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PROVE YOU’RE A ROCK STAR AT LOCAL OPEN MIC NIGHTS

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ENJOY JAZZ NIGHT AND A GOOD GYRO AT ZORBA’S

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HOLIDAY SHOWS AND EVENTS IN CU CALENDAR


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ADMIT NOTHING, DENY EVERYTHING AND MAKE COUNTER-ACCUSATIONS.

BUZZ STAFF volume

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no.49

Cover Design • Brittany Bindrim Editor in Chief • Erin Scottberg Art Director • Brittany Bindrim Copy Chief • Meghan Whalen Listen, Hear • Anna Statham Stage, Screen & in Between • Elyse Russo Around Town • Tatyana Safronova CU Calendar • Annette Gonzalez Photography Editor • Amelia Moore Designers • Hank Patton, Monica Betel, Renee Okumura Calendar Coordinator • Brian McGovern Photography • Amelia Moore Copy Editors • Lisa Fisherkeller, Emily Ciaglia, Ilana Katz, Whitney Harris Staff Writers • Brian McGovern, Carlye Wisel, Amy Meyer Contributing Writers • Michael Coulter, Seth Fein, Mike Ingram, Kim Rice, Kate Ruin Sales Manager • Mark Nattier Marketing/Distribution • Brandi Wills Publisher • Mary Cory

TALK TO BUZZ e-mail: buzz@readbuzz.com 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.

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This Modern World • Tom Tomorrow Life in Hell • Matt Groening First Things First • Michael Coulter

AROUND TOWN Open Mic Nights • Kimya Karshenas The Local Sniff • Seth Fein Community Spotlight with Mike Zande • Kyle Betts

LISTEN, HEAR Zorba’s Jazz Night • Amy Meyer Album reviews CU Sound Revue • Mike Ingram Spin It/Flip It/Reverse It • Carlye & Brian

CU CALENDAR

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STAGE, SCREEN & IN BETWEEN

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Guitar Hero at Cowboy Monkey • Kimya Karshenas Movie reviews Theater review Hidden Gem/Guilty Pleasure • Brent Simerson Page Rage • Constance Beitzel Artist’s Corner with Cheryl Krugel • Sonja Stojanovic

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CLASSIFIEDS

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THE STINGER

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ARNING: This is going to be a sappy column. I could not have asked for a better staff to work with this past year. Everyone gets along so well, we all help each other out and work our butts off every week to get this issue to you. While this isn’t technically my last issue as editor, it is my last issue while there are still students on campus. Therefore, I’m writing my thank you now, so everyone knows what amazing people I work with and what a great year this was been for buzz. When I took over last January, I had only a slight idea of what I was doing and I had a lot of editor positions to fi ll. Elyse, Tatyana and Anna came on board, Brittany was promoted from a designer to the art director and we all learned as we went along. Yeah, there were some misspelled cover lines (horribly, horribly embarrassing but a very humbling lesson to learn) and some very late nights, but if I have to spend 30 hours a week—usually very stressful hours at that—with anyone, then I’m glad it’s this staff. FYI: The fact that I hired mostly women (ok, all women) was

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erin scottberg EDITOR’S NOTE

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UNDER THE COVER

First copy of Buzz is FREE, each additional copy is $.50 © Illini Media Company 2006

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Doin’ it Well • Kim Rice & Kate Ruin Jonesin’ Crosswords • Matt Gaffney Free Will Astrology Likes and Gripes

completely unintentional — in fact, I didn’t even realize that was the case until it was pointed out to me. But I digress… Even though we always have a deadline looming over our heads and there’s always something — photos, an interview, a feature — that falls through, everyone here sucks it up and gets the job done. As underpaid and overworked as this staff is, we always have fun in the office. We can bitch and moan at each other — about work, school, roommates, anything — but we rarely bitch and moan about each other because everyone here is a team player (I told you this was going to be sappy). We did some buzz-bonding Monday night — the boozy kind — during our f irst (and obviously last) barcrawl of the semester. That’s Brittany with me in the photo. Somehow, the old upside-down-hand-mask trick was the move of the night. It even scored us some free drinks. While I’ve done barcrawls in other cities, nothing beats ending the night leaning against the sticky, vomitsmelling counter in Kams, throwing back cheap shots and getting funny looks because you’re not Baywatchtan and in a torn-hem jean skirt. I’ll miss that — and the cheap drinks — when I’m gone. Tatyana Safronova, the current Around Town editor, will be taking over as editor and chief in the new year. Her first issue is January 5 and I know she’s going to do amazing things with buzz. I hired Tatyana a year or so back when I was the Around Town editor and she is one of the most talented and dedicated journalists I’ve ever worked with. Seriously, all cornyness aside, I want to thank this staff — and the professional staff there at the Illini Media Company — for such an amazing year. I’m outta here. Well, after the next issue. sounds from the scene


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buzz weekly •

A MAN WRAPPED UP IN HIMSELF MAKES A VERY SMALL PACKAGE.

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michael coulter FIRST THINGS FIRST

Tom Waits is just so freakin’ cool P.S. Did you know I love Tom Waits?

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don’t get quite as excited about new music coming out as I used to. I can still remember the days when I would leap from bed, throw on a pair of shorts and ride my bike to the record store to get the brand-spanking new Husker Du record. These days, I usually just pick up what I want whenever I happen to have some time. Last week, though, was sort of old school. I mean, a Tom Waits three-disc set of outtakes and unreleased material. I might have even camped out to be the first in line if it wouldn’t have made me feel like such an idiot. There are few things in life better than Tom Waits ... and none of them are listening to music. I’m not exactly sure when I f irst started listening to Tom Waits. I think it’s one of those things that just sort of slowly takes you over. You hear a couple of songs here and there at parties, then buy a whole album, then like it so much that you buy another, then you eventually suck it up and buy everything he’s ever put out, then pour a big glass of whiskey and listen to them over and over again. When it’s all said and done and you’re half in the bag, some of it’s better than others, but it’s all still better than 90 percent of the crap you’ll ever hear from someone else (Note: the author is somewhat aware of just how poorly constructed the last paragraph actually was ... um, moving on). I’m also not completely sure why I like his music as much as I do. I’ve never been a hobo, a fugitive on the run, a soldier or virtually anything else he usually writes about in his songs. Well, he writes about drunks sometimes, and I suppose I’ve been that, but otherwise ... It’s as if he writes about a recent history of America that no one can actually remember except him. The words and the music oftentimes sound like something very old, yet still like something you’ve never really heard before. His new 3 disc set, “Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, & Bastards” is just absolutely amazing. The three discs are split up into the three subtitles. I haven’t made it all the way through the “Bawlers” one yet, but that’s understandable. I mean, for crapsake, how many times can a guy cry in his car during a seven-day stretch and not feel like sort of a pussy? Still, even with that, I can say it’s one of my favorite records of the year.

Tom Waits talks about love, jail houses, con men and even a really funny little rant about how he’s uncomfortable feeding his dog a treat made out of a bull’s penis. Some of the music is loud and sounds as if there is a glass-crushing machine behind him, while some of it is soft with barely a hint of a piano in the background, but it all rocks either way. I know, I sound like a dopey little schoolgirl with a crush on Tom Waits and the next statement isn’t going to help much in that regard, but he’s just so freaking cool. I saw him in Chicago once and that’s what I remember thinking the whole time. Man, this guy is so freaking cool. Some bands will have a $100,000 light show and all sorts of pre-recorded music, yet all Tom Waits needed was a hat with mirrors on it and a board he could stomp on every so often. That seemed pretty cool to me. What was also pretty cool were the stories he told in between songs. He’s sort of an encyclopedia of strange and seemingly useless facts, yet he doesn’t use this talent to show off. He just throws a few of them into each convoluted story to the point where you’re not exactly sure what’s true and what isn’t. It doesn’t matter much either way; it’s still amusing. The guy’s an enigma, shrouded in a riddle with a big dollop of mystery thrown on top. It really works for him. So, since I’ve kissed about as much Tom Waits ass as I’m physically capable of, I should point out that I generally hate it when an artist puts out a big pricey box set right before Christmas so they can cash in. I’m not really sure how much Tom has ever cashed in to begin with, but I bet it isn’t all that much, so I’ll give him a break on that one. If anyone deserves to screw a few folks out of a few bucks around the holidays, it’s Tom Waits. Forty-five bucks is a pretty small price to pay to be mesmerized for two or three hours. There’s a beautiful little reading of a Charles Bukowski thing on the third CD called “Nirvana.” It’s about a guy on a bus that falls in love with a little diner they stop at. There’s a strange little organ in the background and Tom Waits reading — that’s about it, yet it just seems so beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that if you aren’t careful, you’ll actually find yourself yearning to take a bus trip, and, as we all know, bus trips are almost never a sound idea. If Tom can make a bus sound lovely, then he can pretty much make anything sound that way.

OOPS! WE MADE A MISTAKE • Although buzz strives for accuracy, we sometimes make mistakes. If you catch something we didn’t,

please let use know at buzz@readbuzz.com. When a correction is needed, it will be listed here.

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around town

TESTING...TESTING

Give that open mic a go!

KIMYA KARSHENAS • STAFF WRITER

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or many, open mic nights are synonymous with karaoke — imitation, little talent, drunken shenanigans and obnoxious performers, to be avoided unless you are highly intoxicated. Although this type of interpretation can flicker on and off during the varied and random performances offered at these events, it is certainly not the case in Champaign-Urbana. Many venues in town draw on every caliber of performance, showcase talent in varied and unique mediums and offer a wide range of beverages to choose from, and sometimes even a free sandwich. Before I set out on a fun-filled week of open mics — a star crawl, if you will — I tried to gather troops for my adventure. I asked my friends, each night in vain, if they would join me for coffee and entertainment, even failing to succeed by bribing them with a drink or two. Excuses were offered up in every fashion imaginable — “Open mic? I would, but I have to knit my grandmother a sweater.” “Open mic? Uh. I have to iron the wrinkles out of my umbrella, it’s going to rain tomorrow.” I’m the type of person who likes surprises, even at the risk of bad case scenarios, and so I set out on my own, hoping to prove my friends wrong. What I found was a new reason to go out every night of the week, a hearty helping of inspiration and some new friends. Shannon Swords, who has been rapping for seven years and uses the name “Text,” was one of the returning performers at Cowboy Monkey, 6 E. Taylor St. in Champaign, where open mics are held every Monday night. “The place has the best turnout, especially when their beer garden is open. It’s a free practice space and more fun when it’s packed,” he says. Swords also recognizes that most of the people who come to an open mic don’t really care about who’s performing. He points out that although the talent on any given night doesn’t feature names up on a marquee, the audience still gives good feedback on a performance. At Cowboy Monkey, the entertainment was often live background music, set against the clinking of glasses and groupings of casual conversation. But when Text took the stage, the audience was brought to life with a lively rapping session that added variety to the night’s equally talented line-up, demanding attention with a lively run about the stage and deserted dance floor. Aside from the allure of no cover, this venue also attracts some serious names in the local music scene. Darrin Drda, lead singer of the band Theory of Everything, performed a few songs, and Ryan Groff from Elsinore and Cameron McGill have also performed recently. Mike Ingram, who is a local musician and booking agent, and Brandon T. Washington, also a musician, alternate weekly as the hosts, and sign up begins at about 9:45 in the evening. Wednesday nights at the Green Street Cafe hookah bar at 35 E. Green St. in Champaign can be described in two words: purple haze. The entire bar basks in a comforting purple glow from blacklighting overhead, complimenting the impressive array of f lavored tobacco offered on the their hookah menu. The open mic festivities start at 10:30 p.m., and

Adam Wolfe plays on the raised stage at open mic night at Potbelly in Champaign on Sunday night. “It’s a relaxed place to play, and you get a free sandwich.” Wolfe is an alumnus and resident of Urbana who has been playing guitar for the past eight years and has made it into a full-time job in the community. IN

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those interested in performing can register at the sign-up sheet at the door. Potbelly Sandwich Works at 501 E. Green St. in Champaign often hosts musicians who play on a lofted stage, with regular performers throughout the week. But what you may not know is that they also have an open mic scheduled on Sunday nights at 6:30, when they offer a free sandwich for performers. Most of the audience takes little time to look up during the songs, naturally, as they are mostly there for a quick bite to eat, but the live music is nevertheless worth a special visit. Espresso Royale on 1117 W. Oregon Street has often inter r upted my study session with a rousing Tuesday night open mic that takes care of procrastination for me when I run out of things to Google. Occasionally, when the weather is nice enough, the event takes place outdoors in the side patio of the cafe, which gives it more of a private feel. The indoor atmosphere is just as enticing because of some of the talent that comes through. Scott Swinford, a regular performer, says he likes to draw in the crowd that is there to study: “If I get people’s attention, it’s worth it.” Scott, who plays the acoustic guitar and sings, recently moved to Champaign-Urbana and says that

buzz weekly •

OH, DEAR GOD. CAN’T THIS TOWN GO ONE DAY WITHOUT A RIOT?

open mics are also a great way to meet people. The Espresso open mic begins at 8 p.m. every Tuesday night. The Red Herring at 1209 W. Oregon Street in Urbana, Champaign-Urbana’s only vegan restaurant, holds an open mic every Thursday night called Espresso Yourself Coffeehouse, which begins at 8. They offer vegan-friendly treats and bottomless cups of free trade coffee for only a dollar. It is definitely a place to check out any day of the week to support a local restaurant, and the atmosphere is something

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strictly to poetry and f iction readings. The performers don’t always read original work either — sometimes covers of the greatest hits of poetry are read aloud. The open mic night began as an undergraduate reading and due to its popularity has recently expanded into a community event. Another event, Voice, is a monthly “closed mic,” which showcases the works of University graduate students in creative writing. This month, Interrobang shared the floor with La Casa Cultural Latina, the Latino/Latina house on the University campus, showcasing lively spoken word performers f rom Ch icago to promote cultural awareness and unity. With the variet y of venue s available around town, there is really no good excuse to miss out on open mic performances. One is happening almost every night of the week in Champaign-Urbana, whether you plan on enjoying a night of free quality entertainment or getting behind the microphone yourself. There’s something special and exciting about not knowing what sort of talent is due to perform at an open mic. If life is, indeed, like a box of chocolates where you never know what you’re going to get, then open mics are a lot like life.

...IF LIFE IS, INDEED, LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES WHERE YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO GET, THEN OPEN MICS ARE A LOT LIKE LIFE.

AMELIA MOORE • PHOTO

wor thy of at t ract ing ta lent. I was luck y enough to go on a night when three stand-up comedians performed. One of them, who is a regular and a touring comedian from Alabama, along with two of his friends, performed some pretty hilarious routines. If you’re looking for something that caters to a specif ic taste, Interrobang is a monthly community open mic held at Caffe Paradiso at 801 S. Lincoln Ave in Urbana, which sticks

Adam Wolfe, host of open mic night at Potbelly in Champaign on Sunday nights, lets out a slow sigh after finishing a cover of “Ring of Fire” written by Johnny Cash. sounds from the scene

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AW, TWENTY DOLLARS! I WANTED A PEANUT!

BBQ’s in Tolono

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seth fein THE LOCAL SNIFF

Sniffer cringes at Christmas lights

EVERY THURSDAY 11AM-8PM

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FIRST SNIFF They’re up again. It pains me — absolutely pains me — to have to keep on with this subject, but I really don’t have a choice. I railed on this last year and I have decided that I will continue to do so until the nightmare is over. What is this horrific and heinous crime that I am referring to? The “holiday” decorations in downtown Champaign.

Just follow the Smell!

BIG LOTS + SLUSH FUNDS = DOWNTOWN CHAMPAIGN HOLIDAY DÉCOR I remember read i ng that la st yea r the Dow ntow n Ch a mpa ig n A s soc iat ion h ad somehow found $20K to refurbish the holiday decorations. When I heard about it, I was so very, very excited. I love this time of year. I love the leaning piece of shit Christmas tree in my house. I love my menorah. I love all of it. But these plastic-ass Big Lots-style cheap labor decorations have got to be, without a doubt, the very worst idea in the history of public spending in Champaign.

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MY QUESTION IS THIS: WHERE DID ALL THE MONEY GO? Let’s say each of those things cost $20 a pop (and that’s being generous). I haven’t counted — but there is no way that there are more than 100 up right now. So, that’s $2,000 right there. The strings of Christmas lights can be bought at wholesale for a nominal fee, as can the fake green wraps of garland that adorn our street lamps and poles. My guess is that the decorations actually cost between $5,000 and $10,000, tops. So, where did all the money go? Here is what I assume went down and when: TIMELINE OF EVENTS July 28, 2005: Downtown Champaign Association (DCA) receives check for $20,000 from City of Champaign. More hungry mouths go unfed; one step further from a recycling program. August 17, 2005: In a stupor, one member of the DCA, after many beers at Guido’s, exclaims, “I gots Twinty Grand in my pocket! Let’s spend that shit on some decorations, bitches!” People in bar laugh; member passes out, forgets about the money. October 31, 2005: Halloween. Noticing the fantastic decorations all about town, DCA member with the check realizes that Christmas is near. Goes to the bank and cashes check; buys a few bottles of Night Train Wine and drinks them on the way to Meijer.

November 1, 2006: Later that night, past midnight — melee ensues with store manager. Police reports that a “drunken man with nothing but a pair of underwear on tried to steal the entire stock of remaining plastic pumpkins while screaming ‘I have to please the Santy-Claus! I have to please the Santy-Claus!” DCA member found passed out in ex-girlfriend’s bathtub. November 22, 2005: On a very rainy day across the entire nation, after a short meeting, four members of the DCA steal a city truck and head on down to Big Lots on W. Springfield Ave where they purchase all Christmas decorations in one shot, spending approximately $5,163.78. Realizing that the Off-Track Betting Facility is right next door, the members decide to do some shots and put it all on “Sneaky Sally” for the win. She comes in second to last. November 28, 2005: Christmas decorations go up in Champaign. Association members pat each other on the back while drinking eggnog and brandy in the Jim Gould bar. One unidentified member exclaims to another, “You said he was a Mudder, you drunk sonofabitch!” SHOW OF THE WEEK Friday Night a vast array of indie goodness awaits you at any one of our venues in CU, but the pick for me here is Cowboy Monkey. A stacked f ive-band bill, with local greats New Ruins (my choice for Newcomer of the Year), Watery Domestic and Casados paired with touring artists Without Atom and Bloomington band Husband and Wife. The show is a cheap-ass $5 at the door. It’ll be grand. FINAL WHIFF Here is something more: I hate the PC War on Christmas thing. It seems completely asinine that anyone would spend any amount of time worrying about who is celebrating Christmas and where, just so long as there is not religious propaganda that goes along with it. I can understand the need to not put up a nativity scene in front of City Hall, but seriously — who gives a flying fuck about whether or not a kid has a stocking in school or not? If other people from other backgrounds want to celebrate something else, then so be it. But let’s not take the fun out the holidays. That’s what they are here for … Seth Fein is from Urbana. He means no disrespect to the Downtown Champaign Association as they have done plenty of good things for us before. But man oh man did they fuckin’ blow it with the holiday decorations. He can be reached at sethfein1@gmail.com.

STUDENT AFFAIRS/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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While most shows at the station are centered around the music, Ricker says he thinks this unique combination of jokes, stories and sports and the entertaining way they are presented are what drive Zande’s show to be popular. “The music is definitely an important part of his show, but I feel like the music is complementary to his personality and what he likes to do on his show,” said Ricker. “It’s more about his jokes and stories. The music is just trying to keep up with Zande.” Zande, who has been friends with Ricker since his freshman year at the University, says that Ricker was the main reason he got involved with radio. “Ryan started DJ-ing here when he was a freshman and I thought it was really cool. Then he became a manager and I was like, ‘Hey I’ll try and be a DJ,’ and I ended up doing it and really loving it,” Zande said. After quitting the football team, Zande didn’t do anything with radio for a year but was finally convinced to try out for his own radio show during his junior year, and his impact was immediate at the station. “I knew he had to do something with his time. He’s too talented to just be sitting around and not doing anything,” said Ricker. “It didn’t take him very long to solidify himself atop of the on-air personality chain.” After auditioning for a show, Zande started off hosting The Flashback Café, which was on from 12 to 3 p.m. and he was eventually moved to the 6 to 9 p.m. slot where he is currently hosting The Big Show. W h i le tower i ng over ever yone at the station makes him stand out from the other

COMMUNITY

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DJs at WPGU, Zande also carries around a fun and relaxed attitude that allows him to connect and entertain everybody who listens to him. “There’s a f ine l ine DJs wa lk bet ween informing people about music and being very pretentious by telling people what kind of music they should be listening to,” said Ricker. “With Zande’s show it’s like everybody’s show. When you listen to him, it’s not like he’s preaching to you. More than anyone else on the air, you can become friends with Mike.” Ricker also says he thinks that the ability Zande has to connect with his audience allows him to put himself on the same level as them — the goal that every DJ tries to reach. “Zande’s the kind of guy that when you listen to him you just want to be like, ‘Man, I want to go have a barbeque with this guy and just hang out,’” Ricker said. With graduation nearing, however, Zande now prepares for life after WPGU and says he hopes to use his experience at the radio station to succeed in the future. “I would like to do sports talk radio or work for ESPN,” said Zande. “I basically just want to do anything in broadcasting.” Ricker says he has no doubt that Zande’s success at WPGU and his ability to communicate not only with his listeners but with people in general will help him achieve great things in his career. “He doesn’t put himself above his listeners a n d I t h i n k t h a t ’s a r e a l l y i m p o r t a n t characteristic for a DJ to have and I think that’s why he’ l l be succe s sf u l i n wh atever he eventually does.”

AMELIA MOORE • PHOTOS

WITH

buzz weekly •

FAME WAS LIKE A DRUG, BUT WHAT WAS EVEN MORE LIKE A DRUG WERE THE DRUGS.

Mike Zande picks out songs to play during his daily radio spot, The Big Show, on Tuesday night, Dec. 12, at the WPGU radio station in the Illini Media Building in Champaign. “A lot of people think I just sit here in a pile of CDs and sort through them. Nowadays it’s all digital, though.” KYLE BETTS • STAFF WRITER

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ords like “big” and “large” have been used to describe Mike Zande’s height and weight for most of his life. At 6’5” and over 250 lbs., Zande might look like an of fensive tack le, but instead he uses h is big voice and larger-than-life personality as a DJ to make an impact in the ChampaignUrbana area. Zande, a University of Illinois senior in political science, came to the University with a football scholarship to play on the offensive line, but quit the team and decided to get into radio instead. “I quit the team after my freshman year because I wasn’t digging it and I wasn’t digging football anymore,” Zande said. “I wanted to do something to entertain people and I just started this for fun and it really sparked my interest in radio.” Now a DJ for Illini Media’s WPGU 107.1, Zande hosts The Big Show Monday through Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and also co-hosts the sports talk show Standing Room Only. Along with

sounds from the scene

those duties, he also is the director of on-air personalities for the station and is in charge of helping train future talent for WPGU. “[The Big Show] is like a combination of The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN, Mad Money on MSNBC and a music show,” said Ryan Ricker, a senior in Media Studies and a fellow DJ at WPGU. “He brings his passion for sports and his fun personality to his show and he’s just hilarious. He’s probably our best DJ.” With The Big Show being a mixture of indie music, sports and Zande’s fun sense of humor, it appeals to a wide range of listeners. The show also has special segments like “Surf-a-Billy Feakout” — which he describes as being like “The Beach Boys on crack” — and “The In-Crowd,” which plays the top seven most requested songs of the day. These segments have become the trademarks of Zande’s show and have added to the success of The Big Show, which is now entering its second year on WPGU.

Mike Zande hosts The Big Show from 6 to 9 p.m. weekdays on WPGU 107.1 FM.

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WOULD YOU LIKE SOME JAZZ WITH THAT GYRO? AMY MEYER • STAFF WRITER

kwyjibo \kwee-jee-bo\ n. 1 : a bald, overweight, North American ape of below average intelligence. 2 a : an electric jazz ensemble from Midwestern North America b : a musical ensemble consisting of electric guitar, electric bass guitar, chapman stick, drumset and saxophones all played by one or more kwyjibos. 3 : a musical ensemble formed in the early 21st century which plays original, electric jazz as well as the music of the mid to late twentieth century “Jazz Fusion” kwyjibo. 4 : The trance-like state of mind which one enters when listening to the music of the kwyjibo as in “Whoa dude, I just had a kwyjibo!”

PHOTO COURTESY OF MYSPACE.COM

–www.acmerecords.com

Kwyjibo, shown above, is one of various bands both from in and out of state that play Thursday nights at Zorba’s Jazz Night.

