The Pitt News

Bulbasaur and Beethoven: ‘Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions’ caught Heinz Hall last Saturday

Bulbasaur and Beethoven: ‘Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions’ caught Heinz Hall last Saturday

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

January 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Cosplayers might usually feel out of place at the symphony, but a recent Heinz Hall performance was a costume-appropriate gala.A Pokémon-themed symphony, starring the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, graced the historic, gilded hall on Saturday, and it was about the most immaculate blend of low and hig...

Strip District Music Fest to spotlight local artists

Strip District Music Fest to spotlight local artists

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

January 15, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Pittsburgh may not boast the famous local music scene of a New York or an Austin, but this weekend, the city will show off its scene-building chops.The Strip District will house more than 70 local bands and artists in at least 10 venues between noon and 2 a.m. on Saturday during its inaugural Strip Dis...

Viet Cong’s debut a visceral fusion of ugliness and beauty

Viet Cong’s debut a visceral fusion of ugliness and beauty

By Dan Willis / Staff Writer

January 15, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Viet CongViet CongGrade: AViet Cong have a reverence for menace — the particular dynamic of pain and pleasure that they display on their wiry self-titled debut makes this much obvious. Arising from the ashes of the much-missed Women, this Albertan art-rock quartet co-opts agony into songs that are wild,...

‘Inherent Vice’ an engrossing fever dream

‘Inherent Vice’ an engrossing fever dream

By Dylan Galper / Staff Writer

January 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Inherent Vice"Directed by: Paul Thomas AndersonStarring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen WilsonRated R for drug use throughout, sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some violenceGrade: AThere are some writers of fiction whose work has never — and most likely will never — grace the si...

The name’s May, Aunt May: Have the studios taken superhero universe-building a bit too far?

The name’s May, Aunt May: Have the studios taken superhero universe-building a bit too far?

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

January 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Since their launch to prominence in America during World War II and their cultural takeover from the 1960s onward, superheroes have always represented the best of intentions — whether that’s escapism, entertainment or perpetuating good old American values of bravery and heroism. Superheroes are symbols...

Warm up to new and returning TV shows with their trailers

Warm up to new and returning TV shows with their trailers

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

January 7, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

The first weeks of January can be a dumping ground for dozens of pilots that won’t make it to February. But here’s a preview of some of the most-anticipated returning shows (and one new show) — based solely on the so-far-released trailers.“Portlandia”Returns Thursday, Jan. 8 on IFCThe sketch...

Cumberbatch commands the whip-smart ‘Imitation Game’

Cumberbatch commands the whip-smart ‘Imitation Game’

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

January 7, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“The Imitation Game”Directed by: Morten TyldumStarring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew GoodeRated PG-13 for some sexual references, mature thematic material and historical smokingGrade: A-Benedict Cumberbatch’s fastidious portrayal of Alan Turing opens “The Imitation Game” wi...

Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ begs for Oscars, but is an unbearable torture-fest

Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ begs for Oscars, but is an unbearable torture-fest

By Dylan Galper / Staff Writer

January 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Unbroken"Directed by: Angelina JolieStarring: Jack O'Connell, Takamasa IshiharaRated PG-13 for war violence including sequences of brutality, and brief languageGrade: CThe tagline for “Unbroken” reads “Survival, Resilience, Redemption.” This should tell you everything you need to know about what...

Time Capsule: LCD Soundsystem’s eponymous debut turns 10

Time Capsule: LCD Soundsystem’s eponymous debut turns 10

By Dan Willis / Staff Writer

January 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

It is impossible to feel contempt for LCD Soundsystem. No matter what your opinion is of frontman James Murphy’s three-albums-and-done dance-punk collective, you still aren’t going to roll your eyes at an upfront and razor-sharp song like “Losing My Edge.”That’s because, at a time when ever...

“N’At’s All Folks”: The Second City brings a Pittsburgh-specific gig

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

January 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Specials / Welcomebackspring2015, Theater

Although they hail from Chicago, the improv troupe The Second City visits Pittsburgh with a show exclusively for and about the city’s residents.  The critically acclaimed ensemble will perform its original show “N’At’s All Folks!” six times at Pittsburgh Public Theater’s O’Reilly Theater f...

TPN’s 2015 pop culture resolutions

By The A&E Staff

January 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies, Specials / Welcomebackspring2015

Almost everybody wants to hit the gym, shave off the beer belly or eat healthier in the new year — but some of us realize those goals are too well-worn and cliched to pan out. So instead, why not pledge for more sedentary goals, like tearing through an acclaimed TV series, tackling a new genre of mus...

TPN’s picks for the best upcoming concerts

TPN’s picks for the best upcoming concerts

By The A&E Staff

January 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music, Specials / Welcomebackspring2015

After a typical end-of-year concert dry spell to close out 2014, the early months of 2015 reveal a manifold forecast of artists storming Pittsburgh. Here are some of The Pitt News’ most anticipated shows of the new year.Hamilton Leithauser — Jan. 15, Club CafeHamilton Leithauser, crooning frontman for ...

Gotta catch ’em all: How to keep yourself healthy for finals, Pokémon-style

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

December 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Puzzles, Specials, Specials / Fallfinals2014

Finals week looms ahead like the Elite Four, and the path there is the same: Victory Road. In between studying and playing the new Pokémon games, recall the lessons you learned in Trainers’ School. With these tips, you will easily overcome your exams and become Champion.PoisonEasy — don’t harm your bod...

