Exploring the Arts Annex

Emily Waples / The Chronicle

Every once in a while, we ask ourselves the question "Is Duke an artsy school?" Framed in a way that would fit on an admissions brochure, maybe the question would be: “Is Duke a leading research university that actively pursues a holistic, interdisciplinary framework for undergraduate arts engagement?”

I personally will only believe Duke is an artsy school if The Chronicle shifts its content to woodcut-block print zines printed with vegetable dyes from the campus farm. I think we should have a Conceptual Artist in Residence who asks the student body to perform tasks like “Sing the color purple” or “Hide where no one can find you... Read more

The Evolution of Superhero Films

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Iron Man, Spider Man, Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy and so many more. Every era of movies tends to have its own theme. The 1940s and 1950s were all about the shady inner workings of crime in film noir. The 1960s took on the cowboy against the outlaw style of the western. Now, we are undoubtedly living in the Age of the Superhero. With three to four superhero films coming out every year and no sign of slowing down, we cannot deny that these crusaders are high in demand. So, let’s go back in time and see how we got here.

I think looking back we can see how superhero films have evolved over the years. For one, they are much bigger (and more expensive). More than that they can create characters with whom audiences can laugh, cry and, most importantly, empathize... Read more

Music Review: Songs of Innocence

By which turn of cosmic fate did the two biggest bands in the world people love to hate release albums in the same year? Yes, U2 , with the Apple-aided drop of their new (and ridiculously titled) Songs of Innocence has joined Coldplay. In the past few years, it has almost become de rigeur to trash Coldplay and U2 because of their increasingly generic stadium-rock sound and the various trials and tribulations of their respective lead singers. However, whereas Chris Martin’s group fizzled with the limp Ghost Stories, Bono and the gang have something slightly better. While far from a perfect album, Songs of Innocence is the best U2 album since 1997’s Pop, and a solid, if mildly forgettable, addition to their canon.

When analyzing this album in the future, it will be impossible to think about Songs of Innocence without thinking of it as U2’s “free Apple album... Read more

Eyes Wide Shut

The current phase of India’s life is a turbulent one. She’s known for numerous things, and unfortunately some of these attributes aren’t positive: yes, India’s diverse culture and rich cuisine have gained much renown, but her uncontrollable population growth and corrupt government are the subjects of an equal amount of infamy. In this multitude of contrasts, there exists one all- eclipsing issue that plagues India today: gender inequality and sexual harassment. It’s seen in the shameful behavior women have to bear, and in the manic stares some of the men wear. Although the media covers sexual harassment and assault in thorough detail, it was only in the summer of this year that I personally witnessed the effect of this major social issue first hand.

As the warm evening gently eased into the night, I was homeward bound aboard the Delhi Metroi. Filled to the brim, the train chugged to a halt and I noticed a pretty woman hop onto the coach cautiously. She was dressed neatly and carried herself with grace... Read more

The College Student's Guide for Binge-Watching a Weekend Away

Emma Loewe / The Chronicle

Life at Duke can be stressful. There may not be time in your schedule for your favorite shows with the BME/ECE double major, the economics minor and an MMS certificate (because you’re a freaking Duke student, so why not). And don't forget that you're juggling four service clubs, independent research, and a sports team that you’re not even sure you’re still a part of. Fear not, for today we have a survival guide for binge-watching away a weekend at college.

Friday, 6:00 a.m.- 8:00 a.m.: Look. I know it’s Friday morning, but you can sleep when you’re dead. You’ve got more important things to starting off your day with some comedic gold. You must be feeling a little homesick, so try the first few episodes of "Modern Family," or, if you desire an even more dysfunctional family, try "Shameless."

9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: So early morning labs aren’t treating you so well. No big deal... Read more

Throwback Thursday to First Big Weekend

Did you miss any of the concerts and events at the First Big Weekend last week? Check out our videos to relive the music experience.

Thursday — Concert in the Gardens featuring Diadem, Lost in the Trees and Bombadil.

