 8 p.m. in the Matthews Acting Studio at 185 Nassau Street.

- Meghan Todt ‘11


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Study Spaces: Chancellor Green Rotunda

The semester has started to draw to a close. While most of us will be studying more than ever in the next couple of weeks, I'm still feeling the sense of denouement that comes with the end of classes.

Because of this, I decided to return this week to the place that I referenced in my first post, the lovely East Pyne. More specifically, I'm in the Chancellor Green Rotunda. I often refer to this space as the Beauty and the Beast library - is it not one of the most beautiful spots on campus?

It's also quite accommodating. Upstairs, there are no less than 28 carrels, and downstairs, there are plenty of cosy armchairs (although I imagine you know this already). On sunny days, it's particularly well lit, and if you're looking for a private - yet open - space, I don't think you can do much better. Here, you might not even realize that you happen to be studying right next a good friend - which certainly makes for a surprise when one of you pops up from behind a carrel wall!

Interestingly enough, in my endeavor to study in as many places as possible, this is my first time here this semester. Being back reminds me that there's something to be said about routine and tradition. While I will definitely continue to explore new, unseen study spaces, I mustn't forget to return to the ones I love!

Chancellor Green Rotunda Hours:

Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-10:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday, Closed

- Meghan Todt '11


Monday, April 26, 2010

Trend of the Week: April 26, 2010

This week’s trend is a little less obvious than most, and requires special attention to be spotted. But, never fear: your trusty Trend of the Week blogger has done the careful observation for you. This week, your most stylish classmates are breaking out the blue nail polish.

Yes, blue. Blue nails are typically associated with nonconformists – those individuals who are less concerned with trend following and more concerned with making a statement. Well, now, blue nails have put their foot in the door of the mainstream fashion world. But they continue to be reserved for the bold and the brave.

The ladies (or should I say, hands) pictured show off this blue nail trend. The particularly adventurous women on campus don’t just stop at the blue – they go all the way with bold accents like sparkly black tips. The turquoise and black combo at top is a sure conversation starter, and a fun addition to any outfit.

There is also a more relaxed way to do blue. Above we see how a lighter, almost blue-green shade can be worn like any other color polish. Light blues are a refreshing substitute for expected pink shades. Remember this before you get your pre-Houseparties manicure!

Of course, this trend has also become a celebrity favorite. Check out Whitney Port’s bright turquoise stunners. I have to say: these blues almost remind me of a swimming pool, and I certainly wouldn’t mind daydreaming about summer swimming days every time I look down at my fingertips.

-Allie Weiss '13


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Los Campesinos! Interviewed!

Los Campesinos! is a 7-member indie rock collective out of Cardiff University in Wales. Known for its punk style, the group gained recognition with early Myspace demos and its music has spread like wildfire, making this band one of the most exciting young acts on the music scene to come to Princeton. Intersections catches up with drummer, Ollie Briggs on their journey as a band and their new album,” Romance is Boring.” Los Campesinos! will be performing at Terrace Club this Friday -- if the damn Icelandic ash doesn't stop 'em.

Q: How did you get involved with Los Campesinos!?

A: Me and Neil were chatting about music and he said he wanted to start a band. We asked Ellen if she wanted to come along. So the three of us started jamming in my bedroom and it went from there.

Q: Can you describe your music in a few words?

A: Pop music with a punkish element.

Q: If you could bring 4 musicians, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would they be?

A: It would be a dinner party for drummers. I would have Chick Webb, Buddy Rich, Greg Saunier and Jim Eno.

Q: What's the common denominator between all the band members that brings you together as a group?

A: I suppose our love for music and wanting to create something that is exciting compared to a lot of stuff that is about at the moment.

Q: Where does the name "Los Campesinos!" come from?

A: It basically means the peasants or farmers. None of us are and it had no political meaning. Neil did Spanish at school and suggested it.

Q: You guys formed while at Cardiff University, what role did music play in your college experience during that time? Are you still pursuing your former academic interests?

A: None of us originally did music. Kim, who has recently joined the band, did music. We have all finished now. None of us were deeply involved in any of the musical groups at uni. We just went to the same gigs and club nights and formed our friendships there.

Q: Your newest album is called "Romance is Boring." What's the inspiration behind the album? Where does the title come from?

