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Food lovers review San Francisco’s Boulevard and Palo Alto’s Thai options ... page 3 Intermission profiles student designer for Charity Fashion Show...page 4 Asian American Theater Project hasn’t forgotten Asian American history...page 5 Fall Out Boy’s punk-pop concert ... page 10 Kid Cudi is newest breakout star on hip-hop music scene...page 12
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Dining bliss at Boulevard
s we enter spring, it’s time to think about celebrating the conclusion of another great year on the farm. Palo Alto may have some nice options to choose from, but how exciting can a trip to University Avenue be? A real celebration calls for a trip to the city, and among the most popular venues for a high end meal is Boulevard. Even before walking inside, the location of Boulevard is impressive in itself. Located at the end of Mission Street by The Embarcadero, the restaurant offers views of the Ferry Building to the left and the Bay Bridge to the right. While the restaurant has only existed since 1993, the building — which has its own interesting history — dates back to before the 1906 earthquake, unlike all of the other buildings around. After the earthquake hit, the Army was sent in to raze buildings throughout the city in an effort to quell the spread of fire that would certainly cause even more destruction. Boulevard’s building was at the time occupied by a pub, the owner of which persuaded the demolition crews to spare his building in exchange for complimentary libations. While the historic exterior remains, the interior was completely renovated to make way for the restaurant styled in the art nouveau theme of turn-of-the-century Paris. Several touches including the logo immediate-
ly evoke the style of the original famed entrances to the Paris Metro. It would seem that Boulevard’s clientele operate with an East Coast mindset. Even at 9:30, when most California Restaurants might be shutting down, clientele — some with reservations — are still waiting for a table. That wait would most likely take place at the attractive bar since space was otherwise extremely limited given the number of tables that re squeezed in the dining area. Eventually, you could be seated either along the relatively narrow and heavily trafficked corridor near the front door — which offers views of the hardworking kitchen staff — or in the calmer, roomier back with views of The Embarcadero and the Bay. Nancy Oakes’ cooking can best be described in one word: excellent. The New American menu doesn’t have an overwhelming number of choices, but everything sounds enticing. Perhaps the only constraint was that the offerings were a little seafood-heavy, but with choices like calamari stuffed with Dungeness crab, it’s hard to complain. To make a long story short, this tasted just as good as it sounds. Chicken is generally something that is served far too often and rarely is done well. There are few things more annoying than a tasteless and dry piece of grilled chicken
breast. But Boulevard’s chicken entrée should not be ignored — a slow roasted free range chicken from Petaluma, some wrapped around sausage served over polenta and topped with truffles. The chicken was slightly crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and actually had its own real flavor. Of course, anything that is good gets better when it is wrapped around sausage, and the polenta was made with generous amounts of fine cheese and was nothing short of amazing. Overall, it was probably the best chicken dish I have ever had. Not surprisingly, the service matches the quality of the food. It was the kind of service that is not overly pretentious but is so good you simply don’t even notice it. Even on the way out, when one server was blocking the way as he put the order to the kitchen, the captain immediately noticed the situation and silently signaled the obstructing waiter to get out of the way. Such a dining experience obviously comes with a hefty price tag with appetizers in the $15 to $20 range and main entrees mainly being north of $30. But for a special occasion in San Francisco, it’s a meal that’s hard to beat at any price.
— theo POLAN c o n t a c t t h e o : t p o l a n @ s t a n f o rd . e d u
t would seem that Boulevard’s clientele operate with an East Coast mindset. Even at 9:30, when most California Restaurants might be shutting down, clientele — some with reservations — are still waiting for a table.
photos courtesy Boulevard Restaurant
Hot or Not? The best Thai in town
he Bay Area is a special place. The juxtaposition of so many culinary traditions in such a small region offers us (and our taste buds) a multitude of possibilities. Thai offerings are particularly a-plenty, as anyone who has strolled down University Ave can attest. While I am but one man on a mission for good food and a full tummy, Intermission readers probably wouldn’t appreciate it if I attempted to review all of the closest Thai restaurants to campus. I’ll focus my attention and appetite on a few eateries, ranging from the casual to some real black Thai affairs. On the informal side, Stanford students can’t really beat the Jordan Hall Thai Café, in the basement of Building 420. With cheap eats, such as the BBQ Chicken Noodle Salad or Chicken Soup, the Café’s consistently long lines give visitors some idea of the allure of the tastes to come. I’d recommend deciding what you want before you get to the counter, especially as you’re certain to have enough time! Remember that the noodle salads are cold, except for the warm sauce. For those of you with peanut allergies, stay at Ricker, as this is not a peanut-free environment.
Understanding that the Thai Café is probably the most convenient eatery for your Thai fix, try to get off campus for more variety of your grub. Not far from campus, you’ll find Thaiphoon, a whirlwind of flavor. Their food’s been rated the best Thai in Palo Alto in 2006 and 2007, according to the Palo Alto Daily News. I’ve always come away satisfied in my many ventures out to the restaurant, especially with the extensive menu and convenient location close to Pizza My Heart on Emerson Street. A little farther down University Ave, you’ll come across Siam Royal. Favorites include their interpretations of the papaya salad, panang salmon and the mango sticky rice. Siam Royal tends to be a bit milder than spice fanatics might want, but the wait staff is nice and helpful. Also recommended are their fried bananas, which have a special appeal. Down Lytton Ave. in Paly, you’ll find Bangkok Cuisine. Hillary Lin ‘11 raves about the eateries Pad See Ew. Acknowledging that the portions are on the small side, Lin recommends the Pad See Ew (a flat rice noodle dish with a choice of meat) as well as the Pineapple Fried Rice.
maps.google.com Venturing to Mountain View’s Castro Street, Amarin Thai Cuisine is a great lunch or dinner destination. Lunch is particularly attractive, as the dishes fall in the $5-$6 range and are good quality. However, since it’s located about 20 minutes away from campus, it’s not so convenient for students on the go. If you do head over, though, definitely try the spicy prawns. What’s hot and what’s not? It’s up to you to explore, I’ve tried quite a few places and I can say that I can’t pick a favorite — it’s a Thai!
