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November 16, 2009 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-11-16

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 16, 2009 - 5A 1

"This is the last time I buy a guitar on eBay!"

"So you want two soft tacos, a crunch wrap and cinnamon twists?"

Three guitar heroes
share their love of
their instrument
Daily Film Editor
Rock is dead, they say. Or, if
not dead, then at
least appropri-
ated by new-age
fizzy emo bands Itmih
like Fall Out Boy
and Paramore. Get Loud
Now, don't mis- At the State
understand; it's
not that these Sony
bands aren't
talented. It's just that the idea of
rock music has been shifting a lot
in the last few decades, from the
three-chord paint-by-numbers
structure of the late '50s to the
falsetto-tinged pretty boys of
And among the many musicians
who have lived in the in-between,
Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack
White stand out. Maybe not as the
best guitarists, necessarily (that
is a separate, immaterial debate),
* but as three guitarists who under-
stand the ways of the guitar. They

know how to bend the sound
around their environment, how to
fiddle with their amps to produce
crazy but not overloaded effects
and how to simply make their
instruments their own.
Putting these three masters in
a room together with their gui-
tars sounds more like an epic
jam session than a full-fledged
documentary film. And yet here
we are with "It Might Get Loud,"
the new movie that does exactly
that. Even though the film isn't
interested in revealing great, hid-
den truths about its subjects, it's
still an absurdly fascinating ride
through the past and present of
three crazy good musicians.
If nothing else, "Loud" most
closely resembles a 90-minute
free-form rock song. The film
cuts between the backstories of
White from the White Stripes and
the Raconteurs, The Edge from
U2 and Page from Led Zeppelin
as though telling different verses
with the same melody. It doesn't
go chronologically, and the film-
makers aren't trying to tell the
life stories of the three so much
as they're on the hunt for clues
as to what influences and experi-
ences make up a rocker. There's a
mixture of archival footage and

on-location shoots in which the
musicians tour their old stomping
grounds and point out which fur-
niture they would move to make
room for their instruments.
In between the three different
stories, we're treated to Page, The
Edge and White sitting on couch-
es inside a giant, cavernous sound
studio, talking about how awe-
some blues music is and teach-
ing each other their tricks. And
director Davis Guggenheim ("An
Inconvenient Truth") is smart
enough to know that he can show
five minutes of The Edge naming
chords as he teaches the others
"I Will Follow" and the audience
will still be hooked.
Out of the mountains of footage
that were probably shot for this
film, Guggenheim is able to latch
onto the images and sequences
that leave a lasting impression on
viewers. Like White playing blues
music with his young son, whom
he dresses in miniaturized ver-
sions of his own outfits much like
Ben Stiller's character in "The
Royal Tenenbaums." Or Page's
humongous record collection,
which stretches from floor to ceil-
ing along all the walls of a room
in his mansion. Or White again in
See GET LOUD, Page 7A


with t
that sa
the sta
sit in t
tunes f
stars w
Don Qu
radio d

ates raid the air heroes of this tale transcend to god-
like status in the comedy "Pirate
raves from the Radio."
The film is set in the United
high seas Kingdom during the '60s - when
rock'n'roll, with its then provoca-
By HANS YADAV tive and radical lyrics, was barred
DailyArts Writer from being played over the radio
--- for more than 30 minutes a day.
drugs and rock'n'roll have For a group of musical aficiona-
nally dos, this radio ban is unacceptable.
associated These men (and one woman) set
he chord- sail on the good ship Radio Rock to
ring, fret- pirate Radio broadcastthe likes of Jimi Hendrix,
ing gods The Who and The Kinks for all of
unter onto At Quality16 Great Britain to rock out to. As a
ge to cul- and Showcase result, the crew members become
an act of Focus instant celebrities. When the Brit-
spiring ish government quickly learns of
1 perfection. this pirate radio, it moves swiftly to
what about the men who crush the resistance. All the while,
he lonesome radio towers, the hands aboard Radio Rock
asting those soul-shattering remain one step ahead of the min-
or millions to hear? If rock istry while doing what they do best:
were the spotlight-hogging playingfuckingrock'n'roll.
ixotes ofthis world,then the The humor is purely British,
lisc jockies would unques- with a heavy emphasis on sexual
y be their 'trusty Sancho overtones, large generational gaps
. But the normally unsung -between parents and children,

and as usual, satirical pokes at
political authority. In particular,
the consistent prods at the Brit-
ish government are the best. The
feud between Radio Rock and the
minister in charge of dismantling
their operation plays out much like
a Wile E. Coyote and Road Run-
ner episode of "Looney Tunes."
The government creates elaborate
schemes to destroy the pirates, but
the crew always manages to side-
step the traps, rendering the gov-
erning enforcement worse off than
before they set the failed trap.
Radio Rock hosts seven DJs,
each broadcasting his own show
in a manner consistent with his
personality. To name a few: -the
Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman,
"Doubt") is the bold American who
continually pushes the boundaries
of what is allowed to be played on
air; Dave (Nick Frost, "Hot Fuzz")
is the raunchy Brit always look-
ing to sleep with whatever woman
comes aboard; and Mysterious
Mark (Tom Wisdom, "300") is the
See PIRATE, Page 7A

! lT ! a 1+'Ar... ' + .

Getting into TV

lenty of people play video
games on TV screens, but
soon we could be playing
games on TV shows. And I, for
one, am abso-
lutely thrilled.
Interactive TV
is an idea that
has been tossed
around for some
time now, with
game shows-
where viewers JAMIE
call in to answer BLOCK
easy trivia questions, but this
retirement home-esque chipper
* activity is hardly groundbreaking
or innovative. But if a recent Sony
patent is a sign of things to come,
the whole meaning of interactive

shootable characters to otherwise
live-action war movies, and, more
interestingly, the ability to race
actual NASCAR drivers in actual
NASCAR races. Yes, that's right.
They may have just found a way
to make NASCAR entertaining.
And any idea that can accomplish
that seemingly impossible task

deserves all the attention and
investment we can give it.
Game shows are an obvious
start, and producers know it.
There are late-night Game Show
Network interactive programs in
which viewers at home serve as
contestants via phone. Let's com-
See BLOCK, Page 7A

HPV Fact:
Your boyfriend
Vf"% Ur
that causes
There's something you can do.
i ou ampu

* Interactivity in
half-hour bursts.
TV could be changed drastically,
and most certainly for the better.
According to an article on
LiveScience.com, Sony has filed a I 7 3
patent for a game of sorts in which
viewers can control on-screen
avatars, usingthem to chuck toma- 1 6 3 7 4
toes at actors or kick them in the
pants ("Interactive TV to put you 3 4
in the show," 11/08/200)9. This is
obviously just a first step, and it's 3
not clear how many people would
jump at the chance to throw toma-
toes at actors - especially if the
technology required special movie
* discs to use, which is up in the air 2 17
right now.
Possible future forays into the 1 2 3 4 5
interactive TV world are specu-
lated to include adding cartoon
* DO ARTS. 9 4 2 5
E-mail join.arts@umich.edu
for an application

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