International Fashion Show combines cultural diversity and elegant fashion Wednesday, Feb 2 2022 

By Tate Luckey —

“Fashion cannot exist without culture,” International Fashion show host Gabrielle Mabra echoes. The Met Gala-themed event, sponsored by the University of Louisville Student Activities Board, showcased two hours of performances and clothing that depicted the different cultures present in the U of L community.

North America

A North American dress example

Avery Elise, singing “Crazy in Love” 

First up was the region of North America, characterized by fashion categorized by city. For example, Chicago is known for its sportswear and casual threads, while New York is associated with formal, more intentional styles. The region was capped off with a performance by Avery Elise singing Beyonce’s classic 2003 “Crazy in Love”.

Asia

Kristine Brucal, sophomore STEM major, wearing a baro’t saya

Vivi Nguy, 2023, wearing an áo dài during the 2022 International Fashion Show

Next was the region of Asia, characterized by dramatic drapings and more genderfluid attire. There is a bigger emphasis on sustainable clothes rather than “fast-fashion” that is more prominent in places like the United States. “I more specifically represented Vietnam, wearing Vietnam’s traditional outfit known as an ‘áo dài’, which both sexes can wear,” U of L junior Vivi Nguy said. “The amazing thing about an áo dài is that most people who get one are personally fitted to it and choose their own designs. This makes it a one of kind of to everyone who wears one.”

“I was born in the Philippines but grew up in the States. I was very lucky to have parents that kept the culture in the household growing up,” sophomore Kristine Brucal said. “I wore a baro’t saya, a piece of traditional Filipino clothing. It was made by a designer in the Philippines! Her name is Joy Soo, and her brand is called MUSA.”

Europe

An example of modern European Fashion

Followed by Asia was Europe, whose fashion emphasizes elegant gowns and corsets and “business chic.” Jewelry and accessories make up a big part of European fashion. Some examples of more contemporary designers include Stella McCartney, Iris van Herpen and Isabel Marant. 

Latin America

Emphasized by a rich, colorful tropic lifestyle and delicious food/dancing, the clothing of Latin America is characterized by bright, long flowing dresses and causal contrasting-colored garments. Most outfits presented also had some form of a hat or accessory. Prominent designers include Oscar de la Renta and Nina Garcia. Following their showcase was a performance of “Despacito” by Christopher Morales. 

Middle East 

Another example of a culture with bright, flowing clothing is the Middle East, spearheaded by designers Elie Tahari and Ruti Zisser. Lots of important women throughout history have worn Israeli fashion, including Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana. Gold is often a highlight on most articles of clothing. Rawan Saleh performed Rudy Francisco’s “The Heart and the Fist” before transitioning to the last region.

Africa

Prince Chenou, 2024

African fashion features a lot of patterns and various dynamic color tones, looking very elegant and regal. Including prominent designers like Alvin Bell, Gordon Henderson and Imane Ayissi, African fashion often is built on extremely detailed seamwork and figure accentuating cuts. “What makes [African culture] so unique is that there are so many different countries with different languages and cultures and you can represent yourself in whatever way you’ll like,” sophomore business major Prince Chenou said. “I decided to wear this shirt because I remember my dad had worn a shirt like that one with similar patterns and I always admired the way he was able to wear it.”

The last performance of the International Fashion Show included Cardinal Bhangra, which was started in 2008 to showcase the traditional Punjabi folk dance. During the performance they held customized Louisville Slugger bats and incorporated elements of the Derby and the late Muhammad Ali. Their outfits are traditional pieces worn in Punjab, called a kameez, and a vest, called a vardis.

The recording of the show can be found here.

File photos // IFS 2022//

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Snag these dorm gifts for under $50 this Christmas season Saturday, Dec 18 2021 

By Tate Luckey —

It’s the end of the semester. Finals are over, there’s a chill in the air and the annual spirit of gift-giving is upon us. 

But, you’re a college student, and just spent the last five months eating nothing but meal swipes and microwave noodles in your dorm as you work away on assignments. What can you possibly afford? 

I polled around 100 students and posed to them the question “If you had a budget of $50, what’s the most useful dorm gift you can think to get?”

ASAKUKI Essential Oil Diffuser. (Photo/Amazon.com)

Oil Diffuser/Wax Heater

Since candles aren’t allowed in dorms, an oil diffuser or wax heater is the perfect way to keep your dorm smelling fresh post-break. junior and Kurz Hall Resident Assistant Marc Ramsingh recommends the ASAKUKI Essential Oil Diffuser, as it’s remote controlled and even has 7 LED settings for those late-night study sessions. 

Illuminated Vanity Mirror

“This was my favorite, most useful thing my freshman year,” junior Hannah Walker said about the AirExpectal Illuminated Vanity Mirror. The 72 LED mirror comes with 3 light settings, perfect for getting the right look for your next social event.

HotPop Microwave Popcorn Popper. (Photo/Amazon.com)

Microwave Popcorn Popper

The microwaves in the dorms are definitely subpar, so if you’re looking for a way to pop perfect popcorn every time, the HotPop Microwave Popcorn Popper is perfect for any movie nights you might have. “I actually save money just buying the kernels and oil, it’s super convenient,” sophomore Paige Hensley said.

Dorm Posters

A great way to show your style is by buying posters for your room. Sites like redbubble.com, allposters and icanvas are all quality sites to browse to find the right posters needed to show off your style and decorate your space. U of L even hosts a poster sale during the fall semester early on with local vendors, so be sure to check your emails for when that event arrives!

Now, there are plenty of other great gifts you can get for yourself or your roomie for the holidays, including a Keurig, an electric tea kettle and even 3-month supply of Chegg. Just remember to treat yourself to something that will make your dorm more “you.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Pentatonix brings festive acapella to Louisville Monday, Dec 13 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

Three-time Grammy-winning acapella group Pentatonix decked the halls at the Yum! Center on Dec. 11 with their headlining “Evergreen Tour.”

I went with my best friend, Destiny Smith, a junior nursing major whom I frequently reference in my opinion articles. 

I was fortunate enough to score 2 floor seats located directly in front of the sound booth —the premium spot to hear the quintet hit high notes and belt out holiday carols.

The concert was slated to start at 7 p.m, but doors opened at 6 p.m. After grabbing our jumbo pretzels and settling down in our seats, we waited for the group to appear as Christmas music played in the background.

I noticed that the audience of this concert was significantly older than I would have imagined. Sitting all around us were older adults dressed in festive holiday dresses and ugly Christmas sweaters, all of whom had come to listen to this diverse group of young acapella singers perform some of the classics and even their own original music. 

A few minutes before the band finally appeared on stage, a handful of the audience started chanting “PTX! PTX!” over and over again. Sure enough, at around 7:45 p.m, the lights went down and the audience started yelling and cheering. A video appeared on the large screens next to the stage with the members singing “It’s Been a Long Long Time.” 

Shortly thereafter, the curtains raised and the acapella group was standing there on stage singing their acapella version of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime.”

The show continued with classic holiday songs like “Joy to the World,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” and “We Need a Little Christmas.” They even sang my personal favorite PTX cover “Mary, Did You Know?” which had tenor Mitch Grassi belting out notes that you have to hear in-person to believe. Even then, I couldn’t wrap my head around the sheer strength behind his high notes.

Interspersed between songs, each band member gave a short speech about how glad they were to be in Louisville and how enthusiastic the audience was during each song.

Baritone Scott Hoying even detailed the history of the group’s origins, including the beginning of Pentatonix starting in high school with members Hoying, Grassi, and mezzo-soprano Kirstie Maldonado. Hoying joked that this was his “pretending-to-be-straight era,” which earned laughs from the audience.

