DEAN RODGERS BACK TO CLASSROOM

by Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

UH professor and Dean of Social Sciences, Harrell Rodgers, will not return as dean in the fall.

In a memo to the President's Executive Group, the Deans' Council and Faculty Senate President, Former Provost Glen Aumann said that with his recommendation and in consultation with UH President James Pickering, it was time to "seek new leadership for the College of Social Sciences."

Aumann went on to say that as of September 1, Rodgers would return to the faculty as a tenured, full professor in the Department of Political Science. In the memo Aumann made no mention of why Rodgers was not asked to stay another term. He did say that the administration, "(Appreciated) Dr. Rodgers' service to the college during his two terms as dean and (wished) him well as he (returned) to the faculty."

Rodgers, who had been dean for eight years, leaves under a cloud of controversy. Some faculty in the college feel his dismissal was due to a conflict of interest between him, Aumann, Pickering and UH System Chancellor Alexander Schilt. Others think it is because Rodgers supported moving the history department to Social Sciences, which Pickering opposed.

Rodgers was unavailable for comment.

History Professor Joseph Glatthaar said he heard Rodgers received a "glowing evaluation" and could not understand why he was dismissed.

Charlotte Tate, Pharmacy professor and chair of the external review committee for Rodgers, said to her knowledge, Rodgers had an excellent evaluation. She also said the impressions of him by the faculty and staff of the college where very favorable.

Political Science Professor Kent Tedin said he thought there was, "some small connection" between Rodgers' dismissal and the proposed move of the history department to Social Sciences, but he said, he felt it was more of a struggle between Rodgers and the administration.

The memo from Aumann said that a new dean had not been chosen but new Provost Henry Trueba would be planning to meet with college chairs to reach a decision on an interim dean and the search process.

 

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COMET SLAMMING INTO JUPITER GREAT INTEREST TO EARTH

by Mark Miertschin

News Reporter

The planet Earth could fit into a relatively minute part of the gaseous matter left in the wake of a penetrating fragment that struck Jupiter recently.

Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 is striking the planet Jupiter and giving astronomers something spectacular to marvel at.

Two of the comet's largest fragments projected to hit Jupiter struck Monday. Fragment G, roughly two miles wide, sent a fireball some 1,400 miles into the Jovian clouds, and the event was captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the largest optical telescope in the world at the Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

Fragment G, the comet's largest fragment to date, struck near Jupiter's southern hemisphere with the force of 6 million megatons of TNT just before 3 a.m. Monday. That is 400 million times as powerful as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of World War II, and about 600 times the destructive energy of the world's nuclear arsenals.

Carolyn Shoemaker, Ph.D., while working with her husband, Eugene Shoemaker, Ph.D., and amateur astronomer David Levy, discovered the periodic comet orbiting around Jupiter in March 1993.

Observances of the comet's fragments' strikings are part of a monthly asteroid and comet survey at the Mt. Palomar Observatory in California.

The South Pole Infrared Explorer (SPIREX) telescope, located at the Center for Astrological Research in Antarctica, is the only telescope in the world that can observe each of the 21 impacts, because the Earth's rotation shields Jupiter from the view of all other telescopes (including the HST) for some time. It captured the first fragment, nearly a half-mile-wide, of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact with Jupiter Saturday afternoon.

Hien Nguyen, who is stationed at Antarctica and is a University of Chicago research associate for SPIREX said, "I thought I detected something unusual initially, but I wasn't sure until I took some more data. When I finally saw the effect was real, I shouted 'I did it!'"

"This is the first live cosmic explosion I've ever seen," he said.

Galileo, one of three NASA spacecraft missions launched some years ago to explore the sun and various planets, is also observing the occurrences. At present, it is about 150 million miles from Jupiter and is viewing the planet's nightside regions directly.

Due to a low-gain antenna, Galileo's observations will not be seen until October or November 1994.

UH Physics Professor Lawrence Pinsky said the collisions have produced some observable effects and will give enthusiasts something to study.

"It's more grist for the mill," Pinsky said. "We know a little bit more now."

