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September 30, 2003 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-30

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Tuesday
September 30, 2003
michigandaily. com
artseditor@michigandaily.com

mkTks

7

Poet Palmer reads verse to 'U'

By Courtney Meeker
For the Daily

What amazes Micheal Palmer so
much about poetry is that it "goes to
the heart of language." As a kid he was

first drawn to
verse because it
was a "door into
the world of imag-
ination and out of
the world of con-
ventional con-

Michael
Palmer
Davidson Hall
Today at 5 p.m.

in the past three decades.
Palmer will be reading from three of
his books today at 5 p.m. in Davidson.
He plans to read from
"Promises of Glass,"
"The Lion Bridge:
Selected Poems 1972-
1995" (2000) and the
book he is currently
working on, to be titled
"A Company of Moths."
After the publication
of "Promises of Glass,"
the Harvard Review
acclaimed him to be "one
of America's most impor-
tant poets." "The Lion
Bridge," his best work
according to Publishers Weekly, "has
something to show anyone who wants
to know where poetry might go next,

or where its fringes have been."
His poetry is complex and
diverse, partially due to its develop-
ment over the years.
But when asked how
his poetry has matured,
Palmer replies with a
chuckle, "Well, I
haven't matured over
the years." But he adds
that his writing has
become "more open in
address to the readers
and less interiorized."
He has also opened his
fields of expertise over
the years. Not only has he
has written radio plays
and works of criticism, he has also col-
laborated on many dance works, as he is
also a choreographer.

formist behavior that was a norm of
childhood in the 1950s." After entering
that world his writing has become a
perfect example of how poetry "goes
to the heart of language" in nearly 20
books of poetry that he has published

... BUT YOU CERTAINLY SHOULDN'T

By James Pfent
Daily Arts Writer

In anticipation of the release of Dave Matthews' solo
debut, fans may have wondered: Will it rock stagnantly
like the Dave Matthews Band, or will
he totally break rockin' new ground?
Word on the street is that Matthews Dave
originally offered the material for Matthews
Some Devil to the band, but they Some Devil
declined, noting need for time off and RCA Records
qualms with the quality of the songs.
So, does it sound like the Dave
Matthews Band? While the record is more guitar based
than DMB stuff, thanks to Tim Reynolds and Phish's Trey
Anastasio, there's nothing awfully new here.
What could have been a low-key, intimate singer/song-
writer debut proves to be an experiment in overbooking.
Boyd's endless violin solos are replaced by an entire

orchestra, while the Dirty Dozen Brass Band sub in for
Leroi's sax and flute. Dave-o, you should be stripping away
stuff instead of adding to it on a solo album.
Like the recent end of the DMB catalogue, songs go
on longer than they need to and drift into noodling
snoozers. To be fair, I wasn't stoned while listening; per-
haps some weed would make Matthews' meandering
jams and trite stream-of-drunken-consciousness lyrics
on songs like "So Damn Lucky" and "Gravedigger"
(which inexplicable appears on the record twice) more
enjoyable, but it's doubtful.
Dave Matthews' many shortcomings are all the more
glaring when he tries to branch out, especially in the vocal
department. Matthews isn't much of a soul singer. His
attempt at falsetto on "An' Another Thing" sounds like a
pubescent voice cracking and is just as pleasant.
Of course, regardless of how the record sounds, Dave's
faceless legions of fans will be so happy they'll stain them-
selves. Hopefully I'll meet Dave someday. I'll steal all of
his drugs and booze. For once, I'll have more fun at his one
concerts than he does.

Courtesy of Warner
Don't go
back to
Rockville.

RE.M. plays a game of
sing-along at the Palace

By Andrew M. Gaerig
Dily Arts Writer

Sting offers thoughts on Sacred Love

By Andrew Horowitz
For the Daily

On his eighth studio solo album,
Sting has chosen to explore Sacred
Love. Unfortunately, he has little to
say. The new EP is filled with gushy
lyrics and over-
bearing arrange-
ments that sound Sting
flat and unin- Sacred Love
spired. The major- A
ity of the tracks A&M Records
play like filler,
and the few intelligent tracks are not
enough to carry the album.
Sacred opens with "Inside," a
catchy acoustic, guitar-driven con-
templation on love. Sting sings,
"Inside the doors are sealed to love,"
and what follows is a discourse on
the need to open these "doors."
"Inside" is actually quite successful
with Sting's powerful vocal buildup
and ominous harmonies, but this
proves the highlight of the album, as

the following track (and subsequently
the album's single) "Send Your Love"
is a cheesy drum machine synthesiz-
er-induced dance failure. The Middle
Eastern motif and lyrics that include
"There's no religion but sex and
music" do noth-
ing but add to the
song's annoyance.
The song's possi-
ble savior, the fla-
menco guitar of
Vicente Amigo,
gets lost in over-
production.
Making Sacred
Love even worse,
the B-list guests
are continuously
misused through-
out on tracks
such as the lackluster "The Book Of
My Life," featuring sitarist Anoush-
ka Shankar, and the dry "Let's For-
get About the Future," with
trumpeter Chris Botti and bassist
Christian McBride. Other disap-
pointments include the harmonically

