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Monday, January 17, 2022 — Houston, TX °

Arts and Entertainment



A&E 1/11/22 10:50pm

Review: The Weeknd’s ‘Dawn FM’ is a purgatorial meditation on love and lust

There’s something surreal about seeing someone you listened to when you were younger perform with white hair and wrinkles. While this experience is typically reserved for people who have long graduated college, The Weeknd’s album cover and videos for his new album “Dawn FM” artificially accelerate this. To promote the album, Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) staged a livestream via Amazon of the album being played for a live audience where he stood in the center of a neon-lit platform, dancing and reacting to the music. Like his previous Super Bowl performance and the music video series for “After Hours,” he committed to the character created on the album cover, performing with the aged face and white hair seen on the promotional imagery.


A&E 1/11/22 10:48pm

Spring into the arts (at the last minute)

With the spring semester upon us, those who are still short on hours or want another class to add to their schedule can rest easy. Below are some open arts-related classes which range from visual arts to film to music. These classes have something for everyone and accommodate a variety of skill levels, allowing students the chance to try things that might have otherwise been out of their comfort zone. As we spend the first two weeks on Zoom dreaming of classes with available seats, here are several to consider during the add/drop period. 


A&E 1/11/22 10:32pm

Houston artists to look out for in 2022

Despite what revisionist hipsters may tell you, Houston has always been the heart of Texan music. Zydeco came from the wards, Southern rap came from the Southside, Texan folk came from Anderson Fair and Beyonce came from the suburbs, but we still claim her. If anything, the last few years have shown us that Houston brings musical chops to the national level with Megan Thee Stallion, Travis Scott and Lizzo repping to various degrees. While Houston has its own accepted canon of local music, there are many new artists making a name for themselves across the scene. Here’s a few of our favorites to check out in 2022. 


A&E 1/11/22 10:28pm

Familiar movies for comfort during an unfamiliar semester

As the semester starts up again, COVID guidelines wax and wane and everything else changes in your life, it might be easy to feel overwhelmed. One way to manage this stress, though, is through activities that don’t take lots of brain power and bring you back to a familiar, calm state of mind. Watching movies is one way to do this that can be done alone, with friends, in comfort or – if you must – while doing some homework. But what to watch? There are so many streaming services through Rice alone (don’t forget your free HBO Max, Kanopy, and Philo!). Perhaps you can never see Mamma Mia too many times, but you need some variety. Here are some good PG-rated comfort movies available on multiple streaming platforms.


A&E 1/11/22 10:24pm

Senior Spotlight: Alfonso Pelaez Rovalo explores what it means to be unique

From watching his mother paint and sculpt to aspiring to become a National Geographic photographer since childhood, Alfonso Pelaez Rovalo has always seen art as an integral part of his life. Rovalo entered college majoring in architecture and later double majored in studio art after being inspired by his fellow classmates to explore art at Rice. Art in Rovalo’s life has a solid foundation, but as of yet, no definite ending.


A&E 12/13/21 3:12pm

Shows to watch this winter break

In need of a new show to watch after watching Grey's Anatomy for the fifth time in a row? Here are options for your new procrastination session, spread across various streaming services in case your sister-in-law stopped paying the Disney + subscription.




A&E 12/13/21 3:03pm

Album highlights from a year filled with new music releases

The album rollouts of 2021 started off as little more than a trickle — a result of artists holding back albums for a post-COVID world in which they could tour. But once the dam started to crack, it burst wide open. It felt like every other week was a massive album event, a reminder of the power of dropping multiple songs at once despite the last decade of proclamations that the album was dead. Here’s some of my favorite albums from the past year:


A&E 12/13/21 3:01pm

Songs that made 2021

Through an undoubtedly up and down year, the only consistency has been massive smashes of songs. Pop saw a trio of Olivia Rodrigo anthems and the triumphant return of Lil Nas X bump out of radios while critical darlings made their own mark. While the pandemic loomed over last year's releases, no clear theme seemed to be present throughout  2021 song releases, allowing for a wide berth of tracks. Here’s some of my favorites:


A&E 11/30/21 11:47pm

Review: ‘Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley’ is a holiday delight

Main Street Theater’s production of “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” is a play that serves as a sequel to Jane Austen’s classic “Pride and Prejudice.” Lauren Gunderson’s clever script showcases the Bennet sisters once again, this time spending Christmas together at Pemberley. This farcical romantic-comedy focuses on awkward middle sister Mary Bennet (Chaney Moore) as she finds love with Mr. Darcy’s equally awkward cousin, Arthur de Bourgh (Aaron Alford). Main Street Theater presents an excellent production of the show with very few missteps and is only a walk to Rice Village away from campus. Performances will continue through Dec. 19 with $10 student tickets. 


A&E 11/30/21 11:46pm

Review: More risk, less reward than expected from Adele’s ‘30’

Adele’s fourth studio album “30” is a vulnerable amalgamation of jarring rhythms and soulful influences. Released on Nov. 19, “30” generated widespread critical acclaim for its candid, emotional narration of Adele’s divorce from Simon Konecki. Despite her previously established reputation for a rich vocal range and expressive, emotional lyricism, listeners and critics alike have lauded the new record as Adele’s greatest musical risk to date. A poignant account of the turbulence of family, love, fame, and heartbreak, “30” reiterates Adele’s timeless ability to storytell in a way that touches the hearts of fans everywhere. 


A&E 11/30/21 11:44pm

Holiday sights around Houston

It is beginning to look a lot like the holiday season with the lit up Christmas tree at Fondren, Mariah Carey playing at the President’s barbecue and lights wound around trees in Rice Village. To reel in the Houston winter vibes, look no further for a list of holiday attractions to visit during dead days to avoid studying for finals.


A&E 11/30/21 11:41pm

Senior Spotlight: Catherine Hettler carves her own path

From drawing on the walls of her childhood home to creating sculptures inspired by modern psychology experiments, art has always been a part of Catherine Hettler’s life. She knew she would continue to create art in college, but came into Rice undecided in her major. It wasn’t until she took Beginning Sculpture and Introduction to Psychology classes as a freshman that she decided to double major in Studio Art and Psychology. Now, she’s finally finding her voice.


A&E 11/30/21 11:40pm

Cohorts in writing: Three students discuss their creative writing capstone projects

Each year, senior English majors complete a two semester seminar focused on producing a substantial piece of critical or creative work. This project can range from a well researched critical analysis to a collection of poems or short stories. For students concentrating in creative writing, this tends to be a creative project undergone with the intent to share their work upon completion. The Thresher spoke to three students about the creative writing projects that they’re currently working on.



A&E 11/16/21 11:35pm

Review: ‘Passing’ is a must-see product of its actors’ skill and excellent direction

Early in “Passing,” the movie’s protagonist Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) declares, “I have everything I’ve ever wanted.” This is a pretty good sign that Redfield, in fact, does not have everything she has ever wanted. At first glance, Redfield has a picturesque life: two children, an attractive doctor husband and a maid to tend to their beautiful house. But through a well-constructed slow burn plot, “Passing” reveals that Redfield has merely repressed her discontent. 


A&E 11/16/21 11:33pm

Budget Bites: Rosalie Italian Soul

Budgeting as a college student can be difficult, especially when it comes to finding places to eat. Ordering in can lead to hefty delivery costs and fees, and cheap fast food can become repetitive quickly. Although at first glance, the price of the menu may appear comparatively steep, Rosalie Italian Soul offers a number of finds for both lunch and dinner under $20. 


A&E 11/16/21 11:29pm

Review: ‘Red’ breaks records, hearts

We witnessed “Red’’ begin again on Nov. 12 as Taylor Swift released “Taylor’s Version,” her second re-recorded album. Swift started re-releasing her music with “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” in April of this year in an ongoing effort to reclaim the rights to her music. While Swift has publicly expressed disappointment and frustration with the conflict over the ownership rights of her first six albums as an artist, her re-recordings have opened opportunities for milestones in her career and the music industry as a whole.