Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

The public health school got another new name Thursday – if only for a few hours. Photo Courtesy of Facebook user.

The public health school got another new name Thursday – if only for a few hours. Photo Courtesy of Facebook user.

GW renamed its public health school last week after receiving a multi-million dollar donation from the institute run by billionaire philanthropist Michael Milken.

But the sign outside the school’s new $75 million building on Washington Circle called it the Milken Institute School of Public Policy – not public health – for a few hours Thursday.

At least it didn’t say pubic health?

The sign’s lettering has since been scratched off, but not before the photos floated around students’ Facebook pages.

The University received $80 million worth of support for its public health from Milken and another research-focused philanthropist Sumner Redstone. Public health faculty and administrators began moving into the new building last week.

After GW rebranded its logo last fall, a sign outside of Fulbright Hall was misspelled as “Fullbright Hall.”

And in case you were wondering what GW’s actual public policy school had to say:

Updated March 20, 2014 at 5:11 p.m.
Ironically, we made a typo of our own. The public health donation did not amount to $80. It totaled $80 million. The latter is much more impressive.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Monday, March 17, 2014 11:14 a.m.

What we’re listening to: Three acts from SXSW

by admin

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Maddy Pontz.

Photo courtesy of the official Facebook page for Carbon Tigers

Photo courtesy of the official Facebook page for Carbon Tigers.

D.C. might be lacking true 20-something hipsters, but the South by Southwest Festival last week offered up fresh new finds in film, music and technology.

As someone who defines nearly every event in my life in terms of music, it was an easy decision for me to opt for that entry badge. Hundreds of thousands of people swarmed Austin, Texas for the music portion of the festival, and I was lucky enough to be one of them.

Here are my top three favorite bands out of SXSW this year, so you can have the indie cred of saying you knew them way back when – when they had only first played in Austin.

1) Carbon Tigers

An awesome band out of Chicago, Carbon Tigers is a group of four genuinely affable guys playing awesomely skilled, energetic music. Their tunes might commonly be categorized under the larger indie rock genre, but the guys told me that they prefer “pop art rock.”

Carbon Tigers recently released an EP entitled “The Wars At Home,” a super talented showing that I would recommend to fans of Cold War Kids or Minus The Bear (a band the guys cite so heavily as an influence that their guitarist Nick Cudone tattooed his upper arm to recognize the group).

Be sure to check out my favorite two songs on the EP: “The Wars At Home” and the opening track “Everybody Else.” Lead singer Chris Wienke’s voice is haunting, creating a swaying, chill EP perfect for nearly any occasion.

2) Emily Wolfe

Singer and songwriter Emily Wolfe has only performed in public for two years now, which was sometimes evident in her slightly uncomfortable stage presence. She spoke softly into the microphone between songs, often pushing her hair into her eyes and looking toward the ground. However, Wolfe more than made up for any timidity on stage as soon as she began to sing, roaring soulful tunes that truly electrified the SXSW crowd.

Musically, if you could combine Tegan and Sara and Ingrid Michaelson, with a hint of Melissa Etheridge, you might find yourself listening to Wolfe’s self-titled “dream rock.” She is a performer who can rock out for some songs and then switch to quiet, emotional jams in a flash.

Wolfe is unsigned to a major label, so be sure to check out her music on her website.

3) Lime Cordiale

Lime Cordiale, an Australian band on a first trip to the U.S., was able to truly get the crowd pumping during an afternoon set at the festival.

The two brothers of Lime Cordiale, Oliver and Louis Leimbach, are gifted with clear voices, awesome instrumental skills and the ability to write super catchy pop tunes.

In an interview with them before the show, the brothers said they define their music as “indie with a soul influence and pop hooks at the same time.” Really, they said they just hope to get everyone dancing and thrive off of that energy if they succeed.

The brothers cite Amy Winehouse, The Strokes, The Specials and ska music in general as their biggest musical influences. They hope to spend some time driving and playing shows across the country, having what they would consider a classic American road trip, the kind they’ve read about all their lives.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

It took about three songs during Ellie Goulding’s sold-out show at Echo Stage on Sunday before the crowd fell into a trance, dazzled by her signature upbeat, electronic dance songs and impressive light effects.

