Eagle Staff Writer
Articles by Katrina Casino
April 21, 2010
“Meehdlesex? What ees Meehdlesex?” This is the question I was asked one day at work when I left the book I was reading out on the register. I had taken the plunge to read “Middlesex,” a 500-plus page behemoth, for two reasons. First, I couldn’t possibly read “The Virgin Suicides” one more time. “Suicides” and “Middlesex” are author Jeffrey Eugenides’ only two novels, and the latter had always seemed too daunting. Which brings me to my second reason: HBO is adapting the novel into a miniseries produced by Rita Wilson and writer Donald Magulies.
April 14, 2010
When the Three 6 Mafia told us that it was hard out there for a pimp, they had no idea what it was like being a hipster. And while it’s no longer safe to say that hipsters don’t have the benefit of sporting pimp things like gold chains, teeth or goblets of drank, we all have to admit one thing: it’s expensive to be a hipster.
March 31, 2010
Dissent: it’s a theme I’ve covered in this column all semester. I’ve discussed it in the context of hipster history (hipstory, I suppose) — bandanas, skinny jeans, flannel — they’ve all at some point been donned as signs of solidarity, as separation from and statement against the mainstream.
March 21, 2010
There was a time when college rock was characterized as alternative music spun by bearded indiekid deejays at all hours of the night. Records made in basements showed off an ever-present buzz, the hum of the tape and singers who growled about society through clenched teeth. Their audience knew — and more importantly, felt — exactly what they were talking about.
Today’s college rock, much like today’s college climate, however, is much different. What was once all flannel and hair has now evolved into something much more ... sweater vest-y. As more and more Americans have access to higher education and college students make up a larger part of the population than they ever have before, the culture that was…
Girl bands join forces, break barriers
March 21, 2010
Paramore have been slowly working their way into indietown, but don’t be too quick to say “there goes the neighborhood.” Their success started last September with their viral cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and moving onto joining Weezer on the band’s most recent tour (and even accompanying them on stage for their classic “Say It Ain’t So”). The Tennessee five-piece are now slated to play alongside twindie darlings Tegan and Sara on this year’s Honda Civic tour.
Although this may seem like a random choice, the decision to tour Paramore is unsurprising, considering that past headliners have included bands in the vein of power-punk, such as Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory and blink-182. Given this, the more…
March 17, 2010
As far as culture in America goes right now, there’s the White House, the House of Blues and Dr. Gregory House. But as of last week, the most important house in all the land was the Haus of Gaga, which released the video for “Telephone,” Lady Gaga’s latest release. The second single off of Gaga’s sophomore album “The Fame Monster,” “Telephone” applies the starlet’s usual mix of pop and glamour and laces it with a theatrical tinge of macabre.
February 28, 2010
A Manhattan native says a Texas music festival could give New York a run for its money. Too bad it starts at the end of AU’s spring break.
February 24, 2010
You know that something has reached official hipster accessory status when queer electroclash crazy person/former elementary school teacher Peaches has a song about it. Such is the case with the bandana and her song “Hanky Code” about them. Taking no precautions against profanity or sexual explicitness (she wouldn’t be Peaches without it), she cautions hipsters against fashion statements they may not be aware of: “Better know your hanky code/Before you go and shoot your load/Excuse me what’s that hanging out of your pocket?/Do you actually know what that means?”
February 17, 2010
After living here long enough, one may think that D.C. is a jaded city. From packs of business-suited men rushing through McPherson Square to business-suited students stressing about their internship on Capitol Hill, the District can begin to feel a little formal. Even options for music seem limited — unless you go looking.
February 14, 2010
Plaid: it’s what hipsters and Steve Urkel have in common. The similarities probably don’t stop there (he seems to be a fan of ankle-grazing skinny jeans), but the plaid shirt is what brings these trendier-than-thou kids together with the nerdier-than-anyone TV icon. Oh, and it also includes Scots.
