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December 04, 2001 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-12-04

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 4, 2001

4

Greatest Hits, Smashing
Pumpkins; EMD/Virgin
By Sonya Sutherland
Daily Arts Writer
When today was the greatest,
"Heart Shaped Box" played on the
radio and Pearl Jam premiered the
first school shooting on MTV Cock
Rock had inhaled too much hair
product fumes and boys still hadn't
been trained like chimps to dance on
stage yet. It was then that alternative
rocked a mainstream generation,
with the Smashing Pumpkins out
riding the wave. Over the years of
video awards, magazine covers and
radio-play abundance, the boys aged
like a fine red wine. Unfortunately
the rest of the industry went sour
grapes Destiny's Child strapped
on those orange bikini matching
life-vests and we all know what
Christina did to Fred
Durst.
Seeing Britney on
the cover of Rolling
Stone, progressively
with less and less
clothing, Mr. Money
Bags (a.k.a. the
record industry)
pulled the plug on the
Smashing Pumpkins
and the rest of the tal-
ent-oriented super-
stars. With financial
stakes in mind, record
execs refused to
release Machina II.
No bother for the
Smashing Pumpkins.
They released the
tracks to their fans
anyway via the Inter-
The Tiki Bar is Open, John Hiatt;
Vangaurd
By Gina Pensiero
Daily Arts Writer
John Hiatt could be one of the
most under appreciated songwriters
in America.
Honestly, this guy has been
around forever (since the '70s
folks). He has also been covered by
some of the most well-known
artists in music, ranging from Bob
Dylan and Iggy Pop to Paula
Abdul. Continuing from Jewel to
Eric Clapton and B.B. King. Still,
no one knows who the hell he is.
With his new album, The Tiki

net middle finger to capitalism -
Mp3. Perhaps that explains why Vir-
gin Records dragged their whore-
adoring asses back for a second
chance with the new release of the
Smashing Pumpkins' Greatest Hits,
and why the B-sides and rarities'
disc art is on a CD-R label.
And while the "greatest hits"
notation usually iirplies you are
duped into believing all of your
favorite tracks are on the album, fear
not and proceed with faith. "Dis-
arm," "Today," "Zero," "Landslide"
and even the obscure "Eye," from the
"Lost Highway" soundtrack, are all
accounted for. Not to forget the exis-
tence of an entire second disc full of
treats. From Gish to the underrated
Adore, it is indeed all the greatest
hits and definitely worth shelling out
the $17.99 for this two disc set.

Grade: A-

C

Room for Squares, John Mayer;
Aware/Columbia
By Robyn Melamed
Daily Arts Editor
Is it Sting? Is it Dave? Nope, it's
... John Mayer. OK, so he doesn't
have the most original sound in the

world, but who does these days? In
an age when the most meaningful
love songs are coming from bands
like 'Nsync and LFO, a little imita-
tion is, ironically, refreshing. Oh,
and did I mention? He's better look-
ing than Sting or Dave. (Check out
www.johnmayer.com for some hard
evidence).
In his first major
label release, Room
for Squares, Mayer
RES puts himself out
there as a confused,
love-struck, man -
and of course as a
gifted guitarist.
His first track,
"No Such Thing,"
goes back to
Mayer's high
school days, where
"They love to tell
you/Stay inside the
lines/But some-
thing's better/On
the other side."
Although the con-
cept of a 23-year-
old Mayer looking

back five years seems a little silly,
the song itself is catchy and is easy
to relate to.
The ultimate highlight on the
album is the seductive, "Your Body
is a Wonderland." This song gives
every guy out there an exact guide
to what a girl wants to hear.
Mayer's slow strum of his guitar
and his sexy voice are just bonuses
to his lyrics. He starts with "One
mile to every inch/Of your skin like
porcelain/One pair of candy lips
and/Your bubblegum tongue." He
continues to romance with, "You tell
me where to go and/Though I might
leave to find it/I'll never let your
head hit the bed/Without my hand
behind it."
After "Wonderland," the album
goes right into the faster-paced,
"Neon." Mayer compares a woman
on the prowl with neon, and com-
plains that "She comes and goes and
no one knows/She's slipping through
my hands."
In "Love Song for No One,"
Mayer laments that he's "tired of
being alone," and in the last track on
the album, "St. Patrick's Day,"

