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February 04, 2004 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-04

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 4, 2004



shaved off
new 'Shop
2' record
By Evan McGarvey
Daily Arts Writer



By Lynn Hasselbarth
Daily Arts Writer

Loading the front end of a major
motion picture soundtrack is nothing
new for record companies desperate to
package cheap, semi-listenable songs
around the lead single. The soundtrack
for Barbershop 2: Back In Business is a
prime example in which not even a
buoyant, mar-
ketable single can Various
redeem a disc oth- Artists
erwise filled with
absolute slush. Barbershop 2
That radio- Soundtrack
ready anchor, Interscope
Mary J. Blige and
Eve's "Not Today," is a big-budget, Dr.
Dre-produced single. Fittingly, Dre's
plinking beats mold well with Mary J.
Blige's robust voice. It's Eve, however,
who steals the track. Instead of the sub-
dued Eve we've seen in UPN sitcoms
and Vin Diesel movies, we get a riled-
up version who hurls fiery indictments
to a former lover. It's a shockingly wel-
come return to form.
Clustered around "Not Today" near
the top of the track list are Mya featur-
ing Chingy and an honest-to-god Out-
Kast song. Not Big Boi. Not Andre
3000. Both of them. After the mind-
blowing separateness of Speakerboxxx /
The Love Below, it's comforting to hear
Andre 3000 and Big Boi together on "I
Can't Wait". It's a bummer the song is
monotonous and lacks the tag-team

Courtesy or Interscope
Didn't I used to be a rapper?
style of past OutKast hits. Mya and
Chingy do a competent remix of "Fall-
en," a song originally from Mya's
Moodring. The quicksilver shifts in the
melody and arrangement keep the song
moving and a little horn section and a
little Spanish guitar prevent the song
from being totally lackluster.
Both the Mya and OutKast tracks
seem like their sole purpose is not to
create a total drop-off in quality from
"Not Today." The rest of album man-
ages that job quite nicely. Clipse and
Mobb Deep both sound horrendously
out of place. Like the Goth kids at
cheerleading practice, their songs
sound weighted down and far too dark
for this light selection. You know you
stick out like a sore thumb when your
stabs at sinister thug-life are sand-
wiched between Mya and Floetry. D-
12 sticks to their standard
drunken-peon antics.
Weak old-school samples doom the
more pleasant cuts on this soggy, forget-
table collection. In the year following
the release of the Bad Boys II Sound-
track, the bar for hip-hop soundtracks is
just too high. Thankfully, the aging star
of the Barbershop movie (and formerly
talented MC), Ice Cube, stays away
from this hastily thrown together piece.

"How Much Do You Know About Love?" reads
an amusing wall hanging in the lounge of Perfor-
mance Network, Ann Arbor's local professional the-
ater. The poster contains a collage of bad pickup
lines, a "How Sexy Do You Feel?" quiz from "Cos-
mopolitan" and a list of famous
couples, past and present. The
Performance Network has set a Spike Heels
comfortable and humorous Runs through
mood for its latest play, "Spike Feb.29
Heels," which will continue $22.50-$27.50
through the month of February. At the Performance
With Theresa Rebeck's intel- Network Theater
ligently written script and the
sensitive stage direction of Grant Stokes, "Spike
Heels" redefines soap-opera drama. Each character
is thoughtfully developed and portrayed with deep
honesty. Stokes notes that, "In order to bring out
the reality of each moment, the actors searched for
the truthfulness in each relationship."
The play opens in Andrew's Boston apartment as
he prepares dinner for his fiance. Played by Alex
Mendiola, Andrew is a charming political philoso-
phy writer who constantly professes his own elevated
moral consciousness. Georgie (Clara Milarch), a sec-
retary at a local law firm, lives in the floor above.
She stumbles into Andrew's apartment with neon
pink stilettos and fishnet stockings. Vivacious, short-
tempered and more agitated than usual, she tells
Andrew that his long-time friend Edward, also
Georgie's boss, has threatened her in the office.
While the opening scene is fraught with anger and
betrayal, Andrew and Georgie express tender
moments, unveiling the undeniable passion between
these highly complex ebaracters. Andrew is struck
by Georgie's youthful vitality and impatience and
Georgie sees in Andrew a man who is yearning for
change but too afraid to recreate himself. Through-
out the play, the two learn that despite their feelings
and hopes for transformation, they are painfully

