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EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS Colors of Culture D-Day He Said, She Said Spirited Bruin Trend Blender Trojan SideLines
inside campus circle 9 5
03 BLOGS TROJAN SIDELINES 03 BLOGS D-DAY 04 BLOGS COLORS OF CULTURE 05 BLOGS SPIRITED BRUIN 12 BLOGS TREND BLENDER 16 BLOGS THE LAST LAUGH 20 BLOGS HE SAID, SHE SAID 05 FILM MOVIE REVIEWS
campus circle June 8 - June 14, 2011 Vol. 21 Issue 23
Editor-in-Chief Yuri Shimoda firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor/Art Director email@example.com Film Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Music Editor email@example.com Web Editor Eva Recinos Calendar Editor Frederick Mintchell firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Interns Dana Jeong, Cindy KyungAh Lee
06 FILM PROJECTIONS 06 FILM SUPER 8 When J.J. Abrams Met Steven Spielberg 07 FILM DVD DISH 08 MUSIC DUNCAN SHEIK Visits the Largo 08 MUSIC MÖTLEY CRÜE Invade Hollywood Bowl 09 MUSIC CITY AND COLOUR Dallas Green’s Little Hell 10 MUSIC CD REVIEWS
Contributing Writers Zach Bourque, Kristina Bravo, Mary Broadbent, Jonathan Bue, Erica Carter, Richard Castañeda, Naomi Coronel, Lynda Correa, Jewel Delegall, Natasha Desianto, Sola Fasehun, Stephanie Forshee, Jacob Gaitan, Denise Guerra, Elisa Hernandez, Josh Herwitt, Tien Thuy Ho, Vera Hughes, Alexandre Johnson, Matthew Kitchen, Patrick Meissner, Hiko Mitsuzuka, Samantha Ofole, Brien Overly, Sasha Perl-Raver, Rex Pham, Ricardo Quinones, Eva Recinos, Dov Rudnick, Mike Sebastian, Doug Simpson, John Stapleton IV, David Tobin, Emmanuelle Troy, Drew Vaeth, Kevin Wierzbicki, Candice Winters
14 MUSIC LIVE SHOW REVIEWS 15 MUSIC FREQUENCY 17 MUSIC NOTES 17 MUSIC REPORT 04 PHOTO GALLERY 05 CULTURE GAME ON 12 CULTURE BEAUTY BEAT 13 CULTURE FASHION FOCUS 18 CULTURE PAGES
Contributing Artists & Photographers Tamea Agle, Naomi Coronel, Josh Herwitt, Patrick Meissner, Rex Pham, Emmanuelle Troy ADVERTISING Sean Bello email@example.com Joy Calisoff firstname.lastname@example.org Jon Bookatz Music Sales Manager email@example.com
19 CULTURE CURTAIN CALL 20 CULTURE JET SETTER 21 CULTURE ON THE MENU 22 SPORTS THE DIAMOND DISPATCH 22 SPORTS GALAXY KICK 22 SPORTS SOCCER BRIEF 23 SPORTS THE COLLEGE PITCH 21 EVENTS THE 10 SPOT Cover: Kalani Miller, Danica Solomon and Oleema Miller Credit: Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/MCT
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Follow CAMPUS CIRCLE on Twitter @CampusCircle TROJANSIDELINES
by elisa hernandez The University of Southern California is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, known for outstanding academics, a dominant football program and its extensive network known as the Trojan Family. But due to recent scrutiny from the NCAA and wild acts done by students on campus, after its long reign has the glory of Troy begun to collapse? In the past two years alone, USC’s football program was suspended from attending any bowl games for two full seasons with a high reduction in their scholarships. Most recently the NCAA rejected USC’s appeal to reduce the sentence to only one season. So, unfortunately the Trojans will not be able to participate in post-season play of the newly established Pac12. USC has lost top recruits due to sanctions, and unfortunately the dedicated players here have had to suffer from the mistakes of past players. But even so, the athletic program continues to rebuild its image through players such as football quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods. “It’s still USC football … regardless of rules, we still dominate. We’re the NFL team of L.A.,” says Robert Stephens, a sophomore at USC. USC’s basketball program also faced scrutiny as they selfsanctioned themselves during the 2009-2010 season. They
COMMENCEMENT SPEECHES What They Should Really Be About by denise guerra So you’re officially becoming an alumnus. I am both super excited and regrettably sorry for you. For me graduating was a polarizing transition: Stomach pains from drunken late-night debauchery were replaced with stomach pains from late-night work ulcers. Many of my past columns involved the trials and triumphs I have gone through since leaving UCLA, but let me tell you, I am extremely far from having the life experience necessary to give any type of commencement speech myself. I remember during my commencement ceremony, there was this big controversy over having actor James Franco as commencement speaker. People were outraged by the idea that someone who had graduated a year before could have the life experience to relate to the graduating class a year later. Plus, he was already wildly successful while the rest of us were and still are finding our way. Eventually, about a week or two before, Franco dropped out (for reasons unclear) and was replaced by a member of the band Linkin Park. The speaker talked about his Kappa Phi Beta commencement ceremony where each person stands in front of a microphone and tells everyone what he plans
Is Troy collapsing?
had to vacate their wins from the 2007-2008 regular season, after violating NCAA rules regarding former Trojan O.J. Mayo. Apart from athletics, this past semester two students were caught having sex on top of Waite Phillips Hall; the male was identified as a member of USC’s Kappa Sigma fraternity. Photos were taken of the couple in various sexual positions and later leaked to the media. “I was going through airport security, and was wearing my USC jacket. One of the security guards said ‘Oh, USC ... that’s the school with those people having sex on the roof right?’” says Danny Ramirez, a junior at USC. “I laughed, but was surprised that of all the things USC is known for, people having sex on a roof was what came to mind.” Kappa Sigma had been in the news once before when an e-mail sent to its members went viral. The message referred to women as “targets” and asked members to spread the names of the women they have had sex with. The e-mail provided code names, categories by race and a rating system so members could create their lists. Investigations were conducted and found that the e-mail had not come directly from the fraternity, but by then the damage had been done. “I think, from an administrative point of view, these acts are considered extremely harmful, because it might affect who will fund or donate a vast amount of money to the school,” says Tatiana Hernandez, who is looking to apply to USC for grad school, “but then again, from a young adult’s perspective, a lot of people brush events like that off because they find college to be experimental.” Although USC has taken some hits to its reputation, if anything it has only strengthened the student body. Since the NCAA sanctioned the football team, the support from the student section has only increased, and thousands continue
to fill the seats of the L.A. Coliseum. The acts on campus have actually initiated students to take action by conducting a walkout on campus to protest sexual violence. They hosted seminars about how silence is not consent and how students must respect the female body. USC will always have its share of detractors; since it is held so high on a pedestal, every move will be under a microscope. But as a Trojan Family, under great adversary students have shown that the criticism will only create a stronger bond among current and former students. Troy continues to stand tall; as long as the USC student body acknowledges its mistakes and does what it can to not let unsavory acts go unpunished, this empire will cease to fall. All Trojans can do is continue to look forward to the new semester, season and year. They must learn from their past mistakes and turn weakness into strength. By doing this they will rise from the criticism and learn the true meaning behind FIGHTING ON!
Campus Circle > Blogs > D-Day to do after graduation. It was a horrible experience for him because he didn’t know what he was going to do, and I only remembered this part of his speech because I felt the same way when I had to do it. I really do wish I had remembered his speech as a guiding light to my future endeavors, but now all I have are fond fading memories. But really, I don’t think anyone could recall what their commencement speaker said when they were graduating. Luckily for us, we have many famous speeches saved online, either through YouTube or through Ted Talks. Because I don’t really remember my own commencement speaker, I like to believe my watching J.K. Rowling speak about the importance of failure during Harvard’s 2008 commencement is like her actually speaking at my graduation. Plus it’s accessible anytime. You can never get enough inspiration, especially when you feel that life after graduation is like a stormy raincloud. For the Harry Potter author, it wasn’t the typical “life was hard at first but then it gets better” shpeel. She addressed the idea of what failing miserable really meant in the grand scheme of things: “So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.” Inevitably failure happens, no one likes it, but some like Ms. Rowling had the determination and luck to get out of it. It brings optimism to the whole idea of “failing.” However, the words of wisdom I have gravitated towards
Linda D. Epstein/MCT
Campus Circle > Blogs > Trojan SideLines
J.K. Rowling spoke of failure at a Harvard commencement. for being truly real were found in op-ed columnist David Brooks’ New York Times piece “It’s Not about You.” It’s like the anti-commencement speech, no frou frou of “follow your dreams” or “be whoever you want to be.” I agree with him that while nice words to say are completely misleading. “College grads are often sent out into the world amid rapturous talk of limitless possibilities. But this talk is of no help to the central business of adulthood, finding serious things to tie yourself down to. The successful young adult is beginning to make sacred commitments – to a spouse, a community and calling – yet mostly hears about freedom and autonomy. Today’s graduates are also told to find their passion and then pursue their dreams. The implication is that they should find themselves first and then go off and live their quest. But, of course, very few people at age 22 or 24 can take an inward journey and come out having discovered a developed self.” When graduating, “follow your dreams” makes sense, but for the rest of us who have already experienced graduating, Brooks’ words ring the most true.
Campus Circle 6.8.11 - 6.14.11
EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS Colors of Culture D-Day He Said, She Said Spirited Bruin Trend Blender Trojan SideLines
COLORSOFCULTURE by cindy kyungah lee TEL-ART-PHONE After its latest successful exhibition (Arataland! by Michael Arata) in the Critics-as-Curators series, Beacon Arts presents to the public another one of its master exhibitions of the series, this time curated by Mat Gleason. Featuring over 80 artists, TEL-ART-PHONE is based on the classic children’s game of “Telephone.” Until July 3, indulge in the joy of playing “Telephone” with art at the Beacon Arts Building in Inglewood. Curated by the founder of the Coagula Art Journal (a freely distributed contemporary art magazine), Mat Gleason, the exhibit gathers a myriad of artists including Ray Beldner, Tim Biskup, Coop, Sean Duffy, and many more to galvanize our desire for creativity. The point of the exhibition is to play a game of “Telephone” – a game that has many names such as “Chinese Whispers” (which may seem more familiar to others). The one-of-a-kind exhibit was assembled by handing a work of one artist to another to inspire a new artwork, and the resulting piece was then again passed onto another artist who did the same, except the artist had no idea of what the first artwork looked like. This process was repeated and the results were put together in order of production in the exhibit. The excitement of the show? You will see a trail of the workings of the creative process through a long line of works that are so individual yet exploring what seems to be a similar subject. Even more tantalizing to the viewer as well as the artists is the fact that the artists all had different mediums they specialized in. Eccentric in its selection of artists, Gleason brought together abstract painters, realism masters, mid-
Campus Circle > Blogs > Colors of Culture century masters, artists who work in the form of sculptures and many more. Discover for yourself what happens when artists try to play “Telephone” with their art. The result is truly amazing and it just once again reminds you of how creativity can never be boxed into a limited sector. Beacon Arts Building is located at 808 N. La Brea Ave., North Inglewood. For more information, visit beaconartsbuilding. com.
The Art of Legacy Effects This past Saturday on May 28 at Gnomon Gallery, the official opening of The Art of Legacy Effects took place providing the public with an opportunity to take a look inside the creative workflow behind blockbuster films such as Avatar, Iron Man and Thor. Founded in the summer of 2008 by Alex Alvarez (the founder and CEO of the Gnomon School of Visual Effects), Gnomon Gallery is one of Hollywood’s most celebrated and revered premier art galleries for the entertainment industry. Works from the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, in conjunction with the renowned artists of Legacy Effects, the gallery exhibits film art such as maquettes from movies like Ironman 2, Pirates of the Caribbean and Avatar. It is truly sensational and fresh to see the artworks of some of the movies you may have really enjoyed recently, or further back in the past. It sheds new light onto the way you will enjoy movies, by helping you understand how and why such popular and well-known movie characters are iconic. Legacy Effects is an award winning full service character design, prop design, make-up, and animatronics studio. The works that are produced in this studio provide us with the insight into how much work and time is spent on developing some of the most iconic characters today. Perhaps if you were
Piece by Greg Martin, the second artist in one series from the TEL-ART-PHONE exhibit at Beacon Arts Building able to make it to the opening event on the 28th, it may be worth it to go re-watch a few of the movies after you see the artworks. I swear you cannot watch the movie in the same way you did as before – you will begin to focus more on the artwork than on the plot. The 100-plus combined years of experience, Alan Scot, John Rosengrant, Shane Mahan, and Lindsay MacGowan, the masterminds of Legacy Effects, continue to feed the film industry’s craving for live-action effects. Gnomon Gallery is located at 1015 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. For more information, visit gnomongallery.com.
Campus Circle > Photo Gallery
lightning in a bottle festival May 27-30 @ Oak Canyon Ranch photoS by josh herwitt
view more photos at campuscircle.com/photogallery
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GAMEON “The Tomb Raider Trilogy” (Square Enix) “The Tomb Raider Trilogy” collects the three most recent main-series games in the long-running franchise: “Tomb Raider: Legend,” ���Tomb Raider: Anniversary” and “Tomb Raider: Underworld.” “Legend” and “Anniversary” are both several years old, but both games have been remastered in 720p for this collection. “Underworld” was released on the PS3 in 2008 and is unchanged. There’s little reason for anyone who owns these three games already to pick up the new collection, but those who don’t will find three good action-adventure games to puzzle through as globe-trotting heroine Lara Croft visits lost cities, ancient ruins and underwater caverns, facing threats both mundane and mystical. There are minor differences between the games, but in each Lara will possess a pair of pistols, among other weapons; a retractable grapple for swinging from, pulling on and climbing up objects in the environment; and the agility and strength to get around in rather inhospitable environments laden with traps, puzzles and other hazards. Grade: C —Justin Hoeger, McClatchy Newspapers (MCT) © 2011, The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.). Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
SPIRITEDBRUIN by tien thuy ho One of my closest friends at UCLA is Eva Mak, who is graduating this week after being a Bruin for three years. She is going to the University of Chicago Law School this fall. Here are some words from her on graduating and the future. It’s very hard for me to say what I am going through at the moment. It feels like I just started college, and now it seems that I may never come back to the place I have called home for the last three years. I have grown so much from the time I started at UCLA. College here is kind of the interim period between your childhood and reality. On one hand, you’re making decisions on your own, and on the other, you are surrounded by a campus community that literally holds your hand through all the adult decisions and experiences you may encounter. I feel like I have been faced with a choice in college. I could have taken the easy route, enrolled in the easiest classes and the most practical major while finding a decent job after college near my hometown. But I didn’t. I tried one of the hardest majors, took the hardest courses, created events and ideas and contributed towards reforming UCLA as a target school for employers. I have found that I had to break through my protective bubbles if I were to experience and make something of myself in the world. And that is what scares me the most about the future. I am forgoing the familiar, the comfortable, the easy and most common routes to forge my own future. I’ll be in a foreign city again with people I have never met before in an academically rigorous environment with no certainties. I will be alone and lost, it’ll be a sink or swim environment. I do not know where I will be in the next five years, but that’s the beauty of it. I am so convinced that I am meant to do something great in this world that I am willing to risk the familiar to achieve whatever that might be. I am sad to leave the place where I was able to transform myself into a productive member of society, but the future holds greatness and I’m excited to head wherever that leads me.
