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November 30, 2006 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-30

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I
NOT QUITE VIRGIN BIR
FILM NOTEBOOK PAGE 3B.

HOW TO ENJOY YOURSELF IN WINTER WEATHER PAGE 3B.
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2006

Non-lead
ladies need
love, too
J essica Alba may be your
favorite cover girl, but
she's not your favorite
actress. Not that I deride her
very fine abilities as a cover
girl (for there's skill enough
in that). But when it comes to
performing beyond swinging
that "Sin City" lasso, Brando
she ain't.
Magazine covers, however,
are without a
doubt the mod-
ern Hollywood
marquee, and
it seems that
most people's
personal selec-
tion of favorite
actresses reads KRISTIN
like a list of
those familiar MACDONALD
headlining first
names: Meryl, Julia, Nicole.
Reese. Halle.
While many such A-listers
have the acting chops to merit
their award-lined mantels, it's
no great effort to expand our
star-wattage tunnel-vision just
the slightest bit. In the holiday
spirit of sharing the love, how
about some appreciation for a
few big-screen actresses less
bound to the promotion lime-
light?
Consider this promotional
list of non-leading ladies worth
looking for. When I say Cath-
erine, I don't mean Zeta-Jones:
Catherine O'Hara - Yes,
she was Macaulay's panicked
mom in the "Home Alones" and
the voice of Sally in "The Night
Before Christmas," but with
each successive Christopher
Guest comedy O'Hara seems
to receive more and more of
her critical and popular due.
Her latest, "For Your Consider-
ation," even has some already
yelping Oscar (although such
award-season speculation at
this point in time is as prema-
ture as it is sadly abundant), but
O'Hara's been in the high-qual-
ity comedy business for years,
having earned her showbiz
start with Toronto's famed Sec-
ond City improv troupe back in
the '70s.
Naomie Harris - She sur-
vived a world-threatening virus
in "28 Days Later" and the
career-threatening plot absur-
dity of Pierce Brosnan's post-
Bond "After the Sunset," but
surely those were nothing after
the rigors of both Cambridge
and England's celebrated Bris-
tol Old Vic Theatre School.
Luckily Harris has the talent to
match her pedigree. The Brit's
agility with accents landed her
two of this summer's choicest
roles: romancing Jamie Foxx
in "Miami Vice" and frighten-
ing Johnny Depp with some
seriously unbrushed teeth as
"Pirates of the Caribbean's"
scene-stealing swamp witch.
Madeline Stowe - Stowe all
but disappeared from big-bud-
get Hollywood following a few
films in the early '90s, and has
been languishing on the small-
screen in recent years. It's an
inexplicable fate. She might
be best known for her under-
standing psychiatrist in "12
Monkeys," but Robert Altman's
L.A.-set "Short Cuts" better
cast her as a rueful wife to Tim
Robbins's incorrigible cheater,
and her palpable chemistry

with Daniel Day-Lewis helped
save Michael Mann's "Last of
the Mohicans" from the dan-
gerous territory of romantic
schmaltz,
Thelma Ritter - Thelma
may have played second-
fiddle to the likes of Grace
See MAcDONALD, page 2B

"Miss Fat Booty" - Mos Def
Sampling "One Step Ahead" - Aretha Franklin
In a song about love and powerful sex, the mighty Mos
conveys feelings most men would never even feel comfort-
able discussing. "Miss Fat Booty" appeals to both sides of
man's spectrum: The awe-striking vision of an "ass so fat
you can see it from the front" and the sensation of falling in
love. This is a perfect blend for the vocals of Aretha Frank-
lin's "One Step Ahead." Aretha's soothing melodies ofbeing
so close to love yet so far away feed into the hook for "Ms.
Fat Booty" with her cry of "I know I can't afford to stop
for one moment because it's too soon to forget you." The
original's sweet guitar strumming lends a smooth transi-
tion from Mos Def's heavy drum beats and give voice to the
love-struck brothers and the fly ladies they can't hold."
"Lose My Breath" - Destiny's Child
Sampling "Taps" - Michigan Marching Band drumline
Yeah, so maybe the ripe, sunshine brass of the Univer-
sity fight song gets you hot under certain circumstances,
but Michigan Marching Band beats have never sounded
as sexy as on "Lose My Breath." On Destiny's Child 2004
single, producer Rodney Jerkins coolly apes the drumline's
"Taps" cadence for the track's introduction. Smart, militant
snare drum cracks and snarls, and this rhythm spills into
Beyonce's moaned demands to "hit me hard" and the girls'
heavy panting. The drumline hasn't gotten much credit
- a number of reviews simply referred to "some Southern
marching band" - but Jerkins's borrowing of "Taps" won
"Lose My Breath" a spot on a Stylus magazine's "Top Ten
Drumbeats You are Powerless to Resist" list.
"Time: The Donuts of the Heart" - J Dilla
Sampling "All IDo Is Think of You" - The Jackson 5
The 31 miniatures that comprise the late J Dilla's mas-
terpiece, Donuts, are at once spiritually transcendent and
deeply emotional. "Donuts of the Heart" captures Jay Dee
in all of his funk-laden glory, sprinkling a muted backbeat
with The Jacksons' clipped harmonies, while a female
vocalist moans and groans, bathing the mix in a foggy sex-
ual haze. The song's outward appearance is overtly sexual,
but Dilla's work runs deeper than the average slow jam. He
uses a treated gui- tar riff as the song's
backbone and its simple descend-
ing melody
has an emo-
tional res-
onance
that
mas-
ter-
fully
plays
against
the music's bla-
tant allusions to
physical love. In a
minute and 38 sec-
unds Dilla calmly
creates an elo-
quent musical
moment that
captures all
of the joy and
spiritual