Kevin Olusola, Pentatonix’s vocal percussion and an Owensboro native, shared how he felt like he was back home with the band being in Kentucky. Olusola then led the audience into a moment of silence in memory of the devastating tornado on early Saturday morning that devastated much of western Kentucky. 

The band then led into a beautiful cover of the Christian hymn “Amazing Grace.”

“I can feel the warmth and the kindness just emanating from everyone in this room,” said Mitch about the fact that everyone can be together in one large area again since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a brief intermission, during which I bought my Evergreen Tour t-shirt from the crowded merch stand, Pentatonix reemerged with a dazzling costume change and launched into their beautiful cover of “Hallelujah” by the late Leonard Cohen. 

They finished out the concert with a charming and hilarious cover of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” sung primarily by the group’s newest member, bass Matt Sellee as well as original songs from their latest album, “Evergreen” and a modern version of the classic “12 Days of Christmas.”

But I wasn’t the only one who knew that that wasn’t the end. Despite some of the audience taking an early leave, the lights in the arena hadn’t even come up yet. We all cheered on Pentatonix to come out for an encore, and they did so. They turned off their mics for a cover of the song “My Heart With You,” and their voices projected loud and clear around the room. 

They ended with a jazzy rendition of “Joyful, Joyful,” and the curtains closed for the final time that night.

The combination of holiday music, stage sets, and the sugar cookie aroma filling the Yum! Center arena (which Mitch commented on) created an atmosphere of holiday festivity.

I’ve been a fan of Pentatonix since I was 14. Since then, I’ve forced my family to watch dozens of their music videos and even saw them open for Kelly Clarkson on her 2015 “Piece by Piece Tour.” This concert was a privilege to attend and I can only hope they return to Louisville again in years to come.

 

 

Photos by Catherine Brown // The Louisville Cardinal

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Floyd Street Theater showcases 2021 Halloween lineup Thursday, Oct 21 2021 

By Tate Luckey

The Floyd Street Theater has announced its lineup for Halloween-themed movies for the month. There are two screenings of each movie, one at 5:00 PM and one at 7:30 PM.

  • Psycho (1960) – October 27th and 28th
  • Candyman (1992) – November 2nd
  • Candyman (2021) – November 3rd and 4th

File Photos // The Floyd Theater //

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U of L students take in St. James Court Art Show Thursday, Oct 7 2021 

By Daniel Rankin —

The start of October saw the return of one of Louisville’s longest, and most cherished, tradition: the 65th Annual St. James Court Art Show.

Over fall break, local residents and students were able to spend their weekend admiring arts and crafts created by over 650 artists.

Located in Old Louisville, many were able to enjoy the show’s atmosphere and environment as a start to the autumn season.

“The setting is great,” said sophomore Ryan Raccioppio, “I love Old Louisville and having people down here.”

He also stated that an evening out during fall midterms is always appreciated. “I was excited to go after class and grab a couple of buddies to check it out,” he said.”It’s super fun, and I like all the local artists.”

Along with Raccioppio, fellow sophomore Aditi Kanotra agreed that seeing the art show was a nice break from college life.

“I was looking forward to it this week and am really happy I came,” Kanotra said. “It’s definitely an experience and [there’s] always something new to see.”

While observing the victorian 4-square block, you could tell it wasn’t just the magnificent art that put everyone in such a pleasant mood. It was also being able to walk around, see your fellow classmates, and interact with your friends and family.

“I’ve really liked seeing everyone again,” said sophomore political science major Mercy Muluberehan. “Just getting out and feeling like normal. [It’s] exactly the right way to spend a Friday night.”

While the St. James Court Art Show concluded its successful weekend over fall break, students can still see more beautiful artwork at The Speed Art Museum: Kentucky’s oldest, and largest, art museum located on campus. Admission is free for U of L students.

