‘Valkyrie Mumbet’ at the MAAM
With many Boston art spaces still temporarily closed for the spring, some museums like the MassArt Museum of Art (MAAM) are striving to give viewers their daily dose of art through interactive virtual exhibits. For MAAM’s newest exhibit titled Valkyrie Mumbet by artist Joana Vasconcelos, the museum offers a 3D tour of the art along with a tour guided by a curator so that visitors can experience Vasconcelos’ vivid and extravagant pieces without the health risk of physically walking around the exhibit.
Spruce commits to creating a community for marginalized gender identities in the improv world and having some laughs along the way.
Monet and Boston
On the second floor of a newly reopened Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) lies a collection of Claude Monet’s oil paintings that have not been shown together in 25 years. Monet and Boston: Lasting Impressions not only brings viewers through a journey of Monet’s art and life, but also pays tribute to those collectors and friends of the French Impressionist that made it possible for America –or more specifically Boston – to be able to experience Monet’s work.
Virtual Museum Hopping
As art critics warn, there’s a difference between viewing art online as opposed to seeing it in person. We can examine the intricate details of each paint stroke, appreciate the full composition, be amazed by the art conversation — all from a relatively safe distance to not cause any alarms of illegality, of course.
In their most hands-on album yet, global sensation BTS not only reflects on the anxiety and depression caused by the pandemic, but also the determination to overcome it. BE is the story of us exploring both the highs and lows in this existential journey. The trim, 28-minute, album packs so much musical diversity, displaying the group’s obvious skill and unique fingerprint. The album is far from escapist, compelling listeners to face the idea that it is okay to just exist, to feel those feelings, and to simply be.
Rules of Play
Rules of Play: College Edition started brewing over a year ago, before Kate Franklin ever could have anticipated that she would be producing this performance piece during a global pandemic. Through a whirlwind of problem-solving, fifth-year theatre major Franklin has written, directed, and brought to life a filmed theatre piece seeking to enact change in frat and hookup culture, and on-campus sexual assault. Franklin describes the play as “a step-by-step guide of a typical night out on a college campus— from picking a bodysuit to blowjobs,” that sheds light on the “culture of abuse and inherent power differentials.” As a survivor, Franklin’s work seeks not only to cultivate discussions about the existing campus culture, but also to understand what a better future might look like.
Student Showcase: Briana Gil
Briana Gil, or Gilanares – her artist name – is a second-year student at Northeastern University. She has been writing songs since she was a child but only recently started sharing her work with others. The Husky Songwriting Club was the first place she felt safe enough to play her songs for people, and from there she decided to post them on the internet. In the last few months, she has gained traction on TikTok and released an EP called "There's Not Much To Know About Me." She is excited to continue pursuing her passion at Northeastern and beyond.
Student Showcase: Azra Schorr
Born into a family of photographers, Azra Schorr was given her first camera at the age of 6. Growing up, her rotation of cameras rarely left her hand. She practiced every chance she got, taking pictures of everything and everyone around her. Now a first-year Business and Design student at Northeastern, Azra works as an editorial photographer and the communications association for The Avenue, NEU's fashion magazine, along with some freelance portrait photography on the side. Throughout college she hopes to continue capturing her classmates and more on camera, celebrating them in an eternal format (a.k.a the jpg!).
Student Showcase: Maya Lucia
Maya Lucia is a musician and fifth-year student at Northeastern University. She is the co-reviews editor and a content writer for Northeastern's student run music magazine, Tastemakers Music Magazine. She’s also a member of NEU's Songwriting Club which brings songwriters together to create and give feedback on their work. Her music mixes influences of indie, rock and pop.
Student Showcase: Kaitlyn Wang
Kaitlyn Wang is a first-year student at Northeastern University (NU) from Pasadena, California with an intense passion for drawing. Although she is majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience and Design, art is a hobby she has kept close to her heart since she was three years old. She is currently working on pieces for the Art Blanche Club’s sustainable art show, as well as the NU Animation Club and Live Music Association. She specializes in traditional painting and drawing, bullet journals, and creating digital art using applications like Procreate.
One Night in Miami
So, a civil rights activist, a professional boxer, a football player, and a soul singer walk into a hotel room. This seems like a setup for an age-old joke, but the talented Regina King’s engrossing directorial debut provides more than a sleazy punchline. One Night in Miami, at its core, is a conversation. It composes a powerful and relevant discourse that highlights Blackness in a racially-divided America during the civil rights era and today. Based on Kemp Powers’ play of the same name, One Night in Miami illustrates a fictional conversation between real-life best friends and Black superstars Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), who, over the movie’s runtime, help showcase the hopes and fears of Black America in a single night.
RENT's 25th Anniversary
Growing up, my dad always played the same three musicals in the car. I would hop in, buckle my seatbelt, and wait for the first notes of either Chicago, Wicked, or RENT. Now I know what you’re thinking. RENT is not exactly a kid-friendly creation. But for five-year-old Rachel, that didn’t matter. I was too young to understand the suggestive lyrics, but I would tell everyone I saw that there were 525,600 minutes in a year.
SOPHIE, the Grammy-nominated producer whose hyperkinetic productions redefined the boundaries of pop and electronic music, passed away this January following a sudden accident at her home in Athens. She was 34. Those close to her at her label exclaimed how, “true to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell. She will always be here with us.”
The Baby Album Review
“I only write songs about things that I’m scared of,” croons the voice of Samia Finnerty on the closing track of her debut album The Baby. This fear pervades the tone of the album, as Samia details uncertainty about the future, relationships, and the entertainment industry. Samia's self-exploratory record was written mostly on the road, as she notes “it was the most conducive environment to songwriting for me.” Samia has expressed that she didn’t quite understand what message she was sending with the album until it was done. However, she knew that it would highlight the struggle between the fear of being alone and the vulnerability that comes with taking part in a community. The fear of feeling needy is effectively encapsulated in her title, The Baby.
Discover endless possibilities at SoWa’s Artists Guild
SoWa’s Art and Design District in the South End – famous for its art galleries, food, and open markets – is home to the SoWa’s Artists Guild. At 450 Harrison Avenue, the heart of SoWa’s Artists district, you’ll find an eclectic collection of three winding floors of artists working in their personal studios. There is no limit on the media of art that exists here, with jewelry makers working alongside sculptors and painters.
Dusk shows how the night goes on
The 20-year-old singer mxmtoon, also known as Maia, released the second part of her EP, Dusk, in late 2020. As hectic as the year may have been, Dusk has come to show Maia’s capabilities and range over the past year. Best known for her hit song prom dress, mxmtoon has slowly built a name for herself in the world of indie and bedroom pop, a subgenre of music created by artists who write, produce, and create their own music in their homes. As she grows in the music industry, she’s also been gaining traction in the digital world, from Twitter, TikTok, and Twitch. All of her newfound fame online and on social media come up in her latest EP and contextualizes Dusk in both Maia’s life as well as 2020 in general.
beabadoobee's Fake it Flowers
In her debut album, Fake It Flowers, Bea Kristi, better known as beabadoobee, combines pop, rock, and alternative sounds to tell the story of making mistakes, growing up, forgiving the past, and learning to love yourself. After a year of being signed with Dirty Hit Records, opening in her first tour, and renewed interest in her 2017 song "Coffee" – after the remix became a viral TikTok sound – she released her album on October 16, 2020, all at the age of 20. beabadoobee is yet another artist who released an album during the pandemic. The appeal of her album is in the simple lyrics about familiar topics, making the songs feel personal, yet universal at the same time.
Student Showcase: Eli Olson
Eli is a 21-year-old musician based out of Boston, MA. He's a fourth-year at Northeastern, and is the current president of the NU Songwriting Club. He was raised on a farm in central Illinois, where his parents and donkeys still live. He began writing songs the summer before he went to college, and it has been a constant in his life ever since. His long-term goals include becoming an astronaut, becoming a rockstar, and purchasing an espresso pot. He has a lot to learn before he can be a rockstar, but I believe Eli can save the world.
Student Showcase: Justin Vega
Justin Vega is a third-year at Northeastern and Music Director of The Downbeats, an all-gender a cappella group on campus. He is the group's primary arranger, and is responsible for shaping the group's musicality and artistic expression. Justin and a few members spearhead every step of the process: from learning music virtually to the final mix. When he's not directing The Downbeats, he works on his productions as a singer-songwriter, crafting his lyrics and arrangements with a sense of sincerity and intention.
