The Antlers are coming to NYC

The Antlers are a Brooklyn based band fronted by Peter Silberman. Their debut album, “Hospice,” is the result of front man Silberman’s “self described year and a half exile upon moving to New York City,” according to “Under the Radar” magazine.

The album is an extended creative writing project of sorts. Silberman used his introversion to identify with the characters in his ballads. “Hospice” centers around a man watching his girlfriend slowly die of bone cancer.

After a relationship “destroyed him,” according to UTR, Silberman “translated the experience into vivid descriptions of death, memory and regret.” These themes are prevalent and almost overwhelming throughout “Hospice.” Silberman maintains that it was not his intention to make a “depressing album,” although songs include “Kettering” and “Wake.” The band has been receiving positive reviews on both the album and their live shows.

The Antlers will be performing at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan on Dec. 15, 2009.

Budget Cuts Bring Class Cuts

It’s that time of year again, when students begin registering for next semester’s classes. However, students at Stony Brook University are becoming increasingly angered with the spring semester’s course offerings, or lack thereof.

Since Governor Patterson announced the SUNY-wide budget cuts, students have been encountering schedules devoid of classes needed to graduate with their majors. Both the POL and EST departments have urged their students to take needed classes over the winter or summer sessions, when less students are taking class. But as many students have pointed out, taking classes at these times is both costly and inconvenient.

“They charge extra,” said a business major, who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s irrational to think people can afford those extra charges and get here in the summer.”

Students who’ve sought out help, according to this source, have been told that the lack of classes is something departments can’t do anything about. The departments’ solutions involving both POL and EST have been highly advocating spending the breaks at the University.

With New York State constituents angry, as budget cuts threaten public elementary, middle and high schools as well, it is a hope that senators will fight harder for all public school funding and that Governor Patterson will finally see that education is not a place to cut corners. 

Stony Brook Study Abroad Office

For many students at Stony Brook University, studying abroad is something they don’t know much about. For Journalism student April Warren, participating in the China Silk Road study abroad program last summer was one of the most rewarding experiences of her academic career.

“I took out of it a greater sense of adventure and quest for knowledge,” said Warren. “I was constantly asking our guides random questions and just always wanting to know more.”

Warren’s trip took her from Beijing to the West of China and back again. At the end of 10 days, the group had traveled the distance of New York to Denver, Colorado. Along the way, the Stony Brook University students and Chinese students studying alongside them discussed their cultural differences, Warren said.

Continue reading

New York State has New License Plates (And They’re Retro)

New York State is instating a mandatory new license plate statewide called the “Empire Gold.” It will be required on all cars starting April of next year and will cost between 25-50 dollars for cars depending on the status of its registration.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles maintains the new license plate is being issued for “safety, law enforcement and the general integrity of the plate.”

The current license plate will have been in use for just over a decade by the time it is phased out. Citizens of the state and lawmakers are suggesting the revamp in license plates is a money making measure. The new plates will raise $260 million, according to “The New York Times.” The money from the switch will be put into a “general state fund,” and eventually towards the billions of dollars deficit in New York.

According to “The New York Times,” citizens of upstate New York feel like they are being “unfairly targeted,” due to the fact that a car is essential for travel upstate. Unlike in Manhattan, public transportation is few and far between.

The license reissuance will create 100 new jobs and prison inmates will make the license plates for 42 cents an hour. The newest feature on the yellow and navy plate is a reflective feature that many drivers complain their cars already are equipped with.

License renewals will be $16 more than last year and car rentals will now also include a 5% tax according to the Times.

Free WiFi Internet Access in Times Square

Starting Tuesday November 10th free WiFi is available between 43rd and 44th streets due to a partnership between Yahoo and the Times Square Alliance.

The exact location of the Internet zone is by the pedestrian plaza where the “TKTS” discount booth is.

When the WiFi connection first went up on November 10th users were greeted with a free hot cup of coffee. Surrounding apartments in the area also are reaping the benefits of free Internet access.

In this WiFi zone passerbyers can even borrow laptops on a “first come, first serve,” basis according to the press release. The wireless Internet is also accessible to those on phones by clicking the “get started” button that leads to Internet set-up instructions.

The duration of this promotion is unknown, especially after free WiFi in central park ended in 2008 unannounced, two years after it was instated and seemingly with no replacement.

For now New York and its tourists are enjoying free Internet in the plaza due to Yahoo. Yahoo rival, Google is providing free WiFi connections in 47 airports through January 15.

Election 2009: A Referendum on Obama?

