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November 13, 2006 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-13

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8A - Monday, November 13, 2006

The Michigan Daily - michigandailypcorr

'Born' into boredom

By MATT KIVEL
Daily Arts Writer
There once was a time when
Damon Gough was the most prom-
ising singer/
songwriter
in the United
Kingdom His Badly
majesticdebut, Drawn Boy
2000's The
Hour of Bewil- Born in the UK
derbeast, was a Astralwerks/EMD
major artistic
statement that had no contempo-
rary. Gough shuffled effortlessly
through an impressive arsenal of
styles: Chamber-folk ballads gave
way to abrasive guitar rockers while
disco-pop anthems sat comfortably
between lilting country and sloppy
New Orleans brass-band sing-
alongs. His wry lyrics were oblique
in meaning but heartfelt, warmly
inviting listeners into the record's
deeply personal world.
With such a fully realized first
album behind him, Gough has been
hard pressed to produce an ade-
quate follow-up. 2002's About a Boy
soundtrack was elegant and under-
stated and has proven to be his
best non-Bewilderbeast full length,
while Have You Fed The Fish? was
a fun if overly ambitious record
that emphasized Gough's wackier
lyrical tendencies and larger-than-
life Badly Drawn Boy persona. But
it was 2004's One Plus One Is One
that marked a major artistic decline
in his musical output. Its drab
arrangements and unimaginative
song structures were strikingly dis-
appointing, void of all the personal-
ity and idiosyncratic charms of his
earlier records.
Born in the U.K., a supposed con-
cept album about his homeland,
descends further into the banal
world of modern mainstream pop.
The songs are boring ruminations
on life, love and intimate relation-
ships that contain none of the lyri-
cal intrigue or musical ambition of
Gough's earlier work. His words
constantly mine cliched territory:
"Simple pleasures to be found / if
you reach the overground / sun-
shine, rainfall, making love /you see
a rainbow." It's difficult to believe
that this isthe same songwriter who
once wrote with such pastoral ele-
gance on Bewilderbeast's "Camping
Next to Water": "The stars above
shine on me / I beckon them to fall
on me / 0ll catch and save them in a
jar / my feet a mass of blisters / col-
lecting frost on whiskers / as I taste

0
6

Gough fails to
recapture any of
'Bewilderbeast.'
forward arrangements sounding
like they were recorded in expen-
sive studios with disinterested ses-
sion musicians. "Walk You Home
Tonight" provides a brief glimpse
of the giddy disco pop that Gough
used to cultivate, but the song's
joyful sentiment is crushed by half-
assed synth-strings and heavy-
handed drumming. The lyrics, as in
many of the tunes, deal with death
and loss, and when Gough says "I
feel old," we can't help but believe
him. This album will be the turning
point for devoted Badly Drawn Boy
fans, marking the time when the
dream of a second Bewilderbeast
officially died.
On a more personal note, I came
to The Michigan Daily my freshman
year with a sample five-star review
of Bewilderbeast tucked under my
arm. I was mocked and chided by
some of Ann Arbor's finest music
snobs for my undying supportof the
scruffy singer songwriter. I literally
cried at the Daily's meetingto select
the top 50 albums of the new mil-
lennium when my pleas for Bewil-
derbeast's selection fell upon deaf
ears. With this new record Iam left
to question the quality and integ-
rity of the man I once so ardently
defended, but I can't forget his glo-
rious debut. It has heart, something
Born in the U.K. is sorely lacking.

ALtXSDZIADOSZ/Daily
LEFT: Broken Social Scene leader Kevin Drew, caught mid-croon. Drew called out for alcohol reinfrcements
as the show waned. ABOVE: A view of the dancing crowd that was invited onstage, from behind the drum kit.
"It's our last show - we're all gonna get sued!" Drew yelled.

