Friday, October 29, 2010

Classic Movie of the Week: Rear Window (1954)


It’s Halloween this week. And Halloween is amazing, so I thought I’d pick an amazing horror-suspense film for this week. I was originally going to choose Night of the Living Dead and then I watched it… It was not a bad film, but I have to admit that I was pretty bored for a good portion of it (except for the ending, which is terrifying and awesome and definitely worth watching the entire movie for). Maybe it’s better on the big screen?

In any case, I decided that I should go with a different film, one that I can easily recommend to everyone. And that film is Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Not only is this film one of Hitchcock’s many masterpieces, but it also stars James Stewart, who, as I might have mentioned, is my future husband. And it involves a possible murder. And creeper-ing (but in a good way?)…


L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries (James Stewart) is a professional photographer and he just broke his legs taking an action shot at an auto race. Now he is stuck in his New York apartment until his legs heal. Out of boredom, he begins to watch his neighbors through his rear window and over time becomes very involved in watching their personal lives. One day, he sees something particularly suspicious and begins to believe that one of his neighbors has murdered his wife. However, no one will believe him until he proves it…


One of my favorite aspects of this film is the relationship between Jeff and his girlfriend Lisa Carol Freemont (Grace Kelly). Grace Kelly is Grace Kelly; she is the gorgeous future Princess of Monaco. And at this point in his career, James Stewart is definitely getting on in years. Yet, throughout the entire film Jeff is constantly trying to avoid Lisa’s attentions. She says something sweet to Jeff; he deflects with sarcasm. She gets the chef of a fancy restaurant to come over and make Jeff dinner; he ruins the evening by trying to convince her that she won’t fit into his life. She decides to spend the night at his place in a sexy nightgown; he is more interested in what his neighbors are up to… I truly hope that this is not what all committed relationships are like. Especially those involving James Stewart…


You can watch the trailer here.


Side Note: Happy Halloween!!!!


Rear Window can be obtained through the Humanities Resource Center and Netflix. It may also be on YouTube. In English…

--Lolita De Palma '14

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Princeton Trend of the Week: Procrasti-pooping (and other methods of avoiding studying at all costs)

Midterms are upon us, and with them the need to bravely face the mountains of books that have gone unread and equations that have gone misunderstood for the first half of the semester. But for every line memorized, the astute midterms studier always manages to find a way to put off the next moment of cramming with some sort of creative activity, including those not usually associated with procrastination. Some of the more imaginative methods (in addition to the typical, largely Web-based ones) I’ve noticed being employed over the last couple of days (a personal one, by the way, would be writing this post):

1) The Procrasti-poop: going to the bathroom is no longer just a necessary bodily function—it’s a way to avoid memorizing the steps of the Krebs cycle.

2) Procrasti-eating: Late meal! C-store run! 2 AM Frist study break! For every moment where you can’t digest another word of text, there’s something edible to digest instead.

3) The Procrasti-nap: You know you’ve seen it done, and probably done it yourself—just put your head down for a couple of minutes on the brick-hard library table and taken a quick nap. (Hopefully your snoring is in check and you set an alarm so that “quick” doesn’t turn into “exam in half an hour and have only covered half the material.”)

4) The Procrasti-stroll: Take a walk. “Clear your head.” This one’s pretty popular.

5) Procrasti-working: Sometimes you just get so desperate that taking a break means writing that paper due Friday instead of studying for that test tomorrow morning. Designation as procrastination is admittedly debatable, but I vote for inclusion.

This list is undoubtedly incomplete—thus I invite you to add anything you feel has been a creative and integral part of your procrastination routine.

But only if you’re studying.

--Nava Friedman '13

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Fashion Trend of the Week: Brightly Colored Accessories

Everywhere you look on the Princeton campus, you see students wearing blacks, whites, and creams. Most people are wearing some form of dark-colored jacket or sweatshirt on top, and jeans on the bottom. However, some people, who don’t want to look just like everyone else, are trying out a new style this week—wearing bright colored accessories.

Girls are quickly picking up on this fashion trend. Bright colored scarves can be spotted all over campus. Reds and pinks are especially hot right now, but bright blues are becoming more popular. Pastel colors are rarely seen right now. Pastels tend to look faded and bland, especially when the rest of your outfit lacks color. Plaid scarves are pretty popular right now, but if you are looking for a more unique look, try to purchase a scarf with a cool pattern on it. Colored animal prints and polka dots can spice up any outfit.

Another way people are wearing this style is in their backpacks. Backpacks are now made in every shape, size, and color, so be sure to express yourself! Wearing a bright red backpack definitely says more about you than a plain black one. However, your backpack doesn’t have to be bright red to show off your personality. A more subtle way of showing who you are is by having a black backpack with some design or interesting detail on it. As long as the detailing or pattern is brightly-colored, you can get away with the “blackpack.” My personal favorites are from Jansport, which offers a variety of different styles and colors for both guys and girls. The backpack, pictured right, uses bright pink circles to brighten up an otherwise dull backpack.

Probably the easiest way to incorporate some brights into your outfit is to wear Princeton attire. Considering our school colors are orange and black, any piece of Princeton clothing will have a pop of color. Most commonly, students wear sunglasses that have orange arms, usually bearing the year you will graduate Princeton. Given out at different sporting events and the like, these glasses have become quite popular here. Residential college gear is also a good way to go. Most of the colleges have given out great outwear this fall, all bearing some bright pop of color. Forbes sweatpants, although black, have white and red writing that is pretty in your face. Mathey fleeces bear the college’s name and shield in bright red, providing a subtle yet bright pop to the all-black jacket.

Bright colored accessories and accents are all over campus now. Every morning, try to pick out something that has a little pop of color. Don’t let midterms get you down! Keep spirits up by wearing something bright and fun! Bright colors are definitely the way to go.

--Lisa Fierstein '14

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Singles of the Week: October 24

Pop: Taylor Swift – “Back to December”

Princetonians, I urge you to think back to the time that you had a soul. You remember, before midterms and theses and labs sucked out all your emotions. I know, it’s tough, but that’s what Taylor Swift is for. On her newest single, “Back to December” Swift returns to her brilliant formula: simple sugary lyrics, that cute country twang, and a sense of melancholy that no 20-year-old should have. You don’t even need to understand what the song is about to love it. Sure it may be tacky, but Swift proves she can make any grade-grubbing hermit remember that people exist.


