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October 07, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 -5

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, October 7, 2014- 5

Window to the soul.
Yamagata to bring all
her emotions to A2

Everything's good.
Chance talks show
at EMU, new work

Chicago but the music and the per-
rapper sona reach all the way to the
comes to Ypsilanti roof. He comes out in a Black-
hawks sweater but to the
on Wednesday delight of the crowd switches
into a Michigan basketball
By ADAM THEISEN jersey (the Wolverines had
Daily Music Editor beaten Texas in the NCAA
Tournament earlier that day).
End of April 2013. A The concert is short, and he
20-year-old Chance the Rap- doesn't even play "Juice," but
per has just released Acid Rap. the tracks he does play (essen-
It's his second mixtape, com- tially all of the other Acid Rap
ing a couple of years after the highlights) flatten the crowd
regional Chicago success 10 with their energy. Chance is
Day. He's been mentioned in hyperkinetic and jumps all
a few industry publications, around the stage while rap-
and he's opened for Childish ping, but he does seem to take
Gambino, but odds are unless "leave them wanting more" to
you're from Chicago you've heart.
never heard of him. Even so, Fortunately for all those
on the opening track, Chance fans, Chance the Rapper is
announces "This your favor- back after only a semester or
ite fucking album, I ain't so. He's playing a show at the
even fucking done." Acid Rap EMU Convocation Center in
is downloaded hundreds of Ypsilanti on Oct. 8. But don't
thousands of times and wows expect just a rehash of all the
critics and hip-hop aficiona- Acid Rap songs that made him
dos alike. famous.
Lollapalooza '13. Ask some- "I think it's a good time
one who Hip Hop's Next Big to test out new material,"
Thing is and the name out of Chance said in a phone inter-
his or her mouth will imme- view with The Michigan Daily
diately be "Chance." Inex- (right after playing a friendly
plicably, he's playing on the game of soccer with some kids
smallest stage in Grant Park, - in California, he says). "You
but that doesn't stop what know I'm kind of phasing out
feels like every teenager in of Acid Rap and into more
Chicago from packing in until stuff that I'm now doing with
nobody can move. Daredevils the band and choir."
are climbing lampposts and He's kept fans on their toes
trees just to catch a glimpse in recent months, working
of the upstart. I, for one, am with J. Cole, releasing a cover
sandwiched between two of the "Arthur" theme song
ecstatic couples separately and bringing out R. Kelly at a
making out, trying my best triumphant homecoming Lol-
to yell back "Juice!" when lapalooza 2014 appearance -
Chance yells it from the all this in addition to a diverse
stage. Not that I can even set of earlier collaborations
see Chance: so many bodies with Skrillex, James Blake
are ahead of me that I can do and Justin Bieber. But despite
nothing but catch a silhouette the wealth of new songs,
when I jump as high as I can. Chance has no idea when any
Hill Auditorium, March of his recent work will see
2014. With his reputation official release, saying only
experiencing exponential that it will happen "sometime
growth, Chance's show at the eventually."
University feels even more "I'm not really a 'record
hype than the Chicago event. artist,' " he explained.
I'm way up in the top seats, one thing that seems like

a safe bet, though, is that the
new songs won't necessarily
mimic the soulful, trippy jazz
flow of Acid Rap.
"I just got a lot more soni-
cally mature," he said. "I
learned a lot about what I like
in music. I got more involved
in my own production."
When asked if he felt pres-
sure to deliver on the expec-
tations from his breakthrough
mixtape, he said, "I don't at
this time. I did at first for a
long time. I was kind of stuck
in the aesthetic of Acid Rap.
The way the human mind
works, you get attached to an.
image, and I think for sure
the acid isn't part of my own
psyche anymore."
It appears, then, that the
Chance at EMU will be a
young rapper in transition,
still finding his way and try-
ing to learn and grow as he
navigates a national stage. He
thinks this is a great time to
do an all-college tour because
of all the support he gets from
that type of crowd.
"We can try out new mate-
rial with my main audience,"
he said, "the people that are
my age, 21-year-old seniors in
That audience will likely
show up in droves to get a
glimpse at one of the most
promising young artists in
recent memory. It's practi-
cally unthinkable that, with-
out even a proper album to his
name yet, Chance is playing
venues as large as Hill and
the EMU Convocation Center
and garnering plenty of Kanye
West comparisons. Listen to
Acid Rap and you'll realize
that it's a mixtape that can
compete with any tradition-
ally released hip-hop record.
But Acid Rap is now the
past. With this fall run of
shows, we can hope that we're
going to get to see Chance
the Rapper grow up, experi-
ment and, perhaps, even make
something bolder and bigger
than he's ever done before.

