Monthly Archives: December 2012

Top 5 Indie Albums of 2012

1199911408@GossamerPassionPit_Album_Artwork.png_GossamerPassionPit_Album_Artwork Parker Dunaway ’15

1. Passion Pit – Gossamer

Passion Pit’s sophomore album brings to light Passion Pit’s true ability. Their preceding album, Manners, really set them up for success, and they ran with it, putting out an energy-packed, cohesive, exciting, vibrant album. Gossamer easily grabs the number one spot for 2012.

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2.Jack White – Blunderbuss

Jack White’s first real attempt at a solo career, Blunderbuss, is amazing. Jack White, who graces Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists list, has performed in many bands most notably the White Stripes and the Raconteurs. Blunderbuss is a great culmination of all the musical endeavors he has pursued. A great album, from a great musician, deserving of the number two spot.

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3. Best Coast – The Only Place

Although Best Coast’s previous album, Crazy For You, was good, The Only Place earns the number three place for its stark realization and improvement on the issue in the last album. In The Only Place, Best Coast exhibits all the best features of the mostly female surf pop group with great poise driven with a more ‘hi-fi’ and crisp quality in their recording. The album is arranged so that listeners want to keep listening, so that they can’t get enough.

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4. Deftones – Koi No Yokan

Deftones receive high marks for their new album, Koi No Yokan. The album consists of a slew of very dynamic songs that are reminiscent of past albums, while maintaining that the band is traveling in a different direction as compared to previous releases. Maybe it has something to do with their new bassist, but Deftones have put out an album that screams… well… ‘Deftones!’ and simultaneously have created something entirely new.

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5.Purity Ring – Shrines

Purity Ring rounds out the list at number five with their album Shrines. This electronic music duo shines with Shrines. The group reached top charts in both the US and the UK for this album. Shrines is a great example of what electronic music has evolved into—something that doesn’t need obnoxious amount of bass to be considered good electronic music.

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A Message From Brinkley Week Chairman

Tarun Sharma ’15

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I’m pleased to announce that during Brinkley Week we reached 39% student giving participation and collected over $7500 in gifts that will go towards the Hampden-Sydney Fund–those are both records for the Student Giving Campaign. This campaign has been a rousing success, and it’s all because of our great volunteers. Our guys were out there knocking on doors and talking about giving to Hampden-Sydney. They called their friends, asked their teammates, fraternity brothers, and even courageously asked folks they didn’t know about giving whatever they could to Hampden-Sydney. I especially want to thank the Brinkley Week Board—Connor Rund ’13, Jack Cantlay ’13, Khobi Williamson ’14, Brandon Long ’14, Peter Dooley ’15, and RM Pfeiff ’16—each of them was indispensable to this campaign.
The Senate as a whole deserves to be commended for their work on this campaign. They paved the way for this campaign to happen by allowing us to incorporate Brinkley Week with the long-standing tradition of Macon Week. However, Fred Antione, Sydney Henriques, and Kelly Puls warrant special recognition. I appreciate their help.
The Senate’s unanimous vote to let the week of the Macon Game be known as Brinkley Week united Student Government around this common goal of bettering Hampden-Sydney. But it wasn’t just the students. From the top down, our administrative staff made this a campus-wide priority. I’ve only been on the Hill for a short time now, but I can’t remember this campus being so united surrounding such a new idea. We appreciate all of the support.
I’d also like to thank the Publications staff–Tommy Shomo, Kevin Tuck, and Kevin Kirsche. They did a fantastic job designing all of our promotional materials–from posters to the shirt design. I appreciate all of the time that they put in to ensure that our campaign looked as good as it sounded.
Finally, I’d like to thank the Students. We are so very thankful for all the support we’ve received over the past couple of months. Our message of consistently giving what you can to the College seemed to resonate with the primary beneficiaries of these gifts–students. We set out to get this message out to our student body, and thanks to all of you who gave or just took the time to listen, it’s clear that we achieved just that.

