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April 13, 2005 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-13

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Wednesday
April 13, 2005
arts. michigandaily. com
artspage@michigandaily.com

ARTS

5

I

MliE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER

S

Scotty Ngyuen Bobble-Head Dolls - 1998 World Series of Poker
champion Scotty Nguyen finally joins the ranks of Detroit Piston Ben
Wallace and Detroit Red Wing Steve Yzerman, modeling for a bobble-
head likeness of himself at a card table dressed in characteristic '80s garb.
He's holding pocket snowmen, a pair of eights - be scared, baby.

Zach Braff - The young "Scrubs" golden boy has "Oscar" written
all over him after writing, directing and starring in "Garden State." In
between "Scrubs" shootings, he also managed to direct the music video
of the Gavin DeGraw single "Chariot" and squeeze in a hilarious guest
spot on "Arrested Development." Has the Academy lowered the age
limit for Lifetime Achievement Award yet?
"We Be Burnin' " - Sean Paul's newest Jamaican-inspired jam
- a reggae salute to all those who make money, help the economy
and smoke "Mary J." everyday - hits the airwaves this week. Bet-
cha can't wait to see Dubya halt the war on drugs after hearing this
testimony to good citizenship.
Ken Jennings - As if his "Jeopardy!" millions weren't enough,
Jennings monopolizes the television for a second time in a string of
commercials for Allstate and Cingular, both of which include gen-
tle jabs at his monstrous success. Oh, and for all those who quit on
Trebek after Jennings exited, put your thumbs back on the buzzer:
word is he'll return for an "Ultimate Tournament of Champions" epi-
sode at the end of the month.

FALLING
INTO FAME,
GENTLY
YOUNG PIANIST AND
SINGER-SONGWRITER
PLAYS THE ARK
By Kat Bawden
Daily Arts Writer
CONCERT PREVIEW
To those familiar with her dual career as
pianist and singer/songwriter, Vienna Teng's
original profession of choice
- computer engineer -
might sound surprising. Vienna Teng
"I realized that I wasn't meant Friday at 8 p.m.
to be a computer engineer," and 10 p.m.
she said. "I didn't care about it Tickets $13.50
enough ... So I thought, well, At The Ark
what am I good at and excited
about and could dedicate my life
to for some long period of time? And music was the
only thing. And that was kind of scary."
Teng's budding career is already coming full cir-
cle. She performed at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival
in February and will return to perform two shows at
The Ark on Friday.
Teng has nothing but praise for Ann Arbor.
"There's such a great audience there - you feel
like everyone's really listening to you. There are a
handful of places, including The Ark, that feel like
home," Teng said.
When compared to her ethereal, piano-driven bal-
lads, Teng's favorite albums and primary influences
might also raise a few eyebrows: Paul Simon's Vision
of the Sea, Bjork's Vespertine, Tori Amos's From the
Choir Girl Hotel, Radiohead's OK Computer and
Beethoven's Three Sonatas all make her list. Even
so, the musical touchstones explain her versatility
- she's been classically trained in piano, keyboards
and guitar since age five - and multi-layered sound.
"I listen to Radiohead and say, 'Well I'll never be
able to do that,' but I listen to it so much that I absorb
some of it," she explained.
Since her first album, Waking Hour, was released
in 2002, Teng has performed on "The Late Show with
David Letterman" and NPR's "Weekend Edition,"
gaining public exposure. "I think the most exciting
thing is getting to the point when you're being cov-
ered by people who put together a good profile of

Fox T.V. - Football hasn't been this
exciting since the Super Bowl,
"24" is hot and getting hot-
ter, Jeffrey Tambor and his
"Arrested Development" co-
stars keep everyone in stitch-
es, the 16th season of "The
Simpsons" reigns supreme in
the animated genre and
Fox clearly has
a lock on the
Sunday-Mon-
day schedule.
It may not have
Jack Bauer,
but "Ameri-
can Idol" pulls
in more votes
than the last
presidential
election.

courItesyo fIViI

"It wasn't me. I swear."

what you're about and what you do. It's cool to watch
and be like, 'Yeah, that's accurate,' " she said.
While writing her third album, Teng said she has
noticed her style shifting. "I feel like I'm changing
with each year, so I feel the third album will sound
different than the others," she said. "I'm listening to
more jazz and more hip hop, so I'm more interested
in rhythms and having things be rhythm driven rath-
er than piano driven."
Teng has also noticed a stark contrast between
her past artistic adventures. "(Waking Hour) was
recorded in college, and half of it is filled with pianos
because we didn't have any other musicians to work

with. (Waking Hour) was basically a hobby project
that became my first album, and (Warm Strangers)
was with a record deal, and a timeline and a producer
and all that."
So is Teng ever satisfied with the final product,
or is listening to her own music on par with look-
ing at embarrassing junior high school photos? "I
think the goal I'm striving for is to make music
and an album that I can listen to and imagine
myself as someone else who has never heard it
before and be moved by it, or to finally make an
album that, after a year out, (I don't) think, 'Oh
no. don't listen to that!' " she said.

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

.1

Carey's
latest
'Mimi
falter's
By Chris Gaerig
Daily Arts Writer
Despite an ill-fated stint of R&B and
rap-inspired crossover albums, Mariah
Carey made a significant impact on
the music world
in the '90s - she Mariah Carey
was the top-sell-
ing female art- The
ist of the decade. Emancipation
On the Glitter of Mimi
soundtrack and Island
Butterfly, Mariah
abandoned her infectious pop confec-
tions and powerful eight-octave voice
for club mega-hits and uptempo drivel
with rap's hottest stars. Her latest full-
length release, The Emancipation of
Mimi, returns to Carey's pop roots but
still lacks the charisma of her most
powerful records.
Mimi is an alter ego that Carey
was probably introduced to during
her exhaustion-fueled freak-outs.
Her "emancipation" on this disc - a
word that is explicitly defined in the
liner notes - is a homecoming for her
airy vocals and lackluster love songs.
On "Shake It Off," Carey sounds
like a 13-year-old boy going through
puberty, singing love songs to a grade
school crush.
A few dreary guest appearances fail
to complement Carey's hearty croons.
Twista arrives with more rapid but
insipid verses. Snoop Dogg and Nel-
ly's rhymes also fail to add dimension
to Carev's music and are monotonous

DAILY ARTS.
WHo WE BE?

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