Forget Mozart: Studying doesn’t need classical music backdrop

Forget Mozart: Studying doesn’t need classical music backdrop

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

December 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music, Specials, Specials / Fallfinals2014

Some subscribe to the belief that classical music can boost intelligence — the “Mozart Effect.” I’m not here to bust myths, but, when it comes to studying, I’ve almost always favored rock bands over symphonies — and it’s made life impossible.The life of an avid music fan can often mirr...

TPN’s Copy Chef tackles quick recipes to save time for studies

By Ellie Petrosky / Copy Chief

December 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Specials, Specials / Fallfinals2014

As final exams and deadlines approach, spending time in the kitchen is the last thing on my mind.Trust me — I’m definitely the type of person who prefers making a run to Chipotle or to pick up Chinese over spending valuable study time in the kitchen. It only took a week of eating out for practica...

Donuts and Dystopias: Inside the pages of doomsday entertainment

Donuts and Dystopias: Inside the pages of doomsday entertainment

By Abbey Reighard / Senior Staff Writer

December 4, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

On the 35th floor of the Cathedral of Learning, high above the noise and lights of the city, a group of about 15 Pitt students gather in a small stone room, which looks like a relic of the past, to discuss tales of bleak futures.Donuts and Dystopias is a group of students who meet every other week th...

Early Oscar Talk: Sorting out phony hopefuls from contenders

Early Oscar Talk: Sorting out phony hopefuls from contenders

By Shawn Cooke and Dan Sostek / The Pitt News Staff

December 4, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

Earlier this week, the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) and the National Board of Review released their awards for the best films of the year. Many movie pundits on the web are quick to tweak their Oscar frontrunners based on these early awards, but it’s only December, and momentum can shift before ...

Trey Anastasio Band rocks Stage AE with lengthy, new jams

Trey Anastasio Band rocks Stage AE with lengthy, new jams

By Sam Bojarski / Staff Writer

December 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Outside Stage AE on the North Shore, Brent Milstrom, a 50-year-old seasoned tour veteran and his friend peer into two narrow windows on a double door. It’s 5:30 p.m. — a full 2.5 hours before Trey Anastasio and his band are supposed to take the stage — and the band is about 1.5 hours into its ...

Steel City ‘Godfather’ less than convincing

Steel City ‘Godfather’ less than convincing

By Jack Shelly / For The Pitt News

December 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Television

A&E’s new reality series, “Godfather of Pittsburgh,” doesn’t have anything to do with the Mafia. The show, which premiered this month, follows the life of Allegheny County entrepreneur Vince Isoldi as he manages multiple strip clubs and a limousine business, in addition to living with his wife...

‘Gatherings’ explores common peace in worship and art

‘Gatherings’ explores common peace in worship and art

By Elaina Zachos / For The Pitt News

November 24, 2014


Filed under Art, Culture

In January 2011, a woman clad in an asymmetrical patchwork dress approached the Agape Christian Fellowship Church of Pittsburgh in Larimer County. Adjusting her scarf, she entered the church and stayed for the service.Once the ceremony was over, the woman drove back to her studio. There, she added more textile puzzle ...

Chopping up Oakland Ave.

Chopping up Oakland Ave.

By Abby Hoffman / For The Pitt News

November 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

Sometimes, the stir-fry station at 360 Degrees in Market Central just doesn’t cut it. Pitt students are constantly on the hunt for the next best meal, and Asian eats can provide a nice shake-up to the average person’s diet. Walking down Forbes Avenue, restaurants ranging from Panera Bread to N...

Home Movie Day set to preserve and share private memories

Home Movie Day set to preserve and share private memories

By Giulia Schaub / For The Pitt News

November 19, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

There’s no denying the charm and timelessness of a good old-fashioned home movie shot on Super 8 film, especially now that most of us shoot Vine and Instagram home videos every day.To honor the vintage format, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is holding the 11th annual Home Movie Day (HMD), an i...

Taylor Swift matures, shocks with her wildly catchy ‘1989’

Taylor Swift matures, shocks with her wildly catchy ‘1989’

By Elizabeth Rakow / For The Pitt News

November 19, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Taylor Swift1989Grade: B+It’s cool to hate Taylor Swift. She’s a powerhouse female performer who consistently releases hit after hit, giving new meaning to the word “catchy” and a refreshing sense of authenticity to the phrase “stuck in your head all day.” Swift recently declared herself a femin...

Get inked: a rundown of Pittsburgh’s tattoo options

Get inked: a rundown of Pittsburgh’s tattoo options

By Kat Prosachik / Staff Writer

November 18, 2014


Filed under Art, Culture

Years ago, tattoos signaled nonconformity and originality. Body art, now a very mainstream trend, is considered socially acceptable by most, especially the millennial generation.The first evidence of tattoos were in depictions of ancient Polynesian cultures and on the statues around Easter Island. The m...

‘Dumb and Dumber To’ brings the gags but lacks the heart

‘Dumb and Dumber To’ brings the gags but lacks the heart

By Dylan Galper / For The Pitt News

November 18, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Dumb and Dumber To”Directed by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby FarrellyStarring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob RiggleRated: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, partial nudity, language and some drug referencesNow playing at SouthSide Works, AMC Loews Waterfront 22Grade: C+When the Pantheon of great comedic f...

However you spell it, Parquet Courts deliver the goods

However you spell it, Parquet Courts deliver the goods

By Dan Willis / Staff Writer

November 17, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Two bands released two albums this year. I know that doesn’t sound that impressive, but this story gets slighly more complicated.I would like to say that the two excellent albums Sunbathing Animal, released in June, and Content Nausea, released in November, are both albums by Parquet Courts — as in g...

