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October 29, 1993 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-29

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When Jone

For a man who has one of the most recogniz-
able voices in the country, James Earl Jones sure
doesn't make a fuss about it. In fact, this Univer-
sity alum is very relaxed about his fame. The fact
that he is recognized by his voice doesn't seem to
hase him.
"Recognizing has to do with somebody else. I
have no idea what it is to be recognized; that is
somebody else's job. My subjective point of view
is that it is so wonderful. It's the wonder of the
language that impresses people," he said during a
phone interview.
Jones has enjoyed a long and distinguished
career in both theater and film. Now after some
coaxing from the people closest to him, he has
written a book chronicling his life. The book,
entitled "James Earl Jones: Voices and Silences,"
.alks about the various stages, both literally and
figuratively, in his life.
Many people may not know that as a child
lones was basically a mute because of a stuttering
problem he had. It wasn't until a teacher forced
him to recite a poem he had written that Jones
began to speak again. He still will not give speeches
for which he does not have time to prepare.
Jones grew up living with his grandparents
with periodic encounters with his mother. It wasn't
until much later in his life that he began a relation-
ship with his father, who was an actor also. He
moved to a small town in Michigan near Manistee
from the family homestead in Mississippi.
Coming to the University was a major step for

s speaks, people listen
Jones. He said he was very proud to walk off the in great detail throughout his book.
farm and onto a major university. "It was sure big Despite the many years he worked profession-
enough," he said. "You're talking about a really ally in the theater, he did not achieve fame status
little frog in a very big pond. But it was also very until his role in "The Great White Hope." He
exciting." eventually recreated the roleof boxer Jack Johnson
After an attempt to become a doctor, Jones in the film version. But Jones said that surpris-
joined the theater program. While on campus ingly his fame came from the stage version origi-
Jones was a member of ROTC, lived in West nally produced in Washington at the Arena Stage.
Quad and performed in several University pro- Since this time he has been offered many roles,
ductions. But due to the threat of leaving for the including the movie roles most people remember
Korean War, Jones didn't take his finals. The war him from. According to Jones, he has enjoyed the
ended before he was called to duty so he came chance to come to Hollywood late. Currently, he
'To presume that you have doesn't do that much theater because of the time
it would require him to be away from his 10-year-
something to tell and people old son. Jones' plans for returning to the theater
want to listen Is an exercise in are open ended.
"Ifacting were outlawed tomorrow, I wouldn't
frivolity.' miss it that much," he said. "But until it's out-
James Earl Jones lawed, I'm going to enjoy it."
Throughout his book, Jones writes about the
major events which have shaped his life. It is clear
back and completed his degree. in the end how important his acting life has been
His career began at a theater in Manistee. He to him. But it is not a book about his success orhis
described this as his apprentice stage. ability, rather it is about what each experience has
"That (starting in theater) seemed automatic," taught him and changed him.
he said. "I did not have the wherewithal, including "I don't think of my life as really relevant. To
the imagination, to come directly to Hollywood. I presume that you have something to tell and
believe that every career has a journeyman period people want to listen is an exercise in frivolity."


that is essential to getting started."
He worked in the theater for several years,
experimenting with different roles. One of his
first breaks was the Shakespeare festival in Cen-
tral Park. He talks about his most memorable roles

JAMES EARL JONES will readfom his new
book at 7:30 p.m. October 29 in the Modemn
Languages Building Auditorium 3. He will sign
copies of his book after the reading. Admission
is free.

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e 1' "' t i i

This Sunday, thousands of ghosts, Sympho
witches, ballerinas and Elvises will the Phill
trick or treat atj-ill Auditorium. And Percussi
what a satisfying treat they should perform;
get. The School of Music will present cert idea
its Annual Halloween Concert of cos- puses ac
tumed orchestra members, invisible TheF
conductors and haunting music. to people
Conceived by Conductor Gustav sic as we
Meier more than a decade ago, this because
tradition has become so popular in David T
Ann Arbor that tickets now costmoney describe
(providing scholarships for School of piece wi
Music students): Furthermore, since itself we
last year's tickets sold out in one ter and a

