Champaign-Urbanaâ€™s community magazine FREE
WEEK OF DECEMBER 2, 2010
Come On Baby,
Light My Fire
Learn about the traditions of Hanukkah and how it is observed in CU pg 16
TURN ON THE RADIO
GIFTS, NOT GRENADES
DECEMBER 2, 2010
IN THIS ISSUE
Serious Pain Relief
HERE COMES TRUFFLE
Try aa Precision PrecisionNeuromuscular Try Neuromuscular Massage and getMassage $5 off your next visit!*
WHAT IT BOYLES DOWN TO 10
2 campus locations: Now with 2 campus locations: r*MMJOJ6OJPO0BTJT]6SCBOB r"3$]$IBNQBJHO
A review of 127 Hours and three favorites.
Find out what makes an orgasm come.
Photo by Ramzi Dreessen
CAN YOU FEEL IT?
ALMOST, MAINE 7
()9\\ij of Christmas K_lij[Xp#;\Z%0k_ -$0gd
),^\kjpflX+fq%jXdgc`e^ f]()[`]]\i\ekY\\ijn_`Z_j_Xi\ Xle`hl\_fc`[Xpk_\d\%
^ k_ n`j_\j _fc`[Xp
e f ` k X Fg\i kX JXe
MUSIC Discover CU in a whole new way with the Old 97â€™s song â€œChampaign, Illinois,â€? online this Thursday.
COMMUNITY One day, Las Vegas will be a nuclear wasteland. Thatâ€™s why we need to start preparing. Read our review of the game Fallout: New Vegas for a survival strategy on Wednesday.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Read up on books you may have missed in the new column â€œOff the Shelf,â€? online on Fridays. This week, check out a review of Bridget Jonesâ€™s Diary.
FOOD & DRINK Donâ€™t let boredom get the best of you. â€œBeerdomâ€? will be up on the217.com Saturday.
MOVIES & TV
K_\(.k_8eelXcFg\iXk`feJXekX Y\e\Ă”kjk_\:_XdgX`^e:i`j`jElij\ip Xe[GXi\ekNfe[\ijf]IXekflc% Fg\iXk`feJXekX `jjgfejfi\[Yp1
The â€œBest Pictureâ€? category at the Oscars is all a popularity contest. Thatâ€™s why buzz is going through the winners and reevaluating them with our new column, â€œBest Picture in Reverse.â€? Itâ€™s going to be a bloodbath. Check it out this Saturday. 2
The worst things Mom caught us doing.
Your guide to this weekâ€™s events in CU.
Xek`e^Z_`c[i\eĂ‹j ,' ifl^_ fkf^i f]k`Zb\k
WHAT WOULD YOUR MOTHER SAY? 17 CALENDAR
Indulge in a Belgian treat.
EDITORâ€™S NOTE BRAD THORP
Anticipation may be one of the most important feelings that we as humans are able to experience. There are others of course â€” love, happiness, fulďŹ llment â€” but most of these are really only made satisfactory through the existence of anticipation. Without anticipation, I donâ€™t know that any of the other positive emotions or feelings in life would be as exciting. I began thinking about this earlier in the year and have seen it in action more ways than I had originally thought. With any major event comes some amount of important anticipation. Itâ€™s everywhere! At ďŹ rst, I really only thought about it in terms of holidays and major events. This is where anticipation, in my experience, has been most obviously felt by the general public. With each holiday comes preparation, decorations, ads building up the holiday, themed television specials and all other types of reminders that the event is quickly approaching. This can go on for weeks, sometimes a month or two, before the actual holiday. As I thought about it, I began seeing it more and more in everyday life. Not only was I seeing it everywhere, but I started noticing it as its own entity, one that could potentially be really great. For instance, there have been many occasions where I have looked forward to a movie coming out, like the new Harry Potter. I will become aware of it, maybe even a year in advance, and be anxious until its release. Its debut will come and I am unable to make the opening night. Life will go on, it may be another few weeks before I make it to the movie, but I donâ€™t even seem to mind. I am excited it is out, and will forever â€œmeanâ€? to see it, but it has become less of a priority. If you had given me the chance to see the movie months ago, I would have jumped at the opportunity. But now, the anticipation has died out, and it no longer seems like such a big deal. Thoughts like this have led me to notice, and almost seek out, anticipation in my day to day â€” not nervousness, or an anxiety, but a looking-forward-to. I think, when done the right way, it could really improve oneâ€™s happiness. My roommate has this motto: â€œLive life as if you are always heading to a party that is two blocks away.â€? This seems like a pretty good idea.
