Best Bets

Here All The Bombs Fade AwayThe Decemberists rock out at the Hard Rockby Adam DeYoung CONTRIBUTOR

“I am a poor man / I haven’t wealth nor fame / I have my two hands / and a house to my name,” croons Colin Meloy, lead singer of popular indie band The Decemberists. Last Sunday, his eclectic band played to a packed Hard Rock in Orlando’s CityWalk near Universal Studios. The multi-instrumental, “hyper-literate” group mostly played songs off their October 2006 release The Crane Wife, voted by National Public Radio listeners as 2006’s Best Album. The album’s titular theme recounts an Japanese folk tale about a poor man who, after rescuing an injured crane, marries a beautiful woman and falls into wealth. The man eventually discovers the woman and the crane are the same being- a discovery so unbearable it causes her to fly away forever. Sunday’s show kicked off with opening act My Brightest Diamond, a budding group fronted by the petite Shara Worden. Draped over MBD’s jazzy, progressive indie rock, Shara’s sultry voice quickly won the crowd over. Diamond played a very short set- only about five songs- but Shara later joined Meloy for Decemberists’ southern-flavored duet “Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)”. Following a strange Russian-style anthem, the Portland-based Decemberists launched into “Oceanside” off their 2003 release, 5 Songs. After the stellar “July, July!”, “The Crane Wife #1” and “The Island”, Meloy soloed with “You’ll Not Feel The Drowning” and was later joined by bassist Nate Query on cello and guitarist Chris Funk on violin. Eager for more audience participation, Meloy initiated a dance contest for “The Perfect Crime #2” and held the mike out to first-row seaters to sing the final refrain of “Sons and Daughters”. The Decemberists rounded out the concert performing a cover of Brian Eno’s “I’ll Come Running (to Tie Your Shoe)” before the final event of the night- “The Mariner’s Revenge Song”. Driven by John Moen’s pounding drums and Jenny Conlee’s eerie accordion, the song depicts a divine intelligence which spared two seamen from a horrible whale attack that consumed their crew, allowing one man to exact revenge inside the whale’s stomach. The song’s rolling instrumental section inspired the entire audience to sway as if rocking on a boat.The whale attack was actually illustrated onstage, depicted as a giant chomping puppet emerging from behind the red curtain. These are the little flourishes that make the Decemberists one of the best live acts in the

Muse-Sickby Anthony A. Choman STAFF WRITER

Avril Lavigne – The Best Damn Thing (RCA)Arctic Monkeys – Your Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino)Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero (Interscope)The Noisettes – What’s The Time Mr. Wolf (Mercury)

Three letters define Avril Lavigne’s latest album…P-O-P…and that’s ok. The Best Damn Thing is the third studio release for the The Belleville, Ontario, Canada pop-punk princess. She’s got the looks (a 2004 Maxim girl), she’s got the voice, and she even solidified her pop royalty status by marrying fellow wannabe punk & “sk8er boi” Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 fame. The Best Damn Thing is a wickedly catchy album when you throw pop-guru producer Dr. Luke (Britney Spears, Pink, Kelly Clarkson) into the mix. Don’t miss “Girlfriend,” thee lone track which single-handedly assures Lavigne’s place on millions of pink iPods.

The comparisons and record-setting sales set by The Beatles were once thought to be untouchable- “We’ll see ya later innovator!” And yet, “Brianstorm,” the first single off Arctic Monkey’s new album, already hit number one weeks ago. They’re giving local bands and competitors alike a run for their money. If this smash-anthem is any indicator what they’ve got up their sleeves, Arctic Monkeys just might very well become Your Favourite Worst Nightmare. The new album from the uber-fab four from Sheffield, this writer predicts, will single-handedly turn the entire world of music on its ear.

Year Zero, the title of the sixth album from Industrial-rock-metal powerhouse Nine Inch Nails, is nothing new: it’s loaded with grating guitars, auras of viscerally-primal emotions and frontman vocalist Trent Reznor’s escalating, guttural rage. The latest NIN opus is exactly what you’d expect from Reznor today, and it’s probably what you’d expect fifteen years from now. That’s because Reznor’s inspiration, he says, stemmed from imagining the political, ecological, spiritual and cultural climate in the near-future. The aptly-titled “Survivalism” is the first single from Year Zero, so catch the video at

London -native The Noisettes is a band so far removed from mainstream influence they make Jackson Pollack, Andy Warhol and David Bowie look like the Kingston Trio. This genre-deficient group’s new album What’s The Time Mr. Wolf is too independently-unique to even be considered indie. The band’s own publicist cites their sound as being driven by an “anti-conformity, multi-stylistic freakoid upturning of popular music culture.” Still wondering what they sound like?

Best Bets- FashionThe Shorter, the Better by Ashley Gabriel STAFF WRITER

Leave the heavy jewelry and big bags at home; the hottest trend this week is pairing a mod mini-dress with a built-in accessory- your legs. The short baby-doll with short sleeves or the mod mini-dress sans sleeves is great for revealing those sun-kissed legs. During the day at work, choose a mini-dress with jeans or dark leggings underneath and “Mary Janes” to make the attire “office-appropriate”. After work, however, ditch the leggings and slip into platform sandals. Finally, grab a shiny clutch for a hot summer night in Fort Lauderdale, Boca, West Palm, or a local lounge. Coordinate your baby-doll or mini-dress style with a chic retro look from head to toe. These dress types are usually covered in sequence, patterns, or distracting enough with their short length. Since this style channels the quintessential retro design, synchronize with thick eyeliner on the lids, heavy mascara, and a pink or shiny nude lip. Keep the jewelry simple- a few thick bangles or bracelets, but no heavy earrings or necklaces. Leave the big purses home for next winter and carry a small clutch instead to keep the focus on the one-piece outfit. With school almost out and plenty of time for shopping, try stores such as Nordstrom, Bebe, and Charlotte Russe for the baby-doll or mini-dress that compliments both your workday and date at night. Nordstrom’s dresses offer a wide selection of patterns and color, with prices ranging from $54 to $440. For a cheap alternative, check out Charlotte Russe‘s line- they run from $22.99 to $39.

Aliens Have Landed in Miamiby Michelle Johnson STAFF WRITER

We’re familiar with aliens, little green men, UFOs and supernatural phenomena popularized in Hollywood films, but those are fiction, right? Wrong. The Miami Museum of Science’s The Science of Aliens, a retrospective timeline showcasing the evolution of “aliens” throughout American culture, kicks off its exhibit by discarding the oft-misrepresented moniker. Some of the first “aliens”, in fact, were the social outcasts accused of sorcery and witchcraft during the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Centuries later, with the Cold War looming near, the next generation of social aliens (those whose political philosophies deviated from the American norm) were more commonly known as Communists. The most noted “alien” invasion came in the form of Orson Welles’ 1938 dramatized emergency broadcast. It caused quite a stir as many listeners abandoned their homes for safe shelter. Had they tuned in earlier, they would have known that the broadcast was simply a reading of excerpts from H.G. Wells’ famous novel War of the Worlds. The exhibit continues by presenting visitors a look at how aliens in movies and television have transformed from super-scary, like 1979’s Alien, to super-cute, like Disney’s Lilo and Stitch. These aliens, mimicking “lovable” human characteristics, allowed viewers more identification with their role in the narratives. The exhibit also speculates on the possibility of extraterrestrial life on other planets. Scientists, collecting data on atmospheric conditions, the environment and evolutionary track, were able to synthesize a fictional, yet probable, planet including some of its possible inhabitants. Their conclusions are displayed accompanied by models and pictures. Listening devices are also supplied for visitors which play excerpts from the Witch Trials and Welles broadcast. Not to mention interactive quizzes complete with flashing lights, bleeps, bloops and sounds of blasting off into space. Okay, so maybe The Science of Aliens is geared toward middle school field-trippers, but this doesn’t suggest college students shouldn’t enjoy the exhibit. Hell, many of them still proudly watch The Simpsons. Visit The Miami Museum of Science’s (3280 South Miami Avenue, Miami) website,, for more information. The Science of Aliens runs through May 6.