Category: Uncategorized

The Muse: Playlists for anytime, anywhere

It’s Music Issue season here at The Daily Free Press, and because we’re all Spotify-surfers, Groovesharks and Pandora nerds, we decided the best way to celebrate — and blow off steam — would be by making playlists. We’re all music lovers here, but it’s more than that — it’s a compulsion. We check follower counts, we trade new artists like Pokémon cards and it’s impossible to walk anywhere without a pair of headphones.

Pretension? Maybe. Okay, yes. But at least we accept it, right? But regardless, we’re providing a service. We’ve compiled our favorite songs for studying, waking up in the morning, turning up, getting underground, throwing back, crying with angst, and finally, after finals, having fun in the sun.

Wake Up: 

 

3 Hipster 5 U:

 

Study for Finals: 

 

Angsty Cry Sesh: 

 

Old School Rap: 

 

Turn Up: 

 

Summer Love: 

BODY ROCK: Not Your Average Fashion Show

By Heather Goldin, Multimedia Editor

@HeatherGoldin

What makes your body rock?/ PHOTO By Heather Goldin

What makes your body rock?/ PHOTO By Heather Goldin

Who says there is a certain mold to fit into when it comes to modeling? A fashion show of a new breed broke away from the social construct of fashion Thursday evening, and left the era of Twiggy in the dust.

On Feb. 27, Off the Cuff Magazine  and the Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism teamed up in the hopes of encouraging guys and gals of all body types at Boston University to be confident and work it on the runway.

At any one time there were about 100-150 guests in attendance, with more coming and going throughout the night. Fashion shows featured lines from ASOS, Rent the Runway and The House of Findings, a vintage clothing line. Held at 808 Commonwealth Avenue, the art gallery was the perfect venue for unconventional models to show off some awesome clothes.

Unlike typical runway shows — where spectators sit poised and still, observing the fashion walk by them — attendees at this rocking show were encouraged to dance to the beat of DJ CSC’s music and cheer on the confident models, both male and female, while they walked the runway. Although fashion was the focus of the show, event organizers also added to the theme of body confidence with body-painting, photo-taking, and vintage clothing to buy

The Art of Maximo Davis/ PHOTO BY Heather Goldin

The Art of Maximo Davis/ PHOTO BY Heather Goldin

In one corner of the body-empowering event, Maximo Davis paints lines and shapes in blue, white, red and gold on the bodies of two BU students. Attendees watch Davis in action as he walks around his subjects, deciding where to paint next. Body painting is Davis’s medium of choice, complimenting his work with a matching background.

The models weren’t the only ones looking fabulous, everyone who showed up dressed to impress in their favorite unique styles. I wouldn’t be surprised if more Body-rocking fashion shows pop up on campus in the future.

Fashion Padawan: The Christmas Sweater

By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
@dannyvonunicorn

imageYeah, we’re going there: the Christmas Sweater.

It’s a strange phenomenon: something so ugly that it becomes chic. But for some reason, I am completely on board. Maybe it’s the mob mentality and maybe it’s my love for thick wool and reindeer. All I know is that I crave Christmas sweaters.

I think Christmas sweaters are so popular because they really symbolize the return of the merry Yuletide. You can’t rock a Christmas sweater in July—if you are, then you need to immediately stop. Please cease.

But when the days get cold, there’s nothing quite like pulling on a warm sweater. And if that sweater happens to have reindeer or Christmas trees or Santa Claus then that’s all the better!

But if you’re anything like me, then you’re a little befuddled as to how to get Christmas sweaters. They seem so ubiquitous, but they’re strangely sparse in the retail world. Everyone and their mother has one, but where do they get them?

There are expensive retailers online or in stores like Urban Outfitters, but unless I’m willing to saw off my own leg in payment, I don’t think those are options. You could scour EBay for hours, but that might end in fruitless heartbreak.

Well, I discovered an answer! H&M!

I don’t know what it is, but I feel like—suddenly—H&M is all about sweaters: warm, funky geometric patterns, bold colors. I was there a few days before Thanksgiving, returning a pair of ill-fitting black pants—an embarrassing story in its own right—when I wandered over to the sweater collection.

I found a dark blue sweater with neon green snowflakes and a white moose, but there were also ones with white snowflakes and red stripes. Best of all, H&M frequently has sweater sales, like “Buy one, get one half off” or “Buy one, get one free”.

So, if you’re looking to find a quick, cheap Christmas sweater to hold you over until your parents finally crack, I’d stroll on down to H&M.

