Page 1

‘Shady’ Jeff Phillips Great Northern talks about their new Sleepy Eepee Page 6

How he is using vegetable oil to change the automotive world Page 4

Locked & Loaded: self-torment and yawning in the OC courthouse Page 8


Q&A of the day

the street scene

show time


BUZZ 1.22.08

gladiators ready?

by richard tinoco

Courtesy of Paramount


The highly anticipated J.J. Abrams produced “Cloverfield” brought in $41 million, breaking January box office records. How long till they announce a sequel? Katherine Heigl’s romantic comedy, “27 Dresses,” came in 2nd with $22 million ... In other Abrams-related news, the teaser trailer to the longlyawaited “Star Trek” reboot appears along “Cloverfield.” The film will be released Christmas Day and it will star Chris Pine as a young Captain Kirk ... Disney confirmed all principal cast members of the “High School Musical” franchise will return for their Senior Year. Zac Efron and pals will reunite on the big screen Oct. 24th ... “The Justice League” feature, which would have united Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman under one film, will not be developing faster than a speeding bullet. War-


Courtesy of Actor Brad Renfro, who appeared in films like “The Client” and “Ghost World,” was found dead at his Los Angeles apartment Jan. 18th. No cause has yet been determined ... “The Bob Newhart Show” actress Suzanne Pleshette died at 70, from respiratory failure.


ner Bros. had already casted Adam Brody as The Flash, along with a slew of newcomers. The movie has been put on hold until after the strike ... The Razzies, the only award which rewards career no-no’s and missteps, has nominated Eddie Murphy’s glut-tastic film, “Norbit,” for five awards in worst picture, worst screenplay and worst actor, amongst others. Not to be out done, Lindsay Lohan received a worst actress nomination for participating in torture porn flop “I Know Who Killed Me.” Other worst movie nonimees included “Bratz,” “Daddy Day Camp” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” ... Director Oliver Stone is going ‘Bush’-whacking with his next project, currently titled “Bush.” Stone hopes to release the film based on the U.S. President in the fall. Actor Josh Brolin is attached to star.

With the success of the “American Gladiators” revival on NBC, in the coming months, expect overkill with a 2nd season, an interactive Web site, a national tour and a possible cartoon series ... “American Idol” premiered to 30.3 million viewers, down 10% from the previous year. Have people grown tired or have more DVRs been implaced at the home? ... Talk show host Oprah Winfrey continues plans for world domination by buying her OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) television network ... As if television wasn’t enough of a circus, NBC and ABC want to add a lion and fire. Each network is developing their circus-theme reality

JENNIFER CADDICK the buzz editor Photo Courtesy of NBC show. The former’s, titled “Celebrity Circus” will air in the summer for six episodes. The latter’s will be titled “Circus of the Stars.” In even more reality TV news, MTV is casting the new Elle Woods for the “Legally Blonde” musical. No air date has been announced. “Amas de casa desesperadas,” the Spanish version of “Desperate Housewives,” premiered to a sum of 3.75 million people ... Chile recently bought the rights of “The Office.” It will air May ‘08.

g rammys war The Writer’s Strike may derail the Grammys as well. A SAG spokesman said, “If a waiver is requested for the Grammys, it is unlikely to be granted.” The show will go on regardless of the WGA’s decision to celebrate its 50th year ... In related news, Grammy-nominated artists Beyonce and Foo Fighters confirmed they’d perform at the awards ceremony ... The soundtrack to the Golden Globe-nominated movie, Juno, sold

68 thousand physical copies the first week, to land in the No. 3 position. Positions No. 1 and No. 2 went to Alicia Keys’ album, As I Am and Radiohead’s In Rainbows record .. Cal State Fullerton students are being invited for the 13th Annual Front and Center Event featuring Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac. The event will take place at the Honda Center - Saturday, Feb 2. Each student may receive up to two free tickets, which can be picked up at LH 805 from 10:00 - 5:00pm.


