Andrew R. Chow
For the second year in a row, contributing writer Andrew R. Chow is our eyes and ears into the annual Governors Ball, held on Randall's Island, New York City. This year, the festival featured everything from impressively executed banter to an offensively stupid shirt.
"Turn Blue” shows The Black Keys folded firmly into the mainstream, picking up tired grooves from Danger Mouse that he probably left lying around his studio two years ago.
The atomic bomb has long been a source of American fascination and horror. But what happens when the bomb shelter is more terrifying than the bomb itself? “Daisy,” a new play written by Simon A. de Carvalho ’14 and directed by Max R. McGillivray ’16, explores this question in the claustrophobic confines of the Loeb Ex from April 30 to May 3.
There isn’t a classic verse on "Keep Watch," nor the urgency or camaraderie that Wu-Tang displayed on “36 Chambers” 20 years ago, but “Keep Watch” still has plenty of attitude and slick wordplay.
Isabel Allende starts writing every year on January 8 and has produced nearly a novel a year since 1998. Her latest, “Ripper,” is her first foray into crime fiction and tells the story of a teen sleuth in San Francisco trying to track down her mother’s killer
Some pieces of art offer an escape from reality, and others punch you in the gut. I left the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club’s production of “Company” in Farkas Hall on Sunday gasping for air. The show, directed by Dana Knox and Rose C. Bailey ’14, attacked every note in the Sondheim-penned songbook, sometimes sarcastically and sometimes tenderly. The result was a brutally awkward and emotionally wrecking show carried by a set of moving individual performances; each served as a searing indictment against shallow societal constructions, false relationships, and self-imposed isolation.
This is one of the few moments in which Laessig isn’t fully composed. The rest of the time, in interviews and during shows, the two Berklee musicians are ridiculously poised, so much so it’s easy to think Lucius might have been thought up by some industry whiz. But they weren’t—the composure, the songwriting, the vocals, and the style are all the hard work of Lucius themselves.
It takes 30 minutes to get from the sleepy seaside town of Beverly into downtown Boston. It takes half of that time to get through “Sycamore,” the 2009 anthem of Beverly band Caspian, but the journey is essentially the same. The songs starts with an acoustic guitar line so sleepy, hesitant, and peaceful it’s difficult to imagine even leaving that sonic space.
“Peace man. It’s CG. I believe we can blur the lines of academia and hip-hop in a very subtle way. Get the ball rolling with new leaders of industry at esteemed Ivy institutions, etc. All through what we converse about, you know? Peace.” This is the first text message I receive from Charmingly Ghetto, the Boston rapper I’ve chosen to profile next for this column.
Over his 21 years as a professional director, Ang Lee has explored many challenging and riveting stories through cinema. On Friday, Lee participated in a symposium at the Harvard Sackler Museum celebrating his diverse works.
You Won’t, on the other hand, waltzed onstage and promptly launched into a rather forlorn rendition of the antiquated Massachusetts state anthem. The crowd, taken aback, first laughed, then listened attentively. In front of a crowd anxious for DJs and rappers, the Boston folk duo didn’t relinquished this attention for the rest of the set.
Harvard Square, meet Viva Viva, a Boston rock band through and through. Though you hear fewer and fewer musicians these days professing their allegiance to the seemingly outdated genre, the members of Viva Viva proudly wear a rock’n’roll ethos on their sleeves. There’s no pretense about it: Viva Viva revels in stomping grooves, gritty guitars, sweaty bars and basement shows.
Worse than the recycling is the clutter. On “Part 1,” each instrument was distinguishable and noteworthy—just listen to “That Girl” to hear how clearly the slick bass and punctuated horn hits come through. Songs on “Part 2,” however, are largely overlong, jumbled washes of god knows what kind of instruments.
For the Boston-based Bearstronaut, there’s a constant tension between trying to push boundaries and please audiences at the same time. They are heavily rooted in an ’80s synth-based style of huge choruses and jittery keyboard licks, yet try to work around the fringes of the constricting genre. Recently, the tightrope walk has worked out: they played in front of energetic audiences all across the country this year on a tour that culminated with their homecoming dance at the Boston Calling music festival.
On May 26, the inaugural Boston Calling music festival closed its doors on an enormously successful weekend. Despite the dreary weather, some 20,000 concertgoers showed up to take in top indie acts like The National, the Shins, and fun. However, co-creator Brian Appel viewed the festival as more of a learning experience. “We saw a lot of things behind the scenes that we want to tweak and make better,” Appel admits. He’ll get a chance this fall, when Boston Calling returns to City Hall Plaza on Saturday and Sunday, this time with a bolder, more diverse lineup that features Vampire Weekend and Kendrick Lamar.