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September 24, 2004 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-24

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September 24, 2004
arts. michigandaily. com

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11, . .. . ... .. ... .. .. .. .. . . ....... . -- . . . . ... ..... ...... . ..............................



By Tracy Bamett
For the Daily

Whoa, you're my sister?!

Fiery Furnaes mash
up at the Blind Pig

By Lloyd Cargo
For the Daily
The Fiery Furnaces accomplished
an impressive feat Tuesday in front
of a packed crowd at the Blind Pig
- they managed to give the audi-
ence everything
it wanted to hear,
while making the Fiery
listeners feel like Furnaces
they've never Tuesday, Sept. 21
heard it before.
The Furnaces At the Blind Pig
took songs from
their 2003 debut Gallowsbird's Bark
and this year's critically acclaimed
Blueberry Boat and mixed up the
verses, choruses and guitar solos to
form one long medley. The results
were brilliant, never yielding a dull
The Fiery Furnaces are led by sib-
lings Matthew and Eleanor Fried-
berger. The brother/sister dynamic is
a fascinating one, lending the songs a
playful, childlike air. Watching them
bicker over what songs to play during
the encore was like being back at the
family dinner table.
Like The White Stripes, The Fur-
naces do borrow from the blues, but
they're more in debt to the grandeur
of The Who and the eccentricity of
Captain Beefheart. Combining folk
and garage rock influences with sim-
ple melodies and rollicking riffs, the

songs can be challenging, but are also
rewarding. They never slowed down'
the pace - rocking non stop for an
hour, only pausing once to fix a bro-
ken drum mic.
Highlights of the set included the
jolly "Bow Wow," a song about a
lost dog, the whimsical "I'm Going
to Run" and the freewheeling "Don't
Dance Her Down." The pace was set
by the energetic drumming of Andy
Knowles, who even managed to be
entertaining when not playing by
miming the lyrics and making faces
at Matthew and Eleanor. In the midst
of the sonic chaos surrounding him,
Matthew remained stoic, whether he
was pounding out melodies on his
Rhodes organ or unleashing effects-
drenched guitar solos.
While Matthew is the creative
force behind the music, Eleanor is
undoubtedly the focus of the band.
Like a bizarre cross between PJ
Harvey, Patti Smith and Karen Car-
penter, she sometimes delivered
the nonsense lyrics with a vacant
stare and other times by busting
out robotic dance moves. Her dusky
voice lent even the silliest songs an
emotional depth.
Packing most of their catalogue into
an hour-long medley lent The Furnac-
es cohesiveness not always found on
their albums. Blueberry Boat, while
terrific, can be an exhausting listen.
This certainly wasn't the case Tues-
day as they walked off stage with a
packed crowd begging for more.

After a recent stop at Ann Arbor hot spot Necto,
Randy Barry, of "Real World: San Diego" fame, talked
with The Michigan Daily about his experiences on the
show and how his life has changed.
When asked why he wanted to be on MTV's "The
Real World: San Diego," cast member Randy said, "It
was like a contest you wanted to win." The show, which
follows around seven strangers as they work and live
together, is popular among the college crowd, because
of its relatable characters. He at first was interested in
trying out for a different reality show, but MTV did not
want to let the attractive, energetic and charming 24-
year-old go, and he was soon called to be on the cast of
"The Real World."
In the blink of an eye, Randy was starting his new
life in California with six new roommates. The chal-
lenge of always being around these people was daunt-
ing, and when asked about all the drama that usually
erupts on "The Real World," he asserted that "I didn't
think I would be involved in any drama." Oh, how
wrong he was.
In the middle of all the drunken escapades and fight-
ing that occurs each season on the show, cast members
find it difficult to adjust to the constant presence of the
cameras. Everywhere this year's cast turned, the crew
was there watching and filming. As a result, the pres-
sure of always being watched bothered the housemates.
However, Randy did comment that, when compared to

