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I’LL BE THERE MAN | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

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Film Festival at The Virginia Theatre Nov. 17 and 18

The Films of New Hollywood

z buz Oct. 16-22, 2003

FREE!

COMMUNIT Y

Undertaker takes on life (page 4)

ARTS

Actor returns from gun shot (page 9)

MUSIC

Pete Yorn lays back The Graduate (1967)

The Last Picture Show (1971)

Raging Bull (1980)

Easy Rider (1969)

105 minutes Directed by Mike Nichols Starring Anne Bancroft Dustin Hoffman Katharine ross William Daniels

118 minutes Directed by Peter Bogdanovich Starring Timothy Bottoms Jeff Bridges Cybill Shepherd Ellen Burstyn

129 minutes Directed by Martin Scorsese Starring Robert De Niro Cathy Moriarty Joe Pesci Frank Vincent

94 minutes Directed by Dennis Hopper Starring Dennis Hopper Peter Fonda Jack Nicholson Phil Spector

Nov. 17

The Graduate (1967) 9 p.m. The Last Picture Show (1971) 11:15 p.m. BONUS FILM 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 18 7 p.m.

Raging Bull (1980) Easy Rider (1969)

9:30 p.m.

TICKETS On sale today at The Virginia Theatre 203 W. Park Avenue in Champaign 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or call The Virginia Theatre at 356-9063. $5 per movie $20 for all five movies

Bonus Film

At 11:15 p.m. we will play a bonus movie, choose among these five films

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Chinatown (1974) A Clockwork Orange (1971) The French Connection (1971) Midnight Cowboy (1969) e-mail your vote to filmfestival@readbuzz.com or visit our Web site at www.readbuzz.com

Free Festival Pass for the first 20 people to vote

Arts | Entertainment | Community

(page 11)

CALENDAR

Esther Drang joins good company (page 14)

FILM & TV

Kill Bill bloodies up the screen (page 21)

Amasong: Bridging boundaries through music


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| OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 buzz

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buzz OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | I HATE COLD WEATHER

AND ANOTHER THING...

What retirement should be

Art Crafts Produce Flowers Plants Food Coffee Music

BY MICHAEL COULTER | CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Every Sat. Morning thru Nov. 8 7 a.m. until Noon SE Lot of Lincoln Square Downtown Urbana (217) 384-2319

T

Voted Best Mexican Restaurant in C-U area Enjoy our popular menu: Fajitas Jalisco Carnitas Dinner Chimichanga El Grande Pollo Ranchero Etc.

Try our NEW items:

And more...

Parrilla Suiza Pescado Estilo Cancun Steak Chinaco Pollo Campirano

1 4 0 7 N. P r o s p e c t Av e • 3 5 1 - 6 8 7 9

Make a Difference Drive October 13-24, 2003

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We encourage agencies, offices, and companies to help us collect these much-needed items and deliver them to any drop off sites no later than: Friday October 24 at 5:00 p.m. call Teri McCarthy at 352-5151

ITEMS NEEDED: Questions: • Travel-size Shampoo, Soap, and Toothpaste • Toothbrushes • Razors • Lotions • Diapers (Infant to Adult), Baby Wipes • Tissue • Crayons, Colored Markers • Pencils, Pens • Coloring Books, Construction Paper • Spiral Notebooks • Glue • Folders • New Socks and Underwear (For All Ages)

DROP-OFF SITES:

• Bresnan Meeting Center • Daily Illini Office • Family Service Center • Illini Radio Group Office • Illini Union Bookstore • Office of Volunteer Programs (277 Illini Union) This event is being held to assist human service agencies in Champaign County, with the support of several groups including Central High School Student Council, the Religious Workers Association, and the Religious Leaders for Community Care.

he air in Illinois is beginning to develop a chill to it, baseball season is coming to an end, and families begin thinking about the holidays and how they will spend them. This can only mean one thing: My parents are heading south faster than the Atlanta Falcons without Michael Vick. So, this weekend, in midOctober, my family will celebrate Thanksgiving. Six or seven years ago my mom and dad decided to sell the house and everything contained within and hit the road. They bought a camper, or “starter coffin,” and headed for the warmth of Texas. They stay down there until the temperatures of April bring them back to the Midwest for the summer. Apparently, there was something in their wedding vows that promised never to experience any temperature below 40 degrees after the age of 60. They stay in a park near Corpus Christi, Texas with some other folks who are doing the same thing as them, the geriatric equivalent of Easy Rider. It’s a nice place really, a nice life. They rise every morning around 5 a.m. or so, eat breakfast, and then have pretty much the rest of their morning to complain about the snippy check out clerk at the Super Wal-Mart. It’s Texas, so you can start drinking beer a little before noon if you’d like. I’ve visited them and tried it. Believe me, it’s a pretty sweet deal. I kicked back in a lawn chair with a can of Lone Star, having no cares in the world so long as the ever-present ambulance was driving past our campsite. In the evening, they often build a campfire and have Happy Hour. This is where large groups of older people get together and complain about the snippy check-out clerk at the Super Wal-Mart. It’s amazing to me how many people they have met since they began doing this. They have friends from all over the United States now. They see them here and there, maybe meet up with them for a few days and then wave goodbye and get back on the road. There are a few people that they hang around with a majority of the time. It’s a good thing and makes me feel better about them leaving home. My theory is that if you put four older folks in a car headed to Mexico for cheap prescription medicine, it’s basically like having one younger person behind the wheel. The person driving can see but that’s about it. They

• Parkland College’s Child Development Center • Phillips Recreation Center • Schnucks Stores • United Way of Champaign County • University YMCA

rely on the person in the passenger seat who can hear. The two in the back seat constantly yell directions and identify any of the myriad strange smells coming from the vehicle. They basically become one person. It may not seem like a big deal, but try doing it with the heater on full blast and the sun from a 90 degree day piercing through the window. It’s not a cake walk. It’s really what retirement should be most of the time. My mom goes for long walks daily and my dad reorganizes the storage space below the camper pretty much every day. They play cards; they watch movies; they talk with their friends. Maybe they will have a few cocktails here and there. Strangely, and sadly, it’s not that different from my life. There are a few things to look out for. My first trip there, Dad warned me to stay away from the swimming pool. I believe the exact quote was “Jesus Christ, son, stay away from that pool. You don’t wanna see the old ladies out there in their bathing suits. It’s not a pretty picture.” You also have to watch the weather. Even though they don’t like it anymore, my parents are familiar with and ready to handle cold weather. That’s not necessarily true in Texas, though. One year it dropped below 35 degrees with snow flurries. They closed the schools, roads and most stores. The natives were restless and my dad just stood back and smiled. He knew they were overreacting but he didn’t tell them. He wasn’t supposed to. He’s retired. So, they’re headed back home next week, but before that, it’s Thanksgiving at my house this weekend. We’ll get oysters for the dressing and then complain about how they aren’t as good as in Texas. We’ll have turkey and noodles and any other starch we can find in the cabinet and fall asleep just like any other family does after a big Thanksgiving meal. Sure, we’ll be falling asleep to the World Series instead of a football game, but it doesn’t matter. It’s come to be Thanksgiving to us now, and we like it just fine. By the time the regular Thanksgiving rolls around in November, I can act all sad so someone else will cook for me again. Thanksgiving in October is really sort of just a bonus. I give thanks all year long anyway. I have the best parents you could ever imagine.

By the time the regular Thanksgiving rolls around in November I can act all sad so someone else will cook for me again.

[

Michael Coulter is a videographer at Parkland College. He writes a weekly email column, “This Sporting Life” and has hosted several local comedy shows.

DirtyTalk To My Past Lovely Ladies, You have tried to tie down this beauty, but my view is that every woman should at least have a small taste of what I have to offer, sorry for the broken hearts and tattered memories! To the guy wearing the Ottawa Senators (#4) jersey on the quad on Weds. morning, you're amazing! Wear it more often. Thanks for making my day. Angelique-- How did I ever end up with a girl as hot as you? Awesome. To My Peeps- You all can drop it like its hot.My times with you are off the hook.loveMC shizniz boys-you all are shizawesome!wow shizass.-MC Cathy-Your red hot, ow,ow-MC There was at least one good sight at Sat's Illini/MSU game... that gorgeous blonde MSU (and Illini?) fan who took time out to hug the MI twirler on the field. Jess-you are so jessified.6ft ya baby.-MC Craig-- You are the sexiest tattoo artist in Champaign. I"ll be seeing you soon.-Christina Michelle- I love being hyper with you.Can I get a hell yea!-MC Skaterboy--show me your bling bling and I'll show you mine! Chad- You’re on top of your game when it comes to flash. Carol- I want to eat you like chicken fried rice.

SWEET “DIRTY” TALKS ARE FREE. To submit your message go to www.readbuzz.com and click on the Sweet Talk link. Please make your message personal, fun, flirty and entertaining. Leave out last names and phone numbers because we (and probably you!) could get in big fat trouble for printing them. We reserve the right to edit your messages. Sorry, no announcements about events or organizations. (Enter those at cucalendar.com)

Ambler continued from page 9 He shot Gary on the left side of his left leg just above the knee. “I remember having one minute of lucid thought, and I just started making noises. The next thing I remember, the paramedics were shouting at me,” Ambler said. The most emotional he gets was when he tells this story is when he says one of the kids that mugged him was 13 years old. To him, that was the saddest thing about the whole incident. “He’s very quiet,” Ibsen says. “In his real life, he’s a very quiet person, you’re astounded by these characters that come out of him.”

His modesty came out before rehearsal when two company members Jan and John Chandler stopped by the theater. Jan paints the marquees that hangs in front of the small parking lot at the Station Theatre. The sign read, “Gary Ambler in Fully Committed.” Ambler looked at it, laughed, and wondered why his name was up there. “In Chesapeake (another one-man show he did), we didn’t even tell people it was a oneman show,” he told the Chandlers. “I think that bothers him,” Jan said later. “That his name is up there.” John has done several shows with him including American Buffalo. “He’s so soft-spoken and he’ll take roles where he’s a lion or a maniac,” John said. In Fully Committed, he’ll run the gambit of characters, a huge not wholly welcome challenge. “It’s lovely work,” Ambler said. “It’s so much more fun with other people.” In a one-man show, Ambler has to play so many characters that he is not able to dig particularly deep on one character. “I think that’s one of the hurdles for it,” he said. “Because you have to be broad with the characters. “The one man format forces you to make the audience a second character as a reactor,” he continued. “This is more difficult because there are no direct lines to the audience.” Ambler prefers playing one character because it allows him to become more intimate with that character. Karma said that one of Gary’s strengths is his ability to analyze the text. Gary doesn’t mind doing outside research for the character if it makes sense, but he prefers to use the text as much as possible. He’s happy with how Committed is coming along, but he knows it needs a little more work. After his run through, Karma talks about the difference between the characters. “There needs to be more of a distinction,” she says. Gary does an excellent job of creating the characters and he keeps them very distinct at first, but as the show goes on, some of the characters sort of blend together. All of his female characters end each sentence on an up note, and sometimes this bleeds to the male characters as well. A few days later, Gary shows much more of a handle on each character. The distinctiveness of each voice at the beginning carries much longer into the play, and he still has a little under a week to hammer out some more details, which is fine with him because he loves rehearsals. But for now, he has to worry about his oneman that opens tonight. He’s excited about it, he loves working on comedy, and there’s still a little more for him to find out about his role. “It’s not poetry, but it’s entertainment,” he said. “I have a feeling there’s something subversive about it, so hopefully I can find more.” buzz


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Tommy G’s Bar and Grill

featuring food by Foudini’s

Fri., Rocktober 17 FREE FOOD FRIDAYS! 5-7 PM featuring Al Ierardi - no cover!

Reasonable Doubt - 10 pm A local classic rock band with an ear for great tunes!

Sat., Rocktober 18 Kathy harden

& the king bees 10-2 AM The only blues diva you’ll ever need...

FREE MUSIC no cover weekdays! Every Tuesday Will Roger’s Acoustic Night Plus $2 Tuesdays - two dollar drafts,cans, dom. Bottles, well drinks, order of wings, basket-o-spuds, chips-n-salsa.

Every Wednesday Kilborn Alley Thursdays - Pool Tourney, Cash Prizes, 7 PM Coming in Rocktober

24 - Renegade, 25 - maurice & The Mindset 123 S. Mattis, Champaign - Counrty Fair Mall, 359-2177

FATE IS CONSPIRING TO SUCK YOU INTO AN INTENSIVE BEHAVIORAL MODIFICATION PROGRAM | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY ARIES (March 21-April 19): This may sound crazy, but the best way to attract good luck in the coming week is to experiment with doing the opposite of what you usually do. For instance, you could act as if limitations are fantastic opportunities. Instead of indulging your impulses, you can question them -- lightheartedly, of course. Rather than leading everyone into interesting temptation with your fiery enthusiasm, you could be a meditative follower who listens well and tries out other people's daring plans. Any other ideas? TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The next couple of weeks will be an excellent time to purge any nagging karma that has been haunting your love life. You'll be ready to move on to new romantic frontiers once you clear away the residue that has been subtly burdening you.To achieve the proper spirit of rowdy fierceness, I suggest you learn the following country music songs and belt them out now and then: "You Done Tore Out My Heart And Stomped That Sucker Flat," "Get Your Tongue out of My Mouth, I'm Kissing You Goodbye," "How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?," "I Wouldn't Take You To A Dawg Fight, Cause I'm Afraid You'd Win," "I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well," and "I Flushed You From The Toilets Of My Heart." GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This is your official too-much-of-agood-thing warning. To protect and preserve the sweet progress you've enjoyed in recent weeks, make sure that abundance doesn't tip over into gross excess. How? Refuse to become a slave to your good ideas. Don't let your triumphs lead to exhaustion. Avoid expressions of generosity that are wasted on the recipients or motivated mostly by the urge to impress people.You can keep all your well-earned rewards, dear Gemini, if you'll start setting graceful new limits now. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Most practitioners of the healing arts believe in taking a gradual approach. Psychotherapists and acupuncturists, for example, typically see their clients once a week, theorizing that even deep-seated problems have to be undone slowly and gently. Some mavericks take a more radical approach, however. One acupuncturist I know has her clients come and stay at her clinic for six consecutive days, during which time she administers a fresh treatment every two hours. This is the kind of approach I recommend for you right now, Cancerian. You're on the verge of curing a certain longstanding imbalance, and intense, concentrated attention is the best way to do it. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I shopped at a local supermarket for months before striking up a conversation with Wendy, one of the check-out clerks. "How was your weekend?" I asked her one Monday. "I worked at my two other jobs," she said. I was surprised, having assumed her career consisted entirely of tallying

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Fate is conspiring to suck you into an intensive behavioral modification program. The goal: to weed out the wishy-washy wishes and leech out the lukewarm longings that are keeping you distracted from your burning desires. Here's the paradoxical formula that will be at the heart of this process: If you try to maintain the illusion that you're not losing yourself, you will in fact lose yourself. But if you surrender and agree to lose yourself, you will break through to a new level of communion with the deepest, most eternal part of yourself. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Nice guys finish last. So proclaimed the crusty old baseball player, Leo Durocher, who was famous last century for his rough play and dirty tricks. His oncewicked insinuation has, 50 years later, devolved into a decadent platitude. It needs an update. As you enter a phase when it will make sense to become more strategic, Capricorn, try on the following formulas for size: Nice guys finish last because they follow all the rules by rote. Nasty guys often don't even finish because they break the rules by rote. Smart guys and riot grrrls win because they get away with inventing new rules that update the meaning of the ever-evolving game. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Would you consider acquiring a three-foot-long double-edged sword like the one Beowulf wielded in his famous battle with the monster many centuries ago? You won't need this weapon to defend yourself from physical attack in the coming days, Aquarius; that's not why I recommend it. Rather, I suggest you use it as a magical prop in a ritual designed to rouse your warrior spirit.Hold it in front of you as you visualize yourself scaring off your inner demons and cutting away the inessential concerns that are bogging you down. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): This may be the time your descendants will tell stories about: the turning point when you outwit an old nemesis and undo an ancient knot, freeing you to finally begin fulfilling your life purpose in earnest. On the other hand, this may be the moment when you shrink back from a challenge similar to one that many generations of your family members have faced. If that's what happens, your descendants will be lacking an important clue when they encounter their own version of the ancestral puzzle many years from now. Which will it be, Pisces? Answering the call to adventure or refusing it?

grocery purchases. "I'm a psychotherapist at a group home for disturbed teens," she continued, "and I'm trying to finish my PhD dissertation." I blushed in embarrassment for having misread her so thoroughly. As she processed my order, we had an interesting exchange about adolescent angst and the politics of psychotherapy. I suggest you make Wendy your inspirational symbol this week, Leo. May she remind you to dig beneath the surface and uncover the deeper truth about everything you think you have figured out. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "The fox knows many things," said the ancient Greek poet Archilochus, "but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Twentieth-century philosopher Isaiah Berlin used this thought as an organizing principle in discussing types of writers. Hedgehogs like Dante and Plato yearned to explain life's apparent chaos with a single, all-embracing theory, Berlin believed, whereas foxes like Shakespeare preferred to revel in the world's messy multiplicity without feeling a need to unify it all in one system. My long experience with astrological types has convinced me that most Virgos tend to be foxes. In the coming days, however, I advise you to try out the hedgehog perspective. It'll ensure you don't miss the forest for the trees. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Where exactly does happiness come from, ask David Meyers and Ed Diener in their article, "The Science of Happiness," published in "The Futurist" magazine. Do you experience happiness primarily through being a good person or contemplating the meaning of life? From indulging in pleasure or knowing the truth? From preserving comfy illusions or purging yourself of pent-up rage and sadness? All the above? Let these questions be the starting point for your own meditations on the subject, Libra. It's a perfect moment to get very serious about defining what brings you joy and making concrete plans to harvest more of it. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The science newsletter, "Mini-Annals of Improbable Research," did a poll of its readers on the question, "Does reality exist?" Forty-two percent answered yes, while 31 percent asserted that it most certainly does not. The remaining 27 percent were undecided. A few of the latter believed that their reality exists but no one else's does. Two people said, "Yes, reality exists, but you can't get to it." According to one respondent, "Reality exists only when it is really necessary." Remember that line, Scorpio, because it will be quite necessary for your reality to exist in the coming weeks. Here's another response to the poll that you should make your own: "Reality especially exists right after a thunderstorm." I predict that your reality will become vivid and deep once your metaphorical tempest ends in a few days.

✍ HOMEWORK:

What Halloween costume could you choose to help you activate a secret or dormant part of your potential? Testify at 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

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COMMUNIT Y

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Les gives everyone a lounge Krannert displays African tribal masks

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EELS talk back Ester Drang Action hits Wednesday night

www.tommygs.com CROSSWORD PUZZLE (ANSWERS ON 20) ACROSS 1 One going through a tunnel, perhaps 5 Brick ingredient 10 Beach site 14 “My ___!” 15 Cell alternative 16 Place to swim or play b-ball 17 Vent, in a way 18 Receive a late honor? 20 Hotel reception feature 22 It may be due … but never overdue 23 Main line 24 Unsatisfactorily 26 Want ad inits. 27 Start 28 Certain computer screen 30 Miss 31 Boxing, so it’s said 34 Useless project 35 Boxing legend 41 Sound 42 “Legally Blonde” blonde 43 ___ Bowl 44 Kind of shot 45 Running total?: Abbr.

Passed on the trail Send Stalked, e.g. Immediately Still-life piece “Hollywood Homicide” actress, 2003 56 Put out 57 Devotional carving: Var. 58 Got out 59 Exhausted, with “out” 60 Boxer and others: Abbr. 46 47 49 50 54 55

DOWN 1 Movie credits caption 2 Continue a military parade 3 Grain appendages 4 Present time 5 Extend 6 Musical with the song “Frank Mills” 7 It may be understated 8 Pacific ring 9 Suffix with 22-Across 10 Stick ___ 11 Get part of 12 Circular opening?

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opening 14 19 Crystal work, 17 once: Abbr. 20 21 Stout person? 23 24 Step on it 27 25 Dough 28 General’s 31 pride 29 ___ alcohol 35 36 30 Best Supporting 41 Actress winner for 44 “The 47 Accidental Tourist” 50 32 Dog-___ 33 Geometric 55 figure with 58 all equal angles 35 By fair means or foul 36 It may accompany hipshaking 37 Vostok 1 commander 38 Took Marie Antoinette’s advice?

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“Here I Stand,” 1958 40 ___ “Annus Mirabilis” 45 Congressional support 46 Like Larry King 48 Dress without a waistline

editor’snote

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hile initially researching the story behind Amasong, I was certain the documentary would contain protests from conservative religious groups, lesbians discussing family members that had turned their backs on them and political activists toting their own personal views on the lack of lesbian and gay rights in America. How could any documentarian address what I perceived to be an overtly political move by Kristina Boerger on behalf of lesbians without finding and depicting heated reactions from central Illinois’ more conservative members? However, what Jay Rosenstein pointed out, and what I agree with, is the fascinating way in which Amasong’s lesbian/feminist choir has not met with any major obstacles while performing in Champaign-Urbana. As a student at the University of Illinois, what right did I have to make broad generalizations about how a community that I did not grow up in would react to what I had labeled a “liberal” maneuver? This assumption was shortsighted and naive for two reasons: one, immediately assuming that the people of Central Illinois are vehemently anti-gay and anti-lesbian stereotypes the former in the same manner by which I was ready to accuse them of doing; and two, implying that it is natural for people to react negatively to such a division displays little aptitude on my part for understanding the way in which people see and

view group activity. Whenever any group of people identify themselves as being different and section themselves off from others it is in reaction to not finding the appropriate resources within a larger community. Even in an activity as politically benign as Little League, one can detect the need for a specialized environment: little kids learn to play baseball better with people who are of relatively the same size and ability as them. No one started the Little League program in order to directly attack the grown-up dominated system in Major League Baseball. Mothers do not bring signs to Cubs games reading, “Down with adult ideology. Come to Cubbies games instead.” The difference between Little League players and Major League ballers is not needlessly discussed. That difference is obvious but accepted as natural due to the conventions of our time. Another feature apparent in such divisions is that the participants are able to nurture their talents in an environment that is most conducive to their development. It is necessity, not anger, which compels them to section off. An encouraging environment was what Kristina Boerger was looking for when she established Amasong in 1991. Boerger was not looking for a fight. Nor was she disappointed when she didn’t find one. As much as I wanted to find the sensationalism in the story, neither Kristina nor Champaign-Urbana was going to give it to me. In retrospect, my prejudice toward the community was a need within myself to witness dramatic situations. Call it an adventuresome nature, a fighting sprit, or just plain boredom, whatever the source was; I wanted to see lesbians throwing bibles at Baptist preachers. Not because I dislike lesbians, or Baptist preachers for that matter,

BUZZ STAFF

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HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’VE LOST IT? | OCTOBER 9-15, 2003 buzz

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

49 Dermatologist’s con-

cern 51 Unexplored 52 Sixth-century date 53 Pilfer

Editor-in-chief Tom Rybarczyk Art Director Meaghan Dee Copy Chief Erin Green Arts Katie Richardson Music Brian Mertz Entertainment Jason Cantone Calendar Marissa Monson Assistant Music Editor Jacob Dittmer Calendar Coordinators Lauren Smith, Cassie Conner, Erin Scottberg Photography Adam Young, Elliot Kolkovich Copy Editors Elizabeth Zeman, Suzanne Sitrick Designers Adam Obendorf, Carol Mudra, Jason Cantone Production Manager Theon Smith Editorial Adviser Elliot Kolkovich Sales Manager Lindsey Benton Marketing/Distribution Melissa Schleicher, Maria Erickson Publisher Mary Cory All editorial questions or letters to the editor should be sent to buzz@readbuzz.com or 244-9898 or buzz, 1001 S. Wright St., Champaign, Ill., 61820. Buzz magazine is a student-run publication of Illini Media Company and does not necessarily represent, in whole or in part, the views of the University of Illinois administration, faculty or students. Copyright Illini Media Company 2003

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but because I’ve created a somewhat false idea of eternal conflict between the two, based on my minimal experience, and look for traces of that concept on the big screen. The scenario that was really on Jay Rosenstein’s screen, though, was that of a deeply touching and peaceful group of women who were able to cultivate their talents because they were sharing a safe space with women that they had found a kinship with. The question, then, was why had they found such a kinship? Where do people draw the line between “us” and “them,” and why do they do so? Let’s backtrack a little and discuss my “false idea.” It was false because I am not a lesbian. And even though I have friends who are, and have been to many gay and lesbian designated events and benefits, and read about what it’s like to be labeled according to one’s sexuality, I really have no empirical experience wherein I have had to define my “self” in terms of whom I am sleeping with. Due to my personal tendency to imagine worst-case scenarios, I have always thought that every day for such a person must be a constant battle against the status quo. When Kristina Boerger said to me, “I’m over being a lesbian,” I realized that “the status quo” was not the narrow-minded individuals that I had imagined lurking in the bushes outside of Amasong’s concerts. It was me. In spite of holding no intolerance towards lesbians, I had still managed to marginalize them. I had done so because I had identified them as different and needed to defend that difference in order to confirm a sense of self in the community, when in fact their sexuality is no indicator of who they truly are. I firmly believe one reason Amasong was such a secure environment for its participants was because in that sphere there was little discussion as to what the members perceived to be a secondary characteristic about themselves. After writing this story, I considered the fact that it might be as boring for a lesbian to talk about her sexuality as it is for me to talk about my hair color. I realized I had made a bigger deal about the politics behind Amasong than I had the quality of work that it was producing. Admittedly, even this forum obstructs the nature of the message I am trying to relay. Being a lesbian shouldn’t be in discussion. Kristina’s over it, the community’s over it and I should be too. Katie Richardson Arts Editor

Correction- A community story on page 3 in the Oct. 9 issue misattributed a pull quote. The quote should have been attributed to Lynda Gritten.

Central Illinois The Right Help Right at your Fingertips Making it easy to find the right therapist A free referral service Affiliate of the 1-800-Therapist Network Call


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OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

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PHONE: 217/337-8337

Death and a Salesman BY YVONNE ZUSEL | STAFF WRITER

hanging in his house to remind himself that he had a father. Don, his mother and his two younger brothon Wolfe sits next to his casket and greets ers moved to Rankin after Clarence’s funeral the people who pass by. to be near his mother’s parents. Four years “How are ya?” he asks one couple. later, Don sat in class. His mother had breast “How you doin’, Henry?” he says to a wrincancer. His aunt opened the door to the classkled, white-haired man. room. “Donnie,” she said, “You’d better come “Good to see ya, Jeff,” he tells a man walking with me. Your mother’s dead.” In that with his family. moment, Don hated his aunt. He was embarDon knows nearly every person who walks rassed, sad, ashamed. by. And they know him. They know that most In a town of 600, everyone knew. They felt of the time when an old-timer passes away or a sorry for him. They meant well, but he hated it. teenager dies unexpectedly, Don will be called He didn’t want their pity. He remembers the to organize a funeral. Recognition and warmth way it made him feel, and he uses it as a rule to fill their eyes, and they stop to chat and shake conduct his own business. No pity, just comfort his hand. A polite “Hello, Mr. Wolfe,” will not and understanding. But although he hated the do, because this man is their friend, a local fixpity, he appreciated the support the community ture, and so only, “Hey Don, how’s it going?” provided for him and his family. Food and flowwill suffice. ers were brought to the Wolfe house almost Although Don genuinely wants to talk to daily after his mother’s death. Almost the whole them, he is also here at the Hoopeston Home town came to the funeral. It’s Expo to sell his services. He this kind of love that Don knows friendliness is the best doesn’t think he’d find in a public relations. Nestled big city. between booths hawking tan“In the city, if your neighning and cell phone services, bor dies, who the hell cares?” the Wolfe Funeral Home booth he says. “Here, everybody seems an oddity. Don knows knows everybody, everyhis is a hard sell, and so, with Don Wolfe body helps everybody.” all his 45 years of businessHe thinks this desire to man’s experience, he smiles, help others might be why he schmoozes, kills them with wanted to be a funeral director. But it’s another kindness. He cannot afford to let a person pass one of those things he can’t remember. He without asking how his wife is doing, or how guesses it also had something to do with his the business is going, or if he’s enjoying the parents’ deaths. good weather. It’s the Catch-22 of Don’s life. Don’s mother’s parents raised him after his These people are his friends, but they’re also mother died. His grandfather passed away potential customers. when he was 23. He remembers feeling sad, but Don can pick a person from the crowd and what he remembers is the way the funeral automatically retrieve their vitals. They are his director came into the hospital room, set up his friends, and he will be sad when they die. Yet cot next to the bed where his grandfather lay their deaths won’t shake him. He has a built-in and yanked his body onto the cot right in front defense mechanism that allows him to show the of Don, his grandmother and his brothers. By family of the deceased compassion and underthat time, Don knew he wanted to own a standing, but which also allows him to view funeral home. He vowed to himself death as just another part of life. It is this attitude then that he would never do a that gets him through; everybody dies, and why removal in front of a family. And shouldn’t he be the one there when they do? he never has. In 1943, Don was 6 years old. It was late and Don knows he built a he was in bed. He heard screaming. It was his wall around himself mother, Lucy. He got out of bed and saw after the deaths. strange people walking around his house. Because he was Clarence Henry Wolfe, Don’s father, was dead. forced to deal A car accident. There was a long drive from the with death Wolfe home in Kankakee to Rankin, his father’s at such hometown, where the funeral was held. His mother leaned over the casket, crying: “Wake up Clarence. Wake up, you can’t do this to me!” That’s all Don remembers about his father’s death. He doesn’t remember how he felt. He doesn’t remember if he cried or if he was scared. He doesn’t remember much about his father at all, but he keeps a picture of him

D

[

Here, everybody knows everybody, everybody helps everybody.

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a young age, he believes he has had practice at being compassionate but not emotional at the funerals. On a warm, bright Wednesday morning, people start arriving at the Hoopeston Wolfe Funeral Home for the service that’s scheduled to begin in an hour. With 6,000 people, Hoopeston is the largest community Don serves. A 68-year-old man lies in the polished wood casket, hands neatly folded across his middle, paper-thin eyelids closed and glacierwhite hair neatly combed. Earlier, Don’s son Roger, who has helped his father run the funeral homes with his brother Royce since he finished college, had dressed the man in a gray suit and arranged him in the casket for the visitation. A folded American flag and a Billy Bass singing fish sit in the hollow of the casket cover, an homage to the Korean War veteran and fisherman. Don sits behind his desk in a small office at the back of the funeral home. Don is only two years younger than the man, which until recently wouldn’t have made him think twice. But two years ago, he had a stroke and a heart attack. Don gets up from behind the desk. He’s dressed in a black suit and a black and white tie. He shifts his weight to his left side, onto a wooden cane with a shiny marble top. He walks as if with three feet—left leg and cane down for a beat, then his right leg. He is not as active as he used to be since the stroke, doesn’t do body removals as swiftly as he used to or do as many embalmings as in the past, but he tries to attend all the funerals. He ambles slowly toward the family—cane-left foot, right foot. “I want to extend my sympathy to you on your loss,” Don says in his deep drawl. He is talking to the dead man’s sister, a

25

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | WELL SHE TRIED TO THINK OF SOMETHING TO SELL AND ONLY SOLD HER DIRTY SOCKS.

DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Monday for the next Thursday’s edition. small woman with a tear-stained face. “Thank you, Don,” she whispers. “I hope everything is to your satisfaction,” he says, putting his free hand on her shoulder while she nods. “Everything is excellent,” she answers. Don wants her to know he feels sorry. But comforting the family of the deceased is part of his job as funeral director. He likens the job of a funeral director to that of a film director: He is in charge of everything from start to finish. He knows that when somebody dies, family members don’t want to have to worry about how they’re going to move the flowers from the funeral home to their house (Don or Roger drives them over after the funeral) or who is going to eulogize the deceased if they didn’t belong to a church (Don knows clergy of all denominations, and, sometimes, if he knows the deceased very well, he will do the eulogy himself). He knows people don’t want to worry, and so he makes sure he takes care of everything down to the last detail. He doesn’t want the family to worry. After he talks to the man’s sister, he walks back to his office. A short, compact woman with square glasses comes in and stops in front of his desk. “Well, hey Joyce,” he says, as he eases himself into his chair. “Hey Don. Did Bonnie tell you I have a joke for you?” Joyce Buckwaller is an old family friend. Don has buried both her parents. Her daughter is also married to the deceased man’s son.

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film & tv

TEXAS IS FILLED WITH CHAIN SAWS. | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 buzz

Drive-thru Reviews

24

10/15/03

BUFFALO SOLDIERS ★★★ ED HARRIS AND ANNA PAQUIN This story tells a less than flattering tale of American soldiers in Germany. These soldiers aren’t the heroes idolized after Sept. 11, which made this film delay its release.These soldiers are thieves and criminals and the film is a smart, biting satire that isn’t anti-American at all. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Beverly

FREAKY FRIDAY ★★★ JAMIE LEE CURTIS AND LINDSAY LOHAN Freaky Friday’s family-friendly plot still includes a mother and daughter unsympathetic to one another’s problems because each is convinced her own life is more difficult than the other’s. One of Jamie Lee Curtis’ most successful films in 20 years. (Janelle Greenwood) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

GOOD BOY! ★★★ MATTHEW BRODERICK AND BRITTANY MURPHY An alien dog talks to kids. Simply amazing. Watch Matthew Broderick’s career sink even further. (Arthur Mitchell) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

HOUSE OF THE DEAD

no stars

JONATHAN CHERRY AND CLINT HOWARD A group of ecstacy-loving kids sail out to an island and find zombies. This film opens with the line “It was a nightmare” and that describes the film perfectly. (Paul Wagner) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

INTOLERABLE CRUELTY ★★★★ GEORGE CLOONEY AND CATHERINE ZETA-JONES Miles Massey (Clooney), the nimblest divorce attorney in L.A., is out to trap the gold-digging wife (Zeta-Jones) of a client. But beautiful people can't help falling in love, no matter which side of the table they’re on. It’s the Coen Brothers, so it’s probably not the crap it sounds like. (Jason Cantone) Opening at Beverly and Savoy

KILL BILL: VOLUME ONE ★★★★ UMA THURMAN AND DAVID CARRADINE Kill Bill is raw entertainment that packs brains with its brawn. That is because Tarantino is an expert at drawing feeling from his killers, robbers and sociopaths. In Kill Bill, Tarantino revisits his penchant for characters who have experienced past—and specifically, childhood—trauma, again hitting the mark with brave situational dichotomy.(Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

LOST IN TRANSLATION ★★★★

THE SCHOOL OF ROCK ★★★★

BILL MURRAY AND SCARLETT JOHANSSON Bill Murray finds a relationship with a younger woman in this intelligent film set in Japan and directed by Sofia Coppola. The enigmatic serenity of Lost in Translation confounds and astonishes while it simultaneously embraces and rejects convention. The link between Bob and Charlotte feels a touch familiar but, more importantly, perfectly natural. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

JACK BLACK AND JOAN CUSACK Jack Black plays a rock star who bottoms out and becomes a teacher at a prep school in this smart film from director Richard Linklater, who also made Waking Life. (Matt Mitchell) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

THE MAGDALENE SISTERS ★★★ NORA-JANE NOONE This is the true story of women who were sent to a convent/laundry facility to be cleaned of their sins. However, they were also beaten and brutalized along the way. This story powerfully shows women who rose against the Catholic Church in the name of decency.(Janelle Greenwood) Showing at Boardman’s Art Theatre through tonight.

MATCHSTICK MEN ★★★

NICOLAS CAGE AND SAM ROCKWELL No, this isn’t a film about pyromaniacs or arsonists invading a town. Instead, matchstick men are con artists, and here the cons go between friends and family members. When Cage’s character finds out he has a daughter, they meet and she wants to join in on the con.The story is fun and entertaining, but the book is much better and doesn’t have the slow, confusing moments that the movie does. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

OPEN RANGE ★★ KEVIN COSTNER AND ROBERT DUVALL Open Range mixes slow-paced historical nostalgia with slower-paced Little House on the Prairie references, pitting free range herders against static, prejudiced ranchers. At times, the film plays a little like Gangs of the Old West and anyone who’s even heard of classic Westerns like Shane or The Searchers can pretty much stay two steps ahead of Open Range at all times. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

SECONDHAND LIONS ★★★★ ROBERT DUVALL AND MICHAEL CAINE Two old men, who might have been successful bank robbers in the 1920s, take custody of their nephew. Melodramatic story, tears and laughter ensure and manipulate your emotions, but make you love every second. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

UNDERWORLD ★★ KATE BECKINSALE AND SCOTT SPEEDMAN Werewolves, vampires and humans, oh my! This Romeo and Juliet tale pits love against an eternal war between vampires and werewolves. Look for great action sequences and a dark tone similar to The Matrix. And then there’s also Kate Beckinsale in all leather to watch for. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy.

OPENING THIS WEEKEND AMADEUS: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM AND JEFFREY JONES Considered by the American Film Institute as one of the Top 100 films of all time, this story of Mozart’s rise to fame won Best Picture in 1985. (Jason Cantone) Opening at Boardman’s Art Theatre

MYSTIC RIVER

KEVIN BACON AND SEAN PENN Three childhood friends are united after one loses his daughter. Expect brilliant performances. (Jason Cantone) Opening at Beverly and Savoy

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE

JESSICA BIEL AND MIKE VOGEL While on a drug run to Mexico, a bunch of people pick up a bloodied hitchhiker who has been attacked by someone or

OUT OF TIME ★★★ DENZEL WASHINGTON AND SANAA LATHAN Denzel Washington, fresh from his Oscar-winning performance in Training Day and his lead role in the crappy John Q., portrays a cop framed for a heinous crime in this film, which uses a little-used genre effectively to provide an interesting and suspenseful thriller. (Andrew Crewell) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

DUSTIN HOFFMAN AND GENE HACKMAN Based upon the best selling John Grisham novel, this story was originally about tobacco farms, but because a tale of guns, possibly because of who supports major film companies. Juries are treated as pawns in this tale of jury tampering and courtroom hijinks. It also features two of the greatest actors of their generation. (Jason Cantone) Opening at Beverly and Savoy

VERONICA GUERIN

CATE BLANCHETT AND BRENDA FRICKER Cate Blanchett plays real life journalism Veronica Guerin in this independent film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Joel Schumacher. (Jason Cantone) Opening at Beverly

SPECIAL SHOWINGS DEAD ALIVE

TIMOTHY BALME AND ELIZABETH MOODY A young man's mother is bitten by a "rat monkey." She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors. Special showings at Boardman’s this weekend

RADIO

CUBA GOODING JR. AND ED HARRIS Cuba Gooding Jr. does his best to give a decent performance that will make his critics less likely to demand that he gives back his Oscar after horrendous films such as Snow Dogs. Watch him play up mental retardation here. (Jason Cantone) Sneak preview at Beverly this weekend

SCARFACE

AL PACINO AND ROBERT LOGGIA A Cuban refugee builds a crime empire in Florida in this spectacular Brian DePalma/Oliver Stone film. Considered one of the most violent films of all-time. (Jason Cantone) Special showings at Beverly this weekend

Route 45 & Burwash Ave. $5.50 Kids all shows

THE ROCK AND SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT The Rundown is pure entertainment, plain and simple.It’s hard to lump it into one genre as it reaches into action, adventure and comedy in order to come up with an exhilarating and fun combination that will leave audiences more than satisfied. (Aaron Leach) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

Unlimited Free Drink Refills & .25¢ Corn Refills

Stadium Seating Gives YOU An Unobstructed View All Rocking Chairs

SHOWTIMES 10/17 - 10/23

RUNAWAY JURY (PG-13) DIGITAL

SEABISCUIT ★★★★ TOBEY MAGUIRE, JEFF BRIDGES AND CHRIS COOPER The Seabiscuit phenomenon was one of the most captivating in United States history and this film does it justice. (Andrew Crewell) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy.

Yep. It’s that time of year again!!!

126 W. Church St. Champaign, IL

The First of Three Midnight Weekend Horror Films! Only $5! From LOTR’s Director, Peter Jackson NR, runs 97 minutes, presented in HPS-4000/DD Midnight Fri & Sat, Oct. 17 & 18 Coming next in the Midnight Horror Film Series: Suspiria and The Exorcist!

BOARDMAN’S THEATRES www.BoardmansTheatres.com 1-800-BEST PLACE (800-237-8752) 217/355-0068 eTickets/reserved seats: www.BoardmansArtTheatre.com

(217)

355-FILM

$5.75 DAILY Matinees til 6pm & Seniors $6.25 Late Shows Fri & Sat $6.25 Students $7.25 Evenings Mon - Thurs No passes DIGITAL STEREO

THE RUNDOWN ★★★

Art Theatre

Coming Next: Capturing The Friedmans

RUNAWAY JURY

SAVOY 16

Boardman’s

Opens Friday October 17th! ONE WEEK ONLY! Winner of 8 Academy Awards, Including Best Picture & Best Sound! R, runs 180 minutes, scope, presented in HPS-4000/DD Daily at 7:00pm Matinees on Sat/Sun at 3:00pm

something. When their van runs out of gas in front of a slaughterhouse, the group decide to investigate and see if there's a phone. What they encounter is a bizarre family of cannibals and a strange man who's weapon of choice is a chainsaw. Opening at Beverly and Savoy

9 Taylor, Downtown Champaign

355•WEED

2 PRINTS / 2 SCREENS

11:55, 1:45, 2:25, 4:15, 4:55, 6:45, 7:20, 9:15, 9:45 FRI/SAT LS 11:45, 12:05 THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (R)

buzz

community

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

“Yeah, she said you had something to tell me,” he says, smiling. Joyce tells a slightly off-color joke about a cemetery, a woman’s anatomy and a stiff. Don laughs, throws back his head and blushes. Don has a pretty bawdy sense of humor, but the joke at a funeral catches him off guard. He figures it’s Joyce’s way of coping with the death. “Some people treat me as a minister, some people treat me as part of the family,” he says. He tries to play the role of minister the best he can. He is not deeply religious. Don stopped going to church for a time because his minister wouldn’t marry him to Bonnie, who was of a different religious denomination. But he does believe in God and he does believe in heaven. When he is arranging the funeral for a family he knows is religious, he tries to assure them that God is with them and that their loved one is going to a better place. He says it because he believes it, and he says it because he wants it to be true, both for them and for himself. He knows he’s going to see his mother and father when his time comes. After Don stops laughing, Bonnie turns serious. She wants to talk about funeral arrangements for her husband and her. “We’re gonna sit down and see if we have enough to bury us,” she says. Don says it’s going to cost her $10,000. “$10,000?” she asks, raising her eyebrows. “Well, I could use the money,” he says, giving Joyce a quick wink. “Well, you don’t have to get it all from me!” she says, laughing. Don feels comfortable joking about death. He can also joke about money. It’s just money, after all. When a family comes to Don to pre-arrange a funeral, he gives them a casket price list, along with the prices of flowers and embalming. He

takes the family into the casket display room at the rear of the funeral home and leaves them alone while they make their decision. He doesn’t want people to think he is pushing them to purchase a more expensive casket. Still, the fact remains that he is running a business. He wants to make money, and he only makes money when people die. And many of the people are his friends. So he simultaneously wants to get rich and stay poor. Don has done funerals for families that have no money and no insurance, asking them only to pay him when they can. He grew up poor, and he feels everybody is entitled to a nice burial. But while Don is generous, he’s also no pushover. When he lends someone money, he expects the loan to be repaid. After the service, Don and Roger direct the pallbearers on how to put the casket in the hearse. They lead the funeral procession in a gray Suburban with WOLFE 2 on the license plate, one of nine similar Suburbans they own. The chain of cars travels 20 miles south to the Potomac Memorial Cemetery for the graveside service. Later, Don and Roger will go to a ham lunch given by the local church in memory of

the deceased man. Don will walk from table to table, shaking hands, saying his hellos, advertising Wolfe Funeral Homes. He wants to make sure everybody knows who took care of the arrangements today. While Don knows nearly everybody he does funerals for, it’s rare that he has to bury a close friend or family member. When a close friend dies, the joking stops. Fifteen years ago, Don buried his best friend. He cries when he thinks about it, his body shaking, and his hand instinctively moves up to his face to cover his eyes. Preparing Frank Carlock’s funeral was the hardest thing Don has ever had to do. Before Don was able to save up enough money to start his business, he held other jobs to support his family. He was Rankin’s chief of police when Frank was the mayor. Don went to the bank to take out a loan to buy his first funeral home. They asked what he had for collateral. “You’re lookin’ at it, baby,” he said. They turned him down, so Frank went to the bank himself. “Whatever Don wants, give it to him,” he told the teller. “I’ll sign for it.” Frank didn’t want anything in return. Don made him a silent partner in the funeral business. Frank took care of the books; Don took care

of the people. They would squabble about little things—Don would buy caskets in bulk to get a good price; Frank would tell him he was spending too much money at one time. They eventually agreed it would be better—they would be able to stay friends—if Frank left the business. Five years later, Frank died of cancer and his wife, Jean, asked Don to do the removal. Normally, when a person dies in the hospital, the body has to be taken out by the loading dock where the garbage is dumped, because the hospital doesn’t want patients and their families to see the removal. When Don got to the hospital and saw Frank, his eyes filled with tears. He never felt so sad. Jean asked him to do something even more difficult. She wanted him to eulogize Frank. He didn’t know what to say. There was too much. He sat for hours, thinking. Finally, he wrote. At the funeral, he looked into the casket as he gave his eulogy. He couldn’t help it—he started to cry. “Frank and I met, and he asked me to be his chief of police,” Don said, his voice wavering. “He gave me a gun and a badge and said, ‘Go get `em, Wolfe.’” He heard a soft laugh in response to the story. He didn’t dare look at Jean or Frank’s children. He could barely go on as it was. He felt a pain he had never felt before, not at any funeral, not at the deaths of his father and mother. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Don says. But when Frank died, something happened that made the death a little easier. He saw the way the whole town came out for the funeral. He saw the homemade food covering yards of Formica tabletops. He saw flowers and hugs and tears. And he saw what he saw after his parents’ funerals: that in times of need, people in small towns band together. It made him happy, if only for a moment. He saw—and gets to see daily—people at their best when things are at their worst. buzz

L

ifelong Champaign-Urbana resident Les Johnson has been in the bar business for 26 years. Currently, Johnson, 65, owns and operates his namesake, Les’s Lounge in Champaign. Since 1978, Les’s, located at 403 N. Coler Ave., has offered visitors a sports bar environment and a friendly atmosphere.

Do you have any plans to retire? No, not quite yet, but I am preparing one of my employees, Troy Seten, to take over.

What is your favorite pastime? Riding my Harley and stopping in at other bars.

What is your idea of the ideal bar? Les’s is the ideal bar. It has great overall friendliness and we also help our customers.

Why did you decide to start Les’s Lounge? I have always enjoyed the nightlife and wanted to be a part of that.

Do you visit other bars? Oh sure, all the time. I enjoy the Jolly Roger, Esquire, Pink House, lots of places.

What would you be doing if you didn’t own Les’s? Traveling. I own a motor home and I would do all my traveling in the United States. I just returned from a Nascar race in North Carolina.

How did you get started in the bar business? I started tending bar when I was 14 at Deluxe Inn; it used to be where Legends is now on campus.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Because I owned my own travel agency, I was able to travel a lot. I have been around the world and back four times. I have seen the pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall of China, Australia and the Eiffel Tower.

Q & A

LesJohnson

2 PRINTS / 2 SCREENS

DIGITAL 1:20, 3:20, 5:20, 7:20, 9:20 FRI/SAT LS 11:20 DIGITAL/STADIUM SEATING 12:10, 2:05, 4:00, 5:55, 7:50, 9:50 FRI/SAT LS 11:50 MYSTIC RIVER (R) DIGITAL 1:20, 4:00, 6:40, 9:20 FRI/SAT LS 12:00 INTOLERABLE CRUELTY (PG-13) DIGITAL 12:45, 2:50, 4:55, 7:00, 9:05 FRI/SAT LS 11:10 KILL BILL, VOLUME 1 (R) DIGITAL 2 PRINTS/ 2 SCREENS 12:20, 1:05, 2:35, 3:20, 4:50, 5:35, 7:05, 7:50, 9:20, 10:00 FRI/SAT LS 11:35, 12:10 GOOD DOG! (PG) 2 PRINTS/ 2 SCREENS DIGITAL 12:40, 12:50, 2:40, 2:45, 4:40, 5:05, 6:40, 9:00 FRI/SAT LS 11:00 THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD (R) 1:30, 3:25, 5:20, 7:15, 9:25 FRI/SAT LS 11:25 SCHOOL OF ROCK (PG-13)2 PRINTS/ 2 SCREENS 4:40, 9:05 FRI/SAT LS 11:20 DIGITAL/STADIUM SEATING 12:55, 3:00, 5:10, 7:30, 9:40 FRI/SAT LS 11:45 OUT OF TIME (PG-13) 1:00, 3:10, 5:25, 7:30, 9:40 FRI/SAT LS 11:50 THE RUNDOWN (PG-13) DIGITAL 7:05, 9:10 FRI/SAT LS 11:15 UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN (PG-13)11:50, 2:10, 4:30, 6:50, 9:10 FRI/SAT LS 11:25 LOST IN TRANSLATION (R) DIGITAL/STADIUM SEATING 12:55, 3:05, 5:15, 7:25, COUPON 9:35 FRI/SAT LS 12:00

SECONDHAND LIONS (PG) 12:10, 2:20, 6:55

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Have you had any other jobs besides those in the bar business? I used to run heavy equipment in the construction industry. I also owned my own travel agency, Adventure Travel. If you weren’t the owner of Les’s what would you be doing? I’d be retired.

What makes your job special? As a young man, this was exactly what I wanted to do. I like the lifestyle of the bar business. Would you change anything about Les’s? No. It’s exactly right the way it is and it’s gonna be that way for years.

What would you do if you won the lottery? I know that everyone says they would stay at their jobs, and I would continue to be a part of Les’s, but to be honest, you would probably see a lot less of Les at Les’s. What has been the biggest influence on your career? The lifelong desire to do what I am doing. This is just something I have always wanted to do. Do you have any regrets? No regrets, I still feel like I’m in my late 30s. I can’t believe I am 65. I have been blessed with health and good friends.


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OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

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Les’s Lounge appeals to all walks BY EMILY WAHLHEIM | STAFF WRITER

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ith the ominous presence of the hospital across the street and a variety of patient care buildings surrounding it, the blaring neon sign outside Les’s Lounge looks out of place. Inside though, it is easy to forget the outside surroundings and unwind in the comfortable, relaxed atmosphere which pervades from every corner of Les’s. Les’s Lounge is not like most bars. There are no crushing crowds or blaring music. Rather, Les’s offers inviting red vinyl booths, stools and a jukebox with everything from country to Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville.” “It’s a different atmosphere at Les’s,” says Champaign resident and frequent Les’s visitor Mark Joslyn. “It’s quiet, not all ‘citified’ like the downtown bars. You can actually sit down and have a conversation with friends.” On this Thursday, like many other nights, regulars like Joslyn sit around the oval-shaped bar, joking with each other and ordering rounds of shots. Friendly banter occurs between this group and longtime bartender Troy Seten. “I like the fact you can talk to everyone around the bar,” says Champaign resident Trent Johnson. “But, I really come here because of Troy.” Seten runs the gamut at Les’s, filling glasses,

dishing out sarcasm and ensuring a good time. He can recognize the faces of most visitors and knows the regulars by name and by drink. Though he originally took this job of out “desperation,” he has really come to enjoy his job and his customers. “Nowhere else would hire me at first,” he said. “I really like the people who come in here. They are from all walks of life.” Those different walks of life are apparent Thursday night. Besides the regulars at the bar, graduate students crowd the high-top tables in the back, straggling over to occasionally play a game of darts. On the far side of the bar, members of the Master in Fine Arts club gather for a post-meeting drink and a few games of 50-cent pool. The groups mingle periodically, but most visitors seem content to sit, chat and unwind. Though Les’s has been open since 1978, not much has changed. The interior, with its fireplace, brick walls and red Christmas lights surrounding the ceiling, still makes visitors feel at home. Music occasionally muffles conversations, but it is still quiet enough to hear the clink of the cash register or the clank of the pool balls being broken. Rantoul resident Lori Blaser, who has been coming to Les’s for three years, appreciates how relaxed the lounge makes her feel. She remembers having many birthday parties

here, including one where the bartender surprised her friend with a cake. “Les’s really stands out in my mind,” she says. “Where else do most people and the bartender know who you are?” Les’s owner, Les Johnson, feels the same. Even though he has been in the bar business

for 26 years, he recognizes there is something special about the Lounge that can’t quite be put into words. “I tried to make a place where you would be able to take your mother and not be embarrassed,” he said. “I’m proud to say I brought my 89-year-old mother in last week.” buzz

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Get some action on Wednesday nights BY JOHN PIATEK AND JENNIFER KEAST | STAFF WRITERS

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ednesdays can be boring. It’s the halfway point of the week. Too early to start celebrating the weekend and too late to still be miserable about the start of the work week. With this fall 2003 TV season, channels ABC (Karen Sisco), UPN (Star Trek: Enterprise and Jake 2.0) and WB (Smallville and Angel) all offer action shows to make life a little more interesting. Even The West Wing has become more action than politics lately, as terrorists and kidnapping have clouded up the political landscape. What follows are reviews of two new shows where viewers can get a little action on a Wednesday night.

JAKE 2.0 ★

Cookie Cook (left), Rosa Andrade (center), and Sal Marquez (right), all of Urbana, joke around at the bar.

film & tv

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | TIME FOR A LITTLE ACTION.

How many technology guys does it take to fix a weak fall lineup? UPN thinks it takes just one, the star of its new show Jake 2.0. Christopher Gorham (Felicity) is Jake Foley, a low-level computer technician who is accidentally exposed to a serum that grants him super powers. These powers include the standard increased strength and speed, but his body is also infused with “nanomites,” allowing him to telepathically control computers and other technologies. With his new skills, the young Jake is made into a super spy to hunt down terrorist computer hackers. Capitalizing on the success of superherothemed shows like WB’s Smallville, UPN launched Jake 2.0 to garner more of the TV sci-fi and fantasy fan base. Unfortunately, Jake 2.0 is just a second-rate show that comes too many years after the dot-com boom and tries much too hard to show that being a nerd can be cool. Jake 2.0 attempts to succeed by glamorizing the life of its nerdy star. As he works through his missions, Jake showcases enough high-tech spy gadgets to make James Bond jealous. He travels to an exciting criminal underworld full of style and chic clothes. He chases hackers into

nightclubs that could easily be stops on the Girls Gone Wild tour. The twist is that instead of a cool, collected and typical superhero, Jake is really a nerd at heart. He’s nervous with girls, tells some absolutely terrible jokes and uses his knowledge of online role-playing games to help track down the crooks. However, these efforts at originality are mercilessly undercut by the unbounded artificiality of the show. Jake 2.0 tries so hard to make itself cool that it eventually collapses under its own weight. Gorham’s performance is very uneven throughout the show. His overly dramatic facial and body expressions are more suited for a soap opera. He speaks with a whiny, annoying voice and his Prada-like clothes and hairstyle don’t fit his character. It’s not that all nerds need thick black glasses and pocket protectors to distinguish themselves as nerds, but Gorham looks, walks and acts like a guy who goes to dance clubs, not Star Trek conventions. The writing on the show is simply terrible. Its quip-filled dialogues are lined with such duds as, “Ladies and gentlemen, start your software.” The special effects and computer graphics aren’t much better either. Jake 2.0 displays unnecessary close-ups on the insides of cell phones and computers with an annoying frequency. The camera work is subpar, using a high number of abrupt zooms and dizzying scene cuts that may remind some viewers of MTV Cribs. All in all, Jake 2.0 is likely not to please the nerd fan base sought by UPN because of the show’s superficiality. It will need some major reformatting if it hopes to last a full season before viewers hit the escape key. (John Piatek)

KAREN SISCO ★★ ABC’s new action-drama Karen Sisco is based on the critically acclaimed film Out of Sight starring Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney. Karen Sisco stars award-winning actor/director Bill Duke and Academy Award-nominee Robert Forster. Karen Sisco even co-stars and is co-exec-

utive-produced by the highly acclaimed Danny DeVito. With this long list of credentials, Karen Sisco should be a joy to watch. Unfortunately, it’s anything but. One can tell it is going to be a long hour of prime-time television just by watching the cheesy opening credits. The 1970s detective show-style animation, with “It’s Your Thing” chiming in the background, is enough to make viewers groan. As the actual show opens up, we get a glimpse of Carla Gugino, who plays Karen Sisco, a beautiful and outgoing U.S. marshal on the coast of Miami. She spends her time chasing dangerous fugitives and trying to win the respect of her male fellow officers. Gugino, known by many as the mom in the Spy Kids trilogy, does a good job of mixing seductive sexiness and kick-butt professionalism. She is one of the few breaths of fresh air in the show. In episode two, we get a second: guest star Danny DeVito. He perfectly portrays a mob boss named Charlie Lucre who hires hit men to go after the two brothers who stole his Babe Ruth signed baseball. DeVito is wonderful in his role: seemingly tough, yet having a comedic, soft (and large) underbelly that is so characteristic of television mob bosses nowadays. Although he is good at what he does, his acting alone cannot save the show. Besides these two actors, the show does not accomplish much. It tries to be funny with its criminals, which are comparable to the robbers in Home Alone— goofy and not too bright. But the robbers in Home Alone are what make the movie so hilarious. The fugitives in Karen Sisco are so unintelligent they are hard to watch. The show’s writers tried to make the brothers the comedic relief of the episode, having them bicker and fight. At one point the “more” intelligent brother complains to the other, “How are we related?” to which

the other replies, “We’re brothers!” This slapstick humor is worthy of nothing more than an eye roll. For a show set in Miami, viewers certainly do not get to see any of it. The only thing Miamilike in episode two are a boat and the fugitives’ flowered shirts. Other than that, the show could have been shot anywhere—Chicago, Dallas or Anytown, USA. The show claims to be an action-drama, but there isn’t much action or drama. The chase scenes are weak, with no special effects or anything special. There are numerous shootouts in a single episode, none of which have any excitement in them. They don’t even look realistic. The gunfire seems almost animated. And nothing is less suspenseful than watching sweet Gugino shoot a gun. As she holds it, she looks almost scared of it, as if she might accidentally shoot herself instead of her enemy. Viewers looking for an exciting, suspense-filled “cops and robbers” type of show might be tempted to check out Karen Sisco, but after one episode will probably not be back for a second dose. (Jennifer Keast)


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BAD BOY! BAD MOVIE! BAD BAD BAD! | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

moviereview

HOUSE OF THE DEAD MGM FILMS

no stars

BY PAUL WAGNER | STAFF WRITER GOOD BOY! | LIAM AIKEN AND DOG

moviereview

GOOD BOY! ★★★ BY ARTHUR MITCHELL | STAFF WRITER

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ood Boy! can be described as a mix between Cats & Dogs and the beloved classic E.T., but it shouldn’t be taken as any more than escapist family entertainment. Good Boy! is a story about a lonely boy named Owen (Liam Aiken) who can’t seem to make a great connection with humans, but has a fantastic connection with dogs. His parents (Molly Shannon and Kevin Nealon) make their living by renovating homes all over the country. His parents’ occupation does not give little Owen the time to make friends, only time to alienate his peers with his quirky ways. In comes a space-traveling dog from a dog planet to see if canines are effectively dominating the human race. This dog (voiced by Matthew Broderick), crash lands in Owen’s town and soon after Owen and the dog begin the relationship of owner and pet. Glowing lights and humming sounds give Owen the ability to understand dogs. Talking dogs not only bring celebrity voices that only parents will recognize, but also give the animals personalities. Big, slow dogs become old, poodles become prissy and small dogs are somewhat timid. For the experienced moviegoer, these size stereotypes of animals might seem overused and predictable. However, for children aged 4-10, these portrayals seem perfect. There are some humorous moments for parents, but they are few and far between. A drug joke toward the end will make audiences wonder why the writer finds it appropriate to show dogs as “high” in an amusing light when the movie’s main demographic is children. Nealon’s character seems distant from Aiken, but Shannon seems to be much closer him emotionally. This could be due to a socially constructed bias instilled on how close mothers and fathers can be with their sons, but in any case children won’t really care or worry about this interaction. In a kid’s movie, one is able to get away with structural defects in character interaction and development. Good Boy! is able to skip around a few of these things, knowing that children really don’t care and neither do the parents who take them to see the movie.

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ouse of the Dead, a film based on a Sega video game of same name, opens with a very fitting line: “It was a nightmare.” Nightmare is definitely a great way to describe this horrifyingly bad horror movie. House of the Dead lives up to its video game counterpart. The video game portrays an evil scientist who discovered a way to turn the dead into zombies and wants to use them to act out his evil plot. The plot of the movie is just as deep … deep as a puddle, that is. A group of rich, yuppie teenagers, who are conveniently well-trained in the martial arts and the use of deadly weapons, buy tickets to “the rave of the century” that is to take place on Isle de la Morte. Unfortunately for the ravers, this particular jungle island is filled with flesh-craving zombies and their evil scientist leader. The movie’s most ridiculous scene occurs when the group of surviving teenagers—complete with every cliched character one could hope for: the token black girl, the dumb model,

moviereview

INTOLERABLE CRUELTY ★★★★

BY AARON LEACH | STAFF WRITER

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ver since their 1987 sleeper-hit Raising Arizona, the fraternal filmmaking duo of Joel and Ethan Coen have made a name for themselves as a team who can do no wrong. Their list of impressive credits include The Big Lebowski, Fargo and The Man Who Wasn’t There. And while writing, directing, producing and editing a string of critical successes, along with developing a cult following of fans, is no easy task, the two have yet to garner a true commercial hit. Intolerable Cruelty, the pair’s newest endeavor, just might be the film to change all that and put them in the mainstream spotlight. Intolerable Cruelty is a throwback and partly an homage to the older genre of screwball romantic comedy. Upon watching this movie, influences can clearly be seen from the Howard Hawks days. A movie like Bringing Up Baby is a clear inspiration for Intolerable Cruelty. George Clooney reunites with the Coens, after O Brother, Where Art Thou?, to star as Miles Massey. Massey is a great lawyer who specializes in divorce cases. Even though his record is flawless, Massey begins to become tired of his

the Asian girl (clad in red, white and blue and cleverly named Liberty), the intelligent and strong female character, the butch female police officer, Captain Kirk and the sensible, sole-surviving male character—arm themselves with a never-ending supply of weapons and ammo to fight their way to the creepy old house that they feel is their only hope of survival. During the 20-minute blood bath that follows, the director uses Matrix-style, bullet-time camera tricks to show the ragtag group kicking ass with guns, explosives and hand-to-hand combat. Why a bunch of rave-attending teenagers know how to shoot assault weapons and use martial arts is beyond this reviewer. Breasts dominate this film, and although nudity is often the saving grace of bad movies, nothing could save House of the Dead. Ten minutes into the film, the audience is led to the beach by a young woman who, for some reason, feels the need to strip down to a thong and go for a swim in the dark water. Through this wet, white thong-wearing girl we meet the zombies that destroy anything that moves. Beyond the obvious plot flaws, the film as a whole is bad. A poorly written (and acted) script, choppy cinematography, spliced scenes from the video game and borrowed scenes open this movie up to criticism. In one “scene” the audience is bombarded with a slide show on speed, showing scenes apparently from both the movie and the video game in rapid succession, lasting long enough to reduce the audience to tears and seizures. perfect life. In walks Marylin Rexroth, brought to steamy realization by Catherine Zeta-Jones. Marylin is nothing but a gold-digger who is looking to find a rich husband so she can simply divorce him for his money and as she puts it, “Nail his ass.” As the two begin their relationship they also begin their lesson in love. Masked beneath all the heartwarming goodness of a couple finding true love is also a commentary on the current state of power-couple relationships, with more divorcing and spouseswapping than one can shake a stick at. This is a perfect vehicle for Clooney, whose impeccable comedic timing and over-the-top performance would make Cary Grant jealous. This role shows the depth Clooney can bring to an already well-written character. While the role of Marylin doesn’t do much to show off Zeta-Jones’ acting, she plays off Clooney well. The scenes they share are a delight to watch as they try to keep their hands off each others’ assets. And who else but Zeta-Jones could make a lawyer’s cold heart melt with love? It is true that Intolerable Cruelty is a more mainstream work than the Coens other films. This would also imply that perhaps the Coen brothers have sold out, but Coen fans, fear not, for this implication is simply not true. All the “normal” ingredients are still present in this film. The story is riddled with bizarre characters to make viewers both laugh out loud and groan as they squirm in their seats. Many of the films biggest laughs come from the darkest of moments, such as when a hitman named Wheezy Joe accidentally kills himself when he mistakes his gun for his inhaler. Many Coen

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arts

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | FUNNIES...TYPE THEM IN HERE

Amazing Songbirds HOUSE OF THE DEAD | ONA GRAUER For the sake of redundancy, Boll randomly splices scenes from the video game into the movie, just to show the curious audience members where, in fact, the moviemakers came up with the gory scenes for this movie. Some of these scenes were painfully obvious reproductions borrowed from other films. Camera shots of a skinny-dipper from underwater, complete with dramatic music, bring thoughts of Jaws, momentarily causing the audience to forget they wasted money on House of the Dead and were instead seeing an epic film. Unfortunately they are ripped back to reality by bad editing to a bloody zombie hand gripping a tree. The ending of this film, unfortunately, lends itself to a sequel after a plot twist that only avid video game players would understand. This movie is definitely not worth seeing.

INTOLERABLE CRUELTY | GEORGE CLOONEY alumni also make appearances in the film. Billy Bob Thornton and Richard Jenkins turn up in this movie, as well as indie-favorite Bruce Campbell (Fargo and The Hudsucker Proxy). Campbell has had the habit of turning up in the Coens’ films ever since Joel Coen helped to edit Campbell’s first film, the low-budget horror classic, The Evil Dead. The only thing missing here is the Coens’ trademark visual signature. While the film is brilliantly photographed with every shot beautifully composed, it lacks that quirky flair that usually engrosses all of the Coens’ works. Intolerable Cruelty comes to theaters as a savior for all men who are tired of the usual corny chick-flick fair. This is a date movie sure to please both guys and girls. Filled with plenty of offbeat moments and a great Clooney performance, Intolerable Cruelty raises the bar for romantic comedy.

BY KATIE RICHARDSON | ARTS EDITOR

from a position as a camp counselor for mentioning she was a lesbian. Consequently, one of the major reasons she began Amasong was in response to feeling segregated from society as hen Kristina Boerger started Amasong a whole. Despite her willingness to fight the in 1991, the requirements for any prospective status quo, she spent more time directing member were, to be able to hold a tune in a Amasong than defending its lesbian affiliation. “There were only two major incidents durbucket and to be either a lesbian or a feminist. Once those common links were established, ing the whole period I was with Amasong. something at least resembling singing could One involving a choir that didn’t want to sing begin. Six years later, Champaign-Urbana’s with us and another involving the organizer of premier lesbian/feminist choir won a an event we were to sing at. She sent me a list Gay/Lesbian American Music Award for their of weird stipulations that we were supposed to first album, The Water is Sweet Over Here. follow in order to sing at that event. I refused University of Illinois journalism professor Jay and told her that her list was ridiculous, and I Rosenstein called Amasong’s accomplishment pulled us from the show. And as a result of an “amazing rags to riches story,” and his that, she had to step down,” Boerger said. Boerger appreciates ambitious documenthe unique experience tary, Singing Out, that Rosenstein captured attempts to capture that while following the incredible tale. group around. She The documentary, believes the film is brilwhich will air on local liant and beautifully PBS on Nov. 4 and 7 at 9 crafted, and she is p.m., was made over a deeply touched by four-year span and Rosenstein’s creation. focuses mainly on the She also understands the musical contribution of film’s inability to convey Boerger, not only to everything in her life in Amasong, but to the the same manner as she community. Rosenstein recalls it unraveling. She considers Boerger a has one problem with “musical genius” and the film. Her parents are says that the first time depicted as explaining he heard the choir she their initial negative started and directed for reactions upon discovernine years, he was ing their daughter was extremely impressed gay, but they never disand touched by cuss in the documentary Amasong’s strong comthe acceptance they now mitment to singing. He Kristina Boerger, former Amasong director. have of her lifestyle. was also fascinated by “It was just a personal objection. Ultimately, the idea that a choir filled predominately with self-identified lesbians could survive and though, Jay is the artist and we have to trust him,” Boerger said. flourish in central Illinois. What Rosenstein’s documentary reveals is “While Champaign-Urbana is for the most part fairly liberal, there are some surrounding the story of a group of unseasoned women areas that are less so. I was inspired by the fact who would become an extremely skillful choir that music has this ability to bridge boundaries ensemble. “Maybe (the documentary) would have regardless of how one feels about sexuality. (The musical talent of this choir) had the abili- been more interesting if there had been some ty to knock down those walls,” Rosenstein sort of major protest. But what I think makes it interesting is the fact that I didn’t find one,” said. What is perhaps most amazing about said Rosenstein. This group eventually sang at every venue Amasong’s journey is that the choir did not face any major opposition from the communi- imaginable, from churches to bookstores to a ty or University staff. Boerger rallied for gay dying man’s bedroom. Since there was little and lesbian rights and protested against opposition, the choir had the opportunity to apartheid in South Africa as an undergrad at musically contribute to local religious instituthe University, and she is no stranger to con- tions, to provide entertainment for events that troversy. The film examines the particularly helped the economic growth of the area’s small evocative event that helped shaped Boerger’s businesses and to participate in creating an fighting spirit: she was fired at the age of 20 overall feeling of good will for the community.

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Jay Rosenstein spent nearly four years on his documentary, Amasong.

“I’m over being a lesbian. It had a big impact as a dictatorship by stating, “Well, the thing is, for a few years but now, you know, it’s old she is always right.” As a testament to the impression Boerger news. What I experienced for the most part during my time with Amasong was a commu- made on the community during her 17 years in nity that displayed no major objections to us Champaign-Urbana, she was the star of the and was very financially generous. I think invitation-only Oct. 8 premier of the documenwhat they really grew to appreciate was the tary. As she entered the theater, several people started calling her name. quality of music She then proceeded to try that we were to hug and thank every producing,” said friend and musician, as Boerger. well as Amasong memThe organizabers (both former and tion now has a present) who wanted to board of direcspeak with her. tors that handle “It was one of my top the increasing five nights,” she said. re s p o n s i b i l i t y Since Boerger left and tasks due to Jay Rosenstein, director of Singing Out Amasong in 1999, she has the group’s sucbeen missed, but the cess. Initially group is still performing Amasong was run solely by Boerger, as she was not only the as well as braking down barriers and rebuildcreative force behind the group but also the ing walls. “I think that there are assumptions made by organizer and developer. The characteristic that is most fascinating and closely examined some people seeing our title—a lesbian/femiin the film is not Boerger’s sexuality, but her nist chorus—such as that we are all lesbians who hate men, that men are not welcome at energetic dedication to music. “Kristina did everything when she was here, our performances, that we try to force our polfrom setting up chairs to laying out the pro- itics onto our listeners, or that we simply don’t gram. It was her chorus as she stated; it was sing well. In fact, many of us are straight, we not a democracy,” said Kathie Spegal, member sing woman-centered music rather than political jingles, and we have won several awards of Amasong’s board of directors. The film explores the immense impact for our recordings. The chorus itself welcomes Boerger initially had on Amasong, completely women of all orientations and backgrounds, controlling all aspects of the choir. However, and our concerts are enjoyed by a large crossno Amasong member shown in the documen- section of the community, men and women tary seemed particularly upset with Boerger’s alike,” said current Amasong director Margot brand of leadership, rather they appear to Rejskind. appreciate her strong leadership. One member qualified Boerger’s tendency to run the choir continued on page 10

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I was inspired by the fact that music has the ability to bridge boundaries regardless of how one feels about sexuality.

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THIS IS THE FUNNY LINE | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 buzz

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ARTIST’S CORNER

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arry Kanfer, is the owner of his self-titled photography gallery. He’s originally from Portland, Oregon, but moved to Urbana during his high school years. He opened up The Larry Kanfer Gallery in the city. Not only does he have works in Urbana, but also Kanfer’s work is exhibited across the United States. According to the gallery’s Web site, Kanfer.com, he has also published five critically acclaimed books and has had award-winning art calendars for the past 12 years. Some of which includes his extensive collection of University of Illinois images, books, and postcards. What inspired you to open a photography gallery? I was looking for a venue for showing my work, but at the time there were not too many places in Champaign-Urbana where I could display personal work. So, I just decided to open my own place. I started off doing portraits for weddings and other landscape proj-

Remnants of Ritual BY BRIAN WARMOTH | STAFF WRITER

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piece of art exists at any given point in time as a product of the process or processes that have created it. Exploring and celebrating this fact is the core of the Krannert Art Museum’s current exhibit, “Remnants of Ritual: Selections from the Gelbard Collection of African Art.” The display consists of 117 historical artifacts from all over the African continent on loan from the private collection of David and Clifford Gelbard. The pieces range from carved statues to masks and chairs; all of the pieces, however, have one underlying commonality: roles in ceremony and ritual from the people who created them. As Michael Conner, a curator of collections at the museum, points out, visitors to the display are given an “unusual experience” to see all of these pieces simultaneously. Together, they are a set of windows into life as far as 100 years into the past and separated from us by oceans. He points out that these remnants are not necessarily representative of Africa today, but of their respective rituals and ways of life when they were produced. At first glance, one will see that faces and figures are pervasive subjects throughout the exhibit. Conner says that most of the depictions are of revered family members and

ects and when I found a location, I just opened it up. What type of themes do you try to mainly deal with in terms of your photography? I just really want to show how people connect to their landscapes. People have a way into which they connect with photographs. It may be a corner store, or a tree on a hill. I just try to understand how they connect with it. It doesn’t even matter where I am, as long as I can see how people connect with their landscapes, and physical locations, I can work fine. What is the most recent project that you’ve worked on? I was at an art conference in BloomingtonNormal, where I discussed the topic, “Ephemeral Moments in Enduring

moviereview

Landscape: Cycles of the Prairie and it’s People. I described how people’s spirituality connects to the landscapes. It’s like an intersection of people’s cycles and their moments. What piece proudest of?

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KILL BILL: VOLUME ONE ★★★★

you

It would have to be my newer works. “Full Circle” embodies the connection of farmers. Farmers work hard all year and I basically give a description of how they work. The sun comes up and the whole agricultural process becomes aligned. I made that into one image. I’m just lucky to do something I love doing. It just feels good to have an emotional effect that draws people into a memory about their own past. It’s rewarding to be an outsider looking in on both worlds, and becoming part of both those worlds. It’s exciting.

