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wingspan • december 16, 2010

ew point of view point of v Dr. Luke produces the nation’s top artists

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Elton John performs at Asheville Civic Center

Hailey Robinson Entertainment Editor

r. Lukasz Gottwald, a pop music producer, rules the radio with his unique sound. Starting out as the lead guitarist for the prestigious Saturday Night Live house band, he is now known as Dr. Luke, the mastermind behind the latest songs dominating the pop music billboards. Dr. Luke is responsible for songs sung by artists Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Pink and Kelly Clarkson. Dr. Luke’s guitarist career began in 1997 and continued for another 10 years when in 2007 he became a music producer. His first hit as a music producer was in 2004. He wrote and produced American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson’s first hit, “Since You’ve Been Gone.” At this point he was still a session musician and career guitarist. Dr. Luke prefers to work with female artists because he feels that they are the future of music. He said that music sung by male artists had its time, and now it’s time for the females. “If you look at the charts, there’s not a lot of male artists, and for whatever reason, female artists sell a lot more records and get played a lot more on the radio,” Dr. Luke recenly told NPR News. When it comes to the radio, Dr. Luke is a fan. He feels it is the best way to reach as many people as possible. He also thinks it is a great way to ensure that music artists fill seats for concerts. People who have met Dr. Luke say that his reason for success is his talent for creating tempo tracks that are underscored by upbeat melodies and choruses that are sung earlier in the song. Miley Cyrus’s hit single “Party in the USA” was another one of Dr. Luke’s successes. The song took the young pop artist from Disney Channel to the top of the music charts. He used his secret recipe for the song’s design and created her gateway to pop stardom. In April Dr. Luke was named American Society of Composers, Authors and Publisher’s Songwriter of the Year. In addition to that he was awarded 10 different ASCAP Pop Music Awards that night, both as a songwriter and publisher. In just five years, Dr. Luke has created 18 number one hit songs. This achievement makes him one of pop cultures most valuable producers. According to the latest Billboard Magazine, Dr. Luke has four songs in the Top 10, making him the hottest music producer in the music industry.

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Brandi Martin Editor-in-Chief

aturday night’s the night I like. Saturday night’s all right, all right, all right,” sang Elton John in his first solo song at the sold-out show in Asheville last month. Saturday night may be all right for John, but for the people of Western North Carolina that were lucky enough to get a ticket to the Civic Center, a Tuesday night did just fine. John stepped onto the fog-filled, lit-up stage at 8:15 ready for a “long show.” He was wearing his common attire, consisting of stylish sunglasses and a dark blazer, this time with a crocodile on the back of it. The concert began As the magical with John and Leon Russell, whom John refers to as night came to his inspiration and hero, an end, John playing familiar tunes and multiplying the amount of serenaded his energy in the Civic Center. fans with ‘Candle John then played his most in the Wind,’ popular solo tunes, such as “Saturday Night” and a in which many beautiful rendition of “Rocket people held up Man,” uniting the audience in a 10-minute sing-a-long. their phones and After every song, the lighters. crowd went wild with delight, which made John even more Brandi Martin energetic. In two different on John’s performance instances throughout the night, he stood up and pointed to all corners of the Center, receiving much praise both times. For about an hour during the middle of the show, Russell and John reunited to share songs from their new album, The Union. During this hour, the liveliness of the crowd seemed to die down. Whether it was because the people were listening intently to the slower songs, or because they missed the up-beat sound of the piano, everyone appeared to be longing for songs they could sing along with. Soon after, John got the crowd up and dancing again with many classic beats that only he could deliver while flashing lights corresponded to notes in his piano solos. As the magical night came to an end, John serenaded his fans with “Candle in the Wind,” in which many people held up their phones and lighters. After signing albums from front-row enthusiasts, John finished with the encore of “Your Song.” Because John has been performing for so long, I expected to see more of a concert, rather than a full-blown performance, but I was pleasantly surprised. The addition of Russell, with cane and all, made for a night of all-around good music and even a little humor because his long, white beard grazed the piano more than his hands did. As wonderful as the performance was, John did not please the crowd with his famous “Crocodile Rock” or “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” but after all was said and done, we were all feeling the love.

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point of vi w point of view

‘Next Three Days’ impresses audience o Lara Brennan, a dark prison cell, cold cement walls, metal bars vertically aligned and a single cot in the corner are the equivalent to death. When she was found guilty of a gruesome murder, her husband could see the only solution was to free her from the conviction she never deserved. In The Next Three Days, a remake of the 2007 French film Pour Elle directed by Fred Cavayé, John Brennan (Russell Crowe) is forced to break the law to rescue his wife (Elizabeth Banks) or let her fall into a state of depression later ending with suicide. The director, Paul Haggis, creates a motion picture that does more than capture the audience for a mere two hours. The significance of a man’s unconditional love for his wife lingers in the minds of movie goers long after the credits roll. The Next Three Days portrays the law as the enemy while the two fugitives and their elementary-aged son seek safety on Venezuelan soil. This thriller goes through the stages of defeating the American justice system while showing the moral and ethical obstacles the Brennans must overcome. Although The Next Three Days only took in $6.8 million in its opening weekend, Haggis shows his Hollywood expertise. With part one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows being released the same weekend, Haggis’ film did not reach its full potential. This film deserved more attention. From the opening scene, there is never a dull moment, and along with the exciting plot come messages of love and sacrifice. The movie trailer does not do the movie justice, implying that it is a typical action-flick. Movie viewers will not be disappointed with the depth of this story.

Grisham’s Confession disappointing novel

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Diane Gromelski Asst. Entertainment Editor

he Confession is nothing more than an exhaustive tirade against the death penalty poorly disguised as a fiction thriller. With a predictable plotline, stereotypical characters and a complete absence of entertainment value, the novel doesn’t live up to the reader’s expectations of international best-selling author John Grisham. In 1998, serial rapist Travis Boyette raped and killed a popular Slone High School cheerleader, Nicole Yarber. He buried her body in his remote hometown, then watched local football player Dante Drumm be arrested and sentenced to death for Boyette’s crime. Nine years later, Drumm is days away from execution and Boyette wants to clear his guilty conscious. He visits the Rev. Keith Schroder seeking advice on how to convince judges and politicians that he, not Drumm, murdered Yarber. Schroder and Boyette are soon on their way to Texas in a desperate attempt to stop the execution. The characters in the book are by far the biggest disappointment. While Grisham’s characters are usually believable, the characters in The Confession are so unrealistic that they detract from the story. Grisham makes all of the Texas executive and judicial officials archetypal Texan conservatives. The governor refuses to grant stays for Dante’s execution despite the doubt surrounding his guilt in fear of being seen as too liberal. The Texas Court of Appeals closes their office early so that Dante’s lawyers can’t file the one final appeal that could save his life. Basically, the officials ignore substantial evidence proving Dante’s innocence and aren’t concerned that they are killing an innocent man. To make the story more suspenseful, Grisham should have made Drumm more likely to be a criminal so that readers have more doubt about his innocence. Grisham only makes his characters this stereotypical to prove that Texas-style justice is too harsh.

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