DECEMBER 2-8, 2010
FALL PRAIRIE SKIES AT WILLIAM M. STAERKEL PLANETARIUM by Nick Martin
Have you ever been to space? No, of course you haven’t. But if you have, email me (email@example.com); I’d honestly love to hear about it. I digress. Most people are never going to go to space: It is merely a distant enigma that looks cool in magazine photos. Even though nobody visits space, smart people still know a bunch of stuff about it. If you too would like to know “a bunch of stuff” about space and perhaps become a smart person yourself, then do I have the event for you! Fall Prairie Skies, at The William M. Staerkel Planetarium, is an excellent introduction to understanding all those bright, white dots that sometimes arrange themselves in the shape of Greek gods. On Friday, Nov. 26, join Staerkel Planetarium for Prairie Skies, a show astronomy fans of all ages can appreciate. “Looking at the stars during the cloudy winter months? Impossible!” you say. Well, Staerkel Planetarium thought of that. The Carl Zeiss M1015 star machine projects 7,600 stars across the planetarium walls and ceiling. A seasoned astrology expert will narrate what stargazers should be looking for (e.g. planets, asteroids, constellations). The show’s narrator will also provide anecdotes about the storied history of the stars. The show is updated seasonally, so make it out to William M. Staerkel Planetarium before this sky becomes a different sky!
COVER DESIGN Adam Fabianski EDITOR IN CHIEF Brad Thorp MANAGING EDITOR Claire Keating ART DIRECTOR Annaka Olsen COPY CHIEF Emily Siner PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Ramzi Dreessen IMAGE EDITOR Peggy Fioretti PHOTOGRAPHERS Justin Maatubang, Sean O’Connor, Andrea
TALK TO BUZZ
DESIGNERS Adam Fabianski, Joann Pierce, Bridget Hapner MUSIC EDITOR Dylan Sutcliff FOOD & DRINK EDITOR Jeanine Russell MOVIES & TV EDITOR Matt Carey ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Abby Wilson COMMUNITY EDITOR Nick Martin CU CALENDAR Elisia Phau COPY EDITORS Erin Dittmer, Drew Hatcher SALES MANAGER Carolyn Gilbert MARKETING/DISTRIBUTION Brandi Willis PUBLISHER Mary Cory ON THE WEB www.the217.com EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org WRITE 512 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 CALL 217.337.3801
We reserve the right to edit submissions. buzz will not publish a letter without the verbal consent of the writer prior to publication date. 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.
NICK MARTIN COMMUNITY EDITOR
EPIC GRIPES » Snooki Has Written ONE (1) Novel, While I Have Written ZERO (0) novels: Well, remember that loud bitch on that terrible show on MTV who was always complaining about how people wouldn’t have sex with her? Yeah, the orange one with terrible self-esteem. She wrote a novel. Like Steinbeck, Faulkner and Hemingway before her, Snooki now enjoys the beneﬁts formerly reserved to an elite, educated few. I, on the other hand, tried writing a personal essay over Thanksgiving break, but AFTER I ﬁnished it I realize I was ripping off a popular humorist who frequently contributes to This American Life. Fiction writing is hard! How the hell did Snooki do it?! » The Situation Has Written ONE (1) Memoir, While I Have Written ZERO (0) Memoirs: You know that show that makes me ashamed to be a human being, let alone an American citizen? Yeah, the one watched by MILLIONS OF PEOPLE every Thursday night. Well, remember that chauvinistic, creepy-looking egomaniac who week after week straddled the line between picking up a woman and raping a woman? Yeah, the one with the abs that are clearly a method of phallic compensation. He wrote a memoir. A style of writing traditionally reserved to presidents and other important people who contribute to society or experience some unique hardship, Mike “The Situation” Whateverthefuckhislastnameis wrote a goddamn memoir. I can write a memoir! I have a quirky family! I’ll be just like Augustin Burroughs! Not as good as David Sedaris, but certainly still worth reading! Come on, publishing industry! Stop being so depressing! » Waiting For New Episodes Of Jersey Shore!: I love those crazy kooks! I was supposed to do something — write maybe? — but I forgot all about it because I just can’t stop watching this show. It’s got everything! Pretty girls! Fabulous guys! And of course, drama! If there’s one thing I love seeing on TV, it’s people who remind me of the talentless, mean spirited pricks who used to shove me into lockers during high school. Who wouldn’t want to see those people become millionaires? This show is great! While I wait for season three (this time, the guidos and guidettes party in the center of a volcano!), I’ll just drink alone, by myself, until I pass out in a stupor. I hate my generation and every single person who was born into it.
