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'Let's Be Cops' offers new roles for acting duo

‘Let’s Be Cops’ offers new roles for acting duo


A new feature film, “Let’s Be Cops” starring actors Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. from Fox’s hit show “New Girl” will be released on Aug 13.

The movie is about two cop friends except for one thing: they’re not cops. When the two friends start impersonating the law they become popular with the people around them. Soon these two “cops” start to get into trouble with real-life crime and must put their fake badges on the line.

Johnson who has also starred in movies such as “21 Jump Street,” “Safety Not Guaranteed,” and “Drinking Buddies” and Wayans, the son of famed actor Damon Wayans, has also starred in movies such as “The Other Guys” and “Marmaduke”.

I had the outstanding opportunity to meet both Johnson and Wayans for their meet/greet and private viewing of their up incoming movie “Let’s Be Cops” at Arizona State University Downtown Phoenix campus where they took pictures with the fans.

They also set aside time for me to ask them a few questions about their film, their acting aspirations and future projects. During the interview, both were very easy to talk to and very descriptive in their answers.

It’s about two guys who are unhappy with where their life is going, so they dress up as cops and then start to get the attention and affection that they wanted,” said Johnson. “Then they keep doing it and soon they get themselves into trouble.”

Both Johnson and Wayans want their movie to have a positive reaction, and that they want the audience to feel like they didn’t waste their time. They also want the audience to leave the movie feeling satisfied with what they were watching.

In “New Girl,” Johnson stars as Nick Miller and Wayans stars as the character Coach. Johnson said that the transition from their show “New Girl” to this movie was very different, stating that this movie is rated R and there’s action in this film.

The characters are also completely different from Coach and Nick,” said Wayans.

Johnson also added that with filming TV, the scheduling is way longer and the tone is very different, because the TV show is essentially rated PG-13.

It’s also shorter time scheduling wise too. Television is like, you shoot from August to March; and the movie we shot in 42 days from May to July,” said Wayans.

Both actors agrees that their chemistry helps make the film more entertaining.

Definitely, we kind of know each other’s sense of humor and know how to act around each other,” said Wayans.

They both have the same acting inspirations, which include Will Ferrell, Chris Farley and Bill Murray.

After filming “Let’s Be Cops,” they both got more roles in other movies that they’ll soon be promoting.

Just got done doing a movie called ‘Digging for Fire,’ directed by Joe Swanberg, that I’m really excited about,” said Johnson.

Wayans said that he was doing a Disney movie from the makers of “Frozen” and “Tangled” that is coming out in November.


Arts and Entertainment editor Katie Stewart takes a break from interviewing Jake Johnson, right, and Damon Wayans Jr. to pose with the stars of the upcoming film “Let’s Be Cops,” in theaters Aug. 13.


MegaMania comes to Downtown Campus

MegaMania comes to Downtown Campus

Pima Community College is hosting a comic book event July 12 for fans of superheros, anime and games of all genres.

MegaMania, now in its fifth year, offers a whole range of events, from costume contests to comic book giveaways and multiple games, including video games and tabletop games for kids, teens and young adults.

Workshops will also provide an opportunity for budding comic book creators to gain some tips from professional artists and authors.

MegaMania is presented by the Pima County Library with support from PCC and several local businesses.

The festivities take place July 12, from 2-6 p.m. For a complete listing of all the activities, visit the library’s page here.


A girl displays her Hatsune Miku costume during last year’s comic convention at Pima Community College. (Dixie Mitter/Aztec Press)

Multi-talented student works multimedia

Multi-talented student works multimedia


Ruth Spies is a woman who wears many different hats, with talents ranging from music to video production.

While being enrolled at Pima Community College, she doesn’t let the responsibilities of homework tie her down.

Spies is a non-traditional student at PCC, a University of Arizona graduate class of ‘84, a band member, a Southern Arizona Video Productions employee, Access Tucson volunteer and tarot card reader.

On top of all that, Spies performed at the 29th Annual Tucson Folk Festival on May 3 with Tucson’s local, traditional, authentic rockabilly band, Widow’s Hill.

The weekend-long festival features food and crafts, and spotlights more than 140 different musicians, both local and from across the nation.

Spies plays rhythm guitar and leads her pack while commanding the lead vocals and harmony.

She is backed by upright bassist Federico Pennacchini. Her front man Jim “Jimbobillybob” Becker shreds on lead guitar and bellows as support vocalist.

“I got bored one summer when I was 15,” Spies said. “I bought a guitar for $10 and started playing. That was 42 years ago.”

Spies tries to incorporate the music her father and godfather played while growing up, an early Elvis Presley style mixed with rhythm and blues, homegrown on a beautiful plot of bluegrass.

“The energy is bluegrass, you’ll want a dance circle. Just barn-stomp house music,” Pennacchini said.

“Everyone’s stomping and shaking to the music, that’s some fun stuff to dance to. You don’t need 1,000 watts and a techno DJ to get the room shaking and get a good dance-vibe going, you can do it acoustically too,” he said.

So what’s the story behind the band name?

The inspiration came from Spies’ favorite ‘60s vampire-soap opera, “Dark Shadows.” Widow’s Hill was the cliff that women would throw themselves off of when their husbands did not return safely from sea.

Aside from performing at concerts and open mic nights with Widow’s Hill, Spies does private or group tarot card readings.

One Halloween, Spies did a group reading for a bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism club while dressing the part. She wore a wig and gypsy attire, brought her future-seeking crystal ball, burned incense and played soft background music.

“I was set up in the ‘playroom,’” Spies said. “There was an adult crib in there and one of those things they chain you up to. People were all dressed up in leather and spikes … It was fun.”

Spies also operates cameras at Southern Arizona Video Productions and volunteers as the broadcast media technician at Access Tucson.

Her interest in videography and production sparked after watching her first Access Tucson program, a PETA exposé.

The footage was shot by hidden cameras brought in to factories, showing the horrors of meat processing facilities.

With her experience from Access Tucson and Southern Arizona Video Productions, Spies had the pleasure of streaming a Tucson-based congressional hearing live to Washington D.C.

And, Spies’ 9-to-5 and volunteer work ties in nicely with the multimedia and journalism classes she’s been focusing on at Pima.

“I shoot video, I play in a band and I read tarot cards. How much better does it get than that?” Spies said.

“I like what I’m doing now, I never liked going into a job and doing the same thing day after day. I’m just too non-traditional.”

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Widow’s Hill performs for a mellow crowd enjoying the weekly open mic night at Sky Bar in downtown Tucson. From left, band members Jim “Jimbobillybob” Becker, Federico Pennacchini and Ruth Spies. (Shana Rose/Aztec Press)

‘Dance Fusion’ performances set May 9-10

‘Dance Fusion’ performances set May 9-10


Classic will meet contemporary when Pima Community College dance program director Aurora Gonçalves-Shaner directs “Dance Fusion” concerts May 9-10.

“The choreography and the music both reflect the theme of dance fusion, fusing elements and styles together creating a unique blend of art onstage,” Gonçalves-Shaner said.

Performances will embrace current, contemporary and classical themes, intermixing styles such as ballet, belly dance, flamenco and hip-hop.

Gonçalves-Shaner has choreographed a number to the music from “The Great Gatsby” movie soundtrack, fusing jazz with swing and the Charleston.

The show includes choreography by both faculty and “our very talented” students, Gonçalves-Shaner said. Students must go through a competitive audition process to get their works into the show.

Performances will be May 9 at 7:30 p.m. and May 10 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Proscenium Theatre in the West Campus Center for the Arts. Tickets cost $10, with discounts available.

For more information, call the box office at 206-6986 or visit



Dance Fusion

When: May 9-10

Where: Proscenium Theatre, West Campus CFA

Tickets: $10

Box office: 206-6986

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Pima Community College dancers rehearse for “Dance Fusion” concert performances in the Proscenium Theatre on West Campus May 9-10. (Photo by Ed Flores)

A buddy for study

A buddy for study


Move over Vyvanse, there’s a new supplement on the block: prescription-less Study Buddy.

Most college students have heard of “smart drugs” like Adderall, Vyvanse and Focalin used as study aids. A prescription by a medical professional is required, since the controlled substances are commonly used for ADHD patients.

College students have found loopholes by illicitly purchasing from friends who have a prescription. Come finals week, these drugs become worth their weight in gold to students, and their black market value increases.

This is hardly new, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, which conducted a 2008 survey that found 1 in 4 students used prescription stimulants at least once.

As these medications are a somewhat recent development, their extensive side effects remain to be fully determined.

The brief benefits of deep focus and alertness can be outweighed by the costs of acquiring a dependence or damaging alterations of the brain. Maybe they are diminishing natural focus rather than acutely honing it?

Even though you may be learning semester’s worth of psychology in a single night, it can come at an exhaustive price.

Many people use stimulants on a daily basis. If you wake up to a venti cup of Starbucks or an energy drink in the morning, caffeine, guanine, taurine and other enhancers are the true culprits. If you’ve ever imagined a pill “pick me up,” Study Buddy is just that.

The key behind Study Buddy is gaining focus without side effects because it’s derived from herbal-based ingredients. It also contains caffeine as well, something to remember when combining with coffee or energy drinks.

