Arts & Entertainment

Review: Albums

Amy Correia Carnival Love Capitol C- “”Carnival Love”” sounds a little like one of Lilith Fair’s smaller stage acts revisited. Amy Correia’s poetic, fresh lyrics are perhaps the only saving grace in this selection of otherwise static boardwalk songs. She establishes a somber carnival atmosphere on the opening track, “”Angels Collide.”” Hawaiian guitars and Correia’s half-sober voice provide a folksy feel to many of the tracks, especially “”He Drives It,”” a humorous take on unrequited love. A couple of exceptions — the more upbeat “”Daydream Car”” and “”The Bike”” — flirt with pop potential. Otherwise, the album rarely rises above the tone of a slightly flustered little girl. — Charlene Perez The Wallflowers (Breach) Interscope B+ The Wallflowers are back into their comfortable, sulky rock style. As the follow-up to 1996’s “”Bringing Down the Horse,”” the new album stays true to the mellow movement that made the band famous; there are no new tricks. In Wallflower fashion, laid-back guitars play second string to Jakob Dylan’s soft voice, and the band’s good-tempered alternative sound plays second string to Dylan’s somber lyrics. In “”Hand Me Down,”” Dylan sounds like the frustrated son of a demanding father — almost certainly a song directed at his real-life, rock icon father. “”I’ve Been Delivered”” offers the album’s first sign of optimism, even though a majority of its lyrics play to a dark atmosphere. Dylan humbly sings his dreary lyrics over a backdrop of sympathetic guitars throughout the album, but, in its own bleak way, his musical expression is resolved and satisfying. — Charlene Perez ...

Bang, Sizzle, Stomp!

What an amazing show! Call me easily entertained, but I never would have thought it could be so fun to watch a group of people hit a variety of household items together to make music. The original beats and rhythms of each person, done together, produced such a unique form of song. It was great to witness the interactions of the performers, each holding his own character, which developed throughout the show. The assortment of items used as instruments made the show fun and appealing, while the dancing, incorporated with the making of the music, made it impossible to look away. I was interested and astounded from one set to another at the skill it takes to do what those performers do. The show was amusing just to watch from the sides, but it was made even more entertaining by audience interaction. Led by one of the performers, the crowd clapped, snapped and stomped along during parts of the show. It was a nice little sample of what hard work it must actually be to dance on stage and hit a bunch of noise-making items at just the right times to fit in with the beat. I appreciated the show so much more when my arms and hands cramped up after 10 minutes of snapping along. The show was a breathtaking success. Because of its surplus of cleverness and creativity, it’s one I wouldn’t mind seeing again. ...

Review: Concert

“”Don’t let money change ya!”” proclaimed Blackalicious at their show on Nov. 20 at Canes in Mission Beach. True to their word, they have not. Blackalicious released their EP in 1999 and followed up with their full-length album “”Nia”” in 2000. In the early 1990s, Blackalicious helped to establish the underground hip-hop scene in San Francisco and, even today, continue to stay true to their origin. Known for their funky beats and lyric-induced imagery, Blackalicious are notorious for keeping the crowd perpetually moving and hyped up. Their lyrical skills, fresh originality and interaction with the audience made this show quite possibly the best hip-hop show all year. Blackalicious’ “”Nia”” really struck a chord in the underground with its true hip-hop flavor. Gift of Gab, the group’s forefront lyricist, along with producer DJ Chief Xcel, have been creating some of the most innovative, personal and witty lyrics and beats since they started out in 1994. Gift of Gab’s talent is stupendous and is not fully graspable until seen in the flesh. Gift of Gab performed the infamous song “”A to G”” from the new album and finished off with “”Alphabet Aerobics.”” These songs consist of a plethora of alliterations and tongue twisters. In addition, the beat gets faster with each consecutive letter so that the lyrics get so swift that they seemingly trip over themselves. However, Gab maintains his breath and pronunciation, though the crowd has to take a deep breath after this performance. His variety in pitch and meter is very distinctive, and matched with Xcel’s vintage beats and sampling from the ’70s and ’80s makes a divine combination. How Gab manages to go from a robotic monotone to a syrupy flow to a ghetto drawl with each song remains a mystery based in his endless talent and repertoire. Gab is not the only one with shining talent. Gab’s partner MC, Lateef, has a lyrical style influenced by dancehall. He gave a stunning performance, and his energy in managing the crowd never seemed to cease. His style of rapping and singing compliments and contrasts with Gab’s. Another highlight of the show was Erinn Anova, whose soulful and powerful voice weaves through the songs and gives emotional punch to their choruses. This trio of innovators never disappoints its audiences. The performances of “”Deception”” and “”You Didn’t Know That Though”” show off the inventiveness of the group’s lyrics and beats, which are influenced by tribal sounds and synthesized instruments. The driving rhythms of these songs, along with sing-song choruses, got the members of the crowd involved and bobbing their heads. Gab and Lateef even did a flow over the beats from the legendary Roger & Zapp. As a contrast to the other beat-heavy songs, “”Shallow Days”” and “”If I May”” are contemplative pieces that flow like storytelling. These lyrics are smart and personal narratives that keep the crowd interested and emotionally connected. The show was 18 and up, a rare occurrence in San Diego. Because most people 21 and older argue that an 18 and up age requirement makes for an annoying show, it was a surprise that the crowd was more excited and conscious of the music than any pretentious and self-conscious group of young hipsters. Breakdancing circles formed, and kids were practically on top of each other to be near the front. It was exciting to have San Diego host a group such as Blackalicious. If you don’t have their old album or their “”Quannum Projects”” album, or you haven’t heard them yet, wake up and give them a listen. Their music is honest and original, not overproduced like much of what crowds the airwaves today. — Chako Suzuki ...

The Hiatus Calendar

Thursday The performers of Lower Left will use mud, water and their sense of brutal sincerity for their performance and dance act at Sushi Performance & Visual Art in San Diego. There will be strong language and nudity. The show will run through Dec. 3 and again from Dec. 8 to Dec. 10. Call (619) 235-8468 for more information. Check out “”Gynomite: Fearless Feminist Porn!”” at Dizzy’s in downtown San Diego. Eight intelligent and sexy women will tell their stories about sex. The event starts at 8 p.m. and there is a $5 cover charge. Call (858) 270-7467 for more information. Check out some of the best in indie rock at the Che Cafe on the UCSD campus just east of the Theatre District. Songs: Ohio will headline and will be supported by Damien Jurado, Paris TX and Kind of Like Spitting. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $6. Call (858) 534-2311 for more information. Friday Digital Underground will perform at the Belly Up Tavern. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $15. Call the Belly Up at (858) 481-8140 for more information. Saturday Ska-Punk? Punk-Ska? Take your pick when the Aquabats perform at Canes Bar & Grill. The show kicks off at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $12. Call Canes form ore information at (858) 488-9690. The incredible voice of Dave Wakeling which once led the English Beat and General Public can be heard at the Belly Up Tavern. The show starts a 9 p.m. Call (619) 220-TIXS for more information. ...

Beatlemania Returns to Theaters

We all know being a rock star is tough. Even before VH-1 dared to go “”Behind the Music,”” director Richard Lester took a light-hearted approach to the rockumentary when he made a movie about four young lads from Liverpool trying to survive the fast-paced road to stardom. Part comedy, part adventure, and part musical, “”A Hard Day’s Night”” captures John, Paul, George and Ringo in the midst of Beatlemania. It was 1964 when movie houses packed with screaming teenage fans first showed this classic Beatle film. The Fab Four had just invaded America and the question troubling every young girl was: Which one is cuter, John or Paul? The soundtrack, which features “”Can’t Buy Me Love,”” “”I’m Happy Just to Dance With You,”” and of course “”A Hard Day’s Night,”” was often drowned out by the uncontrollable wailing of devoted fans. Thirty-six years later, Miramax Films will re-release a fully restored version of “”A Hard Day’s Night,”” just in time for Christmas. The re-release of “”A Hard Day’s Night”” was originally planned for September of 1999 but was pushed back because of the August 1999 re-release of another Beatle movie, “”Yellow Submarine.”” It was then slated to hit theaters in October 2000, but Miramax pushed the release date back once again to coincide with release of other Beatle merchandise, such as the new “”Beatles 1″” compilation album and the Beatles Anthology book. “”A Hard Day’s Night”” will finally hit theaters Dec. 1 in New York and Los Angeles, and then Dec. 8 nationwide. As the sons and daughters of baby boomers, many of us have heard stories about the first time our parents saw “”A Hard Day’s Night.”” It is hard to believe that those doe-eyed, pre-teen Beatlemaniacs who have been preserved for posterity on old footage of the Ed Sullivan Show actually grew up to invest in mutual funds and retirement pensions. But if you have ever wondered what became of those screaming Beatle fans, they probably became your parents. So what better way to spend quality time with them this holiday season then by showing them you’re hip to their kind of music? OK, perhaps that is a bad idea, considering taking your mom to see “”A Hard Day’s Night”” might unleash some very unwelcome nostalgia trips. However, the chance to see this award-winning piece of pop culture in the theaters should not be passed up. This glimpse into history shows rock ‘n’ roll when it was still innocent, and gives insight into that all-important question: Who is your favorite Beatle? ...

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. ...

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. ...