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Thursday night from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Zorba’s hosts Jazz Night with a different band every week, beer on tap and a “chill atmosphere,” according to two-year employee and assistant manager Cara Scheidemantel. Jazz Night started in the ’70s around the time Zorba’s opened. Originally, along with Jazz Night every Thursday, there was a Blues Night every Friday, but eventually it was cut down to solely Jazz Night on Thursdays. “Zorba’s used to do jazz here in the ’70s, but they stopped doing it by the mid/late ’80s and then they started it back up again in ’91,” said Jeff Machota, who has been booking jazz bands at Zorba’s since around 1993.

ith the exception of Canopy Club, downtown Urbana and downtown Champaign seem to hold a monopoly over quality live music in the CU area. With most students baffled by the MTD schedule and left without vehicular transportation, they spend their weekends in Campustown, relying on the likes of Kam’s and Joe’s for live music stimulation. Fear not, Champaign-Urbana, your choices are not as limited as you may think. Sitting on the curb of Champaign’s very own scenic Green Street sits Zorba’s. This diamond in the rough not only features the best gyro on campus, but also a weekly lineup of some of the best jazz musicians the Midwest has to offer. Every INTRO | A ROUND TOWN | L ISTEN, H EAR | CU CALENDAR | STAGE, S CREEN &

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Local bands, as well as bands from other states, play at the Greek restaurant, although “most of the out-of-town bands have some connection with Champaign-Urbana,” said Machota. Last Thursday, Jazz Night featured the Bloomington, Ind. based band, Kwyjibo, whose drummer lived in the ChampaignUrbana area for many years. Kwyjibo booked their first gig at Zorba’s in March of 2003. The electric jazz band consists of electric guitar, electric bass, Chapman sticks, drums and saxophones. Kwyjibo started in the fall of 2002, choosing their name from a Simpsons quote. According to Wikipedia, “Kwyjibo is a word made up by Bart Simpson during a game of Scrabble with his family. In the episode “Bart the Genius,” Bart puts “kwyjibo” on the board, scoring 116 points (22 points, plus Triple Word Score, plus 50 points for using all seven of his letters). When Homer demands Bart to say what a kwyjibo is, Bart replies, ‘A big, dumb, balding North American ape ... with no chin.’ Marge adds in, ‘...and a short temper.’ At this point, Homer chases Bart away, causing him to exclaim, ‘Uh oh! Kwyjibo on the loose!’” Kwyjibo released their first album, The Rise of Kwyjibo, in the spring of 2005 and have played Zorba’s numerous times. Since they are an electric jazz band, their style is different from many of the other bands that play traditional jazz at Zorba’s. The crowd last Thursday evening consisted of some students but mostly older locals. “The audience is kind of mixed. A good number of students come out, but we’ve also got a good number of local people who might be a little older than the students who come out. Sometimes it’s friends of the band; sometimes it’s just people who like jazz music or music in general,” said Zorba’s employee, Kevin Toomey, who has been working there since the start of the 2006 school year. “Age turnout usually depends on the band. A lot of older folks come that know the band, but mostly it’s a lot of students that come out,” said Scheidemantel. sounds from the scene


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One unique thing about Jazz Night is that even though they serve alcohol, there is no age limit on who can come. Cover runs around $5 and any fan of music can attend. “You can come and enjoy jazz even if you’re 16 because we do not card, you just have to be 21 to drink,” said Scheidemantel. “You get a nice chill atmosphere and get to hear music.” Unlike going to a regular Campustown bar on a Thursday night, a person does not have to scream over loud rap music nor deal with a drunken mass of people. “It’s not like a typical campus bar where people are coming to get drunk,” said Toomey. “I don’t think it’s so much of a drinking thing; it’s more about the music.” “I think a lot of the crowd at Zorba’s is people who like to see live music. It might not be jazz, they might not go home and buy a jazz CD, but here they can see a band up-close and appreciate it,” said Machota. “There’s really not a lot of places to see live music on campus anymore. A lot of places have dried up. It’s one of the few places people can go hear music once a week, so I think that’s what people really enjoy, seeing the good bands that come here.” Typically, about 60 or 70 people come out each week. “It’s a pretty small restaurant and it’s usually packed,” said Toomey. “Maximum capacity is about 82 and I’ve only had to turn away people a couple times. We usually fill up pretty quick, it’s really popular for people to come here,” said Scheidemantel. Cover varies from $3 to $5 each week and guarantees almost three hours of jazz with one 10-minute intermission. Zorba’s serves drinks, but closes the kitchen around 8:30 p.m. on Jazz Night. Toomey ex plains the reason for this: “Jazz Night is solely about the jazz, it’s not about the gyros.” Zorba’s is located at 627 E. Green St. Champaign. Stop by Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m. for their weekly Jazz Night. Cover ranges from $3 to $5.

album REVIEW DAMIEN RICE 9 [Warner bros]

sounds from the scene

buzz weekly •

NO MATTER HOW CYNICAL YOU GET, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP UP.

JEFF MONTGOMERY • STAFF WRITER

JAY BENNETT

First came Bob Dylan, then Cat Stevens, then James Taylor, then ... Damien Rice? It might be a stretch to place Rice in such an elite league of musicians — as U2’s Bono recently did at one of Rice’s concerts — but, it is becoming abundantly clear that he is an artist worth paying attention to. On Nov. 14, Rice released 9, the follow-up to his debut album O. The album is neither alarming nor innovative; and — as critics of the album will surely point out — it has a lot in common with Rice’s first release: the songs are extremely sad, skillfully written and performed with a sparse, delicate beauty. The record begins with “Nine Crimes,” a piano ballad sung from the perspective of an unfaithful lover. “Leave me out with the waste/ this is not what I do/it’s the wrong kind of place/ to be cheating on you,” Rice sings in the second verse. The song has received more attention — from critics and fans alike — than any other song on the album. There are however, higher points on the record. “ T h e A n i m a l s We r e G o n e ” i s a n excellent song that takes the clichéd theme of love-gone-bad and turns it into something lovely and authentic. A cello rises and descends in the background as Rice declares that “waking up without you is like drinking from an empty cup.” “Elephant” is the best song on the album. Originally titled “Blower’s Daughter 2” (a reference to the third track on O), the song emphasizes Rice’s best gifts as a musician. Accompanied by a quiet cello, Rice strums his acoustic guitar and unveils the story of a frustrating and confusing relationship. His emotions are conveyed not by what he’s singing, but by how he’s singing it: reserved, delicate and clearly upset. The music on 9 is solid, but Rice’s lyrics are the most intriguing part of the record. He’d rather be honest than subtle, and the result is an album packed with straightforward songs about sadness, sex, longing and anger. His blunt honesty reaches new heights on, the downright depressing, “Accidental Babies,” a track on which Rice ponders the state of his ex-lover’s new relationship. “Does he drive you wild/or just mildly free?” Rice asks, as a gentle piano line echoes his despair. On “Rootless Tree,” Rice casts aside the melancholy and starts to get mad. “Fuck you/ fuck you/fuck you and all we’ve been through,” he yells through a wall of distorted guitars. “I said leave it/leave it/leave it/there’s nothing in you.” It wo u l d b e ne g l i g e n t t o t a l k a b out 9 without mentioning the contributions of Lisa Hannigan and Vyvienne Long, who also appeared on Rice’s f irst record. Hannigan’s voice, muted and vulnerable, is the perfect compliment to Rice’s songwriting style, and Long’s cello adds a necessary element to the mood of the album. Damien Rice will probably never write a br il liant album — his music thr ives on simplicity, and he seems disinterested in creating a record that caters to critics’ desires. With 9 however, Rice has created an intimate, moody and worthwhile record. Maybe the Dylans and the Taylors are not so far out of reach after all.

The Magnificent Defeat

9

[Rykodisc]

Dallas has all your

X-mas needs! and New Year’s

JEFF MONTGOMERY

• STAFF WRITER

Few departures have been as well-documented as Jay Bennett’s split from Wilco during the recording of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. When Bennett’s differences with the rest of the band became irreconcilable, a film crew — there to film the Wilco documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart — was there to catch Bennett’s reaction. Bennett was brash and unapologetic as he declared that Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy had become jealous of the attention Bennett was getting. It was an interesting statement to say the least, and Bennett appeared to be disillusioned about his role in the band. Bennett’s solo career has been observed with curious interest. His first three solo albums — yes he’s already released three albums — have not exactly taken off. And his fourth album, The Magnificent Defeat, probably won’t be a breakthrough record either. The Magnificent Defeat can be good at times. But, as a whole, it is disappointing. On “Slow Beautiful ly Seconds Faster,” a pleasant pop song is engulfed by an onslaught of swirling synthesizers and crashing piano chords. The song is reminiscent of Foxtrot-era Wilco songs; where simple chord progressions are tweaked and deconstructed into something less accessible but more artistically intriguing. It is the best song on the album, but the rest of the CD is far less impressive. Bennett’s vocals — often delivered with disturbing bravado — clash with the music he writes. On “Wide Open,” Bennett’s vocal gymnastics sound cartoonish alongside a strummed acoustic guitar and steady drum beat. “Thank You,” and “The Palace at 4 a.m.,” are more reserved ballads but cannot carry the weight of their own seriousness. Bennett is a good songwriter and an even better musician, but he cannot go at it alone. In his days with Wilco, he was a necessary part of an important band. Now, as a solo artist, it is becoming clear that Jay Bennett will always be “that guy who used to be in Wilco.”

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buzz weekly

ROBIN THICKE The Evolution of Robin Thicke [Interscope]

IF YOUR PARENTS NEVER HAD CHILDREN, CHANCES ARE YOU WON’T EITHER!

Pharrell’s guest verse is grating, sadly exhorting his unwavering narcissism, but a necessary evil. The slinky, airy beat is too good to ignore. If not for Pharrell, though, Thicke would be a middling, tame singer-songwriter.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen [A&M]

JARON BIRKAN • STAFF WRITER

In the ’80s, when soul was inundated with past y Br itish boys l ike St yle Counci l and S c r it t i Pol it t i doi n g t hei r be s t Smoke y Robinson imitations, it was easy for a white man to sing about love’s hardships.

Today Justin Timberlake tries, but his falsetto blustering becomes disinteresting after a while, too muddled in the dissimilar world of hip-hop. Pharrell Williams, though, knows how to open and re-open a career, be it Timberlake’s f irst album or Snoop Dog g’s br i l l ia nt comeback a couple years back. Robin Thicke clearly listened to his instructions. The Evolution of Robin Thicke is a clear offspring of The Neptunes-style, staccato beats layered with synthesizers, but without the verse, chorus, verse of rap it’s almost fresh. Thicke’s a professional singer, the kind American Idol tries so hard to produce, and his voice is easily adaptable to Pharrell’s wanderings. On “Lost Without U,” his voice quivers over a breathy classical guitar, and even adapts slightly to Lil’ Wayne’s boasting on the club-ringer “All Night Long.” T he mo st appl icable (a nd i nev it able) compar ison is Justin Timberlake. They both move through genres, attach themselves to producers and both have accurately appropr iated soul music to their voices. If a ny th i ng, thoug h, Th icke’s the better singer; his voice has a greater range and, unlike Timberlake, does not compensate his shortcomings with an overreaching falsetto. “Wanna Love U Girl” is a showcase for these talents. Not surprisingly, it’s a thug love anthem, the joke being Thicke has the most harmless voice this side of Michael McDonald. What he’s doing is murmuring, but when he tries to growl “And now my life is sweeter than berries/ I guess if we have sex our love will turn to wine,” it’s sadly captivating.

CAITLIN CREMER • STAFF WRITER

If you are going to listen to Joe Cocker sing, then there isn’t any other way but to listen to him live. Listening to this man sing when there is no studio production getting in the way is ... unreal. But that’s no news to anyone. Cocker’s 2005 re-mastered version of Mad Dogs and Englishmen leans more towards a recreational drug for rock lovers than a meager 2-disc CD set. The album, originally released in 1970, now rocks on with even more tracks and extended versions of songs. Incredibly enough, a few of the previously unreleased songs included “Cry Me a River” and “Feelin’ Alright.” It’s crazy that these classics would be eliminated. Leon Russell, as the band leader, rocks out on some of the most outstanding rock piano ever heard. Russell’s version of “Hummingbird” and his southern charm in “Delta Lady” is nothing shor t of phenomenal. Russel l ’s musical talent by far overshadows the rest of the band, and in many cases, overshadows Cocker — as hard as it is for me to say that. But thanks to Russell, the album encompasses the songs with a timeless rock that all generations can appreciate — even those unfortunate souls who were unable to go to Woodstock in ’69. By the end of the set, you may find yourself yelling ”Long live Joe Cocker!” Or maybe not. But I know I did. His fanfare seems to be diminishing, but I hope that with this relatively new release, the Cocker love is revived. With that in mind: Thank you, Leon Russell. Thank you, Claudia Lennear. Thank you, Don Preston. Thank you, Rita Coolidge. Thank you, Joe Cocker. This album is a gift.

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mike ingram CU SOUND REVUE

’Tis the season to move away, it seems

L

JOE COCKER

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oca l musicians are leaving us left and right these days. We’ll soon be losing Darrin Drda, the singer/songwriter behind the band Theory of Everything, to San Francisco. Drda hosted a going-away party/show at the IMC last Thursday (which was announced after my deadline last week, much to my dismay), with performances from Brother Embassy, Brandon T. Washington (Temple of Low Men, Beat Kitchen), Ryan Groff (elsinore), Kayla Brown, Larry Gates (Lorenzo Goetz), Lindsey Markel (Baez!) and Drda himself. It was a great night that hinted a lot as to the camaraderie that exists amongst musicians in this community. It’s easy to forget how connected everyone is in the music scene, and it was clear that night just how much of an impact Darrin has had on everyone. My first memory of him was seeing him at an open mic years ago, and the only thing that I really remember is thinking, “Wow, that guy’s tall and skinny.” I know, that’s some hard-hitting journalism right there. Over the years, Darrin has grown into quite the political songwriter, with songs like “Hug A Republican,” “Democrazy!” and “Deathmobile.” It’s possible you’ve heard his song “White Guys with Guitars” on the radio or at Cowboy Monkey on Mondays, where it has become an open mic staple. The song appears on the recently released Loveway album, which can be found at Borders and Exile on Main Street. The scene will lose quite the artist when he leaves later this month. And sure, it seems silly for him to move all the way to California when it’s going to be time for him to move to a retirement community in Florida so soon, but hey, San Francisco’s nicer than Champaign. While there are no scheduled shows remaining, you can still head over to myspace.com/darrindrda to check out some tunes and add a new friend to your list. He’s a good one to have. Also departing shortly is Jesse “Snake Snake” Greenlee. Jesse is the drummer for the band Lorenzo Goetz, and has in the past worked with Synesthesia, Adam Wolfe and many others. He teaches drums/percussion at Skins-n-Tins, and he bears a striking resemblance to Johnny Depp. The addition of Jesse to the Lorenzo Goetz lineup in 2004 proved to be the ingredient that the band needed to solidify its sound and start making its way around the country. He brought a new energy and style to the band that it sorely needed, and with him laying down the beat, the band was voted best rock band at the CU Local Music Awards in 2005 and 2006. My first run-in with Jesse was shortly after his move to Champaign in 2001 when he started coming to Canopy Club’s open mic just to jam with people (this was back when open mic at the Canopy drew 500-600 people a week). I had to borrow a cymbal from him because I’d forgotten a crash and my excellent band, Passenger, was poised to rock the house. He saved the day. Jesse will head to New York City following the final Lorenzo Goetz show, where he will start working with American

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Minor as a part of their new lineup. While he’ll be sorely missed, he’s certainly moving on to something very exciting. And while he may not remember anything about the week of this year’s World Series, the rest of us have those fond memories to think back on whenever we miss him. The last Lorenzo Goetz show will take place on New Year’s Eve at Cowboy Monkey, with special guest elsinore. Tickets are on sale now at cowboy-monkey.com, as well as at the bar. Hurry, though, as they’re going fast. Funny hats will apparently be worn by all. Darrin and Jesse will be added to the list of recently departed local musicians, including Santanu Rahman (Triple Whip), Ian Shepherd (Temple of Low Men, a billion other bands), Ryan Lee (The Pitch), Noah and Adriel Harris (The Elanors) and Andy Lund (Temple of Low Men, Rosewood Guitar Shop). Apparently, when it gets cold, they just start flocking away. But lucky for us, there are still plenty of people staying here in CU, so let’s get to them and where they’re playing this week. Tonight at Cowboy Monkey, partial Oklahoma transplants Stella Polaris will share the stage with Hotter Than June and The Confines. That will be the place to be if you’d like to do some solid rocking. Over at Mike ’n Molly’s you’ll find something a little more experimental, as Coco Coca plays with Spectaculo and Sam Vicari. And on campus, Larry Gates will transform Bar Louie into Bar Larry – three sets and no cover. Fr id ay n ig ht’s big show is at Cowboy Monkey, featuring Watery Domestic, Casados, Husband and Wife, Without Atom and New Ruins. That’s five bands, for only $5. Bloomington, Ind. band Husband and Wife (with a MySpace page that lists them playing in “Champagne”) does not feature a husba nd a nd w i fe tea m, wh ich is odd considering two of the other bands on the bill do. Casados is led by Nic and Heather Dillon, the couple who leads the race for the “most sickeningly cute couple in CU” award following the departure of Noah and Adriel Harris (the Elanors) to Chicago. Watery Domestic is fronted by the newly married Hubbards (Seth and Rachel, married this past weekend, and also leaving us for the left coast soon). But, no married couple in Husband and Wife. Okay, then. This show will be the debut of the band Without Atom (ex-Emotional Rec Club), and with five bands and all of the equipment, there will probably only be room for about seven people inside. So get there early. The show runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Also on Friday: fireflies will make people sweat in the upstairs of Mike ’n Molly’s. Mad Science Fair plays Canopy Club with Team Rockit (featuring Poster Children drummer Matt Friscia). And at Bar Louie, I will be selling my soul alongside Kayla Brown. No, sir, “Freebird” will not be played this evening. How do you feel about Richard Hawley? No? Fine, SEE CU SOUND REVUE PG. 11 sounds from the scene


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CU SOUND REVUE CONTINUED FROM PG. 10 The Outfield, then. Sunday night features another great show at the Iron Post put together by Triple Whip’s Jane Boxall. For those who aren’t familiar yet, the idea is to have three very different bands play in two hours, from 7 to 9 p.m., with a low cover and an end time that will get you home and in bed early. This week’s show will showcase shoegazey rockers Shipwreck, CU’s best hiphopper Krukid and indie-punkers JigGsaw. The best part is that the show is only $3.50 ($3 with a flyer from a band). If you’d like to find more info about these shows and others, head to openingbands.com and check the shows section. Don’t see a show that you know is happening? Submit it yourself. The more people that use it, the better the resource it will become. Amongst all of the moves and weddings, I’d also like to congratulate Adam and Kelly Fein, who welcomed a baby boy to the world last week. Adam, the lead singer of Absinthe Blind (one of my all-time favorite bands) has slowed his musical life down since the end of AB, but he still works under the name Cortisol. The other members of AB went on to eventually become The Headlights you know and love. It’s nice to see some remaining local musicians taking steps to fill the holes left by all of the guys who are heading out of town. If you can’t keep everyone here, just make your own little musicians. So, welcome to the world, little Fein. Don’t listen to a word your Uncle Seth says. Mike Ingram can be reached at forgottenwords@ gmail.com.

buzz weekly •

I MADE A DEAL WITH MYSELF TEN YEARS AGO . . . AND GOT RIPPED OFF.

SPIN IT ROUND FLIP IT AND REVERSE IT CARLYE WISEL AND BRIAN MCGOVERN

:

Best Christmas Albums

• STAFF WRITERS

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through Listen, Hear, The wr iters were smitten with their preChristmas cheer. Only 11 days until the best holiday, Brian and Carlye had something important to say. “Oh what a Christmas miracle it would be — A review of the best albums to put under the tree!” We hope you enjoy — we were very selective, And hope that your holiday is exciting and festive! Carlye: Snowed In by Hanson Throughout my life, I can only pinpoint two memories of Christmas music — singing wondrous, jolly holiday melodies in between the token pathetic Hanukkah song in high school chorus concerts, and Hanukkah 1997. My parents weren’t happy to participate in the conundrum of purchasing Snowed In, a Christmas album, as a Hanukkah gift for their boy-band crazed daughter. But fuck it, I was set on marrying the young, Christian, blonde-haired Zac of the group, and no one was going to stop me!

As a welcomed alternative to other gifts I’ve received such as ’SMATH, a Scrabble-and-math educational board game, the Hanson album I received in fifth grade was a wonderful introduction into the phenomenal genre that is Christmas music. The captivating, choir-l ike love ba l lad “Christmas Time” sticks to the album’s theme of mentioning the holiday’s name in song titles, while, “What Christmas Means to Me,” a jazzy lil’ diddy featuring Zac’s impeccable singing rivals Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas.” Upbeat, vocal-centric tracks such as, “Merry Christmas, Baby,” and, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” served as sufficient background music to my daydreams about celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with my love, Zac Hanson. And, on our lovely Christmas afternoon, there would be no Chinese food or trips to the movie theatre, unlike my traditional activities of Dec. 25. I don’t care if they look like girls. I don’t care if the album is full of falsetto, since only a third of the trio had experienced puberty at the time. Hanson taught me about MMMbops, judging people with long hair to be girls and Christmas, and for that, they are my Christmastime favorite!

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Br ia n: T his Gift by 98 Degrees. Ever since their Disneysponsored debut alongside Stevie Wonder in the hit film Mulan, 98 Degrees has been close to my heart. It may be the mental association to the vocal talents of Eddie Murphy and Donny Osmond that draws me to them, but whatever it is, it’s strong and real. That’s why when it comes to Christmas music, this hot, hot boy band wins the best album title. Yeah, I didn’t pick Suf jan Stevens’ five-disc Christmas set; I’m unpredictable! And, unpredictability is also a part of why I love This Gift; you never know what you’re going to get and it’s also amazing. “This Gift,” the quintessential holiday ballad, is not only beautiful, but potentially about Nick taking Jessica Simpson’s virginity. The group’s rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” takes the old classic and makes it both hip-hoptastic and totally fresh. The beat can only be described as “like whoa.” Though somewhat tongue and cheek, This Gift is entirely more than what is expected. Impressive and with only somewhat computer-enhanced vocal harmonies, 98 Degrees proves that they are truly the “underrated boy band” of our time. Releasing a Christmas album is the most ridiculous move a recording artist can make (unless you’re Perry Como) and 98 Degrees went for it 110 percent. This Christmas, turn back time and turn up the heat with 98 Degrees.

buzz sounds from the scene

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THU. DEC 14 Live Bands Lucky Mulholland, Kate Hathaway, Carl Hauck Iron Post 8 pm, $4 Caleb Rose Bowl Tavern 9pm, no cover Phosphorescent, Oceans, Probably Vampires Canopy Club pm, cover Spectaculo, Coco Coca, Sam Vicari Mike ‘n Molly’s, 9 pm cover Larry Gates at Bar Louie Bar Louie, 10p m, no cover Stella Polaris, Hotter Than June, The Confines Cowboy Monkey, 10 pm, $4 Concerts Community Band and Wind Ensemble Holiday Concert [Parkland Community band and wind ensemble joint holiday show.] Parkland College, 7 pm

DJ Limbs [Hip-hop, breaks and party music.] Boltini Lounge, 10:30 pm, no cover Karaoke Eric Boley’s Boneyard Karaoke Memphis on Main, 7:30pm cover Recreation Bowl Off Steam [Bowling lanes open for students to spend some time away from the library and stress.] Illini Union, 11:30 am Miscellaneous Finals Week Activities [There will be wireless internet, free coffee, tea and snacks.] Hillel Foundation 10 am Meetings Bariatric Support Group [This month’s meeting includes those who underwent weight management surgery more than one year ago.] Carle Forum, 6:30 pm

THE BUZZ LOGO MARKS THE SPOT OF OUR FAVORITES.

Mind/Body/Spirit Relaxation Room at OASIS [Visit the relaxation room to enjoy a 20 minute guided imagery experience while taking a break from finals. Bring your University I.D. to check in.] McKinley Health Center, 10 am, UIUC students free/$5 faculty and staff Yoga & Meditation Class [Dada Madhuvidyananda, Yogic Monk and teacher, will lead.] Ananda Liina Yoga & Meditation Center 7:30 pm, free Volunteer Giving Trees [The Giving Trees offer free handmade ornaments and are located at the south entry near Art Mart and at the east entry near Cardinal Fitness. Each ornament has a label on the back with a requested donation for the organization to help brighten others’ lives. Donations like new women’s and children’s underwear, socks, clothes, diapers and toys should be delivered to 1304 E. Main St., Urbana between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.] Lincoln Square Mall 9 am

FRI. DEC 15

PHOTO COURTESY OF WWW.DAILYILLINI.COM

Meals on Wheels – Family Service Help feed a family over the holidays! Volunteers are needed to deliver meals on wheels to seniors and homebound residents during the holiday season. Volunteers may also help deliver boxes of food to families in need. If you’re interested in helping out, contact Stephanie Bean at sbean@familyservicecc.org or call 352-0099.

