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February 13, 2008 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-02-13

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - SA


Addressing the
Grammy voters

I can see ouRcareers floating away.'


Romantic comedy
drowns in typical
story twists and
poor characters
Daily Arts Writer
There's no doubt about it:
Matthew McConaughey and
Kate Hudson certainly look
like a golden
couple. But * 2
Meg Ryan and
Tom Hanks Fools Gold
they ain't. In At Showcase
"Fool's Gold," and Qualityl6
the second W
movie pair- WanerBros.
ing McCo-
naughey and Hudson,
matching blonde highlights
and buff bods can't save the
two actors from the - pun
intended - sinking ship.
While romantic comedies have
never been a breeding ground
for creative story lines, "Fool's

Gold" is a true test of just how
little plot, or even comedy, is
needed to sell a movie these
The premise of the film is
nothing new. Boy meets girl;'
boy loses girl; boy wins girl
back. The boy in question is
Ben 'Finn' Finnegan (McCo-
naughey, "We Are Marshall"),
a treasure-hunting bum with a
deep hatred of wearing shirts.
After a few impossible turns
of events, Finnegan finds
himself on billionaire Nigel
Honeycutt's yacht (Donald
Sutherland, TV's "Dirty Sexy
Money"). Of course, Nigel is
alsothe employer ofTess(Hud-
son, "You, Me and Dupree"),
Finn's recently anointed ex-
wife. The story behind how
and why these characters go
searching for gold isn't really
that important. The rest of
the film is mainly devoted to
pratfalls and incompetent bad
guys. It should be no surprise
that, in the end, Finn and Tess
rediscover their love that used
to be. Never mind the con-

stant reminders that the mar-
riage was only based on sex;
treasure hunting apparently
brings out a romantic side.
Putting aside the hideously
distracting color of the entire
cast (Donald Sutherland, you
are orange. But you are bet-
ter than that), the fact that the
plot asks us to believe McCo-
naughey's Finn character is
intelligent enough to research
and remember historical infor-
mation should tell you some-
thing about the film. The man
gets physically abused so often
(walking cane to the head, run
over by a speed boat and blown
out of the water), it's a won-
der he can even find his swim
trunks in the morning. Unfor-
tunately, none of the other
characters can lend much more
creditability to the operation.
It'slike the writers reached into
a hat full of stereotypes, picked
out a few and ran with them.
Honeycutt's Paris Hilton-like
daughter Gemma (played by
newcomer Alexis Dziena with
all the skill of, Paris Hilton)

parades around in tiny bathing
suits and enough makeup for
ten baby prostitutes while Tess
rolls her eyes and nags Finn
about money and danger and
whatnot. Let's not even get into
the offensive use of the yacht's
two chefs, whose only comedic
functions seem to derive from
the apparently hysterical fact
that they are gay.
In the end, the film's big-
gest selling point - Hudson
and McConaughey together
again - is actually one of its
major weaknesses. Any chem-
istry the two had in "How to
Lose a Guy in 10 Days" must
have dried up during a trip to
the tanning bed; there's none
to be found. Both of these
actors (even McConaughey)
are capable of better, but pay-
ing for a ticket to "Fool's Gold"
might encourage a third pair-
ing between the "romantic
couple." Based on the down-
ward sliding scale of the qual-
ity of these two together, it's a
scenario that we should all do
our part to avoid.

Welsh rockers
return to Detroit

Daily Arts Writer
Though it's often known as
"the land of song," Wales doesn't
occupy a very prominent spot
on the musical radar for anyone
who's unaware that TomJones is
its greatest musical export. And
that's most of us. Butif there's
one thing you
should know
about the Super Furry
United King- Animals
dom's forgot-
ten country, At the Magic
it's that Wales Stick
produces Sunday at 8 p.m.
bands that flat- $15
out rock. Well,
at least one
band - a fact that Super Furry
Animals will stand testament
to with their sublime array of
high-energy, everything-pop on
Sunday night at Detroit's Magic
Boasting a catalog of eight
universally acclaimed albums,
the Super Furries have brought
a kaleidoscopic repertoire
made of psychedelia, techno,
baroque, punk and whatever
else kind of pop that can be
produced by guitars, drums
and keyboards with them to
North America. Their most
recent effort, Hey Venus! falls
right into the same time-tested
yet dynamic mold. The intense,
thumping dance rhythms
and perfect slices of retro-
pop built on "Be My Baby"
drum beats and soaring Brian
Wilson choruses were born
ready for the road and jump-
start the Super Furries. Not

