The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 7
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, November16, 2010 -7
The Boss looks back
How Deathly Hallows'
k illed the franchisefor me
opens up a time
capsule of rock
By ELLIOT ALPERN
For the Daily
Bruce Springsteen's The Prom-
ise begins with an evocative piano
ately familiar and
fresh, accurately Bruce
the ensuing 20 $pinfgSteen
songs. A har- The Promise
monica, bitter Columbia
comes in over
the melancholic piano, and the
introductory track turns out to be
a more recent version of "Racing
in the Street" off the Born to Run
follow-up Darkness on the Edge of
Town. It is haunting, audacious
and ultimately grand, and it kicks
off an elaborate exploration of the
deeper side of The Boss.
Springsteen, after the creation
of his breakthrough album Born
to Run, was forcibly put on hiatus
due to legal issues and contractual
disagreements. Three years later,
Springsteen and his E Street Band
went back to the studio for record-
ing sessions that would eventu-
ally result in Darkness on the Edge
of Town, a largely conceptual
album. These sessions produced a
wealth of material, to the extent
that many songs were left either
unfinished or not included on the
final album. The Promise is a com-
pilation of many of these forgotten
tracks, some with new additions or
even entire re-recordings.
The Promise captures the
Springsteen who has been immor-
talized for his pure, unadulterated
American rock. The songs cover
the emotional gamut; some ("One
Way Street," "City of Night") are
close to heart-wrenching, while
others ("Ain't Good Enough For
You," "Talk To Me") are upbeat
and even uplifting. These are the
types of songs that would typi-
cally be playing in a hole-in-the-
wall bar late one night - no one's
likely to be dancing, but nobody's
he day after I returned
home from my trip to
Israel, the book "Harry
Potter and the Deathly Hal-
weak state (I
kind of flu on
my last day
and yes, flying LEAH
the 11 hours BURGIN
back to the
U.S. - puking
my guts out - was wonderful),
I still pulled myself out of bed
and made it to my local Barnes &
Noble for the midnight release.
I had waited 10 years for this
moment, and nothing was going
to hold me back. I was elated, I
was pumped, I was shaking with
anticipation. Like millions of
other diehard fans, I was finally
going to figure out how this
beloved epic would to end.
Seven hundred and fifty-
nine pages later, I was furious.
I remember sitting on my bed,
screaming at the text "NO! Do
not end this way! Stop being
lame!" as my parents rushed into
my room, worried that I was suf-
fering from flu-related hysteria.
I wouldn't listen to my parents'
soothing words that it "was just a
book" and that everything would
be OK. They didn't understand,
and not in the typical 16-year-old
"my parents don't understand
me" way. That book had broken
my heart: I had hated it.
That's right, I said it. I hated
the seventh and final book of the
Harry Potter series. It was long,
drawn-out and boring. I hated
the camping trip. I hated that
Hedwig died. I hated that Harry
lived. I hated, hated the epilogue.
I hated the book so much that I
wrote a scathing review and sent
it to The Cincinnati Enquirer
(I'm still waiting for that to be
published). For weeks, I was as
angsty and pissy as Harry wasin a
the fifth book. It was a dark time.
that I w
to be so
and I m
at the IM
me to s
such a I
m sure most fans can it is awful).
and, the "Harry Pot- ButI digress. Eventually, I
ies is much more than a made my peace with "Harry Pot-
on of books. It was the ter and the Deathly Hollows."
sf our youth. Everyone It took me two years to make
to go to Hogwarts - I this peace, but still. I re-read
er convincing myself the series before the release of
ould get my acceptance the sixth movie, "Harry Potter
any day now." I wanted and the Half-Blood Prince," and
rted, learn about magic, came to appreciate that, while
idditch and fawn over the the seventh book wasn't my
man alive: Severus Snape favorite, it still had merit. I liked
ould, of course, be Alan learning the truth about Dumb-
n in real life, obviously, ledore. I liked that we finally got
'en say otherwise). to visit Godric's Hollow. I liked
ild like to say that I've that Snape somehow became
out of this phase. But that sexier when we learned the com-
me a lie. It's borderline plexities of his dual allegiance.
assing how many times But then I saw the trailer for
Potter" crops up in my the seventh movie. And as the
nversations. My friends music swelled while Voldemort
ade it our mission to yelled "Avada Kedavra" at Harry
he world premiere of in the Forbidden Forest, I started
Potter: The Exhibition" laughing. And I didn't stop
luseum of Science & laughing until the trailer ended.
y in Chicago when we It was just too ridiculously over-
the-top dramatic. Yes, I am going
to see the seventh movie on Fri-
day and yes Iam very excited.
erus nape, I But, I'm not expecting much.
The movies have never been
marry y - consistently good and I'm hold-
ing no hope that such a mediocre
portion of the story can turn
to the Windy City for .into a stellar film. Plus, I've been
rk Music Festival '09. 1 burned before by "Harry Potter."
e out-ogled the 10-year- However, I know that, no
en we came into contact matter how stinky the seventh
ovie props like the fake movie turns out tobe, I will
x and a reproduction of still love the "Harry Potter"
s cabin. It was magical. series. My insane obsession
gh the "Harry Potter" with those books is pretty much
an hardly be considered an unbreakable bond. Soto all
ow literature, I feel like the "Harry Potter" fans out
r books have connected there: enjoy the movie, but don't
uch a wide community for despair if it's awful. You can
ong time. Case in point: always curl up under the covers
ave been signs every- and flip to page one of "Harry
n South Quad for the past Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
Ivertising a week-long After all, the books are much
'otter-themed extrava- better than the movies.
n celebration of the Also, you are all invited to
of part one of the seventh mine and Alan Rickman's wed-
I'm still meeting people ding.
rushing to turn them off either.
The tracks are comforting in their
natural simplicity, just like the
The highlights of The Prom-
ise are somewhat few and far
between, but ultimately beneficial
to the album as a whole. The songs
each seem to be a part of each
other, to the extent that impercipi-
ent listeners may not catch when
one ends and another begins. This
makes the exceptions all the more
noticeable. "Because The Night"
was originally written by Spring-
steen and then discarded to be
picked up and recorded by Patti
Smith (to notable success). The
wonderfully dark versionincluded
in The Promise and allows guitarist
Steven Van Zandt the opportunity
to showcase his craft. "Ain't Good
Enough For You," early in the sec-I
ond disc, is swinging and fun in
its casual self-deprecation, and its
chorus ("Oh, I quit little darling /
Yeah, no matter what I do / Girl,
you know it's true / Ain't good
enough for you") is infectious.
A few of the tracks may have
best been abandoned altogether.
"Fire," for instance, was original-
ly written and intended for Elvis
Presley. Though interesting, the
song comes off as an Elvis imper-
sonation and feels out of place in
the middle of a Bruce Springsteen
The two discs of forgotten and
lost songs are a welcome addition
to the already illustrious Springs-
teen discography. By mostly using
material recorded from the post-
Born To Run era, the album pro-
vides new music from Springsteen
when he was still at the height of
'his career. As a whole, The Promise
is a worthy venture.
e who share the same
on. How many books have
:d of flowing? (And;
;ht" doesn't count because
hurgin wants totake a ride on your
Hogwarts Express. To get her aboard,
e-mail her at Irburgin@umich.edu.
are still impolite
of a "1
BRIANNE JOHNSON taunt with only second-long snaps
Daily Arts Writer of unidentifiable but presumably
gruesome attacks and attempts
h a snarl, bite and crunch, at suspense through abrupt scene
mbies of IFC's "Dead Set" changes. When the blood does
invaded fly, the sound effects are the most
y nights repulsive ... and odd. These zom-
I they're bies aren't the silent type - maybe
king any I ad it's just a product of their accents,
rs. With but the undead lap at their victims
-in-cheek CheckIFC.com like thirsty dogs, snorting and
'als of for dates gurgling as flesh splinters beneath
ypical and times their teeth.
person- IFC But when "Dead Set" is good,
and deli- it's good - mind-gnawingly, brain-
English munchingly good. If it's not quot-
the miniseries proves it has ing the late greats ("Dawn of the
ops to survive an undead Dead," anyone?), it's blasting a
ypse. gory, action-packed frenzy to the
show loosely follows vibrant and bouncy chimes of
Jaime Winstone, "Made in Mika's "Grace Kelly."
ham"), a worker on the set Not only does the show provide
Big Brother" replica. Sim- humor and song, it becomes a sym-
tite and a tad mousy, Kelly pathetic ally, annihilating only
infidelity, a stressful job the most annoying and deserving
w the task of uniting with characters - a trend reality TV
ig Brother" cast against karma has yet to follow.
sibalistic population. But It's the absurd yet embarrass-
a dark, graying setting, ingly real details that are most
weapons and a Will Smith plausible. The background action
Legend" attitude, Kelly provides a deeper look into the
'harge of the band of "Big goings-on of favorite shows.
Despite its scripted nature, "Dead
Set" appears far more realistic
. than the melodramatic "reality"
g Brother'is shows currently gracing televi-
utchiz vo sion.
atchmgdyoU The program's "Big Brother"
'aet tch nhouse is decorated to perfection,
g t e and "Dead Set" manages to master
all of the TV personalities, from
the incessant crier, the shallow
r" buffoons who feign bra- blonde and the "bro" to the eccen-
* their pig-brained fictional tric old quack and the sparkly,
- whilecher abrasive mus- flamboyant male-diva (conplete
d boss cowers in the bath- with fish-net stockings and silver
ehind a rabid and decaying shorts). The show also touches on
gic. the deeper social effects by taking
zany plot of "Dead Set" the oblivious isolation of the "Big
y starts off rather bland. Brother" house to a whole new
tely, it's hard to follow. The level. Too bad the show's world
m has trouble with cohe- leaves no one left alive to keep
the different worlds - the watching.
s', Kelly's and the cast's - Although it takes some time for
meet until halfway through the corpses to rise and the severed
t episode. And the violence limbs to fly, "Dead Set" is gory fun
commence until late in and ultimate undead entertain-
ht. The cameras tease and ment.
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