MOVE 08.31.12 VOLUME 11 ISSUE 02
THE KEY TO YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
Graffiti for good
+ GETTING DIRTY THIS YEAR'S EPIC MUD RUN IS ABOUT TO BE JUST THAT. PERKS OF PEDALLING BIKE FOR A CAUSE (AND FREE STUFF). LAUGHS, OUT LOUD HA HA TONKA JUST LOVES TO PLAY.
FOLLOW US @MANEATERMOVE /cover photo/JENNY MCGEE design/Savannah kannberg EDITOR/DELIA CAI 2 MOV E • 08.31.12
“Just because everything looks nice and pretty on the surface - remember what you’re dropping down underneath,” Francis says. The simple slogan on Francis’ piece, “think b4 u dump,” extends farther than a street corner. “It means doing the little bit that every one person can do just to make sure that not only future generations but our generation is able to have a glass of water without dying,” Francis says.
RODGER FRANCIS, ILLUSTRATOR
DEBorAH ZEMKE, AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR
For her piece, Zemke drew from her experience illustrating nature and animals and humor for the “Critter Crackup” feature in Ranger Rick magazine. Some parts of the composition were drawn directly from Zemke’s time in the nature of Columbia. The blue herons on the sidewalk, for example, come from a personal encounter while she was on a walk with her dog. When asked what exactly she was painting, Zemke says, “You have to go see!”
According to the World English Dictiory, the phoenix is defined as a “legendary Arabian bird said to set fire to itself and rise anew from the ashes every 500 years.” Phoenixes are known for rising from their own ashes with renewed hope, a symbol of immortality and restoration. “Phoenix” also happens to be the name of rock band The Classic Crime’s fourth studio album, and the name could not be more fitting. The Classic Crime, a grossly understated rock band, has been around since 2003, and since then has released three studio albums previous to Phoenix. The band originally signed with Tooth & Nail Records, but after releasing album No. 3, Vagabonds, it was time to delve into deeper waters. In 2011, after the departure of one guitarist, The Classic Crime left Tooth & Nail Records and decided to produce its latest CD independently. Funded through Kickstarter, an online fundraising website for creative projects, The Classic Crime let its fans help create the album. By pledging certain amounts of money, fans could propel the album progress forward and in turn receive cool incentives from the band like signed albums, Skype conversations from the band and much more. In order to receive the funding, the band had to raise $30,000 in a little over a month. The band was overwhelmed to find that its fans reached that goal in a mere 24 hours, and by the end of the fundraising period, The Classic Crime had been funded $86,278 by 1,981 supportive fans, according to the band’s Kickstarter page. From there, very happy fans were ready to watch The Classic Crime rise from the challenges it had faced in the past year to produce something beautiful. Phoenix is a solid album from start to finish. The album starts off with the intro track, “One Man Army,” and for new listeners, lead vocalist Matt MacDonald’s dark and charming voice will draw you in from the start as he sings, “I used to let you fight the battles before me, but now I stand alone, just a one man army.” Many of the tracks on Phoenix deal with the theme of hope and perseverance through trial. On “What I’d Give Up,” MacDonald sings, “I’ve got new direction; I feel winds of change.” Those ideas flow through the entire album, revealing a deep, raw passion shown by the members. It was clear to The Classic Crime that the journey wouldn’t be easy, but when its fans believed in it from the start, it surely made it all worth it. “Phoenix” is full of melodic guitar riffs, tightly knit rhythm, strong vocals and thought-provoking lyrics. “You and Me Both” and “Beautiful Darkside” both are strong tracks in every area. They both are infectiously catchy (just try and not drum your fingers along to them) and truly captivate the theme of the album. The album ends with the outro, “I Will Wait,” closing the album perfectly with, “I used to let you fight, but now I stand alone; I will wait, will you fight for me again?” Inspiration. Talent. Passion. Drive. Support. Phoenix could not have been what it was without any one of these things. And even beyond that, Phoenix would have never came to be if it weren’t for The Classic Crime’s fans. On one of its Kickstarter updates, MacDonald shares how blessed he felt after the band received full funding for its album: “This is more than an album project, this is something that completely validates the journey we’ve been on since we formed in February of 2003. These past nine years have been … tumultuous. Time and time again our hopes lifted and fell and lifted and fell … You told us with your pledge that you DO care. You told us so much more than that, you filled a longing in our hearts.” On Aug. 14, The Classic Crime independently released Phoenix and was an overwhelming success. Phoenix reached No. 130 on the U.S. Top 200 charts, No. 22 on the U.S. Indie charts and No. 44 on the U.S. Rock charts, according to Billboard. “You restored in us the hope that this music is worth something and is important,” MacDonald tells his fans via Kickstarter. And that is what makes everything about Phoenix so beautiful.
