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September 27, 1991 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-27

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The Michigan Daily,

Friday, September 27, 1991

Page 8

As PC as they wanna be

by Kim Yaged

G retchen Philips plus Kathy
Korniloff plus Pam Barger plus
Meg Hentges equals Two Nice
Girls. There's no point in saying
who plays what because they all do
everything. Their music (folk, rock,
country, alternative, blues...) is as
diverse as the instruments they play,
creating a sound too original to be
confined to a label.
One might want to say that
Philips, founder and frequent
spokesperson for the eclectic band,
is the leader of the pack, but she is
quick to bury that allegation.
Speaking in terse interjections of
"oh yeah" and "sure," she still
manages to demand the utmost re-
spect in just a few words.
Two Nice Girls is definitely and
consciously an all-women thing. "I
life the feeling of going, 'It's all
women making that music that I'm
listening to.' Unfortunately, in this
world, because there's not much
(all-woman music), it matters,"
Philips explains. "Anyway, I want
to be able to play at women's music
The band does celebrate woman-
hood and lesbianism, but don't be
misled - they're not man-haters.
On the contrary, Philips would like
to see the "cultural constraints" on
men abolished along with those on

The fourmembem of
Two Nice Girls have
neverbeen banned,
but they're still cool

women. "We're man-lovers," she
says. With the band's song "Man
Love" being one case in point,
Philips supports a complete conver-
sion to open-mindedness.
"Homophobia is such a horrible
thing in this culture," she says.
"It's allowing for the ridiculous
things going on around AIDS, just a
lack of governmental support, a lack
of people caring about other people,
because what they would have to be
concerning themselves with is
queers. Now, if they had a little
queer in their past themselves,
maybe they'd be a little more under-
So they're feminists who call
themselves girls, and there are four
of them. The "Girls" portion of the
name comes from a band they esteem
called Girls in the Nose, and the
"Two" comes from a band that has

fallen from Philips' grace, Five
Happy Guys, who changed their
name to Happiness Crew upon the
addition of a sixth member. "[It]
pissed me off because Five Happy
Guys was a much better name than
Happiness Crew," explains Philips.
"I mean, you get a name, stick with
the fucking name." (One might infer
from these comments that the Two
Nice Girls appellation is here for
the duration.)
Two Nice Girls is about "self-
expression, self-respect and a push
to have a lot of fun," Philips con-
tinues. "There are a lot of things to
celebrate. There's a lot of things to
bitch about."
Philips finds herself in a rather
unique position in that she has de-
veloped an uncompromising faith
and trust in herself as a performer
and a woman, something which all

of us should probably strive for.
Philips prescribes the following
self-congratulatory remedy for ev-
eryone: "I'd like to tell [everyone]
to respect themselves... I feel like
when you get in touch with your
own humanity, then it opens up your
view of everyone else and their hu-
manity, but I think it has to start
with self-respect.
Philips and the Girls are as open-
minded in their performances as
they are in their politics. "You get
more of a sense of us in a live per-
formance then on record, because
there's just a lot more personality
being exuded live," she says. "I give
the audience credit for their own
feelings. I'm not gonna guide them
through it.... I don't make up rules
about performance at all. It's a
fuckin' free-for-all as far as I'm con-
cerned... I try to go for the fun al-
As a final note, Philips adds
(through a grin, completely intend-
ing the pun), "For a good time,
See TWO NICE GIRLS at the Ark
this Saturday and Sunday. To-
morrow's shows are at 7:30 p.m.
and 10 p.m., and Sunday's is at 7:30
p.m. only. Tickets are $12.50 at
TicketMaster (p.e.s.c.).


Paul Hillier joins Academy of Early Music

by Liz Patton

Paul Hillier, conductor and bari-
tone singer, comes to Ann Arbor
this weekend for more than just a
concert. Saturday, in what amounts
to a master class for the Academy of
Early Music, Hillier will work
with the Ann Arbor Boychoir, Our
Lady's Madrigal Singers and the
Academy of Early Music Choir.
The program includes madrigals,
motets and sacred works of the
English Renaissance. Sunday, Hil-
lier will sing with the Academy
choir in an evening of English and
French Baroque music, including
Purcell's Funeral Sentences and
"Welcome to all Pleasures," one of
the Odes to St. Cecilia. French music
featured includes Campra's cantata
entitled Les Femmes and Char-
pentier's Christmas oratorio In
Nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu

Christi Canticum.
Hillier's interests have shifted
from performing and voice instruc-
tion to choral conducting. Never-
theless, after several days of re-
hearsing as a conductor with the
other musical groups, his own vocal
performance on Sunday provides a
focal point for the weekend. "It's
nice to feel that one isn't just com-
ing to do that," he said. "It's a bit
more than come in, rehearse, per-
form, go away."
More than instructing the vari-
ous groups in rehearsal', Hillier will
share his experience with them. "I
don't believe in imposing an inter-
pretation on a group of people," he
said, "but rather finding out what
the group and myself have to say to-
gether. It's a little bit pointless to
come there and say, 'No, that's com-
pletely wrong, do it like this.' There
has to be an artistic meeting of

essary. Ultimately! One really
never gets that far."
Hillier has left the Hilliard en-
semble, the group whose success
brought him fame as its leader. "I'd
been there nearly sixteen years - it
was time for a change," he said. "I
felt that we were beginning to re-
peat ourselves, treading water a lit-
tle bit. I couldn't do the kinds of
new repertoire I wanted to do."
Although he's here as an expert
in early music, Hillier avoids being
pinned down as a specialist in any
one period. "I like to perform the
music that I like to perform," he
said bluntly. Indeed, Hillier's expe-
rience ranges from Medieval and Re-
naissance music to 19th-century
songs, though his current interest is
mainly in contemporary music.
Hillier has had a number of

"But... ultimately, the conduc-
tor's job is to make himself unnec-

Checking out one of the works of artist Gerome Kamrowski are 0-r)
Kamrowski himself, Maya Savarino and, yep, CNN's own Ray Tanter.
Collection displays
collage of creations
by Diane Frieden
There's an alligator guarding the door at the Alice Simsar Gallery.
Created by the internationally known avant-garde artist Gerome
Kamrowski, the beast is constructed of neon-painted wood, with sharp
glass tiles as teeth and scales. The whimsical sculpture is just one part of;
the mosaic menagerie, but all of the works exhibited in Gerome
Kamrowski: Recent Mosaics and Sculpture suggest that an abstract,
almost surreal zoo has taken residence.
The other artistic taxidermy is just as humorous. An oversized hornet
perches on a pedestal, its multi-winged body shimmering, the glass and
tile reflecting the light like a real insect's own iridescence. What looks
like a fuchsia cat sits on the gallery receptionist's desk, eyeing the word
processor. Other colorful, fanciful and exaggerated creatures are
displayed around the gallery. Kamrowski incorporates many elements of
pure expressionism (seen in the candy colors) and surrealism (his
principal influence) in his sculptures. What makes his work so intense,
however, is its inner movement: each figure seems poised, ready for
The framed mosaics offer a more tranquil feeling. Jackson Pollack,
one of Kamrowski's contemporaries, "freed" the line from it's property
of continuity with his paint-spattered canvases. So too does Kamrowski
set the line loose in some of his larger inlaid works. The wall-sized
sextych combines some of the animal motifs seen in the sculpture, but
the mood of attack is not as predominant. Some of the creatures blend
into the background; where one stops and another begins largely depends
on the clever placement of differently-shaded tiles.
Some of the smaller works portray the animal theme with more
recognizable forms, such as an ornate dove or a crab, but no greater detail
is used. The size of the tiles remains the same, in fragments roughly no
smaller than a half-inch and no larger than an inch. But even within this
standardized self-constraint, Kamrowski has fun with the medium. The
dove is pieced in gold tile, elevating it to peaceful status (all that's
missing here is the olive branch), and the crab's body is mother-of-pearl,
bringing to mind the sea from whence it came.
The show is small, but it explodes with color and light, a perfect
respite from from the drab-skied winter weather.
on display at the Alice Simsar Gallery, 301 N. Main St., through
November 9. There will be an open reception for the artist today from 5
to 7 p.m. For more information call 665-4883.


See HILLIER, Page 10

Sunday, October 20 4pm
Hill Auditorium

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The University of Michigan

a benefit for the Indus Medical Foundation

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Tue. Oct. 1
Fri. Oct. 4

University Symphony Orchestra
Gustav Meier, conductor
Mozart- Symphony no. 41 (Jupiter)
Hoist: The Planets
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Guest Artist Recital
Ellen Rose, viola and
Katherine Collier, piano
Boccherini: Sonata in A
de Falla: Suite Populaire Espagnole
Clarke: Sonata
Brouwer. Two Pieces
Enesco: Concertpiece
School of Music Recital Hall, 8 p.m.


- .1 .. I f P f m p -I- - - n-1-- r

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