Spotlight Series feat. Andrew Rohlk

Starting this semester, Spotlight Sounds’ Spotlight Series will be featuring two acts per month, one being an act that the committee brings on to campus, the other being a JMU student act. The goal for the Spotlight committee this semester is to showcase a diverse array of music as well as to help up and coming bands get their names and music out to the community.

Tonight, JMU Junior Andrew Rohlk, winner of last December’s Rumble Down Under, will be performing in Taylor Down Under at 8 p.m. Spotlight Sounds hosts Rumble Down Under in TDU as a battle of the bands, in which 8 student bands or singer/songwriters perform in front of a panel of judges and an audience of students. While the judges of RDU gave Andrew high marks, the students showed equal support, as he was one of the top runners in the fan vote. Andrew is a singer/songwriter who has been likened to John Mayer, but pulls from a wide variety of music for his influences. Andrew is a friend and fellow band member of Trinity Edralin, who kicked off our Spotlight Series back in September. Currently, he is recording a new solo EP.

Needless to say, as the winner of RDU, Andrew has great talent and the Spotlight committee hopes to see plenty of students at TDU tonight at 8 p.m. when he will showcase his music for the JMU and Harrisonburg community!

~Hayley Thompson, Spotlight Sounds Committee Member

What I’m Thankful For…

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and as we pull into our home stretch, I figured it would only be appropriate to write about a couple things I’m thankful for.

It goes without saying that I’m thankful for family, friends, and food (I’m so excited for the Thanksgiving feast that I think I can smell it already), but apart from that, I’m thankful for music. More importantly, I’m thankful for this year’s Rumble Down Under.

Rumble Down Under is JMU’s equivalent to a “School of Rock”-esque Battle of the Bands. While Jack Black will not be making an appearance tonight, there will still be awesome music AND delicious goodies (FOR FREE). Come out tonight to hear some of JMU’s finest talent, including SUTG, Adam in America, Andrew Rohlk & many more! The best part of Rumble Down Under is that the audience gets to play a part in selecting the finest talent, so round up all your friends so you can help pick the best band!  The winner of RDU this year gets hooked up with student-run record label Madistrophic, a professional photo-shoot, and their very own Spotlight Series in January.

~Elyse Krachman, Spotlight Series Director

The Sun-Day Forecast 11/1/09

This week around the JMU community (other than the start of everyone’s favorite “No-Shave-November”):


Wong Fu ProductionsWong Fu Productions
Wong Fu Productions, one of the most influential Asian groups in the media, is comprised of three men who reach out and express their beliefs on Asian culture. They produce music and very entertaining videos, as well as spreading Asian awareness in the communities in which they visit. They will be talking to the audience about who they are and what they represent as well as sharing some of their videos and music. The event will be Tuesday from 6:00-9:30 PM in Grafton.



Advanced Screening of The Fourth KindThe Fourth Kind
Our on-campus movie theater is getting a special advanced screening of the thrilling and very scary The Fourth Kind starring Milla Jovovich. The events in the film are based on the true events surrounding one psychologist’s investigations into one remote area’s claims of alien activity. The film is open to 400 JMU students for free, so make sure to come by the UPB office to pick up your pass before the show Wednesday at 10:00 PM.


RDU Winner ShowRumble Down Under Winner: Stay At Home Greg’s Show

Stay at Home Greg, the band that wowed the judges and fans alike last week is having their very own concert on the Commons Friday at 6:00 PM. Come check JMU’s up-and-coming band perform and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies.



Funny Freakin’ FridaysErik Griffin

The Black Student Alliance and UPB are bringing comedian Erik Griffin, as seen on Showtime and Comedy Central, to Taylor Down Under this Friday at 8:00 PM. His multicultural background inspires many hilarious rants and this Friday is sure to be a night that will leave your sides hurting from laughing so hard.



picture from schlagerblog.blogspot.comFiesta Night

Right after Funny Freakin’ Friday ends, the Latin Dance Club and UPB are hosting a Fiesta Night on Friday from 10:00 PM-1:00 AM in TDU. Even if you aren’t already a lord of the dance LDC will be teaching salsa, merengue, and bachata. The event is completely free and promises to be a night you’ll remember!


Matinee Film Series: (500) Days of Summerpicture from

The Matinee Film for November is already a cult classic. Grafton will remind you of a day at the beach with the decorations for this month’s installment of the Matinee Film Series (who doesn’t love beach balls?). There will be a romantic film trivia game, with a “Date Pack” prize. Also come share your summer love stories on the giant sunflower we’re constructing in the movie theater this Sunday!


RDU Review: Taylor Hall Meets American Idol

I am Carrie Martin, the Coordinator of UPB, and it is my job to advise this wonderful group of students who bring amazing events to campus. As part of my job it sometimes falls under my responsibilities to “participate” in events. Carrie MartinFor example, just last night I contributed my opinions as a judge for “Rumble Down Under”, a battle of the bands-type event that pinned ten student performers and bands against each other for their own programmed show on campus. If we were speaking in terms of American Idol,  to clearly define my style as a judge you could place me appropriately between Paula Abdul and Ellen Degeneres.

Other than her tendency to slur words and speak illogically, I think Paula is best known for her positive and bubbly feedback for performers. Similarly, it broke my heart to not declare every performer a winner because I was so blown away by some of the talent here at JMU. I was so impressed by the quality of music that it was almost impossible to make me choose one – I just wanted to hug them all as they got off stage for even having the guts to perform! It was hard for me to give anyone low scores, so I just avoided it by judging entirely through comments rather than quantitative score. How do you pick a winner when you just want everyone to be happy?!
As far as my qualifications to actually judge a music competition, that’s where my likeness to Ellen comes in. In high school I played the trumpet and had a steady rise to fame as a stepsister in the musical “Cinderella” – but that just about sums up my experience with music performance. Everyone else on the panel came from a music industry background and provided far more useful “Simon” or “Randy”-like feedback. In comparison, I gave bonus points to people who clearly enjoyed being on stage (great job”The Last Kings”) or got people to clap along (well done “Lights in the Fog”). I wanted to hear their stories and conversations with the audience (thank you Andrew Rohlk). I was impressed by the performers who made me laugh (thanks for your song about Purell, James Orrigo) or those who rolled with the punches (way to play with a broken string, “Whiskers and the Sly Raccoon”!). Basically, as a judge I 80 One Recordsrepresented every-person in the room who just wanted a performance that made me want to hum along or get up and dance.
So while I felt a little like the odd ball out compared to my other colleagues on the panel, I definitely enjoyed myself. Congratulations to “Stay at Home Greg”, the “Rumble Masters” of TDU. I don’t know if everyone in the audience was already a fan before the event, but I think they are now!

– Carrie

Welcome to the Rumble

Tonight is going to be a night to remember. Ten bands have made it through the auditions to participate in Rumble Down Under’s fierce battle-royale this evening. Each band only gets a fifteen minute window to excite the audience and impress the judges. The performers are competing for a chance to have UPB program their own concert for the student body this November.

Rumble Down Under

The tentative schedule for the acts is currently:

1. Lights In The Fog 7:00-7:15
2. James Orrigo 7:15-7:30
3. Grant Thomas 7:30-7:45
4. The Sun Kings 7:45-8:00
5. Andrew Rohlk 8:00-8:15
6. Yesterday’s Hero 8:15-8:30
7. Stay At Home Greg 8:30-8:45
8. Whiskers and the Sly Racoon 8:45-9:00
9. Luke Hartman 9:00-9:15
10. The Last Kings 9:15-9:30

I don’t want to introduce any personal bias into this process, but I will tell you that I already own one of these artists’ CDs. Standing out in a campus of over 16,000 undergrad Dukes, the work of these musicians is nothing to scoff at. There is a tremendous amount of talent that flows through this campus. Who knows, maybe one of these artists will go on to experience the success of JMU Alum Phil Vassar. All I can say for sure is that I’ll definitely be in the crowd for this one tonight voting and voicing my opinion on these local bands.

– Stephen

The Sun-Day Forecast 10/18/09

This week around the JMU community:


Rumble Down UnderRumble Down Under
The second annual Rumble Down Under is back! Come see ten of the best bands around JMU battle it out this Thursday, October 22 in TDU. The event starts at 7 PM and each of the artists get a 15 minute set to impress the audience and judges. The competition this year consists of Stay at Home Greg, Luke Hartman, The Last Kings, Lights in the Fog, James Orrigo, Grant Thomas, The Sun Kings, Andrew Rohlk, Yesterday’s Heros, and Whiskers and the Sly Racoon. Last year’s winner Joshua Vana will also be performing during the judge’s deliberation. Look out for the the top band”s own concert put on by UPB this November.


Disney Late Night BreakfastLate Night Breakfast
Come by Festival this Thursday night from 10 PM to 12 AM for the Disney themed Late Night Breakfast! Not only will there be free food, but there are also balloon and caricature artists, a roaming magician, and Disney Scene-It and trivia! There will be classic Disney movies as prizes, so come prepared. Trust me on this one, I consider myself to be a master of Disney trivia – and these questions are tough. As if all this wasn’t enough, there is also going to be a contest to see who can design the best LNB series t-shirt.


Cloudy With a Chance of Movies

The Ugly Truth

“The battle of the sexes heats up in Columbia Pictures comedy The Ugly Truth. Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl) is a romantically challenged morning show producer whose search for Mr. Perfect has left her hopelessly single. She’s in for a rude awakening when her bosses team her with Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler), a hardcore TV personality who promises to spill the ugly truth on what makes men and women tick.”

Funny People (featuring UPB’s favorite Aziz Ansari)

“George is a very successful stand up comedian who learns that he has an untreatable blood disorder and is given less than a year to live. Ira is a struggling up-and-coming stand up comedian who works at a deli and has yet to figure out his onstage persona. One night, these two perform at the same club and George takes notice of Ira. George hires Ira to be his semi-personal assistant as well as his friend.”

Synopses from

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