Category Archives: Videos

How Was…The Artifacts Mini-Concert at the Tang?

Last night there was a spoken word event at the Tang; sadly, I couldn’t stay for the main event, but I caught the opening act: The Artifacts, one of Skidmore’s most talented student bands.  The Artifacts are Jonathan Wan ’12, Zoë Brecher ’12 and Leo Cancelmo ’12, three seniors with mad skills on their respective instruments (Jon on keyboards and vocals, Zoë on drums and vocals, Leo on guitar) and a sharp ear for catchy power pop tunes.  What a treat to hear their set!  I decided to forego the Tang’s ground level and watch the show from the balcony.

Here’s their opening number:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsyM4_LkGWw

And here are some pics!  If you want more of the Artifacts, here’s their lovely new single, “Be Someone,” on Bandcamp!

Hello, Tang!

A view from the top.

Leo shreds, others bob their heads.

SkidMolly: Fridays at Skidmore

Hi all!

First of all, congratulations to the Regular Decision admits!  I hope you’ll all consider visiting campus before the semester is over, either on your own or during an Accepted Candidate’s Day.  (Connect with other future Skiddies through the Skidmore 2016 Facebook community.)  When I went to an Accepted Candidate’s Day at Skidmore, it really solidified my feelings about where I wanted to go to school and what I wanted out of college; somewhere between the student panel, psychology professor Sheldon Solomon’s lecture, and the t-shirt that said “Creative Thought Matters” on the back, I had a gut feeling that Skidmore was the place for me.

Here’s a video I made last weekend detailing the INSANE NICE SPRING WEATHER and what all us Skid kids do when the sun comes out and temperatures finally climb above freezing:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXbHyTbmQZg

Today is Friday, a day close to my heart at Skidmore.  Here’s what you can see on a nice Skidmore Friday:

  • Big tour groups walking (veeeery sloooowwwly and attentively) around campus, led by enthusiastic student ambassadors.  Hi tourers!  If you see me, wave at me! I’ll wave back!
  • If it’s sunny, sunbathers abounding on the green.  Not to mention Frisbees.  And acoustic guitars.
  • A super busy and bustling Case Center: student markets, a senior art show in Case Gallery, people picking up packages in the post office, Saratoga Apple and the mini farmer’s market both selling their wares downstairs…
  • Students waiting for the bus (it comes every half hour, and it’s FREE) to go downtown to get iced coffee at Saratoga Coffee Traders, or take a slightly longer trip to Target/Wal Mart/the mall.  A little Forever 21 shopping trip before Friday’s social activities begin?  Indeed.
  • Athletic-looking individuals, done with classes for the week, trekking down to the sports center, clad in spandex and toting water bottles…yep, Fridays mean fitness for some folks!

As for me, I’m relaxing in front of the television (Food Network is on, of course) before I start getting into the weekend mindset.  Ahhh…

Got questions?  Ask!  As always, check out my Twitter and YouTube channel.  Happy weekend, everyone.

 

Skid Vids: Dance Department, Pulse, Weekend Update

Ello ello! How’s it going? I write to you feeling extremely ill!  The college plague has gotten me at last.  Every February, various kinds of colds, flus and bugs zoom around campus faster than a speeding text message.  It’s gruesome.  I’m overcoming it with a steady stream of tea and sweatpants pockets bulging with Ricolas.

For your Wednesday entertainment, might I suggest watching these Skidmore-related videos?  This first one has to do with our dance department.  Our dance program is really good; it’s conservatory-level training that students can still pair with other liberal arts studies.  (Like if Juilliard had a baby with Wesleyan.)  We get lots of cool guest choreographers and collaborators, students can take technique classes and choreograph their own pieces, and occasionally there’ll be a REALLY stellar dance concert like last semester’s, which was a collaboration between Skidmore’s orchestra and a bevy of Skidmore ballerinas.  Yep, that’s right: Swan Lake.  Here’s the rehearsal video.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ecD5hyCwPA

