Miscellaneous Playlists

Reel-to-Reel Presents: “Animal House”

The Best 7 Years of Your Life

So, 7 years of college down the drain…what now? Might as well join The Peace Corps.

Big, bawdy, raunchy, ribald, and surprisingly heartfelt, 1978’s “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” or simply just “Animal House” brings us back to the deceptively simple year of 1962.

Miscellaneous Playlists

Reel-to-Reel Presents: “Grosse Pointe Blank”

High stakes, high stress, high-powered rifles and…high school? 

That’s the life of American assassin Martin Q. Blank.

Face it, returning to the hallowed halls of our respective high schools is a nauseating thought for most of us. 

And in that respect, he’s no different from the rest of us. 

Miscellaneous Short Stories

Transgenerational Inheritance (feat. Limp Bizkit): A Personal Essay

In the days after my cousin died, things were chaotic. We gutted her apartment, tossing the groceries that had been left to rot on her countertops — she’d had them delivered, but never made it home to put them away — and sorting through boxes and boxes of glittery soaps, salves, tinctures and ointments.

My extended family, worn out both from the flight down here from New York and the drive down to Myrtle Beach to claim my cousin’s body, had us trash most of it.

Over the course of two days, the dumpster filled with more and more of my cousin’s things: garbage bags packed almost to splitting with sunglasses, costume jewelry and random, unused items from television ads that had long gathered dust.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

My youngest brother uncovered a custom hookah shaped like a badazzled machine gun, and lamented as our mother (“hell no! absolutely not!”) refused to let him keep it. My other brother found a lockbox filled with “miscellaneous pills and powders,” which he quickly resealed. The key (with a fob reading “Italian Girls Have More Fun”) remained jammed inexorably into the keyhole.

We didn’t throw away everything. While my living cousins made off with designer bags, photographs and a glass-blown pineapple-shaped bong (“for sentimental value,” one cousin stressed), I found myself gravitating towards stranger things. Bric-a-brac, tchotchkes and glorified trash.

A box of rave kandi. A bottle of orange liquer shaped like a dachshund. An old ID from the community college she’d dropped out of in 2006.

Scanned kandi

After we emptied her apartment, everyone went back home. My grandparents and great aunt flew back to New York. One of my cousin’s long-time friends came and collected her bereaved yorkie. I went and took my board-op test to become a DJ. They had the memorial service up in New York and everyone got stoned (or so I heard.) So it goes.

Somewhere along all of this (it all feels nonlinear to me, like skipping through a movie in 10-second incremends), I ended up with a bag of CDs.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

“Here, do you want these?” My mother held them out like one does a dirty diaper, pinching the bag (it was one of those plastic sleeves people keep duvet covers in) by the corner so the CDs puddled in the bottom. They were loose and probably scratched to all hell; probably unusable, really; probably trash.

I took them anyways, stuffing the bag under my bed to rot.

Over two years later (specifically, March 30, 2024), I decided to finally work my way through them. Here’s what I learned:

Laying Out the Particulars of My Inheritance

Parsing through my cousin’s CD collection was like cracking open a time capsule from the early 2000s. As I sat on my bedroom floor and fed disc after disc into my cheap CD player, I felt like I was talking to her — and my adolescent self — again.

“God, you really liked Ludacris, didn’t you?” I said to someone who wasn’t there. Not physically, at least.

It was a 21st century seance, a transgenerational ceremony conducted via polycarbonate. I was channeling my cousin’s spirit, and rather than imploring her to answer my burning questions (“What is life like after death?” “Did you understand what was happening?” “Are you at peace?”), I silently judged her drippingly-2010’s music taste.

Like me, she’d constructed most of her young life around music. I could trace her progression of style, the alt rock and grunge of the 90s and early 2000s giving way to the hip-hop renaissance of the 2010s.

I laid out tall stacks of custom CDs with titles like “Summer 2006,” “Hot Sh–” and “My Mix” lettered in girlish sharpie. I imagined how old she had been when she wrote them, whether or not she’d had her nails done and if her wrists were heavy with gaudy beaded bracelets.

Scanned CDs

In a time before iPods and bluetooth and — heavens forbid — Spotify, burning CDs was a sacred practice. Music was corporeal, and one’s affinity for the stuff became something physical — piles of CDs, stacks of vinyl, etc — that demanded real estate. By comparison, my preferred method of music consumption (streaming) seemed compressed.

In my adolescence, I myself burned songs onto discs — pirating the tracks online, then meticulously ordering them by “vibe” — and eventually did the same on my first iPod. But those were all long gone, sublimated into a single app on a phone I often misplaced.

Sitting cross-legged with a plethora of discs fanned out before me, I picked out several names: System of a Down (one of my top artists of 2023), Nirvana (also one of my top artists), Kittie, Korn, Slipknot and an obscene amount of Limp Bizkit.

Cover for “Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water” by Limp Bizkit

I’ll be honest: I’m not all that familiar with Limp Bizkit’s discography. I’m more familiar with Fred Durst, who I’ve mentally elevated to the status of a sort of mythical folklore hero (or antihero?). Anyways, I decided to put on “Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water” and was utterly shocked by how awesomely stupid it was. It’s great.

