SPIKE HEELS SINKS,

RUNS AFOUL OF ISSUE

 

by Laura Boggus

Contributing Writer

<I>Spike Heels<P> sink in the muck.

Written by Theresa Rebeck, <I>Spike Heels<P> desperately tries to explore a woman's perspective of sexual harassment in the work place. Instead it turns into a stereotypical portrayal of the complexities and absurdities of relations between men and women.

Rebeck uses unnecessary foul language that detracts from the intent on her play. The main character, Georgie, upon whom the play focuses, is nothing more than a stereotypical portrayal of a working class woman. The character using distracting language to communicate a serious issue lessens her impact as an authority as well as her credibility as a viable person the author would like for us to respect.

Rebeck writes of herself and her intent in her plays "when (women) are represented on the stage, we still are half-expected to act like ladies; we are not supposed to swear, or sleep around, or have abortions ... I am interested ... in women's voices and our points of view."

<I>Spike Heels<P>, though intended to take women seriously, ironically ends up portraying women as neurotic, emotional, and indecisive beings.

<I>Spike Heels<P> directed by Charlene Hudgins features the extremely talented Tanya Zieger as Georgie, but it's too bad she was not allowed to showcase her talent in a better written role.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

THE LAST DANCE PREVAILS OVER ADVERSITY

by Rosalind Coronado

Contributing Writer

It was a dark and stormy night. A murdered college coed lies dead in an apartment. Somewhere a dog barked.

This is neither a real crime scene nor a Hollywood film set. What we have here is UH Film II students completing their semester-long project – <I>The Last Dance<P>.

The UH School of Communications has offered film production classes for 15 years. The advanced film class is the second section of the film-production classes offered at UH. It is structured to give students the opportunity to work with color film and synchronized sound on film. The first section allows students to produce three short subjects on 16 mm black-and-white film with an unsynchronized sound track.

"Students considering taking Film II (should) have taken Film I in order to have an idea of how to use a 16 mm camera and what a shooting budget is," said Bretron Clerc, a senior in radio and television and student director.

The film’s action centers on the murder of Katie Manson. Two local homicide detectives, Barbara Dailey (Leigh Anderson) and Jason Newman (Lee James Squires), are sent in to investigate. Early in the film, the detectives come up with three suspects for the crime. Like most murder mysteries the plot takes several twists and turns.

"The earliest problems were casting. With such a small budget ($2600 raised by the students), it was hard finding actors to work for us. We had a tight shooting schedule and not all the talent’s schedules matched ours. So, we went with "Plan B" which cast me as detective Dailey," said Leigh Anderson who did double duty as producer and lead actress.

"The film was supposed to be five minutes. We decided the film would work (best) by being 30 minutes in length. It will be a good film," said Clerc.

The would be film-makers are realizing that creating a film is a complex project where unforeseen problems often slow the project to a crawl. The "Plan B" students have been plagued with equipment failures and shipping problems.

"The project was delayed because the one camera broke down halfway through production," said Marcelo Gonzalez, screenwriter for the production. "The flatbed editor – the main piece of editing equipment that synchronizes the sound to the movement of the picture – also broke down."

The failures forced the film students to ante up another $200 to rent a replacement flatbed editor.

Further, the project nearly suffered a near-death experience when a shipping company lost an entire can of unprocessed film containing the final scenes of the movie. The canister was recovered, the film processed, and now the film is back on schedule.

<I>The Last Dance<P>was written and produced by students. They will have a rough cut of the film ready for screening at noon on December 17 in the editing suite in the Communications building.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

COMD RACES TO FIND BUILDING

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

While the reshaping process did not cut the communications disorders and 3-D arts programs as originally recommended, the "unfinished agenda" still holds changes for the spring semester.

The Communication Disorder Clinic, which serves Houston residents on a sliding scale basis, has not been cut, but it must find space in a new building.