that they ever slowed down.
Across the pond, Super Furry
Animals have been consid-
ered a must-see live act since
their 1996 debut, Fuzzy Logic,
brought them wide-scale expo-
sure and cemented them as top-
40 mainstays. In 2000, readers
of NME - a British music
magazine - acknowledged the
band's on-stage prowess by
voting them Best Live Band in
the magazine's annual awards.
That same year, they were
commissioned by Paul McCart-
ney to assist in the creation of
his Liverpool Sound Collage, an
album that would garner them
a Grammy nod for best alterna-
tive album. They've also been

An indie band's failing attempt at breaking into Abercrombie t-shirt graphics.

A n open letter to Grammy
This needs to stop. At
this point, I'm willing to agree
with the
gripe, the
cries of bias-
es, the anger. f
There will k
come a time
when you
will need to
explain your-CHRIS
self. Now GAERIG
is not that
time. There
will come a time when you have
to acknowledge what is truly the
best music being released. Now
is not that time. There will come
a time when you will collectively
come to your senses. Unfortu-
nately, now is not that time.
Let me explain (candidly):
Your nominations, opinions,
taste and eventual winners are
abhorrent. I am not speaking
solely to your oversight of Kanye
West for Best Album of 2008
- that discussion will come later.
I'm talking about the Chemical
Brothers, Amy Winehouse, Rob-
ert Plant and Alison Krauss and
Bruce Springsteen. This is about
the disgusting predictability
your awards have fallen into, the
recent irrelevance of the Gram-
mys and the embarrassing differ-
ences you show compared to the
legitimate critical community.
If you'll allow me to continue,
I will address these issues more
I suppose I'll begin with your
general nominee selection,
namely the Foo Fighters. Seri-
ously? Best Album of the Year?
Really? Now, I'll do my best not
to vomit expletives all over the
page but... goddamn, the Foo
Fighters? How Echoes, Silence,
Patience and Grace received a bid
as the best album of the year will
forever baffle and confuse. Not
to say that you have to strictly
follow the selections of under-
ground webzines and bloggers,
but please have some perspective.
The Foo Fighters haven't been
relevant since 1999 when they
released ThereIs Nothing Left
to Lose. Even Dave Grohl would
probably admit that. But for some
reason the collective Academy
felt the embarrassingly generic
Foo Fighters released a better
album than LCD Soundsystem,
M.I.A., Liars, Radiohead (this
album, regardless of its mediocre
quality, should've gotten a bid)
and Battles.
Speaking of Battles, let's take
a look at the Electronic/Dance
Album of the Year: The Chemi-
cal Brothers' We Are the Night.
Admittedly, The Chemical
Brothers had some legit singles
back in the day, but their biggest
claim to fame as of late is the
use of their songs in beer com-
mercials. And now they have
an undeserved Grammy. You
decided to omit Battles' break-
out Mirrored, False's gorgeously
minimalist 2007 and The Field's
From Here We Go Sublime in
exchange for who? Tilsto? Fuck-
ing seriously. .
Even worse is the inclusion
of Amy Winehouse in just about
every category of the night.
Listen to me very closely: Amy
Winehouse is not the embodi-
ment of soul that you think she is.
The only reason she even remote-

ly resembles the Stax/Motown
sound you're all so anxious to
rekindle is because she's backed
by the phenomenal Dap-Kings.
There's another, significantly

