Review Category : Arts

Aggie Arcade: Your weekly dose of video games

Irrational Response The video game community continues to discuss the downsizing of developer Irrational Games following the shocking news last week. The studio responsible for the critically-acclaimed BioShock and BioShock Infinite no longer exists in its original form — only Creative Director/Co-founder Ken Levine and 15 other employees remain. According to a post on the company’s official website, Levine emphasizes creativity as the key reason for the sudden downsize. More specifically, he states, “my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before.” Does that mean Ken Levine is responsible for 100+ people losing their jobs? The reaction to this falls into two central categories. Some people view Levine as a villainous auteur who essentially fired good employees because of his own creative endeavors. Others focus more on the future of Irrational Games, and how Levine has the freedom to “make narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable,” as Levine states in his post. I find myself torn between what seem like... ...

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Campus Chic: Palmira Muniz

A New York State of Mind. Hailing from the Bronx, Palmira Muniz, a third-year English and film studies double major, tells MUSE how she combines her lived experiences both in New York and Los Angeles to create her own unique personal style and how to DIY (do it yourself)! As I was strolling through the Memorial Union bookstore on a semi-relaxed Thursday afternoon, I came across a full head of curly locks paired with a bold, red lip and thought to myself, “I think I’ve just found my next Muse of the Week.” Something that struck me about Palmira was not only the hair, but also a grunge-y and urban-chic, yet very much sophisticated look that I normally don’t see too often around campus. She thrifted her denim jacket at Goodwill for a mere two dollars and appliqued a part of a tank top that she found on a rack at a local church in Manhattan to create an edgy, original and Bronx streetwear-inspired outerwear piece. To complete her outfit,... ...

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Department of Theater and Dance presents The Grapes of Wrath

With performances beginning March 6 and going on through March 16, the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance will be presenting Frank Galati’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath. Directed by Granada Artist-in-Residence Miles Anderson, the play’s plot of a farmer family escaping the Dust Bowl to California is dramatized by both original and traditional American folk music of the time. Anderson, whose previous acting and directing experience includes the Old Globe Shakespeare Festival in San Diego and the Royal Shakespeare Company, explained that his interest in directing The Grapes of Wrath comes from Davis’ proximity to the setting of the novel and his passion for American theatre and folk music. “I thought not only is it the 75th anniversary of the novel, but it’s also a tale of a family that migrates to this part of California, 150 miles south in Salinas, where Steinbeck lived,” Anderson said. “The Frank Galati play has plenty of country music which I really enjoy, and [directing The Grapes of... ...

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Tune In: Feb 27, 2014

Katy Perry v. Taylor Swift Charming female pop artists are always coming and going, always redefining what “pop” is and always duking it out with each other not only to top the charts, but also to gain the admiration of fans. In the ’60s, Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand went head to head. In the ’80s, Madonna took on Whitney Houston as things began sounding a little funkier and more dance-influenced. By the time the early 2000s rolled around, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were in a deadlocked battle over who would become the greater teen pop star. Whenever I hang out with my nine and 13-year-old cousins, the two girls make a point to inform me which artists they’re into. Usually these artists are female, and usually my cousins’ tastes reflect what is trending in American popular culture. I can discern from their opinions that two female artists in particular have been dominating modern female pop music lately. The artists: Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. These two women match... ...

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The Art Theatre of Davis presents Three Sisters

The Art Theatre of Davis is set to present their production of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters on Feb. 28. This up-and-coming theater company’s first play ever will be held at Third Space on Olive Drive. The Art Theatre of Davis (ATD) was founded by SUNY Purchase College and Antioch College graduate and Davis native Timothy Nutter in fall 2013. The idea for the group sprouted when Nutter decided he wanted to bring his passion for acting and dance to Davis. Upon discovering Third Space, Nutter realized the venue was an optimal space for theatrical creation. After deciding to found ATD, Nutter chose to focus the group’s work on a genre he considers “modern classics.” This means the group’s aim is to perform work from 19th and 20th-century playwrights of the western writing tradition. Ania Mieszkowska, assistant director for ATD’s production of Three Sisters, noticed the lack of modern classics in the Yolo County/Sacramento regions, and hopes to fill this theatrical gap. “You can see Shakespeare, musical theatre, ballet and opera,... ...

