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November 15, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-15

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Folkie Broza is no traditional songwriter

Though he performs his songs on
an acoustic guitar and frequently finds
himself playing folk festivals, David
Broza is far from just another singer /
songwriter. Though the music is folk-
based, the driving beat of his songs is
rock'n' roll and the passion and energy
of his performances are from another
world altogether.
And it is ultimately this passion that
sets him apart from his confessional
songwriting peers. No casual, James
Taylor-esque fireside crooner, he roars
and wails from a fire deep inside, his
voice ranging from tender and beauti-
ful to rough and angry, always soulful
and always awe-inspiring. No tradi-
tional fingerpicker, Broza rips and beats
his guitar, tearing through slashing
guitar lines and flamenco stylings with
equal skill, grace and energy, matching
his searing vocals perfectly. It's an
inspiring mix, indeed, and one charged
with an energy that does not fail to
connect with audiences, whether it's
50,000 people in Tel Aviv or 300 in
"People's feelings are basic and
common around the world and I feel I
can connect with them," he said. "Even

thrash metal and alternative crowds, if
they would come to my shows, would
feel it. What they usually see is no
different than what I put out. The anger
level and the angst level is the same."
Those who witnessed his perfor-
mance at last year's Ann Arbor Folk
Festival know exactly what he means.
From the moment he took the stage
with the cascading opening notes of
"At the Bridge," he owned the audi-
ence, captivating them completely.
Shock gradually gave way to wonder
and, finally, wild praise.
Further distinguishing himself from
other singer / songwriters, Broza does
not write his own lyrics. Instead,'he
takes poems, usually by lesser-known
American writers, and sets them to his
own achingly beautiful melodies.
1993's brilliant "Time of Trains" found
him culling musical inspiration from
Matthew Graham, Ramsey McLean,
Terry Cox and Elizabeth Bishop.
Though the content varied from
song to song, a certain yearning was
present throughout "Time of Trains," a
desire to know and to feel something
just slightly out of Broza's grasp. "I
had always hoped that we could stay /
In a world that could but would not

change," he sang in Graham's "Time
Can Turn on You." Another work of
Graham's, "The Change," found Broza
restlessly roaming the land, always
searching and never finding what he
"People's feelings are
basic and common
around the world and I
feel I can connect with
them. Even thrash
metal and alternative
crowds, if they would
come to my shows,
would feel it.
David Broza
needs: "I been to chanellers, churches,
brothels and bars /Spoke to drunkards,
hookers and priests ... Consulted the
stars but the stars didn't help in the
On his latest, "Second Street," Broza
turns again to the works of Graham,
McLean and Cox. Graham's "Sorry
For Our Innocence" comes off like the

genuine midwestern material John
Mellencamp dreams about. "When I
left home, I left forever," Broza sings,
"and nothing can change what chance
has severed." One of the album's most
moving moments comes with Eliza-
beth Bishop's "The Art of Losing (One
Art)," which Broza sets to a wistful
waltz beat.
Inaddition tohis liveperformances,
Broza does poetry workshops at uni-
versities around the country, speaking
about the link between poetry and
music. "Poetry and music are sister art
forms that should benefit from one
another," he said. "I try to plant the idea
in poets' minds that poetry isn't some-
thing that is to be treated only as an
academic form of creativity. It does not
have to be bleak and depressing. In-
stead, it should be as colorful and as
aggressively portrayed as any art form,
whether that is abstract painting or
contemporary rock 'n' roll." Indeed,
few people portray poetry as vividly,
passionately and affectingly as Broza.
DAVID BROZA performs tonight at
the Magic Bag Cafe in Ferndale and
you do not want to miss it. The show
starts at 7p.m. and tickets are $10.
Call 810-544-3030 for information.

It's really no wonder that they call David Broza the "Elvis of Israel."

Award-winning d
'Hoop'is like a d
Even I wanted to be like Mike. A
white female from a Cleveland suburb,
even I've imagined the exhilaration of
loud cheers for monster dunks and an
*avagant pay check at the end of the
three point line. NBA daydreamin' is

dream come i

Tim Allen's empty 'Santa'is no cause for joy



Hoop Dreams
Directed by
Steve James
with William Gates
and Arthur Agee

twinkle in William's eyes, in light of
the glorified recruiting efforts aimed at
him, is more powerful than Albom's
words, leaving you with an even worst
taste for the workings of the system
that is the only road to the pros. And as
Chris Webber's recent unhappiness
with the Golden State Warriors attests
to, even the NBA doesn't guarantee
Everybody should see "Hoop
Dreams," regardless of any interest in
basketball, but for lovers of the sport,
theportionsof games included through-
out the film couldn't be more exciting
if they were scripted. Knowing the roar
of the crowd is real and watching the
now familiar faces react to Arthur and
William's ups and downs, the appeal of
the dream seems a realistic temptation
until you remember that it's only high
school football.
If it takes a gimmick to get you to
"Hoop Dreams," be sure to look for
cameo appearances by two University
"alums." Their smiling faces will make
you happy.
HOOPJDREAMS is playing at the_
State Theatre.