The COMD building will be torn down to make space for the new music building and the identification of new space is left up to UH President James Pickering and Director of COMD Marty Adams.

Pickering said after minimal searching, a new space has not been found, but they still have "plenty of time" to find room. He said the new music building will not go up until 1995, but the search for space will continue during the spring semester.

Inequality in faculty workload has been a topic that the University Planning and Policy Committee and the Faculty Senate has been discussing all semester.

With the massive budget cuts that UH faced in the last legislative session, fewer teachers have been hired and some professors have been overloaded with work. Provost Glenn Aumann said because of cuts, the year 1995 will show fewer professors teaching a larger amount of students.

Next semester the UPPC and Pickering will study teacher evaluation and plan a form of faculty review that is more thorough than the student reviews currently administered at the end of every semester.

While a new review system is created it is unlikely that a better reward system can be created because of low funding. Aumann says the faculty workload committee has been deferred because of lack of money.

Chair of the UPPC George Magner says the results of the faculty evaluation studies will be released in the latter part of spring semester.

Another reshaping plan for next semester is diversity enhancement. Pickering says the professors on campus should reflect both the students being served and the diverse community of Houston.

Five year plans from many academic departments including athletics will be released in the spring semester. The reports will provide Pickering with recommendations on how to save money and efficiently run academic departments.

The reports will be reviewed by Pickering and the UPPC.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

KNAUSS' LEGACY ENDURES

by Imelda De La Cruz

Contributing Writer

UH Law School Dean Robert Knauss was honored by a who's who of Houston's law community recently at an Open House after the long-time dean announced his resignation.

Knauss said he intends to take a break after 20 years as a dean, more than 12 of which were spent at UH. His 12-and-a-half-year tenure at the Law Center is longer than any previous dean in the school's history. Knauss' resignation will become effective December 31, 1993.

"After twelve and a half years at UH and seven and a half years at Vanderbilt, I feel it is now time for me to graduate," said Dean Knauss. The advice he gives his successor? "Take the time to appreciate the positive aspects of this institution." Knauss plans to return to the Law Center after a year's leave of absence to teach, write, and continue to play an active role.

President James H. Pickering said, "The Law Center owes Dean Knauss a great debt," "Under his leadership, the law school has become one of the strongest legal institutions in the Southwest, demonstrated by the quality of its faculty, research and student body. The University of Houston Law Center and its graduates now have an extremely high level of acceptance in our own legal community as well as nationwide."

Knauss joined the Law Center in 1981 after serving as Dean of Vanderbilt Law School for seven and a half years. His contribution to UHLC has led to its recognition as one of the leading institutions in international legal studies, especially Mexico and the former Soviet Union. The library alone holds one of the best international collections in the country. He has also initiated many special programs and group research projects, including the Health Law and Policy Institute, the Environmental Liability Law Program, and the Intellectual Property Law Institute.

"One of Knauss' greatest contributions to the law center was that he did identify new sources of support and contributions for the law center." His fund-raising efforts in the private sector have increased the University of Houston Law foundation endowment from $500,000 to more than $11 million. A decade ago, 98 percent of the Law Center's funding came from the state of Texas. Today, less than 60 percent does.

Senior Professor John Mixon said, "Twelve years of growth at the University of Houston ... you can imagine how much we will miss him. He has prepared us for the 21st century." The usual tenure for a dean of a law school is 3- to 4-years. "We are fortunate to have had him three times (longer than) the average," added Sandra Perdue, UHLC director of communications.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

DEAN OF STUDENTS LIKES THE UH CHALLENGE

by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

UH Dean of Students Willie Munson said he came to UH because he was looking for a challenging environment.

"All facets of my job are important," he said. "The critical issue is getting through administrative red tape so you can get to do what you are supposed to be doing."

As Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students, William Munson is responsible for everything from assisting students with loans to supervising an annual budget of more than $10,000,000.

Munson also supervises three administrative units including the Dean of Students Office, the Department of Campus Activities and the Department of Student Publications.

