Under the big top...
James Cook reads from his book
"The Arts of Deception: Playing
Fraud in the Age of Barnum" today
at Shaman Drum. 4 p.m.
NOVEMBER 6, 2001
Singer Michelle Branch
opens the Unlisted tour
By Keith N. Dusenberry
Daily Arts Writer
If you babysit preteens after they get home from
school or spend time with a middle school-aged sib-
ling, you might have seen the video for Michelle
Branch's TRL hit "Everywhere." It would be quite
Tonight at 8 p.m.
an accomplishment for the 18-
year-old singer/songwriter -
if she didn't have the double-
headed corporate Hydra of
Maverick Records (Madonna's
label) and Kenneth Cole sup-
porting her, because with that
kind of corporate pedigree
some sort of success is all but
Maverick's more "real"
answer to Britney Spears and
her "inflated" friends, Branch
comes off as a girl caught up
in the business of rock, focus-
ing on growing her career
while trying to retain some form of street cred.
Right. The Michigan Daily spoke with her from the
road on her Kenneth Cole Unlisted Tour of Big Ten
Tm; MICHIGAN DAILY: Hello?
MICHELLE BRANcH: Hey! This is Michelle.
TMD: And you're in Wisconsin now?
MB: Uhh ... yeah! Wisconsin! I'm at a KFC in
Wisconsin. I just ordered some food.
TMD: OK, well,. then we'll keep it short so that'
you can eat.
MB: OK, great.
TMD: Our article's about your tour and how it
came together and stuff and your upcoming show
here in Ann Arbor. Your tour is only coming to Big
Ten schools. Tell me about that.
MB: Well, Kenneth Cole approached me to do it.
We've been planning this for over a year. Since
before my album and everything.
TMD: Kenneth Cole approached you or they
MB: They approached Maverick because they
wanted Jude to do the tour. Maverick played them
my stuff, and they were like, "OK, we want her too!"
TMD: What's in it for you? Did Kenneth Cole
give you free stuff?
MB: They let us go to the Kenneth Cole store and
.pick out things. I got an awesome leather jacket. But
the Unlisted tour is mostly about shoes.
TMD: The Unlisted Tour is mostly about shoes?
MB: Yeah, Kenneth Cole Unlisted is a new line of
TMD: You're doing the commercials for them,
TMD: It seems like Maverick is marketing you as
the not-pre-fab, down to earth rock and roller, but
you're on a corporate-sponsored tour; how do you
TMD: Maverick is marketing you as the not-pre-
fab, down to earth rock and roller, but you're on a
corporate-sponsored tour; how do you justify that?
MB: Well, since we were approached before any-
thing had happened yet - my album wasn't even out
yet - I thought this might be a cool opportunity.
TMD: What about the battle of the bands?
MB: I think it's an awesome idea.
TMD: And your shows? How have they been?
MB: All the people at the shows have been awe-
some. Jude's been awesome! He's been doing these
dance contests. Last night he brought people up on
stage. It was awesome.
TMD: Have you met Madonna?
MB: [laughs] Yeah! I met her in New York before
her show at Madison Square Gardens. She was real-
ly cool! She told me that she thought my CD was
really cool! I was like, "Are you kidding me?!?
Madonna thinks my CD is cool!?!"
TMD: Wow. Do you still get nervous on stage?
MB: Nah. I never really got nervous. I feel more
comfortable on stage than anywhere else.
TMD: Since your tour is hitting colleges, are you
checking them out, shopping for schools along the
MB: Nah. I actually ... when I finished high
Michelle Branch is finger-lickin' good.
school, I decided I didn't want to go to college. I
wanted to focus on my music. College is something
I can fall back on if I decide to ... I'd probably go to
a music college ...
TMD: You're 18, you're popular on MTV's teen
favorite TRL, but your Ann Arbor show (and most
of your tour) is 21 and up. What gives?
MB: Yeah. I'm kind of bummed about that. We
made the plans before I had my album out and any-
thing had happened ... I thought this would be my
only tour ...
MB: Sorry, I had a biscuit in my mouth. So, are
you gonna be at the show?
TMD: Uhh ... yeah...1 think so. I'll try.
MB: OK. Cool. -
TMD: OK, Michelle, thanks. I think we got it
here and you can get back to eating.
MB: OK. Thanks. Bye!
TMD: Take it easy.
If you like childproofed acoustic-rock, check out'
Michelle Branch's show at the Blind Pig tonight.
Unfortunate for her ticket sales, because they
planned this tour a year ago and Branch didn't
know that her target audience was going to be
TRL-loving 12 to 17-year-olds, tonight's show (and
nearly every show on her tour) is 21 and up. But
bring her some fried chicken and she'll see what
she can do.
Tonight at 9 p.m.
season. But after
the tragic events
of Sept. 11, the
fate of the series
lay in jeopardy.
How would a
handle such a rel-
evant topic in the
midst of a nation-
By Christian Smith
Daily Arts Writer
Earlier this fall, FOX's new action
drama "24" received an incredible
amount of pre-season buzz. Months
before it was to set to debut, critics were
hailing it as the best new show of the
around the life of government agent Jack
Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), as he tries to
stop an assassination attempt on an
African-American Presidential candi-
date. Episode One begins at midnight on
the day of the California Primary. Jack,
who heads up the CIA's fictional
Counter Terrorist Unit, is suddenly
called into the office to deal with the
presidential threat. Pulled away from
home just as his daughter disappears in
the night, Jack must weed out a possible
double agent while he attempts to solve
his family problems over a cell phone.
While the actual premise of the show
is a fairly typical thriller story, it's the
concept that's the kicker. The idea to
take one day in the lives of these charac-
ters and stretch it out over an entire sea-
son of television, makes use of this
unique real-time element by spanning
each episode over one hour of that day.
Although the series does bear a striking
similarity to the 1995 Johnny Depp film
"Nick Of Time," which used a similar
assassination/real-time concept, the idea
is wholly original to network television.
The real-time device, along with the
gimmicky split-screen editing and pur-
posefully uneven sound mix all allow
the audience to follow multiple overar-
ching subplots simultaneously
Sutherland, who has been seen recent-
ly, only in made for TV and straight-to-
video titles, displays strong emotional
subtlety in his first high-profile role in
years. The supporting cast is solid as
well, especially Elisha Cuthbert as Jack's
troubled daughter and Dennis Haysbert
as Senator Palmer, the presidential can-
didate. However, the real excitement lies
in watching Sutherland struggling to
balance his family crisis with the emerg-
ing national one. His taut and tense por-
trayal of Jack's wounded family man and
expert,-agent may be seeing a few Emmy
votes around this time next year.
But while awards and praise linger in
the background, the true test will come
tonight, when the series premieres after
a slight delay and minus a possibly
offensive exploding airplane sequence.
Playing out like a mini- action movie
each week, there is no question that "24"
is a precedent setting television show.
And while this sleek new thriller may
redefine the television landscape in the
years to come, more immediately it will
assess the strength of the American peo-
ple in this newly content-conscious era.
,.New details, functions rule 'Civilization'
By Jim Schiff
Daily Fine/Performing Arts Editor
Quality strategy gaming and Sid
Meier's "Civilization" are almost syn-
onymous. Consistently rated as the best
strategy game series of all time, the
games brought- a
level of detail and
never seen in the
genre back in the
mid-'90s. It is no
III" is even more addicting, fun and
challenging than the previous two
"Civilization III" allows you to con-
trol an empire and compete for world
domination against up to seven other
nations. Political, cultural and military
strategies play an enormous role in your
success as an emperor; failing to excel
in all three is a clear-cut recipe for
defeat. When the game starts out, the
player selects from a number of cus-
tomizable options, such as the tempera-
ture and size of the landmass to play on.
Choosing your civilization, such as the
English, French, Russians, Aztecs or
Germans then becomes a crucial task:
Each empire has strengths and weak-
nesses that clearly alter the outcome of
If you're familiar with the first two
games in the series, then "Civilization
III" is familiar territory. Once your set-
tler units decide on a suitable plot of
land to build a city, you watch your
empire grow before your eyes. Aiding
you in your task are six advisors who
manage the intricacies of your domain,
such as foreign affairs, trade, military,
finance and culture. Unlike the previous
games, the advisors are animated and
colorful; it gives the illusion of a real
person making important decisions.
WOULD. YOU LIKE
TO SWING ON A
HOME. IN A JAR?
AND BE BETTER
OFF THAN YOU
Each makes recommendations on how
to improve your empire and none are
afraid to tell you if you're doing a bad
Micromanaging your empire is a
daunting task. The more cities you
build, the more you have to keep track
of. Depending on the difficulty you
choose, added variables such as riots in
your cities, barbarian attacks and cor-
ruption in city governments can impede
your progress. Luckily, "Civilization
III" has made it easier than ever to
streamline your duties as an emperor.
You can zoom into each city, which
brings up a new screen that allows you
to queue the production of buildings
and military units. This concept, a car-
ryover from the "Civilization: Call to
Power" series, allows you to concen-
trate on the larger, more salient aspects
of your empire and ignore some of the
intricate mouse clicking.
Since the game starts in ancient
times and spans way into the future, it's
not unusual to have one game that lasts
thousands of years. Watching your
empire flourish and evolve through the
Middle Ages, the Renaissance and into
modern times is truly amazing. The
designers have paid particular attention
to the changing architecture of the
buildings and city structures over time.
The player can, for the first time, obtain
an aerial view of each city and see each
building. Though this is a purely asthet-
ic component, it still gives "Civilization
III" a "Sim-City" type of feel that is
welcoming to the player.
The game truly enters the stratos-
phere by its phenomenal level of
authenticity. Each opposing civiliza-
tion's leader, whether Queen Elizabeth
or Tokugawa, displays prominent physi-
cal and personality traits that are both
historically accurate and humorous.
Intimidating the enemy plays a large
role in how "Civilization III" is played.
Clever politics can be the saving grace
of a leader and an effective way to hold
off enemy attacks.
In addition, wonderful period music
is merely a backdrop to a game that is
likely to usher in a whole lot of late
night procrastination and legions of
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Courtesy of Firaxis
"Civilization ill" puts gamers on easy street as they build their city.
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