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September 13, 2007 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-13

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The Daily Arts
guide to the
best upcoming
events - it's
everywhere you
should be this
week and why.

He's been described
as "part alchemist and
part social-anthro-
pologist," and now 2004
Turner Prize winner
Jeremy Deller will speak,
at the Michigan The-
ater tonight. The event
is sponsored by the
School of Art & Design.
A producer;director and
curator, Deller focuses
on fringe culture. Admis-
sion is free and the event
starts at 5 p.m.

Once, twice, five times a lady

Put on your dancing
shoes, kids. Dance-think
band My Dear Disco
- comprised of School
of Music students and
alumni - will bring its
singular sound to The
Blind Pig tomorrow night.
Suitably funky Detroiters
The Exchange Bureau are
set to open. Tickets are
$7, $10 for under 21, and
doors open at 9:30 p.m.
It's that time of year
again: The UMS Fall
Half-Price Student Ticket
Sale is in full swing. Hit
the UMS website early in
the weekend for the best
shot at your must-have
shows. This is a deal
you'll regret missing.

Associate Arts Editor
A Daily Arts column on Britney Spears seems to
have become an annual occurrence, or at least a resi-
dent pop culturalist's yearly opportunity to chuckle
over the former pop sensation's most recent market-
ing scheme and espouse radical views on abortion.
Embarrassing, trashy or embarrassingly trashy
behavior from Spears has become as depend-
able as salmon swimming upstream. Usually, one
exceedingly painful incident happens once a year
that warrants extended mention: a wedding to and
subsequent knocking up by Kevin Federline (2004-
2005), a messy divorce (2006), a series of Paris Hil-
ton party nights that resulted in some unfortunate
photos (2006). Usually, the best Spears moments
happen in the fall, aid this year is no different.
By now, thanks to the magic of the Internet, even
those who have sworn off MTV have seen the pop
singer's performance of her new single "Gimme
More" at the channel's 2007 Video Music Awards
show, broadcast earlier this week. Allowing Spears to
perform, visibly timid if not wholly unprepared, was
like dangling a kitten over a pit of culture-hungry
hyenas. Kelefa Sanneh, the Gawker heads and other
relevant commentators have already had their fill.
But I still feel a need, or an obligation, to add
in on the Spears forum. I want to defend her as
much as any college student who grew up with her
music and dressed like her, circa "Baby One More
Time" and at least on one occasion, for Halloween
- or perhaps even more so, because I became a fan
only with the album In the Zone, and then mostly
because Spears made the smart decision to capital-
ize on another Madonna reinvention and the popu-
larity of bhangra-mixed Western pop. I became
invested in her as an artist.
I say this every year, and will continue to say it
until proven unreasonable, but how did the saucy
teenager who stunned viewers worldwide with
her "Satisfaction"-to-"Oops I Did It Again" perfor-
mance at the 2000 VMAs (replete with pyrotech-
nics, muscled dancers and a nude-colored body
suit) turn into the Britney Spears of Sunday night?

In exchange for inevitable embarrassment from
this year's show, at least MTV could have paid for
better hair extensions and a few more hours with
the choreographer.
I've already talked about Britney Spears asa pub-
lic persona. The best way to chart the devolution of
Britney Spears the performer is through a review of
her VMA history. All videos are available on You-
Tube and/or MTV Overdrive.
A performer's
devolution in five steps:
Britney Spears at
the VMAs.
"Baby One More Time," 1999
Bursting through two sets of school lockers and
pleather-panted dancers, Spears first unleashed
her formidable dance moves (and midriff) on MTV
watchers at the 1999 VMAs. It sounds like she's
actually singing here, and she clicks into her back-
up dancers with well-oiled precision befitting of
a 17-year-old who's practiced long and hard to get
to this point. And is that an attempt at a reggaeton
remix I hear?
"Satisfaction"/"Oops I Did It Again," 2000
At 18, Britney segues from a breathy cover of the
Stones' "Satisfaction" and into the lead-off single to
her sophomore album - and from men's clothes and
fedora into the now-iconic nude bodysuit. The per-
formance turns into another highly aerobic dance
sequence; whether she's singing or lipsynching no
longer matters. "Oops, I did it again," Spears purrs
at the end, playing into her grown Lolita image as
fathers around the country bit their lips.
See BRITNEY, Page 4B "Oh, how I wish I was 19:

If it's been a while since
you've seen Guy Richie's
"Snatch" - probably
crowded onto a dingy
basement couch some-
time in high school -
consider heading to the
Michigan Theater Satur-
day night for a midnight
screening. Tickets are
$6.75 with student ID.



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