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Steven Kwan Arts Editor 520•621•3106 arts@wildcat.arizona.edu

Comics Corner revue

wednesday, march , 

Wildlife Vampires, loving or vicious; Big stories in tiny sheaves

‘Twilight: The Graphic Novel’ promising COMMENTARY BY Steven Kwan Arts editor

Comic books are a versatile medium. They are also one of the least filtered ways to tell a story. More often than not, you get the story that the writer and artist had in mind. Here is but a small selection of comics from bestselling authors and newcomers, from major publishers to the self-published. The Guild, issue 1 The popular online sitcom series has now reached a new level of geekdom: having its own comic book. Written by Guild cast member Felicia Day and illustrated by Jim Rugg, the first issue of “The Guild”looks at the origin of Cyd Sherman as she travels the awkward road to becoming her online alter ego Codex. Cyd is painfully inept at social interaction, lacks self-confidence and performs at the local symphony orchestra with little hope of being first chair. She has a narcissistic boyfriend who doesn’t listen. (Actually, he does hear Cyd, but only as it concerns his new band.) Her therapist prescribes antidepressants rather than giving advice. While posting flyers for her boyfriend’s band, Cyd comes across an online game and becomes enamored with the idea of becoming a completely new person. Given that this is the first issue, Guild fans should not expect the same snappy pace as the online series. But Day does a wonderful job of filling in Cyd’s background story, which has only been alluded to in the episodes. Rugg brings clean linework to Cyd’s “real world,” reminiscent of Daniel Clowes and Charles Burns, and brings a dynamic layout to the story. As promising a start as a new avatar. Grade: B+

American Vampire, issue 1 Scott Snyder and Stephen King split writing duties on this new take on vampires. And yes, this is the same Stephen King who wrote“The Shining,”“Pet Semetary”and “Salem’s Lot.”“American Vampire”marks King’s first comic book work. As with most beginnings, Snyder and King are laying the groundwork for this ongoing series. Snyder leads with the main story while King covers backstory, and they handle them well. They still suffer from the novice tendency to pack most pages with dialogue and captions, but artist Rafael Albuquerque can convey their stories with clarity. It will be interesting to see Snyder and King develop as writers in an unfamiliar medium. Grade: B

By Steven Kwan Arizona Daily Wildcat To realize you are so deeply in love with someone is one of the most exhilarating — and frightening — feelings in the world.You begin to record every detail of your love: the gentle lilt in her voice as she speaks, the fragrance that lingers after she leaves, the exact hue and tone of her cheeks whenever she blushes. And if you are Edward Cullen, you also know that such feelings tempt you to completely devour her within a heartbeat. If you’ve read the novel or seen the movie, then you already know the story of “Twilight: The Graphic Novel.”In this first volume we are introduced to Bella Swan and Edward Cullen in the overcast town of Forks, Wa., as they reluctantly reach the conclusion that they are in love with each other. Of course, a few facts stand in the way of their love: He’s a vampire, albeit an atypical one who feeds on bears and doesn’t burn when exposed to sunlight; she’s a human being who feels socially awkward, despite the numerous friends she gains once she arrives at Forks. Korean artist Young Kim breathes life anew to Stephenie Meyer’s“Twilight” with her comic book adaptation. Instead of having to slog through clunky prose or stiff acting, Kim treats us to a subtler vision of the budding relationship between Bella and Edward. After admitting to being a vampire, Edward asks Bella, “What’s your favorite gemstone?” “Topaz.” “Why?” “…” Bella exhales a small balloon of breath. Short pen strokes drawn across her cheek reveal her to be blushing.“It’s the color of your eyes today.” The color of the blood red topaz from a previous panel spills and fades into Edward’s hair and collar. “I suppose if you ask me in two weeks I’d say onyx,”Bella says. Next to this dialogue balloon, Kim zooms in on Edward’s face to reveal his yellow eyes

Beneath the clamor of a decade of comic books being converted into summer movie blockbusters and packed onto chain bookstore shelves, the creators of minicomics have labored quietly and steadily in their own world. Some, like Jeffrey Brown’s work for

LET’S GET TEXTUAL The Guild, issue 1

The Well-Dressed Bear Will Develop

American Vampire, issue 1

Jarod Rosello Self-published www.jarodrosello.com

Felicia Day & Jim Rugg Dark Horse Comics

Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque & Stephen King Vertigo Comics

Horrible Little People

INSIDE

Dave Baker & Eric M. Esquivel Modern Mythology Press

Intimacy Issues Later in Life

My Every Single Thought: What I Think About Being Single Corinne Mucha Self-published maidenhousefly.com

Hotel Congress may be a hot spot for drinks and concerts, but did you know that it’s haunted? The hotel was built in 1919 and burned down in 1934. It’s been restored but some old spirits still haunt the place. Room 242 in particular is said to be haunted by a woman who shot herself in the bathroom. People have reportedly seen the ghosts, heard strange noises and had nightmares while staying in the hotel. Make a reservation, grab a few friends and see what happens — it will definitely make for an adventure no matter what happens. Think of it as your own version of Disney’s “The Tower of Terror,” only a little bit darker and with fewer floors to plummet down.

Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. 622-8848 www.hotelcongress.com

Keep on rolling

Top Shelf Productions, breach the consciousness of the comic book audience and reach beyond its limited confines. For most creators, however, success is determined not in how many distributors they can sell to, but how many non-family and friends are willing to look at their work, let alone buy it. Yet what is so attractive about a minicomic is that it can be personal in story and presentation. Corinne Mucha’s “My Every Single Thought: What I Think About Being Single” is crudely drawn. However, it reads as if you’re spending time with a good friend who sees the world a little differently and has a great sense of humor, especially about being newly single. Each one- or two-page anecdote and stream-of-conscious episode works well alone and as a whole, much like a TV series. Worth reading for the second or 32nd time. Grade: A Jarod Rosello’s “The Well-dressed Bear Will Develop Intimacy Issues Later in Life” addresses the same anxiety of being lonely and single as Mucha’s minicomic. But instead of flights of fancy and thematic episodes, Rosello approaches the topic through an allegorical tale of an urbanized and urbane bear who believes that improving his wardrobe and taking of his dry paws will help his self-esteem, and thus his relationships with women. The empty spaces that surround the simple pattern of a text page followed by an illustration page gives greater impact to each insight and realization. Rosello does a great job

B5

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It’s getting warmer and your creativity might be lacking. Swimming, sunbathing, homework, school — but you need something fun to break up the drab. Here are some suggestions for some random yet fun times to be had.