Elli Goulding in concert last night. Erica Christin | Photo Editor

Elli Goulding in concert last night. Erica Christin | Photo Editor

By the time she began her third song, “Goodness Gracious,” the audience was singing along to every word and every arm was bouncing in the air. Goulding conducted her congregation like a hypnotic preacher, and every body roll and punchy drum solo she performed led to crazed roars from Goulding’s evangelists.

“Who here is shy?” Goulding asked the audience. “Tonight, you’re allowed to go crazy,” she instructed, and people obeyed.

Her performance was nothing short of spiritual. She opened with a powerful rendition of her single “Figure 8,” resembling a genie on stage as she bellydanced in billowy pants, a bustier top and a sparkly bindi that brought attention to her long, golden mane.

Halfway through the set, the pace changed from electric to haunting when Goulding traded her band for an acoustic guitar. During a somber rendition of “Guns and Horses,” the fans took over singing the chorus while Goulding accompanied on guitar.

Goulding applauded the D.C. audience for their enthusiasm during the show.

“I’m pretty shy, so when the audience is shy, I’m even more shy,” she said.

The British singer-songwriter made her audience laugh when she announced that her “trousers” were falling apart and she needed to buy more expensive clothes.

The song that was greeted with the most applause was her rendition of Elton John’s “Your Song,” which reached No. 2. in British charts back in 2010 and she also performed at the Buckingham Palace wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Goulding also incorporated a remixed version of MIA’s “Bad Girls” as the background of a thrilling drum solo, which then transitioned to “Salt Skin,” a melody from Goulding’s first album.

The climax of the evening was Goulding’s last five songs. From “Anything Could Happen” to “I Need Your Love” and “Lights,” the energy in the room was at an all-time high and her un-choreographed outbursts of dance reflected the energy of each song.

Fans chanted Ellie’s name for an encore performance that ended with a fiery rendition of “Burn.”

Goulding proved that she is not a singer, but a rock star.

The audience was surprised at the beginning of the evening when a petite, blonde woman got onto the stage, who turned out not to be Goulding. Conway, the unannounced opener, was greeted by maniacal cheering that quickly turning to silence after the crowd realized that this is not who they were at Echostage to see.

Conway looked and sounded like Gwen Stefani, with her platinum blonde hair, toned arms and deep voice. Her songs were full of angst and musical grunts. The audience was relieved when her half-hour set was over.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Sunday, March 16, 2014 9:17 p.m.

How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the District

by admin

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Ben Marks.

Courtesy of the official Facebook page for McFadden's.

Courtesy of the official Facebook page for McFadden’s.

Bust out your four-leaf clovers and green face paint – Saint Patrick’s Day is here and it’s ending spring break with an Irish bang. All this week, the District will host holiday events that range from traditional parades to heart-pounding concerts. Here are the some of the best ways to celebrate in D.C.

1. ShamrockFest 2014

Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on RFK Stadium on Saturday for ShamrockFest, a music and games festival that was named the third-best St. Patrick’s Day festival in the country by Beer Taste Magazine. Be sure to get your tickets early and prepare for dozens of artists including American Celtic punk rockers Dropkick Murphys, Carbon Leaf and the Fighting Jamesons. For those of you over 21, there will also be beer trucks spanning the length of two football fields and free pub games with cash prizes.

2. McPattysfest 2014

Head over to McFadden’s on Monday for Caribbean trip giveaways, bagpipers, live music by Jeff from Accounting and, most importantly, an Irish bull ride. McFadden’s is advertising the event as “a night you won’t remember, but will never forget,” which of course is their way of saying, drink responsibly.

If you’re looking for something to do in case the snow day comes through, the bar is also offering a “Kegs & Eggs” special from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with $3 beers – and no cover charge with your college ID.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 7:14 p.m.

Two books you must read before the movies

by admin

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Tim Palmieri.

