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September 21, 2005 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-21

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 21, 2005 -11

FOLKIS
SACRED
'CROW)
BANHART 'S ECCENTRIC
STYLE SHOWCASED IN
LATEST LP
By Kat Bawden
Daily Arts Writer

ThE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER

.S

'Son of a Witch' by Gregory Maguire - Gregory Maguire returns to
the Oz he first made famous in his book "Wicked" and then in the Broad-
way musical of the same name, with a new book - "Son of a Witch."
Expect Maguire to flesh out new characters, raise new questions and make
the land of Oz a whole lot more interesting than when Dorothy skipped
down the Yellow Brick Road in shiny red shoes.

Devendra Banhart's appeal rests in his dual-
ity. In one hand there is the spiritual and intro-

verted Nick Drake-esque,
neofolk minstrel. In the
other hand there is the obtuse
musical oddity who sings
in echoing moans with the
creepiness of proto-glam-
rockers T. Rex. He's simul-
taneously comforting and
dangerous. And his fourth

Devendra
Banhart
Cripple Crow
XL

artistic endeavor, Cripple Crow, only augments
his stylistic mystique.
Born in Texas, Banhart's parents were follow-
ers of Indian mystics - hence his uncommon
name. At age two, his parents divorced, and
Banhart, who began writing songs at 12 years
old, was raised by his mother in the shantytowns
of Caracas, Venezuela. Later he dropped out of
the San Francisco Art Institute and moved to
Paris, where he was discovered by a producer
and began recording his music.
The opening tracks of Cripple are red her-
rings. The first song, "Now That I Know," is
soft and acoustic, calm without being overly
maudlin. The second, "Santa Maria Da Feira,"
is a wispy bossa nova sung in Spanish, complete
with echoing violins and an ethereal flute, which
lulls the listener into a sense of calm. One might
think, "I can chill out to this." Not so.
The third song, "Long Haired Child," carries
the listener down a much, much creepier path.
Banhart's voice changes to a Lou Reed warble
(Think the strung-out stutter of "Heroin.") as
he sings "Maybe when it's day, it's cold, and I
know for certain / When I go outside and my
head started hurtin."'
The sitar-laden jam "Lazy Butterfly" takes a
sharp stylistic turn with a bizarrely sexy and mys-
tical overtone. Conversely, the gorgeous "Queen
Bee" is a poignant slide-guitar-filled ballad.
The song "The Beatles" dances from a blithe
pop tune to a rich bossa nova before disinte-
grating into a raucous miscellany of pounding,
screeching and other entropic noises. Then the
title track, "Cripple Crow," has the quality of a

Normal celebrity baby names - Heidi Klum names her baby
Henry, Tina Fey names hers Alice and Britney Spears takes a refresh-
ingly conventional route and names her offspring Sean Preston. Hal-
lelujah, a return to normalcy! It seems as though celebrities have finally
realized that naming your child after a fruit is more kooky than cool.
'Tim Burton's Corpse Bride' - This eerie clay-
mation picture looks as if it will be equal parts
scary movie, high drama and light-hearted fun.
Tim Burton, you are one creepy man. I can't
wait to see it, even if half the people sitting
in the audience with me will either be stoned
out of their minds or terrified, disillusioned
second-graders.
www.stuffonmycat.com - There are a lots
of cats. And a lot of stuff. And lots of weird,
crazy stuff on cats. But it's just really funny. I
couldn't stop laughing at the tiny cat snuggled
up in a plastic bottle. And besides, the kitties are so
cute! I could look at this for hours.
'Desperate Housewives' on DVD - House-
wives that are sexy, slutty, neurotic and frazzled
make for some damn good TV. My roommates
and I can't get enough of the show, especially
now that it's on DVD - gossip, scandal, mys-
tery and humor fed to us whenever we want it.
What could be better?
Courtesy of ABC
H H R TT A K E S
PAULVANDYK ua
Th POuTICS OF DANCING VO. intr self'ndsits esnrd
2 ~ister'selfand Lissfuly buflles thrugh
2
the remainder cfat s duraIon.
MurE Rcons ~ The mostcompositoally intrigin
On The Politics of Dancing V(4. song the albumis"Linking People."
2 compilation, long-time European Its dramatic niatre avoids becoming
trance royalty Paul Van Dyk gives melodramathroughVany'smp-
listeners a tuned presentation of his cabletiming adpatiend.A
recent favorites. Though at times a tad peep-show of a trk, it reeatd y
diluted daring its two-disc odyssey, reveals ju~st a little onc ctay efr
it's a tracklist in which Van Drykaban- shrinking back n itself.
dons trance's traditional push and pull Van Dyk does rer to the trade
between melancholy gnd euphoria, tional changing tides of mince woth
mixing in a shotof aggression. "Linking People:" but tbese indulgenc-
The compilation threatens to es are set tp well by intermittent fts of
become passive background music aggression. Pditks awoids becoming
until a mean streak finally disropts the white noise of ehoria ormelan
its initial complacency on "Dream epeated ad nauseum.
On," The track is just another harm- - Russe1Mc illan
Tess trance spjell, devoid f anynance, ***

'"ouresy fXL

Now that's a lot of hair.

religious service - there's a beautifully hypnotic
aspect to it but also an impervious excitement as
he sings, "Now that our bones lay buried below
us / Just like stones pressed into the earth / Well
we ain't known by no one before us / And we
begin with this one little birth / That grows on."
It is a colorful, albeit unconventional progres-
sion of sound. By this point, the former idea of
Banhart as a hippie-dippie folkie is shot. The
man is wild, unpredictable and emotionally sav-
age with his listeners.
But Banhart deserves credit for not only dar-
ing to show his audience his methodical insanity,
but for also doing it with ease and confidence.
Though his eccentric moments may raise eye-
brows and cause doubt, his strong creativity and
ability to concoct an unconventionally beautiful

song never fail.
The music on Cripple is full of recogniz-
able patterns and genres (folk, blues, rock) that
Banhart twists to form a genre all his own.
His voice shifts between a deep rusty whisper,
a high almost-jarring warble and every style
in between, never becoming blase. His spiri-
tual and eccentric persona is too strong to be
ignored.
One fault of the album, however, is the hefty
length. There are 22 tracks, and though none of
them are awful, Cripple is overbearing, and it
becomes difficult to remember the songs indi-
vidually - which is a shame, because Ban-
hart's inexhaustible talent for cultivating songs
deserves to be remembered as more than just a
block of sound.

DAILY ARTS.
MAKE THE SUNDAY WALK OF
SHAME TO 420 MAYNARD ST.
AT 12:30-WE'LLPRETEND
NOT TO NOTICE THE HEELS.

Un

I

eash

your,

I --I

potential

I

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GE "Meet & Greet"
September 21st 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Central Campus - Buffalo Wild Wings
205 South State Street
Informal networking session targeting Engineering students.
No resumes! Food and soda will provided. Learn about the GE
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representatives and previous GE interns.

GE Day
September 22, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
North Campus
Beat the Career Fair rush and submit resumes for co-
op/intern and full time positions!

I i

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