The future of ‘cool’: predicting the next classic college posters

The future of ‘cool’: predicting the next classic college posters

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

November 14, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies, Specials, Specials / Rentalguide2014

What’s going to be the next “Pulp Fiction?” The next “Scarface?” The next “Big Lebowski?”No, I’m not trying to guess the next brilliant, scrambled-narrative crime flick, mob boss drama or classic Coen brothers comedy — they’re all vintage posters that more than a few of your frien...

Dear Kelly: Subletter Edition

By The A&E Staff

November 14, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Dear Kelly, Specials, Specials / Rentalguide2014

Dear Kelly,My subletter is a nightmare. He filthies up the kitchen and sits in the living room all day playing his PlayStation 3. I feel bound to my bedroom. What’s the best way to cope with the situation?Sincerely,Trapped in the BedroomDear Trapped in the Bedroom,I’ve been there. Just last summer, I lived with the most bizarre h...

Villainous Simmons brings thriller-like urgency to ‘Whiplash’

Villainous Simmons brings thriller-like urgency to ‘Whiplash’

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

November 12, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Whiplash"Directed by: Damien ChazelleStarring: Miles Teller, J.K. SimmonsRated: R for strong language, including some sexual referencesStarts Friday at The Manor TheatreThe most intimidating villain you’ll see on the big screen this year doesn’t have horns, fire a gun or come close to demolishing a city — but ...

‘Big Hero 6’ has heart beneath layers of visual candy

‘Big Hero 6’ has heart beneath layers of visual candy

By Hannah Marshall / For The Pitt News

November 12, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Big Hero 6"Directed by: Don Hall and Chris WilliamsStarring: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, T.J. MillerRated: PG for action and peril, some rude humor and thematic elementsNow showing at AMC Loews Waterfront, SouthSide WorksGrade: A-All the way back in 2009, when a bushy-tailed and gray-free Barack Obam...

This Weekend Rundown 11.13 – 11.16

By The A&E Staff

November 12, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Thursday, Nov. 13ShaggyMr. Smalls Theatre400 Lincoln Ave., MillvaleTime: 8 p.m.Admission: $20Believe it or not, Shaggy has released four albums in the last four years. The reggae fusion singer hasn’t scored a hit like “Angel” or “It Wasn’t Me” on any of those LPs, but both of those songs st...

Run the Jewels ruin lives on nuanced, brutal sequel LP

Run the Jewels ruin lives on nuanced, brutal sequel LP

By Dan Willis / Staff Writer

November 11, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2Grade: AThere’s a moment toward the end of “All Due Respect”, a highlight from hip-hop duo Run the Jewels’ second eponymous album, when the following takes place: El-P tells you that your parents are going through a tumultuous divorce that is entirely your fault and th...

Shut up, Mark Kozelek: your music deserves better

Shut up, Mark Kozelek: your music deserves better

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

November 11, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Fact: Mark Kozelek has a lower approval rating than Congress, Ebola and ISIS. OK, maybe not Congress.It hasn’t been easy to like the Sun Kil Moon singer lately. Even though Kozelek put out one of the most acclaimed albums of the year, the astonishing Benji, he’s dominated music blog headlines in th...

Hannibal Buress talks ‘comedic jokes,’ writing for television

Hannibal Buress talks ‘comedic jokes,’ writing for television

By Mahita Gajanan / Managing Editor

November 5, 2014


Filed under Culture, Television

An interview with Hannibal Buress is an intimidating prospect — after all, he eviscerated an article published by The Daily Eastern News in 2009 during a Comedy Central stand-up special in 2012. In the special, Buress mocked the piece for racist undertones and for describing his humor as “comedic jokes....

‘Interstellar’ a stunning spectacle of the highest order

‘Interstellar’ a stunning spectacle of the highest order

By Mason Lazarcheff / Staff Writer

November 5, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Interstellar"Directed by: Christopher NolanStarring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica ChastainGrade: AEvery year, there’s a movie or two that set the Internet ablaze, with fans clamoring for every detail they can find. “The Avengers” of 2012 and the upcoming “Star Wars” reboot c...

Chad Stokes brought energy, career-spanning set to Mr. Smalls

Chad Stokes brought energy, career-spanning set to Mr. Smalls

By Andrew Fishman / Staff Writer

November 5, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Midway through his set at Mr. Small’s Theater in Millvale, Pa., Chad Stokes asked a question that solidified why he loves Pittsburgh.“Where else could you play to a crowd like this on a Monday night but Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?” Stokes is one of the lead singers and founding members of popular ...

’13 Most Wanted Men’ revives censored, cynical Warhol mural

’13 Most Wanted Men’ revives censored, cynical Warhol mural

By Richard Koppenaal / Staff Writer

November 3, 2014


Filed under Art, Culture

In April 1964, Andy Warhol debuted his famous “13 Most Wanted Men” mural at the World’s Fair in New York. Just a few days later, it was painted over.The World’s Fair organizers and Gov. Nelson Rockefeller took issue with Warhol’s snapshot of America, and they ordered its removal.Andy Warhol’s “...

Amazon’s ‘Transparent’ brings moral urgency to LGBT television

Amazon’s ‘Transparent’ brings moral urgency to LGBT television

By Dylan Galper / For The Pitt News

November 3, 2014


Filed under Culture, Television

Society’s attitude towards the LGBT community has experienced a dramatic change over the past few decades and with it, so has our television programming. A Gallup poll from May showed that support for gay marriage has reached an all-time high at 55 percent, and state government officials are responding by striking down same-sex marriage ...

