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April 08, 1999 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Blair Shannon begins run at Mainstreet Comedy Showcase.
Also a singer, Shannon combines music into his stand-up act.
Tonight at 8:30 p.m. for $10. Friday at 8 & 10:30 p.m. and
Saturday at 5:45, 8:15 & 10:45 p.m. for $12.
April 8, 1999

U te HEInmi dg

TomOrrow in Daily Arts:
Daily Arts reviews the new young-Hollywood flick, "Go,"
which opens tomorrow.


Saxophonist Joshua Redman slides into Ark'

By John Uhl
Daily Arts Writer
In its eternal quest to fill each day with
24 hours of humor, Comedy Central has, in
questionable taste, begun re-airing relative-
ly recent "Saturday Night Live" episodes.
In one rerun that aired about a month ago,
Jewel appeared as the musical guest. Most


viewers probably
Joshua Redman
The Ark
Saturday at 7 &
9:30 p.m.

gave little notice to the
young tenor saxophon-
ist who blew the hip
squawks and intelligent
phrases that filled the
gaping musical holes in
Jewel's yodeling blath-
Perhaps more than
any other jazz musician
today, Joshua Redman
has been able to incon-
spicuously add flavor to
a number of more main-
stream groups. Within
the last couple years, he
has performed on the

"These days jazz is gaining greater and
greater cultural cache" he recently told
Downbeat magazine. "People sure under-
stand the dynamics and emotion," Redman
Redman's own rise to jazz stardom has
not been unlike the flux of the pop world he
visits from time to time. Just eight years
ago he graduated from Harvard with
designs of nabbing a Yale law degree.
Instead, he followed the path of his father
Dewey Redman, eminent '60s tenor saxo-
phonist, and stole the hearts of critics. His
first place victory in the prestigious
Thelonious Monk Competition caught the
eye of the jazz community and garnered
him a lucrative contract with Warner Bros.
This sort of instant fame is virtually
unheard of in the jazz community, as are
the high record sales Redman has enjoyed.
Legends about his apparently non-existent
practice schedule began to pass between
jealous musicians and were hidden from
aspiring music students. A jazz enigma was
It makes sense, then, for a musician who
has brought jazz a taste of pop culture to
list Prince (or whatever the kids are calling
him these days) and the Beatles among his
idols. It would also make sense for this
musician to record the work of such idols.

On his latest album "Timeless Tales (For
Changing Times)," Redman does just that,
as he interprets the music of Prince,
Lennon and McCartney, Stevie Wonder,
Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan in a jazz con-
Yet Redman's connection to the trappings
and expectations of a market concerned
with output over input has caused some
critics to doubt his artistic sincerity. In
terms of his latest work, the concept of
turning popular tunes into viable jazz mate-
rial is not exactly new. Herbie Hancock's
1996 album "New Standards" noblely
attempted to reveal the depth of Kurt
Cobain among others, but failed to find it.
Jazz-bluegrass-funk crossover delight Bela
Fleck regularly covers Beatle material. On
Redman's rendition of "Eleanor Rigby," the
soprano saxophone lead and droning chime
of its piano accompaniment are eerily rem-
iniscent of John Coltrane's bold recreation
of the popular tune "My Favorite Things"
(but don't try to dance to the Beatles song;
he arranged it in five instead of the original
waltz time signature).
Redman chose not to limit his album of pop-
ular songs to those written since the Johnson
administration. George Gershwin, Irving Berlin
and other pre-War songwriters are featured
alongside the baby and post-baby boomers.

simply a collection of old and new stan-
dards. One may have difficulty recognizing
"The Times They Are A-Changin," a song
that, with the raspy poetic inflections of Bob
Dylan's voice, had only a vague sense of
melody. It now sings resolutely, the herald of
its own a-changin.' Redman turned Jerome
Kern's "Yesterdays" into almost a funs
groove. The imparity between the coexisting
musical time periods is irrelevant, because
Redman has made music of it all.
Despite possessing critical acclaim and
mass appeal, the saxophonist is not quick to
sing his own praises. "I don't like a lot of
my music myself," Redman said. Although
he did begin his career without an obvious
need or desire to practice, he sees things-
differently now. Relentlessly criticizing hi
own work, he searches for ways to improv
"In order to remain inspired for the shows,
I have to address the deficiencies of my
playing. That means practice - me and the
horn alone in a room."
Saturday evening Joshua will bring the
rest of his band, drummer Gregory
Hutchinson, pianist Aaron Goldberg, and
bassist Reuben Rogers, to The Ark. One can
applaud Redman's efforts to bring the
charm of pop to jazz, but some things are
best left where they are. Hopefully he"
leave his friend Jewel at home.

