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Entertainment

Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)

An Evening With Rock Legend Jerry Lee Lewis

jerry-lee-lewisImagine this: it's 1957 and Rock n' Roll music is forming, growing more popular in the teen generation by the day. The music is fast, it's loud, and it's nothing anyone has seen before. The baby boomer post-World War II kids are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, breaking away from previous social norms. Parents are furious.

Word gets around about a young kid in his twenties from Louisiana recording at Sun Records, where Elvis got his start. Word also says he's a lunatic. Flipping his curly hair, he pounds on the piano keys with a chaotic proficiency that only a genius could produce. He sings about "shakin'" and "wigglin' around" with a Southern twang that can shout over his piano or fall loosely from his mouth like thick molasses.

"He's the white Little Richard," you say to your friend as both of you jump around your bedroom to the sounds coming out from the record player in the corner. Sweating, gasping for breath, you realize music has never made you feel this way before—so alive, so in the now. A new star is born, and his name is Jerry Lee Lewis.

57 years later, celebrating his 80th birthday on tour, Lewis took to B.B. King's night club in NY's perpetually bustling Times Square last Thursday. And not even sitting in the night-before-Halloween New York City traffic could take away from what this night gave to me.

Arriving at B.B. King's venue at 7 pm, an hour before the show began, all the seats in the house were taken. My father and I ended up standing at the bar where there was plenty of room to hang around. However, by the time Lewis came on at 9 pm we were packed in like sardines, fighting for position to get a clear view of the stage.

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Blue Hawk Records Soars Higher

blue-hawk-imageStudents of Blue Hawk Records (BHR) changed the selection process in preparation for their fourth compilation EP for the fall semester, allowing a mixture of artists on the record. Members of Blue Hawk Records Applied Industry III class held open auditions on Wednesday, Sept. 24.

"This year, we changed the process entirely by having open auditions to not only the rest of the department outside the class, but to the entire University as well. Musicians or artists could email BHR to reserve their audition slot to come perform their song in front of a panel of judges," said Mike Burke, president of BHR. The songs performed during auditions were judged based on completeness of composition and overall musical appeal. For predominately electronic pieces, there was an opportunity to submit audio files rather than performing.

Open auditions enabled the student organization to grow not only in size, but also in musical talent and variety. "The Blue Hawk CD is not at all exclusive to BHR members. Looking at it from a business standpoint, that would be dramatically limiting our talent pool and our audience," Burke said. He pointed out that interest in the auditions was strong, giving members of BHR a challenging decision to make.

"It was a tough decision for the judges, but they eventually managed to come to a consensus," said Dave DePaola, head of BHR public relations. Among the judges were Burke, Professor Joe Rapolla and Professor George Wurzbach of the music department. The remaining judges were students currently active in BHR.

The album for this semester will feature Ice House Gallery, Joey Affatato, JKC, Joe Sullivan and Dan Robinson, and Jessica Leigh. Among the artists chosen, Sullivan and Robinson were new to the department. Robinson noted, "At first we were intimidated by the theater and people around us, but it turned into excitement when we started playing. Overall, it boosted our confidence and it was a great experience."

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The Flawed Arguments of the “Gamergate” Controversy

Grand_Theft_Auto_VOne of the main reasons many people in the gaming community have heard about 'Gamergate' (something that is neither representative of gamers, nor comparable to Watergate in any real way) is because Anita Sarkeesian, a self-described "feminist media-critic/blogger" has seized upon the conflict (if one can even call it that) to draw attention to her own personal agenda. Sarkeesian believes that the portrayal of women in video games is sexist, and has used the issue of 'Gamergate' to help her criticism gain traction. According to MSNBC's The Reid Report, 'Gamergate' is "an online battle of the sexes over how gamers are portrayed, and the sometimes violent reaction to women who speak out." As far as I can see, this is what some in the media would like it to be, but not what it is. This entire controversy feels manufactured.

That's not to say that there isn't a controversy right now. There is, but it wasn't built off of sexism in video games (there was a domestic spat in the life of a game developer which received media attention, and it has since devolved into 'Gamergate'). There has, unfortunately, been much toxicity towards Sarkeesian, even death threats. When she was scheduled to speak at Utah State University, someone threatened to carry out a school shooting were she allowed to speak. Honestly, I feel there's very little to say on this area, as most reasonable people would agree that offensive language and death threats are bad.

I have an issue with Sarkeesian and others who are framing this controversy as being representative of gaming (and gamers) as a whole. First of all, the sexist portrayal of women is not constrained to video games. Some of you have probably seen a story about 'Gamergate' on the news. If you stick around until the commercials, you'll likely see sexist portrayals of both men and women just as bad as what's featured in games (and it's much more difficult to argue that there's a narrative basis in an ad).

Grand Theft Auto V was cited by Sarkeesian as one of the franchises portraying women in a sexist light, and she's absolutely right. However, she neglects to mention that the game itself is a satire, and as such is meant to show humanity at its worst. Throughout the Grand Theft Auto series as a whole, players will see and partake in such deviant behaviors as theft, murder, arson, torture, rape, and cannibalism. In some cases players are meant to enjoy the deviant behavior, and in others they are meant to be disturbed by it.

Many of the worst aspects of Grand Theft Auto can be seen in The Sopranos, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones to name a few examples. I'm not saying that what Grand Theft Auto does is right—I'm conflicted about this particular series myself. My goal is to fully inform the public of the flaws in Sarkeesian's reasoning behind the sexist portrayal of women in video games.

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Fright Fest Brings Thrills & Chills To Six Flags

fright-festIt's that time of year again! The air is crisp, the leaves are changing colors, Pumpkin Spice coffee is back at Dunkin Donuts and everyone is breaking out the sweatshirts. This could only mean one thing: it's finally fall!

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the weather, the apple cider, and the hayrides, but most of all, I love going to Fright Fest at Six Flags in Jackson, NJ. Fright Fest is back for its 23rd year with its famous slogan, "Thrills by day, fright by night!"

Six Flags is currently decorated with spider webs, haystacks and pumpkins, and the famous fountain is now colored red. You are safe to walk throughout the park until 6 pm, which is when "awakening" occurs.

Before awakening, there are tons of activities to do that many people overlook (though they are mainly aimed for kids). There is the Six Flags Spooktacular Street Party, which features the Looney Tunes characters and some of your favorite Halloween music. There are also shows such as the Spooky Kooky Magic Show, Sea Lion Scary Tales, and You Otter Know. Kids can even go trick-or-treating on the Trick-Or-Treat Trail.

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U2 Releases New Album

Whether You Want It Or Not


U2main_1146547aWhen students checked Twitter a few days ago, most thought the tweets regarding the Irish band U2's new album, "Songs of Innocence," were a joke. How could every single iPhone have inexplicably downloaded the same CD? Through the mysterious qualities of the iCloud, this bizarre situation really happened — and not everyone is happy with Apple's gift.

On Sept. 9, Apple used the power of the iCloud to download the album to every device. Bono, lead singer of the band, admitted that he and the band are "on the verge of irrelevance." While he probably assumed this free release would lead to a positive response, what occurred was a tremendous amount of negative backlash.

The fact that Apple holds the power to download anything it wants to its users' computers, phones, and tablets is a big concern. Apple's website proudly stated: "Apple and U2 are giving the new album 'Songs of Innocence' to over 500 million iTunes customers worldwide. Never before have so many people owned one album, let alone on the day of its release." Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, boasted that this move was "music history," and "the biggest release of all time."

This free download was in the wake of the recent celebrity nude photo scandal, where a hacker stole over a hundred private photos — apparently using the iCloud. After receiving such negative attention, it is strange that they are once again forcing their power on the people. While Apple provided a tool for users to remove the album, there is no telling what Apple will do next with its new power over technology. Samantha Marella, a sophomore business marketing major, contended, "The iCloud is just a part of modern technology. People ned to be more careful and roll with it — or get a flip phone."

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“The Mindy Project” Returns to FOX

the-mindy-project-20333-1366x768September 15 came around, and that meant that it was finally time to see America's favorite doctors back on TV. These are the doctors of "The Mindy Project," who seem to barely speak about medical needs at all, but more about what happens when their strangely entangled lives get even more complicated.

This episode starts off just the way it should, with Mindy (played by the show's writer, Mindy Kaling) and Danny Castellano (played by Chris Messina), finally being a couple. Anyone who watched more than one episode of the previous seasons knows that the show was always leading up to Danny and Mindy getting together.

One would not expect Mindy, the loud, pop-culture obsessed, slightly independent woman, and Danny, who is usually an angry divorcee, to have the chemistry they do — but the writers and actors have done a good job at finding things for the two to bond upon. Mindy and Danny should in no way get along (as shown in the first two seasons), but are now in a committed relationship.

This episode had Mindy and Danny's first fight as an official couple, and in proper "Mindy Project" fashion, it was an unusual disagreement. It began with Mindy finding a thong in one of Danny's drawers, believing it was for another woman. Later in the episode, Mindy and viewers discover that Danny had previously become a stripper to pay for med school.

While I am a fan of "The Mindy Project," this plot just reminds me of a Season 1 storyline from "Grey's Anatomy," in which Izzy (Katherine Heigl) becomes a lingerie model to pay her way through med school.

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‘River Read Reading Series’ Hosts Established Poets and Aspiring Writers

MemmerThe Manhattan Bagel in Red Bank, NJ, served as the host of this month's River Read Reading Series, coordinated by Linda Jade and Gregg Brown, on Saturday, Sept. 20. This community-focused event brings celebrated poets into a close setting with a few dozen eager listeners, letting them autograph their works for paying fans, and ends with an open mic for aspiring writers to share their own work.

Dr. Michael Waters, Professor of English, was in attendance, as was former University professor Lauren Schmidt, among a few University students. This installment featured Philip Memmer and Gerry LaFemina.

Memmer is the author of four books of poems, including "The Storehouses of the Snow: Psalms, Parables and Dreams" (2012) and "Lucifer: A Hagiography" (2008). His poems have appeared in journals such as "Poetry," "Poetry Northwest," and "Poetry London." He lives in upstate NY, where he directs the YMCA's Downtown Writers Center, and also serves as Associate Editor for Tiger Bark Press.

LaFemina is the award-winning author of 11 books of poetry and prose poetry, as well as a collection of short stories and a novel. His latest collection of poems, "Little Heretic," came out earlier this year, and recent poems have appeared in such magazines as the American Poetry Review and The Sun. He serves as Executive Director of Poets at Work, and directs the Center for Creative Writing at Frostburg State University, where he is an Associate Professor of English.

The event opened with Jade taking the microphone, briefly welcoming the audience and thanking its members for their attendance on "this fluky summer day." She then introduced Memmer, who spoke first, by noting that his poem "Psalm" was "so simply profound that it reminded me of the 'Cosmos' series. I had chills going down my spine."

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“This Is Where I Leave You” Hits Theaters

fmp-this-is-where-i-leave-youWe all have that one memory of our family that just stands out among the rest. For the Altman's, it was the time their Dad died, and they were forced to sit Shiva, even though they aren't Jewish. "This is Where I Leave You" was overflowing with gifted performers, perfectly sculpted scenes, and beautifully written dialogue. Oh, and Tina Fey swears a lot!

"This is Where I Leave You" is the gathering of a family in support after their father's death. The film focuses on the four Altman children and their significant others coping with not only the loss of their father, but in some cases, the imploding of their love lives. One person is dealing with infertility issues, another is dealing with her ass of a husband, one is fighting off adulthood like it's a disease, and the other is having a baby with the woman he hates most. Are you sold yet?

Each performer could carry this film on his or her own — that's how impeccable they all are. They each crafted and perfected their roles so distinctly. Even the smaller roles gave phenomenal performances.

My personal favorite was "Parks and Recreation's" Ben Schwartz, who played Rabi Charles Grodner (better known as "Boner"). Adam Driver served as the film's resident Peter Pan, making inappropriate jokes, acting out, and toying with Tracy's (Connie Britton) emotions. This was one of the first serious roles comedy queen Tina Fey has taken on, and she shined as the cynical daughter, Wendy.

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Welcome to Shondaland

Shonda Rhimes Launches Bold Thursday Night Lineup


scandal"Thank God it's Thursday!" shouted one of the marketing executives at ABC, or so I'm assuming. When ABC announced their new Thursday night lineup would feature not one, not two, but THREE Shonda Rhimes shows, it's safe to say fans were beyond thrilled.

Rhimes is a force that can't be stopped, a hit-making machine that has officially taken over an entire primetime lineup. The three-time Emmy nominee started her work with ABC in 2005 with medical drama, "Grey's Anatomy." Fans instantly swooped in on this mid-season pickup and made it the powerhouse it is.

Now going into its 11th season, stakes are high for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), as they set to work out their living situation and whether or not they will move to D.C. so Derek can work at the White House. (Possible Scandal crossover? We hope so!) Geena Davis has been confirmed as a guest star this season, and though there are no details on her character just yet, she apparently works with Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) a lot, and plays a pivotal role in their relationship.

how-to-get-away

Another bomb that was dropped in the season finale was the discovery of Meredith's half-sister, Dr. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary). It was revealed in the last few moments of the Season 10 finale and came as a shock to viewers. How Dr. Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and Meredith deal with the news that they are related to her will be riveting to watch this fall. Fingers crossed for another Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) flashback!

Jake (Scott Foley), where did you take Olivia (Kerry Washington)? Is Olivia even with you? If she's not, can I go with you? These are the questions I and I'm sure about two million other people asked themselves as they watched the teaser for the new season of the smart and contagious political drama, "Scandal."

We left off Season Three with President Fitz's (Tony Goldwyn) son, Jerry (Dylan Minnette), being poisoned and passing away. We also left off with Harrison's (Columbus Short) life being in danger. Rhimes and other members of the cast and crew have hinted that Harrison will not be making it out alive, and Short will no longer be appearing in episodes.

But the big question is, where is Olivia Pope? The teaser featured the fashionable fixer lying on a beach with a wine glass in hand. That question and so many more will be answered in the premiere.

Another question us Scandal fans are all hoping is answered: what is going on with Olivia's parents? Is her father (Joe Morton) bad? Is her mother (Khandi Alexander) the one to blame for everything? I can't keep track anymore. I need some answers!

Suspense, murder, law, and Viola Davis: just a few reasons you MUST watch Rhimes' newest creation, "How to Get Away with Murder." This most recent addition to the Thursday lineup focuses on Annalise Keating, a professor at a prestigious law school, teaching a class aptly titled, How to Get Away with Murder.

Professor Keating has this sense of mystery about her, almost as if you want to believe she lives a normal life, but at the same time you know that's impossible. She is clever and quick, and could take you out like a gust of wind.

The pilot introduces her savagely-hungry and determined law students, and shows us how they will do just about anything to get what they want. However, the pilot doesn't just introduce you to this world of lies and secrets - it catapults you into this intriguing and addictive place that you'll never want to leave.

There's no doubt that ABC's Thursday ratings are going to dominate all other networks this season. With Rhimes behind these three shows, there is no telling what will be in store for us.

One thing is for sure: we need to prepare ourselves for one of the most diverse, brilliant, riveting, and entertaining seasons of television we've ever seen. All three shows premiere on September 25th, starting with "Grey's Anatomy" at 8 pm, followed by "Scandal," and then ending with "How to Get Away with Murder."

PHOTO TAKEN from theberkeleygraduate.com

PHOTO TAKEN from adweek.com

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Rock ♪ Madison Square Garden ♫

tompettyandtheheartbreakers-34On tour promoting their newest album, "Hypnotic Eye," Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers took to Madison Square Garden on Sept. 10 for a one night stand in New York, at what Petty described as one of the greatest rock venues in the world.

As I was walking through the streets of Manhattan en route to the show, the city seemed to have an eerie feel about it, almost as if a dark cloud were looming atop the outstretched buildings watching those below. This being the night before the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the atmosphere of the city was dull and lugubrious. One could feel the tension in the city rising as the fear that comes with this yearly reminder of tragedy settled in.

Walking into The Garden, the sense of uneasiness was heightened by the process of the workers bag-checking and frisking every person that entered the building. Never having been to a concert there before, I couldn't help but wonder if this was a regular Madison Square Garden safety precaution, or an extra security measure because of the date. Either way, I'm sure everyone there felt safer, more comfortable, and ready to rock.

After voyaging up five sets of escalators and stopping for an over-priced basket of chicken fingers, I was finally making my way up the rows to my seat.

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Blue Hawk Records to Hold Open Auditions

Will Be Held at Woods Theater on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m.


bhrStudent-run record label, Blue Hawk Records, is holding its first open auditions for all Monmouth students; students can audition for its newest compilation record in Woods Theater on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Organized by Professor Joe Rapolla and Monmouth's Music Industry students in 2013, Blue Hawk Records was designed to give participants a first-hand look at what it takes to write, produce, and distribute original music. This unique experience allows education to transcend the classroom, and provides students with the opportunity to better understand the industry they hope to be a part of in the future.

Blue Hawk Records acknowledges the various career paths that can stem from a love of music, and thus encourages students to pursue the area that interests them most; these areas include talent scouting, artist promotion and development, live music and record release, as well as artwork, packaging, sales, and marketing material.

In putting together three previous diverse compilations from scratch, Music Industry students have gained invaluable insight and expertise useful for a future profession. This semester, Blue Hawk Records will extend this experience to any Monmouth student willing to audition for the label's fourth EP next week in Woods Theater. Acts will be judged by a panel of senior student record executives and Professor Rapolla. Chosen artists will be offered a spot on the compilation album, and any students not selected will be offered other ways to become involved with the campus music scene, like playing shows through Blue Hawk Records' sister organization, the Music Alliance.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu