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January 30, 2002 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-30

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Let's Rock ...
Heavy metal female duo
Jucifer plays at the Elbow
Room. 10 p.m. $6.

ARTS

michigandaily.com/arts

WEDNESDAY
JANUARY 30, 2002

5

''80s Show' paints a dull
picture of a fun decade

Anderson goes
solo with dynamic,
new acoustic tour

By Jennifer Fogel,
Daily Arts Writer
After years of selling ourselves short,1
the "Children of the '80s" have been, I

That '80s
Show
FOX
Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

avenged. Unfor-
tunately, amidst a
barrage of
"Remember the
'80s" time warps
in the media,
"That '80s
Show" fails to
incorporate any
life into the

p

decade we so
fondly remem-
ber. While decid-
edly decadent in
'80s fashion and
psychology, the
show refuses to move past its own fas-
cination with site gags and cliched dia-
logue.
Premiering last Wednesday to high
ratings among those who lived through
the decade, but amidst a bevy of harsh
reviews, "That '80s Show" is a mere
illusion of a great premise. Set in San
Diego circa 1984, the show centers
around a group of twenty-somethings
instead of the teen angst of Eric Forman
and crew from its predecessor, "That
'70s Show." Corey (newcomer Glenn
Howerton) is a 22-year-old aspiring
musician who insists the corporate
greed of the '80s is definitely not for
this philosophy major. That leaves

working for minimum wage at the local
record store, Permanent Record, where
Corey tends to, live vicariously through
his hipster boss Margaret (comedian
Margaret Smith), who likes to recall her
wandering days with the likes of Jim
Morrison. Margaret offers Corey a
tinge of hope in the world of corporate
drones.
As if his life couldn't get any worse,
the newly bisexual and Madonna look-
alike, Sophie (Brittany Daniel, one-time
vamp on "Dawson's Creek"), has just
broken up with Corey to pursue "other"
interests ... namely his sister Katie
(Tinsley Grimes, "Never Been
Kissed"). If you're scratching your head
now, it gets worse. Corey's best friend is
Roger (Eddie Shin), the yuppie horn
dog who lives in the guesthouse and
prays to the corporate-loving Ronnie
Reagan. When not obsessing over hos-
tile takeovers, Roger is content playing
drinking games to the '80s powerhouse
primetime soap, "Dynasty." All that's
left in this character cut-out hell hole is
the so-called "parental," R.T. (Geoff
Pierson, "Unhappily Ever After"), who
takes his fashion cues from "Miami
Vice" and his business sense from what
will soon be infomercial heaven.
The premiere showed why the show
will be lucky to last for more than three
weeks. It overuses a laugh track, even
when nothing funny appears on screen.
Sure, watching the characters dance at
their local nightclub is funny (when was
the last time you saw someone do the

Robot?), but it's only
worth a giggle or two. The
jokes are heavily over-
played and the dialogue is
mediocre at best. The
instant love-hate vibe
between Corey and his
new co-worker, the punk
Tuesday (Chyler Leigh,
"Not Another Teen
Movie"), is dull and too
simple. However, the ten-
sion between the two is
the only spark this show
has to offer.
Surprisingly, Tuesday is
the only character that has
any depth, even though
most of that depth
revolves around her
changing her hairstyle
from a punked-out
Mohawk to something a Chyler Leigh
little more girlish. Sophie's bisexual
tendencies are downplayed after she
shares her first on-screen kiss with
Katie, leaving any chance of exploring
her sexual identity in the toilet. Mean-
while, Katie is vapid and usually seems
to be in a drunken stupor, or just plain
schizophrenic, when she delivers her
calculated off-the-cuff remarks. The
only fun Katie has is singing along to
Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield."
The music is a saving grace for this
disastrous show. Snippets of Duran
Duran, Black Flag and The Godfathers
play throughout the episode, but most

agree that Laurie.
Laurie
Anderson
Power Center
Saturday at 8 p.m.