Study Buddy is available at Pima Community College bookstores, the U-Mart in the University of Arizona student union, and many local convenience stores.

A pack of two pills runs $3, a bargain in comparison to prices for illicit prescription drugs. For daily users, or finals week, Study Buddy packs are also sold in bulk online.

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Study Buddy offers a non-prescription alternative. (Jay Becker-Norman/Aztec Press)

Romantic love: A neuronic narcotic

Romantic love: A neuronic narcotic


Of all the highs, synthetic and otherwise, love is our favorite drug.

Metaphysically speaking, “romantic love” is an obsessive connection, consuming people with optimism to form a romanticized view of reality.

Characterized primarily by extreme craving, intense motivation and compulsive thinking, the intoxicating effects of infatuation mimic that of an obsessive-compulsive mind on cocaine.

While sex may satisfy our basic biological needs for reproducing, romantic love strives to refine our selection process in mating, providing optimal odds for ideal conception.


Chemistry of courting


From the sweaty palms, pounding heart and racing thoughts, love’s addictive effects are easily observed through the physical angst of initial attraction.

Communication studies performed by UCLA Professor Emeritus of Psychology Albert Mehrabian demonstrate that mate-screening within the mind emphasizes the subliminal side of our interactions.

Verbal exchange allots for just seven percent of attractive-factoring during an initial encounter. By contrast, 55 percent of match-determining comes from body language and 38 percent is based on vocal tones and pitch patterns.

With infatuation taking a mere 90 seconds to four minutes to initiate, attraction is a subconscious process of selection.

Thus, contrary to cynics, romantic chemistry prompts love at first sight.

Once sight has played its seductive role, touch takes control through the chemical courting of caressing and kissing.

Saliva stores immense amounts of testosterone, the hormone of sexual desire.

During a kiss our cheek cells, conveniently designed to absorb the hormonal exchange, send testosterone directly to the brain.

Male bodies utilize this saliva-swapping system as means of injecting testosterone to trigger sex drive in their partner.

Hence men’s preference for “sloppier kisses,” according to studies by biological anthropologist Helen Fisher.


Why I’m a dope for you


Love is an addiction that begins in the brain.

Being in love releases four core chemicals: dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and oxytocin.

Each assists in creating the insatiable drive and pleasurable pursuit of attaining life’s grandest prize: a perfect mate.

Dopamine and norepinephrine make up the most addictive agents of love’s chemical construct.

Individuals in love receive a constant surge of dopamine throughout their brain.

Dopamine acts as a natural stimulant within the brain, encouraging the desire to “win” through pleasurable sensations such as elation and arousal.

As levels of dopamine increase, pain and aversion centers within the brain begin to decrease activation.

Norepinephrine, an adrenal hormone, acts as the physiological respondent to love. It provides elevated energy levels for achieving one’s desires.

This surge serves to lower thresholds at which reward regions fire.

The resulting chemical imbalance distorts lovers’ perceptions of life for the better and rose-tints the bitter.


Parting’s sweet sorrow


Alas, as with any great rush, the higher we fly, the farther we fall.

In order to maintain a high, we need a consistent dose of our chosen stimuli to keep the rush alive.

Its absence leaves the brain’s chemical craving unsatisfied.

The body then begins to withdraw from its former euphoric state.

After a devastating breakup, overactive levels of dopamine reach catastrophic proportions.

Identified as the “protest stage” of rejection, the brain becomes hyperactive with motivational energy to win back what was lost. That stimulates erratic behavior in a heartbroken brain.

Examples include obsessing over the lost love, calling and incessant emailing, or refusing to believe it’s over.

Like all chemical dependencies, the brain never develops complete immunity towards craving love. It simply adapts, evens out and learns to live without.

Consequently, a brain never falls “out of love.”

In fact, heartbreak only intensifies romanticized longings of a lost love.

Thus, our brain’s lust for love brings out the dope in all of us.


Cricket bars jumping off local shelves


A new protein bar is hopping onto shelves across the country, and health enthusiasts and environmentalists alike are starting to take notice.

Chapul Cricket Bars are made with crickets that have been baked and milled into flour. This practice is an adapted form of one long used by Native American cultures.

This nutritional revolution has already made a splash in Europe and Australia, and is now taking aim at the United States.

The founder of this intriguing idea, Pat Crowley, formed the idea after hearing a TED Talk about nature and the healthy choice of eating insects.

Normally, protein bars use a lot of fresh water in their agricultural production. By substituting insects, the process takes fresh water used for water-intense whey and soy out of the equation and reduces its environmental impact.

