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September 10, 2003 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-10

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Wednesday
Septe ber 10, 2003
michigandaily.com
artseditor@michigandaily.com

i 1be ahdau~ttin
LRTS

5

A

The Ann Arbor-raised rocker claims to have no
overriding motivation behind naming his new
album after the predatory canine. Still the solitary
animal seems a pretty apt metaphor for his solo
recording process. WK. chose to record Prince-
style, playing every single instrument on his new
LP, taking six full months and sometimes 36
straight hours of recording to amass the record's
heavily layered sound all by his lonesome (well,
engineer Ryan Boesch stuck around for most of it).
"None of it is jammed; everything has got to be
really specific, really exact," he says with the same
professed earnestness as he says pretty much
everything.
He relishes getting tech-
nical about his songwriting,
poring over tiny details of
building his songs from A
simple chords pounded out
at the piano to stadium
aspiring, 100-track epics. He becomes overcome,
gesturing wildly with a water bottle, humming with
his eyes closed, manically miming the particular
chords as they stream from the symphony living in
his head.
"There's only so many tracks you can mix at
once, so a lot of the stuff you'd have to piece
together in advance," he says before explaining
how the vocals of new song "Totally Stupid"
required 300 different takes to build the swelling
choral effects on the coda.
"I'm a big believer in computers. For this music
they're essential. I don't think they take away. I'm

THE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER
"Most Extreme Elimination Challenge" - Japanese TV
comes to America a la "Iron Chef" in this new ultimate game show on
Spike TV (formerly TNN). Two teams of contestants battle it out in
mental and physical challenges with no prize at stake. The result is
often dangerous but stupidly hilarious.
"Dirty Pretty Things" - A thriller from the director of "Dan-
gerous Liaisons" starring the beautiful Audrey Tautou ("Amelie")
with London as the backdrop. It only plays at selected theatres, but
luckily we're in Ann Arbor.
Selena Cross - This Australian singer/songwriter's first album,
Strip, is a romantic composition of sweet melodies with varied instru-
mental accompaniments. The 12 songs are a welcome addition to col-
lectors looking for upbeat music without fear of mainstream over
saturation by radio stations.

To party or not to party.
LONE 'WOLF'
BOR'S ANDREW W.K. IS ON TH
not one of those people who think digital technolo-
gy is evil or that it's ruining music." He points to
similar swipes made at the electric guitar when it
was first introduced as proof cut-and-paste digital
technology will survive its naysayers.
W.K. swears that half a year was barely enough
time to meticulously build the album in his com-
puter on ProTools, assembly lining instruments for
every song, one at a time.
"I really wanted to make a conveyer belt system.
I didn't want to work for two weeks," says WK,
"only get one song done and go 'Oh, there's 12
more to go ....'

The piano is the basic element of all his musical
knowledge, so naturally his trusty Roland SCS88
keyboard builds, as he says, "the stock skelton on
which everything else sits."
Although W.K.'s frenzied keyboard work is
mixed much higher on The Wolf, especially com-
pared to the crunching guitar-based I Get Wet, the
singer is quick to point out that the new album con-
tains much more complex and varied leads, none
of which came easily.
Having not played any bass or guitar in a long
time, W.K. found his fingers "torn to shreds" from
hours of trying to master the
perfect riffs he imagined.
They bleed for days after.
Seems strange that a guy
who records almost entirely
LE HUNT alone would claim that his
singularly named new album
is really about celebrating the sense of community
he's been trying to foster within his audience. But he
always refers to it as "this music," never as "his" or
"mine" because he really doesn't believe he owns it
or has even created it, only recognizes what he does
as part of a communal vision bigger than himself.
With his trademark big picture modesty, WK.
professes, "The point of doing this is just to enjoy
the experience of listening to the melodies and at the
same time it's all those things the first album was
asking for; let's get a party going. Let's do this, let's
do that, we're going to, we, us. And we found that so
now it's about celebrating that unity."

)
y

"Felicity" Season Two DVD -
While sophomore year wasn't the best for
the college undergrad, this latest set pro-
vides great audio commentaries from the
actors. At any rate, it is something to
watch each week instead of the horrible
upcoming fall season.

Zelda - Nintendo provides the
perfect procrastination tool in the
adventures of an adorable blond
boy in a little green outfit. The
amazing graphics of Game
Cube's latest addition to the series,
"The Wind Waker," seem more like
a cartoon than a video game. Don't
have the new system? Bust out the origi-
nal, the addicting adventure and mesmer-
izing music is a guarantee distraction
from studying.

--i

Comedy Central
scores withl two
out of three
By James Pfent
Daily Arts Writer
Actually have time to watch TV, but sick of low-quality
programming? Take heart friends, because Comedy Central is
here for you.
We all love "Insomniac," with its glorious, drunken
debauchery. "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" is another
staple; its biting and hilarious political commentary is essen-
tial in times like these. Hell, the channel even runs good flicks
on occasion, like "High Fidelity" and "Best in Show."
But, not one to rest on its laurels, Comedy Central has
introduced three new shows for your viewing pleasure. On
Tuesdays at 10 p.m. airs "I'm with Busey," the channel's bid
for "The Osbournes"' reality TV crown. "Reno 911!," a
"Cops"-like show that's completely fake (for a change), airs
Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. Last (and certainly least) is "The
New Man Show," which airs Sundays at 10 p.m.
Let's get "The New Man Show" out of the way first,
because it sucks. To be fair, the show gets a laugh here and
there, but new hosts Doug Stanhope and Joe Rogan are sorry
replacements for Adam Corolla and Jimmy Kimmel. The lat-
ter pair clearly weren't as dumb as they acted during stunts
like their hilarious campaign to end women's suffrage.
Rogan and Stanhope are exactly as moronic as they appear,
but even they realize that they're nowhere near as funny as the
original hosts. To compensate, the entire show is over the top
and consequently embarrassing..Ads call the new hosts
"lucky stiffs." Lucky indeed! They'll have their own show for
all of six weeks.

My Morning Jacket

By Andrew Gaerig
Daily Arts Writer

Courtesy or omedy Central

Who wants a moustache ride?

My Morning Jacket have an extraor-
dinary way of making time pass. Their
airy, slow-burn, country jams stretch
out like miles of lonely telephone wire.
Bandleader Jim _.___.____._
James' voice, My Morning
caked in a country Jackg
mile of reverb,
flows elegantly It Still Moves
over the psychedel- ATO Records
ic twang. All of
this has a warping effect, making their
lengthy strolls seem much shorter.
This is hardly anything new for the
band, however. Their debut album,
1999's The Tennessee Fire, was a to-fi
acoustic smash, and 2001's At Dawn
was notable for its epic interpretation of
the band's unique vibe. Despite all the
success, their recent signing to Dave
Matthews' ATO Records - a label
known mostly for jam bands and David

Gray - raised some righteous under-
ground eyebrows.
It's unlikely, however, that the purists
will argue much with It Still Moves, as
the album covers much of the same ter-
ritory. Never does the
band fall into jam ter-
ritory, and the songs,
despite their increased
length, are notably
more consistent.
"Dancefloors," for
instance, is the band's
most accomplished
composition to date.
Juxtaposing a driving
percussion section
with tight piano fills,
singing lead guitar and a rousing horn-
section, the song is both melodic and
soulful. James still sounds like a super-
hero Neil Young, his cavernous voice
and inspiring lyrics filling the songs
with a beautiful, molasses presence.
The rest of the disc is remarkable for
both its consistency and range.
"Mahgeetah" is notable for its reggae

guitar sound, and "One Big Holiday" is
an excitable guitar rave-up. "I Will Sing
You Songs," the only track that finds the
band extending their formidable guitar
interplay, builds on a remarkably simple
lyrical turn before
suspending the listen-
er in a stratosphere of
six-string warmth.
The band's one
fault has always been
a tendency to fall too
easily into the trap-
pings of Americana
and country. It Still
Moves, while still
occasionally relying
on traditionalism,
shows a strong move away from this
tendency. Indeed, the band is most cap-
tivating when it challenges standard
conventions, pushing its creative,
inspired sound forward while leaving its
heart in the past. It Still Moves is an
enthralling listen, the sound of a band
too distinct to remain rooted, and too
loyal to stray far from home.

Fortunately, of Comedy Central's new programs, "The New
Man Show" is the only misfire. "Reno 911!," on the other
hand, is a breath of fresh air. Reality TV it's not, but its faux-
documentary style, "Real World"-like confessionals and
improvised feel might just appeal to reality lovers and haters
alike. The show has plenty of subtle humor as well as some
laugh-out-loud moments. "Reno 911!" is a winner, but
whether or not it'll be successful remains in question.
"I'm with Busey," however, can already call itself a hit.
Actor Gary Busey is quite insane; we're talking Nick Nolte-
esque dementia. Young comedy writer and lifelong Busey fan
Adam de la Pena thought it'd be a good idea to accompany
him on his wacky adventures and have them filmed. They're a
perfect pair, since Busey is idealistic and willing to do any-
thing for whatever cause is on his mind, while de la Pena is
cynical as hell and just wants to go home.
Busey nearly fights a stranger, eats road kill and tries to
"butt plug" some cows all in a single episode. For a moment
one wonders how nuts Busey really is and how much of this is
acting. Stop wondering and watch; the show is damn funny.
Clearly, Comedy Central would do well to create new
shows rather than rehash old ones. As Meatloaf once said,
"Two out of three ain't bad. Just don't watch 'The New Man
Show."'

WEEN, QUEBEC; SANTUA RicoRDS 12 Golden Countryreats
The bubbly Brit-inspired "Hey There Fancy Pants
Ween will never be taken seriously. Most people'find prog-rock manipulated-voice cut 'Tied and Thue" showcase
them silly and immediately laugh fftheir music as a nov- the various ranges of fun Ween have tooff, yet in ai4 d
elty for fans of the strange and drug-sing experimentalists. ance of their common concept albui re6ording Ween hae
But lost in most circles is just how msicaly talented pseu- assembled a record of metal exposionjam-4nd p d
do brothers Gene and Dean Ween reafly are. In their send- bizarre pop creations that never mesh. Such ad
ups of every musical genre known to man, while they could be excusable if the tracks consistently equaled the
positively take a? campy attitude, Ween atso conmnonly bizarre bliss of past albums but Quebec finds Ween '>n a
master the style, hinting that Ween could put out an entire high you can't quite brag about to your friends. ***
CD of that kind as they did for cntry-westen with 1996' -ToddWeiser

The University of Michigan College of Literature,
Science, and the Arts presents a public
lecture and reception

I =A I r Lj.-L

.. .

Im

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