By: Brennan Carley, Taylor Cavallo, & Dan Siering
My Wednesday nights are devoted to producing this glorious publication (you’re welcome), and music is always an essential part of production nights, especially at the Arts desk. While there’s always a wide variety of music, since Dan, Brennan, and I have such different tastes, there are also a lot of overlaps. This particular Wednesday I was hooked on Simon & Garfunkel for some reason, and chose to play, via YouTube, some of their classics: “April, Come She Will,” “Scarborough Fair,” and “I Am a Rock,” to name a few. We decided that “Bridge Over Troubled Water” would kill too much of the mood.
Thursdays are my free day of the week (no class!). While I delude myself into thinking I’ll get all the work done that’s lined up for the weekend and the following week, it usually doesn’t happen. I do most of my work, but I’m always tempted to use this time to relax and catch up on, or repeat, some of my favorite TV shows. It’s my down time. One of my favorites to watch is A&E’s Intervention. Some find the show too disturbing and sad to watch, but I think the show presents an interesting insight into the world of addiction, not only tracking the development of the intervention itself, but also exploring each addict’s past. Ironically, I’m addicted.
Every morning I wake up to a playlist on my iPod that varies depending on my mood. I tend to make a new playlist each month with a pithy title, filled with a combination of new songs I like, old ones that I’ve been listening to again, remembered, or can’t get out of my head. Some selects from my current playlist are as follows:
“Ride” – Lana del Rey
“Pop That” – French Montana
“Martians vs. Goblins” – The Game; Tyler, the Creator; Lil Wayne
“She Wolf (Falling to Pieces)” – David Guetta
“I And Love And You” – The Avett Brothers
Saturday night, as is probably evident through my column from this week, I saw Frankenweenie at the Fenway movie theatre. The movie was fantastic, but my favorite part of the theatre experience is the previews. I guess I just love looking forward to things. Since I attended a “kid’s movie,” most previews were aimed at the younger crowed, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t excited. The highly anticipated movie adaptation of J.R.R Tolkein’s The Hobbit, set to release in December, offers a whimsical and intriguing preview-it’s on the top of my list of movies to see. Also previewed were Les Miserables, and the animated Wreck-It Ralph, both worth a gander.
This past Sunday I spent the day in scenic and beautiful Newport, R.I. While the lovely beach was a must-visit place on our itinerary for the day, we filled the rest of the time with amazing food and a stroll through the quaint downtown area. My friends and I ate brunch at the Atlantic Grill, where we welcomed the influx of breakfast and lunch foods willingly. Everything there was amazing, but one dish stood out in particular: chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes. Yum. Later on we strolled through the shops downtown, nestled right along the water’s edge, which all boast a casual and relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. The home-cooked dinner sealed the deal.
Having Monday off from school was a lovely treat. Because of all the free time, I suppose, I had a few different interactions with the arts. I listened to a few of Nirvana’s live albums (including Live at Leeds and MTV’s Unplugged in New York) and ate some amazing farro salad, cooked by an amazing chef (my co-editor Brennan’s mother). One thing that I enjoy in my spare time as an added treat is watching music videos-it’s something I don’t get to do often. One that grabbed my attention in particular is Iggy Azelia’s new video featuring T.I for her song “Murda Bizness.” It’s an amazing twist on the Toddlers & Tiaras-esque subculture and quite aesthetically pleasing.
Again, something self evident: I wrote a review for the new Rick Ross mixtape The Black Bar Mitzvah, so much of my music time was spent listening to Ross’ renditions of some currently popular rap songs, which I enjoyed very much. Once I started down this rap road, I couldn’t stop. I listened to some tracks off a lot of somewhat recently released rap or R&B albums and mixtapes, God Forgives, I Don’t; Cruel Summer; Self Made 2, Channel Orange; Kaleidoscope Dream, and even the older OF Mixtape Vol. 2. I frequently get into these rap black holes that I can’t get myself out of. Not that I really want to.
One of my early birthday presents this week from a close friend was an Odd Future mix CD. I had heard a lot about this rap group since joining The Heights, but frankly, was confused about who they were. The CD was an assortment of hand-selected tracks from Odd Future by a true connoisseur. Songs included “Real B-h,” “Rella,” and “Sam (Is Dead).” Tyler, the Creator made a few more appearances on the mix CD with some solo tracks such as “Yonkers” and “Splatter.” While the group was certainly aggressive, it showed a unique artistry on their part, and I could see myself becoming a fan in the future (pun intended).
In one of my film classes, this week we watched John Ford’s 1956 film The Searchers, starring John Wayne. Set during the Texas-Indian war, Wayne plays the role of a headstrong, loyal, and devoted ex-military man who has to choose between loyalty to his country or his family. The film, which my professor claimed to be his favorite movie of all time, exemplifies the Western genre, and despite its antiquity, boasts eye-catching cinematography and scenes picturing beautiful, vast landscapes of the desolate Old West. The film is definitely a staple of American film, and is certainly a must see.
Ah, the best day of the week. Oct. 5, or to those in my immediate circle, my birthday. To celebrate the special day, I went out for a nice dinner with my girlfriend to Hungry Mother right on the outskirts of One Kendall Square. This Southern home cooking fusion restaurant is eco-friendly and delicious. I ordered fried chicken with a jalapeno glaze on top of grilled vegetables, including squash, a personal favorite. The side orders of corn bread and grits really emphasized the comfort food aspect of the restaurant. A maple walnut tart ended the meal on a high note.
While I was at first hesitant to come along to a late evening screening of Frankenweenie, I enjoyed the film a lot more than I thought I would. I’m a dog lover myself, so the movie really pulled on my heartstrings. Tim Burton’s imaginary half dog half ghost-risen-from-the-dead pet Sparky is as reliable a companion as the classic Lassie, with a quirky twist. The film had a great mix of humor, darkness, and sentimentality. In my opinion, it’s one of Burton’s best films in a while.
