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April 07, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-04-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 5A

No 'Shame 'in Dr.
Dog's emulative pop

Broken Social Scene will use tonight's show to test its new material in a live setting.

A Scene at the Michigan

An eclectic attending shows of other bands.
anaia u And now that Internet culture is
anaulan musclc really dictating - at least to some
collective visits Ann people - what's good and what's
bad, or what's happening and
Arbor tonight what's not happening. There's defi-
nitely more activity and more sup-
port than I've ever seen."
By MIKE KUNTZ The large following the band
DailyMusicEditor has steadily amassed in the past
decade has earned it slots at
Broken numerous music festivals like
Social Scene is Broken Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and All
a band whose Tomorrow's Parties in Britain.
name perfectly S Scene In gearing up for May, which
describes the Tonight at Peroff describes as a "more dense,
group's origin: 7:30 p.m. live-show-heavy" month, the band
a gathering of Michigan Theater will be playing a few dates in April
friends from the Tickeisfom $15.55 - its Ann Arbor stop at the Michi-
highly commu- gan among them - to acquaint
nal, broken-in themselves with the newer mate-
Toronto music scene. And with rial in a live setting.
an album titled Forgiveness Rock "It's more like cutting our teeth
Record slated for a May release, with the live show and banging out
their tendency to thrive in being some new ones," Peroff said.
literal will likely be preserved, In 2002 came the band's com-
describing things as they are with- mercial and artistic breakthrough
out pretension. with the now essential You Forgot.
Counting Canadian chanteuse It In People. The record won the
Feist and members from bands band a Juno Award and has since
like Stars and Destroyer among ended up on numerous best-of-
its ranks, the Toronto-based col- the-decade lists.
lective 'is a musical force brim- "I'm personally really proud of
ming with artistic talent and that record in particular," Peroff
ambition. said. "It gives me goose bumps to
In advance of Broken Social read those decade-ending lists. It
Scene's stop at the Michigan The- makes me smile a pretty big smile,
ater, The Michigan Daily recently but I also know how hard it was to
spoke with drummer Justin Per- make that record.
off about the new record, the "For it to get the kind of praise
band's upcoming summer tour it's gotten ... I'm ecstatic."
and whether the band's commonly Forgiveness Rock Record will be
defined "supergroup" status really the band's first "proper" release
holds weight. since 2005's eponymous Broken
Peroff has played alongside Social Scene. The band has since
founding members Kevin Drew released a handful of albums as
and Brendan Canning since the part of the "Broken Social Scene
late '90s - before the band's incep- Presents..." series, essentially solo
tion - and, like the rest of the albums from Drew and Canning
band, he is a product of the inces- with a number of the band's musi-
tuous Toronto scene. cians supporting (including Per-
"The Toronto music scene is off).
very supportive of each other," The album was recorded with
Peroff said. "You see other bands veteran post-rock drummer and

producer John McEntire at Soma
Eletronic Music Studios in Chi-
cago. Peroff was admittedly star-
"As far as a drummer and a pro-
ducer, he's one of my heroes," Per-
off said. "To actually work with
him and now consider him a friend
is pretty mind-blowing."
The band has so far released
three tracks off the new record,
offering a hint of what fans can
expect in its upcoming live shows.
of the Forgiveness sound, Peroff
couldn't be more blunt.
"I think it sounds like a Broken
Social Scene record," he said sim-
Forgiveness Rock Record - a title
that's maybe as ironic as it is direct
- found its name fairly early in the
recording process.
"It's something that Kevin
(Drew) was kicking around and
proposed early on. ... Somehow it
seemed appropriate," Peroff said.
Peroff has his own interpreta-
tion of what the new album signi-
fies, tying its blunt title to more
immediate concerns.
"Records, maybe ours in par-
ticular, are kind of like love letters,"
Peroff explained. "In any love letter
you can sort of allude to forgiveness
in a way. I think there's a lot going
on in the world right now, there's
a lot going on in everyone's lives -
this is the forgiveness rock record."
This summer, the band will
play a string of shows in both
the United States and Europe,
playing outdoor festivals like the
Sasquatch! Music Festival and
Barcelona's Primavera Sound
Festival in May.
"All I know is that I'm going
from Spain to America in 48 hours
with two shows to play," Peroff
said. "There's some crazy stuff in
the future, for sure."
Broken Social Scene will be
playing the Michigan Theater
tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are
available from $16.50.

