With a player down, soccer still earns a tie

Showing flexibility and discipline on the road, the men’s soccer team shut down Drew University while down a man in a 0-0 tie following a 2-0 loss to Stevens Institute of Technology.

The Lions, 3-3-1, had their work cut out for them in both games, starting with the trip to Drew. Thirty-two minutes in, Lions junior goalkeeper Maciej Libucha was ejected when the referee judged he handled the ball outside the box.

“At the end of the day, (Libucha) followed his instincts to make a save and keep Drew’s goals on the day at zero,” senior defender Steve Cukar said. “The referee made the call that he had to.”

The College quickly adjusted to the first-half red card, though, and kept its third shutout of the season in adverse circumstances.

“I think it was just us stepping up to the challenge,” said sophomore goalkeeper Jake Nesteruk, who came in for Libucha. “We played very intelligently in the back, and that’s credit to (senior defenders) Ryan Sullivan and Steve Cukar for organizing the team. We knew we would have to grind out this game, and that’s exactly what we did. It was a true team effort.”

It was the first time the College has been reduced to 10 men this season, but practicing with the event in mind paid off: The Lions were able to shift formation, defend as a unit and force the Rangers offense to drift harmlessly wide.

“When going down a man, communication becomes even that more important,” Cukar said. “From the goalkeeper through to the strikers, players must be communicating to keep our form and track the runs the opposing players are making. We also changed around our formation giving them some more room on the flanks while keeping our numbers in the middle of the pitch.”

The College faced 13 shots, but Nesteruk was only called upon to make a pair of saves. The Lions saw the game out while managing to threaten the Rangers’  goal as well.

“Each player must limit mistakes and play safely,” Cukar said. “We were able to do these things while still playing our game and being dangerous on the offensive end.”

The Lions also had opportunities to score in the 2-0 loss to Stevens, but failed to score for the first time this season as the Ducks defense held firm.

Stevens’s goals on both sides of halftime — the game-winner coming on a penalty in the 39th minute — dropped the College to .500 to end its long, season-opening road trip.

The Ducks’ tallies were the only goals conceded by Nesteruk in his 310 minutes playing for the Lions, though, and he has teamed up with Libucha to allow just one goal per game this year.

“I think it really comes down to the standards of (head coach George) Nazario,” Nesteruk said. “We know what is expected of us, and its just a matter of us not wanting to let him or our teammates down. A lot of credit goes to our back line, (which) has been very consistent, and Maciej, who has been playing very well. Maciej and I have really pushed ourselves during preseason and training, and we are each others supporters and source of motivation.”

The Lions have a chance to get back in the win column this week as they return to home turf on Wednesday, Sept. 17, for a game in Lions Stadium against FDU-Florham.

Dark week for the NFL, Goodell should go

 Roger Goodell said that he has no intention of resigning, despite constant outside pressure. Even though he insists he won’t resign, I think the commissioner needs to go. This past week has been one of the darkest weeks in recent NFL history, and the fallout needs to fall on the commissioner’s shoulders. 

Goodell has been considered a tough commissioner during his tenure, cracking down on players and other members of the NFL community for a variety of misdeeds, most notably drug offenses and illegal in-game hits. Events of this past week have demonstrated that Goodell and the league don’t have the same stern stance on domestic violence when it comes to its players. 

At this point, most people have seen the video released by TMZ of Ray Rice assaulting his fiancée in the casino elevator. The surfacing of this video resulted in Rice’s release by the Ravens and indefinitely suspended from the NFL. But many questions arose from this case. How did the mighty NFL not get its hands on this video when TMZ was able to? It’s obvious that a video existed because the event occurred in a casino elevator, so why didn’t the NFL do everything in its power to get its hands on this tape? There have also been reports that came out this week that make the league offices look bad. The first report was by the Associated Press, saying that the infamous video was sent to the league offices months ago. There was also a report that Ray Rice told Roger Goodell all the details of the assault months ago in a face-to-face meeting. 

Whether he physically saw the tape or not, Goodell is responsible for everything involving the NFL league office. As he told Saints coach Sean Payton when handing down Spygate suspensions, “ignorance is not an excuse.” Now, Goodell is getting a taste of his own medicine. His ignorance should not excuse his decision to only give Ray Rice a two-game suspension for his actions, especially if the above allegations are all true. 

Along with the Ray Rice incident, there are a few other domestic violence incidents that have caused people to question the league’s stance on the issue. Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was convicted of assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend, but he’s still playing this week while he appeals the conviction. Ray McDonald, a 49ers defensive tackle, also continues to play after he was accused of domestic violence. These incidents make these teams look bad, but also serve as a huge black eye for a league which avoids stepping in and suspending these players. 

