Review Category : Arts

Davis celebrates Chinese culture through food and film

Last Saturday the Davis community celebrated Global Confucius Institute Day and the Davis Chinese Film Festival’s opening ceremony at the Mondavi Center. The gala event featured a photo exhibit, a showing of Eat Drink Man Woman by Oscar-winner Ang Lee and a question-and-answer panel of four distinguished speakers. Not only did the event present fine forms of art but also intimate perspectives of Chinese culture and values. Global Confucius Institute Day commemorates the 10th anniversary of Hanban (Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language). It also pays honor to all institutes devoted to teaching Chinese language and culture, including UCD’s very own Chinese Language program. In fact, the Davis Confucius Institute centers its teachings on Chinese food and beverage culture. Michelle Yeh, panel moderator and UC Davis’ department chair of East Asian Languages and Cultures, provided educational insight on the significance of learning food history. “Food provides a unique prism through which to understand society, history and culture,” Yeh said. “Chinese food has a history of 5,000... ...

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AggieAngelous

In loving memory of the Resilience & Inclusivity of Maya Angelou   Welcome to the introductory installment of The California Aggie’s first poetry column: AggieAngelous. AggieAngelous is here to display the diversity of Aggie creativity and interest through the beauty of poetry. This column will display poems written by UC Davis students of all majors, years, talents and backgrounds in a variety of styles including free verse, sonnets, haikus, epics, ballads, odes, etc. Every column will feature one to three poems written by Aggie students and a short bio about them. Be sure to check in with AggieAngelous online weekly to read the work of up-and-coming UC Davis writers and get to know your peers in sections of the column entitled “ThePoetry” and “ThePoets&Poetesses.” AggieAngelous welcomes all writers and will offer a glimpse of the poetry scene in Davis. One of the sections of the column, “ThePoetrySlams,” will feature event information about anything poetry related in the city of Davis. This section will be a resource for people interested in seeing... ...

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TBD Fest Expands to 3-Day Lineup

Modern-day music festivals tend to focus on their headliners and not much else — certainly not the location that they are taking place in. Luckily for Northern California residents, a festival set in West Sacramento from Oct. 3 to 5 is turning the paradigm on its head, showcasing Sacramento as a creative community, and has been doing so for the last seven years. TBD Fest, formerly known as Launch, began in 2007 as an art party in Sacramento’s Greens Hotel, and has dramatically expanded every year since. Michael Hargis is the founder and organizer of TBD. “In 2012 we decided to go all out with a full-scale music festival; in 2013 we expanded to a two-day platform, and this year we are going even bigger with a three-day event,” Hargis said. To organizer and co-founder Clay Nutting, the name change from Launch to TBD represents the evolution of the event. “It’s to be determined; the partners we have, the people we lock arms with. Farm to fork is big now,... ...

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OK Go’s Tim Nordwind talks optical illusions, new album, upcoming tour

If you’ve been on YouTube anytime in the last decade, you’ve probably experienced the artistic endeavors of alternative rock band OK Go. This Grammy-award winning group is known for their quirky-creative music videos, like the treadmill-choreographed “Here It Goes Again” and the puppy-dominated “White Knuckles”, as well as their innovative dance-inducing alt-rock sound. OK Go recently released their first single “The Writings on the Wall” from their highly-anticipated album, Hungry Ghosts, which is set to drop October 2014. The music video which was released with the song garnered more than one million views within the first day. The band is set to kick off their first tour in three years at Assembly Music Hall in Sacramento on July 15. MUSE spoke with OK Go co-founder and bassist Tim Nordwind about the upcoming tour, Hungry Ghosts and the band’s creative pursuits. MUSE: What kind of sound were you going for with “The Writings on the Wall” and can we expect the same feeling with the rest of the album? Tim: “The... ...

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Roving reporter: What is art?

For the final online issue of the 2013-14 school year at UC Davis, Muse decided to conduct a special roving report in which random people at the Memorial Union and the Quad were asked the age-old question, “What is art?” Dozens of people were candidly asked and those who chose to respond offered their views on the question. “Art is something that people make that makes you feel good inside. Art is a piece of work that an artist creates that invokes an emotion within me.” — Steven Anyanwu, fourth-year computer science major “I’m an artist and I still haven’t figured out a response to that question.” – Kajsa Edvardsson, second-year art major “Art is the purest form of expression of the soul.” – Dawson Bell, second-year environmental science and management major “I’m fond of Scott McCloud’s definition of art: art is anything a human does that doesn’t directly grow out of the impulse to survive or reproduce; other stuff we do just because this is what we want to... ...

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University Chorus perform “Songs Folks are Made Of”

On Friday, June 6, the UC Davis University Chorus performed their program “Songs Folks are Made Of.” Led by guest conductor Ben Johns, the University Chorus performed an eclectic array of songs that expressed the “whimsical nature” of the human spirit. Ben Johns served as guest conductor while conductor Jeffrey Thomas was on sabbatical leave for Spring Quarter, and has previously performed under the conductorship of Thomas while performing for the American Bach Soloists. According to Johns, the set list for the program features shorter songs with noticeable shifts in emotional weight. “[The program] is intended to illustrate the wacky and offbeat in all of us — there’s some classical things, some jazzy things in there,” Johns said. “It’s a little bit whimsical like our daily lives are, where there are some moments that are somber and studious, and it can quickly change to expressions of joy.” Lila Atchison, a UC Davis community member who sings soprano in the chorus, explained that the performance of this unique array of songs... ...

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Professor portfolio: Nik Palomares

Meet Professor Nik Palomares: in the realm of academia, UC Davis and beyond, he’s known for teaching communication and conducting various studies on language use and conversation. But what you might not know is that he’s got a knack for photography. He also has quite an Instagram following, currently one of Instagram’s Suggested Users and recently breaking 30k followers. MUSE sat down with Palomares to discuss his photography endeavors. MUSE: Can you tell us a little bit about your hobby? I’m into photography. I like the artistic aspects of it. It’s something different from academia, doing research and teaching — at least for me. I’m a very rational individual and very logical and technical in a lot of ways, but I found that I wanted a little something more than the academic aspects of things and got into photography. Has photography always been a passion of yours? I guess I’ve always had an interest in photography over the past several years, but really got into more of the technical aspects... ...

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KDVS elects first female general manager in 10 years

Ashley Hanson began her role as general manager of KDVS on June 1, and will hold the position for the 2014-15 academic year. Hanson began working for KDVS as a first-year and is now a third-year clinical nutrition major. Hanson’s first show for the UC Davis freeform radio station was “Moonwalk With Us,” and she has gone on to host “In The Sun.” MUSE spoke to Hanson about her new role. MUSE: How do you feel about becoming general manager? It’s not something I aimed for initially. When I started volunteering at KDVS, I didn’t even want to be on the air. I didn’t even want to be a DJ. I tabled at events, I volunteered to do things around the station and then I was here for a summer, the summer between freshman and sophomore years for me, and I was really bored. Someone convinced me to go through training and then I realized I really loved it. One of my best friends was my co-host and so I... ...

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Davis Shakespeare Festival to return this summer

The Davis Shakespeare Ensemble will return this summer with two shows as part of the fifth annual Davis Shakespeare Festival, which will run from June 26 to Aug. 3 at the Veterans Memorial Theatre. The Davis Shakespeare Festival will consist of two shows: the Shakespeare comedy Much Ado About Nothing and the musical comedy She Loves Me. “She Loves Me was chosen because it pairs so well with Much Ado,” said Rob Salas, one of the artistic directors of the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble. “It’s about co-workers with mysterious pen pals who meet and fall in love. It was based on a story that was most recently adapted as You Got Mail. It’s very cute and charming.” This particular play is the first time the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble has staged a musical. “We chose this musical because it’s not like a typical musical,” Salas said. “It’s not over the top nor is it epic. Larger musicals tend to have a big spectacle, but this one is more intimate. It’s about the... ...

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Downtown hosts fourth annual Davis Music Fest

From June 20 through June 22, the Davis Music Festival will take over downtown Davis with its fourth annual celebration. Much like the popular Texas music festival South by Southwest (SXSW), the Davis Music Festival will host over 40 bands playing at eight venues scattered throughout the town. Some of the participating venues include Little Prague, Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, Third Space Art Collective and Armadillo Music. Danny Tomasello, the Davis Music Festival director, believes the SXSW model caters to all types of patrons. “The nice part is that people can create their own schedules,” Tomasello said. “They can hunker down and settle in at a particular venue or they can walk around and go see a bunch of different acts.” Along with a hangover brunch on Sunday, June 22, the festival will alsointegrate a new opening night into the schedule. Tomasello hopes to reach a different audience with the rock-centric kick off. “Friday will be the opening night for the festival which will be split between Rock Band University and... ...

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This summer in arts

THEATRE AND DANCE Penumbra June 5, $19 adults, $14 seniors, students and kids UC Davis Wright Hall This annual event, this year directed by David Grenke, will feature student choreographers’ original dance routines inspired by classical ballet, hip-hop, jazz and other dance forms among many. 2014 Davis Shakespeare Festival June 26 to Aug. 3, $35 adults, $30 students/seniors, $25 kids Veterans Memorial Theatre, 203 E. 14th St. The Davis Shakespeare Ensemble is set to present their fifth annual Davis Shakespeare Festival. This year the ensemble will be performing Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Joe Masteroff’s musical She Loves Me. Single show tickets are available online at www.shakespearedavis.org. “You Are Here” June 5-6, 6:30 p.m., free Arena Theatre, Wright Hall All students and citizens of UC Davis are welcome to attend and enjoy the comedy stylings of Christopher Wolfe, one of UC Davis’ MFA candidates for dramatic art. ART Landscape Exhibits Now through July 26, free Natsoulas Gallery, 521 First St. This summer the Natsoulas Gallery will be featuring work... ...

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Column: Smells like the Nineties

Spin Doctors: Where are they now? Looking back on 1993, I’ve realized it was a weird, weird time. President Clinton was going on jogs around Washington, D.C. and talking to people at McDonald’s, the Menendez brothers killed their parents, the Branch Davidians were in Waco, Texas, music was splitting into factions of a new, why-the-hell-is-this-happening hippie movement and the top-selling album was The Bodyguard soundtrack. Oh, and the seventh best-selling album of 1993? Nope…not In Utero by Nirvana. Not even Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell by Meatloaf. The answer is Pocket Full of Kryptonite by the Spin Doctors. The Spin Doctors. Riding the wave of the hippie movement and the top-20 singles “Little Miss Can’t be Wrong” and “Two Princes,” they sold millions of records, played numerous festivals and soundtracked many a teen movie. The Spin Doctors formed in New York City in the late ’80s under the moniker Trucking Company. The original line-up featured lead singer Chris Barron, guitarist Eric Schenkman and harmonica-man John Popper of... ...

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Main Stage Dance Theatre presents Penumbra

Get ready to move and be moved. On May 29, Penumbra opens at the Main Theater in Wright Hall. Presented by the Main Stage Dance Theatre, Penumbra features a myriad of dance styles, expressing emotions and stories familiar to many. The Main Stage Dance is an annual showcase for students’ original choreographies. Throughout every school year, select dance students each create a piece to be performed in Spring Quarter. The students are committed to developing their choreographies as they would with thesis projects. The recital overall celebrates the select students’ passion, devotion and talent. Director David Grenke describes how the program demonstrates every dancer’s unique relationship with the art. Speaking with MUSE, Grenke put the concept into perspective. “We think of presentational performance as storytelling or expression; another way we think about it is as a kinesthetic way of thinking,” Grenke said. “We think with our bodies; we take in information that way. It’s one of the earliest forms of anything we do. It’s how we think after birth: functioning... ...

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LocalTones to showcase UCD a cappella groups

Six a cappella groups will perform together on May 30 as part of a concert that will benefit the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. LocalTones, the latest installment in an annual concert series that showcases the a cappella groups of UC Davis, will feature performances from The UC Davis Lounge Lizards, The Spokes, The Afterglow, GreekBeats, Jhankaar and The Liquid Hotplates. “LocalTones is an awesome collaborate a cappella event,” said Rachel Riley, a fourth-year English major who is president of The Spokes. “It’s a chance for the local a cappella community to come together for one event.” Jaimie Wu, a fourth-year exercise biology major who is president of The Liquid Hotplates feels that Localtones exhibits the strong sense of community among the a cappella groups of UC Davis. “While LocalTones has changed a lot since my freshman year, the theme of a community effort has been constant,” Wu said. “This year’s going to be the best one yet because we came together and had all the groups host the show as... ...

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ASUCD Entertainment Council presents Lawntopia

On May 30, ASUCD Entertainment Council presents Lawntopia on the Quad for the second year running. This year’s free event will feature Bay Area hip-hop duo, Zion I. Zion I, renowned duo of producer AmpLive and MC Zumbi from Oakland, Calif., debuted in 1997. In total, they have released over seven studio albums, their most recent EP releases being The Masters of Ceremony and Libations. In a phone interview, Zumbi talked about his music. “It’s positive, but not radio, corporate hip hop. It’s soul music with a lot of bass. My intention is also to be reflective and introspective; I read and pray and meditate a lot and I think all that comes through in the music. It’s celebratory and party music but with a mindset,” Zumbi said. Zion I has performed in Davis several times before. They will be including both well-known songs and newer material in the Lawntopia show. Ben Bryan, a fourth-year managerial economics major, has been director of the Entertainment Council for the past school year.... ...

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