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April 13, 2000 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-13

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4C - Michigan Daily- Weetend, etc. Magazine- Thursday, April 13, 2000





The Michigarn y- Weekend,

Local climbers rock well at indoor mecca

Laura Fyer
Daily Arts Writer
A couple of years ago on a family
spring break trip to Arizona, I had a sud-
den urge to climb a small mountain in the
distance. My siblings shrugged off my
whimsical idea, but I wouldn't continue
hiking until I conquered that mountain.
My brother and I succeeded, though not
without a few cuts and bruises. The
injuries were worth the exhilaration I felt
from the sheer adventure of such an "off-

Laura Flyer claws her way to the top.

trail" climb. I didn't anticipate repeating
such a climb before the next time I trav-
eled. I had forgotten about the recent
surge of indoor rock climbing that could
give me the same degree of adrenaline.
Indoor rock climbing is the latest
round-the-corner climbing adventure.
Not only does it build various muscles
groups, it strengthens balance, coordina-
tion and ability to excel in outdoor climb-
ing. Fortunately, the round-the-corner
notion applies to students here in Ann
Arbor. Since opening last Thanksgiving
weekend, Planet Rock replaces an older,
much smaller climbing gym just off
Jackson Road. It is now supposedly the
largest indoor climbing gym in the world.
The place is unreal. Expecting a lame
panel covered with square wooden blocks
(probably a skewed memory from my
high school experience at a multi-sport
complex), I wats awed by the towering
multicolored metal walls brimming with
hundreds of exotic shapes - not unlike a
bunch of small, chopped-up body parts.
Planet Rock's omnipotent, surreal qual-
ity is due to the curved walls near the ceil-

ing. In fact, some areas literally have
blocks on the ceiling. This extreme climb-
ing task is handled by those brave, experi-
enced souls willing to tackle "lead climb-
ing" - thus, as manager Bryan Tavari
said, hanging onto the blocks "like a mon-
key." Sounds like my kind of playground.
I spent way too much time at Planet
Rock pondering the chances of clawing
onto a block with just my hands, let alone
with my feet while upside-down - the
strength needed exceeds my imagination.
The first time in Planet Rock is not the
carefree climb one might expect - this
baby takes work. The instructors didn't
pamper me by harnessing and belaying
me; I had to learn the ropes, so to speak,
all by myself And I had to be down with
climbing lingo to avoid miscommunica-
tion with my partner.
"It's a 'progress sport,"' said sopho-
more Taylor Christensen, an avid rock
climber who makes a weekly trip to
Planet Rock with her friends"It measures
how far you can go" I was definitely
panting from the exercise, but while I saw
a strenuous sport requiring some beefi-


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ness, others considered skill significant.
SNRE sophomore Jon Williams said,
"Lots of people think it's strength but it's
mostly technique"
Holding on for dear life was about the
most complicated technique I engaged in.
One of the amazing aspects of indoor
climbing is how your peers can push you
to unimagined heights. The highest parts
of Planet Rock's walls are over 50 feet,
and I thought I'd never be able to climb
anywhere near them. Yet as I saw my
friend scamper up the wall on her first try,
I knew I wasn't leaving the gym without
touching the highest block.
I was stunned with satisfaction to put
aside my intense fear of heights and reach
the top. While most of the climbers I
talked to denied such a fear, Planet Rock
employee LSA junior Valerie Smulders
said, "Actually, almost everyone I work
with has an extreme fear of heights."
Forcing myself to trust my partner as
she belayed me was the toughest part.
Upon descent, I literally had to sit back in
my harness and expect her to hold be
instead of letting me crash earthwards.
I saw climbing as a nice, fun hobby for
students who wanted to let out a little
steam, but that was until I met Zaza.
Zaza Aziz is his name. The phonetics
of his name reflects his image. A business
junior who works at Bivouac, Zaza is the
stud of Planet Rock, known to everyone
- he's there four to six hours a week.
"Climbing is movement-based; it can
train your body to withstand things you
do in everyday life. It's a skill you can
build your entire life." Zaza has spoken.
Still renovating, Planet Rock will add
three levels of bouldering caves, and pos-
sibly weight machines later. Currently
they stock loads of purchasable gear,g iz-
nos and beverages to give an edge to any
indoor rock climber, novice or expert.
Christensen summarized, "Climbing is
probably the best thing I've ever done:
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0 E
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tc Retro Recordings
Don't miss
Fab ("Soul"
By Chris Kula
Daily Arts Editor
Highlighting a Beatles album for its
unsung virtues is a difficult task, because
pretty much everything released by the
legendary Liverpoolrfoursome already
holds a lofty place in rock 'n' roll lore.
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club
Band" is revered as the epitome of the
modern studio album, while the "White
Album" is essentially unmatched in the
realm of double-disc releases. The contin-
uous, second-side
song montage of
The Beatles "Abbey Road" is
nearly as famous
Rubber Soul as the album's dis-
capitol tinctive crossing-
Released: 1965 the-street cover art,
even "Revolver" is
lauded by a good number of rock critics
as the Beatles' finest effort.
Alongside such high-profile record-
ings, it's sometimes easy to forget about
"Rubber Soul." And those who fail to
notice this 1965 pop classic are missing
out on the perfect opportunity to, quite lit-
erally, hear the Beatles reach musical
Though the the band's early hits had
already helped redefine the sound and
feel of rock, "Rubber Soul" represented
the Beatles' first successful attemnt at

Courtesy of Columbia Records
Marah's cleavage, what else is new? C'mon now, three albums to get back at your ex?
Maiah upchucks,
LD C fans upset



Hopwood Awards
Kasdan Scholarship
in Creative Writing
Arthur Miller Award
Jeffrey L. Weisberg Poetry Prize
Dennis McIntyre Prize
Chamberlain Award
for Creative Writing
Helen S. and John Wagner Prize
Andrea Beauchamp Prize
Robert F. Haugh Prize
Meader Family Award
Naomi Saferstein Literary Award
Leonard and Eileen Newman
Writing Prizes
Paul and Sonia Handleman
Poetry Award

Lecture b
Author of:
Kicking the Leaves
The Happy Man
The One Day
String Too Short
To Be Saved
Old and New Poems

making a complete album that functioned
more as a whole than simply a collection
of singles and filler material (in fact, the
Beach Boys' Brian Wilson was allegedly
inspired by "Rubber Soul's" quality and
coherence to create the epic "Pet Sounds."
In songs like the album-opening "Drive
My Car" and the go-go inspiring "The
Word," the band delves into mid-tempo
pop sweetness, layering jangly guitars
over the always merry bass lines of Paul
McCartney. The friendly, familiar signa-
ture riff of "Norwegian Wood (This Bird
Has Flown)" marked George Harrison's
earliest use of the Indian sitar, while the
organ-driven choruses of "I'm Looking
Through You" foreshadowed the band's
later ventures into light psychedelia. And
John Lennon's sentimental turn on "In
My Life" ("And these memories lose their
meaning/When I think of love as some-
thing new") might be the perfect sound-
track to a misty-eyed anniversary date.
Drenched in soothing harmonies and
replete with timeless melodies, "Rubber
Soul" is at its least pure sing-along satis-
faction, and at most a pivotal link in the
Beatles' transformation from chummy
moptops into popular music icons.

r Pop diva Mariah Carey did more
than throw one of her famous fits last
week - what she threw was "up." After
consuming a plateful of raw oysters, the
famous singer fell sick, thanks to the
Vibrio vilnificus bacterium. Bio majors
may notice this is in the same bacterial
family as cholera. Nothing brings a pop
diva down to the level of us mere mor-
tals better than having to-sit on a toilet
all day. She's recovering fine, but do we
really care?"
W Many underoccupied prepubes-
cent girls are all a-twitter with the news
that Leonardo DiCaprio (I'm of the
opinion "The Beach" forfeited him the
right to be called just "Leo") would be
interviewing the president about envi-
ronmental issues for an ABC-TV spe-
cial. Well, the interview has taken place,
but internal squabbling at ABC contin-
ues to hold up matters amid questions to
DiCaprio's journalistic legitimacy (and
ABC's, fresh on the heels of their
ambush of 6-year-old Elian Gonzales
and hard-hitting "Good, Morning
America" sit-down with the
wwwpets.com sock puppet).
In an act of craven ass-covering that
would seem reprehensible if it didn't
hang DiCaprio out to dry so thoroughly,
ABC news boss David Westin reported-
ly has said, "We did not send him to
interview the president. No one is that
stupid" The commander-in-chief him-
self, however, has acted genuinely puz-
zled about ABC's sudden cold feet.
Looks like what ABC had planend as a
publicity stunt has turned into an inter-
nal fiasco. No word on whether the
"interview" will air, but we can only
hope this will make DiCaprio look
dumber than he does already.
A Speaking of dumb celebrities, the
monumental failure that was Planet
Hollywood- may be ressurected by
investor Wilbur Ross. Thank God he's
saving this Schwarzenegger/
Stallone/Willis founded chain of restau-
rants. Where else can you order shrimp
breaded in Cap'n Crunch while staring
at a framed pair of Arnold's underwear
from "Conan the Barbarian?" Not at the
Gandy Dancer, that's for sure.
*'While most of us have been disap-
pointed watching Chelsea Clinton grow

up into a nappy variation of"Felicity," at
last we have a celeb's daughter worthy
of drooling over. No matter how much
of a bastard you think Donald Trump is,
you can't deny his daughter, Ivanka, is
H-O-T. The 18-year-old model bares,
well, a lot in GQ's most recent issue.
She's not only nice to look at, she plans
to go into business when she gets older.
With any luck, campus PR types will
lobby her to come to Michigan so she
can inject a little sizzle into our B-
a Something almost as arousing as
Ivanka is the prospect of bringing some
real martial arts action to the "Matrix"
franchise. While the first film had a
bunch of Australian actors and, ahem,
Keanu Reeves duking it out, the
Wachowski brothers are apparently try-
ing to get Jet Li to play a role in the
upcoming "Matrix 2" I'm hoping for a
scene where Jet gets into a fight with
Neo over Trinity. Rawr.
r After playing the same hackneyed,
sentimental character in every film from
"Mrs. Doubtfire" to "Bicentennial
Man," Robin Williams may finally have
a role worth looking into. In "First
Person Plural," Williams plays a charac-
ter with 24 different personalities. This
role seems to be tailored specifically for
the maniacal actor whose onetime
cocaine binges were actually peaceful
compared to his stage act.
0 In a headlining article titled "Pix
Nix Crix Shticks," showbiz weekly
Variety reports Hollywood is dissatis-
fied with the film critics across the
nation. Apparently, they haven't found
enough media whores that bill their
films as "The feel-good flick of the sea-
son" or "Best of the Decade!" or "On a
scale of I to 10, this rates a 13!"- even
if the film they are talking about is
"Supernova." Let's see, that means
either film critics are film illiterates or
that Hollywood makes a lot of schlock
like "Supernova." Bear in mind that I'm
a film critic, but I'm leaning towards the
- Compiled by Daily Arts writer
David Victor Page 6( wwwpage6.comn),
E! (wwiveonline.com) and Mi: Showbiz
(wwwmrshowbiz.com) contributed to
the report.

Top 10 Pop All
(The nation's best-selling alur
1. 'N Sync, "No Strings
2. Carlos Santana, "Su
3. Soundtrack, "Rome
- 4. Sisqo, "Unleash the
5. Drag-On, "Opposite c
6. Dr. Dre, "2001"
7. Ice Cube, "War'and I
8. Destiny's Child,."Th
9. Macy Gray, "On How
10. DMX, " ... And The
Top 10 Books
(The weeks best-selling hardc
1. "Back Roads," Tawn
2. "The Brethren," Johr
3. "Carolina Moon," No
4. "Daughter of Fortun
5. "Bridget Jones: The
6. "Gap Creek," Robert
7. "The Lion's Game," I
8. "Beowulf," Seamus I
9. "Day of Reckoning,".
10. "Timeline," Michae
Top 10 Movie
(Who released them and how
1. "Rules of Engagement
2. "Erin Brockovich," Un
3. "The Road to El Dorad
4. "Retum to Me," MGM
5. "The Skulls," Universal
6. "Ready to Rumble," W
7. "Romeo Must Die,"
8. "High Fidelity," Touc
9. "Final Destination," N
10. "American Beauty," D
Continued from Page 12C
ask what parts of Europe:
iting, say, "Man, forget t
bullshit: I'm going to W
them you'll be working
on the casino floor and
looking forward to cate
at their own game.
Then get really close
and whisper, "You don't
know what we do to
Canada, eh."
Explain how you'
drive an ice cream truck a
but you'll put a new s
frozen treat business an
older crowd by selling C
stick ("Works every su
Bartles & Jaymes bottl
Kahlua creamsicles. Anc
playing a merry version c
the Weasel," your rig wil
George Thorogood's "(
One Bourbon, One Beer'
Say you're going t
summer with the r
Zapatistas in Mexic
viciously with the mache
mentally prepare for your


The 2000 Hopwood
will be announced
Tuesday, April 18
at 3:30
in the Rackham
Free and Open to the


vrv wr.


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