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April 22, 1986 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-04-22

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 22, 1986



Conflicts and Contradictions
By Meron Benvenisti
In Conflicts and Contradictions,
Meron Benvenisiti searches the
past in order to comprehend the
present and plan for the future. In his
own country of Israel, present dif-
ficulties revolve around a time-worn
impasse. He discussed the many tiers
to this deadlock. Presented not as a
solution but as a diagnosis, Ben-
venisti's analysis adds objectivity to
the din.
Benvenisti 's idealogy is strongly
implanted from childhood. It's direc-
tion came from the land for which he
fought in four wars (1956, 1967, 1973,
1982), and from his culture. Shared
with this ideology are his humanistic
beliefs in actualizing efforts to create
solutions. As Deputy Mayor to
Jerusalem he exposes the conflicts in
ideologies, desiring to confront the
The inculcation of his ideology is
found in the deep ties of the Israelis to
the land. On this particular bit of land,
Benvenisti hiked as a child and lead
expeditions as an adult. Far more
than sight-seeing trips, these built a
relationship with the land. This is
known as the cult of Moledet or "bir-
thplace." Through this physical and
spiritual relationship the Israelis
"possess" the land and establish their

Benvenisti interdisperses
throughout the book conflicts inherent
in the Jewish philosophies. Zionism is
an ideal. Within the context of the real
world it presents problems that can-
not be overlooked; it is a "rebellion
against reality"-a reality that living
on the same stretch of land are two
million Palestinians who neither
desire to assimilate into a Jewish-run
state nor relinquish their deep
religious and personal claims to the
same area.
Varying perceptions further the
inability for either side to com-
promise. :Benvenisti points to a
problem of "Dual Minority." Both the
Israelis and Arabs perceive them-
selves as the mionrity and, depending
on the angle, both are correct. Within
Israel, the Palestinians are the
minority; within the Middle East, the
Israelis are greatly outnumbered.
The result is that both feel vulnerable.
Protection becomes a first priority. In
this circumstance, the ability to avoid
stereotyping is reduced. The ground
for discrimination is fertile.
For a deeply humanistic, result-
oriented person such as Benvenisti,
Zionism has good intentions, but as
the needs change so must ideologies.
"The dilemma... can be defined as a

choice between three basic Isreali-
Zionist goals: land, Jewish state, and
liberal democracy... all three (can)
not live together."
Desiring all three in no way means
attaining all three. Benvenisti is dep-
ly distressed by statements such as
"temporary annexation of the West
Bank" and the ethnic groups are
"separate but equal." From his ex-
perience of living in Abu Tor, a com-
munity among Palestinians, and
working for the administration in
Jerusalem, he clearly understands
the other meanings of these statemen-
ts. The settlers in the West Bank are
rooted and Palestinian living con-
ditions are not equal to the
Israelis-they are suspects ii their
own land.
Both sides play roles in per-
petuating this stalemate. Early on,
the Arabs underestimated the
tenacity of Zionism. They thought it
was going to be a short-lived
phenomenon. The Israelis downplay
the Arabs interest in the shared
homeland. Plans for compromise
have been suggested, but neither side
is essentially willing to divert from
their chosen course.
- Molly Gross




Husker Du-Candy Ap-
ple Grey (Warner Bros.)
Geez, you can't stay away from the
record store too long before Min-
neapolis college radio big boys
Husker Du pump out another slab of
vinyl. Candy Apple Grey, the band's
third album within the past year, is
their first outing as members of the
ever so loveable Warner Bros. family
(they used to record on California in-
dependent label SST) and offers
- decidedly mixed results. Certainly
any voices that would have cried sell-
out have faded to echoes since the last
album (Flip Your Wig, 1985) but those
yelling "burn out" may just be begin-
ning to rise in chorus.
On Candy Apple Grey, things really

haven't changed too much in
dom. They still peddl(
sometimes sublime fusion of
metallic p-rock influenced n
energy mixed with classic p
and melodies, but somehow a
less special than it used to be.
se, a lot of this thing really c
but work, the Husker Du a
being just too damn effe
produce many sounds without
Just about all of side one roc
fiercely, especially guitar
Mould's "Crystal" and d
Grant Hart's "Don't Want to
You Are Lonely" and
Somehow," the latter of
features some choice '70s org
With the exception of

