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October 18, 2013 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-18

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T M g a ic n yFriday, October 18, 2013 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

'Machete' suffers slow
death by a dull edge

Cooking up an epic facial expression.
Cook talks1'Idol
fame, Ark concert

Famed reality show
singer to perform
new material
Daily Arts Writer
In 2008, David Cook won
the seventh season of "Ameri-
can Idol," and this weekend, as
Cook tours the
United States
with Gavin David Cook
DeGraw, he'll Sunday at
visit Ann Arbor 7:30 p.m.
to deliver one of
his high-caliber The Ark
and emotion-
ally provoking $30
at The Ark.
As a singer, songwriter and
musician, Cook is an artist who
never fails to put his heart on the
line for his music, and he's been
that way from a young age.
"Music kind of, for me,. has
been a bit therapeutic," Cook
said. "I turned to songwriting
to try to take whatever nega-

tive energy and angst you have
as a teenager and present it in a
socially acceptable way. Fortu-
nately, I've been able to ... make a
career out of it."
Though he didn't originally
plan to participate in "American
Idol," Cook has high regard for
the show and appreciates where
it has gotten him today.
"I think I was at an amazing
platform," Cook said. "The com-
mon misconception is that it's a
golden ticket and everybody who
wins the show is going to be huge.
But it gives you a moment, and
you have to seize that moment.
"I think there are people that
probably try out for the show to
be famous and there are people
who try out because they love
music and want to make a career
out of it. As long as the intentions
are pure, 'Idol' can do whatever
you want it to do for you."
Following his triumph on
"American Idol," Cook's debut
single, "Light On," went plati-
num and hit Billboard Hot 100's
Top 20 songs in 2009. Cook
released his second album, This
Loud Morning, after completing

his first major yearlong tour. This
Loud Morning featured tracks
written and co-written by Cook
along with many acclaimed song-
writers, including David Hodges,
Ryan Tedder, Kevin Griffin and
Marti Frederiksen.
For all young aspiring artists,
Cook gives the same piece of
advice that was given to him as
he found his place in the music
"If you really want to get into
the music industry, you need get
used to the word 'no,"' Cook said.
"I think for every one time I've
heard 'yes,' I've probably heard
'no' about a hundred times more.
If you can get through the 'no' s,
you can usually find a career for
This weekend, along with per-
forming some old material, Cook
will play several new songs.
"I see people familiar with the
two RCA records, so there will
be a lot for them to hear. We're
also working on a new record,"
Cook said. "This whole tour came
about as a way to get new songs
out, really let us test some new

Ballads slow the Avett Brothers'
'Magpie and the Dandelion'

Daily Arts Writer
Director Robert Rodriguez's
("Machete") latest tribute to
exploitation cinema isn't just
bloody - it's a
bloody mess.
The near
incoherent Mace
story, un-
spirednaction ills
sequences and Rave and
stale dialogue Quaity6
place this film
firmly in "to be Open oad -
avoided" terri-
In this sequel to 2010's
"Machete," Danny Trejo ("Spy
Kids") reprises his role as the
titular character - an unstop-
pable, emotionless (or is that
just Trejo?) badass whose pre-
ferred method of murdering
his enemies is with a machete.
He's basically the Hispanic ver-
sion of Steven Seagal. Machete's
mission begins in earnest when
the president of the United
States, played by Charlie Sheen
("Scary MoVie") - who's billed
in the movie under his birth
name, Carlos Estevez - charg-
es Machete with preventing
the nuclear destruction of the
world. Machete then predict-
ably proceeds to cut his way
through countless cartel mem-
bers and nameless henchmen
in a haze of gimmicky and gory
One of the film's primary
antagonists is El Camale6n, a
face-changing assassin hunting
Machete. El Camale6n is played
in turn by a slew of different
actors such as Walton Goggins
("Django Unchained"), Cuba
Gooding Jr. ("Lee Daniels' The
Butler"), Lady Gaga and Anto-
nio Banderas ("Puss in Boots").
This may seem like a conve-
nient excuse to present a string
of celebrity cameos, but he/she
represents the most innovative
character in a long line of stock
Unfortunately, Sofia Ver-
gara's ("Modern Family") char-
acter, a Mexican dominatrix
and bordello operator, is one of
the villains that completely fail
to entertain. Her "Double-D's,"
an iron bra with machine-guns,
could have been ripped straight
from "Austen Powers: The Spy
Who Shagged Me."
Too lazy to be exciting and too

Pick up
our B-Side
issue every

"This isf
banal t
Kills" f
off as
up of
heard i
cast of
gore ar
a trip' t
one's ti
horn i
the U.:
the obs

o be humorous, "Machete overcome. However, Rodriguez's
'ails to live up to its prede- efforts here seem entirely inef-
s clever satirization of the fectual. How can anyone take a
genre. Instead, it comes political message seriously when
a shoddy product made it's in a movie that no one, not
boring fight scenes and, even its fans, can take seriously?
one-liners you've already Eventually, Machete carves
n a hundred other movies. his-way to Voz (Mel Gibson, "The
ive heavy metal music, a Beaver"), the insane arms dealer
highly dispensable char- plotting to destroy the world and
and Tarantino levels of the man responsible for killing
'en't near enough to make Machete's partner. However, the
ridiculous plot doesn't entirely
conclude there, opting instead
Ldm'ttedl to set up a third installment. The
trailers for part three attached
'ative villain to the beginning and end of
"Machete Kills" indicate that
't right this Machete will be slaying foes in
outer space with a laser-machete.
nking ship. When someone sets out to
make a terrible movie, there's
always a strong risk that it will
turn out actually terrible. Sure,
to the theater worth any- "Machete Kills" is supposed to
me. be "bad," but it's also supposed
riguez even tries to shoe- to make fun of the films that
in a political statement influenced it and not just imi-
ing U.S. immigration tate all of their worst qualities.
featuring a wall between When everything's said and
S. and Mexico as one of done, things don't bode well for
tacles that Machete must Machete in space.

Daily Arts Writer
The Avett Brothers announce
their evolving musical inten-
tionsin the opening track of their
eighth studio
album, Magpie B
and the Dan-
delion. "I was Magpie
taught to live an and the
open-ended life
r / And never trap Dandelion
myself in noth- The Avett
ing," the band Brothers
croons over and
over. This simple Republic,
statement is true
fe porsiemusical style, which
4layers live guitars, cellos and
drums along with more tradi-
tional folk sounds like banjo. The
combination of modern rock ele-
ments with conventional folk
musicality creates a pleasur-
able album that is easy to listen
to from start to finish, though
marred by poor track sequenc-
Magpie and the Dandelion was
entirely produced by musical
savant Rick Rubin, who over-
sees the orchestration of tracks
that range from grandiose to
simplistic. Rubin employed a
similar style of production on
Yeezus, Kanye West's recent
album, which he also executive
produced. His consistent pres-
ence behind the boards allow the
Avetts (two of which are actually
brothers) to weave their intro-
spective lyrics over a varied sonic
landscape, making piano-driven
ballads and raucous folk num-
bers sound equally at home.
W Emotional lyrics accompany
the nu-folk musical backdrop
here, and as with The Avett
Brothers' previous albums,
Magpie and the Dandelion
features tracks that range from
self-lacerating to reflective on

Maybe these are the ones.

the be
to coni
in the
the pe
poor s
ballad i
slows d
The Ca
ers' e
were re

auty of life. Pensive yet sessions, but rather than sound-
tforward, the lyrical ing like a collection of cast-off
t encourages the listener tracks, Magpie and the Dandelion
template their own place stands on its own as an indepen-
world, while reveling in dent record. "Skin and Bones,"
rsonal reflections of the the strongest individual track, is
The biggest issue with a meditation on self-worth and
and the Dandelion is the one's role in the universe. "Souls
equencing from track to Like the Wheels," an inexplica-
The album has no weak bly live track, follows, jarring the
ual songs, but ballad after middle of a well-produced studio
in the middle of the album album.
own Magpie's pacing. The Avett Brothers perform
live incredibly well, with 2010's
Live, Volume3 a standout in their
lengthy discography. But the
ame iwang unexplained dramatic shift in
re've grown tone ruins any momentum head-
ing into the penultimate song of
to love, the album, "Vanity." This uptem-
po ballad also diverges from the
album's folkier highlights, with
an obvious Billy Joel influence.
pie and the Dandelion This diversity of styles is a gift
a strong resemblance to and a curse on Magpie and the
irpenter, the Avett Broth- Dandelion. When a band is on its
xcellent previous album eighth studio album, fans expect
d last year. Both albums fresh content as well as a refine-
corded in the same studio ment of its traditional sound.

734 477 9113

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