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January 17, 2003 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-17

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Friday
January 17, 2003
michigandaily.com/arts
mae@michigandaily.com

RTS

5

Performance artist
Sekou Sundiata
delivers soulful words

By Sarah Peterson
Daily Arts Writer
Born out of the highs and lows of
one man's life, "blessing the boats"
is sure to be a meaningful perform-
ance. Poet, writer, performance
artist and musician Sekou Sundiata
takes the audience through the
tumultuous events of three years of
his life - three years in which his
achievements were shadowed by an
unexpected health crisis ending in a
kidney transplant and a car acci-
dent that resulted in a broken neck.
"Blessing the Boats" is Sundiata's
reflection on the life that was
almost taken from him. He was
quoted as saying, it is "a poetic
account of how I got from there to
here, a chronicle of the remarkable
transplant patients and organ
donors I met. It is a personal look
at the world from a forced with-
drawal, an exile from the self I had
come to know."
As part of the performance, Sun-
diata will invoke the tradition of the

Courtesy 0f UMS

A broken man. Symbolism!

Blue Oneness of Dreams." His work
has been an inspiration for such
artists as Ani Difranco and M.
Doughty of Soul Coughing.
"Blessing the Boats," the solo
performance by Sekou Sundiata,
can be seen at the Trueblood The-
atre on Friday, Saturday, and Sun-
day. In addition, Sekou Sundiata
will be giving another performance
with his Band on Monday at the
Michigan Theatre. The Black Bot-
tom Collective, with front man
Khary Kimani Turner, will be open-

Cores f B

Don't say that. Never say that! Goonies never say die!

'MISTER STERLING'T
LIKABLE BROLIN STARS IN 'WEST WING' LITE

griot, or djehli, which
is an African story-
teller who preserves
the history of a certain
group through per-
formance. Griots
would sing their poet-
ry, occasionally with
musical accompani-
ment, and draw on the
language and mytholo-
gy of a community for
inspiration. They were
responsible for remind-
ing people of the hero-
ic deeds of their
ancestors and of the
basis for their customs
and traditions.
Sekou Sundiata uses
his poetry for more
though than just recol-
lection of the past. As a
self-proclaimed radical
in the 1970s, Sundiata
has also always used
his words to comment

SEKOU SUNDIATA
BLESSING THE
BOATS
At the Trueblood
Theatre
Today and Saturday at
8 p.m. and Sun. at 2 p.m.
$25
University Musical Society-
SEKOU SUNDIATA
AND BAND
At the Michigan
Theater
Monday at 8 p.m.
$16-30
University Musical Society

ing the concert.
The Black Bottom
Collective is a Detroit-
based hip-hop, soul-
poetry band that took
its name from the leg-
endary thriving Detroit
neighborhood that was
destroyed to make way
for the creation of the
new freeways. Khary
Kimani Turner, who
was a Def Poetry semi-
finalist, started the
group. At the 2001
African World Festi-
val, Mr. Turner opened
for Jill Scott and per-
formed with Diana
Reeves. He has also
published #a poetry
collection titled
"Outta You: Early
Selfoveractivism." The
Black Bottom Collec-
tive as a group has
shining career where

By Douglas Wernert
Daily Arts Writer
Teaching in a prison one day, becoming a U.S.
Senator from California the next. That's what hap-
pened to William Sterling Jr., a young man with a
commitment to what's right and a real sense of citi-
zenship. He's our man "Mister Sterling," the focal
point of a new mid-season NBC
drama. With Emmy- Award winning a
writing and producing by Lawrence
O'Donnell ("The West Wing"), the
show seems like a can't miss on paper.
The dad from "Boy Meets World" is MI
even one of the characters. However, STET
this show, obviously intended to reap Fridays
benefits from the success of "The
West Wing," fails to fully capture the N
drama and flare of American politics
and can only be considered a good try by the brass at
NBC.
Sterling (Josh Brolin, "Hollow Man") is thrust
into the spotlight following the death of a California

I
[S
RI
a
lB

senator who was under federal investigation. Hard
at work teaching inmates at a local prison, Sterling
learns about the governor's intent to nominate him
to be the next senator, a large reason being William
Sterling Sr. (James Whitmore, "The Shawshank
Redemption") was a former senator himself. The
elder Sterling was widely popular, and the Democ-
rats need to be liked again following all their recent
scandals. Father tells son to give it a
shot, and Sterling finds himself in
Washington, totally overwhelmed by
k lobbyists. He hasn't fully left his old
lifestyle, going so far as to pay for his
TER own breakfast with a lobbyist and
LING wanting to give his first interview to
t 8 p.m. a reporter he was rude to.
The reporter, Chandra West (Laura
C Chandler), discovers information that
Sterling is an independent, and not
really a Democrat at all. In the chaos and string of
resignations by his staff that follow, Sterling makes
his extremely helpful and knowledgeable press sec-
retary, Audra McDonald, played by Tony-Award

winner Jackie Brock ("Ragtime"), his chief of
staff, and tries to play hardball with both parties to
get seats on important committees. He has the con-
fidence and is looking to quickly "learn the ropes;'
"put his foot in the door" and all the other cliches
you associate with the new guy in town. He has a
lot to learn, and it looks like the future will hold
many interesting days for Sterling.
"The-West Wing" and "Mister Sterling" attempt
to be separate entities (one deals with the White
House, the other with the Senate), but you can
clearly see that "Mister Sterling" is missing most
of the charm and intelligence that makes "The
West Wing" a top-notch program. Brolin gives a
believable and credible performance as a genuine
good-guy, but he does not have a decent enough
supporting cast to get behind. Jackie Brock is the
only secondary character with a real agenda, as the
rest seem tired and frustrated in their positions. The
dynamic personalities of "The West Wing" capture
the audience's attention and captivate them through
the ongoing conflicts. "Mister Sterling" could take
a lesson from them.

The lost art of the
live comedy album y

on the life

also had a

and time of culture. Sundiata was
born in Harlem, and his work is
grounded in African American cul-
ture and music. He combines soul,
jazz and hip-hop grooves with polit-
ical insight, humor and rhythmic
speech. He also uses African and
Afro-Caribbean percussion to
accent his music. Some of his most
recent works include "Dance & Be
Still," "longstoryshort" and "The

they have shared the stage with
people such as Talib Kweli, DJ
Clue, Nappy Roots and Stevie
Wonder, as well as also having
been a featured act at the 2002
Detroit Electronic Music Festival.
Monday's concert, as a part of the
Martin Luther King Day celebra-
tion, marks the end of Sekou Sun-
diata's weeklong exploration of the
essence of art.

By Scott Serilla
Daily Music Editor

addictive m
Hicks, Geo
Pryor reco

naterial that has.kept Bill
orge Carlin and Richard
rds spinning for years
.ybe routines isn't quite
ord; meandering tirades is

Komposit turns on the
music one last time

David Cross is pissed. and years.
Pretty much about everything. Well, ma
No seriously, everything. the right wo
The "Mr. Show" star is boiling more like it
over with all the bile
and contempt suggested a
by the Wal-Mart
unfriendly title of hisnw o e l m
new double-album of
standup, Shut Up You SHUT UP YOU
Fucking Baby. Record- FUCKING BABY!
ed during Cross' nation- David Cross
al tour last summer, the
record finds the come- Sub Pop Records
dian ranting at length
about post-Sept. 11 fiber-patriotism, Post-it note
religion, morning DJs, the general "observatio
suckiness of all-girl group Harlow There isa
from "VH1's Bands on the Run," by-the-seat
growing up in Georgia and Ricky Shut Up. Cr
Henderson's tendency to speak of
himself in the third person.
By the way, pay no attention to the
tracklisting. Titles like "My Wife's
Crazy!," "Diarrhea Moustache" and
"Phone Call from a Cranky Terror-
ist" don't correspond with anything
on the two CDs.
Slowly, bits and pieces of this
album will work their way into your
everyday conversations, inevitably
becoming required listening in the
dorms this winter. The routines on
Shut Up are the kind of classically
Jam

t.

