ANNNDDD… we’re back! Another school year, another Sun redesign. The project du jour? Red Letter Daze. Just last semester I ran a series on the new look for Daze . We completely revamped the section’s style for its premiere in a new magazine format.
Well, the recession’s hit America hard folks, and even well endowed institutions like the Daily Sun need to make cuts. Opinion was shaved down to two pages, and Daze will now appear back in tabloid form.
Our task in the design department was to preserve the “look and feel” of the magazine while adopting it to the new format — a longer, more traditional page size. Other changes include fewer color pages.

The Producers

Imagine it’s 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning. You’re still drunk from last night, you’ve got work and laundry piling up and it’s not even light out. Yet here you are at Barton Hall, chugging coffee and assembling steel trusses, heavy-duty rigging for light fixtures and scaffolds into a stage. You’re making signs that say: ‘Backstage Band Area’ or ‘Bathrooms Here,’ or running errands to Wegmans to buy your guests of honor their organic bottled water of choice. A truck breaks down on its way to Ithaca, so the stage you need to have assembled by 3 p.m. won’t be ready for a few more hours. But the show must go on — will go on, at 6 p.m. Screw how early it is, it’s time to get to work.

Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants

Love triangles, revenge, mental illness, morality, Cornell — Sara Gruen’s novel Water for Elephants simply has it all. I’m not quite sure what originally attracted me to this book for I am not, by any means, a fan of the circus. In fact, I’m actually very much averse to the circus, to be frank; too many freaks with haphazard body parts and Bradbury-like machinery twisting one’s mind. However, once I decided to set aside my negative biases and flipped open the first page, I was hooked.

The Bestest Beatles Covers

Whether you know it as the theme song to The Wonder Years, or as an iconic performance at Woodstock, Joe Cocker’s rendition of “With A Little Help From Friends,” a song originally by the Beatles, gleams as one of the greatest covers of all time.
Footage of Cocker singing at Woodstock shows a man completely possessed — a man channeling a swarm of unknowable rock-and-roll deities through that magical scepter known as the electric guitar. Or, loads of LSD. Nonetheless, what makes Cocker’s rendition of this song superb is the artist’s ability to channel the excellence — and somehow transcend the status — of the original. In a weird way, Cocker understands that song better than any Beatle does. Or so it would seem by his inspired performance.

David Cook: Self-Titled

Last week I reviewed little David Archuleta’s debut, and even though I gave it a positive critique, I was spurned by a plethora of Archie-loving lunatics. This week, it’s David Cook’s turn in the spotlight, and while I don’t anticipate the same back-lash from Cook extremists, treat this review as one of unbiased intention.
During much of his run last season on American Idol, David Cook drew many comparisons to season five’s resident-rocker Chris Daughtry. Not only was Cook’s style harder-edged than the competition — especially in the context of Idol — he even pulled the same advantage-grabbing stunts that Daughtry did. Cook emerged from the franchise’s most talented season primed to be the first contestant who can hold his own with his Idols.

Crystal Stilt: Alight of Night

Listening to Alight of Night is like lying on the beach listening to sun-drenched pop music — except it’s nighttime and raining and the sound in your headphones is fuzzy. You probably aren’t very happy, and neither are Crystal Stilts. However, the album’s jangly guitars and ever-present tambourine would have you believe otherwise, if it weren’t for the haunting echoes and previously mentioned hazy quality to their sound.

Kaiser Chiefs: Off With Their Heads

Any band that attempts to be part rock, part punk and part indie takes the risk of being seen as a sad mishmash of random sounds. The Kaiser Chiefs manage to generally avoid this pigeon-hole with their new album, Off With Their Heads. The most notable aspect of the album, in fact, is its unpredictability. Some tracks, such as “Remember You’re a Girl” and “Tomato in the Rain” are the mellow, perfect-for-listening-to-while-doing-homework type. Others, like “Can’t Say What I Mean” and “Half the Truth,” make you want to blast the volume and start brushing up on your head banging skills.

Spotlight On: Hadag Nachash

Hadag Nachash (“Snake Fish” in Hebrew) is one of Israel’s most famous hip-hop bands — and beloved the world over, by Hebrew speakers and non-Hebrew speakers alike. Sun News Editor Jasmine Marcus ’10 called up Sha’anan Streett, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, and spoke to him about their tour, politics and why even non-Hebrew speakers can “get down to the groove”.

The Sun: How’s your tour been going so far?
Sha’anan Streett: It’s been going great. Right now we’re in Los Angeles. We were in San Francisco, D.C., Ann Arbor, Michigan, New York City and we’re going to hit Cornell tomorrow!
Sun: And what are your plans for after the tour?
S.S.: We’re gonna go back to Israel and rest a little. Then we’ll start rehearsal and writing for the new album.

Catch It: Nov. 20 – Nov. 26

Thursday, Nov. 20:
Sex, studying and . . . swords? OK, it’s not quite Cornell, but it’s close: Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost hits the Schwartz Center tonight at 7:30 p.m. for a debut performance. With fancy wordplay and puns aplenty, the story of three dudes swearing off sex for three years is a gas. Student tickets $8.
Hadag Nachash: no, it’s not a dish, it’s a band. A really good one, in fact: the Israeli ensemble has gained international acclaim for its blend of hip-hop, jazz and Middle Eastern sounds. Lucky for you, they’re playing tonight at 9 p.m. at the Noyes Center. Admission is free.

Friday, Nov. 21:

Susan Tedeschi: Back to the River

Susan Tedeschi can do the blues. And not just for a white chick. She can actually do the blues. In her newest album, Back to the River, the forceful opening track, “Talking About,” immediately pulls you into the music and not until the end does Susan give you a chance to turn her off. From the melodic “700 Houses” to the jazzy and soulful “Learning the Hard Way,” Tedeschi succeeds all the way through. She mixes and experiments with different beats, a testament to the different people with whom she co-wrote several of the tracks (including husband Derek Trucks), and never fails to give stellar vocals.