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April 06, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-04-06

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycomWednesday, April 6, 2011 - 5A

DJ Spooky speaks

Nintendo pops out 3DS

Paul D. Miller takes
the stage as Penny
Stamps lecturer
DailyArts Writer
While some DJs will only
mix house or hip-hop beats
and ignore older music, Paul D.
Miller - also
known as DJ Paul D.
Spooky - uses
old records as Miller aka.
well, seeing DJ Spooky
them not as a
dead space but Tomorrow at
a living space. 5:10 p.m.
Miller will be MichiganTheater
at the Michi- Free
gan Theater as
a part of the Penny W. Stamps
Distinguished Visitors Series
presenting an event called
"Sound Unbound."
"I try to dig into every sound,"
Miller said in an interview with
The Michigan Daily. "I've taken
images and sounds of different
places and times and rearranged
it. I guess the academic term
is interdisciplinary ... I move
between genres and frames of
reference - I think of art as the
ultimate renewable resource."
Growing up in Washington,
D.C., Miller had aspirations of
being a diplomat, and music was
just something he did on the side
- a diversion that allowed him
to forget about his schoolwork.
"I got to taste how music

could justbe fun," Miller said. "I
didn't have to think about diplo-
macy, foreign policy or macro-
While a student at Bowdoin
College in Maine, Miller saw
DJ gigs as something to fill his
summers between semesters.
But soon, this newfound hobby
grew into a more serious pas-
time. Miller started his own
radio show, mixing tracks in
what later could be seen as the
beginnings of his career as a
"Music was just a weird
hobby that spiraled out of con-
trol," he said.
After graduating with
degrees in philosophy and
French literature, Miller
moved to New York, getting
DJ gigs that paid enough
to cover rent. For Miller,
music had evolved from
a hobby to a career, a
shift that parallels the
way he defines music.
"Any sound can
be transformed
into music," he
said. "You can
take a digital
media file and
mix it with a You-
Tube clip. There's no
permanence right now,
there are just revolutions."
According to Miller, music's
constant metamorphosis can be
seen in the life of any individual.
"The entire world is changing
right now," he said. "People no
longer feel like they're going to
have permanent jobs or health

care. These things are important
parts of people's lives. These are
things that, as artists, we are
going to have to face because the
place we call home right now is
culturally turbulent."
Today, Miller is a writer, art-
ist and DJ using his music to
make audiences feel the way he
feels about what's going on in
the world.
"That's what makes it a mas-
terpiece," he said. "Music can be
a reflection of any inter-
nal or emotional
landscape, and
' it usually is."

Daily Arts Writer
Since it hasa similar name and
shape to a Nintendo DS Lite, it
might not initially be clear that
the Nintendo
3DS is a great
over the regu- Nintendo
lar Nintendo
DS. Make no 3DS
mistake, how- Nintendo
ever - the Nin-
tendo 3DS is an $250
incredible tech-
nological leap over the previous Photo available in 4-D.
system, even if that technology
comes with some caveats. 3-D photos on thet
The first obvious tech the 3DS. With this c
improvement is the graphics. As a game called "F
opposed to the regular Nintendo already pre-loaded o
DS, which could render graph- ware. "Face-Raider
ics similar to the old Nintendo facial photo in 3-D
64, the 3DS is capable of pushing the mouth and ey
out images comparable to those players to shoot mi
of a modern Nintendo Wii game. replicas of that fac
Along with higher graphic fideli- inside of the top sc
ty, the 3DS can produce, as adver- inexplicable inclus
tised, 3-D effects without glasses. also totally bananas
The 3DS has a "3-D slider" which, ers" is a good exami
when slid up, gives everything on do's style: providing
the top screen a 3-D depth-of- no one else can prc
field effect. When the slider is they're not the mosi
all the way down, the 3-D effect _
turns off and goes back into 2-D
viewing - a critical inclusion No glas
since staring at the 3-D for a long
time can strain the eyes. x No prob
It's hard not to be blown away
by the 3DS initially, consider-
ing there's no other mainstream
product out there yet with glass- "Face-Raiders"a
es-free 3-D technology. But once camera applicatio
users get used to it, the 3-D effect accessed through ti
is relatively unessential to the face bar that appea
gaming experience. It's unmis- device starts up.
takably cool, but it isn't particu- users can scroll.th
larly crucial. ent applicationsa
The 3DS has a lot of odd, much like the XMB
novel inclusions already inside the Dashboard on t
the hardware, like a low-quality Unfortunately, somi
camera application that can take have not been integ

top screen of "E-shop" where players can buy
amera comes and download digital games is set
ace-Raiders," to become functional later in the
into the hard- summer, and an Internet brows-
s" renders a er will be available in a future
and animates update. As the 3DS also supports
yes, allowing 3-D video playback capability,
issiles at tiny Nintendo has said that 3-D mov-
e as they fly ies will be available to watch at a
creen. It's an later date - details are mum on
ion, but it's when exactly this will be.
. "Face-Raid- All in all, the Nintendo 3DS
ple of Ninten- is an impressive piece of hard-
g experiences ware. That's not to say it doesn't
ovide, even if have its shortcomings: The bat-
t essential. tery life is annoyingly brief, and
it's unfortunate that some core
features are not up and run-
s ning yet. Then there's the cost -
""s* $250 isn't an unreasonable price
)lem. point for such a buck-wild piece
of technology, but the proposi-
tion becomes hairier when you
realize that the standard price
and the 3DS for software is $40, and none of
on can be the launch titles look like must-
he user inter- haves. Considering that there
ars when the are significant features not yet in
From here, place, it's best to wait on purchas-
rough differ- ing one until those features are
and features integrated and the system gets a
on the PS3 or stronger catalogue of games. The
he Xbox 360. 3DS is truly a remarkable device,
e applications but it still hasn't reached its full
rated yet. An potential.

Billboard can't stop the rock

Daily Arts Writer

managed to choose an alterna-
tive album for that coveted grand
prize is a sign that the times are

In 2009, only one rock or alter- a-changin'. And besides, The Sub-
native record made the Billboard urbs shot up from number 52 to
Top 10 list for total album sales: number 12 - that's close enough,
Kings of Leon's Only by the Night, right? So far this year, the Decem-
S which barely clocked in at number berists's The King is Dead and
10. In 2010? Unless Justin Bieber Cake's Showroom of Compassion
is the second coming of Mick have both shot up the Billboard
Jagger, rock charted a hefty zero totem pole to number one. While
contributions. Train's "Hey Soul Mumford & Sons's Sigh No More
Sister," number three on 2010's can't claim the same, it still holds
Billboard Hot 100, was the only a spot in the Top 10 after being
rock single (if you can even call it released all the way back in 2009.
* that) to rank in the Top 10. Or the What's more, it's become the 10th
Top 20. In fact, you have to drop most downloaded album of all
allthe way to27 - occupied by the time (and it's OK if you read that
Script, a poppy trio hailing from in Kanye's voice).
Dublin - to find any semblance
of a popular rock or alternative
track. By all accounts, the writing I kn it's only
is on the Billboard wall - rock's W y
demise is surely in progress. rock'n'roll but '
Call me an optimist, a believer b
or whatever you want, but I'm not like it. still.
entirely convinced this is the end.
In fact, not only do I think rock
has still got blood in its veins, I
think we're in the midst of a full- Ifthat's not comfortingenough,
blown resurgence. The questions 2011 is bound to be an amazing
concerning its vitality seem to year for rock. Even though some
arise only when it's about to blow big names have already dropped
open the competition, and 2010 their latest contributions - say,
was an especially bad year. Aside Radiohead or the Strokes, for
from the Kings of Leon's fifth example - there's much more to
release (which was a marginal come. Foo Fighters, Rush, Death
letdown), there were none of the Cab For Cutie, Fleet Foxes and
big names to draw out purchases. My Morning Jacket have already
Arcade Fire did manage to win set 2011 release dates. If that's
a 2011 Grammy for Album of the not tantalizing enough, there are
Year, but The Suburbs was the other rock juggernauts that could
first album since 2006 that didn't potentially unleash musical may-
make the Top 10 on the Billboard hem. Red Hot Chili Peppers and
200 in the weeks following its Incubus are both confirmed to be
Grammy victory. finished with recording. But wait
I wouldn't worry about it. The - there's more! Blink-182, Cold-
fact that the Grammy Awards play, Aerosmith, Jane's Addiction

and Franz Ferdinand all plan to
deliver new records at some point
this year. Can it get any better?
Well, actually, yes - Green Day
and Pearl Jam have finished writ-
ing material for new albums, and
Phoenix has begun recording.
Even if half of that "who's who"
of rock groups abandon their
projects altogether, there's still
enough left over to make 2011 a
standout year for the genre.
There's a fundamental prob-
lem with declaring rock's death
even if we ignore the status of its
revival. Rock can't be dead - it
still reigns supreme in one cru-
cial category: touring. The gold,
silver,.and bronze medal in con-
cert revenue in 2010 all belong
to rock outfits: Bon Jovi, U2 and
AC/DC, respectively. That's not a
fluke - three of the top four tour-
ing acts of the decade are rock
groups (the Rolling Stones, U2
and Bruce Springsteen). In fact,
of the top 25 touring acts, one
band managed to sell out every
single show they played. With 288
performances, that - of course
- would be Bono's U2. Consider
the festivals, too: The biggest
are undeniably Coachella, Lol-
lapalooza and Bonnaroo. Aside
from the occasional pop appear-
ance - like Wiz Khalifa or Lady .
Gaga - the events are absolutely
dominated by rock and alterna-
tive shows, from the headliners
to the smaller complementary
So don't despair, rock fans.
The genre's not returning, largely
because it never went anywhere
in the first place. We're poised
on the precipice of a phenomenal
year, so relax - rumors of rock's
death are greatly exaggerated.


-h Sw iimmr

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