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November 02, 2007 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-02

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, November 2, 2007 - 5

A fushion of
different cultures

IASA, one of the
University's largest
student groups, will
perform tonight at Hill
Daily Arts Writer
The root of the Sanskrit word miz-
rana means "mixture." For the Uni-
versity's Indian American Student
Association, which chose the word
for the title of this year's cultural
show, mizrana means to combine vari-
ous elements of art, dance and music
together from across the world.

The unification of these elements is
the theme of the IASA Annual Cultur-
al Show, which will be held tonight at
Hill Auditorium. With approximately
300 participants; the show has earned
its status as one of the largest student-
run productions in the nation - and
that's only half of the organization's
members. With an aim to actively
spread awareness of Indian culture,
the 600 members are involved in
social, political and cultural events
throughout the year.
Since the organization's founding
in 1983, its participants have voiced
an appreciation for Indian culture and
a concern for how it will continue to
flourish among political and environ-
mental changes like the expansion of
the Indian diaspora.
With community building and
service events like Gandhi Day and
Dance Marathon, the organization
has forged relationships with other
student groups on campus.
"We create a community that
doesn't exclude ourselves from other
communities," said Anup Shah, an
LSA senior and the president of IASA.
"We allow our community to be open
because we want people to leave this
school with a sense of what other cul-
tures are like around the world."
One of the ways this is accom-
plished is through the annual cultural
show, which celebrates the heritage of
an ancient civilization and the ways
it has spread across the globe. In an
attempt to inform and entertain, these
shows preserve traditions and recre-
ate them through modern-day song
and dance.
With an unfortunate language
barrier between today's genera-
tion of Indian Americans and
older generations, dance
can narrow this gap. An
effective form of cre-
ative expression, it's

one way for a culture to evolve.
Tonight's performance will illus-
trate how Indian and other cultures
are inspired by one another. Both the
intro and final dances demonstrate
the concept of coming full circle. The
first dance will begin in an Indian
style, then move into a blend of west-
ern beats, while the final dance will be
a reversal of this pattern.
"Every step signifies a new kind of
style - we go from pure Indian classi-
cal dancing to jazz in the same beat,"
said LSA sophomore Nishi Singhal,
who was a choreographer on the show.
The interplay between cultures
is clear in "Noche de Natyam," the
Latin-inspired classical dance, and
"Ek Kabila ki Kahani," a tribute to the
African heritage of the Gujarat state's
Sidi tribe.
"The main purpose of doing this
was to show how seemingly different
cultures can coexist harmoniously,"
said LSA junior Vina Sinnan, who was
also a choreographer on the show.
This will also be the case for the
Bhangra dance "Bhungry," which
paints from a palette of both Indian
and Western influences. Native to
the Indian state of Punjab, the core
meaning of Bhangra tradition lies in
a festive celebration of patriotism and
harvest. As it has moved into main-
stream culture, it's been imported
into such musical genres as rap and
The show is also comprised of the
Raas dance, which uses dandia sticks
that are spun and hit together to the
rhythm of fast-paced music. This year
it integrates a Middle Eastern style.
Also interspersed throughout the per-
formance will be videos and a fashion
show, as well as Bollywood, gypsy,
South Indian and village dances.
Such a fusion can only yield a miz-
rana - a mixture that can hold infinite

The Indian-American Student Association will light up Hill tonight at 7 p.m.

Monahan goes it
alone, shouldn't

Kobe will dominant because a. he's Kobe and b. this game has piss-poor defense.

N1BA Live 08: Where's the defense?

Daily TV/New Media Editor
There are two important ele-
ments in basketball: offense and
defense. If your knowledge of the
game were
solely based
on a few hours NBA Live 08
of playing Xbox 360
"NBA Live 08," EA Sports
you probably
would not have
grasped this complicated theory.
The creators of "08" seemed to
forget that developing a competent
defensive engine was necessary
for compiling a complete basket-
ball experience and, not surpris-
ingly, the game suffers from it.
It's borderline impossible to stop
any legitimate interior threat and
perimeter defense is almost as
Although the franchise has
slowly improved since its Xbox
360 debut two years ago, EA
Sports' basketball franchise still
falters due to frustrating defensive
mechanics that permit the likes of
Chucky Atkins to drop 40 points
on a regular basis and its forced
offensive elements fail to capture
the real ebb and flow of the NBA.
Offensively, the game has sub-
tly improved upon its predeces-

sor, but still isn't where it needs
to be. Ball handling with the right
analog stick relies too much on
canned animations that limit gam-
ers' control and really isn't all that
different from what 2K Games was
doing on PS2 about five years ago.
And with the exception of low-
post play, which is actually quite
functional, executing a half-court
offense is awkward and inorganic
as players rarely rotate unless
you're constantly calling plays for
Game-play missteps aside, the
rest of "08" 's feature set is fairly
thorough. A deep dynasty mode,
dunk contests, online leagues and
a new FIBA international tourna-
ment make up a solid foundation
for agood sports game.
Now all they need to do is figure
out the basketball part and they'll
be set.
Cue the John Tesh theme music:
Finally, EA Sports realized what
the NBA did about 20 years ago:
The league's success is dependent
on its marquee stars. To empha-
size the game's best players, "08"
incorporated a new Go-To Moves
system where certain players can
execute special shots that are rep-
resentative of their real-life game.
The Go-To Moves vary in their