Next, here’s a video of a performance at the Tang Museum two years ago.  There are plenty of performing groups to join on campus — a capella groups, Japanese drumming, tap dancing, Irish dancing, gospel choir — but Pulse might be Skidmore’s most unique performers.  These clever percussionists drum on whatever they can find: recycling bins, trash cans, random metal objects.  And they’re really good at it!  This is not some lame toddler banging on a soup tureen!  Watch them in action at the ever-gorgeous Tang.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bg5TfZ14fI

Lastly, I started my own little video series (employing some Jenna Marbles-style editing) called Weekend Update.  I figure I might as well tell you what I’m up to myself, y’know, face-to-face, one-on-one, just me and you, having a one-sided conversation.  If this is successful, I’ll start answering questions with videos too.  So send me your questions!!!  And watch my vid.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttm8xr7tZ9I

Hope those who applied to Skidmore are surviving the long wait for decision letters.  It’s brutal.  Occupy yourself by reading the #StudentChat we did with the College of St. Rose; there are lots of tips and tricks and 140-character doodads.  There will be more to come on that front, too.  Toodle-ooo!

CTM: Beatlemore Skidmania and Atlas Sound at Zankel

What’s up folks?  It’s a beautiful day in Saratoga Springs and I’m gonna tell you all about a few rad musical happenings on campus.  First up is Beatlemore Skidmania, which happened last weekend.  Beatlemania is probably one of the most popular events of the year; my first two years here we had it in Filene, the semi-crappy old music building, but since 2010 it’s been in the gorgeously lit, higher-capacity Zankel Music Center.  This year was a doozy: nineteen musical acts playing over two hours worth of intense, energetic Beatles tunes.  All Beatlemore photos were plundered from Facebook.

This guy's version of "A Day in the Life" was insane.

This year the theme was “Beatles And Beyond” so anything from “Love Me Do” all the way to Wings and the Plastic Ono Band was fair game for the musicians.  Of the many talented acts onstage, I had a few favorites.  The Bandersnatchers, Skidmore’s only all-male a capella group, did a pleasant barbershop quartet-style rendition of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”

The Skidmore Sonneteers, singing John Lennon's "Real Love."

A few of my neighbors from last year pulled a crazy jazz version of “Blue Jay Way,” complete with saxophone harmonizer and a didgeridoo.  (Yes, a didgeridoo.  That’s what happens when you go abroad to Australia.)  A trio of first-year students played “Can’t Buy Me Love” with a reggae twist, and two lovely ladies, MaryLeigh Roohan and Carolyn Bottelier, performed “Eight Days A Week” with only a guitar and vocal harmonies and still had the audience hanging on their every note.

Carolyn and MaryLeigh, absolutely killing it.

The concert concluded with a sing-a-long “All You Need Is Love” and everyone went off humming Beatles tunes and babbling away about which band they liked the most.  Another successful Beatlemore Skidmania and — eek! — the last one for me as a Skid student.  Talk about bittersweet.

Then last night Zankel and SEC hosted Bradford Cox, the leader of Deerhunter, who did a solo show as Atlas Sound.  Atlas Sound is sort of the bedroom, laptop composer, introverted, introspective, ideally-heard-on-headphones version of Deerhunter (who came to Skidmore back in 2009).  A slew of bespectacled, plaid-clad Skid kids wriggled in their seats, waiting for the 7-foot-tall maestro to come onstage.  First up, though, were openers Laura Stevenson and the Cans.  I caught the tail end of their set and was very intrigued by Stevenson, who had impressive vocal cords.

Then came Cox, who filled the auditorium with ragged, mumbled vocals, layers and layers of looped sounds, weird bleeps and bloops, and guitar that sounded like violins and harpsichords and also sometimes just like a normal guitar.

