Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 17, 2021

Arts & Entertainment

Coxy/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Cage the Elephant’s fifth studio album Social Cues is successful yet hits a lot of the same notes.

Cage the Elephant’s Social Cues proves monotonous

Cage The Elephant released their fifth studio album, Social Cues, on Friday, April 18. Cage The Elephant consistently impresses me with the range of music they put out. There are songs I absolutely love, songs I cannot stand listening to and songs that I simply forget. I’ve found that it’s difficult to take in an entire Cage The Elephant album at one time because their music is so high-energy and intense that it’s hard to figure out which tracks I actually enjoy. Social Cues is no exception in that many of the songs blend together on first listen. However, the album definitely has some standouts, and Cage The Elephant never fails to prove their musical prowess. 

oSTEM hosted their first annual drag show with seven student performers on April 21.

oSTEM hosts its first inaugural drag show

As April Awareness winds to a close, the University’s chapter of Out in Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (oSTEM) broke new ground with their inaugural annual drag show, “Drag Them,” on Sunday, April 21. The thrilling evening was hosted by the two event organizers, Miss Anne Thropy and Suey Sigh Delle — juniors Coleman Haley and Jane Brusilovsky respectively — in full drag and bio drag (when a female dresses in the style of male drag queens). 

Anderson .Paak reflects on love, relationships and his career in Ventura

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals joined Childish Gambino, Jaden Smith and BLACKPINK as one of the opening performers for Coachella on Friday, April 12. But before taking to the highly-coveted stage in Indio, Calif., he took us back to Ventura County in his 11 track LP, Ventura, which comes just six months after the 2018 release of Oxnard. If Oxnard’s hit song “Tints,” featuring Kendrick Lamar, was the song that helped me deal with my homesickness and longing for sunny Southern California last semester, Ventura’s “Make It Better,” featuring Smokey Robinson, is the next perfect song that will get me through this particularly gloomy spring season. 

Sebastian Durfee and Usman Enam starred in the high-energy Mauritius at the Merrick Barn.

Students shine in production of eccentric Mauritius

The John Astin Theatre presented their second weekend of Mauritius at the Merrick Barn. Directed by James Glossman, a lecturer in the Theatre Arts & Studies program, the show centered around two denominations of postage stamps issued in 1847 by British Mauritius, then a colony off the southeast coast of Africa.

Author Shapiro reads excerpts from new book

Renowned Shakespeare critic James Shapiro came to Hopkins on Thursday, April 11 to deliver an outstanding Turnbull lecture he called “Lincoln, Booth, Shakespeare.” He read for the first time an extract from his latest, yet to be released novel, Shakespeare in a Divided America.

Walterlan Papetti/CC By 4.0
Labrinth is one third of new supergroup LSD, who recently dropped their eponymous album.

LSD’s new album overshadowed by previously released singles

LSD’s inaugural and eponymous album finally dropped on Friday, April 12 after the group pushed it back from the original release date of Nov. 8. Because of this I was expecting awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping new beats and a bountiful well of new music to listen to until the summer’s inevitable slew of bouncy pop starts coming at us. While the new stuff we got off the album was great, five out of the album’s nine songs were previously released as singles, and the final track is a remix; I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed.

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Camila Mendes plays rich girl Shelby in Netflix’s new high school rom-com, The Perfect Date.

The Perfect Date is charming, but predictable

To some extent all romantic comedies are the same. You might think that that’s a bad thing, but I’d argue in the genre’s defense. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with following a good formula. That being said, if you don’t like rom-coms, The Perfect Date isn’t for you. If you don’t like high school rom-coms, then you probably shouldn’t even bother reading this review. But if, like myself, you’re the type of person who’s seen To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before multiple times and would watch it again right now, then you also need to stop reading this review because you have to go watch The Perfect Date immediately.

Epik High performed at Filmore Silver Spring in Baltimore on April 12.

