Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

CCSU Department of Theatre Performs ‘The Laramie Project’

by Kayla Murphy

Over the course of the week hundreds attended the play “The Laramie Project” showcased by The Central Connecticut State University Department of Theatre every night from Feb. 28, to March 4, at 7:30 p.m. There was a Friday matinee and admission was free for students Tuesday, Wednesday night and Friday morning.

Originated by the Tectonic Theatre Project in 2000, “The Laramie Project” is a documentary-play that focuses on hundreds of real-life interviews about the reaction to the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shephard in Laramie, Wyoming. The murder was declared as a hate-crime and brought attention to the lack of hate-crime laws in several states, including Wyoming. The show was divided into two acts and 13 cast members portrayed over 60 characters in a series of short scenes.

CCSU – The Laramie Project Dress Rehearsal – February 27, 2017

Director of the show and Theatre professor, Thom Delventhal, chose a show that touched upon many current events and issues, such as LGBTQ rights, religion and the use of media coverage.

“I’ve been looking for a simple, concrete message in the play that can help society heal,” said Delventhal. “So many people that voted for Trump said they did so because they were sick of not being listened to. But now that he is in office, the danger many immigrants, women, Muslims, people with disabilities, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community feel, have increased dramatically. Government is completely divided along party lines.”

Senior Theatre major, Nick Carrano, enjoyed working with such a close-knit cast and touching upon very important issues.

“In the end, we’re all human,” Carrano said, “Regardless of race, or religion, or sexuality, it’s not hard to accept people. Hate will never win; that legacy will never win. Love is what matters. I think this show does a good job portraying that love. ‘The Laramie Project’ is a cultural revolution and is a life lesson that I hope the audience understands,” Carrano said.

However, performing such a moving piece comes with challenges. Both Carrano and his fellow actor Jose Roman, a senior Communication major, had difficulties with accents and voices.

“I played the roles of Andy Paris, Matt Mickleson, Bill McKinney, Andrew Gomez, Kerry Drake and Cal Rerucha,” said Roman, “The most challenging part was coming up with different and distinct accents that the audience would be able to identify. Thom taught us to keep our voices loud and clear. We were able to adapt to it very quickly.”

Another challenge the crew faced was the costume changes for over 60 different characters.

Christopher Hoyt, scenic and costume designer, had the idea for all the cast members to wear black.

“We wanted them to be costumed in all black with different costume pieces to accent their character change. Our wardrobe was actually set on stage, which was an intricate part in the story telling. For the most part, every character was on stage; very rarely would they be backstage,” said Hoyt.

The most notable costume pieces were the angel wings worn by several cast members to block Reverend Freed Phelps, played by sophomore theatre major Kendra Garnett, from disrupting and protesting Matthew Shephard’s funeral.

CCSU – The Laramie Project Dress Rehearsal – February 27, 2017

“We took hiking backpack frames and lots of muslin material to create the frame of the wings. In the show, the cast plays reporters constantly writing notes and ripping them off. My students Haley Nelson and Alex Corey came up with the idea to take those notes and pin them onto the wings to create ‘feathers.’ It was a very creative and genius idea,” Hoyt added.

Overcoming quick costume changes and different mid-west dialects, the cast and crew performed their hearts out.

Delventhal’s final thoughts were, “We must listen to the stories of others without reacting or judging. We have to listen without being offended.”

The next show the Theatre Department will be hosting is the musical “Into the Woods” from April 25, to April 30. Tickets will be available at CENtix Box Office, located in the Student Center.

CCSU Italian Professor Works on Eleventh Book

by Angela Fortuna

Many people say that the sound of poetry is more important than the words, but that is not the aim of the poet, according to Central Connecticut State University professor Maria Passaro.

Many know Passaro as an Italian professor at CCSU, but she is also an author.

Passaro’s books tend to have the same theme. She takes a famous poem that is written in the original Italian language and translates it into English, sentence by sentence. The only exception of this Italian to English translation is with her first book, based on an Italian tragedy, published in 1997, where she provided the Italian translation.

