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October 13, 2000 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-13

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Has Dady Arts gone crazy?
We're completel} overstocked with storie,
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michigandaily.comr/arts

FRIDAY
OCTOBER 13, 2000

8

8

Japanese
author
appears at
orders
By Johanna Hanink
For the Daily
Kazuo Ishiguro is quick to make
sure that his latest novel, "When We
Were Orphans," isn't confused with
works of the post-war detective genre,
which encompasses the work of
Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers.
"I don't think it's accurate to say I've
been influenced
by them ... (this
novel) is more
Kazuo of a nod to
Ishiguro them."
Borders Ishiguro
Tonight at 7 p.m. describes the
style of the clas-
sic detective
writers as
reflecting an
idealized view
of British soci-
ety in which
'just one thing has gone wrong to spoil
it all." It is only after the detective, a
figure whom Ishiguro reters to as the
"Superman," unmasks the evil that har-
mony returns to the sleepy English vil-
lage of the story's setting. He also
points out the irony inherent between
the genre and its readership; the read-
ers of these detective novels had just
experienced the first era of modern
warfare and knew that the nature of
evil was not quite so simple as the sto-
ries implied. This generation enveloped
themselves in a what Ishiguro calls a
"knowing escapism," taking comfort in
delusional hopes that a single disrup-
tion and an inevitable return to harmo-
ny was all the complexity that evil had
to offer.
The novel's protaganist is
Christopher Banks, who as a boy is
sent to school in England after the van-
ishing of his parents in the early 1900s
from their home in Shanghai. After
graduating from Cambridge,
Christopher becomes a detective

GIG AT TflE BLIWD PIGS

YOU)

40

DIG?

Local band Smokestack jams on Saturday, Robert Bradley'
Blackwater Surpise to groove down on Sunday

Courtesy of Knopf
Kazuo Ishiguro wrote "The Remains of the Day."
whose ultimate goal is to solve the
mystery of his parents' disappearance.
Ishiguro said that his goal in crafting
his novel was to take a character who
had fallen out of the genre of the post-
war British detective story and "dump
him into the twentieth century."
Christopher plays the part of the
"deluded detective," trying desper-
ately to cling to a vision of the world
in which he is able to control and
rationalize any situation. As the novel
follows Christopher back to
Shanghai, which in 1937 is wrought
with the Sino-Japanese war, Ishiguro
presents a man who is emotionally
disconnected and unable to perceive
the events happening outside of his
immediate and personal world.
Christopher seems to be oblivious to
the war and suffering going on
around him - the most important
thing to him is that "he fulfill his
agenda" of finding his parents.
Ishiguro believes that there is this
tendency of Christopher in everyone:
"I think in a subtle, more shaded way
a lot of us carry these missions."
Ishiguro uses the idea of the
orphan to get at a more universal
condition. "We all have to bear the
legacy of being orphans," he said.
"We all have to come to terms with
coming out of a sheltered place."
While none of the characters in
either "When We Were Orphans" or
any of Ishiguro's books are closely
based upon people he knows, he
says that he often begins with a par-
ticular impulse or tendency that he
has felt within himself and devel-
ops characters around it.
Acknowledging that many authors
will work with the personality of
their own alter ego or that of a
friend or family member, Ishiguro
said that "I've never had that kind
of relationship to my characters,"
and calls them more of a "link in
my emotional history."

By Chris Kula
Daily Arts Editor
College bands are like hangovers: They're raging
one minute and they're gone the next. Which means
that Ann Arbor's Smokestack, jamming strong after a
solid year together, is like a tequila nausea that just
keeps getting more intense with time.

Smokestack
Blind Pig
Tomorrow at 10 p.rn.
3

"We've gotten so much better
playing together in just this last
year," said keyboardist and
LSA junior James Sibley. "I
can't even imagine what it's like
when you've been doing it for
17 years like Phish."
The groove-oriented quintet
-- Sibley, guitarist Chuck
Newsome, bassist Thom
McNeil, drummer Brian
Williams and vocalist Kris
Kurzawa - hasn't been booked
into Madison Square Garden

move beyond the typical jamband thing," Sibley
"Chuck is in the jazz studies program at Wayne Sat
and I'm playing in the big band here, so we've be
working in a lot more jazz influences."
Indeed, as well as the Grateful Dead-style blu
grass/roots music that is Smokestack's musical foui
dation, the band's recent live recordings reveal lars
doses of Latin rhythms and trance-like sections -
not to mention a sly tease of the "Super Mario Bros
theme music.
The band's been branching out in terms of c
material, too. For its special Halloween show at
Speakeasy, Smokestack's been taking email reques
(smokestack(asmnokestack.org) for any and all cove
people desire - no matter how bizarre or obscure.
"We've had some good ones come in, I thi
everyone's going to have a good time," Sibley said.
The musical evolution of the band, which origina
ed as a straight-ahead blues-rock outfit with a diffe
ent singer, has been a gradual process, and Sibl
believes that the changes have helped Smokestac
grow as a group.
"The hardest thing about keeping a band togetha
making sure that everyone is on the same p
Sibley said. "Now we get to see where everyor
wants to take the band."

Courtesy of Smokestack
Smokestack, left to right: Thom McNeil, James Sibley,
Chuck Newsome, Brian Williams and Kris Kurzawa.
Marquette. Its booking is being handled by the same
agent that manages Funktelligence, currently the
most successful band in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti
area. And most notably, the group's been tapped to
open for Ekoostik Hookah at the Michigan Theater
next weekend.
Basically, this is a good time to be in the Stack.
"We've been trying to expand our horizons, to

just yet, but it's doing a whole lot better than Phish
was at the same age.
The band spent most of the summer playing all
over the state, from Detroit to Kalamazoo to

By Chris Kula
yaily Arts Editor
If you lose one of the five senses, the
remaining four become heightened. Just
ask Robert Bradley - the blind vocalist

Robert Bradley's
Blackwater
Surprise
Blind Pig
Sunday at 10 p.m.

may not be able to
see, but his ears
work just fine.
And Bradley will
be the first to tell
you that he knows
good music when
he hears it.
"Man, people
don't want to hear
Eminem talking
his shit for two
hours," Bradley
said. "People who
love good music

"Anybody can sound good if the
have a million dollars-behind them
Bradley said. "But people like Marvi
Gaye and Buddy Holly made ret
music - hell, even Elvis could reall
sing, and he didn't need 10;000 pe1
in the studio.
"Listen to the Stones: That's n
complicated music, but he hard parti
putting it all together. If you can d
that, that's when you know you have
good band," Bradley said.
Even the Blackwater Surprise nee
ed a little time to get Bradley's ok
school soul style with the Nehras' roc
sensiblities.
"Oh yeah, it was hard at firs
because the rest of the guys are y
and a lot of time young people y
bored and make things really busy
Bradley said. "But most people ot
there aren't rocket scientists when
comes to music, and they don't need t
hear all kinds of complex stuff.
"So we give them a big groove th
they can lay into, something they ca
shake their butts to," Bradley said.

'outesy-ofI'A
Detroit's finest, and we're not talking Chet Lemon: Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise.

want to hear something they can groove
to, something that moves them."
For Bradley, a soulman native of
Alabama, the search for that perfect
groove has taken him literally across the
country. Working as a street musician,

Bradely would hop a bus and ride until
the next city, singing for whoever would
listen. In Detroit, he found a receptive
audience in Andrew and Michael Nehra,
musician brothers (bass and guitar,
respectively) who immediately enlisted
Bradley to front their new group.
Fast forward five years and you have
Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, a
smooth quintet that's equal parts
Motown soul and classic, Stones-like

rock 'n' roll. The group, which is round-
ed out by drummer Jeff Fowlkes and
keyboardist Tim Diaz, has released two
albums on RCA (including last May's
excellent "Time to Discover"), and has
played clubs from New York to San
Francisco.
Bradley said that no matter where
the band performs, the goal is always
the same: Give the audience the real
deal.

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