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April 04, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-04

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ft 00tow]DtCdu

Griffith Flies into Michigan tonight
For the past decade, Nanci Griffith has been one of the best and most
popular singer-songwriters around. Falling somewhere between folk,
country and pop, Griffith has received tons of critical acclaim and has
earned a sizable following; her new album, "Flyers," featuring members of
U2 and R.E.M., has also been warmly received. Griffith plays the Michigan
Theater tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $26 in advance.

Page 5
Tuesday,

ril. V4...1Q9.

F

'Tank Girl
By Shirley Lee
eaily Arts Writer
How best to describe "Tank
Girl?" Born in Worthing in Sussex
six years ago, in the crazy minds of
two comic-book creators, Jamie
Hewlett and Alan Martin, "Tank
Girl" has evolved from a British
cartoon to the Hollywood big-
screens. How to sum up the heady,
comic-book mix of dizzying zooms
0 nd whiplash pans, the sound ef-
ects on over-drive, the gross-out
makeup leavened with Three
Stooges slapstick, and yes, the dead
spots when two half-man, half-kan-
garoo mutants are just talking?
If no one could mistake this film
for a classic, I have to say that if you
can't enjoy a movie featuring a head-
long camera shot that follows a bar
lass thrown across a futuristic ware-
ouse, then you and I are from dif-
ferent planets.
Okay, it's not the greatest story;
but like Alan Silvestri's enjoyably
eclectic score, which does faux-
Morricone one minute and bogus
Bernstein the next, Talalay has such
Ohisson 's
*Chopin
tribute,
continues
By Matthew Steinhauser
*aily Arts Writer
Garrick Ohlsson once again dis-
played his mastery over Frederic
Chopin's piano compositions dur-
ing his Friday evening performance
at Rackham Auditorium. Giving the
third recital in a six-part series dedi-
cated to the Polish composer,
Ohlsson approached the piano with
a relaxed confidence that perme-
ted throughout his performance.
s though Chopin's pieces were
second-nature to him, Ohlsson in-
stinctively spoke to the audience
via his fingers and his piano.
Without warning, Ohlsson suc-
cessfully made sharp, instant, tran-
sitions from tremendous passages
to soft, delicate themes. The pianist
flaunted his ability to create a ver-
atile array of sounds and moods,
nd a strength and fullness re-
sounded in every note that spilled
from the piano.
Throughout the concert, Ohlsson
gathered this wide range of sounds
and masterfully organized them to
his advantage. He maintained focus
and continuity in each piece, never
losing touch with Chopin's beauti-
fully melodic themes. All of the

A hit-or-missile film

a good time jumping all over the
map it's hard to dislike this picture
- especially when feminist,
punkish, superheroine Tank Girl
beats the daylights out of Kesslee
(played by Malcolm McDowell), the

Tank Girl
Directed by
Rachel Talalay
with Lori Petty
At Briarwood and Showcase

tants, join together in the mind-
blowing fight against the Depart-
ment of Water and Power. "Tank
Girl" has some very interesting char-
acters and a rather interesting
premise, but not quite enough char-
acter or plot development to make it
a great movie.
Talalay, however, is helped greatly
by an uniformly enjoyable cast -
namely Lori Petty, who shines as the
smart, aggressive, sexy, and outspo-
ken Tank Girl, kicking ass in the
traditional manner but also smokes,
swears, belches, drinks, and sleeps
with her Ripper boyfriend.
Despite Tank Girl's vulgar and
often unspeakable traits and her ir-
reverent sense of humor, Tank Girl
reigns supreme as the re-revolution-
ized role model for a new genera-
tion of tough females. In artist
Hewlett and writer Martin's hands,
Tank Girl embodies toughness with
an attitude, going beyond where
Wonderwoman dared not go.
However good a time "Tank Girl"
delivers, it never becomes more than
a wised-up retread of clich6s.

cold-blooded head of the Depart-
ment of Water, and the rest of the
bad guys in the time it takes one of
us mortal humans to light a ciga-
rette or drop a beer mug.
With its futuristic premise, "Tank
Girl" is set in the year 2033 when an
ecological cataclysm has ravaged
the land, leaving water the most
precious commodity. With the help
of Jet Girl (played by Naomi Watts),
Tank Girl and the Rippers, a team of
half-man and half-kangaroo mu-

I

Tank Girl, Jet Girl, you go, girlll
Anonymous 4 anonymous no more

By Emily Lambert
Daily Arts Writer
Anonymous 4 has become less
anonymous in recent years. After giv-
ing a host of performances through-
out the United States and producing
a~El4Wr
. Anoymous.4
St. Andrew 's
Episcopal Church
April 1, 1995
three Top 10 Billboard CDs, this all-
female vocal quartet has taken the
music world by a pre-Baroque storm.
The musicians, Ruth Cunningham,
Marsha Genensky, Johanna Rose and
Susan Hellauer, are all early music
scholars who research and reassemble
this despairingly beautiful, centuries
old music.
They bring medieval chant, po-
lyphony, poetry and narrative from
musicology circles to a delighted 20th
century public, bridging the gap be-
tween popular, classical and early
music.
The popularity of Anonymous 4 is
surprising but entirely justifiable. As
the four women showed at their Ann
Arbor debut, held Saturday night in
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, mu-
sic this beautiful defies simple classi-
fication.
The unadorned, calming singing
brimmed with universal emotion and
echoed of times past. Before rap, be-
fore Peter, Paul and Mary, opera,
Beethoven or Bach, there was a time
when having two people sing differ-
ent pitches simultaneously was a
musical development of huge signifi-
cance. Saturday's program consisted
of music from medieval England,
where the introduction of triads, the
basis of the modern scale, forever
changed musical structure. The mu-
sic history professor who happened
to sit in front of me could vouch for
the authenticity of the performance
better than I, but the music didn't
have to be intellectualized to be en-
joyed.
The women began with a homo-
phonic hymn, singing in unison with
ensemble that made it impossible to
discern between voices. Once the
ear had adjusted to the vocal blend,
a new pitch was introduced with a
haunting effect, until the music flow-
ered into harmonious, mesmerizing

