Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts Tour Comes to New York

It’s hard to find big-time concerts in Upstate New York, so when I noticed that pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo’s arrival to New York City was perfectly timed to line up with Cornell’s spring break, I jumped at the chance to get tickets. I have been a fan of Rodrigo since her Disney Channel days, and attended her first tour in 2022, so I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to see her again.  

Rodrigo’s Guts World Tour celebrates the release of her second studio album, Guts. The album, which was released in September 2023, contains 12 eclectic tracks.  Some are slow heartbreak tunes like much of her first album, Sour, while others are more upbeat with a punk-rock like sound to them.  Rodrigo’s fan base has definitely expanded since her first tour, with most audience members dressing in her signature look of a short skirt, leather jacket and knee-high boots. Before Rodrigo came on, the show was opened by The Breeders, a 1990s alternative rock group fronted by Kim Deal. To me, the band seemed like an interesting choice, as most of the concert attendees were teenagers or young adults born long after the band’s peak.

92% Surge in Book Banning Attempts Indicative of Enduring Battle for Basic Rights

On March 14, 2024 the American Library Association published a report highlighting a dramatic 92% increase in efforts to ban and censor books across the nation in 2023. Censorship attempts have risen consistently in the past years with each year topping the previous for the number of titles challenged. These trends reflect a growing battle pitting libraries and booksellers against those wishing to silence diverse voices. These attempts are rooted in individuals feeling threatened by progressive ideas that challenge the inequality entrenched in society. These attempts are appalling. The insecurity conservative minds feel passes on these troubling beliefs to children because they never see the books that would allow them to form their own opinion, causing the cycle of inequality to continue. 

Filming Loneliness, Watching Alone

I’ve always liked watching movies alone; I haven’t had trouble going to the theaters alone since before I turned 18. But for a time earlier this year, I’d never done it quite so much, or in quite such a specific way.

Where is Wendy Williams? It’s None of Our Business.

Wendy Williams is a former daytime talk show host, infamous for being unabashedly controversial. Her show ran for almost 14 years before abruptly ending in June 2022 due to concerns about her health, leaving fans of the show with many questions about Wendy’s wellbeing, whereabouts and the future of her career. In February, Lifetime released a four-part docuseries called Where is Wendy Williams? which attempts to answer some of these questions.

The Irony and Gravity of This Year’s Passover

Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is one of the most important and beloved Jewish holidays. Passover is usually a joyous affair; it begins on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nissan — sometime in March or April in our calendar — meaning it is also a festival of spring. Celebrating the beginning of the agricultural season and freedom from slavery, characterized by family and friends coming together, there is usually little to be sad about during Passover, though my caring grandmother did always shed a tear for the animals lost throughout the story. However, as Jews across the globe anticipate the beginning of Passover on the sundown of April 22, this holiday will inevitably be seen in a different and much more somber light. Given recent events, the story and message of Passover is more critical than ever — and undeniably ironic. 

Passover commemorates an event which occurred over 3,000 years, making it the oldest continuously celebrated holiday in the Jewish calendar, having been celebrated since at least the fifth century BCE.

Fantasy Favorites: Duology Recommendations

As an avid fantasy reader, I have read everything from stand-alones to eight-book series with equal eagerness. However, I have found it can be extremely intimidating to start a lengthy series, while stand-alones often lack the development I seek in my fantasy worlds. In my opinion, duologies, or two-book series, offer a perfect middle ground. You don’t have to say goodbye to your favorite characters too soon, but you aren’t committing weeks or even months to a single plot. 

WILLIAMS | Art Humanizes Currently and Formerly Incarcerated People

Isaac Scott has an unconventional resume. As a young man (born and raised) in Harlem, NY, searching for a father figure, he turned to drug dealing and street life. He cycled through home, streets and school until he gained his associate’s in 2004, but could not afford the small cost for his cap and gown. Frustrated, hurt, he turned back to the streets and spent 9 years in prison, where he learned vocational trades but was also introduced to visual art as a means of financial sustenance and emotional coping. When he left prison in 2014, he founded an arts and advocacy group called Isaac’s Quarterly, majored in Visual Arts at Columbia University, became an ordained minister and is currently working toward his masters of divinity in youth and family ministries at Liberty University.

Iconic, Chaotic and Timeless: Film and the Women of 70s Rock-and-Roll

There has arguably never been a more captivating character than the wild ’70s female rock star, or rock groupie, and they have arguably never been better presented than in the movie Almost Famous and the TV show Daisy Jones and the Six. Today we will discuss these projects’ iconic stars: Kate Hudson’s Penny Lane and Riley Keough’s Daisy Jones. 

Though both of these stories have male leads, the men simply pale in comparison to their female counterparts. It does not matter how handsome or talented Sam Claflin’s Billy Dunne or Billy Crudup’s Russell Hammond are — their spotlights are stolen because the women dancing across our screen with their bellbottoms and wild hair are ethereal, completely captivating. Despite being ’70s characters — Almost Famous is set in 1973 and Daisy Jones in 1977 — there is something timeless about them, something which connects deeply with female viewers. They are like older sisters, completely terrible influences, but important role models nevertheless, who inspire young girls to become the people they want to be. 

Their stories and choices are not perfect: Both girls nearly die in the glamorized whirlwind of ’70s drug culture.

SOLAR FLARE | Seasonal Affective Diaries

As it gets warmer — and it has been warm — I always find myself as excited for the impending summer as I am a bit melancholic about the end of another winter. There’s a specific vibe that’s lost, and whose wavelength I can’t help but love. I tried tracing how I’ve followed that winter this year — from the neverending nights of Northern Europe, to the warm lonely Western dreariness of Los Angeles, to the frigid longing for spring inevitable in Ithaca. The throughline makes sense mostly only in my head, but perhaps you’ll be able to follow me down the rabbit hole… 

1. Chinese Satellite by Phoebe Bridgers

I like those songs that you first and most listen to at your saddest.