Hip Hop at Harvard

For Nas, the search starts at Harvard University./PHOTO VIA Flickr user Jonene Taddei Photography

Hip hop at Harvard? I’m sure you never expected to hear those two words in the same sentence.

Rap icon, Nas, ventured to Harvard University last week to introduce the Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship, a scholarship awarded to two scholars dedicated to inciting change through hip hop music.

The fellowship is designed to help visiting scholars partake in hip-hop related research at the Cambridge institution. The scholarship is the result of a substantial endowment from an anonymous donor who wanted Nas to be the poster child of the unique program.

The donor got his wish when the Queens native agreed to lend his name to the fellowship following an email request from Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates (the current host of PBS’ The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross).

During the introduction ceremony, Nas said, “Hip-hop is important like computer science. The world is changing. If you want to understand the youth, listen to the music. This is what’s happening right underneath your nose.”

I totally agree. If you want to understand why the current generation of young adults and adolescents act the way they do, check out the music they listen to. It’s not the main reason, but it’s a good indicator. Nas’s involvement with this program showcases his support of music as a cause rather than pure entertainment.

It may be ironic that the 18-time Grammy nominee is the face of an Ivy League scholarship despite never obtaining a high school diploma but Nas’s successful rap career epitomizes the belief that music is more than just lyrics and tempo.

Nas claimed that he was drawn to hip-hop because it is an education in it itself, aiming to address different problems. Despite being a middle school dropout, Nas used hip-hop to abandon his past mistakes and channel his struggles into songs that uplifted others.

Throughout his career Nas appealed to millions of people with message-filled songs like “The World is Yours” and “I Can.” Now he wants to open the door for others to do the same. Who would have thought he’d start the search at Harvard?

Eatabl: The Maine Event

By Abbie Lin, Staff Writer
@abbielin

Nothing like tasty, succulent lobster./PHOTO VIA Abbie Lin

An excerpt from Eatabl: “This was no ordinary lobster roll. The vessel was a cross between a traditional hot dog bun and a steamed asian bao – it was lush and malleable and held in its arms all of that precious, succulent lobster meat. The lobster was topped with a brown butter vinaigrette (!) and petite scallion shards.”

To read more about The Maine Event click here.

MUSE: Fitz and the Tantrums To Play House of Blues Monday!

By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Staff Writer
@bufoodist

Fitz and the Tantrums may be called retro, but for saxophonist and co-collaborator James King, there’s more to it than that.

“You have to draw from something, but to the extent that people feel that it’s touching them now and it’s applicable to their daily listening, I think that you can be retro and current at the same time,” he said in a phone interview with the Daily Free Press.

King is on tour again, a state that’s become all-too familiar after the three-year period of tours between the band’s first album, “Picking Up the Pieces”and their most current album, “More than Just a Dream.” The tour for the new album began earlier this month, and they return to Boston Monday night to play House of Blues with Capital Cities for their “Bright Futures” tour.

“To show up in Boston and have people know who were are and sing along with our songs… It’s all really humbling,” King said.

The band will mainly feature songs from their newest album, which fuses the repurposed ‘60s soul vibe of “Picking Up the Pieces” with ‘80s synth pop and modern indie dance music. While writing “More than Just a Dream,” all of the members of the band exchanged iPods and talked about a new sound for a new album – and the change is drastic.

While just as catchy as “Picking Up the Pieces,” “More than Just a Dream” is designed for the live audience, as lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick verified in an interview with the Charleston City Paper. Still in the early days of the tour, it’s hard to say how this ideal will play out, but the reputation the band has for an energetic live show suggests a fun evening at House of Blues tonight.

Tickets were still available at the time this article was published. Check out the band’s latest music video, “The Walker,” before the show tonight below:

Weekend round-up

By Lucien Flores, Staff Writer

There’s an abundance of exciting shows to check out this weekend in Boston. If you need a rest from the cold or a break from the school grind, then try to nab last-minute tickets to one of these dates.

Alt-J at Paradise Rock Club – Saturday March 2nd and Sunday March 3rd 

I mentioned this concert in my start-of-the-semester concert preview but there’s no harm in rehashing the suggestion. While the freshman British band is playing two dates at the intimate Paradise Music Club, good luck getting tickets as both nights are sold out. Don’t fret if searching through Craigslist searching is not your thing, as the band will back in Boston on September 13 at the much-larger Bank of America Pavilion.

