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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas • Page 53
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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas • Page 53

Austin, Texas
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SECTION INSIDE Rock 'n' roll, D2 Jazzblues, D8 Television, B7 Friday, October 6, 1989 Austin American-Statesman Night life "15 Staff photo by Tom Lankes Book People, a new age music retailer, carries more than 5,000 titles. fc -4. I feu I- urns Music style proves staying power, branches out in Treaty Oak tribute By Michael Point Special to the American-Statesman TREATY OAK When: 8 tonight Where: Zilker Hillside Theatre Admission: Free Information: 452-2701 t's yuppie Muzak to some, music for people who don't listen to music to others. But to its fans, new-age music is an experience Staff photos by Taylor Johnson eographed in the spirit of saving Treaty Oak, still ailing from the effects of poison. Ann Mary Carney will lead a group of dancers tonight in a production she chor- Night life Is a guide to music this weekend in Austin.

Soul man The Dave of Sam and Dave renown split the scene years ago, but soulful Sam Moore keeps on keeping on, belting out with a bite. While true to the roots of his music, Moore is no nostalgia act. He'll undoubtedly reprise his classic hits (when's the last time you heard the real version of Hold On, I'm Coming! but also surprise you with some slices of contemporary soul. At 9:30 tonight at Antone's. Admission is $9.

Digging bones North Carolina's Fetchin' Bones is finally making its move for the sort of widespread public acceptance it has long deserved. The group's new album, Monster, finds its sound a little less eccentric, which should help radio programmers discover the group. But longtime fans needn't worry; vocalist Hope Nicholls and the band's intertwining twin guitars remain front and center. The Kris McKay Band and Kill for Thrills, two' groups following a similar path to eventual success, provide opening sets. Tonight at 10 at Liberty Lunch.

Come early Country-music superstar Reba McEntire has hordes of fans to go with her unbroken string of gold records and high-profile television appearances as guest host of Good Morning America. They will turn out to see their heroine perform material from her new Sweet Sixteen album, and that's great because they will also get to hear Don Williams, one of American music's best-kept secrets. Williams' laid-back laments are gems of evocative songwriting, full of compressed emotion and marvelous musicality. At 8 tonight at the Erwin Center. Admission is.

$14.50 to $17.50. Homecoming queen Stylish jazz singer Julie Christensen left Austin in 1981 and relocated to Los Angeles, leaving behind large numbers of heartbroken fans. Christensen has used the years since to good advantage, honing her vocal skills while participating in all manner of musical projects. She's working with Leonard Cohen, but will soon be out on her own as a result of a recent deal with Polygram Records. At 9:30 tonight and Saturday at Top of the Marc.

Admission is $6. Different strokes And now for something completely different. Glass Eye, whose angular excellence takes it in directions seldom explored by less-adventurous rock units, is a musical experience like no other. The group's latest release, Hello Young Lovers, shows off its recorded style to good effect while its live shows allow the band to bend the rules in all sorts of enjoyably esoteric fashions. Ed Hall and Happi Famili, two more bands that will never be confused with the Monkees, will open.

Saturday at 10 at Liberty Lunch. Brown's mixed bag A 4 unlike any other. The heavily impressionistic instrumental music, characterized by gently flowing aural landscapes, has as fervent a group of followers as any genre. It also generates an almost equally intense backlash from fans of other music styles. Dismissed as pretty but pointless by its most polite critics, the meditative mood music is frequently derided as nothing more than musical wallpaper.

Don't even ask what jazz purists think about it. But for all its detractors, new age has developed into one of the most successful music forms of the decade. Along with rap a style it is diametrically opposed to in sound, intent and demographics new age is one of the two music genres introduced in the 1980s. But while rap is quintessential street music, it's highly unlikely you'll hear new age blasting out of boomboxes on street corners. New-age music, alternately ambient and internalized, seems most attractive to listeners with personalized agendas for its use.

Most often those causes are ones that are best enjoyed in intimate surroundings, a situation that obscures just how widespread the music's popularity has become in Austin and elsewhere. A rare local opportunity to hear new-age music performed live will occur tonight as proponents gather in Zilker Park for a tribute to Treaty Oak, the ailing tree off West Fifth Street. New-age music has only had a name for a decade but the music's antecedents extend much further. European synthesizer groups such as Tnv Oil Musicians will perform works of Fred Mltchlm, seated with the flute, composed for the event. Treaty Oak Dancers rehearse their piece, to be accompanied by a slide show featuring photographs of the tree through the years.

are using it for purposes other than just listening. I can't imagine there's too many people who would rather go out to hear it at an entertainment venue when they can just play it in the privacy of their homes and do the things they play it for." Philip Sansone, owner of Book People at 4006 S. Lamar one of the country's largest new-age stores, said his store stocks more than 5,000 musical titles, half of which are new age selections. Sansone has watched the new-age music movement grow and prosper, steadily evolving into a generation-spanning music style. "Our store has been around since See New age, D5 Tangerine Dream and acoustic jazz acts such as the Paul Winter Consort and Oregon, which incorporated world music into their repertoire, provided the building blocks of the new-age sound.