I understand the league wants to get all of the details before handing out disciplines. However, where there’s smoke, there’s often fire in these cases. The decisions made by the league office show the league is taking a soft stance when it comes to domestic violence when it should be cracking down. The National Organization for Women has come out and demanded Roger Goodell resigns. Many players, like Terrance Knighton and London Fletcher, have been very outspoken on social media about these incidents.

There is no place for these actions in the NFL, and the soft stance and horrible mishandling of these cases is inexcusable, and that falls on the head of the commissioner. I don’t think the NFL owners will fire Goodell until it’s evident that he’s hurting the business, but it’s time for Goodell to protect the NFL shield by resigning.

Lions hit their first loss of the season at 2-1

Sophomore Christine Levering records an assist. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Sophomore Christine Levering records an assist. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The women’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the season with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Johns Hopkins University on Saturday, Sept. 13. The game featured two of the nation’s top Division III teams, with Johns Hopkins ranked 18th in the nation and the Lions 10th. The loss dropped the College to 4-1 overall and third place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

After a scoreless first half in the rain, Johns Hopkins was able to break through early in the second half. Senior Hannah Kronick got the Blue Jays on the board first when she rocketed home a rebound in the 61st minute. Kronick then added her sixth goal of the year 15 minutes later to give the Blue Jays a commanding lead.

The Lions rallied with a goal by junior Christina Roach in the 88th minute, but it was too little, too late for the College to complete the rally.

The goal was Roach’s third of the season, with the assist coming from last season’s leading scorer, Christine Levering.

The Blue Jays were able to hold off the Lions’ attack to secure their fifth win of the season.

“We had our chances throughout the game, but for some reason we were not able to finish them,” said leading-scorer Gina Caprara.

The Lions defeated Johns Hopkins last season in a 2-1 double-overtime thriller capped off by a Levering game-winning goal.

Johns Hopkins was the first ranked opponent the College has faced this season.

The Lions have another light week ahead of them with only one upcoming game. The team will travel to Rutgers-Newark University on Friday, Sept. 19, at 7:30 p.m. The game will be the College’s first conference match.

Last season, the Lions used a 6-2-1 conference record to coast their way to an NJAC title.

“Moving forward, we just need to focus on finishing our chances and we should be fine,” Caprara said.

Field hockey’s dominating streak continues

Sophomore Lexi Smith scores against Cabrini College. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Sophomore Lexi Smith scores against Cabrini College. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The Lions continued their dominating streak with an overpowering win against the Cabrini College Cavaliers. But this game started off differently than all the other previous games.

The Lions surrendered a goal early in the first half to give the Cavaliers a quick advantage. The goal was scored by junior Kerry Anne Farrell, her third of the season, with the assist coming from sophomore Kylie McDevitt. The Lions quickly regrouped and did not look back, scoring their first goal nearly 10 minutes later.

It was a strange situation for such a dominating team to be trailing in the game, but they were able to overcome the deficit with a score by senior Erin Healy, her fifth of the season, coming off the assist from fellow seniors Erin Waller and Lindsey Hatch. Healy continued her outstanding play this season by being a great scorer as well as a facilitator on offense, registering the assist on the team’s second goal by Hatch.

“We’re all going into each game as if we are playing a faceless opponent,” Healy said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we’re concentrating on how we want to play.”

Right before the end of the half, the Lions punched another one in by none other than Healy, coming off the assist from Lexi Smith. Sophomore Kelly Schlupp played very well in goal, with two clutch saves at the end of the half when the Cavaliers still had possession of the ball in the circle.

Jaclyn Douglas, the other star playmaker, finally got on the board in the second half with an assist to Smith. The Lions’ offensive outburst did not stop there, though. Healy completed her hat-trick and Hatch netted her second of the game. Smith finished the game with a great stat sheet, adding another assist on Healy’s last and fourth goal of the night.

Overall, the star players ended with a great line as usual while the defense played well, forcing goalie Schlupp to only make four saves.

The Lions will try to continue their strong play away at Johns Hopkins University on Sunday, Sept. 14.

Quality tennis performance at home

Both men and women's tennis perform well on home ground at the Lions' tournament. (Photo courtesy of Patti Cooper)
Both men and women’s tennis perform well on home ground at the Lions’ tournament. (Photo courtesy of Patti Cooper)

The College’s women’s tennis team hosted the two-day Lion’s invitational against New York University on Friday, Sept. 12, and Saturday, Sept. 13.

