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November 02, 2004 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-02

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Tuesday'
November 2, 2004
arts.michigandaily.com
artspage@michigandaily.com

ARTs

DOUG
WERNERT

- W"""W""W/
CLAYPOOL'S COLLABORATIVE EFFORT LIFTS OFF

By Garrick Kobylarz
Daily Arts Writer
How many groups that rock one's fucking
socks off can a single man form? Apparently at
least four if that man's name
is Les Claypool.
This time, slap-bass mad- Colonel
man Claypool - best known Claypool's
from Primus - rounded up Bucket of
cohorts Bernie Worrell (key- Bernie Brains
boards), Brian "Brain" Man-
tia (drums) and Buckethead The Big Eyeball
(lead guitar) to record the In the Sky
funky The Big Eyeball in the Prawn Song
Sky under the moniker Colo-
nel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains. Every
highly talented member of this band showcases
his eclectic style to create a sound that is truly
unique, dynamic and musically inspiring.
Bernie Worrell, most widely recognized for

his more than 30-year collaboration with George
Clinton, proves that he still has what it takes to
bang out jamming rhythms on the keys. Draw-
ing on everything from organ sounds to timbres
that seem to have a home in outer space, Worrell
develops lush melodies, harmonies and intricate
solos. The sound is well established in the open-
ing track "Buckethead," and throughout the entire
album. Even when Worrell abandons complexity
for basic chord structures, continuously strong
elaborations provided by the rest of the band give
the triads an invigorating character.
The guitarist known only as Buckethead
wails away on riffs that are as wondrous as his
identity and origin. In most songs, the guitar
melodies are sparse, but when they enter, the
lines are full of rich, thriving tones. Songs
like "Ignorance is Bliss" and the instrumental
"Jackalope" give Buckethead a chance to show
off his speed and finger dexterity, while still
maintaining balance with Worrell and Clay-
pool's underlying harmonies.
Through Les Claypool may be well known in

the musical sphere for his eccentric bass playing
- this album being no exception - it is his lyr-
ics that really shine through on The Big Eyeball
in the Sky. Many of the songs are drenched in
social commentary about everything from buli-
mia to the war in Iraq. "There is a boy named
Junior / Playing Uncle Sam / Got a master plan /
Like Vietnam / Don't give a good goddamn about
Saddam / Gonna drink his oil right out the can
/ Look at him go," states Claypool in the song
"Junior." His best lyrics, however, are saved for
the title track, commenting quite poignantly on
the current state of media consumption and dem-
onstrating that his skills are not simply limited
to the bass.
Solidified by Brain's tight, funky grooves on
such tracks as "Elephant Ghost" and "48 Hours
to Go," the album builds momentum from the
beginning of the first tune that lasts to the very
end. The body can't help but jitter and sway as
the music infiltrates the brain, leaving the mouth
salivating for more 21st century-funk mastery
from the Colonel and his men.

