Beyond the Books

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016 4:03 p.m.

A Day in Music

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

We’re in the final stretch before the end of the semester – and the end of college for graduating seniors. Here are some songs to help you forget about the stress of finals for a few minutes while you dance around your dorm room.

Tegan and Sara – “Boyfriend”

Tegan and Sara, a twin duo from Canada that started making music in 1995, exchanged much of their angsty, indie rock sound for high energy pop on their last album, 2013’s “Heartthrob.” They continue with their pop sound in their eighth album, “Love You To Death,” which is set to release in June.

The first single from their new album, “Boyfriend,” sets a high bar for the remaining tracks by pairing a light-hearted, electric sound with heart-wrenching lyrics that detail a struggle with identity and sexuality – both common themes for the duo.

Carly Rae Jepsen – “Boy Problems”

Carly Rae Jepsen’s major claim to fame is undoubtedly 2012’s summer pop anthem “Call Me Maybe,” which has accumulated over 800 million views on Youtube since its release. Though at the time many brushed her off as a one-hit-wonder, Jepsen’s latest album, “Emotion,” gained her a loyal cult following and the attention of some of the biggest names in pop music. “Boy Problems,” a hit off her newest album, is a girl power anthem with an unmistakable 80’s flair. It’s catchy, synth sound combined with Jepsen’s bubbly vocals have created one of the strongest pop songs since the work of groups like The Go-Gos and late-90’s Britney Spears.

DNCE – “Cake by the Ocean”

This song first gained notoriety a few months ago with its appearance on a Sprint Wireless commercial, but what most people are just now realizing is that it’s the work of millennial Disney pop royalty and former boyband member, Joe Jonas. The song is fun with flirty lyrics and it shows off Jonas’s ability to hit the high notes, a trait of his that has remained even though his teen boy band years are long gone. The song draws clear inspiration from Maroon 5’s, “Sugar,” and will likely go on to follow in its footsteps as a summer dance party anthem.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – “Brad Pitt’s Ugly Cousin”

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are largely responsible for the phenomenon of independently released hip hop joining the mainstream. Together, the two released 2012’s hugely successful “The Heist.” Their second full-length album, “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made,” came out in February. Their new single,“Brad Pitt’s Ugly Cousin,” is a fun, carefree and funny track. Much of the wordplay is tongue-in-cheek, the beat is catchy, and the video, in true Macklemore and Ryan Lewis style, is a homemade montage of iPhone videos.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016 3:33 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Catherine Moran.

Celebrate springtime and warmer weather this weekend with the White House garden tours, the last hoorah of the Cherry Blossom Festival and one-night-only music.

Friday

Japanese drum and dance performance

Continue the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrations with thundering Japanese drums and dancers. The free performance by the Tamagawa University Dance and Taiko Group includes about 30 drummers and dancers.

Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. 6:00 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday

White House garden tour

If you’ve ever wanted to take a stroll around the White House grounds, now is your chance. The garden tours begin 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and will take visitors through the rose garden, children’s garden, South Lawn and the kitchen garden. Tickets will be distributed on a first come first serve basis.

Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, 15th and E streets. 9:00 a.m. One free ticket per person.

Travel the world in 80 paper models

Check out the opening day for a new exhibit of 80 architectural paper models representing all 50 states, countries and real and imaginary buildings this weekend. The hand-drawn and 3-D models include everything from forts to castles to skyscrapers to villages. The models will take around the world – from the Roman Baths to a World Cup soccer stadium in South Korea.

National Building Museum, 401 F St NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission.

Cherry Blossom Festival parade

Watch the iconic hour-long springtime spectacle filled with elaborate floats, balloons and marching bands. Performers include the cast from the musical “Jersey Boys,” “The Voice” contestants Sisaundra Lewis and Meghan Lindsey, R&B artist Raheem DeVaughn, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell and more. Be sure to arrive early for prime viewing spots.

Constitution Avenue between 9th and 15th streets. 10:00 a.m. Free.

Sunday

The Dandy Warhols

End your weekend with soft rock with an indie influence. The Dandy Warhols sound like a deeper, slower Arctic Monkeys mixed with Mumford and Sons. Before the show, be sure to check out their recent single “You Are Killing Me.”

9:30 Club, 815 V St NW. 7:00 p.m. Tickets $25.