Courtesy or Perrormance NetworK

Michael Del Sordo performs in "Spike Heels."
Edward provides the play's comic relief. Portrayed
by Michael Del Sordo, this character is a fast-talking
lawyer who treats all conversations like a courtroom
cross-examination. In an edgy scene between the two
men, Georgie becomes an entitlement, a prize to be
bargained over. Desperate and manipulative, Georgie
uses this competition as leverage for her own roman-
tic interests.
Lydia, played by Sarah Aniza Nelson, also adds
to this love web. In the second half of the play, she
storms into Georgie's apartment demanding an
explanation as to why Alex has suddenly postponed
their wedding date. A heartbreaking exchange
between the two women sets a dramatic tone for a
powerful scene between the four characters. It is

here where the unpredictability and personal sacri-
fice, sheer enchantment and comedy of relation-
ships come alive.
Controversy over Georgie's spike heels, tea
and a box of Lucky Charms reminds us that love
is painful, soothing and oftentimes just plain
funny. The play ends with two characters reunit-
ing after an agonizing process of growth and dis-
cernment. The audience is left to decide whether
these characters made the right decisions for
themselves and if their relationship will last. A
humorous and provocative piece of theater, this
story spans the depth and rhythm of relationship
building, reminding audiences of the power of
honesty and forgiveness.


The new British invasion falters with Starsailor's LP Silence is Easy

By Matt Kivel
Daily Arts Writer

whelming sense of familiarity. Starsailor
played it safe and stuck to the formulas that

Epic ballads, sweeping orchestrations and
sensitive lyrics have all become staples of the
British music scene. Starsailor scored a hit
with their debut, Love Is Here, and were slated
to join the ranks of Coldplay and Travis with
their latest release, Silence Is Easy.
The problem with Silence is its under-

made their debut success-
ful. Lead singer James
Walsh has a fantastic
voice that seems to blend
the delicate croon of
Thom Yorke with the
soulful power of Richard
Ashcroft. With such an
amazing voice, Starsailor

Silence is
should be making

Instead listeners are hit with 13 tracks of
romantic whining and predictable orchestra-
tion. The band should take a lesson from The
Verve, who took risks both musically and lyri-
cally to create one of the '90s best rock
records, Urban Hymns.
For all of its unoriginality, the album is not
all bad. Standout tracks "Silence Is Easy"
and "White Dove" were both produced by
'60s rock legend Phil Spector. The title track
is an example of Starsailor's ability to pro-
duce emotion-driven rock tunes comparable

to the likes of Coldplay and the Doves.
"White Dove" is a delicate example of
restraint and melody rarely found on the
album. Without Spector's guidance, the band
loses the emotion that is so vital to their
brand of rock music.
The bizarre disco shuffle of "Four to the
Floor" is the most perplexing moment of the
album as it serves to disrupt any rhythm that
the previous songs had created. It is as though
James Walsh watched "Saturday Night Fever"
and decided to pay homage to the Bee Gees

by writing this unnecessary track. "Shark
Food" is a poor man's attempt at Lost Souls-
era Doves, achieving mediocrity with sub-par
lyrics and dull instrumentals.
Throughout the album I am confused by the
absence of the other musicians in the band.
There is almost no intricate guitar or bass work
and the guitar parts that can be heard seem to be
pinched straight from Johnny Buckland's pocket.
Silence isn't a bad album. Some of the tracks are
actually quite beautiful, but on the whole it lacks
the ambition and originality to be great.


more ambitious attempts at songwriting.

F~. 'hI


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