more energetic, powerful and
soulful artist that fronts the Dap-
Kings: Sharon Jones. I noticed
she wasn't nominated for any-
thing. All night.
But since I'm unable to talk
about this further without
going into a full-blown rant, I'll
move on to the more egregious
example of your ineptitude:
the actual winners. Sure, I've
already discussed The Chemi-
cal Brothers, but there's more
- much more.
We'll begin with Winehouse.
I suppose I can accept that you
screwed up by nominating her.
You did the same with Feist in
the Best New Artist category.
Newsflash: Feist is not new, but
I digress. In any case, if you're
going to put Winehouse and
Feist in the same category, please
choose correctly. Feist is a better
The key to
winning a
Grammy is doing
too much coke
singer, more interesting and sim-
ply more innovative. Winehouse
embodies none of the above.
She's dull. But she does coke - is
that what it takes? Furthermore,
"Rehab" over "Umbrella": No.
Maroon 5 over Plain White T's:
No. Robert Plant and Alison
Krauss over Gwen Stefani and
Akon: Double no. Bruce Springs-
teen over The White Stripes: No.
More poor decisions than a col-
lege kegger.
This year though, the greatest
injustice dealt was Kanye West
being shafted for Best Album of
the Year. As a perennial Kanye
hater, I agree with your past deci-
sions: neither Late Registration
nor College Dropout deserved the
award. But Graduation simply is
the best album.of the year - of
the ones you nominated, anyway.
Maybe it's his past, self-aggran-
dizing antics that caused the lack
of respect. Or maybe it's because
the Academy is simply unwilling
to vote aship-hop album as the
best of the year - even though
they have in the past, countless
hip-hop discs have been passed
over in exchange for more main-
stream-friendly artists.
Through all the complaining
and whining though, one fact
ultimately remains: The Gram-
mys are utterly irrelevant. They
stand in stark contrast to the
Academy Awards, which are
often criticized for naming too
many obscure films for the high-
est awards. They aren't always
right, but they've found a way to
adapt to a growing independent
scene and can accept that big
budgets might not always equal
big winners. The Grammys's
decline into irrelevancy is a self-
inflicted wound. They have the
power to change it, but are too
stubborn or ignorant to acknowl-
edge the music they should. As
such, the Grammy voters seems
more like a group of love-struck
teenagers than a collection of
informed and invested musicians
and intellectuals.
To the Grammys: Step your
game up. Get your shit together.

Gaerig is so upset with
award shows he decided to give
them up for Lent. Send prayers
- to cgaerig@umich.edu


I with a Mercury Music the floor, concert goers can
nominationandhaveeven have their song requests heard
ained commercial appeal - and listened to - by voting on
they've recorded in their the band's website. Each date
language, Welsh, heard has its own poll with over 30
songs to choose from, and the
band monitors the results and
constructs its set lists accord-
Welsh rock: ingly.
Sunday's show will be opened
Good, even by Times New Viking and the
Jeffrey Lewis Band. The former,
:hout a smoke from Columbus, Ohio, serves
up catchy indie-pop melodies
machine drenched in ear-splitting Io-fi
guitars. Lewis, a New York City
comic book artist, comes with a
garage-y folk band whose songs
00's Mwng. That album bring more than a passing hint
ged a #11 showing on the of early Velvet Underground
harts. classics like "Run Run Run"
this tour, the Super Fur- and "The Black Angel's Death
ave added a new twist to Song."
ver-potent concert offer- But, since they're sharing a
lowing fans to partici- bill with Super Furry Animals,
n song selection. Instead the chances of either opener
eaming obnoxiously from stealing the show is decidedly

The Furries Animals have been super
furry for quite a while:
1996 - Fuzzy Logic
1997 - Radiator
1999 -Guerrilla
2000 - Mwng '
2001-Rings Around the World
2003 - Phantom Power
2005- Love Kraft
2007 - Hey Venus!
slim. Even if the Super Furries
don't shoehorn their strobe
light, fog machine setup into
the Magic Stick's petite stage,
their musical assault will be
sufficiently captivating. So
much so that it won't matter
if you can't decipher the lyrics
through their ridiculous Welsh

on 20
U.K. c
ries h.
their e
ing, a
pate it
of scr

£ 1. A


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