VOLUME 102, ISSUE 32
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
NOVEMBER 6, 2012
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A brewed awakening
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FUN FUN FUN
Rule restricts early tenure application By Natalie Berko News Reporter
Photos by Austin Humphreys, Photo Editor
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
I felt kind of like I was going to puke, but I looked at him and said ‘yes.’ We kissed, and he picked me up, and everyone was clapping.” — Chrissy Abbott, fianceé of Jake Masters Run DMC
Chrissy Abbott and Jake Masters
Texas State faculty will soon face new requirements in order to achieve higher positions at the university. A new policy and procedure statement will go into effect next fall. The policy states faculty members who have “truly outstanding” records, and only in exceptional cases, may apply for early tenure before the end of a six-year probationary period. Associate Provost Cynthia Opheim said the change was made after almost one-third of faculty members were going up for early tenure this year. Faculty seeking tenure will have to face external review beginning next fall. A tenured faculty member has achieved a secure position with the university, which is only granted after a six-year probationary period. This type of promotion automatically comes with a significant salary increase. Once assistant professors complete a six-year probationary period, they become tenured and promoted to associate professors. A faculty member may be eligible for promotion to professor after being ranked as an associate professor for at least five years, Opheim said. Opheim said tenured professors achieve a more secure status in their careers. However, tenure does not fully protect them from losing their jobs. “(Faculty) can always be fired, but it has to be for really gross malfeasance,” Opheim said. Michael Hennessy, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said he thinks younger faculty who feel ready to receive early tenure will find this change most troublesome. “I think that the administration would like to see people waiting the full time for them to get to know us and for us to get to know them before they stand for tenure,” Hennessy said. Opheim said she thinks the biggest change to the policy is the addition of external review. Associate professors will have to send their work to experts
READ TENURE, PAGE 3
Suspects face charges READ THE FULL STORY, PAGE 5
Professor develops eye tracking technology By Andrew Osegi News Reporter A Texas State faculty member is researching ways to apply the unique nature of human eye movement to computer technology. Oleg Komogortsev, assistant professor in the College of Science and Engineering, said eyemovement behavior is unique to every individual and difficult to replicate. Komogortsev’s research is based on ocular biometrics, the practice of observing human behavior through the eyes. The results could eventually be used by governmental agencies for identification purposes and by doctors during the diagnostic process. “My goal, with help of student researchers here at Texas State, is to develop eye tracking technology that communicates with computer systems using the human eye,” Komogortsev said. Komogortsev said the field of ocular biometrics is in its infancy, but the potential is limitless. The research Komogortsev
is developing can be used in the medical field to identify eye movements associated with concussion and traumatic brain injury patients. The research will help doctors reach a diagnosis more quickly. Human-computer interaction is another realm in which Komogortsev’s research can be applied. Komogortsev’s software is able to calibrate where a person’s eyes are looking on a computer screen during his video game called Balura. During a game of Balura, users must first allow the software to record and calculate the eye movement as they watch a computer screen. The software recognizes where the user’s line of sight is directed and signals an input command so the game can be played using only the eyes. Players are asked to pop red balloons in a field of blue balloons using their focused eyesight. Corey Holland, computer science masters student, said the research being conducted by Komogortsev will expand a “largely unexplored” branch of the ocular biometric field. The
Sonja Burton, Staff Photographer
Oleg Komogortsev, assistant professor with the College of Science and Engineering, works with an eye tracking system that allows users a handsfree computer interface. research will advance understanding of the traits of the human visual system. Holland won the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in June for his work in developing ocular
biometrics, which Komogortsev supervised. Komogortsev teaches computer sciences courses in addition to conducting and super-
READ EYE, PAGE 3
By Megan Carthel News Reporter The woman who is facing charges for the Oct. 18 bomb threat against Texas State has been transported from Brazos County to Hays County jail. Brittany Nicole Henderson, 19, had been held in the Brazos County Jail since Oct. 23, according to a Bryan-College Station Eagle article. She was then moved to the Hays County Law Enforcement Center. According to the article, Henderson is no longer a person of interest in the Oct. 19 Texas A&M bomb threat. Dereon Kelley, a 22-year-old man believed to be Henderson’s exboyfriend, was arrested in conjunction with the case, according to Lt. Allan Baron with Texas A&M University Police Department. Kelley was arrested and charged Nov. 1 with making a terroristic threat. Kelley’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney S. Mark McIntyre. Kelley allegedly used Henderson’s email account to send the Texas A&M bomb threat, according to the article. If Kelley is convicted, he faces a possible fine of $250,000 and up to 10 years in federal prison. Henderson is facing three counts of a terroristic threat and three counts of false alarm for the Texas State bomb threat.