More Anderson than Perry: ‘Dear White People’ obliterates stereotypes in sharp satire

More Anderson than Perry: ‘Dear White People’ obliterates stereotypes in sharp satire

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

November 3, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Dear White People"Directed by: Justin SimienStarring: Tessa Thompson, Tyler James Williams, Brandon P. BellGrade: B+The execution of an argument can be far more important than its substance, especially in politics. “Dear White People” has so much to say, but holds back in order to say only what is neces...

Redeye Festival: Rehearsal to stage in 24 hours

Redeye Festival: Rehearsal to stage in 24 hours

By Sabrina Romano / Staff Writer

October 29, 2014


Filed under Culture, Theater

Ridiculous. Hilarious. Tongue-in-cheek. This is how the Redeye Theatre Project describes a typical performance.Serious. Musical. Professional. Highbrow. This is the way Pitt’s Musical Theatre Club views itself.Even though they couldn’t be more different, their members will take to the stage toget...

TPN’s guide to the city’s best spooky spots

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

October 29, 2014


Filed under Culture, Theater

If you don’t have the patience for an extensive “Haunted Holland” line, perhaps try one of Pittsburgh’s other haunted house options. Halloween in college might be focused on costume parties, but, if you’re still looking for scares, here are some of the best places to get spooked.The Scarehouse1...

Society of Contemporary Craft not entirely ‘DIY’ approach to art

Society of Contemporary Craft not entirely ‘DIY’ approach to art

By Meghan Bray / For The Pitt News

October 28, 2014


Filed under Art, Culture

In the emerging world of contemporary craft and do-it-yourself projects, schools focusing on crafts and non-traditional artistry like the Society for Contemporary Craft make a case for not always going it alone. Tucked away in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, it’s a hidden gem for crafters and art ...

New R&B songstress Tinashe stuns on debut record

New R&B songstress Tinashe stuns on debut record

By Jack Shelly / For The Pitt News

October 28, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Meet Tinashe. She’s a fresh face to the genre of R&B, which has been recently dominated by female talent such as Beyoncé Knowles. But don’t confuse the two — this is no Beyoncé.     This summer “2 On,” the lead single from her debut album, Aquarius, dominated airplay on urban contempor...

Renner impresses in ‘Messenger’

Renner impresses in ‘Messenger’

By Mason Lazarcheff / For The Pitt News

October 28, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

 "Kill the Messenger"Directed by: Michael CuestaStarring: Jeremy Renner, Robert PatrickGrade: B+Is anything worth obsessing over? For Gary Webb, the answer wasn’t just a resounding “yes” but a necessary dependence.Based on the true story of Webb (Jeremy Renner), a journalist for the San Jose M...

Pink and City and Color mesh well for You+Me

Pink and City and Color mesh well for You+Me

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

October 27, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Spinning You+Me’s nascent album, rose ave., via iTunes or Spotify feels utterly anachronistic. It belongs on your parents’ dusty record shelves alongside Peter, Paul and Mary and Bob Dylan, yet it features some of the most contemporary recording artists: Alecia Moore (American superstar Pink) and Dallas...

Former Pitt News EIC gets ‘Brutal’ in strong debut novel

Former Pitt News EIC gets ‘Brutal’ in strong debut novel

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

October 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies, Specials, Specials / Homecoming2014

"Brutal Youth"By Anthony BreznicanGrade: B+There’s a scene near the end of Richard Linklater’s recent opus, “Boyhood,” in which a teacher tells Mason (Ellar Coltrane) that you find your “people” in college. Anthony Breznican’s “Brutal Youth” would beg to differ.In his debut novel, the ...

Sweet Caroline: A history of Pitt’s sing-along tradition

Sweet Caroline: A history of Pitt’s sing-along tradition

By Abby Hoffman / For The Pitt News

October 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music, Specials, Specials / Homecoming2014

As a University with nearly 30,000 students, some may argue that there is no way for the entire Pitt population to rally together and generate enough school spirit to rattle an entire stadium, but one popular ‘60s song makes it a possibility. At home football games every fall, Panther fans anticipate...

Tips for a comfortable, cheap tailgate before the game

Tips for a comfortable, cheap tailgate before the game

By Megan Wholey / For The Pitt News

October 24, 2014


Filed under Art, Culture, Specials, Specials / Homecoming2014

Tailgates are a quintessential part of the college experience, and with Homecoming weekend upon us, many students are planning for the biggest tailgate event of the fall.So how can tailgaters tackle the best of casual fall fashion? Follow these three steps, and you’ll make blue and gold fashion both ...

Good Morning, Pitt: Williams’ character brought radio to Pitt

Good Morning, Pitt: Williams’ character brought radio to Pitt

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

October 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies, Specials, Specials / Homecoming2014

Saigon, 1965. A conflict brews, President Johnson increases the number of stationed men from 75,000 to 125,000 and Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) just landed a new job with the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS).“Good Morning, Vietnam” combines dark comedy, war drama, love story, travel film and period piece wi...

Bend, but no snap: The logistics behind a successful Pitt Band show

Bend, but no snap: The logistics behind a successful Pitt Band show

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

October 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music, Specials, Specials / Homecoming2014

Right before every Pitt football game, a famous scene from “The Matrix” is duplicated — without any flying bullets or slow motion.Stephen Ruzzini, the Pitt band’s drum major, slowly lowers his back until it’s nearly parallel to the ground, and the feathers of his plumed hat touch the 50-yard-li...

Clothes on wheels: Fashion trucks take Pittsburgh

Clothes on wheels: Fashion trucks take Pittsburgh

By Elizabeth Rakow / For The Pitt News

October 22, 2014


Filed under Art, Culture

We’ve all heard of — and most likely eaten from — the food trucks that pop up around Pittsburgh. These trucks have all the benefits of owning a business with the convenience of traveling directly to the customer.It’s a popular concept — they pull up, serve customers and relocate. In fact, it’s become so prev...

Murray shines in cliched, but touching ‘St. Vincent’

Murray shines in cliched, but touching ‘St. Vincent’

By Dylan Galper / For The Pitt News

October 22, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"St. Vincent"Directed by: Theodore MelfiStarring: Bill Murray, Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthyGrade: BIn his review of Jim Jarmusch’s 2005 film “Broken Flowers,” Roger Ebert wrote, “No actor is better than Bill Murray at doing nothing at all and being fascinating while not doing it.”  While t...

Pitt: take art cues from rest of ‘Burgh

Pitt: take art cues from rest of ‘Burgh

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

October 22, 2014


Filed under Art, Culture

Quick: what’s the most dismal building on campus? Chances are you answered Posvar Hall — a five-story, concrete slab. With its bare, dimly lit halls that transcend zip codes and colossally bleak walls, it’s no wonder why the answer is so obvious. So what’s the answer to this one: what should we d...

Penn X Roup Gallery more ‘incubator space’ than art gallery

Penn X Roup Gallery more ‘incubator space’ than art gallery

By Kathy Zhao / Staff Writer

October 21, 2014


Filed under Art, Culture

Don’t let the name fool you — Penn X Roup Gallery is much more than just a place to look at artwork.The space located at 5450 Penn Ave., between Garfield and East Liberty, does display and sell artwork. However, it’s also a clothing retailer, a shoe refurbishment center and a music venue.“I’v...

Against Me! and Branan hog the spotlight from Gaslight

Against Me! and Branan hog the spotlight from Gaslight

By Danielle Fox / Assistant News Editor

October 21, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

What Gaslight Anthem lacked in individuality Friday night at Stage AE, it painfully made up with an overactive light show and an arduously long 26-song set. It was the end to the band’s fall U.S. tour, roughly one year after the group visited Pittsburgh to play at Mr. Small’s. The band has since...

‘Fury’ rips every page out of WWII playbook, but still entertains

‘Fury’ rips every page out of WWII playbook, but still entertains

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

October 21, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Fury”Directed by: David AyerStarring: Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeoufGrade: C+If you needed more proof that the war genre has been done to death, here’s “Fury,” a handsomely made, decently acted and robustly entertaining WWII film that lacks any sort of originality and has almost nothing ne...

New musical ’21’ explores life and mystique of Clemente

New musical ’21’ explores life and mystique of Clemente

By Sam Bojarski / Staff Writer

October 15, 2014


Filed under Culture, Theater

It took Alki Steriopoulos more than 30 years to transform the inspiration from his near-death experience into a full-blown musical. But now that his musical, “21,” is slated to premiere at Pittsburgh Playhouse between Friday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 26, his finished product couldn’t come at a...

‘Destiny’ nails gameplay, flubs storyline and ‘social experience’

‘Destiny’ nails gameplay, flubs storyline and ‘social experience’

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

October 15, 2014


Filed under Culture, Puzzles

"Destiny"Released: Sept. 9, 2014Available on: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox OneDeveloper: BungieGrade: BA tiny, gray, multifaceted Ghost flies through the ruins of the Cosmodrome in Old Russia, Earth. The Ghost’s artificial intelligence scans overgrowth, collapsed cars and barren st...

Downey, Duvall carry compelling ‘The Judge’

Downey, Duvall carry compelling ‘The Judge’

By Andrew Fishman / Staff Writer

October 15, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"The Judge"Directed by: David DobkinStarring: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera FarmigaGrade: A-A judge is entrusted to dish out consequences for illegal actions. But life has a funny way of deciding consequences on its own, regardless of legality. “The Judge” explores how consequences are...

Pittsburgh Supervillain: Anthony Jeselnik talks evil persona, death and Twitter

Pittsburgh Supervillain: Anthony Jeselnik talks evil persona, death and Twitter

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

October 13, 2014


Filed under Culture, Television

Anthony Jeselnik, the man, couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to perform in front of an audience. But, Anthony Jeselnik, the performer, wants that same group to hate his guts.“The persona onstage is a complete villain, who has nothing but complete disregard for the audience,” Jeselnik said...

Twenty years later, ‘Clerks’ the definitive workplace comedy

Twenty years later, ‘Clerks’ the definitive workplace comedy

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

October 13, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

Who ever said that the ultimate workplace movie had to be set in an office?For many millennial college graduates, their first job out of school might be behind a counter — not suffocating in a cubicle. Even though it might seem like we’re all headed toward a sea of TPS reports, migrating desks a...

Pittsburgh musicians set to celebrate Oakland’s 175th birthday at Oakland Forever festival

Pittsburgh musicians set to celebrate Oakland’s 175th birthday at Oakland Forever festival

By Sam Bojarski / Staff Writer

October 9, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

A local paper, called the Harris’ Intelligencer, dubbed a neighborhood just outside of Pittsburgh “Oakland” for the numerous oak trees that lined its hills ­— 175 years ago.Now, that once-rural space is nearly unrecognizable. Much Oakland history has been written since then, and the neighbor...

