OPINION Where Do We Go From Here? - Page 5
Top 20 Albums of 2007
SPORTS Class of the Conference - Page 8
ENTERTAINMENT The A-Zs of the Holidays - Page 20
- Page 15
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Volume 104 No. 13
UConn Experiments with Gender-Neutral Housing Erin McAuliffe
Staff Writer At the beginning of this semester, University of Connecticut launched a test program that seeks to explore the possibility of opposite-sex rooming for undergraduates. This type of housing could benefit a wide range of students, from religious minorities to transgender persons. According to an article in the UConn’s Daily Campus, “some students have requested to live with cousins or siblings of the opposite sex for religious or cultural reasons.” The program could also be helpful to members of UConn’s transgender community. Currently, transgender students have to file for special housing accommodations on their own. Maureen Armstrong, the administrative manager at UConn’s Residence Life, told
the Daily Campus that “the hope with gender-neutral housing is that it will give students an opportunity to live in the situation that is most comfortable for them without having to explain why.” Wesleyan University is another in-state school with gender-neutral housing options. Maureen Isleib, Associate Director of Residence Life at Wesleyan, explained that “there’s really not a ‘program,’ it’s just an effort to ensure that all students feel safe in their living environments so that they can be successful academically.” “Because our typical practice is to house new students based on biological sex, new students must request an exemption from this practice if it does not meet their needs,” Isleib continued. “Beyond the first year, students can select whomever they want to live
See Gender-Neutral Housing page 3
One-on-One with President Miller
News Editor Following the recent discussions concerning President Jack Miller and his plans to expand the athletics programs and facilities, faculty and staff continue the debate over funding for athletics versus that for academics. Especially so with the growing concerns for the status of the art building, Maloney Hall, some have spoken out in public against the construction of athletic facilities
Conrad Akier / The Recorder while there is cause for concern in academic building. Director of Athletics Charles “C.J.” Jones has been with the university for 42 years, 37 as an educator and five while attending. During his time at athletics Jones has seen growth on campus through the years including renovations on Willard, DiLoreto and Marcus White halls. He mentioned that the building that now houses the gym and athletics has been standing since 1964. He said it is time to broaden athletics.
See Debate Over Improvements page 3
Code of Ethics Receives Stamp of Approval Melissa Traynor
News Editor Authored by Mark Rowan, who served as Editor-in-Chief from May 2006 to December 2007, the code of ethics was officially voted in as of Sunday, Dec. 9 by the members of The Recorder’s editorial board. The code of ethics, which is based on existing editions such as the Associated Collegiate Press’ Model Code of Ethics, the New York Times’ code and a similar set of policies written by the Society of Professional Journalists, will
reflect commonly accepted guidelines of practice for newspapers. Certain sections of the code are written in direct response to difficulties The Recorder had experienced over the past three semesters when Rowan served as Editor-in-Chief. “I believe the instatement of the code of ethics will guide not only this generation of editors but the generation to come,” Rowan said. “This code was based on the mistakes that we’ve made, but I hope that those mistakes will not be repeated due to the policy in place.” While the process through which
an article becomes published now contains some slight changes, the previous procedure did not include options for how to handle objectionable material. There is also a section outlining the appropriate public conduct for members of The Recorder. The code of ethics states, “Editors of The Recorder should not be participating in any form of student, local or national government and should be free of any ties to any political organization, campus-based or otherwise.” Ethical concerns regarding plagiarism, honesty and profanity are also ad-
See Code of Ethics page 2 http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/
Conrad Akier / The Recorder Mark Rowan
Editor-in-Chief Last week I had the privilege of sitting down with President Jack Miller to discuss the last year or so of his time here at Central. The Recorder has been rightfully documenting his trials and tribulations, and wanted to catch up with the man behind the decisions, speeches and press releases. While we cannot print the entirety of our conversation that went over 50 minutes, the complete dialogue will be used to develop a much bigger and intensive piece. Mark Rowan: Let’s go back to when you first got this job as university president. You’ve obviously been through a lot
of unique situations, what would you tell yourself to prepare yourself for what was ahead? President Miller: I never though of it in those terms. If I knew then what I knew now…I guess I would tell myself to pay more attention to the difficulties of the institution has experienced in the past. Rowan: What are some of the goals that you’ve accomplished that you’re most proud of during your time here at the university? Miller: I would say one of the things that we need to accomplish and that we’ve made strides in accomplishing is improve our retention and more importantly our graduation
See President Miller page 3
News Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Student Center 1615 Stanley Street New Britain, CT 06050 T 860.832.3744 F 860.832.3747 firstname.lastname@example.org http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/ Editor-in-Chief Mark Rowan Managing Editor Christopher Boulay Art Director/Designer Jamie Paakkonen Associate Layout Editor Conrad Akier Copy Editor Samantha Sullivan Lifestyles Editor Stephanie Bergeron Sports Editor Peter Collin Entertainment Editor Edward Gaug Opinion Editor Justin Kloczko News Editor Melissa Traynor Web Editor John Vignali Staff Marissa Blaszko Amanda Ciccatelli Karyn Danforth Steve Hart Jeff Hayden Matthew Jurkiewicz Rob Messer Erin McAuliffe Brian Morache Joe Zajac
BU Professor Explains Crisis and Hope in Pakistan Brian Morache
Staff Writer Professor Husain Haqqani spoke and pointed out several contradictions that seem to explain Pakistan’s instability, despite a relatively strong economy that produces skilled professionals last Tuesday. “Pakistan is a nation of paradoxes,” Haqqani said. “We have an ancient past but have only been a country for 60 years. We produce many skilled professionals but only 30 percent of our people live above the poverty line. We embrace democracy but have been ruled by military dictators.” Haqqani teaches at Boston University and has spent a great deal of time in his homeland of Pakistan. Besides his experience as a scholar, he has also been an advisor to numer-
Staff Writer John Haynes opened his Milewski Lecture with a small disclaimer: “I’m forced to pronounce a lot of Polish names,” he laughed before asking the mostly Slavic audience to please bear with him. The listeners offered him a quick chuckle before settling in to their seats for the presentation. Haynes gave a lecture on what he calls one of the most bizarre events of the Cold War. The Fields’ Case, also named the “Fieldist Conspiracy,” as it was known at the time to all of Eastern Europe, was the story of Noel Fields, a “super spy” captured by the Soviets at the end of the Second World War. Haynes, taking off his glasses occasionally to motion with his hands, talked like a presidential candidate addressing friends. Without demanding attention, he speaks as if he’s telling a story — not lecturing about history. The Fields’ Case began in the American 1920s. Fields was a communist sympathizer who, after moving his family to Europe, worked for the Soviet Union’s Committee for State Security, or the KGB, to hunt down a soviet traitor.
Code of Ethics
dressed in the code. “When dealing with subjects relating to college students, occasionally there is a need for profanity. I do not believe that such language should be promoted, however, I understand that it is a part of college life,” Rowan said. The code of ethics will be available online soon at The Recorder’s website, http:// www.clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder.
The purpose of the Recorder is to approach and define issues of importance to the students of Central Connecticut State University.
known terrorists residing in Pakistan. His efforts in fighting terrorism have been for show only, with no real intention taking real, effective action. Because of this, Haqqani warned against supporting president Musharraf as the Bush administration has done. While he discussed many of the problems that exist in Pakistan, Haqqani also spoke of some hopes for the future and indicated that Musharraf will have to share power with the opposition. The hope is that the two primary opposition leaders can work together rather than fight between themselves. Haqqani said that there is optimism to be found in the needs of the people for a true democracy, one that can operate without interference from a military that has often asserted its will instead of abiding by the rule of law.
Paying with His Freedom: The Life of Spy
Continued from page 1
The Recorder is a student-produced publication of Central Connecticut State University and does not necessarily represent, in whole or in part, the views of CCSU’s administrators, faculty, or students. The Recorder articles, photographs, and graphics are property of the Recorder and may not be reproduced or published without the written permission from the Editor-in-Chief.
ous Pakistani prime ministers. In 1999 current president Pervez Musharraf seized power through a military coup. Haqqani said that it is for this reason that he is so reluctant to let go of his uniform for certainly it would open the door for another military rival to rise from the army. In contrast to the idea that most people in the United States assume that Muslim fundamentalist groups are in a position to take over the government in Pakistan, Haqqani points out that fundamentalist Muslim groups only make up about six percent of the population and are not very popular. On the subject of terrorism, Haqqani pointed out that President Musharraf has not brought justice to one person who is even suspected of being a terrorist. He has done little to apprehend Osama bin Laden or any other
Haynes said that although Fields never came in contact with the man he was looking for, who was later found shot to death in Sweden, it was the first in a life-long string of coincidences that ultimately worked against Fields in a way he’d never expect. Fields occasionally helped Czechoslovakian communists, as well as the U.S. government to further his communitarian, but World War II ended and Fields was forced to look for work outside of the KGB. “He gets evasive responses,” Haynes said about Fields’ employment inquiries with old friends. Sometime during May 1949, traveling between Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia looking for work through old communist friends, Fields vanished. His wife, brother and stepdaughter also vanished soon after, all on a quest to find their missing family member. Haynes said that only his daughter, Kate Fields, seemed to have the sense to stay on the western side of the Iron Curtain. The most mysterious abduction was that of his brother, Herman Fields, flying from Poland to Czechoslovakia was seen boarding a plane at a Polish airport by friends. Unfortu-
nately, he never entered Czechoslovakia. Legally, he disappeared mid-flight; in reality, Herman was turned over to the Hungarians the second his plane touched down and spent the better half of a decade touring a string of secret Communist prisons. The Fieldist Conspiracy, according to Haynes, has been given far less attention than it deserves. At the time, dozens of public trials known as Fieldist Purges were held throughout the East, slowly feeding fuel into the conspiracy theory, in which the Soviets had painted Fields as the most successful spy of his time. Although this conclusion was based on nothing but semi-delirious confessions from “interrogated” Soviet captives, Fields was a public figure throughout his imprisonment, though he knew nothing of this until much later. Eventually, due to another random series of events, the Fields were released from isolated cells and allowed back into the Western world. Still a devoted Communist, Fields held no grudge against his captors and decided that his imprisonment was probably just a misunderstanding. “It’s as if they had special glasses,” said Haynes. “They only saw what Moscow saw.”
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Debate over Improvements
“I think we’ve earned the right to expand our facilities with all the attention we’ve attracted,” Jones said in reference to the NCAA tournament reached by men’s basketball and soccer in the last year. “Central’s name is out there and that’s something that you can’t pay for.” According to a report by the University Budget and Planning Committee, “A number of members of the committee have questioned why this sum is being spent exclusively on athletic fields.” The report had also mentioned that committee members had questioned why some of the money to be spent could be allocated towards the building of a new Public Safety Building, to which they referred as a “hut.” Funding for communication in terms of alerting the campus of an emergency was discussed as well. Plans for recreation and athletics expansions were not included in the recent grants and money from the state, which in part will fund the Connecticut State University System’s “2020 Plan.” “The recently approved CSUS 2020 plan [is], a comprehensive long-term capital infrastructure investment plan,” which will include fire code improvements and renovations to the Carroll Residence Hall, according to a description by Associate Chief Administrative Officer Dan Moran. The plan also includes the designs for more much-needed classroom space.
with in the room selection process, there are no restrictions based on sexual orientation or gender identity.” CCSU’s current housing program does not incorporate this type of housing. In fact, as many students have experienced, it is extremely difficult to get housing on campus to begin with. “Every year we end up with about 600 fully admitted students who have applied, paid the application fee and who have no residence hall space, so they’re not going to come here,” said President Jack Miller.
Continued from page 1
“Some of my students have been trying to get studio space. It seems like there should be funding for that,” said Mike Alewitz of the art department. The funds for the athletic expansion will be drawn from a pool of money now reserved for the projects, which is supplied by student fees. Jones said that the revenue from these fees had been accumulating until Miller had assembled a plan to make it useful before it could be shifted for another purpose. In addition to the money it receives from the university-wide budget, the athletics department has made efforts to seek out new ways for funding its projects. Jones said they are sponsored in part by companies such as TD Banknorth and Coca-Cola due to the publicity associated with a Division One schools as well as by the donations by alumni. “We try to generate revenue from donations. We’ve hired a ‘major gifts’ person to bolster relationships with alumni and potential donors,” Jones said. Jones said that the new fields and layout would also attract potential students who are debating between enrolling at CCSU and another Division I school. Jones said that now CCSU truly looks like a college campus due to the recent improvements as a whole. “It’s the totality of the area,” he said.
President Miller Continued from page 1
rates with students. I think we all recognize that is hasn’t been good and that is needs to improve. The fact that we saw a four percentage point improvement last year, which may not seem like a lot, is a really a very major improvement. To be more specific, our graduation rate which bounced between 39 and 40 percent for the last 10 years is too low for our type of institution based on national statistics. We’ve asked everyone to attend to that and people have begun to attend to that. Now there will be ups and downs along the way, but the trend line needs to continue to go up. We need to get that number up to 50 percent. It is both something that I’m pleased we accomplished, but something we have a distance to go. I’m pleased with both the recruitment and enrollment of students of color and the improvement in their retention rates. From four years ago until now, we’ve had over 30 percent increase in African-American students and over 30 percent increase in Latino and Hispanic students, and their retention rates—their continuation from first year to second. Let me throw in as a third thing the new academic programs that have begun—masters of arts in teaching program, new bachelors degree program in nursing that is in the approval process right now, mechanical engineering degree with some initial planning for other engineering degrees—I think those are important so we provide more opportunities for our students, more different kinds of things to study. In those three particular areas, we provide people more opportunities to become teachers, nurses and engineers—all of which we need in Connecticut. Rowan: Back to the graduation rates for a minute, why do you think this campus has such a hard time with graduation rates and also the prolonged average of six year? Miller: Well first off, six years is simply the figure that everybody in the United States uses to measure graduation rates. So it doesn’t s say anything more about Central than it does about Harvard. Six years they use, Mark, because after that it doesn’t go up much. Now, why is ours low? Ours is about the same as the other three CSU schools. So I think another question would be why the graduation rate at all four schools is low for our type. To tell you the truth, I’m not certain about that because some of the common answers that our put forward are that our students work a lot. And that’s true, they do, but so do the students at comparable institutions. In other words, I’m not comparing us to Harvard or even to large public research institutions like Rutgers. The typical answers that we look at don’t really explain why we’re different from comparable institutions. So we’re
looking at every different possibility that we can find and listening to everyone that we can listen to. The Provost is working at identifying courses that could become bottlenecks. People just get discouraged and quit because they say they can never get in and go elsewhere. We’re looking at how well we orient students in the beginning. The first year experience courses are now becoming a requirement for everyone. We’re looking for issues of building more connections—more student life, more student activities. We’re looking at making major modifications to advising. It is not necessarily always the advisors problem, but it is the whole advisement process. And we’re trying on every front to improve that. Rowan: Going to more current happenings, it seems the dust has finally settled at CCSU as far as some of the controversy goes. You must have let out a big sigh of relief after that was settled as much as it could have been, how have the last couple of months been to you and how do you feel now that you weathered that storm? Miller: Well, I don’t view it so much as weathering a storm. I view it as everyone’s examining their alternatives. And saying how do we feel about him, how does he feel about us, how does the institution feel about one another. It will probably take me up until the holidays and up until next semester to sort the whole thing out and say this is how I feel about it. But to give you a bit of a more specific response in terms of my feelings, I’ll say what I said the other day at the town hall meeting about where we go from here. I said a number of things, but one of the things that I mentioned about what’s next: if there’s a part of me confused it’s that dividing this work into two pieces. One is affective—how do we feel about one another, how’s our moral. And then what are we getting accomplished, getting our goals accomplished—putting those in another domain. The things that are easier to deal with are the goals side. Those are more susceptible to being changed. Those are the things I know I can do more about. The other side I’m not so certain I whether I can do more about. I don’t know whether or not I can make people feel better about me or themselves, at least it is less apparent to me how to go about doing that. We need to solicit input and have people make suggestions. So, I think we can accomplish a lot of things. I’ve never changed my mind about that. I’ve never been in a quandary about that. I think this institution has the potential to do lots of excellent things. The affective side I’m less clear about.
Continued from page 1
“We have a current shortage of housing. We already don’t have married student housing or graduate student housing so it would be hard to look at those different alternatives at this time without being able to house even regular situations,” said Jean Alicandro, Associate Director of Residence Life. “As far as considering gender neutral housing, it has not been asked of us by the students at this time,” she added. “Usually when we look into these things it’s driven by student interest.”
Princeton ‘Town Hall Meeting’ on History of Blackface Convened Paige Kestenman
The Daily Princetonian (Princeton) (U-WIRE) -- A week after photos of a student government candidate wearing black face paint triggered concerns about racial sensitivity, students and faculty gathered yesterday at the Carl A. Fields Center for a town-hall meeting on the historical and contemporary manifestations of blackface. Makeba Clay, the center’s director, said the election controversy over USG vice president and president-elect Josh Weinstein ‘09’s freshman Halloween costume made the event timely. “We decided to do this program because every year across colleges and universities, there are inevitably incidents causing people to question: Are people being racially insensitive?” she said. Noliwe Rooks, associate director of the Program in African-American Studies, presented three main issues for discussion: the 21st century response to 19th century racism, the face of racism today and the dilemma of responding to innocent intentions presented by those accused of racist acts. Miriam Petty, a postdoctoral fellow in race and ethnicity studies, prepared a slideshow on “The Blackface Minstrel” to provide the historical background on blackface. Petty emphasized that blackface did not disappear with the end of the minstrel-show era. “Hollywood recuperated blackface in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s ... I know you want me to stop, in the 1950s, 1960s,” Petty said, showing a clip in the 1939 Judy Garland film “Babes in Arms” depicting the typical minstrel-show walk-around.
Rooks presented a second slideshow on modern blackface controversies on college campuses, including Emory and Clemson universities. Though she said it is difficult to draw the line between naivety and disrespect, “people need the face of racism to look like a Klan member with a hood and a noose.” College students who attend “gangsta” and Civil War-themed parties involving blackface tend to deny their offensiveness, Rooks said. “Every time, people say ‘I wasn’t trying to be offensive,’ “ Rooks said. “They make excuses that the problem is how you’re responding, not what I did.” During race-related controversies, people often justify insensitivity by citing comedian Dave Chapelle’s satiric form of addressing race issues, Petty said. But, she added, “the language of satire is really risky.” Around 20 professors and students attended the event, and they expressed disappointment with the poor turnout. “I’m disappointed that there are only four undergrads here tonight,” U-Councilor Anna Almore ‘08 said. “This is a conversation that we as a community are supposed to have. We’re supposed to be the future leaders of the world ... but this issue is being overlooked. And this problem ... is bigger than Josh Weinstein.” Rooks and Petty called for wider discussion of the issue. “We need to figure out how to build coalitions across race, across gender, across class,” Petty said. Rooks added that it’s important to remember that racism extends beyond Princeton. “Focusing on Josh is one thing,” she said. “What it tells us about who we are, about what this campus is, is a lot more important. It may not be what we want it to be, but it’s real.”
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Editorial Boy does time fly when you’re having fun. Mark today as the official start of Life After Rowan. Our illustrious Editor-inChief is moving onto better things, as it is reported that the ink won’t dry fast enough on his diploma before he is pushed out the door and into the working world. But we here at The Recorder are sad to see him go, and we are sure that most of the people on this campus won’t know what to do with themselves now that he is gone. It is also important to acknowledge the departure of our roving photographer, Pan Conrad Akier, the Don Dadda of photography, someone who has more photos at his disposal than a pedophile. Conrad has been a part of The Recorder longer than anyone here, under three different editors. He has driven as far as eight hours to shoot photos. His loyalty and love for crotch shots will be missed. As for Mark, love him or hate him, he brought people together. As a campus that generally doesn’t care about anything, Mark knew how to wake people up to start caring. Who else can say that they can make people cry on command, get a block
Segregation at Central In regards to The Recorder’s article, “Questions of Segregation at Central,” here are three key points: 1.) The segregation that occurs in this school is not that different from what happens in real life. In the real world, the majority of minorities live in the cities while the majority of whites live in the suburbs. Accordingly, there are different tastes in food, music and experiences that are carried over when they move to a college campus. As a general human rule, we like to be around people that are like us and that have similar interests and experiences and this can be clearly seen in the cafeteria. This doesn’t make us racist, it makes us human. This helps to explain why Mr. Hayden notices a polarization in the classroom. 2.) Mr. Hayden claims that this segregation is debated every year and, thus, diversity is needed. Keep in mind that this is a college where we’re supposed to be open to new ideas and new experiences. A lot of us don’t have any problems experimenting with alcohol, drugs and even sex. Why not experiment with hanging around different groups of people. Eat at the BET side of the cafeteria, give a different musical genre a chance, watch a TV show/ movie you thought you’d never see, sit in the opposite side of the “polarized classroom,” communicate often with someone of a culture different from you, move to a different part of the dorm building where the “culture” and music is different from what you’re used to. 3.) The student body has no one to blame but themselves for this campus segregation. Every time a student walks to his/her “side” of the cafeteria or classroom, they’re actually enabling and promoting this segregation. This is why integrative measures (as mentioned in #2 can be used to combat this segregation. Speaking as a Latin male, I’m proud to say I have a wide assortment of friends of different races, colors and backgrounds that are completely different from my own. And I did this because I made an effort to get to know new people and try new things. My advice to the student body is to do the same if you truly want diversity on campus. Daniel Quintero
devoted on CNN and the attention of Sweden? Not to mention make a brown argyle sweater look good at the same time. Mark Rowan put The Recorder on the map. Now, people are picking up this paper like an addiction they can’t shake. They know it is “naughty, naughty,” but they can’t help from getting their fix. For our more astute readers, you will recognize that since Mr. Rowan’s arrival, The Recorder has improved dramatically. Looking at the layout isn’t like pulling teeth anymore, and Mr. Rowan has successfully turned this staff into a bunch of Godfearing workers. What is a better boost of morale than receiving random, threatening e-mails, always signed “Love, Mark” at four in the morning telling you to meet deadlines? From his take on “The Dos and Don’ts,” Mr. Rowan showed us that it is healthy not to take things too seriously and laugh a little. Believe it or not, some readers discovered their sense of humor for the first time, since then it has been nowhere to be found. The entertainment section gave this campus a reason to listen to other things besides the Women’s Center and Hillary Duff.
Barbie Article Misses Jockey’s Point This is a letter addressing staff writer Brian Morache’s Dec. 5, 2007 article titled “Is The Barbie Ideal Hurting Today’s Children?: YES” In Mr. Morache’s piece he states: “Adults don’t help much either. Jockey underwear recently aired a commercial in which teenagers are being molded into look-alike people. The girls go in as individuals, and then come out with blonde hair, slim waists and enhanced breasts. In short, they come out looking like Barbie.” While this is indeed part of the Jockey commercial, if Mr. Morache would kindly note the next scene – which captures the essence of the ad’s message – he would see that the “hero and heroine” of the ad decide NOT to be molded and break away from the molding line in an effort to remain individuals. The spot’s title is “Out of Line” which clearly indicates the premise of the ad, and the tagline found at the end of the spot is “Dare to be You.” The Jockey commercial is attempting to demonstrate the ridiculousness of modern society’s emphasis on “ideal” body types, and encourage people to be themselves. In effect, we agree with the premise of Mr. Morache’s article. It’s just too bad he didn’t tell the entire story, which is so important to a professional journalist’s integrity. Thank you, Mo Moorman Director of Public Relations Jockey International Loose Change To the Editor, It is unfortunate that your critic of Loose Change holds the youthful age against Avery, Rowe and Bermas. I am 57. I urge anyone concerned about the maintenance of the U.S. Constitution to review the HUNDREDS of people with significant credentials listed at patriotsquestion911.com.You might start with the former military officers. David Slesinger MIT ‘73
The latest I email I’ve received from Mark greeted me with a pleasant, “And as much as I would love to put a piece of shit on newsprint out for everyone to see for the next month and a half...I think we can do better. Shall I break this one down section by section? Perhaps I must…” and later assaulted my section with, “News: BLOWS.” Mark Rowan is the guy responsible for making us accustomed to opening emails like these for the past three semesters now and usually before noon on a Saturday. He is widely known among The Recorder editors as the author of some very biting doses of criticism here and there just to keep us in line. But I do take some comfort in the fact that he’s sitting in his apartment, typing these things out at five or six in the morning after all of us had just departed from whatever partying we all did together and he’s spending the time extra Editor-inChiefing. At first, I’d feel a little bit worthless after reading them. Sometimes I was angry with myself for dropping the ball and letting it demolish whatever Mark left standing after he’s shredded my section. Not many people want to hear a detailed list of everything that made their section blow on a weekly basis, and I normally don’t, but it has become something I have learned to value and expect. Mark has set a tremendously high standard, emails and all, and it’s difficult to imagine the office devoid of his personality and work ethic. It seems that there’s a vision of his, some exact plan he has for every detail of an issue and I admire his abilities to produce that vision on paper as he has been doing since last fall. But this isn’t the end. In the same fashion that you, Mark, have flooded our inboxes with every one of your concerns for the paper, we will make it a point to return the favor. You can’t escape to Athens, Georgia; we have your email address.
As chief, he really took on the position to the point where we can expect nothing less of future editors. Working with Mr. Rowan has certainly been a priceless experience. We’ll never forget the times we sang our hearts out to Bon Jovi while most of the country hated us, the local news star-fucking our office and all those long nights in layout pounding more Tom’s Pizza, caffeine drinks and pages of copy than humanly possible. And all he got in return were violent letters to the editor wishing someone would “drag his white boy ass across campus.” This is a learning environment and Mr. Rowan has learned a lot; in turn, so has all the staff underneath his wing. In all seriousness, it is sad to see him go, but Mark has taught the entire staff an incredible amount that will take this paper to even greater heights. New challenges and issues await us, but we can take comfort in all that he has taught us to continue to put out the best issue possible week after week. Later, hun!
Dear Readers, As I read former Managing Editor Joseph Mendyka’s farewell letter, I honestly could not imagine myself writing the same one year later. Not to say that I did not imagine myself graduating from Central—although for some that is indeed hard to imagine—I just could not see myself walking away from our student newspaper, The Recorder. Call it denial if you want, however, it is all too easy to focus on the moment when you’re surrounded by people you love, doing something you love. Nick Viccione, a friend and staff writer, asked me tonight if I would be sad to leave. While there will be plenty of laughs looking back at what has been said inside the walls of The Recorder and laughs—occasionally at our own expense—about what has made it outside these walls, the newspaper will be missed. I have spent the better part of my last year and a half in The Recorder’s office, and it will certainly seem foreign to not be here Sunday and Monday night into daybreak. I’m still undecided if I’ll enjoy adjusting to regular hours of sleep, but even as I whittle away at this final letter at 7:41 a.m. it is hard to picture myself doing anything else with my last three semesters at CCSU. During my time here at the newspaper, I did not only gain knowledge about the profession I plan to enter, but gained friends I will never forget. Some of these friends, such as newly elected Editor-in-Chief Justin Kloczko, will be leading the newspaper to bigger and better things over the next two years, while others will be graduating, like Photography Extraordinaire Conrad Akier. Needless to say, you are in good hands. For those who plan on entering the field of journalism after their time here at The Recorder, I can guarantee to you that they will be doing wonderful things that this campus can be proud of. Many flattering words were spoken last Friday during the first Media Board luncheon that was held to honor graduating members of student media organizations. It was at this luncheon where I truly realized that this run was coming to a finish, but it was also where I was reminded how lucky I am to be surrounded by such brilliant teachers. These teachers, Dr. Martin and Professor Cannella, have been through a lot with me, and for me, over the course of my collegiate career. I could not begin to thank them enough for everything they have taught me and everything they had to deal with during my time here, but here is a start: thank you. You two are genuinely inspiring figures. Many times over the last week we’ve heard the question, where do we go from here? Although I know that this question was not intended to reference my departure from the newspaper, I would like to think it applies. Where do we go from here? I don’t think that question can be answered at this moment, but I will say that wherever this wild ride has taken me, it has taken me to best possible destination. Signing Off, Mark Rowan
Best, Melissa Traynor News Editor
The Recorder will begin reprinting next semester on January 23. If you would like to send a letter in the meantime or just ask us how we’re doing, send an email to email@example.com
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Looking Back at this Semester: My Alumni Donation:
Where Do We Go From Here? Parking Tickets Erin McAuliffe
Staff Writer “Where do we go from here?” was the question posed at last week’s open forum co-sponsored by the Faculty Senate and President Miller. After the whirlwind of events that have defined this past semester at CCSU, it appears that the university is at an undeniable crossroads. While all parties can probably agree that the differences aired in the past few months have been an essential exercise of freedom of speech, there is no doubt that we have quite recently delved into an unproductive flurry of petty personal attacks. Whether with the no-confidence vote or the offensive cartoon publication, it seems as though one is forced to pick a “side” of the issue and then ruthlessly offend the other side so as to discredit pretty much anyone’s argument. In other words, an issue that was a question of leadership skills has become an issue of pride and sav-
ing face; an issue that was a question of racism and sexism at CCSU has become an issue of “us versus them.” Sadly, these are the very things that seem to have generated our problems in the first place. One of the panelists at last week’s open forum put it best in his opening remarks when he said, “Disagreement is the stuff of academic life.” However, “When disagreement is treated as a personal offense, something is wrong.” Yes. Something is wrong (and mildly ironic) with our community when our already infamous campus newspaper utilizes an editorial column to beat the argument of a history professor to a pulp because the editors believe the professor is spending too much time talking about an issue supposedly driven by his own ego. Something is wrong with our community when people believe the only way to change a newspaper is to get rid of it completely, instead of joining it to create an environment of both
unity and diversity of thought. Something is wrong with our community when we become obsessed with the likeability of our president instead of taking concrete action to inform him of our concerns about his leadership and actions. We have fallen face down into a ditch of egotistical absurdity. The only way to climb back out is to stop the name-calling, stop the dividing and stop the personalizing of other peoples’ opinions. We must increase student involvement. There were hardly any students present at the open forum last Monday, demonstrating a clear disconnect and apathetic mindset that the student body is facing. The only way that this community will be able to adequately address the question “Where do we go from here?” is when “here” is defined as a place where people are well-informed and united by a greater cause than their own unfortunate pride issues.
Illustration: Ross Mortensen
Requiem for a Legend Christopher Boulay
Managing Editor Robert “Evel” Knievel, one of the greatest American icons of the modern era, died at age 69. He was born in Butte, Mo. on October 17, 1938. The stunt daredevil who lived as on the edge as the work he did and was known for his extravagant lifestyle—whether it was jumping the Snake River Canyon, or proclaiming his conversion to Christianity in 2007 in front of thousands of people—was one of the most talked about icons of the 20th century. Knievel was more than a man; he was a superhuman character. The man amazed people of all ages with his jumps and became one of the most storied figures in stunt work. In a way, Knievel’s life was a publicity stunt in itself. He knew the people wanted more and more, and no matter how many times he was injured, incarcerated or struck with
controversy, Knievel did it. He also lays claim to a number of Guinness World Records for his jumps, including a rather painful one. In his life, he broke a total of 40 bones. He successfully jumped 16 cars, as well as the fountains at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. It is quite possible that people were attracted to him not because he fell and was injured so many times, but because he was so resilient. The man would not quit – he just wouldn’t allow it – and he stayed that way until he could not go anymore. It is no wonder, then, why he was so against his son, Robbie “Kaptain” Knievel, doing the type of jumps he did. Knievel’s demeanor made him even more of an attractive person for his fans because he had a carefree attitude with a slight, but noticeable, worrying twinge. However, that seemed to come only after he finally stopped his work as a daredevil. Knievel’s fast life would eventually catch up to him, as he died at
what is usually considered an early age. Years of substance abuse, repeated bodily trauma and Hepatitis, which is due to multiple blood transfusions, took their toll on the man who was thought of as “invincible” by seemingly everyone but himself. Well, maybe he felt a little invincible. For many, Knievel is a real-life “Man with No Name,” “Superman” and “Uncle Sam” all rolled into one. He was a hero for children, with numerous toys made in his likeness. Knievel has even had a rock opera modeled after him, aptly named Evel Knievel: The Rock Opera. He also has a rollercoaster named after him that will open at Six Flags in St. Louis in 2008. He may not have been as perfect as children pictured him to be, but with all of the problems that he did have, he was a model for determination and endurance. The man was a bit like a shooting star, and we should all be happy that we got to see him before he left.