Monday's strike was 27 times more powerful than the first strikes Saturday and Sunday and would have left a crater the size of Rhode Island had it plunged to Earth.

Heidi Hammel, astronomer for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and leader of the HST imaging effort, said, "This is one big impact site."

The possibility of a comet this size colliding with the Earth and causing massive destruction is highly unlikely. Scientist Gregory Canavan said an object that is a kilometer (approximately two-thirds of a mile) across comes along every 100 millennia. "In terms of the human life span–which I will round off to a century–there's one chance in a 1,000 you'll be killed by this."

According to NASA documents, no known asteroid or comet is currently on a collision course with Earth. In fact, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years.

 

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MARCHERS IN DE RIGUEUR CLOTHING TRANSCENDED BOUDARIES OF GENDER

by shane patrick boyle

Daily Cougar Staff

NEW YORK CITY, June 25–Last night, drag queens, drag kings, "nuns," Radical Faeries, court jesters, transgenders, transvestites, Transylvanians, transients, transsexuals and entranced wannabes took to the streets of lower Manhattan's east and west sides to show the tourists, bar hoppers, cops and innocent bystanders what Stonewall was all about.

The Drag March took the city by surprise with its in-your-face activism mixed with tongue-in-cheek fun. Or perhaps it was tongue-in-cheek activism and in-your-face fun.

The Drag March, sponsored by Church Ladies For Choice, took off from Tompkins Square Park.

Most participants and observers probably didn't realize the significance of the starting point, with the park's 120-year history of labor riots (in the late 19th century), squatters' camps and squatters' rights demonstrations (in recent years) and brutal attacks by mounted police (since 1874).

Whether or not the organizers had this history in mind when they chose the park, the setting was appropriate considering that drag queens and homeless people were in the frontline of another rebellion against the police state: The Stonewall Riots.

The route stretched from Tompkins Square Park to Sheridan Square, home of the Stonewall Inn, snaking its way along 9th Street, Broadway and Washington Square Park.

It began with 50 to 100 marchers, including some of the few squatters who remain around the park today, and an uncomfortably large police presence, but as the excitement began to swell, so did the march. Marchers were not intimidated by the cops or the slight rain.

Chants, early in the march, included, "We will not be quiet! Stonewall was a riot!," "We're here! We're queer! And we're not going shopping!" and "We're queer! Fuck your merchandising!"

Gradually, the tone of the chants became more defiant as they alluded to Mayor Rudy Giuliani's decision earlier that day to deny a permit for Sunday's alternative march up 5th Avenue. The queens and their sidekicks announced, "We're here! We're queer! We'll take 5th Avenue Sunday."

Chanters asked, "Whose fuckin' streets?" and answered "Our fuckin' streets!"

Timothy Buttercup, a queer anarchist from the West Coast, walked among the marchers, giving away stickers with the slogans, "Wear a dress, carry a brick" and "Stonewall was a riot, not a T-shirt."

On the sidelines, reactions were mixed. Most of the audience cheered with a display of "Go girl!" supportiveness, but I overheard the response of a gay male couple, both yuppie spawn and both apparently ignorant of history and under the impression that Stonewall was a party for jock types with classic frat boy looks, saying they "hated" drag queens. One of them would not shut up.

He went on about how he thought "these perverts should go back in the closet and stop giving us a bad name," and "all the drag queens and dykes should go home, and let us have fun."

Noticing the stares (and glares), his boyfriend shoved his elbow into the windbag's rib cage to silence him good. It saved me the trouble of hitting him myself.

A block into the march, I noticed two marchers wielding pink cardboard rifles with slogans like "Fuck it up" and "Take it out."

As the militantly playful mood of the marchers increased, more pink guns, with and without slogans, appeared as if from nowhere. I watched closely to figure out where they were coming from, but I could not discern the source of the incredible arsenal.

I asked a couple of the "soldiers" where I could get a gun, but they couldn't remember who had given them the guns. I did, however, notice that the largest concentration of gun toters were surrounding a queen in nun's drag and surmised that the nun was smuggling guns under her habit, but the crowd was too thick for me to get to ask her if she was in the habit of carrying guns and her supply was probably exhausted by that point anyway.

At one point along the route, after the march had already grown several hundred strong, cops formed a line in front of the marchers. Whether they intended to slow the march down or cut it short under the pretense of slowing it down was not clear, but the queens couldn't be stopped.

"We're here! We're queer! And we're not in a hurry!" and "Leave us alone, you fat, silly cops!"

In response, the pigs backed up at a turtle's pace, allowing the queens some progress. Unsatisfied, one of the marchers led others in a chant of "Bad cop! No donut!," which drew laughter from most bystanders.

This seemed to work. The embarrassed (and/or hungry) officers backed off, and the march proceeded.

The procession continued with marchers asking those on the sidewalk to get "Off the sidewalk and into the street!" With the march back in motion, the next chant was "The pope wears a dress. Why can't I?"

Other marchers proudly proclaimed "We're here! We're queer and we're ruining it for everyone!"

By the time they reached Sheridan Square, the marchers filled the already crowded Christopher Street, Sheridan Square Park, the sidewalks and nearby intersections without emptying a single bar.

Arriving in the square, I met Theresa Radka of the organization Transgender Rights. I asked her about her sign honoring Marsha P. Johnson. "Marsha should have been here (for Stonewall 25)," she said.

Radka explained to me that Marsha was one of the first veterans of the Stonewall Riots, an organizer of the first march commemorating Stonewall, and a victim of a queer bashing in 1992. Very little was written about her murder at the time and papers referred to her only by her male name, Radka said. Her murder remains unsolved.

Radka said her organization is committed to protecting transgenders like Marsha from violence and discrimination.

The need for organizations like Transgender Rights demonstrates that the fight Marsha and others began 25 years ago is not over yet.

This fact was driven home again when the crowd on the sidewalk expanded so much I was pushed into the newly remodeled Stonewall.

The gentrified crowd inside couldn't have been further from the original Stonewall warriors. The patrons, dancing to music by Erasure and drinking one dollar Budweisers, seemed oblivious to the action outside. Among the crowd, I spotted only one drag queen and nobody who wasn't a white yuppie.

I wanted to shout "Out of the bar and into the street," but I doubted the historically ignorant assemblage would catch the allusion.

I rejoined the much more hip festivities outside as they spilled onto 7th Avenue, despite orders to the contrary, coming from cops with bullhorns.

The march took on a life of its own and not even the organizers could stop it even though they used their own bullhorn to instruct everyone to obey the cops. "If you get arrested, we have no support for you," they warned.

The ungovernable crowd responded with variations on earlier chants. "Arrest us! Just try it! Stonewall was a riot!," they yelled, and someone shouted, "We're here! We're queer! And we're going shoplifting."

"The party's not over!" one of the organizers said, referring to the party unfolding on 7th Avenue.

All but a dedicated few did disperse toward the subway entrance when somebody said, "The party is being underwritten by Coors, if you know what that means."

I suspect many of them didn't know what it meant and may have arrived expecting the Mormon-owned brewery with homophobic hiring policies to provide free refreshment for protestors.

I wasn't sure about the Intrepid party, but–as much as I wanted to rain on the pro-military party (which Mother Nature was already sprinkling on anyway)–it was clear that this party was not over. How many queers does it take to hand out fliers?

"Arrest us! Just try it…" became a contagious chant for most of the crowd as members of the Radical Faeries in their pixie drag, the Tompkins Square squatters and others put their arms around each others' shoulders and danced in a spiralling, serpentine formation, singing, "We are the Stonewall girls/ We wear our hair in curls"–an anthem from the original riots.

The children of Stonewall remained in the intersection, daring history to repeat itself.

After a while, the dancers led the throng down Christopher Street, toward the piers in a Pied Piperesque fashion.

While still in the intersection, I was stopped by Andrea Kannapell of the New York Times city desk, who noticed my Daily Cougar T-shirt and figured I must be a journalist of some kind. "Were you with the march from the beginning?," she asked.

"Yeah, you missed a lot."

"Hold on!," she said, as she stopped a young, green-haired guy for a quote.

His name was Billy and as Andrea interviewed Billy, Billy's friend took out a tape recorder and interviewed Andrea-interviewing-Billy.

"Tonight I can do anything I want," Billy told Andrea.

"What about the people in their cars backed-up to 14th Street?" she asked.

"Cars are bad for the environment anyway," he said, and the frustrated reporter could only laugh.

"So, tell me what happened," she said to me when they left.

"Do I get to share a byline?"

"No, I don't even get a byline. Just cut the crap and tell me what happened."

By this time, the two of us and some cops were practically the only ones in the street, but the nice policemen kept the traffic blocked until we finished our conversation. Oh well, cars are bad for the environment anyway.

I didn't divulge much, if anything. Instead I changed the subject to how to get a newspaper job in New York until she finally gave up on me.

I suppose I was unduly mean, but what could I tell her that would fit in the four column inches that appeared on the subject this morning? (This morning's New York Times also carried news of Giuliani refusing to grant the permit for tomorrow's alternative march down 5th Avenue)

Perhaps, I could have begun with, "Well, it all started 25 years ago–right over there at the Stonewall Inn, though it was different then…"

 

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UH PROF, STUDENTS HELP PBS SPECIAL

by Arnecia Harris

News Reporter

April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 lifted off into space to join the exclusive group of men who had walked on the moon almost a year before them.

Two days later, problems arose that would endanger the astronauts and unite the world.

"Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back," a program chronicling the mission, will air tonight on PBS at 9 p.m. to mark the 25th anniversary of the historic moon landing of Apollo 13. The show documents the inside story of the major participants of Apollo 13's heroic efforts.

NASA astronauts James Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert were more than 200,000 miles away when an oxygen unit exploded in their aircraft, instantly reducing their most basic resources–water, power and oxygen.

The astronauts' only hope for survival was to shut off all systems in the damaged control module. The lunar module, designed to land on the moon, ironically had to be used to land on the earth. This meant stretching the supplies enough for three men instead of two and sustaining the life of the men twice the length of time it was designed for.

Navigating the crippled aircraft through space, mission control technicians raced to save the astronauts from the deadly chill of space.

The 90-minute international PBS special will also feature the work of UH College of Architecture Assistant Professor Keith Sylvester and two postgraduate students.

Sylvester and graduate students John Cook and Kim Larsen used a backdrop of the space environment and computer simulation to recreate the mission of Apollo 13. The 10-minute animated segment will make the difficulties the crew faced more comprehensible to viewers.

The hardest part of participating in the project, for the two students, was the competition against professionals in their field. The producers were impressed by the students' accomplishments when they came to visit the college.

"We convinced them we could do a professional job at minimal cost," Sylvester said.

Sylvester said even with their talent, completing the four-month project was an arduous task. In addition to school work, Sylvester and his students labored 40 hours a week on this project.

The project was formulated and built in Sylvester's office in the Architecture Building. They worked with state-of-the-art equipment. The five machines ran 24 hours a day with someone operating the machines at all times.

Sylvester worked as project manager by maintaining lines of communication between UH and WGBH of Boston, which shares production credits. Larsen assigned materials to produce the setting, lighting and background. Cook built most of the models, and everyone worked on animation.

Their participation in the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture gave the students an edge in getting the project. SICSA has been a forerunner in architectural design development of space and extreme environments since its inception in 1987.

Cook has worked with SICSA for a year and a half, giving much credit for knowledge he gained to center staff members.

"This project was the crowning glory of my master's study," he said. Cook is doing computer animation at the Voice Energy Hall.

Larsen came to UH on a Fulbright scholarship from Norway. He is in Norway working on computer animation as well.

Sylvester has been teaching computer-aided design courses at the College of Architecture for the past three years.

Their work has already gained public acknowledgement. At the 1994 Computer Images Awards (CADDIES) ceremony, sponsored by CADalyst magazine, the Apollo 13 project won three awards.

The crew placed first in the Full-Time Faculty & Graduate Student category. They also placed second and third for the project's still images in the same category.

The program will be aired internationally, giving the students of the College of Architecture ample public exposure.

