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January 19, 1988 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-19

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ARTS
Tuesday, January 19, 1988

*.

The Michigan Daily

Page 7

o .. ___ __

U-Roy

plays

original

D.J. style

By Todd Shanker
Thousands of adrenaline-juiced
reggae fans were experiencing deja
vu. In the midst of Jamaica's unfor-
gettable 1980 One Love Peace con-
cert, a familiar figure took the stage
for a rare appearance. The small man
with flowing dreadlocks, fierce
brown eyes, and a huge gold bracelet
engraved with "U-ROY," began his
soul baring, live-jive toasting in a
disc jockey style. U-Roy, the leg-
endary king of the pre-rap, vocal
D.J. style of reggae will be making
another of his rare appearances
tonight at the Blind Pig.
After tonight's show, U-Roy will
be jetting off to the Ivory Coast for
a six country tour of Africa for
1988's Reggae Sunsplash, which
includes such formidable reggae

masters as Yellowman, Culture,
Ziggy Marley, Burning Spear, and
Third World. There is no doubt that
U-Roy has earned his place among
this elite group.
It all started in 1968, when a
young man named Ewart Beckford
began to popularize a rap-like form
of reggae with a heavy rhythm. The
music was called called "D.J. style,"
and Beckford played under the auspi-
cious title of "U-Roy." "U-Roy is a
little name given to me by my
cousin," he says, in a muddy Ja-
maican growl. "When I was a youth
in Jones Town, I used to tease him,
and him say, 'Behave yourself U-
Roy!' From that time the name just
stick on."
Using bouncy rock steady/reggae
songs as his backing music, U-Roy
would toast, shout, and sing about

crucial issues, ghetto violence, and,
world crisis as well as the local
problems of the Rastafarians, the
deprived and ignored element of Ja-
maican society. In fact, humor, sex,
and self-promotion were the only
subjects of early D.J. reggae until U-
Roy landed his massive hit "Listen
to the Teacher," an astounding de-
nunciation of the Russian invasion
of Czechoslavakia.
In the late '60s, U-Roy worked
extensively at Sound Systems (live
performances in front of huge public
gatherings) and through the D.J.-
style created one of the only forums
where the voice of the poor could be
publicly heard without constraint
from the Jamaican government. U-
Roy had also created a unique style
with a melodic, danceable sound; the
beat sleek, the melody sweet, and the

toasting fast, and fleeting.
Early in 1970, U-Roy had three
records ("Wear You to the Ball,"
"Wake the Town," and "Rule the
Nation") in the top three positions
on both of Jamaica's major radio
stations. U-Roy had become the
bright spark and chief innovator of
D.J. reggae. "You have a certain
amount of people who love me, you
know," he says. "Anywhere me
sing, them go swing."
By 1972, after recording the hit
"Chalice in the Palace" (a song
about a postulated marijuana session
with Elizabeth II), U-Roy had be-
come such a culture hero to Black
Jamaicans and immigrant West Indi-
ans that dozens of copycats sprang
up overnight despite his piteous ad-
monition, "Do not imitate, because I
originate."

As more and more D.J. artists
emulated his penetrating shriek and
big reverb boom, U-Roy temporarily
retired, disgusted with the new tal-
ent. "Then, as now, many of the
new D.J.'s... they were missin'
something. They (do) not have the
roots-consciousness or the original-
ity. To me, most men (are) just us-
ing Rasta as a money-makin' thing,"
he says.
In 1975, U-Roy emerged from his
hiatus with the LP Dread in a Baby-
lon. The next year he toured Europe
and the United States with the
Mighty Diamonds and Toots and the
Maytals. Whirling onto the stage
wearing a Day-Glo orange cape, U-
Roy reclaimed his throne with a
tenacious potpourri of maniacal rav-
ing, shamanic singing, and explo-
sive social commentary.

