Still Spooky, a Halloween Playlist for a Post-Halloween World

Halloween is over now, but the Halloween spirit lives on. Like many of you out there, my spirits dip during the interlude between October (month of Halloween) and December (month of Christmas) – November is a trash month and everyone knows it. Thanksgiving, as great as it is, simply doesn’t carry the same cultural clout as Halloween and Christmas.

There are few Thanksgiving songs, and none of them are noteworthy enough that you could think of one without having to Google “thanksgiving songs”. There aren’t really Thanksgiving decorations, either (unless you’re a Thanksgiving fanatic and/or a middle-aged suburban parent). Thanksgiving doesn’t have the power to reinvigorate me during the long month of November, fraught with midterms and inconsistent weather as it is.

But Halloween can live on until Thanksgiving to make up for that. In my book, the spirit of Halloween persists until Thanksgiving, and then everything after Thanksgiving is Christmas.

In order to keep the Halloween vibe alive for this next month, I’ve made a playlist of songs which (at least to me) embody Halloween’s spirit. Though many are Halloween themed, not all of them are. Many of the songs are just songs with deep voices, spooky noises, and thrilling guitars. Enjoy, and stay spooky.

 


Farewell, Morning Mail

We all know Morning Mail – most of us don’t manage to read the whole thing like 90% of the time, but, hey, someone needs to tell us it’s 1 am and roll out super long emails that I always flag and tell myself I’ll finish reading at a later time (spoiler: I don’t). The Brown community has a complicated relationship with Morning Mail; it may be largely unread, but it sure is meme-worthy.

(“guys, Morning Mail just came out” *collective groans/panicked exclamations as everyone tries to wrap up their work*)

 

riperoni

Posted by Alex Hirsch on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

 

As much of a fan I am of the “only 90s kids remember” memes that have been circulating this year, I don’t know if I really want to say goodbye to Morning Mail – mostly because (according to the email we received on 10/18 from Cass Cliatt) Today@Brown is supposed to include “messages from the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Dean of the College, the Graduate School, Campus Life, the Registrar, and other University offices . . .” and a whole slew of other topics that make me pretty skeptical Today@Brown is gonna be able to fill such a tall order.

But I’m gonna go ahead and be tentatively optimistic about Today@Brown (I guess? Seeing as we have no other choice). The name is pretty lame (c’mon, is this a morning talk show?), but people are naturally resistant to change so we’ll probably get over it soon enough. And I am pretty tired of a lot of people missing out on information that could be super useful to them just because Morning Mail is so hard to get through.

Hopefully when Today@Brown gets all the kinks worked out, it’ll be worth all the fuss, but until then (and maybe after), we’ll just be pining after the Morning Mail we know and loved to meme.

Or maybe it won’t make that much of a difference, after all.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


What Your Dirty Dishes (Would) Think of You

Day one:

“Wow, that was a great meal, wasn’t it?” The bowl rejoices, “We did an incredible job holding food for the human.”

The cutlery [telekinetically, I guess] hum their agreement.

“She sorta scratched me with the fork . . .” The non-stick pan mutters, gloomy as ever. The non-stick pan is useful, but also kinda too ornery for everyone else’s taste.

“Hey, I’m just an extension of the human’s righteous arm, it’s not my fault.”

Per usual, the non-stick pan doesn’t stick around very long after the meal is over. Once the human carries it away to The Cleaning Place, everyone agrees that it’s not the fork’s fault the non-stick pan is a little scratched.

Day two:

The coffee mug is getting restless, “I wonder what the human’s up to right now. Usually she needs me in the mornings? Is she OK?”

“Don’t worry about her,” Bowl says reassuringly. Bowl has known human for two years, “I’m sure she just went with the travel thermos this morning. She’s a busy girl.”

Day three:

The dishes begin to feel uncomfortable in their dish-skin. Tempers wear thin as sticky residue develops on each and every one of them. Every sighting of the human is both a cause for hope and an opening for disappointment.

Bowl has known the human longer than the rest and knows her habits. The bowl knows better than to expect relief quickly. If anything, it’s best to keep your hopes low.

“What is she even doing right now??” Fork rages, once-silver twines straining under a coating of long-dried meat sauce. “It’s fine if she ignores us when she’s sleeping, but she’s just staring at her typing device!”

“And not even typing!” Spoon chimes in.

“It’s Buzzfeed!” Water bottle reports from beside Human. Water bottle is her constant companion. The other dishes envy the water bottle and the travel mug. They’ve never seen the outside world, only the confines of Human’s bedrooms and various Cleaning Places. The newest dishes, the cutlery, have only seen this room. They hunger for a change of pace – or at least to be washed.

