Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Abigail Eddy.

Not long after taking the stage at the 9:30 Club Friday night, singer-songwriter Julian Casablancas struggled to untangle the microphone from its stand. In true Casablancas fashion, he turned away from the crowd, deciding to leave the mic stand slightly off-base.

The audience roared.

At the concert, the lead singer of The Strokes showed off his most recent project, Julian Casablancas+The Voidz, a band formed by Casablancas, guitarists Jeramy Gritter and Amir Yaghmai, bassist Jake Bercovici, drummer Alex Carapetis and Jeff Kite on the keyboard.

After several false-alarm cheers from fans awaiting the band’s entrance, Julian Casablancas+The Voidz finally appeared. As soon as Casablancas stepped on stage, clad in a sporty, black track jacket, the entire audience pushed nearly four feet toward the stage, filling every available space.

Lead singer Julian Casablancas takes the stage. Photo by Flickr user Liliane Callegari under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Lead singer Julian Casablancas takes the stage. Photo by Flickr user Liliane Callegari under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Just a few songs in, bras were already landing on stage as others shouted his name and reached out to touch him.

asablancas’ deep voice led the sound, and guitar and bass riffs that seemed to echo The Strokes emerged through the distortion. The lyrical, melody-driven music of The Strokes, though, was all but forgotten, leaving room as the band experimented with other styles.

“Human Sadness,” a melancholy nearly eleven-minute track that builds atop an opening bass line, transitioned the audience to the band’s experimental sound early on in the set. The vocals blended together over the repetitive melody, creating a darker, more distorted theme.

Casablancas interrupted to comment only briefly between songs that were so stylistically consistent they often seemed to flow together.

“I’ll shut up now, sorry, I’m ruining the vibe,” Casablancas said after one such interjection.

Halfway through the show the stage was relit in a soft purple as the band shifted pace with the highly rhythmic “Father Electricity,” punctuating previous songs that were matched by flashing neon green and blue lights with a calmer hue.

The audience hung on the band’s every beat, and the band took the chance to play off the audience’s enthusiasm.

During “Crunch Punch,” the band teased the crowd by seemingly extending the abrupt pauses in the song, encouraging the crowd to cheer until the music resumed.

While Casablancas’ celebrity seemed to be the highlight of the show, guitarists Gritter and Yaghmai periodically took the lead, as Casablancas turned his back to the audience and draped the microphone over his shoulder.

Although the tunes weren’t quite sing-along friendly, fans did their best, singing to the words they did know and were enthusiastic throughout. Casablancas made one tribute to The Strokes near the end of the show, playing “Ize of the World.”

The band’s deep, distorted sound contrasted their more playful atmosphere onstage, showing a band unafraid to experiment with its sound. The group appeared less interested in creating a marketable band and more focused on simply making music.

While the tunes didn’t have the stuck-in-your-head factor characteristic of The Strokes, the band turned Casablancas fans into fans of Julian Casablancas+The Voidz.

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Updated: Oct. 20, 2014 at 1:31 a.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Raima Roy.

If anyone can put a funny spin on Ebola and ISIS, it’s Seth Meyers.

The 40-year-old comedian headlined Colonials Weekend on Saturday, kicking off his show with jokes about what most scares Americans.

“So what are we afraid of these days? That ISIS is going to kill more Americans? Or that Ebola is going to kill us all? Or that everyone in the whole world will get Ebola except ISIS?” Meyers asked as the crowd of mostly parents and students burst into laughter.

After the warm-up jokes, the “Late Night with Seth Meyers” host and former head writer at “Saturday Night Live” delved into personal anecdotes.

Comedian Seth Meyers. Photo by Flickr user David Shankbone under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Comedian Seth Meyers. Photo by Flickr user David Shankbone under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The comedian shared details of his intimate life, covering everything from the benefits of being married to a lawyer to awkward encounters with fellow celebrities.

The best thing about having a wife? According to Meyers, it’s all about the towels.

“Not only do we have different face towels and hand towels, but we have freaking decorative towels. We just have so, so, so many towels. It’s amazing,” he said.

