The Berkeley Beacon

Dillon Riley

Beacon Staff

Riley can be reached at


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Deciphering hip hop’s identity crisis

Think of record stores and how they organize guitar music by subdivisions: metal, punk, rock, reggae. But rap is generally relegated to one confined section, and sadly, housed entirely under one classification, despite boasting styles and strands just as diverse as the ones allotted to guitar bands.

Reconsidering the sacred cows of rock 'n' roll

Instead of chastising Kanye fans for riffing on their hero worship, maybe it’s time to start demanding more from the so-called “Cute Beatle.”

Band of broken dreams

For a brief period, I was Watertown Middle School’s biggest Green Day fan. But 2004’s American Idiot came out while I was in seventh grade, and I couldn’t get into it. Its mock-political premise was different from the snotty pop-punk Green Day, the band I initially fell in love with. The inherent schmaltz of ubiquitous radio smash “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” didn’t sit well with my budding music identity.

Ranting against rockism

“They don’t make ’em like they used to.” That chestnut is trotted out to remind us of the supposed halcyon days of manufacturing—a pointed questioning of the authenticity of modern industry. When applied to music trends, it remains equally problematic, but despite this there’s a longstanding movement based on that very same premise of misinformed nostalgia. This trend, which outright rejects all things contemporary, even has its own term: rockism.

A closer look at music writing in 2014

The music landscape is in a near-constant state of flux, and at the heart of all this activity is music journalism

In Defense of Music Nerddom

It happened again not too long ago. I was at a friend’s party when, meaning well, she introduced me to her longstanding college group as her “hipster” friend. What a burden.

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Cartoon writers find a voice, or a few: Juniors stage reading of original animated series

After two years of hard work, dubious rewrites, and countless creative arguments, two juniors have an animated series of its own in the works, and the passion the two hold for cartoons shines brightly in its engaging and complex story.

Laughing with Jeffrey Jay

Transgender Awareness Week provides laughter and learning with trans comedian Jeffrey Jay.

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Killin' it: Comedian goes dark in Murder Fantasy

Senior Jamie Loftus performs a 30 minute stand-up routine for her honors thesis.

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Live for the applause: Dragtoberfest 2013 glams up Cabaret

Dragtoberfest provided a colorful show in the Cabaret this past Friday night.

Tuning up: WECB features catchy fall shows

Dillon Riley samples WECB's fall programs.

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Udderly intriguing: doc highlights cow dung as renewable energy

2012 Emerson grad Allison Gillette highlights renewable energy alternative in documentary.

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Seriously funny: student comedians go beyond the Emerson scene

Emerson juniors Charlie Fay and Jordan Perry don’t have too much to say about their comedic experiences, at least not right away. What they really wanted to talk more about was their new apartment by Northeastern — namely, the sad state it was in.

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Welch lights up the New Orleans poetry scene

Senior Donnie Welch mixes social media with slam poetry down in New Orleans.