A: The title comes from a blog that Gareth does occasionaly. It was a title for one of the songs and we decided that it was catchy enough to be the album title. The album's influences from a lyrical perspective are things such as missed love, death and wanting to be a pro soccer player.

Q: What is the songwriting process like for the band?

A: Tom and Gareth are the core writers. Harriet comes up with a lot of lines for violin. Once we have the foundations of the song then we can throw in different ideas.

Q: What do you try to get out of a live performance versus in the studio?

A: Live you can feed off the energy of the crowd. In the studio you can experiment a lot more, trying out weird arrangements and different instruments.

Q: What are a few of the bands on your recent playlist?

A: I'm really liking the new Spoon record. The new Titus Andronicus is amazing, my record of the year!

Q: What's the most memorable or craziest moment that the band has ever experienced together?

A: We had a window fall out of the bus in the middle of the Californian desert whilst driving to Seattle! There have been a lot of drunken antics.

Q: What are you looking forward to in your show at Terrace? Do you have any exciting plans for the future?

A: Just having the opportunity to play in a different country. I just really enjoy playing live. We have something exciting coming up but I can't divulge much more, sorry!

Interview conducted, condensed, and edited by Lisa Han ‘13


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Study Spaces: Lewis Library

With only two weeks of classes left, it's about time I studied in the Lewis Library. Whenever somebody mentions this colorful, relatively-new study space, I imagine having to hike miles to get here. But in reality, it's one of the only places on campus that you can get to from Whitman without walking up or downhill. So this evening, I happily strolled from my room to Lewis and settled in at one of the tables in the "tree-house."

If you've never been to this library, you should definitely check it out. Just as there are times when it is nice to revel in a historical study space, there are also days when it feels good to be in a place that is bright and fresh. I don't have to acclaim the Lewis Library's facilities - just a glance at its website and you'll quickly learn that it contains 29 carrels, 9 study rooms, and 104 lockers. But more practically, on all floors, there are wide tables with modern-looking reading lamps and accessible outlets, plenty of armchairs, and as I'm sure most of you are aware, a "tree-house" (ie., reading room with lots of windows so that you're looking out onto the trees). Plus, the elevators in the library are super-fast.

The first time I came here, it was long after the library first opened, and I felt silly poking around, trying to figure out where I was going. That reminds me of why I'm writing this blog. There are so many great places on campus that we might never see unless we seek them out. For the first time today, I saw the fourth floor vis arts studio at 185 Nassau Street, and at some point, I'm going have to peek into the lab where one of my close friends spends so much of her time. With such sentimentality, it feels like I should be wrapping up this blog for the semester. But I'll be back next week. Maybe by then, you'll have discovered a place on campus that you had never seen before. If you do, let me know!

Lewis Library Hours:

Monday-Thursday, 8:30 am-2:00 am
Friday, 8:30 am-12:00 am
Saturday, 9:00 am-12:00 am
Sunday: 9:00 am-2:00 am

- Meghan Todt '11


Monday, April 19, 2010

Trend of the Week: April 19, 2010

This week the Princeton campus has been feeling a bit nautical. Perhaps everyone is just dreaming about the upcoming summer months, sure to be filled with sunny days on the yacht (…if only). No matter the reason, people are wearing stripes, and there is no denying the growing presence of this nautical-inspired pattern on campus.

Stripes come in all shapes and sizes, of course, but it is the thick, horizontal, blue-toned stripes that have made the strongest appearance around Princeton lately. And this pattern has been sported in unexpected ways, giving it a fresh twist. As shown, Princeton women are rocking the nautical stripes on everything from the casual zip-up hoodie to the creative wrap top. Though the pattern screams “preppy” – the women (and men) who are rocking the trend on campus have found ways to make it less classic and more edgy by adding details like lace and gold/silver accents.

Want to see how the trend is done on the runways? Look no further than Rebecca Taylor’s Spring 2010 line. She showcased stripes of slightly varying shades of blue, played up with gold items and contrasting pattern details (check out those shoes!). Go this route if you want to look sailor-inspired, but not take it overboard. Nautical pun intended.

