Is Teen Suicide’s It’s the Big Joyous Celebration, Let’s Stir the Honeypot a long album? Its 26 tracks boost it to a nearly half-hour longer duration than that of the Maryland band’s 2012 i will be my own hell because there is a devil inside my body. And even though many clock in at two minutes or shorter, the pure number of songs on the release can seem intimidating. Or, if you switch your mindset, welcoming. It’s the Big Joyous Celebration does not pack neatly into a succinct metaphor.
Desolation, betrayal, evil and, above all else, sacrificial love feature prominently in Kurt Riley’s 2016 release, Kismet. Riley — the musical alias of Industrial and Labor Relations student Kurt Fritjofson ’16 — crafted Kismet around a narrative that draws upon grand and utterly thrilling science fiction motifs. In brief, Kismet follows King Bandele, a character whom Fritjofson often sings as and portrays in his music videos, as he travels to Earth in pursuit of his Queen, Heaven Snow. Bandele lives in a civilization that, I would argue, seems to be a reimagining of the human race’s trajectory. In place of human greed and violence, Bandele’s society is selfless, thoughtful and compassionate; Bandele’s contemplations of the duality of human cruelty and kindness drive much of the album’s tension.
Throughout her time on the hill, Caroline Donelan ’16 has always sought to take advantage of Cornell’s opportunities, both academic and extracurricular. Her various interests have led Caroline to take various classes outside of the Fiber Science and Apparel Design major, such as Introduction to Wines and Vines, and to join Cornell’s running club. Donelan’s interest in running and athletics greatly influenced the senior collection — which features a number of different sportswear garments — that she will display at Cornell Fashion Collective’s runway show this Saturday. After graduation, Caroline plans on continuing to work with sportswear in a technical design position at Nike. The Sun: What got you into fashion, was it always a part of life, or was there one moment when you decided that you wanted to study it?
When I think about music as a body of work, I think first of the Cortland Street J&R. I remember being 12 years old, standing on a raised landing and gazing over a hall of jewel cases. Due to the recent proliferation of streaming sites, the cavernous music store isn’t an apt description of the music world anymore. A year and a half ago, the Manhattan J&R closed and, long before that, my memory of it faded. In retrospect, I don’t think the store even had a raised landing.
A rising tide may lift all boats, but the bloom of poptimism has not elevated mainstream pop-punk. While Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Rihanna garner acclaim, their pop-punk counterparts have plunged into cliché and empty glitz. Panic! at the Disco’s latest release — Death of a Bachelor — is a testament to the strange monster mainstream pop-punk has become, slathered with cookie-cutter synths, disjointed samples and smarmy lyrics. Death of a Bachelor is credited to Panic!
The fire is gone but we have the light submerges the viewer in the density of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s and Korakrit Arunanondchai’s works. Andrea Inselmann curated the exhibition, which is displayed in the Johnson Museum’s Bartels Gallery and presents the viewer with a few works, each staggering in its detail and uniqueness. The featured artists are separated by 25 years of age, but linked by collaboration — Arunanondchai worked on Tiravanija’s “Untitled 2008-11 (the map of the land of feeling)” — and their affinity for intricate works that fill the gallery with information. Both artists pour information at the viewer without worrying if she or he will comprehend everything. Rather, the plethora of images in the work matches the intensity and richness of the international world.
Writing music criticism all too often feels like shouting into the void. When musicians remark on criticism, they often do so cautiously. Consider St. Vincent’s answer to Jessica Hopper’s question about her public image in a 2011 Village Voice article: “I have one answer for you if the tape recorder is on, and another if it’s off.”
Thus, when musicians openly engage their critical counterparts, it is a rare and valuable occurrence. As such, alt-country artist Ryan Adams’ rage-filled voicemail to concert reviewer Jim DeRogatis is an irreplaceable resource on music criticism, just as important as any Lester Bangs masterpiece.
The Cornell Cinema has crafted a program of fascinating and diverse films for its Spring 2016 season. In addition to its selection of Hollywood blockbusters from the past year (Missed Creed the first time around? Don’t worry), Cornell Cinema is running curated series on a breadth of topics. Cornell Cinema’s series excel in their wide-ranging perspective, and appeal to Cornellians with a variety of interests, from the cat-lover to the sci-fi aficionado to the up-and-coming Oscars pundit. I talked with Cornell Cinema director Mary Fessenden about her planning process, the Cinema’s collaboration with campus organizations and the Cinema’s role in the Ithaca community.
I almost did not review Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven. Kid Cudi’s mammoth 26-song release is so uncreatively written and strangely produced that I doubted its seriousness. In a few days, I thought, Cudi would announce that the album was a ruse, and I did not want to be the gullible writer who spent 900 words describing specifically how Speedin’ Bullet had failed. In the past few days, however, Cudi has only grown more serious. On December 1, Cudi tweeted a long statement explaining his decision to cancel tour dates.
The relationship between art and law in the United States often seems to be characterized by the latter settling issues about the production and consumption of the former. Artists and consumers have taken to the courts to settle issues about the boundaries of obscenity, fair use and various other issues. A large part of what makes eco-artist Aviva Rahmani’s Blued Trees captivating is Rahmani’s desire to flip the script and use art as a tool to achieve legal gains. This is not to say that Blued Trees is purely a legal maneuver. The work, which consists of “tree ‘notes’” painted with a “slurry of non-toxic ultramarine blue pigment and buttermilk” to “form discreet 1/3 mile long ‘measures’ in the symphony,” functions on multiple levels: musical, spatial, visual.