Rolling Stones' "Bridges to Babylon" tour,
with Dave Mathews Band and at the
NARAS "Future Fest" showcase with The
And the saxophonist/composer is excited
about bringing jazz to a wider audience.

courtesy of warner Bros.
Joshua Redman will appear Saturday at the Ark.
Each song on the album is followed by an
interval, composed for the purpose of merg-
ing the pieces together. This effective unifi-
cation and the creativity of Redman's re-
imaginings constitute a recording that is not

Michael Moore TV
show to air on Bmavo

M JG shows side of South

By Jonah Victor
Daily Arts Writer
According to Michael Moore, not
since Joe McCarthy has there been a
good old witch-hunt in Washington,
D.C., and so Moore thinks it's high
time to create his own. Hailing from
Flint, Michigan, Moore takes his
guerilla-video style TV show, "The
Awful Truth," across America in an
attempt to fight the injustices he
sees in society. With his populist
anti-politics opinions, Moore pre-
sents his battles
on video to a
live studio audi-
The Awful Moore found
Truth fame after he
*** directed the
Bravo movie "Roger
┬░Sunday at 9p.m. and Me," the
non - concert
ever produced.
Continuing in
his advocate-
style, Moore tackles a wide range of
current concerns getting right in the
faces of those Moore believes are
responsible for cheating Middle
As host, Moore appears to be the
star of the show which is similar to
his{ "TV Nation," but it's his zany

video segments that convince us of
"The Awful Truth." In the premiere
episode, Moore assaults Washington
during the impeachment hearings.
Beginning the day early on Kenneth
Starr's front lawn, he stations a
screaming throng of 17th century
Puritans who vehemently wave
copies of "The Starr Report" over
their heads and call for the start of
an old-fashioned witch hunt. With
his fervent followers he tramps
through the Capitol building, storm-
ing the offices of Senators and
beguiling unwitting congressmen.
Moore somehow ends up on the dais
of the House Judiciary Committee,
wearing his odiously green
Michigan State hat and proceeds to
stare down prosecutor Starr. In the
second half of the show he sets up a
mock-funeral outside the headquar-
ters of an HMO for a man who
claims he was cheated out of a pan-
creas transplant.
"The Awful Truth" is genuinely
candid, which has caused Moore to
run into trouble while making his
irreverent video attacks. While try-
ing to expose the pollution caused
by a wealthy industrialist, New York
City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had a
restraining order placed against
Moore and banned him from film-
ing anywhere in the city. Members
of Moore's crew including Crackers,
the Corporate Crime Fighting

By Quan Willnams
Daily Arts Wnter
There is no denying that one of the
groups that played the biggest part in the
rise of the South to hip-hop prominence
was the Tennessee-based duo of Eightball
and MJG. The two have shown the world
what life is like in the underside of the
"Dirty South, and now, after finishing
successful solo projects, they reunite for
"In our Lifetimes," their most ambitious
project yet.
"This is going to be a platinum hit,"
said MJG, "It's something to sum up our
careers, and to catch people's attention."
This album is a milestone for the
group, who have always been followers
and performers of hip-hop music. "We've
been rapping since we were 13-years-old,
in school and at talent shows, MJG said
about the group's history, "We were hits
underground for a long time before we
got recognized nationwide" MJG also
pointed out that although they started off
as separate acts, the two gained the most
momentum as a duo.

One of the reasons it took so long for
the group to get any respect from the hip-
hop world is that at the time oftheir debut,
the south wasn't respected as a hip-hop
region. MJG stated negligence from the
major hip-hop markets as the cause of
that. "The major influences are in the East
and West coasts, where all the major rap
labels are" he said. "Since there were no
major labels in the South, it was harder to
get a start in the South. You would have to
go to another area to get signed." That is
obviously changing, with independent
labels like No Limit, Cash Money and
Eightball and MJG's label, Suave, gaining
nationwide respect.
In this renaissance created with New
Orleans, Atlanta and Texas hip-hop, MJG
warns not to forget about Tennessee.
"Hip-hop has a large underground base in
Tennessee;'he quipped. "t's getting larger
and faster, so there are more labels, and
more artists. Our scene is still crawling,
and trying to learn how to walk." He
points out that it is only a matter of time
before Tennessee will become well-

known in the scene.
When that happens, it will be Eightball
and MJG who led the way. They have
grown from underground rappers t
being featured on projects with MC
Breed, the Wu-Tang Clan, Busta Rhymes,
Puff Daddy and Ma$e, Master P and
Funkmaster Flex, with Outkast and the
Goodie Mob's Cee-Lo appearing on their
latest project. MJG stated that this is only
the beginning for them.
"Hopefully in five years, we'll have a
production company off the ground," he
said. "Keep an eye out for P-TAB
(Planning To Act Bad) Productions
which will allow us to groom up-anc
coming artists. We're out to prove that we
don't always have to rap to show off our
Of course, this in no way means they
are through rapping, MJG pointed out.
"Eightball and MJG have got much love
for our fans" he said. "We plan to keep
networking in entertainment, and do this
for a lot longer. This album is definitely
not the end of Eightball and MJG."

courtesy o miramax
Michael Moore wears a Tiger's cap.
Chicken, were arrested in Walt
Disney World after harassing
Mickey Mouse about ABC/Disney
labor contracts.
Shows down the road include
such intriguing concepts as an arm-
wrestling match between Moore and
Secretary of Defense William
Cohen; a choir composed of people
who lost their voices to smoking,
singing Christmas carols in front of
the offices of R.J. Reynolds; and a
Winnebago full of gay men driving
through states where sodomy is ille-
Like Moore's other works, "The
Awful Truth" is sure to gain a cult
following. Most people will be
amused by his home-video style
film segments while others will eat
up every minute of the show. Moore
has started an adventurous project.
If the first episode is any indication,
it may be hard to resist the unpre-
dictability of "The Awful Truth."

Japanese Tenchi' cartoon intrigues

Read Daily Arts Online at

By JuQuan Williams
Daily Arts Wnter
Anyone who knows the popular
Japanese cartoon "Tenchi Muyo" knows
the story: Boy meets girl. Boy finds out
girl is intergalactic space pirate. Boy's
great-aunts hunt space pirate girl down
from another galaxy. One of boy's great-
aunts falls in love with boy. Boy is
revealed to be most powerful being in
galaxy. Boy stumbles into incompetent-
but-lovable space police girl who also
falls for boy. Boy meets mad scientist
genius who claims to be space pirate girl's
mother. Typical love story, right?
For those that don't know, "Tenchi
Muyo"is a wildly popular cartoon series
about a boy and his alien girlfiiends. To
date, the concept has inspired 11 animat-
ed videos, a syndicated cartoon series,
specials, two movies, and two American
comic books.
The title of the show helps explain
what makes it so popular. The "Muyo" in
"Tenchi Muyo" means "no need."At first,
it's confusing to ask why a show about a
boy named Tenchi would be called "No
need forTenchi," but the boy isn't the only

Tenchi in "Tenchi."Tenchi's sword (which
is also called Tenchi) is the Tenchi that the
phrase "Tenchi Muyo" probably address-
es. At first glance, the show seems to be
another action/sci-fi cartoon in the same
vein as American counterparts "X-men,"
"Galaxy Rangers," and "Thundercats."
But the action is sporadic, and a lot of the
show features the domestic lives of the
main characters. An action show like this
is a refreshing break from the hordes of
shows with heroes fighting in every
episode. "Tenchi Muyo" isn't afraid to
depict the times when the hero isn't off
fighting evil, and these scenes are actual-
hy more entertaining than the fights them-
selves. The Tenchi sword may symbolize
the show's superheroic action content, but
the show really doesn't need it to be enter-
Another factor helping to create the
show's popularity is the design of the
characters themselves. The 10 main char-
acters of "Tenchi Muyo" all fit into
stereotypical categories. Tenchi (the boy)
is the hero, strong of character, and naive-
ly chaste. Ryoko (the space pirate girl) is
the bad girl with a good heart. Ayeka (one

of the boy's great-aunts) is the good girl
who's a spoiled brat. Sasami (the boy's
other great-aunt) is the perfect little girl
and the voice of reason. Mihoshi (the
space police girl) is the dumb blonde.
Kiyone (the space police girl's partner) '
the overachiever. Washu (the space pirat
girl's mother) is the mad genius. Yoshu
(the boy's grandfather) is the wise old
man. Nobayuki (the boy's dad) is the dirty
old man. Ryo-oki (the space pirate girl's
pet spaceship) is the cute, lovable mascot.
"Tenchi Muyo" is a breath of fresh air
into the congested world of action car-
toons By taking simple characters and
concepts and adding levels of depth and
unexpected twists never before seen i*
this genre, "Tenchi" is a stroke of genius
in a field where mediocrity is the norm.
What other action/adventure show treats
its characters like members of a sitcom?
"Tenchi Muyo" is arguably less an action
show and more of a slapstick comedy or
romantic show - it can easily fit into
either category. This is a show that defies
categorization and appeals to a much
broader audience than its counterparts in
any other genre.


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at. r aan e rm. a w ee nor .I ..- .

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