Husker- spirited "Eiffel Tower High,"
e their however, side two leaves this boy cold
soaring, as a lizard in the arctic circle. The
oise and leadoff track, "Hardly Getting Over
op hooks It," suffers from some painfully sap-
all seems py keyboards (not to mention its ex-
Of cour- cessive length) and comes off as a
an't help drastically misplaced stab at melody
approach for its own unworthy sake.
ctive to But the real problem with Candy
t impact. Apple Grey lies in its relative (coi-
cks quite pared with previous Husker outings)
rist Bob inability to generate real excitement.
rummer Sure, parts of it work with the best of
Know if 'em but the band's penchant for quan-
"Sorry tity seems to have overdrawn their
f which reserves of ideas and inspiration.
gan chor- There are other bands known for
their productivity (The Fall,
Mould's Minutemen), but the Huskers have
yet to develop enough aspects of their
own personality to maintain 100% in-
terest. If they really want to thwart
looming demons of stagnation, maybe
they should take some time off from
the vinyl production line and
revitalize their approach. Meanwhile,
any of the last five Husker releases
and side one of Candy Apple Grey

should do just fine to appease the rock
hungry masses until the big trio gets
back into shape. Rob Michaels

Warp 9-Fade
Out (Motown)

In Fade

With Fade In Fade Out, the New
York-based Warp 9 has delivered a
polished funk-pop album which is
generally more accessible than most
of their earlier work. Written,
arranged and produced by the New
York composing team of Richard
Scher and Lotti Golden, this album
contains an even blend of tempos, tex-
tures, and tones. Yet, even though this
record represents a high point for
Warp 9 in terms of their production
quality, its material is not exceptional
for this brand of music.
The LP opens up with "Skips a
Beat," a mid-tempo, yet danceable
piece which sets the feel for most of
the album. The song is a slick produc-
tion with an electronic backdrop, yet
despite the technical excellence of the
musicians and a catchy hook, it does


not really transmit the full power that
rests in the composition. The vocals
on this particular selection, perfor-
med by Chuck Wansley, are both well
arranged and smoothy executed. Still,
their delivery seemed to lack the
passion necessary to give the song the
needed punch.
Vocalist Katherine Joyce gives a
solid performance on the three pieces
on which she is featured. "Big Fun,"
"Reach For Your Star," and "To the
Last Drop" all benefit from her con-
trolled singing. Like her par-
tner, Wansly, Joyce has a smooth
voice but seems to lack a distinct
vocal character which would truly
make both her singing and the pieces
she performs unique.
The music on Fade In Fade Out is
all clearly designed to be marketable
in both the Black Contemporary
arena and the pop-hits scene. The
songs range from the ultra-slick
"You'll Get Over It," which presents
a smooth contemporary soul
arrangement with pop-jazz inflec-
tions, to the slower, almost inspirational
"Reach For Your Star." On all selec-
tions the production is impeccable,
with well-layered instrumentation
and solid backing vocals. The sound of
the record is very clean but the feel of
the songs seems to be restrained.
Perhaps the brightest point on the LP
is "Big Fun," an upbeat, kinetic, dan-
ce piece that hits with layered elec-
tronic orchestration and plenty of
percussion. The breaks in the song
move at a steady pace without
unleashing a full-scale rhythm attack
on the listener. Pitched up, the

opening a break alone could stand as an
effective call to the dancefloor.
The creative team behind Fade In
Fade Out, Scher and Golden, have put
together pieces for other New York
recording artists-such as Chilltown
and Ladies' Choice-which. became
moderate regional hits on the dan-
cefloor, as well as earlier songs for
Warp 9.
But this latest LP represents a giant
leap in terms of quality and com-
plexity for these artists. The elec-
tronic orchestration on "Big Fun" is
much more ,sophisticated than their
Casio-driven song "NUNK," released
by Warp 9 several years ago.
All in all, Fade In Fade Out is a
quality production with respect to its
sound, but it seems to be only average
in terms of its feel. Warp 9 have
released a good album in itself, but it
is not exceptional as far as the type of
music it has to offer.
- Peter Ndenga
o; D
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