The crowd laughed with Meyers (and often, at him) when the comedian shared memories of events that continue to embarrass him to this day, like when he met President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011.

Trying hard to “keep it cool” when going in for a handshake with Obama, Meyers said he was so nervous that he accidentally cut off his wife from shaking the president’s hand and shook it himself instead.

“I was going to shake your wife’s hand,” Obama told Meyers.

But the wittiest response his brain could come up with was, “Uh, yeah I know,” before quickly walking away.

Meyers catered to both college students and their families, cracking jokes about studying abroad in places where marijuana is legal to having an embarrassing browser history.

With such a wide range of jokes, Meyers managed to create a space for families to share laughs over common experiences.

Meyers ended the show by offering to share jokes that never made it onto “The Weekend Update,” the news satire segment on “Saturday Night Live” that he previously co-anchored.

With anecdotal jokes, a satirical take on the news of the day and a host of controversial topics, Meyers was able to bring “Saturday Night Live” experience to campus.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly spelled Seth Meyers’ name in the headline. It is Meyers, not Myers. We regret this error.

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Video by Hatchet videographer Deepa Shivaram and multimedia editor Diana Marinaccio.

Kappa Sigma held its third annual Shave Away Cancer event Saturday on the National Mall in conjunction with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and Wahl Clippers.

The event raised more than $30,000 for childhood cancer research after over 100 students shaved their heads for the cause. The fraternity hopes to match that contribution with another $30,000 online this week.

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Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 11:46 a.m.

What We’re Watching: ‘Whiplash’

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Everly Jazi.

“Whiplash”

★★★★★

In a scene from “Whiplash,” blood spurts out of aspiring drummer Andrew Neyman’s sore hands as he grips his beloved drumsticks, playing the same measure he has practiced for weeks.

Aside from the drum kit and mattress Andrew pulls inside, the room is a bare prison where he works to become the best jazz drummer in history.

Promotional poster for "Whiplash."

Promotional poster for “Whiplash.”

“Whiplash,” which has already received two awards at the Sundance Film Festival, follows the first-year jazz student Andrew (Miles Teller) as he endures massive pains, like those displayed by this scene, while attempting to join a studio band at the fictional Shaffer Music Conservatory.

As Andrew spends hours over his drumset, perfecting his work with maniacal precision, “Whiplash” exposes the music industry as a demanding and controlling powerhouse, a complete contrast to the creative, glamorous environment portrayed in the mainstream.

The studio band Andrew hopes to join is led by conductor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), a machine-like perfectionist with a selfish, obsessive and intimidating personality who comes to represent the harsh truth of the industry.

As Andrew plays for the conductor for the first time, Fletcher gives the audience a glimpse at his caring side by genuinely saying, “Just do your best.” But as soon as Andrew misses a beat, Fletcher responds by throwing a chair at his head.

Throughout the movie, the audience is stunned by the behavior of each character and the absurd but realistic plot that feeds on its own addictive outrageousness. The audience joins in Andrew’s struggle as he works towards becoming one of the greats, while also losing his sanity.

Director Damien Chazelle leaves the audience battling the question: Is it worth becoming going crazy if great art results?

Teller’s performance was crucial to the film’s success. The actor surprised the film team with a talent for drumming and was able to play throughout the film without a stunt double. Teller conveys a seemingly shy and vulnerable character who again and again proves his resilience and strength – his aggressive but hilarious one-liners adding humor to the dark film.

During a dinner party with family friends, Andrew is overshadowed by a football star student, who urges Andrew to “come play with us.”

“Four words you’ll never hear from the NFL,” Andrew quips back.

Simmons also gives an outstanding performance, creating the perfect balance of rage and charm to portray Fletcher. His unrelenting character leaves the audience both intimidated by Fletcher’s intensity and in awe of his dedication.

Chazelle’s vision for the film, inspired by his own experience as part of a jazz studio band in high school, translates into the perfect thriller, leaving audience members gripping their seats in anticipation throughout each lengthy drum solo.

