The Pitt News

‘Mad Men’ advertised vintage appeal to 2015

‘Mad Men’ advertised vintage appeal to 2015

By Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

May 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

The story of the seemingly picture-perfect life of advertising executive and anti-hero Don Draper came to an end this past Sunday with the airing of the series finale of “Mad Men”on AMC.The show is set in the 1960s at a Manhattan advertising agency and stars Jon Hamm as Don Draper, an advertising executive wh...

Painting Pittsburgh, one neighborhood at a time

Painting Pittsburgh, one neighborhood at a time

By Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

May 19, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

Local artist Ron Donoughe captured his love for Pittsburgh through his paintings.“This was a visual love letter to Pittsburgh. I wanted to experience this place one painting at a time. I wanted to dig deeper into why I love this place so much,” he said.For a few years, the Lawrenceville-based art...

The brush is mightier than the sword: quick hands, minds dominate the war at ArtAttack

The brush is mightier than the sword: quick hands, minds dominate the war at ArtAttack

By Brady Langmann / For The Pitt News

May 19, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

Some artists prepare for their craft by throwing on a smock and grabbing a painting palette. Others strip.At Wednesday night’s ArtAttack, a live painting competition at the Rex Theater on East Carson Street, artist Jake Steele performed the only way he thought was appropriate for the event — in his underwear.“Doin...

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is everything an action movie should be

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is everything an action movie should be

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

May 14, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Mad Max: Fury Road"Directed By: George MillerStarring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas HoultGrade: A+Move over, Michael Bay, because George Miller is back, and he brought a set of defibrillators.After working on “Mad Max: Fury Road” formore than a decade, Miller gives the action genre a muc...

Pittsburgh’s Picklesburgh to be a jarring experience

Pittsburgh’s Picklesburgh to be a jarring experience

By Elaina Zachos / A&E Editor

May 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

Pittsburgh is about to relish in a new cultural festival.On May 13, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership announced Picklesburgh, a new, culinary festival concerning gherkins galore. The Partnership will hold Picklesburgh on July 17 from 3 to 10 p.m. and July 18 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Rachel Carson Bridge in Down...

Meal fit for a college student

Meal fit for a college student

By Jai-W Hayes-Jackson / For The Pitt News

May 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

Meat lover’s omelette, provolone sticks and toast.

Ritter’s Diner a comforting, caloric respite from on-campus eateries

Ritter’s Diner a comforting, caloric respite from on-campus eateries

By Jai-W Hayes-Jackson / For The Pitt News

May 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

Nothing, to me, says vintage charm like a cash-only diner.Ritter’s Diner opened in 1951 in Bloomfield and is a family-owned, nostalgic wonderland of home-cooked food. Housed in an unassuming brown-and-gray building at the corner of Baum Boulevard and Powhattan Street, the restaurant is similar to P...

Toro y Moi offered tired, indecisive show at Mr. Smalls

Toro y Moi offered tired, indecisive show at Mr. Smalls

By Chris Estes / For The Pitt News

May 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

At 11 p.m. on Thursday night, Chaz Bundick, who goes by the stage name Toro y Moi, checked in on his fans, asking them, “How are you guys doing?” Before the cheers were over, he powered through the remaining 30 minutes of his set at Mr. Smalls Theatre.Headliner Toro y Moi and his four-man band p...

Mixed media: Artists rave at museum’s cultural extravaganza

Mixed media: Artists rave at museum’s cultural extravaganza

By Chris Estes / For The Pitt News

May 12, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture, Music

Guests of the #NOWSEETHIS party at the Carnegie Museum of Art this Saturday had an opportunity to check out local fifth graders’ art projects before breaking it down on a sweaty, chaotic dance floor.The Carnegie Museum of Art, in partnership with VIA — a Pittsburgh group dedicated to showcasing local an...

The World of Kurt Cobain: ‘Montage of Heck’ offers unique, personal look inside the life of late Nirvana frontman

The World of Kurt Cobain: ‘Montage of Heck’ offers unique, personal look inside the life of late Nirvana frontman

By Courtney Linder / Contributing Editor

May 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Montage of Heck"Directed by: Brett MorgenStarring: Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Krist NovoselicGrade: A-Minimum wage workers line shelves at Hot Topic with $15 T-shirts in the Nirvana frontman’s likeness, while antisocial teenagers repost photos of him on Tumblr, portraying him as the spokesman of generational...

