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January 16, 1991 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-16

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ARTS
Wednesday, January 16, 1991

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

Ethnic
folk-pop
hits big
'at Ark
by Greg Baise
Nowadays it's easy for musicians
to embody the many pluralities of
culture and integrate them into their
music; basically, all one has to do is
grow up in America, watch a lot of
television and occasionally listen to
the radio. 3 Mustaphas 3 didn't grow
up in America. They probably didn't
watch a lot of television in their
Balkan youths, either.
Nights in the Mustapha house-
hold probably found the budding
musicologists sitting around the
shortwave receiver and listening to
broadcasts from around the world.
Perhaps later the Mustaphas would
go out to do some amateur field
work, hearing, observing and experi-
encing the rich folk music heritage
of eastern Europe.
Since their humble beginnings in
i. the Balkan town of Szgerely, 3
>rMustaphas 3 have moved "Forward
.In All Directions," which is their
,motto. The various Mustapha record-
Cings show that this movement is not
just cartographic, either - it moves
chronologically, too. For the infor-
t mation of those of you who have
more important things to do (which,
I would suspect, would be a lot of
tyou) than read the Worldbeat column
" in Spin or listen to NPR or check
-up on the extracurricular activities of
.Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart,
world music is pretty popular here in
America in a somewhat big way. It's
an '80s/'90s thang; there's some-
thing in it for everybody (even colo-
nial exploiters); thus, all should un-
derstand. Plus, it's part of your her-
itage, Earther.
So 3 Mustaphas 3's music is
'timely, but also timeless. The di-
verse traditions which they inter-
Eyuphuro
Mama Mosambiki
Realworld/ Virgin
Paul Simon's latest release,
Rhythm of the Saints, doesn't swing
with the same one-world planetary
vibes that Graceland did because of
its failure to translate the soothing
lyricism of Brazilian Portuguese into
an English-speaking brooding world
view of middle aged alienation.
~Although it doesn't deal with mid-
life crises and Peter Pan syndromes,
the first widely available record from
,;Mozambique is the album that Paul
wanted to make.
Avoiding the doom and gloom
'pessimism of living in a nation bru-
talized by civil war and famine that
*more self(socially)-conscious art
rockers might dwell in, Eyuphoro
sticks to an issue that hits home on
a more personal level - male and
female roles in a centuries-old patri-
archy. With the exception of the lead
track ("Samukhela") about a man

,who longs for the halcyon glory
days of old, Mama Mosambiki con-
,erns itself with presenting both
sides of a conflict that has suffocated
. traditional villages' economic power
base, i.e. women, for far too long.
The two leaders of the band (male
guitarist Gimo Abdul Remane and
female Zena Bakar) share the vocal
duties and battle over classic terrains
of gender control. Songs like
"Mwanuni" ("My bird has broken
the heart/ And left forever... A bird?
No! It's my lover/ It's not a bird-
it's my half-self"), "Akatswela (Love
Is So Bewildering)" and "Kihiyeny
(Leave Me Alone)" depict a shaky re-
lationship of unconscious passion
and desperate pleading.
It is this tension that makes the
gorgeous harmonies soar above both
the music's similarities to Brazilian
Tropicalismo and the linguistic and
cultural boundaries blocking Western
ears. Both voices bear great similar-
ity to Youssou N'Dour's fusion of

Idiots everywhere! So what else

is new?

Not Without My
Daughter
dir. Brian Gilbert
by Mike Kuniavsky
There are some films that are just
damn timely. This, unfortunately,
does not mean that they're any good.
As you read this on Wednesday,
January 16, 1991, there may be
Tomahawk cruise missiles with fuel-
air warheads blasting away at the
population of Iraq. There may have
already been several dozen American
casualties who have died in real
conflict (unlike the ninety-some
"ooops!" casualties that have already
been killed by stupidity). Who
knows, maybe some war-crazy
yahoo captain has already fired off
one of the 400-some nuclear
warheads sitting on Allied ships in
the gulf? You may be reading this as
you wait to cross the bridge to
Canada, as a last momento of your
until-now peaceful college life.
In any case, you may not at all
be in the mood to take in a movie
- and you probably shouldn't -
but should you decide to entertain
yourself and be politically informed
simultaneously don't go see Not
Without My Daughter.
It's not that there's something
inherently horrible about the film -
unless you consider narrow-
mindedness horrible - but there's