‘Love Is Strange’ an honest, graceful modern romance

‘Love Is Strange’ an honest, graceful modern romance

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

October 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Love Is Strange"Directed by: Ira SachsStarring: Alfred Molina, John Lithgow, Marisa TomeiGrade: B+Movies that grapple with the subject of love often struggle to depict it honestly, and “Love Is Strange” knows it. Instead of unnecessary flourishes and hackneyed drama, the film is unapologetic in it...

‘Friday Night Lights’ just as relevant in current football climate

‘Friday Night Lights’ just as relevant in current football climate

By Richard Koppenaal / Staff Writer

October 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

In 1988, H.G. Bissinger moved to Odessa, Texas, to study and report on the town’s people and politics. But his coverage of the local high school football team, the Permian Panthers, overshadowed the other aspects of the town.His book, “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream,” profiled th...

Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ an effective, tight-lipped thriller with bite

Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ an effective, tight-lipped thriller with bite

By Andrew Fishman / Staff Writer

October 6, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Gone Girl"Directed by: David FincherStarring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick HarrisGrade: B+ In film, the characters often know less than the audience, because the audience has the privilege of seeing everything that goes on in the narrative. But when the audience is purposely left out of ...

Pumpkin in a bottle: Pitt News’ guide to the best fall brews and ciders

Pumpkin in a bottle: Pitt News’ guide to the best fall brews and ciders

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

October 6, 2014


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

As fall approaches, the bars begin to break out their “fall brews”: Usually weak ciders, “pumpkin” beer that tastes like you inhaled allspice and an array of Jolly Rancher green apple martinis.In a simple sense, you get what you pay for in the fall. Quality will always be more expensive, and...

Real Estate let its beach party get a little ‘wild’ at the Altar Bar

Real Estate let its beach party get a little ‘wild’ at the Altar Bar

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

October 6, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Fans of the band Real Estate know exactly what to expect from the New Jersey alt-rockers by now — a chilled-out beach party. Real Estate brought its beach-bum vibes to the Rust Belt last Wednesday at the Altar Bar in its shy, tight-lipped manner. But newly added keyboardist Matt Kallman and drummer ...

Pitt musician spotlight: The Brothers Craig score first big opening gig for Hoodie Allen

Pitt musician spotlight: The Brothers Craig score first big opening gig for Hoodie Allen

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

October 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

After winning Pitt’s most recent round of Battle of the Bands, acoustic trio The Brothers Craig will make their live debut opening for Hoodie Allen at Fall Fest.Roommates Stephen Kraus, Paul Carey and Jack Loeffler started the band after months of playing for fun in their apartment.“After a while, w...

‘Stop Kiss’ portrays a ‘stumble into love,’ mirrors the headlines

‘Stop Kiss’ portrays a ‘stumble into love,’ mirrors the headlines

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

October 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Theater

“Stop Kiss,” unfortunately, has turned out to be a timeless play.The off-Broadway production, which debuted in 1998 at The Public Theater in New York, focuses on two women who unintentionally fall in love, despite their existing relationships with other men. It’s a complicated situation, but i...

WHY? varied their formula at Altar Bar to mixed results

WHY? varied their formula at Altar Bar to mixed results

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

September 29, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Cincinnati indie-rock band Why? is difficult to categorize. “Indie-rock” might not even be an adequate label, given how vague the term has become. Sometimes jangly rock and other times rap, Why? has always seemed to elude the confines of a single sound. Why? performed in Pittsburgh on Thursday at th...

Time Capsule: ‘American Idiot’ captured the zeitgeist like no other, catapulted Green Day to arena status

Time Capsule: ‘American Idiot’ captured the zeitgeist like no other, catapulted Green Day to arena status

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

September 29, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

“I don’t want to be an American idiot.”This phrase is probably still uttered 10 years later under disenchanted breaths when citizens discover that the government spies on them and that the United States launched airstrikes at ISIS.Green Day’s anthemic 2004 album American Idiot channeled bleeding-...

Pinball in Pittsburgh: a crucial fixture in the global community

Pinball in Pittsburgh: a crucial fixture in the global community

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

September 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Puzzles

Cryss Stephens stands over a noisy, flashing “Star Trek” pinball machine, one of the newest games released by pinball giant Stern Pinball, Inc. last year. It barks orders and phrases at Stephens as he approaches his 30th-straight minute on the game. His eyes flick around the glowing neon table in sto...

Gandolfini’s final performance wasted in lackluster ‘The Drop’

Gandolfini’s final performance wasted in lackluster ‘The Drop’

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

September 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"The Drop"Directed by: Michaël R. RoskamStarring: Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi RapaceGrade: C+The most original thing about film, compared to other storytelling media, is its ability to convey emotion through particular visual framing ­­— shaping the mood and energy of cinematic situatio...

The Copy Chef tackles her favorite cooking tool: Crock-Pots

By Ellie Petrosky / Copy Chief

September 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

My Crock-Pot is my best friend.Seriously, what other kitchen appliance can have a hot meal ready and waiting for you — with minimal preparation and cleanup — when you get home after a long day of class or work?Those of you who just answered “roommate” or “boy/girlfriend” obviously haven’...

The Wheel Mill: Pittsburgh’s weatherproof biking facility

The Wheel Mill: Pittsburgh’s weatherproof biking facility

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

September 22, 2014


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

There are 17 bike parks in the Pittsburgh area, but only one of them is weatherproof. When the snow falls or the July humidity becomes unbearable, bikers pedal to the Wheel Mill on Hamilton Avenue to shred inside the massive structure.The Wheel Mill opened in April 2013 from a conglomeration of seven ...

Mr Twin Sister returns with astounding, beautiful new album

Mr Twin Sister returns with astounding, beautiful new album

By Dan Willis / Staff Writer

September 22, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Mr Twin SisterMr Twin SisterGrade: AFor Long Island chintzy pop quintet Mr Twin Sister, formerly sans-Mr, style and genre are entirely porous. Attempts to pin down the band’s influences result in absurd musings about “J-Pop Christmas carols with heavily flanged P-Funk bridges” and “Saint-Etien...

Oakland house shows offer cheaper, more intimate live music

Oakland house shows offer cheaper, more intimate live music

By Shawn Cooke and Lucy Clabby / A&E Staff

September 17, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Forty kids, bobbing their heads together in a narrow North Oakland basement — it might sound like the awkward early hours of a college house party, but there isn’t any Avicii or “Turn Down For What” blaring over the speakers. Instead, Onward Progress, an experimental post-hardcore band from Cra...

Interpol’s latest an uneven, bland release

Interpol’s latest an uneven, bland release

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

September 17, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

InterpolEl PintorGrade: C+“El pintor” translates from Spanish to English as “the painter.” Interpol takes this title literally by brushing only a few broad strokes of sound across the record’s 40 minutes.Interpol starts its fifth studio album off with a phenomenally charged start. “All t...

Dear Kelly: Bad Roommate Selector

By The A&E Staff

September 17, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Dear Kelly

Dear Kelly,It’s only been a month, and I’m already starting to become annoyed with my roommates. What should I do?Sincerely,Bad Roommate SelectorDear Bad Roommate Selector, Living with people is hard — especially when they eat the last slice of the pizza you went through all that trouble to microwave ...

Spoon introduces wild new member, strobe light to Pittsburgh

Spoon introduces wild new member, strobe light to Pittsburgh

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

September 16, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

After unleashing their psychedelic jam “Who Makes Your Money?” on the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall last Thursday, Britt Daniel of Spoon took a moment to defend the record that it originally appeared on.“That one’s from Transference. It’s been taking some hits lately,” Daniel said.Altho...

Pitt Musician Spotlight: The Balcony Scene takes Altar Bar

Pitt Musician Spotlight: The Balcony Scene takes Altar Bar

By Elizabeth Rakow / For The Pitt News

September 16, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

A Google search of “The Balcony Scene” will likely result in anything from Pierce the Veil lyrics to “Romeo and Juliet” references. But after a bit of scrolling, you’ll run into an up-and-coming Pittsburgh band currently making its way through several local venues and breaking into the sce...

U2 gives themselves away, bores on Songs of Innocence

U2 gives themselves away, bores on Songs of Innocence

By Sam Bojarski / Staff Writer

September 15, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

No matter how many times U2 reinvents its musical identity, few people are likely to forget the budding young Irish rock band that carried itself to stardom with the early hits “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Pride (In the Name of Love).”For U2, this simple fact is a double-edged sword. Throughout ...

Artists from Mattress Factory discuss making it in Pittsburgh

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

September 12, 2014


Filed under Art, Culture

For many artists living and working in Pittsburgh, creative expression isn’t just a fun hobby or a means of making extra cash — it’s a way of life.That’s the case for local artists Danny Bracken, John Peña and Ben Sota, whose work will be featured in the upcoming “Artists In Residence” exhi...

Employment Guide: Pittsburgh filmmakers need more than connections for success

Employment Guide: Pittsburgh filmmakers need more than connections for success

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

September 12, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies, Specials, Specials / Fallemployment2014

For young, up-and-coming filmmakers, a passion for the movies is now just the bare minimum.“Don’t be afraid to bust your ass,” Tom Fisher, a 2012 Pitt film graduate currently working as multimedia producer at the Carnegie Museum of Art, said.Fisher emphasized the importance of a strong work ethic ...

Employment Guide: Pitt’s creative writing director talks Hollywood adaptations

Employment Guide: Pitt’s creative writing director talks Hollywood adaptations

By Mason Lazarcheff / For The Pitt News

September 12, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies, Specials, Specials / Fallemployment2014

The NFL has taken some considerable heat lately for issues off the field. But, when the adaptation of Jeanne Marie Laskas’ article “Game Brain” hits theaters, the conversation might shift back to effects of what happens on the field.“Game Brain” brought Bennet Omalu, a Pittsburgh pathologist...

Pair of directors film same script in Pittsburgh for ‘The Chair’

Pair of directors film same script in Pittsburgh for ‘The Chair’

By Kat Prosachick / For The Pitt News

September 11, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

Imagine your favorite movie — “The Notebook,” “Rocky,” “Goodfellas” — if it were directed by someone else. Chances are, it might have a radically different visual style, even if the script was still the same. What we now consider classics could be found at the bottom of the bargain bin....

Time Capsule: Arcade Fire’s masterpiece found medium between intimacy and stadium-ambitions

Time Capsule: Arcade Fire’s masterpiece found medium between intimacy and stadium-ambitions

By Dan Willis / Staff Writer

September 11, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

Time Capsule is a new series for The Pitt News that commemorates seminal releases in entertainment at or around a milestone anniversary. As the years pass, a work can gain greater context or significance than when it was first released. This retrospective series will strive to illuminate our favorite p...