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CRIME ON THIS BLOTTER Oct. 29, 12:23 a.m. Sterry Hall Minor in possession of alcohol Two students were cited for minor in possession of alcohol. This case is under judicial review.
DAY IN HISTORY
Oct. 29, 5:00 p.m. Matthew Street Garage Failure to comply and striking an unattended vehicle A student reported their vehicle was damaged while legally parked. This case is under investigation.
1854 – John Philip Sousa, the king of American march music, was born in Washington, D.C.
Oct. 30, 8:00 a.m. Coliseum Parking Lot Burglary Students reported their personal property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation.
1913 – Mohandas K. Gandhi was arrested as he led a march of Indian miners in South Africa.
Oct. 30, 8:58 p.m. Recycling Center Possession of marijuana A student was arrested for possession of marijuana and transported to Hays County Law Enforcement Center to await a trial. Oct. 31, 7:00 a.m. Speck Parking Lot Failure to comply and striking an unattended vehicle A student reported their vehicle was damaged while legally parked. This case is under investigation.
1887 – Baseball Hall of Famer Walter Johnson was born in Humboldt, Kansas.
1928 – Republican Herbert Hoover was elected president over Democrat Alfred E. Smith. 1956 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower won a second term by besting Democrat Adlai E. Stevenson at the polls. 1995 – Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell announced plans to move the team to Baltimore. 2001 – Billionaire Republican Michael Bloomberg was elected New York City mayor. -Courtesy of the New York Times
—Courtesy of University Police Department
John Casares, Staff Photographer
Justin Torres, author of “We the Animals,” gives a reading at The Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center Oct 2.
A Nov. 1 University Star article “Housing issue divides campaign funds” should have stated Lisa Prewitt is not active in Protect San Marcos. The University Star regrets this error.
Photographer speaks at Wittliff Collections triple event The Wittliff Collections welcome photographer Kate Breakey Nov. 10 at 7:00 p.m. for a special triple event: an exhibition reception, “artist talk,” and book launch. Admission is free, and students are encouraged to attend—especially those who have written about her work for class. The evening celebrates her latest work on view at the Wittliff, “Las Sombras/The Shadows,” much of which has just been published by the University of Texas Press in the Wittliff’s Southwestern & Mexican Photography series. Anyone who has visited the Wittliff this semester has experienced being surrounded by Breakey’s luminous silhouettes of creatures large and small. Among them are coyotes and an armadillo, a horned lizard and hummingbirds, a turkey vulture, quail, a fox and skunk, antelope jackrabbits, several species of snake, an eagle in full wingspan, a tiny bark scorpion and of course, a bobcat. Over 200 images of southwestern animals and plants make up one of the most enthralling exhibitions ever presented by the Wittliff. Breakey makes pictures, called contact prints or photograms, the old-fashioned way—in a dark-
room without a camera. She compassionately poses her subjects on photographic paper, exposes them to light and then develops the prints, which are literally life-sized shadows. Some, like the coyotes and javelina, are so large that she has to use a child’s wading pool as her developing tray. The exhibition reception begins at 7:00 p.m. with a light buffet and cash bar. The 7:30 p.m. program will include a speech by Breakey about her photograms and her new series, “Creatures of Light and Darkness.” The program will also include remarks by essayist and poet Lia Purpura, who wrote the introduction to “Las Sombras/The Shadows.” An audience Q&A and book signing will follow. Unavailable in bookstores until late December, advance copies of “Las Sombras/The Shadows” will be on sale at this event. The Wittliff Collections are on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State. Attendees are asked to RSVP to email@example.com and will receive a keepsake nametag. —Courtesy of Michele Miller
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outside of the university for evaluation in order to be awarded full professor status. She said the external review change is due to Texas State’s new status as an emerging research institution. “Now that we are an emerging research university we are looking closely at our standards,” Opheim said. “We want to make sure that we are in line with other research universities.” The College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science and Engineering already require their faculty to be externally reviewed before being promoted from associate professor to professor. Stephen Seidman, dean of the College of Science and Engineering, said it is especially important for candidates
up for full professor status to be externally reviewed. The candidates should be recognized leaders in their fields. “Basically, you want to see how the candidate is seen in this profession,” Seidman said. Hennessy said he thinks faculty members will appreciate the quality of their work is being verified outside of the university. Opheim said she does not think these changes are going to affect faculty members because many of them already have national reputations. “We have a lot of people really doing a lot of great work, and I think it will just kind of be a confirmation of that,” Opheim said.
