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October 17, 2003 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-17

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October 17, 2003




By Archana Ravi

Daily Arts Writer

In a perfect world, all people
would live in a democracy cre-
ated by Wynton Marsalis. While
this is unlikely to ever happen,
Marsalis has created a perfect
democratic world within the
realm of jazz music. In fact,
Marsalis claims that what you
hear in a good jazz band is the
sound of democracy: "The jazz
band, like our democracy, works

best when
is shaped by
Wy nto0n
Marsalis has
b e e n
referred to
as the most
jazz musi- -

Tonight at
7:30 p.m. and
9:30 p.m.
Early show $18- $40
Late show $22 - $44
At the Michigan

devote to composition as well,
and proved himself a brilliant
composer. Hewassespecially
*well-received by the dance
community. He has composed
for such companies as Garth
Fagan Dance, the New York
City Ballet, Twyla Tharp for the
American Ballet Theatre and
for Alvin Ailey American
Dance Theatre. He then went on
to compose his most ambitious
work to date, "All Rise," which
was performed by the New York
Marsalis also manages to
incorporate his love for classical
music in his life. He has won
nine Grammy Awards and earned
the distinction of being the only
artist ever to win for both jazz
and classical recording.
In spite of his demanding
career, Marsalis devotes a large
part of himself to educational
programs for the arts. In 1987,
he started a jazz program at
Lincoln Center which includes
performances, debates, forums,
dances, television broadcasts
and educational activities. He
has also launched educational
broadcast series on PBS and
Without a doubt, Marsalis is
most recognized among musi-
cians of his caliber for his
s extraordinary character. He has
selflessly donated his time to
non-profits all over the nation
and has worked to promote
social change in many different
Wynton Marsalis can be
described as an American musi-
cian for whom greatness is not
merely possible but inevitable.
The Wynton Marsalis Quintet
will be performing in two sets at
the Michigan Theater this evening.
The sets will begin at 7 p.m. and
9:30 pm. respectively.

cian and trumpeter of his gener-
ation. In addition, he is a
big-band leader, a talented com-
poser, a tireless advocator for
the arts, and an inspiring educa-
Marsalis's inventive union of
jazz and democracy is a testa-
ment to his creativity, brilliance
and wisdom.H
Marsalis became involved
with music at a very young age.
He proved his aptitude and dili-
gence very early on, and was
accepted, at the age of 17, to
Tanglewood's Berkshire Music
Center as their youngest mem-
ber. He eventually went on to
work with the Jazz Messengers and
played with such jazz greats as
Sara Vaughan, Sweets Edison and
Clark Terry.
Eventually, Marsalis started his

Comedy Central talent
brings laughs on tour

By Douglas Wemnert
Daily Arts Writer

"I feel like the youth of America
needs to be educated, and I'm the man
to do it," said Ed Helms, the 29-year-old
comedian and one of the stars of the
"Comedy Central No Class Tour" which
will roll into the University this week-
end. Helms, a correspondent on the
"The Daily Show,"
teams with Doug Comedy
Stanhope ("The Central No
Man Show") and Class Tour
Christian Finnegan Satrday at 8 p.m.
( " P r e m i u m $Satude ts ~
Blend") for a night $22NonStudents
$2 on Students
of laughs at the Atthe Michigan
Michigan Theater. Theater
A Georgia
native, Helms admits he "was kind of a
nerd" during his college days at Oberlin
College. While performing stand-up in
New York, he also began doing
voiceovers for advertisements, ranging
from "Say What Karaoke" to product
commercials for Efferdent, Turns and
Doritos. His favorite, however, was
being the voice of an animatronic lobster
in a Snuggles commercial. "I named
him Smuggly,"he fondly recalls.
Now, still living what he calls "the
crazy bachelor lifestyle," Helms admits,
"I couldn't be happier (to work for "The
Daily Show")." Calling colleagues Jon
Stewart, Steven Colbert and Rob
Corddry "damn funny," Helms has great
respect for his fellow comedians, nam-
ing Jerry Seinfeld and David Cross as
some of his favorites.
Doug Stanhope, one of Helms' coun-
terparts, has enjoyed much success as.
well. Releasing his third live CD last
year, Stanhope has been called one of

Courtesy of UM;
We respect your brother Branford for leaving Leno when he did.

