Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

Contributor

Grace Gannon

gracegannon@gwmail.gwu.edu
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 11:12 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Bridie O’Connell.

Enjoy tree lighting, zombies and a dance performance in your last weekend in D.C. before Thanksgiving break.

Friday

Chinese Lantern Festival
The Chinese Lantern Festival brings ancient lantern-making and unique artwork together to create a special night for visitors of all ages. This is the festival’s inaugural year, and it will include live martial arts shows and traditional Chinese artwork.

Roer’s Zoofari, 1228 Hunter Mill Road, Vienna, Va. 5 to 9 p.m. $25.

Holiday Tree Lighting at Pike & Rose
To get in the holiday spirit, head to Pike & Rose in Bethesda for an annual tree lighting ceremony. Don’t forget to check out live ice carving, food, holiday music and surprise giveaways while you’re there.

Pike & Rose, 11580 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, Md. 6 p.m. Free.

Saturday

The Great Zombie Invasion: DC
The Great Zombie Invasion returns to the District with the catchy slogan “Forget blue and red, come party with the undead!” To become part of one of the spookiest bar crawls in history, don your best zombie costume, gather your undead pals and head to Dupont Circle. It’s sure to scare away your election woes.

1825 M St., NW. 9 p.m., $25.

Sunday

What’s Going On
This dance performance takes inspiration from the music of Marvin Gaye to reflect on themes relevant to the world today, like love and social justice.

Dance Place, 3225 8th St., NE. 4 p.m. $15.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 11:11 p.m.

This week in music

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Leah Potter.

This week’s must-listens include the return of Lady Gaga, a “Hamilton” remix and some a capella.

“Come to Mama” by Lady Gaga

Forget everything you thought you knew about Lady Gaga’s style when you listen to her new album, “Joanne”: The queen of pop has evolved into a rock country goddess.

My first impression of the album, like that of many of her fans, was shaped by her underwhelming single “Perfect Illusion.” The key change that comes about three-quarters of the way through the track isn’t enough to make up for its cliche lyrics.

Thankfully, “Perfect Illusion” is a great example of not judging the album by the single, so don’t let it discourage you from listening to the entire album start to finish – especially standout “Come to Mama.”

The track gives off a retro vibe, featuring a pulsing keyboard beat and a handful of saxophones to highlight the complementary – and somewhat ‘80’s – jazz melody.

The lyrics emphasize a message we all learned as children: Treat others how you wish to be treated. Gaga explains that humanity should take a step back and reflect on childhood innocence by “coming back to mama.”

A standout lyric goes, “So why do we gotta fight over ideas / We’re talking the same old shit after all of these years.”

“Joanne” was released Oct. 21.

“Satisfied” performed by Sia (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah)

While the Hamilton Mixtape won’t be officially released until Dec. 2, fans of the musical – and of the noteworthy pop artists featured on the album – rejoiced over the release of Sia’s rendition of “Satisfied” released last week.

As a hardcore “Hamilton” fan, I was pleasantly surprised by how Sia’s echoey and ominous intonation carried the story of Angelica Schuyler. Hip-hop drum and bass beats merge with electronic music sounds, though none of the liberties taken with the rhythm of the song distort the power behind the original work of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The best part of this rendition is when Queen Latifah takes over the rap at the line, “So this is what if feels like to match wits, with someone at your level.” It’s unexpected, and Latifah’s hard-hitting sound is perfectly paired with Sia’s whimsical style.

“Satisfied” performed by Sia (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah) was released Nov. 10.

“Hallelujah” performed by Pentatonix

After Leonard Cohen’s passing last week, it’s a good time to revisit his classic song “Hallelujah.” Penatonix’s new album “A Pentatonix Christmas” features a cover of the song that couldn’t have been better timed.

I’ve resisted listening to Pentatonix in the past because it felt a little too much like “Pitch Perfect,” but this rendition deserves a listen.

