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April 02, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-02

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, April 2, 2414 - 5A

Kidpreneur brings
families to Detroit

Fade to black.
'HI1MYM' ends its
nine-season run

CBS show end of Barney (Neil Patrick Har-
ris) and Robin's (Cobte Smulders)
concludes with wedding and, three years later, the
end of their marriage. We learn of
one final twist the birth of Marshall (Jason Segel)
and Lily's (Alyson Hannigan)
By JAMIE BIRCOLL third child, and Marshall's much-
Daily Film Editor deserved judgeship. We witness
the devolution of the newly single
Spoiler Alert: this article dis- Barney into his old, womanizing
cusses the plot of the seriesfinale of self, only to finally mature at the
"How I Met Your Mother." If you birth of his daughter. And, in the
don't want to middle of it all, Ted (Josh Radnor)
know what hap- finally meets the Mother (Cristin
pens, don't read Milioti); her name is Tracy McCo-
it. Spoiler Five! Howl Met nnell (they share the same initials!)
It ends the and she was the love of Ted's life.
way it starts: Your Mother But the finale confirmed, as
with a blue Series Finale this season had hinted, that Tracy
French horn. passed away six years before Ted
The nine- CBS sat his kids down to tell them his
season run of story. The kids call their father out,
"How I Met claiming (in a scene filmed nine
Your Mother" closes just the way years ago) that the story was never
it should have, or maybe exactly about their rarely included moth-
how it shouldn't have - how you er, but about Ted finally being in a
knew it would, or maybe in a way place to be with their Aunt Robin.
you didn't see coming. It's all in Yes, it turns out that it was Ted
the eyes of the beholder, the loyal and Robin all along, and maybe
fan who's followed every slap, that's a bit of a cop-out. If any-
every play, every "bang bang ban- thing, the blame rests on Milioti
gity bang," the interventions, the for being too wonderful in every
sandwiches, the legen-wait-for-it- respect that seeing Ted with any-
dairys and the "haaaaaaave you one else feels like a crime. But
met Ted?" s. This finale, much like while we only saw a glimpse of
the show as a whole, wasn't perfect their lives together, they did have
- at times it was poorly paced and a life together, and Ted had never
messy - but it was bold and fun; it been happier. So it's not so much
reminded us of all those great run- a cop-out, more like following the
ning gags from seasons past. In the rules that creators Carter Bays and
end, it just wanted to do its char- Craig Thomas set for themselves
acters, our characters, justice, and nine seasons ago. They had a plan
give them the happy ending they and they stuck to it, and, along
all deserved. the way, crafted a journey for five
This two-part episode titled beloved characters with moments
"Last Forever" moves quickly, memorable, heartbreaking and
covering a season's worth of mate- hilarious.
rial in an hour, jumping back-and- Because as hyped and as great
forth through time. We see the (or as disappointing) as this finale

was, it was never the point: it was
the MacGuffin. This was never a
series about the mother, but about
everything leading up to her. It's
about Ted measuring his own self-
worth ashe becomes less confident
as he ages, about the trials of stay-
ing together as a long-time couple
exemplified by Lily and Marshall,
about Robin needing to weigh her
romantic life with her work life
and about Barney, well, being Bar-
ney mostly. It's about losing out
to guys named Sven, about crazy
eyed-dates, lower back tattoos and
other poor decisions made after 2
a.m., interventions, doppelgangers
and Canadianrpop star alter egos.
And it's about the unpredict-
ability of life in your twenties, the
loss of loved ones, the fear of grow-
ing apart as friends and family.
But it's also about the comfort in
knowing that, despite inevitable
separations, those relationships
are always the most meaning-
ful because, in the end, we find
ourselves through them and the
stories we share. The finale tried
to deliver a little bit of all of those
emotions, and, for that, it should be
"Do you have any idea what hap-
pened right here, in this very bar?"
Marshall asks three unassuming
patrons at MacLaren's, only to
answer his own question, "just...
all kinds of stuff." We should only
be so lucky to answer in such a
way. Sometimes we lose our way
or lose sight of what's most impor-
tant to us; sometimes we're lucky
enough to rediscover all that stuff
or find something new. But we'll
always have our stories, to remind
us of who we are and where we're
going - that's what "How I Met
Your Mother" taught us.
Bircoll out.

he storefront of 1249
Woodward Avenue
looks like a comput-
er's motherboard, with wires
and connections painted across
its windows
in bright-
orange. In the
middle is the
name, "Kid-
preneur" - a
place dedicat-
ed to teaching PAIGE
tweens com- PFLEGER
puter skills
that give rise
to young entrepreneurs with way
loftier goals of creation than just a
lemonade stand.
It's hard to imagine a genera-
tion of kids that instead of playing
video games are designing their
own, or instead of watching ani-
mated movies are creating them,
but Kidpreneur takes tweens from
ages nine to 13 and molds them into
tech-savvy students who grow to
love computers, architecture and
engineering. The company's cre-
ator, ThanhTran, hopes that peak-
ing these kids' interest before they
turn into moody teens will show
them that tech and entrepreneur-
ship can be "cool."
And its new pop-up location on
Woodward Avenue helps add to
that cool vibe.
"The kids in the Detroit area
don't have the opportunity to
have something like this," Tran
said. "Because we have a space
downtown we see that there is
an interest here - as a matter of
fact, there's a need here for some-
thing like this. I think we have a

lot of traction, and with more time
I think we can make a positive
Tran won the Woodward Ave.
store front in the D:hive Pilot
program, which is dedicated to
bringing start-ups to Detroit. Kid-
preneur's victory means that the
originally Northville-based com-
pany receives the space for free
for two months. After those two
months are over, Tran hopes to
maintain a strong presence down-
town by finding a partner who
might be willing to share a space
when Kidpreneur's time with
D:hive is up.
According to Tran, there aren't
nearly enough kid-and family-
friendly opportunities down-
town, aside from the occasional
seasonal-based festivals or staple
activities that the city has always
had. By taking classes in the city,
the kids get exposure to Detroit
in a controlled environment, and
parents become more comfortable
with the area by exploring while
their kids are in class.
For Donna Miller, from Grosse
Pointe, taking her kids to classes in
Detroit's Kidpreneur location was
a "no-brainer." She even encour-
aged her son's friends to take class-
es too, and she shuttles the little
motley crew back and forth for
their workshops. They frequent
the restaurants around Kidpre-
neur, like local Slices Pizza, or the
new Olga's. They visited the Win-
terfest downtown, the DIA and the
public library.
"I never envisioned myself com-
ing downtown and taking my kids
down as much as we have," Miller
said. "My opinion of the city has
changed. It's not as scary as I had

initially thought."
Tran hopes that by bringing
families to Detroit and showing
them how positive of an experi-
ence coming to the area can be,
Kidpreneur can act as a catalyst
for a ripple effect. More kids in
the area could help bring other
kid-friendly businesses to the city,
which could help boost the econ-
omy and develop an entirely kid-
friendly community.
As for those children in Detroit
and elsewhere, Tran strives to
make his classes available for
students of all socio-economic
backgrounds. Kidpreneur hopes
to bring entrepreneurship every-
where in order to help children
realize their potential.
Kids realizing
their potential.
There are plenty of parents
who start their kids off in little
league sports, much fewer who
bring their children to downtown
Detroit, and even fewer still that
bring their kids to Detroit to learn
entrepreneurial skills at a young
age. For all we know, though, the
next little Steve Jobs could be
plunking away feverishly at a com-
puter inside of 1249 Woodward
Avenue, and Detroit's Kidpreneur
will be where he or she will have
taken off.
Pfleger is keeping her ear
to the streets. To help out,
e-mail pspfleg@ umich.edu

Why so serious?
DeMarco's mature 'Salad Days'

'Head or Heart' lacks either one

DailyArts Writer
It's cute, alright. But in today's
music industry, cute doesn't cut it.
For someone whose first song
debuted on
"Dancing with
the Stars" in
2010, Chris- Head or
tina Perri estab-
lished herself Heart
in the industry Christina Perri
quite quickly.
With a voice Atlantic
that was unlike
any other at the
time, Perri sold nearly half a mil-
lion copies of her debut record,
on the second time around,
her album Head or Heart develops
themes of self reflection and per-
sonal relationships through light
pop, as Perri strays away from cre-
ating yet another album entirely of
love and heartbreak anthems. In
the process, however, Perri loses
the virility and intensity that high-
lighted her debut.
The albumis ordinary, plain and
unconnected to any emotions that
could truly impact most listeners.
In fact, for a record that's titled
Head or Heart, Perri's record does
very little to appeal to either. Unre-
latable and obscure tracks such
as "Burning Gold" and "Lonely
Child" would have been forgivable
had they been lyrically impress-
ible or melodically innovative. But
neither of those qualities show up
anywhere on the album. It's evi-

Cute doesn't cut it, Christina.
dent that the credit for the echoing
fervor in "I Don't Wanna Break"
isn't due to the song itself, but to
Perri's interpretation, and beyond
an appreciation for the refinement
in Perri's voice, there's very little
keepingthe album relevant.
"Be My Forever," featuring Brit-
ish singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran,
is reminiscent of Sheeran's last
feature on Taylor Swift's "Every-
thing Has Changed," as a songthat
induces a smile but does very little
to prove either artist as someone
who's worthpayingattention to.
That's not saying the the album
doesn't have strengths, particularly
when it comes to Perri's vocals.
With a voice that flows like honey,
Perri has the ability to sing of pain
andlheartbreak inasoothingmelan-
choly and her voice bleeds emotion
with every word. Her enunciations
are comforting in their melody and
there's a perfection in her pitch that
shows the strength in Perri'sjudge-
ment and the understanding she
has over her own voice.
Her higher register in "Trust" is

sharp, and though painful to listen
to at first, her high notes contain a
poignancy that relays the meaning
of the song even before paying heed
to the lyrics. In "Human," Perri
manages to convey heartbreak and
tribulation effortlessly by using
nothing other than the syrupy tone
in her voice.
Perhaps, then, all criticism
toward Head or Heart stems from
the expectations set by Perri's
debut, Lovestrong. By combin-
ing sweet, sugary pop with the
dark undertones, she innovatively
brought her own sound to pop
music at the time. Tracks such as
"Mine" and "Tragedy" added a
certain depth to pop that had been
long absent from the charts. The
infamous "Jar of Hearts" shaped
Perri as someone who had a clear
sense of her purpose and identity
in the industry.
But now that we already know
Perri has' an inherent talent
unmatched by many others in her
field, it's time to see her go beyond

any ki
to Sul
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here g
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By JOHN LYNCH artist falling back on his estab-
ManagingArts Editor lished, carefree ways while also
striving for a more mature, patient
ugh I normally hate making approach to songwriting and
nd of generational general- greater instrumental variety.
, I've decided that there's So what is a Salad Day exactly?
Ih convinc- DeMarco would like you to con-
evidence sider it - following the narra-
pport the tive of the album's title track ("Oh
sition that Salad Days mama, actin' like my life's already
ng up in over / Oh dear, act your age and
Os, '70s or Mac DeMarco try another year")- as that cru-
pre-inter- CapturedTracks cial moment in which a young per-
ecade was son recognizes that his or her life
ly 350 per- is beginning to pass too quickly
tore chill than a modern-day and either self-corrects to avoid
cent existence. So while I sit despair or stays steadfastly stuck
ripped by a multi-faceted, in the swift throes of melancholy.
ant anxiety that undeni- As a whole, though, Salad Days
ems in part from the thinly leans more toward gloom than
hed branches of my cyber optimism. Even tracks like the
ny 51-year-old father choos- seemingly amiable "Blue Boy" are
spend his time deliberating conducted with a certain sarcastic
w rock 'n' roll used to mean slant. In many ways, DeMarco and
hing, damnit, while remi- his goofy, Viceroy-smoking, cross-
g about his youth in an era of dressing public persona provide an
'reedom and analog simplic- apparent heir to the vocal styling
and cynical, eccentric rock pres-
grandiosities aside, I do ence of the late Lou Reed. Strip
e (and stubbornly argue away DeMarco's real-life madness
my dad) that compelling and assess his studio presence and
music still exists today in lyricism alone, however, and one
trm or another. Therefore, finds that he's not nearly as con-
me when most modern cre- troversial as he is glaringly Cana-
fforts seem to speak mostly dian - morally agreeable, notably
f-righteous pleas for recog- concerned with the well-being of
, the work of someone like his loved ones, shockingly twee in
ian singer/songwriter Mac his delivery.
rco really feels like a refresh- No track on Salad Days holds
easant detachment from the the infectious funk of 2's "Freak-
al plague that is LOOK AT ing Out the Neighborhood" or
OOKAT ME-ness. "The Stars Keep On Calling My
itinuing the shimmering Name," but DeMarco does man-
frenzy that was his 2012 age to incorporate new sounds on
, 2, DeMarco's latest LP, the record to an intriguing effect.
Days, finds the 23-year-old Simple, sweet synth patterns add a

new wrinkle to tracks such as lead
single "Passing Out Pieces" and
standout "Chamber of Reflection"
- a hypnotic track that recalls the
captivating electronica of Deer-
hunter's 2010 classic, Halcyon
Per usual, most songs on
DeMarco's Salad Days end briskly
around the three minute mark,
and the record flows quickly and
succinctly as a traditional pop
album, for the most part. "Broth-
er," another exceptional track,
takes the gleaming guitar chords
of 2 and slows things down to a sul-
try groove. All pacing falls through
two tracks later, though, with the
dreadfully boring "Let My Baby
Stay," in which DeMarco floats
cutesy lyrics alongside an unbear-
ably repetitious acoustic guitar
without ever reaching any sem-
blance of crescendo or memorable
on the surface, Salad Days is
a very straightforward record -
simple, direct, efficiently accessi-
ble. In an era where any important
work of art has essentially the
same quantifiable, societal impor-
tance as a picture of some hot
chick baring cleavage on Insta-
gram, it makes sense that artists
are starting to make their work
more minimalist and pop-like in
nature, perhaps recognizing and
accepting the inevitable ephemer-
ality of their work. Mac DeMarco
might be too much of a goofball
spaz to sit down and put together
a complex, artistic masterpiece,
but who really needs Art when you
can learn to take it sloooowly bro-
tha and chill out as life's troubles
simply drift on by.


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