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October 29, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 5A

Further, The Mystery Machine and, now, this set of wheels - the great vans of pop culture history.
'Pride' an uplifting
account of support

Maybe they're born with it. Maybe it's Ketamine.
Flaming Lips ruin
a Beatles classic

Film follows Ashton from his city apartment
and Copper from his parents'
lesbian and gay suburban home - but their lives
intersect at a lesbian and gay pride
activists in parade on the streets of London
and then again later that night
'80s London at the meeting where Ashton
propose the idea for Lesbians &
By ZAK WITUS Gays Support the Miners.
DailyArts Writer Though Ashton is clearly
the leader of LGSM, "Pride"
Oppressed peoples often have itself doesn't have one distinct
a hard enough time protecting lead protagonist, but instead an
their own interests, let alone ensemble cast of heroes. There
helping others; are the highlighted members
but sometimes of LGSM, like Gethin (Andrew
these oppressed Scott, "Saving Private Ryan"),
groups have the pride a gay bookstore owner with a
opportunity complicated history with his
to come to one Michigan Welshmotherland.Andthere'shis
another's aid Theater much older boyfriend Jonathon
despite their Code Pathe (Dominic West, "John Carter"),
respective the grittiest of the group with a
disadvantages strong propensity for disco. There
and mutual differences. In 1984, are also the citizens of Onllwyn,
when the British government like Cliff (Bill Nighy, "The Best
threatened to shut down twenty Exotic Marigold Hotel") and
coal mines and the National Hefina (Imelda Staunton, "Harry
Union of Miners went on strike, a Potter and the Order of the
group of lesbian and gay activists Phoenix"), two of the town's least
from London came to the aid of prejudiced and most charismatic
one Welsh mining town called civic leaders.
Onllwyn. Thirty years later, these It's easy to find this
historical events are depicted unconventional, ensemble-
in "Pride," a triumphant, life- style storytelling frustrating,
affirming film about the power of perhaps aggravated by the lack
cooperation and the resilience of of recognizable Hollywood
the human spirit. faces. "Pride" does indeed
The film opens with two sacrifice much of the characters'
dissimilar representatives of backstories in order to share
London's gay community. One the spotlight more equally, but
is Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer, ultimately having no one lead
"The Book Thief"), a young gay- character makes sense for this
rights activist, and the other is film. The egalitarian spotlight
Joe Copper (George MacKay, reflects the story's themes about
"Defiance"), a closeted college cooperation and the fight for
student. Ashton is an established equal rights for all regardless of
leader and outspoken voice in the sexual orientation and level of
lesbian and gay rights movement; property ownership.
Copper is shy, insecure and still The film, while based on a true
uncertain and confused about story, is only loosely historical, yet
his identity. The two come from it succeeds because it's also very
very different parts of town - funny and sentimental. One might

not think that there's anything
funny about prejudice against the
LGBTQ community, but "Pride"
finds humor in a heavy situation.
"Pride"explainsthatheterosexual
guys' don't need to be afraid that
talking to gay men automatically
arouses them, and it jokes that
lesbians aren't all vegetarians -
they're actually all vegans. The
debunking of these kinds of myths
and misunderstandings adds
to the humor of the film, nicely
complimenting the film's serious
political activist dimension.
Ultimately, taking LGSM's lead,
the audience forgives most of
the citizens of Onllwyn for their
ignorance about gays and lesbians
and accepts them as innocently
ignorant due simply to lack of
exposure.
Perhaps the most compelling
aspectofthefilmisitsemphatically
positive and uplifting message.
LGSM initially receives little
support and lots of skepticism in
the gay and lesbian community
because they don't perceive the
miners as their friends or allies.
And indeed the miners only seem
to know about the lesbian and ay
community through fragmented
myths and misconceptions.
But the truth that both parties
recognize - and from which they
derive their united virtuosity
and strength - is that they are
essentially one and the same
and therefore ought to support
one another. Reciprocity is nice,
but the reason to do something
good - the reason the gays and
lesbians decide to support the
miners, for example - is not
because the miners have or will
specifically support the gays and
lesbians; it's because we all are
one and therefore already all help
and support one another. That
is the takeaway of this film, and
what makes "Pride" incredibly
beautiful and inspiring to watch.

Wayne Coyne
and gang reboot
Sgt. Pepper's'
By MELINA GLUSAC
For The Daily
The Beatles dropped quite a bit
of acid back in the day, but The
Flaming Lips have definitely beat
John, Paul,
George and
Ringo's recordd
- combined. With a
So what
happens when Little Help
they take one of from My
the most iconic
rock albums Fwends
of all time, Flaming Lips
hailed as aW
masterpiece by Hater Bros
many-a-critic,
and put it through a kaleidoscope
of alien-techo-post-apocalyptic
trash? Why, they resurface
with With a Little Help from My
Fwends, of course - The Flaming
Lips' reboot (and drastic revision)
oftheFabFour's 1967effervescent
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club
Band.
Lead singer Wayne Coyne
and the gang bring a slew of
noteworthy artists (Miley Cyrus,
Foxygen, Dr. Dog and electro-
aficionado Moby, to name a few)
along for the ride, forming quite
a compilation of lonely hearts.
Together, they plunge into the
abyss of hippy nowhere land. "We
hope you will enjoy the show,"
they sing. There's a lot of hope in
that sentence.
As for the album?Not exactly -
in this 51-minute clunker, Beatles
classics are unintentionally
lampooned and drenched in lava

lamp juice. The premiere example
of this is the titular track, "With
a Little Help from My Friends,"
which is arguably one of the most
sing-song-y of Ringo tunes. In
its original state, it's peaceful,
content; in its Flaming state, it's
a conglomeration of pixie noises,
intense drum outbursts from
outer space and screaming vocal
responsesto the verse's questions.
It's the farthest thing from
settling.
"When I'm Sixty-Four" follows
suit with no clear beat to it and
no drum accompaniment. As
fun and innovative as it is to
hear psychedelic covers of songs,
meandering tracks like this one
make the listening experience
completely boring. Structure is
desperately lacking. "Being For
the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" is also
shockingly scatter-brained, with
sharp pangs of piano banging and
maniacal laughter thrown into
the colorful mix. Already a crazy
song, this one didn't need much
Lip-a-fying to begin with.
Due to the help from their
"fwends," it was actually hard
to hear The Flaming.Lips on:
many of the trippy tunes. Wayne
Coyne's voice was drowned out
by Birdflower and Morgan Delt on
GeorgeHarrison'sclassic"Within
You Without You," a track that
could've used a slight homage
to the original sitar-laced ode.
Coyne'svoice is cooing and coolly
nasally, and when he does power
through the excess, he reminds
the listener of Lennon and
Harrison. With a Little Helpfrom
MyFwendscould've usedmore of
that.
There are songs, however,
that shine. "Getting Better" and
"Lovely Rita," both perfectly
pleasant tunes, took a much

milder trip with the Lips.
They're funky, vibrant grooves
with guitar, drums and a solid
foundation - covers done
correctly. It's an immense relief
for the ears.
But, alas, all that is good
is fleeting, and the listener
is catapulted back into the
futuristic trip time and again.
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
is frightening. This is the one
with Hann - uh, Miley Cyrus,
sounding more un-Disney than
usual, which is nice. The verses
are innocent enough. But when
the chorus drops, it's this huge,
robots-crushing-buildings,
techno-glitter apocalypse. The
crescendo between the two
parts is commendable, but the
contrast may be a little too
drastic. Lennon's awesome
chorus harmonies are traded in
for explosive pixie diarrhea.
"Fixing a Hole" and "She's
Leaving Home" go unnoticed in
the grand scheme of psychedelia
- they don't differ much from
the others. "Good Morning
Good Morning" is irksome, as
well. Both "Sgt: Pepper's Lonely
Hearts Club Band" and its reprise
are long and distorted, though
the reprise flourishes in its
melodic, traditional nature.
And then there's "A Day in the
Life," widely considered to be The
Beatles' best song. The Flaming
Lips must love their irony - this
is the least unconventional out
of all the covers. It's structured,
shortened and missing the famous
trippy, hysterical interlude found
in the middle of the original.
That's okay, though - the rest of
their album makes up for it.
A good effort, Lips. The album's
got good, tie-dye intentions, but
you don't messwith the best.

'The 100' becomes '48'

Sam Hunt's pop misstep

'Montevallo' pushes
country boundaries
in wrong direction
By GREGORY HICKS
DailyArts Writer
For those who thought "Cruise,"
"That's My Kinda Night" and "We
Are Never Ever Getting Back
Together"
were pushing
the boundar-
ies of what Montevallo
could reason-
ably be called Sam Hunt
a country song,
prepare to MCA Nashville
be mortified.
There's a new hot commodity in
Nashville, and he's been shop-
ping in the clearance section at
PacSun.
Sam Hunt has spent the past
year teasing his massive fanbase
with tracks fromhis debut record,
Montevallo, and now the time has
come for said fans to push Hunt
to the top. Now if only the singer
were being pushed into the prop-
er musical category.
Just because male country
has taken a turn for the pop and
hip hop doesn't mean that there
isn't a line to be crossed. Light-
acoustic rhythm guitar and the

world's faintest steel guitar aren't
compensation for a tsunami of
hip-hop beats and synth drops on
"Break Up in a Small Town," "Ex
To See" and "Make You Miss Me."
While it's true that other coun-
try stars are utilizing the same
pop and hip-hop overtones, their
synth and beat usage isn't nearly
as thick, and they have the vocal
twangs to stay glued to their genre
- thinking of a nasally Thomas
Rhett belting over a synthetically
finessed "Get Me Some of That."
Hunt's vocals aren't a supportive
foundation to build over, given
their lack of distinct inflections,
and it causes the singer to channel
a West Coast flow, rather than a
down-South chime.
Even Hunt's lead single "Leave
the Night On" was given the
cold shoulder by from coun-
try radio (comparative to sales)
until recently, for the same lack-
of-country reasons. The track
was also messy in its engineer-
ing, much like the record's other
tracks that sport demo-quality
vocal production, with pitch
correction so sloppy that only
AM radio could cover it up. This
becomes particularly sloppy in
Montevallo's ballad sections.
Ballad-writing is Hunt's
A-game. The singer-songwriter
made a name for himself through
ballad work, having written

