PREVIEW: Lemaître “We Got U” Tour

Ready to scream into the void about the results of last night’s election? Why not dance your troubles away with the Norwegian indie electronic duo, Lemaître, before launching right back into the thick of things like a true wolverine? They will be performing Tonight, November 9th at Necto Nightclub as a part of their “We Got U” tour.

I have personally been listening to their music for years, and love their sound, but the best way to showcase their music would be to simply listen to it for yourself.  The following video is for “Playing to Lose,” off their latest EP, Afterglow. The video also features some footage of their live show in London, perhaps giving us a sneak peek of what awaits us tonight.

The following music video is for “Closer” off of their Singularity EP. This song was used in one of the first promotional videos released for the launch of Google’s Pixel Phone.


The doors will open at 9 PM, and you can buy tickets online or at the door for $18.  You can find more information about the event at Necto’s Website.

Tickets are available for pre-sale here. Note that while online tickets are only $15, there is an additional $3 charge for the transaction.

Featured Image from Interview Magazine. 

REVIEW: Jonathan Safran Foer Reading

Photo Credit: Literati
Photo Credit: Literati

Well, maybe, reading isn’t the most accurate word for it. After all, Jonathan Safran Foer read for a total of about five minutes (exactly two paragraphs). He explained that he hated readings and preferred conversations. Part of this is because he always has to figure out what to read and to whom. He described how he marked and labeled different sections for reading, and that half of these were “probably [about] jerking off,” which while that might make a great section for Ann Arbor, would probably not be so well-recieved in Nashville. The section he ended up reading was focused on the married couple who’s story makes up the heart of the novel. It included the wonderful line: “their inner lives were overwhelmed by all the living.”

The bulk of the evening was dedicated to the conversation with Douglas Trevor, though the conversational aspects were dubious. Jonathan Safran Foer had a habit of commenting halfway through a question and talking about whatever that half-question led him to. It didn’t seem necessarily that he was trying to lead the conversation in a certain direction or anything, more like he was too impatient to wait for the full question and he had to blurt out the ideas already forming in his head.

Still, the conversation turned out interesting at least. One of my, and I believe the rest of the audience’s, favorite parts was when JSF responded to a question about all the interesting tidbits of information and ideas placed in his novels, specifically, if he kept a scrapbook of such ideas to place in his works. JSF’s initial response was “I am never writing unless I’m writing,” which is very standard fare, but his answer continued on into further explanation, next describing how he doesn’t think. Like at all, or at least, unprovoked. He described his thoughts as responses–either to writing or conversation–and that when he is say, walking down the street, his mind is blank beyond basic feelings and thoughts (he wonders if anyone really thinks when they’re simply walking). This lack of thought has even led him to wonder if he really has feelings or if those are also just responses to stimuli. Needless to say, it was fascinating to listen to a world-renown author describe how few thoughts he has.

In response to another question, JSF described, rather beautifully, how when he is writing, no matter what he is writing, he feels that “this is the last thing you’ll ever write.” Not because he doesn’t plan on ever writing again obviously, but because “the person writing this book will not write another.” As in the sensibilities he has now will not be the same he has when he is older–looking back at his old work, he feels that these books were not written by him, as in current present JSF, but by a distinctly past version of himself. This makes sense given he wrote his first novel as a college student and his most recent one as a family man–people change, sometimes quite drastically.

In his Q&A with members from the audience, there was a question from one man which was prefaced by him stating that Jonathan Franzen was actually his favorite writer, to which JSF seemed a bit offended that this man would state that to him so matter of fact. When the man then attempted to backpedal by saying no disrespect, JSF said “respect is for losers.” He proceeded to answer the question somewhat adequately, but in a sense this interaction served as a summary of the entire night. Highly entertaining, kind of informative, not quite rude, but also just plain off.

Preview: Roméo et Juliette

Many people know the tragic love story by William Shakespeare of Romeo and Juliet.  However, the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is putting on, not the play of Romeo and Juliet, but the opera Roméo et Juliette.  Staying true to the classic love story that many are familiar with, this version will be sung in French with projected English translations.  As many others can probably relate, I have known the story of Romeo and Juliet practically my whole life, but I became familiarized with it as a freshman in high school when we dove into the story.  I’m certain that this operatic version will not disappoint.


Roméo et Juliette will be performed in the Power Center on Thursday 11/10 @ 7:30pm, Friday 11/11 and Saturday 11/12 @ 8:00pm, and Sunday 11/13 @ 2pm.  Tickets are $12 for students with a valid I.D., and $22-$28 for reserved seating for all other audience members.

REVIEW: The Importance of Being Ernest

Every single male role was played by a female, and the most imposing female role was played by a male. Such was Rude Mechanical’s original conception of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Oscar Wilde’s classic play published in 1895.

