Postcard from Hamburg, Germany
I am one of roughly 120 just-out-of-college Americans teaching in Germany on Fulbright grants this year.
Green Day conquers Portland with theatrics
Green Day treated Maine to one of its best concerts in years last Thursday at the Cumberland Civic Center in Portland. Riding the success of their hit comeback album American Idiot, their best work in a decade, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool came to please the sell-out crowd.
Allen flick a study in perspective
Melinda and Melinda, Woody Allen's fine new film, almost professes suffer from multiple-personality disorder. In reality, the movie is simply consistently enjoyable. The film opens with a pair of playwrights arguing in a restaurant over whether or not life is essentially comic or tragic. One member of the dinner party offers an example scenario for them to analyze. The comedian, ironically, sees the makings of a wonderful tragedy, while the tragedian sees a nice comedy.
Beck's Guero not just white noise
Odelay was the album that made Beck Hansen's critical reputation, turning the slacker-jokester-one-hit-wonder into a genius in the eyes of Rolling Stone, Spin, et. al. Since that genre-mashing mid-90s masterpiece, Beck has remained a critical darling, but never again pervaded the nation's airwaves as he did with "Loser," "Where It's At," and "Devil's Haircut." He gave himself a significant makeover for every new album, turning from Odelay's rock/hip-hop/folk blend to Mutations' spacey coffee shop tropicalia to Midnite Vultures' disco funk to Sea Change's sad cowboy, but consciously tried to avoid "following up" Odelay, even trying to release Mutations on an indie label, Bong Load, before he was informed that he was too big a rock star for that sort of thing.
Kasabian's derivative dance rock disappoints
Kasabian's "Club Foot" is one of the recent heavy rotation numbers. It might leave you to believe Kasabian is some gritty rock and roll band out of the slums of Russia or somewhere?the video looks like a depressing social realist movie and the band name sounds vaguely foreign. Builds mystique. Actually, the band is British (alright, should have guessed that), and named after Charles Manson's getaway driver. That's tasteful! Well, at least they didn't record an album in the house where Sharon Tate was murdered, like Nine Inch Nails once did.
Maine legislature halts license-suspension bill
The likelihood that a new bill would suspend driver's licenses from adults caught furnishing alcohol to minors decreased Wednesday in a busy day at the State House in Augusta, the Orient has learned.
Legendary voice of American political dissent goes silent
It may not be particularly difficult to write an obituary for Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist extraordinaire, as he provides quite a wealth of material, but I recall as I take up my pen that Thompson himself wrote by far the most remarkable obituary I've ever read, for Richard Nixon, for Rolling Stone magazine back in 1994.
Perkins Loans, Upward Bound absent from White House plan
The White House's budget proposal for the 2006 fiscal year proposes the elimination of 48 Department of Education programs, including Upward Bound, which has had a chapter at Bowdoin for 40 years. The Orient reported last week on speculation that the program would be cut in the budget, which was released Monday.
Latte Junkie?s Brunswick Coffee Guide
The arrival of the Little Dog is but the latest change in the landscape of the Brunswick coffeeshop scene, which has been expanding quickly for a little over a year now. I offer this survey of locales to get your latte fix in our fair town. For price comparison, I have collected the tag on a latte of approximately 12 ounces, single shot, at each location.
Bush budget could cut Upward Bound
President George W. Bush's 2006 budget, to be unveiled Monday, may propose eliminating the Upward Bound program, which has had a chapter at Bowdoin since the 1960s. The funds would be redirected towards an extension of the No Child Left Behind program, according to a report in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Alum Ian McKee and Bachelorette wife split
Ian McKee '98, who won 15 minutes of fame and a bride on The Bachelorette last March, split from his wife of almost a year, Meredith Phillips.
Abroad program reacts to tsunami
Bowdoin students, alumni, and staff in Sri Lanka escaped the wrath of December's tsunami, and they are quickly lining up to raise money for the relief effort.
Dante Club author descends into Kresge
Bowdoin's long relationship with the famed 14th century Florentine poet Dante Alighieri continued on Friday, November 19, when Matthew Pearl, best-selling author of The Dante Club, visited campus for a Common Hour talk and lunch with the students of professor Arielle Saiber's class, "Dante's Divine Comedy."
Nirvana rarities box illuminates band?s creative process
Nirvana's long-awaited box set finally hit the streets just before Thanksgiving, after years of legal skirmishes between Kurt Cobain's widow Courtney Love and the band's surviving members Dave Grohl and Krist Novaselic.
Famed German screenwriter visits campus
The career of German screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase spanned the entire history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Not content with that, Kohlhaase has continued working into the 21st century. Kohlhaase's visit to Bowdoin this week focuses on one of his most recent triumphs, 2001's The Legend of Rita. The film, directed by Oscar-winner Volker Schl?ndorff (The Tin Drum) is presented by the Bowdoin Film Society at 7:00 p.m. tonight in Smith Auditorium. Kohlhaase will personally introduce the film, which will be followed by a discussion.
Longfellow?s musical life explored in blast from the past
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow may have been able to hold his own against fellow literary Hall of Famers like Whitman, Poe, and Thoreau, but Pedro Martinez and the Boston Red Sox in the World Series were clearly too much for him in the competition for Bowdoin students' Wednesday evening this week.
American revolution: Green Day gets operatic to fight the power
It goes without saying that nothing Green Day did subsequently could ever match Dookie. The year 1994 was the three-chord wonders' moment. Not only was Dookie the album that finally broke punk into the mainstream, but it also carried the 90s' second-most iconic cover after Nevermind's naked swimming child, and it was quite possibly the best release the genre has ever seen. Similarly, Green Day's music will never again touch the mainstream cultural consciousness the way their atypical acoustic ballad "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" from 1997 did; after all, Seinfeld isn't around anymore, except in reruns.
Austrian author reads
Esteemed Austrian writer Lilian Faschinger is visiting Bowdoin this week as a guest of the German Department. On Wednesday evening, she gave a public reading in the Beam Classroom. The audience was mostly made up of people who spoke at least some German, but Faschinger read a charming short story from her newest book auf Englisch.
Björk unusually vocal on new Medulla
Rating: 1.8 Polar Bears (of 4)
Instead, Medulla, Bj?rk's first studio album since 2001's Vespertine, marks her boldest and strangest move since she wore a dead swan to the Oscars. Why? The entire album is made up of human vocals. Instruments not allowed.
The Vines lose it
After some careful consideration, I've come to the conclusion that the Vines' Winning Days is not the worst album in my record collection. Still, I'm very glad it cost me less than 10 bucks.
Bowie takes Boston
Major Thom to Ground Control: Legendary rock oddity David Bowie's Reality Tour descended on Boston's Fleet Center last Tuesday to much rejoicing. It gave Beantown an evening of entertainment to be remembered.