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[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

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[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]


Jan. 28 - Feb. 3, 2009 • Vol. 19 Issue 4

Editor-in-Chief Jessica Koslow



Managing Editor Yuri Shimoda

Film Editor Jessica Koslow

Art Director Alance Ward Editorial Interns Gina Quattrochi, Marvin Vasquez, Farnaz Youshei

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Contributing Writers


Sasha Ali, Robert Axelrod, Scott Bedno, Sarah Bennett, China Bialos, Zach Bourque, Michael Buzzelli, Erica Carter,

Herman, Zach Hines, Joe Horton, Devon Klug, Jonathan Knell, Lucia, Ebony March,


Angela Matano, Ryan McWhorter, Frederick Mintchell, Samantha Ofole, Brien Overly, Polites, Bonnie Priever, Sasha PerlRaver, Parimal M. Rohit, Dov Rudnick, Rayhané S. Sanders, Mike Sebastian, Henry Senecal, Doug Simpson, Amy Sommer, David Tobin, John Tron, Mike Venezia, TJ Webber, Kevin Wierzbicki, Candice Winters

Contributing Artists & Photographers China Bialos, Mari Fong, Emmanuelle Troy

SPORTS 6 6 7 7 7


Richard Castaneda, Nick Day, Natasha Desianto, Jessica Go, Erik Hayden, Josh



Director Henry Selick’s Fantastic Vision


Goes from “Lost” to Taken ADVERTISING Sean Bello

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Ronit Guedalia

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Assistant to the Publishers Frederick Mintchell

Campus Circle newspaper is published 47 times a year and is available free at 40 schools and over 800 retail locations throughout Los Angeles. Circulation: 30,000. Readership: 90,000.


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COVER: Coraline Photo Credit: (c) 2008 Laika, Inc. Courtesy of Focus Features

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[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

campus news


USC’s New Master of Arts in Specialized Journalism USC Annenberg’s School of Journalism is now offering a nine-month master’s program in arts journalism, designed for aspiring art critics and art reporters. In conjunction with USC’s five art schools – architecture, cinematic arts, fine arts, theater and music – the curriculum will include digital media analysis, training for writing arts criticism and in-depth exposure to culturally diverse art.

Upromise Ups the Ante in Scholarship Funds Upromise, the largest private source of college funding in America, is doubling their offerings for 2009. The Upromise Scholarship will award a total of $500,000 to 200 students, enabling twice as many students to pursue a higher education. To be eligible, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA, a household income of less than $65,000 and be a member of Upromise, which is free to join online. Apply by Feb. 28 at

Experience and Experiment with Art at USC Saturday, Jan. 31, the USC Arts and Humanities Initiative hosts “A Day of Hands-On Art Making” at multiple locations on campus. Learn how to tango, throw a pot, sing in a group or just hang out and play amidst the artsy folk. It’s free and open to everyone, but you have to RSVP for each interactive program at the Arts & Humanities Initiative Web site.

Erin Cosgrove’s Epic Animation

Courtesy of the artist and Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles

Cosgrove, a local artist, will have her first solo exhibit at UCLA’s Hammer Museum entitled What Manner of Person Art Thou? Her animated work depicts Yoder and Troyer, the only surviving members of two Amish-like colonies and their journey to find any remaining relatives. On their path they discover the evilness of modern society and vow to right the wrongs done by contemporaries. The exhibit includes a View Erin Cosgrove’s What Manner of Person Art Thou? at the Hammer Museum. darkly comedic video about the corruption of modernity and the hazards of morality. The exhibit runs Saturday, Jan. 31 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Check out her humorous, thought-provoking and cartoony collection.

Obama: A New Hope for Gays? Legal and political analyst Susan Estrich hosts this lecture at USC Wednesday, Jan. 28 from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. in the first floor lounge of the Montgomery Ross Fisher Building. The question: What actions will Obama take in favor of the gay equality movement that is within his presidential authority and is politically strategic? Estrich will discuss the controversy associated with Reverend Warren, the politics behind Obama’s gay rights advocacy (or lack thereof), the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and the possibility of a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Estrich, Fox News’ resident “liberal,” was the first woman to run a national presidential campaign.

wooden nickels | B Y


TO FAITHFULLY EXECUTE FAITHFULLY: The Inauguration of Barack Obama I HAVE WORKED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., and I can vouch for the grandness of the National Mall as an impressive expanse. Suffice to say that standing in that trodden grass during a Regina Spektor concert or the traditional Fourth of July fireworks display, what looks like a relatively modest group of people on TV is always in reality a sizeable mass of humanity ambling around this misleadingly large space. When I saw the shots of the millions of people massed between Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue, from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, I knew, if I didn’t already a thousand times over, that this inauguration was something special. First, let’s get the conspiracy theory out of the way: John Roberts, how could you? I mean, everyone makes mistakes, and this was certainly a grand stage that should induce some nervousness, but to incorrectly READ the oath of office for the President of the United States? Boo I say. The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court misplaced the word “faithfully” in the oath, saying “…that I will execute the office of President to the United States faithfully…” instead of the correct “…I will execute faithfully the office of President of the United States…” Boo. The liberal blogosphere, as it is wont to do, lit up with conspiracy theories that Roberts intentionally messed up the oath because he’s a Bush appointee and Obama voted against his high court confirmation as a senator. That’s hogwash, of course,

Joe Horton

spit out by the hogwashiest of outlets; equally ludicrous was the initial Associated Press report that suggested Obama was searching for the right words and Roberts “helped” him back on track, or Chris Wallace of FOX News saying he didn’t think Obama actually was the president after the mix-up. The scene was, rather, quite a wonderful moment of humanity between two very powerful people, proving that even a single sentence can sometimes be tricky. I particularly admire the seriousness of the Obama administration and the humility of John Roberts to re-administer the oath in the White House the day after the inauguration just to be doubly sure that Constitutional requirements were well taken care of. Our government has for too long been loathe to admit any kind of failing, substituting brazenness for seriousness in situations big and small, and this is a welcome departure from that sad legacy. As for the rest – Michelle Obama looked fantastic in her glowing Isabel Toledo getup and is clearly angling, at least in part, to carry on the legacy of Jackie Kennedy. And why not? It’s been almost 50 years since we had someone young, hip and beautiful to stand out from the Brooks Brothers, button-down crowd in D.C. Malia and Sasha seemed to be loving every minute of the pomp and circumstance, even armed with the knowledge that they’ll be back to the school routine in short order. It’s

fair, the play contains some downright silly moments, but there is dark subtext in Leonard’s frothy script. The story follows Martha, an antebellum belle, from the Civil War to the fall of the Twin Towers. Hunt sparkles as the eternally pregnant Martha. She shares the stage with equally adept actors; Bill Heck, William Salyers, Robert Manning, Jr. and John Short play every man, woman and bovine (don’t ask) with aplomb. Heck is particularly delightful as Martha’s dim bulb beau, Henry, and director John Langs deftly conducts the craziness. [Inside] the Ford is located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. For more information, visit

curtain call | live on stage

‘BATTLE HYMN’ Now-Feb. 21 @ [Inside] the Ford BY MIKE BUZZELLI WITH ALL THE TRAGEDY SURROUNDING us, when is the right time to bring a new life into the world? That is the question that Martha (a superb Suzy Jane Hunt) asks herself in Jim Leonard’s “Battle Hymn.” The question, for Martha, is more difficult than for most; she decides to stay pregnant for 150 years! The premise may sound absurd. To be

certainly not a prerequisite of the presidency, but I do like the return of younger children to the First Family. Somehow, the girls make me feel that some real-world perspective will leak in, the truth from the mouths of babes, whether via the latest Jonas Brothers gossip or the tell-it-to-your-parents frankness that only the young possess. Lastly, to the man of the hour. Barack Obama sure looked presidential, didn’t he? I’m not buying this “nodrama Obama” slogan of stoic reserve, but facing this economic meltdown and the rehabilitation of the American Dream on a global scale, he injected the moment with the right amount of excitement and responsibility. On a day where Old Washington really did look old – Senator Ted Kennedy, 76, had a seizure at a luncheon and his friend Sen. Robert Byrd, 91, was reportedly so emotional at the scene that he left as well, Bush looked a hundred years removed from taking his oath, Bill Clinton had turned into the spitting image of the white-haired politico fogeys he swept aside when he played his sax on “Arsenio Hall,” Dick Cheney in his wheelchair was a white cat away from the picture-perfect decrepit Bond villain – Obama looked ready for the desk in the Oval Office, one part smiling, glamorous Hollywood fauxfuturistic movie president and one part battle-hardened executive staring grimly at the mess on his new shoes. The numbers I saw for the day estimated the crowd at 1.8 million. That seems a little lean from my armchair perspective, but it is almost double the number that attended Clinton’s inauguration and nearly quadruple the number that attended Bush’s in 2001 (and how many were there to throw eggs at the motorcade?). In a time where nobody has any money to spare, that crowd is a remarkable feat, and I hope it speaks not just to an eagerness to celebrate what has come to pass, but readiness to support the work that lies ahead.


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sports | B Y

sports | B Y

PA R I M A L M . R O H I T

PA R I M A L M . R O H I T


UCLA VS. USC MEN’S BASKETBALL Feb. 4 @ Pauley Pavilion

Terrible Towel vs. Terrible Team

dropped two of their last three games since WHENEVER UCLA AND USC ATHLETICS winning nine in a row, including losing their meet, team records are thrown out the door. fifth straight game in Seattle against Rarely does one school find itself caught in the Washington on Saturday. With consecutive other team’s dominance in a sport like a deer losses to PAC-10 teams, UCLA is caught in headlights. now in the middle of the pack, If the basketball contest allowing a team like USC to affect between the two schools at Galen the final standings heading into Center two weeks ago is an the season-ending tournament. indicator, it is unlikely USC will Southern Cal is 4-3 in PACjust fold over and let UCLA run 10 play (13-6 overall), meaning over them like road kill when the that if both schools defeat their Trojans take to the hardwood at next two opponents, the Trojans Pauley Pavilion Feb. 4. can leapfrog UCLA in the On Jan. 11, the Bruins conference standings and almost escaped University Park with a 64prevent the Bruins from claiming 60 victory, part of a nine-game UCLA center J’mison Morgan the best record among the winning streak that had UCLA league’s 10 teams. As if playing against a eyeing a position in the spot near the top of the crosstown rival on its famed home court is not national polls. motivation enough, expect USC to be extra As both teams prepare for a re-match at motivated with the PAC-10 title on the line. Pauley Pavilion, UCLA hopes to reverse its Both teams are relatively healthy entering losing ways, while USC hopes to avenge the this week’s games, so injuries should not be a earlier loss to its crosstown rival (and keep up major factor. Expect another close game, with in the Pac-10 standings in the process). UCLA barely escaping for the season sweep. The Bruins (15-4, 5-2 in conference) have Paul Rodriguez/Orange County Register/MCT

LONG BEFORE COORS LIGHT EPITOMIZED his press conference rant in commercial form, Jim Mora’s famous words – delivered in a highpitched voice – were probably written on a white board inside the Arizona Cardinals locker room shortly after he uttered them in 2001. “What’s that? Uh – Playoffs? Don’t talk about – playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs?” The Cardinals won more playoff games in 2009 (three) than they had in their entire history in the NFL (two). Since moving to Arizona, the Cardinals qualified for the playoffs just once – in 1994. Factoring in the St. Louis days, the team had four playoff appearances, playing five games in the process. For the Cardinals, the playoffs sound a lot like Mora’s words – something to kid about. While the Cardinals have played in only five playoff games coming into this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have won five Super Bowls. On Feb. 1, the up-start Cardinals will face off against the storied Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. It promises to be a truly historic game – either the Steelers will win a record sixth championship or the Cardinals will break the NFL’s longest championship drought. The big game, which will be played in Tampa Bay, Fla., is perhaps the most intriguing Super

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D. Ross Cameron/Oakland Tribune/MCT

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Airzona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner

Bowl match-up in recent memory. Both teams have met only eight times in the last 36 years, with the Steelers winning five of the meetings. Both teams feature strong, experienced quarterbacks. Arizona’s Kurt Warner, 37, is making his third Super Bowl appearance, while Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, 26, makes his second. Both teams are operated by families with a long-standing history of NFL ownership. Both teams are led by two coaches ushering in a new era of X’s and O’s. Both teams have a stable of wide receivers capable of burning defenses. Perhaps that is where the similarities end. Arizona entered the playoffs with the worst running game in the league and a porous secondary. The Cardinals averaged a league-

George Bridges/MCT

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Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers

worst 73 rushing yards per game on 16 carries. In its final six games, Arizona gave up at least 30 points four times, including 48 to Philadelphia and 47 to New England. The Cardinals also allowed 56 points to the Jets on Sept. 28. The Cardinals compensated with an electric offense led by Warner, who completed 401-of598 passes for 4,583 yards, 30 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Helping him in the secondary was Larry Fitzgerald (96 receptions, 1,431 yards, 12 touchdowns) and Anquan Boldin (89, 1,038 and 11). Conversely, the Steelers gave up more than 30 points once all season – a 31-14 loss to Tennessee in week 16. Unlike Arizona, Pittsburgh’s defense is arguably the best in the league. In their final seven weeks, the Steelers allowed less than an average of 12 points per game, while the defense ranked first in total yards, passing yards, points allowed per game and second in rushing yards per game (at just over 80 per game). Leading that defense was Troy Polamalu, James Farrior, Deshea Townsend, Bryant McFadden and LaMarr Woodley. Roethlisberger led a dynamic Steelers offense, who threw for 3,301 yards, 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions on 281-of-469 passing. Helping Big Ben are Hines Ward (81, 1,043, 7) and Santonio Holmes (55, 821, 5). The key to Super Bowl XLIII will be whether Warner can figure out the Steelers defense. Pittsburgh’s front five should have no time limiting Arizona’s weak ground game, and if the safeties and corners can control Boldin and Fitzgerald, Arizona will be run out of Tampa. Conversely, the key for Arizona is to blitz. Halfback Willie Parker has been inconsistent on the ground, and Roethlisberger struggles against the blitz. He was sacked 29 times during the season, and threw five interceptions on 50 percent completions against the blitz. Ultimately, the Steelers defense should carry the day for Pittsburgh, as it will be the first NFL team to win six Super Bowls. Final Score: Pittsburgh 20, Arizona 9

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the sports wanderer | B Y

Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune/MCT

Shields, John Lackey and SPRING TRAINING IS AROUND Brian Fuentes (United the corner. Wonder what kind of States); pitchers José training is going on in Anaheim? Arredondo and Ervin If you are Vladimir Guerrero, the Santana (Dominican Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hope Republic); and infielder it’s the type of training that involves Freddy Sandoval (Mexstrengthening of the knee. The Angels ico). have reportedly requested Guerrero Parimal M. Rohit Meanwhile, over at focus more on rehabilitating his City Hall, the Anaheim surgically repaired knee than taking atcouncil is training itself to get used bats in the 16-team World Baseball to the Angels’ legal name. Team Classic in March. owner Arte Moreno infamously Guerrero was one of 16 Angel changed his club’s name to the Los players selected to represent nine Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2003. countries in the World Baseball Classic. The right fielder was invited to play for his native Dominican Republic. However, an invitation is not a guarantee to play, as teams do have the right to prevent a player from participating in the classic if he is recuperating from injury. The Angels have expressed they intend to exercise their right if Guerrero starts heading toward the batter’s box wearing the jersey of his country. Oh, apparently catcher Mike Napoli, who was added to Italy’s 45-man roster, faces a similar battle. He had shoulder surgery during the off season, and the Angels probably want him to focus on recovery instead of Los Angeles Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero redemption. No word on whether the The city subsequently sued, arguing Angels will prevent the other 14 the name change violated a lease invitees from their roster from playing provision between the city and team. in the classic, including: infielder In 2006, an Orange County jury Maicer Izturis and outfielder Juan agreed with Moreno, saying the Rivera (Venezuela); pitchers Scot

dodgers 411 | B Y

l.a. hoopla| nba scoop

PA R I M A L M . R O H I T

De-fense. De-fense!

BY YURI SHIMODA & TJ WEBBER THE 35-8 LAKERS ARE TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS AT STAPLES. The league’s top offensive team is – finally – stepping up its game on the other end of the court. The Lakers still need to up their toughness quotient, but the past few games have been steps in the right direction. The squad’s 108-97 win over the 10-34 Clippers Jan. 21 was a standout game for Andrew Bynum. The center scored a career-high 42 points and 15 rebounds and four blocked shots. Bynum shot 17-of-24 (and 8-of-11 from the charity stripe), as Kobe Bryant garnered his second triple-double (18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds) in three games. On Thursday Bryant was named as a starter for the 2009 NBA AllStar game, for the 11th consecutive time. That night, the Lakers blew out the Washington Wizards (9-35) 117 to 97 at Staples Center. Bynum had another fantastic game, coming away with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Pau Gasol put up 18 points. Sunday afternoon at Staples was the setting for the west’s top team to take on the second –best Spurs (29-14). The game was close until the Lakers pulled away just before the half and opened up a 15-point lead in the third and then winning 99-85. Bryant led with 22 points, Trevor Ariza scored 17 off the bench and Gasol ended up with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. Bynum had a season-high four blocked shots. Backup point guard Jordan Farmar returned for his first game since suffering a knee injury Dec. 19 in Miami and scored 14 points in 17 minutes of play. The Lakers are 23-3 at home and will host the 27-14 Hornets Jan. 27 at Staples before a six-game road trip, beginning Jan. 30 in Minnesota (16-27). After their loss to the Lakers, the CLIPPERS pulled off a win over 1035 Oklahoma City on Friday at Staples. Last season’s rookie of the year, Kevin Durant had 46 points and 15 rebounds for the Thunder and made 24 out of 26 free throws, but it was the Clippers’ rookie guard Eric Gordon who stole the show, and came away with the win. Gordon sunk a three-pointer and a scoop shot in the final four minutes of the game – his tally at the end of the night was 41 – leading the Clips to a 107-104 victory. Clippers forward Al Thornton had 34 points. The Clippers traveled north to play Golden State (14-31) Sunday night but lost 92–107. The team comes back to Los Angeles to play the 1827 Bulls Jan. 28 before hitting the road for games against the 34-8 Cavaliers (Jan. 30), the Wizards (Jan. 31) and the 24-19 Heat (Feb. 2).

M A R V I N G . VA S Q U E Z


PLAYER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW BYNUM Team: Lakers, No. 17; Position: Center; Years Pro: 3

Rafael Suanes/MCT

Yong Kim/Philadelphia Daily News/MCT

NEARLY 90 DAYS HAVE PASSED since Manny Ramirez became a free agent. Only the Dodgers made an official offer to him. Only the Dodgers seem to have interest in the slugger. Therefore, only the Dodgers deserve to possess his services. Less than 20 days remain until the Dodgers begin spring training in their new facility in Glendale, Ariz. Yet, the Dodgers still have not signed Ramirez, nor have they added more depth to their bullpen or starting pitching. With the current roster, the Dodgers are true contenders in the NL West. However, adding Ramirez makes them favorites to win the division and perhaps perform slightly better than the squad did last season in the playoffs. Bringing Ramirez back would signify belief and hope for all those miserable fans who have not seen the

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name change did not violate the lease. A subsequent appeal was also shot down. Since, city officials were pondering whether to take the matter to the California Supreme Court. Last week Anaheim decided to end its four-year, $4 million legal battle. Not thrilled with presenting its residents with the legal bill, Anaheim is considering filing a request for a federal reimbursement. How come hockey players never train themselves to play some defense in all-star games? On Sunday, the NHL’s top players met in Montreal. Apparently, they all wanted to play a game, but a goalie was nowhere to be found. How else do you explain these high-scoring all-star games, including the 12-11 final at the 2009 NHL All-Star game at Montreal’s Bell Center on Sunday night? We are told some goalies did play, including Anaheim’s JeanSebastien Giguere. He must have forgotten how to play, considering the Eastern All-Stars spurned him for four of their 12 goals. On the bright side, three of Giguere’s teammates helped the cause against the goalie, with Ryan Getzlaf and Rob Niedermayer each collecting an assist for the west. Putting his hatred for the Ducks aside, the Kings lone All-Star, Dustin Brown, also had an assist.

Thus far, the team has re-signed Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake. They have signed veteran utility Mark Loretta, catcher Brad Ausmus, relief pitcher Guillermo Mota and starting team in a World Series since 1988. pitcher Claudio Vargas. Hoping to Bringing the dreadlocks back compete and earn a starting role, would mean that the rest of the players pitcher Shawn Estes signed a minor would enjoy and have fun playing league contract with the baseball alongside the unit. Dominican. Bringing These signings are back the future Hall of great, but the Dodgers Famer would alleviate need more acquisitions. many of Joe Torre’s They cut ties with worries, not to mention Andruw Jones, thus Don Mattingly’s efforts attaining more potential to improve the hitting funds for Ramirez. Jeff abilities of all the club’s Kent and Greg Maddux youngsters. have retired. Derek Lowe, Bringing back that Brad Penny, Takashi unique Latin charisSaito, Angel Berroa, Pablo matic leadership would Will Manny Ramirez be back in Dodger blue? Ozuna, Jason Johnson, transform the Dodgers Scott Proctor and Chan into a nightmare for Ho Park have signed elsewhere. most NL teams, including the Mets Whom should the Dodgers target? and Phillies. Bringing back the soReports indicate that they are in talks called “Manny being Manny” concept with starting pitchers Randy Wolf, John would enhance the Dodgers financial Garland and Braden Looper. wealth, too.

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On Jan. 21, the sevenfooter became the first Lakers player to score 40 points, besides Bryant, since Shaquille O’Neal back in 2003. Bynum steadily continues to improve his rebounding numbers (averaging 13.3 rebounds in the last three games), his intensity as a defender and his confidence as an overall dynamic force on this team. And have we mentioned that he is only 21 years old? All stats as of Jan. 27.

JAN. 28 - FEB. 3, 2009 • VOL. 19



CORALINE Henry Selick and Neil Gaiman’s B Y N I C K D AY CORALINE IS ABOUT A YOUNG GIRL THAT wanders through a secret door in her home and discovers the “Other World,” a dangerous alternate reality that mimics her own life. When the Other World threatens to take over, Coraline relies on her own bravery and determination to save her family and herself. “I think kids today are out of touch with Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” says Coraline’s director and writer, Henry Selick. So, he made a film for what he calls, “brave children.” Selick has crafted a remarkable, cautionary film that is imbued with the very best of Grimm’s sensibilities. It is also an animation milestone, being the first stop-motion animated feature to be conceived and filmed in 3-D. “It was a pretty challenging learning curve,”

Selick says. “I was lucky to have a good friend, Lenny Lipton. His system is at the center of RealD technology.” Lipton has been working with 3-D since 1972 and met Selick nearly 20 years ago while working on a music video. Now, Lipton works at RealD, the leading 3-D company, and Selick enlisted his help on Coraline. Selick says, “The technology of today’s 3-D really can now be called ‘stereoscopic,’ because audiences can now look at things with both eyes as we’re designed to do as human beings anyway.” RealD uses a single projector that alternately projects right-eye frame and then left-eye frame. Each frame is projected three times at a very high frame-rate, thus reducing flicker and making an image appear to be continuous. When viewed through the RealD glasses, each eye sees only its “own” image and the result is a seamless 3-D picture. It’s almost like looking into the window of a house and it lets a viewer

Kelvin Jones

Handmade Fairy Tale

Director/writer Henry Selick and lead animator Travis Knight at work on Coraline.

experience a true depth of field. The process enhances stop-motion animation to a level that rivals that of a live-action movie. Stop-motion is known for being an intense endeavor, couple that with the use of new technologies and you get a project that’s been a longtime in the making. Just 74 seconds of footage could take an entire week of production, with a crew of over 300 people working on 52 stages. The shoot lasted over 18 months, which was after the two years of pre-production. The wait, however, was worth it. “The first time I saw a 3-D footage test on Coraline, my jaw just dropped. I had never seen 3-D look so good,” says Coraline’s creator and author, Neil Gaiman. The effect is marvelous to behold, and it really serves to help pull the audience into the movie, creating an immersive experience the likes of which audiences have yet to behold. It is easy to forget you’re watching a piece of animation. Coraline has very little traditional or CG animation during its running time but relies solely on the art of stop-motion to tell the story. Everything is handmade and every movement is physically manipulated by any number of patient animators. For instance, one amazing sequence takes place within a grand theater. The entire audience is made up of happy, panting Scottish Terriers. There are 248 Scotties all in all, and each one requiring the individual attention of an artist. It is an amazing image, made all the more memorable when taking into account the work that made it possible. “We can’t CG better than Pixar,” says Selick, “so we made everything: all the dogs, all of the jumping mice.” “What I didn’t realize until I visited the sets out in Oregon,” says Gaiman, “was that absolutely everything you see on the screen had

to be made after being designed or signed off on. Every blade of grass had to be painted or built out of fake fur.” Forty trees were handmade for the orchard setting. Silicone thimbles were turned inside out and painted to become garden lilies. Thirteen hundred square feet of fake fur was applied and painted to stand in for live and/or dead grass. Even the construction of a single Coraline puppet took the work of 10 people over the course of three to four months. To say that Coraline is the biggest production in stop-motion animation is an understatement. “With miniature puppets, miniature props and miniature sets, Coraline’s two complete worlds were brought to life,” says Selick. “Everything had to be thought out.” “Stop-motion combines imagination with a tangible reality and solidity,” says Gaiman, “and Henry’s work in the medium catches my heart.” Selick has been active in animation for quite a long time and got his start as an animator at Disney, though he is best known for directing the stop-motion classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas. That film was released in 1993 and has gone onto become a perennial favorite. It was even re-released by Disney in the 3-D format. “I thought it would be impossible to do,” says Selick, “but they pulled it off.” Coraline isn’t just an amazing achievement on a technical level; it is a fantastic movie that will surely win over the same audience that championed The Nightmare Before Christmas. It has a childlike sense of wonder, surprising humor and exceptional voice work by Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher. The score, too, is startlingly original for an animated movie and is supplied by the talented Bruno Coulais, composer of Winged Migration and Microcosmos. This handmade fairy tale will amaze you. Coraline releases in theaters Feb. 6.


invite you to register for your chance to win tickets for 2 to the advance screening of PUSH on Wednesday, February 4 in Los Angeles.

“THE FIRST REAL ACTION FILM OF 2009! Mind-blowing! A must-see!”

– Heather Newgen, COMINGSOON.NET



MOBILE USERS: For Showtimes, Text Message PUSH and Your ZIP CODE to 43KIX (43549)

Register at Also, enter to win a PUSH prize pack at: Please arrive early. Screening is overbooked to ensure capacity. Admission is not guaranteed. Rated - PG-13 for "intense sequences of violence and action, brief strong language, smoking and a scene of teen drinking"





10 | Campus Circle

[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

film notes | reviews


BY EBONY MARCH applauds his generosity as an actor. “[Neeson] was all goodness and light,” she jokes. “Seriously, he was lovely and quite protective in actuality as well. It can be terrifying to meet people you admire, let alone work with them, and he is as gracious as can be.” The actress and her onscreen dad even found that they had more in common than initially expected.

Stephanie Branchu

NOTHING STRIKES FEAR IN the heart of a parent more than the abduction of a child. In the thriller Taken, a former CIA operative (Liam Neeson) must outwit an Albanian criminal organization in order to recover his 17-year-old daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). She is kidnapped along with her best friend while vacationing in Paris. However, before she is taken, Kim manages to give her father some pertinent information about her abductors; information that he uses to track his daughter down and free her from the illegal sex trade. This riveting story comes – in part – from the mind of co-writer Luc Besson (The Transporter). The French phenom has contributed to a successful assortment of films exploring father-daughter relationships throughout the years. Movies like The Professional and Wasabi have wowed the international film community, and Taken hopes to expound upon that legacy. Aside from Besson’s attachment to the project, Taken is directed by Pierre Morel. The auteur has etched out a career that has displayed his talents as a cinematographer for films like Love and Other Disasters. However, he is no less gifted in his role as director. But perhaps the most noted aspect of this Euro-thriller is actress Maggie Grace. The 25 year old steps into the role of Kim with a powerful intensity. She looks at her character with a youthful perspective – enabling her to add numerous layers to the role. “Kim is a true ingenue,” she says, “very sheltered and innocent, and really wants to understand her father and his intermittent absence from her life thus far.” Her awe of the parent-child relationship was also integral to her performance. “I think it’s truly amazing what people will do for their children. There is a myriad of reallife stories that attest to this. It is so visceral and really drives the film.” Grace feels fortunate to have performed with Neeson in this action-packed drama. She also

Only moments away from being taken by kidnappers, Kim (Maggie Grace) makes an urgent call to her father.

“Liam and I figured out that my family, several members of whom are charmingly obsessed with our Irish heritage, is from the same tiny town in Northern Ireland that he is from,” explains Grace. “He knew families with the same last names, etc. So remotely, it’s possible we are related in reality.” While Taken provided Grace with a wonderful experience as a young actress, she still looks forward to working with other Hollywood elite. Among the directors whose work is an inspiration to her are Danny Boyle, Todd Field, Darren Aronofsky. She would also love to act with Helen Mirren and Emma Thompson. And even though Grace has made great strides in her career with roles as Shannon Rutherford on ABC’s “Lost” and as Allegra in the romantic comedy The Jane Austen Book Club, she still jokes about being a down-to-earth girl through it all. “Today I landed a 19-inch rainbow trout on the Baker River all by myself,” she says. “I feel like this is important info for as many people as will listen, kind of like a kid that wants to put the new finger-painting masterpiece on the fridge.” Taken releases in theaters Jan. 30.

Nanay Flor (Gina Pareño) and Alan (Coco Martin) in Serbis

Serbis (Regent Releasing) Every family has problems, be they financial, emotional or in some cases, sexual. The Pineda family is no exception. Headed by Nanay Flor (Gina Pareño), the family owns and operates a movie theater, called Family, in the Filipino city of Angeles. Due to financial problems, the family has also taken residence in the multi-story building. A place that might have been prestigious and suitable in the past now shows cheap porno and is reduced to a meeting place for those looking for some action, mainly service boys and their gay patrons. Directed by Brillante Ma Mendoza, Serbis, which evidently is the Filipino pronunciation of service in English, follows a day in life of the characters as they each struggle with their own problems and insecurities while operating the theater. Here, as with any other films directed by Mendoza (Masahista, Kaleldo, Monoro and Tirador), the camera follows each character as they walk around the building, so much, that by the end of the movie the viewers have a good

Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans

with monsters that veer closer to fantasy than horror, but the film has a fast pace and good production values, both of which go a long way in bolstering a so-so screenplay. The real fun in this Underworld is in watching Sheen and Nighy chew through the scenery and really invest themselves in the whole affair. Their work was the high point of the first Underworld (sorry, Kate Beckinsale), and it’s nice to see them take center stage. The creature effects are admirable, though CGI is still a weak replacement for good old practical effects. Grade: B—Nick Day Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is currently in theaters.

(Screen Gems) Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is the third film in the Underworld franchise, though it’s not a direct sequel. This film takes place centuries before the first and second film and chronicles events that will lead to a war between the vampire and werewolf clans. The film tells the story of an enslaved werewolf, Lucian (Michael Sheen), and his secret affair with the vampire Sonja (Rhona Mitra), daughter to the cruel vampire king, Viktor (Bill Nighy). The story is Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen battle in a melodramatic tragedy Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Ken George

Audiences are Taken with this enchanting new talent.

Courtesy of Regent Releasing


idea about the layout of the theater; a detail that, according to the director, is essential in interpreting the many facets of the characters. Jaclyn Jose, Coco Martin, Kristofer King and Roxanne Jordan also star. Grade: D —Farnaz Youshei Serbis releases in select theaters Jan. 30.

staff pick The First Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival Jan. 28-29 @ Grauman’s Chinese Theater Brazil has given the world many cherished gifts: teeny

weeny bikinis, X-rated wax jobs and my personal favorite, supermodel Gisele Bündchen. Now we can thankfully add another great to that list. Check out the First Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival. Help bridge the gap between Hollywood and South American artists.

projections | essential film events

SHOW & TELL/FILMS FROM MAR VISTA GARDENS Jan. 29 @ Echo Park Film Center BY SARAH BENNETT THE ECHO PARK FILM CENTER IS an invaluable community resource. In addition to being a nonprofit rent-acenter, library and screening facility, the blue and orange storefront also offers free classes, workshops and afterschool programs to introduce neighborhood teens to “the magic of cinema.” Every semester, local 13-18 year olds spend 11 weeks as a part of EPFC Youth Film Workshops, working with cameras, soundboards and young writers at 826LA to bring original short screenplays to life. And last year, the organization added another outreach project to

spark the creativity of underprivileged youngsters: the EPFC Filmmobile. The beat up blue bus that they converted into a veggie oil-fueled film school spent last fall at Central High Continuation School inaugurating the Filmmobile Youth Film Project by helping nine first-timers document life in Venice’s Mar Vista Gardens housing project. In a movie event born from truly inspiring circumstances (think Dangerous Minds except Michelle Pfeiffer is instead a gaggle of film-nerd volunteers), the resulting shorts from both of last semester’s programs will be screened –with all underage

filmmakers present – in a one-night only homespun movie extravaganza. Equally as fulfilling for the EPFC crew as for the newly spawned filmmakers, the free screening of Show & Tell/FILMS From Mar Vista Gardens is sure to prove the value of such afterschool programs and be an uplifting glimpse into the power of media arts. 8 p.m. Echo Park Film Center is located at 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park. For more information, visit


REGISTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN RUN OF ENGAGEMENT PASSES AND A PRIZE PACK AT: One lucky winner in each city will receive a $100 gift certificate. This film is rated PG. All winners will be drawn at random from all eligible entries. Focus Features, Campus Circle, Pearl Paints and all affiliated agencies are not eligible to participate. No purchase necessary. While supplies last. No phone calls please. A run of engagement pass is good for two admissions Monday through Thursday only, excluding holidays, at pre-specified theatre(s) and is valid through the film’s run of engagement at that theatre(s). Run of engagement passes will be valid beginning Monday, February 9, 2009. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is not guaranteed.





[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]


SPECIAL FEATURES The ’90s Strike Back

The Horror! The Horror!

Ah, the ’90s, the decade of sarcasm. Behind “Seinfeld” and “The Simpsons,” no TV show better captured the zeitgeist than “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Host Joel (and later Mike) sits in silhouette with his two robot pals and mercilessly mocks old B movies. Included in Volume XIV (available Feb. 3) are Mad Monster, Manhunt in Space, Soultaker and Final Justice. After a string of tonedeaf flops, ’90s indie auteur Kevin Smith returns with Zack and Miri Make a Porno (available Feb. 3). The casting of the Apatow Gang’s Seth Rogen just underscores how irrelevant Smith has become. While certainly a step up from Jersey Girl, Zack and Miri merely ranks as “watchable.” Part of the ’90s animation renaissance, “Duckman” returns with a Seasons Three and Four set that is currently available.

Author Richard Matheson reteamed with director Dan Curtis two years after their hit Trilogy of Terror for another horror anthology, Dead of Night. Airing in 1977, the three-part film was originally intended as a pilot episode for a show that was never picked up. It holds up surprisingly well, with some genuinely creepy moments. It stars a young Ed Begley, Jr., Horst Buchholz, The Avengers’ Patrick Macnee and Joan Hackett.

See You in the Funny Papers Will Eisner: Profession – Cartoonist tells the early comic creator’s story. Find out more about the man behind the highly influential The Spirit (now a big screen adaptation by Frank Miller) as well as the history of comics.

The Idiotbox After a few dozen King Tut specials, the History Channel has reinvented itself to broaden its appeal. Exhibit A: MonsterQuest – Season Two, a fun show in which investigators use new technology to investigate reports of ghosts, monsters and urban legends. “Jurassic Fight Club” uses CGI to bring to life fossil records and gain new insight into the hunting methods of dinosaurs. Meanwhile, A&E is also expanding its horizons. “Crime 360” is a riveting reality series, which takes you inside a new criminal investigation each episode. Also available: the 11th and final season of one of the most beloved sitcoms in TV history, “Cheers,” and season two of the popular radio show adaptation “This American Life.”

Courtroom Drama The John Grisham Courtroom Collection contains four film adaptations from the master of the courtroom potboiler, including The Pelican Brief, The Client, Runaway Jury and A Time to Kill.

Blu Notes New on Blu-ray: the director’s cut of Zodiac, David Fincher’s engrossing saga about the infamous serial killer and the investigation, which became life obsessions for those involved. A stellar cast includes: Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo.

Under the Radar Before Live Aid, the Secret Policeman’s Ball was staged in Britain to raise money for Amnesty International. This collection features five shows spanning the years 1976-1989 and includes performances by Monty Python, Rowan Atkinson, Dudley Moore, Hugh Laurie and musicians Pete Townshend, Lou Reed, Jackson Brown, Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler.

Why, God, Why? Righteous Kill is a testament to what has become of the careers of our two greatest actors, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. If this were an isolated incident, one could write it off as two giants wanting so badly to work together again that they jumped at the first thing that came along. But alas, this is not the case. This has been going on so long now that it’s clichéd to even complain about the uninspired schlock these two are making. Suffice it to say that there is not an ounce of realism, grit or drama in this movie, which is packed with the kind of “tough” dialogue that makes you hate humanity a little for it. Gene Hackman needs to sit these guys down and talk to them about the benefits of semi-retirement, the pluses of being able to sleep at night knowing that you can wait for the good roles to come along.

Stan’s Favorite WEREWOLF FILMS 1) The Wolf Man 2) Face of the Screaming Werewolf 3) Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man 4) House of Frankenstein 5) An American Werewolf in London 6) I Was a Teenage Werewolf 7) Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein 8) The Undying Monster 9) Werewolf of London 10) House of Dracula —Stan, Vidiots customer

Funny Face/Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Paramount) One of Hollywood’s true originals, Audrey Hepburn carved a unique place for herself in the annals of film with her singular charm and savoir fare. Two of her best movies, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Funny Face, recently reissued in Paramount’s Centennial Collection, showcase the actress at her absolute best. Glamorous nonpareil, Hepburn exhibited a surprising amount of vulnerability and melancholy as both Holly Golightly and Jo Stockton, creating an unusual depth for her indanger-of-being shallow characters. As a result, the performances, as well as the pictures become indelibly etched in your heart with only one viewing. Grades: A+ —Angela Matano Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany’s are both currently available.

The Best of Rifftrax Shorts, Vol. One (RiffTrax) While “Mystery Science Theater 3000” may no longer be television’s steadfast source of cinematic snark, its spirit is still alive and well on the Internet at At Rifftrax, the creative minds behind “MST3K” offer their unique color commentary in MP3 format to accompany much bigger budget films as well as short videos ripping apart forgotten educational films. The Best of Rifftrax Shorts features nine horribly cheesy short films punctuated with that off-kilter “MST3K” wit. All of the shorts offer quite a few chuckles, but they are not really as funny as the heyday of “MST3K.” One of the shorts also introduces the somewhat creepy animated versions of the show’s voices, but it really doesn’t add as much as the snappy one-liners themselves do. While this DVD is fun, the unaired short and the bonus songs aren’t enough to make this DVD a must-have, especially since the shorts are available online for a dollar each. Grade: C —Jonathan Knell The Best of Rifftrax Shorts, Vol. One is currently available.

screen shots | B Y

Z A C H H I N E S film

Watchmen conflict ends. Warner Bros. and Fox have inevitably put their conflict over the upcoming Watchmen film to bed. A bit of background: 20th Century Fox optioned the comic book Watchmen in the early ’90s and spent over a decade developing screenplays based on the comic, but never actually put anything into production. Larry Gordon (Hellboy, Die Hard, Predator), a producer on the film eventually took the project to Warner Bros. and got it going, but apparently he did so without getting the rights back from Fox. Fast forward to after the film is completed and Fox hits Warner Bros. with a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Was it a shady move for Fox to wait and see how the film was going to turn out to lodge a complaint? Sort of. On a business level, it was a very smart thing to do. Did Warner Bros. drop the ball by not finding out if they had complete rights to the property? Yes. I think so. Whoever their lawyers are, they need to fire them. If they had realized that Fox still had distribution rights before they made the film and hadn’t given Fox an opportunity to see how excited everyone was for the film and that it would probably make a lot of money, they wouldn’t be in this situation. I don’t think Fox had very much faith in the project when they had it and probably would’ve turned over the rights. This will be a great lesson to everyone who options books and comics to make sure they have complete rights to the IP before moving ahead. You would think with the kind of money these big companies make they could hire lawyers who do their jobs. At the end of the day, this is nobody’s problem but their own. While I’m very fond of the product that both studios have released throughout my life, I don’t feel very much sympathy for either. These are two massive corporations who make a ridiculous amount of money each year. Apparently Warner Bros. is going to give Fox some sort of cash amount and still make the money from the box office gross and DVD. I have nothing but respect for both companies in the wake of their settlement, and I’m extremely excited to see the Watchmen film. I guess this just goes to show that no matter what level of the business you’re at, you can never be too careful when it comes to legal documents.

Keanu Reeves lassos lead in Cowboy Bebop. Now that 20th Century Fox can get their cut of the Watchmen, they can get back to business. Recently, Fox has optioned the Japanese anime television series “Cowboy Bebop” to develop into a film and has attached Keanu Reeves to star. The show is kind of like a space western. Reeves will play the character of Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter who goes from planet to planet hunting down intergalactic outlaws on his spaceship. Even though I haven’t seen a lot of the show I’d consider myself a fan. The show is very clever and original, and I think it would make a great film. I also think Reeves is a really good casting choice of Spike based on what I’ve seen. Keanu Reeves to play bounty hunter Spike Spiegel. I hope whoever is hired to direct is a fan of the show and respectful of the source material. “Cowboy Bebop” is an episodic show, but if they can tie the broad strokes together and also make a quality film, everyone including the fans of the animation can go home happy. Reeves starred in an adaptation of the comic Hellblazer, which became Constantine, and if I remember correctly, I think they departed heavily from the comic. Adapting something obscure for the mainstream audience is a challenge, but if they get a director who’s a fan, they just might be able to pull it off. Here’s hoping it comes out awesome. Amanda Parks/Abaca Press/MCT

dvd dish | B Y

Campus Circle | 13

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invite you and a guest to an advance screening of THE PINK PANTHER 2 on Thursday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Los Angeles.


To attend the screening, R.S.V.P. at I N




Asks you: Are you the exception or are you the rule?


Invites you to enter for a chance to win a prize pack and run-of-engagement passes to see Register for this sweepstakes at: While supplies last. Each pass admits two. A run-of-engagement pass is good for two admissions Monday through Thursday only, excluding holidays, at pre-specified theatre(s) and is valid through the film’s run of engagement at that theatre(s). Passes will be valid beginning Monday, February 9, 2009. Warner Bros. Pictures, Campus Circle and affiliated agencies are not eligible to participate. No purchase necessary. No phone calls please. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is not guaranteed. This prize is nontransferable and not for resale.

Opens nationwide Friday, February 6

[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

cd reviews M A K I N G TH E G R A D E : A B C D F


music 101 | artist feature


Autobody The Mean Length of Daylight (T.R.A.C.E.) Here’s another hard rock/metal band that’s proficient at what they do, but they don’t really have a sound that reaches out and grabs you. The problem may be that the guys (They’re a three piece.) are trying too hard to write a hit single with the results being that they sound like they’re trying too hard to write a hit single. Of the first four cuts on the disc, “Worms” and “Husk of a Man” are out of the Metallicalite songbook, while the other two cuts are the same bland generic rock that you can hear from hundreds of faceless bands. Autobody is at their best when they throw the pattern out the window and just let it rock, like they do on guitar burners “Serial Sleep” and “Trucker Hat.” Singer Jerrod MaxwellLyster is also a very talented bass player and he allows himself a few hot moments on “The #1” and “Dissolving” at album’s close. These guys have clearly given their all to the making of The Mean Length of Daylight, but they’re going to have to dig a little deeper to come up with something that’s going to make people sit up and notice. Grade: C —Kevin Wierzbicki The Mean Length of Daylight is currently available.

THE ACTION DESIGN FRONTwoman Emily Whitehurst and bassist Matt McKenzie are well versed in the ways of the music industry. As former members of Bay area punk outfit Tsunami Bomb, they get all the contracts, labels, touring and fans stuff, they’re no strangers to how this whole rock thing is done. For all their experience and for all the support they’ve earned in the last many years of playing music together, sometimes the hardest thing a band can do is start over. “There are the special punk rockers with that ever-present inherent fallacy of believing that whatever you did before is always better,” says McKenzie. “Then you realize you just don’t give a shit anymore and start doing what you want.”

