Monthly Archives: June 2014

Donald Sterling’s racism deals a blow to LA Clippers

BEN HOUT. Staff Writer.

In the midst of one of the best first round of NBA playoffs in years, it became public via phone recordings that the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, was racist. Though the team was ignorant of the ownership’s discriminatory tendencies, it was their image and the organization’s as a whole that suffered. Immediately in the first week, 10 big-name Clippers endorsers dropped their sponsorship of the team, including State Farm with their endearing Cliff Paul commercials.

Thankfully, Cliff Paul has made his way back into State Farm ads, and the Clippers have been sold. Former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer purchased the team, and for a record two billion. Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, was handed over the ability to sell the team by her husband, and has jacked prices to ridiculous heights. It seems the Sterling family wants to go out of the NBA in the same manner they carried themselves throughout their infamous career. It wasn’t until his racist remarks were unveiled in the recorded phone call, that the league realized Sterling had gone too far.

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2014 in Music: The Gems You May Not Have Heard

ADAM PETERSON. Movie Columnist.

As a person who’s mostly a fan of older music, I rarely buy more than a few new albums in a given year. However, with a little bit of effort and time, I have been able to find more and more recent artists producing interesting music. If you’re like me and find yourself continually turning off the radio and looking for something different, here’s a list of my four favorite albums so far this year that are worth your time.

3. Sweet Valley: So Serene and Fang

Sweet Valley is a duo between Nathan Williams (lead singer of Wavves) and his brother Kynan. They make bizarre beats comprised entirely of samples they take from all kinds of sources. A typical Sweet Valley album takes you on a journey through several different genres of music, all filtered through the duo’s strange sense of fun and experimentation. Everything from parts of other songs to video game noises to movie quotes assaults your eardrums; there truly is no experience quite like a Sweet Valley album. They have released two new ones this year, both among their best: the 27 minute long masterpiece So Serene and the relentlessly hard-hitting F.A.N.G.

2. Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks: Enter the Slasher House

There is no question that of all my favorite modern artists, Animal Collective stands miles above the rest, and anyone looking for something different should check out their extensive discography. While there is unfortunately no new Animal Collective albums this year, this release is a new side project from their front-man Avey Tare and it will sound instantly familiar to fans of the band. It has the same weirdness and sound experimentation that fans have come to expect, but with the use of more live instruments and melodic hooks, making it slightly more accessible.

1. Tobacco: Ultima II Massage

Tobacco, best known for his band Black Moth Super Rainbow, has been releasing solo albums with a more aggressive tone than the sound his band is known for. His first two albums were filled with colorful synths, trippy beats, and his signature vocoder-distorted vocals that act more as an instrument than as a voice. Ultima II Massage is his best work to date, an album that feels like a great summary of all his unique talents. Tobacco himself feels that the album is a “definitive end to a concept that I’ve been trying to perfect for a while.” Highlights include the face-melting “Lipstick Destroyer”, the haunting “Creaming for Beginners”, and the epic instrumental “Pool City, Mcknight Road.” I guarantee you’ve heard nothing quite like the strange combination of sounds both beautiful and horrid that Tobacco puts together. Songs such as “Video Warning Attempts” are melodic and pretty, but just try watching the music video for the grimy freak-out “Streaker” without feeling unsettled. Overall, Ultima II Massage will leave you feeling dazed, overwhelmed, and completely satisfied.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel (B)

ADAM PETERSON. Movie Columnist.

The latest feature from Wes Anderson follows his typical offbeat formula and does not break any new ground but is nonetheless an enjoyable diversion and a breath of fresh air from all the generic blockbusters currently dominating theaters.

The bulk of the story is set at a picturesque hotel in a fictional European republic in 1932. A new lobby boy named Zero becomes the personal servant of the concierge, Gustave H, who basically runs the hotel. The two quickly develop a friendship and get into all sorts of misadventures together. The complicated plot involves the murder of a wealthy widow, the robbery of a priceless painting, and much more.

Ralph Fiennes is fantastic as Gustave H, masterfully delivering all the witty dialogue and keeping the audience on his character’s side. Seemingly dozens of other famous actors appear in small roles throughout the movie including Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, and Adrian Brody.

