The Darkness that Surrounds the House: On Ryan Adams’ Ryan Adams

ryan adams

My first time hearing Ryan Adams’ self-titled record was one of the best listening experiences of my recent memory. I had intentionally avoided listening to any of the singles that were released to radio, save for a small section of the album’s opening track on XM one afternoon. Thus the clichés begin, first with my preordering of the album, followed by my giddiness at its arrival at my doorstep, and then with my delicate placing of the record (yes, I bought the vinyl) onto my portable turntable. I was sitting with my roommate in our living room when the first chord of “Gimme Something Good” ripped the album open, a stark, nostalgic introduction to Adams’ first record in three years. The record is more rock influenced than some of its predecessors, Adams sticking to his Stratocaster and saving the acoustic guitar for the delicate loneliness of “My Wrecking Ball” and the mournful closer “Let Go.” The sparse ballad “Kim” and the building strum of “I Just Might” are testaments to Adams’ superb sense of simplicity and his ear for evocative songwriting, something that he’s perfected over his intensely prolific, nearly-two-decade-spanning career. “Shadows” is a particularly spare composition, one that swirls and hums, ultimately culminating in an aching tribute to lost time, Adam’s asking “How long do I have here with you?” As contradictory as it may seem, Adams wields the album’s warmth and sense of heart to communicate an ethereal, dark sense of tribulation. “Trouble” and “Am I Safe?” are riddled with insecurity and an anxious sense of self-doubt, while “Tired of Giving Up” and “Feels Like Fire” appear as steady, upbeat ruminations on the pangs of at-risk love. The album demonstrates a flawless sense of melody throughout, one that evokes a powerful, melancholy sense of longing. Ryan Adams is ultimately a documentation of the loneliness of love, the isolation and restlessness spurred by lost or unrequited affection.

By Nick Biland

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Melancholia Film Review

melancholia poster

Imagine an opening scene in which Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” plays, and a vibrantly blue, iced-in-white-clouds rogue planet, that’s similar to our own space marble, hurtles toward earth in what appears to be slow motion, in a dreamlike, harmoniously awe-inspiring way that is reminiscent of the syzygy scene in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is the opening to Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, whose main star, or planet I should say, goes by the same name.

One of the many beauties of the film is the parallelism between the rogue planet’s name, which means “great depression of spirits,” and the psyche of Justine (Kirsten Dunst), who’s very depressed. An implicit point made in the film is that people who are very depressed tend to care less about disasters, are more calm in the face of adversity, and are less likely to fear death, for, when one is depressed, he or she is more likely of expecting the “worst” to happen, which in turn, causes them to be less upset when calamity comes their way, since they were already expecting misfortune to come their way.

As this film progresses, Justine falls further into her depressed state, becoming more detached and isolated from her family members: one of which Trier focuses on especially—Justine’s sister, Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg). The strange thing about depression, as depicted in the film, is that one can, ironically, develop an affinity to ones depressed state, although she or he might dislike it, leading one to become best friends with the darkness’s faithful embrace, as can be seen when Justine protests her sister entreating her to take a bath, as well as when she refuses to eat her favorite food, which she no longer likes, for depression had robbed her of the joy she once had of eating the palatable treat.

When Melancholia (If the reader doesn’t want the film to be spoiled for her- or himself, I encourage the reader to quit reading now.) decides to crash into earth, shattering it like an egg, causing the magma albumen within to ooze through, it’s Justine who keeps her cool. And, what a beautiful sight!

In the end, we will all die, be reduced to ash, dust and maggot food. I’ve found it’s quite liberating when one accepts his or her fate, like Justine did—peacefully, calmly, without fighting it. Like one of my former art teachers once said: “Is the still life not beautiful? Is there not beauty in death and dying? Are wilted roses not breathtaking in their own way?” To many, this might seem melancholy. But to others, like Justine, there is beauty in even the darkest of circumstances.

By Noori Mallaji

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Submissions for Fall 2015 Now Being Accepted

Submission Flier

Submissions for the Fall 2015 issue are being accepted NOW through October 2, 2015.

