Rodrigo y Gabriela rocks D.C.

By Zohra Alnoor

I went to Cuba last night. With my sister…and a few other DMV residents. And no, I’m not writing this from a prison cell.

On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, Rodrigo y Gabriela, came to the Warner Theater in Washington D.C. to perform hits off their new album, Area 52, with the 13-piece Cuban orchestra, C.U.B.A.

C.U.B.A. is featured heavily on their last album, and although I didn’t enjoy the album as much as their previous ones, when they performed live, my ears were in heaven.

The performers revisited nine of the duos songs off of their past albums, infusing it with a Cuban flavor. I didn’t completely love the Cuban feel when I first bought the album, mostly because I was so use to the original songs and didn’t like them being tampered with; but at the concert last night, I was in love.

The night started out with performances from the full orchestra and duo, and after 30 minutes the mood switched to Rodrigo y Gabriela being left on stage for another 30 minutes to perform pieces on their own. One of my favorite parts of the concert, surprisingly, was when the artists from C.U.B.A. had their own solo’s much later in the concert and each were given the spotlight and two to five minutes to belt out a tune or play like they’d never played before, and it was exquisite. At one point, the night became so mellow and serenading that I was almost lulled to a peaceful sleep before flute, trumpet and trombone solos by the Cubans lifted me up with energy.

It was a night I won’t forget, and one I’ve been waiting for, for quite some time.

Thank you to for introducing me to this wonderful group many moons ago (last June), and allowing me to finally see this amazingly talented band.

The Avengers and Hulk

By Anthony Jamison

Hulk Smash! Hulk Smash!

I love the combination of those two words. Now only if there were some kind of way to

make a movie where Hulk came to life and didn’t suck.

It looks like  “The Avengers” — while not third installment of the Hulk, but might be the best screen rendering of him.

The Hulk is my favorite superhero (I drink out of a Hulk coffee mug and have three different pairs of Hulk boxers).

I am so hyped, so amped up, so geeked up about the “The Avengers” — a movie star studded to the max. Usually this formula correlates that it will be a shitty movie (think:  “New Years Eve” and “Valentine’s Day”).

I will bet everything I got (which is not much) that this defies that rule.

As you watch the trailers you are already in a deep trance where you must see more. Every trailer just gives you a little bit more to what you should be expecting from “The Avengers.” You see all of the right depictions of the Avengers members from the intelligent, flashy Tony Stark (Ironman) to the cunning and heroic Steve Rogers (Captain American). From the looks of things the movie is following the comics as close as possible. Hulk is destroying everything, Thor is fight Loki, Ironman is being a playboy, while Captain American is trying to save everyone.

There are two clips I think showed the movie is on par with the comics. Specifically, the dialogue between Tony Stark and Loki where Loki brags that he has an Army, but Tony counters him by saying “Well, we have a Hulk,” (and a good Hulk could outfit an Army). And the other clip is when Cap looks at the Hulk and says “Hulk smash” then the Hulk laughs because you know that is all he wanted to hear.

I know where I will be on May 3rd at midnight, with my Hulk fist and Hulk t-shirt on. I can’t wait.



Cool Story Bro, Tell It Again

By Kayla Cohen

Behind the designer sunglasses, clean shape up, and diamond encrusted necklace is a young man who has suffered from anxiety for several years.

That man, better known as Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnino, tells his struggle with anxiety in his new book titled “Control the Crazy: My Plan to Stop Stressing, Avoid Drama, and Maintain Inner Cool.”

Guadagnino shares his story of how his battle with anxiety started when he was a freshman in high school. Despite the fact that he looked like a white version of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with acne and braces, he had a normal life until one day in English class when he suffered his first anxiety attack.

From that point on, his anxiety turned into depression and ultimately took control of his life. Thankfully, he was able to get help for his anxiety and how he was able to regain control of his life, his anxiety, and his depression.

