The Carl Online


A House for Everyone, and Me by carlmagazine
October 30, 2010, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Campus, Feature | Tags: , , ,

By Emily Ban

I was drawn to the idea of living in Dacie’s because of the open-door spirit and the warmth of community that surrounds the house. Admittedly, part of the draw was that I could be paid to bake, something I always spent a whole lot of time doing anyway. My roommate (Emily Winer) and I wanted to help maintain the wonderful tradition of “grandma Dacie’s” while somehow incorporating ourselves into the house. While living here this summer, we started hosting themed Wednesday night dessert parties that were open to the Northfield community and we were amazed at how many people came each week! My personal favorite event which we threw together was the “1950’s Dessert Party” where we served banana cream pie, angel food cake, and about a hundred whoopee pies. Ultimately, I think I chose to live here because I wanted to live in a home and encourage other students to make Dacie’s a home too.

Living here has been a wonderful experience so far although it is a very different experience living and working here in the summer and during the school year. Granted, it is a rather unique living environment for a student, I sometimes feel as if I’m an RA for the entire community because it seems as though almost all of Carleton passes through my house. While it can be very frustrating to know that sometimes students take ingredients for their own use or borrow pots and forget to return them, living here has generally given me more faith in people. Truly, this house would not exist if there wasn’t such a large group of students who not just use the house respectfully but genuinely care about it as a beloved part of the Carleton community.
I’m always so happy to see students using the kitchen to bake and bond with their floormates over improvised recipes. I also love having the acapella groups here, I’m a very big Knights fan so I feel pretty lucky to get to listen to them practice as I work. I’m also very excited about our new floors and carpet (everyone should come by and see!) and I’m even more excited that the whole carpet installation process is over! It’s always slightly anxiety-provoking to change the house in any way because there are a lot of community members and alums who want the house to remain exactly as it was when Dacie lived here.

I personally think Dacie would love our new floors and would be happy that the carpets were so thoroughly used by adoring students that they had to be replaced at all. From what I know about her, I think that she would be very pleased that her house is still a home for so many Carleton students and for me.

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The Strength of Generosity: An Interview with Julia Uleberg by carlmagazine
October 29, 2010, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Campus, Feature | Tags: , ,

By Yuvika Diwan

Comfy couches. Haunting smells of freshly baked cookies. Tinkling music in the background. And now, crunchy carpets. As I stepped into Dacie Moses House, one sunny afternoon, I was greeted by a confused dog who came out of the kitchen to the living room, now decked up with a lavish blue carpeted floor. I walked to the kitchen, and as I had expected, there were cookies waiting for suddenly-hungry-stomachs, and I grabbed one (while thinking if I should grab another, and moving away before I could), and walked down from the kitchen into the little garden at the back of the house. There I met Julia, the coordinator of Dacie Moses House, cutting vegetables on the hammock, and then moving blocks of firewood, leftover from a bonfire that was used in one of the Sunday brunches.

Julia first came to the House, 22 years ago, many years after Dacie’s death. What brought her to live in this 100 year old house within the boundaries of a student campus? She was attracted to the ‘community idea’ of living in Dacies, and how a history had to be preserved within its confines. Dacie, when she was alive, was an ordinary resident in Northfield, who opened her house for students, feeding them with the best that her cooking skills could create. After her retirement, she is believed to have used her pension money to maintain the same relationship with students as long as she could. In return, students volunteered to run her errands, paid her grocery bills, and later when she was unable to bake on her own, baked for her and other students, continuing this tradition. And this tradition amazingly continues to exist. Julia calls it ‘the spirit and strength of generosity’ that Dacie has left behind. According to Julia, with Dacie’s death the ownership of the house passed on into the hands of students. Student ownership is now kept alive by her and the student workers and through continuously organized events in the house. It is an open house, which means any student can come in and make use of its services. This is one aspect that particularly appeals to me about coming and hanging out in Dacies. Even as I looked all around me, while talking to Julia, I noticed a left over cup of water, a forgotten baseball glove, an opened sheet of music and cushions that looked sat down on. The house is happily lived in by so many people, and when they walk out from the front door, they leave some imprints behind. This is a house bundled with layers of memories. Nothing lasts forever, and the house has become more and more fragile with the amount of traffic and usage that it undergoes every term. There have been many occasions when the existence of the house has been threatened by people who feel that it could be much better used. But the student energy has brought life and energy to this house and so it has stayed. There is still a lot of concern for it, not just among the alumni, but also current Carleton students, who never knew Dacie in person. Referring to the replacement of 20 year old carpets, she says,’We are just dressin’ the old gal.’

