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by Kirstie Shanley

11 Nov 2009


It was like driving through a dark night with David Lynch at the wheel.  Mount Eerie, the moniker of Phil Everum who also has released albums as The Microphones, has always been more on the human side than most musicians dare venture, exploring the outer regions of cerebral metaphor.  Elverum has also proved himself to be adept in his collaborations with others, most recently with Julie Doiron for 2008’s Lost Wisdom.

by Dave MacIntyre

10 Nov 2009


It was an unseasonably warm November night in Toronto and the humidity inside the El Mocambo had many patrons wearing t-shirts and thirsting for beer.  After a considerable wait, the Fiery Furnace’s guitarist and co-founder Matthew Friedberger stepped onto the stage inciting cheers and whistles.  Drummer Bob D’Amico and Bassist Jason Loewenstein accompanied him.  It wasn’t until they had instruments in hand that Eleanor, the group’s other co-founder and sister to Matthew, made her appearance causing fans to bolster their enthusiastic greeting.  A quick wave from Matthew and the show was under way.  Lowenstein led with a bass line that sent the speakers crackling, making them sound like they would inevitably blow.  A few adjustments on the sound board had things back under control before the rest of the band joined in.

by Kirstie Shanley

9 Nov 2009


In the vain of kids who grew up listening to ABBA and dreamed of playing to millions with a blast of arena rock against some catchy pop hooks, Sweden’s The Sounds are all about delivery.  The five-piece has been around for a decade and has slowly seen their popularity increase in North America, allowing them to sell out increasingly larger venues.  Though this was the last night of their North American tour, The Sounds seemed far from exhausted while on stage, giving the audience their all.

 

by Mehan Jayasuriya

6 Nov 2009


Upon ascending the stairs at DC9 Wednesday night, I was greeted by a haze of digital chirps and static.  Growing, a three-piece noise outfit from Brooklyn, had already launched into their set and I couldn’t make heads or tails of what I was hearing.  Order did start to emerge from the chaos, however, as I discerned a method to the madness.  Using two guitars, an army of effects pedals and countless sequencers, drum machines and synths, the band built up and tore down a series of warped, disorienting sound collages, underpinned by harsh, driving beats.  It felt like the ideal appetizer for what was to come: a set full of epic melodies constructed from bits of digital detritus.  I’m talking about Fuck Buttons.  The group ably lived up to their reputation for captivating, visceral live shows.  They opened, appropriately enough, with their latest single, “Surf Solar,” a ten-minute epic that finds buzzsaw guitars and battery-powered crescendos riding atop a massive, club-friendly beat.  Throughout the night, the band toed the line between accessibility and inscrutability, making sure to temper big melodic gestures with blasts of atonal noise.  Regardless, the crowd was hooked from the first song until the set’s abrupt end, at which point the two band members, who hadn’t uttered a word all night, simply packed up their gear and walked off as if nothing had ever happened.

by Sachyn Mital

6 Nov 2009


Courtesy of Kevin Quinlan, University of Delaware

Colin Powell may have graduated from the City College of New York with a 2.0 GPA in 1958 and he may not be savvy with computers, especially Facebook or Twitter.  But he worked his way up to four-star general, head of the NSA, Chairman on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State under George W. Bush.  And he likes hot dogs.

In his speech at the University of Delaware on November 3rd (Election Day), Former Secretary of State Colin Powell came to address “Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust and Values” as the second guest in the prestigious UD Speaks series (2008’s guest was CNN news anchor, Anderson Cooper.)  While his speech was candid, humorous, and patriotic, it did not carry any substantive weight and deliberately avoided many major criticisms.

Entertaining and engaging the audience from in front of the podium, Gen. Powell never directly addressed any major topics from the previous administration, only making light of some of the policies put in place.  A couple of days after his entitled use of the company 757 passed on to Condoleezza Rice, Powell hurriedly entered Reagan National Airport, paid cash for a plane ticket before checking into his flight without any luggage.  You might guess where this is going: he was justly subjected to a very thorough TSA security screening.  After the screener acknowledged the General, he replied “If you know I’m Colin Powell, why aren’t you over there looking for Osama?”

Though he touched on other light topics including his grandson setting up a Facebook page for him, Powell gave a few words of wisdom to President Obama to “not be pushed by the left” and “don’t not decide” because of the right about increasing troop presence in Afghanistan.  Discouraged by the sight of 6 million children without health care, he also urged reform for universal health care to all Americans.

Gen. Powell’s advice came in the form of “4 E’s.”  Economics and its creation of wealth is the first most powerful political force he said. The second most important, energy combined with economics, generates emissions and leads to the third E, environment.  He urged people to confront global warming while reprimanding skeptics.  The final E, education, demonstrated his desire to educate children.

He also corroborated his faith in America’s positive image, sharing two stories.  The first was of a Japanese billionaire who picked New York City as his favorite city in the world in an interview.  When asked why, the billionaire replied, it was “the only city in the world where people came up to him and asked him directions.”  In the second story, a NYC hot dog vendor on Park Ave did not let Gen. Powell pay for a hot dog and instead thanked him because “America has already paid me.”

And its not just the hot dog vendor who knows that America is still the “land of hope” and opportunity, Powell noted.  There are lines at American embassies around the world were people say “I want to go to America.”

Courtesy of Kevin Quinlan, University of Delaware

Courtesy of Kevin Quinlan, University of Delaware

Courtesy of Kevin Quinlan, University of Delaware

Courtesy of Kevin Quinlan, University of Delaware

Courtesy of Kevin Quinlan, University of Delaware

Courtesy of Kevin Quinlan, University of Delaware

Courtesy of Kevin Quinlan, University of Delaware

Courtesy of Kevin Quinlan, University of Delaware

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