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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.

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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.



Don’t Have A Halloween Costume? Have Faith by carlmagazine
October 20, 2010, 8:18 pm
Filed under: Society | Tags: , ,

By Dan Antoszyk

Halloween is fast approaching; do you know what you want to be? Well, let’s brainstorm. What kind of creature is full of deceit, envy, and maliciousness? What type of beast gives birth to babies that are inherently evil? What is that one being that purposely betrayed the creative force of love? You. Why not just be a sinner for Halloween? You won’t even have to dress up.

Unashamed is the campus publication that deals with all matters related to “faith,” and this October’s issue focused on the concepts of good and evil and how they relate to human nature. This topic turned out to be perfectly themed for the holiday at the end of the month, as some of the submissions turned out to be downright spooky. While not every piece was in this vein, there was one especially forceful section that argued for a worldview in which we recognize that all people are born evil. The article and the magazine itself are meant to provoke discussion, and I have been sufficiently provoked.

First, the author lays out the argument from the good Old Testament. Adam and Eve betrayed God, and our lives now “reflect the lack of trust” that began with this original sin. While God may have created us to be good, “we have chosen to turn away from Him,” abusing the free will with which He, “in His love,” endowed upon us. Luckily, Jesus was sent down to die for us all on the cross. By making Jesus “king of our lives,” we may yet be able to avoid “the punishment of eternal death” which God must mete out onto those who stray too far. This is all very well, but it is also internally inconsistent. If God were omnipotent, why would He (She/It) create people that He knew He would have to punish? What’s the use of free will without knowledge in the first place? Was it only Adam and Eve who really had free will, deciding for everybody else that we would be born sinners? I wasn’t even aware that in my “heart and life” I had chosen to “forsake God,” and I’m not quite ready to call this ‘an accurate explanation of my own human nature.

The author then tells us that there are “many instances ” that illustrate how “human nature is tainted with sin.”  To prove this point the reader is asked to closely observe a baby. Babies do not need to be taught to cry when hungry or when their diaper is soiled. This is proof that little children are predisposed to put themselves before everybody else; thy are selfish, and selfishness is the root of evil. “What is the middle letter of sin?” asks the author. “I.”

Well, perhaps babies can seem a bit scary when one gets to thinking about them, and maybe they do seem to only care about themselves. Yet, what would you expect a baby to do? Politely inquire for some peeled grapes? Sit quiet0ly in a dirty pamper and ponder how to do good deeds? Suppose babies (and grownups for that matter) do put themselves before others. Is that really a bad thing? I think we might recognize that by caring about others we also help ourselves, and this is totally ok. I would contend that when people try to follow God and avoid eternal punishment, they are engaging in a self-serving action. So what? They may be doing wonderful things for the world. At the same time, this does not mean that humans can’t engage in selfless action. There are plenty of cases in which one person, before there is even time to think of the consequences, will put him or herself in harm’s way just to help another.

It sometimes seems like volume 4 issue 1 of Unashamed had the message of “be ashamed.” Yes, we can look back to Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening of the mid 16th century to see that this idea has always played a role in our society. For the most part there has since been an evolution to the point where today, there are not many who think it necessary to actually live in fear. At the same time, accepting human nature as sinful has helped many people live their lives, and it continues to do so now. So, if you wish to be a sinner for Halloween, by all means go ahead.   However, I would like to add that really, you don’t have to.



Today… by carlmagazine
October 20, 2010, 6:18 pm
Filed under: Words | Tags:

By Shavera Seneviratne

18th May 2009

Today
I heard
What I thought
I would never hear
In my life.

Today
I saw
An end to
What I feared
Would never end.

Today
I felt
So much…

Today…

Today
I will
Let the relief
Seep in.

Today
I will
Let myself dare
To hope.

Today
I will
Remember
What it cost.

Today
I will
Say a prayer
It will never happen again.

Today…

Yes, today,
I finally
I woke up
To peace.
To a country
United.
To a nation
Under one flag.
To a future
With promise.
To a place
That will be beautiful once more.

Yes, today
I watch
As it rains
For the first time
In weeks,
Washing away
The blood,
The hate,
The fear,
The horror,
The agony.

Today
I will believe,

Today
I will hope,

Today
I will dream,

Today
I will
Leave Yesterday behind
And
Await Tomorrow

Today…

Yes, today
There is faith,

Today
There is trust,

Today
There is optimism,
That Mother Lanka
Will be Paradise again…

Today
Change begins,

Today
Healing begins,

Today
We learn from Yesterday’s mistakes,
And rebuild for Tomorrow.

