Arts & Entertainment

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. ...

The Hiatus Calendar

Thursday The Dandy Warhols will play at Canes Bar & Grill at 8 p.m. to promote their new album “”Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia.”” Enjoy their layered guitar and keyboard-heavy sound for $10. Call Ticketmaster for tickets at (619) 220-8497. Do not miss Jurassic 5 and their unique style of positive lyrics and phat beats at the Belly Up Tavern. Call Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497 to buy tickets. The show starts at 9 p.m. The Wallflowers will christen the new Jenny Craig Pavilion at the University of San Diego. The Wallflowers, led by Jakob Dylan, will promote their first album in nearly four years. Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased by calling (619) 260-7575. Friday Do you wonder where Hootie and the Blowfish have gone? Tonight they will perform at the Viejas Casino & Turf Club. The show starts at 8 p.m. and the tickets cost $35. Call Ticketmaster for tickets at (619) 220-8497. Saturday The eclectic No Knife will play at the Che Cafe, which is located on the UCSD campus just east of the theatre district. No Knife will be supported by Sunday’s Best. No Knife is a local band and they will perform at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $6. Call (858) 534-2311 for ticket information. Spain’s Noche Flemenca will showcase their passion and sensuality at the UCSD Mandeville Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling (619) 220-8497. The Homeless Advocates of San Diego are the sponsers of the Homeless Artists and Writers Association Benefit. The Homeless Advocates hope to encourage a connection between all members of the community. Tickets are $25 and will be sold at the Sushi Theatre on the night of the performance. The performance starts at 7 p.m. Call (619) 233-8500 ext. 1500 for more ticket information. Sunday Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar will perform at Copley Symphony Hall at 7 p.m. Ravi Shankar was popularized by his friendship with then-Beatle, George Harrison. His daughter Anoushka Shankar, who also plays the sitar, continues the legacy of her father with the recent release of her second album. Anoushka is the youngest and only female to be presented with the House of Commons Shield by the British Parliament for her artistry and musicianship. Tickets start at $8 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497. Tuesday The Squirrel Nut Zippers along with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band will bring their style of big band/swing music to 4th & B. Tickets cost $20. Purchase your tickets through Ticketmaster by calling (619) 220-8497. Wednesday Jewel will try to fight against the commercial shortcomings of her 1998 release, “”Spirit”” and her overexposure on VH-1, MTV and nearly every single pop-rock radio station. Jewel will perform at the California Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased by calling (619) 232-HELL. 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 charge is $5. Call (858) 551-8610 for more information. ...

Old Sound of New Order

NEW ORDER Courtesy of Fuel 2000 Records BBC Radio – Live in ConcertFuel 2000 Records A- New Order can be described as one of the most definitive bands of the ’80s and one of the earliest founders of ecstasy-driven techno. They have produced some of the greatest club hits of all time and they are continuing to be remixed by Perfecto, Shep Pettibone and Armand Van Helden. The original mix of “”Bizarre Love Triangle”” can still rock any party with good musical taste. However, in the live album they recently re-released for the American public, you can hear just how vulnerable and uncomfortable New Order were with their success at Glastonbury in 1987. Bernard Sumner, the frontman of New Order, was still recovering from the suicide of his close friend and bandleader Ian Curtis. Curtis had led Joy Division to mythical proportions and from its ashes came New Order. Sumner was not sure how to handle his colleague’s death, but in the memory of Curtis, New Order pushed on. In this timeless recording of their show in Glastonbury you can hear the energy and nervousness of the New Order performance. Being on stage took away their cool and clean studio sound and revealed the abrasive guitar of Bernard Sumner over the melody of Gillian Gilbert’s keyboards and Peter Hook’s definitive bass riffs. Their sound is reminiscent of a punk-rock group pushed along by the technology of the time. Their raw Glastonbury performance almost recaptures their punk influences of bands like The Clash and sheds any image of a sappy pop-techno group. Sumner tears through the songs on his guitar with such ferocity you almost forget about the clean studio tracks that we have gotten used to. Raw intensity and powerful vocals lead the group past missed chord changes, flubbed lyrics and the general insecurity of a group coping with something it has always been uncomfortable with: success. “”Touched by the Hand of God”” opens the album and sets the tone as Sumner wails and yelps throughout the song. “”Temptation”” is played at an amphetamine pace as Sumner cries out, “”up, down, turn around. Please don’t let me hit the ground.”” This performance reveals a band that is on the verge of success. As they introduce their “”new”” song “”True Faith,”” you can hear an early version of what was to become a massive international hit. You can also feel the vulnerability of Sumner as he stumbles through the verse before he comes back with a rousing chorus. You can only imagine the frenzied dancing of the crowd as the first few bass notes are plucked out on “”Bizarre Love Triangle.”” Sumner growls through the words of the song as the now classic synths build upon each other to climax at a glorious finish. Amidst the cheers of the crowd you can hear a self-conscious Sumner tell the crowd, “”notice that all our songs finish with big endings. Big songs, small dicks.”” The nostalgia of “”Perfect Kiss”” beautifully melts into grinding guitars and an angry and distorted solo. “”Age of Consent”” follows with more thick guitars doused with chorus effects and the passionate vocals of Sumner, who yells, “”I’m not the kind that needs to tell you just what the fuck you want me to.”” A guitar-heavy cover of Lou Reed’s “”Sister Ray”” at the end of the show seems to cry out that New Order still remembers Ian Curtis and their previous band, Joy Division. New Order’s performance on this album is not polished nor is it cleaned up in the studio. This will not be best performance that you will hear from New Order. There are other New Order albums you should probably get before this one. But this performance on a summer evening at Glastonbury in 1987 is what defines the attitude and energy of the enigmatic New Order. ...

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. ...

spinning in the air

Winter may be rearing its ugly head but Thursday night the flowers will be in bloom — The Wallflowers that is — at the University of San Diego’s Jenny Craig Pavilion. It has been a long time since The Wallflowers were last in the spotlight with their 1996 album “”Bringing Down The Horse.”” Six million copies and four years later, lead singer Jakob Dylan, keyboardist Rami Jaffee, bassist Greg Richling, guitarist Michael Ward and drummer Mario Calire are finally ready to take the stage once again. The Wallflowers have returned in the nick of time. Four years between albums is a long time, especially in an industry where pop acts are cranking out Christmas albums, multiple singles and remixes, one after another. The Wallflowers were almost in danger of winding up on VH-1’s “”Where are They Now”” program. However, rock critics will always pay attention to The Wallflowers. Every song Dylan writes will be dissected for any glimpse of what life is like when you are — as put by both Rolling Stone and Elle magazines — “”Son of Bob.”” It is inevitable that Dylan is singled out from the rest of the band in almost every interview or article. The Wallflowers are very much his band. After the band practically dissolved following its unsuccessful self-titled debut on Virgin Records, Dylan and keyboardist Jaffee recruited what became the Wallflowers’ new lineup, and recorded “”Bringing Down The Horse.”” The album’s first single, “”6th Avenue Heartache,”” had already been playing on modern-rock radio and VH-1 long before rock journalists made the connection between Dylan and his legendary father. It was clear that the younger Dylan was not about to let music press drift in the direction of his father. Thus, the band embarked on two-and-a-half years of touring, playing over 270 shows in 1997 alone. The album produced three hit singles, “”6th Avenue Heartache,”” “”Three Marlenas”” and “”One Headlight,”” which picked up a Grammy for Best Rock Song, proving this band had legs of its own. Still Dylan was often criticized for being too impersonal in his songwriting and on stage. In other words, not talking about or referring to his father enough to satisfy rock historians’ insatiable appetite for a glimpse into the life of Bob Dylan. Shy by nature, Dylan often feared achieving too much success. He admitted to Rolling Stone last month that he is a reluctant rock star. “”I never spent anytime working on that kind of skill,”” Dylan said when asked about his stage presence. Toward the height of The Wallflowers’ success with “”Bringing Down The Horse,”” Dylan also began to see flaws within his songwriting as metaphors and imagery, especially in “”One Headlight,”” which flew right over the heads of fans. So after the grueling tours wrapped up, Dylan did what every “”serious musician”” dealing with the harsh reality of fame does. He took a vacation and retreated to his home in Los Angeles to spend time with his wife and two children. Dylan’s third child was born in September. To write the songs for The Wallflowers’ new album “”Breach,”” Dylan rented a house in Los Angeles that he converted into a studio, put in eight hours a day of undisturbed creativity and found inspiration in the most dreaded place: his own life. Still, there are no songs titled “”My Father the Icon”” or “”Dad Wrote ‘Blowin’ in the wind'”” on this album, but Dylan is definitely more comfortable penning lyrics that address his rock ‘n’ roll lineage. Songs like “”Hand Me Down”” and “”I’ve Been Delivered”” are obviously about feeling overshadowed and unappreciated. One can only imagine to whom Dylan might have been referring. The songs on “”Breach”” are lyrically abstract enough to taunt rock critics drooling for the slightest Bob reference. However, it is unlikely that any of the fans that attend tonight’s concert care much about Dylan’s illustrious father. Fans will turn out because The Wallflowers are simply a good band. The songs are catchy, and, at the risk of sounding completely shallow and superficial, Dylan is not too bad to look at, even if he is married with three kids. In past shows, Dylan evoked Beatle-esque screams from adoring female fans. Now in his thirties, it will be interesting to see if his fans have grown up as well. It will also be interesting to see if Dylan’s new lyrical honesty will translate into his stage persona. In front of a college crowd is where The Wallflowers should feel most at ease. From the beginning it has been younger fans that have actually given The Wallflowers a fair shot. Even though Dylan sounds more like Bruce Springsteen than Bob Dylan and draws inspiration from acts like The Clash and Paul Westerberg, early concert reviews repeatedly compared The Wallflowers’ songs to Bob Dylan songs. One Rolling Stone review of a San Francisco show in 1997 even said “”‘6th Avenue Heartache’ sounded like an update of ‘Like a Rolling Stone'”” So The Wallflowers might be the first rock band that would rather talk to Carson Daly on “”Total Request Live”” than Rolling Stone magazine. Bassist Richling told David Fricke for the October issue, “”It’s nice to be in a position where it’s about our group, our music.”” Even if that means playing to audiences that have never heard “”The Times They are a-Changin’.”” However, the audience at tonight’s USD concert will have most likely heard “”Like a Rolling Stone,”” “”Blowin’ in the Wind,”” “”Mr. Tambourine Man”” and “”The Times They are a-Changin’.”” There is enough room in rock for two Dylans, and there is room in San Diego for just about any rock band that wants to play because God only knows what else there is to do around here. Tonight’s show will kick off what may be the first leg of a North American tour. Doors open at 8 p.m. with opening act Everlast followed by The Wallflowers. See the Hiatus Calendar for ticket prices and information. ...

Open Mike at Java Joe's

It is another Monday night in San Diego. Another week of classes or work are ahead, and people are already asking, “”Is it Friday yet?”” At Java Joe’s open mic night at 1956 Bacon Street in Ocean Beach, Monday nights are a lively mix of song and laughter. Wendy, the open mic’s emcee, takes the stage and leads everyone in a rendition of the open mic theme song. The crowd knows the song well — many of them come to Java Joe’s every Monday night. They come in baseball caps and business suits, and play guitars, saxophones or flutes. One man even plays his homemade percussion instrument. Each night features a wide variety of performers, well worth the $3 cover charge. There is a myth about open mic nights: that they are a sort of breeding ground for raw, unbridled talent. In most cases, this is not true. A usual open mic will have a handful of girls singing about ex-boyfriends and guys growling warped renditions of the blues. There are always one or two gems but for the most part it is painfully obvious why some people have record deals and other’s don’t. At Java Joe’s, there are more than just a few gems. Every performer is unique, and shockingly, they are very good. On Monday night (Oct. 9th) the line-up began with Matt Carone, who, after hearing a few jokes about his last name, claimed it was French for “”I don’t give a shit.”” Imagine his set as Bob Dylan as a Hell’s Angel. The dim lighting and intimate setting embraced all the performers who took the stage. Whether they made mistakes or stole the show, Wendy was never condescending or insulting. He complemented everyone and the crowd followed his lead. Later in the evening, it was Johnny Love’s turn. Johnny must have been a thespian in high school because his 10-minute set combined humor and camp with a rich voice and great songs. Unlike most open mics, Java Joe’s allows dance, comedy and poetry. Any oddball talent is good enough for their stage, as long as it does not exceed the two-song/10-minute time limit. So will any of the performers at open mic nights become the next Jewel? Maybe. Or, then again, probably not. After the last latte has been poured and the coffee filters have been emptied, everyone goes back to their day jobs. If you drive two hours north to Los Angeles on any given Wednesday (most open mics in L.A. are on Wednesday nights) you will find an entire calendar section of L.A. Weekly full of open mics from Common Grounds in the suburbs to Highland Grounds in the city. Anytime live music is played in Los Angeles, even if it is someone playing the xylophone, there is always the underlying hope that, somewhere out in the audience, there might be an A&R rep, and a waitress could become a rock star within a week. Is there any truth to this illusion? NO. In Ocean Beach, it’s all about music that may never come out of your stereo but will still echo in your head. In a time when decent entertainment is expensive and most concert tickets are over $40, Java Joe’s is an affordable yet fun way to spend a Monday night — especially since nobody cracks open the books until Wednesday anyway. The sign-ups begin at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information check out the Java Joe’s Web site: http://javajoes.org, or call (619) 523-0356. ...

