Mon11202017

Last updateFri, 17 Nov 2017 9pm

Entertainment

Political Commentary: Is It Effective?

Whether you know it or not, politics heavily affect your life regardless of your age, religion, or personal beliefs. It can be frustrating at times when decisions are made that affect your life that are out of your control, people have developed coping methods and ways to express their opinions to others; political satire is one of these methods. It breaks down the confusing policies and complications in government and makes it easier for citizens to understand, while making light of crazy situations through comedy.

Last Week Tonight is an example of one show that does exceptionally well in this area. In increments of 30 minute-long episodes, John Oliver discusses politics on his late n ight talk show, which has exploded since its premiere on April 27, 2014.

Last Week Tonight just returned on Feb. 12 with its fourth season, with much catching up to do. As most of us know, there has been an extremely high amount of discussion in the news lately covering the policies President Donald Trump plans to implement/remove, along with other complications in government. To help us understand the madness, Oliver broke down some of these highly important topics.

The show has a specific structure to it. First, it discusses a few minutes of important news topics, followed by a brief intermission of a compilation of comedic clips, which transfers to the main story of the night.

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An Interview with Zuzanna Szadkowski

Zuzanna Szadkowski is making her debut at Two River Theater in The Merry Wives of Windsor this month. The professionally trained theater and television actress talks about her love of acting, the experience of performing on stage and what is most endearing about Shakespeare.

Questions:

What do you love the most about being an actor?

I love that, as an actor, my job is to connect to an audience and to move people. We explore how life feels and tell stories. It’s sometimes simple, sometimes complicated, often impossible. Actors play and surprise themselves, each other and the audience. It’s my heaven.

I had the pleasure of reading your television credits. Gossip Girl and The Knick were both great tv shows. Do you prefer doing television and film over theater or vice versa?

I love working in both mediums. Acting on screen is pretending like no one is watching - the people in the room aren’t supposed to be there, and the audience watches an archive of the event. You don’t really have to work to share your performance. That’s very freeing. Conversely, theater can’t exist in a vacuum - it lives and breathes based on the exchange between actor and audience. That’s very invigorating.

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The Struggles and Successes of Local Bands

We all know that Bruce Springsteen truly believes that, “Down the shore, everything’s alright,” but, our local bands are what really make the Jersey Shore so cultured, lively, and all the more entertaining. While there is a significant amount of well-known artists and bands that have originated from The Garden State, being a local band is nowhere near as easy as it may seem.

Anthony Trilli, a junior health studies student and lead guitar for the band More Than Acquaintances, said, “I think what makes a New Jersey artist is staying true to your roots. NJ people have a lot of pride in their state and where they live. Whether it be North Jersey or the shore, we are prideful of where we live and it is shown through our music.”

Trilli’s band, More Than Acquaintances, is fairly new to the scene, starting up nearly a year and a half ago. After learning guitar, Trilli and his other bandmates decided their true talent was Red Hot Chili Pepper’s covers--and so the band was formed. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds, Trilli said, “With none of us having any knowledge of music theory, we decided to just wing it. I would make something up on the guitar that I thought sounded good and then I would show Mike (Trilli’s younger brother) and he would make a bassline followed by Joe (Trilli’s other brother) coming up with the drums.”

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The Emily Youth Project Releases Number 2

The Emily Youth Project is junior music industry students Mike Grant and Jon Bass, junior business student Justin Murray, and recent music industry graduate, Andrew Jackle.

The band began their music career when Grant, Bass, and Murray auditioned as Ice House Gallery for Blue Hawk Records’ (BHR) 4th compilation album with their track “Out of Hand” with junior music industry students, Owen Flanagan and Mike Hause. “Out of Hand” is a rock song with some Jack’s Mannequin (the band) vibes.

Since the compilation album in the fall of 2014, the band has experienced some big change in sound and lineup. EYP now: Grant on piano, Bass on bass, Murray on guitar, and Jackle on the drums, has been rocking the Jersey music scene for over 2 years now and have produced 2 EP’s (extended play).

Their first EP, self-titled The Emily Youth Project, was released in the summer of 2015. This whole EP is very fun and dancey with some silly lyrics and sampling from movies and shows. This EP also has some Jack’s Mannequin tones and some piano sections that remind me a little bit of Owl City. EYP’s biggest hit off here was “Saturday Night Done Right,” a song that everyone knows, if you’ve ever seen these guys play live.