Student Showcase: Calvary Dominique
Calvary Dominique is a third-year media and screen studies and communication studies combined major and an aspiring music artist, writer, and filmmaker. Serving as both the Social Media Manager for the Songwriters Club and an EP for NUTV, he is always looking for ways to combine his creative passions. Over quarantine, he released an EP titled, “Dance, the World is Ending!” and his latest single (as of writing this) is, My Skeletons Are Tipsy! He loves finding clever humor in subtle places, exploring old bookstores, nerding out over cool cinema and underrated music, and the power of a well-crafted meme.
Student Showcase: Mona Sahney
Mona Sahney is a first-year student at Northeastern. Although she is majoring in business with a concentration in marketing, she has had an intense passion for painting since she was little. After picking up painting as a serious hobby in 2017, Mona decided to expand her definition of art to those in need by raising money for charity with her work. She loves using acrylic paints on unconventional canvases such as CDs and clothing to create scenic, elegant works of art.
Hidden in Plain Sight: Boston Street Art
Amidst the recent coronavirus pandemic, there has been a decline surrounding the arts with museums, various exhibitions, and showbox theatres closing down or placing restrictions in response to social-distancing rules. Although this poses limitations to places one can visit to experience art, it sheds light to alternate possibilities that are COVID-friendly. One of these alternatives can be found outside and accessible to be seen by anyone: street art.
Shipwreck: The Connection Between Theatre and Politics
Theatre and politics seem to become more intertwined as every year passes. With so much going on in the news cycle, especially the past four years, artists have a wealth of material to work with when writing plays. The question is, however, how much power does theatre really have?
Remote EP Review
In the wake of the release of their new EP, Wallows hosted a listening party on Zoom with 1000 lucky fans. While explaining the making of the album, drummer Cole Preston said, “We didn’t see each other once during the creation of this thing. This is how we made it. This Zoom call is a representation of how we made Remote.”
Black horror is having quite a moment right now. The genre was virtually non-existent (save for an occasional Candyman), until 2017 rolled around and Jordan Peele gave us the game-changing Get Out. Since the smash hit, studios have been investing more into horror stories that parallel the horror of racism in America. One such endeavor is HBO’s Lovecraft Country. But is this a genre that retraumatizes Black audiences rather than giving them solace?
Supporting Boston's Independent Movie Theaters
I miss going to the movies. I miss ordering a huge, shareable soda and turning off my phone. I miss the previews, the anticipation, the art! I miss the reemergence into the shocking daylight, or the chilly winter night air, and running to the car to discuss. The movies are a place where we can come together and focus on just the story unfolding before us— moments that are harder to find lately
Streaming Stage Productions
The release of Hamilton on Disney+ has revolutionized the way we view theatre. Instead of fighting for tickets to see this smash hit, we can access it with the simple click of a button. We can watch it whenever and wherever we want. This seems to contradict the very essence of theatre, which is typically meant to be experienced as a fleeting, impermanent moment. However, if a global pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we must learn to adapt.
Spooky Songs Chosen by the E-Board
Some terrifying tunes we can’t stop listening to...
Spooky Scary Skeletons — Andrew Gold
The Monster Mash — Bobby Pickett
Marvins Room — Drake
Broadway's Finest Villains on this Hallow's Eve
Looking for some new music to listen to this spooky season? Broadway’s finest villains have something to offer. Here are 12 of our best picks!
1. “Killer Instinct” - Bring it On: The Musical
Eva plots to take over fellow cheerleader Campbell’s life. She will stop at nothing, including stealing her boyfriend and her cheer captain title. A great alternative for Mean Girls lovers who are looking to switch up their playlist, this song will be stuck in your head for days.
7 Frightful Films to Stream This Halloween
1. Hush (2016)
Hush is a slasher film that had its world premiere at South by Southwest and was distributed by Netflix. Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) is a deaf woman who lost the ability to hear after an infection coupled with a botched surgery. Living isolated alone in the woods with nothing but her cat and a distant neighbor to keep her company, a masked killer sets his eyes on her after realizing she is deaf. Take it from horror master Stephen King, who tweeted that Hush is one of the best horror movies of our time up there with Halloween.
Hush is available to stream on Netflix.
Sibyl Movie Review
Sibyl, the latest from French director Justine Triet, won Best Film at the Seville European Film Festival and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film explores the struggle between reality and fiction as a psychotherapist oversteps her boundaries for personal gain.
I'm Thinking of Ending Things Review
Charlie Kaufman’s new film I’m Thinking of Ending Things might aim to be a sophisticated brain twister that leaves its audience flabbergasted for days. However, it proves itself to be an overly complicated and aggravating watch with a narrative that hasn’t much to say.
folklore Album Review
It is safe to say that most of us fell into some kind of slump during the past couple of months in quarantine. So when Taylor Swift announced her new album only 12 hours before it was released in July, fans everywhere went into a frenzy. Despite the low-energy caused by staying at home and isolating — or perhaps as a result of it — many people found themselves falling in love with the heart-wrenching stories told in folklore. Though it was a drastic change from her last pop album, Lover, this album wasn’t necessarily a return to her country roots, but rather a dip into something new.
Lovelytheband Album Review
About three years after their breakthrough hit Broken, lovelytheband, an indie-pop group consisting of Mitch Collins, Jordan Greenwald, and Sam Price, aim for the charts again with the release of their sophomore album, conversations with myself about you. Hailing from West Hollywood, the three took it upon themselves to go into isolation with nothing but each other and their ideas, and they vowed not to come out until they had a finished product for their fans.
Microphones in 2020 Album Review
In the 17 years that he has donned the Mount Eerie name, lo-fi indie legend Phil Elverum has encountered just about every existential struggle there is. His discography over the past two decades explores such challenges, existing less as music and more like a sonic diary outlining Elverum’s turbulent life and evolving philosophies. Chapters of this diary like 2012’s Clear Moon instill hopelessness by juxtaposing man against the vastness of nature, while the infamous A Crow Looked at Me — an album following the untimely death of Elverum’s wife, Geneviève Castrée — is a harrowing look at grieving and the art that can come out of it.
'Monuments to Us' at the MFA
In a diverse collection of artwork, the Museum of Fine Arts presents a new gallery, “Monuments to Us,” featuring work from multiple artists from various backgrounds. Although a small exhibit, every piece recognizes and celebrates communities which have been consistently marginalized throughout history. Members of the LGBTQA+, African American, Latino and disabled communities are all represented in this exhibit.
Steve Lacy Takes Fans on a Dreamy “Ryd” at House of Blues
Alternative R&B artist Steve Lacy mesmerized fans at House of Blues on Oct. 3, with groovy basslines and dreamy, harmonized chords. The young creator, who is a member of the Grammy-nominated band The Internet, and who has produced alongside Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, and Vampire Weekend, among others, is currently on tour for his debut solo album Apollo XXI. The album is a mix of R&B, hip-hop, and low-fi pop, showcasing Lacy’s laid back voice, which blends in perfectly with the record’s rhythmic basslines and mellow synth sounds.
Crowd is Infatuated by H.E.R. in "Every Kind of Way" at House of Blues
The heavy rain and the undeniably biting, cold wind didn’t stop eager concertgoers from waiting in what seemed like a never-ending line outside House of Blues on Nov. 26. Their excitement was for R&B sensation Gabriella Wilson, better known by her stage name, H.E.R., who would be performing that night as part of the “I Used To Know Her” tour. The 21-year-old singer’s identity was only recently revealed to the public, as she undoubtedly believes that the music she creates should be what her fans are focusing on, rather than her physical appearance.
MFA Movies at Night: Moonlight
On Friday, February 10, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) collaborated with the Roxbury International Film Festival and Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival to present a screening of “Moonlight,” directed by Barry Jenkins. The film garnered significant attention after winning the award for Best Motion Picture—Drama at the 2017 Golden Globes. It was nominated for several Academy Awards, and won Best Picture.
Nina Chanel Abney Installation at The Institute of Contemporary Art
African-American contemporary artist and painter Nina Chanel Abney addresses pop culture and racial conflicts in her vibrant mural at The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).
All of Abney’s artwork draws from modern content, such as celebrity news and social media, to spark both curiosity and conversation from the public, and the ICA mural is no exception.
While her art can be considered pop surrealism, Abney’s work certainly communicates a story and overarching message that is entirely authentic and unique.
Kamasi Washington at Big Night Live
Jazz is for everyone, and never has that been more clear than on Feb. 24 when Kamasi Washington played to a packed audience at Big Night Live. A diverse mix of musicians led a chorus of instruments through a musical journey of epic proportions. There was an unmistakable human element to the night, with Washington connecting to the audience through anecdotes, wisdom, and, of course, jazz. Solos, symphonies, and soft vocals flowed through the diverse crowd, whose members couldn’t help but tap their feets and sway to the beat of the music all night long.
'Black Panther' Review
The explosive response that Marvel’s “Black Panther” has received in just a few weeks made it difficult to go into the film’s screening without heightened expectations. The film has been lauded for being both an exemplary superhero story and one of the most empowering African-American films in recent memory. Having experienced it on the big screen, I can say that you don’t need to worry — “Black Panther” lives up to the hype.
Personal to Political
There is no one correct way to address the conversation about African American history and how it continues to shape modern society. The “Personal to Political” exhibit currently on display at Northeastern’s Gallery 360 proves this fact through the variety of stories and styles presented by the artwork . The exhibit displays the personal and political battles that African Americans have been fighting for decades, each piece contributing to the collective history in its own unique way. The work displayed is from 14 African American artists who completed a residency at Paulson Fontaine Press in California with a master printmaker. For many of the artists, it was their first time working with printmaking.
The Black Clown World Premiere at A.R.T
“You laugh / Because I’m poor and black and funny…” speaks a lone man into a standing microphone, lit by a single spotlight, center stage. “The Black Clown.” He begins again, singing the lines of Langston Hughes’ poem of the same name. And thus, a truly unique and emotional theatrical experience begins. “The Black Clown” never feels like a traditional musical. It’s an artistic retelling of a collective narrative set to music.
Vince Staples is "War Ready" at House of Blues
Vince Staples—a name synonymous with aggressive lyrical mastery and the Los Angeles-based city of “Norfside,” Long Beach—graced the stage at the House of Blues on Feb. 25. His tour, “Smile, You’re on Camera,” showcased songs from widely-proclaimed studio albums, “Big Fish Theory” and “FM!,” as well as his debut double album, “Summertime ‘06.”
'Queen and Slim' Review
Queen and Slim is not just another Bonnie and Clyde movie. The screenwriting debut of Lena Waithe tells the tale of a Tinder date gone wrong, where a black couple tries to escape their inevitable criminalization after defending themselves against a police officer. Directed by Melina Matsoukas, the film uses the theme of vulnerability and immortality to portray the story of two young adults and an unlikely relationship.
Teens Take the Floor in 'Black Histories, Black Futures'
Cities are often thought about in terms that not only represent their present state, but their past influences and future directions as well. At the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), local teens, in partnership with various local youth organizations, told a story of black history through art, with a special focus on Boston. Spanning the center of the MFA, the exhibit features 20th-century art pieces curated by Jadon Smith, Destiny Santiago-Mitchell, Jennifer Rosa, Alejandro Flores, Armani Rivas, and Jingsi Li, four of which curated their own part of the overall exhibit.
Thundercat’s 'It Is What It Is' Meditates on Love, Loss, and Acceptance
Thundercat, born Stephen Bruner, constantly defies the mainstream with his versatile sound and unique blend of genres. He is easily distinguished by his virtuoso bass playing and sweet, falsetto voice. The 35-year-old American musician, singer, songwriter, and music producer has collaborated with a variety of critically acclaimed artists, including Snoop Dogg, Flying Lotus, and Kendrick Lamar. In 2015, he won a Grammy for his performance on Lamar’s These Walls, a nod to his extensive work on the album To Pimp a Butterfly. Thundercat himself has released four albums: The Golden Age of Apocalypse (2011), Apocalypse (2013), Drunk (2017) and his latest album, It Is What It Is, released on Apr. 3.
It's Not You, It's 'Us'
If you know you’re about to watch a movie directed by Jordan Peele, Academy Award Winner and director of “Get Out”, you know that it is going to be anything but what you are expecting. “Us,” starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, is a horror/thriller film about a family of four who encounters their creepy doppelgängers while on vacation, and nothing is what it seems. Throughout the film, Peele manages to cleverly weave in the past with the present, allowing the audience to witness the chips slowly falling where they may within his narrative.
Melanin Pride Festival 2019
Over the weekend of October 11, the Lesbians of Color Symposium (LOCS) Collective hosted the second annual Melanin Pride Festival, which included art exhibits and film screenings across various locations in Boston. An event at the Roxbury Innovation Center featured an art exhibition along with the screening of three short films that showcased the work of LGBTQ+ artists of color who are exploring the ins and outs of identity.