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February 23, 1999 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-23

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Kenneth Kiesler, that masterful musician of merriment, will con-
durct the University Chamber Orchestra tonight. Featuring Alberto
Ginaster's "Variaciones Concertantes." Rackharn Auditorium. 8 p.m.
~8 Tuesday
February 23, 1999

UIJESiWwn imatu

It

Daily Arts returns Wednesday, featuring an interview with
that goony of all "Goonies," Martha Plimpton, talking about
her performance in "200 Cigarettes."

.:

Kodo drummers to make annual A2 appearance-

yAdin Rosi
t>a7Ar~ts Writer
The Japanese drum based music troupe, Kodo,
will make its tenth appearance here in Ann Arbor
since its formation in 1981. This world renowned
group of performers will once again bring its mas-
tery of the taiko, a kind of drum, to music lovers

Kodo
Power Center
Toigh t-Thursday at 8

here.
One of the most interest-
ing aspects of Kodo is that
for the performers involved
in it, Kodo is not merely a
musical production that
they are part of, but it is a
way of life. The group has
an established commune on
Sado Island in Japan that
was founded in the late '60s,
before the name Kodo was
adopted as the name for the
group in 1981.
Daniel Rosen, a non-
native Japanese Kodo mem-
ber explained this further.

wondering if their society was really going in the
right direction. Looking at the government in a
booming post war industry they were questioning
if this was the way to go and if they had forgotten
where they were coming from. So they decided to
reside on Sado Island to study traditional Japanese
arts. Dancing, music and especially taiko," he said.
The group has since been a strong music force.
Touring domestically in Japan and around the
world up to eight times during a year, the group still
spends the remaining four months on Sado Island,
focusing on making more music and refining
Kodo's art-form. Rosen elaborated on why the
group has such a grueling tour lifestyle, "Its about
sharing the sound of the taiko, expanding the com-
munity as far as we can. Of course, on the financial
side, you have to sell tickets to support your activ-
ities, especially the activities on Sado Island. But
aside from that, that's what we do. This is what
Kodo does. We present taiko to the world."
A very strong self reliance spirit has also been a
key feature of the group in its lifestyle. As Rosen
mentioned, "There are three things that Kodo likes
to talk about, its the way we live, the way we create
and the music itself, the stage, those are really the
three things involved with the Kodo process. It
means loading the drums in and out by ourselves,

said.
"I think it takes a certain level of commitment
and a certain level of love to do that. I think that's
probably the success story to the company. They
haven't lost touch with their roots," Rosen said;
The group has had immense success with its
offering of taiko to the world. There seems to be a
universal appeal to Kodo's music and its perfor-
mance. "I think the nature of the music, base n
the beat of a drum, is very universal. Its been he
most basic form of communication and the most
basic form of music is percussion" Rosen said.
The collaborations also include Celtic ensembles
and jazz musicians.
An attempt to describe a Kodo live performance
cannot be easy. Most audiences experience Kodo
without knowing what they're about to see.
"I don't expect people to come expecting any-
thing, I tell people to come with no expectations.
The only thing I would ask is that you would coe
with an open mind and open up not only your ears
but all your senses as it's going to be a multi-sen-
sory experience. Sit back and take it in with all
your body," Rosen said.
Tickets for Kodo are $26-$36 and can be pur-
chased fivm the UMS Box Office on theffirst floor
of Burton Memorial Tower or calling 764-2538.

Courtesy of Kosei Yoshida

The drummers of Kodo will bring their talents to the Power Center tonight.

"The commune was established in the late '60s for
disillusioned people. In the wake of conditions
going on at the time in the world some people were

we don't travel with any stage hands. We'll come in
the morning and we'll be loading instruments in
and out and the presenters will come to us and say,

'hey you have a great crew. When are your artists
showing up?' We would say, 'We are they.' It's a
commitment, traveling together is a part of that," he

I I

Blade'

cuts onto DVD

New 'Mr. Show'

What do Traci Lords, a 900 pound
vampire and a sprinkler system that
sprays out blood have in common?
They're all in the vampire slaying
thriller "Blade;' where the title char-
acter is out to save mankind from
some pesky
bloodsuckers.
Blade (Wesley
Blade Snipes) can go
up against these
Starring Wesley creatures of the
Snipes night because
FineLine Features he possesses
Reviewed by the powers of
Daily Arts Writer both humans
Matthew Barrett and vampires,
something he
gained when he was born just
toments after his mother was bitten
by a vampire.
The plot here is pretty simple:
Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorfi), the
leader of the vampires, wants to rule
the world and destroy almost all of

mankind (he still needs a few humans
around for their blood). Blade doesn't
dig this idea or even Deacon, for that
matter, and joins forces with mentor
Abraham Whistler (Kris
Kristofferson), to stop the vamps in
their tracks. Trouble and a lot of com-
puter enhanced shots ensue, with the
fate of humanity coming down to one,
final battle royale.
The DVD version of the film
comes packed with loads of extras
that should be very worthwhile for
fans of the film. Snipes, Dorff,
screenwriter David S. Goyer and a
few other important players are very
open about the film and their feelings
towards it in an audio commentary
track. Details about a rather heated
on-set disagreement between Snipes
and Dorff along with some griping
about the film's final cut pale in com-
parison to hearing Snipes remark
"some of it looks really corny" when
discussing one of the film's goofier

scenes.
In addition, "Blade" contains sever-
al deleted scenes, an unused ending
and four featurettes on the movie. The
featurettes have interviews with sev-
eral members of the production and
include information on how Blade's
weapons were designed and the char-
acter's comic book origin, along with
a documentary on vampires. Some of
the interview segments seem fairly
repetitive and come off as nothing
more than a rehashing of the com-
mentary track. Another problem is the
glaring absence of director Stephen
Norrington from the bonus materials.
Everyone here can't stop talking
about how great he is, so it's disap-
pointing not to be able to hear from
the man himself.
Norrington or not, all the extra fea-
tures are nice, but unless you're a
monster fan of "Blade," the DVD
really isn't worth sinking your teeth
into.

By Anika Kohon
For the Daily
With two recent episodes and a few
more in March, the new season of
HBO's "Mr. Show with Bob and David"
aim to be outlandish, offensive and
exploitive. Headliners Bob Odenkirk

HBO
Mondays at midnight
and quickly delves

and David Cross
romp through
each playful half
hour episode,
which HBO runs
two back-to-back.
"Mr. Show" is
everything a good
sketch comedy
show should be--
well, except
funny.
One new
episode begins
with quirky,
whistling music,
into the realm of

describe the sunset better to a blind
woman. As they attempt to out-do one
another, their accounts escalate into the
absurd. The competition concludes
with, "Underdog just flew in and swal-
lowed the mushroom cloud, and now
he's farting it out onto a leprechaun"
Ha ha, very funny.
During a piece about the new Dalai
Lama, a suburban, youth named
Dougie, Monks participate in a rapping
competition with adolescents from the
"fat kid's camp." Sadly, this fails to turn
out to be as funny as it sounds. The only
shining moment occurs when a chim-
panzee named Mr. Bologna shows up in
a convertible with John Cryer (Duckie
from "Pretty in Pink") wearing a shirt
saying, "Kiss my ass." Like everything
on the show, it comes out of nowhere,
but this time it works. Where the
humans fail to be funny, the primate
succeeds.
Another episode follows a similar
formulaic pattern, but it takes several
different turns. Instead of gimps and
.cages, the opening portrays a moment
of silence for a crew member who has

offends.
died. Bob and Dave project an outof
focus picture of the deceased and then
are lured away by a fellow claiming he
can get them a good deal on speakers.
Many of the things said on the sow
would have been better left unsaid. One
of the characters sums his career in the
porn industry by stating, "You know,
people call it pornography, but I t
call it bread and butter. You know, -
ple everywhere are masturbating on my
bread and butter, and it's delicious."
Hmm ... at least this is conveyed aural-
ly instead of with visuals.
- The best element of "Mr. Show"
comes in the ensemble's ability to sail
smoothly from one sketch to another.
These smooth transitions are clever and
original, setting "Mr. Show" apart from
similar programs such as "Saturday
Night Live" or "In Living Color."W
both episodes contain amusing
moments, neither one give much come-
dy worthy of time or praise. Thesetwo
episodes would be best shared with
friends; maybe if they laugh, you would
too. One thing is certain, Bob and
David are no "Kids in the Hall."

bizarre sexual playfulness as a man
whips Bob and David until they cower
in a cage, out of his reach.
Two men go on to argue who can

Ronim rocks into video stores
By Matthdw Barrett
and Kristin Long
Daily Arts Writersx
Urban Legend No. 1: Anyone who looks at the
halo around Michigan Stadium for more than five
minutes will go blind. "Urban Legend" No. 2: A°
spooky teen-fad flick about urban legends that actu-
ally start coming true. Fans not satisfied by
"Scream," "Scream 2," "1 Know What You Did Last
Summer," "I Still Know What You Did Last
Summer" and "Halloween: H20 (thirsty?)" should
get their fill of horror in this derivative thriller.
Filled with great car chases and not much else,
"Ronin" rocks to video counters
today. Starring Robert De Niro,
this beat-'em-up, rough-'em-up
and shoot-'em-up suspense story
New On will get the heart pumping and
Video This the blood flowin' on a cold win-
Week ter's night. Parisians beware, De
Niro is on the prowl, and your
cafes won't be safe for long.
Let's face it, double dips are cool; whether in the
ice cream parlor, the tobacco shop or the video'
store. Fans can look for two scoops of Stiller start-
ing today. First, check out Ben as a heroin addicteda
Hollywood writer in "Permanent Midnight."
Makeup beauty queen Elizabeth Hurley takes a
break from Hugh Grant to appear alongside old
friend Ben in this unrelenting look at a man's down-
ward spiral.
And for the second scoop, nab Ben, Catherine Keener
and Aaron Eckhart in Neil LaBute's "Your Friends and Courtesy of United Artists (top) and Tristar Pictures (bottom)
Neighbors." Keep your ears peeled for a rambling speech TOP: Robert DeNiro stars in "Ronin."
about Timmy, the year's most important off-screen char- BOTTOM: Natasha Gregerson Wagner is stalked by a
acter this side of Ronald Farber. killer In "Urban Legend."

Grammy awards air Wednesday

Los Angeles Times
HOLLYWOOD - What are the chances of the Grammy
Awards giving us great best album selections two years in a row?
Since the only time it has happened in 20 years was in the
mid-'80s, when Paul Simon's "Graceland" and U2's "The
Joshua Tree" won back to back, the odds against the occurrence
are as high as picking the daily double at race track. But get
ready to cash in Wednesday during the 41st annual Grammy cer-
emony.
The voters gave us the first half ofthe winning parlay last year
by naming Bob Dylan's "Time Out of Mind" the best album of
the year, and the betting favorite this time is Lauryn Hill's splen-
did "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."
A Hill victory would not only mark the first time a hip-hop
artist has won in the best album category, but it would also give
Hill, with 10 nominations, an excellent chance to collect more
Grammys in one night than any other female artist in history. The
record is four, which was established by Carole King in 1971, the
year of "Tapestry."(Michael Jackson holds the overall record of
eight.)
The 23-year-old New Jersey singer, songwriter and producer
isn't the only woman you are likely to often see onstage
Wednesday night. Madonna could pick up multiple Grammys,
which would be her first wins in the competition outside of a
video award in 1991. The ceremony will be held at the Shrine
Auditorium in Los Angeles.
The nominees for artist of the year: Sheryl Crow's "The Globe
Sessions," Garbage's "Version 2.0;' Lauryn Hill's "The
Miseducation of Lauryn Hill;' Madonna's "Ray of Light" and
Shania Twain's "Come On Over"
Hill may be the favorite, but she has every reason to be biting
her nails this week. The 10,000 recording academy voters often
look past the most obvious - and deserving - nominees.
Remember 1996, when the voters chose Celine Dion's "Falling
Into You" over Beck's "Odelay' the consensus choice among
critics for album of the year, and the Fugees' "The Score," a
trailblazing hip-hop effort.
Everyone knows the voters favor mainstream best sellers, and
that makes Twain a dangerous entry here. The album may be dis-
heartening pop-country formula, but it has sold about 7 million
copies, nearly double any other nominee in this category.
Crow is also a threat because she has won five Grammys since
1994, and voters often tend to repeat themselves. Madonna's

album is the best of her career, but voters will probably honor her
in the best record category, where the competition isn't so fierce.
Garbage is the rock longshot, the slot occupied last year by
Radiohead.
That leaves Hill, whose "Miseducation" combines the stylish
craft and penetrating social commentary that characterized
Stevie Wonder's peak '70s work. She is also a past winner (two
rap awards as a member of the Fugees), and her album has sold
an impressive 3 million copies.
The nominees for record of the year: Brandy & Moi
"The Boy Is Mine," Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," the
Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris," Madonna's "Ray of Light" and Shania
Twain's "You're Still the One."
Dion won in 1996 for best album, but she wasn't nominated
in that category this time. The singer - and her song from
"Titanic" -- may be suffering from burnout over all the hoopla
over the movie. Twain will likely benefit from strong support
from the academy's country music contingent, which rarely is
represented outside the country categories. But the voters will be
more apt to turn to the Madonna record, which is a far more s
ish entry and provides a convenient way to honor the colo
artist for her career accomplishments. The Goo Goo Dolls'
record wasn't even the best track on the "City ofAngels" sound-
track (that distinction goes to Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited").
Brandy & Monica's record is nicely designed, but slight.
The nominees for best new artist: Backstreet Boys, Andrea
Bocelli, Dixie Chicks, Lauryn Hill and Natalie Imbruglia.
There shouldn't be much nail biting here for Hill. The
Backstreet Boys, Bocelli and Imbruglia are novelties in different
ways (teen pop, classical lite and video-generated star). The
name Dixie Chicks may conjure images ofa country Spice Girls,
but the female trio is talented and would deserve the nod n
years. But not this one.
The nominees for best pop album: Eric Clapton's "Pilgrinm,
Celine Dion's "Let's Talk About Love "Natalie Imbruglia's fkeft
of the Middle;' Madonna's "Ray of Light" and the Brian Ster
Orchestra's "The Dirty Boogie."*.
Clapton has won 11 Grammys in the '90s, but even his admir-
ers must realize this was a weak package. Imbruglia and the
Setzer Orchestra are lucky to have made the cut, and Dion's
record is full of her usual excess. That leaves Madonna, wtose
collection had a more personal and convincing tone than her
lier work.

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