The Michigan Daily -Tuesday, September 14, 1993 - 9
Forget Seattle and just head to the South
By KRISTEN KNUDSEN
No one has ever agreed with my
taste in music.
So over the summer I went way out
on a limb.
Hip-hop has claimed jazz as one of its strongest influences ever since its formative
stages. Recently, a fusion of the two genres has become one of the most powerful
and innovative forces in popular music. Arguably, the most accomplished example
yet of jazz-hip-hop is Guru's Jazzmatazz, an ensemble of hip-hop and jazz musicians
assembled by the former leader of Gang Starr. Where such groups as Digable
Planets use be-bop trumpet and sax breaks as flavor on their songs, Jazzmatazz is
deeply rooted in the actual style and structure of classic be-bop and swing yet it's
also grounded by hard funk, giving it street credibility. Guru recorded the album with
such respected jazz musicians as Roy Ayers, Courtney Pine, Branford Marsalis and
Donald Byrd; on tour the collective features Byrd, Solsonics and Gumbo. Make sure
to catch Jazzmatazz's performance at Gallup Park on Saturday as part of the Ann
Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival - it should be spectacular. Tickets for the Festival are
available at all TicketMaster outlets; tickets can be purchased individually or as a
package (admission is $12.50 per day, $20.00 for both Saturday and Sunday;
student tickets are $10.00 per day, $15.00 for both days).
I went to the country.
I didn't do it on purpose; it just sort
of happened that way. And with the
virtual disappearance of my kind of
music - the melodic, chorus-heavy
sounds of the '80s' premier hard rock
bands - there was nowhere to turn.
So, fed up with grunge and not im-
pressed with rap, I turned on VH-1.And
there, on the country music countdown,
I saw avideoby Radney Foster, apreppy-
looking guy with wire-rimmed glasses
strumming his guitar and singing a song
called "Nobody Wins."
So I started thinking - and contin-
ued watching. I remembered the Garth
Brooks song, "Friends in Low Places,"
which I had liked in the past. Then
another video called "Blame it on Your
Heart" by Patty Loveless started play-
With the chorus: "Blame it on your
lyin', cheatin', cold, deadbeatin', two-
timin', double-dealin', mean,
mistreatin', lovin'heart," Iwas hooked.
A catchy tune and a bit of an exercise in
memory to boot. To hell with Top 40's
techno-rhythms and alternative's unin-
I instead chose Detroit's W4, 106.7
FM, the all-country radio station, and
WYCD 99.5, the new "Young Coun-
And I wasn't the only one. Soon this
new breed of country music was pop-
ping up everywhere. Country charts
were suddenly posted in all the record
stores, country music began playing in
various clothing stores in the mall, there
was even a cable channel called Coun-
try Music Television (CMT) with 24
hours of country music videos.
It soon became clear that Nashville
had the melody that Seattle had taken
After purchasing the Radney Foster
tape and the Patty Loveless single, I
heard a song called "Unanswered
Prayers" on theradio. And-hallelujah
- for once the artist was named at the
end. It was Garth Brooks. The man has
sold more records than any other musi-
cian this decade, but before this mo-
ment I never knew why.
So I went Garth Brooks CD shop-
ping. I had to have that song. Soon I
discovered that it was on the same al-
bum as "Friends in Low Places," which
I had already taped from a friend years
ago (and then filed under "B" in my
bottomless pit of cassettes). But, throw-
ing thriftiness to the wind, and ignoring
the ever-so-slightly-raised eyebrows of
the record store cashier, I bought the
CD. And for the first time really listened
to it. And realized what I'd been miss-
After that it snowballed. Orhayballed
if you will. I discovered Trisha
Yearwood, Doug Stone, Sammy
Kershaw, Collin Raye, Toby Keith,
TanyaTucker and Lorrie Morgan. Even
theotherwise-laughable Billy Ray Cyrus
had some catchy tunes (other than "Achy
Breaky Heart," of course).
This wasn't my father's country
music - and I had unknowingly been
Country music isn't as "out there" as you might initially guess. Just ask our friend, Reba McEntire.
Have you ever wondered what the
full version of "Hail to the Victors!"
sounds like? Well now you can find
out! The Women's Glee Club is audi-
tioning for new members. They sing
all types of music, including baroque,
classical, jazz and (yes, that's right)
Michigan songs. Plus you'll meet lots
of cool people. Women of all vocal
types are welcome. Come to the Mass
Meeting at 6 p.m. in the MLB Lecture
Room One, with auditions immedi-
ately following. (Don'tworry, you don't
need to prepare any music.)
Two Reasons To Trek
Out to North Campus
If you wanted a reason to ride the
ever-exciting North Campus bus, to
hang out at the bus stop with all the
other poor souls who wait for the big
blue mobile to take them away from
the hustle and bustle of central campus
life, now you have one. A Mexican
Folk Art Exhibit, with paintings, cos-
tumes, and Hispanic artifacts by Lucy
Gajec and Vera Hernandez will be dis-
played in the NCC Atrium as a part of
Hispanic Heritage Month. And, if that's
not enough, local artist Lori Fithian's
in the NCC Gallery.
Art in the Park
Well, not in a real park, but in a
place near which one could park if so
inclined. The Michigan Union Art
Lounge hosts the 25th Anniversary
Exhibit from the Tenants' Union. The
exhibit is a collection of posters and
other items from the past quarter cen-
tury. Now through Monday.
Wait, there's one more reason to go
toNorth Campus. Classes, and notjust
your run-of-the-mill Boring 353 lec-
ture. Origami, yoga, gardening, etc.,
etc. Sign up at the North Campus
Common'sAdministration Office now
through September 30th for Uncom-
mon Courses, six week mini courses in
everything but psych, English and Poli
Another Talk Show
Yesterday marked the beginning of
yet another talk show, "The Bertice
Berry Show." This new show based in
Chicago will emphasize issues not trash
and is worth checking out. The host is
Bertice Berry who has a PhD. in soci-
ology and has toured the country as a
stand up comic. It will air at 3 p.m. on
WJBK Channel 2 in Detroit. It prom-
ises lots of laughs and serious topics.
listening to its copycats for years al-
ready. Where did I think the steel horse
Bon Jovi rode, Poison's penchant for
cowboy hats, John Mellencamp's little
ditties, or forthatmatter Jimmy Buffett's
sorrow-filled Margaritas have come
from? They grew out of the country.
And the real thing was even better.
It wasn't the depressing stuff people
had always described, dramatizing woes
and hopelessness. What ballad in any
genre doesn't dwell on heartbreak? The
country songs were fun in spite of any
sadness because of the wordplays and
clever ways of saying things.
InRebaMcEntire's"It's Your Call,"
the chorus takes on -i obvious but
Soon this new breed of
country music was
popping up everywhere.
Country charts were
suddenly posted in all the
record stores, country
music began playing in
various clothing stores In
the mall, there was even a
cable channel called
Country Music Television
(CMT) with 24 hours of
country music videos.
rarely-used double meaning when
Reba's boyfriend gets a phone call from
the Other Woman. She's hangin' on and
so am I, Reba sings. Get the phone;
make a choice.
Or Doug Stone's "Why Didn't I
Think of That?" He says he needs her,
tells her he loves her, why didn't I think
I .~ - U
of that, Doug regrets.
Or another song by John Michael
Montgomery, which describes notheart-
break but its effects: I ain't nothin' but
"Beer and Bones."
Country music is by no stretch tech-
nically-brilliant. Speed guitarshave their
place in pure awe inspiration; and com-
puter-generated samplings make great
music to dance to. But, tome, for simple
listening pleasure, country's the place
Don't worry, I'm not line-dancing
yet. (Perish the thought). But, hey, just
give me some time - at this point
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