Since that time he has done spo-,
radic live performances and released a*
handful of singles. Currently, he's
producing a variety of young reggae
artists in Jamaica and says a new all
bum is "slowly coming together."
Tonight, U-Roy's Antarctic cool
and brilliant improvisational flights";
will be swirling through the Blind
Pig like a soft tropic breeze. He is A
bonafide original, who in his own
words says, "The most important
thing to me is that I imitate n o
one.
U-ROY will be backed by a
troupe of excellent local reggae mu-
sicians including King David's lead
guitarist, Kent Knight, as well as
Baba Tunde on bass and Glenn
Washington on drums at the Blind,
Pig tonight. Tickets are $6.

Books

Time With Children
By Elizabeth Tallent
Alfred A. Knopf
$15.95/hardcover
A collection of short stories can
succeed in two ways. It can either
study life through a multitude of
voices, times, and settings, or it can
take one small aspect of life and dis-
sect its every detail, finding in them
the basic currents that run through
everyone's life.
In Elizabeth Tallent's new
collection, Time With Children, she
makes a valiant attempt at achieving
both these goals. She occasionally
falls short, yet produces a final
product that should be required read-
ing for all those with the unsatiated
desire fo succeed and the emotional
greed associated with the current up-
per middle-class.
As the title suggests, many of
these stories deal with children and
the lens of innocence and curiosity
through which they perceive the
world. Tallent's ease with the ver-
nacular of the young and of their ac-
tions is reminiscent of J.D.
Salinger's same mastery.
This ability is apparent in one
scene in which two young boys
venture out into the magical world
of a snowstorm: "At the hill's crest
there's a scuffle, the older brother
tucks into a ball and somersaults
down the hill- jumps to his feet,
deals a number of invisible blows to
an invisible enemy, and finally

climbs the slope again, a sled saw-
ing behind him on its frayed rope."
At times the book sways toward a
simple glorification of the young,
urban, professional way of life. Tal-
lent usually evades this trap by real-
izing that behind every stereotype
lies individual humans with their
own unique hopes, fears, and desires.
She also includes a few stories that
deal with less-than-fortunate Mexi-
can Americans to whom the Ameri-
can dream is, in reality, the Ameri-
can lie.
Tallent perfectly captures a feel-
ing that everyone experiences at
some point during their lives -
yearning for something better that is
intangible and indescribable. This
longing is especially found in the
thoughts of a lonely, young girl in
Colorado dreaming of the distant
paradise of Los Angeles: "She tips
her bicycle up and walks it back to
the highway, studying low bluffs
that fade backward into a line of
identically eroded shades - paler
bluffs; under the shadows of small
moving clouds, the bluffs seem to
be folding and unfolding. Between
her and them lie a hundred miles that
are nothing but empty after that a
thousand miles, and after that, L.A.
Ah, she hates it. Hates it."
Time With Children is the type
of book which will probably be
found on the dashboard of a BMW,
under an umbrella on a beach in
Cape Cod, on a coffee table next to a
pile of unread New Yorkers. Never-
theless, it is no less a powerful, dis-

turbing work of fiction. Hopefully it
will be more than just a conversa-
tion piece at some yuppie cocktail
party. It could be if they would only
crack open its cover and look into its
reflecting mirror that highlights both
the glory and the folly present in
their lives. They might sell the
Volvo, stop eating "power" break-
fasts, lunches, and dinners, throw
away their CD's, and begin enjoying
the simple pleasures of life. Then
again they might not.
-John Davey