© ILLINI MEDIA COMPANY 2010
One on One
december 2-8, 2010
with Sharon Owens co-owner, radio mario
by Monique Lassere
hough Radio Maria has been a CU favorite for years with some of those classic dishes that keep us coming back for more, it also constantly presents changes in the menu, space and events that have its customers returning and growing in size. According to co-owner Sharon Owens, Radio Maria is all about fusing personal interests with the love of great dining: the restaurant features work (from the lights to the three-dimensional artwork on the wall to the tabletops) by Owens, co-owner David Spears and other Radio Maria employees past and present. Back in the kitchen, the creativity does not stop: Chefs are encouraged to explore their culinary interests as reflected in the evolving menu. buzz sat down with Owens to talk more about her restaurant. » buzz: How and when did Radio Maria start? Sharon Owens: It started about fifteen years ago. My partner and I are both graduates from U of I in art, and at the time there were very few restaurants in town, if you can imagine that. We wanted to provide something that wasn’t already here and do a diverse menu and a somewhat fine-dining atmosphere, but casual at the same time so that it wasn’t inhibiting people, and also use our abilities to put the place together, in terms of décor. » buzz: What’s the story behind the name? SO: Basically, a friend of ours is named Maria, and she actually was one of our first waitresses
for a little while ... We wanted to use the radio term because we were using a lot of different ethnicities in our cooking, and we sort of like that idea of radio waves going across the world. So we just adapted it to Radio Maria. » buzz: What kind of ethnic food do you serve? SO: Well, it’s changed some over the years. We let our chefs pursue their interests as much as they can. ... I had a strong interest in Latin American food, and we still have quite a bit of that here. We started out having more Caribbean, Indian, Latin American. We’ve sort of evolved now — we’re still doing Latin, we’re doing Spanish because we started doing tapas dishes, and our chef Brian is interested in Asian cuisine so there are more Asian dishes than there used to be. And also just fresh American cooking using ingredients that we can get from around here when we can. » buzz: What’s your personal favorite dish? SO: We have a coffee filet steak with sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, and that was one of our first recipes, and it stayed on our menu this whole time. And right now we have a white truffle mushroom risotto, which I incidentally had yesterday. Those are two of my favorites. We also do another vegetarian dish, a torta, and it’s tortillas with layers of sweet potatoes and mole and poblano peppers and goat cheese. That’s really good. » buzz: The architecture is really beautiful. Has Radio Maria always been like this?
Buzz file photo
SO: No, actually we started with just (the main dining area) of the restaurant, and it used to be a paint store so it was gutted entirely. ... (Our landlord) put the guts back in and we did a lot of the work. We did all of the finishing work, the painting, the decoration, and I made the tabletops, and David made a bunch of the lighting fixtures. And then, this room (pictured above) we didn’t get until about four years ago. It used to be an antique store, and they moved out, and so this once again was just the bare shell of the
building. David actually constructed the bar, the back bar, all this lighting. » buzz: What’s in store for Radio Maria? SO: We are trying to also line up a few more nighttime happenings, the later night in the bars. So we’re working on a couple more DJ nights, perhaps with that. And then we usually renovate our menu for wintertime again. Once again, we try to use ingredients when they’re in season and fresh, so we’ll be making some changes to our dinner menu probably pretty soon.
bringing the west closer Montana Mike’s steakhouse offers a Montana-style lodge in Urbana by Emily Sawyers Montana might be far from Illinois, but Montana Mike’s, located at 1601 N. Cunningham Ave. in Urbana, tries to bring it closer with a western-style grill and steakhouse menu. From the moment you walk into Montana Mike’s, almost everything seems to be made out of wood, creating a lodge feel. There are decorations such as fish nets, canoes, paddles, and animals all over the walls. Even their lamps have mountains carved into them. In the background, soft rock creates a relaxing atmosphere. Jerry Moses, who has been has been the manager since it opened this past May, said that the goal is to make the restaurant “friendly and light.” There are about 30 other Montana Mike’s around the United States, including one in Danville. “So far the age range is consistently middleaged people, but we are expecting the age range to become more diverse and expand over time,” Moses said.
The restaurant features a “sky bar” upstairs, a section of the restaurant that can be rented out for large parties. There is a full bar, big screen TVs and enough seating for about 60 people. “There have been a good number of parties held in the sky bar, including birthdays and anniversary celebrations,” Moses said. The menu includes an array of starters, salads, favorites, classic steaks, burgers, sandwiches, desserts and beverages. According to Montana Mike’s in Urbana, on Nov. 10th, 2010. Photo by Justin Maatubang Moses, the most popular items are the steaks. They also have a selection of seafood and fish such as shrimp ered in blue cheese and pieces of crispy bacon. It was delicious. They were cooked nicely, and and salmon. I tried the steak medallions, which were a sea- the whole entrée reminded me of a homemade sonal specialty. The medallions were served with meal. Prices were definitely reasonable, and my mashed potatoes and asparagus and were cov- whole meal came out to about $14.
Janay Willis poses for a portrait at Montana Mike’s in Urbana, on Nov. 9th, 2010. Photo by Justin Maatubang
I voted for myself.
HOW IT’S MADE
DECEMBER 2-8, 2010
by Lauren Wisniewski We often think of chocolate as the delicious and decadent sweet found in our favorite desserts. However, for 90 percent of its history, people didn’t even eat chocolate — they drank it. The ﬁrst people to consume chocolate did so by mixing crushed cacao seeds with water to create a foamy, bitter beverage. By the mid-1800s, solid chocolate candy was inexpensively sold to the public because of new technology. Chocolate is a crucial ingredient in many specialty dishes, desserts and drinks on menus around the world. For anyone interested in experiencing chocolate from across the world, Rubens Chocolates, located at the Art Mart’s bakery in Lincoln Square Mall, is one local option. Rubens Chocolates is owned by Christiane Nuyts, a Belgian native and master chocolate maker, who creates Belgian chocolates that look as good as they taste. Nuyts oversees the production of each handmade chocolate. Her expertise in Belgian chocolate comes from her training under a leading Belgian chocolatier, as well as her educational background at one of Belgium’s most prestigious baking schools. Her chocolates are unlike what is found in grocery stores. She uses the ﬁnest Belgian chocolate and the freshest creams, butters, fruits and nuts
for her ﬁllings. She refuses to use preservatives, artiﬁcial ﬂavors and colors. Brian McKay, owner of the Art Mart bakery, said that Rubens Chocolates are by far the most popular and sought-after desserts in the bakery. To make your own handcrafted specialty chocolate experience, try chocolate truffles with some holiday baking. Belgian Chocolate Trufﬂes prep time: 1 hr 45 min, makes about 24 trufﬂes » 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces » 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces » 2/3 cup heavy cream » 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, sifted » 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted Place 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate and the unsweetened chocolate in a four-quart bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Refrigerate for one hour until ﬁrm but not hard.
. y a d y r e v e . y all da st No coupon required, ju
valid College Student
llarge arge 1-Topping Pizza Valid on Pan, Thin ‘N Crispy® or Hand-Tossed Style Pizza.
ing just enough pressure to form smooth rounds. Roll 16 of the rounds in 2 tablespoons cocoa and separately roll 8 in the confectioners’ sugar until completely covered. Store the trufﬂes in a tightly-sealed plastic container in the refrigerator. Remove about one hour before serving.
’S ift to you. N W O T S U P g CAM UNIVERSITY APPRECIATION DAY!
Look for details in today’s Daily Illini
Open Late! DPv6XQq7KXUV DPv)ULq6DW
Expires 12/31/10. Valid with College Student ID. Not valid with other promotions or offers. Additional charge for extra cheese. Participation, delivery areas and charges may vary. Cash value 1/20¢. © 2010 Pizza Hut, Inc. 0901NP_UIL-Urbana
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop a tablespoon for each trufﬂe evenly spaced onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the portions for 15 minutes. When the mixture is ﬁrm enough to handle, remove from the refrigerator and individually roll each portion in your palms, in a gentle circular motion, us-
9/13/10 11:47 AM
DECEMBER 2-8, 2010
One on One
with kelly eddington watercolor painter
by Lauren Hise
elly Eddington, formerly a high school art teacher, is now a full-time artist who creates highly detailed watercolors. Already in possession of a solid fan base that includes Roger Ebert and readers from her days as a @U2 cartoonist, Eddington continues pursuing the art form she loves, no matter how many work hours it takes. buzz talked with Eddington about her inspiration, her preference for watercolor and Bono. » buzz: When did you first start painting? What got you started? Kelly Eddington: My artistic skills really seemed to take off when I was 14, and that’s when I painted my first big watercolor. It was a snowy city park at sundown. I remember my teacher raving about it, but the paint was hard to control. I preferred the precision of ink and pencils, and soon I was painting with acrylics on canvas. A couple of summers later, I found myself wanting to paint, but the only art supplies in the house were my sketchbook and my little sister’s terrible K-mart paint set, with its awful plastic brush. The pages in my sketchbook were thin and not meant to be painted on, and the watercolors were in poor condition, but I decided to paint with them anyway. ... By the end of the summer, I had a sketchbook full of very good watercolors, all made under the worst of conditions. Eventually I got my hands on actual watercolor paper and tubed paints, and painting seemed a lot easier after learning how to do it the hard way. » buzz: Why has watercolor suited you so well? KE: I like working with a medium that is so uncomplicated and inexpensive. I don’t need special equipment like a kiln or a loom. It’s just a piece of paper taped to a board, my paints and brushes, a paper towel and some water. I can take it anywhere, and I love watching the colors flow and combine on the page. My paintings are highly realistic, but they start
out with very loose underpainting, where I wet the paper down with clear water and drop the colors in. They explode like fireworks, and it’s beautiful. I also think that watercolor is kind of an underdog medium. Mistakes can be impossible to correct, and it takes a lot of patience and years to learn. Most people get frustrated with it and give up on it, but I think that makes me love watercolor even more. » buzz: How do you go about creating a painting? Do you have a method? KE: I enjoy painting from life, but my watercolors are so detailed and time-consuming that using reference photos is the only thing that works for me. If I’m painting a portrait, I’ll take dozens of photos of my subject and sometimes use Photoshop to enhance or combine different elements. I always start with a light pencil outline before I begin painting. With portraits, I paint the face first — that’s what matters the most, and if I mess it up I can start over without having wasted time on other parts of the painting. Otherwise, I try to approach the painting logically, painting the background first and slowly moving to the foreground. Or some days all I want to paint is little stuff, and the next day, I’ll want to work big. I begin in the morning and paint into the afternoon. I like to listen to old episodes of This American Life, or I’ll have an entire season of shows like Mad Men playing in the background. Each of our three cats drops by my table to sample my paint water, which is apparently the most delicious water in the house. » buzz: What inspires you the most? KE: The beauty of nature has always inspired me. A drive across even the flattest, most boring stretch of the Illinois landscape keeps me constantly entertained. The more I paint, the more I notice little details no one cares about, such as the number and color of bolts connecting road signs to their
posts—are they silver? Are they rusty? How many are on the sign? If I were painting a landscape with that sign, I’d have to know. The ability to mix colors is a gift and a curse. Wherever I look, my mind comes up with the combination of paint colors it would take to create anything I see. I also love to look at faces and pinpoint the things that make a person unique. I fall in love with the people I paint. There’s no other way to describe it. Wrinkles, skin tone variations, freckles and hair patterns are fascinating and beautiful to me. When I am not completing portraits, I work on a series of paintings inspired by my travels in Italy, specifically the colorful island of Burano, and some small florals. » buzz: What do you hope to do with your work in the future? KE: I have a website where I sell prints and originals (kellyeddington.com), and in the fall I will have a solo exhibition at Culver-Stockton College. I’m busy preparing for that. To my great surprise and delight, Roger Ebert became a fan of my paintings over the summer after seeing one of his books in my portrait of a little girl named Mabel, and he has promoted new work on my website and blog to his legion of followers on Twitter many times. He’s even sent me a few books about watercolor from his vast collection. » buzz: You have done some illustrations about U2. How did you get started with that? KE: This was actually for a fan website called @U2. The site wanted to hire a cartoonist, someone who would make fun of U2 on a monthly basis in a feature called “Achtoon Baby.” I’ve always loved U2, but at the same time they are incredibly fun and easy to mock. I tried out for the job and was selected out of a field of around 100 applicants, if I remember correctly. I illustrated my online comic with my usual highly
Used with permission from Kelly Eddington
realistic watercolors, often creating at least eight to ten small paintings per episode. What I thought would be an amusing little sideline became a sevenyear, monumental time-drain, but as a result, my artwork gained a lot of exposure to thousands of readers who gave me wonderful feedback. Entertainment Weekly named @U2 its number one music fansite a few years ago, and I’ve been fortunate to have been associated with it. I have painted Bono so many times I feel I know his face on a near-molecular level. I retired from the job almost two years ago, and sometimes I miss having that huge audience, but a lot of them have stayed with me, reading my blog (alizarine.typepad.com), following me on Twitter and buying my old U2 paintings. » buzz: What advice would you give to aspiring artists? KE: Paint what you love. Get obsessed with it. Don’t wait for the muse to strike — paint every day whether you’re in the mood or not. Great things can happen! And never stop noticing the beauty that’s all around you.
Calling All Sugar Plum Fairies
Krannert once again plays host to the Champaign-Urbana Ballet’s The Nutcracker by Megan Betti Christmastime is upon us, and the traditions surrounding this time of year are often unflinchingly kept: the tree, the carols, the food, not to mention watching the Grinch, Frosty and Charlie Brown with his sad little Christmas tree. But one of the most truly magical traditions available to those in the CU area is the annual production of The Nutcracker. This is the type of production childhood dreams are made of, and if you have not seen this ballet yet, this is the year to go. Walking into the lobby of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the holiday spirit is nearly tangible, and the excitement of the children in their little suits and fluffy dresses is contagious. The Champaign Urbana Ballet puts on an annual local production of professional quality utilizing the talent of the company dancers and an abundance of local children, according to Alison Weingartner, a publicist for The
Erica Johnston and Gibby Kirby dance the Arabian variation in The Nutcracker, an annual production of the Champaign Urbana Ballet. Photo by Dan Merlo
Nutcracker. Some of the dancers affiliated with the University of Illinois are alumna Valerie Blomgren, Drew Coverdill, John Dayger, Mark Deler, Rajeev Malik and David O’Brien.
Including dances from around the world, such as the family favorite “Mother Ginger,” the story is told in the most beautiful way possible, thanks in part to the Sinfonia da Camera, a spectacular
40-piece orchestra. Led by the incredible Ian Hobson, the orchestra will be playing the music that has made the score from The Nutcracker truly the soundtrack of the holiday season. “It’s a production we look forward to every year,” says Bridget Lee-Calfas, the public information director at Krannert. “It’s a pleasure to see the collaboration between the Champaign Urbana Ballet and Sinfonia da Camera.” While the production is a truly professional endeavor, it is also a product of this community. “Every year, many parent and professional volunteers and community sponsors collaborate to bring the ballet to the stage,” said Weingartner, “It has become a Champaign-Urbana holiday tradition.” As the radio stations begin to pull out all their holiday music, the Champaign Urbana Ballet and Sinfonia da Camera prepare the final touches to one of the best parts of the holiday season.
the217.com DECEMBER 2-8, 2010
What’s a party without a man in a banana costume?
Not just another Christmas play
Almost, Maine arrives at Station Theater
by Derek Beigh Celebration Company presents Almost, Maine at the Station Theatre in Urbana with shows running from Dec. 2 to Dec. 18. “I hope to be able to bring that charm that is at the heart of this (play) and warm people as we approach the darkest time of the year and the longest nights,” said Holley. The warmth of Almost, Maine comes from its themes and its tightly-knit cast of characters, nineteen residents of the town who participate in ten separate scenes set on the same idyllic winter night. For the ten actors portraying those characters, the experience of performing in a vignette setting has proved fulfilling in unique ways. “I get to play two very different characters in two very different scenarios. That’s the great thing about (vignettes) as an actor,” said cast member Rob Zaleski. Holley took a bit longer to sign on than the average director. Her originally intended script proved imGrant Morenz and Debbie Richardson, both from Champaign, rehearse a scene from Almost, possible to license, while Maine at the Station Theatre in Urbana on Nov. 29. Photo by Ramzi Dreessen Almost, Maine sat on the
10 - 50% OFF!
Our Already Low Prices
Men’s, Women’s & Kids
Shoes & Winter Boots
ing to Zaleski, the intimacy of performing in such a compact space reflects the feeling of warmth and familiarity already present in the vignettes. “What works well for this show is that it is so personal. It really gets you in there with the characters, like you’re really just sitting there in their conversation,” said Zaleski. “You feel like you could be just sitting at a bar with these people.” Holley said while a bigger theater would present opportunities to stage the show in a more elaborate way, that intimacy should be a valuable resource in the show’s celebration of what makes humanity special, even if it does occasionally spill over into the holiday spirit. “I want (the audience) to look back and think of light and magic and color and love,” said Holley. “It’s got all those wonderful things that address the human spirit, particularly around the issue of love. And if that’s not the feeling you’re looking for in the holidays, I just don’t know what is.”
The station theatre 223 n. broadway ave., u. what: Almost, Maine when: Thursday, Dec. 2 to Sunday, Dec. 5,
Wednesday, Dec. 8 to Sunday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 15 to Saturday, Dec. 18. at 8 p.m. TICKETS: $8 on Wed., $10 on Thurs. and Sun., $15 on Fri. and Sat. Call 384-4000 for ticket information.
COLUMBIA DAYS This Weekend! December 3rd, 4th & 5th
SAVE ON EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF COLUMBIA PRODUCT IN THE STORE!
10% OF F
Celebration Company’s shortlist of performance candidates lacking a leader. Holley said taking on such a different type of show has proved a valuable learning experience. “I tend to work most with scripts that are extremely intensive — small (amounts of) characters, one room kind of dramas where you go really deep with them — and this is a different kind of animal,” said Holley. While Almost, Maine is an unusual selection for CU given its relative obscurity and recent publication in 2004, its presence as a potential show for the Station was unsurprising to Holley. “The Station has been in a position unlike most of the other venues in town, who have either academic boards and deans and things that they have to answer to, or a public that wants only a certain kind of theater. From the get-go, we have been able to do things that are newer, edgier and darker than a lot of other venues could do,” said Holley. “We’ve always taken on a good measure of new playwrights and new plays.” The Celebration Company is also unlike many other local troupes in that it has its own space in the Station Theatre, which allows it to take on ambitious schedules like the company’s sevenplays-in-seven-months 2010/2011 season. The dimensions of the theater as well have proved an invaluable part of staging Almost, Maine. Accord-
Almost, Maine is set in December. It has snow, the aurora borealis and charm to spare. But don’t you dare call it a Christmas play. “It’s a great show for the holidays without having a holiday theme,” said director Kay Bohannon Holley. “The humor, the charm, the warmth — and it’s not all happy-happy. It’s human .All those things that you would expect to see in a holiday show, those feelings are going to be there with this.” Holley’s vision will take center stage when the
15% OF F
BACKPACKS � EARBANDS HATS � SCARVES � GLOVES
PARKAS � SHELLS PANTS � VESTS 3-IN-1 JACKETS FLEECE � DOWN OMNI-HEAT ®
COLUMBIA � SOREL
25% OF F
Special Deals & Steals
50 % OF F
While Supplies Last
SWEATERS � HOODIES SHIRTS � PANTS
Cross Eyed Parka
Saturday, December 4
In the Store to Answer Your Questions
SEE WHAT THE OMNI-HEAT ® TECHNOLOGY BUZZ IS ALL ABOUT
Meet the Reps!
Men’s & Women’s
1 5% OF F
� CLOSEOUT DEALS � SPECIAL BUYS � LAST YEAR’S MODELS
REG. $250 00
303 SOUTH NEIL STREET
MONDAY-FRI 9 TO 9, SAT 9 TO 6, SUN 12 TO 5
december 2-8, 2010
QUICK PICK ALBUM review ARTIST:
A Day To Remember
What Separates Me From You
There is nothing spectacular about A Day to Remember’s most recent album, What Separates Me From You. But this album focuses on what the band does best: rocking out in their own way. There are no songs that equate to what “The Downfall of Us All” was for Homesick, but overall, the songs are pretty decent. To me, What Separates Me From You sounds like the band went and recorded songs based on what songs were popular from previous albums. For example, I hear a tinge of “Heartless” in “Sticks & Bricks,” while “This is the House that Doubt Built” reminds me of “Have Faith in Me.” While most of this album focuses on pop-punk clean vocals with heavy undertones, fans will still get songs with breakdowns and screams. My favorite song would have to be either “2nd Sucks” or “If I Leave.” Both of these songs are on par with the band’s previous work. On a different note, fans might cry that the band “sold out” by going soft, but I just think that they’re going in a new direction. Taken as a whole, What Separates Me From You, is an OK album, definitely on par with Homesick, but still not up to the level of For Those Who Have Heart. —Jeremy Lin ARTIST:
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
It’s hard to be shocked by Kanye West by now. With a resume that consists of calling the president of the United States a racist, stealing a seventeen year old girl’s most proud moment and ficticously having sex with a ghost, West has been discredited on many occasions. However, there is one thing that we forgot when we called Kanye crazy and pompous, the guy delivers. His new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy explores Kanye’s (many) deep personal fears alongside global issues and has touches of many different genres and styles. But with a guest list including Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Elton John, Drake, John Legend and Justin Vernon, it would be strange if the style didn’t jump around. Kanye West’s new album is a great addition to an already superb catalogue, and, while it does not make of for his asinine behavior, it does at least remind us why he’s such a big name in the first place. —Dylan Sutcliff
Two weeks ago, Girl Talk dropped his fifth album, All Day, for free online without any warning; however, without any media hype, Girl Talk managed to pretty much break the internet due to all of the downloads off his website, illegal-art. com. So, does All Day live up to the hype? Yeah. Yeah, it does. All Day has a total runtime of one hour and 11 minutes, features 372 total samples and is meant to be listened to all at once. At first, this sounds like a task, but once the first track comes on, it’s very difficult to turn off. Featuring combos like Arcade Fire/Lil Wayne and Simon and Garfunkel/Lil John, Girl Talk once again takes his spin on pop music. I thought that perhaps after Feed The Animals and Night Ripper it would be hard for me to go back into Greg Gillis’ sample madness, but as it turns out, I love it. Girl Talk is just one of the most fun musicians there is because he appeals to my ADD side, and it’s really hard not to like something that is poppy and lasts for thirty seconds, especially when it seamlessly shifts into something else poppy and fun directly after that. This music is best used on long car trips and probably late night parties. I have yet to try the latter; however, I expect All Day to show up at parties and bars very soon.—Dylan Sutcliff