Live Bands Billy Galt Sings the Blues Blues restaurant, 11:30 am The Javelinas Cowboy Monkey, 5:30 pm, $2 Starlite Ramblers Hubers 8pm, cover Country Connection Rose Bowl Tavern, 9 pm, $1 fireflies, Affect Effect, Jazz to Moon Base 2 Mike ‘n Molly’s 9 pm, $5 Mad Science Fair, Team Rockit, Trouvere, Monster Honkey Canopy Club, 9 pm Born Ready Iron Post, 9 pm cover Without Atom, New Ruins, Watery Domestic, Casados, Husband & Wife Cowboy Monkey, 9:30 pm, $5 DJ DJ Bozak (Red Bull Music Academy) Soma Ultralounge 9 pm, $5

Without Atom New Ruins Watery Domestic Casados Husband and Wife

Hip-Hop and R&B DJ Nargile 9 pm, free until 10 pm/$5 DJ Mertz Boltini Lounge 10 pm, free DJ Stifler Highdive, 10pm $5 DJ Asiatic Highdive, 10 pm $5 DJ Mambo Italiano Ko.Fusion 11 pm

Dec. 15, 9:30 p.m. Cowboy Monkey, $5

Volunteer Giving Trees Lincoln Square Mall, 9 am

SAT. DEC 16

Dancing Contra Dance [All dances are taught (walked-through) prior to dancing. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a pair of clean, soft-soled shoes to protect the wood floor.] Phillips Recreation Center, 8 pm

Live Bands Painkillers Iron Post, 6 pm cover Prairie Dogs Hubers, 8 pm cover Country Connection Rose Bowl Tavern, 9 pm, $1 Human Artifacts, Skeptik, Cemetery Rapist Canopy Club 9 pm, $5 Candy Foster and Shades of Blue Cowboy Monkey 9:30 pm, $5 Blues Jam Iron Post, 10 pm cover

Karaoke Creative Karaoke American Legion Post 71, 8 pm, free Lectures/Discussions “Reasoning about Security and Privacy” [Anupam Datta, Computer Science Department, Stanford University, will speak.] Siebel Center for Computer Science 3:30 pm Film “Rites of the Season” [Rites takes viewers on an exploration of the winter solstice and the cultural events that accompany this time of year.] William M. Staerkel Planetarium, 8 pm Recreation Bowl Off Steam Illini Union 11:30 am Miscellaneous Finals Week Activities Hillel Foundation, 10 am Fundraisers 12 Beers of Christmas Party [Get your tickets for beer tasting! Fifty percent of ticket sales goes to Operation Santa which benefits the Champaign Crisis Nursery and Parent Wonders of Rantoul.] Esquire Lounge 6:00 p.m. Mind/Body/Spirit Relaxation Room at OASIS McKinley Health Center 10am, UIUC students free/$5 faculty and staff

Concerts Jazz Invitational [The Parkland Jazz Invitational features the Centennial High School Jazz Band and the Parkland College “In Your Ear” Big Band.] Parkland College, 3 pm, free

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Social Issues Holiday Open House [A Woman’s Fund, Urbana, is holding a holiday open house. A free buffet lunch will be provided. Staff members, donors, volunteers and board members would like to welcome new community supporters as well as thank our long-time donors for helping in the effort to end violence.] A Woman’s Fund, 11 am

DJ DJ Glenn Cowboy Monkey 6:30 pm, free DJ Bozak (Red Bull Music Academy) Soma Ultralounge 9 pm, $5 Hip-Hop and R&B DJ Nargile 9 pm, free until 10 pm/$5 DJ Tim Williams Highdive 10 pm, $5

Casados

Karaoke Liquid Courage Karaoke Geovantis, 9 pm

I really like fast food and not in a “I’m a health conscious, exercise nut that often craves the fat I force myself not to consume” way. It’s more of a “I’m hungry so I’ll automatically drive to Wendy’s to pick up a triple cheeseburger” thing. It’s basically engraved in my psyche and sticking to my arteries. I guess I need to show my American patriotism in some way.

Film “Rites of the Season” William M. Staerkel Planetarium 8 pm

Yes, I have a propensity toward eating heart complications in a bun, but my metabolism is at its prime so I have no problems yet. Another thing I can’t complain about is the savings! Dollar menus, friends, I speak of the dollar menus. Do I want a baked potato? Or maybe I want chicken nuggets, a burger or a medium drink.The possibilities are endless! Restaurants with dollar menus are like giant vending machines with people that work in them instead of those spirally metal spinning things. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a full meal with the change I found in my car. Actually I could tell you—dozens of times!! And that is why I picked this concert, the savings! Five bands — I’d strongly recommend trying New Ruins and Casados — for $5! A bill for a band! That’s some bang for your buck! New Ruins has been deemed one of the best new local bands and a truer statement has rarely been uttered. Awesome duel folk-al vocals plus baritone and beaming accompany distinct guitar work. Soothing though energetic, the contradiction that is New Ruins, newly a full band, has been catching like wild fire in the area. Friday’s show is one in a series of seemingly endless concerts that New Ruins has been playing.

[request line: 337-1071]

Casados considers themselves a baby band. Adorable most definitely, the neo-folk outfit fits the criteria to be a worthwhile band. Glockenspiel, mandolin and every other pseudo novel instrument fits as well. Pretty in a way that’s not easy to come by, the fledgling band is quickly molting and growing its flying feathers. Check out the show Friday for the five bands — and most importantly — the savings!

Miscellaneous Lincoln Square Village Holiday Market [Find produce, baked goods, holiday gifts, crafts, plants and more inside Lincoln Square Village.] Lincoln Square Mall, 9 am Family Fun Winter Solstice Celebration [Celebrate the season of customs and holidays from around the world. Activities and refreshments provided.] Allerton Park Visitor Center, 6 pm, donations welcome Mind/Body/Spirit Relaxation Room at OASIS Illini Union, 12pm, UIUC students free/$5 faculty and staff Volunteer Giving Trees Lincoln Square Mall, 9 am

—Brian McGovern

SUN. DEC 17

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Live Bands 7 to 9 Sundays: Triple Whip, Krukid, JigGsaw Iron Post 7 pm, $3.50

Crystal River Band Rose Bowl Tavern, 9 pm, no cover Concerts “The Life, Times and Music of Cole Porter” [Featuring Mary Questenfeld, mezzo-soprano, and Teresa Kang, piano accompanist.] Urbana Free Library, 2 pm “A Baroque Christmas” [The Baroque artists of Champaign-Urbana present traditional carols and holiday favorites. University High Madrigals will also perform.] Holy Cross Church, 7:30 pm Sporting Events Illinois Men’s Basketball vs. Belmont Assembly Hall, 4 pm Volunteer Giving Trees Lincoln Square Mall, 9 am

MON. DEC 18 Live Bands Jazz Jam with MRS Trio Iron Post, 6 pm, cover Open Mic Night Cowboy Monkey, 10 pm, free Recreation Lunch & Bowling [For $32, four people can rent shoes, bowl a game, get fountain drinks from the snack counter and share a large 18” pizza from Sbarro. Please reserve your lane at least one day in advance.] Illini Union, 12 pm Family Fun Babies’ Lap Time Moonlight Edition [Babies and their parent(s) or caregiver(s) are invited to this program of songs, stories and rhymes. The program is for our youngest patrons, birth to 24 months with an adult.] Urbana Free Library 6:30 pm Fundraisers Christmas at the Station [This festive fundraiser features classic homebaked goodies, a holiday sing-along and a reading of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” by Celebration Company members and guests. Proceeds will be used to maintain the life and work of the Station Theatre.] Station Theater, 6:30 pm, $10 Mind/Body/Spirit Relaxation Room at OASIS McKinley Health Center 10 am, UIUC students free/$5 faculty and staff Volunteer Giving Trees Lincoln Square Mall, 9 am

TUE. DEC 19 Live Bands Billy Galt Sings the Blues Blues restaurant, 11:30 am Crystal River Band Rose Bowl Tavern, 9 pm, no cover Kilborn Alley Canopy Club 11pm, free

Molly’s, 10 pm DJ Tremblin BG Barfly, 10 pm DJ Delayney and DJ Wesjile Cowboy Monkey, 10 pm, free Subversion: DJ TwinScin and DJ Evily The Highdive, 10 pm, $2 Chris O [A blend of downtempo and deep house.] Boltini Lounge, 10:30 pm no cover Karaoke Liquid Courage Karaoke Geovantis, 9 pm Workshops “Career Planning Seminar” [Free for those selecting a college major, making a career change or setting new career goals.] Parkland College, 6 pm Women & Business—BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag lunch) [To provide an opportunity for professional women and students to network, mentor and support one another. Coffee and tea will be provided.] Urbana Free Library 12 pm, YWCA members free/$2 Family Fun Babies’ Lap Time Urbana Free Library, 9:45 am Fundraisers Christmas at the Station Station Theater, 6:30 pm, $10 Volunteer Giving Trees Lincoln Square Mall, 9 am

WED. DEC 20

art & theater Harry Breen: An Exhibition of Oil Paintings (2001-2006) Techline Green Street Studio through Dec. 15 Stone Cold Dead Serious [A pinball wizard of the 21st century, Wynne Ledbetter is surrounded by despair. His father is wasting away on workman’s comp, his mother is a double-shift waitress and his sister is a dropout junkie. Wynne has a plan. One of only three players in the country to solve the Tang Dynasty computer game, he will travel to the championships in New York City, where the winner pockets a million dollars.] Station Theatre through Dec. 16 “Dear Santa” [A theater and dance extravaganza co-written and directed by Tony winner Ben Vereen and featuring 3-D animation. This original production from the Christine Rich Dance Studio Theater features collaboration with Parkland’s Computer Science and Information Technology Digital Media program.] Parkland College, Dec. 17, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., $15

OPENSOURCE Birthday Suit: Artist Made Clothing [Wearable art makes an excellent gift or you might just want to come by to see what local and national artists have spent their time creating.] OPENSOURCE Art through Dec. 17

[This exhibition pairs Surrealist paintings, photographs, prints and drawings from the Krannert Art Museum collection with the movement’s experiments in print culture.] Krannert Art Museum through Dec. 31

Miracle on 34th Street [Performance by Bright Lights Theater Company.] Grace Community Church through Dec. 23

When We Were Young: New Perspectives on the Art of the Child [“When We Were Young” juxtaposes selected childhood works of preeminent historical artists with modern and contemporary children’s drawings to explore the criteria used for assessing prodigious artistic talent in the very young.] Krannert Art Museum through Dec. 31

New Tricks by the Old Dogs [A show of new artwork by 12 retired faculty artists from the University of Illinois.] Cinema Gallery through Dec. 23 A Saint in the City: Sufi Arts of Urban Senegal [This exhibition explores the arts and expressive culture of Islamic West Africa through a dynamic and influential movement in Senegal known as the Mouride Way.] Krannert Art Museum through Dec. 31 Surrealist Interventions: Selections from Krannert Art Museum and the University of Illinois Library

Small Work Plus: A Display of Quilt Art by Mary McDonald [McDonald’s quilts and fiber art are inspired by life events: a meaningful book or piece of art, the natural world, the transition to a new life stage or the gift of friendship.] Pages for All Ages through Feb. 14

Live Bands Fuedin’ Hillbilly’s Rose Bowl Tavern, 9 pm, no cover Souvenirs, Blue Addiction, Young America Iron Post 10 pm, cover Concerts The All-American Rejects: Tornado Tour [Featuring opening acts Motion City Soundtrack, The Starting Line, Boys Like Girls from Boston and The Format.] Assembly Hall, 7:30 pm $24 DJ DJ Stifler Highdive, 8 pm $3/$5 Ladies Night with DJ Supa Nargile, 9pm, ladies free before 11 pm Tropicale Wednesdays: DJ Bris, DJ Delayney Soma Ultralounge, 9 pm, $5 Dancing Tango Dancing Cowboy Monkey, 7:30 pm, free Miscellaneous Quiet Study Halls [All invited to join if you are looking for a quiet place to study.] African American Cultural Center, 8 pm Guitar Hero Night Cowboy Monkey, 10:30p m, free Mind/Body/Spirit Wine Tasting Esquire Lounge 6 pm Volunteer Giving Trees Lincoln Square Mall, 9 am

DJ DJs Hoff and Bambino [Hard Rock/Punk.] Mike ‘n

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stage, screen & i n b e t w e e n

GUITA R HERO IS M Y HERO Loving the video game as much as us? Now you can play it every Wednesday night at Cowboy Monkey in downtown Champaign. KIMYA KARSHENAS • CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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afar, introduced this phenomenon to my non-gaming world with the Play station 2 game Guitar Hero. At first, I was afraid. I was petrified. Having just moved into a clean house with brand new roommates, who could just as well be carried away by the tides of a video game tsunami, I was poohpoohing the game as much as possible to avoid having to see them wash up in a similar state of abandon as my Halo friends, but halfway through my second song, I was in no position to be passing judgment; I was hooked and reaching for the Cheetos. Guitar Hero was first released in November 2005, and has only grown in popularity and success. It was recently ranked 19 in PC World’s 100 Best Products of 2006, a popular computer and business magazine. It was also honored with five D.I.C.E. Awards, including Family Game of the Year and Outstanding Innovation in Gaming.