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Plane crash near San Marcos takes one life By Megan Carthel News Reporter A twin-engine plane crashed on the southeast corner of the federal Gary Jobs Corps in Caldwell County, resulting in one death Thursday, Nov. 1. The plane was carrying one passenger, the pilot, who died in the crash. The pilot is identified as a 65-year-old male from North Dakota who was test flying the plane from the San Marcos municipal airport. He was in route back to the airport when the plane crashed. Officials were notified about the crash at 6:09 a.m. Robbie Barrera, Department of Public Safety trooper, said no witnesses saw the plane
crash, but did see a fire burning around the area. The plane itself was not on fire. According to a WOAI article, the Cessna aircraft burned on impact about a mile outside of the San Marcos airport. Officials are still working to find a cause as to why the plane crashed. The investigation has been turned over to the FAA office in San Antonio and the National Safety Transportation Board. Elizabeth Cory, external relations for the FAA, said investigators will be looking into areas of flight safety, including design, certification and maintenance of the aircraft, training and certification of the pilot and whether rules of flight were followed.
Peer review board assesses violations By Hannah Mills News Reporter Students cited for residence hall policy violations may face consequences determined by a group of their peers. The Residential Life Peer Review Board consists of 10 students who make decisions based on cases and testimonies involving violations of their peers living in residence halls. Amanda Hamilton, graduate research assistant for student conduct, said the board has hearings twice a week—Monday and Thursday— where four to six of the 10 justices hear cases. Sean Fickle, applied sociology sophomore and Bobcat Village resident, was cited by a resident assistant for violating the tobacco ban by smoking on his apartment porch. Cases such as his are heard either by the peer review board or residence hall directors, according to the Texas State Residence Life Judicial Process. Hamilton said the peer review board is able to assess anything hall directors hear, such as noise and alcohol violations. Fickle said he signed an agreement that prohibits students from smoking within 20 feet of an apartment complex door when he moved into Bobcat Village. In spite of the policy, Fickle was caught smoking on his porch by a resident assistant. Fickle met with Bobcat Village’s residence director and gave his testimony. Fickle said he was told not to violate the policy again. Students can be given community service hours and will undergo additional punishments if caught violating policies again. Fickle was caught violating the smoking policy a second time and chose not to attend his scheduled meeting with the residence director. “I didn’t go the second time, and (an email) said they would make a decision despite my absence,” Fickle said. Alcohol violations, usually involving a group of students, are the most common cases brought to the peer review board. Hamilton said students are required to go to an alcohol awareness class if they are caught drinking alcohol on campus. When a student is brought before the peer review board, the experience is educational, Hamilton said. She said the board does not issue fines because the goal is to keep students in school. “Decisions are made completely by the students on the peer review board,” Hamilton said. “Students make decisions based on ‘If they were in the same shoes as the other student, how would they want to be treated?’” Students must go through an application process and a day of training before becoming a justice on the peer review board. Students selected to serve on the board must sign a contract of confidentiality, Hamilton said. Amanda Jackson, criminal justice sophomore, serves on the peer review board. Jackson said she went through a face-to-face interview and a day of training consisting of mock cases and learning rules. Jackson said she attends peer review board meetings for a couple of hours one day a week. The number of cases the board hears each day varies between one and three. Students take the board seriously and realize punishments given by the board are fair, Hamilton said. “I’ve never had a student question that they are being heard by their peers,” Hamilton said. “They understand that this is a legitimate thing.” Jackson said it is more beneficial for a student to be reviewed by peers rather than someone higher up. Fickle said being reviewed by peers for his violation is fair because they are more likely to be empathetic toward the students being reviewed. “I feel like students are more understanding and lenient,” Fickle said.
Sonja Burton, Staff Photographer
Oleg Komogortsev, assistant professor with the College of Science and Engineering, uses webcam technology to develop eye tracking for computer usage. vising the research. Komogortsev said a large part of his success is due to being able to “teach what he researches,” and students play a critical role in that work. Joe Moorman, electrical engineer senior, said he was a member of a threeperson design group from the College of Science and Engineering that contributed in January 2012 to Komogortsev’s research. Moorman and the design group worked to create hardware and software platforms for eye data collection and analysis at lower costs than commercially available. Eye tracking technology can cost thou-
sands of dollars, but the design group created iris recognition devices from $20 webcams, Komogortsev said. People who wish to use the technology only need to buy the corresponding eye tracking software, as the devices are readily available. “Dr. Komogortsev has high expectations for those who work with him,” Moorman said. “He offers excellent opportunities to be part of an important field of research and development. I don’t graduate until May 2013, but I hope to continue to work with him after the end of the current project.”