Ad Manager In five years, when the CCSU Alumni Association comes knocking on my door for a donation to the university, I will look back on my experiences at CCSU, the good times, the bad times, and the ones I don’t remember. One thing is for sure, I won’t forget the campus police. No one ever does. How have UConn, Brown, Harvard, Yale and all the other Ivy League schools continued to suck in the alumni cash? They do it through established foundations and, of course, very wealthy graduates. CCSU doesn’t have a prestigious name; we don’t have many wellto-do graduates, or many famous ones. CCSU doesn’t publish ground breaking research all that often, and our notorious lack of housing does a poor job of building a sense of pride and community within the 8,000 commuter students, several thousand of whom would likely live on campus, if they had the availability. Given all that, students drop the kind of money reserved for whales in white limos, the retention and circulation of negative experiences, and the miniscule available alumni cash base. How will I recount my experiences? Let’s take a look. Two weeks ago, I was parked, along with 20 or so other cars, in the Carroll parking lot, a faculty designated lot. I had parked there because it was below 10 degrees with the wind chill at 6 a.m. when I was getting out of work. Not to mention, it was Saturday morning. I woke up at about 12:30 p.m. and went to brunch. I came back to my room, which was boiling hot, and I opened the window for some nature made A/C. I thought, “Wow, what a colossal waste of money to heat this room. I wish I had a thermostat I could just turn down.” After sitting at my computer for some time, in my room with homemade hardwood floors (we’ll get to that later), I decided I’d better do something with my life. Walking briskly out to my car in the frigid air, I noticed a small something on my windshield; how you should have seen your dear and long suffering narrator then! Another little present from the CCSU police, I was surprised they bothered to hoist their 52-inch waistline out of the cruiser to give me the citation. They obviously didn’t bother to look at my windshield all that closely to see that I was in fact displaying a CCSU parking decal. Another five bucks down the drain, added to the 25 for parking in a faculty lot. Let’s revisit that little floor bit in the last paragraph. Yup, that’s right, I’ve got a wood floor. Really it’s just three 4-feet-by-8-feet sheets of cabinet grade plywood that my previous roommate and I -- who incidentally worked for the CCSU police -- took pains to sand, stain and shellac in my garage for two weeks. It’s quite nice, and I’ll tell you, it’s easier to sop up spilt beer from a wood floor than a carpet. About three semesters ago I assisted a student who was passed out in the computer lounge with a donut
hanging out of his mouth. I dragged him from the lab and into his room, several doors down. Long story short, 15 minutes or so later, I am in my room watching the tele when a knock comes to my door. Since my peep-hole doesn’t work, I opened the door to see a very auspicious and authoritarian looking officer. He wasn’t one for bullshit or small talk, because he cut to the chase and demanded to know where I had been drinking with the fellow from the computer lab. Telling the truth, I insisted that I was doing my Eagle Scouts’ good turn for the day. Upon noticing my floor, he burst into rage. “What! You have a wood floor in here! That is so illegal and such a fire hazard, you must remove it right now!” I was unimpressed and a bit drunk, and looking coldly into his fervent eyes. “Last time I checked, you weren’t the fire marshal.” I got written up and put back on probation for empties they found in the garbage outside my room. I saw that same cop, about a week ago, not pay for his coffee at Dunkin Donuts (You can do it, just not when there’s public around, that’s CRM 133). Somewhere around three semesters ago, I was walking across the faculty lot. I was the only one in the parking lot, except for a little red car backing out of a spot perpendicular to Willard. The vehicle backed up, and into a new Jeep Cherokee. I quickly jotted the marker number, and arriving back in Carroll, I promptly called campus police. Figuring it would be a nice break from the every day activities of writing tickets and chasing students who smoke pot, I was more than dismayed with the response time: 35 minutes. When the officer did arrive, he didn’t get out of his car. I explained the circumstance, and gave him the marker number and pointed to the blue Jeep that I had seen get hit. Being a new vehicle with dent resistant features, the large indentation in the bumper I had witnessed had popped itself out. For this, I got shouted at. Something about how he drove all the way over here, blah, blah, blah. I commented on his response time, told him where he could go, and stormed off. I’ve got more, plenty more, as I’m sure all of you do too. With experiences like these resonating in my head when the Alumni Association comes knocking on my door for money, in addition to the $80,000 I will have already given them, what would incline me to give a rat’s ass about the school? I leave you with this thought; perhaps the school needs more money now, so they push ticketing. I, along with everyone else, get pissed off, and end up owing $100 in ticket fees. We don’t forget that, I sure as hell won’t. And maybe, just maybe, when CCSU comes asking for more, I’ll tell them they have the $100 from when I parked too close to my building on a few cold winter weekends, and that maybe, just maybe, if the campus security force hadn’t been such a pain in my ass for four years, I might think about sending them a few thousand dollars.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Celeb Endorsements Good for Votes, Bad for Democracy Maria MyoTTe
rocky Mountain collegian (colorado state u.)
copy editor Everyone squabbles over the â€œBarbie ideal,â€? but no one considers how dolls affect modern societyâ€™s male population. Excuse me â€“ I mean action ďŹ gures. Of course you know Iâ€™m talking about G.I. Joe in all of his manly manifestations (including those manly females). Although there have been more than a half-dozen incarnations since the 1964 original, the Joemeister has remained true to his moral roots and maintained his corporal stature. G.I. Joe provides positive role models for men who strive for greatness. Physically, the figure is at its peak; its muscles are rippling and it is overall very attractive â€“ for a plastic toy, of course. Itâ€™s clear that if brought to life and thrown into battle, a G.I. Joe would be able to, if I may quote R. Lee Ermey from Full Metal Jacket, â€œunscrew your head and shit down your neck.â€? Men can look to the G.I. Joe action figures for guidance on their bodiesâ€™ potential. A G.I. Joe is the kind of guy who could rock the Homecoming crown and kick your ass without letting the crown fall off his head. And I canâ€™t imagine that anyone would mind dying by his hand; who wouldnâ€™t love to be able to say that he was killed by a G.I. Joe when swapping death stories in the afterlife? That is the story to top all stories. Not only is a G.I. Joe mighty, but he is also educated and moral. G.I. Joes know right from wrong, and they certainly donâ€™t mind telling you when youâ€™re in the wrong or how to do things the correct way. PSA commercials at the end of each G.I. Joe cartoon depicted scenes of violence or danger, and each time a different G.I. Joe came to the rescue. They teach kids valuable lessons, such as how to avoid house fires; what to do if you see a fallen power line; and how to treat others with respect. Women need someone who can protect them, and that canâ€™t always be accomplished through wit alone. Strength is an attractive commodity, and G.I. Joes have plenty to go around; but a well-built idiot is the last thing a woman wants. A brawny, intelligent man â€“ now thatâ€™s a catch.
(U-WIRE) -- Anchors and media professionals are barking over what will come of Oprah Winfreyâ€™s recent endorsement of presidential candidate Barack Obama. This is Oprahâ€™s first time endorsement of a potential presidential candidate. Other celebrities have endorsed candidates -- Ben Affleck likes Obama, Barbara Streisand is for Hillary, Chuck Norris wants Huckabee -- but Oprahâ€™s magnitude of influence towers over her celebrity colleagues. People change the way they think because of Oprah. A recent New York Times article broke it down like this: If Oprah likes Barack and the audience likes Oprah, then the audience will also like Barack. See, unlike other celebrities, Oprahâ€™s power of suggestion also translates into action. Just look at her book club. When she chose Steinbeckâ€™s East of Eden, it dominated the top of the New York Times list of paperback best sellers for seven weeks. And when she chose
Tolstoyâ€™s Anna Karenina, it blasted to the top of best-seller list as well -- a rare feat for a classic book. Oprahâ€™s endorsement comes at a crucial moment in the campaign game. Obama is starting to catch up with Hillary. Although Obama leads in some polls in Iowa, heâ€™s still behind in two other crucial states -- South Carolina and New Hampshire. In order to step up, he has to edge his way into the demographic that has a natural alliance with Clinton: women. Oprahâ€™s endorsement does just this. According to Nielsen Media Research, Oprah has a daytime audience of 8.6 million viewers, 75 percent of which are women. Itâ€™s not outlandish to assume that a good chunk of Oprahâ€™s women viewers will entertain her endorsement, nudging undecided voters towards a vote for Obama. The New York Times interviewed a young female student who said sheâ€™s now â€œleaning more towards Obama, and thatâ€™s because of both Oprahâ€™s support and what Iâ€™ve seen of him.â€? But itâ€™s not all cake and rain-
bows for Obama. Oprahâ€™s endorsement may create more votes for Obama, but those votes are probably not the product of critical engagement with Obamaâ€™s platform and political history. Oprahâ€™s presence threatens to take over Obamaâ€™s campaign, turning a vote for Obama into a vote for Oprah. Celebrity-sponsored politicians are symptomatic of the troubled state of civic engagement in the United States. Image and advertising strategies have infiltrated the democratic process. Dennis Goldford, a political science professor at Drake University said Obamaâ€™s campaign is too light on pushing political issues. â€œ[Obama] radiat[es] a certain cool that would be very attractive to college students and young people. But he has a cerebral approach that leaves some voters wanting more. While Clinton is running from the center and Edwards is running from the left, Obama is running from above,â€? he said. Basically, Obama is selling himself short. Instead of replacing the haze of his celebrity with clear policy posi-
tions, his campaign is riding on his 15 minutes. This campaign position is problematic considering that Obamaâ€™s camp champions â€œchange. Even though he launches a powerful challenge against his competitors, he doesnâ€™t open space for fresh relationships with potential voters. Most Americans are politically active insofar that they follow the political aspirations of their Hollywood heroes. Voters, then, are twice removed from the origin of political developments. The Oprah-Obama alliance is overshadowing a more important story. American politics favors passive citizens. Instead of confronting the increasingly thinning civic engagement of U.S. citizens, politicians legitimate the passive/spectator roles of voters by bringing in celebrities to do the job they canâ€™t seem to do. Sure, celebrity endorsements may be a smart political move in the short term. But the growing alliance between Hollywood and politics is definitely problematic for democracyâ€™s life expectancy.
Holding on to the Holidays Diana kugel
The gW hatchet (george Washington u.) (U-WIRE) -- As people start wandering out of Starbucks clutching holiday-themed cups, and as Kogan Plaza gets its first dusting of snow, it is hard to believe that this is the same place where racial and ethnic tensions had been building so highly all semester. All of that seems to be fading rapidly into the past as the holiday season is hurtling toward us at full speed. We as a community must take full advantage of the holidays this year so as to put all of the controversy of the fall semester behind us as we approach the new year. I donâ€™t know about you, but I am more than ready to trade in posters and swastikas for gingerbread cookies and chocolate gelt. The community that I grew up in was overwhelmingly Jewish, and even though I did have a fair share of friends of other religions, I never really had the chance to celebrate their holidays with them or to take part in some of the traditions that make the
holiday season so fun. At GW, the â€œyou celebrate your holiday and Iâ€™ll celebrate mineâ€? mentality seems to go straight out the window. It almost makes up for all of the turmoil our campus has been dealing with to see both a menorah and a gingerbread house standing on the coffee table at my friendsâ€™ dorm or to be able to go see both the national Christmas tree and the national menorah at the same time. Letâ€™s face it: The holidays are a lot of fun. Sure, we could debate the religious connotations of the Christmas tree or of lighting the menorah, but why? As a child, no matter how much I loved Hanukkah, I would always be jealous of my friends who celebrated Christmas, not because of anything religious, but because it just always seemed like I was missing out. Of course each holiday is deeply rooted in religion, and those that observe that religion surely know and appreciate that. But the really great thing is that at GW, it just really does not seem to matter whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, one of the other hundreds of religions, or
choose not to worship at all -- you are still free to join in. The holidays are a time when you suddenly really start to miss family and home that you are always so eager to escape from in September. As much as I wish I could be home to light the menorah with my family this year, finals and the end of the semester rush make that virtually impossible even though I actually donâ€™t live that far away. Short of calling it a day at Thanksgiving break and refusing to come back to school and take our finals, we are left with the alternative of embracing our friends and our surroundings to keep from missing out on what we love most about December. At the beginning of freshman year, we all form our own micro-families here at school, and even though our groups of friends may change over the years, it is still comforting to know that you have people that will not only indulge your favorite holiday traditions but share their own with you as well. We should all be taking full advantage of this now. In a few years, after we all finish college and get
jobs, we will no longer be surrounded by people as diverse as those we come to know and love at school, and celebrating holidays other than our own may start to feel strange again. These past two years, I have loved celebrating Christmas with my friends here at school and being able to have the best of both worlds. And even though Kwanzaa does not start until later in December, I wish I could have had the chance to experience that as well. It is hard to believe that the differences among us that caused so much controversy and tension earlier in the semester are the same differences that let us experience the richness of the holiday season together. But hopefully long after the candy canes have gone stale and the wax has been cleaned off all the menorahs, we will be able to avoid the disasters of this fall. Letâ€™s just chalk all of that up to a string of unfortunate instances and learn where we can from them. But for now, letâ€™s enjoy the rest of December; even if that does mean having â€œFrosty the Snowmanâ€? stuck in your head for the next three weeks.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Blue Devils Smothered by Sacred Heart Defense Christopher Boulay
Managing Editor CCSU men’s basketball opened conference play on a sour note as the Blue Devils (2-6, 0-1) fell at Detrick Gymnasium 68-52 to the Sacred Heart Pioneers (3-6, 2-0); a game that was marred by turnovers and poor shooting from the field. Sacred Heart 68 CCSU 52 Coach Howie Dickenman said, “It was a 16-point difference that was closer to 30. We could have played them until Christmas and not caught up.” CCSU tied the game at 2-2 early, but that is the closest they would come. With a little over six minutes left in the first half, the Blue Devils closed the gap to 17-16, but the Pioneers would extend the lead by eight at halftime, 32-24. Sophomore guard Joe Seymore scored a team-high 12 points while going 6-17 from the field and 0-6 from 3-point range, and senior guard Tristan Blackwood was held to eight points while going 2-9 from the field, all but one of which were taken from 3-point range in the Blue Devils’ loss. This is the lowest point total at home for Blackwood since January 15, a four-point effort against Fairleigh Dickinson. “I think I forced my offense. [Sacred Heart] played good defense throughout the game,” Blackwood said. “Sacred Heart slowed down the game; we are a fast team. They got the ball in the guards’ hands and made us dribble, and it took time off of the shot clock.” CCSU only shot 37 percent from
Upcoming Events Here are all of the scheduled Blue Devil home games until the end of December. Sunday, December 16
Men’s Basketball vs. Delaware, 1 p.m. Saturday, December 29
Women’s Basketball vs Army, 1 p.m.
Top Left: Freshman forward David Simmons of Central loses possession to Ryon Howard in the conference opener against the Sacred Heart Pioneers. Top Right: Freshman Blue Devil guard Shemik Thompson covers Pioneer Chauncey Hardy. Thompson finished the game with six points. Bottom: Senior CCSU guard Dannie Powell attempts to steal the ball from Sacred Heart sophomore Chauncey Hardy. Powell contributed five rebounds and five points in the loss. Photos by Conrad Akier / The Recorder
the field during the game, as well as 33 percent in the second half. The Blue Devils also had 19 turnovers. Though the Blue Devils had a 6-0 run with about 15 minutes in the second half as Sacred Heart continued a strong press and double team defense, they were not able to get it closer than 11 for the rest of the game. “We are learning, but we have to play better. We just wanted to win,” Seymore said. Dickenman acknowledged the team’s weaknesses underneath the hoop, calling for more offense in the paint as the team collected 41 rebounds in the game, with only 15 of them coming on offense. “We need more offense from our inside people,” said Dickenman. “The only one has been [Ken] Hor-
ton and it has been sporadic. He will have big points in some games and struggle with others.” Senior guard Drew Shubik and senior forward Brice Brooks had a combined 39 points for Sacred Heart. Pioneers’ Sophomore Guard Ryan Litke helped blow it open in the second half by scoring all 12 points from four three-pointers. Regarding the comeback that CCSU had against Sacred Heart in last year’s NEC Championship game, Dickenmann said, “Tonight, we didn’t have that juice. It isn’t because [the team] is young. When you are young, you have a lot of enthusiasm. There was a mark of improvement for Sacred Heart. We did the opposite of that.”
The Slide Continues for Blue Devil Women Peter Collin
Sports Editor Freshman Kerrianne Dugan scored 15 points and registered seven rebounds as the Blue Devils (0-9, 01) fell in their conference opener to the Sacred Heart Pioneers (5-4, 20) 71-40 at Detrick Gymnasium on Monday night. Sacred Heart 71 CCSU 40
Stephanie Bergeron / The Recorder Sacred Heart Pioneer Kaitlin Sowinski (left) swats the ball away from Blue Devil junior Jhanay Harris for one of Central’s 28 turnovers in the game.
