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February 28, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-28

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, February 28, 2014 - 5

I'm in fashion,just
not fashionable

LLC/ REPUBLIC
"Season four of 'Game of Thrones' looks weird"
'St. Vincent'comes
into her own style

Indie rock singer
releases self-assured
fourth album
BY ERIKA HARWOOD
Senior Arts Editor
Officially four albums deep
into an eclectic oeuvre, Annie
Clark fur-
ther cements /
herself as
the brand St. St. Vincent
Vincent on
her new self- St.Vincent
titled album;Capitol
a guitar-play
ing, lavender
afro-sporting
art rocker. As an artist who's
never breached the threshold of
mainstream indie, like Vampire
Weekend or MGMT, St. Vincent
has managed to maintain her
eccentricities while crafting an
accessible album.
From the distorted guitar
solo on album opener "Rattle-
snake" to the staccato horns
carving the foundation on

As I scan the contents of my
admittedly cluttered room, I
see issues of Vogue (Septem-
ber and then some) weigh-
ing down my nightstand, old
shopping
bags hap- -
hazardly
littering my
floor and a
bowl that
used to con-
tain some
rice that I ERIKA
should con- HARWOOD
sider wash-
ing soon
(that last one is more of a
mental note to myself).
Yet as I survey myself, I see
five-year old yoga pants, mis-
matched socks and a sweat-
shirt I'm guessing hasn't
been washed since 2013.
"I'm someone who loves
and cares about fashion, you
just can't tell by the way I
dress," one of my friends told
ine the other day.
This hit close to home. Too
close to hoie.
In high school, I aimed for
the trivial, senseless affir-
ioation that was the "Best
Dressed" award. I mapped out
looks the night before with
professional effort and effi-
ciency; I made sure I never
repeated an outfit, for that
had the potential to exude
weakness and defeat; I also
let everyone know that I real-
ly fucking wanted that stupid
mock award.
In the end, on that fate-
ful and long-awaited evening
in May, I received my "Best
Dressed" certificate, which
has now heen retired to a plas-
tic tub somewhere between

the m
centra
my a
was f
of Eat
senior
on to
ably
intima
(Cong
son. V
your 1
I wen
ing for
busin
Thisv
I'd ev
indust

BE
E

setro-Detroit area and through the tiled halls of
l Illinois. The moment ERHS - if anything, it's con-
ward was announced tinually growing. I still ogle
leeting, with the hosts at Grace Coddington's edito-
on Rapids High School's rials, have a mild panic attack
r night quickly moving during each Marc Jacobs live-
the next one - prob- streamed show (followed by
something weird and a severe panic attack when it
ate, like "Best Eyes." tries to buffer in the middle
rats, Brenin Richard- of it) and furrow my brow
Ve were all rooting for when my dad asks "who?" at
baby blues). Soon after, each of my mentions of Anna
t to college, began writ- Wintour. You bought me "The
r style blogs and joined a September Issue" for Christ-
ess-related fashion club. mas, man. We've been over
was the most connected this.
'er felt to the fashion I should note that I still
ry, and yet the most dis- try to present myself in a way
that could be deemed accept-
able by society. Not so much
for that fact itself, but for the
2st dressed sake of losing my own sanity
when I metaphorically hand
RHS class over my hopes and dreams
the moment I decide it's OK to
of 2011. meet with my professor while
wearing my pajamas.
Still, I struggle to think if
there's a place for my type in
ny closet had ever been the fashion world. A world
full of day vs. night stilettos,
h late night, caffeine- perfectly tailored pants and
ored study sessions, waking up with ample time
of back-to-back classes to put together "the look."
fluctuating waistline, I Despite my lull in personal
- for the lack of a bet- style, which even at its grun-
rm - let my style (and giest point is still at a point of
f? I'll save it for anoth- evolution, I'd like to believe
olumn) go. Leggings, there is.
hed flannels and out- Whether or not I find
peating haven't become myself pursuing that world
rvation for off-days so in the future, I'm not entire-
as they've become my ly sure. But if I do, I'll try
It's a look that people my best to wear heels to the
e to being a "hipster," interview. After that, I can't
m going to call it like it make any promises.