Ghost busting

as he looks directly at us. This scene also shows Kim’s wise use of color for emotional effect. Most of the story is rendered in black and white, which can be a turnoff initially, but our patience is rewarded, especially when Bella sees Edward in full sunlight. However, not everything translates well into the comic book form. Many of the conversations remain intact Young Kim from the novel, for better or worse, Twilight: The Graphic Novel and it can be difficult to know who is saying what since the dialogue Volume 1 balloons are sometimes placed Yen Press awkwardly. Hardcover released March 16, Kim can also pack too much 2010 detail into a panel or a page. Some backgrounds are little more than a photograph placed through a

Horrible Little People Tucson’s Dave Baker & Eric M. Esquivel craft a tale of socially awkward people with imperfect lives. These characters bounce around obscure pop culture references, sling jokes that teeter between cruelty and farce and make bad decisions. Sure, they wear dinosaur and animal costumes, yet it all somehow makes sense. If you’re looking for a story with an uplifting ending or moral, you should look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a story filled with grim humor and pitiful characters trying to know themselves, each other and their fishbowl world, keep reading. Grade: B

BEFORE YOU GRADUATE

Photoshop filter, which can be distracting. It’s difficult to tell if these shortcomings are due to Meyer’s close supervision or to Kim’s attempt to render the world of“Twilight”as realistically as possible. They may also be due to her inexperience. While she has a painting degree and has worked in animation and illustration,“Twilight”is Kim’s first comic book project. Like the initial rush and subsequent relief you feel once you admit you’re in love, the first volume of“Twilight: The Graphic Novel”shows a promising start to Meyer’s juggernaut of a franchise. As with any relationship, however, longterm success will depend on the next step.

B+

of inviting our sympathy with his simple, effective illustrations. Grade: AInspired by a brief stint as a model, Monica Gallagher’s “Boobage” delves into Gallagher’s battles with low self-esteem stemming from her small breasts. Of the three minicomics,“Boobage”is the most polished and stylized, and it resembles what we would expect from a more mainstream comic book in terms of presentation and layout, which isn’t surprising given that Gallagher works as a graphic designer. With such a topic, Gallagher wisely avoids veering into a rant. She makes her point with concise anecdotes and lovely brushwork as personal as her story. Grade: B+

Maybe something more up your alley is some good, old-fashioned skating. “The No. 1 and only skating rink in Tucson Arizona,” aka Skate Country, is good, cheap fun. Every Monday night is $1 admission, coffee is free and it’s great exercise. Have fun listening to some old-school tunes and request some of your favorites. They even have games and host lockin nights. Dress up like an ’80s roller diva and make it a fun group activity.

Skate Country, 7980 E. 22nd St. 298-4409 www.skatecountry.com

Ignore the Top 40

It seems that everyone gets stuck in the radio norms. With all the venues Tucson has to offer, The Rialto Theatre, Club Congress, The Rock, Solar Culture, Plush and others, there’s bound to be some new music that you’re into. Even Malibu Yogurt and Espresso Art host their very own open-mic nights. Pick a night when you have nothing to do and stop by one of them. You never know who you’ll discover — they could even be the next “thing.” Expand your music library and enjoy something loud and different. Get out of that comfort zone!

The best caffeine out there

Do you still have yet to find the best cup of coffee? Will all those late nights you’ll put in before graduation the perfect cup of coffee really could make a difference. Explore Tucson’s local coffee shops — there are plenty around town. They’re sure to be leaps and bounds better than the average Starbucks and they’re probably cheaper too. There’s just something about those hole-in-the-wall places that makes them better than the rest. Plus you’ll have bragging rights and the claim to fame for discovering Tucson’s best coffee.

Check out: Raging Sage, Caffé Luce, Coffee XChange, Epic Cafe, Espresso Art, Revolutionary Grounds, Bentley’s — Emily Moore

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• wednesday, march 31, 2010 • arizona daily wildcat

local scene Poetry Festival Ignites Tucson Voices

The longest-running poetry festival in the Southwest returns Friday and Saturday. The Tucson Poetry Festival celebrates its 28th year with the theme “Poetry Where You Are.” This year’s festival combines readings, workshops and the biggest poetry slam ever to hit Tucson. A poetry slam is a live performance of poetry by multiple artists. Before you turn your nose up at the idea of a poetry night, recognize that slam poetry is not your grandma’s poetry — unless your grandma is really hardcore. Slam poetry is performance art, so the vocalization and intonation used in delivery is just as important as the written content. Styles range from hip-hop vocalizations to dub rhythmic hymns to

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OUR PICK

erratic tonal changes. It’s poetry for a rougher generation. The festival boasts an expansive schedule, as well as four nationally known guest poets. The festival opens Friday with readings at Club Congress at 7 p.m. Scheduled to read are the winner of the High School Poetry Contest and guest poets Manuel Paul Lopez and Gypsee Yo. Later that night, round one of the Poetry Grand Slam begins at 8:30. Presented by Ocotillo Literary Endeavors, the Grand Slam offers its victor a cash prize of $1000. Day two of the festival begins with readings from the High School Poetry Contest in Tucson High’s library at 11 a.m. The festival moves to Fourth Avenue’s Casa Libre at 2:30 p.m. for

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31

three hours of poetry workshops. The first hour is with Lopez and Yo, while the second is with guest poets Linda Russo and Sonya Renee. The final hour consists of a panel discussion moderated by Paul Fisher. The festival returns to Club Congress at 7 p.m. for readings from the Statewide Poetry Contest winner, Linda Russo and Sonya Renee. The Grand Slam finals begin at 8:30 p.m. Tickets for readings are $10, readings are $5 and the high school readings are free. A pass good for the entire weekend is $25. All tickets are available at the venue on the day of the events. There is no presale.

loved to read as a kid, so the whole excitement with creating my own characters and plot lines followed closely behind. I was one of those kids participating in The Arizona Daily Wildcat had the opportunity to the summer book clubs at our local library. As far as conduct an e-mail interview with poet Manuel Paul Lopez. what drew me to poetry, man, the stuff is infectious. He was born and raised in the U.S.-Mexico border region It’s one art form, for me at least, that engages all of my of El Centro, Calif., and received degrees senses, all of them participating at once. It’s from Imperial Valley College, the University great, great, great stuff! I believe like Roque of California, San Diego and San Francisco Dalton“Que la poesia is como el pan de State University. His work has been todos.”That poetry, like bread, is for everyone. published in Bilingual Review/La Revista What is most important about poetry Bilingue, ZYZZYVA, Hanging Loose and to you? Rattle, among others, and anthologized in Its ability to transcend time, culture, “Roque Dalton Redux.” He will bring his injustice and long-standing oppression. unique voice to the Tucson Poetry Festival on What do you think attracts other Friday and Saturday. artists to poetry as opposed to other Manuel expressive styles? Paul Lopez What types of poetry do you I think it’s different for everyone, but for write? What is your main focus? me, it’s the music, it’s the deep probing, it’s I tend to gravitate toward the narrative, because the illumination, it’s the silliness. A favorite quote I enjoy story, character and voice so much, I about poetry is one that the poet Li Young Lee has guess. But don’t get me wrong, I respect form, I stated,“It’s the dying breath articulated.”Heavy, no? love form, and I especially like playing with form, What brings you to the Grand Slam next week? experimenting with existing forms, I mean. The excitement. What better way to kick off How long have you been writing? What National Poetry Month. drew you to poetry? Fortunately, I was invited by some really great I’ve been writing since I was a little mocoso. I also people associated with the festival, namely Lindsay

Miller, the festival’s executive director. I’m also excited to be part of the statewide high school poetry contest, which is a very important part of the festival. What material will you be sharing at the event? Some new work, I hope, as well as some excerpts from my new chapbook called “1984.” And of course, a few from my book “Death of a Mexican and other Poems.” Why are festivals such as this one important for the artistic community and the uninitiated? It’s one of the ways to put a finger on the current pulse of contemporary American poetry. It’s a way to celebrate its diversity and its myriad ways. How does the growing hip-hop/rap culture affect the poetry community? Besides growing, I think the hip-hop/rap culture is constantly evolving, though keeping close to its center the best of what its predecessors had done. I mean, damn, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to myself,“This is it. Now I’ve heard it all. Nothing can surpass this.”Then what happens, boom, a new track. As a high school teacher, I read the influence in my students’work all of the time. It’s in the beat, the wordplay, the rapid-fire allusions, and of course, the rhyme. What’s amazing to me is that I don’t give a shit where you go in the U.S., or even in many parts of the world, you’ll read and hear the influence.

