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March 20, 1997 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-20

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(McGarrigle sing
Kate and Anna McGarrigle bring their unique tunes to A2. Check out
these singers/songwriters in all their harmonious glory. In the past,
the McGarrigles have worked with such artists as The Chieftans,
Richard Thompson and Emmylou Harris. Join them at The Ark tonight
at 8, and kick back to their'relaxing melodies. Admission is $15.

Thursday
March 20, 1997

'Room' i
By Kristin Long th
Daily Arts Writer s
In recent years, Diane Keaton has
taken a step back from her Annie Hall tl
days to roles of less dynamic emotion. f
In addition, she has taken the back seat o
to other performers
in leading roles.
Keaton had the lead R EI
in "Baby Boom,"
where she deliv- ifr Marv
ered a mediocre
performance in a
meek comedy. In
the "Father of the
Bride" series, she was the stability
behind Steve Martin's wild and crazy d
antics. And in "First Wives Club" she w
shared the stage with the big names of a
Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn. Keaton t(
has built the image of the ultra-conser- Ii
vative female, and it has been the mold g
for her recent productions. h
In "Marvin's Room," Keaton delivers
a phenomenal performance that lives up se
to the potential of her Oscar-winning ti
"Annie Hall" days. She plays Bessie, the il
sister who sacrificed her dreams to care (h
for her dying father, Marvin (Hume sp
Cronyn) and scatter-brained Aunt Ruth. si
(Gwen Verdon). The role is Keaton-per- j
feet, and it gives her the chance to revive

s worth entering once

1

he strengths that seem to have been
leeping in her recent roles.
Bessie and her elders are complacent,
hough not healthy, in the 1970s con-
ines of their Florida home. They fol-
ow a day-to-day routine consisting of
medicine-taking
and watching soap
V I E W operas. When the
nurturing Bessie
vin's ROOM becomes tired and
ill herself, the daily
routine changes to
At state an uncomfortable
situation.
Aunt Ruth's and Marvin's depen-
ence on her first becomes evident
when she visits the doctor, played by an
iways stellar Robert De Niro. A blood
est that denotes leukemia sets their
ves into a whirlwind; Bessie under-
oes chemotherapy, weakening not only
er body, but also her spirit.
This begins the typical pattern pre-
ent in depressing stories of a dysfunc-
onal family struggling with a major
lness. Bessie calls on her sister Lee
'Meryl Streep), to whom she hasn't
poken in 20 years, for help. The sibling
truggle is a necessity in such a tear-
erker, that really brings no tears at all.
The search for a bone marrow donor

brings Lee and her two sons, Hank
(Leonardo DiCaprio) and Charlie (Hal
Scardino), to Florida for a grand family
reunion. The meeting, of course, does
not run smoothly, and the tension is so
immense that even their ailing father is
uncomfortable.
Lee and Bessie share that I-stayed-
behind-while-you-went-and-partied bit-
terness that sets the stage for a less than
exciting story. What makes the film
interesting, however, is the certain
twists that make it unlike any other
sappy story. Keaton and Streep are
dynamic together, and their problems
are not drawn out to a point where we
couldn't care less. We wait for some-
thing to click, however, and the emotion
to work its way into the dragging story
to bring it all together.
There are certain jealous ties that
underlie their sisterly love. The accep-
tance factor plays a crucial role in their
dynamics. Once the story makes its way
onto the path of reconciliation, the
female stars work magic -- and click
- it starts to be a great drama.
As if the tension between Lee and
her forgone family was not enough,
Hank and his mother do not cohabitate
on the best of terms either. Lee leads the
life of the blue-collar worker whose

daily routine varies by the hour. Hank is
a pyromaniac who just checked into a
mental institution after burning down
their house. He is the rebel without a
clue, and his mother is just as lost, not
knowing how to handle his radical
behavior. Bessie's compassion for life
reveals what had been missing inthe
mother-son relationship.
While the plot feels a bit like deja vu,
it is not as uniform as anticipated.
"Marvin's Room" digs deep into the
heart of family dynamics, but it does
not penetrate through it. It leaves us
with a feeling of awe because we wait
for more, but it also deals with the real-
ities of life not as joyous as we
would like.
The film adaptation of the Off-
Broadway play parallels many individu-
als' real lives; it is this that makes
"Marvin" a brilliant representation of
life. The problem lies in the tedious task
of making relationships work.
Keaton is great, and she takes charge
of what would be another deptesing
film. While "Marvin's Room" is not
without its grief, it is real and portrayed
by a great cast of characters. Streep and
DiCaprio also add to the flavor of the
story, and they represent a tale once vis-
ited, but never to be repeated.

Bessie (Keaton) and Lee (Streep) face sisterly tension in "Marvin's Room."

Lack of singers makes
Uptown' suffer

'U' sits on 'Hot Seat'

By Camille Noe
For the Daily
Do you ever long to return to the days
of truth or dare? "The Game of Hot
Seat," a new game being marketed at the
University, may just take you back.
"Hot Seat,"a socializing card game, is
designed specifically for college stu-

sororities and members of the residence
life staff as part of the game's marketing
efforts. Deanna Mouro, an Engineering
first-year student, had an opportunity to
try the game. "It was fun," said M,6ro,
"but the questions could have been a lit-

uptowns BMOCK rartyr
(voI. 1 & 2)
Uptown/Universal
Anniversary albums are becoming
quite the norm. In not even two years,
Def Jam released a four-CD memorial
4 its decade of life, Black
ntertainment Television released two
CDs as tribute to its 15-year history
and, more recently, Tommy Boy con-
gratulated itself for birthday No. 1.0.
Now Uptown Records, first under the
direction of Andre Harrell (now head of
Motown) and now under the leadership
of president Heavy D, is ready to cele-
brate 10 years of sparking the rise of
such artists and groups as Mary J.
age, Jodeci, Guy and Soul for Real.
If course there's no better celebration
than placing some of these artists' most
well-known cuts together on an album
to maybe make a few extra duckets.
Mary J. Blige's "Real Love" and
"What's the 411" grace the first volume
of "Uptown's Block Party." "Vol. 2"
features her "You Don't Have to
Worry." The fact that she is perhaps the
biggest name on Uptown is exemplified
j the fact that her name appears first
. both albums.
Other songs we'll hear in our stroll
down Uptown memory lane are Jodeci's
"Stay;, "Come & Talk to Me" and "Cry
,for You," Soul for Real's "Candy Rain,"
Heavy D's "We Got Our Own Thang"
and'"Got Me Waiting;' Guy's "Groove
Me" and "Teddy's Jam" and
Christopher Williams' "Every Little
Thing U Do."
The biggest weakness of "Uptown's
'Sock Party" has nothing to do with the
songs; the problem is more with the
sparse number of people singing them:
25'songs sung by only eight artists. And
it's not like no-names like Jeff Redd
("You Called And Told Me") and no-
longer-popular-names like Father MC
("Treat Them Like They Want to Be
Treated," "I'll Do 4") count. With so

few people and groups to round out
their musical roster, you'd think
Uptown execs would want to wait to
release an anniversary album another
time - possibly for birthday No. 20.
- Eugene Bowen
Lazlo Bane
11 Transistor
Almo Sounds
A note on the inside cover of "1 1
Transistor" says, "The name 'Lazio
Bane' comes from 'Theme Park
Roadkill,' the experimental fiction
novel by Rachel Andrews." Reading
this, one might expect to find some sort
of experimental music on the album. If
Lazlo Bane fancies itself after "experi-
mental fiction," then they must have an
interesting, cutting-edge sound, right?
Wrong. There is nothing in Lazio
Bane's style that reflects the
"experimental" influ-
ence of their name."
After listening to
the first few riffs
and singer Chad
Fisher's lazy, nasal
vocals on the first
track, "I'll Do
Everything," any delu-
sions of hearing experi-
mental music are destroyed.
It is already clear that Lazio Bane is
no different than any of the hundreds of
other bands on your favorite modern-
rock radio station. An entire album of
mediocre 3-chord guitar-driven songs
with whiny singing is sure to follow.
There is a brief glimmer of hope during
the whistling that accompanies the cho-
rus. It sounds cheesy but rather pleas-
ant, and it turns an otherwise dull song
into at least a catchy tune.
Unfortunately, a little whistling in the

tle racier."
Many groups

dents. Creators
Mark Lipowski and
Joe Hasner got the
idea from a game
they often played in
high school with
their friends, where
one person would

~REVIEW
S The Game of
Hot Seat
Available in Mail Boxes, Etc.,
Made in America and Exclaim

of students who have
tested the lame
agree that although
"Hot Seat" is fun,
it loses its novelty
quickly. The per-
sonal and proddbig
questions thatt' let
you get to know

Mary J. Bilge's "Real Love" appears on "Uptown's Block Party."

first song is as daring and unconven-
tional as Lazio Bane gets.
From there, the album proceeds as
expected, with 11 more uninspiring
songs that are hard to distinguish from
one another. There are a few slow songs
to break up the monotony. While most
of "11 Transistor" is listenable, if not
interesting or exciting, these slow songs
with softer, acoustic music only make
Fisher's voice sound more
annoying.
One of these, "Flea
Market Girl," man-
ages to be a miser-
able love song and
assure us that Lazlo
Bane is made up of
four cool guys who
hang out at flea mar-
kets. The band pictures
on the CD jacket even show
off the trendy short-sleeve button-down
shirts they buy at thrift shops.
Track 10, "Overkill" is the only other
song that stands out. Instead of sound-
ing like a poor imitation of Nirvana,
this song sounds like Air Supply or
Foreigner on a bad day.
If the first I I Lazlo Bane originals
are not enough to satisfy any die-hard
fans, there is a hidden track. Don't
bother taking the time to forward your
CD player, though. It's just more of the

same. "11 Transistor" can be summed
up in an old joke: first prize is a regular
version of a Lazto Bane CD; second
prize is a special Lazlo Bane CD with
an extra hidden song.
- Rob Franzino
Space
Spiders
Universal Records
"Spiders," the debut album by the
Liverpudlian quartet Space, fits in nice-
ly under the vast umbrella of what I call
"good, clean fun" music. An interesting
hybrid of pop, lounge and shifty beats,
"Spiders" provides numerous moments
of pleasurable listening.
The opening song,
"Neighborhood," describes many
bizarre and demented characters,
including "Mr. Miller / He's a local
vicar / And a serial killer." The track
has a swinging feel to it, including a
tropical-sounding trumpet solo. The
subsequent "Mister Psycho" contin-
ues singer/bassist Tommy Scott's
unusual fascination with sketchy pro-
tagonists: "Mister Psycho," Scott
enthusiastically sings, "Will blow you
away!"
The best song on "Spiders" is the
whimsical "Female of the Species."
Reaching No. 13 in England and get-
ting a steady stream of video and radio
play in the United States, the song
mixes piano, cocktail jazz and a memo-
rable chorus: "The female of the
species / Is more deadly than the male."
Instantly hummable, "Female of the
Species" bodes well for the band's
potential success on this side of the
pond.
Another standout tune on "Spiders"
is "Me and You Versus the World."
Drummer Andy Parle does a fine job
providing punchy beats, which mesh-
es well with guitarist Jamie Murphy's

sit on a bar stool and the others would
ask questions about his or her life.
"Hot Seat" uses a similar approach.
Individuals participating in the game must
answer questions on the playing cards that
they draw. These questions range from,
"What type of music do you listen to?" to
"Where is the strangest place you've ever
found yourself naked?"
Lipowski, who is both the game's
creator and the president of TM
Entertainment, Inc., the company that
produces it, said the game's objective is
to allow people to get to know each
other. "'Hot Seat" is the ultimate party
game," said Lipowski. "It is definitely
the game for a arge group of fun-lov-
ing young adults."
Several groups of "U" students have
already been put on the "Hot Seat." TM
Entertainment, Inc., has distributed free
sample games to several fraternities,

individuals are few and far between.
Unfortunately, most are simple,
and almost elementary - one won-
ders if this game would be more suit-
ably marketed at high-school -stu-
dents. The idea of "The Game of Hot
Seat" has extreme potential, but it
seems that the game's creators were
worried about possible offense that
may be taken by cut-to-the-Chase
questions. The most crucial improve-
ment that "Hot Seat" should make is,
as Mouro said, making the questions
"a little racier," and perhaps more
geared to University students.
Running less than $20 dollars, "The
Game of Hot Seat" is at least priced
with college students in mind. It is cur-
rently available at Mail Boxes, Etc. on.
South State Street; Made in America,
also located on South State; and
Exclaim! on South University.

. im Am'

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