ivyTunes: Encore

ivyTunes: EncoreWhen we asked our friend Andrew to write ivyTunes for us, he agreed on one condition: that after picking the best (those were Filligar, Vampire Weekend and The Main Drag, sort of), he’d get to do one final hatepost. It takes a lot of guts to submit your heartfelt music for public evaluation; naturally, we need to betray those hopes and dreams without further delay.

Hello. Did you miss me? No? The feeling is mutual.

In days of yore, ivyTunes was a fixture ’round these parts. “Bands” and “artists” from all across the Ivy League would eagerly send me their best music, and I would avoid listening to it for as long as humanly possible.

Yesterday, however, I received an email informing me that my “mailbox [was] over its size limit.” Guess what was taking up all my server space, other than receipts for penis enlargement? That’s right! Your MP3s. I decided to give them all one last listen before scrapping them forever. What follows is a list of the bands that most made me regret this decision.

Armageddon Monks: Cornell’s Armageddon Monks believe in one thing above all else: how much they rock. Their MySpace page lists “Rock” as their primary genre, and describes Aamir Bashir’s vocals as “modern rock.” It goes on to claim that the band is “all about rock n roll” and that they “put on hard-rocking shows” for “fans of rock music, pure and simple.” All in all, it says, Armageddon Monks manage to produce “enough rock to beat scissors AND paper.” I’m not sure I agree. Sure, they shred on axes shaped like big V’s and rely on agitated fonts that look as if each letter has weathered a post-apocalyptic maelstrom. And Bashir sings like someone who has become constipated after eating too many steroid quesadillas. But the laws of ro sham bo are inviolable, sirs, and if they were to change, it wouldn’t be for the likes of you.

Prospect 11: My theory about middle-of-the-road “modern rock” acts who choose to combine a meaningless word and a meaningless number when naming themselves is that, most of the time, the number tells you how good they are compared to other bands with similarly formatted names. Now, I know that Prospect 11 named themselves after a drinking game in which participants aim to chug a beer in each of Princeton’s 11 stately eating clubs — so the meaningless thing might be, like, a little harsh — but I think my theory holds true for them as well. If my calculations are correct, Prospect 11 is 171 worse than Blink-182, 30 worse than Sum-41 and nine worse than Matchbox 20. Oh wait, nevermind. They’re also worse than Stroke 9 and Eve 6. Sorry. English major. [Ed.: Bonus! Prospect 11 is the band these guys are in.]

Travis Nelson: I’m sure that Travis Nelson is a nice person. I’m sure that his dog is very fond of him. Which is why I feel like criticizing “Label,” a plaintive lament about a relationship gone wrong, is a bit unfair. On the other hand, Travis saw fit to submit his song to ivyTunes in the hope that I would share his heartbreak with the world, and criminals like him must be stopped. So if you’re a dude with an acoustic guitar and a dream, please take note: arhythmically singing  “When I went to bed / I thought of your smile / And all of those times I spent with you / And I began to realize that the only time I’d see you now / Is if I look through my mind’s eye” in a wheezy, tone-deaf voice over middle-school strumming makes the rest of us wish that your ex had broken something a little less metaphorical than your heart.

Anton Glamb: People allegedly enjoy Anton Glamb’s “music.” How can you spot them? They’re the folks who also enjoy growing mustaches and dressing up like aerobics instructors.

Thus concludes my rampage. I will say, for the record, that I’m not really an evil person. I just play one on the blogs. And I suppose that after ripping on all of you, it’s only fair to offer up my band, Normandy, for you to rip apart as you see fit. Feel free to listen to our EP at www.myspace.com/normandy and rake us over the coals in the comments; or, if your hatred is particularly unbridled, come to our show and berate us in person this Saturday at Union Docs in — how typical — Williamsburg.



Cornell Student Charged With Torturing Dog

Cornell Student Charged With Torturing Dog

What, exactly, is there left to say?

We didn’t learn until yesterday about the Cornell student who, earlier this month, tortured a dog — beat her, burned her with cigarettes, poured laundry detergent and bleach into her wounds. So we didn’t know that all Ithaca was talking about Princess (pictured above) and Alexander Atkind, who is due to appear in court tomorrow. The Ithacan’s College Ave. blog is on it, solidly, here; the local Journal‘s newsier take is here; a Cornell spokesperson calls the crime “abhorrent” here; and you might want to save yourself a step and just get your SPCA checkbook out before watching the video here. Elliott Back is basically delighted he gets to be a vigilante here. Bloggers in Boston, where Atkind is from, are up in arms and there’s a lovely thread titled “Would You Pour Bleach Over Alex Atkind’s Eyes?” here. You get the point.

How does Atkind feel about it? The remorse isn’t exactly gushing, according to the Ithaca Journal:  

The officer noted in his report that Atkind acted “cocky and arrogant” and “made numerous comments that this incident meant nothing to him, that he would do it again, and that he knows how the criminal justice system works, and guaranteed me the prosecution of this case would result in an ACD in City Court.” The reference is to an “adjournment in contemplation of dismissal,” in which a judge typically tells a defendant to stay out of trouble for a period of time and the case will be dismissed.

