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January 05, 2001 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-05

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Get punched where it hurts!
you know what a Donkey Punch is.
That's right, it's a horn-powered rock
amd that's having a CD release party
,tovight at the Blind Pig! Doors at 9:30.
The Articles and Remainder open.
4nichigandaily.com /arts

ARTS

FRIDAY
JANUARY 5, 2001

5

MVore proof that good music died with

Cobain:'
By C.D. Hoard
aly Arts Writer
Some albums are so popular or well-
espected that they'll never be forgot-
ten, some simply fade into obscurity,
and some are so bad that it's probably
better that we not remember them.
And then there are those records that
'have carved out a place for themselves
in the annals of rock history solely by
virtue of their overwhelming awful-
ness. Anyone who's ever come across a
opy of Atilla's self-titled record (wide-
considered to be the worst rock
album of all time) or shouted along
with the chorus to Poison's "Nothin'
but a Good Time" knows that only a
select few records can achieve the per-
verse sort of greatness that comes with
sucking royally.
Like any other year, 2000 had its fair
share of bad records, from collections
of half-baked tunes thrown together in
hopes of making a buck or reclaiming
ast glory to discs that were simply the
W-duct of someone's seriously skewed
artistic vision. In the spirit of celebrat-
iig the truly terrible, here are my picks
for last year's 10 worst.
10) Marvelous 3, Read sex go
Just when you thought the hair-band
sound was permanently relegated to
Best of the Eighties collections and
_episodes of "Behind the Music," we
have Readvsexgo, on which the
*tlpnta-based Marvelous 3 dish out 13
spngs full of stupid, jokey rhymes and
Plant choruses shamelessly copped
;rom Def Leppard and Motley Crue
Aihums. It's supposed to be both funny
and fun, I think, but it's just really stu-
pid - and not the wholesome, "pop"
ind of stupid, but stupid like that guy
*Oho yells out "Freebird!" at a concert.
9) Pink Floyd, Is There AnYbody Out
There? The Wall Lite 1980-81
It's hard to rip on s There Anhodi'
itThere? The /ll Live 1980-81
without implicitly bad-mouthing The
Wi/l, Pink Floyd's epic 1980 double-
album. Though it was recorded live
during the tour that followed The Wa/l.'

The worst albums of 2000

Courtesy of 8MG/ Jive
Come get it? Come get your beating, you little punk! The fact that you didn't write any
of the songs doesn't excuse you from releasing the seventh worst album of 2000.

release, Is There Anibod Out There?
is, by and large, a note-for-note remake
of the studio version of the record, right
down to David Gilmour's refined guitar
solos and Roger Waters' slightly-dis-
cordant vocals. The real appeal of see-
ing The Wll performed live had a lot to
do with the show's stunning visual
impact, which, unfortunately, doesn't
translate too well to a CD. As such,
hardcore Floydians might appreciate Is
There Anvlbodv Out The're:s very subtly
nuanced performances, but it's equally
true that less zealous fans were no
doubt duped into forking over SI5
bucks for a disc that, more or less, they
already owned.
8) agT eam, The Best OfThg Team
Quick: Name your two favorite Tagl
Team songs. Props to anyone able to
come up with something besides
"Whoomp! (There It Is)," the one and
only hit these party music playas ever
scored - unless, of course, you count
"Addams Family (Whoomp)" and
"Bulls! There It Is," which was for the
1993 Chicago b-ballers what "U Can't
Touch This" was for the 1990 Detroit
Pistons. And speaking of "U Can't

Touch This," if Tag Team can put out
this best-of collection, Hammer's
greatest hits package can't be far
behind.
7) Aaron Carter, Aaron , Party
(Come Get It)
Aaron's Partr (Comne Get It) might
not at first seem to be any worse than
any other of the teen pop that clogged
the airwaves during 2000 - until you
consider that the kid is 12 years old and
probably hasn't even had a sex-ed class
vet, whereas Britney, Christina et. al.
are at least old enough to appear in the
dirty fantasies of normal people, as
opposed to, say, pedophiles and other
weirdos. At his age, Carter ought to be
paying his dues on "The Mickey
Mouse Club" or "Star Search," not
putting out a record with an alarmingly
suggestive title and a cover of Bow
Wow Wow's "I Want Candy." Let's just
hope he's talking about real candy, not
the metaphorical sort.
6) Firehouse, 02
Remember Firehouse'? Although it
sounds as though 02 catches these vet-
eran hair-rockers at their nadir, they
might just be a good deal smarter than
we would at first give them credit for.
After all, 02 sounds enough like the
Firehouse of old (exactly like the
Firehouse of old, in fact) to appeal to
anyone whose eves went misty when
"Love of a Lifetime" came on the air
- as well as pop culture-loving smar-
tasses like me who put together these
"Worst Records of the Year" lists.
5) Jeff Bridges, Be lier Soon
Even if renowned actor Jeff Bridges
could sing - and he can't -- Be Here
Soon would be a pretty awful record, as
evidenced by lite-rock duds like
"Buddha & Christ at Large" and the
ultra-cheesy "She Lay Her Whip
Down," which sounds something like
Michael Bolton covering the Band's
"We Can Talk" while doing a mush-
mouthed Peabo Bryson impression. It's
enough to make Keanu Reeves' band
(which also released a pretty awful
record this year) sound like the frigging