Before I left Julia and Dacies, I reminded myself to grab another cookie.



A Willow is Planted, a Star is Born: Introducing Willow Smith by carlmagazine
October 27, 2010, 5:31 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: ,

By Rachel Feinberg

Recently, Justin Beiber has dominated the airwaves with his prepubescent but catchy tunes.  King Beibz better watch out, because there is a new girl on the block: Willow Smith. Willow Smith, the nine-year-old daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, just burst onto the music scene with the catchy, upbeat jam, “Whip My Hair.” The song combines a fast, percussion-heavy dance beat with Rihanna-esque vocals. The lyrics are pretty simple. 80% of them are the repetition of the phrase “I whip my hair back and forth.” The rest of the lyrics are about confidence and women and girls feeling empowered. “Ladies if you feel me/Do it to whip your hair/Don’t matter if its long or short/Do it to whip your hair.”

With the catchy song comes a fun video. It opens with a whimsical scene of Willow entering a dull silent classroom where the walls and furniture are all a sterile white. Soon she brings it to life and into color by playing her music and whipping her hair dipped into bright colored paints. The later scenes show Willow and other students dancing in other parts of the school. Her fashions in this video channel similar looks to Janelle Monae or the aforementioned Rihanna with intricate hairdos, a face bedazzled with diamonds and trendy, futuristic outfits.

As the daughter of two of America’s biggest stars, there is no question that nepotism played a role in her rise. She was featured in her father’s blockbuster, I Am Legend, as well as Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. She was also signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label.  It is easy to draw a comparison to Miley Cyrus (pre-Vanity Fair photoshoot) when looking at Willow. They both have famous fathers and as youngsters entered careers on screen and in music, garnering fans from their tween base and beyond. Perhaps Willow’s career will go in a different direction than Miley as her sound is a little less poppy. Even Nicki Minaj released a rap over “I Whip My Hair.”

The future of young Willow Smith seems bright for now with tons of attention in the media, the blogosphere, and even a tribute video from Jersey Shore’s Snooki. I wish the best of luck to Willow; as she embarks on her career as she brings to the airwaves prepubescent sugarcoating combined with a spicy twist of swagger.



The Sounds of Violence: 10 Scary (and Possibly Spooky) Songs by carlmagazine
October 23, 2010, 8:24 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

by Andreas Stoehr

Want to put together the ultimate Halloween playlist? Well, we at The Carl have got you covered! And you have just enough time before the big night to, uh, purchase these songs through perfectly legitimate means. Or something. So give your dorm that macabre atmosphere with these classics of scaaaaary music…

10. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus

Back when “goth” meant something more than a high school fashion statement, Bauhaus released this tribute to vampiric icon Lugosi, who shuffled off this mortal coil in 1956. Long and atmospheric, the song was featured in the opening scene of The Hunger (1983), where it helped establish mood better most of the noisy, confusingly edited scenes to follow. Its eerie simplicity set an example that director Tony Scott would’ve been wise to follow. Sample lyrics: “The virginal brides file past his tomb / Strewn with time’s dead flowers…”

