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April 15, 2003 - Image 22

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-15

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8B - The Michigan Daily - Special Graduation Section - Tuesday, April 15, 2003 A RTs
DMB offer 'highly obnoxious electric guitars'

'Sopranos' whack TV foes

By Dustin Seibert
Mac 6, 2001

This is some ol' bullshit.
As the result of a plot designed by the man, I was
"required" to write this review against my will. Now,
everyone here at this publication knows DAMN
WELL that I only review hip-hop and R&B. Naturally,
when I received last Tuesday, the new Dave Mitchell
Band joint, I did not hesitate in throwing it back into
their pasty-white faces with a resounding "kiss my
black ass." However, they threatened my job if I didn't
provide, saying something along the lines of ",we own
you do it or else," or some racist trash like that. You
see, this is nothing more than another brother being
used as a pawn in the mass marketing of the man's
product such utter disregard for goods produced and
businesses run by our people is an absolute travesty!
The other day I was talking with my good friend
Bobby Seale on my black cell phone about this foolish-
ness. He told me, "X, don't forget what Huey and I
fought for all those years ago. Keep a steady head, and
play their game for the time being. Our time will come
soon" So I said to myself that I may as well write this
review in orderto keep my job besides, I know that I
am not getting paid anywhere near the amount of
cream that my pasty-faced counterparts receive, so I
have to struggle that much harder. I need this job ...
semiautomatic guns and gas grenades aren't cheap,
you know.
Before I even pulled the CD out of the case, I notice
a band full of brothers, and two white cats. I mean,
what the hell is the deal with that?!?!? Are they there

ed product of the white man's mind! I thought my ears
were gonna start bleeding! See, we were all chillin' out,
just content with our African rhythms, and then you go
and expose us to THAT garbage? That's not even the
worst part! This Dave Mathers guy is wailing and
whining like a bitch all throughout the record about
dumb shit that has absolutely no relevance to me as a
BLACK man. My people weren't oppressed for 400
years just to listen to Dave Miller spout his propagan-
da. To be honest with you, this guy comes off as het-
erosexually challenged, if you know what I mean. No
real man with a properly functioning jimmy could pos-
sibly sound like such a herb ("a herb" is to stay like it
is, ... D.S.) over music like he does. Thank you, my
dominant oppressor, for forcing me to waste an hour of
my life listening to this insurmountable pile of crap.
I couldn't possibly care less about Dan Matthews
or his god-awful band. They can take this album
and distribute it over in Worchester, Mass where
someone actually may care about it. As far as I am
concerned, it's music like this that sets us back as a
people. Was Radio Rahiem playing this on his
boombox? Would you hear this crap at The Source
Awards (talk abouta fight breaking out)? Of course
not! People, we need to elevate! Boycott him and
his propaganda so that we may put a stop to this
kind of music once and for all! I don't know this
Dave Mason guy personally, but I can tell you one
thing when the revolution comes, he'll have a front-
row seat for the showing of the barrel of my 12-
gauge! Fight the power, and bury this CD as far
into the earth as you can. Just don't bury it in the
white snow they want that!

By Ryan Blay
On HBO, they don't waste any time.
After a quick recap of season two of the
hit drama "The Sopranos," last Sunday
the station decided to air back-to-back
new episodes of the Emmy-winning
show. Just as the late Livia Soprano
didn't mince words, the
show wasted no time in
moving on and establish-
ing new story lines for its
junior season.
In the season premiere,
the feds wiretap the Sopra-
nos' basement, hoping to
catch Tony (James Gan-
dolfini) discussing some
business on tape. For the
operation, the FBI alludes Gandolfini
to the Bada Bing, the strip
club Tony and his crew frequent. Tony is
"Der Bingle," daughter Meadow (Jamie-
Lynn Sigler), now at Columbia Univer-
sity, is "Princess Bing," etc. Anthony Jr.,
AKA "Baby Bing," is a high school
slacker, smoking and skateboarding,
struggling to learn Robert Frost.
The next show focused on Meadow's
new boyfriend and the death of Tony's
mother. Tony is quite unhappy with
Meadow's selection, a half-Jewish, half-
black son of Hollywood big shots. Need-

less to say, Meadow reacts harshly to
Tony's bigotry. Meanwhile, the biggest
bane of Tony's existence is no longer
alive. Livia Soprano (Nancy Marchand),
brought to life via creepy computer
graphics and old footage, passes away
As she was planning to testify against
her son, this comes as somewhat of a
pleasant surprise for Tony.
This week, among other
subplots, Christopher
(Michael Imperioli)
becomes a made man, an
official party of the Mafia,
family. Also, Dr. Melfi (the
wonderful Lorraine Bracco)
gets more involved as Tony
explores a childhood trauma.
and starts demanding tangi-
ble results from his psy-
It is pleasant to see that
writer/creator David Chase is as sharp as
ever. Although the parts with Livia were
creepy, the rest of the show remains
strong, reminding viewers why it is
undoubtedly the finest show on cable, if'
not all of TV If, as Chase proposed, the
show lasts only four seasons, he must
make each and every episode count. The'
show will go out on top, but won't last
for long. Make sure to catch a well-writ-
ten show before it disappears like a stool
pigeon at a Mafia picnic.

just to fill some damn quota? Or is "Massa" Dave forc-
ing them to play bad music-depriving them of food and
beating them with guitar strings? Look at the frowns
on their faces they look as if they about ready to stick a
drumstick up "Massa" Dave's ass. I mean, I would be
unhappy too if I were one of the token black men des-
ignated just to appeal to a demographic. Come on
home, brothers come on home.
So anyway, I reluctantly shove the disc into the play-
er of my black Ford, and I am greeted to nothing other
than the brain-bending sound of loud, highly obnox-
ious electric guitars. What kind of mess is this? My
speakers and my ears are not accustomed to this twist-

New Spring
Just in time
for Graduation!

