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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
On the Outside: These students refuse...
Deanna Dent / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Mazeratie Stephens-Sweet has a high, singsong voice with a slight "valley girl" accent. She manages to include the words "like" and "whatever" into almost every sentence. On the phone, she sounds like your average white, suburban-bred, college student. But sounds can be deceiving.

Meet three ASU students who feel nothing like how they look -- Stephens-Sweet, along with Chris Ly and Ching Phuong, say they are racial and cultural outsiders: students who say they feel more comfortable socializing with people from a different race than their own.

Federal Offense: Jose Avila's creative furniture...
Shaina Levee / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Jose Avila made all of the furniture pictured here, from his desk to his shelves, out of FedEx boxes. The creator of www.FedExFurniture.com says, I just want people to know its OK to be ghetto. White boxes with distinct red and blue lettering cover the apartment. There's the couch, the dining table, chairs, a bed and two desks.

All Jose Avila wants is to sit back and enjoy his handmade furniture, but instead he is fighting a possible lawsuit from a multi-billion dollar company.

Bouncing Around: Meet the guy who...
Deanna Dent / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
ASU student Nate Schoenfeld is a bouncer at Dos Gringos Trailer Park in Tempe. Here he holds a ring of confiscated fake IDs that the bar hangs on the front door to scare off underage drinkers. When that doesn't work, Schoenfeld resorts to questioning would-be drinkers. Every weekend, bars and clubs around the Valley fill with people looking to relax after a long week. But those who work in the bars don't get to chill -- they have to keep everything running smoothly.

Meet Your Match: Let SPM's personal yenta...
Deanna Dent / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Bonnie "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match. Find me a find, catch me a catch."

These famous "Fiddler on the Roof" lyrics bring the stereotypical image of an old, Jewish matchmaker to mind--but matchmakers aren't just the stuff of folklore and Broadway musicals.

Colombian Nights: SPM photographer Deanna Dent...
I was born and raised in Tempe. In fact, I've never even lived outside of a five-mile radius within Tempe. This isn't that uncommon, but it does make me the oddball in my family.

I'm half and half -- half American and half Colombian. My Colombian mother came to the states 25 years ago and married my American father. Over the last 25 years she has brought my grandmother, all my aunts, cousins and friends to America.

Denim Desires: Sure they make your butt look good...
When Nikki Jones first opened her boutique Urban Angels (699 S. Mill Ave., #112) four years ago, she never expected she would one day trade in the $45-65 Mavi jeans she carried for designer denim selling for more than $150. But today, "premium" or designer labels are in demand from her college student clientele. Jones says she often sells out completely of her $280 denim.

"Every day it amazes me," she says of the amount of money spent on designer denim. "But you can either buy five tops you kind of like or jeans that you love and that fit you right. It's definitely an investment."

Local Limelight: Q&A with Before Braille
Just coming off tour and getting ready to release its latest CD Tired of Not Being Away From Here, the members of Before Braille have a lot going on. SPM chatted with lead vocalist David Jensen last week about the band's latest album, its musical self-sufficiency and the member's unique personalities. The 20-somethings that make up the band include drummer Kelly Reed, bassist Douglas Fielding and guitarists Brandon Buckmister, Hans Ringger and Rajiv Patel (currently abroad on a mission for his church).

SPM: I understand you have a release party coming up. Tell me about your latest album.

Scene Points: Banned?

The fresher, less morbid cover. Pubes did it for the Black Crowes on Amorica. The Goo Goo Dolls heard it for bloody lips on A Boy Named Goo. Now, Most Precious Blood is catching hell, too.

The album art for New York hardcore band MPB's upcoming album Merciless grossed out the wrong people. The United States distributor, RED Distribution, and the European licensor, Roadrunner Records, were ready to shelve the disc slated for release on Sept. 20 after seeing the cover art.

Liner Notes: CD Reviews
If the slew of pop-punk bands from five years ago became clinically depressed and addicted to heroin, they might sound a lot like Jamison Parker. It's usually a bad sign when one of the first lines on an album is "If this is love then kill me now." In the case of Jamison Parker's debut album, Sleepwalker, it only gets worse from there.

We made several bets about the members after merely listening to this album. First, they all have black flat-ironed hair that covers at least one eye. Second, the aforementioned eyes are smeared with eyeliner. Lastly, the musical predictability and embarrassingly elementary lyrics boast a high school education at most. No need to worry though, underage girls eat this stuff up.

Culture Shock: Live Suryoyo
When bioengineering graduate student David Akkurt, 25, watched "The Passion of the Christ," he didn't need to read the subtitles.

That's because Akkurt is fluent in Aramaic.

Gadget Corner: PlayStation Party
The long days of studying and homework are back. But when the pages begin to blur, take a break with Sony's new handheld the PlayStation Portable.

Released in March, the PSP plays Universal Media Disks as its primary software for games. Several movies are also being developed in UMD format to be played on the PSP.

Top 5 most ridiculously overpriced beauty products
1. Biosilk Silk Therapy: around $20 for 5.64 fl. oz. Put the liquid in your wet or dry hair. Your hair becomes soft and shiny. Simple... perhaps too simple for $20.

2. Evian Skin Care Atomizer: $15 for three 1.7 oz. bottles. Everyone knows that Evian is naive spelled backwards, but when you're spending this much for a spray bottle of water to mist your face with, you're taking naive to a whole new level.

Calendar: Hurricane relief concerts
HURRICANE RELIEF
Friday, Sept. 9
Bands and promoters across the nation are organizing concerts to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina, but the Reindeer/Tiger Team show on Friday, Sept. 9 is a bit different.

From the Edge: Editorial
I fell asleep Sunday night, my laptop still in my hands, crying. I'd spent the hours prior to passing out, pouring over stories and images of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. My sadness grew with every photo of an orphaned child, every image of people trapped in their houses, too poor to have evacuated the city while there was still time.

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