"Digital Witness," St. Vincent
establishes itself as an album
open to veteran fans along with
St. Vincent virgins. Despite the
controlled chaos in the erratic
"Bring Me Your Loves," Clark's
voice is sweet and welcoming,
creating what could be consid-
ered avant-garde for dummies.
It's easy enough to bob your
head and sing along yet some-
thing always seems a bit off or
too weird, but in the best way.
Many artists, once they are
categorized as Indie, have
either lost their artistic focus
or tried so hard that their
efforts are overshadowed by a
poor product. St. Vincent, how-
ever, is growing in her artistic
cred, alternating between the
bizarre and the beautiful, the
unruly and the controlled - all
in a single song. The up-tempo,
ultra-catchy "Birth In Reverse"
begins with the line "Oh what
an ordinary day / Take out the
garbage, masturbate." No detail
is spared, each lyric and brass
introduction being finely tuned
and executed.
At this point, Clark's musi-

cal confidence is apparent.
After four albums (this doesn't
include her collaborative
record with David Byrne), her
sound is now identifiably St.
Vincent and it's near perfect; an
angelic voice paired with unex-
pected musicality prompt a fine
contradiction.
While it may be a declaration
that could have been confirmed
years ago, St. Vincent - while
beginning to navigate the
mainstream scene more than
she once was - has transcend-
ed the idea of the typical indie
rocker. Instead of churning out
lo-fi hits, mixing synths and
distorted samples - a sound
that has earned a place in its
own right - she creates, mix-
ing genres, experimenting with
instrumentation, challenging
herself lyrically. Clark's music
is much bigger than the indie
scope.
While St. Vincent takes off
into well-known territory, it's
just as fresh and exciting as
we've come to expect from the
artist, who does what she does
best - make art.

tant n
to it.
Wit
spons'
days
and a
have -
ter te
mysel
er cc
unwas
fit ref
a rese
much
norm.
ascrib
but I'
is: str;
My
ion ha
days

aight up lazy.
own interest in fash-
asn't declined since my
of attempting to strut

Harwood is reading her old
yearbook. if you want a copy,
e-mail erikacat umich.edu.

Looking at myself as far more
than just lines on a resume

By COSMO PAPPAS
For the Daily
Spin a globe, close your eyes
and let your finger land where
it will. Pack up, say goodbye,
since your one-way ticket is for
tomorrow. You have to leave
your life to lead your life, as
they say.
This is how the logic of col-
lege admissions and career pur-
suit - in a phrase, achievement
and mobility - unfolds today.
Usually, however, it's better at
concealing its objectives.
If the reader will indulge me
a bit, I'd like to quote German-
Jewish philosopher Theodor
Adorno for explanation. "It is
part of the mechanism of dom-
ination," he says in Minima
Moralia, "to forbid recognition
of the suffering it produces." It
never struck me until recently
that my Fulbright fantasies,
furnished with every detail
you'd expect - Parisian cafes,
Neoclassical columns and a
heaping, unflattering share of
self-importance - are a farce.
Now, I'm not setting out to
deride achievement and pres-
tige in any form or context.
Aspiration and rigor are the
ingredients of good work, in my
opinion. I can't help but think,
though, that if were I to relocate
myself to Paris or Moscow or
London, I would spend less time
Living the Life than I would
cursing myself for having con-
signed my youth and well-being
to student debt and exorbitant
rent - the mausoleums of the
happy life.
I would be missing the mark
to suggest that these are prob-
lems specific only to our histor-
ical moment or that people don't
or can't lead fulfilling lives in

big citi
we, as
ity and
taken a
The
to pac
ning a
availab
lumino
"dream
ing fun
most b
rience.
you'dt
essenti
commu
in and
from o:
yearsc
be as
The me
reverse
Th
of
yoursel
ferentE
easy as
in.
The
with th
ern mi
certain
from t
approa
able ra
able co
living
modity
transpl
less of t
to stabi

es. Rather, the way that is you're going.
a society, imagine mobil- I would be speaking out of
I lived experience is mis- place to discuss the problems of
it its core. identity and community in the
way it is, you're expected context of immigration, since
k your bags and go run- many migrate due to reasons
t the best opportunity much more life-threatening
le, all in the service of a than trying to snag that hip
'us, salaried future. The internship in L.A. However,
" as a form of think- this is a critical perspective to
idamentally neglects the consider. The violence is ampli-
asic needs of lived expe- fied boundlessly when you're
By this logic of mobility, crossing national, cultural and
think that people were linguistic borders. Far be it
ally detachable from the from me to exclude these other
inities they're enmeshed dimensions from the conversa-
that uprooting yourself tion.
ne locale you've invested We engage, necessarily, in
of your life into would abstraction all of the time.
easy as pulling a tooth. Every time you describe your-
etaphor holds true in the self, you are abstracting - not
though: integrating least of all because language
does not always correspond to
material, embodied reality. But
capitalism's skills of abstrac-
e downsides tion are unprecedented, the
risum6 being an exceptionally
the modern successful distillation of that
process.
.netropolis An application (for grad
and such. school, for an internship, for a
job) does not ask for the num-
ber of nights cried to sleep
because of mistreatment at
If into a radically dif- the workplace, how many lies
environment is about as you've slipped to your parents
putting the tooth back about your self-care so you
don't raise their blood pressure
problem, as I said, isn't or how few friends you've made
te downsides of the mod- than you thought you would in
etropolis (though that the big city.
ly shouldn't fall away The denial of living as more
he discussion, as rents than a free-floating resume that
ch ever more unmanage- characterizes-our day and age is
tes for ever more unliv- radical and traumatic. Emotion-
inditions). It consists in ally crippled, financially beg-
as a r6sum6, as a com- gared, socially alienated - "the
. It is the violence of contract didn't mention any of
anting yourself regard- this!" If only we had learned
he connections you have sooner that Adorno's maxim is
lize yourself wherever it in the fine print.

Why so serious?
Clumsy Non-Stop' crash lands

By MAYANK MATHUR
DailyArts Writer
If there's one thing worse than
a goofy movie, it's a goofy movie
that takes itself too seriously.
Why can't cer-
tain films just
embrace what
they are with- Non-Stop
out pretend- Q
ing to be heavy Quality16
when they're and Rave
really just pure Universal
popcorn flicks?
This is a ques-
tion you're sure to ask yourself
after seeing Jaurme Collet-Serra's
("Orphan") latest offering titled
"Non Stop".
The film focuses on Air Mar-
shall Bill Marks, played by Liam
Neeson ("'Taken 2"), and his strug-
gle to prevent a passenger from
killing others every 20 minutes
aboard a flying aircraft. He is aided
in his effirts by fellow passenger
Jen Summers (Julliane Moore,
"Don Jon") and airhostesses
Nancy (Michelle Dockery, "Anna
Karenina") and Gwen (Lupita
Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"). The
murderer inforims Marks via text
that he will continue to kill people
on board until 150 million dollars
are transferred to his account. As
time flies by, the body count rises.
The situationsoongetsoutof hand
as passengers and crew begin to
suspect Marks, who is revealed to
be an alcoholic and a disgraced for-

l

mer police officer, of hijacking the might have had in the first place.
plane for his personal gain. The thrills take too long to
Can Marks successfully pit his come and are eventually too dull
wits against the killer and find him to inspire any genuine suspense.
before it's too late? Can he con- The film does provide some laughs
vince the passengers and crew of - most of which are intentional
his innocence? Can he smoke and - but laughs aren't what keep
drink in the toilet on the plane? an action thriller buoyant; as the
You bet he can - it's Liam Nee- name suggests, it's the action and
son we're talkingabouthere. thrills that must do the job. Unfor-
tunately, this film falls short by
a long way in both departments.
The action set pieces are saved
Not 'Taken' w ith for the climax, but are ultimately
too goofy and poorly executed to
this turbulent carry any serious weight.
The film deals itself its biggest
new Neeson blow when it offers a gritty view-
point on airline security post-9/11.
endeavor. By offering its thoughts on such a
controversial topic, the film dis-
rupts the flow of chaotic idiocy
that had come to typify its tone. It
combines comedywith suspense -
However, despite doing all functioning as avery unique'com-
those things, Neeson cannot save a edy-thriller' - but then abandons
film that repeatedly shoots itself in its silliness by offering perspective
the foot throughout its 106-minute on a sensitive topic.
running time. On paper, the story It's easy to take the film with a
seems interestingenough - there's grain of salt and forgive the many
a troubled protagonist caught in a errors until it reaches the climax
compromising situation, the stage because it is at least entertaining
is set for a classic "whodunnit?" until that point. By attempting
and there's scope for continuous to deal a heavy handed message
evolution of the plot every 20 min- amidst chaotic handling of a prom-
utes as the killer picks the passen- ising story, the film does itself no
gers and the crew off one by one. favors and ultimately crash lands,
Howeverthe clumsyhandlingand taking any joy derived from its
execution of a potentially promis- clumsy handling with it and ulti-
ing script handicaps any possible mately leaving viewers with a bad
advantages the film and the script taste in their mouth.

t

a

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