WHAT’S YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION? BROKEN IT YET? | FEBRUARY 5-11, 2004 buzz
this week Th Feb 5 Wine Tasting 5pm, LOB, free Venice Baroque Orchestra Prelude 6:30pm, Krannert Room, free Venice Baroque Orchestra 7:30pm, FGH, $16-$32 Sponsors: Avis and Dean Hilfinger Cecile and Ira Lebenson The Jolly Roger, Michael and Trudy Timpone Timpone's Ristorante, Raymond and Ginger Timpone
Fr Feb 6
Tu Feb 10
Chip McNeill, jazz saxophone 7:30pm, FGH, $2-$5
Interval: Weavermania Noon, LOB, free Sponsors: Anonymous
Festival 2004 7:30pm CPH, $9-$16 Talkback: following the performance, free
Th Feb 12
Sa Feb 7
Wine Tasting 5pm, LOB, free
UI Chamber Singers 7:30pm, FGH, $2-$5
UI Symphony Orchestra 7:30pm, FGH, $2-$5
Festival 2004 7:30pm CPH, $9-$16
Twelfth Night 7:30pm, STH, $6-$13
Su Feb 8 Rudolf Haken, viola 7:30pm, FGH, $2-$5
Festival 2004 7:30pm CPH, $9-$16
Some Krannert Center programs are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, and patron and corporate contributions.
Coporate Season Underwriters
Patron Season Sponsors
CAROLE AND JERRY RINGER
Festival 2004 is supported in part by the Frances P. Rohlen Visiting Artists Fund/College of Fine and Applied Arts and the National College Choreography Initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts administered by Dance/USA.
KrannertCenter.com 217/333-6280 or 800/KCPATIX 217/333-9714 (TTY) 217/244-SHOW (Fax) 217/244-0549 (Groups) email@example.com Ticket Office Open 10am to 6pm daily; on days of performances open 10am through intermission.
z buz February 5-11, 2004 Arts | Entertainment | Community
Thomas Edison Middle School Jazz Band’s big sound Page 4 ARTS
Storytelling at Verde Page 6 MUSIC
Cameron McGill comes home Page 13
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Minneapolis hip hop blends instruments and rhyme Page 14 FILM
You Got Served review Page 24
Bonus c.d. reviews in Odds & End
I’M GONNA GO FONDLE MY SWEATERS. WHAT? | FEBRUARY 5-11, 2004
BY MARISSA MONSON | EDITOR IN CHIEF
4 Q & A with Edison band director
y very first encounter with the fabulous Edison Middle School Jazz Band was a couple of years ago during a long day working at Borders Books. From my post at the register, my sight only reached as far as the rows upon rows of magazines, but peaking over the top were shiny brass instruments, and they were wailing. Leaving my post briefly, I let my curiosity lead me to the stage, and what I discovered baffled me: middle-schoolers wailing ... I mean, these kids could play. Hailing from a school of less than 400 students, my opportunities for music education were limited. The talent at my school, however, was not. I’m not saying my brief stint as a flautist in the fifth grade was picture-perfect. In fact, I was literally booted from the brass section after the director found my choice to mime instrumentation less than humorous. The music teacher commuted between two different grade schools, a middle school and a high school on a weekly basis, teaching thousands of students the joy of music,
Sam Hankins has spent his entire life surrounded by music. Whether it be gospel, jazz, vocals or the trumpet.
Arts 8 Artist spotlight Lyosha is a local painter who is originally from Russia. He began painting...
Music 10 Local rocker returns to C-U “It is what it is and then it’s over,” quotes Urbana’s homegrown Cameron McGill...
Calendar 14 Heiruspecs Minneapolis-based hip hop Heiruspecs puts a spin on hip-hop sounds by working...
