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Local Band Steps Away From Normal Mainstream Sound

by Tiffany Do



Musicians of vast numbers with their cheesy pop melodies float around in the mainstream so that we tend to miss the gems right under our noses — local bands. The American Scene is a pop-rock band based in Berkley, California. The band is comprised of Matthew Vincent (guitar/vocals), Dave Taylor (guitar/ vocals), Chris Purtill (guitar) and Charles Vincent (drums). While on tour, these local boys exchanged emails with The Lincoln Log. They are currently still on tour and can be checked out on their Facebook page.


LL:How did the band meet?

Dave: Zac, Matt, Charles and I met in high school.  How Chris Purtill wandered into our lives is anyone's guess. 


 LL: Where did the inspiration for the name come from?

Dave: "The American Scene" is the name of a travel book written by Henry James while he was on a tour of the United States after spending most of his adult life in Europe.  I suggested the name to the guys because I identify with the theme of coming back to the place you're from and finding it much changed and not necessarily for the best.


LL: How about the music? How did you guys decide on your sound?

Dave:  We all appreciate pop music so that influence comes naturally to us.  Outside of that we're trying to make music that we're proud of as musicians and feel good about playing in earnest for strangers every night.


 LL: How do your families feel about your music?

Dave:  Our families have always been supportive of us making music which is one of the reasons we're still doing it in our twenties.  As far as I know the only family members that have been openly critical of our music are Zac's dad who called it "boring" and my dad who thought that our label (Pure Noise) was aptly named. We just have to laugh at comments like that; we aren't exaclty making music for people our parents' age.


LL: What is your favorite part of being in this band?

Dave: We love recording new music and playing shows!

LL: When you're not in the studio or touring, what do you do in your free time?

Zac: I spend my free time thinking about how badly I want to be in the studio or touring.
Dave: I guess that's kind of a lame answer, but it's probably true for most of us.  We're far from being burned out on this band right now.  


LL: If you weren't in The American Scene, where/what do you think you would be or doing?

Dave:  I hope we never find out!

LL: What did each of you want to be as a kid?

Dave: A dog.

Zac: I wanted to be a Ninja Turtle... still crossing my fingers...

LL: What can fans expect from TAS in the future?

If the Mayans were correct we've only got about another year to make music.  We're going to spend that year touring as much as possible and writing some new songs to play in the afterlife.

LL: Do each of you look up to any other musicians?

Zac:  I look up to my other friends in bands that are probably a lot more talented than me but struggling just the same to get the recognition they deserve.
Dave: I happen to know for a fact that Chris's favorite musician is the Edge from U2, but don't tell him I told you...

Pokemon Lives On


    by Edward Chung

       New Pokémon have finally arrived. Pokémon has been around since 1996. Many games have previously been released such as “Pokémon Yellow” and “Pokémon Silver.” The most recent Pokémon games released on March 6th are “Pokémon Black” and “Pokémon White” for the Nintendo DS. The setting takes place in a new Pokémon region named Unova. Players have one similar goal, which is to become a Pokémon Master by beating the Elite Four, a skilled group of four trainers. Trainers battle gym leaders, and if they win, they receive a badge. Once eight badges are gained, they are eligible to battle the Elite Four

         The region of Unova has completely new Pokémon that have never appeared on any of the American Pokémon television series. New battle features were implemented in the game, such as a Triple Battle, where three Pokémon are called out to battle another trainer’s three Pokémon. Another new feature is a Double Wild Pokémon Battle, where trainers call out two Pokémon to battle two wild Pokémon.

         Technical Machines (TMs), an item in the game that teaches Pokémon attack moves, can now be used an infinite amount of times, whereas before, they could only be used once. This is a great addition because previously, players had to think about which Pokémon to use TMs on since they disappear once used.

         Doctors have also been added into the game. Trainers meet them along their journey. They will restore their Pokémon back to health but only after beating them. This is wonderful for players because they no longer have to run back into a town and enter a Pokémon Center, a place to heal Pokémon.

          Despite these positive additions, the new Pokémon names lack creativity. For example, a Pokémon named Timburr, who is a fighting-type Pokémon holding a timber log. They also look uglier compared to the previous generation Pokémon.          

          Furthermore, the graphics seem overworked. A fairly large 3-D bridge exists in the game that took one minute of plain running, just to get across. The new towns are easy to get around, but this changes on arriving at Castleia City. This city is so confusing because it is hard finding the Pokemon Gym.

            Even though the Pokemon are ugly, the game overall is a real improvement compared to previous games.

            Rating: 4 out of 5

From Controller to Text

         by Helen Moy


     The book Dragon Age: The Calling, is one of Bioware's written prequels on the award winning video game Dragon Age : Origins both created by Bioware. It is set 14 years after the first book, The Stolen Throne, where the book's first protagonist, Maric, is now the King. The Calling introduces us to the Grey Wardens, a group of newly reformed elite soldiers created to protect humanity from the evil Dark-spawn and fight off the Second Blight. The calling introduces Duncan, and adolescent younger version of the important character you meet in the game. He has only been a warden for six months, and now he along with his commander, has journeyed back to Ferelden on a delicate mission. The Grey Wardens have been exiled from Ferelden for two hundred years, now they seek King Maric's permission to enter the Deep Roads after on of their own and they want the king to come with them. Meanwhile, Bregan, an ex-grey warden ventures into the dangerous Deep Roads on a suicidie mission, and is taken by the book's antagonist, the Architect who claims he wants to create peace to coexist between humans and the Darkspawn. 

     The book, The Calling is to read book for the fans of the game, giving the fans insights on the character Duncan, during his youthful years and explaining how he himself became one of the legendary Grey Wardens. Readers also gain more insight on Loghain, a proagonist from the first book, and his crazed obsession with Orlais- one of the most powerful nations in the game for it's powerful control over the Chantry ( an in game version of a church ) while his relationship with the king further drifts. It's not a book to those who don't know anything about the game, but it's a good read, though not great, the fact that creators put the antagonist "The Architect" seemed like it was mostly for commercial reasons so they could sell the game's expansion pact, The Awakening.    

Asian Horror Supremacy



 by Victoria Conn 


      Since the beginning of the decade, a new element had been added into horror movies. More and more horror movies start to build on a profound and moving plot. This reform of this specific genre shows a more humane side to the characters and movies, while keeping the traditions of horror movies. Here are 5 heart-warming horror movies I recommend.

“Hansel and Gretel” (Korea, 2007)

         Eun-Soo gets involved in an incident on the road and gets lost in an unknown forest. A mysterious girl leads him into the middle of the forest where her fairytale-like house is and he meets her siblings. Next day, he attempts to leave but finds himself trapped at the house. Everything in the house is unusual, frightening Eun- Soo. He later finds a storybook; him is its main character....

         The movie is gorgeous yet depressing, but it attracts you to continue watching it. It is a movie, which even someone who does not love horror movies can watch. The story has good control of the pace but can feel long. This is the first time horror movies I’ve seen were this beautiful. In the story, the one who leads you to the little house in the forest is no longer an old and ugly witch but three never-aging kids. The movie is heart-warming and ever the ending makes you feel like you are walking out of a nightmare. Although this is a horror movie, I still feel I have heartache upon seeing the last scene of the movie; it has a profound impact on the audience. From different backgrounds are   father starts an affair, their

movie is not perfect; there are parts where it lingers along the edge and keeps not getting to the detail. Although the movie has done a great job overall, the con tinuity of the movie is confusing. The movie also mixes in some supernatural details, which could distract the audience. This movie was later remade into the American

sad version. It’s a story about the desire of love and using fairytale to escape the cruelty of life.

“A Tale of Two Sisters” (Korea, 2003)

“The Doll Master” (Korea, 2004)

The family of Soo-Mi and Soo-Yeon lives in a villa in the outskirts. Shortly after their

         Five females and males

invited to an isolated art museum deep inside the forest to participate in a project to produce dolls. The museum is filled with life- sized dolls. Soon, strange events begin to take place; however the museum’s curator does not feel surprised. The group starts to slim down quickly, making who is left alive start to panic...

The movie’s narrative is very precise, joined by the appropriate amount of horror and suspense, and it tells a heavy story. The story is simple; different characters give up every- thing they have just to save the one they love. The movie has a good choice of actors; they fit the characters completely, and they have great acting skills. Even though the movie has amazing ideas, certain parts of the movie are wasted on useless descriptions, while other parts’ details are not filled in for the audience, which could be frustrating. I love the horror elements in the movie; the expressions on the dolls’ faces create a sudden burst of horror and a rich, mysterious atmosphere. It’s not like some horror movies that just make people blindly uncomfortable. The murder scenes in the movie can be quite scary, how-

“Buppah Rahtree” (Thailand, 2003) Buppah had been sexually abused by her stepfather ever since her childhood. In that environment, she is extremely afraid of contact with any stranger and wary of men. In a bet with friends, Ake tries to win over Buppah’s heart, and she falls in the trap and gets pregnant. Afraid to accept any consequences, Ake lies to Buppah and leaves for England, leaving Buppah penniless, unable to pay rent....

The director seems to have no intention in scaring the audience; instead he adds humor to turn it into a black comedy that makes people laugh. I appreciate the way he handles this, because it surprises people with unexpected results. Although the movie had a low budget, the story is outstanding. It is impressive how all characters have remarkable qualities, and they take on different shapes and roles. The theme transmigration takes on a huge role in the movie and leaves audiences wondering why Buppah would face such fate, how such a beautiful love can be derived from cruelty, and why misunderstandings lead to such disaster and more.

mother hangs herself in the clos- et. Both of the girls are admit-   ican “The Uninvited” (2009).

t        ed to a mental hospital not able to handle the shock. After they come home from the hospital, they are depressed but still in- separable. Strange events begin taking place; Soo-Yeon meets the ghost of their mother, and their new stepmother’s pet bird dies because of poison. When their father, who has been out, gets home, the sisters find a large amount of blood oozing from the stepmother’s room.

The movie was adopted from a Korean folk-tale. The director makes successful ref- erences to classic horror mov- ies. The story takes place in an isolated setting. The old house and narrow spaces create a dark and depressing atmosphere and enhance the tensions further. The use of dull and dark colors also increases the sense of op- pression in the movie, which is used to create an atmosphere of fear, attacking the audiences’ five senses. The movie has great visual and auditory effects. It tells a successful and deep story of bonds between sisters, giving the audience a sense of satisfac- tion and surprise. Of course, the

“Rinne” (Japan, 2005) Plot          Summary:

Nagisa, a young ac- tress comes to a red-roofed ho- tel where a real-life murder spree happened 35 years ago, for a movie shooting. As a young child, Nagisa dreams about the hotel, where she has never been to. She begins to have weird dreams and experiences; ev- erything hints that she is the reincarnation of the murder- er’s daughter, who he killed...

Brief Review: The structure of the movie is or- derly and clear, and it has done well paving the way to the cen- tral theme and story. It also has a creative ending; it avoids a sit- uation where audiences are con- fused and frustrated at the very end.The movie uses fragments to trigger people’s imagination and pushes them to guess and think. One speciality of this movie is that the director tries to com- bine horror elements from both the western and eastern coun- tries. The movie has profound sound effects that triggers au- dience’s fear and your attention will stay in the attracting plot.