Dinosaur Jr. Tears Up Daniel Street in Milford

Matt Kiernan / News Editor
Dinosaur Jr. played with opening band Awesome Color at the Daniel Street club in Milford, Conn. to a crowd of young and old fans looking for an alternative spin on classic rock music.

“We’re not going to be playing anything off that album tonight,” said Dinosaur Jr. bassist Lou Barlow to a crowd of disappointed fans screaming “Boo!” in regards to songs from their upcoming album Farm. Instead the band decided to play many of the songs from their back-catalogue of albums.

“Feel the Pain”, “Sludgefest”, “Freak Scene” and many of the songs from their 2007 release Beyond were all performed with amplifiers turned to maximum volume which filled the small club. One of their biggest hits “Freak Scene” was played to thrilled fans who shouted, “Cause when I need a friend it’s still you!” when the lyrics came up.

People attending the show were given the choice of getting a 7” or music download code for free that contained the songs “I Don’t Wanna Go There” off of Farm and a live version of “Tarpit” from their 1987 release You’re Living All Over Me.

Lead singer and guitar player J. Mascis played his electric guitar as if it were as easy as tying his shoes while he swayed back and forth while Lou Barlow hovered over his bass guitar and drummer Murph was sweating up a storm thundering on the drums.

A  mosh pit broke out a few songs into Dinosaur’s performance with a group of fans thrashing themselves across the center of the floor and crowd surfing, which caused a few members of the audience to get kicked out of the show. One member was tossed out for allegedly kicking someone in the head.

Awesome Color performed songs from their new 2008 album Electric Aborigines, which included, “Eyes of Light”, “Already Down” and “Taste It”. The group gave off an Iggy Pop and the Stooges feel without the self-mutilation and stage power that the Stooges had.

The lead singer and guitar player Derek Stanton brought riffs and guitar solos at a rapid rate while playing their songs but seemed to be trying a little hard to impress. Stanton became flustered for a moment when he realized lead singer Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. was standing in the audience to watch the last few songs of their set.

Brian Jonestown Massacre and Asteroid No. 4 Pair Up for Psychedelic Performance

Matt Kiernan / News Editor
The psychedelic experience of the Brian Jonestown Massacre and Asteroid No. 4 was performed at the Pearl Street Night Club in Northampton, Mass. where fans were able to see the reuniting of some original members of the Massacre band.

Leader since the beginnings of the band, Anton Newcombe was accompanied by guitarist Matt Hollywood and tambourine player Joel Gion who tour with Massacre when time allows.

Hollywood and Gion seemed to have not forgotten their old songs they helped to write during the 1990s as they played with ease, even with the new songs Newcombe wrote after they left the band.

Hollywood and Gion originally left the band in the late 1990s when Hollywood got into a physical fight with Newcombe and Gion felt the band couldn’t be taken further as seen on the 2003 released documentary Dig!

The documentary followed Massacre and their rivals the Dandy Warhols over several years and showed the loss of friendship between the two bands and eventual destruction of the original lineup of the Massacre.

“Servo”, “When Jokers Attack” and “Nevertheless” were highlights of their performance and Massacre even included songs from the shoegaze days of their first 1995 album Methodrone including “That Girl Suicide”. A collective “woo” sound filled the room when “That Girl Suicide” reached the ears of ecstatic fans.

Hypnotizing guitars paired with Gion’s dance and tambourine shaking in front of the microphone provided psychedelic jams with a ‘60s feel where fans slipped into peaceful head nodding of approval.

The concert was either helped or worsened by the fact that Massacre and Asteroid decided to drink onstage including beer and from a bottle of Jim Beam in between songs. Gion showed love for the audience by saluting them with his bottle every time he took a sip.

Massacre’s buddies of the Asteroid No. 4 group gave a strong performance that was very similar to sound that the members of Massacre strive for.

While performing psychedelic and 1960s feeling songs, they seem to lack the originality and strength that Newcombe and the other members of Massacre have when writing songs.

Asteroid’s performance included a light show and background of various things such as passing cars and dancing fairies.

Both theatrics did well to set a mood in the club along with their “nod your head” music.

Eco-Artists Reach Out to CCSU Students

By Ginny Winters-Troche / Special to The Recorder

Eco-friendly artists displayed their works in the Samuel T. Chen Fine Arts Gallery at CCSU on Thursday, Mar. 19 before answering questions before an audience in the gallery.

The panel of five Eco-Artists gave short lectures about their nature friendly creations and then opened the floor for attendees to ask the small panel questions about their endeavors as artists and about their work.

The first artist to speak, Joy Wilky, was inspired by nature as she was forced to “watch things disappear in the smog” while living in California. She has been inspired by nature since then, but claims it is “bittersweet, since it’s never the same from moment to moment.”

“We always thought the earth would repair itself, and we were wrong,” said Wilky. Dealing with natural materials such as glass, sand, leaves, and even animal bones, her sketches and sculptures of frozen waves and tides are reminiscent of geology and of the frailty of nature.

She was also involved in the creation of a 20-year photo essay. She says her favorite part of putting the photo essay together was being able “to watch the climates and landscape change around her.”

Another artist, Kate Chappel brought up the fact that, as children, people tend to feel more as if they are a part of nature then simply looking upon it. In making a piece of art, she tries to make people feel as if they are connected to the Earth. She, like most of the other eco-artists, wants people to take a stand and turn things around.

Chappel’s art mostly deals with the extinction and unnatural deformities of animals across the globe.  In the series “Earth Envelope” the paintings are positioned and maneuvered so that, to look at them, one must cast a shadow onto the piece, thus incorporating the viewer into the painting.
In Chappel’s opinion, art viewers are drawn in by beauty, and made to stop, look, and think by oddities.

Xavier Cortada presented his work on a Powerpoint presentation titled “Art to Address Global Climate Change”. He was asked whether or not he thinks saving the Earth is possible or if it is too late.

To this he answered that he knew there would be a lot of suffering, that “we’d be showing pictures to our grandchildren of animals that will have gone extinct by the time they were born,” but that he was convinced eventually we could fix the Earth’s problems, if we worked together.

The final artist to speak was Bob Johnson. Some might call him an activist, although he mused that he was an instigator while introducing himself. He is known for creating the River Cube. Focusing on getting people involved with the community, Johnson collects trash from rivers, shapes them into cubes and then displays them in the community in which they were found as a reminder to the citizens and neighbors of the town.

All of these artists were desperate to get people involved, and Johnson gave an in to all attendees of this panel Q&A:  He invited anyone interested in helping the River Cube project for CCSU to meet him outside of the Samuel T. Chen Fine Arts Gallery on April 24 at 10 a.m. to clean the Park River Watershed, and get involved in the fight to, as Xavier Cortada put it, “reclaim the land for Earth.”

Stipend Controversy Deepens: SGA Refused ‘Treasurer’ Stipend

By Colette Gallcher / Copy Editor

Recent disputes within the Student Government Association led to internal and external pressure on several senators to rescind or a motion that prevents the SGA’s finance committee chairperson and acting treasurer from being paid this semester.

Arguments against the full $1,000 stipend for Senator and finance committee chair Christina Liudvinaitis and her duties this semester include the fact that she is a part-time student, and does not pay activity fees herself and has not fully completed the responsibilities of an SGA treasurer.

A special meeting was been called of the stipend review committee, which is responsible for overseeing the granting of stipends each semester, for Tuesday, March 31.

According to sources within the SGA, it was expected that the meeting was called in order to reverse the decision and to pressure certain senators to grant Liudvinaitis the full stipend.

According to one senator, the Student Activities and Leadership Development Office and the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, who has the power to reverse Senate decisions, would both like the Senate to reverse their decision.

In the process where all senators who are full-time students are eligible to receive a stipend each semester, varying between $400 and $1400, Liudvinaitis had petitioned the Senate to grant her the full treasurer stipend of $1,000 per semester.

As of the March 18 SGA meeting, Liudvinaitis was denied the full stipend by the SGA stipend review committee and the full Senate, but the Senate said that she would be eligible for the $400. The SGA cited her standing as a part-time student and her duties as finance committee chair as the reasons.

The debate over whether Liudvinaitis should receive a stipend for her duties stemmed from the Dec. 10 meeting of the SGA at which she was appointed to finance committee chair by President Alexander Estrom and then voted in by a simple majority of the Senate.

Following the appointment of Liudvinaitis, questions arose regarding her stipend payment, to which SGA President Alexander Estrom responded that it would be at the discretion of the SGA stipend review committee.

In an open letter to the Senate, asking that she be granted the full stipend, Liudvinaitis claimed she has fulfilled the duties of both an SGA Treasurer and senator, which means chairing the finance committee meetings, maintaining the financial responsibilities of the SGA and consistently served five office hours a week.

According to the SGA’s constitution, as the document that defines membership and eligibility, only full-time students qualify to be a senator and to receive a stipend. But SGA senators have said that Liudvinaitis was elected through a loophole as an at-large senator without clear restrictions on eligibility.
Restrictions on treasurer also dictate that, “the Student Treasurer of Central Connecticut State University shall be a fulltime undergraduate student at Central Connecticut State University.”

SGA Senator, Peter Krol believes that senator Liudvinaitis was merely “elected as chair of finance committee, nowhere does it say she’s treasurer.

“We voted her in as chair of finance committee; in no way did we vote her treasurer,” he said.

Liudvinaitis said that she fulfilled the responsibilities of the treasurer position and should be granted the money.

“The $1000 is what I deserve, given the jobs and tasks which I have completed and am completing,” said Liudvinaitis. “If you are doing the job, you should get the money regardless of the title.”

SALD’s Associate Director Susan Sweeney believes that the CCSU university administration was happy to accept Liudvinaitis as the treasurer, despite her part-time status.

She said the university allowed latitude by allowing her to be a part of the Senate. Sweeney added that the university felt it was making a responsible decision by following the SGA lead, which appeared to be to appoint senator Liudvinaitis as acting interim treasurer.

Sweeney felt that the senators are going back on their word if they deny Liudvinaitis her full stipend, as they passed the motion to appoint her acting interim treasurer and also passed the minutes to approve the motion.

Financial Aid Limitied: TEACH Grant Not Offered

By Tonya Malinowski / News Editor

Education students looking for new options in federal grant assistance this year will find themselves out of luck at CCSU.

The campus is not participating in the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education program, which grants up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.

“We just don’t feel it’s in the best interest of the students,” Assistant Director of Financial Aid Keri Lupachino said.

The grant, offered for the first time this academic year, requires recipients to meet specific conditions, including teaching in a high-need field for four years within eight calendar years of completing their field of study.

If the student doesn’t meet the requirements, the grant turns into an unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Many students are upset about the university’s refusal to participate in the program, including graduate student Sarah MacKiernan.

“They kept telling me to call back and finally said they weren’t participating,” MacKiernan, a secondary English education major said. “They are making the decision for the whole student body instead of giving us the choice.”

Thirty-nine percent of master’s degrees and 12 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded by CCSU in 2008 were in the education field, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

“The problem is we would give this TEACH grant to students, then two years later they may change their mind and be stuck with an unsubsidized loan, which accrues interest from the day the grant was given,” Lupachino said.

The grant is available through FAFSA and requires students already be enrolled in an education program as well as maintain a 3.25 GPA throughout the year.

Undergraduate elementary education major Nicole Flanagan said she has only recently heard of the grant program.

“I can understand some of the reasons why Central won’t participate in the program,” she said, “but ultimately I think it should be up to the student to decide.”

Flanagan, one of 464 undergraduates currently in the school of education, said the university should give student the option but with fair warning of the conditions.

Students who change majors or fail to meet the requirements will be responsible to pay back the grant with interest charged from the date it was issued.

“I don’t feel they need to protect us from it,” MacKiernan said. “It makes me question if they’ve really taken the student body’s opinion into account.”