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By 10:15 on a weekday morning, Wharton senior Robert Pless has done the following: weighed himself, entered that weight into a spreadsheet containing about 600 data points, run to Pottruck, worked out for 90 minutes in the weight room, eaten two breakfasts, planned the rest of his meals for the day and packed lunch. And he also might have studied before his 10:30 class, if he has the time.
If you’re jonesing for a tattoo this summer, you’re in luck: this city’s got a bunch of top-notch parlors to choose from and they’re all as distinct as the neighborhoods where you’ll find them. But do your research.
Frank Ocean has had an insane couple of weeks. He’s revealed his romantic feelings for a man, streamed his debut LP a week before its official release, and made waves on just about every worthwhile music blog in America. He's also the most acclaimed member of the hip hop collective Odd Future, so expectations were already high — and the recent buzz surrounding his personal life cast him as a pop music demigod. Is all the hype merited, or has the excitement gone overboard?
Terry Urban’s latest mixtape project, aptly named “Me and Mr. Jones,” sounds too good to be true: 17 Nas classics paired with selec- tions from the fallen queen of new soul, Amy Winehouse. Some of Urban’s couplings work better than others, but “Mr. Virgo” infects with ease. Combining Winehouse’s titular “Me and Mr. Jones” (Back to Black, 2006) with “Virgo” by Nas, this breezy mash-up is so meant to be it might seem obvious that the “Mr. Jones” Winehouse sings about is Mr. Nasir Jones himself. Add in a seamless verse from Ludacris to sweeten the deal, and you’ve got the perfect little summer jam — which just so happens to come from a handful of music's heavyweights.
Azealia Banks – 1991 EP
Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
I'll open with a disclaimer: until now, I had no beef with Katy Perry. I think she has a good voice buried under all the cloying production value (I’ll admit to kind of liking “E.T.”), and at the end of the day, whether or not she shoots whipped cream out of her bra is entirely irrelevant to my existence. But since she debuted the breakup- and military-themed video for “Part of Me” in the past couple weeks, I have genuinely felt disturbed.
Bear in Heaven – I Love You, It’s Cool
Kung Fu Hoagies
33rd and Chestnut, Wed./Fri.
Clark Park, Sat./Sun.
One of the many great things about portable music: it offers the perfect excuse to live every moment of life to a soundtrack. Going on a milk run just feels that much more poignant when you’re doing it to some Sufjan Stevens. Now that it’s spring and all of Philly beckons to be explored, Street wants you to let a soundtrack whisk you away to some of the city’s best spots. Here’s a playlist for the trip in and out of Center City West, a lovely walk that takes under an hour altogether and offers all manner of cool stuff to explore.
Daniel Rossen – Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP
Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit
Chiddy Bang – Breakfast
When you first step into Beautiful World Syndicate, it may seem like any old record store. Vinyl is everywhere (the tables, the walls, the stairs), and visitors are immediately greeted by collections of punk and indie music, two genres that fit the preferences you might expect from the type of people you’d conjure up when you envision “vinyl enthusiasts.”
Damien Jurado - Maraqopa
Indie singer/songwriter Damien Jurado adds to his repertoire of soft, brooding tunes with his tenth studio album. It’s just the ticket for staring pensively at the rain against your window — it’s no wonder this guy lives in Seattle.
The cryptic letters marking houses on Penn’s campus carry more meaning than just their Greek affiliations. If you look hard enough, the letters also point to some groups’ searches for their own spaces on campus.
They’re only three little words, but they can say a lot. I’m not talking about “I love you,” or “Who’s your TA?” or anything else with such obvious (and earth–shattering) meaning. I’m referring to the insidious little phrase, “I have to.”
Whether hip–hop fans love Lupe Fiasco’s latest album or hate it, few would deny that Lasers is a big deal. It took a long, publicized battle between the artist and Atlantic Records, a fan petition and multiple title changes to finally get released more than three years after his second LP, The Cool. And somehow, the music has spawned even more drama. Fans have eviscerated the album and Lupe himself has been quoted saying alternately that he loves and hates Lasers. What’s a well–meaning listener to believe?
There are three things you can always expect from a Talib Kweli album: relentless consciousness, intelligent lyrics and production that looks back toward classic hip–hop rather than experimenting with whatever’s new and trendy. Gutter Rainbows, his follow–up to 2007’s Eardrum, is no different. The mid–album track “I’m On One” opens with a voiceover demanding that Kweli show all the other “square head” rappers how it’s done — and for the most part he does, especially on the album’s middle section.
Like their 2006 debut Everything All The Time, Band of Horses’ third release, Infinite Arms, opens with what is possibly its best song. “Factory” brings together all of the band’s strengths: expressive guitar layering, a symphonic melody, and lyrics whose references to hotel floors and great movies recall the illusory romance of wayside American towns. The track’s looping wail will almost immediately stick in your head, and it’s certainly no cause for complaint.