“My books tend to be in the original and translation,” said Passaro. “I don’t want to sacrifice the meaning of the poem. I am just trying to [translate] the poem closer to what the poet is saying.”

During Passaro’s 28 years at CCSU, she has written many books and articles. Currently, she is the director of the Italian Resource Center on campus.

With a doctorate in comparative literature and a master’s degree in Italian, Passaro is very knowledgeable in literature and Italian translation. After many years of experience, Passaro’s writing style comes naturally to her.

Passaro previously taught Italian grammar and literature at Fordham University.

Passaro enjoys writing and translating works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In some book reviews, Longfellow’s work was often seen as more beautiful in Italian than in English.

“Longfellow translated from Italian to English in his original works,” said Passaro.

Although there are many books published that transform the language of literature, Passaro’s books are different. She translates the Italian as closely as she can to the English language so readers can get the full effect of each poem.

“Some of the translated books don’t put the original [poem] purposely, so you don’t check,” said Passaro.

Of Passaro’s 11 books, her most recent translation was of “Corradino,” a tragedy by Francesco Mario Pagano, published in 2014.

Passaro also recently translated the poem “Rhymes of Love” by Renaissance poet Torquato Tasso.

Another recent book Passaro wrote is called “Representation of Women in Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Texts.”

“It’s not a feminist book, it just [portrays] the beauty of women and how it molds the soul of the poet,” said Passaro. “I’m giving credit to women for what the poets did.”

One of Passaro’s personal favorite poems includes “Michelangelo” from “The Complete Poetical Works of Longfellow.” She wrote a translation into Italian verse of “Michelangelo”.

“If you read it, you will see the beautiful iambic pentameters,” said Passaro.

Passaro has also published dozens of articles and essays, including a few journalistic publications.

“I have many essays where I just contribute a chapter,” said Passaro. “Working with other people is nice.”

Passaro also recently wrote a short nine-line poem, called “L’Europa Unita” in Italian, which in translates to “United Europe.”

The most recent book in progress has two parts: “A Selection of Medieval Italian Literary Texts” and “A Selection of Renaissance Italian Literary Texts.” The sections are separated by time period, from beginning to end. Passaro is still unsure if the two books will be combined at this point.

She said she taught Italian courses 470 and 476 using the material she will be publishing.

“I also put it online so students could see both Italian and English if they had trouble,” said Passaro.

When asked about what kind of poems she likes to use in the classroom, Passaro said she likes to “stay with one act plays because they’re easy to represent.”

As for the future of book translation, Passaro remains hopeful that the most important texts will continue to be translated.

Best Picture Goes To ‘Moonlight,’ Not ‘La La Land’

Image result for moonlight movie

by Brennah Dallaire

#Oscarfail and #envelopegate began to trend on social media after there was a serious mix up at the 89th Academy Awards, causing presenter Warren Beatty to announce the wrong winner for Best Picture. It wasn’t until the “La La Land” cast and crew were on stage and awards in hand that the mistake was corrected, and “La La Land” Producer Jordan Horowitz presented “Moonlight” with the award.

“There’s been a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke, ‘Moonlight’ has won Best Picture,” “La La Land” Producer Jordan Horowitz said shortly after making his acceptance speech.

“’Moonlight,’ Best Picture,” Horowitz repeated, holding up the card with the award winner’s name.

Talk show host and host of the Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel, came back on stage just after Horowitz announced the real winner.

“Guys, this is very unfortunate what happened. Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this,” Kimmel joked, referencing a similar issue that occurred at the Miss Universe pageant.

“I’m gonna be really proud to hand this to my friends from ‘Moonlight,’” Horowitz said. Horowitz presented the Oscar statue to the Director of Best Picture winner “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins.

Jenkins commented on the situation later in the evening on Twitter.