The loss came just two days after the Blue Devils fell to the Providence Friars 76-64 in Providence. Sophomores Danica Covington, Emily Rose and P.J. Wade led Central by combining to score 47 points with both Covington and Rose reaching their career highs with 16 and 18 points respectively. Wade also totaled a career high in rebounds with nine against the Friars as the Blue Devils were unable to
erase a nine-point halftime deficit. Against the Pioneers the Blue Devils managed keep the score close early on; Dugan scored the Blue Devils first seven points, including a three-point play that gave Central a 7-6 lead. But the Blue Devils could not keep up with the Pioneers shooting. After taking the lead at 7-6, the Blue Devils could not find the basket for over five minutes. During that time Sacred Heart built a 16-7 lead. Sacred Heart kept the Blue Devils on their heels using seven fast break points to break the game open. The Pioneers quickly pulled away and with just under three minutes left in the half as they totaled a 2813 lead. SHU used a suffocating defense to force the Blue Devils to play sloppy basketball. The Pioneers had 10 steals by the end of the first half and were aided by 15 Central turnovers. The Pioneers out shot the Blue
Devils from the field 51 percent to only 32 percent over the course of the game, but it was turnovers that doomed the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils had 28 turnovers during the course of the game and Sacred Heart made them pay, as they racked up 41 points off turnovers. The one bright spot for the Blue Devils was from Dugan, who provided a majority of the Central offense all game. Wade also contributed leading the team with nine rebounds and three assists while adding five points. Next up for Central is the Stony Brook Seawolves as the Blue Devils will travel to Stony Brook, Long Island for a Wednesday night match up on December 12 at 7 p.m. They will return home after winter break on Saturday, December 29 to take on Army at 1 p.m.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Blue Devils Athletics: Class of the Conference Peter Collin
Sports Editor As the fall semester departs us, so does the best sports season of the year. At no point during the year do so many exciting sports come together at the same time. Major League Baseball playoffs climaxes after six months worth of games, the National Football League begins the winterlong struggle for the domination of 100 yards and college sports teams rise and fall within the confines of one semester. For the Central Connecticut Blue Devils the story is no different. But this year was unlike anything CCSU sports had ever seen before. Events took place in the Central sports world that hadn’t occurred in decades and others that had never been seen by Blue Devils fans. Each sport had its own measured success. Some at the forefront of our minds, others passing under our noses. It’s hard to find a place to start with so many stories to choose from, but one must stand above all the others: men’s soccer. No team looked more down and out than the boys on the pitch. Standing at 1-3 with five games left, the Blue Devils received a devastating blow from the Northeast Conference when Commissioner Brenda Weare informed them that an NCAA ruling would nullify their one victory. With no wins and only one point in the standings, Central’s season looked lost. Coach Shaun Green never wavered after the unfair ruling. He rallied his boys to a 6-0-1 finish that gave the men’s Blue Devil soccer team its first ever NEC crown. The NEC title being no small feat, the boys didn’t stop there. Expected to make a courtesy appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the boys impressed the national soccer community. First by knocking off 15th ranked Harvard on the frozen pitch of Cambridge, Mass., and then traveling to Tulsa, Okla. to defeat the 9th ranked Golden Hurricanes in their own house. The roller-coaster ride ended in the Sweet 16 as the Blue Devils could not overcome the weather or the UMass Minutemen. Despite falling short of a National championship, the men’s soccer team accomplished more than any other division I team in Blue Devil history.
Never before had a men’s division I team won an NCAA Tournament game, and no CCSU team had ever bested the 2003 women’s soccer team, who won their opening round match-up with Boston College. And not to be lost in the glory of the men’s team are the women who don the blue and white. Their season had its own successes. They finished second in the conference with a strong record of 6-3, while sending sophomores Rachel Caneen, Leah Blayney, Ciara Crinion and senior Megan McClements to the NEC First Team All-Conference. Sadly, those ladies in blue could not transfer their regular season success into the playoffs. An opening round defeat at the hands of the third-seeded Sacred Heart Pioneers ended a season that saw a young Blue Devils team mature into a perennial contender. But the team with the most honors had to be the women’s volleyball team. The Blue Devils were a young
team packed with talent. Led by freshmen Amanda Bayer and Lauren Snyder, the Blue Devils rolled through the regular season with both Bayer and Snyder bringing in multiple Player of Week and Rookie of the Week awards. Their only regular season conference loss came at the hands of powerhouse Long Island as Central compiled a 7-1 conference record and an overall record of 23-7. The 23 wins were the most ever for Head Coach Linda Sagnelli who also won the Coach of the Year Award for the NEC. Coach Sagnelli was not the only one bringing home hardware. Bayer pulled in the Rookie of the Year Award, while sophomore Jamie Baumert was named to the First Team All-Conference. Freshman Kaitlin Petrella joined Bayer and Snyder on the Second All-Conference team. Finally, the CCSU Blue Devils football team had its own historic achievement. For the first time in nearly 40 years, the men put together their fourth consecutive winning season. It was the first time since the 1965-1971 seasons that the Blue Devils had accomplished such a feat. CCSU football also sent two players to the NEC Football AllConference First Team, senior offensive lineman Ryne Nutt and junior defensive end Ernie Greywacz. Providing his own history was junior Jo Jo Freemen. Freemen provided fireworks all season as he moved up several all-time lists. First was the scoring list that saw him move all the way up to fourth alltime. He also got some yards on the way to those points with a season total of 828 yards. Those yards moved him up to seventh all-time beyond former teammate Justise Hairston. Unfortunately, for all the accomplishments of the football season, the Blue Devils fell short of their ultimate goal. For the second consecutive year, Central found themselves playing the NEC title, but this year they fell short of the prize as the Albany Great Danes dashed their hopes, defeating the Blue Devils in the regular season finale at Arute Field. For CCSU athletics, the year could not have been much better.
Top: The Blue Devils men’s soccer team celebrates after their second-round NCAA tournament win against Tulsa. The victory sent the team to the Sweet 16, a first for any CCSU sport. Middle: Freshman midfielders Robert Cavener (top left) and Connor Smith (right) join junior defender David Tyrie in celebration after winning the NEC Men’s Soccer Championship against St. Francis (PA). Bottom Left: Sophomore forward Rachel Caneen helped the Blue Devil women’s soccer team finish second in the Northeast Conference. Bottom Right: Amanda Bayer (center) was awarded NEC Rookie of the Year, while Jamie Baumert was named to the First Team All-Conference. Photos by Conrad Akier / The Recorder
They were competitive in every sport, contending for titles across the board. Though only the men’s soccer team was able to find the promised
land, each team will be bringing back a solid core of young talent to lead the charge for several years to come.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Blue Devils Goal Big Against Gulls Kyle Dorau
Staff Writer Eight different Blue Devils scored goals as CCSU lit the lamp early and often against the Endicott College Gulls 9-3 on Saturday night at Newington Skating Center. Junior forward Robert Diclemente scored twice and his brother Mike Diclemente had three assists to help power Central (12-4-2) to victory. Blue Devils net minder Carmine Vetrano won his second game in as many nights and his ninth victory of the season. Central stuck first, midway through the first period as sophomore forward Kevin McConnell drove hard to the net and fired a shot that was saved by Endicott (6-8-1) goalie Josh Provost, but senior forward Chris Manemeit deposited the rebound into the back of the net to begin what was to be a long night for Provost. CCSU maintained the pressure in the Gulls’ zone. Central senior defenseman Todd Healey broke up a 3-on-1 break by the Gulls, and moments later McConnell tipped in a pass from junior Erich Stoneman on an odd-man rush the other way to give CCSU a 2-0 lead after one period. Endicott showed signs of life early in the second period, cutting the defecit in half on a Gabe Carreiro goal that Blue Devils’ goaltender Carmine Vetrano deflected but could
not stop. Central quickly responded on the power play, where they were strong once again. With Endicott’s Patrick Kennedy in the penalty box for tripping, CCSU set up their attack, and Healey blasted a slapshot from the right point past Provost for his seventh goal of the season to give the Blue Devils a 3-1 lead. CCSU had a chance to further that lead, as Mike Diclemente was
hauled down on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. The lefty shooting Diclemente faked to his backhand at the hash marks, brought it back to his forehand but could not stuff it past Provost, who made a kick save. Despite the missed opportunity Central’s offense would break through moments later. Blue Devil sophomore forward Joe Dabkowski was hit with a high stick by Endicott’s Brett Erickson,
resulting in a power play for CCSU. Junior defenseman Kevin Butler took the puck at the blue line in his own zone and slashed his way through the neutral zone. He broke hard around a Gulls defenseman and stuffed the puck into the net for his first goal of the season, unleashing a wild celebration on the Central bench. “It’s about time,” said Butler. “Today I was thinking to myself, I’d better get one in before the semester’s over. I can’t go into the second semester without a goal.” Butler’s tally made it 4-1 in favor of CCSU, but there was more to come as Stoneman scored just moments later, followed by the first goal of freshman forward Matt DeAngelo’s CCSU career to cap a four-goal second period for the Blue Devils. Heading into the third period, CCSU loudly declared on their bench it was time to make a statement. Rob ert Diclemente responded, scoring a power play tally for his first of two goals on the night. Endicott responded just over a minute later, as Vetrano just missed making a spectacular save and the loose puck was knocked in by Dan
Greel of the Gulls to make it 7-2. Later on in the period, Vetrano was lifted for freshman goalie Shane Farrelly, who closed out the rest of the game in net, allowing one goal on seven shots. Junior forward Craig Prema would score late in the third period, the eighth Blue Devil to register a goal on the night. Robert Diclemente closed out the scoring for Central, earning his second goal of the evening. He was one of seven skaters for CCSU with a multi-point game while Vetrano had 19 saves in the victory for the Blue Devils. “This is the game that we needed going into break,” Vetrano said. “Getting nine goals against a team that’s looking to head into regionals, that’s something we wanted to accomplish.” The Blue Devils have a month to rest up before returning to action on the road against Marist College on January 11, the first of three road games that month. CCSU Hockey’s next home game is January 25 at 9 p.m. against Montclair State University at the Connecticut Skating Center in Newington.
Top Left: Junior Blue Devil Kevin Butler keeps the scorekeeper occupied with his first goal of the season. Butler’s goal gave Central a 4-1 lead.
Top Right: Sophomore forward Kevin McConnell hits the brakes while directing a wild puck. McConnell scored the second of Central’s nine goals.
Left: Central defenseman Ryan Beaulieu helps dismantle the Gulls’ offense. Below: Junior forward Mike Diclemente is taken down by an Endicott player during a breakaway. A penalty shot was awarded for the infraction. Photos by Conrad Akier / The Recorder
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
NFL Playoff Preview
Sports Editor With the final week of predictions behind us I figured I would try one last time to redeem myself by providing an accurate forecast for the NFL playoffs. Here are the 12 that I’m looking at to make the playoffs, how they’ll fare and the order of their seeding. We’ll check back next semester to see how I did.
Tom Brady may lead the Patriots to a perfect season, but the more important question is: will he have a perfect playoff?
New England Patriots (1)
Dallas Cowboys (1)
The Pats have everything going for them right now as they are assured of getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs unless they have a massive collapse and get upset by the Jets or Dolphins. The big question will be if they are still perfect heading in. That being perfect can put a lot of heat on a team and it could ride them into the ground along the playoff road. Prediction: If they go into the playoffs 16-0 they’ll go down somewhere along the way. Whether it’s the Colts, Jacksonville or anybody else, someone will knock them off. If they’re 151 there is no stopping them.
Romo has shown no ill effects from the slippery ball incident and that means trouble for the rest of the NFC. If you eliminate his awful game versus the Bills his numbers look very Bradylike. The Cowboys have finally put it together. With T.O. finally shutting up and playing, their offense has become explosive, even without Terry Glenn. Prediction: The Cowboys should roll until the NFC Championship game where they’ll probably see the Packers again in Dallas and we all know what happened last time those two met.
Indianapolis Colts (2)
Green Bay Packers (2)
Peyton and the defending champs are pretty beat up. Losing Dwight Freeney for the season hurts and it will hurt more if they have to go through the Pats again. But there is hope. Marvin Harrison should have enough time to recover for the playoffs and Harrison and Reggie Wayne is the best receiver tandem in football. Prediction: Peyton will need every weapon in the playoffs, but they have more then enough to go a long way. With New England playing the way they are, it’s up to Harrison to even the playing field.
So I guess Brett Favre wasn’t lying when he kept saying that these were the most talented teams he ever played on. Ryan Grant seems to be the answer to the running back problems and with that defense behind them they look great right now. Prediction: They should coast in now that they locked up the division. Favre will probably take it easy on his elbow over the final three weeks as the Packers prepare to make a serious run to the Super Bowl.
Pittsburgh Steelers (3)
Marvin Harrison and the Super Bowl Champion Colts plan to bring another title to The Circle City.
The Steelers have essentially locked up the Northern Division. They won’t have the record for a bye, but they will probably get a match up with the sixth seed. That seed will be the Browns but that shouldn’t comfort Steelers fans who held their breath during their last match-up. Prediction: The Steelers should squeak by the Browns but after that is a whole other story. Ben Roethlisberger has been good but like his Super Bowl performance showed, he never really shows up for the big game.
San Diego Chargers (4)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4)
The Chargers have had an on and off season this year and most of that falls on head coach Norv Turner. Everyone said Turner was a bad choice and so far everyone is right. Despite having a solid team on both sides of the ball the Chargers just don’t scare anyone right now. Predictions: The Chargers are one of those teams that can put everything together and be a playoff powerhouse. They could steamroll anybody you put in front of them. But as long as Turner is calling the plays they won’t be able to get out of their own way.
Tampa Bay is another team that got a few free wins from their division. Right now they’re channeling a lot of last season’s Baltimore Ravens: a tough defense with a just-enough-to-getby offense. Luke McCown is trying to fill in for the banged up Jeff Garcia, but Tampa will need Garcia back and healthy if they want to make a run. Prediction: Garcia has continued to show he can be a miracle worker by getting the Bucs in, but like last season there is only so much he and Joey Galloway can do together.
AFC Wild Cards
NFC Wild Cards
The Jags seemed to have found the right man for the job in David Garrard. When he’s healthy, he runs an efficient offense with dual running backs of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. So far he only has one turnover this season and that is a good indicator of a quarterback who can push his team in the playoffs. Prediction: I like the Jags here. Garrard seems to be just what they were missing. With their power running game and solid defense they’ll create havoc in the playoffs.
Well the Giants have avoided that second half swoon that normally plagues them. They have done it with a beat up backfield and an Eli Manning who still hasn’t found his groove. They’re defense has picked up some of the slack, but they definitely miss Mathias Kiwanuka. Prediction: The Giants are tough; they have a ton of talent but usually not the will to use it. If they show up they could turn the playoff picture on its head, but that is a big “if.”
Cleveland Browns (6) This is one of the good stories in the NFL this year. It is always nice to see a team like the Browns succeed. Derek Anderson will probably leave via free agency this off-season since Cleveland has Brady Quinn waiting in the wings, but Anderson is definitely making them think twice. Prediction: The years of going home before January are over in Cleveland, but that’s about all the Browns will get to say. An early round exit is probably likely, but their season was fun to watch anyway.
Tony Romo has helped the Cowboys to their best start ever. Dallas fans are hopeful that the season will end with a ring instead of another fumble.
Seattle Seahawks (3) Who would have thought that the Seahawks would have clinched by now? Shaun Alexander looked very old before he got hurt, but by emphasizing the passing game first head coach Mike Holmgren has successfully covered up his running game’s inadequacies. Prediction: Seattle could surprise every one with a playoff run, but I don’t see them going anywhere beyond the divisional round. Their record is more a result of the division they are in than the talent they put on the field and that is the harsh reality awaiting them in the playoffs.
Jacksonville Jaguars (5)
Troy Polamalu and the Steelers look to make it far in what is stacking up to be a very topheavy AFC.
Brett Favre has shocked the football world by making the Packers a force after most football fans left him for dead. Will he have one last hurrah?
New York Giants (5)
Minnesota Vikings (6) The Vikings have had their moments. At 36 they didn’t look like they could overtake the Lions who were sitting pretty at 6-3. But Minnesota rolled through their next four games and they can easily win two out of the final three. If Adrian Peterson stays healthy then they can be a legitimate contender with their stifling defense. Prediction: Tarvaris Jackson isn’t the kind of quarterback who leads his team to a championship. They could be an upset story in the first round, but Jackson doesn’t have what it takes to beat a defense that challenges him by shutting down Peterson and Chester Taylor.
Eli Manning’s New York Giants are quietly cementing themselves as one of the NFL’s elite teams. Will this season be the turning point in his career that makes him one of the NFL’s elite?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Pick Your Poison
NFL Predictions for Week 15
The NFL season is winding down and the playoff race is heating up. Below are the ﬁnal standings for The Recorder’s NFL Prediction Pool. Regarding Editors, Edward Gaug and Mark Rowan are tied for 127, Christopher Boulay has 124 and Peter Collin ﬁnished in last at 109, mainly due to his poor effort in the ﬁnal week’s picks (Good two picks, Peter). The Recorder wants to congratulate Steve Hart for winning the NFL Prediction Pool. He has won the Sports DVD Package that includes Kingpin, Hoosiers and Bull Durham. Join us again in the spring for the NCAA Tournament Pick ‘Em. Have a good holiday!