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Mother Falcon soars into town

On Feb. 28, Mother Falcon and Tom Brosseau will perform at the City of Davis Veterans’ Memorial Theater, presented by the Davis Live Music Collective (DLMC). At first glance, Mother Falcon is less of an indie pop/rock band and more of a chamber orchestra. Their numbers seem overwhelming — ranging flexibly from 12 to 18 or more members — but every instrument expertly intertwines to form complex and modern melodies accentuated with strong lyricism. Opener Tom Brosseau is a folk singer/songwriter on tour for his seventh studio LP Grass Punks, released under the Davis-based label Crossbill Records. The past year has been good to Mother Falcon; their sophomore album You Knew was released last August, with critical acclaim from the Washington Post and National Public Radio (NPR). They subsequently toured and performed for the fourth time at South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW), their popular show garnering Mother Falcon a spot on NPR Music’s “Bob Boilen’s 15 Essential Moments From SXSW 2013.” They will be performing at SXSW again on... ...

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Stephen Petronio Company performs, talks at Mondavi Center

The Stephen Petronio Company will be on campus from Feb. 25 to 28, performing various choreographic pieces during their stay. On Feb. 25, 26 and 27, the company will perform excerpts from some of their works such as Underland, which features music composed by Nick Cave. On Feb. 26, Stephen Petronio will take part in a Chancellor’s Colloquium Q&A. The week will end with a full performance of the company’s recent work Like Lazarus Did. Like Lazarus Did is a piece about resurrection, starting with a funeral and ending with a rebirth. It features music by Son Lux, who reworked the vocal songs of slaves. Don Roth, the executive director of the Mondavi Center, was taken with Like Lazarus Did when he first saw it, immediately deciding that he wanted to present it. “What’s beautiful about modern dance like this is that there’s a connection between the lyrics of the music and the dancing,” Roth said. “It’s more abstract than just a play on words, though. The movements onstage express... ...

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Wait wait… Tell me about Paula Poundstone

Stand up comedian Paula Poundstone will be performing Feb. 21 at the Crest Theater in Sacramento at 7:30 p.m., with ticket prices starting at $27.50. Poundstone, who, in addition to her stand up career, has contributed to NPR’s nationally syndicated weekly news quiz show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me and published a book entitled There is Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say in 2006. Over a phone interview, MUSE delved into Poundstone’s unique comedic style of performance and her plans for the future. MUSE: To start your career, you dropped out of high school and began traveling across the U.S. performing at various open mics along the way. What made you take that initial leap to drop everything and say this is it, this is what I’m going to do with my life? P.P: I was bussing tables for a living and it just so happened that a couple of guys started booking comics to perform at open mic nights in various locations around Boston. So, I... ...

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Update on Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Museum

The new Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis, will have its groundbreaking ceremony at 3 p.m. on Mar. 1. The museum, two years in the making, will complete the South Entry to campus, accompanying the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. Expected opening is in 2016. The newest museum to Davis is named in honor of Jan Shrem, proprietor of Clos Pegase winery in the Napa Valley and his wife Maria Manetti Shrem. In 2011, Jan Shrem made the museum possible with a $10 million donation to UC Davis in 2011. Margrit Mondavi is among other philanthropic contributors . “The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art represents a truly transformational effort at UC Davis,” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said in an email. “At its core, it is a teaching museum. Every facet of the Shrem Museum will underscore its commitment to educating students and training artists. It will become... ...

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Artsweek: Feb 20, 2013

MUSIC The Spring Quartet Feb. 21, 2014, 8 p.m., prices vary Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall The Mondavi Center will be hosting the Spring Quartet, a jazz group made up of Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese. DeJohnette (drummer) and Genovese (pianist) are both internationally-known jazz masters, while Spalding and Lovano have won Grammys for their work in instrumental jazz. The group is known for their innovative modern take on jazz technique and jazz theory. Together, these talented musicians make one stellar quartet. THEATRE The Broadway Song Book of 1977 Feb. 22, 7 p.m., $35 Veterans Memorial Center Theatre, 201 E. 14th St. The nonprofit organization, Citizens Who Care, will be hosting their 22nd annual Broadway-themed benefit concert. The proceeds of the concert will support elderly citizens and their caregivers throughout Yolo County. The concert will feature classic songs from Annie, Pippin, Godspell and more. Capital Public Radio’s star personality Stephen Peithman will be hosting the event. Ticket information can be found at citizenswhocare.us. LITERATURE & POETRY Poetry... ...

