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February 07, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-02-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, February 6, 2011- 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, February 6, 2011 - 5A

'Blue' a mixed Affair

"Omigod ... You're supposed to hang a sock."

Horror in the, halls

Daily Arts Writer
Let's face it. Half the fans of
Hercules and Love Affair's self-
titled, critically adored, unapolo-
getically gay
debut never
danced to
itt With the Herculesand
attention of
hip-enough Love Affair
tastemak- Blue Songs
ers and DFA's
stamp, Hercules Moshi Moshi
and Love Affair
was easy to like
- cool to be loved - by all the kids
crossing their arms at DEMF.
But for those who danced,
HALA's debut proved to be more
than just a good album. Producer
and writer Andy Butler's retro-
but-not jams managed to occupy
two of disco's best qualities: a
damn good groove and that dark
realization that all the great times
in the world would never save
you from the future. In the con-
text of gay dance music, it felt like
some cosmic epitaph with Antony
Hegarty as torch-bearing mater-
familias, leadingthe march to the
next party - dancing and crying
at the same time.
Hercules and Love Affair's
sophomore Blue Songs decides
to pick up that torch, which was
apparently dropped in Chicago
right around 1985-87. While the
debut hinted at it, Blue Songs
makes early house its modus ope-
randi, with the sort of forward-
thinking reverence and sonics
that would make Frankie Knuck-
les blush. Disco may have "died"
at the ends ofhetero baseball fans,
but its living, breathing ghost is
forever jacking in the Windy City

Meester and Kelly - and this oversight really comes
back to bite her.
creep audiences out By 2011, it looks like the sin-
gle, white females of 1992 have
in 'The Roommate' settled down, gotten married
and are preparing to send their
By BEN VERDI ridiculously attractive prog-
Daily Arts Writer eny off to expensive universities.
Enter: "The Roommate," starring
"The Roommate" seems like Minka Kelly (TV's "Friday Night
a modern take on the 1992 film Lights") and Leighton Meester
"Single WhiteFemale,"inwhich a (TV's "Gossip Girl") as her new-
single, white est, most obsessivefriend.
female puts The most significant differ-
out an ad in ence between this film and its
the news- The Roommate predecessor is expressed in the
paper for a' rating each received. "Single
new room- At Quality16 White Female" was rated R, and
mate - her and Rave was clearly marketed as a horror
only request flick for single, white females in
being that ScreetiGems their late twenties, with money.
the person Because "The Roommate" is only
to become her new roommate be rated PG-13, it promises not to be
another single, white female. She as scary or violent, but it does a
doesn't think to specify that she good job of being creepy enough
doesn't want anyone crazy - or to be satisfying.
harboring homicidal tendencies That is, while viewers are not

explicitly shown much murder or
craziness until about an hour in,
this story does agood job ofbuild-
ing on its own weirdness until
we're genuinely uncomfortable.,
The point of this film is not to sit
through it covering your eyes,
waiting to crush the fingers of the
person next to you when the next
"gotcha" moment happens. The
point is to leave the theater more
disturbed than frightened.
While Kelly doesn't do too
impressive a job as an inno-
cent fashion student, the story's
effectiveness hinges less on her
performance than on Meester's,
who, surprisingly, plays a pretty
convincing hot freshman psy-
cho. Kelly generally plays her
part serviceably, but Meester
skillfully descends from quirki-
ness into, overprotectiveness
and, finally, a genuinely sinister
psychotic mess.
Meester's initial innocence

Duh duh duh duh (snap, snap).
and Butler's there - with a new time out are fan-turned-member
crew and TR-909's in hand - to Shaun Wright and Berliner Aerea
etch it in stone. . Negrot, both of whom do just fine,
And if disco had the grace of but never transcend.
naivete, house had the cold resig- Kim Ann Foxman's deadpan-
nation that your days in the club nery is back and Butler croons on
a few too. DFA's TimGoldsworthy
and bassist Tyler Pope are out as
Putting disco in well, replaced by the economical,
subtle efforts of Patrick Pulsinger.
the house. Even with these chillier house
drapes, Butler's lineup change
wouldn't be a problem if Butler's
insistence on vocals wasn't so
were numbered. So Blue Songs concrete.
carries dread with its moments So Blue Songs doesn't have the
of ebullience - "Blind" 2.0 this is warmth or accessibility for the
not. straight, non-house crowd that
But the group feels like Her- the debut did, which is fine. But
cules and Love Affair L5, with it doesn't have the range, power
the towering Antony and Nomi or ingenuity, either. To be fair,
Ruiz gone. Playing diva duty this See BLUE SONGS, Page 6A

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