Arts & Entertainment

Celebrating the Holidays South of the Border

With the holiday season approaching, it is important to realize that not all cultures ring in the new year by decorating a dead tree and leaving milk and cookies for an overweight burglar in a red jumpsuit. In fact, our neighbors just south of the border have a very different way of celebrating Christmas and the new year. While Christmas in the United States is generally celebrated on Dec. 25, the Mexican holiday celebration stretches from Dec. 16 to Jan. 6. It is not uncommon for many Mexicans to take the two weeks before Christmas off of work or school in order to spend more time with family and friends and to celebrate the holiday, according to http://www.mexonline.com. The Posadas are one of the best-known holiday traditions in Mexico. There is one held each night for the nine nights prior to Christmas Eve. While the literal translation of “”posada”” is “”home,”” “”shelter”” or “”inn,”” the Posadas are dramatized re-enactments of Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary’s search for a place to stay and give birth to the baby Jesus. In older celebrations of the Posadas, a young boy and girl were chosen to represent the two biblical figures. In modern celebrations, groups of people walk around with candles. They visit three houses and ask for a place to stay by singing a traditional question-and-response song. The first two houses deny them access, while the third house welcomes the group inside for festivities. When the group is finally welcomed into the third house, it gathers around a manger scene and offers songs of welcome called Ave Marias. While the more religious celebrators of the Posadas may pray when the third house lets them in, the event has evolved into a party. The festivities usually include refreshments and dancing. The adults are served a thick punch that usually contains a little alcohol to keep out the cold. Often, the party also includes a pinata, which is very popular among children. The pinata is filled with candy and toys, and is usually hung from a tree. The celebration is said to have originated in 1587, according to the Internet system of the presidency of Mexico, located online at http://world.presidencia.gob.mx. According to the Web site, it was then that Friar Diego de Soria obtained a Papal Bull from Pope Sixtus V to celebrate “”Aguinaldo,”” the Christmas gift Masses that ran from Dec. 16 through Dec. 24 in what was New Spain. The Masses, which were held in the church atriums and designed to convert patrons before Christmas, were filled with scenes that alluded to Christmas. The Augustinian missionaries used fireworks, sparklers, Christmas carols and pinatas to attract crowds. These festive celebrations evolved into the modern celebration. The ritual is continued until Christmas Eve, when another verse is added to the Ave Marias that tells the Virgin Mary that the night has come to give birth to baby Jesus. The children are dressed as shepherds and stand beside the nativity scene while members of the company kneel and sing. The ritual is concluded by rocking the baby Jesus to sleep with the cradle song “”El Rorro,”” which means “”Babe in Arms.”” After the last of the Posadas, worshippers go to church to attend the “”Misa de Gallo”” or the “”Mass of the Rooster.”” This is the first Mass of Christmas Day and is traditionally celebrated with fireworks, ringing bells and blowing whistles to announce the birth of Jesus. The Mass is followed by a large dinner of traditional Mexican foods, including tamales, rice, rellenos, atole (a sweet traditional drink) and medudo, which is said to be more sobering than a strong cup of coffee. Celebration of the holiday on Christmas Day itself also differs from the American celebration. While Americans traditionally celebrate the day with a Christmas tree and presents, Mexicans usually do not do anything special on Dec. 25. However, recent trends have Mexicans integrating the American celebration of Christmas trees and Santa Claus into their traditional celebrations. In Mexican tradition, presents are not distributed until Jan. 6, the Dia de Reyes, which means the “”Day of the Kings.”” This day, also called the Epiphany, is supposed to coincide with the twelfth night of Christmas. This is the day on which it is believed the three wise men brought gifts to Jesus. ...

'Horns Wings and More Tales'

“”Performance art … that usually involves getting naked and smearing stuff on your body, right?”” a student queried earlier this week, looking at the postcard ad for “”Horns Wings and More Tales.”” The ad featured a black and white photo of a dancer superimposed on an attention-getting red background. True to the title, the dancers appear at various moments in the program with wings, horns and even (yes) their tails bare as they artfully spin a tale of the female experience in our culture. Courtesy of Lower Left The Lower Left dance company has reprised the popular “”Horns Wings and Tales,”” a powerful mish-mash of dance and performance art first performed in 1998. “”Horns Wings and More Tales”” opens tonight with “”Moving Violations”” for a seven-night, two-weekend run at Sushi Visual and Performance Art Space downtown. The show presents a series of subtly related vignettes featuring such characters as Hairy Woman, Monster Girl and Nordstrom Woman. Through monologues and movement, the five performers bring to light the ways in which American women chafe under, cope with, and (somewhat) escape from the inherent patriarchy of our culture. The women of Lower Left are not afraid to be both poetic and aggressive, and they present a stunning piece of work. Between mud, water, spelunking equipment, flying harnesses, crazy-but-logical monologues, glue-on body hair, and of course dance, this show covers vulgarity, beauty, anger, repressed pain and hope. Something for everyone? Not for those who seek to avoid challenges to the status quo. Viewers of previous performances have been heard uttering phrases such as “”life-changing”” and “”phenomenal.”” Opening the evening is a dance crazy with movement called “”Moving Violations.”” First choreographed by Nina Martin of Lower Left in the mid-eighties, it was revived for this year’s Trolley Dances and expanded for this performance. In addition to learning Martin’s choreography, the dancers worked together under her direction to create the fastest, most hair-raising quintets they could, crammed to capacity with lifts, jumps, flailing limbs and half-controlled falls. Numerous UCSD dancers and alumni are performing in the show. Alumna and UCSD Recreation gymnastics instructor Margaret Paek will be seen in both pieces. Also, over a third of the huge cast of “”Moving Violations”” comes from UCSD. Look for undergraduate Lindsay Sworski, graduate student Jean Steiner and alumni Todd Bennett, Jean Dugan, Hannah Griffith and Andrew Wass. Such a strong UCSD presence in the post-modern dance community is noteworthy, especially considering that the dance department here tends more toward the modern dance vein. With seven performances in two weekends, UCSD students have no excuses for not going to “”Horns Wings and More Tales.”” This may be a crazy time, between finals and getting home for vacation, but so what — you’d regret missing this amazing performance. Sushi is located on 11th Avenue, between J and K streets. Tickets for “”Horns Wings and More Tales”” are $15, $12 for students and $10 for Sushi members. Call (619) 235-8466 for information or reservations. ...