Singer-songwriter to
play semi-acoustic
set at The Ark
DailyArts Writer
The Ark is no stranger
to the piano-ballad singer-
songwriter music scene. But
today, Virginia-native Rachael
Yamagata will come ready to
steal the stage.
For one thing, she'll step up
on the boards with a full band
backing her sound, adding
more density to her traditionally
earnest, .no-nonsense way of
story-telling. For another, her
music will tell a tale of evolution,
bringing together a mesh of
older, unseasoned records with a
neoteric splash of sounds.
Lyrically, Yamagata is fresh.
Her words focus less on the
romantic relationships that are
generally explored in the pop
landscape and push more toward
revealing intimate personal
And so, she enunciates these
stories. Every word, is drawn

out to reveal the spectrum of
emotions that can be captured
from a melody. There's an
internal battle when Yamagata
sings, showing the difficulty
with which she has to master
every somber note that she puts
out on the stage.
"I'm not afraid of variety, and
that's perplexed record labels,
but it's been refreshing for me
as an artist to go wherever the
inspiration takes me," Yamagata
said of her evolution in sound,
describing her songwriting
process as instinctual, rather
than technical.
"I try to be open and
vulnerable in my songwriting,
and honest," she said. "It doesn't
always portray things in a light
and doing that gives people the
chance to experience a spectrum
of emotions"
When first breaking through
the female singer-songwriter
landscape, Yamagata said
quick comparisons were made
between her music and other
prominent artists of her genre.
While these references set a
stage for Yamagata to describe
her music to a newer audience,
she said nowadays shetries to be

"Initially there was a lot
of songwriter piano-based
comparison, people would look
to Norah Jones and Carol King
comparisons. Then I took up
guitar and people were citing
Bonnie Ray."
The Yamagata we see now,
hiding her heavy emotions
behind semi-acoustic
instruments, is no doubt very
different from the one we were
introduced to back in 2002.
Today, though, Yamagata
will bring to The Ark's stage
some of her older pieces from
Happenstance, her first record
since splitting from Chicago
band Bumpus. With that, she'll
be introducing five to six new
songs from her upcoming
releases. By bringing together a
unique medley of instruments,
such as banjos and saxophones,
she looks to elevate her presence
in the live music industry.
"Honestly the music is very
different from anything I've
ever done, and it's interesting to
me, it's a different soundscape
then I've ever had,' she
stressed. "A good story line is
important to the sound."

StunningEWLast Days'

Rory Kennedy
presents visually
striking portrait
Of Vietnam
DailyArts Writer
To say that the Vietnam War
represents a pivotal moment in
American history would be an
ment. Dur- B
ing that war,
the U.S. truly Last Days in
began to VIetnm
realize and
negotiate At Michigan
the respon- Theater
sibilities that American Experience
come with
being a world
superpower. The event depictedin
"Last Days in Vietnam," America's
hasty evacuation of the country
during the fall of Saigon, epitomiz-
es the legacy of American involve-
ment in Vietnam.
Directed by Rory Kennedy
("Ghosts of Abu Ghraib"), daugh-
ter of Robert F. Kennedy, the film
skillfully weaves together a narra-
tive based on personal accounts.
Combining interviews with Amer-
ican personnel who were serving
in Vietnam during the evacuation
and South Vietnamese who were
attempting to flee the country
with intimate 8mm footage of the
event, "Last Days" reveals the des-
peration of the country's refugees
and the unavoidable moral dilem-
mas created when people must
flee a country they have sworn to
As the North Vietnamese
advanced on the South, their
brutal executions and live buri-
als of anticommunists spurred a
massive tide of humanity fleeing
in panic. Faced with a Congress
denying any requests for more aid,
a White House ordering that only
Americans be permitted to evacu-
ate and a stubborn ambassador



Apocalypse Now Redux, Part Two.
refusing toevacuate until the last'
possible moment, many Ameri-
can soldiers and embassy workers
risked treason in order to illegally
evacuate South Vietnamese who
had worked closely with the Unit-
ed States. During the April 29th
evacuation of Saigon, thousands
of people surrounded the U.S.
embassy, appropriated military
helicopters and flew out to sea, or
jammed onto whatever ship they
could find, all desperately hop-
ing for an escape. For the Ameri-
cans and their poorly planned
evacuation, "the burning question
was who goes and who gets left
behind," according to a U.S. Air
Force Captain who took part in the
The difficulty of this question
adds a lot of tension to a subject
that is already historically intrigu-
ing and visually dramatic. In one
stunning reel of 8mm footage, the
audience witnesses people packing
themselves onto a moving plane
as it-takes off. In another reel, we,
see a South Vietnamese pilot who
must abandon his helicopter over
the ocean because it is too large to
land on the rescue ship.
Despite the documentary's
comprehensive coverage of the
evacuation of Saigon, it does lack
a personal look at what the con-
sequences were for those who
got left behind. "Last Days" tells
its audience about the North
Vietnamese mass executions and

forced; labor1in-reeducation?'
camps and even features inter-
views with men who survived
those camps. However, Kennedy
strangely never has them discuss
their suffering at the hands of the
communists. "Last Days" sets up
this great moral quandary, then
really fails to follow through on
what it meant personally and
emotionally for those unfortunate
souls we left behind.
While "Last Days in Vietnam"
is an incredibly powerful and
interesting documentary, a deep-
er discussion of the consequences
at a human level really would've
driven the point home, especially
considering its relevance to cur-
rent U.S. military operations
abroad. The film briefly glazes
over South Vietnam's feelings of
betrayal, a sentiment that eeri-
ly echoes ex-Afghan president
Hamid Karzai's accusations of
betrayal by the U.S. "Last Days"
could also give new perspective to
our military response to ISIS, the
brutal militant group sweeping
down from the north of Iraq in a
manner disconcertingly reminis-
cent of North Vietnam's devour-
ing of the South. A summation of
the film's events not only epito-
mizes the entire Vietnam War
rather nicely, but also our current
conflicts: promises made in good
faith, promises broken, but also
good people doing what needs to
be done in a screwed-up situation.



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