Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, February 07, 2023 — Houston, TX

Arts and Entertainment


A&E 2/6/23 3:02am

Review: Noah Kahan’s 'Stick Season' hits home at sold-out Houston show

Few artists can capture specific experiences with lyrics that still feel relatable. Noah Kahan accomplishes this in spades with his third album “Stick Season,” released last October after the titular track went viral on TikTok in 2020. “Stick Season” was inspired by Kahan’s tiny Vermont hometown, where he wrote the album during the pandemic. Kahan describes the landscape there as a “wasteland” once winter creeps in — the opposite of Houston’s evergreen city life, although our humid climate is rather sticky. Despite the album’s somewhat niche New England setting, its broader themes of isolation and homesickness are universal experiences, as evidenced by the crowd screaming along to every word throughout the show.


A&E 1/31/23 11:19pm

Review: ‘Honey’ is a bittersweet confession

Recorded in the woods of North Carolina, Samia’s second studio album “Honey” is a confident, self-aware and unique addition to Samia’s growing discography. Dark and dreamy, “Honey” is an honest reflection on heartbreak, angst and feeling lost. 


A&E 1/31/23 11:18pm

Review: ‘ROE’ grapples with history, humanity and heartbreak

“Roe” was born in 2015, 42 years after its namesake, when playwright Lisa Loomer was prompted to write a script for a project about a critical moment in American history. Since then, Loomer has adapted the script in rhythm with the ever-changing landscape surrounding reproduction rights in America. The most recent update, after the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is an obituary for Roe v. Wade, and it premiered by Stages in Montrose.


A&E 1/31/23 11:17pm

Trouble in paradise? Love blooms at these flower shops

Spring is (sort of) sprung, and the lovely month of February brings the hotly contested  holiday that everyone secretly hates but some are more vocal about than others: Valentine’s Day. Sure, the day can be nice with or without a significant other, but the capitalism behind the whole thing is insane. How many mini chocolate heart arrangements can clog up the grocery store aisles? Personally, I much prefer Feb. 15, when everything is on sale. However, one thing that stays classy every day of the week is flowers. They brighten up a room and they can be more personalized than any heart shaped candy could ever be. Here are some of the best local floral shops to check out if you want to impress anyone on your Valentine’s Day list. Or, quite frankly, to buy for any reason, not just a capitalistic, secretly despised holiday. 


A&E 1/31/23 11:16pm

Anti-Valentine’s rom-coms to cry to

Sick and tired of love? Dread walking into Target for groceries and seeing rows upon rows of pink and red? Hate watching movies where the two main characters always end up together? The Thresher understands, and we’re here for you during this trying time. While I do consider myself to be a bit of a hopeless romantic, I still have plenty of heartbreaking movies for you bitter singles in my repertoire and am willing to share. So, listen to our anti-Valentine’s playlist while reading through the Thresher’s official list of anti-rom-coms for Valentine’s Day haters. 


A&E 1/31/23 11:15pm

New Rice Village coffee shop serves up inclusivity one cup at a time

The newest addition to the Bitty and Beau’s Coffee chain opened its doors in Rice Village on Jan. 14, almost seven years after the original shop’s opening in Wilmington, N.C. Founders Ben and Amy Wright named the business after their children Bitty and Beau, who both have Down syndrome. The franchise aims to empower and advocate for people with disabilities by including them in the workforce.


A&E 1/31/23 11:14pm

Rice historian Douglas Brinkley on his Grammy nominations, musical community

In his free time, Douglas Brinkley, a history professor at Rice University, gets nominated for Grammy awards. This year, Brinkley has been nominated for two Grammys for co-producing “Black Men Are Precious” by Ethelbert Miller for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album and “Fandango At The Wall in New York” by Arturo O’ Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra for Best Latin Jazz Album. Brinkley previously won a Grammy in 2017 for co-producing “Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom.” The Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on Feb. 5 in Los Angeles, broadcast live on CBS and streamed on Paramount+.


A&E 1/24/23 10:26pm

Black Art at Rice: Akaya Chambers designs her future in theatre

When Akaya Chambers was twelve years old, she made her own Halloween costume — a steampunk TARDIS dress. It was the first time she had ever sewn, but she hasn’t put down her needle and thread since. In the years following, she discovered a passion for costume design and theatre on and off of the stage as a costume designer and actor, and on the page as a playwright. 


