Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Logo of The Spectrum
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950



Killin' it

Groin thrusts, dancing and outlandish facial hair were abundant as Foxy Shazam nearly tore down the walls at Mohawk Place Tuesday night. Hundreds of bands pop up every day with the same goal: to become the next big thing. Many have attempted this somewhat impossible task with very few actually succeeding. After their visit to WRUB Day, Foxy Shazam got ready to put on a show that Buffalo will not soon forget. Foxy, who is well known for their on-stage antics, headlined one of the best tours to stop in Buffalo in quite some time. The band's five-year experience was evident, as every member of Foxy knew how to dazzle the crowd. From stellar dance moves to amazing balancing acts, the band's show made sure that nobody will be forgetting Foxy Shazam. Leading the on-stage frolics was front man Eric Nally, whose performance knows no bounds. Hanging from the pipes upside down and rolling around on the ground is just the tip of the iceberg for Nally. Right from the opening chords, Foxy had the crowd eating from their hands. The band quickly moved through fan favorites like "Yes! Yes! Yes!" while also getting into new material like "Count Me Out." Although Nally may be one of the most extravagant singers, the supporting cast of Foxy didn't let him steal the spotlight. Every member of Foxy Shazam had their own style for entertaining the crowd. Classically trained pianist Sky White is as eccentric as the beard that rests on his face. White jammed out on the piano while lying down, face underneath the bottom of the keyboard and didn't miss a note. The brass section might not be Foxy's most prominent feature, but Alex Nauth sported some ridiculous dance moves that complimented Nally's antics about as well as anyone could, and added some glass shattering backup vocals. As Foxy stormed through their itinerary, they did a great job mixing the fan favorites with material from their upcoming self-titled album. The crowd erupted as Foxy played "Introducing Foxy" and "The Rocketeer." The pinnacle of the show was when Nally started to smoke four cigarettes at once. He must have decided that he didn't like cowboy killers since a couple of drags in, Nally turned the death sticks around and started eating all four at once. It may have been unconventional, but the crowd ate it up. To end their tenure at Mohawk Place, Foxy Shazam played the cult classic "No, Don't Shoot." The crowd exploded into a massive mosh pit, and as Nally ended the show he pulled out all the tricks. Head banging, dangling from the ceiling, and brutal breakdowns left the crowd begging for more Foxy. Before Foxy Shazam took the stage, Bad Rabbits, hailing from Boston, got the crowd moving with their unique style. Combining rock and funk, the band had the crowd dancing as soon as they took the stage. Their high-energy show is unmatched by many in the music industry. The only people having more fun than the crowd during Bad Rabbits were the actual members of Bad Rabbits. The deeper Bad Rabbits got into their set, the deeper the audience fell in love with the band's sound. There is no way that Bad Rabbits will not blow up. Their unique style and energetic live show puts them a head above the rest. In between the two sets, The Young Veins took the stage. Riding on the fame they garnered from Panic! At The Disco, The Young Veins serenaded their preteen Twilight fans with a bad Beatles knockoff. Opening the evening was the local band Raspberry Infernos. Their trippy grunge rock sound was the perfect way to start the night. When the lights faded to black, the crowd knew that they had just witnessed one of the best shows that will come through Buffalo for a while. E-mail:


Guy gives his all

A diverse crowd of blues fans filled the Center For the Arts on Wednesday to see blues guitar legend Buddy Guy. To start the evening off, Buffalo native Tom Hambridge warmed up the crowd. Less was more with Hambridge's performance, as the only instruments used during the performance were a keyboard, played by Guy's pianist Marty Sammon, and Hambridge's single drum, with improvised percussion on microphone stands. The singer/songwriter/producer began with a song that he wrote for George Thorogood, "The Fixer." A few songs in, Hambridge slowed things down with "Shoebox," a song the audience requested. One of Hambridge's last songs, before he gave the stage to the headlining guitar virtuoso, was "I Got Your Country Right Here" – a song Hambridge wrote, but has gotten Gretchen Wilson some radio airtime. Guy's band gave him a booming introduction, and the crowd's welcome was just as loud. Not a second was wasted; Guy began playing the lightening-quick licks he is known for as soon as he hit the stage. Once Guy began to play, two things became evident: why he is a legend and the impact he's had on artists like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. The band rocked out to fan favorite "Nobody Understands Me But My Guitar," before giving a great performance of the blues standard "Hoochie Coochie Man," which had Guy and backup guitarist Ric Hall trading licks. In honor of the less than pleasant weather, the band played the beautiful blues ballad "It Feels Like Rain." The weathered musician let the audience know how much he loves the city of Buffalo, and that he has been coming here since 1968. Guy told fans to be on the lookout for his next album, but he was unsure when it would be out because of the way his genre is treated. "You don't hear blues on the radio anymore, but if you call me I'll come play it for you," Guy said. Guy then graced the audience with a little history and blues lesson, saying that bluesmen had been playing songs that people loved for years after the British invasion. He also said that blues musicians used the same type of provocative lyrics as hip-hop long before the latter genre was around. Continuing the lesson, Guy played samples of different blues styles, ranging from John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" to Eric Clapton's "Strange Brew" to a number by B.B. King, which he travelled into the audience for. Before ending the night on a high note, Guy thanked the audience. "I love every one of you; you couldn't make me dislike you no matter what you do," said Guy. Rounding out the end of the night, Guy played the blues/rock classic "Voodoo Child" into "Sunshine of Your Love." Although the musician has had 73 laps around the block, he sounds just as good as ever. His guitar playing is better than ever and his voice has the same powerful, smoky sound that his fans love. Guy gave an amazing performance and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. E-mail:


Foxy and flamboyant

With its loud licks and extravagant style, there is no doubt that Foxy Shazam is one of the best up-and-coming bands out there. The band brings an unmatchable energy to its performances, but the group is rather reserved and incredibly polite off of the stage. From joking about hoping to find Bigfoot, to analyzing the movie The Goonies, to the bassist, Daisy, explaining that all good keyboardists have weird fetishes, they are a very laidback bunch. Foxy Shazam isn't too afraid to touch on the most obscure conversation topics. The group has already put out two full-length albums, and the third is on the way, hitting the shelves and iTunes on April 13. Foxy's sound has evolved with each song, and it keeps getting better. "We never want to make the same record twice, so this is just the next Foxy Shazam record. It is just the next step, we always take it step by step, we never go backwards and we never stay still," said lead singer Eric Nally. A self-titled big label debut is the next step for the band. "We just got better, as musicians and writers," said guitarist Loren Turner. "When you are playing with the same group of people for five years, you just feed off of one another and you know what they are going to do and they know what you are going to do." Drawing on influences ranging from Michael Jordan and Marty McFly, to Miles Davis and Pantera's Dimebag Darrell, Foxy has an interesting sound. However, the group doesn't like to be placed in one category. According to Nally, listeners just need "an open mind," adding, "it is just about sitting back and watching or listening to it." And although Nally's slender figure, finely trimmed moustache and impeccable dance moves may be reminiscent of the late and great Freddy Mercury, Nally was never impacted by the Queen front man. "I think me and Freddy Mercury were inspired by the same things. I don't think we really inspired each other or whatever you want to say," Nally said. "We were inspired by the same things. He liked theater a lot and they were a very theatrical band and all that stuff. We probably have similar influences, which is why you can draw comparisons. Plus, I have a moustache." Sound and incredible live performances are not the only things that make Foxy stand apart from other bands. Both keyboardist Sky White and Alex Nauth, who plays the horns, are classically trained. Many classically trained musicians choose to stay in that genre or play jazz, but growing up, White knew his only choice was rock n' roll. The same did not go for Nauth, though. "I grew up classically trained and when I got to a certain age, probably the middle of high school, I just knew that I didn't want to do classical work," Nauth said. "I just didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't think that being in a band was an option, but as I got older it became the choice." The group members are also unique in their ability to mix their families with their music. Nally is only 24 years old but is the father of two young boys, which he believes inspires him differently than other musicians. "My kids play a big part in just being inspired to write certain lyrics or whatever, it is interesting living two opposite ends of the spectrum. You don't normally combine the two," Nally said. "Every person I have ever met that has kids and is in a band normally just has to do the whole kid thing the whole time, but my family is really supportive of my career, so it makes it [possible] for me to keep pursuing it … It really helps with inspiration." White has the same high hopes of success for the group. "I want us to do something big, important and beautiful. Something that when we are old, we can look back [on] and be proud of what we did with our lives," White said. Fans can also catch the band playing on the ground this summer; they will even be playing Lollapalooza. And seeing as their hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio is not too far away, there is a good chance that Daisy, Nally, Nauth, Mcveigh, Turner and White will be back in Buffalo soon. E-mail:

The Spectrum

Family matters

The Japanese Student Association held its annual Japan Night, which depicted the rich cultural heritage and traditions of their country, last Saturday. An integral part of the UB community since its foundation in 1996, the JSA put on a play to demonstrate one of the most important components of Japanese culture: family. The play was written and directed by Masato Uenishi, a physical therapy graduate student from Damian College. Uenishi has been a part of JSA since 2003 and has been directing Japan Night since 2008. "My primary objective is to have fun with the audience," Uenishi said. "I [prefer comedy] because the actors are enjoying themselves as much as the audience." Using comedy as a medium, the play portrayed the importance of family ties. The play centered on an extended family getting together for a family reunion. But just like any family reunion, there is tension, and this tension soon leads to conflict between the family members. The grandfather watches helplessly as his family fights around him. In order to instill an understanding of the importance of family in his relatives, he prepares an elaborate scheme with his clever butler, Sebastian. The grandfather suddenly dies of a heart attack as he tries to stop the feud, and Sebastian, the butler, announces that he will read the will. The grandfather made a series of questions that his relatives must answer in order to retrieve the will. The relatives work together throughout the process. They each use their individuality to help the collective effort. Upon finding the will, they realize the importance of family bonds. As they recognize this, the grandfather returns, revealing his grand scheme. The audience was very pleased with the show. Samantha Melendez, a senior management major, loved the drama involved. "I liked the dramatics…it was very funny," Melendez said. "I'm not part of JSA, but I can definitely relate to their family aspect." According to Chris Streb, a senior health human services and psychology major, the show was a success. "I loved how they [brought] different cultures and the conflict between different cultures [into the show]," Streb said. " It's a bigger message here on the college campus because there is a lot of diversity." According to David Cobb, a sophomore linguistics major and a participant, the family theme is essential in the present times. "A lot of families these days are separated…if not nonexistent….our play shows that family membership [is necessary and important]," Cobb said. Fellow participant Emmanuell Mcbryde, a junior theater major, agreed. "It makes you think about the deeper aspects of your own family," Mcbryde said. "It's a life lesson…and hopefully people don't have to go to the extreme of their grandfather having to play a trick on them for them to realize this." After the show, JSA held its annual Japan Night Festival, called Matsuri, in the Student Union, which included several booths of traditional Japanese food as well as games and other activities. The coordinators of Japan Night began organizing the event well over a year ago. The dedication and the enthusiasm really did show during the event. "We began planning around September," said Kosuke Benny Higo, JSA vice-president. "They had the idea [for the play] about a year ago…It takes a lot of time…the last two months were very hectic." According to Cobb, it took sincere dedication. "It has to be something you love…it has to be willing," Cobb said. "You have to want to be in it…to learn about the culture." JSA encourages and welcomes all cultures into their association. "JSA is open not only to UB students but the community as well," said Jessica Senaga, JSA president. "[JSA] spreads Japanese culture not just throughout UB but throughout the [entire] Buffalo community." Senaga, who graduates this May, hopes the club will continue to develop. "I hope that it keeps growing," Senaga said. "I hope they gain recognition within UB." E-mail:


Standing up

From somewhere behind the scenes of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Rory Albanese is juggling his role of executive producer and writer, churning out jokes but never standing in the limelight. Things have started to change for the four-time Emmy winner. Albanese recently landed a half-hour special with Comedy Central Presents, due to air Friday at 11 p.m. Coming out from behind the curtain, Albanese is taking on the world of stand up once more. With past tours such as "Red, White and Screwed" in 2006, Bonnaroo in 2009 and UB last year, Albanese isn't a stranger to this role. "I get to write and tell jokes – it's pretty awesome. I cant even believe still that that's a job … I always wanted to do this," Albanese said. "I don't know what I'd do if this wasn't an option … sometimes I'm on my way to work and I see a guy with a jackhammer wrecking the concrete on the street and I'm like, ‘That's pretty cool. He gets to destroy things all day,' but I don't know, I didn't really have a backup plan." Instead of taking on physical destruction, Albanese retaliates with words. Anyone who feels that Americans are unrefined and undeserving, Albanese will give you a different idea. From defending our country in drunken arguments at a London McDonald's to enforcing regional stereotypes, the comedian pays homage to his home country – outsourced Indian phone operators be forewarned. Growing up on Long Island – a place so many make the butt of jokes – Albanese had to develop a defense mechanism. It surfaced in his natural comedic nature. "It was just this impulse where you're in a room full of people and it's quiet, like in school … and the teacher says something and there's that moment where you know if you say something in that moment everyone is going to laugh and you know the consequences … but you would rather get everyone to laugh and suffer the consequences," Albanese said. With impulses like that, it was no surprise that Albanese grew up to write for Jon Stewart, one of the funniest men in America. Yet he reminds us that even The Daily Show isn't just all fun and games: it poses its own problems. They may not look at themselves as a news source, but many college kids do. "It's really about figuring out what are we trying to say and what's the point of saying it because it's not just about playing a sound bite and making a silly face … It's a pretty short amount of news if you break down the amount of time that we're on the show that we're devoting to a headline or a story; you're not necessarily getting the full scope of what's going on in the world," Albanese said. "I always tell people to use it as a launching point to do your own research. I understand the impulse. When I was in college, I got most of my news from Dave Letterman's monologue." However, when Albanese is doing standup, he is on his own. "Standup is bombing. You go out and you tell a joke and people don't like it so you go, ‘Ok, well I'll try another,' and sometimes you know it's a bad joke and sometimes it's a good joke and you told it poorly and sometimes … the crowd doesn't like what you're saying but its usually worth trying a couple of times … you're alone out there and you're coming up with something you think is funny and you don't get to run it past a master comedian like Jon Stewart," Albanese said. Despite the uncertainty that comes with standup, it's a refreshing change and a chance to work on new material. "The special has inspired me/required me to put a little more attention on my jokes and writing some new material because I don't want to go out next year … I want to be able to do another one in the future so I want to be able to have another 30 minutes of stuff that hasn't been taped," Albanese said. Those extra 30 minutes of jokes are going to come in handy. In addition to Comedy Central Presents, Albanese is currently working on a script deal for Paramount with John Oliver as well as heading out on tour this summer and fall. Catch him before he heads back behind the camera again. E-mail:


The coast is always greener

Long Island has produced some of the most well known alternative rock bands of the last decade. Brand New's Your Favorite Weapon in 2001 and Taking Back Sunday's Tell All Your Friends in 2002 were arguably the catalysts that kick started the pop rock genre. As the bands have grown and progressed, they have shifted away from what originally defined them. But the sound that Brand New and TBS coined at the turn of the millennium is long from dead. New bands have risen in attempt to revive the sound that influenced them all years ago. Long Island-born band Envy on the Coast is just one of those groups. The band released their second album, LOWCOUNTRY, on March 30th, nearly two and a half years after their debut album, Lucy Gray. Ryan Hunter, EOTC's lead singer, admits he is greatly influenced by Adam Lazzara of TBS, but actually sounds more like a mix between Craig Owens of Chiodos, and Head Automatica's Daryl Palumbo. Traces of similarity aside, EOTC still brings a fresh sound to rock and adds a sprinkle of political undertones to its latest album. A shining example of EOTC's profound political lyricism can be seen in the album's fourth track, "Puritan Dirt Song." It is not surprising that the song had more of a country tone to it, but what is shocking is that the band pulled it off fairly well. Another welcomed surprise the album has for fans is "Like I Do," which is a bit slower than the rest of the album. It's not easy for a band that relies on quick riffs and upbeat tempos to bring it down to a ballad speed, but they really held their own. The single off the album, "Great American T-shirt Racket," sounds most like the song that longstanding fans would expect to hear from Envy. Hunter's vocals shine over great guitar and drum tracks, and the song is a great nucleus for the rest of the CD. Fans of the band will really enjoy the album, and despite the pre-conceived notions, some may hold towards the L.I. scene, those who haven't heard the band but love the genre should give LOWCOUNTRY a whirl. E-mail:


Comeback of the year

Where is your Fall Out Boy tonight? The answer may surprise you. When Fall Out Boy released their third album, From Under The Cork Tree, the band stepped out from the underground into the MTV-filled spotlight. Since then, the band has put out two better-received albums and its fan base has continued to grow. It seemed like nothing could stand in the group's way – except for itself. In November of last year, the boys announced that the band would be going on an indefinite hiatus. Everyone believed the world had seen the last of the infamous group. Since going on an indefinite hiatus, lead singer Patrick Stump began working on his solo project. Production began in January and the album is expected to hit shelves sometime later this year. However, despite the hype generated by this announcement, fans have since turned against the idea. Stump debuted his work on March 19 at the SXSW festival in Austin. Immediately following the show, Stump realized he needed Fall Out Boy if he wanted to continue in the music industry. Former guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley formed the heavy metal act The Damned Things alongside Every Time I Die front man Keith Buckley, Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano from Anthrax and bassist David Karon. As for Pete Wentz, he's resigned himself to family life for the time being with his wife, Ashley Simpson, and his son, Bronx. It appears, however, that these newfound projects are not enough for the former "Fall Out Boys." On Tuesday, the band announced that it plans to reunite within the next couple of months and have its latest album out by the end of summer. The band has stated that it believes its latest records have taken a turn for the worse. In an effort to appease their long-standing and loyal fans, the members have decided to go back to their roots and strive for the sound they so eloquently captured on Take This To Your Grave. The title of the album is going to be The Empty Relief. Rumored to be appearing on the album are several guest vocals, including Ke$ha, Justin Timberlake and Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. In order to promote the release, the band is set to begin a headlining tour in September and plans to continue for eight-straight months. The first stop for the newly reunited group is the Town Ballroom in downtown Buffalo. Whether or not this reunion is a good idea remains to be seen. But with promises of several guest vocals and a return to their original sound, Fall Out Boy is sure to spread some hype. Be sure to keep you eyes and ears open over the next couple months for the group's latest work, 'cause sugar, they're going down swinging. E-mail:


Bugs Bunny delivers another slam-dunk

Everybody get up. It's time to slam … again. Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes are putting their kicks back on and taking it to a court for a second time in Space Jam 2: Monstarz Ball. After being tied to the rocket that had been his prison for 13 years, Mr. Swackhammer (Danny Devito, Solitary Man) has a little bit more than a bone to pick with his unfaithful Monstarz. In retaliation for their disobedience and their blossoming friendship with the Looney Tunes, Swackhammer designs a flawless plan – to kidnap Michael Jordan. When the Looney Tunes discover that their good friend has gone missing, Swackhammer appears and presents them with a proposition: a re-match against his new team, "The Monstarz." Left with no other option, Bugs Bunny (himself, Bah Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas) accepts the deal, not knowing what Swackhammer has in store for them. Using a more cunning tactic than the first time around, Swackhammer steals the talent of five NBA superstars: Kobe Bryant, Gilbert Arenas, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson. As game day approaches, the Looney Toons show their lack of practice over the past 13 years, and since the Monstarz no longer have the talent they once possessed, Bugs Bunny knows they are in trouble. After disguising themselves as Shaq, Bugs and Daffy Duck (himself, Bah Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas) break into the Cleveland Cavaliers' locker room to recruit the help of King James himself. Reluctant at first, LeBron waits till the day of the big match to help the Looney Tunes, getting there in the nick of time. Right from tip-off, it is clear that the Looney Tunes are outmatched. Their lack of practice and Porky Pig's (himself, Bah, Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas) ever-apparent drug use shines as the Monstarz take the early lead. In response to a tear-jerking speech LeBron gives at the end of the first quarter, the Looney Tunes cut the deficit to four by halftime. Tensions started to boil over in the Monstarz locker room at halftime, so Swackhammer gives his team what he calls his "happy pills." The Monstarz feel a second wind almost immediately and are determined to take out all the Looney Tunes … permanently. Learning about the opposing team's evil plan, LeBron informs the Looney Tunes, who start dodging the attacks and establish a big lead by the end of the third quarter. Frustrated and tired, the Monstarz become irritated with each other and the tension climaxes as the Monstar that stole Gilbert Arenas's abilities pulls a gun on his teammates, primarily the Nate Robinson Monstar. Claiming that Nate Robinson was too selfish with the ball and talked too much smack about his own teammates, Arenas blasts Robinson away. Immediately after, the cops bust into the gym and take down Arenas. During his questioning, Arenas is forced to take a drug test. When the test results return, Arenas is questioned about steroids. When Arenas clearly doesn't know anything about it, the rest of the Monstarz are tested and questioned. After a 45-minute Law and Order-esque investigation, Swackhammer is arrested for giving his players steroids and physically abusing his players, and is sentenced to three years at Club Gitmo. The acting in Space Jam 2: Monstarz Ball is nothing short of Oscar-worthy. Bugs Bunny does an amazing job portraying the fear of having your good friend abducted by aliens. One moment he has you slapping your knee, the next he has you grabbing some tissues. This role is by far the best performance in his long and vibrant career. Along with the high-caliber acting, the movie uses groundbreaking 4-D technology, which literally puts the audience on the sidelines. It's so lifelike that you can even get refreshments from vendors walking up and down the aisles. Space Jam 2: Monstarz Ball is destined to become another American classic. Some critics have even compared it to Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz. The $25 ticket is more than worth it to see the exquisite acting and the mind-blowing 4-D technology. Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity, as Space Jam 2: Monstarz Ball has a limited theatrical release that runs from April 2 to April 20. E-mail:


Summer Fest 2010 acts announced

Just days after announcing their stellar lineup for Spring Fest, the Student Association is ready to unleash a brand new event. It is sure to put both Spring and Fall Fest to shame. After weeks of closed door meetings, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, and possibly one or two awkward favors, SA is proud to present, for the first time ever, Summer Fest 2010. In continuing such long-running traditions as the other Fests, a concert will be held during the titular season for students attending summer courses. Summer Fest grew out of a need for an event for students taking these classes. "I would like this to be my swan song," said SA President Ernesto Alvarado, "my final gift to the students." Summer Fest will boast the longest lineup of stars in UB Fest history. Plans have set the concert to be two-day festival. Acts range from rock to hip hop and even some comedy. Headlining the first day will be all American Psycho enthusiasts' favorite band, Huey Lewis and the News, with legendary hip hop group Kid 'N Play. Joining the headliners will be a multitude of music gems, including Aaron Carter, everyone's favorite Internet interruption Rick Astley, the mariachi band from my cousin Steve's wedding, Dio, and that dude who sings "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night." Classic new wave band Flock of Seagulls is still in contract talks. Opening the show will be superstar comedian Sinbad. The real surprise came when SA announced who will headline the second day. Will Smith, who is determined to get back to his roots with the concert, will headline the final day of the musical festival. Smith will reteam with his old DJ, Jazzy Jeff, and cover Willennium in its entirety. Smith, though, was quite mum with his involvement in the concert. "Aw, hell no," Smith said when asked whether he would like to comment about his involvement with Summer Fest. Summer Fest's lineup seems to fall on the expensive side with its many A-list acts. Alvarado was quick to dispel any concerns. "The books show that we didn't get spend-crazy with the event, no matter how many number and budget discrepancies there are," Alvarado said. "And if you keep asking, you can find out where we hid the last three students that were looking for answers." Alvarado then said that he had left his oven on, jumped into in his car and sped off. For students who will be at the school beyond May, they are more than happy over the news of the concert. "There was nothing for us to do," said Bernard Gert, a junior arts and crafts major. "I mean absolutely nothing. Sometimes, I would just sit in my room for days and just cry because I was so bored." Others are hoping that the event will keep them safe due to the crime that arises out of boredom. "It got quite dangerous around here in the summer," said Ronnie McCoy, a sophomore Canadian history major. "People started fight clubs, students formed singing and dancing gangs, and I think at least one of the engineering majors built a robot." Summer Fest will be held July 15 at Baird Point. Admission will be free to all undergraduates, while tickets will be $3.50 for the general public. Senior citizens will get a 50 percent discount. E-mail:


Hot tubs for dummies

Hot Tub Time Machine has reached the acme of cinema in that its aesthetic sublimity and biblical renditions have rendered a new age in which the existential and metaphysical property of human existence once pondered by magi and sage alike have now been extricated from its granitic, Gondwanaland sepulcher into the realm of a surrealist bazaar. Only kidding. But Hot Tub Time Machine is really sweet. The movie avoids any sort of message or heavy-handedness. As one can guess from the title, the film just tries to be stupid yet funny, and it is very successful in both. There are only a handful of time-travel movies out there and there are very few, if any, movies that focus on hot tubs. So Hot Tub Time Machine has the honor of being the first movie in cinematic history to join together two very different but nonetheless fascinating topics. The set-up is quite typical for a buddy comedy. Four men down on their luck are disillusioned by how their life has turned out at middle age. Adam (John Cusack, 2012), Nick (Craig Robinson, Father of Invention), and Lou (Rob Corddry, Rogues Gallery) have led, to put it lightly, unfulfilling lives. They wallow in their own self-pity and drown their problems away through booze and whining. There's also Jacob (Clark Duke, Sex Drive), Adam's passive 20-year-old nephew who lives in his basement and does nothing besides play videogames. After Lou tries to kill himself, the four decide to spend the weekend at a ski retreat. There they party in (unbeknownst to them) a time-bending hot tub, which, after a night of hard drinking – that may or may not have involved mascot sex – transports them to 1986. The rest of the movie is about the four trying to get back to the present, all the while reliving and/or trying to change the past. In a way, it's everyone's ultimate fantasy. Who wouldn't want to change something in the past? Or more importantly, who wouldn't want to bet against the Bills in 1991 and Al Gore in 2000 to make a ton of money? The four, however, have to be careful. One false move could result in the butterfly effect, which, if you haven't seen the horrific Ashton Kutcher movie, means that the entirety of the time-space continuum and life as they know it could completely change. As one of the guys puts it, they could make Hitler president. All the while, they must deal with the '80s. Granted, most young people who watch it may not get everything, but the movie does a good job of reminding the audience of the particulars and fads of an era when cellular phones weighed five pounds. Stunner shades, Jerry curls, Ronald Reagan, the incandescent clothing and Poison all make their respective appearances. It makes the audience glad that the '80s occurred, but happier that it's over. The movie isn't smart but it is rather over the top, rude and simply fun. What makes it work is that it doesn't overuse clichés. It simply uses them to their maximum effectiveness with hilarious results. The performances were funny as well. Cusack uses his typical charm and everyman demeanor to good use, while Robinson was cute as an unconfident giant who's there for his friends. The two to watch out for, though, are Duke and Corddry. Duke plays Jacob as a likeable loser who can still stand up for himself. He's like Michael Cera, except not boring. Corddry goes all out. He is loud, obnoxious and totally ridiculous – just like we expect him to be. The bald SOB is hilarious in every scene he's in, whether he's getting beat up by some ski buff or trying to take advantage of his knowledge of the future. There's also Chevy Chase (Presidential Reunion) as the mysterious hot tub mechanic who gives the four advice on how to get back to 2010. He doesn't nearly get as much screen time as he should. Though his character is practically worthless, Chase plays him as well as the script can provide. Hot Tub Time Machine is great fun and is good for a night of laughs. It may not be H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, but with a title like that, who cares? E-mail:


The only way to time travel

Over the years, there have been some strange forms of time machines, including phone booths and DeLoreans. But there is yet to have been a time machine that is a hot tub. Although Hot Tub Time Machine is cursed with a strange and blatantly obvious title, the actors are quick to extol the hidden virtues of director Steve Pink's (Speechless) latest work. "[Hot Tub Time Machine] is deliberately irreverent. I think people will be surprised," said Clark Duke (Sex Drive) "I'm not going to say it's a brainiac comedy, but how smart it is and sharp it is and clever. With the title Hot Tub Time Machine, it kind of tells you, you should go in there and not think at all. But there's some good jokes in there." Duke, along with Craig Robinson (Father of Invention), John Cusack (2012), and Rob Corddry (Taking Chances) takes a vacation to escape their personal problems. Yet, the foursome is given a chance to change their lives as they are thrown back into the '80s by a time machine in the guise of an innocent hot tub. However, this isn't a reimagining of the Back to the Future variety. Physics are tossed out the window and comedy takes the driver seat in this improve heavy film. "Steve Pink, the director, was very encouraging and wanting us improve and mix and match and develop these characters more, so a lot of what you see isn't on the actual page," Robinson said. After holding a majority of standup and television jobs, the transition to the big screen did include some changes for the Duke and Robinson. "[I had to take] what I learned doing comedy on stage into film and television and that was something I had to learn how to do and that was not easy because sometimes you got to be subtle with the acting and you got to know when to be big," Robinson said. Following in the massive wake made by last year's The Hangover, Hot Tub Time Machine has a high standard to meet. They're not worried though. "They are the target to hit, to pass. They are reigning king right now. All do respect to The Hangover, we've got a pretty funny movie and were going to give it a shot," Robinson said. Aside from Cusack, and the brief appearance of Chevy Chase, most of the leads have only had small time roles. Given the chance to step up, the group didn't want to disappoint. "Everybody delivers. It's funny to see. People get laughs, even characters who just appear once in the movie. I think what's going to ensure the happiness in Rob Corddry's performance," Robinson said. "He kind of gets away with stealing the movie, his character has no rules and no limits and he just rode it all the way to the bank. We all had fun but Rob Corddry killed it." The children of the '90s don't need to worry though. Even as the '80s slowly slip farther into obscurity, the typical stereotypes prevail. "Your going to enjoy it as much as somebody who lived through the '80s and you'll be familiar with some of the songs and you'll get to pretty much take a trip back and see how things were going on and see the ridiculousness of hairstyles and colorful outfits," said Robinson Duke agreed with Robinson and assured that audiences wouldn't be bogged down and confused in the '80s nostalgia. "It's not like a Ken Burns documentary about the '80s or anything, you're going to be able to keep up, I promise," said Duke. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the world will really be interested in a movie about a bunch of dudes messing with time from the comfort of a hot tub. Yet Duke is optimistic. "There's a lot of pent up public demand for a hot tub themed film right now. This film is almost a public service. You're welcome, America," said Duke. So for that section of the populace who is craving hot tub based movies, or if their just looking for comedy, Hot Tub Time Machine opens nationwide on Friday. E-mail:


