Arts in the Ith

So. You’re in Ithaca. You’re in college. What to do now?
When prelims, lab reports and snow aren’t getting you down (read: seldom), there’s a lively arts scene right outside your doorstep to keep you sane. From barn-burning bashes in Barton to art appreciation in the Johnson, there’s something for every taste. Cornell may be known for its cows and gorges, but it’s no slouch when it comes to music, theater, film and fine art.

Arts & Entertainment

Dear starry eyed-freshman:
Do you like music? Movies? How about burlesque dancers strutting their stuff on the Slope? If so, you’re in luck. The Pussycat Dolls may not strike Ithaca every year (thank god), but there’s plenty else to keep your eyes, ears and mind entertained on campus and around town. To get a taste, check out these review excerpts from last year — everyone from Girl Talk to Junot Diaz to Don Giovanni was in town, and we were there to get you the story. Appetite sufficiently whetted? Get ready for the likes of Ani DiFranco and Built to Spill this fall, and check out the concert on the Arts Quad on Aug. 29 (artist to be announced). It’ll be the start of another great year in Ithaca arts culture. And homework and tests and all that other boring stuff. Whatever.

Ode to Thee, Oh Bonnaroo

It was with great excitement and hedonistic anticipation that I looked forward to this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, held from June 11-14 on a farm in Manchester, TN. Tales I had heard from past attendees and the glossy coverage in Rolling Stone promised a long weekend of wonderful music, wonderful people and general paganistic pleasure. Headliners like Band of Horses and MGMT whet my appetite; smaller acts like Amadou & Mariam and The Dirty Projectors made me all the more excited. For a music fan — and one who especially enjoys shared irresponsibility — there’s nothing better.

Get Your Dancing Shoes On

Dig bright, catchy, Beatles-esque lyrics? Groove out to ELO’s symphonic prog rock? How’s a virtually private show sound? Right, so get to the Slope early.
Long before the Pussycat Dolls showcase their ample assets and Asher Roth confesses his inclination towards America’s university system, the Apples in Stereo, ripe with tight, riveting, relevant tunes, will rock the Slope’s punctual arrivals with a premium blend of neo-classic rock and power pop. The American rockers, veterans of six LPs, notched a spot on Rolling Stone’s Top 50 of 2007 with New Magnetic Wonder, a 14 track album linked seamlessly by 10 musical segues.

A Pleasantly Pain-ful Night of Music at Risley

If any angst-ridden teenagers showed up to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s show Saturday night at Risley Hall expecting gloomy, My Chemical Romance fare, they would have been sorely disappointed with the night’s musical offerings (though surely, given that misleading and cringe-inducing name, we couldn’t have blamed them for expecting some emo). But despite the musical illusions created by their name, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the Brooklyn buzz band that has the indie blogosphere slobbering, play shiny shoegaze pop — and damn do they have fun doing it.

Barton Bumps with Bhangra

A crowd of 2,600 packed the stands of Barton Hall on Sunday night to see the largest student run show on Cornell’s campus — Pao Bhangra. With one of the largest crowds in the show’s history, this is the eighth year in a row that it has been held on the Cornell campus. The biggest exhibition of its kind in America, the annual event brings Bhangra teams from around the country to partake in the show. This years’ performance included routines from the Rochester Kids Bhangra, NYU Bhangra, Lalkaare Sheran De, DCBC Girls, USC Jachdi and Cornell’s own Mundey men’s team, Kudiyan women’s team, Alumni All Stars and Mixed Team.

Vixen on Vocals: Neko Case Rocks the State Theatre

Riding the bus to the State Theatre last Monday night, I felt apprehensive about reviewing Neko Case’s upcoming performance. During her career, Case has contributed to several different musical groups, including the Corn Sisters, Neko Case and Her Boyfriends, the Sadies and the New Pornographers. Sure, I am a tried and true New Pornographers fan, but would my admiration for Neko Case transcend to her solo work? Would Case’s amazing vocal presence still interest me outside of the indie pop genre? Could I sit through an alternative country song set?
Yes, yes I could. And I would like it. Now I can proudly say that I like country music.