Preview: Shakespeare is Coming to Town

First of all I would like to say “Hello!” to everyone. My name is Danny Fob and I’m a new writer with [art]seen! I’m a freshman in LSA majoring in Italian and minoring in Art History. I’m trying to be as involved as possible here at the UofM, so I’m doing everything I can to stay busy with extra-curriculars. So far I’ve joined the Ballroom Dancing Team, LGBTQ Commission, attended two amazing poetry slams, watched movies under the stars, and seen countless performances of our amazing acapella groups on campus. I want everyone’s freshman year to be as interesting as mine, so I’ll try to suggest as many exiting events as I can. Always remember to check the Arts website ( for event calendars and information. Never stay in your residence hall on a Friday night!

For my first event, I will be attending an international performance of Shakespeare’s comedy “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Shakespeare’s Globe Theater of London is touring in the United States until December, so don’t miss it. This week they are performing at the Power Center and I will be there. Would you like to join me? If yes, here are some more details, or you can just visit the Globe’s website at

When: Tuesday, October 20, 8 pm
Thursday, October 22, 8 pm
Friday, October 23, 8 pm
Saturday, October 24, 8 pm
Sunday, October 25, 2 pm
Where: UofM Power Center for the Performing Arts
What: Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost”
Why: Becuase it’s amazing!

If you’ve never heard of or seen the play, that’s OK. Don’t worry about it. You’ll see that it’s actually a very funny and lively story full of strange and comedic characters. The play is about the King of Navarre and his courtiers. The four men have sworn of all pleasures and dedicated themselves completely to their studies, but these oaths are soon regretted when the Princess of France and her entourage arrive to mix things up! It’s sure to be a fantastic performance, and it had better be if they came all the way from London!

REVIEW: In A Sea of Shadows, Wilco Floats

Wilco As of Late
Wilco As of Late

Everything was setting up for the perfect enjoyment of a crisp October night.  It was fall break, I had no worries (albeit momentarily), and I was about to see one of my favorite bands perform live.  After a very booked week, I had almost forgotten about the Halloween treat I had been waiting for since school started and if it wasn’t for some minor obstacles, it would have been a nearly perfect night.

I guess I can be grateful that after an hour of searching for my hidden tickets in a sea of papers, I found them.  And I guess I could also be grateful that despite being eons away from the galactic center of Hill Auditorium, it still felt as if I was floating peacefully above the action.  And yet even more, I must be grateful that although I haphazardly forgot my glasses, the miniscule blurs down below swirled to create a larger, more pleasing image.  Most of all, I am grateful for my courage to “not wilco” in a move of utter defiance at a most crucial moment (read more to find out why).

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Marcelo Exposito’s film “Entre Sueños” (“Between Dreams”)

Preview: Marcelo Exposito ’s film “Entre Sueños” (“Between Dreams”)

On Thursday October 15, there will be a screening and discussion of this film in the Modern Languages Building (MLB), Room 2412, at 7:30 pm.

Click here to watch Marcelo Expósito on video

Also, earlier that day, the art critic and social theorist Brian Holmes will discuss the film in the MLB Commons, 4th floor, 2-4 PM. (RSVPs need to be sent to Brian Whitener, bwhiten at

Art students in Athens, December 2008: Towards a New Body. [Click to find out more.]
Art students in Athens, December 2008: Towards a New Body. [Click to find out more.]

Brian Holmes has suggested as a basis for the discussion the opening section of his new book.

The following will be discussed:

  • The Affectivist Manifesto: Artistic Critique for the 21st Century
  • Toward the New Body: Marcelo Expósito’s “Entre Sueños“
  • Recapturing Subversion: Twenty Twisted Rules for the Culture Game
  • The focus will be on the final essay (“Recapturing Subversion”) as an entry point into a general discussion.

    REVIEW: A Come Back Story: Where The Wild Things Are


    Where The Wild Things Are
    Where The Wild Things Are

    I remember having Where the Wild Things Are read to me as a child. I remember a picture of “Wild Things” on an island. And when I saw the new motion picture Where the Wild Things Are, the imagery took on a whole new meaning, a much darker one.

    The film starts with the main character, an eight-year-old boy, Max chasing and tackling his pet dog. He seems like a maniac howling and shrieking as he rages through his house with all the energy of the firecrackers I use to play with as a child. And from that moment, I was not a watcher but a participant in the film.

    This inclusive feeling takes sail later in film when Max bites his mother, while she is on a date with a new companion. The mother shrieks, and questions her menace son’s behavior, who, then decides to run out of the house and into the woods.  The viewer then sets sail with Max to a boisterous island.

    There, Max encounters a monster, Carol, similar to himself. He is aggressive and destructive and all in the name of family. No matter what age you are, it is difficult to encounter change. And while this film represented the difficulties a young boy may face, these were issues anyone can relate to: Life and relationships, with family or otherwise, are dynamic, even when we don’t want it to be.

    But before I get too sentimental, I will instead revert to a more direct review of the film. It was flawless:

    1. It was dynamic in that it had all the adventure a child would desire, while containing all the depth an older audience would value.