Vinterberg’s ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ presents a soirée of Victorian romance

By Walter Howard / For The Pitt News

May 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Far From the Madding Crowd"Directed by: Thomas VinterbergStarring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael SheenGrade: AA treat for those with finer tastes and a tonic for those with sequel-induced headaches, Thomas Vinterberg’s “Far From the Madding Crowd” follows on the heels of classic, well k...

Netflix to ‘Save our Bluths’ with new season of ‘Arrested Development’

By Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

May 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

“Taste the happy” “Arrested Development” fans, because producer Brian Grazer has confirmed on Bill Simmons’ B.S. Report podcast that the show would return for a 17-episode fifth season on the online streaming service, Netflix. However, many fans wonder if the recently announced fifth seaso...

Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Cherry Bomb’ explodes with current fans

Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Cherry Bomb’ explodes with current fans

By Nick Mullen / For The Pitt News

May 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Tyler, The CreatorCherry BombGrade: B- Tyler, The Creator is known for his notorious cockroach snack in the music video for his critically acclaimed debut single “Yonkers” in February 2011. As a member of the eccentric rap collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, he has shocked, offended and fascinated the mai...

Make art, not money: local artist challenges gender inequality

Make art, not money: local artist challenges gender inequality

By Kelechi Urama / For The Pitt News

May 5, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

For local artist Elana Schlenker, gender discrimination was just something that she read about in books. But when a graphic design company hired her, she found that she was the only woman designer.“We did all kinds of products, but I would always get the stuff for girls. I like architecture, and all...

Smoke across the water: Pitt study abroad students adjust to weed culture shock

Smoke across the water: Pitt study abroad students adjust to weed culture shock

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

April 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

When Kative Crivellaro smoked a joint last summer in Amsterdam, she was nervous. Not because marijuana is illegal in the United States, but because she “was desperately trying not to come off as an American tourist.”Before  they go abroad, Pitt’s Study Abroad Office warns its travelers about th...

Death of a stoner: Weed too tame for modern, adrenaline-junkie comedy

Death of a stoner: Weed too tame for modern, adrenaline-junkie comedy

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

April 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Cocaine is the new weed, and blunts are the new cigarettes — on the silver screen at least.The stoner comedy has been a reliable subgenre for ages, man, but it could be on its last breath. We can’t expect to see new movies from a stoner duo like ’70s and ’80s icons Cheech and Chong or their ...

Blazing through the ages: Cannabis prevalent on campus in ’70s

By Natalia Blewonska & Elaina Zachos / The Pitt News Staff

April 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

When you look out over the Cathedral lawn, you see students sprawled out, soaking up the mid-April sun. While today you wouldn’t find anyone conspicuously smoking pot, 40 or 50 years ago pot use was commonplace.  The radical late ’60s and ’70s were a response  to the conservatism of 1936’s gove...

Dirty Cartoons: How children’s television secretly caters to stoners

Dirty Cartoons: How children’s television secretly caters to stoners

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

April 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

Cartoons these days are getting seedy. Millennials can remember spending their childhood Saturday mornings watching beloved, more innocent shows that now only exist in reruns, like “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Courage the Cowardly Dog” and “The Powerpuff Girls.” The audience for the newest ...

Garland goes back to the future with ‘Ex Machina’

Garland goes back to the future with ‘Ex Machina’

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

April 15, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

'Ex Machina'Directed by: Alex GarlandStarring: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia VikanderGrade: B+Looking past smartphones and Google Glass to the next level of digital advancement, Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina” brings artificial intelligence uncomfortably close in the form of a flirting human...

Curren$y cashes in with ‘Pilot Talk III’

Curren$y cashes in with ‘Pilot Talk III’

By Nick Mullen / For The Pitt News

April 15, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Curren$yPilot Talk IIIGrade: B Grab a good pair of headphones, because New Orleans rapper Curren$y has returned with his long-awaited third installment of Pilot Talk.The album sees the reunion of Curren$y and producer Ski Beatz, who worked on the first two Pilot Talk albums in 2010 to help launch Curren$y’s career. Beatz...

Monday Night Live: Kenan Thompson entertains Pitt

Monday Night Live: Kenan Thompson entertains Pitt

By Andrew Fishman / Staff Writer

April 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

Most current college students grew up in the ’90s and vividly remember the days of VHS tapes, Dunkaroos and significantly funnier television shows on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. On Monday, students reconnected with one of their ’90s icons, Kenan Thompson, who is now armed with a more adult arsenal o...

