Mapping Out The Summer

By: Brennan Carley, Taylor Cavallo, Dan Siering, & Chris Marino

This is it, folks, we’re in the home stretch. Summer is almost within our grasps. We’ve been so consumed with finals and projects that it’s entirely possible that pop culture goings on have completely missed our radar. The new season of Game of Thrones is already several episodes deep, but if you’ve been keeping up with your studies, it’s likely you haven’t been keeping up with the Lannisters. Similarly, new albums by Regina Spektor and Fiona Apple have been-or are about to be-released, perfect examples of beach-ready jams. With that, the Scene presents its definitive list of pop-culture musts, paired with the perfect situations. Looking for a good movie to watch on a rainy day? Find out the answer to that and more after the jump.

Books To Catch Up On During Your Free Time

Leisure reading: a concept that doesn’t seem possible during the semester. With all the free time in the world (and beach lounging), the summer is a perfect time to pick up those books you’ve been waiting to read but didn’t have time to before. With the popularity of the TV show, the book series Game of Thrones would be tempting, but with all this free time, there’s also time to be unique. Classics like Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment could easily be completed, given the three months off from school, and that it is a book that needs to be read at some point during one’s life. Yet more contemporary authors such as Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace, with their lyric prose and psychologically-based narratives, are great options for summer reading. Try Franzen’s Freedom or Wallace’s essay collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.

Upcoming Movies To See In Theaters

While most summer activities are dedicated to embracing favorable weather conditions and taking advantage of the great outdoors, taking a break from the hot weather and going to the local movie theater with a friend or loved one sometimes is a good change of pace. With a combination of genre and wide range of budget, the summer movie season offers options for every type of movie outing. For those looking for a first date movie, perhaps Rock of Ages, the popular Broadway ’80s rock romance. Nothing will break the ice better than watching a long-haired Tom Cruise crooning on stage as rocker Stacee Jaxx. Guys looking for a way to strengthen those ever-important bromance bonds, consider Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the much anticipated horror historical book adaptation that depicts the famous president as a fierce slayer of the living dead. As for ladies’ night, check out Bel Ami, an upper-class scandalous romance that stars Robert Pattinson as the charming writer Guy de Maupassant.

What To Listen To At Your Internship

Maybe you’re stuck at work, plugging numbers into a computer or doing some other mindless task that requires only minimal attention. If your supervisor lets you listen to music on the job-consider yourself lucky-there’s nothing better than streaming WNYE’s stellar alternative morning show The Alternate Side on your computer. The program repeats its three-hour block throughout the day and offers awesome pick-me-ups like Morissey Mondays (a block of The Smiths? Color me intrigued) but more excitingly, plays smaller bands that might not normally get mainstream airplay. Yesterday the show played Sleigh Bells’ “Crush” and Washed Out’s “Eyes Be Closed” in the same block of programming, alongside Radiohead’s “I Might Be Wrong” and Arcade Fire’s “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” It also plays little-heard tracks like 2008’s NERD-Julian Casablancas (he of The Strokes fame)-Santigold collaboration “My Drive Thru.” So if you’re having a crappy Monday in the office inputting data, or are wasting away the hours on a Friday afternoon waiting for quitting time, stream The Alternate Side to make it all better.

Television Series To Start Watching

In the days leading up to Easter break, my roommates incessantly told me to watch Game of Thrones. My television focus was typically limited to Modern Family and The Office (due to the heavy workload of this time of year)-however, they finally got to me, and I decided to take an hour out of my schedule to watch the series’ first episode. This one-hour excursion into the world of the Seven Kingdoms turned into a two-day voyage from Winterfell to King’s Landing and the ominous Wall. Saying I was “hooked” would be an understatement.

HBO has done a fantastic job of bringing George R. R. Martin’s fantasy to life through perfect casting, an amazing depiction of the novels’ plots, and utilizing just the right amount of climactic surprise. Watching as Tyrion, the imp, uses his wit to position himself near the Iron Throne, or Ned Stark tries to secure justice in the corruption outside of the North, each episode leaves you captivated until the next week. Also, try not to instantly hate Joffrey Baratheon. I dare you.

Catching up to the start of the second season was the easy part. The hard part is now being forced to wait every week for the next episode. Do beware, though. Winter is coming….

A Movie To Watch On A Rainy Day

Much to the dismay, the summer season doesn’t bring flawless weather and cloudless skies every day. There will inevitably be those times that Mother Nature will flex her muscles and bring us rainy days. These days, however, give us the perfect excuse to settle ourselves on the couch, feast on microwavable meals, and indulge in some movie that we’ve been yearning to watch. If you find yourself searching for a cinematic adventure on a damp day, consider catching up on some of last year’s best. If you’re looking to match up your attitude with the dreary outside conditions, The Descendants, the stirring family drama starring a very fatherly George Clooney, is a perfect choice that seemed to be passed up by many college-goers. If you’re one who looks for a pick-me-up during a drizzly afternoon, Our Idiot Brother, an underrated family comedy starring the likes of Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, and Zooey Deschanel, is just the flick to lift your spirits.

Albums To Listen To When Driving To The Beach

Driving to the beach is a staple of a summer vacation for many of us. The playlist in the car at this moment is obviously crucial, as the tone of the ride depends on it. While you can never go wrong with the classic mix CD, which provides versatility and personality in ways that an album doesn’t, there is also something special about listening to an entire album and having that be the soundtrack to your summer. Save the party songs for the mix CD. Regina Spektor’s new album What We Saw From the Cheap Seats, set to release on May 29 is timed perfectly for summer. Spektor’s unique voice and soothing melodies are a great and relaxed option for a summer soundtrack, especially while driving to the beach with the top down. Also, Fiona Apple’s new album, set to release in June is worth a listen, as it will hopefully provide more of what we love from the alternative singer-soulful jams perfect for summer nights.



May 3, 2012