9 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 38
* Th Mihign Daly mihigadaiyco Thrsda, Spteber 6, 010- 3
The dos and don'ts of
decorating your dorm
Guitarist Benjamin Curtis loves touring, harmonizing, chilling ... and twins!
The Seven Bells to
There are two things I will
keep with me forever
upon my graduation from
the University of Michigan, along
with my degree
in one hand
and a pile of
debt in another. '
One of them is
and the other is
my poster col-
When I JENNIFER
was younger, XU
I could never
how obsessed my parents would
get with remodeling their per-
fectly fine kitchen or redecorating
their garden with even more use-
less masses of brick and mulch.
But standing in my one-bedroom
apartment with the smelly sink
and the window that only opens a
crack, I feel so much homeowner's
pride I could burst.
Above the couch, there's my
"America's Next Top Model"
shrine and some weird pages I
ripped from Nylon that say "The
revolution will be televised." On
top of the couch, a miniature
Charlie Brown-esque evergreen
tree that my roommate bought
from Meijer last Christmas. And
then there are the pictures of
Woody Allen scattered around
every corner; the posters of
"Trainspotting," "Lolita," "Away
We Go," "Eternal Sunshine of
the Spotless Mind" and "Gosford
Park" framing my bed; the photo-
graph of a tight-shirted Michael
Vartan winking cheekily at my
roommate and me whenever we
go to brush our teeth.
And thoughI am not usually
one to dispense advice, I believe
that, in the spirit of the nation,
we should encourage the public to
partake in a little Martha Stewart.
And so, some not-very-helpful tips
on apartment/dorm decorating:
Themes are always good -
The theme of my apartment is "I
do not like white walls soI am
just going to cover every inch of it
with pictures that I like," but you
can adopt any theme of your own.
If you l
but if y
ate it. T
All it rE
at all ti
ike "Transformers," you (this happens at least once a day,
nt out pictures of Michael no lie) and the high-frequency
d then create impossibly vibrations of the alarm managed
plosions whenever people to knock down three of my poster-
n. If you like food, you can puttied posters nearby. Once
lot of cookies and set your again, poster putty sucks.
zing treats out on your Ugly lamps are OK - When
o double as room decor. buying lamps, it's better to value
en invite me over. function over style. Right now
nventive - I know that's I'm staring at this beautiful five-
most generic advice ever, color floor lamp held up with
ou have any out-there idea a shaky metal stick andI am
g away at your brain, liber- deathly afraid it's going to fall on
?he most ingenious inven- my head. If you're going to invest
my short life is my CVS in at least one ugly piece of crap,
. I save random pictures of please make it your lamp. Plus,
like on the internet (usu- you can cover its hideousness
Woody Allen), and then go by doubling it as a coat hanger,
to buy 4x6 glossy prints and believe me, in your 8.5x8.5
a. Each print costs like six postage-stamp dorm room, you'll
cnd they often give free want anything that will keep you
away anyway. from falling face-forward on top
heap - Because your of your clothes as you waddle
s only a temporary haven your way across the bedroom
your academic and social floor.
s, don't buy original Indulge on lasting items - I
bought this $100 shaggy blue
chair from Dry Ice a million
years back on a total whim. Years
?oster putty later, people started sitting in it
)ke my heart. so much that it started smelling
k a little funny. All in all, a good
and honorable investment. Other
things I have: a paper lantern
o paintings and frame them from some Chinese store in New
r walls. Actually, don't York, a photo mobile hanger from
uy frames. The student Middle Earth and a canvas pic-
sale at the Union is always ture of three feathers from Urban
resource for cool prints, Outfitters.
y not be even cheaper? The point is, no matter what
osters.com blows up your the method, be decorative, and be
e images from the internet self-expressive when you're doing
ints them into a PDF file for it. At the risk of sounding too anti-
utting and taping pleasure. hipster, I think that it's healthy to
eally takes is a printer and a get attached to the new posses-
scissors. sions that we have once in a while.