The riveting plot, a relentless take on the music industry, will leave viewers thinking long after the film, still uneasy from its 2-hour adrenaline rush.

Released: Oct. 17
Director: Damien Chazelle
Genre: Drama
Cast: Miles Teller (“The Spectacular Now”), J.K. Simmons (“Spider-Man”), Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser (“Life After Beth”)

 

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Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 11:34 a.m.

What We’re Watching: ‘The Book of Life’

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Niamh Cahill-Billings.

“The Book of Life”

★★★★✰

Jorge Gutierrez’s newest animated film, “The Book of Life,” is a sweet, vibrant and surprisingly progressive alternative to the bombardment of horror films that normally take over theaters in October.

The film begins on the eve of Dia de los Muertos when La Muerta (Kate del Castillo), the leader of the rambunctious world of remembered souls, and Xibalba (Ron Perlman), who watches over the desolate world of forgotten souls, make a wager on who will win the pueblo’s sweetheart, Maria (Zoe Saldana).

Promotional poster for "The Book of Life."

Promotional poster for “The Book of Life.”

Xibalba bets that Maria will marry Joaquin (Channing Tatum), the charming Adonis that saves the pueblo from evil, while La Muerta supports Manolo (Diego Luna), a musician forced to follow his family’s bullfighting tradition.

As the plot unravels, this buoyant and refreshing fantasy manages to touch on hevy concepts of death and mortality, gender roles, bullfighting and Latino machismo while also maintaining the innocence and naiveté that make the film enjoyable for all ages.

“The Book of Life” joins the ranks of the growing body of animated movies that have abandoned cliché and antiquated sentiments of what it means to be a princess, petitioning instead to represent a wider spread of cultures in film.

Woven throughout the scenes is an American-Mexican fusion of style, a theme typical of Gutierrez work, given that he grew up in Tijuana, near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Aside from boasting the largest Latino voice cast in animated movie history, the film’s costume design represents a colorful amalgamation of cultures.

Manolo, the film’s protagonist, sports a Johnny Cash-inspired matador costume meant to emphasize growing globalization and cultural mélange between Mexico and the United States, Gutierrez said in a post-screening interview. Maria’s costume was inspired by Mexican surrealist painter Frida Kahlo, who dressed primarily in traditional Mexican attire.

But the soundtrack stands out as one of the best aspects of the film.

Diego Luna, the voice of Manolo, performs a wide variety of Latino covers of artists from Radiohead to Biz Markie and Mumford & Sons, crafting a mariachi interpretation of pop classics. While older audiences will recognize and appreciate the music choices, younger audiences are enthralled at the goofy mariachi band performing the popular tunes.

The one thing the film is missing is a villain: there’s no evil stepmother typical to so many animated films. Each character is multi-faceted and has understandable motives.

Instead, Gutierrez focuses on the pursuit of adventure rather than the strict good-versus-evil plot employed time and again, adding to the progressive nature of the film.

“The Book of Life” is a refreshing and dynamic experience, despite the heavy and somewhat controversial themes the film confronts. A focus on youth and the saliency of family with the backdrop of colorful Mexican culture lends the film a sense of airiness and ease, especially with the festive setting of El Dia de los Muertos.

It would be naive to say that cartoon culture is no longer dominated by European storylines featuring primarily white casts, but the growing trend to represent and celebrate other cultures, exemplified by “The Book of Life,” is both refreshing and promising.

Released: October 17
Director: Jorge Gutierrez (“El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera”)
Genre: Animation/Adventure
Cast: Diego Luna (“Milk,” “Elysium”), Zoe Saldana (“Avatar,” “Star Trek”), Channing Tatum (“21 Jump Street”) Kate del Castillo (“Under the Same Moon”), Ron Perlman (“Drive,” “Tangled”)

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Jarrod Carman.

With Halloween fast-approaching, local movie theaters are looking to get you in the spooky spirit. From scary movie festivals to screenings of classic horror films, here’s a round up of the best horror movie events in D.C., proving that sometimes the old favorites can outshine the newer Hollywood blockbusters.

