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April 04, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-04

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, April 4, 2014 - 5

Quirky jazz legend

WCBN celebrates
Sun Ra to brighten
your weekend
DailyArts Writer
In a world where new is val-
ued above old, it's easy for past
musicians to fade, but their
music can still
be relevant in Sun Ra
today's cul-
ture. WCBN, 100th
the student- Birthday
run commu-
nity freeform Concert
radio station Friday, April
housed in 4,7 pm
the basement
of the Stu- UMMA
dent Activi- Free
ties Building,
believes in
celebrating the past which
is why they set up an upcom-
ing concert to commemorate
the 100th birthday of late jazz
musician Sun Ra.
Sun Ra, born Herman Blount
in 1914, was celebrated for
being an incredible musician,
poet, bandleader and philoso-
pher. He also just happened
to believe he came from the
planet Saturn and wasn't a part
of the human race. Still, even

with such bizarre quirks, crit-
ics agree that Ra's music was
revolutionary. He performed
almost every style of jazz, from
bebop to ragtime, at some point
in his career and was a pioneer
of electronic keyboards and
free improvisation.
"He was pretty revolution-
ary in his approach in a lot of
ways," WCBN Events Coordi-
nator Shelley Salant said. "He
just really brought together a
lot of different things."
The group wanted a space
to hold the concert that could
both highlight Ra's music
as well as provide a suitable
atmosphere for the event. They
eventually decided on the Uni-
versity of Michigan Museum
of Art because of its excellent
acoustics and beautiful layout.
"The museum is such a beau-
tiful space," Salant said. "We
did another WCBN concert
here a couple of years ago and I
think people get excited about
coming to events here because
it feels special."
Lauren Harroun, the Edu-
cation Program Coordinator
at the museum, is in charge of
public programs and student
engagement and is thrilled
to be assisting with an event
that the museum doesn't get to
have very often.
"Because WCBN is a pretty

important part of the cam-
pus community here and also
because it is a student orga-
nization, we really want to
support their efforts," Har-
roun said. "It also allows us
the opportunity to host events
here at the museum that we
wouldn't otherwise program
The Detroit-based jazz
group Planet D Nonet will
perform the concert, led by
group founders RJ Spangler,
who plays drums, and James
O'Donnell on trumpet. The
group, which is made up of
various veteran musicians, is
known for playing a wide vari-
ety of jazz music from the clas-
sits of Duke Ellington to the
more modern melodies from
Sun Ra.
People who attend the event
can also expect a few extras
in addition to the band. One
of WCBN's DJs, Tony Audas,
will be playing a variety of
Sun Ra's music before the band
takes the stage and according
to Salant, there could be some
potential poetry readings
before as well. But whatever
happens, she is assured people
will have a good time.
"There's been a lot of prep-
aration going into it, so I'm
excited to have it all happen,"
Salant said.

This looks like a sequel to Skyfall'
'Saudade' brings classic
Bossa Nova sound

thing t

By NICKBOYD orches
Daily Arts Writer tion is
the mu
ade is a Portuguese word are co
g "a longing for some- the du
hat is lost, a contented a giver

melancholy, or
the presence
of absence."
Rob Garza and Saudade
Eric Hilton,
the master- Thievery
minds behind
the D.C.-based Corp
musical entou- ESL Music
rage, Thievery
thought Saudade a fitting title
for their latest project. The
album pays homage to the
duo's original creative inspi-
ration - the Brazilian genre
Bossa Nova. The only issue is
that despite the album's som-
ber tone, Thievery Corporation
is incapable of making any-
thing but sexy music. Listening
through Saudade, I can't help
but think this sounds less like a
soundtrack to existential lone-
liness than it does to a James
Bond movie set in Rio. Rather
than crying tears of longing, I'm
finding myself waiting for 007
to get laid. Regardless of this
unintended effect, the latest
Thievery Corporation project
marks a successful departure
from their typical clubby, bass-
driven style and proves that
sexy has no language barrier.
In the mid '90s, Garza and
Hamilton joined musical forces
out of their shared love for Bossa
Nova - the result was Thiev-
ery Corporation. For the past
18 years, the duo has recruited
a number of bands, rappers,
vocalists, etc. to join in the pro-
duction of their albums. In a
sense, Garza and Hilton are the
conductors of an ever-changing

tle of i
time t
their r
of Bos
Gal Ci
the in
- Lou
- and
this is
ton st

tra. Thievery Corpora- work in constructing the tracks,
an amorphous entity, and finding and rearranging old
asicians behind the scenes Bossa Nova melodies to cre-
instantly changing to fit ate the common thread of the
o's musical objectives for album.
n album. Due to the evo- Given the soft female vocals,
ary nature of Thievery Latin beats and vintage sam-
ration, Garza and Hilton pling, Garza and Hilton succeed
produced an incredibly in creating an authentically
e body of work - very lit- ethereal, transcendent vibe.
t representing true Bossa I was listening to it in the
(To get a sense of this shower, and was convinced I
st, compare their album, was standingunder an Amazo-
nian waterfall. Vocals rasping
softly over layered percussion,
and precise guitar-work mesh
a not shitting perfectly to create a Brazilian
ambience.Thievery Corpora-
u about the tion still manages to put their
subtle signature stamp on the
ames Bond album, despite its adherence to
the tenants of Bossa Nova. The
thing." layered background beats give a
new taste to the classic Brazil-
ian genre. "Depth of my Soul,"
the lead single, exemplifies this
novel approach to Bossa Nova,
e ofFear with their latest and is a success in creating
Thus, the pair thought it something that is simultane-
o make something true to ously classic and innovative.
oots and Saudade delivers I'm not shitting you about the
h, finely tuned authentic James Bond thing. Go stream
Nova with a "corporate" Saudade on NPR - dear god, has
anyone ever said something more
ally and instrumentally, hipster - and play "No More
de honors the foundations Disguise." You'll whip your head
sa Nova. Classic Brazilian around to quickly gauge what
- Antonio Carlos Jobim, angle the Brazilian Bond girl is
osta, Luis Bofa - provide approaching from, and thenyou'll
spiration for the modern remember you're just listening
sts and musicians who to NPR. Alone. If you're new to
the Corporation for this Thievery Corporation, Saudade
. Collaborators include a is likely a radical departure from
y female cast of vocalists whatever you listen to, but give
uLou Ghelichkhani, Elin Bossa Nova a chance, and I think
rejo, and Karian Zeviani you'll find Thievery Corporation's
a team of master percus- latest work a refreshing novelty.
ts like drummer Michael If you're avetted fan, this stylistic
y and Brazilian percus- tangent will pleasantly surprise
t Roberto Santos. Though you. Besides, I think if you walk
less sample-based than through the waterfall in your
us works, Garza and Hil- shower, you'll probably find your
ill did their fair share of Bond girl on theother side.

Bateman m akesB Gad

DailyArts Writer
When babies are hungry,
sleepy or generally unhappy,
they throw a tantrum. They cry
with increas-
ing volume
and shrillness
until their Bad Words
problem - or
crankiness - is At Quaifty
solved. Wheth-1
er you're an 6and Rave
innocent Focs
bystander or
the one expect-
ed to provide a solution, the
experience promises tobe more
than mildly annoying. Make no
mistake - this baby has got a
real problem here, and it needs
to be solved. Give it food, make
it sleep; just do whatever you
have to do to MAKE IT STOP.
But what do you when a 40
year-old man throws a tantrum
by entering a local spelling bee
to compete against children 30
years his junior? How do you
make him stop?
You really can't do anything
but sit back, relax and enjoy
Jason Bateman's ("Discon-
nect") directorial debut, "Bad
Words." Bateman plays Guy
Trilby, nemesis of the nation's
spelling wizards, their parents
and every single spelling bee
organizer out there. A dropout
since the eighth grade, Trilby
has found a loophole in the

bylaws of the local and national
spelling competitions. Exercis-
ing his right to participate, he
reaches the nationals with the
intention of blowing away the
competition for no discernible
reason. Viewers are kept guess-
ing until the last few minutes
as to why he would decide on
such a course of action, and in
the process, they're treated to a
great deal of fun.
Trilby is not a nice guy. He
swears with reckless abandon,
he drops his poo off with the
hotel concierge and he bullies,
his competitors on stage - at
one point convincing a girl that
she's had her first period, right
before it's her turn to spell. He's
also a racist who shows abso-
lutely no regard for the plight
of the many children and their
parents whom he steps over in
order to achieve his goal. But
it's fun to see him do what he
There's never a dull moment
throughout the running time
of 88 minutes and it's because
the taut screenplay is perfectly
laced with jokes and situation-
al comedy that keeps interest
alive. Trilby's actions force
you to question why he would
do such a thing, but the pac-
ing and humor of the film is
such that the question never
imposes itself as a strong bur-
den. There is an element of
suspense, but it's never over-
whelming enough to detract

from the comedy.
The comedy itself is per-
fectly balanced - not subtle
and intellectual, yet not fall-
ing into the realm of slap-
stick. Trilby's escapades with
his fellow competitor Chait-
anya Chopra (Rohan Chand,
"Lone Survivor") adequately
showcase this film's brand of
comedy. The humor goes well
with Bateman's style of direc-
tion, making the film a smooth
and enjoyable ride. As well as
proving he's a talented direc-
tor, Bateman is superb as the
disgruntled Trilby, putting in
a performance that hits the
right comedic and sentimental
"Bad Words" may seem like
a loud and brash comedy, but at
the end of the day, it's about a
man with the heart of a child
who just wants a little more
from his life. It's a unique tale
of revenge told against the
unusual backdrop of a national
spelling bee, but has enough
comedic material to make it
enjoyable. The revelation at the
end might seem underwhelm-
ing to viewers, but to the lit-
tle child inside Trilby, it's a
matter of great significance.
Beneath the hilarious insults
and one-liners lies an emo-
tional core, and while it doesn't
form a major part of the film,
it's strong enough to make the
characters seem well rounded
and relatable.

Contact a fellow U of M alum to help
you find your NYC home.

Michael K ,fman BA Q8
aewe F~son
miichael.kfmff anu elliiman.




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