Recess Summer Playlist

More than a month may have passed since school let out for the summer, but the summer is still very much alive and young. Need a new tune for that summer internship grind? The perfect pump-up song before those raging summer fiestas? Maybe a melody to beautifully accompany a warm summer night with friends around a campfire—maybe a little too cliché? We think so. Regardless, Recess is here to give you our must-listen-to songs for Summer 2015.

1. "Cherokee" by Kamasi Washington

This song is warm, bright, and funky--everything your summer should be.

2. "Crystals" by Of Monsters and Men

OMAM dropped their new album Beneath the Skin on June 9th, and this single is bright shiny beautiful gold. It sounds sincere and emotional but doesn't lack an eager intensity... Read more

Music Review: Before the World Was Big

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

4/5 stars

Knowing little about Girlpool, I really approached their new album, "Before the World Was Big," blind. To fill you in, Girlpool is a semi-punk rock girl duo composed of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, hailing from Los Angeles but now living in Philadelphia. And in the spirit of Lorde and young female musicians everywhere, they released their 2014 EP “Girlpool” at the ripe age of eighteen. Their sophomore album enters music scene now as they're year wiser, making for interesting music. Girlpool is at times angsty “I just have feelings” music and coming-of-age, wistful melodies. They are at their strongest when they showcase their fresh, honest lyrics, embracing their bare-bones musical style.

The album’s first track,“Ideal World” is slowly paced, a hint of what’s to come... Read more

Music Review: The Epic

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

5/5 stars

Kamasi Washington could not have picked a more fitting title for his latest album. At almost three hours long, The Epic is a three part jazz journey complete with orchestral buildups, suspenseful grooves and waxing solos. Even the cover art features Washington staring down from the heavens, sax in hand, questioning those who would dare challenge him. In his face is a reverence for jazz as an art form. Throughout The Epic, Kamasi Washington honors the old jazz legends while heralding in the new masters.

Originally from Los Angeles, Kamasi Washington is a saxophonist, composer and bandleader who has been active since 2004, when he released his first album as part of the Young Jazz Giants. Since then he has built up a reputation in his efforts to bring jazz into the present... Read more

Is Trevor Noah up to filling big shoes on 'The Daily Show'?

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

For more than a decade, The Daily Show and its comically sardonic anchor Jon Stewart were nearly synonymous. Stewart's brand of no-nonsense, hilariously intelligent, left-wing commentary about the world's current events has not only influenced the way people laugh but also the way people perceive certain pressing world issues.

Stewart is legendary.

So when I heard that Jon Stewart would be stepping down from his tenure as The Daily Show's master satirist, there were plenty of thoughts going through my head. One of them was "Why, God why? First Colbert, now Stewart?" The other was "there is no way in hell anyone with the same socially taunting flare will be able to replace Jon Stewart." And that's the thing, everybody knows you can't replace Jon Stewart.

As a result, Comedy Central took a different route. After allegedly failing to recruit Amy Poehler and Louis C... Read more

Oscars Rundown: A Night Not to Remember

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

Harris’s performance felt lackluster, unoriginal and, at times, offensive. And, no, not in the Ricky Gervais, "he’s British, so it’s okay," kind of way.

Following last year's solid hosting performance from Ellen DeGeneres and major awards for a diverse range of actors, directors and films, this year’s Academy Awards were destined to fail. That’s not to say that Neil Patrick Harris didn’t attempt to relieve some of the tension right off the bat, even opening with, "Today we honor Hollywood's best and whitest. Sorry, brightest." Though cheeky, the joke highlighted a fundamental flaw in this year’s bevy of candidates.

Nonetheless, the opening number involving Harris being inserted into former classic films reminded viewers of the seasoned Tony-hosting veteran Harris really is. Unfortunately, he just did not seem equipped for this year’s Oscars. Several of his jokes fell flat, including one bit where Octavia Spencer was supposed to be guarding his "predictions" for this year's awards... Read more

Fireworks! Wow!: Thoughts on the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

As a die-hard Seahawks fan, this year’s Super Bowl was very disappointing in ways that will haunt me for a long time. The ecstasy of that incredible bobble-catch followed up by the agony of the botched final offensive play was too much for me, and I would just like to forget about the actual sports aspect of the event for a good long while. Thankfully, I can turn my attentions to the other main attraction of the Super Bowl: Katy Perry’s halftime show.