Downtown CoMo storm drains get a Roots 'N' Blues induced makeover via local artists.
Thumper Entertainment is backing a project with local artists, some of whom actually work right out of downtown studios, to brighten our community a wee bit more with some beautiful, not to mention meaningful: art. Nine artists have taken on the task to paint the storm drains of downtown in their own unique style to raise awareness on the effects of storm drain littering. Who would want to throw their Kaldi’s cup onto an impressive piece of art? This artistic endeavor will kick color into our downtown and make litterers think twice. It’s a win-win.
From fandom to fame
mollie barnes | reporter lauren rutherford | reporter lauren steele | reporter
JACKSON FARLEY on The Classic Crime's Phoenix
Drains by design
CAIT CAMPBELL | GRAPHICS ASSISTANT
mike sleadd, professor Mike Sleadd happens to be in charge of leading the decorative endeavor that Storm Drain Art is. Now after 40 years in the art world, Mike is a graphic design professor and department chairman for Columbia College’s art department. His inked drawing style has been incorporated into his storm drain design, just as a painting this time. “I must say that this piece isn’t particularly ‘unique’ in style from my other work, except that it is a painting, and I generally draw,” Sleadd says. “To accomplish the look of an ink drawing on the sidewalk was the challenge. I believe that my tiger is somewhat Asian in style and looks nothing like Truman.”
DENNIS MURPHY, ILLUSTRATOR Dennis Murphy draws his inspiration for his storm drain from predators. His design originally started out as a shark, but he switched it to a throwaway bottle that resembles a shark.
jane mudd, professor/artist “Think simple” is the tactic behind Jane Mudd’s storm drain design. She wanted something simple that would appeal to the younger crowd of Columbia. Mudd uses the word “THINK” in her design to make viewers stop and think about what they are putting down the drain and whether it is clean water or trash. She said in an email her design is a “clam man” because clams and other shellfish signify healthy streams.
BEN CHLAPEK, GRAPHIC DESIGNER “I thought about what I wanted to depict for a long time,” Chlapek confesses. He finally settled on what he does best: portraying potential homes. “A bunch of houses connected in the middle of a body of water has a feeling of togetherness, yet separate from everything else at the same time,” Chlapek says. He visually builds his concept with a colorful portrayal of homes connected by strings of lights residing over water.
JENNY MCGEE, artist Jenny McGee has created art in many facets, in all corners of the earth, while holding tight to one mantra: “nothing is so wretched that it cannot be redeemed by art.” Every experience in life -- from her breaking her leg in 20 places to overcoming and recovering from cancer -- Jenny has taken darkness and transformed it into triumphant art. For this project, however, Jenny used her experiences from living in El Salvador, where her heart and her eyes were opened to the struggle of thousands of people that combat the human need for water with the problem of not being able to obtain it.
lisa bartlett, Gallery owner “I like to do a lot of blues painting,” Bartlett says. Her design draws from this musical inspiration by featuring a guitar player with blues lyrics around him. She says she hopes people will draw the message that pollution will “give you the blues.”
maura mudd, GRAPHIC DESIGNER As a message about littering that Mudd describes as “not too preachy,” her design includes the inspiring motto, “This Earth Connects Us All.” Along with that mantra, Maura’s painting features a serene koi pond complete with fish and lily pads, flowing peacefully over the sidewalk at the corner of Locust and Fifth streets. “I wanted to allow people to interpret it however they want, but I hope they think about the message as they walk by: about how this earth connects all animals and people, and how we all should do our part to keep it beautiful, regardless of our differences,” Maura says of her particular inspiration for this project.
PHOTOS BY GABBBY KRONGARD | SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
We are never ever getting back together. Like ever.
reel reviews JOSH SIPP on JGL's new movie
savannah kannberg | associate editor
Say what you want about her voice, but Taylor Swift knows how to date. And date. And date. Every few weeks, her curls are gracing another tabloid cover because she’s been spotted having coffee with another guy. The girl knows how to get it. And how to write songs about it. So will her new boyfriend, Conor Kennedy, be immortalized in a break-up song soon? Can this kid, barely 18 and living with his parents, hold up against her five most famous exes? Let’s see.
The Boys: JOHN MAYER, 34 Songs Written About Him: “Dear John” and “The Story of Us” JAKE GYLLENHAAL, 31 Songs Written About Him: Has escaped thus far, but will he escape her new album, Red? CORY MONTEITH, 30 Songs Written About Him: “Mine” JOE JONAS, 23 Songs Written About Him: “Forever & Always,” “Last Kiss” and “Better Than Revenge” TAYLOR LAUTNER, 20 Songs Written About Him: “Back to December” CONOR KENNEDY, 18 Songs Written About Him: None so far, but apparently Swift has already written a song about the Kennedys after meeting his family, according to a Kennedy family member in an interview with ABC News.
The rankings: Each boy receives a score between 1 (worst) and 6 (best) per category.
Attractiveness. MAYER 1 You know you don’t really like him, despite his soulful singing. His face should have “douchebag” tattooed on it, and that ruins any bit of attractiveness remaining. GYLLENHAAL 4 Swift and I both seem to love blue-eyed boys -- and Gyllenhaal’s are pretty piercing. Think about looking into those over dinner and dessert. But looks do fade ... and Gyllenhaal is already 31. MONTEITH 3 He’s 6’3” and barely looks out of college. He also has a dopey grin and great hair. Yet, he’s
30. And that was getting a little old for T. Swift. JONAS 2 Joe Jonas is the second-cutest Jonas brother, but even that can’t save him when he’s stacked up next to TAYLOR LAUTNER’S ABS. LAUTNER 5 Have you seen “Abduction”? Really? Or the first five minutes of any Twilight movie (let’s be honest)? Try to tear yourself away from Lautner’s body for just a second to check out that cute face. KENNEDY 6 He easily has the best hair out of the group. It’s floppy, curly and cute. It’s like he’s Harry Styles with a famous surname.
Best Facial Hair MAYER 1 One word for that scruff: ew. He likes to rock an “awkward mustache,” which looks both uncomfortable and unseemly. GYLLENHAAL 6 None of these boys have facial hair quite like Gyllenhaal. He has a whole beard going on here. Maybe it’s because, at 31, he’s had years to grow it out? MONTEITH 2 Since most of his time is spent playing boyish Finn on Glee, Monteith rarely seems to be anything but clean-shaven. When he does attempt to grow out some facial hair, it just looks like he forgot to shave for a week. JONAS 5 If you ignore the photos of him wearing fake black glasses, the beard-goatee-mustache combination is working. It makes you forget he was in a boy band once upon a time. LAUTNER 4 It might be tough, but if you stop looking at Lautner’s abs -- lol, you can’t -- you can sometimes see him rocking the chinstrap. On him, it’s less lazy and more too-busy-to-shavetoday-sorry. KENNEDY 3 Is he old enough to shave? Kennedy looks perfectly clean-shaven in every photo with Swift. This might be a good thing given that scruff is not a Kennedy family trait.
Net Worth. (because her own $80 million is never enough) MAYER 5 (tie) The Grammy-winner has an estimated $40 million net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth. GYLLENHAAL 6 $65 million. Enough said. MONTEITH 1
$1 million. TV doesn’t pay the big bucks. JONAS 3 $18 million thanks to CDs, concert tickets and a short-lived TV show on Disney Channel. LAUTNER 5 (tie) $40 million. He was paid a combined $25 million just for both parts of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.” KENNEDY 2 + 50 for his last name He’s worth $10 million and after his mother’s recent suicide, he has been named executor of the estate. So someone is trusting him with quite a lot.
What’s in the future? MAYER 1 No. Just no. If it’s true that “We’re Never Ever Getting Back Together” was written with Mayer in mind (rumor!), Swift makes it pretty clear that there isn’t a future for them. GYLLENHAAL 3 Who goes back to a guy who breaks up via text? Not Taylor Swift. But the eyes? Hmm. MONTEITH 2 He’s dating Lea Michele. Not happening. JONAS 4 (tie) While Jonas went on the radio to claim that “We’re Never Ever Getting Back Together” is not about him, he wants to be friends with Swift, allegedly. LAUTNER 4 (tie) I like T-squared, but there’s already one Taylor Lautner out there. A Taylor Swift Lautner is not something the world needs. KENNEDY 5 Swift was looking at a Cape Cod house next door to the Kennedy compound (not creepy, right?), and was starstruck by getting to meet the Kennedy clan. He’s already had breakfast with her parents.
GRAND TOTALS: MAYER 8 GYLLENHAAL 19 MONTEITH 9 JONAS 15 LAUTNER 18 KENNEDY 67
The somewhat scientific analysis of Swift’s boyfriends proves that Kennedy wins by a landslide. Mostly because he received 50 points for having the Kennedy last name. Does this mean they’ll overcome the awkwardness of him still stuck in high school? Maybe. If not, expect songs about the habit of Kennedy men cheating on their significant others all over Red, her new album, out Oct. 22.
Epic Mud Run will turn participants into dirty mongrels There are many ways in which humans are similar to other animal species on the planet. To name a few, we are protective of our young. Some people are hunters, some gatherers, and we all have an inherent desire to flounder in mud like pigs. Wait, what? For those of you who haven’t discovered this third trait about yourself, you have an opportunity to see just how much fun splishin’ and splashin’ in mud can be. UltraMax Sports in Columbia will host its second Epic Mud Run at noon Sunday at the Midway Travel Plaza off Highway 70. “This is the perfect venue for the event,” Epic Mud Run coordinator Kaela Rorvig says. If the words “mud run” aren’t sufficiently self-explanatory for you, here’s the deal: participants in this event run three miles on a track made almost purely of mud. There are also multiple obstacle courses, such as tires to navigate through, wooden bars to circumvent and two enormous Slip ‘N Slides to ensure not an inch of your person is left clean. “This event attracts anybody and everybody,” Rorvig says. “You don’t have to be a professional runner to sign up and be able to do it.” The race releases 19 different waves of people every 20 minutes. There will be concessions and a beer garden available to interested and legal
contestants and spectators. Last year the Mud Run involved almost 1,000 spectators and participants, including MU senior Siån Evans. “It was so much fun, there was so much energy,” Evans says. “I recommended it to a lot of people to go this year.” This year, more than 2,500 people have already signed up, but your chance to sign up for Sunday’s race has not passed. Registration is still taking place online at UltraMax Sports’ website. You can also register in its retail store, located at 2902 Forum Blvd. If you want to compete in a group, you can register teams of three or four. You’ll need a photo ID, especially if you plan to drink in the beer garden. “Come off the couch and have a good time,” Rorvig says. “It’s more of a laid back atmosphere. You don’t have that competitive vibe that maybe a 5K or a half marathon would have.” The event costs $65 for individual participants ages 12 and up. Team discounts vary, and although this may seem like a pretty penny, the money goes to support the MU Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network, according to the Epic Mud Run website. Obviously this event will be legen…wait for it…dary. If it wasn’t, they would have titled it something like the Mundane Mud Run or the I-Don’tHave-Anthing-Better-to-Do Mud Run. No. This is the Epic Mud Run. colette rector | reporter
ELIZABETH KING l PHOTOGRAPHER
A Premium Rush of Enjoyment Every once in a while, something comes along that shatters your expectations by such a great margin that it completely takes you by surprise. It could be a burger you thought was too cheap to be good that you suddenly tried and now eat every day, but now you’re kind of getting tired of it because you probably shouldn’t live off Shack burgers. Or it could be how absolutely awful your fantasy football team is this year even though you vehemently brush off your friends’ insults with comments like “dude, Chris Johnson is going to have a great year” or “seriously, once Kenny Britt recovers from the knee injury and serves his suspension for his DUI, he’s going to go off.” Apologies to the non-football fans; I promise I’m about to make a point, and the point is this: “Premium Rush” was another moment just like those, when something completely shatters your expectations for it. Yes, this is the bike movie you saw the trailer for when you saw the Dark Knight Rises, and I phrase it like that because I’ll forever assume 100 percent of the American population saw that movie. Now, if you are anything like me, or most people I know at least, you probably thought a movie about a guy riding a bike around New York would end up being a total flop. The good news is: you were almost right. “Premium Rush” is currently behind such cinematic marvels as “ParaNorman” and “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” in weekend box office scores. It did, however, manage to beat out “2016: Obama’s America” (which just saw its seventh week in theaters) by a whopping $60,000. Yeah, “Premium Rush” flopped. And I need to stop picking on “ParaNorman,” it actually looked like an endearing children’s movie. Putting that aside though, “Premium Rush” was actually a pretty decent movie. I know that’s not exactly a shining endorsement; I’m standing in a grey area so large that even Christopher Nolan couldn’t write a script that ended with me finding a way out, but “Premium Rush” was strangely enjoyable. It might have been the movie’s incredibly low expectations, but I actually sat through the credits and reflected on how stunningly mediocre it was. It wasn’t just a stupid bike movie; it felt like more than that. The story was well-written and you learn to love Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, Wilee, and his care-free, “live life with no brakes” attitude as he gets caught up in everything happening around him. The movie was, and I hate to simplify it to only this, but it was fun. It was just fun to watch. The movie begins by introducing Wilee and fellow bike messengers, Vanessa (Dania Ramirez) and Manny (Wolé Parks), and their hilarious manager, Raj (Aasif Mandvi, “The Daily Show”). Wilee is tasked with picking up and delivering a simple envelope, but he doesn’t know that this envelope is about to take him on the ride of his life as he navigates his way past a crooked cop (Michael Shannon), taxis, pedestrians and my personal favorite character, the bicycle cop (Christopher Place). The riding scenes are actually much more visually interesting than you would expect and are highlighted by excellent camera work, which helps to really capture the feeling of speeding down busy New York streets. The plot as a whole keeps you interested the entire way through by being suspenseful enough to keep you caring, but also being campy enough to keep everything lighthearted. So if you’re scrambling for date ideas, this movie could be your savior. Overall, “Premium Rush” deserves an endearing 6 GordonLevitts out of 10 — which is pretty good. It is a movie about a guy riding a bike, after all.
Bike Race to raise money for Ronald McDonald House
Ever had the urge to wake up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday and bike 100 miles? What if we told you there was a free beer garden involved? This year’s Show-Me 100 Bike Ride takes place Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Parkade Center, where fleets of bicyclists will pedal together to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri. “The Show-Me 100 is more than a ride with a cause; it is a festival of fun,” says Barb King, event founder and director of development and communications at the Ronald McDonald House of Columbia. This festival of fun features three different routes: a 31-mile, a 62-mile and a 100-mile course. “Anyone can do a 30-mile ride with little to no training beforehand,” King says. Each ride begins at a different time, with the first route, the 100mile, commencing at 8 a.m. The course begins at Parkade Center and includes seven rest stops, each of which will have food, drinks and a first aid station. And after the race, a Lifestyle Festival -- including live music, games and of course, that beer garden -- will keep that adrenaline raging. Students are able to register until the morning of the race itself. Entry into the ride costs $25 per rider. In addition, participants are asked, though not required, to raise at least $200 (and snag a free shirt if they do!). Riders who raise more than $500 score a free bike jersey, and those who raise $1,000 are given a jersey and bike shorts. “Last year everyone loved it,” says King, adding that 100 bicyclists showed up for last year’s ride. “People were excited when we announced we were doing it again this year. The ride is more fun than anything else - it’s nothing high-pressure, just a way to get a great workout and support a great cause too.” caroline o'reilly | reporter 08.31.12 • MOV E 3
STYLE FILES CLAIRE BOSTON on being efficient in your magazine buying with this September issue roundup.
Netherfriends here, there, and everywhere
Fall for September issues The temperatures in CoMo may remain stubbornly summerlike, but now that it’s nearly September, I can’t help but day-dream about the perfectly crisp fall days ahead — and what I’ll be wearing as I stroll (read: sprint) from East Campus to my classes through the leaves. Luckily, with dozens of fat September issues dominating the magazine racks, I don’t have to look far for fall fashion inspiration. In the past few weeks, I’ve managed to collect and read a surprisingly tall stack of September issues. I must say, after a while it becomes frustrating to read that boots are in for fall for what feels like the umpteenth time. For those of you who want to be more strategic with your reading material (or who just want to avoid wasting $5 on a product that is 80 percent ads), I’ve compiled the best and worst of what’s in this month’s glossies. It’s only fair to start with the mother of all fashion magazines: Vogue. Vogue’s 916-page September issue is its biggest ever, beating out the 840-page September 2007 issue (subject of R.J. Cutler’s fantastic documentary, “The September Issue”). But editor-in-chief Anna Wintour had good a reason to top her 5-year-old record —- this September marks the magazine’s 120th anniversary. Naturally, a good chunk of the magazine is devoted to a retrospective on Vogue (don’t miss the cool fold-out that highlights vintage covers), and really all other things fashion, but Vogue also doesn’t skimp on other editorials. The star-studded pages include editorials devoted to not only cover girl Lady Gaga but also Florence Welch, Rooney Mara and the usual legion of supermodels. For the trend-inclined, creative director Grace Coddington lent her styling genius to four different shoots. Although the magazine may include more than 600 pages of ads, its actual content features no shortage of inspiration. If high fashion is not your deal, Glamour provides a more well-rounded approach to September. The 2012 issue features Victoria Beckham, who also guest-edited the magazine, and boasts itself as Glamour’s first official fall fashion issue. While the fashion section is meatier than usual, the magazine’s content still includes the usual roundup of diet tips and hot male celebrities. But for those who like clothing suggestions and trend previews, the fashion section, which gives solid (if a bit obvious -- rich colors and leather for fall? I never would have guessed) tips for fall, will satisfy just about anyone. Keep an eye out for actress Elizabeth Olsen’s editorial in the back of the magazine — the military looks she highlights are cute and surprisingly wearable. You’ve been told never to judge a book by its cover, and Elle’s September issue proves that the same holds true for magazines. Between the hot pink background and Katy Perry’s purple hair and pink sparkly dress, nothing about the cover conveys fall, or for that matter, class. But if you can make it past page one, the rest of the magazine is a treat. At more than 400 pages, the magazine is certainly hefty, but it stops well short of Vogue’s size, and throwing it in your bag won’t make you feel like you’re lugging around a dumbbell. The fall fashion section impeccably integrates trends from the runway with slightly more affordable options, and although the editorials tend toward monochromatic, the limited color scheme is surprisingly refreshing given the garish cover. For the culture junkie in us all, Vanity Fair’s September issue stays high-brow enough to make you feel slightly less guilty about reading yet another fashion magazine. If you can stomach an absurdly pretentious society piece, the profile of those teenage socialites, the Brants, makes for an amusing read. If you’re only interested in clothes, head straight to photographer Paolo Roversi’s beautifully captured look at Raf Simons’ work for Dior. Ralph Lauren receives similar (and deserved) star treatment. Though Kate Middleton’s cover photo, a rather unflattering paparazzi shot, might make you skeptical of the best-dressed list, the artsy portraits of the surprisingly diverse list of honorees are simply stunning.
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4 MOV E • 08.31.12
After the most extensive U.S. tour ever, this one-man band will play at 10 p.m. Friday at Mojo's. CARINA GIBSON l PHOTOGRAPHER
Netherfriends is Shawn Rosenblatt. He spent the last year bringing his beats to every state in the U.S. His electric-pop-psych style is new, catchy and quickly amping up the music industry with the help of just two loop pedals and a few various instruments. MOVE: There’s been a lot of talk about your “50 Songs in 50 States” experience. How was that? Shawn: In each state, I recorded a song that was at least two minutes long and cohesively related to the region I was in. I also played at least one show per state. It all took me about one year. M: Where was your favorite place to record? S: Probably Alaska and Casper, Wyoming. That was a very eye-opening, positive experience. M: And where was your most difficult performance? S: Indiana. There were a lot of people, and the stage was in the back, but the bar was in the front. You couldn’t really hear the music at all. That show was pretty terrible. M: What was the best thing about traveling across the states? S: I don’t have a home anywhere, so the road is my home. I had to learn to interact with new people, and I discovered how not to be a jerk. It taught me how to be a good person. M: How did you begin your musical career?
S: I wasn’t good at anything else. I had given up playing violin, and when I started to play guitar at eleven, I said, “I’ll show you, Mom!” I wanted to be good at something. Anything creative is your outlet ... it’s what you do to get things off your chest, and that keeps me going. M: What inspired the name “Netherfriends”? S: I wanted to name my band after a country, and I also wanted to make up my own word. I liked “Singawhore,” but it wouldn’t have really worked. M: Who are some of the artists you have performed with? How has that influenced your style? S: I’ve performed with LCD Soundsystem, Panda Bear and Bill Callahan. I take little things from them that I don’t even realize at the time, like how to put on a good show. I’ve had to learn how to play for a room full of strangers, and how to win them over with my music. M: What are your plans now that you’ve travelled across the country? S: To do it again and again, and again ... I want to keep touring. I leave at the end of August for a tour through November, and in February I’m heading to Europe to perform. M: What should listeners expect for this weekend’s show at Mojo’s? S: I’ve performed in Columbia a million times. This is the show to go to. sara higginbotham | reporter
Getting the last laugh Making music has never felt like a job to Ha Ha Tonka frontman Brian Roberts. The proud Missouri native has a hard time calling what he does work. He likes getting paid to wail on an acoustic guitar. He likes performing for crowds who know his lyrics as well as he does. He likes taking money away from his buddies in tour bus poker games. Roberts, a German-major-turned bonafide rocker, says he laughs when someone calls Ha Ha Tonka a “professional” band. “It seems silly to view it as (if) we’re clocking in for a 9-to-5 work week,” Roberts says. “We get to play music and tour around the world in a rock ‘n’ roll band, which is pretty crazy.” Ha Ha Tonka‚ a band that never likes to take itself too seriously‚ will bring its unabashed garage band energy to The Blue Note tonight. Just like with any other Ha Ha show, fans can expect a rowdy concert experience that might leave many with damaged ears and tapping toes. The band’s twangy, no-holds-barred musical style is infectious. Despite often harmonizing over things like child abuse and the failings of organized religion, the not-always-uplifting themes are masked by rollicking guitar riffs and bouncing piano melodies. Playing its own rowdy take on alt-country -- think Wilco after a few beers -- the band has an upbeat sound with subtle, affecting lyrics. On its most recent effort, Death Of A Decade, the band has made what Roberts thinks is its most mature album to date. The various themes thrown at the listener -- the deaths that define a decade and how we often see ourselves in them--are potent, but oddly uplifting in context. As Roberts explains, the band’s songwriting is heavily influenced by the state its members were raised in. “We draw a lot of inspiration from where we’re from in the Ozarks,” Roberts says. “We try to sing about the people, places and things that we saw or knew or experienced growing up.” The concert will be almost like a homecoming of sorts for a band that bleeds Missouri. Not only are they all from the Show-Me State, but Ha Ha’s members went so far as to name their band after a state park close to their hometown. They can tell a Kansas area code when they see it, too.
Tour Dreams Hometown love aside, there locals have a healthy dose of cabin fever.
y turda a S . 8 p.m Bridge : N E WH E: The door e R h t E WH R: $5 at COVE
WHEN WHER : 9:30 p.m .F E: The Blue Nriday ote
TODD ROETH l PHOTOGRAPHER
It comes as no surprise that the band is excited for tonight’s show. While promising there is no bias behind the claim, guitarist Brett Anderson says The Blue Note is among his favorite venues in America. He says he loves the vibe from the theater -- it’s a place where the shaggy-haired men of Ha Ha can easily cut loose. To Anderson, that’s an important part of performing. “You want to make sure that the audience is having a good time,” Anderson says. “And in order to do that, you need to look like you’re having a good time.” Anderson says the joy he presents on stage is no act. Playing in front of crowds across the world, he says, is something that never gets old. Just like Roberts, he doesn’t see Ha Ha as a “professional” band. “It really doesn’t feel like work at all,” Anderson says. “It really is an amazing adventure.” jack howland | reporter
The Columbia music scene, though small, is still notable. With so much activity in this town centered around MU, it is easy to overlook a group of guys trying to make a living playing music. Triple P is a hard rock trio with gigs around the Columbia area and elsewhere. Guitarist Luke Offield, bassist Ben Drummand and drummer Mike Bonnot have been playing together for about three years. They share a bill with two other bands, Lunar Mansion and Just Free, for a concert at The Bridge on Friday night. “I like to think that anyone who enjoys rock music will like our band,” Offield says. “We incorporate some blues/jazz passages in our music and draw from several different genres. It has more of an involved feel than typical rock music so that makes a person feel more like a participant.”
Kara Miller, media-relations director for The Bridge, said the band puts on an impressive show. “We present all different types of music here at The Bridge, but we only book acts that we think are really good,” Miller says. At 34, Offield says he still has aspirations to tour and move his band onto the national stage. “At this point, we all have day jobs: I work at a music store, Ben is a chef at a restaurant and Mike works at the University Hospital,” he says. “I wish I could play to get paid enough to call this my profession, but the reality is you don’t make enough money to pay your bills. Though there are drawbacks to touring, being up on a stage every night of the week is something you get addicted to. I don’t have any delusions, but I hope in the future that one day I might be in the right opportunity to make it happen.” jake weisman | reporter