Review Category : Blogs

Review of Diana Krall’s Mondavi performance

I’m that obnoxious girl that knows every hit single on the radio, has contemplated life to every song by every obscure indie band too mainstream for Coachella and listens to Mozart while doing her homework. Though this is all true, my heart first and foremost belongs to jazz, which is why I am so grateful I got to attend Diana Krall’s performance at the Mondavi Center this past Sunday. Diana Krall is one of today’s most popular traditional jazz vocalists and pianists — a modern-day tribute to the likes of the brilliant Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Her current tour features covers from her new album Glad Rag Doll as well as old favorites from past collections. Krall opened her dynamic set with a sassy arrangement of “When the Curtain Comes Down” from her newest project. The song was accompanied by a video of actor Steve Buscemi providing old-timey theatrical asides and dance, setting the show up for a whirlwind of nostalgic repertoire. Krall was accompanied by a jazz combo... ...

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Review of The Wind Rises

Studio Ghibli’s most recent animated production, The Wind Rises, is now showing at Regal Cinemas on G Street in downtown Davis. The film is Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s final movie of his career and is perhaps one of his best pieces yet. Miyazaki, writer and director of the Academy Award-winning film Spirited Away, has brought forth themes of love, growing up, feminism, good vs. evil, environmentalism, flight and reality vs. fantasy over the years in all of his movies and The Wind Rises is no exception. The Wind Rises imagines the life of Jiro Horikoshi, a real life aeronautical engineer from the 1950s who designed aircrafts used by the Japanese army in WWII. The film, though based on historical events, is whimsical in quality and invites the viewer into a highly aesthetically appealing experience. The film beautifully intertwines the ideas of flight and love into one in the same for young Horikoshi. It explores the difference between Horikoshi’s ambitions to create beautiful aircrafts and the reality of how his designs... ...

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The Mondavi Center hosts Circa’s “S”

On March 30, The Mondavi Center will host the Australian circus group Circa. Circa will be performing their show “S,” a captivating and raw example of the modern circus. Drawing inspiration from the smooth contours and constantly changing directions of the letter “s,” the cast will explore their physical and emotional limits with organic and powerful acrobatics. The performance is influenced by the simplicity of the letter “S.” With no numbers, acts, props or even elaborate costumes, the ensemble is said to be able to capture a sense of purity and vulnerability with their movement. As a result, Circa’s acrobatics engage the audience’s emotions. According to Yaron Lifschitz, the CEO and Artistic Director of Circa, “S” is a different piece from what he has done in the past. Lifschitz said he was excited about “S” being regarded as something beyond explanation but still moving. “It [“S”] is a place where the body and the artist become a resonant, poetic, theatrical, medium that generates an authentic human connection between the performers... ...

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Judge rules Marsh’s confession as valid, trial to begin April 14

On Friday Feb. 28, a Yolo County Superior Court Judge ruled that Daniel Marsh, the suspected killer of elderly Davis couple Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin, will go on trial on April 14, the one-year anniversary of the double homicide. Additionally, the judge ruled that Marsh’s alleged confession of the crime to the Davis Police will be used among the evidence presented to the jury. According to the Davis Enterprise, Judge David Reed’s decision came after a closed viewing of Marsh’s recorded interview with the police and an hour long hearing on Feb. 28. “The video of the interview does not support a conclusion that the defendant’s statement was coerced,” Reed said in his ruling. “Under the totality of the circumstances, the defendant’s statements were voluntary and uncoerced, and with knowledge of his right to remain silent.” Marsh is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, along with the special-circumstance allegations and is being tried as an adult. Marsh has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently in custody at... ...

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Marsh double homicide trial hearing on Feb. 28

A Yolo County Superior Court Judge is set to rule as to whether Daniel Marsh’s alleged confession of the April 14, 2013 murders of an elderly Davis couple, Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin, should be part of the upcoming trial process. The motion to suppress the alleged confession was filed by deputy public defenders Ron Johnson and Andrea Pelochino on Feb. 6. They claim that Marsh was taken to the Davis Police Station under false pretenses before being questioned by Davis Police Detective Ariel Pineda and FBI Agent Chris Campion about the murders. Yolo County prosecutors say this bid to get rid of the alleged admission should be denied because law enforcement officers did not use false pretenses or coercion to elicit the confession, according to the Davis Enterprise. “(T)he defendant decided to confess because he believed it was pointless to resist in light of all the evidence against him, not because of any promises of leniency,” said Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney, Michael Cabral in an opposition motion. Marsh was arrested on June 17 and is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, along... ...