pleasure.found in great works of art.
STEVE REICH

"Fantasy" - Mariah Carey
Sampling "Genius of Love" - The Tom Tom Club
Oh, Mariah, you on fire. "Fantasy" is exquisite in all the
ways escapist pop music is meant to be. The beat samples
The Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love," grounding the track
in a simple bed of snare and computerized blips. Mariah's
voice soars as she masterfully tows the line between sug-
ary sex chanteuse and illusive schoolgirl. Forget what you
know about Crazy Mariah, "Fantasy" showcases the diva
at the peak of her powers.
"CanI Kick It?" - A Tribe Called Quest
Sampling "Walk on the Wild Side" - Lou Reed
The bouncy guitar slide that begins Lou Reed's "Walk
on the Wild Side" is used in the exact same way all through
A Tribe Called Quest's "Can I Kick It?" And until the rush-
thump of the latter's manufactured bass line jumps in, it's
hard to tell the two songs apart. Where Reed's original is
smooth and laid back as he drawls out "Hey b-a-b-e / Take
a walk on the wild s-i-d-e," A Tribe Called Quest takes his
inimitable guitar lick and infuses it with a kicking beat and
,a fun call-and-response verse that makes for a great sum-
mer jam. "Can I kick it? /Yes, you can!"
"Mo Money Mo Problems" - The Notorious B.IG.
Sampling "I'm Coming Out"- Diana Ross
Mark this asa turning point in hip hop's history. Produc-
er Stevie J, one of Puff Daddy's numerous proteges during
the '90s, takes Diana Ross's exultant "I'm Coming Out" and
creates one of the most rapturous beats to tout Bad Boy's
rep. Mase and Puff sound uncomfortable, but Biggie's lis-
some flow supplements the sample's effortless cool. The
sample suggests hip hop's commercial emergence more
than Big's. Once the single topped the charts, it was clear
- gangsta rap was no longer just for the projects.
"Devil's Haircut" - Beck
Sampling "Out Of Sight," "I Can Only Give You Every-
thing" - Them, "Soul Drums" - Pretty Purdie
The Dust Brothers wrapped Beck's songs in bizarre
blankets of junkyard drums and drunken piano refrains,
transforming 1996's Odelay into an unexpected commer-
cial success. "Devil's Haircut" combines two samples from
pioneering garage-rockers. Them, and creates a fractured
world all its own. Sharply strummed electric guitars are
overpowered by a breakneck drum beat, eventually giving
way to a squealing harmonica and Beck's heavily overdriv-
en vocals. The Dust Brothers completely obliterated their
samples, using the unrecognizable remnants to distort and
enhance Beck's idiosyncratic song structures.
"Smile" - Lily Allen
Sampling "Uptown Top Ranking" - Althea feDonna
Althea & Donna's only reggae hit, "Uptown Top Rank-
ing," bursts with female sexual empowerment as two
women flaunt their stuff on the street, giving all the boys
fits. Lily Allen raps the 2006 version, sampling the toasting
reggae guitar and drum repetition, but adds style with her
edgy rhymes. "When you first left me / I was wanting more
/ But you were fucking that girl next door / What'd you do
that for?" She then proceeds to mock the guy for crying and
wanting her back. So much flare from such a modest and
seemingly reserved British vocalist.
See SAMPLES, page 4B

