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So there I was, sitting in my dorm room in the basement of Craven, asking myself how in the world was I going to stay sane as a sophomore at Zoom (née Duke) University in the fall of 2020. I was still on what seemed like a hundred listservs from the activities fair held a lifetime ago. Foolishly, I thought that an additional “extracurricular” would hold back the inevitable loneliness and isolation that was in store for us all.
Nestled in the woods between Durham and Chapel Hill lies a most unique venue of the Triangle’s arts culture: Cassilhaus, the “lifelong arts project” undertaken by Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus that takes the form of a “dream home/art gallery/artist studio and residency.” Described as “a singular piece of architecture,” Cassilhaus plays host to several artist exhibitions each year and has been integrating the works into the permanent collection and stunning surroundings to fashion immersive exhibits since the late 2000s. Since its opening, the offerings and initiatives have expanded, but the core mission of bringing special artists to the Triangle has remained strong and been a resounding success.
Since “Game of Thrones” reached its tumultuous conclusion with its final season, several shows in the larger fantasy and medieval drama genre have popped up, seeking to assume its mantle. From Netflix’s “The Witcher” to Amazon Prime’s “Wheel of Time,” many are attempting to follow in the wake of “Game of Thrones” and capture the acclaim and popularity of the seminal series. Now, there are two new claimants to the “Throne” of the “Game of Thrones,” released to differing degrees of success.
When looking back at the best music of the 2010s, the shadow of Kendrick Lamar is inescapable. “Section.80,” “Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City,” “To Pimp a Butterfly” and “DAMN” each released to increasingly popular and positive critical reception — along with “Untitled Unmastered” and other supporting works — Lamar’s catalog is among the best of the decade, winning multiple Grammys and even a Pulitzer Prize among other recognition. Finally, after a five-year gap since his last album, Lamar has released a new album, entitled “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers.”
While one might be forgiven for not being immersed in SneakerTok depending on your FYP, it is undeniable that sneakers and, specifically, custom sneakers are an immensely popular aspect of social media. There are pages with millions of followers dedicated to tracking new releases of scarce sneakers and sneaker customizers with hordes of fans, including celebrity ones, clamoring for their custom creations.
The lights dim, the sounds of a serene forest spring subside while the audience in Shaffer Lab Theater falls to an anticipating quiet. Everyone is here to see Hoof’n’Horn’s Spring production of "Into the Woods."
Speaking to my peers across majors in Trinity, everyone is always scrambling to complete the graduation requirements not covered by their majors. For me, that meant taking science classes and learning a foreign language, but for many students, it represents some of the largest scheduling challenges they will face.
Even before the blood-red title card, the oppressive aura of Gotham City in Matt Reeves’s new adaptation of Batman to the big screen is immediately apparent. This is a Gotham that feels real, dark and violent, with corrupt and maniacal figures looming everywhere. Simply put, “The Batman” is excellent, with near-perfect casting, stunning cinematography, deft comic adaptation and shrewd directorial decisions. This is a film that treats its world with sincerity and takes subject matter, which is an emotionally scarred billionaire vigilante punching criminals, with the utmost care. Never before has there been a better big-screen adaptation of the “world’s greatest detective.”
Walking into Perkins or Bostock Libraries, one might pass by the display cases on the way to their study spot without a second thought. However, those display cases are almost always arranged with rich collections of artifacts.
TW: Suicide, Depression, Anxiety
Of the many things that have been postponed, canceled, closed or otherwise affected by the pandemic, live music and artistic interactions are among the greatest losses. The Duke Coffeehouse, normally known for its live shows and free tea, has been largely shuttered for the past year due to COVID-19. However, on April 10 and 11, the Duke Coffeehouse is presenting its annual Brickside Music Festival in collaboration with fellow DUU committee WXDU Durham.
The original GIF of Nyan Cat sold for about $580,000. Yes, you read that right. Anyone can look up and make a copy of the GIF, yet it sold for over half a million dollars. Lindsay Lohan sold a digital image of her face for $17,000. A tweet from Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey sold online for $2.5 million. What is going on? Where is the value? These files exist for anyone to view on the internet.
I have listened to Western classical music as far as I can remember. My mother loves to recount the story of how I always fell asleep to Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” when I was a baby. I have played guitar for 16 years and cello for 9, performing in orchestras and taking theory classes. Hell, I’m even a music minor at Duke. Yet, why am I so hesitant to express my unwavering appreciation for the genre? Is it the antiquated and “stuffy” connotations? Or is there something deeper still that leaves me doubtful?
“I am a revolutionary.” Those were Fred Hampton’s words when he was released from prison in August of 1969. Hampton, who was Vice Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, had been held on charges of stealing $71 of ice cream. On Dec. 4, 1969, he was assassinated by the FBI and local law enforcement, aided by their informant within the Panthers, William O’Neal.
The North Carolina Triangle is known as the “mecca of college basketball.” Storied athletics programs at UNC, NC State and Duke comprise thirteen total NCAA championships and sport some of the most recognizable figures in college athletics. However, there are many more successful athletics programs in the Triangle than just these three ACC powerhouses. There is more to college basketball in North Carolina and around the country than the predominately white institutions (PWIs) that are featured on TV.
Sophie Xeon, one of the most influential pop musicians and producers of the last decade and known professionally as SOPHIE, passed away Jan. 30 in a tragic accident first reported by the artist’s record label Transgressive.
Over the past 12 years, Marvel Studios has come to dominate Hollywood entertainment with its countless superhero franchises. Since the inception of the MCU in 2008 with “Iron Man,” 23 films have been released in one connected universe alongside television series on Netflix and cable TV. This explosion of content has shaped pop culture to such a degree that characters like Thanos, once a niche comic book figure, are now so mainstream that former Duke basketball players are wearing “Thanos inspired shoes” in NBA games.
For years, Duke’s very own label and recording studio Small Town Records has been empowering young artists and giving students interested in the music industry the invaluable experience of creating music. Despite the immense challenges posed by the pandemic and the lack of in-person concerts, Small Town Records’s artists, producers and personnel have continued to do what they love and have a variety of projects slated for the spring semester.
I love celebrity interviews. Whether they take place on the red carpet or during a late-night talk show, they produce some of my favorite moments in pop culture. Even now, Andy Serkis reading Trump’s tweets on Colbert always makes me laugh. These interviews have long served as the primary medium for celebrities to interact with the public. For many Americans, the word “interview” sparks the image of a celebrity on The Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson. While this classic format — the “sit down and talk about your newest project” interview — is perfectly serviceable, I always welcome innovation.
Throughout the year, local businesses across the United States have faced many COVID-related challenges, and that has certainly been the case in Durham for local candle crafters Bright Black Candles. The Chronicle previously profiled both Bright Black Candles and Bougie Luminaries in February of this year. Both Durham-based businesses are Black-owned, local candle making outfits focused on educating about and drawing awareness to their cultures. However, as the pandemic swept through the United States and the Black Lives Matter movement became even more prevalent, Bright Black Candles was faced with new challenges, was endorsed by Beyoncé and has collaborated with the likes of Jordan Peele and Michelle Obama.