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March 20, 1998 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-20

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 20, 1998 - 9

.Concert at Rick's to benefit
Tibetan freedom movement

By Gabrielle Schafer
Daily Arts Writer
This Sunday, Students for a Free Tibet will
sponsor the first Tibetan Benefit Concert, fea-
turing Tibetan Chanting Master Sonam
Headlining at the event will be Detroit's
Immigrant Suns. Local acts including
Transmission, Mazinga, #6 and The Prisoners
will also perform.
The aim of the concert
is to raise money to give
Tibetan to non-profit organiza-
Benefit tions supporting Tibet.
Most important, the bene-
Rick's fit will raise money for
Sunday at 8 p.m. Tibetan language schools.
Since the Chinese
occupation of Tibet,
Tibetan citizens haven't
been allowed to teach
their own language or
cultural traditions, and
restoring Tibetan Ian-
age schools is a step toward resurrecting the
ountry's cultural identity.,
Brian Siff, co-founder and coordinator of the
local branch of Students for a Free Tibet, says

that the concert is a chance to educate students
about the political situation in Tibet while
enjoying music from local bands.
Students for a Free Tibet was started on cam-
pus earlier this year and has had a lot of success
in getting students involved in the Tibetan strug-
gle for freedom.
Earlier this week, the group sponsored
"Sacred Dance for World Healing," a concert by
the monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery
which performed for a crowd of more than 500
people, an overwhelming response mirroring
students' increased concern for and awareness
of Tibetan issues. Siff hopes that the Tibetan
Benefit Concert will elicit the same kind of
Sonam Dhargey will open and close the show
with traditional Tibetan Buddhist blessing
Dhargey, a former monk and Chanting.
Master of Gyuto Tantric College of Tibet, will
perform a chanting technique known as
"Awesome Voice," which is cultivated in the
monasteries of central Tibet. "Awesome Voice"
allows the singer to simultaneously sing three
notes of a chord. Dhargey has performed with
the Grateful Dead and is well known for his
amazing chanting abilities.

In addition to Dhargey, the Tibetan Benefit
Concert will also feature Gelik Rinpoche, an
Ann Arbor resident and founder of Jewel Heart,
a Tibetan cultural center here in Ann Arbor.
Rinpoche was born in Tibet and teaches Tibetan
He has edited and printed more than 170 rare
Tibetan manuscripts and will speak at the bene-
fit about his experiences.
Student awareness of Tibetan issues has been
helped by Hollywood's recent fascination with
the country.
Movies like "Seven Years in Tibet" and
"Kundun" have brought the struggle to the fore-
front. The Tibetan Freedom Concert, organized
by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, has enjoyed great
success since its inception two years ago.
Students for a Free Tibet managed to get per-
mission from Columbia Pictures to show the
Tibetan Freedom Concert movie on campus to
arouse students' interest in the movement.
Siff agreed that the celebrity backup has real-
ly helped the Tibetan cause. "People associate
the word Tibet with a lot of things," Siff said.
"We have a campus that wants to help people,
so it's been to our advantage," Siff continued,
referring to the recent trend.
For students who may not know much about

Courtesy of Students for a Free Tibet
The immigrant Suns are featured at a Tibetan benefit concert at Rick's this weekend.

the situation but feel compelled to support this
particular human rights cause, Students for a
Free Tibet will provide question-and-answer
tables at the concert to try and help students
understand the dire situation in Tibet.
There will be postcard writing tables as well,
and plenty of information on hand about the
Chinese occupation and how it's affected the
people of Tibet.

Siff has high hopes for the concert, as well as
for the group's continuing efforts. "History has
shown over and over that when students get
together, they can bring about change," Siff
The First Tibetan Benefit Concert is students'
chance to help bring about change for a country
that has been culturally suppressed for more
than 40 years.

'Hated it!' Wayans
and Grier fall short

Bostonian band Bim Skala Bim
maintains ska's true sound

By Ed Sholinsky
Daily Arts Writer
It might seem obvious, but the pri-
mary objective of a sitcom is to be
funny. "Damon" falls far short of this
mark and lands right on its face.
Fans of the groundbreaking "In
Living Color"
will have high
expectations for
this series, since
Damon it reunites alumni
Damon Wayans
and David Alan
Fox Grier. But the
Sundays at 8:30 p.m. magic the pair
had in their "Men
On ..." sketch
never manifests
itself on
Whereas Wayans
and Grier had fun, original material on
'In Living Color, they are given noth-
ing to work with on "Damon."
For example, at one point, Damon
quips, "I don't like doctors. I don't even
drink Dr. Pepper." The show is just that
funny, folks.
The premise revolves around
Wayans, who plays an undercover
etective named
Damon (originali-
ty just abounds
on this series).
Every week he
disguises himself
as a different '"3
character in order
to catch the crook.
But the characters
he creates do not
get any laughs,
xcept from
t h e ,
laugh track.
In the pilot
e p is od e,

"bitches;" the second time he's an old
man looking to be fondled. One of the
only funny parts of the pilot comes
when Wayans, disguised as the old
man, asks if he can get his salad tossed
for $1,000.
More disturbing than the lack of
humor, however, is the show's misogy-
nist streak. Not only does "Damon"
consider sexual harassment funny, but
it's a natural and integral part of the
work environment. Maybe that would
be easy to overlook if the show had
merit as a comedy. Then this moral hic-
cup could seem satirical. Alas,
"Damon" is reduced to one-liners like
"Women speak estrogen-ese."
The only bright spots that emerge
from the rubble of first two episodes are
Grier and Dom Irrera. Grier plays
Damon's rent-a-cop older brother who
moves in with Damon after his wife
kicks him out.
While most of Grier's lines are sim-
ply not funny, his physical comedy and
sense of timing make them worthy of a
laugh - Grier creates comedy where
there is none, which is far better than
"Damon" deserves.
The talented
Irrera gets
almost all of
the funny
lines, but is
in the pilot
for a couple
of minutes
and no more
than five in the
s e co nd

courtesy of Fox
The cast members of "Damon" wallow
in their dead-end jobs.
screwing with his head when he can
only find six of the nine rabbits hidden
on the page.
Aside from the lack of laughs,
"Damon" has a large supporting cast
that is hardly ever seen. This is unfortu-
nate since most of the supporting cast
are funnier than Wayans. Andrea
Martin plays the tough-as-nails captain,
which begs the question can a woman
play a strong, determined character
without coming off as a bitch?
"Damon" does not think so.
Rounding out the cast are Melissa De
Sousa (was she even in the second
episode?) who is the Latina sex pot,
Julio Oscar Mechoso (totally unnotice-
able), and Greg Pitts who acts like a
stoner, frat boy, despite the fact he is a
cop (only some of the non-sequitur at
The best thing for "Damon" to do
would be hire writers who know what
their doing, or die a quick, quiet death.
If you have a strong
piano background,
you are invited to
to learn to play the
Burton and Lurie Towers
for the fall term.
Carillon -1 credit
For more information:
Prof. Halsted

By Alex Khachaturian
For the Daily
Despite the popularity that bands like No Doubt, Sublime,
Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish have brought to the genre of ska,
none of them can get away with calling themselves true ska
bands. These hugely successful artists all experiment with
some of the basic rhythms which ska was based on, but they
are all just pop bands. Talented? Sure. Ska? Not a chance.
In a recent interview with Jim Arhelger, drummer of Bim
Skala Bim, he confirmed his respect for the classical sound
of ska. "We like the traditional stuff, the Jamaican stuff. I'm
not as keen on the more up-tempo Orange County ska bands,
but they're good bands," he said.
Founded in 1983, Bim Skala Bim exemplifies the true
sound of ska music. Think of ska as a fast-paced predecessor
to reggae, combining R&B, jazz and calypso with a little
twist, characterized by the use of saxophones and brass. "The
mighty city of Boston was one of the first places where
American ska got its start" Arhelger said. "Us and The
Toasters were definitely the first two East Coast ska bands."
The six-member band, hailing from Massachusetts and
New Hampshire, was influenced early on by rock 'n' roll and
jazz, and was brought together by the members' love of ska.
Although they looked up to several bands, the performers that
they have toured with, including The Skatalites, Bad
Manners, The Specials and Toots and the Maytones, are some
of their favorites.
Since its self-titled debut, the band has continued to make
a name for itself in the ska scene with the release of several
albums, including Arhelger's personal favorite, "Live at the
Paradise:' The band's current album, considered by some

critics to be its best studio effort yet, features the skankin'
new releases "Pete Needs a New Friend" and "Red Eyes:'
Bim Skala Bim helped start the ska trend, while members
of the Bosstones added their own punk flair to it, creating
what is today called ska-core. Arhelger explained that he
liked where the band has taken ska. "The thing about the
Bosstones is that they 're good at what at they do, they're tal-
ented musicians."
When asked how he feels about the Bosstones' newfound
commercial success, including the band's many MTV hits, he
said, "They're still just your typical
Boston Irish kids. They haven't forgot-
450k ten where they came from. We'd get
Bim Skala them shows and now they hook us up,
Bim it's been great:'
Continuing on the subject of fame
St. Andrew s Hall and fortune, Arhelger affirmed that his
Tomorrow at 8 p.m. band has been completely self-made
throughout its existence. Although Bim
Skala Bim would love to sell more
records and keep getting bigger, the
musicians do not see becoming a smash
as their primary goal in making music.
After seven albums and a decade
worth of skankin', the band has proved
that it is indeed talent-laden.
With its tour coming to a close in almost a week and a half,
though, if you don't catch Bim Skala Bim now, you're prob-
ably going to have to wait until one of the many summer ska
tours, on which the band could very well end up reuniting
with the Bosstones.


Two of the
second episode's
funniest moments
come from Irrera. At
one point, Irrera com-
nts that if he had
0,000, he would buy so
uch pornography that no
ne would ever see him
again. Later, when
waiting to see a doc-
tor, Irrera reads the
children's maga-
Fox zine "Highlights"
and worries that
the editors are

Damon goes o
undercover not
once, but twice, to
catch a high-class
pimp. The first
me e dresses up Courtesy of
as a low class pimp Damon Wayans gets his own epony-
-talking about his mous sitcom on Fox this Sunday.

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