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January 20, 2011 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-01-20

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o 0


2 Thursday January 20 -2011 T B-

Thursday, 20,2011 - 7B


A decade before Gordon Gekko taught
us that "greed is good" in 1987's "Wall
Street," the infamous "me"-centric mantra
was already a way of life
for many a coke-addled
disco clubber. Destroyer
chief Dan Bejar taps into str
late-'70s excess seamless-
ly on the title track from "Kaputt"
his new album, Kaputt,
locking in a smoldering
two-chord groove over six minutes of sexy
overproduction. A dreamy throwback to
the late-disco likes of Bryan Ferry or Hall &
Oates, "Kaputt" captures the era perfectly
and with enough. headroom to fit in among
chillwavers 30 years later. This music is hip
- said without the slightest hint of hipster
irony. Williamsburg might actually dance

to this stuff.
Skating along with a silky smooth saxo-
phone, 'lude-addled synths and arpeggiat-
ing horns, Bejar holds the track in place with
carefully manicured guitars that jangle like
The Cranberries on cocaine. Wistful and
whispery throughout, Bejar's vocals main-
tain an arm's length from the surrounding
soul, rounding out powder-inflected notes
like the Thin White Duke at his groovy best.
However corny as it all might seem on paper,
"Kaputt" is a slow-burning boogie with
enough texture, personality and panache
to stay alive long after the late-night buzz
wears off. 'Til then, find that dusty copy of
Saturday Night Fever, grab a zoot suit and
hit the floor like it's 1979 with Bejar and co.
as the backdrop. Can you dig it?

Volunteerism with
a serving of Flavor


What is "Battle: Los Angeles?" The alien
invasion movie's first trailer, which debuted
on iTunes in November, was a mysterious
collection of slickly edited
action set pieces. It fea-
tured jittery camerawork
that evoked memories of e: Los
"Black Hawk Down" and
"The Hurt Locker," fan- AeleS
tastically executed sci-fi Columbia
CGI comparable to "Dis-
trict 9" and the futuris-
tic, mournfully desperate sound of J6hann
Jfhannsson's "The Sun's Gone Dim and
the Sky's Turned Black." There was no dia-
logue, zero exposition and barely seconds of
screen time for the film's two leads, Aaron
Eckhart ("The Dark Knight") and Michelle
Rodriguez ("Avatar"). Was the film going for
something somber and serious? Or would it
be overdramatic and unintentionally funny,

like last year's "Skyline?"
The second trailer gives us a definitive
answer, and it doesn't involve a universally
loathed, zero-star film. TV broadcasts fill us
in on Earth's condition. Eckhart and Rodri-
guez give line deliveries ripped from battle-
field documentaries. And thenwe plungeright
back into the explosive action of the first trail-
er - the intense, frantic urban warfare that
put "Battle" on the map. Skyscrapers burn.
Helicopters crash. Aliens die. Conceptually,
it's nothing new - films ranging from "War
of the Worlds" to "Independence Day" have
tackled the whole alien invasion thing time
and time again. But judging by the trailer, the
cinematography, the serious tone and the lack
of foreseeable sci-fi MacGuffins all put this
film a notch above the rest of the pack. Points
off though, for recycling the same J6hannsson
song at the end of the trailer.

Nixon via aria

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By JOE CADAGIN inger. While in the Orient, the three
DailyFineArtsEditor Americans meet with Chairman Mao
Zedong, his wife Jiang Qing and Chi-
When opera first emerged in the nese Premier Zhou Enlai.
late 16th century, composers looked In the opera's dramatic opening
to the classical world for inspiration. scene, Air Force One descends upon
Like other Renaissance thinkers and a bare field outside Peking. Adams,
artists, early opera composers found whose music draws on the repetitive
subject material in the myths of rhythms and chord progressions of
ancient Greece and Rome, bringing minimalism, cleverly weaves "The
to life stories of gods, goddesses and Star Spangled Banner" into the score
heroes. as Pat and Richard Nixon step out
Yet these mythic figures seem to of the plane and wave to a crowd of
have faded with the passing of time. stiff-backed soldiers and dignitaries.
Composers no longer choose to write Original footage of this moment
epic works based on the stories of from 1972 shows Nixon speaking
Dido and Aeneas or Orpheus and politely with Premier Zhou Enlai and
Eurydice. So where do modern com- the officials he meets, so itcan come as
posers find operatic material that a shock to first-time viewers when one
will be relevant to today's audiences? of the most controversial presidents in
history begins to sing in a deep, oper-
atic baritone. As he shakes hands with
the Premier, Nixon belts out, "News
"News news news newsnews news news news has a has
11 ahasakind of mystery!"
news news.. Using Nixon's opening phrase as
a platform, librettist Alice Goodman
recreates legendary moments that
In 1987, composer JohnAdams and everyAmerican in the'70s had eager-
librettist Alice Goodman answered ly followed in the evening news. Just
this question with one of the most as Renaissance thinkers were linked
important works of contemporary by a common knowledge of ancient
opera - "Nixon in China." In this Greco-Roman legends, audiences
groundbreaking work, it's not gods who saw the premiere of "Nixon in
and goddesses who come to life China" would have all been famil-
before our eyes, but rather six of the iar with the President's diplomatic
most important political figures of sojourn in the PRC.
the 20th century. Goodman also moves beyond the
Drawing on television and news opera's epic scope by entering the
coverage, the opera dramatizes minds of the six main characters -
President Richard Nixon's historic examining how they relate to one
1972 visit to China with his wife Pat another and what makes them tick.
and Secretary of State Henry Kiss- See NIXON, Page8B

For 'U' student group,
community service a
nourishing side dish
Daily Arts Writer
"So we can do chili and cornbread
... Do we havea cornbread recipe that
we liked?" asks LSA junior Melanie
"I have a good cornbread recipe
with tomatoes and cheese on the
inside. The only problem is that I
haven't cooked it all the way through
yet," says Engineering junior Ben
Looking for inspiration, the mem-
bers of Project Flavor flip through
recent issues of Cook's Illustrated
and Bon Appdtit spread out on the
table, while glossy images of color-
ful pastas and rich chocolate des-
serts flash beneath their fingertips.
Meanwhile, Rachael Levine, an LSA
senior, turns her laptop to face the
group, the screen displaying a gooey
cookie bar dessert.
"Do you want to do those oat
things for dessert? It has nuts in it,
but I'd get rid of them," she says.
After a discussion that success-
fully leaves everyone slightly hun-
grier than they were before the
meeting started, Project Flavor has
come up with its menu for its Fri-
day cook date.
The new Line
Chinese Cuisine
Kw i 'adcn Specializing
in Fong Kong
L I a Hunan &
etooe? W INro? and dishes
W aShtera vj )C ry os:
and reServtionsaccepted. arThur i-l
We 51alCohol Fr & Sat 111
Open 7 Days Sun 1 2-1

As a club combining community
service with the culinary arts, Proj-
ect Flavor cooks weekly gourmet
meals for the occupants of the Ron-
ald McDonald House - a residence
located across the street from the
University Hospital that offers hous-
ing for little-to-no charge to fami-
lies who have a child going through
extended medical treatment.
"It's very rewarding when people
come up at the end of the meal and
they'll say, 'Oh, we love this group,'
because we don't cook boxed things
or just like spaghetti and stuff,"
Levine said.
"Sometimes I've had people who
are like, 'This is so good, can I have
the recipe for this?' " she added.
"We're doing something for other
people, but we're also enjoying it
at the same time and it's nice when
people think its tastes good."
For the members of Project Flavor,
food is a common passion and con-
sumes much of their attention, mak-
ing the volunteering aspect of the
group an added bonus.
"Yeah, I actually forget sometimes
that we do this really positive volun-
teer thing," Isaacoff said.
Isaacoff also emphasized his

interest in healthy food. Growing up,
his mother cooked tasty, high qual-
ity food and his family went out to
eat often. When he went to college,
Isaacoff needed a way to learn how
to cook, which is why he joined Proj-
ect Flavor.
"I was accustomed to eating really
well prepared food ... I went off to
college and left my mother behind
and I was like, 'How am I gonna eat
good food?'" Isaacoff said.
According to Adams, the group
constantly learns from each another
in the kitchen. It was Project Fla-
vor that has taught her how to cook
things she had no idea how to cook
before - like bread.
Project Flavor does its best to
cook with as many fresh, healthy
ingredients as possible, and many of
its menus include tortillas or bread
made from scratch.
"We've made our own lasagna
noodles and we've done ravioli in
the past - that's always fun," Levine
said, adding that one of his favorite
dishes was homemade apple dump-
lings that consisted of apples covered
in dough and caramel sauce.
Experimentation with recipes at
See FLAVOR, Page 8B

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