Nicole Westbrook

“Thanksgiving” is No “Friday”

Nicole Westbrook

Photo Credit: YouTube | patomuzic

Almost two years ago, the world was taken by storm by a young woman a little too into the days of the week. Her name, of course, was Rebecca Black, and her viral hit “Friday” became part of the pop culture vernacular. The song was repetitive and irritating in all the worst ways. The video was even more inane. And yet in spite of all this – or rather, because of them – the song was hilarious.

Now, another girl’s song about an otherwise mundane happening – the holiday of Thanksgiving – is making its rounds on the web. Unlike “Friday,” Nicole Westbrook’s “It’s Thanksgiving” just doesn’t have the same magic. Watch it below:

Frankly, it should be funnier than it is. All the terrible elements are there: the rapping producer who can’t resist inserting himself into the song, the awkward camera angles and mundane, repetitive lyrics. There’s even a repeating “we we we” in the chorus! It’s the sequel we’ve not been yearning for.

Except, everything about it is just boring. It’s a reheated version of old schlock clearly designed to cause a reaction from the web – as it has already started to do. That last link even features an interview with both Westbrook and Wilson. In every single quote, you can practically see Wilson winking for the most outrage, as if to say, “Aren’t you just dying to sink your teeth into this mess?”

It’s no secret Wilson’s goal is to emulate Black’s success – he’s been putting out “Friday” sequels and follow-ups ever since the original set the world on fire. None of them are good, but none of them are bad enough to relish, either. Put in film terms, “Friday” was like the Beyoncé thriller (and utter laugh riot) “Obsessed,” while the rest are all middling Tyler Perry movies. “It’s Thanksgiving” is just conveniently timed enough to break out of the mediocrity.

However, “It’s Thanksgiving” won’t be remembered past this holiday season, because it just isn’t offering anything new. There will never be another one of these songs as successful as “Friday” for the same reason that any and all “Adele types” that emerge in the next couple of years will fail – nothing beats the original. (And this concludes any sort of comparison between Adele and Rebecca Black.)

Not only that, but part of the success of “Friday” was how the utter ludicrousness brought out the best one-liners and memes from us. “It’s Thanksgiving” isn’t likely to inspire such comedy, which takes all the fun out of it.

So when your friend posts “It’s Thanksgiving” with an exhausted “this again?”-type message on Twitter or Facebook, just keep scrolling. It’s not worth your time. Truth is, it’s nothing more than “Thanksgiving” turkey reheated on “Friday.”

David Koechner

‘Anchorman’ star David Koechner named Comedy for a Cause headliner

Originally published in the Los Angeles Loyolan. For original, please refer to: ‘Anchorman’ star David Koechner named Comedy for a Cause headliner.

David Koechner

Photo Credit: YouTube | roryphotography

ASLMU’s Comedy for a Cause, previously known as both Comedy for a Cure and Comedian for a Cure, has found its headliner: “Anchorman” star David Koechner.

“He’s in ‘The Office,’ he’s in ‘Anchorman’ … so he’s been in the public view a lot,” said ASLMU’s Director of Performance Events and senior finance major Ashley Thompson of the choice. “We looked at his stand-up comedy style, and he’s what we wanted. He’s available and lives in L.A. – kind of a match made in heaven.”

The actor/comedian, who has also played recurring character Todd Packer on “The Office” since 2005 and was a “Saturday Night Live” cast member in the show’s 21st season, was selected in mid-September.

ASLMU President and senior marketing major Bryan Ruiz said that he thinks Koechner’s reprisal of his role as sportscaster Champ Kind in the tentatively-titled “Anchorman: The Legend Continues” next year will drive students to the event.

“Especially with Anchorman 2 coming out … I feel that students are going to respond really well,” Ruiz said. “We [at ASLMU] were all ecstatic.”

Opening for Koechner at the event will be this year’s Last Student Standing winner, junior screenwriting major Justin Small.

Under the event’s new title, Koechner was asked to choose which charity the event’s funds would support.

“In the past, the event has benefited the Susan G. Komen Foundation,” Thompson said. “This year, we decided to open up the philanthropy to the comedian. So we asked David … [and] he chose the Balanced Mind Foundation.”

The Balanced Mind Foundation, a Chicago-based foundation first established in 1999, is an organization with the goal to guide “families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support and stability they seek,” according to their website.

To raise money for the Balanced Mind Foundation, junior psychology major Caitlin Maher, ASLMU’s chair of programming, said that the event’s coordinators have been focusing on fundraising opportunities.

“One of our major goals that we’ve been focusing on is just getting a lot of donations from different businesses, so we can donate a significant amount of money to the foundation,” Maher said. “Because that’s what the whole entire event is centered around.”

Fundraising opportunities include a raffle that will include prizes like gift cards to Best Buy and C&O Cucina, as well as tickets to Six Flags Magic Mountain. According to Maher, ASLMU is also hosting a Pinkberry fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 20.

Comedy for a Cause will be held Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion. The event will be free, but raffle tickets to be entered for a prize will cost $5 for one and a discount $10 for three, and will go on sale starting tomorrow during Convo.

Norah Jones

Norah Jones Releases New Video

Originally posted on TMDailyPost.com. For original, please refer to: Norah Jones Releases New Video | TM Daily Post.