    2. It was an action packed film, minus all the anxiety and violence of a Terminator film.

    3. There were large hairy monsters.

    4. The angle use, film quality, colors, costumes and music were all perfect.


    Conclusion: A must see. For any age.

    REVIEW: Grizzly Bear without the Scare


    Grizzly Bear(s)
    Grizzly Bear(s)

    Grizzly Bear, a Brooklyn-based indie rock band, was more solitary than one might expect. Just their band name should have you thinking their sound is powerful. But what was powerful, was not their show, but their lighting and following.

     “It seems as though everyone secretly bought tickets to this show,” whispered my roommate. And as I walked toward the Michigan Theater, I saw pairs of emaciated students clasping onto cigarettes, squabbling with other pairs of emaciated cigarette holders. I was pulled in, “did you see Beach House?” (Beach House was the opening band for Grizzly Bear, and is classified as dream-pop, indie rock. Together the duo, uses the guitar, keyboard, organ and vocals to create music.) Having missed the performance, I was told by clamorers and cigarette smoke that they were great.

    Anxious not to miss any of Grizzly Bear, I walked into the theater, and climbed into my back balcony seats. Half a song went by before I heard a rumble from my roommate, “the sound is weak; they sound better on my headphones.” I couldn’t argue, she was absolutely right, the sound was better on my headphones (I have good headphones). Unwilling to accept this to be the reality, we got up from our seats to sneak into the front.

    One wrong door later and we were outside, schmoozing with a different scene, the set-up crew. Believe it or not, the sound was better from outside. Turned out that the poor sound was not the fault of the Michigan Theater, but instead was the fault of Grizzly Bear, who brought their own sound-guy. A song later, and we heard one of their better known pieces, The Knife, come on. My roommate insisted we go inside, and we re-entered through the main floor. We walked near the front, and leaned against the wall with several like-minded people.

    While the music was louder, the performance did not improve. Grizzly Bear did not put on much of a show. Their electronic music made me feel ambivalent, and their individual singing sounded more like their electronic instruments than passionate voices. My favorite parts were when the musicians harmonized, and their voices came together to make more of a godly organ sound. The four performers didn’t transcend from the stage, they stood there almost bashfully strumming/hitting/poking their instrument in a soft, sheltered fashion.

    The most successful aspect of the show was the lighting. Behind the Grizzly Bears were lights in glass jars. There were about twelve of these glass jars dangling horizontally behind the Bears. Different lights would go off at different times, and twinkle with the charm of a fire-fly. Then, on the floor of the stage, next to each performer were other lights, neon’s- green, blue and occasionally red. But in addition to all this were bright white lights that came down as rays from the ceiling. The combination of the neon lights on the ground and the beams from above created a very dramatic feeling. Then the jars would go off sporadically, and make the show seem almost surreal.

    Conclusion: Interested in lighting go see Grizzly Bear, interested in Grizzly Bear get good headphones.

    Preview: Brewing Hope’s Barnstorm, Oct 3

    Preview: Techno at Brewing Hope’s Barnstorm

    Brewing Hope

    When: Saturday, October 3rd, 10pm-2am

    What: Brewing Hope‘s Barnstorm

    Where: The Yellow Barn, 416 W Huron Street.

    (2 blocks west of Main St., Ann Arbor.)

    Michigan Electronic Dance Music Association (MEDMA) will be providing techno music to dance to.

    Brewing Hope

    $5 donations will benefit Music for Chiapas, a project that sends musical instruments to a co-operative in Southern Chiapas, Mexico (from where Brewing Hope gets its coffee).

    Iced coffee (Brewing Hope blend) will be provided (as well as water).

    Come out and support both your local coffee and local techno music.

    By the way, did you know that the birthplace of techno is  nearabouts here — right here in Southeastern Michigan? In Detroit, more specifically.

    Here is a poem which explains why techno was born in Detroit.

    Why techno was born in Detroit

    Sayan Bhattacharyya


    could have been invented

    only in


    Techno saw the long-playing record not as something to be thrown away

    but as a treasure to be sampled.

    Techno saw discarded shells of former factories

    not as structures to be torn down

    but as spaces in which to make music.

    Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson

    and all the rest of the great disc jockeys

    who came out of Detroit

    wanted to achieve a transference of the spirit.

    A transference of the spirit

    from the machine of the turntable

    to the flesh of

    the dancing human body.

    A transference of the spirit.

    This dream of transference

    could have been dreamed nowhere but

    in Detroit.

    Because Detroit was home

    both to the machine and to the spirit.

    It was in Detroit

    that the fire-belching machines of the great industrial plants

    like River Rouge

    or the old Packard  factory


    alongside the equally fiery passions

    of Rhythm and Blues.


    visions of automobile bodies of steel

    in the clanging workshops of auto factories by day

    used to give way

    to the sound

    of soul music

    by night.

    Body and soul.

    Machine and spirit.

    Detroit was the place where opposites clashed

    and were overcome.

    This is why techno was born in Detroit.


    which was born in Detroit,

    teaches us:

    The long-playing vinyl record

    is not something to be thrown away.

    It is a treasure the DJ can play to make sound.

    Shells of former factories

    are not structures to be torn down.

    They are spaces in which you can make music.

    They are spaces in which you can make music.