Second City’s ‘Close but No Saguaro’ show to needle AZ By Heather Price-Wright Arizona Daily Wildcat

Do you know someone who can also benefit from the quality services you receive at Vantage West? Tell them about us. Each time one of your relatives, friends or co-workers joins Vantage West and turns in our referral form with your name listed on it, we’ll give you both $20.

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The UA’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences presents “Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy” with director Randy Olson appearing in person at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Admission is $5 for students and Loft members. 7 p.m. Call 322-5638 or visit www.loftcinema.com for more information.

— Zachary Smith

Festival guest to share poetry ‘like bread’ By Zachary Smith Arizona Daily Wildcat

U-Melt performs at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Recommended for those who enjoy Phish, Tea Leaf Green and Hot Tuna. Call 798-1298 or go to plushtucson.com for more information. 10 p.m. $7. 21+.

THURSDAY, APRIL 1 The Gaslight Theater, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd., presents “The Son of the Sheik,” a family-friendly musical melodrama spoof about a sheik’s battle to save his fair lady. 7 p.m. $15.95 for students. Call 886-9428 for more information. Oprah Winfrey visits Tucson and goes door to door giving out free cars and free health care. Featuring special guests, Suri Cruise and April Fools.

FRIDAY, APRIL 2 The 28th Annual Tucson Poetry Festival is presented by Ocotillo Literary Endeavors. The festival includes poetry readings, workshops, open mic sessions and a poetry slam all at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. and Casa Libre, 228 N. Fourth Ave. Admission is $10 for readings, $5 for workshops or $25 for a festival pass. Visit tucsonpoetryfestival.org for more information. First Friday Shorts at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., features short films submitted by daring Tucsonans. Shorts get three minutes before becoming “gongable.” Winner grabs a grand prize of $200. $5. 9 p.m. Call 322-5638 or visit www.loftcinema. com for more information.

SATURDAY, APRIL 3 The Tubac Rotary Club presents A Taste of Tubac. The evening includes fine dining and entertainment featuring local restaurants at the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa. 5 p.m - 8 p.m. $35 per ticket. Tickets sold in advance. Call 398-9525 for more information. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra presents a musical journey, Just for Kids Concert: From Dawn to Dusk in the Sonoran Desert, accompanied by a watercolor slideshow from Virginia Wright-Frierson’s “A Desert Scrapbook.” 2175 N. Sixth Ave. 10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Free. Donations appreciated. Call 882-8585 or visit tucsonsymphony.org for more information.

SUNDAY, APRIL 4

From Sheriff Joe Arpaio to Scottsdale snobbery, Tucson’s Bike Fest 2010 holds there’s a lot to make fun of in Arizona. a downtown bike ride at Maynards Luckily, the Second City, Chicago’s premier Market, 400 N. Toole Ave. The entryimprov comedy company — and former stomping level ride will be 10-20 miles with the ground of stars like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and option to leave early. 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. Steve Carell — is up for the job. The troupe will Free. Visit dot.ci.tucson.az.us/bikefest perform “The Second City Does Arizona, or Close for more information. But No Saguaro,” an original sketch comedy show that runs from Friday to April 24 at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. The show promises MONDAY, APRIL 5 a hilarious send-up of all the odd, wonderful and Tucson’s Annie Hawkins performs at not-so-wonderful aspects of our fair state. Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. The Tucson Weekly The Second City has traveled to places such as TAMMIE winning singer-songwriter plays Atlanta, Ga., Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, folk rock. Visit www.anniehawkins.com to Pa. to make fun of the regional idiosyncrasies for hear more. 9:30 p.m. Free. home audiences. At least 10 more such shows are currently in the works, said Matthew Loren Cohen, TUESDAY, APRIL 6 the show’s musical director. For the Arizona version, writers Ed Furman and The Arizona Theatre Company presents Tom Flanigan spent a whirlwind five days in Tucson “The Second City Does Arizona, and Phoenix, soaking up the local culture. They ate or Close But No Saguaro” at the Sonoran hot dogs, hobnobbed with politicians and Temple of Music and Arts, 330 S. Scott even toured Sheriff Joe’s infamous Tent City Jail. Ave. April 6 at 7:30 p.m. is “Ten Dollar Armed with plenty of material, Furman and Flanigan, Tuesday.” Balcony seats are available for a along with a handful of other writers and the show’s suggested $10 donation. Tickets are first six performers, composed“Close but No Saguaro.” come, first served and available starting at Cohen calls the show “a blast.” He wrote two 11 a.m. on April 6 at the Arizona Theatre of the five songs, including one about Sen. John Company box office. Call 622-2823 or McCain. Other Arizona characters featured will visit www.arizonatheatre.org for more include Sheriff Joe, Gov. Jan Brewer, snowbirds information. The show runs from and Scottsdalites. April 3 - 24. “And yes,” Cohen said,“Alice Cooper does make an appearance.” Tucson Homebrew Club meets at The performances will consist of Arizona-specific Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave., and archive sketch comedy material, musical to taste beer and share recipes. The club numbers and improv games. Cohen promises promotes the tradition of brewing beer and ample opportunity for audience participation. Some intends to improve its members’ knowledge performances will also be followed by a free half hour on the brewer’s craft. It is open to “novices, “Improv After Hours”performance from the actors. experts and anyone in between.” 7 p.m. The performers are all Second City veterans who Free. 21+. Contact Brian Skerven at promise to be sharp and entertaining. The troupe swerving_skerven@hotmail.com for is excited to visit Arizona and see firsthand the raw more information. material that shaped their comedy.“There’s a lot to make fun of, but we’re totally excited to go there,”Cohen said. — Katie Gault Cohen says the writers and performers are aware of a certain amount of rivalry between the two cities in which they’ll perform — the show moves to the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix after its Tucson run. Because of “Close but the semi-improvisational nature of their comedy, the actors will work that rivalry into No Saguaro” their material in each city. Temple of Music and Art “When we’re in one town, we’re going to 330 S. Scott Ave. make the other town look stupider,”Cohen said. For all those who love Arizona, or love 622-2823 to hate it, this musical comedy is a mustTickets start at $26 see. Nothing, from illegal immigration to the “dry heat,” escapes the Second City performers and writers’ sharp wit. Cohen summed up the troupe’s attitude toward the state: “(Arizona is) ripe for skewering.”

IF YOU GO

University Branch 801 E. Speedway Blvd. 520.298.7882 or 800.888.7882

Vwestcu.org Referral forms can be picked up at any Vantage West branch, or found online at Vwestcu.org. Referrer must be a Vantage West member and cannot be affiliated with the referring account. Employees not eligible. Both parties will forfeit the $20 if form is not turned in by new member when he/she joins the credit union. Loans and credit cards are subject to approval. Licensed dealerships are not eligible for referral rewards. Super Saver Club for Kids accounts are not eligible. Certain restrictions may apply.


arizona daily wildcat • wednesday, march 31, 2010 •

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I scream, you scream for yogurt Frozen yogurt, or fro-yo, is all the rage. And for good reason — it’s delicious. The problem with fro-yo is the short lifespan its purveyors seem to have. With the downfall of Penguins and Zwirl, which most people didn’t know existed in Penguins’ spot, it seemed fro-yo would never have a permanent home on University Boulevard. But there is hope. Malibu Yogurt & Ice Cream has opened its doors and seems to have staying power. Well known in the real Malibu, Calif., this chilly-treat shop comes with a solid reputation behind it. The yogurt shop has a lot to offer. First off, its fro-yo isn’t ice-crystal filled like that of BTO. It is creamy, smooth and enjoyable from start to finish. On top of that, you’ll pay only about $5.50 for a serving of fro-yo with three scoops of toppings — a price

tag lower than the by-the-ounce deal competitors offer. Not only does Malibu serve fro-yo, but they also offer shaved ices, Caffé Luce coffee and espresso, muffins, cookies, sundaes, shakes, smoothies and a wide variety of regular ice cream. With plenty of flavors of frozen yogurt and a plethora of toppings, there has to be something you love at Malibu. While I am a fro-yo purist, and I stick to my vanilla, there is tart, chocolate, berry flavors, mocha and more. Toppings include mochi, strawberries, raspberries, chocolate chips, Oreo and Gummi Bears to name a few. Malibu offers a true create-your-own experience. But bikini season is on the way — how can I eat all those sweets? Fear not! Fro-yo is a healthy alternative to traditional ice cream. Each serving offers about a quarter of the calories of ice cream, more protein, less sugar and no fat. If you stick to fruit as your topping and eat your Malibu in

moderation, you’ll still look great in that bikini this summer. The décor of Malibu is welcoming, fun and summery. The bright colors, surf theme and comfy couches and chairs are perfect to relax on while munching your dessert. The fireplace outside means you can still sit outside on chillier winter nights. And if you use the Zonabucks system, you’ll be happy to know that they are accepted. Malibu is open weekdays until 11 p.m. and weekends until midnight, meaning your late night fro-yo cravings now have a new home. All in all, Malibu has my vote for Tucson’s best fro-yo. It is a must-try on University Boulevard.

Lisa Beth Earle/Arizona Daily Wildcat

By Ali Freedman Arizona Daily Wildcat

Malibu Yogurt & Ice Cream 825 E. University Blvd. 903-2340

Award-winning Rosa’s just plain plain By Christy Delehanty Arizona Daily Wildcat As soon as my mom flew in from Chicago, rented a white Chevy Malibu and met me at her sketchy South Tucson hotel, she immediately requested Mexican food. Thinking that Nico’s Taco Shop was the place to take her — but that we’d wait on the super nachos — I got us to the closest Yelp-verified location: East Fort Lowell Road and North Campbell Avenue. Nico’s, we discovered later, had moved down the block, but before us lay Rosa’s Mexican Food, the legendary epitome of Mexican food, nestled between Blockbuster and parking spaces of the strip mall. Hungry and curious, we entered. Apparently, everyone else did the same just minutes before; it was packed, complete with a table of 15 or so travelers. But the crowd made us hopeful, and the number of options on the menu had us reading for a solid 10 minutes. Upon ordering chicken quesadillas and Rosita’s specialty, we settled in and observed the scene. The place was plain. Our plastic-topped table was clean but wet and, except for the painted metal roses welded to the seatbacks, the décor was minimal. Beside our table was an Arizona softball poster and several Rosa’s calendars — sold by the month — with a painfully old-school portrait of, presumably, Rosa, surrounded by ads and bordered on the bottom by “Feliz Navidad/ Prospero Año” in script. The pamphlet version of the menu touted the restaurant’s founding in 1970 and its 1999, 2000 and 2005 Best of Tucson awards since then. It looked like the reason for the nominations

might have been based on how little the place had changed with the times. The chips and salsa arrived immediately, followed by a saucer of guacamole — which cost an Chicken quesadilla $9 unnecessary $3.50 Side of sour cream $1.75 and tasted just like Side of guacamole $3.50 the packet-plus-oneavocado kind — and Rosita’s specialty $10.75 perfect-strength iced tea. Iced tea $1.75 Our food came within 15 minutes, looking plain as the place. The chicken quesadilla ($9) was crispy, its meat the texture of pulled pork, but the sour cream had to 1750 E. Fort Lowell Rd. be ordered 325-0362 on the side 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily ($1.75) and arrived looking squeezed through a tube like frozen yogurt. Images of Taco Bell whirred through my head. Rosita’s specialty ($10.75) included a tamale, an enchilada and a taco. The taco was unspectacular and the tamale and enchilada were Lisa Beth Earle/Arizona Daily Wildcat plain but hot and fresh. The Rosita’s Special at Rosa’s Mexican Food on the southwest corner of North Campbell Avenue and East Fort Lowell Road. sampling, however, would have been better without the All You Can Eat Buffet “plate” designation, which (Pizza, pasta, soup, 10% Off for government drowned the items in a soupy salad, desserts) Professional Men’s Hair Care mess of cheesy beans. 10:30am - 2:30am workers and seniors (50+) Awesome Cut, Affordable Price Adding $1.75 for each iced $5.99 tea, we spent just more than for 10% Off with Coupon $30, before the tip; too much Only student’s for lunch and what my mom $3.99 cut continuously called “standard Discounted price All You Can Eat fare.”You have to wonder about Free Delivery over $10 Call: (520) 325-0443 Soup & Salad a place which has guacamole TV Sports, etc! Location: 4125 E. Speedway Blvd that tastes whipped and sour 10% Off with Coupon 914 E. Speedway Blvd cream that bears telltale signs Expires 11/20/10 (Between Alvernon & Columbus) of emerging from a spigot. Especially when the lunch bill is $15 apiece. All told, Rosa’s has its moments. But we should’ve looked harder for Nico’s.

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• wednesday, march 31, 2010 • arizona daily wildcat

arizona daily wildcat • wednesday, march 31, 2010 •

Live White Stripes stay inside the lines The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights Third Man Records Released March 16, 2010

Photo courtesy of Bitterwallet.com

By Brandon Specktor Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Flandrau is looking up!

Come to the

Flandrau Planetarium

reopening on Saturday April 3rd.

Join us at UA Science: Flandrau as we celebrate our reopening. See our new exhibits, spectacular mineral collection, and Treasures of the Queen: Minerals of Bisbee exhibition sponsored by the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. Saturday planetarium shows are at 11am, 1, 3 and 7:30pm. Call for complete show schedule.