A&E 1/24/23 10:25pm

Review: ‘Five Easy Hot Dogs’ is a mellow road trip of soothing instrumentals

It’s impossible to understate Mac DeMarco’s influence in the world of indie music. Since his breakout 2012 album ‘2,’ DeMarco’s twangy jangle pop songs have inspired new musicians and subgenres, notably bedroom pop. Tracks like “Chamber of Reflection” helped define alternative music in the mid-2010s, and recently, cuts like “Heart to Heart” have been wildly popular on TikTok. At the core of these successes were not only strong instrumentation but a slacker attitude and a sense of understated romance within DeMarco’s lyrics. However, for “Five Easy Hot Dogs,” DeMarco has ditched this core component in favor of focusing on instrumentals. Regardless of this switch-up, DeMarco has constructed a solid project full of unique albeit forgettable songs that inspire a sense of tranquility unmatched by his other work.



A&E 1/24/23 10:18pm

Food spots to fill your late night cravings

Have you or someone you love suffered from the recent closing of YoYo’s and Oh My Gogi? If so, you might be looking for new food spots to scratch those late-night cravings that the serveries simply can’t fill. Read on for the Thresher’s list of a few food spots close to campus that can fill the holes in our stomachs (and our hearts). 


A&E 1/24/23 10:17pm

Review: ‘Jesus Christ!’ that was an experience

When I sat down in the Hobby Center to watch “Jesus Christ Superstar” on its opening night in Houston, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been warned by cast member Colin Robertson to expect glitter, loud volume and the unexpected. What I wasn’t anticipating was for a majority of the cast to run in through the back of the auditorium halfway through the first number to kick the show off with a bang. It certainly brought the show to life rather instantaneously, and my plus-one who went to the bathroom and accidentally got locked out until after the opening number said watching them warm up in the lobby was even cooler. They were dancing, stretching, vocalizing and hyping each other up while we were all sitting unbeknownst inside. 


A&E 1/24/23 10:17pm

Hot off the press: Authors share new works

Literary enthusiasts filed into Congregation Emanu El on Monday to hear from acclaimed authors Yiyun Li and Matthew Salesses. As part of the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading series, the authors came to Houston to share excerpts of their newly released novels and take part in an on-stage conversation with the University of Houston creative writing program faculty member Brenda Peynado. Both Li and Salesses shared insight on politics in their novels and finding joy in their writing.



A&E 1/18/23 12:17am

​​Review: New Netflix flick falls flat

The strongest part of “The Pale Blue Eye,” a collaboration between Netflix and director Scott Cooper, is its premise. Christian Bale plays a detective tasked with solving a murder at West Point in the 1830s. To solve the crime, he teams up with a young Edgar Allen Poe and discovers a web of occult, gothic horrors that underlie the seemingly simple academy. This concept is incredibly sharp — the film creates a backstory that informs Poe’s invention of the mystery genre and casts Bale, a proven actor, in the leading role. However, the film itself is unconfident in this premise and often feels hollow. The end result is a movie that is watchable (if a bit boring), but not nearly as special as it could be.


A&E 1/18/23 12:17am

Review: Home Slice Pizza fires up new Houston location

One of the most amazing parts about coming to Rice and getting to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures is that you are exposed to a variety of opinions and ideas that help mold you into a more well-rounded individual. One of the most fascinating opinions that I feel people bring with them is their taste in pizza. Whether a debate between Pizza Hut and Papa John’s or New York versus Chicago, we all have opinions on how we like our pies.


A&E 1/18/23 12:13am

Senior Spotlight: Hannah Usadi colors outside the lines

Rice owes much of its visual landscape to Hannah Usadi, whose art reaches from the end pages of the 2021-2022 Campanile to President Desroches’ holiday card and Pub merchandise. Although Usadi started drawing and painting as a child, her distinct artistic voice has emerged more recently. 


A&E 1/18/23 12:10am

Weston Twardowski uses theatre to spotlight environmental issues

Both on and off the stage, theatre has long been a part of Weston Twardowski’s life. From professionally acting to directing shows to co-founding his own theatre company in Los Angeles, Twardowski has made his love for the stage into a living. Now the program manager of the Diluvial Houston Initiative and lecturer in theatre and environmental studies at Rice, Twardowski finds his passion for theatre and academic research intertwining with a pertinent issue — environmental justice. 


A&E 1/10/23 9:53pm

Winter break releases to not leave out in the cold

Even as we took some time off during winter break, artists were still hard at work releasing notable new albums. In the tradition of past summer break music recaps published by the Thresher, below are three albums from the recess that shouldn’t be missed.


A&E 1/10/23 9:53pm

Review: ‘M3GAN’ misfires but plays on emotion

My expectations for “M3GAN” were cautiously optimistic despite its overdone premise. I thought “M3GAN” was going to be a campy horror movie with cheap jumpscares and even cheesier lines, ultimately performing within a typical January box office. Prior to booking my tickets, however, I did note that the critical reviews for the film were, shockingly, quite good.