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March 17, 2004 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-17

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 17, 2004


Brooklyn-based trio
stretched too thin


By Alex Wolsky
Daily Arts Editor

By Doug Wernert
Daily TV/New Media Editor

It should come as no surprise that TV
on the Radio is perhaps the most inter-
esting band to come out of New York
City in recent memory. Instead of orient-
ing themselves to throwback rock'n'roll
or attempting to capture the frenetic,
ultra-modern discotheque energy of
their peers, they appear more comfort-
able developing a
unique sonic TV on the
palette, the tem- Radio
plate for which was Rd
set on their 2003 Desperate
EP, the masterful Youth,
Young Liars. Bloodthirsty
TV on the Babes
Radio create a Touch and Go
rock style that's
evocative, sinister and boldly original.
Their sound - captured on their latest
release Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty
Babes - is the sound of a city blanket-
ed in a sheet of snow that absorbs all
noise and of the uneasy sense of peace
that the elements can bring to the typi-
cal chaos of urban life.
Considered soul-experimentalism or
doo-wop rock, they simply make a con-
glomeration of densely layered produc-
tion and Benzedrine guitars on
Desperate Youth. The cornerstone of the
band's unique sound is vocalist Tunde
Adebimpe's soul-laden croon. Best dis-
played on "Ambulance," a plaintive a
capella track, Adebimpe weaves race-
conscious, oblique poetry laced in vis-
ceral imagery about urban life over the

band's pulsating drive.
There are plenty of advances from the
EP, including the remarkable "The
Wrong Way," which blares with a sub-
way saxophone and the lush harmonies
of "Poppy." Unfortunately, Desperate
Youth lacks the ingenuity and impact
that made their first outing such an
incredible achievement. The fact of the
matter remains that the band's singular
idea has been stretched out over a canvas
larger than it can handle. Many of the
tracks, especially the latter third, wear
out their welcome and lack the stylized
touch of Young Liars.
For a band that accomplished the
nearly impossible - the creation of a
unique and pioneering sound in a city
and a scene whose most ingenious
members are content attempting to repli-
cate the music of eras past - it's easy to
understand the temptation to secure the
sonic territory they tread as their own.
To ask the same band to reinvent itself
once again may be a bit much, but here's
to hoping that TV on the Radio can stay
as relevant as their potential alludes to.

"Chappelle's Show" debuted on
Comedy Central in the fall of 2002
and immediately caused a stir. Star-
ring the energetic and unpre-
dictable comedian Dave
Chappelle, the sketch-comedy pro-
gram shocked
viewers with its ,
controversial Chappelle's
topics and liber- Show:
al use of profan- Season One
ity. Now, the Paramount
funny first season has made its way
onto DVD the way it was truly
meant to be: uncut and uncensored.
The first episode sets the tone
for the two-disc set, as one sketch
features Chappelle portraying a
white supremacist who, because he
is blind, does not realize he is
black. The entire concept of the
sketch resulted in some people
calling for the show's cancellation,
a notion Chappelle regularly jokes
about. What these people fail to
realize is that this is where Chap-
pelle's genius shines forth. By
playing off of many stereotypes
and taking them to the extreme, he
creates an environment where the
audience is free to laugh at society
due to the sheer ridiculousness of
the sketches.

The show does push the envelope
in terms of content, but the raci-
ness separates it from all the other
comedy programs on television.
Whether the sketches involve a
financial consulting firm operated
by the Wu-Tang Clan, a season of
"The Real World" starring only one
white guy or the results of giving
reparations to blacks for slavery,
the ideas are fresh and the laughs
never stop. The one downside is
that many episodes are less than 20
minutes long, and with a musical
performance, only a few sketches
are shown each time.
The set features crisp picture and
clear sound and is enhanced even
more with the special features.
Chappelle and series co-creator
Neal Brennan provide audio com-
mentary for five of the 12 episodes
and for all of the 29 minutes of
bloopers and deleted scenes. Their
commentary is witty and adds even
more humor to the show.
"Chappelle's Show" is now in its
sophomore season and has man-
aged to meet the hilarity of the
first. Hopefully the show will go
on to find success similar to
"South Park" and have a long run
on Comedy Central. If not, one fact
will still remain: Chappelle will
always leave the audience laughing.



Show: ****
Picture/Sound: ****
Features: ***I

Curtey of Paramunt

I'm sorry officer. I didn't know I couldn't do that.

Jazz legend Coleman performs at Hill

Sequel fails to improve upon
classic Nintendo adventure

By Dawn L Low
For the Daily

Coleman's performance, honoring the
self-taught musician's 74th birthday,
marks the end of a weeklong celebration
of icons in American music and art. His

His music influenced John Coltrane
and Jimi Hendrix. Leonard Bernstein
proclaimed that his was the best music
he'd ever listened to. Students at Juilliard
study him, and critics don't know what
to make of him.
As a saxophonist, composer, violinist
and trumpet player, Ornette Coleman
has never fit into a singular musical cat-
egory. On Friday, the controversial Cole-
man appears at Hill Auditorium with his
distinctive brand of jazz.

appearance at Hill
speaks to the com-
mitment of the
University Musical
Society staff, who
have been working
to bring the
"Genius" grant

An Evening
with Ornette
Friday at 8 p.m.
Tickets $10444
At the Hill Auditorium

ing a level of media interest rivaling that
of a group such as the Royal Shake-
speare Company.
Coleman's unusual ensemble, which
includes two double basses - played by
bassists Greg Cohen and Tony Falanga
- and drummer Denardo Coleman,
who was first heard on his father's
recordings at the age of 10. The various
members have played with such
esteemed acts as The Rolling Stones,
Laurie Anderson, Bill Frisell and Tom
Waits. The strength of the band is inte-
gral to Coleman's approach to music:
Each instrument is treated as a solo,
although there are no actual solos, which
results in complexity and layers of

It's a wonderful world ...

winner to Ann Arbor for four years.
Although the surrounding educational
events have been canceled, Friday's con-
cert promises to be memorable, prompt-

sound. "Ornette's music is thick and
dense," says UMS Programming Man-
ager Mark Jacobson, "but the discerning
listener can break down the melodies."
Based on a theory he calls Harmolod-
ics, the equality of instruments is not the
only thing that differentiates Coleman's
jazz. He also abandons the traditional
restrictions on rhythm and improvisation
bound to chord progressions. These
innovations have led reviewers to label
the music "free jazz," although the
resulting music is far from chaotic; on
the contrary, Coleman's music is
demanding, intelligent and well-
rehearsed. While these distinctions may
imply that the music is purely cerebral,
Jacobson describes it as "very emotion-
al, rich, melodic ... it's soulful."
Friday's performance offers a chance
to hear not just a unique ensemble, but
unique compositions, written specifical-
ly for Ann Arbor audiences. Says Jacob-
son, "If you're into music and miss this
concert, you'll be kicking yourself 10
years from now"

By Adam Rottenberg
Daily Arts Editor
Back in 2001, Capcom released a
little-known gem called "Maximo," a
game that rejuvenized the dying
action/adventure genre. Hearkening
to the classic series "Ghosts and Gob-
lins," "Maximo" featured a similarly
armored knight (heart-shape boxers
and all) and his quest to save the
princess. Now, Maximo returns in
"Maximo vs. Army of Zin" but fails
to go the extra
mile in making a
truly memorable Maximo vs.
sequel. Army of Zin
Gameplay in PS2
"Zin" is as solid Capcom
as ever. Every
sword slice, shield throw and plat-
forming element has been refined
even further from the already stellar
controls of its predecessor. New com-
bos and hordes of enemies make com-
bat fun and intense. The biggest
addition is a second playable charac-
ter named Grim, who can be called
upon to help Maximo. The game is
still running on the same engine as
the original, preventing things from
truly changing.
Graphically, the cartoonish style
fits the game perfectly. But even in

Courtesy of Capcom
I see London, I see France ...
this arena, the changes between the
first installment and this one are only
marginal, making the game feel dated.
Fans of the old Nintendo classic
"Ghosts and Goblins" will love to
relive that style of gameplay in a 3-D
arena. However, gainers who made it
through "Maximo" will be expecting
a lot more from the sequel than what
is presented. Capcom should know
the difference between a good sequel
and a bad one by now (especially after
all those "Megaman" and "Street
Fighter" games), but they still
released a halfhearted effort with
"Maximo vs. Army of Zin."


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