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March 16, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, March 16, 2011- 5A

. Do we like it, yeah?

Dodos redefine genre

British dance-punk
group royally rocks
second album
By ELLIOT ALPERN
DailyArts Writer
"The funky monkeys is com-
ing!" screams a sample on the
first single "The Monkeys Are
Coming" from Don't Say We
Didn't Warn You, and it doesn't
get any
more nor- 7k C 7C>
mal from
there. Does It Offend
Rang- You, Yeah?
ing from
house to Don't Say We
alternative Didn't Warn You
(sometimes CookingVinyl
even in the
same song),
the dance-punk outfit Does It
Offend You, Yeah? plays with
a fervency that feels like a caf-
feine-fueled freakout punctu-
ated by episodes of calmness.
Sometimes sweet, sometimes
intense and sometimes down-
right weird, Don't Say We Didn't
Warn You always finds ways to
surprise and entertain.
Without a doubt, Don't Say's
greatest attribute is its reck-
less and rewarding tracklist.
For instance, the wonderfully
excessive "John Hurt" goes big
with booming drums and heavy
riffs as singer James Rushent
screams "Get out of my fucking
way!" However, immediately
after, "Pull Out My Insides" is
almost tender in its vulnerabil-

it, and is more than accessible
enough to make noise on the
Top 40.
The variety doesn't stop
there: On "Wondering," British
rapper Trip overlays a vibrant
synthesizer with lines like "I
keep seeing Bill Hicks's ghost
/ he says World War IV will be
fought with sticks and stones."
The opening track "We Are
the Dead," begins with a soft,
charming indie guitar, but
morphs into a fist-pumping
house beat.
The British natives break
out to show their ability most
in the more alternative-orient-
ed tracks. While "Pull Out My
Insides" could be the best song
on the album, the concluding
"Broken Arms" is forlorn but
soothingly beautiful. It culmi-
nates the record with solemn
reflection. And while it might
clash with other tracks, it is
nonetheless powerfully emo-
tive.
Though the record boldly
touches upon an almost innu-
merable amount of genres, it
never feels like it's spread too
thin. Rushent's voice is distin-
guishable enough to tie togeth-
er the tracks that contain it,
while certain guitar and syn-
thesizer notes repeat through-
out the album, giving it a sense
of unity.
Admittedly, Don't Say does
bow slightly at its center -
probably because of its core of
house music - but it's at this
point where Does It Offend You,
Yeah? shows off its immense
creativity. Though the string

of songs isn't easy listening by
any means, it seems like mate-
rial typical of the clubs where
young Britons go for abun-
dant drugs and the late-night
strangeness that follows. For
instance, while it's not exactly
single-worthy, "The Monkeys
Are Coming" actually makes
a beat out of what would oth-
erwise sound like a Barrel of
Monkeys commercial, and hap-
pens to sample a popular Inter-
net meme in the process.
With its sophomore release,
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
proves that the popularity of
2008's You Have No Idea What
You're Getting YourselfInto was
entirely deserved. The band is
clearly on an upward trend -
their first U.S. headline tour
was completely sold-out - and
their newfound fame has accu-
mulated opportunities to tour
with the likes of Linkin Park
and The Prodigy, among oth-
ers. With their unique adept-
ness in a breadth of genres,
Does It Offend You, Yeah? has
many plausible paths from
here, all of which are bright
with potential.

By CHLOE STACHOWIAK
Daily Arts Writer
There are some myster-
ies that will never be solved.
Humanity has always been
haunted by certain questions,
like Kelly Osbourne's natural
hair color or whether life exists
on other planets. We're doomn d
to an eternity of curiosity, for-
ever wondering what happens
to ships in
the Bermuda ****
Triangle or
why exactly The Dodos
the chicken
crossed the NoColor
road. Frenchkiss
There is
yet another
dilemma that has stumped
the masses, flourishing in
online interviews and music
magazines: What genre best
describes The Dodos, a gui-
tar and percussion duo with
countless musical influences
and styles? It's a question that
has plagued our culture since
the dawn of time - or at least
since the band's first EP release
in 2005. Are they a folk group,
setting out to represent modest
America with their strings and
earthy vocals? A coffee shop-
dwelling indie band that prides
itself on its bassless, carefree
vibe? Do their rapid beats and
peppy lyrics even designate
them to the baroque pop realm?
With their downhome guitar
plucking, West African drum
patterns and lack of a bass play-
er, stamping a label on the band
is as enigmatic as Gwyneth Pal-
trow's singing career.
The release of No Color
makes classifying The Dodos
even more challenging: The
daring work puts a twist on
their already distinctive music,
infusing their well-known
thumping percussion and
frantic guitar lines with new
tones and instrumentation.

COURTESYOFFRENCHKISS
"Guess which of us isn't wearing pants..."
It's a clever fusion of light, style a step further. Their
airy moods and intense jolts aggressive instruments are
of sound that continues to set textured with softer tones that
them apart from the rest of the are unheard in their past work,
music world. like the ghostly female vocal-
Opening the album with ist in "Don't Try to Hide It" or
fast-paced beats and ener- the slow, steady violin line that
gy, "Black Night" is an easy floats through "Companions."
reminder of what has made Even Long's vocals take on a
The Dodos stand out over the new dynamic as he replaces his
past six years. Every aspect usual abruptness with a gen-
of the song is vibrant, distinct tIer, graceful feeling in "When
and strong, since there is no Will You Go."
Long once told online music
magazine Perfect Sound Forever
One guitar, that he understands everyone's
urgency to categorize his band,
one drum kit saying "It's necessary for the
1 human brain to label and cat-
endless joy egorize things." However, it may
be time to finally put the ques-
tion of The Dodos' genre to rest.
No Color has proven that the
keyboard or weighty bass to band's style - with its charged
muddle the band's sounds. The percussion and folksy guitar -
track is clean, spirited and is is completely its own. Trying
only enhanced by lead vocalist to squeeze the upbeat, some-
Meric Long as he sings, "Black times twangy hues into common
night, blackness / When I groupings just wouldn't do the
wanted you, how I haunted you band justice, as they've carved
/ All to myself." It's an enchant- their own genre in the music
ing song with few comparisons, world. And really, we should be
too colorful to dump in a black- focusing on mysteries that really
and-white genre category. matter'- like Lady Gaga's gen-
Other tracks on No Color der, or if we believe in life after
take The Dodos' matchless love.

"I may look like this, but. I'm still way out of your league, Vanessa."
A 'Beastly' rendition

By TIMOTHY RABB
Daily Arts Writer
There's nothing like a slew of
sappy teen melodramas to start
the year off on a club foot. First
"I Am Number Four" and now
this? Alex Pettyfer needs a better
agent, lest he
become a Pat-
tinson protege.
At least
"Number Four" Beay
had pretty At Quality16
W explosions, and Rave
morphing dogs
and alien tor- CBS Films
ture devices to
punctuate the
boring story and one-dimen-
sional characters with a faint
glimmer of potential. And self-
awareness alone is enough to
make trash cinema tolerable - at
least Michael Bay has no problem
admitting his movies are crap.
Read the Reuters report about
his deprecating "Transformers
2" commentary if you need proof.
"Beastly," on the other hand,
is distinctively bad and doesn't
know it.
The first thing that's likely to
bother you is how the "Beauty
and the Beast" premise just
doesn't fit a contemporary set-
ting. Handsome rich kid Kyle
Kingson humiliates a teenage
witch (Mary-Kate Olsen, "New
York Minute"), so she curses
him with a bad case of the uglies,
covering him with more unsight-
ly tattoos than the cast of Dr.
Drew's "Sober House." Now Kyle
needs to find a woman to love
him within a year, or he'll bear
the curse forever.
After spending a year as a her-

mit in a lonely NYC apartment, poorly made, it's outright immor-
he begins to follow a former high al. Yes, immorality may feel like
school classmate named Lindy a foreign concept in a review of
(Vanessa Hudgens, "High School a modern retelling of a Disney
Musical 3"). One bad drug deal film (emphasis on "modern,"
and a few death threats later, especially if you've seen "Song
Lindy is living under Kyle's pro- of the South"), but it's true. For
tection. Love ensues. example, when Kyle tries to woo
While we're taking blasphe- his lovely housemate with lavish
mous liberties with the settings gifts, she reacts with disgust. His
and storylines of the classics, housekeeper and tutor both tell
why not have the Sharks and him that a woman of her caliber
Jets duke it out in a dance-off won't be bought. So what's Kyle's
in Cloud City? Lando Calrissian natural solution to this problem?
can be one of the judges. Sarcasm Why, he takes her to his father's
aside, a remake should choose its multimillion dollar beach house,
setting and characters carefully of course!
to glean something new from a And to honor an age-old
familiar story. All you'll glean story that conveys the themes
from "Beastly" is its inherent of benevolence and compassion,
absurdity. how does the story resolve the
rift between Kyle and his absen-
tee father? Sic Sabrina-the-evil-
teenage-witch on him for a bit
Stick to CBS of comeuppance at the very end!
That's right folks, vengeance is
TV, NPH. OK, so long as it's wrought by the
protagonist.
Sure, "Beastly" may earn a bit
of praise for being carefree and
Worse yet, the characters have nostalgic, but too often "care-
flat personalities and speak with free" borders the "lackadaisical."
the brashness of preadolescents Even the timeless lesson of love
who've just learned their first over vanity takes a dreadful beat-
dirty word. A poignant conversa- ing when it's articulated by Pet-
tion about life and love devolves tyfer. If you ever suspect Kyle's
into a joke about "a baboon ridiculously colloquial speech
scratching his ass." Neil Patrick and idiotic jokes are an accurate
Harris's role as Kyle's blind tutor reflection of the American teen,
reduces the adversity of blind- save yourself the misery of child-
ness to an offensive punch line. rearing.
Someone should've told him Granted, you'll probably crack
to go back to "How I Met Your a smile by the time the movie's
Mother" where he belongs. through. But good luck figuring
But these problems pale in out whether you're pleased with
light of a glaring fairytale hypoc- the fairytale ending or relieved
risy the likes of which you've that the feature-length torture is
never seen. "Beastly" isn't just finally over.

014

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