Wednesday, September 22, 2010

America's Funnyman returns to Iowa City

Comedian Neil Hamburger will be performing tonight at the Mill. For those who don't know who he is, he's like today's version of Tony Clifton (Andy Kaufman's alter-ego). With his greasy comb-over, large glasses, and rude attitude, his shows make for some interesting and over-the-top comedy. Don't go to his show expecting some simple laughs. You may have to hold yourself back from wanting to throw your drink in his face. Hamburger tends to clear his throat a lot and make jokes that some people may find crass, obnoxious and even offensive. Youtube sensation and yo yo jedi master K-Strauss will start the night out. The show starts around 9 p.m. and admission is only $10, a bargain for seeing such a comedian. You can read more on him in today's 80 Hours.
-Jason M. Larson

Listen to the music around you

Much of the time, I listen to music while I walk about town.

It creates a world of my own where no one else matters. My mood is reflected by the music, and my surroundings become a blur. As I walk, I get lost in my own thoughts.

I know I’m not the only one who takes part in this phenomenon of mp3 players. It seems a great deal of people go through their day with headphones in. If that’s not the case, they’re talking on their cell phones. My guess is that people are less likely to acknowledge each other now because they’re wrapped up in their own worlds, fabricated by technology.

That’s not a bad thing. I think the advent of technology is great, and I think I’m like most people in welcoming new inventions. However, when I’m going through the day naturally, I begin to think. What if people didn’t have these instruments? Would we act differently?

Today, I walked to and from class without my iPod. I began to notice things. One thing in particular struck me as memorable.

I heard music coming from around the corner. It was a bluesy sounding electric guitar, accompanied by some rough toned singing. I was interested in the sound. Turning the corner, I noticed the man creating the noise. He was in his mid 60s, dressed in a tattered jacket, jeans, and sandals. He wore large framed glasses, and a weathered beard.

I sat down for a listen. A couple other people had already done the same, so I didn’t feel like weirdo watching this homeless guy with a guitar. The truth was, though, he could play. He was busting out some edgy riffs that made your foot stomp to the beat. The nodding heads of the others supported my thoughts of his playing.

After a couple songs, I was thinking it was time to head back home. Just then, a girl yelled out to the old man.

“How ‘bout another,” she said. “You got a girl? Play one ‘bout your girl.”

Reluctant, the old man said, “No…I used to have a girl.”

“What happened?” she yelled back.

“I was married,” he said. “I warned her not to go somewhere, but she didn’t listen. I loved her. I let her go.”

“What do you mean?” she said confusedly. “Then what?”

The old man paused.

“She was murdered,” he said. “If it wasn’t for that, I’d probably be living happily ever after."

“Oh,” she said, embarrassed now. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

The old man answered by starting to play what he called one of his favorites. I left at the end of that song, but I walked slow as I listened to his music echoing through the ped mall.

When I got home, I couldn’t help but think, “would I have heard that story if I’d brought my music with me?”

-Eric Hawkinson

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lingering Shoes

The other day I saw a man in the street and I kept thinking about him, so I decided turn my obsession into a little story. Here it is:

Lingering Shoes

Thump, Thump, Thump
The sounds echo in my ear and I tilt my head down, scanning the feet of the passerby for the pair of heels making the racket.
I was deceived; the noisy culprits were flat and belonged to a male. Admiring the expensive-looking leather of the man’s shoes, and the craftsmanship that went into them, a smile spreads across my face. Not many men in America would have the guts to wear shoes like these. Olive green in color, the leather stretching across the toe of the shoe and joining with the perfectly carved caramel wood sole; the sole which creates that sharp, firm sound every time it hits the pavement.

Thump, Thump, Thump
Drenched in the ambiance of good style, I greedily search for more. The man’s pants are expertly ironed, the crease going down the leg resembling a long mountain range. My eyes move upward and I take in his flawlessly tailored maroon velvet blazer, the paisley pattern giving his outfit just the right amount of spice.

Finally, I see his face, European-looking and exciting to me, with a sharp jaw and dark hair.

Who are you?
I want to ask him.

What are you doing here in America?
You are far too fancy to walk the sidewalks with the short-
shorts-wearing college girls.

Where are you going?
Is the question I ask the foreign man in my mind as he turns down a side-street and disappears,the Thump, Thump, Thump of his shoes lingering in the air.

- Alyssa Marie Harn

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Uniphonics set to release album Crawl

Local band The Uniphonics will be releasing their full length album Crawl this Friday night at 9 p.m. at the Iowa City Yacht Club, 13 S Linn. The Workshy from Ames will be playing along with beatbox legend Heatbox. Tickets are $10 in advance. This is the night before the Iowa vs. Iowa State game so it's going to be one killer of a show and may sell out. You can hear the album Crawl tonight on my radio show "Local Tunes" on at 10 p.m. on 89.7 FM KRUI with The Uniphonics as guests. Listen online here:

Thanks and remember to support your local music.

-Jason M. Larson

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dancing With The Stars... Really?

So, Dancing With The Stars announced its new cast for its 11th season on Monday night. My first response- where are the stars?

First, Bristol Palin. Really, ABC? Really? Sure, she has a politically-enhanced mom. And yeah, she was preggers during her mom's stint as John McCain's running-mate. Call me crazy, but that makes her less famous than K-Fed.

Next up: Audrina Patridge. The MTV star did make a cameo in one of the network's most popular shows, "The Hills," but she truly owes her success to two people – Lauren Conrad and Justin Bobby. And honestly, if she doesn't get voted off the first week her weight will drop to a single digit.

Mrs. Brady, I mean Florence Henderson, will one-up Marcia in this contest. The dance moves she'll perform may be too risque for the typical, moral-driver mother.

Jennifer Grey is the contestant under the most pressure. The Dirty Dancing star will be expected to tango and waltz the way she did in the 1987 with Patrick Swayze. Either way, Baby will be favored to win.

Shout out to Iowan Kurt Warner. Good luck, QB. Not sure how your touchdowns will score with the judges in this game.

And my personal favorite, who will receive all my votes: Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. This MTV star has created his own vocab which has taken young adults by storm. To mention a few: grenade, GTL, and a hippopotamus. I'm sure his "situation" will help him out in this competition. And I can't wait to see what dance moves he creates. If they're anything near as good as his Jersey Shore lingo, he'll be flirting his way to the finale.
-Josie Jones and Jennifer Downing