AMELIA MOORE • PHOTOS

few summers ago I lost two of my dearest friends to the XBOX game Halo II. It didn’t come without warning, but their two-week build-up talk before it was released could not prepare me for the black holelike powers that the game possesses. Their apartment had been transformed into a gamer’s paradise; there were empty two-liters of Coca-Cola littering the floor, decompressed bags and crumbs of Cheetos at their feet and two child-size sleeping bags that if put together would still be about 10 years shy of providing comfort. At the time, I didn’t understand how a video game could incite such passion and waves of negligence for life-sustaining pastimes like food and sleep. That is until this summer, when the genius behind the makers of Dance Dance Revolution, a game I admire from

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If you’re not into paying $80, which is the going rate for simulated rocking, then I can suggest two worthy alternatives: go to Best Buy — where you may have to wrestle high school students for game time — or head out to Cowboy Monkey in downtown Champaign, where you can now rock out on stage every Wednesday night starting at 10:30, have a drink or two and keep sharing sophisticated by placing your name on a list. Ward Gollings, who is the booking agent for the Highdive and Cowboy Monkey, brought the concept to life after falling victim to the game’s addictive draw. “The seed was planted at a backyard barbecue many, many months ago. After many hours of nonstop play that afternoon/evening ... the idea began to take shape.� He attributes the game’s success to its unique nature, catering to a wide appeal. “Guitar Hero is so different from the usual sports games and karate-chop/shoot-em-up games that abound in the gaming world. It may also be appealing to the crowd that reality TV shows like American Idol and Rockstar: Supernova have cultivated. Everyone has a secret desire to be a rockstar, right?� THE ACTUAL GUITARING Clearly, Guitar Hero’s appeal is universal. Even if you’ve moved on in life, turning your back on your old friend the air guitar, it does not have to mean the end of fake guitar playing, and with Guitar Hero you can actually make noise. The game comes with a lightweight plastic Gibson guitar that serves as the rocktackular controller

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DO YOU HAVE TROUBLE MAKING UP YOUR MIND? WELL, YES OR NO?

for mastering the fret variations of some of your favorite songs, diverse enough to accommodate to even the most snobbish of tastes. Guitar Hero I features songs made famous by the likes of Bad Religion, David Bowie, Queen, Boston and Franz Ferdinand to name a few. This fall Guitar Hero II was released, offering up Nirvana, Heart, The Police, Lynyrd Skynyrd (so you can now officially yell out “free bird� while playing the game) and take fake goodness to the next level with the song “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight� as made famous by Spinal Tap. The songs have to be unlocked when you first get the game, presenting an element of challenge beyond scoring the highest on a particular level, but you can also duel another player, or collaborate on a song if competition’s not your thing. There are five color-coordinated fret buttons located on the neck of the plastic guitar in green, red, yellow, blue and orange. These coincide with an arrangement of notes that scroll towards you on the screen. The player must match the sequence of chords and notes, specific for each song, in order to continue. A rock meter on the screen gauges your performance, and if you have more hits than misses, then you’re a hit. Otherwise the dial shifts into the red area, which makes you fail at playing the song while the crowd boos and whines. The trick is to hit the notes while strumming and occasionally utilizing the whammy bar for dramatic effect on some of the longer notes you have to hold down. Another feature, star power, is enabled when the player is doing

well, and requires that the guitar neck be rocked up in the air, causing the band to go crazy in the background doing tricks, and allows the player to rack up more points. If you can already play a real guitar, then you may be surprised to find that your skills don’t necessarily translate to the game. However, Mike Laurent, who was at Cowboy Monkey specifically for the game night, says that it has actually helped him to learn to the play the acoustic guitar because of the hand-eye coordination and rhythm that the game requires, exclaiming, “It’s like a gateway instrument to a real guitar.� Drawing from my own experience and recent observation, Guitar Hero leaves very little space for time-consuming competition.

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(Opposite Left) Jennifer Iverson, 23, of Urbana plays Guitar Hero at Cowboy Monkey in Champaign on Wednesday night, Dec. 6, while onlookers crowd behind her. (Opposite Right, from left) Elisa Nash, junior in LAS, and Kimberely Kopka, junior in ACES play Guitar Hero at Cowboy Monkey on Wednesday night, November 29, to celenrate Kopa’s 21st birthday. (Below, from left) Jesse Alvarez, senior in ARC, and Ben Wagner, junior in LAS, play the game. Both men were new to the Guitar Hero game, playing “only a few times before,� said Wagner. “They need to do karaoke while you play the guitar game,� commented Alvarez.

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buzz weekly

YOU KNOW THE SPEED OF LIGHT, SO WHAT’S THE SPEED OF DARK?

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FILM

APOCALYPTO JENNY MCCARTHY • STAFF WRITER

the chief of the hunters sent to capture the human sacrifices. He filmed Apocalypto fresh off of last year’s The New World, and much of the ferocity he portrays comes from a father who will stop at nothing to avenge his son’s death. Mel Gibson is an intense and visual storyteller; we know this from his films Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ. This time around, the story he is telling is one that is rarely seen in Hollywood. Some people will complain about the subtitles, but in my opinion, the fact that it is filmed in an ancient Mayan dialect just weaves you closer into the story and the history the Gibson set out to display. My final line is to put your personal feelings towards Gibson aside or else you’ll be missing out on one truly exotic adventure.

UNACCOMPANIED MINORS

previous notion was that this movie would be a sad mixture of Home Alone and Cheaper by the Dozen. However, I was dead wrong. It was hilarious at times, and there were some important issues discussed in the movie such as the consequences of being a child of divorced parents and the importance of friendship. The five children in the film were all unfamiliar faces, except for Tyler James Williams of Everybody Hates Chris. He carried the movie with an overload of comic relief. Wilmer Valderrama of That ’70s Show also added a sleigh full of laughs as an airport employee and friend to the minors. Th is 90 -m i nute mov ie w i l l hold you r attention throughout and have you wishing the director would have kept those extra scenes that he decided to cut. This movie is for every age and will have you laughing all the way.

Aside from Mel Gibson’s personal life, he’s always full of surprises. This time the surprise is that Apocalypto is an amazing film. The story centers around the decline of the Mayan civilization. In order to convince their people that their days are not numbered, the Mayan rulers offer up more human sacrifices and build temples of stone. These rulers send out hunters to capture Mayans living in small sects far from the temples so they can be offered as sacrifices. It would be like hunters from Chicago going to the suburbs to find their sacrifices. First-t ime actor Rud y You n g blo o d portrays Jaguar Paw, the man who escapes his captors to flee back to his village where he has left his pregnant wife and young son in a deep pit in the ground. Youngblood’s talent exceeds his action scenes; he plays his character with such emotion and intensity that award nominations will surely be in order. Raoul Trujillo plays Zero Wolf, The squeamish beware! These Mayan kings are sacrificing people left and right.

If you were stuck in an airport with hundreds of people on Christmas Eve because a blizzard delayed your flight, would you still be able to spread any Christmas cheer? In Unaccompanied Minors, five children did not let security, the weather or their family dilemmas take away their Christmas spirit. Unaccompanied Minors is the story of five children determined to make Christmas the season to be jolly even after being trapped in an airport for the holiday. Due to the blizzard, the airport housed hundreds of families and minors traveling alone from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day. When the five juveniles sneak out of a containment room designated for holding all the unaccompanied minors in the airport, they crawl through vents, hide inside luggage and even find time to mix and mingle to some jingling beats while in the airport. To my sur pr ise, there were some g reat moment s i n t h i s movie. W hen I saw previews for th is mov ie and saw hun- In Unaccompanied Minors, Tyler James Williams plays Charlie, dreds of kids running around, my who hides in a suitcase while stuck at an airport on Christmas Eve.

THE HOLIDAY

BLOOD DIAMOND

Writer/director Nancy Meyers’ The Holiday is a charming romantic comedy that works on several distinct levels despite its excessive cuteness. With The Holiday being similar to her other easy to please comedies like Something’s Gotta Give and What Women Want, Meyers is sort of the master of pleasant fluff. Set just before the hol id ay season, T he Holiday concer ns t wo professiona l women Iris (Kate Winslet), a British journalist, and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), a Los Angeles f ilm publicist and creator of movie trailers, who are heartbroken over the men in their lives. Instead of facing a lonesome Christmas season in their usual environments, t he y a n s we r e a ch ot he r’s home exchange Web site ads as their escape. Their exes a r e s t a n d a r d t wo - t i m i n g s ch m u c k s a n d o n c e t h e y switch locales the new guys they meet are “too good to be true” sensitive “good guys,” one a handsome British book editor ( Jude Law), and the o t h e r a H o l l y wo o d f i l m composer ( Jack Black). A l l fou r lead s a re u nden i ably appealing, from the gorgeous Jude Law and Cameron Diaz snuggle up in this Christmas time chick flick, The Holiday. looks to hearts of gold. INTRO | A ROUND TOWN | L ISTEN, HEAR | CU CALENDAR | STAGE , S CREEN &

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JEFF GROSS • STAFF WRITER

in this movie and you won’t notice it a bit. Blood Diamond is a very sad and poignant film with a political message that should be yielded. Even if a film with a political statement isn’t your thing, the acting will keep you captivated and glued to the screen, curious to see how the plot develops. Blood Diamond is a must-see of 2006; don’t let my three-star rating fool you.

Blood Diamond is for 2006 what Monster was for film in 2003. It’s a movie with a somewhat mediocre pace and plot that is completely driven by its superb acting. If both Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou aren’t recognized this year by the Academy, I will be shocked. The movie is about diamond-smuggling and the search for a big fuckin’ diamond. Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but it’s far from the bewildering and thought-intensive thriller that The Constant Gardener was. It’s all about how in the world of the rich, greed trumps the value of the lives of the poor; hence, the phrase “blood” diamonds. In the f ilm, DiCapr io plays Da n ny A rcher, t he d i a mond smugg ler who helps Solomon Vandy (Hounsou) f ind his family in exchange for a big, valuable diamond that he found and buried; beforehand, Vandy was taken from his family and forced to work as a slave in a diamond mining field. Like I said, not very complicated. And to you people who have criticized this film based on the trailer — say what you want of Leonardo DiCaprio had better get an Oscar nod for his work in DiCaprio’s accent; it fits perfectly Blood Diamond as character Danny Archer.

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SYD SLOBODNIK • STAFF WRITER

This effectively crafted, female fantasy “chick flick” is also a wonderful tribute to old Hollywood comedies and an old stage and screen legend, Eli Wallach. The opening breakup scenes with Diaz and boyfriend (Edward Burns) clearly echo the prologue of The Philadelphia Story; other scenes reference comedy classics His Girl Friday and The Lady Eve, and even the title recalls the classic Katharine Hepburn/ Cary Grant film Holiday. The 91-year-old Wallach (the ugly from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) plays Arthur Abbott in the film, the screenwriter who first worked with Louis Mayer in the ’30s and rewrote classic lines in Casablanca, with such lovable charm, anyone would want a grandpa just like him. The Holiday is a blatant “feel-good” film, and I guess there’s nothing wrong about just feeling good at Christmas time.

KERI CARPENTER • STAFF WRITER

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DEATH IS HEREDITARY.

HIDDEN GEM

THEATRE

THEATER REVIEW: STONE COLD DEAD SERIOUS

Stone Cold Dead Serious runs from December 13 to 16 at 8 p.m. Call 217.384.4000 for reservations. sounds from the scene

Al Franken’s The Truth (with jokes) CONSTANCE BEITZEL • STAFF WRITER

Did you know that the “Mission Accomplished” banner that Bush used in his famous aircraft carrier photo op cost $738,000 to manufacture? It was a nobid contract awarded to a subsidiary of Halliburton. I didn’t know until I got to page 246 of Al Franken’s book The Truth (with jokes). Most of us remember Al Franken as Stuart Smalley, the “doggone-it-people-like-me” talk show host on SNL. Well, Franken wasn’t just an actor on the show. He was also one of its writers, a talent he has refocused towards the political arena. Since his time on SNL Franken has written a series of comic-political books. These include Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them and most recently, The Truth. These books are liberal gems. He infuses political facts, a biased liberal agenda and jokes in such a seamless and interesting way that it is hard to put these books down. The Truth is his latest stab at the Bush administration and conservative politics in general. He includes chapters on Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay, Social Security and gay marriage, all with a mixture of comic aplomb and serious information. Franken is more than just funny and informed though, he is truly an intelligent man and a good writer which is what makes these books such a treasure. Hey, its better than FOX News, which, by the way, sued to block production of Lies back in 2003 over the use of the phrase “Fair and Balanced.” They lost. Big time. And we all won the chance to read these treasures.

Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line), the esteemed documentary director, prepares a biographical portrayal of a brilliant mind, Stephen Hawking. Although the film is based on Hawking’s own book on the universe, A Brief History of Time, it intertwines Hawking’s theories of black holes and the formation of the universe with the moving story of the life of Stephen Hawking. Both stories are intriguing and convey a sense of marvel and wonder. Hawking’s theories about the intricacies of the universe, especially those unraveling the mystery of black holes, are simply versed and easily understood from the man who reshaped theoretical physics. More amazingly, interviews of close friends and relatives paint a compassionate portrait of Hawking, who is completely disabled by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Their stories describe his childhood, college life as an intellect, success as a theoretical physicist and his amazing perseverance through the debilitating illness.

