Last updateWed, 18 Sep 2019 12pm


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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Weezer Releases “California Snow”

default article imageWeezer released new music last Wednesday and, to the disappointment of many fans, it wasn’t their highly anticipated Black Album, which was promised to come out last May by lead singer Rivers Cuomo.

“California Snow” is the stand-alone single Weezer made for the upcoming film Spell.

The movie follows an American illustrator who roams around scenic Iceland after the death of his fiancée.

Weezer’s latest song goes in the direction of pop, but it doesn’t sound like a gimmick this time.

The band’s last album, 2017’s Pacific Daydream, had singles that strayed away from the band’s genuine sound of rock and nerdy lyrics.

Some songs that begged for radio play and had an EDM feel from Daydream included “Feels Like Summer,” “Happy Hour,” and “Beach Boys.”

In the case of “California Snow,” this is what the band should’ve aimed for if they wanted to delve into the world of pop.

The song kicks off with tantalizing synthesizers and an electric guitar chord progression that’ll suck you right in.

Then, the 48 year-old Cuomo raps clever lyrics before the bass drop with, “Walk soft with a big stick, woo/ When I play guitar it’s sick, woo/ This is the definition of flow, woo.”

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Leonard Cohen’s Last Book to Be Released

Leonard Choen“Hallelujah!” The famed poet and singer Leonard Cohen, who passed away in late 2016, left behind one last piece of his work for fans to enjoy.

Cohen’s final book, The Flame, will be released on Oct. 2.

The book will feature a collection of artwork, poems, lyrics, and writings that the artist crafted shortly before his death.

This collection of works is meant to give readers a look inside the mind of Cohen, who even at the age of 82, continued to progress as an artist with potent lyrics on a wide range of topics including love, longing, and politics.

Over the span of six decades, Cohen released 13 poetry books and 15 albums.

Although Cohen’s catalogue wasn’t extensive, each work of his was precious.

Every song and poem Cohen created felt like it had a prophetic meaning because the artist had a special, yet humorous touch.

“Everybody Knows” Cohen’s classic song “Hallelujah,” which has been covered over 300 times.

However, the poet’s songs aren’t for everyone.

Cohen’s singing style was unique, with a monotone voice that spoke such profound lyrics.

As the artist aged, his voice became even deeper, which made Cohen sound like a chilling ghost.

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Eminem Launches a Surpise Attack in“Kamikaze”

default article imageGrammy winning rapper Eminem released an unannounced album on Aug. 31, aptly named Kamikaze.

This surprise release follows 2017’s Revival, which was ridiculed harshly by critics, musicians, and fans.

The common attitude was that Slim Shady should retire from making music; that he is too old, hackneyed, or has nothing left to prove.

Eminem made a point to show his relevancy with Kamikaze, and spared no one.

“The Ringer” is the first track on the album and is a dense diatribe analyzing hip-hop today.

Within this song, Shady challenges prominent figures in music, Lil Pump, Lil Xan, Iggy Azalea, Machine Gun Kelly, and more to produce an articulate response to him.

The current state of hip-hop is being dominated by “mumble rap,” music that is performed by the new generation.

Some common themes in mumble rap include explicit drug abuse, sexism, and promiscuity. Mumble rappers such as Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, and Lil Uzi Vert murmur their lyrics at a rapid pace, which doesn’t impress Eminem.

Also in “The Ringer,” Shady addresses the downward spiral of rap, where he sends a wakeup call to the genre.

Eminem fires shots with, “I’m sorry, wait, what’s your talent?/ Oh, critiquin’ my talent…, To give a sub-par bar or even have an opinion or view” and “I heard you mumblin’s but it’s jumbled in mumbo-jumbo.”

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Remembering Arthur Mitchell: The Jackie Robinson of Dance Tur

Arthur MitchellPioneer dancer, choreographer, and director, Arthur Mitchell, passed away at age 84 due to complications leading to heart failure in a Manhattan hospital on Sept. 19.

Arthur Mitchell became the first black ballet dancer to attain international stardom, all thanks to a guidance counselor who saw him dance and encouraged him to audition at the High School for Performing Arts in New York City.

After trying out, Mitchell won a scholarship to attend and studied there.

In high school, Mitchell experienced racism when lesser qualified students were chosen for roles over him because of his race.

At just 18 years old, Mitchell was offered another scholarship to study ballet at the School of American Ballet.

The School served as the training ground for the New York City Ballet.

On his experience going into the ballet, the dancer once said he wanted, “to do in dance what Jackie Robinson did in baseball.”

Mitchell started big by performing in Broadway musicals as well as by performing with the companies of Donald McKayle and John Butler.

