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October 20, 2006 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-20

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Friday
October 20, 2006
arts.michigandaily.com
artspage@michigandaily.com

ahe 1iddigan D&daI
ARTS

SA

SikSik Nation to
storm Ypsilanti

"You fool! Pirouette with meaning! With meaning!"

THE FEW, THE LAME
BEEFCAKE FLICK 90 MINUTES TOO LONG

By Elyssa Pearistein
Daily Arts Writer
An eerie buzzing of guitar
ambience emerges. A dancy
drum beat
joins in. Sean SikSik
Morrow, Sik- Nation
Sik Nation's Saturday at
guitarist and 9 p.m.
lead singer, Free
lets loose
bis tbroaty, tbaAt the
lis ho ElbowRoom, Ypsilanti
melodious
vocals.
SikSik Nation's sound is com-
posed of garage rock mixed in
with bits of blues, dance, funk
and pop .
"This leaves us with a sound
that is dark yet danceable and
fun at the same time," Eric
Oppitz, the group's bassist,
said.
Despite baying only three
members, tbe band baa an
immense drum and guitar
sound. Influences can be found
in groups such as Joy Division
and The Who.
SikSik Nation is set to play
at Ypsilanti's Elbow Room on
October 21. Their songs contain
socio-political messages but are
presented in a fun, unobstru-
sive, manner.
The distinctive finish of
"Reflection Romancers" is
characterized by the solemn
yet gritty humming of a catchy
tune on top of a dim backdrop of
drums and guitar.
"We expect people to take
our music for what it is," Mor-
row said. If you just want to bob
your head and tap your foot to
the music, cool. If you want to
break down the songs and ana-

lyze them, that's cool too"
Morrow and Oppitz came
together in an online forum.
The two began collaborating
then tried out several drummers
while developing their sound.
By chance, they stumbled
across Rick Sawoscinski at the
Blind Pig's Love Bang earlier
this year. After their instincts
decided he was a drummer
merely by the way he walked,
they brought him in as the final
ingredient.
Later this month, SikSik
Nation intends to record with
producer Jim Diamond, whose
credits include the White Stripes
and Electric Six.
"We are all very honored to
have the opportunity to work
with a legend like Jim Dia-
mond," Oppitz said. We are
confident that he will refine
our sound and bring it to its full
potential."
As a live act, the band sim-
ply wants concertgoers to enjoy
themselves.
"I know its a good show when
I can look up from my drums
during a song and see someone
I don't even know bobbing their
heads or moving in the crowd.
That's when you know you've
reached someone," Sawoscinski
said.
A SikSik Nation show is an
opportunity to chill, rock out
and have a touch of intellec-
tual stimulation, all in the same
night.
Anyone interested in check-
ing them out should go to the
Elbow Room on October 21 at
9 p.m. Other acts include Radio
On, The Stapletons and the
DJing of Erno the Inferno.

By Elie Zwiebel
For the Daily
Following in the clumsy footsteps of Hulk
Hogan, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and
several other misguided
professional wrestlers,
John Cena has decided
to follow his acting The Marine
muse out of the ring and At the Showcase
on to the screen. and Quality 16
For shame.
While Hogan and lat Centary Foa
"The Rock" could at
least use their wrestling personas as a base
for vehicle films, Cena lacks the charisma to
fill the gaps left by poor direction.
As John Triton, a recently discharged
marine, Cena dilligently chases diamond
thieves who have taken his wife hostage.
The plot is simple, and yet "The Marine"
unfortunately consumes a little more
than 90 minutes, which is just about 90
minutes too long.
There are no plot twists (even that was
predictable), but there are unexplained
phenomena. For instance, how does
Rome, the criminal "mastermind" played
by Robert Patrick ("Terminator 2: Judg-
ment Day") survive a lethal explosion
without his T-1000 powers? The greatest

