January 20 - January 26, 2010 \ Volume 20 \ Issue 3 \ Always Free
Film | Music | Culture
GET INTIMATE AZIZ ANSARI
Rising Comic Rolls Out Debut Album
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‘GREEK’ SET VISIT Behind the Scenes of the Hit Dramedy
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Join CAMPUS CIRCLE www.campuscircle.com campus circle January 20 - January 26, 2010 Vol. 20 Issue 3
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04 NEWS LOCAL NEWS 06 FILM EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford join forces against an incurable disorder.
Come t u o g Ha n ! s u h wi t
06 FILM PROJECTIONS 07 FILM LEE STRASBERG INSTITUTE Celebrating 40 Years in Theatre and Film 07 FILM REVIEWS 08 FILM AZIZ ANSARI Hilarious star on the rise unveils debut comedy CD and DVD. 10 FILM DVD DISH 10 FILM SCREEN SHOTS 11 FILM TV TIME 12 FILM ‘GREEK’ Visiting the Set of TV’s Most Popular Fraternity/Sorority Row 14 MUSIC REPORT 15 MUSIC THE CRIBS Ignore the Ignorant in Los Angeles 15 MUSIC FREQUENCY 16 MUSIC CD REVIEWS 17 MUSIC JOHN SWIHART Sets Cinematic Moments to Music
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17 MUSIC LIVE SHOW REVIEWS 18 CULTURE ESSENTIAL L.A. 18 CULTURE ON THE MENU 19 CULTURE PAGES 20 CULTURE FUN FOR LESS 20 CULTURE CURTAIN CALL 21 SPORTS CENTER ICE 22 CULTURE THE ART OF LOVE 22 CULTURE GAMES & GADGETS 23 EVENTS THE 10 SPOT
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Cover: Aziz Ansari Photo Credit: Seth Olenick, courtesy of Comedy Central
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BLOGS Campus News Local News
Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/MCT
Campus Circle > News > Local News
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wrangles with state budget woes.
A NEW YEAR, A NEW BURDEN BY CHINA BIALOS In his monthly report for Dec. 2009, released Jan. 7, State Controller John Chiang announced that California’s cash balance was $202 million below its projected level at year’s end, with year-to-date revenues $353 million below FY 2009-2010 budget estimates. According to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who announced his state budget proposal for FY 2010-2011 on Jan. 8, the shortfall in California’s state budget is now projected at $19.9 billion for the coming year, largely due to $3.4 billion in lower revenues, $4.9 billion in court decisions and litigation and $2.3 billion in lost savings, to which the Governor credits “the smaller prison package that the legislature has passed.” Schwarzenegger breaks down the projected amount, noting a $6.6 billion shortfall leftover from FY 2009-2010, a year in which California’s economy fell 2.8 percent, as well as an additional projected gap of $12.3 billion in FY 20102011 due to unfunded mandates and a continuation of the present recession, and the $1 billion that California requires as a modest reserve. Much of the state’s budget crisis rides on whether we are to receive the $6.9 billion in federal funding Schwarzenegger
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claims is due. According to the Governor, California is owed $1.8 billion for Medicaid; we receive the lowest possible amount of federal funding, a match of 50 percent under the Federal Medical Assistance Program (FMAP) formula, whereas the average for the 10 largest states is 57 percent, which more closely reflects with the national average. The Governor also points out that California is owed an extension in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to the tune of $2.1 billion, as well as $1 billion for federal education mandates related to special education. $879.7 million in federal funding is to be applied to the incarceration of California’s undocumented immigrants. Should the federal government not provide the $6.9 billion in funds owed to the state, the Governor’s proposed budget includes a number of cuts and reductions intended to increase revenue, but his solution is a proposal that – as has become standard prior to the official budget passing each year – threatens public programs utilized by those who are most in need, and compensation for those who work directly for the state. The Governor’s office skillfully crafts the statement that state employees will “continue their contribution to solving our State budget crisis.” This careful wording refers to the cuts they will suffer after mandated furloughs, set in place during February of last year despite opposition from Chiang, and scheduled to end June 30, are to be replaced beginning July 1 with a five percent salary reduction, five percent increase to CalPERS monthly pension contribution and five percent payroll reduction. His proposal would most deeply affect health and human services ($2.9 billion in potential cuts, including $1.1 billion in Medi-Cal reductions, $950 million to in-home supportive services and $130 million to CalWORKs), employee compensation ($1.6 billion) and the state prison system
($1.2 billion, including $811 million in cuts to the prison healthcare system, which would make California’s system, the Governor claims, more comparable to New York). The aforementioned proposed cuts include complete elimination of CalWORKs (temporary welfare for families), In-Home Supportive Services (for the blind, disabled and seniors over 65), Healthy Families (healthcare for children in low-income families) and the Transitional Housing Placement for Foster Youth Plus Program. Also proposed are a reduction of Medi-Cal eligibility to the minimum allowed by federal law, elimination of many optional Medi-Cal benefits and zero room for enrollment growth throughout the University of California and California State University systems. Schwarzenegger is calling upon legislature to start new cuts in the current fiscal year, but maintains that not all major focuses of the General Fund will be reduced or eliminated, noting an exception in education. The Governor wants to bring a focus back to the state’s K-14 public education system by fully funding Proposition 98, which aims to reduce class size without raising taxes. He intends to allow the system to maintain all funding from the previous fiscal year, but enforce enrollment caps on the public university system in order to avoid further fee increases so that the university system remains competitive and attainable for those eligible or previously enrolled. While this would prevent tuition and fees throughout the university system from hiking drastically, it may also make university-level education more difficult to obtain for some residents. Should the state not receive funding from Washington, under the Governor’s proposed budget, a major portion of the state population would be financially devastated and without crucial care. Revisions to his proposal are expected by mid-May.
EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS DVD Dish Interviews Movie Reviews Projections Screen Shots Special Features TV Time
Battles Against All Odds in Extraordinary Measures BY zach bourque It’s a rare occasion in the entertainment industry that we stumble upon a film whose story actually happened. We’re not talking some sort of “inspired by” nonsense here. For all intents and purposes, the crazy events that are portrayed in Extraordinary Measures took place in real life. Based on a novel (which is based on a true story) called The Cure by Geeta Anand, Extraordinary Measures tells the story of the Crowley family and the incredible circumstances that led to the discovery of a treatment for Pompe Disease, a rare disorder that disables the heart and muscles. John Crowley, played by Brendan Fraser, is doing his best as a father who knows that two of his children will more than likely die before age 10. He manages to stumble upon some research by an eccentric Dr. Robert Stonehill, played by Harrison Ford, who theorizes that a treatment for Pompe is feasible. The two embark on a battle against the pharmaceutical industry as they bite and claw their way toward saving John’s children. Ford and his production company first heard about the
Campus Circle > Film > Interviews story in the Wall Street Journal. “I read the book and thought that there was a germ of a good idea for a movie. It was something different to what I am normally involved in and a chance to build an interesting part for myself,” says Ford. Writer Robert Nelson Jacobs, whose previous works include the delightful Chocolat, notes that “it was great to have Harrison on board before we started writing. It gave us a chance to sit back and figure out what we wanted his character to be about.” The character of Doctor Stonehill was an interesting conundrum for Jacobs. “It’s always tricky doing a true story. We had a wellresearched, 350-page book and we really had to pick out what the emotional points in the story were that we wanted to capture. There were so many characters involved and we had to develop a composite character that expresses all the points that were important in the path that John Crowley and Dr. Stonehill had to ride on,” he says. Because Stonehill wasn’t an actual person in history like John Crowley, this enabled Ford and screenwriter Jacobs to have some fun. “Because the character is fiction, we had the opportunity to make him up out of the things that help tell a story. We wanted to create both ally and antagonist for John. We wanted John to reach out to this awkward guy out of desperation and Stonehill is a difficult character. I didn’t want to do the conventional scientist.” Fraser, on the other hand, spent much time with the Crowley family and their children who had Pompe. He says, “When I actually met them, I really had a true appreciation for just how fragile these children are. They’re in wheelchairs and on life support systems. However, one thing it does not affect is the mind.”
Now-April 9 @ Nuart Theatre BY candice winters You know the feeling. You’ve nabbed a seat halfway back in the direct middle. There is no one to your right and not a soul to your left. Most important, there is no one sitting in front of you. That’s the worst, when someone sits directly in front of you in an empty movie theater. You’re lounging, munching on your popcorn and casually sipping on your Coke. Your eyes keep playing tricks on you because you think the lights are dimming. But they’re not. So you keep chatting with your friend or date or mom, most likely. Then the lights really do dim and the most glorious image welcomes you to your movie-going experience. One word: previews. I can honestly say that the only thing I like more than a good preview is the movie itself. And even that doesn’t always hold true. But the butterflies kick in when the green screen preceding a preview floods your eyes. When production companies advertise themselves before introducing the piece of work that has taken years to create and when the lights go out completely, your seat belt has been buckled for the exhilarating ride you paid $12 to take. That is why I see movies. Those butterflies stay in place,
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Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford in Extraordinary Measures
Ford prepared for his part quite differently, noting that, “Stonehill was a scientist and didn’t see patients. He simply wasn’t comfortable with meeting sick people. I spent my research time with researchers trying to figure out ways to get science, which is something in the mind, out onto the big screen.” This struggle to balance the scientific intelligence with mainstream understanding proved to be a tricky point. How the two would end up meeting was a matter of luck and motivation. “What we ended up believing is that a desperate man would eventually seek out a person that had the passion and conviction that Stonehill had,” says Ford. It’s all a case of desperate times and even more desperate measures for Crowley but, as he states in the film, “sitting back and watching my children die is simply not an option.” Regardless of what side of the fence they were on, each character in Extraordinary Measures has motivation to save these children. The motivation may be financial or personal, but passion is definitely the word of the day. Extraordinary Measures releases in theaters Jan. 22.
Campus Circle > Film > Projections fluttering frantically for the full two hours I spend in the theater as well as for however long after I can sucker someone into discussing the film with me. But that is not the experience you can be so blessed as to have with every movie you see. Sometimes, you stumble upon a hidden gem at Blockbuster that you are forced to watch on your computer because every other television in the house is occupied. Another possibility is that you missed your chance to catch it in the cinema, either because you were not born yet, which is not your fault, or because you were stubborn and would not listen to your friends when they ranted and raved about it. (Do not miss Avatar while it is still in theaters and still in 3D!) The worst is when you watch an intense, tearjerker on one of those tiny boxes that airplanes have, seated between the man on the aisle who snores while he sleeps and the woman at the window who has to use the restroom every five minutes. The movies that you see in such ways are set leagues behind the ones that you did view in a dark room on a gigantic screen. Luckily for you, Landmark’s Nuart Theatre is giving you the chance to make up for your past errs in judgment. This spring, the L.A. venue is screening a series of films including cult classics, festival favorites and alternative cinema. And the best part? The screenings take place every Friday at midnight! Films include ’80s cult classics, The Goonies (Jan. 29), Labyrinth (March 19) and The Princess Bride (April 2). A personal favorite of mine that will be screened Feb. 12 is Harold and Maude, which was first theatrically released in 1971, 17 years before I was born. And what I wouldn’t give to go on a date where we could quote along as the romantic Westley (Carey Elwes) and
Black Dynamite screens Jan. 22 at midnight.
Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) rescue their undying love. Inconceivable, right? This week the featured film for the midnight showing is one that was released just this past year and that saw critical acclaim and minor fame at the Sundance Film Festival before releasing nationwide. Black Dynamite is an homage to the blaxploitation films of the ’70s (think Shaft) that chronicles the journey of one man fighting … well, it doesn’t matter who he’s fighting really. Staying true to the genre, the film involves sex, drugs and big afros, and people have names like Black Dynamite, Tasty Freeze and Cream Corn. Sure you could rent these films for a lot cheaper. Some of them you probably own. But you’ll never have the chance to see them like this. After all, half of the fun is in the way you watch them. The Nuart Theatre is located at 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A. For more information, visit landmarktheatres.com.
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LEE STRASBERG THEATRE & FILM INSTITUTE
SHAWN HAWN EDWARDS DWARDS, FOX-TV
“AN INTENSE AND WILD RIDE!” CHRIS HRIS BOLLINI OLLINI, CBS 5
Celebrating 40 Years
BY sable stevens
Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute
The late Lee Strasberg is notable for two accomplishments: starring as Hyman Roth in The Godfather: Part II and starting the famed Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. Both mark a legacy, but one has proven to be a haven for hungry actors looking to hone their craft and possibly follow in the footsteps of celebrated Strasberg pupils like James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino. Students who attend the Strasberg Institute will engage in Strasberg’s acting technique known as “method” acting. Method acting may be a turnoff to some people, which David Strasberg (son of Lee), the Los Angeles Strasberg Institute’s director, is aware of. “I think one of our greatest strengths is that we don’t say, ‘Well, we like this part of the work, so this is what we’ll teach.’ No. We teach all aspects of acting,” explains Strasberg. “We teach the skills that every actor needs so that we can customize what is necessary for each individual. Each actor requires something different, and our work has enough options in it and the flexibility in its principles to make sure the needs of every actor can be developed.” Strasberg assures that the institute takes its instruction very seriously, with the thought that everyday they are creating their history. Students looking to become a part of this history do not need to audition. An essay and a personal interview are the only requirements. “We are looking for passion and dedication primarily,” says Strasberg. “I want the people who are going into it thinking, ‘I’m going to do that. I’m going to be an actor.’ We can’t do anything with the casual actor.” For more information about the two-year conservatory program, visit strasberg.com.
FILMREVIEWS Creation Courtesy of Newmarket Films
(Newmarket) I went into this movie thinking it would be about the animals. Charles Darwin closely studied dozens of them, most famously the finches. That’s what he is known for. That and a little something entitled On the Origin Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin in Creation of Species, but that’s beside the point. Because the point is, like every historical figure that has been spoon-fed down my throat since the third grade, I’ve learned minimal information about their personal lives. Well, I was deeply disturbed when I learned that Charles Darwin lived most of his life with immobilizing fits of stomach cramps, fatigue and psychological ailments. In Creation, Darwin (Paul Bettany) is a loving, though often scatterbrained, husband to Emma (Jennifer Connelly), who also happens to be his first cousin. They have a beautiful family with a seemingly endless amount of children. Darwin loves his eldest daughter, Annie (newcomer Martha West), the most because of their dovetailing interest in the sciences. However, Annie soon becomes incurably sick and dies. The trauma of losing her hits Darwin like the plagues in the Old Testament when he starts seeing her ghost regularly. The film jumps back and forth in time. We are given glimpses of Darwin as a young man in the prime of his life, and we get a Darwin who is literally falling apart, balding and nearly a corpse. To add to his stress, the famed scientist is under intense pressure by colleagues to publish a book about his scientific endeavors. It is in Darwin’s heart where the battle plays out. Torn between faith and reason, as well as Emma’s strict religious beliefs, he is only set free by the memory of his beloved Annie. Based on the novel Annie’s Box written by Randal Keynes, Darwin’s great-greatgrandson, the film is extremely dark and completely invested in the scientist’s twisted psyche. Grade: B—Candice Winters Creation releases in select theaters Jan. 22.
SCREEN GEMS PRESENTS A BOLD FILMS PRODUCTION A FILM BY SCOTT STEWART “LEGION” PAUL BETTANY LUCAS BLACK TYRESE GIBSON ADRIANNE PALIMUSICCKI CHARLES S. DUTTON JON TENNEY MUSIC KEVINCO-DURAND WILLA HOLLAND WITH KATEEXECUTIVEWALSH AND DENNIS QUAID BY JOHN FRIZZELLEXECUTIVESUPERVISOR CHRIS DOURIDAS PRODUCERS STEVE BESWICK MARC SADEGHI PRODUCERS SCOTT STEWART JONATHAN ROTHBART PRODUCER GARY MICHAEL WALTERS PRODUCED WRITTEN DIRECTED BY DAVID LANCASTER AND MICHEL LITVAK BY PETER SCHINK AND SCOTT STEWART BY SCOTT STEWART STARTS FRIDAY, JANUARY 22 CENTURY CITY AMC Century 15 • 888/AMC-4FUN 3 Hours Free Parking Additional 2 Hour Parking $3.00 with AMC Validation
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EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS DVD Dish Interviews Movie Reviews Projections Screen Shots Special Features TV Time
Courtesy of Comedy Central
Campus Circle > Film > Interviews
Aziz Ansari is not only funny; he’s a foodie.
AZIZ ANSARI Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening BY ARIEL PAREDES HOW COOL IS AZIZ ANSARI? IF THERE WERE A meter to measure it, he would be off the Richter Scale. I’m not trying to be sycophantic, but considering his eagerness to do this interview coupled with his humble sincerity, you can’t help but to love him. There really isn’t a topic that’s off limits to this engaging comic. During our interview, I get a little glimpse into the life of Aziz Ansari. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, you will be very soon. He plays Tom Haverford in “Parks and Recreation” on NBC with Amy Poehler and steals every scene when he appears on screen with his man whoring humor. You may have seen him most recently in Funny People with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen, or the Funnyordie.com parodies of his character RAAAAANDY. His resume credits are rapidly growing, but definitely not his ego. Ansari has accomplished so much more than your average 26-year-old. “It’s kind of like running a marathon. You keep working to continue putting out good stuff, and you’re never really done,” states Ansari. “You just want to get to the next level.” While majoring in marketing at New York University, he started doing stand up and improv on new talent nights
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around the comedy circuit in the city. After graduating, he and a group of his friends who did improv/comedy sketches got their big break. They created and starred in the critically acclaimed show on MTV called “Human Giant.” This show turned out to be a cult success, but was short-lived after only two seasons because many of the cast members, including Ansari, were offered big career opportunities. Ansari even broke down and made the move from New York to Los Angeles. “I moved to L.A. in February of last year because there are just more opportunities in the film world,” he explains. “Especially after getting ‘Parks and Recreation,’ it has given me even more opportunities like the projects I’m working on with Apatow.” That’s Judd Apatow, writer/producer of Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Funny People. “I also recently wrapped up my Glow in the Dark Tour, which was really exciting,” claims the comedian. “It’s actually the same title as Kanye West’s tour. I had to get his permission, which I wasn’t so sure about, but he’s a huge fan of comedy and was really cool about it. He even stopped by the show, which was great.” “I [just did] a comedy show on Comedy Central, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, which I’m super excited about,” says Ansari. Comedy Central also released the Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening CD/DVD yesterday. “That is the material I did on the Glow in the Dark Tour, which contains material about Harris and Darwish, my cousins and a chunk I do with RAAAAANDY from Funny People. This is my first special, and I’m really excited.” For those of you who don’t know, Harris and Darwish
are Ansari’s 15- and 18-year-old cousins who have been at the center of his jokes. “I think their friends see me talk about them, and it’s exciting for them. I’m making them popular with the ladies,” Ansari laughs. “I never say anything mean, so we all have fun with it.” As we wrap up our interview, Ansari tells me he’s on his way to Langer’s Delicatessen. Aside from being hilarious, he’s a foodie! This is a man after my own heart. We end our conversation talking not about film, his career or his future, but food. Ansari reveals to me the inspiration behind his current eatery outing. “[There’s] a foodie message board, and they do a survey of must-eat places and Langer’s was No. 1 for pastrami sandwiches. I was so down to grub!” he explains. “I’m off to Tokyo tomorrow, so I’m getting all these great food recommendations from my friends, and really getting sushi inspired now.” He then asks me to reveal my top four places to eat in Los Angeles, and I discover we actually have some spots in common. I ask him his top spots, and he recommends a few new places, which I’m eager to try. “My Italian place of choice is Osteria Mozza. It’s a commitment, but worth it,” Ansari says. Ansari is on a roll, and there is no stopping his comedic genius. He is currently working and developing three new projects with Apatow. It’s very clear we will be seeing a lot more of Aziz Ansari in the near future. Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening CD/DVD is currently available. For more information, visit azizisbored. tumblr.com.
and invite You and a Guest to an Advance Screening of
on Wednesday, January 27 at 7:30 PM in West Hollywood To attend this screening,
Area Codes: (213), (310), (323), (562), (626), (661), (714), (760), (805), (818), (866), (877), (888), (909), (949), (951), (Group Tickets 81)
EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS DVD Dish Interviews Movie Reviews Projections Screen Shots Special Features TV Time
SPIDER-MAN SPLITS FROM SONY
BY zach hines
BY MIKE SEBASTIAN
Sam Raimi says good-bye.
I DON’T REALLY TALK ABOUT PRESS RELEASES OR WHAT HAPPENS in the trades anymore, but something happened in the last couple of days that’s worth talking about. The entire filmmaking creative team behind the successful and critically acclaimed Spider-Man franchise, including director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire, have parted ways with Sony and permanently left the series. This announcement came on the heels of production being stalled on Spider-Man 4, which was very far along in the pre-production phase. The cast regulars like Maguire and Kirsten Dunst were to reprise their roles, Raimi was going to direct again and John Malkovich had already been cast as the Vulture, a villain that Raimi wanted to use in Spider-Man 3 but was cut by the studio. Now, obviously we’ll never know all the details and reasons for what happened, but one can speculate. Anyone who has followed the production stories of the Spider-Man films knew that this wasn’t an entirely unlikely possibility. As far as I’m concerned, Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 are two of the best comic book films of all time. Although a film is a collaborative effort, the director is the captain of the ship, and I think the credit for the films being so good and so successful goes to director Sam Raimi. Bryan Singer’s first X-Men film cracked the door for the new era of superhero movies, but it was Raimi’s Spider-Man that kicked it open. Then he made Spider-Man 2, which kicked ass even harder than the first one. Making a sequel that is better than the original is no easy feat, but Raimi, God bless him, pulled it off. When Spider-Man 3 came up, Raimi wanted the villains to be Sandman and Vulture, but the studio had other plans. They wanted him to incorporate the character Venom into the story. This was pretty controversial because Raimi didn’t really know that character very well and wasn’t a fan of him, but the studio insisted he use him because he was a fan favorite. As a huge Venom fan myself, I wanted nothing more than to see Venom on screen, and although I got my wish, it came at the expense of the quality of the overall film. Raimi is at the top of his game in Spider-Man 3, and for someone who didn’t feel passionate about the character of Venom, I felt that he nailed him perfectly. Even though part three was a success, it wasn’t as critically welcomed as the first two were. When Spider-Man 4 was coming together, similar stories began to emerge about conflict between Raimi and the studio again over the choice of villains, the script and the release date. The impression I got from what leaked out about what was going on behind the curtain was that Raimi wanted more time to work on things and the studio wanted to get moving in order to meet a strict release date. Even though Malkovich had been cast as the Vulture already, I also got the feeling that there might have been more drama over which villains were going to be used. Ultimately, Raimi and everyone else left the project, which means new director, new star, new vision and a completely new Spider-Man. Or does it? What does this all mean for the future of the Spider-Man franchise? Sony has said that they’re completely rebooting the series and are sending Peter Parker back to high school. Superhero franchises are still relatively new, and the only big one to be rebooted so far is Batman. The difference between the two is that Batman was rebooted at an extreme low point after a flop, while Spider-Man is being rebooted at a high point after the most successful entry in the series. Warner Bros. realized that they had steered Batman in a bad direction and brought in a really promising up-and-coming filmmaker and gave him literally complete creative control. They took a chance, and we all know what happened there (Cough! Cough! Ahem! The Dark Knight! Ahem!). But Sony doesn’t really have any reason to believe that they’ve done anything wrong, and it’s possible that they could be preparing to plug in a working director and just have him shoot their movie for them and adhere to their vision. Ultimately, nothing is certain yet, and only time will tell. Right now I feel a tremendous amount of appreciation for Sam Raimi for giving us his amazing vision of Spider-Man, and whatever happens now, he will always be the man who set it off. Send feedback to email@example.com.
Campus Circle 1.20.10 - 1.26.10
The Majors: The spate of Iraq War movies over the last few years has been insipid and preachy. The Hurt Locker finally gets it right. The tense film follows a bomb-defusing unit around Baghdad, showing a war without front lines, where even a dead body can be a destructive weapon. It marks a triumphant comeback for director Kathryn Bigelow. A cast of mostly unknowns gives solid performances, with cameos by Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes and David Morse. Also available: Fame, a remake of the 1980 musical, is about several students at a New York academy for performing arts; Smokin’ Aces 2
Stranger Than Fiction: No Impact Man is an entertaining documentary about a writer who swears off electricity, TV, cars, toilet paper and more for an entire year, bringing along his wife and daughter for the ride. It’s a fascinating look at attempting to be as environmentally friendly as possible in the middle of Manhattan. It’s also a portrait of a modern family. Funny Business:
Mostly known as Howard Stern’s radio show sidekick, comedian Artie Lange’s audience has grown in the last year with the release of his book, Too Fat to Fish. His latest stand-up special, Jack And Coke, features all of his usual frat-boy humor.
Made in Japan: Linebarrels of Iron follows Kouichi, a bullied kid who wants to be a hero. Suddenly he finds himself smack in the middle of an intergalactic war of Machinas. Now he may be Earth’s only hope. Also available: Case Closed: Countdown to Heaven, Bamboo Blade, Part 2 The Idiotbox: With its 20th season, “The Simpsons” became the longest running primetime TV show ever. It also regained some of its magic, being a marked improvement over some of the more recent seasons. It’s also the first season presented in hi-def, so everyone’s favorite TV family is also available on Blu-ray for the first time. Three retired detectives are enlisted to solve cold cases in the BBC’s New Tricks: Season Two. The entertaining series offers a deft blend of humor and mystery. Ron Livingston (Office Space) stars in the ABC sci-fi series Defying Gravity: The Complete First Season. Glenn Close returns in her powerhouse role as a high-powered litigator in Damages: The Complete Second Season. Under the Radar: Previously unavailable, Robert Altman’s little-seen Streamers is an intimate film centering on four friends about to be sent off to Vietnam. The group must confront their hidden prejudices when they learn that one of them is a homosexual. Based on a play by David Rabe, the film stars Matthew Modine. Also available: One of Brittany Murphy’s final films, the thriller Across the Hall. Blu Notes: The stylish and kinetic The Bourne Trilogy releases to Blu-ray (Jan. 27). Matt Damon stars as a spy with amnesia, on the run from his own government, trying to stay alive while discovering his past. The muchimitated films, from directors Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass and screenwriter Tony Gilroy, reinvigorated a dying genre. The Green Berets (1968), starring John Wayne, was the first film to openly address the Vietnam War. That’s not to say it seriously delves into the divisive politics behind the conflict. On the contrary, it’s pretty much good ol’ fashioned propaganda. The Duke even wrote Nixon a letter requesting official White House endorsement of the film (He was denied.). The film follows an elite squad of commandos led by Wayne on a mission into South Vietnam. It’s a fun and a fascinating historical document. Set in the Valley, Paul Thomas Anderson’s sprawling Altmanesque ensemble drama, Magnolia, follows several interconnecting stories and stars Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, John C. Reilly, Tom Cruise and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
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touchstone pictures & contiki invite you and a guest to an advance screening of WHEN IN ROME on Wednesday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Burbank.
“The Buried Life” cast members made a to-do list. No. 53: “Start a TV show.”
‘THE BURIED LIFE’ Four Guys and Their Bucket List BY M.M. Zonoozy sKYDIVE, DRIVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY, SWIM IN A TUB OF TAPIOCA pudding – everyone has a list of things they want to do before they die. Unfortunately, most of us are too preoccupied with the day-to-day to really pursue our bucket list. Responsibilities are claimed and excuses given, all to keep us from chasing our dreams. But not these guys; these guys are different. Meet Ben, Dave and brothers Duncan and Jonnie, the four minds behind MTV’s new show, “The Buried Life.” Four years ago, disillusioned with what lay ahead in their lives, the Canadian university students compiled a list of the 100 things they wanted to do before they died. “We felt like there was something missing in our life, and we wanted to be part of something bigger,” Ben recounts. “So we wrote this list together of the things we always dreamed of doing and we decided we’re not going to wait, we’re going to go after it.” And that was that. The guys decided to take two weeks off during the summer, borrow an RV from an uncle and take the trip of a lifetime. With a video camera in tow, the group set out across North America to start knocking pegs off of their list. At some point on their trip, the gang hit No. 53 – “Start a television show.” Using their own filming and editing skills, the guys began to compile episodes that eventually sparked MTV’s interest. Even with MTV’s support, when No. 95 on the list is “Play ball with Obama” and No. 99 is “Host ‘Saturday Night Live,’” it’s an understatement to call the gang’s list ambitious. But so far, the guys have yet to give us any reason to doubt them. The premiere of the show, which aired this week, shows the guys crashing a party at the Playboy Mansion. “I still don’t even know how Playboy let us air it. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever been a part of in my life,” Dave explains. “It’s one of those stories I tell my friends and they’re like, ‘Dude, you got to be kidding me,’ and I’m like, ‘Dude, I got the whole thing on tape, you’re not going to believe this!’” Now, with the support of MTV and their purple bus, Penelope, the gang has checked over 70 items off of their list. But when asked about their most memorable moments on the trip, the guys don’t mention No. 40 – “Make the front page of a newspaper” or No. 94 – “Party with a rockstar.” Instead, Ben remembers a different aspect of the journey: “When I look back over the past four years, the most memorable moments have been the times we’ve been able to help someone else.” In true “pay it forward” spirit, the group helps a stranger accomplish one of their dreams for every thing they check off their own list. Prompting them with the simple question what do you want to do before you die, the guys show that helping others isn’t only a job for the overly privileged. From reuniting a father and son to taking a group of kids on a shopping spree at Toys“R”Us, every stop on the trip is an opportunity to change a life. “That’s kind of the balance that we’re trying to hit,” Dave explains. “We’re going after the craziest dreams of ours and also trying to help regular people along the way do things they want to do.” That common interest in improving their own lives, and others’, is what brought the gang together in the first place. “We got together because we had this mutual desire to do a project and put our energy towards something,” Dave recalls. The title of the show, “The Buried Life,” is in reference to an 1852 Matthew Arnold poem by the same name. “It talked about the exact same feeling that we were feeling at that moment in our lives,” explains Ben. “The buried life is how our daily life becomes so cumbersome that our real life becomes buried. That we all have this longing to live this hidden life, or our ‘buried life.’” But not these guys; they’re already living it. “The Buried Life” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on MTV.
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IN THEATERS JANUARY 29 Campus Circle 1.20.10 - 1.26.10
ABC Famiy Media
Campus Circle > Film > Special Features
The cast of “Greek” have become a family over the past three seasons.