-Allie Weiss ‘13


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Singles of the Week: Apr 18, 2010

Electronic: LCD Soundsystem – “Drunk Girls”

As the first single off LCD Soundsystem’s forthcoming album "This is Happening," “Drunk Girls” is no sharp departure from LCD’s usual strategy. The repetition is there (“Drunk girls! Drunk girls!”), the driving beat of “North American Scum” is there, and the track has enough random unexpected high-pitched yells to keep you fully satisfied. It’s hard not to think of the Beastie Boys on “Girls” when you hear this track, but as a simple party anthem to get you going, it does the job.

-Sara Wallace ‘12

Indie: We Have Band – “Honey Trap”

London trio We Have Band features this dance hit on their debut album “WHB.” “Honey Trap” is a 21st century spin on electro-pop pioneers like Depeche Mode, radiating its disco sensibilities in bouncy bass lines and a poppy dance chorus. Any listener ready to get down and party will be more than satisfied -- in the end, We Have Band proves over and over that they are quite simply, catchier than a honey trap.

-Lisa Han ‘13

Indie: Los Campesinos – “Romance is Boring"

Brit pop is not new. But Los Campesinos kind of are. The band is coming to Terrace Club all the way from the UK this coming Friday. They're bound to play one of their most popular songs, "Romance is Boring," and if you have the same kind of response to it as I did when I first heard it, you'll be headed over to TFC ASAP. The Welsh pop band writes cheeky, fun songs that have spunky lyrics ("I am a pleasure cruise/You are gone out to trawl"), and their message about young, drunken love is one that we can probably all relate to.

-Jess Turner ‘12

Electronic: Jokers of the Scene – “Baggy Bottom Boys”

If you've been vibing on electro and house music, like I have, then you'll love "Baggy Bottom Boys." Jokers of the Scene are some of the best young DJs and producers out there right now, and they've been endorsed by A-Trak, arguably the most reputable and famous DJ in the game. Check this track out and get yourself to a club, and things will get very sweaty very fast.

-Kiran Gollakota '13


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"None of us surf": An Interview with Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood is a five-man band from West Palm Beach Florida that will be playing at Terrace F. Club on Thursday, April 15. Intersections had the chance to speak to frontman JP Pitts about the band’s sound, the band’s formation, and why closed circuit television sucks.

Q: How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard your songs?

A: It sounds like a Wes Anderson [director of Royal Tenenbaums] movie soundtrack. It also kind of sounds on some songs like Andrew W.K. meets Robert Smith [of the Cure].

Q: Any strong influences?

A: I really like the Clash and David Bowie.

Q: What did you all do before becoming musicians full-time? How did it all get started?

A: Well, we were all kind of hanging out in Palm Beach County after high school. I guess I was going to school, TJ was working at UPS, Tom was going to school, Brian was a delivery man, Marcus was working in some factory, and we were all playing in bands. One day we all met each other at a party in Miami and realized we all wanted the same thing and liked the same music and it made sense for us to get together.

Q: How’d you get the name Surfer Blood? Your Myspace says “None of us surf.”

A: Surfer Blood was TJ’s thing – he came up with it as a joke on a long car ride. We thought it was cool and wanted to use it as a song title or something. I think it goes really nicely with the music; it’s a good representation of us. It’s classic, but in-your-face at the same time.

Q: What other bands have you been listening to lately that you can recommend?

A: A few bands are Best Coast from Los Angeles, the Morning Benders, Turbo Fruits – who we’re touring with – and the Intelligence.

Q: What’s one of the craziest things that’s happened to the band?

A: One night we were getting really wild in our practice space and we ended up setting a couch on fire and watching it burn all the way down. We thought we were so cool, so we just left it there in the middle of the road. Then a bit later the woman in charge of our rent for the space essentially uninvited us for the next month. She said, “We saw a video of you guys doing very inappropriate things…you are not welcome back.”

Basically we just have really bad luck with closed circuit television. Everyone’s always watching what we do. It’s happened multiple times.

Q: What are the best and worst parts of being a musician?

A: The best part is probably making songs and recording ones you’re proud of. It’s also cool seeing people excited at a show, singing your songs. The worst part about touring is probably the boredom, the loneliness, living in filth, and feeling disconnected from things going on at home.

Q: What is your show at Terrace going to be like on the 15th?

I was just reading "This Side of Paradise" actually. I’m really excited. Sometimes we get rowdy. We’re a lot louder live than people expect.

Interview conducted, condensed and edited by Sara Wallace ’12.