BY MATT PAIS | LEAD REVIEWER

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ure, those opening scenes of Reservoir Dogs were money, but Quentin Tarantino’s learned a few things in the 11 years since his hip, violent debut. Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown further developed the director’s taste for the anarchic bravado of nonchronological structure, but with Kill Bill: Volume One, the gonzo filmmaker reinforces that he must have sleeves a mile long to hold all of his tricks. Kill Bill: Volume One reveals its cards distinctly more than the off-kilter, where-the-hell-isthis-going intoxication of Pulp Fiction, but to no lesser effect. After all, the title explains the film’s plot: the Bride (Uma Thurman), a former assassin, seeks revenge on her mentor, Bill, and the rest of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DiVAS), which killed her entire wedding party except for her. Tarantino provides exposition for all of his villains but nothing

Full Circle, as well as Larry’s current show, Through Larry Kanfer’s Lens: From Prairiescapes to Cityscapes can be seen through Oct. 24, as apart of Illinois Arts Week. The Larry Kanfer Gallery is located 2503 S. Neil St, and free to the public, M-Sat: 10-5 and Sun 11-3.

important spirits, as is the case with most of was created. It is particularly rare because most figures of its kind the hanging masks. There is a great deal of aesthetic diversity were disposed of shortly after use. Framed as an exposition of artiamong the works, evident in the case of the masks that hang around the room. Some are facts having value for the roles adorned with elaborate bead patterns or they were created for, “Remnants of Ritual” opens incredibly realistic facial up two dimenexpressions, while othsions for appreers—such as a dance crest ciating its from Nigeria—have works—both prominent and elaborate aesthetically as protrusions with jutting well as for the teeth. In another cultural factors Nigerian mask on disthat produced play, the entire lower jaw them. In is extended and tendrils Connor’s words, extend from the head— “Contemporary meant to capture artists now are strength, violence and concerned with bravery. processes and One of the most promiperformance.” nent pieces is a carved The converse statue of a young female is true of these being prepared for a works, given birthing ritual. According their representato Conner, the girl was tion of the probably a didactic tool worlds they once for teaching the ritual existed in. The process. The initiate is layout of the depicted as protected by Mask from Igbo, Nigeria made from wood, iron, pigments. exhibit strives to the buffalo spirit, who is represent this through a lost; therein lies their value as artifacts and as represented by a white short video, which presents works of art. buzz mask with bovine teeth. several of them in their perThe statue serves as a formance contexts. remnant of an aspect of Shrine object from Undetermined group, Eastern Tanzania Remnants of Ritual will be shown at Unfortunately, many of their her people’s culture in made of wood, beads, calabash, cloth, contexts have been forever Krannert Art Museum until November 2. Yao, Malawi, where it and sacrificial material.

moviereview

BUFFALO SOLDIERS ★★★ BY JASON CANTONE | ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

A

PHOTOS | ADAM YOUNG

BY TERESA SEWELL | STAFF WRITER

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film & tv

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003| WANT TO SEE BLOOD SPURT LIKE OUT OF A FIRE HYDRANT?

merican soldiers can be murderers, liars, cheats and robbers. They can have the morality of pond scum. To say that isn’t to be anti-American. Instead, it only verifies that soldiers, in fact, are people too, and are just as likely to have faults as the average Joe Schmo who watches war through televised reports. With Buffalo Soldiers, Miramax Films continues its controversial season, showcasing intelligent films loathed by the parties in them. First came The Magdalene Sisters, which religious leaders labeled as anti-Catholic because it depicted a true story of how the Catholic Church used thousands of women as laundry slaves at a particular convent. Now comes Buffalo Soldiers, which pushed its release back two years because these soldiers aren’t heroes. Buffalo Soldiers isn’t meant to be a political film about Germany in the early 1990s, when the film is set. Nor is it intended to be a Shakespearean morality play about the trials and tribulations of the U.S. military. Instead, it’s a biting satire filled with black comedy that highlights the absurdity of everything going

about the bride a.k.a. Black Mamba; all the audience knows of her life is who she wants to kill and why. He again divides the story into interlocking, jumbled chapters, but this time he takes his episodic, atypical structure to new heights, opting to release Volume Two in February. Kill Bill: Volume One’s furious, stylistic energy is fueled by old-fashioned Japanese fight scenes and Tarantino’s special blend of twisted dark comedy, especially in a gloriously gruesome anime sequence. This is an extraordinarily absorbing tale of blood-soaked retribution, and while the film is cut in an appropriate place, it will make viewers want to stay seated and demand to see Volume Two now. As a writer and director, Tarantino cares so little for Hollywood custom that, if he weren’t so damn inventive, it might seem his films deliberately and self-consciously turn their backs on audience expectations. But his relentless creativity and selfish commitment to artistic impudence redeem his equally strong pretension. He scatters his films’ chronology like a deck of cards emptied on the floor, and once again, Kill Bill adds up to much more than it would were it tightly linear. With his own confident restlessness and a punchy, varying soundtrack featuring original music, Tarantino delivers a balls-to-the-wall genre picture with more than just good asskicking. This is filmmaking that acknowledges the best sources of its inspiration and still pushes to be better, questioning why a snide, cocky on. Specialist Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes the base’s black-market king, which should not surprise the military because the only reason he joined was to avoid six months in jail following an arrest, though he states that this might not have been the right choice. Throughout the film, he deals with producing illegal drugs, stealing weapons and having sex with both his colonel’s wife and his top sergeant’s daughter. With no war going on, this just a game to Elwood. Buffalo Soldiers might lack some of the satirical edge of Three Kings, but it still commands attention. Watching drugged-up soldiers drive a tank over a Volkswagen bug and into a gas station is humorous, but the humor turns dark when the gas station explodes, killing two officers looking to see what the tank is doing in the neighboring town. And then there’s a soldier on drugs who wants to play football and catches a touchdown pass before slamming headfirst into the corner of a table, instantly killing him. These soldiers have no battles to fight, but still die quickly, as if the action took place on the battlefield and not the base camp. Although none of the performances are particularly Oscar-worthy, Scott Glenn does a commendable job as the top sergeant who will not let drugs destroy the soldiers or allow Elwood to destroy his daughter. Channeling Chris Cooper in American Beauty, Glenn gives this black comedy its serious tone. Ed Harris plays against his type as a needy, desperate colonel trying to win praise, and when he gets shot down at a party to bolster his reputation, the

director from Knoxville, Tenn., cannot make an authentic martial arts film without relying solely on Far Eastern actors. Vivica A. Fox and Thurman engage in a great, hysterical knife fight minutes into the movie, but it’s nothing compared to the chaotic, grisly concluding battle at the House of Blue Leaves. As limbs fly and blood splatters like spray paint, Thurman takes a licking and keeps on ticking as a fearless, one-woman army, battling dozens of samurai warriors. She is as beautiful and lively as ever, and her flips and falls—punctuated by excellent stunt work—are smooth, graceful proof that Americans can be ninjas too. Tarantino uses elements such as rock music and baseball to repeatedly depict the Americanization of Japan and effectively illustrate the possibility of infusing American cinema with Japanese influences. At first, there’s an inherent degree of cultural disunity as Thurman and Fox are introduced as Black Mamba and Copperhead. Fox even comments in the film that she should have been Black Mamba. But Tarantino maintains a controlled, static tone of tongue-in-cheek action that lightens the effect of the gore. Kill Bill is raw entertainment that packs brains with its brawn. That is because Tarantino is an expert at drawing feeling from his killers, robbers and sociopaths. In Kill Bill, Tarantino revisits his penchant for characters who have experienced past—and specifically, childhood—trauma, again hitting the mark with brave situation-

KILL BILL: VOLUME ONE | UMA THURMAN, LUCY LIU al dichotomy. It takes a bold filmmaker to include themes of childhood innocence in an adrenaline-pumping action movie, but these scenes work to an effect of exaggerated majesty—particularly when Copperhead’s daughter comes home from school in the middle of her knife fight with Black Mamba. This leads to a troubling, recognizable scene that, as he has done so often by putting his own spin on familiar characterizations and situations, Tarantino truly makes his own. He finds sweetness in reciprocity, whether it comes from payback or redemption. Kill Bill: Volume One unfurls with a cannonball’s momentum, and unlike The Matrix series, it stands on its own while gearing everyone up for the next round.

C-UViews LOST IN TRANSLATION ★★★★ Luke Mattison

BUFFALO SOLDIERS | JOAQUIN PHOENIX audience has to feel for him. He is the one truly innocent character and deserves much better than the world around him. What Buffalo Soldiers really deserves is a wider release not accompanied by critics across the nation labeling it as anti-American and using the flag-waving times of post-Sept. 11 to send this satire into obscurity. Though it lacks some of the emotional depth and political power it attempts to achieve, Buffalo Soldiers is an absorbing crime story that quite expertly teeters between serious military drama and anti-military satire.

SCREEN REVIEW GUIDE

★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★ no stars

Flawless Good Mediocre Bad Unwatchable

MIRAMAX FILMS

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Champaign

"It was very unpredictable. A smart comedy."

★★★ Rachel McArthur Champaign

"Bill Murray was excellent."

KILL BILL: VOLUME ONE ★ Matthew Habib Chicago

"Nothing but Quentin Tarantino gibberish."


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calendar

WANT TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED ON OUR CALENDAR? Send your listings to calendar@readbuzz.com | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

Furniture Lounge – Local artist Dean Schwenk along with many other local and fine artwork/pottery. Also specializing in mid-century modern furniture from the 1920s1980s, retro, Danish modern, lighting, vintage stereo equipment and vinyl records. 9 E University, Champaign. (217) 352-5150. Sun-Mon 12-4:30pm, Wed-Sat 11am5:30pm. Gallery Virtu Cooperative – Original fine art and crafts from member artists including jewelry, pottery, paintings, collages, hats, handbags and other textiles, sculptures and journals. The Gallery also offers workshops; a new schedule of classes is on the website. 220 W Washington St, Monticello. (217) 762-7790. Thu 12-4pm, Fri 12-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm. www.galleryvirtu.org Glass FX – New and Antique Stained Glass Windows, Lamps, and unique glass gifts. Gallery is free and open to the public. Interested in learning the art of Stained Glass? Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Stained Glass Classes offered. 202 S First St, Champaign. Mon-Thu 10am5:30pm, Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 9am-4pm. (217) 359-0048. www.glassfx.com. Griggs Street Potters – Handmade functional and decorative pottery. 305 W Grigg St, Urbana. (217) 344-8546. MonFri 11am-4pm, or call for appointment. The High Cross Studio Gallery – Works by Sandra Ahtens on display. Artist studio space available. 1101 N High Cross Rd, Urbana. Tue 7-9pm, Thu 3-5pm, Fri 3-5pm and by chance or appointment. spiritofsandra@hotmail.com Hill Street Gallery Inc. – Oil and watercolor paintings, hand painted T-shirts, handmade jewelry. 703 W Hill, Champaign. (217) 359-0675. Sat 12-5pm or by appointment during the week. International Galleries – Works from local artists. Lincoln Square Mall. (217) 328-2254. Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am6pm, Sun 12-5pm. Larry Kanfer Gallery – University of Illinois images by photographic artist Larry Kanfer. Unique diploma frames and other UI gifts. Sepia Champaign-Urbana Collection also on display. Available now: 2004 Prairiescapes and University of Illinois calendars. 2503 S Neil, Champaign. (217) 3982000. Free and Open to the Public. Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm. www.kanfer.com LaPayne Photography – Specializes in panoramic photography up to 6 feet long of different subjects including sporting events, city skylines, national parks and University of Illinois scenes. Las Vegas Strip photo show coming soon. 816 Dennison Dr, Champaign. (217) 356-8994. MonFri 9am-4pm and by appointment. Old Vic Art Gallery – Fine and Original Art. 11 E University, Champaign. (217) 355-8338. Mon-Thu 11am-5:30pm, Sat 11am-4:30pm. Springer Cultural Center – Cultural, recreational and educational programs for all ages as well as workshops, lectures, exhibits and performances. Offers classes in dance, music, theater, visual arts, health/wellness and for preschool children. 301 N Randolph St, Champaign. 398-2376. Mon-Thu 8am-9pm, Fri 8am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. www.champaignparkdistrict.com Steeple Gallery – Works from Gary Ingersoll, including many Allerton Park photos on display. Also showing vintage botanical and bird prints, antiques, framed limited edition prints. 102 E Lafayette St., Monticello. 762-2924.

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H A L E A G E R I E I N S R N I L L M E N U E T S C I D H O R S A Y L E O L L E G S R O M E N D N O W X I L E I P E D

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Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm. www.steeplegallery.com Verdant News and Coffee & Verde Gallery – Magazines, newspapers, coffee, beverages and fine pastries along with the Verde Fine Art Gallery. 17 E Taylor St, Champaign. 3663204. Cafe hours: Mon-Sat 7am-10 pm; Gallery Hours: TueSat 10am-10pm. www.verdant-systems.com/Verde.htm UIUC Japan House – Public Tours: Every Thursday, 1-4pm, Third Sat of each month, 1-5pm or by appointment. 2000 S Lincoln Ave, Urbana. (217) 244-9934. email japanhouse@uiuc.edu. Ziemer Gallery – Original paintings and limited edition prints by Larry Ziemer. Pottery, weavings, wood turning and glass works by other artists. Gallery visitors are welcome to sit, relax, listen to the music and just enjoy being surrounded by art. 210 W Washington, Monticello. Tue 10am-8pm, Wed-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm. www.ziemergallery.com

ART-OPENING “Trio” – Paintings by Dylan DeWitt and Milena Tiner and ceramics by Tyler Bergfield on display at the Springer Cultural Center from Oct 22-Nov 16. Opening reception featuring live music from Jordan Kaye Oct 24, 6-8pm. Artists’ talk, 7pm. This is a free event. Springer Cultural Center. 301 N Randolph, Champaign. Gallery Hours: MonFri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm. 398-2376. “Affixed” – Sixteen local artists display their work in a juried art show at High-Cross Studio Oct 17-31. Entries range from 3D work such as Goddess alters and original dolls to photomontage and torn paper collage art. Opening reception on Oct 17 from 7-9pm at High-Cross Studio. 1001 High Cross Road, Urbana. Gallery hours: Tue-Sun 10-4pm. 367-6345. spiritofsandra@hotmail.com “Bulbs” – Pastel and collage series from Deeana Love on display at High Cross Studio Oct 17-31. Opening reception on Oct 17 from 7-9pm at High-Cross Studio. 1001 High Cross Road, Urbana. Gallery hours: Tue-Sun 10-4pm. 3676345. spiritofsandra@hotmail.com

ART-ON VIEW NOW “Colors of Islam” – In conjunction with Islam Awareness Week, the Muslim Students Association is cosponsoring an art show at the Illini Union Art Gallery until Nov 3. 1401 W Green, Urbana. Open every day 7am-10pm. “First Annual Midwest Sequential Art Exhibition” – The Middle Room Gallery hosts an exhibition of comic and sequential art talent from the Midwest. Ranging in visual and narrative style from political to fantasy, from Japanese Manga to the familiar super-heroic conventions, this show will help shine a light on one of the most misunderstood and overlooked art forms today. Artists include Pam Bliss, Tim Broderick, Jacen Burrows, Darrin Drda, Brion Foulke, Hope Larson, Layla Lawler, Dirk Tiede, Dann Tincher, Charlie "Spike" Trotman. On View at the Middle Room Gallery through Oct 31. 218 W Main St, Urbana. http://www.gallery.ucimc.org/ “Whistler and Japonisme: Selections from the Permanent Collection” – Marking the 100th anniversary of James McNeill Whistler’s death, this exhibition highlights his works on paper and examines the influence that Japanese woodcuts had on his artistic technique. On display at the Krannert Art Museum through March 28, 2004. 500 E Peabody, Urbana. Tue, Thu-Sat 9am-5pm, Wed 9am8pm, Sun 2-5pm. (217) 333-1860. Suggested Donation: $3

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Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Andres Serrano and many others. On display at Krannert Art Museum through Nov 2. 500 E Peabody, Urbana. Tue, Thu-Sat 9am-5pm, Wed 9am8pm, Sun 2-5pm. (217) 333-1860. Suggested Donation: $3 Featured Works XIII: "The Spirit of Mediterranean Pathos: The Early Work of Pierre Daura" – Pierre Daura (18961976) was a member of significant modern art movements in the early 20th century. This exhibition highlights a recent gift of works by Daura and explores the forms and colors of his paintings and drawings from about 1910 to the late 1930s. On display at Krannert Art Museum through Nov 2. 500 E Peabody, Urbana. Tue, Thu-Sat. 9am5pm, Wed 9am-8pm, Sun 2-5pm. (217) 333-1860. Suggested Donation: $3 “Separate and Unequal: Segregation and Three Generations of Black Response, 1870-1950.” – This exhibit highlights the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision of 1896, which legally sanctioned racial segregation in the United States until 1954 when the Supreme Court overturned Plessy in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. Materials from the Library's collections and archives highlight the historical period between these two landmark civil rights cases. Sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, the Brown v. Board of Education Commemorative Committee and the University of Illinois Library. On view at the University of Illinois Main Library, first floor hallway, during library hours. 1408 W Gregory Drive, Urbana. Hours vary. 333-2290. www.oc.uiuc.edu/brown “Through Larry Kanfer’s Lens: From Prariescapes to Cityscapes” – The latest exhibit of photographic artwork by critically acclaimed fine-art photographic artist, Larry Kanfer, features "visually stunning Prairiescapes up to 8 feet wide. Contemplate the vast grandeur of America's heartland, with its rich traditions and seasonal cycles of the prairie, juxtaposed against images of Midwest cityscapes, highlighting intimate architectural details. On display at the Lark Kanfer Gallery through Oct 24. 2503 S Neil, Champaign. (217) 398-2000. Free and Open to the Public. Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm. www.kanfer.com

THEATER LISTINGS Elysium on the Prairie, Live Action Roleplaying – Vampires stalk the city streets and struggle for dominance in a world of gothic horror. Create your own character and mingle with dozens of players who portray their own undead alter egos. Each session is another chapter in an ongoing story of triumph, tragedy and betrayal. Friday, “Vampire: The Masquerade” For more information visit: http://ww2.uiuc.edu/ro/elysium/intro.html. Check site for location, 7pm.

MIND BODY SPIRIT Sunday Zen Meditation Meeting – Prairie Zen Center, 515 S Prospect, Champaign, NW corner Prospect & Green, enter thru door from parking area. Introduction to Zen Sitting, 10 AM; Full Schedule: Service at 9 followed by sitting, Dharma Talk at 11 followed by tea until about 12 noon. Can arrive at any of above times, open to all, no experience needed, no cost. For info call 355-8835 or www.prairiezen.org Prairie Sangha for Mindfullness Meditation – Monday evenings from 7:30-9pm and monthly retreats on Sunday. Theravadan (Vipassana) and Tibetan (Vjrayana & Dzogchen) meditation practice. Meets in Urbana. More information call or email Tom at 356-7413 or shayir@soltec.net. www.prairiesangha.org

"Remnants of Ritual: Selections from the Gelbard Collection of African Art" – The magnificent African art collection of David and Clifford Gelbard focuses on the cultural significance and aesthetic beauty of masks and sculptures - many of which were created for ceremonial and ritual purposes. This exhibition includes a wide array of objects and celebrates the durable, expressive essence of festivals, rites and coming-of-age ceremonies. On display at the Krannert Art Museum through Oct 26. 500 E Peabody, Urbana. Tue, Thu-Sat 9am-5pm, Wed 9am-8pm, Sun 2-5pm. (217) 333-1860. Suggested Donation: $3

Clear Sky Zen Group – Meets on Thursday evenings in the Geneva Room of the McKinley Foundation. Newcomers to meditation and people of all traditions and faiths are welcome – McKinley Foundation, 809 S Fifth St, 6:25-9pm

"Visualizing the Blues: Images of the American South, 1862-1999" – Every picture tells a story and this exhibition of more than 100 photographs of the Mississippi Delta region portrays a profoundly vivid narrative of life in the American South. These photographs, taken from the Civil War era through 1999, show the rhythms of life from this almost mythic region and powerfully document the sources of inspiration for the lyrics and melodies of blues musicians. Among the photographers represented are

Artist’s Way Group – A 12-week adventure in recovering and celebrating our creative spirit. Wednesdays, Sept 17Dec 17 (no session Nov 26) from 5:45-7:15pm at McKinley Foundation (free parking). To register or for more information, contact Jo Pauly, MSW, Whole Life Coach at (217) 3377823 or jopauly@prairienet.org.

Formerly-Fat Persons’ Support Group – Free social meeting every Saturday at 2pm at Aroma Cafe, 118 N Neil St, C. For more information contact Jessica Watson at 353-4934.

WORKSHOPS

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arts

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | HAHA THIS SENTENCE IS GREAT!

9

Station Theatre welcomes back old pro BY ELLIOT KOLKOVICH | EDITORIAL ADVISOR

time for someone who normally does three to everything, and had the wedding at her house six shows a year and who has been acting on a very hot July 14. In 1983, Gary and Barbara they moved to there for almost 30 years. Ambler grew up in Broadlands a small Massachusetts and Gary took a job in public town about 30 miles south of Champaign. Just radio with the University of Massachusetts. Part of the reason to go before high school, he out there was to give got interested in theacting a shot. They atre. His parents used loved Amherst, which to take him and his was close to where they sister and two brothlived and had a lot of ers to The Little acting opportunities, Theatre on the Square but he and Barbara in Sullivan, Ill. In high found the area was school, he did whatevtight knit and he coulder plays were offered, n’t find a way to break but since the high Gary Ambler, actor in. Amherst was also school was small, home to five colleges, which meant most of the there was only one production a year. In 1975 he graduated from Eastern Illinois acting opportunities were for students only, and University, moved to Champaign and took a there was no real town outside of the colleges. After four years, he, his wife and their new job in civil services at the University of Illinois. He didn’t plan on staying in son Sam started to get lonely. They decided they Champaign that long, but started auditioning wanted Sam to live closer to the rest of his famfor plays at the then relatively new Station ily, so they moved back to Champaign-Urbana. He has been here since and has worked as Theatre. He married Barbara, also an actress in 1980, an admissions officer in the Architecture after Karma Ibsen proposed to them. Barbara Graduate program at the University of Illinois and Gary were at Grunt’s a bar that Karma for about 10 years. In January 2002 he was in American Buffalo worked at when Karma came up and proposed marriage to them. Karma took care of at the Station Theatre, his last show there.

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am comes into the room, a rather dingy basement in an upscale restaurant in New York. He’s tired. He looks at the ringing phones on the desk. He slides his worn brown leather satchel off his right shoulder, across the black nylon sleeve of his jacket. He sets it down on the chair against the back wall. Then, moving his cup of coffee from one hand to the other, he takes his jacket off and sets it on top of his satchel. He slowly walks up to the desk. He sighs, grabs the headset off the desk, puts it on his head and tucks the end of the cord into the front left pocket of his jeans. “Good morning, reservations, could you hold, please?” he says to Mrs. Vandevere, a rich Park Avenue woman who sounds like a soft-spoken Katherine Hepburn. In the next couple of minutes, Sam repeats his greeting six times to the Sheik’s right hand man; Mrs. Winslow, a middle-aged Southern belle; Bryce, an overly flamboyant assistant to model Naomi Campbell; a plain-voiced Midwestern secretary; and the nasally New York regular Carolann Rosenstein-Fishburn. He takes care of the various needs eventually—one wants special lighting, one wants to know the menu, one wants a particular table, etc. Over the next 50 minutes, Sam balances the ringing phone that sits at the top left of his desk, the buzzer that goes straight to Stephanie, a hostess upstairs, and the “bat phone” on the wall to his right that connects directly to the chef. He has 47 separate phone calls to answer, including Stephanie and the chef buzzing in, and he has talked to 23 different people in the time since he first walked into the room. About 50 minutes after he walked in, a very depressed secretary waits on a line, Sam switches on and says, “Ma’am? The chef’s in a meeting but I’ll have him call you as soon as he’s—” The line goes dead, and a new voice breaks the silence. “Okay, that’s about halfway,” says Karma Ibsen, the director of Fully Committed, the play that Sam is the main character in. Gary Ambler, the man who plays Sam, slumps his shoulders and sighs heavily. “Now kill me,” he says. Ambler also plays the 23 other characters Sam has been talking to over the phone. Fully Committed is a one-man show that will open tonight at the Station Theatre in Urbana. It’s a little under an hour and a half, but Gary Ambler will be on stage nearly all of the time, playing every character in the play. The only lines Ambler doesn’t have is when a voicemail recording plays. This is Ambler’s first play at the Station Theatre in almost two years, a long

[

I remember having one minute of lucid thought, and I just started making noises. The next thing I remember, the paramedics were shouting at me

[

PHOTO | ELLIOT KOLKOVICH

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Gary Ambler is now performing his one man show at Station Theater in Urbana

That summer he was in The Caretaker with Faces Like Swords, a new Chicago Theatre company, at the Chopin Theatre. On Saturday July 27 of last year during The Caretaker’s run, he went out with some friends after the show. He had a couple beers and then went to take the L home by himself at about 2:30 a.m. He got off the train and started walking to where he was staying. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was being followed by four young men. There was a man in front of him who noticed and shouted, “Run,” before ducking down. Ambler was walking north down Austin Boulevard, then he turned left down Jackson Boulevard. “I went up to the first house I saw, and walked up to it like it was mine,” he said. The four men followed him to the house. Two walked up the steps to the door Ambler was standing in front of. They asked him if this was his house. “Yeah,” he said. Then they asked for his wallet and his cell phone. The taller of the two took the phone and the shorter one took the wallet. They started down the steps, but before they left, one turned and pulled out a gun Gary thought looked like a toy. continued on page 27


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OOPS I CRAPPED MY PANTS | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 buzz

bookreview

The Sandman: Endless Nights ★★★★

Neil Gaiman

BY BRIAN WARMOTH | STAFF WRITER What Neil Gaiman brought to comic books in December 1988 was nothing short of a revolution for the entire industry, setting a new bar for what a monthly series could be. The Sandman, Gaiman’s creation and the flagship title for DC Comics’ alternative Vertigo line, led the way for graphic literature to take its fair claim as the literary medium that it has become. The stories he told back during his 75issue run on the book were centered around a group of seven godlike figures referred to as “the Endless”—siblings bearing the names Dream, Death, Destruction, Delirium, Desire, Destiny and Despair. His stories, some as epic in scope as the Narnia Chronicles and others reminiscent of quainter Grimms’ fairy tales, included themes and references from ancient mythology, as well as Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll. The Sandman: Endless Nights, Gaiman’s new graphic novel, marks his return to writing the mythological universe that he created in that

series and left seven years ago in order to dedicate more time to his books, including his Hugo award-winning work American Gods and his internationally best-selling children’s novel Coraline. Endless Nights is set up as seven graphic novellettes, each focused around one of the Endless (named accordingly as Death, Desire, etc.). As Gaiman states in his introduction, the Endless should not be read as gods; they will only exist as long as there are people to live, dream and destroy. They are personifications of various aspects of life, and this is the attitude that one must take when reading The Sandman. Otherwise the stories come across as far too abstract. The stories in Endless Nights are each drawn and inked by one of Gaiman’s seven hand-picked internationally renowned artists. The diversity in artistic style from story to story, though it makes for a very episodic reading experience, allows each chapter to stand on its own. Gaiman utilizes their varying techniques to the fullest, creating a moving series of vignettes in his “Fifteen Portraits of Despair,” designed and illustrated by the team of Dave McKean and Barron Storey. Here, the author switches gears into his award-winning

Experience the joy of shopping in a real art supply store! No baskets, beads, dried-flowers, or over-priced textbooks sold here. Just central illinois’ best selection of fine art supplies at everyday discount prices. Brought to you by people who really know how to use them

prose to relate 15 slices of life in scenes ranging from a secretary’s office to a bishop being accused of child molestation to a struggling writer at a loss for inspiration. In “Going Inside”—Gaiman’s “Delirium” story for the book—the reader is as fully immersed in the artwork of Bill Sienkiewicz as in the text. Almost every panel of the story switches artistic styles and in some cases mediums as well. The discomfort evoked by this mechanism is masterfully paired with haunting words to draw the reader inside the mind of a girl driven to insanity after having been raped. While most of the stories in Endless Nights read more as works of fantasy—and in at least one case science fiction—each of them appears close to real life, exploring the natural reactions of its particular subject. Gaiman’s themes depict thoughts that keep a person up at night, unable to fall asleep. He has proved with this graphic novel that his hiatus from The Sandman has not left him cold as a storyteller within the medium. In fact, if anything, he has come back with the full heat and passion that the book once carried.

Amasong continued from page 7 The choir, which was once created as a safe place for lesbians and feminists, wants to be known more for music than politics. They also would like the community to know that though Boerger was a hugely positive influence, there is still a general spirit of good will within the choir. “The part (of Amasong) that has changed is that charisma that belonged to Kristina and is no longer a part of the day to day. (But) those who have stayed in the chorus still feel the “vibes” and I have been told by new members that they get the sense of belonging that doesn’t exist in other groups,” Spegal said. Boerger is currently living in New York and teaching music history at Barnard College. She also directs a choir that does not have any direct lesbian or feminist affiliations. “What I miss about Amasong is that it was a group that I created in my own image. I did not have to retrain anyone or “unteach” something someone else had taught them,” said Boerger. Though that image still resonates with the shades of her influence, Boerger realizes that Amasong has become an entity of its own. “I’ve released my expectations for it. It isn’t mine anymore. It’s in the hands of another,” she said. buzz

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OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | WANT TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED ON OUR CALENDAR? Send your listings to calendar@readbuzz.com

Red Herring/Channing-Murray Foundation 1209 W Oregon, Urbana, 344.1176 Rose Bowl Tavern 106 N Race, Urbana, 367.7031 Springer Cultural Center 301 N Randolph, Champaign, 355.1406 Spurlock Museum 600 S Gregory, Urbana, 333.2360 Strawberry Fields Cafe 306 W Springfield, Urbana, 328.1655 Ten Thousand Villages 105 N Walnut, Champaign, 352.8938 TK Wendl’s 1901 S Highcross Rd, Urbana, 255.5328 Tommy G’s 123 S. Mattis Ave., Country Fair Shopping Center, 359.2177 Tonic 619 S Wright, Champaign, 356.6768 Two Main 2 Main, Champaign, 359.3148 University YMCA 1001 S Wright, Champaign, 344.0721 Verde/Verdant 17 E Taylor St, Champaign, 366.3204 Virginia Theatre 203 W Park Ave, Champaign, 356.9053 White Horse Inn 112 1/2 E Green, Champaign, 352.5945 Zorba’s 627 E Green, Champaign

CHICAGOVENUES House of Blues 329 N Dearborn, Chicago, 312.923.2000 The Bottom Lounge 3206 N Wilton, Chicago Congress Theatre 2135 N Milwaukee, 312.923.2000 Vic Theatre 3145 N Sheffield, Chicago, 773.472.0449 Metro 3730 N Clark St, Chicago, 773.549.0203 Elbo Room 2871 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago Park West 322 W Armitage, Chicago, 773.929.1322 Riviera Theatre 4746 N Racine at Lawerence, Chicago Allstate Arena 6920 N Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, 847.635.6601 Arie Crown Theatre 2300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, 312.791.6000 UIC Pavilion 1150 W Harrison, Chicago, 312.413.5700 Schubas 3159 N Southport, Chicago, 773.525.2508 Martyrs 3855 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, 773.288.4545 Aragon 1106 W Lawerence, Chicago, 773.561.9500 Abbey Pub 3420 W Grace, Chicago, 773.478.4408 Fireside Bowl 2646 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, 773.486.2700 Schubert Theatre 22 W Monroe, Chicago, 312.977.1700

ART LISTINGS Workshop – Register now to join artist-instructor Sandra Ahten for "Drawing More" a one day workshop held on Oct 25 to inspire you to dust off your sketch pad. Call (217) 367-6345 or email spiritofsandra@hotmail.com to register. High Cross Studio. 1101 N High Cross Road. Portraits – Award winning portrait artist Sandra Ahten is currently accepting commissions for portraits for holiday giving. Portraits are priced at an affordable range and professional exchange or barter may be accepted. For examples of work and a quote, contact Sandra Ahten at (217) 367-6345 or spiritofsandra@hotmail.com

Owned and operated by local artists since 1971 mon-wed 9-9 fri & sat 10-6 sun 12-5 410 e. green st. champaign 352-4562 free parking beneath the building, enter from 5th street

bring in this ad and receive 10% off your next purchase of any non-sale items

Creation Art Studio Art Classes for Children and Adults – All classes offer technical instruction and the exploration of materials through expressive, spontaneous art and experimentation. Independent studies of personal interests and ideas, dreams, etc. are expressed and developed through collage and assemblage art and through drawing, painting, sculpture and ceramics. Children meet Mon-Thu from 3:30-5pm, and Sat 11am-12:30pm. Adolescents meet Fri 4-5:30pm. Adults meet Thu at 10am and Sat between 1:30-5:30pm for two or more hours. Create designs, a still life, portraits, landscapes and more. Open to beginners and advanced students. Adult Open Studio meets Tue 7-9pm. Drop-ins welcome. Come with a friend. Call to make spe-

cial arrangements for a group. CPDU's offered. For information, contact Jeannine Bestoso at 344-6955. Creation Art Studio is located at 1102 E Washington, Urbana. www.creationartstudios.com Join Artists and Workshops at Gallery Virtu – Gallery Virtu, an artist-owned cooperative, now invites applications from area artists. The Gallery also offers workshops for adults, teens and children in knitting, embroidery, photography, jewelry making, printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding and ribbon flowers. Gallery Virtu offers original works by the members including: jewelry, pottery, collages, sculptures, journals, hats, handbags and other textiles. For more information please call 762-7790, visit our website at www.galleryvirtu.org, e-mail workshops@galleryvirtu.org or visit the gallery. Regular hours: Thu 12-4pm, Fri 12-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm. 220 W Washington Street in Monticello. Art Classes at High Cross Studio – All classes are held at High Cross Studio in Urbana. 1101 N High Cross Road. Email or call for reservations and details. (217) 367-6345 or spiritofsandra@hotmail.com. “Portrait Paintings with Oils” – This course will provide instruction in painting portraits from photographs. Paint a portrait of your loved one or yourself. Mon-Fri daytime class and weekend workshop offered. "Collage for the Soul" – Students will learn a variety of collage techniques, including photo and photocopy transfer, papermaking and manipulation, and frontage, while exploring a particular subject, such as a place, a memory, an experience or a relationship. No art-making experience necessary. "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" – For adults who have always wanted to learn to draw, but felt as if they lacked talent or confidence. Other Classes: “Making Monoprints,”“Art With Intention” (Open Studio). For information on these visit www.spiritofsandra.com and click on "classes," then e-mail or call for reservations.

ART GALLERIES & EXHIBITS Boneyard Pottery – Ceramic Art by Michael Schwegmann and more. 403 Water St, Champaign. (217) 355-5610. TueSat 11am-5pm.

Broken Oak Gallery – Local and national artists. Original art including photography, watercolors, pottery, oil paintings, colored pencil, woodturning and more. Refreshments served by the garden all day Saturday. 1865 N 1225 E Rd., White Heath. (217) 762-4907. Thu-Sat 10am-4pm. Cinema Galley – Local and regional artists including many University of Illinois and Parkland College faculty members. 120 W Main, Urbana. (217) 367-3711. Tue-Sat 10am4pm. Sun 1-5pm. Cafe Kopi – Oil paintings and various works from local artist Paula McCarty on display through Oct. 109 N Walnut, Champaign. (217) 359-4266. Mon-Thu 7am-11pm, Fri-Sat 7am-12pm, Sun 11am-8pm. Creation Art Studios – Hosts a continuous and evolving display of works by students and associates of the studio. Landscapes, florals, animal life and expressive art in various mediums by Jeannine Bestoso are also currently on display. For information, contact Jeannine Bestoso. 1102 E Washington St., Urbana. (217) 344-6955. Tue-Sat 1-5:30pm; and scheduled studio sessions. www.creationartstudios.com Country in the City – Antiques, Architectural, Gardening, Home Accessories. Custom designing available. 1104 E Washington St., Urbana. (217) 367-2367. Thu-Sat 10am5pm. Framer's Market – Frame Designers since 1981. Current featured artists: Charlotte Brady - Botanical Watercolors, Barry Brehm - Landscape Photography, Larry Hamlin - Aquatint Etchings, Patrick Harness - Vibrant Oils and Pastels, Hua Nian - Abstract Watercolors & Pastels, David Smith Original Acrylic Landscapes, Cindy Smith - Stone & Wood Sculpture, Bill Stevens - Humorous Recycled Metal Sculptures, Steve Stoerger - Steel & Glass Sculpture, Bonnie Switzer - Abstract Acrylic Paintings. 807 W Springfield Ave, Champaign. (217) 351-7020. Tue-Fri 9:30am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-4pm.

