Over-texted in Collegetown

One night sophomore year I went to a house party, drank a few too many Genesee Lights, chugged olive oil on a dare, ate a dog biscuit (though, regrettably, not on a dare) and, to my soon-to-be-former fling (we’ll call her Julie), sent out a text message so humiliating that to this day my bludgeoned self-esteem is still recovering. That message, it pains me to recount, read the following and the following only:
During the immediate aftermath of “poop,” I spent my time in an ascetic state of reflection: trapping myself in the library, eating my meals alone, racking my brain for some clues into my psyche that night.

A Pleasantly Pain-ful Night of Music at Risley

If any angst-ridden teenagers showed up to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s show Saturday night at Risley Hall expecting gloomy, My Chemical Romance fare, they would have been sorely disappointed with the night’s musical offerings (though surely, given that misleading and cringe-inducing name, we couldn’t have blamed them for expecting some emo). But despite the musical illusions created by their name, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the Brooklyn buzz band that has the indie blogosphere slobbering, play shiny shoegaze pop — and damn do they have fun doing it.

Hay is for Horses: Don't Overthink Art

If you happened to gaze out at the Arts quad last week, you would have observed some quite mystifying rows of red bags of hay sprawled across the entire quad. My English professor, bless her soul, pronounced the bags to be an “enactment of an Emersonian metaphor made literal.” My first (poorly surmised) guess at the meaning of these bags’ appearance was that the grounds department was preparing for some sort of refurbishment of the quad, though I couldn’t figure out how or why that would involve hay. I then considered the possibility that some animal science majors were scheming, not so tactfully, to transform the quad into a giant farm — and ardent though those animal science majors are, this scenario, too, seemed unlikely.

Test Spin: Telekinesis!

Like an Austin Powers hip shake for a fembot, a good power-pop album may leave a hipster confused, distraught and feeling some serious cognitive dissonance. For power-pop, that cheeriest and most maligned of indie genres, goes against all the precepts of a hipster musical education: “Thou shalt not smile, thou shalt not dance — thou shalt cross your arms and bob your head instead.”
Telekinesis!, the musical brainchild of Michael Lerner, is sure to incur the Austin Powers effect on any hipster who crosses paths with its eponymous debut album, a 30-minute blitz of sunny, sugary (but never syrupy) power-pop that strangles your short-term memory and refuses to let go.

Test Spin: Bonnie Prince Billy

“I want to be your only friend,” folk-rock journeyman Will Oldham announces on the opening track of his new album, Beware, his latest musical venture under the moniker Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
Loneliness and introspection abound on Beware, an album on which Oldham, despite his blustering opening line, doesn’t sound at all self-assured.

The Upper Echelons of Music Connoiseurs

Attention music listeners: If you have more Animal Collective on your iPod than you do Bruce Springsteen, if you can name ten shoegaze bands, if you were into Vampire Weekend way before anyone else was, then you, my friend, are most likely a music snob. And let me make one thing clear — you need to reform your ways.

Quiet Please!: College students and library etiquette

I will attempt to write this column without sounding whiny, hostile or patronizing, but I can’t make any guarantees: It has become painfully obvious to me that our generation’s sense of social decorum is sorely lacking, particularly as it pertains to our behavior in the library, and that someone needs to address it.

Test Spin: Dark Was the Night

Imagine this: around 40 of the biggest stars from all reaches of the indie universe get together and put out a 31-song, double-disc album featuring mostly-new material and several all-star collaborations, like Feist and Grizzly Bear and Bon Iver and Aaron Dessner (The National).
No, this isn’t a hipster’s wet dream — this is Dark Was The Night, a new release spearheaded by the charity group the Red Hot Organization.

A Little Bit of Luda

On Feb. 28, Ludacris, the rapper, part-time actor and self-anointed “Mouth of the South,” is coming to Cornell, set to perform at 8 p.m. Saturday in Barton Hall with special guest Shawnna.
Cocky, raunchy and unrepentant, Ludacris has made a career of churning out club bangers brimming with the big, brash, ballsy swagger of the Dirty South.
“I’m from the school of hard knocks, sneak peeks,and low blows,” he brags in a guest spot on Nas’s “I Made You Look.”

Test Spin: Franz Ferdinand

Riding the dance-rock wave of the early 2000s, Franz Ferdinand rose to fame with their ubiquitous first single, “Take Me Out,” a punchy song built around — who can forget it — that damn guitar hook (duh, duh, duh da-duh da-duh…).
But while the dance-rock genre has since taken a hit, its formula grown hackneyed from too many mediocre bands exploiting it, Franz Ferdinand have managed to sustain their success, releasing in 2005 a well-received follow-up to their heralded self-titled debut.