Baumbach’s “While We’re Young” an earnestly human comedy

Baumbach’s “While We’re Young” an earnestly human comedy

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

April 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

While We're YoungDirected by: Noah BaumbachStarring: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda SeyfriedRated R for languageGrade: A-Youth is wasted on the old — or so Noah Baumbach’s new film, “While We’re Young,” seems to argue.“While We’re Young” delivers insight on generational conflic...

Ava Luna returns to strange, unexpected roots on ‘Infinite House’

Ava Luna returns to strange, unexpected roots on ‘Infinite House’

By Dan Willis / Staff Writer

April 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Ava LunaInfinite HouseGrade: AAva Luna has planted itself at the fruitful intersection of two of 2015’s least trendy influences: punk and soul. Okay, yes — punk is popular, but Ava Luna has no interest in the joy-dividing melancholy or post-confessionalist evisceration that have defined its contemporary genr...

‘Every memory of lookin’ out the back door’: Natty Light and Nickelback both bland, vital stepping stones

‘Every memory of lookin’ out the back door’: Natty Light and Nickelback both bland, vital stepping stones

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

April 9, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Music

There comes a turning point in every adolescent’s life — or, shall we say, every 21-year-old’s life — when he or she must make the conscious decision to start liking beer. By college, beer is nearly unavoidable — far more commonplace than the occasional sip from dad when mom wasn’t looking. ...

More than just a stopgap: spring brews provide myriad options

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

April 9, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

It’s springtime, and, when it comes to having a drink, all you can think of is that Sangria glinting in your glass as you soak up the summer sun. Yet, it’s still too soon. Spring is just the in-between season — a chance for nature to freshen up a bit after a miserable winter. While summer — still mon...

Oakland’s Butterjoint mixes the bitter and sweet

Oakland’s Butterjoint mixes the bitter and sweet

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

April 8, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

Butterjoint, Legume’s full-service bar, sits unobtrusively on North Craig Street in Oakland.It has mauve walls and a dimly-lit interior. With only a handful of tables in addition to the bar, it’s cozy but restrictive — a place where long waits are the norm.I had visited the gastropub four time...

Godspeed You! Black Emperor turns in brisk look at apocalypse

Godspeed You! Black Emperor turns in brisk look at apocalypse

By Marcus Ranii-Dropcho / For The Pitt News

April 8, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Godspeed You! Black EmperorAsunder, Sweet and Other DistressGrade: BCritics often throw around the term “atmospheric” when discussing post-rock acts of the last decade. I hesitate to describe genre pioneer Godspeed You! Black Emperor with a single word, but something like stratospheric might be a mo...

Earl Sweatshirt brought somber tunes and militant stage banter to Mr. Smalls

Earl Sweatshirt brought somber tunes and militant stage banter to Mr. Smalls

By Nick Mullen / For The Pitt News

April 6, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Earl Sweatshirt likes to keep things slightly somber. “Make the lights look like your cat just died,” he told the lighting technicians at Mr. Smalls Funhouse on Friday night. Honoring Earl’s request, the technicians dimmed the lights to a deep blue.Unlike many rappers who infuse their lyrics with sinc...

DreamWorks’ latest far from a ‘Home’ run

DreamWorks’ latest far from a ‘Home’ run

By Jai-W Hayes-Jackson / For The Pitt News

April 6, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Home"Directed by: Tim JohnsonStarring: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin and Jennifer LopezRated PG for mild action and some rude humorGrade: C+Lately, intelligent animated flicks have spoiled us. Blockbusters “Frozen” and “Big Hero 6” came out to please children, as well as the parents they begged t...

Recalling Warhol: Experts discuss timelessness of pop art

Recalling Warhol: Experts discuss timelessness of pop art

By Elaina Zachos / Staff Writer

April 1, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

Although it’s not as timeless as Renaissance sculpture, three art experts argued on Wednesday night that pop art deserves its place in the modern art world.   Terry Smith, a Pitt professor of contemporary art history and theory, joined scholars Thomas Crow and Eric Shiner to discuss the relevance of pop...

Spring into fresh recipes

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

April 1, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

Ah, springtime, finally. As Willy Wonka once said, “In springtime, the only pretty ring time, birds sing hey ding ... a-ding, a-ding, sweet lovers love ... the spring.”Everyone is a bit giddy after a miserable winter that has left our stomachs bloated from carb-tastic dishes. Spring is the perfe...

