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October 03, 2001 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-03

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 3, 2001
Tenacious D rocks the'

ARTS

socks off Sta
By Lyle Henretty and Luke Smith
Daily Arts Editors
The self-proclaimed "greatest band on Earth"
gave the proletariat a treat by slumming it at the
State Theatre in Detroit Mon-
day night. Tenacious D, in the
personage of Jack Black and
Kyle Gass, took the nearly-
Tenacious D sold-out crowd on an acoustic
with Sounds odyssey through their souls,
of Urchin in the process playing most
State Theater of their new album and sever-
al cult favorites from their
Oct. 1, 2001 short-lived HBO series.
Before The D transcended
the stage for their nearly two-
hour feast on the senses,
opening act Sounds of Urchin
brought the crowd to a
seething frenzy for humor-
tinged hard rock. Compli-
menting The D's more folksy riffs, Urchin's lead
guitarist (The Reverend B. Ill) sent volts of elec-
tric energy out through the crowd. The good Rev-
erend was kind enough not to talk in rhyme, and
let his fanatical shred on his Fender do much of
the chatting.
After a thorough warming-up, the crowd

te

Theatre

'Citizen Kane' discs
just larger than life
By Lyle Henretty__
Daily Arts Editor W :r , UI a

frothed for the greatness that was the night's main
attraction. The soundtrack to "Willy Wonka and
the Chocolate Factory" emanated through the
speakers, occasionally heard over frenzied cries
for The D.
The tenacious ones began their set with crowd-
pleaser "Wonderboy," their first single. While this
pleased many, die-hard fans could be heard mum-
bling about a "sell-out." Motion picture and
music video master Spike Jonze has filmed a clip
for the song, which is sure to catapult band to the
forefront of the Total Request Live, teeny-bopper
sect that has yet to be receptive to their music.
As fans cried for their own favorite taste of
The D , Black angrily asserted that they don't do
requests. Gass then reminded that they would, on
the other hand, play every song that they had ever
written.
While this was not entirely true, the boys did
rip through both obscure gems and classics, such
as their career-making "Tribute," a tribute to the
"best song in the world," which they had also
written but subsequently forgotten. They also
commandeered a few songs from other, lesser
bands, including Guns 'n Roses ("Mr. Brown-
stone") The Who (From Tommy) and The Beatles
(including a closing medley from Abby Road).
The portly pair even found time to spontaneously
treat the audience to "Eye of the Tiger." Ivan
Drago was unable to make an appearance.
The music intermingled seamlessly with the
some famous D sketches ("Inward Singing," lots
of oral sex jokes). Yet it was their musical and
lyrical genius that made this the best concert
Detroit has ever been privy to. "Fuck Her Gently"
is the perfect anti-love song, and "Kyle Quit the
Band" and "Kyle Took a Bullet For Me" are
pitch-perfect odes to The D's quiet guitar prodigy.
Black admitted that the concert really began in
Detroit, at their biggest venue thus far, and their
excitement was tripled by the D-loving audience,
who received the duo for what they are, the
homely, humble "greatest band in the world."
And in true rock form, The D were treated to a
host of female chests at stage left while they mer-
cilessly kicked out the jams.
Afterwards, fans of the D who had purchased
the CD that evening were granted a meet and
gree with the Two Kings. Patrons were funneled
up a staircase where the scepters held by KG and
JB were Sharpie pens and treated to an autograph
and a kind word. It was more than a kind word
though which made the D's trip to Detroit worth
each fan's while.

Ask anyone across the board, from
the fry cook at the Coney Island to

the film professo
Citizen
Kane
DVD
Warner Home Video
course, many of

r teaching German
expressionism
about Orson
Welles' "Citizen
Kane" and they
can tell you sim-
ply and emphati-
cally that it is
the finest film
ever made. Of
the non film nerds

Black sporting his 0 face.

have yet to see the picture because,
let's be hones "finest film ever
made" most probably translates into
"boring as watching competitive Tai
Chi."
Those of us that bow to the alter
of "Kane" know that this is not only
is this the technical achievement of
the last hundred years (cars and
planes not with-standing), but that
it's also one damn cool movie. Sex,
booze, music, and one crazy mystery
surrounding "Rosebud," who or
whatever that may be. The uninitiat-
ed can finally learn with the first
release of "Kane" with a double-disc
DVD set by Warner Home Video.
First of all, the film itself would
be enough. Any old VHS copy is
still better than a super-deluxe DVD
of "Gladiator" that actually comes
with Russell Crowe. The new DVD,
th.ough, comes completely remas-
tered in both sound and picture, giv-
ing it a crisper look than the film
probably had in 1941 when it
bombed at the box office.
Oh, yes, it bombed quite horribly,
and you can find out why in "The
Battle over Citizen Kane," the Oscar
nominated documentary on the sec-
ond disc. The documentary explores
Welles as a young artist trying to
fight the William Randolph Hearst
newspaper empire. Kane is so obvi-
ously based on Hearst that even
Welles doesn't try to deny it, but he
does take issue when the billionaire