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ASUCD announces results for Winter 2014 Elections

At 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 21, Eric Renslo, ASUCD Elections Committee Chair, announced the results of ASUCD’s Winter 2014 Elections in Wellman 6. Measure 1, also known as the “Save the Aggie” measure, passed with 72.92 percent  voter approval. The measure received 27.11 percent voter turnout, exceeding the 20 percent needed for the fee referendum to be considered valid. Renslo then announced the results for the ASUCD senate elections. In order one to six, senate candidates Azka Fayyaz (S.M.A.R.T.), Robyn Huey (S.M.A.R.T.), Nicholas Sanchez (S.M.A.R.T.), Amelia Helland (NOW), Artem Senchev (Independent) and Eugenia Chung (NOW) were elected to the senate table. Next, Renslo presented the results for the presidential election. Armando Figueroa (S.M.A.R.T.) and Maxwell Kappes (Independent) were elected ASUCD president and vice president, respectively. For more information, go to elections.ucdavis.edu.   — Scott Dresser   ...

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Sun Kil Moon’s ‘Benji’ Album Review

In the opening track of Sun Kil Moon’s Benji, singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek makes it clear that he is confused and intrigued about — yet ultimately fixated upon — death. Describing the titular “Carissa,” Kozelek explains the “senseless tragedy” of her death (an aerosol can explosion, just like the way his uncle died, nonetheless). His paced revelations of his second cousin Carissa conclude with his homecoming to Ohio and decision to honor Carissa by making “sure her name is known across every city.” In this statement, a reflective, often introspective journey into the life of Mark Kozelek begins, and in the undeniably powerful directness of Benji, Kozelek’s sense of gratitude for all those who have formed him triumphs over the morbid subject matter. The sixth album of Sun Kil Moon, Kozelek, now the only current member of the project, recruited the likes of Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, Owen Ashworth, Will Oldham and Jen Wood to heighten the universality of the album’s deeply personal songs. This technique is apparent in the second... ...

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Stories on Stage presents author Anthony Marra

Guess what crazy thing I did Saturday night? I went to a book reading at the Pence Gallery! I know, pretty badass, am I right? Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the ideal “wild Saturday night out,” but it was actually quite enjoyable. Every month the Pence Gallery on D Street hosts “Stories on Stage.” During the event local actors read aloud excerpts from books or short works by a successful author and a promising young writer. I dragged a few friends with me to the show to find there was only standing room in the excessively small gallery area and that everyone seemed to be perspiring. Pence Gallery was set to showcase New York Times Bestseller Anthony Marra, so everyone and their mothers were in attendance. The show started with a reading from Maria Kuznetsova’s (a rising author) story “The Foreigner.” Actress Gia Battista, artistic director of the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble, read an excerpt from the book about a young Russian girl attempting to live normally during wartime. Kuznetsova’s written... ...

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Fire breaks out at Segundo hall

At 1:37 p.m. on Jan. 7, a fire broke out in a dorm room on the second floor of Sereno Hall, located within the Regan Residence Halls complex of Segundo. Firefighters evacuated the building in order to clear out the smoke. No one was present in the room at the time. According to UC Davis Fire Chief Nathan Trauernicht, the room’s garbage receptacle near the door was on fire and a water extinguisher was used to put it out. Trauernicht said that the improper disposal of a cigarette butt most likely led to the fire. The UC Davis Fire Department was dispatched to the room when the room’s heat detector transmitted a signal indicating it had been dismantled. UC Davis became a smoke and tobacco-free campus beginning Jan. 1. The residents of the dorm room will be referred to Student Judicial Affairs. — Claire Tan ...

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Young Wanderlust: A book review

The back of Evan Kenward’s self-published debut novel Young Wanderlust asks the questions: What do you do when you graduate college? Do you get a job? Start your career? Begin your young adult life? If you’re Evan Kenward, a recent University of Massachusetts Amherst graduate, you answer these questions by dropping everything and commencing on a cross-country road trip with two of your two best friends in an unreliable rusted out old Subaru. What happens on the way is up to fate. Young Wanderlust is a 28-day account of Kenward’s cross-country road trip he took during the early summer months of 2008. Determined to experience everything that the American west and has to offer on a small backpacking budget, Kenward tells his story with optimism and wonderment and engrains in the minds of his readers that spontaneous travel is the true road to complete and total freedom. Beginning in Massachusetts, Kenward sets off west traversing highways and taking in the sights of middle America. The car holds up for the cross-country drive... ...