Charming ‘Begin Again’ doesn’t limit itself to romantic expressions of love

Charming ‘Begin Again’ doesn’t limit itself to romantic expressions of love

By Dan Willis / Staff Writer

September 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Begin Again"Directed by: John CarneyStarring: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam LevineGrade: BThe poster for John Carney’s “Begin Again,” the spiritual sequel to his 2006 musical drama “Once,” shows a demure but attentive Keira Knightley clutching a cup of coffee and smiling at a charmingl...

Drusky promotes charity alongside Pittsburgh’s concert scene

Drusky promotes charity alongside Pittsburgh’s concert scene

By Evan Malachosky / Staff Writer

September 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

In 2012, Brian Drusky decided to arrange a philanthropic Christmas competition.Drusky, the founder of local concert promoter Drusky Entertainment, asked fans in the community to submit photographs of themselves donating toys or food or volunteering at shelters to the Drusky Entertainment Facebook page. Th...

Revived from the ashes: Copy Chef returns to TPN

By Ellie Petrosky / Copy Chief

September 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

Back with a new byline and a new face — the Copy Chef.That’s me! Hi, my name is Ellie, and I am here to teach you how to create affordable culinary creations fit for the college student’s palate and wallet.When I’m not fulfilling my duties as The Pitt News’ copy chief, I can often be found in the k...

‘Observe the Sons’ explores disillusion with war, bond of brotherhood in World War I

‘Observe the Sons’ explores disillusion with war, bond of brotherhood in World War I

By Richard Koppenaal / Staff Writer

September 4, 2014


Filed under Culture, Theater

For soldiers at war, the destructive forces that cause them to take arms often prove to be the glue that forms the strongest bonds.“Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme,” written by Frank McGuinness and the latest production of the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, tells the stor...

S. Carey talks power of nature, his early days with Bon Iver

S. Carey talks power of nature, his early days with Bon Iver

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

September 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

If you know only one thing about Bon Iver, there’s a good chance it has something to do with the log cabin. Over the band’s transformation from quiet Wisconsin folk project to festival headliner and Kanye West-collaborator, its origin story has taken on mythical proportions. It’s widely documented that foundi...

Gleeson stuns in darkly humorous, thought-provoking ‘Calvary’

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

September 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Calvary"Directed by: John Michael McDonaghStarring: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'DowdGrade: B+It’s surprising when tragedy and comedy overlap in life, and when movies sucessfuly combine the two, it’s especially alluring. “Calvary” meshes the categories with ease — it’s an ambiguous film in wh...

The Talkbox dissects under-the-radar upcoming fall releases

The Talkbox dissects under-the-radar upcoming fall releases

By Dan Willis & Shawn Cooke / The Pitt News Staff

September 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

After a mostly cool summer for new music releases, a whole bunch of artists will be rushing to drop albums in the coming months before they head out on fall tours. Although some of the more high-profile releases  — such as new records from Flying Lotus, Foo Fighters, SBTRKT and that Taylor Swift will ga...

‘What If’ an inherently flawed, but pleasant romantic comedy

‘What If’ an inherently flawed, but pleasant romantic comedy

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

August 28, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

“What If”Directed by: Michael DowseStarring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam DriverGrade: B-For all the romantic comedies that claim that love is messy, far fewer actually believe it. “What If” seems to think it’s a cut above the rest, but for all of its undeserving self-satisfaction, the f...

Mr. Smalls Venue

Mr. Smalls Venue

By Courtesy of Mr. Smalls venue

August 26, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

MLK Project honors August Wilson, strives to ‘break the cycle’

MLK Project honors August Wilson, strives to ‘break the cycle’

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

August 26, 2014


Filed under Art, Culture

The vibrant painted leaves on the exterior of  the Mad Mex in Oakland demand your full attention, but they don’t reveal the scope of the project that brought them to life.Oakland’s newest mural — designed by Lucas Stock — is a part of Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project’s (MLK...

Forget weak box office: 2014 was vital summer for Hollywood

Forget weak box office: 2014 was vital summer for Hollywood

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

August 26, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

Although the box office receipts may not agree, this was the most vital summer for big Hollywood pictures over the past decade.There were no Avengers, no Batmen, no Pixar characters and no Katnisses to save the day in summer 2014. But luckily, it was also free of the boom-or-bust urgency of years past....

The Gaslight Anthem favors reliable consistency on ‘Get Hurt’

The Gaslight Anthem favors reliable consistency on ‘Get Hurt’

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

August 26, 2014


Filed under Culture, Music

The Gaslight AnthemGet HurtGrade: BGruff, grating vocals mixed with trills, finesse, melodious riffs and smooth chords certainly seems like a counterproductive and illogical combination.Except it’s the formula molded by New Jersey pseudo-punks The Gaslight Anthem on their new album Get Hurt. The guitars, bass and drums provide an almo...

Welcome Back: Pittsburgh comedy scene offers diversity, expanding options

Welcome Back: Pittsburgh comedy scene offers diversity, expanding options

By Vincent Smith / Senior Staff Writer

August 19, 2014


Filed under Culture, Specials, Specials / Welcomeback2014

If you drop by the Monday night open mic at Lava Lounge in Pittsburgh’s South Side, make sure to show up at least 30 minutes late.When I went to a Lava Lounge open mic last month, I showed up early — sometime around 10 p.m. — just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. But when I arrived, a lo...

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