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April 11, 2003 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-11

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 11, 2003

ARTS

Male voices ring from rafters

By Sarah Peterson
Daily Fine Arts Editor
FINE ARs PREVIEW
Tomorrow, beautiful melodies will be spilling out of
Rackham Auditorium, filling the air with concordant har-
monies. You won't, however, hear any female voices
adding to the music because this con- _
cert is for men vocalists only. This
Saturday, the auditorium will play Men's Glee
host to the Men's Glee Club for their Club
spring concert. Concert
According to club member Ian Saturdayat6p.m.
Campbell, the group "tries to cover and 9 p.m.
the whole spectrum" when it comes $10 - $12 reserved,
to the music selection. Folk songs, $5 students
spirituals, classical works, Westerns At Rackham
and love songs are among the types Auditorium
of music that will be performed.
Some of the pieces will be a capella, while others will
be performed with a piano accompanist.
The composers of the pieces on the program vary just as
much as the songs themselves, going from a work by Han-
del to one by Aaron McDermid, the group's assistant con-

ductor. McDermid's piece will be making its debut during
this concert, as this will be its first time being performed.
It is a love song based on a poem by the American poet
James Weldon Johnson.
The group is composed of about 85 members that range
from first years to graduate students from practically every
college at the University. All members of the club are
selected through auditions. They perform two concerts on
campus, as well as several others in other cities, through-
out the school year, and they always go on tour.
This year, they head to the southwest, where they will
kick off the tour by performing at Grace Cathedral in
San Francisco, and then continue to Los Angeles, San
Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas. Under the new leader-
ship of McDermid and conductor Stephen Lusmann, the
group has continued in its tradition of greatness.
Lusmann is quite renowned himself. He is a profes-
sional baritone who has performed opera at such venues
as Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center. He has also
done a great deal of work in Germany.
After months of hard work, this weekend's perform-
ance promises to be a masterpiece of fun times and
good music. In the words of Campbell, "The audience
can expect to hear great music performed to the highest
standards, but they can also expect a lot of energy."

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Courtesy of Blue Note

Jam band funksters or steak house waiters? You decide.

'Hunter's' forced entry
under investigation

GIVE UP THE FUNK
MMW's MARTIN LAYS DOWN THE BEAT

By Justin Scheininger
For the Daily

By Douglas Wernert
Daily Arts Writer

You've seen this before: the dra-
matic opening shot of the outside of
the prison, the robbery where an
innocent person dies, the apparent
capture of the "bad guys" in the
middle of the
show, the shock-
ing plot twist and Hunter:
the dramatic end- Back In
ing that makes Force
you feel that jus- Saturday at
tice was served. 9 p.m.
Yes, another NBC
police detective
show has made its way onto the
small screen, this time in the form of
"Hunter: Back In Force," the NBC
Sunday night movie. Whether
Hunter is actually "back in force" is
open to debate, but when you com-
bine a strong cast with a storyline
we've seen all too many times,
what's left is essentially a two-hour
episode of "CSI."
This show is the follow up to last
fall's "Hunter: Return to Justice,"
and subsequent one hour episodes

will follow in the weeks to come. Lt.
DeeDee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer)
ventures back into the homicide
division in San Diego to team with
Lt. Rick Hunter (Fred Dryer) to
investigate a chain of bank rob-
beries. At the same time, an old
nemesis by the name of Randall
Skaggs (Gregory Scott Cummins) is
out on parole and up to his old
tricks, forming a trio of trouble with
some old friends.
A well-organized bank robbery,
followed by some clever detective
work, leads McCall and Hunter to a
women's prison to talk with one of
the inmates (Joanie Laurer, WWE's
"Chyna"). As luck would have it, a
corrupt prison guard named Ray
Davies and prison psychologist,
Westberg, both connected with
Skaggs, are at the forefront of this
crime, and getting to them is the key
to getting parole-violating Skaggs
and company back in the slammer.
The script is too cliche, with
McCall proclaiming how she, as a
woman; is embarrassing Davies by
busting him. One could see the "cor-
rupt guard" angle from a mile away,
as these shows, while compelling and
interesting, always will have some

Your parents found the weed.

crazy twist that an experienced viewer
can easily predict. Other than that,
everyone gives solid performances,
even if the criminals are stereotypical-
ly big, tough, evil, ugly-looking men.
"Hunter: Back in Force" is not
meant to be a long-running series a
la "NYPD Blue" or "The Shield."
There's only so many ways a crime
can be committed, and with McCall
and Hunter both playing experi-
enced, know-it-all cops, the story
will fast lose its sizzle. Hunter may
be "back in force," but with an abun-
dance of these shows already on
prime time, just being "back" may,
be too much.

On Wednesday, Medeski, Martin and Wood laid down
some of the fattest grooves ever heard at the Michigan
Theater. MMW is in its own world of jazz-funk. The
instrumental trio combines three of the most talented and
exciting musicians around. John Medeski, the soulful key-
boardist, plays like a mad-scientist. Bassist Chris Wood is
called a modern-day Charles Mingus for his energy, inten-
sity and blues sensibility. Billy Martin, drummer/percus-
sionist extraordinaire, plays almost every percussion
instrument imaginable.
Martin spoke with The Michigan Daily before Wednes-
day's show.
The Michigan Daily: How would you introduce your
music to someone who has never heard of MMW?
Billy Martin: I just tell people it's an instrumental trio.
We like to groove. It's really just a jazz-funk band that
improvises. It's not easy to explain; I'd rather just play.
TMD: You play a seemingly endless array of percus-
sion instruments. How did you develop such an interest-
ing approach?
BM: When I was 18, I took classes in New York and
that was the turning point for me. I started exploring per-
cussion. I realized that there are so many different ways
to express yourself. There are cultures that completely
thrive on percussion music! And in these cultures, the
percussion instruments are the band, the melody and the
whole orchestra. I explored many types of music, from
Brazilian to West African, Afro-Cuban and I grew up lis-
-tening to rock, funk and jazz. All of that has influenced

my drumming.
TMD: You developed a devoted following as a club
band. How do you like playing in larger venues now that
MMW has become so popular?
BM: It's not easy. You have to create an intimacy with
the room and with the sound system, but try to not com-
promise too much with the playing. The thing is, we're
very sensitive to the environment and we do play differ-
ently in different rooms, it's just natural.
TMD: How do you feel about being part of the whole
jam band scene, despite having a completely different
sound than all of those bands?
BM: It's a cool thing to be part of any situation where
there is a scene that is open to what we do. There are a lot
of people who are into that music and if they think we're
part of that lineage, so be it. I think we have our own
sound and the audience realizes that we're coming from a
different place and we express ourselves differently (than
other jam-bands).
TMD: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists to
reach their creative potential?
BM: Be sincere about what you're doing; don't com-
promise. I think that's the most important thing. You need
to explore the things that you really love and try to digest
that stuff to express your true self; that's where the
uncompromising comes in. Don't try to recreate some-
thing that's been done before, but use it in a way in which
it becomes part of your own language.
TMD: Why so philosophical?
BM: Well, I think it goes with being an artist. Don't
compromise if you can help it. Really be honest with
yourself and don't be afraid to be who you are. Accept
who you are, whether perfect or imperfect.

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al

14

The new Primetime version of the landmark talent show
OPEN CALL
University of Michigan
The Michigan League
911 N. University
Monday, April 14th

8 am-

6 pm

For more info, call 1-800-553-3811 or go to CBS.com

6

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