A-choir-ed taste: Casting a Blind Eye on Spring Fling

April 8, 2011
When I got word last weekend that Waka Flocka Flame and Michelle Branch were coming to Spring Fling, I became so happy I almost cried. Waka is king of the hoodrats right now, heir apparent to the 1017 Brick Squad legacy ever since Gucci Mane went a little crazy. Michelle Branch was my idol at »

Your culture is deceiving you

“Lift not the painted veil” — P.B. Shelley The world has always revolved with a certain stick in its axle. It is a phenomenon that is understandable only after the advanced observer harnesses a certain hardness of heart to the wanton callousness, ignorance, sloth, unfairness and greed that drives an economy of sadness and pain »

Jay-Z memoir: He’s a game-changer

March 25, 2011
In April 2010, the Wall Street Journal published an article accusing the Black Eyed Peas of being “The Most Corporate Band” in America. Reporter John Jurgensen describes ringleader will.i.am’s reductive, obvious attempts to court corporate sponsors. It’s clear how mainstream this idea of hip-hop artists as corporate shills has become. But at the same time, »

A-choir-ed taste: A few lessons from Riot Grrrl

March 25, 2011
“Yale doesn’t want you to be rock stars.” When asked about the lameness of the student music scene at Yale, this was journalist Sara Marcus’ explanation. Marcus read from her new book “Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Movement” in the Saybrook Underbrook Tuesday. Bookending her reading and question-and-answer session »

WEEKEND | Songs of sand and sea for a spring break siesta

March 11, 2011
My home state of New Mexico is landlocked. I am not anywhere near a beach, nor do I have any plans to be near a beach. But the weather is getting warm again, and I’m feeling a strong wave of nostalgia for those lazy beachside summer days. Plus, it’s Spring Break, so as you read »

WEEKEND | Giving up and getting born this way

February 18, 2011
This underground person named Lady Gaga or something released a new song last week. Like, I’m sure you haven’t heard it or whatever. Except not. For some completely inexplicable reason, Lady Gaga is the most famous person in America. So you have definitely heard this song, probably more than five times in the last week. »

A-choir-ed taste: LOL EMINEM GOT ROBBED

February 18, 2011
Last Sunday at the 53rd Grammy Awards, Arcade Fire won the most important award of the night, Album of the Year, for “The Suburbs.” The award was nothing if not an upset; the band is signed to the independent label Merge, based in North Carolina. Despite debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts, »

David Driskell: Artist, educator, curator to the stars

February 17, 2011
David Driskell is a painter, printmaker, collagist, professor emeritus, writer, collector, consultant, curator, art historian and nice guy. This polymath, originally from North Carolina, is a specialist in African-American art and also makes quite a bit of it himself. He is a pre-eminent voice in publicizing African-American artists through history, so much that he has »

WEEKEND | Musical Healing

February 4, 2011
I’ve been really sick for a few weeks now. While convalescing, I made a playlist of new music to try to heal myself with tunes. Here is an excerpt for your listening pleasure. Spread music, not disease! Vivian Girls, “I Heard You Say” The Vivian Girls’ new album, “Share the Joy,” comes out on April »

A-choir-ed taste: Noncommittal devotion, ridiculous but catchy

February 3, 2011
Last week, I coerced a few friends into watching a music video while we were eating lunch in the Pierson dining hall. At first they protested — they didn’t want to be a noisy spectacle in the otherwise quiet, pristine cafeteria. Eventually though, they relented, and we spent the next four minutes and 29 seconds »

WEEKEND | The Strokes have a new album with a ridiculous name

January 27, 2011
Casablancans and Hammondites rejoice! The Strokes are coming out with a new album! The release is slated for March 22, and it’s going to be called “Angles.” When I first read the title, I thought it said “Angels,” and thank goodness it didn’t, because that would be stupid. Granted, “Angles” is still a pretty ridiculous »

Vanderhoof: Christmas music makes me cry

December 3, 2010
“Hey everyone! It’s the holidays! Let’s spend the next month listening to Christmas music!” I hear this every year, and every year I get angry. I actually really hate Christmas music. I just have no desire to listen to a million subtly different versions of the same 10 songs over and over again for four »