C E L E B R A T I N G T H E P R E C I O U S H U M A N TA P E S T R Y
V O L . I I I , N O. V I I
OCTOBER 17, 2008
BTV shows bring Brandeis spirit to screen BY JASON WONG Staff
After watching reports of our economy recede from the crashing stock market, watching BTV introduce a new sitcom, STANJY, as well as the season premiere of Slice and ’Deis was a perfect way to ease my mind out of the red. As I entered the Shapiro Atrium for the premieres, I was greeted by three loons wearing those mask-like, mustached-nosed glasses. The loony trio later introduced themselves to the audience as STeve, ANdy, and BenJY; or as they and others refer to them collectively as, STANJY. The three-for-one packaged group of sophomores met as roommates in their forced triple freshman year. Through BTV, they saw a demand for their unscripted, unabashed style of humor and decided to supply. In producing their show STANJY, the three strive for nothing more than to showcase their true-to-life humor by editing-in the best of their improvised lines into a twenty-five minute sitcom— quite a time-efficient and costeffective way to provide laughs. Their first episode “Burned at the Stake” starts off slow with a scene of them sitting on toilets and talking about dragonflies and gibberish. The audience immediately caught on to the strong bonds among STANJY, but the humor was harder to grasp. After this pricey startup, the show gathered gradual gains in chuckles as the plot progressed and introduced new characters. The plot starts with Steve (played by Steve Ragno ’11) burning his hand on a steak he was grilling.
This burn scratches his chances of winning the handwriting contest he entered; and so, he, Andy, (played by Andy Glynn ’11) and Benjy (played by Benjy Cooper ’11) search for a skilled handwriter to replace his seat in the contest. The simple plotline and character structure lent this episode the freedom to explore STANJY’s improvisational skills—not a bad trade in the humor market. The offset is that their unscripted lines are just okay. It is hit or miss with most of them, but they fire a lot, so the misses are almost overlooked. The show really hits the bullseyes with its transitions, which feature quirky filming effects to create some hilarious moments. The show’s obvious low-budgeted props and sets, along with some ridiculous extra characters—namely “Stone cold mothafucka” as credited—also add to its comedy. Although the cast of STANJY had no prior experience to acting, filming, or producing, they still manage a decent show. The few lines that are scripted are blatantly so and break the continuity of some conversations. Also, it is hard to distinguish the different personality types of the STANJY group; each member gives a carefree vibe but you cannot tell what makes them distinct. Overall, a half hour’s time is a fairly small opportunity cost to pay for the laughs that STANJY provides. When the Dow drops another three-hundred points, STANJY will likely succeed in lifting your spirits and making you laugh. After premiering STANJY, BTV faced some technical difficulties when trying to play Slice
and ’Deis and had to leave the audience sliceless for the night. Slice and ’Deis Producer, Arun Narayanan ’10, explained to the audience that the burned DVD of the episode did not work. He also explained that a backup that BTV was burning had frozen before reaching 100% completion. “It works on the computer,” said Narayanan in an interview with the Hoot. “We still want to show [the episode] so we’ll try to reschedule [a showing] for next week, assuming we can figure out the problem.” Although BTV had no bail-out plan for the majority of the audience, a couple of close friends of the show’s cast and I were able to sneak a peak at an early showing of the episode by watching it on the computer in the BTV office. Always creative in the opening credits, Slice and ’Deis’ fourth episode, “Drunk in ’Deis,” parodies the opening from Chappelle’s Show by featuring Gdaly Berlin ’10 on the guitar and Narayanan strutting by and throwing money into a trashcan (how economically fitting). Resourceful with its time, “Drunk in ’Deis” jumps right into the plot about parties at Brandeis from the get go. It starts with six friends; Ed (played by Berlin), Brendon (played by Alex Gaman ’09), Ronnie (played by Ted Levin ’10), Walter (played by Josh Reuss ’10), Nicole (played by Diana Benlevy ’09), and Lindsay (played by Larissa Liebmann ’10) deciding how to get alcohol for the party they want to throw in Walter’s suite. Ed, Brendon, Ronnie, and Nicole decide to steal alcohol See BTV p. 11
IMAGES COURTESY OF BTV
TRUE-TO-LIFE HUMOR: Pictured are screenshots from the new BTV sitcom, STANJY.
