Thomas Beckwith

27 Articles

Death Match: Britney Spears

by Thom Beckwith, Executive Editor. 6 Comments

Considering how saddled with integrity Britney Spears is, do you really believe that Taylor Swift could ever rival her impact?

Progressives discuss military

by Thomas Beckwith, Executive Editor. Comments Off on Progressives discuss military

American activists will have to modify their relationship with soldiers if they hope to advance a progressive agenda, four panelists at the Supporting Troops from a Progressive Perspective panel said Saturday. This contentious relationship between peace advocates and the military is just one of several issues the group addressed, which also included the injustices of veterans’ medical care, the need for reform at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), and the complicated motives involved in joining the Armed Forces.

Senior cocktails a success

by Thom Beckwith, Executive Editor. 1 Comment

Over 600 University seniors converged on the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell last Saturday night to drink, dance and count the number of Sarah Palin costumes in the festively-dressed Halloween crowd. Following last year’s Senior Cocktail’s controversy—when some of the planned senior events were cancelled after students left alcohol bottles and drugs on the bus, and one student reportedly punched a bus driver—the Class of 2009 kicked off the year’s events with an incident-free evening.

Top 5 Depressing Albums for a Long, Dark, Cold Winter

by Rob Wohl, Liz Tung, Thom Beckwith, Arts Editors and Executive Editor. Comments Off on Top 5 Depressing Albums for a Long, Dark, Cold Winter

Hooray, it’s finally getting cold! I think we all know what this means — time to break out our bleakest music and curl up in a fetal position until May!

Block meal plan limits dining options

by Thomas Beckwith, Executive Editor. Comments Off on Block meal plan limits dining options

Recent changes to University meal plans have left many students with less money to spend on food, calculations of daily allotments reveal. Some students on financial aid, in particular, have encountered considerable difficulties in adjusting their budgets to the new “block plan” setup.

House broken

by Thom Beckwith, Executive Editor. 1 Comment

Upon moving into their woodframe houses this fall, seniors were greeted with their own kitchens, bathrooms, and full-sized beds—but some were also greeted with more unwelcome household features.

Outside the bubble: World Headlines

by Thom Beckwith, . Comments Off on Outside the bubble: World Headlines

University shuffles administration

by Thomas Beckwith, Execute Editor. 1 Comment

Several key posts in University administration have changed hands for the new school year, sources in North and South Colleges said Wednesday. Among the changes are a number of losses, some to other institutions, along with the introduction of a host of new faces.

Notes from Abroad: A London Diary

by Thom Beckwith, . Comments Off on Notes from Abroad: A London Diary

When I was ten years old, a good friend of mine lent me his Army ID for the weekend. His father had gone to Berlin, and had told him it was okay if he used it until he got back. He didn’t count on his son abusing the privilege. “If my dad finds out about this, I’m dead,” he said as he handed me the pass.

Notes from abroad: A London diary

by Thom Beckwith, . Comments Off on Notes from abroad: A London diary

I tend to avoid television these days, less out of a cranky Luddite’s inherent distrust of the media as a wannabe-intellectual’s uncompromising preference for books. Those few times when I do watch something—Scrubs, usually, or pirated clips from the Office—I tend to feel drained afterwards, sacked with the distinct impression that nothing was there to miss. But there are exceptions.

Notes from abroad: A London diary

by Thom Beckwith, . Comments Off on Notes from abroad: A London diary

Saturday night, two a.m., lost and alone in Dublin. Two of my friends are drinking in Temple Bar, where the music is loud and cellphones buzz in vain. I discover too late that my own cell isn’t working, thanks to an automated message that tells me, in a glacial news anchor’s voice, that I seem to have left the UK.

Notes from abroad: A London diary

by Thomas Beckwith, . Comments Off on Notes from abroad: A London diary

Belgium is cold. This is the first thought that occurs to me after I cross the English Channel. Not that the wine and the beer and the chocolate—which I ate with two friends in quaint holes-in-the-wall that shame all the shops in England—was the best I have ever had and the best I ever will have, perhaps, in all of my travels in Europe.

Critics starry-eyed for Basinger’s book

by Thom Beckwith, Arts Editor. Comments Off on Critics starry-eyed for Basinger’s book

Chair of the Film Studies Department Jeanine Basinger’s “The Star Machine,” examines the insular, heavily-commercial process that made and broke the careers of movie stars from the 1930s to the 1950s. The book illustrates the studio system’s effect through “the human factor”"including case studies of movie stars who were built up and knocked down by the earliest titans of pre-color Hollywood.

CD review: “Rise Above”

by Thom Beckwith, Arts Editor. Comments Off on CD review: “Rise Above”

Like many rock musicians, David Longstreth has always dabbled in quieter, gentler genres. His love of classical, primarily the voices of a well-tuned and professionally-trained chamber choir, has put him in august company—as the natural heir to Wolf Parade and Modest Mouse, among others. Thus, he can rest assured that what once would have made him eccentric is now a familiar technique.

Record review: Sunset Rubdown

by Thom Beckwith, Arts Editor. Comments Off on Record review: Sunset Rubdown

In the new Mecca of the Montreal music scene, Spencer Krug is an icon among standouts. As lead singer and synth-prog mastermind behind two of the strangest bands to garner followings in the last several years, he’s made a name for himself by fully embracing his adolescent impulses—big emotions in backbreaking songs, all tied together with the charming, slapdash poetry of a literary teenager plugging away on his Livejournal.

Yiddish lullabies inspire Bloom’s tales

by Thom Beckwith, Arts Editor. 1 Comment

When Amy Bloom ’75 reads to a gathered audience, she speaks so quickly her words seem to fly past the listener. Everyone in attendance knits their brow and ponders, and those with the best concentration fall right into her world. Those that do are in for a treat: “Away,” her new novel, is a vivid and captivating ride, a colorful portrait of early Yiddish theater that doesn’t skimp on startling plot twists and dense political commentary.

Bay ’87 screens “Transformers,” discusses post-Wes career

by Thom Beckwith, Arts Editor. Comments Off on Bay ’87 screens “Transformers,” discusses post-Wes career

Michael Bay ’87 gets to dream for a living. At least, that was his explanation for his Friday night ebullience, which inspired him to fly out to Middletown and personally introduce his summer blockbuster "Transformers" to a packed audience of sugar-charged 90s kids and raucously cheering adrenaline junkies.

Tiempo Libre jams through juicy tunes

by Thom Beckwith, Arts Editor. Comments Off on Tiempo Libre jams through juicy tunes

The setup at Crowell Concert Hall affords little room for revelry. Though a standing ovation might greet an exceptional performer, at many concerts a bevy of answered questions and a few polite claps are fitting ends to the night. Ushers in white and black patrol the empty aisles. A stray cough occasionally punctuates the music.

Wood cutting, Krazy Glue used in “Color Harmony” display

by Thom Beckwith, Arts Editor. Comments Off on Wood cutting, Krazy Glue used in “Color Harmony” display

What can one express with wood? An address, a manifesto? As a certified master printer and artisan of the Shin-hanga and Sosaku-hanga schools of Japanese printmaking, Visiting Artist in Art and East Asian Studies Keiji Shinohara has spent much of his life answering this question. This week, the Davison Arts Center opens a new gallery in celebration of the past dozen years of Shinohara’s work, a retrospective that chronicles his tenure at the University. "Color Harmony" runs through December.

CD review: Battles, “Mirrored”

by Thom Beckwith, Arts Editor. Comments Off on CD review: Battles, “Mirrored”

Math rock is dead. Such a statement may sound harsh, especially in reference to an underground genre that has barely found its footing, but it isn’t meant as an insult. After twenty years, the strongest descendants of Slint and Genesis have finally taken their spots in the indie and prog-rock canon.

Peace, love and music: a celebration of summer festivals

by Thom Beckwith, Arts Editor. Comments Off on Peace, love and music: a celebration of summer festivals

Lights dim over a sunlit central stage. The crowd hushes. From behind a wall of towering amplifiers and beat-up instruments, a lanky giant in creased white clothes emerges into a shower of golden light, his button-down billowing, to pick up a faded Stratocaster. He settles the strap on his collarbone and ambles up to the mike.

Film Series: ’06-’07

by Thom Beckwith, Andrea Domanick, Arts Editors. Comments Off on Film Series: ’06-’07

Editor’s Note: As prefrosh, we’re sure you heard all about the University’s renowned film program, including our weekly Film Series. Here are some of last year’s highlights and Wesleyan student favorites.

Best of Arts ’06-’07

by Thom Beckwith, Andrea Domanick, Arts Editors. Comments Off on Best of Arts ’06-’07

• Jessica Sanders ’99 screens her Academy Award-Nominated documentary After Innocence, featuring her interviews with seven exonerated ex-convicts.
• Pulitzer-Prize Winner Jhumpa Lahiri reads at the CFA, causing a stir when hundreds of fans are turned away from a sold-out reading.

Cansei de Ser Sexy

by Thom Beckwith, Arts Editor. Comments Off on Cansei de Ser Sexy

For music fans everywhere, the hallowed “band + band = band” equation has served for years as the simplest way to explain your latest obsession to your friends. Remember when you first discovered Joanna Newsom? “Devendra Banhart plus the Decemberists,” you told your friends, and they listened, despite the fact that your questionable math gave them no clearer picture of what they were in for than if you had spoken of her sound in clear-cut terms: strained and folksy, wordless fables.

Paul Brady ignores the “Whoa people”

by Thom Beckwith, Staff Writer. Comments Off on Paul Brady ignores the “Whoa people”

Fans of Irish folk music and modern guitar pop were in for a treat Friday night when Paul Brady, Irish singer-songwriter and personal favorite of Bob Dylan, performed a two-hour set to a packed audience in Crowell Concert Hall.

Baraka weaves poetry, politics, and music to address inequality

by Thom Beckwith, Staff Writer. 1 Comment

“Somebody blew up America,” read Amiri Baraka, speaking to a packed Crowell Concert Hall last Friday night. He and his seven-person world music ensemble, Blue Ark, performed two hours’ worth of spoken word and musical medleys, combining smooth jazz with Baraka’s incendiary poetry to form an aural collage that kept audience members mesmerized throughout the performance.

Review: Serena-Maneesh

by Thomas Beckwith, Contributing Writer. Comments Off on Review: Serena-Maneesh

There are only a few bands in the canon of indie rock that still inspire genuine awe: the Pixies, the Arcade Fire, and Pavement, to name three. The strangest of them all, though, is My Bloody Valentine.

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