Anderson is the
queen of this
uniquely cre-
ative form of
presentation.
This Saturday,
the University
Musical Society
brings her high-
ness to Hill
Auditorium to
perform her
brand new
"Happiness"
solo tour.
The show will
feature stories

By Rachel Lewis
Daily Arts Writer

Performance art is a pleasure for
some, a mystery to most.But all will

h plays.a punk-haired hottle.

of these "classics" are best heard on any
'80s compilation CD. Aside from the
music, the chintzy idea of using record
album covers to denote a change of
scene almost works, if not for the sear-
ing Day-Glo coloring that makes you
want to look away from the bright light.
Even though we were definitely due
for an '80s massive attack, "That '80s
Show" would have been better if it
starred a monkey in parachute pants
and Alf in leg-warmers. Guess we bet-
ter stick with reliving the old days with
John Hughes.

adult in the 1970s' vibrant, energetic
SoHo art scene. Anderson gravitated
to this hotbed of experimentalism and
creativity early on and was soon
immersed in SoHo's burgeoning
gallery scene. She has previously said,
"It was a wonderful time. We were all
pioneers."
Anderson's hit song, "O Super-
man," launched her recording career
in the 1980s, rising to number two on
the British pop charts and skyrocket-
ing her to international superstardom.
She eventually signed a record deal
with Warner Brothers and has since
released seven albums with them,
including "Big Science" and "United
States Live." She is currently record-
ing her first release for her new label,
Nonesuch Records. Her award win-
ning CD-ROM, "Puppet Motel," has
just been re-released by Voyager.
Recognized worldwide as a leader
in the groundbreaking use of technol-
ogy in the arts, Ms. Anderson recently
collaborated with Interval Research
Corporation, a research and develop-
ment laboratory founded by Paul
Allen and David Liddle, in the explo-
ration of new creative tools, including
the "Talking Stick." She has also just
completed an entry about New York
for the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Anderson once told Rolling Stone,
"Try to break as many (rules) as pos-
sible if you can. Not just for the sake
of doing it, but for the feeling of free-
dom you.get when you just step a little
bit out and kind of go, 'Whoa!"' That
feeling of "Whoa!" will definitely be
felt and understood by all those within
the near vicinity of Hill Auditorium
this Saturday night.

Past used as starting point for 'Ancient'

By Charity Atchison
Daily Arts Writer
"Ancient Steps, Forward Glances" uses the
past as a basis for looking at the present and the
future. The University's
Dance Company presents a
performance where the
ancient meets the present.
One of the dance routines,
Ancient "World of Birds," has been
Steps, choreographed by Bambang
Forward Irawan and Noor Forida
Glrace Rahmalina, two Javanese
Glances dancers who are in resi-
Power Center dence at the University. In
Tomorrow through this piece, the ancient tra-
Sunday ditional court dances of
Java are melded with con-
temporary Indonesian
movement in Javanese
style. The presence
_ _ of this piece in
the program courtesy o
gives it an University
East meets West connection of Producton
the ancient and more modern.
Guest choreographer David Dorfman's "Depth

Charge" questions what the future will hold. As
part of his collaborative style with his dancers,
Dorfman had them write down some of their
feelings and thoughts, some which were incor-
porated into "Depth Charge." "Dorfman's piece
is very challenging. It speaks to the questions of
what you thought you would be doing at this
point. It is very emotional in some ways because
the piece was choreographed around the time of
September 11," said dancer Gena Buh-
'ler.
Dorfman, a postmodern choreograph-
er, synthesizes his steps from the dancers
end. According to Jessica Fogel, a Uni-.
versity dance department faculty, a
postmodern designer comes in with a
blueprint and then the dancers are then
allowed to modify parts of the dance.
While there have been different
phases in dance over time, the post-
modern movement tries to put
meaning into the dance after years
of having abstract dance. The use of
text is very common in postmodern
works. The emphasis is on breaking
the barrier between the audience and the
performers, making the experience more
personal.

Fogel and fellow dance department faculty
member Peter Sparling have also choreographed
works for the performance. Sparling, artistic
director of the Peter Sparling Dance Company
and a former principal with the Martha Graham
Dance Company, has choreographed "Patient
Spider" for the production. The Walt Whitman's
poem, "A Noiseless Patient Spider," inspired the
dance. "Patient Spider" has its own unique
aspect to bring the past and future together.
While 13 dancers will perform on stage, there
will be a video projection of four dancers at the
rear stage as well.
Jessica Fogel's piece, "Brave Souls," was com-
missioned by the University of Michigan Muse-
um of Art for part of their upcoming exhibit
"Women Who Ruled: Queens, Goddesses, Ama-
zons 1500-1650." The dance will contain visual
images from the exhibit. Also incorporated into
the dance is an archaeological dig from Kazik-
stan, where women were found buried with their
weapons.
Fogel collaborated with her 14 female dancers
and discussed what would make them go into
battle and feel powerful. The phrases were
shaped into duets, Fogel said. "There are very
different stories about power, the lighter to close
to the marrow."