Bands on display at Worcester Rock and Shock festival BY DANIEL ORTNER Special to Diverse City
The Rock and Shock festival in Worcester is an annual three-day celebration of horror films and heavy metal. Just as horror films run the gamut from silly satire to dark brooding scare fest and from gorexploitation to sublime psychological masterpiece, so to did the range of bands and musical performances offered at this festival. I choose to only attend on day of the festival, because Sunday night was headlined by a band I had no interest in seeing (Insane Clown Posse) and I had already seen Saturday nights headliner, the violent and hilarious Gwar, several times lacked interest in any of the other bands playing
that day. Friday night on the other hand offered something for all metal palettes. From the genius progressive explorations of Between the Buried and me to the lead driven smashing sound of Children Of Bodom and the heavy plodding death metal of the legendary Obituary. I missed the first two opening bands in the process of trying to get my Press Pass for the show, Interviewing JB Brubaker one of the guitarists of August Burns red, and as I went over to the next door horror convention to meet Between the Buried. The members Between the Buried and Me were modest and down to earth and it was a pleasure to get to talk to them about their music and influences. This was a pretty lame convention overall, with lots
of no name celebrities trying to charge 20 dollars a pop for a signed picture. I got to meet, Chris Sarandon who plays the voice of Jack Skellington in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas as well as Brian O'Halloran who plays one of the Clerks in Kevin Smith’s iconic films, which was pretty exciting. However, the festival lacked interesting give-aways, events or a feeling of excitement and happening which makes for a truly worthwhile festival. By the time I got back to the Palladium, August Burns Red had just gotten on stage. Their aggressive metal core styling carried pretty well. As promised, there were no singing parts and the sings were focused on the metal and very aggressive end of the spectrum. The crowd was responsive
IN THIS EDITION:
and the pit had a lot of momentum and energy. Though this audience was far from the typical one that would attend one of their shows, August Burns Red probably won over quite a few new fans with a very solid performance. There were a couple of nagging weaknesses however. While lead singer, Jake Luhrs, put on a pretty solid performance he was lacking in crowd interaction and didn’t really engage the audience very much. Moreover, he asked the audience to sign along if they knew the words to parts of songs but never turned over the microphone to actually capture the crowd’s singing. He lacked real gravitas or presence and didn’t elevate the material to a higher level of quality. See BANDS p. 11
DID YOU KNOW?
The attraction of Chuck New NBC show, p. 9
“Brooklyn Times” Fiction, p. 10
Rapper Eminem will return from a three-year hiatus with his sixth album, Relapse, which is rumored to be released before the end of the year.
October 17, 2008
“First love is easy:” The attraction of Chuck BY MATT FOWLER Staff
First love is easy. This is just a fact of life. The attraction, the butterflies, and the smiles come without effort. It’s simple. It’s when that first fire dies down that things become more difficult. Honestly, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is. It could be yours, it could be hers, or it could be a group of greedy network television executives who replaced the only program you were ever truly invested in with a reality television show about dimwitted adults who are less smart than fifth graders. You see me and my first love, we never broke up. We were still very much smitten with one another (yes, I used the word smitten). Instead, “The OC” was ripped away from me. Stolen away despite the hours I had put in watching the teen soap. That’s why falling in love for the second time is so much harder for me. I don’t want to devote myself to something that could disappear without warning. But, against my best judgment, last year something wonderful and horrible happened. I fell in love again. I fell in love with “Chuck.” Putting the conclusions that could come from that last sentence aside, “Chuck” pulled me out of a very dark place in my life. In a time when I thought I would never be able to open up again, Chuck’s witty
dialogue and explosive action sequences helped me reconnect with the world of television. Just writing about NBC’s sophomore spy comedy gets me giddy. “The will they won’t they” of Chuck (the adorkable Zachary Levi) and his handler Sarah (the knee weakening Yvonne Strahovski), the dry delivery of agent John Casey (Adam Baldwin), and
my first love’s show creator Josh Schwartz (also the creator of the deliciously trashy Gossip Girl). In other words, “Chuck” is the perfect rebound. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Chuck is the story of a neurotic underachieving man who works at a Best Buy like location, but, because of an old friend and a computer, he just happens to hold
all of the government’s secrets. It may seem complicated (or it could be my writing) but it isn’t. Last year, before the writer’s strike, the show was getting juicer than ever. In the final episodes the viewer learned that the government was in the process of creating a new container for their secrets. The viewer also learned that when “The Intersect” (the name for this container) was done, that Chuck was expendable (that means death). The second season premier hits the ground running without letting off any steam. The writers create a truly dramatic set of circumstances that pit character against character and culminate in a hilarious ending. That’s what makes Chuck so good. One second you’re laughing the next you’re denying the crying your suitemates heard from their room. I have to be honest. After my first relationship I did not know if I could stomach another. I did not know if I could take another swift metaphorical kick to the stomach if in fact my show was taken away from me. How can I ever trust again? With “Chuck” I can. Despite only average ratings (Nielson be damned), I’m not afraid when I sit down on the couch anymore. I’m not afraid to bat my eyes at the television. But, mostly, I’m not afraid to love anymore. “Chuck” did that for me. That show made me feel again. I guess we just sort of connect you know.
