Summer in Winter

The most wonderful thing has happened More than a year and a half after the release of their debut album "An Awesome Wave", the British indie sensation Alt-J has finally come out with something new.

"Summer EP" is a six-track reminder of why we love this quartet so much. It's a collection of remixes by several artists of the songs "Fitzpleasure", "Dissolve Me", "Tessellate", and "Ms" from the first album. Now available on Spotify and Itunes, this EP is just the thing to revive the hype from last year before they start recording their new album. We couldn't be more excited to see what's next for these four.

Wrapping up Grapes of Wrath

After two weeks of procrastination, the tale of the Joads has finally reached its conclusion.

A lot has happened since we left of.

In the last Hooverville the Joads inhabited, fuses run short as food becomes more and more scarce, and at the prompt of a gaudy policeman who is called to subdue the angry farmers that have started asking for contracts from landowners, Tom snaps and trips him as he is pursuing the man leading the kerfuffle. Since Tom has broken parole by leaving Oklahoma, being arrested would buy him a quick one-way ticket back there, so Casey takes the fall for him and is whisked off to jail.

Despite having found a couple weeks of refuge in a police-free government camp, the Joads are running out of money and are forced to uproot themselves once more for the prospect of work. Mrs. Joad is determined to save enough money to buy a house by the time her pregnant daughter has her baby, so they set off toward a peach picking farm. There, Tom runs across Casey who after being released from the jailhouse is certain that he has found his calling fighting for the rights of the workers. He is protesting the cut in the already minuscule wages of the very farm the Joads have stumbled upon, when Tom stumbles upon him in his tent in the outskirts of the camp. Being the leader of a rebel group of "Okies", Casey is a wanted man; two policeman making rounds recognize Casey, and as a confrontation ensues, one of them crushes his skull with a pick handle. Tom flies into a murderous rage and kills the man and then manages to run away. Hiding Tom within their truck, the Joads are forced to leave once more.

Next they find employment at a cotton field, which provides them with a boxcar to live in. Soon they make enough money to buy new clothes and better food, of which Mrs. Joad brings a share to Tom who is hiding in the woods surrounding the camp. When Ruthie, his little sister, lets it slip to some other children that her brother has killed a man, Mrs. Joad has no choice but to urge him to leave so he doesn't get caught. Tom agrees and announces that he has decided to pick up where Casey left off and fight for the rights of migrant workers wherever it's needed.

It starts to rain. After several days the storm shows no intention of letting up when Rose of Sharon goes into labor, delivering a stillborn baby. The pouring rains cause a flood that slowly starts to fill the boxcar, so the Joads are forced to seek dry ground. They take cover in an abandoned barn where they find a young boy with his dying father. The man is starving, having given any food he came across to his son. Rose of Sharon asks everyone to leave the barn and feeds the starving man with her breast milk.

Although the book ends in the midst of a series of tragic events, it instills a sense of hope in its readers. Rose of Sharon transcends from the vain, selfish young girl she once was, to a loving maternal figure nursing a dying soul back to health. Tom, once a careless vagrant just rolling with the punches as they come, has found a greater purpose following in Casey's footsteps fighting for the common good:

"[Casey] Says one time he went out in the wilderness to find his own soul, an' he foun' he didn' have no soul that was his'n. Says he foun' he jus' got a little piece of a great big soul. Says a wilderness ain't no good, 'cause his little piece of a soul wasn't no good 'less it was with the rest, an' was whole." - Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck