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Julia Johnston

The Rebel Heart Tour review

We reviewed the Chicago stop of Madonna’s The Rebel Heart tour

I’ve never been much of a Madonna fan, that was until this The Rebel Heart Tour review. I guess I’ve never really thought about it. I went to a Catholic school and if Madonna was ever mentioned it was about how “sacrilegious” or controversial she is or how “weird” it was when she kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera  at the 2003 MTV VMA’s when I was in eighth grade.

Now, as an adult in my mid-twenties I decided to acquaint myself with the “Queen of Pop”. Upside of a press job: I have opportunities to attend some truly amazing concerts. Downside: I have to go alone #VogueAlone. Not really knowing what I was getting myself into I showed up to Chicago’s United Center unaware of what exactly was in store.

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All of a sudden, Michael Jackson’s “You Gotta Be Starting Something” started blasting, it was showtime. People were dancing in the aisles of the packed stadium, when the lights dimmed and the curtain fell. The audience’s energy was palpable. I found myself getting extremely excited. Then armed guards mount the stage and a movie starts to play on the jumbo screen. Madonna appears onscreen and people scream like she just surprised them at work. She is dressed in exquisite formalwear and trapped in a cage. The movie then cuts to a caged man. “Is that Mike Tyson in a cage?” are the curious whispers I hear around me. It sure is. The movie then cuts back and forth from the armed guards, to Mike Tyson, to Madonna, to Madonna and Mike Tyson as lovers, all the while a bellowing voiceover plays of Madonna gearing up for a revolution. Movie-Madonna is shown in a badass warrior outfit then she is lowered in a cage onto the stage IRL. Samurai theme GO!

Back up dancers sporting black lipstick rip off Madonna’s red overcoat and she fans herself with a red fan. She proceeds to kick all the armed guard’s butts while singing “Iconic”. My heart is racing, this is an action movie in front of my eyes. She strips off her coat and rips off her pants to reveal thigh high stockings, “Bitch I’m Madonna” she sings. Then someone hands her an electric guitar and she starts shredding “Burning Up”. She reaches out and touches an audience member who then fist pumps his hand powerfully into the air like the ending of The Breakfast Club; he has been touched by the Holy Ghost. I’m getting goosebumps.

Church bells begin to chime, “Holy Water” begins to play and Madonna, who is halfway hog-tied, breaks free form her restraints. An attractive priest appears onstage and sits in a chair as Madonna slides on the floor over to him. I went to Catholic school for my entire education but I can’t help but hope she gives this priest a lap dance. What has come over me? I plan in my head to seek out the closest water fountain after the show is over. Meanwhile, nuns are pole dancing. Madonna crawls back upstage toward a reenactment of the Last Supper. I am freaking out with glee; the show started 20 minutes ago and I’m already all in; zero to sixty. We hear “Vogue”, “Devil Pray”, and “Messiah” before every Religious Education teacher’s nightmare ends.

The stage transforms into a bodyshop, possibly a nod to her Detroit roots, she sings “Body Shop”, “True Blue”,  and “Deeper and Deeper”, before running over to a spiral staircase to perform “HeartBreakCity”. Already we have gone from Japan to Jesus to cars and now cowboys as a hoedown, line-dancing version of “Like a Virgin” is happening with a solo Madge onstage. “S.E.X” comes on and Madonna is absent from the stage aside from her face on the jumbo screen. Four beds appear upstage and eight of her backup dancers, coupled up, dance in and on the beds.

She’s back, this time wearing a long hooded cape with a train, embellished with a glittering “M”.  She’s singing “Living for Love” when the cape is yanked off of her and sucked into the stage. Madonna is wearing a matador outfit surrounded by her back-up dancers dressed as bulls. Matador bullfighting ensues!

Flamenco theme is up next and the audience goes wild for “La Isla Bonita”.

Outfit change to a flowy, flower-embroidered dress and hat to sing  a medley of “Dress You Up”, “Into the Groove” (with a salsa flavor), and “Lucky Star”. After the songs, the dancers sit around ripping (fake?) tequila shots. Madonna begins to chat with us and sings an acoustic version of “Who’s that Girl”. As she is looking out into the crowd she notices a hole in the audience near the stage, over the microphone she declares, “At my show where there’s a hole you have to fill it”. We laugh because we are all friends now and have dirty minds. “C’mon Mr. Security Man, I want to be close to people”. Ecstatic fans rushed forward to fill the hole and be closer to her.

She then sings “Ghosttown” and after talks with us some more, “in order to start a revolution” she says, “you need to have a rebel heart.” She asks us, “Bitches are you in my gang?” Yes, yes I am.

She then tells us her favorite part of the show is coming up. “Thank you to all my rebel hearts” she says before she sings the tour’s title track, “Rebel Heart”. The jumbo screen is showing fan’s artistic renditions of Madonna; her favorite part.

My friend, Madonna, then exits for a costume change.The backup dancers bring out poles reminiscent of the ones the nun’s used while pole dancing. The dancers climb the poles until they are standing at the very top of them, their feet resting on a little cross. They buckle themselves in and fall backwards. (WTF!) The pole bends with them and snaps them back up into a vertical position before falling forward due to the swinging momentum. The poles bend while the dancers move back and forth as if they are some sort of bendy, rubber-like metal anchored to the ground. I don’t know how this is happening, I’m not a scientist! The audience is losing their shit. Apparently “Illuminati” is playing but my brain is too busy being equal parts amazed and worried for the dancer’s safety. The dancers pick up speed swinging on the poles bending deeper and deeper and high-fiving audience members.


Madge returns, for “Music” and ”Candy Shop”. Then the jumbo screen moves into a slanted position as Madonna and the male dancers stand at the very top. She begins to sing “Material Girl” as she pushes the boys down the slanted jumbo screen stage one by one. She then slides down the screen herself and immediately begins to walk down the catwalk-aisle in a veil as if she were in a wedding. She throws her bouquet to a couple in the audience and makes them kiss. “Yaaaaas bitch!” she screams. “It all goes downhill from here!” She warns the couple with a wicked smile.  Chatting with us again, she tells us she’s married to us because we are who she writes her songs for and  who she spends all of her time with. She isn’t only bitter about marriage, though. She’s still in love with being in love she tells me…and I suppose everyone else at the United Center.

She sings “La Vie en Rose” sweetly, which is followed by “Unapologetic Bitch” (gotta love that timing). Cue the costume change into a black lacy number with a American flag cape. Madonna is surrounded by her whole ensemble for “Holiday” as she brings the house down.

The phenomenon and culture of Madonna is unparalleled. Fans come dressed to the nines or in lavish costumes (my personal favorites: a man in a crystal bull mask and another man in a nun’s habit with the word “bitch” plastered on it) neither of which is out of place. A Madonna show is the total package; from her dancing (she began her career as a professional dancer), to the backup “dancers”, who are more like backup performers, to her multiple themes, intricate costumes, and her quality time talking with the audience. My first Madonna experience was mind-blowing. She and I are now best friends. Not once did I notice I was alone. Now, where’s that drinking fountain.  

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Mike and Mike

Tailgating 101 With ESPN’s MIKE and MIKE

College News talks tailgating 101 with ESPN’s MIKE and MIKE. When it comes to sports-talk radio, one name comes to mind: Mike.

Well, it’s actually two Mike’s in particular, Golic and Greenberg, the hosts of ESPN’s radio talk show Mike and Mike in the Morning. The duo, who have been together since 1998, moved into television in 2005, when their show began airing on ESPN2.

It’s safe to say these guys know what they’re talking about when it comes to football and they are downright aficionados when it comes to tailgating. Mike and Mike, who recently partnered with Lee Jeans, bestow upon us the holy rules of tailgating. Superstitions and fashion advice ensue!

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Let’s start off with a big one: what city do you think has the best tailgate reputation? And why?

Golic: Well, like you’ll see in the Lee Jeans Survey, so many people say Green Bay, which is a fantastic place. I got to play there, when I was in the NFL, and it’s like a religious experience for a player. The tailgating is incredible because of the smell of brats everywhere. For me, I like Kansas City, I’m a big barbecue guy, and I love the smell of that stadium and all the barbecued foods. I lean to the red of Kansas City.

Greenberg: And I like San Francisco. If you’ve ever gone to a football tailgate at San Francisco, they’ve got lobster on the grill, they got Caesar salad. They’ve got good white wine. As far as I’m concerned, we’re dressing up our tailgate a little bit and that’s what I like. That’s what I appreciate. You take your basics and you dress them up. So you have Lee Jeans, which are comfortable enough for Golic but they’re stylish enough that you can dress them up with a nice shirt. You can put a blazer on if you like. An open neck. You can wear some boots or something like that. So you look good when you’re going to your tailgate. You take selfies and you’re feeling good about yourself watching your team win.

Now onto to the more serious question: team jerseys. Should they be tucked in?

Greenberg: Oh my goodness, no.

Golic: Oh no.

Greenberg: If anyone, besides one of the players in the game, has a tucked in a jersey, they require immediate assistance.

Golic: Anyone like that stops at my tailgate, I give them the move along sign. Just move it along you’re not stopping at my tailgate.

Do you think that superstition dictates the way people dress across the country at tailgates?

Greenberg: Certainly does for me.

Golic: No.

Greenberg: I’ll tell you a quick story. 1982, the New York Jets made a run all the way to the AFC Championship game. My family ate dinner—the same dinner—in the same restaurant, every single night. Pete’s Tavern on Irving Place, in Lower Manhattan. I had the same dinner every single night, spaghetti with sausages, because they were making this run. I believe strongly in that. So if your team is winning, you go to the tailgate, you got your Lee Jeans. You wear the same shirt, whatever it was you were wearing the first time, you keep wearing it. Whatever time you arrived, that’s when you arrive. Whatever it is that you ate and drank, you eat and drink. Until they lose. Then you can reset, but until then the karma is working, Don’t mess with it.

Golic: Not me, I wear whatever I want. Eat whatever I want. And I don’t worry about all that. It’s too much work for me.

What about tailgating food staples?

Golic: For me the staples are: hot dogs, brats, cheeseburgers, and a beer in each hand. And I think I’m good.

Greenberg: Yeah, and I don’t mind any of those. I like the staples, but I like to dress them up a little bit. If you’re going to do hamburgers or hot dogs, why don’t you caramelize some onions? Why don’t you roast some peppers? Why don’t you do a little something to dress it up? Which, again, goes back to our theme, you’ve got the comfort food, but let’s make it a little more stylish. You’ve got the comfortable jeans from Lee, let’s make them a little more stylish. As the case may be, in this case, Lee has taken care of that for you. They’re stylish enough to wear anywhere.

Pro or college football, what fans throw the most epic tailgates in your opinion?

Golic: I’d go college. Pro is nice, but you’re in the stadium, you’re in the parking lot of the stadium in a big city. In college, you’re in a parking lot, but then you have the campus. You can walk around and check it out. If you’re school is visiting another college, you go to that, you see a different campus. You can walk around. There’s just more of that collegiate experience. And the biggest key, is you can tailgate all day Saturday and Saturday night, sleep in on Sunday. If you tailgate all day Sunday, you got to get up for work Monday and that could be difficult.

Greenberg: I tend to be more of a pro football fan than a college football fan, though I’m actually coming around on that a little bit. But as far as I’m concerned, tailgating is such a unique part of Americana, I’ll take my football tailgating Saturdays, Sundays, or any day of the week.

Thank you so much for talking with us. Where can we find more about the survey results you mentioned?

Golic: Survey results are very easy to find, just like the name of our show is Mike and Mike, this can’t be any easier: Lee.com.

Greenberg: Even Golic can spell it.

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Suzhou, China is the next hot travel destination

Travel Expert Julia Dimon says Suzhou,China is an up and coming travel destination

Julia Dimon has been spending a lot of her time in China; she’s not in Shanghai, she isn’t in Beijing; she’s in the 2500 year old city of Suzhou, which she says is the next hot travel destination.

