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January 26, 2006 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-01-26

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R TheSctigan Bailg

arts. michigandaily.com


My life with pod people

h, hey! Hi! I mean, um, what's
up? How's it going? Good? Oh,
great ... really great. Um, listen
- I was wondering if I could talk to you
about, um, this issue I've been having. It's
really been bothering me for a while now.
You have so much more experience
with this kind of thing. You seem so
confident whenever I see you: hands in
your pockets, strolling across campus
with your head held high like you're in
your own little world. It would
mean a lot to me if I could
just, you know, get this off my
chest. I mean, I'm not proud
of it, but I've finally grown to
accept it. Are you ready? OK,
here it goes:
I really, really want an
Oh God, that's a relief!
I feel so much better now. ALEXA
See, for the longest time, JON
I didn't want one. That's
what I told myself. When it first debuted,
I thought it was a great idea. Expensive,
but the iPod made up for its wince-induc-
ing price tag with its utility.
Finally, technology was being used to
better the everyday lives of people in a
tangible, seemingly incorruptible way:
A new generation of music lovers, hav-
ing long associated recorded music with
their computers, could organize their
illegally-downloaded MP3s alongside the
content of every CD they had painstak-
ingly uploaded. Not only that, the iPod
was tiny, portable and created by Apple, a
computer company whose enduring hip-
ness could only be dreamt of by the likes
of IBM or Dell.
At first, iPods were the domain of
music geeks and those with sufficient cash
to shop out of SkyMall. But then, as with
cell phones before them, iPods became de
rigueur accessories, even for those whose
CD collections were so small that they
were easily portable on their own.
Suddenly, the ultra-useful idea behind
Apple's plastic albino wonder had been
eclipsed by its functionality as an aes-
thetic status symbol.
Marketed correctly, the device's
design proved to be just as magnetic
to would-be trendsetters as its defin-
ing concept had been to music geeks.
Soon, urban hipsters and Midwestern

college jocks alike sported the signa-
ture white earbuds, just like the sil-
houettes in the iPod's ads.
Of course, it's idiotic to dislike some-
thing just because it catches on with a
larger crowd, and I think the iPod's sheer
convenience would more than make up
for the sting of (gasp!) conformity. It's
not the luddite factor that keeps me from
investing in a portable storage system for
my oh-so-easily-scratched CDs, either.
Ever since humans figured out
that they could organize sound
with objects other than their
vocal chords, we've relied on
technology to make instruments
sound better. The same goes
for the machines that capture
and replay the music we make.
Nobody complained when wax
cylinders were replaced with
4DRA 78s or when those brittle
S platters were replaced with
durable vinyl LPs.


For me, the source of the iPod's stigma
has been linked to something much more
diabolical than the sartorial implications
of toting around a $300 status symbol.
Owning, using and promoting the
iPod and its slick companion app,
iTunes, would seem to nullify the ritu-
als that have surrounded my experienc-
es as a listener. Venturing downtown
to the independent record store located
on Ann Arbor's campus; browsing
through stacks of used and new discs
of all sizes and material makeups; tak-
ing a gamble on an album you heard
about through a friend of a friend and
finding a new favorite to revel in for
the next few weeks. Even cover art, the
iconic imagery that's simultaneously
disposable and valuable to interpreting
an album's content, gets lost when it's
a minute graphic next to a list of tracks
on your screen.
I've always said I'll buy an iPod when
the price for a basic model dropped
below $150 (and no, the techno-evolu-
tionary anomaly that is the iPod Shuffle
doesn't count), but now that I've thought
this through a little more, I'm not so sure.
I'd rather blow $300 on a new stack of
albums, anyway.
- Jones will accept donations for
her iPod fund at almajo@umich.edu.

Courtesy of James Singleton
The Hot 8 Brass Band will perform Friday at 8 p.m. at the Michigan Theater.


By LaToya Johnson
Daily Arts Writer
It's common knowledge that the devastation
of New Orleans has been the center of much cul-
tural and political controver-
sy in the past six months. It's
also no surprise that the city Hot 8 Brass
still has a long way to go. Band
But for now, New Orleans Friday at 8 p.m.
is crooning to a new tune, $ g
one provided by its own $10sedonation
nine-member Hot 8 Brass
Band, who will perform this At the
Friday at 8 p.m. at the Mich- Michigan Theater
igan Theater in conjunction
with the charity Save Our Brass. New Orleans'
newest band is helping to drown out the sound
of tragedy with their rich Southern music.
Save Our Brass was created by the members
of Hot 8 Brass following Hurricane Katrina

with the goal of revitalizing brass bands in New
Orleans. Although the revival of New Orleans'
brass bands is the main focus, the foundation
has purposes beyond Hurricane Katrina relief,
such as creating educational opportunities for
the city's youth.
The city struggles to repair itself and rebuild
homes. But Save Our Brass remains a vital con-
tributor in helping to keep the cultural traditions
of New Orleans alive. The foundation also cre-
ates job opportunities and gives New Orleans a
positive, enduring image to display to the out-
side world.
Hot 8 Brass is not only helping to salvage their
city and its musicians, but they are also gracing
the rest of the country with a lineup consisting
solely of horns. Their sound is raw and blasting,
promising a high-energy show.
Formed in 1995, the group was created by the
merging of two different brass bands, Looney
Tunes and High Steppers.
Judging from the tracks off the group's newly
released and highly acclaimed album, Rock with

the Hot 8, unhindered funk, R&B and jazz can
be expected. On their website, Arts at Michigan
describes the band as having "a secret sound
woven deep between the washed-away commu-
nities and homes and families - for generations
moving across these once beautiful streets- and
just like that, all of it gone."
Hot 8 brims with optimism and is more than
ready to rock the nation as well as restore their
city's spirit after the catastrophic events of the
last few months.
For 10 years Hot 8 Brass have performed in
parades, festivals, urban juke joints and clubs in
the Deep South. Despite going on tour, they are
familiar faces in the city, performing at Second
Line parades that regularly take place through-
out inner-city New Orleans on Sundays, and are
an important tradition for residents.
The brass band sound is more than just music
for the people who once walked the streets of
New Orleans; it's a fundamental backbone of the
culture and style of the city Hot 8 Brass Band is
working so passionately to recover.

A2 trio invades Halfass

By Alexandra Jones
Daily Arts Editor


Next in the East
concert series is a
three of Ann
Arbor's most inno-
vative - and inno-
vatively named
indie groups.
Gentle popsters
Canada, free-form
songsters Descent
of the Holy Ghost
Church and up-
and-coming rock-
ers Great Lakes

Quad Music Co-op's
lineup that includes
The Descent
of the Holy
Ghost Church
with Great
Lakes Myth
Friday at 9:30 p.m.
At the Halfass

writer Chris Bathgate explained how it
happened. "While (Residential College
student Jansen Swy and I) were at (New
England Literature Project), we heard
that Magnolia Electric Co. didn't have an
opener yet," he said.
Despite the fact that students aren't
permitted to make or receive phone calls
at NELP, Bathgate and Swy managed to
secure the booking.
Regarding the band's songwriting pro-
cess, "It just sort of happens," Bathgate
said. "Someone will bring A to the table,
and then, when (trumpet player) Ross is
on it, it becomes B; and when (drummer)
Matt's on it, it becomes C, and it sort of
gets further and further away from what it
originally was."
Descent's original incarnation was
formed when a group of musicians record-
ed an accompaniment to Swy's poetry for
three solid days. Tracks from this seminal
session can be found at www.myspace.
Bathgate is happy to perform as part
of this trio of acts. "I'm excited to see
(Canada) live," Bathgate said. "And Great
Lakes Myth Society are probably the
tightest local group that I've seen in the
past year."
"If you waltz in there, there'll be at
least one group that you'll likely enjoy,
even though we're very different bands,"
Bathgate said.

Go Tv www.

I ....... . ...... - 11-1 1 IN

Myth Society will pack the basement of
East Quadrangle Residence Hall at the
Halfass Friday night.
The Descent of the Holy Ghost Church
might not boast a large roster, but this
combination of musicians - whose sonic
palette includes guitar, drums, trumpet
and accordion - has fused diverse influ-
ences into a musical product that reflects
the best the Ann Arbor scene has to offer.
They've only existed since last sum-
mer, but the band's career was kick-started
with an auspicious performance opening
for the alt-country Magnolia Electric Co.
Art & Design student/Descent song-

)Coy The
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