These days, it seems that everything is undergoing an unstoppable metamorphosis, shedding its old skin and emerging anew and unexpected. Donald Glover seems to be the personification of this transitory moment, since his recent album “3.15.20” has been rumored to be the final project under his psuedonomic stage name, Childish Gambino. With “3.15.20,” Glover is leading the charge into the future with no less anxiety than the rest of us, but with the impeccable finesse desperately needed to remind us of our humanity in the face of apocalypse.
For our lovely readers, you may know that “The Weekly Scene” is a regular fixture of the Thresher’s print A&E section that promotes local arts events both on campus and throughout Houston every week. However, due to campus and city-wide restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 outbreak and our subsequent inability to print issues for the remainder of the semester, the Weekly Scene is sadly obsolete at the moment. Thus, to fill the gap in my heart left by my beloved little column, I’d like to present the Weekly Screen: a short list of TV, movies and videos recommended by our staff for you to check out from the socially-distanced comfort of your home. Check our email newsletter every week to find out what we’re loving each week. Happy watching!
First, it was South by Southwest. On March 6, the Austin-based festival was canceled for the first time in its 33-year run, marking the first major festival cancellation of the COVID-19 outbreak. Then came Coachella, postponing their mega-festival to October to the dismay of thousands. After LiveNation, AEG and other industry giants followed suit, delaying or cancelling all live events in the United States and a handful of other countries, not much remains in the way of live music. In the face of COVID-19, the entire live music industry has been brought to a grinding halt.
I talk about Spotify playlists on my resume, on my Tinder bio and in almost every human interaction I have. I’m pretty sure I ran into my Thresher section editor at a party and talked about Spotify playlists. So now I, ever the humanitarian, have emerged from my socially isolated attic room to bless the masses with my quarantine playlist. And you get it without having to swipe right on a black and white video of me playing The 1975 on guitar!
Drunk on city lights so bright he can’t see clearly, the Weeknd wanders in a Las Vegas landscape with shades on in the middle of the night so his eyes can’t be seen, the casino glowing a blinding gold sheen. This is the backdrop of the Weeknd’s newest album “After Hours,” which was released March 20, a long awaited comeback hit of the synth-loving R&B artist. The singles of the album hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts not once but twice—the Weeknd has returned to haunt us all.
South by Southwest, an annual music, film, technology and media festival held in Austin, was canceled Friday, March 6 amid concerns about COVID-19. The cancellation was ordered after both the City of Austin and Travis County declared a local state of disaster on Friday. Despite having no reported cases of coronavirus in the Austin area, the declarations were signed by Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt as a precautionary measure against the rapidly escalating epidemic.
Last Monday night, as indie duo Tennis took the stage at White Oak Music Hall, frontrunner Alaina Moore and I had two important things in common: We both were sporting fabulous jumpsuits, and we both were horribly sick with head colds.
Two decades after his death, DJ Screw’s legacy has been captured and immortalized by 15 visual artists at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in a unique two-part exhibition titled “Slowed and Throwed: Records of the City Through Mutated Lenses.” The exhibit is inspired by the techniques of the chopped and screwed genre, which DJ Screw, born Robert Earl Davis Jr., developed in the early 1990s, and which has since become synonymous with Houston’s hip-hop identity.
First, it was an office. Then it transformed into Matchbox Gallery, a 1,600-square-foot gallery nestled into the Sewall Hall courtyard. The space was the only student-run art gallery at Rice, overseen by the visual and dramatic arts department. In 2018, after a decade that saw numerous exhibitions, renovations and leadership changes, Matchbox rebranded as Inferno. During the 2018 - 2019 school year, Inferno hosted six exhibitions and evening gallery openings that featured music, wine and a delectable array of snacks from Trader Joe’s.
It takes a village ... to clothe a child in hundreds of dollars of Travis Scott merch. Rice Village is now the permanent home of the renowned Houston rapper’s clothing and lifestyle boutique, Space Village.
Rice Village’s Half Price Books, two stories tucked away in a cozy corner filled with shelf after shelf of gently loved books, prepares to close March 8. To the dismay of local bookworms, the beloved bookstore will be closing due to a 40 percent increase in rent according to Oz Longford, a bookseller of 10 years.
March is a wonderful month. Spring peeks its head around the corner, break provides a respite from the chaos of college life, and once again I get to make what I believe to be the one perfect march madness bracket (which, despite my conviction, always flops immediately). Another amazing and arguably more important thing about March: it’s women’s history month, a time to formally celebrate the brilliance and bravery of women of the past who have paved the way for women present.
If you ever a) were an angsty teen or b) hung out around other angsty teens, there’s a good chance at some point you’ve head-bobbed contemplatively as you pretended to understand one of King Krule’s cryptic lyrics. Since his ascension to his throne with his 2013 album “6 Feet Beneath The Moon,” 25-year-old Archy Marshall (aka King Krule) has reigned with a silver tongue and an enigmatic fist — as a counter-cultural figure he’s been largely reclusive, but as a lyricist, he’s one of the generation’s best.
In a city as sprawling and teeming with life as Houston, crowds have an energy, a vitality and a gravity of their own. Photography professor Geoff Winningham (Baker College ’65) knows this. He’s known this since 1971, when the young photographer found himself caught in the gravitational pull of the Houston Coliseum.
Four bright yellow billboards materialized in the center of campus last week. Located in the west lawn next to Brochstein Pavilion, the first of them spells out a startling message in delicate black script: “a committee made an announcement: a better future awaits us.”
The Menil Collection’s “Photography and the Surreal Imagination” is a work of profound audacity, and is better for it. The exhibition, held in a single, large room bisected by a central wall, sets out to form a retrospective of surreal photography over a time period spanning from 1920 to today. The result is cramped and creative, displayed in a manner that seeks to draw big-picture linkages between eras and holds only lightly to chronology.
“Miss Anthropocene” is the fifth studio album by electropop artist Grimes, intended to comment on climate change through a propaganda-filled, alternatingly dominant and submissive lyrical narrative of human extinction and an artificial intelligence takeover. Self-described as her final earth album, the 15-song, 67-minute journey is characterized by slow electric bass, rhythmic synths, echoey nonchalant vocals and the dichotomous sounds of wildlife and machine thrums, with the track “Delete Forever” as the perfect standout.
When I asked Rice Creative Society founder Taylor Crain what struck her most about the documentary short film “Black Girl Church,” her answer was simple: “It’s encapsulated in the title — the documentary feels like home.”
Making an album as creatively rich as “Currents” was always going to be a tough job or Kevin Parker, and his newest album “The Slow Rush” is the comparatively-lackluster proof.