The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 15, 1996 - 9A
intercollegiate harmony fills fans with glee
Sy Anitha Chalam
Por the Daily
With football season still a long way
off, hundreds of Michigan and Michi-
gan State fans gathered in Hill Audito-
rium on Saturday night to witness a
different kind ofcompetition: the Battle
ofthe Men's Glee Clubs. But those who
qxpected a true competition with only
one victor must have been disappointed
by the fact that both glee clubs were
incredible, with neither group outdoing
the other, yet at the same time, with
both groups singing amazingly well, to
end in an exciting tie score.
The Michigan State University Men's
Glee Club, under the direction of
Jonathan Reed, took the stage first that
.evening, for an early lead. Intheir forest
green blazers and khaki slacks, they
oked great, and their singing proved
MSU scored many times that evening,
right from their first song, "Zion's
Walls." Strong and serious, this reviv-
alist song demonstrated the group's
beautiful teamwork and harmonizing
skiis. This song was followed by four
other religious songs. "0 Filii et Filiae"
was sung in Latin, and had a beautiful,
olyphonic texture, again demonstrat-
ng the amazing skill of this team, who
scored a touchdown with their next
;song, "Blow Ye the Trumpet," the fa-
Men's Glee Club
April 13, 1996
vorite hymn of the title character from
the opera "John Brown."
At this point, MSU took a timeout,
and the Spartan Dischords, a 12-mem-
ber a cappella subset of the group, came
forward. They performed three songs.
The first was fast and had a nice har-
mony, and received loud applause and
whistling at its conclusion. The second
song, "One More Minute," by Weird
Al, was about a broken-hearted boy
who had just been dumped. This song
generated much laughter from the audi-
ence, especially at the end, when the
singer admitted that it was a Wolverine
he had dated. The final song, "Mon
Amour," by Erasure, was also very en-
joyable, and displayed the mediocre,
but funny, dancing abilities ofthe group.
The full Glee Club resumed their
singing, sounding exuberant after a re-
freshing timeout. They briefly left the
religious genre of music for a genre
which included blood and sex in their
next two selections. Both scored many
points from the audience, who gave
long and loud applause.
The final selection sung by MSU,
"I'm Gonna Sing," returned to God. It
was a very cheerful piece, and received
many cheers as well. It was amidst this
noise that the Glee Club left the stage,
commencing halftime... uh, intermis-
After halftime, the crowd waited ea-
gerly in their seats in anticipation of the
world-renowned University of Michi-
gan Men's Glee Club, whom many
hoped would even up the score. The
University scored bonus points for
catching everyone unprepared when it
performed its first song, "Laudes Atque
Carmina," from the rear of the audito-
rium. The second piece, a German song
entitled "Sing dem Herrn," had a nice
marching beat, very effectively dem-
onstrated by the University, as they
marched up onto the stage, again scor-
ing points for a spectacular entrance.
The next two songs were taken from
South America, the destination of the
next Men's Glee Club international tour.
The songs expressed contrasting moods,
but both were very beautifully sung.
And with the next four songs, the
University secured the lead in the num-
ber of languages in which they per-
formed their songs.
The University took a timeout at this
point, and the Friars performed three
songs, including a Billy Joel spoof,
"Graduate on Time," and an audience
participation piece, "Minnie the
Moocher." These were very well re-
ceived by the audience, whose excite-
ment level was amazing, evidenced in
their boisterous singing in the audience
The University came back charged for
itsnextpiece, "Selections from West Side
Story." All that can be said about this
piece is "Wow!" The piano was good, the
soloists were good, and the arrangement
was amazing. This piece was a big crowd
pleaser, scoring a touchdown and the
extra point for the University.
"Michigan Songs," the final selec-
tion for the University that evening,
was nice and nostalgic. It concluded
with "Varsity" and "The Victors," the
perfect ending to any sporting event, be
it Big Ten Football or Big Ten Glee
Clubbing. The audience showed its sup-
port by joining in on the Victors Trio.
After this piece, the University and
MSU crowded together onstage for a
joint rendition of both schools' alma
maters. Members ofthe audiencejoined
in, and enthusiastically sang along, sum-
ming up their opinion of the entire
evening, an evening of superb music,
and one of the best vocal performances
Silverfish fallout alert: Lesley Rank-
ine, formerly the largest force behind
tie raucous band Silverfish, is apparent
'helargest force behind Ruby.Andwhile
at first her new direction of somewhat
4ance-and techno-influenced work
m iht seem to violate the spirit of Sil-
verfish, on longer reflection, "Salt Pe-
ter" is a different-sounding but paral-
"e-spirited collection of songs.
the lyrics retain the same sinister
nd angry tone as Lez's past work. She
could have easily sung the lines "And if
tomorrow didn't come / Would you?"
from "Salt Water Fish" four years ago
astoday. It's the music that's changed.
Slower for the most part, more melodi-
ous and "listener-friendly," the music
can be a bit hard to accept at first for a
longtime fans. Butthere are still enough
*nergetic songs to make the transition
easier. "Tiny Meat" is a power song,
upbeat and hard in a poppy way, and
with the most non-mainstream lyrics
possible (I crack it split to see inside / I
run because I can't abide / This tiny
meat in my hand / And the pound,
pound, pound of your bleeding heart").
"Pine" also pounds away with a spec-
tacularly subtle violence.
*,The beat is the main nonvocal ele-
ment of most of the songs on the album.
"Paraffin" hassuch a heavy beat that once
you start to pay attention to it, it begins to
pound on the inside of your skull like a
dwarf with a hammer and some time on
his hands. The beat is gradually removed,
preserving sanity and the song. Other
percussive instruments abound; the tim-
pani and xylophone on "Hoops" make a
very interesting base for the spit-talk de-
ivery of the chorus: "Duckin' n' divin',
ppin' n' skivin' between the shit and
the shovel, the ass-lick and the grovel and
',od, oh what a lord, makes me thankful
forbeing bored." It beatsyou silly. "Bud"
has a sort of nightclub feel with a cymbal
and some fine nightclub vocals that would
improve the new Bond films.
Lez's voice moves around, too. It's
nearly PJ Harvey's on "The Whole is
Equal to the Sum of Its Parts," but it tends
one more akin to a speaking voice than
the screams fans might be accustomed to
- not a bad thing, just different.
"Salt Peter" is a fine effort. Smooth
and evil, it's what we need a lot moreof
in the world today. Let this gem of the
jewelcases gnaw into your brain, not
just sit around on a shelf.
- Ted Watts
"I don't want to hear about this issue
of keeping it real no more. It's all hype.
It's time was all saw through it.
Everybody's talking aboutkeeping their
4 itreal. For who? Their hood? You are
iving a reality that someone else has set
the tone for. You want to be real? You
want to be true? Start with being true to
yourself, and then come talk to me."
Busta Rhymes may not look it, and
he may not act it all the time, but he is
serinulv one of the deenest hrnthas in
overkill, Busta's first single, "Woo
Hah!! Got You All in Check," is like a
breath of fresh air. Just barely uptempo
and filled with beats as twisted as
Busta's dreds, this song shows that Busta
is a rapping kingpin.
"The Coming" is a crazy album, and
you can see this even before you take
the wrapping off of the CD. The cover
photo features Busta's face (in its usual
open-mouthed, squinted-eyes pose)
bathed in blinding white light sur-
rounded on one side with a dark-brown
hue with a ghostly white dove sitting
upon his head (you can even see it's
pink feet). The inside photo/portrait has
an aura of terror surrounding it; it is a
cross between the psyche of Freddy
Krueger and Charles Manson - a little
too excessive to stomach as completely
factual, but much to gripping to be
"The Coming" is as varied as it is
vicious. "Hot Fudge," a tribute to his
days with the Leaders and the philoso-
phies he developed back then, and
"Keep It Movin'," which he performs
with Dinco, Milo and Charlie Brown (a
Leaders founder), shows that the slight
animosity which surrounded his leav-
ing the Leaders has at least begun to
"It's a Party," featuring the beloved
female duo Zhan6 (ain't heard from
them in a while), is followed immedi-
ately by a rather interesting interlude.
Following in the tradition of what Eazy-
E and DJ Quik have already done, this
interlude speaks on a growing popula-
tion of men, who in the past would
never admit to going "downtown," now
proudly gloating over their expertise in
the oral pleasures.
Busta's deep, grungy, gurgling voice
is much like that of Wu Tang's 01'
Dirty Bastard and Onyx's "Sticky
Fingaz." But Busta's no copy-cat; if
anything, he's a progenitor. It was Busta
who popularized the sort of crazed,
enraged rap delivery that many mimic.
"The Coming" is filled with spooky,
horrifying tones, much like what the
Wu-Tang is notorious for hitting its
crowd with. The apocalyptic sounds
flowing throughout this 13-cut LP
comes to a head with "The End of the
But don't let this album's dark, mys-
terious contents create in your mind a
completely twisted Busta Rhymes. He
is a genius whose album will play with
your emotions and titillate you with an
almost morbid fascination with a darker,
more sinister side of ... if only we
knew. And his penetrating rhymes - a
purposeful roller coaster of on-beat-
off-beat flow - will keep you in his
mental choke hold.
- Eugene Bowen
Pulitizer Prize-winning author Jack Miles to
tackle 'God' at Borders tonight
Othello, Don Quixote, Holden Caulfield and God? Thanks to Jack Miles, who just
won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography last week for his book "God: A Biography"
(Vintage, 1996), God can now be counted among the world's most explored and
puzzling literary characters. Miles, a former Jesuit priest and a Professor of Near
Eastern languages, will be at Ann Arbor's Borders Books and Music to read and
sign copies from the highly debated book. "God: A Biography" is an evocative and
Intriguing look at the world's greatest and best-known literary and historical
character. Miles takes a probing and imaginative look at the God of the Hebrew
Bible, and recreates the life of the most-scrutinized character in literary history.
Religious conservatives have shuddered as Miles' scholarship has depicted a God
that strays far away from the idealized Judeo-Christian concept of a supreme
being. Miles, a former Jesuit priest, depicts a God who is capable of mistakes and
irrationality. His God ranges from omniscient and omnipotent to blind and
powerless. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times has called "God: A
Biography" a "work of literary scholarship that will forever color, if not downright
alter, our conception of the Bible as a work of art." Still, Miles' work should not
be read as a piece of biblical interpretation; instead, Miles tackles God as.a
literary character, delving into his psyche and motivations, the way one might
explore the character of say, Hamlet, Odysseus or Leopold Bloom. And Miles'
exploration of the divine being does everything to shatter the Western concept of
a perfect and unchanging God. Still, "God: A Biography" does not come across as
blasphemous or intentionally unsettling. Miles' prose is sharp and tender, and ripe
with imagination and a thorough knowledge of his subject. Tonight's appearance
at Borders is sure to challenge, entertain and quite possibly unsettle your soul.
Ruby is pouting. She's lost her Silverfish.
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