The independent news organization of Duke University

Will Atkinson

Recess Editor



Why Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' doesn’t need the country charts

Nearly 16 years ago, OutKast released “Hey Ya!,” a single that stands as one of the biggest hits of the new millennium. For all its ubiquity today, though, “Hey Ya!” was deceptively revolutionary: Blending an acoustic guitar-driven hook with a funk bassline, rapped breakdowns and an atypical time signature, the song seemed to signal a new dawn for genre — or, rather, the lack thereof. 


Shut up and play the hits

My first introduction to the album format came through three records that, to many people, don’t even qualify as “albums,” in the strictest sense of the word: The Beach Boys’ “The Greatest Hits – Volume 1: 20 Good Vibrations,” The Monkees’ “The Essentials” and Squeeze’s “Singles – 45’s and Under.”


Recess roundtable: Why criticism?

Much discussion has erupted in recent weeks regarding the (purportedly) fading necessity of reviews. In an age of discontinued Netflix-star-ratings, Amazon top customer reviewers and enraged YouTubers, the long-form reviews of movies, books or music that once dominated newspapers are increasingly seen as antiquated or downright ignorant


Where to start with twee pop this Valentine’s Day

When it comes time to assemble Valentine’s Day-themed playlists every year, I’m often struck at just how easy it is to ascribe “love song” status to nearly any piece of pop music: Love, heartbreak and all their variations probably account for a good 50 percent of pop — from “Be My Baby” all the way down to “thank u, next” — and for the rest, it isn’t too difficult to draw the line.


Blackspace and FTMF Talent celebrate Durham's black history in MLK Day show

On Feb. 16, 1960, Martin Luther King, Jr., visited Durham’s White Rock Baptist Church — one of five trips he would ultimately make to the city. The speech, delivered to a standing-room-only crowd of an estimated 1,200 people, came just days after four students had initiated a sit-in at Greensboro, N.C.’s Woolworth department store, in what would become one of the most influential protests of the civil rights movement.

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Sophomore Ben Snow hopes to launch his app, which takes a user's friends' music tastes into account, exclusively at Duke in April. 



D.C. punk band Priests performs at The Pinhook in Durham, March 5. Their debut album “Nothing Feels Natural” was released in January.



Sandra Luz Barroso's photography exhibit "For Catalina's Time" is on display in the John Hope Franklin Center through Dec. 6.



The 6,000-person town of Hillsborough is home to Yep Roc Records, which celebrates its 20th birthday Oct. 19 to 21.


Will Ye runs the Facebook meme-sharing page "Duke Memes for Gothicc Teens."

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