As a primer to the rest of this article, I would just like to say that I feel no strong opinions one way or the other about Katy Perry. Like many Top 40 artists, she has songs that I love and songs that I hate yet have stuck in my head on a constant loop. Her lyrics are generic—she never sings about anything but sex or self-empowerment—and her voice is decent, but her production team and management have crafted her into an entirely unique pop phenomenon regardless... Read more

The Non-Sports Lover's Guide to the Super Bowl

I get it. Not everyone can understand why two, 250-pound bulldozers would run full speed into each other for the sake of a pigskin filled with air. I mean, why is it that Sunday, the day of rest (or let’s be honest, homework) is instead stereotypically defined by masses of men crowding around the TV with wings and nachos in hand? Well, today I hope to give all of you non-sports lovers a crash course on how to sound intelligent and interested during this upcoming Super Bowl.

The Game Itself

So, just like basically every other sport on this earth (okay, except golf) more points means you win. It’s easy. All you have to do is get the football … Wait right, the football is an ellipsoid (egg-shaped) ball made of leather that, no matter how it hits the ground, always seems to bounce in a direction no one was hoping for. Disclaimer: it looks nothing like a foot, nor do you kick it, except in the event of field goals, kick-offs, punts … actually you do seem to kick it a bit in the game. Anyway, I digress... Read more

Recess Predicts 2015

Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
Special to The Chronicle

Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens Special to The Chronicle

Here we are – 2015! We made it! As we move forward into the unknown of this new, exciting year, Recess sat around our crystal ball and summoned forth some predictions for what to expect in 2015. Whether the predictions have to do with the rise of television, the wealth of new movies being released, or seemingly random artist collaborations, Recess has you covered. Read on to see what our staff members think.

Contributing Staff Members: Adam Schutzman, Drew Haskins, Gary Hoffman, Josh Polikov, Katie Fernelius, Sid Gopinath

Special to The ChronicleRead more

My Trip to the Food Truck Rodeo

Mural on the side of Kocina, a pan-Southern American cuisine food truck.

Mural on the side of Kocina, a pan-Southern American cuisine food truck.

When I first heard about the concept of a Food Truck Rodeo, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Really? I thought, How much hipper could people possibly try to be? I’ve never thought of myself as being anti-hipster, but the idea of a dozen mobile kitchens ringed up like 19th-century gourmands on the Oregon Trail instantly brought to mind the idea of faded Phoenix tee-shirts and sardonic conversations about how much better Burning Man used to be before it got all “mainstream.”

To me, food trucks were a utilitarian concept; they brought food to you, so that you didn't have to drag yourself out of your beanbag chair and put on your Sunday best just to drive downtown and find yourself a kebab and some potato chips. The idea of turning such a practical innovation into a cultural event was puzzling. However, as a person who loves food, I couldn’t stop myself from being curious when I heard about Durham’s very own Food Truck Rodeo. So, when it came about last Sunday, I battened down my prejudices against the concept and decided to go, mentally fortifying myself to be underwhelmed... Read more

Too Much Love or Not Enough?

Special to The Chronicle

Selma Special to The Chronicle

I’m not going to lie to you guys. I woke up bright and early Thursday morning in order to see the Academy Award nominations the moment they came out. Was it a bit unnecessary? Sure. Do I regret it? Not one bit. From the moment I laid eyes on the fortunate few who will have a shot at Oscar Gold on Feb. 22, I knew we would have a competitive year at hand. Still, the Academy finds a way year after year to surprise me with unexpected contenders and, unfortunately, undeserved snubs. So, from one critic to another, here are some of the biggest shockers of 2015.

Where’s the love for Selma?

Selma, the biopic centered on the Martin Luther King Jr’s campaign to secure equal voting rights through multiple marches from Selma to Montgomery was highly popular this year with both critics and moviegoers. Though the film obtained a Best Picture nomination, David Oyelowo’s layered performance as the civil rights leader was considered a sure thing for his showing of the reverend's charisma, self-doubt, flaws and indomitable strength... Read more