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An Inside Look at The Merry Wives of Windsor

If any avid theatergoers are curious about the process of making a stage play, I recommend going to see an open rehearsal at Two River Theater in Red Bank. Having free open rehearsals for upcoming productions has been a way to welcome the Monmouth County community. This is an event that Two River Theater has opened to the public in the past and this tradition continues.

Last week on Monday, I had the opportunity to see the director, cast and crew rehearse for The Merry Wives of Windsor play followed by a Q&A with the audience. The most rewarding thing that I learned from watching this rehearsal is that it takes a lot of time, patience and effort to put on a performance. It is incredible to see the kind of work ethic and dedication that actors, directors and crew members have because they do what they do non-stop. They live and breathe art and it shows through their passion for it.

The creative process of The Merry Wives of Windsor is interesting when you realize that only three actors, Nicole Lewis, Jason O’Connell, and Zuzanna Szadkowski, will be headlining the show. They will be playing several characters and switching between characters during scenes. The concept sounds pretty wacky, but the director Eric Tucker put the audience at ease by comparing his version of the classic play to a Coen Brothers film or a Quentin Tarantino film. In his words, “It takes place in a dingy, seedy motel room.”

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Tyler Robinson Gets Signed To Blue Hawk Records

Tyler Robinson Signed BHRTyler Robinson, also known as Teddy, is the first rap artist to be signed to Monmouth University’s Student-Run record label, Blue Hawk Records. In the past four years that Blue Hawk Records has been operating, it has had a few rap artists represented on the various compilation albums. These artists included J Piff (James Porricelli, senior music industry student), Jax the Geenius (Jamier Gee, music industry recent graduate), and Trevon Bailey (sophomore biology student).

Blue Hawk Records has primarily been a label for indie rock bands and singer/song-writers based on the artists who have been on the past nine compilation albums. Robinson auditioned to be on the applied music industry class’ tenth compilation album a few weeks ago, and although the class did not see a place for him on the album, the e-board of the record label saw a great artist in the making.

“We are really excited to sign and work with someone who has already worked hard to make a name for himself as an artist,” said Dave DePaola, a senior music industry student and president of the record label. “We’re looking forward to advancing his career and marketing such a talented musician.”

Robinson is a sophomore music industry student and was a member of the MU basketball team last season; he was a big part of the iconic “Bench Mob” that became known nationwide. Robinson has played various events on campus since he began to focus on his career as a musician.

During his freshman year, Robinson was studying criminal justice and just recently changed his major to music industry. This new course of action was actually inspired by his inability to continue playing basketball because of his injuries. Music has always been a part of Robinson’s life. He said, “I’ve been writing forever and I grew up around music. When I told people  I wanted to be involved in music, they thought I was kidding.”

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Joey Affatato Shares New Music on The Ramparts Rebel

Joey Affatato The Ramparts RebelJoey Affatato, senior music industry student and vice president of Blue Hawk Records, has been a part of the Monmouth University music scene since the beginning of his freshman year in the fall of 2013. Now he has some amazing music to share with us on his latest album. Affatato’s first band in college was The Ramparts Rebel, which included himself and his uncle’s band, Crypt Keeper Five.

This album is self-titled The Ramparts Rebel, and if you have ever had a chance to see Affatato play live, you will be blown away about how some of your favorite hits are re-created on this album. As a frequent goer of Affatato’s shows, I was honestly surprised and super pumped by the artistic magic that I heard in the songs that I often hear live at his shows.

While he explained how he composes his music, Affatato said, “When writing an album, I usually start off by writing songs stripped down on my acoustic then eventually, I’ll come up with a cool hook or catchy melody and I’ll go off that. Then, I’ll demo the songs out until they sound good enough to bring to the studio to record.” This album definitely sounds like it was carefully put together and well practiced.

The opening track begins with a Green Day-esque bass riff that brings you back to 2005 and makes you feel so angsty in the best way possible. This whole track is just angry and honest, which is very refreshing compared to the many happy, go-lucky, love songs that some people may be used to now a days.

