November 7, 2003
Ae a a nuSu
Israeli songbird flies to Rackham
By Rachel Berry
For the Daily
FINE ARTs PREVIEW
When Chava Alberstein's Yiddish-tinted Israeli accent
answered, "Hello" from Israel during a phone interview
with her last Saturday afternoon, the sincerity and com-
passion reflected in her voice shed light on why Israelis
look to her as the most accomplished singer in their
By Andrew M. Gaerdg
Daily Arts Writer
country's history. Her music's
thoughtful and folksy roots makes
The New York Times' comparison
between Alberstein and Joan Baez
Though Israel continues to make
headlines for violence and politics,
Alberstein reminds us "there is a very
different side to the country, the
Saturday at 8 p.m.
At the Rackham
BACHMANN STRAIGHTENS WITH AGE
album where she has collaborated with her husband
using his lyrics. Likening it to a "documentary film,"
she gives vignettes of life in a struggling area of Tel
Aviv. She said, "It is an album without illusions. It is a
side of life we don't like to think about, but it is some-
thing that exists. I wrote the music, he knew how to
catch the little things."
Alberstein feels very connected with this part of life,
because she too was once an immigrant. "Even though I
have lived in Israel nearly my entire life, I am constantly
questioning my place in the world. Maybe it comes from
being an artist, maybe it comes from being a Jew."
To face the current times, Alberstein is looking to her
past. "It inspires you to write in a different style ... to
share stories and hope that the world that is becoming so
terrible is in truth the same world. I find that you go on
and write music and this is a very optimistic action."
Perhaps it is her continued desire to bring optimistic
action that compels Israelis to look to her to tell their
story. Alberstein comments, "In Israel they know more
or what to expect. Elsewhere it is more of a challenge to
bring songs to the audience. I don't perform differently,
but I try to explain the songs more. It is very important
to understand the songs."
Alberstein will begin her two-week tour to the United
States with her first ever concert in Ann Arbor. She
will include pieces from her latest recording. She hopes
that through bringing her songs in concert throughout
on the international stage, "Some how the world will
"You can talk about being from the South and
being from North Carolina, but it's just a commodity
these days. There's fucking huge corporations down
in the South. It's not like it was in 1930." Eric Bach-
mann is bemoaning the marginalization of Southern
culture. While the Crooked Fingers frontman certain-
ly didn't suffer the pre-industrial days of his native
land, he has more credibility than most. "I was a little
kid running around Florida with my shoes and shirt
off, chewing Skoal and listening to
Lynyrd Skynyrd." Crooked
Despite his upbringing, it was the Cro.ke
lo-fi punk squall of the Archers of Finrs
Loaf that put him on the indie map. Saturday 9
Bachmann and his hoarse bellow pio- At the Magic Stick
neered a sound that became a staple of
college rock in the mid '90s. Bachmann's success with the
Archers will undoubtedly be his legacy, but his work with
Crooked Fingers has been just as substantial.
Trading biting guitar riffs for down-tempo folk picking,
Crooked Fingers shoots for the gruff storytelling of Tom
Waits and the ethereal folk of Nick Drake. "I wanted
Archers to sound like a cacophony of some sort, and these
(Crooked Fingers songs) to sound like an old mountain,"
claims Bachmann. "I would say that the three records I've
made with Crooked Fingers are more similar to each other
than all the records the Archers made, but that's because
I've stumbled upon something that interests me."
That interest stems from a disparate music background
that includes a number of influences. "My mom was a
country music fan and my dad was into things like Blood,
Sweat and Tears. I'm very much influenced by Townes
Van Zandt, but I'm also influenced by the polar opposite,
Brian Eno. Hungarian gypsy music - I love that."
An eager student of song craft, Bachmann showcased
his love on Reservoir Songs, an EP that saw the Crooked
Fingers covering Prince and Neil Diamond. "I really miss
that," laments Bachmann, "in the '60s when Joan Baez
would cover a Bob Dylan song. It's all dialogue, it's all
language to me. It seems like a great thing to do, to cover
contemporary people, but people are too proud to do it.
Every cover I do is because I felt like I've learned some-
thing from it. You sort of solve the puzzle."