Sc e tp of faskio,,,
1119 S. University . 747.8272
hours: mon-wed 10-6 e"th-fri 10-8
sat 10-6 0sun 12-5

Bruce Springsteen
he only thing tory worker, his lyrics of hardship and
less prepos- financial difficulty appealed to the very
terous than a people he came from. For many fans,
pop star tackling the Springsteen was equal parts rock and roll
11-month-old cloud- god and heartland, down-home brother in a
burst that was 9-11 is probably a writer blue collar.
tackling a pop star tackling tragedy. Image is everything.
Nonetheless, the grail of musical criticism His giant-sized breakthrough Bom in
and credibility Rolling Stone dropped a the U.S.A. basically was misinterpreted by
five-star bomb on Bruce Springsteen's 1at- 9 out of 10 people who picked up the
est record, The Rising. record. Springsteen's then trademark disaf-
Springsteen's five-star score follows fection and disenfranchisement with the
perfectly in suit with Rolling Stone's recent human condition in the United States was
tendencies to award older artists positive interpreted as little more than a series of
reviews. Recently, Mick Jagger and Bob anthems for the middle-class majority.
Dylan have been recipients of five-star The sullen lyrics of the album's title
reviews. It is painfully obvious why Mick track describe a Vietnam vet down on his
Jagger would receive a positive review - luck after being used by the government,
the magazine is called Rolling Stone. Bob and the battle cry of "Born in the U.S.A."
Dylan is some kind of exemption as well became more a rousing chorus, and less
- while I couldn't care less for Love and the angst-ridden barb the record intended it
Theft, at least it wasn't just a magazine to be. "Glory Days" another of the seven
suckling at the teat of its namesake. singles on Bom in the U.S.A. blew up on
It's not about the stars. They really the airwaves despite its own dose of
don't mean anything. In this case, it's about Springsteen's sullen lyrics.
the reasons that the stars were given. Fast forward 18 years into this post-
The Boss hasn't exactly had a presti- Sept. 11, nothing has really changed other
gious, groundbreaking or vitally important tha more news coverage, d a f wne
career. His voice was the voice of the fac- cabinet positions in the United States.
Springsteen is drawing rave reviews
and for all of the wrong reasons. Without
even hearing The Rising, I can promise that
it is not very good. Not "excellent," not
- - "classic," it might be good, but in all likeli-
hood, it is simply exceptionally average.

appropriate levels of compassion and
empathy for the issue. In fact, Bruce even
went far enough to contact victim's fami-
lies and talk to them about how they felt,
so that the ever-present third person narra-
tors in Springsteen's tunes would have their
usual life when dealing with the tender
wounds from the 11th.
The Rising is an album that is appar-
ently so rich with importance that Rolling
Stone opened its freelance pocket wide and
ensnared MTV's voice of reason and
reporting Kurt Loder to write the review
for an album that was guaranteed five stars
when its release date was announced.
Loder likens the album to a "requiem
for those who perished in that sudden
inferno." This proves to be a nice literary
precursor and eventual transition into the
part of the review where Loder actually
discusses the album, and the first track he
talks about is "Into the Fire." So, is the
record really a requiem for the deceased, or
in fact a wonderful tool for writers to
showcase their ability to connect music to
the real world and play the part of the great
line between popstar and plain-folk.
These sort of campy transitions should
sicken readers and listeners of The Rising
completely. Not all of The Rising's tracks.
were written post-Sept. 11, a few were
penned pre-planes-into-buildings fiasco.
If this record had been released in an
America where Sept. 11 had never hap-
pened, reviewers and listeners would be
singing a different tune altogether. Proba-
bly something closer to the groans made'
when Springsteen released his last studio

Let's not forget we are dealing with the
man who played songs on movie sound-
tracks like the Tom Hanks AIDS-flick
"Streets of Philadelphia" and "Secret Gar-
den" from "Jerry Maguire.' Springsteen
fans will point out that he won a Grammy
award for "Streets," and I'd point out the
hundreds of artists who have won Gram-
mys and proven themselves to be nothing
special or nothing hovering above average
on the musical radar.
I'd expect to see The Rising all over
critical top 10 lists at the end of 2002. This
is unfortunate, even more unfortunate is
the amount of Grammy Award nomina-
tions, and actual Gramny brass that the
record will likely garner. All of this, not
because of Springsteen's musicianship, but
because of its subject matter. It is unfortu-
nate that the American people would rely
on a pop artist's take on tragedy, rather than
treat the record asjust that, a record.
Springsteen's album, when I finally sit
down and listen to it, will no doubt be a
disappointment. At best, I would expect it
to be an above average record, with a mes-
sage that allows it to be enshrined as "clas-
sic" from the Tuesday that itcame out
Oh, that's a parallel I didn't even think
of The album came out on a Tuesday, and
Sept. 11 was a Tuesday. Maybe Bruce
should've waited to release the album on a
Tuesday that was the 1Ith to further
entrench his and his album's "classic" sta-
tus. Looks like the marketing wizards
behind Springsteen's rise back to the top
hadn't planned on that.
-Aug. 12, 2002

- 'Rising' from the ashes



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