Photo Courtesy of Daniel Rankin // The Louisville Cardinal

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Celtic Pig foodtruck expands with campus restaurant Thursday, Sep 23 2021 

By Tate Luckey

Last semester, in an effort to break up the dwindling lack of dining options on campus (partly brought on by last year’s lack of campus residence), U of L Dining had a week where food trucks from local Louisville and Southern Indiana restaurants came to campus in what was dubbed as “Food Truck Fest.” Now, one of those has a permanent home here on campus: The Celtic Piglet.

Located behind the Speed School of Engineering and right inside the Duthie Center, the Celtic Piglet carries on the BBQ and English hybrid theme of the food truck. As such, their menu features a mix of both smoked meat-based and “Celtic” in origin foods. A meal swipe includes any entree under 8 dollars, a side of either a bag of chips or fruit and a drink. They’re open 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Sausage egg and cheese biscuit

The Food

I decided to try one meal for breakfast, and one meal for their lunch. So at 10:45 on a Wednesday morning, I hiked down to indulge in a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, since they were out of Scotch Eggs. And the results: not bad. It was admittedly small, but it was hot and a nice meal to get you through your first class or 2. The biscuit was pretty tender. But for a meal swipe (or 6 bucks a la carte), and breakfast, there are better options on campus.

A (messy) cross-section of the “Pulled Pork Panini”.

Lunchtime rolled around and I again went back to try their sandwiches. I played it safe in getting a pulled pork panini, but this was a much more worthwhile option: tender smoky pork and Monterey jack/cheddar cheese on a pillowy sesame seed bun. I even got a brownie too, just to try it and out and it was great: nice and chocolatey, chewy, and had a layer of tacky caramel and walnuts on top. It was nice, but the issue is that again, it’s one of the only entrees you can get for under 8 dollars.

The Issues

I’m not alone in this opinion- Colter Koch, a sophomore engineering student, likes the convenience of the restaurant, but is unsure about the reasonability of such prices. “Oftentimes I will grab the breakfast burrito or sausage and egg biscuit in between my morning classes. I enjoy the food a lot, but the prices in comparison to other breakfast options on campus are honestly unreasonable. Paying double for a breakfast sandwich just because it is a bit closer makes choosing the Celtic Piglet tough. I think the popularity of this spot would greatly increase if they priced their food options closer to those of other campus options,” he said. 

For comparison – I’m a student in the School of Business, so it’s about a 15-minute walk to get to the place from where I take most of my classes at. Not exactly out of the way, but considering the Ville Grille or Subway is closer, and it’s about the same amount of time to get there as it is to the SAC, it can make the average student consider the value of their meal swipes.

Final Verdict

Overall, would I eat at the Celtic Piglet again? Sure, if it was closer. It breaks up the monotony of fast food here on campus and is a good option for those looking for smaller, home-cooked-style meals, but with it being smack in the middle of where engineering students primarily are it can be out of the way for a lot of students.

File Photos // The Louisville Cardinal

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Feature Editor reviews Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” Thursday, Sep 16 2021 

By Tate Luckey

Among the various pop and hip-hop albums released throughout the year, the album-of-the-year conversation arguably boils down to a few artists: maybe it’s Tyler The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost, or Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour; perhaps J-Cole’s The Off-Season? Kanye recently dropped Donda, which I did a review of here. And now Drake enters the fray, with his album “Certified Lover Boy’ coming out just a week after Donda. Is the 6God back? Was the Champaign Papi right in his hype over the album, going all the way back to 2019?

Short answer: No. Longer answer: Kinda? But he dropped the ball.

The Artwork

I would be remiss not to first address the album art. Designed by Damien Hirst, on a blank background features 12 pregnant women emojis in various clothes and skin tones. Contrast this with Scorpion, a clean, almost vintage-looking black and white photo of Drake looking serious, or even Views, in which he is (photoshopped) atop Toronto’s CN Tower. It’s an extremely jarring, almost immature contrast to what listeners are used to. 