Guess that rules out law school. All joking aside, this sort of puts into perspective the stuff we normally bust on students for doing. “Douchebag” has never felt so inadequate.

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Great News For All You “EDtv” Fans

Great News For All You "EDtv" FansIn the future, everyone will be famous 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fucking kill us.

If that’s the future, Justin Kan is its questionable prophet. The recent Yale graduate, unchastened by the bust of his latest venture, Kiko.com, has come rarin’ back with a DIY online reality show, Justin.tv. Theoretically, the idea is this: Kan straps a camera to his head, does cool stuff with his ragtag crew, you watch, he makes money. The idea is still fresh, despite earlier forays like the long-running JenniCam and the less successful DotComGuy, and the technology is ripe. They already sell t-shirts. There’s even a futures market on how long the show will run. Whether Justin is going for cash, attention, or geek cred, we’re guessing all three are within reach.

Of course, that has no bearing on whether the show is fun to watch. The main problem: it redefines meta — a word that is increasingly becoming a synonym for “insufferable.” A lot of the time, all Justin and his friends talk about is the show itself. Their first night was spent posting promotional stickers around San Fran. For Christ‘s sake, you watch Justin fielding phone calls from viewers who are simultaneously writing in the comments field. Watching it feels like the infinity effect you get when you train a live camera on its own TV.

Sure, it’s fun to think about if you’re Jean Baudrillard. Media, space, simulacra, identity — think of the seminars! If Justin.tv isn’t “hyperreality,” what is? (And btw, we sincerely hope this means Prof. Charles Nesson gets his own TV show.) But after five minutes of actual viewing, you find yourself begging for mercy, care of Final Cut Pro’s splice tool, or a gunshot to your monitor.

In his introductory interview, Justin talks about where he sees Justin.tv going: “Hundreds of employees, thousands of cameras, tens of thousands of shows, all run from our two-bedroom apartment in North Beach.” God help us.

(h/t CrankCast)

Say It Ain’t So, Joe! Wait, No, That’s Backwards

Say It Ain't So, Joe! Wait, No, That's BackwardsWho’s the happiest team in college basketball right now? UNLV, thrilled to be the lowest seed still alive in March Madness? Ohio State, still giddy from their improbable last-second comeback against Xavier?

Not a chance. It is good to be a Princeton Tiger tonight, as coach Joe Scott will announce at 5 p.m. tomorrow that he’s leaving the flaming wreckage of his program to take the top spot at Denver. What’d he accomplish while in town? As the Princetonian explained last week in a piece about widespread demands for his head on a pike:

Against Monmouth on Dec. 14, 2006 the Tigers scored just 21 points — tying the Division I record low for a game since the inception of the three-point shot. Just two weeks later, Princeton fell to Carnegie Mellon, the first defeat at the hands of a Division III program in school history. And this season, Princeton did the unthinkable, falling to last in the Ivy League for the first time ever.

You may remember Scott from our January post about the teensy li’l issue of his players hating him so much they left the team — eight of them over three years. (And you may have noticed we don’t have any Princeton ads up in this piece anymore, butthat’sallwe’regonnasayaboutthat.) We have to admit, part of us is sad to see Scott go; we were hoping to dine out on him and Harvard’s Tim Murphy as a kind of batshit coaching duet for years to come. Alas, alack, we’ll have to find another clipboard-wielder to hate on. Goodnight, Joe Scott. You were too beautiful for this world.

(Princeton’s on spring break right now, but we’ll update with reactions when we get ’em.)

The Final Throes (And Not Even the Good Kind) of the Brown Queer Alliance

The Final Throes (And Not Even the Good Kind) of the Brown Queer Alliance

The last time we heard from Brown’s Queer Alliance, they were promoting their fall SexPowerGod event with fliers slightly less titillating than an ear infection — a far cry from their steamy work of yore. We’re happy to report that the gang has regained its footing (Wow, we’re reviewing pornography now. This site is in goooood shape) with the promo materials for last weekend’s “Starf*ck” dance, which we lovingly supply for you, NSFWishly, after the jump. (Above: official logo, doctored to include central casting’s Creepy Guy No. 0001.)

Sorry, don’t go to Brown? SexPowerGod and Starf*ck, for the un-immunized, are the QA’s thermonuclear orgy blowouts so powerfully debaucherous they rip space-time and inhibitions to pieces. Except when they don’t. Starf*ck was cancelled last year when 24 students were Medevac’ed for booze ODs at SPG ’05; this weekend, a paltry one required medical attention. Even the Herald is calling the party “tame.”

Given that the sex parties appear to be dying (if we see one more quote about “liberated space” or “problematizing boundaries,” we’re getting a Winchester and shooting a brown bear), we’re more fascinated than we want to be by these pics. It’s not like they dug up the one or two kids on campus willing to get all vivid on camera; some 40 students showed up to an open casting call, according to the Herald — although they also said the money shots would include “costumes and accessories,” a prediction you can judge for yourself after the jump (NSFW!), so maybe we shouldn’t trust every line of the story.