What in the world were the Disney
executives thinking? They had to pre-
miere "The Santa Clause" before
Thanksgiving. This way they could
confiscate as much Christmas money
as possible from innocent youngsters
(or their parents) before the holiday
competition began. After all, there is

exposed to material like this, do they?
Disney has set itself up for an inter-
esting paradox. While the script dishes
out mature jokes that no doubt pacify
parents in the audience, it also asks the
adults to become children again.
Charlie's mom (Wendy Crewson) and
step dad (Judge Reinhold) must regain

their innocence and accept the fact that
Santa exists. This makes "The Santa
Clause" rather weird.
Yet, kids and adults will enjoy things
like the morphing effects, even if they
look a bit scruffy. Watching Tim Allen
turn into spaghetti to fit through a very
tight pipe should amuse just about any-


Directed by John
Pasquin with
Tim Allen

body under five.
Santa's toy factory at the north pole
will definitely whet children's appe-
tites (and possibly boost holiday sales)
for Toys R' Us. What more could
Disney's marketing execs ask for?
THE SANTA CIA USE is playing at
Briarwood and Showcase.

part of the reason I couldn't sleep after
seeing "Hoop Dreams," but mainly I
was awakened by the often poignant,
often informative and always amazing
truths revealed through the young lives
of Arthur Agee and William Gates.
.. "Hoop Dreams," a documentary
Kartemquin Films originally imag-
ned as a short film on Chicago's "street
basketball," brilliantly follows almost
five years of Arthur and William's
dreams of hoop glory, their failures and
successes off and on the court and the
perpetual struggle to get by in the in-
We've heard countless stories of
the former Soviet Union's unorthodox
uiting of athletes at frighteningly
yng ages and the long-lasting dam-
age they've suffered. So when St. Jo-
seph High School's talent scout Earl
Smith first observes 14 year-old Arthur
and his "quick first step" on a neigh-
borhood court, bells ring, tolling the
Familiar sound of a system imposing
too much pressure at too young an age.
On the other hand, William just told us
dreamwhich Arthurshares:"That's
e ething I think about all the time -
playing in the NBA."'
"Hoop Dreams"' biggest lesson is
that for Arthur and William, and un-
doubtedly thousands like them, bas-
ketball transcends athletics and the thrill
f victory. Sociological news bits warn
ihat for many inner-city blacks, it's the
nly hope for a way out, but Arthur and
William show us the truth to these
ms. William seems so with it, yet
difficulty with the ACT reminds us
hat academics can easily be pushed
side when basketball's what you're
ood at. The chances of entering col-
ege without it are slim at best.
The success of "Hoop Dreams" is
lue in part to the skills of its creators,
Steve James, Frederick Marx and Peter
filbert. They understand that it's not
~.ythe individual that makes the man;
also the influences of parents,
oaches and friends. Some of the film's
nost intimate moments are those shared
y Arthur and his mother Sheila. Her
truggle with abuse, poverty and rais-
ng children form an intriguing parallel
n Arthur's effnrts tn live un tn kih

no way the Old St. Nick in this film
would survive a brutal "Battle of the
Santas" after the remake of "Miracle
on 34th Street" debuts.
In this winner, Kris Kringle has a
fatal slip-and-fall accident in the first
ten minutes. Scott Calvin (Tim Allen)
gets suckered by his son, Charlie (Eric
Lloyd), into putting on the dead man's
jolly red robe. By doing so, he unknow-
ingly obliges himself to become the
next Senior Claus.
Do you get it? He fulfills a contrac-
tual "clause" to become "Claus." Damn
Santa's pesky lawyer elves!
Of course, Charlie's relationship
with his dad has been strained since his
parents were divorced. Their relation-
ship is only going to get rougher with
Scott's transformation. Obviously, the
other adult characters think he's gone
crazy; they lack the innocence to be-
lieve in Santa.
If the new Santa can mend the rela-
tionship with his son, he'll have to
overcome a bigoted society and a tre-
mendous weight problem. This father-
tries-to-love-son plot device prevents
this pre-Thanksgiving bird from tast-
ing entirely undercooked.
Tim Allen is good in his first fea-
ture-length performance. His Santa is
sufficiently grumpy and stubborn to
overshadow the irritating eight-year-
old Lloyd, who spends too much of his
screen time whining. But he looks cute
and likable. The Disney executives did
do a good job when they reviewed the
kid's profile photos.
These are harsh words for a kiddy
movie, but Disney just hasn't been
reviewing its scripts closely enough.
They certainly should have removed
the subtle sex, drug and ethnic humor
that pops up in the movie. The execs
don't really want innocent little ears

1217 PROSPECT, ANN ARBOR 665-1771
OFFul with this ad.

9.91vo swt




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