4 | Tuesday November 6, 2012 | The University Star
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Title IX needs more support
By Ravi Venkataraman Opinions Columnist
Lara Shine, Star Illustrator
Students should participate in elections
tudents need to head to the polls and make voting a priority on Election Day. It is important for students to show they care about making an impact on the election by voting in the presidential and local official races. Students need to be knowledgeable about the races and the candidates who are running for office. Although the president will be the figurehead of the country, local officials make decisions that directly affect students’ everyday lives within San Marcos. Therefore, it is essential to stay educated on each candidate’s platform. The editorial board hopes students and residents are staying informed on local politics. The mayoral race candidates include incumbent Daniel Guerrero and challenger Thom Prentice. In addition, the city council Place 5 race features incumbent Ryan Thomason and candidate Melissa Derrick. Furthermore, the race for city council Place 6 includes incumbent Shane Scott and opponent Greg Frank. These candidates hold varying views on the topics of single- and multi-family housing, the environ-
ment and infrastructure development within the city. There are also three non-binding propositions on the ballot to allow voters to pick their stances on the acquisition of additional parkland at Cape’s Camp. The editorial board commends the students who took advantage of early voting Oct. 22 through Oct. 25 on campus. According to a Sept. 5 University Star article, the county spent $2,000 to staff the early voting polls. Students form a large portion of the city’s population so their votes will play a significant role in who comprises the city council for the next two years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau website, youths aged 18 to 24 make up 21 percent of the voting population in the country, which is 28.9 million potential ballot casters. Young voters can be a deciding factor in all of the election races. According to the same website, only 21 percent of the eligible young voters cast a ballot in the 2010 congressional election. By registering, many students had already taken one of the hardest steps, yet some did not fulfill their right to vote. There are 13 different polling stations across San Marcos depending
on which precinct voters are registered in. On Election Day, residents and students who have not taken advantage of early voting must cast ballots in a designated polling place based on their residence because of the large predicted turnout. Students should be concerned about all of the officials up for election on the ballot this year. Presidential, senatorial and congressional elections, in addition to the local races, are all very important to the makeup of government. The elections are significant to what ultimately can be done in Washington, D.C. in the next two to four years. Voting is a crucial part of any American’s life. Those in powerful government positions, from Hays County to the White House, will influence what goes on in students’ lives. It seems dishonorable to be an adult in this country and not exercise the right to vote. Those voting rights have been fought for and protected for more than 200 years. Each and every vote is important. Students should make sure they leave an everlasting impact on the election Nov. 6 by heading to the polls.
The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University-San Marcos Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University-San Marcos.
lthough laws and programs such as Title IX may help bridge the equality gap between men and women at schools, much more can be done to reduce gender inequality for college graduates. Some of the foundations for Title IX and equal opportunity in education arose from Texas State. Years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Higher Education Act of 1965 while visiting the university. President Richard Nixon followed suit in 1972 with gender equality and signed Title IX into action as part of the Education Amendments Act. Title IX states a person cannot be discriminated against on the basis of sex in any educational club or activity that receives federal financial assistance. The installation of Title IX and its progress over the past 40 years is incredible. One of the reasons U.S. female athletes are able to compete at the Olympics is an increase in women’s opportunities and equality. According to a June 25 Daily Beast article, U.S. female Olympians have been referred to as “Title IX babies.” Title IX has a resounding impact on women’s athletics from college-level competitors to an Olympic scale. Recently, Texas State officials decided to take measures toward improving equal-representation issues. According to an Oct. 31 University Star article, a committee was created to address gender equality and sex discrimination within the institution. Title IX plays an important role in enabling education to be more accessible to women. Furthermore, Title IX gives women the chance to flourish in some largely male-dominated careers or high-ranking jobs. Significant strides have been made in recent years to help combat the gender gap. According to an Oct. 24 Huffington Post article, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 increases the ways in which female workers can sue employers for equal salaries. According to the same article, women since 2010 have obtained more than $60 million for sex-based wage discrimination because of help from the act. According to the same Oct. 24 article, economist Heidi Hartmann estimates equal wages could stimulate an increase in the economy by three to four percentage points. Politicians have been keying in on this untapped economic potential, but the gap still remains. Despite the positive effects of Title IX and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, women have historically been underrepresented in a variety of areas including power positions. According to an Oct. 24 Bloomberg Businessweek article, women make up 17 percent of Congress. According to the same article, women hold 20 percent of the political power on a global scale. Although Title IX has been instrumental in prompting gender equality, there is always room for greater improvement. In the workplace the sexes are still distanced, and payment differences begin as early as the first year after college graduation. According to a 2009 study by the American Association of University Women, female workers with full-time careers in their first year out of college received an average of 82 percent of what their male counterparts earned. According to a Nov. 1 Houston Chronicle article, women earn about 18 cents less per dollar than men in Texas, which ranked 12th for pay gaps across the nation. In all, women need to continue to fight for equal pay and opportunities. Title IX benefits should be more greatly embraced and carried out from universities to the post-college workplace. It is not enough to be pleased with the progress of Title IX over the past 40 years. Representation and active involvement in policymaking are also necessary. — Ravi Venkataraman is a creative writing masters student.
