8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 31, 2003
What happened to Urkel-bot?
By Hussain Rahim
Daily Arts Writer
With a tour in support of his newest
Def Jux release, Bazooka Tooth, New
York City native Aesop Rock is a
busy man. As the poet laureate of the
underground, Aesop Rock is the best
rap artist you've never heard of. As
his tour bounces throughout the con-
tiguous 48, he managed to stop and
talk with The Michigan Daily before
his show at the Magic Stick in Detroit
Utilizing a complex, dense, thesis-
per-minute style that draws on equal
parts history, mythology, layered
wordplay and astute observation to
create densely constructed sound-
scapes, Aesop Rock's dexterous flow
demands repeated listens for full
Words such as accessible and sim-
ple would never be used to describe
his music and apparently Aesop is not
interested in changing. Although he
has started the route to exposure with
a video currently circulating on
MTV2, he said of the mainstream,
"It's not really my goal but if it hap-
pens I'll do it. I do this shit to try to
make myself happy and then make
my friends happy."
He knows that major radio and
music stations don't want the risk
because they have a formula that
makes them money. He notes, howev-
er, that the tours increase the sales,
which helps the label rep and then
that raises the buzz.
Separating from long-time produc-
er Blockhead to do the majority of
Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.
FRIDAY FALLS SHORT
NEW LINE-UP LACKS FAMILY VALUES
Courtesy of Definitive Jux
By Jaya Soni
Daily Arts Writer
Though ABC no longer boasts the familiar
faces of D.J., Stephanie and Michelle of the
ever-popular "Full House," a new generation
of "family entertainment" has returned to Fri-
The two-hour line-up kicks off with
"George Lopez," a sitcom that confronts
issues of cultural values, assimilation and
intergenerational perspectives. Similar to the
older programming of TGIF sitcoms, "George
Lopez" includes a cast of younger characters
who deal with teenage issues of dating and
Following "George Lopez," the new TGIF
line-up departs from the common notion of
family entertainment. "Married to the Kellys,"
"Hope and Faith" and "Life with Bonnie" all
center around adult themes of marriage, work
and responsibility. The TGIF of the late '80s
and early '90s had shows that thrived on
young stars and childhood issues such as deal-
ing with pesky neighbor Steve Urkel in "Fami-
ly Matters" or living with five other brothers
and sisters in "Step By Step."
The TGIF today lacks strong child and teen
stars. Breckin Meyer ("Road Trip") of "Mar-
ried to the Kellys" is the closest young viewers
will get to identifying with characters. "Mar-
ried to the Kellys" is based upon the lives of
two recently married couples in their late
twenties. Breckin Meyer's character, Tom, tries
to adjust to living near his new in-laws and
humor arises when he can't live up to their
standards. The symbolic comedy of Tom's
paper dog being placed in his mother-in-law's
poster "dog house" is an issue that viewers
under 18 could care less about.
"Hope and Faith" follows with the adult
theme of sisters at odds, despite the juvenile
acting skills of Kelly Ripa ("Live! With Regis
and Kelly"). The show is reminiscent of TGIF
alum "Perfect Strangers" as Hope (Faith Ford,
"Murphy Brown") and Faith (Ripa) are oppo-
sites similar to Balki and Larry. Like Balki,
Faith's personality is exaggerated and child-
like making Ripa's performance seem over-
rehearsed and fake.
TGIF ends with the second season of "Life
with Bonnie." Bonnie Malloy (Bonnie Hunt,
"Jerry Maguire") is the host of "Morning
Chicago," and she finds managing a career
and family to be a chaotic task.
The more mature themes in TGIF allow for
"risky" content that wasn't in the original Fri-
day night line-up. In "Hope and Faith," Ripa's
character is a washed-up soap star willing to
do anything to pay off a $5,000 debt. Ripa
plays with the notion of earning the money
through prostitution, pulling her "For Sale"
Emmy from a bag, while viewers are left to
interpret the sexualized physical comedy.
"George Lopez," while the most family ori-
ented show of the line-up, still allows for sexu-
al references as well. Lopez's mother Benny
(Belita Moreno, "Perfect Strangers"), confess-
es proudly to her granddaughter about early
Whether it is TGIF that has changed its
appeal since the 1990s, or the audience that
has changed its tastes, viewers are left with
confusing and contradictory themes. Today,
characters of TGIF attempt to tackle more
controversial and mature aspects of life. Even
the new slogan "Is it Friday yet?" has an adult
twist, leaving nostalgic viewers longing for the
cheesy family scenarios of classic "Thank
goodness it's Friday."
Next for Aesop are possible joint
projects with El-P as well as under-
ground madman MF Doom. Aesop is
somewhat cautious that they go too
over the top but is not sure when he
will be ready to do the next Aesop
Rock solo album, so a side project
Following two excessively long
opening acts and the energetic Murs,
Aesop finally took the stage with
labelmate Mr. Lif and they proceeded
to give a quality show, exhibiting true
chemistry and synergy.
Doing singles primarily from his
three Def Jux releases, Aesop's con-
trol and delivery was insane,
although there is some difficulty in
following such layered songs live.
There was classic DJ interaction and
even some humor was thrown into the
performance, a welcome display of
personality from someone so seem-
ingly cerebral. The crowd of pseudo-
Michigan hipsters, University
students and general underground
supporters came out in droves on a
Tuesday night to help feed an incredi-
his beats on Bazooka Tooth, the
album has a different sound for
Aesop, and in turn the critical
response has been different as well.
While he values the critical reception
to a degree and admits some of it
does get under his skin, he says at the
end of the day you can only trust your
It's clear that getting his production
style out there is important and that
he wants people to get used to his
sound because he hopes to do more
producing for other artists.