Similar to his other films, Anderson immerses the viewer in a world that is not quite fantasy but does not seem to be part of the real world either. The cinematography, shot on location in Germany, is gorgeous and the hotel itself is a magnificent set. This film has a little more excitement than some of Anderson’s other films such as Moonrise Kingdom. There are some great sequences such as a ski race down a steep snow-covered mountain and a hilariously cartoonish gunfight near the ending.

Overall, I left The Grand Budapest Hotel feeling satisfied. It is not a movie that I imagine thinking about or discussing much in the future, but it more than justifies the cost of admission.   

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Best restaurants in San Diego

MEGAN MCCOLLUM. Staff Writer.

C Level Lounge-

The C Level Lounge & Island Prime Restaurants offer a unique variety of dining options with an experience unlike anywhere else. Because of their distinct location right on the water, they have a dining option of parking your boat. Prices range from $25-$65 and range from a wide range of options on choices.

Volare Italian Dining-

This is a very well known exquisite restaurant in the downtown San Diego area that is prized for its Italian food. With the best baked Ziti and Spaghetti in town, this restaurant is sure to make your senses sizzle. Prices range from $30-$55 on all entrée options.

 

Corvette Diner-

The Corvette dinner is a very cute 50’s themed Diner that offers a wide range of food options including burgers, steaks, etc. You are sure for a good time with the goofy neon themes and the waitresses that come and style your hair with straws. Corvette diner’s prices range from $15-$27

The Venetian-

The Venetian in Point Loma has a wide variety of pizza, soups, salads, Linguini and seafood, and many other options. This restaurant has it all and is located in a beautiful part of town. Prices range from around $15-$20 for starters and is sure for an experience one will never forget.

Anthonys- Located right on the beach this restaurant has semi decent prices and offers a wide range of dinner options including sea food and many other kinds of food to suit every picky eaters taste buds. Anthonys offers great service and great food with a 4 star reputation. Prices range from $15-$30.

Jake’s Del Mar- Jake’s in Delmar is also located right offshore on the beach in Del Mar, California. With a wide variety of dinner options, Jakes specializes in their Crab with a delectable side of chowder. Prices range from $15-$27 and the view is worth the amazing food experience. Jakes is sure to impress.

Flemings Prime Steakhouse- This is a 5 star restaurant and serves nothing but the very best. This restaurant is known to be the best in San Diego and is prized on its fine dining and irresistible food choices. Prices range from $30-$70 but the prices are worth it all and this restaurant has the credentials to prove it.

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Chargers: What could have been

HAMID KOLAHDOUZ. Sports Columnist.

When the Charger’s comeback bid against the Broncos in the divisional playoffs fell short, the most exciting season in recent Chargers’s history commenced. While the season saw the rise of Ryan Mathews out of a shroud of doubt and Philip Rivers erase his turnover tendencies, it is troubling to think of what could have been if first year General Manager Tom Telesco had resigned a few key veterans in the past offseason.

Imagine if this year’s defense still had veteran nose tackle Abrayu Franklin, who went on to start on the vaunted 49er’s defense after Telesco declined to resign him, or even still had cornerback Antoine Cason, who while not an outstanding player to say the least would be a considerable upgrade over Richard Marshall.

Losing Abrayu Franklin hurt the run defense badly as it quickly became apparent that Cam Thomas could not get the job done. The worst non-signing has to be that of pass rusher Sean Philips, the Chargers’ second all-time sack leader, because he went on to make an impact for the Superbowl-bound rival Denver Broncos. The defense could have kept at least part of the dominance it flashed in 2012 if the team had resigned its veterans. The Chargers’s offense was superb this year, but the team’s lack of defense dragged the team to seven losses and allowed the Broncos to overpower the Chargers in the playoffs. If Telesco had just signed the veterans he had available for very economical salaries, then the team could have gone the extra distance.

Telesco had an excellent draft and made great free agency signings in left tackle King Dunlap and running back Danny Woodhead, but in 20/20 hindsight we can see he made a few vital mistakes. Cornerback Derek Cox ended up being a gigantic whiff in free agency and was eventually benched and rookie Manti Teo looked enormously underwhelming during the season. Granted, Teo missed significant developmental time in the pre-season to injury. Overall Telesco improved the team considerably in the off season and turned the team into a real playoff contender; however, in his zeal, he brashly discarded key veterans who could have pushed the team to the next level. Hopefully, Telesco will learn from these early mistakes and successes and elevate the organization to the ultimate goal: the Superbowl.

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