February 7, 2010
Ani DiFranco is a legend in her own right. After nearly 20 years in the music business, DiFranco has released 16 live albums and 18 studio albums, her latest being 2008’s “Red Letter Year.” DiFranco’s prolific release of live albums may be due to her sentiment that live music is real music. Even the back of her most recent tour shirts were a throwback to the idea that records were named as such because that’s exactly what they were — live recordings.
• Bento boxes: Cheap and delicious
January 31, 2010
Of Montreal are actually not from Montreal, but that’s the least shocking thing about them.
Of Montreal are also not a band comprised of leotard-clad men in farm animal masks, but anyone who watched them take the stage at the 9:30 club on Thursday, Jan. 28 could have been fooled. In what their set list referred to as “Animal Intro,” the psychedelic, synth-pop, gender-bending rockers entered to a frenzied audience after being introduced by what appeared to be a man-pig on the drums, a man-chicken on guitar and a three-piece-suit-wearing tiger screaming into the microphone. Let there be no mistake: Of Montreal are not just a show, they’re a spectacle.
It’s not that they need to be; it’s just that…
January 27, 2010
The first rule of Hipster Club is don’t talk about Hipster Club. Everyone knows how it goes: upon accusations of hipsterdom, any true hipster will put the brakes on his or her fixed-gear bike, look down through his or her perscriptionless plastic frame glasses and twirl his (or her?) ironic mustache and vehemently deny that such a thing is true. But I’m breaking the code of silence, and I’m admitting it. When called out on my ankle-choking torn-up skinny jeans, my paper-thin neon yellow shoes or my band-reference tattoos, I’ll say it loud and proud: I’m a hipster.
A lot of us suffer from hipster shame — it’s true. But why? Who wouldn’t want to be classified as something with…
January 24, 2010
Anyone who thinks they couldn’t possibly hear another straight-out-of-Brooklyn indie band should think again. While many new artists and bands rely on a rotation of musical gimmicks or trademarks to establish themselves, boy/girl duo Savoir Adore win over fans by giving them the best of everything.
January 20, 2010
Andrew McMahon has the power to be in several places at once. Simultaneously a pop-punk piano man, an inspirational leukemia survivor and the object of many 14-year-old girls’ desires, McMahon is taking his show on the road again before settling down to record his third studio album for his solo project, Jack’s Mannequin.
November 18, 2009
Asher Roth said what everyone was thinking best when he said it simply in his breakout single: “Man, I love college.” This intersection of care-free sentiment and popular music is the notion on which the mtvU Woodie Awards are based.
November 18, 2009
The way we live now, there are two ways to react to pop culture: consume it or scorn it. Consumers are traditionally regarded as low-brow, mindless zombies who follow trends without question, allowing the synthesized rhythms of Top 40 music to flow through their iPods, which are probably contained in varying forms of tacky cases.
November 15, 2009
Amanda Palmer is today’s traveling muse. Over a decade into her multi-project career, the alternative-punk-cabaret songwriter best known for being one-half of the Dresden Dolls is done releasing music.
Indie singer goes folk on latest album
November 11, 2009
Amy Millan doesn’t want to disappoint you — she said so herself. The singer, best known for her work with Canadian indie powerhouses Stars and Broken Social Scene, wrapped up her fall tour right here in the District when she took her ethereal country-folk act to DC 9 this past Sunday, Nov. 8.
November 8, 2009
Most bands travel with their own instruments and their own music, looking to gain a name and promote their latest record. The Eccentric Soul Revue may be looking to promote their releases, but they’re traveling with something different — music’s history, and they’re bringing it to the 9:30 club this Tuesday, Nov. 10.
November 4, 2009
The Phenomenal Handclap Band are from at least three different decades, not in terms of age, but in terms of style. And not just fashion sense; though this would be true, too, each of the eight members seem to have stepped out of a different era of rock ‘n’ roll in how their sound.
November 1, 2009
Eleven years after their first release — an acoustic folk-pop journey through their heads — Tegan and Sara are releasing “Sainthood,” a genre-blending work seamlessly blending rock, pop, punk, electronica and experimental with their signature harmonies and deceptively simple lyrics — and pulling it off.