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GW Students Against Sexual Assault hosted two events, The Clothesline Project and Walk A Mile, in University Yard Sunday as part of Take Back the Night – a sexual assault and domestic violence awareness week.

SASA offered resources for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors.

“While we can never truly understand a survivor’s experience, it pays justice to all of our survivors,”  Kalpana Vissa, the director of peer education, said.

Video by Sara Bugaighis and Jordan McDonald

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Updated: April 10, 2016 at 3:42 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Jerome Dineen.

Craving chocolate? So were the 300 festival-goers that attended the inaugural D.C. Chocolate Festival at the Westin near Thomas Circle Saturday. Thirty local, domestic and international chocolate vendors showcased a diverse sampling of high-quality artisanal chocolate across the hotel’s ballroom floor.

The Chocolate House, a chocolate boutique in Adams Morgan, organized and funded the event along with help from Valrhona, a French chocolate manufacturer. Amedei, an Italian chocolate company, paid for the gift bags guests received when they arrived.

Marisol Slater, who owns the Chocolate House and the primary organizer of the festival, said she hopes the festival continues in the years to come.

“There’s more momentum in D.C., so it’s the perfect time to build partnerships with vendors,” Slater said.

Slater added that one reason she organized this event was to give attendees an opportunity to learn the history of chocolate from the people most intimately associated with it: the chocolatiers.

“Because we know most of these vendors, we can tell people a story about where the chocolate came from,” Slater said.

Vendors vied for attention from attendees with samples of their chocolates, which ranged from simple dark chocolate bars to elegantly crafted confections. Although some vendors hailed from the District, others flew over from as far as Ecuador or France.

Charm School Chocolates, a Baltimore-based chocolate company whose chocolates are all dairy-free, soy-free and vegan, included samples of coconut white chocolate made from cocoa beans sourced from small-output farmers in Belize.

Charm School Chocolates head chef Joshua Rosen said coconut is a great substitute for milk and “gives us a beautiful snap with a wonderful shine.”

“We really try to hit hard with flavor while also being plant-based,” Rosen said.

Chefs from Artisan Confections, a chocolate shop based in Fairfax, Va., presented a collection of delectable salted caramel and ginger-hazelnut treats, each enrobed with a decorative couverture and filled with creamy fudge.

Other vendors were more traditional in their approaches. The chefs at Cacao Prieto, a Brooklyn “bean to bar” chocolate manufacturer and whiskey distillery, stuck to dark chocolate tempered with cocoa butter and other ingredients sourced solely from sustainable plantations in the Dominican Republic.

While festival-goers may have gotten a few samples, the chocolates were pricey. Most bars of chocolate ranged from $8 to $12, and many vendors only offered pre-packaged boxes ranging from $20 to $45.

Along with offering free samples, the vendors taught chocolate-making classes.

Adam Kavalier, a head chocolatier at the District’s own Undone Chocolates with a doctorate in plant ecology, taught a class on science and chocolate. He said chocolate consumption has many health benefits like reducing blood pressure, improving vascular health and increasing cerebral blood flow.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Charm School Chocolates is from San Francisco. The chocolate company is based in Baltimore.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016 8:08 p.m.

Q&A with Big Gigantic

This post was written by contributing culture editor Regina Park.

You can catch the electro duo Big Gigantic, made up of saxophonist and producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salkin, at Echostage this Friday.

The band, which debuted in 2012, is known for its jazz riffs and saxophone solos on top of electronic beats – which create a unique, danceable beat.

The Hatchet talked to Lalli about what inspires him and where the duo is headed.

Hatchet: How did the two of you – Dominic and Jeremy – first get together to create Big Gigantic?

Lalli:
We used to be roommates and played a lot of gigs together over the years. We started going out and seeing a lot of electronic bands and DJs live and wanted to jam with them, so that got us the idea to start the group.

Hatchet: One of your trademarks is definitely your jazzy touches to EDM, like sax solos: How did that come to be? Were you surprised at how well the sax went with electro?

Lalli: We’ve always been jamming over any kind of music, really, so it was natural for us to just want to jam with the electronic beats.

Hatchet: How would you say your sound has changed from your debut in 2012, if at all?

Lalli: Lots! I think we’re growing all of the time and honestly I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Hatchet: Who are your EDM heroes?

