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March 12, 1992 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-12

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - March 12, 1992-Page 5

Not your
smo kin'
by Mark Binelli
How do you know where I'm at
When you haven't been where I've
Understand where I'm coming from?
While you're off trying to help in
your big home,
I'm out here risking my dome,
Just for a bucket, or a fast ducat,
Just to stay alive,
Yo, I gotta say, 'Fuck it!'
Here is something you can't un-
How I could just kill a man
-Cypress Hill, "How I Could
Just Kill a Man"
"'Here is something you can't
understand' is directed at people
who never experienced life in the
ghetto," says DJ Mixmaster Muggs,
the backbone of LA's latest incendi-
ary rap export, Cypress Hill.
The group scored some recogni-
tion with "How I Could Just Kill a
Man," easily one of the most unsettl-
ing singles of 1991. A potent com-
bination of Muggs' haunting Shack-

Sisters are doin' it for themselves
C 'mon ladies, 'fess up - You're sick to death of your place in the rock
n' roll circus. Your boyfriends leave you in the back at shows, while
they get to go down front and have all the fun. And while you and your
girlfriends are having to endure mindless and sexist rantings from the
neanderthals on stage, you're being pawed at by drunken goons too
obliterated to watch the show.
On the rare occasion that you get to see a cool, all-female band, multiply
the above comments ten times. Guys clamoring to the front to check out the
"babes" on stage, and drunken goons drooling over you because they think
you look like the "babe" on stage.
Thankfully, cool girls (er, I mean women) everywhere are rejecting this
garbage, and have set out to prove that ladies can most definitely rock, and
still be sexy at the same time.
At the forefront of this movement are bands such as L7, Bikini Kill,
Bratmobile, and L.A.'s coolest export since Jane's Addiction, Hole.
Hole, led by the enigmatic Courtney Love, churn out abrasive, sonic,
downright scary rock 'n' roll. Anyone who says women can't rock A) Have
never heard Hole's brilliant Pretty On The Inside, and B) should stop taking
drugs. Courtney Love is so cool she even dragged America's #1 anti-hero,
Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, down the aisle last month in the indie-rock
wedding of the century. And if you saw Cobain sporting one of her dresses
on MTV's Headbanger's Ball recently, there's no doubt as to who wears the
pants in that house.
Also check out D.C.'s Bikini Kill, a band of revolutionaries that call for
women to claim their own piece of the rock pie. Their singer, way-hip
Kathleen Hanna, has even been known to shuck her T-shirt at shows as an
"up yours" to macho male posturing. (In an obvious show of support,
Madonna has been seen cavorting in the south of France sans top - see this
week's Enquirer for proof!)
So ladies, buy-a drum kit, steal your boyfriend's guitar, by any means
necessary, get out there and rip!
-Scott Sterling

Cypress Hill is (-r) Sen Dog, Mixmaster Muggs, and B-Real :Are they nasty mack dogs or just up in smoke?

er Movie keyboard samples, lead
rapper B-Real's nasally Cameo-style
vocals and back-up rapper Sen
Dog's Chuck D bellows, the song
was most notable for its decidedly
unglamorous portrait of urban vio-
"N.W.A.'s saying, 'Go out and
kill someone.' We don't say that,"
Muggs explains, although he is
quick to blast the hypocrisy of cen-
"The world's worse than what we
say it is," he fumes. "Elmer Fudd
can blow away Bugs Bunny. It's OK
to see Terminator, it's OK to show
Rambo holding a gun, but they had
to airbrush the gun out of the Juice
posters. It's OK to talk about war.

War's worse than anything we rap
The 22-year-old DJ moved from
Queens to Southgate, Los Angeles in
the mid-'80s, where he hooked up
with the rest of the band. While
growing up in NYC, Muggs says
that he was exposed to "music that
nobody else had" - particularly Old
School hip-hop such as the
Treacherous Three - through his
cousin, who was also a DJ.
Besides rap, Muggs' musical in-
fluences also include reggae and
"heavy rock 'n' roll" (read: dino-
rock), such as Led Zeppelin, Aero-
smith and the Eagles. "I'm used to
hearing guitars," he says.
But the Mixmaster's unique styl-

ings are what save many of the
tracks on the band's somewhat te-
dious debut album, Cypress Hill,
from total mediocrity. For instance,
the opening song, "Pigs" - a wa-
tered-down rip-off of "Fuck Tha'
Police" with truly uninspired lyrics
like "How about a ham sandwich?"
- transcends its banality only be-
cause of Muggs' ironically playful
sing-song bass line.
A similar technique is used on
the band's latest single,"Hand on
the Pump," which combines a chorus
of "Sawed-off shotgun / Hand on the
pump / Left hand on a 40 ..." with a
"Duke of Earl" sample.
See CYPRESS, Page 8

by Elizabeth Le

Setrakian bridges the Madonn


W hitley Setrakian was
Madonna's roommate here at
the University. After years of agoniz-
ing silence, thedancer/choreographer
is finally going totalkabout the expe-
rience in her performance this week-
end. There. I've said it.
Anyone who is familiar with
Setrakian's (whose combination of
dance, music, theater and writing can
only classify her as a performance
artist) reputation as on the cusp of

Ann Arbor's quirky creativity knows
of Setrakian's murky history with the
pop tart of the pop chart. However,
she has veiled this certainly extraor-
dinary period of her life in mystery.
When we humble members of the
press beseech of Setrakian, "Tell us
anything. What did she eat for break-
fast? OK, OK we know she's not a
real blond, but...," the director of
People Dancing has responded with a
cool, "No comment."
Why is she coming forward now?
"Mostpeople would rather do laun-