‘Last Man on Earth’ a breezy, strange post-apocalyptic comedy

‘Last Man on Earth’ a breezy, strange post-apocalyptic comedy

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

April 1, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

"The Last Man on Earth"Sundays at 9 p.m. on FoxGrade: B+What would you do if you survived the apocalypse? No rapture, no zombies, no aliens, no vampires created by a supposed cure for cancer. Nobody else — just you and the open world. Would you drive around the country searching for people? Steal y...

Nickelback rock anthem to replace ‘Sweet Caroline’

Nickelback rock anthem to replace ‘Sweet Caroline’

By Dan Sostek / Assistant Sports Editor

March 31, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Editor's note: This is a satirical story.Diamonds aren’t forever. At least Neil Diamond’s legacy at Pitt isn’t.Pitt announced on Tuesday that the singer-songwriter’s hit “Sweet Caroline” will no longer signal the culmination of the third quarter of home football games at Heinz Field.Repl...

You’ll never believe what happened when Tyga crashed the Indoor Show

You’ll never believe what happened when Tyga crashed the Indoor Show

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

March 31, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Editor's Note: This is a satirical story.Halfway into “The Show Goes On,” Tyga took to the Fitzgerald Field House stage at the annual Indoor Show on Saturday and grabbed the mic from Lupe Fiasco.“What are you doing here? I didn’t offer you a guest spot on this joint — that was ‘Dumb It Dow...

Here’s how one student group plans to protect jaywalker rights on Forbes Avenue

Here’s how one student group plans to protect jaywalker rights on Forbes Avenue

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

March 31, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

Editor's Note: This is a satirical story.Shawna Rhodes was crossing Forbes Avenue between Litchfield Towers and David Lawrence Hall when a car traveling 30 mph in a 25 mph zone whooshed by her and clipped her backpack at approximately 8:35 p.m. on Tuesday.“It was so scary,” Rhodes said. “After it...

Lupe Fiasco preached, brought the hits to Pitt

Lupe Fiasco preached, brought the hits to Pitt

By Evan Malachosky / Staff Writer

March 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

On Saturday night, Lupe Fiasco advised audience members at the Fitzgerald Field House to be more skeptical of the genre that made him famous.Fiasco asked a female concertgoer in the front row about one of his songs, “Did you like that beat? Did you like the chorus? Did you like my lyrics?”Pitt Pr...

Deadline’s ‘Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Casting’ a tone-deaf take on TV diversity

By Kelechi Urama / For The Pitt News

March 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

For the first time in Hollywood’s history, casting directors are turning actors away from roles because of the way they look, according to Deadline’s TV editor Nellie Andreeva.In a recent article “Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings – About Time Or Too Much Of Good Thing,” Andreeva uses the word “ethnic” so many times it likely broke a Guinness World Record...

Pitt alumna Julie Sokolow talks feature-film debut, ‘Aspie Seeks Love’

Pitt alumna Julie Sokolow talks feature-film debut, ‘Aspie Seeks Love’

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

March 25, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Documentary filmmaker and 2010 Pitt alumna Julie Sokolow guides viewers through loneliness and Pittsburgh with her recently completed her first feature-length film “Aspie Seeks Love.” The documentary film focuses on David Matthews, a 49-year-old Aliquippa, Pa., resident struggling with his late-in-life diagnosis of As...

Waxahatchee takes hazy, but triumphant head trip on third album

Waxahatchee takes hazy, but triumphant head trip on third album

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

March 25, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

WaxahatcheeIvy TrippGrade: A-Katie Crutchfield’s third LP as Waxahatchee, Ivy Tripp, should be in the music library of every college student approaching graduation. She reaches some inconvenient truths about adult life on this record, which she translates into piercingly sincere words for the rest o...

‘RAD’ blogs: Pitt fashion bloggers bring latest trends to campus

‘RAD’ blogs: Pitt fashion bloggers bring latest trends to campus

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

March 23, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

Some students are turning to the Internet to vary the campus style palette of sweats or Uggs that accompany a long Pittsburgh winter. Fashion blogs allow students to become representatives for national fashion platforms while still showcasing their own personal style. Many national fashion sites, such as ...

Courtney Barnett sits, thinks and emotes on excellent debut LP

Courtney Barnett sits, thinks and emotes on excellent debut LP

By Dan Willis / Staff Writer

March 23, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just SitGrade: ANo one asked “SNL”’s Dan Aykroyd to make Crystal Head Vodka. No one sat around wondering when singer-songwriter Nathan Williams from Wavves would start releasing instrumental hip-hop. No one picked up Toby Keith’s 1993 debut albu...

