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April 04, 2001 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-04-04

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8 --The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 4, 2001

The Bright Midnight Sampler, The
Doors; Bright Midnight Records
By Neal Pais
Daily Arts Writer
America's favorite poets have finally
returned to combat the utter garbage
that today's listeners subscribe to. The
Doors, lacking only the late, great Jim
Morrison, have established their own
Internet-only record label and released
a collection of previously unreleased
live tracks taken from gigs around the
country. Leave it to legends like these
to come teach today's disgusting little
teenyboppers and crappy hip-hoppers
what real music is.
The quality of '60s psychedelic
music may never be replicated again
yet The Bright Midnight Sampler cer-
tainly brings that flavor back to a gen-
eration lacking in anything truly
revolutionary. To hear the Lizard
King's voice, back from the grave, is
pure bliss. Jim Morrison's electric
vocals evoke emotions like none other;
coupled with the brilliant instrumental
support of John Densmore, Ray
Manzarek and Rob Krieger, the tracks
induce something just short of an audi-
tory orgasm.
Serenading fans in New York,
Pittsburgh, Detroit and Los Angeles,
The Doors manufacture a brand of
rock held entirely to themselves.
Singing of his own hedonistic excesses
while conveying the tumult of the times
he lived in, the shamanic Jim Morrison
howls at his shows with the intensity of
a man possessed. Many of the songs
have mystical undertones to them.
Certainly influenced by an array of
psychedelics but nonetheless a genius
in every sense, Morrison creates pure
magic from simple lyrical repetitions
and unadorned instrumental arrange-
ments.
The Sampler begins with perhaps the
most celebrated Doors single - "Light

Blow - The Motion Picture
Soundtrack, Various Artists;
EMD/Virgin

By Sonya Suthorland
Daily Arts Writer

0

If a good film moves you emo-
tionally and a good album alters
your mood, then the music from the
motion picture "Blow" has achieved
the pinnacle of success as a sound-
track.
Taken either as a musical accesso-
ry to the movie or as an album
standing alone, each track works to
unite a mind frame with a moment
in time. The potpourri of '70s theme9
music, stretching from a funk vibe
to the early days of glam rock, pro-
vide enough auditory stimulation to
keep the CD on repeat for hours.
The blazing rock riffs of Ram
Jam's "Black Betty" juxtaposed with
Manfred Mann's social commentary,
on temptation, "Blinded by the
Light," is the perfect catalyst for that
ride into the post-love, happiness!
and bullshit decade. For every mood,
high or low, lost love to elation, this
soundtrack is an ideal melodic
accompaniment, dropping the listen-
er into a different dimension alto-
gether.
With the works of Cream, KC and
the Sunshine Band and Bob Dylan
to name a few featured artists, Blow
does more than supply background
noise to a film or party. It completes
any scene, even those devoid of
drugs.
Grade: A

Grade: A+

It is hard to define Ladytron, and
their new release 604 clarifies nothing
other than their predilection with
bewilderment. Perhaps Maude
Lebowski could shed some light, call-
ing it Techno-Pop, her face contorting
into an impatient glower of disgust,
recalling Autobahn's pathetic whine.
Ladytron dresses in black jump-
suits. They pose for photographs in
abandoned elevators and escalators
with arms folded sternly, militaristic,
eyes staring directly at the camera,
accusatory. They are frightening.
Sometimes, they sing in different lan-
guages. They look more like terrorists
than musicians. Like futuristic

authoritarians blinking on and off of
pixelized black and white monitors to
bark orders to an enslaved dystopian
community. They sound this way too.
The reliance on organs, drum
machines and synthesizers recalls the
buoyant, optimistic experimentalism
of early Talking Heads, the Human
League or Devo. Two female singers
alternate singing about love (of
course), capitalism, consumerism,
materialism and the encroaching gen-
trification and docilization of the
world's populace. And they sing about
it happily, chirping.
The album opens with the terse,
piercing "Mu-tron." The song acts as
a collage of sounds, a beacon of what
is to come in the next hour of music,
complete with undulating synth-riffs,
bursts of feedback, fuzzy electro-bass
and grating, garage-esque drumming.

It is followed by "Discotraxx," a song
so ridiculously paced that it can only
serve as entertainment to DJs who
will play it and watch the baffled
dancers attempt to twist their limbs
and gyrate their hips in sync with the
rapid rhythm. "The Way That I Found
You" is alternately haunting and play-
ful, intoning with such unintelligible
comments as, "Sat in the crowd
watching the women's tennis/That
was the way was the way that I found
you."
"Playgirl," "I'm With the Pilots,"
and "He Took Her to a Movie" are
undeniably pop songs, but are imbed-
ded with such melancholy that they
could accompany a marathon night of
dancing or a night spent enraptured in
self-loathing, drowning your sorrows
as you peer into the sterile, cold mar-
tini in your hand. That is possibly the

only way to identify 604, shaking
your head in bafflement. It is pop. It*
is depressing. It is depressing-pop,
and surprisingly, it works,

Grade: B

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