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February 23, 2005 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-23

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February 23, 2005
arts. michigandaily. com
artspage @michigandaily. com



By Chris Gaerig
Daily Arts Writer
Dave Meyers's life has changed significantly
since he first entered the music business as an
"abused intern" - running errands, fetching
fruit and making copies.
Invaluable internships and hundreds of music
videos later, Dave is now one of the most respect-
ed and well-established video directors and has
won seven MTV Video Music Awards. Working
with artists such as Missy Elliot, Lil' Jon, Creed
and No Doubt, he is the most sought after direc-
tor for any artist looking to transform a chart top-
ping song into a visual masterpiece.
"All you have to have is passion and interest.
No experience necessary, just passion," Meyers
"I've done so many videos that I am less and
less interested in keeping that hustle going, and
I'm more interested in doing the occasional video"
that really touches me."
Working with diverse clients in multiple medi-
ums, Dave continually delivers stellar material.
"I've done many smaller groups. It's just a mat-
ter of me being a fan of their particular music. I
own a video company that actually did the Mod-
est Mouse video ("Ocean Breathes Salty") - the
one where they are in the cornfield. So I've sup-
ported (indie music) in that way."
Besides assisting smaller bands such as Mod-
est Mouse in getting a big break, Dave also works
with young directors through Radical.Media and
other companies.
"Radical.Media is the largest commercial pro-
duction house in the world," he said. "Their pri-
mary focus was commercials, so I made a deal
with them, that if I could become a part owner
with them that we'd open up a video music shop.
Their benefit is that I groom these young direc-
tors into the future of commercial directors."
Recently, Meyers has moved into other medi-
ums to flex his creative muscles.
"After doing over 190 (music videos), my inter-
est has kind of dwindled ... It's sort of like Jay-
Z retiring at the top. If I'm tired of the 20-hour
days and all that stuff, commercials are a 10-hour
day with six shots a day. It's a much easier load.
When I find the right script, I think that movies

M "Another Country" - I can read this book over and over again
and get something different each time. James Baldwin draws a
picture of Harlem in the 1930s with a careful rhythm that at times
is reminiscent of jazz. He analyzes race relations and sexual ori-
entation in complex and intricate love stories that can't help but
make readers think and question.
"1984" - George Orwell outdid himself with this book. The
mix of fear, great writing and an intricate story make this a must
read. This also got me super paranoid about government as well
as institutions of power in general. The value of free thought and
individualism never sounded so powerful.


The Beatles - They provided a base for me and my hippie mom
to talk; they are the only music we could ever agree on. There
are so many days that I couldn't have made it without "She Loves
You" blasting through my headphones, giving me energy and
motivation to make it to yet another class in the blistering Michi-
gan cold. For motivation and an instant good mood I always turn
to Fab Four.

Simon and Garfunkel - There is noth-
ing that gives me shivers down my spine the
way "Sound of Silence" does. They were
pure magic together. there is nothing
more calming, more chill than listening
to good Simon and Garfunkel. It makes
excellent cuddle music.
Billy Joel - As an 8-year-old girl, "River
of Dreams" totally rocked my world and he
has continued to do just that ever since. His
rugged Brooklyn appeal, his accent, the bags
under his eyes - there is just something so
attractive about Billy Joel that draws you into
his entire personality. He is a song writing
God and I never would have learned half the
historical dates I did during AP US high school
year without his "We Didn't Light the Fire."

Courtesy of Alan Taylor Communications

Marsupials are the coolest brand logo ever!
will be the place that I enjoy the most."
Surrounded by artistic egos like Janet Jackson
and Dave Matthews, Meyers holds his ground
and retains his professionalism and authority.
"They've seen what I do so big stars get reas-
surance that it's going to get some rotation
and people are going to care about it," Meyers
Eager to share his success, Dave has recently
collaborated with MasterCard, Major League
Baseball, Universal Studios and the Vans Warped

Tour to give 36 college students a chance to break
into entertainment with internships across the
nation - the "Priceless Experience" program.
"I know the value of an internship that works
versus one that doesn't work, and I think that
MasterCard has done a very good job of creating
a priceless experience by opening the right doors
for kids to experience the right people and things.
So I just wanted to support a program like that
because it's a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experi-
ence for people just beginning their journey."

Courtesy of Sony
McKnight phones in
love songs on Gemini

By Chris Gaerig
Daily Arts Writer

InCal' has sloppy story, faddish visual style

Brian McKnight has never kept
who he is or what he does a secret.
A believer in unbreakable family ties

By Jacob Nathan
Daily Arts Writer

The formula for a successful graphic
novel is not difficult: Combine inter-
esting artwork, snappy dialogue and a
plot that moves the reader from panel
to panel. Original- _
ly started 20 years
ago by writer Alex Incas:
Jodorowsky and The Epic
artist Moebius Conspiracy
Moebius, "Incal:
The Epic Con- By Alexandro
spiracy" fails in Jodoworsky and
all three catego-M.o
ries. The prem- DC/Humanoids
ise is ripe for an
"Amazing Stories"
throwback or a refreshing take on the
tale of a futuristic detective, but the
author and illustrator both miss a gold-
en opportunity.
"Incal" follows the story of an arche-
typical gumshoe, John Difool. The big
innovation, however, 'is that the story
is set in the future. A magical artifact
with unexpected sido effects falls into
Difool's lap, and the story revolves

around his attempts to guard it and
discover its meaning. "Incal" tries to
capitalize on gritty and violent under-
tones, but winds up in an undeniably
PG environment. The protagonist is as
two-dimensional as he appears on the
page. After the initial excitement of
his introduction, he is relegated to the
role of dumb human. While the writers
could have taken this character in dar-
ing directions, they stick with conven-
tional notions.
The premise of the story is hard-
ly original when one examines the
previous work of Moebius, a highly
acclaimed artist responsible for much
of the concept development behind the
films "Blade Runner," "The Fifth Ele-
ment" and "Aliens." This book feels
like an amalgamation of the three,
appropriating the most distinct ele-
ments from their universes, and com-
bining them into one vaguely coherent
artistic exploit.
Even with the mediocrity of the
overall product, the creators have
included some unique characters.
Difool's parrot, Deepo, is a funny
sidekick, and the alien Berg assault
troops are shockingly cool. They form
the best part of a decidedly blasd uni-

verse that would benefit from more
like characters.
The story would have a chance;
however, if the artwork and/or dia-
logue were up to snuff. Difool's lines
are about as natural as Rod Stew-
art singing gangsta rap. Jodoworsky
demonstrates palpable contempt for
the reader with mechanical lines like,
"Hmm ... saved? More like trapped!
Inside a train that's probably taking
me straight to my doom! Although ...
I somehow feel I'm headed the right
direction." This brand of mindless
exposition is the most common vari-
ety of dialogue.
"Incal" is a poorly executed collec-
tion, uneven and ham-handed in both
its story and its artistry. The promise
of the grimy art that marks serious
comic book design is abandoned as the
visuals dissolve into a popular gratu-
itously angular style. The art has no
tactile appeal, as the overtly simplified
lines belie the complexity of the book's
futuristic world.
At its best, this book is a hyper-
stylized futuristic romp, complete
with original characters and tight
pacing. At its all too frequent worst,
this graphic novel is self-indulgent

who got his start
McKnight bears
his soul to create
luscious, angsty
slow jams. On
Gemini, McK-
night continues to
turn out sorrowful
ballads and love
croons but forgets

in church choirs,

with a complete lack of sufficient
thought. The whole exploit feels
rushed and abbreviated. Moebius
is, demonstrably, a fantastic artist;
unfortunately, he couldn't summon
his well-known imagination to this
story. "Incal" is an utter disappoint-
ment, and has the potential to sour
even the most dedicated comics dev-
otee to the genre.

one integral ingredient: a chart-top-
ping single.
Gemini heralds the return of McK-
night's signature style: infectious
melodies and his trademark overpow-
ering tenor and falsetto. With mon-
strous crescendos and an expansive
vocal range, McKnight flaunts his tal-
ents. Thanks to his rampant boasting,
many of the tracks on Gemini melt
together and begin to sound more
like a medley rather than a continu-
ous album. All these songs coalesce
together, making it impossible to dis-
tinguish a hit.
The album's content is just as uni-
form as its style. Every track is either
about a past love or a woman just out
of reach. The unchanging subject
matter makes it even more difficult
to pull out a radio hit from any other
mediocre song. Even the track titles
summarize the lyrics and stories con-
tained within each song: "Every Time

You Go Away," "Here With You,"
"Come Back" and "Me and You."
McKnight frequently and blatantly
mimics other artists on Gemini - The
sultry baby-making beats wouldn't be
out of place on D'Angelo's Voodoo.
McKnight's love cries are too appar-
ent and straightforward to sound
genuine ("Every time that I'm with
you, girl /1I can't believe you share
my world / But it's real" and "See, I
don't give a damn what my homies
say / Don't matter anyway").
However, McKnight delivers
on several occasions. The album's
opener, "Stay With Him (Intro)," is
a two-minute barbershop a capella
track with great melodies and hooks
("Baby you might / Might as well /
Stay with him"). He takes another
step out of the box on "She," on
which he has recruited superstar
Talib Kweli to drop smooth synco-
pated lines into the album's hum-
drum melting pot. Even the track's
upbeat bassline and drum groove
is a change of pace on the other-
wise mundane Gemini. McKnight's
vocals transition perfectly into Tal-
ib's flawless flow.
Gemini accomplishes exactly
what it is designed to do: continue
McKnight's reputation as a pop-
soul singer. Lacking ingenuity and
surprisingly devoid of s single, the
album falls short of being a hit. How-
ever, McKnight doesn't stray too far
from his signature style, a rash more
could have potentially destroyed
his fan base. Gemini is a lackluster
release from an artist known only for
his puppy love ballads:


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