9. “Pet Sematary” by The Ramones

Written for Mary Lambert’s 1987 film of the same name, it was the song that finally brought together punk rock and Stephen King. In their typically repetitive fashion, The Ramones beg not to be interred in the titular burying ground. The band had a history with the horror genre – see the Freaks references in “Pinhead” – so they were a pretty natural fit for this material. But once you’ve heard the Ramones’ rendition, you should listen to the even creepier cover by the Swedish band The Tiny. Sample lyrics: “And the night, when the moon is bright, / Someone cries, something ain’t right…”

8. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson could be a pretty creepy guy, and I’m not talking about his appearance or personal life. I’m referring to his frequent use of monsters and the supernatural in his music. (See also: the multimedia extravaganza Ghosts.) And with the assistance of John Landis and a rapping Vincent Price, “Thriller” is not only one of the best scary songs; it’s also a truly great horror movie. Werewolves and zombies and meta-commentary, oh my! Sample lyrics: “It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark…”

7. “Transylvanian Concubine” by Rasputina

Much of Rasputina’s music reveals a morbid sensibility at work (see also “Christian Soldiers“), and frontwoman Melora Creager sure has a knack for blending idiosyncratic humor, wordplay, and gruesome imagery. In this song from their album Thanks for the Ether, she invites the listener to a vampiric community of sexual abandon. The song also introduced Rasputina to the wider world through its appearance on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sample lyrics: “You can never be too rich or too / Thin. The blood has run out…”

6. “In Heaven” by Peter Ivers

In Blue Velvet and Mulholland Dr., David Lynch gave disturbing implications to Roy Orbison (“In Dreams,” “Llorando”) and Bobby Vinton (“Blue Velvet,” duh), but Eraserhead‘s “In Heaven” is probably the most aggressively surreal use of music in the whole Lynch canon. From the gurgling ambient noise in the background to Ivers’ twangy delivery and the shaky organ accompaniment, every aspect of the song contributes to the deranged vision of “heaven” that Eraserhead’s hero Henry pines for. Sample lyrics: “In heaven, everything is fine / In heaven, everything is fine…

5. “Gloomy Sunday” by anyone

Rezső Seress’s infamously depressing song carries decades’ worth of depressing rumors, including ones about its composer’s own suicide. But that hasn’t stopped generations of musicians from covering it! Some of the best include Billie Holiday, Artie Shaw, Lydia Lunch, Portishead, and Sinéad O’Connor, each of whom gives it a unique (and always depressing) spin. It’s not called the Hungarian suicide song for nothing. Sample lyrics: “My heart and I / Have decided to end it all.”

4. “Tubular Bells” by Mike Oldfield

Maybe this wouldn’t be considered “scary” if it hadn’t been used in The Exorcist. But hey, it was, and now it’s impossible to hear those bells a-ringing without conjuring up thoughts of danger, darkness, and Pazuzu. They just sound so redolent of both the 1970s and the unexplained. This also makes great mood music for frightening trick-or-treaters.

3. “Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima” by Krzysztof Penderecki

I don’t know nearly enough about musical technique to say why “Threnody” is so chilling, but its feral, anarchic sound – and the use of Penderecki’s other music in movies like The Shining and Shutter Island – confirm its status as scary music. Blame pop culture for putting this commemoration of a national tragedy into such vulgar contexts, but it’s now impossible to hear it now without thinking of long, narrow hallways and something lurking around the corner.

2. “This Is Halloween” by Danny Elfman

One of the best songs from Henry Selick’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, it’s a paean to everything good and scary about the season, from “the one hiding under your bed” to “the clown with the tear-away face.” It’s also informed by the subtle undertones of poignancy, regret, and tradition that fill Nightmare. The whole segment is a triumph of beautifully grotesque animation meeting catchy songwriting – and it’s only the first of the film’s many musical treats. Others include “Sally’s Song” and “Oogie Boogie’s Song,” or you can try Marilyn Manson’s not-for-all-tastes rendition of “This Is Halloween.” Sample lyrics: “Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright /It’s our town, everybody scream…”

