What Recess Is Thankful For in 2014

Special to The Chronicle

Groot Special to The Chronicle

Every year, the arts offer up a wealth of awesome culture that is both fun and edifying. 2014 was no exception. Here are some things that happened in 2014 for which Recess is thankful.

  • Taylor Swift’s excellent, ear-wormy and hater-defying new album 1989
  • Reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch on hot summer days outside
  • True Detective for revitalizing the detective show
  • The McConnaisance in general. Seriously, how good was Matthew McConaughey’s 2014? With True Detective, Interstellar and his Oscar-winning turn in Dallas Buyers Club, he dominated the cultural conversation... Read more

Reflection on "Appropriate or Appropriation: Native American fashion show"

Izzi Clark / The Chronicle

As consumers, we tend to make our purchase decisions based on little more than what the hottest trend is, failing to see that as a result of this simple mindset, we often wear and display cultural symbols in an inappropriate way. When fashion designers commodify cultural or religious symbols, they cross the fine line between inspiration and cultural appropriation.

It’s everywhere, but it’s nowhere. What Urban Outfitters’ called a “vintage 90s linen dress” turned out to be directly reminiscent of Ethiopian ritual wear. What they launched as its line of “Navajo” items in 2011, including “Navajo” patterns on underwear and socks, turned out to be not Navajo patterns at all. That same year, Lisa Blue’s interpretation of the swimsuit, featuring a print of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, crossed the boundary into not only cultural misappropriation but also sacrilege... Read more

The Magic Bean: Searching for the Best Coffee at Duke Pt. 1

Jesús Hidalgo / The Chronicle

Landon Pigg once fell in love at a coffee shop. So did I. It was an early Tuesday morning when I stumbled into Smith Warehouse. Bay 6 was completely empty, and I had an hour to kill before class. As I made myself comfortable on the soft couches, two vending machines towered over me. I hadn’t eaten breakfast, but nothing inside the glass cages looked appetizing. I’d about eaten my weight in Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts in just my first semester back, and I craved something different, something substantial. I stood up and began to explore.

After walking past a number of offices, I finally struck gold--a cafe. The fresh chocolate and blueberry muffins stared at me from behind the counter, and it wasn’t until the barista called me over that I realized that I’d fallen into line. The cash register came to life as she typed in my order–one beautiful slice of mouthwatering marble cake. Just as I prepared to swipe my good ol’ food points card, she asked what I would like to drink... Read more

Recess sits down Jukebox the Ghost

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

I arrived at the Pinhook–where Jukebox the Ghost would later blow away the audience with an intense and energetic set–with my friend Andrew around 7:30pm. I had been told to call Jukebox the Ghost’s tour manager, Gabe McNatt, upon arriving. My first phone call to him rang several times before going to voicemail. I glanced up and down the line of people waiting outside the venue to see this band. It made me smile to think that a band like Jukebox the Ghost, so rooted in quirky, indie pop, could gain such a steadfast following.

Within a few minutes, Gabe returned my call and told us to come meet them at Eddie’s Cue, a local barbeque restaurant a few blocks away. Andrew and I trekked over to the restaurant and were led to their table by a hostess. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the band after watching their undeniably fun, but slightly odd, concert banter on YouTube, but we were greeted with warm handshakes from the three people that were there: Jesse Kristin, their drummer, Ben Thornewill, the lead singer and piano player, and Gabe... Read more

The man of one face: a Keanu Reeves retrospective

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

With the recent release of the Rotten Tomatoes' "Certified Fresh" action-thriller John Wick, many seem to be asking if Keanu Reeves is back. The polarizing yet money-making machine will be put to the test in this article to determine if, in fact, he is returning to former glory or if his critics are correct in emphasizing his lack of acting abilities. In order to do so, we must delve into the heart and mind of the time-traveling, red-pill-blue-pill, back-breaking, speedster that is Keanu Reeves.

Keanu Reeves did not always dream of movie stardom. Originally, he struggled a great deal with schooling as a result of his dyslexia, and thus the Canada native dreamed of becoming a prominent hockey player. Unfortunately, a career-ending injury sent him spiraling down another path, one even he had never expected: acting... Read more

The Sinner, The Sitcom and The Savior

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

Autumn has kicked into full swing, and my grades have steadily declined as a result of ridiculous hours spent in front of a television screen. My mind is fixated on TV, and, as such, I find it important to consider the innovative, unique spectacles soon to be released. Sure, one could argue that there’s way too much TV out there already that makes it impossible to add any more shows to one’s palate, but I ignore said naysayers. There is always room for more TV. Simply drop that unnecessary Phys-Ed class or abandon your community service requirements: you have more important obligations to attend to. So today I bring you three soon-to-be modern classics in an age of way too many modern classics.

Devious Contracts

Ulrich Ultano, a peasant scarred from watching his parents endure the hardships of poverty and vulnerability, has sworn to never again suffer. The show chronicles our anti-hero’s rise from destitution to the highest ranks in his kingdom... Read more

The Seven Deadly Synths

Kelly Rowland
Special to The Chronicle

Kelly Rowland Special to The Chronicle

Synth music has become increasingly prevalent in recent years to the point of ubiquity. Some of it is great. Some is bad. Just in time for Halloween, let's take a look at some synth tracks that are downright sinful, whether they are delightful or dastardly. Here are the Seven Deadly Synths.


Deadmau5—“Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)”

“Raise Your Weapon” is simply too much synth. Deadmau5’s original is standard electronic dance music, but 20-year-old French producer Madeon’s remix turns it up to a whole new level. The song starts out innocuously enough, with singer Greta Svabo Bech cooing over a swirling haze of light synths while the chorus remains ethereal and non-propulsive. Then Madeon’s bridge kicks in, and all hell breaks loose... Read more

The Spooktacular Now

The Shining
Special to The Chronicle

The Shining Special to The Chronicle

As dentists free up their post-October schedules and children dressed in overpriced, poorly designed outfits prepare to aggressively scavenge their typical suburban neighborhoods for diabetes in a bowl, I propose some pre-festivities entertainment to get you in the spirit. Horror films have captivated audiences, driving them to the theater for years. Their focus on the supernatural, mass murderers, and monsters among us has appealed to our deepest curiosities for ages. In particular, slasher films that rely on antagonists who kill with knives, chainsaws ... basically anything besides guns, have flourished over the years. We love to be scared. We love to question our sanity. We love the complexities of the unknown. So before you carve distorted faces into an (now) inedible fruit, I implore you to step into the heart of darkness and fear.

10. The Exorcist- Demonic possession may seem like a common theme in modern horror films, but most are merely attempting to recapture the magic that was The Exorcist... Read more

Recess' guide to this year's movie trailers

Special to The Chronicle

Tusk Special to The Chronicle

If you, like me, are often in search of new and exciting modes of procrastination, then likely you have found yourself in the positive feedback loop of watching movie trailers on YouTube. You begin with wanting to just catch a glimpse of the new Hunger Games trailer and, before you know it, you’re watching the trailer for the next Nicholas Cage film destined to flop.

The movie trailer as a form is almost as old as the movie itself. The first trailer was made in 1918 in order to advertise for an upcoming musical, but soon the idea caught on as a riveting and new stunt for advertisers. Before long, trailers for films were being shown at the theaters. For many decades, the production of movie trailers was not in the realm of the studio, but actually outsourced to the National Screen Society... Read more

A student's odyssey through Geer Street

Emily Feng

Emily Feng

Recently, I spent an evening with a rotating cast of friends on Geer Street to answer the question: what do you do with too much time on a Saturday night in Durham?

Just north of the heart of downtown Durham, the area around West Geer Street and Rigsbee (hereby “Geer Street”) mixes Durham’s signature brick warehouse thing with the occasional barbed wire fence. Its clientele, restaurant goers and resident barflies, are a mixture of cute and tough.

A quick geography lesson: on the corner of Foster Street and West Geer (think Cocoa Cinnamon, Manbites Dog Theater, King’s Sandwich Shop), we find the epitome of cute. Think wholesome family brunches, spontaneous games of volleyball and Duke kids in their yoga pants. As you turn the corner onto Rigsbee, things become edgier: plaid and facial hair make an aggressive comeback at Fullsteam Brewery, but nearby restaurant The Pit maintains a family-friendly vibe. At Motorco, the atmosphere takes a turn for the eccentric (in a good way)... Read more