Review: They’re Poets that Know It

Yes! Yes! Yes! Whoever said that poetry is boring had never attended a U-Club Poetry Slam! These students are amazing writers and performers. They had such imagery, detail, and emotion in poems written during hours of pain and happiness.
I arrived incredibly early with some family and friends and played hangman until the show started. We waited anxiously for the first poets to start reading in open mc.

They started the music that signaled the beginning of the show. The host got up on stage and explained the process of open mc and slamming for people who had never come before. It’s all rather simple. When a poet is performing, if you want to show appreciation for a certain statement or description, you snap quietly instead of applauding. After they finish you clap loudly and cheer enthusiastically. The open mc poets get up and perform poems they’ve written without being judged. After a few great performances by these skilled artist, the slam began!

The slam is an exhilarating experience. These poets take the stage and pour their hearts out to five volunteer judges from the audience. Each judge has a white board and gives a rating between 1 and 10, 10 being the best. The judges as this event were a lot meaner than normal slams. I had never seen a score below a 7, but at this slam they were giving scores below a 3. It was very strange and very rude. These poets are pouring their hearts and souls to this audience and these judges, and the low scores tell the poets that they suck. It is so rude and these judges should never be allowed to score again. In fact, they were scolded for it at the end of the show. When the scores are announced the audience can boo or cheer for the score. Our job was to make the judges feel bad about themselves for giving bad scores.

It is quite an experience hearing the poetry performed as opposed to reading it quietly. It is so much easier and so much more vivid to hear the passion in person.

The club advertises well, so you should see their signs everywhere. The next slam is November 19.

Adam Falkner
Adam Falkner
Jon Sands
Jon Sands

These slams are also famous for having great poets from around the country visiting to perform. This slam’s guest was Adam Falkner and Jon Sands. Both were amazing writers and performers with deep emotions and passion. Both were incredible and brought amazing works to the table. And both have Facebook pages with more info and videos of their performances. Feel free and encouraged to friend them. Also, don’t forget to come to the next U-Club Poetry Slam!

Preview: UofM Basement Arts Presents ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’

Dead Man's Cell Phone Image

It may be old news that cell phones have changed our everyday lives and changed our culture as a whole (Check out David Brooks’ editorial this week on sexting and the like) however, Dead Man’s Cell Phoneeven further personalizes the cell phone’s power.  The show by American playwright and MacArthur Genius Award recipient, Sarah Ruhl, tells the story of Jean who answers the phone of a stranger sitting at the next table, who she soon finds out is dead, and her subsequent discussions with his friends and relatives. 

Ruhl is the author of ten original plays including, the Pulitzer Prize nominated, The Clean House.  In a statement honoring her MacArthur Fellowship, the organization states that she is a “playwright creating vivid and adventurous theatrical works that poignantly juxtapose the mundane aspects of daily life with mythic themes of love and war.”

This evening, Friday, November 6 at 7pm and 11pm and again tomorrow evening at the same times, the Basement Arts, a student-run theater organization, presents this new comedy with the exceptional talent of University of Michigan student actors, directors, choreographers.  Responsible for the now world-famous, A Very Potter Musical, The Basement Arts have a solid history of presenting free theater as a priceless experience.

Tonight, Friday, November 6 @ 7 and 11pm.  Tomorrow, Saturday, November 7 @ 7 and 11pm.  All shows at Studio One, Walgreen Drama Center (1226 Murfin), North Campus.   Free Admission!

Check out the trailer for the Basement Arts production of \’Dead Man\’s Cell Phone\’

Bennett.  bstei@umich.edu. No Shirt, No Radio. Wednesday nights Midnight-1:30 WCBN 

PREVIEW: Gal Costa and Romero Lubambo

Gal Costa

What: Gal Costa and Romero Lubambo

Where: Hill Auditorium

When: Saturday, November 7, 8 pm

Tickets: http://ums.org/s_tickets/

According to Wikipedia, Gal Costa’s mother Mariah listened to classical music  for hours during her pregnancy so that  her unborn child would grow to appreciate music.  Little did she know that her daughter would go on to be Brazil’s most famous diva, with over 35 albums and a successful career in music spanning  over 40 years (and still counting).  I listened to a sample of her music on her website (http://www.galcosta.com.br/index.php?language=en). In her  deep full-bodied voice, Brazilian pop sounds so refreshing.  She will be performing alongside Romero Lubambo, whom Herbie Mann,the 1960s’ jazz music’s preeminent flautist, described as “the best Brazilian guitarist there is”. When artists get such glowing reviews, it is one’s duty to go check them out. Don’t you think so?

Krithika Srinivasan

PREVIEW: Keith Terry and the SLAMMIN All-Body Band

When: November 6, 2009 7pm
Where: Hill Auditorium
Tickets: $10 (may be purchased at the League, leftover tickets sold on the night of the show)

Musicians
Bryan Dyer, Vocals
Zoe Ellis, Vocals
Steve Hogan, Beatboxing
Keith Terry, Body Music
Kenny Washington, Vocals
Destani Wolf, Vocals

Dancers
Evie Ladin
Nuria Bowart
Namita Kapoor

Apparently, Keith Terry and his band will perform a concert using themselves as the instruments in a concept known as “body music.” Feet stamping, fingerpopping, and chest whomping are just a few of the different actions used to create a percussion noises in this dance-like show. The program will be announced by the artists from the stage – I’m curious to see what the names of the dances/pieces will be called! What do you all think about this new “form” of art?

Arts and Incarcerated Bodies

Arts and Incarcerated Bodies

Arts and Bodies

Tuesday, November 3, 7:00pm
Stamps Auditorium
Walgreen Drama Center
1226 Murfin Avenue
North Campus

In the so-called “land of the free”, the United States of America, approximately 1 in 100 adults are currently behind bars — with emotional, psychological, intellectual, and physical effects on the individuals incarcerated. What role can the arts play in liberating the human spirit from the confinement of the body?

Prof. Buzz Alexander, Jon Deak, Janie Paul, and Josh White, Jr. will have a conversation about the work they do in the arts with prisoners, and others.

Here is a description/review of a previous arts event (from last Winter) at UM that also had to do with art and incarceration.

Below are some data showing the current state of the prison-industrial complex in the USA.

Graphs

Graphs

Preview: Poe’s Got Nothing on These Poets

The one and only U-Club Poetry presents another of their amazing slams. Whether you like poetry, your friend drags you to these events, or you are required to attend one for a class, U-Club Poetry Slams draw a very diverse and supportive crowd to the Michigan Union. Everyone should attend to see the wide range of talented writers and performers that hide in the masses of the U of M student body. Who knows, you may even see me, Danny Fob, up on stage performing in the slam (hint hint). Plus the entrance fee is only $3.00. Can you get better than that? Also bring a little extra to donate to the winnings jar. The best slammer wins a jar of cash donated by the audience! So don’t forget:

U-Club Poetry Slam
Thursday, November 5, 2009
8:30pm to 10:45pm
U-Club in the Union

This is also a very special slam because it features two, count em’, two key-note poets; Adam Falkner and Jon Sands. For more info, join the Facebook event. There are already 70 confirmed guests!

Danny Fob; Artist and Art Reviewer