— tommy TOBIN contact tommy: email@example.com
Taiphoon Restaurant friday april 10 2009
Charity Fashion Show designer profile: Wayne Hwang
Introduction to Charity Fashion Show 2009
Charity Fashion Show is the largest fashion show in the West Coast. This year, the show will feature over 52 international designers. The line-up ranges from Oscar de la Renta to three Stanford break-out designers (Wayne Hwang, profiled here, Monica Miklas, and Karen Lum) and even two high school designers. There will be just under 50 models for the 30 set show, with 8 to 12 garments per show. Most of the models are Stanford students, and two are even high school students. Charity Fashion Show will take place on May 2 at Roble Field.
piece of clothing is. The designers tell us what they want. But the prices will be below retail. (i): The fashion industry has by no means been immune from the economic downturn. In fact, just recently the Italian government bailed out many of the top Italian fashion houses, including Versace and Dolce & Gabbana. How do you think fashion will evolve through the recession? WH: In my opinion, there are two ways the fashion industry will respond to the economic crisis: the first route is some will go with the flow, go with the economic times and tone down everything so the clothes are more realistic and fashion is simpler. The second route is to really turn it up, make fashion even more extravagant and over-the-top — that way, you stand out. As for our fashion show, we’re getting a bit of both groups. Also, now is the best time for up-and-coming designers to start shining because we don’t have to deal with extensive fashion lines, a lot of employees, etcetera. (i): With the four major Fashion Weeks just behind us, what are your reactions? Favorite city or trend?
Intermission (i): How did you get into fashion? Wayne Hwang (WH): My mother was a model. She was a fashion designer for Donna Karan, so when I was 16 years old she got me into modeling for Donna Karan. I went through their modeling track — Donna Karan only uses their own models — and since then have done work for some children’s collections and DKNY men. I also learned to style hair and make jewelry. In my show, all of the jewelry and hair are done by me. The only things not made by me directly are the shoes. When I was a freshman at Stanford, I did a bit more modeling, but had to give it up. I started designing clothes only about a little over a year ago. My mom taught me some techniques so I wasn’t just all making it up. Then I applied for a SiCA grant to get the budget to design a couture set. (i): So what’s your upcoming collection like? WH: Well, yellow is this season’s color, so I pushed toward the metallics with gold and royal blue, color-wise. I use a lot of aquatic motifs, a lot of marine-themed shapes, designers and décor. It’s basically a bit like mermaid couture-wear. The men’s clothing is based on a marines and army theme. It’s a lot of structured
suits. My collection last year was a lot simpler; I’d just started, so it was a lot of draping with easy-to-work-with fabrics such as stretchy cotton. This year, I’m working on leathers, organza, tulle, pleated fabrics — I even wove some freshwater pearls and crystals into the dresses. So the dresses are heavy, and they have a lot of padding too, to create the rigid structure for the torso. It’s kind of like a really elaborate corset that’s made from a wash of fabrics. (i): Where did you get your inspiration for the marine-theme from? WH: I was inspired after visiting Kenting in Taiwan. I laid on the beach a lot there — the water is amazing. While sitting on the shore, I watched the waves come in, creating sea foams. So that’s the inspiration for the women’s collection. As for the men’s clothing — well, I hate making all women collections. My cousins have been drafted into the Taiwanese army, so their army clothes inspired me. Royal blue is one of my favorite colors too. (i): Once you’ve created and showcased your clothes, what’s the next step? WH:For me personally, most of what I make is just highly couture, which is un-wearable in everyday life. As for the other designers, that depends; if they’re just donating, then 100 percent of the profits from the sale goes to Doctors Without Borders. If designers are selling through us, then 10 percent of the profits go to Doctors Without Borders. So yes, designers have the option of donating or selling. Some of the designers that will be selling are Nanette Lepore, Tibi, BCBG, Oscar de la Renta and others. The sale is geared toward students, so the price will range from $20 to $200 depending on what the
WH: I’m biased toward the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week just because I used to work for it. I have to say, though, that Asia’s fashion weeks are really growing — for example, Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul. They’re really starting to have a big presence and have gotten much more extreme, decorative, elaborate and glamorous. (i): What do you think about the fashion community and knowledge — or actually, the lack thereof — at Stanford? WH: People at Stanford on average aren’t very aware of the fashion world and industry. The Bay Area’s fashion industry is abysmal — there’s almost no groundwork, no solid fashion groundwork here. So I figured, why don’t we start it now? We’re really fortunate to have strong corporate sponsors to make this happen. I feel like simply just by having a charity fashion show and using student models makes students more aware of designers and the world of fashion. After all, it’s a very big industry. They then spread what they know to their friends. Charity Fashion Show might not give everyone full knowledge, but at least people become more aware of what the fashion industry is.