(IFC) Who doesn’t love a road trip? One hand on the wheel, a heavy foot on the gas, adventure around every turn and miles of open road unfolding before you; it’s one of life’s great pleasures. But perhaps no road trip is quite Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in The Trip as enjoyable as one taken with people who make you laugh and, thanks to two brilliant British comedians, that is the sheer joy of watching The Trip. Originally broadcast in the UK as a six-part sitcom series, The Trip reunites director Michael Winterbottom with stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. The trio previous collaborated on Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, where the actors played similarly inflated versions of their public personas. Coogan is once again the narcissistic, hedonistic, lady-charming but lonely comedian unable to escape his most famous role, Alan Partridge, or break out as a true superstar; while Brydon is a happily settled-down family man with the ability to impersonate almost anyone, a feat which is winning him enough acclaim to start eclipsing Coogan. The film begins with Coogan inviting Brydon to accompany him on a road trip through Northern England’s lake country to experience some of the best fine dining the area has to offer. (English fine dining? See, it’s funny already.) From there, Winterbottom sweeps the audience along as silent passengers, watching as the pair bicker and bond against the backdrop of emerald green countryside or over a plate of impeccably prepared haute cuisine. There’s little plot to follow, simply the pleasure of watching two great actors carry the viewer from moments of hilarity to quiet bittersweet humanity. Feeling at times like a hilarious, hyper-intimate version of Jon Favreau’s series, “Dinner for Five,” each meal grounds the film, offering glorious glimpses of food porn but also forcing the actors, who largely improvised The Trip, to settle in for a mano y mano that brings out some of the film’s best comedic moments as they attempt to one-up each other, most notably in a brilliant battle of Michael Caine impressions (Brydon’s is so diabolically spot-on, so as he says, “stunningly accurate,” with your eyes closed, you could be watching Alfie or The Dark Knight). Considering Winterbottom’s most recent effort was the highly controversial Sundance offering, The Killer Inside Me, it’s lovely to see the director, whose work has ranged from 24 Hour Party People to Welcome to Sarajevo, offering up a film that’s smart, funny and unhurried. Now, that’s a good trip. Grade: A—Sasha Perl-Raver The Trip releases in select theaters June 10.
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EVENTS DVD GAMING SPORTS MEDIA BLOGS The Channel Surfer DVD Dish Interviews Movie Reviews Projections Special Features
Hero complex film festival June 9-12 @ The Chinese 6 Theatre by kristina bravo I have a confession. My relationship with superheroes and science fiction is not a deep and meaningful one. In fact, it’s pretty casual. I skim through old comic books when browsing the shelves of used book stores (OK, maybe I do more glancing at the spines than skimming), I never fail to ride Star Tours when I pay Disneyland a visit and every now and then I dress up in a superhero costume for Halloween. Sad to say, it doesn’t really go much further than that. It still confuses me that a pair of glasses can hide Clark Kent’s secret identity to an office full of journalists. Before doing a quick Google search, I was sure that Dick Tracy was the legend that counted down the ball drop every “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” Even sometimes, just sometimes, I confuse Star Wars characters for Star Trek ones. In my defense, I have great respect for the cultural significance of the genre. I know that fanboys and girls are some of the most passionate and loyal people out there, and I’m sure that those who hear statements similar to my admissions sigh, gasp and shake their heads, face to palm in disbelief. This is a safe assumption considering that interest in
Campus Circle > Film > Projections superheroes is currently in an all-time high. The term “superhero” has definitely come a long way from Superman’s first appearance in 1938. Back then, you could open a respectable magazine and read an article by a writer who agrees with a Nazi newspaper that finds the new comic book character Superman as “offensively pacifistic.” Today, criticizing the quintessential American superhero in The New Yorker would no doubt invite a large amount of unfriendly letters to the editor. Some are even still disappointed in the casting of a British actor, not an American one, to play the Kryptonian immigrant in a movie. This summer alone, the most anticipated flicks are based on comic books and drawn from the science-fiction genre, such as X-Men: First Class, Super 8, Green Lantern and Captain America: The First Avenger. It is needless to say that through films and television shows, the spirit of heroes is alive and well. In celebration of the cultural phenomenon of superheroes and science fiction, the Los Angeles Times is hosting the second annual Hero Complex Film Festival at the Chinese 6 theaters in Hollywood from June 9 to 12. Last year’s successful event featured speakers Leonard Nimoy, Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott. This year, the festival offers fans a chance to see and speak with more major players and big names in the industry. The comic book-based film Dick Tracy (not Dick Clarke) opens the Hero Complex Film Festival with its director, producer and star Warren Beatty. The 14-time Oscar nominee will be speaking about his plans to bring back the character in a new movie that will feature a young actor to reprise his role. On June 10, there will be a screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the 2009 reboot Star Trek. Convene with other “trekkies” who speak your language, literally, to hear director Nicholas Myer, writers and producers Alex
J.J. Abrams teams with his childhood hero, Steven Spielberg. by geoff boucher los angeles times (MCT)
There are plenty of stories with Holly– wood endings – this is one with a Hollywood beginning. A new J.J. Abrams film called Super 8 reaches theaters Friday with a coming-of-age story about young, amateur filmmakers who film a spidery space alien on the loose in Ohio during summer 1979. For people who know the 44-year-old Abrams, that plot seems only slightly more fantastic than the real-life, three-decade story that led to the film. “The craziest thing is that it’s true, it actually did happen,” says Damon Lindelof, who collaborated with Abrams on the landmark ABC series “Lost” and the hit 2009 film Star Trek. “The more you know about the story, the crazier it is to see this movie coming out now.” Super 8 was written and directed by Abrams, but it was produced by his childhood hero, Steven Spielberg, and at times feels like a $50-million valentine to that older filmmaker’s movies about aliens, family and family alienation. Their crossgeneration collaboration on the film began, technically, two years ago when Spielberg took a call from Abrams, heard the proposed title and agreed on the spot. But, as Lindelof alluded
Campus Circle 6.8.11 - 6.14.11
This year, Hero Complex Film Festival opens with Dick Tracy. Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof talk about the science fiction sensation. The next day, there will be a showing of the first two Superman movies and a question and answer with director Richard Donner. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will also make a special appearance to reveal “huge new plans” for the DC Universe comics. There will be surprises about the DC enterprise in films as well. To close the festival, Marvel comic book-based Iron Man and Iron Man 2 will be shown along with a question and answer session with Jon Favreau, who is back with the summer hit contender Cowboys & Aliens. The festival promises a big surprise from Marvel Studios and Iron Man and Captain America trivia and prizes as well. There will also be a free screening of The Incredibles followed by sneak footages from the much anticipated, upcoming movie Cars 2. The Chinese 6 Theatre is located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. For more information, visit events.latimes.com/ herocomplexfilmfest.
Campus Circle > Film > Interviews to, the project also has a spiritual history that traces to 1982 when an article was published in this newspaper under the headline “Beardless Wonders of Film Making.” The story was pegged to a festival at the Nuart Theatre called “The Best Teen Super 8mm Films of ’81” and, as the name suggests, it put the spotlight on acne-aged auteurs who made backyard movies but dreamed of studio soundstages. The most ink was given to Abrams, then just 15, who said: “I see stuff by Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter, and I want to do it too. I’ve always wanted to be a director. I did a clay animation thing on my parents’ home movie camera when I was 7, and I’ve been making films ever since.” The newspaper reached the office of Spielberg and his assistant, Kathleen Kennedy, who soon was reaching for the phone. Kennedy, who would later be one of Hollywood’s elite producers, had an unlikely job offer for Abrams and his pal Matt Reeves, another teen filmmaker quoted in the article. Would the pair be willing to do the frame-by-frame repair work needed to save the frayed and fragile 8mm movies that Spielberg had made in his youth? This was less than a year after the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, so it’s a bit shocking that Spielberg’s team, with all of its resources, would entrust the one-of-a-kind artifacts to some wide-eyed kids. But that’s just what happened, and the fragile reels soon arrived at the Santa Monica home of Reeves (who, by the way, would go on to direct the cinema vérité of monster movies, Cloverfield, and last year’s well-regarded Let Me In.). “On one hand it was unnerving because the movies we were repairing were documenting the earliest work of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time,” Abrams recalls. “On the other hand it was weird to see that his movies were as rough as mine in a way and as rough as my friend’s in a way. It was heartening and also somehow scary. ‘How could he have made
Director-writer-producer J.J. Abrams on the set of Super 8 movies where the cuts look like that?’” One reel was Escape to Nowhere from 1961, which presented a World War II firefight with kids in khaki scrambling through the desert scrub of Arizona, where Spielberg spent a chunk of his childhood. The second was Firelight from 1964, a sciencefiction story about a small town beset by mysterious alien kidnappings – not unlike the new film called Super 8. Abrams grew up in a show-business home – his parents, Gerald and Carol Abrams, are producers, he with more than 50 television-movie credits, she with a Peabody Award on the shelf – and the industry always nearby for the boy, with writer-director Nicholas Meyer attending his bar mitzvah and special-effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey) sending a warm note of encouragement when he was CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 >>>
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SPECIAL FEATURES by mike sebastian The Majors: Jennifer Aniston has to pose as the wife of her commitment-wary boss (Adam Sandler) in order to get him off the hook with his girlfriend. But the lie soon spirals out of control in the rom-com Just Go With It. The Company Men is a timely and intelligent look at corporate downsizing written and directed by TV super-producer John Wells (“ER”). Ben Affleck leads a stellar cast, including Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner. A team of underwater cave explorers become trapped in the world’s most remote cave system during a storm and are forced to dive deeper and deeper in search of an exit in Sanctum. There’s more romance, waves and exotic South-African locales in the surf drama Blue Crush 2. Sasha Jackson (“One Tree Hill”) stars. Also available: Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
YOU MAY LAUGH SO HARD THAT LIQUID WILL COME OUT OF YOUR NOSE .
I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE .’’
- Richard Corliss, TIME MAGAZINE
THE YEAR’S MOST ADDICTIVELY QUOTABLE MOVIE.’’
- Stephen Rebello, PLAYBOY
Under the Radar: Sam Worthington stars as an ex-convict who discovers he has assassinated the wrong person and has to quickly scramble to right his mistake in the Australian action flick Pros and Ex-Cons. A noir with a supernatural twist, Passion Play stars Mickey Rourke, Bill Murray and Megan Fox. Also available: Nice Guy Johnny, The Wild Hunt, In Her Skin, Exorcismus
Foreign Fare: Ricardo Darín (The Secret in Their Eyes) is Sosa, an ambulance-chasing lawyer who falls for an EMT in the dark thriller Carancho.
The Vault: Now available individually, the Marx Brothers’ Universal films are among most enduring comedies ever made, including Animal Crackers, Cocoanuts, Horse Feathers, Monkey Business and, perhaps their best, Duck Soup. George Harrison’s Handmade Films produced some of the best English films of the ’70s and ’80s. Two new collections highlight Handmade’s work starring ex-Monty Python member Michael Palin and the versatile Bob Hoskins. Palin’s collection includes the Terry Gilliam fantasy Time Bandits, the farcical post-war satire A Private Function and the lighthearted look at the life of a man of God in The Missionary. Hoskins’ collection contains the crime classics The Long Good Friday and Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa, as well as The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne and his directorial debut Raggedy Rawney. It’s a star-studded life and death adventure when Night Flight (1933) debuts on DVD. Polio breaks out in Rio de Janeiro and daring pilots have to brave treacherous conditions to retrieve the vaccine. Clark Gable, Myrna Loy and John Barrymore star.
The Idiotbox: One of the best shows on TV, “Breaking Bad,” returns for Season 3. The series follows a high school chemistry teacher (Bryan Cranston) diagnosed with cancer who starts making and selling meth in order to provide for his family after he is gone. Martin Scorsese paints an intimate portrait of the legendarily witty social critic Fran Lebowitz in the HBO documentary Public Speaking. Also available: Pretty Little Liars: The Complete First Season
Blu Notes: Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology brings all five Superman movies beginning with Christopher Reeve donning the cape in Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie through 2009’s Superman Returns by Bryan Singer (X-Men). The massive eight-disc set is loaded with extras, including extended cuts, commentaries and more. Gear up for baseball season with two new Blu-rays. When It Was a Game: The Complete Collection is a nostalgic look back at baseball’s golden age through home movies taken by fans and players and interviews with players, sportscasters and writers. 61* is a dramatic retelling of the race between legendary Yankees Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris for the single season home run record. John Huston brought Rudyard Kipling’s epic adventure tale The Man Who Would Be King to the screen in a rousing adaptation. Michael Caine and Sean Connery. Also available: Apt Pupil, Money
a film by MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM
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11. It would be wrong to say the Spielberg reels showed Abrams the industry door. They did, however, widen his view. “It gave me this bizarre sense of connection to a man whose work I loved,” Abrams said, sitting and chatting at Bad Robot, the Santa Monica offices that are like some sleek museum of the pop culture past with vintage toys, movie props, board games and other florid relics. “Watching what he did at literally the same age, it galvanized this connection that was neither truly justified nor earned but I felt it toward him as a person.” The connection is visible to others too. In 2006, when Abrams inked a $55-million production deal with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Television, Paramount Chairman Brad Grey described him as a triple threat as writer, producer and director. “We think J.J.,” Grey said at the time, “is the next Steven Spielberg.” This is the summer of Spielberg in some ways, but isn’t it always? As a producer, the 64-year-old has his name on Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens as well as “Falling Skies,” the TNT series that launches June 19. Of all of these projects, only Super bears the name of Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, a nod to the depth of his involvement. Spielberg says he has watched the career of Abrams with interest – the television success with “Felicity,” “Alias” and “Lost” and the feature-film directorial debut with Mission: Impossible 3 in 2006. He’s also been a mentor; Abrams says that when he was weighing the offer to direct Star Trek, he turned to two people, his wife, Katie McGrath, and Spielberg. “And,” Abrams says, “they both said to do it.” Abrams is now weighing the decision whether to direct the Trek sequel, but even if he does, Spielberg says the much smaller film arriving Friday will be the true signature moment for Abrams. “Even though J.J. is seasoned from television and certainly from two humongous productions, to me, and I say this selfishly, this is J.J.’s first real film,” Spielberg says. “A film that came out of his heart, that he wrote and directed and it isn’t part of a franchise that was once someone else’s television series and brainchild. This is pure J.J.” © 2011, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Super 8 releases in theaters June 10.