Versatile and Precise: Princeton University Ballet’s "Encore," Reviewed

When you think of ballet the following images usually come to mind: pointe shoes, pink tutus, tiaras and girls in arabesque. Although this weekend’s Princeton University Ballet show Encore includes all of the above, the evening encourages the viewer to expand his or her view of ballet. If you want to see impressive dancing and confident execution, this show is not to be missed.

Throughout the evening I was impressed by the technical abilities of the dancers. It’s a rare privilege to see such talent displayed by students in a University setting, simply because many young men and women with this level of skill choose to pursue dance professionally instead of going to college. Their dedication to intellectual pursuits in addition to artistic endeavors was clear in this performance that included both precise articulation of movement and confident stage presence.

One of my favorite pieces was the contemporary dance “For My Father,” choreographed by Ilana Suprun. This piece for two dancers, Sarah Simon ’13 and Virginia Byron ’10, starts with simple moments in silence and builds throughout in both emotion and movement. It was refreshing to see movement motivated by emotion. It was clear in even the seemingly simple steps that Simon and Byron take together that their movements were completely together, just as they were emotionally connected. However, some of this beautiful dancing was cut short by the small size of the stage in Frist. I wish that the performance space had been bigger so that the dancers could completely fulfill their movement.

When you go to the show I encourage you to keep an eye out for the female dancer Emma Zorensky ’13. Zorensky’s enthusiasm and confidence on stage is infectious. Alexis Branagan ’11 shows a more flirtatious side in her solo piece “Pelea De Gallo,” which was also choreographed by Christopher Fleming. This fun piece shows that ballet does not have to be serious, but can also be playful and fun. One of my few suggestions for Princeton University Ballet is to have even more emotive movement onstage, following in the likes of Zorensky and Branagan.

Christopher Fleming’s piece entitled “Strings” confronts the misconception that ballet is solely an outdated and near static style. Though classical ballet vocabulary is used throughout the piece and the female dancers are wearing tutus, a closer examination shows how different this choreography is from other more classical works throughout the evening. Fleming, a contemporary choreographer who has performed with professional companies like New York City Ballet, uses many twists and turned in positions that defy older vocabulary. Nevertheless, his choreography does include affected hand gestures reminiscent of the neoclassical arms in George Balanchine’s beloved work “Serenade.” This connection to an older work in ballet history shows the continuity that PUB traces throughout their evening to show the transition from classical Petipa works like Swan Lake to contemporary works by guest choreographers and Princeton students themselves. The ability of each dancer to smoothly transition from challenging classical works with intricate footwork, such as the quick series of jumps cleaned executed by freshman Balzer ’13 in “Coppelia,” to the daring turns and leaps of Susan Jaffe’s “Pulse” take both stamina and intelligence.

Overall, I encourage you to see Princeton University Ballet’s program “Encore.” You will be amazed by their technical mastery of diverse ballet repertoire and enchanted by their stage presence.

4 paws

Pros: Confident dancing, diverse pieces

Cons: Could have been a bit more emotion in the movement during certain pieces.

-Katy Dammers '13


Rowdy and Rock 'n Roll: An Interview with Turbo Fruits

Turbo Fruits is a rowdy group of three Tennessee dudes who like to have a good time on stage. I spoke to frontman Jonas Stein as the band drove from Ithaca to Buffalo. Make sure you check out their show at Terrace this Thursday – they’ll be playing along with Surfer Blood and it should be one hell of a show.

Q: How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard your songs? Any particular influences?

A: I would say very rowdy, very fun, and very rock ‘n roll. As for influences, I think definitely MC5, CCR, and -- [to rest of the band in the tour van] Influences anyone? – oh yeah, and the Who.

Q: One of your biggest songs is called “Mama’s Mad cos I Fried My Brain”…how did that song come about, lyrically?

A: Well at some point in every adventurous kid’s life, they gotta start breaking rules. And as much fun as they have doing that, it’s no question that they’re gonna make their mother worried. So I think it’s about that kind of period I had a few years ago where I was just getting in trouble for shit before it was a comfortable thing for me to get in trouble. I think most people go through it.

Q: What other bands have you been listening to lately that you can recommend?

A: We’ve been into Love – the old band – and Sam Cooke lately. And we’ve had this CD by the Greenhornes called Dual Mono in our van for the past two months. Pretty cool.

