8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 18, 2000
Local hip hop/funk
band on Cloud Nine
brings rich music
of Bach to life
By Steve Gertz
Daily Arts Writer
Qver the past decade or so, the "col-
lege scene" in Michigan has been rid-
dled with lousy funk bands. You've
seen them. Their dark specter still
looms over every campus around the
state, darkening the doors of frat par-
ties, local bars and ramshackle night-
clubs with their flimsy white-boy
Eor, whatever reason, such groups
Tonight at 10
(stand up, Knee
Deep Shag -
you too, Botfly)
fail to' extend
beyond the trap-
pings of Chili
tions of funk.
lack soul. Per-
haps they might
own a few
F u n k a d e I i c
records, but that hasn't stopped the vast
majority of them from reeking of a ho-
hum blah-ness that is more akin to The
Spin Doctors than it is to James Brown
or The Meters.
Jn recent years, however, Ann Arbor
has proven itself to be an exception to
the rule. Amid the popping basslines
,.:riversity Activities Center pre-
s4 ts the winter production of Impact
I'Mte Theatre this weekend. The
and hippyish guitar noodling of their
contemporaries, bands like Funtelli-
gence, Transmission and Poignant Ple-
costomous have spiked their funky
punch with welcome doses of hip-hop
and free-form jazz, creating a sonic
stew that is both inventive and engag-
It is from such a legacy that Cloud 9
emerges. The band uses relatively tradi-
tional funk and jazz instrumentation as a
backdrop for the remarkable vocal tal-
ents of MC/singer Jamie Register. The
resulting amalgam of half-rapped/half-
sung lyrics and cooly subtle beats and
grooves recalls the organic hip-hop of
Lauren Hill and, especially, The Roots.
"I think that we have a similar sound to
The Roots, but not totally - we are
inspired by them and (their mixture of)
jazz, R & B and soul" explains Register.
Although most of the band members
have been playing together for some
time, Cloud 9, as they exist in their pre-
sent state, have been together for only
four months. So far, they have graced
The Bird of Paradise and The Blind Pig
with their presence and they are looking
forward to expanding their horizons.
Bass player Donny Osbourne offers
"we want to get up to Kalamazoo,
Lansing and especially Detroit. There's
a lot going on with hip-hop in Detroit
right now. We don't want to just be an
Ann Arbor band because people will
get sick of us."
The band members go out of their
"appealing to a wide range of audi-
ence members, even those without any
knowledge of dance."
Impact Dance Theatre is a student-
run group that is only open to non-
dance majors. This allows students
from every neck of the woods the
freedom to use their creative expres-
sion. This year, the .company consists
of 10 women, although men have
been involved in the past. Rather than
a precision dance group, Impact
Dance concentrates on performance.
"Playing to our audience is our spe-
cialty," Kraft said. "All of the girls are
wonderful dancers, but they all have
different strengths, so we try to show-
case those strengths and work individ-
ually and as a team."
Being a student-run group is excit-
ing because the dancers are complete-
Brewer and Jamie Register.
way to deliver when playing live, a ten-
dency that has allowed them to build up
a considerable local buzz, despite the
small number of actual shows that
they've played. Cloud 9 places an
emphasis on entertainment and positive
energy, qualities that are reflected not
only in the live format, but in the very
philosophy of the band itself. "Too
much hip-hop these days is about
anger,"said Register. "We're about hap-
piness and feeling good. We don't talk
about guns. We don't want to flaunt the
diamond rings, Rolexes or big-booty
girls either. We just want the up-vibes."
While the majority of Cloud Nine's
music may consist of the "up-vibes," it
does have its serious side, too. Register
and co-MC/keyboardist Ryan Stroko
use a narrative method of lyric delivery
and many of their songs are constructed
around stories. "We write all of our
lyrics out. We want to avoid being too
Courtesy of Steve Gertz
Cloud Nine is Mike Blank, Donny Osbourne, Ryan Stroko, Gabe Craft, Justin
By Jim Schiff
Daily Arts Writer
The University Musical Society
welcomes world-famous German
violinist Christian Tetzlaff to Ann
Arbor this Sunday. At age 32, he
has emerged as one of the most
accomplished and internationally
recognized violinists in the lastten
Tetzlaff's performance marks the
second UMS concert commemorat-
freestyle - that can get a little repete-
tive" said Stroko. Some of the tracks
contain deeply personal connections.
Register describes the structure of one
such song, "Hold the Note""The song"
is about a girl who watches her mom go
through all these abusive relationships.
(The song) builds as the story builds,
until she can't take it anymore."
What really distinguishes Cloud
Nine from its contemporaries is its
rare ability to conjure a sense of gen-
uine substance. The band has, perhaps
accidentally, stumbled upon a truly
authentic recipe for funk, hip-hop,
soul and whatever else, thus placing
them in that great Michigan tradition
of George Clinton and, before him, the
Motown acts. With so many Michigan
bands searching endlessly for the
almighty groove and coming up
empty-handed, it's nice to see that
someone has finally found it.
Impact Dance will be better than years
past. "Every year the company goes
through a little growth spurt," Kraft
said. "This year that growth was even
larger than in years past ... we will be
better prepared at the show time and
deliver an even better performance."
In the past, the guest performance
has been a vocal or musical group.
This year, Comedy Company will per-
form, and Kraft thinks this will "make
for a fun twist on the traditional
The audience should also expect to
see the performers having a great
time. The technical aspects will be
there, but the energy and expression
will shine through. Kraft said, "We
dance because we love it, and that
really comes across to the audience
when we are on stage."
St. Francis of Assisi
Sunday at 8 p.m.
ing the 250th
the death of
ian Bach. In
will be playing
"Partita No. 2
in D. minor,"
"Sonata No. 3
in C Major,"
No. 2 in A
minor," all com-
posed in 1720.
said, "His music
I I I I
Cincinnati College-Conservatory of
Music under Walter Levine.
With a performance of Schoen-
berg's violin concert with the.
Munich Philharmonic, Tetzlaff was
catapulted to international fame. He
has garnered a reputation for select-
ing difficult and less-frequently
played pieces of music by Schu-
mann and Bart6k. Tetzlaff said, "I
like to play all the good violin
music there is - even if people
don't normally listen to some of the
As a soloist, Tetzlaff's remarkable,
ability has allowed him to collabo
rate with artists such as Sabine
Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma. Conductors
from all over the world invite him to
play with their symphonies. Over
the years, he has gained a consider-
able audience. "I get a good feeling
playing as a soloist," Tetzlaff said.
"I love that I can do interesting
things and still get people to listen."
With eight albums for Virgin
Classics, Tetzlaff is equally success-
ful as a recording artist. The New
York Times described his 1 995
recording of Bach's complete
Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Vio-
lin, "an altogether breathtaking
release." His most recent recording
features Mozart's complete works
for violin and orchestra.
Armed with his trusty violin,
Christian Tetzlaff is known to play
with an intense passion that is
rivaled by few. As in the past, he is
sure to dazzle the audience with his
astounding talent, bringing the
works of Bach to life.
On Bach, Tetzlaff
touches me profoundly. It has an
easy way to my heart and a lot of
Born in Hamburg in 1966, Tet-
zlaff started playing violin at an
early age. At 14 he made his con-
cert debut with a Hamburg youth
orchestra, performing the
Beethoven Violin Concerto. Four
years later, as the youngest competi-
tor, he won the International Com-
petition ARD in Munich.
Additionally, he has studied at the
Feb.18-19 at 8 p.m.
show consists of
styles of dance,
pointe, tap and
jazz, and will be
ular music. Co-
Kraft said she
thinks that with
music, the pro-
duction will be
ly responsible for the choreography of
the show. "The show ends up having
such wonderful variety and combines
so many different ideas and disci-
plines," Kraft said. This eclectic mix
of choreography is rarely seen in
dance performances, making Impact
Dance interesting and, overall, more
fun to watch.
On top of the choreography, the
dancers are also responsible for cos-
tuming themselves and the publicity
of the event. The production is entire-
lv in the hands of the performers,
which strengthens the bond between
the girls. "We all realize that it will
take all 10 of us to make the show a
success, and so we work together,"
Kraft said. "There is a sense of sister-
The cast expects this production of
Continued from Page 8
Yeah, that naked chick is pretty ran-
dom (there's a reason this movie
feels like a PG-13 but is stuck with
an R rating).
There's no crime in being nothing
more than a diversion. It's not
against the law for a movie that
doesn't address any issues with a
capital "I" to entertain. This is not
brilliant cinema. But there's some-
thing to be said for a movie that
brings that involuntary smile to
your face no matter how much you
know it shouldn't.
"The Whole Nine Yards" has
absolutely nothing to it. It's appeal-
ing on a base level. Lowest com-
mon denominator. Everybody and
Uncle Joe Bob down at the gas sta-
tion, too. Go ahead, call me a
Denny's-loving, Duster-driving sap.'
I can take the hit. Or at least put
one out on you.
Looking for a Summe
'Job or Interhip?
pr CGon io0 G
* ~ot SU'~Og~oorS to AN C~lA
0 From PollieSto Com uteri
0 * From Working Securityto Handling Food
From Camp Counselors to InternshipS
9 From Desk Jobs to Manual Labor
Continued from Page 5
apartment, motivates Seth to
find a better job. Luckily, one of
Seth's back-alley card game
patrons lets him in on the secret of
J.T. Marlin, a "chop shop" Long
Island stock trading firm that is
guaranteed to make him his first
million within three years. It
sounds pretty good and even
respectable enough to please Seth's
What Seth finds at J.T. Marlin,
beside a parking lot full of Ferraris
and Porsches - making his Volvo
look insufficient - is a fraternity
of rich, arrogant, Italian suit-wear-
ing all-male idols. Seth gets taught
the ropes and soon becomes one of
the boys. Seth's transition into a
JT. Marlin success is, luckily for
the audience, mirrored by his use
of hair gel to slick back his mane.
By the time that Seth realizes that
things at J.T. Marlin are a little less
than kosher, he is a slicked back
version of the other fast-talkers in
the boiler room. Needless to say,
there is corruption at the center of
J.T. Marlin and it consumes Seth's
A study break of student readings & free coffee
Where talking in the Library is encouraged...
Come hear your peers read from their works. You'll hear stories, poems, memoirs,
you name it. Each night will feature different writers.
The characters that Ben Younger
has created are flat and trite. The
brokers at J.T. Marlin are one
dimensional, stereotypic versions
of the religious or ethnic group,
that they are intended to represent.,;
All of the brokers are similar, part *
of which is intended, and uninter-
esting. Seth's character, which Gio-
vanni Ribisi plays well, is more
complex than the others, yet its
complexity is built on a completely
contrived and ridiculous father-son
Seth's father is disapproving an
Seth desperately seeks his father'.
approval (have you heard that one
before'?). Their entire relationship
is focused on an incident that haO
pened when Seth was ten years old.
Seth's father is solely concerned
about making sure that Seth does
not embarrass him or cost him h is
judge-ship. Actually, the only time
that Ron Rifkin changes his tone
from his "Seth don't be stupid"
voice is when Seth says that he is
willing to go to jail in order to save
his father's job. The whole rel
tionship is stale.
The film is good for rental or
possibly even as a matinee but otl-
erwise it is not worth the cost of
the ticket. If you are intrigued by
the riches and excitement of stock
trading and investment banking
read "Liar's Poker" you'll find out
that the glamour is accompanied
by a lot of long hours.
Cafe Shapiro is free and open to everyone.
Complimentary coffee will be served.
Readings will begin at 8:30 pm in the Shapiro
Library Building's atrium on each of the
Sunday, February 20
Monday, February 21
CafSbapiro is sponsored by the University libmrty.
Monday, February 21, 2000, 36pm
Student Activities Building, Atrium
UniversityActivities Center Friday, February 18th
Saturday, February 19th
MendeIssohn T hea "
Buy tickets at the
Michigan UnionTicket Office
or call 763.TKTS
Col attention to the
highlights of your reports
Amazing full color copies
with many options
enlargements, & spot
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