Last updateThu, 14 Mar 2019 12pm


What’s Poppin’ With K-Pop?

Popping KPopIf you drove by Citi Field in Queens, New York last Friday, you probably haven’t seen so many tents since last year’s abysmal Fyre Fest.

About 300 fans camped out ahead of a concert for BTS that was held last Saturday night, so they could get the closest possible spot to their favorite band.

BTS, which stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan, or Bulletproof Boy Scouts, is a Korean pop boy band that consists of seven members.

Their latest album, Love Yourself: Tear, released last May, reached Number One on Billboard’s 200 Chart.

They’re currently on the North American leg of their international Love Yourself Tour, which started in Los Angeles on Sept. 4 and concluded last Saturday night at Citi Field.

Everywhere the band travels, thousands of adoring fans follow.

But how did BTS and K-pop become so popular in a country where Korean isn’t the dominant language?

It turns out, K-pop has been permeating the U.S. for a while.

The first K-pop convention, known as KCON, took place in October of 2012 at Atlanta, Georgia’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.

KCON supports the world of Hallyu, which directly translates to the “Korean Wave.”

At KCON, Korean culture is demonstrated through music, panels for food, TV shows, makeup and other popular workshops.

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Dust Off the Cable Box: The Resurrection of Classic TV Shows

Cable Box Classic TV ShowsRemember those days of staying up late at night in elementary school past 10 to catch an old episode of Full House on Nick at Nite?

Yes, it was daring to see Danny Tanner on the screen at such a late hour, but it was so worth it; especially when he butted heads with Uncle Jesse.

We see Uncle Jesse in those steamy Greek  yogurt commercials, but now when you browse through Netflix, the character appears next to a reboot of the show we all loved: Fuller House.

Recently, many shows from decades ago have had reboots on TV and Netflix for the main reason of intellectual property.

Is there a serious case of writer’s block sweeping throughout the country?

Is there a panic spreading throughout Hollywood?

What could be the reasoning behind all of these TV rejuvenations?

Associate professor of communication, Chad Dell, Ph.D., shared his thoughts on the trend with, “I have mixed feelings. As someone who is a boomer and watched those shows, it’s interesting to see them but on the other hand, I’d much rather see new stories about new characters.”

Dell continued,“What they’re doing is taking characters with a track and sales record and trying to sell them to us again which I find disappointing.”

Variety reported that multiple shows from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s are making their returns.

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Lil Wayne’s Triumphant Transformation

default article imageThere’s no greater trademark in rap music than Lil Wayne’s lighter flick, and I’m happy to report that he’s back.

Wayne’s twelfth album, Tha Carter V, finally dropped on Sept. 28.

This was Weezy’s first album in five years, and it might be his most ambitious project yet in terms of emotional connection, musical experimentation, and featured collaborators, which include Snoop Dogg, Ashanti, Kendrick Lamar, and much more.

The album was supposed to be released in 2014, but tensions between Wayne and his surrogate father-figure and mentor, Birdman, caused the album to be pushed back several times.

What ensued was a lengthy battle of lawsuits and even violence between Birdman’s Cash Money Records and Wayne’s Young Money Records.

One incident involved a shooting at Wayne’s tour bus in 2015.

At one point, Wayne sued Birdman for a $51 million breach of contract lawsuit and threatened to take his Young Money signees with him, most notably Nicki Minaj and Drake. 

Wayne and Birdman settled the lawsuit back in July for “an undisclosed dollar amount.”

After all the disputes and lawsuits, we’ve finally made it to the Tha Carter V.

The first song, “I Love You Dwayne,” is a recorded phone call from his mother.

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Writer Odie Lindsey Visits Monmouth

Writer Odie LindseyWriter and military veteran Odie Lindsey read pieces from his most recent story collection, We Come to Our Senses, in front of a crowd of students, faculty, alumni and community members at Pollak Theatre as part of the school’s Visiting Writers Series last Wednesday, Oct. 4.

Lindsey is currently a professor of practice at the Center For Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University.

The stories and pieces of polemic prose Lindsey shared with those in attendance included a selection from We Come to Our Senses titled “Colleen,” in which he offers a unique and daring, yet fresh war story on a female war veteran back at home, rather than the typical war story trope of a male serviceman in battle.

Like a modern William Faulkner, who was unafraid of sticking his fingers in particular wounds in American culture, Lindsey’s message and presence in Pollak Theatre focused on an in-depth discussion of what qualifies a story as a “war story.”

Some of the concepts include intersectionality among individuals, along with a necessary insight into how people audit the truth in order to trick others and, more often than anyone, themselves.

In an informal Q&A in Rechnitz Hall, Lindsey gave advice to inspiring writers.

The author said, “just sit down and try for 3 to 4 hours. And if you only write one word, or not any words at all, you’re still involved in that process. Which you have to love.”

But besides “Colleen,” We Come to Our Senses is filled with unique kinds of war stories focusing on the soldiers, military veterans, and heroes of all genders, race, and cultures whose stories don’t get the value or attention they deserve for the priceless sacrifice they make.

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A Star Is Born Hits: All the Right Notes

A Star Is BornWe have all experienced that one concert.

It awakens your spirit and makes you want to run away and escape the pressures of societal norms.

It makes the night feel everlasting and the impending morning schedule nonexistent.

Now imagine the lead vocalist of this scenario.

In the case of A Star is Born, that soul-awakening entity is none other than Jackson, played by Bradley Cooper.

I know, it surprised me too.

A Star is Born follows the exhilerating rollercoaster of fame and love.

Jackson is a hard-headed guitarist wrapped up in the world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

On the other hand, Ally, played by Lady Gaga, is a determined waitress that spends her evenings belting out french ballads in a nightclub alongside spunky drag queens.

After a wild show, Jackson stumbles into his limousine and spots a bar.

Jackson’s interest is peaked immediately as he enters the eccentric scene, meeting a friend of Ally’s.

Shortly after, Ally steps onto the stage, clad in risqué garments, and drawn on eyebrows, performing the French ballad “La Vie en Rose.”

Jackson is instantly intrigued, and the moment they lock eyes, both know their lives will change forever.

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Last Man Standing Stands Tall in its Season Premiere

Last Man StandingTim Allen’s hit TV show Last Man Standing premiered on FOX Friday night, Sept. 28, after its cancelation from ABC last May.

On its seventh season, Last Man Standing follows the life of Mike Baxter, played by Tim Allen, and his family.

Mike is the marketing director at the outdoor sporting goods store Outdoor Man, and is married to his wife, Vanessa, played by Nancy Travis.

The couple has three daughters, Kristin, Mandy, and Eve.

Mike is known for his conservative views, which leads to disagreements with his wife, and two of his daughters.

Eve is the youngest and most like Mike because she’s athletic, in the air force, and shares his conservative beliefs.

The family has differing views on several topics and issues, which makes for humorous banter.

Last Man Standing had been on ABC for six years, airing from its premiere, Oct. 11, 2011, to May 2017.

On May 10, however, ABC announced the cancellation of the sitcom, following comments made by Allen on an appearance he made on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

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The World is Yours at Monmouth is World Cinema Series

The World Is Yours 1The World Cinema Series, a passion project of history professor Thomas Pearson, Ph.D., celebrates its fifth year at the University this semester.

The theme of this year’s films is “Thirty Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989-2019): Hopes Abandoned,” and seeks to invoke discussion about the influence of democracy, or lack thereof, on international events.

Pearson began featuring films in 2008 with the start of his Provost Series, which continued until he stepped down from the position in 2014.

Since its genesis, the series has undergone an immense growth. Pearson commented that he now has about 15 board members who work to determine the theme, pick films, and ensure that each event runs smoothly.

Each year, the movies center on a certain theme that encourages discussion about worldly topics.

After each movie, Pearson brings in a commentator who will lead discussion and answer questions about the film.

Pearson believes that this aspect is the most valuable of the series. “You get caught up in the story, but the film is actually chosen to focus on a particular theme, and intended to get the audience to think and ask questions,” he said.

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The Lifespan of a Fact in in Fact Worth Checking Out

Lifespan Fact 1Taking place in the iconic space of Studio 54, The Lifespan of a Fact is a new play, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones, and Bobby Cannavale.