"PBS was thrilled with the quality of the finished product," Sylvester said. "We enjoyed every minute, and it opens the door for our students to do more computerized work."

 

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MATZKE, DIXON JUMP SHIP

New coach Noble ready to let departing players go

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

The recent transfers of J.J. Matzke and Jason Dixon from the UH baseball team have left new head coach Rayner Noble in a considerably more difficult position for 1995.

Matzke, a budding star at third base, is headed to Texas A&M, while Dixon, as close a thing to a bullpen ace as the Cougars had last season, will be pitching for the Texas-Arlington Mavericks in '95.

While acknowledging that the loss of both Matzke and Dixon is a big blow in an interview Tuesday, Noble also stressed loyalty to the UH program.

"The main thing I want to establish is that we're interested in people who want to be in this program and at this university," Noble said when asked about the sudden changes.

Matzke started at third base for the Cougars in 1993 and '94. He vaulted to starting status his freshman season with a year many first-year players can only dream of: a team-leading .397 average, .378 in the Southwest Conference, in 116 at-bats.

In '94, Matzke's offensive production tailed off a bit after a lengthy slump at the start of the season. He finished the year with a .254 average, five homers and 36 RBI.

"I've known for awhile that Matzke was gone," Noble said. "It was a situation where right as I was getting the job, he was thinking of transferring to A&M."

Noble added that one of the early challenges of his new job was to "re-recruit" Matzke, but that it wasn't in the cards.

"A lot of times guys think the grass is greener on the other side," he said. "It's a free country. If someone wants to transfer, they're welcome to go."

It was rare indeed to see a UH game last season without seeing Dixon warm up in the pen. In a year where Cougar pitching found outs hard to come by, Dixon's 27 appearances and 4.08 ERA served to bail out a struggling starting staff.

The new head coach said he learned of Dixon's decision "about a week ago." Apparently, those actions were influenced by personal and financial concerns outside of baseball.

An issue of more concern is whether or not other players will follow in the flock of Matzke and Dixon.

"It could happen," Noble said. "I'm not that worried about losing guys. If they don't want to be here, that's fine with me.

"But I think the guys who have decided they want to be here are going to stay and the guys who have decided they want to move on have moved on."

 

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STARS COMING OUT AT REUNION

by Hiren Patel

Contributing Writer

The third annual Reunion of Champions basketball game will take place this Saturday night. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Reunion game will include more than 60 former basketball lettermen from past Houston teams. This year's game will feature Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Elvin Hayes, among other players.

The game, organized by former UH All-American Otis Birdsong, brings together the former players and their alma mater. It attempts to reacquaint both sides.

Proceeds from the game go towards athletic scholarships.

"It's very important because the thing the university is trying to do is to get the alumni back together," said Birdsong. "We need to reach out to our alumni base, and it's a huge alumni base."

Jack Thompson, a member of the early 60's Cougar teams, is ready for the game.

"I'm looking forward to the reunion, to being on the floor with the great players and the tradition of the great teams," said Thompson. "The atmosphere of the game is fantastic with all of the players."

Thompson, last year's game MVP, was 5-for-5 from three-point land in helping his team rally to victory.

Detroit Pistons' coach Don Chaney will be heading the red team. Chaney, the former Houston Rockets coach, was a member of the first two UH NCAA Final Four teams.

Elvin Hayes, who led the Cougars to two straight Final Four berths in 1967 and 1968 and an inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame, will coach the white team.

Some of the many other ex-UH players scheduled to participate include Greg "Cadillac" Anderson, Michael Young, Larry Micheaux and Rickie Winslow.

Also, during half-time, Olajuwon, the NBA's Most Valuable Player, will be honored during a special presentation and Turbo will make an appearance. Deborah Birdsong said the halftime show will be, "the best halftime program in life."

Tickets for the game can be purchased at Oshman's Supersports USA stores and the UH ticket office. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children. During the pre-game festivities, a Cadillac will be raffled off to be used for the weekend.

During a media luncheon Tuesday at a local restaurant, several of the game's participants and other UH basketball supporters gathered to talk over the game's prospects.