Admission is $7.50 for adults and $5 children. Children under 4 are free. For information call 520-621-7827 or visit http://uasciencecenter.org.

UA Science: Flandrau Starting April 3rd, open 7 days a week! Open Mon-Thu 10am-3pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 12-5pm.

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What is the purpose of a live rock album anymore? In an age of digital disc jockeying, the creation of that perfect playlist no longer involves holding a tape recorder up to the stereo. YouTube can provide instantaneous footage of any concert ever performed — even that rare Zeppelin show from inside Mordor. You probably even have some sort of concert footage locked up as microscopic datum in your cell phone right now. Whether as a consolation for listeners unable to make it out to a live show or as some source of immediacy that confirms a band’s existence in the real world, the live album is a staple of rock culture. Metallica recorded themselves with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and literally made baroque rock. The Who made, recorded and sold copies of every live show performed on their last whirlwind tour, making each unique performance a permanent, tangible rock fixture. Now, Jack and Meg White provide a live chronicle of their 2007 panCanadian odyssey. Under Great White Northern Lights is a CD/DVD combo assembled from The White Stripes’ comprehensive tour of every province and territory in Canada following their release of Icky Thump in 2007. In an unconventional excursion that landed Jack and Meg gigs at a daycare center, in a moving bus and on a fishing boat among other exotic Canadian locales, the Stripes solidified their status among the most iconic rock bands of the last decade. Without the DVD footage of their unusual tour, though, how does the CD set itself apart from other live albums? Unfortunately, it doesn’t — nor do the scratchy, punkish recordings set themselves apart from the Stripes’ already legendary studio efforts. That’s not to say the mix is unsatisfying.

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By Steven Kwan Arizona Daily Wildcat Are the ’80s finally over? Can we now move on to this shiny new decade waiting ahead of us? Goldfrapp’s latest album, Head First, serves as the perfect capstone to all the bands that mined the 1980s for inspiration. With their 2008 album Seventh Tree, Goldfrapp captured and reinvigorated a strain of folk-inspired ambient music that was coursing through Britain at the time. The duo, comprised of singer Alison Goldfrapp and producer Will Gregory, have returned this time with another change in their musical style. But rather than looking toward post-punk and New Wave mainstays like Gang of Four, Wire and Talking Heads for inspiration, Goldfrapp draws their stylish flairs from airy synths, italo disco, Giorgio Moroder and pink jumpsuits. The first single,“Rocket,”leads the album with a sassy start. Goldfrapp sings of sending a former lover off into space against choruses that sparkle like Roman candles thrown across the sky.“Believer”picks up the pace with even bigger choruses.“Alive” continues the poppy rush with its sugary lyrics and shimmering washes of synth. What’s remarkable about Head First is its seeming sincerity. The duo sounds as if they truly love the dance-friendly soft rock of the ’80s. The brooding undercurrent of previous albums is mostly missing here, and has been replaced with shiny optimism.“I Wanna Life”brings on episodes of déjà vu of Olivia Newton-John’s“Physical”— a song that was covered in 2007 by Goldfrapp. “Hunt”is a notable exception to this rainbow-bright album with lyrics such as: “Every night, every day / Making plans for your escape / All you love you destroy / Everyone is your toy.”Another exception is“Shiny and Warm,”which radiates a dark sultriness that recalls Supernature. If you’re seeking songs with substance from Goldfrapp, Head First is not the best place to start. But it is perfect for one last spin on the dance floor before moving on to the next decade.

Photo courtesy of mileskurosky.com

Ex-Beulah frontman blazes new trails

B+

Goldfrapp Head First Mute Records

Released March 23, 2010

By Steven Kwan Arizona Daily Wildcat I caught Beulah on what turned out to be the San Francisco band’s final tour. The six members, fronted by Miles Kurosky, were playing in Little Brother’s, a bar in Cleveland that was only a few steps above being a dive. It had an elevated stage that gave everyone a good view of the band. Not that getting a good view was a problem: There were only about 35 people, including the bartenders and the soundboard guy. Here was a band that fans, myself included, touted to friends as “the best band you’ve never heard,” a band which created atypical pop songs that infect

your brain with their music and lyrics. Here was a band that has performed for Conan O’Brien, been interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, and even took to the stage at my alma mater, Oberlin College, on its first tour. Here was a band that, despite their meticulously crafted songs, was performing with fun abandon, as if their livelihoods depended on it. It has been six years since that show. Little Brother’s closed its doors in 2007, a victim of the economy and high rent hikes. Beulah called it a day in 2004 due to the members’ personal circumstances. Kurosky continued on, posting his first song as a solo artist, “An Apple for An

Apple,” on his MySpace page in 2008. His debut, The Desert of Shallow Effects, was just released after years of delays due to medical problems and living a life with his wife, whom he met on Beulah’s final tour. Marriage and the passing years have not dulled Kurosky’s songwriting skills or his voice. Shallow Effects is even more orchestrated than a Beulah album: 29 people performed on nearly twice that number of instruments. Given the array of players and sounds, the album maintains a surprisingly coherent sound from track to track, thanks to the layered arrangements. (It’s even more surprising after reading about the three-

B

year ordeal to record the album.) The biggest surprise on Shallow Effects is that the chorus is often lost amidst the storytelling. As with the music, Shallow Effects is stuffed with lyrics: Oh it’s true, how I fell in love with things I couldn’t see and germs I couldn’t treat / I fell hard for disease, because it made me feel alive / If God’s always fair then why’s his cupboard always bare? (“An Apple for An Apple”) Poisoned lips, box office slips, we’re a flop / Brazen crimes, a heist for you, the captions read we’re through / Please send me to the moon. (“She Was My Dresden”) Without a hook to hang

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Ladies and gentlemen, for your consideration, courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary: Twee (twi), a. (and n.): 1. Originally: ‘sweet,’ dainty, chic. Now only in depreciatory use: affectedly dainty or quaint; over-nice, over-refined, precious, mawkish. This is the one word that wholly describes The Bird and The Bee’s new album Interpreting the Masters Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates. There’s a lot of people who will love this album … and all of them love, or embody, twee. Examples: 10-year-old girls. Soccer moms. Fluffy bunnies. I can see this music on the set of a photoshoot for Limited Too. Or part of a soundtrack for the next big children’s feature film. But then, let’s just get it out on the table. I don’t like twee that much. Or at least … not to this level. It’s bubblegum, it’s poppy, but it’s overly saccharine. So, I’ll put aside my desire to staple my ears shut for a moment and listen at this

album seriously — or at least fairly. The first track,“Heard it on the Radio,” is actually a really catchy song. It’s the only original on the album, the rest being covers of Hall and Oates, one of the most popular bands from the 1970s with notable hits such as“Rich Girl,” “Sarah Smiles”and“Maneater,”all of which are on the album along with five tracks from the band. “Heard it On the Radio”appropriates everything from Hall and Oates’ oeuvre that The Bird and The Bee find useful: heavy, driving baselines, instrumental interludes, and power-chord vocal refrains. Vocalist Inara George croons, “When we first kissed / it made it to my list / And I couldn’t stop myself, / think of nothing else,” as we journey with her into the happy, unstoppable bebop of a new love. It’s catchy and delightful, like a juicy bite of watermelon on a summer day — it’s super sweet, and you can’t help but want more. The rest of album takes a similarly poppy and synth-laden approach to the

C+

onto in each song, the album can intimidate those who have never heard of Kurosky or Beulah. However, for Beulah fans, Shallow Effects represents a welcome return and a promise of more music to come. While he isn’t making the best music you’ve never heard yet, Kurosky is blazing new trails for himself. Here’s hoping that on his next outing Kurosky will attract more than just the converted.

