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September 13, 2010 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-09-13

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8A - Monday, September 13, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

MUSIC COLUMN
How the Bee Gees
betrayed my expectations

I like-
The Bee
double a
classic -
lost. Itvw
delia clir
for life,a
the albu
tempora
ily split t
Brothers
it has be
reissued
enjoys it
est fanb:
some cas
some rat
Or at]
it to be.I
listen, re
imagina
"Odessa
my searc
Prior1
run at R
the Gibb
Australi
do what
'68, they
it. But 19
TI
G
so
bro
hits and
brothers
old atth
pop soni
less?) or
pop vagt
and a co
bers ... n
was a fat
instrum
a workin
It didn't
charts. A
pressing
felt, cau
for recor

- maybe love - Odessa. resulting in its circulation as
Gees' acclaimed 1969 an abridged, felt-less cardboard
ibum could be a "lost" admission of failure.
if it had ever really been So, of course, it's got the lore,
vas the tail end of psyche- ravings and history of a "lost clas-
nging sic," a modest "masterpiece," a
and "cult" gem.
m that But maybe the music was never
r- that good.
up the I listened to Odessa casually at
s Gibb. first, critically second and now
en obsessively. I learned two of the
and songs on piano. I read as many
s mod- JOE reviews, histories and fanboy
ase: DIMUZIO musings I could find on it. I was
sual, persistent with it. I was patient.
bid. I downloaded lousy mp3s before
least that's how I imagine hunting down the original, com-
I heard it was worth a plete with felt lining. I loved it. I
ad a few reviews, let my listened to it going to bed, trying
tion run free and typed to sleep, waking up, working out
" and "rapidshare" into and drinking.
h bar. This summer it was the only
to their hugely popular album that never left my CD
&B/Disco-pop stardom, changer and always sat on top
s were some punks from of the turntable. Sometimes I
a who figured they could propped up the sleeve so I could
The Beatles did. And by stare at it. I told myself how great
had some hits to prove the album could be, letting the
69's Odessa awarded no album's storied (probably false
and out-of-proportion) history
and expectation soak in without
broters actually playing it.
.he brothers acAnd listens started to occa-
ibb aren't sionally yield a few skips. A
few aimless minutes of passive
unlike the listening. The acceptance that
sometimes the hooks don't hook
thers Jonas. like they should, this section
could have been shorter, impos-
sible things. Maybe I just don't
like "Marley Purt Drive." Maybe
temporarily split the Robin Gibb's voice really does
(each around 19 years suck. Maybe I'm bored.
e time) . It had lengthy A Saturday's late night clean-
gs with tasteful (taste- ing as drunk strangers stumbled
chestration, chamber out of our bi-level "house" (hah)
ueries of battles at sea yielded some unexpected results
uple square-dance num- for Odessa. With lights going out,
ot exactly Ed Sullivan. It Odessa spinning and couches
tty double album, with freeing up, the TV ended up on
ental "symphonies," and a muted Encore presentation of
ig title of Masterpeace. "Jonas Brothers: The Concert
make bank or break Experience," a film I hadn't seen.
?dding to that, the first It looked incredible. The
was lined with crimson Jonas Brothers changed their
sing allergic reactions outfits at light speed, running
rd factory workers, out to an HD sea of cell phone

screens. Every head of sweat and
string of hair shone. They were
rock stars. They had violins.
Apparently, the movie was also
shot in 3-D.
Tipsy and curious, I muted
Odessa mid-song to hear the
Brothers Jonas. They didn't
sound like they looked. They
didn't sound like Odessa either,
but I wanted them to. Their
performance, gawdy, awkward,
expensive, huge ... it was the
Odessa I had always imagined,
and I was bummed to realize the
album didn't sound the way I felt
it should.
Joe Jonas's cut-off, lime green
v-neck shirt. The way he shook
his lower head when he riffed.
Clean, maybe a little annoying
... just like Robin Gibb. At one
point, Kevin, Nick and Joe were
lifted on tiny circle platforms 20
feet above the screaming, crying
crowd. Their bodyguard rapped.
The bombasity of it all, the spec-
tacle, was overwhelming, like
Odessa's luxury felt cover and
inexplicable in-sleeve illustra-
tion of an "epic" ship wreck. My
expectations crumbled before the
music again.
ButI can't let go of that fake
history, that imagined sound,
my appreciation of an album on
mute.
I still dig Odessa. You can find
it pretty easily at most record
shops, and I recommend it.
"Sound of Love" is still the best
ballad/torch/anthem Aretha
never sang. "Lamplight" still
glows like a tortured teenage
heart. The stubborn, bloody rally
call of "Black Diamond." Pop
music, distribution and Wiki-
pedia. No one can take away the
way I feel about Odessa. It's mine
now.
For now, I'll accept reality and
wait until the Jonas Brothers
make their own "lost classic."
Might take a while.
Dimuzio wants a JoBros cutout
to hang above his bed. If you have
one, e-mail shonenjo@umich.edu.

Spy Vs. Spy' sst as tansy duriso the Csld War.
'Farewell' dismisses
the usual spy formula

Cold War film tells mission, codenamed "Farewell,"
promises to eventually release the
the real story of lucrative "X-list," a list of all the
Soviet spies across the world, to the
Soviet spy Reagan administration.
Save a rather hamfisted por-
Yladimlr Vetrov trayal of Ronald Reagan by Fred
Ward ("Sweet Home Alabama") as
By JENNIFER XU a gunslinging, flag-waving 1980s
Daily Arts Writer George W. Bush, "Farewell" man-
ages to exercise excellent subtlety
What kinds of lives do real and restraint in its depiction of
spies lead? "Farewell," a quiet the Cold War. There is a quiet ten-
little movie far sion threaded in the papers gently
removed from slipped into a pocket or the intake
the land of cin- of a breath when a Soviet police-
ematic spies Farwell man comes near. All this serves as
Jason Bourne an excellent allegory for the arms
and James Bond, At the gridlock present in the actual war
focuses on the Michigan - all friction, but no action.
personal reper- NeoCassics At first, the film largely centers
cussions of the on the rationale behind Grigoriev's
outwardly excit- choices and his adherence to his
ing life of political espionage, country's beliefs. Kusturica plays
instead of resorting to thrilling the role of the conflicted, ursine
chases and impenetrable mys- Grigoriev to great success, effec-
teries. The film is a remarkably tively capturing the spy's doubts
nuanced portrayal of the tension and concerns about his actions.
of the times during the Russian- In betraying the country he held
American Cold War. so dear, Grigoriev, who accepts no
Based on the real-life story of monetary compensation save wine,
Soviet spy Vladimir Vetrov, "Fare- chocolates and music cassettes of
well" follows the partnership and Queen (whom he mistakenly and
tentative friendship between KGB farcically calls "Keen") for his son
colonel Grigoriev (Emir Kusturi- Igor, sustains the hope of a better,
ca, "Underground") and nebbish more revolutionary Communist
French engineer Pierre (Guillaume future for the next generation.
Canet, "The Beach"). Increasingly Canet plays Pierre with more
disillusioned with the Russian high-strung neuroticism, and
administration under Leonid Bre- seizes his mission of delivering
zhnev and Yuri Andropov, Grig- secret papers with considerably
oriev begins to pass classified, less enthusiasm than his calm Rus-
high-risk KGB information to the sian counterpart. The two spawn
French ilysde Palace and eventu- a unique relationship, navigating
allytheAmericangovernment.The the maze of espionage one min-

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ute and companionably discussing
French poetry the next. Yet while
Grigoriev and Pierre grow closer
in their quest for Soviet takedown,
they begin to alienate their fami-
lies in the process.
Slowly, as the two spies spin
their webs of deception, they
migrate away from the wives and
children to whom they cannot
reveal their secrets, their gradual
slip from reality comparable to
the 2006 German film "The Lives
of Others." The result is a rather
touching, unglamorous portrait of
spies who cannot return to their
real lives after exercising such
duplicity in their jobs, or perhaps
because they were never part of it
in the first place.
Dismayingly, though, the film
begins to lose all momentum as it
approaches the last 20 minutes.
As the plot begins to twist into
more and more unsolvable knots,
"Farewell" becomes reduced to an
externalized account of political
espionage, rather than the inter-
nal one it had been building up
to. Finally, when Willem Dafoe
("Antichrist") appears, making
a brief cameo as the mustache-
twirling American CIA agent with
a dastardly plan up his sleeve, the
film loses all shred of subtlety. The
ending is pretty much what you
would expect from a Cold War
spy movie - a dramatic, climactic
standoff set in the icy landscape
of the Soviet Union, accompanied
by the delicate plinks of a piano
from the composer Clint Mansell
("Requiem for a Dream"). The ten-
sion is still there, but the quiet has
disappeared.
COME
TO THIS
WEEK'S
MASS
MEETINGS
AT THE
DAILY!
YOU'LL
LAUGH.
YOU'LL CRY.
YOU'LL
APPLY!
Tuesday and Thursday
at 7 p.m.
420 Maynard Street.
Be there or beEl

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