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August 03, 1998 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1998-08-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

10 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, August 3, 1998

Continued from Page 16
thus not as impressive as the original
The song, which sounds better
acoustically, was backed very heavily
by electric instrumentals. Issac didn't
even play the famous, catchy little gui-
tar intro. He instead jumped right into
heavy chords, starting the song off on
the wrong foot.
Minor imperfections aside, Hanson
also did a spectacular job entertaining in
treas other than music. The band really
knew how to treat its adoring fans.
'Every time one of the boys spoke, The
Palace went nuts. So they spoke a lot.
They knew the perfect times to sneak
in a "How's everybody feeling
tonight?" or a "We dedicate this song to
all the girls out there."
After leaving the stage for the first
time, Zachary retured witha squirt gun
large enough to soak everyone in the
first 20 rows, but not nearly large
enough to cool the place down.
And the lighting was excellent -
flashing a variety of bright colors across
the stage all night and illuminating the
entire venue during high points of
For two hours, Hanson owned The
Palace, putting on an amazing show in
every aspect of entertainment.
The guys proved that, while they're
no Beatles, they may be more than the
year's biggest one-hit wonder.

Continued from Page 9
small folk clubs throughout the coun-
try. While she likes the time she gets
to spend at home, Curtis also enjoys
her work on the road. "I like that kind
of work, where you're completely
immersed in it," Curtis said. "I really
love it."
And Curtis' fan-base grows each
time she plays another venue.
She captures audiences with her
gentle, soothing voice and catchy gui-
tar melodies. Most of her songs are
mellow and often heart-wrenching,
but some songs are upbeat and fun.
In "Memphis," Curtis tells a fiction-
al story about growing up playing the
hotel scene in Memphis, where her
mother cleaned Elvis' house.
She wonders why she's hanging
around a hotel in Memphis when she
could be with her "soul-mate, who's a
motel clerk in Jersey."
"I was teaching a song-writing
class and I wrote ('Memphis') to
teach people how to take an emo-
tional issue ... and write a fictional
story about an issue you're trying to
figure out," Curtis said. "It was
about trying to balance my desire to
tour and my desire to have a rela-
"Even though it's a totally light,
upbeat song, I'm trying to capture the
idea that to make a change in your life,
you really have to do something that

might seem irrational."
Curtis has been busy writing new
songs as well, in preparation for a new
"I have a bunch ofnew songs, and
I'll probably start recording a new
album in the fall," Curtis said.
But she can't start recording yet,
because Guardian, the label she was
signed to, went under in early January.
Fortunately, however, she plans to
sign a new contract soon.
"I'm accepting offers right now,"
Curtis said. "But there probably won't
be anymore copies of the old album
The old album, "Catie Curtis," is
Curtis' best release, and its first track,
"Soulfully," a light-hearted, sincere
love song, received minimal radio air-
When Curtis isn't songwriting or
traveling, she likes doing volunteer
work and being outside.
"I did a nine-day session at a camp
in Connecticut for kids with cancer
and other diseases," Curtis said.
"I really like that whole camp vibe.
I also like to play basketball, and in
the summer I like swimming in lakes."
But Curtis won't have much free
time this week, as her calendar is
packed with Lilith Fair dates and a
stop in Ferndale.
So stop by and check her out.
There's a good chance she'll grab you
by the heart, pull you in and never let

Stone ourneys to
Jerusalem in Gate'


1 -3720
I ..r


By Ian Blecher
For the Baily
"'Death to the blasphemer! Death to
Salman Rushdie!'
The mob of Palestinians rushing off
to stone Rushdie on the Mount of
Olives doesn't quite gamer as much
sympathy for Rushdie as for most char-
acters in Robert Stone's new novel,
"Damascus Gate."
But by page 459, we're starting to
wonder if they might have a point.
Stone's Rushdie is a chimera - pure
rumor (just what would he be doing
strolling around
the Muslim
Quarter of
Jerusalem alone
Damascus late at night?), a
Gate contrivance to
divert everyone
Robert Stone from the real
Houghton Mifflin plot, the plot to
bomb Islam's
holiest mosque.
Stone doesn't
have much
patience for
Rushdie's brand
of magical real-
"Damascus Gate" is soberly spun,
researched better than perhaps any
book on Israel, and realistic almost to a
fault. In contrast to the narrative tours
de force we've come to expect from
contemporary writers such as Rushdie,
Gabriel Garcia-Marquez and Thomas
Pynchon, Stone's plot evolves seam-
lessly as its characters hatch it.
Christopher Lucas, a floundering,
agnostic reporter, comes to Jerusalem
looking for a story to tell.
A bucket brigade of friends carries
him to Dr. Pinchas Obermann, a psy-
chiatrist specializing in the Jerusalem
Syndrome, in which God instructs pil-
grims to destroy people or buildings.
Obermatn wants to write a book on
religious fanaticism, but he needs
someone with experience to do the
actual writing. Lucas signs on, and
through Obermann's practice, starts
making friends with a small cult called
"The House of the Galilean."
The cult's main mission, it seems, is
to prepare for the millennium by'
crowning its leader, Adam Dc Kuff,
messiah incarnate.
The group also makes a little money
on the side, running guns into Gaza in
exchange for drugs, which it sells in Tel
Aviv and Haifa.
Lucas quickly falls in love with one
of the less shady cultists, a Sufi convert
named Sonia Bames, one of whose par-
ents was Jewish. Somehow, a plan to
rebuild the original Jewish Temple
comes into style (when did it go out?),
and someone decides to blow up the
mosques on the Temple Mount.
So "Damascus Gate" is a book about
Israel centered around a bomb. There
aren't enough actual explosives in the
Middle East to fill the space they con-
sume in fiction, but Stone's book never
feels trite or clichd.
Lucas and Barnes will become the

archetypes of millenarian fiction. In a
city obsessed with round numbers, in
an age of singular numerological
importance, they find themselves half-
breeds - strangers to themselves and
their traditions.
Lucas' father was an atheist Jew, and
his mother was a lapsed Catholic who
raised him in the Church.
Barnes also has a Jewish parent and
is living in Jerusalem -perhaps to find
the other half.
By the end, we get the idea that the
lovers somehow represent Jerusalem, a
city divided by religions and nations,
fanatically pushing forward in spite of
"The city of the future," as StoneW
calls it, not because all cities will some-
day be Jerusalem, but because there is
no city more obsessed with what, or
who, is to come.
In the city of the future, political ide-
ology becomes religious faith - sev-
eral of The House of the Galilean's
members are fonner communists.
Religious beliefs become single-
minded fanaticism. All religions are ong
to the Galilean. Messiahs have always
come in and out of Jewish history, and,
according to De Kuf, none were false.
Beginning with the Serpent in the
Garden of Eden, and continuing through
Jesus and famous pretenders like Zevi
and Abouya, all eras have been messian-
ic - but only now, as 2000 approaches,
are the people ready for him.
De Kuff's religion is a syncretic mutt
of more Judaeo-Christian faiths than
comprise Barnes and Lucas together A
the end of time, according to De Kuff,
the edenic Serent swallows its tail and
the circle is complete. Religion con-
quers all, and all is one.
Despite these pre-apocalyptic
rumblings, "Damascus Gate" main-
tains a strict allegiance to objectivity
and facts-- one that is very frustrat-
Stone is right to criticize some of
Rushdie's flights of fantasy as randon
as distracting. Ie may even be right
that no real miracles ever occurred in
Jerusalem or anywhere else without the
assistance of narcotics.
But the world he creates (of which so
little is his own creation), doesn't bring
the reader close enough to its charac-
ters' own faith in the fantastic.
Stone's book, unlike the Jerusalem
he portrays, never asks us to believe in
anything - except that Lucas has
tremendous number of 17th centur
poems memorized.
Stone henself says it best. "A thing is
never truly perceived, appreciated or
defined except in longing."
As much as it flits along the borders
of the occult and the boundaries of meta-
physical possibil Damascus Gate"
doesn't gie us an thing to long for.
Stone's account could just as well
have been Lucas' book. He takes on
few newsworthy events, all of whi-
are plausible enough, though in this
particular case, not all true.
That "Damascus Gate" is fiction at
all is only a coincidence.

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