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CHICAGOSHOWS OCTOBER 10/16 Electric Six, Junior Senior @ Double Door 10/16 Rufio @ Metro, all ages 10/16 Enon @ Abbey Pub 10/16 Randy Newman @ Park West 10/17 Soulive, Me’Shell Ndegeocello @ House of Blues 10/17 Young People @ Schubas 10/17 Luncida Williams, Jayhawks @ Riviera 10/18 DJ Justin Long @ Metro Smart Bar 10/18 The Strokes @ UIC Pavilion 10/19 Longwave/Calla @ Double Door 10/21 The Eagles @ Allstate Arena 10/21 Shelby Lynne @ Abbey Pub 10/22 DADA @ Park West 10/22 Thin Lizzy @ Double Door 10/23 Thin Lizzy @ Double Door 10/23 Broadcast, Iron and WIne @ Abbey Club 10/23 Puddle of Mudd @ House of Blues 10/23 India Arie @ The Vic 10/24 Guster @ Aragon 10/24 Cowboy Mouth, Cracker @ House of Blues 10/24 Aesop Rock @ Metro

WANT TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED ON OUR CALENDAR? Send your listings to calendar@readbuzz.com | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

10/24 Gov’t Mule, Chris Robinson @ The Vic 10/25 The Walkmen @ Double Door 10/25 Cameron McGill @ Schubas 10/25 Clem Snide @ Logan Square Auditorium 10/25 Particle @ Metro 10/25 Reo Speedwagon @ Star Plaza 10/26 Echo and the Bunnymen @ Metro 10/28 Spiritualized @ The Vic 10/28 Travis @ Riviera 10/29 Fuel @ House of Blues 10/29 American Analog Set @ Abbey Club, 18 & over 10/29 Lyle Lovett @ Chicago Theatre 10/29 Echo & The Bunnymen @ Metro 10/30 Alkaline Trio @ Aragon Ballroom 10/30 Belle & Sebastian @ Congress Theatre 10/30 Mojave 3 @ Abbey Pub 10/31 Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe @ House of Blues 10/31 North Mississippi Allstars, Grandaddy @ Congress Theater

NOVEMBER 11/1 Black Keys @ Abbey Club 11/1 Mya @ House of Blues 11/1 Emmylou Harris @ Symphony Center 11/1 Dirtbombs @ Double Door

1906 W. Bradley Ave. Champaign, IL 19 & up to Enter

Thurs., Oct. 16

Live Boxing and Wet T-Shirt Contest $250 cash and prizes

Fri., Oct. 17

Hip Hop and R&B $2 well drinks $1 bottles no cover before 11pm

11/2 Rza, Ghostface Killah @ House of Blues 11/2 Verbena @ Metro 11/5 Stars @ Schubas 11/6 Less Than Jake @ Riviera Theater 11/6 Maroon5 @ House of Blues 11/6 The Rapture @ Metro 11/6 Xiu Xiu @ Fireside Bowl 11/7 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy @ House of Blues 11/7 Ween @ The Vic 11/7 David Mead @ Schubas 11/7 Flickerstick @ Metro 11/7 Ferry Corsten & DJ Rap @ House of Blues 11/8 King Crimson @ Park West 11/8 Ween @ The Vic 11/8 Twilight Singers @ Double Door 11/8 Godsmack @ Aragon 11/7 Dropkick Murphys @ Congress Theater 11/9 King Crimson @ Park West 11/10 Billy Bragg, Nightwatchman, Lester Chambers @ Park West, all ages 11/12 Badly Drawn Boy @ Park West 11/13 Mike Doughty’s Band @ Double Door 11/13 Rickie Lee Jones @ Chicago Theatre 11/15 The Shins @ House of Blues 11/15 Qbert @ Metro 11/16 Fixx @ Abbey Pub 11/19 Fountains of Wayne @ The Vic 11/21 Anti-Flag, Rise Against @ Metro 11/22 Guided By Voices @ Abbey Pub 11/22 Cash Brothers @ Schubas 11/22 Tom Jones @ House of Blues 11/22 Alabama @ Allstate Arena 11/23 Guided By Voices @ Abbey Pub 11/23 Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs! @ Metro 11/23 Tom Jones @ House of Blues 11/24 Symphony X @ Metro 11/25 Jaguars @ House of Blues 11/25 Mindless Self Indulgence @ Metro 11/26 Mindless Self Indulgence @ Metro 11/16 OK Go @ Abbey Pub, 11/28 Bollweevils @ Metro, all ages 11/29 Rocket from the Tombs @ Abbey Pub 11/29 Asylum Street Pranksters @ Schubas

C-UVENUES Assembly Hall First & Florida, Champaign, 333.5000 American Legion Post 24 705 W Bloomington Rd, Champaign, 356.5144 American Legion Post 71 107 N Broadway, Urbana, 367.3121 Barfly 120 N Neil, Champaign,352.9756 Barnes and Noble 51 E Marketview, Champaign, 355.2045 Boltini Lounge 211 N Neil, Champaign, 378.8001 Borders Books & Music 802 W Town Ctr, Champaign, 351.9011 The Brass Rail 15 E University, Champaign, 352.7512 Canopy Club (The Garden Grill) 708 S Goodwin, Urbana, 367.3140 C.O. Daniels 608 E Daniel, Champaign, 337.7411 Cosmopolitan Club 307 E John, Champaign, 367.3079 Courtyard Cafe Illini Union, 1401 W Green, Urbana, 333.4666 Cowboy Monkey 6 Taylor St, Champaign, 398.2688 Clybourne 706 S Sixth, Champaign, 383.1008 Curtis Orchard 3902 S Duncan Rd, Champaign, 359.5565 D.R. Diggers 604 S Country Fair Dr, Champaign, 356.0888 Embassy Tavern & Grill 114 S Race, Urbana, 384.9526 Esquire Lounge 106 N Walnut, Champaign, 398.5858 Fallon’s Ice House 703 N Prospect, Champaign, 398.5760 Fat City Saloon 505 S Chestnut, Champaign, 356.7100 The Great Impasta 114 W Church, Champaign, 359.7377 G.T.’s Western Bowl Francis Dr, Champaign, 359.1678 The Highdive 51 Main, Champaign, 359.4444 Huber’s 1312 W Church, Champaign, 352.0606 Illinois Disciples Foundation 610 E Springfield, Champaign, 352.8721 Independent Media Center 218 W Main St, Urbana, 344.8820 The Iron Post 120 S Race, Urbana, 337.7678 Joe’s Brewery 706 S Fifth, Champaign, 384.1790 Kam’s 618 E Daniel, Champaign, 328.1605 Krannert Art Museum 500 E Peabody, Champaign, 333.1861 Krannert Center for Performing Arts 500 S Goodwin, Urbana, Tickets: 333.6280, 800/KCPATIX La Casa Cultural Latina 1203 W Nevada, Urbana, 333.4950 Lava 1906 W Bradley, Champaign, 352.8714 Legends Bar & Grill 522 E Green, Champaign, 355.7674 Les’s Lounge 403 N Coler, Urbana, 328.4000 Lincoln Castle 209 S Broadway, Urbana, 344.7720 Malibu Bay Lounge North Route 45, Urbana, 328.7415 Mike & Molly’s 105 N Market, Champaign, 355.1236 Mulligan’s 604 N Cunningham, Urbana, 367.5888 Murphy’s 604 E Green, Champaign, 352.7275 Neil Street Pub 1505 N Neil, Champaign, 359.1601 Boardman’s Art Theater 126 W Church, Champaign, 351.0068 The Office 214 W Main, Urbana, 344.7608 Parkland College 2400 W Bradley, Champaign, 351.2528 Phoenix 215 S Neil, Champaign, 355.7866 Pia’s of Rantoul Route 136 E, Rantoul, 893.8244 Pink House Routes 49 & 150, Ogden, 582.9997 The Rainbow Coffeehouse 1203 W Green, Urbana, 766.9500

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OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | WHATEVA. WHATEVA. I DO WHAT I WANT.

Pete Yorn’s laid-back, busy schedule

Starcourse’s fall lineup brings the singer-songwriter to Foellinger Auditorium BY LIZ MOZZOCCO | STAFF WRITER

P

ete Yorn does not like to sit still very long. Since the 2001 release of his first album, musicforthemorningafter, Yorn has been on the road quite a bit. In between his travels he found time to record a second album, Day I Forgot,

Pete Yorn comes to Urbana this Sunday.

score some tour dates with R.E.M. and work on tracks for a third album, due out sometime next spring or summer. But Yorn seems relatively unphased by all of this. He is soft-spoken and mellow, and he talks in a way that makes you believe that he takes everything in stride. “It’s great, but it’s weird,” Yorn says of life on the road. “It’s not a normal existence by any

means, but it’s a fun way to live. You’ve just styles and strengths Yorn knows well. He mentions that he played drums during a got to keep it in perspective.” Yorn has apparently found some sort of bal- jam session a few nights ago, resulting in a lot ance, because he’s out playing a lot, including of cuts and blisters but a good time. “I think the an appearance at drummer leads the Foellinger Auditorium parade as far as on Sunday night. where the music is “I like to play a going,” he says, show every night if I showing what can. You get to see so might be considered much of the country an unexpected prefand the world. Touring – Pete Yorn erence for a frontis how you bring the man. music to the people. I Yorn admits that don’t like music to live recording, like being on the road, has its in a vacuum or just on a record,” he says. Yorn has shared the stage with a variety of charms, perhaps the greatest of which is groups, at one point even doing an in-store unpredictability. “I love the prospect of going into the studio appearance with the likes of Bob Dylan and and creating the greatest song in the world. Patti Smith. He’s also opened up for Weezer, making a I’m not saying it will be that, but when you musical combination that seems like an odd start recording the first track, you never know match. Weezer fans are notoriously picky how important the song will become.” Maybe he hasn’t written the greatest song in about who is associated with their favorite band; they’ve gone so far as to boo an opening the world yet, but he has had quite a bit of act they didn’t like off the stage as well as the luck. Both of his albums have had their share tour. Yorn doesn’t remember any problems, of hits. “For Nancy” and “Life on a Chain” got him noticed early on, and more recently, though. “I think people are always polite. I’ve never “Come Back Home” has been making its way across the airwaves. gotten anything thrown at me,” he chuckles. You won’t see Yorn pondering it too much, In fact, he goes so far as to say that he’s never had troubles with any of the other musi- though. He admits that getting recognized is strange, but he doesn’t seem to mind. cians he’s toured with. “It’s weird that people know who you are,” “It’s never been a bad experience. The Foo Fighters tour was really fun, hanging out and he says. “I’ll be walking down the street and playing with those guys.” Yorn adds that his someone will say hello, and I’m like, oh shit, favorite tourmates are the ones that put on a how do I know this person? Then I realize that show that you can go out and watch every I don’t. It’s not a bad thing, I just get caught off guard by it sometimes.” night without being bored. It’s the sort of nonchalant attitude that His relaxed attitude is anything but surprising when you listen to his songs. They’ve got comes with having no regrets over choosing a an acoustic, alt-country sort of feel. And life as a musician. Although Yorn had been although Yorn knows how to write a catchy involved in music for a long time, he says he melody, his songs often have an element of didn’t start thinking seriously about a profesroughness, perhaps because he’s done all his sional career in music until his early 20s. “I thought, there’s no way I could be that recording in his friend’s garage. He made musicforthemorningafter in that lucky that I could just do music for the rest of garage, although he probably didn’t have to. my life.” He pauses. “But I didn’t want to be 30 So what is the appeal of at-home production? thinking ‘I should have tried that music thing.’ Yorn says that it was more fun to make music I’m really happy that I did.” buzz at a friend’s house, outside of the stuffiness of a professional recording studio. “It suited my mentality at the time,” he says. Pete Yorn will perform at Foellinger Auditorium on “I didn’t want the pressure of knowing that I’d Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 for students and $24 for the public. be paying $2,000 a day for a studio.” Yorn also played many of the instruments on his albums himself. “It’s fun for me, but we did it mostly out of convenience.” On the road, Seth Fein’s column, The Mendoza Music Line, will however, he’s more than just a one-man band. return next week. In the meantime, you can Yorn’s backing band, Dirty Bird, is a “revolvcontact Seth by e-mail at sethfein@readbuzz.com ing door of old friends”—musicians whose

[

Touring is how you bring the music to the people. I don’t like music to live in a vacuum or just on a record

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I DO WHAT I WANT. I SKIP SCHOOL. I KILL BABY SEALS. | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

CDReviews

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10/15/03

level. Being able to picture Geoff’s facial contortions behind the mic as he kicks into a song such as “For the Workforce, Drowning” is part of this band’s allure, and this CD does not pass the aesthetic value of Thursday’s music to the listener as well as Full Collapse. This does not take anything away from War All the Time, as the album is a fine sophomore effort that clearly shows growth within the band. It may even be more accessible to casual listeners as well, and anything that gets this very underappreciated group further into the spotlight is a great and necessary benefit to the band.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE Transatlanticism Barsuk Records

THURSDAY War All the Time Island Records

★★★ BY ANDY SIMNICK Emo-core has become standard fare in mainstream rock these days. With bands such as Story of the Year and Thrice making waves, it only seems natural that one of the best bands in the genre release a new LP. Thursday’s War All The Time unfortunately does not quite live up to the impact made by their first release, Full Collapse, but it does stand on its own as a fantastic release. Probably best known for the song “Understanding in a Car Crash,” the band garnered their first widespread attention during their breakthrough stage show while on tour with Boy Sets Fire, a fellow emo-core band, several years back. The melodic vocals combined with violent guitars and pronounced screaming created something never quite heard before. With Full Collapse bringing Thursday to the forefront of the movement, War All The Time brings more of the same style to the musical table. Any seasoned Thursday fan will immediately gravitate towards “Signals Over the Air,”a song gaining moderate local airplay that should be exploding any second now. All the traditional Thursday elements are intact, with the yelling present but strategically lowered in the background. Once of the main differences between this album and the previous is the heaviness of the tracks. Full Collapse was a very raw CD. It was not superbly mixed and nearly all of the songs were built on emotion and little else.The songs sound disjointed yet fit Thursday’s style and persona incredibly well. The latest disc switches these aspects. War All the Time contains significant upgrades in sound quality and balance between different sections of the group, something missing from Full Collapse. Although the album undoubtedly sounds better, there is an intangible quality missing from this album. Perhaps I have not listened to it enough as it took a good two months before enjoying some of the subtler nuances of Full Collapse. However, a band such as Thursday needs to push the urgency in the vocals and the emotions involved from a base

TopFive

★★★★ BY BRIAN MERTZ It might be going a little overboard to say that Death Cab for Cutie has reinvented their sound, but it would be terribly shortsighted not to praise the successfully crafted wide variety of songs on their fourth full-length album, Transatlanticism. Instead of creating a straight-ahead emo-rock album like their previous release, The Photo Album, or a stripped-down heartfelt classic like their seminal We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes, these four talented musicians from Seattle have made an album that has a little bit of everything. And it all seems to work. “The Sound of Settling” is a 2 minute, 12 second pop-rock number that sits squarely in the middle of Transatlanticism. The subject matter of holding back from saying what is in one’s heart is certainly a heavy topic, but the jubilant chorus with its “bah-bah’s!” masks that. It is one of the most upbeat and fun tunes in the entire Death Cab catalog. But fans of Death Cab for Cutie’s mellow emo introspection should have no fears. Those songs are represented here as well. “Title and Registration” and “A Lack of Color” both have that very fragile quality to them as Ben Gibbard’s distinct lilting voice sings about the damage distance can cause to relationships. Perhaps most musically impressive on this album are the epic tracks. “The New Year’s” bombastic guitar crashes serve as a magnificent start to the album. And the slow build of the title track into what sounds like a chorus of Gibbards behind the band’s full instrumentation makes it at once beautiful and powerful. Throughout, what unites this wide-range of tracks is Gibbard’s gift for turning a phrase. Whether he is writing in prior Death Cab releases or for the Postal Service, Gibbard’s lyrics have always been a marvel to behold. Transatlanticism has many of those same gems. On “The New Year” Gibbard sings in a barely frustrated tone,“I wish the world was flat like the old days / So I could travel just by folding the map / No more airplanes or speed-trains or freeways / There’d be no distance that could hold us back.” If only more bands around the world had this talent for lyrics, the music industry might creep out of its present quality slump. This is certainly one of the best Death Cab albums ever made and probably one of the strongest albums of 2003, but there is something still missing. There is an indefinable qual-

Autumn Albums

1. Moondance Van Morrison

This marvelous album is good for any autumn night. Moondance’s deeply evocative lyrics have a pastoral quality with emphasis on natural wonders. The title track is the perfect anthem for a cool fall night. The jazzy soulfulness of this album makes it perfect for the reflective nature of autumn.

2. Time Out Dave Brubeck

The cool jazz piano of Dave Brubeck along with his talented quartet makes Time Out a relaxing and peaceful album perfect for the leaf-covered ground. “Take Five’s” jazzy beat and mellow instrumention makes it the quentessential jazz song. This album has sold the most copies of any jazz album to date.

ity that keeps Transatlanticism from being a complete masterpiece. Perhaps it is something that Death Cab for Cutie will discover on their next album. For now, this band has every reason to celebrate the growth through successful experimentation on Transatlanticism. And fans of heartfelt rock have 11 very different and high quality reasons to go pick up this album.

DECIBULLY City of Festivals

Autumn is full of unique seasonal activities like hay rides, raking leaves and drinking apple cider. But for the people with slightly twisted minds, autumn is all about one thing: Halloween. And while there are scary movie soundtracks or horror sound effect CDs to have on in the background, Michael Jackson can be pretty scary in his own right. The tune “Thriller” and its accompanying music video is a Halloween pop staple.

4. Anodyne Uncle Tupelo

Alt-Country is the perfect genre for autumn weather as it incorporates rock sounds with country sensibilities and the epitome of alt-country is Uncle Tupelo. The dichotmy struck between gifted singers/songwriters Jay Farrar and Jeff

MUSIC REVIEW GUIDE

Flawless Good Mediocre Bad Un-listenable

★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★ no stars

★★★ BY JACOB DITTMER Ahh, Milwaukee. That pesky neighbor to the north that is responsible for such atrocities as Miller Lite and Milwaukee’s Best (aka the Beast). But it does have its benefits; you may recall the discussion Wayne Campbell shares with Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World as to Milwaukee’s name meaning, “the good land.”So it’s not all bad and it is also the home of Decibully. Decibully’s second album, City of Festivals, is the group’s first release with Champaign label Polyvinyl. This septet’s members have a variety of backgrounds; the most notable being former membership in the popular emo group The Promise Ring. So the popular indie label Polyvinyl is involved and Decibully’s roots lay in The Promise Ring and Camden, but this is not an emo release. These indie rockers have taken their roots in emo and expanded into a new genre that holds good company. Their sound is that of country-influenced lyrics and melodies with a tinge of electronic sounds, while not straying from an indie rock base.The band that has made the biggest splash with this style of music is Chicago’s Wilco. So it’s a Midwest thing. The first track, “On the Way to Your Hotel,” sets up the beautiful arrangement of heartfelt lyrics, guitar and banjo twangs, peaceful melodies and subtle electronic blips. The use of electronic sounds is virtually unnoticed and nothing like the deconstructed sound that Wilco achieved on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Whereas Wilco tried to make crazy sounds to accompany their melodies, Decibully adds to their peaceful melodies with subtly. The lyrics are worth mentioning on this record for they do not sound contrived in the slightest, unlike some contemporary artists that try to be something they are not. On “Tables Turn,” lead singer William Seidel sings,“I’m not wasting loose change cause I’m changing.” The lyrics are simple yet supported by the band’s unique sound, which makes them reach the meaningful levels they aspire to. With so many musicians in the group, the songs have a pleasant layered feeling without any one instrument taking center stage, although Siedel’s vocals do stand out. Guitars, bass, keyboards, banjo and lapsteel are utilized to give the album that hollow, lonesome country feel that meshes perfectly with Seidel’s lyrics of lost love. Decibully has taken a concept of music composition that has gained much momentum in recent years and given it their own unique sound. With roots in emo its easy to disregard the lyrics as juvenile, but this group truly achieves a mature sound that is worthy of praise.

Tweedy comes together on Anodyne to form a perfect vision for their alt-country sound. Themes of the warmth of home, love of one’s roots and tributes to classic country sounds pervade this album.Tweedy’s Dylan-esque voice is in its prime for this album and Farrar’s country croon sounds just as good, giving the album a unique sound throughout.

5. Parachutes Coldplay

Chris Martin wasn’t a Hollywood darling when he penned the songs for Coldplay’s debut full-length. And that willingness to take chances on making a fragile heartfelt album paid off. Like leaves slowly falling from a tree, Martin’s voice glides across the sparse brit-rock sounds. Parachutes has its upbeat moments like “Shiver.” But for the most part, this remains an album to listen to on a cool autumn night.

buzz

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | WANT TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED ON OUR CALENDAR? Send your listings to calendar@readbuzz.com

SundayOct19 LIVE MUSIC Irish Traditional Music Session hosted by Lisa Boucher – Mike 'n Molly's, 5pm, free Pete Yorn – Foellinger Auditorium, 6:30pm, $24 Drums and Tuba, Public Display of Funk – The Canopy Club, 9pm, $5 The Blues Jam hosted by Kilborn Alley – The Canopy Club (Garden Grill), 10pm, TBA

DJ

Polyvinyl

Next week: Top Five Breakup Songs e-mail us at music@readbuzz.com

3. Thriller Michael Jackson

buzz

CHARTS PARASOL RECORDS TOP 10 SELLERS 1. Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism (Barsuk Records) 2. Belle And Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress (Rough Trade Records) 3. Brighter - Singles: 1989-1992 (Matinée Recordings) 4. Isobel Campbell - Amorino (Instinct Records) 5. The Ladybug Transistor - The Ladybug Transistor (Merge Records) 6. Kingsbury Manx - Aztec Discipline (Overcoat Records) 7. Stereolab - Instant 0 In The Universe (Elektra Records) 8. The Rachel’s - Systems/Layers (Quarterstick Records) 9. The High Llamas - Beet, Maize, and Corn (Drag City Records) 10. Handsome Family - Singing Bones (Carrot Top Records)

Fresh Face Guest DJ – Barfly, 9pm, free Blends by Otter – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, free Reel to Reel and the Wheels of Steel: Spicerack Movies with soundtrack provided by DJ Spinnerty and DJ Bozak - Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $1 Live DJ – C-Street, 9pm-1am, cover

KARAOKE “G” Force Karaoke and DJ – TK Wendl’s, 9pm-1am

MUSIC PERFORMANCES Honoring William Warfield: A Celebration of Excellence – School of Music performers and ensembles, and guest artists, join together to pay tribute to the legacy of William Warfield, a former faculty member of the U of I School of Music and an internationally beloved opera singer, concert artist, actor, and educator – Foellinger Great Hall, 7:30pm, $2-5

WORDS Open Mic: Poetry/Spoken Work hosted by Illusion – The Canopy Club, 7pm, free

DJ Rock ‘N' Roll DJing with Drew Patterson of 107.1 – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, free Preston Wright and Jim Creason – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $1 NOX: DJ ZoZo – goth/industrial – The Highdive, 10pm, $2 Seduction DJ Resonate – Barfly, 10pm, free

KARAOKE G” Force Karaoke and DJ – TK Wendl’s, 9pm-1am

MUSIC PERFORMANCES Concert Prep: Opera Verdi Europa – Creative Intersections Fred Stoltzfus, presenter – Tryon Festival Theatre Foyer, Krannert Center, 6:45pm,free Opera Verdi Europa – Ivan Kyurkchiev, artistic director Nayden Todorov, principal conductor – Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center, 7:30pm, $13-32

NEW RELEASES Anti-Flag - The Terror State Barenaked Ladies - Everything to Everyone Basement Jaxx - Kish Kash Dream Theater - Train of Thought Charles Feelgood - House Music Firewater - Songs We Should Have Written Her Space Holiday - The Young Machines Montell Jordan - Life After Def Bobby Bare, Jr. - OK, I’m Sorry (EP) Lucky Boys Confusion - Commitment Mandy Moore - Coverage Van Morrison - What’s Wrong with This Picture? Plastikman - Closer Roc Raida - Champion Sounds Raphael Saadiq - All Hits at the House of Blues Ryuichi Sakamoto - Mototronic The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow The Strokes - Room on Fire Josh Wink - 20 to 20 (EP) Dose Hermanos - Bright Shadows Yo La Tengo - Today Is the Day (EP) Turk - Raw and Uncut Switchhitter - Fer-de-Lance Zebrahead - MFZH Kristine W. - Fly Again The Stills - Logic Will Break Your Heart Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros - Streetcore Pinhead Gunpowder - Compulsive Disclosure D. Alex Paterson - Journey Into Paradise Slipstream - Transcendental Paul Burch - Fool for Love Nick Cannon - Nick Cannon Moot Davis - Moot Davis Dead Prez - Get Free or Die Trying Death Machine - Death Machine Fred Anderson - Back at the Velvet Lounge Rush - In Rio Loon - Loon

Lorenzo Goetz @ Mike N’ Molly’s, Thursday 10pm

LECTURES Cold Cut Trio @ The Iron Post, Friday, 5:30pm

MondayOct20 LIVE MUSIC Guster – Foellinger Auditorium, 6:30pm, $23 Openingbands.com Showcase: King Solomon's Grave, Gnome Attic, Kissing Tigers – The Canopy Club, 10pm, $3 Decibully (ex-Promise Ring), Angie Heaton, LP – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, $5

DJ Mehan McCann, Amy Couch – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, free 2ON2OUT – Barfly, 9pm, free

KARAOKE “G” Force Karaoke & DJ – Kam’s, 10pm-1am

MUSIC PERFORMANCES Community Drum Circle – Ten Thousand Villages, 7-9pm

Oscar Martinez, artist and U of I alumni – presentation to the campus community on the politics of art, focusing on the mural he created in La Casa Cultural Latina. He was the main creator of the mural, created in 1975, which depicts the struggles of Latino students. –Latzer Hall, University YMCA, 4pm

WednesdayOct22 LIVE MUSIC Open Mic Night – Espresso Royale Caffe, 7:30pm, free Shelby Lynne, Anna Montgomery, Kate Hathaway – The Highdive, 7:30pm, $20 Irish Traditional Music Session hosted by Lisa Boucher – Bentley's Pub, 8pm, free Professor and MaryAnn – Iron Post, 9pm, TBA Sevendust, Jaded Kayne, Dropsixx – The Canopy Club, 10pm, $20 Open Mic Night hosted by Mike Ingram – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, $2 Michelle Branch – Braden Auditorium, Normal, IL, 7:30pm

DJ DJ Chef Ra Reggae – Barfly, 10pm, free Joel Spencer – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $1 D-lo & Spinnerty – The Highdive, 10pm

TuesdayOct21 LIVE MUSIC Jiggsaw, Nadafinga – Iron Post, 10pm, $3 Verde Hootenanny – bluegrass jam – Verdant News & Coffee, 7pm, free Billy Galt – Senators Pub, 8pm, TBA EELS, MC Honky - The Canopy Club, 10pm, $12

LECTURES Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology Seminar Series – Chih-Ming Ho, Ben Rich-Lockheed Martin Professor of Engineering, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, and Director of the Institute for Cell Mimetic Space Exploration (CMISE) University of California, Los Angeles "Bio-Nano System Technologies" – Beckman Institute, 4pm

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ThursdayOct16 LIVE MUSIC Chulrua – Iron Post, 8pm, TBA Lamonte Parsons Jazz Trio – Senators Pub, 8pm, TBA Briggs/Houchin Group – jazz – Zorba's, 9:30pm, $3 The Red Hot Valentines, Sunday Driver, Feable Weiner, Just Add Water – The Canopy Club, 10pm, $5 Orphans, Ester Drang, Life at Sea – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, $5 Lorenzo Goetz, Smoke Off Vinyl, Freewheelin '56 – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $3 South Austin Jug Band – Iron Post, 11pm, TBA

DJ DJ Resonate – Barfly, 9pm, free DJ J-Phlip – Barfly, 9pm, free Live DJ – C-Street, 9pm, free Live DJ – Ruby’s, 9pm-1am, free DJ Orby – Joe’s Brewery, 9pm-1am, free

WANT TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED ON OUR CALENDAR? Send your listings to calendar@readbuzz.com | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 buzz

KARAOKE “G” Force Karaoke and DJ – Lincoln Castle Lodge, 9pm1am

DANCING

MUSIC PERFORMANCES

Glenn Miller Orchestra – Virginia Theatre, 7:30pm, $23.50, $19, $15 Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano – Bradley Moore, piano – Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center, 7:30pm, $25-42

FridayOct17 LIVE MUSIC Tailgreat 2003: Made – Urbana High School, 4pm, free The Prairie Dogs – Cowboy Monkey, 5pm, free Cold Cut Quartet – Iron Post, 5:30pm, free Amira Nuha and Friends – Borders, 8pm, free Dropsixx CD Release show: Dropsixx, Nonetaken,

D

DJ Tim Williams – The Highdive, 10pm, $5 DJ Bozak – Barfly, 9pm, free “G” Force DJ Chad – TK Wendl’s, 9pm-1am DJ Mertz – Joe’s Brewery, 9pm-1am

“G” Force Karaoke – Pia’s in Rantoul, 9pm-1am Karaoke – Jillian’s, 9pm, no cover

MUSIC PERFORMANCES

BY MARISSA MONSON | STAFF WRITER

DJ

KARAOKE

UI Wind Symphony and UI Symphonic Band I – James F. Keene and Thomas E. Caneva, conductors – Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center, 7:30pm, $2-5

WORDS Song, Rhythm & Spoken Word – Cindy Schmidt, guitar, bass, vocals; Cora Holland, drums, percussions & vocals; Amira, Afrikan drums & percussions, vocals, flute & spoken word; Amira, Cindy and Cora will perform an eclectic mix of Afrikan chants, drums & percussion, blues, spiritual & popular music and thought-provoking words – Borders Books, Music & Cafe, 8-10pm

LECTURES CIMIC Weekly Seminar: Is Kashmir Really Strategic to India and Pakistan? – Nasrullah Mirza Fullbright Scholar, ACDIS, UIUC; and Quaid-a-Azam University, Islamabad – Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center, 8-9:30pm

music

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | I’M GOING TO TERMINATE THE DEFICIT

13

The E in The EELS sounds off on awards, adverts and critics

Maxlider, Pariah – The Canopy Club, 9pm, $5 Sick Day, Tracks, The Georges – Iron Post, 9pm, TBA Tons O' Fun Band – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, $3 Jiggsaw, Deminer, Animate Objects – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $3 Bach Lunch: Grass Roots Revival with Michael Jones and Jamie Lou Carras – Springer Cultural Center, TBA, free Happy Hour with Al Ierardi – Tommy G’s, 5-7pm, free Reasonable Doubt – Tommy G’s, 10pm-2am, cover

Ballroom Dancing – Non-smoking, cash bar – Regent Ballroom, 7:30-10:30pm, $7 Salsa Dancing – Non-smoking, cash bar; dress code: no blue jeans, tennis shoes or hats – Regent Ballroom, 11pm-1am, $4

buzz

Plain White T’s @ Illinois Disciples Foundation with Missing The Point, Saraphine, Jamison Parker Saturday, 6pm

SaturdayOct18 LIVE MUSIC Plain White T's, Missing the Point, Saraphine, Jamison Parker, Things About Nothing – Illinois Disciples Foundation, 6pm, $5 Static X, Soil Skrape, Twisted Method – The Canopy Club, 6:30pm, $15 Rocky Maffit – Borders, 8pm, free The Noisy Gators – Hubers, 8pm, donations LIX Fashion Show: Miss Saturn – The Highdive, 8pm, $5 Middletown – Iron Post, 9pm, TBA Finite Element – Embassy Tavern, 9:30pm, free Candy Foster and Shades of Blue – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, $3 Hairbanger's Ball – hair metal tribute band – The Canopy Club, 11pm, TBA Kathy Harden and the King Bees – Tommy G’s, 10pm2am, cover

DJ DJ Hipster Sophisto – Barfly, 9pm, free DJ Resonate – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $1 DJ Tim Williams – The Highdive, 10:30pm, $5 Saturday Night at Wendl’s with DJ Brad – TK Wendl’s, 9pm-1am “G” Force DJ Chris – White Horse Inn, 9pm-1am

KARAOKE “G” Force Karaoke & DJ – Lincoln Castle, 9pm-1am

MUSIC PERFORMANCES Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra – Steven Larsen, music director and conductor Gustavo Romero, piano – Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center, 7:30pm, $10-28 Maya Beiser: World to Come – cellist – Tryon Festival Theatre, Krannert Center, 7:30pm, $12-20

on’t bet on catching The EELS’ sound on a car commercial, or a computer commercial, or any commercial for that matter. There have been offers, but E, the notorious frontman of The EELS, sticks to his musical morals, and despite having his record company on his back, he won’t be selling his soul to advertisers any time soon. With a rule of thumb, “What Would Tom Waits Do?” E firmly plants his feet and consents to let the music do the talking. “The record company has just about had it with me,” E said. “We’ve had about every large company ask, and its really ironic because the label considers us so uncommercial, but then all these commercials want to use my songs.” They don’t have widespread appeal in the United States, but England cannot seem to get enough of The EELS’ bluesy-pop sensibility. Tour of Duty, their present tour, brings them to The Canopy Club this Tuesday. The trip to college towns like Urbana is an effort to boost The EELS popularity in the States. “We realized that there has been support all along from the college folks, and we thought we should come around these parts more often,” E said. “So, we’ve already done a lot of touring in the U.S. this year, but we decided it wasn’t enough. We wanted to come to places we’ve never been before, and specifically where a lot of college kids are.”

BACK PAIN RELIEF FREE EXAM & X-RAY (IF NEEDED) NEW PATIENTS ONLY Without Drugs or Surgery! Back pain hits Americans by the thousands every day compromising health and sapping vitality. The good news...chiropractic health care DOES bring relief and results. It’s a proven fact.

E has seen some time in the spotlight with hits like “Novocaine for the Soul” and nominations for MTV Awards. But, awards aren’t that important to The EELS. Their drummer Butch used their Brit Award as a cymbal stand to put it to good use. “It’s flattering in a really superficial way, and I totally appreciate that anyone would think of me, but ultimately it doesn’t mean much to me,” E said. The EELS’ journey, littered with overseas success and award nominations, has not always been easy for E. After his major label debut, Beautiful Freak, tragedy struck as he was confronted with death on a large scale. After the death of his mother, father and sister he reacted with an emotional expedition through recovery, Electro-Shock Blues. Some of his best material to date was labeled sad and depressing, but to E, it was exactly the opposite. “I think Electro-Shock Blues is the most upbeat thing I’ll ever do, but it is often called the most depressing thing that anyone’s ever done,” E said. “I think that’s a mistake, I don’t think there is anything more positive than trying to rise above instrumental block.” But what do the critics know. Without selling songs to advertisers and receiving less than adequate help from his record label, Dreamworks, E continues to make albums and tour around the globe, taking the long route to success. As good and bad reviews come in, E just keeps

making music that wasn’t there the day before. “Your skin thickens some, but some people are good at dealing with that sort of thing,” E said. “Often, artists aren’t good with it, and they became artists for certain reasons, the way their childhood was or something, and they don’t have that type of defense mechanism.” The EELS’ latest release Shootenanny! received mixed reviews from the hordes of critics waiting for The EELS to throw them another bone. But, E doesn’t seem to mind. E has grown tough skin over the years and continues to make music that makes him happy, a difficult feat for the world’s loneliest frontman.

“I’m going to take my time with my next record, since the only time I’m happy is when I’m making a record,” E said. “It only took 10 days to record Shootenanny!, and 10 days of happiness, I realize, is not enough.” In a culture of one-hit wonders and gimmicks, E stands out in the crowd as a true fan of the craft. For his next album, he plans on taking his time and trying to live a little. But, E’s musical ventures are anything but predictable. “My other plan is to just not put records out. Why not just keep making them, and maybe, just let them sort the records out when I am dead and gone.” buzz

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Outlets, Assembly Hall Box Office & Illini Union

217-333-5000 ticketmaster.com

CHARGE-BY-PHONE: OR


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buzzpicks Ester Drang Embarking on infinite success BY MARISSA MONSON | CALENDAR EDITOR

B

reaking out in a small town like Broken Arrow, Okla., seems difficult, but Ester Drang and a handful of other bands from the Sooner State prove that musical innovation can be cultivated in the most unlikely of places. “Oklahoma is good and bad—there is somewhat of a void to fill as far as attempting an original type of music,” Jeff Shoop, guitarist and keyboardist for Ester Drang said. “On one hand, we would like to have more of a community of musicians, but on the other hand, it’s nice to come out of nowhere because people don’t really expect anything cool from Oklahoma.” Bands like the Flaming Lips and the Starlight Mints are a couple of the handful of bands to emerge from Oklahoma. Ester Drang’s music, selfdescribed as cinematic, sounds like a daydreamy wall of sound. The fine musicianship shines through in the innovative sound Ester Drang captures, which is unique to any type of shoegazer indie rock. Their latest release, Infinite Keys, shows maturity, and better quality than the previous freshman effort Goldenwest. “We tried to make Infinite Keys achieve the same feeling as Goldenwest, but get to the point quicker. We just wanted to trim off the excess junk and make the overall record more focused,” Shoop said. Since the success of Infinite Keys, Ester Drang embarks on a series of tours with big names like American Analog Set, Pedro the Lion, Stratford 4 and Starflyer 59. On their trek through the Midwest, Ester Drang stops by Cowboy Monkey to open for Orphans tonight.

Its Miller Time at Highdive!