“Jordan Horowitz. Wow. I’m slipping slowly into reflection, perspective. Much respect to that dude,” tweeted Jenkins.

Warren Beatty spoke after Horowitz, trying to clear up the mistake that had been made.

“I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, “La La Land”. That’s why I took such a long look at Faye [co-presenter, Faye Dunaway], and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny…this is ‘Moonlight’ the Best Picture,” Beatty said. Applause from the audience followed.

Apparently, the wrong card was given to the two hosts, they assumed what they were reading was indeed the Best Picture nominated film “La La Land”.

The mistake eclipsed most other memorable moments from the show. Including candy, cookies and donuts being dropped from the ceiling in little parachutes.

“How are you guys holding up? Are you hungry? This is a show about the movies and you really can’t have the movies without candy. It’s un-American really. Close your eyes and wish very hard,” said Kimmel.

The treats were dropped a few different times. “Hidden Figures” star Octavia Spencer was shown digging into her sweet treats as co-star Taraji P. Henson leans in from behind her mouthing, “are you sharing?”

Kimmel did not make too many politically charged comments, but did send a personal tweet to President Donald Trump.

“Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?” Kimmel tweeted, showing it on the big screen of Dolby Theatre.

Kimmel then sent another tweet.

“@realDonaldTrump #Merylsayshi,” Kimmel tweeted as a riff on President Trump’s comments about Meryl Streep, after she criticized the President in a speech she made at the Golden Globes.

Kimmel surprised Oscar guests by inventing a tour bus of unsuspecting tourists into the Dolby Theaters and through the front row of the audience. Members of the tour were star struck, taking photos and selfies with famous actors. Mahershala Ali let one man hold his Oscar statue. Ryan Gosling hugged and kissed one woman of the group. Denzel Washington pretended to officiate the wedding of an engaged couple. One lucky tourist even shook and kissed Nicole Kidman’s hand. Many of the actors could be seen taking videos on their cellphones of the meet and greet.

A tearful Jennifer Aniston presented the ‘In Memoriam’ segment of the show, giving a special farewell to ‘Twister’ star Bill Paxton who died Saturday.

Other memorable moments included Jimmy Kimmel lifting young ‘Lion’ star Sunny Pawar into the air, to the famous Lion King song “The Circle of Life”.

Throughout the show, Jimmy Kimmel poked fun of Matt Damon, continuing their ongoing gag of beefing with each other.

“And tonight, in the spirit of heaven and bringing people to together,  I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I’ve had issues with. Now Matt, I’ve known Matt for a long time. I’ve known Matt so long, when I first met Matt, I was the fat one,” Kimmel said.

Kimmel was later shown conducting the orchestra to play as Damon tried to speak as a presenter.

Queen B is Out!

by Venus Zahid

The queen has officially bowed out. Beyoncé has officially announced that she will no longer be headlining Coachella 2017, per her doctor´s orders.

In a surprise Instagram post about three weeks ago, Beyoncé announced that she is pregnant with twins. Kneeling in front of an orchestra of roses with a veil over her face, she wore a berry-colored bra and silky-blue bottoms.

Her caption shocked fans, she wrote, “We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. – The Carters.” Her sentimental tone left fans wanting to know more, as hearts were yearned to know Blue Ivy’s take on becoming a big sister at the age of five.

It was announced at the beginning of January that the megastar was set to be one of the headliners of the festival. Coachella is known for its killer fashion and its celebrity attendance, and of course, to listen to some of the biggest stars in the music industry.

But on Thursday, Feb. 23, Coachella made the following statement on Facebook: “Following the advice of her doctors to keep a less rigorous schedule in the coming months, Beyoncé has made the decision to forgo performing at the 2017 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.”

“However, Goldenvoice and Parkwood are pleased to confirm that she will be a headliner at the 2018 festival. Thank you for your understanding.”

Although she won’t make an appearance this year, fans can look forward to her grand entrance in 2018– here’s to hoping she doesn’t get pregnant with triplets!

