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February 25, 2005 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-25

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Friday
February 25, 2005
arts. michigandaily.com
artspage@michigandaily.com

ARTS

5

5

CLOSE
THE
DOOR

ALT-ROCKERS STRIVE
FOR MEDIOCRITY
By Abby Frackman
Daily Arts Writer
Music REVIEW i
For all that is wrong with the album Seven-
teen Days, you can't argue that 3 Doors Down
aren't ambitious. Few bands can write 13 decent
songs in 17 days; needless to say, 3 Doors Down
is not one of them. The Mis-
sissippi alt-rockers recently
returned to the studio to 3 Doors
record their third album, Down
Seventeen Days, appropri- S n D
ately named for the amount eventeen Days
of time it took the band to Universal
write the songs on the disc.
Six years after they got
together, 3 Doors Down was propelled to suc-
cess thanks 2000's The Better Life, and the
single "Kryptonite" proved that the quartet
can write catchy tunes with mean guitar hooks.
"Kryptonite" was tailor-made for radio play and
became immediately popular among preteens
and post-grunge fanatics.
Distancing themselves from the hard rock
of The Better Life, 3 Doors Down released yet
another album in 2002, Away From The Sun.
Although this album is far more ballad-heavy
than their previous work, listeners approved.
The woefully sappy single "Here Without You"
garnered them even more attention from their
growing fanbase.
And now, 3 Doors Down has returned,
schmaltzy song lyrics and all. One would think
that an album produced by Johnny K (who also

Courtesy of Universal

"One Night in Paris" never had a record-breaking month.

Documentary digs
'Deep into porno

Courtesy of Universala
"We may not look like Creed, but we suck just as hard."

produced the bands Disturbed and Drowning
Pool) and mixed by Andy Wallace (Nirvana,
Linkin Park) would provide a harder rock
sound, full of meaty guitars and hard-hitting
basslines, but the songs on Seventeen Days
reside almost completely in that "middle zone"
so often inhabited by self-important would-be
metal bands.
Unsurprisingly, Seventeen Days contains
nothing but monotonous, lackluster melodies.
The tracks "My World" and "The Real Life"
are so similar that it is difficult to tell them
apart.Both are full of simple drum fills and
NASCAR-style guitar riffs - and the inescap-
ably whiny voice of frontman Brad Arnold.
The opening track, "Right Where I Belong,"
misleadingly piques the listener's interest

with kinetic guitar riffs: It's the only song not
completely stuck in Seventeen Days' monoto-
nous non-aesthetic. Not even the brief cameo
by Bob Seger on "Landing in London" can
improve the quality.
"Let Me Go," the album's lead single, lacks the
catchiness of "Right Where I Belong." Wretched
lyrics like "You love me / But you don't know
who I am / So let me go" and dreadfully unexcit-
ing instrumentals mark the unexciting song.
Ballad-heavy and rife with juvenile lyrics such
as "I'm trying to be somebody / I'm not trying
to be somebody else," off the unoriginally titled
"Be Somebody," nothing seems to go right for 3
Doors Down on this album. Their fate is sealed:
3 Doors Down could spend 17 years on this LP
and they'd never get better than this.

Instrumental quintet
reveals raw sound on
live 'BBC Sessions'

By Kristin MacDonald
For the Daily
A word of warning to the week-
end moviegoer:
"Inside Deep
Throat" could Inside Deep
be an awkward Throat
selection for a At the State
first date. There's Theatre
a good reason that Universal
the documentary
has been branded
with an NC-17 rating - one of the
various clips from the 1972 proto-
porno included in the documentary is
the notorious scene that gave "Deep
Throat" its name.
Even with such provocative con-
tent, "Inside Deep Throat" is far from
the second coming of the quintessen-
tial erotic film. Instead, it focuses on
the people behind the film and the
social consequences - record-break-
ing box office figures, government
censorship - that made the movie
a cultural touchstone for the second
half of the 20th century and threat-
ened America's budding acceptance
of more overt sexuality.
"This is one throat that deserves to
be cut," declared a New York judge
in a ruling that would purge the Big
Apple of the wildly successful, so-
called dirty picture. But the court-
ordered censorship only served to
tantalize and tempt viewers across
America. Warned to stay away, the
country instead flocked to theaters
as the film's skyrocketing ticket sales
became a media phenomenon, and
"Deep Throat," made for a piddling
$25,000, eventually became the most
financially successful motion picture
of all time. Americans - and the
Nixon administration - learned that
sex does indeed sell.
The subject of "Inside Deep
Throat" met as much controversy as it
did success. The documentary exam-
ines the fates of those who worked
behind and in front of the camera, as
well as those involved in the film's
shady mafia distribution and its even-
tual censorship.
Director of the original "Deep