Yes,
Today
Is
Finally
Here.



Let’s Get It On Campus by carlmagazine
October 19, 2010, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Campus, Society | Tags: , , ,

By J. Woodcock Strong

It’s true that Carleton students love to scale campus buildings, it’s also true that Carleton students like to scale the heights of sensual passion in campus buildings (and other non-dorm room locations).  Here’s a little guide to some of the cozy, crazy, and kind of bizarre spots.

EAST CAMPUS

1. The Arb: For a rustically good time hit up Cowling Arboretum.  Those who frequent the Arb for a good time say it’s “real nice with a blanket and a couple bottles of wine.”

2. Evans: The Evans lounge may seem sketchy but it provides ample space and couches. It’s easily accessible after a Cave dance or an Evans Dining Hall dance, or even just an MSR and Ron Diaz addled night in an E Column quad.

3. Cowling Recreation Center: For a steamy time both literally and figuratively; the Cowling Gym saunas are a sure thing. One must be very careful because Professors, students and Northfield citizens enjoy using the pool and sauna so either try and stay quiet or find a way to break in. I bet it’s been done.

4. Watson: There are a lot of choices for getting busy in Watson.
a.  Basement Kitchen: A good drunken spot is the basement Watson kitchen. No one ever goes there so privacy is practically guaranteed.     Unfortunately, there is no seating/laying apparatus other than the floor, so perhaps this locale is better saved for those drunkest of nights.
b. Laundry Room: Between the tables, and machines, and clothes for extra softness the laundry room services as a unique but cozy spot… as long as it’s a time when no one wants to wash their clothes.

CENTRAL CAMPUS

5. The Concert Hall: The practice rooms can serve as a nice spot with piano benches and soft carpets. Perhaps, start off with some serenading and foreplay. The Concert Hall itself has nice acoustics so it’s pretty awesome for loud sex.

11. Boliou: Boliou 104 might have the worst desks in terms of comfort and note-taking ease, however, the big screen has big appeal. Whether you’re into The Notebook or  8th Street Latinas, setting up the projector is a great way to set the mood.  Maybe if you don’t make it all the way in Boliou, it could serve as a stop on the way to the Arb, the first on this sexual tour of Carleton.

WEST CAMPUS

6. Scoville Hall: Go down to lower Scoville, to the GSC lounge, if you want a good time. Let the Gender and Sexuality Center be your Sexuality Center and enjoy the comfy couches and basement seclusion.

7. Dacie Moses: Everyone knows chocolate is an aphrodisiac and there’s usually plenty of it at Dacie Moses.  Enjoy lots of sweets and the comfy couches. Keep the lights low unless you like to feel like you’re banging at your grandma’s house.

8. Musser: The first Musser study room (the weird room on the left with minimal windows and no TV) was the first random location I ever heard about someone having sex in at Carleton. It’s already pretty overheated; so I suppose encounters in this spot are steamy from the get go. The generally sketchy room, popular for post-1AM homework, is filled with lots of couches, chairs and tables. This diversity in furniture can make for wild times in a rather plain room.

9. Laird Stadium: While the benches may be hard and cold, the Stadium is certainly a dramatic place for a love and/or lust filled night. The elevation leaves you closer to a beautiful blanket of stars – a great way to set the mood, unless there are late night lap runners.

10. Willis: The Economics Lounge to the left of the front stairs is super old school and beautiful. It has nice couches and chairs. It’s the perfect place to let a discussion about Keynes turn to one about Kinsey.



Flow Job: Diving in for Seconds? by carlmagazine
October 17, 2010, 6:27 pm
Filed under: Campus, Society

BY MADELINE MUZZI AND GALEN GORSKI

Friends, we at The Carl understand your need to hook up. Sometimes randomly, sometimes obsessively… Who are we to judge? The problem is what comes next. After sharing a passionate moment with a possibly special someone, the best course of action can be unclear, and we would like to help. Another hook up or was once enough? Cut out the following flow chart. Stick it to your mini fridge. It is specifically designed for college students and guaranteed to guide you through any post-hook up scenario possible. All decisions are based on a thorough analysis of  context and the twelve principals of successful hook ups. The dashed lines are NO and the solid lines are YES. Good luck.



