Arts & Entertainment

album reviews

Macy Gray The Id Epic “”Id: the part of the psyche that is the source of instinctual impulses and demands for satisfaction.”” So reads the inside cover of Macy Gray’s sophomore album, “”The Id.”” And it’s true — her impulsive music demands satisfaction. When Gray’s debut album, “”On the Way Life is,”” was first released in 1999, her virtual anonymity became short-lived once songs like “”I Try”” hit the airwaves. She refreshed us with multidimensional melodies and a dynamic presence. Her blend of soul, R&B, funk and hip-hop set her apart from her contemporaries. While “”The Id”” maintains much of Gray’s unique style and subject matter, this time around Gray’s outlandish personality shines through even brighter than before. “”The Id”” is about the psyche of Gray. Gray’s quirks appear throughout the album. Her lyrics are punchy and, when you pay attention, they’ll make you think or laugh, especially songs like “”Give Me All Your Lovin”” or “”I Will Kill You.”” The sound of “”Sexual Revolution”” is a funky experimentation with an updated disco pulse that will soon be heard on dance floors. The most astonishing aspect of the album, however, is the song “”Oblivion,”” which sounds as if it was ripped from the score of “”Fiddler on the Roof.”” Dispersed through the oddities of Gray’s album are the slow beats and riveting sounds of trumpets that accompany her wherever she goes. “”Sweet Baby”” is the epitome of Macy Gray’s talents and the piece most reminiscent of her debut album. It’s an added plus that Erykah Badu performs the perfectly harmonic second half of the duet. Yes, it’s true that Gray wore pink rain boots to the Grammy Awards last year. But regardless of her “”instinctual impulses”” and eccentricities, “”The Id”” is it. — Mara Evans, Contributing Writer Tori Amos Strange Little Girls Atlantic Tori Amos didn’t thank the faeries in the liner notes to her new album, “”Strange Little Girls.”” On her other releases, her thanks have, of course, gone out to her band, her friends or her family. And she has always thanked “”the faeries.”” She has intimated that the faeries inspire her song writing. And so, although it was jarring to have them missing, the faeries have little place on “”Strange Little Girls”” — Amos didn’t write a single song on the album. Instead, the 12 tracks are all songs written by men — Eminem, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Neil Young and the Beatles among them. In her characteristically esoteric style, she explains that she performed the songs as stories told from the perspective of women who “”approached [her] and said, ‘I have a point of view on this song that you may want to know, that may change how you hear its meaning.'”” Choosing standout tracks is nearly impossible, but a few lead the pack. With samples from politicians, pundits and a journalist reporting on John Lennon’s murder, Amos turns Lennon and McCartney’s “”Happiness Is a Warm Gun”” into a trippy meditation on the right to bear arms. But the most haunting piece is her flip-side take on Eminem’s “”’97 Bonnie and Clyde.”” She chants the gruesome murder-fantasy like a bedtime story, as if she is the mother whose body is pitched into a lake by her ex-husband and their baby daughter. Schizophrenia? Maybe. But as varied as the songs are individually, the album as a whole achieves a unity of theme and mood not seen since “”Boys for Pele”” and “”Under the Pink.”” The entire album pulses with an energy that is unapologetically female — and unquestionably Tori. — Claire J. Vannette, Senior Staff Writer Halfcocked The Last Star Dreamworks For those who are tired of being exposed to the explosion of the rap/techno/rock combos and mellowed-out pop alternative, Halfcocked’s major label debut album, “”The Last Star,”” is here to feed your ears — a fresh, artfully harmonic blend of metal, punk and good old 1970s hard rock, laden with surprisingly smooth melodic pop sensibilities. Their name is a Boston expression that means “”slightly drunk,”” which is quite apt for describing their frenetic style. The members consist of two men and three women, including drummer Charlee Johnsson, who founded the band, and lead singer Sarah Reitkopp, whose amazing rock goddess vocals are like a cross between those of No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani and Curve’s Toni Halliday. “”I Lied”” immediately draws you in with its simple yet extremely catchy guitar riffs and an intense chorus featuring fierce melodic bursts that stop intelligently short of the typical harsh screaming. It will have you nodding, if not outright head-banging, and belting out “”I lied,”” in no time. “”Always”” is less intense, but has the same successful ingredients of amazing guitar work coupled with a very catchy melodic chorus and strong lyrics. “”Thanks for the Ride”” is a quirky upbeat song about a vibrator, and there is a short but impressive electric guitar solo at the end. The rest of the songs, with the exception of “”Drive Away”” and “”Glitter,”” get repetitive and the intensity can get tiring. The repetition of these songs is mitigated by their short lengths. Johnsson explains, “”Basically, we make music for people with Attention Deficit Disorder and we’re eager to accept blame for attempting to resurrect the glory days of arena rock.”” Blame? I think not. — Helen Pang, Contributing Writer ...

