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April 20, 2004 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-20

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April 20, 2004




Sadly, the party's over0*

I feel pretty,
oh so pretty,
It's unwitty
how pretty I


By Evan McGarvey
Daily Arts Writer

It's generally not a good sign when artists
spends more time hyping the official after-party
than they do on stage. As Young Chris, one half of
the Roc-A-Fella rap duo the Young Gunz, barked
the address of the official after-party into the mic

on Friday, the Young Gunz and
their obligatory posse walked
off stage after a 20 minute "set."
Unfortunately for those who
arrived later, the opening act
proved to be the best performers
of the bunch. Longtime under-
ground rappers Dilated Peoples
opened the show before the
Young Gunz and the headliner,
Kanye West. The group, whose
newest album Neighborhood
Watch is getting plenty of radio

Young Gunz
and Dilated
Friday, April 16
At the State
rotation thanks to

grabbed the mic. While neither Young Chris or
the awkwardly named Neef are stellar rappers,
they both managed not to trip over their insipid
verses on their debut, Tough Luv. This night,
however, was a different story. Their micro-
phones did nothing against the hail storm of bass
in each song. Neef's raps were quickly mumbled
and most of the onstage posse often carried the
heavy rapping load. Chris, the superior of the
two, did climb on the speakers to deliver a verse
from their hit, "Can't Stop Won't Stop." For the
ode to booty "Tip Drill," the gents had an assort-
ed group of young women from the audience
come onstage and do their best Beyonce impres-
sions. Apparently the women did quite well, as
the Young Gunz kept them onstage for the rest of
their thankfully short set.
Their conversations with the audience between
songs stuck to the duo dividing the crowd into two
sides and prompting the halfs to toss insults at
each other. Repeated flashing of the Roc-A-Fella
sign followed. The duo closed their set with the
lead single from their album, "No Better Love."
Fittingly, both men were flashing their jewelry and
staring at their chains as they rapped about affec-
tion and devotion. The women still gyrating in the
background looking awfully lonely, and like that,
the Young Gunz were gone - women in tow -
shouting out the after-party location about 15
times in the span of 10 seconds.

Kanye West is one of the most in-vogue rap and
R&B producers on the planet. After a wait in
which the audience heard the same album twice,
the man himself took the stage to a chorus of boos
and screams.
All was forgiven as West began spitting "Two
Words" off his debut album, College Dropout.
West has received far too much credit as a rapper.
His occasionally witty reflections don't mitigate
the fact that he possesses an unwieldy, often ham-
handed control of his verses. In fact he let the
audience do most of the rapping on a few songs.
Even more frustrating, Kanye played a game of
"name-that-tune" when he had the crowd shout out
the names of the hit songs he produced not long
after the DJ starting spinning them. Perhaps the
brightest spot in the set was his uninhibited
freestyle over "Stand Up," a track he produced for
Ludacris. Expectedly, he brought Dilated Peoples
back on stage for their hit "This Way." The crowd
seemed grateful to see them again and reveled in
their on stage joy and humble attitudes.
If nothing else, the show was a glorious display
of ego from a man who has one hit album and a
handful of production successes. Kanye seemed to
let his arrogance off the chain the entire night,
whether it was making the crowd wait an obscene
amount of time or his lazy, poor performance on
the microphone. Kanye already has the corpulent,
shoddy attitude of a commercial rap fat cat.

Inever thought that I'd admit this in
print for the entire campus to read:
I cry at the end of every school year
when I have to go back home for the
summer. While I don't desire to sit
through another month of boring lec-
tures, it does make me melancholy to
see the fun college life come to a close
at the end of April. I've been like this
since I was a child. I never wanted the
party to end.
This not only holds true for my life,
but for the lives of TV characters on my
favorite shows. Sometimes it is hard to
let go after the series has gone on too
long. This year, the party ended for
"Sex and the City" and will soon be
over for NBC favorites "Friends" and
"Fraiser" as well.
While the pilot may be importantfor
the success of a television show, the
series finale is essential in shaping its
legacy. I still remember the finale of
"Who's the Boss?" that ran back in
1992. It was sentimental yet funny, as
Angela and Tony ended up together -
just as we always wanted - in a scene
that mimicked the pilot.
Perhaps it is a level of predictability
that makes finales successful. How
would we look back on "Who's the
Boss?" if years of sexual tension
between the two leads resulted in noth-
ing? Predictability was certainly the case
for February's farewell to "Sex and the
City," where Carrie ended up in, the arms
of Mr. Big. Sure, it is what we all expect-
ed, but it was what we all wanted too:.
With shows like "Sex and the City" the
finale is the bow on top of the package,
tying everything up nice and neatly so
viewers, though slightly saddened, walk
away feeling content the series is over.
The alternative is much bleaker.
Messing with predictability can leave
viewers wanting more and forever
remembering the terrible final moments
rather than the seasons that preceded
them. Case in point: "Dawson's Creek."
Unlike "Sex and the City," which chose
to go home when the night was still
young and everyone was still looking,
good, "Dawson's Creek" stayed until the
wee hours of the morning. After years

of conditioning viewers to believe Joey
and Dawson are "soul mates," the show
decided to pair Joey with Pacey in the
end, leaving the leading man alone. The
two-hour farewell was also plagued by
the drawn out death of Jen and a lame
closing scene.
Similarly, writers tried to do the
unconventional with the series finale of
"Seinfeld." The ensemble was on trial
after uncharacteristically mocking a per-
fect stranger as he was being robbed.
Charged for their failure to act, the show
used the courtroom to bring together
memorable characters of the past - the
episode's only redeeming quality. When
Jerry, Kramer, Elaine and George ended
up in a jail cell at the end, everyone was
shaking their heads.
Going crazy at the end of a series
may seem inconsequential to networks
- after all, it is the end - but it's the
fans that are left disappointed. "Felici-
ty" tried to keep everyone happy two
years ago with four flashback episodes
in the end of its run that gave the hero-
ine the chance to go back in time and
chose a different man. The uncharacter-
istic supernatural theme and "Wizard of
Oz"-type ending prove that a finale
can't do both; it has to choose the path
of predictability or go astray.
A month from now, "Friends" will be
making its way out the door and we all
can predict that Ross and Rachel will be
back together in the end, and all the
friends will go on with their more
grown-up lives while keeping that spe-
cial bond they found in New York City.
Is there really any other way to end?
Perhaps Rachel will take the job in Paris
but then realize she can't leave behind
her friends and come running home to
the Big Apple like Carrie. The other
option is for the series to go astray like
its NBC counterpart "Seinfeld." In the
end, will we be crying because it is over
or outraged by a misguided attempt at
originality? Even non-fans are a little
curious to find out.
Much to Katies dismaythe-finale of
"Dallas " sucked too. E-mail sympathy
to gateskm@umich.edu.

the West-produced single "This Way," thankfully
did nothing to forget its roots or its fan base. With
clean, articulated raps, well-timed verses and a
joyous stage manner, they looked like the only
people having fun that night on stage.
Most of the lifeblood left the stage as soon as
the next act, the up-and-coming Young Gunz,

N E E MCKAY<' suburban life.
G "Q T AwAY VRtO ME The subject of men frequently
COM"A crop up in her song writing. "Wnt
U Please B Nice" has the spike of
So much about Nellie McKay, a mace behind the smile. However,
an unknown, 19-year-old pianist, she neither dismisses men on the
is completely audacious. With no whole nor sounds indebted to
small-label releases 'or substantial them. She can't stand overbearing
underground buzz, the faith that men or weak women.
Colunbia has shown in McKay by McKay has cited equal intfluence;
releasing herdebut EP is shocking. from feiiale torch singers like
imultaneoufsly touted as a poten- Peggy Lee and modern rebellious
lial post-feminist icon and the next artists like Eminem. She even
Burt Bacharach, McKay has upped busts an occasional rap, like on the
the ante even more by making her self-deprecating "Sari." The raps
debut a full-.ledged double album. on the album are certainly one
Perhaps McKay's most refresh- type of a diversion, but ultimately
ng duality, and she has many, is they dilute an otherwise thick apnd
/her utter onviction as a song promising mix.
writer. Iraq, President Bush and Their forays are all good for
-dogs (she's a merher of PETA) shock value and most of the overt-
are all enunciated or brutally cut ly political lyrics do contain a
Town, in her disarmin cabaret wonderful passion, especially in
voice. ven songs with obvious today's politically sterile music
titles quickly twist into some- world, but a bit more restraint frn.
;thing unexpected."I WarnWaGet McKay might be the next step,
Married" turns into a subtle* ***
tirade against the monotony of'EvantMctarveLa

Dancer experiences revolution in 'Cuba'

By Sarah Peterson
Daily Fine Arts Editor

To most dancers, practicing without a mirror is
inconceivable. "A dancer has no way of examining
her work except in a mirror because she herself is her
own medium and instrument," explains Alma
Guillermoprieto in her book "Dancing with Cuba: A
Memoir of the Revolution" This _._...__..._
was just one of the obstacles that Dancing
Guillermoprieto encountered in th Cuba:
her months in Cuba - the wit a.
months that would shape her A Memoir
political conscience. of the
"Dancing with Cuba" is Revolution
Alma Guillermoprieto's first- By Alma
person narrative of her journey Guillermoprieto
to Cuba and how it deeply Pantheon Books
affected her way of thinking.
The story begins in New York City with the author,
having come to the states from Mexico to dance,
trying to make a living as a modern dancer. Jump-
ing from the studios of Martha Graham to those of
Merce Cunningham and also to those of Twyla
Tharp, the reader is introduced to the intricacies of
the NYC dancing scene.
Guillermoprieto's dreams of being a principal in a
modern dance company are shattered when one of

her teachers suggests that she take a teaching job in
Cuba, but after deciding to take the job, Guillermo-
prieto's journey really begins.
At first, the ways and ideals of the Cuban people
seem foreign to Guillermoprieto. At the age of 21, she
had never really thought about issues beyond her own
dancing, let alone those of a revolution. The fact that
there are no mirrors in the dancing studios seems bar-
baric, not patriotic. The feelings of the school where
she is teaching and of the people around her almost
drive her home, but the children - her students -
keep her coming to class.
Throughout her months in Cuba, Guillermoprieto's
ideas about the revolution and about politics in gen-
eral shift and come into focus. She comes to under-
stand and appreciate the experiences of living
through a revolution.
"Dancing with Cuba" is a beautifully written
account of one woman's experience with revolution.
It is an easy read, as the author's voice reverberates in
her words, revealing the powerful emotions and
intense passion that make up this dancer. Even
though the events are real, the narrative reads like a
novel. The lyrical prose of the story perfectly accents
the dancing - the catalyst for the author's self-real-
ization - and the honesty of the language is refresh-
ing. "Dancing with Cuba" is definitely a story for
anyone who enjoys dance, but it is also a touching
narrative that anyone who has ever experienced a
major life change can relate to.

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