April Arts Desk Favorites

(Design by Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Design by Daily Utah Chronicle)


Palak Jayswal

They say old habits die hard. But I say there’s a sense of comfort found in nostalgia. It’s the same one I associate with the “Harry Potter” book and film series. As a child, I was one of those kids who didn’t go anywhere without a book. More often than not, it was one of the “Harry Potter” novels. I’ve always found an immeasurable sense of comfort when I fall back into the magic of the Wizarding World, like being greeted by my oldest, most loyal friend. While it’s been years since I’ve rewatched and reread the entire series, it feels like now is the right time to do so. The academic year is winding down to an end — graduation and leaving The Chronicle, for me, are part of the next bend in the road. As Albus Dumbledore once said, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

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Chris Payne

One highlight of my isolation distractions has been “The Cave” on YouTube. This series comes from Kenny Beats, featuring countless musical artists — both the famous and the up-and-coming, performing in the casual environment of Beats’ recording studio. But these videos are more than just a quick freestyle performance: Beats and his guests kick it together and banter for some of the funniest back-and-forths. Performers like Vince Staples, Thundercat, Denzel Curry and others have come to The Cave to produce a new song, entirely generated during those hours of filming in the studio. Each episode is hilarious, authentic and unique, and I cannot recommend them enough.

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Kate Button

After having some time to settle into an isolation routine, I have been escaping some stresses caused by the pandemic by binge-watching TV shows. Most notably, I have been slowly working my way through “That 70s Show.” Full of teen angst, ’70s fashion and some problematic comments meant to be funny, this show focuses on a group of six friends as they near high school graduation and impending adulthood. At just 20 minutes per episode, “That 70s Show” has allowed me to escape from reality for a moment and delight in the retro nostalgia and commentary on life, politics and growing up.

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Hannah Keating

It’s safe to say that I, like many devoted fans on Twitter and TikTok, am obsessed with the members of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen. I have spent a lot of hours in isolation catching up on such riveting cooking shows as Gourmet Makes hosted by Claire Saffitz and It’s Alive hosted by Brad Leone, as if my own kitchen wasn’t a dismal assortment of college crap. The YouTube videos on this channel are as honest as they are funny and their hosts are researchers as much as they are chefs. I adore them all.

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Oakley Burt

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the music industry has seen a slight decline in new releases this month, as many artists have pushed release dates. However, Frank Ocean decided to share two singles titled “Dear April” and “Caydeno,” which happen to be my favorite releases of April. I’d been patiently waiting for these tracks since October 2019, when he previewed them during his first PrEP+ club night in New York. Finally, the wait ended on Apr. 3, with Ocean dropping the acoustic versions of both. I immediately fell in love with these heart-wrenching R&B ballads about beauty, love and loss. Both tracks may be about relationships and pain, but they highlight the desire for love and human connection. During these uncertain times, “Dear April” and “Cayendo” offer hope for brighter days.

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Parker Dunn

Whenever I feel like my world has come crashing down, I try to find solace in the arts — music, film, books, etc. Since we are quite literally in the midst of a global pandemic at the present moment, I’ve been searching for a whole lot of solace. During this time, I’ve expectedly landed upon the arts, but within an unexpected medium — Instagram live streams. From Charli XCX’s chats with fellow friends and musicians to James Blake’s video-concerts, I’ve been able to connect with a bunch of my favorite artists through the intimacy of Instagram Live, and come to smile amidst our saddening situation.

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Cade Anderson

It’s finally spring! In Stardew Valley, that is. After 28 long days of winter, I finally just made it to my first day of my second year. This 8-bit farming simulator, that I can only describe as if Minecraft and The Sims had a genius child, has most certainly kept me within the realm of sanity on several occasions during the past few weeks. A wholesome narrative, vibrant scenery and vast gameplay possibilities — from specializing in blackberry jam production to killing unground monsters to marrying the town doctor — makes this a game I can (and do) accidentally pour hours into.

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Paige Lee

This month, I had the fortune of stumbling into Kennie J.D.’s  YouTube channel. Kennie J.D. has a fantastic series called “Bad Movies and a Beat” where she gives commentary on movies she doesn’t like while putting on makeup. Her narration is absolutely hilarious, and her makeup always turns out stunning. Kennie J.D. is genuine in a way that is marvelously refreshing to watch. My interest in makeup makes these videos especially exciting for me, but even those who don’t care for makeup can be easily entertained by these videos. If you have a sarcastic sense of humor, this channel is completely worth checking out.

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