The play is all about relationships. Algernon, played by Cailean Robinson, and Jack, played by Mason Van Gieson, discuss romance and courtship. Both men develop a facade as they pursue two different women, and they build up a tower of lies until it all comes crashing down at the end in perfectly absurd Wilde-like fashion.

Although the play was supposedly changed to have its setting in the 1950’s, I didn’t notice much of a difference from Wilde’s original conception. Perhaps I just don’t know enough about English social history. Either way, the decision to switch genders was brilliant.

I didn’t realize how well the play would go with women in the shoes of men. Every role was well-acted, from Algernon’s well-timed poses as he recited Wildean witticisms, to Lady Bracknell’s diva pose every time he/she entered the stage.

Also losing his/her pants
Also losing his/her pants

Some of the one-liners were especially ironic, given the change of gender, such as when Algernon tells Jack:

“My dear fellow, the truth isn’t quite the sort of thing one tells to a nice, sweet, refined girl. What extraordinary ideas you have about the way to behave to a woman!”

Or this rendition’s focus on the actors fondling their own and each others’ genitalia right in front of the audience (see above picture).

The set design was tasteful without being too imposing. Each act, from Algernon’s flat in London to the drawing-room of the Manor House in the country, had plenty of eye candy and props that the actors were free to interact with at will. There were some scenes where I couldn’t tell if the actions were rehearsed, or if they were entirely ad-libbed. My favorite example of this was in the Garden, where Cecily (in pink) grabs a flower pot and makes some raunchy gyrations with it.


The only drawback of the play wasn’t because of the acting or directing, but due to Oscar Wilde himself. Say what you will about the man, but you have to admit that he likes his sensational plots. The first act goes out in all different directions, and the second act seems to tread out without telling the audience where its going. It isn’t until the very end of the third act that the play pulls itself together and makes sense of things.  Luckily, Rude Mechanicals made the journey worth it.

REVIEW: Fred Gelli- Penny Stamps Speaker Series

The night opened up like any other Penny Stamps Speaker Series lecture, with lively organ music ushering the crowds into the theater.  An attuned ear might notice that tonight’s choice of music included none other than the Brazilian national anthem, fitting the esteemed speaker of the night.  Fred Gelli is an influential Brazilian designer and creative director of the design consultancy Tátil, most recently known for creating the visual identity of the 2016 Rio Olympics and helping plan the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Gelli, through Tátil, has also worked with clients as far-ranging as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Philips, Nokia and more.


When Fred Gelli finally took the stage, the very first thing he mentioned was the beauty of Ann Arbor in the fall, pulling out a pristine orange leaf he had tucked into his front shirt pocket. This served as a perfect transition into a discussion of his primary source of design inspiration, nature.  He talked at length about how nature has already perfected design, outlining where he takes inspiration from items as mundane as fruit peels, and then uses these natural designs to solve very human problems.

img_3020He then went on to discuss his involvement in the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics.  His design team had been selected from a group of 139 teams all competing for the same spot. First entering the crowded application room, he didn’t dare to dream that he and his team would be selected, but as the groups were narrowed down it looked more and more like his dream of designing the Olympics would become a reality.

Designing the logo for the Olympics was a huge challenge, as it will be seen the world over in nearly every form of media possible.  The final design had multiple layers of meaning.  It featured green, yellow and blue to represent the Brazilian Flag, it looks vaguely like the word “Rio,” and the shape of the logo was directly inspired by the natural landscape and mountains surrounding Rio.  The following video clip was shown during the presentation.

His team also had the privilege of not only designing the logo for the Paralympic games, but also orchestrating the opening and closing ceremonies.  He had chosen to work on the Paralympics opening and closing ceremonies despite being offered the Olympics as well because of the artistic freedom and relative low pressure it would provide. The following video is a montage of some of the best moments from these performances.

While Gelli may have quipped about English being his second language, following that up with “but I’m sure it’s much better than your Portuguese,” he was well-spoken throughout the lecture, eloquently giving us a peek into his creative process.

If you are interested in the Penny Stamps lecture series, I implore you to take a look at the upcoming lectures here.  They are held every Thursday at 5:10 PM in the Michigan theater and are free to the public!

PREVIEW: Jonathan Safran Foer Reading

Jonathan Safran Foer, author of acclaimed novels Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, will be in Ann Arbor at Rackham Auditorium this Friday 11/4. He will be here promoting and reading from his latest novel Here I Am. Literati is hosting the event and the reading will be followed by a conversation with Douglas Trevor. Tickets must be purchased beforehand and are $12 for general admission, $32 for book bundle.