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December 12, 2000 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-12-12

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R -The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 12, 2000

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Road Rock, Vol. I, Neil Young;
Reprise Records
iy Christian Hoard
I)aily Arts Writer
Were you to compile a list of things
America simply doesn't need any
more of, you'd be justified in scrawl-
ing "live albums by Neil Young"
somewhere near the top, just below
lawyers, guns and "Moesha"
Road Rock, Vol. I is, by my count,
Neil's 1 1th live record, but instead of
lambasting him for overexposure,
overkill and overindulgence, perhaps
we should ask why he gets away with
all of those sins.
In large part, he gets away with
them because he still knows how to
make those wonderful old songs
sound damn good in a live setting.
There's nothing groundbreaking here,
ofcoursejust solid versions of sever-
al oldies, including "Words," "Walk
On" and a 16-minute "Cowgirl in the
Sand" that ought to show aspiring
garage rockers just how to reach
grunge nirvana.by channeling distor-
tion, sloppiness and a stomping,
straight-ahead groove.
Drummer Jim Keltner and bassist
Duck Dunn, hired guns called in to
play on Young's Silier and Gold
album, pull off a credible Crazy
Songs Forn anAmerican Movie
Vol.1 Good Songs for a BadAttitude,
Everclear; Capitol
By Chris Kula
Daily rts Editor
So I was all strung out on heroin,
right?'And I was in this band, right?
And we were totally living the rock
star hfestyle, except we weren't anything
bigger than a regional name. But then I
sobered up and wrote this tune "Santa
Monica," and it just blew up in the mid-
90s; and suddenly we were a national
success.
Arfd I had this - what do they call it?
- moment of clarity: What if I just
wrote a bunch of songs that sounded like
our hit? They'd all be hits, right? Hell
yeah they would.
And I was right. Every single we've
released since 1995 has pretty much been
the same thing, and, dude, trust me: It's
been'sooo easy. I find a simple hook on
my six-string, I write lyrics about some-
thing like drug abuse or a bad childhood,
I tell my drummer and bassist to play
loud and proud and we take it to the stu-
dio. Then we wash out the guitar, over-
dub some ragged vocals (I always try to
fit in a good "Oh-h!" or a solid "Yeah-

Norse imitatton, content to iet Neil
shred on his guitar as they pound
away in the background. Road Rock
is, after all, typical live Neil Young -
mostly shabby, sometimes breathtak-
ing, shot through with long jams and
a tender moment here and there (this
time, "Peace of Mind" provides the
latter).
Each of Road Rcks eight tracks
- including a decent run-through of
"All Along the Watchtower," with
Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders on
vocals - sound casually tossed off,
half-serious and probably not worth
the time of anyone who places a pre-
rtium on innovation. Then again, you
could say the same thing about Neil's
best records.
Grade: C+
h!") and that's that: Everclear radio hit
#5. Or is it #6? 1 can't even remember.
What's even harder to remember is
which radio hit's on which album. You
see, we're going concept these days: We
released two albums - two volumes of
the same album, really -- within a cou-
ple months of each other, and I can't
recall if "Rock Star" is the first hit off
our second volume, or if "Wonderful" is
the second hit off of our first volume or
what! But I'm pretty sure that "Short
Blonde Hair" is on the second volume,
and I'm siie it's a hit - I mean, why
write songs that aren't hits?
Grade: C-
.'--,--.. --r----

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Annual

Restless, Xzibit; Loud Records
By Dustin Seibert
Daily Arts Writer
It seems as if I have been greeted with
disappointing releases all year from my
favorite MCs from whom I had such high
expectations of. Be it De La Soul,
Prodigy, Jay-Z or the Wu-Tang, the new
century seems to have had a plaguing
effect on the rap industry's true talent. For
this reason, I was quite skeptical when I
picked up the extremely long-awaited
Restless LP, the third album from Mr. X-
to-the-Z. His first album, At The Speed Of
Life, is hands down one of the greatest
records I own, and that being the case, I
was hesitant to shove the disc into the
deck of my car. Much to my delight, the
album did not at all disappoint. Xzibit is
just as furious as ever on the microphone,
bearing one of the best rhyme styles to
come from the West Coast.
Lately, he has been one of the most
requested guest MC's for a wide array of
artists, ranging from Ras Kass to Eminem
to Limp Bizkit to Reflection Eternal.
These guest appearances have made the
public hungry for this Los Angeles, Calif.
native who did his thing on an under-
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ground level with Tha Alkaholiks before
hooking up with Dr. Dre, yielding him -
more commercial recognition. Xzibit "-
remains, however, on the endangered
species list of rappers who haven't sacri-
ficed the original quality of their lyrics in "
orderto appease to the public - his skills
have not deteriorated a bit through the
course of six years, three albums and '
countless guest appearences. His raspy"
voiced, hard-hitting flow can successfully
carry the worst of beats, and the worst of
rappers (see: Snoop Dogg).
His album features a diverse cast of
guest artists and producers, who all come succeed in this task.
together to concoct a definitive West Each listen of the album afterwards
Coast album. Look out for Defari, Goldie only confirmed my original impression.
Loc and Kokane over Soopafly on "Rimz Extremely wack hooks aside, fans of
& Tirez," a joint you can't help but bop either coast should appreciate this
your head to. "Been A Long Time" fea- album, which would have made a
turing Nate Dogg, shows Xzibit at a rare killing had it been released during the
calmness that comes off as a "feel-good" summer. While it dosen't quite top the
record that'll provide a bit of warmth dur- classic that was his first album, it is a
ing this terrible weather. "Alkaholik," fea- notch above his sophomore effort, 40
turing the talents of X's Alkaholiks Dais and 40 Nights (Loud). It will also
breatheren Tash and J-Ro over production go down as one of the better albums of
by Erik Sermon, made me fiend for a new the year 2001-not saying much, but this
Likwit Crew album. one is a must-have regardless. Buy it,
It's so rare that I can appreciate the most definitely.
majority of the tracks after my first listen
of any album, and Restless managed to Grade: B+

Cha-Chu Slide, various artist.
MOB Records/Universal Recur
By W. Jacar Melton
t)aily Arts \Vriitr
I have to start off by saying that
was living in Chicago this summ
at the height of the Cha-Cha Slide
popularity. I came out of a el
once and people had "ChaC
Slide" blaring out of their car sy
tems as they did the slide in -tI
street.
I would turn on the radio a
someone would be requestin
Casper's "Cha-Cha Slide" and I
find myself wondering why. T
song is damn annoying, not to met
tion it sucks.
Now I'm wondering wh
Universal decided to put out a C
with this song as the suppose
draw. The answer is simpk
"Macarena." "Macarena" prove
that a stupid song about nothi
could make a few people a lot'
money. Hence, why not try it wit
the "Cha-Cha Slide"?
Actually, the song did have a po
pose at one time. Casper, the song
lead vocalist, created the Cha-Ch
slide as a workout with muic'
accompaniment while he was
trainer at a Chicago gym. The wor
out grew increasingly popular"
Casper became a musical Bi
Blanks and pushing the song "s
much that a local radio statto
began playing it.
While "Cha-Cha Slide" isn't t
only song on the disc, it do
appear four times on the 1-tr
release. The rest of the "ChaC
Slide" album consists of mo
"slide" songs and others mimickin
the Chicago house music style p
ularized by Ten City.
Needless to say, these tracksa
wack, too,
Well, it looks like Univeral
plan failed miserably. "Cha-C
Slide" just doesn't have wh
"Macarena" did. For the sake of
all, let's hope no song ever has wh
"Macarena" did, whatever that wa
Grade: D
them Collars," dubiously reminds
that the Doggfather has gone,.Vi
Corleone-style, into the ground.
"Would You" is stacked full
brilliant word-smithing: "I wan
thug witcha' ya; make luv witcha
smoke bud witcha'." Could we a
please take a moment to reflect
the genius in these lyrics?
"It Don't Get No Better" conti
ues the lyrical prowess utilizing
rhyming couplet pretty exclusive
Master P is kind enough to entre
us to such gems as "It don't get
better; me and my soldiers gon
stick together." The title of th
ambitious song reminds the listen
that it does get better, because thy
is only one song left.
Ghetto Postage's final song;.
whimsical and wistful, with Master
P covering the tattoos and bear
his heart. "Always Come Back to
You" reflects on the loss of some
friends that he used to "ride" with,
and looks sadly at his lonely future.
The trademark "Unh," is- long
over done, and yes Master P does
still miss his homies. Master' P is
finding out the hard way that letters
do always come back to you when.
you stamp them with Gh 'tto
Postage.
Grade: D+

