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October 01, 2004 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-01

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 1, 2004 - 9

Arcade Fire
work within
By Chris Gaerig
For the Daily
The Arcade Fire are not the quintessential emo
band, and they do not embody the sound of bands like
Braid, Dashboard Confessional or Cursive - their
sound more closely resembles groups such as Inter-
pol, The Walkmen and The Cure. Often though, emo
bands are classified solely on their lyrical content; if
this were true, The Arcade Fire
are an emo group. However,
because all music conveys emo- The Arcade
tions, and much of it is about Fire
loss, it is clear that the feel of the Funeral
songs and musical arrangements Merge
are what actually categorize
It is this catch-22 that creates such ambiguity in
The Arcade Fire's music. With guitar riffs that would
fit in with the most common New York rock band,
and Win Butler's distinct yet familiar voice - most
closely mimicking The Cure's Robert Smith - The
Arcade Fire are clearly not emo.
During the recording of Funeral, The Arcade
Fire's debut album, relatives of several band members
died. Because of their overwhelming grief the artists'
feelings and tribulations have seeped into the songs.
Nearly every track on Funeral deals with a different
emotion from love to loss and anything in between.
On "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)," a violent household
is portrayed to the excitement and intrigue of the
neighborhood: "So the neighbors can dance / in the
police disco lights." The most emotional track on the
album is "Crown of Love" in which Win repeatedly
croons, "If you still want me / please forgive me."
At nearly four minutes, however, this sappy ballad

'Cadillac' retelling
paints a vivid picture

By Bernie Nguyen
Daily Arts Writer

Heartbreak, regret, nostalgia and
utter joy; inextricably bound to one
another, these emotions form the core
of "Autopsy of an Engine," Lolita
Hernandez's sweetly sad book about
the factory workers on the floor of
Cadillac's Clark Street Factory in

Detroit. The
book's 12 short
stories are full of
life and a bewitch-
ing truth about the
most basic labor-
ers in any industry
- assembly line
ghosts whose oily
hands and muffled
voices echo within
each page.
Hernandez has
written a book both

Autopsy of
an Engine
and Other
from the
Cadillac Plant
By Lolita
Coffee House Press
beautiful and raw.

a world that is ending fast. Like the
workers on the motor line, Hernandez
has created a lasting product - people
who remain in the memory long after
the last page is turned and stories that
resonate real life.
The incredible virtue of this book
lies in its nature as a collection of sto-
ries, which parallels the factory floor
as a family of colorful individuals.
Hernandez shows her background in
poetry through powerfully grace-
ful narration. However, her prose is
sometimes overwhelmed by the mag-
nitude of her description. Occasion-
ally, Hernandez falls into the trap of
allowing her words to blur her mean-
ing. Some sections are so verbose that
the reader may lose the story. Despite
this, her style is lyrical, with bursts of
onomatopoeia that bring to mind the
grinding and pounding of the Cadillac
assembly line. Hernandez excellently
conveys the sweat and open love of
the factory floor that characterize the
beauty of the book. She draws from
her experience of 21 years at the Clark
Street Cadillac Factory and infuses
her writing with a conviction that
could only come from life.
"Autopsy of an Engine" is an ode to
Detroit. It is a celebration of the auto
worker in his most primal form, fitting
the chassis and the hood and pounding
the pistons into place. Mourning the
end of the glorious days of Cadillac,
it is a eulogy to the hordes of phantom
workers whose lives revolved around
the wheels of those Sevilles and
ended when Cadillac closed its Clark
Street line. The book laughs, cries
and breathes life. Start the engine and
let it run forever; these workers will

Courtesy orMerge
These guys can't believe "Star Wars" pushed them off the lead Arts page.