USC Student visits CyprusRhodes University. BY candice Winters It’s the start of a new semester, a time when most good college students have made it their New Year’s resolution to get better grades, eat healthier and maybe even do their own laundry every once in a while. However, there is one community of collegiate students who have more on their minds than books. In fact, as I walked onto the “campus” (a.k.a. film set) of the hit show, “Greek,” there wasn’t a book in sight. The set is as intricate as it is realistic. Sorority row, which is actually several grandiose rooms, is furnished with painstaking detail. Even the bathrooms are lined with shower caddies and loofahs, and mementos from the past two and a half seasons are visible everywhere. The frat “houses” are just as impressive, though the hunting décor was a bit too masculine for my taste. Ironically, I spent most of the day in the bar that the students of Cyprus-Rhodes often frequent for a TGIF beverage. Designed after an actual bar in downtown Los Angeles, the replica reminded me of one near my school where, similar to the show’s plotline, many fun and interesting nights occur. Which made me wonder: Though the production design is spectacularly spot on, does the show portray life in the Greek system just as accurately? “There’s no other show out there like it,” says Amber
Campus Circle 1.20.10 - 1.26.10
Stevens who plays Ashleigh, a Zeta Beta Zeta sister. “There’s nothing out there that talks about Greek life the way that we do. All the characters are so diverse. Everyone can relate to someone.” On and off screen heartthrob Scott Michael Foster, who plays Cappie, agrees that the cast and the writing team have “become more familiar with the Greek system since starting the show.” “We show both sides of the story or all sides of the story,” he says. “Greek life is more than just getting wasted and partying. We show that because it does happen, but we also show the philanthropies. We show bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood. We show all of it.” For many of the actors, this is their one shot at the college experience. Jake McDorman, who plays Evan, is the nemesis of Kappa Tau as a member of the fraternity Omega Chi. Though he has the rugged good looks and endearing charm of a twenty-something frat boy, McDorman jokingly admits that he has no experience in the field. “I moved out to L.A. at 16 to do this stuff, so I’m living vicariously through my character. But it’s really well written. All the stuff ’s there, like the hazing. But we don’t actually have to do it. It’s called ‘cut right before.’” Good-humored sarcasm is palpable in the way he talks about his career thus far. However, he is completely serious when it comes time to give me one word or phrase that would describe the atmosphere on set. “Family,” McDorman says without hesitation. “When we first started, it was a job. Now that we’ve been doing it for so long, it’s second nature. It is really fun. Now, it feels a lot more organic.” This season the kids are preparing for the “Help Us Rebuild Our Castle Fairytale Ball.” In case you need a refresher, earlier in the season the Gamma Psi’s house burned down, and the ZBZ ladies are worried that they may have
been responsible. Their guilt adds mounting pressure on Ashleigh and Rebecca (Dilshad Vadsaria), but it particularly puts a strain on the relationship between Casey (Spencer Grammer) and Cappie. After three brothers are expelled, Rusty (Jacob Zachar) is thrust into the position of pledge educator, which may be too much for him to handle. Calvin (Paul James) and Grant (Gregory Michael) are also trying to resolve their relationship as Evan and Rebecca continue to grow closer. This season is also boasting impressive guest stars like Martha MacIsaac of Superbad fame, Sam Page from “Mad Men” and the legendary Lea Thompson. But this isn’t the first string of famous guests to grace Cyprus-Rhodes. “We’ve had a few surprises the last couple of years,” said Zachar. “We’ve booked some really cool guest stars, actors who don’t get as much respect in mainstream movies and television. They are such down-to-earth, honest people.” Which made me jump back into my thinking tank: If they could choose anyone, alive or dead, who would they like to guest star? After much deliberation, McDorman says, “Gary Oldman would be great. I don’t know what he’d do … but that’d be awesome.” “Richard Pryor would be hilarious,” laughs Zachar. “But he would just get everything bleeped out. He would say five words, swearing at everyone. He brings a smile wherever he goes.” Like he’s thought of it before, Foster answers promptly, “Chevy Chase. I always wanted to work with him.” Though they aren’t opening their books or writing papers, the cast of the ABC Family show is surely working hard to make sure the upcoming season hosts more laughs and plot twists so that, even if you aren’t in college, you can live (or relive) the best years of your life. “Greek” premieres Jan. 25 at 10 p.m. on ABC Family.
MUSIC CULTURE EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS CD Reviews Frequency Interviews Live Show Reviews Music Report Special Features
MUSICREPORT BY KEVIN WIERZBICKI Dirty Projectors Collectible Vinyl Two previously unreleased tracks recorded during the sessions for Dirty Projectors’ Bitte Orca album are out as a limited edition 7-inch vinyl single. “Ascending Melody” and “Emblem of the World” are also available as a free download at dirtyprojectors.net. Dirty Projectors play with the L.A. Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Feb. 27.
Rival Sons Do Hollywood
Dirty Projectors hit L.A. Feb. 27.
Rival Sons are busy recording a new album, the follow-up to their debut, Before the Fire. The L.A.-based rockers are previewing some of the new songs during their Sunday night residency at Cinespace in Hollywood where you can get in free before 10:30 p.m. and even grab a free vodka drink between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The offer is good for shows on Jan. 24 and 31.
North to Noise Pop The 18th Annual Noise Pop Festival takes place in San Francisco from Feb. 23 through March 1. The event is held at various venues and features an opening night performance from Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band with Cornelius, Yuka Honda and Sean Lennon. Some of the other acts participating this year include Deerhoof, !!!, We Were Promised Jet Packs, John Vanderslice, Magnetic Fields, the Growlers and Nico Vega. The Dodos and Magik Magik Orchestra will collaborate for a one-time only show where the two entities will perform new arrangements of 10 Dodos songs. The festival includes a mini-conference called Industry Noise where attendees can listen to influential speakers, meet industry pros, learn about current opportunities and even arrange for individual mentoring. Festival badges are on sale now for $150 with Industry Noise badges being an additional $65. Find more info and the complete talent lineup at noisepop.com.
Celestial Green Monster Fred Ho and the Green Monster Big Band have turned loose their latest epic, Celestial Green Monster. That sounds like something you might find aboard an errant spaceship, and truth be told, Ho, a giant of a man leading the jazzy 17-person band with his baritone sax, is a little bit out there. If a listen to Ho’s 16-minute version of Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” doesn’t convince you of that, his reasoning for recording the psychedelic opus will: “I thematically wanted to explore the journey of humanity’s ascendancy on this planet and the dark rise of class and gender stratification as an outgrowth of the human conquest, domination and primacy over the natural world.” Or maybe he was just having fun dressing up the song with guest Haleh Abghari’s Persian vocals and assorted growls referred to as “Mastodon and Sabertooth” vocals. Celestial Green Monster is available now at mutablemusic.com.
2010 Grammy Nominees CD EMI has teamed up with the Recording Academy’s Grammy Recordings to release 2010 Grammy Nominees, a 20-song collection highlighting artists and songs nominated for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. The set is packed with smash hits like “Poker Face” from Lady Gaga, “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas and “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” by U2. Coldplay, Green Day, Sugarland, Zac Brown Band, Pink, the Fray, Kings of Leon and Adele are among the other contributors, and best of all, a portion of the proceeds from each sale will go to charity. Sharing in the proceeds will be the Grammy Foundation and the MusiCares Foundation, an organization that provides assistance for music people in times of need. Nominees is out now; the Grammy Awards will be handed out at the Staples Center on Jan. 31.
Yim Yames forms new label. Removador Recordings is the name of the new record label formed by Yim Yames (Jim James) of My Morning Jacket and former MMJ guitarist Johnny Quaid. The online platform’s mission statement is, in part, “to shine a light on some of the musicians that Yames admires and would like to share with the world.” The label will also help connect the dots between an ever-growing artistic community that Yames is a part of, reflecting his eclectic taste and steadfast passion for music.” The label has just released Boys from Nashville-based experimental artist Cortney Tidwell while efforts from Quaid’s band the Ravenna Colt and psych rockers Follow the Train will drop in February and March respectively.
Campus Circle 1.20.10 - 1.26.10
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Three bros add Johnny Marr and play the states. BY M.M. Zonoozy U.K. indie rock sensations the cribs have quite the cult following in their homeland. Now, they’re bringing their raucousness to the States with a North American tour in support of the release of their fourth studio album, Ignore the Ignorant. The album follows up their Warner Bro.’s debut, Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever, with a drastic change in the band’s DNA. The former all-in-the-family trio – fraternal twins Ryan and Gary Jarman on lead, bass and vocals, and younger brother Ross on percussion – recently added legendary guitarist Johnny Marr to their roster. The quartet arrives stateside this month, kicking off at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. No stranger to the United States, the Cribs previously toured the country alongside Death Cab For Cutie and Franz Ferdinand and hit the stage at both Coachella and Lollapalooza. Gary Jarman has even moved out west and currently lives in his adopted hometown of Portland, Ore. There, he was first introduced to Marr, a part-time PDX resident, at a barbecue hosted by Marr’s Modest Mouse. Gary later introduced Ryan and Ross to the Manchesterborn guitarist offstage at Glastonbury when both the Cribs and Modest Mouse played the festival in 2007. Drummer Ross Jarman recalls being a bit star-struck when meeting one
of their idols. “We had a picture of Johnny on our fridge in our tour van for a long time.” That meeting sparked a friendship built on mutual admiration, and before long Marr was spending his free time playing with the Jarmans. “We had a big stretch of time off,” recounts Ross. “We were all together because we were friends, and we’d been hanging out. So, why don’t we get together and write some music, because that’s what you do when you’re friends, you know, people just jam.” In the midst of those sessions, Marr soon found himself playing the role as the fourth Jarman brother. “Eventually the penny dropped,” Ross recalls. “It was one of them weird things, it happened so naturally. We never intended it. It is kind of like when you start seeing a girl.” A very experienced girl, that is. Marr’s illustrious past includes co-founding the Smiths, playing for the The, Modest Mouse and Electronic, and being a featured musician on countless albums including classics from Talking Heads and Beck. His addition to the Cribs has significantly pushed the band’s already impressive envelope of rock ’n’ roll prowess. “It’s made everything really exciting again. It’s like having a new best friend,” explains Ross. “Instead of it just being the three of you, and going on the road and getting in trouble, there’s like four of you now.” The Cribs’ new indie punk album indeed feeds off of that new excitement. Marr’s sound is integrated flawlessly while bringing his tinge to songs like “Cheat On Me” and “We Share The Same Skies.” Other tracks, including “Hari Kari,” are classic Cribs, only now on Johnny Marr steroids. The title track sees Marr’s Rickenbacker blasting out a riff instantly introducing himself to the Cribs’ world. Ignore the Ignorant also marks a bit of a departure from the band’s previous theme-conscious albums. Unlike the
FREQUENCY BY BRIEN OVERLY Hyper Crush Jan. 21 @ Canyon Club While the concept of this “party rock” business is something I should be all about in theory, I’m admittedly hesitant to fully endorse it just yet. It’s just so much … neon. I don’t do neon. And I have too many muted red and black plaid button-ups in my closet to change that stance now. But be that as it may, I still have a special fondness for Los Angeles’ own electro-jam act Hyper Crush. What can I say, I have a weakness for anything with a keytar and designated keytarist member of the band. I have no idea what they’re even talking about half the time, but holy debauchery, if it doesn’t sound like the soundtrack to something epic. Like I should be in a highspeed car chase or orchestrating a heist of some kind. In Vegas. While being impeccably dressed. Just as long as there’s no neon involved.