Named the Assistant Vice President of Student Development in 1992, Munson has been UH's Dean of Students since 1988.

"Most of what I do is managing people, resources and programs," he said.

Munson graduated from Iowa State University in 1974 with a degree in journalism.

"The job market in '74 was flooded," he said. "That was right after Watergate, and everybody wanted to be in journalism, including me."

Munson said he changed his career goal to education after discovering he was learning more from campus organizations than from the classroom.

"(Education) was just the right fit for me, and that's where I've been ever since," he said.

Munson said one of his most important jobs is to provide services for students.

"We need to make it easier for students to access UH services," Munson said.

Munson described one of his most difficult job responsibilities – deciding if a student who has violated a student life policy will stay in school or not.

"Sometimes a policy violation is so threatening, and a student may have accumulated so many violations, that they must be separated from the university," he said.

Fortunately, most students learn from the first experience, so not many students get expelled, Munson said.

Munson is the end of the line for student appeals in matters of discipline.

"What I have learned in this position is that anything is possible," he said. "Whenever you get 35,000 people together, with human interaction, nothing is unusual."

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

BEAR WATCHES UH SCIENCES BLOSSOM

by Lawrence J. Leonard

Contributing Writer

Stop for a moment and recall the spirit of the United States during the early '60s – a mood to discover new frontiers of space and the mind.

As an assistant professor, John Bear, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics brought this spirit to UH in 1963.

Bear was born in central Texas near Lampasas. After earning his doctorate degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Bear went to teach at Florida State University.

He worked in the Sunshine State for one year, but something about Houston called him back to Texas.

"The thing that drew me here was the potential of UH and what I thought would be opportunities of growth and development for the university," Bear said. He came to UH the same year it become a state school.

"The future here would be interesting – a new University of Houston," Bear said.

"It was challenging and exciting to be part of a school that was going through a building process."

After 17 years as the head of the Department of Chemistry, Bear became the Dean of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics College in the spring of 1992.

Bear recommends that students take their time and design strategies when choosing a major. This involves getting involved in the community of students, teachers and industries that depend on that major, he said.

Students should also concentrate on their goals, he said.

"Everyone has aspirations to do something," Bear said. "The biggest gratification I get as an administrator is to build something and make it better."

Bear said that UH is a great opportunity for students and faculty to work towards their goals.

"I am very happy being in this college," Bear said. "If we want to make things better Texas, we can."

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

ARCHITECT DEAN SENDS STUDENTS OFF TO FRANCE

by Sarah Myers

Contributing Writer

Robert H. Timme, dean of the College of Architecture, beams with excitement from what his department has to offer.

Timme recently returned from Saintes, France, where he visited Centre d'Etude d'Architecture, a research program he developed himself.

"The UH College of Architecture is the only college in the U.S. to have its own permanent research center in France," Timme said.

Each semester the UH College of Architecture sends 10 to 15 upper level students to further their understanding of French architecture, he said.

The students involved in the program this year are researching the recreation of the Roman road at Vallon Des Arenes, Timme said.

"This is a tremendous experience for our students," he said.

The College of Architecture also has a foreign program in Paris. Timme said that both groups in France are able to travel and examine architecture all through Europe.

"It's the balance between teaching and designing that allows our department to stay abreast of new trends," Timme said.

He added that a desire for this balance also keeps him practicing through his firm, Taft Architects.

The latest project for Timme's firm is the new HISD Lab School on Kirby and Braeswood.

Timme began at UH as an assistant professor in 1972. Before coming to UH, he worked with architects such as I.M.Pei in New York, who made additions to the Louvre in France, and Peter Eismen, who is considered to be one of the leading architectural theoreticians of today.

Timme said he misses the amount of time he used to spend on design. The job of dean is very demanding and takes away extra time for design, he said.