Beatles.
4) Various Artists, C'ha-Cha Slide
Really more of an excuse to market a
single than an honest-to-goodness
record, Cha-Cha Slide was rushed out
by Universal Records when the
record's title track spawned a minor
dance craze last summer. Having been
dreamt up by a fitness trainer named
Casper (who sang lead on the studio
version of the track) as fodder for his
workouts, the "Cha-Cha Slide" itself
had utilitarian beginnings, which didn't
prevent the Universal execs from trying
to turn it into the next "Macarena."
Needless to say, the popular reception
of both the "Cha-Cha Slide" and the
seven other tunes that were tossed onto
this disc was a tad underwhelming.
3) A*Teens, The ABBA Generation
Just in case you couldn't handle the
"mature" sound of these dance-floor
classics as made famous by the adult
members of ABBA, these Swedish
teenagers have re-recorded them for
you, more or less matching the origi-
nals note-for-note while adding a heavy
dose of pubescent cutesiness. It just
goes to show you: These days, a good
pop tune isn't really a good pop tune
unless it's recorded by someone who
Just got their learner's permit.
2) Fozzv, ko_:.-
One of the few records on this list
whose awfulness might have been
intended (or at least expected) by its
creators, Fozzy is probably the comedy
album of the year. Fozzy are fronted by
WWF wrestler Chris Jericho, and if
that doesn't tell you all you need to
know about the music, the yarn told in
the liner notes, which are supposedly
written by a macazine editor named
"Shoji Mochizuki," should suffice:
Having found that the only way to
escape a raw record deal was to leave
the States, the group spent 20 years in
Japan, where they wowed audiences,
made timeless records and became
"like Emperors." After catching wind
that every pop-metal superstar froiii
Ozzv to Skid Row had ripped off their
material, Fozzy returned stateside and
now hopes to claim their rightful posi-
tion as the kings of the genre that's
been declining in popularity for the
past decade. lust think of this as
"Spinal Tap: The Next Generation."
I ) Yngwie Malmsteeni, r1 to End
All Wirs
Malmsteen. who is best known as the
virtuoso guitarist with the funny name,
is apparently under the impression that
it's 1976. Either that or Mer to End/All
Wrs is the finest Iron Maiden / Rush
tribute album ever made, what with the
cover shot of two medieval dudes bat-
tling in some dungeon basement, song
titles like "Arpeggios From Hell," a
vocalist screeching lyrics like "Climb
up the mountain that reaches the sky /
Up there there's a tower a thousand
miles high" and the guitar pyrotechnics
of Malmsteen, who wanks so much that
he's in danger of pulling his you-know-
what out of socket.

Courtesy of USA Films

Catherine Zeta-Jones stars in Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic."

Dir Soderbergh
navigates multiple

plots 1n
By Christopher Cousino
D)Iily Arts WiIter

'Traffic'

In his latest film "Traffic," director
Steven Soderbergh makes a bold,
brash mark in the film inidustry --
hands down, he's slowly become one

Traffic
Grade: A
At QuaUty 16.Showcase
& State
ihn

of the best work-
ing directors
there is today.
Since his break-
through debut,
"Sex, Lies and
Vid eotape,"
which sparked
the entire indie
film explosion,
Soderbergh has
honed his craft
in visuals and
style, making
some of the
most vivid char-

acter dramas, filled with daringly
cool filmmaking and outright origi-
nality.
In a Woody Allen-like way, he
churns out a solid film a year (1998's
"Out of Sight," 1999's "The Limey,"
2000's "Erin Brockovich"). And here,
he hands us the landmark "Traffic," a
complex epic with multiple plotlines
set in seven different cities, about the
drug trafficking in America and U.S.
war on drugs.
Using various visual techniques
(different lighting, grainy film stock,
blow out footage) to distinguish
between each separate storyline,
Soderbergh takes a big risk of making
a film too gimmicky and succeeds
brilliantly. Through the drastic shifts
from cool blue Columbus to bright
San Ysidro to grainy, piss-yellow
Tijuana, Soderbergh creates an unde-
niable intensity in "Traffic"
Shot, at times, using handheld cam-
eras, "Traffic" feels alive as it unfolds
before our eyes. Arid Soderbergh is
just the director for this task - he's
courageous enough to open a large
scale film with stars such as Michael
Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones
entirely in Spanish.
Beginning his film in the dusty
desert of Mexico, policeman entre-
penuer Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez
(Benicio Del Toro) apprehends a nar-
cotics cargo from several farmers,
only to be intercepted by provincial

