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March 10, 1998 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-10

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yany other name Toorrow in Daily Arts:
,e French film "Ma Vie En Rose" continues in its second week U Daily Arts brings you a review of "Dreamgirls," the touring
at the Michigan. Check out the film by Belgian director Alain musical that has wowed audiences across the country.
Berliner that received an unfortunate snub by Oscar. The movie
stars newcomer Georges du Fresne as a nine-year-old boy who
thinks he's a girl, and his parents' attempt to understand the
madness. The peculiarity begins at 9 p.m. Tuesday
February 10, 1998
STrickster"s Hyde reads at Shaman

By David Erik Nelson
For the Daily
Lewis Hyde's latest novel, "Trickster
Makes This World," draws in so much
of our own world under the auspices of
a simple investigation into mythological
tricksters (folks such as Greece's
' ermes and the Chinese Monkey
ng.) that it ultimately about every-
thing one could possibly imagine about
life.
To vastly oversimplify, "Trickster
Makes This World," one might say that
it explores the manner in which disrup-
tion leads to progress. "To my mind,"
Hyde said in a recent interview, "it is
also a book about the human imagina-
tion itself, or the particular kind of
agination that is disruptive and play-
in the way Trickster is."
Remember the Rubik's Cube? Once
you solved one side (one face of the
cube a perfect, serene blue grid, the

other five a hopeless, ugly, multi-hued
jumble) you had to be willing to disrupt
that side if you ever wanted to solve the
whole cube.
Hyde explained that human societies
are like the Rubik's Cube: We need to
be willing to shake everything up if we
want to get anywhere. This is why the
disruptive, boundary-crossing, taboo-
breaking trickster figures "all were
thought of as creators of culture." Their
transgressions make the world what it
is.
"Trickster Makes This World" is a
hard, but worthwhile, read; its only real
weakness is its clearly academic nature.
Hyde plays to the higher-educated
crowd, despite the fact that his observa-
tions are universal. It's a somewhat sad,
ironic twist that Hyde illustrates and
explores our common human fascina-
tion with cunning and trickery in such a
manner that roughly 60 percent of the

U.S. population would be too intimidat-
ed to even try to follow him.
For example, Hyde spends a great deal
of time talking
about specific
works of art (e.g.
M a r c e l
Lewis Duchamp's "The
Hyde Bride Stripped
Bare by Her
Shaman Drum B a c h e l o r s,
Tonight at 8 p.m. Even"), yet the
book does not
contain any illus-
trations or plates
of these works
which, at times,
are the sole foun-
dation of his argu-
ment. His obvious assumption is that the
audience is already fairly knowledgeable
regarding the work of modern artists like
Duchamp, Picasso, Pollack, Serrano, etc.

Despite this stylistic fault, "Trickster
Makes This World" is a finely crafted
patchwork of sources: Personal, histori-
cal, scientific and literary. Hyde decon-
structs these, then reassembles them into
clear, startlingly revealing illustrations.
His method throughout "Trickster
Makes This World"- the method he
will illustrate tonight - is to give some
piece of primary data (a myth, a per-
sonal anecdote, a description of a piece
of art) and then proceed to carve up that
data, scrutinizing and trimming and re-
arranging the pieces until the spirit of
the data - its meaning- reveals itself.
Hyde's art is somewhere between that
of a surgeon and a master chef.
Seeing raw data metamorphose into
something truly meaningful is a beauti-
ful and thrilling intellectual experience.
Hyde's easy manner and clear-headed-
ness will make this evening's talk at
Shaman Drum a rewarding experience.

Fish make 'reel' big splash

yColin Barton
aily Arts Writer
It's official. The '80s are back, and
the whole angst thing is dead. Now
we're back to good ol' happy, fun music
again, and who better to bring it to us
than everyone's favorite "little ska
band," the Reel Big Fish.
If you haven't heard them by now,
you must have been living in a hole for
the past six months. Riding on the wave
the "next big thing" Southern
California's cartoony septet has made a
'reel' big name for themselves with a
healthy dose of pop music, humor and
horns. The ska
scene's surge into
the mainstream
has carried RBF
Reel Big with it as its
Fish spokesmodel,
Clutch Cargo's which, trombonist
Tonight at 7 p.m. Grant Barry said
in a recent inter-
view, was totally
by chance. "We
were just lucky,"
he said, "I guess it
was timing."
Now that ska
has captivated the
industry in a big way, people are
already getting sick of the fact that
Iny of today's ska bands sound the
same. "People are gonna get sick of
something when it goes mainstream no
matter what," Barry said. But what
makes Reel Big Fish any better than the
average band? "We got here first"

Cortes oiMOJO
Reel Big Fish plays tonight at Ciutch
Cargo's.
Barry said. "People like our songs, I
guess, and that helps. I guess they like
us as well"
What people like is the fact that RBF
is a band of young guys who love to
play, play extremely well, and make fun
of themselves, the music industry and
the listening audience. RBF's debut
album, "Turn The Radio Off" starts out
with their big hit, "Sell Out, in which
the band foreshadows its seemingly
"manufactured" success.
It's not that simple, though. Sarcasm
is the key to really getting what this

band is all about. "We're constantly sar-
castic; there's never a dull moment"
Barry said. "People still don't get it, but
we're still laughing." The vocalist
"Aaron's like 'Our next album is gonna
be called 'If You Can't Take A Joke,
Screw You!.""
The irony of the band is so thick now,
when you think that RBF has actually
attained commercial success because
only a year and a half ago lead singer
Aaron Barrett wrote, "I'll never be a
rock 'n' roll star" ("I'll Never Be") and
"I don't know why I learned to play gui-
tar, nobody's gonna know who we are"
("Everything Sucks"). Reel Big Fish
never claimed to be anything but anoth-
er trendy ska band, and now its mem-
bers are laughing all the way to the
bank.
"If they wanna call us alternative, call
us alternative. If they wanna call us ska,
call us ska," Barry said. "If they wanna
call us glam, call us glam. Call us what-
ever you want, just come and enjoy."
The live show is on which Reel Big
Fish has built its reputation, and it's
what the boys in the band want you to
experience, as long as you don't mosh.
"You can mosh to any other band, just
don't mosh to us," Barry said. When
asked about their anti-moshing theme,
"In The Pit," Barry laughed and said
"there's always a pit when we play that
song ... it's pretty ironic"
Don't be afraid to dance, though, have
fun, and travel back to the '80s with Reel
Big Fish. But don't take them too seri-
ously,or they might just have to kill you.

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You are Invited to Attend
the Presentation of the
1998 Entrepreneur Award
to
Frank Stronach
Founder and Chairman
Magna International, Inc.
One of the Largest
and Most Diversified
Suppliers of Automotive Systems
and Components
Thursday, March 12, 1998
4:30 PM
Room 1270
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Remarks, Q & A and
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