Franz Diego Interview! 05 - 26 march 2012
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Editor-in-Chief Maggie Foucault
Production Manager Ryan Webert
Managing Editor Alex Lauer
Graphic Designers Steph Mertes, Sean Quinn, Ryan Webert
Cities Editor Alyssa Bluhm
Art Director Keit Osadchuk
Voices Editor Alicia Johnson
Advertising Managers Cooper Henckel, Steve Sitek
By the time you are reading this, The Wake will have hosted its first show in years! Thank you to everyone who came out to the Triple Rock and supported us! Thank you to Nice Purse, Hot Freaks, and Crimes for not only playing our show but for being some of the first bands in our recurring Q&A feature. Thank you to Chris Ruen and James Delong for starting The Wake ten years ago. We couldn’t have done it without all of you! Only two years ago, we had no idea if The Wake would still be around. We had no money and no writers, two very important things for publishing a magazine. But we got our funding back and more and more volunteers started showing up to write for at us, and here we are today! I never thought I would see the day that we ran out of chairs at our meetings, or that we would have a coffee pot in the office!
Sound & Vision Editor Zach McCormick
This Issue Cover Artist Rachel Mosey Photographers Corissa Burkel, Maggie Foucault, Keit Osadchuk
Business Advisory Board James DeLong, Kevin Dunn, Courtney Lewis, Eric Price, Morgan Mae Schultz, Kay Steiger, Mark Wisser
In my final letter from the editor, I just want to thank all the people I mentioned above and also the awesome staff that we have now. Without these people, who stuck with us when we had no funding, we would not be where we are today. But there is one final person that I need to thank, and that is R Kelly. Without you, Kells, we would not have the hope that we needed to carry on. I will leave you with these inspirational words: I’m that star up in the sky I’m that mountain peak up high
Illustrators Angie Frisk, Jiun Kim, Rachel Mosey, Keit Osadchuk, Sean Quinn, Steve Sitek
Hey, I made it (oooooh) I’m the world’s greatest! And I’m that little bit of hope When my back’s against the ropes
Contributing Writers Alyssa Bluhm, Addie Filiatrault, Maggie Foucault, Ashley Herink, Elizabeth Ireland, Theon Kyne Dy, Tyler Lauer, Zach McCormick, Justin Miller, Juan P. Ramirez, Kelsey Schwartz, Steve Sitek
©2009 The Wake Student Magazine. All rights reserved. Established in 2002, The Wake is a fortnightly independent magazine and registered student organization produced by and for the students of the University of Minnesota.
I can feel it (mmmm) I’m the world’s greatest! <33333333
11:8 The Wake Student Magazine 1313 5th St. SE #331 Minneapolis, MN 55414
Maggie Foucault Editor-in-Chief
(612) 379-5952 • www.wakemag.org The Wake was founded by Chris Ruen and James DeLong.
The Wake is published with support from Campus Progress/Center for American Progress (online at www.campusprogress.org).
disclaimer The purpose of The Wake is to provide a forum in which students can voice their opinions. Opinions expressed in the magazine are not representative of the publication or university as a whole. To join the conversation email firstname.lastname@example.org.
F***** is the new N*****
Perpetuating Gay Hate At The University of Minnesota By Tyler Lauer
Most people don’t know what it’s like to be an LGBT kid in grade school. You may sympathize with LGBT kids who kill themselves because of unrelenting harassment, but let’s be real; you don’t know shit. Being straight, I didn’t know either, but I was lucky enough to find out. Once when walking in Minneapolis a couple summers ago - rockin’ long hair, skinny jeans, and a tie-dyed tank - I heard a car of 20-something guys yell at me, “HEY FAGGOT! Stay the fuck out of Minneapolis! We’ll kill you!” And no, they weren’t kidding. I saw hate in their eyes. “Minnesota Nice” is a false stereotype. Minnesotans are as closed-minded as everyone else. Let’s think about this. I wasn’t offended in their thinking I was gay, because there’s nothing wrong with being gay, but to be the victim of senseless hate made me freak. I screamed my lungs out at them, but they were gone. I realized there was nothing to say back to them anyways since blind hate doesn’t change its ideology in the face of threats, reason, or silence. If this was merely a still-frame from the life of a bullied LGBT kid, I don’t think I could stand living through to see the end of the film. I wish everyone could experience a situation like this because right now most Minnesotans don’t have the capacity for empathy.
Even if you as a U of M student haven’t been witness to extreme situations like these, I’d bet you’ve heard the word “faggot” tossed around more than a few times on the weekend in Dinkytown. You haven’t? That’s ok, I have examples: The first day of school this semester I was walking to class, trying to keep a positive outlook since it was my first day of class at the U as a transfer student, when I heard a guy yell “Fag on a bike!” at a passing biker. I looked back to see two guys laughing at this apparently hilarious happenstance. I looked around for a pipe with which to bash their brains in, but then realized I shouldn’t risk incarceration on the first day of school just because of one freak occurrence. Then, just last Friday night I heard a truck driving down the street, horn beeping. Apparently at the horn, I heard one bro in a group of bros yell “Faggot bitch!” at the truck to the amusement of fellow bros. First, I don’t understand how a car can be gay. Second, why are we letting this go unnoticed? For those of us who went to high schools that actually enforced anti-bullying rules, now that we don’t have teachers to watch over us at all hours, we as a student body seem to be reverting to infantilism. Others have just maintained their infantilism despite supposedly moving on to college where a diverse student body is supposed to come together in open-mindedness for the acquisition of knowledge. You would think a prestigious institution such as the U of M wouldn’t let loose so many ignorant homegrown homophobes in Minneapolis. But c’est la vie.
awareness and instill accountability in fellow students. We need to set the example for future generations and eradicate futile gay hate. When you hear someone use the word “fag,” “faggot,” or other slurs, whether it be from a friend or random person, tell them to stop perpetuating hate. If they use the line: “I didn’t mean it that way” (like a chump), tell them (nicely) to go fuck themselves because it’s the same thing. In all seriousness, if we can’t stand against hate based on sexual orientation in this supposedly “tolerant” day and age, then what hope do we have for the future? Let’s embrace our Minnesota-niceness and lead the way for hope.
P.S. Everyone: If this article has no effect and I keep hearing “fag” around campus, I’m starting this organization: MAHPOS: Minnesotans Against Homophobic Pieces Of Shit. We’ll be a gang. We’ll mess with those who mess with LGBT people. We’ll have their backs. Have you seen the videos of gay kids getting beat up in school? Why did some kids choose to film these acts on their phones instead of helping their classmates out? Are we creating a generation of sadists? We won’t stand for this. Anyone who wants to start this gang should come to the next Wake meeting and talk to Tyler Lauer.
I’m not interested in disavowing Christianity for instilling this anti-gay mindset since I don’t recall an eleventh commandment stating that “Thou shalt dehumanize other human beings for being different from yourself.” What I want is to raise
Take the Anoka-Hennepin County School District. It’s a prime example of this lack of empathy. Nine middle/high school students committed suicide here between fall ’09 to spring ’11. Not all were known to be gay, but the majority was at least assumed to be and they sparked a “suicide cluster” where suicides initiated more suicides. Being a graduate of this district, Michele Bachmann is a good representation of the warped evangelical “Christian” mindset that led to anti-gay bullying there. In her opposition to anti-bullying legislation she has been quoted saying, “What will be our definition of bullying? Will it get to the point where we are completely stifling free speech and expression?” thus suggesting that not being able to call a girl a “dyke” and pushing her on the ground without punishment is a violation of our God-given rights as Americans. What about the girl’s right to pursue happiness? I doubt anyone could possibly be happy when living in a district like Anoka-Hennepin where fellow LGBT kids are hanging themselves, teachers are being told to not defend gay students, and no one is standing up for the rights of these kids in the fear of being ostracized with them. Thankfully this school system is working on changing their “neutrality” policy, the policy that restricted teachers from helping harassed LGBT kids, but is this what it takes to get people to notice? The suicides of middle and high school kids? Some drastic change needs to happen in the minds of Minnesotans if we ever hope to earn back our prematurely given “Minnesota Nice” title.
05 - 26 march 2012
Obama Campaign Targets Students, But Does He Deserve Our Vote? A Promising Message Led To Disappointment And A Different Man. By Justin Miller Being willingly oblivious in the name of past notions of hope is dangerous. As students, we cannot just subscribe to vague slogans and grand oratory. Don’t vote for Obama solely because you like what he used to stand for, or because the other option of crossing over to the dark side of Republican circus performers makes your deepest ideals nauseous. Ask yourself, as a student why should I vote for Obama? Take a critical look at Obama’s first term and a story of lost promises and a changing agenda becomes apparent.
