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March 21, 2003 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-21

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Friday
March 2, 2003
michigandaily.com
mae@michigandaily.com

ARTS

9

Circe strikes business

'Kodo' jump-starts A2 pulse

By Courtney Taymour
Daily Arts Writer

By Johanna Hanink
Daily Books Editor

Arianna Huffington is busy
indulging herself in a new personali-
ty cult - her own. Between public
and prime-time appearances, contro-
versial anti-S.U.V commercials (a la
the Bush admin- _
istration's Super
Bowl pot-equals- Pigs at the
terrorism spots) Trough
and a New York By Arianna
Times bestseller, Huffington
she's been work- Crown Pub
ing the self-pro-
motional circuit with seemingly
indefatigable verve.
"Pigs at the Trough" is Cam-
bridge-educated Huffington's ninth
book. In a country where the majori-
ty of the population backs the politi-
cal right, it's clear that the 20
percent strong "political class" has
been wielding its lefty book buying
power. Huffington's latest title
seems to fill a niche on the best-
seller list left open by
the popularity phase-
out of Michael
Moore's 2002 hit, P
"Stupid White Men."
But the cultish fol- A T
lowing that Huffing- T R 0
ton has developed
over the last few
months may actually
be doing her message
a disservice. The
advance critical-
acclaim that the
bookjacket heralds
dilutes her sizeable
substance with obses-
sion over delivery. Television pro-
ducer Aaron Sorkin called it
"hilarious" while comedian Bill
Maher found it "entertaining."
Both Huffington's writing and wit
are sharp. This, however, doesn't
translate into a book on the order of
hilarity. The overdone word games
and calculated turns of prose that
dominate her syndicated column to
the point of distraction thankfully
run more sparsely through "Pigs at

the Trough." She writes with an
edge and a sense of humor, but
"Pigs at the Trough" is a work more
serious than even her publicist
would seem to want acknowledged.
Problematically though, Huffing-
ton also fights her own message in
offering easy validation and ration-
alizations to the insecurities of her
slightly upper-class audience.
Much of the book is dominated
with laundry lists of CEOs' salary
figures and real estate holdings.
Forget the rungs of the corporate
ladder: The rich, she would have us
believe, are only rich because
they've stepped on the backs of the
little guy - the blue collar corpo-
rate employee, the gullibly provin-
cial customer - to get there.
The problematic points of the
book are familiar to those versed in
the culture of the avant-gadfly. Like
Moore, Huffington's political per-
sonality may be interfering with the
presumable aim of her criticism,
change. Like Ann Coulter, a dis-
turbingly in-style act on the other
end of the political spectrum, Huff-
ington seems to over-
state her point to
serve her purpose:
It's questionable
whether Huffington
r H E believes the entire
U G H corporate world to be
as thoroughly filthy
as she professes.
Unlike Coulter
though, for people of
moderate political
sensibilities Huffing-
ton's political views
are far less offensive
than the sometimes
horrifying muck she
is able to dredge to support them.
"Pigs at the Trough" is a good
read, and a good read should always
be (if not necessarily fun) enjoyable
or edifying. While "Pigs at the
Trough" has the trappings of both, it
may be more effective as a serious-
minded criticism, and without the
baggage of Huffington's controver-
sial personality - the very baggage
which, ironically, is responsible for
its great success.

F INE .ARs PREVIEW
Get ready to feel the beat at the Michigan The-
ater when the University Musical Society brings
the Japanese drumming group, Kodo, to Ann
Arbor for three performances.
Having given over 2,200 per-
formances in 38 countries, Kodo
Kodo returns to share its tradi- At the Michigan
tion with the University for the Theater
ninth time. March 24 26
at 8 p.m.
The name Kodo literally Tickets.begin.$22
reads "drum-child," which the Student rush
group interprets as instrumen- tickets available
tal purity, or an innocent and UMS
childlike approach to the
music. Kodo also means "heartbeat," which the
group understands to be humanity's primary rhyth-
mical unit.
Through its performances, Kodo offers a peek at
the culture of a Japanese rural community by
using the Japanese drum called the taiko. In rural

Japan, the village boundary was determined by the
last location the taiko drum could be heard. Kodo
also incorporates the use of the o-daiko drum,
which is carved out of a single tree and weighs
900-pounds.
The history of Kodo's music only furthers the
powerful beating of Kodo's drums. The perform-
ance is filled with energy, and as the group's man-
ager, Takashi Akamine, explains, "We'd be most
pleased if we could offer or share a bit of our ener-
gy [with the audience]." In fact, it was the sheer
power of Kodo's performance that drew Takashi to
the group in the first place, and made him inquire
about what is now his current job.
Kodo's appeal not only stems from this over-
whelming energy, but also from a unique sense of
rhythm and resonance. Kodo uses compositions
written by friends and mentors with rhythmic expe-
rience, along with group members' compositions to
create a diverse collection of sound in its program.
Kodo also touches its powerful and unique per-
formance with a dash of color through bright cos-
tumes, visually captivating its audience.
So sound the drums and march to the Michigan
Theater for the rhythmic sensation Kodo.

Courtesy of UMS
Must beat drum while showing off sexy muscles.

Hart returns to Detroit roots still singing the blues

(.
1
>a

By Niamh Slevin
Daily Arts Writer
MUSIC PREVIEW
"Singing the blues is the joy of shar-
ing your pain." Though this statement
may sound contradictory, blues singer
Kate Hart whole- _
heartedly endorses K
the feeling. As Kate Hart
part of the music Saturday at 9 p.m.
scene for over 25 At the Alley in Dexter
years, Hart has
made the rounds with some of the best
in the business and returns this Satur-
day to kick off her first Detroit tour
since 1977.
Hart's Detroit roots, however, were
only the beginning of her success. Like
many rational beings of the '70s, she
preferred the multifaceted Seattle set-
ting to the disco-crazed D-town.
"I had to get out. I kept driving till
the water stopped me, and it was the
best thing I've ever done," she laughs.
Regardless of her reasons, Seattle has
been good to her. There, she's received
Grammy and W.C. Handy nominations,
and was awarded the Women's Leader-

ship award for her continued work with
women both in the music business and
in her volunteer work. As a member of
several thriving bands, she had the
opportunity to share stages with such
distinguished artists as Roy Orbison,
Etta James and B.B. King.
Now, Hart is back with a brand new
team of musicians. Her Dexter show
boasts a more intimate atmosphere as
she shares a duo with Dennis Burr, gui-
tarist for Kenny Loggins' band.
Hart says, "This is an opportunity to
do some original material. I'm just
excited to be performing."
In addition to her scheduled stops

in Detroit, Hamtramck, Plymouth and
Saginaw, Hart has planned visits to
New Orleans, Chicago and Cincinnati
this spring. Although much of her
tour showcases her new works, she
also draws from over 10 albums of
past material. Her namesake albums
"Queen of the Night" and "Lucy
Mongrel" are among her most notable

productions.
"[Blues] is the most honest music
I've ever heard. It's the only music you
can't fake," she asserts. Hart brings
her self-described "in your face"
material to the state that started it all.
Her resounding enthusiasm rallies the
relaxed ambiance of Dexter's the Alley
in her performance this Saturday.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Vietnam/Iraq Comparisons
The Vietnam War protestors felt
that they helped to end the war.
But a serious student, studying
the writings that come out of
Vietnam, may come to just the
opposite conclusion. Are the
Iraq protestors likely to prevent
war, or ensure that it happens
by giving Hussein the resolve
to hang on?
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
www.garytillie.com

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