effectiveness (KG's turnaround not really.
move is unstoppable), but for the
most part there isn't enough diver- Sorry, virtual Isaiah will not accept
sity among players -- about half of your terrible trade proposal: The
the top guards using the same side- "NBA Live" franchise still has a
step jumper. lot of in-game kinks to work out,
but the dynasty mode is fairly pol-
Time to bust out your Jan-Hendrik
Jagla jersey: To capitalize on the
potentially existent international
basketball fan-base in the US, "08" Time to blow
introduces playable FIBA World
Championships. It's not a full- it up and start
fledged international mode, but
just an eight-team, single elimi- all over?
nation tournament. Plus, you can
even sub in NBA teams, so let's just
rename this "Tournament" and ished. There's a focus on managing
shed the FIBA badging for "09." your coaching staff and off-day
team assignments, and the stan-
"Yeesh, Kobe for three": When dard roster-management-dynasty
"Madden" cut out the studio fare is included as well. Sadly, the
announcing crew two years ago, ability to send refs on Atlantic City
the developers did so because getaways hasn't been incorporated
announcing in sports games is yet.
usually boring and repetitive,
and everyone knows it. But the If "08" were an NBA fran-
announcing in "NBA Live 08" isn't chise, it would be ...: The Mil-
actually that bad. Marv Albert and waukee Bucks. It's not the worst
Steve Kerr are constantly talking NBA game ever, but you'd be hap-
about something, and it almost pierinvestingyour.time elsewhere.
sounds real. It's strange, though, It's reached the point where simply
that Kerr is announcing in the improving on the "Live" franchise
game, considering he's the new isn't good enough, and it might
general manager of the Phoenix be time to blow it all up and start
Suns. Conflict of interests? Um no, over.

Daily Arts Writer
When a frontman casts aside
bis band for a solo endeavor, the
resulting album usually falls into
one of two categories: It's either
a creative outlet to explore ideas
which might not be suitable for the
band, or its individual promotion,
trying to build transcendent star-
dom. Pat Monahan's Last of Seven
is an example of the latter, from
the timely adult-contemporary
pop to the price-
less portrait
of Monahan
that graces the Pat
Pat Monahan Monahan
is known tomost Lastof Seven
as the frontman
of Train, the Columbia
one-hit wonder
that made it big
in 2001 with "Drops of Jupiter."
His debut solo effort could eas-
ily inspire (and probably has) the
horrific headline "Without Train,
Monahan has gone off the track,"
and sadly, it would not only be
accurate, but also much more clev-
er than anything Monahan could
Seriously, the lyrics are that bad.
Look no further than lead single
"Her Eyes." Monahan rhapsodizes
his love with ridiculous non sequi-
turs like "She's old enoughto know
/ And young enough not to say no /
To any chance that she gets / For
home plate tickets to see the Mets"
and "She's a Gemini, Capricorn
/ Thinks all men are addicted to
porn." After these huge turn-ons,
he continues, "She loved Michael
Jackson / Up until he made Bad."
This girl must be some catch.
"Cowboys and Indians / Hete-
ros and Gays." If this phrase seems
like a jarring way to initiate a para-
graph, imagine it opening a song.
Accepting people of all creeds is a
good thing, as is Monahan's pro-
gressive political views, but the
track has some of the crassest lyr-
ics ever committed tape.
To be fair, Last of Seven is an
album made for consumption, not
an attempt at a consummate artis-

tic statement, so it deserves some
consideration beyond its lyrical
missteps. But the music is a mixed
bag at best. Monahan's excellent
voice carries the occasional strong
melody, but nothing truly sounds
natural. "Her Eyes" is marred by
a horribly misplaced synth, while
the gospel background vocals
grafted onto "Someday" and "Rip-
ple In The Water" end up showing
just how little soul this music has.
The simple inclusion of some
songs, such as the grungy kiss-off
"Ooh My My" or the country com-
mentary "Cowboys and Indians,"
is more puzzling. It's impossible to
understand why Monahan would
bloat his album to 14 tracks with
such stylistic outliers. It's only on
Train-esque melancholic piano
Stick with
Train, sir. That's
your ticket.
ballads "Thinkin Bout You" and
"Always Midnight" where Monah-
an sounds comfortable, and, not
surprisingly, these are the album's
best offerings.
Even if he's at his best sound-
ing like Train, it's unfair to expect
Monahan to eschew musical
growth in favor of a tried-and-true
formula. But Last of Seven sounds
more like a stab at Billboard glory
than an attempt at an individual
musical blossoming. It's not Pat
Monahan exploring Pat Monahan,
it's Pat Monahan exploring his
commercial prospects.

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