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A November Brotherhood

Ken Woodley ’79

News of the deplorable Election Night racial incident at Hampden-Sydney College was difficult to believe. No, I told myself, something this terrible could not possibly happen at H-SC, my alma mater.
But it did.
President Obama wins reelection and a large group of students gathers outside the Minority Student Union on fraternity circle, setting off fireworks, throwing bottles, some shouting racial epithets at the MSU men, and threatening them with physical violence, according to an email from H-SC president Dr. Christopher B. Howard to the Hampden-Sydney community.
That is not the Hampden-Sydney College that I know and for a very good reason. It is not Hampden-Sydney College. The actions of a small percentage of any group do not define the group. The actions perpetrated on Election Night defined the perpetrators. Each now faces the disciplinary consequences of their actions, but also the opportunity to re-write their definition in the weeks and years ahead of them. Let us hope they choose the path of personal redemption.
The College cannot and will not imagine it away, pretend it never happened. As much as one might prefer not reporting such news in hopes of helping it pass quickly, and perhaps unnoticed by many, responding forthrightly and effectively is the only genuine way forward. And that is what the H-SC family is in the process of doing, embracing a way to grow stronger and closer as a consequence of the Election Night incident.
A suggestion offered to the College by one of the alumni is creation of what would be called The November Brotherhood, a student organization, a kind of all-are-welcome “fraternity” that each year would pursue some project or event aimed at promoting racial understanding, reconciliation, and brotherhood on the Hampden-Sydney College campus. A goal that would be achieved, in no small way, simply by their joining together in the pursuit of such a healing outcome, the ripples of their fellowship reaching out through the campus.
The name—The November Brotherhood—is taken from the fact that Tuesday night’s incident took place in November, but the idea goes much deeper than that. November is the month of election—local, state and federal elections that require people to make choices: whether or not to participate at all and, if so, in support of what policy directions and for what reasons, and, importantly, to peacefully accept the choices made by others.
But November and its elections go even deeper than that, symbolically and literally. November is the month that the light we share in this world becomes smaller and darkness sprawls. November is the month that tilts us all away from the light and its warmth into the cold and dark until Daylight Saving Time returns in the spring.
The world, however, offers darkness in different forms, and cold takes other shapes than the simple movement of a season. Hatred, intolerance, racism and bigotry are steeped in darkness, riven with deep-freezing and their season can daily dominate the lives that give into them.
Each day we arise becomes Election Day. Every morning we face the choice of which path we elect to take—toward the light of understanding or the lightless abyss of intolerance.
Fortunately, light and warmth are not simply defined by the calendar, either. Light, too, takes different forms, warmth also adopting other shapes.
Our own form.
Our own shape.
The November Brotherhood would be founded on choosing light over darkness, and human warmth over callous inhuman cold. Founded on electing to share that light and warmth on the H-SC campus with one another, and from the H-SC campus into the world.
A world that also needs November Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods.
Much hangs in the balance.
There is darkness and light in each of us.
Warmth and cold, too.
We bring them with us wherever we go, onto a college campus, to work, into our smallest and greatest acts each day.
All of us face daily elections, not just the students at Hampden-Sydney College.
When we feel our season falling down, let’s hold on to the light, give birth to its ascendance and transcendence no matter what calendars, or other people, may say.
November is the month when it becomes clear that winter is next, no matter what.
But that’s only outside in the world of nature.
Inside, within the world of our human nature, flawed though it is, we are able to resist such seasonal inevitabilities and elect the season of our choice, becoming that season for ourselves and for everyone around us.
To choose well, to choose best, is our great responsibility.

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The War of 1812: 200 Years Later

Joe Lantagne ’16

The War of 1812 is often overlooked in history books as a minor war, but in reality it had far reaching consequences. Professor Pilkington and Professor Barrus presented a history of the war with Professor Pilkington walking the audience through the war and Professor Barrus discussing the far-reaching consequences of the war.

Professor Pilkington opened the presentation with a history of the war. The war started due to tensions flared from British boarding American trade ships and forcibly taking American citizens (believed to be British deserters) in order to help them in their war against Napoleon. The Senate declared war against the British in 1812, one of five total wars officially called by Congress, and what followed was a disorganized campaign into Canada, which resulted in the American troops being forced into the defensive. Washington D.C. was burned during the war, but the British troops who burned the capital were defeated in Baltimore. Eventually a peace was brokered in Ghent, Belgium. But before the news of the treaty came to American soil, Andrew Jackson had an amazing victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