Q: How important to you is audience involvement when you’re up on stage at a gig?

A: The audience is pretty important, but I’ve learned not to get disappointed if they’re not very involved or don’t know our songs. If they’re moving around it’s really exciting, but I know you gotta get big as a band before you can start expecting crazy crowds. Right now we’ve gotta be satisfied with strong reactions of any kind, but it’s definitely preferable when people are having fun.

Q: Do you believe the slight irreverence in your songs (drugs, alcohol etc.) is an essential part of your style?

A: I wouldn’t say it’s a big part of our style; it’s just kind of the honest, fun part of Turbo Fruits. We’re still young and like to go crazy and it’s part of our everyday lives. It’s what’s easy to talk about now, but I probably won’t be talking about that shit when I’m 40.

Q: What’s one of the craziest things that’s ever happened to the band?

A: [Much debate in the van about which story to tell]

Well, this one time we accidentally drove over the Canadian border without passports. We weren’t trying to go over there but the GPS was malfunctioning and we had some grass on us. We asked if we could just turn around and go home, and they said we couldn’t. They made it a much bigger deal. They searched the van, handcuffed us, took us into a holding room, interrogated us, strip searched us, and then finally let us go back after a while.

Q: What is your show at Terrace going to be like on the 15th?

A: Well what’s the crowd gonna be like? I hear people like to party at Princeton. It sounds like we’ll have a good time. We’ll try to make it as crazy as possible without pushing anyone too hard.

Interview conducted, condensed and edited by Sara Wallace ’12.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Study Spaces: The Residential Colleges

Lately, I've found myself looking for places to study within the residential colleges. I realize that although I know exactly where to go when I want to study in Whitman (having lived there for three years), it would be very handy to have a chart detailing what spaces are available in every college and where these are located. Perhaps I will review each of these at a later date. But for now, I present to you my Unofficial Residential College Study Spaces Chart (with colleges listed impartially in alphabetical order). If I've left anything out, please let me know!

- Meghan Todt '11


Study Space




2nd floor of Wu (dining hall building)

Computer Clusters

3rd floor of Bloomberg & New Butler’s “Building D”



Basement of the “New Wing”

Computer Cluster

Basement of the Main Inn



Hamilton Hall (Shared with Rocky)

Computer Cluster

Behind the Mathey Common Room



Hamilton Hall (Shared with Mathey)

Computer Cluster

Lower level of Holder, near entryway 11


Library, which includes a computer cluster

Under the cloisters and through three sets of doors



Second floor of Wilcox (dining hall building)

Computer Cluster

Ground floor of 1937


Monday, April 12, 2010

Trend of the Week: April 12, 2010

Spring has sprung! And of all the things that I can get excited about (fashion-wise, and otherwise), spring shoes are particularly high on my list. After carefully observing the footwear choices of my fellow Princetonians, I bring you the trend of the week: nude-colored flats.

After months of tucking our poor, over-walked feet into thick, wooly socks and big, sturdy boots, the time has come to expose our lovely feet to the sun. And that doesn’t necessarily mean the toes have to come out: flats provide the perfect modest exposure, especially fitting for the up-and-down weather of late.

So what is it about this neutral color that seems to be taking over the ballet flats of Princeton? For one, it’s time to ditch those somber winter hues in favor of light, airy shades. Nudes/skin-colors reflect this favorable change in weather. Also, neutral certainly doesn’t mean boring, as the women in these photos demonstrate. Gold grommets, bows, or a slight sparkle appropriately spice up skin-toned footwear. Also, you may not realize it, but wearing shoes that blend into the color of your skin make your legs look significantly longer. Want to look like you have never-ending gams? Go for nude-colored shoes.

If you want help jumping on the neutral flat bandwagon, look no further than London Sole, my favorite ballet flat maker – I’m a fan of the “beige ponyhair” ones pictured. I’m adding them to my spring shoe wish list immediately.

