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Americana in Punk Society: John Doe Delivers a Wild Gift at the Haunt

“What are the young people doing here?” a friendly Ithaca local asked me at The Haunt this past Friday night. The crowd, mostly 45-65 year-old Ithacans, was there to see John Doe, the now 63-year-old front-man of the 80’s LA punk band, X. My answer was that I was curious about what he’s gone on to produce as a solo artist. John Doe has come out with six records in the past decade, each far different from those produced by X. His most recent album, The Westerner, was released just this year and features some Western-inspired, psychedelia-tinged, Americana rock. The older artists get, the bolder they get. They write for themselves.

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Let’s Talk About Our Feelings: Brand New, The Front Bottoms and Modern Baseball at Ithaca College

For those who don’t know, the revival of emo is upon us. In a recent article titled “Modern Baseball and How Emo Grew Up,” Pitchfork’s Dan Caffrey describes how a torrent of bands have emerged over the past few years who bear the influence of the emo acts of the ’90s and 2000s, while eschewing the lyrical immaturity, and bitter misogyny characteristic of those earlier waves. These bands sound far less like the “emo” bands that are freshest in our memories — mainstream acts like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco and My Chemical Romance whom genre purists wouldn’t consider emo in the first place — and much more like their more indie-influenced predecessors. How appropriate it is then, that two prominent bands of this resurgence — Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms — have joined emo veterans Brand New on their final tour?

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Believe Me When I Say: Real Estate at The Haunt

In the two years since I first saw Real Estate play The Haunt, I have done a lot in the way of growing up. In 2014, I was a naïve sophomore with a head full of possibilities and uncertainties. Now I am a senior with one eye toward graduation and the “real-world” beyond; probably still naïve, but much more settled in my views and plans. Real Estate, in contrast to my development, has remained fairly static. The band hasn’t released so much as a Single since 2014’s Atlas: the record which they were supporting on that previous spin through town.

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Two Takes: Glass Animals at the State Theatre

Experimental psychedelic rock group Glass Animals played at the State Theatre on October 1. Two Daily Sun writers took in the concert and gave their thoughts on the night. “They Can Hold You — Glass Animals at the State” by Jessie Weber

The Glass Animals’ performance Saturday at the State Theatre was nothing short of glorious. I had the great pleasure of seeing a band that was even better live than I had hoped it would be, and they managed the crowd so effortlessly that I’m finding it difficult to write a piece that can match up to their performance. The night started barely a minute beyond the listed 8 p.m. with a small-piece opening band who whipped through a half-hour-and-some set and smacked the audience raw.

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ALUR | An Ode to Lianne La Havas

On a typically dreary day in London during my semester abroad, my friend from Cornell and I began a text conversation about the artists we longed to see live. We had the privilege of seeing Norah Jones last fall at the State Theatre, and we began brainstorming other musicians who would be equally as enthralling. Lianne La Havas rolled off the tongue — a versatile musician who we had grown to love over the course of our college experiences. Her vibrato was a routine point of conversation, as no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t emulate the intense subtlety of her vocal wavering. And we had fond memories of listening to and discussing her 2015 album Blood just moments after its release.

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Not Strange At All

Chicago-based Louis The Child performed on the Arts Quad on August 26, delivering a killer set that was meant to be enjoyed by all, from the frequent festival-goers to the unsung indie-listeners. The EDM duo, comprised of Freddy Kennett and Robby Hauldren, stand out from the slew of emerging EDM artists with their unique blend of tropical house instrumentals and futuristic bass synths. I first heard Louis the Child perform at a basement dance club in D.C. known for its patronage of obscure, underground DJs and indie bands. They had opened for Shawn Wasabi — another notable EDM button-masher — and blew me away with their remix of “Roses” by The Chainsmokers. At the time, I knew Louis the Child was a group to keep an eye on; their approach to EDM was so fresh and diverse that of course EDM-lovers all over America would realize their genius in the upcoming months.

Kanye West performing in Indianapolis on August 25.

Kanye West’s Buffalo Dystopia

8:12 p.m.: We arrive in Buffalo. Jack bought a pass online that lets us park in a clearing under a bridge. A sign bolted to a cement support lists the rates — $75 daily maximum. It’s dark and we’re in a half-awake state from driving on Western New York backroads into fading light. 8:19 p.m.: We walk to the First Niagara Center.

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Jake Shimabukuro Brings Ukelele Mastery to the Hangar

It’s not often you get to hear the world’s foremost ukulele prodigy. That is, of course, unless you’re Jake Shimabukuro, in which case you get to hear yourself every day. At the Hangar Theatre last Friday, ears on both sides of the equation united to witness his artistry firsthand. The Honolulu-born star has singularly redefined the capabilities of this humble four-stringed instrument for new generations of listeners and, as evidenced by the handful of fans waiting to get their ukes signed after the show, players as well. As Shimabukuro himself said at one point between songs, “I bet you’re not having as much fun as we are up here.” To be sure, he gave back two parts passion for each of appreciation lobbed from an audience that was smiling ear to ear.