lacking "Dead Man's Rope," "This
War" (which concludes "Make it
easy on yourself / And don't do any--
thing") and the overly climactic
"Never Coming Home."
The album's shortcomings aside,
there are two tracks
besides "Inside"
that do reinforce
Sting's artistry: the
powerful Mary J.
Blige duet "When-
ever I Say Your
Name," and
"Sacred Love" a
funky blues num-
ber that succeeds if
we overlook the
pretentious biblical
references.
Regardless of
the album's quality, Sacred Love is
still above average. A world tour
coupled with numerous charitable
actions will ensure we hear plenty of
Sacred Love in years to come. No
worries, Sting is here to stay, for bet-
ter or worse.

Lost amid discussions of R.E.M.'s
artistic credibility and relative impor-
tance is the fact that the group has con-
sistently produced great singles.
Merging sophisticated pop with the lit-
erate, starry persona of singer Michael
Stipe, R.E.M. provided rock radio with
a jolt few other bands are capable of
generating. The band's current "Sonic
Overview" tour pays homage to these
tracks, eschewing
the album cuts for
singles and crowd R.E.M.
favorites. The Palace of
When the band Auburn Hills
hit the Palace Monday, Sept. 28
stage, it became
indisputably clear that the group still
lives and dies with Stipe's confident
howl. Stipe ran around the stage like a
class-clown Iggy Pop: ever moved by
the music, yet acutely aware of his own
icon. Unfortunately, he seemed to be the
only living member of the band.
Bassist/keyboardist Mike Mills and gui-
tarist Peter Buck stood stone still, while
the band's touring partners looked ready
to clock out and grab a paycheck. The
large, sparkling banners of the group's
faces did little to dissuade the notion
that this show was a big rock produc-
tion, featuring big rock stars.
Fortunately, the set list - a veritable
mixtape of mid-'90s alternative radio

- provided an energy the band could-
n't. "Losing My Religion" was flaw-
less, while burners like "Man on the
Moon" and "What's the Frequency,
Kenneth" catapulted off the stage in
waves of melody. "The One I Love"
benefited from Stipe's theatrical pan-
dering, and "Finest Worksong" sound-
ed triumphant amid the huge,
careening guitars. "Radio Free
Europe" provided the only link to the
band's rich past, while "It's the End of
the World As We Know It" closed the
show with anxious exaltation.
Despite the positive vibes,
"Nightswimming" was rendered sterile
by the stadium atmosphere, and "Every-
body Hurts" was reduced to a shame-
less sea of lighters. "Imitation of Life,"
the only song culled from R.E.M.'s lat-
est album, Reveal, failed to hold up to
their more sophisticated work. Oddly
enough, lesser-known tracks like "Walk
Unafraid" and "At My Most Beautiful"
fared better, allowing the audience
much-needed breathers.
R.E.M. remains an extremely talent-
ed group of capable musicians, though
in the last 10 years they've gone from
"hey ... kids ... rock 'n roll" to "Hey!
Kids! Rock 'N Roll!" By catering to
their admittedly impressive catalog of
radio standards, the band downplayed
its greatest asset: their ability to produce
not only massive sing-alongs, but also
entire albums of intelligent pop music.
It was a fine night of karaoke, but it
lacked the humanizing charm of the
band's best work.

SHORT
TAKES
FRANK BACKAND THE
CATHOLICS
SHOW ME YOUR TEARS
SPIN ART
Coming off a year when the
Catholics released two rockin'
albums on the same day in
August, FB infuses the new
release with a wide awakening of
emotionally-written lyrics, insti-
gated by Black's recent divorce,
all enthused with Black's unique
talent for stretching his vocals
several times over in a three-
minute span.
The ex-Pixies frontman also
continues his recent penchant for
genre exercises, like when elicit-
ing an indie rock Roy Orbison on
the sexual growlings of opener
"Nadine." "Massif Centrale"
finally merges the liberating
spaciness of FB's early solo mate-
rial with the more grounded,
rawer Catholics era of songs.
- Todd Weiser/Scott Serilla
VERTICAL HORIZON
Go
RCA RECORDS
The release of 1999's Every-
thing You Want marked the
beginning of Vertical Horizon's
current electric anthem binge.
Their new record Go is very
similar. Catchy hooks catharti-
cally burst out to fill the cho-
ruses of almost every tune.
"I'm Still Here" is destined to
become as big a hit as "Every-
thing You Want" and "Inside"
uses rolling strings and forceful
vocals with great success. The
last track, "Underwater," could
only close the album. It's the
only one that maintains tension
throughout, its guitar picking
eerily reminiscent of "The
Sounds of Silence." ***
-Laurence. JFreedman

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