Vagrant Journalism

Published pieces from the past, the present and of the potential future.

Archive for March 12th, 2009

7 January 2008: Why So Serious? ‘The Dark Knight’ Is Coming

Posted by Christina on March 12, 2009

dark-knightThis movie hadn’t come out yet, I hadn’t seen it but I was to do a preview on what was to be expected. I would have never known this film would have exploded the way it did and how deserving that explosion was.

New University Newspaper: Why So Serious? ‘The Dark Knight’ Is Coming

Why So Serious? ‘The Dark Knight’ Is Coming
by Christina Nersesian
Volume 41, Issue 12 | Jan 07 2008

The darker and intensely eerier world from which our favorite misunderstood superhero came was finally explicated before our eyes with the 2005 release of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins.’ It had been 16 years since Tim Burton took Beetlejuice face paint off Michael Keaton and made him arguably the best millionaire playboy/defender.

The hype and excitement for Nolan’s next venture into the Batman franchise is unmistakable. With leaked trailers and the most bankable movie season set for release, Nolan’s sequel to ‘Batman Begins’ has a set release date in July 2008. ‘The Dark Knight’ comes out with a serious revamping of a not-so-serious villain, his oddities rightly out of place and his persona immaculately in sync with insanity.

It seems we’ve only had a rehash of Keaton’s version of Batman, who donned the midnight-black armor and pointy-eared helmet for ‘Batman’ in 1989 and ‘Batman Returns’ in 1992, until now. Nolan seems to find Christian Bale quite fitting as the youthful Bruce Wayne, still uncertain of what his newly adopted persona really means for society.

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11 December 2007: Ground Control – 2007 Year-End Mix Tape

Posted by Christina on March 12, 2009

phlow_mix_003_moAll the writers at Ground Control were asked to compile a sort of personal best of mix tape for the end of the year. In my opinion, 2007 was a phenomenal year in music and it was so hard to just pick a small list.

Ground Control Magazine: Ground Control – 2007 Year-End Mix Tape

ARTIST: Ground Control – 2007 Year-End Mix Tape
DATE: 12-11-07
WRITER: Ground Control Contributors

Christina Nersesian

1. “Elephant Gun” – Beirut – Lon Gisland EP
http://www.beirutband.com/
2. “No Emotion” – Idlewild – Make Another World
http://idlewild.co.uk/site2007/index.html
3. “Double Vision” – The Ponys – Turn the Lights Out
http://www.matadorrecords.com/the_ponys/
4. “In the Morning (Hot Chip Remix)” – Junior Boys – The Dead Horse EP
http://www.juniorboys.net/
5. “My Moon My Man” – Feist – The Reminder
http://www.listentofeist.com/
6. “Section 28 [Guaranteed Nightlife]” – The Polyphonic Spree – The Fragile Army
http://www.thepolyphonicspree.com/
7. “My Little Japanese Cigarette Case” – Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
http://www.spoontheband.com/

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11 December 2007: The Killers ‘Sawdust’

Posted by Christina on March 12, 2009

the-killers-sawdust-4190181I was weary about this CD because ‘Hot Fuss’ had really been just so phenomenal. It was a great chance, however, to write about this band in a more uninhibited setting with Ground Control. It made writing the piece that much better.

Ground Control Magazine: The Killers ‘Sawdust’

ARTIST: The Killers – [Album]
DATE: 12-11-07
REVIEW BY: Christina Nersesian
ALBUM: Sawdust (B-Sides and Rarities)
LABEL: Island

We all thought they would reach their heights as 15-minutes-of famers, but The Killers have proven that they’re here to stay. With the electronic tones persistent throughout their breakout album, Hot Fuss, it was inevitable that the band would be forever reinventing themselves. In these last months of 2007, they’ve given us an amalgamated collection of re-released b-sides, several rarities, historic collaborations and the ever-entertaining cover track dotted throughout the album.

With a track featuring Lou Reed, The Killers start off their track set with “Tranquilize.” The song makes it feel like the Velvets are getting back together—the track’s indicative of discordant riffs and heavy distortion. All the while, though, the underlying token Killers staple of Brendan Flowers’ electric keyboard wails away.

Perhaps the most interesting track to come out of this collection of b-sides is their above-par cover of “Shadowplay.” Already inclined to being a band that plays electro-jams, they’ve taken the Joy Division gem to another height, perhaps giving it an edginess that makes it okay for them to even touch upon such sacred legends of across-the-pond music lore.

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3 December 2007: Bored in Irvine? Go See a Concert

Posted by Christina on March 12, 2009

troubadour1I compiled this list of places to go have fun mainly because I, too, felt as though Irvine just might have hidden diamonds in the ultimately beige and track-housing rough of land.