— joanna XU contact joanna: firstname.lastname@example.org
Miley Cyrus returns to her roots
efore you all hunt me down for titling this article with with Tyra Banks, Miley’s father (played by her actual dad, such blasphemous words, I will say that when I first famous country singer Billy Ray Cyrus), decides to give Miley walked into the theater, I was completely expecting yet a big ol’ slice of humble pie, and takes her back to her homeanother Disney train wreck — Lizzie McGuire, I’m looking at town roots in the Tennessee countryside. you. You can then imagine my personal surprise when I disHere she engages in your stereotypical southern activicovered that Disney’s latest tween franchise movie was actual- ties: riding horses, going to barn hoedowns and falling in love ly not half-bad. with the cute cowboy next door. Miley quickly rekindles her If you aren’t, like myself, familiar with the franchise, love for the simple life, but conflict rears its ugly head when here’s the gist of it. “Hannah Montana” is a popular television Miley eventually has to make the decision to keep things simshow about a girl named Miley, who is basically similar to a ple or keep up her pop star facade. This tension is actually superhero with a secret identity. But instead of being an actu- pretty believable and makes for some touching, albeit cheesy al hero, she is a pop star. At home, she lives a normal life, but and predictable, moments. when she hits the stage, she throws on a blonde wig and dolls I really did appreciate the film’s overall plot because herself up to become Hannah Montana. The story in the besides focusing on Miley’s identity crisis, the movie doesn’t detract too much from this secret pop star movie also places a good amount of attention on formula — which isn’t actually a bad thing. Miley’s father and other family members. This The film starts off with Miley loving the helps to add an extra layer of depth to the film that is Hannah pop star life, which you can’t really often missing in other similar Disney tween blame her for — who wouldn’t want to be a movies — think “High School Musical,” and CALE O A S rich and famous celebrity? However, Lizzie McGuire, I’m looking at you again. F N 1 O after standing up her best friend and Of course the story isn’t completely perfect, . s stat a: vital getting into a humorous cat fight and there were still certain elements that n the onta made me cringe. Hailing from the southah M Hann ovie ern state of Texas, I am always amused by M The the public media’s perception of the ic h Mus G anna e d y, er H er “South.” This was no exception in g Com teena e to h m tion “Hannah Montana,” and I was amused, sensa eturns ho Po p r s. tana although internally horrified, to witness Mon ssee root ne Te n the film’s conception of what happens in the South. According to the movie, everyone in the South spends their nights singing country songs on the porch with Rascal Flatts — seriously, they are in the movie. Then, during their barnyard hoedowns, the likes of Taylor Swift also stroll on by to sing a song or two. Everyone is happy, gorgeous and carefree. Granted, I can see why Disney would choose to glamorize a movie like this, but it’s just utterly unbelievable. photos courtesy allmoviephoto.com Besides this over-hyped lifestyle, the ending of the film
AATP recreates Asian-American experience
also felt a bit overdone. Technically, what happens is pretty significant, so I won’t spoil it for you. I will, however, say that during this point in the film, it felt like the heartless Disney Corporation stepped in and set its foot down on how the rest of the film should play out. So what do we get when all is said and done? Is “Hannah Montana” a great film? No. Is it horrible? Surprisingly, no. Its story and musical elements cast a broad enough appeal to mildly amuse the general masses, but when it comes down to it, only the Hannah Montana fans will actually truly enjoy this film. Now I wonder when the Jonas Brothers are going to do a movie . . .
— k y l e E VA L D E Z contact kyle: email@example.com
fter being handed a program for the Asian American Theater Project’s “Forgetting Tiburon,” I had to check the line “written and directed by” multiple times. The fact that “Forgetting Tiburon” is written and directed by the same person is extraordinary. Karmia Cao did an incredible job creating her vision and weaving together the rather complicated tapestry of AsianAmerican history. Her play is complicated, disjointed from steve lesser
the start, with several set changes, a stage that shares multiple plot lines and actors developing on an arch that is anything but linear. Initially, this lack of structure concerned me, if only because I was a skeptic. “Could they pull it off?” I wondered. By the end of the play, I had been proven foolish in my skepticism a thousand times over. This play reminds the viewer of the struggles of Asian Americans during the ugly period that began during the
Gold Rush and haunted America well into the ‘40s. During that era of Asian exclusion, paranoid racism drove white America to imprison people from China, who had been exploited in earlier periods for their labor. The story follows such a Chinese family into the current era. Asian stereotypes and family secrets haunt the stage and the characters; this is clearly not some simple, perfect Asian family — it’s also an American family, and with all that entails. This was not a perfect production, but the highlights far outweigh any flaws that I might have seen. There were some extraordinary performances on stage. On what is typically stereotyped as a techie campus lacking in artistic talent, the actors in “Forgetting Tiburon” challenge that stereotype. Of particular note is the lead actor who is on stage for the entirety of this nearly two-hour performance. Luc-Van Victor Luong invoked the incredible level of emotion experienced by his character’s captivity. Allie Dunworth as Katherine Mauer also notably performed as an American missionary on the island. Her performance perfectly projected Cao’s wishes to portray a complicated and compassionate character. There were some performances that were mediocre, but these were not bad performances — they got the job done, but were out-shone by others on stage. Overall, the acting in this play is on a level that has, at least for me, been unmatched at Stanford. The fact that the play is a complicated tale did lead to some loose ends; this, however, is a minor gripe. Kiren Sen, played by Prachi Priyam, is a character that I left feeling as if