chords. Interspersed between the
devotional and liturgical songs were
Old English readings given beauti-
fully executed, theatrical pronun-
ciation.
With exquisite tone quality and
admirable intonation, the singers ex-
hibited complete control over all
registers. The polished high notes
seemed to melt away at the end of
each phrase, and low notes never
quavered. The ringing acoustics of
the church surely enhanced the
sounds, though it is doubtful that
the singers needed the extra help.
The texts, drawn from Christian
tradition, described Mary's experi-
ences at the foot of the cross. Reli-
gious or not, the concert was a mys-
tical wonder. The music, penned by
anonymous composers centuries

ago, evoked images of secluded
churches and sequestered monas-
teries.
Yet the twentieth century refused
to be ignored. Some of the evening's
most tranquil moments were inter-
rupted by passing cars, a helicopter
overhead or the occasional beeper.
The most dreaded disruption to
the peacefulness proved to be the
audience's clapping at the end of
the program. We would have pre-
ferred that the quartet gradually dis-
appear from sight and return to the
medieval convent from which they
seemed to come.
Although that necessary custom
of showing our appreciation seemed
intrusive, it is undeniable that
Anonymous 4 wholly deserved the
applause.

riliiant pianist unisson Is plotting his takeover of the world.

w

Garrick
Ohlsson
Rackham Auditorium
March 31, 1995

flashy embellishments Ohlsson
layed spun from the simple, cen-
al melodies.
Ironically, many of Ohlsson's dra-
matic coups emerged from silence.
He often daringly exaggerated hesita-
tions and pauses. With his hands off
of the keyboard for a couple of sec-
onds at a time, Ohlsson accentuated
long runs or big chords and set up
brilliant reentrances. Every time the
pianist broke the quiet, his first clear
*otes emerged from and comple-
mented the silence.
Ohlsson presented 16 years of
Chopin's work, alternately gripping
the audience with electrifying pas-
sionate pieces and relieving with hap-
pier ditties.
After opening with "Three Noc-
turnes, Op. 15," Ohlsson drew out all
the compelling contrasts between the
"Two Polonaises, Op. 40." In the
WPolonaise No. I in A Major," he
attacked the keys and the sharp, ma-
jestic chords marched from the piano
like a proud general leading his troops
to war. The measured rhythms and

auditorium with a thick, arrogant, pre-
war bravado. Ohlsson immediately
evaporated all traces of the glorified
war images with the somber
"Polonaise No. 2 in C Minor." With
deep, dark tones, he explored the real
horror and loss of war. The same
general that stomped off to war in
"Polonaise No. 1," Ohlsson showed
bowing his head nobly in defeat.
Ohlsson followed the gloomy
Polonaise with the relaxing, flow-
ing calm of the "Berceuse in D-flat
Major, Op. 57," which nicely
complemented the trills and flour-
ishes that gushed from melodic
chord patterns in the romantic "Bar-
carolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60."
The pianist brilliantly fulfilled
the dancing spirit in the "Four Ma-
zurkas, Op. 17." With the "Mazurka
No. 1 in B-flat Major," Ohlsson just
wanted to have fun - dance and
party the night away. The music
perfectly illustrated this mood as
the notes happily skipped and leapt
into the crowd. He applied his deft
touch to the "Mazurka No. 4 in A
Minor," and the music realized the
power to invade bodies and gently
carry them away. Ohlsson's rendi-
tion showed off his ability to hold
varying themes together in a com-
mon purpose. Dainty, passionate
lines oozed gracefully out of grand,
resonating sequences.
Before an intermission, Ohlsson
played the "Imprompu No. 1 in A-flat
Major" and the "Ballade No. 4 in f
minor, Op. 52." He continued the
second portion of his program with
the "Rondo in E-flat Major, Op. 16."
The pianist created a violent storm
over Rackham in the intro that dis-

pervaded through the remainder of
the Rondo. Ohlsson dazzled the
crowd, facing every technical chal-
lenge that the piece offered.
Between the dance motifs in the
"Four Mazurkas, Op. 24" and the
"Waltz in E-flat Major, Op. 18,"
Ohlsson performed "Two Nocturnes,
Op. 32." In the "Nocturne No. 2 in A-
flat Major," Ohlsson created a tender,
reminiscent aura with the delicate,
flowing melodies. In the final
Polonaise in "A-flat Major, Op. 53,"
he rekindled the inspiring flames from
the "Polonaise No. 1 in A Major."
Ohlsson pounded the rich, glorious
chords with a fervor that occasionally
brought him out of his seat - and the
huge, ostentatious finale immediately
brought the audience to their feet.
With his stunning piano playing
and his calm stage presence, Ohlsson
exudes relaxed confidence and spar-
kling amiability. For almost three
hours Friday evening, Ohlsson en-
tranced his audience as he shared
his infectious insights into Chopin's
music.

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