After a year of what seemed like overwhelming losses in 2008, the Republican Party has made some headway by winning two highly contested gubernatorial campaigns in Virginia and New Jersey. In addition to these wins, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was re-elected to an unprecedented third term in office.

According to The New York Times, Obama’s victory last year failed to galvanize a Democratic sustained electoral advantage over Republicans. This was clear in the low turnout of Democratic voters as well as African American voters in both the states where the new governors were elected.

An article on reported that independent voters who last year voted Democratic changed to the Republican side according to exit polls, and that voters did not come out for the candidates Obama endorsed– Jon Corzine of New Jersey and R. Creigh Deeds of Virginia This clear absence has Democratic strategists worried about the future of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party as a whole in the coming years.

However there are concerns for Republicans after an upstate New York election failure in a clearly conservative area, according to “The New York Times.” Experts believe that Virginia and New Jersey offer better testing grounds for the new Republican party because of the diversity of the voters and how they have voted for Democrats in past years.

Currently the future of the Republican Party is up in the air, but it is clear that these two poignant victories will galvanize fundraisers, a more vocal conservative citizenry as well as possible future victories in the vital 2010 election.

Seasonal Flu Vaccines

The Stony Brook University Health Services center distributed flu shots in early-November. Vaccines were available for “eligible students” at the cost of $10.

With flu season at hand, it’s important for students to receive the vaccine, which stimulates their body to produce antibodies that protect against the flu virus.

Students who are either allergic to eggs or are sick at the time of the vaccination should not attempt to get the flu vaccine, as there could be detrimental side effects.

The Center for Disease Control considers all college age students at risk for developing the flu and instead of being sick during finals, it may be a better idea just to get the vaccination before it is too late.

Side effects of the vaccination can include a stiff, sore arm as well as flu-like symptoms. Those with side effects should contact the Student Health Center if symptoms don’t subside within 24 hours.

Stony Brook has had several other flu shots throughout the semester including an H1N1 shot. To find out where to get the shot now you should contact the Suffolk County Department of Health at (631) 853-3000.

CMJ IAMSOUND Records Showcase

For one week in October, CMJ Music and Film Marathon took over New York. Artists from around the globe came to showcase their latest work and to hopefully garner the attention of some industry insiders… and student radio DJS.

WUSB student DJs were given the opportunity to take part in CMJ this year. I attended the IAMSOUND records showcase at the Bowery Poetry Club on Oct. 21. The showcase featured five bands: New Villager, Apache Beat, Suckers, Golden Silvers and Fool’s Gold.

Continue reading

Florence And The Machine Makes United States Debut

After a strong showing in her home country of the United Kingdom, Florence Welch, the front woman of Florence and The Machine, brought her band over to rock New York City.


Welch was a storm of energy on stage for an audience that included the entire cast of “Gossip Girl” and music industry insiders. It was clear that her arrival in the states was highly anticipated by fans that sang and danced as she pounded on a drum, shook her wild red hair around and belted out lyrics of heartbreak and love.

Florence and The Machine are known for their live show. Backed by a full band, including a harp at the edge of the stage, Welch put on a great show for the eager audience. She performed all of her songs off her debut album, “Lungs,” including one extra entitled, “Are You Hurting The One You Love?” The crowd cheered and chanted “Florence, Florence!” Much of the sound came from the balcony where the “Gossip Girl” cast was seated.

Florence and The Machine has put the United Kingdom under its spell, so to speak, and after a strong showing at their debut New York concert at the Bowery Ballroom on Oct. 27, it seems many more dates on this side of the pond are in Welch’s future.

Greenwich Village Flooded By Ghouls and Goblins

A rainy night did not stop revelers from celebrating at Greenwich Village’s annual Halloween parade. Costumed people roamed the downtown area all day, but the action reached a crescendo with a procession of floats down Sixth Avenue. Though there were less floats than in past years, it was earlier rumored that only three would appear. Due to a “Daily News” article that reported only 3 floats had registered by October 8th local businesses became involved and in the end there were 12 floats involved in the parade.
Though the parade goers were drenched in a downpour and stuck in a flood of water in the city streets, the party continued. Notable costumes included several Lady Gagas, Ghostbusters and “piano cats.” As always, witch, ghost and demon costumes were also prevalent.

The parade has been a fixture in the community for years and has become an instant tradition for city dwellers and bridge-and-tunnel crowds alike. It is clear that this year’s Halloween parade was a success despite the weather, but we can hope for clearer skies next year.

Michael Jackson Haunts Downtown Manhattan