The team received a number of quality performances in both singles and doubles play.

Six different Lion’s picked up wins in singles play on the opening day, including wins from junior Victoria Michels, sophomore Katie Buchbinder and freshmen Nadia Olesnycky, Kristen Malpas, Brittany Reedman and Danna Tsay.

Junior captain Emma Allen had strong praise for Buchbinder’s performance in singles play.

“She was sick before the match, but she didn’t let that slow her down,” Allen said. “She fought hard the whole match and won it in a tiebreaker, and we couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Doubles play saw impressive victories for Reedman and Maddy Stoner, Reedman and Tsay and junior Jasmine Muniz-Cadorette and Emma Allen.

“NYU is such a strong team,” Allen said. “They have an incredibly deep roster, not unlike our own. Whether they were winning or losing, everyone fought hard.  We played tremendously.”

The College’s men’s tennis team was also active in the tournament, opening their season against the NYU men.

The Lions won all four doubles matches on Saturday, with sophomores Jack August and Pierce Cooper posting scores of 8-0 and 8-3.  The tandem of sophomores Billy Buchbinder and Jason Prezant also won in doubles with scores of 8-2 and 8-5.

The College also had a number of players post victories in their singles matches, with wins going to August, Cooper, Chris D’Agostino, Marc Friedmen and Mike Stanley.  The men next compete in the ITA Northeast Regional Championships from Saturday, Sept. 20 to Sunday, Sept. 22.

Earlier in the week, the College’s women’s tennis had a very strong home opener, besting the Stockton Ospreys 9-0.

The win stretches the Lion’s conference win streak to 157, a streak that began in 1983. Doubles action saw junior captains Jasmine Muniz-Cadorette and Emma Allen netting an 8-1 victory at the top position, while freshmen Nadia Olesnycky and Maddy Stoner won at second doubles 8-4.

Sophomores Katie Buchbinder and Anna Prestera won third doubles by a mark of 8-2.

“Nerves aren’t an issue anymore” Allen said. “Everyone seems fully comfortable on the court now.”

All six points in single play were swept, with Buchbinder, Muniz-Cadorette, Brittany Reedman, Allen, Stoner and Prestera all earning victories in the first six slots.

The win bumped the Lion’s record to 3-0 while dropping Stockton to a record of 2-2.

“It’s amazing how all of our players can compete with each other,” Allen said. “Every one of our ten players has the skill to compete.”

The girls return to dual meet action on Saturday, Sept. 20, where they will host conference opponent Kean University at 12 p.m.

Bengals supportive of Still and daughter

Still's daughter, 4, has cancer. (AP Photo)
Still’s daughter, 4, has cancer. (AP Photo)

Last week, I wrote about the Cincinnati Bengals signing Devon Still to their practice roster after originally cutting him to help him pay for his daughter’s cancer treatments. This week, there have been continued developments in this story, and it has become one of the best feel-good stories in sports this year.

The Bengals announced that Still would be brought up to the 53rd man active roster, making him eligible for games. Still said he is regaining some of his focus on football after all the support he has received for his daughter. He said that the Bengals have given him so much support that he should do what he can to help the Bengals out in return.

The best part of this story is how the Bengals have started a campaign to donate a portion of Still’s jersey sales to pediatric cancer research.

The Bengals launched the jersey campaign this past Monday, Sept. 10, and they’ve already sold over 5,000 Still jerseys, raising over $400,000 for cancer research.

During the first day of sales, Still’s jersey sold more than any other Bengals’ players’ jersey in a single day. The Bengals also put an area on their team website where people who don’t want to buy a jersey can make donations toward cancer research.

Members of the NFL community are doing what they can to help this campaign. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton offered to buy 100 Still jerseys, which will be given out to kids at Cincinnati hospitals and Boys and Girls Clubs. With all the negative stories in the NFL this week, this story has clearly been a ray of sunshine in the middle of a major storm in the NFL. You don’t have to like the Bengals or football to want to root for Devon Still and his daughter and be touched by this amazing story.


A late comeback gives football a ‘W’

By Anthony Caruso
Staff Writer

The College’s football team could have let the Ursinus blowout hurt them in their game with FDU-Florham. But despite going into the fourth quarter with a losing score, the Lions mounted a comeback, scoring two rushing touchdowns late in the game. The 14 points off of the first two rushing touchdowns of the season helped secure the team’s first win of the season, 17-13, over the FDU-Florham Devils Friday, Sept. 12.