Miles Kurosky The Desert of Shallow Effects Majordomo Records Released March 16, 2010

Local Natives debut powerful, passionate By Kellie Mejdrich Arizona Daily Wildcat Local Natives’ album Gorilla Manor is a fiery debut for the Silver Lake, Calif., musicians. With a strong vocal resemblance to folk-crooners Fleet Foxes, as well as heavy, driving percussion and ethereal, plucky guitar, this recently formed band has pinpointed and expanded upon the strengths of some of today’s most popular indie bands. The opening track, “Wide Eyes,” introduces listeners to the Local Natives’ aesthetic. Heavy percussion mixed with reverberating guitar and breezy vocal harmony plants listeners in what sounds like a tribal trek through a raindrenched forest — one that is suddenly interrupted by an explosion of synth-

laden chords. It’s mysterious and oddly Other notable tracks include “Cards charming, to say the least. & Quarters,” a slow, percussive track that somehow manages to sound The next track, “Airplanes,” expands on this playful aesthetic, with oddly fresh despite an almost overpowering ad-libbed guttural yelling bassline. Heavy basslines are included in the beginning of the track. It’s almost Local Natives’ specialty, as “Who Knows Who Cares” too raw — something that Local Natives sometimes hampers the belts to its listeners. Using Solar Culture success of Gorilla Manor; strings, horns, glossy guitar, the next track, “Sun Hands,” piano and expressive vocal 31 E. Toole Ave. also devolves into rabid harmonies, the track is April 20, 2010 a refreshing screaming that is somewhat 9 p.m. out of genre. experience, with Local Natives smother shaky cymbals $8 for all ages splashing such moments of rabid passion between plush uneasily vocals and structured percussion which throughout. almost wipe the listener’s memory of “Who Knows Who Cares” is smooth like water, tinged with just any earlier aggression with velvety enough melancholy to leave us a little loveliness.

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Local Natives Gorilla Manor Frenchkiss Records Released Feb. 16, 2010

uneasy: “Is my life about to change? / Who knows? Who cares?” Suddenly, we’re back in a teenage wasteland of apathy, and it’s cleaner and more beautifully dissonant than we ever could fashion ourselves. With Gorilla Manor, Local Natives have made a powerful splash on the indie scene.

B+

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Northern Lights showcases an impressive diversity of tracks from the band’s career. It opens with the garage-rock explosion “Let’s Shake Hands,” the band’s debut single, charges through the old (“Blue Orchid,”“Black Math”) and the new (“Icky Thump,”“300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues”), and finally ends with the standards “Fell in Love with a Girl” and “We’re Going to Be Friends.”The variety of material does not disappoint; what they do with it — or don’t do with it — more often does. Bands are sometimes criticized in live performances for sounding nothing like their recordings. Northern Lights often suffers from the opposite condition: Songs provide absolutely no variety from album versions. They just sound more abrasive on noisecancelling headphones. There are exceptions, for better and worse.“Ball and Biscuit,” one of the Stripes’ quintessential freak-out blues numbers is reduced from the marathon seven-minute album version to a cursory three-minute jam that scarcely maintains the feel of the original. The potential to launch into an incendiary blues guitar solo seems overlooked. “Fell in Love with a Girl,” on the other hand, is performed at a reduced tempo, transforming it into a soulful R&B groove that gets the entire theater moaning along to the chorus. A seven-minute version of “Seven Nation Army” looks promising as the encore, but actually does not deviate from the album version, and fills in the excess time with trilling synthesizer riffs and a bagpipe coda. Grievances aside, a live album does not need to alter every track to be successful. What makes Northern Lights a worthy contender for your attention is the same thing that makes each White Stripes album a bestseller: Jack White. Jack’s voice warbles and cracks like a lo-fi speaker in the ballad “Jolene,” and his mastery of the quick, catchy guitar lead explodes out of “I’m Slowly Turning Into You.” Jack is no less badass in these live cuts than in the studio. But he is no more badass either, and that is where the album loses points. So, given the ability of any listener to assemble a White Stripes playlist comprised of higherquality versions of all the material off of Northern Lights, what’s the appeal? The same appeal associated with any live album: an escape, if but for 90 minutes, into a musical moment in history. Just do yourselves one favor, White Stripes fans: Make sure you get the DVD too.

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Goldfrapp’s newest a peppy ’80s throwback

B5

hits. Compared to the originals, several tracks sound strangely vacuous, such as“Sarah Smiles.” George has a great voice, but the vibe is completely changed. But then, it’s a tribute album, not a direct reproduction. “Maneater”is an interesting track. What was once obviously a cautionary tune has turned into something more poppy and bubbly than anything else. It almost sounds Cyndi Lauper-esque. Well, I guess it’s fun. I’m not sure how Hall and Oates feel about this album, but their music definitely has been injected with a new kind of energy, to say the least. This album isn’t for me. But for those who like the poppiest of pop, they’ll probably find themselves bouncing against the walls in saccharine glee.

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B6

• wednesday, march 31, 2010 • arizona daily wildcat

By Zachary Smith Arizona Daily Wildcat Despite its large aspirations, “Un Prophète” is really a humble film. There are no large-scale shootouts, no enormous production value and no exotic locales. The moral of the story is time-honored, and the acting is understated. Compared to Mafioso classics like “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas,”“Un Prophète” seems reserved and simple. It also happens to be on par with both of those films. “Un Prophète”is unlike any previous Mafioso film. It focuses on the rise of one man within a sect of the Corsican mob. The twist is that the man is a FrenchArab prisoner named Malik El Djebena (Tahar Rahim) who has no desire to enter the Mafia. Forced into the role of assassin by the Mafia’s leader, Malik coyly rises through the ranks over the course of his prison sentence. Set almost entirely in a French prison, the film does so much with a paper-thin plot. One man’s ascension through the ranks is not cutting-edge material, but director Jacques Audiard squeezes limitless tension from powerful acting and a foreboding atmosphere. The confinements of the

‘A Prophet’ worth following

prison setting give Audiard a lot to work with in terms of pacing and mood. He alternates between slick montages and looming set pieces, presenting prison life as a perverse routine that caroms across the fibers of time with unscheduled alterations. The result is a film

