Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 15, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 15, 2012 




Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 
Editor’s Note: Ms. Williams is the latest addition to the Mountain Views News family. A young writer 
alumni of Pasadena City College, she brings a new voice to our Arts and Entertainment section. 

Welcome Jasmine.

Review By Sean Kayden

THE HOST By Stephanie Meyer

When it comes to a good read, sometimes it will be the 
author that captures your attention rather than the title. 
Stephenie Meyer is one such author as she is recognized 
both by name and her books. She is the author of the 
bestselling ‘Twilight’ series, and her next novel ‘The Host’ 
is proof of her work. Although copyrighted in 2008, ‘The 
Host’ really branches from the ‘Twilight’ series and is 
introduced as a much more adult piece of work; from the 
personality of the characters to the pacing of the story 
itself. The novel focuses on the protagonist Wanderer, an 
alien (which are referred to as “Souls”) who inhabits her 
human host named Melanie and tries to push away the 
consciousness that is Melanie herself. The trouble comes 
her way however, when Melanie refuses to fade, resulting 
in two beings that are both aware of each other’s presence 
within the same body. Story and pacing are equal parts, 
with the characters showing depth and strong emotions; 
one may think of this as reimagining of ‘Invasion of the 
Body Snatchers’, but with increased emotion, background, 
and how Melanie and Wanderer learn to coexist while 
both working together in search of the man they have 
both fallen in love with. Even though ‘The Host’ is an 
alien-invasion story, it is worth your time since it is told from a different perspective; one that 
focuses on love, resolution, and taking in any new experiences that define who you are and 
what you want to pursue in life. And if you are also a fan of movies, then keep an eye out for 
the film adaptation of the ‘The Host’, which will arrive in theaters in 2013.


 “Infinity Overhead” is the fifth studio album from progressive rock adherents, 
Minus The Bear. With this latest endeavor, the five-piece band travels back to 
their signature sound that propelled their career at the start of the millennium. 
Their preceding-2010 tenuously-named LP, “Omni” was driven by a much deeper electronic sound 
than the band had ever dabbled with in the stretch of their decade- long career. It was a noble effort, 
seeing how the band took a chance by elaborating on their previously established multifaceted style. 
With a felicitously titled record and attempting to transcend the boundaries of their unflagging talents, 
Minus The Bear find themselves ambitiously compelled to create what they’ve intended to be their best 
material to date. I’m not quite sure if they set their sights too high, since “Infinity Overhead” isn’t the 
band’s finest hour, but it’s certainly not one to starkly dismiss, either. 

 “Steel and Blood” kicks the album off in grand fashion. It’s smooth with its fuzzy snyths and familiar 
Minus The Bear guitar riffs, yet also vehemently in your face. The lyrics are dark too, describing a ghastly 
car crash with an overflow of blood at the forefront. At least singer Jake Snider expresses the line, “I’ll be 
by your bedside” to turn the song into more of a human connection piece. “Lies and Eyes” follows and it 
doesn’t disappoint. It’s a sexually and ill-faded romance motivated pop treat that is beautifully executed 
with guitars interwoven with the keyboards to 
create this ever-lasting infectious sound. With an 
opening line such as “He regrets having no regrets,” 
you know you’re in for something special. The song 
just works on all accounts. “Diamond Lighting” is 
in the vein of classical Minus The Bear. It’s a soaring 
composition that flows like a steady stream, with an 
occasional heavy tide, too. Definitely the dreamier 
tune of the record, “Diamond Lighting” will please 
strong enthusiasts of the band. “Listing” is unequivocally the strongest song from “Infinity Overhead”. 

The song pulls you in and doesn’t let go. It’s a reflective tune that has that signature Minus The Bear 
touch to just explode into something unworldly. Sometimes you have to take a moment to realize 
just how great these guys are as a core group of musicians. “Heaven is a Ghost Town” is very melodic 
while weaving in and out of slow, cautious cadence then ultimately unraveling into a sharper, pulsating 

 It seems like Minus The Bear went back in such a way to enable them to change the game, or at least the 
game they play. However, unfortunately with such a dominant and significant opening half, and their 
audacious musical decisions, the band somehow loses all the momentum with a vacant, directionless 
second half. It’s not dreadful, but the flow of the record is interrupted so abruptly that the feeling you 
once had quickly diminishes. These final songs play off so nonchalantly and aloof that listeners can 
easily find themselves bored by the lack of surprises or thrills the band initially supplied with the first 
handful of songs. Minus The Bear has never been a band of catharsis, yet with “Zeroes,” “Lonely Gun,” 
and “Cold Company” the deficiency of anything emotionally affecting or thought-provoking is clearly 
missing. In the end, “Infinity Overhead” isn’t as substantially grand or glorious as it could have very 
well been, but where it does shine, you’ll be hard pressed to find any darkness in sight.

Grade: 7.3 out of 10

“Lies and Eyes”, “Diamond Lightning”, “Listing”, “Heaven is a Ghost Town”

Artist: Minus The Bear 

Album: Infinity Overhead

Label: Dangerbird Records


Date: August 28th, 2012


 The Tap Chicks are seasoned tap dancers who dazzle with youthful energy. A favorite at the L.A. 
County Fair for many years, their previous performances at the Sierra Madre Playhouse have sold 

 The Tap Chicks were originally formed at Pasadena Senior Center. They are choreographed by 
Pam Kay, who also provides musical accompaniment, comedy and vocals.

The fully costumed act dances to music ranging from Broadway tunes to 40s favorites to contemporary 
songs. The dancers are mature in years (ranging in age from 50 to 84) but young at heart. 
You don’t have to drive all the way to Palm Springs to see an act like this. It’s coming to Sierra 

 EXTRA: Also performing will be special guest vocalist Franny McCartney, formerly of Bette 
Midler’s Harlettes.

For the first time, this show will perform in an afternoon time slot, for the convenience of our 
senior audience members.

Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. The Sierra Madre Playhouse is at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra 
Madre, CA 91024. Tickets are $20 general, $17 for seniors (65+), $12 for children under 12. Reservations: (626) 
355-4318. Online ticketing:




From Dr. Wei-Ching Lee: 


With advancements in medicine, we are living longer 
and our knees take on the accumulation of stresses of 
our daily activities over time. So, as we get older, many 
more of us are impacted by knee pain. The good news 
is there are many options to help treat knee pain besides 

 Treatments can be as simple as placing an ice pack 
on your knee for 20-30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 
the first 2-3 days or until the pain subsides. Your leg 
can also be elevated by placing a pillow underneath it to 
help reduce swelling. 

 A multitude of conditions may result in knee pain such 
as ligament injury, cartilage (aka meniscal) injuries, 
arthritis, muscle and tendon injuries, strains and 
kneecap injuries or misalignments. A physician specialist can help you develop a personalized 
exercise program targeted to treat your specific injury. One of the many exercises to treating knee 
osteoarthritis includes quadriceps strengthening to help take the stress off the knee joint.

 There are a slew of different medications available for treating knee pain like topical and oral 
medications, prescription patches, and prescribed medical foods. There is also over the counter 
glucosamine/chondroitin which is widely lauded but also controversial in its benefits for knee 
osteoarthritis pain. 

 Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) units are yet another option for pain relief 
and can be prescribed for your home use by a physician. TENS units are pocket size, portable, 
battery-operated devices that send electrical impulses to the desired painful area of the body to 
block pain signals.

 Prescription braces and orthotics like “unloader” braces can be used to offload the damaged 
cartilage area together with specific shoe inserts, and “infrapatellar” braces can be used to help 
realign your knee cap. 

 With the advent of cutting-edge technology, we have more options to treat our knee pain and 
stave off surgery such as knee replacements. One of which has helped Kobe Bryant stay in the 
game, Hines Ward heal quickly and Tiger Woods with his career comeback. This groundbreaking 
treatment is called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, and it has been around for decades for 
medical uses such as wound healing, dental implants, and eye repair surgeries. PRP therapy is 
advantageous over surgery in that it has the possibility of healing our knees in a manner that can 
essentially last for a lifetime whereas knee replacement surgery typically lasts only up to 10-15 years 
before the hardware wears 

 Best of all, PRP is a 
simple non-surgical 
treatment that uses 
platelets from your own 
blood (obtained just like 
a regular lab draw) to 
heal the injured tissues. 
Platelets are nature’s 
“reservoirs” that facilitate 
healing by promoting 
tissue regeneration and 
forming blood vessels that 
nourish new tissues. PRP 
directs and amplifies this 
natural healing process.

 Finding the right 
treatment for your knee 
pain starts with the 
right diagnosis from a 
physician specialist. You 
might not need surgery 
to get on the road to pain 
relief and a better overall 
quality of life.

Wei-Ching Lee, M.D. is 
a UCLA-board certified 
physician specializing 
in Physical Medicine & 
Rehabilitation at Arc Motion 
Rehab Medical Clinic in 
Arcadia, CA where she provides 
non-surgical care for muscle, 
bone, and nerve injuries. If 
you have suggestions for future 
topics, please email Dr. Lee at

Happy hustle and bustle season. 

This time of the year things just seem to speed up! It makes me so 
very thankful that I have my yoga practice. All the running around 
never seems quite so bad if we stay centered and grounded. Be sure 
to take the time to check in and see how you are and reflect where 
you are spending your energy. Hopefully on the good things that fill 
you up and give you more of that so important life force. Be mindful 
of how you nourish your body. Feed your soul with good thoughts 
and your body with healthful food and both with your yoga practice. 

This self care helps make everything else run more smoothly. Because it is so hot, it is 
especially important to get enough hydration in both the body and the spirit. This self-
respecting attitude allows positive things to come your way. Respecting the self also shows 
everyone how you like to be treated. Then you can enjoy.

The true benefits of your yoga come from regular practice. During the fall particularly we 
need to stay grounded and balanced. Our yoga can help us stay centered in the self and 
better able to manage our lives in this busy world. It’s easy to get overwhelmed at this time 
of year. To avoid that we need to stay focused. Yoga is our best tool. So stay open to the 
possibility that you can have everything you want in your life starting on the inside. Make 
a commitment to yourself. It really does work!

Namasté, René 

Kurt Vasquez is a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer. His philosophy is simple: Fitness is a 
process, not a project. He can be reached at (626) 695-2624 or