College graduates can stay on their parent’s healthcare coverage until 26! Gays can now serve in the military! The Iraq War is over! Bin-Laden is dead! The financial sector is more regulated! The man known as Barack Obama has done all this in the face of heavy adversity. The majority of his obstacles stem from the dangerous Right with sabotage on their mind and a 2012 Republican candidate in their sights. They have tried to stall his multiple attempts at progress. They are throwing all their weight behind the ’12 Presidential elections and are only interested in ridding every accomplishment of Obama. This was the tone set at the “Greater Together Townhall” discussion put on by the U of M chapter of Students For Obama at the Honeywell Auditorium in Carlson. The rally featured Jim Messina, Obama’s new campaign manager, as well as Minnesota’s bona fide liberals Congressman Keith Ellison and Minneapolis Mayor and DNC Chairman R.T. Rybak. Obama’s diehards flocked to the West Bank, resulting in an enthusiastic but modest crowd of around 70 to listen to the speakers discuss how this election will be ran. They donned “Obama ’12” buttons and many rocked the “HOPE” and “CHANGE” shirts that now seem like a distant dream, never coming to reality. The 2008 Barack Obama is something many supporters don’t like thinking much about, but there is much to be celebrated about his election. He represents one of the greatest steps in American history toward a country where race is celebrated, not repressed. He turned the tables on Republicans by ending the troublesome Bush era and ensuring Republicans did not get another four years in power while managing to bring a huge Democratic majority in on the coattails of his message. He represented what a majority of voters wanted in a candidate. His enormously successful ’08 campaign mobilized an unprecedented youth bloc, captivating their enthusiasm through innovative social media and new technology tactics.
Take a critical look at Obama’s first term and a story of lost promises and a changing agenda becomes apparent. There is no denying he captured the hope aspect of his mission, inspiring millions to believe in him. After eight years of dealing with a president who boasted 5 th grade reading skills and a highly-questionable IQ level and having their faith in the condition of U.S. politics and ideals beat to an unidentifi-
able pulp of cynicism, getting anybody to even get out of their Bush-induced stupor to go vote was pretty damn impressive. But his conquest of the American Spirit was short-lived. Let’s take a look at how he got to where he is now, struggling to prove he is worth four more years. A heavily-flawed economy, two wars, and a volatile political atmosphere attributed to stubborn Republicans and the sabotage-infused political outfit of the Tea Party Patriots crashed Obama’s HOPE & CHANGE party. It wasn’t too long before the vocal opposition came around. “NOBAMA” and “I want my change back” became popular rallying cries for those who were angry with the direction Obama and “his” economy were pulling the country. Now, he is fighting GOP candidates and struggling to rediscover the magic that was his 2008 campaign. The “Greater Together Townhall” meeting was an attempt at doing just that. Mayor Rybak and Congressman Ellison offered up inspiring but vague introduction speeches praising the work of Obama. They stuck to the talking points of the Obama campaign, being sure to highlight his major accomplishments. The Obama supporters in attendance were enthusiastic and eager to offer applause for any sentence with inspirational tone. But besides stale rhetoric echoing the themes from ’08, there was little fresh perspective to why Obama should be reelected. Messina mostly urged students to take to the internet to praise Obama and fight Republican attacks. While Obama works to recapture the enthusiasm and energy from students, it seems that his supporters are just as eager to try to reignite that flame, despite the fact that the Barack Obama of today is a completely different man from his last election-run.
What it meant to support Obama in ’08 was to support an agenda of restoring hope in a lost country and creating change that reached the very core of society. An impressive mission, but it has mutated from a distant dream into a current nightmare. The Obama currently being sold and advertised is no longer the Obama we know from ’08. He lost his way and has succumbed to the inner-workings of Washington politics that will leave a man valueless and corrupt. Obama’s actions during his first term have created a dueling narrative, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly who he is. He maintains a public presence that comes across as “for the people”. But looking at all he has done since ’08, one must stretch very far to come to that same conclusion.
He promised to change the culture of U.S. politics, but it seems the political culture has changed him instead. He bailed out the banks responsible for the economic catastrophe that crippled the country. He has abandoned the Gay Rights Movement, flip-flopped on marijuana enforcement, backtracked on immigration policy and completely flushed America’s civil liberties down the drain. His foreign policies may have ended one war, but they have created prominent drone warfare, increased tensions, and eerie whispers of a war in Iran. The Obama we voted for promised to change the culture of U.S. politics, but it seems the political culture has changed him instead. Politics seem to have gotten the best of our president. It might bring one back to the previous state of despair and depression to see the reality of Obama’s first term. But if he is worth re-electing, students need to wake him up and remind him who he needs to be.
In The Dark Ages Of Marriage
Why Minnesota’s Constitutional Amendment To Ban Same-Sex Marriage Is Wrong By Addie Filiatrault In recent years, the U.S. has come a long way in legally recognizing the rights of marginalized populations, including the LGBT community. While various stigmas and stereo-types remain as potent as ever in some places, these issues are being discussed more openly in the media, and much of the nation is moving towards a more tolerant stance on same-sex relationships. While same-sex marriage is not recognized by the federal government, six states now grant marriage licenses to samesex couples, a number that has been steadily increasing. Even though Minnesota state law already prohibits same-sex mar-
Toys Gone Wild Even Toy Designers Are Telling Us How We Should Look By Ashley Herink
We all know the story of Barbie, the doll that almost every girl wanted to be in her childhood, but who wouldn’t? She has an amazing car, lots of friends, the perfect boyfriend, and an amazing beach body. A body that is too good actually. A study showed that if Barbie were to be life-sized (and I’m not referring to the Disney movie Life Size with Tyra Banks and Lindsey Lohan), she would be 5’9, size 3 shoe, 25DD-sized bra, 19.5-inch waist, 33-inch hips, and weigh 110 pounds. Good thing she is a doll, because every single piece of clothing would have to be custom made. Barbie is a little extreme, but isn’t that what modeling agencies want? A tall girl with big breasts, little waist, big hips, and weigh close to nothing? Now Barbie was made to meet society’s standard of beautiful back in 1959, and in response to the large amount of criticism Mattel Inc, the creators of Barbie have agreed to modernize Barbie’s look to a more realistic look. Barbie went from drastic to natural, but you would be surprised how many toys are doing the opposite. Ladies do you remember Polly Pocket? I know I had the little dolls that were no taller than an inch high, but Polly did come in a little bigger size also. Polly was just a plain Jane looking doll, very simple and very basic. Has anyone looked to see what Polly is up to lately? She’s still short but boy did she get pretty
05 - 26 march 2012
riage, members of the Senate and House have passed a bill to amend the Minnesota constitution in order to prevent future legislation or judicial activism from overturning this law. This amendment states that, “only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.” Ultimately, the voters of Minnesota will determine the outcome of this issue, and the bill will appear on the November 2012 ballot. The bill is supported by the Minnesota Catholic Conference, as well as the activist group Minnesota for Marriage which creates short weekly YouTube videos advocating for the bill titled “Minnesota Minute for Marriage.” A recent statement from the Minnesota Catholic Conference reads, “This is our time to stand up and defend marriage as a unique institution that, from the beginning of human history and in every culture, is the union of one man and one woman for the propagation of the human family and the upbringing of children.”[ Aside from being factually inaccurate, this statement neglects to acknowledge the legal aspects intertwined with the current institution of marriage. While a marriage license is symbolic of a devoted partnership, which may or may not lead to the upbringing of children, it also grants legal and economic benefits not available to same-sex couples regardless of the stability or duration of their relationships. The bill is also supported by Michele Bachmann and Representative Steve Drazkowski, who claims the bill is necessary to prevent judicial activism from defining the morals of Min-
in the last ten years. Now she has huge eyes and hair down to her butt, and gained a fashion sense to boot (no pun intended). This does not just go for girls’ toys, no sir. What about G.I. Joe? Back in the 1960’s G.I. Joe was just an average, well, Joe. He had a built body type, and the only skin visible was his face, his very basic army uniform covered everything else. Now this guy’s wearing a tank top, has a large gun in hand, and wears a little backpack that most likely has his little steroids in it because he is definitely buffer than he was fifty years ago.
When I compare the new Trolls with the many originals that I still have at my Grandma’s cabin, it would be like comparing an old conservative Grandpa with his eighteen-year-old granddaughter that is “experimenting with her looks.”
nesota residents. “Without the marriage amendment in our constitution, activist judges can substitute their values for those of the people of Minnesota. Similarly, legislators can redefine marriage without the permission of the people, as several legislators have pledged to do,” Steve Drazkowski said, according to the South Washington County Bulletin. Ironically, this amendment aims to legally ascribe the politically conservative and often religious-based values on a population that has a diverse set of outlooks on the issue. Those who are morally opposed to same-sex marriages and relationships are in no way required to alter their values whether or not these marriages or civil unions are legally recognized. Recent polls have shown that a small majority, 52% of Minnesotans, are opposed to the ban. There has even been substantial support generated within the Minneapolis-area Lutherans community, showing that Christianity and equal rights do not have to be incompatible. The Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA, a faith group representing hundreds of Lutherans, informally voted in opposition of the ban. They are hoping to send the message that many congregations of faith are welcoming and tolerant of all family structures and that they do not support discriminatory legislation. If passed, this legislation would not only inhibit residents’ rights to individual liberty, but would also prevent future state laws from fluctuating in order to reflect changing opinions of the population within our democratic system.
the “new and improved” dolls. Before 2011, the only fashion the Trolls sported was the occasional gem on their stomach. But now after the 2011 makeover, Trolls are celebrating their individuality. They have lost their chubby bodies as they have now gone through Troll puberty. They still have the crazy colored hair, but that is the only trait that enables the new dolls to keep the Troll name. The new trolls have the crazy hair, but it is now tamed and in hair clips. They now were stylish clothing. They even have shoes. When I compare the new Trolls with the many originals that I still have at my Grandma’s cabin, it would be like comparing an old conservative Grandpa with his eighteen-year-old granddaughter that is “experimenting with her looks”. How is this affecting the children who are now buying these toys? Why are our toys not pretty enough for this new generation? Is it not bad enough that media is telling “tweens” and teens how to look, but now they feel to get target little kids with their toys to spread the message?