“Not Buzzfeed again!” The dishes groan in unison, save the Bowl, who knows Human all too well.

Bowl sighs, addressing its compatriots calmly, “It is best not to expect mercy from Human. She knows not what she does.”

 


3, 4, 5? How many classes should you take?

Four. The answer is almost always gonna be four.
Buuut in case you need to be convinced (and in case you might be an exception to the ever-sacred Rule of Four), here’s a breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of each choice:
The basics:
-you need to take (and pass) 30 classes to graduate, which means that you can’t take 3 classes every semester
-almost everyone takes 4 classes
-you are a human being and require sleep
           +and you like going out on weekends
Three classes:
Upside:
-tempting
-honestly so tempting, especially if the semester before was hard for you.
-If you’re on track to fulfill all of your concentration’s requirements, honestly why not? This can actually work to your advantage.
Say you have 3 very demanding classes on your plate. And you know that a 4th would only leave you playing a never-ending game of catch-up with one class or the other as you struggle to balance your workload, your activities, your friends, and your inability to stop browsing memes (and/or Facebook) instead of doing the work you should be doing. No one’s gonna blame you for taking 3!
-more free time! Unshackle yourself from the demands of four classes!
-if you’re a working student, especially if you’re working a lot, you might not have time to take a 4th class. And that’s totally OK. I found myself taking 3 classes for the first time this semester because, honestly, working 14 hours a week and taking upperclassmen-level courses was too much for me this semester.
Downside:
-there’s some stigma attached to taking 3 classes, but I feel like most of it comes from that ever-present anxiety that if you’re taking 3 you’re somehow “lazy” or “not doing enough” – and I get it. Odds are, if you go to this school you’re used to having to juggle a lot of work and you might berate yourself for not having the same number of classes as the majority of students. But all classes aren’t created equal, friend. And sometimes you just gotta take 3 – no shame in it.
-let’s say you take 3 classes and end up having way more free time than you thought you would. This can be good, but if you’re not filling this time with activities or working a job or something, then you might just be the odd-one-out who has nothing to do while your friends are all bogged down by their homework
-deciding to take 3 courses is an exercise in strategy: you really need to weigh the pros and cons when you’re making this choice, because what if you have harder courses next semester and regret not taking 4 this semester so you could have taken 3 the next one?? Decisions, decisions.
Five classes:
Upside:
-???
-I guess if you’re behind on fulfilling your requirements you would do this?
-Or maybe you’re just taking an extra course (and it’s SNC) because it doesn’t fall into your requirements, but you’re interested in it. In that case, go you! I’m proud of you for taking advantage of the open curriculum.
Downside:
-Why? You’re flying too close to the sun, Icarus.
-Are you taking this SNC, because you should be.
-You’re really busy. Really, really busy. If you’re taking the 5th class SNC (don’t do it for me, do it for yourself), then that helps, but you still need to pass the 5th class, so you have to do work for it.
-Idk how often you see your friends. Maybe y’all just hang out in the libraries – which is perfectly fine and group studying is lit, I’m just saying it might be nice not to live in the Sci-Li

You deserve better than this.

Four classes:
Upside:
-on average, people take 4 classes. Although, again, not all classes are created equal and the workload varies, taking 4 classes generally means you have time to hang out with people
-Sleeeeeep: my unproblematic fave
Downside:
-four classes is obviously already a lot of work, but generally it’s manageable if you manage your time. If 4 is too overwhelming and you can afford to do it, take 3.
-??? Just take four.

Returning Students Say Goodbye to Old Dorms, President Paxson Says Goodbye to Old Apartment

New year, new classes, new you – and, perhaps just as important as these, new dorm!

As the leaves change and the weather cools, so too do our dorms, our dens of security and school time homes, reflect the immense changes underway at the beginning of each year. From Keeney to Minden to New Dorm, each year has been undeniably shaped by where I’ve lived and what’s in my immediate proximity.

Keeney, for example? Seems horrifically far from everything that isn’t the Main Green or Wriston Quad. Pretty recently renovated when I came in as a Freshman though, and Arnold Lounge has a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream machine (this is both a blessing and a curse, I assure you).

It takes a few weeks to get the hang of things in your new building, to figure out its pros and cons and start to really feel at home. Personally, I still find myself zoning out and walking on autopilot towards last year’s dorm before I realize what I’m doing and turn in the right direction.