Guadagnino’s story is filled with hope, encouragement, and quirky humor. Rather than feeling like you are reading a self-help book, it feels as if Guadagnino is sitting across from you, sipping on a coffee, just conversing with you about his life.

It might come as a surprise, Guadagnino’s story is exceedingly well written. On television he might appear overly confident and superficial, but underneath his MTV-image he is a normal person, just like everyone else. He knows how to write to connect with the reader on a personal level.

This book is really written for every audience. If you suffer from anxiety, it will show you ways to deal. If you don’t suffer from anxiety, you will hear the journey of one of Hollywood’s hot celebrities.

It was definitely a cool story bro, tell it again.

The Real Housewives of New Drama

By Tabby Hardman

Considering myself a “Real Housewives” psychopath, who watches every season and picks every aspect of every show apart with a
fine-toothed comb as if I know these women on a personal level—I have to admit my ‘Jersey Girls’ have proved me right once again.

“The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” which aired its fourth season on April 22 at 10 p.m. on BRAVO, is up and running with a whole new twist to the show. As well as darker tans, thicker make-up, and enough diamonds to pay off the National Debt.

In previous seasons there was an unbreakable pact between the philosophical Caroline Manzo, the sweetheart Jacqueline Laurita, and the ever entertaining and my personal favorite Teresa Giudice against anyone who tried to take them down—i.e. Danielle Staub (former castmate).

Now the tables have turned all because of Teresa’s infamous cookbook in which she said mean things about all of her cast mates — including calling Caroline as Italian as the Olive Garden. Teresa says it’s all in good fun — it’s a joke, funny, ha ha, get it — but her cast mates aren’t laughing.

It’s Caroline, Jacqueline, Melissa Gorga (the hot young wife of Teresa’s brother), and Kathy Wakile (Teresa’s cousin)—against Teresa.

Albeit I feel terrible for my main girl Teresa, the drama is positively mouth-watering and to anyone who has never seen the show it’s
impossible to switch stations.

Between Teresa apologizing every five seconds for her cookbook, Jacqueline’s battle to kick out her freeloading and moronic 20-year-old daughter Ashlee, Melissa yelling “Thank you Jesus” every time she reminds us of how wealthy she is, Caroline’s overly philosophical remarks about “the Italian culture,” and Kathy crying every two seconds about God knows what—it’s enough to transfix a hamster.

I project this season to be stellar once again—but if my ‘Jersey Girls’ don’t cut it this time around, I may  have to take a trip to see my other Jersey favorites along “The Shore” courtesy of MTV.








Free Gourmet Food On Campus Today and Tomorrow!

By Jessica Farley

Fancy, gourmet foods aren’t usually associated with most college campuses.

But, George Mason’s “Crazy Awesome Food and Entertainment” club is working to change that. Today and tomorrow at 4 p.m. in Southside’s professional kitchen and Parking Lot L, Crazy Awesome Food and Entertainment will be providing free gourmet food in honor of Mason Day.

The student-ran group, which has a core membership of about 70 volunteers, will prepare, cook, and serve all of the food to those who work up an appetite celebrating their school spirit. What’s on the menu?  “Chicken burgers marinated in Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbeque Sauce, ‘top-shelf’ hot dogs, sauerkraut made from scratch, hand-formed beef burgers seasoned with basil and fresh herbs, vegan veggie burgers, and ‘enough sweet, juicy  watermelon to feed a small army,’” says founding president and senior Mark Feghali, 32, majoring in Computer Science.

Hungry yet?

This is the second year that Crazy Awesome Food and Entertainment has offered free grub to students on Mason Day. Last year, they prepared a gluten-free menu. Among the  featured food items was the suggestively titled “better-than-sex pancakes” which, according to Feghali, “didn’t even need syrup they were so good!” Even more impressive than the erotic pancakes? “Last year, everything we prepared was funded out of the pockets of our own members,” says Feghali, who added that his club hosts myriad events throughout the year, including “DIY Chipotle Night.”