._.. T _

annual Halloween Concert sweeter th

g, this year the University
ny Orchestra combined with
harmonia Orchestra, and the
on ensemble will present two
ances. The Halloween Con-
has spread to college cam-
ross the country.
Halloween Concert appeals
e unexposed to classical mu-
ell as people familiar with it
of the theatrical element.
ang, one of the conductors,
d how program music, or a
th a thematic storyline, lends
1l to the creation of a charac-
corresponding skit. For ex-

ample, a traditional part of the Hal-
loween Concert repertoire is an en-
The Halloween Concert
appeals to people
unexposed to classical
music as well as
people familiar with it
because of the
theatrical element.
actment of Berlioz's "Symphonie
Fantastique: March to the Scaffold,"
which portrays a character's fantasy

of being killed for murdering his love
obsession. Some of the selections to
be performed by the talented en-
sembles include Khachaturian's "Sa-
bre Dance," Saint-Saens "Danse Ma-
cabre," Grieg's "In the Hall of the
Mountain King" and Wagner's "Ride
of the Valkyries."
One doesn't need to know the the-
matic link between the costumed con-
ductor and the program music to en-
joy the concert. Each section of the
orchestra dresses in costumes encom-
passing a theme, like Madonna and
her male dancers who 'vogued' in a
previous concert. These musicians live

'Surreal Animation' just mostly offensive

"Surreal" is a pretty amorphic
word to apply to this collection of so-
called 'classic' animated cartoons.
The "Surreal Animation Festival,"
showing this weekend at the Michi-
gan Theater, is a gaggle of old black
and white shorts with a few Merrie
Melodies thrown in for good mea-
sure. All of the 'toons have something
to do with the supernatural, but that's
the only thin thread holding them
The shorts are arranged from old-
est to newest, starting out with a col-
orful piece called "Bottles" about an
alchemist who dreams he is shrunken

and set loose among his suddenly
anthropomorphosized bottle collec-
Then comes a Betty Boop car-
toon called "I Heard," and if you
thought all Boop had in common with
Madonna was an occasionally annoy-
ing voice, you've missed all the excit-
ing times Boop has shed her clothes.
A true black and white classic is
"Sure-Locked Homes," starring that
hero of heroes, Felix the Cat. Felix is
tormented by shadow creatures, and
proves to be the ultimate vigilante
when he whips out a gun and starts
blowing away every shadow in sight.
The biggest problem with the fes-

tival, and with older cartoons in gen-
eral, is the tremendous amount of
racism evident in their subject matter.
Porky the Pig, on vacation in the desert
in "Jumpin' Jupiter" meets an alien
and thinks it's merely "a pesky n-
navajo," telling the green monstros-
ity "w-we'll look at your blankets and
beads in the morning."
Particular insulting is the cartoon
"Jerry Turkey" in which a Native
American holds up a sign reading
"Half-breed" and then turns to show
that his body is split down the middle
- a caricature of a Native American
on one side, a white man in a suit on
the other.
And for those who thought that
the recent Disney film "Aladdin" was
an insult to persons of Middle Eastern
descent, the short "Coo Coo the Ma-
gician" proves itself even more of-
fensive in its depiction of greasy over-
weight pashas kidnapping white

There area few worthwhile 'toons
in the bunch, however, especially
"Birdy and the Beast," practically the
only Tweety cartoon where Tweety
acts like Bugs Bunny and comes up
with a few evil tricks of his own to
play on the putty tat.
"Axe Me Another," starring
Popeye the steroid-using Sailor Man,
is yet anotherin the sagaofpoorOlive
Oyl, who, for some inexplicable rea-
son is the most desirable girl in the
world. Another standout is "Trap"
starring the cocaine-sniffing Mighty
Mouse, truly the greatest hero to ever
kick the shit out of a cat.
Despite a few entertaining mo-
ments, on the whole, the "Surreal
Animation Festival" is a waste for
anyone with cable TV and TNT.
FESTIVAL is playing at the
Michigan Theater.

up to expectations and consistently
cast a spell over the audience. A con-
cert like this, explains Tang, attracts
people who wouldn't ordinarily see
an orchestra performance as well as
regular classical music concertgoers.
Planning for the concert began as
early as July. David Aderente, the
ensembles manager, handled the lo-
gistical side, while Meier, percussion
directorMichael Udow, andconduct-
ing majors Ricardo Averbach, Claire
Levacher, Vincent Danner and David
Tang created the program. Usually
they create Halloween characters to
fit the music, but sometimes the cos-
Heavy Bag
Have you noticed the trend of metal
bands having a conscience and trying
to sing about the wrongs of the world?
If you notice Stick and don't notice
this trend, then something is wrong.
"Heavy Bag" is full of lyrics that try
desperately to mean something and
fail miserably in the attempt. For in-
stance, "Fuel" seems to be about al-
ternative energy and the crime that it
is not utilized to its fullest. But it is
hard to take a band seriously that
sings "I took a turn and tried my
fusion cold / Only to find my research
put on hold / and I'm slandered crazy
by the gasoline maker / Under the
screws of the motor city shaker."
Oh, well, at least they are a bad
Alice in Chains ripoff. The vocals are
drowned in a very similar way, and
they seem to be going for the same
strung out feel. But where Layne
Staley's vocals seemed fresh and evil,
Mark Smirl's seem far too derivative
and boring. The guitar is a very close
approximation to Alice's in style and
is at the very least listenable.
"Heavy Bag" is eight painful
songs. If listening to music that makes
you feel in withdrawl is your bag, go
ahead and get it.
- Ted Watts
Do La Soul
Buhloone Mindstate
Tommy Boy
De La Soul's third album proves
the trio to be both a consistent cre-
ative force and agroup of fellas that is
sure 'nough in touch with the current
trends in rap. As on their previous
albums, there are voices from all over

an candy
tume idea inspires the music choice.
Tang's decision to conduct Grieg's
"In the Hall of the Mountain Kingt
reflected his inspiration to dress as a
particular man-eating beast (it's a
surprise). This Hallorween Concert
promises to be sw...eter than candy.
The Halloween Concert 's two
performances are Sunday Oct. 31 a
S p.m. and 8: 30 p.m. at Hill
Auditorium. Second balcony tickets_'
are still available for $4 at the
Michigan League Ticket Office. r.
For more information, call the
School of Music Hotline at 763-


the rap world including Chip Fu (Fu-'
Shnickens), Dres (Black Sheep), Q-
Tip (A Tribe Called Quest), Bustas
Rhymes (Leaders of the New School)."
and Biz Markie; buta surprising addi-ยข~
tion to the De La style are Maceo
Parker, Fred Wesley and Pee Wee:
Ellis (James Brown's legendary horn'
section). With this thick crew and the.
proven production skills of Prince
Paul, De La Soul would be hard-
pressed to make a bad album. And asp
usual, they don't just go through ther
motions. Each song has a purpose
(even if the listener has no idea what
it is - they still have a number of:
rhymes and interludes that demand
serious questioning of their sanity-,
and there can be no doubt that deep
thought went into creating the music.O
However, De La Soul's artistic"4
inclinations remain within a self-en.
forced limitofquality rhythms for the,
hip-hop regime. They ride the new
wave ofjazz /hip-hop fusion like pros
in the songs "Patti Dooke" and "I Am
I Be," at the same time sticking tQ
their own lyrical trickery.
De La Soul is also influenced by'1
the chants of hardcore commercia
rappers in songs like "Area," "In The"
Woods" and "Ego Trippin' [Part B
Two]," but musically- and lyrically
they stay dedicated to the old fans
with references that only the true hip-
hop head would get. For instance,
"Ego Trippin' [Part Two]" refers to
the "Ego Trippin"' done by the
Ultramagnetic MC's on "Critical
Beatdown," their little-known 1988
classic. All and all, there is no doubt
that De La retains its soul, while
evolving with the ranks of hip-hop.
The album's creative force and pro-
duction quality make it a necessity.
Dustin Howes


The University of Michigan
School of Music
Sun. October 31
University Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras
Halloween Concerts
with the U-M Percussion Ensemble
5 and 8:30 p.m. in Hill Auditorium
Hill Auditorium Ticket Office
Tue. November 2
Composers' Forum
School of Music Recital Hall, 8 p.m.
Wed. November 3
Faculty Recital - Marilyn Mason, University Organist
In Celebration of the Hill Organ Centennial
Music from the 1893 Columbian Exposition concerts in Chicago, the
Ann Arbor Dedication Recital in 1894, and the 1928 Dedication Recital
of the Frieze Memorial Organ
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Thu. November 4

,A N N A R 6o R &21
5th AVE. AT LIBERTY 761-9700
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (PG) - Fri, Mon, Wed, Thurs: 4:00,7:00,9:50 '
Sat, Sun, Tues: 1:00, 4:00,7:00, 9:50
'w THE JOY LUCK CLUB (R) - Fri, Mon, Wed, Thurs: 4:15,7:15, 10:05
I" - Sat, Sun, Tues: 1:15,4:15,7:15,10:05


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