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March 31, 2004 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-31

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 31, 2004

ARTS

-1"

Deerhoof cast their
spell with Milk Man

2004 is the
new 1980.

Couresy or Atlantic

DARKNESS IS SPREADING
U.S. TOUR GIVES BRITS PERMISSION TO LAND

By Alexandra Jones
Daily Arts Writer
Music REVIEW
Imagine that you and five friends
are standing in a brightly lit kitchen.
Strawberries and bananas are piled in
the sinks and in pots on the stove;
more fruit squelches under foot. You
and each of your compatriots hold a
kitchen utensil - ladle, whisk, wood-
en spoon, can opener, salad fork.
Even though you can't figure out why
you're there, you know you're sup-
posed to make noises with your
"instrument," and each of you only
gets one beat to work with until it's
someone else's turn. In the middle of
this fantastic kitchen, there's a devil-
ishly cute girl who sings along with
this homemade percussion with a
voice like a Sanrio character. And
inexplicably, The Who's "Pinball Wiz-
ard" is blasting in
the background. Deerhoof
That's what it's
like to hear noise- Milk Man
rock band Deer- Kill Rock Stars
hoof's latest
offering, Milk Man. After the sweet,
crisp sounds of Apple 0', the band
focused its ideas into a concept
album. Inspired by Ken Kagami's cute
yet creepy art - which graces the
album's cover and liner notes -
Deerhoof tells the story of the Milk
Man, a masked Pied Piper-like char-
acter who lures children to his dream-
land home.
Opener "Milk Man" kicks off with
the title character's siren song. Raw,
vibrant guitar riffs contrast perfectly
with bassist/vocalist Satomi Matsuza-
ki's dreamy, childlike delivery. "Boys
and girls, be mine / I'll take you to my
dreamland," sings Satomi - as the
Milk Man - against sunny, infectious
rock instrumentals. Doubled vocals
counter the Milk Man's call: "Boo,
boo, the Milk Man / Hide, hide, he's
masked man."
But it's no use: The children have
fallen under the Milk Man's spell. The.
crashing, diabolical keyboard/guitar
hook on "Gija Dance" heralds par-

G

By Todd Weiser
Daily Arts Writer

MILK M
DRIRHO o

.

Faced with a rapidly increasing fanbase and a
sold-out crowd, The Darkness were forced to
move their Sunday night show.from Detroit's
intimate St. Andrew's Hall to Pontiac's Clutch
Cargos to accommodate the demand. It being
The Darkness's first-ever show
in Detroit, little did organizers The
know that the English old-
school rockers could not be Darkness
contained by any venue. Sunday, March 28
With music made for arena At Clutch Cargo's
rock, The Darkness's falsetto
frontman and guitarist Justin Hawkins was intro-
duced to the crowd as a giant silhouette behind a
sheet stretching across the stage. Larger than life
they seemed, and the high-energy, high-pitched
show that followed proved it.
With Justin's little brother Dan, wearing his
trademark Thin Lizzy T-shirt, on guitar, Ed Gra-

ham providing the clap-along backbeat and Fu
Manchu-wearing, Zoolander look-alike Frankie
Poullain pounding the bass, The Darkness
immediately strutted their chops on an instru-
mental guitar romp. The waifish Justin then
threw off his shirt, leaving on only his leather
pants and silver sneakers, leading into "Black
Shuck," the lead track from the gold-album sell-
ing debut, Permission to Land.
Echoing their major influence, Queen, and a
few 1980s hair-rock bands to boot, The Dark-
ness have endured a difficult road in the United
States on their way to being taken seriously.
With three retro-costume changes throughout
the night, including a silver jumpsuit with feath-
ers, Justin surely mimicked a kind of rock long
forgotten and unloved. Still, they are no joke,
and because they take their having rock'n'roll
fun seriously, it makes for serious enjoyment.
Before launching the band's new single,
"Love Is Only a Feeling," Justin put up a lighter
and asked the crowd, "You know why we do
this? Because it's power-ballad time." Not
everyone in the audience responded with a

Zippo, but practically all sang along, proving
The Darkness has a loyal following not present
solely for the MTV single.
Still, "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" had
to be played, started off by a crowd-led chorus
before Justin prologued the track with one of
many awe-inspiring blues riffs on his sparkling
pink guitar. A widespread handclap session fol-
lowed along to the music, to a song that will
soon be the ultimate karaoke hit.
Combining Freddie Mercury vocals and Brian
May guitar chops, Justin was in the spotlight all
night, and encore-closer "Love on the Rocks
With No Ice" sealed the deal. The word "love"
being spelled out behind him one letter at a
time, Justin first kicked out a two-minute guitar
solo on the back of a fan while being carried
around the venue floor and then retreated to the
stage for back-and-forth falsetto vocal exercises
with the crowd. Justin was practically a one-
man show, and the crowd was fortunate to be so
intimate with him, because next time The Dark-
ness just might find themselves contained by
Ford Field.

ents' panic as they discover that their
children have been lured away to a
castle in the clouds. The spell is soon
broken, however, and Satomi calls
through the dense chorus singing as
one of the enchanted children: "Home
is better than it seems."
On tracks like "C" and "Milking,"
the band explores the sonic capabili-
ties of their mostly conventional for-
mula (guitars, bass, drums, synths),
wringing even the most improbable
sounds out of their instruments. But
Milk Man's textures are intricate,
never too heavily layered. Deerhoof
always leaves room for ornamentation
by a well-placed burst of static or
tickled synthesizer.
Milk Man sounds more accessible
and more conventional than Apple O';
listeners can accept and digest the
album's unconventional combinations
of sounds and ideas easily. Why
shouldn't a band that communicates
moods of hypnosis, joy, loss and para-
noia take its listeners on a little Pied
Piper journey of their own?
Such contrasting elements can't be
paired together well without care and
consideration, and that's where Milk
Man's seductive power lies. Deerhoof
enchants without pretension, never
letting us hear the calculations behind
their craft. They've synthesized a kind
of harmony out of sonic scrap paper,
fairy-tale books and motor-scooter
engines. Succumb to Deerhoof's
seductive songs: Let Milk Man lead
you through the clouds to a land of
strawberry fields and banana trees.

Newest Worms'
introduces 3-D
By Jason Roberts
Daily Arts Editor
VIDEOGAME R VIEW
Worm-aholics, fear not! The nearly decade-old, side-scroll-
ing strategy game "Worms" is given a breath of fresh air in its
latest update and moves into the three-dimensional world.
"Worms 3D" manages to maintain the sophisticated strategy
elements of the prior installments while adding even more
features to the constantly evolving "Worms" world.
The jump to the third dimension could have been disas-

Senior dance theses brought to stage

By Dawn L. Low
Daily Arts Writer
FINE AS PREVIEW
When most people hear the words
"senior thesis," they conjure images
of gargantuan stacks of analytical
writing and research interesting only
to a select group of academics. Say

uorzsyo Hci

The early bird will catch me ... zings

trous for the franchise if it wasn't well
executed. For the most part, Acclaim and
Team 17 were able to maintain the same
tongue-in-cheek premise and explosive
gameplay that made the turn-based strat-
egy game a hit so many years ago.
Players take turns commanding a
team of up to six worms across a vast -
and often randomly generated - land-

