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November 07, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, November 7, 2014 - 5

0 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, November 7,2014- 5

Just another day at Ricks
'Evil Within' lands
with twisted grace

Blonde Redhead
proves its durabil
By AMELIA ZAK sounds and electronic feedback. Throughout their hour-and-
Daily Arts Writer Indubitably unique, this was a a-half set, Amedeo's dark voice
sound lurking beneath much of and punk rock guitar brilliantly
This past Sunday, in one of their Sunday night set. juxtaposed the Bjork-like, whiny-
Detroit's popular music hubs, It's clear that this band has but-beautiful voice of Kazu. She,
the Magic Stick, Blonde Redhead been working at its craft for a long in turn, rhythmically danced
graced a slightly small but highly time. The music hits you like a with growing enthusiasm as the
enthusiastic crowd with its wall of sound fused together by an vibes of the room grew from
presence. The crowd was a sea of incendiary electric guitar, ethereal silent appreciation to vehement,
older, all-too-cool leather-jacket- voice, constant, complicated visible excitement. A five-minute
brazen couples and fans. Covered drumming and a soundboard. instrumentation toward the end
in eccentric tattoos, the crowd's The use of the soundboard added of the band's set left the crowd
excitement was almost palpable. excitement to the performance catcalling for minutes. Everyone
Honest shouts of admiration and and sound, bending Kazu's in the room lost the cool that their
appreciation began the minute voice as if it had just entered a leather jackets had so long been
these fedora-wearing, noticeably kaleidoscope. The image of the sustaining. Drummer Simone laid
mature musicians quietly stepped graying Amedeo as he mixed down an eccentric, heavy beat
on stage. Twin brothers Simone Kazu's voice into a compilation as Kazu added her effervescent
and Amedeo Pace manned the of bells, claps and rattles was an dance moves and voice. With the
drums, vocals and lead guitar, especially interesting clash of the audience groping at eachand every
respectively. Kazu Makino, laced new and old. sound, Amedeo completed this
up in Stevie Nicks-esque garb, This is a band that involved the building jam session in burning
was dripping in ethereality for heavy use of a soundboard before swipes of an electric guitar that,
the entirety of the performance. it became musically ubiquitous. metaphorically and literally,
Her vocals were the band's best Because of this, Blonde Redhead's brought people to their knees.
instrument-as they were stretched unique and perfected use of Blonde Redhead is an aged band
and expanded on Amedeo's on-stage electronic additions and that, with all of the its experience
soundboard. synthesized elements beckons the and experimentation, knows
This band is and always has question: How many bands have how to control its sound. The
been incredibly ahead of its time, they inspired? Contemporary band members understand their
the irony being that all three of greats like Arcade Fire or Alt-J audience, abilities, and the music
its members are in their mid- immediately come to mind. Their they have the skills and technology
40s. Blonde Redhead stepped musical footprints are undeniable, to create. Synthesized chimes,
onto the New York City music but they do manage to maintain a whistles, bells, ethereal fairy-like
scene in 1993. With heavy Sonic brassy, at times even bluesy rock lead singer juxtaposed her fellow
Youth influences, the group was sound. The band's heavy inclusion twin punk-rock band mates,
initially regarded as a band of ofanelectricguitarwasareminder this band is an amalgamation
the uncommon noise rock genre, of what contemporary music may of gathered interests, talents
which makes use of traditional be lacking: that incendiary sound and experiences that keep a
rock music instrumentations but only a confident six-string can demographically similar and loyal
incorporates atonality, dissonant produce. fan base coming back for more.

Vid
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create
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Wh
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acclaim
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comes
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better
The
Sebast

leo Game brings capable, but simultaneously
fragile. He is no badass zombie-
asient nightmare slayer, he must use his wits and
dexterity in order to make it out
realm to life of each of the game's terrifying,
memorable combat situations
By JACOB RICH alive.
Daily Arts Writer And boy, does Mikami
love putting his protagonist
sident Evil 4" is one of the through hell. "Within" 's best
ideo games ever made. moments are tense and often
sn't just deeply disturbing horror
inion - scenarios. "Within" takes
is one TheE il place in a sort of transient
ie most h nightmare realm, a series of
illy Within memories and locations strung
med together psychologically, but
games Tango not physically. Progressing
holding Gameworks through these loosely
ggregate PS4,Xbox0ne, connected worlds is like
score PC, PS3, Xbox360 strolling through a highlight
96 on reel of the most violent,
ritic. Released in 2005, disturbing moments from the
a beautiful, innovative last 30 years of J-horror and
rrifying survival horror American slasher films. Seb
hat revolutionized third- must fight giant stitched-
action with its fixed together abominations and
he-shoulder camera escape darkly ingenious
. Whether you like the mechanical deathtraps. Each
personally, there's no of these situations is heart-
ig the influence it has poundingly tense and tonally
n gaming. Be it "Mass unique.
,""Uncharted," or "Gears "Within" isn't technically
r," pretty much every impressive on PS4, with its
n third-person franchise framerate chugging under
has "RE4" to thank for 30FPS at times, but its art
shing the ground rules direction is extraordinary.
r combat. Mikami's obviously talented
e years later, we art designers and programmers
raced by its spiritual must have harmonized their
sor, "The Evil Within." work immaculately to create
Mikami, the creator of worlds as fascinating as
tesident Evil" franchise these. "Within" has more
riter/director of "RE4," environmental variety in each
the CEO of his own one of its 15 chapters than
pment studio, Tango many whole games.
works. He's used his Unfortunately, while
und creative freedom to "Within" 's survival horror
"Within," his survival combat works well for the
opus. most part, some aspects
en Mikami left Capcom of resource management
he success of "RE4," the have regressed in quality in
ned series ditched its comparison to "RE4." When
al horror roots in favor of playing on normal difficulty
ing more of a cooperative or higher, ammo actually
franchise with "RE5" appears too infrequently.
RE6," which received This ended up ruining a few
soundingly lukewarm boss fights. Seb, strapped of
se. "Within's" gameplay ammunition, was trapped in
ophy spits in the face of a claustrophobic area, forced
post-"RE4" "Resident to run in circles around the
games. "Within" is as hulking boss monster until
rtly traditional survival- ammo conveniently respawned
as it gets these days: and he could fight again until
g camera angles, his clip ran out, repeating
)usly scarce ammunition the process once more. These
ombat in which death broken fights were frustrating
quickly and brutally. because of how simply their
running away is a design problems could have
strategy than fighting. been mitigated. Worse yet,
protagonist, Detective there are a few fights towards
ian Castellanos, is the end of the game that lack

this method of replenishing
ammo - meaning if the player
runs out, he/she must commit
suicide and restart the fight,
no matter how well they were
doing. This is inexcusably bad
game design.
Also unfortunately
lackluster in "Within" are
the characterizations of the
protagonist and his allies. With
a name as cool as Sebastian
Castellanos, was it crazy
to expect something more
interesting than a largely
emotionless white guy with
brown hair and stubble?
Sporting bad voice acting,
terribly translated dialogue
with an over-reliance on the
word "fuck," and a pair of
sidekicks that somehow exceed
his level of bland. Seb's design
is in direct opposition to the
creativity that the rest of the
game exudes.
"Within" 'sgreatest strength
is its unpredictability. You will
never expect what is coming
next, and you will always be
nervously excited about what
psychological twist or horrific
innovation is through the next
door. It's the small stuff that
counts here. To give an example
of such an innovation, "Within"
employs a small but ingenious
scare tactic that most major
game review publications have
failed to commend - it messes
with you in the save rooms. In
"RE4," the "typewriter" rooms
in which you saved the game
were the one place that nothing
could harm you or scare you.
In fact, this is a trope in most
video games that utilize save
files - nothing can hurt you
in the save room. Devilishly,
"Within" predates upon
this established convention.
Without giving any spoilers,
know that Mikami's team has
devised some intelligent ways
to never let you feel truly safe
in this game.
While "Within" is clunky
and inconsistent in some areas,
the sick and twisted creativity
permeating every harrowing
situation is enough to make
those terrible boss fights
worth it. "Within" isn't nearly
as innovative as "RE4," nor as
mechanically sound, but it's
often just as fun and exciting.
It's a must-play for fans of the
survival horror genre, and a
beacon of difference in an era
where creativity in mainstream
video gaming is increasingly
hard to come by.

Let's bring b ack the
girl groups, please
By CARLY SNIDER Along with this shift in perform- instead of acompetition. Thiskind
For The Daily ers came a change in subject of positive image is greatly lack

-

WE KNOW THERE ARE A LOT
OF FASHIONABLE PEOPLE
ON CAMPUS
WE SEE YOU ALL THE
TIME
SO WHY NOT WRITE FOR THE DAILY'S NEW STYLE
BEAT?
FOR AN APPLICATION,
E-MAIL ERIKACAT@UMICH.EDU

With every trek to the library,
mywalk is devoted to decidingthe
soundtrack to that day's study ses-
sion. Music is crucial in setting the
tone: Am I going to be productive
or spend most of my time bobbing
along to summer hits of the '90s?
Sitting down to browse through
my Pandora stations and, with
some luck, actually beginning to
work, I land on Beyonce radio.
Bey is usually reserved for estro-
gen-fueled gatherings, perfect for
empowerment, but not so great for
studying.
Feeling indulgent, I select the
station and let the first few songs
play. The mix is largely made up
of '90s and early '00s hits from
groupssuch as Destiny's Child and
TLC. I find myself becoming nos-
talgic for a time in which strong
all-girl groups ruled the radio. The
longing is not entirely legitimate
since I never got to really experi-
ence this era in the first place. For
example, I was only four years
old when "No Scrubs" came out,
and songs of this genre are almost
universally seen as classic throw-
backs, even if it technically means
throwing back to infancy for some.
There is something innately infec-
tious about this female-fueled
genre that is missing from today's
popular music scene.
While there is no denying
the positive impact of powerful
women in music today, the domi-
nance of girl groups has shifted
to that of powerfulasolo artists.
Names like Rihanna and-ironi-
cally, Beyonce have replaced these
older groups in favor of solo acts.

matter. The focus became less on
producing bouncy tracks that cel-
ebrated independence and more
on sexuality and, arguably, a high-
er dependence on men. Not to say
that these subject matters were
absent in popular hip hop of the
time (we all remember "Goodies")
but thatthey have become more of
a driving force behind sales and
popularity.
With that in mind, I propose a
return to the bumping female hip-
hop group. There is something far
more impactful and entertaining
about a group of women perform-
ing together rather than a solo diva
as the center of attention. Imagine
if Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and Alicia
Keys decided to band together to
create a super group - I think we
would all buy tickets to that show.
The perception of women would
shift back to one of a united front

ing in music today, and its absence
gives younger female audiences
theimpressionthattheonlywayto
be a strong women is to do it alone.
Aside from any social implica-
tions of girl groups is the fact that
their music is just plain fun. There
is a reason that songs like "Say My
Name" and "Jumpin', Jumpin'"
still get a reaction out of people.
Groups of the '90s and early 'OOs
took the best aspects of music at
the time and improved upon them.
The combination of R&B sound,
hip-hop beat, killer vocals and
feisty lyrics could result in noth-
ing less than timeless widespread
popularity. There is no denying
that it is hard to stop listening
once you start. Bringing back this
lost art form would once again fill
the airwaves with fabulous female
harmonies and soulful sounds of
another era.

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