Girl Talk reinvents music with laptop and moxy BY DANIELLE GERWURZ Editor
The thing about pop music is that many of its best songs have approximately 45 unforgettable seconds that make the song worth playing every 15 minutes on the average radio station. Gregg Gillis, aka the mashup DJ Girl Talk who has performed once at Brandeis two years ago and is due to come back again this year, has built two successive albums on samples of those 45 seconds. Having transitioned from a more experimental early career, Gillis has become famous for both his music and for his raucous live shows. Night Ripper, his 2006 album which introduced the form, was a masterpiece of sampling when the idea of the mashup was filtering into mass consciousness. This year’s Girl Talk album, Feed the Animals, was released online this summer, fol-
lowing a pay-what-you-want model like Radiohead’s In Rainbows release. If you haven’t heard any Girl Talk mixes yet, you’re in for a bit of a surprise. Gillis takes the idea of a mashup and takes it to the point of absurdity, mixing hundreds of samples, many of which are 15 seconds or less. The entire album is a non-stop mix divided into 14 tracks. The ideal listen, though, is definitely straight through, as one unbelievably danceable pop culture overload. Night Ripper’s greatest moment is about one minute of the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” playing over the instrumental from “Tiny Dancer” and though there’s no single moment as good on Feed the Animals, Gillis comes close a few times. Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” fits perfectly over Kanye’s “Flashing Lights” beat and the drums from Radiohead’s “15 Step.” Busta Rhymes’ “Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check” is somehow amplified tenfold when backed
by the Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” and the “na na” line of Wilson Pickett’s “Land of a Thousand Dances.” What Gillis does best is give new life to songs that are played out, bringing back pop hits from the 1990s or the beginning of this decade and making them feel fresh. Gillis also enjoys playing with lyrical contrasts, fitting together disparate vocal tracks in ways that present semi-coherent ‘lyrics’. On Feed the Animals “Jessie’s Girl” mixes with Three 6 Mafia’s “I’d Rather” to form the line, “I want Jessie’s girl...but I’d rather get some head.” It’s a shame that he doesn’t further explore these possibilities, the traditional domain of mashups, in either Night Ripper or Feed the Animals. Gillis is not only influenced by pop culture, but by internet culture; the album’s aesthetic and content are both indebted to YouTube, MySpace, and the ease with which files can be downloaded online. In Feed the Animals Gillis is cognizant of those influences, throwing in a bit of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” and Soulja Boy as a nod to this year’s most prominent internet memes. Gillis has also become a poster child for copyright reform campaigns. Theoretically, copyright law allows for fair use, which, among other things, includes the right to create new works with an existing work, so long as the new work is not merely derivative, but uses the old work in such a way as to completely recontexualize it. The new work must be substantially different than the sample. It seems like Gillis would be covered, but court cases in recent years have made it clear that music with rec-
ognizable samples needs to be licensed and cleared, regardless of how short the sample. Gillis has somehow managed to avoid a lawsuit thus far, but he may still face legal action. A face-off between Gillis and the RIAA could potentially help modernize copyright law and expand fair use doctrine to fulfill its promise. Feed the Animals is licensed under a Creative Commons copyright license. Creative Commons, founded by copyright activist and legal scholar Lawrence Lessig, lets artists permit reuse of their work. Gillis has permitted any other artist to sample him in any noncommercial work as long as the source is attributed. Listening to any Gillis track makes it clear that, though the music is based on samples, it is a creative effort which is completely original. The samples are building blocks assembled by Gillis, and though the samples are essential to the music, the albums clearly represent something greater than merely a sum of pop music samples. Most interestingly, Gillis often samples songs that contain samples of other songs. Sampling has become a part of musical culture, reflecting an overall trend of cultural self-reference that is now commonplace in all genres of art. As the remix and the mashup are both furthered by the internet as a new distribution tool, it seems almost anachronistic to own a Girl Talk album on CD; an album built on sampling of popular songs is almost destined for consumption in MP3/ other digital audio form, since that’s how most of the source material would be discovered and consumed. Nonetheless Feed the Animals will be released on CD October 21 (though it certainly won’t be available at mass retailers concerned about copyright liability) and is available for download at any price (including free) at illegal-art.net. For the curious, wikipedia.org contains a fairly exhaustive breakdown of samples used in both albums.
