PandemoniUM Showcases Vocals in Fall Performance

With the end of the semester approaching, acapella season is in full swing as Maryland’s top performance groups all prepare to put on their big fall shows. The “Pandas” of UMD’s self-described “most eclectic co-ed acapella group” on campus, PandemoniUM, were no exception, as they hosted their fall performance at the Memorial Chapel this past Friday night. The group takes pride in their unique, diverse choices in musical selections and arrangements, a feature they certainly showcased this week.

The set list for the night consisted of 13 songs, split by a brief intermission, all originally arranged by several different group members. The Pandas kicked off the night with a powerful arrangement of the song “MLTMDTTRTSM” by the group Little Green Cars, a song the majority of the audience was undoubtedly unfamiliar with. However, despite the song’s obscurity, it proved to be a crowd favorite as soloist Emma Weber showed off her immense vocal talent with strong back-up from the rest of the group.

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The majority of the set consisted of songs like the first, featuring titles such as “Sun & Moon,” “Find You,” “Medicine,” and “Another Love,” all by artists largely unknown by listeners. Nevertheless, they balanced their program by including a few more recognizable songs; most notably “Rather Be,” by Clean Bandit, “Parachute,” by Ingrid Michaelson, and “What Now,” by Rihanna, whose soloist Valen Gordon truly rocked the crowd with her massive and passionate vocals. Also included was a charming rendition of the Christmas classic “Baby It’s Cold,” featuring soloists Danny Mackey and Kiara Manosalvas, as the rest of the group provided supplementary harmonies while sporting classically ugly holiday sweaters.

Outside of the set list, the Pandas also featured some surprises of their own – prior to intermission, for example, the girls of the group joined together to serenade the guys in a mash-up of popular love songs. And at the end of the program, following the impressively arranged Simon & Garfunkel medley, the group came together to bring forward both alumni and current semester graduates in an eclectic medley which incorporated all styles from jazz to indie to pop.

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Directly following the end of the set list, group members came forward to make closing remarks. Sophomore Gordy Scofield stepped up to tell a knock-knock joke, while music director Danny Mackey also came forward to congratulate his successor to the position, Seamus McKenna, after he announced he would be studying in Spain for the upcoming semester. The night then ended with overwhelming hugs, smiles and cheers from the crowd – audiences even stood give PandemoniUM a proper standing ovation.

Sony’s Film The Interview Scores Big At The Box Office

by DALLAS JORDAN

Sony’s controversial film “The Interview” was one of the top earning movies during Christmas weekend. The film reportedly made $2.8 million and Sony says the film could potentially make more money throughout the New Year.

Rory Bruer, president of Sony Pictures Worldwide Distribution, spoke to CNN about the audience’s reaction to the film.

“…..fantastic — the limited release, in under 10% of the amount of theaters originally planned, featured numerous sellouts and a first-day gross over $1 million.”

“We are extremely grateful to the people all over the country who came out to experience ‘The Interview’ on the first day” it was in theaters.”

Researchers are saying that the film could make more money online through online movie rentals and streaming websites such as Netflix and Hulu.

Seth Rogen, one of the stars of the film, took to Twitter to share some advice to those planning to support the film’s release.

“A Comedy is best viewed in a theater full of people, so if you can, I’d watch it like that.”

“People renting the movie online should “call some friends over” to make it more like a theatrical screening, he added.”

Check out the link below for more on the story.

http://http://money.cnn.com/video/media/2014/12/26/interview-box-office.cnnmoney/

Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea beef escalates over Twitter

by BREANA BACON

The ongoing feud between rappers Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks has escalated these past few days after an emotional interview from Banks with Hot 97 on the discrediting of Black artists, using Iggy as an example of what she felt was the degraded standard for excellence.

“I feel just like in this country, whenever it comes to our things, like black issues, black politics, black music, there’s always an undercurrent of ‘f**k you, f**k y’all n**gas, y’all don’t really own s**t’…..the Grammy’s are supposed to be accolades from artistic excellence. Iggy Azalea’s not excellent.”

Banks said she considered artists like Iggy, who win awards over Black artists such as Nicki Minaj, artists who participate in “cultural smudging” and doesn’t categorize their music as hip hop.

The New York native, who has become infamous for Twitter beef and her carefree attitude, explained to Hot 97’s Morning Show team that she hates to be the “bitter Black b**ch,” but she is always going to speak her mind about what she feels strongly about. She also explained that Iggy’s music was no better than Black female rappers, yet she is being hailed as one of the best female rappers of this generation.

This isn’t the first time she has spoken out about the Aussie rapper and her “imitation” of Black culture but hesitation on commenting on problems affecting the Black community.

Courtesy: twitter.com
Courtesy: twitter.com

The artists took to twitter yet again as Iggy Azalea fired back calling Banks a “bully” and a “bigot.”