His live versions of “Mona Lisa” and “Walkabout” almost trumped the studio versions.  Of course, Atlas Sound music is mostly beatless and atmospheric, so it definitely had a sopoforic effect on the audience.  One of my friends said the girl sitting in front of her was in a deep slumber halfway through the show.  I myself closed my eyes a few times.  But calling the Atlas Sound show “boring” is not quite right; it was relaxing to the point of hypnotizing, and sometimes, especially after the week before Thanksgiving, a relaxing show is exactly what you need.

Freaky, man.

I’m not sure if I’m breaking thousands of copyright laws by posting this, but here’s a sampler of the evening: it’s Cox opening his show by playing “Recent Bedroom.” Enjoy!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm1jQUUww7w

SkidMolly: The Insider’s Guide to Majoring in English at Skidmore

The professors are incredible

Caveat: I figured out I was going to be an English major around the time I started to read — reading and writing are my two major talents, besides being pretty good at Skee-Ball.  But my choice was solidified once sophomore year started and I got a sampling of how killer the English professors are here.  Class sizes are usually quite small (English classes have either a 15:1 or a 24:1 student-to-professor ratio) and that means professors have more time to give you individualized attention.  Each professor has office hours where you can go in and talk about whatever’s due soon, or just check in.  And these people aren’t just amazing thinkers — they’re published writers and experts in their respective fields.  My Ulysses seminar professor, Tom Lewis, has written and directed TV documentaries that have been nominated for Emmy awards; Linda Hall, with whom I took a cultural criticism writing class, has written for Vogue and New York magazine.  Next semester I’m taking the senior advanced fiction workshop with Steven Millhauser, who just had a story in the New Yorker.  Needless to say, you’ll be learning from the best here.

Get ready to read a lot — and a little bit of everything

Be prepared to read upwards of six or seven novels in a typical semester-long literature class.  Taking multiple English classes inevitably results in a hefty amount of reading per night — a few hundred pages a week, maybe — so staying on top of English work requires diligence and careful plotting.  Lucky for you, the courses offered each semester are quite diverse, from Milton to Willa Cather and everything in between.  I’ll go ahead and say there aren’t many writers, genres, eras, literary forms or literary movements that go overlooked.  Sample course titles for next spring: the Victorian Illustrated Book, Queer Fictions, the Wild(e) ’90s (that’s the 1890s of course), Environmental Journalism, Chekhov, American Gothic Fiction, Food Literacy.

Some of my reading this semester, Punk Planet book not included.

Oh, get ready to write too

The first big essay I ever wrote was my senior year of high school; it was a five-page comparison of Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights, and boy, did it stink.  “Get ready,” said my AP Lit teacher, “It’s going to be like this all the time in college.”  He was right!  There’s a lot of straight-up word hustling going on in English courses, but you won’t be assigned one-size-fits-all papers every time.  I’ve had to write everything from blog-style reading responses to 15-page research papers.  Right now my African-American Novels professor is all about the two-page assignments — long enough to get the point across but short enough to have to choose the right words and topic.  So be prepared for everything, including the 25 – 50 page capstone writing project your senior year, and don’t worry — you’ll have plenty of professors who will help you with style and grammar and all that tasty mumbo jumbo.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPR7_TBoXHA

^ Rick Moody reading at Skidmore’s Summer Writers Institute

Your future is going to be AMAZING!!!

Hmm.  That subtitle is a little heavy on the exclamation points, but still, it’s the truth.  If you decide to be an English major, you might get a lot of people either wrinkling their nose and telling you that you won’t get a job, or else assuming you want to be a teacher post-graduation.  I’m of the mind that the English major prepares you for all kinds of jobs because it teaches you how to communicate ideas.  Communicating ideas well happens to be a very useful vocational skill; plus, we’re all regressing from phone calls and meetings to emails and texts, so writing skills are essential.  Plus, Skidmore is a liberal arts school and encourages all kinds of academic exploration during undergrad, so don’t be shy about majoring in a subject for which you have a passion.

