Andrew R. Chow

Wu-Tang promo
Music

Hear Me Out: Wu-Tang Clan, "Keep Watch"

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.

Books

Artist Spotlight: Isabel Allende

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

On Campus

Excellent, Uproarious "Company"

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.

Columns

Lucius

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.

Columns

Caspian

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.

Columns

Charmingly Ghetto

“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.

Ang Lee
On Campus

A Conversation with Ang Lee

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.

Columns

You Won't

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.

Columns

Viva Viva

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.

Music

Part Two of "20/20" Is A Bleary Follow-Up

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.

Columns

Bearstronaut

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.

Music

Summer Cools Down, Boston Calling Heats Up

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.

Music

Three Days At NY's Governors Ball Festival

Staff writer Andrew R. Chow spent a weekend at the festival, braving the weather to catch acts such as Kings of Leon, Azealia Banks, Kendrick Lamar, and—of course—Kanye West.

Music

Festival Preview: Five Reasons to Check Out NYC’s Governors Ball

The June 7-9 festival on Randall’s Island off Manhattan features an absolutely stacked lineup headlined by Kanye West, Guns N’ Roses, and Kings of Leon. Crimson Arts will run full coverage of the event. Here are five reasons why you should attend, too.

Music

Whatever You Do, Don't Check In to Tyga's "Hotel California"

You've probably heard that Tyga is misogynistic. This is true. He is also vacuous, talentless, and devoid of personality. His latest album, "Hotel California," reflects how little he has to rap about, and how bad he is at doing it.

Youth Homelessness in the Square
Harvard Square

For Homeless Youth, Age Can Compound Challenges of Life on the Streets

On Year Later: Boston Marathon Bombings
Boston Marathon

VIDEO: Looking Back One Year Later, Harvard Affiliates Prepare to Return to Finish Line

Johnston Gate Arts Cover
Arts

Rebuilding the Past: Harvard's Beautification Renaissance

Awkward Eye Contact
Columns

Let’s Talk about Campus-Eye-Contact-Culture