-Michael Becker ‘14


Hip Hop: Big Sean- “Fat Raps Remix”

Big Sean gained a lot of press when he signed with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label. The result of that press? Songs like Fat Raps Remix. As if Big Sean’s laid-back delivery wasn’t enough to attract listeners, the roster of featured artists reads like a whose who of up and coming artists. Cool Kids’ emcee Chuck Inglish eases into the song, then hands it off to one of the West Coast’s rising stars, Dom Kennedy. But the fun doesn’t end there. Asher Roth and Chip tha Ripper arrive to drop verses to close out the track over a noticeably uncluttered Don Cannon beat. Long and short: Young emcees get together and have fun rapping over a beat that threatens to blow out your system. What else do you need? Cop the song, along with the whole mixtape, right here from Big Sean’s website. http://uknowbigsean.com/music/


-Trap Yates ‘14


Indie: Belle and Sebastian “Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John”

It’s difficult to tell if this track ought to be called “Belle and Sebastian feat. Norah Jones” or “Norah Jones feat. Belle and Sebastian,” but you can essentially think of it either way. This poignant slow-jam is saturated with Jones’ own musical sensibilities, an utter anomaly to the majority of Belle and Sebastian’s lighthearted pop tunes. But whether or not you’re a Norah Jones fan, you’ll appreciate Stuart Murdoch’s contributing solo and harmonies that showcase the softness and flexibility in the voice. As it is midterm week, consider this the perfect lullaby to cap off a long day of work.


-Lisa Han ‘13

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Classic Movie of the Week: The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

I’m feeling quite colorful this week, so I thought this week’s movie should be in color or at least mostly in color.

The Purple Rose of Cairo is the story of Cecilia (Mia Farrow), a waitress in the Great Depression who tries to escape the horrors of her daily life by going to the movies. After a particularly bad morning, Cecilia goes to the cinema and watches the same movie, The Purple Rose of Cairo (a fictional black and white film), all day until one of the lead characters, Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels) announces his love for her and leaves the screen to be with her. This causes all sorts of chaos: the other characters are stranded in the middle of the film because they cannot continue without him, other “Tom Baxter”s begin to attempt to leave the screen at other cinemas nationwide, and Gil Shepherd (the actor who plays Tom Baxter) may no longer have a career because producers worry that his characters are too real for the big screen. And it looks like Cecilia is the only one who can save the day and convince Tom to return to his world. But does she want to?

The Purple Rose of Cairo is a Woody Allen film, but is it is definitely not as famous or critically acclaimed as Annie Hall (a film that will most likely show up here soon, once I get around to re-watching it) and some of his other films. Still, I’m featuring it here for two reasons. The first is that it is a great Woody Allen film for people who don’t like Woody Allen films. What I mean by this is that if you don’t like watching Woody Allen act in his films, this is the perfect Woody Allen film for you because Woody Allen is not in it. Thus, the comedy in the movie is much more situational and not created by him in accordance with his sense of humor (which I personally love, but I know that there are people out there who don’t). Second, the ending to this film is AMAZING!!!! It’s one of those endings that stayed with me weeks after I watched the movie and still comes back to haunt me. It’s just so thought provoking and emotional and fitting and brilliant! It’s as good as cotton candy and that is definitely saying something.

You can watch the trailer here.

Side Note: I promise I will start featuring movies that are not romantic comedies next week. I just have a thing for romantic comedies…

The Purple Rose of Cairo can be watched instantly and rented through Netflix. The full movie might also be on YouTube… In Spanish…

--Lolita De Palma '14

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Trailer of the Week: Restless

“Grief is nature’s most powerful aphrodisiac.”

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that Will Ferrell’s portrayal of Chaz in Wedding Crashers is the best cameo in movie history. Chaz may be a sleazy pervert who lives with his mother, but he pretty much saves the movie, which has just gone through the boring part where Owen Wilson’s character acts really desperate and depressed (yeesh, I guess life imitates art. Sorry, too soon?). Every one of Chaz’s lines is ridiculously funny, and Will Ferrell’s delivery is impeccable, but the real beauty of the character is the fact that he crashes funerals. Seriously, he goes to funerals in order to sleep with random women, and isn’t even ashamed to admit it.

Now, I’m not condoning this behavior in any way, but whoever came up with that is awesome. Crashing funerals is probably the most morally reprehensible/hilarious idea I have ever heard of, which brings me to the movie for this week, Restless. Watch the trailer here:



My God, someone actually made a movie about a funeral crasher. An entire movie! Granted, he doesn’t intentionally do it for sexual purposes, but Enoch (played by Henry Hopper, son of the late Dennis Hopper) still goes to random people’s funerals he doesn’t know for selfish reasons. That this is the premises for what seems like a pretty serious movie is way too much for me. I couldn’t take any part of the trailer seriously because Chaz quotes kept popping into my head that related to things said in it. Here’s an idea of what I mean (these are all lines taking directly from Restless and Wedding Crashers):

“This is the fourth funeral I have seen you at this month, and if I see you around here again I’m calling the cops…”

“I almost numchucked you, you don’t even realize.”

“Did you know that kid from the other funeral?”

“Dude died in a hang gliding accident, what an idiot. ‘Ahhh I’m hang gliding, honey
take good picture – I’m dead.’ What a freak.”

“I was lying about working at the hospital. I’m a patient, is that okay?”

“Hey babe, yea, you do whatever you have to do.”

“Annabel tells me you’re a funeral crashing drop-out with a ghost friend.”

“I’m just livin’ the dream.”

You might think that I shouldn’t be so juvenile in analyzing a movie about disturbed and terminally ill people. Then again, I can’t lie to myself and pretend that I didn’t immediately make the connection between Restless and Chaz. I really am capable of taking things seriously, but it’s hard to when they have anything remotely to do with funeral crashing. To be honest, I find it funny under pretty much any circumstance, and although Restless may turn out to be a great movie, I probably won’t see it. Instead, I’ll use the time to come of with a premise for a Chaz-centered Wedding Crashers spin-off. Funeral Crashers anyone?

