Review Category : Arts

Smells like the Nineties

Live Through This Twenty years ago, Hole released what would be their definitive record: Live Through This. Live through what, exactly? Well, just about everything you can imagine: being ripped into doll parts, resisting kill me pills, struggling with abandonment, breaking, burning, being walked on, disrespected, taunted, threatened and coping with suicide. Death and life particularly reverberates from every growled syllable on Live Through This. “If you live through this with me, I swear that I will die for you,” promises frontwoman Courtney Love in the riveting track “Asking For It,” a sacred oath binding the listener and singer together. Love wrote the track after her experience of being physically and psychologically abused by a crowd that ripped her apart after a stage dive. To those who don’t know the story, or perhaps do, the line also resonates as a tongue-in-cheek reversal of the unforgivable, pathetic excuse criminals have utilized to justify assault: “She, or he, was asking for it.” A punk record with a pop heart, Live Through This... ...

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Studio 301 presents Seussical the Musical

From May 9 to May 18, Davis’ undergraduate theater group Studio 301 will be presenting the Tony Award-nominated Broadway hit Seussical the Musical (Seussical). This show will mark Studio 301’s annual musical production. Seussical is based off of multiple children’s books by the late author Dr. Seuss. The musical incorporates bits and pieces from Horton Hears a Who!, Horton Hatches an Egg, The One Feather Tail of Gertrude McFuzz and is narrated by the infamous Cat in the Hat. The production is jam-packed with narrative songs that bring you into the Jungle of Nool, one of Dr. Seuss’ wacky, imaginative worlds in which important journeys are taken and lessons are learned. Seussical garnered a fan-base quickly when it was first released due to the familiarity and popularity of Dr. Seuss’ children’s books among the American public. Studio 301 will likely attract many local fans of the author’s work. Zoë Samborski, a fourth-year dramatic art major, is the director of this production of the musical. She said she chose Seussical because... ...

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Man and Woman Theatre presents Gruesome Playground Injuries

Man and Woman Theatre, a new theatre company that will focus on one-man, one-woman plays, will perform their first production in Wright Hall’s Arena Theatre from May 2 through May 4. The play, Gruesome Playground Injuries, written by 2010 Pulitzer finalist Rajiv Joseph, focuses on the relationship between two people, Doug and Kayleen. This is shown through eight vignettes, presented at different points in their lives. Megan Caton, a fourth-year dramatic art major who plays Kayleen, was drawn to the play for its realism. “It’s about two real humans that are walking through life and trying to cope, trying to be okay,” Caton said. “The characters are relatable and not polished people, and the play shows the gruesome and messy aspects of what it takes to grow up.” Cooper Wise, a fourth-year dramatic art major who plays Doug, was also drawn to the characters in the play. “These characters are unhealthy, flawed, kind of crazy, disgusting people, but also very human and beautiful,” Wise said. “Certain qualities of myself are... ...

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Arts Week: May 2, 2014

MUSIC UC Davis Symphony Orchestra: Berlin, Leipzig and Stockholm May 3, 7 p.m., Prices vary Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra will be performing works by Weber, Mika Pelo and Mahler for a performance that will offer a sampling of compositions from the titled European cities. LITERATURE AND POETRY SickSpits Poetry Slam FEAT Buddy Wakefield May 7, 7 p.m., $1 suggested donation TCS Building (Art Annex) In this annual event held by SickSpits, World Poetry Slam Champion Buddy Wakefield will be presenting his amazing works of poetic dexterity, and 10 to 15 student poets will be competing for prizes. ART Careers in Visual Arts: Brown Bag Lunch Series — Brenna Chapman May 6, 12 to 1 p.m., Free 148 Everson Hall Sierra College professor and UC Davis alumna Brenna Chapman will be speaking at the Brown Bag Lunch Series to discuss her own career path in art history, which includes developing forms of online instruction and co-curating galleries. DRAMA Gruesome Playground Injuries May 2-3 at 8 p.m.,... ...

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SickSpits to host annual poetry slam

Editor’s note: Tanya Azari is the SickSpits’ president in addition to the opinion editor at The Aggie. On May 7, UC Davis’ Spoken Word Collective, SickSpits, will host their annual Poetry Slam, a competitive spoken word reading. The event boasts special guest and two-time World Poetry Slam champion Buddy Wakefield, as well as spoken word pieces from both students and community members in a competitive format. Poetry Slams aren’t just your average poetry readings. Tanya Azari, a second-year Spanish major and SickSpits’ president, explained that spoken word has a key advantage — the reader, who adds style to each piece. “What comes to mind when most people think poetry is Walt Whitman and Robert Frost,” Azari said. “But slam or spoken word is expressive and it has to do with not only what words you say, but how you say them and your presence. It is less like a poem as much as it is a performance piece.” With the five SickSpits’ members as judges, performers will have three minutes... ...