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They Just Don’t Slam Harvard Like They Used To

They Just Don't Slam Harvard Like They Used To

In case you hadn’t noticed, Harvard is a fat target. People have been mocking that venerable institution as long as they’ve been attending it — a sort of parallel tradition as storied as the school itself. And for the most part, they’ve done a fine job. (Notable exception: Stealing Harvard. Notable inclusion: How High?) But some contributions to the canon stand out. The best to cross our ‘vard-dar in a while is this little ditty (from back when that was a word) by songwriter and satirist (from back when that was a vocation) Tom Lehrer ’47.

If you didn’t know it was a joke, you might call it the foppiest Harvard song of all time. Actually, we’re not sure its being a joke makes any difference. The fact that Harvard people still have things called “teas” and “comps” and “final clubs” and “sherry hours” make his dandy affect as spot-on as ever. Anyway, without further ado:

Tom Lehrer – Fight Fiercely, Harvard [MP3] 

RagTime March 19, 2007: Prudes Welcome

Taking the Naked Party Outside

Nice Tevas

“Hey, what are you doing the weekend of May 5? Finals, huh? Well listen, a bunch of my buddies and I were gonna take that weekend to kick back, de-stress, you know, just hang out. Like, in nature. Where is it? Oh, it’s just this resort I know. It’s on a lake. Fishing, tennis, ping-pong, that sort of thing. Oh, and you can totally pack light…”

If you find yourself in a conversation like this in the next few weeks, take our advice and run.

It just so happens that Saturday, May 5 is New England Intercollegiate Nudist Day (NSFW). Imagine everything you’d do at summer camp — swimming, tennis, ping-pong, air-hockey, boating, volleyball — then add bare humanity, and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. They’ve apparently invited “college nudists” from 23 schools, including Yale (natch), Brown (natcher), and Harvard (not natch at all). The price is right, too: only $10 for a full day at their 400-acre Woodstock, Conn., compound. (The fact that they normally give out 50% discounts to anyone under 40 is a pretty good indication of their regular clientele, not to mention mister’s wrinkled ass above.)

Hosting the event is the Solair Recreation League (NSFW either), a misleadingly named group whose members, judging from a cautious glance at the photos on its web site, spend most of their time marinating in hot tubs, standing beneath waterfalls, or playing racquet sports in nothing but their Tevas.

So is the nudist retreat heir to the naked party? Doubtful. For one thing, there’s no alcohol allowed. Call us skeptical, but we’re pretty sure the only reason naked parties work is the abundance of booze. Without that social lubricant, you’d have kids getting evac’ed for hyperventilation. Then there’s the fact that, as Seinfeld said, there’s good naked and there’s bad naked. Instead of the low mood lighting of a college dorm, you’ve got the harsh, unforgiving rays of day. Add the volleyball factor and you’re likely to witness things you can’t unsee. (That said, we’ll gladly print any dispatches the brave few are willing to share.)

Urgent Bulletin For All Tiger Beat Subscribers, Past and Present

Urgent Bulletin For All <em>Tiger Beat</em> Subscribers, Past and Present

When we got wind of this item, we knew right away that like Young Simba, we weren’t up to the task. So we called in an expert: bona fide girl Anna Lindow, Columbia ’08.

As if the triumphant return of Hansonbop wasn’t enough, more ’90s tween idols lurk in the darkness of the Ivy League. Specifically: after a recent stint at Harvard, a wizened incarnation of Jonathan Taylor Thomas has been found roaming Barnard’s campus at Columbia. The former hottie/star of such classics as “Man of The House” (the one featuring Chevy Chase/inappropriate Native American references) and “The Lion King,” JTT is now a rheumatic 26 years old, and he seems to have dropped his stage name. Passing by Barnard Hall on a Monday or Wednesday afternoon, you may catch a glimpse of “Jonathan Taylor Weiss,” or, as we like to call him, The Ghost of Home Improvements Past.

If, like me, you thought Randy Taylor’s mushroom cut was the pinnacle of prepubescent eroticism (sigh), used back issues of Tiger Beat as locker wallpaper (you’re not alone), and are still waiting for him to write back to your nine-page mash notes — there’s still hope! Apparently everyone’s favorite flannel-shirt-wearing troublemaker never learned the wonders of the internet and has failed to remove himself from Columbia’s public directory. Or maybe he simply didn’t do the math — us Tiger Beat diehards are now just about the age to be in college. At Columbia. Stalking Tom Sawyer — I mean, Jonathan Taylor Weiss. Send e-fanmail to jtw2112@columbia.edu.

Three-Step Guide to Spring Break: 1. Boot 2. Rally 3. E-Mail Us About It

Three-Step Guide to Spring Break: 1. Boot 2. Rally 3. E-Mail Us About ItGosh, these exams sure are hard! Feels like time for a break, no? We’ll be back to the usual next week, but for now it’s time to recharge batteries, do laundry, bathe, all that good stuff.

But first, a plea: What happens on spring break absolutely must not stay on spring break. We want stories, photos, video, anything. You can find us at the usual. If it means we turn into College Humor for a week, so be it.

Off with you now! May your back tan evenly, may your carefully-compiled reading list go neglected, may your funnel never run dry.