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April 06, 2009 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-04-06

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, April 6, 2009 - 5A

Lopez tells 'The
Soloist'story
By HANS YADAV on his violin. The obvious ques-
DailyArts Writer tion is 'what is his story, where
did this guy get his training,
In 2005, thousands of read- and why does he only have two
ers followed a true story that strings?'"
was bizarre, wonderful and As it turns out, Ayers was once
heartbreaking all at once. The a prodigy at Julliard - yes, the
Los Angeles Times ran a con- Julliard School of music in New
tinuing column about a home- York City.
less street musician named "I realized it was goingto take
Nathaniel Anthony Ayers. His a while to get the story out of
story, a struggle for redemption him, so I kept going back to learn
and a testament to the power more about his past each time,"
of friendship, is being adapted Lopez said.
into a feature-length film called Once, Lopez witnessed Ayers
"The Soloist," due to hit theaters scratching a list of names onto
Apr. 24. the sidewalk. When Lopez asked
Steve Lopez discovered Ayers whose names they were, Ayers

"Carnies of the world unite!"

A careless carnival

while scouring the poverty-
stricken streets of L.A.'s Skid
Row for a story. The beautiful
music emanating from Ayers's
tattered violin captured Lopez's
attention. The more the col-
umnist got to know Ayers, the
stranger the information he
unearthed about Ayers's past
became. Lopez revealed his side
of the story in a recent phone
interview.
"What struck me at first was
simply that (Ayers) might be a
column for me," Lopez said. "I
heard some music and turned
and saw what I think any jour-
nalist would have seen, which
was this striking image of a guy
whose story needed to be told."
He continued, "It was a guy
playing classical music really
well despite missing two strings

How an L.A.
reporter found
musical talent
on the streets.
revealed they were his Julliard
classmates.
Lopez's conversations with
Ayers showed him to be a talent-
ed musician who has a deep love
for his craft. Lopez described
Ayers's energy as both noble and
inspirational.
"The irony is that you can see
this man living on the streets,
See LOPEZ INTERVIEW, Page 8A

Director Greg Mottola's follow-up to
'Superbad' fails to live up to its predecessor
By Andrew Lapin I Daily Film Editor

There are many details about
the world of college-student,
stay-at-home
summer jobs
that "Adven-
tureland" gets Adventureland
scarily right.
Employeesrou- At the State,
tinely smuggle Showcase and
drugs and Qualityl6
alcohol to work Miramax
right under the
noses of oblivi-
ous bosses who take their jobs way
too seriously. Parents walk in on
after-hours make-out sessions,

then try to make conversation. All
the workplace types are there: the
inexplicably hot girl, the musician
dude in his late 20s whom every-
one else thinks is the coolest guy
ever and the weirdo Jewish athe-
ist.
"Adventureland" captures
its intended atmosphere. It also
makes the most out of its 1987 time
period with a cheese-tastic sound-
track that includes music from
Whitesnake and a Foreigner trib-
ute band.
The problem is that writer-
director Greg Mottola couldn't

decide whether he should exag-
gerate the familiarity for comic
effect (like he did previously in
"Superbad") or use the characters
as stand-ins for the whole of dis-
affected youth (like John Hughes
did so brilliantly in "The Breakfast
Club"). Ultimately, he plays it safe
and tries grabbing from both ends
of the spectrum. But any carnie
worth his salt knows that playing
it safe never won anyone a giant-
ass stuffed panda.
Protagonist James Brennan
(Jesse Eisenberg, "The Squid and
the Whale"), a liberal arts grad
who has never worked a day in
his life, finds himself resorting to
the game booths at the local run-
down amusement park in order to
pay for graduate school. Despite

being recently dumped, he man-
ages to strike up a romance with a
cute co-worker (Kristen Stewart,
"Twilight"), even as she screws the
park's slick-haired, bass-playing
married mechanic (Ryan Reyn-
olds, "Van Wilder"). Without any
goofy subplot about the goings-on
of the park, the careless summer
flirtations between these people
become the driving force of the
film, for better or worse.
There are some colorful back-
ground characters just begging
to break out of the shadows and
steal the showyvrotnotaby Bill
Hader and Kristen Wiig of "Sat-
urday Night Live" fame; who play
a husband-and-wife management
duo. They have some funny bits, but
See ADVENTURELAND, Page 8A

Montreal's newest hipster hitmakers

By SARAH CHAVEY
Daily Arts Writer
There's something in the water in Montre-
al; A substance has leaked into its icy waters,
turning lucky victims into
hipster musicians. Sheer
odds say that, sooner or later,
this phenomenon is bound to W
backfire, turning out lacklus-
ter copycats fallen ill from an Gloves
overdose of"scene." about agirl
But fortunately for front- a
man Charles F. and the rest of Paper Sag
the lads who make up Mon-
treal's latest export band, Winter Gloves has
escaped so harrowing a fate. Forget gloves; the

band's first studio album, about a girl, sports an
energetic brand of party pop that's warm and
fuzzy enough to keep listeners nice and toasty.
Learning from their fellow Canadians, Win-
ter Gloves pulls some inspiration from a few
more established hipster bands. There is a sub-
tle sexuality to the combination of drummer
Patrick Sayers's pulsing "umtz-ah" drum beats
and Charles F.'s raspy falsetto, yet the sound is
still rough around the edges and rave-able.
Winter Gloves carves out a unique sound
comprised of dominating keyboard and
rumbling bass. A low bass guitar grumbles
throughout the album, sounding almost like
white noise that actually adds depth to the
dance beats supplied by the keys and drums.
Charles's lilting tenor is just edgy enough to

cut through the bouncing backup, punctuat-
ing the music with plenty of perky "oh uh ohs,"
"oooos" and "hey heys."
Between his frequent "come-ons" and hand-
A generous helping of
warm party pop from
our northern neighbors.
claps are. surprisingly thoughtful lyrics, espe-
cially for a native French speaker writing in
See WINTER GLOVES, Page 8A

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