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November 15, 1988 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-15

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Page 8 -.The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 15, 1988

6

Spirita
Courtney Pine leads;
BY LIAM FLAHERTY
The Michigan Union, late on a Sunday night, is not
a place one flocks to for spiritual regeneration. It is a
tenuous, unsteady atmosphere, with the sounds of bil-
liard balls cracking against a quiet wall of studying.
But last Sunday Courtney Pine was in the house,
large and intense, hunched over his tenor sax. He began
his second set as if it was his last ever, diving into the
depths of his instrument, stretching for boundaries be-
Pine has a big horn, big enough to con-
tain the spirits that held court that night;
Rollins, Webster, Young - and
'Trane, always 'Trane - speaking
through this miraculous young man.
yond its metal curvature. At first, he floated upon his
rhythmic bed; Julian Joseph running the keys, Mark
Mondesir speaking a multitude of tongues behind the
drum kit, Delbert Felix on bass, intently stoking the
furnaces below.
Pine kept reaching, building, finally slipping into a
space larger than himself, taking his audience outside

j ourney
a trip to jazz heaven
themselves. Pine has a big horn, big enough to con-
tain the spirits that held court that night; Rollins,
Webster, Young - and "Trane, always 'Trane -
speaking through this miraculous young man.
Pine struck fertile land, a beautiful, ephemi-ral place
where those who are not yet afraid to feel can mingle
with those who have.
He went to an ecstatically fast composition, con-
trolling time. He slipped in and out of his rhythm sec-
tion's standard pace, racing ahead and creeping up like
an ebullient child.
He went to the soprano for a while, allowing for
precious interludes from his sidemen. Joseph punched
out deliberate, relentless melodies, followed by Felix's
quivering bass lines.
Pine then slowed things up for an unspeakably gor-
geous ballad, embracing and enfolding the listeners in
his huge tenor.
Finally he took us to "Zaire," which he said was a
"song to move the spirit a bit." Classic British under-
statement.
He began, with drums percolating, bass working
furiously down low, piano spilling out exotic chords.
Pine stepped to the mike and started blowing on the
soprano, face clenched orgasmically, up and down his
instrument, shrieking and bellowing, a continent rising
out of harmony, opening up a flower, an African
flower bursting - he dragged up all those within his
reach, willing or not, for a spiritual journey supreme.

Records
Continued from Page 7
Oingo Boingo
Boingo Live
MCA Records
This is supposed to be a double
live album of Oingo Boingo's
"greatest hits" - and even before
playing it, I had to ask - what in
the world would make OB think that
they have four sides worth of great
hits? I got my reply when the needle
hit the vinyl - the speakers barked
"OB doesn't have any great hits,"
again and again. _I curse myself for
wasting time on this one, but my
fingers just get too sticky when the
records come in.
Besides the fact that they insist
on overkill use of keyboards
("Violent Love"), continue to drown
their songs in their syrupy use of a
sappy horn section ("On the Out-

side"), and overuse their token poppy'
vocal style (a cross between Roland
Orzabal from Tears for Fears and'
Leonard Phillips from the Dickies),
this "too long" album epitomizes
the non-existence of this band's
imagination. The only song of theirs
I remember being any good, "Only a
Lad," sounds almost exactly as it
does on the album which was re-
leased five or six years ago. So, ei-
ther the band lacks imagination live,
or the album is way over-produced.
And since a member of the band
produced it, I guess the band is the
sole guilty party for this pop poop
- a bumper crop of the homoge-
neous Oingo Boingo sound.1
--Robert Flaggert
Nightnoise .
At the End of the Evening
Windham Hill
Nightnoise features Michael Tri-

ona Ni Dhomhnaill (the English pro-
nunciation is "O'Donnell"), founders
of the important Irish revisionist-trad
group, the Bothy Band. There is also
Brian Dunning, a Dubliner known for
his work with Puck Fair, and Billy
Oskay.
Heaven knows, Irish traditioal
music is not the fast road to riches.4
It's a fast road, if anything, to drint.
And it's a hard road to travel. So it's
not surprising (though disappointing)
that the O'Domhnaill sibs are doing
this mellow Irish-jazzy knockoff. And
the result? Very bland. The playing is
very nice and polite, the tunes qoiit
but not vapid, touches of an Irish
phrase jazzed up here and there, but
completely unmemorable. It also has
too much going on to be used a;a
record to sleep to. Sure, the pressing's
excellent, but if I have to listen to
this kind of stuff, I'd rather listen-to
pianist Philip Aaberg.
-V.J.Beauchamp

Th'ey
Continued from Page 7
apart from the main concept, shows
little imagination. Characters sud-
denly appear with no explanation,
and the movie is filled with trite
constructs: the love interest, the ten-
der childhood recollection, and at the
very end - as if they almost forgot
- the nudity scene.
As for the theme, Carpenter is

FIRE!TH
AMERICAS
fORGIN A REVOLUTIONARY ARE$M

certainly trying to comment on the
poor, the economic structure of the
United States, and the corporate
invasion of Third World countries,
but his ideas are poorly conceived and
lost among Piper's rampages. I must
admit, however, that the fight scene
with Piper's full-body inverted back-
slam rivals any I've seen in a movie.
The all-important make-up artist
of They Live has said that he wants
people to wonder if "this could be
No revolution will suc-
ceed, the authors assert,
that does not combine an
emphasis on class with a
genuine alliance bringing
together proponents of lib-
eration theology, women,
people of color, and mem-
bers of what they refer to
as the "third force": in-
tellectuals and profession-
als who, despite their class
background, often work to
support revolutionary
struggles.

Fire in the Americas:

Forging a
Revolutionary

Agenda

By Roger Burbach and
Orlando Nunez
Verso
$12.95/paperback
Fire in the Americas opens with
a remarkably simple thesis: the
political pessimism that the U.S.
Left frequently feels as it works
within what Che referred to as "the
heart of the beast" can be overcome if
it would begin to think more seri-
ously about the connections between
its own struggles and those of its al-
lies throughout the Western Hemi-
sphere. With breath-taking brevity
and extraordinary penetration, Bur-
bach and Nunez proceed to outline
exactly what those connections are.
More importantly, their remarkable'
manifesto is filled with an optimism
which leaves the reader believing'
such solidarity is a distinct possibil-
ity, albeit one that will have to be
fought for.'

The authors stake their claims on
a number of conditions that have
changed the contours of international
relations in the Western Hemisphere.
The deteriorating state of the U.S.
economy makes it increasingly diffi-
cult for Washington to support mur-
derous and exploitative regimes with
the kind of material and military re-
sistance necessary to keep them in
power. Nor does it allow U.S. banks
to come up with the funds necessary
to bail Latin America out of its se-
vere debt crisis, itself largely a cre-
ation of U.S. economic policies
which legalize theft under the eu-
phemism "free trade."
Most importantly, the economic
immiseration that the U.S. has
foisted upon Latin America has
spawned an increasingly volatile re-
sistance from sectors of the popula-
tion there that traditionally had noth-
ing to do with radical politics:
women, Indians (especially in
Guatemala), and growing proportions
from the erstwhile reactionary
Catholic Church infrastructure. The
consequence is a genuine empower-
ment and radicalization of large parts
of the population, and the inspiring

revolutions they are capable of pro-
ducing in countries such as
Nicaragua.
"This work owes its existence,"
write the authors, "to the Nicaraguan
Revolution." Their analysis of post--
revolutionary Nicaragua demonstrates
why. Instead of just voting for a ?
President every four years (as U.S.
citizens do, under the illusion that
these elections offer a choice), the
people of Nicaragua not only vote in
national elections, such as those held
in 1984, but also serve on neighbor-
hood committees and work in
women's associations and on
agricultural cooperatives. Rather than
just pulling a lever and letting others
make all of their decisions for them,
the Nicaraguan people have been
given the chance to practice a
democracy through which they make
important decisions, every day.
Burbach and Nunez see this
Revolution as a model from which
socialists can learn to join their eco-
nomic and political analyses
concerning the importance of the
class struggle - with which the au-
thors fully concur - to an apprecia-
tion of the needs and priorities of

happening even now." When I th*
of the people who thought this film
was great, and combine this with h
fact that it was the top-grossing
movie the weekend it opened, I won-
der if it could be that: "Roddy IsA
Great Actor," "The Plot Is Inventive
And Interesting," and "They Live,I
The Best Film Of The Year"?
Nah.
THEY LIVE is playing at Showcase
Cinemas and the State Theater.
ulist energies within a socialist
framework, are themselves occasion-
ally guilty of sacrificing too much of
their revolutionary vision for the "art
of the possible." Their belief that
you can teach U.S. citizens about
revolution by appealing to the "spirit
of 1776" denies both the viruleiit
xenophobia associated with that sen-
timent as well as the inherently con-
servative nature of the American
Revolution.- x
More seriously, they demonstrit
an almost naive faith in Jacksoxfls
Rainbow Coalition and of fht
"inside/outside" approach the Coali-
tion claimed it was using in worling
with the Democratic Party. To be
fair, the book was written before
Jackson's astounding sell-out at thp
Atlanta Convention, which clearly
demonstrated how little impact the
Rainbow's progressive agenda cqold
have on a Party which is avowedly
capitalist.
These criticisms notwithstanding,
Fire in the Americas is one of Ihe
most exciting and politically con-
structive books written on Lafip
America in a long time. Rather than
become fixated on the moral prob-
lems of U.S. intervention, disgusting
as its long history has been, Burbqci
and Nunez propose a positive ratber
than merely reactive political agendi.
Solidarity replaces mere anti-inter-
ventionism, providing hope that
some day in the 21st century, a gen-
uine community between women and
men north and south will replace the
climate of mistrust fostered by al-
most two hundred years of Yankee
imperialism. -Mike Fischet

IWGERBURBACH
ORLANDO NUftZ

t

V.«

those peoples and struggles often ex-
cluded from such analyses.
Steering between the Scylla of re-
formism and the Charybdis of ultra-
leftism, however, is not always easy,
even for two authors so committed to
exactly this project. In their first
chapter, a long review of the left's
failure to capitalize on potentially
revolutionary situations in Latin
America throughout the 20th cen-
tury, Burbach and Nunez offer harsh
criticisms for Communist Parties
which, throughout the hemisphere,
refused to adapt their rigid and fre-
quently Eurocentric programs to the
local populations and situations out-
lined above.
The second chapter, conversely,
warns of the dangers involved in go-

ing too far in the other direction. In a
brilliant analysis of revisionism and
reformism, the authors excoriate
groups such as the Democratic So-
cialists of America, who persist in
the illusion that they can forego a
strategic socialist vision for the ba-
nalities of electoral politics in a one-
party system of Demicans and Re-
publocrats. The inevitable result,
they warn, is a movement prepared to
compromise time and time again.
Without clearly defined principles and
a long-term vision, it is all too easy
to fall into the habit of thinking in
terms of what seems "practical" or
immediately realizable rather than in
terms of what is just.
, The authors themselves, in their
valiant attempt to incorporate pop-

rn U

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