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July 02, 2007 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-07-02

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Monday, July 2, 2007
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


Post-rockers in
a half shell
By MATT RONEY grooves and call it a hip-hop
DailyArts Writer band, but the spacey noodling
found all over its albums
Once a genre embraced quickly disproves this.
mostly by critics and quirky It would be far more accu-
local scenes, post-rock has rate to call Tortoise an elec-
been gain- tronic band, but that's not
ing popu-Tortoise quite right either. Although it
lar ground. was one of the first groups to
Almostevery June2 perform with the aid of com-
blissed-out Doorsopenat puters, it embraces organic
college stu- 9:30 p.m. instrumentation. The music
dent around builds from the ground up,
is a devotee 18+ $18 often beginning with a drum-
of the E- Blind Pig beat or drone, and adding
bow whale steel guitar, marimba or oth-
sounds and erworldly electronic flour-
chirpy murmurings of Sigur ishes along the way. This is
Ros, and Explosions in the music to make your brain
Sky has scored a major Hol- dance - your eyes close, your
lywood film. head tilts back and you don't
But Reykjavik and Austin understand why you have
aren't the only cities where that huge smile on your face.
you can find guitars, basses Tortoise's shows are long
and drums played like orches- and dynamic, with climac-
tral instruments. Tortoise, one tic sonic moments coming in
of the genre's most influential waves. This band is about the
pioneers, hails from the Mid- interactions between musi-
west - Chicago, to be precise, cians, their instruments and
of course, in Tortoise's several laptop computers.
case, it's lucky that the post- Expect multiple drummers,
rock label is so vague. Its lots of marimba and an ultra-
music is almost entirely psychedelic video show. The
beyond categorization. Its group is proud of its unique
jazz influence is one of its virtuosity and likes to show it
most striking features, but off - few bands can wrap an
combined with its slightly audience in sound quite like
proggy tendencies it comes Tortoise. Seventeen years of
out sounding more like the blowing people's minds have
Soft Machine or King Crim- paid off.
son than any traditional jazz David Daniell, another
band. Some hear the chopped, Chicago experimentalist, will
programmed beats and low See POST-ROCK, Page 12

Just another man trying to make his way in this world ...

'Sicko' is local filmmaker Moore's most complete effort yet

Editor in Chief
Amazingly, there is a point in
"Sicko" - documentarian/local hero
Michael Moore's latest, most pol-
ished expose that
few other film-
makers would have ***
the grit or wit to
conduct so effort- SiCko
lessly - where, even Atthe
insulating for all we Michigan and
know about Moore's Showcase
extremely leftist
views, we are still Lionsgate
left utterly stunned
and outraged.
Every one of Moore's documenta-
ries, despite their often propagandist
overtones, has such a moment, and if
you can reach that point without giv-
ing up on the film, the gravity of its
message will strike you. In "Sicko" this
moment comes just a couple of minutes
in when we learn of a man who, having
sliced off two of his fingers in an acci-
dent, actually had to choose which one
to reattach because he couldn't afford
to do both. The piece of his finger that
he could not afford to reattach was
simply thrown away.
Talk about sick.
In tackling the multi billion-dol-
lar health insurance industry in this
film, Moore took a risk even bigger
than his last (and most controversial)

film, "Fahrenheit 9/11." Would people
who turned out in record numbers to
see him bash Bush return to see his
thesis on health care that is so similar
to the one that's been thrown around
liberal circles for at least a couple of
decades? A muckraker to his Spar-
tan core, Moore put all the capital he
has gained on the line and gives us
his most damning, even-handed and
complete film yet.
There's little that Moore, a gradu-
ate of the University's Flint campus,
says in "Sicko" that a college student
wouldn't already know and any sen-
sible person wouldn't be able to guess.
Health insurance, though we think
it's supposed to be for our well-being,
is actually a for-profit creation that
seeks aggressively to cut corners to
turn said profit. If some sick people
are left in the wake, then so be it; any-
one who read or saw "The Rainmak-
er" would hardly be shocked, much
less compelled to act.
But as always, it is Moore's human-
ist approach, direct tone and disbe-
lieving humor - introduced in "Roger
and Me," expanded upon in "Bowling
for Columbine," overdone in "Fahr-
enheit 9/11" and finally perfected
here - that are the sell. For all the
theories, extrapolations and fudging
done by politicians and talking heads
about the consequences of universal
health care, Moore does the legwork
and expertly presents his case so

completely that it would take even the
most hard-boiled Bushie a couple of
days to slap together a retort.
"Sicko" is calmer and thus easier
to digest than other Moore creations
simply because it can be. Moore
already has his friends and enemies
and no longer needs the flashy antics
to win audiences. Not to say that he
has mellowed - far from it. Does fill-
ing a boat with sick people and setting
sail for Guantanamo Bay sound like
the idea of a mellow man?.
As for what will come of the film,
that is a conundrum Moore seems yet
to solve. The film will be wildly popu-
lar in leftist bubbles like Ann Arbor
(the long list of special thanks in the
credits includes Ann Arbor's Michi-
gan Theater), and it's hard to deny
that Moore is still preaching to the
choir. But taking this debate further
involves making it widespread, some-
thing Moore manages to do with this
very accessible, poignant and com-
pelling film. Like perhaps no other
filmmaker working today, Moore is
undoubtedly adding to the conversa-
tion and working to turn the tide.
at michigandaily.com
kl Catch the review of Disney
and Pixar's latest, "Ratatouille"
online at michigandbily.com.

Grooving past one hare at a time.

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