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February 09, 2000 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-09

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 9, 2000-- 9

ARTS

*Solar gears up
for two year
Piganversary
By Joshua Taafe
For the Daily
Solar, an innovative night in electronic music pre-
sented by Intuit Productions, is celebrating its two-year
anniversary tonight with a special party at the Blind Pig
featuring Kenny Larkin and Carl Craig performing on
four turntables. And as if this weren't enough, Solar
will also feature the Detroit Grand Pubahs performing
live. (The DGP are responsible for the recent hit "Sand-
wiches"). Carl Craig has promised that "This will be
the first definitive breakthrough in electronic DJ cul-
ture at the first definitive event of the 21 st Century."
Whether this is an allusion to Richie Hawtin's recent
"Decks, EFX and 909 mix" CD and a hint that Larkin
and Craig have something equally groundbreaking in
store or a tongue in cheek acknowledgement that the
four turntable set up is nothing new at all remains to be
seen. What can be guaranteed, however, is that the audi-
ence will hear quality music from these two pioneering
producers of electronic music.
* Larkin and Craig are both considered leading artists
in this 'second wave' of influential techno producers.
While this is a somewhat reduced perspective on the
facts, it does accurately indicate that Larkin and Craig
are both artists of long standing merit and importance.
Larkin met up with Plus 8's Richie Hawtin and John

Gems production plays Frieze

By Jim Schiff
Daily Arts Writer

The Arena Theater is proud to present the Basement Arts
production of "Dusa, Fish, Stas, and Vi." Written by Pam
Gems and directed by Cara Gabriel, this ensemble cast of Uni-

Dusa, Fish,
$tas and Vi
Arena Theatre
Tomorrow at 8

versity students is sure to please the
audience.
"Dusa, Fish, Stas, and Vi" tells the
story of four women leading very differ-
ent lives. Dusa combats her husband
and international law to reclaim her
children. Fish, an aristocratic British
woman, is caught between her work and
her ability to love a man. In order to
obtain her degree inmarine biology,
Stas works as a call girl. Finally, Vi
struggles just to stay alive.
Though all the women are selfish,
they remain good friends. "Each woman
has a different experience, and every
audience member will react to them in

the 1970's, Gems' play discusses topics that are still relevant
today. "Dusa, Fish, Stas, and Vi" is considered groundbreaking
because it plunges into controversial feminist issues, such as
the ways that women live their lives in comparison to the "tra-
ditional" woman's role. It also explores how a woman chooses
a career over love.
This material allows student actresses to explore substantial
parts. Gabriel said, "It's difficult for female actors to find really
great roles, and here they do."
This play marks the University directorial debut for first-
year Ph.D. in theatre studies student Gabriel. Since her under-
graduate studies at Middlebury College in Vermont, she has
directed numerous productions, such as "Laughing Wild" and
"For Colored Girls." Additionally, Gabriel has adapted Shake-
speare's "The Tempest" and "A Midsummer's Night's Dream'
Considering the future, she'd eventually like to teach Summer
Stock at a small liberal arts college. She said, "I'd like to go
back and work with the students that I've grown with as an
artist, and continue to grow with those people"
Amidst the social conflicts of the 1970's, "Dusa, Fish, Stas,
and Vi" emerged as a strong woman's voice: Challenging tradi-
tional roles and personal morals. This play will weave these
heartfelt stories with the creative direction of Gabriel, creating
a timeless masterpiece.

different ways," Gabriel said.
Written at the peak of the Women's Liberation Movement in

Wiseman continues career

Acquaviva at the
Solar
Anniversary
The Blind Pig
Tonight at 9L30 p.m.
before falling into

Shelter club in Detroit and soon
began producing for their label
before moving on to record for
Derrick May's Transmat. He has
recorded albums for Warp in the
UK and Belgium's Elypsia. Dark
Comedy's "7 Days" on Elypsia
contains some tracks which blend
atmospheric synth tweaks and del-
icate percussion while others are
relentless rhythmic workouts. The
result is a dark and brooding
album with occasional moments
of violence and beauty. Larkin
eventually started his own imprint
Art of Dance' but the label only
released three great twelve inches
silence. Since that point in time,

Kenny Larkin spins sweet grooves at the Blind Pig,
Larkin incorporated the tribal funk of Jeff Mills'
"Skin Deep" EP, the crazy live drum sounds of Design-
er Music's "Good Girls" and the lush melodic strings
of Robert Hood's "Duet 01," as well as house flavors
ranging from the animated piano keys and vocal refrain
of Cricco Castelli's "Life is Changing" to Latin vocals
and the rhythm is rhythm classic "Kaos." Larkin moved
through the tracks with energy and enthusiasm, pulling
off both long blends and rapid transitions. He also
made good use of the cross-fader and EQ to add
dynamism and energy to the mix. The crowd left the
dance-floor sweaty and satisfied.
Like his contemporary Larkin, Carl Craig needs lit-
tle introduction. From the alien beauty of "Kaotic Har-
mony" (an early track produced with Derrick May) to
the emotion drenched techno jazz fusion of last years
"Programmed" (recorded as part of the Innerzone
Orchestra) Craig's work has consistently been on the
cutting edge of electronic music. Craig also runs Plan-
et E recordings which continues to present the world
with quality work from both established artists and
fresh talent. Their roster includes Moodymann, Com-
mon Factor, Recloose and Mike Clarke among others.
During his renowned live performances, Craig plays
quality music regardless of the tempo and no matter
what people are expecting. His live set as Paperclip
People retained the energy and impact of the original
tracks while introducing new elements and crowd
interaction.
Solar promises to be an event both for the techno
and house connoisseur and for those seeking an intro-
duction into the world of electronic music. Techno and
house are musical forms that are largely misrepresent-
ed in the media and misunderstood by the majority of
people. The unsophisticated commercial sounds of the
UK club scene are generally focused on the detriment
of the deep, complex and soulful sounds of true Detroit
techno and deep house. Carl Craig and Kenny Larkin
are two artists who have consistently produced beauti-
ful music and who are guaranteed to provide a true
sample of the qualities that electronic music has to
offer.

The Baltimore Sun
Many years ago, the legendary
documentarian Frederick Wiseman
wrote a screenplay for a feature
film based on Anne Tyler's novel
"Celestial Navigation." He was
quite taken by Jeremy, Tyler's tragi-
cally withdrawn central character,
an artist who created sculptures
from everyday objects.
Wiseman is self-aware enough to
recognize why he was drawn to the
character. Through 30 documen-
taries over the last 33 years, no
American filmmaker has devoted
more of his art to the everyday than
Wiseman. The films have been shot
in such diverse settings as a prison
for the criminally insane, an inten-
sive care unit, a welfare office, a
public housing project and a
monastery. Together, his documen-
taries may well create a fuller and
more vivid portrait of American life
during the latter half of the 20th
century than the works of any other
artist - working in any medium. In
his meticulous, unblinking record-
ing of the everyday, Wiseman has
captured the complexity of contem-
porary existence, a rare accomplish-
ment in popular culture.
"His films take you on a phenom-
enal journey," says Barbara Kopple,
an Oscar-winning documentary
filmmaker. "And the way they do
that is by putting you in the middle
of incredibly intimate scenes of life,
be they difficult or heartbreaking or
funny. For me, what Fred does is the

most penetrating, moving and truth-
ful way of making films."
Wiseman never did make that Anne
Tyler movie, he said one recent frigid
afternoon in the remote coastal commu-
nity in Maine that is the subject of his
latest film. He was sipping pineapple
juice in a quiet restaurant while in a
movie house two doors down, a local
audience was getting a sneak preview
of"Belfast, Maine."
"In the language of Hollywood, it
was too soft, which meant that it
was not commercial," Wiseman
said. "But I also didn't want to take
the three- or four-year slog that it
would take to get it done because in
those three or four years I could
make more documentaries. Making
documentaries is fun, and I don't
have to get involved with hassles
with a lot of other people."
There's much to deconstruct in that
statement, much that is essential to
Wiseman's career. In a medium that
requires the raising and spending of
other people's cash, Wiseman has man-
aged a degree of autonomy and control
almost unparalleled in documentary
filmmaking. He has made the films he
wanted to make, without giving thought
to commercial viability. "So far, I've
had the freedom to do what I want," he
says. "I've never done a subject that
anybody else wanted me to do or asked
me to do. I've been able to maintain my
independence."
"So far" is a long time in Wise-
man's case. lie turned 70 recently,
an elfin-looking figure, slightly
hunched at the shoulders with

stringy hair that is still sandy-col-
ored and ungovernable. For an artist
renowned as uncompromising,
Wiseman is a man of warmth who
seems willing to give thoughtful
consideration to any question.
Wiseman is at work editing his 31st
film, the subject of which he won't dis-
close
Wiseman grew up in relative afflu-
ence in Boston, which is still his home.
His mother was the administrator of a
child psychiatric ward and his father a
lawyer active in Jewish philanthropic
causes. Before "The Follies," as he
calls it, Wiseman, a graduate of Yale
Law School, was launched on a career
teaching law. And he was unhappy. "I
had gone to law school and didn't like
it. Didn't like it is an understatement. I
hated it. I reached 30 and figured 1
should do something I liked."
Although "Belfast" is filmed in the
splendor of a Maine autumn, it is no
tourist promotion, as its citizens discov-
ered at the preview. The film portrays a
town of surprising diversity, but also of
mind-numbing drudgery in the work-
place.
As in all his films, Wiseman shot farĀ°
more footage than viewers see. He says
he never films with an audience in
mind. "The moment you start to think
about an audience in those terms you
get involved in the traditional Holly
wood business of diluting material to
match your fantasy of what constitutes
the lowest common denominator, and I
have no interest in doing that, apart
from the fact that I have no idea how to
do it."

Larkin has reportedly been concentrating on DJing
around the globe as well as his career in stand up come-
dy.
Larkin appeared at Detroit's Motor Lounge on Satur-
day the 29th of January and while his lack of recent
recorded output is disappointing, his live DJing delivers
on all fronts. With the dark interior of the club was spo-
radically illuminated by swathes of red and blue light
thrown off by the clubs lights, Larkin approached the
turntables to the tune of his classic track 'War of the
OWorlds' (dropped by his brother who DJed just before
him). The propulsive rhythm and ethereal strings incit-
ed excitement on the dance floor - excitement that
Larkin didn't let go to waste. His solid two' hour set
moved from the classic disco of Donna Summer's "I
Feel Love" to the percussive intricacy of Plastikman's
"Spastik."

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