The Treaty of Ghent may have made a peace, but it did not change anything. The basic terms of the treaty were that everything went back to the ‘status quo.’ The grievances that caused the war were not addressed at all. So why did this war matter at all? Professor Barrus offered an interesting argument. The war actually shaped American foreign policy and domestic policy in years to come. Firstly, the war solidified America as an independent nation. Until this war the world thought America would never last, but the new country just stood up to one of the world’s major powers at the time and fought to a stalemate. Next, the new vigor that American citizens got from this war encouraged growth towards the West sparking a war with Mexico and can ultimately be extrapolated as a cause for the Civil War. Also, Britain realized that America was going to stay in the world, so the two nations learned to start getting along. The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 is a result of this war. The policy was purely American, but was actually an agreement with Britain that European powers should stop interfering with the Western Hemisphere. The British Royal Navy, the largest navy in the world at the time, actually largely enforced the policy.

In the end, this little forgotten war did more for our nation than most realize. It helped give our nation a boost at a much-needed time in our history and helped pave the way for America to become one of the most important countries in the modern world.

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2012’s 5 Best Rap Songs

asap-rocky-goldie Ned Belliveau ’14

1. Goldie-A$AP Rocky
A pounding catchy beat? Check. Excellent lyrics with even better delivery? Check. A unique sound? Check. Yes, A$AP Rocky’s “Goldie” has it all. This Harlem-based rapper exploded onto the rap scene in 2012 and “Goldie” is the reason why. With subtle shout outs to other rappers (“Cristal by the cases/wait hold up that was racist”), superb wordplay (“Yes I’m the s**t, tell me do it stink?”), and trademark swagger (“You could call me Billy Gates, got a crib in every state), it hits all the high notes and then some. It leaves popular rapper’s music (looking at you 2 Chainz) choking in its dust.

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2. Just What I Am- Kid Cudi (feat. King Chip)
Kid Cudi is back. That is all that has to be said about the first single from his upcoming album. The personally produced beat is reminiscent of his best work on his popular Man on the Moon albums and the guest verse by King Chip perfectly sets the stage for Cudi. When he does begin rapping, you can tell he has been through a lot. His verse is all about his well-known struggles with addiction and depression (“Whatever, that man ain’t wearing these leather pants/I diagnose my damn self, these damn pills ain’t working fam/In my spare time, punching walls, f***ing up my hand”). It’s poignant subject matter for a rapper that has never been afraid to be open with his internal struggles.

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3. Thrift Shop-Macklemore
Sometimes a rap song is good because it perfectly embodies the personality of the rapper. Thrift Shop, by Seattle area rapper Macklemore, is one of those songs. It is a song about picking up clothes at a secondhand store, but it fits who Macklemore is so well that you barely notice. The beat is irreverent, the bridge is ridiculous and the verses make numerous jokes, but you can’t help tapping your foot and hitting replay repeatedly.

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4. The Recipe-Kendrick Lamar (feat. Dr. Dre)
Kendrick Lamar, rap’s newest star, delivers his best rhymes over a Dr. Dre-produced track that highlights the greatest parts of the rapper’s home state of California: women, weed, and weather. Lamar’s verses are particularly well done, and his flow matches the beat perfectly and is articulate. This is the crown jewel from Lamar’s debut album and lays a foundation down for future success.
5. Rella-OFWGKTA
The eccentric rap group’s best track from their second mixtape hits all the right notes, from the odd beat to the group’s trademark unapologetic lyrics. Hodgy Beats verse is excellent, Domo Genesis delivers a superb line about the group’s new found fame: “N****s tryna figure out, but all I hear in my interviews/Is why this so cool? You n****s are so unusual.” Then Tyler, The Creator and the strongest rapper of the collective, delivers one of his greatest verses with his trademark flow. The song comes together perfectly and is without question one of the best tracks of 2012.

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Swimming Wins One Meet, Places 5th in Another

Mason Watkins ’15

In their third and fourth meet, the Hampden-Sydney swimming team took first place and fifth place respectively.

Their forth meet, which occurred on November 12 against two other schools, Davis & Elkins and Hollins University, saw the Hampden-Sydney swimming team secure a convincing first place victory with a score of 126-34. Led by senior Ke Shang and freshmen Alton Brieske, Daniel Moyers and Andy Snow, the Tigers took first place in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:49:78. The 50 freestyle proved to be another strong performance as freshman Treavor Hartwell took first place, followed by Andy Snow in second and Lee Ayscue in third. Excluding the 500 freestyle, the Tigers grabbed first place in every (male) event. Moyers swam HSC’s fastest 100 yard fly for the season at 1:08:03 and Brieske the fastest in the 200 yard IM at 2:17:81.

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Ke Shang has been a leader for the swim team since its inception last year

   In a two-day event hosted by Randolph-Macon, the Hampden-Sydney swimming team came in fifth place out of the seven teams invited. With a score of 323.5, the Tigers came within 17 points of fourth place West Virginia University-Tech and 27.5 points of third place Marymount University. Randolph-Macon finished in second place while swimming powerhouse Washington & Lee took a dominating first place spot. While the Tigers did not grab any first place finishes throughout the meet, they did record a number of season best times. Shang recorded a new season best for the Tigers in both the 100 yard backstroke and 200 yard butterfly. Snow also recorded a number of season bests, swimming a 53.82 in the 100 yard freestyle and a 2:03:37 in the 200 yard freestyle.

            Shang has been very optimistic about the future of the Hampden-Sydney swimming team since it was founded only one year ago. Many steps have been made to insure that the swimming department continues to grow. On December 14, three-time Olympic champion (1992 & 1996) and former record-holder Jeff Rouse will come to HSC to meet and have dinner with the swimming team. Rouse will be accompanied by his very own gold medals. When talking about the visit, Shang said that it’s “a BIG event for us. Not many schools have a chance like that!” Not only is the school organizing events like this for the swim team but the decision has also been made to ‘reinvent’ the pool. Accompanied by swim team members themselves, the school will paint the floor of the pool and its surrounding walls in garnet and gray.

            The Tigers will compete again on Friday, December 7 at Greensboro. Friday’s meet will be the last meet of the year for the swim team.

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Hairy Month of Movember

Sydney Henriques ’15

From its humble beginning in 2003 with thirty members, Movember has grown to become a united force of 854,288 members, raising $299 million dollars for cancer research thus far. The cause for Movember is to raise informational support for prostate cancer and men’s health in general. The movement has formal campaigns in the countries of Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, England, South Africa, Ireland, Spain, and that’s just to name a few. Most special, it has found its home here at Hampden-Sydney College thanks to the strong willed efforts of Senior Thomas Ewing.
Ewing started it his freshman year and has done an excellent job throughout his time here. Ewing started his involvement in Movember during his Senior year of high school when a teacher gave him some information about it. Ewing stated that the participation has been growing each year since its start here, and that the donations have always been big. This year, the campaign was able to raise a whopping $843. Dean Ramsey and Ewing had gotten together before the campaign started to set a goal for this year, and that goal was to raise as much as the past three years accumulated, $1,500. They knew this was a big goal, but the campaign did well at passing the halfway mark. Of the funds that are allocated to programs in the United States, 82.3% goes to programs in support of prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. 67.2% to Movember’s men’s health partners, 37.3% went to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, 29.9% to the LIVESTRONG Foundation, and 15.11% has been given to programs that are run by the Movember Foundation. It’s great that Hampden-Sydney has been able to contribute to this worldwide initiative that is growing stronger each year in support of men’s health awareness.
Movember is especially relevant to our community, as Ewing says, “We are an all-male school, and that’s a perfect environment to promote prostate awareness and men’s health.” After all, who better to reach out to in order to promote the awareness than the target audience? When talking to experienced mustache aficionado, Parker Dunaway ‘15, he expressed to me his positive experiences of Movember. Parker explained how when friends and family see his mustache he has to explain about Movember and its cause—which is exactly what Movember is about: expressing the cause. “The more people that we can get to wear mustaches during Movember, the more support we can gain for prostate cancer awareness”. As Parker phrased it, “it is our ribbon.” He was also very excited about Movember of next year and told me that he intends on participating again.
This has been a four yearlong campaign here at Hampden-Sydney, with this year being the last year that Ewing will lead the campaign. He, as well as many of us here at Hampden-Sydney, hope to see the campaign continue strong, and therefore we will need someone to take over the initiative. So if you are interested in helping spread the awareness for men’s health and prostate cancer, please feel free to contact Thomas Ewing to learn more about the cause, and visit the Movember website for more information.

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