A-

Photo courtesy of Outnow.ch

Jacques Audiard Un Prophète Sony Pictures Classics Released March 26, 2010 of epic scope, presented in a deeply personal manner. Rahim’s performance as Malik is the cornerstone of the film. Thrust into a situation far

beyond his comprehension, Malik has no business with the Corsicans. Uncomfortable being their lapdog, Malik manipulates the entire prison through his

race relations and unforeseen guile. Rahim’s performance is mesmerizing, as his chameleonic transformation carries so much dramatic inertia that it becomes nearly incomparable. Malik’s trajectory is horrifying, riveting and satisfying. As a character, Malik is tremendously likable. His desires are genuine

and his morality resonates as sympathetic and paradigmatic of a prisoner. Malik is not a saint, but his initial acts of violence are not out of evil. The complexity of his character’s actions defines the film’s rich source of heart. Malik’s nearly prophetic abilities lend the film its title. He speaks to the dead and suffers bizarre night terrors. The prophetic angle is unabashedly creative and occasionally heightens the film’s brooding morality. Malik grows as both a disturbed and enlightened character, capable of performing extreme brutalities and magnanimous acts. The prophecies are sometimes pretentious, with the sole purpose of adding artistic flourishes to the film. It almost felt as though Audiard was injecting the film with unnecessary artistic angles to escape the drab prison setting. These moments felt disingenuous, as the film’s rote setting does nothing to detract from the audience’s enjoyment or the film’s poignancy. These are minor quibbles with a major film. A lot of people are going to miss this one because it’s foreign and in art houses. Do not be one of those people. This is a crime film of the highest order — one that achieves greatness through expert storytelling and remarkable acting. (In French, Arabic and Italian with English subtitles)

Smart cast defines awkward ‘Greenberg’

By Brandon Specktor Arizona Daily Wildcat

Ads for “Greenberg” promise a Ben Stiller you’ve never seen before. That’s not entirely true. Stiller’s stint as 40-yearold, newly discharged mental patient Roger Greenberg brims with the self-centeredness of Derek Zoolander, the social gracelessness of Gaylord Focker and the misguided ambitions of “Arrested Development” illusionist Tony Wonder. Most of all, though, like widower Chas from “The Royal Tenenbaums,” Roger is damaged. The film from Noah Baumbach, director of“The Squid and the Whale”and Wes Anderson’s co-writer on

“Fantastic Mr. Fox,”is nothing short of awkward. An awkward man pursues an awkward girl in the awkward metropolis of Los Angeles. Generation gaps, arbitrary social customs and a dog with an autoimmune disease all complicate the courtship. After 15 minutes of exposition that introduces Florence (Greta Gerwig), a 24-year-old professional assistant to the wealthy Greenberg family, the awkward romance begins. Roger is fresh out of an asylum, and is a guest in the lavish home of his brother’s family while they gallivant through Vietnam. Florence walks the family’s German shepherd, Mahler, and takes care of Roger’s shopping

Noah Baumbach Greenberg Focus Features Released March 26, 2010

Photo courtesy of focusfeatures.com

lists, populated in an early scene exclusively by ice cream sandwiches and whiskey. Their chemistry is strained from their first meeting, where Roger references a dated song by The Trammps that Florence apparently has not committed to her CD library. Their first (abrupt) sexual encounter a few days later is about as embarrassing as a Holocaust joke. That two so vastly unlike individuals begin falling in love with each other is a bit unbelievable but nevertheless

drives the narrative through a snarky gauntlet of psychodrama and daily heartbreaks before reaching the romantic end. Transplanting an actor known for his comedic roles into a serious role is a big risk, but when done right it can pay dividends (see Jim Carrey in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”) As Roger Greenberg, Stiller is a master of appearing as either a tragically sympathetic lonelyheart or a contemptible jackass, depending on the scene.

B+

We hate him for verbally assaulting Florence for telling a juvenile story. We love him for verbally assaulting Starbucks and American Airlines with scathing complaint letters. We hate him for toying with Florence’s heart. We love him for exposing his own in an endearing, cokeinduced voicemail. Just as indispensible as Stiller’s performance, though, is Gerwig’s. The young talent most recently known for her tortured role in“The House of the Devil” beautifully counterbalances Roger’s inconsistency. As Florence, she is sincere, open and a little on the nerdy side (“I’m wearing kind of an ugly bra,”she confesses sheepishly upon first fondling with Roger). Whether dancing drunk in nylon tights, giving Roger secondhand children’s marionettes for his birthday or nursing an ailing Mahler back to health, Florence

is irresistibly adorable and charmingly childish. The biggest mistake of the film is neglecting her for a good 20-minute segment toward the end. Ultimately, what binds Roger and Florence is their mutual terror of aging. Roger never stops questioning where the hell his life has gone; Florence never stops worrying where the hell her life is going. Though the initial attraction between Roger and Florence is scarcely explained and audiences are doomed to watch Roger repeat the same misanthropic mistakes over and over,“Greenberg” is endearing, smartly written and superbly casted. This untraditional romantic comedy is essential viewing for Baumbach fans, confused post-grads and anyone who has ever gone crazy or been in love. It may not be a unique role for Ben Stiller, but it is easily one of his best.

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ doesn’t soar By Kathleen Roosa Arizona Daily Wildcat Dragons are, without a doubt, one of the cutest pets you could have. Sure, feeding is a bit trying and apartments are definitely a no-go for living arrangement, but there are perks. For instance, if you have a date, you can say,“No sweat. I’ve got a dragon.”Nothing says romance like soaring above the clouds. Plus, you have easy transportation and automatic win status in the“my dog’s bigger than your dog”contest. Unfortunately, owning a pet dragon is a wee bit difficult for Hiccup. Why? Because he’s a Viking teenager. And what do Vikings do? Kill dragons. With anatomy closer to that of a praying mantis than the beefy physique of his Norse kin, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has it rough. His closed-minded father (Gerard Butler), with a huge red beard and thick Scottish brogue, is the village chief and doesn’t understand his son at all. Hiccup has equal bad

Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois How to Train Your Dragon Dream Works Animation Released March 26, 2010 luck with his fellow adolescents — a bunch of memorable oddballs supported by a stellar voice cast (Jonah Hill, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristen Wiig to name a few). When Hiccup brings down a dragon, he is thrilled to finally get a chance to show the village he can be just as adrenaline-seeking, testosterone-filled and fiercely stupid as the rest of them. The only problem is that he just can’t plunge his knife into the frightened dragon. Instead, the two bond and cuteness abounds. The conflict of “How to Train Your Dragon” stems from the tension between a rising reputation in dragon training and Hiccup’s loyalty to his newfound friend. When

the source of the dragon’s constant raiding of the village is discovered by Hiccup, our scrawny protagonist goes out to show everyone that dragons are not quite the evil creatures everyone thought them to be. It’s evident that the art department had a lot of fun when creating the movie. The dragons are particularly amazing; from bulbous dragons to serpentine fiends, the attention to detail shines through every scale and flame. Hiccup’s dragon, Toothless, is completely adorable. The wider the eyes, the faster your heart will melt. Why see it in 3-D? Same reason why you donned the oh-so-trendy glasses to watch“Avatar”: the flying. Whirling among peachy

C+

clouds to witness fiery aerial battle sequences or dreamy evening flights are some of the best moments in the movie. It’s fair to assume some moral heavy-handedness when watching a kid’s movie. But, by Odin’s beard, does this film really push it. First, Hiccup is his father’s son. Then he isn’t — he’s just a disappointment. Now he’s the apparent village hero. Oops, he’s disowned. Boohoo, nobody understands him, yet he’ll“be himself” and everyone will eventually love him. Really guys? That’s original. While it is a decent animated children’s movie, college students are clearly not the intended audience.“How to Train Your Dragon”lacks the relatable humor of“Kung Fu Panda”and the amazing writing from“Up.” A lack of emotional tendrils beyond generic teenage angst might isolate young adults. In the end, while having a dragon as a pet may be awesome, the movie certainly isn’t.


arizona daily wildcat • wednesday, march 31, 2010 •

B7

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B8

• wednesday, march 31, 2010 • arizona daily wildcat

SURREAL SUR REAL GO ONLINE Visit dailywildcat.com to hear arts writer Ali Freedman’s audio postcard on Sur Real’s Late Night Lounge.

