10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 6, 2003
Free from Buffy,
her Tru Calling'
By Kevin Holliffield
Daily Arts Writer
TV REI EW
When people die, we expect them to be gone forever. Why
are they still talking to one woman? "Tru Calling," the newest
offer from FOX's Spelling Department, holds the answer.
Eliza Dushku ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") stars as Tru
Davies, a college student loaded with both family and person-
al problems. Most importantly, when she
was 12, Tru's mother was murdered in Tru Calling
front of her. At the funeral, she heard the
corpse talking. Thursdays at
Ten years later, Tru graduates from 8 P.M.
college eager to start a hospital intern- FOX
ship. The hospital is under funded and
cutting the program, but they have another medical position
available: the graveyard shift at the morgue.
Stationed in the unnatural death branch, each episode Tru
hears a random corpse begging for help from inside a' body
bag. When she wakes up in the morning, it is actually the
same day again, allowing Tru the chance to save the person
before he or she dies. Think of it as a morbid "Early Edition."
"Tru Calling" is all about second chances in an alternate
universe where the prematurely dead are given a new lease on
life. The show got a second chance as well, as the pilot was
We're here to save you.
Courtesy of New West
We couldn't get a real job, so we formed a band.
retooled after the initial taping, resulting in a plot that main-
tains its suspense despite bordering on ridiculousness.
"Tru Calling" is the anti-"C.S.I." Viewers know how the
victim died the first time, but the tension is in wondering if
Tru can prevent it from happening again. The plot is more
thrilling, upbeat and fantasized than any of today's dramas
dealing with death, due to the optimistic feel of the show's
The only flaw is that "Tru Calling" does not know whether
it is a light-hearted science fiction or a serious drama. At
points, the script is too sentimental and too cheesy, detracting
from the excitement. Still, Tru provides a degree of hope to
the troubled viewer, as she also struggles with life's common
worries. If Tru can solve her problems, there is a chance for
The actors' serious performances make the otherworldly
aspects seem believable. The supporting characters are effec-
tive even with little screen time, but Dushku is able to carry
this show on her own, making Tru more than just a one-
dimensional physic channel. After spending several years on
the fringe of prime-time success, it seems both FOX and
Eliza Dushku have found their "Tru Calling."
TRUCKERS DRIVE TOUR TO DETROIT'S STICK
By Laurence J. Freedman
Daily Arts Writer
Before hipsters looking to help
themselves to the next piece of
authentic blue-collar culture created
the current Southern Rock "revival,"
released their two- Drve-BY
record epic South- Truckers
ern Rock Opera. Friday at 9 p.m.
Based loosely on At the Magic Stick
the tumultuous Clear Channel
history of genre
patriarch Lynyrd Skynyrd, the album
was an ambitious and literary take on
growing up in the South and dealing
with the conflicts created by its
marred heritage. "The duality of the
Southern thing," as front man Patter-
son Hood puts it.
With three guitars grinding and
ringing, the Drive-By Truckers
merged the jagged and angular tone
of Neil Young's Crazy Horse with the
rollicking and country-fried sound of
Skynyrd. A tasty stew indeed, but
Southern Rock Opera was in many
ways too loyal to its single storyline to
not feel slightly overwhelming as the
two discs played out. The record cer-
tainly made an important musical and
literary statement however, mounting
anticipation among those familiar
with the band for their next album.
That album is Decoration Day, a
triumph that takes front man Patterson
Hood's various vivid stories and puts
them to music that is both thunderous
and sunny, aggressive and calm. With
a voice as wonderfully parched as Don
Henley's and with a heavier twang
than Tom Petty, Hood, along with sec-
ond guitarist and vocalist Mike Cooley
narrates tales of relationships gone
wrong, lost farms and suicide.
One can picture Hood taking a big
swig of Jack Daniels before tossing it
aside and launching into the tough
and gritty "Hell No, I Ain't Happy."
This is a personal record with an
underlying darkness, but the easy-
going vibe the Truckers create in "My
Sweet Annette" and "Heathens" make
you wish you were chugging down an
Interstate with a smile on your face.
Although Decoration Day takes
some time to inhale and reflect,
expect to be attacked ferociously by
the Truckers on Friday night at the
Magic Stick. Their eloquent and
unabashed authenticity is incredibly
Call. s ImaRobot takes
love of the '80s too far
By Matt Kivel
Daily Arts Writer
Musc RE VIE W
I thought that the '80s were dead!
The generation known for its flores-
cent colors and strip malls has some-
how managed to dig itself out of the
ground and crawl into music stores
nationwide. ImaRobot follows the
music scene's current obsession with
"retro rock bands". The rock revival
has spawned many great bands; unfor-
bot has chosen the ImaRobot
wrong decade to
self-titled debut is
a harrowing Pinto ride through mid
'80s new wave and punk. Alex Ebert's
theatrical vocals conjure memories"6f
David Bowie at his spandex-wearing
peak while the band's "nerd-cool" ot-
fits are enough to make Devo roll over
in their graves (I wasn't being literal, I
know they're not dead ... fool).
The album begins with "dynomite,"
a mindless punk-inspired tune that
opens with Ebert using his best Paulie
Shore impression to say, "Here's-a
story for the kids." This brings us-o
the aptly titled "Song # 1" which fol-
lows the same punk trends as its prede-
We are then hit by a shockir-g
change of pace in which two very good
songs are produced. "Alive" and
"Scream" are the only reasons to buy
this album. "Alive" combines 50s rook
melodies with raging new wave guitars
while "Scream" is the band at its most
sensitive state. Delicate piano melodies
intertwine with Ebert's falsetto vocal o
create the best moment of the album.
By the time that we reach song
number five, "A is for Action", there
is a sense of hope and possibility for
the rest of the album. To the listener's
disappointment the remaining songs
descend into a world of '80s video
game sounds and obnoxious vocal
excursions. "12=3" has a wonderfully
catchy chorus, but the song is ruined
by Ebert's spoken-word segments that
come off as desperate and extraneous.
"Here Come The Bombs" is clearly
the worst moment on the album. Tfle
song begins with Ebert begging ilje
listener to purchase the ImaRobot CD,
literally! "Buy our album please, we
got five stars" he cries. I don't know
what the intentions of this statemefit
were and at this point in the albumisI
really don't care.
The future of ImaRobot is anything
but certain; they have shown signs of
potential that may one day produce
good things. With a steady rhythm sec-
tion comprised of Beck's former back-
ing musicians, Justin Meldal-Johnsgn
(bass) and Joey Waronker (druns),
ImaRobot has the experience to pro-
duce a quality product. Hopefully their
debut album is a false start on what
may one day be a solid musical career.