‘Insurgent’ an inexplicable, but entertaining dystopian sequel

‘Insurgent’ an inexplicable, but entertaining dystopian sequel

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

March 23, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Insurgent"Directed by: Robert SchwentkeStarring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Kate WinsletRated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence, some sensuality, thematic elements and languageGrade: C+Despite its all-star cast and ongoing action, the “Divergent” sequel ultimately...

Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Butterfly’ a rich, vitriolic masterpiece

Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Butterfly’ a rich, vitriolic masterpiece

By Dan Willis / Staff Writer

March 18, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a ButterflyGrade: AEarlier this year, New York pop critic Sasha Frere-Jones left his post to become executive editor of the user-generated lyric annotation website Genius (formerly Rap Genius). In an interview with Newsweek, he said that his goal for the site was “raising the stan...

Better off dead?: The heartbreak of finding a band past its expiration date

Better off dead?: The heartbreak of finding a band past its expiration date

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

March 18, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Last March, the ’90s indie rock pioneers Neutral Milk Hotel came to Pittsburgh for the last time in the foreseeable future. It was part of a massive farewell tour that won’t end until June. As was the case in Pittsburgh, the tour gives the fans, most of whom are in their early-to-mid thirties now,...

Madonna throws away pop identity, dignity on ‘Rebel Heart’

Madonna throws away pop identity, dignity on ‘Rebel Heart’

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

March 18, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

MadonnaRebel HeartGrade: D+It might be difficult to imagine how 56-year-old Madonna could reach a lower low than her Super Bowl halftime show supported by the laughably condemned LMFAO, but perhaps her prolonged musical career made such a case inevitable. Rebel Heart, Madonna’s 13th full-length album, hi...

Flat white makes an overpriced, over-foamy entrance in U.S.

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

March 16, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

Our hipster coffee obsession perpetuates a common myth — “The Americano isn’t just espresso with water. It’s a brash shot of heady liquid adrenaline with notes of chocolate and tobacco tempered by a slosh of hot water” — but half the time that Americano you sip at Starbucks is average at...

Appalachian Juice Co. bring all-organic juices to Shadyside

Appalachian Juice Co. bring all-organic juices to Shadyside

By Andrew Fishman / Staff Writer

March 16, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

With inexpensive options of fried or heavily processed foods on campus — not to mention a whole pizza for $5 — maintaining a healthy lifestyle in college can be a tall order. But, at the Appalachian Juice Company — an organic juice and smoothie bar that opened in February on Walnut Street in ...

Wilson’s one-man-show makes its Pittsburgh debut

Wilson’s one-man-show makes its Pittsburgh debut

By Danah Bialoruski / Staff Writer

March 4, 2015


Filed under Culture, Theater

It’s taken 12 years, but August Wilson’s  first one-man show, “How I Learned What I Learned,” will finally run in the same city where the story takes place.“How I Learned What I Learned” is one of Wilson’s final plays, which originally debuted in Seattle in 2003. Wilson, one of America...

‘Power/Rangers’: Or (The unexpected virtue of expectations)

By Marcus Ranii-Dropcho / For The Pitt News

March 4, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Surprise entertainment releases can provide a needed deviation from mundane routine — and set the Internet ablaze. So, it’s not surprising that the spontaneous release of a gritty “Power Rangers” remake garnered more than 12 million views on YouTube in just one week.In short, the 14-minute f...

Big Sean works on focus with third LP

Big Sean works on focus with third LP

By Dale Shoemaker / Assistant News Editor

March 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Big SeanDark Sky ParadiseGrade: BIn his music video for the single “I Don’t F*ck with You,” which GOOD and Def Jam released in November, Sean plays a high school football quarterback making the final drive of “the big game.” In the first half of the video, he is unfocused. He snaps the ball...

Imagine Dragons mature, bring another collection of singles

Imagine Dragons mature, bring another collection of singles

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

March 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Imagine DragonsSmoke + MirrorsGrade: BAfter a double-platinum album and nearly two years of rocking the world on tour, the alternative rock band from Las Vegas is back with new material. Imagine Dragons returns, older and wiser, with its sophomore album, Smoke + Mirrors.The band formed in Sin City in 2009...

The Lunchbox: TPN unpacks Spice Island

The Lunchbox: TPN unpacks Spice Island

By Britnee Meiser and Meghan Bray / The A&E Staff

March 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

Spice Island Tea House is a small Thai restaurant tucked away on Atwood Street, just a few blocks off Forbes Avenue. Its traditional Southeast Asian menu, wide variety of tea and charming atmosphere make Spice Island worth the trip.Students tend to settle for the likes of Szechuan Express and other Oakland Avenue eats when they’re crav...