Four words: fruit and cheese platters

The English department brings amazing writers to campus for readings and Q&As, both internationally known authors like Lorrie Moore and Dave Eggers and home turf heroes like Daniel Swift and Greg Hrbek.  These department events are usually accompanied by the renowned Skidmore Catering fruit and cheese platter.  It is sumptuous.  Splendid.  The peak of luxury.  Perfectly ripe grapes, cellophane-tipped toothpicks, Muenster cubes AND cheddar cubes.  There’s nothing better than walking away from an Allan Gurganus reading with a swirling brain and a pocket full of cheese — that really sums up the English major experience for me.

Skid Vid: A Walk Across Campus

Hello all!  It was so warm out today that I saw a theater class rehearsing some sort of kinetic performance outside near the science building, so balmy that people put on shorts and lounged around on the green while a DJ…er…DJ’ed.  It was too hot to wear tights with dresses, and way too hot for winter coats.  I’m not complaining.  Winters here are cold and snowy, so I’ll take as much freaky global warming weather as I can get.

Here’s a video I made for you guys.  It’s basically a li’l story about walking from the gym back to campus at night.  Sounds dull, but it isn’t!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1An8MIkPYgA

Happy Wednesday! For those of you applying ED I to Skidmore, may the force be with your applications!

People Who Like Things and Do Things: SkidTV

Presenting the first installation of People Who Like Things and Do Things, in which I’ll be writing about clubs and organizations that happen to tickle my fancy.  First up is SkidTV, a club devoted devoted entirely to television-related student pursuits.

Turn any television at Skidmore to channel 16 and you’ll see SkidTV in all its glory.  Sometimes they play “Shave Talk,” sometimes they’ll replay a lecture on campus you might have missed, and in the wee hours of the morning, there’s usually a continuous shot of a lava lamp, globulating away to the tunes of WSPN, Skidmore’s radio station.

How to get involved in the club?  Attend SkidTV’s weekly meetings, learn how to use the camera equipment provided by media services (they have a green screen!) and come up with ideas for TV shows — tons of people have channeled their inner Aaron Sorkin or Matthew Weiner toward writing and directing their own television shows.

A classic SkidTV show, College is Hard, ran from 2007 to 2009 and features four of Skid’s funniest lads-slash-recent-grads, not to mention a theme song from YouTube superstar and onetime Class of ’11-er Julia Nunes.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alBbcaoFtPs

Sexiled, another ensemble comedy, deals with the social awkwardness of dorm life.  Rumor has it there’ll be more episodes coming out later this year.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUz-JpZE8G0

Rachel Segal-Sklar ’12, SkidTV’s chief editor (and the funny lady playing Irene in Sexiled) has this to say about the club: “It’s a fabulous opportunity for anyone who wants to produce or be involved in TV.  You get free reign to do pretty much whatever you want and it’s a ton of fun.”  There’s also a practical side.  “It helped me get internships and figure out what I want to do in life,” she says.

Peep SkidTV’s YouTube channel here.

(By the way, I was in an episode of College Is Hard – look for me in “The Justice” at 3:11! I’m the chick who’s afraid of a mouse.)

Skid Vid: Skidmore Men’s Soccer

A quick rundown of Skidmore sports: there are 19 official teams (riding, tennis, swimming & diving, etc.) and, for those who’d prefer dialing down the athletic intensity, there are all kinds of club and intramural teams.  We’re Division 3, we play in the Liberty League, and our mascot is a very friendly Thoroughbred horse.  Sports are fun.  Yesterday I saw a poster for Skidmore Quidditch, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a full Quidditch team going by the end of this semester, Quaffles and Beaters and all.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEUDEaR_2G8

I took this video from last Tuesday’s men’s soccer game against Cazenovia.  We lost 1-0 but it’s only the beginning of the season.  Here are some things I like to yell at soccer games:

“WOOOOOOO!” “YEAH SKIDMORE!” “GO SKIIIIIIIIIID!”

I may be a bit athletically challenged (it’s been a long time since high school lacrosse, and a really long time since that one champion season of second-grade softball) but you won’t find anyone louder in the cheering section.  Listen close in the video, you might hear a vuvuzela or two.