Filled with surreal imagery and stories of the down and
out, Red Devil Dawn, Crooked Fingers' latest offering fur-
ther distances Bachmann from the obtuse wordplay that
became a trademark of the Archers. "I feel like things will
last longer when they're dealing with a specific emotion,"
though he adds that they can "Still be suggestive or
obscure. Making a record is a series of decisions. It's more
Bachmann's varied music history has led him to a posi-
tion few underground musicians know: an influential
songwriter with a varied past, whose skill continues to
improve. A former music major, Bachmann decided early
on what his calling was: "I burnt out on being a perform-
ance major. I'd sort of pound on the piano and try to write
songs, and it just sort of hit me. 'Man, you should be writ-
ing songs, that's what you want to do.' That's the joy you
get out of playing music ... just writing stuff." A decade
into his career, Bachmann's opinion of his music reveals
both his humility and wit: "I like to think of it as Christian
music without all that Christian bullshit."
music the culture (and) the poems." By releasing nearly
50 albums in Hebrew, Yiddish and English since the
1960s, Alberstein's lyrics form a history of her country.
The external and almost frontier quality of her early
recordings like, "Songs of My beloved Country,"
"Beaches" and "Like a Wildflower," speak of Israel as a
fledgling country. "Israel was like a child in those days,"
Alberstein recalled, "Discovering all parts of her body."
Her latest album End ofA Holiday, set to be released
worldwide in January of 2004, continues along the same
thread but has taken a different turn. This is the first
Powder's always fresh on 'SSX' slopes
By Adam Rottenberg
Daily Arts Writer
Snowboarding games have explod-
ed onto the videogame landscape in
recent years, but the "SSX" series
stands high above the rest. Originally
a launch title for the PS2, the latest
edition in the franchise, "SSX 3," is
the first fully developed sequel as
Blast off with multimedia Pops Orchestra
was simply an
of the first game.
EA Sports Big's
new game is easi-
ly the best snow-
EA Sports Big
game's runs to become increasingly
insane both visually and in difficul-
ty. The soundtrack is loaded with
diverse rock, hip-hop and techno
tunes perfectly complementing the
The structure of the competitions
and levels has changed drastically.
Instead of each run being separate,
the trails all spread off of multiple
peaks and divergent paths. Exploring
the tracks unlocks secrets and more
peaks for racing. There are other
events that can be played beyond the
main single-player venture including
time trials or trick attacks, and multi-
player versions of the single player
modes are available that add to the
Controlling the shredders is a
breeze. Fans of the past two install-
ments will have no problems master-
ing the controls. Every slope offers
countless opportunities for big air
and in turn, huge trick combos. The
challenge to pull off tricks of
increasing scores should keep the
By Julie Sills
Daily Arts Writer
Ever dreamed of flying to the
moon? Well, this Sunday night your
chance has finally come. Just arrive
at the Michigan Theater at 8 p.m.
sharp (spacesuit optional) and in
only a few minutes you will have
left the planet Earth far behind. Plan
to take a ride through the galaxy,
completely wrapped up in the
Michigan Pops Orchestra's breath-
taking performance of "Pops in
Playing an array of space tunes
W i t 1 i a m s
melodies to big Pops in
band, the Pops Space
works such as, Sunday at8 p.m.
"Mars and $5 Students
Jupiter," "The $8Adults
Planets," "Star At the Michigan
Wars" classics Theater
that are familiar
to all and "Satellite" by Dave
Better yet, performing in the
Michigan Theater, the Pops enjoy
adding eye-catching visual accom-
paniment that go along with what
they play. Last year the group
showed clips from "Fantasia" while
performing musical pieces from the
movie, and this year, director Chris
Lees looks forward to "more multi-
media and visual displays."
The Michigan Pops, the only
completely student-run orchestra on
campus, rehearses every Sunday
night, working up to the big thrill
and this Sunday they are more than
ready for take off! Don't miss this
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to
blast off into outer space along with
the group's 2003 fall performance
of "Pops in Space."
boarding game on the market.
With breathtaking slopes and
peaks, "SSX 3's" graphics blow
away the competition. Each selec-
table character features a unique
look, distinct personality and voice
keeping "SSX" with a distinctive
feel. The cartoon style enables the
Courtesy or EA Sports Big
Up, down, left, right, a, b, start.
gameplay fresh for a long time.
"SSX 3"has no real competition
among snowboarding fans until the
release of Nintendo's next "1080."
However, the game is nearly flaw-
less to fans of the genre. EA Sports
Big continues its success with yet
another great game that should
appeal to anyone interested in
extreme or winter sports.
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