Prose, Poetry, Photography, and Visual Arts (including architecture, fashion, graphic design, etc.) submissions are accepted from ALL STUDENTS.

To submit, visit 


For questions, contact Editor-in-Chief Jamie McClintock ( or Benjamin Arnberg (

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Staff Applications Now Available!

Want to become a part of the Auburn Circle? Print and fill out an application and return it to AUSC Suite 1111 by September 4, 2015.

Click the link below to view the application.

2015 Circle Staff Application

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Have You Seen It?

If somehow you  managed to avoid campus the last few days and not had the chance to pick up a copy of our latest issue, don’t worry – the last copies available will be at SNAPs tonight!

Here are the details:

Who? Everyone is invited to see

The Underhill Family Orchestra band and

some of our featured artists perform.

What? Our Spring 2015 launch event

When? Tonight, April 22nd: 7 – 9 PM.

Where? The Jule Collins Smith Museum

Do you need more convincing? There is FREE admission, a FREE dessert bar, and FREE copies of the magazine.

Do you STILL need convincing? Check out this issue’s awesome cover: Spring 2015 


….Yeah, we’ll see you there.

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Tomorrow is the day, people.

Tomorrow is THE day, people. Wednesday, April 22nd at the Jule Collins Museum. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE. We could not be more excited for this year’s SNAPS event! Not only can you hear your fellow Auburn students’ literary works, but there will also be a dessert bar (for FREE) and awesome live music performed by The Underhill Family Orchestra! The Auburn Circle is so honored to have such amazing artists read their works aloud for us to cherish. A few of the students speaking at our spring launch party include Emily Chapman, reading her poem “Tech This”, Nathaniel Vincent, reading his poem “How to Break Into Your Own House”, and Rayna McGuire, reading her short story “Erasure”. Make sure to grab a copy of our latest issue! We hope to see you all there! War Eagle.

Watch the video below to preview the Underhill Family Orchestra Band, performing live at this year’s SNAPS event!




Written by: Alexis Sedillo
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You’re Invited to Our Spring 2015 Launch Event!

What? The Auburn Circle Spring Launch Party                                                                    When? April 22nd, 2015 (7-9 PM)
                                                                                         Where? The Jule Collins Smith Museum
                                                                               Who? YOU, and your friends!

On April 22nd, The Circle is having our Launch Event for our Spring 2015 Issue! It’s an open invitation to our readers, friends, and Auburn family. Come join us for a dessert bar, live music performed by The Underhill Family Orchestra, and readings from our newly published artists. At the event, you will also be able to get a copy of our latest issue! If you want a copy but can’t make it to the party, you can pick up a copy from one of the locations listed on our flyer.

You don’t want to miss this night full of food, fun, and music!

Questions? Email us or leave a comment below.

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Happy Friday and War Eagle!

Happy Friday Auburn Family!

While you are are gearing up for the weekend, we here at the Auburn Circle are working hard on this semester’s issue and it’s going to be amazing!

Here’s some of our editors hard at work on last semester’s issue!

Hope you guys have a great weekend!

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Love to Our Editors

We are almost there you guys!


It is Friday, and we have almost made it to the weekend! But while you guys are enjoying your day, our editors have begun one of the toughest parts of their jobs. And that’s, you guessed it, editing. So lets not forget to send some love to the Auburn Circle editors. We would literally, be nothing without you guys!

Written by: Keira Rich
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5 Tips for Midterms

With Midterms approaching, it’s important to remember these 5 things: 

  1. DO NOT get sick… Basically, avoid Haley Center and Parker Hall at all costs.
  2. Eat healthy (resist the Zaxby’s craving, it’ll be worth it).
  3. Procrastination is a sin, repeat that 10 times verbally and internally.
  4. Relax, take a deep breath. Find a soothing activity that alleviates your Midterm Madness (playing with any small animal is typically successful).
  5. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep! Pulling an all-nighter is never the right choice. Never.

Keep these 5 tips in mind and you’re golden for any Midterm.

Happy studying!



Written by: Lexy Sedillo
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