July 13, 2008

Welcome to the Show

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A recently released preview for an upcoming teen comedy presents the following scenario:
Hordes of college students file into an enormous frat house, inside of which partygoers find a full bar, Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling and a fire pit. At one end of the room, a famous rock-and-roll band is performing on stage; dispersed throughout, girls are pole dancing on platforms; and, even though the party is undoubtedly a wicked rager, everyone seems to enjoy a surprising amount of personal space. One character revels in the festivities, exclaiming, “This is insane!” His companion — obviously more versed in the ways of the world — retorts, “No, dude. This is college!”
While actual college bears only passing resemblance to the scenario above, we mention it because the scene, lifted from the upcoming film College, helps to demonstrate many of the functions of Red Letter Daze — The Sun’s Arts & Entertainment section, which you are now reading. Daze is dedicated to satiating its’ readers appetites for up-to-the-date arts and entertainment reporting — focused both on the Ithaca scene and beyond — and informing them through reviews on all the latest music, films, performances, etc. We wouldn’t be able to tell you when or where a party like the one mentioned above might be taking place (we promise, such a party does not exist), but if some brave soul did manage to organize a soiree of such proportions, we would write a feature about him or her; if the band from that party scene released an album, we would review it; and as for the movie College, when it is released one of our writers will probably tear it to shreds.
Here at Daze, our diligent writers and tireless (sort of) editors attempt to review as wide and varied a selection of music as possible — album reviews appear in our 8-page Daze insert every Thursday — while remaining as honest and (sometimes) intelligent as we can. Last semester we loved new releases by Mariah Carey and Lupe Fiasco, and thought the latest from Moby was “mind-numbing” and “obnoxious.” While we do review Billboard Top 100 artists, we also love to expose our readers to new stuff like Titus Andronicus, De Novo Dahl and the Raconteurs. 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 year saw the voices of the New Pornographers, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, CAKE, Kevin Smith, Todd Haynes (director of the Oscar-nominated I’m Not There) and Frank Warren (of the popular PostSecret blog) gracing our pages. But we don’t only cover the mainstream scene; we also feature articles on what’s going on at Cornell and Ithaca, including events like the student fashion show (put on by the Cornell Design League) 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.
Our weekly schedule takes you through a wide cross-section of the pop-cultural and actually-cultural spectrum. 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; on Tuesdays and Wednesdays we’ll get you up to date on the prior weekend’s various concerts, speakers and other events, while prepping you for upcoming events; check in Thursday for Red Letter Daze, with restaurant and music reviews, and an extended feature highlighting awesome topics you might want to know about. And don’t forget to check out the Arts pages each Friday in the The Sun’s Eclipse magazine. In addition, each day you’ll find Arts columns about a wide range of cultural touchstones, sparking conversation and maybe even a little argument. 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 that 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!

Peter Finocchiaro and Julie Block,
Sun Arts & Entertainment Editors
Sammy Perlmutter, Sun Senior Editor