Beyoncé still conquered the Grammy stage on Sunday, Feb. 12. The Grammy Awards were her first public appearance since announcing that she was pregnant with twins. Beyoncé performed two hit songs from her 2016 album “Lemonade,” “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles.” Beyoncé’s performance was announced by her mother, Tina Knowles.

As if she wasn’t already a perfect mother, she dedicated her performance to motherhood. She had all eyes on her, wearing an extraordinary golden down with a matching headdress. Beyoncé entered the Grammy Awards nominated for nine awards, and came away with two. One for Best Music Video for “Formation,” and Best Urban Contemporary Album for “Lemonade.”

Let it be known that “Queen Bee” might be taking a break, but she will be back belting her high notes.

 

Knuckle Puck’s New Single Raises Eyebrows

by Thomas Redding

There are many mixed reactions of the new acoustic single from frontrunners of the new pop-punk scene, Knuckle Puck. The Chicago band, typically known for their hard-hitting songs, have taken a different route with their new releases, “Calendar Days” and “Indecisive.”

The first single, “Indecisive,” was released last Thursday, Feb. 23, and many devoted fans were taken rather off guard. They have released acoustic versions of songs before, but never quite like this. This is the first time that lead singer Joe Taylor, has ever included falsetto-style singing into one of their songs. He also refrained from yelling, something typically heard in previous acoustic tracks. This is the first time we get a glimpse of his actual singing voice, and while he doesn’t have ‘pop star’ qualities, his voice does a good job of complimenting the tone of the track.

The single is their first official release of an acoustic song, some wouldn’t say that it was disappointing. However, when the band announced new music, most were expecting another pop-punk anthem.

After reaching somewhere around the halfway point of the song, opinions began to change as they realized it was actually pretty serene. Although the reviews were mixed, their limited vinyl record of 500 copies, was sold out within about an hour. 

The band’s has matured since their previous release, “Copacetic,” in July of 2015. They have strayed from the “pop-punk acoustic norms,” which includes the same set of chords and strumming pattern, along with a strings section and recycled melodies. The single has more technical and interesting guitar parts, and the lyrics play a large role, because they are much stronger than heard in previous releases.

There are few lyrics to the song, which makes it somewhat resemble a lullaby. The melody is very droning and calm, creating a new sound for the band. It is also difficult imagining the band ever playing this song live, considering that their shows are known for being energetic and loud.

It is not clear if this was an experimental release, or if it could mean something new. Some speculate that by straying from the fast, loud, pop-punk jams, the band is seeking a softer rock side of their sound. It would be interesting to see them go in a new direction, as they would be paving a new path for pop-punk, which is in dire need of some change currently.

The “new pop-punk” sound has been pushing long time fans away from the genre lately, as the sound has changed far past its original roots. A different sounding Knuckle Puck album may actually be good, allowing them to stand out in this crowd of heavily formulaic bands.

Knuckle Puck can be seen opening for Mayday Parade’s 10th Anniversary tour, which will be traveling across the country this spring. The band is highly recommended for fans of the genre. There are still tickets available for the tour stop at College Street Music Hall in New Haven, on May 6.Check out www.knucklepuck.limitedrun.com for pre-orders of “Calendar Days” and “Indecisive,” and to see the video for the new song.

Overall, the song is great and has the potential for frequent replays on the iTunes libraries of pop-punk fans. I would rate the song a 7.5/10.

Netflix It: Hush

by Natalie Dest

With its leading slogan of “silence can be killer,” director of this heart-racing horror-thriller, Mike Flanagan, brings the act of silence to a new dimension.

“Hush” differs from the typical home-invasion thriller. However, this game of cat and mouse delivers a wide range of suspense, making its viewers wince and flinch. After its premiere at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, this intense and breathless horror made its grand appearance on Netflix, gathering attention from avid binge-watchers.

