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February 25, 2011 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-02-25

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8 Friday, February 25, 2011

The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com

8 - Friday, February 25, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

TV NOTEBOOK
'Lights' goes out too soon

Daniel Radcliffe starred in a 2007 London production of "Equus."
'Equns'rides
to Ann Arbor
By ERIN STEELE about it."
Daily Arts Writer While the play is geared
toward a mature audience, Bund
The average college student encourages people not to miss
probably knows about Peter out on the fascinating plotline,
Shaffer's play "Equus" because whichgrappleswithchild-parent
Daniel Rad- relationships, psychotherapy and
cliffe shed religion, along with numerous
his Harry Equs other issues. He calls the show,
Potter char- Thursday to which includes nudity and has
acter (and Saturday at8p.m. the feel of a dark horror movie,
clothes) through March19 provocative and intense, and said
for a 2007 that the "brilliant, young and
West End BlackbirdTheatre verygood-looking cast" will help
production. Ticketsofrom $15 to draw people in and become
However, involved in the play.
there is a lot more to this psy- When Bund started Blackbird
chotic drama than seeing the boy Theatre in Ypsilanti in 1998 with
wizard nude, and Blackbird The- some of his fellow college stu-
atre, which premiered the play dents, he had a less-famous play
yesterday, intends to reveal the in tow. He had written a script
deeper qualities. and was shopping it to some local
"It's not done as often as I think theatres, when he decided to
it should be," said Blackbird's take matters into his own hands
founder and managing artistic and put on the show himself. One
director Barton Bund. "I think thing led to another, and Bund
it's a modern classic, just like and his group continue to build
anything Arthur Miller wrote or their body of work.
Tennessee Williams wrote." "We did school and profes-
"Equus" tells the story of psy- sional work outside of that, but
chiatrist Martin Dysart's treat- continued to have a company
ment of Alan Strang, a young boy where we felt like we could do
who develops a sexual attraction the stuff we were most passion-
to horses. As Dysart learns more ate about," he said.
about Strang's family life and Bund chose to name the com-
religious values through psycho- pany Blackbird Theatre, partially
analysis and hypnosis exercises, as a reference to the Beatles' song
it becomes clear that Strang's of the same name. The line "All
erotic fascination with the ani- your life /You were only waiting
mals has several disturbing com- for this moment to arise," encap-
ponents. sulates how Bund feels about the
completion of his company.
"We had this weird thing hap-
pen before we opened our first
show," Bund said. "A huge gath-
ering of blackbirds came around
the building. It's just a name that
Blackbird. has some power for us. It's just
kind of who we are."
After being in Ann Arbor for
seven years, the company has
"It's got a lot of elements to it relocated to Braun Court, across
that are very challenging," Bund the street from Kerrytown. With
said. "It's a piece that depends between 40 and 50 seats, Bund
on the actors' commitment and said the new space allows the
nothing else." actors to look into each other's
The play is one of Bund's eyes and become immersed in
favorites, and the company has their acting, without having to
been waiting to tackle the chal- concern themselves with being
lenge since its founding. Once loud enough for the audience to
the stars finally aligned and the hear them - the ideal venue for
right director and cast came performances of"Equus."
along, Bund knew that the time "It's a play that's absolute
was now. madness," he said. "It's close and
"It's a very poetic piece. Here it's hot and sweaty. There's a lot
we are, nearly 13 years after we to think about when you're done
started and we're finally getting with it. I think people are in for a
to it," he said. "I'm really happy really exciting night."

An obituary from
a die-hard 'Friday
Night Lights' fan
By JENNIFER XU
Senior ArtsEditor
In a typical game, the Dillon
Panthers enter the fourth quarter
21 points down and then score 14
back within the last 10 minutes]
six more in the last ten seconds.
And then theygo for the two-point
conversion, every time. I guess it's
to the credit of my substantial
non-knowledge of football that I
thought this sort of thing was the
norm in high school athletics. Not
that it really matters, since the
secret that all the fans of "Friday
Night Lights" have been hoarding
is that the show has never really
been about football.
When the star quarterback of a
Texas highschool football team is
paralyzed in the first game of the
season, shockwaves are sent deep
into the core of Dillon, a charac-
ter as much as it is a town bub-
bling with racism, homophobia,
alcoholism and regional narrow-
mindedness - traits that even the
show's most heroic characters
display to a certain extent. What's
most laudable about the show is
its candid portrayal of the South
as a place with real-life prob-
lems, which make it feeltruer and
more of a home than any rose-
tinted rendition of southern belle
decadence (a la "Gone With the
Wind").
Now that "Friday Night Lights"
has taken its final bow out of TV
circulation after five flawlessly
rendered seasons, I really don't
know what I'm going to do with
myself. For all its deficiencies,
there are so many things that I'm
going to miss about Dillon - the
dizzy crane swing up to the tall,
tall stadium lights right before a
game, the players solemnly suit-
ing up as if they were getting

9

The leaders and best ... of Texas, anyway.

ready for a Middle Earth war, the
pre-game prayer-slash-pep talk,
the raging party that follows avic-
tory, the silent bus ride home that
follows a loss. A football game is
never just a football game - it's
a space in time where battles are
fought and men are molded.
In reviewing movies, I think I
do an OK job at encapsulating a
film experience into a 600-word
block of text. But I can't even
begin to touch on the way I feel
about "Friday Night Lights" and
how much it's affected the way
I view high school, football and
most importantly, television.
I've realized the reason I
don't really like to watch TV is
because the writers consistently
create narrative arcs that don't
make any sense. One minute the
characters are all happy and put-
together, and then out of the blue
there's a murder or a pregnancy
or a dastardly flashback to the
past. In television, authenticity
is often sacrificed for a continu-
ous half-hour storyline that you
don't get as much in film's tautly

stretched screenplays. But what I
love about "Friday Night Lights"
is that it rarely ever lets the epi-
sodic nature of its medium take
precedence over its characters
and setting. Everything it does
just makes sense.
"Play it that way, like you're
never gonna lace up again. Play it
that way, and then let it go,"one of
the former players says to anoth-
er, and we believe him - because
truly, nothingevermeantas much
to us as it did when we were in
high school. I was reading a medi-
cal school memoir a few days ago,
and the author was saying that
so much effort was exerted on a
few innocuous decisions in their
cadaver dissections - which stu-
dent was going to be their cadaver
partner, who was going to make
which incisions, what they were
going to wear to the dissection.
Because many of their deci-
sions are made for them by fac-
ulty members and senior doctors,
every little choice they made was
just that much larger in scope.
High school is much of the same

way. Prom, football games, grad-
uation - nothing was ever "just
a game" or "just a dance." When
your world is smaller, everything
holds just that bit more of signifi-
cance, and I think "Friday Night
Lights" understands that in its
bones better than anything.
I don't care if most TV shows
reach their expiration dates
after five seasons; I could watch
Coach Taylor screaming South-
ern obscenities at a ragtag bunch
of boys for the rest of my life.
Every time that Explosions in the
Sky song pops into my conscious-
ness, the one-man Greek chorus
of Slammin' Sammy Mead drawl-
ing on the radio about coaching,
the shaky cam panning back and
forth on the football signs on the
front lawns, it just gets me. I don't
ever want to leave Dillon, Jason
Street, Matt and Julie, Coach and
Mrs. Coach, slippered Grandma
Saracen, boozy, beautiful Tim
Riggins or that big old Texas-
flecked sun.
Clear eyes, full hearts, can't
lose.

ALBUM REVIEW
Toro Y Moi paints a picture on 'Pine'"

ByJULIASMITH-EPPSTEINER
FortheDaily
On the cover of Underneath the
Pine, the sharply detailed mus-
tache on Chazwick Bundick's face

hangs just above
his Filipino lips,
which enclose
and bite upon
a material that
appears to be
a hybrid of the
insides of a fal-
lopian tube and

Toro Y Moi
Underneath
the Pine
Carpark

a grapefruit - a
very twisted and captivating way
to present the 24-year-old's latest
album.
Bundick - better known by the
stage name Toro Y Moi - brought
himself to chillwave fame with
his first album, Causers of This in
2010, but Underneath the Pine goes
down a different avenue of wave.
It is a more intellectualized, ambi-
ent collection of live instrumenta-
tion that adds up to 39 minutes of
experimental exploration in the
deep blue sea of sound, each layer
its own salty entity.

Carrying the sophomore album
into public awareness is Toro y
Moi's newfound business partner:.
Urban Outfitters. The artist has
used the outlet of burgundy tights
and slick Urbanears headphones
for purposes of exposure, letting
the mainstreamed hipster compa-
ny rep his "New Beat" music video.
"New Beat" could easily compel
listeners to drop a true 60 dollars
on Urbanears and go to a zone of
half-ass disco, space luxury and
vintage-whisper vocals, where
grooving is the one only plausible
action. The music video does the
sexy bull-musician some serious
justice, complimenting the groove
with images that add a certain
delicacy: a fiery sunset flickering
through branches, automobiles
on the move, snow, smoke and
Bundick's appetizing face - com-
plete with his clear, horn-rimmed
glasses and hoodie. Many thanks
for the fallopian tube-grapefruit
not tainting this satisfying video
and track.
It turns out Bundick is not sim-
ply a handsome and funky South
Carolinan whipping out songs for

other handsomes and funkies to beautiful musician. He kisses a
smoke marijuana and twirl their dog, spins a dandelion between
fingers in the air to, a little too his fingers, munches a sandwich,
chilled-out for vertical dancing. dances like the king charmer of
He's a multi-faceted, multi-instru- the '80s and smiles bright while
ment dude. messing around with his friend's
mustache in the park.
Master of hip music videos,
Toro Y Moi elevates itself in per-
sonality but leaves the music itself
Bundick. somewhat on the backburner.
The penultimate track, "Good
Hold," is the underdog on Under-
neath the Pine. It drops out of the
The pre-released single, "Still fort that Bundick is holding down
Sound," is one of the few tracks via keyboard, organ and wafting
that steps away from cloudiness. vocals. This sort-ofballad releases
Complete with synthesized funk the album from its Play-Doh mold,
beats and a staggering, staccato resulting in an orgasmic cross-
voice, "Still Sound" conjures the fade from left headphone to right
image of the chillest of chill bars: to left.
gin and tonics resting on white Opening track "Intro Chi Chi"
modernized countertops, neon is a trance in full effect. It's a ride
lights and right angles compose on ecstasy where lying face-up,
the room's atmosphere as fresh eyelids relaxed, Bundick deliver-
boys and girls glissade between ing his sound, is too pleasant. And
each other. for an unknown reason, it seems
If that scene isn't enough, the like the orbiting funk sound is
music video for "Still Sound" will meant for an intellectual audience.
make listeners want to get on his Underneath the Pine doesn't feel
level of cool and befriend this epic, but it sure does feel good.

H)
Em
Sign
Dail
in

Resources may be limited.
Ideas are NOT.
So if you have a breakthrough idea for helping
planet earth to be a more sustainable place, then
enter the Dow Sustainability Innovation
Student Challenge.
Concepts, which should be interdisciplinary
in nature, can be related to chemistry, climate
change, energy conservation, product safety,
public policy, or other critical ideas. Students with
the top three ideas will receive $10,000, courtesy
of the Dow Chemical Company.

The Dow Challenge is exclusively for U-M
graduate students. Individual and team
submissions will be accepted. The deadline is
March 5, 2011! So don't delay.
If you think you have a winning idea ... go ahead.
Enter online at www.graham.umich.edu
(under student programs).
H blue
IGRAHAM
n s'._-..,.INSTITUTE

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