Throat" Gerard Damiano - who
moved to porn directing from a job
as a hairdresser - ended up with
almost no profit, due to what he con-
tinually refuses to identify as mafia
intervention. Leading man Harry
Reems was indicted under criminal
charges of indecency for what was
essentially an artistic role; he faced
five years in prison for his involve-
ment in "Deep Throat." And then
there's star Linda Lovelace, who later
famously declared her participation
in the film to have been non-consen-
sual, and therefore rape.
Briskly paced for all its 90 minutes,
"Inside Deep Throat" balances discus-
sion of its subject's societal effects and
the natural, inherent comedy of its sub-
ject matter. The documentary's most
impressive and entertaining strength
is what can only be described as an
unusually colorful cast of characters,
ranging from a regular bevy of eager
sex experts to the stereotypically slea-
zy (and strangely genuine) members of
the early porn community.
Careful editing maximizes the
comedy of these interviews - espe-
cially highlighting the pompous
prosecutor who claims porn to be
more socially hazardous than illegal
drugs and the Miami porn distributor
turned senior citizen whose shrew-
ish wife nags at him constantly from
off-camera. A bevy of notable cul-
tural figures weigh in with their own
humorous two cents, among them Dr.
Ruth, Gore Vidal and the famously
virile Hugh Hefner.
But the film's most telling snicker
comes from "Deep Throat" director
Damiano's former hope that hard-
core porn might actually merge with
mainstream Hollywood to synthe-
size a higher art - that dream, far
from realized and almost charmingly
naive, has been killed by porn's even-
tual transformation into a booming
and solely money-minded industry.
The commentators in "Inside Deep
Throat" reflect upon this develop-
ment with some degree of sadness,
revealing the strangely innocent
intentions behind what became such
a notorious and shocking cultural
scandal. "Inside Deep Throat" trans-
ports viewers back into this era.

By Chris Gaerig
Daily Arts Writer

Mogwai is by no means a commer-
cial band. The instrumental quintet is
accustomed to dwindling record sales
and performing
on small stages.
Their epic post- MOgwai
rock sound is wor- Government
shipped by many Commissions
but conversely, BBC Sessions
one that few labels 1996-2003
are willing to risk Matador
signing. Playing
on the Curiousa tour this past sum-
mer may be the closest the band will
ever come to mainstream success.
These circumstances only make their
latest release, Government Commis-
sions BBC Sessions 1996-2003, more
of a mystery. While Mogwai delivers
another sound album, these live BBC
sessions are unnecessary.
Many bands have released similar ses-
sions with BBC music and the late infa-
mous radio DJ, John Peel. -Usually only
die-hard fans and collectors want these
recordings; Mogwai fans will likely con-
tinue this trend. With no new or unre-
leased material, the songs on the BBC
DAILY ARTS.
WANNA STAR I
IN OUR LATEST
"INDEPENDENT"
FILM?
2a0 MAYNARD Sr.

sessions simply contain live Mogwai.y
Yet Commissions is a great addition
to any fan's collection. It shows thef
group in their purest and most pris-
tine state - Mogwai made a name for
themselves with unadulterated feed-
back and unbearably loud live shows
like these. In later years, Mogwai'sF
records mellowed; presumably, their
live shows have followed suit. Luckily,
these tracks date back to the group's
hayday - sometime around their first
release, Young Team.
Mogwai is often considered more
of a jam group in the studio rather
than craftsmen due to their grandiose
songs with lengthy runtimes. Com-
missions tops their studio antics with
more experimentation. "Like Herod" "HI, we're Ted Leo and the - I mean, we're Mogwal.
is seven minutes longer than its origi-

o.ur tesy UI fatdor

nal studio recording on Young Team.
"New Paths to Helicon Pt. I" and
"New Paths to Helicon Pt. II" are
meandering adaptations of previous
versions on Ten Rapid.
Long guitar drones and compound-
ing feedback account for these elon-
gated runtimes. On similar bands'
studio recordings, there is similar
enveloping sonic destruction. More
experimentation is found in the origi-
nal arrangements. With the ability to
improvise and contribute new sounds,

many of the songs retain their original
feel, but blossom with added guitar
glitches and instrument ticks.
Government Commissions does
justice to , Mogwai's gargantuan
sound and unstoppable live presence.
Even with the ear-shattering guitar
riffs and squeals, the group sounds
clear and tight. Mogwai's live per-
formances made them a noteworthy
underground band that continues to
impress fans and newcomers nearly
12 years later.

0.305
Co

This production of A Midsummer Night's Dream is a most rare
vision indeed-- a semi-staged performance combining select-
ed scenes from Shakespeare's play and the complete incidental
music that Mendelssohn began when he was a youthful 17 and
completed 17 years later as the most celebrated composer in

A Midsummner
Night's Drea m
A semi-staged performance of
Shakespeare's words and
Mendelssohn's music
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 8 PM
Hill Auditorium

i I

have had

Europe. Conceived and directed by Tim Carroll -- who directed
last season's production of Twelfth Night by the Globe Theatre
a most rare
-- and performed by British stage actors and the Orchestra of
the Age of Enlightenment -- the group that astonished Ann

$10 Rush rickets on sale 9 am _ 5 pm the day of
the performance or the Friday before for weekend
events at the UMS Ticket Office, located in the Michi-
gan League.

m

a

.. , //

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