mystery: how Cena's steroid-swollen neck
fits into his marine's uniform. Absolutely
confounding.
Original action sequences are also
noticeably lacking. In his directorial
debut, John Bonito tries to justify point-
less shoot-outs and excessive explosions
with slow-motion shots of flying bullet
cartridges and flailing human bodies.
Despite how common slow-motion now
is in action flicks, Bonito should have
realized that this tool doesn't cover up
or legitimize poorly choreographed fight
sequences - slowing them down only
makes their unoriginality more obvious.
"The Marine" is so archetypical a
blow-'em-up movie that it even has the
seemingly diverse clan of bad guys that
exemplifies stereotyping at its worst: a
belligerent black man angry about social
injustices, a racist white guy, a schem-
ing Hispanic, a sultry Italian woman
and a suave and savvy white leader.
And even casting Kelly Carlson ("Nip/
Tuck") as the Marine's hot wife is a
futile move, thanks to the PG-13 rating.
Not even a wet, white T-shirt redeems
"The Marine." The audience would see
much more of her if they watched FX on
Tuesdays at 10 p.m.
Notably absent from the film are a

cohesive script and any shred of qual-
ity acting. Take out the shots of Triton
running through marshes and flying out
of exploding buildings just in the nick
of time, and you could easily shave the
movie down to around an hour. In fact,
the ratio of time between Triton fly-
ing out of exploding buildings and time
between Triton's lines is about 1:1.
One of the script's shining moments
comes when one of the thieving goons
claims a room smells like "baked ass."
Even if this described your state of mind
prior to seeing "The Marine," it's doubt-
ful you would find this trite writing
funny.
In another moment of screenwriting
brilliance, one of the goons compares
Triton to the Terminator. Perhaps this
is an attempt at foreshadowing - Pat-
rick couldn't kill Arnold and he can't
kill Cena. Or maybe it's another crack at
humor - though even the questionable
character in the crowd wearing a WWE
shirt didn't laugh.
Most likely it's a weak combination of
the two.
While the United States Marines prefer
to call themselves "The Few, The Proud,"
it's likely that few will be proud to say they
saw "The Marine."

The glare is all a part of the allure. Just you wait.

'The Years' just can't keep silent

By Matt Kivel
Daily Arts Writer
Buying new music in the year
2006 is a confusing endeavor.
The internet
is a bottom- ***<
less vessel
for advertise- The Silent
ment, and we Years
are constant- The Silent Years
ly bombarded Noalterative
with banners
and pop-up windows that tell us
what to buy and what to like.
Though annoying, this type of
marketing is not what makes cyber-
space such an effective promotion-
al tool; it is the customized pages
on sites like Amazon and iTunes
which utilize individual consumer
data that are so precise in their tar-
geting for taste.
In the last few years, the music
industry has used this technol-
ogy to market bands to millions of
unsuspecting consumers, finding
that a majority of Internet shoppers
prefer niche genres like "indie-
rock" or "hip-hop" to mainstream

pop
The Silent Years are clearly a
product of this shift towards a more
consumer-specific industry. A lov-
ingly hand-crafted diorama scene
of animals and trees adorns the
cover of their eponymous debut,
they reference Wilco and Elliot
Smith as influences and the album
was even mixed by Mark Saunders
(The Cure, The Sugarcubes, David
Byrne), but it is all a clever disguise
for music that is standard FM radio
pop.
The album opens with "No
Secrets", its most complete and
memorable track. A combination
of overdriven guitars and precise
drumming create a foundation
from which lead singer Joshua
Epstein can launch into his vocal
theatrics. The song is by-the-num-
bers VH1 pop-rock, and it works.
The rest of the album falters
because the band seems ashamed
of its mainstream tendencies.
Minimalist electronic bleeps
and bursts of guitar feedback are
awkwardly placed in nearly all of
the songs, making for an inoffen-

sive attempt at deconstructed pop
music. Even the electric guitar
freak-outs seem forced and care-
fully calculated.
The Silent Years is the sound of
a band that is pushing itself into
territory where it does not belong.
These guys should leave the elec-
tronic experimentation to bands
that are fully committed to it, like
Wilco or Deerhoof, and start play-
ing their songs honestly without an
"indie" disguise.
As little as two years ago, the
image of this band would have
been markedly different: The
album cover would have been a
dark and spacey Anton Corbjin
knockoff with the four musicians
staring introspectively at the sky,
their website would have men-
tioned Radiohead and Jeff Buckley
as major influences, and the songs
would have been produced with
heavy layers of vocal reverb and
guitar delay. But alas, we are living
in the days of "indie rock" so we
must settle for an image of charm-
ing naivete and obligatory musical
experimentalism.

:i

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