Oct. 9 to 18

Spooky Movie International Horror Film Fest: If you’re a fan of creaking doors, masked killers and mutated humans who roam the hills, then it’s time to head to the frighteningly literal Spooky Movie Horror International Film Fest. The 10-day fest features over 40 short and full-length films. Genres range from “British Vampire” all the way to “Transylvanian Vampire.” Go see the bigfoot film “Exists,” or cover your eyes during the long-awaited horror anthology sequel “V/H/S Viral.” The closing screening, “The Hills Have Eyes,” will be hosted by Count Gore De Vol of the TV horror series “Creature Feature.”

AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md. Oct. 9 to 18. All-fest pass $80, individual tickets $12.

Oct. 31

rocky“Rocky Horror Picture Show” at E Street Cinema: A lost couple waltz into a home with a wonderfully mad “transexual from Transylvania” in this musical comedy that shakes up the conventions of horror films with its on-the-nose sense of humor, random musical numbers and nonsensical deus ex-machinas. Cannibalism, alien invasions and singing ensue. Do the “Time Warp” and sing along during this simultaneously spooky, bizarre and moving cult classic, which boasts the longest theatrical run of any film ever made.

E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. 11:59 p.m. $11:50.

“Shaun of the Dead” at AFI Silver: Emotion rings true in this zombie film, but not without some true scares and laughs. Managing to bring gravitas to a subject usually lacking it, “Shaun of the Dead” stars Simon Pegg (“Mission: Impossible 3,” “Star Trek”) and Nick Frost (“Hot Fuzz”), who lead this zom-com that tells the story of two best friends trying to survive a zombie apocalypse.

The sweet and scary film pays homage to horror legends of the past, particularly George Romero, who kicked off the zombie craze with “Night of the Living Dead.” Skip the slow-as-molasses “The Walking Dead,” grab a pair of tissues and bring your best friend to end Halloween the right way. This is also the beginning of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, which reunites Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for other send-ups: the action-comedy “Hot Fuzz” and the alien invasion story of “The World’s End.”

Saturday, Oct. 24, 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, 9:45 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” at Angelika After-Hours: This month, horror film enthusiasts can relive the 1984 slasher film “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” But don’t expect to get any sleep after you go home. In this movie, which stars Johnny Depp in his feature film debut, the ghost of serial killer Freddy Krueger stalks seven teens whose families were involved in his death – but only appears in their dreams. As Krueger attempts (and sometimes, succeeds) murdering the teenagers while they sleep, you’ll struggle to distinguish between dreams and reality.

Angelika Film Center, 2911 District Ave., Fairfax, Va. Oct. 17 and 18, midnight. $7.

carrie

“Carrie” at E Street Cinema: What do pig’s blood, John Travolta and Stephen King have in common? They’re all part of the 1976 horror hit “Carrie.” The Academy Award-winning film, based on King’s novel of the same name (and his first novel at that), follows Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), an awkward 17-year-old with telekinetic powers, and her delinquent boyfriend, Billy Nolan (Travolta), as they navigate the horrors of high school and attempt to extract revenge on the popular kids. Don’t miss this one-night-only chance to see the cult classic on the big screen.

E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Oct. 17 and 18, 11:59 p.m. $9.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Ruby Lee.

Kickstart the holiday season with Halloween-inspired races, a lottery for tickets to the lighting of the National Christmas Tree and a spooky Edgar Allen Poe reading, plus live entertainment in dance, theater and music.

Thursday

The reading will include Edgar Allen Poe classics like "The Raven." Photo by Flickr user Kevin Burkett under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The reading will include Edgar Allen Poe classics like “The Raven.” Photo by Flickr user Kevin Burkett under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

CultureBlast: Once Upon A Midnight Dreary…: Celebrate the spookiest time of year with a marathon reading of Edgar Allen Poe classics like “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven.” Sponsored by Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe and Grill and Hillyer Art Space, the evening promises to be a celebration of all things spine-tingling. Poe-themed costumes are encouraged, though not required, but the best costume gets a mystery prize. Bonus: Wine and beer will be available for the over-21 set. Books are also for sale, so if you can’t drink, you can at least snag a copy of Poe’s work.
Hillyer Art Space, 9 Hillyer Ct. NW. 6:30 p.m. Free.

