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February 12, 2003 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-12

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ART S

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 7

'Buffy' DVD short on extras for fans

By Ryan Blay
Daily Arts Writer
The good news: Season three of
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" not only
meets the expectations of the second
season, it arguably surpasses them.
The bad news: Fox Home Enter-
tainment has continued to neglect the
show's fans by delivering yet another
series of substandard extras on what
should be a very powerful collection.
When the second season conclud-
ed, Spike was apparently destroyed
and Buffy's mother, Joyce (the always
under-appreciated Kristine Suther-
land) was having difficulty coping
with Buffy's slayer status. Season
three brought even more fun with the
introduction of three new characters:
Anya, the Mayor and Faith.
Anya first appears in "The Wish,"
the finest episode of the season's
first half. A wish by the jilted
* Cordelia brings forth a haunting
vision of a Sunnydale without Buffy,
including a creepy vampire duo of

Xander and Willow. Still, her enter-
taining appearances and developing
love of Xander is nothing compared
to the other additions.
The addition of Faith brought a new
energy to the show that was visibly
lacking in the first few episodes. The
bad-girl foil for Buffy,
Eliza Dushku's Faith,
played by her own rules
and enjoyed her slayer BUFF
position. Rumors of her VAMPIR
return in the current THE C(
season on UPN make it THIRD
all the more imperative
to see her in action,
especially in the Picture/Sour
episode "Bad Girls." Show: ***
The Mayor (a.k.a.
Richard J. Wilkins III) Features: *'
definitely took a shine Fox Home E
to her. The most enter-
taining villain in the show's run, the
Mayor's comical attention to clean-
liness and his Xander-like use of
puns to diffuse a tense situation
made him a staple of any episode.

His banter with Mr. Trick was amus-
ing, but his real asset was his work
in the season's two-part finale,
"Graduation Day," which rivaled
season two's finale in excitement
and emotional strength.
But while the season featured

FY THE
E SLAYER:
OMPLETE
SEASON
VD
nd: ****
'*1
k*n
Entertainment

touching scenes
including the prom and
graduation, we'll never
get to know what the
actors thought about
these events since
there is absolutely no
commentary by the
stars in the collection.
Nor is there any Joss
Whedon commentary
except for a few short
interviews. Writers
make occasional com-
mentary on three

RAINER MARIA
LONG KNIVES DRAWN
POLYVINYL RECORDS
By Sean Dailey
Daily Arts Writer
Rainer Maria have definitely
matured since their first full-length
record, Past Worn Searching. Caith-
lin De Marrais' bass work and
vocals are much improved. Kyle Fis-
cher's guitar is still stop notch and
William Kuehn's drums direct their
songs better than ever.
While lacking some of the angst
and rage of earlier releases, Long
Knives Drawn is still a welcome
addition to the band's already
impressive catalog.
The most notable difference
between Rainer Maria's previous
work and Knives is the absence of
Fischer's screaming background
vocals, long a trademark of the
band. Fischer, however, makes up
for his new silence by throwing out
some incredible guitar work, espe-
cially notable on the title track and
in "Ears Ring," tracks full of metal-
like riffs that drive De Marrais'
caustic lyrics.

of this six-disc set before it came
out. The season was incredible, the
delivery almost embarrassing. With
David Boreanaz and Charisma Car-
penter off to "Angel" and Seth
Green's delightfully understated Oz
off the show, it seems wasteful not
to have them discuss their final sea-
son together. Perhaps season four
will bring more effort from FOX in
this department.

The rest of the tracks are solid but
not altogether ground-breaking by
Rainer Maria standards. The album
lacks a "Breakfast of Champions" or
an "Artificial Light," something
worthy of rolling your windows
down and singing at the top of your
lungs. "The Imperatives" and "CT
Catholic" come close.
Still, Long Knives Drawn is a
near-perfect album and well worth a
listen. Fans will definitely enjoy it.
Newcomers should probably check
out Look Now, Look Again or A Bet-
ter Version of Me first.
RATING: * * * *

episodes, but that is hardly impres-
sive. The featurettes are entertaining
but hardly enough to warrant a spe-
cial features section.
I could have predicted the quality

Nick Cave's new 'Nocturama' decidedly average

NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
NOCTURAMA
EPITAPH
By Andrew Jovanovski
Daily Arts Writer
Nick Cave, everyone's favorite
antipodean gothic poet, is back with
Nocturama. As the title might sug-
gest, the record finds Cave and com-
pany exploring love and life with
their trademark macabre approach.
The album starts off with an eeri-
ly beautiful, slow-burning piece
ironically entitled "Wonderful Life,"
then slowly crescendos to. "Dead

Man in My Bed." A 180-degree
shift from the opener, it features
Cave's howling
organ dueling with
the frenzied guitar
of his backing band.;
On "Rock of
Gibraltar," Cave
compares the geo-
graphical feature to
a man's "steadfast
and true" love for a
woman. The mood a cxyVE
sours when his AN4DhE BAOE
plans are "betrayed C
like the Rock of
Gibraltar." The metaphor is sloppy at
best - did she run off with a

nXl
>s

Spaniard, or is Cave expressing his
wish for Gibraltar to remain British?
The album's clos-
er, "Babe, I'm on
Fire," is a 15-
minute, 40-verse
hyperactive listing
song about man's
flammable state.
Think Dylan's "Sub-
terranean Homesick
Blues" meets the
frenetic goth-rock of
The Birthday Party's
"Release the Bats."
Within verses,
Cave's deadpan skillfully jumps
from playful to acerbic as he rhymes

things like "hymen-busting Zulu"
with "proud kangaroo" and "Papist"
with "rapist" while the Bad Seeds
play so furiously that it just might
leave you winded.
Mixing the pure poetry of The
Boatman 's Call with The Birthday
Party's pioneering goth, Nocturama
showcases both ends of Cave's
musical spectrum. With nary an
awful song, yet nary an outstanding
one, Nocturama will probably be
remembered in the annals of time as
"that Nick Cave album with the
crazy 15-minute song at the end."
RATING: * * *

BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY
MASTER AND EVERYONE
PALACE RECORDS/DRAG CITY
By Andrew M. Gaerig
Daily Arts Writer
Will Oldham, the Marxian beard
behind the Bonnie
"Prince" Billy moniker,
has frequently polluted
his folk music witho
guiltless sexuality and
morbid playfulness. His
arrangements have
always been vanilla, but
as long as the songwrit-
ing's there and psyche's
shot, who cares, right?

On Master and Everyone Oldham
takes a stab at more conventional
folk; he mostly abandons the warts
that have made his music unique.
And while tracks like "Ain't You
Wealthy, Ain't You Wise?" and the
title track carry a stately, ruminative
grace, lines like "It's a hard life, for
a man with no wife" fail to resonate
and inspire like they
could have - in 1935.
Oldham's sense of his-
tory and his talents cannot
be denied, but this is a dis-
appointingly predictable
turn from one of folk's
most challenging minds.
Let's hope it's a phase.
RATING: * *

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