Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

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Mill closes but jam relocates

Laughter and conversation mixed with bluegrass music flowing from fiddles, banjos, mandolins, guitars, and an upright bass filled the air last Monday, Feb. 22 at a packed Coffee Mill. Every seat was filled as a range from toddlers to seniors clapped their hands and stomped their feet to the music. The energy inside the Coffee Mill made it easy to see it was a special night on Main Street, and it may be the last special night on Main Street for a long time to come. After eight years of serving the City of Radford, the Coffee Mill is closing its doors for good.

“I, personally, am very sorry to see the Coffee Mill close,” fiddle player and a founder of the jam Ralph Berrier said. “Not because of the jam, but because the Mill has been such a wonderful gathering spot for downtown Radford.”

The Coffee Mill has been a popular hangout for both natives of Radford and Radford University students.

“I like the community,” junior Mark Samudre said. “I like getting away from campus and doing my work and stuff.”

Graduate student, Jon Murrill, likes the atmosphere of not just the Coffee Mill, but of the jam sessions as well.

“I try to come as often as I can for [a] couple of months now,” Murrill said. “I saw it from the road and it felt like a fun atmosphere.”

Radford University students don’t just come out to watch the jam; some participate. Banjo player Jason Wheeler comes out to the jams every Monday night and participates with the rest of the group.

“When I first started playing the banjo I was in tenth grade in high school,” Wheeler said. “I started going to the Coffee Mill jam shortly after I started playing. I did not know many songs, and was a newbie when it came to playing, especially in public. The group of musicians welcomed me and allowed me to sit down and learn from them. I learned a great deal from that jam, and I credit it with the quickness of my development on the banjo.”

With the closing of the Coffee Mill, the Radford Fiddle and Banjo Jam loses the place it called home for the past seven years.

“It seems ironic that two weeks ago we were celebrating our 10 year anniversary, and now, two weeks later, we’re having our last jam,” Berrier said to an attentive audience.

It may be the last jam at the Coffee Mill, but that doesn’t mean it’s the last jam.

“The jam will survive,” Berrier said. “It’s lasted 10 years and has been held at other venues.”

The jam will move to the cafe area in Wades Supermarket every Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. until it finds a permanent location. This isn’t the first time the jam was forced to change locations. When the jam first formed in 2000, the group wandered between several locations such as Mocha Joe’s and BT’s, until they settled down at Joe’s Diner for three years. The Coffee Mill has hosted the jam since they opened their doors eight years ago. The move is necessary, but the group made sure to pay homage to their home of over half a decade.

“We’ve been guests in their house for seven years, so we thank them,” Berrier said.

Cover and story photo by Thomas Bowman

“The Big Bang Theory” is a big hit

The nerds of the world are making a comeback everywhere. Computer geeks are becoming more needed, video games are becoming the cool thing to play, and comic books are more popular thanks to movies based on them. Following this trend is the CBS show, “The Big Bang Theory.”

This show follows four nerds who work at CalTech University. Sheldon Cooper is a genius theoretical physicist who thinks he is superior to all other human minds. Leonard Hofstadter is an experimental physicist who wants more out of life than video games and “Star Trek” re-runs. The two are roommates who live across the hall from blonde, aspiring actress/Cheesecake Factory waitress, Penny. Their other two friends, Rajesh and Howard, are also scientists. Rajesh Koothrappali is a particle astrophysicist who is originally from New Delhi, India. Due to his extreme shyness, he can only talk to women when he is drunk. This causes problems when Penny joins them all for dinner at Leonard and Sheldon

2010 Bonnaroo preview

ATTENTION ALL MUSIC LOVERS! Tickets are now on sale for the 2010 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, which is scheduled for June 10-13. So far there are over 90 musical acts in the lineup including Dave Matthews Band, Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Weezer, Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Norah Jones and Zac Brown Band.

The festival will be hosted at the Great Stage park in Manchester, Tenn. Ticket prices are starting at $234.50, plus applicable fees. However, after tickets are sold out, tickets will continue to be sold for $249.50 while supplies last. For most college students, $250 can be a lot to cough up, but the festival offers a payment plan available for purchase where you can make five payments of $50, plus applicable fees and shipping. The payment plan ticket sales end on April 30. Tickets start shipping out on May 26, and each ticket is designed to be a sovenir.

Cover and story photo courtesy of Creative Commons

My Horizon

I want you, but I don’t.

The pain in my chest is weakening.

How did this happen? I need a drink.

Where did the past two years go?

I was so sure of myself and I thought I understood my emotions.

Why oh why am I suddenly feeling this way.

I didn’t want you, threw you out, and not in the best way.

In fact, I was relieved to be free of you. I was young and free.

The last thing I wanted was you.

But suddenly, it has become apparent that you were there all along.

You were always with me. In the back of my mind,

I knew you always loved me, and I needed that.

Why did I hurt you? You were always so nice.

I used to think that I was better than you, you told me I was a couple of times,

But now I see, the one that was mistaken was me, for you are far greater.

Your beauty as a person shines bright and attracts people towards you.

My mother said you wouldn’t be single for too long,

I guess this was just something else she was right on.

I feel raw and wounded.

I feel like a fool.

Why did you let me push you away?

If you loved me the way you said you did, why did you just let me walk away?

Sometimes, I think it’s because you thought I deserved someone different,

Someone greater, but other times,

I fear it’s because you gave up on me, on us.

I’m sorry I was difficult, rude, young, immature, nasty, selfish and proud.

I’m happy for you in all that you do. I see that you are whole with her.

I’m sorry I couldn’t give you that.

My world was small then, and I didn’t understand love,

maybe I still don’t, but I have learned that when you love someone, you want what is best for them.

She is better for you; I’m still searching for my horizon.

Cover graphic by Kasey Sutphin

Parliament Square Tree

Tree in Parliament Square

This is yet another photo taken on my study abroad trip to London in May of 2009. I especially liked this tree because the leaves had a look that reminded me almost of bronze. Notice the shading is very close to that of the statue right next to it depicting Winston Churchill. The building behind it is probably rich in history. If the camera were to pan to the right, the viewer would see Big Ben and The Parliament.

Even When…


Even when your heart breaks
And they’re not there,
Life just takes,
All that’s fair.
Your heart wakes,
Your eyes to stare,
At what makes
You and your soul care.

Even when you make mistakes
And hurt someone,
You slam on the breaks.
Because you realize what you have done,
And when your soul aches,
Look to the sun.
He knows what it takes,
And in him you have won.

Even when you fall on the ground,
Don’t give up on your dream.
Just listen for a sound,
And something will gleam.
By the one who’s crowned,
He is supreme,
And he will surround.
Because you’re on his team,

Even when they aren’t around.
And you feel all alone,
Don’t go drowned,
You’re just in a zone,
Look to the rebound.
And how much you’ve grown,
Look at what you have found.
When you’re seated before the throne,

Even when everything’s not perfect.
And it seems it never will be,
Don’t let it affect
What you truly see.
For it’s direct,
And it’s a guarantee.
You can connect,
And you can be free.

Even when they reject,
And you feel ignored,
Remember he is here to protect
Just wait to be restored.
And gain the respect,
By getting your reward.
You will be correct,
Just look to the Lord.

Cover graphic by Kasey Sutphin

A tribute to Alexander McQueen: Remembering a genius

McQueen was born in London in 1969. He left school at an early age and started an apprenticeship at Savile Row in London. He went on to work for other designers such as Anderson and Sheppard and Gieves and Hawkes.

McQueen did a few stints at designers around Europe until returning to London in 1994. He went to design school and received a Master’s in Fashion Design from Central St. Martin’s College. He recieved critical acclaim when his collection was bought by famous Fashionista Isabella Blow, whom later became his mentor.

McQueen quickly became one of the most respected designers in the fashion world. He won the Brittish Designer of the Year Award four times from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and he was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the queen.

McQueen went on to take over as Creative Director of Gucci and moved on to Givency in 1996. He also had his own label known best for its expertise in couture.

McQueen was found dead in his apartment Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010.

Cover and story photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Farscape: An amazing sci-fi and comedy

“Farscape” was a TV series that first aired on SciFi in the 1990’s. There are two aspects of the TV show that really make it great. For one thing, the show is a science fiction TV show with some pretty awesome graphics, as well as some cool action scenes. The other aspect of this show is the fact that it’s also kind of a comedy, and some parts in the show will make you laugh your head off. It’s definitely one of the best sci-fis out there, and it has an extremely well written story. The star of the show is a man named John Crichton, who in the very first episode, is a scientist working for NASA.

In the first episode he and his father are planning on conducting an experiment with a small ship that belongs to John. John goes up in the space shuttle while his father works with mission control down below. When John launches in his small ship from the space shuttle however, he suddenly goes flying into a wormhole in the middle of his experiment and it sends him off to a distant part of that galaxy, light years away from Earth. As soon as he comes out of the wormhole, another ship crashes into his and while his ship survives the collision without so much as a scratch, the other ship is destroyed almost immediately. He made an enemy within one minute of arriving right there.

John ends up on a living transport ship transporting runaway prisoners who are trying to escape from the peacekeepers, who are people who look like humans. The man who was piloting the ship that was destroyed by crashing into John’s ship was a peacekeeper, and that man’s brother sets his sights on taking revenge on John. As John explores this new part of space, far away from his home world, he learns all about the two major powers in that part of the space. The peacekeepers and the scarons, who are two races bent on destroying each other. John later in the series becomes the keeper of a deadly technology which has the power to destroy entire races, and even the entire universe if it’s used in the wrong way.

Both the peacekeepers and the scarons come after John, because they want this technology so they can use it to destroy each other in an inevitable war. John, along with the rest of his new friends on the transport ship he comes to know as his new home, spend the series outsmarting and eluding peacekeepers, scarons and other strange aliens who live in that part of space. When you watch Farscape you’re in for quite an adventure, because it’s not only an awesome sci-fi, but it’s filled with all sorts of laughs that you’ll enjoy over and over again. It has action and comedy like all good series however it has it’s fair share of romance too. For awhile, it was one of the best shows on sci-fi, and if you’re into science fiction Farscape is a show that you’ll love for sure.

Cover and story photos from Creative Commons