While fans will often rally behind movie spinoffs of their favorite books, authors risk a lot with film versions. The movies may generate more readership, but they can also stain the book’s image for years. “Divergent” and “The Fault in Our Stars” have both recently undergone the Hollywood treatment, and here’s why you should read them now.

divergent“Divergent”

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: Dystopian, Thriller

If You Liked: “The Hunger Games,” “Legend,” “Maze Runner”

Selfless, intelligent, honest, brave and peaceful represent the five factions that coexist in this book’s dystopian Chicago. The faction in which you belong is determined by tests that ultimately determine your life. But the test cannot always be right, and when faced with this predicament, Beatrice Prior must decide whether faction is more important than blood.

“Divergent” combines originality with themes from “1984,” “The Hunger Games,” and “The Maze Runner” that result in an intriguing and immersive world that stays with readers long after the final page is turned. At 500-pages, the book may seem long but it’s a quick read. Readers will resonate with characters and values and enjoy the deceptively complex plot. Continuing to follow the trilogy with the sequel, “Insurgent,” is not a decision as much as it is a necessity.

The “Divergent” film, directed by Neil Burger and starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, enters theaters March 21. Readers eagerly anticipate the film’s depiction of the faction test in hopes it will be as grueling and mystifying as they always imagined. Intense training sessions will likely utilize special effects to convey the surreal obstacles in scenes that will leave lasting impressions, not to mention the eccentric appearances of factions and their interesting customs such as the Dauntless jumping onto moving trains for transportation.

“The Fault in Our Stars”
Author: John Green
Genre: Drama, Romance
If You Liked: “The Notebook,” “Looking For Alaska,” “Thirteen Reasons Why”

the fault in our starsJohn Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” tells the tale of Hazel and her decline into terminal illness. Despite her grim condition, life starts to improve when Augustus Waters shows up to the “cancer kid support group.”

“The Fault in Our Stars” is full of life lessons, from happiness to pain and justification. Hazel and Augustus convey these themes through witty dialogue and gestures that force readers to smile with admiration or “aww” in delight. The fundamentally organic nature and charm of the narrative makes this a unique story readers will want to remember.

The film version, directed by Josh Boone and starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, will be released on June 6. The tender scenes between the pair will make it difficult for audiences to experience without evoking virtually every emotion throughout the film. Their first meeting, the date scene and the museum trip should all be highlights.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Eric Robinson.

For those of us not enjoying a tropical vacation this week, spring break means catching up on TV shows your roommates have been talking about all semester. Check out these recommended shows, which are all in their first or second seasons, so you don’t fall too far behind.

The-AmericansThe Americans (FX)

The second season of this twisty spy thriller premiered only a few weeks ago, so it’s the perfect time to get hooked on this tense Cold War drama. Set during the 1980s, “The Americans” follows the exploits of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), two KGB operatives posing as an American couple in the suburbs of D.C. with their oblivious children. The show is definitely a slow burn, the early episodes basically consisting of Philip and Elizabeth tackling a mission given to them by their Soviet leaders. Thankfully, the quality writing from showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields and the fantastic performances from Russell and Rhys make this one of the better dramas on television.

Hannibal (NBC)

A prequel to the classic horror film “Silence of the Lambs” and the series of novels by author Thomas Harris, “Hannibal” follows FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) as he attempts to solve gruesome murders while unknowingly recieving the aid of cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). Whether it be the disturbingly violent content, a haunting score that seemingly screams throughout each episode, lurid and surreal imagery that is absolutely terrifying to look at, or the powerful performances of Dancy and Mikkelsen, “Hannibal” is one of the most consistently effective horror shows on television.

True Detective (HBO)

One day after the end of its acclaimed first season, “True Detective” should is an absolutely must-watch. “True “Detective” is the show that everyone will be talking about at the Emmy’s this year. A mystery show that has two detectives, Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) investigating the cultish murder of a prostitute, “True Detective” is less interested in its main mystery than in philosophical and social issues such as religion, the American dream and death. Top that off with the most powerful performance of recent Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey’s career, and you have the possibly the best new television show of 2014.