Campus Circle 6.8.11 - 6.14.11
NEWS FILM MUSIC
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Get Set to Hang on for a Roller Coaster of a Tour by tamea agle When I spoke with bassist Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe last week, he was prepping for getting back on the road. The Crüe was in the middle of loading the band’s gear into trucks. The self-proclaimed “overpacker” and the rest of the band – including frontman Vince Neil, drummer Tommy Lee and Mick Mars on lead guitar – are gearing up for a U.S. tour. I ask what they have been working on in the last days before the start of the tour, and clearly a lot of hard work was behind them; now it’s time for the shows. “We’ve been working with the dancers, all the intros and segues between songs,” Sixx answers. After hearing about the tour, I know the shows will be epic. “Lighting, video, pyrotechnics – it’s really quite a production,” says Sixx. “Tommy does a drum solo that will just be insane, it’s basically a roller coaster.” The band wants everyone to have an experience going into the shows. From the sound of it, there are not many other shows to compare it to. “There’s a lot of mediocrity out there, you now, so it’s always been our goal to cut through that. Even if you hate us, you hate us on our terms. We have a really good time with all
Campus Circle > Music > Interviews of it,” says Sixx. With such iconic songs and hits for them to choose from for their touring setlist, the guys decided to enslist the help of their fans from around the world. It started when they reached out for feedback, and fans asked for the Dr. Feelgood album. The band listened and went out and played the album from beginning to end for a show. They decided to take it a step further with the set list. “We have hundreds of songs and hearing from the fans made us want to look into our catalog of songs and bring out the songs that the fans want to hear but also what we want to play.” Social networking sites, like Twitter, for Sixx have been more than just working on setlists. “What I do personally with that is – something I was opposed to until a few years ago, but have warmed up to – that I now make my life very public in that way.” It opens up a new way to communicate, Sixx continues, “You start having an interesting relationship. I’m not selling something [through social networking], what I’m doing is inviting you into my musical and personal experience. We’re all doing this life together, I’m really interested in what people think and feel, that’s why we did the questions for the setlist.” Later in the year, the band will be heading back to the Sunset Strip for the yearly Sunset Strip Music Festival. “We are from Los Angeles and very proud of it, but as far as the Sunset Strip, when we came up, it was still punk rock and a little invasion of British metal, and for us it was all about mixing our favorite punk, glam and rock bands together,” says Sixx. “It was just a perfect time in history, there was just nothing else like that out there. [The venues on the strip] are our stomping grounds personally, even more than musically. I think [the festival] will be fun. I hope it’s
DUNCAN SHEIK Multitasking Mastermind by stephanie forshee The talent who brought us ‘Spring Awak– ening” is now giving us Covers 80’s. And Duncan Sheik also has a few other stage productions in the works. His cover album releases this week and provides a taste of the ’80s, without overplaying the obvious ’80s hits. “It was an idea that I had been toying with for a long time,” Sheik says. “I’m not one of those people who wants to cover others’ songs. I spent a lot of time writing my own material. In certain situations, though, it’s nice to play a song [from another artist].” Sheik says there was more to it than just selecting obscure ’80s songs. “The other criteria was I was able to kind of pull them off and sing them in my own voice, and I wasn’t having to have to jump through hoops to sing or copy a style that wasn’t natural for me,” he says. In addition to his mainstream music, Sheik continues to work for the stage. He is currently working on the musical “American Psycho” in the states and “Alice in Wonderland” in London. “These theater things take forever,” explains Sheik. “I’m crossing my fingers.” He says he is currently finishing a first draft of the musical. Over the next 12 months, he expects to continue development and to begin workshopping the piece. By 2013, Sheik plans
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just a couple amps and drums on the floor – raw, like we are in rehearsal.” Outside of Mötley Crüe, Sixx keeps busy with his radio show and his band Sixx:A.M. and the recent release of his book, This is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. Sixx says he began taking photos of himself and the band on tour, which resulted in some iconic photos. He says, “As a photographer I wanted to expand to more things and found my interest in art and music, photography, social commentary all merging. I started capturing writing about the photos to explain it to the person looking at the book. As someone that is able to say whatever I want to say on the radio, or TV and in books or songs, I feel a bit of a responsibility to say, ‘Shout at the Devil,’ stand up for what you believe in.” Mötley Crüe perform June 14 at Hollywood Bowl and will be honored Aug. 18 at the Sunset Strip Music Festival. For more information, visit motley.com.
Campus Circle > Music > Interviews to share “American Psycho” with either Broadway or the West End (or both). Although Sheik says he isn’t quite sure about casting, he does assure that the creative team will be thorough in their decision. “When the time comes to cast it, we’re gong to see as many great actors or singers as we can,” he says. As for recreating such a well-known story with “American Psycho,” Sheik is not intimidated. “It’s a different animal. The book has become a really wellregarded piece of literature. The film has a cult classic status, which helps people be aware of it,” Sheik says. “I don’t think this piece would be possible without the existence of those two things. It’s a fascinating story about a time in American culture that is outrageous and insane but also very real.” “American Psycho” isn’t the only recreation Sheik is diligently working on. He also has a retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” in the works in the UK. “It’s in development and will be presented in the UK early next year,” Sheik shares. “Depending on how that goes, we can do the version at some theaters in the states. You kind of have to go through the process of development and hope it’s something that audiences appreciate.” “It’s going to be a very unique take on that story. It’s a lot of fun. Hopefully it’s something that can make its way to the states,” he continues. All of his projects require some collaboration of some kind, and Sheik recognizes what a privilege it is. “In these mediums, it’s collaborative and it’s great to work with these smart, talented people.” Sheik says. “It is also nice to work with a set of people that are visual and narrative. It’s a much fuller kind of experience. Two heads are better than one.”
Working in multiple mediums, Sheik has had collaborative opportunities with multiple types of creators in different fields. With those opportunities, though, come difficult decisions in whom to work with and on which projects. “I work on things that I find interesting, that I’m inspired by.” Covers 80’s is currently available. Duncan Sheik performs June 20 at Largo. For more information, visit duncansheik.com.
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Campus Circle > Music > Interviews
CITY AND COLOUR
Raising a Milder Hell by brien overly City and Colour do-it-all Dallas Green is tired of people making fun of his native country of Canada. “What’ve you got to make fun of Canada about? Free health care? Bacon? Syrup? Governments that give you money to make records? That’s all we are,” he says. While Green willfully admits that his country’s music contributions have been less awesome, despite being “the best of the worst,” as he says, maybe Green himself is something of a peace offering. What started as a little-known side project for Green has very quickly rocketed him into the mainstream spotlight, including a spot on this year’s Coachella lineup and a string of sold-out headlining shows. Luckily, that’s the only thing you can expect him to sell out with. As a seasoned veteran of the road and the rock scene, Green may be slightly grizzled, neither jaded nor hardened. Even in the face of a scene that seems to value authenticity less and less, Green is on a singular mission with his latest album Little Hell: to bring the soul back to rock music. No
big deal. Green’s commitment to integrity goes back to long before his newfound notability, before anyone even knew what City and Colour was. As the co-frontman for post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, Green was no stranger to roughing it during the band’s early days. “I’m 30 years old. I’ve passed that impressionable age where people telling me they like what I do might affect how I do things. The idea of being cool or being a rock star, that died the first time I slept on a floor and the first time I played in front of no one,” he says. “After that, the idea of being able to just play and write took over.” Serving double duty between projects, City and Colour usually took the back seat to Alexisonfire until Green set out to work on his follow-up to 2008’s Bring Me Your Love, this time opting for a more formal writing and recording process. “Up until now, I’ve never been able to just sit and write a City and Colour record, it’s always been in between Alexis stuff. I’d just keep writing until I said, ‘Oh, I’ve got 11 songs now? Maybe I can make a record,” he says. A departure from Bring Me Your Love’s acoustic singersongwriter folk style, Little Hell favors more of a southern rock vibe with full band backing. “City and Colour isn’t just me and an acoustic guitar, it’s whatever I want it to be. I hope that everyone will expect the unexpected from me,” he says, though he adds with a laugh, “But I’m not going to put out an experimental jazz record or anything.” Longtime fans won’t be alienated by the album, however, as Green’s signature achingly emotive vocals and often brutally honest lyrics have only gotten more effective. In “O’ Sister,” Green delicately croons out a narrative of hitting rock bottom and the impact on those surrounding
the sufferer, for which the lyrical content couldn’t have been more firsthand. “That was a tough one for me to write. I wrote that song to deal with something I was actually going through with my sister, but I know that everyone goes through that with someone they love,” he says. “It’s what being human is about, feeling emotionally connected to someone, seeing them helpless and feeling helpless in that situation.” Green’s skill for conveying palpable emotion for a visceral impact on listeners has always been his strong suit, though, even in his much harder and grittier Alexisonfire work. “I write very open-book, personal songs, so it’s always like a snapshot of my life. When I’m writing and singing, I don’t look at it like I’m being personal, it’s just natural to me to write that way, until people bring it up and I realize I am,” he says. “But the songs I always felt strongly about when I first started listening to music were the ones that made me feel that. Listening to Elliott Smith songs, I wanted to make people feel that way when I wrote a song.” Even despite his newfound status as something of a media darling, even Green isn’t immune to doubts and selfscrutinizing. “There are times when I’m like, why do I worry so much? Why am I so concerned about whether the song is good enough or if I sang well enough when people nowadays Auto-tune or have someone write songs for them?” he says. But therein, Green manages to find his own purpose. “There needs to be that. And there needs to be the opposite of that.” Little Hell is currently available. For more information, visit cityandcolour.ca.
Campus Circle 6.8.11 - 6.14.11
NEWS FILM MUSIC
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CDREVIEWS Mike Bloom King of Circles (Little Record Company) Whether intentional or not, Mike Bloom borrows the acoustic guitar and shuffling rhythm of the late-’60s Glen Campbell hit “Gentle on My Mind” for the intro to his “Til It’s Over” which is not too shabby a source to mimic since “Gentle on My Mind” has gotten over 5 million plays at radio. “Afterthought to War,” a song that references not armed conflict but rather a fight with a lover, is as jubilant as a round of make-up sex thanks in part to the song’s incorporation of buoyant New Orleans jazz. King of Circles is Bloom’s debut album, but he is far from an unknown quantity; he has collaborated for years with acts like Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis and is a co-founder of the Elected who coincidentally also have a new album out. About half the songs here feature stripped-down arrangements or are acoustic numbers that let Bloom’s voice come to the forefront and give listeners a chance to get to know him. Among the best of these are the hopeful “Dry Land” and the loping “Butcher’s Paper,” written with Lewis. “Devil’s Island,” a cut featured in the film The Roommate is also included. It may take Bloom awhile to establish a fan base under his own name in the singer/songwriter jungle but in King of Circles he’s got everything he needs to jumpstart that effort. Grade: B —Kevin Wierzbicki King of Circles is currently available.
Dawes Nothing is Wrong (ATO) The recent collaboration between Dawes and Robbie Robertson speaks volumes about the Los Angeles-based band. Robertson, the revered singer-songwriter and former member of legendary group the Band could get anyone he wants to work with him yet he chose Dawes as his touring band after having Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith sing on his recent How To Become Clairvoyant release. This is not to say that Dawes and Robertson work in similar veins; Robertson’s music is often dark and mysterious and inspired by the Deep South, particularly New Orleans. Dawes on the other hand prefers a sunnier sound that reflects the attitude of their SoCal home turf. Nothing is Wrong is not exactly a throwback to the ‘70s, but that era is clearly a Dawes muse; Goldsmith has a voice that sounds like a cross between early Glenn Frey (the Eagles) and Jackson Browne, something especially evident on album opener “Time Spent in Los Angeles.” “So Well” with its soaring harmonies and Old West feel sounds like it was inspired by the Eagles’ “Doolin’ Dalton,” while “If I Wanted Someone” gives a clear nod to Neil Young’s style of electric guitar playing. There’s some overt rocking here, but this album is mostly an excellent example of what was called “country-rock” back in the day. Grade: A —Kevin Wierzbicki Nothing is Wrong is currently available.
Joe Jackson Trio Live Music (Razor & Tie) Jackson burst onto the scene with witty wordplay and a new wave beat in 1979 with Look Sharp! and its hit single, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” Despite putting out consistently good records, Jackson lost favor a few albums later, falling into the shadow of his much more prolific peer Elvis Costello, eventually moving away from pop music in favor of a jazzier sound. These live cuts recorded in Europe last year find pianist-singer Jackson and band (Graham Maby, bass, Dave Houghton, drums) reprising about half of the tracks from the highly-regarded Night and Day album including “Another World,” “Chinatown,” the disquietingly beautiful
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Campus Circle > Music > CD Reviews “Cancer” and theme song “Steppin’ Out,” while favorites like “It’s Different for Girls,” “Is She Really…” and “I’m the Man” are passed up in favor of more obscure but nevertheless tasty numbers like “Sunday Papers” and “Still Alive.” It’s just Joe and his piano for a dramatic cover of the Beatles’ “Girl,” but the band comes back for a spirited take on the late Ian Dury’s “Inbetweenies” and a version of David Bowie’s “Scary Monsters,” both of which fit the Jackson oeuvre perfectly. Anthrax and thrash metal fans in general may be surprised to find that Jackson wrote the frenetic Anthrax favorite “Got the Time,” and he performs it here with manic urgency. This set barely scratches the surface of Jackson’s vast body of work and these selections will have Jackson fans looking to revisit his older titles. Grade: A —Kevin Wierzbicki Live Music is currently available.
Kool G Rap Riches, Royalty & Respect (Fat Beats) What to do when you’re hip-hop’s lion in winter? Keep pushing forward, it seems. Since the Reagan era, Nathaniel “Kool Genius of Rap” Wilson has influenced your favorite rappers’ favorite rappers by pushing ice-cold lyrics through a flow-within-a-flow delivery, his lisp adding a human touch. Riches, Royalty & Respect, G Rap’s fourth proper solo album, isn’t much different from the previous three – or the three records he did with DJ Polo, or any of his umpteen guest spots – which is to say, it’s awfully good. It’s also refreshingly naive: indebted to mob life and steeped in soulful break beats, RRR doesn’t sound a day past 1998, minus the clever Feist sample in “The Meaning to Your Love.” Keep the change. Kool G Rap will keep his money and guns. Grade: B+ —Michael Pollock, The Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT ) © 2011, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchyTribune Information Services. Riches, Royalty & Respect is currently available.