becomes overly upbeat and the music suggests a hap-
pier tone. This technique displays The Arcade Fire's
ability to see beyond the misery and pain of their cur-
rent situation - a concept almost never associated
with emo groups.
The overused string arrangements add a mel-
ancholy tone to almost all of Funeral's 10 tracks
- a common fix-it among many groups. When The
Arcade Fire attempt to convey sadness through the
music (and not just the lyrics), it appears that their
only answer is adding an assortment of strings lay-
ered slightly over their poppy guitar riffs ("Neigh-
borhood #3 (Power Out)"). Funeral does not improve
upon this pretentious effect that has already been
overused in the past - the guitar riffs and outcome
of most of the songs destroy any feeling of sorrow
that these additions created.
Funeral's melodies and instrument arrange-

ments are solid enough to fight on the frontline
of the underground music scene. The guitar riffs
throughout the album are all strong and catchy,
and with the delicate piano and keyboard drones
in the background, the songs are extremely listen-
able and nearly infectious - Rdgine Chassagne's
soft feminine voice adds to the eloquence of the
album ("In the Backseat"). Funeral is not with-
out its faults, though. The sporadic feel of several
songs (reverting back to a dance beat and optimis-
tic feel) detracts from the sincerity. Many times,
the lyrics are slightly too sentimental for the
music playing behind them. However, The Arcade
Fire's musical aptitude and promise on their debut
album, Funeral, are an extremely strong showing
that puts them in a position to be pop mainstays,
despite their possibly damning sense of gloom and
emo labeling.

She chronicles the continuing decline
of the Detroit auto industry in the
early 1990s and the dismantling of
the Cadillac factory that follows hard
on its heels. Her characters are as real
and alive as the people of Detroit's
dim post-glory present. She covers the
entire spectrum of the human experi-
ence, from Abbie, whose keen imagi-
nation brings the empty plant back to
life, to the anonymous woman whose
life spent on the line drives her to
insanity. Some hate the factory, some
love the factory but no one knows how
to live without it. The characters draw
emotional response from the reader as
they go about their everyday lives in

Jam veteran returns
with 'Honest Hour'

Far-fetched 'Vegas' still intriguing

By Abby Stotz
Daily Arts Writer

By Jared Newman
Daily Arts Writer
The reality of Reid Genauer's situa-
tion is that he doesn't really belong in a
jam band. The singer/songwriter whose

roots are based in
Strangefolk is so
prolific that his
performances are
captivating even as
a solo acoustic act.
But when Genauer
surrounds himself
with other musi-

Vermont jam band
of Dust
The Honest Hour
Hybrid Recordings

rock songs with a few extended solos
and jams works well in showcasing the
band's cohesiveness.
Make no mistake, however - this is
Genauer's show. It's hard not to notice
his voice, which is clean and strangely
Southern for a Vermont man. He's got a
knack for songwriting too, using phrases
like "Well-healed girl," "Borrowed light
from the moon" and "Blinking possi-
bilities shuddered" that sound just right
coming from his throat.
The band defines their sound as "Hick
Funk," but "Folk Rock Done Right"
seems more fitting for this set of nine
songs. Though the melodies are clear-
cut, Genauer's songs rarely stick in the
brain like other folk tunes. Instead, there
tends to be scattered passages of melodic
and rhythmic greatness. These parts are
blissful, but there are instances of medi-
ocrity as well, usually when the songwrit-
ing becomes overly simple. Nonetheless,
songs like the opener "Man With a Plan"
are great all the way through.
Then there's the jamming. Drum-

"Dr. Vegas" is a show about a doctor
whose practice is stationed in a fancy
casino with big hotel suites. Within
the first show, a
man gets beaten
in the parking Dr. Vegas
lot, a man pulls Fridays at 10 p.m.
a huge nail out ofC
his own chest and _ B_ _
a singer headlin-
ing in the casino is hooked on drugs
and pregnant. As far-fetched as it is,
"Dr. Vegas" is actually entertaining.
Dr. Billy Grant (Rob Lowe, "The
Outsiders") pulls out his sweet office

space by pulling a bullet out of
casino owner Tommy Danko (Joey
Pantoliano, "Daredevil"). By way of
thanks, Tommy hires Billy to work
out of his casino. The casino is pop-
ulated by characters like Tommy's
right hand man, Vic (Tom Sizemore,
"Black Hawk Down"), and Veronica
(Sarah Lancaster, "Everwood"), a
blond business student who deals
blackjack at night, round out the
cast of characters. All seems cheery
and well as Tommy runs what is
referred to as his "giant godless cash
machine." But really, Tommy acts
like the godfather of the casino, hav-
ing Billy give on-the-spot prognoses
to high rollers and making Veronica
wear a skimpy outfit to be dealer for
a rich foreign jerk.