The arrangement alternates between male and female vocalists to carry the main melody line, which is boosted by a strong group of bass singers. The high notes that the female vocalist achieves are chilling, and the vocalists on the percussion line will fool you into thinking you’re listening to a drum machine.

“A Pentatonix Christmas” was released Oct. 21.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 12:23 a.m.

This week in music

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Callan Tansill-Suddath.

Head into November with these indie rock tracks.

Ricky Eat Acid – “Hey”
Sam Ray, the mind behind electronic project Ricky Eat Acid, has already proved his artistic versatility. At 25, he has accomplished more than most will throughout their entire careers, releasing more than ten albums with various groups, including Baltimore’s Teen Suicide.

Ricky Eat Acid is where Ray shines. “Hey” the opening track off his album “Talk To You Soon,” dropped unexpectedly last month, captivating listeners with its entrancing melody dotted by distorted high-pitched moans. A third of the way into the track, the tempo picks up and fast-paced violins lead to a climax at the three-minute mark, with a glittery explosion of air horns and static leading seamlessly back into the sleepiness with which the song began. “Hey” sets the tone for the whole album, which is some of Ray’s best work yet.

“Talk To You Soon” was released Oct. 28.

Jeff Rosenstock – “Wave Goodnight to Me”
At first glance, Jeff Rosenstock may not look like your typical “punk rocker.” He sports a suit and floral tie as he strolls down Connecticut Avenue in his latest video for “Wave Goodnight To Me,” ending up in the back venue of Comet Ping Pong. Rosenstock has been making music for nearly twenty years and has been involved in more than thirty releases.

His most recent song, “Wave Goodnight to Me,” is a funny – bordering on cheesy – track with a music video that pokes fun at his own role in the music scene, as he is repeatedly told to get out and eventually is kicked out of a pizza joint by a mob of people after crashing a band’s set. The sound bears a resemblance to some of his earlier work with band Bomb The Music Industry! and has a melodic basis and gravely, exasperated vocals, like much of the work that made “punk” a household name decades ago.

Jeff Rosenstock will perform at DC9 Nov. 17. “Worry” was released Oct. 14.

Conor Oberst – “Tachycardia”

Last month, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature for, as the committee put it, “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Few – if any – folk artists have exhibited talent anywhere near as strong as Dylan, but Conor Oberst comes close. Oberst’s resume is lengthy, with his most notable work being his involvement in Bright Eyes, but in the past few years his focus has shifted to releasing as a solo artist.

“Tachycardia,” the opening track off of his latest album, “Ruminations,” is a beautiful spin on an arguably overdone topic. Listeners hear the narrative of a nameless man and woman, both struggling to deal with life’s characteristic mundanity. A bleary voice aches for relief (She spills the coffee grounds / and the same thought hits her like cinder block) but has lost the energy to seek an alternative way to act (Life’s an odd job that she don’t got the nerve to quit). The song could be interpreted as a metaphor for depression, or perhaps it is not that clinical. Oberst could be expressing the most uncomfortable of sentiments that are inherently human and hit us all from time to time.

“Ruminations” was released Oct. 14.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 5:04 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Paige Childs.

It’s the first weekend in the District that really feels like fall. Enjoy the crisper weather with art, live music and, of course, good food.

Friday

First Friday Dupont

At this longstanding Dupont Circle tradition on the first Friday of every month, you can wander into various modern and contemporary art galleries along Connecticut Avenue and P Street. Grab some comfort food while you’re in the area at Politics & Prose’s cafe, The Den.

Dupont Circle. 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Free.

Saturday

All Things Go Fall Classic

Savor one last outdoor music festival before the weather gets too cold. The third annual All Things Go Fall Classic is happening at Yards Park this Saturday. Catch headliners Passion Pit, Empire of the Sun and Sylvan Esso, as well as some up-and-comers like Ace Cosgrove.

355 Water St. SE. 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. $75 – prices increase day-of.

Sunday

Taste of D.C.