October 17, 2008
New XBOX game reviewed
BY IAN GUSS Special to Diverse City
ILLUSTRATION BY Alex Doucette/The Hoot
BY MAIA GALLAGHER-SIUDZINSKI Special to Diverse City
It was hot outside. It was hot inside. My head drooped lazily against the cold tiled floor and a small shudder moved through my intoxicated body. “What are we going to do about Mat?” A slurred voice crept towards me above the sounds of London Calling. “Nothing…” I closed my heavy eyelids and tried to remember the last time I had slept for more than two hours at once. Wednesday… or was it Tuesday? The days and nights were slurring together worse than my words. Nothing fit. “We have to get him to drink some water or something.” “He can take care of himself. Now shhhh… I am trying to remember the last time I slept.” It was a pointless exercise. The room swayed beneath me as I lifted one eye open. The scene laid out in front of me felt very… overwhelming. An emaciated girl rolled around on the floor, begging for another joint. On the coffee table three people performed the delicate task of rolling one for her. I half listened to Allen who was regaling the ottoman with an animated monologue: This one time I was sitting on a bench while some kids played whiffle ball next to me. My arms were folded and my legs crossed as I tried to ignore the noisy little brats and enjoy the tiny slice of green in front of me. Suddenly, one of the kids hit the ball right in my direction. I’m not
sure quite how I did it but --with out turning my head-- I reached out … and snatched the ball as it shot past me. Like a Superhero, I had performed the most athletic feat of my life. The kid’s mouths all dropped open and their eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. I had never felt so cool in my whole life! Jack was curled up in the corner tripping off some random hallucinogen and next to him I spotted Sophia leafing through a tall stack of albums. Alex had crept up to me on her hands and knees - too drunk to traverse the Park Slope basement without the support of four limbs. Rolling on to her back next to me she let out an exusted breath. “I think I’m going to split open and fall out on the floor.” “I want an omelet.” It was the only response I found suitable for the moment. Is this really what my life had become? A series of blurry nights and empty days? I used to feel like I had something to avoid, but now I was just playing along. Pretending. I was always pretending around them. Pretending to be intoxicated, pretending to be entertained, mostly pretending to care about the things they cared about. School, Friends, Weed, Indie Music, Coffee, the Environment. I couldn’t give a shit about anything anymore. I felt empty inside. So I slowly picked my self off the floor and wondered up to the cramped kitchen to whip together an omelet. That would fill me up… for a little while at least.