Lalli: I’m not sure that I have any, but I have lots of musical heroes that range from Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock to Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. I’m really inspired by artists that were and are innovators of their time.

Hatchet: So you’ve already made it big. Where do you go from here?


Lalli:
Well, that’s very kind of you. We just try to get better every day. I think that’s the key to being happy and healthy as a person as well as a band.

Hatchet: What would you say to any students who’d like to follow in your footsteps or experiment with mixed sounds?

Lalli: I would tell them to just work harder than everyone else and their dreams will be within their reach. Anything is possible!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016 7:48 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Max McCrory.

You can drink coffee, get colorful, watch fireworks and laugh until you cry this weekend. And as a bonus, you can do most of it for free.


Friday

Daryl Shawn

There’s nothing like jamming to guitar music and sipping fair-trade espresso at the end of a long week. Stop by Ebeneezer’s Coffeehouse on Friday to hear Pittsburgh-based guitarist Daryl Shawn. He incorporates both flamenco and African rhythms for a unique listening experience. While you’re there, try a new coffee beverage because the proceeds all go to community outreach programs.

Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse
201 F St. NE
7 p.m.
Admission is free.

Saturday

Holi D.C.

Celebrate a traditional Indian holiday without even leaving the District. Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the powers of color, happiness and love. Enjoy traditional Krishna music, dancing and Indian food at this colorful celebration.

ISKCON of D.C.
10310 Oaklyn Dr., Potomac, Md.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is free.

Waterfront fireworks

When you finally decide to leave your dorm after a day spent doing homework, head over to the Southwest waterfront for a fireworks show – part of the National Cherry Blossom festival. You can sample some delicious food from food trucks, take a dragonboat tour and even learn calligraphy during the day’s festivities.

Southwest Waterfront
600 Water St. SW
1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Admission is free.

Sunday

Freestyle Funny Comedy Show

Let loose before the week begins with some laughter. The Freestyle Funny Comedy Show is performing at D.C. Improv. The group has performed at universities and comedy clubs nationwide. They blend stand up, improv and audience games, so no two shows are the same.

DC Improv
1140 Connecticut Ave. NW
7:30 p.m.
$20.

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The Textile Museum is adding a curator for contemporary textiles. Hatchet file photo by Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The Textile Museum is adding a curator for contemporary textiles. Hatchet file photo by Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gave a $500,000 grant to create a new curator position at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, according to a University release.

The curator position, which the University plans on filling this summer, will work with contemporary textile collections.

The curator will also work with students and faculty to help produce textiles for the exhibit and develop more lectures and programs for the University and the public. Whoever fills the position will also add more research opportunities for students and faculty through the museum and provide museum career training, according to the release.

The release said the curator will also build a collection of contemporary fiber art, which would involve visiting studios and galleries to find artists to for the collection.

The new position is part of a mission to add more contemporary art to the textile museum, according to the release, and the curator will working with artists and staff at the Corcoran School of Arts and Design and the Luther W. Brady Gallery.

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D.C. rapper Goldlink was the headline for this year's Spring Fling concert. Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

D.C. rapper Goldlink was the headline for this year’s Spring Fling concert. Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Callan Tansill-Suddath.

The removal of Action Bronson as this Spring Fling’s headliner provided a perfect opportunity to showcase three local acts.

Although the crowd was thinner during the first two opening acts than in past years, the energy picked up as headliner Goldlink took to the stage for his hour-long set.

The rapper and D.C.-native sported a vintage Washington Bullets basketball jersey while hypnotizing the crowd with remixes of classic songs such as House of Pain’s “Jump Around” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” He also played a number of his own tracks including the crowdpleaser, “Spectrum” off of his 2015 album “And After That, We Didn’t Talk.”

Goldlink was impressive in his originality during his freestyles – his creativity shone through when he meshed his fast, free-flowing rhymes with music from different genres. Not to mention his vocals sounded the same both live and on recorded tracks.

Before the headlining act, the crowd was sparse with about 80 students in U-Yard and only about 15 to 20 people dancing at any given time. The area around the stage quickly filled up with people for Goldlink’s set, many of whom were wearing glowsticks from Program Board.

Student DJ Lean Quatifah kicked off the concert with a two-hour set of continuous, high-energy remixes. He was followed by fellow local DJ Manila Killa, a senior at George Mason University, for another hour of music including mixes of “Roses” by The Chainsmokers and his debut original track, “All That’s Left.”

