You’ve got to have a sense of humor to get by at Cornell. With the fluctuating weather, the sometimes near-impossible courses, the even more ridiculously obscure prelims and the generally serious academic mood, something’s gotta give. Comedy offers no better way to balance the C.U. pressure cooker.
Cornell’s Program Board (CUPB) rolls out the laughs by hosting a gamut of comedians to offer their biting wit and spot-on observations. But did you know that there are student on-campus comedy troupes, too? And that a few of said comedians have dipped their toes — even gotten their feet wet — in the waters of stand-up? And, lastly, did you know that these kids are funny? I mean, really, really funny?
If there’s anything I like better than a one-fer, it’s a two-fer.
For you folks not hip to my slang (and there could be a great lot of you … I have been known to make up a word or two), a “two-fer” is a “two-for-one” deal; i.e. I pay for one awesome thing, and, due to the “magic” of Capitalism, I get two things at a roughly-equal-but-let’s-be-realistic-never-more-than-one-and-a-half-times-more-expensive-than-usual price (and let’s not think about who’s disadvantaged by this scheme for now). Well, in two-fer deals, it’s really just that I get one awesome thing and one extra, usually seriously shoddy thing.
But who cares!
Are you there, God/G-d/Allah?
It’s me, Lauren.
I know we haven’t spoken in a while (my bad), but let’s not sweat the small stuff. This piece isn’t about my being a bad Catholic. Rather, I just wanna rap to You real quick about some of the absolutely absurd legal rulings that have been a-brewing this past week or so — some of which even include You.
These are the times that try men’s souls. Dow Jones dropped 777 points on Monday, Sarah Palin believes that people and dinosaurs once coexisted and Heather Locklear was arrested for DUI in Montecito, CA. I could totally understand why, in a world quickly spiraling out of control and barrelling toward some kind of absurdity, that you’d want to control and contain what’s yours. And what’s one of man’s greatest comforts in this topsy-turvy world of ours? Having food to call one’s own. And what’s one of the biggest disappointments of all? Having some schmuck jack said food without leaving a note.
Two Fridays ago I ran into a problem I run into most Fridays around 11 p.m. I had imbibed one too many drinks before leaving the house (during an event some might call a “pre-game”). Damn Cornell’s campus for making any destination annoyingly out of reach, because wouldn’t you have known it!, 300 yards out the door, and I I realized I had to use the restroom.
Once, a teacher wrote a note to my parents that I have a “keen eye for details” and a “quick wit.” Who knows if this is true, but I’m gonna take these compliments and run with them. And then find absurd items to write about and put all of it into a column. Hello, everyone, my name is Lauren. Welcome to my space.
Something about animals helping humans really tugs at my heartstrings — truly. Maybe I read Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul too frequently growing up, who knows. All I know is that I quickly grow verclempt watching a guide dog sit loyally near its appreciative owner, or maneuver deftly both itself and its owner through a busy city street to the intended destination.
… And we’re back! Welcome once again to the big show, Cornell. Prop up your feet; make yourself comfortable and ready for a new school year. Could I get you anything? A mineral water with a spritz of lime? A foot massage?
I do regret to say, dear readers, serving is not my strong suit, but how about I serve you a free show on the Arts Quad instead? You will forget all about your parched palate and your hurting high arches when you hear RJD2’s fine beats rip across the quad, Saturday, August 30.
My, oh my, Ted, look at your progress in the last decade: From your punky, Fugazi-inspired days on the streets of DC to touring small clubs and recording incessantly to finally opening up for Slope Day 2008, you’ve come a long way, baby!
And the man deserves every bit of praise and respect he earns: Ted Leo and his troupe of balladeers (a.k.a. the ever-shifting line-up of the Pharmacists) are relentless … really. When they’re not touring, they’re seemingly always recording a new album, or else honing their sound to become better, fitter, faster and generally stronger. The result is highly melodic, literate, witty, genre-crushing post-punk.
Weren’t the ’80s just totally tubular? Didn’t the decade have just the cutest fashions? Wasn’t John Cusack totally swoon-worthy in Say Anything? Yes, yes and yes — and M83 agrees. During a period of the ’00s when the ’80s are so totally hot again, it sounds like Anthony Gonzalez (a.ka. the dude behind M83) wants in.
In fact, on his latest record, Saturdays=Youth, it sounds like Gonzalez is feeling a little nostalgic for the days passed when Rubik’s Cubes still blew everyone’s minds. On the LP, Gonzalez explores the well-traversed terrain of synth-pop, but gives it a comfortably operatic, shoegaze sheen that both old and new M83 fans can appreciate.
Dodos aren’t dead — well, the band isn’t, anyway. The Dodos combat the so-called “sophomore slump” with their fantastic second album, Visiter. The record was entirely written while on tour with Akron/Family, Les Savy Fav and Peter and the Wolf.
Perhaps their touring mates played some part in the inspiration for this album because one can definitely sense the freak-folk guitars of Akron/Family, the jittery drums of Les Savy Fav and the pop sensibilities of Peter and the Wolf imbuing this work. A little country, a little punky, a little folky, a little lo-fi — and a lot more bombastic than their first effort, Beware of the Maniacs; there’s something for everyone on Visiter.