Ester Drang has seen some lineup changes since their formation in 1995. “A couple of guys have come and gone, and I came in a couple of years ago,” Shoop said. “Everyone else just started playing together when they learned instruments.” Since the band’s formation nearly 10 years ago, not only has their sound has matured, but they’ve wised up on the industry. As trends fade, Ester Drang has cultivated a sound that transcends the latest fads in the fickle music world. “The further you get into it the more you learn it’s less and less about the music, unfortunately,” Shoop said. “Which is basically how you succeed in the entertainment;

it gets a lot more messy.” A little older, a little wiser and with two albums under their belt, Ester Drang continues to climb the indie rock ladder to success. “As a band, we are not terribly concerned with all the other factors of appearing as cool as possible and accentuating our key selling points,” Shoop said. “Eventually, people can see through the fluff and hype to the actual music.” Ester Drang’s music looks good from here. Orphans, Ester Drang, Life at Sea @ Cowboy Monkey on Thursday at 10pm

For extra photos, check out readbuzz.com

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buzzpicks Ester Drang Embarking on infinite success BY MARISSA MONSON | CALENDAR EDITOR

B

reaking out in a small town like Broken Arrow, Okla., seems difficult, but Ester Drang and a handful of other bands from the Sooner State prove that musical innovation can be cultivated in the most unlikely of places. “Oklahoma is good and bad—there is somewhat of a void to fill as far as attempting an original type of music,” Jeff Shoop, guitarist and keyboardist for Ester Drang said. “On one hand, we would like to have more of a community of musicians, but on the other hand, it’s nice to come out of nowhere because people don’t really expect anything cool from Oklahoma.” Bands like the Flaming Lips and the Starlight Mints are a couple of the handful of bands to emerge from Oklahoma. Ester Drang’s music, selfdescribed as cinematic, sounds like a daydreamy wall of sound. The fine musicianship shines through in the innovative sound Ester Drang captures, which is unique to any type of shoegazer indie rock. Their latest release, Infinite Keys, shows maturity, and better quality than the previous freshman effort Goldenwest. “We tried to make Infinite Keys achieve the same feeling as Goldenwest, but get to the point quicker. We just wanted to trim off the excess junk and make the overall record more focused,” Shoop said. Since the success of Infinite Keys, Ester Drang embarks on a series of tours with big names like American Analog Set, Pedro the Lion, Stratford 4 and Starflyer 59. On their trek through the Midwest, Ester Drang stops by Cowboy Monkey to open for Orphans tonight.

Its Miller Time at Highdive!

Ester Drang has seen some lineup changes since their formation in 1995. “A couple of guys have come and gone, and I came in a couple of years ago,” Shoop said. “Everyone else just started playing together when they learned instruments.” Since the band’s formation nearly 10 years ago, not only has their sound has matured, but they’ve wised up on the industry. As trends fade, Ester Drang has cultivated a sound that transcends the latest fads in the fickle music world. “The further you get into it the more you learn it’s less and less about the music, unfortunately,” Shoop said. “Which is basically how you succeed in the entertainment;

it gets a lot more messy.” A little older, a little wiser and with two albums under their belt, Ester Drang continues to climb the indie rock ladder to success. “As a band, we are not terribly concerned with all the other factors of appearing as cool as possible and accentuating our key selling points,” Shoop said. “Eventually, people can see through the fluff and hype to the actual music.” Ester Drang’s music looks good from here. Orphans, Ester Drang, Life at Sea @ Cowboy Monkey on Thursday at 10pm

For extra photos, check out readbuzz.com

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ThursdayOct16 LIVE MUSIC Chulrua – Iron Post, 8pm, TBA Lamonte Parsons Jazz Trio – Senators Pub, 8pm, TBA Briggs/Houchin Group – jazz – Zorba's, 9:30pm, $3 The Red Hot Valentines, Sunday Driver, Feable Weiner, Just Add Water – The Canopy Club, 10pm, $5 Orphans, Ester Drang, Life at Sea – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, $5 Lorenzo Goetz, Smoke Off Vinyl, Freewheelin '56 – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $3 South Austin Jug Band – Iron Post, 11pm, TBA

DJ DJ Resonate – Barfly, 9pm, free DJ J-Phlip – Barfly, 9pm, free Live DJ – C-Street, 9pm, free Live DJ – Ruby’s, 9pm-1am, free DJ Orby – Joe’s Brewery, 9pm-1am, free

WANT TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED ON OUR CALENDAR? Send your listings to calendar@readbuzz.com | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 buzz

KARAOKE “G” Force Karaoke and DJ – Lincoln Castle Lodge, 9pm1am

DANCING

MUSIC PERFORMANCES

Glenn Miller Orchestra – Virginia Theatre, 7:30pm, $23.50, $19, $15 Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano – Bradley Moore, piano – Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center, 7:30pm, $25-42

FridayOct17 LIVE MUSIC Tailgreat 2003: Made – Urbana High School, 4pm, free The Prairie Dogs – Cowboy Monkey, 5pm, free Cold Cut Quartet – Iron Post, 5:30pm, free Amira Nuha and Friends – Borders, 8pm, free Dropsixx CD Release show: Dropsixx, Nonetaken,

D

DJ Tim Williams – The Highdive, 10pm, $5 DJ Bozak – Barfly, 9pm, free “G” Force DJ Chad – TK Wendl’s, 9pm-1am DJ Mertz – Joe’s Brewery, 9pm-1am

“G” Force Karaoke – Pia’s in Rantoul, 9pm-1am Karaoke – Jillian’s, 9pm, no cover

MUSIC PERFORMANCES

BY MARISSA MONSON | STAFF WRITER

DJ

KARAOKE

UI Wind Symphony and UI Symphonic Band I – James F. Keene and Thomas E. Caneva, conductors – Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center, 7:30pm, $2-5

WORDS Song, Rhythm & Spoken Word – Cindy Schmidt, guitar, bass, vocals; Cora Holland, drums, percussions & vocals; Amira, Afrikan drums & percussions, vocals, flute & spoken word; Amira, Cindy and Cora will perform an eclectic mix of Afrikan chants, drums & percussion, blues, spiritual & popular music and thought-provoking words – Borders Books, Music & Cafe, 8-10pm

LECTURES CIMIC Weekly Seminar: Is Kashmir Really Strategic to India and Pakistan? – Nasrullah Mirza Fullbright Scholar, ACDIS, UIUC; and Quaid-a-Azam University, Islamabad – Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center, 8-9:30pm

music

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | I’M GOING TO TERMINATE THE DEFICIT

13

The E in The EELS sounds off on awards, adverts and critics

Maxlider, Pariah – The Canopy Club, 9pm, $5 Sick Day, Tracks, The Georges – Iron Post, 9pm, TBA Tons O' Fun Band – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, $3 Jiggsaw, Deminer, Animate Objects – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $3 Bach Lunch: Grass Roots Revival with Michael Jones and Jamie Lou Carras – Springer Cultural Center, TBA, free Happy Hour with Al Ierardi – Tommy G’s, 5-7pm, free Reasonable Doubt – Tommy G’s, 10pm-2am, cover

Ballroom Dancing – Non-smoking, cash bar – Regent Ballroom, 7:30-10:30pm, $7 Salsa Dancing – Non-smoking, cash bar; dress code: no blue jeans, tennis shoes or hats – Regent Ballroom, 11pm-1am, $4

buzz

Plain White T’s @ Illinois Disciples Foundation with Missing The Point, Saraphine, Jamison Parker Saturday, 6pm

SaturdayOct18 LIVE MUSIC Plain White T's, Missing the Point, Saraphine, Jamison Parker, Things About Nothing – Illinois Disciples Foundation, 6pm, $5 Static X, Soil Skrape, Twisted Method – The Canopy Club, 6:30pm, $15 Rocky Maffit – Borders, 8pm, free The Noisy Gators – Hubers, 8pm, donations LIX Fashion Show: Miss Saturn – The Highdive, 8pm, $5 Middletown – Iron Post, 9pm, TBA Finite Element – Embassy Tavern, 9:30pm, free Candy Foster and Shades of Blue – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, $3 Hairbanger's Ball – hair metal tribute band – The Canopy Club, 11pm, TBA Kathy Harden and the King Bees – Tommy G’s, 10pm2am, cover

DJ DJ Hipster Sophisto – Barfly, 9pm, free DJ Resonate – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $1 DJ Tim Williams – The Highdive, 10:30pm, $5 Saturday Night at Wendl’s with DJ Brad – TK Wendl’s, 9pm-1am “G” Force DJ Chris – White Horse Inn, 9pm-1am

KARAOKE “G” Force Karaoke & DJ – Lincoln Castle, 9pm-1am

MUSIC PERFORMANCES Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra – Steven Larsen, music director and conductor Gustavo Romero, piano – Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center, 7:30pm, $10-28 Maya Beiser: World to Come – cellist – Tryon Festival Theatre, Krannert Center, 7:30pm, $12-20

on’t bet on catching The EELS’ sound on a car commercial, or a computer commercial, or any commercial for that matter. There have been offers, but E, the notorious frontman of The EELS, sticks to his musical morals, and despite having his record company on his back, he won’t be selling his soul to advertisers any time soon. With a rule of thumb, “What Would Tom Waits Do?” E firmly plants his feet and consents to let the music do the talking. “The record company has just about had it with me,” E said. “We’ve had about every large company ask, and its really ironic because the label considers us so uncommercial, but then all these commercials want to use my songs.” They don’t have widespread appeal in the United States, but England cannot seem to get enough of The EELS’ bluesy-pop sensibility. Tour of Duty, their present tour, brings them to The Canopy Club this Tuesday. The trip to college towns like Urbana is an effort to boost The EELS popularity in the States. “We realized that there has been support all along from the college folks, and we thought we should come around these parts more often,” E said. “So, we’ve already done a lot of touring in the U.S. this year, but we decided it wasn’t enough. We wanted to come to places we’ve never been before, and specifically where a lot of college kids are.”

BACK PAIN RELIEF FREE EXAM & X-RAY (IF NEEDED) NEW PATIENTS ONLY Without Drugs or Surgery! Back pain hits Americans by the thousands every day compromising health and sapping vitality. The good news...chiropractic health care DOES bring relief and results. It’s a proven fact.

E has seen some time in the spotlight with hits like “Novocaine for the Soul” and nominations for MTV Awards. But, awards aren’t that important to The EELS. Their drummer Butch used their Brit Award as a cymbal stand to put it to good use. “It’s flattering in a really superficial way, and I totally appreciate that anyone would think of me, but ultimately it doesn’t mean much to me,” E said. The EELS’ journey, littered with overseas success and award nominations, has not always been easy for E. After his major label debut, Beautiful Freak, tragedy struck as he was confronted with death on a large scale. After the death of his mother, father and sister he reacted with an emotional expedition through recovery, Electro-Shock Blues. Some of his best material to date was labeled sad and depressing, but to E, it was exactly the opposite. “I think Electro-Shock Blues is the most upbeat thing I’ll ever do, but it is often called the most depressing thing that anyone’s ever done,” E said. “I think that’s a mistake, I don’t think there is anything more positive than trying to rise above instrumental block.” But what do the critics know. Without selling songs to advertisers and receiving less than adequate help from his record label, Dreamworks, E continues to make albums and tour around the globe, taking the long route to success. As good and bad reviews come in, E just keeps

making music that wasn’t there the day before. “Your skin thickens some, but some people are good at dealing with that sort of thing,” E said. “Often, artists aren’t good with it, and they became artists for certain reasons, the way their childhood was or something, and they don’t have that type of defense mechanism.” The EELS’ latest release Shootenanny! received mixed reviews from the hordes of critics waiting for The EELS to throw them another bone. But, E doesn’t seem to mind. E has grown tough skin over the years and continues to make music that makes him happy, a difficult feat for the world’s loneliest frontman.

“I’m going to take my time with my next record, since the only time I’m happy is when I’m making a record,” E said. “It only took 10 days to record Shootenanny!, and 10 days of happiness, I realize, is not enough.” In a culture of one-hit wonders and gimmicks, E stands out in the crowd as a true fan of the craft. For his next album, he plans on taking his time and trying to live a little. But, E’s musical ventures are anything but predictable. “My other plan is to just not put records out. Why not just keep making them, and maybe, just let them sort the records out when I am dead and gone.” buzz

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I DO WHAT I WANT. I SKIP SCHOOL. I KILL BABY SEALS. | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

CDReviews

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10/15/03

level. Being able to picture Geoff’s facial contortions behind the mic as he kicks into a song such as “For the Workforce, Drowning” is part of this band’s allure, and this CD does not pass the aesthetic value of Thursday’s music to the listener as well as Full Collapse. This does not take anything away from War All the Time, as the album is a fine sophomore effort that clearly shows growth within the band. It may even be more accessible to casual listeners as well, and anything that gets this very underappreciated group further into the spotlight is a great and necessary benefit to the band.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE Transatlanticism Barsuk Records

THURSDAY War All the Time Island Records

★★★ BY ANDY SIMNICK Emo-core has become standard fare in mainstream rock these days. With bands such as Story of the Year and Thrice making waves, it only seems natural that one of the best bands in the genre release a new LP. Thursday’s War All The Time unfortunately does not quite live up to the impact made by their first release, Full Collapse, but it does stand on its own as a fantastic release. Probably best known for the song “Understanding in a Car Crash,” the band garnered their first widespread attention during their breakthrough stage show while on tour with Boy Sets Fire, a fellow emo-core band, several years back. The melodic vocals combined with violent guitars and pronounced screaming created something never quite heard before. With Full Collapse bringing Thursday to the forefront of the movement, War All The Time brings more of the same style to the musical table. Any seasoned Thursday fan will immediately gravitate towards “Signals Over the Air,”a song gaining moderate local airplay that should be exploding any second now. All the traditional Thursday elements are intact, with the yelling present but strategically lowered in the background. Once of the main differences between this album and the previous is the heaviness of the tracks. Full Collapse was a very raw CD. It was not superbly mixed and nearly all of the songs were built on emotion and little else.The songs sound disjointed yet fit Thursday’s style and persona incredibly well. The latest disc switches these aspects. War All the Time contains significant upgrades in sound quality and balance between different sections of the group, something missing from Full Collapse. Although the album undoubtedly sounds better, there is an intangible quality missing from this album. Perhaps I have not listened to it enough as it took a good two months before enjoying some of the subtler nuances of Full Collapse. However, a band such as Thursday needs to push the urgency in the vocals and the emotions involved from a base

TopFive

★★★★ BY BRIAN MERTZ It might be going a little overboard to say that Death Cab for Cutie has reinvented their sound, but it would be terribly shortsighted not to praise the successfully crafted wide variety of songs on their fourth full-length album, Transatlanticism. Instead of creating a straight-ahead emo-rock album like their previous release, The Photo Album, or a stripped-down heartfelt classic like their seminal We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes, these four talented musicians from Seattle have made an album that has a little bit of everything. And it all seems to work. “The Sound of Settling” is a 2 minute, 12 second pop-rock number that sits squarely in the middle of Transatlanticism. The subject matter of holding back from saying what is in one’s heart is certainly a heavy topic, but the jubilant chorus with its “bah-bah’s!” masks that. It is one of the most upbeat and fun tunes in the entire Death Cab catalog. But fans of Death Cab for Cutie’s mellow emo introspection should have no fears. Those songs are represented here as well. “Title and Registration” and “A Lack of Color” both have that very fragile quality to them as Ben Gibbard’s distinct lilting voice sings about the damage distance can cause to relationships. Perhaps most musically impressive on this album are the epic tracks. “The New Year’s” bombastic guitar crashes serve as a magnificent start to the album. And the slow build of the title track into what sounds like a chorus of Gibbards behind the band’s full instrumentation makes it at once beautiful and powerful. Throughout, what unites this wide-range of tracks is Gibbard’s gift for turning a phrase. Whether he is writing in prior Death Cab releases or for the Postal Service, Gibbard’s lyrics have always been a marvel to behold. Transatlanticism has many of those same gems. On “The New Year” Gibbard sings in a barely frustrated tone,“I wish the world was flat like the old days / So I could travel just by folding the map / No more airplanes or speed-trains or freeways / There’d be no distance that could hold us back.” If only more bands around the world had this talent for lyrics, the music industry might creep out of its present quality slump. This is certainly one of the best Death Cab albums ever made and probably one of the strongest albums of 2003, but there is something still missing. There is an indefinable qual-

Autumn Albums

1. Moondance Van Morrison

This marvelous album is good for any autumn night. Moondance’s deeply evocative lyrics have a pastoral quality with emphasis on natural wonders. The title track is the perfect anthem for a cool fall night. The jazzy soulfulness of this album makes it perfect for the reflective nature of autumn.

2. Time Out Dave Brubeck

The cool jazz piano of Dave Brubeck along with his talented quartet makes Time Out a relaxing and peaceful album perfect for the leaf-covered ground. “Take Five’s” jazzy beat and mellow instrumention makes it the quentessential jazz song. This album has sold the most copies of any jazz album to date.

ity that keeps Transatlanticism from being a complete masterpiece. Perhaps it is something that Death Cab for Cutie will discover on their next album. For now, this band has every reason to celebrate the growth through successful experimentation on Transatlanticism. And fans of heartfelt rock have 11 very different and high quality reasons to go pick up this album.

DECIBULLY City of Festivals

Autumn is full of unique seasonal activities like hay rides, raking leaves and drinking apple cider. But for the people with slightly twisted minds, autumn is all about one thing: Halloween. And while there are scary movie soundtracks or horror sound effect CDs to have on in the background, Michael Jackson can be pretty scary in his own right. The tune “Thriller” and its accompanying music video is a Halloween pop staple.

4. Anodyne Uncle Tupelo

Alt-Country is the perfect genre for autumn weather as it incorporates rock sounds with country sensibilities and the epitome of alt-country is Uncle Tupelo. The dichotmy struck between gifted singers/songwriters Jay Farrar and Jeff

MUSIC REVIEW GUIDE

Flawless Good Mediocre Bad Un-listenable

★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★ no stars

★★★ BY JACOB DITTMER Ahh, Milwaukee. That pesky neighbor to the north that is responsible for such atrocities as Miller Lite and Milwaukee’s Best (aka the Beast). But it does have its benefits; you may recall the discussion Wayne Campbell shares with Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World as to Milwaukee’s name meaning, “the good land.”So it’s not all bad and it is also the home of Decibully. Decibully’s second album, City of Festivals, is the group’s first release with Champaign label Polyvinyl. This septet’s members have a variety of backgrounds; the most notable being former membership in the popular emo group The Promise Ring. So the popular indie label Polyvinyl is involved and Decibully’s roots lay in The Promise Ring and Camden, but this is not an emo release. These indie rockers have taken their roots in emo and expanded into a new genre that holds good company. Their sound is that of country-influenced lyrics and melodies with a tinge of electronic sounds, while not straying from an indie rock base.The band that has made the biggest splash with this style of music is Chicago’s Wilco. So it’s a Midwest thing. The first track, “On the Way to Your Hotel,” sets up the beautiful arrangement of heartfelt lyrics, guitar and banjo twangs, peaceful melodies and subtle electronic blips. The use of electronic sounds is virtually unnoticed and nothing like the deconstructed sound that Wilco achieved on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Whereas Wilco tried to make crazy sounds to accompany their melodies, Decibully adds to their peaceful melodies with subtly. The lyrics are worth mentioning on this record for they do not sound contrived in the slightest, unlike some contemporary artists that try to be something they are not. On “Tables Turn,” lead singer William Seidel sings,“I’m not wasting loose change cause I’m changing.” The lyrics are simple yet supported by the band’s unique sound, which makes them reach the meaningful levels they aspire to. With so many musicians in the group, the songs have a pleasant layered feeling without any one instrument taking center stage, although Siedel’s vocals do stand out. Guitars, bass, keyboards, banjo and lapsteel are utilized to give the album that hollow, lonesome country feel that meshes perfectly with Seidel’s lyrics of lost love. Decibully has taken a concept of music composition that has gained much momentum in recent years and given it their own unique sound. With roots in emo its easy to disregard the lyrics as juvenile, but this group truly achieves a mature sound that is worthy of praise.

Tweedy comes together on Anodyne to form a perfect vision for their alt-country sound. Themes of the warmth of home, love of one’s roots and tributes to classic country sounds pervade this album.Tweedy’s Dylan-esque voice is in its prime for this album and Farrar’s country croon sounds just as good, giving the album a unique sound throughout.

5. Parachutes Coldplay

Chris Martin wasn’t a Hollywood darling when he penned the songs for Coldplay’s debut full-length. And that willingness to take chances on making a fragile heartfelt album paid off. Like leaves slowly falling from a tree, Martin’s voice glides across the sparse brit-rock sounds. Parachutes has its upbeat moments like “Shiver.” But for the most part, this remains an album to listen to on a cool autumn night.

buzz

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | WANT TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED ON OUR CALENDAR? Send your listings to calendar@readbuzz.com

SundayOct19 LIVE MUSIC Irish Traditional Music Session hosted by Lisa Boucher – Mike 'n Molly's, 5pm, free Pete Yorn – Foellinger Auditorium, 6:30pm, $24 Drums and Tuba, Public Display of Funk – The Canopy Club, 9pm, $5 The Blues Jam hosted by Kilborn Alley – The Canopy Club (Garden Grill), 10pm, TBA

DJ

Polyvinyl

Next week: Top Five Breakup Songs e-mail us at music@readbuzz.com

3. Thriller Michael Jackson

buzz

CHARTS PARASOL RECORDS TOP 10 SELLERS 1. Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism (Barsuk Records) 2. Belle And Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress (Rough Trade Records) 3. Brighter - Singles: 1989-1992 (Matinée Recordings) 4. Isobel Campbell - Amorino (Instinct Records) 5. The Ladybug Transistor - The Ladybug Transistor (Merge Records) 6. Kingsbury Manx - Aztec Discipline (Overcoat Records) 7. Stereolab - Instant 0 In The Universe (Elektra Records) 8. The Rachel’s - Systems/Layers (Quarterstick Records) 9. The High Llamas - Beet, Maize, and Corn (Drag City Records) 10. Handsome Family - Singing Bones (Carrot Top Records)

Fresh Face Guest DJ – Barfly, 9pm, free Blends by Otter – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, free Reel to Reel and the Wheels of Steel: Spicerack Movies with soundtrack provided by DJ Spinnerty and DJ Bozak - Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $1 Live DJ – C-Street, 9pm-1am, cover

KARAOKE “G” Force Karaoke and DJ – TK Wendl’s, 9pm-1am

MUSIC PERFORMANCES Honoring William Warfield: A Celebration of Excellence – School of Music performers and ensembles, and guest artists, join together to pay tribute to the legacy of William Warfield, a former faculty member of the U of I School of Music and an internationally beloved opera singer, concert artist, actor, and educator – Foellinger Great Hall, 7:30pm, $2-5

WORDS Open Mic: Poetry/Spoken Work hosted by Illusion – The Canopy Club, 7pm, free

DJ Rock ‘N' Roll DJing with Drew Patterson of 107.1 – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, free Preston Wright and Jim Creason – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $1 NOX: DJ ZoZo – goth/industrial – The Highdive, 10pm, $2 Seduction DJ Resonate – Barfly, 10pm, free

KARAOKE G” Force Karaoke and DJ – TK Wendl’s, 9pm-1am

MUSIC PERFORMANCES Concert Prep: Opera Verdi Europa – Creative Intersections Fred Stoltzfus, presenter – Tryon Festival Theatre Foyer, Krannert Center, 6:45pm,free Opera Verdi Europa – Ivan Kyurkchiev, artistic director Nayden Todorov, principal conductor – Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center, 7:30pm, $13-32

NEW RELEASES Anti-Flag - The Terror State Barenaked Ladies - Everything to Everyone Basement Jaxx - Kish Kash Dream Theater - Train of Thought Charles Feelgood - House Music Firewater - Songs We Should Have Written Her Space Holiday - The Young Machines Montell Jordan - Life After Def Bobby Bare, Jr. - OK, I’m Sorry (EP) Lucky Boys Confusion - Commitment Mandy Moore - Coverage Van Morrison - What’s Wrong with This Picture? Plastikman - Closer Roc Raida - Champion Sounds Raphael Saadiq - All Hits at the House of Blues Ryuichi Sakamoto - Mototronic The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow The Strokes - Room on Fire Josh Wink - 20 to 20 (EP) Dose Hermanos - Bright Shadows Yo La Tengo - Today Is the Day (EP) Turk - Raw and Uncut Switchhitter - Fer-de-Lance Zebrahead - MFZH Kristine W. - Fly Again The Stills - Logic Will Break Your Heart Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros - Streetcore Pinhead Gunpowder - Compulsive Disclosure D. Alex Paterson - Journey Into Paradise Slipstream - Transcendental Paul Burch - Fool for Love Nick Cannon - Nick Cannon Moot Davis - Moot Davis Dead Prez - Get Free or Die Trying Death Machine - Death Machine Fred Anderson - Back at the Velvet Lounge Rush - In Rio Loon - Loon

Lorenzo Goetz @ Mike N’ Molly’s, Thursday 10pm

LECTURES Cold Cut Trio @ The Iron Post, Friday, 5:30pm

MondayOct20 LIVE MUSIC Guster – Foellinger Auditorium, 6:30pm, $23 Openingbands.com Showcase: King Solomon's Grave, Gnome Attic, Kissing Tigers – The Canopy Club, 10pm, $3 Decibully (ex-Promise Ring), Angie Heaton, LP – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, $5

DJ Mehan McCann, Amy Couch – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, free 2ON2OUT – Barfly, 9pm, free

KARAOKE “G” Force Karaoke & DJ – Kam’s, 10pm-1am

MUSIC PERFORMANCES Community Drum Circle – Ten Thousand Villages, 7-9pm

Oscar Martinez, artist and U of I alumni – presentation to the campus community on the politics of art, focusing on the mural he created in La Casa Cultural Latina. He was the main creator of the mural, created in 1975, which depicts the struggles of Latino students. –Latzer Hall, University YMCA, 4pm

WednesdayOct22 LIVE MUSIC Open Mic Night – Espresso Royale Caffe, 7:30pm, free Shelby Lynne, Anna Montgomery, Kate Hathaway – The Highdive, 7:30pm, $20 Irish Traditional Music Session hosted by Lisa Boucher – Bentley's Pub, 8pm, free Professor and MaryAnn – Iron Post, 9pm, TBA Sevendust, Jaded Kayne, Dropsixx – The Canopy Club, 10pm, $20 Open Mic Night hosted by Mike Ingram – Cowboy Monkey, 10pm, $2 Michelle Branch – Braden Auditorium, Normal, IL, 7:30pm

DJ DJ Chef Ra Reggae – Barfly, 10pm, free Joel Spencer – Mike 'n Molly's, 10pm, $1 D-lo & Spinnerty – The Highdive, 10pm

TuesdayOct21 LIVE MUSIC Jiggsaw, Nadafinga – Iron Post, 10pm, $3 Verde Hootenanny – bluegrass jam – Verdant News & Coffee, 7pm, free Billy Galt – Senators Pub, 8pm, TBA EELS, MC Honky - The Canopy Club, 10pm, $12

LECTURES Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology Seminar Series – Chih-Ming Ho, Ben Rich-Lockheed Martin Professor of Engineering, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, and Director of the Institute for Cell Mimetic Space Exploration (CMISE) University of California, Los Angeles "Bio-Nano System Technologies" – Beckman Institute, 4pm

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CHICAGOSHOWS OCTOBER 10/16 Electric Six, Junior Senior @ Double Door 10/16 Rufio @ Metro, all ages 10/16 Enon @ Abbey Pub 10/16 Randy Newman @ Park West 10/17 Soulive, Me’Shell Ndegeocello @ House of Blues 10/17 Young People @ Schubas 10/17 Luncida Williams, Jayhawks @ Riviera 10/18 DJ Justin Long @ Metro Smart Bar 10/18 The Strokes @ UIC Pavilion 10/19 Longwave/Calla @ Double Door 10/21 The Eagles @ Allstate Arena 10/21 Shelby Lynne @ Abbey Pub 10/22 DADA @ Park West 10/22 Thin Lizzy @ Double Door 10/23 Thin Lizzy @ Double Door 10/23 Broadcast, Iron and WIne @ Abbey Club 10/23 Puddle of Mudd @ House of Blues 10/23 India Arie @ The Vic 10/24 Guster @ Aragon 10/24 Cowboy Mouth, Cracker @ House of Blues 10/24 Aesop Rock @ Metro

WANT TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED ON OUR CALENDAR? Send your listings to calendar@readbuzz.com | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

10/24 Gov’t Mule, Chris Robinson @ The Vic 10/25 The Walkmen @ Double Door 10/25 Cameron McGill @ Schubas 10/25 Clem Snide @ Logan Square Auditorium 10/25 Particle @ Metro 10/25 Reo Speedwagon @ Star Plaza 10/26 Echo and the Bunnymen @ Metro 10/28 Spiritualized @ The Vic 10/28 Travis @ Riviera 10/29 Fuel @ House of Blues 10/29 American Analog Set @ Abbey Club, 18 & over 10/29 Lyle Lovett @ Chicago Theatre 10/29 Echo & The Bunnymen @ Metro 10/30 Alkaline Trio @ Aragon Ballroom 10/30 Belle & Sebastian @ Congress Theatre 10/30 Mojave 3 @ Abbey Pub 10/31 Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe @ House of Blues 10/31 North Mississippi Allstars, Grandaddy @ Congress Theater

NOVEMBER 11/1 Black Keys @ Abbey Club 11/1 Mya @ House of Blues 11/1 Emmylou Harris @ Symphony Center 11/1 Dirtbombs @ Double Door

1906 W. Bradley Ave. Champaign, IL 19 & up to Enter

Thurs., Oct. 16

Live Boxing and Wet T-Shirt Contest $250 cash and prizes

Fri., Oct. 17

Hip Hop and R&B $2 well drinks $1 bottles no cover before 11pm

11/2 Rza, Ghostface Killah @ House of Blues 11/2 Verbena @ Metro 11/5 Stars @ Schubas 11/6 Less Than Jake @ Riviera Theater 11/6 Maroon5 @ House of Blues 11/6 The Rapture @ Metro 11/6 Xiu Xiu @ Fireside Bowl 11/7 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy @ House of Blues 11/7 Ween @ The Vic 11/7 David Mead @ Schubas 11/7 Flickerstick @ Metro 11/7 Ferry Corsten & DJ Rap @ House of Blues 11/8 King Crimson @ Park West 11/8 Ween @ The Vic 11/8 Twilight Singers @ Double Door 11/8 Godsmack @ Aragon 11/7 Dropkick Murphys @ Congress Theater 11/9 King Crimson @ Park West 11/10 Billy Bragg, Nightwatchman, Lester Chambers @ Park West, all ages 11/12 Badly Drawn Boy @ Park West 11/13 Mike Doughty’s Band @ Double Door 11/13 Rickie Lee Jones @ Chicago Theatre 11/15 The Shins @ House of Blues 11/15 Qbert @ Metro 11/16 Fixx @ Abbey Pub 11/19 Fountains of Wayne @ The Vic 11/21 Anti-Flag, Rise Against @ Metro 11/22 Guided By Voices @ Abbey Pub 11/22 Cash Brothers @ Schubas 11/22 Tom Jones @ House of Blues 11/22 Alabama @ Allstate Arena 11/23 Guided By Voices @ Abbey Pub 11/23 Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs! @ Metro 11/23 Tom Jones @ House of Blues 11/24 Symphony X @ Metro 11/25 Jaguars @ House of Blues 11/25 Mindless Self Indulgence @ Metro 11/26 Mindless Self Indulgence @ Metro 11/16 OK Go @ Abbey Pub, 11/28 Bollweevils @ Metro, all ages 11/29 Rocket from the Tombs @ Abbey Pub 11/29 Asylum Street Pranksters @ Schubas

C-UVENUES Assembly Hall First & Florida, Champaign, 333.5000 American Legion Post 24 705 W Bloomington Rd, Champaign, 356.5144 American Legion Post 71 107 N Broadway, Urbana, 367.3121 Barfly 120 N Neil, Champaign,352.9756 Barnes and Noble 51 E Marketview, Champaign, 355.2045 Boltini Lounge 211 N Neil, Champaign, 378.8001 Borders Books & Music 802 W Town Ctr, Champaign, 351.9011 The Brass Rail 15 E University, Champaign, 352.7512 Canopy Club (The Garden Grill) 708 S Goodwin, Urbana, 367.3140 C.O. Daniels 608 E Daniel, Champaign, 337.7411 Cosmopolitan Club 307 E John, Champaign, 367.3079 Courtyard Cafe Illini Union, 1401 W Green, Urbana, 333.4666 Cowboy Monkey 6 Taylor St, Champaign, 398.2688 Clybourne 706 S Sixth, Champaign, 383.1008 Curtis Orchard 3902 S Duncan Rd, Champaign, 359.5565 D.R. Diggers 604 S Country Fair Dr, Champaign, 356.0888 Embassy Tavern & Grill 114 S Race, Urbana, 384.9526 Esquire Lounge 106 N Walnut, Champaign, 398.5858 Fallon’s Ice House 703 N Prospect, Champaign, 398.5760 Fat City Saloon 505 S Chestnut, Champaign, 356.7100 The Great Impasta 114 W Church, Champaign, 359.7377 G.T.’s Western Bowl Francis Dr, Champaign, 359.1678 The Highdive 51 Main, Champaign, 359.4444 Huber’s 1312 W Church, Champaign, 352.0606 Illinois Disciples Foundation 610 E Springfield, Champaign, 352.8721 Independent Media Center 218 W Main St, Urbana, 344.8820 The Iron Post 120 S Race, Urbana, 337.7678 Joe’s Brewery 706 S Fifth, Champaign, 384.1790 Kam’s 618 E Daniel, Champaign, 328.1605 Krannert Art Museum 500 E Peabody, Champaign, 333.1861 Krannert Center for Performing Arts 500 S Goodwin, Urbana, Tickets: 333.6280, 800/KCPATIX La Casa Cultural Latina 1203 W Nevada, Urbana, 333.4950 Lava 1906 W Bradley, Champaign, 352.8714 Legends Bar & Grill 522 E Green, Champaign, 355.7674 Les’s Lounge 403 N Coler, Urbana, 328.4000 Lincoln Castle 209 S Broadway, Urbana, 344.7720 Malibu Bay Lounge North Route 45, Urbana, 328.7415 Mike & Molly’s 105 N Market, Champaign, 355.1236 Mulligan’s 604 N Cunningham, Urbana, 367.5888 Murphy’s 604 E Green, Champaign, 352.7275 Neil Street Pub 1505 N Neil, Champaign, 359.1601 Boardman’s Art Theater 126 W Church, Champaign, 351.0068 The Office 214 W Main, Urbana, 344.7608 Parkland College 2400 W Bradley, Champaign, 351.2528 Phoenix 215 S Neil, Champaign, 355.7866 Pia’s of Rantoul Route 136 E, Rantoul, 893.8244 Pink House Routes 49 & 150, Ogden, 582.9997 The Rainbow Coffeehouse 1203 W Green, Urbana, 766.9500

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music

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | WHATEVA. WHATEVA. I DO WHAT I WANT.