tries to buy every last copy of the
film and burn it. The documentary
charts RKO's fight to keep the film
alive, the huge response from critics,
and the aforementioned thud at the
box office.
Also along for goodies ride are
two commentary tracks. One by film
critic Roger Ebert, who speaks as
both fan and film historian in his
candid, informative discussion. A
second commentary track is done by
Welles historian and director Peter
Bogdonovich ("The Last Picture
Show") gives a fairly lackluster talk,
wondering aloud and not answering
his own questions.
A newsreel of the movies pre-
miere, storyboards, photo, call
sheets, good God could a film nerd
ask for anything more? OK, how
about rare footage from Welles'
"War of the Worlds" broadcast,
when he had half of America believ-
ing that there were aliens invading
the country? How does that strike
you?
This is possibly the greatest DVD
to ever be released. With "The Phan-
tom Menace" hitting stores soon, I
may eat my words. Yet, no matter
what Lucas pulls out of giant bag of
ILM tricks, his film will never stand
up to the experience that is "Citizen
Kane. Rosebud.

'Uh, actually you did stop singing Jack' quips Gass.

Its a chubby not-so-teenage wasteland on stage.

Jin's collection 'Bridegroom'

engages the heart

By Andrew Field
Daily Arts Writer

cutter. His pen is like a scalpel,
exacting, slicing, and penetrating, to
reveal - pardon the sentimentality
-- a living, beating human heart.
The short story is indeed an exact
science. and Jin hovers above all the

stories in his newest collection,
"The Bridegroom," peering over
Muji City, the same place his much-
admired novel "Waiting" was set in.
All of these stories are set in con-
temporary China, with a socialist

structure as absurd as a Godzilla

Ha Jin's beautiful, stark prose
brings to mind the pain-staking
meticulousness of a master diamond

movie (a Japanese
The
Briegroom
Ha Jin
Grade: A-
Vintage Books

creation nonethe-
less), though far
more frighten-
ing and illogical
in its monstrous
tyrannical irony
than the lumber-
ing lizard ever
was. Here the
Godzilla is real.
If you ever find
yourself interro-
gated for a petty
crime (a con-
stant in "The
Bridegroom"),
it might help to
keep Jin's vil-

h
.
--"

a4"OCia.&

AMERICAN
EXPRESS*

pu"OdA

lainous, vague officers in mind to
put things in perspective. There is
only so'much exasperation and self-
criticism a human being can take.
Jin does a wonderful job in perusing
just past this point, fusing the arbi-
trary Chinese legal system with,
intensely believable characters to
form a face that might look some-
thing like the guy in Edvard
Munch's "The Scream" if only he
had a sense of humor.
In post-Chairman Mao society,
homosexuality is a contagious dis-
ease and a crime; to be well educat-
ed is to graduate high school;
housing is assigned by the govern-
ment; cops throw hot tea at your feet
and then arrest you for disrupting
the civil order.
Normal, daily life is awash in a
mess of bureaucratic hogwash and
communist hot air. People greet
each other as "Comrade!" and then
sneak.behind their comrades' backs

to get them fired and land their
wages.
Luckily, we have a wonderful tour
guide in Jin, whose refreshingly
plain style of writing is deceivingly
unpretentious and marvelously con-
structed. When a joke can land you
in prison for three years, and when
this is not a joke but reality, follow-
ing Jin as he weaves through the
massive contradictions that consti-
tute post-cultural' revolution China
is both an education and a shock. If
anyone comes out clean after read-
ing these stories, they're either
heartless or mindless. Jin's stories
manage to engage both, seemingly
effortlessly and sometimes simulta-
neously.
In the disturbing title story, a mar-
ried man convicted of homosexuali-
ty is subject to electric baths to
purge his "condition." "Homosexu-
ality originated in Western capital-
ism and bourgeois lifestyle," the
Chief of the Investigation Depart-
ment says. In one particularly unset-
tling scene, after a nurse offers to
turn down the jarring electricity, the
patient screams "No, give me
more!" It is very upsetting to see
this man buy into China's hypocrisy,
desperate to cure what he has sor-
rowfully misconstrued as his own
sickness.
The hilarious last story in the col-
lection, entitled "After Cowboy
Chicken Came to Town," is worth
the price of the book alone. In it, a
hapless thirty year old employee
relates his experience deep frying at
"Cowboy Chicken," an American
company hazardously rooted in the
code: "the customer is always right."

A

You cannot help but sympathize
with this wretch, or feel guilty after
laughing at his expense. In order to
draw more customers, the owner,
Mr. Shapiro, incorporates a buffet
lunch, which backfires nastily. The
restaurant then hosts a "wedding
feast" for newlyweds bedazzled by
the shiny counters, fries, biscuits
and orange soda. The story is also a
commentary on the confused culture
of contemporary China, in essence a
conflict between East and West,
communism and capitalism. Nei-
ther side escapes unscathed.
Aside from one unsatisfying,
bland story entitled "The Woman
from New York," "The Bridegroom"
is a superb collection.

volunteer.
to read
services for students with disabilities
volunteer reader program
strauss library, 2nd floor, west quad
phone 764-0182
call or stop by for information

Noone undertheageof will be admited withoutparentar legal guardian
Special Offer

JUST FOR APPLYING.
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