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Jim Newell


Word on the Street

The first time I saw the ballot for Best of Penn '07, the nominations sent me in a tizzy. That Econ professor earns a nod for "allegedly" bludgeoning his wife to death?

My kingdom for a rhyme

Jay-Z famously rapped on Kanye West's College Dropout that he's "not a businessman" but a "business, man." Cocksure, of course, but kind of an insightful self-examination.

From the Editor

During the 2004 election, The Daily Pennsylvanian polled students for their presidential picks. A mere 19 percent of students said they intended to vote for George W.

Penn Point

Columbia! The gem of the ocean / The home of the brave and the free, / The shrine of each patriot's devotion, / A world offers homage to thee! These lyrics come from an 1843 song which, according to Wikipedia, is credited to T.

From the editor

A little factoid, if you will: Penn considers students who take three courses full-time. As soon as I found this out, a few days ago, I dropped my fourth course.

From the Editor

One night last spring, my ex-roommate called Greek Lady at 2 a.m. to order delivery. Probably a buffalo chicken cheese steak (because it's ridiculous). For the first time all school year, they knew him without even asking.

From the editor

The first time I heard of Gabe Oppenheim's story on Stephen Glass - this week's cover story - was in a writing course we took together.


A scene in the endearingly obnoxious 2002 movie, The Rules of Attraction, shows a small college's "End of the World" party, and the background tunage is the Rapture's "Out of the Races and onto the Tracks." Shindigs that feature burning wicker men as their main attraction are usually fodder for that Wicca guy you met once (and never again). But with that kind of booty-shakin' song playing in the background, you'd be a fool not to go.

Deviled Eggs That Even Jesus Would Like

Ingredients: 3-4 eggs Pepper 1-2 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tbsp mustard 1 tsp Paprika Plus pinches of any of the following you wish to include: anchovy or sardine paste, chopped ginger, cream cheese, chutney, caviar, smoked salmon, devilled ham, grated Roquefort, chopped chives, basil, tarragon, etc.

It's Gettin' Heavy

Much of the hype surrounding the Flaming Lips' long-in-the-works 12th album jumped on frontman Wayne Coyne's murmurs about "more guitars." The Oklahoma City veterans' last two albums, 1999's brilliant The Soft Bulletin and 2002's kinda brilliant Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, eschewed the band's tattered punk threads for heady, orchestrated prog.

The Super Furries Move on

We killed them. We cut them up, and we had one last show where we had little children dressed up as yetis.

Of Mouse and men

MF Doom and DJ Danger Mouse are so hung up on gimmickry that to call The Mouse and the Mask a "concept album" comes almost as an afterthought.

Word on the street: I Am Not A Nittany Lion

It's about 2 a.m. during the last night of N.S.O., and I'm walking home with my roommate. As we pass the dueling tampons on Locust, these two freshman ruffians cross our path and call us names.

Dance Dance

The album is the half-baked offspring of recycled ideas and hasty creation. The band toured for most of 2004 and 2005, writing and recording the new record whenever they could squeeze in studio time.

The Rest of The Year in Music

Just as with movies, the end of any given year generally sees the most anticipated releases in music, and for the rest of 2005 a plethora of fervently awaited albums will be released on a fairly consistent schedule.

The Half-Blood Prince Is...

The Harry Potter phenomenon is against the writing of this review. Ardent fans of J.K. Rowling's enterprise cannot bear to hear a word of what goes on in the novel without having read it themselves.

Bad News Billy Bob

"Show me a guy who does not like to drink or like women and I'll kiss your ass." Over the course of his acting career, Billy Bob Thornton has built a reputation as Hollywood's go-to guy for the burnt-out, disturbed, aging alcoholic roles.

I done saw me some Live 8

Elvis Costello once famously said "writing about music is like dancing about architecture -- it's a really stupid thing to want to do." While music writers like myself try to push that quote to the farthest reaches of memory, its summoning seemed inevitable watching this weekend's Live 8 concert in Philadelphia.

The Unique Common

When this writer was buying Common's Be from Tower Records, the attendant felt the need to say "this is a good little album.

The So-far Music wrap-up

While 2005 hasn't (yet) seen the usual universally-blown records of recent years (see Outkast, the Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand), it has actually proven to be a consistently better year for great new albums than either 2003 or 2004.
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