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account executives the daily titan

714.278.3373 the buzz editorial

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the buzz is a student publication, a supplemental insert for the Cal. State Fullerton Daily Titan. It is printed every Thursday. The Daily Titan operates independently of Associated Students, College of Communications, CSUF administration and the CSU system. The Daily Titan has functioned as a public forum since inception. Unless implied by the advertising party or otherwise stated, advertising in The Daily Titan is inserted by commercial activities or ventures identified in the advertisements themselves and not by the university. Such printing is not to be construed as written or implied sponsorship, endorsement or investigation of such commercial enterprises.


BUZZ 1.22.08


Reviews Albums The Arctic Monkeys Teddy Picker

Gogol Bordello Super Taranta!

Released Dec ‘07

Released July ‘07

Movies Persepolis Released June ‘07

Games Uncharted: NFL Tour Drake’s Fortune System: All System: Playstation 3

By sapphire mcgee

For the Daily Titan

While you twisted and toe-tapped the last days of 2007 to over-styled, makeup-concealed, prepubescent fetuses such as the Jonas Brothers, you were sadly missing something. The Arctic Monkeys sneakily released their latest single “Teddy Picker” under the pseudonym “The Death Ramps” last month, all while you guzzled down pumpkin-flavored eggnog ad nauseam. In a move reminiscent of monster rock acts such as Apollo C. Vermouth and Dr. Winston O’ Boogie (a little rock trivia), the boys from Sheffield briefly renamed their group and issued a four-track masher to formally close out their latest album, Favourite Worst Nightmare. While their secretive and nameless vinyl release may have sold out overseas, leave it up to the American iTunes to take away all the fun and release the EP under the Monkey’s real name. Sure, their cover may have been blown, but at least I was able to discover their newest tunes. Songs such as “Nettles” and “The Death Ramps” offer hope for those anticipating a new album, while the Jefferson Airplane-ish (pre-Starship) “Bad Woman” shows their growth as musicians. If this isn’t enough to turn you on to better bands, hey, they’re still young enough to come down with the blinding whitehead every now and then-teenagers, like seriously, unite … girl!

By Sylvia Masuda

For the Daily Titan

By Robert Stroud

For the Daily Titan

Tired of listening to the countless number of Emo and scream-core bands that are constantly flooding the airwaves? Looking for a new form of musical entertainment to break up the monotony of these groups that could very well be coming off an assembly line? When it comes to innovative entertainment, Gogol Bordello goes above and beyond combining the fast-paced sounds of punk rock and tribal Gypsy music. Their latest album, Super Taranta!, brings a level of intensity that is only surpassed by the theatrical performances of the band during one of their live stage performances. With some of the band members coming from Russia and the Ukraine, it is easy to hear how the Eastern European lifestyle has influenced this group’s music. In fact, some have gone so far as to say that lead singer Eugene Hutz’s vocals have a faint resemblance to that of the fictional TV and film star Borat. If the bombardment of mediocre musicians has become too much, then check out something original from this notorious Gypsy punk band and help bring about the end of mundane music.

It is rare that a movie with a cartoon style more simple than many primitive animations has such a compelling plot. “Persepolis” balances a young girl’s dive into adulthood with the outside horrors of the Iranian Revolution. Both history and animation fans won’t be disappointed by this marvel of a film. The movie may seem that its appeal is limited. Not so. Though Marjane, the main character, has a childhood that is replete with politics and death, it is a rare, sweet morsel of life. Marjane shoots head first into an unceasing tangle of complications – rebelling against the establishment, finding a lover, finding said lover in bed with a stranger, sprouting inches and breasts and severing from her mother and father. A CGI-less animation such as “Persepolis” is a welcome change of pace. Instead of almost life-like and sometimes gaudy landscaping and characters, this movie is meant to mimic the graphic novel that inspired this film. Bold lines and deep contrast is easier on the eyes than the explosion of colors and depths moviegoers are used to seeing. Reviewers from TIME, Entertainment Weekly and the New York Times showered “Persepolis” with praise. The fact that it’s only showing in limited theaters should not keep anyone from seeing this flick.

