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November 13, 2001 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-13

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday. November 13, 2001

0

Overdub, David Garza; Atlantic
By Gina Pensiero
Daily Arts Writer
It is difficult to say exactly what
David Garza is going for with his sec-
ond major label LP Overdub. Whatever
it is, he doesn't get close.
In the first cut off the album, "Drone,"
he can't stop repeating the mindless
chorus, "and now it's just a drone drone"
in a Backstreet Boy croon over a loop
that sounds lifted from the last Fat Boy
Slim album.
In "Say Baby" he comes off as a poor
impersonation of Beck by throwing
together every unrelated rhyming noun
that exists. For example, a typical lyric
entails, "sweetie pie sugar bunches
panties/black panthers Zapatistas/clue-
less klannies/puppy dog pretty boy tat-
too kiss thy left shoulder/poor Jesus still
trying to crossover." Somehow, he
attempts to also use the phrases "dub
lingo" and "DJs won't spin your jam
unless you say baby baby baby" (which
he then proceeds to say repeatedly), in a
serious fashion.
Yes - all this in a song supposedly
criticizing the bad music that gets
played on the radio and questioning a
personal lack of airplay. Ironically, it
only resonates as an answer to why
Garza has a fundamental lack of band-
width. It is, sadly enough, because he
has a fundamental lack of talent. On top
of all this, everybody knows that the
best way to get those "DJs" to "spin"
your "jam" is to write a song criticizing
the radio business. Hey, it sure worked
great for Elvis Costello.
It only gets better.
I Tried To Rock You But You Only
Can Roll, Leona Naess; MCA
By Gina Pensiero
Daily Arts Writer
Can't anyone just do a straight up
good pop album anymore?
I'm not talking about the "I'm-A-
Pitch-Controlled-Teenage-Blonde" pop
album or the "Five-Washboard-Stom-
ach-Harmonizing-R&B-Guys" pop
album or the "Hard-Edge-Rap-And-
Power-Chord" pop album. What I mean
is pop in its essence. I mean pop like
what The Beatles were going after in "I
Want to Hold Your Hand" or pop like
Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon" or
pop like any Blondie song in existence.
Just a pop album, a good clean pop
album, is all I ask for. A pop album with
songs that are fun and lyrics that are
somewhat clich6 but not utterly idiotic.
A pop album defined by good vibes but
also that little extra bite that makes the
guilty pleasure of enjoying pop not all
that guilty.
The answer is: Yes, someone is still
doing pop the right way. I was losing
hope but Leona Naess has calmed my
fears with her newest release I Tried To
Rock You But You Only Roll.
Where Naess' last stab at pop, Coma-
tised, fell short in its indecision between
folk ballad and radio edit, 1 Tried To
Rock You ... hits the bulls-eye of

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The third track, "God's Hands,"
brings music that sounds like second-
rate Aerosmith (for heavens sake, can't
he at least steal his riffs from good
bands?) and Garza reaching for a Joseph
Arthur quality with his voice. Unfortu-
nately, he's not intelligent enough tko pull
either one off.
"Blow My Mind" and "Alone" are the
requisite "alternative punky" tracks.
"Blow My Mind" actually isn't that bad.
A unique quality emerges in Garza's
falsetto that for once doesn't sound
completely forced. Additionally, he
seems to expand on this natural heavy
vibrato on "Crown of Thorns," "Too
Much" and "Keep On Crying," where
he begins to sound like a funkier Jeff
Buckley with considerably worse lyrics.
However, he overuses this gimmick in
songs like "Bloodsuckers."
It's rather sad to see a voice that has
so much interesting potential wasted in
awful lyrics and trying to be the newest
artsy darling. Unfortunately, this seems
to be about all that Overdub actually
accomplishes.
Grade: C-

unabasnea meloay.
"I wanted this one to be more focused
yet adventurous, more of an explosion,"
said Naess.
I Tried To Rock You... is jangly gui-
tars melded with a retro-chunky disco
sound that doesn't take itself too seri-
ously. On top of this all Naess has an
amazingly beautiful voice.
Standouts on the album include the
wistful "Mexico," on which Naess
croons, "Come with me to Mexico. I
can drive and you can take it slow."
Other tracks of interest include the
synth-laden "Mayor Of Your Town," the
longing "Hurricane" and the bitter bt t
hopped up "Blue Eyed Baby."
Clearly, Naess is a lucid and direct
talent for an element of popular music
that is missing in the modern scene. All
I have to say is - keep on filling the
void.