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY a treasure that demands more attention to truly foster. Unfortunately, state cuts and the powers that be, placing music as a non-necessity, kept many young talents throughout downstate Illinois and inner-city areas from developing. There could have been the next John Coltrane or Charles Mingus in the mix. Sam Hankins is making sure musical talents don’t slip through the cracks. With a determined nature, and equally determined band, Hankins and the crew live music. They practice after-hours, and it shows. These kids get it. After my encounter with Edison Middle School’s jazz band, I found myself noting their name on the calendar as I do when a good rock show comes to town. Jazz greats of the future are among us because Urbana chose to make music a priority in its curriculum, and for that, the town has been rewarded handsomely. As an internationally recognized jazz band, the players and director deserve thanks for their hard work and dedication.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Writing in The Week magazine, editor-in-chief Bill Falk reminisced about how earlier in his career he churned out three opinion columns a week for newspapers. It was tough. "The truth is," he said, "there were many weeks in which I didn’t have three fresh opinions of any value." These days, he added, he couldn't handle a gig like that. As he's matured, he has become suspicious of his own certainties. "Opinions are highly overrated," he concludes. "Most concern passing phenomena that, six months or six years from now, become utterly irrelevant." I propose that we make Falk your patron saint for February, Aries. The astrological omens suggest that this is a perfect moment to enjoy the humility and grace that come from nurturing compassionate ideals instead of agitated opinions. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You might want to get a history book and read up on the Greek army's defeat of the invading Persian forces at Marathon in 470 B.C. While you're at it, look into the ragtag band of Texan soldiers that won independence from Mexico at San Jacinto in 1836, or the continental army's pivotal victory over the British redcoats at Saratoga in 1777. I make these suggestions not because I think you will literally be going into battle, Taurus, but because I believe you'll soon be moved to defend and even expand your freedom. Meditating on history's successful struggles for liberation might inject an inspirational dose of martial energy into your campaign. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You're in a phase of your yearly cycle when fate will conspire to expand your perspective, get you naturally high, and turn you into an explorer. To align yourself with these cosmic tendencies, you might want to charter a supersonic MiG-25 Foxbat plane to ferry you to the upper edge of the atmosphere, where you can see the curvature of the Earth. Other good ideas: Sail over Tanzania's Serengeti Plains in a hot-air balloon; paraglide off the sea cliffs at Oahu's Makapuu Point; or take a class in shamanism at a local yoga center. CANCER (June 21-July 22): I predict that in 2004 you will become far more discriminating about what images and information you allow to enter into the holy temple of your mind.You ay even put up protective barriers that keep out the media's toxic psychic wastes and your friends' bad moods. I also predict that if you *don't* become more discriminating, you will lose touch with your own deepest desires and end up trying to be something you're not. In conclusion, fellow Cancerian, you sure as hell better remember how naturally telepathic you are, and how easily you take on other people's feelings as if they were your own. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): After English, astrology is my second language. Like a language, it's both logical and messy; it's useful in making sense of the world, yet full of crazy-making ambiguities.
In a movie about pilfering, the country’s most notorious...
COURTESY OF | HANK WILLIAMS III
Volume 2, Number 4 COVER DESIGN | Meaghan Dee
Editor in chief Marissa Monson Art Directors Meaghan Dee & Carol Mudra Copy Chief Chris Ryan Music Jacob Dittmer Art Katie Richardson Film Paul Wagner Community Emily Wahlheim Calendar Maggie Dunphy Photography Editor Christine Litas Calendar Coordinators Lauren Smith, Cassie Conner, Erin Scottberg Photography Christine Litas, Adam Young, Erin DeYoung Copy Editors Chris Ryan, Jen Hubert, Suzanne Sitrick, Erin Green Designers Adam Obendorf, Mark Hauge, Sue Janna Truscott, Chris Depa, Glenn Cochon Production Manager Theon Smith Sales Manager Jon Maly Marketing/Distribution Melissa Schleicher, Maria Erickson Publisher Mary Cory
At its best, astrology is a playful study of the metaphorical link between the human psyche and the sun, moon, and planets. It's not a science. It's an elegant system of symbols, an art form with a special capacity to feed the soul and educate the imagination. When regarded as a precise method for predicting the future or when used to pander to the ego's obsessions, it becomes a deserving target for satire. So there you have it, Leo. I've clarified the essential views that underlie all I do in this horoscope column, and which therefore color the relationship between you and me. Now I challenge you to do what I just did: Get together with the people you care about and articulate the fundamental assumptions that form the basis of your connection. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I rarely employ my mediumistic skills, but a host of spirits was just clamoring to address you this week. So I agreed to channel five of them, on the condition that they'd be brief and to the point. Here, then, are your advisors from the other side of the veil. First, Werner von Braun: "Research is what you do when you don't know what you're doing." Second, A.A. Milne: "One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries." Next, Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Casey Stengel: "You're lost but you're making good time." Harry S. Truman: "If you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em." LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." So proclaimed science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke in his book *Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible.* To a medieval peasant, for instance, television would have appeared to be pure sorcery. Here's my corollary to Clarke's principle, Libra, just in time for your season of wonder and mystery: "Any sufficiently unexpected blessing is indistinguishable from a miracle." SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "How can one's heart and brain stand all the things that are crowded into them?" wrote nineteenth-century composer Robert Schumann. "Where do these thousands of thoughts, wishes, sorrows, joys, and hopes come from? Day in, day out, the procession goes on." Sound familiar, Scorpio? If I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, the flood that Schumann described has recently reached tsunami proportions in you. You simply can't go on like this. As the closest thing you have to a soul doctor, I regard it as my duty to prescribe massive doses of spacious silence. Quiet your thoughts, slow down your pace, and drop out of every frenetic game, at least for now. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Back in the 1980s, an old pal of mine was a girlfriend of Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry. I'm hoping if he's elected in November, she'll arrange for me to get a tryout as his astrological advisor. Who knows? Maybe
he already reads this column.You there, John? Here's my counsel for you and your fellow Sagittarians. As tempting as it might be to dramatize the differences between you and your competitors, your best bet in the short run is to be an emblem of unity. Don't let your powerful moral vision get bogged down in detailing what's wrong. Instead, be passionate about beauty and truth and justice. Strong women are the key to your next success. Ask more from them than ever before. And make sure that in the midst of your noble push to the frontier, you keep nourishing your roots. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Here's Big Secret of Life #27, crucial for your meditations in the coming weeks: Whatever you choose to focus your attention on, you will get more of it. So for example, if you often think of everything you lack and how sad you are that you don't have it, you will tend to receive abundant evidence of how true that is. If, on the other hand, you dwell on the good things that make you feel grateful to be alive, they will probably multiply.You are a great wizard, Capricorn.Why not use your powers to practice white magic on yourself instead of the other kind? AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): This will be an elephant-wearinga-parachute-as-it-falls-through-the-sky kind of week for you, Aquarius. It'll be a successfully-shoplifting-a-Bible kind of week, a using-bottles-of-Dom-Perignon-champagne-to-put-out-a-fire kind of week, a rewriting-a-Shakespeare-play-and-selling-it-to-aHollywood-producer kind of week. "Improbable" should be your nickname. "Prodigious" should be your word of power. If you don't receive a magic pretzel or a golden booger from a talking raven in your dreams, I'll be shocked. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Red alert! Your behavior is beginning to have an eerie resemblance to the guy who regularly stands on a street corner in Beijing and offers himself up as a punching bag. At least he makes money from it, charging stressed-out jerks about $6 to smack him around for two minutes. But I can't see *any* benefit coming to you for the way you're letting yourself be abused. Please stop this perverse form of entertainment immediately. Find a better strategy for encouraging intimate contact with people.
Homework: What quality or behavior in you would most benefit from healthy selfmocking? Tell how you keep yourself honest. Write: www.freewillastrology.com.
☎ Rob Brezsny's Free Will
Astrology beautyandtruth @ f r e e w i l l a s t r o l o g y. c o m 415.459.7209(v)• 415.457.3769 http://www.freewillastrology. com P.O. Box 798 San Anselmo, CA 94979
23 The Perfect Score
odds & end
buzz FEBRUARY 5 - 11, 2004 | WHO’D YOU ROOT FOR?
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ACROSS 1 What lions and lambs rarely do 8 Secretly 15 Green shade 16 Busy 17 Common allergen 18 Name meaning “God is with us” 19 Mathematician who was the subject of “The Man Who Loved Only Numbers” 20 Edd’s “77 Sunset Strip” co-star 22 Yerkes Center inhabitant 23 “Bye now” 24 Aerospace transmitter 25 1960’s-70’s soul record label 26 Natl. Adopt-a-Dog Month 27 Taken in 28 Slangy hypothetical 29 Cobalt 31 Bow and others 32 It’s set on the far right
34 Tons 37 Herbal stress reliever 41 Satanic 42 Cute Valentine 43 ___ in Quebec 44 Otolaryngologists, for short 45 Instrument heard on “Within You Without You” 46 Willa Cather’s “One of ___” 47 Fr. martyress, maybe 48 Blue supergiant known as Alpha Cygni 49 San Diego tourist attraction 50 Haberdashery purchases 52 Wife of Nero 54 Collectively 55 Un-p.c. activity 56 Opener 57 1950’s Mouseketeer DOWN 1 House style
2 Drink order 3 Much-anticipated social event 4 It may initiate a blessing 5 Farm calls 6 First name in tyranny 7 Cut a rug 8 Shakespearean king 9 Directory contents 10 Tube alternative 11 Sweets 12 Dividing line 13 “What’s shaking?” 14 Pre-Internet communications 21 Rink event 24 Bone just above the foot 25 Paddle 27 Carving medium 28 “McSorley’s Bar” painter 30 Jr. year events 31 Spy’s need 33 It has a mathematical focus 34 Lively ballroom dance