Revival easy as ABC
W ell, the fall television sea- the ball by getting greedy and overex-
son is once again in full posing the show (obviously never real-
swing. FOX is just now izing that nobody could stand Regis
unveiling its fall schedule, and now Philbin four nights a week), proving
it's time to sit back and enjoy the that too much of a good thing can be
many hours of new programming bad, even in television.
from the four major networks. In Needless to say, when this current
recent years, ABC has been the last fall season first began, I was a bit
to make its mark on a fall season, or skeptical. "The Practice" had ended
for that matter, even make one at all. and "NYPD Blue" was going into
This year, however, is a new season, its last season. What did ABC have
a new set of shows and a new ABC left? Fortunately, they decided to try
- one that has once again found its something different, and so far, it has
place in the television world. paid off wonderfully. This time, when
The last couple years have been bringing back an old idea, they did
rough for the alphabet. The other it right. "Boston Legal," a relative of
networks all found their identities. "The Practice" has done quite well
You had FOX (the young and trashy in its Sunday night time slot, as ABC
network), NBC (the network with the is proudly proclaiming it the No. 1-
established sitcoms and dramas) and rated new law drama of the season. Of
CBS (the network with the shows a lot course, it's probably the only new law
of old people watch and "CSI"). What drama of the season, but all kidding
was ABC? The network that had Drew aside, the show is definitely worth-
Carey as its biggest star? The network while.
with no good shows except on Sunday ABC's true return to respectability
nights? Something needed to be done. can be found in their two new hit series
That's not to say ABC hasn't'tried "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives."
to fix its woes in the past. It tried a Each has excellent qualities. "Des-
variety of different strategies (remem- perate Housewives" delivers laughs
ber Dennis Miller on "Monday Night and a dark comedic intrigue, while
Football?"), even bringing back the "Lost" grabs the viewer by the throat
TGIF Friday lineup last year. This and keeps him totally captivated. The
idea was a prime example of what was dynamic duo has been given a full sea-
wrong with the network. The origi- son order and, when joined by the sur-
nal TGIF, which started in the early prisingly touching "Wife Swap," gives
'90s and continued throughout the ABC the arsenal of shows needed to
decade, was solid and dependable. be competitive among the other major
Anchored by such family-oriented networks once again.
fare as "Family Matters," "Boy Meets Sure, ABC still has its share of bad
World" and later "Sabrina the Teen- programs. But what network doesn't?
age Witch," viewers could count on All that really matters is that it now
two solid hours of harmless entertain- has an identity as the network that's
ing sitcoms each week. Sure it was a on the upswing. People are watch-
little too goodie-goodie, but it was fun ing ABC's shows again. "Desper-
nonetheless. The 2003 reincarnation, ate Housewives" even beat "C.S.I."
with programs such as "The George one week in the ratings as the most
Lopez Show" and "Hope and Faith," watched show in America. That's all
was geared more for the adult audi- the network needed. We viewers are.
ence and, even now, still has trouhle getting programs we like. That's all
finding the balance between pushing we needed. So good job, ABC. You've
the envelope and still being funny. got us interested again.
Even when ABC had a monstrous Just please, no more Regis.

Franchize bring beats
but not lyrics on debut

By Khepra Akanke
Daily Arts Writer
Music REVI EW A A
Dem Franchize Boyz is another
Southern rap group trying to popu-
larize its style in the mainstream.
Unfortunately, their self-titled debut
is a poor representation of Atlanta.
They have no lyrical talent, all the
songs sound the same and become
redundant after four tracks. The
only redeeming quality is the bass-
heavy beats that inspire listeners
to get hype, but even those become
monotonous.
Glamorizing their ghetto lifestyle
of drinking, fighting and dealing.
drugs, the album has no substance.
All of the hooks are the group chant-

ing together at the top of their lungs.
The songs run over five minutes
because all four members try to
rap a full verse. After three min-
utes, the listener
begins to lose
interest. After Dem
four minutes. he Franchize
becomes totally Boyz
disenchanted and Dem Franchlze
will no doubt Boyz
make a mad dash
to the skip but- Universal
ton. "Where I'm
From," inspires rowdiness with a
decent beat, but Dem Franchize
Boyz's trite lyrics ruin what little
enjoyment could be gained from the
track. "White Tee," the first single,
is the best song of the album because
of the strong club beat. The group

hit, they didn't know what to do with
it. Case in point: "Who Wants to Be a
Millionaire?" At first, ABC played it
right, only bringing out the wildly pop-
ular game show when the timing was
perfect. But then the network dropped

- Doug is planning on rejuvinat-
ing the TGIF line-up by infusing it
with more Urkel and Tanners than
ever before. E-mail to help him at
dwernert@umich.edu.

Look, up In the sky. It's a bird, it's a plane. Nope, just the sun.

has enjoyed a bit of fame from the
single, but disappointment is soon to
follow.
It's time for Dem Franchize Boyz
to head back to school and take some
lessons from the king of crunk, Lil'
Jon, who has limited lyrical talent
but keeps the crowd excited with
jumping bass lines. They need to
stop pretending to actually be rap-
pers and stick to making people
dance.

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