(If you haven’t seen Wedding Crashers and therefore have no idea what I am talking about, I have nothing but pity for you. If you have time, watch it immediately. If not, this should help you understand my point.)

-Ben Neumann ‘14

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fashion Trend of the Week: Plain Blue Jeans

Levi Strauss invented jeans in 1853 during the heart of the California Gold Rush. Shortly afterwards, jeans became an integral part of every American’s wardrobe. Over the years, jeans have gone through extreme transformations, changing their look, color, and style every season. No matter how they change, jeans will always be in style because of their practicality and comfort.

While walking around campus lately, you'll see relatively little variety when it comes to this fashion staple. This season, everyone is wearing plain blue jeans! No pocket detail, no rips at the knees, just plain jeans! Although many stores on Nassau Street are displaying jeans with eye-catching studs and designs, Princeton students are loving their plain blue jeans.

Girls have many more options when it comes to their blue jeans. On campus, most girls choose to wear medium to dark skinny jeans, paired with sweaters and jackets to combat the cold weather. Skinny jeans are definitely more stylish than boot cut jeans, but either look can work depending on what you pair with them. If you choose to wear boot cut jeans, be sure to wear some fabulous accessories with them, like a cool scarf or some bright-colored bracelets. Do not go with the “faded at the knees” look—it is definitely not as classy as just plain color. Also, jeans should be blue! Colored jeans, such as purple, pink, turquoise, etc. are so last season!

For the guys, it is important that your jeans actually fit you. At a place like Princeton, it is not acceptable to wear your jeans around your knees. You NEED to wear a belt. Belts are a great way to show off your personality and keep your pants up. Obviously you shouldn’t be wearing tight skinny jeans (unless you are a skateboarder), so go with the fitted boot cut jeans. The bottoms of your jeans shouldn’t be dragging on the ground and they shouldn’t be all bunched up around your ankles. Jeans should be resting at the top your sneakers, and should be almost to the floor in the back. A solid medium wash is definitely the way to go for color.

Why do we wear jeans?, you might ask. Sophmore Eric Peñalver says he likes to wear his jeans “because I don’t want to be too formal and wear khakis. Guys don’t have too many alternatives other than jeans when it comes to long pants other than sweatpants. And I’m not a sweatpants kind-of-guy.”

Jeans have become more popular on campus this past week as the weather has gotten chillier. A solid pair will last you for many seasons to come, so it's definitely worth investing in some jeans that you really love.

--Lisa Fierstein '14

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Princeton Trend of the Week: Midterms Malaise

Cough. Hack. Sneeze.

These are probably sounds you’ve been hearing a lot recently.

Princeton students seem to have contracted a myriad of fun ailments just in time for midterms. From the common cold to bronchitis to the always attractive “pink eye” (or as Princetonians call it, conjunctivitis), a slew of diseases have been making their way across our campus.

Looking around a classroom, it’s especially clear how students have been taking a biological hit. There will invariably be the kid hacking continuously, the girl with the pile of tissues, the guy scratching his pink blob of an eye, and of course, the conspicuously absent who have passed the malaise margin into the realm of the bedridden (and yes, you are probably secretly happy not to be one of those…while also a bit jealous that you’re not in bed right now.)

A pre-med I am not, so I will not try to biologically explain Princetonians’ increasingly astute ability to contract illness. In mommy mode, I can suggest lack of sleep and poor diet choices as possible causes, along with, well, being around each other all the time.

So as you gear up for the next week of paper-writing and cramming, stock up on Vitamin C, perhaps put a few more inches between you and the next guy (however cute he may be) at the library table, and good luck on your exams…

Aaaaaaaaaaaa-choo!

-Nava Friedman '13

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Roundup: This Week on TV - Mixed Drinks and Mixed Emotions

My Top TV Choice for this week actually happened last night, but I think it’s okay to look backward a little considering it was the season finale of Mad Men, “Tomorrowland.” If you don’t watch the show or are a few episodes behind, you can jump to my other TV choices for this week. Spoilers ahead.

For me, “Tomorrowland” wasn’t as “aww”-inspiring as Don’s Kodak pitch, nor was it as exhilarating as the formation of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Instead, it left me a little confused. In fact, I’m pretty sure I looked like all the all the guys in the room with Ken when he told them his fiancée was the most important part of his life. Well, that wasn’t the answer I was expecting.

Maybe it was because, like Ken, “Tomorrowland” put family over work. I was surprised that there wasn’t more focus on the office. I was very surprised that nothing major happened to Sally. I was yelling-at-my-TV surprised that Don proposed to Megan. (I wasn’t surprised that Joan was still pregnant, but I’m pretty sure no one was).

There’ll be plenty of time to deal with the consequences of everything that happened (and everything that didn’t) next season. But I do want to say that I started liking the episode a lot more when I remembered that even the events that bothered me happened for a reason.

We had to spend a lot of time away from SCDP. Otherwise, we’d have no perspective on how little anyone appreciated Peggy’s efforts to save the company. Because nothing happened to Sally, I have to keep worrying about her for another season. And of course I’m supposed to be completely uncomfortable with Don’s impulsivity. I didn’t know how to feel when the episode was over, but I’m starting to feel very satisfied with the episode as a whole.

Final thoughts and favorite scenes:

- Sal’s unfair termination finally has some competition in the category of “most heart-breaking firing. I’ll definitely miss Carla if she’s gone, but her absence could bring Betty and Sally’s issues to the surface.

- It was nice to see that Don can be silly and sweet with his children.

- I loved that in the end, Don needed Peggy’s approval. And that she gave it to him, even if she was lying.

- I loved even more that Peggy and Joan gossiped about the day’s happenings afterwards, since that’s all I wanted to do too.

Other Workplace Relationships I’m Watching this Week:

House and Cuddy (House, Monday on Fox at 8/7c)

House and Wilson wind up taking care of Cuddy’s daughter, Rachel. Hilarity (some of it heartwarming?) is sure to ensue.