ter putty sucks - When After all, we're students, and we
moved into my apartment, don't own many things in our
immate and I decided that, lives other than the clothes on our
r to be all environmentally backs and the computers you're
ous or whatever, we would reading this column on. Follow
ise some blue poster putty my advice, and sooner or later
king up our 203,948 pic- you'll be known in your hall as
nstead of resorting to tree- "that crazy person that is always
rolls of tape. Cue to two standing on chairs taping things."
of catching fallen posters It's a good feeling.
toll at the Bli
Chill homespun act
to spread the good
vibes in A2 tonight
By SHARON JACOBS
Assistant Arts Editor
It's a little surprising that the
three members of NYC-based
School of Seven
audiences. The SeVen Bells
band's intimate, .
homemade style Toght at
suggests a shyer 9 pli. .i
group, but the The Blind Pig
band is sure to $12
greet its crowd at
the Blind Pig tonight with enthusi-
"When we made (our) first
record ... we knew we were going to
play live, but we didn't realize that
! we were going to love it as much as
we do," guitarist Benjamin Cur-
tis said in an interview with the
Daily. After completing Alpinisms,
its worldly and otherworldly 2008
debut, School of Seven Bells took
off for a year of touring.
* "It was amazing," Curtis said,
"connect(ing) with people and
just discovering this really intense
energy. We weren't really aware of
the power there."
It was while on tour in Europe
that Curtis and identical twin
bandmates Claudia and Alejan-
dra Deheza were inspired to start
writing their second album, Dis-
connect from Desire. More emo-
tional than its predecessor, Desire
retains the band's wispy, ethereal
"All these ideas started coming
to me really quickly," explained
Curtis, who handles the band's
dreamy and sparse music while the
Dehezas write and harmonize the
"I'm deaf and I blast my head-
phones," he continued. "Ally and
Claudia started writing, just from
the headphone bleed."
Before Desire was completed,
the band had already found its title
in a mystical deck of cards - Brian
Eno and Peter Schmidt's "Oblique
"They made it as a tool for art-
ists ... to help you out of a cre-
ative problem," he said. Alejandra
Deheza drew a card that read "dis-
connect from desire," a message
Curtis said resonated with the
"We knew we were going to
write a record that was sort of a lot
more personal and original."
While School of Seven Bells
certainly concocts its own origi-
nal blend of delicate melodies and
slowly shifting accompaniments,
it's often boxed in with a shoegaze
label and treated with a string of
My Bloody Valentine and Coc-
teau Twins references. Curtis is
resigned to the shoegaze tag but
still finds it limiting in some ways.
"I think everyone has a little
shelf that they need to put things
in, and I'm fine with that," he said.
"What's unfortunate about it is,
it seems like more often than not,
labels scare people away from
music than steer people toward it.
"There's a lot more subtleties to
the genre terms than most people
Veterans of music biz label-
ing and terminology, Curtis and
the Deheza twins met while their
former bands (Secret Machines
and On!Air!Library!, respectively)
were both supporting Interpol.
Curtis soon left his old band to
focus on School of Seven Bells.
"There's a certain delicacy to
our music that doesn't really exist
in the Secret Machines," Curtis
said, "there's just a bigger dynam-
ic. And I kind of like to explore
that a little bit more."
But one thing that Secret
Machines does have in common
with School of Seven Bells is fam-
ily ties: In the former band, Curtis
played alongside his brother Bran-
don Curtis; in the latter, he shares
the stage with two sisters.
"They have a particular way
of talking to each other that I
don't think anyone else can really
understand, kind of like a lan-
guage, like a tone," Curtis said.
"It's hard to read, but it's cool."
And Curtis remains unfazed by
the duo's closeness.
"If there's anything I feel left
out of, I'm probably glad that I
feel left out of it," he said. "Family
dynamic's pretty intense."
Maybe it's that intense family
aspect that gives School of Seven
Bells shows that special intensity
- based more on crisp harmonies
and communicative lyrics than a
big sound - that will be on dis-
imes of the day, from 2 a.m.
sertime. In one of the best
f my life, I accidentally set
e alarm off while cooking
Xu's next theme is now-I-like-
join in, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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