Cartel at JMU!

Cartel, the first act in the Wilson Concert series, is set to perform THIS FRIDAY, September 24 at 8 p.m. By doing three Wilson shows we are breaking UPB tradition a little bit. Why not break it a little bit more?

For past Wilson shows we have received a variety of complaints ranging from not being able to stand on the floor in front of the stage to not being able to see from some seats.  Being an organization with JMU students’ best interests in mind, we realized it’s time to make some changes.

First, every ticket sold for the concert will be general admission. Instead of searching for your seats and missing valuable show time, now you may sit wherever you please. Whether you prefer the full and complete sound that comes from sitting farther away, or you prefer the up-close and personal approach that comes from sitting closer, we feel this is advantageous for everyone.

Now clearly, the earlier you arrive the better chance you have of getting your seat of choice. So for the most dedicated fans, we are allowing a limited number to stand on the floor area right in front of the stage. If you are one of the first 75 people in line, you will receive a wristband to stand in this coveted area at no extra charge. Wilson Hall, being a place of JMU business, cannot have people lined up throughout the day so the line will begin at 5 p.m. sharp, the day of the show.

Unfortunately we cannot allow more than 75 in the floor area, but remember any ticket can be as good a seat as you want it to be! Good luck!

Tickets are available for $15 with a JAC and $17 for everyone else at the Warren Box Office and online at

~Steven Butler, Center Stage Committee Member

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

Each year Thanksgiving comes and passes like any other holiday. I might argue that it is the purest holiday. It lacks the commercialism of Christmas, the novelty of Halloween, the complete BS that is Valentine’s Day, and you can don whatever color you choose. I can think of no better reason to have a holiday than to give thanks for everything in our lives and spend some quality time with extended family members, rarely seen. Okay, that’s enough sappy stuff.

We all know the two real reasons people LOVE Thanksgiving. Food and the movie, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” I personally have such a high passion for both that I am torn trying to decide which I like better.

First, the FOOD. We all know the smells; the enticing aromas that begin to emanate from your mother’s kitchen a day or two before Thanksgiving, the epitome of all that is delicious. Next, comes the sampling. I for one am convinced that my mother has been systematically trying to poison my entire family, so I have put my life on the line for years by testing everything she makes in preparation for the big day. Clearly, it is a slow acting poison.

As the day approaches, wardrobe becomes a major concern. Everyone simply understands that massive quantities of food will be consumed. It doesn’t matter if you are dieting, training for the Olympics, or are UPB President Annie Blewett. As I begin my search, I half-mindedly consider wearing sweat pants, which would be highly effective, yet inappropriate. Eventually, I give up and accept that I will most likely look like Jared before he heard about Subway and it doesn’t matter what I wear because every button will pop and every zipper will be broken anyway.

The day arrives. Everyone knows the feeling of helping their mother with last minute food preparations. Poor mothers, they are usually stressed to the point of a nervous breakdown. I honestly could be more helpful attempting to burn my house down than actually helping my mother cook. It ok though, I’d rather watch the parade anyway.

Finally, family is in place, prayers have been said, the old people who never want to eat first have been forced to go, and it is time to eat. I personally enter a fairy tale land where spontaneous singing and dancing is allowed and fill my plate to paper plate capacity. At this point I am lost to conversation. I am completely focused on my food, eating as if Kanye West might pop out at any moment and interrupt me. I am in my happy place.

Reason number two for loving Turkey Day, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” is just an awesome movie. Need I even elaborate?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

– Steven Butler

Sometimes Reading JMU Informational E-mails Actually Pays Off

Stand up comedy is the best way I can think of to completely live in the moment for a matter of minutes. It is almost a liberating feeling, for that space of time anything and everything you say will be listened to. Last year, I had the chance to perform stand up comedy. Here is the short story of the funniest looking comedian you have never heard of. 

Ace Guillam at JMU

Ace Guillam had the crowd laughing at last month's Funny Freakin' Friday

My career began with being annoyed at yet ANOTHER JMU informational email. However that time, for whatever reason, I decided to open it. The message contained the information to audition for the student comedy showcase put on by UPB. I had always wanted to try stand up comedy but had never found a place to try it. Here was my chance.  

I wish I could say that I worked on my routine for weeks, so I will. I worked on my routine for weeks. By weeks I mean hours. I literally wrote my material the day of the audition. When I arrived at the audition, I met a few of the other aspiring comedians auditioning. One was nervous, one was impaired in some way I have yet to figure out, and one was doing calisthenics. Seriously, she was nervous. So as each of us was called in one by one we had the awkward pleasure of being able to hear the laughter or lack of laughter generated by those before us. As my time neared, I wished they would hurry up because I wanted to catch Grey’s Anatomy right after.  

Finally, my name was called. I decided to go with a high-energy approach by using enthusiasm to my advantage. It was not awful I can happily admit. A few people definitely laughed. When I finished and exited the room, I heard my name being called. As I frantically tried to put together some encore jokes in my head, someone informed me that I Erik Griffinhad left my jacket in my room. 

So that was it. All I could do from then on was wait for the results. Luckily, I was selected to perform at the showcase hosted by Adam Hunter at Funny Freakin’ Fridays and it was an awesome night. I personally believe that you can never have too many laughs in your life. I mean, without laughter how can we ever take ourselves seriously? So it really makes sense to go out and support Funny Freakin’ Fridays, who I credit with one of the best nights I have ever had at JMU, and check out comedian Erik Griffin at 8 PM in Taylor Down Under. And in case the members of Spirits and Traditions don’t get it, I think it is clear that the students want another student comedy showcase.

– Steven Butler

The Hangover Warning

Seeing as the delightfully hilarious movie “The Hangover” is one of the features offered at Grafton this week, I found myself curious at what a hangover actually is and what specifically causes it. Being the enlightened student that I am, I immediately threw aside my Photoshop assignment and sought out the answer. I credit the incredibly helpful site, as the source of my information.

picture from spicymoviedogs.comA hangover refers to the uncomfortable symptoms experienced by a person after a night of heavy drinking. Common symptoms include: headache, dehydration, sensitivity to light and sound, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, trouble concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and weakness. It is generally agreed upon that the more a person drinks, the worse a hangover will be although this varies from person to person. Drinking on an empty stomach, sickness, performing physical activity while drinking, and not getting enough sleep are also factors that increase the intensity of a hangover.

When alcohol enters the bloodstream, it blocks the creation of vasopressin. When the body does not have enough of this chemical, the kidneys send water directly to the bladder, as opposed to reabsorbing it. Studies show that 250 milliliters of an alcoholic drink cause the body to get rid of between 800 and 1,000 milliliters of water. This is why the bathroom becomes a very popular place when people are drinking.

After a night of heavy drinking, the body is in complete disarray. Organs try to make up for the loss of water by taking picture from fanpop.comwater from the brain, which causes headaches. Frequent bathroom trips also get rid of salt and potassium necessary for correct nerve and muscle functioning. When these levels dip too low fatigue, nausea, and head aches can occur. Alcohol abuse breaks down glycogen stored in the liver, which is partly at fault for some of the weakness and fatigue felt the next morning.

I think it is, perhaps, most important to note that a hangover can occur from as few as two or three drinks. Although everyone is different, the consequences of drinking should certainly be considered beforehand. Also I must insist that if you choose to drink, please do so responsibly.

– Steven Butler

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