Friday — Activities Fair and Heat Wave concert featuring Kygo and Magic Man

"Brill Bruisers" album review

Special To The Chronicle

Special To The Chronicle

Ever since their 1999 album "Mass Romantic," the New Pornographers have crafted lovely tunes with lyrics that break listeners' hearts. Led by singer-songwriter A.C. Newman, the eight-person group includes vocalists Neko Case and Kathryn Calder, as well as synthesizer player Blaine Thurier, who also directs indie movies. Across six albums, their songs are reminiscent of the 1960’s "Wall of Sound" musical production, with instruments and voices so densely layered that it’s impossible to distinguish what causes the emotional impact. Their music overwhelms, while their lyrics take their power from story-like details and haunting turns of phrase. My favorite, from their fourth album, 2007’s "Challengers," is the devastating final plea “Stay with me, go places."

Their songs, populated by named characters, remind me of novels; they’re less about being swept away by a chorus than building towards a devastating, unsettling realization. Each song surrounds the listener with variety and excitement, yet reminds them that nothing can alter their profound sense of loss... Read more

Doctor Who?

Special To The Chronicle

Special To The Chronicle

The first time I watched "Doctor Who," I expected a campy and unwatchable hour of science fiction. However, I found myself intrigued by a world with surprisingly real relationships and relatable themes. While watching the Series 8 premiere last week, I was struck by how the show and the relationships between the Doctor and his companions have evolved.

A key episode in the show's history is the Series 5 premiere, "The Eleventh Hour." Not only does it introduce a brand new Doctor—it also introduces a new companion. The novel thing about the episode is that it doesn’t have the Doctor charm some attractive 20-something-year-old girl into being his traveling companion, but it creates a friendship spanning from childhood to adulthood.

The episode starts with a young Amelia Pond asking Santa for help. But instead of Santa and his sleigh, young Amelia gets the help of the Doctor and his TARDIS. Through the eyes of Amelia, we see him as a strange, wacky protector who will shoo away monsters and make funny faces in the process... Read more

John Oliver: a welcomed British invasion

Special To The Chronicle

Special To The Chronicle

This past Sunday was a struggle for viewers (myself included) as "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" went on a short hiatus. The new variety show on HBO has reached new, unexpected levels of hilarity while still informing viewers across the country.

So, why is John Oliver’s show such a hit? Well, it seems to have an ingenious formula. It all starts with the man himself. John Oliver, former Daily Show alum and citizen of both the US and UK, has expert wit and quirky character voices. He simply knows how to work an audience. Secondly, the show's analogies are unbeatable. When describing how it’s too hot to have the World Cup in Qatar, he comments, “it’s like having the Superbowl in a lake.” Similarly, when someone described how FIFA and bribery go together like PB&J, he immediately responded with, “but they shouldn’t … [they] should go together like peanut butter and a child with a deadly nut allergy.” Best of all, he’s got the freedom of HBO. He knows when it’s time to call someone out on their nonsense, and that just makes us love him more... Read more

Walkmen Go On Hiatus, Release Solo Albums

The Walkmen have been a staple of the end of the year “Best Of” since 2000—but will not be in the near future. In November 2013, the critically and commercially successful Brooklyn-based band announced an indefinite hiatus, much to the disappointment of their fans.

The Walkmen have been playing together in some form since their high school days at St. Albans in Washington, D.C. Band member Peter Bauer said in a press release that “It’s been almost 14 years now. I think that’s enough, you know?” He further described playing shows with the other band members as “a really fun time seeing old friends” and “like going to Thanksgiving.” The band played their last show—for now—on December 4, 2013 in Philadelphia.

The Walkmen’s dissolution seems like a dark day for rock fans. Since their 2002 debut album “Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone,” the band has churned out some truly fantastic songs as ‘We’ve Been Had,’ ‘Heaven,’ ‘Angela Surf City,’ and their now-classic 2004 single ‘The Rat... Read more