Even Dollhouse has recently changed their looks. The original Dollhouse children had short hair, overalls, and were a little on the chubby side. I agree that they needed a new wardrobe, but Fisher-Price took it a little far. They are still built the same way, but now their clothes indicate that the girls have shape instead of having square bodies. They also now have long and spunky ponytails and are wearing skirts with leggings. I’m not mad about the grandpa’s change in appearance though. There wasn’t one. He still looks creepy. But in all honesty, the only toy change that is truly upsetting is Trolls. I encourage everyone to go online and take a look at
Spend Your Time Studying or Partying, Not Grocery Shopping Gopher Grocery Isn’t Lazy, It’s Convenient By Theon Kyne Dy It seems like it was only yesterday that most of you college students like me were grocery shopping with our parents. We used to go around the grocery store and utter the same question over and over. “Can I have one of these?” It even got to the extent that we, as kids before, would demand that our parents buy every food of our desire. The word “please” would often be heard and said in a grocery store in desperate situations. Nowadays, as we become more independent and more mature, we suddenly find ourselves in college. In college there are major things that will happen. First of all we are all expected to study and do well in our classes. Second, college is also the time to party, socialize, and just have enough time to have fun before entering the working world. All of these are all what we knew would happen to us by the time we decided to go to college in the first place. We knew we would have to study hard and also we would socialize. But both of these are definitely impossible to do on an empty stomach.
Cruise Hits Too Close To Home Human Selfishness At Its Worst By Kelsey Schwartz
Human selfishness has never been so clear then on January 13, when reports started to come in that a cruise ship named Costa Concordia had capsized after colliding with rocks in shallow water just off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. There were 4,234 passengers and staff aboard the Costa, and the death toll is now at 25 with seven people still missing that are now presumed dead. Two of those among the missing are my friend’s aunt and uncle. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it is to deal with the horrible emotional load of not knowing if your loved ones are alive or dead, and awaitng that life changing call. Late one night she sent out a mass text asking all of her friends to pray for them and her family, and I remember thinking how on earth could something like this happen!? I began to follow what was going on with the story, and found some very disturbing things. During a catastrophic event like this there are always rumors going around that make absolutely no sense, like the one about the captain, Francesco Schettino, and how he deviated from the route to wave to a friend on the shore. As things
Food! We all love food! Eating food while studying is so essential that some students do not know how to study without it. I’m guilty as charged also. But with limited amount of money given from our parents or from our less than satisfactory jobs we college students have to be thrifty while spending money on food which we so desire. For college students without a meal plan or even those who have a meal plan but have no love for eating dining hall food, heading out of campus each day to eat can be an easy habit to dive into, but not a sustainable one. Grocery shopping is essential for every college student. With multiple classes, and multiple hours required to study, grocery shopping seems like an impossible task, especially if you don’t have a car. Indeed it is tiring if you’re a lazy U of M student like me. Just like a light to our unclear college life path, Gopher Grocery was born.
lars on delivery and you can pay everything online by a credit card. Moreover, you decide when you want your food to be delivered to your room. The time of deliveries is by the hour and the days you can choose for delivery are only the days after you ordered online. If you were reading attentively you might have caught me stating that they deliver your groceries to your room. Yes, you got that right. With no charge, instead of leaving the boxes or grocery bags in the front desk of your dorm room or at the door of your house or apartment, the delivery guy will bring your groceries to your room. They’ll just give you a call once they’ve arrived and then you can come down and guide the delivery man to your room. You also don’t have to worry about giving a tip to the driver because you can tip him online, if you want, after placing your order.
Gopher Grocery, in my opinion, is a great tool to use for college students. Instead of going to a sometimes crowded grocery store and leaving your home, why not just shop online, just as you would on Amazon. I’ll give you a rundown on what Gopher Grocery does. First and foremost, you must go to www.gophergrocery.com. There you can see a wide array of food choices to choose from and it’s not that hard to find what you want, unlike in a grocery store, since all items are categorized like Frozen Pizza or Dairy. The minimum amount of food you should buy is $50 or more. So basically Gopher Grocery is not for those people who buy food for a day or for just one week or so. But for those who only go to the grocery like once every two weeks or once a month, like me, this online grocery shopping site is really cheaper and more convenient than a grocery store. Gopher Grocery charges only two dol-
Overall, Gopher Grocery is something that comes in handy to college students at the University of Minnesota. Every college student is either busy socially or busy with school work to do something that will take them out what they were doing. Doing groceries is quite a hassle for some college students here at U, especially because of the huge campus and the cold weather. Lucky for us, Gopher Grocery is a tool we can all use to make grocery shopping easy on our busy college life. Gopher Grocery is definitely essential to having a smoother college experience.
continued to unfold and there was still no word of my friend’s aunt and uncle, it became more clear that the rumor about the captain was one part of the truth.
Funny thing is that the waters between Giglio and the coast are well charted, and known for being very shallow, Schettino was also known for being an experienced captain. Meaning that the captain’s dinner date and waving to his friend on shore was more important then the lives of others.
What authorities believe is the reason for this tragic accident is that Schettino slowed the ship so he could finish his dinner date and then sped up the ship to make up for time. Also it is believed that he diverted from the original route that took the ship away from the coast and instead went between the Tuscan coast and the island of Giglio, to wave at his friend on shore. That is when the ship struck submerged rocks, ripping a gaping hole in its side, and instantly began taking on water.
Costa’s ‘black box’, which is a device that records the navigational details of the ship, recorded that impact at 9:45pm on Friday, and yet they didn’t call the Coast Guard till 10:43pm, roughly an hour later! The ship was already capsizing and almost on its side before the rescue call was sent out. My question is “Why did it take so long for them to call even though they knew what was happening?”. The only answer I can come up with is that Schettino wanted to prolong the time between the crash and his inevitable incarceration. It’s so hard to think about all the things that happened because of human selfishness, maybe if the call had been sent out even a half hour earlier, my friend might have been celebrating the safe return of her family members instead of holding their memorial service.
by elizabeth ireland
Michael Lenard First Year Law Student
Joshua Raven Neuroscience Freshman
If you could party with a historical figure, who would it be? Maybe Abe Lincoln. ‘Cause you know, honest Abe – he’d probably pour his heart out. Thoughts on yoga pants? Always a nice complement to a girl. Team Peeta or Gale? Peeta, just cause he’s probably a fellow bro. Who would win in a cage fight: Oprah or Anderson Cooper? Oprah. She’s got black power and you can’t stop that.
Electrical Engineering and Theatre Junior
What is your favorite euphemism for drunk? I generally make up new ones on the fly. Maybe blitzed. Are you going to get blitzed over break? Depends on how often I fall. Thoughts on yoga pants? They’re not classy, but I guess I’m pro-yoga pants. Plan for the zombie apocalypse? Barricade myself in my room and cry. Sexiest Supreme Court Judge? Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
What is your favorite euphemism for “drunk”? I tend to say sloshed - I don’t have any more colorful terms. Thoughts on yoga pants? I did not realize there was a major contention. I’ve gotta say that if there was a male equivalent I’d be tempted. Favorite Muppet? Animal. Do law students get pretty wild in the after hours? Not really. There are a lot of bar trips. I hear that the house parties can go a little wild… the drinking is sort of fueled by exhaustion. Preferred form of escapism? My favorite is getting out old games with friends – a throwback sort of thing.
What are you doing for spring break? Visiting with my sister who is coming into town. If you could party with a historical figure, who would it be? Darwin, because I love his work and he might have some good conversation. What’s your plan for the zombie apocalypse? I prepare for eventualities that encompass the zombie apocalypse by doing self-defense training. Pick one: Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann. Definitely Sarah Palin. Michele Bachmann’s just cringe-worthy and Sarah Palin… good jokes can be made about her.
Is it true what they say about theatre majors? What, that we’re pretentious assholes? Yes.
What are your plans for spring break? I might go to Dallas. I just wanna have fun.