For now, Timme said his number one priority is promoting the UH architecture program. He constantly searches for funding to continue programs like the ones in France, as well as other programs for the students.

Timme said the UH College of Architecture is one of the ten largest programs in the United States. It ranked number two, behind Berkeley, in terms of the diversity of its graduates, he added.

"Architecture is the foundation for an array of disciplines," Timme said. He is a man proud to represent and promote the field.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

FROM THE NEST

COUGARS' FRESHMAN BYRD STARTING TO SOAR

by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

If everything goes according to schedule, Willie Byrd may be University of Houston's next superstar.

The 6-5 freshman Cougars' guard is the first of the top Houston-area recruits who head coach Alvin Brooks has promised to bring to the team.

One of the top 10 high school recruits in Texas according to the Houston Chronicle, Byrd has so far lived up to his billing and was recently plugged into the Cougars' starting lineup.

"Byrd is only a freshman," said Brooks. "But once he matures, he is going to be an outstanding performer."

A graduate of John H. Reagan High School, Byrd led his team to its first playoff appearance since 1983. The team responded with a berth in the Region III-5A semifinals.

As proof of his versatility as a basketball player, Byrd played all five positions as a senior to average 19.1 points and 10.2 rebounds.

For his efforts, he was named the District 19-5A Most Valuable Player.

Which was why Brooks could not pass him up.

Earlier in the year Brooks was asked if Byrd was going to be redshirted as a freshman this season, Brooks replied, "You don't redshirt a Willie Byrd."

Brooks has high hopes for the youngster and it is easy to see why.

In addition to his versatility, Byrd sees the court extremely well and has outstanding anticipation. It is Brooks' plan to utilize Byrd’s talents at the two-guard position in which he will team with Anthony Goldwire, the Cougars' other starting guard.

But Byrd admits that it will definitely take some time before he finally gets used to Brooks' up-tempo style of basketball.

"(Brooks') practices are hard," Byrd said. "They are so intense. They are nothing like what we did in high school."

Brooks' enthusiasm for running the floor, led Byrd to describe the preseason practices as "being at boot camp."

Judging by what has been seen at practice, Brooks is constantly working with Byrd, setting aside practice time to have him work on special drills. These drills involve moves to the hoop and defense around the paint or near the basket.

"He'll be all right," Brooks said. "He was just not used to the high workouts.

As freshmen, most others have problems getting with the program in terms of making the grades. But Byrd says that that has not been a problem so far.

"I'm taking 16 hours and doing fine," he said. "But I still have not decided on my major."

Byrd says that he would like to major in either accounting, marketing, or finance even though he was listed as a computer science major during the summer.

But if his classroom skills are as good as his basketball skills, what he majors in may not matter. Either way he could succeed like he does on the court.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

MCCOY NAMED ALL-AMERICAN LINEBACKER

Cougar Sports Service

According to United Press International, Houston Cougars middle linebacker Ryan McCoy is one of the best linebackers in the nation.

McCoy was named second team All-America linebacker by the news service.

The Beaumont Central product wrapped up a stellar career at Houston this season as the Southwest Conference's top tackler with 157 tackles.

McCoy is the only Cougar to ever reach the 500 mark in tackles.

McCoy and fellow Houston linebacker Allen Aldridge have been invited to play in the Blue-Gray game Christmas Day in Montgomery, Ala.

It will give the NFL scouts a chance to see what McCoy can do. With the NFL draft shortened to seven rounds it is important to have a good showing in the Blue-Gray game.

McCoy has a shot at being an early pick and follow in the footsteps of Lamar Lathon, Eugene Lockhart and Simon Fletcher as Houston linebackers who have gone on to play in the NFL.

McCoy was a Butkus semifinalist but failed to make the cut when the finalists were announced.

Nebraska's Trev Alberts won the Butkus Award, which honors the nation's best linebacker.

McCoy started as a true freshman in 1990, and he never missed a game because of injury.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

ACTION, LAUGHS AND TEARS

by Glenn R. Wilson Jr.