Between Pictures
By Jayne Loader
Grove Press
$16.95/hardcover

Porter O'Shea (Anna Kate) is a
small-town Texas screenwriter who
becomes part of the international
film set and the decadent bicoastal
party crowd. Meanwhile, under her
sharply brittle exterior, a sad, lonely
woman searches for true love.
Loader's treatment of a series of
tragic episodes in Anna Kate's life is
similar to Bret Easton Ellis' por-
trayal of the coked-up, zoned-out
college crowd in Less Than Zero.
Events are laid out with witty ni-
hilism, but Loader's wittiness is
where the similarity to Ellis ends. A
sense of humor is evident even in
the scenes where Anna Kate discov-
ers a loved one's body after a heroin
overdose or is gang-raped by
Mafiosos.
Humor, in fact, dominates
Between Pictures. It is this that re-
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COPIES
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Try Kinko's. For great copies.
And great deals.
KINKO'S
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deems the book from the seemingly
endless stack of trendy, plotless
sex/drugs/money books that have
taken over the bestseller shelves.
Between Pictures is more fun than
nicely packaged, slightly elevated
trash.
Flaws? A few. Perhaps the book
would have been more effective had
it been written in third person in-
stead of first. Anna Kate speaks in a

Now Leasing for Fall '88
All apartments convenient to campus
Evening and Saturday Hours

detached, chatty, but self-conscious
way about her own. experiences.
The way she describes herself-
objectively, wittily, but with little
emotion- would have worked better
if someone else had said it: "...think
of a short showgirl or starlet, a
bottled blonde, a second-rate Forties
pinup whose face will one day show
vestiges of great prettiness. I have
See BOOKS Page 8

Forest Terrace, Ann Arbor
The Lion, Ann Arbor
The Abbey, Ann Arbor
Carriage House, Ann Arbor
Arbor Forest, Ann Arbor
Park Plaza, Ann Arbor
Albert Terrace, Ann Arbor
And others...

(313) 761-1523
543 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

All I know about Jayne Loader,
author of Between Picture,, is that
she's a University graduate, co-pro-
ducer, writer, and director of the film
The Atomic Cafe, and a witty writer
who occasionally forges into bril-
liance.
The protagonist, Katherine Anne

CAEN

I

LOOK YOUR BEST!!
If your hair isn't becom-
ing to you-You should
be coming to us!
DASCOLA STYLISTS
Opposite Jacobson's Maple Village
441193"9 741-2733

I

ComputerAided Engineering Network College of Enghnering
presents two special events open to the University community
Wednesday and Thursday
January20 and 21, 1988

=-'k
~'}
tl

THE GREAT WALL
RESTAURANT

Specializing in
Szechuan, Hunan
and Cantonese

Chef Chiu Wing Chu, former
Chief Chef at Middle Kingdom.

5 Luncheon Favorites
11 a.m.-4p.m. -7 days
Boneless Chicken Szechuan vegetables
t Spicy Chicken Sweet & Sour Chicken
Pepper Steak
1220 South University
Ann Arbor
Next to City Parking Structure
Frm Parking after 6P, m.
747-7006 -
Monday to Sunday
11 a.m.-11 p.m.=

While chef at Middle Kingdom,
the restaurant was voted No. 1
in town. His cooking experience
originates from Hong Kong to
New York City to Ann Arbor.

NEED MOEY
WORK FOR
Jobs with Housing Division's
Food Service offer
$4.50/hr. starting wages
FLEXIBLE HOURS
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY
Phone or stop by the Food Service
Office of any Hall.
Alice Lloyd............. 764-1183
Bursley.................. 763-1121
East Quad .............. 764-0136
Couzens Hall........ 764-2142
Law Quad.............. 764-1115

Open House
In celebration of our recently renovated offices,
machine room,.and network control center,
Wednesday, 20 January 1988,
1 o'clock to 5 o'clock in the afternoon,
room129 Chrysler Center (machine, room),
second floor Chrysler Center (CAEN offices), and
room 1105c EECS building (network control center).
Refreshments will be served in the lobby, and
CAEN staff will be available for informal tours.

Presented by:
Dr. John R. Perry
Alliant
Computer
Systems
Corporation
Thursday,
January 21, 1988

WANTED
USHERS FOR
MAJOR EVENTS
CONCERTS

I liant

r.

Architecture and
Programming

Seminar I:
Technical Overview of the FX8 System.
10:00.11:30 am, Chrysler Auditorium
Intended Audience: Those interested in parallel and vector processing for high-speed scientific
computation. No previous knowledge of the Alliant FX/8 system is assumed.
I t. .

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