What are your plans for spring break? I might go to Chicago.
If you could party with a historical figure, who would it be? Abraham Lincoln.
What is your favorite euphemism for “drunk”? Hammered.
How much sleep do you get on an average night? Five hours. I’m looking forward to spring break…
If you could party with a historical figure, who would it be? Snooki.
Pick one: Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin. Michele. She looks smarter than Palin.
Thoughts on yoga pants? Comfy, soft, easy to put on.
Thoughts on this winter? The best winter – no snow, no cold.
Who would you want on your team for a zombie apocalypse? The Twilight people.
05 - 26 march 2012
IT’S LINTASTIC! By Theon Kyne Dy
It would simply be wrong for a sports columnist like me to not be able to give a little reaction to what could be the greatest story this season in the NBA. After losing both it’s superstars, New Yorkers and the rest of the NBA felt that an over-hyped season for the Knickerbockers would end by missing the playoffs again. Luckily, on a misty night on February 4, off-season acquisition point guard Jeremy Lin would get the opportunity to start. No one in the world was prepared for what was about to happen that night, or better, the days and weeks that followed. Jeremy Lin since February 4th has been Linsational and a Linspiration to everyone. This effect has been dubbed “Linsanity,” in relation to the high flying Vinsanity in the early 2000’s. Whether or not Jeremy Lin will sustain his intense play, the things Jeremy Lin has done have been truly inspirational not only to Asians but to anyone who has ever doubted in anything. Lin has been through all the doubters, all the critics, and because of his belief in himself he has been rewarded. An opportunity was given, and he took it, valiantly. Not only should basketball players and athletes should look at Lin as an inspiration, but everyone should. Lin has taught us that through your failures or shortcomings, one must still continue to strive for success. Jeremy has continuously stated that he’s even surprised of his own success. We all are trying to gain success in our lives, especially college students who are now dreaming of our future careers. We just need to work and overcome tribulations like Lin. Soon enough we might see our self as (insert your name) sanity.
The NFL Job Fair, The Combine By Steve Sitek
Its that time of year. It is spring break for NFL executives, bloggers, and journalists. Over the final week of February, masses of media and NFL personnel leave their respective cities to convene in Indianapolis for the NFL combine. Isn’t Spring break supposed to bring beaches and sunny weather? Not for NFL personnel, they prefer the dome of Lucas Oil stadium. It’s all about the measurements, scoping bods, and drawing comparisons. Forget sunny skies and girls gone wild, the only skin shown at the combine will be from chiseled NFL ready bodies. It is a puzzling phenomenon - masses of middle-aged men drooling and critiquing young men to the finest detail. The combine isn’t like any other job interview in America. The excitement and money cannot be matched. It’s a mathematical headache, a beauty show, and a rigorous testing process. It is beyond excessive.
It was all pointless rhetoric surrounding one of the biggest crapshoots in professional sports, the NFL draft. Each year a selected 335 college football players are invited to showcase their bodies and minds to the NFL. Being invited is an honor. It’s the crème dele crème of job fairs. It is the beginning of the road to the pros. Over the next month, prospects will be evaluated down to the finest specifics of their life. From childhood through college, general managers and scouts dig deep. If they miss something about a prospect, they could lose their job. With such intensity surrounding the event, personnel sometimes cross the line. Two yeas ago, Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland asked Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Dez Bryant in an interview if his mother was a prostitute. Does this relate to Bryant’s ability to play football? No, but that is the nature of the combine, it’s ridiculous; it’s over the top, its cutthroat. One wrong answer is the difference between millions of dollars. This year, Florida’s Janoris Jenkins is the mysterious red flagged man. Jenkins had issues in college. He was booted off the Gators team last year because of two marijuana related arrests. Fortunate for Jenkins, he ran an impressive 4.46 forty-yard dash, and clocked the best time for defensive backs in his ten-yard split. Regardless of his character issues, he proved he should still be a first round pick.
During the week leading up to the combine, ESPN dedicated hours to pre combine analysis. Draft guru Mel Kiper examined prospects like Jenkins. He explained pros and cons, he examined players who might have bad knees, who might flop, and who might soar. It was all pointless rhetoric surrounding one of the biggest crapshoots in professional sports, the NFL draft. One of the major questions was about Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. Over the course of last season, Griffin proved to be a prolific playmaker. He became the first Baylor player to ever win the Heisman trophy. Yet questions still lingered about Griffin being a top pick. Scouts were concerned about his height. Scouts questioned, is he actually 6’2? Some scouts seemed to think that he was less than 6’1; some thought he was 6’2. Does it really even matter? Kiper thought so; he dedicated a forty-minute podcast to questions surrounding Robert Griffin III. At the end of the day, Griffin measured above 6’2. Proving the pointless hype surrounding the combine.
Minneapolis Visionaries Series:
Dan Huiting Minneapolis Music Video Guru Getting National Attention by Maggie Foucault
The Wake: Hey! Introduce yourself! Dan Huiting: I make videos. So what that means is with the City of Music stuff, I produce it, so I help pitch the bands. This guy named Chris Cloud at MPLS.TV is kind of part of that process. We talk about what kind of bands we’d like to have on the series, and it used to be a local series and now it’s a national series. So we talk about what bands we want and I’ll send a list of 4 or 5 that are coming to my buddy at Pitchfork and they’ll decide which ones they like, and when they say yes then we contact them and see if they are available and interested and set up a date. And then I’ll just kind of listen to the song that they want to do and think about what I’d like the video to be and what it should feel like, what the lighting should be, and all that sort of thing.
So you contact the bands, they don’t contact you? You know, every once in a while a publicist will. I mean, we get publicists contacting us all the time for bands they would like to be on the show, but every once in a while one will contact us for a band that I’m like, “Oh, I didn’t know about them!” Then I’ll check with Chris. Most of the time it’s bands that wouldn’t be a good match, but sometimes. There’s one recently that a friend of mine at Jagjaguwar contacted me about called Porcelain Raft, so we’re just setting up a shoot for them in April. But most of the time we pick them and submit it to Pitchfork, and Pitchfork will say who they want and then once they’ve decided, then they contact the bands and say, “Hey, do you want to do this thing in Minneapolis when you’re in town?” And then if they’re into it then they kind of kick it to me and I do all the scheduling and, you know, direct the video and edit it and whatever. But I also have lots of collaborators, sometimes I co-direct it with folks, like Isaac Gale, he’s a local music video director. He’s also one of the vocalists in Marijuana Deathsquads, so he’s done a couple with me. It’s not always just me. Sometimes I’ll work with someone else who has a cool concept, and lots of people volunteer, a lot of shooters volunteer, effects people, posts people, you know, all kinds of stuff. If you look at the credits, like we had this one with Andrew Bird that came out today (February 29th) where there was all this aerial footage that we shot and put in there so that was a whole bunch of extra people that donated their time and expertise.
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For the third installment of our Minneapolis Visionaries series, we sat down with Dan Huiting. Known for his work on the City of Music series at MPLS. TV, and now Pitchfork.com, Huiting has been creating, producing, editing, and directing music videos around the Twin Cities for years and has now entered the national arena by working with Bon Iver and taking the City of Music series over to Pitchfork. We caught up with Huiting at Caffetto and talked about the national spotlight, technical difficulties, and being there for your bros.
For the full Q&A, visit wakemag.org How did you do that aerial footage and where was it of?
Are you from this area originally?
It’s in a place called Strum, Wisconsin. It’s by Justin [Vernon]’s house, about a half hour away. I had to go out and meet with him about some stuff, and I just put a thing up on Facebook because I kept hearing aerial footage. I really wanted to see just floating over the fields and what have you. So I put a thing on Facebook like, “Hey, does anybody have a plane?” And this dude that knows me on Facebook, his dad is a pilot, or his buddy’s dad is a pilot and does it for fun on the weekends and he owns this teeny little plane. It was right by Justin’s and I had to go out there anyway, so we set it up and we strapped five GoPro cameras, we hose-clamped them to this plane hoping that they won’t fall off, and they didn’t. So that’s what that was, and then my buddy went up and he shot out the window, too.
Yep, I’m from St. Paul, basically. But I’ve lived in Minneapolis since I was 18.
It was beautiful footage, and it looked somewhat familiar. I was wondering if it was MN or WI. Yeah Chippewa Valley, WI, that area.
Do you try to keep some sort of local connection even when it’s a national band? Well, that’s the hope. There’s one with POS that’s finished and it’ll come out sometime in the next few months, so that’s local but also national at the same time. I’m really happy with it, proud of it. And then I’d like to do one with Polica. If Pitchfork is down with it I would like to do it, so that would be another cool thing.
Do you plan on staying in the area and continuing to do videos with bands from the city? Well yeah, a lot of what I do is sometimes traveling, but I think I’ll still be based here. I work at TPT, the director of photography for the show MN Original, which is an arts program. So that’s 9 - 5, Monday through Friday, that’s my day job. But it’s really cool and creative, they let me do fun, artistic stuff. So that keeps me here. But I just love it here. It would take some really extenuating circumstances for me to leave.
Do you think the music scene here has it’s own unique features compared to other places? I think it’s a really special time in Minneapolis music for sure. You’ve got Polica and Doomtree and Bon Iver just across the river there, and who else? Anything Ryan Olson does seems to be amazing. It’s just a lot of really special things going on here for me. So I definitely feel a bias towards Minneapolis.
I know the AV Club just talked to you about your favorite videos, but were there any that you maybe disliked or have been disappointed with or maybe just weird videos that just haven’t turned out like you expected?
I haven’t seen the work out video yet, how was that? Pretty simple, it’s just like dudes workin’ out in the yard.
Is it weird to watch someone that you usually see play music work out? Dude, nothing Justin does surprises me—ever. But I don’t know, I think for some people it probably was at first. I mean, you get the feeling that the dude’s really genuine about it so it’s sort of hard to make fun of someone that’s genuinely into like taking care of themselves and like doing it with their friends and supporting their buddy that’s a trainer and it’s like there’s a level of honesty that sort of comes through that that’s hard to make fun of.
Yeah, when I heard about that I was just like, “Really?” Yeah man, he’s just down for his bro, you know?
You gotta be there for your bros. That’s what Bon Iver is about, it’s about family.
Is there anything else you would say is very different from your normal music video stuff that you’ve done in your video career?
Well I don’t want to name names, but I feel like there’s some where I’ve felt like maybe the performance wasn’t my favorite. Or sometimes the audio didn’t turn out so great, in the early days we kind of were just using whatever equipment we had, so sometimes the audio would be a little disappointing.
Has working with Pitchfork gotten you any better equipment or better situations? Well, yeah, I guess we’ve just gotten a little smarter. There’s a small budget at Pitchfork, almost all of which goes to audio, so yeah that allows us to get slightly better people. And when you’re dealing with bands of that magnitude sometimes they have people that they already work with that mix, so like the Andrew Bird video they mixed it themselves and the guy did a great job. Or Other Lives, I just got it today, they’re mixing it themselves. So when you’re dealing with bands on that level they usually have people in place, so that helps. As long as it’s tracked fairly well, their mixing people can do a fairly good job.
I’ve always turned down work that I didn’t want to do, so I’ve gotten offers for weddings and I’ve gotten offers for corporate work, things like that and I’ve just turned it down. I feel like you create a trajectory for yourself and your life by what you do and so people come to know you for that. So if you go down the wedding path then people are calling you back for more of those and maybe if you don’t like it then if you keep doing it, you’ll just keep putting yourself in this path and just attracting more energy in that direction, same with corporate work. But if you just do the thing that you want to do, it’s like Joseph Campbell says, “Follow your bliss,” you know? That’s kind of like my mantra for my life, I guess. I don’t think about that all the time but you kind of follow this thing that you really enjoy, and you will create a trajectory of that. People will call you for that, you’ll become known for that. And I feel like if you do what you like then it’s really easy to work really hard at it. The thing that I would do as a hobby is now my job. Sometimes people are like, “Oh man, your work ethic is crazy! You work so hard!” And it’s like, “No, not really, I just play super hard,” and that also happens to be my job. But I would do it if no one paid me. If I had some whatever job that I didn’t like, I would do this in the evening for fun. It just happens to be what I do for a living, too. It’s easy to work hard at because I like it.
Do you ever do any other types of video or just music? I’ve kind of made a career out of doing the thing that I enjoy, and that is music. I made a workout DVD for Justin, but that was just, you know, a favor to a friend kind of situation. But it’s mostly live music is what I like. At TPT, the show isn’t all music, they’ll do like six, seven minute doc pieces about artists or whoever, so that’s another thing, sometimes I do documentary-type work, but mostly it’s music stuff.
I think that’s a good motto for anyone to have. Yeah, pick something that you like and you just won’t get sick of it.
Where is the weirdest location you’ve ever shot? Well we shot one with Prof, he’s a rapper, we shot one with Prof and he wanted to do it in a really gross, cheap motel room
with this couple making out on the bed behind him, so we set that up and shot that. So the City of Music Prof is Prof rapping while these two people in their underwear go at it on a bed, so that was kind of weird.
Have you ever pitched anyone to Pitchfork that they haven’t been interested in? Yes.
Does that make it hard? Yeah, I’m a huge, huge Sharon van Etton fan and she was just here so I pitched them just totally assuming that they would say yes and for whatever reason they said no and I was like, “What is wrong with you guys? She’s the shit.” So I was bummed about that. They said no to Megafaun, those are my buddies. What can you do? They say no to a lot, I’ll pitch like five bands and they’ll say yes to one of them.
Is it hard to get shot down like that? No, because you just see who’s coming in to town that month and you pick all the ones you like and send it off and whichever one comes back then you’ll do that one. There’s always a replenishing stream of bands coming through town. photos by maggie foucault
“You’ve got Polica and Doomtree and Bon Iver just across the river there, and who else? Anything Ryan Olson does seems to be amazing. It’s just a lot of really special things going on here for me. So I definitely feel a bias towards Minneapolis.”
sound & vision
Sharing Books, Building A Community Little Free Libraries By Alyssa Bluhm When Todd Bol held a garage sale at his home in Hudson, Wisconsin, a few years ago, he didn’t expect shoppers to focus instead on the small library he had installed in his front yard. Resembling a one-room schoolhouse in memory of his mother, a schoolteacher, the library was filled with books for members of the community to borrow at their leisure. The novelty of Bol’s idea sold better than anything else at his garage sale, which prompted him to pass on the idea to his friend, Rick Brooks, who suggested building a few libraries in the Madison area. The Little Free Library was born. Two years later, there are now well over 500 of them in 33 states and 17 countries, including France, Germany, and Ghana. While it’s hard to pinpoint an exact number of libraries at their current rate of exponential growth, Bol is confident that 1,000 Little Free Libraries will be standing by summer. “When I see people come up to the library, they pitch their voice high like a puppy just walked in the room,” said Bol, who has consistently witnessed reactions like this since that day at his garage sale. But the aesthetic value of what looks like a birdhouse filled with books isn’t the only thing that appeals to those who want to get involved. “People are as attracted to the sense of community that these libraries promote as they are attracted to sharing books and the really cute structures they’re put in,” said Brooks. Bol predicts that by April of this year there will be 70 Little Libraries in the Twin Cities alone, a bump from the current 30 that have popped up in the area since last September. Places like the Soo Visual Arts Center in downtown Minneapolis and Macalester College have already done their part by sponsoring Little Free Libraries in the community. Brooks says that building the libraries is becoming a popular activity among student groups at the University of WisconsinMadison. The Odyssey Project, which encourages adults facing economic struggle to pursue higher education, sponsors a library at a bus stop near the UW-Madison campus. A French professor at Madison, along with the French conversation group he leads, has purchased a Library and plans to decorate it with scenes from different French eras, as well as fill it with books in French and about France. “They’re a popular project for student groups,” said Brooks, “because it’s an excellent way to promote reading among children and literacy for adults. It’s an easy, relatively small project that can benefit many people for a long time.” But the best part about stewarding a Little Free Library is personalizing it. The organization’s website offers instructions and tips for those who wish to build their own, leaving them free to decorate and fill their library with whatever books they please.
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Bol believes nearly 75 percent of people build their own, but kits and pre-made libraries are also available on the website for purchase by those who aren’t tool savvy. These libraries come in a variety of styles: some for indoors, some for outdoors, some made from recycled barn wood. Because book companies frequently donate books to Little Free Library, a few library styles even come with books already inside them. These libraries can also be customized and decorated, because, as Bol says, “This is an extension of their heart and their soul and who they are.” Contrary to what one might think, the public presence of these special structures rarely incurs vandalism. Indie Coffee, also near UW-Madison, is the most popular Little Free Library location, according to Brooks. Within a year and a half, Indie’s library has cycled through more than 2,000 books. Having the front door ripped off its hinges in that time was the only injury the library has sustained. “We’ve had almost a million people who had been by that library, and we’ve gone through thousands of books. That’s not a bad record!” said Brooks, who also says that theft isn’t very common among the libraries, because it’s hard to steal a book that’s free in the first place.
every once in a while. “Sometimes you’ll go to one library and it’ll be empty, and usually within a day or two it fills back up again,” said Brooks. “The secret is to get lots of people involved, and not get their reject books, but their favorite books when they’re done with them.” Ranging from Boy Scouts to retired teachers, a wide variety of people have become stewards of the libraries. Most of them aren’t of college age though. Bol and Brooks agree, however, that universities are a great platform for getting people involved, whether they are in college or part of the outer community. “University students, even though they’re busy reading books and busy doing schoolwork, they still are a group of people that are naturally attracted to new ideas and expanding their minds,” said Bol. Not even University of Minnesota students are exempt from the basic principles of Little Free Library, which Brooks summed up: “We all need each other. We need a sense of community. We miss having people around us who care about us, and this strategy of having a little box of books can help other people, as well as us.” After all, if UW-Madison can do it, why can’t we?