By Phillip Radke

For the Daily Titan

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is a game that truly immerses the player into its world. The game’s premise has you following the clues laid forth by famous explorer Sir Francis Drake to uncover the lost treasure of El Dorado. Your character, Nathan Drake, is extremely likeable and will drag you into the story more and more as time goes on. All of the characters in this game are this way, and they have some the best voice acting ever seen in a video game. The gameplay is basic run-andgun as you make your way through hordes of pirates who are after the same treasure as you. This does get a bit monotonous; the attacks never seem to end and you are forced to take cover from the massive amounts of gunfire and grenades these enemies hurl at you. About three-quarters of the way through the game it throws you for a total loop as it alters the entire reality that your character is in, which is an amazing shift that keeps you on your toes. While this game has its minor imperfections, they are easily overlooked when compared to the whole package. Go get this right away or else you’ll regret it.

By Phillip Radke

For the Daily Titan

While this game will try to deceive you into thinking it is a fun gridiron romp, do not be fooled. NFL Tour is nothing that its predecessor, NFL Street, was. The gameplay is overly simple, meaning that any play you run will most likely result in a touchdown Playing defense is no better, as it is easy to sack the QB for a loss on pretty much every single play, even if you run the same defense every time. While you are doing all this, you are treated to some of the worst video game commentary ever devised. The announcer is content to make wisecracks about how video game announcers are repetitive and then drive the point home with an even worse joke about the gameplay or something completely off topic, like when the Western Roman Empire fell. Stadium design here is an exercise in monotony, as every one of them looks exactly the same, no matter what location they claim to be at. Tour mode lets you create a character and assume a role on your favorite team, but even this is ruined by a massively low difficulty level. Overall, it’s best if you just steer clear of this one.


BUZZ 1.22.08

Transforming cars: 100 miles per gallon


The owner of L.A. Bio Cars cleans up his act and the environment By Nikki Donahue

For the Daily Titan

To ride with him is to get intimate with the restraint of a seat belt and be more grateful for it then ever before. Claiming the passenger seat of his car is testing the fate of not being blessed with nine lives and calculating the end equation of lucky stars. At arm’s distance, from the mantle of the dashboard, he careens through the streets of Los Angeles in a 1983 Mercedes Benz. For once in his life, the speed at which he goes no longer exists only to break laws. The speed at which that bulk of German metal peels through traffic is the driving force behind Jeffery Phillips’ new life endeavor: to get clean and to be a better man. For the past 10 years Phillips has survived off being the black sheep of L.A. The canvas of his body is

smothered in tattoo ink. He has the permanent outline of a single teardrop etched beneath his left eye. Notoriously referred to under the moniker of “Shady,” Phillips made a killing off slick cajolery and a well defined jawline. But after falling from the charm of infamous grace Phillips crept out of Hollywood’s limelight and disappeared for two years. On Sept. 6, 2007, the day of his 29th birthday, he re-emerged from the shadows and opened Los Angeles Bio Cars, a company dedicated to producing fuel efficient and environmentally safe automobiles. “I wasted all these years doing nothing good and was just going to end up dead and hollow,” Phillips said. “Ten years living off my image ... really contributing to the greater good of humanity there.” So, with the space for a shop purchased in Pasadena, Phillips began

Photos by Nikki Donahue a new career converting diesel powered engines into motors that could run on vegetable oil. It’s a fairly new idea in the automotive field, but he already had two well-established competitors in the Southern California area: Veggie Wheels and Lovecraft. But in true dissenting style, Phillips wasn’t about to arrive back on the scene

without breaking a few rules. The first was to give all cars the potential to use environmentally safe fuel. That meant getting his hands on gasoline powered engines and modifying them into diesels. From there, he could alter them to be vegetable oil-compatible. Once he converted the cylinder engines to turbine engines, Phillips began fine tuning

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more of the tricks he had under his hood. He now hacks hybrids and works on them to produce 100 plus miles per gallon. “These are the cars car companies should be making but aren’t because of politics and money,” Phillips said. David Graf, president of Cal State Fullerton’s Society of Automo-