As much of a God complex as
Tommy has, he's the best part of the
show. Pantoliano plays Tommy like
James Caan in his prime and leaves
little doubt as to why everybody does
what Tommy says. He also acts as
an excellent bad cop to Billy's almost
saintly good cop. The good doctor
and Danko's buddy banter is enter-
taining and their fights are explo-
sive. Also good is the quick cutting
of the show. It jumps back and forth
between three or four different sto-
ries before one gets too boring.
Admittedly, "Dr. Vegas" is cheesy
at times and a bit predictable, not to
mention far-fetched with its doctor-
in-a-casino premise. But "Dr. Vegas"
is well acted and slick enough to wind
up being a pretty good show.

cians, he sometimes takes a back seat to
the musical muscle flexing of the jam.
Fortunately, his latest group, Assem-
bly of Dust, is capable enough to put on
a great show that, yes, does include a few
jams here and there. The band's second
album, The Honest Hour, is comprised
entirely of live tracks for that very rea-
son. The combination of shorter folk
Continued from page 1
CNN five times in the past 18 months.
He thinks the general perception has
him being featured as frequently as
Bill Bennett or Ann Coulter. "I don't
think I'm on much, actually," Moore
Moore thinks that most young people
are ignoring traditional media outlets
and instead getting their news from
satirical programs like Comedy Cen-
tral's "The Daily Show with Jon Stew-
art." "It's kind of a sad commentary on
where people get their news," Moore
said. While not a complete opponent of
this growing trend, he views humor as
a "great way to communicate" and he's
"glad it's been rediscovered."
With the election near, Moore has
his eyes set toward the future. "I think I
am going to do something on the health
care industry, but my plan at first is to
take it easy for a while." Additionally,
he thinks more levity will return to his
work after the election. "I'll probably
get funnier after Bush is gone. I'm at
kind of a low - a migraine mood right
now," joked Moore.
- Sarah Peterson contributed to
this report

mer Andrew Herrick and bassist John
Leccese hold up a good groove, but
lead guitarist Adam Terrell isn't inven-
tive enough to keep things interesting
- he's more functional as filler, add-
ing licks here and there between vocal
passages. Still, he has a great chemistry
with keyboardist Nate Wilson, whose
keyboard chops are always a pleasure
to hear, especially when he takes the
center stage.
All in all, The Honest Hour can be
long-winded or boring at times, but the
high points more than make up for these
moments. Anyone who wants to see
what Reid Genauer is capable of should
pick up a copy.

"Absolutely stunning.., boasting dazzlingly
evocative sequences. Oshii's vision is certainly impressive
enough for this viewer to want to go back for more."
Midnight Eye - Jasper Sharp
"'Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence' is that rarest of birds: it matches
the original, continues it, and even kicks

The UM School of Music
Sponsored by Jim and Millie Irwin
Sunday, October 31
4:00 PM & 7:30 PM
at Hill Auditorium
The annual Halloween Concert returns to Hill
Auditorium this year with all new excitement and thrills.
Come dressed in costume or as you are to enjoy this
beloved event for young and old alike. Tickets will go
on sale in person and by phone at the League Ticket
Office starting Friday, October 1, 2004. Tickets may
be purchased by cash, check, and major credit cards.
Limit 10 per customer.
Halloween Concert Tickets on Sale
Friday, October 1, 2004
League Ticket Office 9 911 N. University
M-F 9am-5pm; Sat. 1Dam-1pm

617 Packard
Upstairs from
Paying $4 to $6
for top CD's in

U __~UU ~ U .51A~ ~KU UU_.

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