It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Whether you’re a freshman, senior or Cornell employee, at some time or other it should become blatantly apparent that Ithaca has an incredible music scene. In my three years on the Hill I’ve tried my best to experience all parts of said scene.
Last year, one music event captivated my heart more than any other that I’ve come across. This event was Porchfest and, luckily, it’s an annual festival that will be taking place again this upcoming weekend, on Sunday.

Test Spin: Miike Snow

Miike Snow, yes with two i’s, is the next band to add to the list of amazing things that have come from Sweden, following past Scandanavian pop groups like the Shout Out Louds and Those Dancing Days. The lead single off of Miike Snow’s debut album, “Animal,” was my song of summer although it’s not a summer song at all, making the feat all the more impressive. Specifying a proper season to listen to this song is about as impossible as explaining it’s lyrics, which boast lines like “I change shapes just to hide in this place, but I’m still, I’m still an animal.” The whole album for that matter is seasonless.

Rocking Out in All the Wrong Places

While I’m a music nerd in the flesh, I’m somewhat athletic when I want to be. I particularly like to run (although some may call my pace a swift jog). Like most who frequent the gym, working out requires some form of media to enjoyably pass the time. My weapon of choice is the iPod.

Test Spin: Discovery

It has come to my attention that not enough people have heard of Discovery, a band whose album became my go-to for everything from running, pre-gaming, partying, post-gaming, driving and just going to bed this summer. It’s one of those rare all weather albums created in part by Rostam Batmanglif, the keyboardist of Vampire Weekend, and in part by Wes Miles, the lead singer of Ra Ra Riot, and as a whole it sounds nothing like the former or the latter. Though the line up of musicians alone should have driven hoards of music listeners to this group, I fear Discovery has been flying a little too low on the radar for such a stellar album released back in July.

Going Greek!

Any Cornellian who watches the show Greek has probably noticed a few similarities to life on the hill that seem like more than just coincidences. From an alma mater that begins with “Far above … ”, to mention of a historic clock tower, it turns out these references are very much intentional thanks to Jessica O’Toole ’94. O’Toole is a writer and co-producer of ABC Family’s Greek. The Sun spoke with the former Daily Sun writer about her time at Cornell, the ties between Greek and the Big Red and what viewers can look forward to in the upcoming season.
The third season of
Greek premieres next Monday, Aug. 31 at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.

Blink 182: Bringing it Back at Jones Beach

About ten minutes into their set, guitarist Tom DeLonge shouted into his mike, “We are fucking awesome. We rock!” and oh, how absolutely true that is. Blink 182’s reunion tour stop at the amphitheater at Jones Beach on Aug 9 verifiably rocked. So much so that I’m convinced that the power of Mark, Tom and Travis playing on the same stage pushed the muggy, downpour of weather that was expected away until precisely after everyone from the venue had cleared out into their cars. So instead of a monsoon, we got clear skies, two full hours of the Blink classics and a glorious evening of feeling like we were in middle school again, minus the whole being awkward part.

Test Spin: Art Brut

On “Demons Out” the non-title-yet-should-have-been-the-title-track of Art Brut’s third LP, Art Brut vs. Satan, Eddie Argos sings, “How am I supposed to sleep at night when no one likes the music we write?”
Eddie, it’s time to rest up because this album is going to be very well liked. Art Brut’s usual catchy hooks, shouting lead and background vocals and clever lyrics all make their mark on this album, and they are better aligned than ever before. One might attribute it to the fact that Black Francis (a.k.a. Frank Black of The Pixies) produced the album, but it’s undeniable that Argos’ lyricism is so well developed that the words often outshine the music.

A Summer Made of Music

As the semester rolls to a close with bands booking their last shows at The Nines, a capella groups begging you to come to their spring performances and Slope Day just a week away from filling the East Hill with one final musical celebration, I’ve already started to switch the gears on my music agenda to focus on summer.

Enjoy Local Music, Local Food

A few months back a friend and I were walking through the farmer’s market and taking in the beautiful autumn weather. As we reached the end of the market near the Gimme! coffee shop, a guitar and cello-playing duo was performing Weezer’s “Holiday” with a folk twist. Aside from grabbing my attention by covering an unlikely Weezer song, the duo was singing with so much emotion and love in their voices that this version of “Holiday” was a completely new listening experience. Only the lyrics remained the same. In fact, having no thought that they were anything more than band mates, I mentioned to my friend ‘how in love’ the musicians acted. Much to my pleasure, at the conclusion of the song, the duo announced that they had just been married two days earlier.

Test Spin: Harlem Shakes

Technicolor Health opens with the song “Nothing But Change, Pt. 2,” and although the lyrics tout change, this song is definitely not any different from past recordings by the Harlem Shakes. Rather, it sounds just like what the musical doctor ordered for the band. After over two years since their very successful six-song Burning Birthdays EP debut, it was about time for an LP from this group. However, if the first five songs and the bonus track would have been released as another EP, I might have been more satisfied with this release.