career catalog. Then came the girls, and the trouble.
As Wiard shows off on both sides of his CD case pho-
tos, he attracts the ladies. The front cover shows him
sitting in a hotel room with a girl, and the back shows
the same setup but with another girl. Dude, I mean,
that's cool and everything, but there's no need to brag.
Anyway, I'm sure that after a series of these pretty
faces told him he was a star as he cooed and
strummed "Norwegian Wood" whilst sitting on his
bed, he started believing them and writing his own
songs. He wasn't completely off, and this CD shows
some promise, but he's definitely not there yet.
Wiard has a nice voice and could probably write a
solid, if standard, acousti-pop song if he would only
learn to embrace a wider vocal range and song
dynamics. And no one said you needed great lyrics to
be a successful tunesmith (hello Travis), but if Wiard
continues to present himself as a serious songwriter
and sensitive guy, he's going to have to come up with
something better than "I hid my heart behind the glass
wall/hoping no one would find it." The only way I can
sit through the "This is love, this is love this is love,
this is love, this is love, this is love, this is love ... /All
I know is that I want you/And I'll never be without
you" chorus of "Bad Girl" is with a heavy dose of
ironic detachment - musically speaking. Occasional-
ly, Wiard throws in an electric guitar' or some nice"
backing vocals and things pick up, but those moments
are spread thinly across this album's 10 songs.
"Grace" could easily work on the soundtrack for the
next Matt Damon and Ben Affleck vehicle, and "Tale
of a Sensitive Male" aptly finds its way around catchy
retro-pop, but nothing else here jumps out as uniquely
remarkable.
Basically, Brandon Wiard made an OK little album
that is probably getting him chicks and hopefully
allowed him to get the boring out of his system before
he makes his next, likely quite good, record.

Britney, Britney Spears; Jive
Records
By Sonya Sutherland
Daily Arts Writer
Everyone's favorite Star Search
prodigy gone mainstream blockbuster
has dished out a brand new image-
shattering album. Her self-titled third
record Britney doesn't even warrant a
listen for a review.
Oversexed desert single "I'm A
Slave for U," employs kitschy nets-
peak in its title to snare the very
youth proudly clutching to their
copies of Baby One More Time. It's
more than obvious that Spears'
"grown up" sound is her attempt to
sell herself into adulthood.
She attempts in vain to capture this
teen-queen coming of age with Brit-
ney. "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet a
Woman," thoroughly explains Ms.
Spears' conundrum, reminding
everyone that she was in diapers
when the backing tracks for this tune
were penned.
Where Spears can't turn to her
music for a shot of maturity she can
turn to her body, which is continuing
to mature (sometimes with the help
of a good surgeon). Britney decided
to knock off Ms. Jackson with her
racy video for "I'm A Slave For U."
While the hook won't pull a soul in,
Britney's methodic and all too rhyth-
mic rubbing of herself will. Once she
has your soul, and you have the mute
button, the video is somewhat bear-
able. This visualization of music's
commercial candor poses an interest-
ing question: Does it really matter if
the album is sonically unique or orig-
inal when one can simply flip on
MTV and view Britney's metamor-
phosis into a dripping wet near-strip-
ping dancer? I think not. Her choice
to go slut is outed even further by her
not-so-subliminal attempts at sekual
overture.
With a slew of producers, musi-
cians and voice coaches appearing-on
this record it's likely that this album
is a tight work with multiple hit sin-
gles which will provide hours of
rump shaking at the local clubs.
Since Spears has previously topped
the charts with her catchy tunes, it's
no surprise that this album will prob-
ably go multi-platinum and fund her
and Justin's future offspring's ability
to annoy all of us on a worldwide
level.

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0

To Someone I Know, Brandon Wiard; Self
Released

By Keith N. Dusenberry
Daily Arts Writer'

I hate giving local bands bad press. It's not a prob-
lem telling the big boys that they suck, but cutting
down local bands is like picking on the heavy kid in
grade school_- they start out at a disadvantage and
exploiting it only leaves the perpetrator feeling evil
and unfulfilled. Local bands usually go through hell to
make a CD and it costs them significantly emotional-
ly, financially and otherwise, but unfortunately great
art doesn't always spring from great pain.
I'm going to guess about what happened to Brandon
Wiard and his new CD To Someone I Know. First,
there was a boy, his new guitar and a radio. He played
and played and eventually could strum along, to most
of Nirvana's Unplugged hits and the Beatles mid-

I

Grade: A-

Grade: C

Godhead expands
fan base in Royal Oak

Grade: N/A
Reality collides with
imaginary in familial
drama 'Duckwash'

BySo yaSuherland
Daily Arts Wnter
Fall is everyone's favorite time of

year, especially the.
Godhead
Royal Oak ui
Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

American Family
Association.
When dealing
with back-to-
school it never
hurts to keep your
kids in line by fil-
ing protests in
favor of can-
celling controver-
sial concerts.
H o w e v e r,
"Preaching to the
Perverted" will

fans of heavier rock 'n' roll.
Opening the show is Godhead, who
not only don makeup, but actually have
talent that stretches far past their gim-
mick. Influenced by a range of artist
anywhere from Black Sabbath to The
Cure, Godhead gives a more audience-
friendly show than the average band by
giving its all to everyone in attendance.
Often criticized for being part of the
darker, dangerous influences of music,
lead vocalist Jason Miller related, "I
don't believe music affects youth cul-
ture anymore than movies do. That to
me is what was so ironic about when
Ice T was being criticized for 'Cop
Killer.' I mean Arnold Schwarzenegger
stood next to George Bush critizing
'Cop Killer.' While in the 'The Termi-

By Christine Lasek
For the Daily

Courtesy of E
Godhead enjoys their new mainstream success by donning makeup.

nator,' Schwarzenegger killed like 30
cops. What's the difference? In the
movie it's even more visually depicted
than in a song."
When asked about their sound, Miller
said "that's tough. Most people would
classify it as industrial rock. I can say
that's OK, but you never really want to
pigeonhole yourself into one thing. I'd
rather let the music speak for itself."
Formed in Washington D.C., God-

head has opened for other bands like
Gwar, and Christian Death, and contin-
ues to spread their music from coast to
coast. Signed to Marilyn Manson's
label, Posthuman Records, Godhead
has grown from their cult status, to
enjoy mainstream success. With their
guitar-heavy sound and lyrics that range
from personal introspection to social
and political commentary, Godhead
takes their sound from simply another
darker rock band in makeup. Miller's
background training in Opera and the-
ater combined with bassist The
Method's vast knowledge of program-
ming and Mike Miller's guitar flavor,
prove extremely useful in providing
entertainment worth attending the
venue early to see.

This Thursday through Saturday,
Basement Arts will perform "Duck-
wash," a play in two acts written and

Duckwash
Arena Theater
November 15-17

directed by LSA
junior, Laura
Deneau.
"Duckwash"
spans two worlds:
Reality and the
imaginary world
of the main char-
acter, Jan. Jan is a
60-year-old
woman who
abandoned her
husband and 11
children 20 years
prior. She moved
out to California

make its debut in Royal Oak to hungry

- --__ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ II

Wednesday, November 14th
7-9 pm
Fea turing
MichaelJackson's
Real Beer Tour
The tasting will feature six beers collected from Michael Jackson's
(world famous beer critic) Real Beer Tour. These beers are unavailable
from retail outlets making this a truly unique tasting!
Casta Morena a Scottish accented ale from Mexico
Mash Beer an English golden lager
Vrak a Swedish wheat beer
lamc NZir. ~Porwter. from rAustral ia

Golf Industry Internships/
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In the play, Jan's disillusionment
comes in three forms: Her imaginary
friends Apple, Bead and Becca. Apple
and Bead represent the effort to create
art and meaning out of Jan's observance
of beauty. Becca represents Jan as a
young woman, filled with ideals. Becca
hovers over the play as a symbol of
truth, embodying the happiness that Jan
and her family are searching for. "As a
family drama, it's about the stratification
that goes on in our society, and the way
we separate ourselves into categories of
age, with the old living one reality, the
young living another and the productive
middle-aged stuck somewhere in the
suburbs,"said Deneau.
The set of "Duckwash" is very perti-
nent to its plot. The two worlds, reality
and that of Jan's imagination, exist
simultaneously on stage, with a white
sheet to separate the two. All action tak-
ing place in the imaginary world is pre-
formed in silhouette behind the sheet,
with characters moving out from behind
the sheet to take part in Jan's reality.
The interaction the characters have
between Jan's real and imaginary
worlds, attempt to demonstrate the
struggle between the reality present in
family and the beautiful dream existing
in artistic expression. "The play comes
from a feeling of mine that my genera-
tion tends to run away from their fami-
lies and root-communities to find a
place in the world of art, beauty and
meaning; where they can find them-

to pursue her artistic vision of life and
only communicated with her family
through a series of cryptic letters. At the
time of the play, Jan can no longer com-
municate with people. She prefers
nature, which she feels strongly in
touch with.
Her daughter, Gale, is a 40-year-old
single mother, attempting to find happi-
ness in her engagement to Yost, the
local weatherman. When Gale learns
that Jan is ill, she uses the knowledge as
an excuse to abandon her confusing life
and leaves Michigan for California to
take care of her mother. Kyle, Gale's

SPRING TERM IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

writing, camping, reading, hiking, music, canoeing, art

-o Nr

^ "
'Z .

I 1

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