Daily Cougar Staff

The old adage says to never count one's chickens before they’re hatched. Therefore, naming the best films before the year is even over is not very appealing.

Nevertheless, with the reader firmly in mind, this best-of is divided into three categories.

First up are the comedies. This is always a tough pick because one man's humor is another's waste of time. But here are this year's choices.

<I>Much Ado About Nothing<P> – Director Kenneth Branaugh wins again at translating Shakespeare for modern audiences. Whoever thought the Bard could be this funny? This one scores all around!

<I>Son-In-Law<P> – It can make one ashamed to admit it, but this Pauly Shore vehicle is extremely funny. If you can handle 90 minutes of the Weasel, then give this one a look-see. You won't be disappointed.

<I>Addams Family Values<P> – This is probably not what Dan Quayle had in mind when he complained about Hollywood's lack of family values. But this family is a lot more funny than the Cleavers, and, in some ways, much more believable.

Next category is the action/adventure films.

<I>Last Action Hero<P> – Why did everyone attack this movie so vehemently? Granted, it wasn't the best action movie ever, but it wasn't supposed to be. This was an adventure movie set in an action movie and in this respect it succeeds.

<I>Jurassic Park<P> – Just when everyone thought Steven Spielberg was a washout, along came this Dino-sized hit to resurrect his image as Hollywood's reigning king of the big-budget megafilm. Telling you all about this one would be redundant.

<I>The Fugitive<P> – You can always count on Harrison Ford for a good show. And, once more, one of the best films of the year is inspired by a former hit television show. You have to dread the day someone decides to make a big screen version of <I>Three's Company<P>.

<I>Striking Distance<P> – This film really stunk, but you can't help but feel sorry for Bruce Willis, what with all the success Demi's been having lately. Well, there's always <I>Die Hard 3: The Search for Bruce's Career<P>.

Last category: Dramas.

<I>The Remains of the Day<P> – A touching, and thoroughly involving film. One of these days the law of averages has got to catch up with James Ivory, but not this time.

<I>Remains<P> is cinema at its best, and features another outstanding performance from Anthony Hopkins. What more could you ask for?

<I>The Piano<P> – A beautifully told love story with a haunting musical score. Holly Hunter gives an incredible performance and is deftly supported by Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill. It would be a shock if this film were passed over come Oscar time.

<I>A Perfect World<P> – Clint Eastwood continues to give notice to the world that he is so much more than just a talented actor. As a director, he takes incredible chances and this film is never does the expected.

<I>Demolition Man<P> – Hey! It could happen! It was pointed out that this reviewer missed the point of the movie entirely. Regardless, it's the same conclusion – this movie sucks!

Anyone who found a deep meaning in this Stallone garbage must have thought <I>Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!<P> was a plea for understanding from elderly gun-toting vigilantes.

There you are – the premature picks for the best films. If you disagree, great! There's plenty of room for discussion.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

BETTE MIDLER GIVES DIVINE PERFORMANCE

by Rosario Peña

Contributing Writer

She looked good and sounded great. She was like a roller coaster ride – you know what to expect, but you won’t know what it feels like until you have experienced the divine.

Bette Midler, that is.

The Divine Miss M graced the stage in a musical comedy revue before a diverse, well-behaved audience Wednesday. Midler catered to all ages, blending music from yesterday and today with her unique sense of humor, her powerful voice and heartfelt emotion.

The show's first half started with "Friends" and a humorous song about her survival through the years, "I Look Good." Laughter filled the arena as she poked fun at Houston's politics. After "From a Distance" – a song Midler says changed her life – she performed an emotionally-charged "The Rose." The first half ended with "Rose's Turn," music Midler said was "from my other mother, Mama Gypsy Rose."

After intermission, a mermaid-dressed Midler became Dolores Del Lago, literally hopping and rolling across the stage. Midler and her dancers gave outstanding performances in brilliantly choreographed segments on infomercials, including her "12 Strokes To Satisfaction," as well as a rendition of "New York, New York."