Nonrequired Reading: Faculty Members’ Favorite Books by carlmagazine
October 17, 2010, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Literature | Tags: , , , ,

By Marika Cristofides

 

Roy Elveton, Philosophy

Quite honestly the things I go back to with some regularity are Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and Tomas Beckett’s Molloy/Malone Dies/the Un-nameable. The Wolf novel is just incredibly beautiful, thoughtful prose — eminently readable. She’s a master of the English language. For the Beckett, it’s just some of the most thought provoking writing I’ve ever read. Also, Heigell’s Phenomenology of Spirit. It’s bizarre and obscure but immensely suggestive. I don’t know that I understand it.

Pierre Hecker, English

Can we just presume all of Shakespeare and Austen? Books sometimes come to you at the right moment. I was a teenager when I read Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man for the first time, and its depiction of how dehumanizing we can be to one another made a powerful impression. Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, which I also first read in my late teens, struck me not only as scathingly funny but strangely comforting. It confirmed my suspicions that Scheisskopf was in charge. You think you’re alone in seeing the world a certain way and then books like these — even if they’re about a black man in a New York basement in the 1930s, or a bombardier over Italy in the Second World War, make you realize you’re not.

Angela Curran, Philosophy

Umberto Ecco’s The Name of the Rose. I’m a huge mystery fan; I gobble up all different sorts of mystery stuff. It’s an intellectual’s DaVinci Code. He gives an elaborate set of clues that you have to figure out. It’s a whodunit murder mystery in this 12th century abbey, and William of Baskerville is a sort of stand-in for Sherlock Holmes. It’s a book about different ways of looking at the world; the coexistence of religion, philosophy, and science. The guy solves the mystery using science and philosophy and feels that this is not incompatible with his religion. It’s a lot of interesting intellectual history. It’s about the birth of modern philosophy out of medieval philosophy. There’s a great film version of the book with Sean Connery and Christian Slater. I like the Harry Potter books too.

John Weiss, Astronomy

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I’ve heard rumors that Pratchett wrote 90% and Gaiman wrote 90%. It’s sort of this weird hybrid of both of them. Terry Pratchett, he has this way of twisting the English language around his little finger; he takes these common English sayings and makes them interesting. When I was writing my thesis I couldn’t fall asleep at night, thinking about the job market. I read an article that said you should read something funny when you couldn’t sleep. I would read Pratchett for a while and be out. Gaiman is also very good at language, but it’s more the stories. He tells wonderful stories.

Raka Mitra, Biology

My favorite book ever is the Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. My family is from India — from Calcutta. That’s where Jhumpa Lahiri is from. She writes about second-generation kids. There are so many little idiosyncrasies in the book that are specific to how I grew up. The food that they mention is like what my mom made. The main character had a formal name and was called by his nickname; I have a formal name, but Raka is my nickname. I also really like Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the Red Tent by Anita Diamant, and the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Connie Walker, English

All of Austen, but especially Persuasion, because it is the most emotionally thrilling of her books. And Cloud Atlas, which is a new book by David Mitchell. It’s technically brilliant – a wonderfully told story, and deeply interesting.

Bill North, History

I think the book that sort of made the biggest impact on me and that I’ve gone back to a couple of times is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. I like it both for the ideas, and how it talks about teaching and different ways of teaching — how we see or don’t see the world around us. The main character teaches rhetoric. He tells his students to describe a building in Bozeman, Montana. One particular student can’t seem to do it. There’s nothing to write about. “I don’t know how to write,” she says. He tells the student to choose a more specific topic. She says, “I still can’t figure out what to write.” “Write about this one specific brick.” She has too much to write. It was sort of my first encounter with philosophy of science. How do they choose the hypotheses they make? I liked the way it was exploring that choices are made.  Also at that time the idea of a motorcycle trip across the country appealed to me.

Ross Elfline, Art History

My favorite book is Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. I have a nasty habit of changing my favorite book depending on what book I’ve read most recently. His prose is so flat and clunky — not flowery, and I love that. It harkens back to this sort of noir-ish style. I love the completely bizarre quality of the writing. There’s this deep engagement with the trauma of World War II in Japan that I find amazing. Another book that used to be number one for me is Possession by A. S. Byatt. It’s now a really shitty movie. Possession I like because it’s a book by a nerd about all of her nerdish passions. It’s an interweaving, or a sort of archival of things.