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February 06, 1997 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

- The Michigan Daily Weekn Magziie eArtirsday, February 6, 199

0 0

The Michigan Daily Weekeni

. State of the Arts


Continued from Page 12B

Sometimes, in
Ann Arbor, $7
can get you far.
$7 will buy you
a full meal (a
huge hamburger
with three top-
pings, fries and a
soda at the Red
Hawk Bar &
Grill, for exam-
ple); dlmost three
n a m e - b ran d

deodorants at Decker Drugs, guaran-
teed to last for months (depending on
how often you apply); a juicy book or
two for your reading pleasure; 28
arcade games at Pinball Pete's; a quali-
ty shampoo or conditioner at Charisma
or other hair salons; seven lottery tick-
ets, or seven opportunities to win big,
big bucks; and even a beautiful outfit
from Value Village or Rag 'O Rama.
$7 will also buy you a lovely ticket
for one - that's ONE - crap film at
Showcase like "Meet Wally Sparks."

By JomWer Petlinski
Duty Arts Editor

For 50 cents less (ooh, aahh), you can
see the same films at Briarwood. Of
course, that price does not include the
popcorn, dripping with butter, Junior
Mints and Twizzlers you have to buy to
numb the pain of such films. Yet it does
include that fat guy who breathes really
loud and his annoying wife with high
hair, sitting (of course) right in front of
you. $7 - what a deal.
Do I sound bitter? Well, good. In my
mind (and certainly in the minds of
other struggling-to-balance-the-check-
book students), $7 is a lot to be paying
for two hours of entertainment. Of
course, I can always go to Ann Arbor 1
& 2, State Theater or the Michigan, but
due to their small sizes, I'm not always
guaranteed the film of my choice.
And Briarwood and Showcase keep
charge, charge, charging away.
Do the words STUDENT DIS-
COUNT ring a bell?
It seems to me that, in a college town,
primarily filled with college students,
such discounts should exist. I can
understand why theaters in New York or

Chicago, for example, where schools
do not necessarily dominate the city,
wouldn't offer student prices at all the-
aters. But Ann Arbor? We, the students,
own this city. I mean, what else is here
besides us? Don't we deserve $3 off?
You bet your butt we do.
Full of ques-
tions the other
night, I decided W e the s
to make a few
phone calls and own thisI
investigate the
matter further. Don't we
Phone Call
No. 1: First in $3 off?
my exploration,
I spoke to John
Smith (all names have been changed to
protect the innocent), who said that for
as long as he's been working there,
Showcase hasn't had student discounts.
He thought that maybe some other
National Amusement Showcase
Cinema locations may currently have
student prices, but when I pressed the
issue further, he got flustered and prac-


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tically hung up on me. Sensitive issue?
Phone Call No. 2: Very interesting.
Jane Doe (name change again), a man-
ager at United Artists Briarwood, told
me that the Briarwood theater had stu-
dent discounts four years ago, but got
rid of them because it wasn't doing any-
thing for their
business. "Do
udents, youknow if any
other United
tyf . Artists locations
have discounts?"
eSe erVe i kindly and
politely asked.
She said she did-
n't know. But
could she connect
me with someone who did know or, at
least, let me talk to someone else at her
theater? No again. Chalk another one
up to sensitive issue.
Phone Call No. 3: The man at United
Artists' District Office assured me that
none of their other theaters in Michigan
had discounts anymore. Could he give
me a national number to call? Of course
These movie-employee types just
don't feel like talking about it. Perhaps
they receive a lot of calls and com-
plaints on a daily business (or perhaps
they're just so sick of sweeping popcorn
off the floor and picking gum off the
seats that they'll be rude about any-
thing). But if you charge $7, that's the
price you have to pay.
By no means is this a direct attack on
Ann Arbor employees at Briarwood and
Showcase, the little guys on the ladder
of profit. Instead, let this column be a
plea to the Big Kahunas of the compa-
nies that charge me and my fellow
classmates $7. $3 off? Pretty please?
I'm just a 20-year-old, money-con-
scious college student who is innocent-
ly seeking entertainment, a small slice
of enjoyment in life. Like others, I need
to see a movie from time to time. Hell,
I deserve it. And since crap like "Evita"
is still playing at State (see column two
weeks ago), I am sometimes forced to
attend Briarwood and Showcase.
But let me tell you something your
wallet has probably already figured out
for itself: 7 bucks here, 7 bucks there -
it all adds up. And just for "Wally
Sparks?" (Sorry, Wally. I don't mean to
pick on you, but you are currently play-
ing and you do suck.) Pretty soon, we
will all be poor in cash, rich in ticket
Maybe we should just wait until most
of these films come out on video (with
special exceptions) - assuming, of
course, that they aren't playing on cam-
pus somewhere cheaper. At the rate
films come out on video these days, we
won't be waiting long at all.
But should we really have to settle?
Instead, let us now pray to the Movie
God for a better deal.
After all, shouldn't students, with
tuition bills coming out of their asses,
get a break somewhere?
For now, my student ID will remain
in my wallet, waiting patiently for me to
pull it out, as I purchase my ticket. Oh
please, let that day come.
Yeah right - only in my Junior-
Mint, fluffy-butter-popcorn dreams.
- Jennyfqr Petlinski can be rac/ed
via e-rma4iV jenpetlinsk@wh lh.edu

contract to Madonna's label, Maverick,
and are slated to open for U2's upcom-
ing U.S. tour. Indeed, these guys have a
busy year ahead of them as do their
Buzz-Bin counterparts, the Chemical
"Setting Son," the Chemical
Brothers' first single from the group's
second album (to be released in late
March), debuted at No. 1 in the U.K.
charts and features the vocals of Oasis'
Noel Gallagher. They offered the U.S. a
taste of their new album with a short
two-week tour in late '96 and plan to
tour more extensively in the summer.
MTV's Buzz-Bin hype of electronic
dance music has also been supplement-
ed by a regular time slot for "Amp," as
well as commercials featuring Perry
Farrell, extolling the virtues of dance
music. "Amp" is an hourlong program
that features videos of many of today's
notable electronic dance music acts
(Spacetime Continuum, Goldie,
Another key factor of the burgeoning
popularity is the influence of electronic
music on international pop stars. For
U2's upcoming album, "Pop," the band
enlisted Howie B. (renowned remixer)
as producer and Bono cites the Prodigy
as a main influence on the new album.
Their current single, "Discotheque,"
displays their increased emphasis to
rely on electronics such as synthesizers
(as opposed to band-based rock).
Depeche Mode employed Tim Simenon
(Bomb the Bass) as producer of its
upcoming album, "Ultra." The band's
new single, "Barrel of a Gun," features
trancey synthesizers (as opposed to the
"plinkety-plonkety" synthesized sound
in the '80s) and more hard-hitting drum
patterns and beats.
Although the question remains to be
seen whether or not these acts will be
playlisted on mainstream radio and
achieve Billboard chart status, these
groups will definitely help their causes
with extensive plans to tour the U.S.
1996 saw Perry Farrell start up his Enit
festival which featured acts such as
Meat Beat Manifesto and the Orb.

Another festival, Organiefest, repre-
sented the first large-scale rave in the
U.S. last summer in California, as acts
such as Meat Beat Manfesto, Chemical
Brothers, Orbital, the Orb and Loop
Guru participated. Talks are still under-
way for this year's Organicfest lineup;
however, Underworld has already
announced plans to participate. Also,
the aforementioned U2 tour with the
Prodigy will help bring this music to a
different (and larger) audience.
Although the prospects of 1997 will
appeal to electronic dance music fans,
the question of mainstream success
conflicts with the underground status
of electronic dance music. The rave
and drug culture are linked with elec-
tronic dance music and these particular
issues will have to be dealt with. Also,
MTV seems to be the main culprit, as
their program director stated that they

were headed in a new direction in 1997
and specifically name-dropped the
Chemical Brothers and I Prodigy. It
seems almost absurd to validate elec-
tronic dance music (or any type of
music) in terms of success and main-
stream popularity. MTV singlehanded-
ly "broke" punk music to the main-
stream in 1994 with the likes of
Rancid, Green Day and Offspring.
While it took the Sex Pistols' "Never
Mind the Bollocks," 13 years to
achieve platinum status, Green Day's
"Dookie," sold multimillion copies
within a year's time. If MTV can pop-
ularize such an anti-commercial (and
previously neglected) format such as
punk (not to mention a diluted and
inferior product such as Green Day), I
suppose it would not be unrealistic to
assume that electronic dance music
will be next in line.


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