In the midst of their meteoric rise, Alt-J announced a world tour so this will be one of the last times you’ll be able to see them in such a cozy environment.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Brighton Music Hall – Saturday March 2nd

Unknown Mortal Orchestra has a thick psychedelic 1960s sound that will draw comparison to Tame Impala, however, UMO creates a far more compelling product. Listening to their two albums brings listeners back to an era they likely never experienced. “From The Sun” almost sounds like a lost White Album track and “The Opposite of The Afternoon” is haunting with its whispery vocals.

Opposite of The Afternoon:

Tenacious D at House Of Blues – Saturday March 2nd 

If comedy rock is your thing than there are few bigger acts than Tenacious D. Going strong since 1994, Jack Black and Kyle Glass will bring their ridiculous tracks to Boston’s House of Blues.

What to do at home this weekend?

Listen to Youth Lagoon’s newest album, Wondrous Bughouse on NPR. He’ll playing the Boston Calling music festival in late May alongside The National, Of Monsters And Men, and others.

Tales of a Transplant: Sandy, please

By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
@rygalindo

Living in Guam does have its pros and cons. One con: Guam is situated in an area of the Pacific called “Typhoon Alley.” As you may already have guessed, typhoons (a fancy, exotic word for hurricane) pop up regularly and somehow decide to make Guam a part of their blood path.

Typhoon, Guam

Downed power lines in Guam during Ponsoonga Typhoon / PHOTO COURTESY RODGER SPRINGSTEEN

I’ve had my share of typhoons in my 18 years of life. The first one was good ol’ Typhoon Paka in 1997. I was only three-years-old, and I barely remember the details of the disaster. I do recall a few vague, cloudy snippets of the storm: the power outages, the fallen trees and my mom trying to put me to sleep against the backdrop of the pouring rain and howling, Category 5 winds. Like I said, I don’t remember much, but I knew it was bad, so bad that Paka was even upgraded to Super Typhoon status and the name “Paka” was retired from the list of hurricane names. I didn’t even know that was remotely possible.

In 2002, we had Super Typhoon Chata’an. In Chamorro, the native language of Guam, Chata’an means “rainy day.” And boy was that day rainy. Hell, it was a torrential downpour. I don’t remember much of Chata’an except that it ruined my summer.

A year and a half later, in December 2003, we had Super Typhoon Pongsona (pronounced PONG-SONG-WAH). Pongsona was nothing short of a bitch. It flooded streets and downed power and telephone poles. Guam was devastated. Oh, and Ponsonga had the audacity to prance its way into Guam a few weeks before Christmas. The nerve.

We didn’t have electricity for almost a month, if not more. It was a really big deal, actually, so big that the daily newspaper had a little box on the front page detailing how much of the island had its power back and which part of the island the power company was working to repair next. With each passing day, the percentage enclosed in the box increased: 12 percent, 20 percent, 45 percent and eventually 100 percent. Luckily, my neck of the woods was one of the first to have electricity reinstalled, so that was great.

Water was also a problem. If I remember correctly (I’m writing this all from memory okay, so if any of you Guamies notice anything wrong, forgive me), there was a water outage, too. And if you did have water, it was probably unsafe to drink it.

Ponsonga is the last typhoon I can recall because it was so catastrophic. If there were any other typhoons after it, they were probably too tame compared to Ponsonga to be worth remembering.

Guam has been typhoon-free for several years. And that is why I find it ironic that once I leave Guam and move to Boston, I get struck by Hurricane Sandy.

Last night, I was chatting with a friend from Guam that now attends school in Portland, Ore. Of course, Sandy made its way to the conversation and my friend told me not to worry, because I’m from Guam and therefore typhoon-proof.

Paka Typhoon

Damage to a home in Guam during the Paka Typhoon, Dec. 17, 1997 / PHOTO COURTESY PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS HEATHER EGHBALI, U.S. NAVY

In retrospect, I guess I am. This is the plus side of living in typhoon alley. Almost instinctively upon hearing about Sandy, I began to gather all the essentials in case of a disaster. I got my cereal and other snacks tucked in my shelf along with a couple of toiletries. I’ve been keeping track of Sandy and any pertinent news relating to school and the T.

It’s actually quite amusing to hear my friends from California and other parts of the hurricane-free world panic about the storm, and I’m just calm and nonchalant about it.

In the end, I’m very grateful that sunlight is starting to seep its way into Boston and that Sandy is starting to become a memory. My thoughts go out to those who have been ravaged by her. I’ve been there before, and it’ll soon pass.

The best and worst Emmy fashion

By Seline Jung, Staff Writer

I rounded up a compilation of who I thought were the best and worst dressed at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards last night. If you didn’t get a chance to watch last night, scroll through the pictures and critique these red carpet fashions.  