25 28 31
Puzzle by Adam Cohen
35 Bar 36 Reveres 38 Caraway-flavored liquor 39 Coyote, to a sheep rancher 40 Quiet
42 Grafton sleuth ___ Millhone 45 It may be common 46 Orchard Field, after 1949
48 It’s committed to memory 49 British gun 51 ___ de bourrée (ballet movement) 53 Long time: Abbr.
odds & end
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HOW WAS YOUR SUPER BOWL SUNDAY? | FEBRUARY 5 - 11, 2004
JOHN VANDERSLICE Cellar Door Barsuk Records
★★★★ BY LOGAN MOORE
Too often, the music loving population lets a very good band slip by with mediocre lyrics. I’ve been guilty of it. C’mon, if the rhythm section is a rockin’ and the hooks are a poppin’, who the hell cares what the lead singer is ranting on about? (I’m looking at you, Julian Casablancas.) Conversely, many talented singer-songwriters never seem quite able to burst the glass ceiling and step into truly innovative territory. Hence, the hundreds of able “alt-country” troubadours who can’t get beyond their co-dependent relationship with pedal steel guitar. It is for this reason that we should all personally thank artists such as John Vanderslice, who managed to pull off the daring feat of mending honest, intelligent lyrics to music that is layered, interesting and rewards repeated listening.The fact that he’s been making such music for the better part of a decade, first as a member of heralded indie band MK Ultra and as a solo artist, ain’t too shabby, either. Make no mistake about it; Vanderslice is frighteningly talented. He is what is generally, mysteriously, referred to as a “songwriters’songwriter.”Bearing in mind that there is a cathartic charm to the self-referential confessional style of songwriting touted by most songwriters, Vanderslice travels down what is, more often than not, a far more intellectually satisfying road. In the tradition of Joe Henry,Tom Waits and Randy Newman, Vanderslice crafts his songs like minute films; vignettes rich with nuance, detail, believable characters and over-arching themes in which his crestfallen characters expound upon their demons, engage in moments of somber reflection or recount soulbaring outbursts. So influenced is Vanderslice by the cinema that several of the songs on Cellar Door are about specific movies. They also happen to be some of the finest compositions on the album. “When It Hits My Blood” is genius in its encapsulation of the themes of Requiem for a Dream. Just like the movie, it neither condemns nor venerates drug use, it just reveals the motivations and horrifying results that accompany drug use. When the narrator intones, “When it hits my blood/ I’m not her son/ I’m the son of a flower/ That grows on Afghan bluff,”Vanderslice nails his aesthetic of marrying the deeply human to the stunningly intellectual. Which isn’t to say that he relies on movies alone for inspiration. “They Won’t Let Me Run” plays out like a Tennessee Williams play, as the protagonist is kept a social prisoner of his affluent family. After an affair that leads to pregnancy (sample lyric: “The morning she threw up/My options were all laid out”), the song ends with a drunken outburst, an attempted escape and the protagonist’s dejected return to his empty existence. The music of Cellar Door is correspondingly fascinating. With a rich palette of analog, digital and acoustic instrumentation, Vanderslice crafts a sound that is variously spare and orchestral yet always aligned with the intentions of the individual song. It’s in the clear ringing tones that signal the beginning of “Promising Actress” before the string section pushes its way to the fore and domi-
nates the song. It’s the way the martial drums snap and pop on the call-to-arms lead-off number “Pale Horse.”The thundering, pounding percussion on “Coming and Going on Easy Terms” builds with the tension of the narrator’s predicament.Vanderslice runs his own Telephone Studios, and he exhibits the same care crafting the deeply layered sound of Cellar Door as he does the layered meanings of his songs. In the great war between musical vision and lyrical capacity,Vanderslice proves that not only is a treaty possible, but it is, ultimately, the only satisfying conclusion. Like Curtis Mayfield said “We gotta have peace.”
MOONSHINE STILL Moon Over Georgia ★★★ BY BENJI FELDHEIM
Anyone with a complaint about the influx of bands in the late ‘90s surviving solely on live shows, Internet publicity and word-of-mouth deserves a swift kick to the head. Nevertheless, with any good idea comes cheap imitations, not to mention the label “jam band,” which sheds light only on the fact that a band improvises and says nothing about the actual sound. Moonshine Still brings a Southern gospel and blues mentality to their music. Doom and joy are wrapped up with shrill guitar solos, eerie synth and keyboard work, and a driving rhythm section. Hailing from Macon, Ga., the band pays regular homage to the many styles that have come out of their birthplace. Moon Over Georgia shows a glimpse into the range of the band’s live performances, a task hard to accomplish when each night’s songs can be different.The result is a solid cycle of warm country melodies fit for a long drive, horn-infused party funk and evil rock sure to please jam fans that never lost their taste for metal. The disc kicks out with “Blue Mule,” starting with a simple, slow groove that exhibits the band’s ability to interlock the guitars, bass, keys, drums and percussion without too much needless overlap.About a minute and a half into the song, the band changes without hesitation to a double-time rhythm, turning a subtle groove into a speedy foot-tapper. Scott Baston’s thick baritone vocals exhibit a mix of dirty blues and a slight penchant for Neil Diamond. David Shore’s guitar shredding chops come through on this track during the faster sections. On “C & KB,” the band puts forth a funky strut resembling more New Orleans than Georgia. A group bent on the energy of a live performance needs to get down, and not just rock out the whole time. While Moonshine Still does not pull off funk as smoothly as their country tunes, rhythmically, they understand the importance of the off-beat. The bass playing of Ray Petren shines on “Pass the Bread Around” with fat, yet tight slapping, guiding the band through another stab at party funk. During “Pyramid,”they let out their evil rock side with a dark, mean noise, layered with laser-sounding synth from Trippe Wright’s keyboards. Moonshine Still has laid a solid foundation for a live
DAVE’S DREAM DIARY
band mixing country, hard rock and funk. Now they just need to stretch their dynamics more to the outer limits of simplicity and intensity.
