m-- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 18, 1998
Trio brings funk to the Michigan,
Miramax Films is hosting a special
promotion for its new film
"Celebrity" the new Woody Allen
flick, at Rick's American Cafe (611 '
Church St.). The film stars none other
than the Oscar-snubbed (and rightful-
ly so) Leonardo DiCaprio, Gretchen
Mol and Kenneth Branagh.
The event is tonight and the fun
starts at 10:30 p.m. It's a normal night
at Rick's, so you must be 21 to enter,
but you can submit your name to win
passes for the movie, gift certificates
to New York Pizza Depot and the
grand prize, which is a limo to take
you to Sweet Lorriane's for dinner,
then to a Deftones concert, and then
back to your home.
Gretchen Mol and Leonardo DICaprio
fight off crowds in "Celebrity."
It's as though you're a "Celebrity"
or King of the World for a night -
whichever you prefer.
By Chris Kula
For the Daily
Roll out the red carpet and regal fan-
fare - the kings of groove have arrived.
Medeski Martin and Wood, the royal
masters of the modern organ trio, will
hold court to the booty-shaking masses
at the Michigan Theater tonight.
Deeply rooted in
tional world of
jazz, yet delving
Medeski often into the
Martin and realm of greasy
Wood funk, MMW
Michigan Theater has, over the
Tonight at 7:30 past eight years,
carved itself a
niche at the very
top of the hip-
Many fans of
jam band genre
have steadily latched onto MMW, seek-
ing the in-the-moment, improvisational
excitement for which the live shows are
"I think it's cool," said drummer Billy
Martin, "because, in general, that kind of
culture represents someone who likes to
see something different from the main-
Similarly, the band's smooth treatment
of funky rhythms and feels has eagerly
attracted hip-hop enthusiasts. "I appreci-
ate anybody who comes out (to the show)
and listens and gets something out of the
music,' Martin said.
And there's plenty to be found within
the music of MMW Keyboardist John
Medeski uses his Hammond organ,
clavinet and various other musical tools
to produce tones ranging from soulful to
Chris Wood simply owns the funk, lay-
ing down some of the fattest basslines in
And Martin is phenomenal behind the
drums. His swinging approach to rhythm
encompasses every style from New
Orleans second line shuffles to Latin
But it is the sum of these individual
parts that creates MMW's unique style.
Live shows are dominated with exhila-
rating spells of spontaneous composition
during which each member is equally
responsible for the feel and texture of the
jam. This level of on-stage, creative
chemistry translates directly over to the
audience, resulting in a highly energetic
event for all those present.
"We love to dance and groove, and
that's where a lot of that whole vibe in the
music is coming from," Martin said.
Concertgoers at the Michigan Theater
can expect an added treat tonight in the
form of turntable wizard DJ Logic.
After collaborating on three tracks for
"Combustication," MMW's most recent
release on Blue Note Records, Logic has
taken to the road with the band, perform-
ing on-stage with the group in addition to
his own solo set.
Summer Orientation Employment
courtesy at Gramais
Medeski, Martin and Wood supply the groove at their performance tonight at the -1
Michigan. The special guest of the evening is Marc Ribot.
"Logic is totally inspiring," Martin
said, "because he throws in sounds and
effects that no one else can get, so there's
always that element of surprise, and that
can sometimes move us in a whole new
Martin also mentioned that Logic, as
well as a host of other performers includ-
ing Bill Laswell and Prince Paul, will col-
laborate on a MMW remix record, tentaR
tively scheduled for a January release.:
"We're really looking forward to this
Martin said. "There's some funky stuff
it but there's also some very expansive
Of course, later tonight at the
Michigan Theater, the funky stuff will
certainly be in no short supply, either.
Predictability makes Lamb novel boring
i snow Tnis mucn is
Wally Lamb, a highly acclaimed
writer, has recently released his lat-
est book, "I Know This Much Is
Though it has received much
praise and is even part of Oprah
Winfrey's book club, it simply does
It is the story of Thomas and
Dominick Birdsey, two identical
twins born on Dec. 31, 1949, and
Jan. 1, 1950, respectively. They are
twins who were born in different
halves of the century and led
extremely different lives.
The twins were born to an unwed
mother, Concettina, who had a hare-
lip that she covered using her hand.
Lamb refers to this as her constant
apology to the world. The mother is
a weak character throughout the
novel for she is a submissive woman
to the twin's overbearing stepfather,
Ray. Ray, a former Navy man who
works in a factory for "Electric
Boats," desires to raise his two step
children to fear him.
The story is, in essence, a charac-
ter study of Dominick. He is the sane
brother, while Thomas is schizo-
phrenic and a constant worry to his
Throughout the novel, Lamb inter-
sperses flashbacks to the twins'
somewhat traumatic childhood with
their subservient mother and their
sometimes abusive stepfather.
Concettina is the daughter of a
widowed Italian immigrant,
Domenico Tempesta, who immigrat-
ed to the United States in 1901.
Lamb describes Domenico as a
tough and stubborn person who
made his daughter obey him with
absolute authority. Unfortunately,
this is about as complex as the rela-
tionships get. Lamb seems to just
barely skim the surface of deep
issues that upon further analysis
would prove quite interesting. For
example, the gender roles throughout
the novel are about as complex as a
'50s television show.
The characters are all cliches.
Thomas is a nerd, Dominick is good
at sports, Ray is a factory worker
who likes sports and does not like to
Ray favors Dominick and abuses
Thomas, which, in turn, leaves
Dominick with a tremendous sense
There is also a subplot of
Dominick being married to his true
love, Dessa. Unfortunately, she mis-
carries a baby, which eventually
ruins their. marriage. This leads
Dominick to marry a younger unsta-
ble woman, which does not make
The driving force for Dominick,
an ex-history teacher who now paints
houses, is his relationship with his
twin. When Thomas decides to cut
off his hand as a sacrifice to make
George Bush stop the Gulf War, he
gets media attention and makes
Dominick's unhappy life even worse.
This leads Dominick to an amazing-
iy deep search for himself in Italy.
The rest of the book continues to
present more simple characters ar*
predictable plot lines. The surprising
ending is only surprising because it
makes absolutely no sense.
Although the story is a good idea,
the book is 897 pages long. The plot
is in some ways compelling and
would be well done as a short story.
Regardless of the praise from Oprah,
this is not a good book. It is a per-
verted '50s television show at best. It
is adept at making everything see:
more simple than it is. 6
It would seem that a brother of a
schizophrenic twin would be more
complex than Dominick appears to
be. His observations on life are pre-
dictable and uninteresting. The story
would have been better if the narra-
tion was more analytical and less
- Caitlin Hall
1.1p realmusic. ga. p
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1140 south university (above goodtime chadeys), AA
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