Comedy is life

From Fear Factor to UFC, Joe Rogan has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry. This Saturday, Rogan returns to his roots with the premiere of his standup special, Joe Rogan: Talking Monkeys In Space on Comedy Central. For Rogan, being a standup comedian is more than just another job. To him, comedy is life. "Even though [the UFC's] a really cool job, I mean, I'm just a fan of the mixed martial arts. I could easily just remain a fan and not do it for a living. Whereas standup comedy, I feel like if I lost that … I would lose my voice," Rogan said. In his eyes, comedy is so much more than just telling jokes. There's a deeper meaning behind the show that few people are aware of or can even grasp without experiencing it for themselves. "Part of … standup comedy is your own personal quest to figure things out – to answer your own questions and sort of present these questions and these answers to the audience," Rogan said. Though Rogan has finally found his niche within the world, it was not an easy road. Had only a few things gone differently, Rogan may have never graced the comedic scene with his presence. "When I was 21 years old, I was thinking about doing standup comedy and at the time, what I was doing was competing in martial arts tournaments," Rogan said. "I used to get headaches after a long night of training … I would be laying in my bed and my head would hurt and I was like, ‘What the f*** am I doing? I'm hurting my brain here. I'm damaging my brain for a sport that pays no money.' It was very scary." Thankfully for Rogan, he had his friends to guide him along his path. Without them, there's no telling where Rogan may have ended up. "My friend Ed and my friend Steve, who I owe a huge debt of gratitude to, to this day … They talked me into going to an open mic night … So then I sat down and I wrote some stuff out. I thought about it for about five or six months and then I finally did it," Rogan said. Despite finally taking the plunge, it was anything but smooth sailing from there on out. "In the beginning I was terrible, absolutely terrible. Everybody is … You know when you're 21 you don't have any children, you don't have any expenses other than food and rent … That's the time to take a crazy chance and that's what I did. It took a long time. It took many, many years to put together some semblance of an act … It was pretty fascinating and it's been a fascinating ride," Rogan said. Despite the large role comedy plays in Rogan's life, he can hardly consider many things a joke. One such issue is the recent occurrence of the Winter Olympics. "In order to compete at the highest level, it has to be your entire life," Rogan said. "If people are paying to see it, the athletes should be compensated. [The Olympics are] this gross scam that everybody has got set up under the guise of nationalism and pride and all this jazz and that these people get to pump their hard work out and then other people get to profit from it in the tune of billions and billions of dollars." This isn't the only thing that gets Rogan wound up, though. Issues dealing with illegal narcotics are a very big deal for him. "I'm a strong advocate for legalization of anything that doesn't hurt other people. I think we live in a really f***ed up society where people can tell you what you can and can't do to your own body," Rogan said. To Rogan, the idea of a drug such as marijuana being illegal is ridiculous. Even more so, it's a heinous crime. "It's very difficult to take our government and authorities seriously when we have such horrible injustices in place, like people being locked in cages for a giant chunk of their life because they possessed a plant that makes you silly … By locking people in jail for marijuana, you are committing a crime against nature and against humanity," Rogan said. Joe Rogan is a man who is more than just a comedian or a TV show host. He is someone who isn't afraid to speak out against injustices and think for himself. Tune into his special this Saturday on Comedy Central to see Rogan present his questions – and his own answers – to you in his unique comedic way. E-mail:

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 The Spectrum