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December 06, 1988 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-12-06

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4

Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 6, 1988

!' l " T' f f! t r r r e! t r rr

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4

Who says you can't make it big majoring in English? Ex-Blake buff Michael Doucet and his
fiddle lead Beausoleil to a sound that's as Cajun as skillet-blackened fish.
Beausoleil: Hot stuff

BY MARK SWARTZ
ANY Cajun cooks worth their cayenne pepper will
tell you that the most important rule is that it can't get
too hot. The name of the game here is to light a con-
flagration on the palate, to make diners fall to their
knees for a teaspoon of icewater. Michael Doucet,
leader and fiddler of Beausoleil, Louisiana's spiciest
Cajun band, follows the same recipe.
Drawing from and building on the Cajun tradition,
Beausoleil cooks up a blend of turn-of-the-century
Louisiana sounds and contemporary blues rhythms that
will make your eyes water. The songs are in French,
but the language of music - as you've been told
countless times - is universal.
"What a musician does," Doucet explains, "is trans-
late cultural ideas into appropriate sounds. Words and
music reach people and communicate feelings which
provide a common denominator in a cultural society."

If that sounds more erudite than what you'd expect
to come out of a fiddler's mouth, it shouldn't surprise
you that little Mikey Doucet wanted to be an English
major when he grew up. Plans to study Romantic po-
etry in graduate school, however, were forever lain to
rest when he heard Cajun street musicians in France. "I
traded Blake for (Cajun forefathers Will and Dewey)
Balfa," he remembers.
Beausoleil is, to steal blatantly from Washington,
D.C.'s City Paper, to Southern Louisiana what Los
Lobos are to Nortena and the Chieftains are to tradi-
tional Ireland: preservationists with a revisionist free-
dom to experiment and modernize. (Plagiarism ends
here.) Live, they take this freedom to all its logical and
illogical extremes. Doucet's fiddling is a fearsome py-
rotechnical display, and the music might just set your
mouth on fire.
BEAUSOLEIL L4.rns the Ark down twice tonight at
7:30 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $11. Icewater will be
provided.

movie are like his singing itself: en-
dearing and faintly annoying. But
like his voice, there is a core of gen- Michigan Daily
Continued from Page 7 uine feeling to Big Time, and it is ARTS
unmistakably real. A T
Big Time is a captivating film
because it is Tom Waits. The BIG TIME is currently showing at 763-0379
stylistic embellishments of the the Ann Arbor Theatre.
.

A

PAI di 0

unfu0J1-,
Ikk/

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*ILLNE DR gol.S TO!E

BUYINGI
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