and mainly acoustic instruments that
take a look at contemporary culture.
Like much of her work, this will make
use of a wide variety of filters, includ-
ing synthetic language, love songs,
animal communication and techno
burn out. To develop her own insight-
ful and individual perspective on cul-
ture and happiness, Anderson has
recently experimented with putting
herself in unfamiliar and awkward sit-
uations like a short stint working at a
Manhattan McDonalds. All this
preparation and personal exploration
has culminated in a unique night for
both the audience and the performer,
with much of the show devoted to a
report on those experiences.
"Happiness" is a departure for
Anderson on many levels because she
has earned an international reputation
as a high-tech magician of multi-
media performance art, by combining
computer synthesized music, videos
and slides with her always-provocative
monologues. Her enthusiasm for com-
puters and the Internet is tempered by
her disgust with corporate America.
This solo work, however, will not fea-
ture the same high-tech folk artist that
Laurie Anderson fans have come to
love and revere. Rather, she chooses
to focus on a simpler, natural format
for her performance. Anderson has
said, "After using a lot of technology
for years, I'm trying to work with as
little equipment as possible."
A self-described storyteller, Ander-
son refuses to classify herself into any
of the categories she so aptly fits,
including visual artist, composer,
poet, photographer, filmmaker, ven-
triloquist, electronics whiz, vocalist
and instrumentalist. Her diverse and
brave art stems from a deeply personal
vision - one she acquired as a young

Courtesy of University Musical Society
Anderson, thinking about Joan Jett.

Controversial conversation at the Drum

By Carmen Johnson
Daily StaffWriter

During a weekly discussion group at
Cambridge University, two men sudden-
ly found them-
selves in a debate
so heated that one
turned to a red-hot
David fireplace poker to
Edmonds make his point.
The fact that these
Shaman Drum angry individuals
Bookshop were two great
Tonight at 8 20th Century
philosophers, Karl
Popper and Lud-
wig Wittgenstein
(who were in the
same meeting as
yet another great
philosopher, Bertrand Russell), may
explain why 50 years later the argument
is still under scrutiny.
David Edmonds and John Eidinow, a
pair of BBC journalists, became inter-
ested in the controversy when historical
questions arose over the exact nature of
the argument in reference to Popper's

autobiography. Claiming his single con-
frontation with Wittgenstein as his own
victory, Popper allegedly provoked the
brilliant man to leave the room, throw-
ing down the red-hot poker in a fit of
despair.
Understanding what really happened
during that Moral Science Club meeting
on Oct. 25, 1947 was a long process for
Edmonds and Eidinow, who researched
and interviewed members attending that
particular meeting. What started as a
book about a 10-minute argument
between the chairman of the club,
Wittgenstein and guest speaker Popper,
ended as a thorough look into their lives,
characters, the philosophies they lec-
tured on and the answer to our basic
question: why were they arguing?
Edmonds expressed his passion to
find specific details surrounding the day
(to the extent of what the weather was
like) to better clarify the incident. "It
was almost like an obsession. We want-
ed to know everything there was to
know about the argument. Like a bit of
the universe that you want to master, of
course the interesting part is that it's
impossible to know everything,"

Edmonds said.
The two journalists were also very
persistent in getting the philosophy pre-
sented in the book straight. Much praise
was received for this book but the posi-
tive reception which Edmonds and Eidi-
now were most pleased with was that of
distinguished philosophers like Simon
Blackburn, who now holds the same
position in the philosophy department at
Cambridge as Wittgenstein held in the
1940s.
David Edmonds, who is speaking and
reading tonight at Shaman Drum Book-
shop, recently arrived in Ann Arbor to
complete a four month Journalism Fel-
lowship. He is taking classes on campus
and working on his own writing project.
He will return to London to continue

working for the BBC after the fellow-
ship is over. "Wittgenstein's Poker" was
his first book and plans to write another
book with John Eidinow regarding the
Fisher vs. Spassky chess match are
already under way. "The work of com-
piling information, going back to check
facts and organizing it all was worth-
while just to see the book on shelves in
bookstores." Edmonds will also be
working on his PhD with all of his
spare time.

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CalNo:180-8738

Teachers of Color
Career Opportunities in Independent Schools

February 3, 2002

2:00-5:00pm

League hosting benefit

By Stacy Anderson
Daily Arts Writer
The Michigan League Under-

bands: "Red Edison," "Blue Delu-
sion," "Lipsonnet," "Oblivian" and
"The Undergarments," to unwit-
tingly battle for not only the win

Job Fair

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