Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spotlight: Tyrod Taylor

"I challenge myself every week to be the best player on the field. That's my mindset going into the week and when I step onto the field, I want to let it be known that I was the best player on the field in that game."

Tyrod Taylor was selected as the 180th pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. His 4.51-second official 40-yard dash time was best among quarterbacks, as well as his vertical jump, broad jump, and shuttle.

In a total of 50 games at Tech, Taylor completed 57.2% of his throws for 7,017 yards and 44 touchdowns. He ran for 2,196 yards and 23 touchdowns. And he averaged 184.3 yards a game in total offense.

He was named the 2010 ACC Player of the Year, as well as the Offensive Player of the Year and the league's first-team All-ACC quarterback. He is the first Hokies player to win the ACC Player of the Year honor since Bryan Randall in 2004. He won the Dudley Award, given to the state's top Division I football player. He was named the 2010 ACC Championship MVP against Florida State, as well as the 2008 ACC Championship MVP against Boston College.

In addition to setting a school record for total offense, Taylor also set Virginia Tech records in:
  • Career Wins by QB (34)
  • Career Passing Yards (7,017)
  • Career Rushing Yards by QB (2,196)
  • Career Rushing TDs by QB (23)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Artist Shows Caps with the Cup

Artist Aleksandr Reut has crafted Washington Capitals – We are the Champions!, an exquisite 40″ x 32″ oil painting on canvas. This inspired (yet absurdly premature) work of celebratory art and its partner piece are available for bid or purchase on eBay right now. Starting bid is only $5,000, so crack open those piggy banks.

A 50-something Ukranian ex-pat living in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Reut fills the daytime hours as an architect, but the muses compel him to high art.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wiz Khalifa - "Get On My Level" (2011)

"On My Level" is the first promotional single by Wiz Khalifa from his third studio album Rolling Papers. It features Too Short and was produced by Jim Jonsin.

The song debuted at #52 on the Billboard Hot 100.

After a performance at East Carolina University on November 9, 2010, Khalifa was arrested after ECU police detected "a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the tour bus and the backstage area of the auditorium." After searching Khalifa's tour bus, authorities found 60 grams (2.1 ounces) of marijuana. Khalifa was arrested and charged with marijuana trafficking, a felony count of maintaining a dwelling/vehicle/place for sale or storage of marijuana, and one misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Khalifa was later released after posting a $300,000 bond, after which he resumed his Waken Baken Tour 2010.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hot Tuna - "Angel Of Darkness" (2011)

Hot Tuna is an American blues-rock band formed by bassist Jack Casady and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen as a spin-off of Jefferson Airplane. In November 2010 Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen announced on his blog that Hot Tuna had begun recording its first studio album in 20 years. The album Steady as She Goes was released by Red House Records on April 5, 2011.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hot Collaborations

Chicago natives Common, Jennifer Hudson, Lupe Fiasco and No I.D. joined forces to create the song "We Can Do It Now" inspired by Season 3 of REPLAY which was featured in the documentary which premiered on FOX Sports Net on November 7, 2010.

Janelle Monáe worked with B.o.B. and Lupe Fiasco for the official remix of the first single from her debut album The ArchAndroid. Janelle Monáe on the song: "Tightrope is basically dealing with how in life it's important to keep your balance and not get too high or low about things during the time when you're either being praised or being criticized."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kid Cudi - "Day 'n' Nite" (2009)

This pop art music video was directed by the French director So-Me who previously worked on music videos with a similar style such as Justice's "D.A.N.C.E." and Kanye West's "Good Life". The video was produced by Imetrages and also features a brief appearance by Travis Barker. It features Cudi walking around Los Angeles doing a variety of mundane activities such as getting a slice of pizza, grocery shopping, or visiting a bar, but the overlay of graphic colors on top of the actual video disguises or transforms the daily scene into one of fantasy. These fantasized versions of reality reference the film The Wizard of Oz and later manifest Cudi's desire to perform music; ultimately they play on the song's theme of the "lonely stoner" whose quotidian existence transforms because of his ability to "free his mind." The video features interior and exterior shots of Los Angeles bar, The Smogcutter (located on Virgil) and the somewhat iconic video game arcade, "Family Arcade" (located on Vermont in Hollywood).

