The Signal

EDITORIAL: Social Media is Killing Us

Two intertwined things rule modern society: instant gratification and social media. They work well together. One feeds the other and it creates this endless cycle of harm, largely in the way these two things have reshaped how our — sadly digitalized — society functions. Social media is not designed as a place to host conversations; instead, it exists as an enormous digital chopping block where those with any opinions or actions deemed “wrong” are publicly crucified by masses of anonymous, invis

‘No Time To Die’ review: A bold, beautiful send-off to Craig’s James Bond

With over a nearly 60-year career on film, the character of James Bond has found himself in numerous lethal situations and always seems to wander out of them, dusting off his jacket and offering a cocky sort of grin for the viewer; his invincibility has always seemed a sure thing. The franchise is too enormous to ever feel like the titular character is in any real, legitimate danger. But, despite its title, “No Time To Die” is a film that sought absolute conclusions for its main characters, som

‘Dearly Beloved’ review: Daughtry makes explosive return to roots

After a three-year break since the band’s latest album, “Cage To Rattle,” Daughtry finally returns with a new studio album after a slew of singles released throughout the duration of the pandemic: “Dearly Beloved.” This, the band’s sixth record, is also the first record the group has ever released independent of a record label, with the band’s other five albums being released by RCA Records. Since Chris Daughtry rose to prominence on American Idol in 2006 — where he somehow finished fourth — hi

Jeremy Piven: ‘We’re All Storytellers’

Jeremy Piven, the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actor, was first pulled onto the stage and into the world of acting at a young age, through his parents’ theatre company. “I was very lucky and I was privileged and let me explain that privilege. We were technically — on paper — living below the poverty line, and yet I was incredibly rich because I was allowed to go on stage and create and improvise,” Piven said. “My parents had this theatre called the Piven Theatre, which still exists. And

‘Sob Rock’ Review: John Mayer’s latest album cements his legend

The great thing about music — and the obnoxious thing about music criticism — is that the true success of a song is not measured in tracks streamed or sold, but in a song or album’s ability to evoke emotion. And the wonderfully difficult thing about reviewing any work of art is that every listener will feel something different, every song will impact the members of its audience in different ways and at different levels. Analytically — emotion and feeling to the side — Sob Rock is a thing of exc

A Q&A with David Cook: ‘this record is about hope’

David Cook rose to stardom as a contestant on the seventh season of “American Idol,” a singer with incredible range and compelling versatility that was clear from his initial audition with “Livin’ on a Prayer,” by Bon Jovi to his finale performance of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” By U2. Following his win in 2008, Cook promptly released a self-titled record full of soaring rock ‘n’ roll and driving guitars, a record that landed several songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Sinc

Q&A with The Imaginaries: ‘music called us’

As a culmination of independent solo music careers filled with three studio albums apiece, tours, gigs and song placements all over television and film comes The Imaginaries, a husband-wife duo that combines the talents of Maggie McClure and Shane Henry in a bluesy, dramatic debut album. Though the pair have been writing and playing together for years, the idea of a collaborative album first came into play when they travelled to Muscle Shoals, Ala., to take part in producer John Cuniberti’s “Th

A Q&A with Five For Fighting: ‘I haven’t written my best song yet’

Everyone may not be familiar with the name Five For Fighting, but the song “100 Years,” one of the band’s biggest hits, has been a familiar staple since its release in 2004. John Ondrasik, also known as Five For Fighting, released his first album “Message For Albert” in 1997, followed by 2000’s “America Town,” which skyrocketed Ondrasik’s career with the groundbreaking single “Superman (It’s Not Easy).” Today, Ondrasik has released a total of six studio albums, earning a Grammy nomination for

‘OK Orchestra’ Review: AJR has never been this strong

The exuberance, vitality and storied lyrics of Broadway. The layers, jazz and funk of a 1930s big-band orchestra. Enormous sounds and themes so specific that they are automatically personalized. All melded together and wrapped up with drum pads, synthesizers and driving beats to make AJR’s latest creation: “OK Orchestra.” Stumbling onto a random Apple Music suggested album — “Neotheater” — several weeks ago led me to an unexpected goldmine. From that album’s first track, “Next Up Forever,” I

How David Ross Lawn is ‘making it’ as a professional musician

David Ross Lawn first set foot on his musical journey in Scotland at the age of nine, when his mother presented him with a miniature keyboard. Sitting in front of the TV without an ounce of musical education in his veins, Lawn found that, without understanding what he was doing, he was able to translate the music he was hearing on the screen into melodies (albeit with only one finger) on his toy keyboard. Any musician can train his or her ear, over time, to more quickly identify the specific no

