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November 12, 1997 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-12

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Haim Bouzaglo's 1988 film, "Fictitious Marriage," screens tonight at
Hillel. "Marriage" follows the life of Eldad Ilan, a Jerusalem high
school teacher going through a mid-life crisis. Ilan, all set to leave on
a trip to New York, never makes the plane, and countless adventures
ensue. The screening begins at 8:30 p.m. Hebrew with English subti-
ties. Free.

Wednesday
November 12, 1997

5

Metheny to jazz up A2 tonight

By Aaron Rennie
Daily Music Editor
As is the case with many excellent jazz musicians,
:Pat Metheny is a virtuoso on his instrument, the gui-
tar, yet he toils in relative obscurity to the populace as
a whole; despite his nine Grammy
Awards and touring and recording
some of the greatest musi- P R
clans this century, most college Me
students wouldn't know Pat
Metheny from Pat Benatar.
Those in the know, however,
realize that Metheny has miles
more talent in his left pinkie than, say, megapopular
and tuneless pretty boy Gavin Rossdale of Bush has in
his whole body. At the Michigan [heater tonight, the
Pat Metheny Group - Lyle Mays, Steve Rodby, Paul
Wertico, David Blamires, Mark Ledford and Armando
*cal -_. will likely blow away listeners' minds with
its multi-faceted, experimental sonic attack. In a
recent interview, Metheny spoke about his ensemble's
new tour and explained the methods behind his impro-
visational madness.
The Pat Metheny Group,. throughout the years, has
toured the U.S. and the world relentlessly, but
Metheny and his henchmen have toned it down of late
in order to work on their latest album, the recently
released "Imaginary Day." "'m looking forward to
(the tour) so much, Metheny said. "It's been a couple
ct'ears since I've done one of these heavy-hittin'
tas. It's been mostly recording and some smaller
club tours (of late)."
Having played almost everywhere in this country
since joining Gary Burton's band at age 19 in the mid-
'70s, Metheny has more than two decades of insight
into places where he tends to play "hot" concerts
before rapturous audiences. "In real general terms, the
East Coast gigs tend to be really great, particularly
New Jersey and Philadelphia. (That area's) got that
kind of energy of the New York thing without the jad-
e css of actual Manhattanites," Metheny said. "At
tpoint, we've been around long enough that there's
always a core of people who come to the gigs that real-
ly know the music and know the band's history, and
that tends to inspire you. Every night you can find
something that's cool that's particular to that night."
Metheny is also excited about the opportunity of

t

playing here in Ann Arbor. "College audiences tradi-
tionally have always been interested in music in a gen-
eral sense:' said Metheny. "There's always been a lot
of curiosity amongst college-aged kids, who are usu-
ally in the process of figuring out their own personal
aesthetics and mnat makes them a
really fun audience to play for."
E V I E W Given the diversity of students
heny Group at such a large school, as well as
in Ann Arbor as a whole, the
Tonight at 8
Michigan Theater audience at the Michigan Theater
$24-$36 may very well be as eclectic as
others Metheny has noticed
throughout his years of touring America. Scenarios
such as "Phish fans sitting next to a 50-year-old jazz
buff and his wife," have consistently been common,

noted Metheny. "Our thing has always been across the
board racially, especially in Michigan. In Detroit
(where the Pat Metheny Group will play on Friday),
we've always had a larger black audience than any-
thing else. Promoters are always commenting on the
variety of people that show up at our gigs"
Material for this tour's typical three-hour concerts
will include some songs from the excellent
"Imaginary Day," and Metheny is very excited to test
them out. "I'm curious how a bunch of them are gonna
play, because unlike in the old days, where we always
played 'em live for a few months before we recorded
it, this record was done where we wrote the music and
then recorded it, and now we're going to figure out
how to play it," Metheny said.
Such a love for nightly improvisation - as well as
his vast technical skill on the guitar- has led
Metheny to cross paths with many jazz legends, such
as Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Joshua
Redman and Jaco Pastorius, for which he feels
extremely fortunate. "With Ornette, we're talking
about one of the world's greatest musicians. The expe-
rience of playing with him will always rate as one of
the greatest thrills I've ever had. I'm still recovering in
a lot of ways from just the amount of information that
was passed along on that tour," Metheny said.
Speaking of Hancock, who be playing the Michigan
Theater with Wayne Shorter on Nov. 22, Metheny was
also overcome with an attack of superlatives. "Herbie is
my hero in a lot of ways. He's my favorite musician,"
Metheny said. "If he's within 100 miles from where I am
and I have a night off, I want to hear him. He's my man."
Metheny has been lauded himself, with the afore-
mentioned Grammies, but he doesn't view them as the
end-all of his career. "I was touring with Sonny
Rollins one time, and in the middle of the night he
called me up and he was listening to the tape of that
night's show and he just said, 'Pat, you sounded really
good tonight. You were playing really good.' Man, I'd
trade all those awards for that one phone call. For me,
that made all the work that I'd put in to trying to be a
good musician pay off."
By all means, venture down Liberty Street to the
Michigan Theater tonight to witness the rich aural
soundscapes and serious chops this modest man and
his bandmates will produce. It will certainly be worth
your while.