This year, C Pax is going through a readjustment period just like the rest of us. Earlier this week, true leader of the people and President of Brown University Christina Paxson listed her “Tribeca crash pad for $1.7M,” reports Luxury Listings NYC.

Ooh, nice. (Credit: David Elliman, Source: Luxury Listings NYC)

I’m sure she’ll miss her old digs dearly, just like I miss that mysterious syrup smell that comes out of Barus and Holley at random intervals and coats the air around Minden (no, seriously – what is that smell, where does it come from, what sort of amazing science is happening in B&H and how can I be a part of this syrup-smelling science??).

Pictured: one of the Toronto Maple Leafs realizing everyone’s childhood ambitions by drinking straight syrup

Surely, however, President Paxson must have some things she won’t miss from her old apartment. I mean, look at that bathroom for one thing! Sleek, straight lines; modern, functioning fixtures; and not a lick of dust or grime? Her true Brunonian spirit must have recoiled at these features, but bravely she endured.  

(Credit: David Elliman, Source: Luxury Listings NYC)

This is Brown. We bathe in dim lighting, small showers, and/or in close proximity to some distinctly colored muck. It is an unspoken requirement in a school with relatively few requirements to speak of, and I am sure it must have been one of President Paxson’s primary motivations for leaving this apartment behind.

I can’t blame her. This year, with my clean, spacious New Dorm bathrooms, I find myself longing for Minden, and not simply because of that syrup smell. I miss my private bathroom. It was private, it was dinky, and most of all, it exposed me to a variety of diverse experiences, which is truly the Brown way.

My bathroom last year. (Credit: Me)

Added bonus: as a fan of Stranger Things, I truly valued the week-long stretch during which the removal of a water-drenched tile allowed my roommates and I to peer into the Upside Down every time we reached up for our shampoo.

So long, Minden. And so long to President Paxson’s Tribeca apartment. May both of them provide their next residents with equal amounts of happiness.


Spring Weekend Lineup

The thing about Spring Weekend is that – unless you’re remarkably savvy when it comes to music – we often don’t really know who most of the performers actually are. The lineup is announced and, almost invariably, the word, “Who?” tumbles out of our mouths as we rack our brains for any store of knowledge about the artists in question. Are they any good? Are they Friday (rap/pop/hype) or are they Saturday (rock/indie/mellow) performers?

Let’s simplify that process a bit:

Empress Of

Empress Of makes music you can dance to – imagine pulsing multicolored lights on a busy dance floor, and you pretty much get what her music feels like. Her vocals are a bit more complex than that, lending an almost eerie, but definitely ethereal sense to her music.

Cherry Glazerr

At first listen, Cherry Glazerr reminds me of bands like Cage the Elephant and Cold War Kids – but with kickass female vocalists, woot! If you’re really into alternative rock and its emphasis on impressive guitar riffs and drums you can headbang to, or if you’re into soft vocals and trippy music (what can I say, they’re a diverse group), I would recommend making sure you see Cherry Glazerr.

 

AlunaGeorge

I’m pretty sure everyone has heard “You Know You Like It” at a party. Whether the party is actually hype or not, AlunaGeorge definitely lifts baseline Good Vibe levels by several degrees. With sensual vocals and beats that make you wanna get up and sway (or mosh, you do you) along with the music, AlunaGeorge offers a guaranteed boost to the General Hypeness of Spring Weekend.

Erykah Badu 

Badu is one of the most widely heralded queens of neo-soul. Her sultry voice and eclectic style have inspired a generation of budding afrofuturists. Badu’s music is marked by its combination of soft-spoken, ringing vocals and a pleasing confluence of R&B and Funk. Essentially, it’s melodious music which compels one (or at least compels me) to bob their head along to the beat.

Princess Nokia

Princess Nokia is an alternative rapper and singer whose music is very interested in exploring her identity as a Black Nuyorican (Puerto Rican from New York). Her smooth singing voice contrasts her style of rap, which is quick and rough. Though she’s certainly a versatile performer, I’m banking on her bringing her rap to Brown.

Oh, and her music videos are lit.

Young Thug

Young Thug’s rap has a lot of elements of trap in it, which I’m thankful for because it’s really conducive to energetic dancing, especially for an event like Spring Weekend. He’s known for having a very interesting voice, which I would describe as occasionally raspy and often warbly. Aside from his musical talents, Young Thug is a hilarious person. Check out his Wycleaf Jean video and see what I mean – it’s literally a metatextual work of art.