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July 21, 1989 - Image 12

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1989-07-21

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ARTS

The Michigan Doily

Page 12

w

Performance stages offer art at a fair price
BY MICHAEL PAUL FISCHER
"It isn't art," one localite com- Jazz Network at 5, 6:15, and 7:30
plains, "and it isn'tfair." respectively. Dancers claim the stage
Now: I'll admit that a lot of the during Saturday's 11 to 3 schedule,
Ann Arbor Art Fairs' gallery-quality in-cluding Ypsilanti's Randazzo
stuff is pretty nice; but the bottom Dance Studio (11 a.m.), Dances
line is: can you really afford any of of India (12:15 p.m.), ballroom
it (or at least not get it for half as stylists Black Tie (1 p.m.), and
much at Art Van Furniture)? choreographer Susan Baker at 2:30.
Thankfully, you can experience The MICHIGAN UNION
real live art at a price to shame the STAGE, operating from 12 to 9 Fri-
expensive "art fares" haunting your
pocketbook. It's the four-day event's day at State and South U., features
charming little secret: the Washte- jazzy bands including fusionists The "
naw Council for the Arts' four Bob Roe Quintet (noon), the rock-
stages of free shows by local bands, ier Killer Tomatoes (1:15 p.m.),
dancers, and ethnic performers. world-music/ new-agers the Sihon!
The GRACEFUL ARCH Vornhagen Ensemble (2:30 p.m.),
STAGE, at the corner South and and the jazz/ swing group 3 D
East University, is actually neither Quintet at 5 p.m. At 6:15 p.m.,
graceful - nor the nearby expect the calypso/reggae/pop of Ann Arbor.s Chenille Sisters trio performed Wednesday night on the Art FairBs Graceful Arch stage
Engineering Arch. Running from 12 The Caribbean TAJ, followed by
to 9 on Friday, the stage features the Rhone and the Freedom Band at and Division Streets, features square- and Main stands the aptly-titled lowed by the Huron Valley Bar-
Ann Arbor Winds Quartet at 7:30. On Saturday there's more jazz, dancers the U of M A-Squares MAIN STAGE, featuring the acous- bershop Quartet Singers at 12:15.
noon, the Goodtime Players adult from the sax-based Andrew Dahlke (noon), the youngsters' Traveling tic duo barbryellen at 2:30 pm. on
repertory company at 1:15 p.m., and Quartet (11 a.m.), vocalists Four Troupe of Fast Fables at 12:40 Friday (open 12-9), as well as the And don't forget to toss one of
the jazz poetry of arwulf arwulf and Corners (12:15 p.m.), Detroit's p.m., the folk-rock originals of Flat blues, country and pop of Burnham, the quarters you saved into the hat of
Marc Taras at 2. Following the Mark Kieme and River People Stanley (2:30), and pop-rockers Seltz, and Hunt (5 p.m.) and new one of the myriad performers busk-
eclectic Great Lakes Percussion (1:30), and the Les Bloom Group Social Fabric at 5 p.m. Saturday at age fusionists Stratus at 6:15. On ing throughout the streets. If you're
Group at 3:45 comes three jazz be-bop sextet (2:45). 11 a.m., the Lucido/ Sihon Group Saturday, the Sirab and Wahda completely broke - well, there's
bands: the Derek Bronston Trio, The LIBERTY PLAZA, staging performs classical Indian music, troupes perform Middle Eastern always the free long-distance phone
the Hot Club, and the Acoustic acts from 12-5 on Friday at Liberty And a little further out at Liberty dance at noon and 1:15 p.m. - fol- calls...
fI q Athens' Indigo Girls strum

s

religiously for
BY MIKE R UBEL
THE INDIGO GIRLS are the latest band to burst
onto the national scene from the unlikely musical
mecca of the United States - Georgia. Previously we
have seen fellow Dixie rockers like R.E.M., Dreams
So Real and 10,000 Maniacs encounter national
success, but all these groups fit rather well into the
current New Music. The Indigo Girls are a bit
different. Their influences come not primarily from
rock 'n roll, punk or even hardcore but from folk
singers like Joan Baez or the Kingston Trio. But the
Indigo Girls' uncommercial blend of acoustic guitars,
gritty harmonics and biblical allusions has nonetheless
earned them opening dates for R.E.M., a popular video
on MTV and Epic Records' hottest-selling album.
Their surprising success is another manifestation of
what can now only be termed a Folk Renaissance. The
commercial appeal of Suzanne Vega and Tracy Chap-
man, combined with the work of folkies like Cindy
Lee Berryhill, The Washington Squares and the Indigo
Girls, has made this the most exciting time for
American folk music since the early 1960's.
And this rebirth of folk is dominated by women
who write and sing their own songs, playing their own
instruments. Long gone are the days of the female
singing about life and love from the male point of
view (Dylan, Leonard Cohen). These new women
possess a vital "femininity" for which they make no

social change
apologies - and they certainly do not want to be men.
And the contradictions and silences of The Indigo
Girls' debut album suggest a shining example of this
movement in feminist political consciousness - but
also an evasion of its ideas and consequences.
The group is composed of two women, Amy Ray
and Emily Saliers, who write, sing and play their own
songs filled with anger, sadness and hope driven by
their soaring harmonies, which weave around each
other like violent spirals above traditional folk strum-
ming and occasional rock-and-roll backbeats. And the
Indigo Girls engage this music with unabashedly
poetic lyrics about the fragility of love and the quest
for meaning in existence - not afraid to take on the
image of the serious folksinger. Even the liner notes
to Indigo Girls bear out the intensity of their convic-
tions: "Listed below are organizations which we sup-
port and urge you to consider supporting as well..."
and they list Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Peo-
ple for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the
Coalition for the Homeless with their respective ad-
dresses. Not only are the Indigo Girls two cool, tal-
ented women with acoustic guitars, but they also seem
to be politically correct - hey, they've even got
Greenpeace publicity honcho and R.E.M. singer
Michael Stipe guesting on one track!
This activist footnote is designed to prompt the
listener to get involved in social change. But ironi-
See Grace, p.13

The faces of Georgia's Indigo Girls (Amy Ray, left, and Emily Saliers)
may seem familiar to R.E.M. fans; the folky duo of erstwhile theology
students opened the Detroit date of their fellow Athenians' U.S. tour.

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