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December 04, 1996 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-04

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 4, 1996

Actors share their
souls in Basement
Arts Burn This'

By Christopher Tkaczyk
Daily Arts Writer
It has been said that the greatest writ-
ing comes from deep within writers,
and that what they write from their
hearts is what is most true. To get deep
inside, writers must go beyond any
boundaries set by their personal lives.
To share their greatest fears and tri-
umphs with their readers, writers have
to be willing to present their dreams
and, experiences. Often, writers have
reservations about what they should
divulge to their readers. As a result,
writers may destroy some of their great-
est writing
because they feel
,that what they
PRI
have written is j R
too personal to be
shared. Tomor
This is the case at 7 p
with Lanford in the Frieze Bu

E
rro~
.m.
ildi

Wilson, a play-
wright whose masterpiece about the
s hardships of being an artist is coming
this weekend to Basement Arts.
Wilson's play, "Burn This," was written
as a response to how artists who put so
much of their own lives into their cre-
atye product can ultimately destroy
themselves emotionally. It is a work of
ar that lets its audience in on the cre-
ative process and all that goes into it.
The greatest and most interesting
fact behind this play lies within the title
itself. During an interview with The
Michigan Daily, the director of "Burn
This," Allison Tkac, a School of Music
senior, explained that the title comes
from what Wilson had written atop the
pages of some of his writing. He
intended to remind himself to destroy
the highly personal material he realized
he couldn't share with his readers.
By burning the writing, he could not
,only prevent his darkest and deepest
secrets from being revealed, but he
could also prevent himself from having
to deal with them. It is with this objec-
r tive that Wilson has developed his char-
acters in "Burn This." Every character
is an artist. Altogether, the play is about
a dancer, a visual artist, a writer and a

man whose job is subjected to the artis-
tic community of New York City.
The play starts out after the funeral of
the main characters' close friend, and
follows their grieving process. The
main conflict rests between how the
artists deal with their loss and their con-
tinuing work.
The play, originally produced on
Broadway in 1987, was a ground-
breaking production at the time.
Although it wasn't the first play to con-
tain a homosexual main character, it
was the first production that included a
homosexual yet did not concentrate
solely on a gay
character's sexu-
VIEW ality. This drama
BurnThis presents the char-
Burn This acter as another
w through Saturday at person, instead of
at the Arena Theater an outsider to
ng. Admission is free. human society.
Tkac said that
she worked closely to the original
script, hoping to convey Wilson's origi-
nal intentions to her audience. "There
has been much time and sweat put into
this production, and I feel that that is a
requirement since it is a study of artis-
tic work," she said.
"I wanted to concentrate entirely on
the acting, since this production
requires strong actors who are experi-
enced with the trials and tribulations of
the creative field."
Tkac explained that the script was
brought to her by two of the actors in the
show. They realized they could present
this as a powerful acting drama, which
Tkac hopes to accomplish. "I expect the
audience to understand the strife of an
artist and what he or she goes through in
order to create his or her art," she said.
Actors work hard in order to accom-
plish their goals, especially when they
are demanded to present their emotions
to an entertainment-hungry audience.
Nobody knows the truth of this state-
ment more than the actors who have
been long at work in preparation for
this weekend - like playwright
Wilson, they are now ready to share
their souls.

Ralph Fiennes and 'English
Patient' fans, get ready! A
contest awaits you
"The English Patient," the remarkable love story star-
ring Ralph Flennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Juliette
Binoche and Willem Dafoe opened last week in theaters
around the nation. The movie is an unconventional love
story told from the deathbed of a man recovering from
burns suffered in World War II. Unlike most movies of
recent years, "The English Patient" succeeds in not only
evoking a profound emotional response, but in setting
its sentimentality against the sometimes brutal, some-
times adventurous canvas of history. And, lucky for you,
we want to celebrate! Do the words FREE STUFF ring a
familiar bell? If you can name another movie in which
sexy man Ralph Flennes appeared, then you just might
be the proud recipient of a classy, sensual, full-sized
"English Patient" movie poster. It's your big chance to
steam up your bedroom windows with this sexy poster
of Fiennes and Thomas In a passionate embrace. How
can you pass this one up? Just stop by the Daily Arts
office, located on the second floor of the Student
Publications Building, 420 Maynard St., after 1 p.m.
today and give us your answer. Remember: supplies are
limited, so hurry ... we're waiting for you.

Tupac lives! Death Row releases posthumous album

01

READ SPORTSMONDAY
The Nation's
* c
course
J U ST G OT E VE N
I -800-KAP-EST
www.kaplan.com

Tupac Shakur
Maka velil
Death Row
Conspiracy theories revolving
around Tupac Shakur's death, as well as
allegations that he's not really dead, will
undoubtedly receive a boost with the
posthumous release of "Makaveli,"
Shakur's fifth solo release. At the very
beginning of "Makaveli" Tupac attacks
various East Coast rappers, including
Nas, Biggie and Mobb Deep; he
implicates them in joining
"together in conspiracy
to assassinate the char-
acter of not only Mr.
Shakur, but of Death
Row Records as
well."
But the idea that this
LP most supports is that
2PAC sensed his
approaching demise.
"Makaveli" strikes me as an
insane final mission by Shakur to take all
of his contrastingly, hypocritically human
feelings and lay them out in the open.
Perhaps that explains why Shakur seemed
to be desperately trying to cram into each
of the LP's 12 songs as many diverse
views as one human mind can hold.
Take "White Man'z World," in which
he begins by praising black women for
their positive contributions to a world
where both their race and gender works
to their detriment. He then goes into the
death of a homie by two bullets in his
poor ghetto world, before going back to
his discussion of women and apologiz-
ing to his mother and sistas for the suf-
fering he caused them. Lastly he speaks
(not raps) to the
fellas: "(Blacks
have) been here
all this time;
(whites) ain't
took us out. They
can never take us
out. ... It ain't
them that's killin'
us; it's us that's
killin' us."
However, no
song can touch
"Hail Mary,"'
whose ominous-
sounding beats
are complimentedk
by its dark refrain:
"Come with me.
Hail Mary, nigga
run quick, see?
What do we have
here now? Do you The late Tupac Sha
wanna ride or record world.
die?" As he's done
on many songs before, Tupac contrasts
his desire for salvation from the darkness
of his life with his calm willingness to
remain immersed in the bowels of dark-

0

ness from which he was born. He'll
"bow down, prayin' the Lord is listen-
ing," while "seein' niggas comin' for me
through my diamonds when they glis-
tenin'." And he begs, "Catch me Father
please, 'cause I'm fallin'."Yet regardless
of the realization of the direction his life
is going, "in the liquor store, pass the
Hennessy. I hear it callin'."
Much in the tradition of "Me Against
the World," "Makaveli" offers 2PAC his
final chance for release, much like a
musical purgatory. Running through this
album lies all the possible feel-
ings a human being can
" & have. Love, lust, hate,
sadness, fear, joy, con-
cern, indifference -
they all sit side by
side on "Makaveli,"
contradictory, yet
simultaneously fitting
together well.
Many would take
these continuously contrast-
ing ideas to be a sign of 2PAC's
hypocrisy. But I see it more as a real-
ization of Shakur's humanity. A human-
ness which, no different from our own,
was being forever twisted by inconsis-
tent opinions, controverted ideas and an
oftentimes demented world around us.
- Eugene Bowen
The Heads
No Talking, Just Head
MCA
The best way to define "No Talking,
Just Head" is by stating what it isn't.
"No Talking, Just Head" isn't a Talking
Heads album,
though The
Heads is made up
of all the mem-
bers of Talking
Heads - minus
David Byrne.
And it's not a
compilation or a
benefit album,
though it does
feature vocalists
ranging from
M i c h a e l
w Hutchence of
INXS to Live's
Ed Kowalczyk.
What "No
Talking, Just
Head" is, is an
album with amaz-
ing variety that
ir lives on in the still maintains a
constant thread
throughout, mak-
ing the songs fit together beautifully
despite the assortment of vocalists.
Before combining once again to form
The Heads, Chris Frantz, Jerry
Harrison and Tina Weymouth, once the
most outstanding rhythm section of any
'80s band, each pursued separate
careers in the field of producing.
Harrison had worked with Live, Crash
Test Dummies and The Violent Femmes
(two of whose vocalists appear on "No

Talking, Just Head"), while Weymouth
and Frantz worked with Ziggy Marley
and Happy Mondays, as well as their
own Tom Tom Club and others. When
they hooked up with Blast, a talented
guitarist, The Heads were formed.
Unfortunately, as they began to put
together the tracks for the album, they
realized that they had no vocalist to sing
them, nor any lyrics for a vocalist to sing.
At this point, it paid to have connections
and they sent out samplers to artists that
they knew and respected. These new
recruits - including Debbie Harry,
Andy Partridge (of XTC), Johnette
Napolitano (Concrete Blonde), Shaun
Ryder (Black Grape) and Gordon Gano
(Violent Femmes) - soon put lyrics to
the tracks, and "No Talking, Just Head"
began to come together brilliantly.
The album that was produced as a
result of this rather nontraditional method
is truly unique. Perhaps its most attractive
part is the stereotypes that are broken
down by the vocalists themselves.
Debbie Harry simply wails on "No
Talking, Just Head," a vaguely industrial
tune which completely puts a wrench in
her earlier Blondie image. "No Big
Bang" features Maria McKee, who con-
tributes a positively danceable track. And
Malin Anneteg, a New York spoken-word
performer, manages to combine poetry
and music without the rhythm even once
seeming overpowering.
But the best tracks on "No Talking,
Just Head" are the boys who outdo even
Byrne himself. Kowalczyk contributes
"Indie Hair" a ditty that positively
screams Talking Heads, wry lyrics and
all. Richard Hell, another CBGB veter-

aku

an, offers up "Never Mind," a fupk
exploration that contains words of.wis-
dom along the lines of "Don't get me
wrong: I like you and your dress,-but
we're both better off without all That
stress." And though I might be wrong,
Shaun Ryder sounds just like Greg
Dulli of the Afghan Whigs when he
screams "Sleazy lady!" on "Don't Ta4
My Kindness For Weakness."
Overall, "No Talking, Just Head"
offers listeners a little bit of everything
when it comes to vocalists, while con-
sistently providing rhythms that will
knock your socks off. The last hurdle
for The Heads to overcome will be tdur-
ing, though they have decided to make
Johnette Napolitano lead vocalist with
special guest appearances from the
album's cast at selected dates. Whi
this is definitely an unorthodo
approach to making music, when it
works as well as "No Talking, Jest
Head", why change it?
- Lise Harwin
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
Introducing Gorky's Zygotic
Mynci
Mercury
They're young. They're Welsh. They
consume fields and fields of hallucino-
genic mushrooms, and they make sne
of the best and weirdest music around.
They're Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, and
their stateside debut is this sampler of
the group's finest moments from their
albums and singles.
Unlike many bands who draw heavi
from psychedelic and progressive .
influences, Gorky's manage not to sotnd
like they're stuck in 1968, mainly
because of their youth and exuberance,
but also because of the interesting direc-
tions their songs take as they unfold:
"Merched Ynneud Gwallt Eu Gilydd
(Girls Doing Each Other's Hair),"-or
example, swirls a Beatles-eque chorus
together with a Flaming Lips-style sonic
bombast in just under three minot
"Why Are We Sleeping?" mixes boutc
Moog synthesizer lines, lilting verses
and a stomping hard-rock chorus and
then sweeps out with various swooshjng
and twittering noises. All this sonic tom-
foolery sounds completely natural
because the Gorkys' sense of melody

m

.

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