Echoing this, Whitehurst and her band mates – which also include drummer Jake Krohn and guitarist Jaycen McKissick – are choosing to focus their energy on honing their skills rather than worry about how it’s received. “We’re just going to write what we want in order to have a fun set and a good time recording. There is the concern, but it doesn’t change what we’re writing,” she says. “We’re not writing to make sure people are happy with us, but I’m hoping that eventually people will know Action Design more than Tsunami Bomb.” Though Whitehurst’s distinctive vocal tone and style are as unmistakable as always on the band’s debut full length, Never Say, she believes listeners will hear a broader range of influences than what they might expect from her or her band mates. “Compared to Tsunami Bomb, we have a lot of piano, some synth stuff going on, samplers, we’ve gotten to broaden our style. For the vocals, I’ve gotten to do a lot more different types

l.a. underground | B Y


MIKE OFFICER BAND A surprising new star takes over Los Angeles. AT FIRST GLANCE, SINGER MIKE Officer and his band mates are a bunch of average Joes walking around Los Angeles. They’re free of the latest fashions, opting for plain, worn-in jeans, tattered dickies, T-shirts and flannels. Some of them haven’t had haircuts in months – maybe even years. I mean, to be blatantly honest, you probably wouldn’t be able to pick one member of this band out of a crowd with a pair of binoculars and a GPS device. However, when these four boys take to the stage, equipped with drumsticks, strapped into their guitars, something ... magical happens. The

Behrouz Pure Behrouz NYC (Nervous) Behrouz was for many years one of the top DJs in his hometown of San Francisco. Long residencies at various Bay Area clubs provided quite a launching pad for the artist; Behrouz is now well known in every

heavens open wide; God says, “Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!,” and the next thing you know, you’re now a stunned bystander in the presence of serious musical greatness. M.O.B. gives off the passion and magnificence that wowed audiences back in the ’90s when acts like Jeff Buckley and Coldplay first started to command attention. This type of dynamic makes perfect sense for seasoned professionals who have played alongside each other for years and years. But for Officer and his mates, their onstage chemistry is truly a blessing. “To be honest, we’ve only been

hot spot from Ibiza to Miami. Lately he’s been hanging out in New York City and spinning at clubs like Cielo and Pacha and this twodisc set is packed with music that’s currently in favor in Manhattan. Behrouz is noted for presiding over marathon sessions, often keeping the house rocking for 10 hours, so

of singing than I did in Tsunami Bomb with some different techniques. It’s a real challenge and it’s really fun.” “The music from Tsunami Bomb was more full throttle, like at 10 the whole time. We’re still all about the rock, but now there are more subtleties to make it pop out,” says McKenzie, adding, in what might be one of the better musical analogies we’ve printed, “Then when the rock hits, it’s like if you’re reading in the library and somebody comes up and slaps you in the face really hard.” With an infectious enthusiasm for what they’re doing that has lasted well past the honeymoon stage of starting a new band, it’s clear that both Whitehurst and McKenzie settled into a comfortable zone in what they’re doing and, more importantly, actually believe in it. “The [first] EP was essentially us sitting in a room, not knowing what we were doing. With the full length, we had the full band, and it was way more collaborative and organized. There was more of a collective headspace we were in as far as what we liked as a band. Everyone actually had a good time,” McKenzie says with a laugh. As excited as Whitehurst and Trish Lepper


together [a few] months. We’re, like, brand new,” says Officer, following a recent show at Molly Malone’s pub in Los Angeles. He is backed by drummer Dan Jones, bassist Ben Bradshaw and guitarist Jason “Blu J” Thomason. Given its successful formula, the Mike Officer Band has settled on a busy future consisting of a return to the studio to record additional material as well as a pending video shoot. The group has also won some serious validation, having been picked as the opening act for blues legend B.B. King on his recent U.S. tour. But it’s the music – a fusion of soul, funk, alternative and classic rock – that emerges the crowning achievement of this collective. Their set includes covers of songs by greats like Stevie Wonder and Soulive. There are also spectacular originals like “Bird on a Wire” and “Neon Skies” that really drive home the skill and creativity of these performers.

it’s no surprise that he generously offers up two-and-a-half hours of music here. Disc one is a flawless mix with 16 tunes that pump hard – so hard that the casual listener is likely to miss much of the exquisite musicianship that’s squeezed between the beats – stuff like the

McKenzie let on to be about their new project, both hope their music will inspire a similar reaction to listeners, whether old school Tsunami Bomb fans or newer audiences who may have never heard of their past associations. “I’ve been surprised actually, because I always thought it would just be the same old gang, but there’ve been a lot more brand new kids,” says McKenzie of his band’s ever-broadening fan base. “People will come up and be like, ‘You guys are so rad, right at the last song I realized she sounds just like the girl from Tsunami Bomb!’” Never Say is currently available. The Action Design will perform Jan. 29 at Alex’s Bar, Long Beach and Jan. 30 at Cobalt Café, Canoga Park. For more information, visit

Officer confesses that the themes of the music are sometimes emotional in nature. “[‘Neon Skies’] is about the angst of love gone bad – seeing the true colors of people; seeing things in a new light,” he says. Los Angeles may soon be seeing things in a new light as well, shedding its love of electronic honeys and fad bands for this intoxicating slice of down-home charm. For more information, visit

great piano solo on “Peak Bomb” from Kalim Shabazz. Disc two is not as intense; the beats are just a bit slower and dressed up with dub vocals, robotic effects and percussion barrages. Behrouz contributes three of his own CONTINUED ON PAGE 17


16 | Campus Circle

[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

The Bacon Brothers have announced the “Bacon Brothers Dance-Off Video Contest” whereby they are encouraging fans to make a video of themselves dancing to the group’s latest single, “Go My Way (the iPod Song).” The song is from the new Bacon Brothers album New Year’s Day, currently available as a download only. Entrants need to purchase the song at iTunes or Amazon, make a video that shows off their hottest dance moves and then upload the clip to the Bacon Brothers contest group page at YouTube. Prizes for the winners include the iPod Touch or a chance to dance live with the group. The big winner will also have portions of their clip edited into a new version of the “Go My Way” video. The Bacon Brothers play rock with a blue-collar edge and New Year’s Day, their sixth album, will see a physical release in March.

My Chemical Romance Hit “Desolation Row” My Chemical Romance has recorded a cover version of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” that will

be featured in the upcoming feature film, Watchmen. The song will be available on the movie’s soundtrack, but Warner Sunset/Reprise has already released “Desolation Row” as the A-side of a special 12-inch vinyl picture disc. The disc’s B-side will feature another song taken from the film’s score, “Prison Fight” by composer Tyler Bates. Watchmen is based on the graphic novel of the same name that was co-created by Dave Gibbons and published by DC Comics. The film releases on March 6.

There are lots of bands that’ll tell you their music is “outta this world,” but there’s no arguing the fact when the band in question is named From Jupiter. Actually the band is originally from Vermont, but their launch pad is now located in Santa Barbara. The band plays emo with a hard rocking edge, and they enlisted producer Andrew Murdock, aka Mudrock (Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack, Alice Cooper) to fire the booster rockets on their upcoming self-titled release. Drummer Chris Laplante says, “Mudrock knows his way around the

Jan. 28 @ The El Rey For casual readers who don’t know me personally and only have my taste in music to fill the rest of the blanks about me, I must come off as quite the glutton for punishment. I mean, there’s the usual hurting my soul does every time I so much as mention Metro Station, but I assure you I do that because I have to, not because I want to. This kind of hurting, however, is the deliciously painful kind that only a hard rock front gone solo with an acoustic guitar can inflict upon me. Like Dustin, Jesse and Chuck before him, Alexisonfire frontman Dallas Green has mastered the art of striking an emotional chord with City and Colour. Along for the ride with Green is William Elliott Whitmore, who may

compositions; “Time Travel,” “Rich in Paradise” and “Coming Home.” Grade: A —Kevin Wierzbicki Pure Behrouz NYC is currently available.

not turn you into as much of a sobbing mess as his headliner, but that’s surely not to say Whitmore is any less skilled behind his guitar. Quite possibly the oldest 30-year-old soul you may listen to, Whitmore’s gravelly whiskey-soaked crooning and simplistic banjo strumming bring punk and blues together in ways never thought possible before.

The Action Design Jan. 29 @ Alex’s Bar You guys can hear me say wonderful things about the Action Design elsewhere in this week’s issue … but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to harp on it some more while I’m here as well. Suffice to say, frontwoman Emily Whitehurst (Agent M if you’re nasty … or old school) has been in this punk game for a good long while, so she knows a thing or


RELATED SONGS 1) Aretha Franklin – “Think” 2) Bob Marley – “Redemption Song” 3) Hank Williams, Sr. – “I See the Light” 4) The Fugees – “Ready or Not” 5) Kanye West – “Touch the Sky” 6) Seal – “Bird of Freedom” 7) Elvis Costello – “Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further?” 8) Al Green – “Everything’s OK” 9) Bruce Springsteen – “Chimes of Freedom” 10) Stevie Wonder – “Higher Ground” 11) Howlin’ Wolf – “Sittin’ on Top of the World” —Doug Simpson

Live EP for My Morning Jacket Live at the Palms is the name of the new six-song EP from My Morning Jacket. The material was recorded in Las Vegas, and the set list includes

Singer Jim James says, “The purpose of this EP is to provide the listener with a sensual and deeply personal method for relaxational listening. It’s to be enjoyed on a candlelit bench, in a secluded nook or at a sensuous dinner party.” Live at the Palms is available exclusively at iTunes.

Music From Jupiter!

frequency | essential concerts | B Y City and Colour

Obama Inauguration-

The Morning After Girls There are no girls in the band, but there are a few new fellows. Singers and multi-instrumentalists Martin B. Sleeman and Sacha Lucashenko have added a drummer, bass player and a keys man to the group, and they’ve relocated the whole lot to New York from their native Australia. A new album is in the works, and the Girls plan on previewing material from it when they play a showcase at the Viper Room Jan. 29.

The Morning After Girls are all boys.

a previously unreleased song called “Dear Wife” and a version of the rarely performed “Tonight I Want to Celebrate with You.”

All of that has given Brandy good reason for depression, and Human is basically a reflection of her trying to pull herself together. She even issues a pep talk, perhaps to herself, at the album’s beginning saying that the definition of a human being means that you have to be yourself, adding that “If you’re not yourself, then who are you?” Unfortunately, these songs of frustration and loss offer few exciting moments for the listener; only “Right Here (Departed),” as moping as it is, provides a little relief with a chorus that’s fun to sing along to. Still, Brandy has sold over 25 million records for a reason, and her voice is as honeyed as ever here even if it quavers more this time out. Clearly Brandy set out to make an album – in the face of great adversity – to show that indeed she is only human. To that end at least she has succeeded. Grade: C —Kevin Wierzbicki Human is currently available.

B R I E N O V E R LY two about how to work a crowd without compromising her band’s integrity. Speaking of, she’s got fellow Tsunami Bomb alum Matt McKenzie with her, who’s equally as awesome of a dude … and surely just as lovely and charming – in his own way. Point being, go see these guys play already, because you all know I’m going to keep mentioning them until every single one of you does.

Razorlight Feb. 3 @ the Troubadour It’s been a good long while since I last really listened to Razorlight, to the point that when I just recently took another listen on their MySpace page, I thought to myself, “They’re kind of like the Academy Is…, just more indie and better dressed.” Then I felt ashamed of myself for putting things


Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell could read the phone book aloud and turn it into the indie jam of the season.

in context via Fueled By Ramen bands. Be that as it may, frontman Johnny Borrell could likely read the phone book aloud and turn it into the indie jam of the season, even if his choices in friends and girlfriends is … less tasteful.

accident that killed another motorist and the resultant lawsuit against her. She broke off her engagement to basketball player Quentin Richardson, quit her job as a judge on “America’s Got Talent” and switched record labels. CONTINUED


Human (Epic) Human is Brandy’s first album in four years, but she certainly hasn’t spent that time out of the limelight. The singer’s life has been turned upside down in the recent past, most notably by her involvement in a car

Guy J Max Von Gumppenburg

Dance with the Bacon Brothers


Esperanza (Bedrock) This is the first time out for Israeli producer Guy J, and he says he didn’t set out to write an album; rather he wrote songs in different styles when the mood hit him. That makes Esperanza very interesting to listen to, but it may throw some listeners who are expecting the entire effort to be throbbing house music. “Indigo Fields” has an exotic flavor that distinguishes it as the work of an international artist, and no doubt the song could easily pack dance floors from Mumbai to Dubai. “Nebula” too is a house-shaker built around a “Pong” riff that sounds like it might have been created using a vintage Casio. Other tracks fool around even more with textures. “Mikro” dribbles experimental sounds over a handclap beat, and “Geko” uses layers of synth for both its melody and its rhythm. That ilk is stretched a CONTINUED ON PAGE 18


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board like an astronaut in a spaceship; he’s a blast to watch.” One of the new From Jupiter songs is called “Rocket Boy,” but mostly you can expect subject matter that’s more down-to-earth, like that found in tunes like “My Teen Angst Ballad” and “I Can Do It Better.” From Jupiter drops on Jan. 28.

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[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

music dvds | reviews Chic

Live at the Budokan (Charly) This show, filmed at Tokyo’s Budokan arena in 1996, turned out to be Chic’s last performance as bassist, songwriter and overall creative force Bernard Edwards passed away shortly thereafter. The show opens with “Do That Dance” followed by special guests and Chic protégées Sister Sledge who are brought on to perform “He’s the Greatest Dancer” and their smash hit “We Are Family.” Then it’s the meat of the Chic catalog: the early hit “Dance, Dance, Dance,” “I Want Your Love,” “Good Times” and “Le Freak.” Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash enters midway through “Le Freak” to play a scorching solo; the top-hatted ax-man might seem an odd choice to appear at a Chic show, but he and Chic main man Nile Rodgers worked together many years ago on the Beverly Hills Cop III soundtrack. The show closes with an extended version of “Chic Cheer” and the hopeful “Just One World.” As with everything touched by Rodgers and Edwards, Live at the Budokan demonstrates how music can be performed note-perfectly but not take itself so seriously that it dampens the fun. This fond look back to the zenith of the disco era also includes, as an extra, a brief spoken tribute from Rodgers to Edwards, a lifelong friend and collaborator. Grade: A —Kevin Wierzbicki Live at the Budokan is currently available.

Tokio Hotel Tokio Hotel TV: Caught on Camera! (Cherrytree/Interscope) Caught on Camera! chronicles Tokio Hotel’s very busy and phenomenally successful year. Released as a thank you to their fans, the DVD includes highlights from the band’s “Tokio Hotel TV” episodes, in which these four fine German boys do everything from rock climbing to go-cart racing to dancing on stage under fake rain, with screaming fans following their every move. It also includes the boys’ commentary as they review their climb up the charts and their boyish arguments over who came up with an idea first. There are many advantages to having such an intimate setting. However, one thing stands out the most. Tokio Hotel’s frontman and youngest member, Bill Kaulitz, talks a lot and is very self-centered. Even though the show is in German, have no fear. The producers were considerate enough to include subtitles for those of you who did not bother learning a second language. Grade: C —Farnaz Yoshei Tokio Hotel TV: Caught on Camera! is currently available.

staff pick Nickel Eye Jan. 29 @ The Troubadour Yes, the side project of Strokes bassist Nikolai Fraiture sounds like a watered down version of the Strokes, and yes, you can hold your breath until the next Strokes side project visits the Troubadour. But Nikolai’s the underrated one, as well as the one who doesn’t croon like John Lennon or date a girl named Binki. To boot, he sings like he avoids eye contact and is backed by British band South. Fun! —China Bialos

inner circle

the art of love |

Hey Lucia, Your outlook and “tell it like it is” responses are always so insightful. I am a young 29-year-old “cub.” I have always been attracted to women older than myself. They provide an abundance of knowledge, sophistication and assertiveness; all qualities that I find make a woman sexy. I recently met a woman who is 39, all of the above and then some. We work out together, have a lot in common, laugh and never get tired of each other. We are not intimate and do not go on dates due to her current situation. She is separated from her husband, not divorced and has a child. I respect their family situation/relationship, and that’s why I’m just going with the flow. I’m enjoying the company for what it is and not pressing any sort of progress at all. She enjoys my company as much as I do hers; it’s a really easy flowing relationship. We do not call each other, but do exchange e-mails on a regular basis and see each other a few times a week. We are personal with each other in the sense that we are very open and share pretty much everything about ourselves. I left the ball in her court as far as setting the pace goes. I guess what I’m getting at is I think she is the most wonderful woman I have met in a long time. While the timing is off, deep down inside of me there is hope for something a bit more than a friendship, somewhere down the line. I’ve learned from past situations to not set myself up for failure, and that’s why I’m trying to be casual

cd reviews


about it. What do you think? —Hopeful in Houston Hi Hopeful, You’re on the right track, but instead of trying to be casual, be casual. There is nothing wrong with developing a Lucia friendship first and seeing if that leads to more once she is divorced. Of course, there is always a chance she may get back together with her husband, so you have to be prepared for that possibility. I know you probably don’t want to hear it, but I also suggest that you date other women, if you’re not already doing it. This will help with not getting too focused on this woman who is currently not totally available. Other than that, continue to go with the flow and see where it goes. Good luck! Dear Lucia, Allow me to put in a word for my specialty, preventive medicine. While condoning multiple casual liaisons by Guy in a previous column, you missed a chance to educate about the risks of STDs. There is still a high risk for an unprotected “player”to get or give his gal a most unwanted gift. Don’t assume your readers know – push condoms! Your column is always worthwhile, and your photo sure beats Dr. Ruth’s. —Anthony Saidy, M.D., M.P.H. Dear Anthony,


bit farther for “2 Steps” and “7 Steps” as Guy J lets the dance floor cool down a bit in favor of Tangerine Dreamstyle soundscaping. Grade: B —Kevin Wierzbicki Esperanza is currently available.

The Model Physical (Touch It Movement) Physical is certainly aptly named as the music the Model makes is geared to getting people moving on the dance floor. The band has two members that are proficient with the Korg MS 20 and the buoyant bounce of that synthesizer paired with crisp, rhythmic drumbeats forms the group’s sound. The band seems to take a little something from many successful synth-poppers from the past. “What Does it Look Like I’m Doing?” is a nod to Duran Duran; “I Won’t Be Hanging Out Anymore” finds singer J Buz

channeling the late Michael Hutchence of INXS and “Do You Believe In Angels?” sounds like a mash up of ABC and Erasure. “Immigrant” grooves to a bit of heavier techno as the band apes early Nine Inch Nails. “N/A” is an extremely catchy tune about a guy who is way too possessive with his girl; the song sounds a bit like something the Fixx might have done, but overall it’s the most original and best-performed song on the album. Grade: B —Kevin Wierzbicki Physical is currently available.

Omar Rodriquez-Lopez Old Money (Stones Throw) Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriquez-Lopez is undeniably prolific. The self-professed studio rat releases more albums in one year than some artists do in a decade. His latest solo opus, Old Money,

Thanks for your email. You’re right. Silly me just assumed everyone is smart enough to always wear condoms.

Hi Lucia, I have written to you a couple of times before, and you told me to get a life. I now agree with you. My dad passed away seven months ago. I lived with him, took care of him and loved him. He was greatest the guy. I was very blessed. Someone told me it’s not good to look for a relationship when you’re grieving. How long is a good time to wait? —Julie Dear Julie, I’m glad you finally realized you need to get a life. How long you grieve is up to you. There’s no set amount of time. You will know when you are ready. In the meantime, cherish the wonderful memories you have of your dad and the fact that you were lucky enough to have such a great guy in your life. Honor his memory by choosing someone who is worthy of you.

Write to Lucia at Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at Listen to Lucia live every Sunday at 3 p.m. PST on Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

is also his first for Stones Throw and fits the label’s idiosyncratic reputation. While Old Money is Rodriguez-Lopez’s most accessible outing, the instrumental 10-track collection is typically unconventional, formidable and experimentally diverse. “The Power of Myth” is guitarheavy hoodoo that mixes knotty progressive rock with flinty hard rock: Zappa meets Satriani. The arcane “How to Bill the Bilderberg Group” is a Middle Eastern and psychedelic tinged treat both sinister and nonsensical. “Trilateral Commission as Dinner Guests” is a free jazz/prog rock combo that echoes the Tony Williams Lifetime. The nine-minute title track is Rodriquez-Lopez at his best: guitar coils and twists as keyboards skim and slither, while the song relentlessly climbs to a freak out jam that fades out under a flurry of fuzz guitar. Grade: B —Doug Simpson Old Money is currently available.

[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

JABBAWOCKEEZ “Girls like guys who can dance.” AS HIP-HOP DANCE CULTURE infiltrates the mainstream in films like Step Up 2: The Streets and Rize, and on national television with “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Best Dance Crew,” the JabbaWockeeZ have become the masked faces of a new movement, anonymous ambassadors to b-boy culture. The crew has been dancing together since 2003 but burst into public consciousness on the first season of “ABDC,” a show on MTV that debuted in 2008 with little fanfare, but quickly gained a rabid following, largely because of the mind-blowing routines the JabbaWockeeZ unveiled week after week. Since winning the title of Best Crew, $100,000 and a touring contract, life for the Jabbas has been a whirlwind. In the midst of preparing for an appearance on the premiere episode of the third season of “ABDC,” having just returned from a Canadian tour and deeply entrenched in launching their new clothing line, Ben

fun for less | B Y

“B-Tek” Chung and Chris “Cristyles” Gatdula took a moment to talk about what Chris dubbed their “beautiful struggle.” Despite their newfound success, the JabbaWockeeZ suffered the loss of Gary Kendall, whom they call “their glue,” just before the start of “ABDC.” His absence permeated every routine, each of which ended with their fingers pointed to the sky in tribute to Kendall, and has lingered over them since. “It was hard, but it wasn’t the dancing, the physical stuff, that got to us. It was more mentally draining because of Gary being gone. Before he passed away, he said, ‘We need to do the show.’ He was really pushing for us … but he was supposed to be here,’” Gatdula says quietly, still moved by the memory of his dear friend. Chung reveals, “There were moments where we were just hitting walls and, I’m not even gonna lie, to the point where people were like, ‘Man, I just want to quit. Are you guys cool with that?’ and we’d say,‘What are


FASHION FREAKS, FASHION FREAKS! WHERE FOR ART THOU FASHION freaks? I know Los Angeles is full of guys and girls who want to look like a million on a minimum wage salary at best. But that’s pretty tough in most economies and particularly in this one. Still, you don’t need to give up your lust for labels just because times are tight. You just need to know where all the best bargains are hiding. I can’t speak for Crossroads Trading Co.’s other locations throughout the city, but the West Hollywood shop (8315 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood) is a hotbed of fabulous fashions for guys and girls. Since many of the T.F.B.s (that’s trust fund babies to you and me) tire of their wares after just one season, most of it trickles down ... here. In the past, I’ve found second hand stuff from designers like Marc Jacobs, DKNY, Laundry by Shelli Segal and even Versace. What’s even better is that all the designer duds I’ve snagged for myself and my fella have

inner circle


never been priced over $50. The staff only picks and chooses the crème de la crème from the given lot. So you also won’t have to worry about finding your dream blazer or retro tuxedo pants with a Ebony March huge, gnarly coffee stain on the pocket. If accessories are your thing – and I know they are – try a membership to This site, and others like it, offers rentals of the hottest and most coveted designer bags and sunglasses on the market. Since most of us don’t have the $5,000-$10,000 for a Birkin or the latest Fendi, I think it’s safe to say that clubs like this are a budget fashionista’s mothership. Here’s how it works: Sign up for a membership (one month for $9.95, three months for $19.95 or one year

you talking about? We have to stick through this!’” What got them through everything, from physical exhaustion to overwhelming grief, was their devotion to each other. “There were times where we sat down and were just in tears together,” Chung says. “For me, that’s what I remember from the show; us being there for each other, encouraging each other. Because there’s always somebody that wasn’t feeling it, and it took the energy of everybody else to pick that person up. That made us even tighter as brothers.” Their bond is undeniable, especially when watching one of their performances, as six men move in perfect harmony like one large organism. It’s a feat that’s impressive enough but especially when you consider that their signature masks have one acute drawback; extremely limited vision, which means they can’t see what’s happening around them onstage. “Sometimes your vision is completely gone because the mask slips down your face and the eye holes are on your cheeks so you literally have to go by feeling,” Chung laughs. That extraordinary and uncanny ability to remain in sync may be one of the reasons for the JabbaWockeeZ’s popularity but Chung says, “I see us as live action cartoon characters, like

for $59.95). Membership gets billed in one easy payment. You’re subsequently billed separately for each item you rent. Cost of rentals is contingent upon how expensive your taste is. Now I’m sure you’ve heard that old adage: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” If so, you might want to adopt it as your personal mission statement and start your own fashion club. Invite several of your most stylin’ friends to your place and tell each to bring a friend or two who isn’t already on the list. Make sure everyone knows to arrive with a bag or suitcase of clothes that either doesn’t fit anymore or is filled with last season’s offerings that they have no intention of keeping or wearing ever again. After serving snacks and mingling, let the trading commence. Not only is this a great way to meet people, but you can also pick up some nice items as well. Keep in mind, however, that not all ladies are a size zero and not all guys are built like Mario Lopez. So make sure everyone’s body type is wellrepresented. Finally, from the good people at

Johnny Ottiano

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superheroes who can do magic tricks. There are stereotypes about male dancers and it being a feminine sort of thing but, if you watch what we do, I don’t think there’s anything feminine about it. And everybody knows girls like guys who can dance.” So true. “America’s Best Dance Crew” season three premiered on MTV Jan.

FIDM there is the FIDM Scholarship Store (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, 919 S. Grand Ave. at 9th St., Los Angeles). This shop is open to the public and carries clothing and accessories donated by over 400 top fashion houses as well as renowned style publications – many of which employ the school’s talented alumni.

15 with Rainen Paguio of the JabbaWockeeZ sitting in as guest judge for JC Chasez. The JabbaWockeeZ will be signing the latest products from their clothing line “JBWK” at the Shiekh store in Fox Hills Mall Jan. 30 from 5 p.m.7 p.m. For more information, visit

Aside from getting your hot little hands on clothes that won’t be seen on the backs of every third person everywhere you go, you’ll be helping out the guys and girls on scholarship at the school by contributing to their education and work-study program. All of the items are also sold at extremely affordable prices.

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[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

site pick Tagged as “the ultimate hook-up for the fashion obsessed,” Bluefly offers bargains like their “Deal-aDay” and covers all the bases for men and women from clothes and shoes to handbags, accessories and even items for the home.

inner circle

l.a. faces

MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS Get to Know the Songstress Favorite record store: Amoeba [6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood], but of course.

event pick “Tango Historias Breves” Feb. 4-5 @ Royce Hall Internationally renowned Argentinean tango dancer Guillermina Quiroga and her company present short stories that are entwined with solo and group dances and the best poetry and music from Argentina. 8 p.m.


Campus Circle is seeking student journalists interested in reporting on ongoing trends and events on campus. Sign up today! If interested, please e-mail

Venue to play: Spaceland [1717 Silverlake Blvd, Silver Lake] or the Echo [1822 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park], but can I also say the Hollywood Bowl one day? [She says with a smile.]


VALENTINE’S DAY CELEBRATION There will be two shows one at 7 p.m. and the other at 9 p.m. featuring music, goodies and the finale – the flamenco a la passion of “Sol de Espana”

$10.00 cover charge per person, and seats are limited so make your reservations early as this event always sells out! The menu: Chicken Tamales, Spare Ribs in Green Sauce and Chicken Chipotle, as well as an open menu.

There will be cards, candies and goodies for everyone.

Make your reservations and don’t forget to toast to the romance with Antonio’s one and only tequilas,

“y que vive el amor!” 7470 Melrose Ave.

Tues-Fri: 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat: noon-11 p.m.,

Sun: noon-10 p.m., closed Mondays

Movie theater: The ArcLight [6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood] because they show great films, it’s right by my house and the bathrooms are nice!

First rock show you ever attended in Los Angeles: The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Spaceland.

Restaurant and favorite dish there: I LOVE everything on the menu at Little Dom’s on Hillhurst [2128 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz]. Also Cobras & Matadors in Silver Lake [4655 Hollywood Blvd.] is one of my favorites. I LOVE the French toast they serve for dessert: a sweeter, richer interpretation of the standard.

Place to buy clothes: This very odd place on Highland Avenue called the Studio Wardrobe Department [1357 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles]. (Shhh!) It’s a vintage store, and they have

Bookstore: The Bodhi Tree [8585 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood], the Iliad [5400 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood] and Portrait of a Bookstore [4360 Tujunga Ave., Studio City].

Miranda Lee Richards’ Light of X will be available Feb. 10. She will perform every Tuesday in February at 11 p.m. at Spaceland. For more information, visit

t.v. time | B Y

these last shows won’t wrap up all of the existing plotlines. She hints that creator Bryan Fuller has an idea for a film that would answer all of the unresolved questions, though. Here’s to hoping the clever program is brought back to life on the big screen.

too serious. As an example, witness House’s response to his boss as she asks him when was the last time he showered: “Scent of a man. I realize you haven’t experienced it sober.” And Walter’s “I just pissed myself … just a squirt” line has secured its place in TV infamy. Side notes about “Fringe:” Who knew that Joshua Jackson (who will always be Pacey to me) would turn out to be one of the two actors from “Dawson’s Creek” to best hone their crafts? (Michelle Williams being the other.) And just like on J.J. Abrams’ other shows, it’s always fun to look for hidden “inside jokes.” See if you can spot the bald guy with no eyebrows, the Observer, in the background of scenes and find the hidden pictures in the X-ray images that flash at every commercial break. “House” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. and “Fringe” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.


PHYSICIANS A LA MODE ABC Shuts Its Pie Hole Dearest TV junkies, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of one of television’s most beautifully art directed shows, “Pushing Daisies.” So long to the lusciously colored sets, Ned (Lee Pace) and Chuck’s (Anna Friel) forbidden touching, Olive’s (Kristin Chenoweth) random breaking out into song and oh, the pie. The pie! ABC has not announced when the final episodes of the series will air, but Chenoweth says



the weirdest things for the best prices. Also, Show Pony in Echo Park [1543 Echo Park Ave.] and Loehmann’s!

Two Crazy Docs If you haven’t witnessed the awesome oneliners spouted by Fox’s Monday and Tuesday night, one-two punch of Dr. Gregory House, M.D. (Hugh Laurie, “House”) and Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble, “Fringe”), it’s your homework for this week. Both men are super intelligent but socially inept and share a love for science that oftentimes outweighs compassion for and understanding of others. Their unfiltered comments add wit and sarcasm to moments that would otherwise be way

spin cycle | l.a. dj culture


Club/bar: The Three Clubs in Hollywood [1123 Vine St., #1]. What do you want people to take away from your shows? Inspiration, a moment of stillness, a celebration of the beauty in life.

dance friendly. Check out where you can listen and download all of the collective’s releases. Familiarize yourself with all of their music before the show for free!


Nightmares on Wax

The Glitch Mob/Doc Martin

Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; 18+/8 p.m./$18 advance, $20 day of show The Echoplex hosts a slew of artists and DJs that don’t visit Southern California all that often. Ibiza resident George Evelyn and company, aka Nightmares on Wax, is definitely one of those artists. With a catalog of smoker friendly tracks ranging from chilled out hip-hop, to smooth, soulful electronica, Nightmares on Wax is full of texture. Finally touring the United States in support of last September’s release of Thought So..., this will be the only L.A. gig for Nightmares, so buy your tickets early for this rare event.

THURSDAY, JAN. 29 Valerie DJ Collective Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; 18+/9 p.m./$10 Here is yet another fantastic event at the Echoplex. The Valerie DJ Collective is a group

of different DJs/producers out of West France with an accompanying blog of the same name. For the L.A installment of the Valerie U.S. tour, Anoraak, College, Keen House and Lexicondon are set to perform. All of the artists are great pop/electro producers, but my personal favorite on the bill is College. Their EPs are catchy and super

Cabana Club, 1439 Ivar Ave., Hollywood; 18+/9 p.m./$20 Advance This is one of those events that should appease just about everyone, even if you’re not really into “dance” music. Vital Events is taking over the Cabana Club in Hollywood for a night jam-packed with performances of all types; and when I say all types I mean it. Aside from the huge roster of DJs performing, there will also be an art show, burlesque show, fashion show and stilt-walkers for your visual entertainment. But the night is really all about the bass heavy grooves of headliners, the Glitch Mob and Doc Martin. Come for the circus, stay for the music. —Ryan McWhorter


To submit an event for consideration, e-mail


[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

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gadgets & games


SKINNYMENOW maxims: eat early, eat healthy and eat often. Eat early. Mom was right: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. “You want to start off with fiber, oatmeal or a flaxseed cereal with omega 3. The diet offers users variations on theme so that eating does not become dull,” assures Montemerlo. Eat often. To keep your metabolism revved up, you’re to eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein every three hours. “But you don’t allow sugar,” I whined when I spoke with Montemerlo after an exercise class. “No, it’s not. But giving up sugar is only hard at first,” Montemerlo assures me as I exhibit delirium tremors at the mere thought of a day without my love. “Sugar begets sugar. So reduce the amount eaten, and the cravings will be reduced. Go for fruit, this will stop the sugar craving and stabilize the metabolism.” I look a bit skeptical. “If you eat every three hours your blood sugar will remain stable and you will be able to refrain from diving for the cookie jar,” Montemerlo promises. Finally, Montemerlo insists people hydrate. “Water is so important because it keeps the body hydrated at all times thus allowing it to function at

So You Don’t Have To SkinnyMeNow’s Marc Montemerlo

B Y J O N AT H A N K N E L L optimal levels,” says Montemerlo as I unsuccessfully try to hide my Jamba Juice. “Water cleanses the body which is approximately 70 percent water. If you need some flavor, add lemon to your water. Do not drink flavored water, even if it is calorie free. Their sweetness comes from artificial flavoring and those whet the sugar appetite as much as sugar itself.” He is one to talk; Montemerlo’s site photos are not airbrushed, the chiseled musculature is just as obvious in person. He has worked as a Reebok master trainer and as a training officer for the South African Defense force in his native South Africa. Since establishing himself stateside more than 17 years ago, he has trained bold-faced names that he refuses to identify. He is clearly qualified to be the pain in my posterior. I vow to download all of the menus and the workouts on to my iPhone so that I can carry my personal health guru around. With Marc Montemerlo in my pocket, I may actually have the tools, not just diet, to adjust my whole lifestyle … once exams are over.

on the menu | a taste of l.a.

