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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Reviews

Icky Thump

This album gets right to the point. The first, and title, track is thumped into your head in a way you will not soon forget. Icky? Maybe not. More like a hard metal thump, the thump of all your previous CDs being tossed into the bin. You won’t need them anymore.

Icky Thump has a song for every mood, from the loud and lively title track to the beautiful mariachi-like trumpets of “”Conquest.”” There is a little blues, a little folk and a little rock. When it gets to drunken sing-along time, put on “”Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn”” for a bagpipe-tinged ditty as catchy as a round of “”What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor?”” The White Stripes clearly has a reservoir of energy on which to draw, and no song is left lacking.

This is not your typical please-everyone album. Though many music styles are mixed together on the CD, it is not done in the sniveling way of albums that aim only to sell widely. The White Stripes remain experimental throughout, perhaps because Jack and Meg White seem not to care if their songs are “”great hits,”” so long as the music resonates so soundly. You’ll be thumping yourself if you miss out on it.

– Astrid Duffy

Sicko

Michael Moore is back with a stirring, non-partisan documentary about America’s suffering health care system. “”Sicko”” is his most objective and poignant film to date.

Although Moore is up to his usual grandstanding – at one point taking a group of health care victims to the shore of Guantánamo Bay and demanding the same treatment afforded terrorist subjects – “”Sicko”” is able to avoid the factual discrepancies that plagued his 2004 film, “”Fahrenheit 9/11.””

Moore even attacks the now-defunct poster girl for health care reform, Hillary Clinton, against the wishes of the film’s producer Harvey Weinstein (one of the Clinton campaign’s biggest supporters).

Despite hounding politicians on both sides of the aisle, Moore’s biggest beef is with the corpses of Presidents Nixon and Reagan, exposing how their fear-mongering tactics were initially responsible for leading the country away from socialized medicine. The result: the only major newspaper to give “”Sicko”” a negative review was the New York Post, which belongs to former Reagan groupie and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch.

It’s hard to argue with the impact and importance of this documentary. Even more so than last year’s “”An Inconvenient Truth,”” Moore’s “”Sicko”” is an unerring film that critics and viewers will find powerful and entertaining.

– Andrew Austin

Blaze

It has been more than 30 years since horror guru Stephen King published under his alter ego, Richard Bachman. As Bachman, King wrote “”The Running Man”” and “”The Long Walk,”” twisted novels that are gruesomely gritty and provoking.

“”Blaze”” is a novel of the same era, written in 1973 and forgotten until recently, when King reread, revamped and finally published it.

“”Blaze”” takes us back to King’s earlier writings, with prose that wastes no time in getting to the excitement. Main character and criminal Clayton Blaisdel Jr., otherwise known as “”Blaze,”” kidnaps and kills people, yet his troubled past means that while we hope for him to be brought to justice, we also empathize with him.

The story has a rather typical plot for a crime novel that leaves little to guesswork by the end. It is King’s skilled and suspenseful style, however, that carries the novel through and makes “”Blaze,”” like many of his earlier greats, so dynamic. You know a true Stephen King novel when it has you reading until the wee hours, shaking beneath your covers.

“”Blaze”” has such power, and fans will surely welcome back the old King.

– Astrid Duffy

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