“(Friday) night was a great way to rebound from the Ursinus game,” sophomore quarterback Michael Marchesano mentioned. “Our team really needed to come back and play hard. That’s what we did.”

With 1:59 left in the game, the defense allowed a nine-play, 82-yard drive that would end with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Maurer to Malik Pressley. The extra point failed, giving the Lions a 17-13 lead.

“The touchdown by Pressley was well executed, but they would need more than the six points that they got,” freshman running back Khani Glover said. “When we went back on offense, it was just a matter of running out the clock and not making any mistakes that could result in points their way.”

Following the touchdown, the Lions rushed for eight-yards, and Colin Cazzetta had a 57-yard punt to push the Devils inside their own 20-yard line. On the punt, FDU-Florham was called for roughing the kicker, which gave the Lions the first down.

Marchesano would rush for a one-yard loss before kneeling the ball. Then, the time expired on the Devils comeback attempt.

The College took the lead at 10:38 in the fourth on a five-play, 23-yard drive, allowing Frank Fuccello to score on a five-yard rushing touchdown.

“The play by Fuccello that gave us the 10-7 lead was a game changer,” Glover said. “It gave us the momentum we needed to turn things around.”

Glover, who was making his collegiate debut, led the team in rushing with 12 carries for 38 yards. At 4:25 left in the fourth, he scored a two-yard touchdown to increase the lead by 10 points.

“As a team, we knew that the two-yard run was what we needed,” Glover said. “Points on the board made it a two-possession game late in the 4th quarter. It gave our defense some breathing room, even if a couple mistakes were made. The touchdown for me capped off a great drive with tremendous team efforts that resulted in my first collegiate touchdown.”

The Lions trailed 7-3 at halftime. Cazzetta booted a 29-yard field goal through the uprights at 6:51 in the second. The Devils took a 7-0 lead in the first when Pressley caught a nine-yard pass from Maurer.

The College was without two of their better players for this game. Running back Victor Scalici and Tight End Ryan Baranowsky missed the game. Both players, who played in the Ursinus game, could have been resting for the upcoming game.

“Scalici and Baranowsky are great players, and anyone would love to have them on the field,” Marchesano said. “But their replacements really stepped up and played well.”

The Lions return home to Lions Stadium this Saturday, Sept. 20, at they host national powerhouse University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. This will be the first meeting between the two teams, as the Warhawks make their first-ever trip to the Ewing campus.

In their first two games, the Warhawks have averaged 57.5 points per game. They had a season-high 73 points in their season opening win over the Waldorf Warriors, an NAIA school. The national champions are also allowing 10 points per game.

“Obviously, they are a great team,” Marchesano stated. “We need to go to practice everyday and prepare for the game just like we would any other week.”

football team
Football wins 17-13 over FDU-Florham after being down in fourth quarter. (Photo courtesy of The Sports Information Desk)

‘If I Stay’ is a heart-felt, contemporary film

By Kayla Whittle

In “If I Stay,” Mia is at the beginning of a snow day when a car accident changes her life forever. She wakes up, confused and alone, only to realize that she is in a coma, barely alive. Struck with sudden tragedy, she can either crumble underneath the weight of all that is lost or stand strong and recognize what she has left to live for: the people in her life who are convincing her to stay.

In the onslaught of young adult, book-to-movie adaptations coming to theaters, “If I Stay” stands strong as a movie that is loveable, even if you have never heard of the book. This success can be attributed both to author Gayle Forman’s wonderful talent for creating vivid modern characters as well as how easily contemporary fiction lends itself to film. While a little may be lost because the author’s gripping prose cannot be directly translated to the screen, fans of the novel will leave the theater happy. Those who have had no contact with the book will love the movie even more as they visually experience what has captivated the hearts of many.

Mia is played by Chloe Grace Moretz, an actress who has exploded into the spotlight after starring in movies ranging from horror to comedy. In this film, she tries out a new genre while using her previous experience to help her character shine. She excels in enticing the audience to fall in love with Adam (Jamie Blackley) beside her, to cry for her tragedy and to hope for her happy ending. Moretz pulls us into Mia’s world and makes it so that we don’t wish to leave it. Thankfully, her love interest, Adam, delivers just as powerful a performance. He compliments Moretz’s character, and their scenes together are often fun and endearing.

At times, the minor characters of the film truly made it touching and memorable. As Mia searches for a reason to cling to life, the scenes become a mixture of her memories and portions of the time she spends in the hospital. Seeing how wonderful her family was as she grew up prompts laughter tinged with sadness, yet what brings on tears is seeing her grandfather, played by Stacy Keach, remind Mia of how much he loves her. The simplicity of the scene in which he is alone with Mia in the hospital was outstanding.