Lisa Beth Earle/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sur Real, the Latin-inspired restaurant located on North Campbell Avenue and East Skyline Drive, is full of bar-goers on Saturday. Sur Real hosts its Late Night Lounge from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays with ’70s and ’80s music, Saturdays with live salsa music and Sundays with a DJ.

Literal music videos truly funny By Kathleen Roosa Arizona Daily Wildcat

It happens to the best of us. It’s two in the morning on a Wednesday and that paper is looking oh-so unappealing. You’re prowling the Web and end up on YouTube, the repository for all things funny and stupid. Naturally. Next time, watch some literal music videos, one of the best video trends in recent years. The first of its kind — Dustin McLean’s redub of “Take on Me” by A-ha — appeared on the scene in late 2008. Within months, dozens of other users created their own literal adaptations. In a literal music video, the original lyrics are replaced with lyrics that actually express the video’s visuals, often describing the setting and characters’ actions. So, that random guy in the angel outfit that keeps popping up for no reason … yeah, they’ll make fun of that. There are three “must-sees” in the literal music video world. As the first of the movement, “Take on Me,” set a high bar for followers. The female protagonist falls in love with a comic book character, later plunging into a sketched world. Talk about some amazing (not really) animation. With almost seven million views, perhaps the best is David A. Scott’s redub of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”The music video’s visually symbolic acrobatics make absolutely no sense, making it a prime target for a literal music video. It’s a montage of random characters (dancing ninjas, toasting yuppies and choir boys with glowing eyes) and blatant motifs (flying doves and red cloths floating in the breeze). There’s also a pretty funny version of Tears for Fears’“Head over Heels.”The singer’s voice is strong, perfecting the husky and soaring falsettos. The new lyrics are hilarious, deliberately focusing on the odd images: “What’s happening with that monkey? / What is with this gas

2

Prankster profits from dirty deeds By Zachary Smith Arizona Daily Wildcat

A screen capture from David A. Scott’s redub of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart.’

mask? / This is a strange library.” ’80s and ’90s music videos are fantastic subjects for satire. As they became the industry norm, artists first had the opportunity to transform their songs into a visual format. The result: a smorgasbord of bad metaphors that nobody understands. There are rules to making a good literal music video. First, pick something with a lot of illogical imagery or lots of action. A truly atrocious version of “You’re Beautiful,” consisting of a tedious discussion of James Blunt’s facial movements is a good example of what not to do. There is also the singing, often the make-or-break point. A good literal music video must mimic the tone and inflections of the original song. A whiny teenager with a voice like shattering glass, regardless of editing skill, is not worth a view. Unfortunately, copyright claims from a variety of music groups have shut down most of the videos on the Web, which doesn’t make much sense. How many 30-year-old music videos do people watch these days anyway? It seems like leaving the

literal music videos on the Web site would actually increase views of the original, if anything. Literal videos are increasing their scope from music videos and onto other subjects. A fantastic example is titled “Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer,” created by a duo of young men called BriTANicK. After only three weeks on YouTube, the trailer already has 1.3 million views. Not only is the film editing amazing, but the actors play their generic parts with flair. It is hilarious, pointing out the clichés of trailers, such as including the “inspiring final lines of a speech that douchebags will quote in their Facebook profiles.” It’s definitely worth a view. The Onion also has satirized news reports. Again, very funny. Now you’re equipped with another weapon when one-upping your friends in the who-knows-thefunniest-video contest. Literal music videos are awkward, comical and just so appropriate. It’s just a shame there aren’t more current videos on the net. Imagine a literal video version to Lady Gaga. Really, any of her music videos would do. That would be epic. Think about it.

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youth of the world that new numbers are available for their twisted means. The growth of social media has Jeff Goldblatt is probably not a provided pranksters with new name you know, but you may have opportunities. Goldblatt related such a called his phone number before. I story:“We had one random Thursday in know I have. Creator of the Rejection December of last year where somebody Hotline, Goldblatt operates made a post on Twitter that Humor Hotlines, a business Best Buy was giving away dedicated to the creation and $500 gift cards to the first dissemination of phony phone 5,000 people who called the numbers. He is responsible number. They posted the for many crushed suitors who number to our How to Keep have been denied access to a an Idiot Occupied hotline and fair maiden’s cell number. people kept retweeting it. It got Goldblatt’s career trajectory retweeted like 3,000 times. We is a bit of a cosmic prank. In ended up getting 1.8 million Jeff Goldblatt calls that day.” a phone interview, he said,“I put up the rejection hotline Perhaps Goldblatt’s greatest Creator of the as a joke. My friends thought Rejection Hotline prank is the propagation of it was funny and told their his company through its basic friends, and they thought premise. When someone gives it was funny. Next thing we knew, it out one of Humor Hotlines’ numbers, was getting thousands of calls a day. It they are providing not only business just took off virally. I’ve always been a but advertisement. It is business if the little bit of a wise-ass, and I kind of just victim of the prank calls the number. But turned that into my profession.” if that victim likes the joke and chooses After a few years, Goldblatt created to pass it on, the original act was one of more funny hotlines for the newly advertising. minted company Humor Hotlines. Now Despite creating such an insidious they have about 100 hotlines and receive company, Goldblatt said he does not 59 million calls a year. With hotlines even pull that many pranks.“It’s been ranging from How to Keep an Idiot a while since I actually pulled a prank Occupied to the Outsource a Friendship on somebody. I usually just provide to India hotline, the company reaches a the outlet for other people to prank large cross-section of humor styles. someone,” he said. Naturally, April Fool’s Day is one Be wary tomorrow. Goldblatt’s work is of the company’s strongest showings. everywhere, whether he admits it or not. Goldblatt has even created a number specifically for the day. IF YOU CALL “Last year, we put up the official April Fool’s Day Assistant hotline, April Fool’s Day Assistance Hotline: which is just a number that anybody 413-497-0033 can use. It’s more of a broad number Outsource a Friendship to India: that, no matter what they were told to 267-436-5128 call the number for, they realize they How to Keep an Idiot Entertained: were the victim of a prank,” he said. The company continues to grow, 401-285-0696 launching three new humor hotlines The Original Rejection Hotline: every month. It notifies its fanbase with 212-660-2245 a text message, alerting the deviant

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Arizona Daily Wildcat — March 31, 2010 WildLife  

Arizona Daily Wildcat — March 31, 2010 WildLife

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