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February 21, 2012 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-02-21

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 5

Gosling has star essence


"Are we angsty enough for you?"
Bell's failed


ever b
after t
ity gu
LP. Bu
It's th
this a
New Y
to hell
He tol
this al
story 1

'o4 d album from album seems rather emotion-
ally static. It's any, unremitting
o hits dumps of onslaught of power chords and
pre dict able melodies.
phomore slump The album begins with "True
Shred Guit ar," a song that
By KATIE STEEN includes a roaring crowd in the
Daily Arts Writer background and Krauss greet-
ing the audience with "What the
gn of Terror. Has there fuck's up?" Miller fiddles around
een a more apt name for an on the guitar and Krauss con-
? tinues to instigate for a while
er releas- until eventually they start play-
Freats ining actual music, but only for
Sleighl about a minute - and then the
has got- song ends. The track is meant to
a little Reign of Terror be a warm-up for the following
r. Singer 10, but it feels like it's stalling
Krauss Mon + op the album more than anything.
mned Sleigh Bells should have stuck
magazine that the album's with the Treats approach,
Iwould be "immense," which involved putting some
Ii that's pretty expected of their best work first and let-
he riot rhythims and infin- ting the excitement come natu-
ritars of the group's first rally. While Krauss is screaming
it the real reason for being "There we fucking go," listen-
I of Reign of Terror isn't its ers just want her to shut up and
ess or its gloomy nature. make music, not noise.
at almost everything that "Born to Lose," a single off the
Treats such an infectious album, is actually a slight win-
ss is completely absent in ner, but just barely. The track
bon, so all that's left is involves furious guitars com-
lhing, thrashing noise pol- biped with Krauss serenading
. about nooses and shotguns. But
re's a slightly accept- the best part of the song comes
explanation for Reign of when it stops trying to rupture
's angry tone. Guitarist your eardrums. There's a much-
Miller explained to The needed interlude of phaser and
York Times that the album quietly growling guitars, but
I as an emotional catharsis unfortunately, that doesn't come
p him cope with his father's until the last minute.
in a motorcycle accident. "End of the Line" is another
d NME that, unlike Treats, rare moment when Sleigh Bells
bum is not intended to be quits trying to massacre its lis-
" music. But given the teners' ears. It's still pretty busy
behind Reign of Terror, the - and, of course, loud - but

it demonstrates how the band
doesn't reed to scare you into
liking its music. It's tempting to
call "End of the Line" sweet, but
that would feel inappropriate
given it's coming from an album
called Reign of Terror.
Sleigh Bells is actually quite
skilled at utilizing the sugary
sound of a female singer. The
band follows a pretty standard.
method of combining cherubic
vocals with demonic instru-
mentals, creating an attractively
eerie juxtaposition. This tech-
nique first appeared in Treats,
and it's prevalent once again in
tracks like "Leader of the Pack,"
which begins with a gun-like
explosion immediately followed
by a dainty tune consisting of
pings. "Comeback Kid" is anoth-
er example, combining hammer-
ing, hot-blooded guitars with
Krauss's vocals hovering above
the instrumental warzone. The
lulling chorus is, more than any-
thing, a relief from the ambush
that comprises the majority of
the song.
But the novelty of these
contrasts begins to disappear
quickly, and unlike Treats, the
melodies are less memorable,
or even less likeable. Treats had
an aggressiveside, to be sure,
but its power derived from its
ability to be simultaneously
evil and danceable. With songs
like "Demons," "Road to Hell"
and "D.O.A.,"'Reign of Terror is
aggravating. A full listen of the
album will leave you wanting,
more than anything, silence,
some Advil and maybe a shot-

Jt ain't easy being Ryan. Gos-
ling. In 2011, the 31-year-old
Canadian-born actor had
leading roles in the political
thriller "The Ides of March,"
the roman-
tic comedy
"Crazy, Stu-
pid, Love,"
the arthouse
action film 4
"Drive" and
the Funny or
Die original JACOB
short "Drunk AXELRAD
History -
which he starred in alongside Eva
Mendes and Jim Carrey. That's
all in addition to his role as one
of the two members of indie-rock
band Dead Man's Bones.
Basically, the guy gets around.
Yet I'm happytto say he has not
as of yet (fingers crossed on this
one) fallen prey to the Jude Law/
James Franco trap. You know the
one I'm talking about. It's the one
when you go to the theater and
all of a sudden every movie show-
ing has Jude Law featured in it in
some way. As Chris Rock noted
in 2005 during his monologue at
the 77th Academy Awards, if Law
wasn't on screen, he was probably
on the set, making cupcakes for
the cast and crew.
More recently, it took James
Franco the span of approximately
one year to go from Hollywood's
it-actor, starring in "127 Hours"
in 2010 to "Rise of the Planet of
the Apes" - a fine movie, mind
you, but a far cry from the shad-
ow he'd cast only 12 months prior.
What makes Gosling different?
What prevents him from becom-
ing the butt of pop-culture jokes,
as Franco so quickly became after
he phoned in one of the more
bizarre Oscar-hosting jobs I've
seen in my 20 years of existence?
Both Gosling and Franco bounce
from blockbuster to blockbuster,
lending their names to multiple
high-grossing films in a single
year. Both hold artistic profes-

sions o
.spare t
a short
ern art
taken s
and the
(or at le
Why is
It's I
his owl
to trite
like thi
is. Hec
best of
the dis
in way,
Ibsen a
ing "Re

utside of acting - in his Watching Gosling counsel Steve
ime, Franco moonlights as Carell on matters of the heart and
-story writer and enjoys become enraptured with Emma
g gallery openings at mod- Stone in "Crazy, Stupid, Love,"
museums as "Franco," his a B-level movie, it's clear he's
al alter ego from the soap enjoying himself. And we enjoy
'General Hospital." his performance, if only because
OK, I think it's starting to we know it's genuine. And it's a
e clear why the former gets sincerity he keeps with him time
eriously as a niovie star and again, even as a befuddled
e latter kind of makes us simpleton waiting for Santa to
east me) go, "Wait, what? deliver presents in a five-minute
James Franco doing comedic short.
Is this too much to ask? Is it
because Gosling, unlike too much to request that actors
, shifts genres and paves show up, read their lines and do
n path through the' the job they love as opposed to
es of Hollywood, making falling prey to the public spot-
that feel honest as opposed light? Let's not forget that in the
attempts to stand out, expression "movie star," "movie"
e kid at the back of the comes first.
om waving his arms and Now, Nicolas Cage, a once-
ng to show how special he legitimately-decent actor, has
an play reclusive like the reprised his role as Johnny Blaze
them, making no pictures in "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Ven-
en '07 and '10. Then, all of a geance," the sequel to the 2007
i, he comes out with "Blue train wreck of a movie. Blame
ine" - a film that portrays it on age. Blame it on the IRS.
integration of a marriage Blame it on the alcohol. I blame
s so real and moving they it on good old Cage succumbing
te with the plays of Henrik to the allure of his own name. It's
nd Arthur Miller, and far just too tempting to see the words
s the attempts of Leonardo "starring Nicolas Cage" for him
rio, Kate Winslet and Sam to pass up a project that will most
s in 2008's underwhelm- definitely suck.
evolutionary Road." I don't want this to read as
some sort of attack on Nicolas
Cage or action stars in general for
r tthat matter. It's a call for actors
Fust stop it, to have fun with what they get
m es Franco. paid to do. I like Tom Cruise in
"Mission: Impossible" because,
despite the commercialization of
the brand, it's still a brand bigger
'e a movie star - as in, than Cruise himself And that's
mply gotta see him or her what I go to see: actors working
less of what they may be in service for the movie, not the
g in - you need to embody other way around.
in joie de vivre; it simply So for now, I'll look to Mr.
with the territory. The Gosling's next foray into comedy,
star owns whatever part drama or action. Whatever it may
playing, be it a biopic be, it'll be the work that comes
torical figure (see Ben first, the way it should be.


To b
you si
a certa
of a his

Kingsley in "Gandhi" or Meryl
Streep in "The Iron Lady") or
a slacker comedy (see also, Ben
Kingsley in "The Wackness").

Axelrad is Ryan Gosling's
biggest fan. To help with stalking,
e-mail axelrad()umich.edu.

Summer breezes to bring
stellar music festival lineups

..- _ .~

Hulu dukes it out with

SenniorArns Editor
In another of its recent
attempts to remain competitive
with Netflix, IHiulu has launched
its own orig-'
While Netf- Battleground
lix recently
added all eight Pilot
episodes of its Tuesdays
new comedy
series "Lily-
hammer" to
its streaming stockpile, Ihulu is
taking a slightly more tradition-
al route, releasing one episode of
its new political dramedy "Aat-
tleground" every t .esday.
"Battleground" follows the
congressional campaign of
Deirdre Samuels (newcomer
Meighan Gerachis), focusing
mainly on the colorful charac-
ters who make up her campaign
staff. Leading the ensemble of
inexperienced, but charismatic
young actors is Jay Hayden ("The
House Bunny") as Tak Davis,
the chief political strategist
who always comes up with last-
minute creative ideas he hopes
will get the financially plagued
campaignr back on track. KJ
Jamison (Terri Reeves, "General
Hospital") is Tak's primary love
interest and the head of media
operations, but her frequent dis-
agreements with Tak lead her to
pursue the campaign's speech-
writer - known for writing the

- Col
the cm
more I
and Re
this se
yet to
and thr
but the
and p)
nail ev
life wi
is supp
suonal I

ous Howard Dean speech is less lovable, but more engag-
e Graner (Jack De Sana, ing in the complex way his mind
r: The Last Airbender"). works and his unconventional
ugh the show portrays approach to campaign strategy.
omplex campaign world "Battleground" relies on
realistically than "Parks the once-revolutionary, now-
creation" hasmanaged to wearing gimmick of filming in
ason, "Battleground" has the style of a mockumentary.
tap into its true comedic The talking-head format allows
ial. The writing is smart the audience to get right into
e characters are amusing, the heads of the characters and
pilot has too much drama results in hilarious, payoffs -
olitics and not enough "The Office," "Parks and Rec-
out-loud moments for a reation," "Modern Family" and
lace sitcom. The writers the filn "District 9" all have
'en the smallest details of managed to epitomize the style.
al strategy and campaign But with so many shows taking
ith skill and accuracy that on the mockumentary lens, it
been seen since "The no longer feels fresh. "Battle-
Vinr," but "Battleground" ground" at least adds the extra
)used to be a sitcom, n t a layer of including interviews
zed expos of a congres- with the characters some time
race. after the present-day cam-
paign happenings, in which
they reflect back on the events
[ore laughs and drop subtle, foreshadowing
hints as to what's to come.
SS politics. Hulu has certainly set the
bar for the scripted, online-only
series. The production value and
tone of the sitcom are similar to
it of the humor leans anything you can find on pre-
overly eager, bumbling irium cable, and the.writing is
Ben Werner (newcomer equally polished. More charac-
amuel). Ben is the Jerry ter development and chemistry
h of the campaign office - between the cast of newcomers
s a bet on his first day that will hopefully bring the show's
in him having to speak humor to the nexi level as the
t like he's a Renaissance- 13-episode series progresses.
rformer for the rest of the For now, "Battleground" is sim-
e. lien is endearing in his ply an amusing show that should
mce but still feels like an and could be hilarious without
ieveloped character. 'Tak losing its political edge.

Senior Arts Editor
There is only one type of occa-
sion where it's acceptable for
thousands of hot, sweaty sub-
stance abusers to pack in together
like sundried sardines: summer
music festivals. And for us con-
certgoers - the CamelBak-toting,
beach-ball-throwing, caution-to-
the-wind-dancing subculture of
music aficionados - the warm
months are our regular season,
like football in autumn and crick-
et in ... whenever that's played.
But now, in the lull between the
dead of winter and the buds of
spring, we must scour the web to
salivate over the lineups already
confirmed and those that, for
now, are justrumors - under-the-
table whispers that may, just-may,
bare some iota of truth.
As it stands now, of the sum-
mer's musical triple crown -
namely, Coachella, Bonnaroo
and Lollapalooza - only the first
two have officially released their
arsenals of artists for 2012. Lol-
lapalooza, being the latest of the
three, typically doesn't make such
an announcement until the mid-
die of spring, but they've never
been afraid to give an early taste
of whowill be headlining,sobeon
alert in the coming weeks. That's
not to say there hasn't been some
juicy gossip and speculation in
the meantime - but more on that
Coachella has always prom-
ised big names in the past, and
boy, will it deliver this year. Tak-
ing place over two consecutive
weekends (April 13-15 and 20-22),
guests can expect to see the Black
Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre, Snoop
Dogg, the Arctic Monkeys, M83,
the Shins, Bon Iver and a collec-
tion of non-headliners that will
rock your socks off (literally).
The double-festival construction
might be tough for travel plans -
especially considering the dates
are in the heart of finals - but the
music should be well worth the

effort t
year, fi
of choc
ella rep
the Te
out thi
of the
ing mu
The Ro
ing pla
also fe
past (L
thus fa
more t(
year fo
est oft
and Pe
now, w
early F
is thus
and B
mix. TI

io attend. lation would normally draw little
naroo took its time this attention, the one and only Perry
nally releasing a lineup on apparently responded to the leak
ine's Day, but the variety is with anger, suggesting at least
than any heart-shaped box some truth to the claim. How-
olates. We see a few Coach- ever, the only promise thus far is
peats here - Radiohead, the that Passion Pit is confirmed to
Bon Iver - but otherwise, be playing a big show in Chicago
ennessee festival is lights somewhere in between August
s year, promising the likes 3-5. And Lollapalooza is, inciden-
Red Hot Chili Peppers, tally, taking place during those
the Beach Boys (who are, exact days. Spooky coincidence.
ngly, still capable of play- For those who are less com-
usic), the Avett Brothers, mitted to one of the aforemen-
the People, Alice Cooper, tioned powerhouses, there are
rots, and Ben Folds Five. It's a few alternative festivals to
ius ... oh, no wait, I mean consider. Sasquatch is promis-
ris - he'll be there too. Tak- ing Jack White, Beck, Bon Iver,
ce in early June, the fest has the Shins, Beirut, Tenacious
atured comedy acts in the D, Pretty Lights and The Roots
ewisBlacklastyear, Conan - a perfect soundtrack for a
n the one before), and has four-day outdoor celebration
ur teased Aziz Ansari, with in the countryside of Washing-
:o be announced later. It's ton. Hangout Music Fest, on
shaping up to be a banner the beaches of Alabama, has a
r festivals. surprisingly boastful lineup,
featuring Dave Matthews Band,
the Chili Peppers (once again),
*l w ring Jack White, Wilco, Skrillex and
Chris Cornell, among a' fairly
and sweat deep roster of other notewor-
thy acts. And Jazzfest, held in
ll sting fronm New Orleans from late April to
early May, has got a jam-packed
past to coast. schedule: Bruce Springsteen and
Tom Petty with their respec-
tive bands, the Foo Fighters, the
Beach Boys, Eddie Vedder, John
t leaves the third and old- Mayer, Al Green, My Morning
he holy trinity: Bill Graham Jacket, Zac Brown Band and a
rry Farrell's immortal Lol- variety of jazzy acts.
oza. In past years, the full As one can clearly see, 2012 is
gue of performers has been goingto be an exceptional year for
need in late April, so for live music. Metallica has invited
e'll have to make do with a modest-but-respectable collec-
ng for the headliners (who tion of bands for a show in Atlan-
themselves disclosed in tic City, and we're still awaiting
ebruary last year). Except, announcements from Pitchfork
n't it be great if somebody festival, Summerfest, Outside
information privy to the Lands festival and Austin City
zers leaked what the plan Limits (rounding us out in Octo-
far? A confidential source ber) - all with exceptional rosters
g such knowledge has in years past and a lot of potential
ted that the Red Hot Chili for the coming summer. So dust
rs, Metallica, Sonic Youth off your worst pair of shoes and
eyonce seem to be in the start saving up - the festivities
rhough this type of specu- are about to begin.


on the
Ben S4
he lose
and ac
fair pe

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