As it continues to gain popularity, is the Little Free Library just one more thing to add to the list of threats against the stability of traditional libraries? No. In fact, the Little Free Library has been more helpful to brick-and-mortar libraries than anything. Because so many books that are donated to the organization can’t be used, they end up being donated to local libraries. Almost 1,000 books were donated to a local library in Madison, according to Brooks. Even individual Little Libraries have more books they can handle, but it’s not uncommon for them to run out of books
To find the closest LFL to you, visit:
sound & vision
The Rebirth of Minneapolis Fashion
Tim + Tom’s Resurgent Show and a Talk with Amy Overman By Juan P. Ramirez As an international student, I used to have the idea of Minnesota as a stereotypical American state when it came to fashion. I pictured everyone wearing blue jeans, a maroon or gold hoodie that says Minnesota, and white running shoes. However, my perception of the fashion in the Twin Cities changed when I visited one of the MNfashion events in St Paul during fashion week. The fashion show, which was called Resurgent and helmed by local designers Tim and Thom, was held at Amsterdam Bar and Hall. Loveless Aphrodite, Tiger Vs, and DJ Encounter were responsible for the music that night; which was mindblowing. Hard techno, indie rock, and dark techno were some of the genres that transported the audience to see some of the coolest hair styles, fantastic clothes, and astonishing makeup that the 25 models showcased throughout the night.
photos by corissa burkel
I had the opportunity to interview the Director of Communications of MNfashion. Her name is Amy Overman, and she has been working with the MNfashion organization for four years. The Wake: For those who don’t know what MNfashion is, can you give a brief explanation about it, how it started, and why? AO: MNfashion started in 2004 with Voltage. The event was so successful that it grew into an entire weekend and then, five years ago, into an entire week known as MNfashion Week. This season we’ve come out with a brand new name “Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week” but are still working toward the same goal: to create a thriving and sustainable local fashion industry. W: What were the biggest events for MNfashion this February? AO: Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week centers around The Shows. These are runway shows by the Twin Cities’ most established designers all under one roof. In addition to this, we have several satellite runway shows featuring up-and-coming designers. W: What happened this year with Voltage? Why did it not happen? Will it ever come back? AO: Voltage is an amazing show which requires a huge undertaking. Our focus was on design and The Shows and we chose to focus our resources there in order to better support our mission. Of course, Voltage is near and dear to our hearts and we hope to bring it back in some iteration in the future. W: Who are your favorite local designers and why? AO: We have such a wealth of talent here, and each designer has their own fingerprint, it would be immensely difficult to pick one favorite. But that’s the great thing, isn’t it? No matter what your style, budget, or mood, there’s a local designer that will be just what you’re looking for.
W: Is Minneapolis a “fashionable” city? AO: Of course. Minneapolitans have a habit of being a little self-effacing, and that same attitude applies to our style. Hearing some people talk, you’d think we were some sort of frozen style tundra, but the opposite is true. Minneapolis, and St. Paul, have such a rich art and music culture; fashion is another extension of that. W: What makes Minneapolis fashion different from other cities? AO: We’re actually not too different than what is happening in New York, Portland, or other U.S. style hubs. Designers here are plugged in to the national scene and are always on trend. That being said, there’s an influence of art and music in our local style that is unique. For example, Emma Berg just premiered her Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, which was inspired by the work of Minnesota artist Frank Gaard. It was a huge success. W: What are some fashion trends you like that are coming out this spring? Some you don’t like? AO: That’s hard to say, we just wrapped Autumn/Winter 2012 and are already planning Spring/Summer 2013!
After going to this remarkable show, and talking with one of MNfashion’s directors, I came back home with a completely different outlook about the fashion in Minnesota. Now I certainly believe that these shows are at the same level of the fashion shows in New York, L.A., or Chicago. It is just a matter of going outside of campus, and you will be surprised at what the Twin Cities has to offer.
sound & vision
Q & A: Franz Diego By Zach McCormick If you live anywhere near the Twin Cities and you like to party, you’ve definitely run into Franz Diego. He’s a tireless advocate of the local hip-hop community, hosting dance nights, rap shows, and somehow finding time to do volunteer work at the same time. After several years in the game, Franz has found himself at the heart of the uniquely Minnesotan “WAG” movement that’s sweeping the local rap scene. We invited him down for a beer to talk about his new album and ended up with a whole lot more. Wake: Could you run down your current list of projects? You’re a busy guy! Franz Diego: Let’s start with Illuminous 3, we just dropped our Montessori EP back at the end of last year, that’s our latest and probably our most cohesive project right now. Illumious 3 started back in 2001, so we’ve been here for a little over 10 years as a group. We also do a free song with a different producer every month, we’ve been doin’ that for almost 2 years, and we’ve got the second volume of that series, Illuminous Free, coming out in the spring, there’s just a few more songs to tie up. Then there’s all the parties and stuff... W: Let’s talk about those parties! F: Hold on...I’ve got a flyer...[produces a fat stack of flyers from his backpack]. “Fuzion International Dance Party” is a party I do every Thursday, and it’s one of the reason I wanted to have my album release party at Conga. I’m tryna introduce a new audience to this place because it’s a really hardcore Latino club, but it’s a beautiful club. Flat screens everywhere, club lights, double levels, it’s super big but it can feel real comfy too. I’m trying to get more folks out there, and the DJs I work with on this are That Dude Trey, Simone DuJour, who’s a house DJ. Trey started Tuesday nights at the Nomad called “Out the Box”. Frank Castle, who sometimes plays at the Nomad as well, and Mazta Wong of People’s Collective, who spins a lot of Urban Latino and reggae and stuff. So that’s every thursday. Then, every second Friday we’re over at Honey for “Turnt Up!”, my crew for that is DJ Gabe Garcia, Noam the Drummer, and Willie Shu and then next one we’re doing is going to be my Birthday party, so it’s gonna be a real big deal. Real Crazy.
Then, there’s me. I just dropped this project with J-Hard. I’m working on another project right now, the group is called Grips of Syrup with Greg Grease of the Usual Suspects and a few local producers. Then I have an alter-ego called Tron Diaz 8510, and I’m workin’ on a tape, but that’s not like, top priority, but it’s something I’m working on on the side as well. I think that’s the majority of stuff that I’m on right now, it’s hard hard to keep track [laughs]. W: “Turnt Up!” just recently went on tour, where did you head to? F: We got brought up because the Welcome to Minnesota Tour with Atmosphere and all of them were coming through Bemidji, and people there were trying to throw some parties at the same time to kinda capture the hip-hop. I think Prof had just been up there the day before, so there was a whole bunch of hip-hop coming through Bemidiji in a short span of time, so they were just trying to keep the party going. They asked us to come up there and bring what we do with the “Turnt Up!” Wag stuff up there, and it was fun man! Bemidiji’s really cool, because there’s this dude named Schmule up there who’s lived down here but he’s from up there, and he’s kinda made it his mission to get as much hip-hop up there as possible, and really cultivate a scene, which I’m all about. W: Let’s talk about the new album with J-hard, Sense of Self. How long were you working on this project for? F: It happened very very fast. I had worked with J-Hard in a youth-worker capacity back when I worked at [Minneapolis Community hip-hop collective] Yo! The Movement, when Toki Wright was my boss. J-Hard had come in because he wanted to make beats, we worked with kids who wanted to do that, and he also battled and did rap performances, so I had seen his talent from a young age. I thought “this dude has it”, you know? He’s a North-sider, his family’s well established on the North side and everybody knows him up there. We had tried to do something together back in the day, but the timing was off and we weren’t ready and whatever, and then he went to business school at the U of M. I had gone to school at the U
of M as well, but I stayed connected to the music all throughout, where he kinda got really deep into business school and buckled down, knocked that out. But when he came out of it, he had all these beats, and I had been hitting him up for years like “Dude, I need your stuff”, so he showed me all of his best beats, and he was gonna release them as a 3-CD package, but he said “you should listen to this before I drop it.” I was like “OH MY GOD dude, I have to have these”. I wana say he gave them to me around this time last year, and then I just went through a flash of writing, like, crazy hard in the spring and summertime and we just recorded it real fast with Mike Frey. I needed my music to be current, cuz my last project took like 5 years from when it started to when it came out, and by the time it dropped I didn’t feel like it represented me, the songs just seemed old, so I “this just needs to come out as soon as I can get it out, I gotta show people what I can do”. It’s been goin’ really good since then, man. W: The new material’s kind of a stylistic departure from your other work with Illuminous 3. Was that intentional? F: I think Illuminous 3 came about in a really transitional time in Minneapolis hip-hop, because we came in at the end of the height of the “indie-backpack rap” era, when everyone was really pushing things to the limits, like Pharoe Monch, Mos Def and Talib, so we were like “Where can you go from that?”. We had mastered our styles within that growing up, but we grew up on Tupac and Biggie and all that stuff too, so we always liked to party. We never liked rap shows where people just went and stood, and when we would throw parties we’d have some of the best ones on the Southside, but we could never play our music at them or any local music because it didn’t connect with people like that. So we all started kinda playing with stuff, figuring out how to make music that gets played at parties. I’ve always been the more experimental member, I try out different genres, and I’ve always liked electronic music and J-Hard was on a really big electronic influence, and it just came about well. I think both of our minds were open to the right thing at the right time, and I saw my place in his stuff. I guess I didn’t realize how different sounding it was until after it came out and everybody was like “Wow! This is really different”. I guess from my perspective it seemed like a natural progression. W: How did your release show at Conga go? F: It went real well, we brought in our own sound, Mike Frey was a huge help with that. We brought in lighting and everything, set it up really special. We had fog machines and a special stage, and it was a real good night, all the performances were super on-point, the vibe was real warm and real positive, it was good!
