Joe Pinsker was the Managing Editor from January 2012 to December 2012.
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Joe Pinsker was the Managing Editor from January 2012 to December 2012.
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Straub Amber Ale — 2.5 stars out of 5. Hundreds gathered last night on the well-lit, airport terminal-esque second floor of the Constitution Center for “Bathtub Beer Fest,” an event that grants attendees the liberty of unlimited sampling from over 20 breweries over the course of 3 hours. Like many attendees, I resolve — approximately 10 minutes after my arrival — to try every beer. Given multiple beers at each brewery’s table and some ABVs in the low double digits, this is a task that will require commitment and determination. Armed with a tiny plastic souvenir sampling mug, I embark. Straub 1872 Lager — 3.
JG Domestic 2929 Arch St. (215) 222–2363 University City
There is so much confusion and controversy about Pennsylvania’s voter identification law — which, as of this printing, remains in place but is under the review of Pennsylvania courts — that it is best to start with the most basic of facts: in short, the law requires that voters bring passports or Pennsylvania–issued driver’s licenses with them to the polls.
Guacamole Mexican Grill 4612 Woodland Ave (215) 307–3162
Sometimes a superficial listen to today's pop music isn't enough. For a more comprehensive take, we turned to Penn's Music Department. Read on to hear what Professor Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. (who teaches an awesome class on jazz) and Thomas Patteson (a grad student pursuing a PhD in the History of Music with a focus on electronic music) have to say about today's big pop songs. Turns out their standards are pretty damn high.
There are 23 hours worth of performances in the Quad on Friday and Saturday. Mapping out all those musical acts can be surprisingly difficult, even when you’re completely sober. So, we here at Music did the legwork for you. Here’s a list of some of the acts you really should pull your drunken self together for. We’ve also proposed an ideal schedule — see below — that minimizes time wasted waiting around and maximizes your concert–going utility.
In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell wrote about a phenomenon that worried Coca–Cola execs: Coke was losing to Pepsi in blind sip tests. Ultimately, Gladwell argues that Pepsi did better in the tests because it was sweeter, but that the intense sweetness was unsustainable; if people had to drink an entire can instead of a single sip, Coke’s relative un–sweetness would prevail.
… And the wait is over. Earlier this week, Under the Button and Penn performing groups led you on a campus–wide quest that culminated in the announcement of two Fling acts: Instrumental duo Ratatat and hip–hop hitmaker Flo Rida. And you can now add one more name to that list — Chicago–born rap artist Lupe Fiasco will headline Spring Fling! We have the scoop below, as we compare the three acts and discuss their various qualities (and evident flaws).
Last summer, Wayne Coyne, the de facto leader of The Flaming Lips, made a block print using his own blood as ink. He often gets inside a large plastic ball and runs over the crowd as Santa clones boogie around him. Additionally, he has a bathroom that looks like a white beehive.
Bob Dylan has released roughly 500 songs (give or take a few) since his self–titled debut came out in 1962. His career has spanned almost five decades. By my calculations, that’s an average of about 10 songs per year. I think that qualifies Mr. Dylan as prolific.
Vinny Pujji is a freshman in the Huntsman Program who moonlights as a booty–centric rapper. Despite his youth, he’s already made a name for himself in his hometown of San Diego and he has his sights set on the Eastern shores. Don’t let his vulgarity bother you; somehwere beneath the moans lies a highly ambitious rapper. Read below to see how he’s taking advantage of Penn’s prestigious “Booty Scholarship.” Visit reverbnation.com/vspcsquared
Most of the visitors of the Italian Market neighborhood of South Philly are there to experience Pat’s and Geno’s, two competing cheesesteak restaurants with several decades’ worth of storied rivalry. This fatty food battleground is dominated by the restaurants’ neon presences. Their overwhelming light fixtures serve as beacons signaling the potent and uniquely American combination of spirited competition and the “Use Sparingly” category of the food pyramid. But, in the shadow of these shrines to what some might view as American excess is a more dimly lit coffee shop that has similarly enticing offerings. However, there’s little fluorescence to attract you there.
For the most part, tracing the genealogy of most current cutting-edge bands is pretty straightforward. These days, save for a few black sheep, most bands’ patriarchs tend to be The Strokes, The Shins, The White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, etc. And yet, in a New York music scene where heterogeneity is constantly strived for but rarely reached, School of Seven Bells have created a sound all their own. They have achieved the coveted Uncategorizability, a level of enlightenment granted to a select few innovators.
The best adults are the ones that retain some sense of youth on the inside. When they released their frenetic debut, A Lesson in Crime, Tokyo Police Club were kids. And then, on their first full-length, Elephant Shell, they grew up too much too quickly. Now, on their most recent, Champ, they’ve aged quite gracefully, finding a happy medium between formula and free-form, adulthood and childhood, and/or energy and predictability. In short, this is the LP we’ve been waiting for ever since we first heard the painfully short 15 minutes that made up A Lesson in Crime.
The Shins on acid? The Shins if the Shins cared less about showcasing lead singer James Mercer? The Shins with MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden at the helm? All of these descriptors take a stab at putting some kind of label on Pitchfork.com darlings-du-jour Avi Buffalo, and yet each fails to fully capture some je ne sais quoi that allows them to be cutting-edge indie without all that pretentiousness (the same je ne sais quoi that makes it possible to be Pitchfork-endorsed and accessible, for the record). Oh, and it is worth mentioning that they sound a lot like the Shins. This Shins comparison falls flat, though, in light of Avi Buffalo’s youthful vigor (which The Shins never quite demonstrated, or maybe never had) and sprawling style of song craftsmanship. They’re a bit angsty-er than the Shins, for sure. And more psychedelic too. In short, it’s the perfect soundtrack of our generation.
The much-hyped sophomore album has proven an enigma for most bands. More often than not, indie buzz bands release follow-up albums that are intentionally completely different from their first, if only to show that they don’t want to be the same as they were (even if they really are the same as they were). Lately, these sophomore albums have tended to disappoint early fans while at the same time pleasantly surprising many reviewers. In short, the sophomore album is generally less accessible but ultimately more rewarding.
Remember when everyone made music like Dr. Dog? Neither do we. While we’re certainly happy with the music of our own day and age, it would’ve been pure magic to have seen 1960s musical greats sow the seeds of their musical arcs. Dr. Dog offers (and has been offering for quite a while) the 1960s in musical form (hear: the anthemic “Jackie Wants a Black Eye”). What sets them apart from their predecessors is that they aren’t old and decrepit like the drugged-out, washed-up musicians currently on their latest reunion tours.
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