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Wednesday, July 28, 2021 — Houston, TX 82°

Jacob Tate

OPINION 2/9/21 9:40pm

An Open Letter to O-Week Coordinators: Recruit More Transfer Advisors

I can’t remember my Orientation Week. It’s not a blur of happiness or a general lack of memory on my part. It’s a malaise of stress and not knowing my place. Coming in as a transfer, I felt simultaneously alienated from my O-Week siblings and my O-Week parents, too old to feel the freshman excitement but too inexperienced to engage with established Rice students. I had no model of what I was supposed to be or even could be — transfer students received maybe an hour of transfer-specific programming, and I only had one conversation with a transfer co-advisor who I never saw again.  

A&E 10/27/20 11:09pm

Forgotten Gems: A conversation with Amanda Pascali on the bittersweet teenagedom of her self-titled EP

I am obsessed with seventeen. It’s the transitive property, really: I’m obsessed with music and music is obsessed with seventeen. Ever since McCartney howled “she was just seventeen” and Hammerstein celebrated “sixteen going on seventeen,” bands from Marina and the Diamonds to The 1975 have celebrated this liminal year. Seventeen is the terminus of the slow death of childhood but prior to the rude awakening of adulthood. It’s when you sneak out of the house or read philosophy or, in my case, listen to Amanda Pascali. 

A&E 9/29/20 8:04pm

Forgotten Gems: #Maxo187 is Mandatory Houston Listening

The advent of smartphones during my middle school years led to a variety of viral hype rap being blasted in the back of the school bus. Most of it was standard mid-2010s rap fare (“Mercy,” “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” etc.) but one song stood out in particular. In it, a husky voice nimbly rapped over a harsh drum loop about gang executions and used a recently deceased celebrity as a cocaine euphemism. Like many young Houstonians, “Whitney Houston” was my introduction to the legend of Maxo Kream.  

A&E 9/8/20 9:15pm

Visit Houston's Hidden Secrets: Oddities in the Bayou City!

In my angsty high school grief in 2017, I explored the nooks and crannies of my city that embodied the state of limbo I felt in my soul. The eclectic spoke to me as I acted without regard for imaginary futures and instead felt grounded in the odd flux between a rich but ultimately irrelevant past and an electrifying present. As I find myself facing a similar sense of instability this semester, I return to the curiosities of Houston, Texas and share them with others currently bursting with wanderlust. 

A&E 9/1/20 7:13pm

Forgotten Gems: Feel Good Now EP Is The Most Underrated Pop Project of the 2010s

 Imagine you’re me in 2011. Ouch. Ouch ouch. Wait fuck. That hurts. Is that the nascent depression or the repressed sexuality? Okay, don’t imagine you’re me in 2011. Instead, picture a young, swoopy haired tween sitting at the desk under their bunk bed and churning out some homework for Mrs. Parker’s seventh period English. A young Jacob is listening to their favorite Pandora station: “Fall For You” radio, based off the one-hit wonder power ballad by Secondhand Serenade. Suddenly, the mire of dad rock and pop punk is cut through by a warbly synthetic lead and bandpassed vocals before breaking down into an R&B-inspired pop verse. I liked the song almost immediately. It was “Notions” by The Ready Set.

A&E 4/7/20 6:10pm

Review: Dua Lipa’s ‘Future Nostalgia’ revitalizes disco and dance when we need it most

The only thing that could pull me out of my quarantine-induced depression and resulting creative rot was the possibility of reviewing the new Dua Lipa album, “Future Nostalgia.” The much-anticipated album (at least within the niche queer communities I reside in) arrived on March 27, a week before its intended release date due to a much-circulated leak that had Dua crying on Instagram Live. Taking it like the absolute queen she is, Dua steeled herself and dropped this absolutely nuclear classic of a 21st century disco album. 

A&E 3/24/20 8:46pm

The Thresher’s playlist for your quarantine-induced existential dread

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! 

A&E 1/21/20 9:49pm

Predicting the 2020 Grammys: Winners, losers and snubs

It’s that time of the year! Houston continues to deny us a winter and the Grammy Awards continue to deny any representation to rap music! Even as I gripe to my friends about snubs of my favorite artists, I will still inevitably tune into the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards this Sunday, January 26.

A&E 10/22/19 9:28pm

Ranking “First Day Out” songs

Immediately after her release from prison Oct. 8, JT of the rap group City Girls released a blistering track “JT First Day Out.” In doing so, JT joins a long list of rappers who have released “first day out” songs. To celebrate a worthy addition to the genre, we’re ranking first day out songs from worst to best.