In 1955, he joined the NYC Ballet and quickly became a premier danseur, eventually spending 15 years with the company.

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Vincent DiMattio: Celebrating 50 years of Artistic Mastery

Vincent Dimattio 1While some planned for their future at the Involvement Fair last Friday, Sept. 14, artist and professor Vincent DiMattio reflected on the past 50 years that he has spent at the University with his new art gallery’s opening reception,

“Vincent DiMattio/50.” DiMattio’s work was on display at the DiMattio Art Gallery in Rechnitz Hall, Ice House Gallery, and the Pollak Gallery.

Friends and family came to the reception at the DiMattio Art Gallery to celebrate the achievements of DiMattio, who had played a large role in the lives they lived in and out of the University.

I wandered around the gallery to admire the art work of a professor who had so much passion for the job he has, educationally and artistically.

DiMattio has the touch of incorporating his own opinions and emotions through his art in a humorous way.

From the attitudes and remarks of his peers, DiMattio has quite the sense of humor, most of which is self- deprecating.

It’s worth checking out the Pollak Gallery, because some of his best collage work is there.

The University is not the only place where the artist has flourished; more of his artwork is accessible in Trenton and Newark Museums.

DiMattio is also widely recognized in places like Mexico, Spain, and Puerto Rico, where he had the opportunity to show his work.

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The Case for Carly Rae

Carly RaeWhen you mention her name, it reminds people of a dark place: middle school.

It was a time when braces, zits, Silly Bandz and PDA plagued the halls; but one hit song dominated the airwaves.

“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, or CRJ, was a sugary pop hit released in 2012 that left the country and middle schoolers divided.

Millions loved the hit for its catchy chorus, while others thought it was overplayed, like I did.

Fast forward to last year and I came across a suggested video on YouTube where music critic Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop gave his opinion on CRJ’s 2015 album Emotion.

With skepticism, I watched the review, but to my dismay, Fantano said he liked the album.

I took Fantano to his word and dropped a cool $7 on CRJ’s CD.

Little did I know, this may have been the best $7 I’ve ever spent.

When I played Emotion for the first time, I was struck by a blaring saxophone from its opening track, “Run Away with Me.”

From that moment on, I was strapped into the glorious seventeen track long album; but it was hard to do so with my hips gyrating uncontrollably.

On Emotion, CRJ takes the classic 80’s synth sound and improves upon it.

The artist doesn’t rip off the sound for commercial success; rather, she pays homage to it with a modern touch.

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“Searching” for a Thriller? Look No Further

Thriller Search 1Like many parents around the globe, my father is the worst with technology.

When he’s on a computer keyboard, he types words out letter by letter with a single index finger.

Before he got cataracts, my dad would wear three pairs of reading glasses just to see what keys he jabbed at.

Let’s just say his emails were unreadable at times.

Speaking of emails, he still doesn’t know what our family email address is; even though we’ve had the account for a decade.

The man should just get it tattooed on his arm instead of calling me daily about it!

I’m not sure how my dad would fair in David Kim’s position.

David Kim, played by John Cho, is a widowed father with a daughter, Margot.

After his 16-year-old daughter has gone missing for 36 hours, David contacts the local authorities to help find her.

While they conduct their own investigation, David attempts to find clues of her whereabouts by going through his daughter’s laptop.

The entire thriller is viewed through the technology we use daily like laptops and phones.

Director Aneesh Chaganty takes a risk with this style, but successfully makes Searching an exciting thriller with a modern twist.

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David Byrne: Turning Heads at Monmouth

David BryneDavid Byrne was “Burning Down the House” for a show on his American Utopia Tour at the OceanFirst Bank Center on Friday, Sept. 7.

The former Talking Heads frontman has been on tour since March to promote his first solo album in fourteen years, American Utopia.

It’s an album that can pick your brain apart, which Byrne presented to the crowd at the start of his show.

At 9:15 p.m., the arena was pitch dark as the spotlight casted on Byrne, who held a brain in his hand as he sat at a desk in the center of the stage. The artist was barefoot in a silver suit.

As Byrne sang the hypnotic closing track “Here” from his latest album, a set of white translucent curtains rose from the ground and climbed to the ceiling.

When the curtains reached the top, two figures in matching silver suits slowly emerged from the background to join Byrne in a chanting of his song.

Byrne could’ve been holding my brain, because my mind was lost in the artist’s spellbinding start.

After the introduction, the party began. For the next song, “Lazy,” Byrne stood center stage and nine bandmates were scattered around him.

Normally, when you attend a concert, the band will have their instruments prepared on the stage before they come out.

However, at Byrne’s show, his stage was an empty silver lot from the start.

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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