Cold War Kids Jan. 22 @ The Wiltern I know it’s not a very cool thing to say, but I don’t care how mainstream or popular this band has become lately. I don’t care how many teenage girls own their last album, how many times I hear their songs in the background on TV shows or how big the venues they play in now are. And I certainly don’t care what the oh-so-avant-garde “fans” and “critics” think of this band now as opposed to what they thought three years ago. If you can’t listen to these homegrown indie kids’ latest work and feel inspired to yell along with frontman Nathan
Autumn de Wilde
Campus Circle > Music > Interviews
The Cribs release records the “organic way.”
social commentary of past, Ignore the Ignorant takes a less scathing direction. “The other records have always been criticizing someone else,” Ross details. “But with the new one, it seems to be selfcritical.” Songs like “Save Your Secrets” and “Stick to Yr Guns” reveal a newfound reflective tone in the Jarman twins’ songwriting. “Gary and Ryan spent a long time over the lyrics on this new one, and they’re a lot prouder of them than any of the other records we’ve done,” Ross explains. “I think they did a good job.” Speaking with Ross, it’s easy to see that the Cribs won’t compromise or sell out anytime soon. Their authentic sound is an evolution of, rather than departure from, their lo-fi roots. When asked about the future of the Cribs, Ross casually responds: “We’re just going to keep releasing records, and you know, doing it the organic way.” The Cribs will perform Jan. 26 at the Glass House. For more information, visit thecribs.com.
Campus Circle > Music > Frequency Willett’s signature wailing, you’re missing out on some truly worthwhile music. Contrary to the notion that indie rock and mainstream music are two diametrically contradicting and mutually exclusive concepts, this Los Angeles-bred foursome are proof you can be the cool kids in the scene without being a bunch of d-bags and that there is indeed a mass market for skillful musicianship. As horrific a concept as it is to think of their “Hang Me Up to Dry” video airing between Taylor Swift and Lil Wayne late night on MTV2, it gives me hope that maybe the music industry really isn’t that abysmal.
City and Colour Jan. 23 @ Henry Fonda Theater I oft reference the shortlist of singer-songwriters who can reduce my otherwise snarky and jaded ass to a sniffling and weepy-eyed state only properly communicated via emoticon faces. With his signature soft and introspective crooning, City and Colour frontman Dallas Green usually places solidly within the top two spots of that list, the only candidate capable of giving Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue a legitimate battle for my affections. As such, I’m equally stoked and dreading his arrival at one of my favorite L.A. venues. I mean, considering the lack of love SoCal got from Green last year between City and his other act Alexisonfire, I’m of course very happy he’s finally making an appearance at a more intimate venue. On the other hand, it means a whole lot of people are going to see me badly fake having something in my eye(s) or having an allergic response to … something. You guys know how I am about maintaining my icy exterior of elitism around others. Dallas doesn’t afford me that decorum, so you understand my dilemma here. Though Green’s lyrics are heart-wrenchingly brutal in their honesty and vulnerability at times, he’s also a master
Black Lips have sparked a new term: flower-punk.
of pulling out the optimism when things get too heavy, so I think I’ll have to take my chances. And if you happen to see me at the show in what appears to be a weakened emotional state, I’ll preemptively offer this: It’s because I have an … eye infection … and I was probably sweating, and you didn’t see nothing, you hear?
Black Lips Jan. 20 @ Detroit Bar Jan. 22 @ The Glass House Jan. 23 @ El Rey Despite the drama with other bands and cheap stage antics that everyone else seems to focus on whenever mentioning this band (Music feuds are so last decade.), I actually legitimately enjoy Black Lips’ music. I also wasn’t aware “flower-punk” had been coined as an actual genre in application to these guys, but lo and behold, Wikipedia continues to educate me more every day. Because the concept of that makes my brain hurt a bit when I try to pick it apart, I’ll just say the Atlanta natives’ blend of classic ’60s-style rock and modern garage indie is completely infectious and capable of standing on its own merits, and leave it at that.
Campus Circle 1.20.10 - 1.26.10
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Campus Circle > Music > CD Reviews
some of the ol’ Salsoul Records hits. Check out the remastered “Ladybug” and the 17 minutes worth of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” These songs were great the first time, and if you’re looking for that throwback groove, they’re still good this time around.
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None of the album is bad, but it feels so retro that sometimes the lyrics catch me off guard (“iPod Girl”). The band tries to emphasize this divide between their own age and the new album, putting songs like “All the Pharaohs” and “Savage Teen” next to each other. While a lot of the music is fun, upbeat, classic power-pop, I found myself losing interest in the music halfway through the album. The music doesn’t change that much
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Amoeba hosts a special in-store performance from the legendary Cyril Pahinui on January 23rd to WEDNESDAYS – 7-10 Slack PM celebrate the 3rd Annual Southern California Key Festival! FRIDAYS – 8-9:30 Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar (ki ho’alu) is onePM of the great acoustic guitar traditions Doworld’s your holiday shopping to the soundsand of the festival Amoeba’s celebratesweekly both its DJ legends sets! as well as new innovators to the art with their third annual celebration. The 2010 Southern California Slack Key Festival takes place on Jan. 24th at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.
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Campus Circle 1.20.10 - 1.26.10
The Main Drag You Are Underwater (RPL Audio) On their latest endeavor, You Are Underwater, Boston indie heroes the Main Drag prove themselves the kings of inconsistency. The album kicks off with “Homosuperior,” a psychedelic-flavored pop gem, then bounces into “Tricky Girl,” a deliciously catchy bed-jumping anthem. There is a certain innocence to these songs, a sweet playfulness that lifts the spirit. The following tracks, “Don’t Let Me Down (Slowly),” “Talk Them Down” and “Megatron” are dreamy and lush with jagged edges lurking just below the shimmering surface, but they fail to live up to their predecessors. Unfortunately, from here the album collapses into boredom, with the remaining two numbers on this mere seventrack release proving less than imaginative and basically forgettable. The album ends with the bonus track “A Jagged Gorgeous Winter,” a track pulled from their last album that was recently featured on “Rock Band 2” and used in a Target ad. A few bummer tracks are acceptable on a longer collection, but if this is the best and the most that the band could churn out, this franchise is in trouble. Could the Main Drag keep the momentum of the early tracks, this brief release could soar, but instead it barely gets off the ground. Grade: C —Natasha Desianto You Are Underwater is currently available.
John Morales The M&M Mixes (BBE) You can call him the Pharrell Williams of the 1980s, or the David Guetta of classic boogie. Whatever you choose, just know that John Morales is the O.G. of club records. Back in their day, the twosome of John Morales and the late Sergio Munzibai made up M&M Productions, and were responsible for hundreds of mixes from the most credible dance artists of the ’80s. The two worked with everyone from Tina Turner to the Rolling Stones. The M&M Mixes is a two-disc compilation of previously unreleased versions of some of the Morales-Munzibai duo’s best work. CD 1 is full of retro funk and unreleased demos while CD 2 boasts
Grade: A—M.M. Zonoozy The M&M Mixes is currently available.
MxPx Punk Rawk Christmas (Rock City Recordings) If there are two things I love, it’s punk rock and Christmas. With MxPx’s new holiday release, Punk Rawk Christmas, I get a little of both. MxPx is indeed Christian punk rock, so don’t worry about anything but wholesome fun to ruin your holiday jeer. You’ll catch the occasional adolescent yellow-snow humor and some white-boy rap on “Gimme Christmas,” but nothing any cruder. Highlights include the recessionconcerned title track and a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne.” But songs like “Late Great Snowball Fight of 2006” and “Christmas Night of the Living Dead” are a little too tweeny for my taste. Although MxPx has a good sound, this collection lacks the sarcasm and wrist-slitting negativity that makes punk rock punk. Nevertheless, just like jalapeno and pineapple on cold pizza, the odd couple of punk rock and Christmas is quite the guilty pleasure. Grade: B+ —M.M. Zonoozy Punk Rawk Christmas is currently available.
from one song to the next and I really can’t get over how much “Curse of the Mau Mau” makes me want to break out in the Beach Boys’ “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow.” Grade: B—Melissa Russell Conquest is currently available.
Robin Thicke Sex Therapy (Interscope) R&B singer Robin Thicke strikes gold with Sex Therapy, his latest album. Sex Therapy includes collaborations with Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and Kid Cudi, among others.
The Scruffs Conquest (Ardent) The Scruffs have a very interesting history. This Memphis band put out their first record (on vinyl) in 1977 and broke up shortly thereafter, yet put out new music under the same band name without officially reforming the band. Now, they’ve officially reunited to put out Conquest, but I have to wonder why it took more than 30 years. Maybe that’s why I feel like the album is stuck in time, because Conquest is what the Beach Boys would sound like if they were from Scotland.
A singer-songwriter and composer, Thicke develops a different sound and view to R&B and soul music. Tracks such as “Make U Love Me” and “Sex Therapy” are obvious hits with their lyrical presence. “Shakin’ It 4 Daddy” is a masterpiece with its unique beats and lyrics. Grade: A —Marvin G. Vasquez Sex Therapy is currently available.