British Slang: our “real” is their “proper” BY SYDNEY REUBEN Editor
As some of you may or may not know, I am currently studying abroad in England for the year. I’ve been meaning to write about all the British culture I’ve experienced since I was here, but wanted to wait until I had a better hold on it. I’ve been in this country now for more than a month, so here you go- the first installment of my experience amongst the Brits. One of the easiest differences there is to spot is the differences in British and American slang. The English are very quick to pick up on American slang and love when we say things that sound like they’re straight out of the O.C. One time I was speaking to a friend of mine saying things like “sick” and “sweet” and he started laughing and said, “I love that you’re here! You sound like you’re straight out of a T.V. show!” But forget American slang, we all know what we tend to say. One of my favorite things about being
here has been learning all the fun British slang that exists. One of the first words I was taught was “chav.” The American equivalent for this, as my British friend said, would be “Caucasian rubbish.” Another great word is “proper.” They use this when saying that something is better than something else. In America we would most likely say “real.” For example, if my bedroom was bigger or better than someone else’s, I would say that this is a “real” bedroom- the Brits would say this is a “proper” bedroom. I love proper. I think it’s much meaner than real is and I think it’s a word I’ll definitely be bringing back with me to the States. If you are bummed about something, you’re “gutted” about it. If you’re broke, then you’re “skint.” If it’s cold outside, then it’s “chapping.” Very is nearly always “well,” as in “I am ‘well’ tired.” The word “on” is also used interestingly here. Instead of saying that you get along with someone, you’d get on with them. If someone wanted to ask what you were talking about, he would say,
“what you on about?” This next one is definitely not a popular one, but has quickly become an inside joke with my flatmates. Instead of “that’s what she said,” SOME people would say “as the actress said to the bishop.” So if someone said, “I can’t get it to fit in there,” someone (probably one of my flatmates) would respond, “as the actress said to the bishop.” “It’s all good,” would translate into “it’s all gravy.” If someone’s totally smashed then you might say that he was “off his trolley.” If you’re in a “barney” then you’re in trouble. There are definitely some more fun terms; I seem to learn at least one or two new ones every day. It’s been really rad learning all these phrases, some of which I find incredibly silly and some of which I might bring home with me. I’ll be writing about other aspects of British culture in the coming year, but I promise that if some really awesome phrase comes to my attention in the future, I’ll be sure to let you know about it.
With an overall weak retail launch lineup, the XBOX 360 found its must buy game in a new medium, a downloadable title. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved was a smash hit and was the most talked about game in the first few months of the system’s release. Since that time, in late 2005, we have seen the downloadable game industry flourish, but finally, the much anticipated sequel his virtual store shelves as the first of XBOX 360’s Summer of Arcade series. The tried and true gameplay is straightforward and has been mimicked countless times since the original release. Players are in control of a ship, and from a top-down perspective, try to destroy waves of enemies which appear in multiplying types and at the same time avoiding them. The basic dual joystick controls are back: the left analog stick navigates the ship and the right analog fires at the targets. New to the sequel is how powering up works. Smashed enemies drop “Geoms;” collectibles which add to the player’s multiplier but only appear on screen for only a short time period. The multiplier does not reset after each death which
is appealing to the more casual player. The first title only offered only one gameplay mode which became increasing difficult as time went on. The developers realized they needed more meat in their game and they delivered. The sequel offers five more modes including “Deadline” players must score as many points as possible before a three minute time limit expires. Another timed mode is “Sequence,” in which all enemies appear at the start, giving the player 30 seconds to clear them all. There are more new modes and each is fun to play. There is a nice level of progression in the title with each mode unlocking after a short time with the previous mode. Another nice touch is the option to show your closest friend’s high score on the screen at all times. The greatest downfall of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is the lack of online co-op. However, up to four players can battle it out or play cooperatively offline. This sequel does not reinvent itself but even at double the price point of its predecessor, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 manages to offer enough new modes and graphical enhancements to make it a must buy for fans of the original.
A D V E RTI SE M E N T
Showtimes for Embassy Cinema 16 Pine Street, Waltham, MA Telephone: (781) 891-0911
Sat. & Sun.
Mon. to Thurs.
Body of Lies (R, 138 min.)
(12:45) 3:40 6:30 9:25
(2:10) 4:50 7:30
(12:45) (3:40) 6:30 9:25
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (PG-13, 107 min.) (1:35) (1:35) (4:30) 4:30 7:00 7:00 9:20 9:20
(2:50) (5:10) 8:20
Rachel Getting Married (R, 123 min.)
(1:05) (4:00) 6:50 9:35
(1:40) 4:00 6:50 9:35
(2:20) (5:00) 7:50
Ghost Town (PG-13, 118 min.)
(1:15) (4:10) 7:10 9:40
(1:15) 4:10 7:10 9:40
(2:30) (5:00) 8:00
Religulous (R, 116 min.)