Katie Siegal, who co-wrote the screenplay with Flanagan, stars as Maddie, the fiercely-independent heroine who has been deaf since she was a child. In hopes of seeking seclusion to finish the ending to her ‘in the works’ fiction novel, Maddie moves herself to a much rural area with minimal neighbors.

This isolation provides Maddie with the perfect environment to complete her work. However, it is a more than a perfect setup for the typical horror-cliche of a killer in a white mask to appear.

This roaming homicidal maniac is played by John Gallagher Jr., who is seen to cut off Maddie’s connections to the outside world. He continuously toys with her, physically and psychologically, as the film goes on, making it unsure of what his next move will be. In one Flanagan’s earlier scenes, this unnamed killer steals Maddie’s cell phone and texts pictures he has taken of her directly to the laptop she is using.

Gallagher’s character doesn’t count for Maddie’s willingness and attempts to fight back. “Hush” places a character with a handicap to be perceived as a disadvantage, serving as a tease for its potential viewers. But specifically in regards to this tense thriller, Maddie’s unexpected advantages are the keys to understanding this film.

As the masked murderer torments her inside and outside the house, the inner strength of our rooting hero is put to the ultimate test. The consistent back and forth between hero and villain is initially gripping, as the advantage shifts continuously from one scene to the next. However, this fight for domination eventually turns into the standard killer’s territory.

It’s not shocking that most of the action unfolds through a limited script of dialogue, other than a brief voice-over of Siegel speaking as Maddie’s conscience. With this lack of verbal communication, Flanagan uses this as an opportunity to use sound in different creative ways. He excluded audio completely to put viewers into the heroine’s shoes, and deliver a surprise jolt when necessary. It’s often a horror cliche to include bursts of loud noise and are rarely seen to be used effectively. But, are purposefully planted within this film and used for the right reasons.

All in all, the scenario of “Hush” is centered around a person who can’t hear, forced to fight off someone who not only is at an advantage, but also has weapons at their reach. The absolute worst nightmare to say the least. Through the unexpected brutal violence, this rated “R” horror embodies the essence of the words “suspense” and “thriller.”

21 Chump Street

by Kayla Murphy

The Department of Theatre at Central Connecticut State University held what was considered to be a heartfelt student production of “21 Chump Street,” in Davidson Hall Thursday, Feb. 23.

“This show was very touching,” said CCSU theatre tech major Terysa Malootian. “It pulled at the heart strings.”

“21 Chump Street” is a 15-minute musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is well-known for his Broadway shows “In the Heights” and “Hamilton.” Based on true events, the musical is about undercover cops in Florida busting drug deals in high schools.

The show opened with Justin LaBoy, played by Jamel Jimerson, walking into his final semester of high school. As a straight-A and friendly, it’s hard not to like Justin. However, when a beautiful Puerto Rican and Dominican girl named Naomi Rodriguez, played by Madalena Pattacini, walks into two of Justin’s classes, he instantly falls in love.

Justin went great lengths to obtain her affection and attention, and to get Naomi to go out with him. When Naomi asks Justin to get her weed, he hesitates but obliges. Not knowing that Naomi is an undercover cop, Justin makes an “irreversibly bad decision.” Sentenced to a week in jail and a three-year probation. Justin can kiss his dreams of college goodbye.

His first time ever directing a play, Dustin Wong, a senior digital film and TV production major, enjoyed the challenge.

“I’ve directed music videos and short films for class, but nothing like this. After being in two main-stage theatre department productions, I knew I wanted to direct a show. We’ve had a lot of fun working on this,” Wong said.

Wong explained how the show is supposed to be cast for “people of color.”

“I myself am a person of color,” said Wong, “The project that Lin-Manuel created was a show where people of color could shine. However, there are not a lot of people of color in the theatre department. We had some light controversy about how the show was cast, but I firmly believe that there is no need for labels. It’s just a show.”

Wong believes the show’s focus is more on a love story than it is about the color of someone’s skin.