Daily Arts Writer
Who doesn't love some good,
energetic guitar pop? Dr. Dog may
not be reinvent-
ing the wheel,
but it sure is
spinning it pret-
ty hard. Dr' Dog
Though Shame, Shame
they've caught Anti-
flak in the past
for their obvious
infatuation with the Beatles and
other '60s psychedelic bands, on
Shame, Shame the Philly rockers
remain dependent on their pitch-
perfect harmonies and clangorous
recordingsound to keep their own
thing going. And while the influ-
ence is there, the music can stand
on its own.
The record kicks off with
"Stranger," an immediate display
of co-lead singer Toby Leaman's
sharp-shooting pop instincts.
This is Dr. Dog at its best, with a
spare drumbeat and guitar riff
that leads into a swelling chorus
of harmonies. Leaman may sing,
"I do believe / that there's no
more tricks up my sleeve," but we
already know better than that.
The album's lead single "Shad-
ow People" starts out innocently
with Scott McMicken's unusual
helium-infused scratchy vocals
backed by only an acoustic guitar.
Slowly but surely, the song cre-
scendos as he demands, "Where
did all the shadow people go?"
McMicken sends the song into a
barrage of honky-tonk piano in
a devilishly danceable beat that
wouldn't sound out of place in a
Still, you can't delve too far into
Shame, Shame without hearing
the looming (but not overbear-
ing) presence of the Fab Four.
"Where'd All the Time Go?"
begins with a Magical Mystery
Tour-esque tape loop with indis-

Attention bands:-Not every cell phone picture should go on your album.
cernible radio jumble in the back- each song are complemented by
ground. It could be dismissed as each other. McMicken's power
a tired rip-off if the band didn't pop majesty of "Mirror, Mirror"
sound so damn infectious when is nicely balanced out by Leaman's
the descending chords of the vers- more traditional vocals on the
es make way for the pop-perfect lethargic bluesiness of the title
chorus. track.
Unlike 2008's Fate, which had
some standouts but was overall
a tad lackluster, Shame, Shame is
Pure pop music both more consistent and deliv-
ered with more conviction. Often
that owves a lot to lauded as an excellent live band,
the Fab Four. now more than ever the charisma
translates in the studio. Leaman
and McMicken may draw from
the oft-visited arsenal of clas-
If nothing else, Shame, Shame is sic '60s chamber pop and old-
an album with a vibe. In keeping school rock'n'roll blues, but on
with Dr. Dog's old-school tenden- Shame their songwriting chops
cies, it clocks in at less than 40 and superb harmonies give them
minutes. Isolated, the songs are license to do so.
all melodic and quirky enough When you get down to it, Dr.
to put individually on a carefully Dog creates good, pure rock
constructed mixed CD, and as a music. And if you don't like that,
collective entity the nuances of shame on you.

Eryka"'h converts back
to 'Baduizm' on latest

Television this terrible
might as well be a crime

Daily Arts Writer
A gripping crime scene epic
that involves
murder, weap-
ons, manhunts
and broken The F ve
families seems
like a recipe for Chronides
an entertaining Thursdays
show. But some-
how A&E turns atlO p.m.
this foolproof A&E
formula into use-
less and corny programming with
"The Fugitive Chronicles."
A&E's latest spin on the crime
scene show reenacts infamous
manhunts from the past using
actors and interviews with cops.
The show tells the story from the
criminal's point of view using a
voiceover from the actor playing
the criminal. A&E presents this
"inside look" into the mind of the
criminal in order to offer a fresh
perspective on cop shows.
However, with lines like "I'm
the tiger who lingers back and
r forth in the cage" and "I'm just
an original country boy," it seems
like the writer for "The Fugitive
Chronicles" needed to let out
some superfluous creativity into
these "true" stories. Add in the
melodramatic suspense music,

obnoxiously placed commercial
breaks and a jump cut from a cop
getting shot to kids making pizza,
and A&E has got itself a cheesy
crime show that's obviously des-
perate to stand out.
Besides the tacky voices, the so-
called evil fugitive from the pilot
wasn't a notorious serial killer
or a legendary terrorist. Instead,
he was just some mullet-repping
hick named Bucky, wanted for
attempting to kill three cops after
he escaped from jail. Are there
really no other fugitive cases in all
of the U.S. this show could cover?
While the fugitive in this story
did make it to the FBI's Ten Most
Wanted list, it was only because he
hid out in the woods for 156 days
and the cops couldn't find him.
Even after he was captured, the
cops even admitted that good ol'
Buckylooked ill and weak and they
couldn't believe this was the man
who was causing so much terror.
What's worse for the drama is
that he surrendered. Instead of
the big showdown that had been
advertised, Bucky just gave up.
The show is promoted as "grip-
ping" because it tells tales of infa-
mous manhunts. But really, all it
gives you is some deadbeat dude
who camped out in the woods for
half a year. There's nothing grip-
ping about it.

Needless to say, A&E might
want to spend its time chronicling
stories its viewers actually want to
watch. With the endless amounts
of crime scene and cop shows
that television offers, the network
should realize that it doesn't need
the melodramatic effects to get
attention. "Unsolved Mysteries"
and "America's Most Wanted" are
so successful because the crime
stories are entertaining and excit-
ing - not because they use gim-
micky sound effects.
Stilted writing
and boring
criminals mar
A&E's latest.
If you're looking to veg out
by watching a cop show, any old
episode of "CSI" that you've seen
a thousand times would be far
more entertaining than listening
to some batty writer try to sound
like a rough and tough criminal.
About the only entertainment in
"The Fugitive Chronicles" comes
from a few good laughs at its
corny attempt to be relevant.

For the Daily
The music video for "Window
Seat," lead single off Erykah Badu's
New Amerykah
Part Two (Return **
of the Ankh), is
intriguing. Not Eryhkah
because of the Bdu
impending legal New Amerykah
trouble or nudi- Part Two
ty, but because (Return of
of its ending. the Ankh)
During three Universal Motown
minutes of walk-
ing in Dallas,
Texan's Dealey Plaza, Badu gradu-
ally strips naked, coming to a halt
before she buckles and collapses,
recalling John F. Kennedy's assas-
sination. After a brief spoken
monologue, the camera focuses on
a new figure: a shining, braided,
Bitches' Brew-styled goddess. As
sunlight floods the lens, the god-
dess rushes forward.
Billed as the conclusion of a
two-part sequence, Return of the
Ankh is the sequel to 2008's New
Amerykah Part One (4th World
War). War, which was hailed as
a muscular collection of pro-
test songs, brought Badu the
most acclaim and attention she'd
received since her Grammy-win-
ning debut, 1997's Baduizm. Cut-
ting closer to that album's cloth
than War, Ankh is an assortment
of loose and organic funk, without
the politics. With a title borrowed
from the drug-film classic "Holy
Mountain," introspective lyrics
and a little bit of nudity, Return of
the Ankh is all about rebirth.
Beginning with the spare and
angular "20 Feet Tall," Badu even
sounds naked. Next to a light echo
and percussive keyboards, you can
actually hear the creaking of her
piano bench. From there, Ankh's
first half plays with a great sense
of sequence. Following "Tall" is

The Giving Tree has a bad trip.

ing fum
tion of
Ankh am
pop sati
In al
ingly ft

w Seat," a confident, glid- momentum-less "Fall in Love
nk number that sounds .(Your Funeral)" follows after a
bly effortless. This sensa- cute session-tape interlude. By
ease gives the songs on "Out My Mind, Just in Time,"
n instantaneous feeling of the 10-minute, three-part closing
bility; from the sunshine- number, the lack of inertia results
ire of "Turn Me Away (Get in a bit of boredom.
Y)" to the pulsings sam- This is regrettable, because
Ankh does have thrilling
moments. From the heartbreak-
ing, lusty funk of "Gone Baby,
ess politics, Don't Be Long" to the barely-
there atmospherics of "Incense,"
ore smooth, there's plenty to get lost in here.
j.ams. Recalling the personal, strident
aZZy soul of Stevie Wonder's Ful-
fillingness' First Finale, later-
era Marvin Gaye and neo-soul
tric "Umm Hmm," Badu contemporary D'angelo, New
both breezy and assured. Amerykah Part Two (Return ofthe
few cases, this confidence Ankh) bears the mark of a confi-
in over-indulgence. The dent musical force at work.
try J Dilla-produced track Now if only Ms. Badu can focus
chugs along unconvinc- a little bit harder through the
or six minutes with little smoke, we can see that brilliant
n or build. The similarly goddess she aspires to be.

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