The Songs

Drake and Kawhi Leonard Reunite in the Video for "Way 2 Sexy"

Drake and Kawhi Leonard Reunite in the “Way 2 Sexy” Video

Yet somehow that is about the most exciting thing on the album. The songs aren’t necessarily bad. They’re just, not notable. Listening to the near 90-minute album I could name two, maybe three songs total that stand out, the first one being his lead single “Way 2 Sexy” featuring Future and Young Thug. That song is classic Drake. It’s catchy. Future and Thug’s verses are great, and it’s now being taken over by TikTok as a “sexy boys anthem.”

“Champaign Poetry” is actually a nice intro song, sampling Masego’s “Navajo” (which in turn, samples a cover of the Beatles classic “Michelle”), with Drake discussing his conflicts of fame and his true self in a very “stream-of-consciousness” type of flow. 

But beyond that, the other 80 minutes are just kinda….there. 

Girls Want Girls? Just kind of weird. “Yeah, say that you a lesbian, girl, me too” he playfully sings. What does that even mean? Heck, what does the title even mean? Most of the lyricism is just discussing Drake’s lack of loving, about the heartbreak and hardships he’s encountered.  The number and notoriety of the artists featured here can’t make up for the same rehashed subjects. It’s like Drake has fallen into a formula, and here we see an album emblematic of the question “where will he go from here?” but for the wrong reason. 

It’s just not exciting. 

The Bottom Line

Again, the album is not bad. It’s very well produced, and for casual Drake listeners, there’s stuff to enjoy. But you can’t help to think that given the musical deluge this past year, there should have been more. 

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Features Editor highlights Kanye West’s “Donda” Friday, Sep 10 2021 

By Tate Luckey

After months of delays, 3 listening parties, and a bunch of controversies, Donda, Kanye West’s 10th album, is finally out for the masses to listen to. His last album, Jesus Is King (2019) combines Christian overtones and gospel elements with his repudiation from sin. Donda expands upon this, interlacing the previous point with Ye’s family and childhood. It’s an expansive album (27 whole songs, just shy of 2 hours), with an equally expansive catalog of features (by comparison, Jesus is King clocks in at 27 minutes, and The Life Of Pablo goes on for just over an hour). Because there is so much here to unpack, here are a few songs that really stand out. 

Hurricane 

Featuring vocals from “The Weeknd” and a verse from “Lil Baby”, this song actually popped up in 2018 as a demo West posted on his Instagram and Twitter. Now as a fully finished song in 2021, this is definitely one of the standouts of the album. Kanye has a real knack for realizing what sounds fit and which don’t; The Weeknd’s harmony with his Sunday Service Choir on the first and last “Don’t let me down” is powerful. This song’s transformation from an arguably lofi sound to more grandiose is perhaps emblematic of Kanye’s musical transformation, too. 

Jail

Set up after “Donda Chant” and featuring a verse from Jay Z, Jail is my personal favorite song from the album. The chorus is infectious, and the minimalist guitar instrumental perfectly complements the restrained anger Ye and Jay-Z’s lyrics have towards the prison systems and their own personal heartbreaks. It’s the perfect song to display their lyrical chemistry. 

Moon 

Kanye’s ability to create both energetic and somber songs is on full ability display while listening to “Moon”. The lush, reverb-soaked vocals perfectly complement “Moon”‘s idea of ascension (which, knowing Kanye is likely spiritual). One can even make the argument that Kanye’s calling out to his mom, given the lines “don’t leave me so soon” and asking out “how can I get through” to reach out. 

Believe What I Say

Previewed during the 3rd listening party West had for DONDA, “Believe What I Say” is another standout. The grooving bassline, along with West’s laid-back vocals give off a Graduation vibe. Even Lauryn Hill is featured at the beginning! It’s a song that I think is underrated on the album, and fans of older Kanye may enjoy it more. 