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Downtown Davis celebrates Californian ceramics

The California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art (CCACA) is returning to Davi s for the 26th time. Lectures, demonstrations and 45 major shows of both student and professional ceramic work will take place in Davis from April 25 to 27. The conference is the legacy of Robert Arneson who was a renowned ceramics professor at UC Davis for nearly three decades. Arneson was instrumental in making ceramics a fine art as well as a craft. John Natsoulas has coordinated the conference each year since its inception. Natsoulas and Arneson wanted to advance the field of ceramics by bringing people together to learn from each other. “I believe that the greatest thing about the conference is that you can’t do anything but walk in downtown Davis on Friday, [April] 25,” Natsoulas said. “You can’t drive a car; we stop the traffic. So that’s a really special thing to have that many people coming to Davis for ceramics.” A program of two-hour demonstrations and 50-minute lectures by the artists will... ...

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Aggie Arcade: Your weekly dose of video games

Mobile Metamorphosis Last December, I joined the exclusive club of hip, cool kids and their fancy smart phones. More specifically, I acquired an iPhone, and in turn gained access to an extensive library of mobile games. Two years ago I wouldn’t have cared about that, but perspectives shift over time. Apathy best describes my past feelings on the mobile games field. The fact that I didn’t have an iPhone played a big part in the thought process, but I also equated the platform to inherently lesser experiences. I still don’t feel mobile games reach the heights of console/handheld releases, but I did unfairly judge the platform. Now that I have experience with games on the iPhone, I can understand the appeal. As I find myself consumed more and more by schoolwork and other responsibilities, I look to mobile games as a brief diversion. I may not be able to play Dark Souls II while I wait 20 minutes for my next class, but I can easily load up some Ridiculous... ...

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Column: Smells Like the ‘90s

THE Albums of the Nineties The ‘90s were the Golden Age of alternative rock, with MTV and powerful radio stations like Los Angeles’ KROQ delivering to large audiences music that didn’t fit into mainstream formats. Now with the benefit of years of hindsight, it’s a good time to look back and appreciate what I believe are the two best “alternative” albums that came out in the ‘90s. 2. Nirvana — Nevermind (1991) Very few albums in rock history can match the enormous impact of Nevermind. It wasn’t a tiny stone rippling the placid waters of the record industry — it was a massive boulder that sent waves crashing in every direction, completely altering the trajectory of alternative music. Suddenly, anything out of Seattle, any raw, visceral garage band with a sense of melody, was signed to a record deal. Alternative radio shifted toward more edgy material. The key to Nevermind’s impact are songs that are melodic and accessible while still smoldering with an amazing potency. Kurt Cobain’s fierce vocals and... ...

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Arts Week: April 24, 2014

LITERATURE AND POETRY Poetry in the Garden April 24, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., free UC Davis Wyatt Deck Local poets Heera Kulkarni and Kenya Mitchell are set to perform original readings at this daytime event. There will be an open mic for anyone who would like to participate after the featured poets. Author Event: Patchwork April 26, 7:30 p.m., free The Avid Reader Local author Lena McNicholas will be reading from her new book Patchwork and will be discussing her life growing up in the Appalachia. MUSIC  Jonathan Nadel and I-Hui Chen April 24, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., free The Mondavi Center, Grand Lobby Renowned tenor Jonathan Nadel and professional pianist I-Hui Chen will be teaming up to perform pieces from Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev as part of the Shinkoskey Noon Concert series. ART CA Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts April 25 to 27, all day John Natsoulas Gallery This year marks the conference’s 26th anniversary. The event will host a variety of lectures on ceramics... ...

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News in Brief: Record Store Day on April 19

April 19 cannot come sooner for music aficionados and vinyl collectors alike. The third Saturday in April, also known as Record Store Day, will have customers waiting patiently outside local shops to score limited releases of rare vinyl. Record Store Day appeared in 2007 as means of highlighting the culture that encompasses local music shops, artists and music fans, and it is doing just that. The event has quickly gained popularity; almost 1,000 stores in the U.S. and hundreds more worldwide now participate in the day. Stores host activities ranging from live concerts to signings and parades, yet most come for the extremely exclusive vinyl releases. Some of the records up for grabs this year are: Death Cab For Cutie’s ft. Magik*Magik Orchestra Live 2012, Joy Division’s  An Ideal For Living and  The Notorious B.I.G.  Life After Death. But with so many record stores after only a few thousand records, no store knows for sure what they will have in stock. Paul Wilbur, manager of the Davis-based record store Armadillo Music,... ...

