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February 23, 2006 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-23

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Thursday
February 23, 2006
arts. michigandaily. com
artspage@michigandaily. com

TeiSligan tilg

5A

. . . .. .. ... .. .. .. ... .. .. .... --- - -.-

BEAT
MAEJOR

UNIVERSITY STUDENT
BECOMES PRODUCER FOR
HIP-HOP STARS
By Anthony Baber
Daily Arts Writer
In modern hip hop, the producers, long thought
of as the stoic guys behind the mixing board, qui-
etly arranging melodies, are quickly becoming just
as famous as the lyricists. Artists go looking for spe-
cific producers because simply having Kanye West,
The Neptunes or Just Blaze attached to a song can
thrust the track immediately into heavy radio play.
Joining the pack is LSA sophomore Brandon Green
- better known as Bei Maejor - a University stu-
dent who's already producing beats for artists such as
Trey Songz, Jim Jones and Bun-B.
In his dorm room in the Baits II Residence Hall,
he's created a small studio perfect for crafting his
finished arrangements. On his desk sits his MPC, a
sequencing sampler workstation and the centerpiece
of his equipment. Above the MPC is a turntable and
against the wall, a keyboard. These tools, along with
Maejor's own ear and mind, are crucial elements in
his production process.
Sitting back in his chair, he recalled his already-
impressive accomplishments in music.
"I did 2 songs with Lil' Mo - a song with Peedi
Crack on Def Jam. I've been doing a lot of R&B,"
Green said.
"I did a song with Chris Brown that, unfortunately,
didn't make the album. It was real hot, but I guess
the label didn't want it. They'll probably use it on a
soundtrack or something."
As a music-industry rookie, Green is rapidly gain-
ing experience. Working with different artists, going
to different places and meeting important people are
all at the top on his agenda.
"My first song that came out on a major label, for
Trey Songz last summer, 'Ur Behind,' was one of my
favorite songs," he explained. "Not only did it get the
most coverage, but I got to go to L.A. to work in the
studio, so that's the most excited I've been."
Signed to industry giant Atlantic, Green is able to
work with other Atlantic artists such as Twista and
Trey Songz.
"I'm saving a lot of my best stuff for Trey Songz;
he's one of my favorite artists. We first started work-
ing together and we're on the same label. (His album
is) gonna be hot."
The feeling is mutual: In the current issue of Vibe
magazine, Trey Songz lists Bei Maejor as one of his

courtesy f UMS
Pappa Tarahumara will perform tonight at 8 p.m. at the Point Center.
Japanese performer
sidestep conventio1n

By Priya Bali
and Shiori Ito
Daily Arts Writers

Nothing is certain in Pappa Tara-
humara's performances. The group
will come to the
Power Center at
8 p.m. tonight Ship in a View
to perform a Tonight at 8 p.m.
modern, multi- $16-36
media theatrical At the Power Center
piece, "Ship in a
View," choreo-
graphed by famed Japanese director
Hiroshi Koike.
Koike's inspiration for his modern
dance pieces come from Japanese
Noh theater, a traditional genre dating
back 1,300 years. Koike has remixed
the Noh into his own modern vision.
The movements of the 12 Pappa T
dancers are a slow, meditative mix of
acrobatics reminiscent of Cirque du
Soleil, while still evocative of the Noh
theater. They also incorporate a vocal
element - not with sung lyrics, but
rather with raw gurgles and howls.
Koike makes a point of using as
many media as possible, emphasizing
interactive sets, costumes, lighting
and props to go with the synthesized
sound of his composer, Masahiro
Sugaya. The lighting designer, Yukiko
Sekine, also plays -a major role in the
productions, winning the Lighting

Designers and Engineers Association
of Japan in award 1991.
The fusion of kinetic lighting,
intense voices and fluid dance m'ove-
ments allows the audience to interpret
the story through their own imagina-
tions. While keeping these traditiondl
aspects of theater, the groups also
explores new-age technology through
video art. This is perhaps what gives
Pappa T its uncommon universality.
The group has performed a number
of productions in exotic locales such
as Taipei, Amsterdam, Vienna and
Paris. All pieces have been unique in
their performance and strive tQ dis-
cover truth through time and motion.
Each Pappa Tarahumara performance
is an exchange of ideas among people
across the world.
Koike will bring his multi sensory
experience in this evening's "Ship in
a View." The production is set in the
1960s at a town by the sea. The.ship
in the performance will symbolizes a
connection between the town and the
outside world as the citizens coiem-
plate their seclusion. Expect characters
to paint the stage with both defined' and
abstract dance movements. Through
allegory and the beauty of the dance,
Koike sets to explore various relation-
ships of humans to the exterior world, in
which he finds a common ground. ;
Koike's works suggest the possibil-
ity of performing arts that transcendi
cultural boundaries and conventional
performance genres.