05 – 26 march 2012
sound & vision
W: How are you planning on distributing Sense of Self? F: Well, the actual music, you know, just the music, is free because I need people to hear it, I’m trying to do whatever I can to get people to listen. But then, in order to raise money for myself and be compensated, if folks wanna donate money to me or pay a “suggested fee”, I made albums with the artwork, posters, and I also make jewelry, and other things that are from me that I can help make profit off of if you want to invest in that. I mean, I’m tryna make money because I want to be self-sustaining, but at the same token, selling your music right now, when you’re in a position like mine and not that many people know about you, you have to really make it accessible. In the future I will be charging because of how long I’ve been doin’ stuff and the quality of what I’m doing, but right now I need it to get in front of people. W: Your video for your single “Waggin’ on the Scene” became a viral sensation in the local scene, could you talk about that? F: What happened with that was, I decided “Waggin’ on
the Scene” was probably the most attractive attractive song to the most people on the album, so I knew I needed to do a video. I was aware of the title, and I was aware that I was talkin’ about Waggin’ in it and all that stuff, but my perspective was just simply that this song seemed the most digestible to everybody else. I knew I needed a lot of energy, and I knew it had to come off as “me”, but a little exaggerated like I can be. My younger friends in Audio Perm told me about this kid Kale Eickhof who had done some videos for them, and the most appealing thing about him was that he could have a quick turnaround. A big problem with all of this is when you have to delegate tasks to other folks it gets really frusturating real quick, because nobody’s invested as much as you to get this done. We were originally just going to shoot the entire video at “Turnt Up!” and kinda promote that while showing that it wasn’t just a song, or just one dude, but that this was our culture and the way we lived. Kale kinda had these extra ideas and he was really good at pushing me out of my comfort zone, and I think that’s what really helped, because I believed in him and he believed in me. He got a really good crew out there with cameras and lights, and then spent hours and hours in post-production with me, because we were very particular and we wanted it to look on-point.
got people excited about the music in a whole new way. I know MC Harv made a little compilation of them, and BeScene. com is gonna make a compilation once we gather all of ‘em, but I know Mike Frey did one, 2% Muck did one, Greg Grease did a chopped & screwed one, DJ Frank Castle did a Dubstep one, Baby Gracious...and of course Audio Perm did one...man there’s a lot! And there’s still more comin’, I’m getting hit up by different kids in different places, I didn’t expect it to pick up like this but I’m happy it did because this is how the music is supposed to be. W: Let’s do the Wag question. “Waggin’, what’s that mean?” F: I mean...you know...how I explain it in the song...it escapes you because it’s just supposed to be energy, and we’re just talking about our energy and our experience, and I guess it’s a really strong, positive, agressive energy. It’s indigenous to Minnesota, South Minneapolis is where it came from, the word “wag” comes from Shorty & Wags, a recently closed wing spot back in the neighborhood. I don’t know if I really have a good answer though, it’s a cultural thing, just come around the people who ally with it and if it’s something that resonates with you then you’re a part of it, that’s just the energy of it. It’s not exclusive, it’s not elitist, it’s just Waggin’ [Laughs]. W: What’s up next for Franz Diego? F: Well, there’s Grips of Syrup, which is next on my list. Illuminous 3 is gonna do another full-length album and we’re gonna just chose one producer to take care of all of the production this time, it’s gonna be a real special project. We’re going to South by Southwest, we’ve got 2 shows, we’re goin’ down there with Audio Perm, The Chalice and Tuss as the Wag Squad or whatever. We’ve been doin’ fundraising parties as well to raise money for that, we were able to book the shows easy but gettin’ down there costs money so we’re trying to figure out how we can raise the most money to do that in a quick manner. Stay tuned! Sense of Self features plenty of hyphy dance-floor hip-hop jams for your clubbing pleasure, but the Chairman of the Wag’s newest single “Bike Song” is a chilled out spring anthem if there ever was one. Pedal around, Wag out. Repeat. Go online to wakemag.org for an exclusive free download from Franz Diego and J-Hard! Waaaaaaaag!
W: You also released the Instrumentals and Acapellas from “Waggin’ on the Scene” for free online as well, why did you do that? F: Because this is hip-hop, and I think people kinda forgot somethings. When I was growing up, any single that was released, no matter who the person was, had the actual single un-edited, then the radio edit, then it had the dance mix, then the instrumental, then the remix and usually something extra, so when you bought one song, you got all these extra factors with it. I think when everything started going digital, music was moving so fast that people weren’t paying attention to that, or caring about it. This song could have been a different song for the single and I still would have released the Acapella and the Instrumental either way, because in my mind, that’s a single. But I think this song, because it was about Waggin’, and about that energy, it was something that people in Minnesota could latch onto and say “this is mine, I wanna showcase this in my way, this is something I can take ownership of”. And I allowed people to have ownership of it, because it’s not mine, it’s everybody’s. It was great because it
sound & vision
Death Knell of “The Classic” The Academy Awards Are Promoting The Downfall Of American Film By Tyler Lauer
I always tell people that the Academy Awards is my Super Bowl. I love movies. I follow directors instead of quarterbacks. I countdown to movie releases like people countdown to the start of the season. Movies have always inspired me, and that’s what I want from my entertainment.
Maybe originality is dying. Or maybe safe bets at the box office are better bets for production companies.
When I made this comparison to the Super Bowl, what I meant was that it was the biggest night of the year for movies. That’s where the comparison ended. At least, that’s where I thought it ended. What characterizes the Super Bowl? It’s focused on entertaining an audience through outlandish commercials, a star-studded halftime show, and then (lastly) on a hopefully exciting game. In this, the producers of the Super Bowl have found a way to make the entire spectacle exciting to a wide audience without relying on the football game at all. What I noticed while watching the Academy Awards this year was that they did the same thing, for the same reasons, although in a way more suitable for the subject matter. The halftime show was replaced by Cirque du Soleil, and also to an extent the hour and a half red carpet show before, since a big part of why people watch is to see the celebrity fashions and celebrities in general. The commercials were replaced (in theory, not practice) by countless sketches and comedic bits. The football game was replaced by the Best Picture nominees, and this year they were the embodiment of a lackluster football game: The Descendants was good, “indie,” but good. Except it had George Clooney. So now what would have been a pretty good but forgettable indie movie is now Oscar-worthy by his presence, not by substance. Then Hugo and War Horse can be lumped together since they were both helmed by acclaimed directors (Scorsese and Spielberg) but failed to live up to the substance of the directors’ earlier work. I mean, who saw either of them? Who even cared? The Tree of Life was too existential. No one understood. I wanted to like it. It had potential and bravado but didn’t provide audiences with a sympathetic connection. The Help and Midnight in Paris were safe bets. The Help took a popular novel and well-worn subject matter, infused it with new talent, and presented it as new. Midnight in Paris was hilarious and relatable. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close got horrible reviews. Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock saved it. By “saved,” I mean got people to recognize it. They didn’t make it a good movie. Moneyball was just a plain, good movie. No more, no less. Then The Artist, notable for defying modern conventions and bringing a relevantly recycled vision to the present, it was killed by the exploitation of the mass-appealing dance moves and the dog. The Weinstein Brothers, the producers
05 – 26 march 2012
who picked up The Artist, just proved that they could make anything win Best Picture. They did it last year too, with The King’s Speech.
clear winners of Best Picture in a while. Since it’s given that money rules Hollywood, let’s consider that Best Picture is a dying category.
So, looking at these, why do they add up to create a lackluster “football game”? The answer is simple: None of these movies have the potential to be classics. The reason the producers are making a bigger spectacle of the Academy Awards is because the nominees can’t bring in the viewers they once could. Just look at the last three winners of Best Picture: The Hurt Locker, The King’s Speech, and now, The Artist. The Hurt Locker is all but forgotten, The King’s Speech is primed for oblivion, and I’m guessing The Artist will follow suit. None of these movies are “classic” material.
