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October 28, 2005 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-28

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October 28, 2005
arts. michigandaily. com

TSe igan tiig



By Caitlin Cowan
Daily Arts Writer

U Courtesy of What Are Records?
Stephen Lynch brings twisted humor to the Michigan Theater tomorrow night.
'Machine not an
upgrade for Lynch

By Jake Montie
Daily Arts Writer

Always known for extensively
pushing the envelope, comedian
Stephen Lynch continues in that tra-
dition, bringing his act to the Michi-
gan Theater tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

Lynch is touring
in support of his
newest release,
The Craig
Machine, which
does a good
job at slapping
society's precon-
ceived notions of
what is allowable

The Craig Machine
What Are Records?

in its politically

Moustache" contemplate the trials
of dating a Nazi, especially if your
name is Stephen "Lynchbergstein"
and she drives a Panzer. The ever-
unfortunate soul, Lynch isn't com-
forted by his girlfriend's words when
he is down: "Whenever I'm sad you
say it's not so bad / For every prob-
lem there's a Final Solution." Fortu-
nately Lynch is able escape without
harm, and get out of such a volatile
The clever hidden track on the
album, which deals with the pathet-
ic nature of Dungeons and Dragons
players, brings the album to as satis-
fying conclusion.
Despite the hilarity of many
tracks, some of the songs seem as
though they were thrown upon the
album as late additions. A song about
the "only French bum in New York"
called "Pierre" seems to end without
resolution. "Not Home," about the
naughty things one does when their
significant other leaves town, clocks
in at only a minute and 14 seconds,
and could easily have been developed
Combine some unpolished tracks,
with a short album, and The Craig
Machine falls a bit short of other fine
comedic albums, including Lynch's
own, A Little Bit Special. However,
his material is fresh, off-the-cuff
and very edgy. With this in mind,
listeners get an album that could eas-
ily draw them to a live performance
where most comedians are far fun-
nier anyway.

"Where is he getting this shit?" wondered
Spoon drummer Jim Eno,
referring to long time friend Spoon
and Spoon frontman Britt
Daniels. On the band's lat- Tomorrow at
est album, Gimme Fiction, 8:00 p.m.
Daniels wowed even his fel- At St. Andrew's Hall
low bandmates with an array
of dazzling, inspired lyrics that the band carved
into 11 tracks of indie-rock excellence.
"It was exciting to actually make the record
because Britt would give me some demos and
then every demo would blow away the previous
one," Eno said. "I was pretty psyched about the
record from early on because I knew the songs
were great." Luckily, Eno feels that Spoon's fin-
ished product lives up to this expectation, and
Gimme Fiction is "on the songwriting side ...
probably the best stuff Britt has written," Eno
It sounds like everything is on the right track
for these unlikely heroes of indie-rock. But Spoon
wasn't always so successful, or so appreciated.
The band wears a record industry-inflicted scar
like a badge of courage. Dropped from Elektra's
label in 1998 after the band refused to rework
some of their songs into "hits," the band strug-

gled to come out from under the title as the band
that was bowled over by Elektra.
Eno seemed confident about the situation in
retrospect. "That was seven years ago, and we've
done a lot since then," he said. "We got dropped,
and we're still together after we got dropped, you
know? In my opinion, there are a lot of bands that
got dropped that are still together."
Spoon, too, hasn't let the Elektra fiasco stop
them. "What we decided to do is just not let that
get in the way of what we felt like we needed to
do as far as concentrating and putting out good
records and touring on them. So that's pretty
much what we've been doing."
Elektra must be kicking themselves these days.
With the inclusion of "The Way We Get By" on
Music from "The O.C.": Mix One, a whole new
legion of Spoon fans were initiated to their unique
sound, or lack thereof. Interestingly enough, Eno
agreed. 'It's sort of weird. The lack of a sound

is our sound." He added "I've always been a fan
of simplicity and space and things like that, and
Britt has too. It's sort of a stripped-down, less-is-
more-type attitude."
Spoon fans will get a taste of their new album
and old favorites this Saturday night during
their concert at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit.
For those who can't make the show, Eno also
revealed a treat for iTunes users. "We recorded a
song that's actually up now on iTunes. It's pretty
As for their future; "We're trying to get
away from the three-year release period for our
records, so we're actually booking studio time
for next year and trying to work on stuff," Eno
explained. After the fans's eager expectation for
Gimme Fiction, Spoon is looking to change only
the amount of time between their records, but
"not the anticipation." Eno added, laughing, "We
just want to get them out sooner."

Courtesy of Matador Records

correct mouth. With the devastat-
ing bite of his wit, Lynch manages
to isolate listeners into one of two
groups: those fanatical for the blunt-
ness of his work and those greatly
offended by it.
Some of the songs on the album are
blisteringly funny. The track "Craig"
makes fun of the relationship between
Jesus and his widely unknown broth-
er. Craig does whatever he can to be
the black sheep of the Christ family.
Snippets like "While Jesus is pra-
yin'/ Fuckin' Craig is layin'/ Every
lady in the testament you know what
I'm sayin' " provide listeners with
an insight into the over-the-top un-
Jesus-like behavior of the messiah's
fictional brother.
Other tracks like "Tiny Little

Continued from page 1
Fiegel, a former professor of
trumpet and conducting at the Uni-
versity of Montana and former
director of bands at the University
of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Idaho
State University and Muskingum
College, first fell in love with film
music during this time; the scores
to films like "Psycho" and "The
Day the Earth Stood Still" were the
first to draw his attention to scores.
After an arrangement he wrote for
Kaenzig called "Tuba Wars" (guess
which movie that one's from), Fiegel
composed a score to the silent film
"Barney Oldfield's Race for a Life,"
in which the hero saves a damsel in
distress from an evil villain who has
tied her to the railroad tracks. That
was the first of the Celluloid Tubas

selections, but not the last. "Each
(arrangement) is different. Each has
its own charm," Fiegel said. "'Bar-
ney Oldfield' is dear to me, Fiegel
explained. The piece features clas-
sical and popular themes. "It turned
out that it was impossible for any-
body to conduct (the piece) other
than myself because it was so hard
to synchronize ... It's been kinda
neat, because I always get to go out
and conduct it," he laughed.
"The (music from the) Roadrunner
cartoon is some of the most amazing
film music ever written, and it was
just really fascinating to be able to
tear that score apart and put it back
together to do it live," Fiegel said. "It's
fun for me as a conductor because it's
always a challenge. I have to be on
my game. It's really rewarding."
The Celluloid Tubas Show has been
performed by many different tuba

and euphonium ensembles, includ-
ing the Army Band Tubas. Fiegel
believes this project couldn't be as
popular or feature the same tongue-
in-cheek appeal if these scores were
arranged for any other instrument.
Indeed, ensembles often leave out the
arrangement of music from "Silvera-
do" because it's so difficult.
The members of UMETE agree.
"We're not taking ourselves too seri-
ously, but we're still performing at'
the highest level possible," doctoral
Music student and tubist Mike Nick-
ens said. Nickens arranged a solo ver-
sion with four-part accompaniment
of Chick Corea's La Fiesta; the piece,
which will be played in tonight's con-
cert of solo performances, features
Music senior and euphoniumist Alai-
na Alster as soloist.
"It's really fun, really hard music,"
Music graduate student Matt Bookert


explained. "We spend so much time
counting rests and letting other peo-
ple take the melody and do exciting
things, and now we get a chance to
play exciting stuff."
The desire for tough, techni-
cal music that puts these musicians
in the spotlight is what makes The
Celluloid Tubas Show so popular
for tubists and euphoniumists and
engaging for audiences. "That's part
of the charm, part of my motivation
for writing," Fiegel said. "The tuba
especially, and the euphonium, in a
way, have never had the spotlight.
... Because of my friendship with
(Kaenzig) and the incredible teacher
he is, and his students and how well
they play, it became a challenge - a
pleasing challenge - to take on. To
give the tubas and euphoniums some-
thing that they can really get their
teeth into."

Heavenly Crusades epic hits DVD
ByImran Syed ists from both sides are more or less the same; troublemakers
Daily Arts Writer who let their wish for power jeopardize the safety of thousands
of people. Ironically, the misguided battle cry of both sides in the
film is the same: "God wills it!"
Perhaps prematurely cast into a leading role, Bloom nonethe-
In the post-Sept. 11 world, few filmmakers are bold enough to less handles his part well. He has the command and grace he
make a big-budget epic about political and lacked in "Troy" and relevance he lacked in "The Lord of the
religious power struggles in the Middle Rings." With these, he presents his sword-toting gladiator with
East. Yet bold film-making is the specialty Kingdom of a touch of humanity while maintaining the overall aura of gran-
of Ridley Scott ("Gladiator"), the direc- Heaven deur the film strives for. The supporting cast too is top notch,
tor of the Crusades film, "Kingdom of 20th Century Fox headlined by Neeson, Jeremy Irons ("The Merchant of Venice")
Heaven." Scott masterfully intertwines the and Edward Norton ("Fight Club").
sharp themes surrounding the Crusades The DVD features hours of commentary from the cast and
with his own knack for evocative imagery and epic storytelling crew that is captivating to fans and history buffs alike. The two
making "Kingdom of Heaven" a truly worthwhile film. documentaries included, A&E's "Movie Real: Kingdom of
Set between the second and third Crusades, when Christians Heaven" and The History Channel's "History vs. Hollywood:
controlled Jerusalem, "Heaven" centers on Balian of Ibelin Kingdom of Heaven" are both fascinating historical and logisti-
(Orlando Bloom, "Elizabethtown"), the legendary knight who cal explanations of the finer points of the film. Even those who
was once the sole defender of the Christian Jerusalem against find the film over-bearing will likely appreciate the facts pre-
the siege of superior Muslim forces. In expressing its artistic sented in these two documentaries.
freedom, the film has Balian as a simple blacksmith thrust into Insightful, entertaining and at times sentimental, "Heaven" is
knighthood by the dying wish of his father, Godfrey (Liam Nee- certainly the best fantasy epic of the year so far. Featuring stun-
son, "Batman Begins"). Balian fights the war-mongering of the ning visual effects and heart-pumping action sequences, all tied
power hungry Knights Templar and stays true to his people even together by composer Harry Gregson-Williams's singular score,
when the pacifist King Baldwin IV passes away and the rogue "Heaven" is an entertaining and insightful, albeit historically
Guy de Lusignan assumes the throne. inaccurate, addition to the epic film cannon.

Though the story it tells is slightly convoluted and indeed a
liberal interpretation of historical events, "Heaven" presents a
strong argument against fanaticism in the name of religion from
all denominations, a theme still alive today. In the film, extrem-

Film: ****
Picture/Sound: ****
Features: ****

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