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September 27, 2010 - Image 8

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8R - Monday, September 27, 2010

The !Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 01

8A - Monday, September 21, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

A direct Nuclear hit

By EMMA GASE Fumbling over those ten awkward
Daily Arts Writer syllables is worth it to listen to the
band's newest album, Buzzard.
Margot and the Nuclear So and On the surface, Margot and the
So's is, to put it plainly, a solid Nuclear So and So's are fairly tra-
band. Its songs ditional. Their folksy air may be
are dynamically * more heavily charged than 2008's
arranged without whimsical Not Animal, but the
feeling clustered Margot and tracks still have a mellow gait with
and they have a h Nudar just enough hooks to make even
clear knack for apathetic music listeners prick
melody. Lead So and S's their ears.
singer Richard This time around, the band
Edward's lyr- Buzzards draws from its arsenal some
ics are emotion- Mariel chunkier electric guitars and
ally provocative neurotic freak-out sessions (see
without being overwrought, and opener "Birds"). However, despite
the band possesses a rare modicum the attention to melody and con-
of pithy, rakish charm that gives siderable flair for pop, this band is
it enough eclecticism to avoid the frankly weird as hell.
confines of a specific genre. A prime example is "Your Lower
Really, the only thing holding Back." It begins with a male nar-
this band back from the fabled rator speaking to the listeners in
gates of commercial success and a deadpan Mr. Moviephone voice.
radio play (other than their affin- "Sex. It drives our desires, our pas-
ity for dropping the F-bomb) is its sions, our relationships with oth-
name. Calling it a mouthful is put- ers / Sex is fun ... It can even take
ting it mildly. Perhaps the name is us to the brink of madness." Then
the band's hipster, self-sabotaging a moment of silence. Cue a dainty
way of warding off the possibil- acoustic guitar and giggling child,
ity of mainstream fans. Whatever. and the song begins. The fuzzed-

out guitar perfectly offsets the chip-
per pace, and the chorus is backed
up by breathy "ooohs." The instru-
ments fade, and a dialogue begins
over radio crackle. A man's voice:
"Tell me about your eighteenth
birthday. What happened?" The
girl's response: "I went to a strip
club, and got a job." Then atape loop
of screaming over a tinny swirl of
drumbeats, and "Your Lower Back"
comes to an end. What?
"Will You Love Me Forever?"
begins with a lone Pixies-style
driving bass, and the droll line "if I
could roll up my money and smoke
it / I would." Perhaps the poppi-
est song on the album, the chorus
strides in with Ringo-style fills, tri-
umphantelectric guitars and agen-
Ten syllables of
aural delight.
uinely stressed-sounding Edwards
morosely begging to know just
what the title asks. The chorus is
not without a pang of melancholy.
The "why me?" attitude of the song
doesn't beg for sympathy. If any-
thing it emotionally resonates with
the listener, because who doesn't
want to know whetherthey'll be
loved forever?
Buzzard is definitely a small step
into Weirdsville for Margot and the
Nuclear So and So's (in a good way).
The album does lack cohesion, but
the non-sequitur quality is what
makes it work. They can go from
a Wilco-esque alt-country twang
"Claws Off" to borderline Gothic
"Let's Paint our Teeth Green."
The heavier sound can some-
times overwhelm Edwards' tra-
ditionally pretty voice, but there
is still enough acoustic balladry
("Lunatic, Lunatic, Lunatic," "I
Do"), to let his vocals get their due.
Though the musical quality runs
rich on Buzzard, it is still rather
difficult to discern what the heck
they are singing about. If we are in
Weirdsville, then weird is definite-
ly worth listening to.

"Being in business with me for 15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.
Greed is OK at best

'Wa
gets
In 19
"Wall S
tique of
was er
by the
characte
slimy c.
raider
Gordon
played t
winning
tion by
Douglas
Stone'sf
an id(
failure-
students
taken G
good," t
later, wi
from rec
a perfec
with Do
still def
effort is
tionalist
Set d
ing ther
Jake Mt
Eye"), a
Keller Z
- wealt
ful girlf