-Allie Weiss '13


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Singles of the Week: Apr 11, 2010

Pop/Rock: Jack Johnson - “You and Your Heart”

Jack Johnson probably represents one of the most consistently decent — and wildly uncontroversial — artists in the music business. It’s no surprise then that his new single for his upcoming album, “To the Sea,” turns out to be another gentle, easy-going success. It’s not a radical departure from his previous work, but still, Johnson deserves props for perfecting his craft. The guitar line is catchy, the piano and drums soothing, and Johnson’s voice uplifting as always. The lyrics however, are surprisingly thoughtful, contrasting to the simplicity of the melody: “You dropped so many lives in the sand/Lost your fingers, nails on your hand.” However, the biggest appeal that “You and Your Heart” can offer is a perfect, down-to-earth companion to the good spring weather.

-Lisa Han ‘13

Indie: High Places — "On Giving Up"

Three years ago, with the release of their self-titled LP, High Places made a name for themselves as a chipper electronic duo. Backed by ramshackle percussion and layered samples, vocalist Mary Pearson cooed sweetly about spiritual wonder. Now, on their sophomore album “High Places vs. Mankind,” the band has exchanged childlike whimsy for somber sobriety. Sonically, this amounts to a greater emphasis on melody and traditional orchestration. Lyrically, this means eschewing the nature theme in favor of angst. “On Giving Up” is the first single and the best example of the band’s new direction. A rolling bass and echoing guitar line create a sexy, sinister mood as Pearson insists: “Tonight is going to be the night.” In a nutshell: this is a dance track for people who don’t want dance – for those who’d rather sway noncommittally while smoking a cigarette in the corner. Which is to say, it should be played on heavy rotation at a certain eating club. (T.I., naturally.)

-Cristina Luzarraga ‘11

Pop/Rock: Train - "Hey, Soul Sister"

Let's be honest: Train is great band, but if you were asked to list their songs, you’d probably be stumped after "Drops of Jupiter." Luckily, Train's first single in 3 years, "Hey, Soul Sister," has the potential to be as big as "Drops." Definitely check it out (if you haven't already heard it on the radio) and add it to your "YESSS IT'S SPRING!" playlist (oh wait, am I the only one that has one of those?). It's beachy, fun and casual, and Pat Monahan's whistle-high voice singing "I don't wanna miss a single thing you do tonight" is the perfect jam for the sun soaked, romance-sparking days we've been having (and, cross your fingers, will continue to have).

-Jess Turner ‘12

Hip Hop/Rap: Wale - “Rude Boy” (Rihanna Overdub)

We’ve all heard Rihanna’s “Rude Boy,” but this week, try checking out D.C. rapper Wale’s take on the song. On his most recent album, Wale lost some of the mixtape-born, loose, unexpected flow that he flaunted on “Back to the Feature” and other earlier tapes. But make no mistake -- he’s back on track on “Rude Boy,” and teaming up with Rihanna’s techno-backed chorus feels natural. He’s just the rude boy the song has been looking for.

-Sara Wallace ‘12


Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Viva la Revolucion": Immortal Technique at Terrace

Immortal Technique’s concert Thursday night at Terrace Club was nothing short of an apocalypse, when a gathering of Ivy League students suddenly became more like a gathering of insurgents. Tech is a rapper who’s made a name for himself with his sharp wit and fiercely political style. When it was announced that he was coming to Terrace, I expected a show akin to the crowded, woozy atmosphere of GZA’s performance last semester. Though the sheer volume of people may have been matched — and as much as I love the Wu Tang — GZA had nothing on Tech that night.

From his very first lines, Tech spat with meticulous precision and power to the very last syllable. While many rappers falter under the heat and energy of a live performance, Tech amped it up, blending a capella raps with hard DJ beats and call-and-response interaction with the audience.

His proteges, every one of them already hip hop authorities, hyped up the crowd before Tech’s entrance and set the tone for an incredible concert. MCs Diabolic and Akir were particular standouts, echoing Tech’s in-your-face political aggression — “How many of yall hate the fucking government?” Akir even came out wearing an orange polo in anticipation for the Princeton audience. The four preceding rappers did such a good job, in fact, that at the end of their sets everyone was left screaming, and pushing forward onto their toes chanting “Technique! Technique!”

Immortal Technique’s own set was a steady downpour of mind-blowing moments. From chanting “hip hop” to “fuck cops” to spitting thought-provoking rhymes about the government, berating drug use, poverty and suffering, Tech radiated more uncontrollable energy in the span of his set than I have ever witnessed in my life, much less in Princeton. Tech described the atmosphere pretty accurately himself: “This placed is packed like a rush hour train. It is West Indies hot - we’re all losin’ some weight tonight!”