Michigan Theater
hosts Cinema Slam

Mayer goes through the months of
the year that remind him of (you
guessed it) love.
The joy of John Mayer is that as
of this very moment, he's not a
huge, over-publicized star. He does-
n't have a large group of fans that
hang on to his every last word -
you know, the kind that obnoxiously
scream their love for teen pop stars
on TRL. This is not to say that this
won't happen anytime soon, but in
the meantime, let's just hope for the
best.
Whether you want smooth sounds
or a catchy beat, Room for Squares
will get the job done. It will make
you want to lay around and relax,
while at the same time, tap your foot
to the beat.
Girls, I guarantee you'll love this
album for the simple fact that
Mayer's lyrics are full of great,
romantic images.
Guys, I guarantee you won't be
able to stand this album ... but then
again, you do need to get your girl a
present for the holidays.
Grade: B+
' did for 1976's "Cannonball"
S aprobably not. Though his
career may have faded in the
time between then and now,
his legacy and drive have
not.
2001's self-titled David
Axelrod, marks a new step in
the career of this legendary
composer. Running only 35
minutes in length, David
Axelrod is a sonic mind trip,
ranging from jazz (the horn
driven "Big B Plus" and
s "Jimmy T"), to beat poetry
("Loved Boy"), to hip-hop.
Yes, hip-hop. Since the '90s,
hip-hop has brought renewed
interest in Axelrod by often
sampling his back catalog.
The song "The Little Children" on
this album is Axelrod's take on this
phenomenon.
This album is especially remark-
able when you consider that Axelrod
wrote almost all of it over 30 years
ago. le toyed with the idea of com-
posing the piece, but it fell victim to
record company changes and merg-
ers.
A friend stumbled upon it years
later and persuaded him to finally
prepare it. ,He went back to work in
Studio B, using seven old tracks and
two new ones for this album. David
Axelrod produced a backdated work
that spans decades, yet is still so
fresh.
Grade: B

Bar is Open, Hiatt reunites with his
old '80s band, the Goners.
It is possible that Hiatt is known
more as a songwriter than a per-
former because although his songs
are strong, there is nothing amaz-
ingly unique in his arrangement or
voice. In fact, the one thing that
stands out most about Hiatt, is his
well defined guitar tones.
All the songs on The Tiki Bar is
Open have substantial potential,
but their presentations are
mediocre and cliche. One exception
to this rule is "Hangin' Round
Here," which is catchy and Randy
Newman-esque. Another is the
upbeat and pop-driven "All the
Lilacs in Ohio."
There is nothing
truly essentialabout
The Tiki Bar is
Open, and nothing
that makes it a must-
have album. But if
history repeats
itself, these are
songs you might be
hearing within the
next five years on
the Top 40 or at least
light-rock radio.
Hiatt may just be
the type of artist
who makes his liv-
ing writing great
songs for others to
play.

I
4

4

By Jenny Jeltes
Daily Arts Writer
For all you moviegoers out there,

"Cinema Slam"
Cinema
Slam
Michigan Theater
Tonight at 7 p.m.

may be just the
taste of diver-
sity you need.
" C i n e m a
Slam," held at
the Michigan
Theater, brings
together sever-
al independent
filmmakers,
including Rami
Kimchi, a film-
maker from
Israel. From
"The Street
Vendor," by
Justin Remer,

Slam" has been very successful in
the past and has had great turnout.
"It will be a great opportunity to see
independent work firsthand and to
talk with the filmmakers."
There are 15 short films being,
shown, and the filmmakers will be
present in order to see their film on
the big screen and to get feedback
afterwards. 0
"Cinema Slam" is a great oppor-
tunity for filmmakers and audiences
alike because it provides the film-
makers with comments and respons-
es to their work while allowing
audiences to sit back and enjoy the
"microcinema." Unlike the numer-
ous blockbusters churning out
everyday, "Cinema Slam" is a
chance to see talented independent
endeavors and the great ideas float-
ing around outside of Hollywood.
Everyone is welcome at Espresso
Royale Caffe afterwards to speak
with some of the filmmakers, who
will be eager to hear what people
have to say. They want honest feed-
back because this will only enhance
their efforts. And who knows?
Some of them may be famous
someday.

4

to "despepitandose por/yearning
for," by Cecilia Mendez, one will
find something that strikes his fancy.
This is the fourth "Cinema Slam"
this year (it started this past sum-
mer), and Amelia Martin, the Pro-
gram Director at the Michigan
Theater, says the event is similar to a
poetry slam, bringing in all sorts of
different talent. She says "Cinema

DavidAxelrod, David Axelrod;
MoWax Labels Ltd.
By Matthew Siegler
For the Daily
David Axelrod is probably some-
one you've never heard of, but that
doesn't mean you shouldn't have.
IHe's just too cool for you to know
about him, and he likes it that way.
"The Ax" as he is sometimes known,
originated in the late-'50s producing
some pioneering West Coast jazz
work. From the '60s to the '70s,
Axelrod used Capitol Record's Stu-
dio B as his playground for music,
toiling and tinkering with some very
innovative works of art. Or maybe
you'll recognize the film score he

UMGASS delivers liveliness in 'Duke'

Grade: B-

One/Three, Dabrye; Ghostly
International
By Keith N. Dusenberry
Daily Arts Writer
Electronic music is the finger
painting of aural art. The general
perception of the genre is that with
the right equipment, anyone can
make it. But that doesn't mean that
in the hands (or fingers, rather) of
talented artists electronic music
isn't a valid art form. Electronic
music, with its innumerable sub-
genres and clique-y classifications,
should be treated like jazz or
plumbing - as something best left
to professionals. Dabrye is one.
One/Three clips through 10 tracks
in just over 35 minutes. It's a tight
record in every sense of the word.
The songs are short, yet developed,
crafted, but still catchy. Staying pri-
marily within a trippy funk-hop
trance, Dabrye's debut album
sounds like what George Clinton
would want to listen to as the E
wears off.
"The Lish" starts the album's
stream. At first sounding trip-hoppy
with a drum loop and ambient
synths, a saxophone drifts in deftly
and "The Lish" takes off. It's a
tricky move for this kind of album,
where such an addition risks sound-
ing contrived or forced, but Dabrye
makes it work. And that's what sets

this record apart from Tadd (the
mystery man behind Dabrye)
Mullinix's earlier album released
under his own name - it doesn't
sound like Mullinix is trying to do
anything now. Instead, his work as
Dabrye sounds like he's learned
how to just do it, and have the prod-
uct sound natural and unique at the
same time.
But One/Three doesn't flow by
entirely glitch-free. On a beautifully
short (bycelectronic music stan-
dards) albui, "I'm Missing You"
and "How Many Times [With This]"
would need to develop more inter-
estingly and rapidly in order to keep
pace with the rest of the record.
These blips of the banal aside,
One/Three deserves a listen from
more than just electronic music
devotees.
This album offers a great deal of
accessibility. "We've Got Commodi-
ty" combines danceability with lis-
tenability and "Smoking the Edge"
evolves through sophisticated sub-
tleties. Throughout One/Three,
Dabrye carefully manipulates detail
and focus while utilizing the power
of properly placed nuance.
As for those finger painting com-
parisons, One/Three resides closer
to the Rothkos and the Pollocks
than the stuff your mom put up on
the fridge.

By Charity Atchison
Daily Arts Writer

The University of Michigan
Gilbert and Sullivan Society will be
serving up "The Grand Duke" for

theatergoers this

b R
The Grand
Duke
Mendelssohn
Theater
Thursday through Sunday

weekend. "The
Grand Duke"
takes place in
the village of
P f e n n i g -
Halbpfennig,
where the Duke
is being
dethroned by a
troupe of actors.
However their

Victoria Rondeau and David Zinn
will co-direct "The Grand Duke."
The pair have teamed up for their
fourth UMGASS production. Ron-
deau and Zinn faced the task of cut-
ting the opera from three hours
down to two, by focusing on what
was key to the plot. Rondeau said
there were some very pretty pieces
of music that were cut out because
they didn't further the storyline.
"We wanted Lisa to be a stronger
character so we cut out the aria at
the end of Act I," said Rondeau.
Zinn thought the issue of cutting
would be touchy for Gilbert and
Sullivan fans because there is hound

also given an occupation.
Then they begin drawing dia-
grams and moving the cast members
around the stage. By doing this, the
directors have an idea of their space
constraints before working with the
cast.
The members of UMGASS are all
volunteers. Cast members range in
age from 15 to 77. Roughly 60 per-
cent of UMGASS are students and
the rest come from the community,
some with University ties and some
without. Not everyone who is a
member UMGASS performs, but
they can be part of production.
The Musical Director is Armando

them to be wallpaper.
The members of UMGASS are all
volunteers, so everyone wants to
leave happy and have a good time.
The cast appeared to embody this in
their rehearsals.

4

Grade: B-

1l

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Aid

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