Hey-o spaghetti-o’s!! Welcome back! Or just welcome! Hope everyone enjoyed their summers and is now enjoying the second day of classes. Hope everyone listened to some super rockin’ music. Hope the freshmen have figured out how to get from North Campus to Mann Library (hint: it’s not as long a walk as you think) and that the sophomores haven’t collapsed getting up Libe Slope (hint: umm …. I got nothing, it just sucks) and that the juniors have as yet avoided heinous noise violations, which unfortunately cannot be said for the house across the street from me. Or perhaps fortunately considering the lack of actually falling asleep that went down in my room the last two nights.
This article was originally published online on Jul. 8.
NEWPORT, R.I. – The Newport Folk Festival – having endured Dylan’s controversial ’65 burst of electricity, financial turmoil and an addiction to corporate sponsorship – has come a long way from its folksy, populist incarnation of 1959. But at this 50-year benchmark, Newport’s architects have struck gold in grafting the Festival’s roots to anachronistic, serene Fleet Foxes and progressive-folk-rock showmen The Decemberists. Seeger’s even leading a sing-along at age 90, for Pete’s sake.
About ten minutes into their set, guitarist Tom DeLonge shouted into his mike, “We are fucking awesome. We rock!” and oh, how absolutely true that is. Blink 182’s reunion tour stop at the amphitheater at Jones Beach on Aug 9 verifiably rocked. So much so that I’m convinced that the power of Mark, Tom and Travis playing on the same stage pushed the muggy, downpour of weather that was expected away until precisely after everyone from the venue had cleared out into their cars. So instead of a monsoon, we got clear skies, two full hours of the Blink classics and a glorious evening of feeling like we were in middle school again, minus the whole being awkward part.
Despite the fact that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart seemed to have picked their name in a fit of emo melancholy, their music isn’t superficial — it’s actually pretty awesome. The Brooklyn trio, who will be playing at Risley Hall on Saturday, have been lauded across the music blogosphere for being the next hot thing. They’ve been compared to so many bands (My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths, The Verve, Jesus and Mary Chain, etc.) that you might worry that they’ve got little heart of their own. Is this a band that — as the all-holy Pitchfork Media seems to suggest — might have picked the right influences and cruised on that success?
A few nights ago, as I sat watching Cornell Design League’s 25th Anniversary show, I had two thoughts circulating around my cerebellum. The first: “Wow, if I was anorexic at Cornell, and I wasn’t asked to be in the show, I would be super offended.” But I was also mostly reminiscing to myself about an experience I had last February, when I scored three press passes for the Cornell Daily Sun to cover New York Fashion Week.
A founding member of the legendary hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan, GZA — also known as the Genius and famous for his laid-back drawl; his complex, multi-layered lyrics rife with metaphor and literary illusions; and his now seminal 1995 hip-hop album Liquid Swords, which features samples from classic Samurai films — dropped us a line this week to chat about his creative process, kung fu films and his absolutely favorite past-time: chess.
The Sun: What do you expect from Cornell? In terms of the student body, are you excited?
GZA: Yeah, I’m looking forward to the show.
Sun: What do you think of Girl Talk?
GZA: I don’t really know much about him. I just started learning. He’s the DJ, correct?
The collective boots of Cornell are shaking. This Sunday, the concert crescendo that’s been slowly invading campus all year reaches its climax when Girl Talk comes to town, GZA by his side. What started as a whimper with T-Pain (sorry to all three members of Cornell’s “BUY ME A DRANK!! T-PAIN’S #1 CORNELL FANS” Facebook group) and gained steam with Luda is now going to be, as the immortal Lance Crouther / Pootie Tang once said, a “cama cama leepa-chaiii,” dig? I know this might be a lot to take in all at once, so let’s take it step-by-step.