Kaytranada with Teklun and DJ Kidd Marvel at U Street Music Hall: On the rise with no signs of slowing down, the Canadian DJ Kaytranada brings his electric, hip-hop infused beats to U Street for a night full of both original tracks and bootleg remixes. Originally from Montreal, Kaytranada has made a name for himself through releases like “Leave Me Alone” (feat. Shay Lia)” and “Talk is Cheap (Kaytranada Flip)” on YouTube and Soundcloud. The 21-year-old cites a variety of genres like disco, house and R&B as influences, so expect an eclectic sound that’ll get you grooving. Teklun and DJ Kidd Marvel open.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 10 p.m. $20. Must be 18 or older.

Friday

Alice Russell & Yuna featuring Hollie Cook at Lisner Auditorium: Spend the night listening to a trio of talent as Alice Russell, Yuna and Hollie Cook take center stage at Lisner. All three women spotlight their internationally acclaimed voices with songs sure to please. Alice Russell dazzles with her soulful voice and rhythmic beats, both found in her latest release “Breakdown,” while Malaysian pop star Yuna will likely revive hits like “Lullabies” and “Rescue.” Hollie Cook, a London native, makes her D.C. debut with performances from her latest EP “Twice.”
Lisner Auditorium. 8 p.m. $25 to $30.

Dance Theatre of Harlem at Shakespeare Theatre Company: The Dance Theatre of Harlem makes its return this season to Shakespeare Theatre Company. The company focuses on its reputation as a multi-cultural dance institution, presenting racially diverse dancers who perform at the highest level. Friday marks opening night in the District, followed by three additional shows planned during the weekend.
Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. 8 p.m. $35 to $50.

The National Christmas Tree 2013. Photo by Flickr user Tim Evanson under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The National Christmas Tree in 2013. Photo by Flickr user Tim Evanson under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Ticket Lottery for National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: The National Park Service and National Park Foundation begin distributing tickets for the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony through an online lottery system Friday at 10 a.m., proving it’s never too early to think about Christmas. Watch President Barack Obama celebrate the holidays Dec. 4, which will mark the ceremony’s 91st year. The lottery closes Oct. 20, so make sure not to miss this chance for a truly unique D.C. tradition. The lucky winners will be notified starting Nov. 3.
Lottery opens at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 17 through Monday, Oct. 23. Apply online or call 1-877-444-6777 for tickets.

Saturday

Toast at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop: Get engaged with “Toast,” a participatory performance act that calls on the audience to help brainstorm scientific inventions. Performers explore discovery in the two-hour show, asking audience members for suggestions. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll end up on stage, with the audience contributing up to 80 percent of the show’s content. The performance focuses on the networks that weave people together. Check out the last show Saturday.
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. 7:30 p.m. $16.82 with student identification.

SoMo featuring Francesco Yates and Dunson at The Fillmore: Known for recent songs like “Ride” and “Kings & Queens (Throw It Up),” SoMo will host the next stop of his tour Saturday at The Fillmore. The concert will mostly feature songs from his latest album, “SoMo.” Go for a night full of calm beats and smooth vocals as SoMo belts out hooks sure to stay with you long after the concert ends. Francesco Yates and Dunson will open.
The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md. 8 p.m. $30.50.

Spook Hill Cider & Wine Run: Head over to the historic town of Burkittsville, Md., the site of horror classic “The Blair Witch Project,” for the second annual Spook Hill Cider and Wine 4-Mile Run. Get ready for a looped, mixed course of road and cross country, which offers magnificent and magnificently creepy views of orchards, vineyards and cemeteries. The race begins on legendary, haunted Spook Hill. Want to hear more about the scariness? Read up about the lore surrounding Spook Hill.
Burkittsville Ruritan, 500 East Main St., Burkittsville, Md. 8:30 a.m. $30.

