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Turn the LIGHTS on

LIGHTS is the project of Lights Poxleitner (that's her real, legal name), a 22-year-old singer-songwriter hailing from Toronto, Canada. Already fairly well known in her home country, it is only a matter of time before LIGHTS follows in the footsteps of Owl City to make her own mark on the synth-pop scene in the United States.


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Twilight fans go gaga for "New Moon" saga

It's 12:01a.m, on Friday, Nov. 20. The premiere of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" is about to begin and there is not an empty seat in all of the ten auditoriums at the Jersey Garden's Theater.Unsurprisingly, this is what thousands of other movie theaters across the country experienced that night as well. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" was even able to break "The Dark Knight" midnight showing record with $74.7 million. It's debatable whether fans came out to see it solely because of the effect the original had on them or because they were legitimately excited for more screen time for Bella and her vampire boyfriend, Edward. Despite the reasons, the film is already a massive hit.


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Mayer's newest album leaves too many "Battle" scars

With his first three solo albums making the Top Ten charts, widely respected and revered singer-songwriter John Mayer claims to have taken a new, record-in-home approach on "Battle Studies," that unfortunately often seems futile. Set to be released on Nov. 24, Mayer's album veers away from his traditional, political and opinionated lyrics and into a much more personal and emotional realm. Band mates Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino join Mayer in a relatively lackluster musical compilation- one that demonstrates talent but certainly is not the Grammy winner's best work.


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Call of Duty: Modern Controversy

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" was released last week to a mass craze for fans and gamers across the country. However, what appears to be a near perfect first-person shooter turns out to have a mission in it making avid gamers, casual video players and others turn their stomachs inside out.


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"Sesame Street" goes green for its birthday

"Sesame Street" will be celebrating its 40th anniversary of broadcasting on Nov. 10. According to "The Muppet Newsflash" online, the new season is called "My World is Green and Growing" and will continue teaching children through songs, lessons and games while focusing on creating a green environment.Sesame Street Workshop will release two new books. "Sesame Street: A Celebration of Forty Years of Life on the Street" by Louise Gikow discusses the idea of show, starting with the pilot episode and how it has changed through the years. The book includes pictures and an exclusive look of the characters and writers of the show. "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street" by Michael Davis will look at the creation, development and success of the show, including interviews with the main characters of the show. The show has gone through many changes since it first debuted on PBS and many new characters have been added to the show through the years. Another change occured in 2004 when "Sesame Street" began its "Healthy Habits for Life," which teaches children about healthy living habits, such as brushing their teeth and eating well. According to the website, the project also helps build self confidence and shows fun ways to grow up healthy and happy. Muppets, such as the Cookie Monster, teach healthy habits by singing songs such as, "Cookies Are a Sometimes Food.""We're helping children establish an early foundation for healthy habits," the web site said. "We're fostering respect and understanding among the world's children. We're bringing education's building blocks to children everywhere. We're helping children build the resilience they need to cope during tough times."In the past seasons many celebrities have appeared on the show ranging from singers such as Norah Jones, Andrea Bocelli, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. Jamie Fox, Jack Black, Christopher Reeve, Ellen DeGeneres and Jay Leno, as well as Barbara Bush and Michelle Obama have also made guest appearances on the show.According to "Muppet Newsflash," viewers can expect Kobe Bryant, Tiki Barber, Jeff Gordon, Jason Mraz, Hugh Jackman, Eva Longoria and many others to make guest appearances in the 40th season. Students at SHU have some fond memories of growing up with the show."I remember the Cookie Monster," freshman Stephen Paramo said. "He was my favorite just because I liked cookies as much as he did. I never liked Big Bird because when I thought of a girl, I never thought of a girl that towered over my face."Junior Kristen Henry said her favorite character was Snuffaluffagus. "Everyone forgets that he's there, but he's so cute," she said. "I used to watch with my younger brother, and he used to have a hard time learning numbers. I would learn counting and letters from there and try to help him from there. There's characters you'll never forget. Certain character's names you don't forget where they're from."


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No "Echo" of praise for Leona Lewis

"Echo" is the newest arrival from rags-to-riches diva Leona Lewis. The 2006 "X Factor" winner's first album, "Spirit," left critics unfulfilled in spite of its great technical accomplishments. The last album was received as an over-manufactured, substance-less spotlight on the singer's vocal prowess. It lacked soul.


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Mickey Mouse turns 81 years young

The Walt Disney Company will be celebrating 81 years of its legendary cartoon character, Mickey Mouse this month. On Nov. 18, 1928 Mickey Mouse grabbed the attention of audiences by appearing in the first ever synchronized sound cartoon, "Steamboat Willie."


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Album sure to bring "Glee" to all

"Glee" owes much of its credit to the past, from television shows like "Freaks and Geeks" to movies like "Pretty in Pink" and "10 Things I Hate About You." It is also indebted to "American Idol," a competition that has aroused the self-confidence and aspiration of every teenager who sings a G-flat in the shower. The first soundtrack includes 17 songs from the show, which is themed around a high school glee club and performed by its talented cast.Though the vocal performances are of a finely-tuned caliber, listeners unfamiliar with "Glee" may prefer the original songs to the cover versions on the soundtrack. But the album's diverse mix of songs has its own appeal; where else would you find a mix tape that includes tracks from Neil Diamond, Young MC, REO Speedwagon and "Cabaret"? Non-Glee-club members can also appreciate the inventive choral arrangements on Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and the girls' background harmonies on the 1989 rap hit "Bust A Move." Avid watchers will remember the cute teacher, Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), and his wildly entertaining dance moves as he raps on Kanye West's "Gold Digger," feel conceited star Rachel Berry's (Lea Michele) heartache as she sings into a mock microphone on Rihanna's "Take a Bow" and reminisce to the fast-paced routine led by cheer captain Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron) to the Supremes' "Keep Me Hanging On." They'll relish the harmonies and recall the group's triumph on Queen's "Somebody to Love" and smile again at Will's bowling-alley duet with Kristin Chenoweth on Heart's "Alone."Missing from the soundtrack, though, are the memorable mash-ups of Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" with Usher's "Confessions" and Beyonce's "Halo" with Katrina, and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine." A second volume of "Glee" music is set to hit stores next month and listeners can hope that these tracks will be on the new mix. Fans of Fox's radically flippant musical comedy show will love this soundtrack. This soundtrack includes a variety of well known songs from show tunes to pop culture from the past two decades. It's top notch singing is sure to keep people tuned in to the hit show and shoppers buying the soundtrack for everyone on their Christmas list.


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Tim Burton brings horror to MoMA

Ascend to the third floor of the Museum of Modern Art, past the topiary carved in the shape of a buck and enter through a doorway in the disguise of a monster's gaping jaws. Screams, horrific laughs and cries can be heard from the monster's throat, a hallway lined with screens showing the heroics of "Stainboy." Just beyond the viewing gallery is a backlight room with a trippy rotating carousel composed of various monster parts.


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Fire up the old Game Boy

What do the Frisbee, Monopoly, the Bicycle, G.I. Joe and the Easy Bake Oven all have in common? They are all toys that have found their way into the National Toy Hall of Fame. And now, Nintendo's Game Boy joins their ranks.


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Old blood gets fresh sound with remastered collection

The holiday season is steadily approaching and ‘tis the season for record companies to release the inevitable: box sets, remastered albums and DVD documentaries. In hopes that their product will make it onto fans' holiday wish lists, record companies will dig out the b-sides, live performances and extended or alternative artwork from albums, which offers both prospective and dedicated fans a new and extensive opportunity to investigate influential bands.


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Posner gets personal at SHU concert

For the first time in over three years, Seton Hall hosted a long-awaited on-campus concert on Nov. 6 featuring Detroit singer-songwriter Mike Posner for a crowd more personal than your typical house party. In front of a group so small that it was possible to be at the front and the back of the audience simultaneously, the charismatic Posner commanded the room and interacted with the students as if he was performing at Giants Stadium.


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Weezer returns with new attitude

Dressed as farm animals, Weezer rocked the Hammerstein Ballroom on Halloween night. After opening with "Hash Pipe," they played a solid 21-song setlist, which was full of fan favorites like "Undone-The Sweater Song," "Dope Nose," "Island In The Sun," and even deeper tracks like "Surf Wax America," "Tired Of Sex," and "Why Bother."


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Lil' Wayne raises the roof with "No Ceilings" mixtape

Lil Wayne delivered in true trick-or-treat fashion this Halloween, posting his "No Ceilings" mix tape to his website for all his fans to download for free. Like his enormously popular 2008 release, "Tha Carter III," this album brings forth the consistencies of Lil Wayne's music: contagious beats and clever, yet inflammatory, lyrics.


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Halloween movies all treats

This Halloween will mark the return of many strange rituals. It is the one weekend of the year when houses covered in spider webs are deemed appropriate; when the scarier people look, the better; when incredible candy binges are socially acceptable; when knocking on a stranger's door and asking for something for free is not met with hostility; and, of course, when virtually no dress code exists. In many respects, it is a wonderful holiday, and fortunately, the cinema has given us many resources to take in the ambiance of the season. From horror flicks and cartoons to science-fiction and comedy, Halloween offers something for nearly every viewer wanting to get into the trick-or-treat spirit. So brew up your apple cider and check out these Seton Hall favorites.Kevin Stevens can be reached at kevin.stevens@shu.edu.


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Theatre-in-the-Round gets spooked

Seton Hall's Theatre Council is teaming up with Alpha Phi Omega to present the first Haunted House-in-the-Round. Inspired by the strange architecture and ghosts stories surrounding the Theatre-in-the-Round, the haunted house idea "just made sense," said sophomore Theatre Council Secretary Marissa Breton.


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Metal chart toppers unite in horror

With Halloween upon us, many anxious moviegoers anticipate the return of the "Saw" horror series. This year, Jigsaw is back and the music is more brutal than ever. The soundtrack includes music from The Flood, Miss May I, Converge, Shadows Fall, Suicide Silence and many more top metal and hard rock bands. Although the previous soundtracks have not disappointed, this might just be the best and strongest yet.


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Hill High School Class of 2010

Seton Hall alum and former Arts and Entertainment Editor of The Setonian Jeff Fucci will host a charity event called Haunted Hill House"on Oct. 23-25 at his home in Carlstadt, New Jersey.In its third year, Haunted Hill House has become the largest backyard Halloween walk-through and performance in northern New Jersey, admitting over 1,500 visitors. The theme of this year's event centers around the fictitious Hill High School's homecoming dance. The dance is still on despite the recent disappearances of some students and a few break-ins within the school. Two characters from last year's event, Dr. Jack McKnight and Mr. Vincent Darcone, are back and posing as science teachers at Hill High. Unbeknownst to the school, these two are actually evil scientists determined to turn the dance into a sacrifice and open a portal to hell that will unleash evil into the world. Not one to miss out on the fun, Fucci is an actor in the show as well as its producer, playing the part of Vincent Darcone. His best friend and Haunted Hill House collaborator, Joe Cutalo, plays Jack McKnight. The rest of the cast and crew include volunteers, family members and theater students. Fucci began the project with Cutalo in 2007 after discovering that the haunted houses he loved to visit no longer existed. "When I was a kid, there were lots of these backyard haunted houses," he said. "Now there's no more." While Fucci had the ambition, he had no house. Everything fell into place once Fucci moved into his current residence in Carlstadt two years ago, which had been in his family for years. Upon discovering 100-year-old furniture in the attic and the basement, he knew he had found the perfect location for a haunted house."I said to Joe, ‘Why not bring this crazy furniture outside and build a haunted house in the backyard and do something for the community,'" Fucci said. The event has come a long way in its three years. The first one, back in 2007, consisted of only a backyard walk-through with no show or plot. While it was a successful first outing, Fucci and Cutalo saw the need for improvement. According to Fucci, there was not enough light, no sense of crowd control and confusion about where to exit."People kept tripping over tree roots because it was so dark," he said. "We were literally banging on things with sticks and whispering to people where to go." To improve the next year's event, Fucci and Cutalo got creative. They invented the characters Dr. Jack McKnight and Mr. Vincent Darcone and a storyline (he said fans of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" will recognize that their story isn't completely original). They also decided to add a small show in addition to the backyard walk-through. But Fucci didn't want his haunted house to be all scares and no heart. "The kind of spectacle we were doing was fun, but it wouldn't be right without some kind of cause," he said.In its first year, Haunted Hill House partnered with Angel's Attic, which takes the profits from clothes donations and distributes them among other charities. The following year, they partnered with the Gift of Life International, which provides funding for heart surgeries to children in need all over the world. With generous donations from its visitors, the event raised over $2,000 for both charities. This year, all proceeds will go to the New Jersey Center for Food Action. Fucci, Cutalo, and their loyal band of volunteers plan to donate the money toward Thanksgiving dinner for needy families.This year, Haunted Hill House is located at 539 Hackensack Street in Carlstadt, NJ. The event will last from 7-9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 7-9 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free and visitors are encouraged to donate. Dana Cassidy can be reached at dana.cassidy@student.shu.edu.

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