Last weekend you got a little taste of Georgetown, but now you can get a taste of the entire District. Taste of D.C. is the city’s largest food, beer and wine festival. Choose from more than 60 restaurants, taking a bite here and there for only $1-$3 per sample. Select menu favorites will be available for $8 or less. Wash everything down by stopping at one of the many beverage stations, which offer nonalcoholic drinks, or take a stroll through the Bier Garten and Wine Walk. Live performances will accompany the cuisine all day long. If you’re lucky, you might catch the D.C. Bhangra Crew – a group formed by GW students in 2008.

7th St. NW and Pennsylvania Av. NW. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. $20-$80.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016 5:47 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Catherine Moran.

Kick off the weekend with delicious outdoor food tastings, free American art and rousing dance music.

Friday

National Gallery of Art

Spend a day discovering the treasures in the reopened National Gallery of Art East Building. A rooftop sculpture garden featuring an electric blue rooster and four new exhibitions will indulge your artsy side. Be sure to check out “In the Tower: Barbara Kruger,” an exhibit featuring startling profiles by Barbara Kruger.

Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission.

IAMX + Cellars

Dance the night away to catchy, edgy synthpop. Known for visually stimulating and theatrical performances, IAMX is on a national tour with the new Los Angeles-based band, Cellars. Listen to IAMX’s addicting and haunting 2016 single “North Star” from the album “Metanoia.”

U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. 7 p.m. $25.

Saturday

Taste of Georgetown

Sample delectable dishes from more than 30 Georgetown restaurants, including cupcake rivals Baked and Wired and Georgetown Cupcake. Find out which dishes the judges – local food experts – will award “Best Way to Satiate a Sweet Tooth” and “Best use of Seasonal Ingredients,” along with other prizes. Proceeds from the event will benefit homeless outreach at the Georgetown Ministry Center.

K Street between Wisconsin Ave. and Thomas Jefferson Street. 11 a.m. $5 per tasting or $20 for five tastings.

Sunday

D.C. Design House Tour

Step inside a D.C. home transformed by some of the best-known local designers. This year’s ninth annual D.C. Design House is a white five-story, 11,000 square-foot home with 21 redesigned spaces. The money raised from the house tours will go toward the Children’s National Health System.

2509 Foxhall Rd. Noon. $35.

Kula Shaker + The Beginner’s Mynd

Finish the weekend with psychedelic rock and pop by Kula Shaker and The Beginner’s Mynd. Get ready by listening to Kula Shaker’s “Love B (with U)” from their 2016 album “K 2.0,” which was released in February.

U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. 7 p.m. $22.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016 5:38 p.m.

This week in music

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Callan Tansill-Suddath.

Now that the weather has started to feel like fall, it’s time to curl up with some new music from indie musicians.

Devandra Banhart – “Saturday Night”

Devandra Banhart rose to prominence with his unique style of freak-folk and gained widespread attention with his collaborations with indie pioneers like The Strokes, Joanna Newsom and MGMT. The luminous video for “Saturday Night,” the second single from his most recent album “Ape in Pink Marble,” pairs with the trippy yet calming vibe of the track. The tone could easily be compared to a lullaby, and the video is fittingly filled with babies and puppies. As we approach the beginning of autumn, this is the kind of song that’s easy to picture listening to around a bonfire as the last few days of warmer weather slip away.

Best lyrics: Can’t keep your eyes from closing/
You’re a blue sky decomposing as we all embrace what we’ve become/
And love always is merging into one

“Ape in Pink Marble” was released Sept. 23.

Andrew Bird and Fiona Apple – “Left Handed Kisses”

With successful careers spanning four decades between the two of them, Fiona Apple and Andrew Bird are both household names for indie-rock fans. Earlier this year, Bird took advantage of a relatively new music phenomenon, Facebook Live, to release new material. Many artists opt for a bar or small venue for an intimate set – like Green Day’s upcoming surprise show at the 9:30 Club next Friday – but Bird chooses to keep it even simpler, broadcasting straight from his living room. The 37-minute broadcast was a spectacle, and the song is a soulful and heartbreaking ballad in which both Bird and Apple are at their rawest and most vulnerable. The lyrics read like a classical love poem and tug at the heartstrings of even those as tough and concrete as the image Apple has created throughout her years as an artist.