Five for Five is not a bad deal

Five is the goal. Reach deep into your pocket and feel inside for any loose change. Unfurl your wallet and pull out some bills. When the five dollars are in your palm, you also have a chance to see five live UCSD Theatre and Dance productions throughout the 2001-02 season. Theatre and Dance Chair Walton Jones developed the Five for Five program three years ago. The program enables UCSD students to attend five productions for $5, which is $23 off the student price. For a dollar a night, students will be on their way to becoming regular theatre-goers, according to Promotions Manager Carolyn Passeneau. “”Our theatre is thought provoking, cutting edge theatre,”” Passeneau said. “”We are not fluff. The productions we put on are very academic.”” She attributes the Five for Five program to the department’s passion to wanting to develops students in ways that only theatre can. Theatre is also a way for the “”community to come together and have theatre contribute to a national healing process,”” according to Passeneau. Life’s A Dream will be students’ first opportunity to see a play as part of Five for Five. Students can catch this production of a Spanish Golden Age classic with a contemporary pop twist on a chance meeting of a prince and abandoned women. Written by Pedro Calderon de la Barca and directed by Suzanne Agins, it will be performed in the Mandell Weiss Forum from Nov. 15-24. Other shows are The Duchess Malfi, An Evening of Dance, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a winter guest artists’ event that will be shown throughout the year. The shows were chosen so UCSD could attend the theatre and see an exciting production that will have students coming back for more. “”You get to see new things in out department,”” Passeneau said. “”We take risks and are very concerned with what is good theatre.”” Purchase the tickets at Galbraith Hall, room 202. Tickets are available from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. until Oct. 22. Each year the program grows, and the department is willing to accommodate those who want to buy tickets and will stay late if a line develops, but Passeneau advises getting tickets early. “”We anticipate about 1,000 people to take part in this,”” she said. “”But the department wants everyone on this campus to be involved in this exciting season.”” Further information about dates, schedules and other events and shows can be found at the Theatre and Dance Department’s Web page at http://theatre.ucsd.edu ...

Q&A Interview with an Ant

Alien Ant Farm was able to entertain a packed house at this year’s FallFest with their hit single, “”Smooth Criminal.”” Lindsay Boyd of the UCSD Guardian was able to catch up with the drummer, Mike Cosgrove. LB: So how did you guys like FallFest? MC: It was cool. It was a lot of fun. I was surprised that that many people were there. San Diego was like a difficult place for us. We were out there and we did shows but we never really broke into there. We had done some shows at ‘Canes and all that, so it was a really good feeling to come in and have such a good show there. LB: So where on the road is the band now? MC: We’re actually in Boise; we’re taking the day off between Vancouver and Denver. It’s pretty mellow. I’ve only been here once. We played the Warped Tour, here and we had cool show it was fun. We’re about to go run around the mall and see what it has to offer. LB: So is this your first headlining tour? MC: Yeah. We’ve been doing a whole bunch of support. We did support for Linkin Park and Tap Root, Orgy, Papa Roach and Snap Case. It’s a lot of fun. We got a [support] band called Dredg. LB: What is different between touring now and touring when you guys first started out? MC: Well, we really didn’t tour four years ago. We did some smaller tours. We did one like two years ago in Europe. But now we’re taken care of a little bit better. Everything we were doing before was really ghetto, just vans and shit . . . now we get cool meal tickets. LB: So Alien Ant Farm played the infamous Reading Festival this past summer. How was that? MC: It was really cool. Those festivals like Reading, Leeds, Gig on the Green in Scotland are all like really big. It was cool we got to play with a bunch of cool bands and see how the English do it . . . The fans over there, they just kind of receive you better. LB: So has the rock world been affected by the recent bombings in Afghanistan? Does that affect you out on the road at all? MC: Yeah, it’s affected a lot of things. There’s a lot of song titles that are too much for these quote sensitive times. I’m sure “”Drowning Pool With Bodies at the Floor”” isn’t doing too well right now. LB: What would you say is the highlight of your band’s rise to fame so far? MC: Seeing our families proud. I don’t know, I would say just meeting a lot of different heroes. I got to meet Danny Carey, he’s the drummer for Tool and 311. We got to play with on the Warped tour and we were big fans of them and now we’re good friends. That kind of stuff. You go from being a kid, totally being a fan, wondering how they do what they do, to being their friend and getting lessons from them. LB: Were you worried at all about becoming too popular off of the cover of “”Smooth Criminal””? MC: Yeah, it’s one of those things, we don’t want to release it at the top of our record. We actually had ideally planned on doing it at the end of the record cycle to maybe where it would carry us over to the next record, and radio, pretty much, took and did what it did and there’s nothing you can do. I don’t know, I’m not worried about it. I think we’re all secure in our repertoire. We chose to do [the song] … I think our crowds are digging every song, they sing along to all the songs. I don’t think we’re always going to be having singles that are going to reach that great of success, but we never planned on being a number one band like that, we just want to be able to keep our head above water on tour and do what we love. LB: Have you guys been writing songs or working on the next album? MC: We got some recording gear on the road and we’re just settling into this tour. As we’ve been on the other tours we haven’t been fortunate enough to take advantage of the times because we’ve been in a crappy busses or over in Europe. Now we have a nice bus and this recording gear, so we’re going to start taking advantage of it. But we’re still planning to tour for the next year … and we have a lot of old material that we totally want to bring back … there’s tons to be done. LB: So, do you know any good drummer jokes? MC: NO! Besides myself (laughs). LB: I had to ask. ...

hiatus calendar

10/27 Thursday The SUICIDE MACHINES will perform at ‘Canes Bar & Grill. They have been building a solid following since their 1996 debut, “”Destruction by Definition.”” The performance will start at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $12. 10/28 Friday Here is one from the days of hard-rocking bands like Sonic Youth: BLONDE REDHEAD will be at the Belly Up Tavern backing their most recent effort, “”Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons.”” They will be supported by THE NEED. The show starts at 9:15 p.m. and tickets are $10. Minimalism? Jazz? Raga? All in one place? Yes, TERRY RILEY, GEORGE BROOKS and KRISHNA BHATT will be at the Spruce Street Forum to supply the tunes for adventurous ears. They will perform at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15 for students. Call (619) 296-0301 for reservations. 10/29 Saturday You can get funked up with DEEP BANANA BLACKOUT at the Belly Up Tavern. DBB have developed a strong following on the East Coast and are looking to break ground here on the West Coast with their P-Funk, funk-jam sound. Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 9:15 p.m. Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake and Tatsu Aoki make up the improvisational jazz trio from Chicago. They have decades of experience and they will be showcasing their talent at the Spruce Street Forum. The show starts at 8 p.m. and student tickets are $15. To make reservations call (619) 295-0301. 10/30 Sunday There’ll definitely be a huge sound coming from ‘Canes Bar & Grill at 7:30 p.m. The JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION will be rocking the joint for $15. 11/1 Wednesday JULIO IGLESIAS is the original Latin lover, and young kids like Ricky Martin, don’t even stand a chance. IGLESIAS has more than 30 years of Latin pop experience under his belt. His latest release, “”Noche De Cuatro Lunas,”” is distinctively new but still fused with classic IGLESIAS flavor. Tickets start at $46 at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. The performance starts at 8 p.m. The youngest son of Bob Marley follows in his father’s footsteps. This time, DAMIAN MARLEY is it at 4th & B and is promoting his latest album, “”Halfway Tree.”” Tickets are $18.50 Raw, heavy-guitars round out the sound of the MURDER CITY DEVILS who will be at ‘Canes Bar & Grill at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and BOTCH and AMERICAN STEEL are the support bands. 10/31 Thursday Check out some New Orleans jazz by the DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND at the Belly Up Tavern. They will be promoting their latest release, “”Buck Jump”” and their show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. — Compiled by Joseph Lee ...