“It’s one of the main reasons why I chose to direct this show as my first student-directed play. It’s a love story everyone can relate to,” Wong said. “It’s about doing everything you can to love someone, but mistakes happen, and you wind up paying the consequences.”

Victoria Johnson, a sophomore criminology and theatre student, was asked by Wong to be his stage manager for the show.

“We had a lot of challenges facing this show. Several of our cast members became ill, so we lost a lot of rehearsal time. Then after the major snow storm that hit two weeks ago, we had to postpone our show. But in the end, the show really came together and we all enjoyed working on it,” said Johnson.

Jamel Jimerson, a sophomore communications major at CCSU, said that he and the cast had been working really hard on this performance for over two months.

“We tried to make it the best experience the audience has ever had in 15 minutes,” said Jimerson.

The next show hosted by the CCSU Theatre Department will be the “Laramie Project,” directed by Prof. Thom Delventhal. Located in the Black Box Theatre in Maloney Hall, show dates are from Feb. 28, to March 4. Tickets are available at the Centix Box Office in the Student Center.

Halo Wars 2 Review

by Dillon Meehan

It has been a rough start for 343 Industries. After Bungie, the creators of the Halo series split with Microsoft in 2010 to join Acitvision Blizzard. In 2012, 343 launched Halo 4, a disappointment by Halo standards, and regarded by many as the worst in the franchise.

Two years later, The Master Chief Collection followed, which featured the four main Halo games all on one disk. It gave players the option to play through a decade of great games on the newest Xbox hardware. But it was plagued by server related issues that rendered online play practically impossible.

In the fall of 2015, they once again attempted to restore faith to their fans with Halo 5, but that too was a disappoint to fans.   It had a lackluster story and featured a marketing campaign that was borderline false advertising.

However, it looks like 343 got it right this time with Halo Wars 2. A spin-off real time strategy (RTS) series based off of the lore from the mainline first-person-shooter (FPS) Halo games. The game was co-developed with Creative Assembly, a team mostly known for the well-received RTS Total War series. It is often difficult to make RTS games work on consoles compared to PC. The controls are simply much more difficult with a controller compared to a keyboard and mouse. But unlike previous failed attempts in other games, Halo Wars 2 seems to have found how to make it a seamless transition.

The game also features 12 separate single player campaign missions that can be played on four different difficulty levels. Depending on the difficulty, the campaign can take anywhere from six to 12 hours, maybe even more on the higher difficulty levels. In many games the campaign is simply an elongated tutorial, however, that is not the case in Halo Wars 2. There’s a relatively sound storyline that features an interesting antagonist to fight against the USMC. While some of the voice-overs and dialogue are simply throwaway lines at times, the cinematic cutscenes practically brings the story to life. The scenes were put together by Blur Studio, best known for working on the space scenes in Avatar and remastering the cutscenes for the Halo 2 anniversary edition in the Master Chief Collection.

Lastly there’s multiplayer, at the time this review is being written, the game has not had a full release so the servers have not been truly tested. For those with early access, the game seems to have steady online play as of right now. Because of the debacle that was the Master Chief Collection, fans have a right to be skeptical of online play. However that is where this game may shine apart from the traditional skirmish battles, where players can fight one on one or team up with friends. There is also a new card based game know as blitz, where it is a combination of luck and skill. It is a fast based game on domination, where you can choose to battle one on one or up to three versus three.

In 2009, Halo Wars was viewed as a one-time spinoff and nothing more. However, it looks as though Microsoft may have something here with the sequel. The only way to know if this becomes a legitimate series is based on sales numbers. Microsoft barely attributed any of its marketing budget to this game, however, it was a strange way to attempt to support one of their exclusives.

Microsoft has also cancelled some of the series more anticipated exclusives in 2016, so it is tough to imagine them continuing that trend in 2017 if they hope to build their platform. All in all, Halo Wars 2 is a great RTS game that does its best to summit itself as a legitimate series going forward.