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News in Brief: Local author publishes miniature book

Local author Rick Palkovic, along with his family, will sign copies of his new book, Limit 55, a micro-fiction collection published in a miniature book, at The Avid Reader on Saturday, April 19. Rick, who wrote all of the stories in the collection, said that the idea for the collection came from his brother Mark, who is a collector of miniature books. “It was Mark’s idea to do 55-word short stories since it would fit the miniature book format so well,” Rick said. “There’s some precedent as a newspaper in San Luis Obispo has a contest for stories of that length. None of these stories were ever entered for the contest, as they’re original for this project.” Rick said he eventually warmed up to the format, since it required a bit of thought on his part to write the stories. “There’s a lot unsaid in these stories, because I don’t have the words needed to spell them out,” Rick said. “It was surprising once in a while that I needed... ...

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KDVS Fundraiser 2014 celebrates 50th anniversary

It’s that time of year again — the annual KDVS Fundraiser is taking over 90.3FM. The radio station will be asking for donations from listeners from April 21 to April 27. As well as special programming, KDVS will host events in Davis in conjunction with local businesses. Drew Evans has been a DJ at KDVS since January 2013 and became fundraising coordinator a year ago. Evans explained the format of this year’s fundraiser and how vital this event is for KDVS. “We do it every year in April for one week. We have DJs on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week; 168 hours straight where we’re asking for pledges and we basically raise about 50 percent of our operating costs for the year. We’re hoping to raise quite a bit more than that this year. The target is $50,000,” Evans said. This year’s fundraiser holds special significance as it coincides with KDVS’ 50th anniversary. KDVS prides itself on remaining an educational and noncommercial radio station. “[KDVS]... ...

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Arts Week: April 17, 2014

POETRY Poetry Night Reading Series: Hannah Stein April 17, 8 to 9:30 p.m., free The John Natsoulas Gallery The Natsoulas Gallery holds bi-monthly poetry readings and open mic nights. This week, Hannah Stein, a popular Davis-based poet, will feature her works, among them her most recent poem “A Broken Music,” which focuses on music, history and biographies. DANCE Elite Dance Company Showcase April 19, 8 p.m., $5 to $7 The Arena Theatre This annual showcase will take place in Wright Hall and will feature choreography from several types of dance including jazz and contemporary. MUSIC Left Coast Chamber Ensemble April 17, 12 to 1:00 p.m., free Yocha Dehe Grand Lobby, Mondavi Center This free performance from the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and actor David Moore sets Walter Mosley’s short story, “Reply to a Dead Man,” to music. The ensemble boasts flute, oboe, guitar, viola and bass which dramatically carry the audience through the narrative. HellaCappella April 18, 7:30 p.m., $10 to $20 Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall UC Davis’ all-female a cappella group,... ...

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Column: Smells Like the 90s

Nirvana vs. Pearl Jam — The Relentless Debate “Who’s better?” — how often do we hear that question posed? Whether the discussion revolves around sports, music, politics or pizza, we live in a culture that loves reducing the issue down to two competitors: Beatles v. The Stones, Jordan v. Kobe, Republican v. Democrat. And so goes the debate between music fans over which band rocked it better: Pearl Jam or Nirvana? But how can you compare the talent of these two iconic groups whose sounds are so distinct yet are both forever linked to the Seattle alt rock/grunge movement from which they were born? You can’t. But what about a discussion of which band was more influential? Clearly, both had staggering early success. The difference here is that Nirvana’s landmark Nevermind followed their lesser-known debut album Bleach, while Pearl Jam’s first release, Ten, was a huge breakthrough success. That said, Nevermind cemented Nirvana as the “face” of a new music movement. Not only did its success help make grunge popular,... ...

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Design Museum to display selected undergraduate design pieces

The Annual Picnic Day Design by Design exhibition in the Design Museum will be displaying selected entries submitted by UC Davis undergraduate design students. Sponsored by the Birgitta and Helge Olson Design Award and the UC Davis Design Museum, the exhibition of undergraduate design pieces will be on display at the Design Museum beginning April 11 and will run through June 5. Tim McNeil, UC Davis Department of Design chair and associate professor of design, explained that the exhibition’s presentation of undergraduate design talent intentionally coincides with Picnic Day annually because the event’s popularity draws in a large number of interested visitors. “In terms of outreach and visibility for students, absolutely this is the most important student showcase, and considering all the people connected to the student body or newly visiting, certainly in terms of attendance for the museum, Picnic Day is the biggest day for us,” McNeil said. McNeil said he and Design Museum Curator Adele Zhang are responsible for the first cut of submissions that are “incomplete or... ...

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