A Young Doctor’s Notebook (Netflix)

“A Young Doctor’s Notebook” is a fine black comedy that succeeds in being both hilarious and depressing at the same time. It takes place in 1934 as an unnamed doctor (Jon Hamm) reminisces on his time as a young doctor (Daniel Radcliffe) in 1917 while in the small Russian town of Muryevo. The series has the young doctor dealing with a host of horrific medical horrors while simultaneously interacting with his older self in his mind. The content is oppressively dark despite the deceiving presence of a post-Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe. Whether it be surreal hallucinations, morphine addictions or the terrifyingly gory medical procedures that include the amputation of a child’s legs with a dull saw blade and the attempted gouging of baby’s eye, “A Young Doctor’s Notebook” is not for those seeking light entertainment. Those who can withstand the horrors, however, will find a bitingly comic tale of lost optimism that features great performances from both Hamm and Radcliffe.

Looking (HBO)

Following the exploits of three gay friends in San Francisco, “Looking” has turned out to be one of the more human comedies of the year. To key to its success is the stellar cast of Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett and subtle scripts that subtly mix character development and humor. It’s a rare treat to finally find a comedy that doesn’t resort to stereotyping its gay characters for the sake of a cheap laugh. “Looking” is more than just a subtly funny comedy show – it’s an achievement in comedy television.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Saturday, March 8, 2014 7:06 p.m.

What We’re Watching: “The Wind Rises”

Hatchet reporter Tim Palmieri shares his latest movie experience.

The Wind Rises

★★★★½✰

the wind risesFamed director Hayao Miyazaki’s swan song, “The Wind Rises” is a gorgeous, emotional and unique animated adventure representing youthful ambition and the horror of war.

Loosely based on real events, a young boy living in pre-World War II Japan named Jiro Horikoshi (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dreams of being a pilot. Over time, Jiro grows to love building airplanes for their elegance, but realizes they are ultimately instruments of destruction. As ethics are questioned and Japan struggles through the film, Jiro must have faith in himself in order to create a masterpiece for the fulfillment of his life and his country.

The complexity of “The Wind Rises” makes it rich with symbolism, controversy and inspiration from the inventive sequences to the historical depictions of Japan.

Anri Yasuda, assistant professor of Japanese at GW, remembers watching Miyazaki’s films growing up and has always admired his ability to encapsulate realistic humanity in animation, something that “The Wind Rises” highlights in every scene.

“The unique power of Miyazaki’s works lies in how these plausible people and worlds mesh with more magical elements,” Yasuda said. “This more humanist approach has been inspiring new generations of manga and anime works, alongside the continuing popularity of more fantasy-laden and stylistically extreme works.”

The attention to detail and the various lighting effects pull audiences deeper into the experience. Composer Joe Hisaishi’s enchanting soundtrack fits the delicate animation perfectly.

Characters in the film are flowing with personality and realism because of the excellent voice cast. Gordon-Levitt as Jiro fits the persona of a quiet, intelligent, gentleman and Emily Blunt channels the emotional impact needed behind the young traveler Naoko. Martin Short is humorous as Jiro’s boss Kurokawa and lends himself to some of the film’s lighter moments. Additional recognizable names, like John Krasinski and Stanley Tucci, contribute to the enjoyment of the film by rounding out a diverse cast of characters.

Minor pacing issues prevent the film from attaining perfection, although these are hardly a detriment to the overall experience. Coming off of numerous classics such as “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle,” Miyazaki has once again proven his legacy in the industry with this majestic bittersweet film.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: Animated, Historical, Fantasy, Adventure
Cast: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski
Release Date: February 28, 2014
Watch if you liked: Spirited away, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Hatchet File Photo

Hatchet File Photo

Foggy Bottom has some of the city’s highest housing prices, but it’s also one of the most expensive places to buy something else: pizza.

The median price of a pizza in Foggy Bottom is $21, making it about $9 more expensive than neighborhoods like Adams Morgan and Georgetown, according to an analysis published by NPR last week.