Best lyrics: Drifting gently through the gyre/
Of the great Sargasso Sea, Atlantic Ocean


Andrew Bird’s “Are You Serious” was released in April. He will perform Oct. 9 at Rams Head Live! in Baltimore.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 6:30 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

You’ve almost made it through a month of school, so it’s time to celebrate with music and comedy this weekend.

Friday

Freedom Sounds at the Washington Monument

You can enjoy a free festival all weekend in celebration of the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s grand opening. Don’t miss out on performances from Public Enemy and the Roots, along with drum circles various spoken word and storytelling performances.

Washington Monument Grounds, 17th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Noon to 5:00 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday

Matt Braunger

You may recognize this comedian from his hour-long Comedy Central special “Big, Dumb Animal” that debuted last year or from his frequent appearances on “@midnight.”

Drafthouse Comedy DC, 1100 13th St. NW. 9 p.m. $25.

Sunday

Princess featuring Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum

If you’re still missing Prince, catch this “Saturday Night Live” alumna and her friend cover his songs. The two have been singing together since college.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 8 p.m. $30.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016 10:51 a.m.

Meet the Fall Gig acts

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Callan Tansill-Suddath.

The GW Student Musician Coalition and the GW Feminist Student Union have partnered with WRGW to host the Fall Gig in Square 80 this Saturday. The event is free and intended to “promote local and female artistry in the music industry,” according to the event’s Facebook page. All three bands performing are native to the tri-state area.

Here’s a preview of what to expect at the performance:

“Thin Air” – Wildhoney

Hailing from Baltimore, indie noise-pop group Wildhoney has gained a devoted following since the release of their 2015 album “Your Face Sideways.” Of the songs on the album, “Thin Air,” is one of the more upbeat tracks, with an audible, catchy bassline and a chorus to match. Lead singer Lauren Shusterich’s vocals are girlish and light, which complement the cacophony of drums and guitar in the background, creating a fun and lively — but not overwhelming — sound. Their style is akin to that of Frankie Cosmos and Eskimeaux but with a dreamier and, at times, heavier emphasis on instrumentals.


“For Free” – Den-mate

Den-mate brings a fresh and undoubtedly unique electro-punk sound to the District’s music scene. The overall sound of the five-piece group echoes earlier electro-punk icons, like Crystal Castles, and the vocals sound like a combination of Bjork and Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star. In “For Free,” Frontwoman Jules Hale’s sultry, haunting voice shines — meshing perfectly with a hypnotizing guitar riff and the background synthesizers. Though one of the slower tracks on the album, “For Free” is perhaps one of the strongest.


“Doctor” – Priests

Of the three bands scheduled to play at the WRGW Fall Gig, Priests bears the most similar resemblance to the many girl punk bands who laid the groundwork for the genre. Frontwoman Katie Alice Greer spits aggressive yet feminine lyrics and has mastered the transition to more mellow melodies with effortless power. The track “Doctor” sounds like it could have been released twenty years ago, with similarities to the music released during the riot grrrl movement. A powerhouse of aggressive vocals, hard instrumentals and lyrics that Greer described to Washington City Paper as “influenced by ’60s protest folk music,” the music of Priests is a perfect example of what D.C. punk has been and what it will become. In addition to making music, Priests runs Sister Polygon Records, an independent music label.

The WRGW Fall Gig will take place in Square 80 from 1 p.m. to 6p.m. Saturday.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

Niko & Vinz performed hits like "Am I Wrong" for a full crowd in University Yard at Fall Fest Saturday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Niko & Vinz performed hits like “Am I Wrong” for a full crowd in University Yard at Fall Fest Saturday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Isabel Pellegrino.

With high energy music from a trio of acts blaring across campus in the high winds of a far-off hurricane, Fall Fest Saturday proved to be a success.