Brad Paisley This Is Country Music (Arista) Brad Paisley seems like a nice guy. And there’s nothing wrong with his catalog of nice country hits. But on This Is Country Music, Paisley takes the country Everyman thing a little too far. It’s not just the false fights he drums up in the pandering title track, where he declares, “It ain’t hip to sing about tractors, trucks, little towns or mama – yeah, that might be true. But this is country music and we do.” And it’s not just the subtle digs at Sinatra and Barry White’s mood-setting abilities in his current single “Old Alabama.” It’s a feeling that runs through the whole album. Even more cloying are Paisley’s attempts to be clevererthan-thou. The twist ending to “Toothbrush” just makes the aw-shucks idea (“Love starts with a toothbrush, a Bic razor and a Dixie cup”) too cutesy. “Be the Lake” ¬– where he fantasizes, “Wish I could be the beach towel that you lay down on or the two-piece fitting you so right it’s wrong” – gets a touch creepy. It’s too bad, really, because when Paisley gets things right, he’s stunningly good. “Remind Me,” his poignant countryrock duet with Carrie Underwood, may be one of the best country songs of the year. The bluegrass-tinged “Life’s Railway to Heaven,” with Marty Stuart, Sheryl Crow and Carl Jackson, is a musical treat, while “One of Those Lives” is a lyrical one. But Paisley ends up crowding out those high points, which sells This Is Country Music short. Grade: B—Glenn Gamboa, Newsday (MCT) © 2011, Newsday. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. This Is Country Music is currently available.
The Postelles Self-titled (+1) Ready for a treat to kick off your summer? The Postelles deliver a freshly polished album that mixes jagged guitars, militant drums and raw vocals reminiscent of what the Strokes were shaping up to be had they not lost steam. Hailing from a small town known as New York City and meeting in high school, the band carries a musical prowess of retro DNA to their sound that even Elvis Costello would be a little envious of. With fun tracks such as, “Sleep on the Dance Floor,” “Boy’s Best Friend” and “Whisper Whisper,” the self-titled debut is an upbeat mixture of catchy licks and somber tunes that wrap around your heart and make you fall in love with them. Composed of Daniel Balk (vocals, guitar), Billy Cadden (drums), David Dargahi (guitar) and John Speyer (bass), these New Yorkers are already gaining speed with interviews in Rolling Stone and an upcoming tour on the East Coast this summer. Grade: A —Mary Broadbent The Postelles is currently available.
Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams (Reprise) After a decade away from the recording studio, onetime Fleetwood Mac nightingale Stevie Nicks returns, untouched by time. At 62, her distinctive adenoidal voice is still oddly bewitching. It papers over some of the CD’s more wifty tracks, as does the crisp production of Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard. (Waddy Wachtel and Mike Campbell made significant contributions to the music.) Nicks takes songwriting inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe (“Annabel Lee”) to Stephenie Meyer (“Moonlight: A Vampire’s Dream”). Perhaps tellingly, the track with the most pop appeal, “Secret Love,” was written by Nicks in 1976. If nothing else, In Your Dreams proves that there’s life in the old girl yet. Grade: C —David Hiltbrand, The Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT ) © 2011, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchyTribune Information Services. In Your Dreams is currently available.
Tinie Tempah Disc-Overy (Capitol) When it comes to powerhouse hip-hop, rappers from the United Kingdom are such an undervalued entity. Roots Manuva, Dizzee Rascal and Ms. Dynamite are notable English rhymers whose freaky flows sold big in Britain but stiffed in America. Now it’s young Tinie Tempah’s turn. The London-born grime-pop MC with the rapid-fire attack and quip-filled raps already has a hit in the United States with the dramatic, guitar-overloaded “Written in the Stars.” Tempah likes his backing tracks grandiose and topped with blip tech beats and computer-game synth squeals. The best examples of this PlayStation aesthetic are “Miami 2 Ibiza” (produced by Swedish House Mafia) and “Wonderman,” the latter filled with heady grooves and the folksy vocals of Prince William’s wedding singer, Ellie Goulding. While another of Disc-Overy’s collaborations, “Til I’m Gone” (with Wiz Khalifa), best shows off Tempah’s jousting abilities in the face of a brightly dynamic chorus and busy arrangement, the slow dub-infused likes of “Snap” and “Frisky” are stripped down to show off his crisp, brash voice at its most unadorned. By George, I think he’s got it. Grade: B+ —A.D. Amorosi, The Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT ) (c) 2011, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchyTribune Information Services. Disc-Overy is currently available.
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BARBECUE FASHION by dana jeong
fidoo.com, Find Your Own Fashion
Summer. Summer. Summer! Just typing that word and reading it over and over makes me feel all giddy inside. What is there to not like about it? No school, warm weather, endless sunshine – and most importantly, parties! Well, it’s not like we didn’t have those back in not-so-balmy weather (barely clothed “Santa’s Helpers” at Winter Wonderland come to mind), but the commencement of our favorite season officially calls for barbecue parties! This particular form of celebration not only tolerates but strictly enforces drinking in broad daylight, eating actual food (When was the last time it was socially acceptable to touch those finger foods?) and dipping in the pool when the heat gets too unbearable … or if you just want to show off your new bikinis. Without further delay, here are some tips on how to celebrate the beginning of barbecue season – in style.
GEMS OF THE FASHION DISTRICT
by erica carter
Courtesy of Milly; style.com
How can we discuss summer style without summer dresses? Being a lazy morning person as I am, I’m particularly fond of cute sundresses that I can simply throw on and walk out the door. When picking one out, make sure to try on a few in different colors to find out which colors suit you well. Don’t be afraid to go bold in crazy patterns and bright colors – this is the season to experiment! Next, figure out what shape suits your body shape. While typical A-line dresses tend to look good on everyone, you can also flaunt your figure in tight one-shoulder frocks or even strapless dresses. (Milly 2011 Resort Collection)
If you are not a dress person, why don’t you invest in some statement-making shorts? Lucky for you, bright colors have dominated this season’s fashion scene, and there are more than enough options to choose from. Yellow, coral and blue are definitely big this summer, but you may go beyond the standards to choose the most outlandish color you can think of. Just make sure to pair them with a simple and classy top, like this cute button blouse from Dsquared². Complete your look with a skinny belt and a cute cardigan tied around your shoulders, and you will stand out stylishly amongst girls in typical dresses and bikinis. (Dsquared² 2011 Resort Collection)
Courtesy of Dsquared²; style.com
Rompers are back! I have to admit that I’ve been looking forward to this day since I discovered their magical ability to extend my legs and hide my thighs. With the comeback of ’70s fashion, rompers have been upgraded with tribal patterns and vivid colors. And what else can beat rompers when it comes to staying comfy? Slip into a strapless romper on top of your bikinis, or opt for ones with spaghetti straps and finish your look with flatform sandals and a bucket bag, the hottest accessories of the moment. You would be transformed into a walking fashion icon in no time. (Tibi 2011 Resort Collection)
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Courtesy of Tibi; style.com
With summer on our heels, it’s time to start thinking about what to wear to our next barbecue, outdoor concert, etc. You can really never have enough denim, dresses and shoes. And there are tons of shops around Los Angeles that will give you just what you need and promise to not break your wallet. Even better, these stores are not named Forever Roman Numeral or named after the eighth and 13th letters of the alphabet, so you can truly get clothing that’s unique. Living in Downtown so close to the Fashion District and all, I really get a glimpse into what the trends are – in other words, I check out what is being knocked off from the magazines. While I tend to shy away from things like these, essentials like maxi dresses run rampant and are really cute. The Fashion District is a place you can bring $100 to and come back with a bunch of items or even with cash back if you bargain well enough! The key to shopping in the Fashion District is not to waste your time at the stores that are generic looking. You came down here to shop for unique items, not to look like everyone else. The only generic thing I recommend in the heart of the Fashion District would be sunglasses. We all tend to lose, scratch or break those, so those kinds of purchases are perfect from the shops in the alley, etc. But if you walk right off 8th on Maple, there are tons of stores with mannequins donning beautiful summer dresses in different patterns and colors. Nothing runs over $30, and the dresses hold up surprisingly well after washing. Sometimes I like to go a little more unique with my footwear if I’m wearing a simple dress, so I head over to Virgo (216-A E. 9th St.; boosandbesito.com/virgo). This vintage shop sells all things Jeffrey Campbell, including the coveted Lita boots in exclusive colors. I can usually find something to complete my look for less than $75. The ladies who own Virgo are the creators of retro-inspired shoe blooms, cute flowery contraptions that you slide over your favorite heels to make a new look. They can easily turn your denim shorts, flowy top and wedges into a vintage and sophisticated look that is wearable and can be interchanged with your other clothes. Right near Virgo is Cinema Fashion (220 E. 9th St.). Cinema carries almost everything you could possibly need for a summer outing, from large cocktail rings to rompers. It’s hard not to spend less than $100 at this place so just be forewarned. At least for that amount of money, you’ll go home with multiple items, depending on how you match everything up. At the New Mart (127 E. 9th St.; newmart.net) and California Market Center (110 E. 9th St.; californiamarketcenter.com), there are sample sales galore. At the CMC, there is an event called Unique LA that offers all sorts of deals from local vendors. Pay just $10 and you’re free to roam the rows of clothing for men like ARKA, clothing for women, jewelry and accessories, and even housewares. The New Mart holds sample sales every last Friday of the month. This sale is a bit of a mission since you need to show up early and get the list of showrooms that are selling to the public, but again it’s worth it! I remember a few years ago I purchased a ton of Mike & Chris items for $5 each. They usually run upwards of $100, so I really lucked out! Venture up to 6th and Spring for even more style (albeit more expensive) to Crack Gallery (204 W. 6th St.; crackgallery.com). I like this shop mainly for accessories like bags and earrings, but they do carry up-and-coming designers, and the average price range is about $40 for a dress. Crack Gallery doubles as an art studio, so I usually visit this spot during Downtown’s Art Walk. During that time they stay open later and occasionally offer discounts.
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Campus Circle > Culture > Fashion
Ex-pro surfers, swimwear designers and sisters Oleema and Kalani Miller with model Danica Solomon in one of their suits.
L.A. DESIGNERS Get Into the Swim
by melissa magsaysay Los Angeles Times (MCT)
At first glance there doesn’t seem to be much to a swimsuit – a little bit of fabric that the wearer hopes will cover the necessary areas in the most flattering way and that will stay put in pool or surf. But swimwear style changes by the year, however subtly. Pay close attention and you notice that some modern designers are eschewing embellishments, hardware and potentially uncomfortable details in favor of streamlined, seamless and versatile suits. And quite a few women seem to be paying attention. Sales of women’s swimsuits grew 8.1 percent during 2010, with sales in the U.S. market totaling just over $2.6 billion, compared with $2.4 billion in 2009, according to NPD Group, a market research firm. In the vanguard is a fresh crop of swimsuit designers based in, and inspired by, Southern California. They approach designing swimwear in the same way others approach designing a ready-to-wear collection – with a strong focus, signature fit and comfortable fabrics that make each suit feel as if it is barely there. Forget digging and indentation marks, cumbersome hardware, underwires and all the bells and whistles so popular five years ago. Today’s swim designers love a functional suit that works as well for surfing as it does for sunning, and they design accordingly. Southern California’s exciting new group of swimwear designers includes models and surf enthusiasts, an artist and a fashion buyer who claim to take into account everything from a good-looking backside to the functional aspect of neoprene when creating their collections. Here are a few who are making a splash. Mikoh Swimwear: Sisters and San Clemente, Calif., natives Oleema and Kalani Miller know firsthand what makes a practical swimsuit, having grown up surfing and eventually competing as part of the Roxy surf team through their teens. Taking into account a flattering fit, durability and ability to withstand a fairly strong wave or two, the sisters
set out to create a functional line of swimwear that might also make the wearer stand out in a surf competition lineup, thanks to the vivid colors, seascape-inspired prints and sexy details. “Growing up in a surfing environment and always wearing swimsuits had most to do with creating this swim collection,” says Oleema, at 22 a self-proclaimed free spirit with a penchant for world travel, a passion her 24-year-old sister shares. The two spend about half the year bouncing among Australia, Hawaii, Orange County, Santa Barbara and Bali – the latter where they produce their swimsuit line. Their brand, which launched its first collection in 2010, combines a carefree athletic and colorful aesthetic with seamless, hardware-free suits whose prints and colors are inspired mostly by the sisters’ travels abroad. Suits are named for exotic settings (the Bora Bora and the Lanai, for instance). Prints include graphics that echo the jagged lines waves create when hitting the beach and an abstract interpretation of sea kelp. Though the Mikoh line is relatively new, it made a splash early on when the suits were featured in the photo spreads in last year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Three more of their suits made it into this year’s issue, due in no small part to the pops of color, such as citron yellow and bold teal, in their current season’s swimsuits and coverups. “We want to wear something that you can surf in, but still looks good, makes your butt look good,” Oleema says. “It’s a good thing if you’re able to paddle out representing women surfers and look good while doing it.” Cali Dreaming: Forget overly embellished, splashy printed swimwear. Fine artist Carrie Jardine and fashion buyer-turned designer Lisa Priolo find beauty in simple, understated and mostly earthy neutral hues. For their first collection in 2009, the duo debuted a line in which all 10 styles were in a shade of nude or a glimmery gold-beige. “We’re very inspired by the natural look of the 1970s,” Priolo says. “And everything is also hardware-free. We’re not attracted to hardware at all.” Comfort was a motivating factor for these friends who met while living in Toronto and moved to Los Angeles six years ago, when they started the line. They despised the way bikini bottoms would dig into the hip area, leaving unsightly indentations. To keep this from happening, their suits are double-lined, with seamless construction and hidden elastic to alleviate any pressure on the hips and mid-section. Bikini tops feature multiple closures to provide more options on fit. Jardine and Priolo are the fit models for the line and road test
each piece to ensure comfort. As the line has grown, Priolo and Jardine (who combined the first two letters of their first names to come up with their company’s moniker) have stuck to their subdued, sophisticated approach to design, and they’ve started to incorporate texture by using perforated fabrics, mesh detail and tie dye patterns. The women channel the golden sunlight and beautiful beaches of Southern California into their designs. “Landing back in LAX I still feel like I’m on vacation,” Priolo says. “I love the lifestyle out here.” That laid-back California vibe and the shimmery golden colors of the swimsuits reflect their love for Los Angeles and the landscape of the city. “When I moved here, I hit the beach right away,” Jardine says. “I started surfing, which was a very natural evolution into swimwear.” They keep their production local too, to support the area’s economy. All their suits are made in Los Angeles from fabrics sourced here. Shimmi: The mantra less is more can be a daunting concept when it comes to swimsuits, but professional models Alison Renner and Scarlett Chorvat believe that when it comes to bikinis, itty-bitty can be quite flattering when done right. They started their L.A.-based line Shimmi in summer 2009 after agreeing that the more fabric in a swimsuit, the less flattering. They set out to create a line of flirty and ultrafeminine swimsuits with bottoms inspired by the low-slung hipsters from the 1970s. Sweet and dainty florals adorn their bikinis, and a one-piece suit has an asymmetrical strap and edgy lace-up detail along one side. They also incorporate vivid brights, such as fuchsia and a few neons – the latter of which will be used in an exclusive capsule collection for net-a-porter.com. Though the suits may seem to be on the skimpier side, Renner and Chorvat road test each piece and make sure the suits stay put and cover the backside in the right places. “We’re both the fit models,” Renner says. “As far as surfing in them, well, we’ll leave that to the girls who know how to surf. But we get them in the pool and make sure they don’t move or fall off.” Their aim is to make swimwear that doesn’t feel bulky. Fabrics are all UV-protective, and suits are made in Los Angeles. Alexandra Cassaniti: Alexandra Cassaniti grew up surfing in Hawaii and Leucadia, Calif. But after she moved to New York and braved the brisk waves of the Atlantic, she was inspired to create neoprene swimwear that can be worn as a layer in cold waters and worn alone in more temperate seas. Cassaniti, 28, the former designer of Steven Alan’s women’s line, is now based in Santa Monica and has expanded her neoprene suits into sexy shapes, added interesting hardware such as oversized black zippers. For some styles, she salvages scraps of neoprene and pieces them together to form tops and bottoms. All the suits are reversible and have a sporty appeal thanks to the technical material, which Cassaniti says can be challenging to work with. The suits are made in Orange County, Calif. In addition to her wet-suit-inspired bikinis and onepiece suits, she makes tank tops and rash guard-style tops for layering. Cassaniti also manages to incorporate neoprene into her clothing and accessories collection, edging the cuffs of a structured canvas jacket with neoprene, which she coats with recycled surf wax to make it waterproof; using the material for the uppers and linings of simple, ’70s-inspired low wedge sandals; and crafting it into a beret. “I feel like girls don’t have a lot of choices for neoprene pieces,” says Cassaniti, explaining her motivation for starting a line of suits. She is expanding her range of neoprene by collaborating with San Diego-based wet-suit company Matuse to create two spring wet suits. (c) 2011, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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Campus Circle > Music > Live Show Reviews
Chris Keating of Yeasayer gave Los Angeles what it had been waiting for.
She Wants Revenge May 23 @ The Roxy Upon entering the famous Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip, I headed to the main stage area and was greeted by a massive crowd of dedicated fans. There was a pleasant ambiance created by lights shining against a black backdrop that appeared to be a night sky looming with golden stars. She Wants Revenge opened the show with “Take the World,” a single off their highly anticipated third album, Valleyheart, released that same day. Singer Justin Warfield captivated the audience with his seductive, unmistakable voice as each song led into the next. By the time “Little Stars” was played, the crowd was deeply engaged. The music had a magnetic pull as bassist/ keyboardist Adam Bravin and drummer Scott Ellis composed the electro-dance beats and guitarist Thomas Froggatt harmonized with Warfield. She Wants Revenge ended with “Out of Control,” off the group’s self-titled debut album as the show reached a climax with the cheerful audience enthusiastically dancing and singing along. Their setlist included eight songs off the new album: “Take the World,” “Kiss Me,” “Up in Flames,” “Reasons,” “Little Stars,” “Suck It Up,” “Maybe She’s Right” and “Must Be the One.” I was eager to pick up a copy of Valleyheart, it is truly a delightful release. I highly recommend it to fans of new wave, 80s and alternative rock. —Naomi Coronel
La Santa Cecilia May 24 @ The Roxy La Santa Cecilia lead singer Marisoul shines while she
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blissfully utters song lyrics on stage. Marisoul, who is easily reminiscent of salsa queen and legend Celia Cruz, carries a distinguished yet resplendent resonating voice. She showed that off at the Roxy; it was the group’s first time performing at the venue. Dressed in a prominent wardrobe on the rather tiny stage, La Santa Cecilia made everyone’s night with their diverse music style. La Santa Cecilia (The Saint Cecilia) performed various songs from different music styles. One such track was “Uzumaki,” a cumbia-nortena song in Spanglish, detailing a dream. Moreover, “Chicle” (Gum) easily became a crowd favorite of the night where the headliner was Colombian group Bomba Estereo. But without doubt, “La Negra” (The Black One) is La Santa Cecilia’s trademark track. Filled with an upbeat tempo, powerful lyrics, a full drumkit set, congas, bass and guitars and an accordion, this cumbia (a musical genre originating in Colombia) tune thrilled the packed audience. La Santa Cecilia, composed of Gloria Estrada, Hugo Vargas, Alex Bandana, Miguel Ramirez, Jose Carlos and Marisoul have been together four years. They formulate their music and are inspired from not only their Los Angeles-based and Mexican backgrounds but the diversity of others. In each of their performances, La Santa Cecilia shows that. And Marisoul’s diva-like voice lights up the sets. —Marvin Vasquez
Yeasayer May 24 @ The Music Box Not many bands can toy with your imagination and simultaneously inspire you to sing and dance like you’re a 5-year-old kid all over again. In a matter of four years,
though, Yeasayer has struck that chord cleanly to garner rousing applause across the country from music critics and fans alike. For any proof of that, you had to look no further than the Music Box on a Tuesday in late May. Playing the second night of two sold-out shows in Hollywood, a quintet of weirdos from Brooklyn spellbound the youthful crowd with hallucinogenic visuals, neon lights and a barrage of sounds from every planet in the solar system. With groovy synths, tribal beats and beautifully shared harmonies meshing together that evening, Yeasayer finally gave Los Angeles what it had anxiously been waiting for since the release of their highly acclaimed second album, Odd Blood, in 2010. Early on, fans were treated to Odd Blood favorites like “O.N.E.,” “Mondegreen” and “Rome” as frontman Chris Keating, guitarist Anand Wilder and bassist Ira Wolf Tuton crooned melodies to the rhythms of drummer Jason Trammell and percussionist/keyboardist Ahmed Gallab. Yet Yeasayer also made a point of revealing where it may be headed next, showcasing some more of its unique brand of experimental pop with new material off what will be a third EP. The crowd, nonetheless, dug it – not always an easy task for a band that hails from the same metropolis as neo-psychedelic contemporaries MGMT, Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective, a favorite of Keating and Wilder’s from their high school days in Baltimore. Still, in a city as big as New York, Yeasayer has managed to carve out a little of its own space among the indie heavyweights. That’s, in large part, because it’s a band that doesn’t want to get bored, that wants to push boundaries and not confine itself to any one genre. It’s a band that wants to experiment with an endless list of sounds and discover new avenues to travel down. It’s a band that asks you to channel your inner-childlike tendencies and embrace the unknown while they’re manning the stage. And because of that, Yeasayer is not a band for everyone. But for what was a short, yet sweet one hour and 15 minutes, a room full of people got to revel in those emotions again for the first time in quite a while. —Josh Herwitt
Calvin Harris May 26 @ The Music Box Scottish producer, singer and DJ Calvin Harris is riding a very high wave of momentum at the moment. He recently released his new music video for “Bounce,” a single off his upcoming album (due early next year), and dropped a widely acclaimed mix last week on electronic music powerhouse BBC Radio 1. Follow that up with a sold-out show at the Music Box, Hollywood’s premiere electronic music venue, and Harris is further solidifying his position as one of the genre’s top producers/DJs. Harris has been known to put on good live shows, where he actually sings and performs with a live band, but has steadily shifted his focus towards DJing. Some longtime fans might have been disappointed, but they can’t deny the fact that Harris rocked the Music Box. He stepped behind the turntables shortly after midnight and immediately had the crowd in his control. The energetic revelers greeted him with a roar after anxiously waiting on his arrival for a couple hours. Backed by an enormous LED wall that displayed stimulating visuals, Harris proceeded to electrify the crowd with a mix of his songs, original remixes and other dance hits. The crowd enthusiastically sang along to hits, such as the catchy “Flashback,” and danced emphatically to ever popular songs like “You Used to Hold Me.” Harris even premiered a remix to his pulsating track “Awooga” that features LMFAO, adding a “party rock” twist. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 >>>
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by brien overly
June 9 & 10 @ Chain Reaction Just because we need a little grittiness this week. It can’t all be sunshine classy dinner parties here, kids, just warning you. That said, this isn’t your typical bro-rock, either. All three of these post-hardcore bands bring the emotional Real Talk with their sandpaper Janelle Monáe sings like she means it. vocals and atmospheric shredding. It’s not the kind of keg party punk you listen to when you have some pent-up testosterone, it’s the kind you blast out when you’ve got some inner emotional turmoil you need to work through mentally. But it’s also the kind that leaves a lasting impression beyond that three-minute run time.
Title Fight/Touche Amore/the Menzingers
Friendly Fires June 10 @ The Music Box Indie music you can dance to, that still gives you a little bit of street cred, that’s actually fun and not in any way pretentious? I … can’t argue against it … don’t know … how to respond … But really, the U.K. trio writes the indie-pop jams that beg to be sung along to, the kind that even the most jaded of hipsters can get into, despite the fact their music videos have been embraced by the big, bad MTV enemy.
VIP $150 GENERAL ADMISSION $75
SATURDAY JUNE 25TH 2011
DOORS OPEN AT 9PM
June 12 & 14 @ Gibson Amphitheatre Usually, I have some vehement oppositions to anything even remotely associated to mainstream hip-hop, especially the likes of which I see with suffocating regularity on music TV stations. But Ms. Monáe is possibly the singular exception. Unless you count my guilty pleasure liking of certain Drake songs, but that’s a different article altogether. Point is, the girl sings like she means it. Underneath all that slick production is a voice that knows how to emote on a track that’s danceable at the same time. On top of that, the old school hip-hop and classic soul nods she throws into each song make it clear Monáe isn’t just going through the motions, like so many of her genre-mates seem to.
Gold Motel June 11 @ Chain Reaction June 13 @ Hotel Café It’s officially June, but apparently the clockwork SoCal weather has decided such is not the case, opting to go bipolar instead. I love jacket weather and I love tank weather too, but I need continuity with either. When I wake up in Phoenix, I don’t expect to be standing on the streets of Chicago by sundown, just sayin.’ At the very least, when I’m blasting the Gold Motel jams on the iPod, everything is the storybook summer that indie teen-coming-of-age films are made of. Frontwoman Greta Salpeter’s odes to youth and love ballads to the West Coast will effortlessly evoke all those warm memories you should have of your more carefree years. With her signature even-keeled classic pop crooning, Salpeter is charming without having to try to be sexy, and emotive without being cloying. So even if you weren’t living the 20-something dream of road trips, bougie theme parties and alcohol-induced legal hijinks, Gold Motel can at least let you have them vicariously.
Florence + the Machine June 13 & 14 @ The Greek If you don’t have this album on your iPod already, don’t know the words to her singles by heart already and/or don’t have tickets to this show already, what the eff is wrong with you? Seriously. Get it together. Florence Welch isn’t here just every day, and she doesn’t put on just any old show. This girl gives a performance – the stuff that great theater is made of. Given that her voice could stir the emotions of even the most jaded cynics, however, a Florence show is going to be worth the inevitable emptying of your bank account to get tickets for it.
Mötley Crüe June 14 @ Hollywood Bowl This probably should file under guilty pleasure material, but screw it. I love old school hair metal. It’s certainly not a secret at this point anymore, I might as well fully own up to it. While my preference tends to lean more toward the bands that wrote the giant power ballad epics of the era, certain bands that were on the dirtier, grungier side of things still hold a very special place in my heart. Mötley Crüe will forever be one of the great defining pillars of what it means to really be rock ’n’ roll, be that for better or for worse. Much as we might like to forget certain aspects of the ’80s, the hard partying ethic has yet to fade out, for which we all owe the Crüe a great deal of unsarcastic thanks.
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LIVESHOWREVIEWS <<< CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 The Scottish DJ had excellent stage presence, an important trait for electronic DJs, and had the crowd reacting to every hand clap and fist pump. His great selection of songs kept the energy level to a maximum and had people dancing in all areas of the Music Box, from the dance floor to the rooftop, the balcony and even the bathrooms. —Rex Pham
Joan as Police Woman May 27 @ Bootleg Theater From a darkened corner in the low-lit Bootleg Theater, came the unrefined yet emotionally powerful stylings of Joan as Police Woman last Friday. Backed by a two-piece rhythm section consisting of keys and drumkit, Joan Wasser led the show in a calculated fashion bouncing back and forth between piano and guitar. Haunted by the pain of a passed-on lover, Joan as Police Woman’s musical content communicates a sense of loss that resonates through her soulful performance. It feels as though you can actually see her heart breaking as she retells her story through dark chord progressions and the cold comfort of a lonely microphone. If anything, the show is too raw. Wasser’s emotive presence draws a sense of lugubrious depression and unbridled passion. The combination detracts from general showmanship, as she tends to leave large gaps in between songs. Attempting to fill this void with awkward onstage banter, her devoted and adoring crowd was often left wanting by her lack of engaging communication to carry along the set. Yet despite the apparent holes in her live show, the artist is gaining momentum amidst the exhausting efforts of her
Campus Circle > Music > Live Show Reviews current tour. Fresh from a two-month stint playing shows throughout North America, the group’s next stop is Australia, where they can only hope to increase their current fan base. Look for Joan as Police Woman to return from Down Under with a revitalized sense of energy and attention to detail. Stepping up her live show is essential if she expects to be heard by a larger audience anytime soon. —Patrick Meissner
Asobi Seksu May 28 @ The Satellite Head-banging keyboard renditions while playing in a band named Asobi Seksu (Japanese slang for “casual sex”) may not exactly be what extremely caring yet sometimes overbearing Asian parents have in mind when they religiously mandate early childhood music lessons upon their spawn. Yuki Chikudate of the band formerly known as “Sportfuck” may very well agree. Towards the end of their set, she tells the crowd, “My mom was here today with a platter of sushi. She said, ‘OK, bye. I don’t want to hear you guys today. You guys are too loud.’” And loud they were. New York band Asobi Seksu brought some of their city’s energy back to Silver Lake, as they performed their dream pop music to a crowd of cheering fans. With Larry Gorman on drums, Billy Pavone on bass and James Hanna on guitar, the cute-as-a-button lead singer and keyboard player belted out lyrics in both English and Japanese while whipping her hair back and forth. Chikudate’s beautifully girly voice complemented the noisy, yet pleasantly jarring sounds of the instruments. Even though the majority of the crowd were not of Japanese descent and thereby couldn’t sing along with the vocalist even if they wanted to, the band’s audience was
CHECK (YOURSELF) PLEASE! by emmanuelle troy
You have to love Los Angeles for all its choices of trendy new places to go, things to do, food to eat and people to share all of these things with. Damned if you’re going to miss out on that trendy hot spot – or better yet – undiscovered hidden gem of a place until the hipsters start pretending like they invented it. You can’t wait to check it out, and unfortunately sometimes you’re up for going with anyone who’s down, although since this is Los Angeles be careful of whom you’re “doing” lunch or dinner with! “Let’s do here, this is where (insert celebrity name here) was spotted.” “Let’s do here – wait – they don’t have a vegan menu, and I’m on a vegan and/or gluten free diet since I heard that (insert celebrity name here) is on one too.” “Let’s do here … OMG, that person is wearing the same shirt as I am. We have to leave.” “Let’s do here, there’s a long line to get in, so you know it must be awesome and (insert celebrity name here) may be here.” “Let’s do here, they don’t have a line to get in … wait, there’s no line – it must be lame.”
Campus Circle 6.8.11 - 6.14.11
Asobi Seksu live performance brings their music to a whole other level. nonetheless roused by their performance of older tracks like “I’m Happy But You Don’t Like Me” and new songs from their new album, Fluorescence. This lush conglomeration was so stirring that you didn’t mind not being able to tell which language the petite frontwoman was singing. Garish and nostalgic, hazy and blaring, Asobi Seksu creates sounds that will have you wanting to dance violently and sway harmoniously within a short span of time. Listening to their albums through your headphones is definitely a pleasurable experience, but hearing it live in all its in-yourface glory brings Asobi Seksu’s music to a whole other level. —Kristina Bravo
Campus Circle > Blogs > The Last Laugh “There’s no hot sauce here. I know it’s a yogurt place but really? Hot sauce is the new catsup, and catsup was the new vegetable like, last year.” “What? This yogurt isn’t vegan? Neither is my oversized purse, my trendy sandals or my ridiculous hat that I saw (insert celebrity name here) wearing?” “I’m tired and starving from going to all the new trendy places all day, let’s do the late-night diner … wait, I can’t eat this late at night. I’ll get so fat.” “That server looks like this bitch I used to hate in high school/college in (insert small town here).” It’s probably not her, but maybe it is – anything is possible in Los Angeles – that server girl might have been a drama major in high school/college and decided to move here to pursue her dream – better than me pursuing this drama queen who has turned into a (big-city) nightmare here sitting across the table from me. “This vegan meat tastes just like real meat. Are you sure this isn’t real meat, because I don’t want real meat. I’m going to call that bitch waitress.” I’m pretty sure the vegan meat is fake meat; it just looks real, like this fake smile I’ve been wearing for hours while wondering at what precise moment during this long date I turned into (insert celebrity name here) with my fake smile. I should have stood up for myself a few restaurants ago and said “This is where we’re eating!” Better yet, I should’ve stood up a long time ago … and left. At best, I should’ve stood this girl up. I should’ve been choosier with my selection. Not as choosy as say, a trying-to-be-trendy hipster analyzing a menu (After all, the key word in analyze is anal.), I should just be choosier in general, because as new restaurant openings often indicate, just because something or someone is new, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good or worth your time or money
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spent. Life is like taste testing food though. When you take too long to make a choice about where to go or whom to go with, you realize it’s always better when it’s hot, and if you don’t do make a choice about it soon, it gets cold, and no one wants to eat at that table. Not to complain, though, because this is one of the many reasons we’re all here in Los Angeles: to try new things, go to new places and to become vegans if our dates or at least our menus tell us we should try it. Alas, the above are just a few of the popular phrases I’ve heard on L.A. dates. “Let’s go here” is substituted with “let’s do here” apparently, because just going someplace would be easy. Doing involves more time, patience, driving and headphones if you’re lucky enough to have some to wear to avoid hearing the whining about this, that and (insert celebrity name here). Regardless, it’s still damned if you’re going to miss out, although you might be damned if you don’t and damned if you do. If you’re unsure, “do” this: Shorten that date and shorten the phrase to: damn.
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Drew Ressler; rukes.com
MUSIC SUMMER FUN by eva recinos It’s noon and you’re watch– ing reruns of “America’s Next Top Displays like In the Studio make the Model” or any other show on the couch Grammy Museum stand out. wondering how long it’s going to take for the sun to drop and the night to begin. But lazy summer days can be just as exhilarating as any night on the town without having to waste all your hard-earned cash. So if you’re without a job this summer or working a low-paying one, here are a few music-infused ways to pass the summer days sunup to sundown without wiping out your bank account.
Amoeba Music 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; amoeba.com Not only can you browse through hundreds of cheap CDs, records and posters at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, but the store also boasts of free, all ages in-store concerts. Mark June 14, 7 p.m. for the arrival of the Civil Wars for a performance and CD signing. Pick up the new album and save your receipt for the chance to get your copy personally signed by them. If you’re a goth fan, Peter Murphy visits the store June 16 at 6 p.m. Visit the Web site often for more events and free downloads, and if you find yourself on a road trip any time soon, Amoeba also has stores in Berkeley and San Francisco.
Echoplex 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; attheecho.com With $8 valet parking and low cover fees for events, the Echoplex in Echo Park is an ideal location for your dancing and live-show needs. The locale is 18 and over, and for those of you who can’t buy drinks yet, a cherry-including Shirley Temple costs you only $3. Beers run for decent prices as well, and there is even a small food menu to choose from in case all the dancing makes you ravenous.
The Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Downtown; grammymuseum.org So, the idea of a museum probably reminds you of elementary school days where you had to choose a partner and make sure not to get lost. You probably also remember being really bored. But the Grammy Museum in L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles is far from the stifling place you might see a museum as. With exhibits like the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Revolutions of Recorded Sound, In the Studio and the Special Exhibits Gallery, there is plenty in the museum for the music lover in you. The museum not only holds artifacts, but also has many exciting displays that you can interact with; In the Studio lets you play with similar technology like that in a recording studio and see what happens when you experiment with sound. The Special Exhibits section lets you see the typewriter, drawings and even eyeglasses of John Lennon and rare items relating to Bob Marley. Tickets are $11.95 if you are 18 and over and take your student ID, and the museum is open Mon-Fri, from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sat-Sun, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Music Center 135 N. Grand Ave., Downtown; musiccenter.org Nothing sounds better than free. And this summer the Music Center in Downtown is offering free dance lessons, sing-a-longs and drum sessions. Until the fall leaves come down in September, you can enjoy lessons in genres like swing, bollywood, disco and samba. Classes go from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. If dance lessons sound intimidating, how about belting out some well-known songs? You get your own live band to back you up, and the Music Center even provides the lyrics (in case of stage fright). Mark your calendar for June 24, July 22 and Aug. 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. as the time to sing to your heart’s content. If you’re thinking, ‘I can sing and dance at home,’ how about free drum lessons? Complete with all the equipment you need, these free lessons take place July 9, Aug. 13 and Sept. 3 starting at 10 a.m. Custom-made for beginners, maybe the lessons will give you a new hobby for the rest of the summer.
The Grammy Museum
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Here’s your chance to design deadmau5’s next official mau5head.
by kevin wierzbicki Design a Mau5head Electronic producer/performer deadmau5 has teamed with creative platform Talenthouse to hold a contest to design his next official “mau5head,” the electronic headpiece he wears at live appearances. The winning design will be produced into the next deadmau5 head for his “Unhooked” shows and promotional events. The winner will receive two VIP passes to a deadmau5 performance at the Hollywood Palladium on Aug. 25 and will also meet deadmau5 at an in-store event the same day. Travel and two night’s accommodation for the winner will be provided. Nine runners-up will also receive prizes varying from VIP passes to a show nearest their location to signed deadmau5 merch. Details at talenthouse. com; entries need to be in by July 12.
RIP Gil Scott-Heron Poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron has died at the age of 62. Scott-Heron was a sociallyconscious artist who gave voice to black America through spoken word pieces like “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” his most famous and some say most potent early-’70s work. Because he sometimes set his often angry rants to jazzy piano and stripped-down beats, many hip-hop stars point to Scott-Heron as one of the forefathers of rap, a notion that he rejected. Scott-Heron’s cause of death had not been determined as of press time but he was a notorious drug abuser who routinely smoked crack ostensibly to kill severe back pain. Scott-Heron’s latest album I’m New Here was released earlier this year.
Retox to Loose Ugly Animals Retox, a blistering, L.A.-based punk four-piece, have put their career on the fast track. The band is made up of former members of the Locust, Cattle Decapitation and Festival of Dead Deer, and they only recently released a debut EP and played their first live outing. Now, debut full-length Ugly Animals is set for an August release on the Ipecac label. Ugly Animals is an all-analog recording and will also be available on etched vinyl. Nationwide tour dates will be announced soon, but in the meantime a June 25 gig at Boulevard Café has been confirmed. retoxrules.com.
Seeing Double: Coachella 2012 Are you a Coachella fan with thoughts of attending the festival next year? Are you sitting down? Coachella 2012 will be two separate events held over two consecutive weekends (April 13-15 and April 20-22) at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. Festival organizers will attempt to produce two identical festival weekends – same lineup, same art and same place – different people. If you want to buy a three-day pass for either date and get it on the payment plan you have until 10 p.m. June 10 to place your advance order at coachella. com. Otherwise you can kick back and get some rest for a while; apparently you’ll need it.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Linkin Park’s “Iridescent” is the first single from the soundtrack album for the Shia LeBeouf film Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The CD version of the release also includes cuts from My Chemical Romance, Staind, Art of Dying, Black Veil Brides, Mastodon, Taking Back Sunday, Skillet, Theory of a Deadman and brand new songs from the Goo Goo Dolls and Paramore. Purchase the iTunes version and you’ll get three bonus cuts from Biffy Clyro, Stone Sour and Serj Tankian; the Game Stop version comes with Middle Class Rut’s “Lifelong Dayshift” and D.R.U.G.S.’ “Graveyard Dancing” as bonus cuts. The movie opens June 29, but you can score the soundtrack on June 14.
Slaughter Survivors Tour Indianapolis prog-metal prodigies the Contortionist, who have a new release called Exoplanet coming on Aug. 31, will be one of the headliners on the Slaughter Survivors Tour. Co-headlining the tour will be Conducting From the Grave, Scale the Summit, Rings of Saturn and Volumes & Structures. The tour begins with a special “Summer Slaughter Tour Kickoff Party” at Key Club July 21; Dawn of Ashes will also be on hand for the show.
Campus Circle 6.8.11 - 6.14.11
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Campus Circle > Culture > Books
32 Candles (Amistad) As far as romantic comedies go there seems to be a formula: Girl wants boy, girl gets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy back. 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter takes this formula and runs with it, taking the reader on an awesome and hilarious journey. 32 Candles is about Davie Jones, a modern-day ugly duckling who transforms herself into an interesting lady. The novel begins in a small town in Mississippi where Davida Jones is picked on at school because of her appearance and abused at home because of a cruel mother. The appearance of a new, ‘well off ’ family in town brings a lot of excitement, but Davida is only interested in the son of the new family. The sister of the boy Davida has a crush on targets Davida, which culminates in a cruel prank. Before the reader knows it, Davida takes a ride from a stranger and moves away to Los Angeles where she begins to find self-confidence through her job as club singer, which also enables Davida to put herself through school. After a calm couple of years in California where Davida becomes a self-assured lady, a chance meeting at Disney Studios with her childhood crush from Mississippi sends Davida’s ‘calm’ life into a tailspin. 32 Candles was a fun read from start to finish. But what makes it stand out from a typical romantic-comedy read is that the book makes it clear that nothing is black and white. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has baggage from childhood or specific unhappy incidents that happen throughout life. An important part of the novel stresses that it’s important to be yourself and stay true to yourself to find real happiness, not just with a guy but also with life itself. Davida Jones (Davie to her friends) is a true modern-day symbol for chick lit. She doesn’t physically change herself to find happiness. She works within to make herself better and ends up with a life that anyone would envy filled with unlikely friends and career fulfillment. A fun shock comes towards the end of the novel where, through a series of surprising revelations, the reader realizes what Davie was truly capable of and the admissions explain many of Davie’s actions throughout the novel. If you’re looking for a fun read with satisfying character arcs then 32 Candles fits this format as a novel that’s hard to put down. From everything mentioned in this review it’s obvious that it could fit into a great Hollywood romantic comedy movie. 32 Candles unashamedly uses such iconic romantic comedies starring Molly Ringwald (16 Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink) as inspiration for Davida’s love life. 32 Candles brings many of the classic ‘80s movies into a modern format. References throughout the novel about Hollywood life are also cool for anyone interested in some of the things that happen in the movie world. I also predict that the soundtrack to accompany a film version would be just as fun as the movie. If you’re ready to laugh, be inspired and discover a new literary heroine, check out 32 Candles. It’s not a novel that you’ll forget anytime soon, and you’ll find yourself wanting to know what’s next from the literary world’s newest talent: Ernessa T. Carter. Grade: A
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A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter (Penguin) Jane Austen’s keen social observations and delightfully witty, sometimes foolish and occasionally loathsome characters have made her one of our most lasting writers – this year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of her first novel, Sense and Sensibility – and earned her an avid fan base. But with adoring Austen a largely female pursuit, something nags: Can dudes love her too? That’s what A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter is ready to reveal. William Deresiewicz, a 40-something literary critic and former Yale professor, devoted part of his doctoral dissertation to Austen and has published a scholarly book about her, Jane Austen and the Romantic Poets. In this new book, he clambers down from the ivory tower and combines deft descriptions of her novels with something more, a memoir of growing up, with insights from Austen’s writings. It begins with the young scholar – hot on literary theory, the Clash and Dostoevsky – coming at Austen with skepticism. “Wasn’t she the one who wrote those silly romantic fairy tales? Just thinking about her made me sleepy,” Deresiewicz writes. He is candid when describing himself as an intellectually ambitious grad student. “I was not the easiest person to get along with. In fact, I wonder that my friends put up with me at all. Like so many guys, I thought that a good conversation meant holding forth about all the supposedly important things I knew: books, history, politics, whatever. But I wasn’t just aggressively certain of myself ... I was also oblivious to the feelings of people around me.” What turns him around is Austen’s novel Emma. The main character charmed Deresiewicz with her certainty and clarity of purpose – which, late in the book, is revealed to be not at all on target. Emma’s dawning awareness parallels Deresiewicz’s growing self-knowledge, and he comes to see Austen’s textual cleverness as having the same literary ambitions he had looked for in the works of authors like James Joyce. It makes for a nice circle: Deresiewicz sums up Emma with dash, adds a smart critical element and brings it back to his own life. The formula seems simple: one chapter for each Austen novel, blended with thoughtful literary analysis and one clear life lesson. It won’t be a spoiler to say that Austenites will predict that this light literary comedy will – and it does – end in marriage. But after Emma, Deresiewicz’s circles just don’t hold together all that well. While he is adept at writing readable plot summaries, his interpretations sometimes feel forced into lessons that don’t entirely fit. Pride and Prejudice, he decides, is about feeling free enough to make your own mistakes – with his rhetorical gifts, he can make the case. But I can’t be the only one who thinks Pride and Prejudice has a lot to do with the conflicted, buttoned-up, adorable Darcy and his ability to see Elizabeth Bennet clearly, including all her faults, and love her anyway. What the book lacks is a deep connection to Deresiewicz himself; he’s better at analyzing text than telling his own story. The details of his life crop up without connection. In one chapter he’s a 28-year-old grad student living in the same dorm after several years, with a futon on the floor, a blanket tacked over the window and a fixation on a comely 21-yearold. Probably to the relief of her parents, she didn’t return his affections. For all we know, he’s self-absorbed and arrogant, but in the next chapter, on the strength of his erudition and wit, he’s hitching a ride into the jet set on the coattails of an old friend.
