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September 30, 2010 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-09-30

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 9A

r A Baroque 'New World'

Daily Arts Writer
"Passionate" and "improvisa-
tional" are not terms many would
associate with the meticulous and
ornate sound
of Baroque The Route to
music -
until they the New World:
encounter From Spain
the work of to Mexco
Jordi Savall.
Dubbed an Tonight at 8 p.m.
"early-music St. Francissof Assisi
superstar" Catholic Church
by the New Ticketsfrom$35
York Times,
musician Savall has been promot-
ing Medieval, Renaissance, and
Baroque music since the early
1970s. This Thursday, Savall will
make his third UMS appearance
in a concert at St. Francis of Assisi
Catholic Church exploring the
development of Hispanic music.
Armed with his trusty viola de
gamba (an early string instrument
related to the cello), Savall leads a
small army of ensembles and even
manages his own recording com-
"Jordi has brought to modern
ears very high-quality musical per-
formances of interesting and some-
times unknown, or little-known,
repertoire," said School of Music,
Theatre & Dance professor Louise
Stein, who has known Savall since
1979 and worked with him on sev-
eral occasions.
"As a solo viola de gamba player
Jordi is unmatched ... I think that's
where he's at his best."
For Thursday's concert, Savall
will lead a combined 20-person
ensemble consisting of singers,
guitarists and period-instrument
players. The group includes two of
Savall's ensembles specializing in
early Hispanic music. La Capella
Reial de Catalunya is an ensemble
made up of vocal soloists, while
Hesperion XXI is largely an instru-
mental group. Joining Savall's two

rary La
case Sa
Spain t
the for
The pr
ety of
the gen
and acr
said St
from t
the ear
from P
Spain o
the tol
bine e
such as
a 1
ual: H
who w
the ear
(the 1a
said. "

is the Mexican ensemble composer was, but it was pub-
imbe Ensamble Continuo, lished in Perez Bocanegra's ritual
distinct style combines book of 1631, and it's the first piece
e Hispanic and contempo- of polyphony to be printed in the
tin American music. New World."
UMS concert will show- As a genre, Hispanic Baroque
avall's latest project, "The music relies heavily on guitars, but
to the New World: From has other distinct characteristics
o Mexico," which examines that set it apart from other music
mation of Hispanic music. of the time.
ogram draws from a vari- "I would say it's very passionate
sources and styles within music," Stein said. "And in perfor-
nre, revealing the common mance it calls for alot of improvi-
l structures that define sation. Soit's a music that looks, on
ic music across the globe the page, very simple but requires
-oss the centuries. a lot from the performer. And it
st of the pieces are late has very distinct rhythmic pat-
sance and Baroque pieces," terns that are different from the
ein, who is an expert in patterns that distinguish Italian
lispanic music. "There are Baroque music, for example."
from the late 16th century, Stein went on to point out that
he 17th century and from the title for Savall's concert, "The
rly 18th century ... One is Route to the New World," may
'eru. The others are from be misleading for audience mem-
sr Mexico, which was then bers since it implies that Hispanic
New Spain. Then there are music changed or "evolved" over
sodern traditional popular the centuries. As an alternative
an pieces." view, Stein sees Hispanic music as
pting the infusive style of a web instead of a timeline.
mbe Ensamble Continuo, "I don't like to use the words
lective ensemble will com- 'progression' or 'evolution,'
arlier Baroque technique because that implies that things
sore modern dance steps went from worse to better, or
jarocho and huasteco. from somehow unsophisticated to
described one particularly sophisticated, and we don't want
piece on the program, "Rit- to think that way," she said. "But
it's interesting to think about the
many crossings back and forth
between high culture and tradi-
'di Savalladds tional culture or art music and ver-
o nacular, more folk music ... There's
ose of passion definitely what Ilike to think of as a
classic art. cultural amalgamation."
When walking through a city in
Peru, Stein experienced an illustra-
tionof this concept in anencounter
Ianacpachap cussicuinin" with a street musician playing folk
d to Juan Perez Bocanegra. music on a Baroque-era harp.
n Pdrez Bocanegra was a "(There is a) crossing of tradi-
h-born Franciscan priest tions," Stein said, "and in some of
orked in Cuzco in Peru in what we think of as popular or
rly 17th century as a mis- modern folk music of Mexico and
, and this piece is a pro- Latin America, there are Baroque
ial hymn put into Quechua techniques and rhythms that have
nguage of the Incas)," Stein survived and flourished in slightly
We don't know who the new ways."


The Betty White-freezing wand is just $19.95 plus shipping and handling.

In 'Community,
NBC gets snarky

In second season,
comedy lets its
undeniable wit go
to its head
Senior Arts Editor
With only one full season
under their belt,
the writers of
NBC's "Commu-
nity" are already
starting to get ComiiUlty
a little full of season tv'
themselves -
an odd display Thursdays
of hubris from at 8 p.m.
a show that has NBC
yet to find true
ratings success.
In the season premiere, the study
group takes numerous potshots at
one of their network competitors,
the already infamous CBS failcom
"$#*! My Dad Says." And meta ref-
erence-happy fan favorite Abed
(Danny Pudi) stares right into the
face of both the camera and pro-
tagonist Jeff (Joel McHale) to tell
him why their lives are so differ-
ent from the ones on TV.
We get it. "Community" isn't
like anything else on the air right
now. This show's starting to turn

into that smart-ass kid in your
lecture hall who won't shut up
about the A he scored on the last
exam. But hey, that kid is still a
pro at what he does.
Greendale devotees may recall
how the end of last season mean-
dered into mushy territory: The
finale concluded with cynical
former lawyer Jeff sucking face
with Bambi-eyed high school
dropout Annie (Alison Brie) mere
moments after an emotional Brit-
ta (Gillian Jacobs) professed her
love to him in front of the entire
school. Love triangles? Cliffhang-
ers? Feelings? Was this really the
same show that only a few weeks
prior had staged an episode-
lengthshomage to cheesy action
Indeed, Abed speaks for all ofus
when he demands wild and crazy
adventures every week instead of
gooey love stuff. But luckily for
us and him, "Community" quick-
ly eschews any preconceived
notions as to how this standard
plotline would normally play out.
Instead, Jeff and Britta attempt to
publicly out-smother each other
with affection ina power struggle
for the school's "spurned lover"
sympathy. The game of lip-chick-
en they play with each other in
class makes for an amazing bit of
physical comedy.
If these guys win more real-

world fans thanks to the pre-
miere's unabashedly gimmicky
Betty White stunt casting, it
won't be because of White herself.
She's shockingly unfunny here as
an unhinged anthropology pro-
fessor, and can't quite land the
delivery of lines like "More of my
own urine for me." Though the
octogenarian contributes nicely
to a brand-new rap from Abed
and Troy (Donald Glover), on the
whole her presence serves most-
ly to reinforce the show's main
strength: that this truly gifted
core cast could destroy any other
sitcom's rotating stable of guest
stars in pure laughs measured
(here's looking at you, "Big Bang
It's wise for a show that rose to
must-watch status as quickly as
"Community" to exercise some
restraint, and here the characters
remain grounded enough for us
to care about them - we feel for
the group when Jeff's sexual esca-
pades threaten to tear them apart.
That said, "Community" is still
at its best when it's at its crazi-
est, and here's hoping for a season
full of pop-culture throwbacks,
Troy-and-Abed absurdity and an
unhealthy amount of fourth-wall
But mostly, here's hoping more
people watch. After all, there's
nothing else like it on TV.

William Shatner spews out
stupid $#*! on CBS sitcom

Daily Arts Writer
When your TV is taken over by
William Shatner's voice against
excessively dramatic music, you
might think
you're watching
a Priceline com-
mercial. But if *
it happens to be
Thursday at 8:30 Dad $Says
p.m., it's actually Thursdays at
the even more 8
cringe-worthy 8:30 p.m.
"$#*! My Dad CBS
The recipe for this new CBS
pilot might be successful asa "Sat-
urday Night Live" skit, but not an
entire show. Essentially, the focal
point of the program is an old
dude saying rude and crude one-
liners about how dumb his son is
- over and over again. Based off
a once-in-a-while hilarious Twit-
ter feed, "$#*! My Dad Says" just
doesn't have enough joke varia-
tion to sustain a legitimate series.
Derived from the Twitter
account of a 27-year-old dude
who lives with his offensive old
dad, the show opens with the son
(Jonathan Sadowski, "Friday The
13th") wondering how he is going
to ask his dad (William Shatner,

plot dr
ation w
and are
until n
exact tl
Life" a:
don't r
rial fot
come fi
ing th
- see
eant hi
make h
the Tv
years o

n Legal") for money. The white-haired grandpa, but Shat-
rags on from there, with ner looks like he just stepped out
and son engaginginhumili- of a tanning salon.
'arfare for 20 minutes until And Shatner isn't the show's
the son gets mad. But as all only shortcoming. The jokes are
s go, father and son make up set to laugh tracks and devel-
e happy in the end. That is, oped from writing that is just not
ext week - when the same amusing, making for an awkward
hing happens once again. situation all around. Uninspir-
e's a reason popular time- ing punchlines like "I almost
g websites like "F*** My just exploded your balls onto
nd "Texts from Last Night" my Buick," "As you get older the
have their own shows - things you want outta you stay in
funny to read once in a and the things you want in you
but not good source mate- flow outta ya" and "If you don't
r anything with an actual pass we'll get you a bike" aren't
even funny on paper, let alone in
an actual serieswith alaughtrack.
To add insult to injury, Shatner's
Witter should character makes rude jokes about
everything possible in a socially
y on Twitter. unacceptable way. Everyone from
Mother Theresa to homosexuals
and hookers is mocked. Instead of
inciting laughter, there's just dead
worst of the pilot's flaws silence and a yearning for a joke
rom William Shatner play- that will at least cracka smile.
e lead role. Shatner has But the show leaves the viewers
he can have witty moments with nothing to want. The nar-
"Miss Congeniality," in rative is totally dependent on the
he plays an eccentric pag- dad being funny - which he abso-
ost - but that still doesn't lutely isn't - so nothing ever real-
im right for the part of the ly works. The "$#*! My Dad Says"
outhed old man. In real life, producers are pretty much full of
witter-exposed dad is 74 $#*t if they think this series is the
ld and looks like everyone's least bit hilarious.

Then join Daily Arts.
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p.m. at the Daily. 420 Maynard St.



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