It's impossible to talk about music sampling with-
out giving props to composer Steve Reich.
Even from his earliest taped-speech pieces (1965's
It's Gonna Rain and 1966's Come Out), Reich has been
in a world all his own. It was his notion that sampling
and looping the spoken words of the human voice
exposes the listener to the inherently rhythmic and
melodic nature of everyday speech patterns. Eventu-
ally, the words repeated ad nauseam become less sig-
nificant to the piece than the rhythmic sound of each
word - a radical conception.
Possibly the greatest example of Reich's ground-
breaking technique is his masterful Different Trains
(1988). In the piece, several different speech record-
ings are sampled and looped to generate the rhythmic
and melodic backbone for the stringsection.
While sampling the human voice is one of Reich's
signature techniques, another favorite is the sampling
and multiple layering of single instruments, as on
Electric Counterpoint (1987).
1976's Music for 18 Musicians presents the great-
est case for Reich's perfection. Scored for all acoustic
instruments and based on a cycle of11different chords,
it remains his most ambitious composition to date.
DEREKBARBER
EDGARD VARESE
Atthe 1958 World's Fair in Brussels, Edgard Varese
unleashed his uncompromising vision of "organized
sound" through 400 speakers at the Phillips Pavil-
ion. Comprised of detached human voices, found
sounds and hauntingsilences,"PoemElectronique" is
stark and otherworldly. Varese was meticulous in his
approach, diagramming endless "visual maps" and
manually splicing layers of tape to forma unified and
singular composition. "Poem Electronique" would go
on to influence many in the musical avant-garde com-
munity and stand as Varese's definitive statement.
MATT KIVEL
THE BOMB SQUAD
In the early '90s there was no other rap group like
Public Enemy. Chuck D and Flava Flav hogged the
spotlight, but it was their unsung production team,
the aptly titled "Bomb Squad," that was responsible
for the group's fearless innovation in sampling and
hip-hop orchestration.
The Bomb Squad were always capable of white-
hot aggression, but it's songs like FOABP's title track
that make them such a revolutionary musical force.
The piece samples from old-school funk corner-
stones like Sly Stone and The Bar-Rays, but disrupts
the breezy melodies with expertly spliced news-reel
rhetoric. The comfortable funk layers are dissolved at
the song's climax by a single note piano-loop, leaving
the listener naked to digest the Bomb Squad's fully
realized genius as an uncomfortably cocksure voice
repeats: "Black woman, black man black, black baby.
White woman, white man, white baby. White man,
black woman, black baby."
MATTKIVEL

iLIST
* Nov. 30 to Dec. 3
The Daily Arts
guide to the best
upcoming events
- everywhere
you should
be this week
and why.

World AIDS week, a series of
activities and events in Ann Arbor,
has been going on for the past week.
Planned Parenthood and HARC
present Day Without Art on World
AIDS day tomorrow; businesses
around town will cover up their art-
work with black cloth that displays
facts about AIDS. The Union hosts
"Community Dialogue on HIV Test-
ing" at 7 p.m., showcasing photos of
and writing by locals with HIV and
AIDS. The event is free.

On Saturday, for its latest mid-
night movie, The State Theater will
present the classic tale of murderous
Mallory and Mickey with "Natural
Born Killers." There's nothing quite
like slaughtering your relatives and
making your way across the Ameri-
can heartland with investigators
on your trail - or at least watching
Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis
do so on screen. Regular ticket prices
apply: If you present your student ID,
it's only $6.75.

Carlos Mencia brings his SO-city
The Punisher tour to The Michigan
Theater Saturday night. Best known
for his Comedy Central show, "Mind
of Mencia," the comedian is the 17th
out of 18 children. He dropped out
of California State University after
a successful gig at an open mic night
at L.A.'s The Laugh Factory, and has
been making people laugh all over
the country ever since. Catch him at
the Michigan for $40 at the 7 p.m. or
10 p.m. shows.

TheDetroitFashionIncubatorwill
finally open its doors at 4737 Grand
River Avenue tonight with a grand
opening celebration. With a mission
to promote and create demand for
designer fashion in Detroit, the Fash-
ion Incubator's opening coincides
with the close of the Pure Detroit
Design Lab. The Design Lab solely
sold fare from local designers. After
the Incubator's opening tomorrow, it
will be open Tuesdays through Sat-
urdays from noon until 6 p.m.

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