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March 22, 1995 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-22

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Van Zandt hits Townes
Townes Van Zandt is the epitome of the neglected talent that deserves far more recognition than it
gets. One of the most influential and respected folk singer / songwriters in recent memory, his
darkly humorous images have inspired such luminaries as Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark and the Cowboy
Junkies. Van Zand" comes to the Ark tonight to share his witty songs of desolation, Tickets are
$12.50 in advance; showtime is at 8 p.m. Call 763-8587 for details.

Page 5
Wednesday,
March 22. 1995

Berezovsky's brilliance blinds

I

By Matthew Steinhauser
For the Daily
Boris Berezovsky's virtuoso pi-
ano playing sent reverberations
through Hill Auditorium during his
recital Monday night. Whether slight
tremblings or earthquakes, the rever-
berations repeatedly pounded out the
truth of the pianist's young age.
At only 26, the Russian attacks the
piano keys with youthful exuberance,
impetuousness and passion. Like a
strong wave, Berezovsky's music
flows with freshness, honesty and a
turbulence that can inspire excitement
with heart-gripping speed or bruise
with violent clashes.
Featuring pieces by
Rachmaninoff, Ravel and Schumann,
Berezovsky's program seemed tai-
lored to flaunthis awesome technique
and his mastery of complex rhythms
and reckless runs. However, the
S pianist's opening pieces by
Rachmaninoff underscored his inex-
perience.
The magnificently dark power of
Rachmaninoff's compositions suf-
fered slightbruises fromBerezovsky's
ferocious style. He approached Etudes
"No. 4 in b minor," "No. 3 in f-sharp
minor," "No. 7 in c minor" and "No.
9 in D Major" with an unrestrained

abandon that lacked sharpness and
focus. At times, Rachmaninoff's big
chords echoed gratingly rather than
resounded richly. The Russian missed
several opportunities to score points
when he sacrificed gentle fullness in
the quieter themes for whimpering
emptiness.
Despite several shortcomings in
the opening pieces, Berezovsky fore-
shadowed the blinding brilliance of
the latter portions of his program with
" Boris
Berezovsky
Hill Auditorium
March 20, 1995
delicate, deft interpretations of cer-
tain softer parts that spun smoothly
from speedy, spectacular, controlled
bigger lines.
Berezovsky tamed and polished
music by thecomposer Maurice Ravel
with increasing skill as the intermis-
sion approached. The pianist utilized
Ravel's runs and dance rhythms in
"La Valse" to display his remarkable
technical proficiency, but he occa-
sionally rendered the voices in the

music indistinct and muddled. In at-
tempting to flourish some of the fast,
spectacular themes, Berezovsky bur-
ied more important melodic lines.
In "Valses Nobles Et
Sentimentales," the young Russian
illustrated a scene with two lovers
slowly dancing. Berezovsky gripped
the audience with unexpected, inter-
mittent bursts of lustful love that
crisply leapt from the piano. He con-
cluded Ravel's composition with a
quiet, confident mastery of tones, and
the last note hung in the still air of the
Hill with stark beauty.
After the intermission, Berezovsky
unleashed his raw talent. He chan-
neled the fire in his soul, and effec-
tively burned music by Robert
Schumann into submission. Every
note - no matter how loud or soft -
that Berezovsky flung into the air
resounded with individual impor-
tance.
In the "Fantasy in C Major, Op.
17," he manipulated silences and hesi-
tations to enrapture the audience and
reveal a versatile collection of moods.
As if he had opened a can of magical
powers, the pianist found beauty in
death, pride in failure and honor in
sin. Berezovsky struck chords with
authority and they resounded with a

depth and richness often absent dur-
ing the first half of his performance.
The pianist maintained his tight
control over the notes in Schumann's
"Toccata in C Major, Op. 7" and in
two encore pieces. Throughout the
post-intermission portions of his pro-

ezovsky is the thinking-man's pianist.
gram, Berezovsky subdued his pow-
erful, youthful passions to fulfill his
smallest musical desires.
With agile, energetic playing tech-
niques and fresh, interpretive ap-
proaches to the music, Berezovsky re-
vealed glimpses of greatness even dur-

ing the rougher parts at the outset of his
recital. The daring, vivacious, youthful
quality in Berezovsky's playing com-
prised the backbone of the program,
and a genuine, electric honesty pre-
vailed through his final, humble bows
to the approving audience.