Emmy’s best:

- Giuliana Rancic in Ramona Cerveza: Rancic played it safe Sunday night, but there’s a reason it’s called “classic.” The color, modern silhouette, thigh-high slit and belt all work together beautifully.

- Ginnifer Goodwin in Monique Lhuillier: This one might throw some people off, but the dress is so on-trend, and Goodwin’s pixie cut makes the look a perfect mix of sweet and vogue.

- Julianne Moore in Dior Couture:  The mustard-canary yellow is so fresh and new, and makes Moore’s auburn hair pop.

- Kristen Wiig in Balenciaga: Wiig looks like she just stepped out of a boudoir — amongst all the other fussy, tight, couture-y dresses, Wiig looked relaxed and lovely.

- Julianne Hough in Georges Hobeika: The color and bottom detailing are stunning; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a couture dress in this ice-teal blue before. Hough looks like she just came back from a haute couture beach wedding.

Emmy’s worst:

- Lena Dunham in Prada: This could have worked if the dress was short or if it was sleeveless. Or both. But the simultaneous cap sleeves, floor length and high neck does not flatter Dunham.

- January Jones in Zac Posen: Messy, messy, messy. Paired with her intense smokey eyes and slicked-back hair, Jones just doesn’t look like herself.

- Christina Hendricks in Christian Siriano: Never mind that she’s busting out of the top, the dress looks cheap and color doesn’t do any favors for Hendricks’ porcelain skin and fire-red hair.

- Glenn Close: Close could have gone for a more classic, refined, simple look but she chose an overcomplicated mess.

- Kathy Griffin in Oscar de la Renta: The awkward thing here is the lone plastic bangle on Griffin’s arm. Other than that, the dress looks really messy in the back, and halter tops are quite dated.

 Yes or no?

- Zosia Mamet in Bihbu Mahopatra: I appreciate that it’s fashion-forward and edgy, but at the same time there’s too much going on; the patterned sheer bottom seems random.

- Hayden Panettiere in Marchesa: The dress looks like it might be lovely without the thick blue gauze wrapped around her.

- Nicole Kidman in Antonio Berardi: The blue embroidered bodice is absolutely beautiful, but the dress stops short at an awkward length

- Heidi Klum in Alexandre Vauthier: The only reason this dress gets a pass is because a supermodel is wearing it. If it was anyone else, it’d look like a cheap prom outfit.

All photos are courtesy of E! Online. 

Science that can make you smarter

By Kimberly Clark, Science Tuesday Editor

A device that can control a person’s brain is often the fantasy of many science fiction enthusiasts. However, according to a recent paper in the Journal of Neural Engineering, this fantasy might be closer to reality than ever before.

The paper, which is the collaborative effort of researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the University of Southern California, details a device which can operate from within the brain to sharpen cognitive ability by honing the connections among the brain nerve cells, called neurons.

A similar technology has been studied in rhesus monkeys. To do so, researchers at Wake Forest taught a matching game to five rhesus monkeys. The monkeys were shown a picture of a toy, a person or a mountain range on a large screen. They then had to pick the same picture out of a group pictures that was displayed later on the same screen. For every correct answer, the monkeys received a treat.

After playing the game for two years, the monkeys were choosing the correct picture for easier matches about 75 percent of the time and 40 percent of the time for harder matches.

Researchers then implanted a small probe with two sensors into the monkeys’ brain by  feeding it through the monkeys’ foreheads and into two layers of their cerebral cortex. These layers, known as L-2/3 and L-5, have been proven to communicate with one another during decision-making like the kind the monkeys used while playing their game.

The device picked up the crackling sounds that the monkeys’ neurons made when they played the game and sent the sounds to a computer. Researchers from U.S.C. studied the sounds to find a pattern for when the monkeys made a correct decision.

Once the researchers had pinpointed the pattern for correct choices, they used the device to send it into the monkeys’ brains right as they were choosing an answer. The monkeys who received the correct pattern improved their score by approximately 10 percent.

Then the researchers administered cocaine to the monkeys to impair their cognitive abilities. Unsurprisingly, the monkeys‘ scores fell approximately 20 percent.

While the device in the paper is far from commercial application, the study demonstrates that such a device could be developed in the future. Dr. Sam A. Deadwyler, a researcher at Wake Forest, told the “New York Times” that the technology used in the rhesus monkey study could be condensed into a chip that would be implanted in the brain.

The technology could help people who have lost mental capacity due to brain injuries, dementia or strokes.