Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 — Houston, TX

Arts and Entertainment


A&E 1/25/22 11:39pm

Senior Spotlight: Lydia Wang embraces ephemerality of theatre

Lydia Wang’s love for acting bloomed when she was first introduced to Shakespeare in elementary school, and the Bard has inspired them ever since. She will be graduating this fall with a double major in visual and dramatic arts and mathematics and hopes to continue pursuing theatre in the future, where they can continue to bring characters to life through her own voice. 


A&E 1/25/22 11:37pm

Review: “You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays”

In “You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays,” Zora Neale Hurston powerfully establishes the immense contributions of Black culture and defends its worth. The collection, with an introduction by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Genevieve West, was released on Jan. 18, nearly 60 years after her death. It features essays that have never been published before, as well as several essays that are being reprinted for the first time. 


A&E 1/25/22 11:34pm

Soundwaves opening at Moody

The Moody Center for the Arts is hosting their latest exhibition, “Soundwaves: Experimental Strategies in Art + Music,” to celebrate the history of artistic and musical experimentation, paying homage to visual and performing artists that blend the two together into a melting pot of visual and sonic elements. 


A&E 1/18/22 11:39pm

Review: FKA Twigs showcases dazzling candy-pop on ‘Caprisongs’

“Hey, I made you a mixtape / Because when I feel you, I feel me / And when I feel me, it feels good,” breathes FKA Twigs in “ride the dragon,” the first track on her latest album, “CAPRISONGS.” Released on Jan. 14, “CAPRISONGS” is a love letter to friendship, music, adventure, collaboration and, most of all, to Twigs herself. A drastic departure from the divine, heartrending emotion of “MAGDALENE,” its follow-up is a blitzy, feature-filled mirage of candied pop. Described by Twigs as “bronzer in the sink, alco pop on the side, a cherry lolly… a club pre-game, meeting a friend at the airport, just togetherness,” the album is studded with plastic rhinestones. Though “CAPRISONGS” sporadically falls prey to underdeveloped interludes and forgettable songs, its otherworldly synth frenzy renders it a respectable recovery mixtape. 


A&E 1/18/22 11:35pm

Review: Hanya Yanagihara’s 'To Paradise' — It took me there

The first man will never have to work in his life, in fact he is so wealthy he can leave everything to chase love. The second man is a broke paralegal who fled from his homeland and is now dating his wealthy boss. The third is a successful virologist, whose very success has trapped him instead of freeing him.


A&E 1/18/22 11:30pm

Review: Earl Sweatshirt embraces lush production and a newfound openness on ‘SICK!’

Earl Sweatshirt’s “SICK!” sees him use his shortcomings as fuel for a personal rebirth and desire for self-improvement. A lot has changed for Earl since his 2019 EP, “FEET OF CLAY.” At that time, he had been struggling with alcohol addiction and “an endless loop of self-harm and isolation.” Now, he has been working towards recovery by reducing alcohol and drug use while trying to be a good father to his young son.


A&E 1/18/22 11:28pm

Review: The Lumineers embrace an undercurrent of hope on ‘BRIGHTSIDE’

In late 2019, The Lumineers released one of the best albums of that year, “III,” an intimate portrayal of the long-reaching effects of addiction on a family. Accompanied by a video series, the album was deeply cinematic and emotional in a way that stayed with listeners. As the title might make you guess, “BRIGHTSIDE” is a very different animal. Their new album always has an undercurrent of hope and redemption, even in its darkest moments. It also veers from the conceptual nature of “III,” while still having a unity and focus that leads to a consistent listen.


A&E 1/18/22 11:27pm

Change your scenery: study spots a short trip from Rice

Tired of never finding a seat at Chaus and always losing your favorite study spot at Fondy to someone else? Don’t want to study in your room but don’t know of places outside where you can do so? Look no further for a list of cafés, restaurants and more near Rice to explore for a change of pace while attempting to get through work this semester. 


A&E 1/18/22 11:21pm

Black Art at Rice: Talking with one-man band David Ikejiani

David Ikejiani, a Duncan College senior, is a one-man band — he sings, plays instruments from the saxophone to the ukulele, and writes his own music. On top of all this, he has also forged his own community of fellow musicians and artists in the Rice Music Collective and works tirelessly to ensure that students can come together in a shared creative space. He reflects upon his own musical journey, the challenges he has faced in balancing rigorous academics with music and his advice for other Black students to find support and community. Ikejani is currently working on releasing an EP.



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: