KCSU reviews the hottest music

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Nov 202002
Authors: KCSU Staff

Ari Hest- “Story After Story”

Abby Berendt- KCSU Asst. Music Director

“Every dollar I have saved, every winter I have braved, every road that I have paved, leads to somewhere … I wanna know what life’s all about/ I will get there.” He’s the after-party, acoustic, smooth rock-guy every college-aged guitar player dreams to become. The lyrics of recent NYU graduate Ari Hest are so familiar, it’s as if you’ve written them yourself. “Story After Story” provides just what it claims to be: a reminiscent examination of the commonality among young life. Ari sings the typical break-up reaction in the mellow ballad, “Strangers Again”: “Why can’t everything be the way it was/ before the day that I lost you? I wish we were strangers again.” The soulful folk-rock singer has an intoxicating voice, a fascinating drive, and a passion to sing his Jeff Buckley inspired songs to whoever listens. He’s unsigned, untainted, and underground. Check out his new CD on the Grassroots Show. Tune in from 8 -10 p.m. with DJ Babs for the best jam-band, bluegrass and southern pop this side of the Mississppi.

Talib Kweli- “Quality”

Rebecca Rodriguez- KCSU Urban Director

Talib Kweli’s latest LP, “Quality,” is a very colorful creation. The songs pull from many styles of music including neo-soul, reggae and even a touch of disco. The musical backing is only the base of the upbeat, yet laid-back groove. If you are familiar with this artist, you know that Talib Kweli’s poetic lyrics consistently flow with positive messages. In “Quality,” Kweli brings his friends along; Mos Def, Black Thought, Pharoahe Monch, DJ Quik and Bilal are some of the voices that are featured throughout the production. Talib Kweli, along with his invited entourage presents an intriguing sound with a vibe that a listener can easily adopt. The smooth flow, thoughtful content and easy-going music all compliment each other to bring this album to the fifth star. Check out Talib Kweli’s new CD this Saturday on Low CO Jumpoff. Get your groove with The Lady in the Amp every Saturday from 8 -10 p.m. for the best hip-hop on the dial.

The Hope Conspiracy- “Endnote”

Peter Fryer- KCSU Metal Director

If I had to sum this album up in two words I’d say, “IT’S PISSED!!!” That’s all you really need to know. You’re not going to find daisies or sunshine on The Hope Conspiracy’s sophomore release. Allow me to illustrate with some lyrics: this is the white noise of frustration and despair / drive a knife all the way and let ’em know we are/ the ones that stick it out/ the ones that never run. As for the aesthetics of this album, the music is very tight, nothing super new as far as hardcore goes, but definitely not banal. The voice sounds almost like it was recorded in a hallway, but that by no means detracts from the record. If you like your music heavy, screaming, pissed and fast, look no further. To quote another lyric: Defiant hearts beat as one! Check out The Hope Conspiracy on The Dreadful Hours every Tuesday from 8 -10 p.m.

My Chemical Romance- “I Brought You My Bullets You Brought Me Your Love”

John Holland- KCSU News Director

There is a huge buzz surrounding My Chemical Romance. Geoff Rickly of fellow Jersey emo band Thursday produced the album, so immediately it has some amount of talent associated with it. Along with what I have heard about their live show, I was expecting a lot. The band members are definitely talented themselves and their metal influences come out very intensely, yet it’s missing something. It’s as if they looked at what worked for all the other up and coming emo bands and tried to do what they did; except they forgot the emotion, the very core of emo. They go from breathy to screaming vocals, their lyrics are cheesy and uninventive and I’ve already heard enough songs that end with the vocalist screaming a line repeatedly with no music. But like I said, they have talent and hopefully they make another album- and try it one more time with feeling. Set your dial to 90.5 for the best emo bands on Prom Night- every Friday from 10 – 12 p.m.

Thievery Corporation – “The Richest Man in Babylon”

Kelly Lopez- KCSU DJ

With Latin American, Middle Eastern and Indian (Bindi’s, not feathers) styling, it seems as though Thievery Corporation went to the United Nations and hand picked exactly what would compliment the mellow electronic flavor to pick you up and relax you, all at the same time. Most of the tracks are sans lyrics (those that do have vocals) and those that sound like that of Bjork and Sarah McLachlan. While some of the tracks can seem repetitive, it seems to add to the trance feel of the disk. “The Richest Man in Babylon” knows how to set a mood. Guys, this is the CD you conveniently have playing in the car when you pick up that special lady for that special date. Ladies, “The Richest Man in Babylon” is perfect for that relaxing spa night with your friends. For all your RPM desires, listen to Electronic Expedition and In the Mix. Set the mood with Thievery Corporation and others on Sunday nights from 8 – 12 p.m.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Wasabi spices up Fort Collins music scene

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Nov 202002
Authors: Holly Mendel

In the chilly garage that serves as the band’s practice hall, Brian Collins warms his fingers up with some smooth, bluesy chords. In blurred lettering, the back of his T-shirt reads, “You Can’t Hit What you Can’t See.” This slogan is quickly shown otherwise as Wasabi’s blind keyboardist hits one sweet note after another on the keys below his able hands.

Marshall Van Stone has just finished lighting a stick of incense in a makeshift burner on the garage door. He sits back down to his drums, counts the time and starts practice off with Collins’ original song, “She Won’t Run.” Bassist Ehren Crumpler and guitarist Sean Waters smile at each other as they start playing the lively riffs of this Wasabi creation.

Borrowing its name from a Japanese horseradish, Wasabi is a band that leaves a fiery impression on any live music lover’s taste buds. Playing a mix of jazz, blues, funk, trance and country (all with “a backbone of ass kicking rock ‘n’ roll”), Wasabi offers a spicy new sound to Fort Collins’s music scene.

The four musicians met at an open-mic last winter at Avogadro’s Number while playing with different bands. After hearing each other play, the enthusiastic band members ended up on stage together in what resulted in the biggest jam session Avo-goers ever experienced. Eventually, each respective band split up; and Waters, Crumpler, Collins and Van Stone came together a few months later to make Wasabi.

The newly arranged band of three Fort Collins locals and one Chicagoan quickly found in each other, an opportunity to advance their music to another level.

“Emotionally we each completely pour ourselves into our music,” Waters said. “We’re all equally intense and serious and it shows in the amount of energy we put in everyday.”

All four band members write and compose Wasabi’s music, and all (except for Van Stone) sing lead vocals, each with a distinct sound and style. On stage, the band is nonstop energy that encourages audiences to get on their feet and “boogey their asses off.”

With musical influences ranging from Traffic to Primus to Muddy Waters, Wasabi appeals to more audiences and covers miles of more musical ground than your average local artist.

Playing at Fort Collins favorites like Aggie Theater and Rasta Pasta, Wasabi has already developed a following of devoted fans, made up mostly of CSU students and locals. People who want to hear a classic rock band that keeps playing music, as Crumpler put it, “’till the bar kicks them out” have deemed Wasabi their new favorite flavor.

Wasabi has shows coming up on Friday and Saturday at Rasta Pasta. Their next Fort Collins prospects are the Starlight, Archer’s and Diamonds, as well as Quixote’s and Herman’s Hideaway in Denver.

The band would like to eventually play ski parks and try out the music scene in Chicago or California, but for now they are happily playing their music for Fort Collins listeners and “avoiding work at all costs.”

In music, Waters feels that Wasabi is “happily participating in one of the most divine things in the universe.”

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‘Frida’ a living canvas

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Nov 202002
Authors: Eric Todd Patton

There has been one female director to win an Academy Award for best director and now I think we have found our second. Julie Taymor, a highly acclaimed musical theater director (“The Lion King; the musical”), has brought the life of pain-stricken artist Frida Kahlo to life by directing it on what seems to be a living canvas.

Frida Kahlo, played by Salma Hayek, suffered from a horrible bus accident while a teenager and was tormented by the pain in her body for the rest of her life. Through the pain in her body she found beauty through sexual liberation, political dreams, unfettered ambition and most of all, through art. The controversial couple of Frida and world-renowned artist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina of “Chocolat”) stormed the world of politics and art, and created one of the most interesting relationships to date. “Frida” chronicles the struggles the famed female artist went though and how as each moment of adversity arose she conquered it by trapping it in her art and made it breathtaking.

Hayek spent the last eight years of her life working to bring this story to the screen and now she has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. She was able to bring the passion of Frida to the very surface and acted the way Frida lived; recklessly and admirably. Hayek will most definitely be nominated in the best actress category this year and it will not be shocking if she wins although she will have hefty competition.

Each performance, even down to the three minutes of screen time given to Antonio Banderas, was magnificent. Ashley Judd (“Kiss the Girls,” “Where the Heart Is”), Alfred Molina, Geoffrery Rush (“Shine”) was fantastic as the Communist supporter Leon Trotsky, Mia Maestro (“Timecode”) and even Hayek’s real life man, Edward Norton as Nelson Rockefeller was amazing. When care like this is put into a film; awards are the outcome. Any of one out of the supporting cast could be nominated and I would not be surprised.

The drive force was undoubtedly Julie Taymor as the director. She accomplished what most filmmaker’s only dream of – uniqueness and actual originality. The style of portraying an artist’s life as a painting through many scenes is, what I do not hesitate to call, genius. The visual aspects, the music she put with it, the sets and camera shots … it all amounts to Taymor being the best up-and-coming film director. She received hardly any recognition for her adaptation of “Titus Andronicus” to the screen with Anthony Hopkins, and if she is overlooked again you have my permission to boycott the Oscars.

Everything that a great film should be this was. Perfect script, fantastic acting, interesting biography, historical culture and music that sweeps you through one emotional scene to the next. It would practically be, credibility suicide, as a critic to make many predictions of Oscar nominations, but I see this receiving nomination for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor (Alfred Molina), Best Director and Best Screenplay. If there are flaws in this movie they are embedded so deep within the brilliance they will be tough to find. They would be buried in the world as art, the world as beauty … the world as Frida Kahlo. A.

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‘The Man from Elysian Fields’ marks a career’s end

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Nov 202002
Authors: Eric Todd Patton

There is a somber and slightly saddened feeling around me as I write this review. In discussing the film “The Man From Elysian Fields” I wanted to talk about the poor script, I wanted to talk about yet another poor and unconvincing performance by Andy Garcia, but I cannot. Early Monday morning, the highly acclaimed actor and supporting role of the film, James Coburn, died of a heart attack.

This marks the end of a career that I have personally loved watching. From “The Magnificent Seven” to “The Great Escape” to “Affliction” and “Maverick” (and 122 more film credits) James Coburn has done nothing but improve with age. He more recently made a run at the children’s market playing the voice of a character in “Monster’s Inc.”

His harsh, stern voice with a face that he could make cold and intimidating to helpless, pulling sympathy from the crowd, this man was among the greatest actors we have had the pleasure to watch in our time. How is “The Man From Elysian Fields” as a capstone to his exceptional, glorious life and career? The film itself does not live up to what Coburn should be a part of, but his performance is the highlight of the entire feature.

This is the story of young writer Byron Tiller (Garcia) and his desperation to support his family while failing at his career. In an act of last resort he turns to Elysian Fields, a male escort service (basically male whores) to get some extra money. And whom do you think of when you think of a head male whore? That’s right, Mick Jagger! Seriously, Mick Jagger pulls off a surprising performance as Luther Fox, the head of the escort service.

With all of Jagger’s contributions to entertainment in his life he is now also very much involved in film with his film company Jagged Films. Not only does he have the film company but he is also a very good actor. In fact, if it were not for Coburn’s role in the film, Jagger would be the strongest performance out of the lot. I hope to see him in more films.

But as the story continues, Tiller gets involved with the service and a Pulitzer Prize winning author’s wife (Olivia Williams from “Rushmore”). The Pulitzer winner, Tobias Alcott (James Coburn), is aware of his wife’s exploits for he can no longer pleasure her and wishes for her to remain happy. And as Alcott struggles to finish his latest novel, he acquires the assistance of Tiller, who now sees and sleeps with Alcott’s wife on a regular basis.

If it sounds like a weak premise, it is. Julianna Margulies (TV’s ‘ER’), who turns out the weakest performance I have seen her in, plays Tiller’s loving wife who is driven mad with jealousy, for she suspects he is sleeping around. From there the movie just tapers off. The subplot of Tiller and the Alcott couple was entertaining and actually interesting, and as I said, Mick Jagger’s role was priceless. But as far as the script in general and Garcia’s performance, this movie should be skipped.

To finish with, Coburn gets an A. There is a depleting supply of great actors, so you should go out and rent the movies of those that recently died; Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Jason Robards and James Coburn. Do not let their past performances die off and be forgotten. And as for “The Man of Elysian Fields,” it does not live up to the names in its cast… C.

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Blazing it up!

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Nov 202002
Authors: Rebecca Lapole

Getting high, America’s favorite recreational illegal activity has been gaining power and has been costing a higher price in recent years. Fort Collins bud smokers blaze different favorite strains and practice numerous methods of smoking the law-evading drug.

Colorado is also a state that prides itself on having some of the best-tasting, take-you-the-highest Kind Bud. Many favorites of Fort Collins include: White Widow, Eleven, Fire, Hash, Blueberry, Blueberry Northern Lights, AK-47, Northern Lights, Jack Herer, Skunk, Cough, Bubblegum, Bubbleberry, Purple Haze and Afghani Hash. Regionally, Raspberry Bush hails from Brighton, Sugar Plant represents Winter Park and “Durward Hall’s favorite bud,” according to Ryan B, of Winter Park.

“Area 51 is a close second,” Brett H, a CSU student from Philadelphia states.

BC Buds, or “Beasters” give a taste of Canada, from Vancouver, British Columbia-where smokers have found that the laws are extremely lenient when it comes to smoking pot.

Besides all of these different types of Kind Bud, there are the Homegrowns, Pretend-A-Kinds, Brick, Schwag and Dirt Weed. The prices vary depending on the quality of the product, and how well you actually know the dealer. But the basic prices remain similar according to the types, with Schwag costing about half as much as KB.

According to anonymous local dealers, Schwag will cost you $20 for a quarter ounce, whereas $50 will get you the smallest amount a dealer will normally sell of KB, an eighth ounce. While deals are rampant for bulk-Schwag buyers, an ounce costs $60; an ounce of KB will normally run about $325-$350. Compare this to the value of gold according to www.kitco.com: An ounce of gold is worth $320, however prices fluctuate daily.

“It is more profitable to work for Mr. Nice Guy than it is to work for the Shane Company,” said Ryan B.

Fort Collins is a laid-back town; a lot of people you meet either get ripped or are cool with it, even if they do not smoke. Ways to create munchies differ for each user and depend on the type of weed.

A favorite Kind Bud method of getting stoned, called Hot Knives, requires two butter knives and a stove burner. The knives are heated on the burner, then used to pick up a nugget, squish it between the two knives and a funnel of some sort is used to inhale the smoke. It is a two-person method, and some CSU enthusiasts rave that it gets you BAKED.

Another power-stoner method of toking is a gravity bong, in which the laws of physics amaze potheads everywhere. A loaded bowl is placed in a bottle-lid of a bottle with the bottom cut off. The bottomless bottle is in a container of water, and while lighting the bowl, the bottle is manually raised by the smoker to fill the bottle with smoke. When the bottle is uncapped and dropped into the water, smokers inhale and feel the burn!

Bongs filter the smoke with water, as bubblers do on a smaller scale.

Steamrollers are a tube with a bowl on top that requires the smoker to cover one end of the tube while lighting and inhaling. Then uncover the end to inhale the smoke in the tube.

Pipes, aka bowls, a simple favorite, have diversity in length, size, shape and bowl capacity.

Joints and blunts are the cigarettes and cigars to the pot world.

Michael E, a magazine publisher from Brooklyn, a self-proclaimed long-term pot smoker, said his favorite way of smoking, and his own new slang term is to “Roll a bowl. It’s when I want to roll a joint, but the bowl is just easier.”

A brand-new way to smoke, called an Eterry, is “a well designed vaporizer [that] delivers “precision heating” under 400/F to liberate desirable compounds and thus avoid undesirables,” states www.lightwell.net. At this Web site you can learn about and buy a vaporizer for about $180 that will get you “vape-d up.”

As Patrick Stack in Time Magazine’s Nov. 4, 2002 issue states, “the long-term trend [in drug policy] has been toward relaxation: Today, twelve states have enacted some form of marijuana decriminalization.” Colorado is one of the few states; along with Washington, California, Alaska, Hawaii and Maine, where medical marijuana is legal.

Even when your eyes are all “Cheeched” out, getting busted with pot in Fort Collins these days is not as rough as it used to be. People who have been pulled over in cars with marijuana on them have testified. Front Range student Mary Jane said, “The cops took my weed and my pipe, but only gave me a paraphernalia ticket.”

Susan Grey, a CSU senior, said “My gravity bong made out of a 20-oz. water bottle, a metal bowl and a Taco Bell cup was confiscated by the cops, and I didn’t even get a ticket.”

However, growers are the ones who see the most jail time when it comes to getting in trouble over weed. Todd, a grower from Indiana, with a prior cultivation charge there, was arrested in his Fort Collins home and taken to jail after an undercover drug officer found out about his grow rooms. After spending over 45 days in the Larimer County Detention Center (LCDC) for cultivation, he made several trips to court. There the police testified that the approximate value of Todd’s marijuana was $300,000. The final verdict, which came about five months after the initial arrest, was five years of probation: requiring random urine analyses, Weekender programs adding up to 45 more days in LCDC, 29 drug classes and residence within the Fort Collins city limits. Not too bad for a man who was busted with three grow rooms, seven different strains of pot and 118 actual weed plants present. Todd said on the record, “The law is wrong. GROW, grow, grow!” He added, “Fire Weed rules!”

While not everyone has the same strong pro-pot opinion as Todd, the acknowledgement of marijuana as a medical treatment is getting higher across the nation. Those with prescriptions are clearly enjoying the many variations of pot and the ways to get elevated!

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Students seek alternate ways to observe Thanksgiving

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Nov 202002
Authors: Jodi Friedman

Thanksgiving Break in Fort Collins

Jodi Friedman

The week of Thanksgiving does not necessarily have to be spent with families. Although the majority of CSU students drive or fly home to stay with their parents for the turkey holiday, a number of people remain in Fort Collins. The town becomes quiet and these individuals must find ways to occupy their time during the nine days without school.

“I plan to round up what freshman girls are left and have a Thanksgiving party at the dorms,” said sophomore business management major Nick Donaldson. All of the dorms remain open during break for students who will not make it home for the holiday. There are always small groups of people who occupy the dorms and they can enjoy quiet time or party together.

“I have a Five Mountain Season Pass and I am going to take advantage of my last Thanksgiving Break from school to hit the slopes,” said senior psychology major Kate Hager. The time off of school is ideal for skiers and snowboarders to take a trip up to the mountains. Students who will be in Colorado have a short drive to the ski resorts.

“I will be in Fort Collins practicing football to help win another Conference Championship,” said senior marketing and finance major Jeff Flora. A handful of CSU athletes are required to stay in town and practice their sports the entire week. Some of the teams include football, men’s and women’s basketball, and the spirit squads.

“Screw Thanksgiving dinner,” said junior psychology major Brett Burin. “I am going to the bars.” One of the main purposes of Thanksgiving is to eat a turkey dinner and give thanks. On the other hand, it is not a rule to enjoy the dinner. The time off can also be spent going out with friends and socializing.

Skiing, practicing sports and socializing are productive activities for the holiday. Another way to utilize free time simply involves watching hours of television and catching up on sleep or just lying around and doing nothing.

For students who will be in Fort Collins and wish to join with friends on that Thursday night but do not wish to cook, certain restaurants will be open and plan to serve Thanksgiving items such as turkey, ham, stuffing, pumpkin pie and more. Boston Market will be open at 10:30 a.m. and will close early at 5 p.m. Customers can order and pick entire feasts minus the cooking.

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Franco: The highs of the music industry

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Nov 202002
Authors: Paul Franco

The day the music died wasn’t when Buddy Holly’s plane came crashing down. It was when Calvin Broadus, also known as Snoop Doggy Dogg in the music world, stopped smoking marijuana.

My faith in humanity collapsed. If there was one thing in the world I could depend on, it was for Snoop to continue smoking herb. Man, what’s going to happen next? Is Cypress Hill going to put down the blunts and bongs and get jobs where they actually have to work? I can see it now: “Hey, B-Real let’s go burn one.” “Nah, man, I got to go in early to the accounting firm. You know, tax season.”

Is the very structure of the universe going to fall in on itself? If Snoop has let me down this badly, then what can I expect from friends and family? If we can’t count on Snoop to smoke weed, what is there left for us to trust in the world?

There is nothing left for us to have faith in. At this point it’s not even a matter of Snoop having let his fans down. I’ve accepted that, but now it’s more of a matter if his music will suffer from this policy of non-indulgence in herbal supplements. I expect nothing less than for Snoop’s music to make a quick descent into mediocrity.

Let’s face it, when music is in anyway related to pot, it’s always better. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule such as the Kottonmouth Kings and Afroman. In these cases it is possible these bands have smoked entirely too many joints and hit the gravity bong one too many times. This can distort your idea of what does and doesn’t sound good, and results in a very bad and contrived product. Cue “Because I Got High,” music: “I made crappy music, because I got high.”

Now it’s very likely that Snoop has indulged in more smoking of the kind buds than any of the bands previously mentioned, way more. But, there’s a thin line between people who can handle their high and produce good music and those who just get plain silly and make stuff that sounds terrible. Those who are able to tread that thin line with the skill of a tightrope acrobat have made some of the most classic music.

Though the Beatles were never explicit about smoking the wacky tobaccy in their lyrics, you can see a turn for the better around the time it appeared they were indulging their youthful curiosity. So, instead of being subjected to another love song such as “She Loves Me,” we get the wild and adventurous “I Am the Walrus.” Marijuana, properly speaking, more than likely, played an important and most excellent role in developing the Beatles sound.

The collaboration of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are a more recent example of the important role pot has played in the creation of some of pop music’s most outstanding works. Witness “The Chronic,” a hip-hop masterpiece that helped to re-establish Dre as a force to be reckoned with, and made Snoop the icon that he is today. The album deftly mixes references to getting blazed with a slow, laid-back tempo to create the ideal soundtrack for stoners. The album embodies the experience of a pothead: a slowed down, lazy world where everything is funny and about having a good time.

Weed helped to make “The Chronic,” the great album that it is. It even put a type of pot on the tip of everyone’s tongue and has been said to increase the price of chronic exponentially. All bands should be concerned with somehow working pot into their musical lives. Creed might even sound good if only they started smoking herb and put a few pot references in their songs: “With arms wide open, I wait for you to pack a bowl.” Well, maybe that’s a stretch.

Good music can be made without pot playing any sort of role, but my only question would be, “Why not make GREAT music by letting weed play a role in your music, whether lyrically or just as an influence?” Because the only way the leap from good to great music can be made is through communing with the god-given plant, marijuana.

That’s why Snoop Dogg’s announcement boggles my mind. He’s seen the highs weed has taken him to in the music world, both literally and figuratively. Apparently Snoop is prepared to throw away all those highs. My advice to him is found in an old proverb: “Weed, weed, everywhere, why not have a toke.” If my advice goes unheeded we can only hope he has enough THC built up in his brain and fat cells to last him a musical lifetime. Otherwise, you can count one fan no longer a fan.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

The most random Ram

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Nov 202002
Authors: Jodi Friedman

“I am the most random person I have ever met,” said freshman sociology major Tyler Pike. He recalled the time during his senior prom when his mother suggested that he ask a girl to this dance that he considered overrated. Pike did the exact opposite. He took a male friend of his and dressed up as a female. The outfit was elaborate and included painted nails, water balloons in his chest with hair popping out, a dress, high heels and make-up.

“My weekends here all mesh into one,” he said. Even though Pike’s weekends are not defined from one another, he has fond memories of a particular time that stood out so far at CSU. It was when he, again, dressed as a female for Halloween and attended parties.

He developed his personality from his father. Other unique talents Pike holds entail doing handstands on benches in public and drinking a glass of water using only his feet.

“I like to bug people,” he said. “I am a huge nuisance.” Pike enjoys bothering people while they are studying and annoying people when they are attempting to concentrate.

“My favorite things to do are snowboard, smoke everything and socialize,” he said. When Pike is snowboarding, he gains enjoyment out of collecting snow on his board and throwing it down on people while he is riding the lift, or just plain spitting on people. He also has fun tackling his friends while they are cruising down the slopes.

Although Pike lives his life in a wacky manner, he knows how to have sober fun. He watches out for his friends to ensure that they do not get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.

“I am anti-driving drunk,” Pike said.

He experienced trouble of his own while driving. Several years ago, he came extremely close to falling asleep behind the wheel of his Blazer and was reported to the police because he was swerving immensely. The incident resulted in a $500 fine and 24 hours of community service among other consequences. He now keeps sunflower seeds with him when he is one the road because doing something with his mouth keeps him awake.

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Rams host MWC tournament today

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Nov 202002
Authors: Lee Miller

It’s tournament time in volleyball land and that means eight teams are in Fort Collins, where the Rams are hosting the Mountain West Conference Championship tournament.

As the No. 1 seed, the Rams are hoping to win this tournament so they can get into the NCAA Tournament for the seventh straight year. In order to do so they will have to break a two-year curse in which they have lost in the championship match to a Utah team.

In 2000, BYU beat the Rams in five games at Moby. Last year Utah stole the crown from the Rams in Provo in another five-game shocker.

“Everyone on our team’s aware that no CSU team has won both the regular season and tournament championships, so we all have that in the back of our minds I think,” CSU assistant coach Karrie Larsen said.

This is the third straight year the Rams have held the No. 1 seed in the tournament, this year allowing them to start off against the 2-12 Air Force Falcons. The Rams swept the Falcons with three-game wins in both matches this season, and eliminated the Falcons in first-round matches in both the 2000 and 2001 tournaments.

With only two starters from last year’s team, these Rams are fairly inexperienced in the tournament atmosphere.

“The tournament is kind of like a new season,” Larsen said. “Every team feels like they have a chance and every team plays tougher, so you can’t take any match for granted.”

Though the Rams are young and fairly inexperienced in MWC Tournament play, they bring to the table arguably the most talented team in the conference.

The Rams finished the regular season tops in the conference in every statistical category except blocks and digs. Middle blocker Katie Jo Shirley leads the conference with a .348 hitting percentage, and setter Melissa Courtney’s 13.26 assists per game also tops the conference.

Tess Rogers is second in kills per game with 3.89 and has broken the conference record for kills by a freshman with 373.

The first match today is between No. 3 Utah and No. 6 Wyoming at 11 a.m. The Utes will try to make it two in a row over the Cowgirls after beating them in four games last weekend.

The 1:30 p.m. match will feature No. 2 San Diego State against No. 7 New Mexico. This will be the second first round meeting between these two teams in three years, as the Aztecs won a five-game match over the Lobos in 2000.

The No. 4 BYU Cougars will take on No. 5 UNLV at 4 p.m. The teams split their matches during the regular season with each team winning at home.

The Rams and the Falcons close out the day at 7 p.m.

Thursday’s winners will advance to Friday’s semifinal round that will serve up at 4 p.m. The championship match is slated for Saturday night at 7 p.m.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Running Rams look to prove something at nationals

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Nov 202002
Authors: Joshua Pilkington

The purest form of sport will be on its biggest stage Nov. 25 in Terre Haute, Ind., for the NCAA Cross Country Championships, and the Running Rams of CSU will be there.

There will be no umpires calling balls and strikes, nor referees throwing flags, just 250 of the nation’s best athletes running from start to finish with one goal in mind: to cross the finish line before the person next to them.

After giving a strong, but not superb, effort Saturday at the Mountain Regional meet in New Mexico, CSU’s men’s cross country team managed to obtain an at-large bid to the national meet.

The women’s team, however, was not as fortunate, as a tremendous effort that placed them fourth in one of the toughest regions in the nation went for naught when the NCAA selection committee omitted the team from the field.

“There were a lot of tears for the women,” said head coach Del Hessel after informing his female athletes that they were not chosen. “They ran the best race I’ve seen from a women’s team … I thought they would make it, but it just didn’t happen.”

Though the CSU women did not qualify as a team, the Rams will still be represented on the women’s side by individual qualifier Katie Yemm, who ran her best race of the season in New Mexico.

“Things are just coming together for me,” Yemm said.

Yemm will be looking to improve upon her 2001 championship race where she finished 80th overall with a time of 21 minutes, 57 seconds.

Meanwhile the men head to Indiana with their sights set on improving upon last season’s 22nd place finish overall.

“We’re going to go out and give it our all,” said junior Bill Michel, who finished second for the Rams in New Mexico. “We don’t want (the season) to end with any regrets.”

Michel added that the team is aiming to finish in the top 15.

Also representing the Rams on the men’s side are seniors Austin Vigil, Ammon Larsen and Raegan Robb, junior Dylan Olchin and freshmen Josh Glaab and Matt Ciencuilli.

Having finished a close second in the Mountain West Conference Championships and a mediocre sixth in New Mexico, these Rams claim they are ready to put it all on the line.

“We have something to prove,” Larsen said. “And now is the time to prove it.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm