Roses Are Read
Th7>e s,&&~ Of
T omorrow's issue of The
Michigan Daily will be the last
produced by the current group
of editors. With Monday's paper
Omes a new staff- and for me, a
new role, that of average reader. As
my term as editor in chief comes to a
close, I thought I would talk about the
media and the Daily's place in it.
When analyzing the media as a
-whole, it's important to remember
that you can 't analyze the media as a
whole. I am continually amazed that
when people talk about the media,
ey group The New York Times,
ard Copy," The Michigan Daily,
"Larry King Live," National Public
Radio, Ricki Lake and their home-
town weekly - and then proceed to
use an episode of Hard Copy as
indicative of the group's actions.
I resent being told that we in "the
media" are at fault for something that
somebody saw on television, as
though the publisher of The New
York Times joined the producer of
, Current Affair" and me at Amer's
st Tuesday to discuss how "we in
the media" were going to handle a
story. And if it annoys me, imagine
how the publisher of The New York
The bottom line is that people can
choose their own media outlets. If
you're sick of seeing a story about
O.J. Simpson on page one of The
Detroit News every day, solve the
oblem - stop reading The Defroit
News. If you don't care about
transvestite sex slaves, don't watch
_"Geraldo." The number of high-
quality news outlets is dwindling, but
you can still pick up a copy of The
Washington Post if you want to find
out what is happening in the world.
Still, not enough people pick up
The Washington Post every day.
Instead they eat what television feeds
em, occasionally browse through a
ewspaper and then spend their free
time complaining that the media
doesn't report the news honestly and
fairly anymore. That's like buying a
Yugo and whining that nobody makes
cars that run well anymore - except
that with the Yugo, at least the buyer
has price as an excuse.
That said, there are problems
inherent in trying to find fair report-
g. Almost everybody in the media
as certain tendencies that detract
from their effectiveness. One of the
largest - and this is just an example
- is that there exists more coverage
of presidential campaigns than of the
actual workings of government. As a
result, average citizens are far more
caught up in the question of who will
be the next president than why they
But, as I said, you can choose your
Own media outlet - and today, at
least, you have chosen this one. This
is a feat in and of itself, because since
I have attended this University - and
probably for much longer - it has
been fashionable to dismiss the
Daily's worth to its readers. But since
my first year here I also have noticed
that people read it. Walk into any
lecture hall just before the start of
lass and count the number of Dailies
the hands of the students.
People do read the Daily.
We like to think there's a reason.
Over the past year, it has been our
goal to serve members of the
University community by informing
them on the issues that most interest
them - or, in some cases, on issues
that should interest them.
Often, our work at this newspaper
gets little recognition other than
erisive comments. Few people
realize that the Daily is produced
entirely by their fellow students. We
would never use this as an excuse for,
any mistake, and we would certainly
never ask that expectations of the
Daily be lowered. But it is fair to ask
that you respect the effort that goes
Whatever the Daily means to those
who read it, it means far more to those
*ho produce it. There are numerous
places on this campus where one can
learn writing or computing skills, where
one can train for a job or make friends
for life, where one can learn to be a
leader or debate ethics, where one can
feel pride or become more responsible.
But I doubt there is any place one can
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The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc.
January 25, 1996
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%N JENNIFER 8 JCKL( NE
DA1LN' WEEKEND EDITOR
olk music, some misguided souls will tell you, is about as
entertaining as watching the Prevue Channel at 3 a.m. It's
too mellow, they say. Folk is fine - for lite-FM radio and
elevator Muzak. It works when you're "Rocky Mountain High,"
but that's about it.
If you happen to know any of these wrong-headed people,
invite them to the 19th Ann Arbor Folk Festival. They'll hear folk
music, all right - from gentle country ballads to fiery
fingerpicking to funky, bass-driven Afro-Celt tunes to "acoustic
thrash" - and the only thing it won't be is boring.
For its organizers, the Folk Fest serves a dual purpose: To
gather on one stage some of the country's best and most respected
folk performers, and to function as the major fund-raiser for the
Ark, the local club long regarded a national treasure by acoustic
music fans. The latter is especially important this year as the Ark
moves to its new, larger downtown location on Main Street.