Pete Yorn’s laid-back, busy schedule

Starcourse’s fall lineup brings the singer-songwriter to Foellinger Auditorium BY LIZ MOZZOCCO | STAFF WRITER

P

ete Yorn does not like to sit still very long. Since the 2001 release of his first album, musicforthemorningafter, Yorn has been on the road quite a bit. In between his travels he found time to record a second album, Day I Forgot,

Pete Yorn comes to Urbana this Sunday.

score some tour dates with R.E.M. and work on tracks for a third album, due out sometime next spring or summer. But Yorn seems relatively unphased by all of this. He is soft-spoken and mellow, and he talks in a way that makes you believe that he takes everything in stride. “It’s great, but it’s weird,” Yorn says of life on the road. “It’s not a normal existence by any

means, but it’s a fun way to live. You’ve just styles and strengths Yorn knows well. He mentions that he played drums during a got to keep it in perspective.” Yorn has apparently found some sort of bal- jam session a few nights ago, resulting in a lot ance, because he’s out playing a lot, including of cuts and blisters but a good time. “I think the an appearance at drummer leads the Foellinger Auditorium parade as far as on Sunday night. where the music is “I like to play a going,” he says, show every night if I showing what can. You get to see so might be considered much of the country an unexpected prefand the world. Touring – Pete Yorn erence for a frontis how you bring the man. music to the people. I Yorn admits that don’t like music to live recording, like being on the road, has its in a vacuum or just on a record,” he says. Yorn has shared the stage with a variety of charms, perhaps the greatest of which is groups, at one point even doing an in-store unpredictability. “I love the prospect of going into the studio appearance with the likes of Bob Dylan and and creating the greatest song in the world. Patti Smith. He’s also opened up for Weezer, making a I’m not saying it will be that, but when you musical combination that seems like an odd start recording the first track, you never know match. Weezer fans are notoriously picky how important the song will become.” Maybe he hasn’t written the greatest song in about who is associated with their favorite band; they’ve gone so far as to boo an opening the world yet, but he has had quite a bit of act they didn’t like off the stage as well as the luck. Both of his albums have had their share tour. Yorn doesn’t remember any problems, of hits. “For Nancy” and “Life on a Chain” got him noticed early on, and more recently, though. “I think people are always polite. I’ve never “Come Back Home” has been making its way across the airwaves. gotten anything thrown at me,” he chuckles. You won’t see Yorn pondering it too much, In fact, he goes so far as to say that he’s never had troubles with any of the other musi- though. He admits that getting recognized is strange, but he doesn’t seem to mind. cians he’s toured with. “It’s weird that people know who you are,” “It’s never been a bad experience. The Foo Fighters tour was really fun, hanging out and he says. “I’ll be walking down the street and playing with those guys.” Yorn adds that his someone will say hello, and I’m like, oh shit, favorite tourmates are the ones that put on a how do I know this person? Then I realize that show that you can go out and watch every I don’t. It’s not a bad thing, I just get caught off guard by it sometimes.” night without being bored. It’s the sort of nonchalant attitude that His relaxed attitude is anything but surprising when you listen to his songs. They’ve got comes with having no regrets over choosing a an acoustic, alt-country sort of feel. And life as a musician. Although Yorn had been although Yorn knows how to write a catchy involved in music for a long time, he says he melody, his songs often have an element of didn’t start thinking seriously about a profesroughness, perhaps because he’s done all his sional career in music until his early 20s. “I thought, there’s no way I could be that recording in his friend’s garage. He made musicforthemorningafter in that lucky that I could just do music for the rest of garage, although he probably didn’t have to. my life.” He pauses. “But I didn’t want to be 30 So what is the appeal of at-home production? thinking ‘I should have tried that music thing.’ Yorn says that it was more fun to make music I’m really happy that I did.” buzz at a friend’s house, outside of the stuffiness of a professional recording studio. “It suited my mentality at the time,” he says. Pete Yorn will perform at Foellinger Auditorium on “I didn’t want the pressure of knowing that I’d Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 for students and $24 for the public. be paying $2,000 a day for a studio.” Yorn also played many of the instruments on his albums himself. “It’s fun for me, but we did it mostly out of convenience.” On the road, Seth Fein’s column, The Mendoza Music Line, will however, he’s more than just a one-man band. return next week. In the meantime, you can Yorn’s backing band, Dirty Bird, is a “revolvcontact Seth by e-mail at sethfein@readbuzz.com ing door of old friends”—musicians whose

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Touring is how you bring the music to the people. I don’t like music to live in a vacuum or just on a record

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OOPS I CRAPPED MY PANTS | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 buzz

bookreview

The Sandman: Endless Nights ★★★★

Neil Gaiman

BY BRIAN WARMOTH | STAFF WRITER What Neil Gaiman brought to comic books in December 1988 was nothing short of a revolution for the entire industry, setting a new bar for what a monthly series could be. The Sandman, Gaiman’s creation and the flagship title for DC Comics’ alternative Vertigo line, led the way for graphic literature to take its fair claim as the literary medium that it has become. The stories he told back during his 75issue run on the book were centered around a group of seven godlike figures referred to as “the Endless”—siblings bearing the names Dream, Death, Destruction, Delirium, Desire, Destiny and Despair. His stories, some as epic in scope as the Narnia Chronicles and others reminiscent of quainter Grimms’ fairy tales, included themes and references from ancient mythology, as well as Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll. The Sandman: Endless Nights, Gaiman’s new graphic novel, marks his return to writing the mythological universe that he created in that

series and left seven years ago in order to dedicate more time to his books, including his Hugo award-winning work American Gods and his internationally best-selling children’s novel Coraline. Endless Nights is set up as seven graphic novellettes, each focused around one of the Endless (named accordingly as Death, Desire, etc.). As Gaiman states in his introduction, the Endless should not be read as gods; they will only exist as long as there are people to live, dream and destroy. They are personifications of various aspects of life, and this is the attitude that one must take when reading The Sandman. Otherwise the stories come across as far too abstract. The stories in Endless Nights are each drawn and inked by one of Gaiman’s seven hand-picked internationally renowned artists. The diversity in artistic style from story to story, though it makes for a very episodic reading experience, allows each chapter to stand on its own. Gaiman utilizes their varying techniques to the fullest, creating a moving series of vignettes in his “Fifteen Portraits of Despair,” designed and illustrated by the team of Dave McKean and Barron Storey. Here, the author switches gears into his award-winning

Experience the joy of shopping in a real art supply store! No baskets, beads, dried-flowers, or over-priced textbooks sold here. Just central illinois’ best selection of fine art supplies at everyday discount prices. Brought to you by people who really know how to use them

prose to relate 15 slices of life in scenes ranging from a secretary’s office to a bishop being accused of child molestation to a struggling writer at a loss for inspiration. In “Going Inside”—Gaiman’s “Delirium” story for the book—the reader is as fully immersed in the artwork of Bill Sienkiewicz as in the text. Almost every panel of the story switches artistic styles and in some cases mediums as well. The discomfort evoked by this mechanism is masterfully paired with haunting words to draw the reader inside the mind of a girl driven to insanity after having been raped. While most of the stories in Endless Nights read more as works of fantasy—and in at least one case science fiction—each of them appears close to real life, exploring the natural reactions of its particular subject. Gaiman’s themes depict thoughts that keep a person up at night, unable to fall asleep. He has proved with this graphic novel that his hiatus from The Sandman has not left him cold as a storyteller within the medium. In fact, if anything, he has come back with the full heat and passion that the book once carried.

Amasong continued from page 7 The choir, which was once created as a safe place for lesbians and feminists, wants to be known more for music than politics. They also would like the community to know that though Boerger was a hugely positive influence, there is still a general spirit of good will within the choir. “The part (of Amasong) that has changed is that charisma that belonged to Kristina and is no longer a part of the day to day. (But) those who have stayed in the chorus still feel the “vibes” and I have been told by new members that they get the sense of belonging that doesn’t exist in other groups,” Spegal said. Boerger is currently living in New York and teaching music history at Barnard College. She also directs a choir that does not have any direct lesbian or feminist affiliations. “What I miss about Amasong is that it was a group that I created in my own image. I did not have to retrain anyone or “unteach” something someone else had taught them,” said Boerger. Though that image still resonates with the shades of her influence, Boerger realizes that Amasong has become an entity of its own. “I’ve released my expectations for it. It isn’t mine anymore. It’s in the hands of another,” she said. buzz

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OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | WANT TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED ON OUR CALENDAR? Send your listings to calendar@readbuzz.com

Red Herring/Channing-Murray Foundation 1209 W Oregon, Urbana, 344.1176 Rose Bowl Tavern 106 N Race, Urbana, 367.7031 Springer Cultural Center 301 N Randolph, Champaign, 355.1406 Spurlock Museum 600 S Gregory, Urbana, 333.2360 Strawberry Fields Cafe 306 W Springfield, Urbana, 328.1655 Ten Thousand Villages 105 N Walnut, Champaign, 352.8938 TK Wendl’s 1901 S Highcross Rd, Urbana, 255.5328 Tommy G’s 123 S. Mattis Ave., Country Fair Shopping Center, 359.2177 Tonic 619 S Wright, Champaign, 356.6768 Two Main 2 Main, Champaign, 359.3148 University YMCA 1001 S Wright, Champaign, 344.0721 Verde/Verdant 17 E Taylor St, Champaign, 366.3204 Virginia Theatre 203 W Park Ave, Champaign, 356.9053 White Horse Inn 112 1/2 E Green, Champaign, 352.5945 Zorba’s 627 E Green, Champaign

CHICAGOVENUES House of Blues 329 N Dearborn, Chicago, 312.923.2000 The Bottom Lounge 3206 N Wilton, Chicago Congress Theatre 2135 N Milwaukee, 312.923.2000 Vic Theatre 3145 N Sheffield, Chicago, 773.472.0449 Metro 3730 N Clark St, Chicago, 773.549.0203 Elbo Room 2871 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago Park West 322 W Armitage, Chicago, 773.929.1322 Riviera Theatre 4746 N Racine at Lawerence, Chicago Allstate Arena 6920 N Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, 847.635.6601 Arie Crown Theatre 2300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, 312.791.6000 UIC Pavilion 1150 W Harrison, Chicago, 312.413.5700 Schubas 3159 N Southport, Chicago, 773.525.2508 Martyrs 3855 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, 773.288.4545 Aragon 1106 W Lawerence, Chicago, 773.561.9500 Abbey Pub 3420 W Grace, Chicago, 773.478.4408 Fireside Bowl 2646 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, 773.486.2700 Schubert Theatre 22 W Monroe, Chicago, 312.977.1700

ART LISTINGS Workshop – Register now to join artist-instructor Sandra Ahten for "Drawing More" a one day workshop held on Oct 25 to inspire you to dust off your sketch pad. Call (217) 367-6345 or email spiritofsandra@hotmail.com to register. High Cross Studio. 1101 N High Cross Road. Portraits – Award winning portrait artist Sandra Ahten is currently accepting commissions for portraits for holiday giving. Portraits are priced at an affordable range and professional exchange or barter may be accepted. For examples of work and a quote, contact Sandra Ahten at (217) 367-6345 or spiritofsandra@hotmail.com

Owned and operated by local artists since 1971 mon-wed 9-9 fri & sat 10-6 sun 12-5 410 e. green st. champaign 352-4562 free parking beneath the building, enter from 5th street

bring in this ad and receive 10% off your next purchase of any non-sale items

Creation Art Studio Art Classes for Children and Adults – All classes offer technical instruction and the exploration of materials through expressive, spontaneous art and experimentation. Independent studies of personal interests and ideas, dreams, etc. are expressed and developed through collage and assemblage art and through drawing, painting, sculpture and ceramics. Children meet Mon-Thu from 3:30-5pm, and Sat 11am-12:30pm. Adolescents meet Fri 4-5:30pm. Adults meet Thu at 10am and Sat between 1:30-5:30pm for two or more hours. Create designs, a still life, portraits, landscapes and more. Open to beginners and advanced students. Adult Open Studio meets Tue 7-9pm. Drop-ins welcome. Come with a friend. Call to make spe-

cial arrangements for a group. CPDU's offered. For information, contact Jeannine Bestoso at 344-6955. Creation Art Studio is located at 1102 E Washington, Urbana. www.creationartstudios.com Join Artists and Workshops at Gallery Virtu – Gallery Virtu, an artist-owned cooperative, now invites applications from area artists. The Gallery also offers workshops for adults, teens and children in knitting, embroidery, photography, jewelry making, printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding and ribbon flowers. Gallery Virtu offers original works by the members including: jewelry, pottery, collages, sculptures, journals, hats, handbags and other textiles. For more information please call 762-7790, visit our website at www.galleryvirtu.org, e-mail workshops@galleryvirtu.org or visit the gallery. Regular hours: Thu 12-4pm, Fri 12-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm. 220 W Washington Street in Monticello. Art Classes at High Cross Studio – All classes are held at High Cross Studio in Urbana. 1101 N High Cross Road. Email or call for reservations and details. (217) 367-6345 or spiritofsandra@hotmail.com. “Portrait Paintings with Oils” – This course will provide instruction in painting portraits from photographs. Paint a portrait of your loved one or yourself. Mon-Fri daytime class and weekend workshop offered. "Collage for the Soul" – Students will learn a variety of collage techniques, including photo and photocopy transfer, papermaking and manipulation, and frontage, while exploring a particular subject, such as a place, a memory, an experience or a relationship. No art-making experience necessary. "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" – For adults who have always wanted to learn to draw, but felt as if they lacked talent or confidence. Other Classes: “Making Monoprints,”“Art With Intention” (Open Studio). For information on these visit www.spiritofsandra.com and click on "classes," then e-mail or call for reservations.

ART GALLERIES & EXHIBITS Boneyard Pottery – Ceramic Art by Michael Schwegmann and more. 403 Water St, Champaign. (217) 355-5610. TueSat 11am-5pm.

Broken Oak Gallery – Local and national artists. Original art including photography, watercolors, pottery, oil paintings, colored pencil, woodturning and more. Refreshments served by the garden all day Saturday. 1865 N 1225 E Rd., White Heath. (217) 762-4907. Thu-Sat 10am-4pm. Cinema Galley – Local and regional artists including many University of Illinois and Parkland College faculty members. 120 W Main, Urbana. (217) 367-3711. Tue-Sat 10am4pm. Sun 1-5pm. Cafe Kopi – Oil paintings and various works from local artist Paula McCarty on display through Oct. 109 N Walnut, Champaign. (217) 359-4266. Mon-Thu 7am-11pm, Fri-Sat 7am-12pm, Sun 11am-8pm. Creation Art Studios – Hosts a continuous and evolving display of works by students and associates of the studio. Landscapes, florals, animal life and expressive art in various mediums by Jeannine Bestoso are also currently on display. For information, contact Jeannine Bestoso. 1102 E Washington St., Urbana. (217) 344-6955. Tue-Sat 1-5:30pm; and scheduled studio sessions. www.creationartstudios.com Country in the City – Antiques, Architectural, Gardening, Home Accessories. Custom designing available. 1104 E Washington St., Urbana. (217) 367-2367. Thu-Sat 10am5pm. Framer's Market – Frame Designers since 1981. Current featured artists: Charlotte Brady - Botanical Watercolors, Barry Brehm - Landscape Photography, Larry Hamlin - Aquatint Etchings, Patrick Harness - Vibrant Oils and Pastels, Hua Nian - Abstract Watercolors & Pastels, David Smith Original Acrylic Landscapes, Cindy Smith - Stone & Wood Sculpture, Bill Stevens - Humorous Recycled Metal Sculptures, Steve Stoerger - Steel & Glass Sculpture, Bonnie Switzer - Abstract Acrylic Paintings. 807 W Springfield Ave, Champaign. (217) 351-7020. Tue-Fri 9:30am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-4pm.

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WANT TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED ON OUR CALENDAR? Send your listings to calendar@readbuzz.com | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

Furniture Lounge – Local artist Dean Schwenk along with many other local and fine artwork/pottery. Also specializing in mid-century modern furniture from the 1920s1980s, retro, Danish modern, lighting, vintage stereo equipment and vinyl records. 9 E University, Champaign. (217) 352-5150. Sun-Mon 12-4:30pm, Wed-Sat 11am5:30pm. Gallery Virtu Cooperative – Original fine art and crafts from member artists including jewelry, pottery, paintings, collages, hats, handbags and other textiles, sculptures and journals. The Gallery also offers workshops; a new schedule of classes is on the website. 220 W Washington St, Monticello. (217) 762-7790. Thu 12-4pm, Fri 12-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm. www.galleryvirtu.org Glass FX – New and Antique Stained Glass Windows, Lamps, and unique glass gifts. Gallery is free and open to the public. Interested in learning the art of Stained Glass? Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Stained Glass Classes offered. 202 S First St, Champaign. Mon-Thu 10am5:30pm, Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 9am-4pm. (217) 359-0048. www.glassfx.com. Griggs Street Potters – Handmade functional and decorative pottery. 305 W Grigg St, Urbana. (217) 344-8546. MonFri 11am-4pm, or call for appointment. The High Cross Studio Gallery – Works by Sandra Ahtens on display. Artist studio space available. 1101 N High Cross Rd, Urbana. Tue 7-9pm, Thu 3-5pm, Fri 3-5pm and by chance or appointment. spiritofsandra@hotmail.com Hill Street Gallery Inc. – Oil and watercolor paintings, hand painted T-shirts, handmade jewelry. 703 W Hill, Champaign. (217) 359-0675. Sat 12-5pm or by appointment during the week. International Galleries – Works from local artists. Lincoln Square Mall. (217) 328-2254. Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am6pm, Sun 12-5pm. Larry Kanfer Gallery – University of Illinois images by photographic artist Larry Kanfer. Unique diploma frames and other UI gifts. Sepia Champaign-Urbana Collection also on display. Available now: 2004 Prairiescapes and University of Illinois calendars. 2503 S Neil, Champaign. (217) 3982000. Free and Open to the Public. Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm. www.kanfer.com LaPayne Photography – Specializes in panoramic photography up to 6 feet long of different subjects including sporting events, city skylines, national parks and University of Illinois scenes. Las Vegas Strip photo show coming soon. 816 Dennison Dr, Champaign. (217) 356-8994. MonFri 9am-4pm and by appointment. Old Vic Art Gallery – Fine and Original Art. 11 E University, Champaign. (217) 355-8338. Mon-Thu 11am-5:30pm, Sat 11am-4:30pm. Springer Cultural Center – Cultural, recreational and educational programs for all ages as well as workshops, lectures, exhibits and performances. Offers classes in dance, music, theater, visual arts, health/wellness and for preschool children. 301 N Randolph St, Champaign. 398-2376. Mon-Thu 8am-9pm, Fri 8am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. www.champaignparkdistrict.com Steeple Gallery – Works from Gary Ingersoll, including many Allerton Park photos on display. Also showing vintage botanical and bird prints, antiques, framed limited edition prints. 102 E Lafayette St., Monticello. 762-2924.

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Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm. www.steeplegallery.com Verdant News and Coffee & Verde Gallery – Magazines, newspapers, coffee, beverages and fine pastries along with the Verde Fine Art Gallery. 17 E Taylor St, Champaign. 3663204. Cafe hours: Mon-Sat 7am-10 pm; Gallery Hours: TueSat 10am-10pm. www.verdant-systems.com/Verde.htm UIUC Japan House – Public Tours: Every Thursday, 1-4pm, Third Sat of each month, 1-5pm or by appointment. 2000 S Lincoln Ave, Urbana. (217) 244-9934. email japanhouse@uiuc.edu. Ziemer Gallery – Original paintings and limited edition prints by Larry Ziemer. Pottery, weavings, wood turning and glass works by other artists. Gallery visitors are welcome to sit, relax, listen to the music and just enjoy being surrounded by art. 210 W Washington, Monticello. Tue 10am-8pm, Wed-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm. www.ziemergallery.com

ART-OPENING “Trio” – Paintings by Dylan DeWitt and Milena Tiner and ceramics by Tyler Bergfield on display at the Springer Cultural Center from Oct 22-Nov 16. Opening reception featuring live music from Jordan Kaye Oct 24, 6-8pm. Artists’ talk, 7pm. This is a free event. Springer Cultural Center. 301 N Randolph, Champaign. Gallery Hours: MonFri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm. 398-2376. “Affixed” – Sixteen local artists display their work in a juried art show at High-Cross Studio Oct 17-31. Entries range from 3D work such as Goddess alters and original dolls to photomontage and torn paper collage art. Opening reception on Oct 17 from 7-9pm at High-Cross Studio. 1001 High Cross Road, Urbana. Gallery hours: Tue-Sun 10-4pm. 367-6345. spiritofsandra@hotmail.com “Bulbs” – Pastel and collage series from Deeana Love on display at High Cross Studio Oct 17-31. Opening reception on Oct 17 from 7-9pm at High-Cross Studio. 1001 High Cross Road, Urbana. Gallery hours: Tue-Sun 10-4pm. 3676345. spiritofsandra@hotmail.com

ART-ON VIEW NOW “Colors of Islam” – In conjunction with Islam Awareness Week, the Muslim Students Association is cosponsoring an art show at the Illini Union Art Gallery until Nov 3. 1401 W Green, Urbana. Open every day 7am-10pm. “First Annual Midwest Sequential Art Exhibition” – The Middle Room Gallery hosts an exhibition of comic and sequential art talent from the Midwest. Ranging in visual and narrative style from political to fantasy, from Japanese Manga to the familiar super-heroic conventions, this show will help shine a light on one of the most misunderstood and overlooked art forms today. Artists include Pam Bliss, Tim Broderick, Jacen Burrows, Darrin Drda, Brion Foulke, Hope Larson, Layla Lawler, Dirk Tiede, Dann Tincher, Charlie "Spike" Trotman. On View at the Middle Room Gallery through Oct 31. 218 W Main St, Urbana. http://www.gallery.ucimc.org/ “Whistler and Japonisme: Selections from the Permanent Collection” – Marking the 100th anniversary of James McNeill Whistler’s death, this exhibition highlights his works on paper and examines the influence that Japanese woodcuts had on his artistic technique. On display at the Krannert Art Museum through March 28, 2004. 500 E Peabody, Urbana. Tue, Thu-Sat 9am-5pm, Wed 9am8pm, Sun 2-5pm. (217) 333-1860. Suggested Donation: $3

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Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Andres Serrano and many others. On display at Krannert Art Museum through Nov 2. 500 E Peabody, Urbana. Tue, Thu-Sat 9am-5pm, Wed 9am8pm, Sun 2-5pm. (217) 333-1860. Suggested Donation: $3 Featured Works XIII: "The Spirit of Mediterranean Pathos: The Early Work of Pierre Daura" – Pierre Daura (18961976) was a member of significant modern art movements in the early 20th century. This exhibition highlights a recent gift of works by Daura and explores the forms and colors of his paintings and drawings from about 1910 to the late 1930s. On display at Krannert Art Museum through Nov 2. 500 E Peabody, Urbana. Tue, Thu-Sat. 9am5pm, Wed 9am-8pm, Sun 2-5pm. (217) 333-1860. Suggested Donation: $3 “Separate and Unequal: Segregation and Three Generations of Black Response, 1870-1950.” – This exhibit highlights the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision of 1896, which legally sanctioned racial segregation in the United States until 1954 when the Supreme Court overturned Plessy in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. Materials from the Library's collections and archives highlight the historical period between these two landmark civil rights cases. Sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, the Brown v. Board of Education Commemorative Committee and the University of Illinois Library. On view at the University of Illinois Main Library, first floor hallway, during library hours. 1408 W Gregory Drive, Urbana. Hours vary. 333-2290. www.oc.uiuc.edu/brown “Through Larry Kanfer’s Lens: From Prariescapes to Cityscapes” – The latest exhibit of photographic artwork by critically acclaimed fine-art photographic artist, Larry Kanfer, features "visually stunning Prairiescapes up to 8 feet wide. Contemplate the vast grandeur of America's heartland, with its rich traditions and seasonal cycles of the prairie, juxtaposed against images of Midwest cityscapes, highlighting intimate architectural details. On display at the Lark Kanfer Gallery through Oct 24. 2503 S Neil, Champaign. (217) 398-2000. Free and Open to the Public. Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm. www.kanfer.com

THEATER LISTINGS Elysium on the Prairie, Live Action Roleplaying – Vampires stalk the city streets and struggle for dominance in a world of gothic horror. Create your own character and mingle with dozens of players who portray their own undead alter egos. Each session is another chapter in an ongoing story of triumph, tragedy and betrayal. Friday, “Vampire: The Masquerade” For more information visit: http://ww2.uiuc.edu/ro/elysium/intro.html. Check site for location, 7pm.

MIND BODY SPIRIT Sunday Zen Meditation Meeting – Prairie Zen Center, 515 S Prospect, Champaign, NW corner Prospect & Green, enter thru door from parking area. Introduction to Zen Sitting, 10 AM; Full Schedule: Service at 9 followed by sitting, Dharma Talk at 11 followed by tea until about 12 noon. Can arrive at any of above times, open to all, no experience needed, no cost. For info call 355-8835 or www.prairiezen.org Prairie Sangha for Mindfullness Meditation – Monday evenings from 7:30-9pm and monthly retreats on Sunday. Theravadan (Vipassana) and Tibetan (Vjrayana & Dzogchen) meditation practice. Meets in Urbana. More information call or email Tom at 356-7413 or shayir@soltec.net. www.prairiesangha.org

"Remnants of Ritual: Selections from the Gelbard Collection of African Art" – The magnificent African art collection of David and Clifford Gelbard focuses on the cultural significance and aesthetic beauty of masks and sculptures - many of which were created for ceremonial and ritual purposes. This exhibition includes a wide array of objects and celebrates the durable, expressive essence of festivals, rites and coming-of-age ceremonies. On display at the Krannert Art Museum through Oct 26. 500 E Peabody, Urbana. Tue, Thu-Sat 9am-5pm, Wed 9am-8pm, Sun 2-5pm. (217) 333-1860. Suggested Donation: $3

Clear Sky Zen Group – Meets on Thursday evenings in the Geneva Room of the McKinley Foundation. Newcomers to meditation and people of all traditions and faiths are welcome – McKinley Foundation, 809 S Fifth St, 6:25-9pm

"Visualizing the Blues: Images of the American South, 1862-1999" – Every picture tells a story and this exhibition of more than 100 photographs of the Mississippi Delta region portrays a profoundly vivid narrative of life in the American South. These photographs, taken from the Civil War era through 1999, show the rhythms of life from this almost mythic region and powerfully document the sources of inspiration for the lyrics and melodies of blues musicians. Among the photographers represented are

Artist’s Way Group – A 12-week adventure in recovering and celebrating our creative spirit. Wednesdays, Sept 17Dec 17 (no session Nov 26) from 5:45-7:15pm at McKinley Foundation (free parking). To register or for more information, contact Jo Pauly, MSW, Whole Life Coach at (217) 3377823 or jopauly@prairienet.org.

Formerly-Fat Persons’ Support Group – Free social meeting every Saturday at 2pm at Aroma Cafe, 118 N Neil St, C. For more information contact Jessica Watson at 353-4934.

WORKSHOPS

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OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | HAHA THIS SENTENCE IS GREAT!

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Station Theatre welcomes back old pro BY ELLIOT KOLKOVICH | EDITORIAL ADVISOR

time for someone who normally does three to everything, and had the wedding at her house six shows a year and who has been acting on a very hot July 14. In 1983, Gary and Barbara they moved to there for almost 30 years. Ambler grew up in Broadlands a small Massachusetts and Gary took a job in public town about 30 miles south of Champaign. Just radio with the University of Massachusetts. Part of the reason to go before high school, he out there was to give got interested in theacting a shot. They atre. His parents used loved Amherst, which to take him and his was close to where they sister and two brothlived and had a lot of ers to The Little acting opportunities, Theatre on the Square but he and Barbara in Sullivan, Ill. In high found the area was school, he did whatevtight knit and he coulder plays were offered, n’t find a way to break but since the high Gary Ambler, actor in. Amherst was also school was small, home to five colleges, which meant most of the there was only one production a year. In 1975 he graduated from Eastern Illinois acting opportunities were for students only, and University, moved to Champaign and took a there was no real town outside of the colleges. After four years, he, his wife and their new job in civil services at the University of Illinois. He didn’t plan on staying in son Sam started to get lonely. They decided they Champaign that long, but started auditioning wanted Sam to live closer to the rest of his famfor plays at the then relatively new Station ily, so they moved back to Champaign-Urbana. He has been here since and has worked as Theatre. He married Barbara, also an actress in 1980, an admissions officer in the Architecture after Karma Ibsen proposed to them. Barbara Graduate program at the University of Illinois and Gary were at Grunt’s a bar that Karma for about 10 years. In January 2002 he was in American Buffalo worked at when Karma came up and proposed marriage to them. Karma took care of at the Station Theatre, his last show there.

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am comes into the room, a rather dingy basement in an upscale restaurant in New York. He’s tired. He looks at the ringing phones on the desk. He slides his worn brown leather satchel off his right shoulder, across the black nylon sleeve of his jacket. He sets it down on the chair against the back wall. Then, moving his cup of coffee from one hand to the other, he takes his jacket off and sets it on top of his satchel. He slowly walks up to the desk. He sighs, grabs the headset off the desk, puts it on his head and tucks the end of the cord into the front left pocket of his jeans. “Good morning, reservations, could you hold, please?” he says to Mrs. Vandevere, a rich Park Avenue woman who sounds like a soft-spoken Katherine Hepburn. In the next couple of minutes, Sam repeats his greeting six times to the Sheik’s right hand man; Mrs. Winslow, a middle-aged Southern belle; Bryce, an overly flamboyant assistant to model Naomi Campbell; a plain-voiced Midwestern secretary; and the nasally New York regular Carolann Rosenstein-Fishburn. He takes care of the various needs eventually—one wants special lighting, one wants to know the menu, one wants a particular table, etc. Over the next 50 minutes, Sam balances the ringing phone that sits at the top left of his desk, the buzzer that goes straight to Stephanie, a hostess upstairs, and the “bat phone” on the wall to his right that connects directly to the chef. He has 47 separate phone calls to answer, including Stephanie and the chef buzzing in, and he has talked to 23 different people in the time since he first walked into the room. About 50 minutes after he walked in, a very depressed secretary waits on a line, Sam switches on and says, “Ma’am? The chef’s in a meeting but I’ll have him call you as soon as he’s—” The line goes dead, and a new voice breaks the silence. “Okay, that’s about halfway,” says Karma Ibsen, the director of Fully Committed, the play that Sam is the main character in. Gary Ambler, the man who plays Sam, slumps his shoulders and sighs heavily. “Now kill me,” he says. Ambler also plays the 23 other characters Sam has been talking to over the phone. Fully Committed is a one-man show that will open tonight at the Station Theatre in Urbana. It’s a little under an hour and a half, but Gary Ambler will be on stage nearly all of the time, playing every character in the play. The only lines Ambler doesn’t have is when a voicemail recording plays. This is Ambler’s first play at the Station Theatre in almost two years, a long

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I remember having one minute of lucid thought, and I just started making noises. The next thing I remember, the paramedics were shouting at me

[

PHOTO | ELLIOT KOLKOVICH

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Gary Ambler is now performing his one man show at Station Theater in Urbana

That summer he was in The Caretaker with Faces Like Swords, a new Chicago Theatre company, at the Chopin Theatre. On Saturday July 27 of last year during The Caretaker’s run, he went out with some friends after the show. He had a couple beers and then went to take the L home by himself at about 2:30 a.m. He got off the train and started walking to where he was staying. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was being followed by four young men. There was a man in front of him who noticed and shouted, “Run,” before ducking down. Ambler was walking north down Austin Boulevard, then he turned left down Jackson Boulevard. “I went up to the first house I saw, and walked up to it like it was mine,” he said. The four men followed him to the house. Two walked up the steps to the door Ambler was standing in front of. They asked him if this was his house. “Yeah,” he said. Then they asked for his wallet and his cell phone. The taller of the two took the phone and the shorter one took the wallet. They started down the steps, but before they left, one turned and pulled out a gun Gary thought looked like a toy. continued on page 27


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arts

THIS IS THE FUNNY LINE | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 buzz

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ARTIST’S CORNER

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arry Kanfer, is the owner of his self-titled photography gallery. He’s originally from Portland, Oregon, but moved to Urbana during his high school years. He opened up The Larry Kanfer Gallery in the city. Not only does he have works in Urbana, but also Kanfer’s work is exhibited across the United States. According to the gallery’s Web site, Kanfer.com, he has also published five critically acclaimed books and has had award-winning art calendars for the past 12 years. Some of which includes his extensive collection of University of Illinois images, books, and postcards. What inspired you to open a photography gallery? I was looking for a venue for showing my work, but at the time there were not too many places in Champaign-Urbana where I could display personal work. So, I just decided to open my own place. I started off doing portraits for weddings and other landscape proj-

Remnants of Ritual BY BRIAN WARMOTH | STAFF WRITER

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piece of art exists at any given point in time as a product of the process or processes that have created it. Exploring and celebrating this fact is the core of the Krannert Art Museum’s current exhibit, “Remnants of Ritual: Selections from the Gelbard Collection of African Art.” The display consists of 117 historical artifacts from all over the African continent on loan from the private collection of David and Clifford Gelbard. The pieces range from carved statues to masks and chairs; all of the pieces, however, have one underlying commonality: roles in ceremony and ritual from the people who created them. As Michael Conner, a curator of collections at the museum, points out, visitors to the display are given an “unusual experience” to see all of these pieces simultaneously. Together, they are a set of windows into life as far as 100 years into the past and separated from us by oceans. He points out that these remnants are not necessarily representative of Africa today, but of their respective rituals and ways of life when they were produced. At first glance, one will see that faces and figures are pervasive subjects throughout the exhibit. Conner says that most of the depictions are of revered family members and

ects and when I found a location, I just opened it up. What type of themes do you try to mainly deal with in terms of your photography? I just really want to show how people connect to their landscapes. People have a way into which they connect with photographs. It may be a corner store, or a tree on a hill. I just try to understand how they connect with it. It doesn’t even matter where I am, as long as I can see how people connect with their landscapes, and physical locations, I can work fine. What is the most recent project that you’ve worked on? I was at an art conference in BloomingtonNormal, where I discussed the topic, “Ephemeral Moments in Enduring

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Landscape: Cycles of the Prairie and it’s People. I described how people’s spirituality connects to the landscapes. It’s like an intersection of people’s cycles and their moments. What piece proudest of?

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KILL BILL: VOLUME ONE ★★★★

you

It would have to be my newer works. “Full Circle” embodies the connection of farmers. Farmers work hard all year and I basically give a description of how they work. The sun comes up and the whole agricultural process becomes aligned. I made that into one image. I’m just lucky to do something I love doing. It just feels good to have an emotional effect that draws people into a memory about their own past. It’s rewarding to be an outsider looking in on both worlds, and becoming part of both those worlds. It’s exciting.

BY MATT PAIS | LEAD REVIEWER

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ure, those opening scenes of Reservoir Dogs were money, but Quentin Tarantino’s learned a few things in the 11 years since his hip, violent debut. Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown further developed the director’s taste for the anarchic bravado of nonchronological structure, but with Kill Bill: Volume One, the gonzo filmmaker reinforces that he must have sleeves a mile long to hold all of his tricks. Kill Bill: Volume One reveals its cards distinctly more than the off-kilter, where-the-hell-isthis-going intoxication of Pulp Fiction, but to no lesser effect. After all, the title explains the film’s plot: the Bride (Uma Thurman), a former assassin, seeks revenge on her mentor, Bill, and the rest of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DiVAS), which killed her entire wedding party except for her. Tarantino provides exposition for all of his villains but nothing

Full Circle, as well as Larry’s current show, Through Larry Kanfer’s Lens: From Prairiescapes to Cityscapes can be seen through Oct. 24, as apart of Illinois Arts Week. The Larry Kanfer Gallery is located 2503 S. Neil St, and free to the public, M-Sat: 10-5 and Sun 11-3.

important spirits, as is the case with most of was created. It is particularly rare because most figures of its kind the hanging masks. There is a great deal of aesthetic diversity were disposed of shortly after use. Framed as an exposition of artiamong the works, evident in the case of the masks that hang around the room. Some are facts having value for the roles adorned with elaborate bead patterns or they were created for, “Remnants of Ritual” opens incredibly realistic facial up two dimenexpressions, while othsions for appreers—such as a dance crest ciating its from Nigeria—have works—both prominent and elaborate aesthetically as protrusions with jutting well as for the teeth. In another cultural factors Nigerian mask on disthat produced play, the entire lower jaw them. In is extended and tendrils Connor’s words, extend from the head— “Contemporary meant to capture artists now are strength, violence and concerned with bravery. processes and One of the most promiperformance.” nent pieces is a carved The converse statue of a young female is true of these being prepared for a works, given birthing ritual. According their representato Conner, the girl was tion of the probably a didactic tool worlds they once for teaching the ritual existed in. The process. The initiate is layout of the depicted as protected by Mask from Igbo, Nigeria made from wood, iron, pigments. exhibit strives to the buffalo spirit, who is represent this through a lost; therein lies their value as artifacts and as represented by a white short video, which presents works of art. buzz mask with bovine teeth. several of them in their perThe statue serves as a formance contexts. remnant of an aspect of Shrine object from Undetermined group, Eastern Tanzania Remnants of Ritual will be shown at Unfortunately, many of their her people’s culture in made of wood, beads, calabash, cloth, contexts have been forever Krannert Art Museum until November 2. Yao, Malawi, where it and sacrificial material.

moviereview

BUFFALO SOLDIERS ★★★ BY JASON CANTONE | ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

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PHOTOS | ADAM YOUNG

BY TERESA SEWELL | STAFF WRITER

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OCTOBER 16-22, 2003| WANT TO SEE BLOOD SPURT LIKE OUT OF A FIRE HYDRANT?

merican soldiers can be murderers, liars, cheats and robbers. They can have the morality of pond scum. To say that isn’t to be anti-American. Instead, it only verifies that soldiers, in fact, are people too, and are just as likely to have faults as the average Joe Schmo who watches war through televised reports. With Buffalo Soldiers, Miramax Films continues its controversial season, showcasing intelligent films loathed by the parties in them. First came The Magdalene Sisters, which religious leaders labeled as anti-Catholic because it depicted a true story of how the Catholic Church used thousands of women as laundry slaves at a particular convent. Now comes Buffalo Soldiers, which pushed its release back two years because these soldiers aren’t heroes. Buffalo Soldiers isn’t meant to be a political film about Germany in the early 1990s, when the film is set. Nor is it intended to be a Shakespearean morality play about the trials and tribulations of the U.S. military. Instead, it’s a biting satire filled with black comedy that highlights the absurdity of everything going

about the bride a.k.a. Black Mamba; all the audience knows of her life is who she wants to kill and why. He again divides the story into interlocking, jumbled chapters, but this time he takes his episodic, atypical structure to new heights, opting to release Volume Two in February. Kill Bill: Volume One’s furious, stylistic energy is fueled by old-fashioned Japanese fight scenes and Tarantino’s special blend of twisted dark comedy, especially in a gloriously gruesome anime sequence. This is an extraordinarily absorbing tale of blood-soaked retribution, and while the film is cut in an appropriate place, it will make viewers want to stay seated and demand to see Volume Two now. As a writer and director, Tarantino cares so little for Hollywood custom that, if he weren’t so damn inventive, it might seem his films deliberately and self-consciously turn their backs on audience expectations. But his relentless creativity and selfish commitment to artistic impudence redeem his equally strong pretension. He scatters his films’ chronology like a deck of cards emptied on the floor, and once again, Kill Bill adds up to much more than it would were it tightly linear. With his own confident restlessness and a punchy, varying soundtrack featuring original music, Tarantino delivers a balls-to-the-wall genre picture with more than just good asskicking. This is filmmaking that acknowledges the best sources of its inspiration and still pushes to be better, questioning why a snide, cocky on. Specialist Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes the base’s black-market king, which should not surprise the military because the only reason he joined was to avoid six months in jail following an arrest, though he states that this might not have been the right choice. Throughout the film, he deals with producing illegal drugs, stealing weapons and having sex with both his colonel’s wife and his top sergeant’s daughter. With no war going on, this just a game to Elwood. Buffalo Soldiers might lack some of the satirical edge of Three Kings, but it still commands attention. Watching drugged-up soldiers drive a tank over a Volkswagen bug and into a gas station is humorous, but the humor turns dark when the gas station explodes, killing two officers looking to see what the tank is doing in the neighboring town. And then there’s a soldier on drugs who wants to play football and catches a touchdown pass before slamming headfirst into the corner of a table, instantly killing him. These soldiers have no battles to fight, but still die quickly, as if the action took place on the battlefield and not the base camp. Although none of the performances are particularly Oscar-worthy, Scott Glenn does a commendable job as the top sergeant who will not let drugs destroy the soldiers or allow Elwood to destroy his daughter. Channeling Chris Cooper in American Beauty, Glenn gives this black comedy its serious tone. Ed Harris plays against his type as a needy, desperate colonel trying to win praise, and when he gets shot down at a party to bolster his reputation, the

director from Knoxville, Tenn., cannot make an authentic martial arts film without relying solely on Far Eastern actors. Vivica A. Fox and Thurman engage in a great, hysterical knife fight minutes into the movie, but it’s nothing compared to the chaotic, grisly concluding battle at the House of Blue Leaves. As limbs fly and blood splatters like spray paint, Thurman takes a licking and keeps on ticking as a fearless, one-woman army, battling dozens of samurai warriors. She is as beautiful and lively as ever, and her flips and falls—punctuated by excellent stunt work—are smooth, graceful proof that Americans can be ninjas too. Tarantino uses elements such as rock music and baseball to repeatedly depict the Americanization of Japan and effectively illustrate the possibility of infusing American cinema with Japanese influences. At first, there’s an inherent degree of cultural disunity as Thurman and Fox are introduced as Black Mamba and Copperhead. Fox even comments in the film that she should have been Black Mamba. But Tarantino maintains a controlled, static tone of tongue-in-cheek action that lightens the effect of the gore. Kill Bill is raw entertainment that packs brains with its brawn. That is because Tarantino is an expert at drawing feeling from his killers, robbers and sociopaths. In Kill Bill, Tarantino revisits his penchant for characters who have experienced past—and specifically, childhood—trauma, again hitting the mark with brave situation-

KILL BILL: VOLUME ONE | UMA THURMAN, LUCY LIU al dichotomy. It takes a bold filmmaker to include themes of childhood innocence in an adrenaline-pumping action movie, but these scenes work to an effect of exaggerated majesty—particularly when Copperhead’s daughter comes home from school in the middle of her knife fight with Black Mamba. This leads to a troubling, recognizable scene that, as he has done so often by putting his own spin on familiar characterizations and situations, Tarantino truly makes his own. He finds sweetness in reciprocity, whether it comes from payback or redemption. Kill Bill: Volume One unfurls with a cannonball’s momentum, and unlike The Matrix series, it stands on its own while gearing everyone up for the next round.

