Are You Ready to Rumble?

80 One Record’s second annual Rumble Down Under is fast approaching. Bands are getting together and practicing this week to audition to join in this year’s contest. Seeing all this happen really brings me back to my short lived days in the limelight.  Rumble Down UnderThat’s right. I’m the former guitarist of Can’t Count Trio (…genius name, because there were four of us).  I doubt that you fully appreciate how lucky you are to be currently reading the words of a celebrity, so let me give you a Behind the Music rundown of what really happened.

The fierce competition at the Talent Show tryouts at Byrd Middle School would’ve been too much to take for those of you with a weak stomach. The Can’t Count Trio; however, refused to succumb to the overwhelming pressure bearing down on us. We found time in our schedules to take a break from one of our three strenuous practices for the auditions to interact with our adoring groupies. What can I say….. we were the talk of the eighth grade.

The day of the tryouts came. Massive fame and glory were within our grasp. We performed our rendition of Incubus’ “A Certain Shade of Green” with all the theatrics you would expect from a band at the top of the Billboard charts (I played the solo on my knees). Now all that was left for us to do was to wait for the judges deliberations.

Shockingly, we were not chosen to play for the dozens in attendance at the show. The world was just not ready for our sound. Internal disputes soon tore apart the band, and the music world has suffered greatly because of it.

I know that all the bands trying out will definitely put Can’t Count Trio to shame, and I wish them all the best when auditions start80 One Records this Sunday. The local music scene is absolutely one of my favorite parts about this school, so I can’t wait to see all the performers at TDU this year. If you are in a band or play as a solo artists and think that you have what it takes to be called the best act around the JMU community make sure to sign your band up in the UPB office by this Friday, October 2.

– Stephen

Top 5 “Oh Snap” Moments of Aziz Ansari

Last Friday night was easily my favorite night of the semester so far. I was lucky enough to work the Aziz Ansari stand-up show in Memorial Hall. All throughout their performances both Aziz and his opener Dan Levy had me hunched over, uncontrollably laughing. If I wasn’t a fan of the headlining comedian before, I certainly am now. He claims that he always finds himself on trivial Top 5 lists, and in order to pay homage to his act. … I figured I could give him another one to (hopefully) stumble upon. These are my Top 5 “Oh Snap” moments from Aziz Ansari’s act at JMU:

Aziz and the Breeze-o-Meter

"Whoa! Who ate Aziz Ansari?!"

5) Aziz describing his hangout session with “Paranoid” singer Kanye West. I couldn’t even imagine trying to keep a straight face while walking into the infamous rapper’s apartment to see him bobbing his head to his own CD in his own apartment claiming “these beats are sick!”

4) Trying to explain how it would be possible for someone to have actually eaten him. So he might have gained a little weight…that still doesn’t explain the caption of one fan – “Whoa! Who ate Aziz Ansari?” From being a regenerating cannibal to someone making an “Aziz” suit after dining on the Parks and Recreations star – these theories were both absurd and hilarious.

3) The chronicles of Harris, Aziz’s “chubby” cousin. This combined visual and auditory impersonations of Harris stuffing his face with Cinnabon was almost too much to take.

2) Everyone’s favorite Funny Person – Raaaaaaaandy – made a much celebrated appearance during the show Friday night. The character’s an instant classic, and seeing it performed live was an amazing experience.

1) Aziz dealing with his rating on the Breeze-o-Meter. On Thursday’s edition of our newspaper The Breeze, the Aziz Ansari and UPB's Execcomedian placed very high on the scale of “What’s Hot” around the JMU community. However, he was ranked only second best – slightly beneath the annual music festival named Spaghettifest. The Observe and Report actor saw this rating and assumed that the event was literally a celebration of pasta – and that he was not quite as exciting to our campus as some good ol’ noodles. Needless to say this recurring joke was a favorite among the crowd.

There were many close calls that didn’t quite make the list (including Aziz getting in a car accident because he thought a girl had a beak….only to find out it was actually an ice cream cone). All I can say is that I’m glad that I took a night off from the typical weekend at JMU and got an opportunity to see and even take a picture with this up-and-coming star.

– Stephen

Aziz Ansari…One Sexy Dude

For the past few weeks I have made flyers, handbills, Grafton slies, breeze ads….etc….dealing a lot with the face/body of Aziz Ansari. Also, the name “Aziz” is kind of sexy itself…exotic and memorable, just like he is. I must admit he is a pretty sexy guy. I stare at his face on a daily basis….it leaves a haunting image that doesn’t seem to leave my mind. I am pumped to finally meet him in person today!! Take advantage of the last chance to buy tickets for the show this afternoon at warren box office…Trust me, you want a piece of Aziz. Not only is he HILARIOUS, but you also want to make the new marketing chair of special events (ME) look good…so just come to the show….you know you want to…and I want you to….so be there! It will totally be worth it!! I wish everyone a happy Friday!!!

Aziz Ansari

P.S. I can’t believe they are giving away two U2 tickets at the show!! This is SUPER exciting news for all you U2 fans and kudos to UPB for being AWESOME!!

<33 Jamie

Films for a Cause

picture from stardusttrailers.comI’m not quite sure how it happened, but last night I found myself working one of my monthly Grafton shifts for the feature film My Sister‘s Keeper. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been told it’s a good movie…. but I just don’t really associate myself with the whole tear-jerker, family drama scene.

That being said, I was really honored to work with the amazing women of JMU’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. The sorority co-sponsored the screening with us to help with their philanthropy Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). If you haven’t heard of this cause before, they provide care for the almost 780,000 American children who can no longer live at home because they are stuck in court cases involving abuse and neglect. According to horrifying statistics from, in this state alone a youth is abused or neglected every 75 minutes, with one child dying every other week.

Unfortunately, the non-profit organizations don’t exactly thrive in the current economy, and CASA is no exception. Donations are down picture from nationalcasa.orgnationwide, so that is why the contributions of groups like Kappa Alpha Theta are so important. We at UPB feel that it is our duty to use our presence on campus to not only bring quality entertainment to the students, but also to strive to help out the community whenever possible. Therefore, we are always looking to collaborate with other campus organizations in an attempt to bring about the greatest benefit to our local area. I hope to see you around Grafton this weekend to support this altruistic endeavor.


Jimmy Meets James

I’ve been going to JMU for three years now. And every year that I’ve been here JMU has brought a public figure for a talk. My freshman year Desmond Tutu came to accept the Mahatma Gandhi Nonviolence Award. Tutu is a South African activist who campaigns for the oppressed. He also campaigns for human rights, AIDS, poverty, and racism. My sophomore President Barack Obama DesmondTutucame. As we all know, Obama won the election just a few weeks after speaking in lil’ ole Harrisonburg. This year, former President Jimmy Carter is coming to accept his Mahatma Gandhi Nonviolence Award. Carter has committed to improving human conditions in the world, and has been very active in the Middle East.

So freshman year, Tutu came on a Friday. Being the naive freshman that I was, I thought that I could arrive at the Convo center about twenty minutes before the show started. I don’t think tickets were being sold for this event, so it was a first-come, first-serve deal. My friends and I showed up, only to have the doors shut in our faces. To be honest, I didn’t care at the time, because I had not heard of Tutu until then.

Obama! My friends and I arrived on that turf field around 11:00 that morning. It was chilly, and windy, and the sun kept going behind the clouds. We sat right on the ground and staked our spot, passing the time by playing games, doing homework, and taking pictures of ourselves. We shared our life stories in the hours we waited to get into the Convo Center. The lien started moving, and my excitement sky rocketed. We slowly made our way around the turf field, weaving in and out of the cones. Sadly, the people who were organized the event didn’t consider the fact that a million and one people were going to show up to squeeze into the 7,000 seats in Convo. As my friends and I slowly stepped off the turf and onto the sidewalk, a rush of people came from the side and cut in line. My friends and I were on the steps when the doors were closed and locked. I was pissed, because no security was there to stop people from cutting. But I did get to hear him on the soccer field for the thirty seconds he was out there.

This year, tickets were being sold for Jimmy Carter. So some of us bought tickets to ensure we’d get seats to hear the former president speak. Now I don’t really know much about Jimmy Carter as a president, but I have heard in the last month some of his humanitarian work. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t like his administration and his policies, or if you liked his comment about Congressman Joe Wilson, the work Carter has done for the world is incredible. The man is trying to achieve world peace, which we have been striving for since the beginning of time. He has gone overseas to negotiate peace treaties and to settle conflicts using nonviolence methods. He and his wife Rosalynn actively volunteer, bettering the world for future generations.The Carters

So, if you have not already bought your ticket yet, it’s not too late, since the Gandhi center has about 50 left to sell. Even if you are on the other side of the political spectrum, or you think Jimmy Carter’s statement to Joe Wilson was out-of-line, you should buy a ticket and go to the event tonight, at 7 pm, at the Convo center. You can buy your tickets online at This is an historical, once-in-a-lifetime moment. How many times can you look back on your life and say you were there when a president was awarded a Nonviolence Award?

– Kayla

No Convo Shows for Kanye…

N-n-now that that don’t kill me can only make me…dumber?

Kanye West. Wow. Congratulations, you have finally accomplished something unheard of in the music world.

Kanye WestFor those of you that have been busy studying like the rest of us should have been, here is what’s up. This past Sunday at the Video Music Awards, young and innocent Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video. Opinions aside, this is an honor bestowed on few and she deserves to be commended. As Taylor was just beginning her thank you speech, Kanye West came out of nowhere and grabbed her microphone. Apparently Beyonce, who was also running for the award, had one of the best videos of all time, according to Kanye. He rather lamely repeated this twice, handed Taylor back the microphone, and walked off stage. Everyone in attendance, including Beyonce, looked shocked, but none could match a speechless Taylor Swift.

Whatever effect Kanye was going for, it seemed to backfire. Kanye was met with boos, while Taylor received a standing ovation. Now, when I contemplate the reasons behind such an action, a few prominent ones come to mind.

1.      Getting in Beyonce Knowles’ good graces
2.      Beyonce’s video was indeed the best of all time. OF ALL TIME.
3.      Kanye wanted to give his inquisitive and well thought out opinion in a timely manner. (My vote is here)

It is my belief, and I am positive that I am not the only one, that it is not a matter of if another Kanye interruption will happen, it is when. Seeing as the Third Eye Blind concert on October*Sep 13 - 00:05* 8th is rapidly approaching, we are taking every precaution to prevent a similar incident. I could see it now, probably right in the middle of an awesome song…

“Yo Third Eye Blind, I’m really happy for you and I’m gonna let you finish…but Three Six Mafia was one of the best JMU concerts of all time! OF ALL TIME!”

We are committed to not letting this happen.

– Steven Butler

To…Eventually…Do List: Aziz Ansari

So I had been carrying around Aziz Ansari flyers for about a week, constantly telling myself that I was going to hang them. I carried around the flyers in my bag, along with a generous supply of tape and a few push pins just in case. Every day I came up with excuses not to hang the flyers….and they were all really valid excuses. For instance: I had to study for a test after class, I had to do my homework, I had to eat a snack, I HAD to go to the gym, and I HAD to go to Walmart. (Ok I’ll admit….maybe not ALL of my excuses were so valid) Then I had the great idea of giving some flyers to my boyfriend and bribing him to hang them…and I started seeing a few around campus. (I know I am a little brilliant :).

Aziz Ansari

On the other hand, I am the marketing committee chair of special events and this is my job!!! I decided to gradually hang a few flyers around Showker, and some in the dining halls, and a few in the library, etc. I came to see that hanging flyers is really not that bad and I have no idea why I was avoiding it in the first place. Hanging flyers on campus was on my “To Do List” for a little over a week….and I was finally able to cross it off! I feel very accomplished! After all of that strenuous effort, I trust that everyone will read the flyers and of course writes down the date of his show in their planners. Aziz is coming to JMU next Friday, so it is time to crack down on marketing next week. I hope to see all of you at the show!

<33 Jamie