CAFFÉ PINGUINI 6935 Pacific Ave., Playa Del Rey BY SCOTT BEDNO WHEN I THINK OF BEACHSIDE dining, I usually think of the famed Venice Beach boulevard, a perfect spot for brunch, a beer or two, people watching and being harassed by homeless people and/or incense vendors. Wouldn’t it be great to find a spot for an upscale meal near the beach, without having to fight the Santa Monica crowd? Fortunately, tucked away in Playa Del Rey, I found Caffe Pinguini. Caffe Pinguini is authentic Italian (both owners are from Rome) that delivers exactly what you would expect from a fine Italian restaurant – great

food prepared simply, a warm and inviting ambiance and impeccable service. With 11 pastas to choose from, we start with the decadent Rigatoni Gorgonzola, clearly not for the faint of heart … or anyone with heart problems. The large rigatoni tubes are cooked perfectly al dente, and hold all the creamy, pungent goodness of the gorgonzola cheese. I would suggest splitting this pasta among four people, as it is a very rich dish and the portion will satisfy everyone. For the main course, I had to go with the Veal Milanese, a breaded chop of veal with the bone attached, just in case you were wondering if you were a

inner circle


Virtually Afford a Personal Trainer and Food Coach I GOT A LOT DONE WHILE WRITING this article. I stared at a syllabus, turned on my computer, checked out Facebook, wrote a little and had a snack. Now I’m back to writing and rewriting, and this time, I’m gonna finish! This is how I diet; I know what I am supposed to eat but … Every diet sounds good, but actually sticking to it and only the foods prescribed is tough. This is why many of us never lose the freshman 15: we call it a diet, fill our heads with “should” and “shouldn’t” about eating and do a lot of bad stuff in between the good. With time and money tight and change hard, it’s been easier to complain. Now, thanks to there is one less excuse to continue this destructive cycle. It’s worth clicking past the insecurityinducing home page because once inside, the site’s guru, Marc Montemerlo, will serve as your virtual food and exercise coach to show you how to remake your body – and your views of it. The eating plan is easy and relatively inexpensive to follow. But, what makes the site special are the downloadable videos in which Montemerlo serves as your personal trainer through six days a week of 40 minutes of aerobic work and 20 of strength training. The food plan has three basic

Campus Circle | 21

carnivore or not. Other mains include Filetto al Porto, a most tender filet cut with a hearty, but not overpowering, mushroom sauce, and the Zuppa di Mare, a steaming bowl of the sea’s finest with a spicy tomato-based broth. Of course, what Italian meal would be complete without tiramisu? I’ve given up trying to figure out how to make tiramisu. I just eat it, sit back and smile contentedly. I meant to ask why a fine Italian restaurant on the beach of Southern California is named after a penguin, but after dinner I was so full I forgot to ask! For more information, call (310) 3060117 or visit

CONSIDERING THE EVER-DROPPING PRICE, PORTABLE external hard drives are definitely becoming must-have items, especially for students who keep running out of storage space or work on multiple computers. The number of hard drives on the market seems to be going up as quickly as the storage sizes and many of them offer unique software, cool colors or easy docking solutions. For pure backup functionality though, the Clickfree Portable Backup Drive offers a borderline obsessive desire to backup the information on your computer. From the moment you plug the USB cables in, the Clickfree starts up and presents you with a 30-second countdown. If you do not press a button or close the window, it will immediately start backing up all of your documents, audio and video files and more without even being asked. The first time you use the Clickfree on a new device, it does take a bit of time, but you’ll be amazed at how thorough it is at gathering your files. Even if you have forgotten where you saved some of your MP3s or assignments, the Clickfree will hunt them down and store them in an easy-to-navigate system. The Clickfree will even work on multiple computers, meaning you can take all of your stuff from your home computer and still use it to backup your school computer. If you already have a favorite portable hard drive, you don’t have to go without the raw backup power of the Clickfree. Just plug your existing drive into the Clickfree Transformer – a thin box with a long USB cable – and your hard drive will now have access to the backup software without actually having to install or transfer anything onto your drive. The Transformer launches the Clickfree backup software exactly as it would on a portable backup drive, plus you will still have access to any software that your own portable hard drive might launch. One of the coolest parts about the Transformer is that it can be used with any portable storage device. This means that any device that your computer sees as a portable storage device – including MP3 players – can use the Clickfree software, giving you the ability to copy every song on your computer onto your portable device without hunting for them all. Considering that the portable backup drive starts around $90 and the transformer requires an external drive, you may want a lower cost alternative. If you just want to backup your documents, photos or music, you can do it for far less with the Clickfree Backup DVDs. Just put one of these DVD-RWs into your DVD burner and the backup program will automatically launch, detect all of the files that match the disk’s specialty and then report how much it found. Then you just have to tell it to go and it goes to work frantically archiving all of your precious MP3s, photos or documents. The only drawback of the DVDs is that, because they are DVD-RWs, the burn speed is a bit slow. Of course, this requires minimal effort on your end, plus the fact that they are DVD-RWs means that you can use them over and over. Either way, the time and money are worth avoiding losing any of your personal stuff.

inner circle

[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

bottoms up | at the bar

CASTING OFFICE BAR & GRILL 3575 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Universal City

work. Sure, the typical chicken strips, fries, onion rings and mozzarella sticks show up, but they complement tasty dishes like the blackened chicken sandwich and custom made pizzas that vary by the day. In addition to the eats, there is free Wi-Fi for the workaholics who need a beer with their lunch. There’s a smoking patio adjacent to the bar with excellent views of the 11 plasmas running all the time, the most dominating of which is the 60 inch at the center of the bar. If that’s not enough, there’s a ping pong table for complimentary games. Come to a spot where lovely bartenders like Kristen Lynn, Amber Haven and Nicole Malgarini serve your favorite drink with a smile. If your Super Bowl plans aren’t concrete, fancy your choice the Casting Office. On Super Bowl Sunday, select complimentary appetizers will be up for grabs just like the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

B Y R I C H A R D C A S TA Ñ E D A ALTHOUGH MANY MAY KNOW THE great legacy of the Super Bowl, not many people know the great legacy of the Casting Office and its presence on the Cahuenga Pass. For over 30 years, it was the quintessential dive bar to make the rounds at until their lease expired in 2007. A year went by while owner Teena Iversen sought a new home for her treasure. She found a home just half a mile north at the spot where Ice used to dominate and create problems. From dive bar to sophisticated cowboythemed bar and grill, the Casting Office offers everything a casual barfly would enjoy: great drink selection, excellent and varied menu and a great atmosphere to indulge in the two. The menu isn’t your normal greasy, stale chicken strips and fries. No, at the Casting Office there are former Wolfgang Puck chefs at

For more information, call (323) 851-4300 or visit

the 10 spot | B Y



SportShorts Little Bar, 757 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; Watch the Super Bowl while tossing back 2-for-1 $3 pints of Coors Light and $5 buckets of bottled beer. At halftime, SportShorts will show a highlight reel of their online parody of cable sports shows and raffle off prizes. Doors open at 1 p.m.



local food banks and charities. 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

Sunset Sessions


Mountain High Resort, 24510 State Highway 2, Wrightwood; Young women (16-29) are invited to this four-week clinic, which includes a free subscription to Snowboard magazine, riding Roxy snowboard demos with the Roxy Team and complimentary hot drinks and dessert. Take advantage! $99. Wednesdays, from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. through February.

“America’s Got Talent” Auditions L.A. Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa, Downtown; Do you (or someone you know) have what it takes to win $1 million on this summer series? 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Through Saturday.

“Mystic” Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice (800) 838-3006; Features cutting edge modern dance, live music featuring the Earth Harp (the world’s largest stringed instrument) and stunning visuals. 7:30 p.m. & 9 p.m. Through Sunday. $30 includes admission to the Hive’s Mystic Art Gallery reception and the GreenSector afterparty.

FRIDAY, JAN. 30 Polites

“I’M JUST LOOKING FOR SOMEONE. I wont be long. Here’s my ID,” she said. I didn’t need to see her driver’s license or anything else to prove that she was old enough to get in. She was obviously 20something because the bracelet on her arm from the club’s security and the wary look on her face – most likely from at least a few years of nightlife – already let me know. “I have no money on me. I’d give you my phone to hold, but I don’t have one. This ID is all I have.” I hear the no money excuse every night, but no phone? That’s a new one. Maybe whoever she was looking for had her phone. A few of the common sayings beautiful girls use to try to get in without paying: –The strike-a-supermodel-type-pose replies with the “I’m on the guest list,” which most times they are, because I’m sure that same confidence paired with those good looks, not necessarily in that order, got them on the list in the first place. –The trying-hard-to-act-clueless-andcute paired with the more clueless than cute saying, “Umm, I think I may be on somebody’s list but I can’t remember his name,” in which case most times they are not on the list, but most doormen let them in

Soup Kitchen Fridays

anyway because they are beautiful girls. I don’t however, and I don’t think this beautiful girl knew or cared to use either one of these infamous phrases, so I let her in without charging her the $15. Not asking her or holding her ID for collateral, I didn’t even know Mystery Girl’s name. I just knew she was like many other girls in Los Angeles at 11:58 p.m.; inside a nightclub looking beautiful and looking for someone…

Tune into the Cardinals vs. Steelers then laugh at SportShorts.



door service | B Y

Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/MCT

22 | Campus Circle

The Edison, 108 W. 2nd St., Downtown; Escape the financial crisis with free grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup and depression era cocktails at depression era prices. Twenty-five percent of the net proceeds benefit

PENIS ENLARGEMENT DR. JOEL KAPLAN FDA APPROVED Medical vacuum pumps. Gain 1"-3" permanently. Resolve impotence. Viagra, Testosterone, Cialis. FREE information and brochures. (619) 2947777,

Chinese New Year Festival Chinatown, 951 N. Broadway, Downtown; Celebrate the Year of the Ox with food, live music and two stages of acts featuring martial arts, acrobatics, pole-climbing, dance and the Shaolin warriors. End January with a bang! The parade is from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Also Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. FREE.

“CSI: The Experience” California Science Center, 700 Exposition Park Drive, Exposition Park; If you like the TV show, now you can test your own forensic investigating ability starting today through April 26. Experience “CSI” for yourself.10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. FREE.

The Room Laemmle Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; In the tradition of Rocky Horror and Showgirls, this black comedy is becoming an L.A. cult fave. 11:59 p.m. $10, $8.50 w/student ID.

SUNDAY, FEB. 1 Super Bowl XLIII at X Bar Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Century City; See the game on nine screens, including a 10-foot screening wall and enjoy half off draft beers and five fan favorite appetizers. 1 p.m.

“Keshet For Life: 25 Years and Counting” Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd. (818) 986-7332; If you want an alternative to football today, the premier American-Israeli contemporary dance troupe performs its most popular routines accompanied by Middle Eastern drum sounds. 7 p.m. Tix start at $35.



To submit an event for consideration, e-mail

[ JAN. 28 - FEB. 3 ’09 ]

caught around town | P H O T O S


inner circle

NAMM 2009

Jan. 15-19 @ Anaheim Convention Center

The Mars Volta’s Thomas Pridgen

Abe Cunningham of the Deftones and Ray Herrera of Fear Factory

The Walkmen Jan. 20 @ Henry Fonda Theater Hamilton Leithauser’s still capable of throwing a punch with his eyes – see “All Hands and the Cook,� where nary an opening word can be understood from within his grandmotherly rasp – but his stage persona almost seems friendlier than in years past, and rather than look like he’s prepping for a fistfight, he now periodically smiles, has a thoughtful look around and takes a swig from his shit beer. He’s now a visual match, really, for the vulnerability he shows in songs like “This Job is Killing Me� (A Hundred Miles Off), where his voice cracks on the word “home� and suddenly he’s standing so much smaller. Of course he’s somewhat tamer than usual, though. Last year’s brilliant You & Me was much better received than the two records before it, and though a few key girls in the

Dave Navarro

KISS posers

Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains

Mick Mars, MĂśtley CrĂźe

Tom Dumont of No Doubt

music audience were, as expected, bouncebouncing to semi-hit “The Rat� (Bows and Arrows), a whole floor was eager to accept the gems of the last record. Why fight the pleased? So he quieted his angry eyes and let Paul Maroon’s Gretsch steal a few lights. As with “On the Water� and “Donde Esta La Playa,� respectively with tense build-up and great mystery, and “Postcards from Tiny Islands,� frantic but played with such enviable ease, Maroon’s left hand tirelessly transitioning between chords separated by five frets. By the time the show could conclude with a cover of the Kinks’ “Come Dancing,� Leithauser almost looked happy. His impression of Ray Davies’ impression of a Caribbean accent was passable, albeit mismatched for his New York leather jacket stance, but when it was over he smiled, unexpectedly and rather widely at that. —China Bialos

China Bialos

live show review

Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen was somewhat tamer than usual.

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Campus Circle | 23

ONTARIO 3700 E. Inland Empire Blvd, #550 Ontario, CA 91764 909.483.3808




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Campus Circle Newspaper Vol. 19 Issue 4  

Your source for college entertainment.

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