C-UViews LOST IN TRANSLATION ★★★★ Luke Mattison

BUFFALO SOLDIERS | JOAQUIN PHOENIX audience has to feel for him. He is the one truly innocent character and deserves much better than the world around him. What Buffalo Soldiers really deserves is a wider release not accompanied by critics across the nation labeling it as anti-American and using the flag-waving times of post-Sept. 11 to send this satire into obscurity. Though it lacks some of the emotional depth and political power it attempts to achieve, Buffalo Soldiers is an absorbing crime story that quite expertly teeters between serious military drama and anti-military satire.

SCREEN REVIEW GUIDE

★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★ no stars

Flawless Good Mediocre Bad Unwatchable

MIRAMAX FILMS

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Champaign

"It was very unpredictable. A smart comedy."

★★★ Rachel McArthur Champaign

"Bill Murray was excellent."

KILL BILL: VOLUME ONE ★ Matthew Habib Chicago

"Nothing but Quentin Tarantino gibberish."


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film & tv

BAD BOY! BAD MOVIE! BAD BAD BAD! | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

moviereview

HOUSE OF THE DEAD MGM FILMS

no stars

BY PAUL WAGNER | STAFF WRITER GOOD BOY! | LIAM AIKEN AND DOG

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GOOD BOY! ★★★ BY ARTHUR MITCHELL | STAFF WRITER

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ood Boy! can be described as a mix between Cats & Dogs and the beloved classic E.T., but it shouldn’t be taken as any more than escapist family entertainment. Good Boy! is a story about a lonely boy named Owen (Liam Aiken) who can’t seem to make a great connection with humans, but has a fantastic connection with dogs. His parents (Molly Shannon and Kevin Nealon) make their living by renovating homes all over the country. His parents’ occupation does not give little Owen the time to make friends, only time to alienate his peers with his quirky ways. In comes a space-traveling dog from a dog planet to see if canines are effectively dominating the human race. This dog (voiced by Matthew Broderick), crash lands in Owen’s town and soon after Owen and the dog begin the relationship of owner and pet. Glowing lights and humming sounds give Owen the ability to understand dogs. Talking dogs not only bring celebrity voices that only parents will recognize, but also give the animals personalities. Big, slow dogs become old, poodles become prissy and small dogs are somewhat timid. For the experienced moviegoer, these size stereotypes of animals might seem overused and predictable. However, for children aged 4-10, these portrayals seem perfect. There are some humorous moments for parents, but they are few and far between. A drug joke toward the end will make audiences wonder why the writer finds it appropriate to show dogs as “high” in an amusing light when the movie’s main demographic is children. Nealon’s character seems distant from Aiken, but Shannon seems to be much closer him emotionally. This could be due to a socially constructed bias instilled on how close mothers and fathers can be with their sons, but in any case children won’t really care or worry about this interaction. In a kid’s movie, one is able to get away with structural defects in character interaction and development. Good Boy! is able to skip around a few of these things, knowing that children really don’t care and neither do the parents who take them to see the movie.

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ouse of the Dead, a film based on a Sega video game of same name, opens with a very fitting line: “It was a nightmare.” Nightmare is definitely a great way to describe this horrifyingly bad horror movie. House of the Dead lives up to its video game counterpart. The video game portrays an evil scientist who discovered a way to turn the dead into zombies and wants to use them to act out his evil plot. The plot of the movie is just as deep … deep as a puddle, that is. A group of rich, yuppie teenagers, who are conveniently well-trained in the martial arts and the use of deadly weapons, buy tickets to “the rave of the century” that is to take place on Isle de la Morte. Unfortunately for the ravers, this particular jungle island is filled with flesh-craving zombies and their evil scientist leader. The movie’s most ridiculous scene occurs when the group of surviving teenagers—complete with every cliched character one could hope for: the token black girl, the dumb model,

moviereview

INTOLERABLE CRUELTY ★★★★

BY AARON LEACH | STAFF WRITER

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ver since their 1987 sleeper-hit Raising Arizona, the fraternal filmmaking duo of Joel and Ethan Coen have made a name for themselves as a team who can do no wrong. Their list of impressive credits include The Big Lebowski, Fargo and The Man Who Wasn’t There. And while writing, directing, producing and editing a string of critical successes, along with developing a cult following of fans, is no easy task, the two have yet to garner a true commercial hit. Intolerable Cruelty, the pair’s newest endeavor, just might be the film to change all that and put them in the mainstream spotlight. Intolerable Cruelty is a throwback and partly an homage to the older genre of screwball romantic comedy. Upon watching this movie, influences can clearly be seen from the Howard Hawks days. A movie like Bringing Up Baby is a clear inspiration for Intolerable Cruelty. George Clooney reunites with the Coens, after O Brother, Where Art Thou?, to star as Miles Massey. Massey is a great lawyer who specializes in divorce cases. Even though his record is flawless, Massey begins to become tired of his

the Asian girl (clad in red, white and blue and cleverly named Liberty), the intelligent and strong female character, the butch female police officer, Captain Kirk and the sensible, sole-surviving male character—arm themselves with a never-ending supply of weapons and ammo to fight their way to the creepy old house that they feel is their only hope of survival. During the 20-minute blood bath that follows, the director uses Matrix-style, bullet-time camera tricks to show the ragtag group kicking ass with guns, explosives and hand-to-hand combat. Why a bunch of rave-attending teenagers know how to shoot assault weapons and use martial arts is beyond this reviewer. Breasts dominate this film, and although nudity is often the saving grace of bad movies, nothing could save House of the Dead. Ten minutes into the film, the audience is led to the beach by a young woman who, for some reason, feels the need to strip down to a thong and go for a swim in the dark water. Through this wet, white thong-wearing girl we meet the zombies that destroy anything that moves. Beyond the obvious plot flaws, the film as a whole is bad. A poorly written (and acted) script, choppy cinematography, spliced scenes from the video game and borrowed scenes open this movie up to criticism. In one “scene” the audience is bombarded with a slide show on speed, showing scenes apparently from both the movie and the video game in rapid succession, lasting long enough to reduce the audience to tears and seizures. perfect life. In walks Marylin Rexroth, brought to steamy realization by Catherine Zeta-Jones. Marylin is nothing but a gold-digger who is looking to find a rich husband so she can simply divorce him for his money and as she puts it, “Nail his ass.” As the two begin their relationship they also begin their lesson in love. Masked beneath all the heartwarming goodness of a couple finding true love is also a commentary on the current state of power-couple relationships, with more divorcing and spouseswapping than one can shake a stick at. This is a perfect vehicle for Clooney, whose impeccable comedic timing and over-the-top performance would make Cary Grant jealous. This role shows the depth Clooney can bring to an already well-written character. While the role of Marylin doesn’t do much to show off Zeta-Jones’ acting, she plays off Clooney well. The scenes they share are a delight to watch as they try to keep their hands off each others’ assets. And who else but Zeta-Jones could make a lawyer’s cold heart melt with love? It is true that Intolerable Cruelty is a more mainstream work than the Coens other films. This would also imply that perhaps the Coen brothers have sold out, but Coen fans, fear not, for this implication is simply not true. All the “normal” ingredients are still present in this film. The story is riddled with bizarre characters to make viewers both laugh out loud and groan as they squirm in their seats. Many of the films biggest laughs come from the darkest of moments, such as when a hitman named Wheezy Joe accidentally kills himself when he mistakes his gun for his inhaler. Many Coen

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arts

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | FUNNIES...TYPE THEM IN HERE

Amazing Songbirds HOUSE OF THE DEAD | ONA GRAUER For the sake of redundancy, Boll randomly splices scenes from the video game into the movie, just to show the curious audience members where, in fact, the moviemakers came up with the gory scenes for this movie. Some of these scenes were painfully obvious reproductions borrowed from other films. Camera shots of a skinny-dipper from underwater, complete with dramatic music, bring thoughts of Jaws, momentarily causing the audience to forget they wasted money on House of the Dead and were instead seeing an epic film. Unfortunately they are ripped back to reality by bad editing to a bloody zombie hand gripping a tree. The ending of this film, unfortunately, lends itself to a sequel after a plot twist that only avid video game players would understand. This movie is definitely not worth seeing.

INTOLERABLE CRUELTY | GEORGE CLOONEY alumni also make appearances in the film. Billy Bob Thornton and Richard Jenkins turn up in this movie, as well as indie-favorite Bruce Campbell (Fargo and The Hudsucker Proxy). Campbell has had the habit of turning up in the Coens’ films ever since Joel Coen helped to edit Campbell’s first film, the low-budget horror classic, The Evil Dead. The only thing missing here is the Coens’ trademark visual signature. While the film is brilliantly photographed with every shot beautifully composed, it lacks that quirky flair that usually engrosses all of the Coens’ works. Intolerable Cruelty comes to theaters as a savior for all men who are tired of the usual corny chick-flick fair. This is a date movie sure to please both guys and girls. Filled with plenty of offbeat moments and a great Clooney performance, Intolerable Cruelty raises the bar for romantic comedy.

BY KATIE RICHARDSON | ARTS EDITOR

from a position as a camp counselor for mentioning she was a lesbian. Consequently, one of the major reasons she began Amasong was in response to feeling segregated from society as hen Kristina Boerger started Amasong a whole. Despite her willingness to fight the in 1991, the requirements for any prospective status quo, she spent more time directing member were, to be able to hold a tune in a Amasong than defending its lesbian affiliation. “There were only two major incidents durbucket and to be either a lesbian or a feminist. Once those common links were established, ing the whole period I was with Amasong. something at least resembling singing could One involving a choir that didn’t want to sing begin. Six years later, Champaign-Urbana’s with us and another involving the organizer of premier lesbian/feminist choir won a an event we were to sing at. She sent me a list Gay/Lesbian American Music Award for their of weird stipulations that we were supposed to first album, The Water is Sweet Over Here. follow in order to sing at that event. I refused University of Illinois journalism professor Jay and told her that her list was ridiculous, and I Rosenstein called Amasong’s accomplishment pulled us from the show. And as a result of an “amazing rags to riches story,” and his that, she had to step down,” Boerger said. Boerger appreciates ambitious documenthe unique experience tary, Singing Out, that Rosenstein captured attempts to capture that while following the incredible tale. group around. She The documentary, believes the film is brilwhich will air on local liant and beautifully PBS on Nov. 4 and 7 at 9 crafted, and she is p.m., was made over a deeply touched by four-year span and Rosenstein’s creation. focuses mainly on the She also understands the musical contribution of film’s inability to convey Boerger, not only to everything in her life in Amasong, but to the the same manner as she community. Rosenstein recalls it unraveling. She considers Boerger a has one problem with “musical genius” and the film. Her parents are says that the first time depicted as explaining he heard the choir she their initial negative started and directed for reactions upon discovernine years, he was ing their daughter was extremely impressed gay, but they never disand touched by cuss in the documentary Amasong’s strong comthe acceptance they now mitment to singing. He Kristina Boerger, former Amasong director. have of her lifestyle. was also fascinated by “It was just a personal objection. Ultimately, the idea that a choir filled predominately with self-identified lesbians could survive and though, Jay is the artist and we have to trust him,” Boerger said. flourish in central Illinois. What Rosenstein’s documentary reveals is “While Champaign-Urbana is for the most part fairly liberal, there are some surrounding the story of a group of unseasoned women areas that are less so. I was inspired by the fact who would become an extremely skillful choir that music has this ability to bridge boundaries ensemble. “Maybe (the documentary) would have regardless of how one feels about sexuality. (The musical talent of this choir) had the abili- been more interesting if there had been some ty to knock down those walls,” Rosenstein sort of major protest. But what I think makes it interesting is the fact that I didn’t find one,” said. What is perhaps most amazing about said Rosenstein. This group eventually sang at every venue Amasong’s journey is that the choir did not face any major opposition from the communi- imaginable, from churches to bookstores to a ty or University staff. Boerger rallied for gay dying man’s bedroom. Since there was little and lesbian rights and protested against opposition, the choir had the opportunity to apartheid in South Africa as an undergrad at musically contribute to local religious instituthe University, and she is no stranger to con- tions, to provide entertainment for events that troversy. The film examines the particularly helped the economic growth of the area’s small evocative event that helped shaped Boerger’s businesses and to participate in creating an fighting spirit: she was fired at the age of 20 overall feeling of good will for the community.

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Jay Rosenstein spent nearly four years on his documentary, Amasong.

“I’m over being a lesbian. It had a big impact as a dictatorship by stating, “Well, the thing is, for a few years but now, you know, it’s old she is always right.” As a testament to the impression Boerger news. What I experienced for the most part during my time with Amasong was a commu- made on the community during her 17 years in nity that displayed no major objections to us Champaign-Urbana, she was the star of the and was very financially generous. I think invitation-only Oct. 8 premier of the documenwhat they really grew to appreciate was the tary. As she entered the theater, several people started calling her name. quality of music She then proceeded to try that we were to hug and thank every producing,” said friend and musician, as Boerger. well as Amasong memThe organizabers (both former and tion now has a present) who wanted to board of direcspeak with her. tors that handle “It was one of my top the increasing five nights,” she said. re s p o n s i b i l i t y Since Boerger left and tasks due to Jay Rosenstein, director of Singing Out Amasong in 1999, she has the group’s sucbeen missed, but the cess. Initially group is still performing Amasong was run solely by Boerger, as she was not only the as well as braking down barriers and rebuildcreative force behind the group but also the ing walls. “I think that there are assumptions made by organizer and developer. The characteristic that is most fascinating and closely examined some people seeing our title—a lesbian/femiin the film is not Boerger’s sexuality, but her nist chorus—such as that we are all lesbians who hate men, that men are not welcome at energetic dedication to music. “Kristina did everything when she was here, our performances, that we try to force our polfrom setting up chairs to laying out the pro- itics onto our listeners, or that we simply don’t gram. It was her chorus as she stated; it was sing well. In fact, many of us are straight, we not a democracy,” said Kathie Spegal, member sing woman-centered music rather than political jingles, and we have won several awards of Amasong’s board of directors. The film explores the immense impact for our recordings. The chorus itself welcomes Boerger initially had on Amasong, completely women of all orientations and backgrounds, controlling all aspects of the choir. However, and our concerts are enjoyed by a large crossno Amasong member shown in the documen- section of the community, men and women tary seemed particularly upset with Boerger’s alike,” said current Amasong director Margot brand of leadership, rather they appear to Rejskind. appreciate her strong leadership. One member qualified Boerger’s tendency to run the choir continued on page 10

[

I was inspired by the fact that music has the ability to bridge boundaries regardless of how one feels about sexuality.

[


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OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

buzz

Les’s Lounge appeals to all walks BY EMILY WAHLHEIM | STAFF WRITER

W

ith the ominous presence of the hospital across the street and a variety of patient care buildings surrounding it, the blaring neon sign outside Les’s Lounge looks out of place. Inside though, it is easy to forget the outside surroundings and unwind in the comfortable, relaxed atmosphere which pervades from every corner of Les’s. Les’s Lounge is not like most bars. There are no crushing crowds or blaring music. Rather, Les’s offers inviting red vinyl booths, stools and a jukebox with everything from country to Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville.” “It’s a different atmosphere at Les’s,” says Champaign resident and frequent Les’s visitor Mark Joslyn. “It’s quiet, not all ‘citified’ like the downtown bars. You can actually sit down and have a conversation with friends.” On this Thursday, like many other nights, regulars like Joslyn sit around the oval-shaped bar, joking with each other and ordering rounds of shots. Friendly banter occurs between this group and longtime bartender Troy Seten. “I like the fact you can talk to everyone around the bar,” says Champaign resident Trent Johnson. “But, I really come here because of Troy.” Seten runs the gamut at Les’s, filling glasses,

dishing out sarcasm and ensuring a good time. He can recognize the faces of most visitors and knows the regulars by name and by drink. Though he originally took this job of out “desperation,” he has really come to enjoy his job and his customers. “Nowhere else would hire me at first,” he said. “I really like the people who come in here. They are from all walks of life.” Those different walks of life are apparent Thursday night. Besides the regulars at the bar, graduate students crowd the high-top tables in the back, straggling over to occasionally play a game of darts. On the far side of the bar, members of the Master in Fine Arts club gather for a post-meeting drink and a few games of 50-cent pool. The groups mingle periodically, but most visitors seem content to sit, chat and unwind. Though Les’s has been open since 1978, not much has changed. The interior, with its fireplace, brick walls and red Christmas lights surrounding the ceiling, still makes visitors feel at home. Music occasionally muffles conversations, but it is still quiet enough to hear the clink of the cash register or the clank of the pool balls being broken. Rantoul resident Lori Blaser, who has been coming to Les’s for three years, appreciates how relaxed the lounge makes her feel. She remembers having many birthday parties

here, including one where the bartender surprised her friend with a cake. “Les’s really stands out in my mind,” she says. “Where else do most people and the bartender know who you are?” Les’s owner, Les Johnson, feels the same. Even though he has been in the bar business

for 26 years, he recognizes there is something special about the Lounge that can’t quite be put into words. “I tried to make a place where you would be able to take your mother and not be embarrassed,” he said. “I’m proud to say I brought my 89-year-old mother in last week.” buzz

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23

Get some action on Wednesday nights BY JOHN PIATEK AND JENNIFER KEAST | STAFF WRITERS

W

ednesdays can be boring. It’s the halfway point of the week. Too early to start celebrating the weekend and too late to still be miserable about the start of the work week. With this fall 2003 TV season, channels ABC (Karen Sisco), UPN (Star Trek: Enterprise and Jake 2.0) and WB (Smallville and Angel) all offer action shows to make life a little more interesting. Even The West Wing has become more action than politics lately, as terrorists and kidnapping have clouded up the political landscape. What follows are reviews of two new shows where viewers can get a little action on a Wednesday night.

JAKE 2.0 ★

Cookie Cook (left), Rosa Andrade (center), and Sal Marquez (right), all of Urbana, joke around at the bar.

film & tv

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | TIME FOR A LITTLE ACTION.

How many technology guys does it take to fix a weak fall lineup? UPN thinks it takes just one, the star of its new show Jake 2.0. Christopher Gorham (Felicity) is Jake Foley, a low-level computer technician who is accidentally exposed to a serum that grants him super powers. These powers include the standard increased strength and speed, but his body is also infused with “nanomites,” allowing him to telepathically control computers and other technologies. With his new skills, the young Jake is made into a super spy to hunt down terrorist computer hackers. Capitalizing on the success of superherothemed shows like WB’s Smallville, UPN launched Jake 2.0 to garner more of the TV sci-fi and fantasy fan base. Unfortunately, Jake 2.0 is just a second-rate show that comes too many years after the dot-com boom and tries much too hard to show that being a nerd can be cool. Jake 2.0 attempts to succeed by glamorizing the life of its nerdy star. As he works through his missions, Jake showcases enough high-tech spy gadgets to make James Bond jealous. He travels to an exciting criminal underworld full of style and chic clothes. He chases hackers into

nightclubs that could easily be stops on the Girls Gone Wild tour. The twist is that instead of a cool, collected and typical superhero, Jake is really a nerd at heart. He’s nervous with girls, tells some absolutely terrible jokes and uses his knowledge of online role-playing games to help track down the crooks. However, these efforts at originality are mercilessly undercut by the unbounded artificiality of the show. Jake 2.0 tries so hard to make itself cool that it eventually collapses under its own weight. Gorham’s performance is very uneven throughout the show. His overly dramatic facial and body expressions are more suited for a soap opera. He speaks with a whiny, annoying voice and his Prada-like clothes and hairstyle don’t fit his character. It’s not that all nerds need thick black glasses and pocket protectors to distinguish themselves as nerds, but Gorham looks, walks and acts like a guy who goes to dance clubs, not Star Trek conventions. The writing on the show is simply terrible. Its quip-filled dialogues are lined with such duds as, “Ladies and gentlemen, start your software.” The special effects and computer graphics aren’t much better either. Jake 2.0 displays unnecessary close-ups on the insides of cell phones and computers with an annoying frequency. The camera work is subpar, using a high number of abrupt zooms and dizzying scene cuts that may remind some viewers of MTV Cribs. All in all, Jake 2.0 is likely not to please the nerd fan base sought by UPN because of the show’s superficiality. It will need some major reformatting if it hopes to last a full season before viewers hit the escape key. (John Piatek)

KAREN SISCO ★★ ABC’s new action-drama Karen Sisco is based on the critically acclaimed film Out of Sight starring Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney. Karen Sisco stars award-winning actor/director Bill Duke and Academy Award-nominee Robert Forster. Karen Sisco even co-stars and is co-exec-

utive-produced by the highly acclaimed Danny DeVito. With this long list of credentials, Karen Sisco should be a joy to watch. Unfortunately, it’s anything but. One can tell it is going to be a long hour of prime-time television just by watching the cheesy opening credits. The 1970s detective show-style animation, with “It’s Your Thing” chiming in the background, is enough to make viewers groan. As the actual show opens up, we get a glimpse of Carla Gugino, who plays Karen Sisco, a beautiful and outgoing U.S. marshal on the coast of Miami. She spends her time chasing dangerous fugitives and trying to win the respect of her male fellow officers. Gugino, known by many as the mom in the Spy Kids trilogy, does a good job of mixing seductive sexiness and kick-butt professionalism. She is one of the few breaths of fresh air in the show. In episode two, we get a second: guest star Danny DeVito. He perfectly portrays a mob boss named Charlie Lucre who hires hit men to go after the two brothers who stole his Babe Ruth signed baseball. DeVito is wonderful in his role: seemingly tough, yet having a comedic, soft (and large) underbelly that is so characteristic of television mob bosses nowadays. Although he is good at what he does, his acting alone cannot save the show. Besides these two actors, the show does not accomplish much. It tries to be funny with its criminals, which are comparable to the robbers in Home Alone— goofy and not too bright. But the robbers in Home Alone are what make the movie so hilarious. The fugitives in Karen Sisco are so unintelligent they are hard to watch. The show’s writers tried to make the brothers the comedic relief of the episode, having them bicker and fight. At one point the “more” intelligent brother complains to the other, “How are we related?” to which

the other replies, “We’re brothers!” This slapstick humor is worthy of nothing more than an eye roll. For a show set in Miami, viewers certainly do not get to see any of it. The only thing Miamilike in episode two are a boat and the fugitives’ flowered shirts. Other than that, the show could have been shot anywhere—Chicago, Dallas or Anytown, USA. The show claims to be an action-drama, but there isn’t much action or drama. The chase scenes are weak, with no special effects or anything special. There are numerous shootouts in a single episode, none of which have any excitement in them. They don’t even look realistic. The gunfire seems almost animated. And nothing is less suspenseful than watching sweet Gugino shoot a gun. As she holds it, she looks almost scared of it, as if she might accidentally shoot herself instead of her enemy. Viewers looking for an exciting, suspense-filled “cops and robbers” type of show might be tempted to check out Karen Sisco, but after one episode will probably not be back for a second dose. (Jennifer Keast)


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TEXAS IS FILLED WITH CHAIN SAWS. | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 buzz

Drive-thru Reviews

24

10/15/03

BUFFALO SOLDIERS ★★★ ED HARRIS AND ANNA PAQUIN This story tells a less than flattering tale of American soldiers in Germany. These soldiers aren’t the heroes idolized after Sept. 11, which made this film delay its release.These soldiers are thieves and criminals and the film is a smart, biting satire that isn’t anti-American at all. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Beverly

FREAKY FRIDAY ★★★ JAMIE LEE CURTIS AND LINDSAY LOHAN Freaky Friday’s family-friendly plot still includes a mother and daughter unsympathetic to one another’s problems because each is convinced her own life is more difficult than the other’s. One of Jamie Lee Curtis’ most successful films in 20 years. (Janelle Greenwood) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

GOOD BOY! ★★★ MATTHEW BRODERICK AND BRITTANY MURPHY An alien dog talks to kids. Simply amazing. Watch Matthew Broderick’s career sink even further. (Arthur Mitchell) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

HOUSE OF THE DEAD

no stars

JONATHAN CHERRY AND CLINT HOWARD A group of ecstacy-loving kids sail out to an island and find zombies. This film opens with the line “It was a nightmare” and that describes the film perfectly. (Paul Wagner) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

INTOLERABLE CRUELTY ★★★★ GEORGE CLOONEY AND CATHERINE ZETA-JONES Miles Massey (Clooney), the nimblest divorce attorney in L.A., is out to trap the gold-digging wife (Zeta-Jones) of a client. But beautiful people can't help falling in love, no matter which side of the table they’re on. It’s the Coen Brothers, so it’s probably not the crap it sounds like. (Jason Cantone) Opening at Beverly and Savoy

KILL BILL: VOLUME ONE ★★★★ UMA THURMAN AND DAVID CARRADINE Kill Bill is raw entertainment that packs brains with its brawn. That is because Tarantino is an expert at drawing feeling from his killers, robbers and sociopaths. In Kill Bill, Tarantino revisits his penchant for characters who have experienced past—and specifically, childhood—trauma, again hitting the mark with brave situational dichotomy.(Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

LOST IN TRANSLATION ★★★★

THE SCHOOL OF ROCK ★★★★

BILL MURRAY AND SCARLETT JOHANSSON Bill Murray finds a relationship with a younger woman in this intelligent film set in Japan and directed by Sofia Coppola. The enigmatic serenity of Lost in Translation confounds and astonishes while it simultaneously embraces and rejects convention. The link between Bob and Charlotte feels a touch familiar but, more importantly, perfectly natural. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

JACK BLACK AND JOAN CUSACK Jack Black plays a rock star who bottoms out and becomes a teacher at a prep school in this smart film from director Richard Linklater, who also made Waking Life. (Matt Mitchell) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

THE MAGDALENE SISTERS ★★★ NORA-JANE NOONE This is the true story of women who were sent to a convent/laundry facility to be cleaned of their sins. However, they were also beaten and brutalized along the way. This story powerfully shows women who rose against the Catholic Church in the name of decency.(Janelle Greenwood) Showing at Boardman’s Art Theatre through tonight.

MATCHSTICK MEN ★★★

NICOLAS CAGE AND SAM ROCKWELL No, this isn’t a film about pyromaniacs or arsonists invading a town. Instead, matchstick men are con artists, and here the cons go between friends and family members. When Cage’s character finds out he has a daughter, they meet and she wants to join in on the con.The story is fun and entertaining, but the book is much better and doesn’t have the slow, confusing moments that the movie does. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

OPEN RANGE ★★ KEVIN COSTNER AND ROBERT DUVALL Open Range mixes slow-paced historical nostalgia with slower-paced Little House on the Prairie references, pitting free range herders against static, prejudiced ranchers. At times, the film plays a little like Gangs of the Old West and anyone who’s even heard of classic Westerns like Shane or The Searchers can pretty much stay two steps ahead of Open Range at all times. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

SECONDHAND LIONS ★★★★ ROBERT DUVALL AND MICHAEL CAINE Two old men, who might have been successful bank robbers in the 1920s, take custody of their nephew. Melodramatic story, tears and laughter ensure and manipulate your emotions, but make you love every second. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

UNDERWORLD ★★ KATE BECKINSALE AND SCOTT SPEEDMAN Werewolves, vampires and humans, oh my! This Romeo and Juliet tale pits love against an eternal war between vampires and werewolves. Look for great action sequences and a dark tone similar to The Matrix. And then there’s also Kate Beckinsale in all leather to watch for. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy.

OPENING THIS WEEKEND AMADEUS: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM AND JEFFREY JONES Considered by the American Film Institute as one of the Top 100 films of all time, this story of Mozart’s rise to fame won Best Picture in 1985. (Jason Cantone) Opening at Boardman’s Art Theatre

MYSTIC RIVER

KEVIN BACON AND SEAN PENN Three childhood friends are united after one loses his daughter. Expect brilliant performances. (Jason Cantone) Opening at Beverly and Savoy

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE

JESSICA BIEL AND MIKE VOGEL While on a drug run to Mexico, a bunch of people pick up a bloodied hitchhiker who has been attacked by someone or

OUT OF TIME ★★★ DENZEL WASHINGTON AND SANAA LATHAN Denzel Washington, fresh from his Oscar-winning performance in Training Day and his lead role in the crappy John Q., portrays a cop framed for a heinous crime in this film, which uses a little-used genre effectively to provide an interesting and suspenseful thriller. (Andrew Crewell) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

DUSTIN HOFFMAN AND GENE HACKMAN Based upon the best selling John Grisham novel, this story was originally about tobacco farms, but because a tale of guns, possibly because of who supports major film companies. Juries are treated as pawns in this tale of jury tampering and courtroom hijinks. It also features two of the greatest actors of their generation. (Jason Cantone) Opening at Beverly and Savoy

VERONICA GUERIN

CATE BLANCHETT AND BRENDA FRICKER Cate Blanchett plays real life journalism Veronica Guerin in this independent film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Joel Schumacher. (Jason Cantone) Opening at Beverly

SPECIAL SHOWINGS DEAD ALIVE

TIMOTHY BALME AND ELIZABETH MOODY A young man's mother is bitten by a "rat monkey." She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors. Special showings at Boardman’s this weekend

RADIO

CUBA GOODING JR. AND ED HARRIS Cuba Gooding Jr. does his best to give a decent performance that will make his critics less likely to demand that he gives back his Oscar after horrendous films such as Snow Dogs. Watch him play up mental retardation here. (Jason Cantone) Sneak preview at Beverly this weekend

SCARFACE

AL PACINO AND ROBERT LOGGIA A Cuban refugee builds a crime empire in Florida in this spectacular Brian DePalma/Oliver Stone film. Considered one of the most violent films of all-time. (Jason Cantone) Special showings at Beverly this weekend

Route 45 & Burwash Ave. $5.50 Kids all shows

THE ROCK AND SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT The Rundown is pure entertainment, plain and simple.It’s hard to lump it into one genre as it reaches into action, adventure and comedy in order to come up with an exhilarating and fun combination that will leave audiences more than satisfied. (Aaron Leach) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy

Unlimited Free Drink Refills & .25¢ Corn Refills

Stadium Seating Gives YOU An Unobstructed View All Rocking Chairs

SHOWTIMES 10/17 - 10/23

RUNAWAY JURY (PG-13) DIGITAL

SEABISCUIT ★★★★ TOBEY MAGUIRE, JEFF BRIDGES AND CHRIS COOPER The Seabiscuit phenomenon was one of the most captivating in United States history and this film does it justice. (Andrew Crewell) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy.

Yep. It’s that time of year again!!!

126 W. Church St. Champaign, IL

The First of Three Midnight Weekend Horror Films! Only $5! From LOTR’s Director, Peter Jackson NR, runs 97 minutes, presented in HPS-4000/DD Midnight Fri & Sat, Oct. 17 & 18 Coming next in the Midnight Horror Film Series: Suspiria and The Exorcist!

BOARDMAN’S THEATRES www.BoardmansTheatres.com 1-800-BEST PLACE (800-237-8752) 217/355-0068 eTickets/reserved seats: www.BoardmansArtTheatre.com

(217)

355-FILM

$5.75 DAILY Matinees til 6pm & Seniors $6.25 Late Shows Fri & Sat $6.25 Students $7.25 Evenings Mon - Thurs No passes DIGITAL STEREO

THE RUNDOWN ★★★

Art Theatre

Coming Next: Capturing The Friedmans

RUNAWAY JURY

SAVOY 16

Boardman’s

Opens Friday October 17th! ONE WEEK ONLY! Winner of 8 Academy Awards, Including Best Picture & Best Sound! R, runs 180 minutes, scope, presented in HPS-4000/DD Daily at 7:00pm Matinees on Sat/Sun at 3:00pm

something. When their van runs out of gas in front of a slaughterhouse, the group decide to investigate and see if there's a phone. What they encounter is a bizarre family of cannibals and a strange man who's weapon of choice is a chainsaw. Opening at Beverly and Savoy

9 Taylor, Downtown Champaign

355•WEED

2 PRINTS / 2 SCREENS

11:55, 1:45, 2:25, 4:15, 4:55, 6:45, 7:20, 9:15, 9:45 FRI/SAT LS 11:45, 12:05 THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (R)

buzz

community

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

“Yeah, she said you had something to tell me,” he says, smiling. Joyce tells a slightly off-color joke about a cemetery, a woman’s anatomy and a stiff. Don laughs, throws back his head and blushes. Don has a pretty bawdy sense of humor, but the joke at a funeral catches him off guard. He figures it’s Joyce’s way of coping with the death. “Some people treat me as a minister, some people treat me as part of the family,” he says. He tries to play the role of minister the best he can. He is not deeply religious. Don stopped going to church for a time because his minister wouldn’t marry him to Bonnie, who was of a different religious denomination. But he does believe in God and he does believe in heaven. When he is arranging the funeral for a family he knows is religious, he tries to assure them that God is with them and that their loved one is going to a better place. He says it because he believes it, and he says it because he wants it to be true, both for them and for himself. He knows he’s going to see his mother and father when his time comes. After Don stops laughing, Bonnie turns serious. She wants to talk about funeral arrangements for her husband and her. “We’re gonna sit down and see if we have enough to bury us,” she says. Don says it’s going to cost her $10,000. “$10,000?” she asks, raising her eyebrows. “Well, I could use the money,” he says, giving Joyce a quick wink. “Well, you don’t have to get it all from me!” she says, laughing. Don feels comfortable joking about death. He can also joke about money. It’s just money, after all. When a family comes to Don to pre-arrange a funeral, he gives them a casket price list, along with the prices of flowers and embalming. He

takes the family into the casket display room at the rear of the funeral home and leaves them alone while they make their decision. He doesn’t want people to think he is pushing them to purchase a more expensive casket. Still, the fact remains that he is running a business. He wants to make money, and he only makes money when people die. And many of the people are his friends. So he simultaneously wants to get rich and stay poor. Don has done funerals for families that have no money and no insurance, asking them only to pay him when they can. He grew up poor, and he feels everybody is entitled to a nice burial. But while Don is generous, he’s also no pushover. When he lends someone money, he expects the loan to be repaid. After the service, Don and Roger direct the pallbearers on how to put the casket in the hearse. They lead the funeral procession in a gray Suburban with WOLFE 2 on the license plate, one of nine similar Suburbans they own. The chain of cars travels 20 miles south to the Potomac Memorial Cemetery for the graveside service. Later, Don and Roger will go to a ham lunch given by the local church in memory of

the deceased man. Don will walk from table to table, shaking hands, saying his hellos, advertising Wolfe Funeral Homes. He wants to make sure everybody knows who took care of the arrangements today. While Don knows nearly everybody he does funerals for, it’s rare that he has to bury a close friend or family member. When a close friend dies, the joking stops. Fifteen years ago, Don buried his best friend. He cries when he thinks about it, his body shaking, and his hand instinctively moves up to his face to cover his eyes. Preparing Frank Carlock’s funeral was the hardest thing Don has ever had to do. Before Don was able to save up enough money to start his business, he held other jobs to support his family. He was Rankin’s chief of police when Frank was the mayor. Don went to the bank to take out a loan to buy his first funeral home. They asked what he had for collateral. “You’re lookin’ at it, baby,” he said. They turned him down, so Frank went to the bank himself. “Whatever Don wants, give it to him,” he told the teller. “I’ll sign for it.” Frank didn’t want anything in return. Don made him a silent partner in the funeral business. Frank took care of the books; Don took care

of the people. They would squabble about little things—Don would buy caskets in bulk to get a good price; Frank would tell him he was spending too much money at one time. They eventually agreed it would be better—they would be able to stay friends—if Frank left the business. Five years later, Frank died of cancer and his wife, Jean, asked Don to do the removal. Normally, when a person dies in the hospital, the body has to be taken out by the loading dock where the garbage is dumped, because the hospital doesn’t want patients and their families to see the removal. When Don got to the hospital and saw Frank, his eyes filled with tears. He never felt so sad. Jean asked him to do something even more difficult. She wanted him to eulogize Frank. He didn’t know what to say. There was too much. He sat for hours, thinking. Finally, he wrote. At the funeral, he looked into the casket as he gave his eulogy. He couldn’t help it—he started to cry. “Frank and I met, and he asked me to be his chief of police,” Don said, his voice wavering. “He gave me a gun and a badge and said, ‘Go get `em, Wolfe.’” He heard a soft laugh in response to the story. He didn’t dare look at Jean or Frank’s children. He could barely go on as it was. He felt a pain he had never felt before, not at any funeral, not at the deaths of his father and mother. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Don says. But when Frank died, something happened that made the death a little easier. He saw the way the whole town came out for the funeral. He saw the homemade food covering yards of Formica tabletops. He saw flowers and hugs and tears. And he saw what he saw after his parents’ funerals: that in times of need, people in small towns band together. It made him happy, if only for a moment. He saw—and gets to see daily—people at their best when things are at their worst. buzz

L

ifelong Champaign-Urbana resident Les Johnson has been in the bar business for 26 years. Currently, Johnson, 65, owns and operates his namesake, Les’s Lounge in Champaign. Since 1978, Les’s, located at 403 N. Coler Ave., has offered visitors a sports bar environment and a friendly atmosphere.