Denver at Houston
Cincinnati at San Francisco
Atlanta at Tampa Bay
Tennessee at Kansas City
Green Bay at St. Louis
Baltimore at Miami
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh
Buffalo at Cleveland
Washington at New York Giants
New York Giants
New York Giants
New York Giants
Chicago at Minnesota
Cleveland def. Buffalo
Tennessee def. Kansas City
Jacksonville def. Pittsburgh
Chicago def. Minnesota
The Browns are for real! Don’t sell the Bills short though, this will be a tight, great game, but the Browns are destined for the playoffs. LeBron may have sold out the Indians, but I think he is still behind the Browns— with good reason!
Tennessee is a serious playoff threat and as long as Albert Haynesworth can stay heathy their defense is disgusting. You can’t overrate his value as the Titans 7-3 when Haynesworth is in and 0-3 without him.
After a loss to the Patriots, the Steelers will falter again and give the game to the Jaguars. The Jags will take this momentum and turn it in to a spot in the playoffs.
Sorry Vikings fans, but I am sure that it was fun getting a tour of the playoff bus, but you have just been kicked off in favor of REAL teams. The Vikings are good, but they aren’t that good. The lowly Bears (or should I say Cubs at this point?) will take the Vikings down swiftly and painlessly.
Seattle at Carolina
New York Jets at New England Arizona at New Orleans
Indianapolis at Oakland Detroit at San Diego Philadelphia at Dallas
Pick of the Week
The Final NFL Prediction Standings Current Week (of 16) 13
Congratulations to Our NFL Predictions Winner
Steve Hart accepts the Sports DVD Package after winning The Recorder’s NFL Prediction Pool.
Conrad Akier / The Recorder
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
UniWatch Central - BCS Bowl Edition Ohio State Buckeyes
It is finally bowl game time and that means I get to watch football almost every day and see a ton of teams I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity of seeing on television. This can be good and bad because the designs of college football uniforms go from the really classy/classic (Penn State, Notre Dame) to the absolutely absurd (any of Oregon’s 384 game day choices). Most of the teams playing in this year Bowl Championship Series wear classic style unis that are easy on the eyes.
Virginia Tech Hokies
The Buckeyes have the type of uniform that will never change, no matter how modern things look around them. The silver and red of OSU’s uniforms contrast perfectly and remain as one of the best color combinations in sports. The only thing that looks a little bit off is the black trim they use on every piece of their uniform. It is thin on the helmet stripe and the jersey’s shoulder stripe, but huge in the pant’s leg stripe. Inconsistency here hurts the Buckeyes in my rankings.
Virginia Tech uses an odd color combination of maroon and orange that clashes terribly on their football uniforms. It doesn’t help when you lay those putrid colors on top of a cookie-cutter Nike template that is shared by dozens of college teams, as well as hundreds of high school teams. Seriously, what is the deal with the swirl piping on the front of the jersey - is that even necessary? Of course it isn’t. The only point VA Tech gains is from having a simple logo that works really well on their helmets.
LSU has the classiest football uniform design known to man; too bad they ruin it by using the worst set of colors imaginable. Purple and gold scream royalty...if we were still in 18th century France. Luckily for us, the Bayou Bengals refrain from wearing their solid purple jerseys as much as they can. They maintain a white on white look that typically upsets me, but it works well for them. They gain major points for having simple style and a unique helmet design.
While I would normally talk about Georgia’s widely known red jerseys, I can’t because the team introduced a set of black jerseys earlier this year and have decided to wear those for their game against Hawaii. While not nearly as traditional as the solid red home jerseys, the blacks retain the Bulldogs classy style while giving it a subtle change. The jerseys match up well with their bright red helmets and gray pants. Major points for a simple design and of the most prolific helmet design of all time.
The Sooners are as basic as you can get when it comes down to it. They have solid color jerseys with no piping, white text and numbers, with white pants with two solid stripes. While some might consider this plain, I consider it to be well done. Teams don’t have to go over the top with crazy designs to look good. Oklahoma pulls off possibly the best uniforms in college football; I can’t see anything to change at all. Good job.
West Virginia Mountaineers
Kansas Jayhawks The USC Trojans belong to the same pack as LSU in the way they dress their football teams. The Trojans use a solid maroon jersey with gold numbers and shoulder stripes - nothing more, nothing less. The things that kind of get me when it comes to their style are the mustard-yellow pants. Good lord, are those hideous. I kind of wish they would go to an actual gold color so I could see if that would look any better. USC gets a wash in points, I guess.
The easiest way to describe the Jayhawks uniform is to call them the New York Giants. Kansas pretty much rips off the entire Giants style guide. Blue helmets with a single red stripe; blue jerseys with white numerals and white pants. The only things they missed were the gray pants instead of the white. The numeral font doesn’t work at all compared to their logo’s font, and that annoys the hell out of me. The numbers all seems to stretch out when placed over a set of shoulder pads. Overall, Kansas’ look is pretty weak.
God, are the Mountaineers awful looking. With their disastrous yellow on yellow uniforms, WVU takes over Cal for having the worst uniform in college football. They look like running puddles of piss. The less said about these monstrosities the better. Once known as the Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii has beefed up their football team’s identity and made one of the most unique football designs ever. The first thing you notice when watching Hawaii is their traditional Hawaiian tribal band that wraps around the player’s left leg. This is such a nice touch, and you will see it nowhere else in college football.
INSIDE: Top Albums of 2007 - Page 15 Allison Weiss - Page 16 The Color Fred - Page 17
Stays Productive - Page 18
Holiday Gift Guide - Page 23
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
One of the hardest things to write about and Sandwiches & Cats review is comedy because it is very difficult to talk about an album of jokes without telling some of them. The downfall of this is you don’t want to ruin the album for the listener. This is going to be my attempt at doing this. While the name Michael Showalter might not stand-out in a list of comedians, once you catch a glimpse of his face, you will immediately know him as the star of cult-classic Wet Hot American Summer and one of three members of the comedy troupe Stella. The album begins with the usual banter you have come to expect from a comedy album, along with a few skits that don’t seem like anything out of the ordinary, but it’s not till you get to the CD’s 12th track that you realize how funny Showalter can be. With his skit entitled “Berhune Orchards,” Showalter shows off his absolute dirty side, combining the concept of a radio ad for an orchard and getting horny about it at the same time. Words cannot explain how funny this actually gets. After this skit, the next extremely funny part comes in the form of a song, displaying Showalter’s love and passion for sandwiches. The 10 Commandments of Sandwiches goes over all the basics like “Mustard goes with everything,” and “Sun-dried tomatoes are bullshit.” His explanations for each rule become outlandish and hysterical at the same time. This is the strongest part of the album by far. While comedy albums are definitely a small niche, do yourself a favor and go check out Michael Showalter’s Sandwiches & Cats album and have a good laugh before the weight of your finals drop you to the ground.
- Edward Gaug / Entertainment Editor
After listening to a ton of hip-hop 8 Diagrams over the last week between the Ghostface review and the “Best of Hip-Hop” piece, I find my self burned out and Wu-Tang Clan’s newest release isn’t helping to get me back into it. While I never thought I would ever hate on Wu-Tang, 8 Diagrams proves to be lackluster and missing a solid, notable single. After Wu’s 2001 release of Iron Flag, the group went on a semihiatus and most members started working on their solo projects; some of these (Ghostface Killah’s Fishscales) were better than others (RZA’s Birth of a Prince), but all of them were just filler until the next Wu-Tang Clan album. Sadly, I was let down when I first started listening to 8 Diagrams. There are no club anthems like the ones that filled Enter the WuTang (36 Chambers). There isn’t a track like “Method Man” or “Bring Da Ruckus” present on the newest album. These songs are replaced by more mature, slow-paced songs like “Gun Will Go” that features Raekwon, Method Man and Masta Killa, and more of an R&B vibe than the hard hip-hop that people are used to hearing from the Clan. Diagrams does have its fair share of decent tracks like “Tar Pit” and “Wolves,” which features George Clinton, but as a whole, the Clan fails to impress me after six years of being out of the lime light. I feel that it was almost forced together because it has been so long. Some of these artists will have more success now-a-days with their own solo stuff than they will if WuTang continues to put out mediocre albums. - Edward Gaug / Entertainment Editor
If you enjoy kitschy, absurd and/ A Dipset Xmas or rap Christmas albums, you absolutely have to listen to last year’s A Dipset Xmas. If you like Dipset, you also are going to have to listen to this album. If you hate rap, you have to listen to this album. Pretty much everyone that has ever listened to music needs to listen to this album. If only for a laugh, it is definitely worth it. I say all of this because this album is hilarious. It seems to be intended as serious, but it is also hard to take it like that. The album has many themes of how hard it is to have a good Christmas while living in a low-income household, but the fact still remains that this is from the same guy that wrote “We Fly High;” and all that can be pictured when you hear this song (which also has a remix on the CD), is Michael Strahan jumping in the air and making the “Ballin!” hand motion. A bizarre fact about the album is that half of it (more than half if you count the hidden tracks) isn’t even Christmas-related. The rest of the songs are listenable, but probably not as memorable as the Christmas songs will be, except for the “We Fly High” remix. Jones can make 10 more remixes to that song and it will still be really, really good. The best track on the album is, by far, “Ballin’ on Xmas.” I mean, look at the chorus, which, not so ironically enough, is to the tune of “Jingle Bells.” “Christmas cheers/ Dipset’s here/ Ballin’ every day.” Did I mention how brilliant this album is? This kind of reminds me more of a Boyz II Men album mixed with a really bad gangsta rap album from the same era. One thing that amazed me was the amount of times Jones was able to pull off saying the word “Ballin’.” Overall, this album isn’t very good, but it is definitely one of the better Christmas albums from a group of people whose Christmas songs isn’t their forte. Jim Jones should be commended for making a Christmas album that is at least fun to listen to. Looking at the rest of the history of Christmas albums, it is probably closer to the top of the heap; but again, that doesn’t say much. - Christopher Boulay / Managing Editor
As much as I like to stay ahead Wizard of Ahhhs of the curve when it comes to introducing new music to the Entertainment section, sometimes I get into the game a tad too late. With a band like Black Kids, I missed the initial buzz and caught on later. While I know most people still won’t have heard of them before, it won’t be long until they hit the covers of every music mag and become your new favorite band. Black Kids, despite their moniker, is a mixed-group of fun loving indie kids with pop sensibility. They make amazingly fun music that will make you get up, dance and lose your mind. The Kids combine the velvety smooth vocals of Reggie Youngblood, his sister Ali and her friend Dawn to create an awesome boy-girl harmonizing sound that somehow seems really original but brings to mind The Go Team! at the same time. Weird. The four-song EP begins innocently with the track “Hit the Heartbreaks,” which brings in the listener with a solid instrumental opening, quickly developing into Youngblood’s vocals backed by the drum work of Kevin Snow and keyboards by Dawn Watley. Wizard of Ahhhs’ catchiest track is subsequently the album’s single, “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance.” Along with the catchy vocals, Black Kids employ the shout
call and response that works very well on this song. This song is so poppy and fun to listen to that I’m almost embarrassed to like it - too bad it’s so damn good it doesn’t matter. While most people think gloomy and depressing when indie-rock is mentioned, Black Kids are here to change that and make indierock the most fun genre of music ever. Wizard of Ahhhs is free from their site and I guarantee you will be hooked to this album in a matter of minutes. - Edward Gaug / Entertainment Editor While this EP Grizzly Bear has been out for a Friend EP month now, I’d say that it’s just enough time to get used to this collaboration of eerie and mellow tunes. There is some harder-hitting material, such as the track “He Hit Me,” but this album has an airy and lazy feeling that is best explained as kind of creepy. The song “Shift” mixes guitar, piano and something that sounds like wind chimes at the end for sorrowful music. Seeing as all four band members lend their voices to each song, it creates a church-choir effect, especially on this track. Grizzly Bear compiled this EP not only focusing on themselves, but also including covers of their favorite songs by bands such as Atlas Sound and Band of Horses. Aside from the vocals, these extra covers stay fairly consistent with the rest of the tracks. “Knife,” covered by CSS, is the only song that really stands out with an über-electronic feel and both male and female vocals. The six-minute song “Deep Blue Sea” is a home recording by guitarist Daniel Rossen and is my favorite track on the EP, mainly because it is slow and sweet. Again, the choir vocals added-in distinguish the song from the average one-guy-and-a-guitar songs, but they slide you into a melancholy feeling by the middle of the song. It seems like Rossen completely forgot that the song was recording around three minutes in and stopped playing, but it picks up a minute later with an epic chunk of Spanish brass and fast-paced strumming like the gallop of a horse. It’s pretty bizarre, but oddly exciting. I’d recommend this EP for a downtrodden rainy Sunday afternoon, and if nothing else, listen to “Deep Blue Sea” for fun. - Melissa traynor / News Editor
Birdman, Baby, The #1 Stunna, whatever you 5 * Stunna want to call him, just came out with his third solo album titled 5 * Stunna. But let’s be real, with all the songs Lil’ Wayne is featured on, we could easily call this Like Father, Like Son Part 2. First time through I was impressed with the album, probably because I wasn’t expecting too much when I got it. I knew Baby wasn’t going to magically change into some lyrical genius, and anyone hoping for that should just stop reading now. This album’s high points come from good southern beats, and a lot of Lil’ Wayne. Unlike many artists these days, this album does not have any slower R&B feeling songs. Baby keeps it strictly to the streets with lyrics full of money and hood references, of course. The first single off the album, “Pop Bottles,” reached #73 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #16 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Tracks. The hook features Lil’Wayne and Jadakiss, and the song itself samples Fabolous’ “Diamonds.” Another stand out song is “Make Way.” This one features Weezy as well, but also Fat
Joe. The song “100 Million” features Wayne, Jeezy and Rick Ross, and has a lot of hype from DJ Khaled, it was produced by Cool & Dre. Birdman has been making music for 15 years and is still making hits. There aren’t many others who started in the early 90s still in the game. On a scale of one to five, I wouldn’t consider this a five star stunna, but perhaps a three. - Steve Hart / Staff Writer I can’t wait until this band gets big. Not necessarily because I The Fiery Works love the music— though, at times I really do—but because I can’t wait to hear the inevitable “A Great Big Pile of Shit” jokes. Thanks to the quality of this duo’s downloadable debut, I will sadly be refraining from such humor. A Great Big Pile of Leaves claim they are based out of Brooklyn, but one half of the band (Pete Weiland, vocals/guitar) is based in New Haven and the album was actually recorded in Connecticut. I know drummer Tyler Soucy thinks he’s too cool for the Nutmeg State now that he moved to the City, but we still deemed this album the best we’ve heard this year from a local band. The first thing that stands out is the quality of the recording. How many albums get recorded in a bedroom sound this good? Not many. Then again, not many albums recorded in bedrooms get mastered by Alan Douches (Sufjan Stevens, Brand New, Ben Folds Five). The next thing that stands out is “Mystery of the Brain,” hands down the best track on this album. It will at times remind you of Minus the Bear for its quirky, yet jazzy guitar, and other times remind you of something completely different. I can’t really put my finger on it and that is certainly a testament to the band’s originality. Often it is hard for reviewers to look past easy comparisons, but this song, as well as the rest of the songs on this album, allow for the listener to do just that. The band is currently getting plenty of love on various music Web sites, and with good reason. The Fiery Works is an excellent debut from the two artists and shows a great leap in maturity since their last project, Farewell to Arms. The album is completely free, so get to their MySpace [www.myspace. com/agreatbigpileofleaves] the next chance you get, download it and decide for yourself how much you like it. - mark rowan / Editor-in-Chief
A Great Big Pile of Leaves
The More Like a Six-Foot Turkey blog will be keeping you up to date on the local Entertainment beat throughout the cold winter break. So cuddle up next to the fire and find out what is worth braving the cold for. The Recorder’s own Mark, Edward and Melissa will be letting you know what’s up. http://morelikeasixfootturkey.blogger.com
Kanye West - Graduation White Williams - Smoke Kanye’s newest album was our hands-down White Williams showed up kind of late this number one of the year. With an amazing mix of style, no one song on this album is bad.
year, but his album was so damn catchy it cracked the Top 10 with ease. This electro pop release is all Williams, as he does vocals, mans the laptop and keys.
