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March 10, 2004 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-10

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 9

Get Up Kids release boring emo
By Rachel Kruer
Daily Arts Writer

The release of The Get Up Kids' new album Guilt
Show demonstrates that the emo phenomenon is a long
way from dying off. Short for "emotional," the term
describes musicians that not only sing with candid feel-
ing, but wallow in a pool of their own tragic pain. This
melodramatic whimpering usually turns irritating, but a
few bands, such as Juliana Theory and Thursday, culti-

vate intensity through their instru-
mental prowess instead of relying on
a shrill whine.
The Kids, on the other hand, are
too entrenched within the emo scene
to qualify as either horrible or great.
Guilt Show is an attempt to retain

The Get Up
Guilt Show

Courtesy of


their sensitive fanbase as well as please the general pub-
lic. They simply follow the paradigm and churn out the
expected material, which in the end hurts them as their
music becomes the complete opposite of what it was
meant to be: hollow.
Following the direction of their last album On a Wire,
The Kids traded in their aggressive, gut-wrenching
crescendos for placid, mid-tempo beats. Each song pre-
sented on its own evokes the mindless happiness of a
beautiful sunny day, but juxtaposed with each other the
beats become monotonous and sterile. Matt Pryor's nasal
vocals lack any conviction as they glide over the innocu-
ous guitars riffs and without any range, his voice tireless-
ly trods along without any climax.
This wouldn't be problematic if the album was intend-
ed to be taken lightly. Histrionic titles such as "Martyr
Me" and "The Dark Night of the Soul" reveal The Kids'
attempt to manufacture something sinister, yet they

somehow come off sounding juvenile. Most of the songs
are brimming with allusions to unrequited love or glam-
orized notions of suicide. In "Sympathy" Pryor croons,
"Bound and tied / Keep the bottle down / To our surprise
/ Suspect you had discipline or nerve." Without the lyri-
cal context, the upbeat melody suggests the frivolity of a
first kiss.
After a decade, The Get Up Kids have still not grown
up. Although their sound has become glossier and more
heavily produced, the quality of their music has yet to
improve. The Kids are not the band to lend credibility to a
scene that is becoming more associated for its fashion than
its music. They are merely the harbingers, for better or for
worse, of the infiltration of emo into the mainstream.

Indigo Girls stay in niche with latest

many facets of the hospital at work. In the pilot,
painter Peter Rickman (Jack Coleman) is the victim of
a hit-and-run. As he lies near death on the side of the
road, viewers can hear his thoughts. When he is taken
into the hospital, it is very doubtful he will make a
significant recovery, but neurosurgeon Dr. Hook
(Andrew McCarthy, "Weekend at Bernie's") will do all
he can to ensure a recovery.
This is where the spirits of the hospital come into
play as Rickman, while on the operating table, hears
the voice of a girl trapped within hospital walls. At
this moment, he realizes that he can communicate
with the spirits in the building. Following his
encounter, Rickman makes a miraculous recovery. The
voices he hears are the same as those heard by Mrs.
Druse (Diane Ladd, "Christmas Vacation"), a patient
with psychic abilities. She convinces Dr. Hook to help

her investigate them, which establishes the premise for
the series.
This would not be a work of Stephen King without
eccentric characters. The series focuses on Dr. Hook,
a well-versed surgeon who sings the theme from "The
Beverly Hillbillies" while saving lives. He is opposed
by Dr. Jesse James (Ed Begley Jr., TV's "Six Feet
Under"), the head of the hospital, who is concerned
only with its public image. There are also the requi-
site abnormal secondary characters, such as a nearly
blind security guard and a nurse who faints at the
sight of blood.
While a little off the beaten path, "Kingdom Hospi-
tal" is classic King fare, containing the elements of an
odd location, peculiar telepathic characters and the
undead. This series has potential, but it may be too
early to tell if "Kingdom" can remain a dark thriller in
the same vein of King's classic "The Shining," or if it
will lapse into "Dreamcatcher"-like absurdity.

By James Pfent
Daily Arts Writer
Activist folk duo the Indigo Girls are
back with the ninth studio album of
their lengthy career. All That We Let In
shows why Amy Ray and Emily Sailers

have stayed together
voices. Through-
out the record, the
Girls harmonize
like nobody's
business, effort-
lessly weaving

for so long: their
Indigo Girls
All That We
Let In

is the case here. While a couple of
tracks falter (including "Heartache for
Everyone," which features an awkward
ska beat), most of them succeed, like
the sing-along single "Perfect World."
Lyrically, All That We Let In shifts
between bittersweet personal outpour-
ings like "Dairy Queen" and angry yet
optimistic political rants, such as the
aforementioned "Tether." Their writing
rings true, even if the emoting can be
corny and their politics are sometimes
All That We Let In breaks little new
ground, but that's probably the worst
criticism one can make of it. The record
probably won't win them many new
fans (especially males), but that's hard-
ly the point. Longtime followers will
enjoy its consistently catchy numbers
and vibrant performances. The Indi-
go Girls have found a comfortable
niche for themselves that they won't
be letting go of anytime soon.

complex and satisfying vocal tapestries.
They keep the instrumentation rela-
tively simple, sticking mostly to reso-
nant acoustics on spirited folk tunes
like "Fill It Up Again" as well as
somber ballads like "Cordova." The
volume increases occasionally

though, especially on the epic "Teth-
er," which employs keyboards and
distorted guitars.
Songwriting duties are split evenly;
Sailers's stuff is unashamedly folky,
while Ray's songs are a bit darker and
edgier. After many years, the Girls have
learned to make their songs work
together as cohesive albums, and such

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