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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Avenue

Florida Alligator

R.E.M. deliver impressive show, prove they can still rock

"We are young despite the years we are concern/ We are hope despite the times." So sings Michael Stipe on R.E.M.'s classic "These Days," the band's statement of purpose and a tune that had been rattling in my head a full week prior to an early summer gig at the University of California, Berkeley campus. The song rocks, no questions asked, but it's also slightly cringe-inducing, should you picture it played by three middle-aged hipsters - one frumpy (Peter Buck), one bald (Stipe) and one timelessly nerdy (Mike Mills). It also begs the question, are these guys full of it? Twenty years on, are once-ballsy claims now as hollow as one of Buck's signature Rickenbackers? In short, does R.E.M. still matter?

Florida Alligator

Beat the summer heat with comfortable smock dresses

The times have changed, and we girls should be grateful. In 1958, women at UF were finally permitted to wear Bermuda shorts as long as they were not a disruption to class. According to a Tampa Tribune article published in April, faculty members could ban females from class if they felt their shorts were a distraction.

Florida Alligator

Old shtick on ‘Weezer’

Not many guitar heroes make it through their high school years without getting slapped with the dropout tag, so it's even more impressive that Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo gets to flaunt a bachelor's degree in English from Harvard University. A decade-long stint with the Ivy League's finest must afford one all kinds of vital knowledge, and yet Cuomo still can't wrap his horn-rimmed head around the law of diminishing returns.

Florida Alligator

“Sex and the City” finishes with style

The premiere of "Sex and the City" on Friday night brought out Gainesville's most devoted fans, and some even dressed the part. I wanted to get really carried away and dress in a pink leotard and pink tutu, which Sarah Jessica Parker dons in the show's opening sequence, but my roommates thought that was taking it a little too far.

Florida Alligator

Spiritualized in limbo on “A&E”

British trance-rocker and Spiritualized frontman Jason Pierce nearly died in 2005 because of - get this - pneumonia. Go figure. When you've had addiction problems with heroin, landing in the accident and emergency (A&E) ward because of respiratory complications is kind of like tiptoeing through a minefield only to contract tetanus from a rusty nail. Irony aside, the near-death experience yielded "Songs in A&E," a rock 'n' roll record that could very easily be confused for an electric requiem.

Florida Alligator

Summer heat may lead to underwater acts

June 20 marks the first day of summer. In Gainesville, where winter means a long-sleeved shirt and closed-toe shoes, summer is the time you have to lounge by the pool, shoot hoops or play volleyball to attract the attention of potential mates.

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