When you help the American Red Cross, you help America. Call 1-800-Help Now or visit us at

BUZZ 1.22.08


tive Engineers, has never heard of anyone doing what Phillips is doing so successfully. After driving a 1988 biodiesel-fueled Volkswagen Rabbit for a few years, Graf is well-versed in the technicalities of fuel efficiency. He would take the grease from the willing hands of a local McDonald’s and run the oil through a filtration system before filling up his tank. “The engine runs off regular gas until the vegetable oil reaches 160

degrees in the tank,” Graf explained. “Once it’s the right temperature and switches over, you can smell the french fries.” Graf went on to run down a list of creative fuel alternatives people are working on such as ammoniapowered engines and electric motor kits, but he’s yet to hear of anything like Phillips’ formerly gasoline-fueled cars accelerating on vegetable oil.

Phillips has never owned a business, let alone taken on a enterprise that challenged conventional thinking and economic power struggles. He’s become a specialist in carbon efficiency and worked as an adviser to an assembly, which is changing the 70-year-old red tape laws that have kept biodiesel under the taxes that are applied to hazardous-petroleum based fuels. Since Phillips opened his shop in September, the owner

of his competitor, Veggie Wheels, has asked him to take over the company and L.A. Bio Cars will soon be opening shop in Inglewood. “He’s finally up to some good,” Andrew Schwarz, a friend and client of Jeff’s, said half joking, half completely serious. “It’s the brighter side of Shady Jeff.” His converted dust-blue Mercedes stands as a testament to the history he’s trying to shake. His


script-decorated knuckles let the wheel gently graze in rotation under his fingers. Like that beloved vintage coupe, Phillips’ charlatan paint job hasn’t changed. They still own that unmistakable framework, but the organs at work beneath are running off something a little more pure. And where ever they decide to go, and whatever route they take, both get there at a speed no one can touch.



BUZZ 1.22.08

the Q&A’s of the day

The Great Northern is keeping fans awake with their new Sleepy Eepee

Necktie Social knows how to bring the rock By nate jackson

For the Daily Titan

Necktie Social has a very simple formula: shredding guitar sweeps, a thundering rhythm section and vocals with a growl and swagger that sends your ears back to the rock ‘n’ roll days of old. With a sound that romps through exploits about life in the fast lane, it’s hard to ignore the band’s goodtime hair metal-esque quality that is easy to find, but seldom done right. This Hollywood-based four-piece has cemented their mission to slowly but surely bash their way into the So Cal rock scene on their own terms. Vocalist Carlos Castenada and guitarist Dustin Lyon took time out to serve up some facts on the band that pure rock ‘n’ roll fans were made to love.

Photo by Jason Odell By Sarah Mosqueda

first wrote them. They have been remixed, though.

L.A.-based indie band Great Northern has a knack for creating haunting melodies and a sound you can see. “Home,” their single from the 2007 debut release Trading Twilight for Daylight, has been on heavy rotation at radio stations like Indie 103.1 and KCRW, gracing the airwaves and making listeners nostalgically remember things that never happened. The Buzz spoke with lead singer/ guitarist Solon Bixler about the new EP, Sleepy, the band’s self-described cinematic sound and why Bixler is glad his dad wasn’t a dentist.

BUZZ: Your single, “Home,” has received heavy radio play. Has that caused a lot of changes for you guys? SB: Yeah, we all own five or six houses now and I can’t even count the number of cars I’ve bought . . . (laughs) It’s really made our record more accessible. I stopped listening to radio because it went through kind of a weird time and maybe still is. But we’ve noticed more people coming out to the shows and actually singing our songs. It’s definitely changed in that way. It helped me find a new respect for radio.

