January 12, 2005
arts. michigandaily. com
[E HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER
Nas's "Street's Disciple" - Hip-hop heads lament over Nas's Illmat-
ic heyday like their favorite childhood pet had its head chopped off. Will
we ever hear a Nasty Nas again? No, but Street's Disciple is top quality,
which is very rare for a double album, let alone for a Nas album.
Re-release of O.C.'s "Word ... Life" - No more digging in used
record stores. No more bidding over $50 on eBay for this classic hip-hop
album. Lyricist O.C. released Word ... Life in 1994 only to see it fall on
deaf ears. It was nonetheless hailed a classic in the eyes of hip-hop fans
many years later.
"Kinsey" - The conclusions regarding human sexuality drawn from
this movie are very profound because of its controversy today. With the
discrimination against lesbians and gay men being brought to the fore
of American politics, Kinsey expands the debate to include the overall
repression of sexuality in American life. Definitely expect the religious
right to be shitting in their pants with this one.
"The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season" DVD - "How
come I can't get no Tang 'round here?" Homer complains in a drunken
phone call to NASA officials in season five, epi-
sode 15.1 have no idea why I liked this show
when I was 10 years old with its adult humor.
In episode nine, the Department of Labor's
S.W.A.T. team burst into the plant with criti-
cisms of enslaving a Brazilian soccer team.
The classic episodes in season five make this
DVD a worthwhile grab.
Courtesy at Sub Pop
We'll each have a Grand Slam and an orange juice, please.
THE CONSTANTINES HEAD SOUTH
TORONTO-BASED ROCKERS CHANNEL AMERICANA
By Andrew M. Gaerig
Daily Music Editor
Neil Young may be the pinnacle of Canadian rock
music, but he's not the classic-rock comparison The
M.F. Doom - For many
years, I could not say I had
a favorite M.C. because of
the dismal state of hip
hop at the time ... until
I discovered Doom.
In 2004, he released
a string of instrumen-
tal CDs and the highly
With the announcement of
possible collaborators like
DJ Danger Mouse, Ghost-
face Killah, and Madlib
again for a second Mad-
villain album, Doom is
the cat to watch in 2005
Constantines are used to getting.
fans associate the distinctly
American growl ofBruce Spring-
steen with the young band, with
lead singer Bryan Webb's thun-
derous howl the likely target.
"Initially it was very flattering
... It's been repeated so many
times that I have to start rethink-
Instead, critics and
Thursday at 9 p.m.
native country with their self-released, self-titled
debut. The following months were spent appearing on
the college radio charts and garnering Juno nomina-
tions. Their equally excellent sophomore release for
American iber-indie Sub Pop, Shine a Light, stirred
some Converse sneakers but ultimately never caught
on. Webb and the band remained undeterred by their
relative anonymity, even amid the unprecedented
success of their peers. "I just want to be a good live
rock band," said Webb.
The band will be touring behind new material for
an album they plan to record in February. "(The new
material is) a bit more stripped down with room for
the performances to be different each time. We play in
this Crazy Horse cover band on the side, playing songs
like "Cortez the Killer," three chords for 20 minutes
and each performance of that song is different. We've
learned a lot from that experience," said Webb.
Webb also ensured that the band's live energy
would transcend its already visceral albums. "We
have different versions of some of the songs live. We
still haven't really found our groove as a studio band.
I'm not satisfied with the performances or the sound
of those two records. It sounds really self-conscious
still to me. We're still just trying to find inspired per-
formances in that situation."
Though the band's presence is remarkable, it's
Webb's accomplished lyrics - about cities, punk rock
and youth - that really set the band apart. "A lot of the
songs were written after I moved to Toronto. I started
to think a lot about regionalism," Webb said. "It's just
part of making sense of your environment."
In the end, though, it's the charming youth of The
Constantines - their hip-shaking rhythms, rude
guitars and Webb's urban poetry - that makes
them seem somehow more important than other
bands. "Rock'n'roll is about energy and physicality
... that 'Live hard, die young' (attitude) is behind a
lot of rock'n'roll music."
Webb's attitude toward his heroes mirrors The Con-
stantines' outlook. Recalling a recent Rolling Stones
performance, he said, "Keith Richards played a couple
of notes at the beginning of the song and then he'd just
be doing this gypsy dance and laughing and pointing
at people in the audience. It seemed like they didn't
have a set list - that they were just fucking around,
which is great. It's why they're still a good rock'n'roll
band." Richards would no doubt be proud that The
Constantines had captured a piece of his rock'n'roll
gypsy dance. It is, after all, why they're a great band.
ing the way I sing," said Webb, chuckling.
The Constantines, however, have more in common
with the Boss than just Webb's cigarette scratched
voice. The band seems to have stolen a few drops
from Springsteen's youthful, rock-as-immortality
vial, or perhaps from The Clash's "Only Band that
The Toronto five-piece, which blends throaty pop
hooks with the thrusting guitars of '80s punks Husker
Du and The Replacements, found an audience in its
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight
By Brian Stephens
Daily Arts Writer
'Swimsuit Model Search' flounders
That EECS kid down the hall already has this game and loves it.
Over the last two years, Capcom has
released a long line of video game com-
pilations from "Mega Man Anniversary
Collection" to "Street Fighter Anniver-
sary Collection." With
Evolution," the devel-
opers are trying their
hand at something dif-
ferent: merging several
good games into one
that should be great.
way to "Darkstalkers," grouped into one
Given the success and popularity of
"SNK v. Capcom" and "Marvel v. Cap-
com II," "Evolution" is horribly lacking
when compared to other titles. Instead of
adding all of the characters from these
five games, the developers seemed to have
randomly chosen four from each title, dis-
appointing gamers who would have liked
to play as B.B. Hood from "Darkstalker"
or Blanka from "Street Fighter."
But "Evolution" isn't a total failure:
From fighting in Guile's air force base
to performing Chun-Li's "Spinning Bird
Kick" the game succeeds (and does so
admirably) in invoking nostalgia.
In "Evolution," the controls and music
mirror those of the original titles; the only
difference lies in the addition of "super"
moves that can be performed in battle.
When it comes to fighting games, Cap-
com has always seemed to be ahead of
the competition. Hopefully the mediocre
approach to design applied to "Evolution"
is a temporary setback and not a sign of
the company loosing its foothold in the
genre. The game lacks the completeness
of other Capcom compilations and the fun
derived from other fighting titles from the
same company. The high standards gain-
ers have come to expect out of Capcom
haven't been met - "Evolution"just isn't
fit enough to survive.
It stands to reason that nothing could be better than beauti-
ful babes in bikinis competing for
a spot in the pages of the Sports
Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. But Sports Illustrated:
NBC has done the unthinkable: Swimsuit Model
Somehow, the network has man- Search
aged to screw up the age-old idea Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
that girls in bikinis equals ratings
gold. Hats off to you, NBC. That's NBC
a difficult feat to accomplish.
"Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Model Search," or The Great-
est Disappointment Ever, is not only an unattractive package
- it's also a horrendous piece of reality television. The show
lacks every key aspect of decent reality TV - interesting chal-
lenges, abrasive personalities or even a good catch-phrase. Sim-
ply put, the show is a disaster.
"SI" begins with an impromptu walk-off between the six-
teen contestants. This is the audience's first flirtation with the
beauties. As the girls cruise the runway, bombarded by nasty
comments from judges, the camera swoops in on each model
for an unattractive close-up. The screen also shows a multitude
of boring facts about each girl.
After the requisite move-in scene, the girls are whisked away
by a trio of buff trainers (eye candy for the many girlfriends
forced to endure this crap). Under the watchful eye of the three
men, the ladies of "SI" take part in a Simon-says-like aerobics
contest for which prizes are a diamond necklace and decision
making power in the upcoming photo shoot.
The photo shoot, billed as an elimination contest, takes place
on a beach. Each girl models for five minutes. The three judges
- a modeling agency owner, a former SI swimsuit model and
the founder of the SI swimsuit edition - must then narrow the
playing field to 12 girls.
However, by the time the elimination ceremony actually
takes place, complete with the terrible catch-phrase, "I'm
sorry, we're dropping you," audiences will be so bored by
"SI" that it won't even shock viewers when the two prettiest
girls are kicked off.
NBC's "Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Model Search" had the
potential to be great. Sadly, however, this show is more night-
mare than fantasy.
Total IQ: 95.
Courtesy of NBC
fighters from five fighting classics, rang-
ing from "Street Fighter Alpha" all the