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April 02, 2002 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-02

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Not funny ...
Want to complain about how
unfunny our April Fools
pranks were? Talk back at our
new website.


APRIL 2, 2002


I anes

drop first CD
By Josh Palay
,Daily Arts Writer
In a community saturated with student a cappella.
ensembles, the Dicks & Janes have been able to set
themselves apart as one of the foremost ensembles on
campus. This is made even more impressive by the
fact that this is but their fourth year in existence.
:Touring to such places as New York and California,
they have made a name for themselves not only here
in Ann Arbor but also throughout the nation. Show-N-
.Tell, their long-awaited debut album, has been three
years in the making and proves to be well worth the
wait. It is demonstrative of the dedication to musical
:integrity that has characterized the group since its
Where many a cappella albums limit themselves in
scope and genre, Show-N-Tell consists of a wide vari-
ety of musical styles: Dave Matthews to Disney, clas-
sic monster ballads to Michelle Branch. Though the
songs are all performed in a manner maintaining the
essence of the original, they are all still presented with

Reagan? brings home-grown
rock, angelic lyrics to Pig

By Tony Ding
Daily Arts Writer

Courtesy of Dicks & Janes
They're all in it for the free T-shirts.
"Everything You Want," another track on the album,
has already been internationally recognized on the
Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) album this year.
BOCA, a yearly compilation of the best recordings
from a cappella groups around the world, marks one of

a unique interpretation of each song.
Something is added to the original that
doe's not detract from it, but in fact makes
it flourish in a new light.
Track four, the Monster Ballad Medley,
is a compilation of supra-cheesy rock bal-
lads from the early '90s. Melodramatic in
its conception and flawlessly performed,
the work is a puckish arrangement aimed
more at the heart than the head. Track 11,
"Babylon," is a perfect example of Dicks

At the Michigan
League Ballroom
Tomorrow at 8 p.m.
Dicks & Janes

the most prestigious achievements an a
cappella group can receive. Dicks &
Janes is only the second group at Michi-
gan to release an- album with a track fea-
tured on BOCA. "We are quite honored
by this distinction for it means that there
are people who think that our music is on
par with the best college groups out
there," says Josh Bueller, the group's
music director and featured soloist.
In addition to their new CD, Dicks &

"Look, there I am! I'm on the
light-pole! It's me, from freshman
year in high school," cries Pat
Smith coquettishly.
The music major, and
bass player for rea-
gan?, simperingly REA(
shows off his boy B
scout-like mugshot,
centerpiece on his Tonight a
band's show bill. "We
thought it'll be funny
and weird on the flier, so people
will check us out," explains Smith:
With their 2nd album, All The
Way From Allen Street, this quartet
is on a one-way street to success,
driving its somewhat peculiar name
throughout Michigan. "The name
is quite mysterious actually," infers
Brian Bonenberger, the band's co-
founder and guitarist. But, when
asked about its origins, he bluntly
replies, "sorry, that's all you get."
Formed in Brighton in late 1997
by Smith, Bonenberger, and ex-
drummer Joe Conchola, reagan?
started off as three high school
freshmen jamming up cover songs
in Smith's basement. The troupe's
female vocalist, Sarah Brosch, was
actually introduced a year later
from an advertisment. According
to the group, Brosch was signed on
"because she was the only one who
used punctuation in her response."
In the four years since reagan?'s
inception, they have already
recorded two albums - the first one
in 1999, with the help of local pro-
ducer Gene Fiero, titled She Uses
Reagan? picked up their, newest
member, Michigan State drummer
Christopher Takis, in January 2002
- right on the heels of the band's
second release All The Way From
Allen Street. Small town whole-

it 9

someness is an immediately apper-
ceived trait of reagan?, for
although seemingly quite new tothe
business, Allen Street is definitely
not a sophomoric production, with
10 full length songs acoustically
mastered to perfec-
"We're really happy
AN? with how the CD
came out," guitarist
j'ig Brian Bonenberger
9:30 p.m. explains. "We spent
over a year working
on it so it's really pol-
ished and sounds a lot better than
anything we've ever recorded
The magic of reagan?'s voice
can be experienced in Brosch's
angelic vocals, with Bonenberger's
gutsy finger-work and Smith's
strumming, melded gently into
thoughtful compositions. When
asked to describe their music, the
band simply expresses their distain
to being pigeon-holed into a singu-

lar confining characterization. The
band has been labeled avt-pop,
rock, indie rock, pop-rock and any
other combination of those terms.
"We try to write energetic
melodic rock tunes that stand out
as a refreshing sound compared to
the bland mainstream of today's
rock music," offers Bonenberger.
This said, reagan? is diverse in
style, boasting everything from
ambient beats to haunting choruses
reminiscent of the theme from
It's also a woiwder how much rea-
gan? has an ear for exquisite
arrangements. Their songs are
reflective, resolute, and excruciat-
ingly soulful - as evident in
vocals Sarah Brosch's blues-
charmed chords.
Overall, reagan? is crisp and
chillingly intimate. Their newest
efforts are beautifully mastered. If
visually-impaired swine can fly,
reagan? must be the angelic levita-
tion that carried its tune.


& Janes' abilities in performance, arrangement and Janes presents their fourth Annual Spring concert -
recording. Each of the lines is distinct and with its "School Days" this Friday at 8 p.m. at the Michigan
own sonic space. Simultaneously clearly defined and League Ballroom. Joining them will be University of
unobtrusive, the background voices fade in and out of Illinois' No Strings Attached, a coed ensemble special-
attention over the solo voice. Track nine, "Trashin' the izing in vocal jazz a cappella. Tickets are just $5 for
Camp," presents a glimpse at the group's joviality. students, $7 for general public, available at Michigan
"It's playful, funnyand just off the wall, interrupted by Union Ticket Office and at the door.
animal noises made by group members," comments "This semester has been the strongest yet for our
president Melinda Wenner. Especially impressive and group, and we hope to put on a great show," declaims
amusing is the accuracy of the elephant and chim- Clark Haynes, business manager. Their new CD is
panzee noises, not to mention the left-to-right panning available at http://www umich.edu/~dandj/ and at the
of the swinging Tarzan cry. upcoming campus concert.
rPlayfest 20a' beins
to-morrow at Frieze k k}

Courtesy of VPM Records

Brosch practicing reagan?omics. Get It? Like the President!

By Jenni Glenn
Daily Arts Writer
Audience members can do more
than applaud to show their apprecia-
tion for two new student-written
plays performed on campus this
Tomorrow and Thursday, the play-
wrights will hold question and
answer sessions with
the audience to obtain
feedback following
staged readings of the BASEME
works, "For Fear of PLAYFE
Love, For Love of Arena Th
Fear" and "Bit of Wit." B
"The Playfest is all
about the text," said Tomorrow
Fear of Lo'
Allison Seranno, a of Fear."2
fourth-year Music stu- p.m. -"B
dent who directs the Fr
staged reading of "For Baser
Fear of Love, For Love
of Fear" tomorrow. "It's for the
playwright to hear their words and
get the audience feedback."
School of Music students Angela
Zuck and Steve Best developed the
plays in the theater department's
"Playwriting Toward Production"
Zuck wrote "For Fear of Love,
For Love of Fear," a dark comedy
that follows a man, Victor, lost in
his obsessive love for a woman
named Maya. Victor shows up on
Maya's doorstep, and the audience
watches their conversation unfold
almost in real time. "It's like a what-


if situation," Seranno said. "These
two people look back on a relation-
ship they used to have, and it takes a
look at what if they had stayed
Although the actors will carry
their scripts, the staged reading will
look more like a finished play with
scenery and props, Seranno said.
Best's play, "Bit of Wit," uses a
different format. It
consists of a series of
scenes linked by the
T ARTS narrator's comments in
[ 2002 between scenes. The
tre, Frieze play also contains
g. some influences from
Walt Whitman's poet-
o For ry. Seranno portrays a
ril 4 at 7 character in one of the
of Wit." scenes at Thursday's
e. .staged reading.
t Arts "Bit of Wit" con-
fronts social situations

ranging from the dynamics of a dys-
functional family to the decision-
making process involved with
obtaining breast implants. "It ques-
tions the audience, but it doesn't
give them time to think about the
answer," Serrano said.
Seranno, a directing major, took
the course with Zuck and Best. The
class allowed the three students and
the professor, theater faculty mem-
ber OyamO, to exchange feedback
on the two plays. "It's really neat to
be able to react to their words
immediately and have (the play-
wrights) take my opinion and

