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January 15, 2009 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 3B

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, January15, 2009 - 3B

e power of imagination
Boundary-shattering R&B
artist Janelle Monae seeks

She dissed a girl
and she liked it

to spark a new revolution
with students on MLK day
DailyArts Writer
When Janelle Monae blazes onto the stage
at the Michigan Theater for the 2009 MLK
Symposium Student Concert
on Friday, the audience won't Janelle
know what hit them. "Expect Mod
to see lots of elephants mak-
ing out, baby zebras snoring At the
and spirits in the crowd," the Michigan
23-year-old Grammy nominee Theater
explained in a recent phone 8 p.m. Friday
interview with the Daily.
"They also will see fire. Lots $15
of fire."
Fiery passion and relentless enthusiasm
drive Monae to create music that thrives on
creativity and produce a genre-defying sound
with a highly conceptualized subject matter.
Her music translates flawlessly onto the stage,.
where it acts as a vehicle for Monae's impulsive
and untamed dance moves. Whether it's being
channeled through headphones or boogied to on
stage, one thing is undeniable: Janelle Monie's
music makes a lasting impression.
Her performance will mark the only concert
of the MLK Symposium, a four-day observance
of the Monday holiday that includes lectures,
speeches and films.
Monie's progressive mindset parallels the
philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., making
her an ideal fit for the gig. Just as Dr. King used
his words to change the future of race relations,
Monae plans to do the same with her music.
"I believe that it's important that art help
redefine stereotypes and help redefine what
it means for people like myself, who look like
me, to create art ... it's important to erase those
boundaries and those lines and those divisive
ways that are set up to conquer and divide,"
Monae said.
Social justice might be an underlying theme
in Janelle Monie's music, but her imagina-
tion is what truly sets her apart. "Imagination
Inspires Nations" is a pseudo-campaign slogan
in Monie's movement to change lives through
"I strongly believe in my imagination and I

Monse is nominated for the "Best Urban/Alternative Performance" 2009 Grammy award.

believe itis verypowerful. Ibelieve in art, which
is a cousin and a mother to your imagination.
With that being said, I just believe that once
you think of something and you truly believe in
it, you can have the power to absolutely inspire
this entire nation to believe in their imagination
and get people all across the world to believe in
wonder and magic," Monae explained.
Promotion of the ideas of wonder and magic
is happening on a daily basis at the Atlanta-
based Wondaland Arts Society. Essentially,
W.A.S. is a record label and a group of forward-
thinking individuals who share Monae's vision

for the future.
"I don't let a lot of people in, but they come
with great energy, good tidings and food for
thought," she said.
In August, W.A.S. released Monie's Metrop-
olis: The Chase Suite, which received a positive
reception from critics and fans alike.
The disc was not intended tobe a traditional
album, but the first installment of a suite, with
a full cast of characters and a continuous sto-
"I think it's very important to release a lot of
See MONAE, Page 4B