Join CAMPUS CIRCLE www.campuscircle.com MUSICINTERVIEWS
JOHN SWIHART O n Writing the Loser’s Anthem BY Geoffrey altrocchi If you ever watch the opening scene of John Carpenter’s Halloween with the sound off, all you see is a camera slowly moving up a set of stairs. It means nothing. But when you cue that now famous and haunting track, it all comes into place. It’s the honest opinion of this author that the music makes the movie. John Swihart, composer extraordinaire, whose brilliant licks are featured in the recently released Michael Cera vehicle, Youth in Revolt, couldn’t disagree more. “It takes a big group of people, there are so many people from beginning to end [making a movie] . . . I’m just the guy that comes on at the end,” Swihart says. Youth in Revolt follows a loser on the exterior who has some winning qualities on the inside, and who strives to win the love of a beautiful, young woman. Swihart’s contribution to that movie alone, most notably the “Nick and Sheeni Make Love” and “Keys” tracks, hint at deeper beauty and redeeming qualities hidden within the protagonist. This same “loser with a heart of gold” motif reminds me of one of my favorite film protagonists, another closet winner – Napoleon Dynamite. This social reject eventually wins hearts and minds with his creativity, heart and passion. Interestingly enough, it is in this 2004 movie that we
Campus Circle > Music > Interviews heard some of Swihart’s breakout hits. Youth in Revolt and Napoleon Dynamite are two, among more than 40, movies Swihart has scored. He has also put a big dent in composing for television. He recently recorded with a full orchestra for the 100th episode of “How I Met Your Mother.” Swihart’s musical journey started in Boston. A former jazz enthusiast and metal head, he attended the renowned Berklee College of Music, where he studied production and engineering, which, Swihart says, was the closest he could get to popular music at the time. After he graduated from Berklee, he found himself working on industrial videos and commercials in a post-production studio. “I was the audio dude, and I’d be in there, just writing away,” he says. Even though he’s always been a huge movie fan, Swihart says that for a while he didn’t know exactly what direction he was going to go with his talents. It was at this postproduction studio though, where he met some film students from Emerson College, and he began writing music for their
“Youth in Revolt and Napoleon Dynamite are two, among more than 40, movies Swihart has scored.” films. That’s where he seemed to find a niche for himself. While these days composing is a full-time job for Swihart, in his early years he worked for free. “The money will come,” he assures, “you just have to write.” As in other creative fields, Swihart says there is no set path for the film composer and that more often than not
John Swihart is no loser.
you go where the work is. So naturally, to find patterns or overriding themes in the movies that he’s worked on might be a stretch. While he has scored several quirky comedies, he has done music for a couple of brooding dramas as well. He just finished working on a movie titled The Perfect Host with David Hyde Pierce, which he describes as a darker thriller. Thrillers can be especially different, he explains, because they have a lot more layers or tracks than some of the comedies that he has scored. On paper Swihart is very much a journeyman, proficient in several areas and genres. If, as Swihart humbly insists, the music doesn’t make the movie, it certainly provides the best layer to a cake – the icing. And as I listen to my favorite Swihart tracks from Napoleon Dynamite, or as I ingest the simple melodies from Youth In Revolt, I can’t help but feel that in addition to all his other accomplishments, some of Swihart’s music provides an elegant soundtrack and minianthems to the misunderstood with an inner beauty just waiting to burst out into the world.
AMOEBA SUPPORTS THE LOCAL MUSIC COMMUNITY! Our “Home Grown” featured independent local artist is chosen by the Amoeba Music Staff!
The Tender Box Jan. 7 @ Viper Room On the seventh day of the Viper Room’s “Ten Days of 2010” celebration, the Tender Box took the stage to a near-packed house on a very energetic Thursday The Tender Box’s set was short but sweet. night. Dressed in mostly all black, these East Los Angeles natives tore through their signature dancey/epic balladry sound that has landed them on a European tour with the Goo Goo Dolls and unofficially ranked them Canada’s answer to the band Phoenix, when it comes to car commercials. (The Tender Box song “Mister Sister” was featured in a 2007 Chevrolet television commercial in Canada, leading the band to a Canadian Fontana/Universal Music contract due to the overwhelming response to the song’s placement.) Throughout their short set, the Tender Box blew through tracks from their debt fulllength, The Score, and their most recent release, E.P. 1. The band opened with the upbeat “Beautiful Sin” and without hesitation, busted right into “Incomplete Design,” only allowing enough time for singer-guitarist Joey Medina to quickly shout the title before the song took off. “Incomplete Design”– an epic breakup song – captured the audience with its subtle atmospheric verse that exploded into a fistpumping chorus that jarred the room through its hollow floors. This Tender Box original is a song that could ultimately give Coldplay a run for their money. The most satisfying song of the night, “Mister Sister,” from its very beginning immediately sent the small room into a bouncy, chest-thumping dance party. The song ended in a wailing, noise-induced outro laced with sweat and plenty of guitar-god moves that made a perfect ending to an energetic set. The Tender Box “army” was unquestionably satisfied with this short but sweet set. The rest of the audience, well, they wanted more, too. Paper Zoo, also on the bill, enchanted the room with its unique blend of ’70s pop nostalgia. —Joshua Chilton
Totally ruling LA noir re-imagining of what the second Suicide record might have sounded like if Polly Jean Harvey fronted the band instead of Alan Vega. Hints of surf guitar bring you back to the west/best coast and give the whole happening a woozy, psychedelic glow. - Aaron Aldorisio
Check out a streaming mp3 of their song “Shadow in the Spotlight” on Amoeba.com!
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A TINY TREK TO TORRANCE
Exploring Japanese Culture Slightly South BY jessica koslow If you’re like me, you had no idea Torrance is bustling with vibrant Japanese culture. Home to the U.S. headquarters of two of the three largest Japanese automakers, Toyota and Honda, as well as Panasonic, All Nippon Airways and the videogame company, Tecmo, among others, it’s only natural that Los Angeles County’s eighth largest city is chock full of Japanese restaurants, markets and more. Last month, the Miyako Hybrid Hotel (21381 S. Western Ave.; miyakohybridhotel.com) opened its doors, meeting the need for an elegant, service-oriented property in Torrance catering to businessmen and tourists. The word “miyako” refers to a flourishing center of business and entertainment and “hybrid” describes the sort of establishment it is: ecofriendly. The seven-story, 208-room stopover boasts a solarpowered electrical system and environmentally responsible construction materials. When you walk into your room, you insert a card into a slot next to the front door that activates all of the electricity in your room. Not only is Miyako Hybrid fabulous because it’s new, but some of the standout amenities are the Japanese-style oversized tub that’s as relaxing and comfortable as a Jacuzzi,
Campus Circle > Culture > LA Places the flat screen TV positioned so you can watch it from said tub and separate shower, the fitness center, where you can sneak away for a late-night session of “Wii Tennis” and their restaurant, Gonpachi. The sister to Gonpachi Beverly Hills, one meal here is like two lifetimes in Heaven. Executive Chef Alex Cabrera, calm yet confident, doesn’t compromise quality considering he has so many mouths to feed. Our dinner consisted of several courses, each surpassing the exquisiteness of the last. For starters, we dined on king crab with cucumber salad in a vinegar and Ponzu sauce and seared tuna with giant clam. Both were small plates and gave us just a glimpse of the culinary precision and expertise wielded by Cabrera and his staff. Next we sampled sashimi: blue fin toro, halibut and yellowtail. Elegantly presented, the fresh taste of the fish is what I remember most. Then we enjoyed a sushi platter: sea urchin, red snapper, albacore, seared tuna and sweet shrimp. No soy sauce was allowed because each order was bathed in its own special sauce. At this point, we thought we would be moving on to the main, but instead, another appetizer arrived: chopped shrimp mixed with spicy mayonnaise flashfried in a wonton. Rarely have I experienced what followed: a sorbet to cleanse the palate. We were also served up Fuji Apple Sake, which is a sweet, fruity take on sake. All this to prep us for the entrées: Barbecued Wild Boar (which happens to be a popular request) and steak with wasabi mustard, pumpkin puree, sautéed veggies and spinach. Our last course consisted of freshly made hot udon and cold soba noodles. And for dessert, we nibbled on pumpkin ice cream with mochi and the Chef ’s bread pudding with fruit. In the morning, the Gonpachi breakfast buffet lies before you, featuring miso soup, steamed rice, natto, nori, dasimaki, tsukemono and yakizakana. It’s a slightly different way to
EXTENDED HAPPY HOURS
Downtown’s McCormick & Schmick’s and Yard House BY ERICA CARTER Who doesn’t love a great happy hour? When you can eat and drink at a fraction of the cost, you’d be hard pressed to find something wrong with that picture. The only problem I see with happy hour is sometimes the hours are inconvenient. Some happy hours are only two hours, usually in the early afternoon from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., hardly enough time to really get in a groove. I’ve noticed a few restaurants taking notice of this and extending their “happy” times, most notably McCormick & Schmick’s and L.A. Live’s Yard House. Known primarily as a seafood restaurant, McCormick & Schmick’s has about 80 flagships throughout the U.S. The restaurants are tailored to the location, the Downtown version with a lively, urban but refined vibe, while El Segundo captures the area’s free-spirited and laid-back culture. The high quality of food stays the same at both locations, as do extended happy hour times. Downtown runs from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday-Friday, while El Segundo’s starts at 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and then again from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. At the Downtown location, prices start at $1.95 for familiar favorites like Garlic Cheese Fries with Jack and
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Gonpachi restaurant at the Miyako Hybrid Hotel
start your day, but one I liked very much. Starting in February, the hotel will open their spa Relaken. It will be the only spa in the U.S. to feature the ganban-yoku (or bedrock bath) treatment. The guest lies on a large stone of ore mined from the mountains of Kyushu, Japan. When heated, the stones emit infrared rays and negative ions that help heat the body inside, restoring cells and detoxifing through perspiration. If you’ve never been to Torrance or you’re dying to see their supersized version of the Japanese marketplace Mitsuwa (21515 S. Western Ave.; mitsuwa.com), the Miyako Hybrid is offering some specials: The “Experience Japan” package combines the hotel’s amenities – accommodations and dining – and a sake tasting for $149 per person; their Romance Package includes champagne, chocolates and a buffet breakfast (both run through March 31). Other things to see while you’re in Torrance are the Redondo Beach Pier and the Del Amo Fashion Mall, both just a quick car ride away.
