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February 07, 1989 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-07

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ARTS

Page 7

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, February 7, 1989

Move your iambs
Poetry Slam to feature Magic Poetry Band

RY AMY KOCH
EVER since T.S. Eliot's shocking fragments, poetry
has steadily shimmied out of the confines of Shake-
spearean couplets and created its own voice, devoid of
expected structure or theme. The monthly Poetry Slam,
a parody on crusty poetry stereotypes, extends Eliot's
innovations tonight with the poetic/musical fusion of
the Magic Poetry Band.
The Detroit-based Magic Poetry Band is led by poet
M.L. Liebler and featuring poet/saxaphonist Faruk Z.
Bey, who describe their work as "transcendental poetics
accompanied by a cross between jazz, blues, new age,
and reggae."
Liebler, an English professor at Wayne State Uni-
versity, has given several readings in Detroit, Chicago,
Ann Arbor, and Canada. In 1987 he read with Allen
Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Robert Creeley at
the River City Reunion in Lawrence, Kansas. He re-

cently released a performance poetry cassette with thei
Magic Poetry Band entitled Breaking the Voodoo.
Faruk Z. Bey is an experimental jazz musician who
headlines the Griot Galaxy jazz ensemble.
The Poetry Slam, which brings together local and
national poets to share their work in a Gong Show -
like setting, was started in Chicago in the '70s by
Vince Kueter, Marc Smith, and Ron Gillette. With a
cliquey poetry scene and a not-too-interested public, the
Poetry Slam served as "a hook to get people into po-
etry" with judges and magic marker ratings.
The Poetry Slam also provides an open mike for
locals to display their talent. "I am hoping that a sense
of community will develop in Ann Arbor through the
Poetry Slam since locals will be exposed to each other,
promote one another," said Kueter.
T HE MAGIC POETRY BAND will appear at the
Poetry Slam tonight at the Old Heidelberg resturaunt,
215 N. Main from 8-11 p.m. Admission is $2.

Julius Lester to recount

Joanne Constantinides (left) and Daniel Gwirtzman, as Shepherdess and Shepherd in "Pastor-
ale," exemplify the energy and colorful costuming of last weekend's production of Viva
Stravinsky!
Viva'S vimx, vertiginous
,verve leave vivid visions

hiS
BY KRISTIN
JULIUS Leste
controversy. T
MassachusettsI
thor of Loveso
Jew , encounte
the late '60s whl
weekly radio
interviews withi
and became in
Power politics.
Lester encou
more recently
moved from t
Massachusetts
studies departm
conflict with h
remains a prof

'journey to
PALM partment of Judaic and Near East-
ern studies where he had been
r is no stranger to teaching concurrently.
he University of Tonight, Lester will be speak-
professor and au- ing on another conflict - what it
ng: Becoming a means to be Black and Jewish.
red opposition in "My Journey to Judaism" will fo-
en he moderated a cus on Lester's arrival at the deci-
show featuring sion to commit to a religion
radicals of that era which often seems to pose a
evolved in Black conflict of interest.
Take Louis Farrakhan, for ex-
ntered controversy ample. Lester has recently taken
when he was re- issue with the Muslim leader's
he University of anti-Semitism and, as a result, has
Afro-American come under fire from certain sec-
ent as a result of a tors of the Black community.
is colleagues. He On his speaking tours, Lester
fessor in the De- has encountered opposition from

udaism
Black students as well, as a result
of his statements.
The decision to put himself in
this position did not come easy
for Lester. He is the son of a
Methodist minister, has experi-_
mented with Catholic mysticism,
and did not convert to Judaism
until 1983. Tonight Lester will
explore that journey as he exam-
ines the way he has meshed two
distinct cultures.
Hill Street Forum/Great Writers
Series will present MY JOUR-
NEY TO JUDAISM tonight at 8;
p.m. in Green Auditorium at Hil-''
lel (1429 Hill St.). Tickets are $5'
and are available at the Hillel
Foundation.

contain much more than that. It's
BY CHERIE CURRY clever, kind of abstract. It probably

VISIONS of sugar plums did not
dance through my head as I left the
last performance of Viva Stravinsky!
Instead, the visions more resembled
a kaleidoscope - vivid images of
dancers in colorful costumes gracing
the Power Center stage.
Dancers in pastel-colored body
suits stretched and twirled like ma-
chines; dancers in Vaudeville-style
costumes with black and white
geometric patterns, polka dots -
leave the other designs to the
imagination - swiftly moved from
left center stage to right center stage
while depicting humorous skits;
dancers in flowered print, smock
dresses covered with red aprons and
red bandanas moved militaristically
while a ballerina fluttered about; and
don't forget the three gymnasts who
performed remarkable stunts. I was
completely unprepared for this.
Certain scenes were disappoint-
ing, not because the dancers were
inept; on the contrary, they were
very skilled and professionally
trained. But the combination of tal-
ent and commendable choreography
created a vast amount of abstractness
- an element that was difficult to
appreciate.
A woman sitting next to me ex-
pressed a similar view. "I could be at
home watching patterns on televi-
sion," she said. "The dancing doesn't

won't be appreciated as much if
you're not used to this kind of danc-
ing."
"Pastore," the first act in the sec-
ond set of performances, proved to
Dancers in pastel-colored
body suits stretched and
twirled like machines;
dancers in Vaudeville-style
costumes with black and
white geometric patterns,
polka dots - leave the
other designs to the
imagination - swiftly
moved from left center
stage to right center
stage...
be more enjoyable. The theme, cen-
tering around a hero and heroine
dancing blissfully in what was ap-
parently Utopia, became more con-
crete. This act featured life-sized
props, such as sheep and forest trees,
carried by hidden dancers dressed in
black. The cloud that descended near
the stage floor, behind which a
dancer represented a god, was equally
impressive.
A powerful tool used in many of

the scenes was a big screen on which
larger-than-life sized images ap-
peared. The visual imagery, produced
at the Center for the Performing Arts
and Technology, was a novel con-
cept, but at times, the dominating
images took away the spotlight from
the dancers.
Dancing was undoubtedly what
Viva Stravinsky! was comprised of,
but it would show partiality only to
mention that aspect. Music was also
an integral part of the production.
The scores weren't the most inspira-
tional I've heard, but they were pro-
ficiently played by members of the
Jazz Ensemble and the University
Symphony Orchestra.
The orchestra played not only
well, but originally. The score was
often played by different solo in-
struments, rather than by the entire
orchestra simultaneously. As each
instrument was played, the dancers
adjusted themselves to the rhythm of
the music. The Women's Glee Club
also gave a potent performance, par-
ticularly at the beginning of the sec-
ond act, when one of the members
performed an operatic piece.
This dancing extravaganza was
considerably lengthy, but that didn't
hinder the production from being in-
geniously creative. After the fire-
works finale and generous applause,
I took one last look at the gold ge-
ometric designs accenting the black
stage curtain.
Suddenly, everything didn't seem
so abstract.

I

The Cult
The Manor Sessions, EP
Beggar's Banquet
This EP consists of the initial recordings of songs
included on the band's 1987 Electric album. The
songs, "Love Removal Machine," "Wild Flower,"
"Electric Ocean," "Outlaw," and "Bad Fun," were all
produced by the man behind Love 's boards, Steve
Brown.
These original recordings show the synthesis be-
tween Love's sterling, multi-layered guitar driven
songs and Electric's snarling, straight-ahead, almost
heavy metal bass and guitar attacks.
According to the EP's liner notes, after recording the
songs in the summer of1986 with Brown, the band
felt, "The recordings did not reflect the hard edge of
their music and wanted a cleaner sound." Rick Rubin,
of Beastie Boys fame, then contacted the band and asked
to produce their next album. The band agreed and re-
recorded the songs they had already finished. The rest
is, as they say, history.
The totally different sound on these original record-
ings show how much the re-recorded songs suffered by
letting Rubin re-produce them. Even if you thought

Electric was one of 1987's best albums, these songs '
are, for the most part, even better. The songs bridge
the gap between the great guitar work of Love and thex
more explosive power of Electric,
"Wild Flower" on this recording is a radically differ-
ent song than the one on Electric, but it is still as good
in a different way. While on Electric the song appears 7
as a straight ahead, guitar-laiden love song, this version
is much more mellow, in the vein of "Revolution"
from Love.
This take of "Bad Fun" sounds like The Stooges' "I
Wanna Be Your Dog" and "No Fun" twisted by a de-
ranged Bo Diddley beat. It's more raw and exciting:
than its Electric counterpart, which seemed too bogged,.
down in excess bass. Astbury's vocals are also*
raunchier, and Les Warner's drumming is a notch above
his playing on the Electric version.
Perhaps the best of the five original versions is:
"Electric Ocean." The biggest and worst change Rubin
and The Cult made in the re-recordings was leaving off
its original guitar riff. This brilliant guitar crescendo
is certainly one of Duffy's best ever. The song also has
a few lyrical and musical changes which show that
Rubin did nothing but harm this song while re-produc-
ing it.
Hopefully all the rumors floating around about a
Cult break-up are just that - rumors. But, if The Cult
has dissolved, this EP is definitely a worthy swan song
for one of the 1980s' best bands. -Bill Yochim

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ASSISTANT CAMP DIRECTOR for Camp
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field and/or considerable expe nence in camp
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(41 )242-4412.
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Call 996-8890. Ask for Mr. Rush
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Need people for 2 weeks at hospitol
pay $6 to $7 per hour
after 500 see Jim in Medical Info
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To study alone for the MCAT's is nearly impossible. To study without
Stanley H. Kaplan is simply a bad career move.
Maybe it's our 50 years of experience. Our small classes and advanced
teaching methods. Or a research department that reacts to test changes before
most companies even know they exist.
Whatever it is, if medicine is in your future, Stanley H. Kaplan can help
you start practicing right now
r:,.. C..,11 flon rn .. n T ------------------------------------------

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