Greenwood's hot Body goes solo
Miller leaves mark in controversial Stain'
By Alex Wolsky
Daily Arts Writer
MUSIC REVI EW *
For most people, the only exposure to multi-instru-
mentalist Jonny Greenwood they'd have is through the
experimental rock quintet Radiohead. Greenwood, an
indispensable aspect of the band's success and progres-
sion towards varying sonic radicalism, used his down-
time from the band to record the
emotional soundtrack Bodysong.
Greenwood has always been a Jonny
major part of Radiohead's instru- Greenwood
mental side, composing sections for Bodysong
horns and strings, as well as some
conducting during the Amnesiac ses-
sions with jazz trumpeter Humphrey
Lyttleton. Thus, it's only natural that Bodysong feels
like an extension of his earlier work.
A series of interlaying strings open "Moon Trills," the
album's first track, as electronic bursts scream from
opposite channels before settling into a simple piano
piece. Throughout the track, the opening segments
hover above the piano falling in and out of one's audito-
ry range keeping the piano as a static point of return. It
dances back and forth while remaining somewhat
grounded before it carelessly ambulates into "Moon
Mall," a synthetic interlude to the raucous "Trench."
The album coasts into its final climax, "Mily Drops from
Heaven" along a path of strings and programmed analog
transmissions. The track weaves in between chaotic horns
By Jennie Adler
Daily Arts Writer
"Are you single?" shouts a middle-
aged woman from the audience of the
"The Human Stain." The woman (sit-
ting next to her now bitter husband) is
gawking at the young, good-looking
Wentworth Miller, who plays Coleman
Silk in "The Human Stain."
The younger and older roles of Cole-
man Silk are played by Miller and
Anthony Hopkins, respectively.
Through a series of flashbacks told to
Silk's newfound friend, writer Nathan
Zuckerman (Gary Sinise), the surpris-
ing truth about Silk is revealed. Silk has
built his life upon a lie, and it all comes
crashing down as he gets involved with
a mysterious woman, Faunia Farley
Miller, who never shares a scene with
Hopkins, skillfully achieves the hard
task of creating one continuous charac-
ter. He explained that he was sent "Hop-
kins' part and they sent Hopkins' a tape
of my part and we tried to match them."
Hopkins and Miller look nothing
alike and their status in Hollywood is
Miller is more appreciative of what
makes you a star, having witnessed the
backstage world of Hollywood, and
considers his start behind scenes invalu-
able. He compares making a movie to
preparing a feast. Miller said, "Some-
one's got to make all the food while the
actor is just some person coming in off
the street." These days, with million-
dollar budgets he thinks that "a lot of
actors lose sight that so many people
are busting their asses for them."
Sitting down with him, he's
extremely laid back and courteous as
he offers a glass of water. Miller
said, "I'm not interested in the red
carpets or the photographs. I'd like to
have a career like Sinise or (Ed) Har-
ris where I can choose projects that
are meaningful." The "Human Stain"
is just this.
With such important and universal
themes as aging, family and racial iden-
tity, Miller hopes that the issues will
have an impact on the audience. Some
issues are so controversial that Miller
thinks, "Maybe in the audience, there's
some wife out there sitting next to her
Qodysong, j0rn Greenwoo~
and acoustic bass until it is abruptly sent into a flurry, crum-
bling like a mountain struck by the comet in the pre-dawn
light. The album cascades into "Tehellet," a string-laden
coda that plays like ashes burn away into the sunrise.
Bodysong is a fantastic debut for Greenwood as a solo
musician; however, the highlights of the album are few
and far between. Amid the sporadic expositions of
genius lie uninspired moments of a musician outside of
his natural habitat.
Quid pro quo.
husband and he's squirming in his seat.
I feel sorry for him."
Miller describes his character as a
"transformation." Miller, a bi-racial per-
son, says that the racial tension in the
movie has "a lot of resonance. What I
admire most about this character is that
he knows what he wants."
It seems, however, that Miller does-
n't need to admire Silk because he
himself knows what he wants to do:
"Right now I've got my plate full with
acting, but I can see myself getting
involved as a producer." With a resume
including "The Human Stain," work
shouldn't be a problem.
New DVD set a totally unnecessary recall
By Todd Weiser
Daily Arts Editor
DV D REVI EW
Over the summer, while spending
some time with my high school-
aged darling of a cousin, she
bragged to me about going to "Live!
With Regis and Kelly" and seeing
the one and only Kelly Clarkson
interviewed in person. Not really
knowing who Clarkson was (OK, I
know who she is, I just don't care), I
asked her who else was on the show.
She shrugged. My uncle then butted
in, offering a grunt of a name -
Arnold. My cousin did not know
who Arnold Schwarzenegger was!
Initially I was I
shocked, but then I Arnold
realized how possi- 4-PaCk
ble it was that a
teenager could be 20th Century Fox
unaware of the for-
mer megastar. The last decade has not
been too good to Arnold.
How quickly things can change.
"Terminator 3" was a mild success for
the summer, but a blockbuster for the
box-office thirsty Arnold. But it was
the governorship that reminded people
Mr. Maria Shriver still existed.
Now's the time for studios to capi-
talize off of his born again popularity.
The newest example is the re-release
of a 1999 4-DVD collection. "Com-
mando" and "Running Man" are pure
trash, but they're still fun as hell.
"Predator" is a classic and "Total
Recall" is Paul Verhoeven at his best.
However, the features (which would
have been OK for 1999 DVD collec-
tors) just aren't up to 2003 standards.
All four include their original theater
trailers. Yippee! To be fair, only "Total
Recall" has received the full-out DVD
treatment at all, but still, that version
is not included here.
For a quick stashing away of some
of your favorite Arnold flicks, the rea-
sonably priced set serves you well. If
you demand a little more from your
DVDs, then vote no on this recall.
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