Headlining this year's festival is legendary guitarist Chet
Atkins. An influential Nashville producer in the 1960s and '70s,
Atkins helped define the pop-country hybrid sound of such artists
as Willie Nelson, Dottie West and Dolly Parton. He's best known
for his virtuoso acoustic fingerpicking, showcased on his 1994
record "Read My Licks," but Atkins has also made his mark in
jazz/fusion, pop, bluegrass and rock. He's recorded with the likes
of Doc Watson, Les Paul, and Elvis Presley (in the sessions for
"Heartbreak Hotel" and "Hound Dog"). As if that list weren't
impressive enough, the guitarist occasionally dips into classical
music, appearing with the Boston Pops Orchestra and sympho-
nies around the country.
Michael Hedges doesn't look much like Atkins (no country
gentleman he - Hedges wears his hair long and tousled and
claims to love Pantera), but some regard him as the heir to Atkins'
title as the country's finest fingerpicker. His sixth Windham Hill
release, "The Road to Return," spotlights Hedges' wildly inno-
vative playing style, which includes slapping the guitar'swooden
sufrface, plucking strings, and hammer-ons with both hands.
Hedges, who also sings and plays the flute, electronic trans trem
See FESTIVAL, Page 58
The 19Th Ann Aezbon Folk FesnvaL
SaTuRuay, Jan. 27 ar 6 p.m.
TickeTs aize $25. CalL 763-TKTS.
ScbeahLeT ro appea aRe CheT ATkins, MichaeL
Heaqes, Inis DeMenT, Janis Ian, Keb' Mo', Tima
am) MoLLie O'Biien, DaR Witiaos, BaTT Buns,
The Lawza Love Bann and bosTs TRouTFishing in
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: CheT ATkins, Keb'
Mo', IRns DeMenT, LawRa Love, Janis Ian ad)
STEPHANIE GRACE LIM/Daily
ife's not fair, and nobody's perfect. No one can sit
L back and say that their life - including both the
things they have done and the things that have happened
to them - has been all happy and good. But from the
worst despair can come some of life's greatest
happinesses. Just ask Laura Love; she knows firsthand.
"I came from the most abject poverty imaginable,"
Love said. "I've been on welfare. I've been homeless.
I've been in institutions. I've been in every kind of
horrible situation as a child. Since I was a little kid I'd
been thinking about ways to do things better 'cause I was
very aware that I was beholden to others, that I was
Love is one of a rare breed of people who continually
search for the silver lining surrounding the blanket of
dreary clouds which invaded her life. Perusing the con-
Sweet is the melody, so hard to come by ...
You lay down the hours and leave not one trace
But a tune for the dancing is there in its place.
- Iris DeMent, "Sweet is the Melody"
The songs were always there, as far back as Iris
DeMent can remember. I t just took her a little longer than
most songwriters to find them.
"I've always wanted to write songs," she said recently.
"As I got to be a teenager, I wanted to write them even
more, but for some reason I just couldn't. I would feel
really intimidated by other people who were able to do it,
and to do it well. I could never imagine myself being able
to come anywhere near that.
"I'd sit and write a line and I would compare it to
somebody else's and decide it was no good. As much as
I wanted to write, I never got past a line or two."
And then, at 25, Iris DeMent found her songs-verses
hidden in the church revivals, romances, travels and
losses of her own life; choruses of laughter buried in
long-forgotten childhood games. She wrote them down,
moved to Nashville, taught herself to play guitar and
began performing at open mike sessions.
"It was kind of late to start writing, but it was the time
for me," DeMent said. "I had to have some life experi-
ences to help me get to that place where I realized that the
right person to be was the person that I was. When I
decided that, when I decided to pursue the thing I loved,
was when I started being able to write."
Now, 10 years later, DeMent has a major-label record-
ing contract, friends like John Prine and Nanci Griffith,
and a solid reputation as one of the finest singer/