The Pitt News

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...

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 17, 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 17, 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 13, 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 13, 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 10, 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 10, 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 27, 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 27, 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 27, 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...

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