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September 27, 1995 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-27

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 27, 1995

RECORDS
Contunued from page 5
he Dove Shack
This Is the Shack
G-Funk/Def Jam Records
The G-Funk era continues with another
rap group produced by, and mimicking in
every which-a-way, Warren G. "This Is the
Shack" holds a dubious position -featur-
ing the best combination of rap/singing that
isuniqueandvirtuallyunheardof(exceptfor
maybe Domino) while at the same time
sounding much too much like Warren G in
everything from their lyrics to their style to
(especially) the beats they use. Yet the fact
thatthisC Knight/Bo Roc/2 Scoops trio also
,orts some decent singing adds an added
dmension to their work. One fact about
'Tis Is the Shack" is this is one of the
longest rap CDs out there, featuring five
skitsand 12 cuts. But, unlikeother rap CDs
with more than 10 songs, the songs here
don't begin to sound too much like rnm-off
except for the fact that the overuse of the
party beats begins to sound a little tired.
The title track, also the first single offof
the album, has some unusually interest-
ing synthesizer sounds. Though the one
minute intro into the song is a disappoint-
ing spin-off combination from a "New
Jack City" scene and Biggie Smalls'
"Warning" interlude, the rest of the song
is highly decent. Much the same can be
said for "Summertime in the LBC" (also
found on the "The Show" soundtrack).
This song is especially endearing for the
farlypositiveandrealisticportraititpaints
of the learning experiences and friend-
shipswhichcomefromlivinginthe'hood.
Arnita Porter's lyrical contributions are
equal to that of The Dove Shack whose
members do more singing thanrapping in
many of their songs.
While purely hardcore rap songs are
available on this album (e.g. "Ghetto Life"
and "13omb Drop"), it is kind of hilarious
bearigg this type of sound coming from
The Dove Shack in the light of other
songs which, while not necessarily sepa-
tating themselves froi the hardcore is-
sues, did coverup a great deal of hardcore

Tanslated, speaks langui

By Kristin Bartus
For the Daily
Que enojada es la mujer! Indeed,
Esperanza, the leading lady in Pregones
Theater's adaptation of "Translated
Woman" is angry, but women who view
this production will be anything but
Translated Woman
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater
September 24, 1995j
angry at the play's celebration of strong
females. Pregones actors Rosalba Rolon
and Jorge Merced have adapted Ruth
Behar's book "Translated Woman,
Crossing the Border with Esperanza's
Story" into a simple but inspiring small
stage production, performed at the
Mendelssohn Theater last Sunday.
Pregones Theater is a (mostly) Puerto
Rican group based in the South Bronx
who commenced a week-long residency
in Ann Arbor with Sunday's perfor-
mance. The group consisting of six ac-
tors and two musicians premiered the
play on the East Coast last spring. Fol-
lowing Sunday's performance, Behar
expressed that the group's adaptation
improved on her original work.
The play travels south of the U.S.
border in Mexico and portrays the life
story ofEsperanza. Esperanzais a highly
passionate older woman who rarely
hides her rage against the evils in her
life. Her mother walked out on her
father when father abandoned the fam-
ily to go pick cotton for endless months.
Esperanza grows up to feel rage against
her own husband Julio who beats her
after she finds him with another woman
while pregnant with her child.
Esperanza feels obligated to remain
with Julio for the baby's sake and this is
when the spirituality - reminiscent of

Laura Esquivel's "Like Water For
Chocolate" -enters the scene. Friends
and family warn her not to breast feed
her child because all the angry thoughts
in her head will contaminate him. A
dedicated mother, she breast feeds any-
way and her baby dies. Thus begins a
cycle of her children each time one
feeds on her milk. Hence, the villagers
refer to her asbruja - witch.
Esperanza's life rages on with husbands,
mothers and mothers-in-law always
pushing her to angry releases.
Her story is told with the help of one
young lady who, after hearing the ru-
mors of Esperanza's witchery, takes an
interest in her. Through the course of
the play the young lady becomes
Esperanza's comadre and wishes not
only to hear her life story, but turn it into
a book to bring across the border and
show other women.
"Translated Woman" shines due in
great part to its cohesive cast. The group
remains dressed simply in current fash-
ions - floral skirts, slacks and pastel t-
shirts-but they still effectively create
a diverse sum of characters. Everybody
(men included) takes turns playing the
voice of Esperanza, and generally no
one actor outacts the others.
Exceptionally passionate in her de-
livery, however, is the main Esperanza,
Marcella White, who presents herself

