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February 02, 1990 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-02

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 2, 1990






giddy this ultra-violence
This Friday two films about violence are playing at the MLB. One is
about the violence and destruction a man causes to those around him in his
search for total control; the other is about the violence a society causes to a
man when it tries to control him. Each film is a masterpiece in its own
Raging Bull, with a trouble-plagued production and a bloated budget, is
still one of Martin Scorsese's best films. It is about the rise, fall, and
eventual degradation of Jake Lamotta, champion boxer, wife-beater, and
general jerk. With an amazing performance by Robert DeNiro (who gained
60 pounds for the concluding segment, in order to simulate Lamotta's
pathetic slide into obesity), the film parallels Lamotta's fall because of his
totalitarianism and Scorsese's rise because of his totalitarianism. Still
appearing on top-10 lists all over the place, the film's place in history is
assured by its great production values and wonderful slow-motion spitting
A Clockwork Orange, one of the classic "cult" films because of its
misunderstood message, is one of Stanley Kubrick's best anti-authoritarian
films and one of the best films in existence. A black comedy based on the
(much inferior) Anthony Burgess novel, it concerns the incarceration and
brainwashing of Alex, a young rebel, by a desperate lame duck British
government. Kubrick's use of color, movement, and subtle visual humor is'
some of the best of his career and Malcolm McDowell's performance was
probably the best of his. More important now than it has been in many
years - with our impotent government stabbing at drugs as a means to
control the population - the film still has all of the punch (and judy) it had
in 1971.
Both are showing at 7 p.m. and at 9:30 p.m. and both are $2.50. Raging
Bull (presented by.the Cinema Guild) is at MLB4 and A Clockwork Orange
(presented by the Ann Arbor Film Co-op) is in MLB3.

Bluesologist Gil Scott-Heron brings a beat to town

IF you're reading this, in all likeli-
hood, you're part of a nationwide in-
stitution that at best pays lip service
to, but more often refuses to ac-
knowledge, the beauty and validity
of African American culture. This
tradition that extends back to the
dawn of humanity is more funda-
mental to conceptions of ourselves
as Americans than any Homeric
epic, yet is virtually ignored by
American educators. Whatever is
taught is the result of the weighty
guilt of cultural imperialism, not of
admiration. For a true lesson in
bluesology, where the audience is
treated with respect, not condescen-
sion, it is necessary to go straight to
the source.
Gil Scott-Heron is the founding
father of bluesology, a science that
traces the roots of that peculiar phe-
nomenon known as the blues. In his
experiments, Scott-Heron combines
two forms of uniquely Black expres-
sion that have, more than anything
else, shaped 20th century American
culture: reconstructed language and
rhythmic communication.
Since "The Dozens," an antebel-
lum game that emphasized verbal
skill and creativity, African Ameri-
can verbal expression has always at-
tempted to make an archaic language
relevant to Black experiences
through figurative twists and rhyth-
mic subtleties. Scott-Heron does the
same thing in his poetry. There are
no incantations to Greek gods or
urns, only painfully blunt images:
"The man just upped the rent last
night cause whitey's on the moon/
No hot water, no toilet, no lights,
but whitey's on the moon," "Green
Acres, Beverly Hillbillies, and
Hooterville Junction will no longer

be so damned relevant/ Women will
not care if Dick finally got with Jane
on Search for Tomorrow) Because
Black people will be in the streets
looking for a brighter day/ The revo-
lution will not be televised," and
"Re-Ron/ Nostalgia gets stoned/
Mom and apple pie/ And no place
like home."
Scott-Heron's use of language
parallels the historic caucasian fear
of rhythm. From the slavery-era ban
of the talking drum to the rock 'n'

Since "The Dozens,"
an antebellum game
that emphasized
verbal skill and
creativity, African
American verbal
expression has
always attempted to
make an archaic
language relevant to
Black experiences
through figurative
twists and rhythmic
subtleties. Scott-
Heron does the same
thing in his poetry.

-Mike Kuniavsky


Gil Scott-Heron will suspend the normal state of things at the Ark
tomorrow night with his biting social critique and intensely rhythmic


Minnesota's St. Olaf Choir
showcases young and old

FEW performances dazzle more
than those given by young musical
talents - except those performances
The Baker-Mandela Center is
sponsoring a performance by Mem-
bers of the Alvin Ailey Dance
Troupe this Friday at 8 p.m. in
Studio A of the Dance Building,
connected to CCRB. It's a celebra-
tion of African American dance, and
a good way to start out Black His-
tory Month. Admission is $5.
Boston-based Voice of the Tur-
tle bring the folk music of the
Sephardim - the Jews of Spain and
Portugal - to Hillel tomorrow
night. The performance begins at 8
p.m. in Green Auditorium, and tick-
ets are $15, $8 for students and se-

given by musicians whose talent has
been enhanced by time and experi-
ence. With a careful blend of youth
and tradition, the St. Olaf Choir
from Northfield, Minnesota contin-
ues to set a superior standard in a
cappella singing on an international
level. Now, a little closer to home,
they will perform this Saturday at
Hill Auditorium with Kenneth Jen-
nings, their conductor of 22 years.
The group, during its rich his-
tory, has performed in all the choir
"hot spots," like the Sistine Chapel,
Strausbourg International Music
Festival in France, and the Vatican.
Some other gigs in not-so-traditional
settings include the 1988 Seoul
Summer Olympic games and a 1986
tour of the Far East.
Saturday's performance marks the
final concert tour Jennings will
make with the Choir.
The ST. OLAF CHOIR concert be-
gins at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Hill
Auditorium. Student Rush tickets
are $5 and can be purchased from
the UMS ticket office today or to-
morrow, or at the door.

roll age indignance over the "jungle
beat," whites have feared both the
martial and liberating aspects of
African rhythms. With the menacing
congas in "Whitey on the Moon" or
the punishing bass line in "'B'
Movie," the percussive quality of
Scott-Heron's music evokes Custer's
last stand or Nat Turner's rebellion.

At other times, though, his music
can be affirming and celebratory, like
the classic "Johannesburg," based on
the indestructible beat of Soweto.
Bluesology is more than a
science. It is, as Albert Murray says,
a purification ritual in which the
devils, demons, and imps that cause
the blues are exorcised, if only for a

moment. A knowledge of history
isn't a prerequisite because "the
rhythms, the rhythms" make it
painfully clear who those demons
GIL SCOTT-HERON is performing
tomorrow at 8 and 10:30 p.m. at the
Ark, 637 1/2 S. Main. Both shows
are sold out.

Continued from page 7
their influences are wide and varied,
from classical to jazz, from hard rock
to heavy metal. They add jokingly
that God and Bach are their two
biggest influences.
To Jon and Dave, the object of
their music is for people to have
"good times, excitement and some
drinks." The highlight of their career
so far is when they played at a
Kappa Sigma fraternity party. As
Kimo describes, "They hated us. At

the end they were pecing out their
windows. They took the keg up-
stairs, but we invited some of our
friends over and had a really good
time. We were loud there, and we
sounded really good."
Kimo says their hometown is
"any place where people are friendly
to rock." More specifically, Dave
says, "But our hometown Ann Arbor
crowd, you know, you just can't
beat 'em."
As for new material, they plan to
"unleash the 'Power of the Triad"' at
their show at Club Heidelberg,
which they affectionately call "Club
Hamburger," on Saturday. This is a
sequence of three brand new songs
that are interrelated. Also, they are
releasing a new seven-inch record

that should be available in a few
The band members say their goal
is to entertain. Kimo says, "It's
about everyone just jammin' to-
gether." Dave describes them as
"rockin' hard without the attitude."
Jon agrees: "Too cool is too bor-


M L TRIFFID will be appearing at
Club Heidelberg on Saturday. The*
show begins around 10 p.m. The
members of the band would like to
extend the heartiest of hellos to
Jon's grandmother.



February 1990

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February 1, 2, 4
East Quad Multicultural Festival
R. C. Auditorium
Feb. 1: Jazz Night, 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 2: Gospel Performance, 7:00 p.m. Refreshments
Feb. 4: Multi-cultural Taste Fest, 3:00 p.m. Speaker to be
February 2
"Sojourner Truth"
A performance at Calvin College, Grand Rapids
featuring Sylvia Pittman, Oxford R. D.
Van will leave at 6:30 p.m.
Call Ed Sundareson for details 764-7920
February 5
African Dance Workshop
Couzens, 8:30 - 9:30 p.m.
February 8
The "Dred Scott Decision"
Speaker Judge Myron Wahis
Michigan Court of Appeals
South Ouad, Ambatana Lounge 7 - 9 p.m.
February 10
Bursley Talent Show
Bursley West Cafeteria, 7 - 9 p.m.
Quiet Storm Dance
South Quad Cafeteria, 10 p.m.

February 20
Black History Dinners
Stockwell, 4:45 - 6:30 p.m. & East Quad, 4:30 p.m.
February 22
Black History Dinner
West Quad, 4:15 - 7:30 p.m.
Black History Dinners
Alice Lloyd 4:30 - 6:15 p.m. & Betsey Barbour 5:00-6:00
February 25
Tour to Detroit African Art Museum
Mosher Jordan, 10:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Information: Karen Mines 764-2060
Rededication of Angela Davis Lounge
Leroy Williams, Director of Housing Information, speaker
Markley Hall 4:00 p.m.
February 27
Black History Dinner
Couzens, 4:30 - 6:15 p.m.
Sponsored by Housing Special Programs,
Residence Hal Governments, Lbraries, and Minority Councils
February 1
Beyond the Dream II: A Celebration of Black History
1-3 p.m. in the folowing locations:
Kellogg Auditorium in the Dental School, Chrysler
Auditorium, Regents' Room in the Fleming Building
Sponsored by the Office of Minority Affairs
Black Filmmakers Series
Feb. 2: "Kiler of Sheep" (1977) by Charles Burnett
Feb. 9: "Making "Do the Right Thing' " (1989) and Langston
Hughes, The Dream Keeper" 1988 by St. Clair Boume
Feb. 16: "Suzanne Suzanne" (1987) and "Older Women
and Love" (1987) by Camille Bilops
Feb. 23: "...But then, She's Betty Carter (1980) and

The Black Filmmakers Series
Sponsored by
The Program in Film & Video Studies, the Center for Afro-American and African Studies, and the
King/Chavez/Parks Visiting Professors Program present
Charles Burnett
Los Angeles-based independent filmmaker; screenwriter; and director of photography; recipient of
Guggenheim, NEA, and Rockefeller grants; and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, who will be
present at the screening of his film
Killer of Sheep (1977)
Friday, February 2
7:00 pm
Lorch Hall Auditorium
Admission is Free
"Only minutes into this beautiful and anguished documentary-like fiction film, you realize you are
watching the work of a true poet, a man who understands the rich resources of his medium."
-Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times

414t 9welcomes
Wednesday, Feb. 21
Power Center

The performers, who are influenced
by a global array of musical and cul-
tural styles, translate classical jazz
pieces to the quartet format - a skill

Thursday, March 22

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