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Umberto's picture

Album Review: Alt-J – An Awesome Wave (2012)

A few months ago a friend strongly recommended me to listen to a music album called ‘An Awesome Wave', by debuting Cambridge-native band Alt-J. It took me some time to take his advice, but it eventually turned up as one of the best musical choices I have ever made.

The first listen may not be so exciting. It can seem like you are listening to an alternative-indie band with a very soft and comforting sound, but which doesn't stand out from the whole bunch of rather experimental emerging groups who have tried to succeed over the last few years with their debut albums. Luckily I decided to listen to it a little bit more patiently - always give music a second chance - and this time it didn't disappoint.

The first track ‘Intro' gets the listener into the atmosphere of ‘An Awesome Wave' (the album's name) which will rise through the whole record - vocals "One, two, three...Yeaaaah!" make it even more chilling -, before ending with the very intimate song ‘Taro', where the tide lowers and good vibes reach their peak.

Johanna's picture

Django Unchained: A Happy Ending?

The recent film from polemical director Quentin Tarantino, ‘Django Unchained', is a ‘Spaghetti Western', a genre that emerged during the 1960s. It is a story about a freed slave, who with the help of a German bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. This critical review will focus on two characters that play a pivotal role alongside the hero Django (played by Jamie Foxx).

Django´s Wife

The ‘captive' Broomhilda, is the principal motor of the story; Django desires revenge on those who tortured her and the will to rescue her is what compels him into the adventure. The story is typical of Westerns films; what is known as the ‘captivity narrative'.

Usually the white woman, representing the values of Christianity and civilisation, is held captive by savages who, through torture and rape, put in peril the values she represents. She is finally rescued after courageous resistance to physical and psychological exploitation. However, in the complicated ideological bloodbath of Django´s story, Broomhilda´s rescue does not represent the triumph of civilisation over savagery, or the opposite.

Moran's picture

The Welcome Home Feeling - What Makes the Best Bar

One of the most exciting things about London is the night life. Like New York, London has a reputation as one of the best cities for cocktail bars. As a former bartender and a designer I always find it fascinating the feeling I get when I enter a bar.

Generally, many of the bars' features are the same; the music is the same, the beers are the same, and even the people are dressed the same. So why do we choose to go to a specific bar? And more importantly, why do we choose to go back to it? 

Let's think about a situation: you want to go out for a drink, you dress nice, you go online to worldsbestbars.com and choose a random cocktail bar that you think will make you feel as if you're in a movie. 

You enter the bar and the hostess leads you to your seat. Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with the feeling that you have when you first see the bartender, let me describe it. 

It is like the feeling you get when you meet your blind date for the first time, after 1 second you know if it’s a go or no go. 

Now my point is: no matter who you are with, no matter what music is playing in the background, no matter what you will choose to drink, the bartender is the most important factor in your evening fun. 

Erik's picture

Erik's View: Migration, Alcohol & Feminism

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Each week he gives his view on the events of the last seven days. This week, he looks at migration policy, binge drinking and feminism.

Ludovica's picture

Student Sexism And The State Of Feminism

The case of the British student Rebecca Meredith is the latest example of how women are still victims of sexism in Western societies. Rebecca faced rape threats during a debate at Glasgow University, earlier this month, and the episode shed light on the topics of feminism and sexism.

British Sexism

Women in the UK have many freedoms and their basic human rights are recognised. However, it's far from the truth to state that women are no longer victims of sexism. From wolf-whistles in the tube to denigrations of any type, especially at the workplace, sexism in the UK is still common and the path for equality is still long and hard.

Many countries are still plunged into chauvinism and the UK is not an exception: do you remember the decision of the Church of England according to which women cannot become bishops? This happened only a few months ago.

I agree with Rebecca's outrage when one of her peers pointed out that Western women do not really need a National Women’s Day.

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