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October 01, 2013 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-01

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 5

Ashbery continues
to defy criticism

is sti
63 ne
ago, A
out po
they a
least it
a supp

uick Question' the "experience of experience." Or
features 63 of experience of experience, etc.
Ashbery's poetry is
new poems unbearably paratactic in
this volume. His poems are
By MAX RADWIN constructed in such a way that
DailyFineArtsEditor the reader gets a sensation or
an emotion upon completion,
hard to tell if John Ashbery an intangible understanding.
ill writing everybody's But at times, in poems like "The
ography. He's got to be done Allegations," the reader is left
only with the experience of
ick ( searching for that sensation in
on," a a way that is hardly intentional
ion of Quick on the poet's behalf anymore.
w poems, Quesion "It'll come true for you in
that '1 Kansas City, Iowa," the final
ca's John Ashbery sentence of that poem reads, a
st living line that reminds of "Worsening
isn't Ecco Situation" (1975) for its want of
just yet. self-improvement and obscurity
ing its of location ("Oslo, France, that
sver release nearly a year is"), but which fails in a flood of
shbery's 26th book is now ambiguity.
ble in paperback. Is he talking to me? Is he
beryis amachine.He churns talking to himself? The words
ems as epic in proportion as don't tell the story like they
re in quality.... Maybe. Who used to. They used to anchor
?Icertainlydon't.Ashbery's the reader in the typhoon of
defies criticism. Not just white space between stanzas, so
not just Harold Bloom's. maybe you might survive from
ne's. That's the point. Or at one to the next. Now Ashbery
was when poets like Robert is too deep inside his own head,
I were whining about daddy and the words don't anchor you,
in the 1960s. they pull you under.
that time has passed. The book is not a flop by
like Carson and Collins any means, though. It offers
taken American literary a moderate-sized selection
on and fallen into place. of exceptional poetry. "Puff
is Ashbery? Stuck in time, Piece," "Laundry List" and
ose, and still writing about "Quick Question" - the poem

for which the book is named -
jump out as writing grounded
and concrete enough to leave
a lasting impact on the reader,
and which frustrates in a way
that still satisfies after multiple
It's not a somber collection,
either. There's no shortage
of snarky quips and colorful
sarcasm, which readers have
come to expect out of the
86-year-old. "In all my years as
a pedestrian / serving juice to
guests, it never occurred to me
/ thoughtfully to imagine how
a radish feels," Ashbery writes
in "This Economy." Lines like
these pepper nicely across
Ashbery's collection.
And while that's all well
and nice, they have little
functionality or poetical
weight. They aestheticize only,
like a hobo hanging frilly drapes
in a ramshackle house.
Poetry is supposed to be
problematic. It is supposed to
invite discussion. But most of
these poems silence the room
with answers to questions that
nobody asked.
Or maybe they don't. His
poetry defies criticism, as I
mentioned before, so it's really
up to the reader, and everything
else is made tediously moot.
"Now that wasn't so easy, was
it?" Ashbery asks at the end of
"More Reluctant." You've got
that right, buddy. And I'm more
reluctant than ever.

Hope there isn't any Stevia in that tea.
Characters grow in
'Parenthood' premiere

DailyArts Writer
After eight painstakingly
long months and a very
noticeable absence, NBC's

Retro rap finds a home in
futuristic 'Event II'

is back.
Luckily, the
made it up to
the audience
by providing
a fairly

at 10 p.m.

13 yea
Del tha
the Au
and D
The re
in an i
set in t
latest w
with dei
As aI
a culm
a fami
Lex Lu
a la
up aN
that m
} will rec
on Eve
any b
is due

y JOSH FRAZIER concept album as a specific
For the Daily genre project has no place in the
rap world, but Deltron 3030's
hip-hop landscape has risk-taking pays off to create a
d dramatically in the fully realized vision.
ars since Deltron 3030 Ambitious projects are a
initially signature of Del, who is best
d. The known to most audiences for
nous - his verses on Gorillaz's "Clint
album Event II Eastwood." Damon Albarn, the
rapper man behind Gorillaz, is one of
Funkee Deltron3030 the many guest appearances
apien, on Event II, which features a
er Dan Deltron Partners diverse cast of characters.
utomator Guest features include Albarn,
J Kid Koala, received Aaron Bruno of AWOLNATION
read critical acclaim and fame and Zack de la Rocha of
a ravenous niche fanbase. Rage Against the Machine, who
ecord told the story of carries the chorus and backing
Zero, an escaped prisoner vocal duties on the album's
nterplanetary rock opera standout track, "Melding of
he year 3030. The group's the Minds." Other appearances
vork, Event II, picks up the bog down the album, dulling
ve paranoia and political Del's sharp-witted rhymes with
of Deltron 3030 and interludes that disrupt the pace
es to explore those realms and extend the length ofEvent II
msely packed wordplay. to a swollen 16 songs. Hollywood
actors like Joseph Gordon-Levitt
and David Cross (of "Arrested
uestionable Development" fame) lend their
vocals to the album's many
atures bloat irritating intermissions, leaving
only 11 full-length tracks.
otherwise Event II contains only two
songs that don't feature other
used album . artists, and many of these guest
choices are unconventional.
Comedy rap group The Lonely
Island appears for an ill-advised
body of work, Event II is sidestep sandwiched between
ination of an obviously the fiery rhymes of "The Agony"
ed emcee working with and "Talent Supersedes."
liar production duo. The Another misstep features
on this album stand in celebrity chef David Chang
welcome contrast to the discussing futuristic cuisine on
currently popular on rap the aptly named "The Future
There are no bombastic of Food," which is an overall
ger-esque horns, nor are lackluster track compared to
sanitized synthesizers, the slickly organized ambience
Drake's recent smash of the song that follows, the
g Was the Same. Dan the Damon Albarn-featuring "What
ator and Kid Koala serve Is This Lonliness." Pacing and
varied sonic landscape cohesion are two critically
neshes well with Del's important factors in crafting
round style of rap. a successful album, and Event
to form for an II's interludes jar the listener
ndent label release, and feel more like interruptions
are no lead singles that than anything else.
ceive heavy radio airplay Though the album stands out
'nt II, nor will there be due to its faux-futuristic feel,
ig-budget videos. The Event II is still decidedly retro.
tic aspect of Event II The throwback production
to the heavily visual techniques wouldn't sound out
ay and the streamlined, of place on an A Tribe Called
tic plot. Typically, a Quest album, for instance, or on

the original Deltron 3030. Over
a decade after the initial release
date, Event II is a worthy
spiritual successor to what most
hip-hop heads recognize as a
cult classic.
Del's rhymes are as densely
worded as ever, and the
production holds its own with
the lofty standards of Deltron
3030's debut. Del's storytelling
abilities put him in the same
league as anyone in rap music
today, and with the exception
of several ill-timed features
which disrupt the album's flow,
Event II successfully continues
the narrative of Deltron Zero's
passionate rebellion against
oppression. Sharp rhymes and
hypnoticbeats are sure toengage
familiar listeners and energize
rap fans who are exhausted by
the onslaught of generic trap
beats and club-ready, wealth-
centric lyrics. Event II succeeds
by serving up untraditional
tracks that create a cohesive,
entertaining story.

Crosby (Dax Shepard,
"When In Rome") and Jasmine
(Joy Bryant, "Hit and Run")
have their healthy baby girl
within minutes of the episode's
opening, and they make at
least two jokes about her
being whiter than they would
have thought for someone
biracial. Aside from that slight
discomfort, the baby provides
a situation that pushes Crosby
to take on a more serious role,
feeling like a continuation of
themes in season four.
Crosby may not be the
youngest child in age, but
he definitely is personality-
wise. His charm has worn
off, and he has become that
aggravating 14-year-old boy
stuck in a late-30-something's
body; audiences need to see
emotional growth at this point,
because otherwise he will
soon bore. Baby Aida provides
this opportunity. The writers
have created a natural way in
which to make Crosby grow up

by raising a child - remember, again, if anyone can solidify
Jabbar, his son, was already her character as an audience
five he met his father. favorite, it is Monica Potter.
Kristina (Monica Potter, One of the notable omissions
"The Last House on the Left") in the season opener was
also sees character growth in Amber's drool-inducing
the season opener. Afterseveral boyfriend Ryan (Matt Lauria,
sob-inducing episodes about "Friday Night Lights"). In the
her breast cancer diagnosis eight months between seasons,
last season, she walked away he was redeployed to an
in remission. After being undisclosed location. His face
approached by Bob Little - the is seen momentarily in a glitchy
politician who both Kristina Skype call with Amber before
and Amber--(Mae_ Whitman, the connection is dropped - but
"Arrested Development") then Ryan comes back with a
worked for last season - to rather cliche move. The writers
run his mayoral campaign, she of "Parenthood" have Ryan
declares she'd rather run for return from his deployment to
mayor herself. get down on one knee as soon as
he is reunited with Amber.
"Parenthood" is better
- - a than this. Proposals of this
Kristia nature are commonplace
Brnfor and unoriginal television.
Braverman fr Considering how emotionally
mayr.guarded Ryan is, the proposal
seems out of character. The
presentation did not hint at a
cause for this sudden-changing
Sure, Kristina fought cancer life plan. Hopefully the writers
last season, but this decision have something up their sleeves
is active and conscious. No because the development in
longer making excuses for current context is eye-roll
herself, season-five Kristina has inducing.
potential to kick some serious "Parenthood" sets up a
butt. She may finally show off potentially great start for
the intellect and drive suggested season five with pivotal growth
previously and only reflected in moments for several characters.
brief instances. It wouldbe great Perhaps this season will not be
for her to unapologetically seize as emotionally taxing as last
what she wants after seasons season, but watchers beware:
of bending over backwards to. "Parenthood" pulls on the
help her family - taking charge heartstrings. Viewers can look
of her life in a way previously forward to another wrenching,
unseen. As evidenced in her albeit sometimes too much so,
performances again and season with the Bravermans.


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