other seasons, theirs was more "lighthearted."
Still, it wouldn't have been a true "Real World" season
without its fair share of drama. One of the first storylines
of the year revolved around Randy's initial attraction to
his cute, dynamic housemate Robin, but he said it with-
ered away as they became better acquainted with one
another. Randy also explained that troubled housemate
Frankie was indeed the source of many problems, and
when she decided to leave the show, "it was a relief."
Randy did, after all, join the show in order to have a
good time, and that he did.
However, their wild parties and drunken nights were
sharply contrasted with their mundane and physically
demanding job, working for a yacht company. Randy and
the other cast members, "straight up had to work (their)
asses off." It was difficult and monotonous, he said.
Watching the show was difficult for Randy. He
explained that since the show had to encompass so much
in so little time, many aspects of the roommates' per-
sonality do not get a chance to be explored. Fortunately,
he feels as if he and the other housemates are now an
extended family.
Since the show's conclusion, Randy has been travel-
ing to colleges, including the University, and occasion-
ally giving lectures hoping to inspire other students to
achieve their goals. Of course, he still finds time to party,
as was evident by his appearance at the Necto nightclub.
The more people he gets to share his experiences with,
the more meaningful the experiences are to him. He
enjoys every minute of his life. "I have the coolest job in
the world," he said.

Enigmatic Barber rises to occasion o Fornt

By Andrew Horowitz
Daily Arts Writer

Patricia Barber has long been an enig-
ma, blurring genre to the point of isola-
tion. Unlike her contemporaries, Barber
writes sophisticated tunes that fall some-
where between jazz standards and angry
female rock. Her words obtrude and grab
listeners by force, refusing to exist in the
Her latest release, A Fortnight in
France, finds Barber and her longstand-
ing quartet stronger than ever, performing
five originals and five standards over a
concert tour in France. Accented are her

terse piano playing and low raspy voice,
one reminiscent of an aged cabaret singer.
In addition, as on past albums, guitarist
Neal Alger adds spacious backdrops to fill
out the sound. .______,_.____
"Gotcha" opens Patricia
with a dark groove Barber
in which Barber
asks, "Did you ever A Fortnight
think a piano/could in Paris
fall on your head?" Blue Note
The song maintains
a funky bass line, while exploring a dark
world in which misfortune is just around
the corner. By the time Alger's bluesy
electric guitar solo concludes and the lis-
tener arrives at a final chorus, Barber's
nearly whispered words become all the

more chilling: "Your girlfriend is starting
/ to panic and steal / whatever's left / of
a small piece / of a small pie / of a small
man / with a much smaller life." The tune
ends with a short fade-out.
The live feel of the recordings is for-
tunately limited to the sparse clapping
and talking between tunes. Barber does a
remarkable job of making Bach song seem
personal, forging a bond between her and
the listener. Nowhere is this more appar-
ent than on the ballads, which constitute
the majority of her non-compositions.
"Laura," with Barber's haunting voice and
drifting piano, is beautifully understated.
The majority of the tune is filled with
sparse solo acoustic guitar. The Beatles'
"Norwegian Wood" begins with light open

piano arpeggios and a crisp vocal interpre-
tation. The tune then builds from a bass
solo to an upbeat bed of activity. Barber's
piano solo is technically limited, but what
she can't play in technique she makes up
for with fresh, invigorated ideas. In addi-
tion, the aggressive drumming keeps the
momentum flowing throughout.
There really aren't any dull moments
on this outing. From the passionate
French original "Dansons La Gigue!"
to the bizarre samba cabaret-style
cover "Call Me," the Patricia Barber
quartet is always creating art that can
only be described as bold and daring.
This release finds Barber continuing to
push the envelope, sharing with us her
inspired performance in France.

"Absolutely stunning... boasting dazzlingly
evocative sequences. Oshi's vision is certainly impressive
enough for this viewer to want to go back for more."TH S G EN ERATIO N .
Midnight Eye - Jasper Sharp.TODA

"Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence' is that rarest of birds: it matches
the original, continues it, and even kicks


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