Best Picture has to be the mix of an artistic masterpiece and a uniquely compelling story. Where were the Rocky, Braveheart, and Titanic equivalents this year? Where were the blockbuster/critically acclaimed/new-classic-potential movies? Harry Potter could have pulled a Lord of the Rings, except that it failed to evoke feelings outside of those invested in the world. We had to like it because it was the end of an age, and everything was included that needed to be, but it was definitely a let-down compared to The Return of The King. What else? Transformers? No. Twilight sequel? Definitely no. Super 8 and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had potential that didn’t surface, although I liked both. This is the key to understanding movies today. It’s all about “like,” not “love.” Movies aren’t all-encompassing pleasers anymore. There are no Don Juans. movies that people feel passionately about are more subjective these days, and the Academy Awards seem to be taking advantage of this. The top box office list for this year looks more like a conglomerate of hopeful crowd-pleasers instead of earth-shattering new-classics. Maybe originality is dying. Or maybe safe bets at the box office are better bets for production companies. Either way, if the Academy ever hopes to return to its former glory, they need to stop applauding mediocrity and we need to see the re-emergence of “The Classic” film. The Academy Awards should be the Olympics of film, not the Super Bowl.
How did this happen? Can it be fixed? Let’s look into past nominees and see if we can discern a trend. Just last year films like Black Swan, Inception and The Social Network were up for Best Picture. In retrospect, all of these were Best Picture material, at least more so than this year’s nominees. The Social Network, for example, was directed by David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac), had perfectly-cast actors, and was an ode to our generation. It had all the makings of a new classic. Yet, the period-piece The King’s Speech won. Why? Because the Weinstein Brothers had enough money (aka persuasive ability) to make people believe their movie was Best Picture quality. This kind of sway on the collective Hollywood psyche has been very present in these last three years of the Academy Awards. By looking at this, we can either determine that money rules Hollywood or that there haven’t been any
sound & vision
Be the Void - Dr. Dog
They are going back to their old ways and yes, it is refreshing. BY Justin Miller The Philadelphia-based Dr. Dog is one of those bands. You know, the one you hear whispers about every once in a while but never got around to checking out. But the veterans have released their seventh album and boast an enthralling live show that will convert the curious. They are making it clear that they are still kicking around with their strain of retro ‘60s rock that many criticize as too Beatlesque. But, don’t knock it ‘til you hear their vintage sound, complete with dirty guitars chugging along and soothing vocal harmonies hovering just above. Their previous album, “Shame, Shame” was their first to feature a producer other than themselves. It resulted in their most put together albums, with a slightly more psychedelic groove. With “Be the Void”, Dr. Dog returned to their trusty old method of doin’ it yourself. They are going back to their old ways and yes, it is refreshing. The addition of a new drummer gives songs like the upbeat “Old Black Hole” and “These Days” janglers a thrust that has been missing in their sound from previous albums. “Heavy Light” may capture what their future sound will be. It has the catchy choruses that have always been their calling card, but their sound on the track is soothingly spacey and has this groove that will sneak up on you. Check it out if you can accept the fact that Dr. Dog is going to always be just that.
Some Nights - fun. By Alyssa Bluhm
When fun. released “We Are Young,” the first single off their sophomore album Some Nights, months ago, I listened to it constantly. Anthemic and brilliant, it was like a piece of good news I could carry around on my iPod. A few Super Bowl commercials and one disappointing Glee cover of it later, it became apparent that I wasn’t the only one to feel this way. But my first listen of Some Nights left me shocked. I mistakenly inferred that Auto-Tune ruined at least half of the album’s songs and was on the verge of a heart attack when a user comment on fun.’s SoundCloud album stream calmed me down. It said that a vocoder was actually responsible for Nate Ruess’s tricked-out vocals, not the influence of Ke$ha and Usher. Knowing this, it became clear to me just how awesome Some Nights is. The heavily vocoded and hip-hop-influenced tracks are clearly the product of an experiment gone right, which can only be expected from fun. after their equally experimental first album, Aim & Ignite. The album’s intro is reminiscent of the intro to Dog Problems, an album by Ruess’s former band, The Format, and “Some Nights” is easily the best track on the album. Closing off the album is the wistful, stalker-esque bonus track, “Out On The Town,” which has replaced “We Are Young” as the most-listened-to-on-repeat song in my iTunes library. So while this album is titled Some Nights, it’s masterful enough to be listened to everyday.
Puppetlab Experiments with Storytelling By Maggie Foucault
To be completely honest, I’m not really into puppets. Beyond the Muppets Christmas Carol and Sesame Street, I don’t usually choose to sit down and watch puppets. So when I was invited to the Puppetlab series at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater in south Minneapolis, I was a little wary about going. But I decided to keep an open mind and check it out. It turned out that the main focus was not the puppets at all, but the performances of the actors. The series consists of four short plays, two of which were performed last weekend and two that will be performed this upcoming weekend. “Melting” took on the overwhelmingly broad topics of love, life, death and suffering with a sense of humor and barely any puppets. “Ain’t Heard Tell” explored the music of the Round Peak, North Carolina area with a lot more puppets but also some impressive fiddle and banjo performances, and even some clogging thrown in for good measure. Next weekend will feature two new performances, “Pollen Road” and “meet me in the heart caves.” Admission is $12 or pay what you can. Showtimes can be found on www.hobt.org
To Publish Or Not To Publish? Biosaftey vs. Bioterror BY Mitchell Ambrose I have a great idea for the next hit action thriller. Here’s a synopsis: Somewhere in the basement of a building in the Netherlands lies a virus that would very likely kill millions of people if released. It is not a naturally occurring virus; it was specifically designed to be transferrable between humans. Now the mad scientists responsible for its creation want to give an instruction manual to the world so that terrorists can make it for themselves. Cue, oh I don’t know, Bruce Willis or Matt Damon to come save the day. Now where did I get this million-dollar movie idea? You may be surprised to learn that all I had to do was copy, with some important embellishments and omissions, a situation that is actually occurring today. Somewhere in the basement of a building in the Netherlands there really is a virus that could kill millions of people if released. It really was specifically designed to be transferrable between humans. Even the last part about the scientists wanting to tell the world how they made the virus is somewhat true.
that are transferrable among ferrets have also been found to be transferrable among humans. The most alarming thing about the modified virus is that it is only different from the original by five mutations in two genes. Each mutation has already been observed in naturally occurring mutations of the virus, just not all at once. The Netherlands group along with another group that independently developed a similarly modified virus have submitted their findings for publication, their rationale being that this information is crucial to those trying to develop vaccines for H5N1 and its potential variants. The results would have
However, the statistics concerning the effect of H5N1 on humans are very frightening. According a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 600 humans have contracted H5N1 since November 2003, 60% of whom died from the virus. The economic impact associated with controlling the spread of the virus has been significant as well. As of August 2011, around 400 million birds (not all of which were necessarily infected) have been killed to prevent the spread of the virus, resulting in an estimated loss of 20 billion dollars. In addition, much time and resources have been spent to develop vaccines for the virus and to monitor its spread.
05 – 26 march 2012
With this in mind, it is clear that my movie plot was not a fair characterization of real the situation. The scientists involved have good intentions and their research is important. However, the question of whether or not the research should be made publically available is legitimate. On the one side there are those that believe restricting publication of scientific research is an infringement of academic freedom and sets a precedent for future government control of scientific research. On the other side are those that believe the information is simply too dangerous and too easy to misuse. This type of research is referred to as “dual use” because it has the potential to cause both good and harm. Dual use research is unsurprisingly very controversial, and there are some who argue that most dual use research should simply never be carried out. Most examples of dual-use research come from the physical and biological sciences, the most well-known historical example being the development of nuclear technologies. There is a Buddhist proverb which I believe is very relevant to the problem of dual use research. It reads “To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gate to hell.” We are unfortunate enough to live in a time where this statement is more true than ever.
The virus the scientists made is a modification of H5N1, a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza, also known as the bird flu. The bird flu, as its name suggests, is similar to the flu viruses that humans can get except that it predominantly affects birds. There have been numerous outbreaks of the bird flu over the past decade, the most significant of which have occurred in Asian countries. Humans can contract the bird flu by coming into close contact with infected birds, but it is presently very hard for the virus to transfer between humans. At this point, the bird flu sounds fairly innocuous. If it is just the bird equivalent of strains of the flu that humans normally get, what is there to worry about? Although human flu viruses do occasionally kill people, they usually can be overcome in a few days.
As a part of the effort to control the spread of H5N1, the National Institutes of Health provided funding to the group of scientists in the Netherlands to investigate how easily the H5N1 virus could mutate into a form that was more transferrable between humans. The group was able to mutate the virus so that it was transferrable through the air between ferrets. The researchers then concluded that the modified virus was transferrable between humans since, to date, all viruses
been published already had it not been for the intervention of the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. This organization is currently reviewing the articles to evaluate potential risks associated with details concerning the modification of the virus entering the public domain. Their chief concern is that terrorists could use this information to develop the modified virus for use as a biological weapon.
Mar. 2 0 (Tuesda y Night )