GUILTY PLEASURE C H R I ST M A S VA C AT I O N (1989) A childhood memory that I will never forget is when National Lampoon kindly gave the world a stellar line straight from Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) to Mary (Nicolette Scorsese), “Yeah, it is a bit nipply out. I mean nippy. What am I saying, nipple?” I try to gauge my own maturity as I grow older by if I still think that line is funny and, at least for now, I know I’m not quite an adult yet. Regardless, I always find myself slipping in the Christmas Vacation cassette into the VCR every December and laughing at the same funny jokes. For those of you who haven’t seen this movie, this film stands as the family Christmas standard from the days when Chevy Chase was funny. Chase’s family, the Griswolds, decide to have their parents and siblings over for Christmas. What starts out as Clark’s anal attempts at engineering the perfect Christmas turns into a travesty that only family gatherings could cause.

Topless Female Dancers 18 to enter • Mon-Thur 8pm-1am • Fri-Sat 8pm-2am • $5 Cover (Always Hiring, We’ll Train)

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“When the cow drinks water it becomes milk, when the snake drinks water it becomes poison,” Wynne Ledbetter tells his druggie prostitute sister, Shayle, as she robs their house. Now, this may sound like a serious point in the play, but it is anything but that. It is purely comic. When he repeats the same line at the end of the play, however, it becomes tragic, exemplifying in a micro-instance how this play can present suffering as hilarious one moment and heartbreaking the next. Stone Cold Dead Serious is the story of a fallen Norridge, Ill. family. The father, Cliff, (played superbly by Mathew Green) has become disabled by a back injury and addle-minded because of the painkillers. His wife, Linda (Mindy Manolakes), a waitress, now has the sole responsibility of paying the mortgage and picking up diapers for her incontinent husband. Their daughter, once a star runner, is now a homeless heroin junkie and their son Wynne (played by Mike Harvey), the seemingly together one, is going to New York with his mute girlfriend (Colleen Klein) to fight a battle royal to the death based on a video game he has mastered. SCDS is a fun play. The characters are goofy and shocking and the plot is interesting and even approaches touching for a few tantalizing seconds at the end. But some of the scenes seem to be unnecessary and even out of place. Wynne hitches a ride to Indiana with Jack Gam (a hairslicked-back Mathew Green), a knife salesman, who propositions him. Although there are hints at homosexual prostitution earlier in the play, this scene still feels superfluous and incongruous. The Wynne we’ve been watching, who wants to clean up his whoring sister, is on his way to meet his first love and is obsessed with honor, doesn’t seem like the type to negotiate fellatio so brazenly with such little shock. That said, it was a highly enjoyable performance. These four talented thespians fill the slight stage with their presence, presenting the audience with eight unique characters. And kudos to Ted Bailey, the set designer, for his highly effective set design. Who knew a half a car could even fit in the Station’s tiny, black box space? Go to the Station and support this show, not just because it’s local theater but because it is good local theater. Lastly, take a shot every time they mention an Illinois town. It’d be a fun drinking game. Just kidding, no alcohol at the Station!

BRENT SIMERSON • STAFF WRITER

A B R I E F H I STO RY O F T I M E (1991)

Playing at the Station Theatre CONSTANCE BEITZEL • CONTRIBUTING WRITER

17

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I COULDN’T REPAIR YOUR BRAKES, SO I MADE YOUR HORN LOUDER.

ARTIST’S CORNER

AMELIA MOORE • PHOTO

Cheryl Krugel

Cheryl Krugel, sophomore in FAA, sits in the seats of the Music Building auditorium with her instrument after her composition was performed on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

SONJA STOJANOVIC • CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Editor’s Note: This is the first Artist’s Corner on student composers in a longer two-part series. Many of you have once sat, without knowing it, in the same chair where str ing quar tet music was composed by a 19-year-old music composition major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Two brown chairs with interesting beige patterns sit in the back of the Urbana Espresso Royale coffeehouse. Cheryl Krugel regularly sits in one of them and composes. “In high school, I would sit down in my basement with a bag of Goldfish, a glass of Diet Coke and compose,” she said. Now she comes to Espresso when it’s not too loud because it’s less distracting than in her room. Krugel is a sophomore from the Chicago suburbs who just had one of her pieces, “Practice Room Musings,” performed at the Undergraduate Student Composer Recital last Wednesday. She organized the whole event because there weren’t any opportunities for undergraduates to showcase their work. She contacted a few other composers and put this event in place. Over 60 people showed up for a night full of musical surprises. Luckily, there will be more similar events in the next few months for those who were unable to attend. Krugel started composing at the age of 15. Throughout high school, she arranged and composed many pieces which were performed in various settings. As a high school senior, she attended a performance of the Lord of the Rings Symphony conducted by composer Howard Shore, and became convinced that she couldn’t be a composer. But after listening to Shore in the Q&A session talk about

composing and the encouragement of another conductor, she realized that night, “I guess I could be a composer.” The college applications were due a month later but she made it through the stressful time and doesn’t regret her choice. Last year she asked a friend, “‘Is it weird to enjoy doing homework?’ Composing doesn’t feel like work. I can punch a piece out in five or six hours, but sometimes it can take me all semester.” Krugel is currently working on a piece for soprano, clarinet and harp. It is a piece based on a text from the Hebrew Shir HaShirim — the Song of Solomon. Krugel said it is important to be accessible while also being able to be expressive in her music. She tries to keep the audience in mind while she writes. She said people have to realize “it is not necessarily about liking it, it is about appreciating it.” “Pract ice Room Musi ng s” is a per fect example. Krugel created the piece by hanging a piece of paper in a practice room during the final week of school last semester, knowing that there would be many people practicing for finals. She wrote, “Add a note, let’s see what we get.” She took the succession of notes and added rhythm to it. Listening to the piece performed by a viola and violin was exactly like being in a practice room. Starting with an underlying buzzing sound from people practicing in other rooms, then continuing with a duet, simulating practicing with someone else and finally playing an etude — a piece that isn’t necessarily melodic. Although the piece is not something you would want to listen to for relaxation, the idea behind it was ver y artistically crafted. And that’s what needs to be appreciated. Krugel says that it is hard for composers to make a connection with the audience because they are behind the scenes. “You can see the concertmaster playing his or her violin, but you don’t see the composer ... and if people didn’t like the piece they will just forget you because they don’t see you.” It becomes harder to get respected as a composer. As a performer, Krugel has learned to think about the composer’s intentions in writing a certain way. She says, “As a per former I wouldn’t understand why we had those crazy runs, that no one can hear anyways, but as a composer I understand that the intention is not that you get all the notes, the intention is the sound behind it.” When she composes, she is aware of the limitations of the various instruments. It’s not about whether it is playable in the technical range but whether it makes sense for the instrumentalist. She explains, “As a violist, you don’t want to play up that high. You can, it’s possible, but you really don’t want to.” Krugel hopes to attend the New York University graduate musical theater writing program after graduation and eventually wants to compose for musicals. Look out for those Broadway program notes — in a couple of years, you might read her name.

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kim rice & kate ruin DOIN’ IT WELL

the stinger

Celebrating sex after 60 Lessons for folks at any age

jonesin CROSSWORD PUZZLE 4 5 6 7 8

19 Greeting accompanied by a nod 20 Quiet craft 21 PART 2 Across 26 Morales of “Fast Food 1 Part of a cardboard box Nation” 5 ABA figure 8 Abbr. after a list of people 27 Ecstasy units 28 A.A. Milne kid 12 R&B artist with the 2005 hits “Oh” and 29 1983 fantasy film with Liam Neeson “And I” 31 Senator Alexander 13 Ad award 33 PART 3 14 ___ John’s 15 Exchange between NBA 38 Brief letter ending 39 It’s total crap forward Antoine Walker 40 CD-___ and a sports reporter, PART 1 41 She won’t be working 18 Add ___ (X) (UK elechere for long tronic group that broke 42 “Serpico” author Peter 46 PART 4 up in 2003) “Score Bored”— not even from mid-court?

NE

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51 Mr. ___ (handyman) 52 “Give ___ rest” 53 Air conditioner measurement: abbr. 54 PART 5 58 Up to the task 59 Ending for Earth 60 They replaced Finnish markkas 61 Designer Oldham 62 Cobra’s “careful!” 63 Stops for a train: abbr. Down 1 They’re 20% 2 1991 autobiography subtitled “Growing Up in the Jackson Family” 3 “Who ___ you kidding?”

Grammatically dissect He beat Liston Colorations Frat party wear Type of salt used in bath products 9 Start the battle 10 Animal that’s “great” or “lesser” 11 Scottish kid 12 “___ talk?” (Joan Rivers catchphrase) 13 Prefix meaning “head” 16 Bring to an end, as a drug ring 17 “I’ll take that as ___” 22 Trailer, so to speak 23 Word after “much” 24 He played John on “ER” 25 Days long gone 30 Hi-___ monitor 31 “Underworld” director Wiseman 32 Patisserie attraction 33 “ANTM” judge 34 Late Blind Melon lead singer Shannon 35 He said “You go to war with the army you have” 36 Anesthesiologist’s activity 37 Stick on, as a surface 41 Game with L- and Zshaped pieces 43 College that’s also a color 44 2005 World Series losers 45 Dr. of rhymes 47 Magazine published in San Francisco 48 File extension that runs programs 49 Yemeni money 50 Sidewalk eateries 54 Body art, for short 55 “Comic Relief” airer 56 Nav. officer 57 No longer part of the competition Answers pg. 22

A

common stereotype is that after age 60 (or perhaps 40 in our youth-focused society), our sex lives die down and other things in life, like traveling, grandchildren or enjoying retirement, become more important. Well, forget all that. As our 60+ readers already know, older adults are sexually active and loving it! They have the wisdom and experience to know that as we grow older, the flame of desire still burns hot and bright. In an effort to normalize and shed light on the sexual desire of seniors, here is some information obtained from a survey conducted by Pfizer, Inc. for the National Council on Aging (NCOA). We hope this will allow younger people to realize the healthy sexual lives of older adults (we’ll all be old one day), and allow older adults to take pride in celebrating their sexual selves! The sur vey of over 1,300 older Americans revealed that almost half are sexually active, close to 40 percent want sex more often and most find sex equal to or more satisfying than sex in their 40s. In addition, the majority stated that sex was important to their relationship. The survey shows that less sex does not mean less satisfying sex. The sexual activity that was most cited was cuddling. We have much to learn from older adults about the variety of sexual experiences that can be fulfilling and wonderful. The second most reported activity was vaginal intercourse, cited by nearly 60 percent of men and women. But most things slow down as we get older, and that can go for sex too. Fortunately, most age-related sexual challenges can be corrected with the right information and a doctor’s help.

contracted for about 10 seconds and then release, repeating this for up to 10 minutes twice daily. Get a head start and begin doing Kegels early in life! Hormonal therapy that replaces estrogen, in particular, can effectively treat the effects of hormonal loss, including vaginal dryness or other changes that lead to painful sex. For most women, once the discomfort of sex is alleviated, sexual desire returns. Women should talk with their doctor about any symptoms they are experiencing that are affecting their sex life to see what options are available and appropriate for them.

CHANGES WITH MENOPAUSE Between 40 and 55 years of age, most women enter into menopause — a time of life marked by a major reduction in levels of the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and androgen. This decrease in hormones can decrease vaginal lubrication and cause thinning and loss of elasticity in the vagina. Sometimes, due to these changes, women may experience pain during sex, which is a key cause of decreased libido, or sexual desire, in older women.

IF YOU EXPERIENCE ED... ED is treatable. First, talk to your doctor. They will give you a checkup and look for underlying conditions that may be associated with ED. Sometimes these conditions need to be treated also. Depending on your particular case, your doctor may change your medication or recommend medication and/or counseling to help ED.

40 percent of older Americans want sex mo re o f ten

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION: The most common sexual problem among older men is erectile dysfunction (ED), defined as the consistent inability to get and/or maintain an erection that is satisfactory for sexual activity. If the nerves or blood vessels associated with the process of getting an erection aren’t working properly, an erection may not be possible. As men age, they generally need more time or more direct physical stimulation to get an erection. While ED is not a direct result of aging, it occurs more frequently in older men and, in this population, usually has a physical cause. This is because older men are more likely to have risk factors associated with a condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or other conditions that affect the blood vessels, restrict blood flow to the penis or interrupt the connection between the nervous system and the penis, as sometimes happens with prostate surgery. Smoking, depression and alcohol and drug use can also effect erectile functioning, as can medications that are prescribed to treat conditions like high blood pressure or arthritis.

equal to or more satisfying than sex in their 40s.

WHAT YOU CAN DO Personal lubricants can be used to address vaginal dryness for people of any age and can also enhance stimulation when used as part of foreplay. These products are easy to use and can be found at any pharmacy or sex toy store. To improve circulation to the vaginal lining and maintain vaginal muscle tone (which may also help reduce urinary incontinence), many women find Kegel exercises beneficial. These exercises are done by tightening your vaginal muscles as though you’re trying to stop urinating midstream. Keep your muscles

SEX 411 •

With your doctor's help and the right treatment, healthy sexuality is a fact of life that you're never too old to experience! Disease prevention for seniors does apply! Make sure you’re using condoms if you have a new partner.