This year however, Crazy Awesome Food and Entertainment was fortunate enough to receive funding from Student Government, Program Board, and Mason Dining Services for their gourmet affair.

“We’ve been told that Mason Day can attract anywhere between 6,000 and 7,000 students,” Feghali said.  “We’re preparing enough food for about 1,600 people, and that’s not accounting for people taking seconds- which I know they will!”

Well, if that’s the case, I’ll be the first in line.

My “Return to Paradise”: SAM SPARRO Concert Review

By Tabby Hardman

It was Tuesday night at the Rock and Roll Hotel in northeast D.C.—the night Sam Sparro rocked my world.

Having been a fan of the electro-funk/soul musician since 2008 when his award-winning single, “Black and Gold,” was released—I could not believe I was about to be in the same venue as my all-time favorite artist.

Hesitantly walking into the music club with my best friend Victoria (also a Sam Sparro fan), we found ourselves in a  dark, wood room with small, neon-lit stage.  There were mirrors lining the walls and people scattered around anxiously waiting.

After 20 minutes of chit-chat with Victoria and some serious people watching, the opening act, Big Bright, walked on stage.  As many typically assume with opening acts, I was anticipating a disaster act—however, I was pleasantly surprised by the upbeat, dance music they played and how they really hyped the crowd up for Sam’s pending performance.

Gyrating around and grooving to their beats I yearned to see the main show—Sam.

Once the opening act finished up and said their thank you’s, I realized it was show time.  About 15 minutes after the first act left, Sam’s crew started setting up.

And 15 minutes after that—Sam entered the building.

Strutting on stage like the Australian stallion he is, I just about dropped to the floor.  After four years of undying love and support for his music, the man himself was before me.

Clad in slacks, a tucked in t-shirt, form-fitting beige blazer, and sporting a Freddie Mercury-inspired mustache and haircut—he looked hot.

He started with some of his new tunes from his yet-to-be-released album “Return to Paradise.” Sam got the crowd rocking with the funky “Shallow End,” the sultry, sexy “Let the Love In,” and the upbeat “Happiness.”

Sam then transitioned into a couple oldies, of which he blended into one—“Sick” and “Pocket” from his first self-titled album which was released in 2008.

By this point the show was rolling.  There was sweat dripping, feet jumping, and arms flailing.

The previously empty dance floor was a sea of faces awestruck by Sam’s unbelievable stage presence. His velvety voice resonated throughout the whole room and sounded so perfect you could have thought he was playing a backtrack and mouthing the words.

Sam continued to showcase some of his newer songs like the relatable “Wish I Never Met You” and then it happened.  The moment that changed my life…

Switching vibes into his most famous tune “Black and Gold,” the song that drew me to him to begin with—the crowd went insane.  It became a sing-a-long between Sam and everyone in the audience who knew all the lyrics, me included.

In that moment of pure bliss I reached my hand up along with the other six people around me in the hopes he may just grab my right hand—and he grabbed it.

I was shocked. A tear filled my eye and I realized how lucky I was to be in that room, with all those people, sharing a love for someone who really understands what music is.

Sam closed the show with a combination of an oldie “21st Century Life,” a funky and soulful jam, and then blended that into “Gypsy Woman” (She’s Homeless), a cover he did of the song originally by Crystal Waters which is an old ‘house’ tune.

Throwing himself into the audience as the grand finale, Sam showed his fans his appreciation for their love and support by crowd surfing.

It was magical.

I couldn’t have pictured a better show, between the intimacy of the venue, the band, the back-up singers, the crowd, and of course—Sam Sparro himself.

And, you know, he did hold my hand. Briefly.

All I can say is, Sam, when will you be back?













Lindy and Laughs

By Tabby Hardman

Five…Six…Five, six, seven, eight!

This is the sound that rings around the Johnson Center Dance Studio every Thursday night between 7:30 and 11 p.m. as the George Mason Swing Dance Club is fully immersed in practice.