conceived and well
Worms
3D
GameCube, PS2,
XBox and PC
Acclaim

trating. Camera angles jump suddenly as worms move over
bridges or around buildings, forcing gainers to adjust their
patterns on the fly and making getting from one place to
another a bigger hassle than it should be.
Making up for this glaring weakness, however, is the sheer
amount of fun the game supplies. Boasting a stellar single-
player campaign that features specific challenges to unlock
new and more powerful weapons - as well as scenarios with
goal-based objectives - Acclaim provides a much richer sin-
gle-player experience than prior installments. In addition, the
single-player, last-worm-standing style of play returns
unchanged, as does the dynamic multiplayer modes. Classic
attacks such as the air strike and the homing missile have
each been given a fresh new look, adding to and dramatizing
the comedic action.
Though "Worms 3D" is certainly not as intuitive and user-
friendly as its predecessors, the switch to three dimensions
has made it a much richer endeavor while still providing the
addictive turn-based style of gameplay worm-aholics have
come to recognize and love.

those same words
to one of this
year's graduating
dance majors and
you'll find an
entirely different
mental image.
This weekend,
five dancers will
showcase nine
works of original

Clear Box
Left
Thursday - Saturday
at 8 p.m.
Tickets $5
At the Betty Pease
Studio Theater in the
Dance Building
choreography -

Myers also explores the themes of
"independence versus dependence
and the essential need of human
beings to have intimate relation-
ships" in her group work, "Crashing
Life." She began choreography for
the piece last semester, finding
inspiration for the movement in her
dancers' response to questions on
the nature of human interaction.
Through a process of working in
smaller groups and building the
project from spontaneous ideas in
the studio, she ended up with a
series of episodes in solos, duets,
trios and quintets linked by improvi-
sational transitions. Myers also
made her own costumes and mixed
the percussive music from sound
effects and songs by Kodo and the
Master Drummers of Ghana.
Jen Koski will present "Curves," a
piece for which she, like Myers,
mixed music and created costumes,
this time by sewing newspaper onto
shirts and jeans. Her creative
process was highly involved, bor-
rowing elements from two inventive
dances at a summer festival and
relating her dancers' movements to
photos from her personal collection.
The end result takes a cue from
"Alice in Wonderland." "It's a surre-
alist look at the curves in life, things
that don't make sense," Koski said.

"It became this messed-up world
that someone's passing through, but
there's beauty there."
Her solo, "Falling Demeanor,"
was choreographed by University
alum Ricky Mason, who now lives
in Seattle. The two worked primari-
ly from long distance on the work,
which Koski said addressed "the
parallels between the performance
space and the pedestrian life."
The recital also includes Justin
House's thesis based on Dante's
"Divine Comedy," centering on a
small girl who encounters demons
and angels. It's choreographed by
alum Anna Beard. In addition,
Natalie Lacuesta presents "Manipu-
lated " about the individual
facing societal pressure to conform
and the solo "Neo Punk Junkie,"
choreographed by Jon Fredricks to
music by The White Stripes. Finally,
Nikki Stasunas showcases "Cover
Me," which uses music from Bjork
and dancers from the studio where
she teaches in Brighton.
The performance offers an oppor-
tunity to sample an abundance of
innovative work and gain insight
into what inspires five artists. These
talented dance students are showing
what they are capable of and should
be able to contribute to the field for
years to come.

4

scape in an attempt to be the last team remaining. Standing in
the way is up to three other teams armed to the tooth with
bazookas, flying sheep, banana bombs and various other fan-
tastical weapons.
While the original "Worms" featured a control scheme that
could easily be picked up by anyone, the scheme in "Worms
3D" is one of the game's weakest points. Simply overlaying
the two-dimensional controls on a three-dimensional environ-
ment provides problems, as they are often not as intuitive as
they should be. Newcomers may find them downright frus-

their final theses - in "Clear Box
Left" at the Dance Building's Betty
Pease Studio Theater.
Ryan Myers will present her solo
"To When She Returns," featuring
the song "Nobody But You" by the
legendary gospel vocalist Shirley
Caesar. In the piece, her character
approaches God from a posture of
humility, a companion who is a per-
sonal rather than a distant deity.
"It's about spiritual reconciliation,
returning to my cultural roots,"
Myers explained.

a

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