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Day: February 3, 2010

Dear State Patty’s Day: GO AWAY!

I'll be frank - I hate State Patty's Day. I feel as though it's an unnecessary excuse to partake in destructive decisions. That does not, however, mean that I am opposed to the actual Saint Patrick's Day, which as a person of Irish decent, I am required to celebrate.

State Patty's Day was created four years ago when Saint Patrick's Day fell during spring break, which, I will admit, created an issue. However, since 2007, the holiday has safely fallen after Spring Break, allowing for us to dress in green, line up at bars for poor quality alcohol with green food dye in it, and pretend to actually like gingers. Personally, I think that one of those days is enough, and the Town of State College will agree with me.

Read on to find out more.

David Sanborn Quartet at the State Theatre

David Sanborn and crew played their version of jazz at the State Theatre last night to a packed house of older folks. Sanborn, on alto saxophone, was backed by keyboards, a drummer, and the famous Joey DeFrancesco on the B-3 organ. The whole evening he had the crowd, the median age of which was easily 55, clapping their hands and snapping their fingers in time with the music. Personally however, while I am an avid fan of jazz music, I am not a fan of his type of jazz music. Sanborn's music is usually categorized as smooth jazz. I don't think that's a very fair classification. For those unfamiliar, smooth jazz is a genre dominated by the infamous Kenny G. Having taken MUSIC 007, the Evolution of Jazz, with the great Dan Yoder, I learned that this is the lowest genre of jazz. Sanborn, on the other hand, I would describe as  a funkier version of the aforementioned Kenny G. So, a little better, but not much.

Sanborn is touring for his latest album, his 24th, titled "On Everything", the title track of which is about his first grandchild, Genevieve. In addition to songs from that album, he played many others including the popular standard "Let the Good Times Roll". That was probably the group's best song of the evening. Sanborn filled the breaks between songs with stories about his new granddaughter. He complimented the State Theatre, noting that he had never been to State College before, unless he was here in the 70s, because, he joked, no one remembers the 70s. Humor aside, musically, the night was dominated musically by Joey DeFrancesco. The organist Sanborn called the "Philosopher of Funk" soloed throughout the night and was immensely more creative and entertaining than Sanborn himself. There was a reason the show was billed as "Featuring Joey DeFrancesco". Sanborn's solos were short and predictable, and he had a habit of continuing playing after the band had stopped, almost as if he needed to have the last word. That being said, Sanborn has clearly been doing something right throughout his career, having garnered six Grammy Awards. But, if Taylor Swift can win over Gaga, then maybe that's not such a big deal either.

Sanborn's next stop is the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel tomorrow if you want to see how your impressions match up to my review. Additionally, if you are interested in jazz music, WPSU has a jazz show Fridays from 9-11 pm. One of the hosts of the show attended the Sanborn concert and is interested in local feedback about her jazz programming and any requests you may have. She goes by the name of Rain and will be broadcasting next on February 12th. Her email address can be found here.

Photographer: Stefan Choquette, Onward State Editor of Photography || [email protected]

The University Gender Gap

After millennia of a male-dominated world, women have finally risen to the top. But some college admissions officers suggest that they've risen too high.

Women now outnumber men applying to and graduating from college. They comprise 57% of college populations, and they may face discrimination for being too eager for a college education.

The College of William and Mary accepted relatively equal numbers of men and women for the most recent freshman class. However, 7,652 women and 4,457 men applied. Crunch those numbers, and you'll find that the college accepted 45% of male applicants and only 27% of female applicants.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently caught wind of this inequality, and they're seeing if universities are deliberately discriminating against women to maintain an equal gender ratio.

The phenomenon of female-dominated universities has yet to strike Penn State. Men represent 54% of the student body, while females represent only 46%. Penn State may be an exception due to its respected College of Engineering, one institute that oozes testosterone.

In any case, discrimination against college-bound women is intolerable. Rather than slackening standards for male applicants, colleges should alter certain structures to increase male enrollment. (Adderral dispensers in the library? Free ESPN Insider accounts for all students?)

But seriously, alternatives to blatant discrimination surely exist. (Although, as a man, a high female-to-male ratio is fine by me.)

iPad Perfect for College Students?

By now, I'm sure everyone has heard about Apple's new release - the giant iPhone the iPad. A few days ago, I came across an Associated Press article discussing how the new iPad will be perfect for college students. This is definitely an idea I thought about when I first heard of the release, but I have mixed feelings about how well the iPad will be for class-goers.

I'll preface my discussion by letting you know that I'm an avid Mac user and have been all of my college life. I worked in an Apple retail store in the summer of 2008 and have been following Apple Inc. since 2006. Let's see how biased I am....

Read on for some points made by the AP article and my thoughts along with them.

Pauly D to DJ at Penn State Altoona

Brace yourself. Time to raise your fists high and ‘beat up the beat.’ The Student Government, Campus Activities Board, and Student Activity Fee of Penn State Altoona (say that three times fast) have confirmed that they are trying to bring in Jersey Shore’s Pauly D to campus to spin at a party by the end of the month.

Yes, your favorite Guido and mine, Pauly D could potentially be fist-pumping his ‘fresh outfit, fresh haircut, fresh tan’ on over to Penn State Altoona February 27th. Further details will be posted as they come in. For now, stock up on your Joico Ice Hair Spiker, practice your blow-out, and throw up a fist pump!

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