Make Money Cleaning Out Your Closet

 

by Brennah Dallaire

Each year we ditch the old for the new, spending another fortune on the latest trends of the season. With these tips, you can put some money back in your pocket before you run out and buy those new sneakers.

 

Get Motivated

Grab a cup of coffee and turn the music on. The caffeine and good tunes will give you that extra motivation to purge all of the unworn clothing taking up space in your closet, and turn it into extra cash in your wallet. The best way to go about this process is to take an item out, then decide if it is a “keep” or “sell” item. Lay the “keep” items out on your bed and neatly fold the “sell” items, putting them in a garbage bag or reusable tote.

 

Ask Yourself The Important Questions

Deciding if an item is “keep” or “sell” is the hardest part. Here are a few tips to guide you to making a decision.

1. Is it a staple piece, meaning, is it timeless and can you pair it with many different outfits? If the answer is yes, throw it in the “keep” pile. If it is a trendy piece that your not sure is still in style, let it go, it’s a “sell”.

2. When was the last time you wore the item? If you have not worn the item in over a month, consider putting it in the “sell” pile. If it’s been three months or longer, it’s definitely a “sell” item.

3. Take a look at the pile of “sell” items. Make sure they are gently worn. They should have no holes, snags, or stains on them. They shouldn’t be older than a year a half.

 

Set Aside the High Ticket Items

Take a look at the pile of “sell” items one more time. Are there any designer or high end pieces? If so, set those pieces aside. If they are in excellent condition, you may want to put a little more effort in and sell them on a specialty site like Tradesy, Poshmark or Ebay. It is more work to set up an account, write a description and wait for a buyer. But if you get close to what you paid for the item originally, it will definitely be worth it.

 

Find Your Favorite Buy/Sell Service

Plato’s Closet is the easiest place to sell your gently used clothes. To sell, they require a valid photo ID. They take items that are up to 1.5 years old. The store will resell your items for 50-70% of what the item sold for at its original price, and you are given 30-40% of that, said Enfield Plato’s Closet Associate, Laura Kuphal. If the total of your sold items amounts to $40 or more, you will be paid by check. If the total is less than $40 you will be paid in cash, Kuphal said. Plato’s Closet does buy accessories including hats, headbands, belts, necklaces and jewelry (excluding body jewelry). Plato’s Closet excepts authentic designer brands including Coach, Michael Kors and Dooney and Bourke. Specially, trained employees verify that designer bags and accessories are authentic. Plato’s Closet offers a military discount, as well as a stamp card. Each stamp represents a $10 transaction, whether it be for buying or selling. Once you fill your stamp card, you can use the card as a 20% off coupon.

You will see the largest return on those high ticket items that were set aside in the purging process on a specialty site like Tradesy. Tradesy is an online marketplace to buy and sell gently used brand name clothing. The site boasts “Selling on Tradesy is Simple.” After creating an account, you can post the items you would like to sell. Tradesy will even enhance your photos to help them sell. Worried about the stress of shipping your items after they sell? Don’t be. According to tradesy.com, when you make a sale, Tradesy will send you a “pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping kit, complete with beautiful packaging.”  Tradesy will take a 14.9% commission. Access your earnings using PayPal, a debit card or an ACH transfer. Make sure your items are 100% authentic before listing them. If they are not, a buyer can flag the item. If a buyer returns an item they purchased from you, Tradesy will take care of the refund, unless it is because it was not as you described. If your item is not as you described or is not authentic, you as the seller will be charged back for the refund.

 

Cash It In 

Do you need some convincing to spend the time cleaning your closet out and selling your clothes? Shown here is a receipt from my personal transaction at Plato’s Closet. I brought in a small reusable tote full of my gently used clothes I haven’t worn in months. The proof is in the purchase. I purge my closet and sell at Plato’s Closet often, so this haul wasn’t as grand as some. See my receipt. Plato’s Closet offered me $21.90 for my clothes. There was a clearance sale happening in store, and I purchased two Old Navy shirts and an Old Navy skirt from there Summer 2016 inventory for $3.80. I left with $18.10.