DAVE HOLLISTER Real Talk
FEBRUARY 5-11, 2004 | MICHAEL JACKSON HAS BREASTS?
FIRST THING’S FIRST...
Darwin went down to Georgia
News of the weird LEAD STORY
★★ BY ROSALYN YATES
When most people think “Chicago”in terms of urban music, they think of the ubiquitous and self-proclaimed “Pied Piper of R&B,” R. Kelly. Over the years, however, there have been a number of lesser-known individuals out of the Windy City to contribute to the music scene. Among them is West Side native Dave Hollister of the group BLACKstreet. Releasing his first solo record, Ghetto Hymns, in 1999, he returns in 2003 with Real Talk, his fourth album as a solo artist. Expressing the desire to “…make this record the way they made ‘em back in the day” a la soul legends Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway, Hollister delivers music that has soul and hints of passion, but is far less captivating. Singer Tank (“Maybe I Deserve” and “One Man”) offers his hand at production on five of the 12 songs from this disc, including the first track “The Big Payback,”which borrows unsuccessfully from the James Brown recording of the same name. While it is an almost standard practice in R&B music to sample songs of past generations, it should be said that the habit should be abandoned if one is unable to add his own flavor to the updated version. Such is the case with the stale sound of “The Big Payback.” Records like Winning With You and Karma—also crafted by Tank—are just as forgettable. Real Talk gets better with “Never Gonna Change” and “Good Ole Ghetto,” two feelgood jams about life growing up in the inner city.“Never Gonna Change” served as an excellent first single due to its use of piano throughout the background. The keys bring the song to life in a way that can’t be matched using a beat machine and studio effects.The lyrics are honest as Hollister reminds us not to forget our roots. Yet his eagerness to be true to his environment is also what makes this album drag. Hollister debuted as a soloist with “Baby Mama Drama,”a song about a gold-digging ex-lover.With his sophomore release Chicago ‘85 The Movie, we heard “Yo Baby’s Daddy” and “I Don’t Want To Be a Hustler” which, as their titles imply, are more tales spotlighting ghetto life. Real Talk gives you the feeling that you’ve been there before and, if you are familiar with Hollister’s catalog, you have. It is only with the gospel-influenced music of “Pleased Tonight” that you feel as though the thuggedout R&B mold has been broken,but as the last song on the album, it’s too little, too late. It is hard to find an artist who hasn’t experienced some type of hardship in his or her life.These trials are often the blueprint and heart of their music. But there comes a time when moving on is essential to growth, and four albums later, Dave Hollister is still in the budding stages. Inspirations Gaye and Hathaway were able to sing about relevant social issues on a universal level while still remaining grounded. If Hollister wishes to follow in their footsteps, he’s going to have to release himself from the confines of the ‘hood.
BY MICHAEL COULTER | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
hen I was a little kid, I used to go to Sunday school. At five or six years old, coloring a picture of Jesus and singing a song was probably enough to get my young soul into heaven. Granted, at the current point in my life, coloring a picture of Jesus wouldn’t cover me for the crooked shit I pulled on Saturday afternoon, but those were simpler times. They weren’t really teaching us kids about God so much as they were introducing him. Jesus was Joe Camel and the church was a big tobacco company. By the time I got to be 12 years old, Sunday school was always a big discussion. We weren’t becoming more religious, necessarily, but we did talk about religion. Actually, that’s not true. We kids didn’t talk about religion so much as question it. There was a lot to question. Here I was, just about to hit puberty, and most of it already didn’t make sense. The first thing they tell you is the story of Adam and Eve, and my social studies textbook had already told me that story didn’t hold water. I might have had a different viewpoint if I was from Georgia. That state’s school superintendent has proposed striking the word “evolution” from the state’s science curriculum. I don’t know much about Georgia, but I bet it’s an interesting state. They probably live in a world that is flat and if you sail too far, you will fall off the side. Things must float in the air all the time, since I’m sure they believe the laws of gravity to also be sort of an antiquated notion. I bet people are really tired there, too. After all, that weekly bloodletting can really sap your energy. It’s a tough situation for Georgia. It’s gotta be hard for the schools to teach evolution, seeing as the highest education representative in the state apparently hasn’t evolved since her Sunday school years. In all fairness, they haven’t abandoned the idea of evolution entirely, but have instead decided to call it “biological changes over time.” OK, anyone not from Georgia would probably define evolution as “biological changes over time,” so it must just be the word evolution itself, right? Apparently, it is. Superintendent Kathy Cox insists that “evolution” is nothing more than a buzzword and doesn’t need to be used in class. Um, hey there, Kathy, “bling-bling” is a buzzword. “Evolution” is a scientific term whose concept is accepted by pretty much any scientist you can find, at least the ones outside