Both the sun and the students came out to enjoy the three acts: Bencoolen, the Mowgli’s and Nico & Vinz. The Mowgli’s and Niko & Vinz dual headlined the performance for the first time in Fall Fest history.

As Nico & Vinz put it at the top of their set, “We is here to party.”

The success of the event is certainly relative to the turnout of this year’s Spring Fling, where few students attended in the wake of Action Bronson suddenly being cut from the lineup.

The rows of students dancing in front of the stage, hanging out in the grass and waiting in line for crepes from Crepeaway marked a difference from the spring’s low turnout.

Bencoolen – a band made of four GW students and one Georgetown University student – performed a unique and exciting set. Fraternity brothers, friends and fans came out in large numbers wearing the band’s shirts.

While some of their followers stuck around after their set, many left University Yard as soon as Bencoolen finished its performance with an impressive alternative rendition of Drake’s “Hold on, We’re Going Home.”

The crowd strengthened in numbers with the appearance of the Mowgli’s, a Los Angeles-bred band with high energy and electric vocals. Hits like “I’m Good” and “San Francisco” had the crowd waving their hands in the air. Katie Earl, the female lead singer of the group, enthusiastically reminded listeners to enjoy the school year.

Students lined up close to the stage and danced along to headliners the Mowgli's and Niko & Vinz. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Students lined up close to the stage and danced along to headliners the Mowgli’s and Niko & Vinz. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Before headliner Nico & Vinz took on the stage, their DJ individually called “black and proud,” Latinos, Asians, Caucasians and other groups of people to raise their hands and celebrate who they are.

Students rose to their feet and gravitated toward the stage to dance along with the Norwegian duo. Their energy and stage presence was strong enough to draw people away from the Crepeaway line. Hits like “Am I Wrong” and “In Your Arms” could be heard blocks away from the blaring speakers.

Even a giant Washington Nationals mascot couldn’t help but dance among the students, despite the weight of its large and wobbly head.

Along with the Nationals booth, other businesses in U-Yard included the 9:30 Club – offering a chance to win free tickets to upcoming shows like Grouplove on Nov. 9 – Crepeaway, Soul Cycle, Powerade and Domino’s Pizza.

Megan Stupi noted the crowd was seemingly dominated by freshmen.

“We come for the free pizza,” she said just barely audible over the sound of the Mowgli’s.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 11:31 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Max McCrory.

It’s move-in weekend, and while most people will be breaking their backs moving box after box into their new residence halls, the lucky few who have moved in already will have free time to get out and about in the city.

Friday

Jazz in the Garden

The National Gallery of Art began its 16th season of “Jazz in the Garden” this summer. It’s held in the beautiful sculpture garden outside of the museum, which you can stroll through before the concert. This weekend is the penultimate performance featuring the jazz band, Moonshine Society. While you can bring a picnic along, there’s also barbecue sandwiches and salads to munch on. There’s even a gelato cart, so the sugar can ease your worries about the upcoming semester.

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, 6th Street and Constitution Ave. NW. 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Saturday

17th Street Festival

Dupont Circle is holding its seventh annual 17th Street Festival, which celebrates everything 17th street has to offer – from the beautiful shops to the mouth-watering restaurants. There will be more than 50 artists selling everything from jewelry to ceramics at the event. This is the first year that the festival will have multiple parades and bands playing throughout the day, too. Guests can buy a $10 wristband to sample all the food at the festival. This is the perfect place to take your family once you’re all moved in, because everyone is bound to find something they enjoy.

1501 17th Street NW. 12 p.m. Admission is free.

Sunday

State fair

To cap off the weekend, celebrate D.C.’s culture and agriculture at the D.C. State Fair. Everything will be homegrown – from the music to the food to the art. This is the fair’s seventh year showcasing our beautiful city. What better way to celebrate the last day of summer than by sampling food, listening to music and browsing local artists’ work.

Storey Park Noma, 1005 First Street NE. 11 a.m. Admission is free.

  • Permalink
  • Comments