For the Daily Titan

BUZZ: Tell me about the new Sleepy EP. What can fans expect? SB: Sleepy is basically a group of songs we were working on before the album. They’re the first songs we ever wrote. They didn’t make it to the first album (Trading Twilight for Daylight.)We didn’t think they’d ever get used or we thought they would get used on another album. BUZZ: How does the EP differ from the album? SB: It’s similar to the album. We worked the song a little bit, but, for the most part, they haven’t been touched aside from when we

BUZZ: How would you describe your sound? SB: Hopefully good. We tend to write on the more cinematic side of music. It’s very visual. We want to paint a portrait of our life, someone else’s life or the world. Make it interesting. BUZZ: I read you father was a composer. Did he have a large impact on your song writing? SB: He definitely turned me on to a lot of classical artists growing up. There were always a lot of instruments around the house: pianos, guitars, a bass and other string instruments. Rachel [Stolte (piano/

singer)] has a lot of music in her background as well. She played piano from a young age and she has musical people in her family. I suppose if my father had been a dentist things would have turned out differently. Not that dentistry is bad. I just would be living a very different life. BUZZ: Great Northern has really become a fixture in L.A. what with a long standing residency at the Echo and making the rounds at the Viper Room and Spaceland. What are your thoughts on the L.A. music scene? SB: I think it’s actually pretty great. There is a good, diverse group of bands here. It’s not a bad time for music in L.A. right now. I think it gets a bad rap because of the Hollywood thing, but there are good parts and bad parts of any city. I like the east side of L.A. where I think a lot of good bands are coming from. It’s not all celebrities, movies stars and plastic surgery. There’s a soul here and I’m happy to be a part of it. BUZZ: Is there anything else you want readers to know about you, your band or your music? SB: We’re not as serious as we may come off. Our music isn’t all self-deprecating, sad stuff. We have a good time and we have a lot of fun too.

BUZZ: How do you think your band name relates to your sound? CC: The band name came from an old saying that means a public hanging. Back in the Wild West, they would hang outlaws in public in the town square to scare the rest of the town into not being criminals. The name represents the outlaw lifestyle that we live and the state of mind that we are in. BUZZ: What is your sound? DL: Old school rock ‘n’ roll with a modern twist, with a bit of Sabbathstyle metal infused with old-school punk. There are also early ‘90s alternative influences such as Sound Garden and Alice in Chains. BUZZ: Does anyone in your band have a “signature move?” CC: Not really. We just let the music take us away and whatever happens, happens. Although Mike Zilla (bass) does have a rock stance that rivals the Grand Canyon.

BUZZ: Is there one band that you guys totally can’t stand? CC: The music scene of today is pretty bad. It’s all image with no talent. We don’t really care what you look like because you’re a band, not models. We listen to music with our ears, not our eyes. BUZZ: What are the band’s primary influences? CC: It’s a far range of music. From Guns ‘N Roses to Ennio Morricone. With everything in between. From Sabbath, to The Doors and the Beatles. With the Allman Brothers, Boston, Metallica, Faith No More, The Sex Pistols, and many others. BUZZ: If you had to come up with the most rock ‘n’ roll title for an album, what would it be? CC: It would probably be about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, but we haven’t thought of it yet. BUZZ: You guys have a big battle of the bands competition coming up, could you talk a little bit about that for me? DL: It’s called The Emergenza Festival. If we win, we would get a three-week European tour, and get to record an album in Sweden. BUZZ: Any plans for a tour in the future? CC: We have a Phoenix date for late February. BUZZ: You guys have a music video for the song “You know you want it?” DL: It was shot on our friend’s hand-held camera. We shot it just to make a home video ... Dustin edited at home. BUZZ: Anything you want to say to the fans? DL: Get ready to rumble, because we bring the rock.

BUZZ 1.22.08 7


the street scene

it’s show time 1.22 HOB Anaheim: Social Distortion Troubadour: Poison the Well 1.23 The Glass House: Poison the Well Troubadour: Gallows 1.24 HOB Anaheim: Social Distortion The Glass House: The Blakes The Grove Anaheim:

Britney Barnes, 20 “I try to wear things that are pretty and feminine. I’m trying to move away from the comfortable, OC flip-flops and jeans thing.”

