T yil y Friday, March 16, 2012 - 5
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
'Masterworks' to be
served up byA2SO
to host fusion of a
Shallow, Southern 'GCB'
classic and modern
By JONATHAN ODDEN
Daily Arts Writer
For over 80 years, the Ann
Arbor Symphony Orchestra
has brought music to the area
annual con- Masterorks
programs. at 8 p.m.
Now in its Michigan Theater
Music Director Arie Lipsky, the
symphony orchestra will pres-
ent "Masterworks" - its fifth
main-stage concert of the sea-
son - with the hope of bringing
masterpieces from the classics
together with some of the most
lauded compositions from mod-
"The catalogue of music is
so extensive and fascinating
that it's quite difficult to choose
music for only six concerts in a
single season," said Mary Steffek
Blaske, executive director of the
A2SO. "(Lipsky) is a marvelous
music director, though, and he
looks at the concert experience
a little like a meal with an appe-
tizer, main course and dessert."
For the "Masterworks" con-
cert, the appetizer is the mod-
ern classic "Oh, Lois." Part of
the award-winning "Metropolis
Symphony" - a symphony based
on the original Superman com-
ics - "Oh, Lois" is about Clark
Kent's love interest and Daily
Planet reporter Lois Lane.
"With an explicit tempo of
'Faster than a speeding bullet,'
the four-minute piece just races
along," Blaske said. "And under-
neath that speed is a wonderful
complexity of harmonies and
that change the energy and tone
of the work."
The cause of much of this
complexity is one of the most
distinctive features in the sym-
phony: a flexatone. Looking a
little like a steel mousetrap with
drumsticks, the flexatone pro-
vides a percussion effect similar
to manipulating the pitch and
intensity of an alarm clock. The
sound is cartoonish and dated,
COURTESY OF MARY BLASKE
Arie Lipsky will conduct A2SO at tomorrow's performance.
By RADHIKA MENON
Daily Arts Writer
"GCB" began making waves
early in its conception when its
name came under attack from
merly titled GCB
tian Bitches," Pilot
then altered to Sundaysat10 p.m.
and finally set-
tling on simply "GCB," the show
offends in more ways than just
its name. Operating through
exaggerated Southern charm
and unrelenting accents, "GCB"
reduces every character to a
stereotype, presenting them in
nothing more than busty blouses,
short skirts and forced dialogue.
Amanda Vaughn's (Leslie
Bibb, "Iron Man") husband dies
after his car drives off of a cliff
while a lady friend is, ahem,
pleasuring him. The very fact
that he dies from road head is
questionable enough - but wait,
there's more! Afterward, Aman-
da loses everything (because she
doesn't have a job ... of course)
and must move back into her
mother's mansion in her home-
town of Dallas (rough life). How-
ever, her return is not received
enthusiastically, as it's revealed
she was the resident mean girl in
high school, and her peers still
hold a grudge against teenage
Soon after arriving, Amanda
begins receiving gifts from an
anonymous "Secret Admirer,"
schoolmates: Carlene Cockburn
(Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing
Daisies"), Sharon Peacham (Jen-
nifer Aspen, "Rodney"), Heather
Cruz (Marisol Nichols, "24")
and Cricket Caruth-Reilly ('U'
alum Miriam Shor, "Mildred
Carlene, the ringleader,
begins to plot her vengeance
against Amanda with the help
of the gang. Together, they
as if lifted directly from the
sound effects of a 1930s radio
"The use of the flexatone and,
at one point, a whip, challenges
the normal 'sound' of a sympho-
ny," Blaske said. "But it's excit-
ing and creative; and the genius
behind the work is our own local
celebrity, Michael Daugherty."
A professor of Composition
in the School of Music, Theatre
& Dance, Daugherty is also one
of the most active American
composers today. His work -
including a three-time Grammy-
award-winning 2011 record of
the Nashville Symphony's Naxos
playing "Metropolis Sympho-
ny" - is widely considered to
be among the most progressive
and original material written for
modern choral, orchestral, con-
certi, solo and operatic pieces,
In his extensive program
notes, Daugherty describes how
he uses the Superman metaphor
to evoke an American mythol-
ogy expressive of the eclectic
fusion in sound and culture in
mid-to-late 20th century urban
America. The symphony, Daugh-
erty explains, is a snapshot of
America told through one of its
most lasting icons.
A piece by Camille Saint-
Sa6ns follows "Oh, Lois." Most
remembered for composing
"The Carnival of the Animals"
or the operatic "Samson and
Delilah," the 19th-century
Frenchman also wrote concer-
tos for cello, piano and violin. In
Aaron Berofsky will perform
Saint-Saens's third and final vio-
"Saint-Saens's concerto rivals
the most beautiful works in the
classical canon," Blaske said. "In
its day, it was almost unheard
of for such work to come from
a French composer, and it has
a tremendous romantic core,
which Aaron captures with his
Berofsky is concertmaster
for the Ann Arbor Symphony
Orchestra and an associate pro-
fessor of violin in the School
of MT&D. He has performed
around the country as a soloist
and with chamber ensemble The
Chester String Quartet.
"(Berofsky) has an amazing
tone and talent," Blaske said.
"Moreover, he and Maestro Lip-
sky have a strong collaborative
relationship that helps drive the
symphony. His work with Saint-
Saens's piece is masterful."
After Berofsky's performance
and brief break, the orches-
tra will preform Tchaikovsky's
Fifth Symphony. First per-
formed in 1888, the four move-
ments making up the 46-minute
piece deal with the themes of
providence and salvation.
"It's classic Tchaikovsky, with
cyclical melodies and strong
horn moments," Blaske said.
"However, it is by far Tchai-
kovsky's most overtly trium-
phant symphony. As it flows
from a minor to a major key, the
optimism is simply infectious."
"Oh my God Karen, you can't just ask someone why they're white."
ge Amanda's search for a no Emily Thorne, Kate Austen or
d a new home, while also Meredith Grey.
g a watchful eye on her The characters are shallow
move. caricatures acting in juvenile
fashion. Amanda barely grieves
for her dead husband before
ad head: Best openly pursuing new suitors.
Even her children don't seem to
worst death? be botheredby the circumstances
of their father's death and assimi-
late to Texan life almost too easi-
ly. The scorned schoolmatesseem
rything about "GCB" is to do little else besides plot their
he top. From the horribly revenge, a storyline that already
exan accents to the don- feels old.
cowboy hats and boots by The only redeeming quality is
ly every character, "GCB" a potentially promising storyline
you to know that these in which Cricket's husband is
ters are Southern in every revealed to be gay. Though this
the word - and the audi- plotline is eerily reminiscent of
ears it loud and clear. a "Brokeback Mountain" type of
her, the show exploits ordeal, it could be a site of fan-
ost offensive stereotypes tastic character and community
sen as a minority group. exploration. Southern communi-
n are denigrated to venge- ties are often cited as homopho-
teful, gold-digging crea- bic places, and this could provide
)bsessed with coming out commentary on the topical sub-
in the popularity contestof ject matter.
matter the cost. Watching If you're looking for a mind-
women interact with each less way to pass the time, then
s reminiscent of a staged this is the perfect show. But if
e of "The Real Housewives you hope for your shows to carry
n-the-blank," with money a bit more depth in character
ama as the major themes at and plot development, stay clear
efront. These women are of "GCB."
Probing the Bobo culture
Effort to reboot 'SSX'
stumbles down the stretch
By SHIN HIETFE
Daily Arts Writer
With the Tony Hawk skate-
boarding games declining
in popularity, there are few
hopes to fill SSX
the void with
"SSX," revi- Xbox 360
talizing a for- and PS3
merly popular EA
has lain dormant for the last
half decade or so. While "SSX"
retains the essence of the series
- pulling off gravity-defying
tricks in style - it goes in some
directions that are detrimental
to the game's -lasting appeal.
"SSX" throws realism to the
wind, letting players get gigan-
tic air off of ramps and pull off
amazing stunts. Completing
tricks gives you points to fill up
a "Tricky" meter, and filling the
meter will not only let you do
even crazier stunts that yield
more points, but it also provides
infinite boost for racing down
the mountain. The goal is to get
as many points as you can or to
race to the bottom of the track as
fast as possible.
Both game types are enjoyable
at first, as unbelievable-looking
tricks can be done with ease,
1e sense of speed when the core of "SSX," which is to do
ng is extraordinary. How- crazy, unrealistic tricks. While
s the difficulty ramps up, the idea of dangerous crevasses
ain slopes become more sounds like it adds a sense of ten-
erous, adding deadly cliffs sion to the game, really it only
ps in the course. When adds unnecessary frustration.
off a big ramp, there's no All this doesn't compare to
know if you're headed the biggest issue with "SSX,"
gap, and inadvertently which is the lack of head-to-
to your death is extreme- head multiplayer. First off, there
trating. This problem is is no split-screen multiplayer,
ompounded by the loose which is a terrible oversight,
precise controls. as competing with roommates
or friends would add lasting
It's no fun Bafflingly, there is no head-to-
head online multiplayer either.
owboarding Instead, you post your score on
a certain course and see how it
'ou can't play compares with other players
online. Competing against ran-
'ith friends. dom people's scores isn't com-
pelling and doesn't hold much
lasting value after finishing the
World Tour mode, which won't
rtunately, treacherous take more than 10 or so hours.
design is emphasized To its.credit, the core game-
:he game's new mode, play of "SSX" is still a good time.
ve It." In the World Tour Getting huge air, completing a
these special events quadruple backflip while doing
iu only one task - make an insane trick and barely land-
n a course in one piece ing it is awesome and thrilling.
the odds of a specific Furthermore, it has a fantas-
e, such as ice or darkness. tic soundtrack and is visually
ier than the other courses arresting. At the end of the day,
up, die and get frustrated, those looking for a new extreme-
best method is to play sports game will find a lot to like
going slow and taking in "SSX," but the fun probably
only as necessary. How- won't last as long as you would
his seems antithetical to like.
By NICOLE SAVITSKY
Someone is moving toward
you; at first glance, it's indiscern-
ible whether the figure is male or
female, but, regardless, the jeans
are cigarette-leg skinny. The
ankle-length cowboy boots on
this figure continue the trek, who
is also sporting an ironic T-shirt
with a plaid, flannel button-down
left open and layered on top.
Buddy Holly-inspired glasses
(not necessarily prescribed for
improved vision) and a well-worn
leather carry-all satchel complete
this air of uncaring. Alas, a hip-
ster is approaching.
The hipster can be your friend
though! Growing up in Manhat-
tan and attending an artsy high
school taught me quite a bit about
what it means to be a hipster,
and it's definitely about more
than just appearances (though if
you can breathe, then your jeans
aren't tight enough). That I pre-
fer handwriting my class notes
in uniquely designed notebooks
merely toes the line of hipster-
dom; true hipster status would
culminate in writing every essay
by hand, on recycled, handmade,
flower-pressed paper, obviously.
Across the pond, a similar
ironic lifestyle grows in more
meticulously plotted soil - Paris,
France. Coined by David Brooks
in his comic sociological reflec-
tion "Bobos in Paradise: The
New Upper Class And How They
Got There," the "Bourgeois-
Boheme," or bobos, present a
synthesis of the liberal idealism
of the 1960s and the self-interest
of the 1980s. After spending the
second semester of my junior
year abroad in Paris, I know the
bobos tres well.
Even though my New York
experiences have desensitized
me to the sometimes-shocking
exploits of hipsters, I was fas-
cinated to see that the Parisian
bobo does not fall far from the
tree. The distinction lies in their
desire to create a better society mastered the Parisian chic men-
byspreadingtheirpersonal tastes tality, combining unique pieces
and beliefs. with expensive brand names,
Bobos and hipsters share simi- blurring our ability to tell where
lar points of view, one being the one ends and the other begins.
resentment of mainstream soci- Politics are not a strong point
etal conventions applicable to for bobos. Hipsters cannot be
dating preferences. The muscu- pinned to one party over another,
lar and athletic male ideal is no but the bobo is at once a social
longer attractive to chic and cul- liberal and an economic conser-
tured bobo women, who instead vative, promoting freedom and
seem to prefer the ability to share justice for all, but ignoring eco-
apparel with their slender mate. nomic inequalities.
One night at "Social Club," a pop- Like hipsters, bobos consider
ular and eclectic nightclub for the wealthy to be relatives of Phi-
young Parisians, I found myself listines, equipped with money
in the thick of romantic scenarios but not with the nose for culture.
where traditional rules of attrac- They chew on organic food,
tion did not at all apply. don all-natural cottons, but
can't seem to live without their
iPhones, pondering the road to
As Kanye would enlightenment.
As the American masses seem
say: Got our to be growing weary of hipsters,
criticizing young people for join-
bobos in Paris. ing a wannabe fringe movement
in a post-war era (i.e. beatniks,
hippies, punks, etc), the bobo pro-
vides a fresh face, and perhaps a
Bobos are the tip of Pari- new lifestyle to ultimately attack.
sian tastemakers. The best spot The bobo is far less ostracized
to bobo-watch is the Ninth for their status as an "other"
Arrondissement - citadel of though, receiving a modern and
bobo cool. You'll find restaurants less negative connotation. As a
created around retro school- fusion of'60s counterculture and
room furniture and menus that '80s entrepreneurial material-
strum the chords of smart eating, ism, they have created their own
rustic sophistication and child- comfortable contortion of capi-
hood nostalgia. Most venues are talism, proving that your career
modeled around the bobos' deep canbe somethingyou love: agood
passion for New York City, with morality for building a decent
an artistic decor that's meant to society.
evoke vibes of SoHo. While I may not qualify as a
Bobo yuppies claim highly total hipster (my favorite beer
tolerant views of others and pur- sadly does not include Pabst Blue
chase expensive and exotic items, Ribbon), my friends seem to be
arguing their aversion to blatant correct in mocking some of my
consumption and emphasizing actions and habits. But if being
the necessities of life. They feel a hipster means hanging out at
for the working class, referring to fashionable coffee shops, indie
moneyas ameansto achievetheir rock shows and underground
ends rather than considering dance clubs, where do I sign up?
affluence as an optimal end itself. For me, the ultimate debate is
While I was already in a con- now New York versus Paris: My
stant state of awe regarding the home is in the former, my heart in
complementary daily fashion the latter. Whether with hipsters
showsoccurring on every street, I or bobos, either way I know I'll
observed that the bobos had truly feel among friends.