age of truth
with a superb sense of spunk. As thl.-
main vocalist in the ensemble, her votce
did not add an immense amount -of
beauty to the play, but her buoyarit
nature overshadowed this fact.
In addition to the tight cast, the stage-
direction makes the play come alifj.
The story ebbed and flowed betweeib
past and present, in English and Span-
ish. The actors narrated from
Esperanza's book on music stands, at
lowed Esperanza (White) herself to tell2
her story, as well as playing out specifWI
events in ensemble scenes. The acto*""
faded in and out of the background,
quite effectively and easily by movir:1
up or downstage when necessary.
A mostexcepcional aspect of bring-
ing the story to life came through t*,
use of music and movement. Mobd'.
appropriate guitar, flute and percussion
by onstage musician/arrangers RicarPb
Pons and Raul Romero accompanied"
nearly the entire play. Also, expecially
fitting and entertaining, the actors often
took to urgent pulsating and dancing
motions that further revealed the sense
of rage in Esperanza.
Pregones Theater presented a play
that is not darkly intense, but rather a
life story that is brought to stage in a
light and inspiring manner. "Translated
Woman" spurs audience to rage for-
ward in theiremociones.

Dove Shack, that's where it's at! Dove Shack baby!

attitudes. Ignorant attitudes, which I knew
The Dove Shack couldn't hide forever, as
they are fairly inherent in Dogg Pound
members, are best found in the interludes.
With titles like "Slap a Hoe" and "The
Train" which dealt much, too light-
heartedly with issues of battery and rape
and "Crooked Cop," with its too-easy-to-
disbelieve caricature of racist cops, The
Dove Shack deserves much disrespect.
Plus, I knew there had to be an f-up
somewhere in the LP, and "Freestyle" is
it.
The members of Dove Shack, to their
credit, have done what many have tried
and few have accomplished. They have
found and exploited the seed of common-
ality between rap and R&B. In doing so,
they have also greatly broadened the scope
of what it means to be a hardcore rapper.
- Eugene Bowen

Catfish Hodge Band
Eyewitness Blues
Genes Records
If you dig them blues, then you'll be into
this album quicker than you can say the
Catfish Hodge Band. Well, maybe not. It
actually takes four or five tracks to realize
how many pieces contribute to the mostly
uptempo style these guys thrive on. Six out
of the sixteen tunes are from their previous
album,releasedsome 15 yearsago.Takethe
homs, add some slide guitar, throw in the
keyboards, don't forget the harmonica, and
top itoffwith some Stevie Ray Vaughn-like
vocals, and what you end up with is in-your-
face blues music. They're somewhat like
Ann Arbor'sveryown Bucket. Soifyoulike
goingtothebarandlisteningtosweetmusic,
no doubt you'll enjoy this record.
- Aaron Huppert
See RECORDS, Page 8

Irance mission mpoSSIDe
if you like that techno world music Jazz type music, you might want to mosey on dowfl
to Alvin's In Detroit tomorrow to experience the strains of Trance Mission. Their
current album, "Meanwhile," has eight tracks which fill up about an hour. Long
stretches of percussion lend a certain tribal quality, while at other times virtually
Kenny G woodwinds give a mainstream un-Jazz feel. If the band is ever out of work,
they can certainly record soundtracks for superficially spiritual films. Trance Mission.
Is being presented by the noble New Music Society, headquartered in Uvonia's
Record Collector. Tickets are $8, doors open at 8, Immigrants Sons play at 9 and
Alvin's Is located at 5756 Cass Avenue. Call (313) 832-0589 for details. Go and
make gurgling noises with the band!
I COOKIES
* ONE DAY ONLY!
A SMALL TORNADO
for the price of a small frozen
yogurt with mix-ins!
I 715 N. University 761-CHIP I
I Temp. Hours: Mon-Fri. 8:30-5:30 Sat 10-5:30 1
We ship and deliver cookies
hmm minmmm mimmmi

UGLY POUNDS!
CUT OFF YOUR HEAD
OR TRY MY SUBS INSTEAD.
JIMMY JOHN'S
GOURMET SUBS

;_ :.,

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