By KIMBERLY CHOU
Associate Arts Editor
If Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin
Drew's words were at all close to truth last Sat-
urday, the group's date at The Michigan Theater
was nothing more than a close to its current
tour: "As a band, we'd never do our last show in
a place where you can't drink," he said.
The theater was packed as close to the gills
as possible for a venue with designated seat-
ing, crowd members kept leaving their seats,
against the orders of the disgruntled security
staff, in search of a better view of what was
rumored to be the indie-rock goliath's final
outing as an 11 (sometimes 12 or more)-piece
collective. "Our last show will be at some kid's
bar mitzvah - and we'll all be on acid."
Whether Drew's jokey reassurances were a
veil or not, the band certainly seemed prepared

to make Ann Arbor its last gasp. The perfor-
mance was lined with a noticeably exhausted
passion, but "Hotel" still glowed with a lan-
guid, seething sexuality and BSS even pulled
out the rarely played "Canada vs. America."
At points any other band would have used as
an escape - after Drew and Brendan Canning
pulled kids onstage to dance, after the lineup
was stripped down and built back up - Broken
Social Scene continued to play.
"I can't go out after fucking up 'Pacific
Themet' "Drew howled at one point nearly two
and a half hours into the show. He checked for
time, noting the number of songs the group
could fit in before the theater's 12 a.m. curfew
- "one more song" became two, became three.
Co-founder and bassist Canning came out to
meet fans after the set, making small talk and
tiredly squeezing a few shoulders before tak-
ing off. Canning's girlfriend, lingering by the

stage after Do Make Say Think's opening set,
alluded that the band's upcoming hiatus would
The last anthems for
the indie-scene kids
- at least for a while.
be indefinite. It'd be difficult to ever again put
together a lineup like the one on You Forgot It
In People, she admitted.
Whether Saturday night's performance
symbolized the end of a tour or the end of Bro-
ken Social Scene in its current evolution, Ann
Arbor should consider the show something for
the books.

The war in Iraq in another package

By JEFFREY BLOOMER

"Uncovered: The War in Iraq," the

ManagingEditor response from
filmmakers ra
Ever since the war in Iraq began, has alterna- Ier
a parade of documentaries and fic- tively been S iers
tional films from directors both somber and Saying No
amateur and legendary has sought polemical, to War
to examine the greater effects of an attempt to Tonight at 8 p.m.
the war beyond the politicking and find answers At Angell Hall
combat typically singled out by the-.where perhaps Auditorium B
American media. From groundo there are none Free
zero testimonials like "Gunner to be had.
Palace" to searing indictments like Tonight at 8 p.m. in Angell Hall

Auditorium B, one of the most
acclaimed of this stock will offer
a divergent perspective on the
war as part of the program "Iraq:
Soldiers Saying No to War" pre-
sented by Michigan Peaceworks.
The documentary "The Ground
Truth," a hit at Sundance this year,
follows a group of soldiers from
the early stages of recruitment to
their return home from combat,
offering a bird's-eye view of the
war's cost on those who are fight-
ing it. Although its political edge is
never in question, the documentary
offers a view overlooked by many in
this season of political campaign-
ing and growing public disillusion-
ment with the war: the men and
women who have already been part
of it, and the broader picture veter-
ans face once they return home.
After the screenino Bob Wata-

da, whose son, an Army lieutenant,
is currently awaiting court martial
in Washington after refusing to
deploy to Iraq, will give a talk about
his son's case.
Following an election that has
Docurentary
takes- a hatdlook
at soldiers' lives.
sparked the most serious discus-
sions of change in Iraq since the
U.S.-led invasion, this timely event
will challenge attendees to imagine
what can be done now and espe-
cially what might come next for
soldiers affected by the war.

So. You want
one good reason
to earn a pharmac
degree from the
University of
Michigan?

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6. Life and career mobility
7. The power to apply medical knowledge at
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8. Financial support unequalled by any
F other U.S. pharmacy school
9. Membership in an influential alumni
network spanning the globe
10. The prestige of owning a degree from one
of US News & World Report's top-ranked
pharmacy schools
11. One-to-one learning with world-renowned
faculty
12. Respect
If you've had health-care patient experience,
and if you've taken Chemistry 130, 210, 215, or 260;
Biology 162, 305, 310, or 311; Physics 125, 126, 140,
or 240; or Calculus 115 or 116, you're already on
your way to a pharmacy degree at U-M. To learn
more about the PharmD Program at the University
of Michigan, visit the University of Michigan College
of Pharmacy Web site at www.umich.edu/-pharmacy.
Or contact Assistant Dean Valener Perry at
734-764-5550 or by e-mail at vlperry@umich.edu.
Your future never looked brighter.

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800-2Review PrincetonReview.com
Corner of S. University and S. Forest

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