One great moment came after the underground classic “Dance with the Devil” when he addressed the controversial and personal lyrics by telling the crowd that, “this happens every day, in every part of the world, and that’s why I make it personal.”

Best part of the night? Maybe it was the time when he told everyone to give him the finger and chant “Fuck Technique,” or maybe it was his shout “Viva la revolución” followed by the “William Tell Overture” at the end of the night that had everyone dancing into oblivion. Or perhaps his heartfelt call to respect women that made him the most effective spokesperson that SHARE never had.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to choose a single highlight. For me, between straddling a speaker, losing my voice, and being drenched in a mixture of water sprayed from the stage and my own sweat, I’d say this show was downright historical.

-Lisa Han '13


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Study Spaces: Frist Reading Room

Today I realized that the study area on the third floor of Frist is called the Frist Reading Room. In my defense, it really isn't a room - just an open space filled with rows of long tables and studious Princeton students. No matter what time of day you are here, it seems that there will always be at least a few other people to keep you company. For those of you who have studied here during exam periods, you know that it can get completely packed.

For that reason, I have to be in a particular mood to come here. As I've demonstrated in previous posts, my instinct is to seek out secluded study spaces, where I can curl up and privately bury myself in readings and papers. But sometimes, it's nice to have others around you, particularly others who are in the same boat.

And really, that's what you will find at Frist. Even though the person next to you might be studying a completely different subject, you can just about guarantee that they have had weeks as busy and as stressful as the one you might be having.

To top it off, this "room" has easily accessible lights, outlets, couches, armchairs, and, as mentioned, very long tables. It's important to note that from 7:30-10:30 pm on Sundays through Wednesdays, the McGraw Study Hall is held here (so don't expect quiet during those hours). When student groups are rehearsing in the Frist Theatre, you might also catch drifts of their music. This could get bothersome, depending on what is being rehearsed. But today, the soundtrack for the upcoming Expressions show didn't faze me at all.

Frist Reading Room Hours:

Monday-Wednesday, 7:00 am-2:00 am (7:30-10:30 pm is McGraw Study Hall)
Thursday-Friday, 7:00 am-3:00 am
Saturday, 7:30 am-3:00 am
Sunday, 8:00 am-2:00 am (7:30-10:30 pm is McGraw Study Hall)

- Meghan Todt '11


Monday, April 5, 2010

Albums of the Month: March 2010

Electronic: “Colors- EP” – The Pass

Like Phoenix? Like Hot Chip? Late of the Pier? LCD Soundsystem? Well…thrill me and imagine for a second that they all got together and somehow had a baby. The child is named The Pass. Coming from Louisville, Kentucky, this electropop quartet sounds like it’s been around the world studying how to make people dance. To start off with, I'd recommend the songs “Crosswalk Stereo” and “Colors” — they're both unbearably catchy, and after about three listens, they’ll feel like old favorites. Keep an eye out for their full-length release!

-Sara Wallace ‘12

Rock: “Fly Yellow Moon” – Fyfe Dangerfield

Simply put, Fyfe Dangerfield is brilliant. There's really no other way to say it. As the frontman for the Guillemots, Dangerfield had already proven himself as a gifted performer; with Fly Yellow Moon, he adds top-knotch songwriting to his already impressive resume. Dangerfield's silky voice weaves massive tales of love and joy and sweeps you into its fantasy in the process. The quality of the songwriting is so good that you'd be hard-pressed to find too many faults in the structure of the album. Indeed, Fly Yellow Moon is, like Dangerfield himself, simply and utterly brilliant.

-Kiran Gollakota ‘13

Indie: “Volume 2” – She & Him

It strains credulity to think that Zooey Deschanel can’t land a boyfriend — after all, she just married Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, making her one-half of the indie counterpart to Jay-Z and Beyoncé. And yet on her sophomore album with collaborator M. Ward, the hipster goddess sings of guys continually flaking on her. This could easily amount to insufferable wallowing were it not that her sound – part Beach Boys, part 60s-era Carole King– is so gosh darn cheerful. Sure, there may be tinges of melancholy, but it’s never enough to dampen the optimism. To be fair, the band doesn't tread any new ground here; this really is the sequel to 2008’s “Volume 1.” Still, it’s a winning formula and a perfect springtime soundtrack. End of semester stress got you down? Take a cue from She & Him and go get some fresh air. After all, as Deschanel sings: “We all get the slip sometimes every day/ I’ll just keep it to myself in the sun/ In the sun.”