Bobcats must cast their ballots
By Christian Penichet-Paul Opinions Columnist
exas State students should participate in the electoral process by showing up at the polls Nov. 6 and casting their votes. Participation is an integral part of any true democracy. However, young voters oftentimes turn out to vote at a lower rate when compared to other age groups. According to 2008 election statistics from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, voters over the age of 30 turned out at a rate of about 67 percent. The statistics say 51 percent of eligible voters age 18 to 29 cast their ballots. Although youth-voter turnout has increased by two percentage points from the 2004 election, students must continue to increase their participation. Young voters must be active participants in the political process to enable a democracy to properly function. Every eligible voter has the civic duty to show up at the booth and cast a ballot. Otherwise, the purpose of having a democracy is essentially defeated. The history of America coincides with the expansion of suffrage. The hard work of those who labored to expand suffrage to all men, minorities, women and, more recently, young voters, is done a disservice by apathy. Politics might be spiteful or discouraging, but students should not be dispirited.
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Democracy requires the participation of all people, including the youth. A perception by some students is that one vote does not count. In truth, every vote counts. One vote might not determine the difference between candidates in a major election, but it could sway a local race. Local races impact voters at home the most. In bigger contests, like a gubernatorial election, one vote might not matter in itself, but the collection of many different votes from a group of people does matter. Students should also vote in presidential elections, even if they feel unsure about the Electoral College leaning heavily to one party. The presidency defines the federal government. Students must vote in presidential elections to bring their concerns into the national spotlight. Additionally, students should vote to have a say in many of the most important current and future national issues. The issue of protecting reproductive rights is important for many young voters. However, if young voters do not vote, their opinions on the matter will not be heard. Young voters will likely live longer than older voters. Traditional students have more to lose or gain from selecting a candidate in the electoral process. The concerns over climate change and the national financial deficit will also impact young voters for many years to come. Voting is a right, but it is also a civic duty. Students must show up to the polls to cast ballots and voice their opinions. According to the center’s research, voting is habit-forming. So, it is best if students begin to vote early in their lives. Do not be afraid to make a difference. Go vote.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR KSAT TV in San Antonio broadcast a statement Oct. 4 by Lloyd Doggett. In the commercial, Doggett declared he hopes to bring “seniority” to Washington D.C. if elected to the new Texas congressional District 35 seat. He even goes so far as to indicate he would bring “effective representation” to the people. Really, Lloyd? Clearly, Mr. Doggett has a tilted idea of the “seniority” representation he might bring if elected. Facts prove he and his peers in the 112th U.S. Congress are a polarized, dysfunctional group of divided idealists owning the highest unfavorable performance rating ever recorded. Deterioration in Congress’ image has not bothered Lloyd much and bolsters his arrogance, referencing failed production on the job as “seniority.” The poor esteem in which the American people have held Congress is warranted and brings forward a pressing opportunity at the polls in November to fire every one of them, vote them out and vote in their replacements. After the 112ths sessions’ embarrassing debt-ceiling debacle, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the United States’ credit rating for the first time in our country’s history.
The 112th Congress has delivered massive failure in resolving budget and tax policy in America. The 112th Congress has taken us to the most extreme deficit our country ever had. The 112th Congress has been the catalyst for dismantling Medicare and bringing us ObamaCare. How much seniority can you stand in Congress, folks? Being represented is the No.1 goal when we vote a candidate to our U.S. Congress. Right? Susan Narvaiz is the right choice for the new congressional District 35 of Texas. Vote for her. Take time to reflect on what the 112th U.S. Congress has accomplished. It will not take any time at all. Sincerely, Alan Cameron Hays County, Texas
—Christian Penichet-Paul is a history junior.
