Review Category : Arts

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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News in brief: Davis Art Studio Tour

From May 31 to June 1, the Davis Art Studio Tour will take place all over the City of Davis. The Davis Art Studio Tour is an annual city-wide exhibit meant to showcase the vast artistic talent throughout the city of Davis. The tour works by offering viewers a map of all the different art studios in Davis that are open for public viewings. The tour was founded in 2007 and sponsored by the Pence Gallery in order to celebrate local artists and make citizens aware of the variety of art that could be found in Davis. Now the tour is sponsored by a Davis art cooperative, The Artery. The art viewings are unique because rather than an artist displaying their pieces in an organized gallery, the work is displayed in the same place where the art is created: the studio. This gives new perspectives to art enthusiasts as to what kinds of environments professional artists build for themselves in order to spark the creative process. This year there will... ...

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Aggie Arcade: Your weekly dose of video games

Best of 2014 (So Far) All good things must come to an end. Graduation is just around the corner, so this marks the final edition of the Aggie Arcade. But sappy goodbyes are boring — let’s talk about great video games instead. The first half of 2014 has seen plenty of enjoyable releases, but a few games stand out among the crowd. One of those games — Transistor — came out just last week. It’s the newest project from developer Supergiant Games, the team behind 2011’s critically acclaimed Bastion. Let’s just say they avoided a sophomore slump. Transistor‘s greatest strength and weakness is its ambition. It tells a complex story of identity and technology that lacks a much-needed emotional punch, but it makes up for it with a gorgeous sci-fi world and deep combat system. I became addicted to Transistor‘s action/strategy hybrid combat and its insistence on experimentation and careful planning. It reminds me of games like Valkyria Chronicles and XCOM: Enemy Unknown in that overt aggression works against the... ...

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Arts Week

MUSIC Korean Percussion Ensemble May 29, 12:05 p.m., Free Wright Hall The Korean Percussion Ensemble will be performing with guest artist Gamin Hyosung Kang, a classically trained p’iri player. Gamin is a highly acclaimed artist from South Korea. The afternoon will showcase the group’s knowledge of multiple genres within traditional Korean folk music and will seamlessly meld wind instruments and rhythmic drums. Sylvia Herold Ensemble May 30, 8 p.m., $20 Bill Wagman House Concerts, 1350 Monarch Lane The event titled “Vintage Songs and a Big Guitar” brings the sultry vocals of Sylvia Herold, the masterful notes of guitarist Mike Wollenberg and the hopping double bass lines of Chuck Ervin together for a night of American jazz-inspired songs through the decades. LocalTones 2014 May 30, 8 p.m., $5 presale/$7 at the door 123 Sciences Lecture Hall The UC Davis a cappella groups will be putting on the collective annual concert, LocalTones 2014, on Friday, May 30. The lineup includes The Afterglow, GreekBeats, UC Davis Jhankaar, The Liquid Hotplates, The UC Davis... ...

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Column: Smells Like the Nineties

Ideas on what to wear to a ‘90s themed party Recently my friend told me she had been invited to a 1990s-themed party. She was wondering what to wear. After much consideration, she settled on trousers and a T-shirt. “Don’t forget shoes,” I replied. “People wore shoes in the ‘90s.” Was ‘90s fashion really so dull and nondescript? Granted it had a hard act to follow coming after the ‘80s bombarding us with, among other offerings, shoulder pads, leg warmers and lots and lots of neon. But was ‘90s fashion really so boring that you could boil it down to this joke and only be half joking? Just what was in the average wardrobe in the 1990s? It’s a fair bet that if you were a slave to trends at some point you’d have owned an item of clothing by Benetton. As well as the rugby-style polo shirts, bright colors and checks, there was the controversial ad campaign. You remember the ones featuring AIDS patients and bloody newborn babies that... ...

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News in brief: Research project presents choreographed Isabella’s Dream

In his new choreographed piece, Isabella’s Dream, Granada Artist-in-Residence Dr. Henry Daniel continues his exploration of the intercultural contact and migration that stemmed from Columbus’ voyage. “The choreography is driven by the stories that the performers bring to the project,” Daniel said. “I posed a very specific question: ‘Can you trace your family history from August 3, 1492, the start of Columbus’ voyage, to today?’ People can rarely do that, but they go through the process of connecting their background to that date.” According to Daniel, the main content of the piece is presented as a dream of Queen Isabella of Castile, who hired Columbus to go on his initial voyage in which he attempted to reach the east by sailing west. This resulted in the “discovery” of the New World. Isabella’s Dream is part of a research project known as Project Barca, of which Daniel is the lead investigator. Project Barca combines artistic practice with academic research. This is known as practice as research, and according to Theatre and... ...