(1:25) (4:20) 7:20 9:45
(1:25) (2:40) 4:20 (5:10) 7:20 8:10 9:45
W. (PG-13, 140 min.)
(12:55) (4:00) 6:50 9:35
(12:55) 4:00 6:50 9:35
(2:00) (5:00) 7:50
October 17, 2008
The Hoot 11
END NOTE A D V E RTI SE M E N T
Bands play at Rock and Shock festival BANDS (from p. 8)
I feverishly awaited the performance of Floridian death metal titans Obituary. Coming from the Sunshine State, I suppose I have a special affinity for this brand of metal no matter how cliché or overblown songs can be. Moreover, Obituary just last year put out a one of the best records of their discography (Xecutioner’s Return) after their early 90’s masterpieces. Obituary however let me down thoroughly and completely. Their performance was plodding and they absolutely failed to invoke energy from the crowd. Lead singer John Tardy let his vocals blend into the music so thoroughly as to eviscerate the chance of a single memorable sound. The guitar solos became muddled under the bass playing. The highlight of this set was, sadly, a Celtic Frost cover which says quite a bit about the sound of the bands original material. Playing Slowly We Rot, one of their oldest as best known tracks, as a final song was pretty appropriate, both because it was one of the few solid songs on the set and because it seemed to literally describe the stature and impact of this band slowly dissolving as they continued to play lifelessly. I’ve heard good things about Obituary’s live performances in the past, so I can’t say if this was the result of poor technical work or the venue, but I was incredibly disappointed by this set. Between the Buried and Me, however, has never let me down in the five times that I have seen them live. Last time I saw them, in the progressive nation tour with Dream Theater and Opeth they played a somewhat strange set that involved a mix of songs into a single song without discernable breaks. I found it quite amazing but a bit jarring and not nearly as incredible as seeing them play their whole Colors album from start to finish. This set was more traditional with a mix of songs of their Colors and Alaska albums. BTBAM played a pretty solid set of five songs, which is quite lengthy considering that their average song extends to beyond 7 minutes. Unfortunately, no tracks from the incredible Silent Circus album were played nor any from their self titled debut. Additionally, hearing songs from Colors played out of order is a somewhat strange experience. Because each song has a transitional intro and outro connecting to the prior and next song, listening to songs out of order felt like being dropped on the ground running. Still, this set was a treat. Opening with the pummeling track All Bodies, BTBAM’s music struck the perfect blend between incredibly technical and destructive. The crowd ate up their music and danced along in worship and appreciation. Epic closer White Walls truly blasted the crowd with an amazing and eclectic diversity of riffs and sounds. Singer Tommy Rogers gave it his all, as did each and every member of this band and they delivered an incredible set. The Black Dahlia Murder always have had a killer sense of humor, and they decided to dress up as Mystery Inc. The lead singer came out of stage in a Scooby Doo costume and wore it throughout the set. Having seen TBDM many times over the past years, I can safely say that this
was among the best performances of theirs that I have experienced. Since I last saw them, they released the powerful and pummeling Nocturnal and their set list was buttressed by the awesome tracks. In the past, their felt drawn out and filter filled, but tonight ever note hit home squarely in the neck as I furiously banged by neck. This band has only gotten better over time, as they are driving the modern American metalcore movement into a more vicious and technical direction. Their vicious riffs and tempos were swallowed up by the crowd and it responded with destructive circle pit dancing and arm swinging. Unfortunately, I had to leave half way through Children of Bodom’s set to catch the commuter rail. I was pretty pleased with what I go to see, however. The newer albums of COB have not done much for me, but
live the songs came of quite well. The band had some serious technical difficulties earlier with a nonfunctioning keyboard that had to be changed several times. A few songs in, however, the bands sound solidified. I was really pleased to hear a couple of songs from my favorite COB album, Hatebreeder, including the very rarely played Bed of Razors. Overall, seeing COB live revived a waning interest for me and will make me more likely to give their newest material another chance. Despite the monumental Obituary to my death metal dreams, this show was pretty intense and worthwhile. Between the Buried and Me and The Black Dahlia Murder delivered in a big way and left my neck sore for days, while Children of Bodom reinvigorated my interest and August Burns Red won over a new fan.