Outfits you can make from home with little effort
October 28, 2009
Did anyone else not realize that Halloween is in two days? Perhaps I haven’t been paying enough attention to the candy corn sales at CVS; maybe I haven’t noticed the rush of girls frantically searching for various costume animal ears; maybe I just haven’t looked at a calendar — who knows? The point is that Halloween is, in fact, coming up this weekend, and no one wants to see you dressed up as that guy from “Scream.” Again.
October 14, 2009
The bass line cuts sharp and staccato through the crowd’s raucous shouts. Lead singer Beth Ditto pours her voice into a microphone, cadenced and smooth, singing, “Dimestore diamond/shines like the real thing, real thing, real thing.” Gossip are performing the lead track from their latest album, “Music for Men.”
October 11, 2009
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the cover song is the greatest homage that one artist can pay to another — or, at least, for the most part. Sometimes it’s an audacious move, as the cover artist is assuming that they even have enough credibility to be re-creating the work of the first.
October 4, 2009
“What are you doing?” Twitter doesn’t ask it in an accusatory or invasive manner like when you get caught trying to sneak a backpack full of apples or a tray of hot dogs out of TDR. Twitter is simply curious. We registered with it, asking it to ask us what we’re doing and Twitter obliged.
October 4, 2009
It seems that, as of late, the indie rock scene has been jaded by the presence of charming, outgoing frontmen. Baring all in interviews and reaching hands out to sold-out crowds screaming along to their words, the indie scene seems almost dominated by rock stars. Where have the quiet, elusive frontmen dedicated to nothing but a solid performance gone?
September 30, 2009
It’s hard to say what’s the most surprising: that Hanson is still making music, that Hellogoodbye is still making music or that both Hanson and Hellogoodbye are still making music and are now going on tour together.
September 30, 2009
Described as “dream pop” and later even as “nightmare pop,” the Antlers consistently refuse labels, insisting that as their music grows and changes, it takes on an ever-changing life and identity of its own.
September 27, 2009
Lady Gaga can do whatever she wants. Endless radio play of disco stick innuendo? Sure. Dress of Kermit the Frog dolls? No problem. Choreographed wheelchair dances followed by an over-the-top staging of her own death? Why not — she’s just a pop star, right?
Lady Gaga, coming this Tuesday, Sept. 29 to D.A.R. Constitution Hall, is the latest brand of American pop star and the epitome of what our culture has become — satire. Singing about glamour, fame and money in a time where our country is experiencing a major economic recession, Lady Gaga has functioned almost as an escape where all we want to do is: just dance.
Pop super stardom, now a relatively female-dominated and culturally-harmless arena, began almost as something dangerous. Elvis Presley and his hip-swinging, new-fangled rock music brought music to the masses, entrancing American teens and making parents across the country nervous for the tainted morals of their children. And despite efforts to censor Presley, his popularity grew to iconic standards. Bandstand.”
September 23, 2009
Amanda Blank is more than an opening act. She’s loud, she’s crazy, and she’s not scared of anyone, but she needs an audience that’s right for her. Blank took the stage of Black Cat last Wednesday clad in something resembling a hooded leotard a la Lady Gaga — a bold move for such an unsure audience.
September 20, 2009
The words “BIG SYNTHS” appear in block letters on the projector screen hanging over the stage of the 9:30 club. This is the Perez Hilton Tour, and when it comes to spectacles, everyone knows the celebrity blogger goes big or goes home.
September 13, 2009
Amanda Blank is the kind of girl who loves to yell at her audience and hates to wear pants — or at least that’s the impression she left on her last tour.
August 30, 2009
When Fox was looking to promote their soon-to-be hit “Glee” this past Monday, they turned to Treble in Paradise, AU’s premier, all-female a cappella group. “Glee,” a musical comedy premiering next month, follows the story of a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio. When it came to promotion, nothing was more appropriate than an a cappella performance on Fox’s Early Morning Show.
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