Courtesy of Basement Arts
OyamO. Just OyamO.
change things," Serrano said. "I see
things in the script that I actually
Serrano pushed for some changes
that will appear in the staged read-
ings, including adding strength and
some control of the conversation to
the love object character of Maya in
"For Fear of Love, For Love of Fear."
Although she faced some chal-
lenges directing new material, Ser-
anno said she enjoyed the
experience of approaching the play
without preconceptions about how it
should eventually turn out. "I just
went with my first instinct and
developed the characters in my own
mind," she said.
Seranno said she feels this experi-
ence helped her understand how to
work with new plays from a direct-
ing perspective. She said she hopes
to have the opportunity to direct a
new show in the future. "It's neat to
see a work in progress," she said. "It
grows with every day, all toward the
final product."

By Ryan Blay
Daily TV/New Media Editor
With the tagline, "Into Each
Generation a Slayer is Born,"
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
launched on the WB
network in 1997. It
developed into a cult
hit on the network BUFF
before moving to UPN VAMPIR
this season. Now, at FIRST
long last, the entireD
first season is avail- D
able on DVD for those Picture/Soun
who missed the show's TV Show:
early episodes (and
repeats on FX) or just Features:*
want to relive the Warn
experience of the
show's earlier work.
The season begins with Buffy
Summers (the incomparable Sarah
Michelle Gellar) moving to Sunny-
dale. She was booted from her pre-
vious school for an incident
involving the burning down of her
school's gym. Now she is in Sun-
nydale, a former school beauty
queen in a new town, forced to
make new friends. She eventually
befriends dorky Willow (Alyson
Hannigan) and sweet goofball Xan-
der (Nicholas Brendon, looking
like a younger version of Chandler
from "Friends"). She also develops
a relationship with vampire Angel
(David Boreanaz, now on his own
WB show), while Xander pines for


Ld: ****
er Bros.

she has to fight nasty
monsters each
episode. Her assigned
watcher, Giles, is
ready to instruct her
while he's not pretend-
ing to be the school
The three-disc DVD
collection does an
excellent job with the
season's blend of
camp and seriousness.
From Buffy's failed
attempt to try out for
the cheerleading team

First Season of 'Buffy' makes
eat Dset for show's fans

her - and Willow in turn pines for
Now that her life is sufficiently
complicated, she discovers that
Sunnydale is on the Hellmouth,

Learning that Gellar was initially
tapped to portray snooty Cordelia,
rather than the protagonist, is
something that lends insight into
Whedon's mind. So is Whedon's
basis of Xander on his own high
school life.
While the show will never reach
the depth of "The Sopranos" or
"The Simpsons," it's still a fine,
fun show. With the upcoming
release of the second season later
this summer, it is imperative to
have season one in order to keep
track. Like "Friends,"
"M*A*S*H*" and other shows that
have recently began releasing sea-
son-by-season DVDs, this is cer-
tainly worth the $30 or so that it
would take to follow along.

(hurling a fellow cheerleader
across the gym) to her 'depression
at her inability to balance her
social life (she wants a boyfriend,
damnit!) and her responsibilities as
the Slayer, season one highlights
her character shift from ditzy Cali-
fornia blonde to serious protector
of the human race.
The sound and picture qualities
are just fine, but the extras leave
something to be desired. The one
full commentary with creator Joss
Whedon, on "Welcome to the Hell-
mouth," is well-done, as are the
brief interviews on a few of the
episodes. It's a shame that Fox did-
n't include' more of these insights.



mHE 'STAR WAiis'
!r v v4Ai. o


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