Student DJ Lean Quatifah performed a one-hour set. Quatifah is known for the colorful stickers he posts around campus. Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Student DJ Lean Quatifah performed a one-hour set. Quatifah is known for the colorful stickers he posts around campus. Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Vendors at this year’s event featured many familiar faces from years past including The 9:30 Club, who hosted a raffle for tickets to future shows such as The Sweetlife Festival on May 14. Domino’s Pizza and Coca Cola were responsible for the food and drinks. Other attractions included an inflatable challenge course and baseball pitching tent.

One noticeable change to this year’s Spring Fling was the absence of free shirts, arguably the most popular part of the festival in past years.

Program Board member Rob Todaro said that although the shirts were ordered, the Program Board decided not to distribute them because they listed Action Bronson’s name on the back as the headliner. Instead, the shirts will be donated. Todaro is a former Hatchet columnist.

Despite the controversy leading up to the concert, the event attracted students from every grade. Freshman Madeleine Pye was very pleased with her first Spring Fling experience.

“I thought it was great, I loved Lean Quatifah and Manilla Killas sets,” Pye said. “Goldlink had really great energy. Overall, great music.”

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Thursday, March 31, 2016 4:12 p.m.

A Day in Music

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Callan Tansill-Suddath.

Now that Action Bronson will no longer be performing at Spring Fling, take some time today to study up on the remaining two acts:

Lean Quatifah
Even if you have not heard his music, you have more than likely seen his name on the back of a stop sign or on a laptop around campus. Student DJ Lean Quatifah has spent years building his brand in the District.

The producer, who prefers to maintain a level of anonymity, creates diverse music with some tracks that mesh fast-paced house with hip hop (like on his remix of “Yeye” by Aminé) and others that utilize soft synthesizers for a more laid-back sound (“Daydreaming”).

Whatever Quatifah chooses to play during his set on Saturday is sure to be solid – he is setting a new, exciting precedent for the music scene in the District.

Quatifah is scheduled to open the show at 4 p.m.

Goldlink

The music of D.C.-native Goldlink echoes many of the R&B greats of past eras (Earth, Wind & Fire and Marvin Gaye come to mind), but he also brings an inventive and exciting sound. Though technically classified as a rapper, Goldlink’s ability to combine the sounds of many genres on one track shows how multilayered he is as an artist.

With emotional and open lyrics, Goldlink knows how to produce music in a way that makes you want to dance no matter what is being said – which he does on his song “Unique,” featuring Anderson .Paak.

On “Divine,” Goldlink partners with fellow DMV-native, Kali Uchis, for a track with jazzy vocals, a fast-paced beat and a Southern bounce.

Goldlink is set to perform at 6 p.m.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016 9:45 a.m.

Weekend Outlook

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Julia Korsyn.

This weekend enjoy some comedy, the last of the cherry blossom bloom and sumo wrestling.

Friday

Clayton English

The “Last Comic Standing” winner covers everything from smoking weed to dealing with the police during his act.

DC Improv. 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. 9:45 p.m. $22.

NYX’s first storefront grand opening

Makeup gurus rejoice: The first NYX makeup store is opening this weekend at Tysons Corner Mall this weekend. The store’s grand opening will last all weekend. To celebrate its first storefront, NYX will give away some free goodies, like makeup bags, and will offer shoppers the chance to win a $100 NYX shopping spree.

Tysons Corner Mall. 1961 Chain Bridge Rd. Opens 10 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday

Blossom Kite Festival

You don’t have to be stop celebrating cherry blossom season just yet. The Blossom Kite Festival will showcase a variety of kites from U.S. kite-makers and fliers, as well as international participants. The event is free and you can even bring your own kite to fly. If you don’t have one, don’t worry – you can stop by a kite-making station at the festival.

Washington Monument. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free.

Spring Fling

Don’t miss Program Board’s annual event to kick off spring featuring musicians Action Bronson, GoldLink and Lean Quatifah.

University Yard, H St. between 20th and 21st St. NW. 6 p.m. Free for students.

Sunday

Sumo wrestling

If you have ever wanted to witness sumo wrestling in the flesh, this weekend is your chance. Famous sumo wrestling champions Yama, Byamba and Takeshi are coming to the District to show off their sumo skills.

North End Shaw. 945 Florida Ave. NW, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free.

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