‘Better Call Saul’ captures winning feel of ‘Bad,’ but carves own path

‘Better Call Saul’ captures winning feel of ‘Bad,’ but carves own path

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

February 25, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

As the final season of AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” wound down in 2013,  creator Vince Gilligan announced that a spin-off would follow the beloved series, putting fears and uncertainty of a post-“Bad” world to rest — for now. “Better Call Saul” is very aware of its massive expectations, w...

Stay out of the ‘Hot Tub’: Sequel overflowing with stale ideas

Stay out of the ‘Hot Tub’: Sequel overflowing with stale ideas

By Matt Maielli / For The Pitt News

February 25, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Hot Tub Time Machine 2"Directed by: Steve PinkStarring: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Adam ScottRated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, drug use and some violenceGrade: C-The gang is back for another dip in space-time. But this time, they’re out of the ...

This Weekend … 2.25 – 3.1

By The A&E Staff

February 25, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music, Theater

Thurs., Feb. 26 (through Mar. 6)“Urinetown”Studio TheatreCathedral of Learning basement8 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sunday)Tickets available at box officePitt’s Theatre Arts program will perform Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann’s biting satirical musical “Urinetown” this week. The student-directed Student Labs production t...

Meat & Potatoes: A tasteful blend between casual and upscale

Meat & Potatoes: A tasteful blend between casual and upscale

By Abby Hoffman / For The Pitt News

February 23, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

We often talk about “meat and potatoes” like “bread and butter” — a go-to staple in any person’s diet. But the restaurant Meat & Potatoes, with its only location downtown on Penn Avenue, serves up fare that is anything but conventional. Meat & Potatoes, which debuted in spring 2011, is a...

Bye bye, Li’l Sebastian: A farewell to ‘Parks and Rec’

Bye bye, Li’l Sebastian: A farewell to ‘Parks and Rec’

By Dan Sostek / Assistant Sports Editor

February 23, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

“Parks and Recreation” seemed like an idea doomed from the start.From its first trailers and TV spots in 2008, the show, created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, appeared to copy the style and feel of the popular fellow NBC sitcom “The Office,” trying to find comedy in a single-camera mock...

Pitt students sell handmade goods on Etsy

Pitt students sell handmade goods on Etsy

By Meghan Bray / For The Pitt News

February 19, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

There’s something inherently old-fashioned about knitting and craftsmanship, but that hasn’t stopped students from selling their own handmade goods on the web. Anyone can easily sell their handmade goods on Etsy, an online marketplace for creative entrepreneurs that was founded in Brooklyn, New York...

Drake takes on Cash Money, hints at major leap forward on new mixtape

Drake takes on Cash Money, hints at major leap forward on new mixtape

By Dale Shoemaker / Assistant News Editor

February 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

DrakeIf You're Reading This, It's Too LateGrade: A-Scene: Inside the Cash Money Records main office, Young Money floor. Standard office layout with rows of cubicles. Tour posters for Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj and Tyga line the walls. In the back corner is Lil Wayne’s desk, cleaned out. Only pile...

Oscar’s rejects: The best movies without an awards invite

Oscar’s rejects: The best movies without an awards invite

By Dan Sostek and Shawn Cooke / The Pitt News Staff

February 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Birdman” or “Boyhood?” This question will likely be repeated 1,000 times before Sunday, when we’ll finally know who takes home Best Picture at the Oscars.The big award, Best Director and Best Actor stand to be the only real contentious major awards, with nearly all the major acting catego...

Local artists vow to revamp city public art laws

Local artists vow to revamp city public art laws

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

February 16, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

If public art in Pittsburgh had a Facebook page, it would be in a “complicated relationship” with the city — a relationship worthy of a dramatic soap opera script. Last Thursday, the city and the Public Art division of the Department of City Planning sat down to talk. This formal meeting was a...

‘Kingsman’ a bloody fun spy send-up

‘Kingsman’ a bloody fun spy send-up

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

February 16, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Kingsman: The Secret Service"Directed by: Matthew VaughnStarring: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. JacksonRated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual contentGrade: BVery little about “Kingsman: The Secret Service” sounds fun — based on its title, you might think it’s a swo...

Sex in the ’60s: The more things change, the more they stay the same

Sex in the ’60s: The more things change, the more they stay the same

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

February 13, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

It’s natural to think of frank, unapologetic, casual sex as a modern creation. Since we’re always just a “right swipe” away from being matched with a potential partner, it may seem like we’ve reached the hook-up culture’s high-water mark.But sexual liberation dates back to long before Gener...