really nothing in the film
worthwhile, either from a political
stance or a human one. It would
have been an okay story to read
about in a footnote, and it may have
made a good firsthand source for a
political study of the time, but it's
not a movie - it's a long, drawn-
out piece of propaganda.
Here's the story: in 1984 in
beautiful Alpena, Michigan, Betty
Mahmoody, her Iranian ex-patriot
doctor husband Moody and their
daughter Mahtob live a virtually
idyllic life with only one
complication: American animosity
to Iranian citizens. This racism
makes Moody uncomfortable and
casts a shadow on their life, which is
further complicated by Moody's
Iranian family (which he hasn't seen
in 10 years) begging him to come
back. Under the pretense of visiting
his family for two weeks, Moody
convinces his family to go to Iran
with him, at which point he tells
Betty that they're going to stay
forever. The rest of the film is
devoted to how Betty gets out with
her daughter, whom she does not
have custody over in Iranian laws.
Basically, the film is a collection
of scenes about how the Iranian
people are primitive, brutal, stupid
and totally alien. Now there isn't
anything wrong with showing a one-
sided view of a culture; this has
always been true of any cultural
description (just ask a philosophy
student about the meaning of

"objectivity"), but for a film that is
designed to support good,
wholesome, American values, this is
pretty hypocritical.
I'm not one to deny that there are
aspects of Middle-Eastern culture
which are more sexist, ethnocentric,
intolerant and stubborn than their
Western counterparts. But the fact of
the matter is that a large number of
people believe in this culture and
choose to live in this culture. As
members of a supposedly more
tolerant society, one of the things
that we're supposed to believe in, is
tolerance for the beliefs of others
(even though many of us, especially
our leaders, obviously don't
understand this) and the film, by
making as one-sided a statement as
this, is definitely not following that
policy.
Enough preaching. There's not
much more to say about the film
it's not very well-made (it could, and
probably should, have been a third-
rate TV movie) and Sally Field is in
it. It's just profoundly disappointing
that, while claiming to be intelligent
and rational, we can simultaneously
be as narrow and short-sighted as our
leaders seem to be acting. Go kick
your own ass, George.
NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER
is being shown at Briarwood and
Showcase.

Some critics think that there are things more pretentious about the
current popularity of world music than just the spelling of "Mustapha."
Some critics would rather eat a hamburger than a falafel, too.

twine stretch back through time. At
one moment the Mustaphas might
sound like Moroccan performers
from the turn of the century. The
next moment they might sound like
they're covering a song that's at No.
26 on the Japanese charts. In all, 3
Mustaphas 3 might find its ideal
venue at some overpriced megapoli-
tan bar in a future Cairo, circa 2013.
Western influences creep into the
Mustapha machinery, too. On
1989's Heart of Uncle record, 3
Mustaphas 3 does a song called
"Trois Fois Trois" in two versions:
a city version and a country version.
The city version integrates some-
thing that sounds like Vaudeville
with something that sounds like
soca. The country version features
the melodeon of Niaveti Mustapha
and the banjo of Hijaz Mustapha as
well as a clarinetist and somebody
playing the tambora of the Domini-
can Republic, which all work to-
gether to, give "Trois Fois Trois" the
ambience of German beerhall music,
perhaps in some rural pocket of
Germany with a strong Algerian
population.
Soup of the Century, 3

Mustaphas 3's latest record, finds
even more ingredients added to the
Mustaphan broth. Alongside the al-
ways conspicuous Hindi vocals and
cultural crossbreedings of "This City
Is Very Exciting!" is the raucous
"Japanese/American" vocal of Sabah
Habas Mustapha (Ahpatsum?) on
"Soba Song." As usual, anyone de-
siring something that sounds like
music from the Middle East won't
be disappointed, either.
3 Mustaphas 3 occupies some
kind of musical and cartographical
no-person's land, far away from both
the meticulously authentic record-
ings of the Nonesuch Explorer Se-
ries and the ersatz world beats of
Can's Ethnological forgery Series
and Skeleton Crew's "fake folk mu-
sic." After supposedly being smug-
gled out of Szgerely in refrigerators,
3 Mustaphas 3 have gone on to lead
a comfortable existence based in
London, integrating music from
around the world.
3 MUSTAPHAS 3 display the wares
of their world at the Ark tonight.
Tickets are $10.75 at the and in
advance from TicketMaster (plus the
evil service charge).

I

Great artists had poor sight

Scorpions
Crazy World
PolyGram
When I heard the first single,
"Tease Me Please Me," off the Scor-
pions' latest release, Crazy World, I
was terrified and ill. The song, well,
it was pretty bad. The lyrics are trite
("Tease me/ Please me/Before I have
to go") and the music is totally
commonplace, equal in ingenuity to
the "music" coming from the vile
flood of pseudo-heavy metal bands.
Fearing what the remainder of the
album must be like, I asked myself,
"Are the Scorpions turning into one
of those bands that releases new LPs
just to ignite interest in their old al-
bums-the ones with the good
songs on them-in order to rekindle
their forgotten greatness?" Well...
yes and no.
Songs like "To Be With You In
Heaven," "Don't Believe Her" and
"KicksAfter Six" make you hope
their guitars will explode and that
the Scorpions will never be heard
from again. In "Kicks After Six,"
lead vocalist Klaus Meine sings,
"Good girls get their kicks after
six... she wants what she never had/
All the things that make a good girl
bad." It serves to equate them with
the giants of sexist heavy metal
songs, Warrant ('CherryPie").
There are also the typical
"Scorpions" songs. "Wind Of
Change" is not cutting-edge, but
vintage Scorpions. The solemn