Review: Legend of Bagger Vance

If life were a game of golf, then it is the perfect swing within everyone that helps play the game. “”The Legend of Bagger Vance”” tries to tie golf to life in similar fashion to other films such as “”The Natural”” and “”Field of Dreams.”” Whereas those films have a strong plot with understandable characters, “”Bagger Vance”” has neither the depth of character nor mysticism that define a great sports movie. Adele Invergordon (Charlize Theron) is in financial trouble as her deceased father leaves her with a debt-ridden but fabulous golf course in Savannah. In order to promote the course, Adele creates a golf tournament between two golf greats, but the local businessmen will not sponsor the tournament without a local player. The only person that can fill that role is Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon), a former amateur champion who has lost his touch after returning from war. Not only has Junuh lost his passion for the game of golf, but he abandons his girl, Adele. Junuh enters the tournament even though he has lost his swing. Practicing his broken swing late at night, Junuh encounters an unknown stranger by the name of Bagger Vance (Will Smith). Vance becomes not only his caddie, but also his spiritual guide. Without any depth to the characters, it is uncertain why Junuh was traumatized from the war. Nor is there understanding of how Adele feels and responds when Junuh abandons her. Inexplicably, there is almost no animosity between Adele and Junuh, even though Junuh abandoned her. Instead, there are a lot of nice and overly pleasant scenes where everyone seems to get along with one another. Considering Savannah is part of the deep South, it’s awkward as to how Vance, a black man, can easily go anywhere he wants at an all-white golf course. Bagger plays quite a minor role, and his words of wisdom do not seem to resonate nor even motivate. The entire film itself is a wild stretch of the imagination in terms of plausibility as everyone seems to rally around Junuh without much reason. The golf tournament is also an exaggeration, having shots and plays that would be rarely, if ever made, let alone being made over and over again in a small golf shootout. It is this exaggeration that leaves the film unsatisfying. It is a disappointment considering the venerable Robert Redford (“”The Natural,”” “”A River Runs Through It””) is the director. Although beautiful cinematography and gorgeous golf scenes that mark Redford’s films are visible, the depth of the characters that define Redford’s work is not apparent. Although the film tries hard to relate its message of golf and that perfect swing with life, it tries too hard. The result is a film that is pleasant, but not fulfilling to the soul. ...

The Hiatus Calendar

Thursday Brian Moghadam/ Guardian Trance star BT along with ambient-pop group Hooverphonic will perform at 4th & B at 8 p.m. Buy tickets from Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497 for $15. A.J. Croce, the talented son of Jim Croce, will play at the Belly Up Tavern. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets cost $7. Buy them through Ticketmaster by calling (619) 220-8497. From Ashes Rise, Born Dead Icons, Blumdklaatt and Durga will perform at the Che Cafe just east of the UCSD Theatre District. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost only $5. Call (858) 534-2311 for more information. Friday Next to Sonic Youth or Fugazi, Unwound is the next most influential post-punk bands in the mid ’90s. Check them out at the Che Cafe at 8 p.m. Tickets are $6. Call (858) 534-2311 for more information. Saturday Bad Religion will perform at the Cox Arena. The show starts at 8 p.m. For ticket information call (619) 220-TIXS. Sunday MTV comes to RIMAC for its MTV Campus Invasion Tour with Wyclef Jean headlining the show. Tickets will cost $23.50 with a valid student ID. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Head to the Box Office in the Price Center to buy tickets. Monday The Joe Marillo Jazz Quartet will jazz it up at the Lyceum Theatre (San Diego Reperatory Theatre) with classic Sinatra tunes. The show starts at noon. The concert is free and parking is validated. Following their most eclectic album to date, “”Things Fall Apart,”” The Roots come to the Belly Up Tavern at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $35. Call Ticketmaster for tickets at (619) 220-8497. Tuesday The Dandy Warhols will perform at Canes Bar & Grill with their lush layers of distorted guitars and British-esque sound homegrown on our side of the Atlantic. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $10 through Ticketmaster. Call (619) 220-8497 for more information. Wednesday Jurassic 5 kick off the first of two shows at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. Over the past six years J-5 has recaptured the positive vibe of hip-hop. Wednesday’s and Thursday’s shows start at 9 p.m. Call Ticketmaster at (619) 220-8497 for information. Thursday Reservations are recomended for Kevyn Lettau’s Brazilian jazz style at Dizzy’s. There will be a show at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. and tickets cost $12. Call (858) 270-7467 for more information. ...

Review: Albums

Crush Down Like This MCA Records C Sometimes an album cannot be analyzed too deeply because it will appear shallow and superficial. Such is the case for “”Like This,”” Crush Down’s debut album. Its heavy guitar riffs and solid vocals make the album just bearable, but one listen to the lyrics is enough to make the listener cringe. The title track is a well-crafted hard rock song, but its trivial meaning is made obvious with lines such as “”You leave me higher than a whore.”” Another song sounds like a young adult romance novel, as lead singer Justin Raymond sings, “”Pain, it’s a taker, when you’re breakin’ up and you know it’s over.”” It’s almost as if the band is anticipating the negative response to its album, as Raymond sings, “”I’m so transparent … and all the critics increase my dosage,”” in “”Patch.”” Raymond’s elastic voice resembles Stone Temple Pilots’ singer Scott Weiland’s on some tracks, but the quality of Crush Down’s music does not even come close to that of STP. This band does not have any trouble busting out energetic, distortion-filled tracks, but its lack of depth makes its music sound as hollow as bubblegum rock. — Brenda Xu Black Eyed Peas “”Bridging the Gap”” Interscope B+ All the great ones have a signature sound. The Black Eyed Peas return with a vengeance on their second album, “”Bridging the Gap,”” blazing out their unique mix of hip hop, trip hop, drum ‘n’ bass and jungle. BEP’s sophomore project flows with a stronger club beat, promoted by contributions by Gang Starr’s DJ Premier and Wyclef Jean. But, apl.de.ap and will.i.am from BEP have been the dominant forces behind the rest of the album’s boards. Funky breaks and old-school samples from party favorites line each track with a dance groove missing from their debut album, “”Bridging the Front.”” Their first commercial release, “”Weekend,”” evidences this dance push by capturing Debbie Deb’s ’80s smash “”Lookout Weekend.”” “”On this album,”” will.i.am said, “”we intended the songs to be played in clubs because we club motherfuckers. We wanted that umph. When we toured our last time, a lot of our songs we played on tour didn’t register live. The recorded version is different. On this album, every single song that’s on it, when we play it, it’s like the way it transforms on stage is energetic enough to play it live.”” BEP takes the hybridization of hip-hop to another level, blending in classical Spanish guitar licks with an all-star guest lineup, ranging from Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na to pop/R&B sensation Macy Gray. “”Bridging the Gap”” rings true to its name by showcasing BEP’s on-stage presence and flare, which seemed to have been missing from their debut. Look for this album to shoot mainstream hip-hop away from “”trailer trash”” rap back to its soulful, urban roots. — David Lee Limp Bizkit Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water Interscope B+ Riding on an endless wave of rock/rap acts, Limp Bizkit is the best at keeping judges pleased with their raw intensity and blend of eclectic hip-hop. After two albums with this same formula, the band’s newest “”Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water”” tastes like everything they’ve cooked for us before. This record slices with a sonic chainsaw that encourages heavy-knuckle moshing. Wes Borland’s usual, bloody seven-string power chords adorn most of the tracks, and the trippy soundscaping of DJ Lethal form the driving beats, reminding you who you’re listening to. Basically, if you didn’t like Limp Bizkit before, you’re not going to like them now. Head-banging tracks like “”My Generation”” force their way through listeners’ heads like a deafening tornado, while songs like the syrupy “”My Way”” helps even out the latter part of the album with its steady rhythmic bumps and Fred Durst’s well-balanced rhymes. Fans will rave about the band’s somewhat offensive third outing, and once again, Limp Bizkit proves that they can still belt out hits that snarl like an untamed beast. Woodstock ’01, anyone? — Randy Lie U2 “”Bridging the Gap”” Interscope A Behind Radiohead’s “”Kid A,”” the second most anticipated album of the year has to be from those four Irish lads collectively known as U2. Their most recent release, titled “”All That You Can’t Leave Behind,”” is a beautiful collection of songs that blend the classic “”Rattle & Hum”” of U2 and the technology of “”Pop.”” Since their first release, “”Boy,”” U2 have come a long way. Twenty-two years and over 100 million albums later, U2 remain one of the most enduring bands of our time. Even more remarkable is that no one has ever left U2 and no new member has ever joined. Guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton, drummer Larry Mullen and the illustrious Bono have stayed together to release over 10 albums. After successful albums such as “”October”” and “”War,”” U2 announced in 1984 that they would be working with producer and experimentalist Brian Eno and his protege Daniel Lanois for their fourth studio album. The result was “”The Unforgettable Fire,”” which gave the world the characteristic U2 anthems and included “”Pride (In The Name of Love).”” U2 soon followed with a string of unforgettable albums like, “”The Joshua Tree,”” “”Rattle & Hum,”” “”Achtung Baby”” and “”Zooropa.”” Their political consciousness and the fire of their epic live performances propelled them into greatness. U2’s ability to blend hummable melodies, striking lyrics and the soaring voice of Bono enabled them to push past basic pop music. It was nearly four years after “”Zooropa”” and their groundbreaking Zoo TV tour that U2 released another album. Though “”Pop”” topped the charts, the music critics questioned whether U2 were pushing the envelope a bit too much with their electronica-tinged album. “”All That You Can’t Leave Behind”” seems to bring together all of the qualities that made U2 what they are today. Thoughtful lyrics, cinematic arrangements and the unmistakable U2 riffs from The Edge are coupled with the smooth electronic beats and keyboards. U2’s first single and the first track off of their new album, “”Beautiful Day”” sets the tone for the rest of the recording with sleek electronic beats and a melody that could’ve been straight from any classic U2 album. Though U2 seems to be pulling old tricks out their hat, one must not mistake U2’s new album as a way to achieve quick commercial success. “”All That You Can’t …”” is merely one of the stops in the evolution of U2. “”Stuck In a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”” is a track that could turn out to be one of U2’s best songs. “”Stuck In a Moment …”” offers a powerful chorus that you think is familiar but it is distinctively U2. Songs like “”Kite”” and “”Wild Honey”” blend the slightly ambiguous lyrics of “”Pop”” yet they still retain the heart-tugging beauty of their early work. “”Peace on Earth”” brings back the socially conscious lyrics that led U2 to headline Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope Tour in 1986 and play a concert in the fragile political setting of Sarajevo. U2 has come full circle with “”All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”” The band returns to a more simplistic sound that gives a glimpse of the classic hits of the past but the sound is filled out with modern day technology and the constantly evolving brilliance of U2. This album takes everything U2 has been doing right these past two decades and places it into 50 minutes of sonic brilliance. “”All That You Can’t Leave Behind”” can emerge as one of the best U2 albums of all time. Crowbar Equilibrium Spitfire Records B+ The latest release from long-standing metal act Crowbar, titled “”Equilibrium,”” returns to the New Orleans sound they started with. It is a sludgy Southern metal that helped form the sound of groups like Corrosion of Conformity and Eyehategod. Crowbar proves that they still have the might and whiskey-driven power they brought to the forefront of the not-so-underground scene. The music is dark and moving, staying mostly at the slower tempos they love, but occasionally picking up the pace for a riff or two. At one point they totally change gears and delve into a gothic piano and rain track that is simple and beautiful. Using only clean vocals, Crowbar is far from sludge-core, and may not please those out for speed and distortion. Yet for any who enjoy good, heavy music, this is a safe bet. — Rinaldo Dorman ...