Monday, June 13, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Top of the Park to
you too, Ann Arbor
COURTESY OF DOMINO
An album so perfect for afternoon drives that they're listening to it in their own car.
Arctic Monkeys album
breeds a sinister charm
'Suck It and See'
for mellow sound
By PROMA KHOSLA
Senior Arts Editor
This may come as a shock, but
most musicians don't enjoy the
luxury of albums that debut at
number one. But the Arctic Mon-
that joy with
four out of Arctic
four efforts. Monkeys
recent full- Suck It
length album, And See
Suck It and
See, shot to Domino
the top of the
U.K. charts this month, as the
band continues its tour of the
globe to insatiable crowds in
packed theaters. And by the way,
they're only 25 years old.
It seems that the fabulous
foursome from Northern Eng-
land can do no wrong. James
Ford, who produced all of Favou-
rite Worst Nightmare (2007)
and select tracks on the slightly
underwhelming Humbug (2009),
returns in full for the fourth
album. Suck It and See isn't quite
where the first two albums are,
but it hints at the unique sound
the boys brought to the indie
rock scene in 2006 and inte-
grates it into their repertoire for
the new decade.
Opening track "She's Thun-
derstorms" starts with charac-
teristically creepy guitar chords,
but in under 20 seconds, takes a
surprising turn toward the world
of love songs. The lyrics depict
both frustration and awe. Turn-
er describes a girl as turbulent
and untamable as the weather
- she's not just a thunderstorm.
She's the freaking plural.
The tone has been set both
lyrically and melodically for
the rest of the album. "Black
Treacle," "The Hellcat Spangled
Shalala," "Reckless Serenade,"
"Piledriver Waltz," "Love Is a
Laserquest" and title track "Suck
It and See" all fall categorically
into the same type of romantic
and relaxed rock song.
The above songs run the risk
of sounding the same, just like
the track list of Humbug, but
after a few listens, the songs
develop their individual charm.
"Brick By Brick" and "Library
Pictures" are the most reminis-
cent of the Monkeys' first album.
Nonsense lyrics return in the
latter and also in the playfully
titled "Don't Sit Down Cause
I've Moved Your Chair," which
includes such gems as "Do the
Macarena in the devil's lair."
The melody is unusually sinister,
but the ease with which Turner
eerily croons it makes you won-
der how you didn't see it coming.
Gone are the diabolically
British tongue-twisters of the
first three albums. Gone is the
garage-band feel and the uncer-
tainty of what genre you're lis-
tening to. Suck It and See is more
indie than punk rock. It refines
the musical the evolution hinted
at in Humbug. Though it may not
be Arctic Monkeys as you know
them, it's a shamelessly appro-
priate album for summer after-
just 'Suck It
With unprecedented success
and no dearth of creativity, the
Arctic Monkeys have made clear
that they're here to stay. Suck
It and See may not be their best
album, but it is by no means their
last. They live to practice and
perfect their craft, and we're just
lucky enough to listen.
returns with an
interactive new season
By ANNA SADOVSKAYA
As summer nears its peak, Ann
Arbor Summer Festival lights up
Ingalls Mall for its 28th annual
usual, the FestivalA
is broken into out- Aim Arbor
door and indoor Summer
events, respec- Festival
tively known as
Top of the Park June17-
and Mainstage. July 10
"Top of the
Park is the heart
and soul of the Summer Festival,"
said Robb Woulfe, executive direc-
tor and all-around enthusiast of
Ann Arbor Summer Festival. "It's
more social and allows for people
to throw their blankets on the lawn
and relax with family and friends,
solidifying our event."
Top of the Park offers free admis-
sion to 62 musical acts, 13 feature
films and 8 guest DJs, and will also
be host to performances such as the
acrobatic dances of Strange Fruit
and attractions like Architects of
"This year we're bringing back
one of our most popular attrac-
tions, called Strange Fruit," Woulfe
said. "A lot of people know it as 'the
pole people,' because it features
performers on 15-foot poles doing
Strange Fruit, originatingin Mel-
bourne, Australia, fuses acrobat-
ics and dance to deliver a striking
and innovative presentation. For
the Ann Arbor Summer Festival,
Strange Fruit is bringing its show
"The Three Belles," which show-
cases a trio of women circling and
swinging to music while balancing
"Our other really big attraction
is 'Amococo' by Architects of Air,
and that's a 10,000-foot inflatable
vinyl structure landing at Palmer
Field," Woulfe added.
The luminarium, or sculpture of
light and color, will be interactive
- allowing visitors to explore its
10,000 square foot expanse.
Along with Top of the Park's
outdoor events, Ann Arbor Sum-
mer Festival's Mainstage features
indoor concerts and performances
by visiting artists.
"Our indoor season is amaz-
ing. So many people love Top of
the Park that they don't even know
that someone like K. D. Lang is
right next door, at the Mainstage,"
"We have a circus troop this year
called Tom Tom Crew, and they are
phenomenal. It's a hip-hop crew
that meets circus artistry and it's
very exciting," he explained. "This
is onlytheir second time inAmerica
- the last time they were here they
were in a sold-out show on Broad-
The Mainstage events also
include performances by Steve
Martin, Los Lonely Boys and 0
Andrew Bird, among others.
"We're really thrilled to present
this group of artists on our stage
this year," Woulfe added.
62 musical acts,
13 films, 8 DJs.
In order to sort through the high
number of events, the Summer Fes-
tival website, annarborsummer-
festival.org, has added a calendar
feature where users can select the
movies and bands they wantto see.
"We're also encouraging folks to
share their experiences, and send
us emails and photos and videos,
so we can put all that up on the
website throughout the festival,"
Woulfe said. "It's probably the best
resource to get the most from your
Whether you wish to explore the *
hip sounds of Monsieur Guillaume
& His Zydeco Hepcats, folk out to
Hannah Winkler or swing to the
tunes of Delilah DeWylde and The
Lost Boys, there's something for
everyone at Top of the Park.
"There's something really 0
romantic about being on the lawn,
hanging out with friends and
watching a classic movie or fun
band," Woulfe said. "The whole sea-
son is filled with great nights, with a
little bit of everything."