1

Kenny Chesney's platinum hit
"Come Over" as well as Keith
Urban's "Cop Car," so it's unsur-
prising that the singer delivers
an intensely heartfelt rendition of
"Cop Car" himself. Unfortunate-
ly, it's a rather spiteful rendition
beneath the surface. The singer
cryptically nagged on Twitter
about Keith Urban'sversion of the
hit song, stating that it wasn'thow
he envisioned the track when he
was writing it. Hunt has quite the
audacity to slam Urban and follow
up by rerecording the track.
Frankly, Hunt also has quite
the audacity in general for fight-
ing every common thread of the
genre. If the image, lyricism and
instrumentation don't leave the
people with anything country,
what's left? There's a little thing
called "balance" when it comes to
satisfying a genre, and Hunt is not
one for makingattemptsto achieve
that. Montevallo has a slight coun-
try lean at best - which explains
why Hunt's demographic is almost
entirely college girls who haven't
dabbled in country since pick-
ing up Gretchen Wilson's second
album from a bargain bin at the
local carwash. It's not uncommon
for an up-and-comer with an enor-
mous fanbase to bebold, but don't
cross the line for a debut record.
Stop throwing house parties and
go finda honkytonk.

The CW's post-
apocalyptic drama
starts off strong
By MATTHEW BARNAUSKAS
For TheDaily
In its first season, The CW's
post-apocalyptic drama "The 100"
overcame a lackluster start, filled

with worn
teen relation-
ship drama,
and developed
into a enter-
taining and,
at times, dark
look at surviv-
ing in a primi-
tive world.
The parallels
created by the

The 100
Season Two
Premiere
Wednesdays
at 9 p.m.
The CW

Mount Weather, a military facil-
ity now serving as a closed-off
society run by Dante Wallace
(Raymond J. Barry, "Justified").
The Mount Weather group and
facility is presented as a com-
pletely different world from the
almost primal Earth; it's a soci-
ety that is modern but oddly anti-
quated, like something out of a
"Fallout" game. Wallace presents
himself as an ambivalent friend,
but as in most of these scenarios,
Clarke voices that Mount Weath-
er is "too good to be true." The
fact that the new group is unable
to survive outside dueto the radi-
ation to which Clarke and the
rest of the members of the Ark
are immune presents a provoca-
tive moral dilemma for the shows
heroine who longs to escape.
What is Clarke willing to do to
escape and survive, and does that
extend to causing the deaths of
an entire group of people?
Outside, other cast mem-
bers struggle to stay alive. Star-
crossed lovers Octavia (Marie
Avgeropoulos, "Cult") and Lin-
coln (Ricky Whittle, "Mistress-
es") try to heal Octavia's wound
sustained during last season's
final battle. Last season began
to hint at a much deeper culture
and social organization behind
the Grounders, people who
inhabited Earth, immune from
radiation. This plotline looks to
further explore thisgroup as Lin-
coln, a Grounder himself, takes
Octavia to his village. Throwing

snippets of an original language
and traditions will hopefullylead
to forming a complete picture of
the last season's largely antago-
nistic group.
Finally, Bellamy (Bob Mor-
ley, "Neighbours") and Finn
(Thomas McDonell, "Prom") are
reunited with the adults from the
crash-landed Ark led by Coun-
cillor Kane (Henry Ian Cusick,
"Lost"). The black-and-white
outlook and rules of the Ark
instantly clash with the morally
grey reality of survival on Earth
to which Bellamy and Finn have
grown accustomed. Issues like
what to do with last season's
troubled John Murphy (Richard
Harmon, "Bates Motel") promise
conflict that will test the ideals
of the two groups. The parallels
established last season between
the old world and new are set
to collide as the old leadership
clashes with the young survivors.
The ambition is evident in the
beginnings of this second season.
Each storyline promises to look
at aspects of survival and soci-
etal construction. But there are
possible pitfalls that can derail
each storyline and the chance the
series becomes spread too thin.
Giving the necessary time and
development to each story will be
the key for "The 100" going for-
ward, and if itsucceeds, may result
in not just an entertaining look
into a post-nuclear-apocalyptic
world but a mature and intriguing
drama about human survival.

show's two settings - a wild
Earth, where the titular group
of teenagers were sent, and the
dying space station The Ark,
where their parents resided
- explored the difficulties of
establishing a society and pre-
serving a dying one. The season
two premiere, "The 48," brings
these two worlds together while
also expanding the setting of the
post-apocalyptic Earth.
"The 48" finds the main cast
split over multiple locations.
Group leader Clarke (Eliza Tay-
lor, "The November Man") and
the episode's title number of
survivors find themselves inside

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