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March 15, 2013 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-03-15

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, March 15, 2013 -- 5

Yo-Yo Ma, Silk Road to
honor music, culture

A$AP, Francis talk
mtvU Woodies

DailyArts Writer
In 2000, world-renowned
musician Yo-Yo Ma founded the
Silk Road Ensemble - a chamber
music group
inspired by the Yo-Yo Ma
cultural tra-ant
ditions of the
historical Silk Silk Road
Road. Since its Ensemble
creation, the
group, com- Sarturday
posed of mul- at 8p.m.
tiple musicians
from different Hi
countries, has From $20
traveled the
globe, bringing
audiences a musical experience
that blends cultural boundaries.
The Silk Road Ensemble'sgoal
is to connect cultures and build
relationships with new audi-
ences using their unique blend
of music from around the world.
They combine ideas of travel,
transformation, innovation and
tradition in hopes of creating a
global community.
As a result of their desire to
spread their distinctive music
so widely, the Ensemble travels
all over the world, three times a
year. They've toured in Europe,
Asia, Central Asia and all over
the United States since 2000,
and their stop at Hill Auditori-
um is a part of their most recent
U.S. concert tour.
University alumn and profes-
sor of music Joseph Gramley,
is a multi-percussionist and
founding member of the Silk

The Ju
him t
and in
and ge
to tho
ally ur
they m
per se,

Ensemble. His extensive brings ideas," Gramley said. "It's
ng at the University and a process that's based complete-
iilliard School has helped ly on communication and trust
o become proficient in - trust in each other's musi-
percussion instruments, cianship and being able to com-
the drum set to hand municate with each other to get
as well as a myriad of our ideas across. It's sort of likea
ard instruments - the brainstorming session, but with
ba, xylophone and vibra- instruments."
However, it seems as though
e group is dedicated to communication would be diffi-
ing some of the tradition cult to maintain for a group that
novation that is found in is comprised of so many differ-
ig music, as well as com- ent backgrounds, countries and,
ning new work from com- of course, languages.
from all over the world to "There are language barrier
our unique instrumenta- problems, but over the years,
Gramley said. "It's a really we've found ways to work with
conglomeration of styles various artists from around
enres of music dedicated the world. We'll start a con-
se far-eastern and near- versation, perhaps without
n lands." our instruments. If we need
ause the group is com- an interpreter, we have one,"
of multiple musicians Gramley explained. "And once
different countries, the the conversation is started, we
ers rehearse individu- do a lot of great communicating
ntil two days before the through the music and building
when they reconvene and trust."
se together. This year, The group works closely with
eet in Boston. cellist Yo-Yo Ma - an experi-
ence that Gramley and the other
musicians are extremely grate-
ful for.
'lust virtuoso "fr
He is an incredible catalyst
.d acclaimed for bringing people together,"
Gramley said. "He is amazingly
oup to bring gracious and open to new ideas.
Working with him in rehearsals
obal sound. is an incredible learning oppor-
tunity. He's not afraid to try new
ideas or push his colleagues to
try new things. He's an amaz-
chamber music, so ing advocate for what the arts
not a leader of rehearsal can do for audiences, for young
everyone contributes and people and for the community."

Awards show to
celebrate student-
selected champions
DailyArts Writer
Apparently, a dungeon exists
somewhere in MTV's studios,
somewhere that still plays music.
Known as mtvU, the television
network targets college students
and broadcasts a variety of pro-
grams about things that we care
about, like activism (obviously)
and cool robot music.
All jokes aside, mtvU panders
more convincingly than most
other corporate shills. It spon-
sors Fulbright Scholars and has
a number of opportunities that
involve college students. But the
opportunities aren't exclusively
for service, though, and the mtvU
Woodie Awards exemplify just
Billed as an award show for
"the best in indie, underground
and everything in between," the
mtvU Woodie Awards allow col-'
lege students (like you and me!)
to make the decisions, and most
of the nominees are acts that don't
get much love from the main-
stream shows.
Recently, The Michigan Daily
took part in a Woodie Awards
conference call with DJ Dillon
Francis and rapper A$AP Rocky,
in which both artists talked about
their craft, their rising popularity
and what the awards nominations

mean to them.
Francis was first known for his
forays into moombahton, a Latin-
infused brandof electronic music.
Soon after, he signed to Diplo's
Mad Decent label and has seen
his notoriety grow since being
anointed an "artist to watch" by
MTV's electronic music show,
"Clubland." Nominated for
"Breaking Woodie" (Best New
Artist, for you squares out there),
Francis considers a Woodie win
as an achievement, but only a tem-
porary one.
"If I win it, I think it will be
really cool ... but, for me, I'm just
going to keep doing what I'm
doing and keep making music that
I really love, and that's it," he said.
While many of Francis's
dreams have already come true,
like working with DJ Calvin Har-
ris, he won't let such success go
to his head. From a hardworking
family in Los Angeles, Francis
often describes his unyielding
work ethic and seems serious
about sitting atop the throne of
EDM (electronic dance music)
one day. He's "aiming for 10,000
hours (of work)" by next year, and
with his debut album on the way,
Francis could be a big name for
years to come.
Back for the second year in a
row, Harlem's A$AP Rocky took a
step forward this year. Last year,
A$AP performed and earned
a nomination for "Breaking
Woodie," but this year, he's up for
"Woodie of the Year" as the odds-
on favorite.
A$AP's flavor of New York rap

contains a shot of Houston siz-
zurp, and the hype surrounding
him has been growing ever since
he signed a 3-million dollar con-
tract with Sony in late 2011. Like
Francis, success means more to
A$AP than any award.
"Coming up to me and telling
me that you enjoyed my music
when (you're) a total stranger is
better than winning a Grammy to
Randomly peppering the con-
versation with "swag" and "they
call me flocka," the slow-talking
A$AP described the legacy he
wants to leave, and it's one for the
"Legacy? I'm teaching the
youth ... through all my songs and
my energy. ... It's a new day and
age; we need to get back and bring
back the hippie power.... We (are)
all one people; we need to get high
and enjoy life together the way we
did back in the '70s, and that's the
legacy I'm gonna leave behind.
For all of his praise of the hip-
pies, A$AP displays tremendous
business savvy as well. When
asked what he's bought with his
money so far, he yelled "not a
damn thing," emphasizing that
the money is an investment in his
career. He considers himself "the
future" and, with his meteoric
rise to fame, it seems like he might
be right.
ASAP wouldn't mind some
hardware on his mantle, though.
He declined to make a prediction
on the voting, but said, "I hope I
win. That's it."

'Red Widow' spins lifeless tale

"Who's ready for the midnight release of 'Spring Breakers'?!"
Webseries 'Burning Love' falls
into stereotypical satire

Daily Arts Writer
"Red Widow," which debuted
March 3 in a two-part event,
isn't a strong addition to ABC's
lineup, though
its pilot didn't C+
prove terrible
- at least not Red Widow
yet. The net-
work's female- Sundaysat
centered 10 p.m.
venture was ABC
said by some to
be a "wannabe
'Breaking Bad,' " if one considers
the common element of drug traf-
ficking. But any other similarity
stops there.
Solid names are attached to
the show, though experienced
talent may not be enough to
keep the series in production.
Melissa Rosenberg ("Twilight")
produces the new series about
recently widowed Marta Wal-
raven (Radha Mitchell, "Finding
Neverland"). In the San Francis-
co Bay Area, Marta is left to care
for her family after her flip-flop-
wearing, pony-tailed husband,
Evan (Anson Mount, "Hell On
Wheels") is shot in front of their
son. But before Evan is murdered,
audiences quickly learn that
the Walravens are no ordinary
family. Evan, with his sketchy
brother-in-law Irwin Petrov (Wil
Traval, "Underbelly") and his
friend Mike (Lee Tergesen, "Oz"),
run a fishing charter business.
But the business is only a front
for their real work - exporting
Marta is a sweet and fit blonde

"Mob parties are so fun?"
mom - not to mention the daugh- lacks the panache and charisma
ter of mob man Andrei Petrov that made "Alias" a favorite for
(Rade Serbedzija, "In the Land many. "Widow" ultimately shows
of Blood and Honey"). Her family signs of a series that has a num-
is "Bratva," or Russian mafia, but ber of good elements, but fails to
Marta fights to shield her chil- become "good TV." And, though
dren from realizing how closely the show runs oriented on plot
in reach they are of organized rather than character develop-
crime. ment, it's awkward to watch
as the few intimate moments
between actors draw attention to
This is not the lack of chemistry.
Initial reviews called the pre-
'Breaking Bad.' miere ratings "woeful," and it
most recently took a 20-percent
drop from its already shaky pre-
miere weekend. Most TV critics
But when Evan is killed, Marta are predicting the show's can-
learns that hostility, discord and cellation, especially after similar
secrets plagued the trio-part- numbers were roused by another
nership of her husband's busi- recently cancelled ABC show,
ness. Something went wrong, and "Zero Hour."
Marta must settle the debt. Give "Red Widow" a try, but
The pace and tone of the show most viewers will end up check-
is similar to another ABC hit, ing their email and drifting fur-
"Alias." Though the new series's ther and further from the TV
background plot is intriguing, when it's on. Might as well skip
and Radha Mitchell is likable, the pleasantries, and just do your
"Red Widow" unfortunately homework instead.

Daily Arts Writer
Lampooning reality television
has become as much a corner-
stone of popu-
lar culture as C
the slobbering,
drunk, poor Buring
ing and endors- LOVe
ing half-hour Thursday
mainstays of & Friday
weekday pri-
metime. "Burn- Yahoo! Screen
ing Love" jams
16 one-dimen-
sional pseudo-bachelors into a
parody of "The Bachelorette"
with Julie (June Diane Raphael,
"American Dad!"), an emotion-
ally unstable wreck whose own
brand of crazy puts Snooki and
company to shame.
Having been rejected from
the first season, in which an
incompetent Ken Marino
("Wanderlust") waded knee
deep in eligible bachelorettes,
Julie decides that the only logi-
cal thing to do is to spend 10
months as a lesbian with anoth-
er former contestant. When she
decides this is only a phase, the
newly single woman is left with
only two options: first, a fixation
on sex and emotional manipula-
tion matched only by her com-
plete lack of rational thought
and, second, a desire to find love
in the most public, least practical
way possible. Obviously, a net-
work's massive revenue stream
disguised as shallow, scripted

the ste
and a
and ne
Each t
gy or I
can av
the cor
ring to
ate the
a laye
and th
show -
As i
Leo (

dating is her top choice. Five-0") joins separation anxi-
"most romantic web ety-ridden Alex (Joe Lo Truglio,
that will ever be" takes "Wreck-It Ralph"), dependent
reotypical array of crazies "Prince" Simon (Rob Huebel,
mplifies their insecurities "Childrens Hospital") and so-
uroses to comical heights. far-pretty-normal-guy Henry
bachelor has exactly one (Jerry O'Connell, "The Defend-
that defines his entire ers") in the fight for Julie's affer-
be it Judaism, a nut aller- tion. There's no doubt that the
his two-month-premature future holds many an identity
At the very least, those crisis and mental breakdown
ng the 15-minute episodes for the show's star-crossed cast,
oid the need to remember but, realistically, that's all any-
ntestants' names by refer- one watches reality TV for any-
them by their respective way.
udes. As a satire, "Burning Love"
writers flawlessly recre- excels at making dating shows
same forced-reality awk- look like the bizarre mistrust-
tess that has captivated inspiring, ultra-competitive
ces the world over. Shaky social experiment that they
awork and jump cuts add are. Unfortunately, that doesn't
r of authenticity to the prevent it from becoming just
ably terrible scenario, another tick gorging itself on the
re program goes to great lifeblood that is "reality" televi-
S - for a fictional reality sion, a genre that stumbles and
- to inject allusions to past refuses to die off. The watcher
depicted as if they'd hap- spends 15 minutes at a time
off-air. engrossed in the phony personal
lives of a crew of satisfyingly
less-than-perfect men and their
reality Tv relationships as they vie for the
attention of someone whose last
oesn't even shred of credibility was lost well
before her show's first season.
eserve to be Less funny than annoyingand
sad, "Burning Love" ironically
parodied. beats the dead horse that is real-
ity television in what is hopeful-
ly the last bastion for innovation
in the genre: admittedly scripted
t stands, only four of the and fake scenarios of paid actors
12 eligible bachelors acting like unloved, spoiled
: The prematurely born children looking for love and
Martin Starr, "Hawaii approval.

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