Do you have any plans to retire? No, not quite yet, but I am preparing one of my employees, Troy Seten, to take over.

What is your favorite pastime? Riding my Harley and stopping in at other bars.

What is your idea of the ideal bar? Les’s is the ideal bar. It has great overall friendliness and we also help our customers.

Why did you decide to start Les’s Lounge? I have always enjoyed the nightlife and wanted to be a part of that.

Do you visit other bars? Oh sure, all the time. I enjoy the Jolly Roger, Esquire, Pink House, lots of places.

What would you be doing if you didn’t own Les’s? Traveling. I own a motor home and I would do all my traveling in the United States. I just returned from a Nascar race in North Carolina.

How did you get started in the bar business? I started tending bar when I was 14 at Deluxe Inn; it used to be where Legends is now on campus.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Because I owned my own travel agency, I was able to travel a lot. I have been around the world and back four times. I have seen the pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall of China, Australia and the Eiffel Tower.

Q & A

LesJohnson

2 PRINTS / 2 SCREENS

DIGITAL 1:20, 3:20, 5:20, 7:20, 9:20 FRI/SAT LS 11:20 DIGITAL/STADIUM SEATING 12:10, 2:05, 4:00, 5:55, 7:50, 9:50 FRI/SAT LS 11:50 MYSTIC RIVER (R) DIGITAL 1:20, 4:00, 6:40, 9:20 FRI/SAT LS 12:00 INTOLERABLE CRUELTY (PG-13) DIGITAL 12:45, 2:50, 4:55, 7:00, 9:05 FRI/SAT LS 11:10 KILL BILL, VOLUME 1 (R) DIGITAL 2 PRINTS/ 2 SCREENS 12:20, 1:05, 2:35, 3:20, 4:50, 5:35, 7:05, 7:50, 9:20, 10:00 FRI/SAT LS 11:35, 12:10 GOOD DOG! (PG) 2 PRINTS/ 2 SCREENS DIGITAL 12:40, 12:50, 2:40, 2:45, 4:40, 5:05, 6:40, 9:00 FRI/SAT LS 11:00 THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD (R) 1:30, 3:25, 5:20, 7:15, 9:25 FRI/SAT LS 11:25 SCHOOL OF ROCK (PG-13)2 PRINTS/ 2 SCREENS 4:40, 9:05 FRI/SAT LS 11:20 DIGITAL/STADIUM SEATING 12:55, 3:00, 5:10, 7:30, 9:40 FRI/SAT LS 11:45 OUT OF TIME (PG-13) 1:00, 3:10, 5:25, 7:30, 9:40 FRI/SAT LS 11:50 THE RUNDOWN (PG-13) DIGITAL 7:05, 9:10 FRI/SAT LS 11:15 UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN (PG-13)11:50, 2:10, 4:30, 6:50, 9:10 FRI/SAT LS 11:25 LOST IN TRANSLATION (R) DIGITAL/STADIUM SEATING 12:55, 3:05, 5:15, 7:25, COUPON 9:35 FRI/SAT LS 12:00

SECONDHAND LIONS (PG) 12:10, 2:20, 6:55

20OZ.DRINK

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Have you had any other jobs besides those in the bar business? I used to run heavy equipment in the construction industry. I also owned my own travel agency, Adventure Travel. If you weren’t the owner of Les’s what would you be doing? I’d be retired.

What makes your job special? As a young man, this was exactly what I wanted to do. I like the lifestyle of the bar business. Would you change anything about Les’s? No. It’s exactly right the way it is and it’s gonna be that way for years.

What would you do if you won the lottery? I know that everyone says they would stay at their jobs, and I would continue to be a part of Les’s, but to be honest, you would probably see a lot less of Les at Les’s. What has been the biggest influence on your career? The lifelong desire to do what I am doing. This is just something I have always wanted to do. Do you have any regrets? No regrets, I still feel like I’m in my late 30s. I can’t believe I am 65. I have been blessed with health and good friends.


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OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

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PHONE: 217/337-8337

Death and a Salesman BY YVONNE ZUSEL | STAFF WRITER

hanging in his house to remind himself that he had a father. Don, his mother and his two younger brothon Wolfe sits next to his casket and greets ers moved to Rankin after Clarence’s funeral the people who pass by. to be near his mother’s parents. Four years “How are ya?” he asks one couple. later, Don sat in class. His mother had breast “How you doin’, Henry?” he says to a wrincancer. His aunt opened the door to the classkled, white-haired man. room. “Donnie,” she said, “You’d better come “Good to see ya, Jeff,” he tells a man walking with me. Your mother’s dead.” In that with his family. moment, Don hated his aunt. He was embarDon knows nearly every person who walks rassed, sad, ashamed. by. And they know him. They know that most In a town of 600, everyone knew. They felt of the time when an old-timer passes away or a sorry for him. They meant well, but he hated it. teenager dies unexpectedly, Don will be called He didn’t want their pity. He remembers the to organize a funeral. Recognition and warmth way it made him feel, and he uses it as a rule to fill their eyes, and they stop to chat and shake conduct his own business. No pity, just comfort his hand. A polite “Hello, Mr. Wolfe,” will not and understanding. But although he hated the do, because this man is their friend, a local fixpity, he appreciated the support the community ture, and so only, “Hey Don, how’s it going?” provided for him and his family. Food and flowwill suffice. ers were brought to the Wolfe house almost Although Don genuinely wants to talk to daily after his mother’s death. Almost the whole them, he is also here at the Hoopeston Home town came to the funeral. It’s Expo to sell his services. He this kind of love that Don knows friendliness is the best doesn’t think he’d find in a public relations. Nestled big city. between booths hawking tan“In the city, if your neighning and cell phone services, bor dies, who the hell cares?” the Wolfe Funeral Home booth he says. “Here, everybody seems an oddity. Don knows knows everybody, everyhis is a hard sell, and so, with Don Wolfe body helps everybody.” all his 45 years of businessHe thinks this desire to man’s experience, he smiles, help others might be why he schmoozes, kills them with wanted to be a funeral director. But it’s another kindness. He cannot afford to let a person pass one of those things he can’t remember. He without asking how his wife is doing, or how guesses it also had something to do with his the business is going, or if he’s enjoying the parents’ deaths. good weather. It’s the Catch-22 of Don’s life. Don’s mother’s parents raised him after his These people are his friends, but they’re also mother died. His grandfather passed away potential customers. when he was 23. He remembers feeling sad, but Don can pick a person from the crowd and what he remembers is the way the funeral automatically retrieve their vitals. They are his director came into the hospital room, set up his friends, and he will be sad when they die. Yet cot next to the bed where his grandfather lay their deaths won’t shake him. He has a built-in and yanked his body onto the cot right in front defense mechanism that allows him to show the of Don, his grandmother and his brothers. By family of the deceased compassion and underthat time, Don knew he wanted to own a standing, but which also allows him to view funeral home. He vowed to himself death as just another part of life. It is this attitude then that he would never do a that gets him through; everybody dies, and why removal in front of a family. And shouldn’t he be the one there when they do? he never has. In 1943, Don was 6 years old. It was late and Don knows he built a he was in bed. He heard screaming. It was his wall around himself mother, Lucy. He got out of bed and saw after the deaths. strange people walking around his house. Because he was Clarence Henry Wolfe, Don’s father, was dead. forced to deal A car accident. There was a long drive from the with death Wolfe home in Kankakee to Rankin, his father’s at such hometown, where the funeral was held. His mother leaned over the casket, crying: “Wake up Clarence. Wake up, you can’t do this to me!” That’s all Don remembers about his father’s death. He doesn’t remember how he felt. He doesn’t remember if he cried or if he was scared. He doesn’t remember much about his father at all, but he keeps a picture of him

D

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Here, everybody knows everybody, everybody helps everybody.

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a young age, he believes he has had practice at being compassionate but not emotional at the funerals. On a warm, bright Wednesday morning, people start arriving at the Hoopeston Wolfe Funeral Home for the service that’s scheduled to begin in an hour. With 6,000 people, Hoopeston is the largest community Don serves. A 68-year-old man lies in the polished wood casket, hands neatly folded across his middle, paper-thin eyelids closed and glacierwhite hair neatly combed. Earlier, Don’s son Roger, who has helped his father run the funeral homes with his brother Royce since he finished college, had dressed the man in a gray suit and arranged him in the casket for the visitation. A folded American flag and a Billy Bass singing fish sit in the hollow of the casket cover, an homage to the Korean War veteran and fisherman. Don sits behind his desk in a small office at the back of the funeral home. Don is only two years younger than the man, which until recently wouldn’t have made him think twice. But two years ago, he had a stroke and a heart attack. Don gets up from behind the desk. He’s dressed in a black suit and a black and white tie. He shifts his weight to his left side, onto a wooden cane with a shiny marble top. He walks as if with three feet—left leg and cane down for a beat, then his right leg. He is not as active as he used to be since the stroke, doesn’t do body removals as swiftly as he used to or do as many embalmings as in the past, but he tries to attend all the funerals. He ambles slowly toward the family—cane-left foot, right foot. “I want to extend my sympathy to you on your loss,” Don says in his deep drawl. He is talking to the dead man’s sister, a

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OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | WELL SHE TRIED TO THINK OF SOMETHING TO SELL AND ONLY SOLD HER DIRTY SOCKS.

DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Monday for the next Thursday’s edition. small woman with a tear-stained face. “Thank you, Don,” she whispers. “I hope everything is to your satisfaction,” he says, putting his free hand on her shoulder while she nods. “Everything is excellent,” she answers. Don wants her to know he feels sorry. But comforting the family of the deceased is part of his job as funeral director. He likens the job of a funeral director to that of a film director: He is in charge of everything from start to finish. He knows that when somebody dies, family members don’t want to have to worry about how they’re going to move the flowers from the funeral home to their house (Don or Roger drives them over after the funeral) or who is going to eulogize the deceased if they didn’t belong to a church (Don knows clergy of all denominations, and, sometimes, if he knows the deceased very well, he will do the eulogy himself). He knows people don’t want to worry, and so he makes sure he takes care of everything down to the last detail. He doesn’t want the family to worry. After he talks to the man’s sister, he walks back to his office. A short, compact woman with square glasses comes in and stops in front of his desk. “Well, hey Joyce,” he says, as he eases himself into his chair. “Hey Don. Did Bonnie tell you I have a joke for you?” Joyce Buckwaller is an old family friend. Don has buried both her parents. Her daughter is also married to the deceased man’s son.

1 bedroom loft. 204 Clark. $585. Cable included. Call 390-0959.

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Yes I know you got it from your great aunt and it means the world but its time to share the love. Let us help you find it a good home. Call buzz classifieds 337-8337

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2 BR’s centrally located near transportation. Apartments now available. No pets. $450/mo. 352-8540 days, 355-4608 pm/wknd. www.faronproperties.com

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Tommy G’s Bar and Grill

featuring food by Foudini’s

Fri., Rocktober 17 FREE FOOD FRIDAYS! 5-7 PM featuring Al Ierardi - no cover!

Reasonable Doubt - 10 pm A local classic rock band with an ear for great tunes!

Sat., Rocktober 18 Kathy harden

& the king bees 10-2 AM The only blues diva you’ll ever need...

FREE MUSIC no cover weekdays! Every Tuesday Will Roger’s Acoustic Night Plus $2 Tuesdays - two dollar drafts,cans, dom. Bottles, well drinks, order of wings, basket-o-spuds, chips-n-salsa.

Every Wednesday Kilborn Alley Thursdays - Pool Tourney, Cash Prizes, 7 PM Coming in Rocktober

24 - Renegade, 25 - maurice & The Mindset 123 S. Mattis, Champaign - Counrty Fair Mall, 359-2177

FATE IS CONSPIRING TO SUCK YOU INTO AN INTENSIVE BEHAVIORAL MODIFICATION PROGRAM | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

buzz

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY ARIES (March 21-April 19): This may sound crazy, but the best way to attract good luck in the coming week is to experiment with doing the opposite of what you usually do. For instance, you could act as if limitations are fantastic opportunities. Instead of indulging your impulses, you can question them -- lightheartedly, of course. Rather than leading everyone into interesting temptation with your fiery enthusiasm, you could be a meditative follower who listens well and tries out other people's daring plans. Any other ideas? TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The next couple of weeks will be an excellent time to purge any nagging karma that has been haunting your love life. You'll be ready to move on to new romantic frontiers once you clear away the residue that has been subtly burdening you.To achieve the proper spirit of rowdy fierceness, I suggest you learn the following country music songs and belt them out now and then: "You Done Tore Out My Heart And Stomped That Sucker Flat," "Get Your Tongue out of My Mouth, I'm Kissing You Goodbye," "How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?," "I Wouldn't Take You To A Dawg Fight, Cause I'm Afraid You'd Win," "I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well," and "I Flushed You From The Toilets Of My Heart." GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This is your official too-much-of-agood-thing warning. To protect and preserve the sweet progress you've enjoyed in recent weeks, make sure that abundance doesn't tip over into gross excess. How? Refuse to become a slave to your good ideas. Don't let your triumphs lead to exhaustion. Avoid expressions of generosity that are wasted on the recipients or motivated mostly by the urge to impress people.You can keep all your well-earned rewards, dear Gemini, if you'll start setting graceful new limits now. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Most practitioners of the healing arts believe in taking a gradual approach. Psychotherapists and acupuncturists, for example, typically see their clients once a week, theorizing that even deep-seated problems have to be undone slowly and gently. Some mavericks take a more radical approach, however. One acupuncturist I know has her clients come and stay at her clinic for six consecutive days, during which time she administers a fresh treatment every two hours. This is the kind of approach I recommend for you right now, Cancerian. You're on the verge of curing a certain longstanding imbalance, and intense, concentrated attention is the best way to do it. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I shopped at a local supermarket for months before striking up a conversation with Wendy, one of the check-out clerks. "How was your weekend?" I asked her one Monday. "I worked at my two other jobs," she said. I was surprised, having assumed her career consisted entirely of tallying

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Fate is conspiring to suck you into an intensive behavioral modification program. The goal: to weed out the wishy-washy wishes and leech out the lukewarm longings that are keeping you distracted from your burning desires. Here's the paradoxical formula that will be at the heart of this process: If you try to maintain the illusion that you're not losing yourself, you will in fact lose yourself. But if you surrender and agree to lose yourself, you will break through to a new level of communion with the deepest, most eternal part of yourself. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Nice guys finish last. So proclaimed the crusty old baseball player, Leo Durocher, who was famous last century for his rough play and dirty tricks. His oncewicked insinuation has, 50 years later, devolved into a decadent platitude. It needs an update. As you enter a phase when it will make sense to become more strategic, Capricorn, try on the following formulas for size: Nice guys finish last because they follow all the rules by rote. Nasty guys often don't even finish because they break the rules by rote. Smart guys and riot grrrls win because they get away with inventing new rules that update the meaning of the ever-evolving game. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Would you consider acquiring a three-foot-long double-edged sword like the one Beowulf wielded in his famous battle with the monster many centuries ago? You won't need this weapon to defend yourself from physical attack in the coming days, Aquarius; that's not why I recommend it. Rather, I suggest you use it as a magical prop in a ritual designed to rouse your warrior spirit.Hold it in front of you as you visualize yourself scaring off your inner demons and cutting away the inessential concerns that are bogging you down. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): This may be the time your descendants will tell stories about: the turning point when you outwit an old nemesis and undo an ancient knot, freeing you to finally begin fulfilling your life purpose in earnest. On the other hand, this may be the moment when you shrink back from a challenge similar to one that many generations of your family members have faced. If that's what happens, your descendants will be lacking an important clue when they encounter their own version of the ancestral puzzle many years from now. Which will it be, Pisces? Answering the call to adventure or refusing it?

grocery purchases. "I'm a psychotherapist at a group home for disturbed teens," she continued, "and I'm trying to finish my PhD dissertation." I blushed in embarrassment for having misread her so thoroughly. As she processed my order, we had an interesting exchange about adolescent angst and the politics of psychotherapy. I suggest you make Wendy your inspirational symbol this week, Leo. May she remind you to dig beneath the surface and uncover the deeper truth about everything you think you have figured out. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "The fox knows many things," said the ancient Greek poet Archilochus, "but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Twentieth-century philosopher Isaiah Berlin used this thought as an organizing principle in discussing types of writers. Hedgehogs like Dante and Plato yearned to explain life's apparent chaos with a single, all-embracing theory, Berlin believed, whereas foxes like Shakespeare preferred to revel in the world's messy multiplicity without feeling a need to unify it all in one system. My long experience with astrological types has convinced me that most Virgos tend to be foxes. In the coming days, however, I advise you to try out the hedgehog perspective. It'll ensure you don't miss the forest for the trees. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Where exactly does happiness come from, ask David Meyers and Ed Diener in their article, "The Science of Happiness," published in "The Futurist" magazine. Do you experience happiness primarily through being a good person or contemplating the meaning of life? From indulging in pleasure or knowing the truth? From preserving comfy illusions or purging yourself of pent-up rage and sadness? All the above? Let these questions be the starting point for your own meditations on the subject, Libra. It's a perfect moment to get very serious about defining what brings you joy and making concrete plans to harvest more of it. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The science newsletter, "Mini-Annals of Improbable Research," did a poll of its readers on the question, "Does reality exist?" Forty-two percent answered yes, while 31 percent asserted that it most certainly does not. The remaining 27 percent were undecided. A few of the latter believed that their reality exists but no one else's does. Two people said, "Yes, reality exists, but you can't get to it." According to one respondent, "Reality exists only when it is really necessary." Remember that line, Scorpio, because it will be quite necessary for your reality to exist in the coming weeks. Here's another response to the poll that you should make your own: "Reality especially exists right after a thunderstorm." I predict that your reality will become vivid and deep once your metaphorical tempest ends in a few days.

✍ HOMEWORK:

What Halloween costume could you choose to help you activate a secret or dormant part of your potential? Testify at 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

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COMMUNIT Y

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Les gives everyone a lounge Krannert displays African tribal masks

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EELS talk back Ester Drang Action hits Wednesday night

www.tommygs.com CROSSWORD PUZZLE (ANSWERS ON 20) ACROSS 1 One going through a tunnel, perhaps 5 Brick ingredient 10 Beach site 14 “My ___!” 15 Cell alternative 16 Place to swim or play b-ball 17 Vent, in a way 18 Receive a late honor? 20 Hotel reception feature 22 It may be due … but never overdue 23 Main line 24 Unsatisfactorily 26 Want ad inits. 27 Start 28 Certain computer screen 30 Miss 31 Boxing, so it’s said 34 Useless project 35 Boxing legend 41 Sound 42 “Legally Blonde” blonde 43 ___ Bowl 44 Kind of shot 45 Running total?: Abbr.

Passed on the trail Send Stalked, e.g. Immediately Still-life piece “Hollywood Homicide” actress, 2003 56 Put out 57 Devotional carving: Var. 58 Got out 59 Exhausted, with “out” 60 Boxer and others: Abbr. 46 47 49 50 54 55

DOWN 1 Movie credits caption 2 Continue a military parade 3 Grain appendages 4 Present time 5 Extend 6 Musical with the song “Frank Mills” 7 It may be understated 8 Pacific ring 9 Suffix with 22-Across 10 Stick ___ 11 Get part of 12 Circular opening?

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opening 14 19 Crystal work, 17 once: Abbr. 20 21 Stout person? 23 24 Step on it 27 25 Dough 28 General’s 31 pride 29 ___ alcohol 35 36 30 Best Supporting 41 Actress winner for 44 “The 47 Accidental Tourist” 50 32 Dog-___ 33 Geometric 55 figure with 58 all equal angles 35 By fair means or foul 36 It may accompany hipshaking 37 Vostok 1 commander 38 Took Marie Antoinette’s advice?

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“Here I Stand,” 1958 40 ___ “Annus Mirabilis” 45 Congressional support 46 Like Larry King 48 Dress without a waistline

editor’snote

W

hile initially researching the story behind Amasong, I was certain the documentary would contain protests from conservative religious groups, lesbians discussing family members that had turned their backs on them and political activists toting their own personal views on the lack of lesbian and gay rights in America. How could any documentarian address what I perceived to be an overtly political move by Kristina Boerger on behalf of lesbians without finding and depicting heated reactions from central Illinois’ more conservative members? However, what Jay Rosenstein pointed out, and what I agree with, is the fascinating way in which Amasong’s lesbian/feminist choir has not met with any major obstacles while performing in Champaign-Urbana. As a student at the University of Illinois, what right did I have to make broad generalizations about how a community that I did not grow up in would react to what I had labeled a “liberal” maneuver? This assumption was shortsighted and naive for two reasons: one, immediately assuming that the people of Central Illinois are vehemently anti-gay and anti-lesbian stereotypes the former in the same manner by which I was ready to accuse them of doing; and two, implying that it is natural for people to react negatively to such a division displays little aptitude on my part for understanding the way in which people see and

view group activity. Whenever any group of people identify themselves as being different and section themselves off from others it is in reaction to not finding the appropriate resources within a larger community. Even in an activity as politically benign as Little League, one can detect the need for a specialized environment: little kids learn to play baseball better with people who are of relatively the same size and ability as them. No one started the Little League program in order to directly attack the grown-up dominated system in Major League Baseball. Mothers do not bring signs to Cubs games reading, “Down with adult ideology. Come to Cubbies games instead.” The difference between Little League players and Major League ballers is not needlessly discussed. That difference is obvious but accepted as natural due to the conventions of our time. Another feature apparent in such divisions is that the participants are able to nurture their talents in an environment that is most conducive to their development. It is necessity, not anger, which compels them to section off. An encouraging environment was what Kristina Boerger was looking for when she established Amasong in 1991. Boerger was not looking for a fight. Nor was she disappointed when she didn’t find one. As much as I wanted to find the sensationalism in the story, neither Kristina nor Champaign-Urbana was going to give it to me. In retrospect, my prejudice toward the community was a need within myself to witness dramatic situations. Call it an adventuresome nature, a fighting sprit, or just plain boredom, whatever the source was; I wanted to see lesbians throwing bibles at Baptist preachers. Not because I dislike lesbians, or Baptist preachers for that matter,

BUZZ STAFF

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HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’VE LOST IT? | OCTOBER 9-15, 2003 buzz

OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

49 Dermatologist’s con-

cern 51 Unexplored 52 Sixth-century date 53 Pilfer

Editor-in-chief Tom Rybarczyk Art Director Meaghan Dee Copy Chief Erin Green Arts Katie Richardson Music Brian Mertz Entertainment Jason Cantone Calendar Marissa Monson Assistant Music Editor Jacob Dittmer Calendar Coordinators Lauren Smith, Cassie Conner, Erin Scottberg Photography Adam Young, Elliot Kolkovich Copy Editors Elizabeth Zeman, Suzanne Sitrick Designers Adam Obendorf, Carol Mudra, Jason Cantone Production Manager Theon Smith Editorial Adviser Elliot Kolkovich Sales Manager Lindsey Benton Marketing/Distribution Melissa Schleicher, Maria Erickson Publisher Mary Cory All editorial questions or letters to the editor should be sent to buzz@readbuzz.com or 244-9898 or buzz, 1001 S. Wright St., Champaign, Ill., 61820. Buzz magazine is a student-run publication of Illini Media Company and does not necessarily represent, in whole or in part, the views of the University of Illinois administration, faculty or students. Copyright Illini Media Company 2003

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but because I’ve created a somewhat false idea of eternal conflict between the two, based on my minimal experience, and look for traces of that concept on the big screen. The scenario that was really on Jay Rosenstein’s screen, though, was that of a deeply touching and peaceful group of women who were able to cultivate their talents because they were sharing a safe space with women that they had found a kinship with. The question, then, was why had they found such a kinship? Where do people draw the line between “us” and “them,” and why do they do so? Let’s backtrack a little and discuss my “false idea.” It was false because I am not a lesbian. And even though I have friends who are, and have been to many gay and lesbian designated events and benefits, and read about what it’s like to be labeled according to one’s sexuality, I really have no empirical experience wherein I have had to define my “self” in terms of whom I am sleeping with. Due to my personal tendency to imagine worst-case scenarios, I have always thought that every day for such a person must be a constant battle against the status quo. When Kristina Boerger said to me, “I’m over being a lesbian,” I realized that “the status quo” was not the narrow-minded individuals that I had imagined lurking in the bushes outside of Amasong’s concerts. It was me. In spite of holding no intolerance towards lesbians, I had still managed to marginalize them. I had done so because I had identified them as different and needed to defend that difference in order to confirm a sense of self in the community, when in fact their sexuality is no indicator of who they truly are. I firmly believe one reason Amasong was such a secure environment for its participants was because in that sphere there was little discussion as to what the members perceived to be a secondary characteristic about themselves. After writing this story, I considered the fact that it might be as boring for a lesbian to talk about her sexuality as it is for me to talk about my hair color. I realized I had made a bigger deal about the politics behind Amasong than I had the quality of work that it was producing. Admittedly, even this forum obstructs the nature of the message I am trying to relay. Being a lesbian shouldn’t be in discussion. Kristina’s over it, the community’s over it and I should be too. Katie Richardson Arts Editor

Correction- A community story on page 3 in the Oct. 9 issue misattributed a pull quote. The quote should have been attributed to Lynda Gritten.

Central Illinois The Right Help Right at your Fingertips Making it easy to find the right therapist A free referral service Affiliate of the 1-800-Therapist Network Call


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| OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 buzz

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buzz OCTOBER 16-22, 2003 | I HATE COLD WEATHER

AND ANOTHER THING...

What retirement should be

Art Crafts Produce Flowers Plants Food Coffee Music

BY MICHAEL COULTER | CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Every Sat. Morning thru Nov. 8 7 a.m. until Noon SE Lot of Lincoln Square Downtown Urbana (217) 384-2319

T

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1 4 0 7 N. P r o s p e c t Av e • 3 5 1 - 6 8 7 9

Make a Difference Drive October 13-24, 2003

[

We encourage agencies, offices, and companies to help us collect these much-needed items and deliver them to any drop off sites no later than: Friday October 24 at 5:00 p.m. call Teri McCarthy at 352-5151

ITEMS NEEDED: Questions: • Travel-size Shampoo, Soap, and Toothpaste • Toothbrushes • Razors • Lotions • Diapers (Infant to Adult), Baby Wipes • Tissue • Crayons, Colored Markers • Pencils, Pens • Coloring Books, Construction Paper • Spiral Notebooks • Glue • Folders • New Socks and Underwear (For All Ages)

DROP-OFF SITES:

• Bresnan Meeting Center • Daily Illini Office • Family Service Center • Illini Radio Group Office • Illini Union Bookstore • Office of Volunteer Programs (277 Illini Union) This event is being held to assist human service agencies in Champaign County, with the support of several groups including Central High School Student Council, the Religious Workers Association, and the Religious Leaders for Community Care.

he air in Illinois is beginning to develop a chill to it, baseball season is coming to an end, and families begin thinking about the holidays and how they will spend them. This can only mean one thing: My parents are heading south faster than the Atlanta Falcons without Michael Vick. So, this weekend, in midOctober, my family will celebrate Thanksgiving. Six or seven years ago my mom and dad decided to sell the house and everything contained within and hit the road. They bought a camper, or “starter coffin,” and headed for the warmth of Texas. They stay down there until the temperatures of April bring them back to the Midwest for the summer. Apparently, there was something in their wedding vows that promised never to experience any temperature below 40 degrees after the age of 60. They stay in a park near Corpus Christi, Texas with some other folks who are doing the same thing as them, the geriatric equivalent of Easy Rider. It’s a nice place really, a nice life. They rise every morning around 5 a.m. or so, eat breakfast, and then have pretty much the rest of their morning to complain about the snippy check out clerk at the Super Wal-Mart. It’s Texas, so you can start drinking beer a little before noon if you’d like. I’ve visited them and tried it. Believe me, it’s a pretty sweet deal. I kicked back in a lawn chair with a can of Lone Star, having no cares in the world so long as the ever-present ambulance was driving past our campsite. In the evening, they often build a campfire and have Happy Hour. This is where large groups of older people get together and complain about the snippy check-out clerk at the Super Wal-Mart. It’s amazing to me how many people they have met since they began doing this. They have friends from all over the United States now. They see them here and there, maybe meet up with them for a few days and then wave goodbye and get back on the road. There are a few people that they hang around with a majority of the time. It’s a good thing and makes me feel better about them leaving home. My theory is that if you put four older folks in a car headed to Mexico for cheap prescription medicine, it’s basically like having one younger person behind the wheel. The person driving can see but that’s about it. They

• Parkland College’s Child Development Center • Phillips Recreation Center • Schnucks Stores • United Way of Champaign County • University YMCA

rely on the person in the passenger seat who can hear. The two in the back seat constantly yell directions and identify any of the myriad strange smells coming from the vehicle. They basically become one person. It may not seem like a big deal, but try doing it with the heater on full blast and the sun from a 90 degree day piercing through the window. It’s not a cake walk. It’s really what retirement should be most of the time. My mom goes for long walks daily and my dad reorganizes the storage space below the camper pretty much every day. They play cards; they watch movies; they talk with their friends. Maybe they will have a few cocktails here and there. Strangely, and sadly, it’s not that different from my life. There are a few things to look out for. My first trip there, Dad warned me to stay away from the swimming pool. I believe the exact quote was “Jesus Christ, son, stay away from that pool. You don’t wanna see the old ladies out there in their bathing suits. It’s not a pretty picture.” You also have to watch the weather. Even though they don’t like it anymore, my parents are familiar with and ready to handle cold weather. That’s not necessarily true in Texas, though. One year it dropped below 35 degrees with snow flurries. They closed the schools, roads and most stores. The natives were restless and my dad just stood back and smiled. He knew they were overreacting but he didn’t tell them. He wasn’t supposed to. He’s retired. So, they’re headed back home next week, but before that, it’s Thanksgiving at my house this weekend. We’ll get oysters for the dressing and then complain about how they aren’t as good as in Texas. We’ll have turkey and noodles and any other starch we can find in the cabinet and fall asleep just like any other family does after a big Thanksgiving meal. Sure, we’ll be falling asleep to the World Series instead of a football game, but it doesn’t matter. It’s come to be Thanksgiving to us now, and we like it just fine. By the time the regular Thanksgiving rolls around in November, I can act all sad so someone else will cook for me again. Thanksgiving in October is really sort of just a bonus. I give thanks all year long anyway. I have the best parents you could ever imagine.

By the time the regular Thanksgiving rolls around in November I can act all sad so someone else will cook for me again.

[

Michael Coulter is a videographer at Parkland College. He writes a weekly email column, “This Sporting Life” and has hosted several local comedy shows.

DirtyTalk To My Past Lovely Ladies, You have tried to tie down this beauty, but my view is that every woman should at least have a small taste of what I have to offer, sorry for the broken hearts and tattered memories! To the guy wearing the Ottawa Senators (#4) jersey on the quad on Weds. morning, you're amazing! Wear it more often. Thanks for making my day. Angelique-- How did I ever end up with a girl as hot as you? Awesome. To My Peeps- You all can drop it like its hot.My times with you are off the hook.loveMC shizniz boys-you all are shizawesome!wow shizass.-MC Cathy-Your red hot, ow,ow-MC There was at least one good sight at Sat's Illini/MSU game... that gorgeous blonde MSU (and Illini?) fan who took time out to hug the MI twirler on the field. Jess-you are so jessified.6ft ya baby.-MC Craig-- You are the sexiest tattoo artist in Champaign. I"ll be seeing you soon.-Christina Michelle- I love being hyper with you.Can I get a hell yea!-MC Skaterboy--show me your bling bling and I'll show you mine! Chad- You’re on top of your game when it comes to flash. Carol- I want to eat you like chicken fried rice.

SWEET “DIRTY” TALKS ARE FREE. To submit your message go to www.readbuzz.com and click on the Sweet Talk link. Please make your message personal, fun, flirty and entertaining. Leave out last names and phone numbers because we (and probably you!) could get in big fat trouble for printing them. We reserve the right to edit your messages. Sorry, no announcements about events or organizations. (Enter those at cucalendar.com)

Ambler continued from page 9 He shot Gary on the left side of his left leg just above the knee. “I remember having one minute of lucid thought, and I just started making noises. The next thing I remember, the paramedics were shouting at me,” Ambler said. The most emotional he gets was when he tells this story is when he says one of the kids that mugged him was 13 years old. To him, that was the saddest thing about the whole incident. “He’s very quiet,” Ibsen says. “In his real life, he’s a very quiet person, you’re astounded by these characters that come out of him.”

His modesty came out before rehearsal when two company members Jan and John Chandler stopped by the theater. Jan paints the marquees that hangs in front of the small parking lot at the Station Theatre. The sign read, “Gary Ambler in Fully Committed.” Ambler looked at it, laughed, and wondered why his name was up there. “In Chesapeake (another one-man show he did), we didn’t even tell people it was a oneman show,” he told the Chandlers. “I think that bothers him,” Jan said later. “That his name is up there.” John has done several shows with him including American Buffalo. “He’s so soft-spoken and he’ll take roles where he’s a lion or a maniac,” John said. In Fully Committed, he’ll run the gambit of characters, a huge not wholly welcome challenge. “It’s lovely work,” Ambler said. “It’s so much more fun with other people.” In a one-man show, Ambler has to play so many characters that he is not able to dig particularly deep on one character. “I think that’s one of the hurdles for it,” he said. “Because you have to be broad with the characters. “The one man format forces you to make the audience a second character as a reactor,” he continued. “This is more difficult because there are no direct lines to the audience.” Ambler prefers playing one character because it allows him to become more intimate with that character. Karma said that one of Gary’s strengths is his ability to analyze the text. Gary doesn’t mind doing outside research for the character if it makes sense, but he prefers to use the text as much as possible. He’s happy with how Committed is coming along, but he knows it needs a little more work. After his run through, Karma talks about the difference between the characters. “There needs to be more of a distinction,” she says. Gary does an excellent job of creating the characters and he keeps them very distinct at first, but as the show goes on, some of the characters sort of blend together. All of his female characters end each sentence on an up note, and sometimes this bleeds to the male characters as well. A few days later, Gary shows much more of a handle on each character. The distinctiveness of each voice at the beginning carries much longer into the play, and he still has a little under a week to hammer out some more details, which is fine with him because he loves rehearsals. But for now, he has to worry about his oneman that opens tonight. He’s excited about it, he loves working on comedy, and there’s still a little more for him to find out about his role. “It’s not poetry, but it’s entertainment,” he said. “I have a feeling there’s something subversive about it, so hopefully I can find more.” buzz


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odds&end

st annual

I’LL BE THERE MAN | OCTOBER 16-22, 2003

buzz

Film Festival at The Virginia Theatre Nov. 17 and 18

The Films of New Hollywood

z buz Oct. 16-22, 2003

FREE!

COMMUNIT Y

Undertaker takes on life (page 4)

ARTS

Actor returns from gun shot (page 9)

MUSIC

Pete Yorn lays back The Graduate (1967)

The Last Picture Show (1971)

Raging Bull (1980)

Easy Rider (1969)

105 minutes Directed by Mike Nichols Starring Anne Bancroft Dustin Hoffman Katharine ross William Daniels

118 minutes Directed by Peter Bogdanovich Starring Timothy Bottoms Jeff Bridges Cybill Shepherd Ellen Burstyn

129 minutes Directed by Martin Scorsese Starring Robert De Niro Cathy Moriarty Joe Pesci Frank Vincent

94 minutes Directed by Dennis Hopper Starring Dennis Hopper Peter Fonda Jack Nicholson Phil Spector

Nov. 17

The Graduate (1967) 9 p.m. The Last Picture Show (1971) 11:15 p.m. BONUS FILM 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 18 7 p.m.

Raging Bull (1980) Easy Rider (1969)

9:30 p.m.

TICKETS On sale today at The Virginia Theatre 203 W. Park Avenue in Champaign 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or call The Virginia Theatre at 356-9063. $5 per movie $20 for all five movies

Bonus Film

At 11:15 p.m. we will play a bonus movie, choose among these five films

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Chinatown (1974) A Clockwork Orange (1971) The French Connection (1971) Midnight Cowboy (1969) e-mail your vote to filmfestival@readbuzz.com or visit our Web site at www.readbuzz.com

Free Festival Pass for the first 20 people to vote

Arts | Entertainment | Community

(page 11)

CALENDAR

Esther Drang joins good company (page 14)

FILM & TV

Kill Bill bloodies up the screen (page 21)

Amasong: Bridging boundaries through music

Buzz Magazine: Oct. 16, 2003  

Oct. 16, 2003

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