Hip hop group Epik High performs a mix of old and new hits

Standing in the crowd of the Fillmore Silver Spring on Friday night, I was immediately taken back to my childhood, one of the hallmarks of which was listening to music in our family SUV. Whether we were going shopping for groceries or picking up new threads at the local Marshalls, my parents would always play music in the car. The selection was usually pretty eclectic — it included everything from Mendelssohn’s E minor violin concerto and random excerpts from Bach’s solo cello suites to Dream Theater’s Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory and excessive replays of The Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha.” 

Julio Enriquez/CC BY-SA 2.0
Vampire Weekend announced an upcoming album through the release of three double singles

Three new albums released just in time for warm weather

The return of the spring season always seems to bring with it two things: better moods and better music. In this past week, Vampire Weekend, Khalid and Kevin Abstract have all released much anticipated albums (not to mention Anderson .Paak, but he gets his own article).

Zachary Levi plays Billy Batson, the kid-turned-adult-superhero in Shazam!

DC Comics’ new film Shazam! fails to make magic on screen

I went into Shazam! with pretty high hopes. It had been very well reviewed, and I’d heard some really good things. Zachary Levi is a great actor who looked perfect for the role of the main character, kid-turned-adult-superhero Billy Batson, and the trailers were exciting and hilarious. Things all looked positive, and I was genuinely eager to see it opening night. So, with all that being said, I want to be very clear — Shazam! was not a good movie. I enjoyed it, and I’m glad I saw it, but it was not a quality film.

Nipsey Hussle was shot outside his own clothing store on March 31.

Remembering the legacy of rapper and artist Nipsey Hussle

Nipsey Hussle was murdered a week ago. He was standing outside his clothing store, The Marathon Clothing, on Slauson Avenue, the street he grew up on in Los Angeles. He got into a confrontation with a man trying to enter the store. The man left, got a gun, came back and shot Nipsey.

Jordan Peele directs and stars as the narrator in new The Twilight Zone.

The Twilight Zone reboot falls flat of original series

A large part of The Twilight Zone’s cult appeal stems from its inherently strange qualities, not only in its plot, but also in its status as an emblem of a different time and a different intellectual atmosphere in American history. The show itself, with its stilted acting, filtered sound and dramatic score, often does feel like it came from another dimension, an aspect that only increases its lurid appeal. 

Visiting Ilya Kaminsky reads original poetry

Humanities students at Hopkins are used to not getting the same opportunities as their STEM counterparts. Friendly fire proved just as fatal, however, when faculty members in the Writing Seminars started closing the door on students attempting to enter the overstuffed Tudor and Stuart Room in Gilman Hall on Tuesday, April 2. The Writing Sems department selected Gilman 388 (as opposed to the usual Mudd 26) for its intimacy, but it’s truly a shame that more students weren’t able to attend the reading of Margolies Visiting Writer Ilya Kaminsky.

The Barnstormers put on a production of Cabaret for their 100th Anniversary Spring Musical.

Berlin comes to Baltimore in Barnstormers' Cabaret

The Barnstormers finished their opening weekend of their 100th anniversary spring musical, Cabaret, in Swirnow Theater. Directed by Max Hunter, the artistic director of The Bridge Production Group, and produced by senior Julia Zimmerman, the show centers around a Berlin cabaret called the Kit Kat Klub and the lives of those involved in it. 

Courtesy of Emily McDonald
Red Emma's hosted authors from magazine World War 3 Illustrated.

Red Emma's hosts presentation of World War 3 Illustrated

Red Emma’s hosted a multimedia presentation of the latest issue of World War 3 Illustrated, a left-wing political comic magazine, on Friday, March 29. This issue, “Now is the Time of Monsters,” focuses on the rise of capitalism and fascism. And though the theme may be broad, each featured artist hones in on one specific evil in the world, from Mark Zuckerberg to forced evictions in Detroit. 

A conversation with Baltimore musician Cris Jacobs

Ask Baltimore musician Cris Jacobs if he has a favorite song from his most recent album, Color Where You Are, and he’s unable to give a direct answer.  “I can’t really say that I do,” he said. “Different songs have different emotional levels and different purposes.”

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