1. “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett

Pickett’s one-hit wonder is really the beginning and the end of popular Halloween-themed music. It’s harmlessly tongue-in-cheek, but contains a deep and infectious reverence for the Universal horror films of the 1930s. Incorporating Karloff, Lugosi, and the rest into the musical fads of early ’60s, the “Monster Mash” is a reflection of just how ingrained in American pop culture these monsters were. It’s also the quintessential song for radio airplay on October 31 – and the same should go for your iTunes! Sample lyrics: “The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds / Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds…”



by carlmagazine
October 22, 2010, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

By Josiah Burns


So The Social Network is a really good movie. For all you creeps
out there, that’s my current Facebook status. I’ve been to the theater
three times this year (also for Inception and Winter’s Bone), and
Fincher’s latest is easily my favorite. It’s not just about Facebook or
its creator, but also the people he screwed over. The narrative flows
more like The Godfather than a minifeed, jumping between betrayals
within a misogynistic empire of greed.

On paper, it doesn’t sound that fun to watch Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse
Eisenberg) be a dick for two hours. On celluloid, Eisenberg’s so good
it’s a blast. Acerbic stares and veiled scoffs abound as Zuckerberg
outsmarts Harvard, the law, and the Internet itself. He’s a viciously
lovable devil, always ten steps ahead of his audience. Aaron Sorkin (A
Few Good Men, The West Wing) reasserts his reputation as one of
Hollywood’s sharpest screenwriters, alternating between hyper-quick
dialogues and dizzying coding sequences. Against Trent Reznor’s
pulsating score, Fincher sculpts extended music videos. Who knew that
programming FaceMash (a proto-Facebook) could be the subject of the
year’s most virtuosic montage? He’s also not afraid to employ daring
aesthetic techniques to cover important scenes. For example, Fincher
covers the film’s crucial crew race in tilt-shift cinematography, highly
abstracting backgrounds in order to intensify subjectivity.

I think The Social Network is David Fincher’s best film. I’m a
sucker for epic romances, but Eric Roth’s frame narrative in The Curious
Case of Benjamin Button is too clumsy. Here, Sorkin and Fincher
seamlessly weave past and present, overlapping sound cues and repeating
set-ups to create fluid transitions. The Social Network tells an honest,
universal story of ambition, corruption, and its humble origins. In
comparison, Fight Club seems sexist and culturally irrelevant. Zodiac,
while itself something of a masterpiece, runs a reel too long. The
Social Network doesn’t have a single extraneous moment. Each shot
advances the narrative; each character shows a different side of
humanity. Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake match Eisenberg’s manic
intensity, charging the film with nonstop energy. These are three of
many technicians within a greater artistic hierarchy. Fincher’s
storytelling empire (itself a network of actors, crew members, and
rotoscopers) is a well-oiled machine, one of Hollywood’s best.



Remix Roundup: Islands by xx by carlmagazine
October 22, 2010, 12:32 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

By. R. Orion Martin

UK trio xx sneaks into your life unnoticed. They background your AT&T commercial, your Law and Order, your Gossip Girl. They show up on Jimmy Kimmel Live and one of them almost cries. Lucky for you, there are plenty of remixes out there to help you process the experience.

xx (original)

Islands is home base for xx’s carefully articulate sound. The restrained riffs and drum machine complement the whispered exchange between singer-guitarist Romy Madley Croft and singer-bassist Oliver Sim. The song has a powerful progression without being forceful, rare for such young artists (all born in the 90’s).

Jamie of xx (remix)

While it’s Croft and Sim whose vocals appear on Islands, Jamie Smith is the architect of their sound. In a special remix, he boils the song down to it’s essential components, limiting the drum machine to only 30 seconds of the song. Good listening for late walks home from the libe.

Yasumo (remix)

Melbourne remix artists Yanni Nair and Simon Salerno truncate the rhythm for this more accessible but less satisfying variant. There are no new components to the song, they’re simply mixed to give the song more rhythm and pronounced pauses. Perfect for off board dinner parties.

