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November 18, 2010 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-11-18

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2B - Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

2B - Thursday, November 18, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Judging A Book
By Its Cover
Why read a single page when the cover
tells the whole story?


On a newly released outtake
from 2008's Post-Nothing, the
drums-and-guitar duo Japandroids
starts with a "Hey!" before letting
its full assault
of sludged-out
angst begin. Like
he's writing a My
Bloody Valentine Japandroids
track on a bad trip, "Heavenward
guitarist Brian Grand Prix'
King builds a wall
of noise behind Polyvinyl
a sporadic dance
beat courtesy of
drummer David Prowse, bringing
some ambient-punk ruckus with
new-school emo lyrics like, "We
don't have to be like they are / On
the heavenward grand prix." The
track builds a steady groove before
tearing it down again and starting

over. Between disjointed burstsof
drummer-boy percussion and faux-
anthemic lyrics, this is what "Sun-
day Bloody Sunday" would sound
like on Psychocandy. Japandroids
takes as many cues from the early
'80s underground as it does from
today's art-damaged punk acts like
No Age.
With "Grand Prix," the band
maintains its moody, minimalist
approach to pumping out gothic,
frustrated anthems, but there's
nothing too compelling here to
reward repeated listens. King's
dingy guitar is too stagnant and dull.
And whatever momentum the song
builds, the band quickly rejects. The
track has bite - and makes plenty of
noise - but it's pretty clear why this
was left off the album.


In a warped science fiction version
of a classic American frontier story,
it's cowboys against aliens in "Cow-
boys & Aliens."
Somehow Dan- **
iel Craig (who
looks just as good .Cowboys
in a cowboy hat&
as he does in his &AieNS
Bond tux) winds Universal
up in the desert
with amnesia,
arousing the suspicions of a can-
tankerous Harrison Ford. The only
clue to Craig's past is the mysteri-
ous metal bracelet around his wrist.
Trouble soon follows like a roving
tumbleweed through the swinging
doors of a dark saloon. Before long,
the people of the quiet, Western
town are being sucked into space-

ships by tractor beams.
There have been space cowboys
before, but cowboys from space
might be a little questionable. As if
to somehow authenticate the movie's
credibility, the preview makes sure
to emphasize the presence of Steven
Spielberg and Ron Howard as pro-
ducers. Not that this really helps the
fact that the movie is basically about
cowboys fighting aliens through
fields of cacti.
It doesn't really seem like a fair
fight, either. The aliens have all this
high tech equipment, and the cow-
boys are riding around on horses
waving torches around. Still, the
cowboys have Daniel Craig and
Harrison Ford; that has to count for
something, right?



Jinx and her werewolf do
things. They gossip about celebs,
take trips to the zoo and visit
Grandma Jinx at her state-man-
dated hospital room. They trade
stock and hair-care tips. They
stay up all night gabbing about
boys (unless of course there's a
full moon, then Jinx locks herself
in the attic and rocks herself to
sleep). They're a couple that seems
to have it all. But one thing they
haven't been able to do is take their
relationship to the next level. Shit
gets weird.
While this reviewer is not par-
ticularly against human-on-myth-
ical-beast love, Marisa Chenery's
"Jinx and Her Werewolf" defies all
standards of good taste. Not only is
Jinx's werewolf a one-dimension-
al caricature (we get it, he's a hairy
stud averse to full moons), but

he's a disgrace to all strong, inde-
pendent werewolves everywhere.
He puts up with Jinx's constant
verbal (and in one tense elevator
scene, physical) abuse, is forced
to pick up Jinx's kids from day-
care every weekday and endures
the couple's weekly swim aero-
bics classes, even though he, like,
hates the water. It's depressing
and insulting to those who grew
up idolizing werewolves for their
power and fury.
Cheneryneedstotake alonglook
at her output and decide whether
it's really good for a generation
of young werewolf enthusiasts to
grow up thinking it's OK for their
heroes to be objectified and belit-
tled, marginalized and deprecated,
emasculated and bikini waxed (yes,
this does happen). Roar.

r I r S~lShowtime always provides an
EPI SOD E RE V I W excellent cast of characters and
amazing cinematographic style,
but lately narra-
tive hasn't been
its strong suit.
Up until its sea-
son finale, "The Taking the
Big C" has fol- Plunge
lowed the mold
with a less-than- The Big C
stellar premise SHOWTIME
that's been done
before: the angry
suburban housewife.
For 12 episodes, Cathy (Laura
Linney) has been a defeated and
self-victimized bitch who just can't
get past the idea she has cancer. But
in "Taking the Plunge," after the
COURTESY OF SHOWTIME suicide of her new friend Marlene,

Cathy finally finds a new lease on
life, ultimately giving a new life for
the series.Instead ofbeing defeated
and angry, Cathy becomes a more
inviting and loving character now
determined to fight her cancer.
This season finale introduces her
best friend's pregnancy with her
homeless brother, and her son's dis-
covery of his mom's cancer. All of
this is very emotional and real, yet
leaves viewers wanting more.
Cathy and her family are every-
day people struck with tragedyt the
developments in the final episode
aren't so over-the-top that they
couldn't happen in real life. Let's
hope Showtime keeps it that way
and doesn't sign away its fate to
insane plots.

Kerrytown Concert House brings intimate vibe to Ann Arbor *

'U' affiliates and
international artists
alike flock to venue
DailyArts Writer
Hill Auditorium, the Michigan Theater,
the Blind Pig, The Ark - these are the
go-to spots for live music in Ann Arbor. But
what about the lesser-known venues that
reside off the beaten path? The Kerrytown
Concert House may not be a recognizable
name to most students, but to many Ann
Arbor residents and some University stu-
dents and faculty, it's a staple for live music
in a city with many options from which to
Known for its intimate space and wel-
coming atmosphere, the Concert House
plays host to performers in styles ranging
from classical and chamber music to avant-
garde jazz and cabaret.
"If you open up The New York Times
any Friday where they have a listing of
what's going on (in) downtown (New York)
in jazz, about 80 percent of those people
listed have passed through here," founder
and director Deanna Relyea said.
In addition to these national - and in
some cases, international - touring acts,
the Concert House is used frequently by
students and faculty of the University.
In the upcoming months, KCH will
see a number of events with University
connections. The Schumann Festival
Concerts in December will include three
nights of chamber music played by School
of Music, Theater & Dance students and
faculty members, while the musical the-
atre department will take over the Con-
cert House in December to perform songs
from new Broadway and off-Broadway
musicals. In addition to these traditional
performances, the concert house will be
the site of a January master class for musi-
cal theatre students taught by Eric Com-
stock and Barbara Fasano - a cabaret duo
currently tearing up the New York night-
life scene.
"I think that young people could take
this place over," said Relyea, a University
alum herself. "They could make it their
Relyea has long embraced the natural

evolution of the venue.
Her original plan back in 1984 was
simple: find a studio suitable for teaching
classical piano lessons and an occasional
master class. A developer offered her a res-
idential house on 4th Avenue - a 20-min-
ute walk from the Diag near Zingerman's
Deli. After an unsuccessful attemptcto have
it torn down for parking, she decided to
give ita try.
"The rent, when it first started, was
$1500 a month - which was a lot in those
days," Relyea said. "That kind of forced me
to think about ways to make money (and)
diversify the business."
One performance led to another and the
Concert House - now a non-profit organi-
zation - has continued to grow and prog-
ress ever since.
"We've sort of moved our niche as nec-
essary through the years," Relyea said.
"People look to the space for many dif-
ferent things," added Ellie Falaris Ganelin,
marketing assistant for the concert house.
"You come in the afternoon and you'll see
kids toting their cellos or violins up the
stairs to take lessons."
But when the night falls, performers
from around the world come to entertain
eager audiences. In the past two months,
musicians from Finland, Germany, Argen-
tina and Spain have played sets.
In its current incarnation, the Concert
House has maintained Relyea's initial
vision by renting out rooms upstairs for
private lessons, but its primary attraction
is its first-floor performance space.
The L-shaped room thatctakes over most
of the first floor has a distinctly intimate
feel, unlike many concert venues.
"The space is fairly small - it's a 110
seating capacity," Falaris Ganelin said.
"The audience is up close, so the perform-
ers can see what color lipstick you're wear-
ing in the front row."
Professor Ellen Rowe, chair of the
Department of Jazz and Contemporary
Improvisation at the University, explained
how the closeness between audience and
artist has affected her performances at the
Concert House.
"The space is intimate and certainly
enhances a sense of warmth and commu-
nity," she wrote in an e-mail interview. "As
my performances frequently involved con-
versation with the audience, this is incred-
ibly important."


The Kerrytown Concert House's performance space takes up the first floor of a 4th Avenue house.

venue like Hill.
The city itself is also an important com-
ponent to the Concert House's longevity.
"The Concert House is a unique busi-
ness," Relyea said. "It's designed to fit into
Ann Arbor."
"Ann Arbor attracts artistic and edu-
cated people," she continued. "The rea-
son why any local business survives is
because the people in the community
care to support local businesses and keep
that thriving."

The relationship between audience and
performer continues after the music stops.
"After the show, the artist will be sit-
ting here in the hallway and the audience
members can interact with the artist after-
wards," Falaris Ganelin said.
This sense of community is something
that Falaris Ganelin considers one of the
most important aspects of the Concert
"(It's this) unique, organic interaction
that you don't see at other places" that

makes the venue so attractive to patrons
and musicians alike, she said.
The intimacy of the Concert House also
lends itself well to on-the-spot improvisa-
"By being in a smaller setting, you have
more of that interaction - that fire, that
spark to create something new happens
in a space where you can be close to the
other players and to the audience," Falaris
Ganelin said, adding that this "spark" is
more difficult to generate at a massive

E-mail photome@umich.edu for
information on applying.


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