Maryam Sodeifi, a 24-year-old senior and Sociology major from Burke, Va., founded the club in 2009 having been inspired by a high school photography class project.  “I researched a photographer who took pictures of dancers in the Jazz Age—that’s where I discovered swing dance,” she says.

She decided to create the club so that people could find friends who dance together.

“I wanted to be able to walk around campus and run into students I dance with, I wanted it to be a social thing too,” said Sodeifi. “It’s about going out and meeting people and connecting through dance, some people come to class to relieve stress, some to simply dance, and some to get dates, it’s whatever you want to get out of it.”

Sydney Bernstein-Miller, a 20-year-old sophomore who’s double majoring in Communications and English from Richmond, Va., joined because she wanted to connect better with George Mason, “I had done ballet for ten years and I wanted a way to make friends and get involved so I thought Swing Dance Club would be a good way of doing that.”

Every week the group goes to a social dance in either the Baltimore or Washington D.C. area. “A lot of dances are Friday and Saturday nights in D.C., and every first Friday of the month we participate in a social dance at the Mobtown Ballroom in Baltimore which is a lot of fun and takes place at an old renovated church,” said Sodeifi.

At the end of the day it’s all about fun and anyone who wants to join is able to, “Our goal is to help people become good social dancers and enjoy themselves at the same time,” said Sodeifi.

REVIEW: Daredevil Vol.1 Hardcover

Writer: Mark Waid

Artists: Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin

Publisher: Marvel Comics

By: John Gillooly

Tell any reader of Daredevil — from Frank Miller’s character defining run in the late 70’s all the way to last year’s psycho-Daredevil story “Shadowland” — that a book featuring a happy and optimistic Matt Murdock would be not just be a financial and critical success, but an almost unanimous book of the year for 2011, I’m sure that person would not believe you.

And yet, here we are in 2012 and it’s a new era, unlike any seen in Daredevil history. Our hero, Murdock, the blind lawyer by day, and vigilante by night, for once is letting loose and the results are probably one of the most entertaining super hero comic books in quite sometime.

Daredevil has never looked this happy, or been drawn this well, and it’s all thanks to the creative team of writer Mark Waid and his rotating art team of Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin. Waid relaunched this book as part of Marvel’s highly publicized “Big Shots” initiative, stringing together big time creators with B-list titles. Knowing Daredevil to be a very noir, very dour book, it’s somewhat surprising to see a writer like Waid take on this project. After all, Waid is a guy who is known for his take on big shiny heroes like Captain America and Superman. But the match works surprisingly well, Waid is more than happy to get Murdock out of the shadows and into the spotlight, and seems to have a grip on continuity knots like his one-time devil possession and his somewhat outed alter-ego. Waid deftly handles these issues and weaves them beautifully into the story he wants to tell without feeling forced. Waid gets past some of the sadder supporting characters in Matt’s life, electing to only keep around Matt’s bumbling yet endearing law partner Foggy Nelson, and even gives the law office of Murdock and Nelson a new direction that works incredibly well for his situation.

Of course, the biggest reason to crow about this reboot is the just plain gorgeous art of Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin. Rotating on different stories, both artists have similar pencil work, thus not making the book feel very jarring, but both bring special strengths that make their respective stories a complete treat. Rivera brings such an emotionally expressive look to his characters, unlike much I have seen before in comics. Just seeing Daredevil/Murdock smile is such a treat — as he’s a man who has been frowning for decades.

This rendering of Murdock’s echolocation powers is probably the best I’ve ever seen in a Daredevil comic before. Martin is already known for his page and panel composition thanks to his previous years on Amazing Spider-Man, and he uses that talent in Daredevil in a special way. A two-page spread shows Murdock and Foggy as they walk through a block of New York, and he highlights all the noises and sounds Murdock process into his “sight” and it just pops off the page and needs to be seen to be believed.

I’ll be honest, I’m at a loss of criticism for this book. This comic is the complete package, likeable characters, enticing storyline, veritable villains and just some of the best art in modern day comic books. If you like comics or superheroes this is a must read, must buy for your collection.

