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February 17, 1995 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-17

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 17, 1995 - 9

Kodo Drummers h

By B. Tubbs
For the Daily
It's Tuesday night, and I'm sit-
ting in the back row of the Power
Center - beginning to feel that I
won't be able to write a fair article.
Then the drums are carried out onto
the bare, black stage. The drum-
mers prepare the stance, address-
ing their drums. And the ceremony
begins.
The pounding of the skins in their
deep rhythm is soon matched by my
heartbeat. Everyone in the audience
must have been synchronized, un-
willingly joined to the sound. Just as
the huge wooden drums were unre-
lentingly struck, the vibrating air
pounded through our own bodies. It
was entrancing. The rhythm seemed
constant, but its slow transformation
constantly led you through a dense
jungle of enchantment. .
The number of different drums
RECORDS
Continued from page 8
mended experience.)
Check out the attack vocalist Lou
Koller unleashes on "Desperate Fool":
*"step up to the plate you challenge
fate / you've earned a castration /
you're face to face/with your victim's
rage / you deserve this laceration." In
"Goatless" they strike back at last
year's coverage of the Massachusetts
boarding school student who shot and
killed several people while wearing a
Sick of It All t-shirt, a notoriety they
never received as an underground
*band with a small following.
That incident and subsequent sign-
ing to a major label might have
smacked of exploitation and scarred
the band, if they bothered to stop and
give it half a thought. They're prob-
ably too busy kicking Green Day's
ass to care; at least this is one band
that won't spend an entire video wan-
dering empty streets lip-ynching their
hit single and looking bored. Some
*have to fake it, Sick of It All doesn't
need to.
- Kirk Miller
London Jones
for you
MCA Records
London Jones, oneofMCA's new-
est artists, is seeking fame in the mu-
sic biz. He hopes that "for you," his
*debut release, will propel him there.
There's no doubt in my mind it will.
When I listened to "Intro," the
first cut on this CD, I could have
sworn that a woman was singing.
Jones' soprano-soft voice could fool
anyone, butnot forlong. LondonJones
is a man, and with his boyish looks
and innocent-sounding voice, he can
make even the strongest woman
*swoon.
London Jones' voice, and the ac-
companying music, really set "for
you" off. The lyrics were definitely
meant for a voice like London's.
"For you" is, in actuality, a very
simple CD. It doesn't vary much from
a single-worded script: Sex. Steamy
titles like "Joi," "I Lust 4 U" and
"Baby Get Yours Tonight" easily fore-
shadow the lusty songs beneath them.
This is definitely a CD to take
along with you on one of those "booty
calls." But, "for you" is more thanjust
that; it's a very decent collection of
good, relaxing music. (Like I said,
perfect for booty calls.)

-Eugene Bowen
Mule
If I Don't Six
Quarterstick Records
Comprised of former members of
the Laughing Hyenas and Wig, Mule
aurally threatens but never fiercely
attacks the senses like their brothers
in sludge rock. "If I Don't Six" is,
however, a tight but sloppy offering
with decently slurred guitar and few
pretensions.
Much of what comes out of Touch
*& Go Records territory (Quarterstick,
Skin Graft, etc.) attempts to pass it-
self off as abrasive art rock and ends
up boring as only schlock with all
balls and no brains can bore.
But Mule thankfully avoids such
problems. Sure, they have abrupt tran-
sitions and bloodcurdling singing like
much of this area's shock and roll, but
the three-piece adds a unique twist.
whey sound like backwaterJethro and
the boys on vacation in the big city for
the first time. Country-tinged muck
seeps forth from the speakers when
this album is spinning. Imagine across
between early Urge Overkill and

created an eclectic percussion en-
semble, but after closer listening,
you could also hear the countless
tones they develop from each indi-
vidual. The drum had just as many
- Kodo Drummers
Power Center for the
Performing Arts
February 14, 1995
notes as the bamboo flute that one
performer played. Along with the
flute, the instruments included a
gong, a metal chime, a shamisen
string instrument, a series of tiny
hand symbols, a series of wooden
instruments and a 900-pound drum
called the 0-daiko. All of these were
played with such sensibility and fe-
rocity, the audience was mesmer-

it the spot
ized. The performers, as well, drove
themselves into a trance-like aware-
ness. It became difficult, however,
to fully reach that hypnotic state
with the ambiguity of the rhythm.
The Kodo Drummers performed
more as entertainers than as monks.
With the preconceived notion that
they used drum rhythms as a medi-
tation practice, I expected to gain
more of an experience from them.
The audience created distractions
also. Feeling the need to clap intru-
sively at every break, some created
a circus-type atmosphere. And with
all of the coughing and sneezing
added to the clapping, a fulfilling
experience of the silence that the
Kodo created was completely lost.
If you're looking for an entertaining
show, you should definitely put them
at the top of your priority list, but,
sad to say, the Kodo Drummers
could have been a whole lot more.

Hey, little drummer boy ... he's in the doldrums. Aren't you glad he used Dial?

and the "Love Boat" theme song.) and
everything in between.
Marc Dorsey has some powerful
vocs which he sports in "Forever
Yours," but the background vocalists
could use a little fine tuning. "Gently
in the Night," also by Bearden, is too
hip to be elevator music; it sounds
much like something you'd hear when
the operator puts you on hold.
The music on this CD tends to be
fairly decent, but it just drags on too
much. And when it comes to the ques-
tion of whether this CD is worth the
bucks? Well, the jury's still out on
that one.
- Eugene Bowen
Donna Summer
Endless Summer - Donna
Summer's Greatest Hits
Casablanca / Mercury
Disco diva Donna Summer's career
has taken her up and down, but her
greatest hits package "Endless Sum-
mer," gathers up 18 of her favorites
onto one disc for the ultimate Summer
compilation.
Along with her most famous hits
"She Works Hard fortheMoney," "Bad

Thinking Fellers
Union Local #282
Strangers From the Universe
Matador
Space Rock: the Final Frontier.
These are the latest songs from the
Thinking Fellers Union Local #282.
Their mission: to create some of the
most consistently warped, disturbed,
beautiful music on this planet or any
other. "Strangers From the Universe"
combines TFUL's usual quirkiness
and guitar experiments with a softer,
contemplative approach that yields
prickly dreamscapes like "Guillotine,"
"The Operation" and "Cup of
Dreams." Guitars crunch and swirl
while muffled voices whisper
surrealisms on tracks like "Socket"
and "The Piston and the Shaft," and
even the more stripped-down tracks
like the goofy "My Pal the Tortoise"
and gentle "Noble Experiment" are
extraterrestrial experiences. "Strang-
ers From the Universe" is a hypnotic
work with enough kinks to ensure the
Thinking Fellers remain strangers to
the mainstream universe.
-- Heather Phares

'Lake' reflects a slice of Chinese life

By Fred Rice
Daily Arts Writer
"Women from the Lake of Scented
Souls" has a lot going for it. It offers
a brief glimpse at life in a small Chi-
nese community. For those interested
in Asian cooking, it reveals the se-
vvi
Women From
the Lake of
Scented Souls
Directed by Xie Fei
with Siqin Gaowa
and Wu Yujuan
At the Michigan Theater
crets to the making of a tasty season-
ing. It also tells of ordinary people,
who by their resilient personalities,
achieve small yet brave feats of hero-
ism.
What this small gem does not
have is a lot of violence, action and

mayhem, nor a quick and well orga-
nized plot. But it doesn't need a
well organized plot. That was clearly
director's Xie Fei's intention.
Instead, he presents us with the
day-to-day struggles and tears in
what is best described as a small
"slice of life" - a brief glimpse at
characters that are very real and
very engaging.
Xiang Eraso, played by Siqin
Gaowa, is responsible for her family's
tremendously successful sesame-oil
company. She is a hard working and
ruthless business woman. Unfortu-
nately, she is also trapped in an op-
pressive marriage, sold at the age of
seven and married at thirteen. Her
husband abuses her and remains drunk
throughout most of his scenes in the
movie. Xiang's chief source of defi-
ance in her unhappy life comes from
various trysts with a lover.
Tired of caring for her mentally
handicapped son, she sets out to
play matchmaker and set him up
with the poor peasant girl Huanhuan,
played by Wu Yujuan, and ulti-

mately traps her in a relationship
much like her own. All her son can
do with his purchased bride is pinch
her and bite her.
The simple heroism rises from
the women's amazing strength and
bravery, and their ability to put up
with the treatment of the men who
are always either child like or abso-
lute assholes. Xiang and Huanhuan's
resilience make this movie rather
special, but also rather sad. Very
few times do they look to be happy
or content. But their frustration is
always evident. And their ways of
venting it provides plenty of hope.
The title of this pleasant tale
comes from the water of nearby lake
that she uses in her recipe for
sesame-seed oil. She informs an in-
vestor interested in giving her prod-
uct a wider market that the water
has a special fragrance and fresh
flavor. Hence, like the special water
that makes an ordinary seasoning
extraordinary, the ordinary, but dif-
ficult lives of the female characters
provide for a unusually terrific story.