Do not dismiss this movie — it is a meaningful contemporary film. “If I Stay” is full of heart, a fantastic cast of characters and a strong ending that will leave you clamoring for more. We can only hope that the success of this movie will prompt the adaptation of more of Gayle Forman’s work for audiences everywhere to fall in love with.

Moretz and Blackley have beautiful chemistry. (AP Photo)
Moretz and Blackley have beautiful chemistry. (AP Photo)

‘Wired’ competition showcases theatrical talents

By Kimberly Ilkowski
Review Editor

What do you get when you tell over 60 students to forfeit the next 24 hours of their lives to eat, sleep and breathe theater? Insanity, of course, and the fall edition of “Wired,” the biannual All College Theatre and TCNJ Musical Theatre competition to write, direct, state manage and perform a one act play from scratch. 

Five teams had only one day to create plays based off this year’s theme, “Classic Arcade Games” in the Brower Student Center on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Easy enough, right? That’s why the arbiters, who serve as the “game makers” of the event, added in some twists and turns to really have students pulling their hair out all in the name of comedy.

Twists that had to be added into the plays were a shopping mall store, a flavor, an X-rated position, a famous painting and a completely random prop.

“I am in an insanely caffeinated state,” said Matt Steurer, head arbiter and junior interactive multimedia and computer science double major, at the end of the night.

Some of the arbiters’ duties were to create the twists, themes and genres of the plays, as well as stay wide awake to execute it all.

It was through hyperactive creativity glands and looking back on other successful, past “Wired” ideas that the team of seven arbiters brainstormed this year’s wacky requirements.

Then it was on to the plays. In the Donkey Kong reimagined show “Donkey-Jote,” a disgruntled DK works at a Build-A-Bear Workshop with the girl of his dreams — and her arrogant boyfriend.

In an epic dream sequence, DK throws barrels at a hammer-handling Mario to save his love, Princess Peach.

Alyssa Freitas, a sophomore management major who ended up winning best actress, stole the show as DK’s embarrassing, constantly yelling mother, Mama Kong, complete with a thick New York accent.

Shannon McGovern, a senior music major, also won as best director for the show.

 In the play, “Did You Mean Recursion?” a group of people stand around a bar during a costume party. In a “Groundhog Day”-esque series of events, the character Rose must repeatedly encounter the same actions from a belligerent bar attendee, her blowhard boyfriend, a not-so-innocent stranger and a suspiciously knowledgeable bartender.

Talk of glory holes and doing shrooms are just some of the outrageous recurring dialogue, and the actor’s spot-on comedic timing helped land it this year’s best show title.

Stephany Estrada, a freshman anthropology major, also won for best stage manager.

“C.A.I. Codified Artificial Intelligence” follows a computer programmer, Amelia, trying to finish coding her new game. Cue a distraction in the form of a lesbian couple, Jackie and Jacqui, who take her out for the day, only to be kidnapped by a rogue programmer and forced to go through a series of challenges to escape.

In the midst of a challenge, Amelia realizes a solution to the problem she had in her own coding and applies it to help her escape the strange world she is trapped in.

This technophilic thriller landed senior psychology major Mariah-Lynn Black and junior English and secondary education double major Steven Munoz the best writers award.

“Contagion,” based on the game Space Invaders, is a sci-fi play about scientists and Apple Inc. representatives traveling to Planet Google to find a cure for a disease-plagued Earth. The Apple reps have cruel intentions, planning to take over and destroy Google to harvest the cure.

Luckily, the good guys prevail in the end, and scientist Diana is able to save the Googolian race from extinction. 

Wrapping up the night, “Post Secrets” featured a delivery company training their newest employee Max, played by senior music and education double major Kyle Sheehan.

Max is faced with inexplicable obstacles along his delivery route, like a traffic-blocking break dancer, a seductive Miracle Whip wielding lingerie model, a tornado and existential drug addicts. When Max isn’t driving over tombstones, he’s losing his life and helping Death through a mid-life crisis.

This bizarre yet lovable role earned Sheehan the award for best actor.

Laird — single mother, mogul, entrepreneur

By Jillian Festa

Business aficionado Taneshia Nash Laird kicked off the College’s fall 2014 Brown Bag series on Friday, Sept. 12, with her presentation, “The Accidental Entrepreneur: Adventures in the Arts, Sports and Community Development.” The Brown Bag series features weekly hour-long talks by speakers, hosted by the Department of Arts and Communication.

Laird, who is a self-described “serial entrepreneur,” began her first-ever presentation about her life with the Dictionary.com definition of an entrepreneur: A person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.  Through years of steadfast determination and inspired passion, Laird proved to have written her own definition of a businessperson, or as she likes to call it: #SingleMomMogul.

Laid boasted a lengthy portfolio of business pursuits. With her late-husband Roland Laird, she co-founded the TV, book and film enterprise Posro Media, which created one of the first black-owned independent comic book publishing companies in the country.  She even gave inner city artists their first professional jobs, an accomplishment that was applauded in the New York Times.

Laird was also the producer and host of NY Rap, a public access cable show based in Manhattan. It featured music videos and community action.

She is Chief Marketing Officer for My Image Studios (MIST) in Harlem, which has been coined “Harlem’s Living Room” — a restaurant, music venue and theater. It is an environmentally friendly social venture created to strengthen the cultures of the African and Latino diasporas.

Closer to campus, Laird was the director of economic development in Trenton, where she focused on business attraction, job creation and expansion. She dedicated herself to Trenton and its large black and Latino community by creating Destination Trenton, a marketing campaign that embraced the arts and heritage of Trenton.

“Trenton has an incredible, authentic history, and more people should be aware of that,” she said. 

She also headed LMCK Partners, a consulting company that focuses on community development, specifically in Trenton. She hopes to create the Roebling Innovation Center, a $95 million development which could add 500 to 1,000 jobs in Trenton.

Legacy Business Advisors, Laird’s main business, is a consulting company dedicated to public and community relations with a focus in arts, entertainment and sports.

Laird is Managing Partner of Public Relations of Legendary Eats Sandwich House, whose mission is to create healthier versions of entertainment and sports legends’ favorite sandwiches. It was launched in the Staples Center in Los Angeles in April 2014 and has intentions to spread to other arenas.

She describes being a business person as “finding a problem and solving it, and that failing is part of the process.”

Laird earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baruch College and is currently pursuing a Master’s in strategic communications from Columbia University.

When asked how she manages to balance everything, she replied that she “takes her kids everywhere.” 

Laird states that you should always follow your dreams. She also lives her life by one particular quote: “Invest in your dream. Grind now. Shine later.” 

Laird is a single mother who holds a successful business career. (Kyle Bennion/ Photo Editor)
Laird is a single mother who holds a successful business career. (Kyle Bennion/ Photo Editor)
Aoki pumps up the crowd with dance anthems. (AP Photos)

‘Made in America’ ends summer in musical bliss

By Jonathan Edmondson
Arts & Entertainment Editor 

Chromeo plays a funky and electronic set. (AP Photo)
Chromeo plays a funky and electronic set. (AP Photo)

Philadelphia knows how to end summer with a bang. Each Labor Day weekend for the past two years, “Made in America,” the Jay-Z curated music festival, has come to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The streets fill with thousands of music lovers, desperate to squeeze in one last festival fix before the summer fades away into a distant melody.

The festival features hand-picked acts by Jay-Z himself from various genres, spanning hip-hop, alternative and electronica and with four stages to keep attendees plenty occupied during the two-day event.

On Saturday, Sept. 14, the day kicked off right with The Neighbourhood, an alternative band that broke into the music scene with its hit single, “Sweater Weather.” While it was sizzling outside, the band kept it cool with smooth vocals from lead singer Jesse Rutherford. A large crowd gathered around the Rocky Stage, which served as the main stage for the festival, and swayed to the edgy, indie sound.

Most of the crowd then moved to one of the side stages to see Chromeo, a Canadian electro-funk, disco duo who ran through an energetic and engaging set. Members David Macklovitch and Patrick Gemayel proved their musical talent while keeping the crowd entertained and pumped-up for the rest of the night.

Just as the sun began to set, The National took the Rocky Stage to croon out sweet, acoustic jams while the crowd took a brief respite from the heat and intensity of the early afternoon. Lead singer Matt Berninger serenaded the crowd with his passionate baritone vocals and melancholy lyrics.

As darkness crept over the festival, attendees were met by the one-two punch of J. Cole and Steve Aoki. Cole, a North Carolina native, greeted a massive crowd and immediately dove into an impressive set. His passion was evident as his voice started to disappear after pouring so much of himself into each track.

Then, as soon as Aoki took the stage, a giant dance party erupted in the streets. Lights flashed and the bass blared as everyone in attendance got lost in the beat. Some attendees took to climbing trees and lampposts to show their dedicated enthusiasm. To add to the madness, Aoki threw multiple whip cream pies into the audience and then showered everyone with champagne to finish off his set.

To close out Saturday night, headliner Kanye West took the stage. The Parkway was packed with hardcore fans and casual listeners alike awaiting a set from one of music’s biggest names. As expected, there were multiple surprises, including West stopping in the middle of one of his songs to demand the lights be changed to what he originally planned. In addition, he had more than a few speeches which included how hard he works and how he doesn’t appreciate jokes. Antics aside, West has true musical talent.

Day two was met with inclement weather and caused most of the crowd to leave the festival early, but they managed to squeeze in acts like Kongos, Bear Hands and Man Overboard. Each of them put on fun, diverse sets that appealed to various interests. Also, the popular band Awolnation played through the rain and sang hit singles “Sail” and “Kill Your Heroes.”

Overall, the festival was an amazing way to end the summer with a crop of fellow music lovers who simply enjoy being carefree for a weekend without worrying about the stress of reality.

Aoki pumps up the crowd with dance anthems. (AP Photos)
Aoki pumps up the crowd with dance anthems. (AP Photo)

Born Cages headlines indie-rock Rat show

Holiday sings with passionate energy while also playing lead guitar. (Photo by Samantha Selikoff)
Holiday sings with passionate energy while also playing lead guitar. (Photo by Samantha Selikoff)

By Kimberly Ilkowski
Review Editor

Welcome to the Rathskeller, a place where pounding drums and fast strums call home. On Friday, Sept. 12, Boston alt-pop group The Color and Sound and the New York City-based indie-rock foursome Born Cages took the stage to show students at the College what they’re made of.

The evening began with The Color and Sound jumping on stage after grabbing a quick bite of waffle fries and cheese steaks.

The band, lead by vocalist Chris LaRocque, guitarist Nick Stewart, bassist Joe Aylward, aux percussionist Ally Mahoney and drummer Steve Aliperta, played tracks off its new EP, “Peace of Mind,” which comes out on DIY record label Black Numbers on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

The standout track off the EP, “Cigarettes,” draws clear influences from the band fun., particularly LaRocque’s similar falsetto to frontman Nate Ruess.

Later in the set, the band engaged the audience and asked students about their time here at the College. In the song, “Graves,” the band altered its lyrics to say, “When I’m cold, I’ll think of TCNJ.”

Their undeniable energy lent itself to an incredible live performance. LaRocque has a voice made for pop-punk with the perfect balance of whine and serious vocal chops.

The band ended the set with its favorite song to play live, “Gregory” — a track Mahoney describes as the band’s time to shake it off and just have fun. The song featured chanted vocals from everyone in the group.

The Color and Sound formed as a collaborative effort between friends, who at the time were in three separate bands. They mixed together their diverse musical styles in order to produce the March 2013 EP, “The Spring Tour.” They hope to go on tour this winter to promote their work.

Following their performance, Born Cages lit up the stage with neon lighting effects that burst different colors and patterns throughout the set.

Comprised of Vlad Holiday on vocals and guitar, Amanda Carl on keyboards, Dave Tantao on drums and Matt Maroulakos on bass, the band played tracks off its EP, “Sidelines,” released in June 2013 via Razor & Tie Records.

Coming mid-Feb. 2015, it will release its first full-length album, but in the meantime it shared some new songs with the Rat audience.

The song “Bigger Than Me” featured ’80s style guitar hooks and synthesizers, while “I Keep Moving On” had a darker overtone with demanding drums.

At one point, Holiday ran up to the tables and had students sing along with him into his microphone for everyone to hear.

The crowd favorite and latest single, “Rolling Down The Hill,” is a poppy blast about yearning to get away from “normal life.”

The end of the set heavily featured Holiday’s guitar skills with multiple solos.

As a whole, the band’s genre-bending set pieced together many different styles, ultimately making it hard to pinpoint its playful, experimental sound.

On Friday, Sept. 5, the band played a live acoustic studio session at beloved Philly radio station Radio 104.5.

“It was amazing,” Holiday said. “(DJ) Wendy Rollins is a sweetheart, and they took great care of us. Hopefully we can do more stuff with them in the future.”

As for the band’s upcoming tour dates throughout the fall, Holiday is most excited to play in Chicago.

There’s a song off the new record that was inspired by a fan in Chicago,” Holiday said. “We opened up for Guns ‘N’ Roses there once, so it’s special to us.