UCSD Open House brings entertainment to the masses

UCSD will hold its annual Open House on Oct. 20. According to the event’s organizers, Open House is designed to show off UCSD to potential and current students and their parents, professors and general visitors. In addition to a wide variety of carnival games, lectures and athletic events, the university will be holding an “”Extertainment Extraordinare.”” The “”Extraordinaire”” will go from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and will feature performers ranging from musicians to dancers and activities involving everything from bubbles to “”hanging ten.”” Morning highlights will include Shapes, a 3-D computer art activity at the San Diego Supercomputer Center; Wing, a “”recognized conga drummer and percussionist”” who utilizes audience participation; the UCSD dance team followed by The Tritones in the Price Center and a performance by Agent 22, which was nominated for “”Best Jazz Album”” at the 2000 San Diego Music Awards, on the Sun God Lawn. In the afternoon, Lahi, which labels itself “”Southern California’s Filipino and American Rock ‘N Roll Band,”” will perform at 12 p.m. and 1p.m. at the Supercomputer Center’s patio. Continuing with the international theme, Capoerira Mandiga will be exhibiting Brazilian martial art at 12:15 p.m. at the Price Center. Also, at 1 p.m., Runningpath Intertribal Dancers and Orgullo Boricua will be doing traditional Native American dancing and Puerto Rican folk dancing. Runningpath will be in the Price Center; Orgullo Boricua is going to perform at the Warren Mall. Movie lovers will appreciate all-day screenings of “”unique and rare”” films from the library’s permanent collection. Also, the Price Center Theater will present two showings of the recent family hit, “”Shrek”” — one at 3 p.m. and the other at 6 p.m. Other musical acts include the Mar Dels, “”San Diego’s most well-known and loved nostalgia band,”” and Hot Rod Lincoln, “”one of the hottest up-and-coming bands in town.”” Hot Rod Lincoln specializes in the “”retro sound of the 1950s and rock-a-billy music”” and received the “”Best Roots/Rock-a-Billy/Swing Song”” award in the 1997 San Diego Music Awards. Both bands will play at the Price Center — The Mar Dels at 2 p.m. and Hot Rod Lincoln at 3:30 p.m. Sea lovers should appreciate the Scripps Institution of Oceanongraphy’s entertainment program. Scripps scientists themselves will be teaching visitors to surf and Scripps will provide the surfboards. Those not inclined to “”hang ten”” can instead hang out in the original research buildings, which are usually closed to the public. Tours of the buildings will be given from 11 a.m. to 4p.m. A trombone quartet, Irish dancers and guitarists round out the Scripps entertainment roster. On the more intellectual side of Open House entertainment, Dr. Gabriele Wienhausen, the founding provost of the Sixth College, will present a 1p.m. lecture entitled “”Not Your Parents’ University: How Technology Will Reshape the Lives and Education of Our College Students”” at Center Hall 115. Also, Professor Bert Turetzky will speak about “”Creativity: Making Your Dreams Come True”” in Center Hall 101 at 10 a.m. Athletic events at Open House include alumni tennis, volleyball, water polo and soccer games. Alumni will also be racing in a swim meet. Current UCSD athletes will also get their chance to shine: A men’s soccer game is scheduled for 2 p.m. against CSU San Bernadino at RIMAC Field. ...

Choreography a staple of the Curran Company

Rarely does a choreographer possess the ability to create a serious, dramatic piece as effectively as a comical spoof, yet Sean Curran is one of those exceptional artists. Courtesy of University Events Office His premiere at the UCSD Mandeville Auditorium presented a varied bill of four works ranging in theme and content from an almost ceremonial, Eastern-inspired piece to an eclectic hodgepodge of classical ballet to modern and traditional Irish step dancing, clearly commenting on Curran’s diverse background. The common denominator between all four works is Curran’s intensity of emotion and wit, echoed by each of his dancers. The audience was immediately engaged by the rhythmic drumming audible prior to the opening of Curran’s first offering. It’s first glimpse of the company was a visually stunning assemblage of vibrantly hued costumes contrasted against stark black-and-white striped flooring. The effect of this image was intensified by the use of harsh white lighting that gave a clean, simplified feeling to the piece titled “”Abstract Concrete.”” This sense of pure, clean lines is continued through Curran’s choreography. Curran uses a linear theme throughout to create sudden, ordered patterns at the most chaotic moments of dancing. The dancers alternate partners frequently, creating a sense of constant flux, altering relationships and playful interactions. The chaotic moments of the piece are resolved by the primary couple’s repetition of the same lyrical pas de deux at the beginning and end of the piece. This repetition also provides a cyclical feeling to the dance. Curran presented a more recent work next that hinted at themes of sexuality and coming to terms with one’s personal idiosyncrasies. “”Metal Garden”” is divided by a beautiful interlude with three couples moving methodically through each other’s arms. Curran repeatedly made odd entrances and exits during this section carrying gardening supplies. Such pointed hints at his meaning were Curran’s way of challenging his audience to question their own interpretation of the piece. The most technically impressive and stylistically varied of the four works was Curran’s acclaimed “”Symbolic Logic,”” a ritualistic piece that reveals the wide range of Curran’s choreographic influences, from classical Indian dance to martial arts. Each dancer stood alone at the beginning of the piece repeating controlled, ornamented arm movements — seemingly lost in a self-reflective, spiritual experience. Curran shows a great sensitivity for creating a unified theme in “”Logic”” by using circular imagery on the floor and costumes, alluding to ideas of cycles of life and death. Dancer Heather Waldon-Arnold, who stood out throughout the entire performance, was particularly exquisite in this piece. Her superior ballet technique adds a lyricism and ease to her movements that the other dancers lack. Curran’s choice of music in the vocals of Sheila Chandra adds to the religious tone of the piece, often evoking images of a place of spiritual worship. For his final piece, Curran references his earliest training in Irish step dancing while depicting the drastic differences in technique from classical ballet. The result is a hilarious marriage of what Curran calls “”Traditional Methods”” and “”Postmodern Techniques,”” in his work “”Folk Dance for the Future.”” Curran pokes fun at the state of Irish step dancing today, mocking the self-titled “”Lord of the Dance,”” Michael Flatley. Heather Waldon-Arnold improvised a comical solo of the same nature, followed later by a contrasting ballet section, performed with the same virtuosity she demonstrated throughout the show. As all the dancers joined together on stage for their finale, each offered their untrained imitation of step dancing to the delight of the audience. To see “”Folk Dances”” is to gain a better understanding not only of where Curran began, but of how successfully he has used all of his training to create a unique style all his own through humor and a sincere love of dance of all kinds. Sean Curran’s work may run the gamut of choreographic styles, but regardless of the type of dance he uses as his medium, his work consistently possesses a confidence that comes from never taking himself too seriously. ...

Confluence

The UCSD University Art Gallery opened Phillip Taaffe: Confluence, a 10-year survey of the artist’s work between 1990 and the year 2000, on Friday, Oct. 5. The exhibit features 25 works of various mediums including painting, collage, and printmaking. Festivities preceding the grand opening of the new exhibit opened at Mandeville Center on Oct. 4. Events include a much-anticipated lecture by the artist. Born in 1955 in Elizabeth, N.Y., Taaffe has been working as an artist since the early 1980s. However, Taaffe was unable to attend his own exhibition because of the terrorist attacks in New York. His colleague and friend, Raymond Foye, gave the lecture. Foye informed the audience, “”I’ve never given a lecture before — this is done on a very impromptu basis.”” Foye addressed the various themes of Taaffe’s paintings. “”The lonely moment in a studio where one faces either a blank page as a poet or a blank canvas as a painter and suddenly it’s real and what do you do with that?”” Foye said. He spoke of the artist trying to produce upon the canvas “”the nature of the poetic image, families of forms, a sense of mystery and trance.”” He said that Taaffe believe that “”painting is a spiritual opening to another place.”” “”The rhythm or music, the space in between the notes, a chance operation, the creation of a system that moves from simplicity to complexity, the thinking eye,”” was what Taaffe wanted to create, according to Foye. Taaffe was quoted as saying, “”Nature is the great teacher of art.”” In a private interview, after being asked about his art and what it meant to him, Taaffe said, “”Every cell has to have an energy of its own.”” Therein lies the more inclusive, loving part of the story, and then there must “”be a ruthlessness.”” It was Taaffe’s goal “”not to be reductionist, but to be as inclusive as possible.”” He saw painting as “”a form of thought and also as a form of meditation.”” The exhibit itself featured radiant works of art with starfish, cobras, plants and diatoms, stripes and spots, and shapes utterly without tangible form that held the eye for what seemed like an eternity. In the center of the exhibit was a giant painted quote from Taafe that explains it all: “”My roots are from Ireland, and I suppose a subtext to my work must relate to these Celtic shamanistic traditions. The work is also about movement or how we see in a constant series of glimpses. What do I expect it to be like as a physical encounter? I think the best thing one can hope for is to be able to enter into another world.”” The best explanation of Phillip Taaffe’s work that was heard all evening was from Peter Prato, a literature major at UCSD. In answer to the idea that “”perhaps one does need a preoccupation with death to paint,”” his immediate reply was “”no, one needs a preoccupation with life to paint, and an understanding of death.”” The exhibit will be running now through Saturday, Dec. 8. The University Art Gallery is located at the west end of Mandeville Center on the UCSD campus. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided walk-throughs of the exhibition are available to the public free of charge on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 10 a.m. and Saturday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. For more information regarding exhibitions, programs and tours, call (858) 534-2107 or visit http://www.universityartgallery.ucsd.edu ...

hiatus calendar

Thursday 10/11/01 JOHN MAYER, formerly of Eddie’s Attic, will be making an appearance at the Belly Up Tavern. He recently signed a record deal with a major label and has started to play larger venues across the country. His acoustic guitar-playing is accompanied by a full band, giving JOHN MAYER a Dave Matthews sort of feel. He will perform at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $10. Friday 10/12/01 Coors Amphitheater hosts LLOYD’S BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL WITH B.B. KING at 6 p.m. No introduction is necessary for the master of the blues. Even at 75 years old, B.B. KING averages over 250 shows every year. He has released over 50 albums and has received eight Grammy Awards. In 1987, KING was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He is also a businessman and owns nightclubs in Los Angeles, New York, and Memphis, Tenn. Tickets start at $17.50. DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC presents an all-star cast at the East County Performing Arts Center to pay tribute to JOHN COLTRANE and MILES DAVIS. Their influence on jazz music has been widespread and timeless. Pianist Herbie Hancock performed with Miles Davis in the early days and he will be accompanied by Michael Brecker on tenor sax, Roy Hargrove on trumpet, Brian Blade on the drums and bassist John Patitucci. Tickets start at $40 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Smooth harmonies and feel-good tunes are what you should expect from the TEMPTATIONS. They will perform at Humphrey’s By the Bay with hits like “”The Way You Do the Things You Do”” and “”My Girl.”” Tickets start at $45. THE YOUNG DUBLINERS actually live in Los Angeles, but their traditional Celtic rhythms and melodies are distinctively Irish. They have been compared to U2 and even the Chieftains. They are supporting their recent album, “”Alive Alive O.”” THE YOUNG DUBLINERS will be at the Belly Up Tavern at 9:15 p.m. as well as the following night at the same time. Tickets are $15. Saturday 10/13/01 The SEAN CURRAN COMPANY will perform at Mandeville Auditorium. Curran has trained with the Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Dance Company. Curran was also an original member of the off Broadway percussion extravaganza “”STOMP!”” The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $15 for students. Call the UCSD Box Office for more information at (858) 534-TIXS. Look in the next issue of hiatus for a complete review of the show. GORDON LIGHTFOOT was part of a folk foursome performing music that dominated the 1970s folk music world. LIGHTFOOT, along with Jim Croce, James Taylor and Harry Chapin, all created hits for the times. It may seem that LIGHTFOOT has disappeared for a while, but he has still been performing and writing songs. LIGHTFOOT will be at Humphrey’s By the Bay. Tickets start at $35 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday 10/15/01 THE PHARCYDE released “”Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde”” and it went Gold in the early 1990s. In 1995, they released “”Labcabincalifornia”” to much praise. Then they disappeared only to return with “”Plain Rap,”” which had straight-ahead rap grooves with a West Coast flavor. They will perform at ‘Canes Bar & Grill at 9 p.m. Tickets are $22. Wednesday 10/17/01 BOB DYLAN is a timeless traveler in the world of music. This time he lands at RIMAC Arena. The show starts at 8 p.m. Call the UCSD Box Office for more information at (858) 534-4559. Tickets are $25 for UCSD students. Thursday 10/18/01 Indie punk-rockers the SUICIDE MACHINES will be at ‘Canes Bar & Grill at 7 p.m. Their debut in 1996, “”Destruction by Definition,”” had positive reviews from fans and critics. Their show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $12. — Compiled by Joseph Lee, Hiatus Editor ...

Our music: SDMA 2001

Before the 11th annual San Diego Music Awards got underway Tuesday night, nominees and guests schmoozed around Humphrey’s by the Bay, drinks in hand. The seats were still largely empty as people clustered around the bar or local TV crews’ cameras, and the stage was host only to the occasional engineer adjusting mics and cords. Tyler Huff Guardian But above the stage, two screens displayed a sequence of snippets of local music history: music videos from San Diego artists. Some of them were quaint and amateurish, VHS gems filmed in high school gymnasiums or montages of readily recognizable SD streetscapes. Wedged among these do-it-yourself classics were videos pulled straight from MTV, like Jewel’s “”Who Will Save Your Soul?,”” Blink-182’s “”All the Small Things”” and Sprung Monkey’s “”Get ‘Em Outta Here.”” These videos’ polish and production and the fame of the artists they showcase were glitzy reminders of the essential conundrum of the San Diego scene. Namely, local acts always have their eyes on the prize of national recognition, but try to remain true to their SD vibe. The award ceremony played up the latter aspect, but it was clear that every musician and industry member in the house was keenly aware of the distance from San Diego to Los Angeles. For some, it’s a mere hop, skip and a jump. For others, those 200 might as well be 2,000. Tyler Huff Guardian There is no shortage of local bands with the talent and drive to make it big. Tuesday night was a smorgasbord of musicians on the cusp. It was also an excuse for a tight-knit community of cross-pollinating, props-giving groups to chat each other up, jam the night away and show the love. Switchfoot opened the show with their bright, Christian-influenced pop. Their floating harmonies mixed with just enough of an electronic kick to launch the night into high gear. One of those rare bands with success and humility, Switchfoot seemed dazzled by the crowd. “”It’s good to be here,”” frontman Jon Foreman said bashfully. “”This is probably the only chance we’ll get to play Humphrey’s.”” His modesty was unjustified. Switchfoot have already had a TV movie appearance and their songs have been featured four times on “”Dawson’s Creek.”” That night, they were also honored with the Best Pop Album award for “”Learning to Breathe.”” “”This goes out to every artist that’s better than us that didn’t win,”” Foreman said. While the category is traditionally highly competitive as the San Diego pop scene is rich and active, Switchfoot was a cut above, avoiding the darling musical cliches that often plague contemporary pop music. Artists throughout the night gave it up to the less fortunate nominees in their categories. Candye Kane, who is based both in L.A. and S.D. and whose national visibility relies upon her brassy personality and voice and her former work in the sex industry, was tearful in accepting the Best Blues award. “”There are so many other artists in this category who better represent San Diego music,”” she said. The classiest move of the night came from Ghoulspoon. Taking the prize for Best Hard Rock or Metal (and also, perhaps, stupidest band name of the year), they invited all the other nominees onto the stage. Once the stage was crowded with dread-locked, tattooed, big-haired rockers with beer cups in hand, Ghoulspoon lead singer Zach Goode explained. “”This is what the San Diego music scene is all about,”” he said. “”It’s about the bands supporting each other.”” Of course, the underlying tension of potential fame was omnipresent. The Incredible Moses Leroy took the stage a little more than halfway through the ceremony. Suddenly, the few, sporadic bursts of photographers were replaced by a frenzy of flashbulbs and crowding cameras. Since their incessantly catchy single “”Fuzzy”” exploded into heavy rotation and lead singer Ron Fountenberry appeared in a GAP commercial, this band has been pegged The Next Big Thing. And of course, everyone knew it. Fountenberry himself was honored with Artist of the Year. In his surprisingly childlike voice, he thanked “”all the people we stepped on to get here.”” But more overpowering than the shadow of those who are on the verge of greatness is San Diego’s current claim to musical fame: Blink-182. While it’s hard to consider Blink local when 12-year-old girls in Minnesota gaze dreamily at life-sized posters every night after brushing their teeth, the punk heroes were nominated for a smattering of awards. They won for Best Punk Album (“”Take Off Your Pants and Jacket””) and Group of the Year. The crowd and presenters were surprised to see Blink’s Tom DeLonge shifting down the aisle and onto the stage to accept the awards. His comments at the podium were genuine and graceful. “”Keep it big, keep playing, and give awards to somebody else, ’cause there’s so many better bands than us,”” he advised the audience. The penultimate performer was Convoy. Their classic brand of rock recalls Lenny Kravitz, the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith, whoConvoy toured with recently. After bringing down the house, they were awarded Album of the Year for “”Black Licorice.”” The band was fresh from a prolonged and highly successful road trip. Lead singer Jason Hill was effusive about his love of San Diego. He told the crowd, “”It’s always good to be home, and we’re glad to be home.”” Complete list of winners: Artist of the Year — Ron Fountenberry of Incredible Moses Leroy Group of the Year — Blink-182 Song of the Year — P.O.D., “”Alive”” Album of the Year — Convoy, “”Black Licorice”” Lifetime Achievement Award — Jack Costanzo Best Adult Alternative Album — Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, “”Walk Alone”” Best Alternative Album — Blackheart Procession, “”Three”” Best Blues Album — Buddy Blue, “”Pretend It’s Okay”” Best Dance or Funk Album — d*fRost, “”Digital Dustbowl”” Best Hard Rock or Metal Album — Life Hates Me, “”Imperfections”” Best Jazz or Blues Album — Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, “”Dance Lesson #2″” Best Local Recording — Via Satellite, “”Wake Up Heavy”” Best Pop Album — Switchfoot, “”Learning to Breathe”” Best Punk Album — Blink-182, “”Take Off Your Pants and Jacket”” Best R&B, Hip-Hop, or Rap Album — Icons, “”Capture the Flag”” Best Rock Album — Convoy, “”Black Licorice”” Best Acoustic — Steve Poltz Best Adult Alternative — Eve Selis Best Alternative — Jack’s Broken Heart Best Bar Band — ’80s All-Stars Best Blues — Candye Kane Best Country — Nickel Creek Best Dance or Funk — d*fRost Best Dixieland or Big Band — Big Time Operator Best Electronic — Square Circle Best Hard Rock or Metal — Ghoulspoon Best Latin Jazz — B-Side Players Best Mainstream Jazz — Gilbert Castellanos Best Pop Jazz — Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Best Pop — Switchfoot Best Punk — Dogwood Best R&B, Hip-Hop, or Rap — Downlow Best Rock — Sprung Monkey Best Roots, Rockabilly, or Swing — Billy Midnight Best World — Common Sense Best New Artist — Rochelle, Rochelle ...

Film Review: Searching for a few good and funny 'Bandits'

arry Levinson’s latest flick is a hit-and-miss romantic comedy that follows the story of two bank robbers and the woman they love as they make their way through Oregon and California, leaving a trail of money, stolen cars and an adoring public in their wake. “”Bandits”” follows Joe Blake (Bruce Willis) and Terry Collins (Billy Bob Thornton) from a daring prison escape in Oregon all the way down the West Coast. The duo brings a unique approach to robbing banks that proves to be very efficient. The two fugitives quickly recruit Harvey Pollard (Troy Garity), Blake’s dimwitted cousin and an aspiring stuntman, as their wheelman. Things are going well for the crew until Collins has a run-in with Kate Wheeler (Cate Blanchett). Wheeler joins the team, adding controversy and an interesting love story on the side. She must choose between Blake, the irresistible tough guy, and Collins, the sweet and sensitive type. The movie’s comedic element kicks into overdrive as the two fight for her affection. Levinson is a proven director who has an Academy Award to prove it. He won the award for Best Director for “”Rainman”” in 1988. He is also no stranger to comedy. Levinson won critical acclaim with his direction of “”Good Morning, Vietnam.”” His comedic style is unique in that it focuses on a sense of reality and relies on the humor of the actual moment instead of relying on the actor overplaying it for laughs. That approach is followed in this movie and works very well. Thornton’s performance as a neurotic hypochondriac is the saving grace of this movie. His comedic timing is very good; he saves a script that is slow at times and very predictable. It is a very solid role for him. Willis is simply average as the tough guy with a heart. He has his funny moments, but they are few in number. Blanchett does a nice job in her role as the bored housewife looking for adventure. She also has a few funny moments in the movie. Garity is surprisingly funny as the village idiot. His character is the only one who really shoots for overt comedy, with the exception of a few scenes from Thornton. The cinematography is above average in this movie. There are some beautiful shots that capture some of the brilliant scenery in which the film was shot. Two-time Academy Award nominee Dante Spinotti (“”L.A. Confidential,”” “”The Insider””) was in charge of the cinematography. “”Bandits”” is a fun movie, but poorly written. It drags at times, but is saved by some solid performances and definite comedy. For those simply looking for a good laugh and some relaxing entertainment, this movie is one that should be on the list. However, if those looking for a solid plot and Oscar-worthy performances should really look elsewhere. ...