The mood soon changed dramatically as Midler, in a classy, shimmering green, skin-tight dress, belted out "Stay With Me Baby." She received a standing ovation from the previously silent audience.

After a teary-eyed "Wind Beneath My Wings," Midler closed the show with "The Story of Love." The curtain fell to once again reveal the giant-sized rose in a truly divine experience.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL GOES BOWLING OVER HOLIDAYS

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

Here we go again.

The polls are in. The bowl matchups are set. No. 1 Nebraska (11-0) will play No. 2 Florida State (11-1) in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day, with the winner declared national champion. The outcome is clear.

Unless No. 3 West Virginia (11-0) defeats No. 8 Florida (10-2) in the Sugar Bowl and claims a share of the title, or No. 4 Notre Dame (10-1) defeats No. 7 Texas A&M (10-1) in the Cotton Bowl and demands the championship crown.

No. 5 Auburn (11-0) is on NCAA probation and is prohibited from bowl competition, but the Tigers claim the title rightfully belongs to them.

The outcome is clear. No one knows who the national champion will or should be.

Here we go again.

"It's frustrating," said Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz, of the national title situation. He said his team should get a chance at the title because they decisively defeated FSU 31-24 during the season.

If the Seminoles have a shot at the title, claims Holtz, so should the Irish.

"I have no problem with everybody explaining why West Virginia and Florida State and Nebraska should play for the national championship.

"But nobody's been able to explain to me why we're not among them," he said.

West Virginia head coach Don Nehlen said his team and not FSU should play Nebraska for the championship.

"Florida State is a great, great football team, but they did stub their toe. Nebraska didn't stub their toe, and neither did we," Nehlen said.

FSU head coach Bobby Bowden empathized with Nehlen and Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne.

"My thinking is if I was an undefeated team like West Virginia and Nebraska, I'm as good as anybody and nobody has proved I'm not the best team in the nation," he said.

"The poll has voted. It's not politics."

Bowden's son Terry did something at Auburn this year that his father has never done at FSU. He guided his Auburn Tigers to an undefeated season.

The Tigers probation-induced bowl absence leaves little chance for a national championship, however.

So here is the national title picture, fuzzy and out of focus again.

Last season's all-or-nothing title game was only a fleeting glimpse of what could be. Alabama, the unanimous No. 2 team, defeated unquestioned No. 1 Miami to claim the undisputed championship.

The idea of a national college football playoff, which has been talked about for years, has regained popularity.

Houston Chronicle sports columnist Ed Fowler wrote, "(a playoff) makes so much sense, it surely won't happen any time soon."

Until then, college football will rely on the imperfect coalition system. The Bowl Coalition poll combines the Associated Press writer's poll with the USA Today/CNN coaches poll, to determine rankings for bowl invitations. 1993 is the first year for the combined coalition poll.

Besides Texas A&M, only one other Southwest Conference team will play a bowl. Texas Tech (6-5) will take on Oklahoma (8-3) in the John Hancock Bowl on Christmas Eve.

No other SWC team defeated the required six Division I-A opponents to qualify for a bowl.

The No. 3 SWC team would have played No. 4 Pac-10 entry, California (8-4) in the Alamo Bowl. The Golden Bears will instead play Iowa (6-5) on New Year's Eve.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

MAZZY STAR'S NEWEST GIVES LISTENERS A SONIC GEM

by Justin Crane

Contributing Writer

One has to really hate reviews that slobber all over an album, praising it as the greatest thing since – well, you get the idea.

That's why this review was so hard to write. I really don't want to go into all the intricacies that make Mazzy Star's <I>So Tonight That I Might See<P> a great album, so I will – if I have to.

