Category Archives: Columns

In 2011, why bother with a midyear music list? Look at what’s to come

Entertainment Column
Written by Nathan Mattise

Everyone who writes about music loves compiling best-of lists. No exception here. I spent early July musing over a first-half Top 5 (in no particular order: Reptilians, Kaputt, w h o k i l l, Nine Types of Light, Within and Without) then lamenting the slew of other releases I like but would have to exclude.

Some really big guns released solid albums (The Strokes, Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, Lupe Fiasco, Peter Bjorn & John, Foo Fighters, The Decemberists, The Cars, Paul Simon, Danger Mouse).  Some growing or lesser known entities produced worthy listens I wanted to champion (Cut Copy, Yuck, Telekinesis, Cults, Tennis, Eleanor Friedberger, Lykke Li, Noah and The Whale) and some acts I don’t care for, despite recognizing their ability and success, continued to perform (Panda Bear, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver). Virtually any combination from the albums listed above could be justified as a compelling, valid list and my running first-half tally likely overlooks a number of underrated gems.

Despite all that, it’s entirely possible no album from the first half of the year will end up in a 2011-ending Top 10. Consider the following 10 albums slated for fall in light of their most recent releases (and corresponding Metacritic scores): Continue reading

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Another failed Kickstarter inspires and scares

Arts & Literature Column
Written by Nathan Mattise

I received the following e-mail in my inbox last week:

It’s nothing new. I’ve donated to Kickstarter projects that have sadly failed before: R.I.P. The Mountain Man Fest in Saratoga or the MLAB Renovations for a NYC trip here in ‘Cuse. This one for one reason or another just  hit a little close to home.

Call the folks who wanted to make the All My Friends documentary pretentious if you will (though I’d opt for misguided or over-ambitious perhaps? More on this below…) but they had a musical focus I liked and a D.I.Y. approach I want to one day emulate. Not to mention, their pedigree in multimedia production and storytelling seemed almost attainable (it’s on the Kickstarter bio), making their effort much more inspiring than the latest work from someone like Wes Anderson or Spielberg.

So what does their failure say? Continue reading

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Rock the Vote: Ra Ra Riot needs to speak

Entertainment Column
Written by Nathan Mattise

There’s a lot of attention on the recent announcement of Kid Cudi as SU’s Block Party 2011 headliner. The most interesting part of all the news however is University Union released some statistics from their infamous campus surveys and Cudi is supposedly in line with this results.

It’s good news for both pro- and anti- Cudi booking individuals. If you’re happy this week, rejoice in the fact that your own opinion was heard. If you’re pissed, make sure to take larger action next time a survey opportunity is presented. For both camps, the time is now. The UU Speakers/Comedians survey is live and there is one idea that needs everyone’s support.

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Predictions for Dining Week 2011 Superlatives

Sports & Leisure Essay
Written by Nathan Mattise

Before the start of any major league  season, appropriate media outlets always do previews. Typically these project each team’s success while also predicting overarching items like  major season trends and individual award winners.

February may not be the start for any sport, but Dining Week in Syracuse did start last night. It might be retroactive to do it now, but here are a few predictions for Dining Week 2011 Superlatives:

Continue reading

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CNY Jobs that hopefully trend across the country

Geography Column
Video and captions by Nathan Mattise

The months leading up to graduating from college are terrifying.  Not only do you deal with all of the emotional weight of leaving behind what essentially is home and the closest friends you’ve had to this age, but the dreaded unemployment lurks around the corner. It seems foolish to think you’ll be graduating with job in hand these days unless you settle for an internship, do some type of fellowship or happen to be involved in the hyper-structured business cycle of student-to-new-employee.

I’m preparing to move on from graduate school this time around… and it might even be worse. Admittedly there’s quite a bit less emotional stress (most of your good friends from undergrad are settled in their first jobs, your relationships won’t be dramatically impact since not everyone is having the same experience) but the pressure for employment is much greater. Simply having a job isn’t going to satisfy anyone this time around. You need the right job. That could be speaking in terms of  location, finances, company merit, type of work or most likely all of the above.

A Syracuse University degree (and probably one from any major institution) promises a lot. I only hope the positions I’ve seen open up around here translate as well as this skillset supposedly will. For the other Master’s candidates in communication related fields out there, check out a few of these local job opportunities that seem ideal (*if you want to stay local that is): Continue reading

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The new blog in town was a long time coming

Arts & Literature Column
Written by Nathan Mattise

Syracuse University (probably like most media savvy schools) offers interested students a variety of media options to pursue. There’s a daily newspaper, campus television network, NPR-affiliated radio and now a strictly web outlet if general news, politics or sports is your thing.  There are separate campus magazines for health, fashion, music/entertainment, alternative features and social/cultural identities. Folks who want to write technology even have an outlet since the D.O. has recently sought op-ed writers in that field.

However, this week the NewsHouse launched a new blog devoted to filling a surprisingly unaddressed niche on campus: food journalism. Continue reading

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Syracuse loves social media, maybe it needs a trophy.

Science & Nature Post
Written by Nathan Mattise

To all the local naysayers of blogging, Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Tumblr and the vast and various other forms of social mediayou know you’re in absolutely the wrong place, right?

Today’s news about Syracuse University being one of the best (most influential) collegiate Twitter accounts is no surprise. Syracuse, N.Y. in general embraces social medias like very few other areas. We have massive Foursquare initiatives (not to mention the founder is an alum). Tweet-ups in the area seem to have as much success as SU Football watch parties (and they had more pre-2010 season). We even have social media professors who create Tumblrs to discuss ‘net known case studies involving local businesses‘ use of social media. Wrap your mind around that.

All the love surrounding social media in the area makes me wonder one thing – why not set up some formal means of celebrating it? Continue reading

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