ometimes I pity the non-
gossip media. While most
"respectable" entertainment
earn their
weekly pay
reporting on
such trivial
matters as
"who won
the Golden
Globes," I l AJRK
have the priv- SCHULTZ
ilege - nay,
the honor - of dealing with bur-
geoning celebrity feuds, romanc-
es, bromances and, of course, the
appearance of Heath Ledger's
ghost to collect his awards statues.
Too soon?
But that's not to-say the awards
ceremony - itself a microcosm
of Hollywood's vanity, pettiness
and downright bitchiness - didn't
provide its share of buzz, courtesy
of some of our favorite stars and
starlets. To the eyes of red-carpet
paparazzi, focused only on panty
flashes and weight gains, Brange-
lina's awkward snub of Ryan
Seacrest might have seemed cruel.
But perhaps the pair was too dis-
tracted by Miley Cyrus's own pair
to give a decent interview. After
all, those things - which, assisted
by a push-up bra, stuck out like
beach balls floating in a bathtub -
were the real Golden Globes. On
the awards stage, Zac Efron con-
tinues to be living proof that, in
Hollywood, looks can compensate,
for poor acting, a poor personal-
ity and even poor reading skills.
Efron stumbled over his cue cards
like a freshman stumbling home
from Skeeps. Yet he still earns the
admiration and flirtation of ilber-
gorgeous "Transformers" star
Megan Fox, who once drunkenly
declared her love for Zac: "I'm
obsessed with him.... It's like Janet
and Michael Jackson, we are the
same person." That last phrase is
open to interpretation, but if they
ever make a film of Nabokov's
incest tale "Ada, or Ardor," Fox is
definitely first in line to play Ada
Speaking of pretty boys, the
surprise of the night was a big Best
Actor in a Musical or Comedy win
for - pause for a moment - Colin
Farrell. I figuredFarrellwaseither
holed-up in a Dublin hostel liv-
ing on whiskey, peanuts and three
redheaded lasses, or on top of Mt.
Kilimanjaro, on acid, staring into
the sun. But not only did he actu-
ally attend the ceremony, he didn't
even appear (that) drunk.
We've talked about quite a few
beautiful people, so let's switch
gears for a moment and discuss
Amy Winehouse. It's all over for
Winehouse and her equally-besot-
er-Civil filed for divorce three days
ago on the grounds of"Amy's adul-
tery." Not surprising, considering
photos of Amy canoodling and
gallivanting (or any other baroque
words for "hooking up" that come
to mind) around St. Lucia with
tall, dark and handsome Joshua
Bowman are all over the interweb.

Winehouse justified her infidelity,
saying, probably through the end
of a crack pipe, that "Blake was
rubbish in bed," and that "Every
single time I slept with him it was
like I was dead." Sheesh. I'm not
sure who I pity more: The next
young actor who has to stick it in
(the needle, that is) Winehouse,
or the next tenderfoot model who
sleeps with Madonna to further
his own career.
While we're on the topic of self-
centered singers with self-esteem
issues, let me introduce my new
favorite celebrity feud: Katy Perry
and Lily Allen. I'll admit this tiff
earns some Daily Double points
because both singers happen to
be lovely brunettes, even if only
one of them is actually talented.
(Hint: She's never written a song
about lesbianism that caused real
lesbians to start anonymous hate
blogs.) But what really sticks out
about this cyber-quarrel is that
it's mostly carried out through
interviews, Facebook and their
websites (I'm not even sure if the
two have met in person). It bears
a striking resemblance to the cat-
fights between those two popular
girls in your ninth grade class. You
know, the ones everyone assumed
A night of vanity
and bitchiness.
were best friends because they
were both blonde cheerleaders
and in the same clique, when, in
reality, they hated each other.
First, little Katy calls little
Lily fat. Then little Lily cries to
her mum (she's British): "Katy's
being mean!" Lily's mum (who
may have worked for the British
Secret Service) replies "Revenge
is a dish best served cold." Taking
that advice, a week or so later Lily
posts onher ownFacebook:"Ihave
Katy's (phone) number ... I'm just
waiting for her to open her mouth
one more time and then it hits
Facebook." Finally, in the biggest
girl-girl diss since Pink snubbed
Rihanna from her slumber party,
Lily joins several anti-Katy Perry
Facebook groups, including "I
Hate Katy Perry and her dumbass
song 'I Kissed A Girl."' Katy, after
seeing Lily's group membership,
scrawls a bawling Facebook note:
"Why doesn't anyone respect me?
Maybe if I sleep with some ran-
dom guy, he'll respect me." Then
she runs home, throws a pillow
over her head, and listens to her
song "Ur So Gay" on repeat.
I challenge you to reread the
preceding paragraph and pick out
which parts were real and which
I made up. I think you'll find it
nearly impossible. Such is the
nature of gossip.
Schultz just made an anti-Zac
Efron facebook group. Ask to
join at markthos@umich.edu

