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Nick Burns
Nick Burns '18 is a history major from Ventura. He writes on rock music, the Greeks, contemporary politics, and literature for several campus publications. He also serves as Prose and Poetry Editor for Leland Quarterly, Stanford's literary review.

Album(s) of the Year, part 2: Solitude and the self

The Music Beat’s coverage of our albums of the year continues, with two New York indie releases that grapple with solitude and the self in very different milieus — the post-punk synth breakdowns of LCD Soundsystem’s “american dream” and the pristine folk of Julie Byrne’s “Not Even Happiness.”   LCD Soundsystem, “american dream” —  Nick Burns,…

Following David Bowie’s legendary legacy of consistent change

“Il miglior fabbro” is a phrase – meaning “the superior craftsman” – that Dante used to describe an Occitan troubadour of great fame and TS. Eliot later repurposed to describe his friend and poetic mentor, Ezra Pound. Now, over a year after his death and on the 40th anniversary of the landmark year in his career,…

An American bard in Britain: Bob Dylan in concert

It’s not often you get the chance to see a Nobel Laureate in concert. So when the opportunity presented itself – in the form of Bob Dylan playing three shows in late April, at the small, ornate London Palladium during my quarter abroad at Oxford – I took it. I arrived early in my Dylan t-shirt…

In defense of U2

  If U2’s appearance as one of the featured artists on Kendrick Lamar’s new album, “DAMN.,” is a sign of the band’s continued relevance to contemporary music and culture, it’s also a reminder of how these signs have gotten rarer and rarer over the past several years. More than anything else, the band’s decision in…

Spoon loses their cool on ‘Hot Thoughts’

  Spoon’s latest album opens with a quivering, uneasy synth on the title track, “Hot Thoughts.” It sounds a little like an extrapolation of the dreamiest take from their last LP, the song “Inside Out” off of 2014’s “They Want My Soul.” But within a few seconds, as singer Britt Daniel’s lyrics and the guitar…

Are Stanford students excellent sheep? Deresiewicz revisited

The institutional philosophy and resulting campus culture of Stanford is based on the idea that if students are kept on equal footing and encouraged to aspire to personal success, the threat of competition and insincerity among the student body is diminished. There is no hierarchy built into university culture to exalt some students above others.

Remembering Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’ 20 years later

2017 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the death of Jeff Buckley, whose only studio album, 1994’s “Grace,” is a sort of cult classic of the nineties I am grateful (and ashamed) to have only recently discovered. Buckley made his name doing covers in coffeeshops in the Village, and his most popular song continues to…

A Nobel for Mr. Tambourine Man

Bob Dylan — folk singer, American national poet, enigma — is the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. The announcement was a surprise. Dylan had long been regarded as having an outside shot at the prize, but after a short run of writers virtually unknown outside their home countries the awarding of the…

New Wilco finds vulnerable, cynical Tweedy looking back

Jeff Tweedy doesn’t seem to care much about the critics anymore. This much was made clear on last year’s Wilco release, the chilled-out yet juddering “Star Wars,” which featured a kitschy cover and was released suddenly — and gratis — on the Wilco website. Intentionally throwing sour notes into the stew of songs like “Random…
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