Norah Jones

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

On her new album …Little Broken Hearts, folk singer and Texas sweetheart Norah Jones strikes a significantly darker tone than on her previous work. On the murder ballad “Miriam,” perhaps the darkest of all the tracks, she describes killing her lover’s mistress. As of this Wednesday, “Miriam” has an equally eerie video to match.

Jones’ new video, directed by Philip Andelman (and available exclusively at SPIN.com), is onelong shot across Lake Bastrop. The singer sits alone in the center of the lake in a boat, wearing a bright red dress, with a bloody oar by her side. The camera lingers on her as she sings, “I know he said it’s not your fault/But I don’t believe that’s true/I’ve punished him from ear to ear/Now I’ve saved the best for you.”

…Little Broken Hearts was written by Jones and her writing partner, Brian Burton, in the wake of a bad breakup. “Miriam” is the second-to-last track on the album and was praised by outlets like SPIN (“Jones has given her NPR-goody-goody image a bruising”) and the New York Daily News (“she sings with chilling relish”) as a highlight.

To promote …Little Broken Hearts and the video, Jones will be appearing on Conan next Monday to perform “Miriam,” as well as on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on August 13 to perform “Say Goodbye,” another cut from the album. She is also preparing to embark on the second part of her U.S. tour starting next Tuesday. She’ll be appearing in Austin on October 19 at the ACL Moody Theatre, as well as in Houston at the Bayou Music Center on October 20 and the McFarlin Auditorium in Dallas on October 22.

Rice University Researcher Breaks Joggling World Record

Originally posted on TMDailyPost.com. For original, please refer to: Rice University Researcher Breaks Joggling World Record | TM Daily Post.

Matthew Feldman

Photo Credit: YouTube | RiceUniversity

Matthew Feldman is a self-confessed multitasker, a skill he put to the test when he decided to combine his love of juggling and his passion for running.

“I enjoy doing both of them, and doing both takes a lot of time,” Feldman said in the above video. “So I put them together.”

This past Friday, Feldman, a Rice University researcher in nanomaterials and University of Florida student, broke the Guiness world record for the fastest mile while juggling five objects with a time of 6 minutes and 33 seconds. Previously, the record had been 7 minutes and 41 seconds, set 23 years ago by Bill Gellen.

“6:33 isn’t my personal best time,” said Feldman, who claims his best personal time is 6:27. “But I feel good about getting the attempt done and obtaining the record.”

Feldman’s joggling, which is part of his everyday routine, is also part of his campaign to raise money for tsunami-ravaged Isatomae in Japan. In March of last year, Japan was hit by a devastating tsunami, and according to Feldman’s website, the citizens of Isatomae are still suffering.

“The lack of morale, motivation, and manpower in the town has prevented residents from being able to rebuild much of what was destroyed,” Feldman wrote. So he set about promoting the world record attempt and encouraging donations for the people of Isatomae, an area he had visited earlier this summer. His efforts have so far have raised just under a fifth of his goal of $2,500.

“Every cause needs publicity, and I’m hoping that this record attempt will give me the publicity I need to raise awareness for the residents in Japan,” Feldman said.

Watch him perform this feat in the below:

Houston Mayor’s Office Releases Curiously Timed Active Shooter PSA

Originally posted on TMDailyPost.com. For original, please refer to: Houston Mayor’s Office Releases Curiously Timed Active Shooter PSA | TM Daily Post.

Active Shooter PSA

Photo Credit: YouTube | RunHideFight

The Aurora movie theater shooting continues to haunt the nation. And three days after the rampage, the Office of Houston Mayor Annise Parker put out a bizarre-but-helpful PSA that the office had apparently had in the can for a moment such as this.

The video was commissioned in January of this year, according to Jessica Michan, Annise Parker’s press secretary. While the PSA was “finished about two to three weeks before the Colorado incident … we held it until it became relevant,” Michan told the TM Daily Post. Thus, the video was released on July 23, three days after the shooting spree.

The six-minute video, which has been viewed over a hundred thousand times on YouTube, is titled “RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. Surviving an Active Shooter Event.” It was produced in part with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security and boils down surviving a shooting into three simple plans of action: running, hiding, and fighting.

“It may feel like just another day at the office,” the voiceover intones over footage of a shooter dressed in all black walking into a workspace. “But occasionally, life feels more like an action movie than reality.”

The video then proceeds to detail the steps you need to take to survive, with summaries breaking down the plans at the end of every section.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Aurora’s tragic shooting,” said Mayor Annise Parker in a July 26 press release. “I can’t imagine the horror and grief. If it is at all possible for any good to come out of it, perhaps it can be letting people know the options to consider if it happens again.”

Though the PSA contains some useful tips, the Internet does not seem sure what to make of it. A blogger at HyperVocal, who found the video something to “squirm through,” opined that “[i]t’s helpful, but the cheesy voiceover (‘Sometimes bad people do bad things’) and thinly veiled references to a certain ‘action movie’ make watching it pretty uncomfortable.” Daily Intel’s Dan Amira dubbed the PSA “pretty intense” and noted that it “does seem like well-timed advice.” And it led BuzzFeed to wonder, “Was this video made for eight year-olds?”

The press release urges citizens to take action, repeating the refrain of “If you see something, say something.”

“We hope our residents are never confronted with such an event,” said Dennis J. Storemski, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security in the release. “But we want to prepare them with some of the important information if they ever find themselves in this situation.”