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January 18, 2007 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-01-18

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the b-side)

2B - Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 0

So, you want
to rock out?
ManagingArts Editor
Youandyourfriends aretiredofsittingaround
your room struggling with a couple of guitars
and a drumset of empty kegs - you want bigger,
better things. In the dorms, it's not enough to
serenade the same girls on your hall at the end
of drunken nights - you know they can't tell the
difference between the shrieking in the club and
your sultry vocals. It's time you started a band.
After a month or so of practicing once or twice
a week, you and your mates have finally ham-
mered out a decent 45-minute setlist. Your first
gig will probably be at a loyal friend's place, but
that won't happen every weekend. But the blood
is in the water and you're hungry for more.
1Look around you: There are so many gigs
offered through the University, it would be
ridiculous to list them all here. From Live at
Leo's to the U Club to Markley Honors parties,
there's more than enough opportunity for your
band.to plant the seeds of destiny.
Make a demo: In midst of your fierce Uni-
versity gig schedule, you'll want to make
a demo. After all, the steps of the Harlan
Hatcher Graduate Library didn't host Nirvana,
Iggy Pop and Buddy Guy (they all played at The
Blind Pig). Everyone needs a demo, of course.
But don't get hung up
"r m on finding the perfect
studio, or producing the
perfect demo for that
matter. A crude record-
ing of your four best -
and by best I also mean
tightest - songs is suf-
ficient for most bars and
low-level gigs.
A single mic in a room with decent acoustics
will do just fine.
To snag one of the satellite studios on North
Campus, you can befriend a performing arts
technology major or take a short class offered
by the Music School. You'll have to provide your

The Right Stuff (1983)
Directed by Philip Kaufman
Starring Sam Shepard, Ed Harris and Dennis Quaid


Drop those forties and get your ass in gear - you have a band to get started.

own mics, but it's worth the chance to use a
room worth more than your crumbling block on
South Campus.
Get your demo to venues: No shit, right?
Don't be afraid to follow up with owners
and managers after you drop off your pre-
cious piece of music history. People forget about
these things, and persistence generally pays off
Understand that if your band is under 21, then
your audience will also be under 21, and bars
want people to drink their cocktails. Again, per-
Keep on practicing: Nothing loses fans
and gigs like sloppy playing, no mat-
ter how good you think your songs are.
Depending on the speed and quality of your
band's song production, try to update your
setlist with newer originals and tactful covers
whenever possible.
p Your first album: One alternative to
a high-end
studio is
recording one of
your barn-burning
live shows. Prices
can range any-
where from $300 to
$1,000 and beyond, k
but nothing beats
capturing that raw
energy. The plus side

is potential venues can now hear how you sound
live, when it counts.
The dream doesn't
have to stay inside you.
Bring it to life.
Keep in mind: A 45-minute show is a
larger chunk of time than you think.
Hauling your gear to the gig, setting up,
breaking down and getting back home will turn
into a two-hour affair almost every time. Con-
stantgigging will only emphasize this life truth.
Significant others will just have to cope with
your newfound star status.
Starting a band in college can be one of the
most rewarding ventures you ever pursue. The
appreciative screams from friends and strang-
ers alike as you break half your strings on the
set's last chord will ring in your ears at night.
Bands such as Belikos, Nomo and yes, even
Tally Hall are prime examples of your peers
taking the initiative with balls. They can do it.
So can you.
The glory is yours for the taking.
- Be sure to look for regular profiles
of student musicians, artists and student
groups in upcoming issues
of The B-side.

Daily Arts Writer
It's the classically courageous
image: Several men in matching
astronaut gear walk toward the
camera, confident and inspiring,
about to voyage into the unknown
- outer space.
No, it's not "Space Cowboys," it's
not "Star Wars" and it's definitely
not "Armageddon." Although they
all tried to match this film's super-
human presence, little compares to
Philip Kaufman's ("Quills") 1983
sky saga "The Right Stuff." Based
on Tom Wolfe's seminal novel, the
docudrama is a recap of the United
States' role in the Space Race. Argu-
ably the last great American hero
story, "Stuff" is all about what brav-
ery once meant in this country. A
flop upon release, the film received
four Oscars, was nominated for
best picture and has since gained a
strong following.
The film opens in California at
an experimental air base, where
pilots bordering on the edge of san-
ity are also on the edge of breaking
the sound barrier. The narrator
forewarns the viewer: "There was a
demon that lived in the air ... They
called it the sound barrier."
Enter Chuck Yeager, never cocky,
anxious or attention-seeking like
some modern "heroes." Sam Shepa-
rd ("Black Hawk Down") brilliantly
channels the mysticism, fear and
respect that surrounded Yeager.
Pilots have a harrowing position
- once over 60 people died in one
month. But Yeager does what he
does best with no-nonsense convic-
tion, and as a result, he breaks the
sound barrier.
Ten years later, Sputnik's in the
air and the United States has to
So what does the government
do? They recruit some of the finest
knucklehead test pilots the sky's
ever seen. Sure they're educated
and marketable, but these guys
had something more. Those men
included John Glenn, Alan Shepard,
Gordon Cooper and Gus Grissom.
Legends now, their humanity is'
everywhere on screen. Pilot actors
Ed Harris ("Apollo 13"), Dennis
Quaid ("The Rookie") and Scott
Glenn ("Silence of the Lambs") were
unknown then, but their eagerness
to perform enables their characters
to exude energy and likeability.
The guys give themselves to their

#ir -e

cause with proud abandon. Sure,
they'd like to be celebrities, and
they're working for the sole pur-
pose of political sparring with Rus-
sia. But that feeling of shameless
incentives is mere afterthought. All
the astronauts are working togeth-
er for the sake of teamwork and
pride. The connotations of those
motivations have changed greatly
since, but in "The Right Stuff," it's
actually something that it should be
- admirable.
The rest of the story is textbook.
Yeager kept flying faster. Chimps
went up before humans. The Rus-
sians were the first to send a man
in space. Shepard went up next
and Glenn orbited the Earth. These
men's stories have lasted the test of
time, and "The Right Stuff" is their
enduring testament.
Boasting some of the greatest
montages ever assembled, "The
Right Stuff" has some of the first
and still most influential uses of
the technique. Held together by
a Kaufmann's exuberance for the
material and Bill Conti's all-Ameri-
can score (Entertainment Weekly
once begged that it replace the
national anthem), these are the
best and most entertaining music
videos you'll ever see. Throw in the
prestigious Caleb Deschanel pho-
tography, the ground-breaking and
still effective special effects and an
exemplar in adaptive screenwriting
from Kaufman, and you'll see how
this film gets it right.
"The Right Stuff" belongs on the
short list of great American cin-
ema with the likes of "Nashville"
and "Gone With the Wind." A deep
and immersive experience, this is a
truly heroic tale without a shred of
dishonesty. Like the cowboys and
knights before them, these astro-
nauts are probably the best and only
real-life depictions of their type
that can be found in the movies. It's
a smart, sensational, saddening and
even hilarious film.

This week in entertainment: politics, asteroids

Actress Kim Basinger was in
court on Monday after allegations of
negligence and breaching a custody
agreement with former husband
Alec Baldwin. Baldwin claims
Basinger withheld their 11-year-old
daughter and did not tell Baldwin
that the child went to the hospital.
At leastcthey're still talking.

Filmmaker James Cameron is
committing. The "T2" director has
announced that he will begin pro-
duction on his long-gestating proj-
ect "Avatar," a love story set against
interplanetary war. It's taken Cam-
eron 10 years to make a movie since
"Titanic" - a not-so-swift transi-
tion from icebergs to asteroids.

TELEVISION than-veiled di
George W. B

The White House invited the West Wing co
cast of TV's "The West Wing" to there to meet t
- meet their real-life complements. ° except me. I w,
- Who wasn't on the guest list? Mar- that." Unless'
tin Sheen, who played President "fucking enrag
- Josiah Bartlet during the show's have been tryii
seven-season run. Sheen - who's
expressed his affinity for former - Con
President Bill Clinton and his less-
A soul for
Ann Arbor
DailyArts Editor
Think you're a music nerd? Have you ever spent
five hours digging through boxes of 45s looking for
an exceptionally rare Northern-
Soul record? The Ann
Do you even know what Arbor Soul
Northern Soul is? Club
For the betterment of your
musical education, Northern Friday at
Soul is a style of music that 9:30 p.m.
was popular in dancehalls like At The Blind Pig
the Wigan Casino in northern
England in the 1960s. Kids couldn't get enough of
it. Imagine a capacity crowd crushed inside Necto
dancing all night to Ray and Dave's "Wrong Wrong
Wrong" and Etta James's "Seven Day Fool."
If you're ready to experience more glorious soul
enlightenment, The Ann Arbor Soul Club will show
you the light.
Michigan grad student and WCBN DJ Robert
Wells and DJ Brad Hales inaugurated what is.now a
monthly Soul Club dance party this past December
at The Blind Pig. The duo will return to the Pig again
this Friday with another night of barn-bruning soul
singles and dancing.
Soul clubs and obsessions with rare soul records
have existed in Europe since the 1960s, but the pop-
ularity of old soul records has never been as great
here in the United States. In the past decade, though,

sdain for President
ush - said "all my
lleagues were invited
heir counterparts. All
as very relieved about
"relieved" is code for
ged," Sheen was must
ng to play nice.
piled by Caitlin Cowan
and Blake Goble.

y s
orthc vc

From page 1B
for everyone between 4 and 6 p.m.).
You will never find a larger collection
of high schoolers in one place. Literally,
they're crawling everywhere at Quality.
Not only are they 90 percent of the audi- 4
ence, but they run the damn place. Seri-
ously, I've never seen anyone older than
17 wearing a uniform there. The other
day I saw akid in a shirt and tie. I thought
to myself, "he's awfully dressed up to go
see a movie." Then I saw his nametag,
and yes, he was a manager. I don't think
his voice had even dropped yet.
Quality is east a little bit down Huron,
but if you don't pay attention you will
miss it, guaranteed. I've been there on
about 20 different occasions and I still
have to double back sometimes. Why?
You would think such a large theater
would be able to afford an attention-
grabbing sign. Instead what they have
out front is a Times New Roman, black-
and-white, 2.5-by-8 foot joke of a sign
that looks like it was made in shop class
by one of the high school employees. It
literally takes a crew of spotters while
driving to locate it, so you don't miss your
turn. This is always good for a laugh the
first time someone sees it.
So to sum up, here's your theater guide
in a nutshell: For classics, artsy and indy,
go State Street; for things you missed, go
Briarwood; for mainstream, go Quality.
And fuck Showcase.
-E-mail Tassi at tassi@umich.edu.

"Do you have soul?"
there has been a renewed interest in the genre.
Since then, clubs like the Au Soul Club have
cropped up in cities all over the nation.
What should you expect upon entering this new
and exciting world of sweet soul music? Records and
rare singles from the 1960s to the 1980s: everything
from Tamla-Motown and Northern Soul to cross-
over 45s and back.
Cover is $8; for those 21 and older, $5 will do the
Doors open at 9:30 p.m. for those brave enough
to step out of their musical box and dance to some
amazing, if obscure, music unlikely to be heard any-
where else.

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