Samuel Jackson gives a compelling performance as a womanizer In "Eve's Bayou."
'Bayou' offers rich
characters, themes k

Pat Metheny and company come to A2tonight.

By Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud
Daily Arts Writer
"Eve's Bayou" interestingly and smart-
ly explores the trials and tribulations of an
African American Louisiana family over
the course of one summer. The movie,
however, does not
fully succeed in con- RI
veying a coherence
between scenes and in
revealing the depth of ,
its interesting charac-
ters.
The story is told
through the eyes of its young protago-
nist, Eve Batiste (Juree Smollett). The
10-year-old girl inhabits a world where
magic and reality coexist in harmony.
"Eve's Bayou" starts out provocative-
ly enough with the revelation of an
adult Eve Batiste: "The summer I killed
my father, I was 10 years old ... ." Eve's
father Louis Batiste (Samuel L.
Jackson) is a philanderer who chases
most of the women in the small town of
Eve's Bayou. Louis' womanizing pains
his wife Roz Batiste (Lynn Whitfield),
his sister Mozelle Batiste Delacroix
(Debbi Morgan) and his oldest daugh-
ter Cisely Batiste (Meagan Good).
Early in the movie, Eve discovers
that her father is not the perfect man she
had always envisioned. She witnesses
Louis in the act of cheating on her
mother. This powerful moment pro-
claims the demise of youth and inno-
cence, when a young woman finally
emerges from the realm of childhood.
Similarly, Eve's sister Cisely grows
up and starts to rebel against the family.
Unhappy with the tense family situa-
tion, Cisely blames her mother for dri-
ving Louis away from the household.
Ultimately, "Eve's Bayou" is about
the independence and strength of the
women of the Batiste family. Enduring
and stable, they overcome the pain
caused by the men in their lives.
"Eve's Bayou" concerns itself mostly
with characters rather than with a flow-
ing plot line. Consequently, one remem-
bers the movie more as gathering of
characters than as a story unfolding
sequentially. This aspect of the movie
means that "Eve's Bayou" is sometimes

E

disjointed and certain scenes lack a dra-
matic purpose. The womanizing of Louis
seems unconnected to the later revelation
by Cisely that her father inappropriately
kissed her, which eventually leads to
Eve's attempt on Louis' life.
One character who stands out amidst
the Batiste family is
E V i E W Mozelle. The sister
of Louis has the gift
Eve's Bayou of sight and makes
her living telling
*** people's fortunes.
At Showcase She is also a cursed
three-time widov
who, though she can see the future of
others, ironically cannot prevent the
deaths of her husbands. She marries a
fourth man in the movie, unwilling to let
herself be the victim of fate or magic.
"Eve's Bayou" is a film that firmly
believes in the magic that it presents.
The women accept the role of magic
in their lives and alter their behavior
in response to the signs and warminigs
they receive. The faith that the movie
places in the existence of magic-is-
mirrored by the women's faith in the
fact that they will surmount their per-
sonal troubles.
The movie's younger actors some-
times offer shaky performances;: ut
these are counterbalanced by, the
assured and strong performances of
Jackson and Morgan. Jackson is perfect
as the sly, impulsive and lusty Loufs,
who, though he pursues women, is also
dedicated to his family.
"Eve's Bayou" magnificently evokes
the atmosphere of the swampy and
marshy setting. Lush greenery frames the
Batiste family home and instills a sense
of mystery and of the supernatural.
Talented writer/director Kasi Lemmons'
feature debut manages to add depth to
the story with its slow, thoughtful s ots
and restful cinematography.
Another theme brought up by "Eve's
Bayou" is that of memories and imags.
Certain events, Eve states at the movie's
beginning, are remembered vividly
while others fade away in a jumble of
confusing images. "Eve's Bayou"offers
many such intense and lucid memories
to its viewers by recreating the unique
ambiance of Southern life.

Brilliant Verve show bridges gap to America

By Brian Cohen
Daily Arts Writer
In South London, in the neighbor-
hoods near the Stockwell tube stop, the
locals have a saying they frequently use
in everyday conversation. The phrase is,
"D'you get me?" which. loosely trans-
lates to "Do you
understand what I R
,1adoing?"
ke such lin-
guistic differences,
sometimes the dif- St.
ferences between
music that comes
from America and England are reflec-
tive of the vast body of water that sepa-
rates the two countries. In the case of
Manchester's The Verve, that difference
is one tremendous gulf that stretches an
ancient ocean wide. Sorry America, but
Verve is just plain better than any-
t ng you've had to offer this entire
year.
But saying and proving are two very
different things.
And if The Verve's music itself, via
,the radio and MTV, is not good enough
to convince people that they should
simply stop whatever they're doing and
listen, then what is? How about a live
performance? To a sold-out crowd of
sands, nonetheless. Sure, sounds
li e a good idea. But sold-out crowd or
not, the question still remains. Can
v America start to appreciate bands like
The Verve - can America "get it?"

/ Y +/'

E

Richard Ashcroft certainly thought
so. The Verve's youthfully thin singer
walked on stage Monday at 9:32 p.m. to
a screaming sea of audience members,
already dripping wet with sweat and
anticipation. Quickly discarding his fur-
collared green anorak and red button
down (to let show,
V IE Wof all things, a skin
tight white t-shirt
The Verve that said "Detroit,
M i clh igan" ).
4ndrew's Hall Ashcroft and his
Nov 1, 1997 mates launched into
"The Rolling
People," the third track on their newly
released album "Urban Hymns."
Such an inspiring sight might have
seemed rather impossible two years
ago. At that time, things weren't look-
ing good for The Verve. The British
press inflated rumors concerning every-
thing from Ashcroft's mental health to
his supposed volatile relationship with
guitarist Nick McCabe. That coupled
with a heavy dose of physical exhaus-
tion and a few too many tablespoons of
illegal substances was enough to com-
plete the recipe for a break-up. But
1997 has witnessed the complete and
utter resurrection of The Verve, demon-
strated clearly by Monday night's per-
formance to a crowd equally familiar
with material old and new.
The acerbic rock burned slowly from
an up-tempo "This Is Music" from
1995's "A Northern Soul," followed by

a confidently speedy "Slide Away," the
lone gem from 1993's debut album, "A
Storm In Heaven."
The audience's less-involved faction
sported a few blank looks during the
lengthy psychedelic meanderings of
McCabe, bassist Simon Jones, drum-
mer Pete Salisbury and keyboardist
Simon Tong during "Catching The
Butterfly" and "Life's An Ocean." But
every audience member ripped into
applause and subsequently fell captive
upon the start of the now well-known
string introduction to current U.S. sin-
gle "Bitter Sweet Symphony." The
crowd sang every word and swayed
back and forth like entranced zombies
as a warm blue light set the stage aglow.
Ashcroft's acoustic strumming set the
tone for a well-paced rendition of
"Urban Hymns"' second U.K. single
"The Drugs Don't Work," and although
his cracked vocal started off slightly flat,
he recovered quickly enough to make the
song one of the evening's highlights. A
new groove was carved out on "Sonnet"
through Richard's heartfelt plea for
attention and salvation. A surreal
"Stormy Clouds" ended the first part of
the set and sounded infinitely better than
it ever could have on record alone,
thanks to Tong's keyboard handiwork
and Ashcroft's soaring voice.
Following a short recess, Ashcroft
returned by himself for a solo acoustic
delivery of "On Your Own," sung beau-
tifully with smooth phrasing and

melodic touch. After the rest of the
band returned, "A New Decade" fol-
lowed with the greatest spirit of the
evening. The Verve played its best song
"Lucky Man" before a solid version of
"History," the strongest single from "A
Northern Soul" The 1 1/2-hour set
closed with a sprawling "Come On" as
Ashcroft taunted the now-rabid crowd
with his flailing arms and penetrating
gaze. The crowd finally got into this all-
out rocker, as McCabe's guitar sur-
rounded them with thick tones and
impressive mini solos.
So did the audience really "get it?"
Yes and no. Not all of it.
But is that The Verve's fault? No.
They did their job. They played one of
the most meaningful and significant
concerts Detroit will see for a long
while. So if America is too busy stuff-
ing its face with meat-and-potato rock
themes and washing it down with
watery talent to start to appreciate
music like The Verve's, then that is its
own fault and its own misfortune.
Richard Ashcroft didn't say much
between songs on Monday night, but
his lyrics spoke volumes for the entire
audience. He did manage to tell the
crowd one very important thing -
before starting into "A New Decade" --
that seemed to capture the essence of
The Verve's current place in the music
world: "This is a new decade. The radio
plays the sounds we make ... and its
about fuckin' time."

f

The Department of Philosophy
The University of Michigan
announces

THE TANNER LECTURE
ON HUMAN VALUES
1997-98

.
>.

I

Retail

0
Now
Hiring!

Antonio R. Damasio
M.W. Van Allen Professor of Neurology
University of Iowa
EXPLORING THE
MINDED BRAIN
Friday, November 14, 4:00 p.m.
Rackham Auditorium,
915 East Washington Street

SYMPOS1[UM ON THE

The Verve gave a solid performance Monday night at St. Andrew's In Detroit.

Full-Time, Part-Time
and Seasonal!
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SYMPOSIUM ON THE
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ANTONIO R. DAMASIO

RICHARD DAVIDSON
Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry
Laboratory of Affective Neuroscience

,

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