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Cookie-cut entertainment

(07/18/01 4:00am)

Not long ago, films were creative, television was inspired and music was consistently innovative. Sound like a tough sell? The time-honored tendency to look fondly on the past--a sort of 20/20 vision through rose-colored glasses--seems a cultural and perhaps human inclination. Our parents trekked to school up hill both ways in the snow--even if they lived in Florida. But romanticizing the past is not always such a leap of nostalgia-driven faith.

R.E.M. Revealed

(05/24/01 4:00am)

When all else fails, go with what you know. On their 12th studio album, R.E.M. shimmer with the same subdued intensity that won them fans 20 years ago. In the wake of a commercial flop--1998's Up--the Georgia trio have revisited their strength: brooding ballads and mellow instrumental flourishes. The result is a blend of lyrical storytelling, tech-synth experimentation, and classic minor melodies.

Earnestness is a Virtue

(04/06/01 4:00am)

To the average person, being a teenager in a third-tier rock band may be a chance for an early initiation into the life of sex, drugs and rock n' roll before getting to college. But there's not a hint of that in youthful pretty boy and ministers' son Jason Wade of radio-rock band Lifehouse. The wide-eyed Wade spoke to us before his band hits the Triangle as the opening act for Everclear and Matchbox 20 April 16 in Raleigh. Maybe the super-friendly frontboy just says no to the temptations of deviant sex and binge drinking, but judging by his interview with next year's Recess Editor Tim Perzyk, being the lead singer of a rock band these days is a not-so-rock-n-roll experience.

Duds for dudes

(03/09/01 5:00am)

hen it comes to fashion, the story is usually about what women want. That includes hours of shopping, uppity catalog and boutique brand names and a near-unlimited budget. But in fashion, men (especially college guys) don't play by women's rules. They want their stuff available, more affordable, durable and easygoing. You don't find many college guys who squeeze themselves into stretch pants, but you'll find even fewer who want to spend three hours shopping for them. But fear not: This spring's fashions offer options for boys who want to look beachy as well as upscale guys who like to dress like adults-and they're all readily available.