Holiday Movie Preview

With over 30 scheduled films this holiday season, Hollywood is trying to make up for what was a poor summer in terms of film quality. This year’s films range from towering mountains to desolate islands, from slapstick comedy to serious dramas. While some have the potential to be great films, others are probably going to be clear misses. Besides the usual blockbusters, December will be filled with Hollywood and independent films alike contending for Oscars. Here is a look at some of the more anticipated films in store for this season: Vertical Limit Dec. 8 Starring: Chris O’Donnell, Bill Paxton, Robin Tunney, Scott Glenn, Izabella Scorupco, Temuera Morrison and Stuart Wilson. A climber, Peter Garrett (O’Donnell), must make a treacherous climb up K2, the world’s second highest peak, in order to save his sister, who is stranded on the mountain. Garrett must confront his personal problems and his surroundings before it is too late. Outlook: Unfortunately, this film has all the looks and feelings of “”Cliffhanger.”” The plot seems that of a typical action/disaster film, one that does not try too hard to get the brain working and that is uninspired. O’Donnell’s only experience in major action films so far consists of the “”Batman”” series, so he is probably not a good fit for the role of an extreme mountain climber. The Emperor’s New Groove Dec. 15 Starring: David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt and Patrick Warburton. This animated film takes place in a mythical mountain kingdom where a young, arrogant emperor named Kuzco (voiced by Spade) is transformed into a llama by one of his advisers. Kuzco’s only hope of returning home lies with a good-natured peasant named Pacha. Kuzco begins the adventure back to his kingdom while realizing the errors of his previous ways of life. Outlook: With a low budget, “”The Emperor’s New Groove”” is more of a second-rate project than the usual quality films made by Disney’s animators. With both a weak script and lack of major star power, this film will do only somewhat well, and only because the name Disney is attached to the project. The movie will only appeal to those obsessed with Disney films. Dude, Where’s My Car? Dec. 15 Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Garner, Marla Sokoloff and Kristy Swanson. When two dudes wake up from a party, they find that they have forgotten what happened the previous night. All they know is that they are missing their car and that their girlfriends are mad at them for trashing a house and forgetting an anniversary. Now it is up to them to make up with the girls and to find their car. Outlook: Dude, where’s the brain of whoever made this film? Some films are made to be instant classics; this is not one of them. The idea of teen-in-trouble, teen-fixes-problem is not new and has run out of steam. This film is another cheap teen flick made only in the pursuit of not a car, but money. The Family Man Dec. 15 Starring: Nicolas Cage, Tea Leoni, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven, Amber Valletta and Harve Presnell. Living in New York City, Jack Campbell (Cage) is a man who lives the fast life. This changes one morning when he wakes up to find himself with Kate (Leoni), a woman he never married, and with two kids he never fathered. This alternate life is one that Campbell had the opportunity to begin when he was in college, but rejected it by rejecting Kate. Campbell must make the difficult task of adjusting to his new role as a loving husband and father. Outlook: “”The Family Man”” is shaping out to be a modern “”It’s A Wonderful Life”” that adds to the endless amount of holiday films. With a good script, this film could be one of the better films this holiday season. The “”what if”” plot makes this film a pleasant, sentimental experience that will appeal to most but may be too sappy for some. Miss Congeniality Dec. 22 Starring: Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt, Michael Caine and William Shatner. An unpolished and geeky FBI agent, Gracie Hart (Bullock), must change not only her looks but also her mannerisms for an undercover assignment as a beauty pageant contestant in order to stop a terrorist attack. Hart must not only endure the torturous process of a complete makeover, but also ensure safety at the beauty pageant. Outlook: This film looks like a decent comedy, with Bullock playing the role of an ugly ducking that becomes a beautiful woman. With the mockery of pageants as a focus and Bullock as a star, this movie is likely to bring out some laughs from what is an otherwise ordinary script. Cast Away Dec. 22 Starring: Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt. Chuck Noland (Hanks) is a man who is always obsessed with the time and his job as a FedEx engineer. When Noland becomes stranded on a remote island, he must deal with the harsh environment in order to survive. The film deals with Noland’s attempt to overcome his physical and psychological ordeals in order to survive and live off the uninhabited island. Outlook: This film is one of the most anticipated films this holiday season. The teaming of “”Forrest Gump”” director Robert Zemeckis and Hanks will result in a film that is powerfully moving. Hanks, who has shown he has box office might, has not only the ability but also the drive to play a man isolated from all. The film is not just a standard action flick; it’s one that challenges the mind and the capability of the soul. What Women Want Dec. 15 Starring: Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Lauren Holly and Bette Midler. Nick Marshall (Gibson) gets a new look at life when he has the ability to read the minds of women. This ability proves to be overwhelming for Marshall as he is saturated by the thoughts of what every woman desires. Marshall uses the power to try to outsmart his boss Darcy McGuire (Hunt), but in the process, falls in love and truly understands what all women want. Outlook: This movie is probably the date flick of the season. With so many stars involved, the movie has the potential to be a strong pull at the box office. The clever idea of the film will make it a good one to watch, but probably not enough to make it a standout. ...

Review: Albums

Guru’s Jazzmatazz “”Streetsoul”” MCA Records C- Quite a few years back, Anheuser-Busch mounted a huge ad campaign in an attempt to promote responsible drinking. The centerpiece of its campaign was a brilliant slogan that ultimately became embedded in America’s collective national consciousness. It went something like this: “”Know when to say when.”” Now, I must admit I do not know whether this product of marketing genius was effective for its intended purpose. In any case, I believe that this phrase should be taken to heart by all, and it should not be exclusively applied to responsible alcohol consumption. It should also be directed toward the continuous, inexcusable production of potentially great — but ultimately mediocre — hip-hop recordings. Guru’s latest Jazzmatazz endeavor is an excellent example of this sad trend. Let’s be brutally honest for a minute. Everyone knows that Guru has never been a very good MC, but for some reason many people seem hesitant to admit it. Why is that? What do people think they owe him? It is well past time for this shameful facade to end. MCing is a continuously evolving art form, and few can argue that Guru merely has not kept up with the times. For the most part, Guru’s lyrics these days are inane and uninspired, and his flow is often nonexistent. His trademark deadpan voice used to be novel, but now it’s just annoying. He is exceedingly arrogant regarding his so-called “”skills”” on the mic, although in most cases it is painfully obvious that if he didn’t have Premiere backing him up, he never would have blown up in the first place. This is not to discredit him entirely, of course. As a part of Gang Starr, Guru has made a significant contibution to hip-hop as a whole, but that’s because Gang Starr was a formulaic success that focused and relied mainly on Premiere’s beats and production. Mr. “”Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal”” may have been somewhat lyrically impressive on “”Words I Manifest,”” but he hasn’t progressed much since then. All of this might sound too harsh, but it’s readily apparent. Just consider your favorite Gang Starr tracks from past albums. Odds are, they’re the cuts with the special guests who shined while Guru did his best to avoid ruining the whole damn thing. Now, to Guru’s credit, it should be noted that his first Jazzmatazz album was certainly innovative, groundbreaking and relatively well-done. It spawned a number of commercially successful singles, while stretching rap, R&B and jazz in whole new directions. The problem is that Guru hasn’t been able to follow it up, because he’s been too busy promoting himself on the two subsequent Jazzmatazz albums, this one included. On “”Jazzmatazz Vol. 1,”” his vocals seemed to blend almost seamlessly with the guest artist contributions, and more often than not, his vocals were appropriate to the song’s subject. This is not the case any more. Lately, Guru’s incessant demand for respect seems to be sabotaging his art, with every other verse or skit on Streetsoul talking about how great he is, whether it’s a would-be revolutionary anthem like “”Lift Your Fist”” (featuring the Roots) or a supposed seductive love ballad like “”Night Vision”” (with Isaac Hayes). Simply put, his self-aggrandizing rhymes ruin almost every collaboration on this album — especially the ones that would have been definite hits if he just toned it down a little. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so hard on Guru here; it’s just too disappointing to hear so many collaborations with respected artists like the Roots, Isaac Hayes and Herbie Hancock go down the toilet thanks to Guru’s insipid vocals. The potential was there, and there are a few bright spots on this album, but for the most part, this album is a huge letdown. Friends shouldn’t let friends pick this one up. — Sky Frostenson PJ Harvey “”Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea”” Island Records A PJ Harvey recently moved to New York and then she wrote an album about it. “”Stories from the City, Stories From the Sea,”” Harvey’s latest release on Island Records is littered with references to the Manhattan skyline. Against the backdrop of “”The Empire State Building,”” Harvey traces a love affair that blooms “”on a rooftop in Brooklyn,”” and then wilts on the album’s mournful last track. “”Stories”” is one of those albums you have to listen to from start to finish. It is like a novel and it tells a story. The album begins with Harvey longing for “”a different land”” in “”Big Exit.”” Harvey and her mysterious companion discover New York with wide-eyed wonderment and fearless enthusiasm, like two tourists who just got a hotel room overlooking Central Park. But their love does not last forever. After the glitter of New York fades, Harvey and her lover go their separate ways as the album concludes with “”Horses in My Dreams”” and finally “”We Float.”” Musically, “”Stories”” is more accessible than past PJ Harvey albums. In the past, Harvey’s sense of melody could have been hard to take in. However, “”Stories”” offers a mix of experimental melodies as well as tunes that will have you singing along in your car. The optimistic “”Good Fortune”” sounds oddly reminiscent of Liz Phair’s “”Exile in Guyville,”” while “”This Mess We’re In,”” on which Radiohead’s Thom Yorke adds vocals, is classic Harvey. Harvey has created an amazing album that has the depth of great literature and the drama of a good movie. “”Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea”” is enough to make you want to hop on a plane and go find New York for yourself. — Lindsay Boyd ...

The Hiatus Calendar

Thursday Jazz act Return to One will perform at Galoka on La Jolla Boulevard. You can expect to hear original tunes as well as some John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and more. The show begins at 9 p.m. and the cover is $5. Call (858) 551-8610 for more information. Etta James is in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1994 she won a jazz Grammy and the W.C. Handy award. However, mere awards do not convey the amount of energy she exudes. James will perform at the Belly Up Tavern. Tickets are $35 and the show starts at 9 p.m. Call Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497. Friday San Francisco blues guitarist Tommy Castro will perform at 4th & B. The show starts at 8 p.m. To buy tickets call Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497. UCSD alumnus and San Diego native Chris Klich will announce the release of his CD “”The First Take”” with a show at Dizzy’s. The album features Klich on the clarinet, alto and tenor sax as well as the flute. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets cost $4. Call (858) 270-7467 for more information. Regina Carter has redefined the image of what a violin can do. Carter will bring her blend of jazz, funk, African and Brazilian music to the UCSD Mandeville Auditorium. She has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel and Dolly Parton. Tickets cost $20 and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. To buy tickets call the UCSD Box Office at (858) 534-TIXS. Saturday Indie rockers Karate will perform at the Che Cafe at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $6. For more information call (858) 534-2311. There was one song on the radio all the time by Common Sense. Little did you know that their mix of reggae, rock, funk and soul adds up to more than just one radio hit. They will perform in the Belly Up Tavern at 9:15 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling (619) 220-8497. Sunday Alternative rock band Flaming Lips will perform at 4th & B. Tickets cost $16.50 and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. For ticket information call Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497. You cannot miss a show by a band that calls itself Midget Handjob. They will perform at the Casbah. Tickets cost $8 and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Call Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497 to buy tickets. Pop punk rockers No Use for a Name will perform at the Mira Mesa Epicentre. The show begins and 7 p.m. Call for ticket information at (858) 271-4000. Monday If you know country music or even pop music, for that matter, you know the magic of the Dixie Chicks, who will perform at the Cox Arena. Tickets will be sold through Ticketmaster outlets or you can call Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497. Wednesday Start your Thanksgiving with a bit of jazz. Dizzy’s will host a Thanksgiving Eve Jazz Fest featuring Peter Sprague, Chris Thiele, Sean and Sarah Watkins, and Kevin Hennessy. Show times are at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tickets cost $8. For more information call (858) 270-7467. The Offspring are often criticized for being mainstream, but you’ve got to admit that they have catchy tunes. They will perform at the Cox Arena at 8 p.m. SX-10, Cypress Hill and MxPx will open the show. For ticket information call (619) 220-TIXS. ...

Get More Than Just Blockbusters for Your Buck

In the constant search for the unique and wonderful, look no further than Blockbuster Video’s “”Pre-Viewed”” movie section. With a little time and a little money, you can invest in your own movie collection, with a surprising selection of low-cost gems. In this section, you’ll find hundreds of titles from every movie genre. The idea is pretty simple: The store gets multiple copies of a video when it is a new release, the title moves over to another shelf when it is no longer a new release, and they sell the rest off, which means a good buy for you. The first thing to keep in mind with any bargain hunt is that you must be willing to invest some time in looking. You are liable to find the prospect somewhat daunting, so here’s a breakdown of the pricing. All movies for sale are priced according to how recently they were released and their general popularity. So the older and lesser-known films are the best deals here. To find movies good for when you are extremely bored or stoned, you can browse the $2.99 section. Be forewarned that most of these are movies that no one has ever heard of. But considering their current sale, which offers $2 off any previously viewed movie, this option is tantalizing. We’ll start at the low end. For $3.33, I found “”Corporate Fantasy,”” a 1999 ultra-soft-core porn, the kind that only a family video store would carry. It was so lame that not even the Fox network would show it. If not for its shits-and-giggles value, this movie would never leave the store. Moving up to $5 movies, there is a dynamic improvement in the quality of movies available. From a 1995 MTV series comes “”AEon Flux,”” a futuristic cartoon sci-fi with a lot of sexual overtones. AEon Flux is an agent for the fictional, communist country of Bregna and she has a love/hate/kill relationship with Trevor Goodchild, an opposing nation’s leader. Goodchild is incredibly evil and that turns Flux on and pisses her off, so her goal is to kill him or sleep with him. Most know this show for the mega-gore factor and the surreal twists that completely lose you. It’s definitely a cult classic in the making. Other notable titles include “”Drop Dead Gorgeous,”” “”The Corndog Man,”” “”Titanic”” (shudder), and “”Welcome To Woop Woop.”” The last title is directed by Stephan Elliot, the same guy who made “”The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”” “”Welcome to Woop Woop”” is a bizarre contribution to the arts from Down Under. It’s the twisted tale of a New York con artist on the lam in Australia, where he wakes up to find that the hitchhiker he picked up is now his teen-age wife and that her beer-guzzling psycho father is the ruler of a town that no one is allowed to leave. It’s something like “”The Addams Family””-meets-Australia on acid. A must for the quirky — it’s odd, but funny, and your friends will think you are some kind of freak for owning movies like this. Also recommended is Martin Scorsese’s latest and strangest, “”Bringing Out The Dead.”” It tracks two days in the life of burnt-out paramedic Frank Pierce and his descent into madness and subsequent redemption. It is a very dark and gritty movie and it doesn’t always manage to make sense. The plot has a couple of ambulance-sized holes, but Pierce’s bizarre partners and his attempts at getting fired keep things interesting. Basically, Pierce can’t get past the memories of people he could not save. This film is in the middle of the price range, listing at $7. Finally, we have the full-priced videos at $14. These are the must-haves, the classics that will not be going down in price, or the movies that you just want now. Two oustanding selections in this group are “”Dune,”” a sci-fi epic, and “”Drowing Mona.”” The latter is a hysterical comedy about dismemberment, semi-accidental death, and covering your ass. Bette Midler gets killed off and everyone in town is a suspect, including her husband and son. Packed with famous faces, you may want to wait for this movie to drop in price. ...

big mouth strikes again

The Word of Mouth Tour was definitely more “”word of mouth”” this year than last year. If you’re not familiar with it, it is a hip-hop tour with an underground aesthetic — one for people who love the music and the art of hip-hop. CHAKO SUZUKI/ Guardian Performing live were MC Supernatural, the Beat Junkies, Dilated Peoples, Cut Chemist, DJ Nu-Mark and Jurassic 5, who were headlining. It was amazing to see how large the turnout was for the two scheduled shows on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 at the Belly Up Tavern. Compared to last summer’s Word Of Mouth Tour at 4th & B, the house was packed. It seems that Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples have rounded up a more diverse fan base since appearing on popular music video channels. The Beat Junkies kicked off the show with feats of turntablism, followed by Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark, who did a set before introducing Supernatural, who has an impressive talent for freestyling and getting audience participation. His skills for coming up with lyrics on the fly were extraordinary, especially since he asked for words from the audience for his rap “”Three Words”” and ended up with words like “”philharmonic,”” which are not easy to freestyle with. CHAKO SUZUKI/ Guardian In another song, he took items from the audience’s hands and added them into the rhyme — random objects such as condoms, Tic Tacs and Advil. His other impressive feat was his right-on impersonations of famous MCs. Every time he turned his back to the audience, he would impersonate Biggie, Xhibit, Wu-Tang or Busta Rhymes. Last year, Supernatural blessed the stage in the Price Center with completely different impersonations. In part of the song, Supernatural enacted a duet between himself and Biggie and astounded the audience with how well he could impersonate him. Supernatural’s performance and energy were amazing. He came back in the end for a rap intro of all the performers in the tour. The up-and-coming hip-hop duo from Los Angeles, Dilated Peoples, took the stage next. The group consists of Iriscience, Evidence and DJ Babu from the Beat Junkies. Their sound is a bit aggressive and their beats are driving and lucid. During the summer they released their debut album, titled “”The Platform,”” and released the single “”Triple Optics”” on the “”Funky Precedent”” compilation, which included groups such as Jurassic 5. They amped the crowd with the performance of “”Triple Optics”” and their single “”Work the Angles.”” Dilated Peoples were able to maintain their underground sensibilities — therefore, much of the crowd was not familiar with their talent. However, the duo kept the audience’s heads bobbing with its dynamism, constant movement and overwhelming confidence, which showed through in their lyrics. At the end of their set, Evidence broke a beer bottle over his head as a dare and actually ended up momentarily knocking himself out. When Jurassic 5 made their appearance, it was obvious whom the majority of the crowd had come to see. Half their set was from their self-titled EP and the other half was from their recently released album “”Quality Control.”” The single “”Quality Control”” made the crowd go wild. Surprisingly, their earlier singles, such as “”Jayou”” and “”Concrete Schoolyard”” left most of the crowd a little quiet. Jurassic 5 delivered the full flavor of their innovative and authentic sound that celebrates music, not money, which is refreshing after all the recent deliverances in hip-hop music. As usual, Jurassic 5 put on a charismatic performance with their organic sounds, harmonized choruses and their incorporation of different elements of hip-hop. In one part of the show, break dancers came out, and the show highlighted the talent of DJs Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist, whose extensive collection of rare grooves, instructional and hip-hop music drives Jurassic 5’s cutting-edge sound. DJ Nu-Mark amazed the crowd by playing the drum set, drum machine and the koto, a Japanese stringed instrument. As expected, Jurassic 5’s fresh sound, their lyrical talent and supreme beat makers made for an experience that will not be forgotten. The most disappointing part of the show was not the performance but the audience. The crowd came to 4th & B last year because it fully appreciated the artists, the music and the underground. This year’s fans did not come because they were hyped through popular media like MTV or BET. Dance circles formed, and the audience knew the lyrics and the members’ names when the microphone was pointed at it. At one point, Cut Chemist was telling the audience what songs he had just spun with Nu-Mark: “”The third song is from ‘Brand Nubian,’ which might be a little underground for some of you.”” This insult to the audience probably caused some pleasure for real fans. To get the crowd hyped up, members of Jurassic 5 did a little stage diving, which turned out dismal in the end. Some audience members ran up on stage to dive, and then one drunken and very large fan dove off the stage and landed on his neck. This ended the show a little sooner than it was supposed to end, with ambulances and rubber necking. Although the end was a big disappointment, there was no way the performers could disappoint. The Word of Mouth Tour gave insight to old fans and newbies into the way hip-hop is supposed to be and was a good vehicle for delivering the extraordinary talent and innovation of the performers. If you are looking for related events, check out these upcoming shows at the Belly Up: All events are 21 and over. DFH: Every Monday night. Disco, funk and hip-hop spun live for only $8 starting at 9 p.m. Etta James: Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. This legendary blues and R&B singer is making two comeback appearances for $35. Common Sense: Nov. 18 at 9:15 p.m. for $10. San Diego’s own ska, reggae and rock band. Poncho Sanchez: Playing Nov. 22 at 8:30 p.m. for $10. This is the world-famous Latin jazz bongo player. Do not miss! Goldfish: Nov. 25 at 9:15 p.m. for $7. San Diego’s premier funk band and party. Common: Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. for $20. Chicago native hip-hop MC, known for his extraordinary rhyming and story-telling skills. If you’re a fan of hip-hop, a must-see! Wailing Souls: Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. for $12. Well known reggae duo from Jamaica. Digital Underground: Dec. 1 at 9:15 p.m. for $15. Old-school hip-hop group that is bound to make you move. ...