That lands Foggy Bottom just below the most expensive $23 pizza in Midtown Manhattan – the most expensive in the country.

D.C. landed in second place out of five cities, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Chris Saccardo.

The Walking Sticks – with seamless interaction between bandmates and a blend of smooth vocals and atmospheric synthesizers – sounds like it has been playing together for more than 20 years.

But the dream-pop band that played Howard Theatre on Saturday night started just three years ago in Silver Spring, Md. The trio was one of 11 D.C.-area artists featured at Brightest Young Things’ emerging artists show, and it lit up the room with its upbeat notes, simple percussion track and polished production.

The four-hour sampler featured performances from up-and-coming artists like disco-influenced Coup Savage, screamo-rock band Loud Boyz and rapper Farmer Wes.

Jamie Finkelstein | Hatchet Photographer

The Walking Sticks perform at the Howard Theatre. Jamie Finkelstein | Hatchet Photographer

Supporting lead singer Chelsea Lee’s smooth, fiery Stevie Nicks-esque vocals, twin brothers Max and Spencer Ernst added an electronic rock-pop component to the set through guitar and bass synthesizers.

Lee described the sound as “doing the synth thing without going dub-step.”

Originally focused on folk, The Walking Sticks entered the electronic arena a year ago after listening to Tame Impala and purchasing used synthesizers at garage sales. The group found its vocalist last year with the addition of Lee.

The band’s other influences include Chrvches and Haim, but on stage the band sounded like a spunky Radiohead. Though relaxed, there was a vibrant energy that got the audience going.

The group plans to record a sequel to its first 2013 EP, “Send the Night,” hoping that they will branch from their folk roots.

“Even though we’re doing dream-pop music now, walking in the woods is still nice,” band member Spencer Ernst said.

But not all of the performances kept the audience’s attention.

One stand-up comic, Adam Friedland, who was keeping the audience engaged during the breaks, stopped his act to ask if anyone was listening. He received the most applause only after bluntly saying, “This is a nightmare.”

The Walking Sticks will hit up several other local venues over the next few weeks, including the Kennedy Center, DC9 and Rock & Roll Hotel.

This post was updated March 3 at 5:03 p.m. to reflect the following correction: 
Due to an editing error, The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the first EP was released in 2012. It was released in 2013.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Everly Jazi.

Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

The Avett Brothers performing in 2009. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

The Avett Brothers were barely south of the Maxon-Dixon line, but the bluegrass alt-rock band filled the sold-out Patriot Center on Friday with guitar twangs and rustic sounds that were truly meant for its southern fans.

The North Carolina-based band slowed down its fast-paced and jumpy energy of last fall’s Freefest show for a softer, more passionate performance that spanned multiple albums. Throughout the show, Old Crow Medicine Show showed off its southern roots, with vocalist Ketch Secor telling the crowd he loves being in Virginia as they swooned to songs like “Carry Me Back to Virginia.”

The Avett Brothers said they felt at home in the packed Fairfax, Va. stadium, telling stories about frat houses with “jello shot girls” and small trio performances like “Shame” and “Paranoia in B flat Major.”

The band performed a cover of John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” to a crowd that had already been warmed up by the opening band Old Crow Medicine Show and its famous southern anthem “Wagon Wheel.”

After a few slow but vibrant tracks, the Avett Brothers quickened the pace and people began to swing dance in the aisles while watching Seth Avett do his signature twist jig.

The Avett Brothers showed off its cross-genre musical innovation with its country take on the indie pop Patrick Wolf’s “Idumea,” with Scott Avett singing raspy solo with Kwon’s cello in the background.

One of the biggest performances of the night was “Pretty Girl from Chile.” The Latin song featured bursting vocals, intense guitar strumming, and rhythmic woodblock. At the end a woman’s voice on an answering machine played, the curtain behind stage fell and heavy instrumentation set in.

The Avett Brothers again brought out Old Crow Medicine Show for the encore, ending the night with country bluegrass covers with more harmonica, mandolin, fiddle and banjo.

  • Permalink
  • Comments