Campus Circle > Culture > Food Cheddar Cheese as well as Fried Zucchini and Mini Hot Dogs with Chili. For $3.95, you can order the spicy Blackened Chicken Quesadilla along with other options like Buffalo Chicken Wings and Artichoke Spinach Dip. But the star of the happy hour menu, noted in bold on the daily printed menu, is the Half Pound Cheeseburger for $2.95. When I saw that option, I assumed it would be a flattened burger, but no. For less than $3, you get a half-pound of ground, charbroiled chuck with a side of crisp shoestring garlic fries. The burger was so big I actually didn’t need the $4.95 Calamari Spiders I had ordered. Speaking of $4.95, you can also get a deep-fried portion of Beer Batter Fish & Chips. If I didn’t see burgers on everyone’s tables, there was Fish & Chips. Of course, one can’t have a happy hour without some sort of drink specials. McCormick & Schmick’s offers $4.50 domestic drafts of Coors Light and Budweiser. There are weekly specials, including the Wednesday bucket of five Coronitas for $10, best enjoyed with the “Buck a Shuck” Oysters ($1) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. In terms of spirits, the prices are not too much of a happy hour, but if you’re so inclined you won’t be out of pocket more than $8, which gets you mixed drinks like an Island Mai Tai, Lemon Drop or, for those who prefer more fruitier drinks, order a $6.95 Fuzzy Navel or Mango Blossom with Mango Schnapps. Another lively option, especially if you plan on seeing a movie, concert or basketball game, is L.A. LIVE’s Yard House. Yard House is also a fairly well known chain, with 13 locations alone in California, as well as in nine other states. Yard House gets its name after the glass that would shield stagecoach passengers as they traveled on their horse-drawn carriages … oh, that’s why the décor boasts those large windows! With the ESPN Zone on the same lot, Yard House is a bit more upscale with plush bar stools and an open area lounge. And while they are known for their great selection of classic
McCormick and Schmick’s $2.95 Half Pound Cheeseburger
rock tunes, from ZZ Top, Little River Band and Tom Petty, they serve as background music more than adding to the atmosphere of a rowdy sports bar. Happy Hour (Monday, 3 p.m.-close; Tuesday-Friday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and 10 p.m.-close; Saturday and Sunday, 10 p.m.-close) features select half price appetizers like four juicy Classic Sliders (fries, too) served with cheddar cheese or with creamy Béarnaise sauce. There are pizzas on the menu like the Spicy Thai Chicken version with crushed macadamia nuts, carrots and green onion. There are over 160 beers at Yard House, some served in goblets, some as pints. I’m still trying them out, but so far I’m in love with the simultaneous tart and sweet black cherry beer blend of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat with Belhaven Scottish Stout, the toasty malt of Spaten Optimator and the fail-proof citrus-tinged Blanche de Bruxelles. Happy hour at both McCormick & Schmick’s and Yard House should be on your radar. You’re guaranteed not only to have a “happy hour,” but your wallet will thank you, too. McCormick & Schmick’s is located at 633 W. 5th St. and Yard House at 800 W. Olympic Blvd. For more information, visit mccormickandschmicks.com and yardhouse.com.
Join CAMPUS CIRCLE www.campuscircle.com PAGES The Happy Body: The Simple Science of Nutrition, Exercise and Relaxation (Jurania Press) On Dec. 31, I was at an intimate New Year’s party and when the clock struck midnight, we gathered in a circle and spoke aloud our resolutions for 2010. About half of the attendees wanted to lose weight or get in a shape, and when they expressed this, those that didn’t choose this goal immediately nodded their heads in agreement. Not one, but several of my coworkers joked yesterday that they were skinny compared to the rest of the United States, but not for Los Angeles. A wise observer would conclude that not too many people are happy with their bodies. And even those who have bodies that other people are envious of usually are not happy with their own shapes. Woe is us. This year let’s make our resolution a lifelong pursuit and not just a fleeting wish. To this end, the husband and wife team of Jerzy and Aniela Gregorek, gold medal weightlifting champions, personal trainers and founders/head coaches of the UCLA weightlifting team, has taken it upon themselves to teach readers everything they need to know to be their own coach. For starters, the Gregoreks discovered six essential elements required for people to achieve their desired goals: lose weight, get stronger, become more flexible, gain muscle, develop better posture and acquire faster reflexes. People should also release stress and nurture their bodies. Their book is divided into three parts in which they lay out a program that includes all of these essential elements. The third part includes nutritionally balanced recipes and surprisingly (or not so), the Polish couple doesn’t rule out alcohol or eating out. “I don’t see any point in living without beer, wine or vodka,” says Jerzy. The Gregoreks also recommend meditation and don’t focus on high impact, intense exercise regimes. Instead they point to the fun stuff like hiking, biking, dancing and sports, which you can continue doing into your later years. The inspiration for this book came from the Gregoreks watching 80 and 90-yearold competitive weightlifters and other athletes who devoted their whole life to staying youthful. If a 90-year-old can lift weights, us young’uns can certainly try a little harder to stick to our 2010 New Year’s resolutions. Grade: A —Jessica Koslow The Happy Body is currently available.
Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star’s Revolution for Peace (Free Press) “V” for peace is indisputably one of the most ubiquitous signs around the world. Despite the extensive endorsement, only a few people are actively taking part in realizing its meaning. One of them is Salman Ahmad, the founder of the wildly popular Pakistani rock band Junoon, who found his calling in bridging the divides between Pakistan, India and America. The chronicle of his exciting and inspiring journey is published in a memoir called Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star’s Revolution for Peace. Ahmad’s sincere invitation for the readers to look at the world from his point of view, a Sufi Muslim rocker, makes it impossible for readers to put down the book. The book begins with Ahmad’s formative years, as he introduces the readers to the start of his lifelong marriage to music, the people and experiences that have influenced his outlook and beliefs in life and the resulting inception of the idea to use music as a medium to create harmony between the East and West. Deftly integrating the Pakistani culture in his narration by including Pakistani’s various words and practices, Ahmad attempts to promote cultural awareness and understanding, and has successfully done so. Ahmad subsequently takes the readers onto the rollercoaster of his life as he fights to realize his idealism against the suffocating oppression from the government. The journey is oftentimes emotional, and sometimes heartbreaking. However, exactly because of his perseverance in the face of trying circumstances, readers will then understand how desperately Ahmad wants to fulfill his noble calling. This book is a must-read for those people who also believe in Ahmad’s idealism, those who appreciate foreign cultures and those who want to be inspired. Grade: A —Athalia Nakula Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star’s Revolution for Peace is currently available.
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Now-Feb. 28 @ Theatre Asylum We may have had Shakespeare forced upon us in high school English classes growing up, which makes the idea of seeking out Shakespeare on our own pretty slim. This may ring true, but who said Shakespearen theatre has to be Stephen Kearin and Nick Massouh in “Shakespeare boring? Unscripted” Shakespeare Unscripted puts an entirely new spin on something quite old and quaint. It’s a completely unscripted, improvisational show that takes the careful constructs of William Shakespeare’s art and puts a modern and funny twist on it. The actors start the show by coming onto the stage and asking the audience for some ideas and suggestions. Once they have secured the participation of the audience, they’re off and running! The actors all wear a pop of color, which really adds to the show, since there is no actual set. They feed off one another, and must pay close attention to what each actor is saying as it remains a constant thread throughout the entire improvisational play. After intermission, the cast reunites once again on stage to give a quick run down of the first half. This ensures that everyone in the audience is on the same page. Next, the actors ask the audience who we would like to see start the second half of the show. People shouting out suggestions hoping theirs are selected makes this show that much more exciting. Once the play is in motion again, the cast, speaking with classic English accents, makes references to Shakespearean plays and adds witty commentary. These actors are so quick and nimble on their feet they make improv look easy. The storyline of each show is different each night because there is no way to predict where the tale will go. This is a new and thrilling way to look at Shakespearean improvisation that hopefully will never grow obsolete. —Ariel Paredes Theatre Asylum is located at 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. For more information, visit plays411.com/shakespeareunscripted.
FIVE PARTIES FOR $20 OR LESS BY EBONY MARCH ARE YOU AND YOUR BUDDIES big drinkers, but unclear about what to order? Well, try Alcoholic Secret Santa night. Meet up at a friend’s place and have Let the music take control at an iPod Party. everyone draw each other’s names from a hat upon arrival. Make sure that they know not to share the name of the person they drew because – DUH – that’ll spoil the surprise. From another hat, you could even have everyone choose the names of different drinks (for those who are libation-challenged). Then head over to your favorite bar or club. At the count of three, have everyone flock to the bartender, order his or her assigned drink and then head over to their assigned person to present them with the beverage of the night. This is a great way to encourage friends to mingle. It ensures that everyone gets a drink – not just the pretty folks – and will open up a dialogue among your crew about what tastes good and what’s ICKY. But the best part of all is that you’ve now created an instant party, and the most anyone will have to pay is $8. If you and your buddies are anything like me and mine, you’re probably all huge foodies. My East Coast crew is made up of notorious eaters (Most of them have top-notch taste.). But sometimes the economy can dictate how much fun eating one can do. If you know that you’ve got a big night on the town planned, and you know you like to do a little noshing before hitting the clubs but money’s tight, then try the Gourmet Party Platter. Instead of heading to McDonald’s or Del Taco, pop into that fancy pants restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. Since it’s you and your friends, you’ll be able to split something evenly. Take a look at the menu and settle on a nice entree that has a protein, a starch and plenty of vegetables, then order it. Just one. When it arrives, you and your friends can all dig in and enjoy a quick bite to eat for the same price (after splitting the tab) as any heat-lamped dollar menu meal. It’ll also give you the chance to chat and solidify the game plan for the night. A few years back, this girl I knew invited me to a club in Culver City that held iPod parties. Now, truth be told: Sometimes I think I live in the Stone Age, so at the time, I didn’t have an iPod and wasn’t about to buy one to fit in. But now, I’m all teched out with my iPod Touch and think this would be a great way to make friends. E-mail the crew for a quick party at your place. On the Evite make sure you let everyone know that they MUST bring their iPod or MP3 player. Invest in some chips and a couple of bottles of whatever, and let the music inspire the evening. Just take turns plugging each device into your speakers and dance, dance, dance. One of my favorite things to get when I was a kid was a gag gift. I’m a big joker, so receiving totally random presents from friends of mine was always a hysterical way to bond with them. It also opens a window to how crazy your buddies really are. Set up a get together in which you gift your invitees with bizarre items that will make them laugh or roll their eyes. Need inspiration? The trusty 99 Cents Only store is ground zero for unique, little items. Why, its toy section alone is a treasure trove of strangeness. Make sure that guests know they need to bring a silly item, gift-wrapped, of course, and midway through the night you can raffle off each of the presents. Finally, for those of you who LOVE movies, try throwing your own in-house film festival. Let’s say the Star Wars movies are your thing. You could rent the entire series and show the films in order, then midway through, either hold a trivia Q & A at intermission, or raffle off some fun memorabilia inspired by the film. The same can be done for Harry Potter, “Sex and the City” or even “The Office.”
“A few years back, this girl I knew invited me to a club in Culver City that held iPod parties.”