IO ASO GOMEZ/aiy
LSA sophomore and Atlantic Records producer Be! Major discusses his career Monday.

favorite producers to work with.
Green's stunning level of visibility at such a young
age is the result of a lot of hard work, talent, and
inspiration from some of his favorite producers.
"J Dilla, who recently died, Just Blaze, The
Neptunes and Troy Taylor, an R&B producer ...
Those are the main people who have influenced
my style," he said.
One of his most Tecent creations is featured on
Bun-B's latest, Trill.
"I produced a song on there featuring Mike
Jones, Birdman and Trey Songz, called 'Hold U
Down,' he said. "It's set to be the next single, but I

don't know when they're recording the video. The
song has been doing well and moving up the charts
all over the country from requests by people who
just have heard it."
Though Maejor is a rising star in the music indus-
try, he still thinks of himself just another University
student.
"I consider myself Brandon Green most of the
time. I can't just call myself Brandon Green, that's a
terrible name," he said with a chuckle. "It's not catchy
at all, not exciting. But there's really not a difference,
I'm always Brandon Green, but I give somebody a
beat I say, 'Yo, I'm Bei Maejor"'

Web star
comes to
Skeep ers
By Kimberly Chou
Daily Arts Writer

Student band loaded with talent

By Derek Barber
Daily Arts Writer

Given reader feedback on his popu-
lar, self-titled website, www.tucker-
max.com, it's
obvious scores of Tucker Max
impressionable Book Signing
undergrads and
professionals alike Wednesday
regard Tucker Max At Scorekeepers
as some kind of
liquor-guzzling, skirt-chasing god.
They had chance to pay homage
as Max was in town last night at
Scorekeeper's from 6 to 8 to pro-
mote his book, "I Hope They Serve
Beer In Hell."
The 30-year-old Duke Law School
graduate-turned-writer claimed his
various stories aren't that unbeliev-
able to anyone else his age.
"I'd say this to any 19-year-old:
You don't have any idea what you're
talking about in terms of life. When
you're 30 years old, you're not going to
think my stories are incredibly unbe-
lievable," Max said. This is assuming
that by 30 you not only have a decent
set of drunken road trip stories, aug-
mented by sexual exploits that run the
gamut from disgusting to impressive
often featuring spectacular details
involving bodily expulsions.
Honestly, it's questionable whether
Max shooting his load in front of a
Las Vegas crowd unbeknownst to
his partner - but not to the burly,
6'5" bouncer - is more outrageous
than vomiting behind a girl's bed and
evading discovery even after her dog
consumes and later violently shits the
vomit all over the carpet.
It's not hard to envy him, dislike

When he's not cranking out bluesy guitar lines for Ann
Arbor local bands like Toolbox, Music sophomore Theo
Katzman is probably laying down a
thick groove on his drum kit, piano,T
acoustic guitar or even harmonica. Theo Katzman
Performing Thursday night as part of Thursday at 8 p.m.
the Canterbury House Concert Series, $540
singer/songwriter Katzman is a man At Canterbury House
of many hats. And although the term
"multi-instrumentalist" seems to be
thrown around, Theo Katzman is no doubt worthy of the title.
A New York native and the son of highly regarded jazz trum-
peter Lee Katzman, the musical life came naturally to Katzman.
Often praised for his characteristic sensitivity as a supporting
musician, Katzman is also no stranger to stepping out as a truly
dynamic frontman and singer. Clearly, he's comfortable in a
variety of positions.
"I'm really used to it," said Katzman, who once headed a high
school band while assuming drum duties as well. "It's really all
about knowing where the music needs to go and doing whatever
you can to help it get to that place."
After crafting a batch of songs far too rich to put aside and
despite several other musical obligations, Katzman recently set

out to form a band in support of his own work. Fortunately for
Katzman, he didn't have to look very far.
His band showcases some of the sharpest talent the University's
School of Music has to offer. The group features Music freshmnan
and virtuoso guitarist Tomek Miernowski, Music sophomore
bassist Christian Carpenter and Music junior Mike Shea.
Although still a considerably young band, the chemistry
between these four friends was the result of their mutual
respect for one another as well as their sincere apprecia-
tion for all music.
"I remember when I first heard Led Zeppelin," said Katzman.
"I was just blown away; they were my first love."
As far as the music itself is concerned, the material is almost
as complex and diverse as its composer. With an innoyative
and intricate sense of chordal harmony, many of Katzmnan's
tunes take on a Stevie Wonder quality. But then again,, it's
not uncommon for the band to tackle an intensely emotignal
blues number. Perhaps even more surprising are Katzmiin's
sympathetic and heartfelt folk-rock originals.
Katzman's Ann Arbor performance debut should be an
inspiring and passionate performance at the intimate'Can-
terbury House. Clearly, the band is planning to set th'e bar
high for themselves.
"I remember grooving to John Bonham on drums 'but
then I'd also want to play guitar like Jimmy Page. Or even
sing the way Robert Plant sang ... But no matter what I'm
doing, I'm still all about maintaining that sense of groove,
even when it's challenging."

Tucker Max has a student do push-ups at Scorekeepers yesterday night.

month writing, touring, drinking and
fucking for TuckerMax.com and the
recently published "Beer In Hell."
He started documenting his vari-
ous exploits three-and-a-half-years
ago online. Unfortunately, before his
site, there was a brief dalliance with
fiction.
"When I first started writing, I
started off writing fiction and it was
terrible. I'm awful at writing fic-
tion ... The (stories) are all kind of
wincingly bad," Max said. "They're
overwritten, with too much detail in
certain places, not enough in other
places (and) I kind of write the way
I think I'm supposed to write and not
in my voice."
If you choose to locate these early
attempts - tucked away but still avail-

Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club" on
his online list of book favorites.
But those who only idolize him
for his debauched episodes and way
with women, need not fear a shift to
the highbrow: You'll still be able to
discuss his book's aptly titled chapter
"The Blowjob Follies."
"I tend to engage people on their
level, or maybe within somewhere
close to that level. So if someone
wants to come up and talk about low-
brow things, I talk about low-brow
things. If someone can talk about the
Melian Dialogue, I'll talk about the
Melian Dialogue with them," Max
said.
Reviled by conservatives and
championed by college kids as a
modern-day Dionysus, Max is noto-
rion.0v hint Tis su~rely, served ]him

Choose from a wide variety of courses -
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Summer '06
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