12 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 3, 2006
By Mary Kate Varnau
Daily Arts Writer
FINE ARTs PREVIEW
It's Friday night. Are you going to go to another half-
assed, 10-person summer house
party? Or maybe you're going to pay
$9.50 to see another movieE
Or you could hop on over to Ypsi to Elvisfest
see the Cottonwood Cloggers, a pro- Friday from
fessional performance troupe clog- 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
ging their hearts out to Elvis tunes. Saturday from
That's right. It's that time of year 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
again. If you close your eyes, you Sray$
can almostrday $t5
can almost smell the beer and poly-
ester. This weekend, Ypsilanti will ASHa tversiDe >arko
play host to more than 10,000 Elvis Ypsilanti
Elvisfest is one of the biggest annual tribute concerts
in the United States. Sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enter-
prises, Inc., the celebration is now in its seventh year
and going strong. This year's Elvisfest will feature more
performances and activities than ever before, including
guest appearances by Tribute Artist acts of Cher, Tom
Jones, Ray Charles, the Blues Brothers and more.
There will also be a professional performance troupe
supporting the Elvis impersonators. The ExSpence
Account Showband tours the globe performing behind
Elvis Tribute Artists. Formed in the '70s, this seven-
piece ensemble has mastered Elvis's entire repertoire,
and can perform backup for each song in multiple
arrangements. You can find detailed information about
each of the professional Elvis Tribute Artists on the
event's website at www.mielvisfest.org.
Keane's latest a
By Mala Wertenberger
Daily Arts Writer
If there was ever a poster band for
piano-rock bands, Keane would be it.
The band from
East Sussex, Eng- Keane
land, made up Under the Iron Sea
of vocalist Tom
Chaplin, pianist interscope
and drummer Richard Hughes, chose
to strip down their sound by eschewing
guitars. And though many songs on their
debut, Hopes and Fears, are enhanced
by a computer synthesizer, the majority
of that album displayed their ability to
write popular, piano-based music with-
out extraneous adornment.
But it seems the band got bored with
just piano and drums. On first listen of
their sophomore release, Under the Iron
Sea, there's an obvious change in their
dynamicespecially intheuse ofthe piano.
The album opens with "Atlantic," an airy
ballad, followed by songs that alternate
between ballad and dancefloor, with the
additional supportofbass guitar - acom-
ponent that was absent fromtheir debut.
In a refreshing change of pace, there
are only a few songs that are immedi-
ately recognizable as piano-driven, such
as "Hamburg Song." But where the band
Chris Solano as an Elvis impersonators at Elvisfest.
But the weekend is more than just an Elvis imper-
sonating marathon. Elvisfest takes place in Shady Riv-
erside Park, where parents will be happy to note there
is no shortage of outdoor activities for the kids. There
promises to be something for every age with rock
climbing, stilt walkers, arts and crafts, karaoke, magic
acts and animal exhibits.
There are higher stakes games for Mom and Dad as well,
with an outdoor casino, a classic car show, drinks and a
self-proclaimed "best barbeque north of Memphis."
So come on. It's now or never. Tickets are $10 for Fri-
day night and $15 on Saturday. Check the Web for dis-
count two-day tickets. Be sure to wear your best Elvis
for the costume contest and prepare to get "all shook
up" this weekend in Ypsi.
strays from the sound of their debut, the4
remain lyrically competent. From"Noth-
denying a troubled relationship to "Crystal
Ball" a peppy-sounding song about disil-
lusionment and the loss of self, the band
proves their ability to create songs that are
both upbeat and thoughtful.
While Under the Iron Sea is a
departure from the sound of their
debut, there's still something lack-
ing. It's tough to create something
radically new from such simple ele-
ments, but Keane doesn't need to do
that to please their fanbase anyway.
They just need to keep cranking out
mellow, inoffensive piano rock and
they can retain their slot as the band
that opens for the band that opens
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