Instruemelstals, Mouse on
Mars;Thrill Jockey
By Kelly Vile
Daily Arts'sriter
It's the super organic granola
crunch of electronics: A universe of
quiet, yet deceivingly complex,
inspired and beautiful music. This is
what you remember of your child-
hood years. You were floating in
space; meeting aliens and maybe
sharing your lollipop with them. You
were doing back flips all the while
listening attentively to unfamiliar
sounds that overlapped and repeated.
You were carefree and frequenting
the outer worlds of the galaxy. All of
these feelings are recognizable emo-
tions in a new enviornment.
Now those other worlds can be
found through a long car ride or a
relaxing stretch onto the couch.
Mouse on Mars' Instrumentals will
serve as a tour guide tugging you
along to these new worlds. This is
music not just for the background; it
is engaging so that you have a strong
desire to find out what comes next.
When you are really open to hearing,
you can detect new sounds upon
each listen. The record is both some-
thing mellow and extremely active:
It's dreaming music and it's dancing
music.
Mouse on Mars' Andi Toma and
Jan St. Werner from Germany say
that their music comes from space.
This is an interpretation of space
appropriate for a wide range of lis-
teners, as it deftly escapes being cat-
egorized and shelved away at the top
of a dusty collection. Mouse on
Mars's Instrumentals was formerly
released on limited edition vinyl in
1997, and is now out on CD due to
popular demand.
Grade: A-

Ghetto Postage, Master P; No
Limit Records
By Luke Smith
16)y Arts Wtcr
Open the mailbag: It's Ghetto
Postage. Cryptically titled, this lat-
est record is a stock rap album.
Master P unleashes his latest No
Limit recording in a smoke-filled
haze of songs that sound the same.
The failed Charlotte Hornet is back
and this time brings his letter from
the ghetto with him.
"B 1 like" is wistful, moaning
about his lucky friend who is bang-
ing some hot girl. Original.
Master P uses a couple non-musi-
cal interludes that simulate phone
calls in which he shamelessly plugs
his own record, talking about how
'hype' it is. Or something.
The record bangs home its futility
with Master P's all too clever lyric
"I'm the black Slim Shady so don't
try to play me." Folks, now we have
Master P wishing he was Marshall
Mathers, who incidentally wishes
he was black. Ah, circularity.
Ghetto Postage continues its
overall genius with the interweaving
of rap pup Snoop Doggy Dogg,
whose best days are long past. His
support on the first single "Poppin'

THE TH DAY (PG-13) 11:20, 9:30
BOUNCE (PG-13)
12:10, 2:30 4:45, 7:10, 9:15
LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE (PG-13)
2:10, 4:40, 7:05
LITTLE NICKY (PG-13)7:55, 9:45
MEN OF HONOR (R)
11E251:55,425,6:55, 9:35
CHARLIES ANGELS (PG-13)
11:10, 1:20, 3:20, 5:30, 7:40, 9:45
MEET THE PARENTS (PG-13)
12:20, 2:35, 4:40, 7:35, 9:50
C "OtUPON
Bag of Buttery Popcorn
ON WT TISA M

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