July 16, 2007

For Those About to Rock…

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This letter appears in the 2007 edition of The Sun’s annual Freshman Issue.

Dear Reader:

Oscar Wilde once wrote, “All art is quite useless.” After four years at Cornell you may find that assessment to be less than right-on. Case in point: the artful sounds of Fergie can be quite useful in helping to get your groove on when you are packed between what seems like one thousand drunken freshmen at your first frat party. In fact, at Daze — The Sun’s Arts & Entertainment section, which you are now reading — we view art, and further, writing about art, as the most critical aspect of our newspaper. Why? Well, because it is the only section that everyone reads!
Here at Daze, our diligent writers and tireless (sort of) editors attempt to review as wide and varied an array of music as possible — six reviews appear in our Thursday 8-page insert — while remaining as honest and (sometimes) intelligent as we can be. Last semester we loved the new T.I. and thought the new Kings of Leon, “lack[ed] one very important thing: good songs.” While we do review Billboard Top 100 artists, we also love to expose our readers to new things like Jana Hunter, Graham Reynolds and Lemon Sun. And before anything else, we want to make one thing clear: we are not Rolling Stone or Pitchforkmedia.com, nor are we MTV or Spin. Our music coverage goes in depth and takes no prisoners and our weekly pages are jam-packed with interviews. Last semester saw the voices of John Mayer, The All American Rejects, O.A.R., The Decembrists, The Strokes and Ben Kweller gracing our pages. But we don’t only cover the national music scene; we also feature articles on what’s going on at Cornell and Ithaca, including events like the student fashion show and local concerts, restaurants and art openings. We aim to keep you up to date on where to go, what to do and what to see.
We plan to do this with our weekly schedule, “Eight Days A Week,” which gives the run-down on what the biggest events are for that week and provides the time and place to be sure you won’t miss out. Daze also brings you a variety of Arts coverage daily. On Mondays we’ll provide reviews of the newest movies at the local theaters and also let you know what’s showing at our own Cornell Cinema. Check out our reviews and you’ll never have to stand outside the Pyramid Mall trying to decide what to see. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday you’ll find Arts columns about a wide range of cultural touchstones, sparking conversation and even a little argument, while Thursdays bring our Red Letter Daze section. There you’ll find features, “Test Spins” — concise reviews of the newest and latest music — as well as “In the Mix,” a play list of a few, interesting tracks we’ve been grooving to.
The illustrious prophet of hip-hop, Tupac Shakur, once said: “The West Side is the best side.” The Sun proudly upholds this motto, electing for the second (third? forth? we don’t really know!) consecutive term, a pair of Golden State goons as editors, namely Arts & Entertainment Editor Sammy Perlmutter and Associate Arts Editor Rebecca Weiss while native New Yorker Jared Kraminitz holds his own as our Film Editor. Together we’ve been charged with not bungling this section too badly. We plan to have a helluva time running this little corner of the Sun, and we cordially invite you to ignore the important and useful sections of The Sun, and skip right over here to Daze where, who knows, you might actually learn a little something. Frankly, we sort of agree with Oscar, and if “all art is useless,” we’ll make sure not to take it (or ourselves) too seriously and we aim to make sure that reading about it is as fun as writing about it. Before we’re done, one more thing. If you love music, art, movies or books and you’ve got something to say let us know. We want to hear from you.  So start putting pen to paper.
That’s all for now, you brave, young, anxious and excited freshmen! You’ve got just over a month before you finally experience the joy of college orientation. You will meet new people, explore our campus, make friends and probably get written up for drinking within a week of your arrival. Enjoy. We’ll be seeing you in a while and you’ll (hopefully) be reading us soon!


Sammy, Rebecca and Jared