Now, it’s tough to quantify a body of work from an artist, whether a film or painting or album, as a letter grade or star review system. I feel that that’s disingenuous to the idea of a review. So I’m choosing to grade this based on a simple question: would I listen to Donda again? Sure. Admittedly, a few of the songs go on too long (looking at you, Jesus Lord), but I encourage anyone reading to block out time to take a listen. It’s almost as if this album is meant to be heard at a live event rather than in your own home. Concept albums are nothing necessarily new, but Kanye does it again producing a moving, introspective experience.

File Graphic // Kanye West Twitter //

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U of L attempting a semblance of normalcy for fall 2021 semester Wednesday, Sep 1 2021 

By Grace Welsh —

For University of Louisville students and staff alike, this fall semester may give some a little deja vu.

With COVID-19 cases steadily climbing to the level they were during the winter of 2020, U of L has reinstated a mask mandate for all students and staff in indoor settings. Jefferson County has seen over 3,000 new cases during the week of August 22 alone, and the number continues to grow due to the high transmissibility of the Delta variant.

Louisville students have wondered what this means for their upcoming semester, especially now that most classes, clubs, and events are meeting in person for the first time since spring of 2020. John Karman, U of L’s Executive Director of Communications at the Office of Communications and Marketing said, “We’ve welcomed our students back to campus, and clubs and events have returned with them.”

“Our intention is a full, on-campus semester, but we will continue to follow CDC and state health department guidelines. We have proven that we can pivot to other means of instruction if necessary,” he said, in reference to both virtual and distance education. In May, Vince Tyra, Vice President/Director for Intercollegiate Athletics, announced that Cardinal Stadium will be at full capacity for the 2021 football season. In addition, the university revealed in June that all home games for the men’s and women’s basketball team will also be at 100% capacity.

There is currently no mandate for students and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19, however the university has been urging its members to do so. “U of L students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to get [it]. It is safe and effective and our best defense against the pandemic,” Karman said. As of August 30th, 66.2% of students and 70% of staff are vaccinated; if both populations can reach 80% vaccinated, the campus-wide mask mandate will be lifted.

Louisville’s starting Quarterback Malik Cunningham.

In an effort to encourage individuals to get the vaccine, U of L has begun a social media campaign featuring prominent student-athletes and the slogan “I Got the Shot. Join the Team.”

Professors have also included vaccine and mask information on their syllabi, and U of L’s official website highlights their coronavirus protocol page that features information on vaccines, testing, travel guidelines, statistical data and FAQs.

For more information on UofL’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit: https://louisville.edu/coronavirus/health-protocols

Graphics // U of L FSL Twitter //

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Viral sensation Rico Nasty to perform at SAB’s Spring Concert Thursday, Apr 1 2021 

By Grace Welsh

Tonight at 7:00 p.m., the University of Louisville’s Student Activities Board will host their annual spring concert, featuring rapper Rico Nasty. The forty-minute performance, done virtually through Microsoft Teams, will be free for U of L students who sign up through SAB’s Engage portal. After the show, Rico will be doing a 20 minute Q&A session, with questions provided by SAB.

Yasmean Fogle, SAB’s concert chair, is excited to bring a strong female artist to campus.

“We haven’t had one in a long time, and I felt like this was somebody that everyone could enjoy. Sometimes it can be hard to target a specific audience,” Fogle said. “But we think everyone can love her performance.”

After not being able to host 6LACK as planned last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fogle is excited that students will be able to experience the show in their own way and engage in the performance as if it were real.

With tracks like “Smack a B****,” “OHFR” and “Jealous,” Rico has shown that she is an artist who is both exciting and relatable. Social media platforms like Tiktok, have aided Rico in becoming a viral sensation.

In choosing the artist for their spring concert, SAB’s executive board combed through a list of 25 potential artists provided by a well-known production company. Fogle and her team decided on Rico Nasty for based on her talent, well-rounded nature and ability to entertain.

“I think she’ll have a great show because she is super energetic and does whatever she wants, which is a great look,” Fogle said.

Graphic Courtesy of the Student Activities Board 

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