Bluegrass from Santa CruzBy PERRY DIXON
Here in Kentucky, it would be difficult to find someone who has not heard of our very own brand of folk and country called bluegrass. The guitar, bass, banjo and twanging harmonies of bluegrass are unmistakable and either warrant a love for the style or a hate, depending on the individual. For those of the former category, there is something worth listening to coming out of California. Odd as it may be to send bluegrass listeners so far out west, one can only call things as one sees them.
The band is called “The Devil Makes Three” and its roots are both unique and interesting. Pete Bernhard of Vermont, stand-up bassist Lucia Turino of New Hampshire and guitarist Cooper McBean of Washington all converged at U.C. Santa Cruz after high school. From their diverse backgrounds, they somehow found a common love for folk, blues, bluegrass and all things acoustic. The first time they are heard, it is impossible to tell that they are not from Harlan or any other small Kentucky town. But, as odd as it may be, this trio brings its bluegrass sound all the way from punk-influenced Santa Cruz. The marriage of punk rebellion to the bluegrass sound is understood through the gritty realism of the lyrics “The Devil Makes Three” croons through.
In tradition with both punk and bluegrass roots, they sing of the human struggle with substance abuse, failed relationships, sporadic happiness and everything in between. If there is any place to start, it is with their new album “Do Wrong Right” which was released in 2009. On “Do Wrong Right,” one can enjoy fast paced songs for riding in the car with the window down, like the single after the album’s namesake, honest- to-God blues songs like “Working Man’s Blues,” or soft and sad traditional country tunes like “Car Wreck.” This band of young people playing old music with real emotion is difficult to describe because the genre simply doesn’t exist.
If the words country and bluegrass make you turn your nose up in disgust, then this album is about the farthest thing from what you want to put in your iPod. However, if honest harmonies dancing through banjo, stand up bass and folk guitar are even remotely attractive to you, then this band is one that you’d be a fool to miss.
“Pirate Radio,” the boat that rocksBy ANNA COBB
In November, “The Boat That Rocked,” also known as “Pirate Radio,” was released to the general public. That statement is somewhat true since “Pirate Radio” was released to only a few cities. For all of those who were unable to drive to New York or Los Angeles, this movie was written and directed by Richard Curtis. Curtis was the writer of the critically acclaimed movies “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and its sequel and “Mr. Bean.” So this movie is funny. It also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Count.
The Count is an American DJ on the Radio Rock ship. He and the other DJs sit on the boat and broadcast the Pop/Rock genre over the radio waves. The government finds the Radio Rock ship as a nuisance and decides that they need to shut them down. The main character is young Carl, played by Tom Sturridge, who does a good job displaying an English boy who needs some guidance. Carl was put on the ship by his mother because he was expelled from school for smoking.
As Quentin, Bill Nighy, the organizer of Radio Rock stated, “What a wonderful mistake.” He is referring to the set of laws that are used on the boat. Rule one is that girls are only allowed on the boat every other Saturday and rule two is to live for the music. So these DJs sit enjoying adult beverages on the boat and broadcast music as their job. And with the government on their backs, this leads to a very comedic storyline that is fun to watch. Not only is the film good for the eyes, it also pleases the ears. The soundtrack is filled with ‘60s British rock music that increases the value of the movie.
Luckily, the movie is now available to rent, so this should save many a few bucks. This movie was worth the box office price but it lacked the necessity of the big screen, so the viewer should get a good bargain. Also the two-disc soundtrack, 32 tracks, is available and it is well worth the money. Some of the artists include Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and The Who.
Did the Devil make LaRue do it?By ANDY RUSSELL
Tonight at 8 p.m. in the John L. Hill Chapel, a tradition will be underway. The Tiger Symphonic Band will once again present its annual spring concert. However, this year the presentation will offer a slight twist on tradition. This year’s concert will be a special “concept concert,” sporting the theme “Angels and Demons.” Band director Dr. Peter LaRue said that he had wanted to organize a “concept concert” for quite some time. Particularly, an event that would incorporate multiple arts: music, art and literature.
LaRue explained further, saying, “About a year ago we decided on the Angels and Demons theme.” He added that students should make sure to come “to see and hear a most-unusual, truly interdisciplinary evening in the classic liberal arts sense.” As intended, the evening will be a combined presentation of music, art and literature. Art will be incorporated into the event via the extraordinary works of art that senior band member Erica Miller has created for the event. These works will be displayed throughout the chapel and will also be projected on the three screens incorporated into the performance.
To incorporate the literary element, LaRue collaborated with the English department. English professor Dr. Barbara Burch and Provost Dr. Rosemary Allen will be doing special readings from the works of Milton and Dante during the concert. Also, Rebecca Thompson—a junior band member who is currently studying in Oxford at Regent’s Park College—will be doing a C.S. Lewis reading thanks to some technological assistance.
As the event itself is a band concert, it should be fairly easy to discern how the musical element will be incorporated. However, there are a few exciting twists in this realm as well. The music played at the concert will fit the “Angels and Demons” theme. LaRue smiled as he described the line-up: “We shall musically explore the concept of Angels and Demons via works such as ‘When Angels Weep’ by David Shaffer and two movements from the Divine Comedy, ‘Paradiso’ and ‘Inferno’ by Robert W. Smith.” In addition, the band will perform an original piece, composed by freshman Evan Harrell, entitled “Lucifer.” Harrell and described his work, saying: “My piece puts into music all the ideas we associate with the story of Lucifer. Our ideology of Lucifer is that he, or it, began as a once-peaceful bringer of light, fell from Heaven and now is a force of evil. In the music, the listener can hear portrayed the peaceful nature of Lucifer, his turn toward the powers of evil and his eventual fall.”
Another musical highlight will be Dewey L. Creech, junior band member, performing “Beelzebub” on the tuba, accompanied by the rest of the band. In addition to the tri-fold artistic representation, the concert will honor the senior band members and a reception will immediately follow the concert. All students should make it to enjoy this one-hour CEP/Nexus event, but mostly students should head to the chapel tonight and join the battle of “Angels and Demons.”