Radiohead - In Rainbows Justice - † In Rainbows redefined how music is released These French dance enthusiasts have made and purchased. Not only did Radiohead fuck over every record label, they made their best album in years.
an album Daft Punk could be jealous of. For the rest of us, it’s an essential party record.
Chromeo - Fancy Footwork The NYC via Montreal-based duo tore up
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
the dance floors and my earphones with their electrofunk tracks this year. This album made every party in the summer of 2007 that much better.
The National - Boxer 2005’s Alligator was the band’s jump into popularity, but it was Boxer that kept them there. Interpol, one of The National’s contemporaries, is currently wishing their release this year sounded half as good.
This shit got nominated for a Grammy, are you kidding me? James Murphy slays. This dance, punk, disco, whatever album is essential. Cop it if you haven’t yet.
The Shins - Wincing the Night Away Picking up where Chutes Too Narrow left off, The Shins continue to make outstanding rock albums that Zach Braff can’t get enough of.
Ratatat - Ratatat Remixes Volume 2 While most Ratatat’s original material is purely instrumentals, their remixes mash together vocals from one track and beats from another. Most of them are genius and all of them are free.
Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future The hype train was at full steam with Myths and most of it checked out. This act may or may not have launched the debated genre of “nu-rave,” but either way their blend of punk and electronic music was a staple this year.
The Good the Bad and the Queen - Self-Titled The Good, The Bad and the Queen would have been in Radiohead’s spot if they hadn’t released In Rainbows. It has the same lowkey rock smarts, but without the electric vibes.
Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City The band had a tough act to follow with Silent Alarm and while some people were skeptical of A Weekend, it turned out to be the most logical step for Bloc Party.
M.I.A. - Kala Mathangi Arulpragasam aka M.I.A. dropped another big record out of England this year, with her grungy, funk-laced pop songs that make Lady Sovereign look ever worse than she already is.
Band of Horses - Cease to Begin Feist The Reminder Band of Horses kind of popped out of noMostly known for her role in indie-powerhouse Broken Social Scene, Feist has wandered off by herself and made an extremely catchy album that has even caught Apple’s attention enough for her own iPod commercial spot.
where with a fall release, but received good press from just about everywhere. It was well deserved considering their album was brilliant.
equals someone who is apparently more capable of putting out a solid album this year. This genre-jumping 21-year-old was one of the best newcomers this year.
Against Me! - New Wave This list needed some punk and Against Me! put out this year’s best punk album, no question. With a mix of political ideas and folky undertones, Against Me! stands out from any other band in their genre.
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black Despite the fact that she became crazy in the Jamie T Panic Prevention Tegan and Sara The Con last couple months does not change the fact Mike Skinner meets the Artic Monkeys There’s not a bad thing that can be said about this twin sister duo. While The Con was not as easily accessible compared So Jealous, the creativity on this one grew on you quickly.
that America fell in love with her when her album hit shores in March. Cross your fingers that the loveable, miserable R&B singer will come back to us for another try.
Pharoahe Monch - Desire Common’s album was alright. Talib’s had his moments. Brother Ali was a solid outing. Jay-Z pretty much dropped the ball, again. Instead Monch steps up to be this year’s unlikely hero to the genre of hip-hop.
Talking to Allison Weiss
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A Budding Artist from a Thriving Music Scene country and still make my dad happy by getting a degree.
Gaug: Like a lot of papers, we’re doing a Top 20 albums of 2007 and I was wondering what your input would be for that. What do you think was the best thing to come out this year? Weiss: Oh man, I don’t even know. I really liked the new Rilo Kiley album [Under the Blacklight]. Did you listen to that?
After probing the Internet to find local shows to talk about in my weekly podcast with Mark (check http:// morelikeasixfootturkey.blogspot. com for more Entertainment news throughout the week and over winter break), we stumbled across Athens, Georgia’s very own Allison Weiss. Weiss will be coming to The Space in Hamden, Conn. on Dec. 19 with her brother AJ. This is the first time she’s taken her show on the road in this area, so make sure you come out and enjoy a refreshing new artist.
Gaug: Under the Blacklight, yeah I actually got to listen to that about a month and half, two months ago. Weiss: What’s weird about it is, I hated it at first, but then it really grew on me and now I like it. For some reason, that’s the only thing I can think of right now. Another band I really got into was Tokyo Police Club. I don’t know if their album came out this year, but it’s amazing for just an EP. I love it to death.
Edward Gaug: All right, I’ll keep this quick cause it’s a Thursday night and you probably have better things to do than talk to me. Allison Weiss: I really need to study, so I’m doing everything to procrastinate. Gaug: Let’s get this started then. You are one of the few people making music, going to college and trying to tour at the same time, what kinds of things are you trying to do to make sure your schedule has room for all three? Weiss: Well, I try to take light course loads, so no 17-hour semesters for me. Also, I just tour whenever I can during breaks. This is my Christmas break, I get done with my last final on Tuesday and my little brother gets done with his on Friday and then we’re leaving that day to play up the East Coast, so I just try to find time whenever I can.
Gaug: I also saw that you are doing a winter mixtape, can you tell us about that? Weiss: Basically, over the course of the summer and this semester, I’ve done some recordings in my room by myself and it seems that these recordings I’ve made are the songs I play more live than the songs on my old album, it’s kind of like a mix half and half right now. I really wanted people to hear those songs and listen to them on their own, so I just decided to put together this little mixtape. It’s going to be just a homemade thing, I made the cover and I have to go to Kinko’s and print it all out and get it all “pressed,” I suppose. I think it’s going to be like five or six songs, just really rough DIY indie stuff that I am going to sell on the tour and then hopefully sell online, on Christmas day. It will be cheap.
Gaug: That’s pretty cool, you said you were traveling up the East Coast, is this going to be your first time in the New York-New England area in the winter? Weiss: Yeah, actually I’ve never been above like, Tennessee. Actually, I take that back, I went to Pennsylvania once for a school trip, but that’s about it. Gaug: I’m sure it’s going to be a pretty drastic change from Athens, Georgia. I was just taking a look at some of the places you’re playing and one that caught my eye was the terminal at Port Authority in New York City and I was trying to see if there was a venue, but it doesn’t look like there is. Are you actually playing inside the terminal? Weiss: Yeah, actually it is the same people that booked the night after at Arlene’s Grocery. They are running a thing called “Tunes in the Terminal,” so I’ll have a little PA system in the terminal at the Port Authority and I’ll just be playing for an hour during rush hour. Gaug: That’s absolutely amazing. Weiss: It’s going to be really cool, especially because I’ll get to say I played for technically like a million New Yorkers. With the amount of people walking back and forth, it will be great. Gaug: You will probably be able to draw a pretty big crowd. Weiss: Hopefully, that’s the thing, I mean you never know, people could just walk by or they could stop, it’s really going to be hard. I play on the street sometimes in Athens and that’s nothing compared to what it’s going to be like up there, but it will be fun no matter what.
Gaug: We were actually just discussing Athens in the office and it seems like Athens is such a big music scene that not a lot of people know about, we just spurted off four or five bands from there. How is it playing in a town that has such a big music history? Weiss: It’s awesome. For one, it has a ton of venues so there are always places to play and every night you can go out and catch a new band just down the street. It is really good cause it influences you to do more. It is also really cool because I am consistently surrounded by musicians and being inspired by my friends, it’s a really great community and people are really welcoming. If you can play a kazoo, you can get a gig. Gaug: Do you feel like you draw influence from other things, like your personal life and you said you draw in from your city, do you find anything else you find a lot of influence in? Weiss: Just the basic relationship stuff, that’s mostly what I write about. Maybe because it’s the easiest, maybe because it’s the only thing that has ever happens to me. I get influenced by heartbreak, I guess, it’s a pretty emo thing to say. As far as
music goes, my friends are always around me and always doing awesome things. Gaug: I know you tour, but do you see you’re getting a lot of fans from all over the country, whether it is through MySpace or through Facebook? Weiss: Yeah, actually MySpace [www.myspace.com/allisonweiss] has been really helpful for that. I’ve got fans all over the place; I don’t even know how these people are finding my music. I find that YouTube helps too, I do record videos on YouTube a lot. I’ll do some cover songs and originals and apparently people really like those. I get a lot of MySpace adds and then the people come out to the shows and I’m hoping this will be a semi-successful tour I set up for myself, based on the response I’ve gotten over the Internet. Gaug: Definitely, I got the chance to take a look at some of your YouTube covers and one thing Mark, who you talked to earlier this week, and I were thinking was, “What would someone have to do to get you to do a cover of say ‘Ridin’ Dirty’ acoustic?” Weiss: I can actually play the cho-
rus to “Ridin’ Dirty” and I’ve been known to bust that out at concerts before, but the verses of “Ridin’ Dirty” are impossible, I don’t think I could ever do that. Gaug: I think it could be really cool to take the indie scene that’s big there and mixing with Southern rap that is kind of big there too. Weiss: It’s funny, I am actually working on writing a rap melody, it’s coming along well and when I feel like it’s really finished, I’ll release it on YouTube. Gaug: I can’t wait for that. Where do you think you see your music going in the next year or two while you continue school and all of that? Weiss: Well, I really hope to play around in the Southeast some more because that’s where I’m from and get a good draw there. Really, this little tour that I’m doing is so that I can get my foot in the door up in the Northeast and basically I want to play as many shows as I can and have as many people come out. That’s really what it’s all about for me, the music. Hopefully, it all works out where I can balance school and music, which will allow me to perform around the
Gaug: That’s awesome; it’s probably the most independence an artist can have, doing the music, recording and straight down to the album art. Weiss: Well, that’s my major; I do graphic design so I did my MySpace, Web site and CDs. So it’s all my work there too. Gaug: That’s was one of the first things that drew me when we were looking at the show you are playing up here in Hamden at The Space, and we were looking at MySpace pages and one of the things that blew us away was how professional everything looked and I guess that makes a lot of sense now that you’re saying you’re a graphic designer. Weiss: Yeah, I have this mentality, that if you can convince people by the outer appearance that you know what you’re doing, maybe they will think that you do. Gaug: Can’t ask for too much more than that. Is there anything else you would like to say or promote? Weiss: I don’t know. People should come out and I swear they will have a good time and hope I can represent the awesome Athens music scene.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A Quick Word with The Color Fred Matthew Jurkiewicz
Staff Writer Fred Mascherino left the tremendously successful band Taking Back Sunday back in October to pursue his solo career in a project called The Color Fred. In his debut album, Bend to Break, Fred does not only do the vocals, but also most of the guitar and bass. The album was released in October, and Fred is currently out on tour with the guys of Straylight Run. I had a chance to talk with Fred about his past and future in the music industry in anticipation of his December 12 show at the Webster Theater in Hartford. Matthew Jurkiewicz: So Fred, you’re out touring right now. Where are you guys and how’s this time on the road been treating you? Fred Mascherino: We’re in Little Rock, Ark. tonight, and we’re heading out of Texas right now. And it’s been a lot of fun. This is the most I’ve enjoyed touring in a long time. I’m sort of getting back to the way I used to tour—just getting to see the country for once. I’ve been on buses for the last few years. I’m finally driving during the day, seeing the prairie and the mountains, and it’s been awesome. Jurkiewicz: This promotion of a brand new project, of a debut album, is something you haven’t done for quite a few years now. Were you ready to start over with a new band and debut CD in a promotion atmosphere? Mascherino: Yeah, I definitely knew what I was getting into. I knew it was a brand new project, and I knew we were going to be getting the word out in a very ‘grass-roots’ style. You know, the only way I know how, and that’s to get in the van and go on tour, and that’s what we’re doing. Jurkiewicz: This whole The Color Fred project - how long had it been a serious prospect in your future before you finally got together and made the CD? How long were you contemplating this project beforehand? Mascherino: Well, I started making the record while I was in Taking Back Sunday. My origi-
nal intention was to do both bands. But, as I started making the record, I was sort of in-between Taking Back Sunday tours, and I was becoming more frustrated with that band. At the same time I was really happy with the record that I was making here. It finally got to the point where I knew I was going to be a lot happier doing Color Fred music than anything I was going to be able to do with [TBS] in the future. Jurkiewicz: Now that you are on your own and have complete control of the writing and direction of the music, are you finding your job more enjoyable? Mascherino: It’s sort of like this: when you’re in a band, you write a song and it goes through each person. And each person ends up being a filter. But with this, all those filters are gone. I really get the vision across of what I was trying to do. In Taking Back Sunday, I was fortunate because I was able to write a good portion of their music. But I was still doing it in a style that was decided by everyone. And now, I’m finally doing it exactly how I want it done. And it’s obviously very rewarding. Jurkiewicz: How far back into your repertoire did you dip for your current record, Bend to Break? Are all of these songs written within the last year or so? Or did you take some that you had written long before that? Mascherino: There’s only one song on the record that is from a few years ago, sort of preTBS. But all the other ones have been written in the last year and a half, two years. I had 45 songs written when I went to do this record, just because I’m always writing. But the ones that I wound up picking were the songs that I had written in that time period, because I felt like that was when something was happening with me, and it was sort of the beginning of me knowing I was going to be leaving the band. I was sort of counseling myself about that. So they all told a similar story, and that made me want to pick those particular songs. Jurkiewicz: When I look on the liner notes of the album and I look at your MySpace profile, The Color Fred’s band members are listed as “Fred Mascherino and Friends.” The band you are touring with now, is that
the same group of ‘friends’ that helped you record the album? Mascherino: Steve Curtiss played all the drums on the record, and he also tours with me. I have my friend Matt helping me with the guitars live. PJ Bond sang a lot of backups on the record; he plays the bass and sings live. And they’re all just people that I’ve known for a few years that I’ve wanted to jam with. Jurkiewicz: When I look at the CD case in which I bought the album, I notice that it is quite different from any other CD case I own. Did you have any special intentions behind it? Mascherino: You mean the packaging…I have a lot of environmentalist interests, and I wanted this to be the most Earth-friendly CD packaging out there. If you go to the record store, you’ll see that it is. The cardboard is 80 percent recycled materials and the lyrics sheet is 100 percent recycled. The whole thing is biodegradable. The part that is normally plastic, that holds the CD, I’m sure you noticed that it’s different than regular plastic. It’s actually corn starch, and it will dissolve in water. I sort of put the whole idea to the label. I said, “This is important to me; let’s make it happen. I don’t want thousands of little pieces of plastic with my name on it, floating around in these jewel cases.” Jurkiewicz: Well, the funny thing is, you go to the store to buy it, and the cardboard case is wrapped in a protective, hard plastic case so you can’t steal it. You just can’t get away from plastic. Mascherino: [Chuckling] True. I can’t get around some of the systems. Hopefully that’s reusable; I’m not sure. Jurkiewicz: You guys are out West at the moment, but you’ll be in Hartford in less than a week. Have you ever played here before? Anytime in the past? Mascherino: No, but we played Danbury on our very first tour. Just like a month and a half ago. But no, we’ve never come to Hartford. But I’m excited because it is a really exciting time in the band. Everywhere we go, it’s the first time we’ve been there. I’m sort of making first impressions everyday. And that is really exciting
and challenging. There’s no time like when a band is starting for the very first time. Jurkiewicz: Is there anymore excitement, and has the experience changed greatly while you were recording this last album as a solo artist, compared to recording as part of a band? Mascherino: Yeah. The thing is, the good part of what I’ve done in the past few years, getting to the level that Taking Back Sunday was at, I was able to work with some really great producers. I learned a lot from that. So when I went in this time to make my record, I had a wealth of knowledge and experience from those people. I wanted to try it out, and making the record with Lou Giordano was exciting for me because I had worked with him before. We really get along well. And that is, of course, really important when you’re making a record. To be able to play the guitars and bass, and sort of arrange it myself, and sort of put it together on my own, was the best musical experience I have ever had, basically. We were up in this studio in upstate New York, out in the woods. No disturbances, just hanging out there for a month. Just thinking about the record and how we wanted it to sound. It was a rare experience for me. Jurkiewicz: Now you’re The Color Fred. It’s your band. You’re the face of the band; you’re the only face of the band. Does that put any more pressure on you—that fact that you are the only one held responsible for the musical content? Mascherino: Well, it’s great because it’s my vision being realized. Everything from writing out the lyric sheets by hand, to coming up with the video concepts myself. But there is some pressure—if people don’t like it, I have no one to blame but myself. But any artist faces that challenge. I’m just trying to create something the best way I know how. Over the process as I had to make choices, I would always try to choose the thing that was truest, that would make this record as honest and real as it could be. And that’s the best you can do; so then you just go out, play it live, and hope that everything goes well.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Audiences Feel a Rush of Emotion Samantha Sullivan
As Tall As Lions Stays Productive Creates EP in Three Weeks Melissa Traynor
News Editor After having been on the road for almost seven months, the guys from As Tall As Lions weren’t about to have their time off spent unproductively. Shortly after they had arrived home in Long Island, New York in September, their label, Triple Crown Records, asked them to take on the project of creating an EP. Frontman Daniel Nigro remembered that they had easily accepted, but when Triple Crown later informed the band that the label expected to have the final copy in their hands three weeks later, the band had second thoughts. “At first we said no because we didn’t want to put out something that was half-assed, but we thought that if we really put our minds to it, then we could do it,” Nigro said. The band finished the EP in October. He said that while they weren’t allowed much time to write, ATAL was able to have material ready in two-and-a-half weeks and record for six days until they had assembled five cohesive songs for what is now Into the Flood, which was released Nov. 27. Nigro said that the band had taken whatever creative material each member had been working on in the past and pulled it all together for the EP, which resulted in a wide range of energy and sound. “Track three, ‘We’re the Ones That Keep You Warm At Night,’ has got a really dreamy feel to it. Track four, which Julio [Tavarez] wrote, is
definitely really intense and is kind of rhythmic, so you can definitely hear the different influences of the different people writing the song,” Nigro said. In contrast with their self-titled album—which required seven months of writing and two months recording—that came out in August of last year, the EP was a quick rush of impulse. “[The EP] was more about going with gut instincts and more with what we were feeling at the moment and trying not to over-think anything,” Nigro said. “Where we put a lot of time and effort into every single song and meticulously tracked every song on the self-titled, this was more of a raw feeling, vibey-type of thing for Into the Flood.” On ATAL’s Myspace.com page, the band has listed a paragraph’s worth of influential music, or recommendations for the fans, ranging from Led Zeppelin to Miles Davis with bands like Radiohead and the Police sprinkled throughout. “There’s music in there that I actually don’t listen to that could be some of Julio’s favorite artists and vice-versa,” Nigro said, but each musician brings his own creative energy into the mix and when they’re trying to write a song, they just let it go and watch it progress. “If I write a song, then Julio’s going to write the bass line for it. I’m not really sure where it’s coming from - what’s influencing his bass line,” he said, “but I know whether I like it or not. It’s not a matter of trying to get the influences to work together—it’s just kind of natural.”
So far ATAL has managed to stay sane and happy, which is something that Nigro and the guys pride themselves on. After having been together for five years, they continue to see the fun in being in a band and successfully challenge themselves to keep the music going. In terms of the success of their music, the band has seen much feedback on their singles, but there is a fair amount of attention focused on less well-known tracks. “One thing that excites me about our record is that we tend to get emails about songs on the record that aren’t singles,” Nigro said. “That to me is something that I think we’ve accomplished, which is to have a whole record be one piece of music, not just a couple of songs put together.” For now they’re on the road and will be making stops around New England in venues such as Toad’s Place in New Haven on Dec. 13, The Living Room in Providence, R.I. on Dec. 14 and The Palladium in Worcester, Mass. on Dec. 19. While they’re still on tour and have shows scheduled until March, the band is going to take whatever time they have available to get into writing more music. “It seems that more and more stuff is building up and prohibiting us from what we actually really want to do, which is write another record,” he said, “but we’re going to fight hard to find the time to make sure that we give ourselves the right amount of time to write it.”
Let me start off by saying that I cry easily, so it’s possible that everything that follows this disclaimer is merely the opinion of an overlyemotional, dramatic, teary-eyed 20-year-old girl. Having said that, August Rush made me cry – at least four times. The movie follows a young orphan boy named Evan Taylor, played by Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), who believes so strongly that music will reunite him with his biological parents that he leaves the orphanage where he grew up in order to pursue his dream: to have a family. He is met with many emotional obstacles along the way, but his willingness to learn and his talent for music brings him the courage and success he’ll need to survive in a cold New York City – it may even bring him one step closer to his parents. Highmore is an amazing little boy, and although his teeth are hugely disproportionate to his face, he is overall quite adorable. He is successful in hiding his natural British accent for the film, which is a skill some seasoned actors cannot say they have yet mastered; and although the film is extremely touch-
ing and sensitive, Highmore only shows his vulnerability at exactly the right moments. We can look forward to seeing this kid in The Spiderwick Chronicles - although I can’t actually say I’m looking forward to seeing that movie – as well as hearing him as the voice of Pantalaimon in the newly-released film The Golden Compass. Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers play his biological mother and father, a concert cellist and Irish rocker, respectively, whose deep commitment to music connect them to each other and to Evan in ways they could not have foreseen. Russell and Meyers depict two young musicians who struggle to maintain social lives and retain a sense of sanity in a world where they do not really know their true selves until they find each other. Each plays the part wonderfully, but what else would you expect from the loveable Felicity and the guy who played Elvis and King Henry VIII? From one sap to another, I recommend you see this film at least once. If it helps, my manly boyfriend loved it, too. And so did his mom, his sister and every other man and woman in the theater with us. I promise, I wasn’t the only one crying. Check it out.
I Am Legend:
A New Look at an Old Book Peter Collin
Sports Editor In recent years, a wave of films has come forth using the end of the world as a basis for a plot. Each one features a lone group of survivors who scrape together an existence in the aftermath of destruction. Usually the culprit of the downfall of humanity in these films is some sort of virus created by man. A litany of films such as 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead, Doom and Resident Evil has explored this theory as well as the soon-tobe-released movie, I Am Legend, a film based on the novel by the same name. What is different is the delivery. I Am Legend is one of the original forays into the apocalyptic genre. It is a unique story that develops from the singular point of view of Robert Neville (Will Smith), a lone survivor who is somehow immune to the virus that turns his neighbors into blood thirsty monsters. Struggling day to day to fend off nightly vampire attacks, Neville fights to maintain his sanity in a world of solitude. Within the novel, Neville travels about the city in the safety of daylight, collecting supplies and
learning, through observation and the local library, about the plague that left him alone. The film would seem to maintain this same basic premise with only some modifications to the original story. One of the changes from the novel is Neville’s profession. Gone is the Robert Neville of factory life and in is Neville the doctor, who studied the plague before it consumed the civilized world. Using his skills, he tries desperately to discover the root of the unknown infection. I Am Legend promises to be a journey that keeps you enthralled to the bitter end. Often movies of this genre gear the watcher to look at the pitfalls and the admirable traits of humanity while they are easy to observe in the small group dynamic. This film provides a whole new approach through the eyes of one. It may look like just another apocalyptic horror film that follows the classic mold, but I Am Legend has the ability to surprise. If you are into Stephen King horror flicks, this is a film you should give a chance. After all, horror novels like I Am Legend are what inspired greats like King into the world of fantasy-horror. I Am Legend hits theaters this Friday, Dec. 14.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
WEEK OF DECEMBER 12 MUSIC 12/13
The Receiving End of Sirens Toad’s Place / 6:30 p.m. / $12
TREOS is headlining this show despite the fact they are the second-best band playing. If you go to this show, go early and take a good look at As Tall As Lions, they are the band that will steal the show. Opening Band: As Tall As Lions 12/14
Webster Underground / 6 p.m. / $10 Put Your Ghost to Rest is 26-year-old Devine’s major label debut. These 12 songs, produced by Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck), represent a sharpening of Devine’s raw, evocative lyrics, and should help establish him as one of the leading songwriters of his generation.
FILM 12/12 - 12/15
The Darjeeling Limited Cinestudio / 7:30 p.m. / $7
I Am Legend
Wide Release A man-made virus called “KV” wipes out the population of New York City in 2009, leaving virologist Robert Neville (Will Smith) the last human survivor in the city and possibly the world. Neville lives alone for three years, attempting to contact and find other possible survivors. He is watched by nocturnal mutant victims of the plague. 12/16 - 12/18
It’s a Wonderful Life
Cinestudio / $7 If you’ve only seen Frank Capra’s film on the small screen, we promise a unexpected revelation - It’s A Wonderful Life is great film that looks amazing on celluloid, while at the same time asking serious questions about community and economic equity.
ART Through 12/13
Art Education Culminating Exhibition 2007
Maloney Hall / 4 p.m. / FREE This gallery opening represents the final projects by CCSU’s Art Education majors. As with every gallery opening, wine and refreshments will be served. Through 12/30
Pulp Art: The Robert Lesser Collection
One year after the death of their father in Manhattan, the eldest of three estranged brothers (Owen Wilson) bullies his sibs into taking a “bonding” road trip: through India, that is, on board the Darjeeling Limited. Wes Anderson’s new film is both funnier and more touching than his earlier works (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic), as this spiritual son to J. D. Salinger deftly reveals irony, eccentricity and melancholy in the WASP family unit. 12/14 – 12/15
Cinestudio / 7:30 p.m. / $7 Whether or not you spent a sizable chunk of your teen years looking for salvation in Joy Division’s addictive post-punk, Control stands as one of the best movies ever made about the combustible dynamics at the heart of a rockand-roll band. 12/14 – 12/20
What Would Jesus Buy?
Real Art Ways / $6.25 If you know about Reverend Billy (AKA Bill Talen) you’re in for a treat. If you don’t know about Reverend Billy then you’re also in for a treat. This subjective documentary produced by Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me) and directed by Rob VanAlkemade is a freewheeling hilarious look at what performance artist Billy does with his parody of an Evangelical self-made preacher man.
New Britain Museum of Modern Art Free for CCSU Students Robert Lesser began collecting pulp paintings, comic books, and comic-character toys in the 1950s. As a student at the University of Chicago, Lesser’s literature studies combined with his fascination with popular culture kindled his interest in studying and collecting pulp art and comic memorabilia. Lesser now owns 750 pulp paintings and an extensive collection of robots and space toys.
A background of natural and unnatural sounds accompanies a sensation of twilight, creating a contemplative, yet unsettling, atmosphere.
Real Art Ways / 11 a.m. / $5 Shadow Show includes work by 16 artists, many from Providence, Rhode Island and others from Connecticut and New York. The exhibition will explore a range of associations with the word and idea of “shadow.” Included will be work in which physical shadows either play an integral part, or the ideas of shadow, as in tail, trace, surveillance, mystery, memory and longing, are explored. The exhibition will work on multiple levels, addressing visual mystery, but also hidden systems in society.
Wadsworth Atheneum / $5 On April 4, 1968, the hope and fire of a people seemed to extinguish as tragic news of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination spread throughout the airwaves. During the Montgomery Bus Boycott of December 1955, Dr. King emerged as a key leader in the struggle for civil rights for the disenfranchised.
THEATRE 12/14, 12/15
The Last Five Years
Hole in the Wall Theater / 8 p.m. $20 Suggested Donation The Last Five Years is an intimate, two-person musical that chronicles the courtship, marriage and breakup of Jamie Wellerstein, a rising novelist, and Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress, in a new and unusual way: her story starts at the end of their relationship; his begins on the day they meet.
Nurtured in the arson-prone fatalism of Cleveland’s DIY scene, 23-year-old Joe Williams, noise-rock dilettante and White Williams’ mastermind, made a name for himself twice touring with Gregg Gillis (Girl Talk), Andrew Strasser, Frank Musarra (Hearts of Darknesses) and Luke Venezia (Drop the Lime). This dude is fucking amazing. 01/13
UNTIL OUR NEXT ISSUE JANUARY 23 MUSIC 12/19
The Space / 7 p.m. / $10 Girl-plus-guitar is a great formula if the girl is bold and interesting, and Allison Weiss certainly is. I don’t want to say she has maturity beyond her years because that would imply something much grayer than her sweet, direct sound. Opening Band: North of the Waterfront 12/28
Webster Theater / 3 p.m. / $12
Toad’s Place / 8 p.m. / $40 Emerging in 1993, when Dr. Dre’s G-funk had overtaken the hip-hop world, the Staten Island, NY-based Wu-Tang Clan proved to be the most revolutionary rap group of the mid-’90s -- and only partially because of their music.
Pulp Fiction Art: Cheap Thrills & Painted Nightmares
New Britain Museum of Modern Art FREE This is an extraordinary story of an often ostracized and misunderstood art form. Pulp fiction art exploded onto the American scene only to vanish so quickly that it was virtually erased from the collective consciousness. 12/28 – 12/30
Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten
On their 10th anniversary of playing, recording and touring, Catch 22 unleash a concept album called Permanent Revolution, using their horndriven, uber-catchy ska to explore the life of Leon Trotsky. Opening Band: Westbound Train
Real Art Ways / 7:30 p.m. / $7 From The Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle to Filth and Fury, from Absolute Beginners to Earth Girls Are Easy, Julien Temple has defined rock and pop with a sense of style and humor. His latest look at Clash lead singer and composer Joe Strummer is no exception. 01/18
Toad’s Place / 7 p.m. / $15 Long Island‘s latest export The Sleeping comes along to shake things up and insert sincerity and originality back into underground rock. Opening Band: Bedlight for Blue Eyes 01/11
The Mars Volta
Toad’s Place / 8 p.m. / $27.50
The Consumer Culture Garden
New Britain Museum of Modern Art Free for CCSU Students EAT, a collaboration of North Carolina-based artists, will be featuring its interactive installation, the Consumer Culture Garden. The Consumer Culture Garden features an interactive koi pond, where animated fish emblazoned with corporate logos swim in and out of view.
BAR (New Haven)
Martin Luther King Jr.: Life, Times and Legacy
Less is More
Through 1/4 New Britain Downtown District Visitors’ Center 117 West Main St. A collection of small works by selected artists, which includes Amy Belliveau, Nancy Brocket, Craig Frederick, Sean Gallagher and Paul Goebel. Inspiration and gifts for the holiday season.
The genesis of The Mars Volta’s new album The Bedlam in Goliath is one of the weirdest stories in the history of modern music, a tale of long-buried murder victims and their otherworldly influence, of strife and near collapse, of the long hard fight to push “the record that did not want to be born” out into the world.
Five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives.
Did we miss something? Know of an event we should list here? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Staff Writer It’s that time of year again, folks - the shoppers are out in full swing, the Christmas carolers have completely stopped caring, and Jack Frost is nipping at our nuts. But that cannot stop us from having a little fun here at The Recorder. If you are feeling stressed out about the holidays, just kick back and gain a little more understanding with this A-Z list of the holidays. It will help you in the long run.
the stair railing: check. Having your cat constantly terrorize the helpless villagers by uprooting their trees and sprawling out on their town green: check.
E - Egg Nog A
- Alvin and the Chipmunks
I am pretty sure that even if your entire family was unfortunately killed by a horde of bloodthirsty, rabid walruses while taking an otherwise harmless sightseeing trip to the Aleutian Islands, you would still be able to crack a smile while planning the funeral. Just pop in the 1958 classic subtitled “Christmas Don’t Be Late” by these furry fellas and make sure it’s closed casket.
B - Baby Jesus
What would the classic nativity scene be without the most famous little boy? Honestly, it would probably resemble the Bolivian countryside for the last 300 years: obnoxiously large families living amongst filthy animals and giving birth to their children in makeshift barns.
You would think that a drink that has the taste of melted ice cream and cookie dough batter would be extremely enjoyable. Unfortunately, it also has the consistency of the two aforementioned substances. Even the addition of some brandy does no justice to this thick drink; it just gives alcoholics a chance to be “festive.” Now go pass out naked underneath the Christmas tree.
F - Fruit Cake
The latest technological advancement for the armed forces overseas calls for the entire United States Army and Marine Corps to be equipped with blocks of fruit cake. In an interview with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, he was quoted as saying, “Nobody likes fruit cake. You give fruit cake to the relatives you would want to see get into a terrible car accident. Therefore, we feel that if we start throwing and leaving behind bricks of fruit cake against the Iraqi insurgents, they will finally get the hint that we are not fucking around.”
D - Decorating
Wreaths: check. Garland: check. Miniature village scene: check. Hitting your thumb with the hammer whilst hanging the wreath: check. Almost asphyxiating yourself with the garland while trying to make a nice spiral pattern down
Maybe one day they will find a cure for bi-polar disease. Until then, it’s always a gamble inviting Uncle Randy to Christmas dinner. Remember last year when he got so depressed that the Christmas ham was not honey roasted that he left and went to Boston Market? The Market always knows what is right for Randy.
J - Jingle Bells
- Gay Apparel
- New Year
There is no better way to usher in the New Year than getting completely hammered on beer and cheap champagne. Just make sure you pace yourself, you do not want to be staring at the back of the policeman’s head when the clock strikes midnight because you thought it would be a good idea to shit in your neighbors’ chimney and light their entire nativity scene on fire.