Courtesy of Comedy Central
Brian Unger, without the cool.
the Top Ten Comedians to Watch by The
Hollywood Reporter. Despite his brutal-
ly honest and uninhibited material, he is
widely adored, making appearances on
many comedy shows. Last summer, he
wrote and produced "Invasion of the
Hidden Cameras" on FOX, and now,
with his new gig on "The Man Show"
Stanhope looks to be a steady performer
for years to come.
Christian Finnegan has had his share
of experience in comedy. With countless
appearances on programs such as "The
Chappelle Show," Finnegan brings a cut-
ting-edge style to his comedy. His status
as a mainstay on VHl's "Movie Obses-
sion" can only mean bigger and better
things for this New York City native.
When Helms' clever, cynical observa-
tions are mixed with Stanhope's brash-
ness and vulgarity and Finnegan's savvy
and experience, the end result will be a
fun night of comedy for all who attend.
"College kids are such an awesome
audience," says Helms. "It couldn't be
more fun to perform at colleges."


own band, with which he per-
formed over 120 concerts every
year for 10 years. Through this
experience, he gained recognition
from the older generation of jazz

musicians and prompted the re-
issuance of jazz catalogs by record
companies worldwide.
While immersing himself in the
jazz world, Marsalis found time to

buys some
stale Beer
By Brandon Harig
For the DlEy


No longer solo, Day primed for VH1 success

By Laurence J. Freedman
Daily Arts Writer

One of the most outspoken artists
in the rap industry, Ludacris has
always made it known through his
songs just what he thinks. With
songs like "What's Your Fantasy?"
and "Ho" from
his Def Jam debut Ludacris
album Back for
the First Time, Chicken-N-
Ludacris showed Beer
he was not on the Def Jam
scene to sing
about loving his mother. With the
release of Chicken-N-Beer, Ludacris
searches for a formula that works but
instead puts out an album which
feels imbalanced and awkward.
With the album's first song,
"Southern Fried Intro," Ludacris
shows a rapping ability reminiscent
of Busta Rhymes on "Gimme Some
More." This speedy and dexterous
delivery showcases Ludacris'
impressive ability to spit lyrics
while following an impossible beat.
The album's recurring flaw, though,
emerges in the next track, the disap-
pointingly slow and repetitive
"Blow It Out," which dives from
mediocre Bill O'Reilly cuts to an
uninspiring chorus.
Such a contrast makes the listener
wonder how such a large disparity in
talent display can be possible
between the first two songs, but it
continues throughout the disc creat-

ing a pattern of hit and miss. Fea-
tured guest Snoop Dogg raps on
"Hoes in My Room" but is com-
pletely wasted on a mediocre song
that sounds more like a drunken
sing-along than something he should
have ever attached him name to.
Lead single "Stand Up" showcases
Ludacris' ability to create a chorus
that doesn't nag, much like his earli-
er "Southern Hospitality." The prob-
lem is that a track like this, which
has a unique sound and is extremely
catchy, gets followed up by skits too
annoying to even attempt to suffer
through. During the album's skits,
Ludacris loses any momentum built
in songs such as "Hip Hop Quota-
bles," a freestyle track that proves
he's capable of making jokes without
any scripts or bad actors. A staple of
each of his records, Ludacris' skits
have only gotten worse with time
and need to be replaced with exhibi-
tions of talent.
Listened straight through, Chick-
en-N-Beer is constantly changing
direction. At times Ludacris show-
cases his natural ability on the mic,
but the lame skits weigh the album
down so much that in order to review
the songs, the skits must be entirely
ignored. That done, the album is
your average hit-or-miss disc that
could have been a lot of better, but
also a lot worse.

Twenty-two-year-old singer-songwriter Howie Day
is aware how much he's changed in the past four years.
Recently riding in Ohio to a stop on his latest tour,
Day pondered his personal development: "I think any-
one would agree that you grow up more between 18
and 22 than any other four years." Certainly this is
true, and Day's new record Stop All the World Now is
proof that one's musical evolution is a reflection of
one's self-evolution.
Like John Mayer and Jason Mraz, Howie Day has
made a career for himself coming from the Dave
Matthews school of sensitive and sophisticated gui-
tar-playing every-guys. Until the release of Stop All
the World Now and its tour (which stopped at
Detroit's St. Andrew's Hall last Wednesday night)
Day lacked something which these two other trouba-
dours already had: a band.
For Day this was indeed a kind of blessing. His
excellent reputation is based in large part on his
dynamic one-man show. With pedals and effects Day
would become his own band underneath his particu-
larly passionate vocals. His promising debut record
Australia was a relatively stripped-down affair.
For Stop All the World Now Day tapped Jump, Little
Children guitarist/songwriter Jay Clifford among oth-
ers, and the resulting record will likely propel Day to
the top of VH-l's Countdown and into the CD players