The second track on the album is “Faults,” which is a go to song for Affatato when he plays out. The perfect example of a hooky, fun, but still angsty song. Sometimes you can’t help but scream the chorus at the top of your lungs and pronounce it, “ MY FAAA-AA-WALT!”

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Six Top Vocal Groups Perform Acapella at MU

Six Top Vocal Group AcapellaThe Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are on sale for “Doo Wop Explosion II,” a March 4 concert event that showcases several generations of top vocal talent from Philadelphia, New Jersey, and NYC’s boroughs inside our flagship performance space, the Pollak Theatre.

A sequel to the first successful Doo Wop Explosion event in 2016, the Saturday evening serenade transforms the enhanced Pollak Theatre — a room that boasts nearly 700 new seats, improved sight lines, and a newly enlarged stage area — into a street corner from the old neighborhood. It’s that magical musical laboratory where the harmony-based vocal traditions of the urban African American communities coalesced into an exciting new sound in the postwar era; one that would soon come to be embraced by young audiences and performers of many different ethnic backgrounds.

More than anything else, the music known as “Doo Wop” draws its passionate power from the awesome glory of human voices working in perfect harmony. It is delivered acapella-style without benefit of instrumental accompaniment, and graces everything from the most heartbreaking love ballads and soaring songs of devotion, to the crazy rhythms of the wildest early rock and roll. More than mere artifacts from an oldies jukebox, the sounds of the great vocal soul groups continue to inform and inspire many of today’s top pop acts.

Headlining the powerhouse program of six premier groups will be Pookie Hudson’s Spaniels, inheritors of a legacy that began with their late colleague, Spaniels lead singer Pookie Hudson, and the signature swooner that defined the entire doo wop era, the 1956 million-seller “Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight.” Originating on the streets of Brooklyn, Vito & the Salutations scored regional hits in the early 1960’s with their recordings of “Gloria,” “Unchained Melody” and “Your Way.” Rick Anthony has been handling most of the group’s leads for the past 15 years, as the original Vito is no longer with them. The group also contains long time member, Shelly Buchansky, who sang on “Unchained Melody” and many of their other hits.

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MU’s Record Club Reviews Parallel Lines

MU Record Review Parallel Lines“If you don’t like something on this album, chances are you don’t like music,” said an audience member at the Feb. 7 Record Club review of Blondie’s Parallel Lines.

If you were to have wondered into Lauren K. Woods Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., you would have found about 30 people gathered to discuss music. Monmouth’s Record Club invited the community to meet and discuss Blondie’s hit album, Parallel Lines. There were three panelists that lead the discussion that Tuesday night: Kenneth Womack, Ph.D., and Dean of the School of Humanities And Social Sciences; Michael Thomas, M.F.A., and Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and Nick Messina, Communication Instructor.

Blondie formed in 1974, but went rather unnoticed in the United States until Parallel Lines was released in 1978, according to Messina, who noted that this album was one of the most overlooked albums of the 70s.

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The CW’s new series Riverdale is a Game Changer

New Series RiverdaleThe tone of Riverdale, the new series from The CW based on the old-school Archie comics that premiered on Jan. 26, can be easily summarized in one quote from the first episode: “Game changer: Archie got hot!”

This breathless declaration perfectly encapsulates how this is not your childhood’s Archie Andrews, for better or worse. For fans of the original characters, or those just mildly familiar with the comics like myself, fair warning: this is not a faithful adaptation of the original works, but a CW-fied version of Archie and his pals. While these changes have some fun, inventive bright spots, the overall product in the first two episodes struggles to cohesively come together despite having some potential.

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Farewell, SURFING Magazine: A Questionable Future for Print

Farewell Surfing MagazineAfter more than 50 years of publication, SURFING magazine has been put to rest.

According to the Ocean County Business Journal, on Jan. 23 of this year, The Enthusiast Network (TEN) announced it would be disbanding SURFING Magazine. TEN plans to reallocate the deceased magazine’s resources into the network’s sole surf publication, SURFER magazine.

“I was actually pretty bummed when SURFING mag shut down. I’ve been getting that magazine in the mail every month for ten years so it’s a little surreal,” said junior English student John Waldron.

In an article on Surfline.com, the author underscores SURFING’s importance for surf culture. “They [SURFING] were a voice for the youth, the punks, the innovators. The place to go for a fix of no-bullshit surf clips, an outlet for the ‘core’ surfer.”

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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