The Barber from the flip side
Each term, University students put on a series of plays such as the
upcomingThe Barber of Seville produced by a service organization
separate from the theatrical departments, called University Productions.
According to Rolfe Bergsman, technical director at the Power Center, "You
don't see an organization like University Productions, which serves as a
production organization for the various departments within the School of
,Music, anywhere else."
It is an innovative way to give students personal experience in a
classroom setting, providing them with instructors who are knowledgeable
about today's theater. "University Productions is here for the students to
produce shows, and give the students directed performance opportunities,"
says Mark Sullivan, production manager.
Operating under its own power, yet working in coordination with the
Theatre department, University Productions combines resources therefore
providing a bigger staff for production. This enables the Theatre department
to produce larger and higher quality shows.
Stephanie Smith, a stage manager for University Productions, says the
backstage aspect - coordinating sets, props, lights and costumes - is a
"good opportunity for hands-on experience, because theater is something
you have to do. You are given lots of responsibility up front."
More student involvement seems to be needed, however. Sullivan says
he'd like "to see University Productions expand into more of a training
situation ... get students involved in more areas, and see the students with
talent get more into management." Smith agrees, "More student support, in
terms of attendance and involovement," is necessary.
Smith likes University Productions which doesn't usually present shows
in the mainstream, often providing a rich storehouse of material with which
the students work. Rodgers and Hart, Shakespeare and Rossini are the
remaining artists on University Productions' guest list for this season's
feasting. The Barber of Seville will be presented at the end of the March by
the University Opera Theatre, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth
of Rossini. Thanks to the people out of the limelight, the devious barber can
carry out his work onstage.
-Nicole Baker

dry than go to a 'dance concert',"
Setrakian states. So she's luring stu-
dents with our lust for knowledge
about America'sfavorite material girl,.
in "Nine Months in a Room With
Madonna," the shortest of the
concert's seg-
ments. "This way
I could (answer
questions) on my
own terms,"
Setrakian also
The creation
of this piece rep-
resents one of
Setrakian's most
attractive quali-
ties as a per-
former. If she
wants to eat a
cracker as she's
carried across the
stage or do an in-
tricate dance as
she recites an in-
terpretation of the
Fool's Song from Setrakian
Twelfth Night,
she does. Setrakian blurs classic art
with a cynical look at 'real' life.
Though her ability to perform
could have been devastated by the
financial liabilities posed by the cuts
- several years of "planning grants"
were abruptly taken from her when
Engler swung the ax - Setrakian has
made revisions and gone on. Since
she cannot pay .the members of her
company People Dancing, she is go-
ing solo for this concert. But this isn't
a concession. "I had a lot of work to
put out and this was quickest, least
expensive way to do it." she says.
Back to thisperformance art thing.
While the term "dance concert," might
make you yawn, "performance art"

a gap
sets most shaking in their shoes. What
can we expect from Setrakian's vari-
ety? Simple.
In an excerpt from the epic piece
"Lobster Dinner at Gramsy's"
Setrakian's alter ego, named Eliza-
beth Bausnay,
will explain abit
of civil engineer-
ing - lobster-
won't do all the
work. Comepre-
pared to partici-
pate - you get
to ask the ques-
tions about Ma-
donna. "Mary's
Answer" will
feature the origi-
nalmusic ofBen
Miller and his
band GKW
(who will per-
form Friday and
Saturday after
Setrakian is
This will be performance in the
most thorough and wacky sense of the
word. Music, drama and the
choreographer's riveting signature
style will be seen and enjoyed by her
loyal followers.
a concert ofsolo works at the Perfor-
mance Network tonight through Sat-
urday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
(with a possible 6:30 show as well).
Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors and
students and can be purchased at the
Michigan Theater or at the door. Call
663-0681 for more information.


Yakov Smirnoff, straight up in a shotglass
Not to be confused with the eponymous vodka, this naturalized American
citizen/comedian calls himself a "Russian Ricky Ricardo." He doesn't play
the bongos, but Smirnoff has a flair for making his ethnicity part of his
shtick just like Desi Arnaz did.
Now boasting a Hollywood mansion, Smirnoff used to call an efficiency
apartment home for himself and his parents (and his pun chline to that story
goes, "I guess that's why I'm an only child."). Smirnoff also had to wait for
other services most Americans take for granted, such as phone installation
and his own car.
He takes dismal situations such as his childhood and emigration to the
US, and compares them to the American way of life. This outlook is typified
by the memorable Miller Lite advertisements of the mid-'80s, "In America,
you can always find a party," he said, surrounded by California types and
cold brews, "in Russia, the Party always finds you."
Smirnoff will be performing tonight and Friday at the Mainstreet Comedy
Showcase, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $22.50; call 998-9080 for more
information. After these dates, Smirnoff will be traveling to the former
Soviet Union to deliver supplies for relief as an Ambassador of Goodwill.
Far cry from What a Country! and a supporting role in Moscow on the
-Diane Frieder?

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East Quad's Women's Weekend
'Women in the Arts"
March 12-15
Thursday March 12
-"Thelma and Louise" 7 pm. Discussion to follow.
Friday March 13

04 gtc'
the 8 LC 0rtet s t

a program connecting the Congolese and
Afrikan-American cultures through
song, dance and musici
Directed by Biza Sompa

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Saturday, March 14, 1992 - 8:00pm


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