-Cristina Luzarraga ‘11

Punk: “Brutalist Bricks” – Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

Ted Leo’s latest album, “Brutalists Bricks” proves to the world that punk rock is aging well. At 40, Ted Leo captures the lows and highs of adolescence like no one else can, and his songs are catchier than ever. Though he doesn’t sing with as much sky-high oblivion as in his past albums, the musician’s ingenious songwriting still produces the familiar vigor, garage rock energy and optimism that propelled him to the punk rock throne in 2001. After hearing this album, it’s impossible to buy the criticisms of age and doubt that have latched on to the band’s 11 year career. In a way, “Brutalist Bricks” is a big “fuck you” to middle age and an anthem to perpetual youth, reaching out to get everyone involved. Give the album a listen, and you will surely be taken in by the impeccable force that each song is constructed upon. Perhaps the youthful, wandering spirit of the album is embodied best in the sunlit track, “Bottled in Cork”: “I’m just a loner in a world full of kids, egos and ids.”

-Lisa Han ‘13

Pop/rock: “Habits” – Neon Trees

Love, drugs, sex, mistakes - those are just some of the things we deal with as young people trying to grow into our skins. And the glory and hardship of youth is exactly what "Habits," the debut album from the somewhat unknown West Coast-based band the Neon Trees, captures in musical form. Of course, being young also means having (sometimes way too much) fun. Tyler Glenn, Chris Allen, Branden Campbell, and Elaine Bradley - yes, they have a female drummer! - manage to deliver tons of fun on this album with upbeat, edgy, energetic pop/rock songs with just a touch of techno. The first single off of the album, "Animal," is definitely one to catch. Other highlights include "Sins of My Youth," a Killers-esque reflection on being a little too carefree, and "Our War," a more sentimental tune that is nevertheless full of pep. Even the "softer" tracks make you uncontrollably tap your foot. This album is absolutely one to check out, especially if you are a fan of the Killers or OK Go.

-Jess Turner ‘12


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom: A Compilation of Prince Comments

This week, comments were less funny than normal and more unabashedly vicious. This is counterintuitive, since the gorgeous weather ought to inspire cheery whistling and general good fellowship. I guess the most dedicated commenters tend to avoid sunshine and other humans…?

Oops, maybe that was also a little mean.

Below is one example of an article that engendered some grade-A mean-spiritedness.

Comments on “How to be a rebellious yet refined Princetonian”

“im gonna remember this writer's name and should it ever come across my desk as a potential hire, ill remember how utterly worthless and stupid this piece is. why do princeton students insist on trying to appear witty and interesting. its a gift, that sadly, felipe, like many other prince writers, does not have.” – Posted by old ivy. Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed/forgot to have his bran this morning/needs a chill pill/is kind of a meanie.

“Felipe's column is the tits” – Posted by JV. I enjoy JV’s positivity and intend to use the expression “the tits” as often as humanely possible.

“Hahaha how does everyone care so much about this crap? Really? Get a life, commenters. Take care of that acne problem you probably have and go outside for once.” – Posted by seriously??, who seems to suggest that the verbal bile exchanged on the Prince’s comment boards is stored in zits. Ew.

“Wow, is Haterade™ on sale at CVS or something? This was actually witty and entertaining. Props to Felipe, keep playin' the game.” – Posted by w. Lol “HateradeTM.” When I am feeling pissed-off I prefer GloweradeTM, but both get the job done.

News about the Dinky, however, inspired less spite and more heartfelt emotion.

Comments on “Bus service may replace Dinky”

“the form of Town Government, Brian Lesh and other apologists, would try and take it away from us. Small Government should protect us from socialists and redistributors, not join with them.

Jefferson weeps.

Reagan cries.” – Posted by Rutherford B. Hayes

“BRAAAAAAINS? *cries*” – Posted by Zombie Reagan

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo” – Posted by Tiger

There seems to be a general consensus about this among Princeton students…

“it would be sad for the Dinky to die; can't they just add more cars to it? It's so fun, the way it just dinks a long” – Posted by ‘07’07’07

-Allie Shea '12