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James Blake serves up counter-intuitive simplicity and minimal dubstep in soulful debut album

(02/10/11 6:00pm)

It seems strange to call something "post-dubstep" when the original genre's overwhelmingly wobbled subbass, complex syncopated downtempo percussion and characteristically suspenseful bass drops have only been around for about a decade. Nevertheless, it's the best way to describe, in a single word, what Londoner James Blake has produced in his eponymous debut album, which was released on Monday.The 11 songs are, in fact, quite against the grain of the genre's harsh maximal stereotype: Avid dubstep purists, those who crave the filthy intensity of dubstep-proper exclusively, are already quick to discount the release, despite its similarly lurching rhythms with occasionally wonky time signatures. This distinction is crucial to understand: Blake's album certainly is not music for dancing with friends at the club but for listening at home in introspective solitude.


President David Leebron discusses tuition, image and grad student expansion

(01/27/11 6:00pm)

Don't forget to watch the exclusive interview video at the end of the article!Rice Thresher: You've been spending a lot of money on buildings. But we have a bit more debt than usual and a bit less revenue to back it up. The number one question on students' minds is if you've got any plans to stabilize tuition costs, especially if Rice wants to maintain its reputation as a bargain school.


Open records requests unveil how KTRU sale was kept under wraps

(11/18/10 6:00pm)

Last week, KTRU and investigative reporting blog Texas Watchdog each released the documents they received from their separate open records requests to the University of Houston regarding the sale of KTRU's broadcast tower, FM frequency and operating license to UH. As a public institution, UH was obligated to comply with these requests and provide the relevant correspondence, but Rice, a private university, is not bound by public information laws and would not be required to fulfill such a request if it were made of them. The 667 scanned images of printed emails between Rice and UH revealed how both parties sought to keep details of the deal from reaching the public for as long as possible.President David Leebron announced news of the sale in an email to students, faculty and alumni on Aug. 17. In an interview with the Thresher that week, Leebron elaborated on the necessity of not releasing information of the sale earlier.



DJ Earworm mashes up

(10/28/10 7:00pm)

Last Friday, when Jordan Roseman, better known by his stage name, DJ Earworm, stood and played his laptop for two hours, it didn't occur to me until after the show and after my interview with him just how different his mashup style is versus that of Girl Talk, and why. Even though the two artists are lumped in the same mashup genre, some obvious characteristics separate the latter's densely packed, bouncin' dance party shows and the former's somewhat scattered live performance. Girl Talk's stage presence is undoubtedly magnitudes stronger, and when he confidently invites the "people in the back" to put their "hands in the air," the resulting wave of arms seems neither forced nor out of place. At the other end of the spectrum, it's difficult to imagine DJ Earworm successfully inciting the crowd like this, and rather than a thrashing, gyration-inducing beam of confidence and barrage of seamless samples, last week's show initially rubbed me as clunky and dorky.


Salento takes over Brochstein; Coffeehouse hopes to expand

(08/19/10 7:00pm)

It's out with the old and in with the new inside the Brochstein Pavilion. The location's previous beverage purveyor, Dirk's Coffee, closed up shop and as of July 12 made way for Salento, Brochstein Pavilion's new coffee and wine service provider. Bringing a slew of new drink offerings to the counter, the combination cafe and wine lounge took root on campus as an establishment already familiar to much of the Rice community through its location in the Rice Village. "Salento was recommended and endorsed by a number of people at Rice, so this was something that had been suggested that we go and check out," Associate Vice President for Housing and Dining Mark Ditman said. "We actually went and visited and found that the quality of the products was high, but we also felt like their style of service was very welcoming and pleasant and professional."


Coffeehouse denied bid for Brochstein

(05/16/10 7:00pm)

This summer, business will change at the Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion. Though Associate Vice President for Housing and Dining Mark Ditman declined to discuss the performance of Dirk's Coffee, which currently occupies the space, or even acknowledge their termination, Student Association President Selim Sheikh said plans to find a replacement business are underway.Dirk's is currently operating there in the second year of a five-year contract, but such contracts typically contain a clause for grounds of termination, either with or without cause, as well as a clause about certain performance expectations, Ditman said.