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FINDING A POWER SURGE by parimal m. rohit
Kings captain Dustin Brown
There was a time in the not-so-distant-past that a battle between two then-Smythe Division teams would easily end with a final score of 8-7. In today’s NHL, a high-powered offense is lucky to net more than four goals in a given game, as defenses and goaltenders have become savvier. Alas, the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks have managed to take nostalgic fans back in time this past week. While neither team is scoring eight goals per game, half as much seems to be good enough to please their respective fan bases. For the Kings (27-18-3, 57 points), it is a clear-cut case of score four, earn two. Los Angeles is 5-3-0 in its last eight games, scoring at least four goals in four of those victories. Conversely, the Kings never scored more than three goals in the losses. In fact, 16 of the Kings’ 27 wins have come when the club has scored at least four goals in a game. Overall, the Kings have won all 12 games where they scored five-plus and are 17-1-0 when scoring four-plus goals in a game. Such was the case last week, with the Kings dropping a 2-1 decision against San Jose before notching victories over Anaheim (4-0) and Boston (4-3). The surging Ducks (22-20-7, 51 points) are discovering offense is their friend as well. Anaheim won three of four games since Jan. 10, scoring three, four and five points, respectively, in the victories. In the sole loss, the Ducks were shutout against the Kings. As the Ducks finally are healthy enough to depart the Pacific Division cellar and the Kings are holding on for its dear playoff life, it has become evident if both teams want to move forward these next four months, it is critical each team find the back of the net at least four times.
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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.
OFFER GOOD AT THESE LOCATIONS:
Agoura Hills (818) 707-2121 • Burbank (818) 843-8550 Camarillo (805) 389-4700 • Culver City (323) 296-1543 Encino (818) 990-8820 • Glendale (818) 247-1946 Granada Hills (818) 831-1245 • Hollywood (323) 467-5791 Huntington Beach (714) 964-5926 • Koreatown (213) 386-6884 Mar Vista (310) 398-0180 • North Hills (818) 893-8444 North Hollywood (818) 766-7184 • Pacoima (818) 890-5515 Palmdale (661) 947-4545 • Pasadena (626) 577-1723 Saugus (661) 259-3895 • Simi Valley (805) 522-2586 Thousand Oaks • (805) 493-2800 • Torrance (310) 792-4604 Van Nuys (818) 786-3204 • West Hills (818) 999-0880 Wilshire/Highland (323) 939-7661 • Winnetka (818) 700-0509
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.
Sun: noon-10 p.m., closed Mondays
Must present coupon when ordering. Only one coupon per order, per customer.
Tues-Fri: 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat: noon-11 p.m.,
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Q&A BY LUCIA
I have a friend that I began to have feelings for. At first I tried to fight them and stay away from him, but eventually I gave in and slept with him. We have been having sex for five months, but it doesn’t seem as if he’s interested in anything more. I once asked him, “Who I am to you?” and he coldly answered, “Friend … only a friend.” So I asked him why we were sleeping together, and he couldn’t answer me. I am in love with him, and I don’t know what to do since he keeps insisting we are just friends, but by his actions, we are more than that. We have a lot of common friends, so I can’t just walk away and forget him. They all think that we are having a relationship. Please tell me what to do. —Ramona Hi Ramona, I always advise looking at a person’s actions before their words; however, in this case, the words count just as much, if not more. Guys try desperately to stay out of the friend zone if they are interested in dating, so if someone is saying he is just a friend, believe it! He didn’t want to answer why you’re sleeping together because he knew you wouldn’t like the answer and may possibly put an end to the situation. If you’re seeing someone and you have to ask, “Who am I to you?” then the answer is probably, “No one I’m really serious about.” If a guy is interested, you will definitely know. His actions are not saying you are more than friends, but you are interpreting them that way because that’s what you want to believe. What should you do? You can continue to sleep with him, with the false hope that it will lead to a relationship. You can continue to sleep with him while dating other guys and then end it when you meet someone who wants what you want or you can just go back to being friends and not having sex. Write to Lucia at theartoflove.net. Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at lessonsoflove.net. Listen to Lucia live every Sunday at 3 p.m. PST on latalkradio.com. Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.
Campus Circle 1.20.10 - 1.26.10
Not all copies of “Shaun White: World Stage” are created equally.
SHADES OF WHITE Why We Buy Where We Buy BY jonathan knell Fans of classic, comic snowboarding games like “SSX” will have quite a bit to love from “Shaun White: World Stage” for the Wii. The game introduces Shaun White, but quickly removes the snowboarding superstar to give the player the experience of turning a rag-tag group of goofballs into professional boarders worthy of racing against their celebrity buddy. Each boarder has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, making character and partner choices as important as speed and trick mastery. Needless to say, playing on the Wii adds quite a bit of energy to the action sports title. This experience is enhanced even further when you have some of the Wii’s wide array of accessories. While you can always play using the regular controllers, the game becomes an involved, intensely fun experience when you play using the Wii Balance Board. In a truly inspired move, you can also create your own unique custom tricks by accessing the Trick Machine and spinning your snowboarder with a Wii MotionPlus-enabled controller. Of course, not all copies of “Shaun White: World Stage” are created equally. If you go to a Fry’s or a Best Buy, you may get a good price, but true snowboarding fans would be missing out on a disc’s worth of action. Those who do their homework will find a separate DVD featuring the globe-trotting antics of the real Shaun White if they buy the game from a Target store. While the wisdom of including a DVD with a game from a console that doesn’t play DVDs may be a bit questionable, it is still a great collectable for fans of Shaun White and snowboarding in general. Bonus incentives are nothing new, but many non-gamers seem to realize that just going to the local electronic entertainment shop for the newest games may mean missing out on half of the game. Store-specific special edition copies often sell for the same or similar prices to regular editions, but they are few and far between. Fortunately, there are other ways to get more from your games. To make sure that you aren’t missing out, here are some gaming goodies to keep in mind. If you know that you are going to buy a game that you have had your eyes on, try talking to your local game store clerk about pre-order bonuses. By paying anywhere from five dollars to the full price of the game in advance, some stores will give you special incentives direct from the game’s developer. These incentives can be anything from early demos of the game and in-game items to T-shirts, comic book preludes or even collectables. The downside of pre-orders is that you are locked into the price they are offering. While there is a typical rule that new, big name Wii games run for about $49 while Playstation3 and Xbox 360 games go for about $59, many stores will offer special pricing for the first couple of days that the game is available. By tying yourself down to an early price, you may be losing out on the big deals. Your best bet is to do your research, and if no amazing prices come up in your search, convince the clerk to let you do a last-minute pre-order. Of course, make sure not to delay too long or you may end up with nothing. If you don’t mind spending a bit more, collector’s edition versions of games can be a great way to get more out of your game. Companies that put out special collector’s editions believe that players are already so interested in their title that they will want to own more than just the game. Traditionally, this means that games are packed in special casing and packaged with unique collectables that can’t be purchased on their own, but modern titles also offer exclusive downloadable items or free downloads of content that can cost $10 from the download store. Of course, the downside of collector’s editions is that they are an expensive gamble. Most collector’s edition games cost $20 to $30 more than their regular counterparts, and items offered may be smaller or made of worse material than they appear in the advertising. Fortunately, collector’s edition games don’t have the time constraints of pre-orders, so wise shoppers should wait and check the ’Net for potential consumer complaints before rushing out. Either way, just remember to be smart and thorough. If you do your homework, you can get so much more out of your games.
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CampusCircle.com > Events
BY FREDERICK MINTCHELL WEDNESDAYJAN. 20
SATURDAYJAN. 23 Speed Dating for College Grads
Go Green Expo Tour
Air Conditioned Lounge, 2819 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; dateanddash.com Are you a college grad between 28 and 39 trying to find Mr. or Ms. Right? Then help your chances by going on a bunch of mini-dates in one night. 8 p.m. $35.
L.A. Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa, Downtown; gogreenexpo.com There will be over 250 booths and exhibits, interactive seminars and speeches, film presentations, a green marketplace and demonstrations and handson activities. Also Sunday. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sun. $10 for weekend pass, $5 with student ID.
WEDNESDAYJAN. 20 Grupo de Rua: H3
Festival of Human Abilities
Anns v. Koiij
REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., Downtown, redcat.org Brazilian choreographer Bruno Beltrão and his nine-member troupe open a new physics-defying chapter as they employ a churning, crossover movement style that brings in elements of krumping, popping and breakdance. Runs through Saturday. 8:30 p.m. Tix start at $20 for students.
Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach; aquariumofpacific.org Learn unique adaptive skills taught by artists and other experts with disabilities, including hip-hop wheelchair dancing, mouthstick painting, service dog interaction and singing in sign language. Also Sunday. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. FREE w/aquarium admission.
SUNDAYJAN. 24 Blazing Saddles
Getting Your Music Into Films, TV and Video Games
New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax District; newbevcinema.com See this Oscar nominated comedy classic on the big screen to commemorate its 35th anniversary. 3:35 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Also Monday at 7:30 p.m. $7.
Musicians Institute Concert Hall, 1655 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood; mi.edu/news A panel of song licensing and music publishing experts will explain the process of music placement and licensing, including how deals are structured, who selects the music and more. Followed by Q&A. 7 p.m. FREE.
MONDAYJAN. 25 Reel Stories Film Fest
Pepperdine University, 6100 Center Drive, Los Angeles; reelstoriesfilmfest.com Pepperdine University students and film industry leaders are showcasing Pepperdine student-produced films and award-winning documentaries. 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m. FREE.
Steve Allen Theater, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles; steveallentheater.com Take the worst, most poorly animated cartoons from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s and mix in the wry commentary you came to love from “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” 8 p.m. $10.
L.A. Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Downtown; americasgottalentauditions.com/new/ LA Do you (or someone you know) have what it takes to win $1 million on the fifth season of this summer series? Spread the word. Also Sunday.
“America’s Got Talent” Auditions
Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; broadwayla.org The return of the percussive hit also brings some new surprises, with sections of the show now updated and restructured and the addition of two new full-scale routines, utilizing props like tractor tire inner tubes and paint cans. Tues.–Sun. through Feb. 7. Tix start at $25.
Campus Circle 1.20.10 - 1.26.10
“i’ve developed a taste for other opportunities thanks to my
Woodbury mba.” LAUREN GHAFFARI, MBA International Business Coordinator Caffe D’Amore
Information Session: January 23, 2010 from 10am - 12noon
W Join us at an Information Session and learn how an MBA from Woodbury University can accelerate your career and increase your earning potential.
Reserve your seat today by calling
818.252.5224 or visit www.woodbury.edu/mba email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
“I’m a Woodbury loyalist because I got my bachelors here, as well. But the reason I went on to get my MBA had a lot more to do with how the school fit my needs. You’re not a number here. You get as much personal attention as you need. And you get it on a real campus, not in a satellite location in some business park. “There’s a lot of energy that you feel at the school, and the program lets you work full time, fit classes to your schedule, and still have a social life. I came away with invaluable insights that, I think, give me much more opportunity. I could always stay in the family business, but my Woodbury MBA has given me the confidence to pursue my own dreams.”
WOODBURY UNIVERSITY Graduate Programs: Master of Business Administration • Master of Organizational Leadership
7500 Glenoaks Blvd. • Burbank Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and The Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs