This year over at RADAR we wanted to shift the focus of the section, and take it into a stronger creative direction — instead of focusing on recaps and reviews, we hoped to make the Arts & Entertainment section more engaging by producing dynamic content which not only informs our fellow Highlanders about Arts & Entertainment available to them, but also intelligently engages with it. By doing so, we introduced a number of new columns, such as In Retrospect and Under the Radar. Here is a selection of our year, in review.
Modeled based on NPR’s Tiny desk concerts, RADAR Sessions were our attempt to highlight the work of local musicians and artists, and to give a wider platform to many students creating dynamic, original work. A typical RADAR Sessions piece includes an interview and an exhibition of the artist’s work. Through our RADAR sessions we have covered a number of different genres and musicians, from jazz band Gypsies & Judges to hard rock with thechrishaverland.
Under the Radar:
While this may be surprising, some of us at the Highlander really love music. Like really, really love music. Many of us would constantly sift around the interwebs looking for new music, and the idea of Under the Radar came out of many of these discussions. With the amount of music available for release, we thought it would be worthwhile to create a column where we discuss some of our favorite up and coming artists, such as Snoh Alegra, Fantastic Negrito and Julien Baker.
While film reviews have been a staple of RADAR since the inception of the section, it is always interesting to break out of the mold and play around with the form of a film review. For the release of Star Wars, two of our senior staff writers went further than traditional reviews and wrote a series of reviews that were antithetical to each other, and yet in dialogue with each other. Nathan Swift and Robert Lees, both previous head editors of RADAR wrote reviews which encapsulated their positive and negative assessment of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Arts & Entertainment, however is not limited to consumable media. We wanted to expand our section to include larger cultural and art events that were happening in Riverside. From photography exhibitions and experimental music performances, to poetry readings and coverage of local venues, we really placed an emphasis on highlighting local aesthetic culture. A highlight of this is not just our coverage of events at the Culver Center of the Arts, but also our coverage of legendary Riverside restaurant, Tio’s Tacos, written by Senior Staff Writer Jessica Baker. Tio’s Tacos, combines home style tacos with recycled art works, and is a familiar sight to many Riverside natives.
In tandem with our goal of providing content that is engaging, we began a column titled In Retrospect, where a writer would loom at a previous project by an artist in any medium: film, television, music. The first “In Retrospect” written by Myles Andrews-Duve covered the 10th anniversary of Kanye West’s album “Late Registration,” delving into the influence of the album, the recording personnel and the place it holds in West’s oeuvre. Furthermore, another “In Retrospect” piece, written by Robert Lees, examined Bill Cosby’s career in the light of the stunning allegations about sexual assault which had been aired at that time.