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Review of Jeff Tweedy’s solo concert

On Dec. 10, Jeff Tweedy of the bands Wilco and Uncle Tupelo presented his solo concert at the Mondavi Center with Scott McCaughey of the band The Young Fresh Fellows as his opener. I’d like to inform you that I attended this concert knowing almost nothing about Tweedy’s music besides a few of his popular songs from Wilco. All I had at hand was my love for all genres of music and low expectations to avoid possible disappointment (I’m a bundle of sunshine). I got there a few minutes into the show and found myself watching McCaughey in a furry silver top-hat and sunglasses sipping whiskey and trying not to spill on the piano. He comically stumbled around stage between his guitar, banjo and piano, singing about The Walking Dead comics and Babe Ruth. Though I couldn’t tell if he was comedian or a musician, I definitely enjoyed the oddity of it all. The audience was mostly middle-aged to senior citizens hooting at McCaughey’s absurd gag reel of simplistic chords... ...

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Aggies squeeze past the Cougars, 80-75

As the Aggies (2-2) headed into Portland, Ore. for the Portland State tournament with a 1-2 record, they looked for a source of momentum to help jump start their season. The Aggies certainly found what they were looking as they managed to squeeze out a close victory against the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cougars (1-3) due in large part to the magnificent play of senior forward Josh Ritchart. Ritchart had a dominant game on Friday, Nov. 22. His final stat line included an impressive 35 points on 12-14 (85.7%) shooting from the field, 13 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Ritchart’s scoring outburst was the first time that an Aggie has scored 30 points or more since junior guard Corey Hawkin’s outstanding 34-point performance against Long Beach State on national television last season. “I’m on our guys all the time about playing games the way you practice; Josh has been our best practice player, he brings it every day,” said head coach Jim Les. The Cougars came out roaring from... ...

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Frances Ha now available on Netflix Instant Play

If you’re like me, someone who spends copious amounts of time hunched over a computer screen streaming Netflix movies instead of starting that term paper, there is good news. Alas, I have been forcing myself to watch B movie after B movie in hopes that someday Netflix might actually add a film that I know I will enjoy for the next 120 minutes or so of my life. So, when I opened a new tab and scrolled through the recently added movies on Netflix, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that one of my favorite summer movies was now streaming on Netflix, Frances Ha. The Film is co-written by its lead actress, Greta Gerwig, and its director, Noah Baumbach. Gerwig, known for her roles in movies such as Hannah Takes the Stairs and Nights and Weekends, has developed a cult following as one of the leading figures in mumblecore cinema, a sub-genre of independent film that is characterized by low production costs and naturalistic dialogue. Her previous experience rubs... ...

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Attempted sexual assault in South Davis

On Nov. 19, around 9:40 p.m., an attempted sexual assault occurred in South Davis near the intersection of Mace Blvd. and El Macero Drive, according to a statement issues by the Davis Police Department (DPD). A male suspect attempted to drag a female victim towards the lawn area of a nearby residence. However she was able to free herself and the suspect fled. The suspect is described as being white or Hispanic male in his 20-30s, 5’11″ to 6’00″ tall, having a medium build, sideburns and a mustache. The DPD said There does not appear to be any connection between this attempted sexual assault and the one that occurred on Oct. 28 in the 600 block of Alvarado Ave. Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact the DPD at 530-747-5400. — Paayal Zaveri   ...

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Pop, but not quite Art: A review of “ARTPOP” by Lady Gaga

It’s been over five years since Lady Gaga dropped “Just Dance,” and since then she’s become arguably the biggest English language pop star in the world. Her new album, ARTPOP, is proof of Gaga’s pop genius, but it lacks a feel of genuine greatness. I have a bit of bias for this record because Gaga’s rise coincided with my rising interest in pop music. In fact, The Fame Monster, which is one of the best albums released in the last five years, cemented my love for the Billboard Top 40. The first thing that struck me about ARTPOP is that it is very sexual. It sounds ridiculous to say that about an artist who first came to my attention with a song that includes the line “bluffin’ with my muffin,” but there’s a song called “Sexxx Dreams” that is pretty much about just that. Prince would blush at some of the lyrical content. (As a brief feminist aside: the closest ARTPOP gets to being art is through how Gaga challenges... ...

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