All tease, no climax: ‘Fifty Shades’ not sexy or nuanced enough to satisfy

All tease, no climax: ‘Fifty Shades’ not sexy or nuanced enough to satisfy

By Natalia Blewonska / For The Pitt News

February 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Fifty Shades of Grey”Directed by: Sam Taylor-JohnsonStarring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie DornanRated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior, graphic nudity and languageGrade: DIf you’re just watching “Fifty Shades of Grey” to see some hot, kinky sex and a flash of...

Pittsburgh Glass Center melts hearts for Valentine’s Day

Pittsburgh Glass Center melts hearts for Valentine’s Day

By Elaina Zachos / For The Pitt News

February 11, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

If you dropped most valentines into a 2,000 degree flame, it would be the worst-case scenario. But for couples on a date at Pittsburgh Glass Center this Valentine’s Day, it’s a necessary part of the art.The East End’s PGC hosts its seasonal Make-It-Now workshop for glass-art amateurs to make their ow...

‘Seventh Son’ an abysmal attempt at striking fantasy gold

‘Seventh Son’ an abysmal attempt at striking fantasy gold

By Matt Maielli / For The Pitt News

February 11, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Seventh Son"Directed by: Sergey BodrovStarring: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne MooreRated PG-13 for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong languageGrade: DTom Ward (Ben Barnes) is the seventh son of a seventh son. It’s supposed to be what makes him special. This fact ...

This (Valentine’s Day) Weekend…

By The A&E Staff

February 11, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Fri., Feb. 13The New Pornographers with JaillMr. Smalls Theatre400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale8 p.m.$30The Canadian power poppers bring their exuberant Brill Bruisers tour to Pittsburgh this weekend — but the supergroup will be without its greatest vocal superhero. Neko Case won’t be touring with the band’s rotating lineup this t...

How to publish a bestseller: faculty and students weigh in

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

February 9, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

Before a book can fly off the shelves, it usually has a long, methodical process to get there.Every year, thousands of writers try their luck in the world of freelance by sending out manuscripts to publishers with hopes that they’ll land a writing gig. The ugly truth at the end of the paper trail is th...

‘Togetherness’ a mostly satisfying new indie entry for HBO

‘Togetherness’ a mostly satisfying new indie entry for HBO

By Dylan Galper / Staff Writer

February 9, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

Given its history with high-budget, “cinematic” programming, it’s surprising that HBO is now a hub for indie television shows.The company’s newest venture, slotted nicely between its highly acclaimed “Girls” and somewhat lackluster show “Looking,” is “Togetherness,” a new original se...

Creative careers demand inventive and versatile portfolios

By Michael Bichler / For The Pitt News

February 6, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

For some job seekers, simply attaching a resumé and cover letter won’t cut it.In order to get any job in an art or writing profession, a portfolio sampling your best work is a must to display your accomplishments in your college career. However, deciding what you put in a portfolio can be as important as the...

‘The 20-something-year-old-quarter-life-crisis’: A humanities student embraces her uncertain future

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

February 6, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

From the first rosy day of freshman year, being an art history major has been a challenge. Even other students, amidst their own “starting-college-I’m-a-grown-up-now” high, would blurt out, “What are you going to do with that?” This question has clung to me like a bad hangover for the past...

‘Jupiter Ascending’: The Wachowskis’ latest epic, indulgent misfire

‘Jupiter Ascending’: The Wachowskis’ latest epic, indulgent misfire

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

February 4, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Jupiter Ascending"Directed by: The WachowskisStarring: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, Sean BeanRated PG-13 for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudityGrade: DThe early-year movie dumping ground just received a new shipment: the overblown and ...

‘Empire’ pushes against TV’s status quo in dynamic, entertaining ways

‘Empire’ pushes against TV’s status quo in dynamic, entertaining ways

By Jack Shelly / For The Pitt News

February 4, 2015


Filed under Culture, Television

"Empire"Wednesdays, 9 p.m. on FoxFour episodes viewed for reviewAfter a brutal fall season of underperforming debuts, Fox finally has a new hit on its hands.The network’s newest primetime drama “Empire” has been the rare freshman frontrunner of ratings weekly — it debuted to 9.9 million and later n...

Sleater-Kinney makes triumphant return on ‘No Cities to Love’

Sleater-Kinney makes triumphant return on ‘No Cities to Love’

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

February 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Sleater-KinneyNo Cities to LoveGrade: AIt’s not the riot grrrl that’ll make you denounce religion, government and sexism, but Sleater-Kinney’s return to music after a 10-year hiatus carries the same wit, emotion and alternative guitar tuning that made it hugely influential in the ’90s.Sleate...

‘Project Almanac’ an earnest, if illogical, found-footage entry

‘Project Almanac’ an earnest, if illogical, found-footage entry

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

February 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Project Almanac"Directed by: Dean IsraeliteStarring: Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Sam LernerRated PG-13 for some language and sexual contentGrade: C+It may not contribute anything groundbreaking to either the time travel genre or the now-fading, found-footage canon, but “Project Almanac” is...

Beat the lines with these revamped Super Bowl recipes

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

January 29, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

The Super Bowl is not just about the game, the commercials or how much air is in the footballs. It’s also about the delectable spread you lay before your amigos and the carnal pleasure of licking your fingers after consuming way too many Buffalo wings. But all too often we sit back after the game...

Belle and Sebastian tinker and evolve on new album

Belle and Sebastian tinker and evolve on new album

By Danah Bialoruski / For The Pitt News

January 29, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

Belle and SebastianGirls in Peacetime Want to DanceGrade: A- Almost 20 years in, Belle and Sebastian explores new territory on its ninth album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, but the result is unmistakably true to the band’s history.     Stuart Murdoch, lead singer and songwriter of the Scottish i...

TPN’s gaming guru previews 2015’s most-anticipated releases

TPN’s gaming guru previews 2015’s most-anticipated releases

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

January 29, 2015


Filed under Culture, Puzzles

­­­Already, 2015 boasts a huge catalog of video games to look forward to, and the dizzying excitement makes it hard to choose what to plug into my systems.  Let me sift through some of these anticipated titles, and deliberate on what games I’m most eager to play.My Top 5:Final Fantasy XV (Square-E...

Depp walks the plank in ‘Mortdecai,’ one of his worst flops yet

Depp walks the plank in ‘Mortdecai,’ one of his worst flops yet

By Matt Maielli / For The Pitt News

January 26, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Mortdecai"Directed by: David KoeppStarring: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul BettanyGrade: FImagine Johnny Depp as the Sherlock Holmes of the underground art world. Now imagine that he is impossibly bad at his job, then drop him into an unfinished “Pink Panther” movie, and you...

The Decemberists emerge from darkness with consistent, personal new album

The Decemberists emerge from darkness with consistent, personal new album

By Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

January 26, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

The DecemberistsWhat a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World Grade: B+ The Decemberists descended into Dante’s nine circles of hell and just returned, enlightened and with a new album in hand. It’s not that The Decemberists’ past albums have been poor — on the contrary, they were deep, head...

Time Capsule: Linklater’s timeless romance, ‘Before Sunrise’ turns 20

Time Capsule: Linklater’s timeless romance, ‘Before Sunrise’ turns 20

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

January 22, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Although January has become a cinematic dumping ground for mental vacations such as “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” Liam Neeson saving his daughter “one last time” or Kevin Hart movies, the occasional great film can sneak onto the schedule, much like “Before Sunrise” did in 1995. Twenty years la...

Local artist John Peña documents life with ‘Daily Geology’

Local artist John Peña documents life with ‘Daily Geology’

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

January 22, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture

“Daily Geology” sounds like the title of a leather-bound textbook containing illustrations of glossy, fuming volcanos and cliff faces. Assumptions aside, it’s really the title of a daily autobiographical comic, drawn by Lawrenceville-based artist/cartoonist and CMU professor John Peña, whose every...

This Weekend … 1.23 – 1.24

By The A&E Staff

January 21, 2015


Filed under Culture, Music

This Weekend...Fri., Jan. 23LotusStage AE400 North Shore Drive, North Shore8 p.m.$22 advance / $25 at doorThey’re no Flying Lotus, but the similarly named, less experimental “jamtronica” band Lotus returns to Pittsburgh less than a year after they last played at Stage AE. Equal parts Phish and ...

Eastwood paints chilling war picture in ‘Sniper’

Eastwood paints chilling war picture in ‘Sniper’

By Andrew Fishman / Staff Writer

January 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"American Sniper"Director: Clint EastwoodStarring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna MillerRated R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout, including some sexual referencesGrade: AAfter Chris Kyle finds out, on his wedding day, that he’ll be shipped out to Iraq, he assures his wife that “it...

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 14, 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 14, 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 4, 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 4, 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 4, 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...

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