Up to now, Cross usual-
ly has been at his fun-
niest when performing
rehearsed, fairly
thought-out bits ala
character-based sketch-
es from "Mr. Show"
and more conceptual
stand-up like the time
he appeared at the
Aspen Comedy Festival
covered in hundreds of

es (so he'd remember his
ns" he claimed).
a definite improv, flying-
-of-his-pants element to
ross really doesn't always

seem to know where he's going and the listener and makes it easy to for-
more than once he hits a dead end give minor slips and missteps.
after flogging a dead horse just a bit Surprisingly honest, foaming-at-
too long. But through the vast the-mouth outrage isn't being par-
majority of the over two hours of ticularly well articulated by the Left
performance on Shut Up, Cross' these days, but Cross has more than
frenzied freeform raving sweeps up enough indignation to fill the void.

By Jeremy Kressman
Daily Arts Writer

really matt
years of ex
of events a

While a variety of campus organi- and often ti
zations promote and strengthen diver- pocket for
sity here in Ann Arbor, the concept is for the love
sometimes easier to talk about than to Initially,
accomplish. It can be difficult to get mix of hip-
ethnically diverse student groups to However, a
collaborate on events, a fact that has grew, so to
long frustrated many student leaders. As Kulka
But the truth of the matter is one expanded in
group has been trying to promote that cally Chicag
missing unity through the power of DJ Ro (Ros
music: Komposit. The divers
In 1997, original club
members Nihar Kulka-
rni, Kumar Rao, Sam
Eliad, Jason Yoon, Fun KOMPOSIT
Cheung, Wil Hao,
Willie Cho and Luke At The Necto
Bassis started a multi- Sunday at 9 p.m.
ethnic entertainment $15
group using hip-hop as MUTO
a vehicle to breed cul-
tural integration.
Six years of fun later, the organi- But Kompo

ered. "For the first four
istence, on the majority
profit was not realized
me members gave out of
expenses. But we did it
the group's DJs played a
-hop, R&B and Reggae.
s the group's popularity
o did its musical tastes.
rni mentioned, "We
nto dance music, specifi-
go style house, which our
han Patel) is a master at."
se musical taste of the
group's DJs added to
the atmosphere of
diversity at Komposit
parties, furthering the
experience.
With this Sunday's
closing party, the
group is both proud of
their accomplishments
and saddened to see
the end of their vision.
sit's members are confi-

lBE

2003

HOP WOOD

NDERCLA

S

S

M.EN

VARDS will be announced Tuesday,

uary 21,

2003

- 3:30

pm

SRackham

zation will be closing down its oper-
ations for good. This Sunday at The
Necto will mark Komposit's final
event. As the group members gradu-
ate, it has become increasingly diffi-
cult to maintain the high level of
quality expected from Komposit
events. The closing party is there-
fore an opportunity for Komposit to
not only extend thanks to all those
who have made the group a success
since its inception, but also to
reflect on the greater diversity the

dent that the group did make a dif-
ference over the course of its tenure.
Said Kulkarni, "If at the end of the
night (people) went back to their
cultural social circles, but we edu-
cated even one person about another
culture that they weren't familiar
with; if we spawned friendships that
crossed racial boundaries, then we
succeeded."

P'S
RECORDS &
USED C'DS
617 Packard
Upstairs from
Subway
Paying $4 to $6
for top CD's in
top condition.
Also buying
premium 1P's
and cassettes.

Bain-Swiggett

Poetry

Michael R. Gutterman Award in
Poetry - Jeffrey L. Weisberg Poetry

Auditorium (main floor of the Rackham Building)
Academy of American Poets Prize

Prize

Prize

Theodore Roethke

Prize

Roy W.Cowden Memorial Fellowship

READING

BY

I

0 I

T^1 T /"- T r1 oF T- . W 7 A

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