Kim Rice and Kate Ruin are professional sex educators. Send your questions and comments to riceandruin@yahoo.com

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ALL TRUE WISDOM IS FOUND ON T-SHIRTS.

Dece m be r 14

D e c e m b e r 2 0 , 2 oo 6

free will astrology DEC. 14 — DEC. 20 ARIES

March 21 – April 19

“Listen! I will be honest with you. I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes.” Walt Whitman wrote that in his poem “Song of the Open Road,” and now I’m saying it to you. If you expect the events of 2007 to bring you old smooth prizes, you’ll be disappointed. But if you can figure out how to change your attitude in such a way as to actually yearn for rough new prizes, you will be rewarded beyond anything you can imagine. The first hint of how true this is will arrive soon.

T A U RU S

May 21 – June 20

“God was a little too busy to do anything about the genocide in Darfur last weekend,” reported Fark.com a while back, “but did manage, during a snowstorm in Buffalo, to leave fallen tree limbs in the form of a crucifix on a statue of Jesus.” That’s a mean-spirited interpretation of the Divine Wow’s behavior, although it’s funny in a snarky kind of way. Your assignment in the coming week, on the other hand, is to joke about spiritual matters with a more generous attitude. It’s prime time for you to be humorously amazed by the tricky enigmas of creation. (To see the miracle in Buffalo, go here: http://tinyurl.com/ub2z3.)

CANCER

June 21 – July 22

Imagine you’re with a team of explorers in Antarctica. You’re climbing the 2,000-foot granite spire called Rakekniven that thrusts up out of the ice in Queen Maud Land. The temperature is ten degrees below zero. There’s not a plant or animal in sight. The blinding white emptiness of the wasteland beneath you fills you with desolate reverence, alienated awe, and soaring gratitude. As far as you are from everything that normally gives you comfort, you’ve rarely felt stronger or more alive. Got that scene in your mind’s eye, Cancerian? Though you won’t experience it literally, I bet you’ll experience emotions similar to those you’d have if you did.

LEO

Nov. 22 – Dec. 21

CAPRICORN

Dec. 22 – Jan. 19

AQUA R I U S

Jan. 20 – Feb. 18

“The thing that makes you exceptional is inevitably that which must also make you lonely,” said playwright Lorraine Hansberry. I agree. That’s why my exuberant advice for you this week is also cautionary. According to my reading of the omens, in 2007 you will have unprecedented opportunities to cultivate and express the special talents that make you so unique. To get to the root of them, though, you’ll have to be willing to get less of the approval and appreciation you’d ideally like to have. You may not have to be relentlessly solitary, but you will have to be vigorously independent.

April 20 – May 20

Drugs and alcohol need play no role in activating this week’s potentials. Your mind will just naturally inhabit what we in the consciousness industry call an “altered state.” This is very different from being sick or crazy, and it could turn out much better than being merely healthy. My advice to you? Break taboos that are no longer necessary to observe. Wander uninhibitedly in zones that have previously been off-limits. Explore the frontiers of fun. (P.S. If you try what I’m suggesting, chances are good that you’ll finally be able to scratch an itch that has been maddeningly inaccessible. But be sure you know when you’ve scratched enough.)

GEMINI

S AG I T TA R I U S

July 23 – Aug. 22

Your face alternately contorts with strain and breaks into beatific grins. Your body language careens from garbled jargon to melodic poetry. Your clothes make a fool of you one day and show off your inner beauty the next. Are you becoming bi-polar? Probably not. The more likely explanation is that you’re being convulsed by growing pains that are killing off bad old habits as fast as they’re creating interesting new ones. This is one of those times when you should be proud to wear a badge that says “hurts so good.”

VIRGO

Aug. 23 – Sept. 22

LIBRA

Sept. 23 – Oct.22

SCORPIO

Oct. 23 – Nov. 21

Harper’s Index says the U.S. government spends more than twice as much on military defense than do Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran combined. The aggregate population of those four countries, on the other hand, is five times larger than America’s 300 million people. One might reasonably conclude, therefore, that while the U.S. has a right to safeguard itself, its glut of weaponry is absurdly extreme. I’m not definitively asserting, Capricorn, that you, too, are over-invested in defending and protecting your interests, but the astrological omens suggest it’s a possibility. Please look into it. In any case, consider freeing up some of your contracted, fearful energy and directing it toward more pleasurable and constructive goals.

Some Christians believe Jesus will come back to fix this corrupt world. Certain Jewish sects propose that the messiah will soon appear on earth for the first time. Among Muslims, many predict the legendary 12th Imam will return and bring salvation to humanity. In India, devotees of Vishnu expect the avatar Kalki to arrive on the scene and carry out a miraculous redemption. Even the Buddhists prophesy Maitreya, the chosen one who’ll establish universal peace. Personally, I suspect that the whole point of our spectacularly confounding moment in history is that each of us must become our own savior. The coming year will be an excellent time, Aquarius, for you to master the art of doing just that: being your own savior. And it all starts now. (P.S. You can perform a great service by being a role model for those who haven’t yet figured out how to be their own saviors.)

PISCES

Feb. 19 – March 20

In Cracker’s hit song “Where Have Those Days Gone,” singer David Lowery recounts a road trip he made through his old haunts in California. “In Mendocino County, I thought I saw Thomas Pynchon at the end of the bar,” he croons. “No, that’s just Rob Brezsny writing his astrology column.” While in the past I’ve been confused with David Duchovny, Peter Coyote, and Ry Cooder, this marks the first time I’ve been mistaken for the great novelist Pynchon. Thanks, David. Now it’s time for you Pisceans to find out what celebrity you resemble. The omens say it’s perfect moment for you to identify with a hero, role model, or famous mover and shaker. To do so might help free your self-image from the unheroic confines it has gotten stuck in. Go here to investigate: http://tinyurl.com/c4x23. Homework: Imagine what your life would be like if you licked your worst fear. Describe this new world to me by going to http://RealAstrology.com and clicking on “Email Rob.”

Here’s the bad news. Sometimes your perfectionism verges on being a sophisticated death trip--a manic compulsion to trap life inside a tight little cell where no change is allowed. Here’s the good news: You now have the power to strip away the pathological part of your perfectionism and liberate the healthy core of it. Please swear to me that you’ll figure out how to be more fluid and playful with your zeal for excellence. Spend less time running your mind in vicious circles and more time running your mind in upward spirals.

There are three kinds of darkness: (1) pathology and evil; (2) the mysterious unknown; (3) the shadowy, unripe parts of our psyches that are on their way to becoming more interesting and useful but are still awkward and inarticulate. I believe that you can help prevent outbreaks of the first kind of darkness by developing a closer personal relationship with the second and third types. This would be a good time for you to do just that, Libra.

Scorpio actor Leonardo DiCaprio is not a big fan of locking lips. “When you think about it, kissing is pretty disgusting,” he told Britain’s Eva magazine. “The human mouth is one of the dirtiest things on this planet. There’s so much bacteria, slime, and trapped food.” I hope that you will not only ignore DiCaprio’s opinion in the coming months, but that you will launch a campaign to increase your commitment to kissing and all related pursuits. In my opinion, the potentials inherent in 2007 should inspire you to raise your mastery of the oral arts to a very high level. And it starts now.

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ALWAYS KEEP YOUR WORDS SOFT AND SWEET, JUST IN CASE YOU HAVE TO EAT THEM.

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LIKES AND GRIPES LET IT OUT

MEGHAN WHALEN Copy Chief LIKES 1) Fan mail: I received my first-ever fan letter this week. Apparently people enjoy regularly reading my complaints and raves. Hearing that I can brighten someone’s day definitely made mine better. 2) Murphy’s Logo Night: I’ve become a regular at this watering hole on Wednesday nights, chowing on Irish nachos and adding to my collection of logo glasses — last week’s Leinie’s Apple Spice glass was pretty awesome. Plus, I run into a ton of people I know almost every week. Good drinks, good food, good friends ... what more could you ask for? 3) Having one final and two papers due during finals week: While this isn’t exactly amazing, it sure beats the whole five finals in five days schedule that I’ve been rocking the past couple of years. ELYSE RUSSO Arts and Entertainment Editor GRIPES 1) W h e n f l o w e r s smell terrible: Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes when I get flowers, they smell really bad. WTF? All flowers are supposed to smell pretty and not like rotting weeds. 2) Buying Christmas presents with birthday money: Since my birthday is right before Christmas, I actually have money to spend on Christmas gifts. So, instead of spending my birthday money on myself, I spend it on other people. This may sounds selfish, but I want to spend my birthday money on me! 3) Same-siders: Yeah, same-siders, you know who you are. When a couple sits on the same side of a booth at a restaurant, I can’t help but think to myself, “Oh, come on! You can sit by yourself for 30 freakin’ minutes without having to grope your boyfriend/girlfriend. Just deal with it.” ANNETTE GONZALEZ Calendar Editor GRIPES 1) Watching the sun rise for the third day in a row: It’s not as pleasant as it sounds. With all this finals stress I’ve spent many a late night cramming months worth of information into my brain while chugging can after can of Pepsi and Full Throttle. 2) Procrastination: You know you shouldn’t do it. You had time to do that paper when you decided to watch an entire season of Grey’s Anatomy, or decided to clean the apartment or rearrange the furniture. Then you are up for three days with no sense of time and space trying to memorize a bunch of court cases. Why I do it, who knows? 3) Multiple choice: I really don’t like multiple choice exams, especially with those tricky all or none of the above things. I’m more of the essay test variety where I can bullshit my way through. sounds from the scene

TATYANA SAFRONOVA Community Editor LIKES 1) Jazz Night at Zorba’s: Alas, it’s over for the year, but it’s such a fun place to get blown away by great music in an intimate atmosphere where you can take in the reactions of your fellow listeners. And that’s the other perk of Jazz Night: it’s a great place to people-watch. The expressions of jazz lovers are priceless, as are the actions of some other random characters who stumble in to warm up and to groove. 2) Night-shift employees: After spending most of my Sunday late night and early morning with bakers at Art Mart and Strawberry Fields, I now have a deep appreciation for everyone who works during these ungodly hours. Maybe an overdose of sugar was what eventually destroyed me on that day, but my thanks goout to all you night owls out there who are making this world turn (and especially to the bakers, for their warm gooey treats and good spirits). 3) ThinkGeek.com: This Web site is gold, baby! It’s so cool, even the nerd-haters are going, “That’s fine!” This Web site sells adorable nerdish toys, apparel and home and office junk. They sell these adorable plush microbes, so you can snuggle with a cute little ebola virus or even mono! They sell a pillow on which the word “pillow” is written in binary (I’ve got one), and I bought my brother a tiny cactus that you can wear on your key chain! The ultimate pet that goes wherever you go. But beware, once you’re on ThinkGeek, there’s so stopping the fascinating nerd fun! ERIN SCOTTBERG Editor in Chief LIKES 1) The Four Second F r e n z y G a m e : I ’m addicted. The concept of this Internet Flash game is quite simple: you have four seconds to complete some insignificant task using only the arrow keys and space bar. If you finish in four seconds, cool, you keep going. If not, you lose a life — you have eight — and keep going. The point? To see how long you can last. My record is 144 seconds, bitches. http://addictinggames. com/4secondfrenzy.html — the damn thing is hosted at “addictinggames.com.” Goodbye finals, hello FFS. 2) Christmas lights in downtown Urbana: They’re so quaint and simple and Christmasy. Driving down Main Street after dark is simply stunning in that understated, small town way. Champaign, on the other hand ... well let’s just say their tacky garland trees that are probably going to stay up through January leave a lot to be desired. For more on this topic, see page 6. 3) Graduating: Tommorrow (Friday), I will hand in my last assignment as an undergraduate student. I will then spend the rest of the day on my friend’s couch, watching their cable and nursing a hangover. I’ll read a book for fun, dick around on the Internet without schoolwork nagging at my conscience and knit. Over the weekend, I’ll watch the entire first two seasons of a (new-to-me) TV series (maybe Deadwood? The Wire? Hell, I’ll do both) while drinking extra-dirty vodka martinis with peral-onion stuffed olives. I cannot wait to graduate. INTRO | A ROUND TOWN | L ISTEN, HEAR | CU CALENDAR | STAGE, S CREEN &

IN

B ETWEEN | CLASSIFIEDS | THE STINGER


24 •

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ANYTHING GOOD IN LIFE IS EITHER ILLEGAL, IMMORAL OR FATTENING.

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1905 Glen Park Dr & 606 S. Sixth Street Champaign, Il INTRO | A ROUND TOWN | L ISTEN, HEAR | CU CALENDAR | STAGE, S CREEN &

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sounds from the scene

Buzz Magazine: Dec. 14, 2006  

Dec. 14, 2006

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