Andy and Erin (The Office, Thursday on NBC at 9/8c)

Andy forms a band, and I’m hoping it’s another attempt to woo Erin with his singing skills (like his charmingly earnest Sweeney Todd exploits two weeks ago).

Dexter and Lumen (Dexter, Sunday on Showtime at 9/8c)

Okay. It’s not a workplace per se, since Lumen’s getting involved in Dexter’s homicidal side job, but I’m excited to see an innocent (albeit damaged) character step into his secret world.


-Nora Sullivan ‘12

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

YouTube Video of the Week: Pandas and Cheese

Please, although the following advice may seem bizarre, heed it: if you ever happen to be offered a mysterious dairy product by a panda in Egypt, accept it immediately. You may wonder what on Earth I might be talking about. I would love to explain, really…but I can’t. So just watch this video, eat cheese whenever you are offered it, and beware the panda.

- Michael Becker '14

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Classic Movie of the Week: The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Every time I watch The Philadelphia Story, I feel that there is something very special about the film. Of course, it could just be my future (although sadly deceased) husband and Princeton alumnus Jimmy Stewart in the only role he ever received an Oscar for, but I think there is more to it. The film forces me to reassess the way I judge the world and the people around me. At one point, Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) says (while intoxicated), “The time to make up your mind about people is never.” And there is a lot of truth to that.

Tracy Jordan, a rich socialite, is about to marry for the second time. Her first marriage to C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant), another rich socialite, was a very passionate affair that ended quite violently (in a fantastic wordless scene, Tracy breaks Dexter’s golf club as he is leaving and then he retaliates by grabbing her face and thrusting her back into the house. You can watch it here. I promise that C.K. Dexter Haven’s treatment of his wife does not look nearly as abusive as it sounds.). Now, she is about to be wed to George Kittredge (John Howard), a self-made man and an aspiring politician.

On the eve of her wedding, C.K. Dexter Haven shows up Tracy’s door with a photographer, Elizabeth Imbrie (Ruth Hussey), and a reporter, Macaulay Connor (Jimmy Stewart) for the tabloid Spy magazine posing as two friends of her brother’s. From there, in traditional comedic fashion, all hell breaks loose.

You can watch the trailer here.

Side Note: There is a musical remake of The Philadelphia Story called High Society. Don’t watch it.

The Philadelphia Story can be rented through Netflix or through the Princeton University Library. The full movie might also be on YouTube…

-Lolita De Palma ‘14

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Next Bob Dylan?: Q & A with Anthony D'Amato '10

At age 22, Anthony D’Amato ‘10 is three albums and a New York Post feature further than your average college grad. Fresh out of Princeton, D’Amato immediately affirmed himself as perhaps one of the University’s most successful student musicians. Already he has shared a stage with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, and most recently received rave reviews from publications like The Star Ledger extolling his newest album, “Down Wires.” Street catches up with D’Amato as he talks about the album, college, and Bob Dylan.


Q: How would you describe your music? Do you have any strong musical influences?

A: I make folk music--sometimes I make it with acoustic guitars and banjos and sometimes I make it with electric guitars and a laptop, but I think it's all still folk music in its own way. I've been heavily influenced by the usual suspects (Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young) and younger artists like Josh Ritter, Joe Pug, and Jesse Malin.


Q: You've just graduated from Princeton. Looking back, can you describe your college experience in 3 words?

A: It went fast.


Q: Were you in any student groups on campus? Eating clubs?

A: I was in Terrace Club. I've always been a firm believer that Terrace is the future.


Q: How did you first get into writing music?

A: You can only spend so long learning other people's songs before you start to feel like 'I bet I could do this.' And then you do it and it's terrible and incredibly discouraging and you go back to learning other people's songs for a while. But then you get that feeling again, and so you try to write something else, and this time it's a little less terrible. Repeat infinitely.


Q: You seem to put a lot of emphasis into lyrics in your songs. What is the process of writing lyrics like?

A: It's a constant process. I'm always scribbling down ideas, writing down a million different variations of the same line until I find the exact right one. I'm very interested in the sounds of words, how certain words or phrases can interlock with each other. Sometimes if I have music and no lyrics I'll just sing gibberish until I find certain sounds I like or a certain pacing that feels right. Then I'll start to approach the words from there.


Q: What was your most memorable musical experience?

A: My most memorable musical experience was last year's Light of Day, which is an annual benefit show in Asbury Park for Parkinson's research. I opened the show, and later in the night Bruce Springsteen showed up as a special guest and performed an amazing set. At the end he had all of the night's performers come out to sing "Twist and Shout" and "Light of Day." Being onstage with him was an absolute thrill. At the time I was writing my thesis, in which I traced his music back to Puritan sermons from the 1600s, so I got to chat with him a bit about that backstage, too.


Q: Tell us a little bit about Down Wires- what are the concepts behind the album, where did you get inspiration from?

A: I was interested in writing from different perspectives on this record. A lot of times songs would start out with a character I'd invent or adapt, and then I'd try to write from their point of view. You inevitably filter everything through yourself and your own experiences, though. Inspiration comes from all over the place--certain phrases just plant themselves in my brain or I'll wake up with a melody in my head. I don't know exactly how it works but I'm thankful for it and try not to squander those moments when they happen.


Q: Is there a song on the album that is particularly meaningful to you?

A: They all are in their own way, but "One Good Time" is very special to me because Sam Roberts sings on it. Sam's a big star up in Canada, and I've been a huge fan of his since I was about 14. Last fall I got to open for him, and when it came time to make this record, I sent him some music. He dug the song and was kind enough to record some vocals up in Montreal and send them back to me. It's very exciting to have someone who's been such an inspiration over the years put his stamp on a piece of music I wrote.


Q: What was it like working with members from so many well-known bands like Mark Stepro (drummer for Ben Kweller) or Gabriel Gordon (guitarist for Natalie Merchant)?

A: Gabriel changed the whole arc of the record. I was thinking of making a low-key acoustic album, and once Gabriel got involved, it suddenly became this souped-up electric thing. Once that happened I knew we needed Mark in the mix. He stepped in and knocked his parts out in no-time flat. They're both unbelievable musicians who volunteered their time because they liked the music, and it was really an honor to just step back and watch them do their thing.