General Salazar. Across the border,
DEA agents Montel Gordon and Ray
Castro (Don Cheadle and Luis
Guzman) try to bag the testimony of
informant Eduardo Ruiz (Miguel
Ferrer), who is connected to a major
drug cartel leader Carlos Ayala.
Ohio court justice Robert
Wakefield (Douglas) gets appointed
the position of the new drug czar to
the president of the U.S. while, unbe-
knownst to him, his daughter spirals
farther into a serious drug problem.
Similarly, Ayala's wife Helena (Zeta-
Jones) panics when the DEA storms
her house and takes her husband off
to jail.
These are the characters and the
stories that fuel the two hour and 19
minute epic. Across the board the act-
ing is stellar - from Douglas, who
follows the pertormance of his career
in "Wonder Boys" with an equally
strong, tender portrayal of the con-
fused, strained Wakefield to Zeta-
Jones, whose character are is a hell of
a bravura turn for an actress best
known for "The Mask of Zorro."
Soderbergh gets the best perfor-
mances out of his actors by giving
them freedom to move with the cam-
era as he whirls around and around,
letting the camera run a second to
long to catch a naturally beautiful
moment on screen.
Like most of Soderbergh's film, the
use of jump cutting is an obvious
technique and he's today's master at
using it at the right moments and
weaving it in so subtly it ushers in the
desired jolting effect.
What makes "Traffic" so special,
however, is it's overall handling of the
drug trafficking issue and the war on
drugs. The film clearly shows that
there is no one way to solve it as
Wakefield simply states "How do you
wage war on your own family?"
Without being overt or in-your-face,
Soderbergh explores everything from
government corruption, NAFTA,
issues of race, border control, person-
al drug habits, rehab and ultimately,
the DEA and the seemingly futile
fight against drugs.
"Traffic" is a film about what's
going on in America today. And with
Soderbergh behind the camera's lens,
it's as poetic as watching little kids
play a game of pick-up ball.

couresv of o tre
If you were into Dungeons & Dragons, Joe Satriani and bad skin when you were
younger ... you probably still won't like War to End All Wars, that's how God-awful it is.
D-Town rocked by G.
tove-flavored groove

By Elizabeth Hill
Daily Arts Writer
To many, G. Love and Special Sauce
are the one-hit wonders who made us
jiggle our heads along to the radio with
their 1994 hit "Baby's Got Sauce" (off
their self-titled album released in the
same year). Well. that's true. But G.
ve (a.k.a. Garrett Dutton) and his
:bnd Special Sauce are also a grooving
live band and
have put out a
new album that
. ehas the same laid-
G. Love and bc, RB
back, R&B
,PecaW Sauce crossed with hip-
St Andrew's Hall hop feel as their
Dec. 30, 2001 most popular
tune.
A G. Love
- ft show has some-
thing for every-
( one. For the
ladies, let me just
tell you, thick

Love kicked it late-night, not stepping
on stage until after 10 p.m. But once
they got settled in they had the crowd
dancin' and shakin' that thang until
well past midnight.
Mr. G. himself strode up to the low-
ered microphone in some fine vintage
pants that made his ass look delec-
table, but he was also kickin' it down-
town in an old-school green Phillies
jersey (#20) and a white bandana. He
then sat down and proceeded to the
jams in his usual knees swingin', fin-
gers pluckin', eyes rollin' back in his
head kind of way.
Special Sauce, which consists of
string bassist Jimi "Jazz" Prescott and
Jeffrey "Houseman" Clemens on the
drums, are generally considered G.
Love's back-up band, and are even fur-
ther in the background when it comes
to public image (Just check out some
of the album covers - talk about shal-
low focus!). But in a live setting,
when music is the focal point, Jimi
Jazz and the Houseman are irreplace-
able. Jimi tugs out some incredible
_ a _ .]I- -, _. _ 4 .. - .,-r- 44_ 1,;c

Courtesy of Sony 550
G. Love and the frequently out-of-focus Special Sauce (shown here on the cover of
1999's Philadelphonic) laid the funk down thick and creamy last Saturday in Detroit.

references in there as well). A white
boy rapping can be a sad, sad sight, but
G. Love doesn't try to "front," so to
speak. He's not trying to be Eminem,
spouting violent and offensive lyrics.
G. just kicks his flow about mackin'
the ladies and getting a six-pack at the
corner store.
His good-natured songs are really
beautiful, too. Most of the songs G.
Love did on Saturday were off the
band's latest album, 1999's
Philude/phonic. They did some soft-
spoken jams like "No Turning Back,"
"Numbers" and "Dreamin'," which is

(and it better be cold).
G. Love and Special Sauce finished
up a show well-worth fifteen bucks
with the only single off
Philadeiphonie. An almost somber
melody, "Rodeo Clowns" was a bitter-
sweet end to a kick-ass concert.
Even on a blistering niight, at the ici-
cle tip of the new millennium, a little
hot Sauce went a hell of a long way.

Exercise away those EXTRA POUNDS
with
FITNESS
Classes begin January 6th.
Swimming, Water Aerobics, Yoga, Kickboxing, Step,
Tae Kwon Do, Hip Hop, Ballroom Dance,Butts & Guts,
Super Circuits!!!
Call 764-1342 for more information or
www.umich.edu/-umove

101 0 - - - - - - -

dark curls, brood-

W1fWelcomesJO

RIcHARD
.EIaum.MO

140 1

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