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October 02, 1998 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-02

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They Might Be Giants will play at the Michigan. Do you have a
"Birdhouse in your Soul" or do you know "Particle Man?" Well,
They Might Be Giants do, and the group is performing at the
Michigan this Sunday with special guest Michael Shelly. The show
begins at 7:30 p.m. Call Ticketmaster at 763-TKTS for ticket info.

Uft ifdf~t ?Batv

:ouday in Daily Arts:
Check out concert reviews of Hootie and the Blowfish and
Sunny Day Real Estate.
Friday
October 2, 1998

8

I

MOVING THE MIND AND SOUL

0

Poetic
tribute
regaes,
By Steve Gertz
Daily Arts Writer
Ann Arbor has some good karma on the way
tonight as three enormous entities in the music
industry - Philip Glass, Patti Smith, and
R.E.M. leader Michael Stipe - assemble at
Hill Auditorium to pay musical and spiritual
homage to the late legendary poet Allen
Ginsberg and raise money for local Tibetan
Buddhist organization Jewel Heart.
Jewel Heart, headed by the world-renowned
Buddhist leader Gelek Rinpoche is, in the
words of one of its representatives, "a spiritual,
cultural, and humanitarian organization that
translates the ancient wisdom of Tibetan
Buddhism into everyday life."
Founded in the late '80s and located in
downtown Ann Arbor, the organization is one
of the nations' most prominent Buddhist
groups. Along with offering and funding spiri-
tual and educational services for followers of
the religion, it strives to raise money to help
assuage the plight of the Tibetan natives who
have been under societal and governmental
oppression from the communist Chinese since
1959.
In being such a sig-
nificant institution,
Jewel Heart has accu-
Allen mulated a large assem-
Ginsberg blage of members and
Tribute friends nationwide,
Hill Auditorium several of whom are
Tonight at 8 p.m. key figures in the artis-
tic community.
Tonight's performers
Glass, Stipe and Smith
are all affiliated with
the group. Moreover,
Glass and the late
Ginsberg were not only
founding members of
Jewel Heart, but, according to a Heart repre-
sentative, were "great friends with and students
of Gelek Rinpoche and Jewel Heart."
In addition to being so closely related to
Jewel Heart, Ginsberg was fond of Ann Arbor
and spent more time here during the final years'
of his life - he died in early 1997 - than in
any other place, except for his native New York
City Ginsberg also spent much time with

Glass' music parallels
radical Beat movement

C

By Christopher Tkaczyk
Daily Arts Editor
When you hear the words "classical
music," you often think of a large orches-
tra being led by a short little man waving a
stick. Sometimes, certain melodies will
spring from your mind's ear, recalling
some of the more famous classical tunes,
such as Mozart's "Eine Klein Nachtmusik"
or the four dark chords of Beethoven's
Symphony No. 5. Unless you are a classi-
cal music enthusiast, you've probably

sougt. UIfJewelHe[
Michael Stipe, of R.E.M., will make a rare solo appearance at Hill Auditorium tonight.

Philip Glass:
Allen
Ginsberg
Tribute
Hill Auditorium,
Tonight at 8 pm.

never heard of Philip
Glass.
As an introduction
to this avant garde
composer: Glass is to
classical music what
Bob Dylan was to rock
music, he brought life
to a dying artform.
Much like the shock-
waves that Allen
Ginsberg brought to
American literature,
Glass has affected a
similar tremor in the
music world. His

rock n' roll opera, nothing like the pop
opera that Andrew Lloyd Webber spews.
"The opening of Satyagraha may have
seemed unusual to the fogies, but every kid
in the audience heard a standard rock chord
progression - albeit played by the string
section of a symphony orchestra. And it
said: don't be afraid, you're going to like
this," Walsh stated. No, this is not your
father's opera.
Most recently, Glass collaborated with
Martin Scorsese in the production of
"Kundun," a film about the life of the most
recent Dali Lama. Possibly provoking an
interest in Tibetan Buddhism, Glass has
come to support the cause of a free Tibet.
His score, although highly minimalist,
invokes the presence and sound of Eastern
music. He lost the Academy Award, of
course, to James Homer's "Titanic" score.
Engaging in a solo performance tonight,
Glass will join Patti Smith and Michael Stipe
in honoring the legacy of Allen Ginsberg.
Look for another Glass appearance in April
when he returns to town for the University
Musical Society to present his newest opera,
"Monsters of Grace," a multimedia three-
dimensional extravaganza.

Rinpoche, as well as the many other friends that
he had in the University community.
Ginsberg's jazz-fueled, free-verse poetry was
crystallized in his most renowned works, the
lengthy "Howl" and "Kaddish." It was, in fact,
at Hill Auditorium during two readings, one in
1994 and one in 1995, that Ginsberg gave his
final readings of these poems.
Ginsberg was also largely responsible for
conjuring the anti-establishment, free-living
aura that was to become the widespread "hip-
pie" movement of the '60s. Striking up friend-
ships with like-minded souls such as Bob
Dylan and Ken Kesey, Ginsberg helped usher
in the "tune in, turn on, drop out" era, during
which one of its thriving hotbeds was found in
the city of Ann Arbor.
Fellow Jewel Heart associates and perform-
ers in tonight's festivities, Philip Glass and Patti
Smith were two of Ginsberg's closest friends
and had collaborated with him on various pro-
jects. Both of these personalities, aside from
their association with Ginsberg, are equally
potent forces in the music industry.
Patti Smith, the original high priestess of
punk, emerged from the same mid-'70s East
Coast art rock.scene that spawned the likes of
The Ramones, Television and The Talking
Heads. The jagged Velvet Underground-isms of
her and her contemporaries' early records have
influenced several generations of subsequent
bands, such as Nirvana, and has sealed her a
place in rock history.
But unlike many other rock lyricists, Smith's
wordcraft can be appreciated on an equal, or
even higher, level than her music. She is a long-

time student and author of poetry and has gar-
nered just as much critical acclaim for her pub-
lished collections, like "Babel" and
"Woolgathering," as she has for her records.
Appearing alongside Smith and Glass
tonight is R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, a
man of no small artistic achievement himself.
In the past 10 years, R.E.M. has become one
of rock's most popular acts and has managed to
set set high standards for the entire music world
by continuously experimenting with its sound.
And, while selling out stadium tours and pro-
ducing multi-platinum records, R.E.M and
Stipe have emerged with their integrity intact,
performing for and speaking out on a variety of
social and political causes including Tibetan
oppression. In addition, Stipe has also pub-
lished a book, "Two Times Intro: On the Road
With Patti Smith," a visual and verbal chronol-
ogy of his two-week stint behind the scenes of
Smith's 1995 tour with Bob Dylan. While
R.E.M has sold out hundreds of stadiums in the
past several years, it is extraordinarily rare for
Stipe to make a solo appearance.
Ann Arbor has always been host to some sur-
prisingly remarkable events, not the least of
which is today's tribute. The benefit at Hill
Auditorium is an excellent opportunity to see
the unlikely pairing of some of the century's
brightest musical talents pay homage one of the
century's greatest poets. United under the
theme of Tibetan Buddhism and the honorable
causes of the Jewel Heart organization,
tonight's performers will surely indulge in a
splendid mix of words and harmony that will
compel the senses and stimulate the intellect.

0

movement, now often called the minimalist
movement, can be defined as being a sound
which mirrors the technology age and
beyond. He often uses short, repetitive
chords throughout each of his pieces, mini-
malizing the boundaries of the work. In
short, less is more.
Glass's best field, by far, is contemporary
opera. Within the past 20 years, opera
lovers have been thirsty for new opera. His
first operatic work, "Einstein on the
Beach," premiered to an enthusiastic audi-
ence. Music critic Michael Walsh once
described the ending of the piece as
"heartrendingly gorgeous." "When one of
the speakers intones Samuel M. Johnson's
'Two Lovers' text, an epiphany (is) made all
the more concentrated by its position at the
end of a very long and challenging work,"
he wrote.
The composer has gone on to write many
more and different operas, including
"Satyagraha," probably the only Western
opera sung entirely in Sanskrit. Walsh
deemed the piece "the single most impor-
tant work in the revival of new operas in the
United States, and maybe worldwide."
Walsh recalled the opening , of
"Satyagraha" as an introduction into a real

41

Courtesy of Nonesuch
PhiilIp Glass helped create classical music's
minimallstic sound with his 1976 opera,
"Einstein on the Beach."

0

Ann Arbor band cruises home for Blind Pig show

By Adlin Rosli
Daily Arts Writer
"We're not a Detroit band, we're an Ann Arbor band!"
said Chris Peters in response to rumors of Getaway
Cruiser establishing a home base in Detroit rather than
Ann Arbor.
Peters is guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and one of the
two workaholic Peters brothers in Getaway Cruiser. The

group will play a
Getaway
Cruiser
The Blind Pig
Tonight at 9:30 p.m.
V

show at home tonight at the Blind Pig
as part of its whirlwind U.S. tour.
"What happens is if you get out of
the area, people associate you with
the closest big city so people think
we're from Detroit. Its easier to do
that but we are still an Ann Arbor
band."
And what an Ann Arbor band it is.
Fronted by the charismatic femme
fatale Dina Harrison, and using
turntables as well as other assorted
electronic toys to flavor its sound,
the group has recently done quite a
bit. In the past year, it recorded and
released its Butcher Brothers-pro-
duced debut album on Sony/550

thing. "We go out, do a lot of shows then come back, hit
the studios, then head out all over again!" Chris
explained.
With the support of a major label, the band is now free
from the restraints of a day job, but the status this group
earned did not come without paying its dues. "I graduat-
ed from the (University) and worked in a group home
after that, so did Mark (bassist, Dundon). They were
these houses for severely handicapped adults, which was
cool," said Chris.
"All the clients in the house were just great. It was kind
of like: get to work at six in the morning, cooking break-
fast, hanging out, getting people to where they had to go
and hanging out with everybody. Not that there were not
times when you would be going nuts because somebody
would start smashing shit."
Despite the group's sound having a foot firmly in rock
music, the band is never shy to collaborate with musi-
cians in other genres of music. "In addition to doing all
the shows we have been doing right now, my brother and
I just did a remix for Ruth Ruth and produced a track for
King Sun, an old-school New York M.C. who's on the
new Funkmaster Flex record. That guy is legendary, he's
awesome. King Sun came to Ann Arbor for a couple of
days and we produced some tracks," Chris explained.
He then continued, "We also mixed some tracks for this
R&B singer named Christian Urich. We got Slump
Village on that. Slump Village are a rap group from
Detroit who have an album coming out. They are actual-

ly going out with the Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called
Quest, so they are doing a show with us before they go.
We've been doing a lot of collaborations, remixes and a
lot of other stuff. Oh, we're also doing a cover of
"Gigantic" for a Pixies tribute album that's coming out."
All this cross-genre collaboration may seem a bit
strange, but Chris actually explained that it was quite
normal. "Rock and roll has always been, from day one,
white kids in the suburbs listening to their own music and
black music. That's what Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis
and Elvis Presley were doing. Its really not different from
what they did. Our generation was exposed to all the
great hip hop stuff."
With so much genre inter-breeding these days, it's a
wonder that rock bands have not yet adopted the old M.C.
custom of friendly competition. "It would be cool if it
was done for all the right reasons," said Chris about the
matter. "I think what prevents most towns from ever hav-
ing cool scenes is that most bands are not into having
everybody come together. Its always 'everybody hates
the next guy's band.' It would be cool if there was more
support going on, but at the same time it's cool to have a
little friendly competition among friends."
Tonight, if you're in the mood for some slick grooves
and catchy rocking tunes, check out Getaway Cruiser's
Blind Pig performance with opening acts, Slump Village
and Flash Pap'r.
The group will also do an in-store at Tower Records on
the same day at 5:30 p.m.

music, had Pras and Kool Keith make guest appearances
on the record and got supportive reviews everywhere. As
if that was not enough, the group, especially brothers
Chris and Drew Peters, are not slowing down for any-

Courtesy of Sony Music
Dina Harrison, lead singer of Getaway Cruiser, has a nice smile,

r

Have a glorious
weekend.

®F,
mE u u. .w~ur

m

u

I ., ____ ________

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