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November 20, 1989 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-20

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ARTS
Monday, November 20, 1989

The Michigan Daily

Page 8
n

Poets write the body electric

BY JAY PINKA
TONIGHT, you'll hear the clash and clatter, the hum
of hippo-shaped lights buzzing to mandarin tones of
song over scalpels and cadavers, while altars are at-
tended by a melancholy, romantic Robocop with Cana-
dian non-confessionality.
What's this? An opium-induced vision? Nope. It's a
pre-Thanksgiving smorgasbord of superlatives to tempt
your eyes and ears, with Natalie Ku and Lorenzo Buj as
your guides to this sensual garden of free verse at Guild
House.
You are out of space/ in outer space/ inside my
head/ aflying hippo to buzz between/ two or three oc-
taves too much! beam x-ray rhythm sense! outside in
traffic lights your/ heart beats walk don't walk but/ i
wasn't moving.
Natalie Ku creates duality of meaning in her spon-
taneous choice of line breaks. She illuminates realities
inherent in the imagery that hits us daily. As in these
stanzas from "Wine Hippo," Ku's early work reflects
the conversational style of Frank O'Hara. Ku found
O'Hara of great value when she first discovered that ex-
pressing herself through poetry could be very reward-
ing. Today Ku writes with the integrity of an "inner
voice" that she has developed through working with her
pleasure in the sound of words.
"When I write," says Ku, "I have a driving beat in
the back of my mind."
Ku's visual and aural orientation are acute; they
bring her multi-faceted nature to her work. The poet
uses her talent by taking the spark of her language and
translating it into art and music. She created a
silkscreen of a hippo floating above a fractional face,

and wrote a song to add dimension to "Wine Hippo."
But Ku, a medical student, is not only versed with
her pen but with guitars and most recently, scalpels.
The poet will read "Dead Ugly," a poem inspired by her
first experience with a cadaver.
Lorenzo Buj, who studies philosopy in Robocop,
finds innovative roles for cadavers in his writing. He
writes in "Gospel Country":
and at last when the old! bus shocks with the/
skewed peace of an amiable corpse! we mount!
stroking its lazy beard! ...my sister and i among the
earth.
Buj meshes the romantic with the cynical in hints
of creation story struggles in ironic, warm tones.
"Poets always lie on paper," says Buj, who dis-
misses "inspiration," believing in "poetic frenzy." He
appreciates the poet separate from his work.
"Who cares who the poet is - it's the voice," says
the Toronto-born Buj, who describes Prince as "the
John Donne of pop music." He especially admires
Sylvia Plath for her "immense risks," though his po-
etry is "private, non-narrative - but never confes-
sional ."
Like the multi-talented and dedicated Natalie Ku,
Buj has his own "intellectual bug to scratch" - taking
priority over the pressing demands of poetic license.
Though published in various journals, he is working
on his M.A. in the "primal wasteland" of American
Culture. Ku, who knew she would become a doctor
back in third grade, is fascinated by the brain.
"It's the crux of what we are," affirmed Ku.
NATALIE KU and LORENZO BUJ will read tonight at
8:30 p.m. at Guild house.

Right number.
Rockers The Call look to the future
BY MICHAEL PAUL FISCHER

IT was back in the early '80s when
Peter Gabriel hailed The Call as no
less than "the future of American
music."
But somewhere along the line,
the decade which was to be theirs
somehow eluded this Northern Cali-
fornia quartet: The Call opened ma-
jor tours for Gabriel and spiritual fel-
low-travellers Simple Minds, re-
leased acclaimed albums - Time
magazine ranked 1987's gritty Into
the Woods in their year-end top 10
- and even scored a minor hit back
in 1983 with the anti-Cold War an-
them "The Walls Came Down."
Ever since that time, though, the di-
visive commercial mechanisms of
format radio have proven a stubborn
barrier. The intense, politically-
aware spirituality of singer/bassist
Michael Been's soul-searching lyrics
-- shot through with gripping
themes of corruption, sin and re-
demption - is a tough wash at ma-
cho album-rock. And his group's
sincere, no-nonsense brand of an-'
themic rock-and-roll seems too un-
hip to interest the anemic followers

After a decade of being declared the "next big thing," spiritual rockers
The Call (Jim Goodwin, Michael Been,Tom Ferrier, and Scott Musick)
have finally begun knocking on the door with "Let the Day Begin."

of today's college/ "alternative"
scene. "There's something about the
business..." explains keyboardist+
Jim Goodwin, "It's so arbitary. If
you try to figure it out, it can drive1
you crazy."
But finally, in the wake of genre-

shaking breakthroughs by artists
such as Living Colour and Tracy?
Chapman, The Call's rightful place.
in rock's big-league seems close at
hand; along with those other artists,
Time's Jay Cocks recently singled
See CALL, page 9'

*1

ki

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of Musi
La Boheme o ui
sented i
lacks passion weekend
There was a price to pay for per- passion
forming Puccini's La Boheme in and loss
English, and unlike the characters', PerP
rent in the first act, it was paid. Yes, cal scor
the English was more comprehensi- spokent
ble. No, it was not as romantic as HichyN
the Italian. Added to this was sloppy which tt
stage direction by George Mully (in producti
particular, the second act choral English
scene which boasted a sea of merry worthw
Parisians who made locating the seppet
scattered soloists a futile search) and were ab
an orchestra that needed more kin- Ouri
dling. Even though it was coupled as a be
with a talented cast from the School Wright-

ewv
c, the whole concoction pre-
in the Power Center this
d was a technically strong yet
less telling of a poet's love
of a lady.
Puccini's appendix to his vo-
e, preceding each act was a
travelogue of excerpts from
Meurger's original novel, on
he opera is based. Had the
ion been sung in Italian, an
prologue would have been
hile, but as it was, each
only pointed out what we
out to see.
leading lovers, Robert Bracey
earded Rodolphe and Julie
Costa as a delicate, comely
worked well together vocally.
er, their acting - likely due
y's direction - diminished
otional impact of both their
rvent touch and the death
nthe last act. Mully was un-
motivate his performers to
the musical emotion with
tire bodies - this is essen-
he cavernous Power Center.
unately, Judith Ellis' flirta-
unning Musette was a wel-
ighlight. Dressed in a simple

violet gown with black trim and a
few feathers in her hair, Ellis' second:
act aria was captivating. Her rich
tone made even the English transla-
tion sound poetic, though at a slight"
loss of comprehensibility, and her
comic acting skill provided some of
the most humorous moments of the7
performance. Her exasperated flail-
ings as two waiters struggled to re-
move her pretended painfully tight
boot made the humiliation of her
admirer a delightful romp. Along
with her lover Marcel, admirably
played by Scott Jussila, the two cap-
tured the fickle romance with tender
affection, playfully quarreling as
only true lovers can.
The expansive settings, provided
by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis,I
modestly created the four artists' di-
lapidated studio, the Latin Quarter
and toll gate pub. Its browns and1
grays entoned the whole stage with
the poverty of the struggling com-
panions. Veronica Wort's costumes
were beautifully worn and grungy.
Dark coats, scarves and hats pre-
sented a Bohemia full of Paris have-
nots during the wintery first half.
The last act was the strongest of
the four. The roommates jokingly
danced and fought with wild abandon
to provide a few moments of relief
before the severity of Mimi's illness
and ultimate death. But one of the
classic moments of all opera, when1
Musette gives her muff to Mimi toI

warmi her hands, unfortunately lacked
strength. Mully did not show us
enough of the muff in the second act
for -s to be truly moved by its reap-
pearance in the final moments of the
show. And the soft muff looked like
a limp sausage skin rather than the
impressive property that it is sup-
posed to be. With regrettably little
passion, the very end - as Mimi
falls dead on the tiny bed - was not
the tear-jerker that it should have
been.
-Jay Pekala
Buzzcocks go
steady
"What ever happened to?" ask the
Buzzcocks on the B-side of their first
single. What ever happened to the
Buzzcocks? A bunch of great sin-
gles, a bunch of solo careers, a long
slide into obscurity since 1981. A'
spontaneous re-combustion into ex-
istence in 1989. For the first time
ever, the Buzzcocks, one of the orig-
inal British punk bands, played in
Detroit, at a packed St. Andrew's
Hall on Friday night. The Buzzcocks
formed in 1975, but broke up in
1981, so us Americans only had six
years of catching up to do.
And what catching up! The Buz-
zcocks re-ignited all eight singles
from Singles Going Steady, plus
greats like "Boredom" and the song
they virtually carbon-copied from

said song, "Fast Cars." They jumped'
all around their career, getting as re--
cent as 1981's "You Say You Don'tt
Love Me." The audience participated
in this original blast of punk rock,
energy by slamming around and en-
gaging in the occasional stage-dive.
Contrary to the advertising, not
all the original members were pre:,
sent, as founding Buzzcock Howard'
Devoto was absent from the group,,
just like he's been since he left in
1976 to form Magazine. But Pete
Shelley's adenoidal staccato released
bittersweet cries for love on hits like
''Ever Fallen in Love'' while Stevex
Diggle's buzzing guitar drone
swarmed the pogo-ing audience.
Bassist Steve Garvey actively.
pranced around the stage as John
Maher, bespectacled in sunglasses
through the show, served as a punk
rock metronome, steadfast pounding
mixed with spastic bursts of energy.
Also present were some members of
the Misfits playing the roles of the
security, just to make sure none of
the slamming, dancing kids had too
much fun for their $16.
Besides Devoto, the only other
things missing were new songs,N
which leads one to believe that either
this will be the last time they visit a
Detroit or else they will. enter the4
Beach Boys/Who nostalgia vortex. 4
-Greg Baise

_,

Mimi, wN
Howeve
to Mull
the eme
first fei
scene in
able to
project
their en
tial in th
Forte
tious, c
come hi

-25
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Order of the Coif

IIT Chicago-Kent
College of Law

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Ie Taubman Programpresents.. .
Your Cover Letter
Can Sell You or Sink You
Jane Brown, Systems Consultant, AT & T

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In 1989, lIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
was elected to membership in the Order of
the Coif, the premier national legal honor
society. The College of Law joins the Uni-
versity of Chicago, the University of Illinois
and Northwestern University as the only law
schools in Illinois distinguished by Coif

Open House
11:00 a.m. -1:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 25, 1989
77 South Wacker Drive

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