The O-town Scene

July 10, 2014

The O-town Scene - Oneonta, NY

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Summer is in full swing now (for, like, at least another few weeks) and I'm relishing the opportunity to wear fewer than 10 ar- ticles of clothing. But as always, the trendy looks for this season are a mixed bag. Here's a peek at a few of them: THE GOOD Maxi dresses and skirts are still going strong for this season, and even though I haven't taken the plunge to buy one yet, this is a trend I wholeheartedly endorse. I mean, you're basically wearing a night- gown/beach cover-up — super comfy, flat- tering to a wide range of figures, and can be dressed up or dressed down. Skater skirts and dresses are also still having a moment, and this is one trend I'm all about. A-line and straight skirts are all well and good, but for God's sake, it's time for some variety on the retail shelves. Yay for skirts and dresses with a defined waist that make me look like I actually have curves. Boyfriend shorts and jeans are a great way to ease out of the skinny-jean trend without going all the way back to boot-cut. I like these with a really narrow cuff, which mysteriously makes them look more slim- ming (how does that work?). THE BAD Ripped cutoffs are kind of a thing right now, and I just can't get behind this look. Ripped jeans, yeah, I can kind of under- stand it, but when you shred your cutoffs, it just means I can see your pockets. I do not find this sexy or cute. "Dressy" track pants should be an oxymoron. I can appreciate that slightly loose-fitting, cuffed pants are flattering, and goodness knows I appreciate an elastic waistband. Fine. Can we just call them something different? It's just embarrassing to say, "Track pants" when someone asks you what you're wearing. THE MEH Crop tops, with or without matching skirts, can be cute, skanky, chic or just plain weird. I have seen these work on people with figures from model-skinny to curvy and plus-size, but I still can't muster up the courage to do it. I think I will let this trend pass me by. Nobody needs to see my "skin belt." Fruit prints and novelty graphic T- shirts just make me want to roll my eyes. Am I am old grouch? Maybe. I guess there's nothing wrong with these things for weekend/casual wear, but I still find them a little bit annoying. Rompers and jumpsuits just leave me cold. I have seen these look great on people who are tall and slim, and honestly sometimes rompers look so much like dresses that it doesn't even matter. But I can't bring myself to buy one when I am pretty sure this trend is going to fade away pretty soon. Emily F. Popek has rarely been accused of being trendy. She is also assistant edi- tor of The Daily Star. July 10, 2014 O-Town Scene 3 New Music Notes|By Mark Boshnack Laygirl Fashion|By Emily Popek Summer Trends I Don't Hate "Psychic Trauma" serves as not only as the name of one of the best songs on the Cloud Nothings' new album; it is also a description of the subject matter for much of "Hear and Nowhere Else." Lead guitarist, singer and songwriter Dylan Baldi and his Cleveland-based trio have put together easily one of the best albums I've heard this year. There are no weak songs in this outing, just one hook- laden, post-punk track, after another, often flowing seamlessly, building in intensity that makes this album something to cherish. The first song, "Now Hear In," starts with a basic chord riff by Baldi, propelled by the sharp drumming of Jayson Gerycz, and solid bass playing of TJ Duke, a com- bination that is impressive throughout. To think that this deep of a sound comes from a three-person band is certainly impressive, reminiscent of how much the Police delivered from a similar lineup. The band first caught my ears with the release of "Hey Cool Kid" in 2010. The lyrics were buried behind the layers of sound. Three albums later, the band has morphed from four members to the cur- rent lineup. Not only has this produced a tighter sound, but they have really found a perfect spot between the music and the attitude that is needed to stand out. And you can hear what the singer has to say. Baldi acknowledges in a recent inter- view that his style is to write the music ahead of time, but the lyrics come together shortly before the recording, otherwise he overthinks it. This gives the songs a certain immediacy and rawness that is powerful. "Psychic Trauma" starts out with a clas- sic rock feel to discuss the meaning of life. "Is it all right to end up this way? Life gets boring, it fades away." At the 44 sec- ond mark, it starts a dialogue at a faster pace, at times spitting out the words — "I can't believe that what you're telling me is true/ My mind is always wasted listen- ing to you." It all ends with some edgy jamming, before fading out with a dash of feedback. Check out the primal intensity of the band while jamming around the sparse lyrics or the howls of Baldi on "Giving into Seeing," reminding me at times of Kurt Cobain. Finding an album that is this good is always an inspiration to me to keep listen- ing for next month's column. So it's time to break out my headphones and con- tinue listening for the best in new music. Mark Boshnack is a reporter for The Daily Star, and a music fiend. He can be reached at mboshnack@ Cloud Nothings Shine With Tighter Sound

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