An interview with President Foster: fall semester versus spring preparedness

The Signal interviewed President Kathryn Foster, Provost Jeffrey Osborn, Vice President for Operations Sharon Blanton and Vice President for Student Affairs Sean Stallings on Jan. 27 in a candid discussion of the College’s Spring 2021 plans. As of August 6, 2020, the United States was approaching 5 million cases of Covid-19, with a total death count of about 160,000 — numbers that cannot be described as small or insignificant. As of today, February 3, 2021, the U.S. has reported more than 26 mi

Weezer partially evolves with ‘OK Human’

Since the pandemic put a seemingly indefinite pause on our lives all the way back in March of 2020, surprise quarantine albums have become something of a trend, a trend notably lorded over by Taylor Swift, with almost back to back releases of albums that explored a very different, and very new aspect of her musical journey, with the releases of “Folklore,” and “Evermore.” The Killers also dropped their latest album, “Imploding the Mirage,” during quarantine, another chart-topping record that ha

‘Mandalorian’ Season 2 recaptures the essence of ‘Star Wars’

Warning: the following contains spoilers for the Season 2 finale of “The Mandalorian.” Ever since Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012, “Star Wars” has largely been marked by a build up of excitement, followed — almost always — by a crushing letdown. With “The Mandalorian,” Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have recaptured the very essence of “Star Wars,” telling their story with the kind of love and passion that was so sorely lacking in the Sequel Trilogy. Throughout this second season, which wr

College decides against ungraded option, extends withdrawal period

After a challenging semester spent online in the midst of a raging pandemic, the College, despite a Change.org petition that has garnered nearly 2,000 signatures, reaffirmed its position today against an ungraded option for the fall 2020 semester. Spurred by calls from students to reconsider this policy, the Steering Committee instructed the Committee on Academic Programs (CAP) to review the potential for another ungraded policy, similar to that which was implemented in the spring 2020 semester

‘Alex Rider:’ a pioneer of YA book adaptations

“Alex Rider,” The IMDb TV adaptation of the famed book series written by Anthony Horowitz, has just been made available to stream in the US through Amazon Prime Video. I’ve been a fan of “Alex Rider,” the British teenage superspy, for years, waiting excitedly for the latest release in the series, each of which enraptures readers with driving intensity and constant excitement. When I had heard that they were doing a TV adaptation of the books, I was, at first, skeptical. It was probably because

TCNJ Alumni In The Arts: Holly Black

Holly Black is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author. She is best known for penning, alongside Tony DiTerlizzi, “The Spiderwick Chronicles” — a renowned children’s fantasy series that began in 2003 and was adapted into a film by the same name, which was released in 2008. She has received a Newbery Honor Award, a Nebula Award and a Mythopoeic Award for her work over the years. Black has since released dozens of other novels, exploring fantasy worlds full of magic and faeries. Though she no

What we’re watching on Netflix: ‘Schitt’s Creek’

“Schitt’s Creek” recently wrapped its sixth and final season on the highest possible note, sweeping at the Emmy Awards and trending for a significant stretch of time on Netflix. I’d been aware of the show for years, hearing lauded mention of the CBC sitcom from friends, but I never really paid any attention to the show until Netflix offered it as a suggestion. So I began another rapid-fire, quarantine-style binge, blowing through all six seasons and loving every second of it. “Schitt’s Creek”

America is saying something; we have to listen

In the days and weeks leading up to what has become one of the most contentious presidential races in modern American history, a wide variety of different polls showed, both nationally and at the state levels, Joe Biden with a tangible lead over the incumbent President Trump. Even after pollsters accounted for the potential errors that lead to their miscalculation in 2016, many Democrats were under the impression that Nov. 3 could very well have marked a historic, landslide victory for Biden.

Entertainers, it’s not a sin to use your voices

The arts make up a big part of my life. I am an avid and voracious reader, music-listener, and TV watcher. I live for behind-the-scenes footage, film documentaries and “making-of” clips about albums and movies alike. I pay attention to my favorite entertainers and performers. I listen to what they say. And I am not alone in that. The influence of “celebrities,” whether they are musicians or actors, has been compounded by the constantly growing prevalence of social media. And that influence has

‘Letter To You,’ a simple, meaningful revival of the E-Street Band

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that everyone who calls the Garden State home has, at the very least, heard of “The Boss,” Bruce Springsteen. And now, the Boss is back — though he’s definitely a bit different. He has always represented a rare kind of musical tenacity, releasing his first studio album “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.,” with the E-Street Band back in 1973 — the album that elevated the Asbury Park native to fame, lifting him and his guitar out from the back corner of the Ston
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