The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Friday, September 7, 2012 - 5A
Frontier Ruckus to bring
its folk back to The Ark
UMS brings art
returns to roots for
By JONATHAN ODDEN
The boys are back in town.
Though, if you're listening to
the fistfuls of broken images
and banjo rifts
Frontier Ruck- Frontier
us's brand of RuckuS
Americana, Tonight at
you'd be con- 8 p.m.
vinced they The Ark
never left. Tickets from $11
Ruckus's return to the The Ark
as the group kicks off its "Eter-
nity of Dimming" tour, promot-
ing the upcoming 2013 release
of the highly anticipated third
full-length album that singer-
songwriter for the band Mat-
thew Milia described as "the
culmination of a trilogy that
began with The Orion Songbook
and Deadmalls & Nightfalls,"
their previous albums. ,
Frontier Ruckus started in
2002 when two Bloomfield
Hills, Mich. high school stu-
dents, Milia and banjoist for the
group David W. Jones, began
working together. Originally
the duo had a slight musical
rivalry, but it soon grew into
friends and collaborators that
brought a strong energy to the
early days of Frontier Ruckus,
explained Milia, which never
left. After Jones, a year Milia's
senior, began studying at the
University, Milia would drive
up to practice with him in his
"U of M was really our first
David W: Jones, the group's banjoist, is a 'U' alum.
college experience as a band
and our first foray into some
tenuous professionalism," Milia
said. "We played at Amer's in
the Union and out in the diag;
back then we dreamed of play-
ing at the Blind Fig or The Ark."
While Miliastudied at Michi-
gan State University, "Frontier
Ruckus" grew in size and musi-
cal maturity as the band contin-
ued to develop its repertoire and
reputation, explained Milia.
The Band currently consists of
two other members Ryan Etz-
corn and Zachary Nichols, both
of whom Milia met in East Lan-
In 2008, the group's first full-
length album, The Orion Song-
book, not only represented a sort
of artistic thesis for the group
- as Milia explained - but also
garnered wide and abundant
praise from critics. Allmusic
reviewer Chris Berggren wrote,
"The Orion Songbook is about as
good a debut as a band can hope
for," while Aaron Shaul, a music
critic for Detroit's MetroTimes,
wrote, "this debut establishes
the group as already one of the
very best sounds to come out of
Michigan this entire decade."
2010 sophomore album,
Deadmalls & Nightfalls, received
similar praise from an even
wider audience. After nearly
two years of touring, the band is
getting ready to release its third
album, a double CD with 20
songs to be released in January.
Milia explained that whereas
The Orion Songbook was poetic
with broad strokes and Dark-
malls & Nightfalls represented
a step towards more fixity and
itemization, Eternity of Dim-
ming is, from a writing perspec-
tive, the most hyperbolically
"I couldn't be more proud
of the record," Milia said. "In
terms of personal mythology
and lyricism, it's a new height
for me. Sifting through the
abundance of tangential mem-
ories, dense short stories and
scenes, and then distilling them
into a mammoth work like this
Though the record has
many imagistic motifs, Milia
explained that one of the most
pervasive is the catalog of '90s
merchandise written into many
of the songs.
"The clunky, heavy metaphor
of '90s technology, like a copy
machine or one of those huge
computer monitors, just sitting
there with all its obsolescence,"
Milia said. "My childhood was
the '90s and I still have all these
useless things from that splen-
did time. All those weighty
objects are now anchors of a
dead era, so it's a very bitter-
But Milia's lyricism is not
the only aspect of Frontier
Ruckus that brings the nostal-
gic requiem to the record. Milia
explained that every member
of the band brought something
much more intense and diverse.
"Sonically, it's a different
vibe on this record," Milia said,
"It's got a lot of jangly electric
guitar - i la The Birds or Big
Star - along with keyboarding
from the '80s and '90s. Pulsat-
ing and unpredictable percus-
sion along with organs give the
record a musicality we worked
really hard on."
Rather- than describing the
album's sound as distinct from
previous works, Milia explained
that all the elements that came
to define Frontier Ruckus are
still present in the record, only
expanded upon as they main-
tain a connection to their roots.
That essential fixity in the
music gives the Michigan shows
a shared relatability, which
Milia explained, makes them
the best of the tour.
"There is a specificity toour
music, since it is rooted in a
locality and mythologization of
'home,' which purveys through
the whole Michigan landscape,"
kLICIA ADAMCZYK The event, called "on the Road
DailyArts Writer with UMS," is more than sim-
ply writing a check for charity.
year, the University Taking place at a variety of loca-
I Society's Education and tions over the years (hence "On
nity Engagement Pro- the Road"), the event provides
offers its donors a range of artistic ser-
nds enades and exotic cuisine.
ds the On the Road "It's fun to be able to go out
unity with UMS and have a great evening and do
nd free this as well," Schwimmer said.
low-cost Tonight at This year, 'U' a cappella group
nances 6 p.m. The Friars will be welcoming
ctivities Hill Auditorium the guests with song. During
UMS's From$100 a strolling supper, guests can
mingle with costumed actors
you've from Shakespeare in the Arb.
had an opportunity to Prizes offered in the live auc-
se kids at these concerts, tion, include a trip to Costa Rica,
e literally bouncing," said a dinner for ten provided by
Schwimmer, one of the Pacific Rim's Chef Duc and even
ers for UMS. "People the opportunity to be a Top Gun
are using that in a flip- fighter pilot for a day.
ay, but they are literally In addition to the festivities,
ng. There is nothing like the celebration of Hill's centen-
e smiling from ear to ear, nial anniversary adds another
y are so excited." flavor to the events. Guests can
enter a video booth and remi-
nisce on their favorite shows
nt to include d moments they have had at
Hill. Another special opportu-
chance to nity lets patrons see the audi-
torium's pipe organ rise from
erform on below the stage as Steven War-
ner plays an instrument rarely
ill's stage. heard due to the difficulty of its
For the end of the night,
Schwimmer and the committee
rimmer volunteered this members of "On the Road" have
be the Event Chair of concocted a singular experience
iversity Musical Society's at Hill.
benefit dinner and auc- "After the live auction, we're
hich takes place tonight going to be having a piano bar
Auditorium in conjunc- up on stage," Schwimmer said.
th the celebration of Hill's "People will be invited to sing
nniversary. with their friends whatever
11 the event raised nearly song is their favorite and be able
10 through ticket sales to sing from that special view.
live auction. The funds You're standing on stage, look-
enough to give almost ing out to the auditorium, and
students the chance to we thought that that was the
UMS performances. perfect way to end the evening."
WRITING FOR THE
COME TO OUR MASS
SUNDAY, SEPT. 9
SUNDAY, SEPT. 23
ALL MEETINGS AT 7:30 P.M.
Frontier Ruckus is touring to promote their new album, 'Eternity of Dimming,' tobe released this January..
AAUW book sale proceeds to LOCATED AT 420 MAYNARD
fund local area scholarships sPI R I l I
By JOHN BOHN scholarship recipients are typi-
DailyArts Writer cally the first in their families to
Students and Ann Arborites Cheryl Gibbs, co-chair of the
still mourning the loss of Borders book sale this year, said over 100
will have the Qf the AAUW's 300 members help
opportunity to collect, clean, organize and sell
pick through AAUW Used the books each year. Last year, the
over 20,000 Book Sale event raised over $40,000.
used books' at "There is a lot of pride and
Washtenaw Tonight and organization about people doing
Community tomorrow from this," Gibbs said. "We are all col-
College this 10 a.m.to 8 lege graduates, so we see the value
weekend, p.m., Sunday and we want to promote that with
when the from10 a.m. other women."
Ann Arbor to 3 p.m. Gibbs explained that there
branch of the Washtenaw is often an "overflow" of books
American Community College donated, and the ones not select-
Association F ed for the sale are recycled or
of University Free given to other AAUW branches.
Women hosts The sale has received as many as
its annual book sale. 50,000 donations but can only
in its 60th year, the sale's prof- keep about 20,000.
its are given as scholarships to "We're really into recycling
graduating high school women and reusing through our sale,"
in the area. The girls selected as Gibbs said.
Book prices typically range And if money is tight, books
from $1 to $6. Attendees who will be half-priced Saturday and
want first pick-through can pay sold by the bag on Sunday.
$15 to enter the sale from 8 a.m. Hefferlin said that over the
to 10 a.m. today. After 10 a.m., years, her favorite memories have
entrance is free. been engaging with other AAUW
members while working.
"It's nice to get a broader
Last year the acquaintance," she said. "We're
working hard together ... this is
event raised a different venue for us than our
more. formal occasions and so I
over $40,000. really enjoy that."
S * The most difficult part of orga-
nizing past years' sales was find-
ing a venue to rent out. Recently,
Earline Hefferlin, president of space has been donated by Brix-
the Ann Arbor AAUW, has been mor Property Group, giving the
participating in the book sale for committee one less headache
over 20 years. She said she often - though there are always some
finds Christmas gifts for relatives challenges.
at the sale. "I have memories of stacks of
"Anything ... (students) want to books falling over and needing to
read, we'll probably have it there," be picked up and repacked," Hef-
Hefferlin said. "It's a great buying ferlin said. "Fortunately, no one
opportunity." was hurt."