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friday april 10 2009
Ram’s Head produces rockin’ rendition of “Aida”
Patrons are sipping champagne and enjoying the cultural atmosphere of Egyptian history. The stage freezes as a statue of Amneris, an Egyptian princess, comes to life, and begins weaving the epic love story that is “Aida.” Amneris, played by Gianna Masi ‘11, captivates the audience with her strong vocal talent; and as she begins to sing, the actors and staging take us back in time to the story of Aida in ancient Egypt. The story begins with Egyptian Captain Radames celebrating the spoils of a victory while on a cartographic mission in Nubia, Egypt’s enemy. Three Nubian women are taken by his soldiers and taken back to Egypt. The strength of one of these women sets her apart and captures the attention of the young captain. We soon realize that she is Aida, the princess of Nubia. From this point, the bulk of the story is fairly predictable, as Aida and Radames fall into a forbidden love. The development of their romance is fairly rushed, but this is not uncommon in musicals, where much of the character development is through song, which this performance does well. As previously mentioned, vocal talent can be hard to come by at Stanford, but thankfully this is not an issue, as Alex Nourishad ‘09 and Ré Phillips ‘10 deliver outstanding vocal performances for the lead roles of Radames and Aida. But the vocal talent doesn’t just end with the leads. Other notable performers are those who play the characters of Mereb (Julian Kusnadi ‘11) and Zoser, Radames’ father (Benno Rosenwald ‘11). Besides the main characters, many of the others bring great singing parts as well. The plot of the musical is not incredibly unique — as you can imagine, the love story between Aida and Radames, which is surrounded by conflict, lasts through all trials. The flaws of this story are by no means the fault of the Stanford company, however, as they are better attributed to the source material. Thankfully, the focus of a musical is not its plot. The vocals are well-supported by the orchestra, which does a good job reproducing the rock/opera sounds of Elton John’s musical score. Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the idea of a rock opera, the premise of using pop/rock music in a story that takes place in ancient Egypt might sound off-putting, but it works well because this musical blends both elements of the past and present, which is important in the show’s overall theme — that “love is timeless.” This can be heard in the Egyptian-esque tones that are subtle in songs and the strong ballads that are heavily inspired by the pop/rock background of Elton John. Moving away from the music, the group’s performance also blends the elements of modern and ancient. For example, Aida often speaks like the noble princess she is, but also has a bit of sass and modern colloquial thought. Besides the dialogue and lyrics, the production is notable in other ways. The staging and setting are well-thought-out, and the use of lighting is particularly well-done in Aida and Radames’ love duet, “Written in the Stars.” The musical itself is weak in comparison to other great Broadway productions, such as “Phantom of the Opera” or “Rent.” Once again, the fault is not the performers’, but that of Elton John and Tim Rice. The lyrics and music are simply not as strong, but Stanford’s rendition of the performance is a good piece of work. Spring musicals should be extravagant and moving. It should end the year on a high note, showcasing that although a techie school, Stanford has its fair share of performing arts talent. This aim has been something of a hit-or-miss over the past few years, but this year’s Ram’s Head production of “Aida” not only meets all of the expectations of what a spring musical should be, but it surpasses them, combining poetic subtleties with an array of talent to bring us a timeless story about love.
— k y l e E VA L D E Z a n d e r i c WA L K E R contact kyle: firstname.lastname@example.org contact eric: email@example.com
usicals at Stanford are often a mixed bag, but this is not any one person’s fault. Stanford’s population is small, and we are definitely not known as a performing arts school. Student talent can also vary over the years. However, it seems that this tradition has changed: “Aida,” the Ram’s Head Theatrical Society’s spring show this year, not only has a plethora of powerhouse vocal talent, but also combines poetic details to create an overall memorable experience. Before diving into the actual musical, it is important to recognize that a part of the musical’s quality is its source material. “Aida” is a rock musical based on Giuseppe Verdi’s opera of the same name. The musical was originally produced by Disney Theatrical, with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Elton John. The story itself is based upon a children’s story by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang. “Aida” made its world premiere Sept. 16, 1998 and was titled “Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida.” The Broadway-produced version debuted on March 23, 2000 and was then titled “Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida.” The Broadway show was instantly a success, winning a Tony Award for best score and, to be cliché, the rest is history . . . Flash forward to Stanford — Ram’s Head’s latest musical outing showcases the style of Elton John and Tim Rice the way it was written. The story starts off in a modern-day museum setting.
photos by steve lesser
friday april 10 2009
Intermission looks ahead at this summer’s biggest blockbusters
LOVE THE SUMMER. Besides not having to take classes, I like that Hollywood always rolls out its big guns by way of blockbusters. Granted, during this time period we don’t really see too much of the artsy, independent type of films, but hey, that’s what Oscar season is for. Instead, we get movies that privilege high octane action and special effects above all else — which is precisely what your average movie-goer wants to see when chomping on a bucket of popcorn in a cool, air-conditioned theater to escape the summer heat. Thankfully, even though our summers don’t officially begin until June, the summer movie season actually kicks off in May. So, if you’re looking for an incredibly fun distraction come May, we have got you covered with our official Summer Movie Preview Guide. Below, we at Intermission have selected some notable titles that should definitely be on your radar. Can anyone say dorm trips to midnight showings?
