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September 23, 1986 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-23

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The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, September 23, 1986


Duo brings innovation

By Beth Fertig
Your average, run of the mil
rock and roll band is not usually
thought of as something that can
be accomplished _ within the
frameworks of a duo. Folk
music, yes, but a "band" typically
requires a few more players
't'hen again, Timbuk 3 is not
really an average rock band.
Timbuk 3 is the musical
collaboration of Pat MacDonald
and Barbara K., a unique
husband and wife combo. Loaded
up with guitars and harmonicas
a-plenty- and a mighty powerful
jam box- this engaging duo will
soon be arriving in our town for a
performance at the Blind Pig
Timbuk 3's debut album,
Greetings From Timbuk 3, was
recently released on I.R.S
Records. I.R.S discovered them
on a segment of The Cutting Edge
which was devoted to the Austin,
Texas music scene, home of
Timbuk 3 among many other
underground acts. On record, the
duo delivers an impressive,
energetic performance entirely
unhampered by any of the limits

one might think could be imposed
upon two people whose music
varies from rock to pop to reggae to
country-tinged folk songs- all
1 with only a beat box to guide them.
y And against that percussion they
1 play guitars, mandolins, violins,
and harmonicas.
Timbuk 3 first began playing
ytogether in their hometown
Madison, Wisconsin. "We hada
full band of six (in Madison) but it
broke up," says Pat MacDonald,
explaining the nature of the duo,
d "Barb and I had been with this
band, the Essentials, for two years
and there must have been ten
people who came and went in that
time, and it's just hard getting
that type of committment...The
two of us are mobile, we get along,
we figured we'd work on our
musical relationship rather than
deal with a whole band situation.
That's what Timbuk 3 is
basically, it's Barbara and my
musical relationship."
"What we wanted to do at first
was make a living playing
f music," adds Barbara K., "We
thought we'd be able to get some
club dates and we couldn't get
enough club dates to make ends
y meet so we figured we could
always put some bateries in the

box and we went out on the street to
play. That's why we chose
Austin; not only because of its
rich musical heritage, and a real
blossoming music scene, but also
because it was warm."
Once in Austin, Timbuk 3
made a name for themselves an
street performers and were also
successful as a club act. To an
outsider, their jam box of rhythm
tracks might seem like a
limitation, especially for live
performances. However, they
shrug off any need for organic
percussion. "Actually," Barbara
replies, "it frees us up a lot to not
have to worry about tempos
changing or being different, or
getting parts of songs; it's
something that's constant that we
can rely on." Just don't ask for
any impromptu renditions of
Timbuk 3's unusual musical
formula has not been any
inhibition on commercial suc-
cess, either. The College Music
Journal shows them at #13 on
their chart, a strong indicator that
college radio has definitely
picked up on the duo. MacDonald
adds that AOR is also latching
onto their music. "'The Future's
So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades)'
is currently the most added song,

Austins' Timbuk 3 will be playing the Blind Pig tonight; another new band, Christmas, will warm
up the stage. Showtime is set for 10 p.m., the cover charge is $4.

"he says, "35 stations just this last
week added it, which is a total
about 70 stations across the
Timbuk 3 have made one
video, and would like to make
another if there's time. They
seem to be booked straight through
'87, with a national tour scheduled

through the end of the year. They
say they were very well received
when they toured Europe, and
were picking up steam back in
Austin prior to undertaking their
national expedition; and this
evening should certainly follow
Tonight's gig will be opened by

Christmas, a bright young band
from Boston who are touring to
support their debut LPIn Excelsior
Dayglo, on Big Time Records. If
their record is any indication, an
equally kinetic performance is

Dance troupe charms crowd

By Katherine Hansen
It's inconceivable that anyone
could find much to dislike about
People Dancing-Whitley Setra -
kian and Dancers. This in-
novative and creative group's
Saturday night performance was
gratefully received with whistles
and resounding applause, and
deservedly so. Whitley Setrakian,
artistic director and choreographer
of this six-member company,
showed her genius in a three-piece
presentation that graciously
considered each audience
member's taste:
Setrakian's first piece, "Slow
Boat to Hong Kong," successfully
merged drama, humor, and sweet
nostalgia in a winning display of
elegant ladies, dashing gen-
tlemen, and - yes - the Tango,
refreshingly face-lifted to achieve
"People Dancing", danced their way into the audience's hearts Saturday the maximum in comic appeal
night. Pictured above is choreographer Whitley Setrakian. Setrakian's solo gave new

meaning to the term pathos as she
assumed, in men's clothing
nonetheless, a saddened count -
enance, creating a persona
reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin's
"Little Tramp." Setrakian was the
perfect picture of the lonely
gentleman sans partner, unable to
tango alone yet somehow compelled
to keep dancing, thereby forging a
place for himself in our hearts.
The final movement of "Slow
Boat," performed in silence to focus
audience attention on the expertise
of all six dancers, left the younger
concert goer with an appreciation of
eras past. At the same time, older
audience members gratefully took
a trip down memory lane to catch a
fleeting and wonderful glimpse of
"The Ferretworks" held a more
intellectual appeal for the
audience. Composer Terry Youk's
score was at first timid, searching,
then soaring, then whimsical.