What we don’t see is his evolution; nor does he show us his charm in action. And when he reveals late that the most important part of his life was being involved in a Jewish youth movement, it comes as a complete surprise – as if we don’t know him at all. In another writer’s hands, the revealed details might add up to something – a character we understand and care about. In fact, in Austen’s hands, they probably would. But Deresiewicz, as clever a reader as he may be, is not much of a memoirist. He doesn’t give a clear self-portrait – and with this center missing, the lessons he’s learning seem unfelt and academically constructed. This is the hazard of embracing a great writer as a subject, or even, as Deresiewicz has done, as a catalyst. As a critic, he has been able to measure up. But as a storyteller, he falls far short: He gets few memorable conversations on the page and creates no indelible characters. In Austen’s long shadow, he can barely explain him–self. Grade: B —Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times (MCT) © 2011, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter is currently available.
The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History, and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread (Quirk Books) What it is: “The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches,” a 320page compendium of sandwiches from Susan Russo, who comments on (NPR’s “Kitchen Window”) and blogs (Food Blogga) about food. Her words are accompanied by the photography of Matt Armendariz. Praise and quibbles: If you take a spin through the table of contents, the list of sandwiches is not eye-popping. I mean, a roast beef sandwich? How difficult can that be? But go to the recipe. Kaiser roll. Swiss cheese. Tomato and red onion. Not bad. And then Russo really steps it up, explaining how to create advanced versions: beef on a weck, a Brazilian Bauru, the California roast beef. These variations – and some sound truly spectacular – give the book added depth. Meat-andpotato types may not get excited about some of the recipes, such as the toasted chocolate sandwich or the doughnut sandwich. Why you’ll like it: The book is compact, and the recipes are tempting and not overly involved. A nice touch is a sixpage ingredient index, listing breads, condiments, sauces, meats, cheeses, fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts that appear in Russo’s recipes. What to do with those pineapple rings in the fridge? There’s a recipe that uses them. Also, you have to like any book that opens with a page devoted to the wisdom offered by singer-songwriter Warren Zevon when asked what he had learned during his long, and ultimately losing, battle with cancer: “Enjoy every sandwich.” With this book, you will. Grade: A —William Hageman, Chicago Tribune (MCT) © 2011, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History, and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread is currently available.
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‘I HEART HAMAS:
And Other Things I’m Afraid to Tell You” by jewel delegall
“I Heart Hamas: and Other Things I’m Afraid to Tell You” runs June 9-25 at Theatre Asylum Lab, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, visit ihearthamas.com.
CAMPUS CIRCLE/Shrek 4.875” X 5.9” • BW CURTAINCALL DATE: 6/8/2011 “100 Saints You Should Know” Now-June 26 @ Elephant Space In “100 Saints You Should Know,” Matthew (Brendan Farrell) and Theresa (Cheryl Huggins) are both questioning their faith, one losing his; the other discovering hers. Matthew, a well-educated priest, seems to be lost in thought when he runs into Theresa, the woman hired to clean his rectory. He can never seem to remember who she is despite running into her several times a week. Soon he Kate Huffman as Abby goes off on a three-month leave from his church for reasons he would rather keep from his dogmatic mother Colleen (Pamela Roylance) and Garrett (Marco Naggar), a boy who delivers Colleen her groceries. Meanwhile, Theresa, a single mother, tries to balance between her newfound interest in faith and her daughter Abby (Kate Huffman), a teen at the cusp of her rebellious stride. A book left behind by Matthew seems like the perfect opportunity for Theresa to track the priest down with her questions. Although “Saints” broaches topics such as homosexuality, spirituality and teenage rebellion, it never really tackles the subject matter but rather provides an open glimpse into the complicated lives of its five characters. The actors of the Elephant Theatre Company do an acceptable job with their characters, but things like accents and teenage eccentricities seem a little forced. But there are several strong moments between actors that enrapture the audience, mainly the ones between parent and child. (Scrabble, anyone?) Written by Kate Fodor and directed by Lindsay Allbaugh, the West Coast premiere of “100 Saints You Should Know” is an enjoyable play that doesn’t stand out in any indelible way. —Jonathan Bue Elephant Space is located at 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. For more information, visit elephanttheatrecompany.com.
Yes, you read that cor– rectly. No, it is not a misprint. ‘I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I’m Afraid to Tell You,” is a solo show written Writer and performer Jennifer Jajeh and performed by the fearless Jennifer Jajeh. The Christian, first-generation Palestinian American takes the audience on her journey as she travels to Ramallah, Palestine to escape her American-born roots, experience a new sense of freedom and to see for herself what all of the chaos is about. Jajeh shares what it’s like to feel like an overnight outsider in her hometown of San Francisco, Calif. when the threat of terrorism was introduced to her world and the hard truth that wherever you go, even when it appears to be your homeland, there are always those who question if you belong. She gives an inside look of what it’s like to be an outspoken, young, confused and heart-filled woman in the middle of a world that’s obsessed with violence, terrorism, marriage, age and stereotypes. Her passion for what is humane and compassionate for all sides will make you think and feel differently, whether you like to discuss politics or not. Her take on what it’s like to be a young woman who wants to do things her way will make you laugh as speaks frankly about a change of heart on tradition. The best part is that Jajeh is able to bring a sense of humor, excitement and fun to a topic that is not only heavy but also potentially venomous if presented in the wrong context. Although lighthearted and often quite funny, Jajeh continues to bring the subject at hand back to the forefront. She asks the audience to look at a perspective of a story that hasn’t been told yet, through her eyes and experiences, asking the audience members to think for themselves. The idea of running into the fire is not some spiritual metaphor for Jajeh. She puts herself in situations that are quite scary, but her desire for self discovery and truth is a road less traveled that seems to be well worth it. She adds to her production by using slide shows, pop music, audience participation and an overall casual feeling which makes you feel that you’re sitting in a discussion forum at an on-campus lecture hall, not necessarily live theater. The feeling of change speaks through her stories, and though it seems unintended, you feel stimulated by the discussion. Jajeh’s story is relatable to all. What’s great about “I Heart Hamas” is that it’s the type of show that gets an audience speaking about life and politics in a community type of way. She has many fans that have seen the show more than once. It premiered in 2008 as a part of New York’s International Fringe Festival, then ran in San Francisco for 12 weeks in 2009, on to Minneapolis and Chicago for another six weeks in 2010, and starting June 9, it will be on its second run in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Fringe Festival until the 25th. The show continues to snowball its way across the country, gaining momentum, fans and great reviews. Lady Gaga speaks about being a misfit and having to overcome being an outsider, well, she’s not the only one representing and Miss Jajeh does it with sass and a smile. No elaborate costumes, just authenticity and honesty from the heart about her experience growing up in a very complicated and often shameless world. The stage is filled with characters that Jajeh subtly changes into as they prove her point that regardless of where you come from, it’s all relative. The show is described as a tragicomic solo show, which is true as you continue on the journey with her and experience what she sees. Culture clashes, oppression, race relations, religious conflict, discrimination, check points and suicide bombers paint a true picture, but somehow the audience feels Jajeh’s hope and strength and are more likely touched if nothing else. Jajeh leaves the stage changed, and so does the audience. Are all of the questions answered? Are all of the conflicts resolved? No, but we see a new side of Jajeh, and she challenges the audience to possibly a see a new perspective which they discovered themselves.
Campus Circle 6.8.11 - 6.14.11
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JETSETTER by kevin wierzbicki Live Like a Californian Sweepstakes Here’s something you can tell all of your out-of-state friends and family members about: The California Travel & Tourism Commission has launched a sweepstakes to encourage everyone to “Live Like a Californian,” and they’re giving away once-in-a-lifetime prize packages that will let winners do just that. All prize packages include round-trip flights for four, three nights lodging, a rental car and experiences that include things like V.I.P. treatment at a Jason Mraz concert in San Diego, a behind-the-scenes visit to the set of the Betty White hit comedy “Hot in Cleveland,” skiing with Glen Plake at Mammoth before the mountain opens to the public, surfing lessons, gear and a tour of O’Neill headquarters in Santa Cruz with Jack O’Neill and a private tasting and picnic with Randy Lewis of Lewis Cellars in Napa Valley. California residents are eligible to win; the sweepstakes end on June 19. Find all the details at visitcalifornia.com/sweepstakes.
Run For the (Hollywood) Hills! Sometimes the best travel adventures are right in your own backyard. Off ’N Running Tours offers guided running tours of the “hidden” Hollywood Hills suitable for runners and walkers of all levels. The five-mile tour takes individuals through Beachwood Canyon and an area known as Hollywoodland, ensuring the best views of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign and all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Participants walk or run challenging hills while going past notable landmarks, celebrity homes and movie sites. Throughout the entire experience individuals get sweeping views of the Hollywood Sign while learning little-known facts and seeing historical sites. These are not group tours;
Campus Circle > Culture > Travel bookings are made for one or two persons only so as to accommodate individual travel schedules. Cost is $65 per person, and tours are available on Sundays and Wednesdays. offnrunningtours.com
NYC Rock ’n’ Roll History Tour Rocks-Off, one of the most infamous concert promoters in New York has launched a series of walking tours in NYC. The two inaugural walking tours include the History of Art, Crime, Drugs and Punk Rock on the Lower East Side, a guided tour given by John Joseph of the Cro-Mags and the Past, Present and Future of Rock & Roll in New York City, given by Rocks-Off owner Jake Szufnarowski. Both men are certainly qualified to give informative tours; Joseph has been a first-hand participant in the history of punk in the Lower East Side since 1977, and Szufnarowski has been promoting shows in the city since 1997, including the final 100 shows at the legendary club CBGB. If you want to see things like the place where Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers beat up a sound guy mid-show, these are the tours for you. Offered weekly, in-between Thursday and Sunday. rocksoff.com/walkingtours
The Jet Bag Ever want to bring back a bottle of tequila from Mexico or a bottle of tasty wine from some distant vineyard but hesitate to do so because you’re worried the bottle might burst inside your suitcase? The Jet Bag can put you at ease by helping you transport liquids safely. Just insert your precious cargo bottom first, seal the top of the bag (Ziploc style) and place the bag in your suitcase. Should the bottle break in transit the bag’s special lining will absorb up to 750 ml of liquid, and you can just throw
AN ASIAN INVASION OF LOONY TOONS by john stapleton IV and Vera hughes
Kim asks, “I stumbled upon my boyfriend’s porn stash, and it’s full of really gross anime porn. Is that normal? Should any of this loli/ bukkakke/rape stuff worry me?” He Said: Australian comedian Jim Jeffries once told a story about an exgirlfriend of his that tried to insult him by telling him that he never made her orgasm, to which Jeffries replied, “Really? Do you think you make me [orgasm]? Do you know who makes me [orgasm]? I make me [orgasm]! All the terrible things in my head – you have very little to do with it!” While this is obviously aimed at garnering laughs instead of affection, it sheds light on a universal truth: Guys think a lot when we have sex. We’re not exactly solving calculus up there, but we’re judging if we can pull off that next move; we’re calculating the time it’ll take to finish; and we are always always seeking more stimuli. Know any guys that don’t want to have a threesome? I rest my case.
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Courtesy California Travel & Tourism Commission
You could win a trip throughout Cali, including Napa Valley. the whole mess away. Otherwise you can reuse the bag indefinitely and rest assured that your wardrobe will not be marinating in booze. thejetbag.com
Free Birthday Zips, Rappels, Cave & Gold Mine Tours For the remainder of 2011, bring your ID showing your actual birthday to any Cave & Mine Adventures location (in the Sierra Nevada foothills) for free admittance on your birthday. You can take a zip line ride across the gold country foothills, rappel 165-feet to the bottom of Moaning Cavern’s massive main chamber, climb a 32-foot custom climbing tower or take a walking tour at Moaning Cavern, Black Chasm Cavern, California Cavern or Sutter Gold Mine. Most locations are open year round, and there are no restrictions on dates so if your birthday happens to fall on Christmas or another major holiday you can still enjoy your free activity. caverntours.com/free-birthdays.htm
Campus Circle > Blogs > He Said, She Said Now, of course you want to be stimulating enough for your man; and for guys, getting someone to make you orgasm is usually enough to make you orgasm. But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you need more. Sometimes you need to think of some pretty insane things to get you there, and this is why the Asian porn industry is a multi-billion dollar market leader: There’s no such thing as “going too far.” Alarming? Yes. Disgusting? Sure. But stimulating? Always. Proponents are quick to attribute the allure of Asian porn to its submissive female roles: Hentai, especially, is known for depicting innocent looking young girls in varying levels of sexual discomfort and pain for the sake of male gratification. But submission isn’t the draw – novelty is. What Asian porn offers is limitlessness. I don’t know why it’s so weird, and I don’t know where they come up with ecchi like tentacle porn or broken-doll porn or comics who show what sex looks like from the inside (ew), but I know that no matter how unimaginative sex gets, the Asian porn market will supply something utterly mind-blowing. No matter what he has to imagine [to orgasm], at least he’s still having sex with you. He could be seeking that extra stimulus by joining a furry club or bringing a giant squid to bed or dressing 8-year-olds up as nurses (ew). She Said: Has he ever dumped a bucket of raw calamari on top of your naked body and made love to you to the sound of squishing tentacles? Because if it’s not transferring to the bedroom, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. But I don’t know, Asian porn is full of young girls, cartoon or not, and that’s where things start to get wiggy. Octopus sex? Weird, but how much weirder is that than Twilight fan-fiction? Rape fantasies? Less OK, but I guess they’re understandable;
there are plenty of couples who indulge in those sorts of fantasies together. Rape fantasies about 8-year-olds? Now, I might object. I’ve stumbled across the occasional child porn site, and I freak out the way I used to in elementary school when I got penis enlargement spam e-mails. There’s something ingrained in me that forces me to react negatively to children being taken advantage of sexually, and I appreciate that reflex. If you’re into that, suppress it. Lock it away in the chambers of your tortured inner soul, Nabokov. There are SO many types of porn out there. I understand exploration and watching weird porn to see what the hype’s about, but if you’ve stumbled across a massive collection of pornography that is categorized and accumulated over a long time, yeah, get a little weirded out. Also, if this freakiness is the ONLY type of porn you found, that might be an additional red flag. There is also a HUGE difference between cartoon porn and real-life porn. If the wackiest stuff is cartoon porn and young girls weren’t actually involved, the situation no longer concerns Amnesty International. There’s just a fundamental difference. In my opinion, crazy cartoon fantasies are less worrisome than real-life kiddie porn. Agreed? So take that into consideration. Ultimately, you’re going to be eeked out or you’re not. It’s going to be a guttural reaction, not something you can change your mind about later because other people tell you it’s acceptable.