whistling at the end adds to its ap-
peal. "Hit Between the Eyes" has aI
definite Scorpions signature as well.
The most remarkable track on the
album, by far, is "Send Me An An-
gel." The release of this song is
what would make this album memo-;
rable. It immediately grabs you and
doesn't let go. The lyrics are some-
what banal, but Klaus' voice trans-
forms them into celestial messages.;
The overall ,theme of Crazy
World is a good one. The Scorpions
are addressing the rapidly altering
state of the world (along with some
illustrations of lust thrown in).
However, because of the form these
points are delivered in, their purpose
is often lost. Perhaps this is why
they come across best in their bal-
lads and when they take a more deli-
cate approach. You can't argue with
the music: heavy guitar licks with
hard drums and Klaus' screeching
vocals. It's the Scorpions - like it
or not. -Kim Yaged

by Julie Komorn
laude Monet became blind due to
cataracts. Georgia O'Keeffe suffered
diseased retinas. Van Gogh has been
attributed with glaucoma, while El
Greco may have had astigmatism.
Clearly these eye diseases must
have influenced the work of these
well-known artists in some way,
but how?
Ophthalmologist and art histo-
rian Dr. James G. Ravin will be
giving a lecture tonight titled Eye
Diseases of Famous Artists in
which he will offer insight into the
effects of these disorders.
This practice of studying the ill-
nesses of artists has been described
by aesthetically minded doctors as
"Diagnosing the Canvas." One way
doctors identify the illness is by
considering the details in an artist's
work, like color choice, perspective
and subject matter. In another
method, doctors study abnormal
subjects in the artwork and then
offer their explanations through
medical diagnosis.
The effects of Monet's eye-
clouding cataracts and its possible
relationship to his impressionistic
Water Lily series is one of the
many studies conducted by Ravin.
He says Monet was diagnosed as
having cataracts in 1912 at the age
of 72, but that the disorder probably
affected him much earlier. "You can
see the gradual work change in his
work," said Ravin in a recent New
York Times article. "There is a gen-
eral fuzziness and muddiness and the
details became lost. The colors be-
came increasingly yellow-brown in

Daily Arts needs a new Books Editor
if you have background in books and are
interested in being Books editor
Telephone 763-0379 for more information

cast, which is the color range that
people with cataracts see. They lose
their ability to see violet and blue."
After becoming legally blind in
1922, Monet had cataract surgery
which renewed his ability to see
blue tones. In the last four years of
his life he completed his Water Lily
cycle, which glows with shimmer-
ing blues and violets.
Degas was another artist affected
by eye problems - a gradual loss
of vision in the center of his retina.
"If you look at his early paintings,
they're done with precision and
they're fairly detailed," said Ravin in
the same article. "His later works

don't show that at all, and we tend
to appreciate him for his looseness
of style."
A true blue, Ravin received his
B.A. in history of art and an M.D.
and M.S. in ophthalmology, all
from the University. His lecture.
will give us vision into the effects
of trauma, aging and other eye dis-
eases and their many influences on
the significant artists of the past.
Dr. Ravin will give his lecture on
EYE DISEASES OF FAMOUS
ARTISTS tonight at Ann ArbovrArt
Association, 117 W. Liberty, at
7:30 p.m.

I.

You Mc
Best P
But Hi

ey Think That Your
rofessor is Good--
ow About "Outstanding'?

o1J Burnham Associates
543 Church Street
(313) 761-1523

CLOSE TO CAMPUS
WE PAY HEAT!

On March 11 in Rackham auditorium, one of
the University of Michigan's most dynamic
undergraduate professors or lecturers will
receive the 1991 Golden Apple Award For
Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching and
a monetary stipend, as well as the chance to
deliver his or her "last lecture"- a lecture
presented as if it were the instructor's last
lecture ever delivered at the University of
Michigan.
We need your help, selecting the University's
brightest and most inspiring lecturers. If you
have a Michigan professor or lecturer in mind
who has taught undergraduates that you
would like to nominate, please answer the
following questions, staple them to this ad and
submit to. the Central Campus Information
Center (CIC) in the Union, or the North Campus
Information Center (NCIC) in the North
Campus Commons between January 1 1-22.
Nomination for the
1991 Golden Apple Award For Outstanding
Undergraduate Teaching
Name of Professor:
Subject(s) Taught:
University Department, School or College:
If this instructor is teaching this term,
where and when are his/her classes taught?:

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