This study of instinct, habit,
devotion and idol worship was all
at once abstract, humorous, and
always challenging to the
contemplative audience,' who was
invited to discover the essence of
the ritual taking place before their
The final piece, "Annapurna,"
moved back to simplicity and
demonstrated just how wonderful
simple, clean movements can be.
Youk's slow, soothing, and lyrical
music encouraged us to attend to the
precision and extension of every
controlled move. The dan cers,
outfitted in gray and silhouetted
against a white screen, were
statues come to life; had David been
animated, he would have danced in
gray on the Mendelssohn stage.
"Annapurna" was not limited by
the confines of a defined story or
plot, but was instead a glorious
tribute to the miracle of life, a
celebration of the human body and

all that it can do. Saxophonds,
church bells, and the graceof
Whitley Setrakian and h r
dancers touched the very heart bf
their audience, casting life into'a
minimalist context and creating ia
new appreciation of what it is to le
So what was there to dislike
about People Dancing? With such a
diverse repertoire and an apparent
desire to please a diverse audience,
not much.


The Unfinished Story of
a Virus
By Eve K. Nichols
Harvard University
Despite the histrionic scenario
about an advanced AIDS case
which begins Mobilizing Against
AIDS, it is a comprehensive,
level-headed summary of the
frightening and deadly epidemic
known as Acquired Immune
Difficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Science writer Eve K. Nichols
describes the cause of AIDS,

Support the
March of Dimes
Hairstyles for
Men and Women
Liberty off State . . 668-9329:
Maple Village .... 761-2733

persons most likely to contract the
disease, the malignancies,
infections, and brain damage
that can accompany AIDS, the
potential treatments, govern-
mental policy, and most
importantly how to identify
carriers and avoid contracting
the disease.
Persons not familiar with
immunology might find some of
the chapters stiff reading,
especially the detailed accounts of
the immune pathway, and the
life-cycle of a retrovirus.
However, there are helpful
conclusions at the end of each
chapter which summarize the
subject matter into an easily
comprehensible and digestible

Of major interest are the
Public Health Service guidelines
listed in the appendices, the first
of which pinpoint those "high-
risk" persons most likely to
contract the disease--90% of whom
are homosexual and bisexual
men or present or past intra-
venous drug abusers.
The second most crucial
guidelines are the safeguards
recommended by the Institute of
Medicine, designed specifically
for the "low-risk" populace.
Persons not wanting to come into
contact with the disease should
avoid sexual relations with
homosexual or bisexual men,
male or female prostitutes, or
intravenous drug abusers, and
use condoms to minimize the

exchange of bodily fluids. '
These short-term guidelines
are made in an effort to keep the
disease under control until a drug
is made available to the public.
The most promising drug is
Azidothymidine, which sup-
presses the virus while
regenerating. the immune
function. This drug is currently
undergoing the second stage of
testing with a group of volunteers
(Detroit Free Press, September 20,
1986). The possibility of an AIDS
vaccine in being examined, but
probably won't be ready for
another ten years.
As the only comprehensive
look at the AIDS epidemic in
print, Mobilizing Against AIDS
dispells the myths surrounding a

frightening and disfiguring epi-
demic. However, only when the
general public becomes more
well-informed about the disease
will the panic about contracting
AIDS by casual contact in schools
and workplaces subside.

-Rebecca E. Cox

Jewish Theatre evokes cultural identity

here by a single circle hanging
By Noelle Brower on the backdrop. He was then
joined on stage by a woman
It is surprising that A singing in Hebrew. Together
Traveling Jewish Theatre is they evoked the spirit of Jacob.
comprised of only three per- Albert Greenberg, a tall, im-
formers. During the presentation posing actor, was the tormented
of their newest work, Berlin, Jacob wrestling with his, and his
Jerusalem and the Moon, this children's identity in the face of
small company assumed various God. This upsetting beginning
roles and personas of remarkable set the tone for the whole evening.
variety, intensity and, most Corey Fischer tied the show
importantly, believablity. together as the omnipresent
Presented by the B'nai B'rith narrator-cum-standup comedian.
Hillel Foundation and the If he was the show's conscience,
Common Ground Ensemble, then Naomi Newman and
T.J.T.'s presentation landscaped Greenberg were its soul. In the

answer she receives is "To the
moon." She is a Zionist;
Greenberg is a German in-
tellectual who decides to wait it out
in Berlin, hoping that the worst
will not happen, but of course it
These two figures of Jewish
culture reunite in the Jerusalem
of today. She a shadow on the
desert landscape hiding from the
world as best as she can the fact
that she is German and cannot

-peak Hebrew. He is there to
haunt her and taunt her dream of
finding Zion.
T.J.T. didn't try to reconcile
the many questions posed in the
play. Instead they presented it
within a rich framework that
asked of the audience to answer
the questions for themselves.
What a treat: A play that com-
bines politics with theatre without
theatrical politicking. Berlin,
Jerusalem and the Moon had
much to say toeveryone.

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