Review: Charlie's Angels

They ended the series for a reason. Girls can only flip their hair and smile like dolls for so long before audiences get bored and look for other forms of entertainment. CHARLIE’S ANGELS “”Charlie’s Angels”” is overflowing with plenty of fighting action and heavy makeup. There is a sufficient amount of eye candy for both sexes to withstand the film, but I wouldn’t recommend to this one more than once. Let me explain. The directors and producers tried their very best to imitate and ridicule the popular 1970s series. Consequently, the three Angels, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Lu and Drew Barrymore, did a fine job of running around in tight, revealing clothing, looking tough yet perfectly cute and primped, and beating up some attractive bad guys without smearing their lipstick. All while they attempted to maintain the happy, yet typical, lives of independent Los Angeles women. In spite of the predictable ending and the lack of any relevant dialogue, I was entertained for the majority of the film. However, by the end I didn’t have any trouble departing from the movie theater. For some reason, the movie had a lighter atmosphere than the series. Some funny cameos were included; Bill Murray and Tom Green presented their quirky one-liners and L.L. Cool J dropped in for a minute or two. It was fun to watch and even more fun to make fun of, but that’s about it — no real message given, no moral to be learned. Just a quick tip before you buy your ticket: Walk in with the notion that the movie will be horrible and it will actually turn out to be better than you expected. And don’t forget to say hi to Charlie for me. ...

Music Department Students Go With Their Flow

Dueling saxophones, vocal wanderings, talking trumpets, drum solos and even turntables — hell, just about any sound may be included in this quarters Jazz Improvisation performance. On Monday the students of George Lewis’ music 131 class will present a night of improvisation running from swinging versions of traditional standards to loose interpretations of experimental scores. Yet despite the title of the class, this performance will include a lot more than what people typically consider to be “”jazz.”” “”I’m not really interested in jazz,”” Lewis explained. “”Well, I love it … but I have a problem with the word.”” A music isn’t alive to grow if it is too defined. “”I prefer the garage band model; there is no one looking over your shoulder, pointing their finger.”” Many students don’t realize that the UCSD music department is one of the most innovative in the country. Beyond the typical classical repertoire, our music department pays attention to the last century of musical development and expands on the outdated canon of significant composers. The department houses amazing composers and performers who are active today — faculty, graduate and undergraduate. However, improvised music is still gaining respect. “”There could be a lot more interest in jazz and other types of improvised music,”” Lewis said. “”The department is moving towards giving improvised music more credit.”” Jazz, of course, is one of the most amazing musical forms to have come out of the last century. New ideas of collective jamming, vocal quality, distortions, percussion significance were developed throughout the history of jazz — from the earliest days of Dixieland, swing, Ellington, bebop and free jazz. All of these forms are present in the “”type”” of jazz that’s going around today. A great example of what is going on today will be heard at Monday’s concert. Some of the best musicians here at UCSD will play time-honored jazz standards, classics from the bebop era, experimental collaborations and compositions of their own. I’ve seen pieces that involve people running across the stage and pieces that involve the creative scratching of records on two turntables. Lewis is a great facilitator for this class because he knows how to use what’s new while respecting the past; how to keep the art of improvised music alive and kicking. “”I like an atmosphere where students feel nurtured — I’m tired of directing,”” Lewis said. “”I want the students to direct the music themselves. That’s the danger of the pedagogy — it’s so authoritarian. “”I have a multigenre background in music; contemporary notated music, computer music, jazz, etc.,”” Lewis added. “”But my students’ backgrounds are different than mine. I don’t want to give them my experience, I want them to use what they have — I’m learning from them.”” Hopefully, Lewis himself will play. He is a well-known trombonist, improviser, composer and multimedia artist and has worked with some of the best in all his areas of interest. He has been directing this class since 1991, touching on all types of techniques, concepts and styles. He has watched the class change over the years, accepting more and more forms of improvisational explorations and student input. “”You know, I wish for more musicians,”” Lewis said. “”There are 18,000 students on this campus. I don’t want total beginners — but if students know how to play their instruments they can always learn to improvise.”” If you are a big fan of improvisational music you should check out this concert and if you know absolutely nothing about improvisational music you should check out this concert. Hey, if you’re interested in playing music you should consider joining this class. This is a chance to see great performance that is also cheap and close to home. The concert is in Mandeville Recital Hall, costs $3 for students and starts at 8 p.m. Come hear for yourself what some of your schoolmates study. ...