Two-tone era ska legend Dave Wakeling and the current rendition of touring band The English Beat headlined a horns extravaganza at The Middle East Downstairs concert venue last Thursday night. With exceptional reggae bands Destroy Babylon and Pressure Cooker opening the show, this was not a night to miss for any lovers of the genre.
Last fall, I took a class in American Literature that read <i>Drown</i>, a collection of short stories by the Dominican writer, and MIT professor, Junot Díaz. I considered myself a pretty well read individual; said considerations generally rely on knowledge of, more than anything, names. I toted the titles of canonical heavyweights like Faulkner and Melville in classrooms, parties, and dorm rooms. A young Dominican-American author, whose debut work described life in both the Dominican Republic and immigrant America with enough fervor and sadness to knock the breath out of you, wasn’t really something I was accustomed to.
Whistling banned in Clientele tour van,” it states on The Clientele’s MySpace page. The opening band can tease Peter Bjorn And John about the possibility of overexposure, but true backlash against this Swedish indie success story is hard to come by. Impressively, Peter Bjorn And John have been able to sustain universal critical acclaim almost a year since their breakthrough album, <i>Writer’s Block</i>, was released. The accolades are not undeserved; the songs on the album <i>are</i> that good. You may have heard one of them, “Young Folks,” the last time you were positively freakin’ <i>anywhere</i> this summer other than on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Shoot ‘Em Up” definitely surprised me. Every time I thought that this uber-violent flick couldn’t possibly get any more ridiculous, the film managed to take it to the next level. The title pretty much says it all — this is a violent action movie that is all about violence and action … and very little else.
C<i>abaret</i>, a historical musical about the risqué culture of late 1920s Berlin, explores the unique relationship between a cabaret singer, Sally Bowles, and an American writer, Clifford Bradshaw. The musical ends where many stories begin — with the Nazis’ rise to power — and shows the transformation of a once eccentric and welcoming cabaret, the Kit Kat Club, into a depressing Nazi establishment.
I started dating my long-distance boyfriend of a year partially because of his sense of humor, partially because of our similar tastes, partially because I thought he was cute, but really because he mailed me a completely excellent mix CD. Thirteen tracks counting in at around forty-four minutes wooed me so thoroughly I’ve spent hundreds of dollars over the past twelve months taking the Fung Wah back-and-forth from New York to visit him.
Boston and Cambridge are two pretty exciting cities, and both offer diverse art scenes that range from movies to music to museums. But sometimes, being at MIT, we don’t know where to look when we want a little culture or entertainment. So I have decided to write up this little guide listing places where you can see some of the great art that these two cities on the Charles have to offer.
As freshmen will soon discover, life at MIT can sometimes take over life away from MIT. Between classes, recitations, problem sets, research papers, clubs, sports, Greek life, and “The Office” (you know you love it), it can be hard to get off campus for much of anything. Many times, it’s unnecessary to leave to all — the dining options here are fantastic, and there are so many events going on that you’ll never be bored. But a life lived solely on Mass. Ave. could never sate the active music lover, which is why <i>The Tech</i> brings you upcoming concert listings for those nights when you need a fix of live music or a reason to punt your problem set.
Whenever I load an Architecture in Helsinki album into my library, iTunes automatically tags it “Children’s Music.” But I’m not a kid! Yes, there’s been some misunderstanding, but it’s on my end: the music is not for children but is by children. Though they’re adults in the literal sense, the band members are a collective wellspring of juvenile curiosity. The band treats their vast array of instruments like a pile of toys eagerly dumped out of a bedroom chest, and their songs flicker between ideas like the attention span of a precocious toddler.
They’re called The Craters, and heaven help you if you don’t find their songs undeniably rocking. A year after their EP <i>Thriller</i>’s online-only mp3 release, these not-quite-legal Newton musicians have written a few more songs, played a lot more shows, and hooked up with a full band. I caught their last show of the summer at PA’s Lounge and was so impressed by their tight but relaxed live set I felt compelled to demand an interview. Lucky for me (and you) they complied, and I was able to chat with three band members the next day. Here’s my conversation with Jared Arnold, Wes Kaplan, and Josh Hirshfeld, who make up three quarters of The Craters.
One would assume that the antelope on the cover of <i>Our Love to Admire</i> would strike a more expressive pose than pictured, given that he faces his demise via predatory lions. I guess this antelope just needs a little more time to mull over what’s happening before reacting. That kind of behavior is just not going to cut it for most animals that like their torsos intact, and while humans rarely have to worry (anymore) about that sort of thing, the principle still rings true in modern society: there are those with a predilection for quick action, and they get what they want; then there are those who spend too much time thinking about what they want. Then there’s Interpol, who spend their time making music about thinking too much about what they want.
With sprightly new indie bands coming out as fast as you can type “myspace,” it can be tiring and time consuming to navigate the Web in hot pursuit of new music. But never fear — these five discs, many of which come out next month, are tried-and-tested and sure to grace back-to-school playlists across the country as soon as they hit the CD store shelves.
Growing up, my parents drove a car with only a tape player. My sister owned <i>Moving Pictures</i>, probably Rush’s most popular album, on cassette. I wore that tape out; now all the songs sound a half step up, but I don’t mind. Rush is a band that instantly made its home in my mental library and has been occupying and expanding it ever since. It’s not like I can stop them; they have 18 studio albums and five live albums in their back catalog.
The Bourne Ultimatum,” the latest release in the Bourne movie series, is the epitome of a summer thriller: action-packed with enough suspense to leave you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. “Ultimatum” picks up where the last movie, “The Bourne Supremacy,” left off, and it features most of the cast from the first two films (or at least the living characters), including Matt Damon as the title character Jason Bourne, Julia Stiles, and the amazing Joan Allen. Even if you didn’t see the last two movies, or you’re like me and forgot some of the details, the movie is still worth seeing.
L<i>ast March, I proclaimed White Rabbit’s debut LP Fort Nightly album of 2007, wildly ignoring the laws of conservative announcements and completely forgetting that there were still nine months left in the year. The claim sticks, and I’m not the only one who thinks so; since then, their calypso-infused and darkly danceable debut has garnered serious attention from music press bigwigs. The band was playlisted by Pitchfork Media, made Band of the Day by Spin, earned NPR’s Song of the Day with single “The Plot,” and named one of the top four bands to watch in 2007 by The Onion A.V. Club.</i>
The most anticipated book of the last decade perhaps — certainly the most talked about of the year — the final <i>Harry Potter</i> book hit the stores two weeks ago, breaking sales records left and right (although not before pictures of each of the American version’s 759 pages had been leaked online). That it tops the best-seller lists should come as no surprise, but how does the book itself measure up?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the fifth movie in the series based on J.K. Rowling’s books, follows Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends as they enter their fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), the evil Dark wizard, has returned, but no one at the Ministry of Magic wants to admit it. Instead, the Ministry uses all its might to convince the public that Harry Potter is a liar and control all those who believe in him. They even go so far as to place the wickedly sweet Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) at Hogwarts to watch over Harry and squash any rebellious behavior. All of this while Lord Voldemort is trying to obtain some sort of weapon in his fight for control.