The rise of the Windham Hill record label in the late 1970s focused the musical movement, creating its first superstar, pianist George Winston, in the process. Despite its popularity and commercial success, new-age music has remained primarily a recorded phenomenon with local live performances few and far between. Tom Bowie, who manages the Texas Tavern on the University of Texas campus, believes the music's sound and sensibility make it inherently a private, instead of public, music experience. "It's not a nightclub-type sound. It seems to be more background music than anything else.

I guess it would work in a very controlled concert setting, but most people who like it 'Dry White Season' casts fear aside to tackle apartheid Review A DRY WHITE SEASON tin 1 Gulf Coast musical ambassador Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown is an equal-opportunity musician, just as happy to blast out the blues on guitar as to fiddle up a storm in a country context. He's jammed with B.B. King, toured with Roy Clark and been hailed as a hero in live performances from the Soviet Union to Nicaragua, but he's at his best on his home turf. At 9 p.m. Saturday at Raven's.

Admission is $5. Simply Sara Sara Hickman Is an unlikely star but she's shining brightly, nevertheless. She sometimes comes across as a little too precious between tunes, but her sensitive, well-knit songs more than redeem heri She recently was featured on the Windham Hill New Folk anthology, giving national audiences an advance taste of the music to be found on her major-label debut disc. Guitaristsongwriter Chris Thomas, currently awaiting the release of his HighTone Records debut album, will open. At 8 and 10:30 p.m.

Saturday at Cactus Cafe. Admission is $5. Michael Point By Patrick Taggart American-Statesman Staff You may get through A Dry White Season without understanding where the title comes from, but you'll have absolutely no trouble determining what this movie is about. More effectively than the silly Cry Freedom, maybe even the fine A World Apart, A Dry White Season fires a shot right between the eyes of South African apartheid. The new movie is a thriller, but it's also an education.

This is the second feature from Martinque-born director Euzhan Palcy, whose first feature, Sugar Cane Alley, appealed to this viewer as one of the finest examples of uncluttered narrative and gimmick-free filmmaking in years. A Dry White Season is Palcy's first big commercial film, and yes, it shows the inevitable signs of mass-market compromise. But even as a studio picture, divorced from some of the filmmaker's original instincts, it packs a wallop. Donald Sutherland's Ben du Toit and his family occupy center stage in the film's early going. Ben is a kindly Afrikaner family man and teacher whose creature comforts blind him to the Black misery around him.

Politically unengaged, he is mystified when his gardener, Gordon, shows him the scars his son received in a police beating. Surely the boy must have done something wrong, he concludes, blissfully ignorant of what is really going on in the townships. What's going on, in fact, are events culminating in the Soweto uprising of 1976. Radicalization seldom occurs overnight, and as was the case with El Salvador's bishop Oscar Romero, several unprovoked abuses of power are required to get du Toit's attention. Once his mind has been seized, though, the miracle happens: The unbridled humanity that makes Ben such a loving family man becomes the fire that fuels a burning zealot.

While Sutherland occupies center stage, plenty goes on around him. We're especially drawn to Zakes Mokae's Stanley, the activist who becomes the crusading du Toit's primary link to the underground. And there's Marlon Brando's McKenzie, the weary but determined civil-rights lawyer whose court victories against apartheid only provoke devious alterations of the law. It's just a small, character bit for Brando, but he is delightful in the part. A Dry White Season moves with a heaviness that characterizes Hollywood "issue" movies; there's little of the spontaneous combustion that made Sugar Cane Alley so fresh and invigorating.

The ending includes a gratuitous scene that seems calculated to satisfy audience bloodlust But reined in though she may have been, Palcy has not withered in the face of ugly truth. This film chronicles suffering as few have, and it's impossible to leave it without at least wondering how can people live this way in South Africa? And for how much longer? Stars: Donald Sutherland, Zakes Mokae, Marlon Brando Rating: violence Theaters: Westgate 8, Great Hills Critic's rating: ir-k-kVi difference between this film and Cry Freedom and A World Apart is that it is not afraid to show that it is the Black people of South Africa's many townships who suffer the overwhelming majority of the incarcerations, beatings and killings. And unlike the makers of Cry Freedom, Palcy is not afraid to show that some of South Africa's Blacks have been co-opted by the system and actually take part in the white brutalities. Ironic? Horrifying? Yes, but part of the blueprint of oppression. Zakes Mokae, left, Is the crusader against apartheid who works with Afrikaner Donald Sutherland.

The most obvious compromise one that marks just about every commercially available film about apartheid is that it portrays this crime primarily as it affects white sympathizers. But the i rm in rwnswrii-iri i 1Mi rT-rr irm n.juii-wirr 1.

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