Arts & Entertainment


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Comedian Mike Birbiglia wrote and directed this comedy film tracking the struggles of an improv group.

Don’t Think Twice finds the drama in improv

September 8, 2016

Don’t Think Twice is a bittersweet film about the breakup of an improvisational comedy group, as well as a smart and earnest look into the lives of funny people. A serious comedy infused with heart and honesty, the film is a tribute to improv, as written and directed by Mike Birbiglia. The film offers an honest reflection on the uncertainty, frustration and ambition of striving to make a life in a creative field.


Gospel sounds influence Chance’s new mixtape

September 8, 2016

Chance the Rapper refuses to stay inside the lines of conventional rap music in his latest release, Coloring Book. The Chicago rapper’s third mixtape that dropped May 12 guides listeners through both a playful and spiritual journey. Are you ready, Big Fella?


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The Chainsmokers headlined their third event in Maryland following Spring Fair and InfieldFest.

Moonrise Festival packs thrills into two days

September 8, 2016

The third annual Moonrise Festival returned to Pimlico Race Course for two days (Aug. 6 and 7). The festival’s focus on electronic dance music (EDM) with the occasional rap act proved successful, with the Race Course being packed for both days. The headliners for this year’s festival were Bassnectar, Tiesto, Zedd and The Chainsmokers (who played at last year’s Spring Fair).


Should you give the Sweetlife music festival a try?

June 10, 2016

This year’s Sweetlife music festival jam-packed headliners The 1975, Halsey and Flume, as well as 14 other diverse artists, into a single day. The performances ranged from the full-on, energetic pop of popular singer-songwriters Grimes and Shamir to an 80’s throwback performance from rock band Blondie.


Enter Shikari lead vocalist Rou Reynolds talks newest album

April 28, 2016

Rou Reynolds is the lead vocalist for the English post-hardcore four-piece band Enter Shikari. Their most recent release was 2015’s The Mindsweep. Reynolds answered The News-Letter’s questions via email prior to Enter Shikari’s May 6 performance at the Baltimore Soundstage.


Music Dynasty embraces Chinese musical heritage

April 28, 2016

Music Dynasty held its spring show last Sunday night in Bloomberg. One of the many a cappella groups on the Homewood campus, Music Dynasty is the University’s first and only Chinese a cappella group. The group performed to a full crowd, sharing their passion for Chinese music and culture through eclectic performances. This spring concert featured a number of pop songs with Chinese and English lyrics, including songs from artists like Jay Chou, Pentatonix and Meghan Trainor.

Courtesy of Amy Han
President Tom Zhang will be graduating this May.

Winter’s War is unnecessary and confused

April 28, 2016

The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a fantasy action film directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, the man responsible for Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) and partially involved in Maleficent (2014). The film is something of a follow-up to his Snow White film, following the backstory and later exploits of the titular Huntsman, played by the ever-popular actor Chris Hemsworth.

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Charlize Theron, portraying the evil queen Ravenna, offers one of the film’s only compelling performances.

 Courtesy of Mia Capobianco
Poet Tariq Touré recited pieces from his recent book, Black Seeds.

New exhibition unveils Peale’s forgotten past

April 28, 2016

The Contemporary is one of Baltimore’s most unique arts institutions and perhaps its most innovative museum. It does not collect art, nor does it have a central location for displaying works. Instead, it is a nomadic museum, commissioning works to transform specific Baltimore spaces into nouveau-galleries.


Eclectic local record store celebrates 10 years

April 28, 2016

The world celebrated the ninth annual Record Store Day on Saturday, April 16. The festivities, which occur on the third Saturday of April, honor independent record stores. This year, The News-Letter decided to mark the occasion by reaching out to Celebrated Summer Records, a local store, for an interview and some insight into independent music culture. Owner Tony Pence spoke about the store and his relationship with music.

COURTESY OF WILL KIRSCH
Celebrated Summer Records is celebrating its 10th year anniversary as one of Hampden’s landmarks.

Prince remembered for revolutionary style

April 28, 2016

The man behind some of the most innovative sounds in American pop music passed away on April 21. The death of Prince Rogers Nelson, better known as just Prince, marks a 2016 that has already featured the deaths of many visionaries, including fellow musical genius, David Bowie.


 Courtesy of Jennifer BAIK
Balkan-folk-inspired indie rock band Beirut played a strong set at the Ottobar this past weekend.

Beirut play against typical indie sensibilities

April 21, 2016

Not your typical indie band, Beirut mixes heady blends of lush, brass melodies with electronic and acoustic sensibilities. Drawing from Balkan-inspired folk and postmodern pop, their sound has yet to be replicated by anyone in the indie scene.


D.C. poetry festival seeks to enact change

April 21, 2016

The Split This Rock Poetry Festival took place for the fifth time over the weekend from Thursday, April 14 to Sunday, April 17 in Washington, D.C. The festival, which has been held at the nation’s capital every other year since 2008, centers around poetry of provocation and witness.

 Courtesy of Mia Capobianco
The Split This Rock Festival took place in D.C. over the weekend.

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Mat Kerekes, singer of the band Citizen, performed at the Ottobar.

Citizen brings pop, punk to the Ottobar

April 21, 2016

Last Thursday, emo pop-punk band Citizen played at the Ottobar in one of the last stops on their six-week tour. They were supported by a bevy of similar bands, including Sorority Noise, Turnover and Milk Teeth.