Q: Critics have compared you to both John Lennon and Bob Dylan. What do you make of that comparison? What's your opinion on those two artists?

A: It's obviously very flattering and I love both of those artists, but I feel like a Little Leaguer standing next to Mickey Mantle or Joe DiMaggio when someone says something like that. My focus is making the music, and I hope that people get pleasure out of hearing the records and coming to the shows. That's my measure for success.


Q: What's the next step for you?

A: Well this record just came out, so I'll be playing a lot of shows in support of it. It's so much fun to play these new songs live and I can't wait to share them with everybody. My tonsils have to come out this week, which is going to knock me out of commission for a bit, but I'm hoping to come back and play a record release show at Princeton once I'm back on my feet.


To hear some of Anthony's music, check out:

http://www.myspace.com/anthonydamatomusic

http://www.facebook.com/anthonydamatomusic


-Lisa Han ‘13

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

To Reboot or Not to Reboot?

THIS JUST IN: Some Welsh Dude Has Been Cast as the Villain in the Upcoming Spider-Man Reboot

This news probably caused at least one of two questions to immediately pop into your head: 1) “Since when are they rebooting Spider-Man?” and 2) “Who, pray tell, is this ‘Welsh Dude?’” Evidently, back in January Sony simultaneously cancelled Spider-Man 4 and announced a plan to reboot the franchise with a bunch of relatively unproven actors and filmmakers.

To be honest, I’m quite skeptical of the whole “reboot” thing, because clearly movie studios just want to bank on moviegoers’ familiarity with the title. But blatant greed does not necessarily lead to bad movies. In fact, the recent history of reboots has brought out both the best and worst of filmmaking. Batman Begins is a fantastic movie that made killing at the box office and with critics, Casino Royale successfully modernized the James Bond formula while going back to the roots of the original novels, and Star Trek pretty much kicked ass. Then again, Superman Returns kind of sucked, as did The Hulk (which was so bad that they had to reboot the reboot), and all of those horror movies that have so many sequels that they just go back to the original title (you know who you are).

I tried to come up with some of the criteria for what makes a movie reboot successful, and I came up with two I think make sense:

1) The original franchise must have started out really well but eventually left a bitter taste in our mouths because of endless/bad sequels and the like.

2) The reboot must add a significantly different element to the story to make sure its
not just a the same movie with better special effects.

Going back to Spider-Man, the franchise clearly passes the test of ending on a bad note. Spider-Man 3 was a convoluted mess of a movie with more pointless villains and crappy dialogue than Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (alright, maybe that’s a stretch), and I for one am pretty pissed off that they followed the amazing Spider-Man 2 with such a poor effort. Whether it passes the second test, however, remains to be seen. Andrew Garfield (Eduardo in The Social Network) will be playing the nerdy yet heroic Peter Parker, and Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) is slated to direct. That second fact startles me a bit: the only feature-length movie Webb has directed is 500 Days of Summer, as he usually directs music videos. I’m sorry, but I don’t think directing the video for “Ocean Avenue” or “London Bridge” makes you qualified to direct a special effects-heavy action movie. Yes, I’m looking at you too, McG.

Because I’m not sold on the director, I’m finding it hard to get excited for this movie, which is set for release in 2012. The news of the casting of the “Welsh Dude” (whose name is actually Rhys Ifans) is actually the best thing the new Spider-Man has going for it. Ifans played both the pissed-off British kicker from The Replacements and one of Satan’s mean-spirited sons in Little Nicky. Although both mediocre movies at best, each holds a special place in my heart, and Ifans is absolutely brilliant in both of them.

And now for your reading pleasure, here are a few reboots I think should be made as soon as possible (the theme, of course, being cartoons from my childhood).

1. Hey! Arnold. First of all, who didn’t love this show? Second of all, how great would it be to see Arnold and company go through high school? You’re already excited, I know.

2. Dragon Ball Z. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve watched the anime series, but I’m pretty sure the whole human vs. alien identity crisis along with some sweet action could lead to an awesome movie. Plus, that recent Dragon Ball movie sucked because everyone knows Z is way cooler. Just saying.

3. Rocket Power. A few days ago I stumbled upon this awesome website full of Uncle Tito’s hilariously ridiculous Hawaiian wisdom. Needless to say, I have a fever, and the only prescription… is more Tito.

4. Ed, Edd, and Eddy. I really want them to make a live-action version with the Eds as adults, and I have the perfect cast in mind. Will Farrell as Ed, Steve Carrell as Double D, and Vince Vaughn as Eddy. Think about it.

5. Pokémon. If you’ve seen this fan-made trailer, you know exactly how a live-action reboot should play out. Pokémon battling has gone underground because animal rights activists have made it illegal. Ash must choose between letting Pikachu or his (human) friends die. Gotta catch’em all.

-Ben Neumann ‘14

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"I want to make an eye-gasm": An Interview with King Khan and the Shrine

Based in Germany, King Khan and the Shrine have dazzled audiences with their huge stage presence, complete with go-go dancers and pom-poms. We interviewed the band as they were traveling on tour from Montreal to the United States. They will play at Terrace on Thursday. Described as “berserking Maniacs” and “soul and punk fanatics” on their own biography page, the band is definitely one the more colorful bands we’ve seen.

Q: You guys are a psychedelic big band, so how would you describe your sound? What influences are you channeling?

A: I guess psychedelic soul pretty much says it. But also a lot of R&B with psychedelic elements. Our influences…there’s too many to pinpoint. But a lot of R&B and soul, psychedelic music, punk music.

Q: From several sources, it seems that you guys are pretty wild and visually arresting on stage. What do you want to accomplish with the visual part of your performance?

A: As I describe it, I want to make an eye-gasm. I guess I want to continue to bring back the whole tradition of a nicely dressed soul band

Q: You guys are traveling right now on tour right? How is that going?

A: So far, most of the shows have been really good. We just came back from Montreal. It’s been going well.

Q: Can you describe your songwriting process? Where do you get your inspirations?

A: There are three main songwriters, basically come up with stuff. They teach everyone else in the band.

Q: Do you guys rehearse a lot together?

A: No, not really. Everyone lives in different cities. But everyone is kind of centralizing in Berlin. For the past 10 years, we’ve all been living in different cities.

Q: So how did the band come together?

A: We all played together in 1999. I moved to Germany, I wanted to do that. I found people all over, from traveling and such, and just put everyone together. We’ve been pretty much the same line-up since.

Q: Do you guys value your interaction with the crowd?

A: Yeah, definitely. We try to incorporate the crowd frequently.

Q: If you could go on tour with any band right now, who would it be?

A: Well, we’re gonna be playing a couple of show with Red Nash, who’s based in Montreal

Q: What can we look forward to at Terrace Club this Thursday?

A: Hopefully a gospel, kind of erotic rock. A lot of dancing, definitely

Interview conducted, condensed, and edited by Grace Ma ‘14

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Princeton Trend of the Week: Poster Pinching

People say the Orange Bubble is one of the safest places to go to school—beautiful campus, idyllic, low-crime town, motivated students who are here only to learn, perhaps enjoy a party or two.

But beware Princetonians—there are thieves in your midst.

Don’t call Public Safety just yet—the thieves of whom I speak are mostly harmless creatures, interested in one thing and one thing only: the numerous, colorful posters which adorn every pole and billboard on Princeton’s campus.

Poster pinching takes a variety of forms on campus, and is usually employed as a mode of dorm decoration. No doubt many of you have stepped into a friend’s room (or perhaps even--*gasp*--your own) to discover walls ornamented with announcements for the Triangle Show, the latest offering from Disiac, or a Nobel Prize Winner’s scholarly address.

Hopefully these artfully designed, eye-catching and “low-cost” hangings are outdated, taken only after the subjects of their deliberate phrasings have long passed. Occasionally, you will find the odd transgressor who has boldly taken a poster touting a current event—but I’m sure (err…hope) there were just a lot of extras.

Subject matter takes on interesting variations. I have seen a single room bedecked with fifteen copies of the same poster, others with a wide variety of shapes, sizes and themes. Some will choose a particular genre—theater, dance, notable speakers, others simply reach for whatever they can get. Poster configurations go from Top Design worthy spreads to paper-vomit sequences that could barely be called collages. The possibilities are numerous, and Princeton students, never failing to exhibit their ingenuity, explore many avenues with their questionably acquired goods.

A note of respect—try to keep your poster-swiping until after the advertised event has taken place. Trust me, it’ll look just as nice on your wall next week!

-Nava Friedman '13

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Roundup: This Week on TV

This year’s crop of new shows was kind of anti-climactic. There were no major breakout hits, and the biggest critical darling was canceled after just two episodes (Sorry Lonestar!) So where does that leave us? Well, I haven’t added anything to my TiVo yet, but I did give some new shows a few weeks to win me over. (You can only tell so much from a pilot.) Here are my feelings on some of TV’s new additions.

THE EVENT (Mondays at 9/8c, NBC)

The Basics: Weird things are happening. Government intrigue. Disappearing girlfriends. Possible aliens. I’m pretty sure one of them is the “Event.”

The Appeal: This year’s entry to win the title of “the new LOST

The Good: As wrongfully accused Sean Walker, Jason Ritter is an earnest protagonist everyone can root for. And after a somewhat jumbled pilot, the show seems to have struck a nice balance between mysteries and answers that leaves me anxious to find out what’ll happen next.

The Bad: The Event needs more character development. There’s so much going on plot-wise that’s it’s hard to learn anything about anyone involved. They could also use a more streamlined system of flashbacks.

The Verdict: This is the show most likely to eventually end up on my TiVo, if it doesn’t get canceled first. It’s got good long-term potential, so long as it doesn’t get so mired in mythology that we never learn anything about the characters.


UNDERCOVERS (Wednesdays at 8/7c, NBC)

The Basics: Steven and Samantha Bloom are married ex-spies who get pulled back into the spy game.

The Appeal: Creator J.J. Abrams knows spies (see: Alias and his Mission Impossible sequels)

The Good: This was my favorite pilot of the bunch, with strong sexy leads (Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and an amusing if sometimes over-the-top sidekick.

The Bad: There’s a reason partners on these kinds of shows don’t usually start out together, and it’s because it gives the story somewhere to go. I’m still not sure where this one is headed.

The Verdict: Still up in the air. As I said, it was my favorite pilot, but it felt so self-contained that I wasn’t all that anxious to see what happened next. They need more drama and higher stakes. Until they get there, I’m going to favor the funnier, more complicated Chuck.


HAWAII FIVE-O (Mondays at 10/9c, CBS)

The Basics: Remake of the long-running series about a special task force in Hawaii.

The Appeal: Critics were surprisingly excited about what could have been another run-of-the-mill criminal procedural.

The Good: They were excited because it’s a fun mix of action and drama with strong cast camaraderie. Plus, the smaller island setting allows for more personal stories, including the sweet but not saccharine relationship between Danny (of “Book ‘em, Danno” fame) and his daughter.

The Bad: A procedural with well-developed characters is still a procedural.

The Verdict: I won’t be watching this weekly, but the classic theme song sets the stage for a well-paced, action-packed, always enjoyable show that I wouldn’t mind catching occasionally.


TOP CHEF: JUST DESSERTS (Wednesdays at 10/9c, Bravo)

The Basics: Pretty self-explanatory.

The Appeal: It’s just like the Emmy-winning original Top Chef! But with more chocolate!

The Good: Just Desserts follows the Top Chef tradition of having clever and accessible challenges, plus the sugary results are nice to look at.

The Bad: Now that SPOILER ALERT Dexter look-a-like Seth is out of the fray, the competition could use a little more drama. Also, it’s possible that we don’t need another TV show about desserts and dessert-related competitions.

The Verdict: Who am I kidding? There is always room for more shows about desserts. Reality show spinoffs can do crazy well (see: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) or fail miserably (see: American Idol Juniors). This one is somewhere in between. I’m not sure it’s quite as good as the original, but it’s fun to watch creative people at work, particularly when they’re making cupcakes.