New University Newspaper: Bored in Irvine? Go See a Concert

Bored In Irvine? Go See a Concert
by Christina Nersesian
Volume 41, Issue 11 | Dec 03 2007

The environment surrounding UC Irvine has little to offer other than being a sprawling wasteland of corporate headquarters, vast shopping centers and unnecessarily extravagant apartment complexes. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re all owned by the same company that every aspect of Irvine’s greater community is the same bland beige we have come to know and love throughout our years at school.

We have learned to ignore the uninteresting and unsightly lack of character of Irvine. Now with the quarter over, our eyes are pained with those torn-down orange groves and the perennial scaffolding for new construction. At least you know the vibrantly alive Los Angeles is just up the 405 freeway.

The greatest thing about L.A. is the nightlife, and as our faithful Orange County is still in the throes of becoming a people-friendly city, it has followed in its footsteps. The nightlife of both L.A. and the O.C. provide ample amounts of music venues, which have somehow managed to maintain their underground qualities while still being prime spots to see some great bands.

Celebrating half a century of providing breakthrough bands with a cozy spot, the Troubadour in West Hollywood allows bands to connect with their fans and shake hands at their merchandise table at the end of the lobby bar.

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3 December 2007: The Classroom is a Sonic Playground – Mix CD Liner Notes

Posted by Christina on March 12, 2009

img_1068I took a class called Audio Cultures and we discussed the different ways audio has progress through time as a form of media. For our final project we were to make a mix CD, placing songs with various requirements together on one disc. These are the liner notes from my CD.

The Classroom is a Sonic Playground: Mix CD Liner Notes

Musique Concrète:

1.       The Beatles – “Tomorrow Never Knows” – Revolver

Use of backwards guitar showcases the use of sound technology. Their engineer during Revolver, Geoff Emerick took John Lennon’s voice and put it through Leslie speaker, which is a particular sort of amplifier that can create the Doppler effect with audio put through it. Their engineer went into the circuitry of the speaker’s cabinet and re-recorded the vocals just as they came out as they were emitted by the speaker. This created a vibrato effect which coupled with Lennon’s vocals piercing in and out throughout the song. Also the vein of musique concrete, this particular song includes a backwards guitar solo, the effect also achieved by utilizing the Leslie speaker. This sort of effect was used through a large part of Revolver and features the psychedelic, Dalai Lama following Beatle.

References to Audio Technology:

2.      Sublime – “April 29, 1992 (Miami) – Sublime

This song not only makes a social statement concerning the corrupt nature of those who are meant to serve and protect and the society around them reacting to their supposed self-served injustice, but makes use of a different type of audio technology as well. Sublime utilizes the police radio and transmissions that must have been heard through the time of the riots. They use this technology to bring a deeper meaning and purpose to their song as a whole. They use the technology to further and strengthen the narrative throughout.

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3 December 2007: “Man, That’s What I Call A Colored Man”

Posted by Christina on March 12, 2009

pict0This piece was another critical inquiry assignment for the American Superheroes class. We were to talk about race in terms of The Incredible Hulk TV show and watched a particular episode in class. The title I chose for my paper came from a direct quote in the episode.

“Man, That’s What I Call A Colored Man.”

Initially, we may view David Banner’s character within The Incredible Hulk television program to represent that of the white colonizer, come to a wholly racially identified place. This place is obviously characterized as an example of the American black inner-city as a race and culture of the black population have been pushed aside by the white majority. They have created an area they can call their own where they work, live and breathe the streets they walk on and the town they keep alive and humming. At first glance, it’s the white male figure represented by Banner whom the outsider understands to have put these citizens-only found different from the rest by the color of their skin-in this place within the outskirts of a normalized society. However, the character of Banner is unique in that he is actually The Hulk and as a sort of superhero, has an alternate look on life, doesn’t buy into the racial norms the rest of society has forced upon the greater population and treats humanity as equal, being outcast himself by a mode of difference which makes him unlike the rest.

As Dyer remarks within his essay, we understand the white hero to have the right to colonize because his body is better as his masculinity coupled with the sheer fact that his skin is white showcases a superiority which places him on the humanity hierarchy. With this episode, “Like A Brother” from The Incredible Hulk television show, the black inner-city defines the space in which the white superior male has colonized. An outsider has entered the perimeter with intensions to take over and with Banner, we initially read him as a character who has come to somewhat vindictively enact his seemingly god-given right to colonize. However, as the episode progresses, Banner is an estranged version of the white male superior colonizer, although he does possess traits that showcase him as the outsider who has come to fix the problems by ways of his intellectual and moral superiority inherent to his white skin.

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