Nosaj Thing (remix)

Jason Chung is an LA-based producer firmly rooted in the Low End Theory scene. His remix of Islands is almost a reversal of what Yasumo has done. Where Yasumo tears apart and rebuilds the song as a new creature (stronger, faster, if not necessarily better), Nosaj replays most components of the song but stays truer to its original intention. Like the original, Nosaj creates a rich tonal environment in which the vocals can shine. This remix is best for waking up from a nap.

Shakira (cover)

Curve ball of all curve balls. It’s not uncommon for superstars to allude to a passing interest in up and comers, but Shakira is taking it to the next level (Universe Cup). Her cover spares no effort in turning Islands into the pop ballad it’s not. A good choice for your studied-abroad-in-South-America-and-gained-new-perspective-on-how-Shakira-is-actually-a-deep-and-multi-layered-artist-and-you-shouldn’t-judge-her-I-mean-Shewolf-was-good-right? roommate.



Modern Classis: Hercules and Love Affair by carlmagazine
October 21, 2010, 2:23 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

by Charlie Rosenthal
Disco gets a bum rap. Every history of punk music begins with some sort of screed against the materialistic, drug-fueled excesses of terribly trashy, popular disco, much as every account of the beginnings of grunge attacks the similar excesses of hair metal. The problem is that disco is inherently easy to understand. It is very uncomplicated music. You dance to it. You do cocaine to it. You abuse polyester to it. There isn’t too much deep, deep introspection or social commentary in the music. Even in the academic sphere, disco is hated. For example, in his textbook Introduction to Black Studies, Maulana Karenga (the guy who invented Kwanzaa) brutally attacks disco as a white, pop bastardization of traditionally black forms of music, such as soul and funk. Admittedly, disco does deserve some of this hatred. Some disco does really, really, really suck. However, occasionally, disco can be brilliant.

In 2008, Andy Butler of DFA Records, under the pseudonym Hercules and Love Affair, along with a large cast of guest vocalists, most famously Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, released a self-titled album. Drawing from the wells of disco and classic house music, Butler crafted an album that smashes nearly all of the misconceptions about disco. There is discussion of important themes, ranging from aging to acceptance. The musical chops are impeccable, with Tim Goldsworthy and Butler expertly blending horns, synthesizers, drums, vocal samples, and more exotic instruments to create a lush, deep musical environment. On the most basic level, Hercules and Love Affair is a great dance album. I’m not sure you could play it at a Sayles Dance, but you could certainly get away with it on some wildly progressive dance floor in either New York or Stockholm. It’s grooveable. However, the greatest triumph of Hercules and Love Affair is the addition of vocals. It’s that addition that changes it from a dance album or a party album to a listening album. It’s not really meditative headphone music (it’s far too bouncy for that), but it’s certainly deep enough to be really, really listened to.

Lead single “Blind” is perhaps the most evocative of Andy Butler’s uncanny ability to work vocalists in. The aforementioned Antony steps in and delivers perhaps his defining performance. Coming across as a sort of male diva, Antony’s voice quavers, soars, shrieks, and generally works to it’s fullest. For example, during the bridge, when most of the instrumental tracks drop out, he soars to unimaginable heights. He then rolls along, low, sort of murmuring about feeling things. It is, without a doubt, one of the most emotive vocal performances in recent electronic music history. Antony also shows up on album opener “Time Will,” a drastically different track. Instead of matching “Blind” and its towering heights, “Time Will” moves along at a slower burn. Antony doesn’t show off the full extent of his vocal talents, instead opting to mutter a bit over some handclaps, crying synths, and thumping drums. Otherwise, vocalists like Nomi Ruiz on “You Belong,” a house song based around an intelligible vocal sample, and a supremely smooth Kim Ann Foxman on “Athene” always add something to the track, creating uniqueness and an aural signpost to remember each song by.

Apparently, Hercules and Love Affair will be coming out with a new album in January. Whether or not its as good as their debut album remains to be seen, but, for now, we have this one testament to what can happen to disco when put into capable, modern hands.