The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 12, 1988-- Page 9
Sweet Honey in
Live at Carnegie Hall
If you haven't heard of Sweet
Honey in the Rock and are interested
in music which will perk up your
ears from its political consciousness,
then set your soul on fire with
singing not heard since the proverbial
Black preacher reached his last
crescendo on Sunday morning (or
since we last heard Janis Joplin live).
Live at Carnegie Hall lives up to
its name. This group of seven
women - former "freedom singers"
from the civil rights movement -
'makes music which combines soul-
ful gospel ensemble and African tra-
ditional styles with ardent political
messages that reflect a combination
9f deep thought and love.
From merely a musical perspec-
tive, Sweet Honey in the Rock must
have sent shivers through their audi-
ence at Carnegie Hall that night.
With little accompaniment -- inter-
mittent cuicas, tamborines, and a
arum or two - these women go
from ascending falsettos which are
meant to sound like the screeching
sirens of a police car in
Emergency," to the kind of bass in-
tonation which reminds one of
Satchmo doing a slow trumpet drag
in a smoky nightclub, in "Ode to the
Seven part harmonies! Call and
response, improvised dialogue, and
multiple leads make this an album to
listen to when you're down and need
that special kind of inspiration. ' .
power in their music rings with
hunger and thirst. These women can
make you feel their strength. It lies
deeper than just what is heard, it lies
in what is felt. You'll sing along
Not only do Sweet Honey in the
Rock keep their culture's musical
traditions alive and untainted by aes-
thetic accomodations (such as blues
with heavy metal guitar solos thrown
in the middle or reggae with a disco
beat), but they tap into a strong
literary tradition as well. Sonia
Sanchez, the Bible, and even tradi-
tional Bambara song from Mali,
West Africa, augment their lyrics.
Verse by Sanchez is turned into a
tone-poem of the highest order as
they sing, "Dear Martin... come on
in here... I want you to know the sun
is rolling in from far away places. I
hear your voice... you would have
been 58 this year. I want you to
know that we still hear you footsteps
setting out on a road cemented with
black bones. The decade after your
death docked like a spaceship on a
new planet. We were youngbloods,
spinning hip syllables while saluting
death in a country neutral with pain."
Bernice Johnson Reagon and Eve-
lyn Maria Harris sing not only to
Martin of these being dangerous days
but of how the "color of freedom be-
comes disco fever, when soap operas
populate our Zulu braids; as the
world turns to the conservative right
and general hospitals are closing in
Black and poor neighborhoods," but
they sing to all of us about the
money borrowed for guns we can't
eat, about Reagan's games with
Bork... and all the others who are
waiting in the wings, and about the
garments we wear, ones made from
cotton brought from the blood-soaked
fields of El Salvador, for two dollars
a day. Are our Hands Clean?
It's a rare gift' to listen these
fighters, organizers, and songleaders
breathe melody into the words of
Alicia Partnoy, a poet once listed as
among "the disappeared" in Ar-
gentina, or into a traditional song
sung by Fannie Lou Hamer -- "Oh
run, run, mourner run, bright angels
above... If I had two wings... I would
fly away to the kingdom... Escape
for your life." Hamer, Reagon tells
us in the liner notes, had learned the
words from her grandmother, who
had once been a slave. I guarantee
that you'll learn more after a close
reading of this album's liner notes
than you would from a week's worth
of the New York Times.
You'll want to "wade in the wa-
ter" too. You'll lament with Evely
Maria Harris as she mourns the loss
of the woman she loves, "love is
here and now you're gone, I miss
your kiss, your smiling eyes..." but
if the words begin to drift when you
close your eyes and lay your head
back on the pillow, and all that
comes through is a chorus of voices
in a grand hall singing, "denko et
denko ye mousoo lou ye ne na koun
ye denko ye," you'll know that truly,
as Ysaye Maria Barnwell put it, it is
a poem and now a song.
Stupid Kids (12")
I. R. S. Records
This Boston-based trio follows up
their spectacular debut album In Ex-
celsior Dayglo with yet another ex-
ample of their ironic, cutting, yet
catchy songwriting. "Stupid Kids," a
harbinger of their long-overdue
sophomore album forthcoming this
spring, takes a cockeyed look at the
social scene, sounding for all the
world like a "party tune" while wit-
tily cutting on that very swill-yer-
("What a party... looks like every-
body came/ Before they went"). Its
lyrical snideness is given a sarcastic
boost by the devilishly playful,
Christmas-carol harmonies (I swear
that wasn't just a stupid pun) that
back it up.
Mix all this together with a driv-
ing beat and a pleasant guitar buzz
and you have a precursor of wonder-
ful things to come. Sophomore
slump, hell. -Jim Poniewozik
Low Intensity Warfare
Edited by Michael T. Klare and Peter Kornbluh
World War Three on the plains of Central Germany? Nuclear
Armageddon between the US and the USSR? Forget it, according to the
essays in this informative new volume on the latest fad in the Pentagon.
If Kornbluh, Klare, and friends are correct - and their scrupulously
researched essays would seem to indicate that they are - thinking in the
Pentagon these days is far more concerned with conflicts in the so-called
Third World than with how many bombs and rockets the Soviets are
hiding in Siberia.
Make no mistake - low intensity warfare, or LIC, is hardly intended
to forget the Soviet Union. The narrow-minded mentality on which the
U.S. military establishment seems to thrive depends upon blaming the
"Evil Empire" for every revolution in every poor country. The dire social
and economic conditions that turn campesinos into revolutionaries -
many of them examples of the brutal logic of U.S. capitalism - are
rarely mentioned by the Pentagon "intelligentsia" as possible reasons for
people wanting to change the oppressive governments that perpetrate such
On one level, the planners in Washington seem to recognize as much.
As most of the essays demonstrate, LIC specialists, much like their
counterinsu gency counterparts during the Vietnam War, are well aware
that a mi1iKry defeat of a guerrilla army isn't worth a whole lot if the
"hearts and minds" of the population aren't convinced that the reigning
government is a good thing. The essays on El Salvador and the
Philippines - two of the best in the collection - confirm this poit,
concentrating on the psychological warfare programs of disinformatioi
through which the CIA and its buddies try to convince the people of
country that a Duarte or an Aquino really does care about their needs. °.
If such programs have little more success than similar ones did in
Vietnam, one reason, suggests Michael Klare in a separate essay, is that
the U.S. tends to become involved at all in counterinsurgency efforts in
those very countries where a rebellion exists because the government ha
already proven itself incapable of reform. This is certainly true of il
Salvador and the Philippines - the two countries the Bush transitipli
team has identified as its major challenges-where the increasing power
of the military and right-wing death squads belies U.S. claims that rulers
like Duarte and Aquino represent genuine hope for democracy.
The U.S..has an even harder time trying to convince the world that the
proinsurgency forces it supports, such as the contras in Nicaragua and thle
"Mujahidin" in Afghanistan, have anything to do with democracy
whatsoever. Selig Harrison's detailed essay on Afghanistan demonstrates
that the guerrilla armies supported by the CIA have very little popua
appeal and are less interested in democracy than in a brand of Islamio
fundamentalism not indigenous to Afganistan, but exported from Iran.
The situation in Nicaragua is even more scurrilous. At least il
Afghanistan, one can point to the Soviet invasion and unpopular Kabl
government as complicating factors. But the Sandinista government in
Nicaragua remains popular with its people, despite disinformatidn
campagins by everyone from the CIA to Ann Arbor's own CDL,
(Coalition.for "Democracy" in Latin America) intended to convince U.$S
In this context, the wide array of actions undertaken by the U.S;
government to destroy Nicaragua- provided in excruciating detail %y
Peter Kornbluh in perhaps the best essay in the volume -are not only
outrageous, but criminal. In the name of democracy, the U.S. has
consistently supported a band of thugs who are repeatedly cited for humaq
rights violations, mined Nicaragua's harbors and sabotaged its ports;
refused it economic credits (a repeat of Nixon's decision to "make the
Chilean economy scream"), and denied its citizens visas. One wonders
given the cruelties which the U.S. is willing to commit in the name'of
democracy, what kind of "democracy" it is actually interested in and
Richard J. Barnet raises the same issue in the concluding essay of the
volume, "The Costs and Perils of Intervention." Alluding to the Iran-
Contra scandal, Barnet echoes concerns of most of the writers in the
collection when he wonders whether democracy can survive in a United
States where the people are consistently lied to by their government about
what it is doing.
Leaving aside the question of whether the U.S. has ever, at any point
in its history, been a democracy, Barnet raises a serious concern about the
prospects for the country's future should it continue to pursue a policy of
covert operations. If Ollie and his cohorts, with the connivance of the-
President-Elect of the United States, can systematically subvert the U.S.
Constitution and then get away with it, how far away are we from a day
when people here, as in Nicaragua, are deprived of what few rights they
have in the name of freedom?
6Don't throw 'mother
BY TONY SILBER
Motion pictures may be the last bastion of.
hope for humanity on Earth, but can we make the
same claim for Dan Aykroyd? Kim Basinger does
in My Stepmother Is An, Alien, a new film that
deservedly warrants the subtitle The Good, The
,ad, and The Ridiculous.
,4 If in-depth, interesting, multi-textured plots are
for you, then Stepmother isn't. But if you're;
looking for a few legitimate laughs and a kooky
and crazy story, then it's worth your time. Dr.
Steve Mills (Aykroyd) is an MIT-bred
astrophysicist who accidently sends an electrical
,,ansmission to a galaxy thousands of light years
away. Super-intelligent beings intercept it and send
representative Celeste (Basinger) to find Mills so
that her planet can be saved. Saved from what, we-
-don't know. No further information is given or
;necessary. You know this film is not gonna be
any brain fest, but it's also a bit more interesting
-han an astronomy lecture.
Predictability then takes over the film as
Celeste and Mills encounter various extraterrestrial
-adventures as time runs out on her planet.
,Celeste's purse is the ringleader of the whole
mission. It talks, glows, and provides numerous
displays of spectacular "script escape" while
helping Celeste to assimilate to Earth life during
her two-day stay. The only snare is that Mills'
daughter (Alyson Hannigan) is on to Celeste's
weirdness when she catches her drinking battery
acid out of the family Honda. No, you really don't
need a Ph.D. to understand this extraordinarily
How does one judge a film like My S
Is An Alien? Well, there are a number
you could look at individually. If it is to
on special effects alone, you have a real
If you judge it on script and acting,
should be disbarred. But how do youj
comedy? The first thirty minutes of t
WEAK; trust me - I was already forn
scathing attack in my head, buts
someway, and I don't know how, St
saved itself, somewhat. Aykroyd (Blues
provides some needed comical direction
in some genuinely funny scenes. Basin
Weeks) can't act, but is attractivec
maintain some interest in her wacky role
The saving element here is Jon Lo
from the train
Stepmother who provides the most dynamic comical
of criteria contribution, bringing a wonderful sliminess and
be judged sarcasm to his role as Mills' brother, Ron. There
l gem here. are also some corny sequences like a Jimmy
, then you Durante song-and-dance routine which add some
judge it on ,silly moments, but they seem logically welcome
he film are in this silly movie.
mulating a Generally, My Stepmother Is An Alien is a
somehow, mixed bag of comedy, special effects, bad acting,
epmother and ridiculous storylines. But there is enough
Brothers) merit here to warrant a look, especially if you're in
n, resulting one of those crazy moods on a blustery Saturday
iger (9 1/2 afternoon. So with good, bad, and ridiculous,
enough to Stepmother won't sweep the Oscars, but don't
e. exile this to the Hollywood junkpile, either.
Continued from Page 8
this painting is unusual because the artist em-
ployed only tones of reds, browns, and black.
Becauses of this, the painting is considered part
of the Tonalist school, known for works that are
painted in tones of one color. The deep, bold red
in the middle of the painting contrasts starkly
with the ebony-brown figure of the deer.
Edward Willis Redfield's painting "American
Landscape" shows a crystal-blue stream cutting
through a snow-covered field. The oil is applied
thickly, giving the painting a good texture. The
trees' branches mix in a network of browns and
black. Redfield, one of the American
Impressionists, painted most of his works less
than two miles from his home in Pennsylvania,
The exhibit is part of a project entitled
"Illustrated Catalogue of European and American
Painting and Sculpture: The University of
Michigan Museum of Art."
If you are wondering what other painters
worked during the time of great American artists
like James Whistler and Winslow Homer, do not
miss this exhibit. The immediate effects of mod-
ern European artists are readily apparent in these
UNSEEN OILS will be on exhibit until January
7 in the Corridor Gallery of the University Mu-
seum of Art.
of The University of Michigan
The calendar combines meeting, lecture, workshop, and conference announcements
with other events happening each week on campus. It is based on The University Record
calendar, and is open to all University sponsored groups and organizations recognized
by the Michigan Student Assembly. Items must be submitted in writing by 5 p.m. the
Tuesday before publication. Address all information to: Marcia Bennett, publications
assistant, University Record, 412 Maynard St. Asterisk (*) denotes events to which
admission is charged.
Integrity-- Lesbian-gay male community open house, 8:45 pm, Canterbury
House, 218 N Division. 665-0606.
Tae Kwon Do Club--Mtg, 6:30-8:15 pm, 2275 CCRB. Begins welcome 662-
Archery--Mtg, 7-10 pm, Coliseum (corner Fifth & Hill). 764-4084.
Tau Beta Pi/Eta Kappa Nu/Pi Tau Sigma--Math & Sci Tutoring, 8-10 pm S
Quad Dining Hall; 8-10 pm, Bursley Rm 2333; 7-9 pm, Mary Markley Lib; 7-
11 pm, UGLI Rm 307. 764-6250.
Intl Ctr--Lunch Discuss, "Racism & Ethnocentrism: Quality Of Life Issues For
Intl Sdts," noon-1:30 pm, Mich League Rms 4 & 5.
Faculty Women's--Drop-In Lunch, noon, Mich Union Univ Club.
Wkshp--"Graphics: The Workshop," 1-4:30 pm, 1111 Kipke Dr Reg req. 764-
Medieval & Renaissance Collegium--Lec, B Roy, "Qui, Quand, Ou et Pour
Qui: Tout Sur La Farce de Maitre Pathelin," 4 pm, Rackham W Conf Rm 763-
Nat Resources--Coffee & cookies, 3:30-4 pm; Sem, S Winterstein"Techniques
For Examining Survival In Wild Populations," 4-5 pm, Dana Bldg Rm 1046.
Ctr N East & N Afr Stds--Brown-Bag Film, %F2The Price Of Change noon,
Lane Hall Commons. 764-0350.
Sch Music--Hymn Festival, "The Seasons," 8 pm, Organ Studio 2110 763-4726.
*U-M Flint--Concert, Symphonic Band, 7:30 pm, Flint Thtre. 762-3377.
SACUA--Mtg, 3:15 pm, Rackham Amphi.
*U-M-Dearborn--Luncheon Concert, noon, Music Rm. 593-5000.
Gifts of Art--Wheel Demo, 2 pm, Taubman Ctr Lobby. 936-ARTS.
*HRD--Wkshp, "Graphics: The Workshop," 1-4:30 pm, 1111 Kipke Dr Reg req.
Geol Sci--Coffee & cookies, 3:30 pm; Lee, E Essene, "Magmatic Metamorphism
(A Review of 15 Yrs Wk In The Grenville Terrane)," 4 pm, CC Little.
Sch Music--Early Music Ensemble, 8 pm, Recital Hall; Concert, Chamber Choir
& Orchestra, "Christmas Oratorio," 8 pm, Hill Aud. 763-4726.
Diabetes Research & Train--Wkshp, Molecular Biology Core, 2:30-4 pm
Towsley Ctr. 763-5256.
Hosp Info Svcs--MCMUG Mtg, K Hinkle, "Presentation Manager: The Face of
OS/2," 3-4 pm, Ford Amphi. 936-4900.
Biopsychol--Colloquium, J Jenness, "Large-Field Rayleigh Matches of Normal
Trichromats & Polymorphism of Cone Photopigments," 12:30 pm, MHRI Rm
IPASC--Indian Film, Uphaar, 7 pm, MLB Video Viewing Rm 2nd F1 973-7091.
Ctr Human Growth & Devp--Brown-Bag Luncheon, C Mistretta, "Receptive
Fields For Salt Taste: How They Develop," noon, 300 N Ingall Bldg Rm
1000, 10th Level
*Zen Buddhist Temple--Yoga & breathing class, 9:30-11 am, 1214 Packard
Lord of Light Lutheran Church--Bible study, 6:30-7:30 pm; Worship 7:30-
8 pm; Choir, 8-9 pm, 801 S Forest. 668-7622.
Guild House--Faculty Brown-Bag Lunch, noon; *Beans & Rice Dinner, 6 pm;
Discuss mtg, 8 pm, 802 Monroe St. 662-5189.
Men's Campus Club--Social for gay & bisexual male sdts, 9-11 pm, E Law
Quad Cook Rm. 763-4186.
Counsel Svcs--Dissertation support grp, 8:30 am, Mich Union Rm 3100 764-
United Coalition Against Racism--Mtg, 6 pm, Mich Union. 936-1809.
Archery--See Dec 12.
*Mich League--Intl Night, Scandanavia; 4:30-7:30 pm, League Buffet.
Socially Active Latino Sdt Assoc (SALSA)--Mtg, 7:30 pm, MLB Rm
*U-M-Dearborn--Luncheon Concert, noon, Music Rm. 593-5000.
Vision Training Prog--Vision Lunch Sem, S Easter, "Very Early Development
in the Zebra Fish Brain," noon-1:15 pm, MHRI 2055. 764-0573.'
*U-M Flint--Film, Broadcast News, 7 & 9:15 pm, Univ Ct Kiva.73
Biol--Sem, D Noden, "Movement & Patterning Of Craniofacial & Mesenchymal'
Tissues," 12:10 pm, 1139 Nat Sci.
Sdt Woodshop--Safety Class For New Shop Users Pt 11, 3-5 pm, SAB 763-
*Bridge Club--Bridge Game, 7:15 pm, Mich League Studio Rm. 764-4648.
Gay Liberation--Brothers Coffee House, 8 pm, 802 Monroe St. 763-4186.
*Mus Art--Concert, Lafayette String Quartet & S Bryant, 8 pm, 525 S State.
Lowbrow Astron--Mtg, 7:30 pm, Detroit Observ. 434-5668.
*U-M Flint--See Dec 15.
Sch Music--Carillon Christmas Caroling, 8 pm, Burton Tower. 763-4726.
Biology--Sem, D Noden, "Development Of Sensory Neurons From Placodes &
Neural Crest," 4:10 pm, 3056 Nat Sci.
Folkdance Club--Line & Circle Dances E Europ & Middle East, Teaching 8-9
pm; Request Dancing, 9-11 pm, Mich Union Anderson Rm. No partner nec..
Univ Lutheran Chapel--Video/Game Night, 7:30 pm, 1511 Washtenaw 663-
*Exhibit Mus Planetarium--Shows: "Holiday Skies," 11:30 am; "The
Christmas Star," 2 & 3 pm, Exhib Mus 4th fl, corner Geddes-Washtenaw.
Guild House--Dawntreaders Mtg, 7:30 pm, 802 Monroe St. 677-1785.
Gifts of Art--Concert, Ann Arbor Civic Chorus, 2 pm, Hosp Lobby 1st F.