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UC Davis Film Fest celebrates student filmmakers

On May 21 and May 22, the UC Davis Film Festival returns for its 14th year. Twenty-seven short films will be presented at the Davis Varsity Theatre starting at 10 p.m. The festival is produced by the Department of Cinema and Technocultural Studies (CaTS), the Art Studio, the Department of Theatre and Dance and is co-sponsored by the Department of Design. The two nights are a celebration of student filmmaking at UC Davis. When it began, the festival averaged 15 to 20 submissions each year. This year, over 50 films have been submitted. Sarah Pia Anderson is one of three faculty producers and helped to found the festival. Anderson is currently a professor in the CaTS department and has been a professional television and theater director for over 20 years. “I look forward to it every year, every year is different. It’s a unique event [for our] campus because it connects the different arts programs,” Anderson said. The festival has been held at the Davis Varsity Theatre since 2008 and... ...

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Arts Week

MUSIC Yolo Mambo May 25, 6 p.m., free Ketmoree Thai Restaurant, 238 G St. Yolo Mambo will be playing a blend of world jazz this Sunday evening. The group features Catherine LeBlanc’s multi-lingual vocals complemented with world instruments, including Carla Campbell on percussion, Phil Summers on Spanish guitar and Steve O’Neill on string bass. KDRT and Davis Music Festival Fundraiser Party May 22, 4 p.m., $5 suggested donation Sudwerk’s Dock Store, 2001 Second St. KDRT and the Davis Music Festival will be holding a fundraiser party that includes live music by The Bottom Dwellers, Owl Paws and others that will be performing at the Davis Music Festival. Included in the donation price is a raffle ticket for a chance to win a single-day pass to the BottleRock Music Festival in Napa, Calif. THEATER AND DANCE The Art Theater of Davis Presents: Hedda Gabler May 22 through June 1, (Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 3:30 p.m.), $15 Third Space, 946 Olive Drive The Art Theater of Davis... ...

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Column: Smells Like the Nineties

Jane’s Addiction paved the way for alt-rock. Twenty-six years ago, Perry Farrell first sang of his desire to be as big and immovable as an ocean. He did so on Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing’s Shocking, an album that possessed the magnitude of that of which he spoke. Released in 1988, the band’s major-label debut is an alt-rock classic, one of the most distinct records of its day, singular in sound and vision, right down to its totemic album cover, a sculpture of naked conjoined twins with heads ablaze. Let’s count the ways Nothing’s Shocking affected the modern rock landscape: 1. It gave art rock some muscle. There was a time when art rock was synonymous with elevating brains over brawn, as if rocking the eff out was the sole province of dudes who took shop class in place of Calculus II. But whoever said that you had to choose between the two? Jane’s Addiction called nonsense on this false dichotomy on Nothing’s Shocking, an album that was plenty adventurous and yet... ...

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Chamber ensemble yMusic performs at Mondavi Center

The sextet chamber ensemble, yMusic, performed at The Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall on May 17 at 8 p.m. The contemporary group melds classical training with compositions from some of the biggest names in popular music. Some of their more notable collaborators include indie giants Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent and Dirty Projectors. MUSE had a chance to speak with trumpet player and co-founder of yMusic, C.J. Camerieri, about the group. Tell us a little bit about how yMusic started. Well, five or six of us were students at Juilliard together getting classical degrees. Rob, the non-Juilliard member, and I were playing with a lot of bands. So we graduated school and sort of lost track with each other. At a certain point — about four years after we had graduated — we all started running into each other at the indie rock gigs and it was a cool moment of reconnection through this alternative music (which was not a part of our schooling). It was kind of a surprising development; we... ...

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Aggie Arcade

Local Multi-player Renaissance Growing up with video games was not a solo affair for me. My brother and I constantly played multi-player games with each other and forged a competitive rivalry. Friends came over to experience the two-controller mayhem. Those were good times. Along the way video games lost the joy of two or more players in a single room trading laughs and/or insults. Now the industry continues to push online multi-player and it’s an understandable shift. Not everyone has the time to get together in the same room to play games and some people just don’t have enough video game-loving friends in the same area code. But online multi-player doesn’t replicate the feeling of local multi-player. The distance between players creates a divide that limits the maximum potential for fun. Sure, I’ve had great times playing online with friends — Borderlands and Mass Effect 3 in particular stand out as recent examples. But nothing matches my enthusiasm for a memorable local multi-player session. Luckily, independent game developers have the... ...

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Fifth annual Nigerian Cultural Show promises fun, free evening

On May 16, the UC Davis Nigerian Student Association (NSA) will host their fifth annual Nigerian Cultural Show. The free event will include dance, theater, food and music with the aim of teaching people about Nigerian culture. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at Giedt Hall 1001. The Nigerian Cultural Show is the main event in the NSA calendar. Nnedy Obiwuru, a third-year international relations and Spanish student, is currently vice president of the NSA. “Our sole purpose is to entertain and inform people of our culture,” Obiwuru said. Every year the show includes a play which is based around the experiences of young Nigerians living in America. “This year the theme of the play is a wedding,” said Tinola Adeeyo, a third-year managerial economics major who has been involved in the show for the last three years and is current president of the NSA. “It’s the wedding of a Nigerian to an American and how he has to deal with the dynamics of that; his parents aren’t necessarily ready to... ...

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