11 Street' sequel ligan, "An Education"). But when
Bretton James (Josh Brolin, "W."),
bogged down in spreads rumors thatbankrupt KZI
and drive its founder and Jake's
melodrama father figure, Louis Zabel (Frank
Langella, "Frost/Nixon"), to sui-
By DAVID TAO cide, Jake swears vengeance. This
For the Daily is where Gekko steps in. He's Win-
nie's estranged father, who's more
87, Oliver Stone released than willing to show his future
creet," intended as a cri- son-in-law the ins and outs of cor-
'80s excess. This theme porate greed. Ignoring Winnie's
mbodied protests, Jake follows Gekko into
central the abyss.
er, a **' LaBeouf is convincing as the
orporate idealistic protege, a man-child
named Wall Street who truly believes his support
Gekko, Money Never for a fusion energy company will
o Oscar- change the world. What's unclear
perfec- Sleep is why such an idealist would asso-
Michael At Quality16 ciate with Gekko, who, fresh out of
Sadly, and Rave prison, is a sad shell of his former
film was 20th Century Fox self. Douglas gives some electrify-
eological ing speeches full of fear-mongering
- MBA buzzwords, criticizing America's
everywhere have since financial system as a "bankrupt
ekko's mantra, "greed is business" with "systemic, malig-
o heart. Twenty-three years nant" problems. He owns every
th the economy recovering minute of his screen time, but as
cession, Stone returns with soon as he leaves, we realize that
tly timed sequel. But even his statements are meaningless.
tuglas reprising a role that That's the film's most damag-
ines his career, this new ing flaw: the fact that Stone and
another letdown, sensa- his screenwriters, Allan Loeb
ic and empty. ("The Switch") and Stephen Schiff
uring the months preced- ("True Crime"), have nothing to
meltdown, the film follows express beyond jealous, heavy-
tore (Shia LaBeouf, "Eagle handed condemnation of a system
trader at investment firm they don't understand. Stone's
tabel (KZI). He has it all camera dwells upon fat cats in tai-
th, stability and a beauti- lored suits and their trophy wives
riend, Winnie (Carey Mul- wearing extravagant jewelry.

Hazy camerawork alludes to the
temporary nature of their wealth.
Traders discuss bubbles in hous-
ing and technology in Central Park
as children's soap bubbles pop
around them.
What was wrong with the sys-
tem? How do we fix it? Those are
hard questions. It's easier to settle
for the overused non-answer that
America's finance sector produces
nothing and contributes nothing
to society. Zabel and James attend
meetings at the U.S. Treasury,
complete with Timothy Geithner
look-alikes who are shocked at
the bailouts and decry the social-
ism they're about to authorize.
Jake criticizes his mother's (Susan
Sarandon, "The Lovely Bones")
attempts at selling real estate by
telling her that her job doesn't
"make a difference." It's all very
holier-than-thou, but it offers no
answers.
Instead, we get awkwardly
placed melodrama, as Gekko
attempts to reconnect with Win-
nie. There's a sob story about
Winnie's brother, who overdosed
while Gekko was in prison, and
another about Gekko's attempts at
preventing his son's death while
imprisoned. By film's end, all this
sap oozes to the forefront. Has
Gekko really redeemed himself? Is
Winnie ready to let him back into
her life? Is anyone awake enough
to care? As the movie's final act
tries to ham-handedly shift focus,
we realize that this is a movie we
should have short-sold.

This girl loves cockatoos.

Mike & Molly' beats
and eats a dead horse

By ALEX RUSS pot-smoking sister Victoria (Katy
DailyArts Writer Mixon, "Eastbound & Down").
"Mike & Molly" is not lacking any
Considering TV director James acting talent; what it is lacking is
Gurrow's track record of "Wills& a joke that's not repeated every 30
Grace," "Frasier" and "Cheers," seconds.
he clearly knows The premise centers entirely
a good premise around Mike and Molly's obvious
for a television problems with being overweight.
series when he Mike & Situations include Mike acciden-
sees one. So he tally causing a folding table to
probably should Molly break and Molly being frustrated
have known Mondays at with her mother eating a ridicu-
better when he lously large piece of cake right in
decided to take 9:30 p.m. front of her. Even Mike's partner
the reins for the CBS Carl (Reno Wilson, "Crank: High
new CBS series Voltage") can't seem to avoid tak-
"Mike & Molly." There are like- ing a few cracks at his weight
able characters in protagonists problems. Other topics for jokes
Molly (Melissa McCarthy, "The are few and far between. They're
Back-up Plan") and Mike (Billy overweight. We get it.
Gardell, "My Name Is Earl"), but One of the only things that
here they're the butts of a running could make this show harder
joke that gets not only redundant, to watch would be if Mike and
but borderline offensive. Molly actually let the barbs get to
"Mike & Molly" is the story of them. Thankfully, after only the
two overweight people who begin first episode, it's clear that they
a relationship together after meet- aren't self-loathing, or the type
ing at an Overeaters Anonymous of people who will sit on the side-
function. Mike is a Chicago police lines their whole lives. Though
officer, and Molly an elementary their characters are trying to lose
school teacher. Molly is surround- weight, they are content with
ed by her well meaning, doting who they are. Given the quantity
mother (Swoosie Kurtz, "The of fat jokes that fly every which
Rules of Attraction") and slimmer, way in the pilot, it was quite the

relief to see that Mike and Molly
are able to dust themselves off
and continue their pursuit to look
thinner and better.
The one character whodoesn't
give into the fat joke trend is
Veronica. Out of the supporting
cast, she is the only character
who can go more than 30 seconds
without uttering a weight-related
crack, and she comically brings
about her own flaws to provide
CBS's latest is
overweight and
under-written.
another sense of relief. After all,
she's an avid pot smoker and only
went to Molly's OA meeting with
her to help "get her laid."
Despite Veronica's strengths,
however, "Mike and Molly" is still
overstuffed with jokes on what
can be a very sensitive issue to
some people. The writers need
to take a strong look into cutting
back on their current modus ope-
randi, or the show's very theme
may be its undoing.

Few cons for'Lone Star'*

By LINDSAY HURD
Daily Arts Writer
Premiering last Monday, FOX's
latest drama only drew in 4.1 mil-
lion viewers for the network, caus-
ing people to
believe the show
would soon be
canceled. Luck- LoneStar
ily, the network
is still giving Mondays
"Lone Star" one at 9 p.m.
more chance to FOX
survive.
The premise of
the show is pretty unprecedented,
combining two over-the-top ideas
into one fascinating plot line. Bob
Allen (James Wolk, "You Again")
is a hate-to-love con man who lives
two separate lives: one working for
his oil tycoon father-in-law (Jon
Voight, "National Treasure") in
Houston and the other as a simple
oil well salesman in a small Texan
town. Not only does he have two

One of these men is using Viagra.
jobs, but he's also in love with two
different women from his separate
lives. In addition, he has an evil
father (David Keith, "Heartbreak
Hotel") who has been conning his
way through life longer than Bob.
"Lone Star" pretty much combines
all the drama viewers loved about
"Dallas" with the poignancy of a
man searching for what he wants
in life.
Unlike similar shows that cross
the line into tackiness, "Lone Star"
never even reaches the line. The
dialogue is smart and convincing,
even when it's in an unbelievable
situation. Actors like Voight and
Keith play alarmingly convinc-
ing fathers on different ends of the
crazy spectrum, both going after
their money in opposite ways. The
plot is suspense-driven and shock-
ing when it needs to be. Many of the
elements are in place to lead "Lone
Star" to a successful season.
Nonetheless, the show does have
some major flaws. The biggest mis-
take is the strange casting of the
lead character. While Wolk is a
convincing actor, he just seems too
nice-looking for the part. The back-
drop of the show makes you think
of a Texan-born con man with a
big belt buckle and cowboy boots
to match. Wolk, on the other hand,
seems to be portraying someone
who could be from anywhere in the

country. He lacks a Texan accent
and his bland personality makes
the character just seem like an
averageniceguy. The resultis aBob
who doesn'tlooklikeheknows crap
about oil and wouldn't know how to
con his wayoutof a speeding ticket,
let alone oil tycoons out of millions
of dollars.
Also, Bob's defects asa character
don't leave anyone feelingtoo sorry
Nobody else
watched this.
for him, especially after the stupid
move he makes at the end of the
first episode. Bob is kind of a twerp
who just needs to make up his
mind. He's got two amazing lives to
choose from, both with big money
and beautiful women. So why can't
he just pick one? Nobody deserves
to have two of everything, espe-
cially if you're justgoingto eff it up.
"Lone Star" does have its imper-
fections, but what show doesn't? It
doesn't deserve the awful ratings it
received on its premiere night and
certainly should be enjoyed more
- and by more people - than some
of the other crappy network shows
out there.

Key~ank 'IV fM9 Taubrman THE , U aBU
G ....., oo, Conlin, McKeroey and Phibick THE POSIES COMPANY RULNNINII

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