Bebey proves to be an original

By Kimberly Braton
For the Daily
In its first tour of the U.S., the
Francis Bebey Ensemble proved to
be a tremendous success at Rackham
Auditorium on Wednesday night.
The audience gave a warm welcome
and were clearly won over by the
artists' musical variety. Francis
Bebey performed with his two sons,
Patrick and Francis Jr., in a charm-
ing, delightful and, at times, comi-
cal style.
A total of sixteen musical se-
lections were performed, played
on several different African and
European instruments, as well as
vocal and poetry selections. All
except one were composed and
written by Francis Bebey, al-
though his compositions were not
the only original aspect of his per-
formance. Bebey's technique of
fusing two different cultures to-
gether is an idea that is entirely
his own. Bringing elements from
his native homeland, Cameroon,

and blending those with the influ-
ence of his current residence in
. Francis Bebey
Ensemble
Rackham Auditorium
February 15, 1995
Paris, Bebey created an evening
that had amazing musical spec-
trum.
The Ensemble opened with
"Sunny Crypt," with Francis play-
ing pygmy flute and his two sons
accompanying him on percussion.
Francis quickly developed a per-
sonal atmosphere for his audience
by taking time to explain each of his
instruments. The pygmy flute, he
said, was also called the "magic
flute" and was a one-note instru-
ment. To generate other sounds, he
used other African vocal techniques
such as patting his chest. A large

portion of the music was sung in
Bantu, although French and a bit of
German were also heard. In "Mwano
0," Francis invited the audience to
sing-a-long, and convinced us that
we could speak Bantu well enough
to be "recruited" for his Ensemble.
However, the self-taught classical
guitarist had such a dynamic vocal
range that would be difficult to
match. He even went so far as to
question his audience's hospitality.
"You're a nice audience. What's
down with you? Are you working
tomorrow?"
The highlight of the concert was
a humorous love song of an "oral
swing" style. "My Love For You".
had the audience laughing and clap-
ping when the musicians returned
for an encore. The final song,
"Idiba," was a sweet melody that
celebrated the morning sun. Francis
invited us to "come with him to go
and see the light." Our journey did
not take us far because Wednesday
night the light was shining on him..

Donna Summer is a disco diva in a disco dive.

Girls," and "On the Radio," are nu-
merous other greats she recorded over
the years. There is also one new track,
"Melody of Love (WannaBe Loved),"
which was co-written with David Cole
and Robert Clivilles of C+C Music
Factory. This was one of Cole's last
tracks before he died in late January.
"Endless Summer - Donna
Summer's Greatest Hits" is a good
collection for a Donna Summer fan,
but may be a little slow for just the
average listener. However, her pow-
erful songs outnumber the bad, creat-
ing a good retrospective of her old
and new music.
- Brian A. Gnatt
Dag
Righteous
Columbia
Say this much about Dag: they
know how to lay down a groove. Each
song on "Righteous" starts out very
nicely. But after a minute or two, each
and every track becomes boring and
ultra-repetitive. The problem here is
that this North Carolina quartet never
bothers to develop any of the grooves
that they compose - no B sections,
no bridge, no chorus. Like so many

Spade Ghetto De-
struction
Spade Ghetto Destruction
Zoo Entertainment
Black rock is back and it's sure
not your father's black rock.
SGD's rap style riff rock (dare I
say metal?) crawls along with as
much intensity as Rage Against
the Machine. SGD is heavier than
any of the recent contenders for
the rap rock crown which is great
considering that many of the art-
ists have tread the metal boundary
for so long without ever giving in.
Finally, SGD has thrown their hat
into the proverbial ring leaving
sucka imposters like Shootyz
Groove in the dust.
Of course just being heavy is
not what this genre is all about. It
takes rapping ability also. Al-
though the raps are neither lyri-
cally original nor very good, they
seem to sound good over the blis-
tering music. From the cheese of
"Strike Three" ("Homerun! I
bought another gun, Leave it up to
you and I wouldn't have one"), to
the bandwagon rebellion of "Mur-
der" ("It's not '63 it's 1994 and
racist cops like jail house mops

x
47

0 'lil.;

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