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January 27, 2004 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-27

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 27, 2004

ART S

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Office-base1dcartoon
finds ho 0wpn DVD
By Adam Rttenberg alass cs like "The Simpsons" or
Daily Arts Writer Famiy Guy." Even though it's noth-
ing th t special, there is a lot to like
D VD R IEW about e acerbic office comedy.
eTl.y D release allows the entire
Turning the insanely'popT, sries to h seen again in sequence.
"Dilbert" comic strip *itr 'arni* T h ctrtransfer is mediocre,
mated program seem like a n w ca ioaia color mistakes, and
brainer. Landing vo$e talent aa>,nd : ows in the same vein
Daniel Stern, f er tel ision sitcoms by being
Kathy Griffen broadcast cu of a single, central
and Chris Elliot Dilbert: The speaker, m pig it nothing out of
helped to make Complete the ordinary upplemental features
the show seem Series are also a age in this release,
like it had a m'. duple of episode com-
fighting chance. tracks and a few fea-
Creator Scott but nothing more.
Adams even had the assist' rt" is a DVD set that should
veteran sitcom writer Larry fans of not only the series,
("Seinfeld") to bring the w of the comic strip who may
"Dilbert" to a fully animat ver seen this show. What
So what went wrong? Thre ike a sure thing was squan-
letters ruined the chances 4 poor scheduling on a poor
series ... UPN, where good i The show itself may have
to die. nto something great, but
Fans of the original com even two full seasons of
will see that, in the sc s, it only manages to be
episodes produced, the conce better than the average
humor are retained. The ani e cartoon.

Courtesy of Matador,

You know, if you make this caption a little longer, it looks like I have a moustache.

ACROSS THE SEA
UK IMPORT STUNS AMERICA WITH HIS POLARIZING DEBUT

By Andrew M. Gaerig
Daily Arts Writer

"I'm sick of head raps" Sage Francis intones
on the Non-Prophets "Damage." We can all
empathize. For all of its successes, underground

hip-hop's chief failing is its
"head raps." Aesop Rock,
one of the genre's grandest
MC's, showed he can put
together a chorus on last
year's incredible "Babies
With Guns," but too often
resorted to angry mono-
logues. We know you're

reliance on said
Dizzee
Rascal
Boy in Da
Corner
Matador

accent, it is impossible to describe in print. Put
it this way: Dizzee could probably take this
review and brilliantly spit it into something
worth hearing.
The beats are similarly fantastic. Bare, organic
drum beats, keyboards and burbling bass fill out
the rare sonic spaces that Rascal's throaty buzz
leave open. He can bring the hooks, too: Both "I
Luv U" and "Jus a Rascal" are downright infec-
tious, and the stateside single "Fix Up, Look
Sharp" is masterfully sparse and catchy.
If you can get past the sound, which admit-
tedly may not even be necessary, you realize
what a head-trip Boy in Da Corner is. Dizzee's
got anger, to be sure, but he molds it into throb-
bing, sonic wholes, as if bracing against the ter-
rors of his street: teen pregnancy, gang
violence, and the steamroller realization that
innocence doesn't come back. "Sittin' Here" is
a slow-leak realization of these things, and
things only get more frantic and hurried from
there. "Jus a Rascal" is playful and childlike,
but the disease-ridden "Jezebel" grows up fast.
"Wot U On" is rife with playful wordplay, but
there's no room for such indulgences in the
painful, beautiful nostalgia of "Do It."
Dizzee's occasionally vulgar and occasionally
a braggart, but he's never believable. "Fellas
wanna stop me / probably come together / it's
probable they'll stop me / probably, never" isn't
the game's most convincing threat. But that's

smarter than Juvenile, guys - that's why we're
here in the first place.
Dizzee Rascal, a 19-year old prodigy from
Britain, proclaims, "Don't insult my intellect"
on "Brand New Day," it feels like he's speaking
for quite a few of us, even if the rest of his
debut album, Boy In Da Corner, shows just how
entrenched he is in his own thoughts. Rascal is
a rare prodigy, an MC/producer who has seam-
lessly integrated UK garage into the craziest,
silliest flow anyone has heard in years.
Dizzee's tongue is immaculate. A mush-
mouthed mix of growling Southern adrenaline,
head-spinning wordplay and 16-stone of British

isn't incredible but fits in
style of the source materi .
rylines and come
the show is a ste' anim 'e

the charm: The album is so believable because
Dizzee sounds like he has the same kind of
frustration, anger and deviance as an average
teenager, even if his experience is far more
acute. It doesn't hurt, of course, that Boy in Da
Corner is one of the most sonically addictive
albums hip-hop has seen in years, but it's capti-
vating for other reasons: There's something
wonderful about an MC who's scariest threat is
"Just remember this / I am you." Boy In Da
Corner is the fascinating, brilliant buffer he
provides. Be grateful.

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With few laughable interludes and Fea ~rs '

Stereolab lose steam with
latest release Margerine

Comedy resurrected by cable network

By Kevin Hollifld
Daily Arts Writer

By Laurence J. Freedman
Daily Arts Writer
MUSIC REVl EW **I
Stereolab has garnered an excellent
reputation in the rock universe over the
course of a 12-year career. Introducing
and then honing their futuristic space-
pop on one stylish album after another,
the London-based collective has
unquestionably deserved the admira-
tion it has received from college and
art-rock audiences alike.
Even so, Stereolab are certainly cel-
ebrated more for the general innova-

tion of their sound rather than for any
particular album or song. Comforting-
ly atmospheric, their music is both
intricate and simple simultaneously.

TV REVI EW ***
In a welcome trend, cable stations
have recently been giving second
chances to deserving shows. Cable
outlets, less dependent on ratings than
the networks, can afford to take risks

Blips and bleeps
from synthesizers
and horns pepper
repetitive rhythms
that steadily cruise
along. It's difficult
not to appreciate

Stereolab
Margerine
Eclipse
Elektra

the skill and creativity that permeate
each of their records, especially with a
good pair of headphones.
Stereolab's eighth full-length
release, Margerine Eclipse, finds the

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band on all-too familiar ground, creat-
ing glowing music that is easier to
appreciate than enjoy. Despite the fact
that this is Stereolab's first album with-
out late vocalist and keyboardist Mary
Hansen, this record seems to pick right
up where their last LP, the loungy
Sound Dust, left off.
While fascinating in general (like
the band itself) and wondrous at
moments, Margerine simply fails to
interest the listener from start to fin-
ish. Each song begins to sound
essentially the same, with the deli-
cate, yet sophisticated, voice of
Laetitia Sadier soaring above the
band's spacey licks and beats.
The highlights come right at the
beginning of the album, starting with
the excellent "Vonal Declosion." With
bouncy bass, French language vocals
and tasteful strings - Stereolab has
created a great song - the kind of
tune that will grab anyone's attention.
From here, however, the album begins
its slow descent into familiar and bor-
ing territory: mechanized bossa-nova
beats and generally fuzzy synths. This
is music that sounds as if it were con-
cocted in a lab.
Musicians should take notice of
Stereolab's chops. Like their other
records, Margerine is full of ideas.
Nonetheless, it's somewhat surprising
that an album so upbeat, fun, and
bright manages to lull the listener into
a state of complacency and disinterest
by the halfway mark.

on the quirky
niche programs.
While lauded by
critics when it
aired on FOX last
summer, "Keen
Eddie" suffered

from poor ratings and was dismissed
seven episodes into its run. Bravo,
slowly but surely becoming more
mainstream, has awarded "Keen
Eddie" a triumphant return.
The fish-out-of-water scenario that
forms the backbone of "Keen Eddie"
has been done before but never with
such style. Mark Valley ("Pasadena")
is NYPD Detective Eddie Arlette, who,
in the pilot, is shipped out to London
by a district attorney who sees him as
no longer credible after a failed drug
bust. Eddie agrees to go because he
thinks he still has a lead on the case.
Eddie is not so much "keen" as he is
able to clumsily luck his way out of

Courtesy of Bravo

It's keen to be clean.

Keen Eddie
Tuesdays at
9 p.m.
Bravo

potentially dangerous situations, sort
of a Leslie Nielsen for a new genera-
tion. Ever the stereotypical loud-
mouthed, ill-mannered, outspoken
American, he immediately begins to
annoy his British hosts, including his
reserved boss at Scotland Yard, Super-
intendent Johnson (Colin Salmon,
"Die Another Day").
Superintendent Johnson, who thinks
of Eddie only as the unorthodox Amer-
ican, receives him coolly at first. When
Eddie's brash style leads to several

arrests, Johnson realizes he can use
Eddie's help to propel him up the
ranks. Eddie is then, of course, invited
to stay in the land of Big Ben.
Eddie's life is full of interesting peo-
ple. At work, Eddie has to deal with
his paradoxical, sex-addicted partner,
Inspector Monty Pippin (Julian Rhind-
Tutt, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider"), in
addition to Superintendent Johnson. At
home, Eddie is constantly at odds with
his college-dropout roommate (Sienna
Miller), whom he ends up blackmail-
ing in order to stay in the apartment.
"Keen Eddie" is, at best, an enter-
taining caper yarn, in a vein much sim-
ilar to '70s cop shows. Although it is
fairly well written, the presentation is
the main attraction. Fast, "C.S.I."-like
edits are used to suggest clues to the
audience while symbolism also plays a
role, such as when the New York City
map on Eddie's wall catches fire
before his transfer to London. Later, a
soccer match is used as a metaphor for
a police raid.
As it did with "Boomtown," Bravo
will now show the entire run of "Keen
Eddie," including six episodes that
have not aired. With a new home, this
worthwhile show may be able to find a
solid fan base. Does "Keen Eddie"
deserve a second chance? As the
British like to say: "Quite."

Oneida stumble with shaky, rushed LP

By Laurence J. Freedman
Daily Arts Writer
Music RmEEW
Oneida make ferocious, groovy music. Blending old-
school garage rock with unyielding repetition from
fuzzy keyboards, Oneida's sound is psychedelic in the
darkest way possible. Loud and imposing, there is little
reassuring about what one hears on
their records or at their adrenaline- Oneida
soaked shows.
Secret Wars might be the Brook- Secret Wars
lyn-based trio's most successful Jagjaguwar
recording yet. Imposing throughout,
Secret Wars grinds, screeches and pounds its way
through generally memorable hook-laden tunes. Repeti-
tion is the central theme, a reliable choice that allows
the band to experiment with traces of different genres
including punk and folk.

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