On football Sunday, I caught the trailer for the upcoming comedy Movie 43, a film that has given a whole new definition to the term “ensemble cast.” The film stars the likes of Emma Stone, Elizabeth Banks, Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler, and about 15 more credible Hollywood names. There are also 12 directors and six writers assigned to the project. The initial trailer seems to not really describe a logical plot of any kind and focuses more on marketing the dozens of celebrity actors in the film. Hopefully these great acting and directing names can patch together a quality film and 43 can outshine previous ensemble efforts.
With a chunk of disposable hours during no-class Monday, I elected to take in Glengarry Glen Ross, the hard-hitting film adaptation of David Mamet’s successful stage play. While I had seen the play live in theater before, I had yet to see the silver screen version. Chockfull of vulgarities and acting talent, Glengarry depicts the cutthroat and gritty world of real estate sales. Keeping true to its theater roots, the film relies heavily on its clever and fast dialogue, a trademark of Mamet’s. Despite being onscreen for only a few minutes, Alec Baldwin steals the film with his tenacious monologue as the firm’s ruthless sales executive.
Disclaimer: this was not my decision. I joined a Gabelli townhouse full of girls on Tuesday night, and much to my dismay, it was a night filled with MTV’s Teen Mom reunion specials. I know nothing about the show, so this entire viewing experience was foreign to me. The first show, Amber Behind Bars, was an interview between hilariously intrusive and inquisitive Dr. Drew and former Teen Mom Amber, who is currently in jail for drug possession. Teen Mom: Ask the Moms was a series of Q&As between the entire Teen Mom cast and fans. Both segments were filled with awkwardly intimate and confrontational questions about the personal lives and decisions of teen mothers. I guess I don’t get it.
I spent the majority of my day listening to Miguel’s new album, Kaleidoscope Dream, on constant repeat. It’s a brilliant little album with all these intricate and dizzying nooks and crannies that take you in such unexpected places with its unconventional R&B. After Heights production, I went to MAs for my 22nd birthday-since I missed out for my 21st-and was greeted by the jukebox blasting a Waka Flocka Flame song. I ended my night dancing to “Gangnam Style” as the skuzzy stragglers in the bar hit the road.
Today is officially my birthday, so obviously the geniuses over at Hulu decided to bestow upon me the pilot episode of Nashville. There’s something special about Nashville, and it’s not the plot, the writing, the camerawork, or even the songs. No, her name is Connie Britton, and she strides onto the screen with her hair glimmering under the stage lights of the Grand Ole Opry. Later in the day, I marathoned some episodes of New Girl before jumping into the city for a double date at Eastern Standard, where I indulged in some guilt-free foie gras and cavatelli (and a couple of delicious drinks).
Today, in terms of all things culture, was a big day for me. I got a home cooked birthday meal (a burger and sweet potato fries) courtesy of our Metro editor. Later that night, I found myself spinning some Diplo and Major Lazer tracks at an off campus apartment, then a healthy dose of “Lemme See” by Usher and Rick Ross at a Mod birthday party. I found my way to another Mod that was packed with people, but the DJs were playing truly awesome music. I heard Dada Life’s “Kick Out The Epic” and a house mix of “Gangnam Style” along with Blood Diamonds and Grimes’ collaboration, “Phone Sex.”
I remember watching Better Off Ted with my roommates in the wee hours of the morning, but since I woke up with a headache-I tried to avoid any sort of entertainment until that evening, when I went to No. 9 Park with my family, who came to town to celebrate with me. It was spectacular-more foie, some wild boar, and a special vanilla cremeux dessert brought out with a candle in it. When I got back, I had friends over to play Cards Against Humanity, a wickedly funny and dirtier version of Apples to Apples that I got for my birthday. It was, in essence, a perfect day, topped off with a listen of Ellie Goulding’s new album Halcyon.
For some reason today was an old-school hip-hop day for me: lots of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac playing while I worked away the afternoon. I got brunch with my parents at Eastern Standard, my second meal there, but the food is just too good to pass up. I spent some time continuing to read Junot Diaz’s new one, This Is How You Lose Her, an excellent collection of short stories, and managed to listen to Adele’s new song “Skyfall” probably 16 times before the day was up. I watched New Girl again, and the “Honey Boo Boo” episode of South Park, and listened to Julie Klausner’s brilliant, insightful, and hilarious podcast “How Was Your Week” before I fell asleep. She’s become my new comedy icon.
Although I used the holiday as a catch up day for work, I did manage to sneak in a viewing of the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion, part two, which is my absolute go-to guilty pleasure. I’m obsessed with these women, because not only do they remind me of my own family members, but also none of them talk behind the others’ backs like the other franchises do. No, these women sling insults back and forth like tennis matches and it’s truly something gruesome and spectacular to behold.
I also went on a mild country music kick while studying, if you count Carrie Underwood (my celebrity crush) and Taylor Swift as country.
I’ve been running a lot lately, and love creating different playlists every time I go out. Today’s was full of Rick Ross’s new mix tape (The Black Bar Mitzvah) and the complete Rebecca & Fiona album I Love You Man. Yes, I confess to loving Taylor Swift’s new single “I Knew You Were Trouble”-who knew she could do dubstep so well? I caught up on some old posts on Grub Street, New York Magazine‘s fantastic food blog, and then snuck in a little snippet of the Real Housewives of New York City’s reunion. I just can’t quit them. Oh, and I listened to “Pop That” by French Montana, because my co-editor Taylor has me hooked.