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February 13, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-13

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Funky Monk Drummers
Returning for their eighth visit to Ann Arbor from the Sado Island of
Japan, the Kodo Drummers will perform tonight and tomorrow at the
Power Center. Their mesmerizing traditional drum - the "taiko" - has
the power to take listeners to another state of mind. The Kodo Drummers
are monks which can only be understood by seeing their performance live.
Both shows begin at 8 p.m. Call 764-2538 for information.

Page 5
Monday,

ru ...4"~4~f~ruaiua ~ v
Roya Tru: Th fie art of selling out ~'k*

By Heather Phares
Daily Arts Editor
Royal Trux. For those in the know,
those two words conjure the image of
a relentlessly independent, slightly
troubled experimental-blues-rock
outfit. Neil Hagerty's swampy, heavy
guitars mix with Jennifer Herrema's
raspy yowl, at times evoking the Roll-
ing Stones, at other times a junkie's
worst nightmare. Early Trux releases

ones we talked to. They have a small
roster and a good attitude - there's
always room for discussion. The other
(record labels) had pretty standard
record contracts that they were trying
to force on us. (Virgin) was our best
bet, based on what little evidence we
had."
Even so, the thought of a band like
Royal Trux on a major will likely set
the heads of many of the band's fans
awhirl. "Yeah, I think some of them
will be (surprised), but the people
who really appreciate us for what we
really are instead of what we appear
to be will still be there," Hagerty
laughed wryly.
"The other ones who think we're
just some sort of junkie band will
hopefully, hopefully be put off. Un-
less they think it's some sort of vic-
tory for junkies all across the United
States! They might, which would defi-
nitely work in our favor," he added,
referring to the band's notorious drug
habits. At one point the band was so
messed up they spent the lion's share
of a record advance on their habits.
But that's all in the past, Hagerty
insisted, "W~hen you're on a imajor
label, there's a completely differcnt
focus.VWe're not trying to trumpe't our
problems or imperfections to the r_°t

of the world," he said firmly.
Hagerty and the rest of the Trux
aren't worried about losing any pre-
cious "indie credibility." He said
matter-of-factly, "Well, I'm sure
there's some people that think that the
only thing we have is indie credibil-
ity. To those people, we will have lost
the only thing that mattered anyway.
I've heard some of that from self-
styled underground avatars of cool
for the twentysomethings. Credibil-
ity is something that I never think
about. We added it on for some people
to get them to buy the records. It's not
something we set out to have."
Royal Trux are taking full advan-
tage of their major-label status. Work-
ing with longtime Neil Young pro-
ducer David Briggs gave them an
outlet for their newfound clout, "This
was our first time working with a
producer, and it couldn' have beep a
better experience" 1-agerty said hap-
pily. He added, 1 ws orried about
SO :e._auy Corin 'I nUnintced .uffl
betwee.cn us and the record company,
but D~avid was totally above-board
with us. He has a healthy dislike of
recorId companies. He did try to ac-
co Modate them, buit if he felt it
wasn't in our best interest. hcevwouldn't
do it. Plus, he has lots of good stories

about sessions andz
stuff like that."
For example?
"When he recorded
"Zuma" with Neil
Young, he said Bob
Dylan used to sit out-
side in a van and lis-
ten to Crazy Horse
play, but he would
never come in. Fi-
nally, after the record
was done, David went
out to him and said,
'Hey, man, come in!'
And afterwards they
had a big party with
the Band, Crazy
Horse, Nils Lofgren,
Dylan and Neil Young
jamming together.
And David's like. Royal Trux,coa
'Oh, I have the tapes from it some-
where.' And once, for fun, he re-
mixed a bunch of Creedence
Clearwater Revival records. He was
friends with their engineer, and so he
has his own custom mixes of CCR
records!" Hagerty laughed.
As for "Thank You" itself, it's a
great album, and it shows how well
Royal Trux have made the major-
label transition, Songs like "The Sew-

like "Cats and Dogs" and their self-
titled albums were issued on the inde-
pendent label Drag City, but times
have changed. Now, Royal Trux make
their major label debut with "Thank
You" on Virgin Records. A sure sign
of the apocalypse?
Not so, said Hagerty. "They were
the best record company out of all the

ers of Mars" and "(Have You Met)
Horror James ?" retain all the grit and
feeling of (earlier ITrux songs. while
the singl te,a of he -,ty"andi"Ray
0 Vac" show.;lcas hebnd's tb,-rmerl v
latent pop so nsibilities. H-agertv is
j ustifIiablyv proudof ul iThank You":
" I'm r'eal happy~ with it as an:,bm.
he said. The &cbm u out l-ebrilarv
21, will be prLXRvVW, tknmgi 4 at -the
Royal Trux I;tening party ,at!)c~

Ball Saloon.
The band is touring Europe during
February, "then we're coming back
in the end of March to do America.
The real tour is America; we're doing
something like 40 dates," Hagerty
said. Hopefully, Royal Trux will be
able to subvert major-label attention
I he way they reshape classic rock.
Wkhatever success comes to them,
they'll do it up royally.

