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February 20, 1998 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-20

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 20, 1998

Buffett brings Margaritaville to Motown

By Stephanie Jo Klein
Daily Arts Writer
Salvador Dali probably would have enjoyed Jimmy
Buffett's concert Tuesday night.
But for those of us less into the surreal, it was a bit
startling.
When the clock struck 8 p.m., hordes of
Parrotheads swarmed the Palace of Auburn Hills,
ready to have Captain Jim and his Coral Reefer Band
sail them over to Key West for some good old-fash-
.oned island music.
>t But instead of a quick sail, it was more of a freak-
ish, neverending booze cruise. The packed house was
teeming with middle-aged, over-weight drunks. The
hands that didn't hold up tribute lighters cradled $5.50
Margaritas in stylish plastic glasses. From any angle,
one saw a sea of besotted adults sporting loud
klawaiian shirts. Some wore leis around their necks
and parrots on top of their baseball caps.
Others wore balloon animals on their heads. On

Jimmy
Buffett
The Palace
Feb. 17, 1998

stage, Buffett started one song
with a big shark head on his
head. If any of the audience
members were looking for a reli-
gion, they certainly had found it.
The Bacchanalian festivities
seemed like they had much less
to do with music than with sim-
ply finding drinking buddies.
The crowd thrilled to Buffett's
trademark songs,
"Margaritaville" and "Volcano,"
and as he reminded them that
Mardi Gras was approaching,
the horrifically repressed Lenten
crowd shrieked out words to

But even so, and despite his very normal attire of pink
T-shirt, khaki pants and white sneakers, Buffett had
most of the members of the audience convinced that
he was divine.
Perhaps the surprise of the debaucherous spectacle
was precisely what catapulted him into the big leagues
and into the ranks of those select artists whose songs
everyone knows by heart. (Of course, he's even got an
album by that name.) More than any rock 'n roll atti-
tude, it was the twinkle in Buffett's eye when he and
the members of the Coral Reefer Band sing about
pirates, parrots and Havana, that encouraged everyone
to link arms and sing "Cheeseburger in Paradise" This
reviewer included.
Buffett joked around about the crassness of one of
his most popular songs, "Why Don't We Get Drunk
(And Screw)," mentioning one fanatic Parrothead who
sent her kindergarten-aged child to school with the
Buffett CD-ROM for show and tell.
Scratching his margarita belly, Buffett said the
mother had an easy explanation to the teacher's unsur-
prising anger - her kid danced around singing "Why
Don't We Get Lunch (In School)." Not bad for a future
parrothead.
It didn't really matter whose music Buffett played.
The audience happily bounced around myriad beach-
balls during Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl,"
Mexican folk song "Guantanamera," and even
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "Southern Cross."
He could have played "Go Tell It on the Mountain"
for all they cared.
He wasn't as holy as his grand end-of-concert
"I'm the Pope" wave would suggest, but Buffett
was certainly congenial. He started off the second
half by playing from the nose-bleed seats. From the
opening strains of "Cuban Crime of Passion," to the
foot-stompin' bluegrass beat of "Gypsies in the
Palace," and so on until the last notes of "Survive"
in the second encore, the audience was wacky and
wild.
If anyone remembered it the morning after, I'm sure
they said it was out of this world.

Courtesy of Mercury Records
Chuck D takes part in "Back In the Day," the premiere of "Ultra Sound."
MTV's new series continues March 1 with a look at Madonna's new album.
'Sound' debut spr1eads -
e messae of'80s rap

WARREN ZINN/Daily
Margarita-filled Jimmy Buffett continued his dogged
pursuit for his lost shaker of salt Tuesday night.
singing every word of "Changes in Latitudes,
Changes in Attitudes" and "Come Monday." Even
with unfamiliar new songs, like "Calaloo" off of
"Don't Stop the Carnival," the audience didn't turn
away, choosing instead to raise glasses in a ceremoni-
ous salute and fixate on the stage.
But Buffett is an odd choice for a musical god.
Hardly a master of music, he sings about as well as my
father in the shower. (No offense, Dad.) The
Reeferettes clearly showed more talent and vocal
range; harmonica player Fingers showed more soul.

_.fhy Don't We Get Drunk (and Screw)" and danced
with abandon. It was a frighteningly perverse fun
house mirror view of many normally sedate
Michiganders.
It was a strange sort of religious frenzy - with
worshippers aged 15 - 50 swaying together in a trance,

o

(

Brater celebrates surrealism

Evolution

or
Creation?

Free Tiransportation
Call (734) 995-3609

" Did men live at the same
time as dinosaurs?
" Why is the "missing link"
still missing?
" What do the fossils really
show?
* How old is the earth?
Sunday, February 22, 1998
10:00AM, 11:00AM, & 6:00PM
Ann Arbor Baptist Church
2150 South Wagner Rd.
Ann Arbor, Ml 48103
(734) 995.5144

By Erin Diane Schwartz
Daily Arts Writer
Have you ever wanted to write down
a strange dream, but although the dream
made sense while you slept, when you
had pen and journal in hand to write it
down, you couldn't follow its logic?
The surrealist theater has been trying
to capture the essence of the human
experience in the unconscious, dream-
like state. This type of theater is, "Not
based on life as we know it in the wak-
ing world, but to go beyond and discov-
er a more profound reality, beyond the
mask of everyday life," said English
Prof. Enoch Brater.
Although surrealism is normally
associated with 20th-Century visual
arts, Brater will discuss how surrealism
changes the way we think about theater
Sunday in his talk, entitled "Surrealism
in the 20th Century Theatre." He will
also discuss the relationship between

the surrealistic breakthrough and how it
was embraced by theater principally in
Paris in the '20s and '30s. "I want to
have a discussion with the audience. It's
not going to be dry and boring. I'm
going to show video examples of surre-
alistic theatre."
This type of
"in your face"
Enoch performance
Brater becomes redi-
rected in the sur-
Borders realistic plays. In
Sunday at 1 p.m. a surrealist play,
the goal would be
to make the audi-
ence "feel
involved in the
dream landscape
and capture the
same logic as the
dream world," explained Brater.
While the influence of surrealism
can still be witnessed in contemporary
theatre, Brater said, "I don't think sur-
realists were fully successful in their
theatrical work. They never finished
(because of the onset of WWII) and
another generation saw their influ-
ence."
Brater looks forward to the presenta-
tion and hopes his audience brings
intellectual curiosity and a lively imag-
ination.

By Bryan Lark
Daily Arts Editor
Since MTV started its new pro-
gramming strategy six years ago, it
has become a pastime of media critics
and other assorted hipsters to wonder
for what the "M" really stands.
Instead of music videos, all the chan-
nel ever airs are game shows, chat
shows, cartoon shows and reality
shows.
In an effort to clarify this "M" con-
fusion, MTV's news division has
given birth to "Ultra Sound," a new
music-focused documentary series on
Sunday nights. What, you thought
they'd actually play music? That's why
the MTV gods created M2.
lf MTV is going to beef up its per-
manently leave the music videos to its
year-old sister station, then airing the
intelligent, intormative and extremely
entertaining "Ultra Sound" is a bril-
liant step in the right direction.
Premiering Sunday night, the debut
installment of "Ultra Sound," called
"Back in the Day," focuses on the rap
phenomenon of the '80s, with well-
old-schooled hosts Run DMC walk-
ing this way and that through New
York City as they introduce segments
about one of the most influential
movements in popular music history.
But "Back" isn't some manufac-
tured educational video that traces
the origins of rap as a means of
social commentary. The documen-
tary assumes that the viewer knows
that history and instead relies on
interviews with such rap luminaries
as LL Cool J, Salt N Pepa, KRS-
ONE and Chuck D, as well as
footage and inside gossip to show
how the golden age of hip-hop influ-
enced today's musical landscape -
gold being the operative word there.
Yes, rap's curious fascination with
"mad, crazy, stupid gold," as Public
Enemy's Chuck D puts it, is well-
detailed here, as are rap's influence
in making Adidas, Kangol and
Puma household names and the rev-
elation that jheri curls get no respect
in the field of hip-hop.
Though it is amusing to see such
where-are-they-now clips as MC'
Shan bemoaning the extinction of
Puma gear and 3rd Base's MC Serch
promising that he'd never again

Ultra
Sound
MTV
Sundays at 10 p.m.

between nearly every grandmaster or
MC who took the mic in any number
of neighborhood skills competitions. 4
These competitions serve as a
reflection in "Back" for the rap
scene as a whole - all about fun,
honing your skills and "command-
ing the most attention for the longest
period of time" as LL Cool J says,
proving that the "bitches and
money" school of rap is an exclu-
sively '90s phenomenon.
If you've ever wondered about the
origin of the term "B-Boy," about
what went on backstage at the land-
mark "Raging Hell" tour (Run
DMC, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys and
Whodini) or about the evolution
from simple beats and improvised
rhymes to samples and catchy hooks
and choruses, then "Back in the
Day" is truly a rapper's delight.
But if you're looking to find music
on your MTV, the message the net-
work is sending is very clear. With4
the onset of "Ultra Sound," MTV is
becoming more of a resource for the
study and appreciation of music hi -
tory and culture - it's like that aid
that's the way it is.

shave his name into the back of his
head, "Back in the Day" goes way
beyond surface nostalgia and fash-
ion trends, delving into the dynam
ics that shaped an era.
In the best and most revealing seg-
ment, the show gets down and dirty,
detailing the heated feud that arose
between UTFO and Roxanne Shante,
after the 14-year-old Shante, now a,
social worker, recorded the scathing
"Roxanne's Revenge" to counter
UTFO's classic "Roxanne, Roxanne"
Their war of words is revealed to

have been
impersonal,
making the
feud little
more than a
battle of who
was the better
MC and who4
could sell
more records.
A battle that
was common
in this time
period, pop-
ping .up

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