Story 5/5
Art 5/5
Overall 5/5

Why no one showed up to “We the Party”

By Kayla Cohen

“We the Party” was definitely a party I wish I hadn’t shown up to.


“We the Party” is the story of five friends in L.A. trying to fit in.

Great, another one of those stories.

It shows the normal high school problems:Trying to be cool, fitting in, partying, and the totally cliché theme of losing their virginity. We’ve seen it happen in “American Pie” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” so why are we being shown it again?

For an extensive amount of time in the 104-minute production, all we see are these girls grinding on the dance floor. Really? No wonder I was the only female in the movie theatre. Sadly, that wasn’t the only thing wrong with this movie.

Casting: Who thought it was a good idea to put Snoop Dogg on the big screen again? I thought his acting career ended after “Soul Plane” and cameos on “Scrubs.” The director, Mario Van Peebles’, also thought it would be a great idea to cast his kids. Unfortunately that was a mistake. Their acting brings nothing to the table, and without them, the film could have been tolerable. And whose idea was it to cast Rico from the Hannah Montana television series? It was almost as if Van Peebles contacted as many celebrities as he could get to be in the movie, with or without acting talent (The New Boyz, Quincy Brown, etc.)

The “R” rating of the movie probably made the least amount of sense. Why would a movie about life choices and high school only be available to kids who are about to graduate if they haven’t already? Nothing in the movie was too profane or inappropriate for a high school audience.

“We the Party” brings nothing new to the table. Same high school problems, same high school themes. And sadly looks like it was made on a high school budget. Besides the lack of acting talent, the wardrobe looks like it was picked out of the actor’s own closets and the hair and makeup just weren’t cutting it.

Sadly, I had a lot of hope for this movie. I wanted Van Peebles’ to bring a fresh twist to this old theme, but everything just fell short. Out of the 22 other people in the theatre, 13 were left by time the credits rolled. Maybe they were sleeping, and forgot to leave.  I wish I had left earlier too.

No one was singing about the return of “Glee”


By Kayla Cohen

Last season, Kevin McHale, who plays Artie, wheeled himself into the pool during a synchronized swimming act. Isn’t that more insulting than comical?

After all the scrutiny that “Glee” went through from the beginning of the first season for having an able-bodied actor play a character in a wheelchair, they are back at it again. Quinn, played by Dianna Agron, has now returned back to Glee, but in a wheelchair.

We don’t have actors pretend to play a character with Down Syndrome because that’s morally wrong. But we allow actors to play characters in wheelchairs. Is that morally wrong as well? Or not?

“I like that now when I got out in the community little kids aren’t like, ‘Wow, Mommy, what is she sitting in?’ because half of the time they have seen a wheelchair on television,” said Kelly Cooper, a 23-year-old senior majoring in law. “However I don’t agree with how they portray the handicapped characters, it seems a bit like they’re making fun of people in wheelchairs, like me.”

“Glee” consistently shows viewers that it’s harder socially to fit in if you’re in a wheelchair. On countless occasions with Kevin McHale, they make him feel like an outcast and he will never be able to fit in. They actually had an episode where they made his girlfriend ask Santa Claus to let McHale’s character be able to walk as a Christmas present, making it appear as if he cannot be the ideal boyfriend because he cannot walk.

And then to make matters worse, Quinn is now in a wheelchair because of a car accident. Dianna Agron’s character even stated she needs to get out of her wheelchair to make her dreams come true. So that means you can’t go to college if you’re in a wheelchair? Ridiculous.

Obviously, “Glee” creators have not learned their lesson. Maybe they should educate viewers more about being in wheelchairs and show less about how parts of society reject them socially. There is a person sitting in the chair too.

So what will be in store this season on “Glee” for Quinn? Is she going to wheel into a pool with Artie as well? They started with the ramp on Senior Day. Where to next?  I guess we’ll have to continue watching this season of “Glee” to see what other outrageous ideas spawn out of this as well.