April 6, 2005
arts. michigandaily. com
-~ -~ I
THE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER
Stars - Set Yourself on Fire - the second album from various mem-
bers of indie-rockers Broken Social Scene is a blissful dip into the realm
of synth harmonies and purely Canadian pop. Just add 'em to the list of
impressive acts from our frozen neighbors to the north.
"New Wave" scuffles - The brand new beef between neo-new wave
bands The Killers and The Bravery has escalated to the level of The
Game vs. 50 Cent. Except instead of drawing guns, they'll draw mous-
taches on each other with their respective eye-liner. Sassy.
Kevin in "Sin City" - Sure, Elijah Wood's earnest Middle
Earth dialogue captivated "Lord of the Rings" freaks, but his
mute, demented portrayal of Frank Miller's cannibalistic preda-
tor rivals even the most infamous of limb-munchers. Cannibalism
is so the new ring bearer-ism. Plus, his glasses look like they were
left over from the set of "Powder."
"Sideways" on DVD - How many people can actually say
they've let their wine "breathe?" The most deliciously bitter film
of the year hits DVD this week - so grab your 1961 pinot noir
and ... Oh, forget it, grab a Red Stripe and cry your way to the end
of this instant classic buddy road comedy.
"Resistance Is futile. You must like jambands."
ALL TKT JAZZ
MEDESKI, MARTIN & WOOD KICK OFF TOUR IN AZ
By Jared Newman
Daily Arts Writer
The Blogosphere - It's
about damn time the most
ubiquitous group of gos-
sip rags, music snobs
and cinema nerds get
recognized. You'd never
know how into blogging
these culture freaks are
until you visit some
of their meticulous-
John Medeski is a funny guy. Or a crazy man. Or
a musical genius. Or all of the
above. In any case, he makes
up one third of the instrumen- Medeski,
tal jazz/jamband Medeski, Martin &
Martin & Wood, and his next Wood
moves are unpredictable.
So, tonight at the Michigan Tonight at
Theatre, don't be surprised 7:30 p.m.
if he drops a funky keyboard The Michigan Theater
rhythm one minute before
delving off into outer space.
When asked why the trio occasionally opens a
show with erratic free jazz, he said, "It's kinda' like
foreplay. It's a good way to get that (improvisation-
al) muscle lubricated." It makes sense, considering
how many musicians have likened a good jam to
sex - or how many critics have likened it to mas-
Either way, MMW is known for how well they fit
together. Even though Medeski is the only one that
plays a lead instrument, it's impossible to tell who's
actually the star. Billy Martin's drumming booms
with a cocky swagger and he's also the onstage voice
of the group. But don't forget Chris Wood, a strange-
looking fellow - Medeski jokingly attributes this
to "a lot of plastic surgery" - who hunches over his
upright or electric bass at center stage, thumping out
the low end with calculated disorder.
But what happens when the trio adds a fourth
element to the mix? No, they haven't enlisted stu-
dio guitarist Marc Ribot as a permanent guitarist,
even though he never ceases to show up on their
studio albums. For their latest LP End of the World
Party (Just In Case), they signed up a big-time pop
producer, John King (Dust Brothers, Beastie Boys,
Beck), and gave him so much creative control that
he ended up with songwriting credits. The band fig-
ured that they could use the outside input to expand
"We do so many different things and can do so
many different things," Medeski explained. "We
said 'let's use John and see what he hears in our
music.' It was very much his direction."
King, who basically recorded MMW impro-
vising and constructed the album with a hip-hop
mentality, picks the best pieces and loops them
as samples while the band records new sections
on top. It's no surprise then that End of the World
Party (Just In Case) does sound different than their
previous works. It's danceable, and stays interesting
and substantial thanks to the little bits and pieces of
tonal continuity that rise to the surface.
"That's the battle," Medeski said. "One of the
things that we experiment with all of the time is the
line between grooving and being more intellectu-
ally advanced or adventurous."
As far as translating the new songs into a live set-
ting, Medeski doesn't seem worried - for a band
that has been around for 14 years, keeping the mar-
riage fresh is a necessity. Yes, they all have side
projects, but it's not the same as playing together.
None of the band members feel like they're musi-
cally cheating on one another.
"It's like having a conversation with an old friend.
It gets deeper in a lot of ways, even if it's not weird
and exciting and new as having a conversation with
someone you just met in a bar," Medeski said.
Tonight's show is the first leg of their two month-
long national tour. Always the kidder, Medeski sent
out this message to his fans in Ann Arbor. "First gig
is always the best."
Play meshes drama, dark comedy
By Zach Borden
Daily Arts Writer
Back in the early '90s, Nicky Sil-
ver broke out of relative obscurity to
become one of America's most fas-
cinating and complex playwrights.
play. "Being in the directing program,
there's an expected notion that you're
not allowed to direct for Basement
Arts until the second semester of your
sophomore year. I realized I needed
to get out there and have the experi-
ence," he explained.
Finding a production to direct did
prove to be a challenge for Anderson.
"Originally, I wasn't 100 percent sure
what I wanted to do. I was buying and
reading random plays, and I picked up
'Raised In Captivity' during my fran-
tic search. I realized it was the kind
of theater I enjoy seeing since it has
dark comedy and dramatic elements
that mold really well," he said.
Anderson said he thought the most
crucial and interesting scene of the
play appeared toward the end of the
first act - when Sebastian is visited
by the ghost of his dead mother. The
ghost drills Sebastian, trying to figure
out why he left the family when he
was younger, only to uncover revela-
tions of her own.
Even with all the story arcs, unique
characters and weirdness featured in
the play, Anderson believes even the
most orthodox of audience members
will latch onto the central theme
of the play: finding happiness with
somebody else. "Everybody wants
to find somebody to connect to - be
it a friend, family member or lover,"
Aderson son Anderson added.
native, a prod-
uct of New York
hit it big in 1993
with the Vineyard
tion of "Pterodac-
tyls" while still
having a day job
at famed cloth-
ing store Bar-
Thursday 7 p.m.,
Friday 7 p.m. and
11 p.m. and Sat-
urday at7 p.m.
At the Trueblood
Theater in the Frieze
ney's. However, Silver's status was
cemented in 1995, with the debut of
his quirky character drama "Raised
This weekend, Basement Arts is put-
ting on its own production of "Raised
In Captivity" - 10 years after its
debut. Featuring a multi-layered plot
centered around seven characters, the
narrative focuses on Sebastian Bliss,
who, after an 11 year absence, heads
home for his mother's funeral. Since
then, Sebastian has been emotionally
celibate following to the death of his
partner. Upon his return, Sebastian
reunites with his emotionally unsta-
ble twin sister, Bernadette, and has
to ward off his romantically obsessed
psychiatrist Hillary. In turn, Berna-
dette struggles with her husband Kip,
who wants to leave his dental practice
and become a painter - all the while
Sebastian keeps up a correspondence
with Dylan, a man serving a life sen-
tence for murder.
Leading the production is Music
sophomore Seth Anderson, who
makes his directorial debut with the
expect more at home