If Radcliffe’s name looks familiar, it’s because he also played the little-known role of Harry Potter.

Radcliffe is not a stranger to the stage; he has been in several New York and London productions.

I have previously seen him in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, as well as the play The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Both performances were triumphant, and this play is no exception from Radcliffe’s superb acting skills.

In The Lifespan of a Fact, Radcliffe plays Jim, a young Harvard graduate who is now a fact-checker for a magazine.

The play opens with a meeting with his editor, Emily, played by Jones, in which she asks him to look for any inaccuracies in an essay before it is published.

Emily warns him that the essay is by a popular author and the job is not a small undertaking.

This play is based on the true story of John D’Agata’s, played by Cannavale, essay “What Happens There,” about the Las Vegas suicide of teenager Levi Presley.

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Sea.Hear.Now Festival Rocks Asbury Park

Sea Hear Now FestivalAsbury Park’s First Annual Sea.Hear.Now Festival packed in 20,000 fans. It was a wonderful display of music, art, and Jersey Shore culture that took place last weekend on Sept. 29 and 30.

The festival was made up of three stages: Surf Stage on the north beach, Sand Stage on the south beach by Convention Hall, and Park Stage in Bradley Park.

The Battery Electric kicked things off on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.., followed by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at 1:30 p.m.

The headliners on Saturday were Blondie, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, and Incubus, who played on the Surf Stage.

On the other hand, The English Beat, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, and Brandi Carlile were on the Sand Stage. Finally, on the Park Stage, Deer Tick and Highly Suspect played for thousands of fans.

On Sunday night, the headliners were Jack Johnson, Social Distortion, and Twin Peaks.

When Social Distortion closed their act for the night, Bruce Springsteen made a surprise guest appearance and joined along, playing three songs – one of which being Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” (if only he played “I’m on Fire.”)

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Lights! Camera! Previews?

Why do Movie Previews Take so Long?

Movie PreviewsIt’s a blessing and a curse to live five minutes away from an AMC Theater.

I love being so close to my “place of worship,” filled with scuffed red seats and a new Dolby Theater that employees don’t know how to use.

However, each time I go it costs me a nice $6.25 at matinee per visit.

When I go to the theater, I always show up 20 minutes late.

For example, if Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! starts at 8 PM, I’ll arrive at 8:20.

I know what you’re thinking: “Oh god, Mark! You’re going to miss the movie! And if you miss it, how will you review it for all of us? I always check out one of your reviews before I go out to the theater!”

I appreciate the concern, but I’m not actually late for the showing.

When my butt’s in the chair, the movie is ready to roll because I show up after the previews play.

At major theater chains like AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Bow Tie, the length of trailers prior to the featured presentation seem to be getting longer.

Even when I roll up at the movies as late as I do, the coming attractions are still playing for another five minutes.

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The New Led Zeppelin: Greta Van Fleet

Led ZeppelinA young band from Michigan is quickly ascending to fame for their familiar sound.

Referred to as “the new Led Zeppelin,” Greta Van Fleet has been a very hot commodity in rock music.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A bunch of kids? Compared to Zeppelin? One of the biggest and most influential bands of all time? That’s blasphemy!”

I thought the same way when I first caught wind of them last spring.

I found a video on YouTube for their tune “Highway Song,” which has succinct Jimmy Page-style guitar riffs and tone, along with an allusion to Robert Plant’s howls in “Immigrant Song.”

The next thing I knew, I was trying to buy tickets for their Starland Ballroom show in May (it sold out immediately.)

The band is comprised of three brothers, Jake, Josh, and Sam Kiszka, and their friend Danny Wagner.

They are only 19 to 22 years old and selling out clubs, performing at festivals, and have already one EP, From the Fires, at number 1 on the Billboard Rock Charts.

Jake plays guitar, Sam plays keyboards and bass, Danny sounds like John Bonham on the drums, and Josh belts out Plant-esque high notes with ease.

The band dropped two singles off their upcoming album Anthem of the Peaceful Army: “Watching Over” and “Lover, Leaver” on Sept. 21.

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Contact Information

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

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

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151