Review Battles: Straight Outta Compton

Review Battles: Straight Outta Compton

The emergence of N.W.A in the late ’80s and early ’90s came at a pivotal moment when issues of  race relations, inequality and prejudice came to a head. The group that emerged comprised of young, frustrated, once-in-a-generation talented but marginalized young men who were embracing hip hop to express anger, raw emotion and distaste with the state of our country, especially when it came to social issues. I believe that Straight Outta Compton could have achieved critical success simply because the story of the group is so utterly captivating. But,…

Review Battles: Straight Outta Compton

Review Battles: Straight Outta Compton

Felix Gary Gray’s smashing summer blockbuster, Straight Outta Compton, is a compelling examination of one of the most radical civil rights movements of the 1980s. The now classic story of N.W.A.’s creation of the hip hop genre and the subsequent plague of record labels and personal ambitons is portrayed in one of the most convincing films of 2015. The film analyzes the power of art in social movements and how that art is then exploited. With impeccable performances from Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube, Corey…

Returning to Walden

Returning to Walden

As our winter break draws near, many of us are probably thinking about the ample free time to finally read for pleasure. The question of what books to read will undoubtedly come up, and for that I have a solution. Take a few days to return to one of those Great American Classics and think critically as you follow Henry David Thoreau on his two-year excursion to Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. If you had to read Walden for an idealism or nature course in high school, now is a…

W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants

W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants

W. G. Sebald (1944-2001) was a German writer, academic and emigrant. Though his written language was German, he taught only in England and held positions at both the University of Manchester and the University of East Anglia. He wrote four novels (and supervised their translation into English), as well as a number of poems, essays and short stories. Though Sebald’s career was relatively short, having written his first novel only 11 years before his early death in a car accident in 2001, his work earned and continues to earn substantial…

Puzzling out The Clasp: Sloane Crosley’s Debut Novel

Puzzling out The Clasp: Sloane Crosley’s Debut Novel

Sloane Crosley’s ’00 greatest talent is her unabashed realism. Her collection of essays, I Was Told There’d be Cake, is so successful because every other sentence feels like it was taken out of the back of your head. The Clasp is Crosley’s first novel, and she is, as always, brutally honest and undeniably hilarious. A college campus is the only place on earth where her three narrators could have possibly come together, each one practically mirroring the other in some way. The book starts at a wedding of their old…

Modern Dance: Performing Life

Modern Dance: Performing Life

I’ve never been one to understand Modern dance. Before coming to Conn, the only dance I was really exposed to was classical and modern ballet. Like many other Conn students, I discovered modern dance for the first time when I came to Conn. For many people, myself included, modern dance is hard to understand. Why is she eating on stage? Why are they running in circles? What’s with the falling and catching themselves? To this day, I don’t completely understand why these specific elements are integrated into modern dances. However,…

Good Ol’ A Cappella

Good Ol’ A Cappella

With families and friends galore, the weekend of Harvestfest at Connecticut College was, as usual, a big hit. To kick off the activities, the ever so popular and loved a cappella groups at Conn performed on Friday night, Oct. 9. The weather outside was rainy, and lightning lit up the windows in Harkness Chapel, but nobody was deterred from seeing the seasoned veterans of a cappella show their shiny new members the ropes. All seven a cappella groups had held a collaborative performance in September when students first arrived on…

Swift Explores New Sound on 1989

Swift Explores New Sound on 1989

1989. How do we know we’re hearing Taylor even if it’s unlike any of her past albums? Taylor’s voice is obviously a commonality, and everything is still emotionally charged, wild and excited; the feeling of the album hasn’t changed much, either. We can always rely on Taylor for attitude—just watch the “Blank Space” music video. There are a lot of her classic repetitions of double-note sounds (find: “I” sound in I Know Places, “Oh” in How You Get the Girl, “Ah” in Clean.) This album is an experiment, but it…

Ears Open: Rock fan, Andrew Rich, dives head first into the world of album reviews. The catch: He has no idea who the band is. No clue? No problem.

Ears Open: Rock fan, Andrew Rich, dives head first into the world of album reviews. The catch: He has no idea who the band is.  No clue? No problem.

When I began thinking about writing this column, I realized that choosing to listen to a band that I had never heard of was going to be difficult. I like to consider myself a reasonably open-minded and diverse music fan. On the same iPod where there is Black Sabbath, Rush, Deep Purple, Metallica and AC/DC, there is also Madonna, ABBA, Eminem, Stevie Wonder and Kraftwerk. But having to go and listen to a band with zero knowledge of who they are and what they sound like is not something that…

Faculty Dance Concert 2013

Faculty Dance Concert 2013

The 2013 faculty dance show opened with drums. Susan Connelly’s Bantaba got the audience moving in their seats to the lively West African dance, featuring 11 Conn women who had come together to rehearse once a week for this performance, which included a stupendous drum solo. The second piece was Lumens by Professor Lisa Race. “I was originally going to base [the piece] off something already made, but it was a different sort of group so that went away,” said Race. “Some movements are similar but became its own dance and choreography:…

SOAR’s Comedy Night Makes Heavy Issues Approachable through Humor

SOAR’s Comedy Night Makes Heavy Issues Approachable through Humor

A few weekends ago, Cro’s Nest was filled with laughter – some that was uncomfortable, some confused and some just fully amused. Comedians Calise Hawkins and Kunal Arora entertained a large audience in an event hosted by SOAR (Students Organized Against Racism) and co-sponsored by CCSRE and SAC. The turnout was incredible, and couches and chairs had to be taken from other areas of Cro to accommodate the large crowd. After the show was opened by Conn’s very own Micaela Tepler ’15, who touched upon her self-affirmed favorite comedic topics…

Dutch Tavern: A New London Staple

Dutch Tavern: A New London Staple

This week’s column will concern New London’s oldest drinking establishment: Dutch Tavern. First opened in 1933 (following the end of Prohibition), “the Dutch” is now among the most storied spots downtown. For an impressive eight decades – decades which have seen the city of New London undergo substantial political, economic and demographic changes – this venue has remained steadfast in its commitment to providing a friendly, tranquil environment for patrons. When one enters the Dutch, the tavern’s history becomes immediately apparent. The dark wood walls of this single-room establishment are…