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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University-San Marcos and is published every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Tuesday, November 6, 2012. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.
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David Jolicoeur, also known as Trugoy, performs with rap group De La Soul Nov. 4 at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin.
FUN FUN FUN FEST Music fans converge for festival By Hollie O’Connor Trends Editor AUSTIN—Fun Fun Fun Fest brought a hodgepodge of artists spanning various genres and decades to Auditorium Shores last weekend. The festival, now in its seventh year, drew thousands for three days of live music, comedy, skating, wrestling and other activities. One band that garnered buzz leading up to the festival was Run DMC. The influential hip-hop group was formed in the ‘80s by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Joseph “Run” Simmons and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell. Mizell was murdered in 2002 at a recording studio in Queens. McDaniels and Simmons reunited for the closing act Friday, the second of only two shows they have put on in the past decade. The two played some of their most well-known songs, including “It’s Tricky,” “Run’s House” and “Here We Go.” In perhaps the most emotional part of the performance, the two paid tribute to former band mate and friend Mizell. They brought his sons, who go by the stage names DJ DasMatic and Jam Master J’son, to perform a set. “I know you’re looking down here, and
as I do these shows, man, I just want you to know Jay, that I got your kids,” Simmons said. Preceding Run DMC’s performance Friday was Bun B, a Port Arthur native best known for his profane gangster rap music and coining of the term “trill,” a combination of “true” and “real”. The audience took Bun B’s lyric “good weed, good drank, big money” from the song “Get Throwed” to heart as they lit pipes, the smell of marijuana filling the air. Bun B actively encouraged the act. “How many of y’all love smoking weed?” he asked. The crowd cheered in reply. “Me too,” he said. “Do any of y’all see the police?” The crowd responded they did not. “Good,” Bun B said as fog machines switched on and masked the smoke puffs arising from the crowd. This year’s festival lacked the star power Ryan Gosling brought last year as he wandered the festival. However, actor Val Kilmer joined the Black Lips on stage Friday for a bizarre performance. Kilmer, sporting chin length hair and a black suit, acted drunk and rambled unintelligibly during the performance.
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the wings of the stage. At one point the band said it had someone special to bring on stage. Masters led Abbott to the front, quoted Wavves’ lyrics “I can’t imagine running away from you” and asked her to marry him. “I felt kind of like I was going to puke, but I looked at him and said ‘yes,’” Abbott said. “We kissed, and he picked me up, and everyone was clapping.” Among Sunday’s performers was Titus Andronicus, a punk rock band from New Jersey. Titus Andronicus didn’t draw as large a crowd as other performers, but a small group of devoted fans stood in the crowd singing nearly every word to each song played. Explosions in the Sky played an energetic post-rock set before Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros closed out the festival. Edward Sharpe played songs new and old, including the hit “Home.” During the interlude in the song, lead singer Alex Ebert asked audience members for their stories to tell, most of which were about love, in keeping with the song. It was a heartfelt ending to the festival, after which music lovers left in a mass exodus, ears still ringing with the sounds of the giant speakers.
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“I want to read a letter from my mother,” Kilmer said, grasping a crumpled piece of paper. “But I’m not going to.” Another celebrity on hand was David Cross, best known for his role as Tobias on short-lived but much loved series Arrested Development, who performed a standup routine Saturday. Cross touched on topics such as enemas and the hatred he harbors for the millennial generation, especially those with ironic handlebar mustaches. The mostly 20-something crowd didn’t seem to take offense, even as he insulted the festival’s headliner Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. “I don’t know if they’re any good. They look like they would annoy me,” Cross said. “I don’t like new millennial hippie crap.” Later, surf punk band Wavves took a break from its performance as Jake Masters proposed to his girlfriend Chrissy Abbott on stage in front of a cheering crowd. Abbott said he chose to propose at the festival because he and Abbott’s first date was at a Wavves show in Baltimore. With the help of the band’s manager, Masters was able to orchestrate a Twitter contest to “win” a chance to join the band on stage. Of course Masters was the lucky fan, and he and Abbott got to watch the set from
Macklemore, Seattle-based rapper (top), and Valient Thorr, North Carolina heavy metal group (bottom) perform at Fun Fun Fun Fest at Auditorium Shores in Austin.