Sunday

Indie-rock group Bombay Bicycle Club. Photo by Flickr user Paul Hudson under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Indie-rock group Bombay Bicycle Club. Photo by Flickr user Paul Hudson under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Bombay Bicycle Club at 9:30 Club: Indie-rock fans are in for a treat as Bombay Bicycle Club takes the stage at 9:30 Club. The British group’s trademark aesthetic remains true in its most ambitious project yet. The band’s newest album, “So Long, See You Tomorrow,” took a year to record before its release last February. Look forward to new offerings like “Luna” and “Carry Me” along with all-time favorites like “Shuffle” and “Always Like This.” Milo Greene and Luxley will open.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Evita at the Kennedy Center: Experience some of theater’s most awe-inspiring music at the last night of “Evita” at the Kennedy Center. This Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of Eva, a young woman from the slums of Argentina, and her political rise to become First Lady. Songs include “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” and “High Flying, Adored.”
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices start at $39.

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Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 12:00 a.m.

Hidden Gems: Bourbon Coffee

Video by Hatchet videographer Yara Bishara.

Conveniently located at 21st and L streets, this eclectic shop serves a variety of Rwandan coffees. The walls are decorated with Rwandan art and shields, while the store’s bright colors give it a contemporary feel.

Students have turned Bourbon Coffee, just blocks from the center of campus, into a destination for studying. Locals living or working nearby also grab their morning cups of joe and even hold meetings there.

Rachel Davidson, a barista, said many of her customers “go crazy” for the shop’s vanilla lavender latte.

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Jose Andres speaks at GW Commencement 2014. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Celebrity chef José Andrés spoke at Commencement in the spring. Hatchet File Photo by Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Chef and restaurateur José Andrés will open his first fast-casual restaurant on campus next year, no pork belly included.

The celebrity chef best known for Jaleo and Zaytinya will take over the retail space along 22nd and I streets inside the Science and Engineering Hall for his first veggie-based eatery, called “Beefsteak,” according to a University release.

Don’t let the name fool you. The restaurant, named after the beefsteak tomato, will feature food that Andrés has yet to emphasize: Vegetables. Andrés plans to serve up Chipotle-esque customizable, bowl-style vegetable entrees with several grain and sauce options. Meat will make a small appearance on the menu, but will be served mainly as a side.

Andrés has begun making GW his home over the last several years. He has taught a course centered on food justice called “World on a Plate” and headlined Commencement last year, where he earned an honorary doctorate. He also serves on the University’s Urban Food Task Force.

After months (or arguably, years) of hinting at his new project, Andrés’ secret is finally out. But one last critical question remains: Will Beefsteak take GWorld?

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Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 6:17 p.m.

Monday Mix and Editors’ Picks

Monday Mix

After a week of midterms, just getting out of bed might seem like an impossible task. Ditch that double shot of espresso and turn on this playlist of pump-up songs instead, with heart-thumping, fist-bumping hits like Kendrick Lamar’s “I” and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.”

Editors’ Picks

Film | Emily Holland, Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “White Bird in a Blizzard”

Based on a book by poet and fiction writer Laura Kasischke, “White Bird in a Blizzard” has generated a lot of buzz since premiering at Sundance this year. It’ll be nice to see Shailene Woodley back in a more character-driven role, after starring in some of the summer’s most popular blockbusters.

Music | Morgan Baskin, Assistant Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” cover by The Flaming Lips feat. Miley Cyrus & Moby

She may look like Big Bird in the video, but Cyrus has the pipes to make her cover of The Beatles’ “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds” more than just a throw-away pop track. And if this is what we can expect from the rest of the star-studded cover album, I’m already sold.

Lit | Tatiana Cirisano, Contributing Culture Editor

This week’s pick: D.C. Author Festival

The festival Saturday features over 70 D.C.-based writers and publishers like Washington Post journalist and author Neely Tucker, who will give talks, host readings and offer workshops.

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