CURRENT ISSUE: Winter 2018
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Editor's Note: Noise
Noise lives a double life. It’s the random fluctuations in the background, where voices and images are born and where they go to die. It is also the car alarm, the lawnmower, the kid crying on a plane where you can’t get away and can’t make it stop. It tends to get between you and whatever you actually want to be hearing. “Noise is unwanted sound,” says the collective voice of Wikipedia’s legion of anonymous editors, speaking from the digital abyss. These pages are home to a silent unwanted uproar. They are dedicated to sights and sounds neglected, to everything that reaches your eyes or ears but still evades notice. This issue of The Harvard Advocate tries to listen.
Friendship as a Way of Life
There are three kinds of voices: the Narrators, who describe your behavior in the declarative, as if keeping a transcendent live studio audience posted on the situational comedy of your existence. There are Interrogators, who progressively nibble away at your confidence with intrusive questions, keeping you up late into the night. Then there are the Commanders. They give commands. “It is important that you stick to your normal pattern of doing things,” the forum says. “Otherwise it could cause you doubt yourself and Commanders might take advantage of your indecisiveness.”
So many people were being raptured that day, so many having their hearts’ desire. But suicide was becoming quite boring, no longer worth getting rapturous over, nothing to get out of bed for. It was not at all original to climb the ladders of sky, since the stars, and their broken shells, were giving very obvious directions. And there were times when the strange weather simply demanded it. If a midday breeze blew apart a veil of air, you might spy something there as like a revelation; and no sooner marked by its beauty, your neck rests upon the wide bosom of sky.
FROM THE BLOG
Taking a Dive with Coast Modern and SHAED
The night began with The Star-Spangled Banner and a man in a black Morphsuit. The anthem, sung by concertgoer Kayla M. Salmon, was the highlight of an impromptu talent show hosted by Coast Modern, Tuesday night’s headliner in The Sinclair. This goofy, no-stakes “talent show” was the perfect icebreaker that seemed to forewarn the audience, “Don’t take anything you are about to see or hear too seriously.” And there’s nothing serious about Coast Modern. From Los Angeles, Coast Modern is an indie pop band that sounds like they are from Los Angeles. Their music is an amorphous mixture of mischievous energy and dog-day lethargy. To hear this contradiction, listen to a track from their eponymous debut album released last year. The band consists of lead singer Coleman Trapp and guitarist Luke Atlas - who, by the way, was presumably the man in black spandex.
FROM THE BLOG
Natasha Sarna '18
When I got there, late last Thursday night, the Sinclair had an unusually low-key energy. It kind of felt like the Powers That Be had pushed back Twain's stage time (they were opening for Darlingside) to do a late-night sound check, or like the venue had been delaying things with a recorded set list but the speakers had conked out. Even with the low audience hum, it was that quiet, and there was that little energy. And having listened to Twain’s label debut with Keeled Scales (Rare Feeling (2017), more info here) a few times through now, the reality of their live performance was awkward; I had been expecting the coherent, and (occasionally) profoundly listenable sound that defines tracks like "Solar Pilgrim" and "Freed from Doubt," and instead found myself struggling to follow along. I'm sympathetic, though; all it takes is a coffee house experience or two to know that it's really, profoundly hard for acoustic groups to command attention, when that attention isn’t already there.