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Campus Chic: Feb 20, 2014

In Full Bloom. When I think “spring,” the quintessential things that come to mind are pastels, lace, chiffon, tulle, bright pops of color, silks, nautical and of course, florals. In this week’s edition of Campus Chic, I decided to choose the beautiful Narvy Preap, a second-year design major, as our “Muse of the Week” because there’s such an effortlessly chic quality to her look and she understands how to make the smooth transition from winter to spring without all the fuss. She loves florals, but also incorporates items with darker accents into her wardrobe and maintains a muted color palette for added sophistication and edge. I appreciate the juxtaposition of a feminine, floral print with a simple, yet edgy leather jacket — especially when played up by a cute pair of boots and a flowy green maxi skirt, which is totally on-trend for the season as we’re seeing a lot of forest green and earth tones back on the runway. It’s like Bohemian meets New York street-chic with a modern... ...

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News in Brief: Poetry Night Reading Series to host Latino, Chicano literary community

On Feb. 20 at 8 p.m., the Poetry Night Reading Series at the John Natsoulas Gallery, hosted and coordinated by Andy Jones, will feature poet and UC Davis lecturer Francisco X. Alarcón and the Writers of the New Sun, a literary collective based out of Sacramento. Alarcón, whose body of work includes 12 volumes of poetry and several books, is a founding member of the Writers of the New Sun. They will be celebrating their 20th anniversary as a literary community, which values the “literary and artistic cultures and traditions of the Chicano, Latino, Indigenous and Spanish-language peoples” in their writings, which are in English, Spanish or a mixture of both. Alarcón explained that the group acts as a support system, allowing each writer the chance to have their work closely critiqued by fellow writers. “Every writer [in Writers of the New Sun] is very unique,” Alarcón said. “In my own case, it has been a very beneficial process. We get together every month; I became an author for children... ...

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Tune In: Feb 13, 2014

Covers and Mashups One of the great things about music is that it builds off of itself. As artists come and go, musicians’ influence upon each other occurs naturally. There is no question that modern music would be entirely different had it not been for classics from the ’90s, ’80s, ’70s and ’60s; even 18th-century classical music played a crucial part in paving the way for modern music’s growth. Sometimes this influence is very indirect and hard to trace; for example, the Beatles’ influence on a band like Nirvana. The two may not sound anything alike, but I am willing to bet that among the large variety of bands directly influenced by the Beatles, at least a few found their way into a young Kurt Cobain’s headphones. From that point on, I could imagine how his understanding of music might have been slightly altered; enlightened, you could say. Don’t get me wrong, though. Kurt Cobain is a musical genius with many, many independent ideas. I am just saying that influence... ...

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KDVS to hold Valentine’s Day event at Third Space

On Feb 14., Valentine’s Day, KDVS is holding an event featuring the bands Farallons, Taughtme, Pablo and Big Buff at the music, art and retail venue Third Space. In a collaboration between KDVS and Third Space, DJ Drew Evans, host of the KDVS Monday morning radio show “Apartment 5,” and Chandler Lavin, director of materials at Third Space, worked together in scheduling the bands, who all hail from Northern California. Both Evans and Lavin expressed excitement toward this event’s showcase of lesser known local talents whose sounds fall within the indie-rock spectrum. “We look to exhibit and promote art that’s not already accepted or common in the community,” Lavin said. “Davis, as much as it’s diverse, is very homogenous in the [arts] culture. We’re trying to be an alternative venue, whether it’s music, theatre or performance art.” Farallons, a band recently discovered by Evans, released their first EP Outer Sun Sets in 2013 and will be performing for the first time in Davis. They offer a hypnotizing blend of surf-rock... ...

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Arts Week

MUSIC Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio Feb. 13 through Feb. 15, 8 p.m., $19 to $42 Mondavi Center Organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, with guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Jamire Williams, will be playing sets for three straight days this week. Smith played with guitarist George Benson in the 1960s before embarking on a solo recording career. The Jazz Journalist Association gave him “Organ Keyboardist of the Year” on five different occasions. San Francisco Symphony Feb. 13, 8 p.m., $50 to $94 Mondavi Center The SF Symphony, conducted by Musical America’s 2012 Conductor of the Year Jaap van Zweden, will play two works: the Violin Concerto in D Minor by Sibelius, which will feature a solo by Simone Lamsma, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. There will be a pre-performance talk with Boston Conservatory Music History Coordinator Elizabeth Seitz an hour before the show. “Lights Low” with The Afterglow Feb. 14, 8:30 p.m., $7 Sciences Lecture Hall 123 Come spend Valentine’s Day with some a cappella groups. The concert will feature performances from... ...

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