Best Bets for the Week for May 17, 2007

“Welcome to Ochrasy: you’ll never leave. You can’t, there’s no road put of town.”By Anthony A. Choman ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

There are five unique Swedish lads who like to call themselves Mando Diao. They play garage-rock… (YAAAWNN) but don’t swiftly dismiss these Swedes just yet. No really. This Swedish quintet loves to sound as though they’d never set foot inside a studio in their lives and they kind of pull it off well. Their unique sound has been compared to The Strokes and The Bravery, and as if that’s not enough pressure to boot, this fabfive garage-rock band creates their songs (lyrics & notes) in their native Swedish tongue only to later translate them into English, so as to be more listener-friendly.

The band’s latest offering, their third album, is entitled, Ode to Ochrasy. The album itself does not ultimately lead you down any path that has not already been traveled; rather, it traverses that same path with a radically different set of senses. Lead singers & guitarists, Bjí_rn Dixgí«rd and Gustaf Norí©n, channel Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly on the painfully obvious homage to the latterly-departed with “Long Before Rock ‘n Roll:” “…but I never ever wanted to/You would never ever let me to/I would but you must wait ’til it gets dark/So what is it that you want me to?/I can make it if it’s good for you/So play me some from 1954/Before rock ‘n roll/ yeah before rock ‘n roll/before rock ‘n roll.” The sharp rhythm section, which perfectly compliments the dual vocalists by the way, is made possible by bassist, Carl-Johann Fogelklou, and drummer, Samuel Giers, and the multifaceted stylings of Mats Bjí_rke. Overall, there are three things to keep in mind when listening to and/or buying the album, Ode to Ochrasy: the first is perhaps the most obvious, the band is made up of five swanky Europeans (which means they dress, act and look better than you do); secondly, Mando Diao is about as close as any one band can get to embodying a perfectly blended genetic hybrid between that of The Strokes and Andy Warhol; thirdly, and realistically of the utmost importance, Mando Diao plays straight up garage-rock in a pretentiously precocious manner that it quickly transports the listener from being that of disturbia to suburbia. Without a doubt, the hottest tracks on Ode to Ochrasy are as follows (in no particular order): “The New Boy,” “Good Morning, Herr Horst,” and “Long Before Rock ‘n Roll.” Let it be known that Mando Diao is best served when taken for what they are; re-animates from a sound long since forgotten or fairly suave candy-stealing copycats…whatever the case may be. Buy the album, press play, close your eyes, click your heels together and keep uttering to yourself, “this isn’t the Strokes, no matter how badly this band wants to be them, this band isn’t the Strokes.” In fact, Jon Pareles of The New York Times summed up Mando Diao and its love for vintage riffs perfectly, when he said, “… [their sound]… may be more exotic for a young band from Sweden than a band that could take American rock for granted.”

Mando Diao is…Bjorn Dixgard: vocals, guitarsGustaf Noren: vocals, guitarsC.J. Fogelklou: bass guitarSamuel Giers: drumsMats Bjí_rke: keyboards

Fangs for the SequelDracula Movie Sequel Gets Stoker Estate SupportBy Phillip Valys DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR

As with all film adaptations of classic literature, one would expect directors and producers to refuse to navigate the proper legal channels lest they incur the fire-breathing backlash of the novelist’s estate, plus any other copyright law that strikes their fancy.

Enter Dacre Stoker, Dracula author Bram Stoker’s great grand-nephew and novelist of The Un-Dead- the “official” sequel to the century-old Dracula franchise. Emphasis on the word “official”, since not only was Dacre’s follow-up novel green lit for a film adaptation, but it’s the first film (sorry, Christopher Lee) after the 1932 Bela Lugosi original that’s been officially endorsed by the Stoker family estate as being part of the Dracula franchise canon.

Just one biting problem: the estate’s ecstatic endorsement is purely cosmetic. That’s because ol’ Brammy himself failed to follow copyright procedure upon Dracula’s original publication in 1897, so the novel’s been collecting dust in the public domain for nearly 110 years. That means Dracula’s image and likeness belong as much to this writer as it does to any FAU student. Put another way, nobody has any stake in Dracula.Get it? (Oh, that was horrible…)Dacre and screenwriter Ian Holt have just finished collaborating on a screenplay version of The Un-Dead, an unpublished novel which owes half its girth to scraps of excised plot Bram Stoker trashed while compiling the original Dracula. Pre-production for the film just began, so it’s safe to assume a silver-screen release early next year.

This sort of immediate novel-to-film adaptation bears one painstaking reminder to another horror film franchise, one which tanked at the box office this past February: Hannibal Lecter.

Not two months removed from the eye-droopingly insipid Lecter follow-up Hannibal Rising, author Thomas Harris elected for the media synergy route as the best way to promote his lackluster book. Two months after Rising see-sawed on the New York Times Bestseller List, one equally jaded movie sequel got released, got panned by critics, and the Harris-endorsed synergy train derailed without so much as a whimper.

It’s a toss-up whether Dacre Stoker’s sequel has the same bite as the original classic (Okay, I’ll stop now), but if the as-yet unpublished The Un-Dead carries any indication, and it doesn’t, expect the theater’s aisles filled by the same nostalgia nuts who saw Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula remake over 15 years ago.

The Lion King, The MusicalBy Jamie Kahler, ASSISTANT WEB EDITOR

“Hakuna Matata” the great Timon once said, comes from the Disney Movie, The Lion King.

The Lion King tells the story of young cub, Simba, who will one day rule the Kingdom. The viewer is taken along with Simba as he grows up in the jungle. It’s a safari ride full of adventure, love, and sacrifice.

The movie was such a hit in the mid 90’s that it was decided that they would release a musical on it. The show premiered on stage in Minnesota, then shortly moved to the big apple in 1997, and with its release came rave reviews. This led the The Lion King to receive 11 Tony nominations and win 6 of them.

The show is not solely intended for children, but for adults as well – including many scenes that will just go right over the children’s heads.

Lastly, if nothing else, go to hear the wonderful music and lyrics that were written by Elton John and Tim Rice, true masterminds of our time.

This spectacular show has been playing in South Florida since mid April and will continue until June 3rd at the Broward Center of Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale.

For more info goto Disney’s The Lion King.

For tickets head to Ticketmaster.