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November 04, 2011 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-04

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6 - Friday, November 4, 2011
A' Grimm' outlook

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Sea and Cake in Detroit

NBC fairy-tale
vehicle doesn't
spell out magic
Daily Arts Wrier
Attention all mythical crea-
tures, wandering children and
aspiring Disney princesses:
The Brothers
Grimm have
returned - this **
time brandish- Gimm
ing gun and
badge. The Pilot
long-stand- d 9
ing question, Fridays at 9p.m.
"Who's afraid N
of the big, bad
wolf?" is finally answered in this
twist on the classic, morbid tales
written about 200 years ago.
Abandoning the whimsicality
and lightheartedness of past re-
interpretations, NBC's "Grimm"
is a cold clash between suburban
reality and fantasy, leaving little
magic in its wake.
Once upon a time, there lived
homicide detective Nick Bur-
khardt (Dave Giuntoli, "Turn
the Beat Around"). Nick can see
things. Ghoulish things. Hairy
things. Things with shoddy spe-
cial-effects makeup. Revealed
to be one of the last in a line of
Grimms, Nick inherited the abil-
ity to see through the creatures'
human pretenses. When his aunt,
a fellow Grimm, falls into a coma,
Nick is forced into the family
business: protecting the commu-
nity from the likes of classic sto-
rybook bad guys.
Family secrets! Ominous
nightmares! Marilyn Manson!
Wait - Marilyn Manson? Yes,
that was Manson himself croon-
ing his rendition of Eurythmics'
eerie "Sweet Dreams (Are Made
of This)." To any indulgent fan of
mystery and suspense, this com-
bination of elements may sound
like the formula for a cliff-hang-


"I peer into an abyss, and the abyss ... is dirt."

ing success.
But the fantasy falls flat.
"Grimm" is far more cop drama
than it is fairytale, placingclassic
characters like Little Red Riding
Hood and the Big Bad Wolf in the
underwhelming suburbs of Port-
land, Ore. Weaving beloved tales
into a modern setting, "Grimm"
had the potential to be fantasti-
cal and intriguing, but the result
is humdrum at best.
Nick is impulsive but boring as
a one-note detective preoccupied
with the yet-to-be-solved mys-
tery, and Giuntoli's stale acting
does nothing to express his char-
acter's emotional depth. Nick's
hasty tendencies are grounded
by fellow detective and sidekick,
Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby,
"Lincoln Heights"), whose pres-
ence is no more lively than his
The only magic to be found
resides in those of a less-human
nature. Accused by Nick of kid-
napping and murder, Eddie Mon-
roe (Silas Weir Mitchell, "The
Whole Ten Yards") is a reformed
Big Bad Wolf whose awe at

the existence of the infamous
Grimms nearly equals Nick's
shock at the reality of Monroe's
species. Despite minimal screen
time, Eddie's wry demeanor and
tongue-in-cheek attitude are
a welcome kick to the show's
lethargic pace.
The portrayal in "Grimm" of
the true murderer and Big Bad
Wolf himself is a fresh take on the
traditionally cross-dressing mutt.
As a potpie-baking, sweater-
wearing postman with a love for
needlepoint, the Wolf is deceit-
fully wholesome. His soft-spoken
persona is often far more menac-
ing than any beastly growl.
The moral of the story? There's
a reason cautiontape and the puls-
ing reds and blues of surrounding
police cars don't often crop up
in the likes of "Snow White" or
"Hansel and Gretel." Readers pre-
fer their villains to melt away in a
puff of smoke, not to be carried off
in handcuffs. The Brothers' tales
are recognized for their darkness
and violence, free of interference
from the law. NBC's "Grimm" is
just not one for the storybooks.

For the Daily
The voice pauses and delivers
a biting accent, all while main-
taining an airy quality. In the era
of Auto-Tune
and other such The Sea
of sound, The Tonight at
Sea and Cake's 8p.m.
lead singer Sam
Prekop has The Magic Stick
pipes valued by Tickets from$15
critics for their
ability to produce similar effects
without any help.
The Sea and Cake will perform
at The Magic Stick in Detroit
tonight, playing songs from the
band's new album, The Moonlight
Butterfly. In an interview with
The Michigan Daily, Prekop said
the album allows the whims of
other members of the band, while
simultaneously delivering a work
that innovates the sound listen-
ers.have come to associate with
The Sea and Cake.
Title track "The Moonlight
Butterfly" is an example of The
Sea and Cake's various interests.
It starts small but grows to fully
submerge the listener in four
minutes of broadening electronic
"Basically, that was (drum-
mer) John McEntire's song, in
the guise of The Sea and Cake,"
Prekop said.
Until this album, the band-
mates' individual musical ele-
ments were just subtly present,
but now they are being thrust
into the limelight, Prekop said.
"It reflects our broad interests,
and I guess we're more overt
about it here," he said.
From Page 5
addict. The writers haven't made
this twist convincing enough yet,
and it's doubtful Emma is the

The Sea and Cake still main-
tains a cohesive identity that
intends to be exploratory. The
song "Inn Keeping" demonstrates
how the band integrates it into the
multifaceted, multilayered timbre
that is The Sea and Cake.
"I think ('Inn Keeping') is a
happy accident, landing on that
sequence and messing around
with it, and hearing that it can
be so malleable yet cohesive,"
Prekop said. "I'm pretty happy
with that. It's been the center-
piece of our shows."
The Sea and Cake has been
around since the mid '90s, and
over the years it has undergone
countless developments. Origi-
nally, the group pursued a tradi-
tional rock sound with brashness
and bombast. But the year 2000
arrived with the definitive album
Oui, which took the edge off
things. In the years before Oui,
the band members had pursued
solo interests and other side proj-
ects, and this period of individual
creative fermentation manifest-
ed itself in a more sophisticated
pop that featured ambient depths
new Jackie Peyton.
If the writers focus on devel-
oping their characters more
and making the storylines more
natural and believable, "Boss"
has the potential to develop into
a fascinating dramatic expose of


Sam Prekop, lead singer of The Sea and Cake, is known for his malleable voice.

and jazz-influenced rhythmic
structures. This history directly
impacted the current sound of
The Sea and Cake.
Prekop said another album is
being written as a companion to
The Moonlight Butterfly.
Magic Stick gets
salty and sweet.
"I can't predict exactly what
it will sound like, because it will
have the tendency of The Moon-
light Butterfly to build upon what
we've just done," he said.
Having spent a portion of last
month touring in South Ameri-
ca, the bandmates will arrive in
Detroit fresh yet well rehearsed
to begin their North American
performances, which extend into
mid-December. The Magic Stick
will showcase The Sea and Cake
in its fleeting prime, before it
disintegrates into different solo
interests and side projects.
municipal politics and city cor-
ruption. Grammer can pull off a
twisted character, but the writ-
ers need to find something to
make him at least a little redeem-
able and relatable if they wantthe
audience to care.



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EDITOR'S NOTE: Please note that in the Friday, November 4 puzzle,four clue
numbers are missing in the puzzle grid. Four answers make right-angle turns at
those squares. This is intentional and does not need to be corrected.
RELEASE DATE- Friday; November 4, 2011
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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