— k y l e E VA L D E Z contact kyle: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Director: Michael Bay Release Date: June 24 Out of all the summer blockbusters mentioned thus far, “Revenge of the Fallen” is probably one of the most anticipated ones. Sequels don’t get any bigger than blockbuster sequels — just look at other sophomore films like “X-Men 2” or “The Dark Knight” and you will get my point. In his first iteration, director Michael Bay did the seemingly impossible by turning a kid-friendly cartoon show and popular toy franchise into a monster action flick in “Transformers.” The film did extremely well, grossing over $700 million worldwide in the box office. Bay hopes to break this record with “Revenge of the Fallen,” which looks to be even bigger and badder than the first. Picking right up where the first left off, after being defeated by the Autobots, the Decepticons are angry and out for vengeance. Megatron is revived and ready to lead an army of newly recruited Decepticons on a rampage to destroy all of Earth. Can the Autobots stop this onslaught of revenge? There is definitely more than what meets the eye here!
Director: JJ Abrams Release Date: May 8 I’m not going to lie, my knowledge of the Star Trek universe is very limited, if not non-existent. Not to say that I never liked the show/franchise; I just never got into it. Throw in the fact that the show made its first debut in the ‘60s, which could potentially explain why I missed that boat . . . or spaceship, I guess. I know there are probably a lot of other people in my situation, which makes the soon-to-be-released 2009 re-hash, “Star Trek,” all the more exciting. By the looks of the trailers thus far, this movie is looking to be the “Star Wars” of our generation — an epic, sci-fi flick complete with damaged and unique characters that go around saving the universe. It’s a tried and true formula that easily works and begs for sequels. The film itself is definitely structured to be only the beginning, as it chronicles the life of the esteemed Captain Kirk before he became a captain in the Federation. I can already picture the birth of a new generation of “Trekkies” immediately following the release of this film.
Director: Harold Ramis Release Date: June 19 Moving away from the action blockbusters, another promising film for the summer is the stone-aged comedy, “Year One.” Helmed by the likes of Jack Black and awkward teen sensation Michael Cera, this comedic pairing looks to be a match made in heaven. The film’s premise already promises a bucket-full of laughter. Set in the year 1, Black and Cera play a couple of hunter-gatherers in a primitive village. Things take a turn for the funny when they are both banished from the village, forcing them to embark on a quest throughout the ancient world. This comedic outing looks to offer a breath of fresh air in the realm of the comedy — a unique spin on an area of history often overlooked. If you get tired in the summer of watching nonstop action films, “Year One” could be your cure-all.
Director: McG Release Date: May 21 The “Terminator” franchise is over two decades old and was one of the paramount films that introduced this concept of “Man vs. Machine.” Since its first film inception in 1984, there have been two other sequels as well as a Fox television series titled “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” “Terminator Salvation” finally brings the franchise’s story full circle — focusing on the all-out war between the surviving humans and the machines they helped build. John Connor is all grown up, played by the rising action star Christian Bale, as he is charged with leading the fight against the terminators. Where’s Schwarzenegger when you need him?
Director: Pete Docter and Bob Peterson Release Date: May 29 The motto I would use to describe Pixar’s filmmaking process would be, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Whatever formula they use to produce films is clearly working for them, which can be seen in both the box office and critical successes of pretty much all of their films — think “Wall-E.” If you haven’t seen any trailers about it, “Up” focuses on a grumpy, 78-year-old man named Carl Fredricksen who, one day, decides to finally fulfill his dream to travel the world by attaching thousands of balloons to his house, creating a makeshift flying vehicle. His trip is then slightly complicated when Russell, a young wilderness explorer, accidentally tags along for the ride. The concept of this film is one of Pixar’s quirkiest to date, but you can expect nothing but greatness here. Oh, did I mention that this is Pixar’s first film to be screened in digital 3-D? The film has also already been honored by being chosen as the opening film for the Cannes Film Festival — making it the first animated film in history to be chosen for this prestigious screening spot.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Director: David Yates Release Date: July 17 Now, of course I could not write a summer preview guide without mentioning everyone’s favorite British wizard. Harry Potter fans everywhere protested when the film was pushed back to this summer — it was originally scheduled to be released last November — but now they can let out a sigh of relief as the franchise’s sixth movie is finally on the horizon. Although I’ve never particularly viewed the Harry Potter films as “great” movies, that is still not going to stop the hordes of fans from watching this installment. Thankfully, the series is actually gaining intensity as the lives of Harry and his fellow Hogwarts friends are becoming more complicated, tackling teenage hormones as well as preparing for the final showdown with You-Know-Who. “Half-Blood Prince” is the sixth movie in the franchise; the final films are scheduled to be released in 2010 and 2011.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Director: Stephen Sommers Release Date: August 7 When “Transformers” was first announced as a live-action film, many looked at the very notion of this film with pure skepticism. You can’t really blame them — “kiddy” action toys aren’t often used as movie fodder, not to mention the film adaptation would have to be done just right by framing the film as an action movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously — the premise of talking, alien transforming robots is already pretty tough to swallow. Enter “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” Looking to copycat the success of the “Transformers” franchise, “The Rise of Cobra” continues this trend of action toys-turned-blockbuster. Based on a line of action toys and a widely popular television show, “Rise of Cobra” centers on an international, co-ed group of soldiers that steps in to save the day when no one else can. Here, their prime enemy is an evil organization known as “Cobra.” This film definitely has me skeptical — the movie trailer already screams of ridiculousness — but I am open to being won over. This will either be yet another successful action franchise or just another mediocre, over-the-top blockbuster. Time will tell.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Director: Gavid Hood Release Date: May 1 The much anticipated Wolverine movie is the first big film to kick off the summer season. Riding off of the successful “X-Men” movie franchise, “Origins” is the first of presumably many origin films highlighting a particular mutant in the Marvel universe. Fittingly, this movie focuses on the insanely popular character of Wolverine, reprised by Aussie actor Hugh Jackman. As the title of the film suggests, this film focuses on how Wolverine became the metal-clawed X-Man we all know and love. For fanboys everywhere, this film has also been getting much hype for its inclusion of several other Marvel heroes who have been missing in action in the current X-Men films, namely the characters of Gambit and Deadpool.