Jingle bells… Batman smells… Robin laid an egg. The Bat-mobile lost its wheel… and the Joker got away. Read that over a couple times. You know the tune. I am sure you have heard this popular playground prose. And I am also sure that whoever was the first kid to think of this was probably picked on something fierce, and if they are still alive today, he or she is locked in their basement playing World of Warcraft. Or sitting on one of the student center couches… playing World of Warcraft.
In 1966, Ron Karenga decided that since the month of February only has 28 days, opposed to its 30 and 31 day counterparts, it was not enough time to celebrate African heritage in the United States. He then decided to create a new holiday called Kwanzaa. Is it really that easy? If that is the case, then I declare August 1 through August 8 as national “hold your piss from dawn to dusk week.” C’mon, August sucks anyways. (Yes, I realize that the beginning of this joke is not chronologically correct.)
Take your pick. The undersized wool sweater with Frosty and his blizzard buddies on it that your aunt got you twice because her Alzheimer’s is so bad, or the lavender sweater-vest, turtle-neck hybrid with a rainbow-colored scarf and matching earmuffs. Don it! Don it I say!
Mistletoe is a yearly tradition in many households. When used properly, it provides for much cute entertainment amongst family members and significant others. However, it is a good thing that mistletoe is not indigenous to the South. They don’t need another reason to open mouth kiss their siblings.
K – Kwanzaa O
C - Chanukah
A beautiful time of dedication for the Jewish faith has been forever tainted by Adam Sandler’s abhorred tribute to this wonderful holiday. Yeah, we get it, you like being Jewish, but please spare our ears. I am getting offended just thinking about it. If I could, I would send seven Palestinians to his house and have them light themselves on fire in the front yard. Maybe then he would give us a break.
There is nothing like coming back to your warm house after a long, tumultuous semester in anticipation of the love you had been receiving your entire life, only to find that your room has now been rented out to a mildly retarded Cambodian exchange student named Thong. The only thing I could think about was how this kid could have been an exchange student doesn’t that mean there have to be schools over there?
reindeer systematically bob their heads up and down as they graze upon the lawn. The outline of the house flashes a myriad of colors. It is all quite festive. Here is the catch: it’s fucking July. Take them down already.
L - Lights
There is nothing more beautiful than driving by an array of lights on a clear evening. The sensation of Christmas is all around. The mechanical
- Out of Money
So you trek to Nordstrom to peep that Longchamp tote bag that the girl you are “kinda talking to” says she wants. You get there and realize that this “bag” is just a $115 piece of windbreaker jacket with a zipper and a button and a designer label name on it. You stare blankly at it for a couple of seconds, pull out your American Express card, let out a deep sigh and walk away hastily before you lose that small amount of self respect you still have left.
Every year without fail there is one relative that brings over that giant tub of popcorn with
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
like 755 different flavors as a “community gift” for the family. You think it is festive; we think you should start looking for other relatives to mooch off of, you cheap bastard.
Q - Quilt
When the weather outside gets frightful and you can’t seem to get the fire to be delightful, you need three things and three things fast: a warm quilt, a fifth of jack and a good porno. God I hate the holidays.
R - Rudolph
Rudolph is cute. He is a role model for all the underdogs in the world. That does not explain the obnoxious amount of times I have to sit through back-to-back to back viewings of this terribly animated cartoon. In my opinion, Frosty is much more badass and inspiring than some gimpy fawn. A magical snowman, are you kidding me?
It is a little known fact that on Christmas Eve, 1981, Rudolph came down with a severe case of the reindeer flu. He was forced to rehabilitate in the back of Santa’s sleigh and Vixen picked up the slack for the rest of the herd and led the way. Thanks Vixen, you saved Christmas. Where’s your song? Savages.
Leaves and Pages:
Where Everyone Knows Your Name
- Wintry Mix
Snow? Sleet? Freezing Rain? Ice? Nor’easter? You get paid a healthy salary and the best you can come up with is… “Wintry Mix?” I should major in meteorology and become a weatherperson. From April to November I will forecast “Partly sunny with a chance of rain.” And from December to March I will forecast, “A chance of a wintry mix.”
- XBox 360
If you do not already have one, there is a good chance one of these $400 pieces of machinery that provides endless amounts of fun is on your list to Santa. And if not, why don’t you try removing the Wiimote from your ass, you Wiitard.
S - Salvation Army Y I know it feels terrible to walk by the delinquents who are serving their community service by jingling their bells without dropping a single penny into their red cans, but hey, I’ve got better things to do – like buy a hooker and wipe her ass with 20 dollar bills. Merry Christmas.
- Yule Log
Grab that tub of popcorn that Uncle Jim brought over (I swear this is the last time we invite him) because its time to curl up in front of that nice, warm, television. Well, maybe you find this exhilarating. I, on the other hand, would rather watch a thousand cats simultaneously do that rhythmic dry heave motion before they throw up than watch a piece of wood burn on my television.
Stephanie Bergeron / The Recorder Dan collin
special to the recorder
To most American families who could care less about the real meaning of Christmas, the true poster-child of this fantastic holiday is the tree. Find the perfect one, stand it up in your living room, decorate it with amazing care, leave it up until Easter, you know, that holiday that is all about bunnies, eggs and candy. Jesus who?
It starts the day after Thanksgiving and doesn’t stop until after the New Year. If you have ever been to a mall within this span of time, there is a good chance you have uttered the phrase, “This place is a fucking zoo.” Here is my suggestion: let loose real, wild animals in the malls. If you hated the hectic shopping experience before, imagine trying to pick out that perfect Abercrombie shirt with an actual moose staring at you. Even he thinks 60 bucks for a pair of PJs is too much. ILLUSTRATIONS BY: KARYN DANFORTH
- Unwrapping gifts
Attention everyone: Another Christmas means another year to put on your best “God this present makes me want to stab myself in the eye with an icicle, but I’ll look like a complete selfish jackass if I frown” smile. Yeah this star you named after me is nice, grandma, but does it play blue ray discs? Didn’t think so.
During these trying times, it seems that customer/proprietor relationships grow more and more impersonal by the day. Decades ago, when Connecticut downtowns were thriving, a Saturday spent shopping might include a conversation with your butcher or haberdasher. Now it almost certainly involves traffic on the way to the mall, fighting for a parking spot and an impersonal—if not adversarial—exchange with a clerk at the Gap. In life, it is extremely important for each of us to find at least one place—one business—where we can extend our patronage and feel welcome when so many other places give us the cold shoulder. Leaves and Pages, a café and bookstore in New Britain, is just that place. For the past two or three years, Leaves and Pages has been one of my favorite stops before work. The faces have stayed the same and the conversations flow. The owners and sole employees are Arlene Palmer and her husband, Dan. Prior to opening the shop, Arlene was the curator of the local history room at the New Britain Public Library. She has also written two books detailing the history of the city and its inhabitants in the wellknown Images of America series. The books are available for purchase right in the coffee shop. The book selection at Leaves and Pages is somewhat of a mixed bag. It is, in general, not the sort of place where a person goes looking for a specific book, but therein lies the joy of going to a used bookstore such as this. You need to spend some time poking around the stacks. With that being said, if you’re looking for a specific book on King Arthur, Leaves and Pages boasts an entire side room devoted to Arthurian literature. It’s a rare find, in-
deed. The food and drink selection is pretty no-nonsense. There is not an espresso machine or milk steaming apparatus on the premises. However, there is a daily offering of up to 10 varieties of Green Mountain Coffee, including any standard flavors one might expect such as French Vanilla and Hazelnut, as well as seasonal selections. Many of these coffees are also fair trade – not bad for the conscience. Although Green Mountain can be purchased at many convenience stores as well, it is quality stuff. If you’re a frequent customer, you can get a drink card that allows you to get a free hot beverage after the purchase of six cups. Other drink choices include any kind of tea you might imagine, in addition to hot chocolate and locally made soda from Avery’s in New Britain. The food, like the coffee, is self-service. Near the coffee station is a shelf with a rotating selection of muffins, bagels and pastries. Dan will happily toast your bagel and smear it with peanut butter, cream cheese or butter if you ask him. In spite of the simplicity of the fare or perhaps because of it, Leaves and Pages’ business is brisk in the morning. You’ll find workers from city hall, parking enforcement officers, policemen and all sorts of other folks coming in and out. The refreshing part is that everyone seems to know each other. It’s the kind of place where you can say “put it on my tab” and mean it in all seriousness. The feeling you get harkens back to a time when business owners knew their clientele and the line between customer and friend was often blurred until it just disappeared. Leaves and Pages is located at 59 West Main St. in New Britain. It is open Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., with special Saturday hours during the winter.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Holiday Lighting Dos and Don’ts Stephanie Bergeron
Lifestyles Editor In the world of holiday lights, not everyone can make the cut. Usually people give up before they are done, or they just shit out lights and call it magical. Sometimes you find
a diamond in the rough, but chances are their neighbors ruin it for them with an army of blowup dolls on their front porch. No matter what, though, the New Britain area always keeps it real, even when you’d rather not look.
Even if Connecticut had weather like Florida right now, your decorations would still make me want to gouge my eyes out. Palm trees and pink flamingoes have no association with Christmas, nor will they ever. If you are depressed about the cold weather and feel as though palm trees are the only way to get you through the season, at least keep them indoors and spare the rest of us a seizure. I wish you weren’t such a cluster fuck.
When blowup dolls are almost bigger than your house, I want to gun them down while sugar plums dance over your head.
Chances are, your holiday braille messages will not be seen.
Do keep it simple. Less is more, and always classy. Spotlights are always an alternative route to the stringed lights and, when installed at the right angles, a great way to go.
They made net lights so idiots like you could get it right, and now you go and catapult them onto a bush and call it a day? Next year, consider placing them so they cover your bushes evenly, maybe then you wouldn’t end up in the Recorder, displaying your piss-poor decorating skills for all to see. Photos by Stephanie Bergeron / The Recorder
Go big or go home. If you are going to test your fate by decorating a ginormous tree at least finish it, or else your neighbors will call you pussies.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The Recorder’s Holiday Gift Guide For Her:
Classic SD Swiss Army Knife $16.50 / Victorinox. Includes a small blade, scissors, a nail file with a screwdriver tip, a toothpick and tweezers.
Nintendo DS Lite Gold $149.99 / Anywhere electronics are sold. Comes with The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, which is a great start to a DS library.
Scoodie $40 / tobi.com
Juicy Couture ‘Dirty Glam’ Bracelet $128 / Nordstrom’s
D Collection Hooded Blazer $140 / Urban Outfitters
Planet Earth The Complete BBC Series $79.98 / Anywhere electronics are sold
Forget Me Knot Ring $50 / elsewares.com
The Perry Bible Fellowship: The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories $14.95 / Book stores The brilliantly drawn comics by Nicholas Gurewitch, in book form.
Baggu Reusable Shopping Bags $8 for 1 or $22 for 3 / baggubag.com They come in 14 different colors such as peacock, saffron, and smoke. One Baggu bag holds the contents of two to three normal grocery bags.
Nooka Zub $135 / nooka.com
Feast of Fools $14. 99 / Package stores Magic Hat’s winter variety pack
Air Jordan Retro 1 Low $69.99 - $90 / nike.com
Clocky thinkgeek.com / $49.99 This clock gives you one chance to wake up. The second time the alarm goes off it runs right off your nightstand and wheels itself around your room, forcing you to get up.
The Larue Vest karmaloop.com / $44
Most people automatically associate Magic Hat with their fruity apricot-based #9. To some peoples’ surprise, Magic Hat actually offers over a dozen beers, including a seasonal selection called “Feast of Fools,” which includes Odd Notion, their version of a winter beer. While this is the beer I have had the least of in all the reviews I’ve done, I feel it was the weakest one. While most winter-based beers try to have a strong scent or flavor to evoke the feeling of Christmas and the winter season, Odd Notion comes off as a beer that could be released any time during the year and it would do the same thing for people. While it is on the darker side – a common-point between most cold weather ales – Odd Notion has a red hue when poured out and drinks lighter than all the other beers I have come across this season. I think it would actually fare a lot better as a fall beer when lighter, weaker beers prevail. The scent of the beer is actually more exciting than the overall taste due the rich aroma of chocolate, plum and a hint of banana. Something that Magic Hat does better than any other brewing company is mixing in fruit to their beers, but maintaining the maturity of the beer and not making it too feminine where guys feel embarrassed drinking it. The flavor of the beer becomes a bit overwhelming with all the different, contrasting tastes, including toffee, chocolate, banana and hints of peanuts. While I enjoy all of these flavors separately, they are terrible together. Though they missed the mark on Odd Notion, Magic Hat still makes a great beer; whether it be their summer ale Hocus Pocus or their year-around Hefeweizen ale Circus Boy, both are great pick-ups if you are the package store looking for a new brew. If you are looking for a seasonal in the same vein as Odd Notion, seek out Sam Adams’ Dunkelweizen labeled Sample B or their Old Fezziwig Ale, which is available in most decent packies. While the beer I reviewed the last three issues aren’t for everyone, I definitely suggest going out there and trying something different during winter break and expanding your horizons when it comes to having a drink. Try different kinds of beer that you wouldn’t normally have; who knows, you might find your new favorite - I know I did.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Staff Writer Never once has a single restaurant represented flavors from all over the Mediterranean better than Mediza – a small yet up-scale restaurant located at 35B LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center. The intimate and inviting restaurant allows patrons to sample some of the most diverse tastes of the Mediterranean without ever having to fly to the South of France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco or the Middle East. It is one of West Hartford Center’s most colorful culinary playgrounds, where creativity is infused in everything from the presentation to the servers’ attire. Mediza is a long and narrow dining chamber where elbow-rubbing is inevitable. Dimly lit and hung with dark green velvet curtains, the décor creates a relaxed atmosphere that makes you feel at home. The servers are downright friendly and boast black t-shirts that read “Obsession” on the back and “Chocolate” on the front in white letters. I first became interested in visiting Mediza when dining at a restaurant directly across the street. The restaurant’s sign alone was enough to lure me. The medieval-like font of the electric blue lettering and the glowing moon set above a white palace featured in the design reminded me of a serene Arabian night in Aladdin’s cave. At first, the place struck me as Middle Eastern, but I came to find that the food was more eclectic than that. We browsed the menu of a host of small plate, salad, grilled flatbread, shish kebab, large plate, sides and Mediterranean a la carte grill offerings, finding it difficult to decide which country we wanted to visit first. To keep things in our realm of comfort, we decided to begin our journey into the Mediterranean with an all too familiar Middle Eastern appetizer called the Mediza Sampler. The sampler is a plate of baba ghanoush – eggplant hummus sprinkled with olive oil and colored with sun-dried tomatoes; Hoomoos, which is actually chickpea hummus but spelled as it is in Israel; tahini – ground sesame seed dip made of hulled, lightly roasted seeds that is commonly offered in Arab and Israeli restaurants; and falafel – a small fried, crispy ball of spiced chickpeas. Falafel is another very popular food in the Arab East as well as Israel, where it is regarded as a national food. The Mediza Sampler is accompanied by a plate full of warm, puffy house-made pita rounds. This is a highly recommended starter for those looking to be immediately introduced into the enchanting Mediterranean world. Our next destination was Morocco. The culinary star of North Africa, Morocco is the doorway between Europe and Africa. The food is a perfect combination of European and Arabian influences, so we began our trip with Moroccan cigars. Like most Moroccan food, the Moroccan cigars are aromatic with subtle spices and include ground beef and lamb rolled in a thin, phyllo pastry that is served with tahini. This was our first time sampling Moroccan food, but it certainly would not be our last. We were also lucky enough to enjoy the pleasing mix of textures and flavors in the artfully arranged portabella tower. Some of the most tangy and tasty entrées include the Mediza paella and the chicken tangine with preserved lemons. Paella is one of the most famous Spanish dishes and is a compilation of shrimp, clams, Price Edward Island mussels, calamari and chorizo with saffron rice. Instead of being the classic stew, Mediza’s version of the chicken tangine was a small, roasted half-chicken served in the traditional, Moroccan earthenware dish with a cone-shaped cover. Mediza is the first place I have encountered that serves couscous – coarsely ground semolina pasta that hails from many North African countries. The dish was definitely a savory and satisfying plate of contemporary flavors worth trying. Mediza offers some of the most varied dishes which have evolved over the centuries to perfection. Each dish is precisely and skillfully prepared to create a distinct, individual flavor. The restaurant yields proof that each flavor of the Mediterranean is unique. What better way to travel to your most desired Mediterranean country than to visit Mediza? Photos by Stephanie Bergeron / The Recorder
Published on Sep 12, 2009
ENTERTAINMENT The A-Zs of the Holidays - Page 20 Mark roWan SPORTS Class of the Conference - Page 8 news editor news editor of unique situat...