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Alex Jacobs


ARTICLES

Word on the Street

If you've walked by Williams Hall this year, you've probably seen "Ron Paul" scrawled in large chalk letters across one of its brick walls.

Forever young

God bless Neil Young. At 62, he's as earnest as ever - supremely confident in his well-worn niche. In 2007, it takes some kind of self-assurance to sing, without a hint of irony: "I'm just a passenger / On this old freight train." For the last 40 years, Young has alternated with almost stunning regularity between country-inflected acoustic ballads and gritty electric numbers.

Defibrillator

Mulatu Astatke Ethiopiques, Vol. 4 1998 With the Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke, Jim Jarmusch already did some of the resuscitation for us.

battle of the hip-hop allstars

If there is one thing hip-hop loves more than expensive cars, loose women, and the occasional drive-by, it's a highly publicized battle involving its biggest stars.

Word on the Street

As baseball season gets underway, one man looms larger - much larger - than most: Barry Bonds. Bonds, of course, is on pace to break Hank Aaron's 755 career home run mark, one of baseball's most hallowed records.

Navigating locust walk

Freud once said, "Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average." Nowhere is that more clear than on Penn's great libidinal playground, Locust Walk.

Apathy or Activism?

For 40 years, Penn students have traveled by bus to Washington, D.C. to use their voices and their bodies to try to change the world.

A Final Bow

Around 9:30 on a Tuesday night, the Ortlieb's jam session is up and running. It's a smaller crowd than usual, but it's still early.

It's a listening party!

"Let's Make Love and Listen to Death from Above" by CSS Joe: At first I wasn't sure I liked it, but then Vince turned the bass up.

Friday night fever

Luke Jenner, singer-guitarist for the Rapture, looks serious in a cramped dressing room downstairs at Pure nightclub.

Meow mix

In 1974, drinking buddies John Lennon and Harry Nilsson decided to make a record. The Nilsson-penned, Lennon-produced result was Pussy Cats, equal parts riotous sing-along and nostalgic meditation.

A band you can't refuse

The Rapture are back. After their meteoric rise in 2003 on the strength of hit single "House of Jealous Lovers," the band spent a few years out of the public eye.

Fairy Godfather

In the shadow of the massive success of his former band, Pixies frontman Frank Black has been diligently recording under his own name since 1993.

No Man is an Island

By all accounts, life on the road is nasty, brutish and long. And on the eve of a North American tour, Islands' Nick Diamonds is sick in a Toronto hotel room, speaking in low tones to protect his voice.

Rock musings

From the time I left campus last spring until June 14, I had Radiohead on my mind. Mine was an obsession that verged on downright mania, transforming my usually tepid opinions into axioms and outright platitudes.

Convenient campus cures

Tony Luke's may not be the destination of choice for the cheese steak cognoscenti, but necessity is the mother of invention ... and at 1 a.m.

Flying Coach

In the wake of Ashlee Simpson's lip-synch debacle on SNL nearly two years ago, Kelefa Sanneh wrote a diatribe against its most strident critics in The New York Times. "The Rap Against Rockism" asked "Could it really be a coincidence that rockist complaints often pit straight white men against the rest of the world?" (A rockist, of course, being a subscriber to the creed of authenticity and a strict guitars-drums-bass worldview.) In other words, is "alternative rock," in all its monikers, yet another white boys' club defined by its own exclusivity? Coachella, a documentary on the six-year-old Indio, California music festival of the same name, incessantly begs such questions by refusing to play to its strengths.

Simply Chaos

Saturday night, on a relatively bare stage at the Harold Prince Theater, sat the two classic staples of stand-up comedy: a mic stand and a wooden stool.

Not all british rock stars are created equal

Hopping the pond makes for strange bedfellows. Though the Subways had an early U.S. breakthrough this fall on that great cultural arbiter, The O.C., a February release date has lumped their debut with the latest wave of British musical exports.

Black and Blues

On their way to the bathroom on a flight to Seattle, the Black Keys spotted the lead singer from Train in first class.
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