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March 26, 2003 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-26

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March 26,'2003



Arvin to tempt A2 with 'Eden'

By Shital Thekdi
For the Daily
Nick Arvin may be the new kid on
the block in the writing community,
but he's no stranger to the communi-
ty. This University alum is turning
heads with his new collection of short
stories, "In The Electric Eden."
Arvin's technical skills and sincere
understanding of human emotion are
powerful ingredi- _
ents in his vivid
tales of life and Nick Arvin
technology. Tonight at 8 p.m.
Arvin explores At Shaman Drum
the ambiguity of
social life with the unavoidable and
most necessary influence of technolo-
gy. The title story tells the tale of
Topsy, an elephant whose 1903 elec-
trocution at Coney Island marked the
personal impact of harnessing a pow-
erful tool aided by modern technolo-
gy. "People have been dealing with
new technologies and a rapidly chang-
ing world for hundreds of years now.
Amid our computers and cell phones,
I think we sometimes forget that
things like balloons and canned food
and light bulbs were also radically
new at one time," Arvin said.
Many stories from "In the Electric
Eden" take place in modern times
right here in Michigan. The story

"Two Thousand Germans In Franken-
muth" tells about a popular German
television show visiting the small
Michigan town. "What They Teach
You in Engineering School" is a
poignant story of understanding
between a father and son, but also a
sly poke at the practicality of a theory
based engineering education.
Arvin isn't a typical author and
these aren't typical stories. "I look at
something ... and say to myself, 'OK,
it's a little weird but how would it
affect real people?' As, in the
instances of the elephant and the Ger-
mans, it did affect real people because
those things actually happened."
Arvin grew up in Clio, MI graduat-
ed from the University with a degree
in mechanical engineering and
stepped into the other side of educa-
tion by earning his Master of Fine
Arts in creative writing. These seem-
ingly polar opposite interests don't
seem too different to Arvin. "My first
instinct is always to try and minimize
the differences, to point out that engi-
neering is also a creative activity, and
that both writing and engineering
require a similar kind of discipline,
an attention to detail, and a visual
As an author by morning and an
engineer for an accident reconstruc-
tion company in the afternoons, Arvin
makes unique use of his diverse skills.
Sometimes, however, the technical

Courtesy of Nintendo

Meta-Zelda in a flourish of Postmodemism.


By Jeff Dickerson
Daily Arts Writer
"The Legend of Zelda" series is arguably Nintendo's
most successful franchise, aside from that one starring
the portly mustached plumber Mario. Since 1987, the
"Zelda" titles have appeared on a multitude of Nintendo's

systems, each one enjoying massive
praise. Now the series makes its
long-awaited debut on Nintendo's
GameCube in "The Wind Waker" -
a visually stunning hybrid of style
and classic "Zelda" gameplay.
The first thing you'll notice when
"Wind Waker" begins is its unique
style. The last time we saw Link was
on the Nintendo 64 in "Ocarina of
Time" and "Majora's Mask" and

sales and critical
The Legend
of Zelda:
The Wind

to save the world begins.
Outset Island is just one of dozens of islands in Link's
quest and much of the game is spent traveling between
them. Your transportation is a talking sailboat that gives
you hints to aid you in your journey, just one of the many
colorful characters in "Wind Waker."
"Wind Waker" owes its polished gameplay mechanics
almost entirely to its Nintendo 64 predecessors. The con-
trols are nearly identical in the way Link moves around
his lavish 3D surroundings, but this time he has even
more gadgets to play with. The familiar master sword,
bow and arrow, bombs and boomerang have all returned
along with new items such as the grappling hook and the
deku leaf. The most important of Link's new tools is the
Wind Waker, a musical wand that serves a similar pur-
pose as the ocarina did in "Ocarina of Time."
Many familiar musical themes pop up in "Wind
Waker" along your quest, dating back all the way to the
original Nintendo game. There is plenty of new music to
coalesce with the melodies of old, resulting in a splendid
blending of the two. The sound effects are rich and work
well to maintain the cartoon persona of "Wind Waker,"
while voice acting is thrown out in favor of text to move
along the story.
If there's one minor flaw in "Wind Waker" it's the
game's difficulty, which can be best described as ridicu-
lously easy. Once you have the play mechanics of the
game dow, your uest becomes Orly straight-forward
with very fwbun s in the road to hinder your progress.
Dungeons contain a host of puzzles, but they are hardly
puzzling. Each one requires the-intellect of-an 8-year-old
to solve, even in the later stages.
"Wind Waker" is more than worthy of the "Legend of
Zelda" moniker, ranking as one of the best in the series.
It owes a lot to its previous incarnations, but where
"Wind Waker" excels is its ability to perfect the game-
play of old and repackage it an hyper-stylized fashion
that is not only fun to play, but fun to watch.

and human sides of his life can be
conflicting. "Engineering often draws
the type of person who likes to see
things in absolute terms, black and
white. A writer, on the other, is in the
business of jumping into ambiguity
and exploring and expanding it."
"In The Electric Eden" is a power-
ful collection of stories, each with its
own flavor of innocence and progress.
Tonight, Arvin will speak about the
origins of these stories, read passages
and answer questions.

King Crimson suffers from tedium

By Andrew Jovanovski
Daily Arts Writer

After 30-some years or so, the King's reign is finally
coming to an end. Once the vanguard of progressive
rock, King Crimson is suffering an identity crisis. On

he's undergone quite the makeover since his last adven-
ture. To call "Wind Waker" a visual feast would be a
drastic understatement. The new "Zelda" is the closest
thing to an interactive cartoon to date, with dazzling col-
ors and an elaborate production design one could only
dream of seeing on The Cartoon Network.
The game begins with the young protagonist on Out-
set Island, an astonishingly detailed environment that
gives players just a taste of the visual splendor of
"Wind Waker." Waves elegantly crash into the shore,
pigs roam frantically around town and characters chat
with you as if it were an authentic seaside village. As it
so happens, the game starts on your character's birth-
day. We learn the young lad has reached an age when
it's tradition to don the famous green garments in trib-
ute of "The Hero of Time." That hero is, of course, Link
from "Ocarina of Time." From this moment on the quiet
little town gets turned upside down and your adventure

The Power to
Sanctuary Records

The Power to
Believe, the band
enlisted - to
poor results -
producer Machine
(White Zombie),
who has succeed-
ed in bastardizing
the band's unique

The tedious bombast of rocker "Happy with What You
Have to Be Happy With" reaches out to a new audience
with its nii-metal aesthetic, only to slap that audience in
the face with a chorus like "We're gonna repeat the cho-
rus / I guess I'll repeat the chorus / We're gonna repeat
the chorus." Then those potential fans are told to "Be
happy with what they have to be happy with."
"Facts of Life," the worst track on the album, is a
misguided foray into industrial that
features lead vocalist Captain Obvi-
ous singing about how "nobody
a knows what happens when you die."
The album's saving grace is "Dan-
gerous Curves," which contains a
sexy, kraut-rock-inspired groove
backed by classic Fripp mellotron
While it has its moments, like the
title track and "Dangerous Curves,"
the record is not likely to gain the
band more new fans than the number
that will be turned off by their latest
incarnation. King Crimson probably
doesn't wish they were Tool or Nine
Inch Nails; it's just that The Power to Believe kind of
comes off that way.


sound with industrial and nu-metal
noise pollution.'
The title song is explored different-
ly over several tracks. Part I is a cap-
pella, while Part II is a subdued,
Eastern-flavored exercise for the
traps and buttons and Part III is an
atmospheric piece with lamenting guitar and slightly syn-
copated percussion.

Acclaimed Graham to serenade 'U'

'High School' conceptualizes
mental scars of tough years

By Courtney Taymour
- Daily Arts Writer

won the Metropolitan Opera National
Council Auditions and has been
awarded the Schwabacher Award
from the San Francisco Opera's
Merola Program.
Besides being awarded recognition,

For the first time, mezzo-soprano
Susan Graham will be gracing the
University with her creamy voice
and perfect tone this Friday night.
As one of the most accomplished
classical singers of our time, Gra-
ham's performance will no doubt be
Susan Graham was born in
Roswell, N.M. and studied at both
Texas Tech University and the Man-
hattan School of Music. In the course
of her distinguished career, she has

Graham has per-
formed in Han-
del's "Ariodante"
as the title role
and has plans to
continue with
opera through a
debut role in
Lehar's Merry
Widow with the

Friday at 8 p.m.
Tickets from $25
At the Mendelssohn
Houston Grand

the role of Sister Helen Prejean in the
San Francisco Opera's world pre-
miere of "Dead Man Walking," and
the role of Jordan Baker at the Metro-
politan Opera in "The Great Gatsby."
Graham's operatic passions, how-
ever, have not hindered her solo
career. She recently released a CD of
French Operetta Arias, which Enter-
tainment Weekly named one of the
best classical albums of 2002. She
has also been touring Paris, Berlin,
London, Lisbon and Amsterdam dur-
ing the past few months.
In her Ann Arbor performance,
Malcolm Martineau will accompany
Graham on the piano. Her program
will include works by Brahms,
Alban Berg, Debussy, Poulenc and
other French composers. Additional-
ly, she will be singing one of her
most well known pieces, C'est ca la
vie c'est l'amour (from Toi c'est
moi), which is also included on her

By Marie Bernard
Daily Arts Writer

Opera. In the past, Ms. Graham has
created roles for new works including

-:1 F



Courtesy of susangraham.com
I think she likes you.
new album. Following her perform-
ance, Graham will be interviewed
by the University's associate profes-
sor of voice, Freda Herset.

Popular filmmakers have always had
a love affair with those four tumultuous
years of high school, but it is far more
rare to find a musi- _
cal that directly is There Life
addresses our con-
temporary mental After High
associations with School?
high school. Craig Thursday -Saturday
Carniela and Jef- at 7 p.m. with a
frey Kindley, in showat11p.m.on
their musical "Is Friday
there Life After At the Arena Theater
High School?"
have done exactly that. The show,
which had its Broadway premiere in
1982, opens this weekend in the Arena
Theater. The Basement Arts production
is a humorous and fast-paced investiga-
tion of high school as a uniquely Amer-
ican institution.
Allison Sorrano, a senior in the
theater department, chose to direct
this show for its universal relevance.
"The subject matter in the musical is

extremely graspable for college-age
students. I constantly focus the actors
to the concept of 'psychological
scars,"' said Sorrano. "Whether you
are two years or 20 years out of high
school, the memories haunt your
daily life."
The show has a nine-member cast
that plays a variety of characters in the
series of songs and monologues that
compose the lively, wistful and
poignant production. "This light-heart-
ed musical takes a journey through the
hallways of your mind. It awakens the
kid inside," Sorrano comments, "And
explores the scarring experiences of
high school." As Man 5 sings in
"Things I Learned in High School,"
"The things I learned in high school
cannot be wished away. They made me
who I am today."
The first act shows the character's
memories of high school, and the sec-
ond act is the reunion. Every character
has a chance to reflect on how that time
made them into who they are today, and
how adolescent choices come to define
us in our adult lives. Ultimately, it is
everyone's difficult relationship to their
past that comes to the surface.




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