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844 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach by lynda correa Much like their companion, the bacon-wrapped hot dog, street tacos originated on the streets of Southern California. You’re not a true resident of SoCal until you’ve had one of these tasty little morsels. Not having a street taco is almost as blasphemous as paying for parking at the beach. But if you’re afraid to try a taco on the street or you don’t know how to go about finding and approaching a vendor, fear not, for Hot’s Kitchen has your answer. If you’re from the valley and have been to Hot’s Cantina in Northridge, you’ll be glad to hear that Executive Chef Sean Chaney has opened up a “hot” new restaurant in Hermosa Beach. It features a surfer-meets-sophisticate styling, with chairs made with recycled plastic bottles, artwork featuring the South Bay, a bar made from reclaimed wood and a surfboard rack out front to make the transition from hang time to lunchtime easier. To start, you are offered a selection of over 36 craft beers on draft (They only serve draft beer to reduce waste from bottled beer – yay eco-friendliness!), of which I recommend the Steelhead X.P.A. (Mad River, Blue Lake, USA) along with the Roasted Brussels Sprouts appetizer with summer squash, goat cheese and quinoa. It’s a nice, light way to start your meal. Also, if you have room for it, try any of the wings. I had Grilled Korean Wings, and they were gone as soon as the plate hit the table. I didn’t get the chance to try some of their salads, but the menu lists nine of them, of which “White Trash Party” sounds the most fun. Please try the veggie medley, cheddar, crouton, bacon bit, salad topper and ranch combination and tell me if you indeed felt like white trash, or at least if you liked it or not. If a burger and fries is more your thing, there are 10 to choose from, and I’ll point out two for you. From what I was lucky enough to sample, I liked the Hot’s burger, which featured cheddar cheese, burger sauce, grilled onion, avocado and tomato, but my absolute favorite was the Mexicali burger with Oaxaca cheese, roasted poblano, cornjalapeno mayo, and fried onion rings. It was melt-in-your-mouth good. The kitchen suggested the 24th St. Pale Ale (Strand Brewing, Hermosa Beach, USA) as a pairing, but really, it’s a burger, and will taste just as delicious with any type of beer. If you want to skip straight to what makes Hot’s Kitchen so great, take your pick from 55 types of tacos. With something for everyone, these tacos have selections of natural and hormone-free meat, including beef, pork and chicken, but also seafood, vegetarian and even “exotic” plates, such as duck or alligator. To try all 55 requires multiple visits and stomachs, so take it easy with Slammin’ Alabamin’ (pork, onion, coleslaw, white barbecue sauce) or Mojo chicken (crispy chicken, caramelized onion, cilantro and mojo sauce). My new personal favorite is the Steak & Potato taco. It’s like taking Mom’s Sundaynight supper and wrapping it in a mini tortilla: tri-tip, mashed potatoes, bacon, green onions and sour cream all in one bite. Another dinner in taco form is the Fried Chicken taco, which has mashed potatoes, gravy and cornbread topping. It only makes me wonder what other dinnertime favorites can be miniaturized and transformed to fit in the palm of my hand. Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Taco? I don’t see why not. My only quip about this place is that it does not have its own parking lot. You’ll have to hunt down parking meters or hope the locals don’t tow you for parking in their driveways. As a last resort, you could use and pay for neighboring beach parking, but as we have already mentioned, that is blasphemy. Overall, Hot’s Kitchen merits a second visit, and it’s totally worth the drive. It is good for warm summer-night dinners, but best for hot summer days. If you’re interested, a good first date night plan: Stroll around the pier, eat at Hot’s and follow it with a visit to the comedy club the next block over. Guaranteed second date! For more information, call (310) 318-2939 or visit hotskitchen.com.
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Campus Circle 6.8.11 - 6.14.11
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ASSESSING THE R FACTOR by dov rudnick
Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. That’s how slugger Matt Kemp does it these days in the post-Rihanna era. The Dodger centerfielder has been getting busy hitting skins off the ball this year. Through Sunday, Kemp leads the league in RBIs and is second in homeruns and among the top five in batting average. With great speed and a shotgun arm, he has become a regular feature of the evening highlight reels and at long last is becoming a household name among your average baseball enthusiast. The recent polls of all-star balloting prove the point. He is currently the fifth highest vote-getter among outfielders. He should be first. And he would be, if the voting public were not a mass of partisan-minded, beer-guzzling, hot-dog shoveling fanatics. (God Bless America!) For years now, Kemp has been touted as the next great superstar. How many times have we heard about the triple threat (hitting, fielding, running), the 40-40 fella (40 homers, 40 steals)? He has always been the one not quite meeting his full potential or so they said, citing his high strikeout percentage and penchant for getting picked off base. These days, the only people complaining about Kemp’s performance are opposing pitchers. Many are blistering with pride as though he was their own first-born son making good at long last. They talk like they can read his mind: “He’s
Campus Circle > Sports > Baseball finally found his focus,” “He’s finally matured.” The more naïve voices express the opinion that Kemp’s girlfriend of last season, the pop star Rihanna, was causing him to be less focused. Yeah maybe, and maybe not. One could cite numbers to support the view. In the years before Kemp met Rihanna, the batting averages were .342, 290, 297. After the meeting and subsequent involvement with Rihanna, the average slipped to .249. Since it became evident the two were no longer romantically engaged during the offseason, Kemp has played better than ever. Certainly, nobody can say for sure what the Rihanna effect has been, why or how. If someone says they know, they are probably full of shit. And anyway, the polite consensus says it is rude to enquire. But, heck, it’s fun. So at the risk of sounding full of shit, I offer my own unbidden and unrehearsed perspective on the Rihanna question: I think she was the best thing that ever happened to Matt Kemp, and by extension, the Dodgers. Sure his numbers declined during the year they dated, sure he made one bonehead base-running blunder after another during that span. It very well may have been that his mind was elsewhere on those occasions he was caught snoozing on the base pads or whiffing air at the plate. And why wouldn’t it be? Rihanna’s a fox, a super babe, a genuine hot tamale. Have you ever heard her music (rhetorical question)? The catchy little ditties flood the air waves and cover the bases from unbridled debauchery to sexual fetishism. It’s great stuff, I’m as big a fan as any, but imagine if your girlfriend sang such songs. Try picking up a glove and playing 162 games a year for a club whose owner was broke, whose manager was bailing at season’s end and which was feeling the air run out by mid-July. So Kemp had other things on his mind, things that would occupy the mind of any 25-year-old man, or any man.
Since his relationship with Rihanna, Matt Kemp has swagger. Matt Kemp was born and raised in Oklahoma. He’s a country boy, essentially, playing the game of his youth, a game that has taken him to Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world. Since meeting Rihanna he has traveled to Mexico, to Europe, all the while partying with celebrities. The gossip pages routinely caught pictures of the couple tricked out in the latest fashions. The Oklahoma boy was having the time of his life. It must have done wonders for his ego – not that professional athletes need more ego boosting – but they do. The Matt Kemp who strolled into camp a few weeks early this spring was not the scrawny fresh-faced hopeful the scouts once knew. He was a world-traveled, celebrity-sexed stud and what’s more, he knew it. In the game of baseball, attitude is everything. It’s what they call swagger, the potent mix of self-knowledge and selfconfidence. At the moment, Matt Kemp has swagger oozing from his pores and Dodger fans can only hope it’s contagious.
GOLD CUP ACTION BEGINS
L.A. Draws D.C. United by marvin vasquez
The Galaxy’s Josh Saunders
The Galaxy gained a scoreless draw against visiting D.C. United Friday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson in front of 20,036 spectators. American midfielder Landon Donovan and Jamaican starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts did not see action with Los Angeles; both players are serving duty with their respective national soccer teams due to the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament being held June 5-25. The Galaxy miss both Donovans as their teams continue to compete in the international tourney, but head coach Bruce Arena believes the tie had nothing to do with the absence of these players – at least not with Donovan. “It has nothing to do with it,” Arena quickly answered with no hesitation during the post-game press conference. Throughout the game, both squads had several opportunities to collect goals and take leads, but nothing came to precise execution in order to net goals. For the Galaxy, goalkeeper Josh Saunders had a solid game while sporadically making important saves; he totaled four saves on his second shutout of the season. “He had a couple of good saves. I think Josh certainly did well. There is no question about that,” Arena says. Saunders is no newcomer. He saw action in a few games during the start of this year’s campaign when Ricketts was out because of injury. Thus far, Saunders has allowed six goals in five games. Four of those scores came in the Galaxy’s 4-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on March 26 in Utah. “Towards the end of the game, it started to open up a bit because we were pushing up to try and get the goal,” Saunders says. “Toward the end, they started to throw numbers at us, it was difficult for us to withstand the pressure, but the defense played well and helped us out.” With the draw, the Galaxy’s record shifted to 8-2-6 with a total of 30 points. Los Angeles hosts Toronto FC Saturday, June 11, at 7:30 p.m.
Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT
Campus Circle 6.8.11 - 6.14.11
by marvin vasquez
Mexico’s El Tri earned a 5-0 victory over El Salvador
Concacaf’s Gold Cup soccer tournament has begun, and the first day of action saw clear promises from two teams representing their countries. In the tourney’s first match, the Central American nation of Costa Rica pummeled the Caribbean country of Cuba by a score of 5-0. Marco Ureña scored twice to lead the Ticos to victory. “We were able to beat Cuba thanks to some great collective work, but we still can’t say that we’re the best,” Ureña says through goldcup.org. “Now we have to face El Salvador. We have to start thinking about them now so that we can get another win and have a chance to reach the next round.” Ureña netted his first goal in the seventh minute of the first half before scoring his second early in the second half. Costa Rica collected two goals within the first two minutes of the 45 minutes of play. Costa Rica head coach Ricardo Lavolpe says, “We’re starting a new tournament here and getting to know each other inside the field. The team looked well today.” The other two teams of Group A, Mexico and El Salvador, played the second match of the day’s doubleheader in Dallas, Texas. Mexico gained a similar win to that of the Ticos, earning a 5-0 victory. El Salvador played Mexico tightly in the first half, getting a draw by halftime. However, Mexico just took over with their physique and strength thereafter. Efraín Juárez initiated Mexico’s scoring shower, but the talk of the game remained with Javier “Chicharito” Hernández. Chicharito, a forward currently playing with the English Premier League team Manchester United, fired three goals for El Tri. “The more important thing is the three points,” Hernández responds when asked about his scoring. “I don’t care if I score or not, the important thing is getting the win.”
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BY FREDERICK MINTCHELL TUESDAYJUNE 14 Stephen “Steve-O” Glover Barnes & Noble, 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles; barnesandnoble.com The Jackass star signs his book, Professional Idiot: My Insane Quest to Become the World’s Most Famous Moron. 7 p.m.
WEDNESDAYJUNE 8 Video Games Live Nokia Theatre, 777 Chick Hearn Court, Downtown; nokiatheatrelalive.com Live musical performances from the Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Halo, Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, God of War, Civilization, Chrono Cross, StarCraft and Guitar Hero franchises, including a musical journey through Classic Gaming. 8 p.m. Tix start @ $24.50.
THURSDAYJUNE 9 Shakespeare by the Sea shakespearebythesea.org The 14th season of free Shakespeare performances at 18 parks (including amphitheaters, museums and gazebos) throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. This year’s productions are “Much Ado About Nothing” and “King Lear.” Performances are various days, Wednesday through Sunday, through Aug. 13.
FRIDAYJUNE 10 L.A. Pride West Hollywood; lapride.org People of all orientations can enjoy performances by Macy Gray, CeCe Peniston, Mya, Estelle, Margaret Cho and more plus the parades, food trucks, dancing, exhibitors and everything else pride in the heart of West Hollywood. Runs through Sunday.
SATURDAYJUNE 11 Food Truck Chow Down L.A. State Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring St., Downtown; foodtruckchowdown. com Chow down at your choice of over 50 of Los Angeles’ best food trucks plus two stages of live music, carnival games, a video gaming truck and a showcase of rare cars all benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
SATURDAYJUNE 11 L.A. Winefest Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; lawinefest.com The largest consumer wine event in Los Angeles showcases the finest in wine, spirits and beer along with live music and gourmet hors d’oeuvres benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
Also Sunday noon-6 p.m.
SUNDAYJUNE 12 Pie Bake à la Beverly Hills & Piesta Beverly Hills Farmers Market, 9300 Civic Center Drive; beverlyhills.org Cupcakes are sooo 2010. Pie is the new trend now, so schedule that spin class for Sunday afternoon after the “pie”sta that will include a pie bake contest, a pie eating contest and more. 9 a.m-1 p.m. FREE.
MONDAYJUNE 13 Reel Talk with Stephen Farber Regent Theatre, 1045 Broxton Ave., Westwood; landmarktheatres.com Director Cindy Meehl will be on-hand for a discussion and Q&A after a screening of Buck, the audience award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival that chronicles the life of Buck Brannaman, a horse trainer who was a consultant on Robert Redford’s movie, The Horse Whisperer, and may have been the inspiration for the title character. 7 p.m. $20.
TUESDAYJUNE 14 “Les Misérables” Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Downtown; centertheatregroup.org Cameron Mackintosh presents a brand new 25th anniversary production of Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical with glorious new staging and spectacular re-imagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. Runs Tuesday through Sunday, through July 31.
TUESDAYJUNE 14 Lord of the Rings (Extended Edition) Trilogy amctheatres.com In anticipation of the Blu-ray release of the Extended Editions of the Lord of the Rings films, select AMC Theatres screens the director’s cuts. The Fellowship of the Ring today, The Two Towers June 21 and The Return of the King June 28.
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UCLA’S SEASOn ENDS
by marvin vasquez
Bruin Trevor Bauer made the All-NCAA L.A. Regional Team.
Everything looked ideal for the Bruins as they hosted the L.A. Regional, but UCLA came up short Sunday evening. With a one-run lead going into the ninth inning, the Bruins were on the verge of advancing to the NCAA Super Regional. However, the UC Irvine Anteaters had other plans. UCI scored twice to edge the Bruins by a score of 4-3 at Jackie Robinson Stadium before 1,461 fans. “It was one of best college baseball games you’ll see. It was a remarkable game with young players stepping up,” Bruins head coach John Savage declares. Starting pitcher Zack Weiss tossed eight solid innings, but the Anteaters finally got to him when it counted the most. Weiss’ line featured three runs on six hits, while walking three and fanning six. “They’re a good team. They battled. They swing at fastballs early; they will make you pay if you make a mistake,” Weiss says of UCI . “I think they’re a very good team, they do the little things right, they put the bunts down, they’re scrappy and they’re tough outs. There’s no easy out in that lineup.” Weiss pitched in the ninth to just one batter and surrendered a walk before being replaced by freshman right-hander Nick Vander Tuig. After a double that tied the game and a bunt single that moved a runner to third, UCI’s Ronnie Shaeffer lined the gamewinning single down the right field line. Shaeffer went on to receive the award for Most Outstanding Player honors on the All-NCAA Los Angeles Regional Team. UCI moved to 42-16 on the year. UCLA, on the other hand, ended its season at 35-24. The Bruins had four players named to the All-NCAA Los Angeles Regional Team, including pitcher Trevor Bauer, DH Jeff Gelalich and outfielders Cody Keefer and Beau Amaral.
Campus Circle 6.8.11 - 6.14.11
OMG! Friday night was a blast. You should have seen the crowd. The people were going nuts, and so did we. My best friend was sooo excited – she nearly fainted. LOL. Saturday night was “GIRLS” night. We were looking fine and feeling good. Where were you? XOXO
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