photos courtesy allmoviephoto.com
friday april 10 2009
Fall Out Boy and friends prove that punk-pop IS fun
alking into the arena at San Jose State for the Fall Out Boy “Believers Never Die: Part Deux” tour, all I could see were Hot Topic-clad, giddy middle- and high-school students who could not believe that they were about to witness the veritable Mount Olympus of punk-pop deities. Tonight’s lineup is a dream come true for these teenagers, and while I may hail from the Green Day and Blink-182 era, the excitement was definitely contagious, and I found myself anxiously awaiting the beginning of the concert. The lineup for this particular leg of Fall Out Boy’s world tour was impressive. The concert opened with newcomer Hey Monday followed by Cobra Starship, Metro Station and All Time Low. The stage was relatively big, with a pit for the die-hards to stand in and a balcony for the parents waiting to drive their kids home. When I went into the concert — after missing the opener, Hey Monday — the stage was quickly being reset for Cobra Starship, with ‘80s-style graffiti banners with the phrases “Get Awesome” and “Cobra Starship” blasted colorfully across the stage. When the band came on stage, the crowd went wild, with many fans in the pit throwing up stuffed snakes as well as digital cameras in order to document the experience for their MySpace. The extent of my Cobra Starship knowledge was very limited — the only song I’ve ever heard from them is the theme from “Snakes on a Plane.” (I have seen that movie way too many times.) So, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the songs were catchy and the band incredible performers. About halfway through the set, the lead singer jokingly quipped, “On our first tour, a few years ago, we opened for Fall Out Boy. Now, on our last tour for a little while, we are still opening for Fall Out Boy!” As they left the stage, the applause was thunderous, and it was evident that they do
have a strong fan following. After Cobra Starship performed, there was yet another set changeover before Metro Station took the stage. Metro Station is responsible for the wildly popular summer anthem “Shake It,” and their set list consisted of the better songs on m ot.co their album, all of o suarl which were fun and upbeat and had the crowd jumping. Frontman Trace Cyrus (yes, Miley’s brother) was full of charisma, and was definitely the most vocal and energetic member of the band, flinging himself all over the stage and never dialing it down or losing steam. It was fun hearing everybody singing along to their songs, and the fans definitely helped lift the otherwise weak live vocals from the two singers. Metro Station received even more applause than their predecessors, but it was nothing compared to when All Time Low came onto the darkened stage. The appeal of All Time Low was obvious as soon as they opened their set. The vocals were spot on and the energy so infectious that one often found himself singing along, even if he didn’t know the words. The four men in the band were all incredibly attractive, driving the teenage girls into an absolute frenzy. The set was seamless, and even the parents were sitting there bobbing their heads. The screaming from the fans was so deafening and fervent that it soon became obvious that All Time Low is the Jonas Brothers equivalent in the punk-pop world. Expect these guys to come to the forefront of this genre very soon. The longest set changeover came after All Time Low before Fall Out Boy. While all of the previous bands used huge banners to tell the audience who they were, Fall Out Boy had the set stripped to some large TV screens and noth-
ing else. The show opened with some footage of the war in Iraq and other scenes of dissent throughout the world. After establishing the show to be one with a political message, the band walked somberly on stage, wearing business suits and stage makeup depicting violent bruises and bloody noses. There was none of the excited energy that was obvious in the other bands — Fall Out Boy seemed to want to establish themselves as the veterans of the lineup, having played too many concerts to be anything other than mechanical. However, after a couple songs, the opening riff of their first hit, “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” had the audience going absolutely insane. Lead vocalist Patrick Stump, while relatively composed in appearance, was flawless on the microphone. He sounded exactly like a studio recording, and he more than delivered what the audience expected. Bassist Pete Wentz served as the ambassador to the crowd, introducing each song in some clever manner. When the lights went down for “This Ain’t a Scene (It’s an Arms Race),” the stage became a lot less simple — pyrotechnics and light-up spinning guitars provided gimmicky appeal to the chants coming from the audience. Fall Out Boy is clearly at a career peak, playing a show that, while a bit mechanical, was technically flawless and beautifully executed. The guys were an incredible climax for a show that provided unbridled energy and excitement leading up to the headliners. Cobra Starship and All Time Low were both great performers, feeding off the energy of their adoring fans. Metro Station, while paling in comparison to the others, played crowd favorites, and with a charismatic frontman, the weak technical aspects went unnoticed. The “Believers Never Die: Part Deux” tour may not have made me into an avid punk-pop fan, but I did find myself immensely enjoying the underappreciated genre onstage.
— annika HEINLE contact annika: email@example.com
LINE U P
Spring quarter means... GREEN LIGHT!
pring Quarter at Stanford is great for sex. We all are more relaxed and care-free, there are plenty of wild parties to find that special one night stand, and all the sexual tension that has built up for your neighbor down the hall finally erupts with delicious results. On the topic of dorm neighbors, Roxy wants to share with all of you a juicy little tidbit that she overhead the other day. While planning my next conquest, I came across some of my dorm staff talking about an unofficial “traffic light” system that they use to govern their behavior in the dorm. Simply put, it goes a little something like this: Fall Quarter is Red Light, Winter Quarter is Yellow Light, and Spring Quarter is GREEN LIGHT. Now I’m sure Roxy does not have to spell out what this “light” system means. When it comes down to it, the only thing you all should care about is that green means GO — push forward, accelerate, move faster, don’t stop. After hearing my staff talk about this, you can only imagine where my mind jumped to. I am sure many of you have had the same fantasy — bedding one of your staff members, ESPECIALLY your friendly neighborhood RA. Of course Roxy knows that this definitely happens around campus, but within freshmen dorms, this is the biggest of scandals. I have heard many stories of RAs and other staff members losing their jobs because they were dating the frosh next door, which I think is just plain silly. As an upperclassman, even Roxy knows that you should never date a freshman. Frosh aren’t for dating; they are only good for nostrings-attached sex. What better way to get your rocks off than doing it in the comfort of your own dorm — especially in your staff single. On the flipside, this “situation” is most ideal for freshmen as well. Your first year at Stanford shouldn’t be spent attaching yourself to a ball-and-chain, even worse, a long-distance relation-
7pm Citizens of Wine - Wine Tasting CoHo taste the wines of the world
7pm One Spring Night Dink Aud. an extravaganza of Vietnamese culture
5pm ASSU Election Results Party CoHo celebrate the newly elected Executives and senators
3:30pm T.M. Krishna Kresge Aud. listen to some beautiful south indian music 8pm Mike Rossi photos courtesy entertainmentwallpaCoHo some great tunes for some great listening
8pm Jazz Jams CoHo just chill out and relax
7pm Tango Night CoHo learn it for the ladies
8pm The Chop CoHo because who doesn’t love a CoHo concert
7pm Katie Costello CoHo will she be as good as Elvis Costello?...
ship (Roxy shudders at the thought). Instead, your first year should be all about loose morals and fun times, and what better way to live it up than to turn to your RA for a couple of closed-door sessions? In my book, this is a win-win situation. But Roxy doesn’t want to focus all of her attention on staff-resident scandals. Spring Quarter Green Light means that EVERYTHING should be a go. Having pent up feelings for the guy or girl next door? Just go for it! Better yet, go out and get drunk with them and see where that leads you. Worried about telling your roommates that you’re gay? Come out of the closet already! Roxy is down with the rainbow and knows that Stanford is too. Plus you’ll get plenty more action instead of trolling around on craigslist (Yeah, I just went there). So what’s the moral of the story here? Correction, what’s the message of the story here (Roxy doesn’t have morals)? Life is too short, especially here on the farm. Spring Quarter is your last chance to do who you want to do before people leave for the summer. And for all you seniors out there, this is your last chance to sleep around without having to worry about petty terms like “sexual harassment,” which I here is a common term in the professional workplace. Happy hunting Stanford, Roxy is going to go and talk to her RA now.
XOXO —Roxy SASS.
| CONTINUED FROM “TIBURON” PAGE 5 |
I couldn’t completely understand her development. It’s a symptom of Cao’s sweeping vision, but it is one loose end that she could tie up in the future. This same holds Mario Suntanu’s character, Wolfgang Yoshizawa, in another great performance that was clouded in a slightly confusing plot development. This was a play that was too big for its stage. Hosted in the AAAC Ballroom, it would have benefited from a bigger stage, but given what the cast was working with, the set maximized its space and held the play together. I look forward to seeing more performances like “Forgetting Tiburon” in the future.
— heather BUCKELEW contact heather: firstname.lastname@example.org
photos by steve lesser
friday april 10 2009
The Man on the Moon
ast month, Kid Cudi announced on his blog (kidcudi.com/news) that he was officially quitting from hip-hop. What? Did Eifel 65 announce they were retiring from dance music after releasing “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”? Does the average person even know who Kid Cudi is? Maybe not, but everyone can sing his song “Day ‘N Night” which is now No. 7 on the Billboard Charts. Not to mention, the Crookers remix rose to as high as No. 2 on the U.K. singles chart. Others in the music industry, namely Kanye West, don’t seem to think the Cleveland, Ohio-native is one-hit-wonder material. Kanye recruited Cudi to join his G.O.O.D. music group and help him with his latest album, “808s and Heartbreak.” (Cudi was featured on “Paranoid” and “Welcome to Heartbreak,” and he even helped write “Heartless.”) Kanye now posts Kid Cudi material on his blog almost every day. Several days after Cudi announced his retirement, he stopped the buzz in the music industry by announcing his un-retirement at the South by Southwest concert in Austin, Texas this past month. Anticipation has been growing tremendously over the release of Kid Cudi’s first album, coming this summer, called “Man on the Moon: The Guardian.” Kid Cudi has launched himself to the top of the music scene, showing up everywhere from MTV performances to Louis Vuitton launch parties.