"It (the game) is well attended," athletic director Bill Carr said. "The number of athletes that attend it is remarkable. It's a tribute to Coach (Guy) Lewis and Otis and Deborah (Birdsong)."

"I'm going to just sit down and watch like I did last year," head basketball coach Alvin Brooks said. "I enjoyed it last year, especially with (former All-American Louis) Dunbar and his Globetrotter thing."

Dunbar has made both previous games, but will be in Mexico City with the Globetrotters come Saturday. Dunbar was at the luncheon Tuesday.

"I think it (the reunion game) is very important," he said of the game. "I just hope Houston doesn't forget UH in its time of need."

 

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ACT: TAYLOR OUT, ROBINSON IN FOR '94-'95

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

One of the major parts in the rebuilding of the UH basketball team took a step in the wrong direction when 7-2 recruit Adrian Taylor failed to meet the minimum NCAA requirement on the ACT.

Head coach Alvin Brooks said that the loss of Taylor will not affect next year's season despite the fact UH is without a big man.

Taylor, now a Prop 48 student, has several options. He could enroll in junior college, community college or stay out of school and continue to take the entrance exam until he passes.

Brooks said Tuesday he has not been informed as to what path Taylor will take.

If Taylor decides not to enroll anywhere else and passes the test, January is the earliest he could enroll in classes, far too late to make the team.

On the upside, another recruit who was having problems passing, Galen Robinson, scored high enough to be eligible for the fall.

 

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WHATSISNAME

Droge digs a black hole

by Thomas D. Johnston

Contributing Writer

Remember this name ... Dirge. No, wait, it's Drudge. No, that's not it either. Ahh Drone.. Well, whatever his name – which happens to be Droge, Pete Droge – remember it. His name is Droge but images of dirges, drones and drudgery are all evoked when listening to his music.

Pete Droge is the latest in a line of twentysomething musicians to ooze from the primordial scum of the music world's raspy-voiced, sarcastic nihilists. Living in Seattle, but not feeling quite comfortable with the emerging grunge movement, Droge left for Portland where he promulgated his Joe South tone and cultivated his sometimes morose but highly impacting lyrical style.

He first gained widespread recognition at the 1993 South by Southwest festival in Austin. He followed that up with an opening for Neil Young during a couple of San Francisco dates. Then his longtime friend and fan, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, hooked him up with producer Brendan O'Brien which resulted in his new CD <I>Necktie Second<P> (American Recordings).

The CD begins with "If You Don't Love Me (I'll Kill Myself)." This catchy little satirical ditty homes into Droge's punk roots, it begins, "If you want I'll be by your side and if you don't maybe suicide" The lines that follow this sarcastic and tragic Romeoesque exclamation speak of "being a millionaire" and "putting your face on all the magazines" before coyly admitting .. "so I lied, none of that's true."

Suicide is the subject of "Fourth of July," a song written for a friend who had done the deed, Droge bellows, "...when you're sick of the trying/and your tired of the crying,/Then the Fourth of July is a good day to die/They'll celebrate each year/your independence from here."

Unlike many of the musicians of today who seem to coddle suicide, Droge continues with words of disappointment and hope: "If you only had just a glimmer of hope then I know you'd have done great things/but you tossed out your gift and it's makin' me wish I'd been there when you found yourself down."

The blues side of Droge comes out lyrically in "Straylin Street," "Two-Steppin' Monkey" and "Dog on a Chain." Although the lyrics in these cuts could be straight out of the Mississippi delta, the rhythm is more reminiscent of modern folk music with its peppy ironic humor and caustic overtones.

Stories of difficulty in relationships and heartache surge through the lyrics of "Northern Bound Train," "Faith in You," "Hardest Thing to Do" and "Hampton Inn, Room 306." All of these songs of modern love have the overriding tempo and croon of despair, yet are laced with glimpses of positivism and hope.

The twentysomething generation needs a lasting musical voice capable of reaching a cross-section of the populous, that can communicate the universal feelings of that generation, with words that can be understood. Droge may not be that voice but his music hits on a gut level that demands attention. It is certainly worth a listen.

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