Art and anthropology find uniqu<
Srelationship through intricate texti
The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 11
By Melissa Runstrom
Daily Arts Editor
Few Art Galleries dredge up material from
the storage area of the local anthropology
museum; while artifacts can be beautiful,
they are rarely appreci-
ated by a larger audience
for their artistic value. The
thing about the University
of Michigan Museum of
Art's "Paisley and Pea-
cocks" is that the textiles
on display aren't just beau-
tiful, nor just evidence of
historical people - they
are the material legacy of
Now thru Oct. 16
At The University
Museum of Art
true artisans doing something both practical
"Paisley and Peacocks" occupies rooms on
the first and second floors of UMMA, which
helps viewers recognize and contrast the dis-
tinctive features of these shawls from the Pun-
jab and Kashmir regions. Most of the shawls in
the exhibit were actually obtained in the 1930s
and have been tucked away at the University of
* Michigan Museum of Anthropology.
The Punjabi shawls feature bright, bold
designs and traditional patterns such as
phulkari (flower block) and bagh (gardens)
and peacocks, which symbolize marital satis-
faction and fidelity. These scarves, which hang
well over five feet long, were produced and
used mostly as ceremonial head coverings for
occasions such as wedding ceremonies. The
shawls have only recently been noted by oth-
* ers outside of the Punjab after villagers started
bringing them to market a few decades ago.
These shawls are estimated to take anywhere
from one to 10 years to complete. Patterns are
elaborate and require more than a common
notion about design, especially since most of
the pieces in the exhibit were sewn together
from smaller squares or sections only at the
end. According to the exhibit, the Muslim men
of the region would weave together the coarse
cotton cloth, called khaddar, then the women
would embroider vibrant untwisted silk floss
that had to be imported from regions such as
Kashmir or Bengal.
The designs and obvious skill that went
into creating and executing the shawls make
walking through the Punjabi section a treat.
When the light bounces off certain pieces,
the overall effect mimics velvet or velour.
While the symmetry of the designs is impres-
sive, it is the intentional variation from the
patterns that really lends a truly distinctive
character to each piece. These small but sig-
nificant changes in pattern might be a differ-
ent stitch or color in a spot, or even a small
round mirror sewn somewhere; one piece
actually incorporated an embroidered name.
These deviations, making the work intention-
ally imperfect were meant to ward off the evil
eye, which some believe is responsible for
death or illness. These discontinuities seem
to make each imposingly large and complex
piece a little more personal. Why did the
embroiderer choose to change the design at
that spot and in that particular way? How is
the placement of this deviation significant,
and was it intended from the beginning?
The Kashmiri section of the gallery, tucked
away in a quiet space upstairs, features woven
shawls with intricate boteh (paisley) designs.
Generally smaller than their Punjabi counter-
parts, these pieces feature intricate designs.
These shawls were not meant for village use,
instead there was a whole industry catering to
the upper echelons of society - including roy-
alty. The soft, warm and lightweight wool of
domesticated goats and the complex patterns ..
made these shawls desirable and expensive.
In the West this wool became known as cash-
mere and is obviously sought after.
Weaving these delicate masterworks took
anywhere from a year to a few months to com-
plete, depending on the detail of the design
and the size of the piece. Men produced the
patterns, obtained the raw materials and also
did the weaving. The local industry crashed
after 1753 but was rejuvenated after Josephine,
Napoleon's wife, started sporting the shawls
in the early 19th century. Demand became so
great that a Scottish town eventually started s K
producing similar design work and the French
quickly followed suit. The local Kashmiri .
industry boomed again after British forces
took control of the area in 1846. _
Some of the pieces in the gallery are fraom
this later period and feature French-inspired w yesae
designs. One of the most beautiful shawls is ....
unfortunately under glass, but it features a
paisley motif as well as tiny leopards, ele- . .
phants and birds to cater to French taste. .
The patterns changed over time to reflect
the taste of clients, and this is plotted in the Shawls from Kashmir hang in UMMA's "Paisley and Peacocks."
gallery. Styles and motifs may have altered,
but the quality and attention to detail didn't, the other.'IThe Punjabi selections are large duced them.
The colors are still rich and the design detail and vivid, while the Kashmiri are more deli-
dizzying. cate with very intricate designs. Both parts - The museum
"Paisley and Peacocks" combines two are beautiful though, and both shed a small from textile expe
distinctive styles, but one doesn't outshine bit of light on the people and time that pro- 3 p.m.
AMY DRUMM/ Daily
will hold a special lecture
ert, Carol Brier Sunday at
v a i a
Evolving band on road to greatness
By Lloyd Cargo
Daily Arts Writer
Rogue Wave is a band in limbo. Their second full-
length album, Descended Like Vultures, drops Oct. 25,
and the buzz is already beginning to build. The band
could be the next Shins; an indie sensation getting rave
reviews and moving like they were on a major-label, or
they could end up like so many other talented bands, pro-
ducing brilliant music that never gets
heard. All they need is a soundtrack """"""""
appearance in a hip movie or inclu-
sion in a ubiquitous commercial; basi-
cally, the same perfect storm that's
propelled The Shins to their improb-
able level of success.
At The Blind Pig
The prospect of increased exposure
doesn't seem to faze humble frontman Zach Rogue, who
said "I don't even know what success means. It seems
like an illusion, and it's foolish to hope for things when
you don't even know what they are. It's especially hard to
look into the future when you're playing music because
it's all unknown." Indeed, his modesty is not surprising
considering the origins of Rogue Wave.
Rogue Wave's '03 debut, Out of the Shadows, was
written entirely by Rogue. In order to assemble a band
to back him, he put an ad on Craigslist.com searching for
musicians with similar influences. Not only did the CD he
sent out to prospective bandmates attract attention from
around the Bay Area, but unbeknownst to him, it was also
circulating the offices of uber-indie la bel Subpop, who
soon snatched up Rogue and immediately remastered and
reissued his debut. "I feel lucky; like just being signed to
Subpop was a fluke," Rogue said.
Descended like Vultures comes with high expecta-
tions, but if the preview EP 1.1is any indication, Rogue
Wave will far exceed them. Whereas Out of the Shadows
was largely a one-man effort, Descended is the work of
an entire band. "It's the sound of more people collabo-
rating. The process hasn't really changed, there are just
more stylistic ideas in place, and it sounds more expan-
sive because of that," Rogue said.
The record was finished months ago and has recently
leaked, but Rogue has an atypical, and refreshingly ratio-
nal perspective on having his music illegally shared. "The
point is to get music out there, and it's nice to know that
people care to hear it at all. And that they care enough to
go get it is validation. It is a problem because you spend
money recording and you owe your record label. There's a
trade-off in place; it helps your cause when you perform,
exposes more people to your music. It's an embryonic
technology, and I'm hopeful that it will help build com-
munities of artists in the long-run," he said.
They will be a week into a tour lasting through Sep-
tember when they hit The Blind Pig for their first ever
Ann Arbor show Wednesday night. Expect a raucous
concertwithsplentyofdnew material; "we like playing
to young people, they generally seem more receptive,"
Rogue responded when asked about playing in college
towns. So go out and see an evolving band that deserves
to be heard. It's only getting better - and you'll be there
for the ride.
By Chris Gaerig
Daily Arts Writer
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Remember when hardcore used to be
before the tine Fueafor
of Boy Sets Fire unera r
and Fall Out Boy, a Friend
Refused showed Hours
us The Shape of Atlantic Records
Punk to Come and
genre, which is just a basic blend of
metal and punk.
In recent years, however, groups
like Thrice and the aforementioned
Fall Out Boy have been working over-
time, turning the scene of punk music
into a pop phenomenon and hastening
Courtesy of Atlantic
If you look at us long enough, we become really depressing.
The group's first major label release
for Atlantic Records, Hours, is ridden
with bombasts of distorted guitars
juxtaposed against pop melodies and
"The End of Nothing" opens with
an '80s dual guitar riff followed by
a Metallica-esque assault. Even this,
the album's most aggressive track
is destroyed by the catchy melody
and sappy lyrics: "You and I will die
alone tonight / You and I will lie alone
"All the Rage" and "Roses for the
slower tracks like "Streetcar" and
"Hospitality" scream their emo roots:
"Turn off this machine / This is the
only thing that's keeping me alive /
So pull this switch and see my body
Hours was inevitable. With indie
groups like Death Cab For Cutie and
Fall Out Boy making the leap to the
mainstream, Funeral for a Friend was
bound to follow the trend. Unfortu-
nately, when these groups leave their
independent foundation, they abandon
the music and sell out to their careers.
Tuirns onut tha~t when it comes to hnk.il