 

Straight to Donation

The most important guideline to abide by is that anything you don’t sell at Plato’s Closet goes to donation. Plato’s Closet in South Windsor will take your unsold clothes and donate them for you. Call other locations to confirm they offer a similar service. Don’t put something you don’t wear back in your closet. The goal is minimalism, a decluttered closet and money is your pocket. If it has been over a month and you haven’t sold an item on one of the specialty sites mentioned, try selling the high ticket item at Plato’s Closet.

 

Enjoy Your Cash & Closet

You may have a favorite local thrift store in mind to sell to. That will work as well, but be aware of the commission they take.

Inside tip: Shop your items around. Inventory at used clothing stores are different, and will need different pieces or accessories. If some items don’t sell at one store, bring your haul to another before dropping it off at a donation drop box.

 

Repeat

Consumer Expenditure Surveys from 2013 show the average spending per year of people under 25-years-old is $1513.00 . For a college student, that is a decent chunk of change. The saying “it takes money to make money” is true when you can make money off the clothing you’ve already purchased. Purge items from your closet as soon as you feel it getting cluttered. Try it at the beginning or end of every season.

Linkin Park Returns with a New Single

Image result for linkin park heavy

by Matt Balogh

At the forefront of the nu metal scene in the early 2000s, Linkin Park has grown to find a fan base of millions. By combining a large sound of heavy metal influence and hip hop elements of rapping style vocals, and DJ-led turntable scratching. This created a distinct sound for them, allowing their debut album Hybrid Theory to sell over 30 million copies worldwide.

Being a favorite of nu metal and hip hop fans alike, Hybrid Theory became a base for many nu metal bands to follow. Their singles “In The End” and “One Step Closer” had seen large rotation on rock stations, and continue to be staples in their live performances to this day.

Over the years, the band has put out 6 albums more, each to a sloping response by their long time fans. Fans have criticized their change in style, as it keeps inching towards a pop style. While not completely ditching their nu metal taste, their albums have featured more much lighter feeling songs, and less and less edge on their sound. Starting with songs like “Shadow of The Day”, and really everything on Minutes to Midnight, they have brought softer songs, and really a total departure to a pop rock-ish style.

In the case for their newest track “Heavy,” it seems as though they have completely converted themselves to a pop sound, ditching anything “rock” that the band had previously been known for. If the song suggests anything of the new album, this leaves anticipation of a rock-less, polished electronic pop album. The instrumentation is minimalist, and sounds almost completely computer generated, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Their downfalls, however, lie in the structure and lyrics of the song.

With not much going on in the background, the song seems to rely on the inclusion of the up-and-coming pop singer Kiiara. The singer does not bring much to save the song, and it resembles a pop duet in the vein of The Chainsmoker’s “Closer,” which exemplified the recurring motif of modern pop music: basic and seemingly uninteresting track that is attempted to be revived by new singer that is just as uninteresting. Kiiara’s vocal addition took the majority of the singing role after her awkward introduction in the chorus. Shifting energy very rarely throughout the track, the quickness of its length makes the song go from A to B, and feels like nothing had even happened.

The lyrics are really uninspired, just linking overused lines like “can’t escape the gravity,” “I’m holding on,” and the repetitive “why is everything so heavy,” which is ironic considering the nature of the song. The chorus had potential to save the verses from their simplicity, but is stuck to the repetition of the “why is everything so heavy” line.

For fans of the band, they have some real bad news coming to them. Hopefully the entire album won’t be following this style, as it lacks the feeling that Linkin Park had always packed. Although a change of style isn’t terrible, this song unfortunately doesn’t even work well as a pop song, and certainly works as only filler. Linkin Park has had a history of success and creativity, so it’s hard to blame them for experimentation. The song could possibly find the interest of die hard fans, or maybe fans of modern pop music.