Kid Cudi was nominated for 'Best New Artist' at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Cool Kids - "Fresh Air" (2011)

Foot Locker and Nike's star-studded new commercial to "Fresh Air" by The Cool Kids. The piece features Amar’e Stoudemire, DeSean Jackson and Chris Bosh, with a guest appearance by Ken Griffey Jr. serving up his latest Swingman design. In addition, the entire animated spot was highlighted by the artwork of Grotesk.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

CAKE at 9:30 Club

It's been seven years since the Sacramento, California band has put out a new album. Their sixth full-length album, Showroom of Compassion, was released on January 11, 2011, and debuted at the #1 position on the Billboard 200; a first for the band.

In 2008, the band removed their studio from dependence on Sacramento, California's power grid by installing a system of solar panels. The band subsequently announced that their upcoming studio album will be "recorded using 100% solar energy."

During the break between sets, the band gave away a white gold cherry tree to an audience member -- a recent tradition at Cake shows.

First Set:
Sad Songs and Waltzes
Opera Singer
Long Time
Sick of You
Frank Sinatra
Sheep Go to Heaven
Arco Arena
Love You Madly

Second Set:
Stick Shifts and Safety Belts
Satan Is My Motor
Shadow Stabbing
Federal Funding
Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle
Bound Away
Mustache Man
Never There

The Distance

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Röyksopp - "Remind Me" (2002)

Röyksopp is a Norwegian electronic music duo from Tromsø, formed in 1998. Since their inception, the band's line-up has included Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland. The vocals on "Remind Me" are sung by Erlend Øye. The single reached #21 in the UK Singles Chart.

The music video is directed by the French motion graphics studio H5. It features a day in the life of a woman working in the London's Square Mile solely through infographics; this includes labelled close-ups of everyday objects, product lifecycles, schematic diagrams, charts, and is generally illustrated in a simple isometric visual style.

The video won the 2002 MTV Europe Music Award for best music video. In this same event the duo was nominated in three more categories: "Best Nordic Act", "Best New Artist" and "Best Dance Act".

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fatboy Slim - "Praise You" (1998)

The video for "Praise You" was directed by Spike Jonze. Jonze starred in the film under the pseudonym Richard Koufey, along with a fictional dance group, the Torrance Community Dance Group. The video was shot guerrilla-style (that is, on location without obtaining permission from the owners of the property) in front of puzzled onlookers outside a movie theatre in Westwood, California.

The video won three major awards at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards: Breakthrough Video, Best Direction (awarded to "Torrance Community Dance Group") and Best Choreography (awarded to "Richard Koufey & Michael Rooney"). It was also nominated for, but did not win, Best Dance Video.

The "Praise You" video came into being because Spike Jonze, unable to work with Fatboy Slim on the video for "The Rockafeller Skank", recorded and set his own solo dance video to "Skank" as a gift; Jonze's 'alternate' music video was so well-received by Slim that Jonze's fictional Torrance Community Dance Group was green-lighted for the official video for "Praise You".

Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) is briefly seen in the video as one of the many onlookers, with the clearest view shown at the conclusion of the video, while Jonze is talking about the dance. Cook curiously peers over Jonze to catch a glimpse of the camera before walking off to the right.

The video reportedly cost only $800 to produce, with most of that money going towards a replacement boombox and food for the cast and crew.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spotlight: Park Chan-wook

"In my films, I focus on pain and fear. The fear just before an act of violence and the pain after. This applies to the perpetrators as well as the victims."
Park Chan-wook (born August 23, 1963) is a South Korean film director, screenwriter, producer, and former film critic. One of the most acclaimed and popular filmmakers in his native country, Park is most known for his films Joint Security Area, Thirst and what has become known as The Vengeance Trilogy, consisting of 2002's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy in 2003 and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance in 2005. His films are noted for their immaculate framing and often brutal subject matter.

In a May 2004 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Park listed Sophocles, Shakespeare, Kafka, Dostoevsky, Balzac, Kurt Vonnegut and others as being influences on his career. In a later interview, Park listed Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Aldrich, Ingmar Bergman, Sam Fuller, Roman Polanski and Kim Ki-young as cinematic influences.