“Eating insects makes sense on so many levels and the major barrier is a cultural perception, so that’s where we’re focusing a lot of our efforts,” Crowley says on Chapul’s website

The biggest surprise about these protein bars is just how big of a punch they pack. After the baking and milling of the crickets into flour, the protein-rich mixture is added in small amounts.

The reasoning behind this is, even in small amounts, the calcium and protein content of the cricket flour is so high only a little bit is needed to put Chapul on par with other nutrient bars.

Spokesman John Beers said in an email interview that Chapul’s position as a young, small company has allowed it to harness the power of the niche they’ve acquired in the food industry.

Visit to see a video review of Chapul’s Aztec and Chaco bars. They taste much like protein or power bar would, with no added crunch of cricket legs.


BY THE NUMBERS: Summer facts

Compiled by Will Willcoxson


Percentage of people who plan to take a vacation this summer.


Percentage of people who plan their vacation in less than two hours.


Percentage of Americans who will vacation in the United States.


Top U.S. destinations for vacation: Las Vegas, New York and Orlando.


Top beach locations for vacation: Miami, Myrtle Beach, Honolulu, San Diego and Fort Lauderdale.


Percentage of people who will take their vacation in July.


Average amount a person will spend on vacation.


Percentage that hotel prices rise during the summer.


Number of people expected to fly on U.S. carriers this summer.


Average price of a round-trip plane ticket during the summer.


Percentage of people who expect to check their work email daily while on vacation.


Percentage of people who have used a sick day as a vacation day.


Average price of a gallon of American gas as of May 15, 2012.




KFMA Day brings music to the desert


Tucson’s Rock 102 radio station will host its 15th annual KFMA Day on May 24 at the Kino Stadium with headliners Linkin Park and Sublime with Rome.

Other acts will include Skaters, Memphis May Fire and Kongos.

Linkin Park, a rock band from Agoura Hills, California, formed in 1996. The group rose to fame with its debut album, “Hybrid Theory.”

Sublime with Rome plans to play a mix of classics, personal favorites and whatever random jams come to mind, front man Rome Ramirez said via email.

“We are honored. We just love to play,” he wrote. “Whether we are in front of 50 of our fans or 50,000, we are grateful to be able to play for you guys.”

The band is known for songs that promote recreational drug use.

“We bring the party and our fans bring the weed smoke, ha ha,” Ramirez said.

Sublime with Rome will perform across the country this summer. Fans can check for details.

Skaters will play in support of their debut album, “Manhattan,” which was released in February.

Their contribution to KFMA Day will “be like hot sauce to the chicken wings,” Skaters singer Michael Ian Cummings said via email.

“We never played a show in Tucson before, so it should be a great first one,” Cummings wrote. “We’re just excited to be part of the party. We can’t wait to see how Tucson can boogie.”

Memphis May Fire is a metalcore band from Dallas. The group formed in 2004 and is currently signed to Rise Records. They have released four studio albums.

Kongos is an alternative rock band from South Africa consisting of four brothers: Johnny, Jesse, Dylan and Daniel Kongos. They compose, record and perform in Phoenix.

KFMA Day bills itself as southern Arizona’s largest outdoor concert festival. The festival has featured many top names over the years, including Metallica, Muse, KoRn, Sum 41, Foo Fighters and the Smashing Pumpkins.

Tickets are available for $47.50 at all Tucson area Pizza Hut locations. Visit for additional details.


TOP 10: Local bands to check out this summer


It is going to be a hot one this summer. Chances are we all began preparing for the heat wave months ago but now let’s just let the sweat flow. Hit the dance floor with these must-see local bands:


10. The Electric Blankets

These guys are a favorite group of drinking buddies downtown. With a, “this one’s on us” vibe, their catchy surf-and-pop infused rock gets locals bouncing like their bare feet have hit hot desert pavement.


9. Acorn Bcorn

The two sisters of Acorn Bcorn play a guitar, and bass, and alternate on the percussion. They make it look easy but achieving sound so rich but minimal involves some real musicality.


8. Mission Creeps

With their unique goth blend of ghoulish surf rock, rockabilly, punk and new wave, this three-piece band leaves every audience haunted.


7. The Swigs

Want to revisit the ‘70s, when rock stars ruled the world? The Swigs summon the raw power of classic rock to the stage every time.


6. The Resonars

It makes sense that the retro-inspired psychedelic rock of The Resonars has remained popular with locals since the late ‘90s. The group captures a hint of mysticism in their blend of pop harmonies.


5. Lenguas Largas

Desert dudes came together and created a dreamy expanse of intricate lo-fi. They take fuzzy garage rock and deliver it with a quirky, punk sensibility.


4. Tom Walbank

One charming man armed with a guitar, harmonica and blues voice is Tucson’s own Muddy Waters incarnate. Walbank is a link to music’s past, covering some of the most respected blues artists with ease.


3. Al Perry

Renowned guitarist and vocalist Al Perry has left an eclectic mark on Tucson’s music scene since he first arrived in the late ‘70s. The veteran musician delivers a variety of genres with a distinct identity.


2. Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta

One of the country’s most impressive Latin music groups now calls our city home and weaves our cultural history into its sizzling dance numbers. Multi-talented musician Sergio Mendoza leads an up to 19-member band in a contemporary evolution of mambo, cumbia, mariachi and rock. Whatever the genre, La Orkesta always provides vibrant energy.


1. Calexico

This group is one of our bragging rights. They have reached wide success with an indie conjuring of Americana, folk, country and Latin music.


Pima Writers Workshop set May 29-June 1


The Pima Writers’ Workshop welcomes all writers, from beginning journalists to experienced wordsmiths, for a literary weekend May 29-June 1.

Sessions with award-winning authors and top literary agents range from “Memoir: Memory and Imagination” to “Roadmap — Putting Together an Effective Book Proposal.”

The workshop also includes author readings and opportunities to polish writing skills.

Attendance costs $150. Pima Community College offers the workshop as a noncredit course, WR 705. Register using CRN 61655 online at, in person at any PCC campus or by phone at 206-6468.

A manuscript consultation is available at no extra cost. Participants who want their manuscript evaluated must register for the workshop by May 15.

The regular registration deadline is May 29.

Workshop Director Meg Files does not want economic hardship to prevent attendance. Contact her for scholarship details at or 206-6084.

“$150 is a lot of money for some people, but for a conference of this scale it is still a bargain,” Files said. “I want it to be accessible to everybody.”

The highly experienced presenters will provide participants with insight into the world of writing, publishing and literary marketing.

“They’re not coming here to earn big money, but they like the opportunity to give back,” Files said.

The workshop begins on Thursday, May 29, with a 7 p.m. meet-and-greet reception at the Riverpark Inn, 350 S. Freeway.

All other workshops will be held at the PCC West Campus Center for the Arts.

On Friday, May 30, workshop sessions begin at 9 a.m. and end at 7 p.m. On both Saturday, May 31, and Sunday, June 1, activities span from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Authors attending include Thomas Cobb, Sarah Cortez, James M. Deem, Mark Doty, Diane Glancy, Nancy Mairs, Colleen J. McElroy, Johanna Skibsrud and Carmen Jiménez Smith.

Literary agents include William Bogess of Barer Literary in New York, Dara Hyde of Hill Nadell Literary Agency in Los Angeles and Laura Strachan of Strachan Literary Agency.

Bruce Fulton of the University of Arizona, acting director of the UA Research Group on Non-traditional Publishing Practices, will discuss the current state of self-publishing.

Terry Filipowicz, director of communications for a book publisher, will give advice on marketing strategies for writers.

Antigone Books will host an on-site bookstore featuring works by the participating authors. Half of Antigone’s proceeds will be donated to the Pima Writers’ Workshop to help underwrite the conference.




Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You’re sexy and you know it! With temperatures rising, it is time for you to break out the summer gear and start getting your tan on. You’re a killer in that bathing suit.

Gemini (May 21-June 21)
Minds may be cluttered at this time during the semester with finals and all. You could find it rewarding to step back and take a chill pill for a day or two. Your finals aren’t going anywhere.

Cancer (June 22-July 22)
There’s lots of partying in your near future. Now, Drake did say “YOLO,” but Drake also said, “Live for today, plan for tomorrow, party tonight.” So have fun but plan for tomorrow and make sure you get home safe.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
You may have been feeling a little down lately. Sorry to break it to you, but it is time to stop the pity party. Go out and make today one to remember.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Music can soothe the soul. But I swear if you play the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams one more time, I’m going to have a stroke. Try broadening your music horizons and see if you can’t find something else.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Video games, Netflix and TV are all awesome but they are taking you away from the things you need to get done. Turn off the Xbox, hit the books and enjoy everything in moderation.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Patience is something you lack, my friend. Next time you are annoyed because you picked the wrong line at the grocery store, try some serenity and understanding. A good attitude can change the way you feel about your day.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
No one has swag quite like yours. Don’t let anyone tell you who to be or how to act. Stay true to yourself and live your own life. Silence the haters.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Your wallet has been dieting, hasn’t it? Just because your bank account isn’t as full as it once was, pay it no mind. Try to have fun without spending your life savings and you’ll be just fine.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Love is in the air. I advise an open mind and an open heart, because that cutie you put in the friend zone might just be the one.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Why not try something new? That routine of yours is getting rather boring and you need a good spice up. Try getting your friends to experience something different together.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Silence is golden. Next time you feel like you absolutely need to put your two cents in, don’t. Nothing will kill your vibe more than arguing with an idiot.

Music festivals across America

Music festivals across America


Every year, a bevy of concerts and festivals take place all across the country. From California to Florida, audiences flock to see big-name artists perform their legendary anthems. Here is a baker’s dozen of shows and events guaranteed to have something for music aficionados of any genre. Start planning ahead for the summer, or even for next year’s events, as tickets often sellout quickly.


March 7-16 – Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas’ South By South West is an annual music, film and interactive conference, infused festival.

Since 1987 SXSW has taken place between March 7-16.

This year, SXSW featured more than 2,200 performers/bands, playing 110 stages.

SXSW 2014 headliners included famed names such as, Coldplay, Pitbull, Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Jay Z, Kanye, 50 Cent, Skrillex and more.

Ticket prices vary, with a ‘Music Badge’ purchase usually ranging between $625-$795.



ULTRA Music Festival

March 28-30 – Miami, Fla.

Marks annual appearance in Miami, Fla.

Each year, during the last weekend of March, Downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park hosts Ultra Music Festival.

UMF is an annual outdoor electronic music experience.

While relatively new to the American festival scene, UMF offers a remarkable roster for 2014, including Afro Jack, Avicci, David Guetta, Diplo, Hardwell, Kaskade, Krewella, Solomun, Tiesto, Nicky Romero, Zedd, M.I.A., MGMT, The Glitch Mob, Datsik, Alvin Risk, Paper Diamond and Adventure Club.

Three-day combo tickets for UMF 2014 sold out at $399.95 per purchase.




April 11-13 & 18-20 – Indio, Calif.

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an annual, two weekends-long celebration in Indio, California.

Debuting in 1991, Coachella is now famed for featuring the greatest artists and the grandest presentation in music festivals today.

The festival started as a single-weekend event, but due to popular demand, Coachella is now offered two weekends: April 11-13 and April 18-20 in 2014.

Within moments after release, festival passes for Coachella 2014 sold-out at $375 per wristband entry into either one of Coachella’s weekends.

For information regarding wristband purchases for Coachella 2015, visit

This year’s highly anticipated Coachella headliners include Empire of The Sun, Flume, A$AP Ferg, Foster The People, Kid Cudi, Lorde, Lana Del Ray, MGMT, Muse, Nas, The Cult, The Knife, Daughter, Dillion Francis, Disclosure, Ellie Goulding, Skrillex and many more.




April 25-27 – KINGSTON DOWNS, GA.

Held April 25-27 in Kingston Downs, Counterpoint’s festival venue claims 5,000 acres of luscious Georgia countryside.

Four stages, all within view of the Appalachian Mountains, will host a reputable roster including Outkast, Pretty Lights, Foster The People, Sts9, Major Lazor, Krewella, Flux Pavilion, Matt&Kim, Wolfgang Gartner, Friz, Phantogram, Tycho, St. Lucia, Hucci, Butch Clancy, and more.

Regular admission for Counterpoint 2014 costs $199 per entry, $224 with camping privileges included.




May 22-26 – San Antonio Rec. Area, Bradley, Calif.

Lightning In A Bottle is a ‘transformational festival’ dedicated to creative expression and spiritual cultivation.

Located in Southern California, Lightening In A Bottle transforms Monterey County’s San Antonio Recreation Area into a temporary town of metaphysical celebration.

The festival is a four-day affair, May 22-26, spanning a legendary lineup featuring: Little Dragon, Phantogram, Gramatik, Baauer, Gold Panda, Chet Faker, Ryan Hemsworth, and many more!

Ticketing varies between full weekend passes for $260, and two-day tickets for $195; camping excluded.




May 23-25 & July 4-6 – Gorge, Wash.

This year, due to insatiable demand, Washington’s Sasquatch! Music Festival will be offered over two weekends for the first time ever!

Sasquatch! weekend-one spans over Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25.

The second Sasquatch! festival this year will be Fourth of July weekend, July 4-6.

Both weekends of Sasquatch! will be held at the same venue in Grant County, Wash., at The Gorge Amphitheatre.

Sasquatch! weekend one will include Outkast, M.I.A., Kid Cudi, Foster The People, Die Antwoord, Cage The Elephant and Tyler The Creator.

Sasquath! weekend two includes Broken Bells, Local Natives, Tegan & Sara, La Roux, ATMOSPHERE, Rhye, Dillion Francis and Dr. Dog.

Tickets are $325 per entry to either weekend of Sasquatch!




May 24-25 – New York City and June 20-22 – Las Vegas

Founded by Insomniac Events, Electric Daisy Carnival is a two-day Electric Dance Music disco celebrated in venues worldwide.

Annually, EDC hosts two weekends in the United States: May 24-25 in New York City, and June 20-22 in Las Vegas.

General Admission for EDC NYC 2014 is still available online for $199 per ticket.

Both EDC venues will house headlining artists/DJs: Adventure Club, Afro Jack, Apster, Bassnectar, Calvin Harris, DJ Snake, Hardwell, Kastle, Krewella, R3hab, Tiësto and more.




June 12-15 – Manchester, Tenn.

June 12-15, The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival takes place at Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tenn.

700 acres of farmland enables 80,000 “happy campers” to comfortably experience 150 performances across 10 stages in four days.

The festival strives to feature an eclectic genre of musical stylings including hip-hop, pop, bluegrass, reggae, gospel and alternative electronica.

This year’s renowned roster is set to feature famed names including: Elton John, Kanye West, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Skrillex, Arctic Monkeys, Kaskade, Wiz Khalifa, Disclosure, Slightly Stoopid, Cake, Chvrches, Cage The Elephant, Die Antwoord, Dr. Dog, City and Colour, The Glitch Mob, First Aid Kit, Banks, Classixx, Vance Joy, and many more.

Tickets are still available for $284.50, general admission Thursday thru Sunday; includes camping and event parking.




August 1-3 – Grant Park, Chicago, IL.

Revered as ‘more than a music festival,’ Lollapalooza is a “cultural experience” hosted annually at Chicago’s historical Grant Park.

Within 3 days, Lollapalooza features more than 130 bands, rocking eight stages spanning 115 acres between Downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan.

Ticketing varies between 3-day passes and single-day entries with prices ranging between $75-$235.

Lolla’s 2013 lineup headliners included The Cure, Mumford & Sons, The Killers, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, The Postal Service, Vampire Weekend, The Lumineers, Kendrick Lamar, Ellie Goulding, Knife Party, Steve Aoki, Imagine Dragons, Flux Pavillion, Two Door Cinema Club, Tegan And Sara, Dillion Francis, Adventure Club and Griz, Alex Clare.




Rock The Bells is an annual hip-hop festival that originated in Southern California a decade ago.

This year the festival is expected to tour Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and New York.

Ticket releases and festival dates for Rock The Bells 2014 are still TBA, but will likely be held throughout the month of September.

Event entry ranges from $99 for single-day admittance and $165 for two-day passes.

This year, expectations are held high for Rock The Bells’ yet-to-be-revealed lineup.

Rock The Bells 2013 featured high profile hip-hop headliners including Wu-Tang Clan, A$AP, J. Cole, Riff Raff, Pretty Lights, Kid Cudi, Talib Kweli, Brother Ali, Earl Sweatshirt, Common, Jurassic 5, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony w/virtual Eazy-E, Tech N9ne and Immortal Technique.



Austin City Limits Festival

Weekend One Oct. 3-5 Weekend Two Oct. 10-12

Austin City Limits Music Festival features more than 130 performances and gathers more than 75,000 fans within three-days during the first weekend in October.

The Festival takes place on 46 acres of Texas terrain within Austin City’s Zilker Park.

As of 2013, mounting popularity demanded ACL to expand its festival to span two weekends.

Tickets are still available for ACL 2014 at $255 per three-day pass.

The ALC 2014 Lineup includes Beck, Foster the People, Eminem, Lorde, Interpol, Outkast, Pearl Jam, Lana Del Rey, Kongos, AFI and many, many more.


TSO inspires next generation of musicians

TSO inspires next generation of musicians



The winners of the 2013-2014 “Young Artist Competition” will be performing at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.


Guest conductor Michael Hall will be leading the TSO at “Celebrate the Future” concert on May 9 at 8:00 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall.


Hall and the TSO will be performing three pieces by students from the TSO’s Young Composers Project, and completing the performance with works by Brahms, Verdi, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.


The program will open with Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture” and end with the final movement from Tchaikovsky’s “Fourth Symphony,” as well as the overture from Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” and Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture.”


Hall says that the concert celebrates exceptional young performers and composers, as well as the wonderful musicians of the TSO. It is called “Celebrate the Future,” because the feelings he wants to evoke through the repertoire are joy and excitement. 


“The TSO will perform orchestral works that add to this festive atmosphere.  In writing his Academic Festival Overture, Brahms’ utilized many student songs of the day,” Hall said.


The TSO’s “Young Artists Competition,” which began in 1987, continues to draw many young musicians throughout Arizona. 60 musicians in three age divisions participated in the most recent event.