of Georgia. Do you really still think Adam and Eve were the first people here? Where do those dinosaur bones fit in? Geez Louise, take one look at Ed Asner and you have to be convinced of the idea of evolution. If you ask me, “Dumbass Freaking Idiot” should be a new “buzzword.” People can use it to describe school superintendents in Georgia. Wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise for the rest of the United States if she made a proposal forcing every school to teach evolution? That would be a harder decision, sure, but the state might receive support and respect instead of criticism and ridicule. Geez, even a monkey would know something like that. She says the ban is to alleviate pressure on teachers in conservative areas of Georgia where parents don’t believe in evolution. Yeah, that’s a good idea; if a few rednecks don’t believe in it, then by all means, don’t teach it, even if it’s true. You’re talking about a state where some folks still have confederate flags in their truck windows and NASCAR is seen as the sport of kings. If anyone could use a little education, it’s those fellas. If what people believe in is the only criterion for education in Georgia, then the children’s class schedules are going to look pretty funny. “Let’s see, first hour I have Not Bathing 101. Second hour, I have Banging Your Cousin 207. Third hour, I have Racism 125 … and so on.” Sure, it’s America and everyone is allowed to believe whatever he wants. If I want to believe God is speaking to me through an expired jug of milk, that’s OK. If my neighbor wants to believe his dog is the ruler of the universe, I’m cool with that. If you insist on teaching either of those concepts in school, though, it’s going to be a bit of a problem. Just because you believe something, it doesn’t necessarily make it true, even if you really believe it. Actually, Georgia may be able to make a good case for evolution not holding water in a few years. If you don’t teach kids what they need to know, then there’s a good chance they won’t evolve. They will stay exactly the same and grow up to raise ignorant children who will follow suit. If you aren’t evolving, an argument could be made that you’re devolving. It’ll be nice to vacation in Georgia 20 years from now. Where else can you see a Cro-Magnon man in his natural habitat?
Michael Coulter is a videographer at Parkland College. He writes a weekly e-mail column, “This Sporting Life” and has hosted several local comedy shows.
While the Statue of Liberty remains shuttered for lack of $5 million in postSept. 11 upgrades, Congress in January mandated $10.7 billion in “earmarked” projects (also known as home-state “pork”), including $50 million for an indoor rain forest in Iowa, $50 million to make sure a Florida beach resort bridge remains toll-free, $450,000 to decipher the gene structure of rainbow trout, $225,000 to repair a public swimming pool whose drain U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-Nev.) clogged with tadpoles when he was a kid, $200,000 to introduce golf to youngsters, $90,000 for the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and, ironically, $500,000 for a University of Akron program that analyzes how Congress makes difficult budget decisions.
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS In January, Trilane A. Ludwig, 24, called his mother from jail in Clark County, Ala., and asked that she grab the $500 from his wallet at home and come bail him out. As he almost certainly knew, the $500 consisted of oversized, poorly made counterfeit bills, which put him in even more trouble.
In December, a federal judge rejected the latest appeal of David Cobb, 66, a former teacher at the prestigious Phillips Academy in New Hampshire, who made News of the Weird in 1995 with his attempts to seduce children by dressing as “Pumpkin Man” and encouraging kids to fondle him. He had challenged the child pornography counts against him, claiming that some of the nude photos he had were not of children, but of adults onto whose bodies he had meticulously glued head shots of kids cut out from magazine and catalog ads.
HYPERACTIVE SENIORS Hunter “Red” Rountree, who pleaded guilty to having robbed a First American Bank branch in August at the age of 91, was sentenced to 12 years in prison; it was his third bank robbery in five years (Lubbock, Texas, January). Daniel Putzel, 87, was arrested and charged with running a house of prostitution (Guilford, Conn., November).
