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January 18, 2002 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-18

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0

Horn tootin'...
Detroit trumpeter Marcus Belgrave
with special guest bassist Robert Hurst
and saxaphonist Donald Walden. Ker-
rytown Concert House. 7 & 9 p.m.
michigandaily.com /arts

ALRTS

FRIDAY
JANUARY 18, 2002 1.

w

'First Monday' cast fails
to court CBS audience:

Talib Kweli brings
hip-hop stylings to
'U' MLK festivities

By Jennifer Fogel
Daily Arts Writer
After premiering last Tuesday to good ratings,
"First Monday" moves to its regularly scheduled

time-slot tonight at 9

First
Monday
CBS
Tonight at 9 p.m.

p.m. on CBS. "JAG" creator
Donald Bellisario tries his
hand at another law-based
show, this time with the
Supreme Court. Bursting with
a star-studded cast, "First
Monday" is a complete dud,
failing to generate as much
buzz as the cases presented to
the high court.
"First Monday" stars Joe
Mantegna ("The Rat Pack") as
Justice Joe Novelli, a recently
appointed Justice who just
happens to be a moderate, thus
the deciding vote in an even-
handed court. The conserva-

f/

too busy pandering to their "other" brain and a game
of wills against the Chief Justice's clerk Julian (Joe
Flanigan, "The Other Sister"), a pompous Harvard
elitist who is just as devious as his employer.
In the premiere episode, Novelli et al. try to grant
a stay of execution for a Death Row inmate in Flori-
da. The glitch in this otherwise predictable case is
that during an electrical storm, the juvenile defen-
dant, accused of murdering a 10-year-old girl, was
struck by lightening. Still alive, it can therefore be
construed that the electric chair would be cruel and
unusual punishment. Presenting his case before the
Brethren, Novelli is turned down after the Chief uses
his ace in the hole. While Novelli will continually be
at odds with Brankin, we can only hope that the
cases set before the Court aim for more interest and
less overwrought drama. Even a minor subplot
involving a transvestite seeking asylum in the U.S.
became more of a case of definitions than persecu-
tion.
While "First Monday" tries explicitly to provide
both sides of every case in a noticeable politically
correct fashion, it fails to become anything more
than cliche. At least "The West Wing" has an opin-
ion about issues. Although "First Monday" clearly
rips-off the "West Wing's" walk-and-talk scenes, the
hallowed halls of the Supreme Court Building are
too dialogue heavy.
The only interesting aspects to litter the show are
a misused cast and an innovative use of reality tele-
vision. While Garner is relegated to using football
metaphors for every point he wants.to make, Charles
Durning ("State and Main") as Justice Hoskins tools
around in his trusty wheelchair, spouting limericks
and producing a flask from his robes a little too

By Dustin J. Selbert
Daily Arts Writer

Courtesy of CB~S
Rockford and Fat Tony takin' care of business.
often. Durning is clearly the standout and the only
Justice to provide a little humor to the proceedings.
However, his role carries tinges of senility. Manteg-
na, playing against his usual "mob" roles, forces
himself to get through the enormous amounts of dia-
logue that consume his character, even if the
straight-laced schulb provides the morality of a
naive do-gooder.
Perhaps because of its success with "Survivor" or
the renewed value of CNN debate programs like
"Hardball," "First Monday" expands the fictional
show with fact, incorporating unscripted debates on
the fictional news-talk program "Curveball." Hosted
by former CNN Supreme Court reporter Charles
Bierbauer, "Curveball" will feature guests like Jerry
Falwell and Johnnie Cochran, debating issues pre-
sented before the fictional Court.
Without a strong leg to stand on, these legal
eagles hopefully won't be gracing our television sets
for long. Besides, with the Sally Field-driven "The
Court" premiering in March on ABC, "First Mon-
days" is in for some pretty heavy competition. Bel-
lisario should stick with the Navy until he decides on
something original.

tives, led by Chief Justice Brankin (James Garner,
"The Rockford Files") go on the offensive, hoping to
cut off any "liberal" intentions by Novelli on his first
day. Meanwhile, the liberal contingent is glad to have
a fourth for their Bridge game. When not being
"accosted" by his fellow Justices in what they like to
call "the Brethren," Novelli contends with his three
clerks Ellie, Jerry and Miguel, each of whom are
played in very stereotypical fashion. Ellie (Hedy Bur-
ress, "Boston Common") is the only standout, fore-
going feminine wiles and actually using her brain to
direct Novelli's attention to certain cases. Meanwhile,
Beavis and Butthead ... I mean Jerry and Miguel, are

In the winter of 2000, conscious hip-
hop's poster child, Mos Def, spoke in a
conference for the Martin Luther King
symposium and
afterward gave
an outstanding
concert perfor-
Talib Kweli mance following.
Two years later,
the circle is being
Union Ballroom completed, as his
Tonight at 10 p.m. partner-in-rhyme
Talib Kweli will
be gracing Ann
Arborwith his
presence this Fri-
day at The Hip-
Hop Explosion
as a part of the
events surround-
ing the 15th Annual Martin Luther
King Jr. Symposium. Commencing at
10 p.m. in The Michigan Union Ball-
room, the show will feature local talent,
as well as artists from the Detroit area,
and will conclude with Kweli as head-
lining performer.
Brooklyn native Kweli, 26, compris-
es one-half of two established hip-hop
duos: Reflection Eternal, with DJ Hi-
Tek, and Black Star, with fellow MC
Mos Def. "Back in the day, we used to
hang out in the park together," says
Kweli, of his compatriot. "We formed
the group in around '97, but we became
friends in '96. I had him on my single
("Fortified Live"), and he had his single
("Children's Story") out. We found our-
selves on the same bills, so we segued
our shows and formed a group." The
groundbreaking Black Star project
dropped in 1998 on Rawkus Records,
featuring a number of their older tracks,
combined with new studio joints.
In October of 2000, Kweli and DJ
Hi-Tek, ne6 Tony Cottrell, released
their quintessential masterpiece Train
of Thought, also on Rawkus. The
album successfully managed to tread
the line of commercial and under-
ground hip-hop with more mainstream
tracks like "The Blast" and "Down For

Gospel legend Moss Clark honored at Hill

courtesy of Rawkus Records
Kwell sneaking around a speaker.
The Count," while still successfully
maintaining a conscious air within his
music. "Hi-Tek gave me an album *
where every track was banging," says
Kweli. "Not too many producers can do
that ... it's quite an accomplishment."
The majority of tracks that Kweli has
spit over, including a number of joints
from the Black Star project, have been
produced by Hi-Tek, who released his
own solo compilation in early 2000.
His next record is titled Quality, a
solo album in which he will enlist the
help of a range of different producers,
excluding Hi-Tek. "I wanna switch it up
this time around and try out some new
producers," he says of the project,
which is scheduled for release in
March. It will feature a number of pro-
ducers, including veterans DJ Quik and
Dave West.
Kweli's style of music derives from
many non-hip-hop influences, such as
jazz and old school R&B music. A dis-
tinction can be made between his lyrical
style and that of a more commercial
rapper. "You've got the Outkasts, the
Lauryn Hills and even the Jay-Zs who
will be successful no matter what
because they make music that reflects
themselves," says Kweli, "I think what I
am bringing to the table is that I am just
trying to be honest with my music and
make music that reflects me." Kweli's
rapid-fire battle flow and unique
metaphors often result in impressed

By Jenni Glenn
Daily Arts Writer

A tribute to one of gospel's legendary figures,
Detroit's Mattie Moss Clark, will finally converge at
Hill Auditorium this Monday.
A night more than eight years
in the making, the performance
will feature gospel musicians,
including the Clark sisters, the
Mattie Rudy Hawkins Singers and the
Moss Clark Rance Allen Group.
Music director Dr. Rudy
Hawkins said he first consid-
Hill Auditorium ered an event to honor Clark,
Monday at 8 p.m. the first person to have a gospel
choir's sound set down on a
Q record, before her death in
1994. Hawkins continued to
mention to project to potential
sponsors, including the Univer-
sity Musical Society, which he
first approached three years ago. The Clark tribute
event is the result of interest in preserving Clark's
under-publicized work, he said.
"As far as gospel black choir music is concerned,
I'd hate to see how choral music would be without this
amazing composer," Hawkins said. "She's like the
Bach of black gospel choral music"

Clark wrote and arranged hundreds of songs during
a career that spanned more than 35 years. The South-
west Michigan State Choir that she directed as minis-
ter of music for the Church of God in Christ received
three gold albums.
But Clark is best remembered for her innovations in
choral music. These include the use of orchestral
arrangements and division of vocal arrangements into
soprano, alto and tenor parts, said James Peddy, who
wrote the script for the tribute event.
Clark's many musical achievements influenced a
variety of famous gospel artists such as Vanessa Bell
Armstrong, Yolanda Adams, Esther Smith and the late
Rev. James Moore. She also helped launch the careers
of her daughters, The Clark Sisters.
For the tribute, the challenge proved to be sorting
through Clark's numerous works and choosing only a
few songs, Hawkins said. The concert will feature
"Salvation is Fine," "Climbing up the Mountain" and
"Let Everything that has Breath Pray Praise the Lord."
In between musical numbers, the tribute will high-
jlight Clark's life, from her beginnings in Selma, Ala.
as one of nine children, to her triumphs as her
church's state minister of music. The story also will
detail Clark's battles with chauvinist attitudes among
some church members toward her success. Diane
Steinberg-Lewis, daughter of Detrpit radio personality
Martha Jean "the Queen" Steinberg, will serve as nar-
rator at the tribute.

Courtesy ofUMSUVI

The Rudy Hawkins Singers.

The concert will close the University's weekend of
Martin Luther King, Jr. observances. Peddy said the
timing is appropriate because members of the Civil
Rights movement incorporated gospel music into
demonstrations.
"This music we call gospel was very influential in
the civil rights movement, and that's why it's fitting,"
he said.
Peddy said the concert also serves as a way to cre-
ate a place in history for Clark's achievements. While
Clark's legacy has helped shape modern music, Peddy
said she and other gospel legends have not yet
received the amount of acclaim they deserve.
"It helps to honor these great gospel musicians and
remember their contributions long after they're
dead," he said.

'Brotherhood' steals
from other bad films

By Todd WeIser
Daily Arts Writer
There is only one French word you
need to know before seeing this French
import, cliche. Artists steal, or "bor-
row" as they sometimes call it, from
other artists all the time. This is espe-

Symphony celebrates
Mozart's birthday

I

2102:T A STRAUSS
DOy SSEY

By Joshua Palay
For The Daily a
This Saturday, Maestro Arie Lip-
sky leads the Ann Arbor Symphony
Orchestra in a promising program

Ulf Schirmer, conductor
Theodore Din, clarinet / Robert Williams, bassoon
JANACEK Lachlan Dances
R. STRAUSS Duet Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon
Also sprach Zarathustra
A romantic glorification of the human spirit, Also sprach
Zarathustra's unmistakable opening fanfare was made
famous by the film 2001:A Space Odyssey.

Friday Sponsor:
* PYS CHEMICALS
Sunday Series Sponsor:
Media Sponsor:
meloti ts

Ann Arbor
Symphony
Orchestra
Michigan Theater
Tonight at 8 p.m.
Soprano Jacquelyn

commemorating
Mozart's Birth-
day. Featuring a
variety of
works, the focus
of this concert is
bifurcated: First
on the works of
the birthday
Maestro; sec-
ond, on young
talents who
exhibit prodigal
abilities akin to
those associated
with Mozart:
Wagner and Uni-

scordi di te-Non temer," K. 505, was
the unanimous choice of the Mozart
Youth Competition held last year in
Ann Arbor. Of her abilities, Maestro
Lipsky states: "Her voice is beautiful
and pure and projects natural musi-
cianship which is so essential when
singing Mozart." Named the most
outstanding High School Vocalist in
the state of Michigan, Miss Wagner
was chosen over 18 other finalists to
sing in this Saturday's concert.
Also featured is composer Daniel
Worley and his work "Beat .. .. "
Worley is one of the few composers
who can transfer the power and
sheer force of rock music into the
concert hall with integrity and sin-
cerity. This piece is an excellent
example of his ability and is the
perfect argument against those who
feel that contemporary music can
say nothing or is not worth listening
to. The concert would still be
worthwhile if it were nothing but
this piece.
Yet, the program also contains
two superb symphonies: Mozart's
Symphony No. 40 and Prokofiev's
Classical Symphony. Strong pieces
if ever there were. To speak against -
them would be akin to. blasphemy;
their prominence in orchestral
repertoire is well deserved. (For
those who are unfamiliar with
XA-- M Ail te r,.of -.r n-

cially true in film;
of the Wolf
oGrade: E
At Showcase
and Quality 16
N

AND MAULER

new directors go
back and study
the classics,
whether they
think this means
Truffaut, Scors-
ese, or the
Wachowski
Brothers, and
then apply old
techniques to
their own.
"Brotherhood of
the Wolf" is a
mishmash of plot
devices and
sometimes actual

sequences that are directly lifted from
many of the best (but also some flawed)
American action/adventure films of the
past 15 years; this is especially surpris-
ing since "Brotherhood" is a film com-
ing from France, known originally as
"Le Pacte des Loups."
While "Brotherhood" was a huge hit
in its native country, this does not seem
as possible here in the U.S., because for
all its tricks and martial arts action,
there is nothing we haven't seen before.
Still, the film remains mildly entertain-
ing for most of its running-time because
it steals the best from the best and due
to its casting of some good and good
looking actors in its lead roles.
The plot involves the supposedly true
story of a wolf-like creature roaming
the countryside of a region in France,
terrorizing the general public and
killing women and children. The local
investigators do not satisfy the King, so
he sends anthropologist and all-around
hero Gregoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le
Rinin) who brings new friend he

any other wolves that get in his way (a
note of caution to you PETA lovers out
there, if you have a fondness for
wolves, especially when they are alive,
don't see this movie). g
"Brotherhood" has been tapped by
many as the next "Crouching Tiger,
Hidden Dragon," and its producers
hope it will be as much of a crossover
box-office hit. However, "Brotherhood"
cannot boast of the cleverness,
romance, or beautifully shot action
sequences "Crouching Tiger" provided.
"Brotherhood" has romance, but it
either involves sex with a mysterious,
beautiful prostitute (Monica Bellucci)
or pick-up lines you can hear at your
local bar. Christopher Gans' film also
includes many martial arts battles, but
sometimes the camera moves so fast
that you can't tell what exactly is going
on, or the editing is so obvious that you
can imagine the filming process going
hit by kick by hit with extended breaks
in between.
Dacascos is a Hawaiian martial arts
champion who couldn't quite cut it in
American movies ("Only the Strong") ;
or American television ("The Crow:
Stairway to Heaven); and as hard as
they try to make Mani the biggest
badass since Shaft, the slow-motion
hair wagging and Native American g-
strings elicit more laughter than excite-
ment. Also, Le Bihan is surprisingly
the better of the two actors in terms of
martial arts skills, being a part of the
best fight sequence in the film. Both get
to do their best Indiana Jones, Neo and
the last Mohican (Nathaniel) imperson-
ations but they all fail to compare to
their much superior originals.
Clocking in at almost two and a half
hours, "Brotherhood" goes on way
after the time that we care about what
the truth behind the wolf is. The
answers finally come and we shrug,
because the filmmakers think they have
a clever solution but they have provid-
ed us with a film much like most
American action films, where it never*

versity of Michigan composer
Daniel Worley.
Miss Wagner, featured for
"UAmero, saro constante" from "11
Repastore", K. 208 and "Ch'io mi
S.F Fa ii:

Neeme arai, conductor FridayA.M.
Julia fischer, violin seriesSponsor:
IniAnT Vinlin rnn.rntn Mn 2 RA-avE

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