dropping sound bombs Star Course brings Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s to Courtyard Cafe by Adam Barnett
efore you buckle down on studying or whatever else you have to do to in order to survive a week of relentless final exams, indulge yourself in a musical warm-up brought to you by Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s. The concert, hosted by Star Course, will be on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. in the Courtyard Cafe. The Indianapolis-based Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s have really started to become heavy hitters in the indie rock/ pop scene since 2006. They have released four studio albums, which were all released by either Epic Records or Artemis Records, both incredibly successful and eclectic. The band has also played at major music festivals including SXSW, Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest, and CU’s own Pygmalion Festival in 2009. The Pygmalion performance was one of the more interesting of the year with the band breaking up the day before. Lead singer Richard Edwards and violinist/lap guitarist Erik Kang played alone at The Canopy Club to a very confused crowd; however, the performance turned out to be one of the best of the night despite the impromptu change in lineup. So, there must be a reason for such success. For one, the band’s music encompasses a wide range of styles that typiPhoto used with permission from Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s
cally vary from album to album. Their debut 2006 record, The Dust of Retreat, carries a very poppy, but equally catchy drive (think Annuals but a bit more folky). Two 2008 releases Not Animal and Animal! completely oppose each other with the first representing dark, baroquerock, experimental tunes, and the second exploring the intriguing world of indie-folk. Finally, Buzzard — released in September of this year — is a collection of incredibly driving, straight-up indie rock jams, perfect to jump around and have fun to. And this concert will be all about jumping around and having fun. Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s are known to play tunes from all of their albums and EPs, so there is definitely going to be something for everyone at the show, and if you’ve seen them before their last album, it will be an interesting treat. The band went through a recent lineup change by switching out their trumpet and cellist with some more guitar, and it’s bound to make for a fantastically different show. To boogie down/subtly bob your head to some fantastic indieexperimentalrockfolkpopawesome, buy a ticket at the Courtyard Cafe — $8 for students or $13 for the public7
the217.com DECEMBER 2-8, 2010
My life has been reduced to textbooks and coffee.
catching up with ...
by Dylan Sutcliff Since forming this summer, local band The Leadership has been very busy. The band — consisting of Jon Childers on vocals and guitar; Jared Michael Park on guitar, keys and vocals; Chris Jones on bass, and Zane Ranney on drums — played at this year’s Pygmalion Music Festival and opened for Portugal. The Man and Chief at The Canopy Club not long after that. On Dec. 9, visit The Canopy Club and be the first to buy their first and currently untitled LP. » buzz: When and why did you guys decide to make a band? Jon Childers: The band formed over the summer as a result of Miller High Life-fueled jamming. After a while we decided we should record and get out of the house. It’s been going great. People have been coming out to the shows and giving positive feedback. It makes us blush. » buzz: Where did you come up with the name? JC: My girlfriend gave me a wall plaque with a sail-
ing vessel, “The Leader-ship.” Each of the sails has a value of leadership. It’s been a big inspiration. » buzz: What would you cite as some of your influences? JC: Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, Jay Bennett, Yes, Jimi, Annie Clark, Steve Howe, Sun Ra and Miles are the big ones and to a lesser extent Hank Williams Jr. and Bill Fulara. Zane has been really into Wendy’s Training Videos lately. That’s all I hear him listening to. » buzz: How would you describe your music? JC: We’ve been told “an angrier Wilco.” » buzz: Can we expect to see anything coming out from The Leadership anytime soon? JC: Hell yeah. We spent most of fall break recording in our beautiful basement studio. On Dec. 9 at 10 p.m., we’re having our CD release show with Great Life and Horrible Things at the Canopy. It’s the day before reading day, so come out and have a drink. If you need tickets, let me know.
The Leadership, here they are. Photo By Sean O’Connor
‘1-2-3 Sundays’: -$1 High Life Pints -$2 Tullamore Dew and John Powers Irish Whiskeys and Rails -$3 Guinness 16 oz Pints
Mondays: -$1 PBRs and Karaoke
Live Bands . DJ . Great Prices Always a good time!
No cover both nights! 105 N. Market Street Downtown Champaign 217.355.1236
MOVIES MOVIE REVIEW
A Classic Movie Experience
Serving beer, wine, and mixed drinks.
Week of Fri. Dec 3 - Thu. Dec 9
DECEMBER 2-8, 2010
by Jeremy Koga
3FAVORITES Danny Boyle ďŹ lms
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (NR) Sun: 1:00 PM
127 Hours (R)Â
by Thomas Bruch
Fri: (5:30), 7:30 Sat: (3:30), (5:30), 7:30 Sun: (5:30), 7:30 Mon - Thu: 7:30 PM
Fri & Sat: 10:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 PM
Take the CUMTD Bus www.theCUart.com
126 W. Church St. Champaign
Topless Female Dancers 18 to enter â€˘ Mon-Thur 8pm-1am â€˘ Fri-Sat 8pm-2am â€˘ $5 Cover (Always Hiring, Weâ€™ll Train)
Silver Bullet Bar
1401 E. Washington Urbana 217.344.0937