INTERVIEW Diverse City contributing writer Daniel Ortner sat down with JB Brubaker guitarist of the up and coming metal core band August Burns Red. While crammed in the bands small travel van, they discussed a wide range of topics from the band's Christian influence and the very different kind of fans that different shows attract. This interview has been edited for clarity and content. Daniel Ortner: How’s has the current tour been going? JB Brubaker: It’s been pretty incredible so far. We’ve been touring with a whole bunch of great bands. A Skylit Drive, Sky Eats Airplane, Greely Estates and This or the Apocalypse. DO: How different is the crowd here from that of your typical show? JB: There are more people with long hair, big beards and violent metal shirts and it tends to be full of older people. Ours is typically a more wholesome crowd. You don’t see any people with strange face paint. DO: How do you expect this crowd to respond to your material? JB: I think they will like us. We’re playing pretty different stuff but in that sense we are in the same boat as Between the Buried and Me who are also guys who happen to play metal. We think it will go well DO: How does it feel to be an openly Christian band in a scene that often seems unaccepting? JB: In recent years there has been the rise of a lot of well accepted Christian Bands such as As I Lay Dying and Norma Jean. This has made it much more acceptable. DO: Are you picky about the types of shows you play in terms of the values of the other bands. Would you refuse to play a show as Dave Mustaine of Megadeth did when he refused to play with the strongly Atheist band Rotting Christ in Greece? JB: We have not refused to play any shows, but I can understand being in a position like Megadeth must give you that power. We play with a lot of atheists, but they are the ones that need it the most. What’s the point of playing at a bunch of church retreats? DO: Where are you in the process of writing new material? JB: Once we get off the road we are going to finish the writing process for the follow up. We’ve already started and are pretty excited so far DO: Has anything changed in your guitar playing? JB: I am just getting more solid. My right hand is worse than my left in playing so I’ve been working on improving that. DO: You are known for having a different singer on each album is your singer staying put this time? JB: We have the same singer this time, last time our singer left the band just as our first album came out, so Jake Luhrs has been with us for a long time. DO: What have been your recent musical influences. What albums have struck you in the past few years? JB: Between the Buried and Me’s Colors album was incredible as is the new As I Lay Dying Disc and Cult of Luna. These are our influences but we feel by now we have truly found our own niche in the genre. DO: Describe your music to the uninitiated fan. JB: That’s always tough to do. Its hard to describe music. Its metal, heavy and fast and with a lot of different riffs and tempo changes. Its progressive and fairly linear without repetition. DO: What’s next for the band? JB: We are playing a home date in Pennsylvania tomorrow night. We’ve been on the road for six weeks now and then immediately afterwards we leave for a European tour. DO: What have been your best tour experiences to date JB: Too many great experiences. The Unearth tour was fantastic. They are great and awesome guys and were super nice to us. Touring with As I Lay Dying was nice because there were super big shows but they are really down to earth guys.
Review: comedy on BTV BTV (from p. 8)
from a Mods party to bring it back and use for Walter’s party. Meanwhile, Walter and Lindsay choose stay in their suite to wait for the alcohol and any guests that arrive. As time passes Ed, Brendon, Ronnie, and Nicole end up partying at the Mods, while Walter and Linsay end up partying with guests who bring alcohol into their suite. This episode echoes the brunt of Brandeis bashes in much the same way that Superbad reflects a typical night of high school partying; genuine and common situations are hyperbolized for over-the-top comedy. Although this hyperbolizing sounds good in theory, the law of diminishing returns set-in for this episode as it seemed to drag on at the end. Nonetheless, “Drunk in ’Deis” produced a high entertainment value with many noteworthy performances. Narayanan’s signature cameo appearances were brilliant and hilarious. The extras also played their roles very well and did an amazing job giving some memorable performances. Liebmann, although playing a cliché bored alcoholic college student, still had me smiling from ear to ear with her rendition. The other cast members truly had me laughing as well. Despite the technical difficulty, this episode will surely start off the new fiscal year for BTV’s Slice and ’Deis with gains. You can catch the premiere of “Drunk in ’Deis” in the Olin Sang auditorium this Sunday (10/19) at 9pm.
Published on Mar 5, 2010