Bill Burr's 2012 Netflix Special "You People Are All The Same."

MEISEL | Who’s Laughing Now?

As an adolescent, I had a habit of watching too much stand-up comedy. Every Friday night, when there were football games and dances I was too anxious to attend, I would fall asleep to whatever performer I could find on Comedy Central Presents, and all was right with my life as long as I could laugh. I think I inherited this habit from my family, whose core philosophy — if they were to choose one — would center humor as a way to communicate with and understand others. My little brother used to tell me he could make anyone laugh once he got to know them. My mother told me how she laughed at her brother’s funeral, only because crying would have been too difficult. Not to mention she remembered how much my late uncle made her smile.


JONES | Money Out of Misery: Colbert’s Comeback

It became a cliché during the primaries and the general election that Donald Trump had stumped comedians. He was too outlandish, too unpredictable, too unreal to mock. Any absurdity that a comedian could dream up and then deliver in a Trumpian drawl would be outdone the next day, by Trump himself. Since mockery didn’t really work, some shows like SNL and Jimmy Fallon resorted to flattery, inviting Trump on their shows and allowing him to appear as something like a standard, self-aware candidate. It was during this period that Stephen Colbert became host of the The Late Show, following the end of David Letterman’s 33-year reign.


SWAN | Conceptualizing Musical Dissent

I used to be a lot cooler than I am now. Flashback to a while ago, about six years actually, right around the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, when I was a freshmen in high school. I played considerably more guitar (mostly electric) than I do now, and at that time I found myself as the rhythm and occasional lead guitarist in a Rage Against the Machine cover band. The entire group consisted of five young high schoolers, and it was organized through a shop at which we all received lessons on our respective instruments. We ultimately booked two performances, a week apart from each other, at two different dive bars in central New Jersey.

Radiohead Concert

ALUR | Radiohead’s Unmatchable Melancholy

Like many Millennials, I have a deep-rooted fondness for Radiohead. They’ve been a favorite of mine since their 2007 release, In Rainbows. I distinctly recall my brother paying zero dollars for the album on their website, as it was originally released as a downloadable, pay-as-much-as-you-want LP. We got ahold of the album, and it was unlike anything I had ever heard. It was one of the first albums that my dad, brother and I enjoyed together, something all three of us could relate to.

Louis C.K.

STANTON | Wanting More From Louis C.K. In 2017

“So you know, I think abortion…” begins Louis C.K.’s new stand-up special, 2017. It’s an uncomfortable start to a resoundingly uncomfortable bit, and one that tellingly earns more laughs for sheer audacity than actual content. “I think you should not get an abortion,” he continues, after pausing to let the audience squirm for a few moments, “Unless you need one. In which case, you better get one.”

The bit drones on mercilessly for about five minutes, in which the 49 year-old alternately trivializes the subject matter and — more effectively — mocks the debate surrounding it. Of anti-abortion activists, he insists, “They think babies are being murdered!” Normally, C.K. thrives in these moments, jumping squarely over the line before convincing his audience to question why it was there in the first place. It’s an extraordinary talent, which the comedian has used in the past to generate empathy in unexpected places (a 2015 SNL monologue on pedophiles comes to mind) or to upend the parameters of social discourse.


MEISEL | Hotlanta

“Hotlanta” is a groovy Allman Brothers track. It also nicknames a humid sprawl with an area of about 8,300 square miles which has generated its fair share of Confederate battle-flag toting libertarians and trap superstars. For the past 20 years, the city has risen in notoriety, mostly for its music culture. Outkast’s Southernplayalistikcadillacmuzik includes a tongue-in-cheek sketch announcing that despite its states’ racist flag, Atlanta is “the new Motown of the South.” I doubt Andre and Big Boi knew how true those words would 20 years later, when Lil Yachty and Migos top the charts with no signs of fatigue in sight. Donald Glover cemented a vision of Atlanta as a haze of concrete.


JONES | Four Great Shows and One Nasty Joke

What do you do when your favorite genre becomes a meme? I grew up with indie rock, but I’ve been feeling pretty disinterested with what it has to offer lately. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to the justified criticism of self-indulgent, guitar-strumming sadboys by former Arts editor Jael Goldfine ‘17. I’m experiencing general indifference for the most popular indie acts of the moment (Car Seat Headrest: fine. Parquet Courts: whatever.


ALUR | The Better Features of Drake’s More Life

I’m really not a Drake fan. Despite my qualms, I listened to More Life last week. Drake’s choices to feature a variety of artists, ranging from Hiatus Kaiyote and Sampha to Kanye West, makes him an intriguing figure for someone like me, who isn’t a huge fan of his music.


STANTON | Pass Me the Aux

Monopolies will ruin all that is good in America. Apple Inc. – once that hallowed American ideal of what two dudes can accomplish with some ingenuity and a two-car garage – will repackage all your hopes and dreams, then sell them back to you. Of course you’ll buy it, because opening a Mac at a coffee shop suggests to others that you’re a creative mastermind one breakthrough away from writing the century’s next great novel, while a PC labels you a corporate hack. I write this, obviously, as a fellow drone caught in Apple’s matrix, knowing all too well that I’ll someday purchase one of those face-sized phones and continue to wallow in self-aware, consumerist guilt.

This is all old news, and dorm-room philosophy at that. It is also old news that Apple – either as a flex of monopolistic power, or an attempt at gauging just how much they can bully their customer base without losing business – has decided to phase out the traditional headphone jack.