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April 20, 2004 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-20

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 20, 2004

ARTS 0

By Sravya Chirumamilla
Daily Arts Writer

Wednesday night at the Palace ofA
Auburn Hills, all the haters who
couldn't stand Britney Spears's
image and all that she stood for
began to admit that they couldn't
help but secretly hum her catchy
tunes and that she was undoubtedly
a great performer - and perform
she did.
Fans who booed off wanna-be
Avril Lavigne, Skye Sweetman, were
ecstatic to see the set for Spears's
show. Large, red,
triangular curtains
shielded the stage Britney
in a zigzag pat- Spearsn
tern. When they Wednesday,
lifted, two lit stair- April 14
cases illuminated At the Palace of
the sides of the Auburn Hills
stage. Screens in
the center allowed close-up views of,
Spears as she made her way around
the stage.
After torturing admirers with
awful opening acts for an hour and
a half, Spears finally appeared to
screaming fans. She entered
through the back of the stage, from
within a moving trolley that repre-
sented a bellhop's cart and went
through trap doors within the stair- , A* A
cases. She changed her outfits
quite a few times and was even
able to pull out favorites like the Oh, when I think about you I touch myself.
nude-colored, rhinestone-encrusted

performed her original hits, "Hit Me
Baby One More Time" and "Oops ...
I Did It Again" in the hotel's
"lounge," changing the beats to
match that of a lounge performance.
Spears's music has matured from
the bubblegum pop that made her
popular in 1999. With reggae beats
and Jamaica-inspired sets rampant
with yellows, greens and reds, she
introduced songs from her newest
release, In the Zone. Her finale even
included a remix of "Me Against the
Music," by British DJ Rishi Rich,
which is infused with bhangra beats.
She mentioned quite a few times
that she loves Michigan and to show
her love, even sang one of her songs.
The audience, not expecting actual
singing at the show, was thrown off
when the hoarse-voiced Spears broke
into a ballad while pretending to play
the piano. It was quite apparent that
people were not attending to hear
Spears sing, but instead to watch her
perform.
The audience at the event was the
most surprising: Very few parents
with small children or pre-teens were
present. Most of the screaming fans
were in their late teens or early 20s.
These are girls who grew up singing
along with Spears and who now can't
help but dance when favorites like
"I'm A Slave 4 U" are played at par-
ties or clubs. MTV, understanding the
demographics at the show, set up a
voter registration drive in the arena.
Many people signed up as they
formed lines to get a commemorative
Polaroid in front of a MTV backdrop.
As the audience members admired
one of the most prominent pop idols
from their teens, a sense of nostalgia
infiltrated the crowd. Everyone,
including the idol, had grown up a
little and the show reflected that in
its provocative entertainer and lively
performances.

cour teso ) r rrims
Look, punk. I'm Colin Farrell.
Wea characters drag
down 'Intermission'

By Raquel Laned
Daily Arts Writer

Courtesy or Jive

bodysuit she made infamous in the
video for "Toxic."
Another outfit included a large
flowing skirt, which Spears wore
while she was sitting on a large swing
that was lifted over the stage. While
she was flying over, acrobats on the
side maintained their balance on a

tightrope while performing flips and
turns a la Cirque du Soleil.
The most scandalous set, imitating
a couple of hotel rooms complete
with four-post beds and bathtubs,
allowed for some provocative inter-
pretations of Spears's song about
masturbation. Steamy menage a trois,

as well as lesbian and gay scenes,
played on both the screens as the
amount of crotch grabbing on stage
reached new levels.
Spears pulled out all the stops to
please her audience with creative
dancing, interesting costumes and
even twists on favorite songs. Spears

Broken Social Scene dust off rare gems for Hives

Directors often feel the need to
compensate for a mediocre story by
adding a twist or zinger at the end.
But what about movies that start with
a bang? When a film has a killer
opening, it is asking the audience to
demand more.
That's what makes John Crowley's
film debut "Intermission" so unfor-
givable. It's not a
bad movie, but
such a great Intermission
opening - a vio- At Michigan
lent, chaotic hold- Theater
up cutting to IFC Films
opening credits
scrawled erratically on the screen -
deserves more.
"Intermission" refers to the
breakup, or separation, of John (Cil-
lian Murphy, "28 Days Later") and
Deirdre (Kelly Macdonald,
"Trainspotting") - a breakup that
causes a slew of characters to collide,
make alliances, have affairs or kill
one another. When Deirdre starts dat-
ing an older (and married). man with
a steady job, John's life really begins
to go awry. He gets involved in organ-
izing a hold-up, led by an unruly,
thickly-accented Colin Farrell (think
Brad Pitt's role in "Snatch"), in some
kind of attempt to win her back.
Mark O'Rowe's script shines in a
few places. These exemplify the
ridiculousness of everyday conversa-
tion, and do so with sharp insight and
wit reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino.
O'Rowe, however, tries too hard to
shock with his dialogue by squeezing
in as much profanity as possible. He

goes for irreverence, but instead
achieves crudeness; he goes for gritty
realism, but the profanities are too
awkwardly placed.
The characterizations also prevent
"Intermission" from achieving the
greatness of "Trainspotting." While
the characters in "Trainspotting"
cursed, took drugs and shat in beds,
they always remained sympathetic
and showed many dimensions. The
losers in "Intermission" are carica-
tures, preventing the audience from
completely sympathizing with them.
John's friend is so lonely that he
scopes out the middle-aged hookup
bar in the hopes of finding some
action and masturbates.to porn with a
look of anguish. Instead of appearing
tragic, he merely looks pathetic.
And then there's Lehiff (Farrell),
who doesn't have any deep thoughts
(besides engaging in crime) or emo-
tions at all, and Deirdre, whose
opaque motivations make her more of
a puzzle than a person.
Murphy's character does win the
sympathy of the audience with his
good - if often dim-witted - inten-
tions. In one rare moment of tender-
ness in the film, he sits alone on the
couch where he finds one of Deirdre's
forgotten bras and delicately begins to
finger it. The image communicates
alienation, loss and love like nothing
else in the film, yet Murphy does not
allow his character to look pathetic,
like many of his fellow actors do.
"Intermission" does have its
moments of greatness, which makes
its dull points all the more disap-
pointing. The audience, at first
enthralled, begins to feel bored with
the characters' self-loathing, and the
profanity and violence gradually
drains its vivacity.

0

By Andrew M. Gaerig
Daily Music Editor

Expectations can do nasty things to a band, but what
they do to fans is even worse. Take, for example, Bee
Hives, the B-sides and outtakes disc from red-hot
Canadian indie rockers Broken Social Scene. Expecta-
tions have transformed what would normally be a nice
addendum to the band's stunning 2002 breakthrough,
You Forgot It In People, into a scorned and unwanted
stepchild.
Oh, there are problems, to be sure. With only nine
tracks on the album, why leave already existing B-sides
("Do the 95") on the table? Filling out the tracklist with

some live cuts might also have been nice. Also, too
many of the tracks lean towards the ambient post-rock
of the band's early days. Tracks like "Weddings" and
"Time=Cause" aren't terrible, but they're not particu-
larly stirring either.
But minor quibbles aside,
there are some things here for Broken
fans to get excited about. Social Scene
"Market Fresh" is a pastoral Beehives
acoustic number that could've Arts and Crafts
hung with any of the down-
tempo tracks on You Forgot It,
and "Backyards" is a cluttered, wistful landscape.
Even some of the instrumental tracks on Bee
Hives, while not as successful as the band's songs,
manage to approximate the sublime, nostalgic

moods You Forgot It was so capable of evoking.
"Da Da Da Da," despite a plodding start, benefits
from a heavy rhythm section, and "Hallmark"
buzzes along potently.
The most interesting track on Bee Hives is the
remake of "Lover's Spit," the pounding, archaic
guitar hymn from You Forgot It. With the help of
vocalist Leslie Feist, the band transforms the track
into a stately piano ballad. It's an interesting read
of one of the band's best tracks, but it doesn't
come close to replacing the anthemic grandeur of
the original.
Bee Hives cleans out the cupboard in order to
capitalize on the band's growing popularity, but
that doesn't make it worthless. Just set aside those
expectations until the next full-length album.

i

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0I

UNFUNNY COMICS

YOUR GOT USED BOOKSTORE

I

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The girlfrom
Ipanema goes
walking, and
when she
passes each
' ..one...

Hey! What
is this
r
4

SELL THOSE BACK
YOU JERK!
t 1
j 1

Man, Jerry, my El
Camino sure needs a
new paint job.

Well, did yousell
your boo s back to
the bookstore?

No, I didn't Jerry.

Then I guess this El
Camino stays ugly.

K 549 E. University*
662~.3201
(rm-f 9...6 )
(sat 10...5)
(sun 12...5 )
www.ulrichs.com
BOOK & SUPPLY
((317 S. State a
.6654990
(m-th 9...7 )
(fri 9...5 )
(sat 10...5 )
( sun 12...5)
wwwomichbook.com

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I should sell this
book backto the

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