David Harrington spins a variety-pack
What is the appeal of Kid Cudi? Today’s underground and club music scenes have been shifting to futuristic, outer-space-sounding production and Kid Cudi, the “Man on the Moon,” has just that. With production from Dot Da Genius (“Day ‘N Nite”), himself (“Super Boo”) and Italian electro DJs (“Day ‘N Night” remix), Kid Cudi has achieved the modern sound that has caught the attention of hip-hop and dance music fans around the world. Vocally, Cudi is an incredibly talented rapper that is easy on the ears — but he also likes to sing, a trend we have started to see in hip-hop with Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony, continuing with Kanye West. Something refreshing about Kid Cudi is his individuality as an MC: He doesn’t try to be a gangster rapper — instead, he is genuine and even treats women well! In his song “Pillow Talk,” Cudi says: “Don’t be sad, I ain’t goin’ nowhere. Let’s just lay and talk. Girl I know you feel it, this chemistry that we got. Girl don’t be shy, I ain’t goin’ nowhere. I’m here for the night.” If genre-transcending, futuristic beats and creative yet real lyrics are something that interest you, you will want to check out my picks.
— kevin KAISER contact kevin: email@example.com
steve lesser s I stepped into the CoHo, 10 minutes before the Stanford Arts Initiative DJ Session, David Harrington, co-founder and violinist of the Kronos Quartet, fiddled around with a soundboard, cuing the sound of stringed instruments intertwined with a techno-like bass. The track, entitled “Tashweesh,” was originally arranged by a Palestinian musical collective known as Ramallah Underground, was performed by the Kronos Quartet. Throughout the night, Harrington played a list of his favorite songs, which he has compiled for over 35 years. Much of the music he played was incredibly diverse, ranging from the revolutionary recordings of an Iranian group called The Plastic Wave to the mechanical clanging and complex rhythms of a Finnish band, Cleaning Women. Interestingly, Harrington explained to the audience that the band’s unique sound comes from instruments made out of objects such as a vacuum. Also after a playlist from Harrington’s esoteric compilation of distinctive tracks, the upbeat African tune “Avramandole” by Staff Benda Bilili provided a lively contrast to the techno rhythms of Cleaning Women. Aside from tracks that slightly induced head bobbing, each song that Harrington played differed vastly from the previous. The sounds, consisting of an organ-like instrument and higher pitched notes of an accordion, evoked melancholic emotions in “Parvi intervallo,” a piece by the Estonian composer Arvo Part. Originally composed by Stravinsky, Harrington chose a heartfelt piece performed on the theremin by Clara Rockmore (if you have never heard of a theremin before, I recommend YouTube-ing it). The emotional poignancy of the song can also be found in the Greek rendition of “Smyrneiko Minore” by Marika Papagika. The incorporation of subtle piano chords, along with Papagika’s voice, convey a depressing and mournful tone. Some of the music that Harrington chose to play was performed by the Kronos Quartet. Amongst the pieces chosen, he played an unreleased version of Damon Albarn’s “It Felt Like a Kiss.” Harrington also played the Kronos Quartet’s interpretation of “Flugufrelsarinn,” a track performed by the Icelandic band Sigur Ros. Commenting on the last track of the night, Harrington said, “I could write a novel about that note at the end of song. There is so much humanity and knowledge about the most difficult things in that note.” As Victoria Spivey’s “Blue Valley Blues” reverberated throughout the CoHo, the sentimental impact of the song was reinforced by Spivey’s vocals and aesthetic quality of the song. As Harrington began to pack up, I spoke with him briefly about his musical tastes and inspirations. I was also able to gather a list of the music that he played (if you are curious, you can email me). He explained how the majority of his music is given to him by various musicians around the world. I also asked about his time with the Kronos Quartet and their contributions to the “Requiem for a Dream” soundtrack. Speaking fondly of working with Clint Mansell and Darron Aronofsky, he was greatly satisfied with how he was able to produce music that was embedded into the psychology and timing of the film. Before parting, we ended our conversation with Harrington speaking optimistically of musicianship. In a modest yet insightful tone, he told me, “It’s a great time to be a musician, to be a listener and involved in the world of music. You never know what you’re going to hear next — just be ready.”
I DONT LOOK AT IT AS QUITTING, FOR I HAVE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED MY GOAL. I HAVE A
SOLID FANBASE WHO TRUELY APPRECIATES ME AND MY MESSAGES THRU SONG, I GOT MULTIPLE BIG RECORDS, I HAVE RECIEVED WORLDWIDE CRITICAL ACCLAIM FROM THE BIGGEST TASTEMAKERS IN THE GAME.
— Kid Cudi March 16, 2008
“Day N Night” the video There is also a video for the Crookers Remix but the video for the original is Cudi-endorsed, unlike the Crookers video. The video features a cross between a normal city suburb and odd animations, which represent the Lonely Stoner theme in stunning fashion. “The Sky Might Fall” This song is very much "808's and Heartbreak" style but I think Cudi's vocals sound better than Kanye's on this one. Cudi re-uploaded the trailer for Transformers 2 onto Youtube after adding "The Sky Might Fall" to the background and Dreamworks decided it was a good idea. The song will be the featured theme track for next summer's blockbuster hit. “She Came Along” ft. Sharam This song was produced by Sharam, an Electronica/House DJ. If you are a Gnarls Barkley fan you will like this song. “I Poke Her Face” ft. Kanye West & Common This song was leaked about a week ago and samples Lady Gaga vocals from "Poker Face." How could you not download a song with Cudi, Kanye, and Common?
photos courtesy images.google.com
— donald ABUY contact donald: firstname.lastname@example.org
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