RAISING HOPE (Tuesdays at 9/8c, Fox)

The Basics: Man-child Jimmy has to raise the baby girl he didn’t know he had when her mother goes to jail.

The Appeal: This was the first new show to get a full-season pickup.

The Good: The baby is cute and the cast seems to be having a good time.

The Bad: I can only take so many jokes about stupidity, and they seem be all this show has to offer. It’s stuck in mediocre sitcom tropes, without offering a truly original take on any of them.

The Verdict: Meh. I get my weekly dose of (better) jokes about charming idiots from Brittany on Glee, which is on right before Raising Hope. I’ll stick with Brittany and her gay sharks for now.


Top TV Choice for the Week Ahead:

30 Rock’s live episode (NBC Thursday at 8:30/7:30c). Tina Fey and company have plenty experience in live performance, and Tracy Morgan is just crazy enough that he’ll keep things unpredictable. Plus, Jon Hamm is guest starring. He’s always pretty good on SNL, and who doesn’t love Dr. Drew Baird and his hook hands?



-- Nora Sullivan '12

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Fashion Trend of the Week: Lights and Whites

Although fall has certainly arrived here in Princeton, we have been pretty lucky with the weather this week. With the temperatures in the high 70s, everyone across campus is enjoying this weeks fashion trend: lights and whites.

You may be thinking you cant wear white after Labor Day, but a large number of Princeton students have been sporting this trend this week. Considering white and black are this years winter colors, it is no surprise students are jumping on this bandwagon early.

Probably the most popular styles on campus are white skinny jeans for girls and light khaki shorts for guys. The skinny jeans style is usually paired with a bright sweater or something with extreme contrast.

It is definitely not stylish to wear an all-white or all-light ensemble, so be wary of what you pair with your light bottoms. Guys in dark polo shirts and light bottoms look quite dapper on campus, but guys have to make sure they do not look too dressed when trying to pull off the light bottoms look. Dont wear a blazer with the khakisyoull look like you are going home to meet the parents. Thats not classy on campus.


I caught up with freshman Alexis Feliciano '14, who couldnt stop raving about this new trend. Alexis, pictured here, wears her light-colored jeans with a long-sleeved Princeton shirt. This is definitely a great way to pair your light jeans. Light jeans or khakis are a pretty preppy look, so pairing them with a casual dark shirt is the perfect way to tone down the prep while still sporting the new trend.


White has been seen all over the runways this fall, especially in the new lines by Chanel and Valentino. White is a statement color this fall, and designers are rewriting the rules about wearing white after Labor Day by cranking out white sweaters and coats that will make you stand out in the crowd. Id definitely look out for that amazing statement piece, whether it is some great white jeans or a fabulous white blazer. This style is here to stay.


-Lisa Fierstein '14

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom: A Compilation of Prince Comments

Article: “The price of a free concert”

Posted by
Wake up
The presumption that your community service actually benefits anyone but yourself is flawed. The world sucks and you are not going to change that with your silly Pace Center projects. Wake up.

Wow, harsh. Someone definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

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Article: “Casanova on the Street”

Posted by
nickiminaj
just google image searched you...confused

And that’s not creepy at all…

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Posted by
grow up

…If you're looking for a gentleman, go to Colonial or to church…

Aww, we still love you, Colonial.

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Article: "The Politization of Judaism”

Posted by
tafarA

Finally, Islam is WITCHCRAFT!!!!!!
Here's a website you should look at: www.Israelisnotasbadasgenghiskhan.org

Israel is not as bad as genghis khan …dot org?!?!

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Article: “Wilson School to conduct review of operations”

Posted by
not just the 20th

yo buchanon, imma let you finish but woodrow wilson was the worst president of all time--OF ALL TIME!

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Posted by
on the table
I dunno, Lincoln was pretty (incredibly) awful.

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-Grace Ma ‘14

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Classic Movie of the Week: The Apartment (1960)

It seems that more than half of Princeton’s student body and I have been fighting an evil cold of doom these past few weeks. And while I’ve been sneezing during lectures, sharing cough drops in the dining halls, and sniffing Afrin between classes, I couldn’t help thinking about Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. Now, this movie has very little to do with fighting apocalyptic colds, except that the main character in this dark comedy, C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), has a pretty persistent cold throughout the film. Yet, at the same time, this cold demonstrates just how all the forces of nature seem to be against C.C. Baxter.


Baxter is a young lonely guy trying to work his way up from the bottom of a large corporation. He needs a way to stand out from his competition, so he lends his superiors the key to his apartment for their illicit affairs. In theory, this is a brilliant idea, but all it seems to lead to is Baxter roaming the rainy streets of New York late into the night, waiting for his apartment to be free again. When he finally gets up the courage to ask the beautiful elevator girl, Miss Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) out on a date, Baxter is stood up because she is too busy with his boss… In his apartment…

I won’t reveal any more, but I will tell you that you need to watch this movie because the plot only thickens from there. And you get to see pasta being strained by means of a tennis racket. I don’t think I need to say anymore, but if you do need more persuading, I could tell you that this film won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1960 and the director Billy Wilder is the mastermind behind such films as Some Like It Hot, Sunset Boulevard, and Double Indemnity. But I bet the pasta-straining tennis racket is more than enough.


Click here for the trailer.

Click here for an awesome scene featuring Evil Cold of Doom.


Side Note: Promises, Promises is a Broadway musical based on The Apartment and it’s awesome, so you should see it if you get the chance.


The Apartment can be rented through Netflix or through the Princeton University Library.


-Lolita De Palma ‘14

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Shakespeare's "Henry IV: Part I" is brought to life by an excellent cast

Though the Princeton Shakespeare Company’s production of “Henry IV: Part 1” is occasionally stilted and confusing, a sterling cast makes for an undoubtedly fun and thought-provoking evening out.