COPYRIGHT 2004 CHUCK SHEPHERD DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE
FEBRUARY 5 - 11, 2004
In perfect tune
Edison Jazz Band returns from jazz conference BY EMILY WAHLHEIM | COMMUNITY EDITOR
The saxophone section of the Edison Jazz Band
Hankins claps out the rhythm for the saxophones
â€œI sent in an application and a CD of one of our performances to the selection committee,â€? said Hankins. â€œBeing selected was almost like winning the lottery. We had our fingers crossed that we would get in.â€? At the conference, members of the Edison Jazz Band had the opportunity to play for many great jazz musicians and innovators. The trip gave band members a chance to hear other great jazz musicians perform as well as learn from some of the worldâ€™s best jazz musicians. â€œThe trip was phenomenal,â€? said Hankins. â€œThere are so many adjectives to describe it. The kids got a lot out of it.â€? In addition to their performance at the conference, Jazz Band One makes several other appearances throughout the year. In the Champaign-Urbana area, the band performs at banquets, jazz functions and school district events. The band also participates in the Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois Jazz Festivals, along with state and regional competitions. Being a member of Jazz Band One at Edison is a great honor, according to Hankins. Throughout Hankinsâ€™ nine years at Edison, the band program, which includes a sixth, seventh and eighth grade concert band, along with Jazz Band One and Two and a string orchestra, has more than doubled in size. Currently, 160
Edison students participate in some part of the band program. â€œThere is a big interest to get into the jazz band,â€? Hankins said. â€œKids have to have the fundamentals before they get into the jazz band. It really helps them by the time they are ready to try out for the jazz band.â€? Learning and practicing those fundamentals is an important part of Edisonâ€™s
ALONG CAME POLLY â˜…â˜… BEN STILLER AND JENNIFER ANISTON Aniston does her best to make the movie shine, but even she can't make the trite interesting or the familiar compelling. She does make it completely painless to endure, and at moments makes it almost fun, but she isn't Superwoman. Her back, however strong, can only hold so much dead weight. (John Loos) Now showing at Savoy and Beverly THE BIG BOUNCE â˜…â˜… OWEN WILSON AND SARA FOSTER Multiple plot elements involving heists, sex and utter debauchery ensue, but nothing ever seems to hit hard. The characters' motivations are so ambiguous that even at the end, when each character is exposed as a good guy or bad guy, it's still hard to believe. The lackluster final moments that should have provided the film's titular big bounce just provided a soft flopping around like a fish that washed up on a beautiful beach. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT â˜…â˜… ASHTON KUTCHER AND AMY SMART
The Butterfly Effect creates so many different alternate realities that it nearly ceases to exist as a whole. There are some worthy ideas hovering around here, but by the filmâ€™s pessimistic, anti-climactic ending, theyâ€™ve all just about floated away. Kutcher may have a future in serious films, but if you sit through this one, consider yourself punked. (Matt Pais)
Now showing at Beverly and Savoy
THE COOLER â˜…â˜…â˜…â˜… ALEC BALDWIN AND WILLIAM H. MACY The Cooler uses its funny script and intelligent direction to highlight the three impressive performances. If viewers can take a leap of faith to believe in the powers of a cooler, they will be paid back in full by enjoying this safe bet for an Oscar nomination. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Savoy and Beverly GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING â˜…â˜…â˜… SCARLETT JOHANSSON AND COLIN FIRTH The film manages to overcome the cliche of similar films that portray typical master-servant relationships. Throughout the film, Johanssonâ€™s and Firthâ€™s performances remain understated yet powerfulâ€”like the painting itselfâ€”and they come together beautifully to capture the truth behind the painting. (Janelle Greenwood) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy
LIVE JAZZ at
HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG â˜…â˜…â˜… JENNIFER CONNELLY AND BEN KINGSLEY Based upon the best-selling novel which was boosted by joining Oprahâ€™s infamous book club, this film focuses on an Iranian couple forced out of the Middle East and a former junkie. When the junkie loses her house to the couple, a psychological battle ensues that provides brilliant performances but lacks some emotional depth. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Savoy LOST IN TRANSLATION â˜…â˜…â˜…â˜… BILL MURRAY AND SCARLETT JOHANSSON Sofia Coppolaâ€™s latest work embodies the importance of a familiar face in a country full of strangers. Throughout the subtle, stupendous Lost in Translation, Bob and Charlotte discover in each other not just a friendly face but an ally in the universal game of lost and found. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Savoy and Beverly MASTER AND COMMANDER
RUSSELL CROWE AND PAUL BETTANY Weir buffs will get a kick out of watching this film and remembering The Truman Show. While Trumanâ€™s aquaticoriented scenes introduced the directorâ€™s ability to craft stimulating scenes of sea-swept peril, Master and Commander achieves a far higher degree of oceanic fanfare. Itâ€™s a glorious tale of adventure on the high seas sure to put wind in any landlubberâ€™s sails. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy. THE PERFECT SCORE â˜… SCARLETT JOHANSSON AND CHRIS EVANS Sure, this is customary MTV movie candy, a light-as-air ode to teenage carelessness and troublemaking indulgence, but laughs shouldnâ€™t come at such a high premium of logic. This tiresome teen truffle is outdated in every way, from its unbearable Matrix homage to its lame attempt at stylish thievery. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy RETURN OF THE KING â˜…â˜…â˜…â˜… ELIJAH WOOD AND IAN MCKELLAN Even if The Return of the King doesnâ€™t win the grand prize on Oscar night, anything short of best director victory for Peter Jackson would be an unforgivable injustice. He has raised the bar for fantasy and redefined themes of friendship, honor and courage on a grippingly grand and poignantly intimate scale. Besides its structural limitations, The Return of the King is more than a rousing ending to a celebrated legend; itâ€™s a battle cry for epic filmmaking. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy TORQUE â˜… ICE CUBE Take The Fast and the Furious, remove anything that made that film worthwhile, and the result would be something like Torque. Loud, idiotic and predictable at a level that can only begin to be described, Torque has arrived to take over the local multiplex.(Andrew Vecelas) Now showing at Savoy and Beverly
WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON â˜…â˜…â˜… KATE BOSWORTH AND JOSH DUHAMEL
Win a Date utilizes the classic love triangle: The girl must choose between excitement with Tad and comfort with Pete, and a life thatâ€™s comfortable. If the film didnâ€™t poke fun at its own cliche throughout its plot, it wouldnâ€™t workâ€“fortunately enough for Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, it does. (Janelle Greenwood) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy
YOU GOT SERVED â˜… RAZ B AND LILâ€™ FIZZ You Got Served is a mistake as a film. A hopeless cross of 106th and Park and any teen film from the last five years, You Got Served is among the worst. Even considering all the filmâ€™s problems, it still may be worth a gander for its unthinkable and intriguing dances. Whatever the box office outcome, it certainly wonâ€™t be difficult to rationalize picking this one off the shelves of Blockbuster in a few months in favor of braving the cold to see it in the theater. (Andrew crewell) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy
OPENING THIS WEEKEND BARBERSHOP 2: BACK IN BUSINESS ICE CUBE AND CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER This sequal to the midly successful Barbershop gives audiences basically the same cast and location as the original, but now they have a problem: Queen Latifah opened a salon next door to their shop; nothing short of hilarity ensues. (Paul Wagner) Opening this weekend CATCH THAT KID KRISTEN STEWART AND SAM ROBARDS Setting a wonderful example for kids, this movie tells the story of a group of preteens who devise a plan to rob a bank to solve the money problems caused by a trajic accident to one of the characterâ€™s father. Sure to be full of fun action scenes, this film may just cause an explosion of bank robberies by small children. (Paul Wagner) Opening this weekend MIRACLE KURT RUSSELL AND PATRICIA CLARKSON In 1980 the US Olympic hockey team beat the Russian olympic squad, shattering the belief that the Russians were inviincible in the sport. Miracle tells the true story of player-turned coach Herb Brooks and his teamâ€™s triumphant victory that inspired a nation. Unfortunately, everyone knows the ending of this movie. (Paul Wagner) Opening this weekend THE BREAD, MY SWEET SCOTT BAIO AND KRISTIN MINTER Playing at Boarmanâ€™s Art Theatre for one week only, The Bread, My Sweet tells the story of a man who meets the woman he wants to marry, experiences love at first sight, and then proposes to the woman the same day that he met her. Is is romance or desperation? (Paul Wagner) Opening this weekend
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PHOTOS | CHRISTINE LITAS
he wailing of saxophones and the clanging of cymbals echo through the silent halls at Thomas Edison Middle School. Though the school day is long over, members of the Edison band remain inside the band room, finishing up practice. The band members and their director Sam Hankins, along with a multitude of support staff and parent boosters, spend countless hours practicing and preparing for the bandâ€™s appearances at concerts, festivals and performances. Most recently, Edisonâ€™s Jazz Band One returned from a two-day trip to the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference in New York City. The International Association of Jazz Educators Conference is the worldâ€™s largest gathering of jazz musicians, educators and students. The conference invites more than 7,000 people from more than 35 different countries, including Japan, Isreal and Sweden to participate in its annual gathering. The conference offers students and educators a chance to attend clinics, workshops and concerts. The participants come from all different levels of jazz music ranging from middle school to professionals. Selection is by invitation only and this year, Edisonâ€™s Jazz Band One was the only middle school asked to attend.
band program. The band is an extracurricular activity at Edison and students practice with each other three times a week either before or after school. Such dedication has resulted in Edison receiving numerous first place finishes and superior rankings at competitions. Throughout the years, Hankins said he has seen an improvement in the children he teaches. More and more of them are becoming serious about their music and the band. Many of his students take private lessons and spend much of their own time practicing. Hankins says this added work has paid off for the students, not only by improving their music, but by teaching them to depend on each other and to work together. Beyond the awards, conferencesbuzzand competitions, Hankins said he is always looking for ways to improve the band program at Edison. He feels the program is a way for him to help his students and give back some of what he has been taught. And although he is teaching his students about music, Hankins hopes he is instilling in the kids some other important lessons through that music. â€œI want to instill in them not to accept mediocrity. I want them to be able to take this band experience and use the work ethic they have been taught to be better people,â€? he said. â€œI want to help make them better human beings, no matter what they are doing.â€? buzz
FEBRUARY 5-11, 2004 | BEST FILM NOMINATIONS BACK IN HEATRES
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Hankins plays a tune on his trumpet for his students 627 E. GREEN 344-0710
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The Bread, My Sweet (NR)
Daily at: 5:15 PM, 7:30 PM, & 10:00 PM, Sat/Sun matinees at 3:00 PM
Concert For George A Celebration of the Life & Music of George Harrison (PG-13)
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In America (PG-13)
Two Academy Award Nominations Starring Academy Award Winners Ben Kingsley & Jennifer Connely
The House of Sand & Fog
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