Mazzy Star's first album, 1990s <I>She Hangs Brightly<P>, grabbed more attention than any album on an independent label is supposed to get. It's just a simple, stripped-down blues album, but it has something that just any blues album doesn't. It's hard to describe this quality – and if you read any of the critics' praise (there was a lot of it) for <I>Brightly<P>, it was obvious that they didn't know how to describe that quality either.

It was this same quality that Pale Saints heard when they recorded a version of "Blue Flower" (<I>Brightly's<P> first single) for that band's album, <I>In Ribbons<P>. Pale Saints had a minor radio hit with "Blue Flower," but Mazzy Star was largely ignored by radio and the record buying public. With their new album, Mazzy Star promises to change that.

On <I>So Tonight That I Might See<P>, guitarist Dave Roback has refined the good qualities of <I>Brightly<P> and peppered them with an extra bit of psychedelia – something he pretty much perfected in his former bands, Rain Parade and Opal.

<I>Tonight<P> is, however, by no means a psychedelic album. Neither is it a blues album. Here's where the listener gets stuck.

It's a combination of styles really. And sometimes it has no style. Sometimes it's just quiet. There is no amazing musicianship, the songs are far too clever for impressive guitar solos or precise drumming. It just wouldn't work.

Instead, Roback uses thick layers of music which <I>appear<P> to be very minimal. But, if you listen closely and peel back the surface of the music, you find fully realized songs that play as much on silence as they do on noise. These layers of silence and noise fit together nicely in thick layers.

The most impressive noise, though, is Hope Sandoval's voice.

Sandoval throws down her rich, lazy voice and lets it fall where it will. It stands in contrast to the often moody songs. While the music stirs you, her voice brings you back with a relative lack of effort. She seems, at times, disconnected from the music – on another level maybe.

It is these contradictions –between silence and noise, between tension and tranquillity – that make <I>So Tonight That I Might See<P> work well.

You'll have to listen for yourself to know. Album reviews never do justice.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

ICE CUBE LETHAL IN INJECTION

by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

A pistol goes off, and so begins the lethal injection.

Ice Cube returns again for another dose on the great <I>Lethal Injection<P>. It’s the follow-up to <I>The Predator<P> and continues his furious rap on society’s squalor.

Since his second release, <I>Death Certificate<P>, Cube has never been for understatements. He posed for one record behind an Anglo corpse wrapped in a flag and sporting a toe tag reading "Uncle Sam." His take on 1992’s uprising in Los Angeles was "We Had To Tear This Motherfucker Up." He warned on one song that, unless justice was realized "Armageddon is near."

This time, he's no less repentant.

From the introduction, where he blows away "Mr. White," to his single, "My Skin Is My Sin," where he vows "I don’t know karate/But I can still beat the dog shit out a Nazi," Cube seems much angrier, although the politics here aren’t as prominent as <I>The Predator<P>. The sound is darker, yet is a remarkable difference from his previous work.

Some of it is his twist on the West Coast hip-hop as well as P-Funk samples, but a lot of it is Cube at his most inventive. He even honors P-Funk in a cover of "One Nation Under A Groove." <I>Injection<P> is a return to the street, but Cube is no less enraged and even more apt to unload his nine on whoever steps his way.

From cuts like "Enemy," Cube as producer offers a mesmerizing beat with smooth-as-silk lyrics slicing like a knife into devil’s food cake.

"When I Get to Heaven" is smooth West Coast, so laid-back it’s deadly, with brutal honesty: "The same white man that threw me in the slammer/Bombed a church in Alabama/So if I cocked the hammer, god wouldn’t mind/Me killing off the human swine." Cube’s vision of the deity is clearly a retributive one, striking blows as just punishment.

<I>Lethal Injection<P> features more of the original gangster stuff that dotted his early work. Cube comes off as the guy who’ll be right up front if another riot goes down, but he’s just as likely to go hanging with the homies, talking and drinking. Might even use the 40-ounce bottle for a Molotov cocktail later.

Visit The Daily Cougar