“Henry IV: Part 1” is one of Shakespeare’s least known but most effective history plays -- and in this production, director Elizabeth Swanson '12 makes the bold decision to modernize the setting. King Henry IV’s eldest son, Hal (Nicolas Hybel ’12), has rebelled and is now hanging out in a bar with outlaws such as Falstaff (Joshua Zeitlin ’11) and Poins (Evan Thompson ’14). An upstart son isn’t all the king’s got on his hands, however. Henry IV is also trying to suppress a revolt of the Percies clan, one of whom -- Mortimer -- may have a claim to the throne. At the play’s emotional climax, Hal goes to his father and repents, and vows to kill Hotspur (Tadesh Inagaki ’14), leader of the Percies revolt.

Hal’s reconciliation with his father – which provides the play’s main emotional arc – is effectively staged. When Hal eventually greets his father, he genuinely does seem to be seeking forgiveness.

The friendship between Hal and Falstaff is the show’s most poignantly-depicted relationship. Hybel and Zeitlin banter in an utterly convincing manner, exchanging teasing quips with the habit of old friends. Hal and Poins (who walks with a very specific bow-legged swagger) plot to rob Falstaff and others of their recently acquired loot, and Hal listens to Falstaff’s exaggerated tale of his encounter with two, now four, now eleven enemies before laughingly rebuking him and proving Falstaff’s story wrong. Then Hal and Falstaff are suddenly role-playing Hal’s apology and reconciliation with his father, Henry IV. All these exchanges are pulled off with zest by the performers.

As Falstaff, Zeitlin is responsible for much of the play's comedy. His performance complicates our perception of Falstaff as a mere clown, however. Zeitlin is able to play both the humor (as when he rolls Hotspur across the stage, having stabbed the already dead man once again in the thigh so as to get credit for his death) and the grimmer aspects of Falstaff’s character with an even hand.

Sir Henry Percy (or Hotspur) and Lady Katherine Percy (Julia Keimach ‘12) were also fun to watch, as the actors created a sense of relaxed intimacy that rung true to their characters' relationship.

Despite the strength of the cast, there were some elements of the production that left me cold.
Most notably, the decision to modernize the setting of the play wasn’t easy to follow. For much of the play, Hal, Poins and Falstaff seem to have come from some ‘50s biker flick, cruising around on motorbikes and pulling out guns to rob people. But for the final battle scenes, the very same characters were suddenly using swords and daggers in one-on-one combat.

At the same time, however, the choice of costumes was effective in differentiating between the play’s many different groups of characters, creating a strong sense of social hierarchy. At Mistress Quickly’s pub, actors wore jeans and a white t-shirt; in Henry IV’s meetings they wore dark business suits; and for the battle scenes, they wore a color-coded shirt (white for Henry IV’s side, black for the Percies), and cargo pants. The lighting and set emphasized the differences between Hal’s new environment and his old one. The battle scenes were well-choreographed and fun to watch.

Despite an extremely short rehearsal process, the Princeton Shakespeare Company has produced an enjoyable production of one of the Bard’s most under-rated plays. It’s definitely worth a trip to the Frist Performance Theater tonight or tomorrow, even though you may walk out with a few unanswered questions.

3.5 Paws
Pros: acting and details of characterization were very strong.
Cons: parts were inconsistent, also some lingering questions and unexplained details

-Merrill Fabry '14

"Henry IV: Part I" is showing at the Frist Performance Theater tonight and tomorrow.

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Terrace Club’s International Music Festival Celebration: Explore your Senses with MIMA

When I first learned that the 501(c)3 tax-exempt Modern Improvisational Music Association was to perform at the über-trendy Terrace Club, I was baffled. Maybe I was being a typical freshman, but it struck me as paradoxical. What was the logic behind organizing an association for improv musicians? Why come to sleepy Princeton and, more specifically, to Terrace Club? And why should we bother to see them?

Unfortunately, I’m not the only one on campus oblivious to this organization. MIMA was founded 10 years ago this week by its current trustees Cristoph Geiseler, Jonathan Barnes, and Adam Nemett, with whom I had the immense fortune to speak. These Princetonians felt that music should have more passion in it, elicited by the art of improvisation. Essentially, they believed that the over-produced Billboard Top 40 MTV pop played on repeat on Prospect Street was getting old. Together, they pursued a humble goal: to expose their peers to something new and exciting outside the insular Orange Bubble.

To accomplish this end, they brought innovative musicians and DJs to Princeton parties and organized trips to underground shows in Trenton, NYC, and Philadelphia. In fact, by the end of Nemett’s tenure in MIMA, there were over 500 undergraduates associated with the organization. It seemed as though MIMA had single-handedly stimulated Princetonians’ appreciation for more authentic music.

Afterwards, Geiseler took over the operation and transformed MIMA into an international non-profit NGO that aimed to empower individuals from countries around the world through the art of improvised music. The trustees saw musical education as a way to rescue kids from risky situations in their communities. So, they found and trained musicians in such areas to teach local children how to make music and improvise with each other. Such activities kept teens out of trouble and afforded them opportunities for upward mobility. Additionally, they learned to maintain and promote the traditions of their respective cultures. Through this newly acquired talent, these children were empowered with confidence, respect, and leadership in a way that could improve their communities immeasurably. Since 2004, MIMA has hosted 30 such outreach programs for 700 students in 15 cities in the United States, Cyprus, Argentina, Brazil, China, Jamaica, and elsewhere.

And now, 10 years later, they’re back. After having established such centers in impoverished communities around the world, MIMA wants to show Princeton what they’ve accomplished. They’re kicking off this week of celebration for the International Music Festival with an incredible sequence of interactive exercises at Terrace Club on Saturday night. Visitors can learn and practice musical traditions and improvisation from around the world in each room of the club while DJs entertain everyone else in the dining rooms and basement.

The next night, alumni of the association will host a fundraiser concert at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. Students will then have several opportunities at their residential colleges every night during the week to attend more songwriting and improvisation workshops. The anniversary week will culminate with a concert and keynote speech by Brazilian culture minister, Grammy award winner and political icon Gilberto Gil in Richardson Auditorium.

MIMA has proven to be a generous and effervescent organization that deserves our attention, so don’t forget to visit mimamusic.org for more information about the association and this week’s festivities, as well as ways in which you can help to fund this most righteous of causes.

-Michael Becker ‘14

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