Anh Tran, 19 “I describe my style as innovative … I shop at thrift stores, vintage because they have good prices … They’re one of a kind.”

items of the week YUBZ has a USB Skype phone for computers and cell phones. It’s PC and Mac compatible because it comes with VOIP plug-andplay technology in black, red, white and yellow. You can also get the YUBZ TALK MOBILE in 10 different colors. It’s designed to attach to most mobile phones. Price: $44.95 Find it at

The Energi To Go gives you power anywhere. The device plugs into all major phone brands and runs on 2 Energizer AA Lithium batteries. It provides up to 9 hours of talk time once your own phone battery has lost power. Price: $20 Find it at

Photos courtesy of

Talib Kweli 1.25 Spaceland: Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit Molly Malones: The Northstar Session The Glass House: The Circle Jerks HOB Sunset: Talib Kweli 1.26 The Glass House:

Moving Units The Smell: Abe Bigoda Troubadour- Tim Finn 1.27 HOB Sunset: Heavy D HOB Anaheim: Social Distortion



BUZZ 1.22.08

locked & loaded By thomas liam madden For the Daily Titan

There is nothing worse than being made out to be an example. Whether done in by a sluggish system, headhunting professors or monkey-brained cops, being the recipient of a faulted process is truly a frustrating experience. The Santa Ana Court House is drab and featureless. Standing tall over a city of taco stands and vacant lots, the Orange County Superior Court houses 109 judges and 34 commissioners geared up to handle your wrongdoings. I was waiting to, hopefully, catch one of those hundred-plus judges on a good day. Last November, I found myself observing a typical skirmish expected from males in my age group. As the uneventful squabble subdued, we all found ourselves surrounded by officers armed with Xenon projection flashlights and their false assertions -- unfairly charged and in need of pricey representation. Fast forward two months and I find myself sitting nervously under the harsh fluorescent lighting of the courthouse’s lobby. The gray-speckled linoleum flooring of the lobby is scuffed up and

marked with imprints of every type. The rich wear square-toed loafers wrapped in shiny leather, slip resistant and non-marking, perfect for escaping the long mutated arms of the law. The less fortunate beings, however, show up dressed in worn down Nikes -- public defendant in tow, fully understanding their position and possible outcome from being in the lower caste. They view their relationship with the court of law as a slanted one. Another step in their role as an unwillingly partaker in this uneven world, a life devoted to slaving for the top percent of the aforementioned leather footed affluent who have a much higher chance of plea bargaining and freedom than they [do]. Me, hell, I sat nervously in the middle, watching expressionless faces tread by. I was armed with a substantial lawyer, so the necessity of an anti-diarrheal was not as strong, but I still wasn’t in the clear. Pass through metal detectors, meet with my personal legal practitioner, sit and self-torment. What was to come? What if I got stuck with some bulbous-nosed judge with string warts and a personal vendetta toward young and handsome writers? Judges and Jour-

Photo illustration by thomas liam madden nalists are natural adversaries in the wild, so maybe I should impersonate a coked up Hollywood starlet in hopes of beating this charge -- It’s always worked for Lindsay. My luck has been defective thus far, so I should fully prepare myself for a face-to-face meeting with a pissed off judge looking for a punching bag. What if I reminded him of one of the Sigma Kappa muscleheads who placed his underdeveloped son into a guillotine choke on his way home from a night on the frat row last week? Would he hate

me? Or what if the judge was deranged and upset over his wife’s coveted bichon frise’s inability to defecate this morning on their marigold lined lawn? Before I could run more thoughts of possibly simulating the sedated motions of a man suffering from a prescription drug defect or finding other ways to fool the judge into letting me off, my legal counsel broke the mental movie reel playing in my head. Apparently, my charge didn’t

even make the court calendar, for my innocence was still under investigation. He then informed me that this whole stomach turning process was to be repeated again in the near future. Fantastic, the exasperating sensations of being innocent in the OC. No end result, and a promise to see these strangers once again. At least the time in-between will afford me the opportunity to save up for some Italian loafers, so the next time I observe an altercation I can make a “slip resistant” getaway.