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October 26, 2009 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-26

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a The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, October 26, 2009 - 7A


The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, October 26, 2009 - 7A

A compilation with teeth

DailyArts Writer
The fact that a love story about
an abstinent teenager and a sexy
vampire is a hit
with both teen-
age girls and
their middle- Various
aged mothers is
hardly notewor- Arists
thy. The more The Twilight
fascinating Saga:
development is New Moan
thatsuch ataleis Soundtrack
being framed by Soptrac
some of today's ChopShop/Atlantic
most prolific
independent and alternative con-
temporary musicians. The much
talked-about "Twilight" saga,
whose second film installment
"New Moon" will be released in
November, is pegged to an equally
talked-about soundtrack that was
released four days ahead of sched-
ule because of popular demand.
"Twilight" author Stephenie
Meyer, the woman to blame for
the current cultural obsession
with all things vampiric, recently
revealed her favorite albums of
2009, a list dotted with indie-
pop gems by groups like Ani-
mal Collective and Grizzly Bear.
The soundtrack to "New Moon"
traces a similar vein, boasting
a homogenous blend of gloomy
soundscapes by some big name
artists like The Killers, Muse and,
of course, Grizzly Bear. By mov-
ing away from the pop-punk and
teen-goth influences heard on the
series's preceding film, the "New
Moon" official soundtrack moves
into music-snob territory and will
likely introduce a new genera-
tion of pseudo-literary pop-punk
enthusiasts to the world of pre-
tentious indie rock.
Every song on the album is an
original piece created exclusive-
ly for the "Twilight" franchise,
helping to create a more uniform
atmosphere than if the tracks
had been recorded independent-
ly. While a few of the selections
sound somewhat out of place,
the combined effect is a feeling
of underdeveloped gloom - ulti-
mately, the emotions of unrequit-

ed teenage love. high-profile collaborations is a dual
Opening track and official sin- hymn titled "Roslyn"
gle "Meet Me On The Equi- featuring sing-
nox" is arousing er St. Vincent
jam by and folk king
kings Bon Iver,
of teen' culminating
heart- inalow-key
break duet high-
Death lighted by
Cab For simple
Cutie. The strum-
songdoesn't ming.
stray far Ann
from the Arbor
band's tradi-native
tional format Anya
of combin-c -ic
ing accessible e OOC&o Mari-
rhythms with na's acoustic ballad
emotion-packed "Satellite Heart" is equally impres-
lyrics, and it wouldn't sive, contrasting the singer's quiet
seem out of place on your stan- vocals with uncomplicated strings
dard Death Cab album. Thank- and creating a straightforward but
fully, the band's primary lyrical nonetheless alluringsong.
territory has always resided close Despite these impressive cuts,
to matters of the heart, so the' the album as a whole is not a start-
band is able to casually reference to-finish success. The remix ver-
the film's plot with vague lyrics sion of Muse's "I Belong To You"
like "Let me give my love to you sounds wholly out of place; it has
/ Let me take your hand / and as more in common with pseudo-goth
we walk in the dimming light / Oh rockers My Chemical Romance
darling understand." than the rest of the record's more
downcast alternative picks.
Sea Wolf's "The Violent Hour,"
'Tw ilight' gets an unusually uplifting anthem,
sounds similarly incongruous and
relevant, disrupts the flow of the album.
While it's entirely understandable
that the film's producers required
One of the more publicized a variety of sounds to encapsu-
tracks on the soundtrack is an late the entire realm of human (or
offering by Thom Yorke,the singer in this case, vampiric) emotion,
and primary songwriter of Radio- many of their picks are a down-
head, a band that has undoubted- grade from the record's more
ly influenced the majority of the succinct contributions and they
other bands heard on this album. create a bit of an unbalance.
Unsurprisingly, Yorke's contri- When "Twilight" groupies final-
bution "Hearing Damage" - a ly see the series's much-anticipated
dark, electro-synth soundwave second film feature next month,
dominated by a consistent drum they will be greeted with a movie
machine-generated beat - is the touched by every hue of the somber
best song on the soundtrack. indie-rock spectrum. Whether this
Grizzly Bear's contribution, track list does anything to change
which features vocals by Beach the tide of tween musical sensibili-
House's Victoria Legrand, is ties remains to be seen. In the inter-
another triumph. Legrand's im, auditory aficionados should be
haunting voice is the star of the pleased that what will likely be one
song, at times overtaking the of the highest grossing movies of
band's instrumentation. 2009 also features one of the year's
One of the soundtrack's more more engaging soundtracks.

Voyeurism never looked so fun.

Love in

'Paris' takes a
focused look at the
city and its people
DailyArts Writer
In Paris, a city rich in culture and
romance, Pierre (Romain Duris,
"Exils") struggles
with the pos-
sibility of death
and expectantly
awaits a replace-
ment for his ail- At the
ing heart. Each Michigan
night he gazes IFC
wistfully at the
apartment across
the street, yearning for the affec-
tions of the beautiful woman in the
window. The woman entertains the
romantic advances of two men, one
ofwhomisher professor andthestar
of a lucrative historical documen-
tary. Pierre's sister Elise (Juliette
Binoche, "Dan in Real Life") tends
to her brother's ailments while also
striking up a sexual relationship
with a local fruit vendor after his
friend (and co-worker) is killed in a
tragic accident.
All of these people and their
collective experiences form the

