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July 30, 2001 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2001-07-30

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Book links censorship, ignorance

Monday, July 30, 2001- The Michigan Daily - 11

y Laura LoGerfo
aily Arts Writer

tury and Cole Porter's in the early
1900's, concerned citizens have fought
to stifle Nvhat they consider bad taste

hensible detailed explanations of when
and how censors infringe upon artists'
and listeners' constitutional rights.

In a foreign airport thousands of and what artists consider free expres- Part Two lists a fairly elaborated
miles from Ann Arbor, a cashier sion. The author points out that often chronology of music censorship from
explains to me through indecipherable parents, members of Christian Funda- the decades before 1950 through the
hand signals that I do not possess suffi- mentalist groups and Wal-Mart store year 2000. Part One is far more read-
cient funds to purchase the latest managers refuse to purchase or pro- able than Part Two, because in organiz-
Grisham book, the key to my surviving mote material that they do not under- ing the information by issue, rather than
a five-hour lay- stand. by date, the book resembles a more
over. Stricken, I Numerous amusing examples of complex story than simply a rehashed
return to my lug- such ignorance are revealed and recountingofeevents.
gage, finding explained. One notable anti-rock Almost to compensate for the cen-
Parental "Parental Adviso- preacher discovered the secret of how sorship he indignantly condemns, Mr.
Advisory ry: Music Censor- musicians lure their fans to hell: It's Nuzum does not attempt to stifle his
ship in America." through their lyrics! Apparently the bias against parents, citizen groups,
Eric Nuzum Not only is this minister learned the insider rock lingo politicians and music industry execu-
Grade: B book non-fiction, and translated for his audience: "'Funk' tives who pander to demands for cen-
Peenal hut the title refers to sexual odors; 'gig' is a refer- sorship. This overt ias often interferes
includes a colon. I ence to sex orgies; 'groovy' is a with the legitimate points he intends to
fear the next five description of the physical position of emphasize. The role of racism and clas-
hours will pass intercourse ..." The evil groups at the sism in determining what to censor
more slowly than focus of his complaint'? ABBA, The should be discussed and criticized, but
the grandma cart Beach Boys, The Bee Gees and Olivia the reader must wade through Mr.
snaking its way Newton-John. And I thought their only Nuzum's personal commentary to find
through the air- heinous act was wardrobe choice. these important arguments. In the last
port crowds. Mr. Nuzum organizes his extremey chapter, he interviews people who led
But surprisingly, "Parental Adviso- informative history in two parts. The the fight for censorship, but these con-
ry," written by a nerdy-looking arts first section clusters historical accounts versations tend to mock the subject
contributor to National Public Radio by the issues under attack by censors, rather than provide a balanced perspec-
and various pop-culture magazines, i.e. violence, drug use, sex and political tive.
grabs the reader's attention immediately protest. The author provides compre- As a non-fiction book, the author
-nd sustains interest throughout the occasionally cites references, but he
tire book. does so inconsistently, thereby failing to
"Parental Advisory" traces the histo- distinguish his opinion and common
ry and evolution of music censorship in sense from verified research. Finally,
America, starting with what most ;'. the reader is left with a lingering feeling
remember as their first cognizance of ,Ithat the author ran out of material. I e
censorship, Mrs. Tipper Gore's insisting too frequently repeats information and
that her daughter's Prince album be stories as though he needed to stretch
labeledobscene to warn fellow parents the writing to satisfy publishing require-
of the dirty nature to the artist's.lyrics. ments. This technique won him publica-
So "Darling Nikki" doesn't refer to tion but forces the reader to experiencee
Prince's adorable five-year old niece? deja vu practically every other page,
However, music censorship extends again distracting from the book's merits
r beyond Tipper's reach. As early as as an intriguing, informative look at a
Stephen Foster's songs in the 19th cen- counesy of nial hotly debated and highly relevant issue.
Bilal transcends hip-hop trash
Ist Born Second, Bilal; Moyo and producers. All of this is even more classic "T.R.O.Y.," a tale of a love lost
Music/lnterscope Records impressive when you realize he's only unravels. Memories of the relationship
22 years old. haunt all three men to the point they
By W. Jacari Melton One track of the 17 found on the start hallucinating about seeing their
aily Arts Writer album, "Soul Sista," has been in circu- former loves. Mos, Cotc and Bilal all
lation for a while now through the do a good job of painting pictures with
If anyone has paid attention to my "Love And Basketball" soundtrack and lyrics. And, as it does almost every
reviews, you can tell I have little commercials for the WNBA. On "Soul time, Jay Dee's beat gets in your head
patience for music caught up in the fads Sista," Raphael Saadiq tries to evoke and has you vibing before you know it.
and clichs oftthe day. Often, there's too the same vibe he created producing With his first release, Bilal has
much "bling" and too little creativity or D'Angelo's "Untitled (How Does It already set the bar rather high for him-
soul. So when I come across an album Feel?)." Bilal finally finds that special self His willingness to do the unexpect-
like Bilal's debut 1st Born Second, I'm someone and displays his intense affec- ed musically, ("Home" is a reggae
elated and optimistic the hip-hop and tion through song. Although the track track), and his vocal jazz training set
R&B genres aren't headed straight for doesn't quite reach the same climax him apart from many of his R&B peers.
the gutter, at least not yet. Bilal uses his achieved by "Untitled," it still contains More impressively, people in the
lbundant vocal talents as well as pro- its fair share of sultry soul. music business are feeling his sound.
uction from some of the industry's best Bilal picks up the pace with the Mike Dr. Dre lent his production talents to
to deliver one of the strongest R&B City produced "Love It." City's work on "Fast Lane." Let's remember Dre turned
releases of 2001. Carl Thomas's "I Wish" proved he down an offer to work with Michael
A native of Philadelphia, it's safe to could make hits and it looks like he has Jackson. This positive reception is
say Bilal has been influenced by the another one. The topic is a love so blunted by the inevitable Prince/Ste-
city's musical luminaries, both past and intense that Bilal sees his "future wife- vieD'Angelo comparisons. Although
present. When coupling that with the to-be" and someone who he'd "take one Bilal's style does have similarities to
influence of others like Prince, Stevie [a bullet] for ... like the president." The these people, does it make him less of
Wonder and a strong education in jazz, last line sounds a lot better in context an artist? Given the seeming lack of
lal's musical style can be better and with its tight beat. quality in today's R&B, I'd welcome
derstood. His abilities have earned "Reminisce" features guest rhymes more people cut from this creative
him spots singing with D'Angelo and by Mos Def and Common with produc- mold. I already know we have too many
Common in addition to membership in tion from Detroiter Jay Dee, thus tcak- of the other folks.

You wouldn't want to be caught dead in Sunrise - Bwahahahaha (cough, cough)!
IX' mars spot with

By Ryan Blay
Daily Arts Writer
OK, let's get the obvious compar-
isons out of the way: New reality-TV
show "Murder in Small Town X" has a
number of somewhat attractive people
from across the country fighting for
survival (though
no real harm will
ever come to
them), gathering
Murder in every three days
Small to vote on who
Town X will leave their
haven. One per-
Fox son per episode
Tuesdays at 9 pm. has a form of
intri gue an d
quirky characters
emerge. The per-
son left standing
receives a lot of
money and probably 15 minutes of
Now, take a closer look.
The premiere opened with a killer's
view of the Flint residence in the small
town of Sunrise, Maine. On the eve of
the town's Founder's Day festival, the
murderer shoots Nate Flint and his
daughter Abby, with Nate's wife Car-
men missing at large.
Thus, for the ultimate prize of
5250,000, ten people will try to use
the killer's clues to find out "who-
dunit?" together. But of course, there's
a catch: Every three days, the killer
will ask a question. If the group
answers correctly, one of the 15 sus-
pects (in episode one, the town police
chief) will be cleared. Not only that,
two people must go out at night to

copy cat
investigate, one of whom will meet an
untimely death.
It's true that Gary Fredo, while a def-
inite plus to the team, has yet to prove
his talents hosting "Rock and Roll
Jeopardy." Fredo, a former Los Ange-
les police sergeant, acts as lead investi-
gator and helps participants piece
together the puzzle. As they watch
videotape, he stops it to point out spots
they should notice, and give out assign-
ments. One person becomes the life-
guard, which includes immunity, but
also forces them to do the unpopular
task of picking one of the two who will
leave the haven every third day.
Watching the contestants go out in
teams (quick, Shaggy, go with Scoo-
by'!) and look for clues is actually quite
amusing in the faux spooky show. They
let suspects walk in on the scene of tfie
crime, ask odd questions, and seem
unsure of what to do when faced with
less than happy suspects like Ferrier
Thibodeaux. Perhaps an unintended
benefit of the show will be people
coming to appreciate the tough work of
real murder investigators.
Unfortunately, the real investigation
should be why the "investigators" are
so freaking afraid. They seem scared
for their lives at night, when the worst
that could happen is they get caught
alone and "die." If they actually died,
that would be a cause for alarm. But
receiving the equivalent of getting
booted off the island is hardly some-
thing to shudder about.
The improvisational actors paid to
portray the suspects aren't too shabby.
If the contestants would just lighten up
and enjoy the picturesque Maine town
and solve the murder, everything
would be swell.


Iutroductoryr gram coverif
* The ESStSlclafuiss
Q 0e5ei theI sins
0 RelaxUslt Teclhtes
* 5taf-st~xvs'rttttu

Sunda, Au us5t h
10 am - 2 ym, FREE
Michigan Union
wolverine Rooms
Info: 994-7114

the Soulquarians, a collective of hip-
hop and R&B's core innovative artists

ing it a total Soulquarian affair. With
Mos throwing in a line from the hip-hop Grade: A-

J. s


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