Rowan Drake Talks Ithaca Roots and Upcoming EP

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing the banjo player of an Appalachian folk band, at one end of what the rich Ithaca music scene produces. On the other end of Ithaca’s music spectrum is Rowan Drake, a 19-year-old alternative pop artist who spoke to me about his upcoming debut EP. Rowan was born and raised here in Ithaca, NY. He released his first single “Closure” in 2020 and, since then, has garnered over 5 million likes on TikTok and 1.3 million views on YouTube. He also recently signed with Atlantic Records.

Big Red’s Next Icon: After Six

Cornell recently held its annual Big Red Icon to determine which student band will get to play on Slope Day as an opener. I spoke with Josh Sokol, the saxophonist of this year’s winning band After Six, about their musical style and what makes them unique. 

The Sun: How would you describe the type of music that After Six makes? Josh Sokol: I feel like we have a diverse style. We also change what we’re going for depending on the event, but we keep it centered around what After Six is. A mix between neo soul, funk and hip hop.

CHARI | The Concert Experience and the Value of Anticipation

This summer, I am seeing Beyonce live for the first time. 

Her upcoming Renaissance World Tour is, by far, the biggest concert I have ever been to and definitely the most expensive. RENAISSANCE was my most played album of last year, immediately becoming my favorite Beyonce album and one of my favorite albums of all time. Beyonce is known for her fantastic showmanship, and I knew that she would outdo herself for her latest tour. 

I admit, I did not do any of the work to acquire the Renaissance tickets. In fact, it was my friend who had the verified presale and that sat at the computer, pressing the exact buttons at the right time (I had class). He wanted a good seat.

John Mulaney is Funny, Still

I can’t say I often find myself fully invested in celebrity gossip, and I certainly can’t say I enjoy it, but for whatever reason the tragicomic exploits of John Mulaney over the past three or so years have completely gripped my consciousness to an inappropriate extent. Perhaps it was a pandemic environment that minimized my exposure to the high school drama that had previously satiated my need for gossip, or perhaps it was the fact that I really liked John Mulaney, found him funny, and (owing to his role as a stand-up comedian) felt more personal affinity for him than I did any actor or director mired in similar controversy. For those who haven’t been following, Mulaney checked himself into rehab right in the middle of the pandemic, announced he was leaving his wife (relevant because of his comedic persona as a self-styled “wife guy”) and got into a relationship with Olivia Munn with whom he now has a son. Only the first detail is relevant to his latest special, “Baby J,” which was released on Netflix last week, but all of them feel kind of important for a comedian whose decade of earned goodwill had been completely recontextualized before he set foot on the Boston stage where the special was performed. 

“Baby J” is a special of the moment, more specifically John Mulaney’s moment. In it, he meticulously and non-sequentially details his trials of addiction, his experience with rehab and his more recent recovery process.

‘Cocaine Bear’: Exactly What it Sounds Like

There have not been many movie trailers as of late that have excited me as much as Cocaine Bear’s did. Cocaine Bear has a simple premise: A bear who ingests cocaine goes on a wild massacre, eating anything and everything it encounters while running amok. One aspect that drew me and many others to this story is the fact that this movie is based on true events. 

There was, in fact, a bear that ate cocaine and was dropped into the Georgia forest by a drug smuggler in 1985. However, the movie contains  quite a bit of embellishment of details, which makes it more entertaining, since a movie about a bear eating cocaine and dying peacefully in its sleep would make for a pretty boring watch. 

The movie features several intertwining plotlines that are based around the lost cocaine and the bear, all of which I found myself invested in. The first is that of Dee Dee (Brooklyn Price) and Henry (Christian Convery), two elementary schoolers who decide to skip school and go to Chattahoochee for the day.

Did You Fall in Love or Limerence?

Apart from enjoying the content, an incredible feature of movies and books is being able to learn from the characters’ experiences and reflect on your own by applying any knowledge you’ve gained to analyze what interests you the most. In this article, I want to discuss the term “limerence” to help you understand whether you’re going through limerence, thinking that you fell in love, by using the movie Ruby Sparks as an example. The main character Calvin is a famous writer who struggles with social anxiety. He has a peculiar dog, and he can’t get used to its behavior. His only friend is his brother, and besides attending book presentations, he occasionally visits his therapist.

‘Ride Lonesome’ at the Cornell Cinema

Content Warning: This review contains discussion of violence and anti-Indigenous racism. 

Last weekend, the Cornell Cinema presented the 1958 low-budget Western Ride Lonesome on a tattered, well-loved 35 mm print, both a fitting visual experience for a genre which has largely fallen out of fashion with contemporary audiences and an ironic one, given the genre’s depiction of a lifestyle that, even in the genre’s hay day, remained a wistful reflection of a time since passed. Ride Lonesome, appearing as part of the Cinema’s Cinemascope series, is the most famous of the so-called Ranown cycle, a series of B-Westerns directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott at the tail end of a period of non-revisionist Westerns before Italian Spaghetti Westerns reimagined the genre in the 1960s. Underrated in their day, the films were quickly reappraised by French Critics and have since received wider acclaim stateside, being hailed by Martin Scorsese and awaiting canonization in the Criterion Collection this July. 

Ride Lonesome opens with a quintessential Western image: a lone figure on a horse riding through the dusty hills of an unknown, and perhaps unnamed, territory. Ben Brigade, played reservedly by Randolph Scott, is a mysterious bounty hunter, pursuing and capturing the murderer Billy John, who is to be hanged once the two get to town. As they go on, they are joined by a woman and two men who are themselves hunting after Billy John, all while fleeing from the looming threats of Native Americans and Billy John’s brother Frank, who is chasing the crew with his own gang of bandits. 

The West of Ride Lonesome is sparse, populated not by towns with saloons, railroads or ranches, but by isolated ruins, minimal structures and miles and miles of blank landscape.

The Un-Understandability of ‘Last Year at Marienbad’

Cornell Cinema recently showed the 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad, a French film about an old hotel populated by wealthy guests. It focuses on an unnamed man, the narrator, who aggressively insists that he had met the female protagonist, an unnamed woman, one year ago and she promised to give him an answer as to whether or not they could be in a relationship. She, however, has no memory of ever meeting him. Most of the movie consists of the man trying to convince her that his memory is accurate and hers is inaccurate. He wants her to leave the second unnamed male character who may or may not be her husband, which, at the end of the movie, she does.