emotional infras
a city that lives
the same vein as
The presenta
plagued with a f
lems, the most
its ineptness in
acters equallywi
time frame. Exa
of fewer charact
those of Pierre,l
history professt
easily solved this
ing up valuable s
The storylin
struggles of ani
from Cameroon
upon him so bri
existence in the
quential. Juxtaj
exploration wit
out scenes de
moments in the
ie's more promir
whole composit
feels off-balance
It would be
to ignore the be
of the city of Pa
lush cinemato
transitions ands
movie exudes.'
artistry, while it
is superseded b3
cal point made i
ly, the marked di

tructure of Paris, the objective and the subjective
and breathes in realities of human beings. For
its inhabitants. example, though Pierre's suffer-
tion of "Paris" is ing is the most profound experi-
ew notable prob- ence in his own recent life, his T
prominent being trials are viewed as routine and
developing char- insubstantial through his peers'
ithin its two-hour lens of objectivity.
imining the lives Thischaracteristicofthehuman
ers - specifically condition is the reason for our
his sister and the selfishness, and its only solution
or - could have is a deeper connection with those
s problem by free- other than ourselves. And even I
creen time. those who have labeled "Paris" as
e explores the a light-hearted_ travelogue can't
illegal immigrant deny that it's downright gorgeous
, but it touches (though they have most certainly
efly that his very underestimated its potential).
plot is inconse- The basic yet beautiful essence
posing this brief of"Paris" is its analysis of individ-
h long, drawn- ual experience from the perspec-
lineating trivial tives of both those experiencing -
lives of the mov- and those watching. After all, the
nent subjects, the catharsis felt in the tragedy of
:ion of the film loss or the joy of victory is rarely
and out of focus. viewed in the same light by those
foolish, however, watching the competition as it is
'autiful depiction by the competitors.
ris offered by the "Paris" sets out to illustrate our
graphy, smooth misconceived notions about our
skillful acting the fellow man, and it proves its point
This triumph in effectively. If only it had bothered
npressive in scale, to explore its most relevant charac-
y the philosophi- ters further, we may have felt their
n the film: name- joys and sorrows with the same
fference between breadth of emotion as they did.

Catching up with the'90s

Daily Arts Writer
If the '90s were asked to imag-
ine autumn 2009 in the form of a
hip-hop album,
the result would
undoubtedly be
Anti-Pop Con- Anj-ft.
sortium's Fluo-
rescent Black. Consortium
This time-warp Fluorescent
quality is most Black
evident in the Big Dada
video for the
group's single "Volcano." Grainy
and simple in style, it finds the
foursome wearing huge shades
and rapping' with a spandex-clad
dancer, set against a PowerPoint-
style gradient background. The
song itself has an in-your-face
quality as the Consortium's blunt
lyrics jump out from between
bursts of synthesized sound. As on
all of Fluorescent Black, the music
* behind the rapping in "Volcano" is
minimalist and robotic, recalling
the futuristic ethos we saw back in
the time of the Y2K scare.
Anti-Pop Consortium's flair for
the experimental mostly mani-
fests itself in the group's tenden-
cy toward "glitch," a subgenre
of electronica that strips it to its
bare essentials - unidentifiable
computer sounds. This concept is
exemplified in "New Jack Exter-
minator," where electronic beeps
provide just enough structure
for the Consortium's typically
evocative and forceful lines. Some
songs use electric guitar, "Born
Electric" starts with a piano solo
straight out of an '80s power bal-
lad and "Timpani" is anchored by

its titular instrument. But ulti-
mately, Fluorescent Black is a cel-
ebration of technology and the
crazy noises it makes.
Despite requiring more listens
than the average radio- or mall-
friendly hit, Consortium's music
is not quite "anti-pop." It's like-
able and sometimes even catchy,
try as it might to be otherwise
(and Consortium certainly does
try to sidestep popularity - just
listen to the off-the-wall metal

The gr
es and
from t
to wh
often f
at hear
list fol
tium c
the sas
as LM
one car
fun. Bi
more ii

riff that opens the album). tual than its "hipster rap" bud-
oup reigns in the odd nois- dies, especially when it comes to
experimental tangents on lyrics.
cent Black, and no song The stream-of-consciousness
s five minutes. Anti-Pop lyrics are the focal point of Anti-
tium manages to stay away Pop Consortium's music. The
he cringe-inducing excess foursome met at a poetry slam,
ich experimental groups and it shows in their clear under-
all prey; one wouldn't balk standing of the sheer power of
ring "Volcano" on a play- phonetics. Lines often jump
between vague references that
verge on totally incomprehensible
("Came through the door / A lega-
p turns dark, cy of Moors / Hidden symbolisms
and blindfolded in the cores"), but the
nusical and mere percussion in the words cap-
tivates and grips. Anti-Pop Con-
original. sortium uses the vocal track as
its main instrument rather than a
final flourish - something all rap
would be wise to do.
lowing LMFAO's "I'm In Surprisingly, Anti-Pop Consor-
Trick." tium has more in common with
fact, Anti-Pop Consor- post-rock outfits than with other
ould be said to fall under rap groups. Consortium abstains
me "hipster rap" umbrella from overproduction in favor
FAO. Both groups have a of minimalist vamping, and the
ones electrified style, and stripped-down result is darker
n never be certain whether and somehow more musical than
honoring their old-school that of their contemporaries.
essors or just poking ironic Anti-Pop Consortium goes for a
ut Anti-Pop Consortium is futuristic vibe - maybe it's time
ntense and more intellec- for the present to take note.


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