I could imagine my cousin, a teenager or perhaps in her early twenties, speeding down the highway in her little blue SUV and cranking the radio up to full blast, singing along to Fred f–ing Durst and reveling in the invincibility of youth and the heat of a seemingly endless southern summer.

I’m a renegade riot gettin’ out of control
I’m a keepin’ it alive and continue to be
Flyin’ like an eagle to my destiny
So can you feel me? (hell yeah)
Can you feel me? (hell yeah)
Can you feel me? (hell yeah)

“Livin’ it Up” – Limp Bizkit

Transgenerational theory posits rules for the ways in which rrituals, practices, behaviors and philosophies move down generational lines.

Think transgenerational trauma: agony passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter over three lifetimes. Her mother was my mother’s aunt, second eldest of seven first-generation Italian immigrants. Evidently, not a fan of Fred Durst or Serj Tankian or any of the other yelling men my cousin liked to listen to.

And while the CD collection made its way into my hands (unceremoniously, I might add) intergenerationally (i.e., it was literally passed down), the physical discs themselves weren’t the only thing I was given. There was something else in transference, something intangible. A transgenerational impulse.

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Energy, maybe. A parasocial connection to a teenager I’d never met who grew up to be an adult I loved and lost, a teenager who probably wasn’t much different (if anything, less emo) than my own teenage self. A teenager who meticulously curated mixes for each season, each new year, each new release.

I pop in a disc without a name — it’s hazy green on the front — and watch it spin, and instead of frenzied guitar and drums, I hear a delicate strumming and familiar, dreamlike voice.

I don’t miss you
I don’t wish you harm
And I forgive you
And I don’t wish you away

“Soothe” – Smashing Pumpkins

It’s “Soothe,” a demo tape by Smashing Pumpkins. I’ve never heard it before, but for a moment, I can imagine I’m my cousin: young, alive, lounging before a CD player. For a moment, two dimensions in time: mine here and hers there, run parallel.


Review: WKNC Shack-a-thon Back Wall Topster

From March 24th to 29th, there was the Shack. On the Shack, there was a Topster. The Shack is now gone, but the Topster lives on in my heart. Today, I will attempt to assess the quality of this Shack Topster, despite having only heard like half of them.


“Lair of the White Worm”: Movie Review

Who doesn’t love phallic, campy, vampire flicks? I thought I’d seen the best and the worst of the vampire film genre, but it looks like the caverns of lore and art are endless because “Lair of the White Worm” is an absolute treat to view. 

This horror-comedy from Britain’s Ken Russell stars Hugh Grant, Amanda Donohoe, Catherine Oxenberg and Peter Capaldi. All of these actors are fantastic in their over-zealous enactments of their characters. You can see a sneak peak of their performances in the trailer on YouTube

Hugh Grant’s portrayal of a young rich inheritor is classic and always goes down well. It seems he found his niche of playing rich a**holes really early on in his career. Donohoe’s pagan worship is hilarious and gross at the same time with the phallic instruments that are attached to her character’s pelvis. Also, you can never go wrong with multiple blonde heroines needing to be saved by a strapping Scottish lad portrayed by Peter Capaldi. 

This being a British flick, there were probably a ton of humorous ins I missed being a silly American, but it didn’t matter. The best parts of the film were the strange horror bits that Russell included. 

The bizarre hellscapes stemming from hallucinatory fever dreams, the constant phallic and gore imagery, and the wonderfully foreboding atmospheric music all combined and created a true vampiric masterpiece. It rises from the backlogs of film watchlists again and again, never to grow old or die. This film will be loved in some fashion by those fantasizing about Hugh Grant, or those in love with strange spurts of viscous green liquid on the faces of this cast. Gore fans have their moments of pleasure, as do comedy fans. 

“The Lair of the White Worm” encapsulates the campy horror-comedy genre perfectly. I cannot wait to watch this film again in a few years with a renewed appreciation for it. If you can, check this film out. I’m sure it’s to die for.

Miscellaneous Playlists

Reel-to-Reel Presents: “Almost Famous”

“Experience it. Enjoy it. Just don’t fall for it.”

– Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in “Almost Famous” (Crowe, 2000)

There are very few words in the English language to express just how important “Almost Famous” is to me; in the immortal words of Bad Company, “it’s all part of my rock and roll fantasy.” 

To a little girl who grew up on her dad’s rock albums, there was nothing more whimsical than the idea of being whisked away by a band. But I never wanted to be Penny Lane; I always wanted to be William Miller or, even better, Lester Bangs. 


ALL OF MY INJURIES — Upcoming NC State Student Photo Exhibit

This Saturday, March 23rd, NC State junior Rory Sullivan will be holding his first solo photography exhibition. The show is titled “All of My Injuries” and will take place from 5:30 to 8:00 P.M. at 1310 Hillsborough Street. Zines and photo prints will be available at the exhibition, as well as free yerba mate for the first group of attendees. The exhibition is a culmination of his present works, with a primary focus on “the ideas of emotional injury represented in physical form as well as the sort of vulnerability that comes along with it” as stated by Sullivan.

Photograph by Rory Sullivan

As well as personal projects, Sullivan has previously photographed and filmed within the North Carolina rap scene, and has worked with artists such as Newman and TiaCorine. He has also previously done work within Platform, NC State’s student-run fashion magazine and has several photoshoots in past editions of the magazine credited to him. Included in this are some photographs included in the exhibit that convey the ideology that the show will be presenting through Sullivan’s artistic works.

Photograph by Rory Sullivan

The growth and emphasis upon student art and exhibitions at NC State has been a wonderful event to witness as a student here myself, and presently I can only hope for this upwards trajectory to continue. Despite our standing as a STEM-focused school, the student body has proven time and again to be incredibly creative and innovative within the arts, and I feel it is important to celebrate this when it often feels like the scientific advancements produced by students and alumni seem to stifle artistic achievements. Creative freedom and the expression of human vulnerability are reflections of the basic desires of adolescence and should be embraced with open arms.

Photograph by Rory Sullivan

-Leksie Fetrow


“Dune: Part Two” Sounds of the Desert and Fremen Jihad

If y’all haven’t noticed, the second part of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” movies has been in theaters for over a week. The absolutely epic nature of “Dune” continues in its second movie and relies heavily on a soundtrack again written and composed by Hans Zimmer, one of Hollywood’s premiere sound designers for blockbuster films like “Interstellar”, “Kung Fu Panda 4” and Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” trilogy. 

I can be a very picky person when it comes to book adaptations. Especially for books that are impossible to adapt to a screen perfectly. “Dune” is definitely one of those books. However, the music and cinematography bring the world of Arrakis to life. This is the strong point of the two Villeneuve “Dune” films for me. They are absolutely some of the most beautiful representations of Arrakis imaginable.

Dune: Part Two” opens with soft sounds and a slowly waking planet and people. Zimmer captured this extremely well with tracks like “Beginnings Are Such Delicate Times”. We slowly traverse the golden path of Paul Atreides becoming the Lisan al Gaib, the prophet and messiah of the Fremen people of Dune. 

Zimmer’s soundtrack builds as the tension in the story begins to weave towards war. In “Dune: Part Two” there’s abundant imagery and scenes of the Harkonnen clan on their cold, black sunned planet, Giedi Prime, that Zimmer again captures well with “Harkonnen Arena”. It’s music drowning in fear, violence and greed. I love the way it makes the pasty, bald-headed Harkonnens more treacherous just with some epic music. 

The scenes on Giedi Prime are also unique and beautiful too. They are absolutely some of my favorite interpretations from the source material (though I do wish they made Baron and Feyd Harkonnen even nastier like the books). The black and white coliseum scene is the most goosebump inducing gladiator fight scene I’ve seen in a film to date. 

In the second half of the film, the music’s rise in tempo with the imminent war helps quicken the heart beat more. There’s a ton of plot points in the book I wish I saw represented in this section of the movie (like Paul and Chani’s child that gets killed and young Alia running around talking at a few months old), but adaptations can’t be perfect. It’d take years to get through a perfect adaptation of “Dune”. I’m satisfied with what I was able to witness in theater, but still longing for perfection even when I know it won’t arrive.

Miscellaneous Playlists

Reel-to-Reel Presents: Hello, I’m…Johnny Knoxville?

How can you immediately spot someone who’s jumped a dirt bike off a homemade ramp? Play the Minutemen’s “Corona” in a crowd. 

Fronted by Johnny Knoxville and supported by a motley crew of Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Ryan Dunn, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña, Dave England, Preston Lacey, Ehren McGhehey, and formerly Bam Margera, among others, “Jackass” started with humble DIY roots on MTV and blossomed into a seven-film franchise, give or take a few. 


How Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days” Shows a Love for Music

Recently, I went to see Wim Wenders’ new film “Perfect Days.” You may be familiar with the director for his work on the movie “Paris, Texas,” which is widely regarded as a classic, featuring a spectacular performance from the late Harry Dean Stanton and sprawling shots of the Texas countryside.

“Perfect Days,” has the makings of a classic in its own right. It follows Hirayama, an aging man who feels content with his life cleaning toilets in Tokyo. He focuses on the quiet beauties in life, cultivating plants, listening to his cherished cassette tapes, and taking photos with his small point-and-shoot camera. Every moment of his day is carefully routinized, almost like a meditation, as the entire first hour of the movie follows his routines. However, encounters with other people and his estranged family leads him to reflect on his simple style of living.

One aspect of the movie that stuck out to me was Hirayama’s cassette tapes. He listens to one tape every day on the ride to and from work, and the music settles him. Hirayama has collected hundreds of tapes ranging from The Kinks to Otis Redding.

There’s a point in the film where his younger colleague, Takashi, needs a ride because his bike has broken down. Hirayama is forced to give Takashi and his moody girlfriend, Aya, a ride. While Takashi frets over his bike, Aya is drawn to the stack of cassette tapes on the dashboard. She picks up Patti Smith’s album “Horses,” and asks if she can play it.