of women both middle and college-aged. Given the
company Day has shared in the past two years, his
more grown-up vibe does not come as a surprise.
Opening dates for yuppie favorites Sting, Sheryl Crow
and Tori Amos, his evolution into a more mature artist
was accelerated. He now has the record to prove it.
Stop All the World Now features Day's fluid and
expansive tunes, given even more room to breathe.
by his band's full sound, complete with keyboards
and lush arrangements (he is joined by an orchestra
on five tracks). Many of the tracks recall U2, but
with an acoustic guitar front and center. The key to
this comparison is the presence of steady rhythms
and echoing, ringing electric guitar that Bono and
the Edge have built their music around. "Perfect
Time of Day" is the' best example, its sweeping
sound punctuated by the pounding of a bass drum
under textured guitars.
Despite this solid studio achievement, Day's per-
formance in Detroit last week accompanied by his
band was not nearly as impressive as his past solo
shows. Day did in fact perform with only his guitar
and effects for the middle portion of his set, captivat-
ing the sold-out club with raw musicianship. The rest
of the show seemed generic in contrast, Day rather
unenthusiastically leading his unremarkable band to
each song's pinnacle. The ride up is much more inter-
esting when it is entirely in Day's hands, dependent
completely on his guitar and emotiveness.
Judging by the crowd's reaction, however, the entire
concert was a complete success. The swaying couples
savored every note and passive stare Day dished out,

many guys appearing as though they wanted to com-
fort the seemingly lovesick singer after the show as
much as the girls. Though many new Howie Day fans
are thrilled to have their man perform at all, it would-
n't be surprising if the performances most coveted and
enjoyed by fans in the future are those where Day
appears all by his lonesome. Until then, watch for
Howie Day and his band on VH-1.


Courtesy of Epic Stereo
Not from Australia, just writing about It.

WB's'Ta rzan' is not the king of pnmetime jungle

By Douglas Wernert
Daily Arts Writer

tells of a plane crash in the wilderness
many years ago that young John Clayton
Jr. (Tarzan) somehow survived. After


Anyone who expects "Tarzan," the
new WB drama, to take place in the jun-
gle and feature some big muscular guy
beating his chest while saying, "Me
hungry" is sadly mistaken. Confusing
storylines, a lack of realism and a
bizarre premise set the stage for another
typical WB Sunday night of television.
Travis Fimmel plays Tarzan, who now
resides in Manhattan. The back-story

years of jungle life,
this beefier Leonar-
do DiCaprio can
climb walls, take
on entire police
squadrons in
cheesy slow-

Sundays at
The WB

successful Greystroke Industries, is try-
ing to lock him up. This is a new twist
on an old tale, and although far-fetched,
it still has some value.
However, the other major storyline
comes out of nowhere, as the show takes
on an "NYPD Blue." The actual lead
character is Jane Porter, a sensible cop
who is teamed with self-assured, quick-
witted Sam Sullivan (Miguel A. Nunez
Jr.) as they try to uncover a serial arson-
ist. Somehow, Tarzan constantly inter-
venes on Jane's behalf, even saving her
life at one point, ala Superman.
Tarzan like Jane. Jane have detective

boyfriend. Love trouble ensue.
The show's focus is the poorly-por-
trayed officers, where Tarzan's only
function is to run in, make the save, hit
on Jane and run away to avoid capture.
The ongoing storyline between
Tarzan and Jane, coupled with Lucy
Lawless' debut in the coming weeks as
Richard's sister could be interesting, but
the irrational police plot will distract
audiences, take up unnecessary time and
offer nothing new. This show is already
a damsel-in-distress, and don't expect
any hero to come swinging in on vines
to save it.


motion fight sequences and break out of
prison no less than two times in the first
Meanwhile, Tarzan's uncle Richard
(Mitch Peleggi, "X-Files), who runs the




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