The Archers aren't loafing around

By Tom Erlewine
Daily Arts Editor
In the past year and a half, Archers
of Loaf has become one of the hippest
bands in the indie-rock underground.
Since the release of their debut al-
ARCHERS OF LOAF
Where: State Theater 5
When: Tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Call (313) 961-5450
for ticket information.
Weezer is headlining the concert.
The show is all-ages.
bum, "Icky Mettle," in September of
1993, the band has received reams of
glowing reviews and have gathered a
sizable cult following across the
United States. "Web in Front," with
its infectious, slightly off-key chorus
of "All I ever wanted was to be your
spine," has become a staple of college
and alternative radio. The band's glee-
fully noisy pop has already earned
them a fair amount of respect and

acclaim; now the band is preparing to
expand that following.
Earlier this month, Archers of Loaf
released their second album, "Vee
Vee," and began a monthlong tour
with guitar-pop sensations, Weezer.
All the cards seem to be in the right
place for the band - if the tour goes
well, the Archers will become a fa-
miliar name to teenagers across the
country.
Drummer Matt Gentling admitted
he's "psyched" for the tour, "because
it'll be big crowds. But I really don't
know who listens to Weezer - like
what kind of crowd they're gonna
have. I figure it's pretty young kids.
It's gonna be fun, regardless." Even if
their skewed, experimental pop
doesn't make sense to the Weezer
crowds, Gentling vowed, "We'll still
enjoy ourselves, we'lljust drink more
beer, unfortunately."
Nevertheless, Gentling would be
pleased if the tour gained the Archers
a larger audience. "If we ended up

with a huge following, I would love
that," he said, "as long as people re-
ally honestly liked it. I wouldn't want
us to gain a larger audience by satura-
tion, by getting plugged on the radio
so much that people buy it regardless.
But if people like the music, that's
great. I don't think any of us are
wanting to limit our audience. We're
not in it for the cool factor, we're in it
because we enjoy playing the music."
Even if Archers of Loaf doesn't
play music in order to be cool, "Icky
Mettle" established a reputation
among indie-rock fans that is difficult
to live up to. Instead of copying the
style and sound of their debut, the
band has turned it inside out . Ini-
tially, the record sounds less acces-
sible, yet the songs begin to sink in
with repeated listens.
Getling admitted recording "Vee
Vee" was a different experience than
making their debut. The new record
was basically written in the studio,

Film Festival highlights diversity
This year's winners are an eclectic mix of viewpoints

By Sarah Rogaki .
Daily Arts Writer
The ballots came in and the cur-
tains came down on the 33rd Ann
Arbor Film Festival's Awards
Screening on Sunday at the Michi-
gan Theater. While the concessionist
sweeps up the last vestiges of pop-
corn and funky celluloid confetti,
let's reflect on the highlights of an-
Ann Arbor Film
Festival
Michigan Theater
March 14-19, 1995
other cutting-edge year in film fes-
tival history.
Top prizes went to an assort-
ment of comic experimental narra-
tives that told modern folk tales from
the fringes of life. Best of the Festi-
val was awarded to K.C. Amos of
Sherman Oaks, California for his
film, "Syphon Gun." Centering
around the perceptions of an elderly
man who bears a striking resem-
blance to Fred Sanford in gesture
and dress, Amos construct the stuff
of neighborhood myth by retelling
the man's confrontation with a gas
syphoner through a photographic
montage.
With a gritty black and white
film stock, the filmmaker gives
movement and texture to the old
codger's voice over. This peculiar
slice-of-life short kept audiences in
stitches as Amos spun together his

a whole lot of spunk.
In the same vein, Australian-na-
tive Liz Hughes won the Lawrence
Kasdan Award for her black and
white comic narrative, "Cat's
Cradle." Departing from the wilds
of a surreal outback homestead, the
film chronicles the comic journey
of a rag-tag family finding a resting
place for their dead patriarch. After
many trials with shovels and rose-
gardens, the family leaves him in a
Saturday matinee to comfort a lonely
Mia Farrow-type. Finding it's
strength in an ambitious soundtrack,
"Cat's Cradle" kept with the
festival's tradition in screening the
bizarre extremities of independent
filmmaking.
The Peter Wilde Award for Most
Innovative Film went to Canadian
filmmaker Ramiro Puerta for his
film, "Crucero/Crossroads," an ex-
ploration of cultural identity in the
post-colonial world. Hinging on
both comic appeal and self investi-
gation, Puerta's film illustrated the
filmmaker's own need to find a
transcultural foothold in construct-
ing an identity which borders on a
Western lifestyle and an indigenous
heritage. The filmmaker's comic
Latino alter-ego, sporting black
pants and a blue bolero jacket, chal-
lenges the notions of ethnicity by
commenting on stereotypical im-
ages of the Hispanic community in
the west. "Crucero/Crossroads"
added a fresh perspective to the as-
tute group of winners, while mak-
ing an excellent transition between
the many comic and dramatic pieces
in the festival.

nated by outstanding documenta-
ries. Grosse-Pointer Mitch McCabe
won the Special Jury Documentary
Award for her Harvard thesis film,
"Playing the Part." In the
filmmaker's struggle to tell her par-
ents that she is gay, she communi-
cates the need for acceptance from
her family and their upper-crust
community. Through "photo
therapy," McCabe desperately
draws ties between her new life and
the past she is leaving behind. Other
strong contenders in the documen-
tary genre were "How I Spent My
Summer Vacation," Chicagoian
Kate Wrobel's piece on children in
the pro-life movement, and "Hello
Photo," Harvard Graduate student
Nina Davenport's breathtaking trav-
elogue on the nature of image and
representation in Indian culture.
Winning the Arts Foundation of
Michigan Award, Claire
Tinkerhess' film "A Touch to Cold"
swept for Best Local Filmmaker:
Sticking to a traditional avant-garde
montage strategy, Tinkerhess con-
trasts footage of animals in the wild
with the cold interactions of human
beings. Entered without her knowl-
edge by her husband, the film made
Tinkerhess a cool thousand dollars
to fund her next project. Kind of
makes you want to get out grandpa's
old Super-Eight camera before next
year's festival rolls around.

Da Bush Babees
Ambushed
Reprise Records
Perhaps nothing is more lamen-
table than the continued weathering
of the musical bulwark, rap, at the
hands of a plethora of wannabe rap-
pers whose lyrical abilities could be
shown up by your average kindergar-
ten student. More often than not, it
seems that any album released by a
new rapper or rap group will turn out
to be shitty at best; they almost make
the average rap conneiseur not want
to take any chances with a freshman
rap CD.
It is with this understandable hesi-
tancy that many would approach da
Bush Babees and their debut effort,
"Ambushed." It would be easy to look
at the three guys on the CD's front
cover and dismiss them as another
here-today-gone-tomorrow rap group.
Thankfully, that thought is the fur-
thest from the truth.
Mr. Man, Kaos and Y-Tee have
produced a very interesting and ap-
pealing 13-cut creation. These three
men also have a uniqueness that hasn't
been found in a rap trio since what
seems like eons ago. Each rapper has
a rap style starkly different than those
of the other two in the group. In
complementing these differences,
these guys have produced cuts any
one of which features a host of con-
trasting beats and other background
sounds. These sounds will change,
faster than the blink of an eye, from
smooth and mellow orough and raun-
chy to lively and upbeat without any

int of when that change will take
place.
"Pon De Attack," the CD's first
rap cut, will quickly take you back to
the treble-crazy sounds of Pharcyde,
the psycho raps of Onyx's Sticky Fin-
gers and the reggaeishness of the Fu-
Schnickens; this is no easy feat for a
3-1/2 minute song. But, this song is
not unique in its rapid, rabid and ram-
pant musical style. Check out "Rough
N' Rugged," (reggae with a passion)
"We Run Things" (a little Erik B. and
Rakim sound) and "Put It Down"
(that single, recurring bass beat that
occurs about 40 seconds into the song
is hype). No two songs are alike, but
all share one common feature - pas-
sionate variety.
One weakness that would be ex-
pected of "Ambushed" would be that
such a variety of beats must include a

few weak sounds. Not true.
"Ambushed" isas solid as Y-Tee's
hardened facial expressions, as fresh
as Mr. Man's hairdressed dreads and
as powerful as the Blackness exuded
by Kaos. In short, "Ambushed" is
mere centimeters away from rap mu-
sic perfection.
- Eugene Bowen
The Waterboys
The Secret Life Of
EMI
O.K., so maybe an album of b-
sides, live and unreleased Waterboys'
material from 1981-1985 is not at the
top of everybody's wish list, but it
does make for a decent record. Most
of the songs hold up as more than just
interesting Waterboys' historical ar-
tifacts, ranging from the great ("Love
See RECORDS, Page 8

p

~i~WAIfl~~hh~ It's not

N V~ N JN~ .r I V N. ~ ~'J 5 3

Or N.i... N E.

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