From Elton John to Elliott Smith, the
music that best fit Hollywood scenes

Daily Arts Writer
Music plays a vital role in most
films. When images and dialogue
aren't enough, music can give a
movie the added emotion it needs to
become a complete cinematic expe-°
rience. But when it comes to recog-
nizing achievements in music, the
Academy Awards categories of Best
Original Song and Best Original
Score hardly cover all the bases. So
in the spirit of the awards season,
I've created a new lifetime achieve-
ment category: "Best Use of a Popu-
lar Song in a Film Ever." Here are
the nominees:
"Needle in the Hay" - Elliott
Smith ("The Royal Tenen-
Wes Anderson has built a repu-
tation on his meticulous direction.
And poignant music, unsurpris-
ingly, has consistently played a
major role inthe success ofhis cult
classics. "Needle in the Hay" is a
striking selection as background
music for Richie Tenenbaum's
attempted suicide. Smith's frail
vocals and stripped-down acous-
tic guitar give the scene a raw and
intimate feel, enhanced by lyr-
ics about heroin addiction - an
appropriate metaphor for Richie's
addiction to his sister.
"Tiny Dancer" - Elton John
("Almost Famous")
In "Almost Famous," fictional
band Stillwater is on the verge of
making it big, but halfway through
a cross-country tour it is on the
threshold of breaking up. Until,
that is, "Tiny Dancer" enchants
the bus into a triumphant sing-

along and a renewed sense of cohe-
sion grips the band. And when
teenage journalist William Miller
says "I have to go home" to groupie
Penny Lane, who responds "You
are home," the moment basks in
the sunny rays of Sir Elton's unfor-
gettable piano riff.
"Where Is My Mind" - Pixies
("Fight Club")
The Pixies provide a bittersweet
anthem for the apocalypse as the
"Fight Club" 's narrator and Marla
Singer revel in a fireworks show of
crumbling buildings. With lyrics
like "With your feet in the air and
your head on the ground / try this
trick and spin it, yeah / Your head
will collapse / But there's nothing
in it," the song is a perfect reflection
of the scene's nihilistic sentiment.
"Twist and Shout" - The Beat-
les ("Ferris Bueller's Day Off")
Ferris Bueller is the coolest
kid eyer. At least for a day. His 24
hours of blissful shenanigans are
what every teenager. dreams of
doing instead of going to school.
The day of ultimate hooky comes
to a high point when Ferris hops
on a float during the middle of a
parade and lip-synchs The Beat-
les' classic cover. Ferris is cooler
than John Lennon. At least for
three minutes.
"If You Want to Sing Out, Sing
Out" - Cat Stevens ("Harold
and Maude")
Cat Stevens's folk ditties can
be spotted in critical moments all
over this cult classic. These accom-
panied scenes stand in cheery
contrast to the main characters'
affinity for death and disorder.

When Maude, Harold's elder by 59
years, decides her time on Earth
has come to an end, Harold has
this optimistic tune to remind him
of the only person he ever loved.
"I Found a Reason" - Cat Power
("V for Vendetta")
This loose take on the Velvet
Underground's "Run, Run, Run" is
a sparse but breathtaking display
of timid piano paired with fragile
vocals. Evey finds the song on a
jukebox loaded with other music
blacklisted by Britain's totalitar-
ian regime. The moment is a turn-
ing point for her character, who
becomes torn between V's revolu-
tionary cause and simple adher-
ence to the repressive government
"Playground Love" - Air ("The
Virgin Suicides")
These French electronica pio-
neers create an ominous atmo-
sphere, generating a feeling of

instability throughout this film
about six upper-class girls plan-
ning to end their lives. Air's lush
synth-pop reflects the girls'
innocence and naivety, but the
painfully slow tempo and bone-
chilling vocals underlie the horri-
fying reality of the decisions they
ultimately make.
"Can't Take My Eyes Off of
You'" - Frankie Valli & The
Four Seasons ("10 Things I Hate
About You")
Yes, "10 Things I Hate About
You" is a chick-flick. No, this
scene could never happen in real
life (taking over the school loud
speaker system and orchestrat-
ing an entire marching band to
the tune of a popular song). But
when Patrick Verona runs across
those bleachers, serenading Kat
Stratford with a classic tune about
uncontrollable love, it's tough not
to crack a smile.

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