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Courtesy: Twitter.com
Courtesy: Twitter.com

Azealia Banks has countered Iggy’s response by saying that she is being attacked for being a Black woman speaking her mind. She also made a statement about her opinion of “White Guilt” in regards to the beef.

photoA twitter account mimicking hacker group “Anonymous” has also gotten involved with the issue, tweeting several threats to Iggy Azalea, demanding an apology to Azealia Banks and the protesters for Eric Garner in New York City. The group threatened to release snapshots from a supposed sex tape starring Iggy if she did not respond to their demands.

Courtesy: Twitter.com
Courtesy: Twitter.com

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The group posted several pictures of racially insensitive and homophobic tweets posted by Iggy Azalea over the past few years, while Banks has strongly criticized Iggy for her controversial lyrics in the song “D.R.U.G.S,” where she called herself a “runaway slave master.” Since Banks’ criticism of the song and a gesture similar to the cracking of a whip in the song’s video, social media erupted with disgust calling the Australian-born rapper a racist. Iggy has since apologized for the lyrics in a letter posted to MissJia.com , calling them “tacky.” The website has taken down the letter but several other hip hop news outlets have posted it to their websites.

In the aftermath, Solange Knowles has sided with Banks in the beef and tweeted expressing gratitude for the rapper’s words.

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Banks posted a part of a short story on slavery on Tumblr this afternoon in light of the racially-feuled drama. Read it here: http://azealiabanks.tumblr.com/post/105699768586/idle-delilah-snippet

Kathy Lee Gifford Reveals Her Encounter With Bill Cosby

by DALLAS JORDAN

With more women coming forward with allegations of sexual assault from comedian Bill Cosby, the story just continues to reveal more and more details.

On Tuesday’s episode of The Today Show, Kathie Lee Gifford revealed some interesting information about an encounter she had with the comedy legend.

“I, along with so many Americans and people around the world, don’t want these [accusations] to be true,” Gifford said this morning.” Gifford said. “I will admit towards the very, very end of the last time I saw him, he did try to kiss me.”

The 61-year-old added:

“I said, ‘No, Bill, no, we’re friends,’ and he said, ‘OK, good night,’ and I said, ‘Good night,’ and I went into my room, and he went into his room. I’m not saying these women’s allegations are not true,” Gifford continued. “From my own personal experiences, it didn’t happen.”

On Friday, legendary supermodel Beverly Johnson revealed that in the 1970’s, Cosby drugged her and attempted to assault her. Gifford gave her opinion on Johnson’s allegations.

“In the two years I saw a steady parade of all kinds of people going in and out of his house and his dressing room, but Bill was good to people, very generous to people,” Gifford told People last month. I personally never saw him treat a woman the way it’s been alleged, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen—I never saw it.”

Mr. Cosby has kept his silence about every allegation that has been made against him. His wife, Camille Cosby, made a statement yesterday on his behalf.

“I met my husband, Bill Cosby, in 1963, and we were married in 1964. The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work. He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband, father and friend. He is the man you thought you knew,” Cosby said.

“A different man has been portrayed in the media over the last two months. It is the portrait of a man I do not know. It is also a portrait painted by individuals and organizations whom many in the media have given a pass. There appears to be no vetting of my husband’s accusers before stories are published or aired. An accusation is published, and immediately goes viral.”

Has Love & Hip Hop’s Mona Scott Young gone too far?

by LAURYN FRONEBERGER

“Love and Hip Hop” executive producer Mona-Scott Young is experiencing extreme backlash after being accused of exploiting the black community for money through her various television shows.

Scott-Young, the CEO of Monami Entertainment, has gained notoriety over the years after creating several spinoffs of “Love and Hip Hop,” a series which follows the escapades of hip-hop socialites, in various locations such as New York, Atlanta and most recently Los Angeles.

Continue reading Has Love & Hip Hop’s Mona Scott Young gone too far?

UMD Chapter of Delta Gamma Sorority Member Posts Controversial Photo

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Courtesy: @NoSampling_

by JESSIE KARANGU

A sorority at the University of Maryland has unfortunately gotten themselves into some trouble once again.

Delta Gamma Sorority Inc., best known for a steamy email which trended across the internet last year, is receiving some heat on social media after a picture posted on Instagram by a member of the sorority was deemed by critics as racially-insensitive.

The photo was taken at a 21st birthday celebration and features a cake which contains racially explicit text. The text allegedly reads: “suck a n*gga d*ck.” The Instagram user who posted this photo also used a hashtag in the caption which reads: “#suckan*ggad*ck.”

Discussion about the photo reached popular mobile app, Yik Yak, and an argument ensued between users who didn’t see anything wrong or racist with the photo and users who didn’t appreciate what was seen. Here are screenshots which we obtained from an anonymous student. (Viewer discretion is advised, click on the photos to enlarge)

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Chandler Perry, a student at the University of Maryland, told us that she discovered the photo on her Instagram feed under the Explore tab and was infuriated by what she saw.

“I was so baffled that 77 people liked it and none of those 77 people told her it was inappropriate,” Perry said.

Samira Jackson, vice president of public relations for the University of Maryland’s Black Student Union, also expressed dismay at the photo on her respective Instagram page and called for President Loh to respond.

“I didn’t know it was okay for white people to say n*gga now? Who knew?”

We have reached out to the University of Maryland’s chapter of Delta Gamma Sorority Inc. as well as some members of the sorority for comment but have not received any response yet.

We also reached out to the Instagram user who posted this photo as well as the young woman seen in the picture but they couldn’t be reached for comment before this story was posted.

UPDATE: The University of Maryland Department of Fraternity & Sorority Life has responded to the photo with the following tweet.

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2nd UPDATE: Delta Gamma Sorority Inc. has responded via Facebook to the photo causing a stir on social media. Click on the photo to enlarge.

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Some commenters believe that this cake was part of an inside joke based on Three Six Mafia’s song entitled “Suck a N*gga D*ck.”

The UVa/Rolling Stone rape scandal: Why we need to stop blaming Jackie and start looking at Sabrina (OPINION)

by BREANA BACON

The story turned scandal surrounding the allegations of a popular University of Virginia fraternity gang raping numbers of students over several years has spun the media into a frenzy. Between the apology printed by Rolling Stone magazine, the multiple articles written by the Washington Post and the countless other blogs and articles posted about this ordeal told from the view of UVa student we’ve come to know as Jackie, the issue of credibility and sensationalism has been emphasized,  much to the chagrin of aspiring journalists like me, who only appreciate fiction in their novels.

When I first read Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article last month, I was compelled to read it twice. Not because I was in shock, but because something in the back of my mind told me that some elements in the article were ‘off,’ so to speak. The point of the article was well-taken, however, the manner in which it was brought about is disappointing.

Continue reading The UVa/Rolling Stone rape scandal: Why we need to stop blaming Jackie and start looking at Sabrina (OPINION)

NFL Week 14 Fantasy Winners and Losers

by ANDREW HORN 

Before I start with my fantasy football recap, I would like extend my thoughts and prayers to Cam Newton and family. As reported around yesterday, Cam Newton was involved in a two-car accident that resulted in Newton having two transverse process fractures in his lower back. The other driver was taken to the hospital, but that driver’s condition is not known at this time.

Back to football on the field, I won my first round playoff game. It was not a pretty week and he made a ferocious comeback with Jordy Nelson, but I had enough to hold on and win. Making to the semifinals is enough to brag to some of your friends, but the end goal is to hoist that trophy at the end of the year. Here are the Week 14 winners and losers.

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Courtesy: ESPN

 

Winner: Matt Ryan (ATL) 50.1 points:

He may have lost the game but “Matty Ice” was on fire at Lambeau Field Monday night. Ryan threw for 375 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. 259 of those yards went to Julio Jones. It was a two man game for the Falcons. Ryan is having a successful season individually. The only problem is the Falcons only have a 5-8 record to show for it. But that record is good enough to lead the NFC South. The Falcons will look to take a firm lead in the division next week against Pittsburgh. Start Ryan because he is 39-13 at home in his career. Continue reading NFL Week 14 Fantasy Winners and Losers

Details Surronding The Murder-Suicide Of Stephanie Moseley And Earl Hayes Continue To Unfold

by DALLAS JORDAN

Just after yesterday’s announcement about the horrific death of VH1’s Hit the Floor star Stephanie Moseley and her husband rapper Earl Hayes in an apparent murder-suicide, dozens of stars took to social media to announce their condolences.

According to E! News, the plot gets thicker as sources are now learning that boxing champion Floyd Mayweather might have been involved. Hayes was once signed to Mayweather’s record label, Philthy Rich Records and was very good friends with the boxing star.

A source disclosed to E! News that Mayweather was FaceTiming with Hayes when the rapper killed his wife, and then himself.

Sources close to Mayweather have spoken to TMZ about the incident, acknowledging that Mayweather was a key witness and heard everything.

“The athlete is in shock and is having extreme difficulty dealing with the fact that he witnessed a horrifying murder/suicide.”

According to reports, officers were called to the scene around 7:30 a.m. by a neighbor who said they heard a woman screaming following gunshots. Once the LAPD arrived to the apartment , officers reportedly found a back bedroom door shut, as they approached they heard two more gunshots.

A SWAT team then entered the bedroom where they found two bodies unresponsive.

Moseley was one of the stars of the VH1 show Hit the Floor, her other credits include the Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Pt. 1, Hellcats, Sparkle and Mirror Mirror.