Despite extreme violence in his films, Park is regarded as one of the most popular film directors in Korea, with three of his last five feature films (Joint Security Area, Oldboy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) all drawing audiences of over 3 million. This makes Park the director of three films in the thirty all-time highest grossing films in South Korea. (9th, 29th, 26th respectively as of January 2007).

American director Quentin Tarantino is an avowed fan of Park. As the head judge in 2004 Cannes Film Festival, he personally pushed for Park's Oldboy to be awarded the Palme d'Or (the honor eventually went to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11). Instead, Oldboy garnered the Grand Prix, the second-highest honor in the competition. Tarantino also regards Park's Joint Security Area to be one of "the top twenty films made since 1992."

In February 2007, Park won the Alfred Bauer prize at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival. The award, named after the festival's founder and in praise of movies opening up new perspectives, went to Park for his film, I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK.

In 2009, Park directed his first vampire film, Thirst, starring Song Kang-ho which won Prix du Jury along with Fish Tank, directed by Andrea Arnold at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

In 2011, Park said his new fantasy-horror short film Paranmanjang (Night Fishing) was shot entirely on the iPhone 4. It won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival

Filming for his first English language film Stoker is scheduled to begin in late spring 2011, with Mia Wasikowska having joined the cast and Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in talks to come on board as well. The screenplay is written by Wentworth Miller, who confirmed that despite the title there are no vampires in the story.

Friday, April 1, 2011

An Evening Of Comedy

Hylton Performing Arts Center
George Mason University

Tommy Davidson was born November 10, 1963 in Washington, D.C. He attended high school at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, in Bethesda, Maryland. After graduating, he enrolled at the University of the District of Columbia, but dropped out shortly thereafter.

Davidson started his career as a stand-up comedian in the mid 1980s, performing in various comedy clubs throughout the Washington Metropolitan region, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Thanks to Keenan Ivory Wayans, his first major exposure came on the variety show In Living Color, where he played various characters, including his impersonations of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Sugar Ray Leonard.

His vis­i­bil­ity on In Liv­ing Color led to three Show­time spe­cials: Illin’ in Philly, On Strength of New York, and Takin’ it to DC. He has also appeared in the feature films Strictly Business, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Booty Call, Woo, Spike Lee’s Bam­boo­zled, and Juwanna Mann.

He recently scored big with review­ers and audi­ences alike oppo­site Michael Jai White in the critically-lauded spoof com­edy Black Dyna­mite, last year’s big Sun­dance hit, which was recently nom­i­nated for a 2010 Image Award.

Cedric Yarbrough was born March 20, 1973 in Burnsville, Minnesota. Yarbrough attended Minnesota State University. He is an alumnus of "Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop" in Minneapolis.

Yarbrough starred on the Comedy Central television series Reno 911! and the spinoff film Reno 911!: Miami as Deputy S. Jones. He provides the voice of Tom Dubois and Colonel H. Stinkmeaner on The Boondocks animated series with Regina King and John Witherspoon. He also voiced Firestorm in the animated film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.

Carlos Alazraqui was born July 20, 1962 to Argentine parents. He attended Cal State Sacramento where he began competing in open mic contests. After winning in his fourth year of competing at the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, he took his prize money and moved to Los Angeles.

He is best known for his role as Deputy James Garcia on the Comedy Central series Reno 911! (2003-2008) and the spinoff film Reno 911!: Miami.

If you own a television set you probably know that Carlos is more than just the voice of a very famous Chihuahua dog. You might have heard his voices in animated features, as the lost ant in A Bugs Life, the frightened eyewitness in Osmosis Jones, and as Nestor in Happy Feet. He provided additional voices in Toy Story 3.

Alazraqui has performed several voices for Nickelodeon cartoons, including Rocko on Rocko's Modern Life, Denzel Crocker and Juandissimo Magnifico on The Fairly OddParents, Winslow on CatDog, and additional voices on Angry Beavers and KaBlam!. He has voiced several characters for Cartoon Network, including additional voices in Cow and Chicken during its run in the mid-late 1990s.