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October 17, 1997 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-17

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5 Greene performs!
58 Greene, A's own multicultural a cappella group, will color the
Power Center with its tunes tonight. Singing everything from '60s
folk to 90s R&B, the group is sure to provide a hip-swingin', lips-
movn, foot-tappin' good time. The performance will begin at 8:30
tonight. Admission is $8 and tickets can be purchased through the
Michigan Union Ticket Office.

October 17, 1997


Poundstone brings
zany humor to Hill

'Gift of Fear' sheds
new light on emotion:

By Laura Layfer
For the Daily
Paula Poundstone recalled that, as a
kding comic stepping off the
!eyhound bus in San Francisco, she
felt like Dorothy leaving gray Kansas
for the colorful land of Oz.
"From the
moment I arrived I
knew that it was the PR
perfect place for Pa
me to be; it just felt
right," Poundstone
Whe "stand-up
comedy renaissance of the early '80s"
as Poundstone referred to it, made the
West Coast the Emerald City for those
such as herself, trying to break into the
world of comedy. In a recent phone
interview with Poundstone from her
home in Los Angeles, she was as at ease
talking about herself as she is onstage
- and just as funny.
Poundstone said her unique form of
ick-witted, interactive type of com-
came about purely by accident. "I
would write down on little pieces of
paper everything I saw or did that I
thought had humor in it, and at the
end of the day, I would have thou-
sands of little pieces of paper."
From these, Poundstone would write
pages of comedy routines that would go
unused once she got on stage. "I tried to
stick to these routines but two things
j uld happen. First, one edits different-
n front of a crowd depending on the
responses, so I was always improvising,
and the other thing is that most times I
would simply forget and would have to
-work the crowd. My memory is so bad
I get lost a block from my house," she
Poundstone quickly learned to

improvise her routines, and found to her
delight that "what was not by design
turned out to be the best part of the
Since then, it has become not only
her trademark, but what she loves best

about perforining.

This relaxed, go-
with-the-flow atti-


tude for which
REVIEW Poundstone is so
ula Poundstone famous has
Saturday at 9 p.m. allowed her to
Hill Auditorium engage her audi-
$16; call 763-TKTS ence with a certain
intimacy. On stage,
her interaction is like being invited to an
informal party with Poundstone as the
host. She called her style "great thera-
py" because it forces her to stand in
front of a group of strangers and say
what she thinks in a candid and honest
Where most comics have a collection
of one liners that they use, Poundstone
allows the crowd to help her ensure that
each show will be special and that no
two are alike.
Occasionally, Poundstone admits
that her mind will wander to thoughts
grander than standup routines, often
viewing the world of sitcoms as
where her career path is heading. She
has attempted various types of televi-
sion art forms, branding herself as the
"queen of the two-to-three episode
television show." However, it is never
too long before she finds she misses
her true passion, and has to "renew
her vows with stand-up comedy."
Poundstone got her start in Boston in
1979, in front of open mikes at comedy
nights in numerous clubs. Waitressing
gave her an opportunity to practice
comedy while making enough cash to
support herself, and for a time, it even

Paula Poundstone brings laughs to Hill Auditorium for Parents Weekend.

brought her to Ann Arbor, where she
did both at several local clubs. Since
then, her career has definitely been on
the rise. Poundstone's achievements
include two Cable ACE Awards, an
American Comedy Award as Best
Female Stand-Up, a local Emmy award
as producer and star of a special piece
for PBS and her own comedy series on
HBO and ABC.
Poundstone also headlined the White
House Correspondents Dinner in '92,
and she appeared at the Comedy Hall of
Fame Awards in '94 and '95.
Poundstone served as official corre-
spondent for "The Tonight Show," dur-

ing the '92 Presidential race and even
performed in her own HBO comedy
special: "Paula Poundstone Goes To
H arvard."
Poundstone brings her particular
brand of humor to Ann Arbor for
Parents Weekend tomorrow night,
and her performance promises to be
a hit. One can only imagine the top-
ics of conversation on which
Poundstone will find to prey with
both students and their parents in the
One thing is for sure, however: For
Poundstone, there is "no place more
like home" than on the stage.

The Gift of Fear
Gavin de Becker
Little, Brown
Fear, as always, seems like an emo-
tion that every person would desperate-
ly like to avoid. But just as pain is a
warning signal that tells our bodies that
something is wrong, fear is also a signal
that warns us of danger. In Gavin de
Becker's incredible guide, "The Gift of
Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us
from Violence," the expert on violence
teaches us how to learn how to use fear
to protect ourselves.
De Becker has long established him-
self as the world's foremost expert on
predicting violent behavior. His person-
al brushes with violence at an early age
have allowed him to create a firm that
advises prominent politicians, celebri-
ties, corporations and law enforcement
agencies on analyzing threats and pre-
dicting which of the possible threats
hold substance.
In "The Gift of Fear," de Becker uses
his aptitude to show readers how to
hone their intuition into a skill that
could save their lives. The
author teaches strate-
gies such as PINS
(pre-incident p
indicators) to
teach people ~
how to evaluate
a situation that-
could escalate into"
an immediate threat.
De Becker explains
how fear is our first response
when our minds feel that something is
wrong. Too many people dismiss this
emotional response as just silly anxiety
or an overreaction to the situation. But to
truly protect yourself, de Becker reveals
that it is necessary once fear sets off the
signal that something is wrong for the
individual to analyze the situation to
determine whether a threat is present.
Reading certain aspects of a person's
behavior such as forced teaming, provid-
ing too many details and ignoring the
word, "No;' are all tools that are useful in
telling whether a person has sinister inten-
tions toward you. But no matter what, the
bottom line that de Becker stresses is to
listen to your intuition - whether it
comes as a nagging feeling, persistent
thoughts, anxiety, hesitation or gut feel-
ings to judge a situation or person.
De Becker uses real-life stories that
he has encountered through his clients
to illustrate dangerous situations and
the necessary reactions.
The skills that de Becker teaches in
"The Gift of Fear" are invaluable and
are guaranteed to be applicable in all
walks of life. Though most of the dan-
gers de Becker deals with are directed
toward woman, men will definitely
benefit from learning the gift of fear.
Like animals who rely on their
instinct to survive, we must also use our
gut feelings (in the form of fear and
intuition) to survive. With so many
threats to our personal safety in today's

At more than 500 pages, "Key
Witness" is equal to about 20 pouids of
top-quality filet mignon. It's axhearty
all-meat-no-filler cut of courtroom
drama that will satisfy the appetite of
even the most compulsive glutton.
"Key Witness" is the newest novel by
J. F. Freedman, the author of the best-
selling novel, "Against the WiT."
Freedman proves himself to be a wizard
at creating a rich, compelling narrative.
that unfolds like a motion pictute
before a reader's eyes.
With "Key Witness,'. the
genre of legal thrillers
is taken to a ne'w
level. Freedman,
unveils --the
goods tha leaye
=- no doubt ttyt he
can ably hold his
own in the cornpa-
ny of John Grist~n
who has, until recenftly,
held a monopoly in this genre
In "Key Witness,"Wyatt Matthevis is
a well-known corporate attorney who
has made a name for himself by win-
ning multimillion-dollar settlements.
Feeling the need to justify his purpose
in life, Wyatt decides to work pro bono
for the public defender's office against
the wishes of his bosses and his wife.
Not long after he begins his new job,as
a public defender, he finds himself defepd-
ing Marvin White, a young black man
accused of seven brutal rape murdr:.' {.
The hardest thing about legal thrillers
is finding a fresh new way to present.
the story. Freedman does this perfectly
with "Key Witness." The novel man-
ages to avoid banality by providing a
gripping, breathtaking story that is
incredibly real.
The major theme involves justice
being carried out within the boundsof
the law. While often the outcome'ofthe
law isn't always clear-cut as to whether
justice has been served, Freedman rais
with it through an riveting story tat 11s0
impossible to put down.
Every single page of -"Key
Witness" grabs the reader with a vise-
like grip that refuses to let go.'F'rcm
Wyatt taking on the case, through t1e
investigation of the crimes and the
attempt to clear Marvin, to the final
verdict, "Key Witness" is a tightly-
bound package of stunning court-
room drama at its best.
- JuliaShih

Key Witness
J. F. Freedman

. .

world, we need every tool we can possi-
bly get to protect ourselves. And
according to Gavin de Becker and his
quintessential guide, "The Gift of Fear,'
our greatest weapon is our instinct.
-Julia /h
- .

Electric Ani Difranco to grace
Hill with unique blend of sounds

By Anders Smith-Lndall
Daily Arts Writer
For a quarter of a century, music fans and press
alike have expended immense quantities of ink and
hot air playing their favorite parlor game: Name the
*xt Dylan. In response to that question, Steve
Forbert's name came up regularly; Bruce Springsteen
was a popular choice; even Steve Earle before he
ended up behind bars (and maybe even again now that
he's out). The tag of "Next Dylan"
often seemed the kiss of death for .
the artist upon which it was P R
bestowed - never could one ful-
fill the seemingly unrealistic
expectations that that lofty stan-
dard conferred.
&Now, amidst all the acclaim for
Ye real Dylan's new album, the
parlor game has receded into the murkier depths of
our consciousness. And this is a shame, for today, like
perhaps never before in the quarter-century that the
question has been posed, a new contender for the hal-
lowed mantle not only exists but outright asserts her-
That's right, herself. The next Dylan is no reticent,
rumpled and raspy middle-aged guy - she's a confi-
dent, style-conscious and sweet-singing woman of 27.
r name, of course, is Ani Di Franco (performing on
unday night at the Hill Auditorium).
Of course, there are many more differences between
them than just their voices, genders and ages. Dylan,
the poet laureate of the baby boom generation, conjures
microcosmic and often abstract milieu populated by
mythological characters and aswirl with his tortured
fantasies; DiFranco speaks frankly and directly, usually
in pointed terms and delivered in the second person.
Dylan espouses social criticism, political commentary
and personal insight tangled up in metaphor; DiFranco
dress issues of love, identity and beauty via poetical-
simple bluntness. Dylan croaks and growls his way
through his songs; DiFranco uses her voice like a musi-
cal instrument - and plays it with startling range and
ease. Dylan has spent much of his career proudly shun-
ning his fans, even while on stage; DiFranco reaches
out to them and makesher music inclusive and interac-
tive, allowing her admirers the opportunity to connect
and thus gain a sense of kinship with the performer and
identification with her music.
But for all that they lack in common, they share
Ouch as well. DiFranco has revitalized folk music for


the youth of the "'90's just as Dylan did in the
Greenwich Village scene of the early '60's. DiFranco,
her lyrics simultaneously depicting her struggles with
self-affirmation while embracing the ambiguities of
her identity with an aggressive confidence, has pro-
vided a particularly eloquent voice for young women
-just as Dylan articulated the confusion and confi-
dence of the burgeoning youth counterculture of his
era. Musically, DiFranco has stretched the confines of
folk, imbuing it with a punk aes-
thetic and, more recently, inject-
E V I E W ing a healthy dose of funk-inflect-
Ani DiFranco ed guitar and hard-edged hip-hop
beats into her previously all-
Sunday at 8 p.m. acoustic attack - in the process
Hill Auditorium alienating many of her traditional
$22.50; call 763-TKTS folkie fans, just as Dylan did
when he plugged in an electric
guitar at the Newport Folk Festival three decades ago.
And recently, DiFranco's open affair with her drum-
mer, Andy Stochansky, has prompted harsh criticism
from a small but vociferous core of lesbian fans who
feel betrayed in a manner similar to Dylan's hippie fol-
lowers who felt insulted by his contempt for them, a
situation that came to a head when he refused to per-
form at the Woodstock festival.
For all of these reasons, DiFranco is a worthy heir
to Dylan's crown of thorns - and, indeed, has
arguably already taken possession of it in the eyes of
younger generations.
In some ways, DiFranco has even surpassed the
example of Dylan - for instance, for all of his anti-
establishment lyrical bluster and real rejection of main-
stream culture, the fact remains that Dylan has always
recorded for a major label. DiFranco, on the other, has
always practiced what she preaches: All of her albums
have been released on her very own independent record
label, Righteous Babe Records. Even in today's show-
me-the-money TV culture, DiFranco has steadfastly
ignored the lavish courtship of corporate monstrosities
out to exploit her talent for their financial gain.
But this has not hindered her artistic development
- her most recent offering, a 2-CD live album titled
"Living In Clip;' released earlier this year, is her
eleventh record, including last year's "More Joy, Less
Shame" EP and a collaborative LP with legendary
activist and folk bard Utah Phillips, all of which have
been released on her very own label, Righteous Babe.
Eleven records, each marked by both stylistic experi-
mentation and increased cohesion, all on her own

Ani DIFranco will play Hill Auditorium on Sunday night.
record label - not bad for seven years' work.
And she's not floundering financially, either - in
fact, she's prospering. Thanks to collaborations
with independent manufacturing and distributing
companies that reduce production and overhead
costs and a marketing strategy that largely eschews
video and radio promotions, the average cost per
CD produced by Righteous Babe is less than $4.
Between direct sales (at concerts and via mail-
order) to fans and wholesale to record stores,
DiFranco has sold about half a million albums,
averaging $4.25 net profit from each. Since she
owns the label, this $4.25 profit is hers - making
the $1.25 per unit sold that the typical major-label
artist earns look paltry in comparison.
But DiFranco could care less about the bottom
line. "My problem with guys who run the music
industry is that their only priority is to make
money," she told the Los Angeles Times last year.
"That's not what drives Righteous Babe. For me, it's
about art and politics."
Still looking for the Next Dylan? Look no further
than the Hill on Sunday night. DiFranco, with her
potent combination of art, politics, fervent indepen-
dence and damn good music, has a righteous claim to
that title.

'+ , .'

The University of Michigan
School of Music
Thursday-Sunday, October 16-19
Theatre and Drama Production
The Marriage of Bette and Boo by Christopher Durang
Directed by Jerry Schwiebert
Trueblood Theatre, Thur.-Sat., 8p.m.; Sun. 2p.m.
Tickets: $14; $7 students (313) 764-0450
Thursday-Sunday, October 16-19
Musical Theatre Production
Sweeny Todd by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Brent Wagner
Choreographed by Linda Goodrich
Mendelssohn Theatre, Thur.-Sat., 8p.m.; Sun. 2p.m.
Tickets: $18; $14 (313) 764-0450
Friday, October 17
Chamber Choir
Jerry Blackstone and Theodore Morrison, conductors
Michelle Beaton, accompanist
Anton Nel and Martin Katz, guest pianists
" music of Lauridsen, Ligeti; Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 18
Contemporary Directions Ensemble
H. Robert Reynolds, music director
" Music of Montague, Stucky, Lindroth and Welcher

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SEfficiency is our goal.

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