Dimon called College News, from one of Suzhou’s two-hundred gardens to share her secrets about the next hot travel destination of Suzhou, China. “I’m here at one of the major gardens, it’s called the Humble Administrator’s Garden. It’s the oldest and the biggest in Suzhou,” she says. “It’s an UNESCO World Heritage site because it really represents the quintessential classic Chinese design of the landscape, so you’ll find pagodas, koi ponds, beautifully manicured lawns, and lotus flowers. It’s such a nice place for people to come and soak up the nature, relax, and unwind.”

Where is Suzhou you ask? It’s about 60 miles west of Shanghai, Dimon informs me. Hop on the bullet train in Shanghai and it’s only a quick twenty-five minutes before you arrive in Suzhou, the city Marco Polo dubbed “the Venice of the east”, due to its elaborate system of waterways and canals. Dimon agrees with the nickname. “It makes sense to see why he called it that because as a tourist today you can walk around or take a gondola down the canals. It’s the oldest city in Yangtze River region. It’s a city that’s very rich in culture and history.” she’s says. “A visit here takes you back in time.”

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But why Suzhou [as the next hot travel destination]?

“There’s something very special about it and very different from the other big cities in China, there are just so many different attractions. It’s a very green city. Some of the gardens actually have local opera.” Perfect for those on a  budget because it is “free every night at 8pm during certain months of the year.” But this isn’t your average Park District show. The actors have “elaborate costumes and bold make-up. They sing traditional folk songs so it’s really fun for travelers to get the theatrical side and culture of Suzhou.”

What about traveling with kids?

Dimon suggests checking out Ferris Wheel Park. “As the name would imply, there’s a gigantic ferris wheel—the biggest in China. It’s 400 feet and it holds 360 passengers, the whole ride lasts thirty minutes,” she says. “It’s pretty epic.” It’s perfect for kids and grown-ups, alike, with it’s “sweeping views of the city”. There’s a lot more the park has to offer such as “roller coasters, 4D experiences, there’s a two-story carousel that the kids will love. There are fountain shows that use lasers and LED lights and it kind of has this Vegas feel.”

“All of this is located in the new part of Suzhou that’s called the Suzhou Industrial Park. There you will find a lot of Fortune-500 companies, five-star hotels and restaurants, lots of shops and boutiques. That represents the new side which is great for kids,” still she says “if you also want to embrace the older history you might want to take the kids to the Number One Silk Museum. I had a chance to go yesterday and it’s really fun because you can actually hold your own silkworms. They have these big wooden baskets, filled with silkworms and you put your hands in there. You follow the whole silkworm lifecycle, from cocoon then all the way  to the threading of the silk. You can see the amazing artisanship that goes into the silk process. [Those are] just two quick things that would be really fun for the family and fun for the parents as well.”

Tell us about the tea culture in Suzhou

Dimon grins, “tea culture is huge here! They have so much green tea in China but in this particular region of Suzhou they have one tea which is wildly popular, it’s called the Bi Luo Chun tea, which translates to: green snail spring. They call it that because of the color and the shape kind of looks like a snail.” Dimon then takes her suggestion and builds on it, as if adding an expansion pack for those adventurers who desire a more immersive experience while traveling.  She says, “I think a really fun way to learn about the tea goes beyond just drinking it. Tourists can go to the tea plantations and pick the tea leaves. They can learn about the process and all the hard work that goes from picking the buds to actually making a good cup or glass of tea. For travelers who want to immerse themselves, roll up their sleeves, and get their hands dirty, a visit to a tea plantation is a great way to do it and tap into that tea culture here in Suzhou.”

Can you travel Suzhou on a budget?

The ultimate question for college students received an enthusiastic, “Yes, absolutely!” Dimon continues, “now is a really good time to visit China because there are such fluctuations in the market and the US Dollar goes a lot further. Suzhou also offers a wide range of accommodations so if you’re on a budget you’ve got everything from hostels (like Hostel International has several different spots here in Suzhou). A one night accommodation in a shared dorm can cost you as low as $10 US Dollars. Then, of course, you have more mid-ranged, you can find some boutique hotels that have the local culture flair that are located along historic streets like Pingjiang Street. There are a lot of little kiosks and stalls where you can buy really affordable food. The mid-range can cost you about $75-200 USD.” She adds, “then you have plenty of five-star hotel options for the luxury traveler everything from the Lamborghini Hotel which has been open for awhile to the very new Starwood’s Element Hotel which opened in June.” She maintains, “no matter your budget there will be something here for you.”

What is the cuisine like in Suzhou?

“I consider myself a foodie and I love to eat different cuisine when I travel. Here in Suzhou it’s very similar to Shanghai cuisine…but a bit sweeter. A lot of the food in local, it’s seasonal, it’s very fresh, and it comes from the surrounding region. Yesterday, for example I had this amazing lunch where we had tons of food from the area and one dish that really stood out, it’s a speciality here in Suzhou, the Mandarin Fish. So the Mandarin Fish is cut up in this very artistic way, it kind of looks like a squirrel when it’s done.” She laughs. “It’s all de-boned, it’s fried, it has this sweet and sour sauce which is absolutely delicious. I would definitely recommend trying that. There were also all different kinds of dishes that were new to my palate.” She continues, “it’s fun to come here and try different dishes because it’s very different from the Chinese food we may be familiar with at home. If you want to get super adventurous, there’s things like eel that you can dabble in, there’s just so much. For someone like me and I’m sure you, we love to eat all different kinds of cuisine when we travel, there’s a lot to try here in Suzhou.”

What is your travel advice?

She takes a minute to think this over. “Traveling to China is such an adventure, especially if you’re traveling independently. There is so much to see, it’s such a rich culture, there’s so many things to check off that bucket list.” She suggests another water town called Tongli, just outside of downtown Suzhou, promising, “it will really transport you back in time. It has an aura of another era and I think that’s really special when you travel. It’s really a way to embrace other cultures and experience different things.” Which, she admits, is her long version of saying, “my piece of advice to college students is to try new things, say “yes” to new experiences, and check out [new travel] destinations like Suzhou.

Want to win an all expense paid trip to [the new travel destination] Suzhou?

Visit the website www.traveltosuzhou.com/sweepstakes. Nine lucky winners plus their guests will be rewarded with an all expenses paid trip to Suzhou, China!

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Acne or Rosacea?

Plus find out a celebrity dermatologist’s tips on how anyone can achieve better skin this summer and all year long!

Dr. Doris Day does it all. She is a frequent guest on Good Morning America, The View, and the Today Show, a best-selling author of Forget the Facelift, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University, and the winner of the award for Dedication and Excellence in Teaching Dermatology at NYU. So don’t let the term “celebrity” dermatologist confuse you, she’s so much more than famous.

Do you suffer from rosacea? You’re not alone. More than 16 million Americans are afflicted by this chronic skin disorder. Dr. Doris Day, and Mary Erhard, from the National Rosacea Society, educate us on the important differences between acne and rosacea and provide tips on how to treat them both.

CN: Good Morning Dr. Day and Ms. Erhard.

Both: Good morning!

CN: How can someone determine the difference between rosacea and acne?

Day: Rosacea and acne are two very different conditions but a lot of the people, more than half of the people in a survey, confused the two and were treating rosacea as if it were acne and the problem there is that a lot of treatments that they use could actually make rosacea worse. With acne it’s more bacterial related, tends to start in your teenage years, and in the adult years if you still have acne, it tends to be more on the lower face and jawline. Rosacea tends to start a little bit later, usually in your late twenties, early thirties, into your forties and up, and it’s more inflammatory, not bacterial. What you see in rosacea is redness, your skin gets red, you can see broken blood vessels even, you can get red bumps, and pimples and that’s why people can confuse it with acne, but rosacea can also affect the eyes  and if it progresses can even lead to blindness in some cases. It can affect the nose, with the fullness in the nose (which is more common in men, but can happen to women too) and unlike acne, rosacea also has environmental triggers things like alcohol, stress, extremes in temperatures, some spices, and you have to kind of know what your own personal triggers are.

The treatments for the two are also very different. With rosacea we use products that are FDA approved for rosacea. There are two new ones, one is called Soolantra which is a 1% ivermectin cream. This helps with the breakouts with rosacea, those red bumps and pimples. The other is Mirvaso and that’s a gel that’s used to help with the redness of rosacea. So there’s a lot you can do. Your dermatologist can help guide you, offer you the best treatments, and help you understand the condition, and your own personal triggers.

CN: Why is it so important that a person properly treats their rosacea instead of covering it up with makeup?

Day: Well, that’s a great question. It is really important to treat it because it can be progressive. This is a chronic condition. We can’t cure it, but we can control it. If we don’t control it, it can be progressive, so that redness can become more persistent, the inflammation, the red bumps and pimples  can get worse and it’s very uncomfortable and this really affects someone’s self esteem. I have patients who come in and they don’t want to go on job interviews, or dates, or go out sometimes because they feel so uncomfortable with how their skin looks and it’s such a pity because there’s a lot that we can do about it. Now, with makeup, if you put too much makeup on to try to cover it, or use the wrong makeup you can actually make it look worse and that makeup can even be a trigger or a flare for the rosacea as well. So I tell people that if you wanted to cover the rosacea a light, tinted moisturizer—while we’re treating it— a light, tinted moisturizer is good. Focus on another area, instead of trying to hide it. Make another area standout. Wear a brighter lipstick or do a little bit more for your eyes so that your eyes pop and maybe become more of a distraction, than actually trying to conceal and cover up a condition. There’s lots of ways around it.

CN: Do BB creams and CC creams work without looking too blotchy?

Day: They can but you have to find the right one for you. I also like a primer as well, with a little bit of a green tint, because that will take the edge off the red. But again it’s more just trying to make it look a little bit less visible other than trying to make it look like you don’t have it, and this something to do while you’re treating it, not as a replacement for treatment and I think unfortunately people don’t realize that there’s a real condition called rosacea, there’s real treatments that can help you control it, and that makeup can be a fun option, [but it’s] not a treatment to cover up a condition that you’re embarrassed about.

CN: Could you tell us a little more about the breakup with your makeup campaign?

Erhard: Well, that’s actually the idea behind the campaign, is to let people know that even though makeup is fun, rosacea is a treatable disorder. People with rosacea, or if you think you have rosacea, you can go to breakupwithmakeup.com and post a selfie of yourself taken entirely without makeup and also include your story with how you say confident on tough skin days because there are many of those and it’s a daily battle sometimes for individuals with rosacea. If you post your selfie you’ll be entered into a contest for a chance to win two all expenses paid tickets to the New York film festival in the fall. Even if you don’t have rosacea, you can still go online and vote at the end of July for your favorite selfie and have a chance to win one of three $500 gift cards. So, it’s a great opportunity to share your story about how you cope, help others who have rosacea learn how to deal with their condition, and also let anybody who doesn’t have rosacea know what the face of rosacea looks like, and that it’s a treatable disorder.

CN: That website again was?

Erhard: breakupwithmakeup.com

CN: Dr. Day I’m going to ask you a couple of general questions for people of all skin types. What are some of the habits of people with healthy skin?

Day: Oh, I love that! Your skin is such a powerful reflection of your overall health and wellbeing. With healthy skin, generally, your other organ systems and even your mind is in better shape. That means getting enough sleep, having a healthy diet high in antioxidants and low in processed foods, and using the right skincare, meaning that you have proper cleansing, you exfoliate on a regular basis, you use sunscreen on a  daily basis, and moisturize.

All those things really make a big difference. I’m also a big fan of antioxidants for the skin and I’m learning more and more about nutraceuticals, these are functional foods that have an impact directly on your skin. Looking beautiful can sometimes be work but the benefits are  it reflects overall, general, good health and wellbeing.

CN: Do you have any tips for the hot, humid summer months?

Day: Yes. One is understand that even on cloudy days you still need to wear sunscreen. Try to walk on the shady side of the street if you can, it feels a whole lot cooler and is safer for your skin. Wear lightweight, light-weave sun protective clothing. You can actually buy clothing with sun protection built into it  and that makes a big difference because it feels cooler on the skin. Try to avoid being out in the middle of the day and a drink a lot of water. If you actually drink cooler water that cools your core temperature and makes your feel cooler because also one of the triggers of rosacea is just heat and by just cooling your core temperature that can help control that factor as well. Go lighter on the makeup look for more mineral powders than heavy creams because that can also make your skin look more cakey. Going a little lighter in the summer makes a big difference as well.

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Catching Up With Mr T

His newest campaign and TV show, his favorite role, and his advice for you

We know him from some pretty iconic roles in television and film from classics such as  Rocky III to The A-Team. His style is instantly recognizable, mohawk, gold chains, muscle tees…and now butterfly wings?  The legendary Mr. T, who is equal parts badass and sweetheart, takes a break from his busy schedule to chat with College News.

College News: Mr. T, we are used to seeing you in your signature gold chains but you’re rocking a new look today. We have to know, what are you doing in butterfly wings?

Mr. T: The reason I’m in butterfly wings is because I’m the spokesperson for Fuze Iced Tea it’s a bold flavor-charged iced tea made by Coca Cola. They called me in, asked me if I would be a butterfly in this here campaign, I said I liked the idea because I’ve been tough all my life. I get a chance to morph into being a butterfly because the butterfly’s career mirrors my own. Before a butterfly becomes a butterfly what is he? He’s a worm. A worm. A caterpillar! People stepping on him, ants trying to eat him, birds trying to get him but he goes into this here cocoon and he morphs into a beautiful butterfly. That’s my story. I was in the ghetto people saying ‘You won’t rise up. You won’t get nowhere’  and I morphed into Mr. T. I trained myself, conditioned my body studied hard, as I always say, ‘Don’t be a fool, stay in school, learn the golden rule’, and that’s what I did. When they asked me about the idea of being a butterfly in the Fuze campaign I said, ‘I’ll do it! I’ll do it! I’ll do it!’ and then I told the people at Fuze, you did the right thing by picking me. How can you promote iced tea without Mr. T? Think about that for a second. That’s unbelievable. That’s unheard of. Matter fact, it’s against the law. Matter fact it would be fraud and deception to promote iced tea without Mr. T. You know that should be a law, I’m going to pass that bill in congress next week. I’m inviting some friends and strangers and letting the world know about Fuze. I want everyone to know what we’re doing and what it tastes like. See once they taste it, they say ‘Hey, this is why Mr. T was wearing wings. This is what he was talking about. This stuff is pretty good.I want some more!’ Other people ask me ‘Hey, Mr. T where can I get it?’ So, I tell them. Or they say ‘Hey, Mr. T what’s up with the wings?’ You know? Or ‘What’re you doing?’ and I tell them, hey go to fuzebev.com and you can see the commercial you can see why I’m wearing the wings. I say hey, go to the local store and tell them you want them to stock up with Fuze Lemon Iced Tea. that’s Mr. T’s favorite.

CN: So the Lemon Iced Tea is the one that we should get?

Mr. T:  They have a lot of other ones but that’s the one I like. Like Mango Orange is pretty good, but Mr. T likes the lemon.

CN: You’ve had some pretty iconic roles throughout your career, do you have a  favorite?

Mr. T: Well my favorite…what is my favorite? Let me see, let me see, let me see.

Mr. T pauses

Mr. T: I guess it’d have to be the A Team because we came into people’s homes once a week Tuesday nights. We loved it when a plan came together. We were army soldiers on the run, but while we were running from the police we still had time to  help the neighborhood people out with their problems. Like the crooks trying to take over their houses or try to rob somebody, this or that. We still had time to beat up the crooks and still keep on the road so the military police couldn’t find us.

CN: That’s awesome! I know you’re super busy. What projects are you tackling next?

Mr. T:  Well between Fuze Ice Tea [promotions], I have a show called ‘I Pity the Tool’ where we renovate homes for the soldiers and veterans and people in the Chicago area. Chicago is my home, I grew up there and they have a lot of areas of blight there, a lot of buildings condemned a lot of people having a rough time, so we’re going to be helping people fix up their homes, renovate their homes, rehab them stuff like that. That’s my next big project.

CN: When can we see ‘I Pity the Tool’?

Mr. T: It’s going to be on the DIY Network. They just re-aired the pilot episode. We go back into production next month and I think the regular show is going to be on in September or October. But you’ll hear about it!

CN: So we can go to fuzebev.com to get Fuze into all the stores around us?

Mr. T: Yes yes!

CN: And watch your Fuze commercial. Then we will see you in the fall on ‘I Pity the Tool’?

Mr. T: Yes!

CN: And you’re going to be around Chicagoland for that this summer?

Mr. T: Yes, exactly.

CN: Can we get a little advice from you? You do it all. Do you have any words of wisdom?

Mr. T: Words of wisdom? Yes! I give motivational tips and inspirational tips but it’s up to the people to receive them. I just tell the people, you know, do the best you can. Whatever you do, do the best you can. As Dr. King said, ‘If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo carved marble, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry, sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause and say “Here lived the great street sweeper, who swept his job well’. That’s my advice.

CN: That was amazing Thank you so much for talking with me today Mr. T.

Mr. T: No thank you for inviting me in. Thank you so much my dear.

Shay Mitchell talks about her dating show and a day in her life

College News has a chat with ‘Pretty Little Liars’ star, Shay Mitchell

College News: Shay, you’re serving as a bit of a cupid in the new dating experience show Get Roped In – can you tell me about that?

Shay Mitchell: It’s a really awesome experience to host this kind of a show! There are tons of fun and flirty ways for people to meet one another and hopefully make some connections. I’m really excited to be a part of it!

CN: So many of us have been “roped into” online dating—what are your thoughts on it?

SM: I think it’s great, a lot of my friends use it. Social media has given us a lot of opportunities. But also, just getting out there and having fun is another way to meet new people.

CN: You have millions of followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets. Do you think social media has changed the way millennials relate to one another and communicate?

SM: Absolutely. There are so many positives;  it’s a great way to express yourself and stay in touch with friends and even meet new people. But I think it’s really important, if  you’re on a date, to make sure you put the phone down. [Laughs]

CN: You stay extremely busy acting, but you have a great blog as well, Amore and Vita, what’s that creative process like for you? What are your favorite things to talk about on your blog?

SM: My friend, Michaela,  mainly writes it all. We write everything  and get it set up the day before, so it all stays pretty current. We think of ourselves as healthy people, so it’s a lifestyle blog with recipes, style tips, and  a lot more. Sometimes it’s her standing on a chair taking pictures of food, sometimes it’s me. Whatever inspires us or catches our eye we put on the blog.

CN: You have such an amazing sense of style. Do you have a style icon?

SM: Today I woke up and put on a onesie. Whatever I feel like or whatever mood I’m in inspires my outfit of the day. If I had to pick a style icon it would definitely be Sophia Loren.

CN: Of course, we have to ask what’s happening with your character on Pretty Little Liars. What’s in store for the show?

SM: Everyone has pinned Alison or “A” as the bad guy, but you’ll be surprised. You’ll have to stay tuned!

CN: Oh, how cryptic! On a slightly different note, who inspires you?

SM: A lot of people inspire me, friends and family, all the people I surround myself with.

CN: So what’s a day in the life like?

SM: I always start my morning with some kind of physical activity whether it’s just a brisk walk with my dog or something more intense. Physical activity is really important  to me. I make sure to do that before anything else.

CN: And what do you do in your free time—that is if you have any?

SM: I love to take trips and keep everyone updated on my social media. Even when I’m on a hiatus from work, I’m never completely off work. I don’t think I ever could be not working, I don’t think I’d want to be.

CN: A lot of young people look up to you. What advice do you have for college students pursuing their dreams?

SM: Always take it one day at a time and don’t get overwhelmed! cn

Spandau Ballet: Comeback

A Chicago Concert Review

Lil Wayne, Lloyd, Will.i.am, and Fergie, are all thoroughly familiar with the British rock group, Spandau Ballet…and you should be too. All of the aforementioned artists have covered or sampled the group’s ethereal smash hit “True”.

Spandau Ballet’s bassist, Martin Kemp, admitted with a laugh when we chatted a couple months ago, his favorite cover of “True” was not by a musician at all. It was when Ed O’Neill sang it to his onscreen wife, Sofia Vergara, for their wedding anniversary on ABC’s hit sitcom, Modern Family. Kemp recalls watching the episode and feeling pleasantly shocked and  simultaneously proud of the comedic cover.

The song itself debuted in 1983 and spent time getting comfortable on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the US. The band experienced much success, however, it was short-lived outside of Europe, where Spandau Ballet was becoming known as the all-too-familiar “one hit wonder”. Spandau Ballet continued to perform successfully in Europe but never came back to the America.

Thirty-two years have passed since “True” debuted, and thirty years have gone by since the group has performed in the U.S. Now Spandau Ballet has returned, releasing a new album, ‘The Story’ The Very Best Of by Spandau Ballet and a movie, Soul Boys of the Western World.

We’re in Chicago at the legendary House of Blues. The place is packed and Spandau Ballet is about to take the stage. The air is heavy with anticipation, quite similar to when a couple of old friends are about to see one another after several years have passed.

“Will things pick up where they left off?”

“Will everything be the same? Or different? Maybe different, but in a good way?”

“Is this going to be awkward?”

“Are they going to show me pictures of their kids?”

Spandau Ballet came out  to an eager crowd, skipped the formalities, and began playing immediately. They opened with “Soul Boy”, one of the songs off their new album, which a mix of old and new material.

The group was dressed in the smart formalwear that only seasoned rockstars can pull off; the cool fitted suits of various colors, with funky unbuttoned shirts underneath. Although, in retrospect the outfits were extremely tame compared to the last time the group came to the U.S. in the 1980s [insert over-the-top 80s outfit and makeup here].

The show displayed a delightful journey of Spandau Ballet and the audience acquainting themselves once more after all these years. Any tenseness or awkwardness between the two parties dissipated as the band’s familiar songs and exciting stage presence were quickly recognized by the fans.

The group took a new spin on their second biggest hit, “Gold”, and performed an acoustic version which took some people by surprise. In total the group gave us a little over twenty tunes over the span of two hours, including songs off their new album. They saved “True” for last but when it started to play, it brought the house down.

Everyone loves a good comeback story, after the band’s thirty year hiatus from the U.S., this show was just what Spandau Ballet’s American fans needed, and the payoff was a rich one. Here’s hoping they’re here to stay. Good luck boys!

Synth pop Comeback: Spandau Ballet Interview

Spandau Ballet is the British five some that ruled the synth pop scene in the 80s. They made six multiplatinum albums and had twenty-three hit singles (who hasn’t heard the catchy classics “True” and “Gold”?) Spandau Ballet’s influence on music is undeniable and everyone from Lil Wayne to the Black Eyed Peas to actor Ed Norton on ABC’s Modern Family covers their timeless hits. College News was lucky enough to snag a few moments to chat with Spandau Ballet’s busy bassist, Martin Kemp, on the brink of Spandau Ballet’s North American tour and new movie of the same name, Soul Boys of the Western World.

College News– Spandau Ballet is going to tour North America for the first time in nearly 30 years for the Soul Boys of the Western World tour, is it going to be just like old times?

Martin Kemp– It’s going to be a lot of fun, hopefully. We have a movie out at the same time it’s called Soul Boys of the Western World, which just got distribution in America and the show is kind of based off the movie in a way, which in turn is based on our lives. The show is going to be a bit of music…it’s a little bit of everything, it will be like a live theatric kind of thing as well. It sounds fantastic; I’m looking forward to it.

CN– Awesome. Will we be able to catch the movie in theaters as well as at the show?

MK– It will be in independent theaters, we’ve just done the distribution of that. It’s the movie of our lives, which is really fun. Which also means we can stand up there onstage at the show and play everything. We can watch the movie and we can play. It’s going to be good. It’s kind of a new style of show for us.

CN– That sounds great. Will we hear any new material at the show and in the movie?

MK– We just had a new album out called Story which is kind of a greatest hits album but what we did was put three new songs on that album so we’re definitely going to be playing those three songs. There’s one called “Steal”, another called “This is the Love” which is on the radio in the UK at the moment, and “Soul Boy” which is the name of the tour.

CN– Wonderful! So, I was doing a little research and I came across this interesting little piece of information that claims when you first joined Spandau Ballet you learned how to play the bass in three months. Is that a rumor or did that really happen?

Mr. Kemp laughs.

CN– Is that true!?

MK– What happened was I was playing in a punk band called “The Defects” which I played the bass for and I only learned how to play three chords. But, I think the best thing punk ever did for musicians is that it kind of opened the door so you could get into a band really quickly and enjoy yourself. Because before that it was all progressive rock, wasn’t it? So you had to be a great musician to be in a band. So I was playing in this band at school and my brother, Gary had his band which at the time was called Gentry. But listen I used to carry the equipment [for Gentry] when they were doing their small gigs around town.  I was just as jealous as you could ever imagine. My big dream was to be in my big brother’s band and one day their manager came up to me and was like “you can be in the band but you got three weeks before we go on tour.” You only have those windows every now and again, that come up and you know you have to walk through them and that was one of those windows and I learned how to play bass very quickly.

CN– That’s amazing because I’ll tell you, I’ve been trying to learn how to play the piano for quite a long time, years in fact.

MK(He laughs.) You know but there are some windows that change your life and that was one.

CN– Your songs have been covered by a lot of different performers like the Black Eyed Peas, Lloyd and Lil Wayne, and so many others.

MK– I think my favorite one is the Ed Norton cover of “True” on Modern Family. It was an anniversary present for his wife, and Ed Norton turned up with his bass guitar and he played “True”. That was my favorite cover.

CN– That must be pretty interesting for you, to hear all these variations.

MK– Absolutely, these people covering your records is a nice pat on the back, isn’t it? Someone saying “We appreciate what you’re doing”. But it’s a funny thing with “True”, because that particular record has been covered so many times, it’s had over like 6 million airplays in America. But it’s a funny thing when you have a record like that record, because it kind of represents you. But to be honest, the band isn’t all about “True” in a way, it’s kind of heavier than that. It’s nice to have a great record and be recognized for anything.

CN– What was it like being in the band with your brother? I know you were dying to get into the band but once you got in, was there any rivalry? Was it easy?

MK– It was nice. I think my mom put a lot of pressure on him as well, to be honest, to let me in the band. You know, “If your brother’s going, you’re going!” was what it was like, but it turned out really well. I mean it was a great way for me and Gary to spend time together. You know lots of brothers grow up and they’ve fallen apart or don’t see each other, but being in the band keeps our family very close.

CN– Are you all practically family now in the band?

MK– Oh my goodness, yes the band is the closest thing that I have to family. My parents are both gone and you know they’re the closest thing that I have to family. I’ve known the boys since I was eleven years old. It’s one of the nicest things when you’re onstage with those boys in the middle of a show, it’s nice looking around seeing your family onstage, but most people in bands will say something similar because you just become so close.

CN– Being in a successful band at such an early age, you guys were literally growing up together, you must have had some crazy times while on tour.

MK-Oh boy, well we spent all our lives growing up in the band, so we’re a bit more chilled out now.

CN– Yeah?

MK– Well some of us are.

CN(I laugh) Anyway, not only are you an accomplished musician, but an actor as well, and also an author. You wrote an autobiography, True: The Autobiography of Martin Kemp, which came out a few years back and it was on the Sunday Times Best Seller’s list for several months in 2000. What was that solo process like for you?

MK-I’ll be honest with you, it was a weird one. In the book, I talk about the brain tumor I had taken out. So, it was all kind of touch and go for a few years. My life, I didn’t know what way it was going during that time. It was pretty traumatic having no idea what was going on, so I was in therapy at the time and then in the middle of the night I would wake up and go downstairs and start writing about everything I had been talking about during that day in therapy. So, I was kind of putting the book together without knowing it. It was very cathartic while I was writing and it sort of carried on and carried on and it was one of the things that got me better. We’re talking about 15 years ago, but a few years later, someone came along and said to me “Martin we want to do a book on you” and I said “Oh, by the way I’ve got one. I’ve already done it.” It was already prepared. It was a nice process. I really enjoyed it.

CN– How about your acting?

MK– Yeah, I just shot a film that is coming out here in the UK, in I think, June, which is called Age of Kill, which is an action film. Here’s the thing, I love entertainment. I love being involved in any of it, whether or not it’s being in the band or acting or directing—I’ve shot a couple of films. I love all of it. So, it’s really nice in a way to mix it up, the main thing is to keep you busy. But, the one thing I love above everything, is playing in the band and the number one thing for me is being onstage with the band because that’s where it all started. When I was younger, I wanted to be in a band, I wanted to be Elvis Presley, I wanted to play live and that’s what we do.

CN-What advice do you have for people looking to pursue a career in music?

MK– My advice is everything you do when it comes down to entertainment–whether it’s music or acting or directing or whatever– number one, it has to be your hobby. You have to treat it like you love it with passion, and if it’s your hobby and you can make money off it, great. If you can’t, then you still love it just as much. That’s my thing. If you’re lucky enough to turn your hobby into your job, that’s success.

Casey Veggies Interview: Building Greatness

We also have a ticket giveaway for his Phoenix, Denver and Indianapolis tour stops

A founding member of hip hop collective Odd Future (OFWGKTA), Casey Veggies started his solo career at the young age of 14. In addition to being a successful hip-hop artist before he could even legally enter a club, Veggies is also an entrepreneur. Starting a popular streetwear clothing line called Peas and Carrots International, it’s hard to figure out what Veggies will have in store for society next. In the meantime Veggies will be touring the country and we are giving tickets!

To enter for the following dates email editor@collegenews.com or like and share this post!





Check out the interview we did with Casey below:

CN:  Casey– Do you want to introduce yourself to the readers?

Casey Veggies:  Yeah, I’m Young Casey Veggies, from Los Angeles California. Englewood, California to be exact.

CN:  Explain the name “Casey Veggies”, I know you have a special reason for it.

Casey Veggies:  It was something we came up with when I was 13 years old, and I just ran with it.  It just sounded good to me.  It sounded like a good idea.  I have a brand called Peas and Carrots, it started as a blog and then we started a clothing line, and now we have a store in LA.  I pretty much based my name off of the brand.  You know vegetables are just good for you all around!  And so I just ran with it.

CN:  That’s awesome!  It seems like you have a lot of things up in the air.  What motivates you?

Casey Veggies:  What motivates me?  My ambition, and just wanting to be great in life.  Just being successful.  Really, music is to me is more of a hobby. I just love creating music.  You know, I got into it when I was 12 years old, just writing songs and writing down ideas.  I just fell in love with it from day one.  And ever since then I’ve never looked back.

CN:  You’re really great at merchandising your brand (your music, the clothing line, etc.) does that come natural to you?

Casey Veggies : The clothing line I started, with one design.  We started it off simple.  We just kept building it up and building it up eventually we got our own store in LA.  It’s been doing really well and now we’re just revamping the brand.  And I’m trying to take it to another place.  I’m very excited in where it’s going to go.  We were in Zumiez last year and a few different stores.  I’m just trying to keep expanding it and see where it goes after I release my new album.

CN:  That’s so cool, so do you think you’re going to have stores opening up in different cities across the country? Is that the goal?

Casey Veggies:  That’s definitely the goal.  At this point.   Our brand,  abbreviated is PNC INTL  (Peas and Carrots international.)  The goal has always been to be worldwide.  Push the brand overseas and all across the United States.  That’s how we’re calling out, how we want to be recongnized on a wide scale.

CN:  Do you think that your clothing line and your rapping are on the same level?  Or are you using one to merchandise the other?  How does it work?

Casey Veggies:  You know to me, the music is most important at the end of the day.  I just like to let the clothes come natural.  After the music is done. You know, a lot of times a lot of designs come from the music, a lot of designs are inspired by the music.  It’s pretty fun making everything cohesive and making things go together.

CN: So speaking of inspiring, who are some people that influence you?

Casey Veggies:  As a youngin’ I was definitely influenced by Kanye West as an artist.   And Nas and Jay Z, their business mind and Pharrell Williams, how he was involved with clothing, music and producing.  Not just limiting himself to one thing.  You know, Kanye West’s album College Dropout is one of my favorite albums.  In high school and growing up, it inspired me.  That was always my goal getting into music, was to inspire kids just like how I got inspired by music.

CN: What’s a day in the life like for you? You seem to have a lot on your plate.

Casey Veggies:  You know it’s a lot of work! I’m in New York right now doing a few things.  I’ve got a show tonight at SOB’s.  Right now I’m about to go to the Pullman’s store check some things out.  It’s not too hard, really I love working hard.  I’d rather be busy than not!

CN:  Exactly! When you have a day off you feel like you could be doing so much more.

Casey Veggies: Yeah, there are only 24 hours in a day so, try to make the most of it!

CN:  What advice would you give to people your age?  I know you are big into inspiring the youth.  For  people to follow their dreams, what advice would you have for them?

 Casey Veggies:  The advice I’d have for them is to never get discouraged,  and to stay focused.  Believe in yourself the most and don’t worry if nobody else believes in you, just believe in yourself.

CN:  So what does the future hold for you?

Casey Veggies:  Greatness.

CN:  Yeah?

Casey Veggies:  Yeah.

CN:  Through the clothing line?  Through the music?

Casey Veggies:  Through my ideas.  Through me.  Through my self expression, just inspiring people. That’s how I want to move. I want to do what I’m doing and for people to follow me naturally. No force.  I want people to just gravitate to the music, to the ideas to the art, the whole brand. You know?

CN:  So are there any areas or genres aside from music and fashion that you aren’t in currently, that you would like to get into eventually or are maybe just starting off in right now?

Casey Veggies:  Yeah, I just started getting into acting. I was in drama class when I was in middle school and I was lucky enough to get cast in the new movie Dope that’s coming out June 19th.  Forrest Whittaker, Pharrell Williams and A$AP Rocky.  It’s a super dope!  Coming out June 19th.

CN:  So it’s more of  a personal thing for you?

Casey Veggies:  Exactly.   I really felt the movie, and I grew up in parts of the neighborhoods they shot it in. 

CN:  Can you give us a little bit of information on your album?  Is it almost ready?

Casey Veggies:  My album is done.  It’s finished. it’s a masterpiece. I’m very excited to release it.  I’ve been patiently waiting for a while.  It’s coming out this summer.”

CN:  Do we have a date?

Casey Veggies:  Summer 2015.

CN:  So the movie June 19th and the Album 2015. Anything else we can look out for?

Casey Veggies:  A new Peas and Carrots re-launch 2015.

American Horror Story Tragedy

Actor, Ben Woolf, who portrayed Meep passed away last week

Ben Woolf, who plays Meep on American Horror Story: Freak Show, died last week far too soon at 34 years old.

The side mirror of a passing SUV struck the actor in the head while he was crossing a street in Hollywood. Woolf underwent immediate surgery and moved into stable, yet critical condition, but tragically passed shortly after.

The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene of the incident. No charges will be made because Woolf was jaywalking.

American Horror Story creator, Ryan Murphy and FX are partially funding Ben Woolf’s memorial service held by his family in Santa Barbara on March 21. The Woolfs, who invited the whole AHS cast, suggested all attendees honor Ben, by donning blue or red to the service; his favorite colors. Ben Woolf and his talent will be missed, our condolences go out to the Woolf family.