Hello Boise State! Check out the 13th episode of our weekly Pulse Check. This edition features information about how to save a life, an upcoming concert, and our radio show spotlight of the week! Tune in every Wednesday to find out what’s going on in the music scene and beyond in Boise.
As an Oklahoma City Thunder fan, it would seem that I should be on the other side of this argument. The Thunder finished the regular season with a 45-37 record, tying the New Orleans Pelicans for the 8th best record in the Western Conference. With the Pelicans holding the head-to-head tie-breaker, the Thunder will be missing the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The controversy doesn’t lie with the Thunder not making the playoffs, but instead with who did make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee (41-41), Boston (40-42) and Brooklyn (38-44) all made the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. While the Thunder couldn’t make the playoffs in the Western Conference, they would be a 6 seed in the not so strong Eastern Conference. NBA fans around the country are calling for a reconstruction of the playoff format, as the current system allows lesser teams to make the playoffs, while teams with better records are left to watch at home.
Adam Silver, current commissioner of the NBA, spoke about changing the playoff format earlier this season in an interview for “Outside the Lines”, Silver spoke about how the best teams in the league weren’t being represented in the playoffs. While Silver is right, and the best teams in the league aren’t being represented, the NBA doesn’t help itself when teams are blatantly tanking, with the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers drawing the most attention from media outlets. A league that allows team to lose on purpose, for the hope of a brighter future (not a guarantee) has way bigger issues than worrying about the current playoff format. Take into consideration the records of the four worst teams in the NBA. The Timberwolves (16-66), Knicks (17-65), 76ers (18-64), and Los Angeles Lakers (21-61) combine for a total of 72 wins, just 5 wins better than the league leading Warriors (67 wins). The NBA needs to extend the minimum requirement for players to two years of college to ensure that its own teams aren’t taking risks, but instead making smart investments that they know can help their future. With an MVP-caliber player coming out of the draft every five years, it’s no wonder why a team like the Spurs can completely dominate the league for decades, while the city of Charlotte has never had the opportunity to make it past the first round of the playoffs. While a team like OKC is better than Brooklyn on nearly every level, the Thunder knew the task at hand and that they had to be in the top eight in their respected conference to make the playoffs. They didn’t, and it hurts as a fan. Brooklyn shouldn’t be punished that they happen to be in a conference where it feels like the same few teams lose 50 games every single year. Brooklyn had the same goal as OKC in terms of making the playoffs, and they achieved it. Tanking is hurting the league, especially the Eastern Conference.
Hopefully in the next few years, teams like the Knicks and 76ers will realize that their fans expect them to play their hardest every night, and the Eastern Conference in general will be better represented than it is now. Sometimes you just gotta swallow that the game of basketball isn’t always fair.
When Portland based bands Us Lights and And And And came to Boise to play Treefort Music Fest, I had the opportunity to have them in the University Pulse studio thanks to Tyler Paget and Redbull Sound Select Series. Both the interviews had some small technical difficulties and I missed The beginnings. It isn’t much though and I cant thank the bands enough for their time. Check out my interview with And And And above and Us Lights below!
Hello Boise State! Check out the 12th edition of our weekly Pulse Check. Information on upcoming concerts, events and our radio show spotlight of the week. Stop by every Wednesday to catch the latest in the music scene and beyond in Boise.
You heard me right, Interstellar is the best film of last year and dare I say, the best science fiction film of the 21st century. Although 2014 provided some strong competitors, at the end of the day, Nolan’s enrapturing exploration tale, backed by the thunderous brilliance of another fantastic Zimmer soundtrack, has them all beat.
Granted, Interstellar doesn’t feature a cynical self-reflection on the movie world, a monotone reflection on the cliched expressions of white suburban male life, a stirring hip-hop/piano combo anthem or a dearth of veiled Amurca’ references, but I think it has a little something more to offer current and future audiences, both as an entertaining blockbuster and as a cinematically valuable and enduring piece of film.
Perhaps the most important and impressive aspect of Interstellar is its scope. Quite literally encompassing multiple universes, the movie is a grand tale of humanity, a concept for which the risk alone was enough to intrigue me earlier in the year.
The great thing is, for the most part, Interstellar gambles big and wins big. You can almost feel the desperation of humanity and the determined glare of survival in Cooper’s face.
As Cooper feels the life he knows slip away your heart drops and then rises again on the wings of human achievement that occurs not through logic or science, but through relationship and a love that echoes throughout eternity.
A huge part of these emotional highs and lows are the stunning visual effects. Learning from the successes and failures of Gravity in the prior year, Interstellar offers otherworldly vistas that actually connect deeply to the characters, furthering the stark, lonely nature of the voyage and reinforcing the incredibly high stakes involved.
I won’t spoil the wave scene, but from an effects standpoint, it might be the best scene of the year. More than anything, the locations for Interstellar feel both familiar and alien, managing to look shockingly real and yet frighteningly unknown.
Capping off what would already make for an excellent movie on its own is a cast that probably didn’t get enough credit for what they accomplished.
Granted, Anne Hathaway (Brand) has a tough time integrating into the complex and emotional plot but she manages to shine, especially when her character starts to do more than talk. But beyond her, this cast is a gem, with McConaughey’s (Cooper) career resurgence on full display with the expert support of a rising Chastain (Murph) and an always excellent Caine (Prof. Brand).
Despite being separated by time, space and relativity, the real gem is the interaction between Murph and Cooper, which takes on such an emotional power that it drives the movie seamlessly through the film’s minor flaws and engages the viewer on an extremely personal level.
Ultimately, Interstellar is one of the only movies of late that refused to allow me to sit back in my chair. It is a film that engages any viewer on the most fundamental level and it is a film that captures the essence of what it means to be human.
Interstellar has its flaws but has the rare ability to overpower them with its better traits. On top of all of this, these cinematic achievements are done on a science-fiction stage that spans two universes. Although the 21st century has produced some worthy science-fiction additions, none have been able to bring the full house like Interstellar is able to.
With its impressive visuals, top-notch cast, powerful score, real world effects and its deeply moving humanity, Interstellar slides easily into the top ranks of the science fiction world and stands strong as the top candidate of the 21st century. Bring on the challengers.
Hello Pulse Listeners, it is I, Dr. Professor Rene, here once again with the mixtapes of the month. In this edition we have had some straight bangers drop on DatPiff. The first mixtape of the month is Future’s and DJ Esco’s 56 Night’s. This mixtape dropped to celebrate DJ Esco’s release from a Dubai jail for marijuana possession. The self-proclaimed “coolest DJ in the world” hosts Future’s lengthy bars about the women, money and straight up thug life on what of course are banger tracks produced by 808 Mafia members. Download or listen to the mixtape here. My top three tracks for this mixtape are:
1. Trap N****s
2.Purple Coming In
3. 56 Nights
The second mixtape of the month is a compilation of Young Thug. The No F****s Vol 2 has 28 Bangers ranging from slow tempo incomprehensible attacks to non-stop relentless bars I wish I could understand. Yet nevertheless Young Thug’s unique persona is utterly tantalizing. With a variety of producers and features this mixtapes showcases Thug’s versatility and ability to come up with some way to fit his style onto every beat. Download of listen to this mixtape here
The University Pulse has teamed up with Adam Wright Media. Adam Wright is a local musician, photographer and videographer. He has started the In The Valley Sessions which highlights local and touring bands with a special acoustic performance set in miscellaneous Boise locations.
This session features the talented Joey Vannucchi of From Indian Lakes. Joey sat down to perform “Ghost” off of their album Absent Sounds before their Treefort Music Festival performance.
Formed in Stockholm in 1972 ABBA was and still is the biggest hit band to ever come from Sweden. They had many successes together in their years. One of the biggest competitions was the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 which they won. It was held at the Dome in Brighton, UK. This was the first time a musical group from Sweden had ever won the contest. Their winning song at the contest was Waterloo.
It’s been a little over a week since Wrestlemania 31 and I’m still wrapping my head around it. It’s hard to believe another season has come and gone. Leading up to Wrestlemania 31 we discussed many things on It’s Still Real to Me; our favorites going into the matches, Wrestlemanias past, and our predictions.
Last year’s show, Wrestlemania 30, had it’s high points, but more lows. Trying to reflect on it, the only match I can even remember from last year was the Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker match. That particular match was much discussed leading up to it, but Brock Lesnar broke a 21 year streak. The Undertaker had won his match at Wrestlemania every year for 21 years, but Lesnar ended that streak last year. This was the only match to still be talked about even today. What does that say about Wrestlemania 30?
Luckily 31 was an improvement. Did I agree with every single match up? Of course not, but I did end up enjoying most of them. The three biggest titles changed hands. I won’t review all of the matches because you really need to see most of them to understand their glory, but I will touch on a few. I’m not even going to try to talk about this Sting vs. Triple H match, that’s one you watch. Triple H got injured at the beginning of the match, but pushed through. He’s the epitome of badass.
Let’s start with the Intercontinental Championship. Had it been a one on one match I don’t it would have been as entertaining as it was. I also really enjoy ladder matches so that stipulation only added to the excitement. Seven men in and around the ring vying for one title made for a hell of a match. As I had predicted, Daniel Bryan ended up being victorious. WWE made this move to try and appease it’s fans and bring down some of the tension since Bryan wasn’t getting a Heavyweight title match.
Going into the United States Championship match I knew there was no way that Rusev would retain it, as badly as I wanted that to happen. As much as it pained me, I had predicted that Cena would win. With the amount of screen time and the big pushes they were giving John Cena it was inevitable he would walk out the winner. The only way they would really see getting people to like Cena again, at least for a little while, was to make the match something bigger than just Cena vs. Rusev. They made it America vs. Russia. Of course WWE’s golden boy would win, and the U.S.A chants were great, however in my opinion Rusev is a superior athlete and with an entrance like that, how could you not love him?
Lastly let me just say that the main event, Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar, was (unsurprisingly) one sided. It takes a very talented athlete to get in the ring with Brock Lesnar and not be completely dominated. Lesnar was throwing Reigns around like a rag doll, much like he did to Cena during their match at Summer Slam last year. In Brock’s words he took reigns to “Suplex City, bitch.” He took him to suplex city indeed. There were times when Reigns tried to get a good shot on Lesnar, but it just wasn’t happening. Finally Reigns caught a break when Lesnar cut his head open after hitting the turnbuckle. This gave Reigns a small boost and he was able to get a few Superman Punches on Lesnar before he came to and took over once again, though they both were relatively spent at this point. Mr. Money in the Bank Seth Rollins saw his opportunity and ran down the ramp to cash in his briefcase, making the match a triple threat. After only a few minutes and several curb stomps he was able to pin Roman Reigns and win the Heavyweight Championship. Was it fair he didn’t even beat the champion to win? Technically yes, but was it cool? Not really. Very sneak, Mr. Rollins, very sneaky. My predictions for this match were just a little off. I did say that Lesnar would lose the title, but I said it would be to Reigns. I did predict that Rollins would cash in his briefcase, but I said it would be on Reigns right after he won because Rollins would see how tired Reigns was after his victory that Rollins would think he’d have a legitimate chance to win. Seth Rollins did cash in, but it was on Reigns AND Lesnar and he won, which I did not see coming.
Overall it was a great Wrestlemania and I cannot wait to see what happens at the next pay-per-view.