With new albums and stacked tour dates, both of the nights’ acts have a lot to look forward to in the months ahead. 

Born Cages is an upcoming musical foursome from New York City. (Photo by Samantha Selikoff)
Born Cages is an upcoming musical foursome from New York City. (Photo by Samantha Selikoff)

Kim’s Declassified: A fool-proof guide to living with other people

By Kimberly Ilkowski
Review Editor

Growing up, you were one of the lucky ones if you didn’t have to share your room with a sibling. Having your own room to take care of or completely destroy is a blessing. However, college is the great equalizer, forcing inhabitants to find an ounce of privacy in a 175-square feet room.

This is why it’s more important than ever to show a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T to your roommate. Treating others how you wish to be treated holds the most truth when it comes to living with other people, especially those who were total strangers to you a mere few months ago.

Do your part: Sharing a room means sharing responsibilities, no matter how you feel about the person. You can’t passive-aggressively not take out the trash until it’s overflowing. The only thing that’s going to be solved is where the roaches build their new home. So take out the Lysol wipes and turn on the vacuum, because it’s way better to hate each other in a clean room than a dirty one.

kim's declassified brooms
Use this colorful assortment of brooms to wipe away your resentment. (Photo Courtesy of flickr.com/photos/omaromar)

Don’t talk smack: You have to spend the entire year living under the same roof as this person; the least you could do is accept their differences. We’re all a little quirky, so don’t go around your floor laughing about the fact that your roommate has 200 mint condition Yuh-Gi-Oh cards when you scream in your sleep and walk around with no pants on. You don’t hear your roommate going around gossiping about your demon-possessed self, so quit spreading the mean comments.

Do communicate: Try to be on the same page as your roommate. If you don’t like having 10 people in the room at one time, say something. If you don’t like the TV being left on overnight, say something. If you don’t like your roommate performing voodoo rituals, DEAR GOD SAY SOMETHING. The point here is that you’re never going to know what the other needs unless you speak up and talk things out.

Just a face in the crowd
Your roommate thinks you’re totally okay with this many people chilling in your room. (Photo Courtesy of flickr.com/photos/scott-s_photos)

Don’t just take things: Just because your favorite snack is Oreos and your roommate’s mom bought them in bulk doesn’t mean you can help yourself to a little dessert. Just because you wear the same sized clothing as your roommate doesn’t mean you can go shopping in their closet while they’re at class. Take two seconds out of your life to send your roommate a text asking to use their belongings, instead of walking around campus in their shirt, breath freshly smelling like chocolate cookie and vanilla icing.

kim's declassified shirt
“Hey man, great shirt!” “Thanks dude, I got it from Josh’s Closet!” (Photo Courtesy of flickr.com/photos/constantine-graphics)

Lion’s Playlist: Songs to Bring in Fall

By Susan Pereny

You might not be able to see Fall yet (could it be hiding behind Campus Town construction?), but it’s here lurking behind the library café’s stock of pumpkin spice syrup and underneath every girl’s riding boots currently stashed in her closet.  Here are some songs that sound almost as delicious as stepping on those crunchy leaves on the sidewalk.

  1.     Break On Through (To The Other Side) – The Doors

At the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, this song is the perfect way to “break on through” to Fall.

  1.     Good Day Sunshine – The Beatles

The best part of Fall is being able to walk around with a light jacket and enjoying the crisp weather.  Summer’s sun is oppressive, but Autumn sun is inviting and warm.

  1.     Four Winds  – Bright Eyes

Aside from this title, something about this song’s introduction reminds me of orange-leafed branches bustling in the wind.

  1.     Traveling Wilburys  – End Of The Line

Along the same lines as Break On Through, this song is perfect for saying goodbye to the end of Summer.

  1.     Andy, You’re A Star  – The Killers

Something about Fall tends to remind us of high school days involving football games and new lockers.  This song about a high school crush is perfect for that nostalgic feeling.

  1.     Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)  – The Beatles

This tree-themed song is perfect for that first apple-picking trip.

  1.     Sleeping Lessons  – The Shins

For in case you need help adjusting to the new semester’s sleep schedule after a summer of sleeping until 11 AM.

  1.     Scarlet Begonias  – Sublime

This cover, which opens with “not a chill to the weather but a nip to the air” is a great choice for facing that cooler weather that makes both hot chocolate and s’mores perfectly (and deliciously) acceptable.

  1.     Undone (The Sweater Song)  – Weezer

Do I need to explain this song choice? It’s time to break out the flannels, hoodies, and scarves!

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