Garcia Lorca 's

play is a 'House' worth visiting

Basement Arts' production is refreshing in its subtle directness

By Shelila Wisely
For the Daily
Federico Garcia Lorca's "The
House of Bernarda Alba" is a mov-
ing story about women unlike any
.r.
_V The House of
Bernard Alba
Arena Theatre
February 9, 1995
other. BFA Theatre senior Camilo
Fontecilla does an excellent job not
only directing this Spanish play, but
adapting it as well. Fontecilla's pro-
duction ran this weekend as part of
the Basement Arts Series in the
Arena Theatre.
The play takes place in rural

Spain in the early 20th century.
Bernarda Alba (Elif Celebi) is an
domineering widowed mother who
wants to save her five daughters
from the hands of men, and perhaps
more importantly, from the grape-
vine gossip of townspeople. Al-
though she thinks her daughters are
above the men in their village, the
girls think differently. They are dy-
ing for some contact with men,
which before this point has been
practically nonexistent. So when one
male suitor finally comes to the
house, strange things happen among
the sisters.
While packed with themes of
women's problems in a male-domi-
nated society. Fontecilla presents
them quite subtly and in a refresh-
ingly different way from the over-
simplified, overused "women have
it bad, so they need to (fill in the

blank)" manner. The fact that there
are no men seen in the play makes
it more powerful.
The problems these women face
are only among themselves, rather
than brought on by men. Also, since
the daughters are oppressed by their
mother instead of a male figure, a
different light is shed on their ac-
tions. Seeing how these women
relate and react to each other with-
out male influence brings a nice
angle to the play, and Fontecilla
uses that angle well in reminding
the viewers that "it's different for
men," but "this is how it is for
women."
All the actors do a good job of
portraying the very different person-
al ities and interests of the daug~hters,
while suggesting several tensions be-
tween them. Fontecilla brings out
these tensions well, but lets the view-

ers contemplate the meanings on their
own.
Overall, "Bernarda Alba" is a great
success with only one annoying de-
fect: That tape player. That damn tape
player. If you saw the production, you
know exactly what I'm talking about.
That huge CLICK signaling to the
audience, "sound effect coming up in
three seconds" and "sound effect end-
ing now!"
Although it was nothing that a
little oil, or maybe another stereo,
couldn't fix, the repeated on-and-off
clicks seriously detracted from the
otherwise wonderfully dramatic open-
ing and closing scenes.
Most performances would .be
lucky to have a noisy tape player as
their greatest flaw. With this as its
only weakness, "The House of
Bernarda Alba" was one definitely
worth visiting.

* Singing is Noa's 'only option' if she wants to keep living. Pretty intense.
Noa and Dor soar in concert

By Sangita M. Baxi
Daily Arts Writer
Noa and Gil Dor walked onstage
dressed all in black - Noa in a
velvet dress and Gil Dor in a shirt
and pants - and pleasantly sur-
.prised the audience with the lively
and moving music that flowed from
Noa's mouth and Gil Dor's guitar.
VNoa and IGil o
Power Center for the
_ Peforming Arts
February 9, 1995
With her long curly hair cascading
down her back shifting with every
movement and the tapping of their
feet, it was obvious how much the
music meant to both of them. Noa,
in fact, said that singing is "my only
option if I want to keep living."
From "Mishaela" to "Traces of
Love" to "Ave Maria," each song had
~a story behind it. In "Wildflower,"
WNoa sings of the dichotomy of having
her heart in two places -- on "both
sides of the sea" - in Israel, where
she lives with her husband and works,

and in New York with her parents and
siblings. "Are my wings strong
enough to bear the winds out there'?"
she asks. In a song about Piero and
Pieretta, two marionettes, she added
an aria to the original poetry by Lea
Goldberg. She later explained, in a
post concert question-answer session,
that opera had been one of her par-
ents' favorite types of music.
The variety of music was incred-
ible, It was a combination of sounds
and languages. Some songs were a
mixture of English and Hebrew, oth-
ers in strictly English or Hebrew,
and still others in traditional
Yemenite style. Yet each song had
the influence of both of her back-
grounds: Yemen, Israel and New
York City.
But the concert was not just voice
and guitar - Noa, showing herself
to be extremely multifaceted, played
a variety of guitar and percussion
instruments including drums, tam-
bourine, xylophone and chimes. She
had a drum solo towards the end of
the show which was very impres-
sive.
"Are my wings strong enough to
bear the winds out there?" Yes, Noa
and Gil - they are strong enough.

T

Doyou want t write for Da"ily Arts?
Positions are still available.,
Call 763-0379 fo more information.

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