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March 09, 1999 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-09

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yxperience Ann Arbor's tradition of open mics. The Terraplanes U Norma Desmond traipses down her stairs in "Sunset Boulevard"
host an Open Mic Blues Jam in the Tap Room of the Michigan each night this month at the Detroit Opera House. Come back
Union ground floor at 9:30 p.m. Conor O'Neill's invites all for an tomorrow for a review.
open mic Celtic jam at 9 p.m. The Blind Pig has an
advance-booked open mic at 10 p.m., featuring Limited
Time Offer and The Velvet Beat. All are free. Tuesday
March 9, 1999
ilson rides California wave back with solo tour

By Ted Watts
Daily Arts Writer
When you think of influential musi
who do you think of? Trent Re
Madonna? Notorious B.IG.? Get you
out of the sand and smell the '60s,
Brian Wilson, the creative meteorite b,
t Beach Boys, is going on his firs
tour ever, and it begins tonight in Ann .a
The Beach Boys were of course the
ningly important band in the '60s thai
from making p
surf singles to chst
the way people, est
Br I~t ly musicians, liste
music with the co
Wilson "Pet Sounds" albur
: igan Theatre Brian Wilson, th
Tsnght at 7:30. ving force of the
Boys up throug
time was not esp<
visible during the
and early '80s,
because his outpu
of a poorer qualiy
because he pro
between little ar,
music during the period. In a recent
view with The Michigan Daily, Wilso
cased his feel for making music throug
rs. "It got worse. Actually it got b
then it got a little worse ... I was
inspired heh as I used to be ... I don't
it just over the years kinda went away'"
Wilson has been experiencing a r
sance of sorts in recent years. He was
nated for best box set at this year's Grat
demonstrating the continued appeal c
older material. And at least some of his
ration seems to be returning, as h
Streep's V1
By Matthew Barrett
and Aaron Rich
Daily Arts Writers
The Zack attack is back. Mark-Paul
Gosselaar, immortalized by his role
a the scheming Zach Morris on
"Saved By the
Bell," returns
with "Dead Man
New On .on Campus."
This dry as toast
Video This comedy features
Week Gosselaar as a
struggling stu-
dent (big reach)
who must do what most first-year stu-
Iats contemplate when their room-
tme gets a little too annoying: kill
'em. No word on whether Mario
Lopez makes an unbilled cameo, but
we hear that Dustin Diamond is
always up for reprising the role of
Samuel "Screech" Powers.
She can get all the nominations in the
world and win all the Oscars that she
wants, but she'll never be our "One
True Thing." Here, Meryl Streep stars
as a sick mother who spends the movie
l ding with her journalist daughter,
ed by Renee Zellweger. William
Hurt stars as Streep's controlling hus-
band, and ponders whether or not the
accent is one of Meryl's basic needs.
There are no easy answers.

released more new recordings in the past five
years than for the 20 years preceding them.
The current tour is yet another good sign,
although it seems to be going for the com-
mercial throat as opposed to the innovative.
Still, a retrospective of his work with the
Beach Boys and as a solo artist is an encour-
aging sign of outreach from the uniquely
introverted songwriter.
"We wanted (to play) songs people could
tap their foot to, you know?" said Wilson.
"(The set) is about 22 songs long ... It starts
with 'California Girls,' and then it goes to
'South America."'
In spite of the unavoidably balmy tone of
the set list, the four-date tour is set in the
upper Midwest "because Joe Thomas figured
out I was pretty popular around that area ..
(We're) playing to my strengths ... It's Joe
Thomas on keyboard, me on keyboard, and
the Wondermints will back us up."
The tour is curiously short. "Yeah, yeah,
just to see how I like it, how it feels. And if I
like it, we'll do more." If his legions of fans
are lucky, Wilson will like it. He seems
upbeat about music in general, and about his
future studio output in particular: "I don't
know when we're going to do our next solo
album, I don't know. But probably in a year
from now." Considering the dearth of Brian
Wilson albums in the past, this is unexpect-
edly productive, and could conceivably carry
over into his touring habits.
It has taken years of development for Brian
Wilson to reach this point in his career. "I like
to rock 'n' roll. I believe in rock 'n' roll music,"
he explained. "First record (I bought was)
'Rock Around the Clock.' I bought it cuz I
loved the beat and I liked the sound of it."
That love of music led to the creation of

to "Pet Sounds" was never completed, and
Brian Wilson fell into his unproductive
decades, to the disappointment of those
excited by what he had last released.
But in the ellipse of his career, little
changed for Wilson. "Only the new technol-
ogy. I don't cut live tracks like I used to
where everyone plays at once. We do one
instrument at a time." It's not really surpris-
ing that using computers to keep track of
what sound is doing what may be all that's
changed, since there was such a fundamental
stop in Wilson's art.
Others never stopped being overtly influ-
enced by Brian Wilson's music, however.
From Paul McCartney to His Name is Alive,
Wilson has been praised by other musicians
non-stop for 30 years. "It's quite a pump up,
it's quite an honor" he commented sedately.
Recently he has been preparing for thc tour.
"I've just been hanging out at the piano, just
trying to write tunes ... I can't write all the
time. I can play the piano. I don't get too
inspired these days, I don't know why. That's
not the word; I get inspired, but I'm having
trouble finishing songs that I start," Wilson
chuckled.
Other than music, Wilson has laid back
interests at this point in his life. "I take baths
... I use Bath Therapy salt. I don't do bubble
bath ... I also like exercise, like to exercise a
bit. Treadmill."
Wilson also relies on exercise when he
encounters a creative block. "I get up from
the piano and take a run ... We have five
dogs here, but I run alone."
Brian Wilson will not be alone on stage
tonight, but it will be surprising if people pay
attention to anyone else. As it turns out, he
may have been made for these times after all.

Courtesy of Waner Brothers
Brian Wilson will appear tonight at the Michigan Theater, Hawaiian shirt in tow, of course.
hits like "Surfin' Safari" and "Good Girls' ... I think the sound that we put in
Vibrations." The surf guitar and vocal har- made it a good record. The layering of the
monies that the Beach Boys used combined tracks and the echo and everything."
in a way that struck a chord with music lis- Wilson's obsession with densely layering
teners. But these things are not what Brian his music led to deeply aurally complex com-
Wilson finds most admirable in his oeuvre. positions, but also ultimately to a breakdown
"I'm probably (proudest of) 'California of the process. The planned follow up album

deo weeps

Robin hugs Annabella in "Dreams."
Named the worst movie of 1998 by
a few esteemed critics, "What Dreams
May Come" storms its way onto video
shelves today. This special effects
extravaganza shows the rarely-seen
kinder, gentler side of funny man
Robin Williams. Cuba Gooding Jr.,
who amazed us with his dramatic
depth in "Judgment Night," comes
back with a vengeance as a mysterious
angel who tells Robin how to keep it
real in the pie in the sky. Watch and
find out why Max von Sydow has
decided that foreign movies are superi-
or to domestic flicks.

Zigman tames wild of
Luman relationships

Animal Husbandry
Laura Z igman
The Dial Press
Women who were disappointed by this
*s Valentine's Day can relate to Jane
(odall, not the anthropologist, but the
main character of "Animal Husbandry."
Goodall is one bitter, bitter woman. She
has just been dumped by her co-worker
Ray, a J. Crew model look-alike, after a
mere three months of bliss.
This book, all 300 pages of it, is about
Jane's struggle to get over Ray. Jane
resorts to researching males of all species
i hopes of finding some consolation.
stalks Ray by rummaging through
his drawers at work and by calling his
answering machine to listen to his voice,
the stalking mode of choice in the pre-
caller ID era. The result is a character that
is at times psychotic, yet admittedly so.
In addition to obsessing over her ex, Jane
smokes, drinks and swears too much. So
while Jane is certainly off-kilter, she is
also lovably faulted if not downright
identifiable.
Jane, armed with her best friends, a
*ale peer of the same socioeconomic
status and a sympathetic gay male,
becomes any woman who has ever been
dumped and can't seem to get past it. The
difference lies in how she deals with this
grief. Her approach to coping is through
never-ending amounts of research on
male behavior in animals and humans,
both read and observed.
Jane finds startling evidence that it is

inherent formalesto leave femalesinmost
animal species as well as in all walks of
human life. And what originally appears to
be a clever metaphor for this poor girl
being thrown out on herrump later proves
to be the premise and the hyper-extended
metaphor ofthe entire book
From a feminist standpoint, at times
Jane is portrayed as a liberated, success-
ful woman. She has a high position in the
business world and she puts her energy
into this beneficial research project, ulti-
mately writing a renowned article for a
magazine. But at times, Jane is portrayed
as utterly pathetic, for she proves herself
incapable of functioning properly and
healthily without a man. At times the
reader wants to shut Jane's pitiful mouth
if she again mentions Ray's "washboard
stomach." Through all of this she comes
across as presumably husband-hungry.
The plot, in addition to the character of
Jane Goodall, is faulted because itsis too
stereotypical. The women in the book are
dumped unequivocally and the men are
hated oppressors, even extracting plea-
sure from their hurting victims. The only
respectable male in the book is gay. This
results in borderline male-bashing and a
plot that serves the author's purpose too
fittingly to be believable.
Despite the book's shortcomings, it is
the soon-to-be standard prescription for
the broken-hearted woman. It is the first
recommended read for one who wants to
laugh through her post-relationship tears.
Reading "Animal Husbandry" makes
any women's situation, no matter how
desperate, seem slightly less pathetic.
- Gina Hamadey

i

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