The competition takes place each fall, with young instrumental musicians competing for regional cash prizes, and an opportunity to perform with the TSO.


Members of the TSO judge the performances, and all participants receive helpful written commentary and suggestions from the judges.


The “Celebrate the Future” artists are:

·      Hannah Lee, fourth grade pianist, performing “Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23

·      Trevor Barroero, University of Arizona percussionist, performing “Séjourné’s Marimba Concerto”

·      Rebecca Shiao, 12th grade pianist, performing “Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3”


The “Celebrate the Future” program is also featuring works by three students from the TSO Young Composers Project:

·      “Vesuvius,” by Anthony Constantio, junior at the Manhattan School of Music.

·      Symphony No. 1 Waltz by Angelese Pepper, cellist from Safford, Ariz.

·      “M82” by Ben Nead, senior at University High School.


The TSO’s Young Composers Project uses the orchestra as a workshop, providing interaction between students and professionals, including TSO musicians, guest artists and conductors, in exploring the creative process of composition.


The program has produced more than 200 new pieces by young composers.


Compositions have been performed on TSO’s “Young People’s Concerts” and have been programmed on the orchestra’s subscription concerts.


This project has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts for the past seven years and has exalted the high level of composition by young participants.


It also praises the strong quality of the arts education and the setting of goals for youths to achieve.


This is the first “Celebrate the Future” concert the TSO has produced since May2010. 


Shawn Campbell, Vice President of Artistic Engagement and Education and a member of the TSO horn section, says the concert is a true celebration of the talent and artistic excellence in Tucson.


“The TSO has long been committed to involvement in the arts for young people and to developing young musicians,” said Campbell. “Celebrate the Future allows the TSO to feature two of its many education programs while highlightingthe talents of Arizona youth.”


Campbell explains that the goal for most aspiring young musicians is the experience, the commentary and the chance to win cash prizes, but the dream is to win a performance award, resulting in the performance of a solo work with the Orchestra.


Campbell adds that for the composers, it is rare to get works played at all, much less by a professional orchestra.


The admission to the program is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12, tickets are available online at or at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office located at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue.


For more information about the Young Composers Project or any other TSO events, visit or contact 882-8585.

Carnival of Illusion: Revue offers worldly adventure

Carnival of Illusion: Revue offers worldly adventure


Arizona’s own wayfaring magic show, Carnival of Illusions, combines old-time mystery and contemporary illusory for a curiously captivating revue.

The Carnival of Illusions features a combination of Las Vegas-scale presentation with the intimacy of a parlor show production.

The carnival travels weekly between three venues within Arizona: The Doubletree Hotel in Tucson, the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix and Arizona State University’s Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale.

Illusionists Roland Sarlot and Susan Eyed invite audience members to embark upon a worldly adventure from their armchairs.

Exceptional venue selections and cozy audience sizing enable the “intimate nature of this boutique theater” performance.

Affectionate attention upon the burlesque fashioning of venues’ interior designing makes intimacy the leitmotif of the show’s legerdemain.

The Carnival’s venturesome theme was inspired by Sarlot and Eyed’s nomadic meeting overseas, and references Jules Verne’s novel: “Around The World in 80 Days.”

Sarlot and Eyed transport their audiences on an extraordinary journey, “Around The World In 80 Minutes.”

Since 2011, Arizona’s Carnival of Illusions has been calling its curtains’ to audiences in awe and disbelief.

With over 250 consecutive sell-out shows, the “intimate nature of this boutique theater” has tickets to Carnival of Illusions in high-demand.

Carnival shows are held on Friday and Saturday evenings, performing between Phoenix and Tucson every other weekend.

While the show is family friendly, some mature subject matter within the magician’s banter mandates a minimum age requirement of 13 in order to attend.

Phoenix/Scottsdale tickets range from $60 for front-row seats, $45 for general admittance and $41 for seniors.

Tickets for all Tucson showings are priced between $40 for front-row seating, $29 for general admittance and $25 for seniors.

Carnival of Illusions concludes its touring schedule May 31 in Scottsdale.


FYI: Carnival of Illusions


Tucson: Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way

Phoenix: AZ Biltmore, 2400 E. Missouri Ave.

Scottsdale: ASU Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 N. Scottsdale Road.


Tucson: 323-5220

Phoenix: (602) 955-6600

Scottsdale: (480) 596-2660


Fridays and Saturdays, 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.




Susan Eyed and Roland Sarlot travel around Arizona to bring their vaudeville-themed Carnival of Illusions to audiences. Their magical sows, now in their fifth season, have had more than 250 sold-out performances.
(Aztec Press photos by Rachel White)