UH-V GETS HAYNES

by James V. Geluso

Senior Writer

Karen Haynes, the dean of the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work, will be appointed interim president of the UH-Victoria, the UH Board of Regents announced Tuesday.

Haynes will replace Lesta Van Der Wert Turchen, who resigned in May to accept a position as a senior fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Turchen had been president of the Victoria campus for the past three years.

Haynes will take over in Victoria Sept. 1. and will serve for one year, or until a permanent president is named by the board.

When Haynes was appointed dean in 1985, she became the first female academic dean in UH's history. Since then, she successfully instituted a doctorate of social work degree and brought the school national recognition.

Haynes, who could barely contain her excitement, said she is taking the mandate of the Board of Regents very seriously.

"This is a good time for me to take on a new challenge. My commitment is to maintaining and building upon the vigorous presence the University of Houston System has established in Southeast Texas through UH-Victoria," she said. "I believe my record in leadership positions and my background as an academic administrator, teacher and scholar will serve the university and community well as UH-Victoria accepts and endeavors to fulfill the evolving roles its community establishes for it."

Under Haynes' leadership, the Graduate School of Social Work was the only college to surpass its goal in the "Creative Partnerships" fund-raising campaign.

Haynes was included in <I>100 Years- Houston's Pioneer Women & Today's Leaders<P>, which was published in 1994. She was also listed in <I>Two Thousand Notable American Women<P> and <I>Who's Who in the World<P>.

UH-Victoria is an upper-level and graduate university serving a 15-county area of southeast Texas. The school has an enrollment of approximately 1,600 students and offers degree programs in education, business administration and selected areas of the arts and sciences.

 

 

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HOBBY NAMED INTERIM CHANCELLOR

THE NEXT FEW YEARS ARE CRITICAL, HE SAYS

by James V. Geluso

Senior Writer

The Board of Regents announced Tuesday that former Lt. Governor William P. Hobby will serve as the interim chancellor of the UH System.

In front of a packed ballroom at the UH Hilton, the board also announced the interim presidents of UH and UH-Victoria. Glenn Goerke, currently the president of UH-Clear Lake, will be the interim president of UH, and Karen Haynes, currently the dean of UH's Graduate School of Social Work, will be the interim president of UH-Victoria.

All three are the sole candidates for the positions. The board cannot formally appoint them until a 21-day posting period has expired. The appointments will take effect Sept. 1.

Hobby and Goerke will serve for two years or until a permanent successor is appointed after a national search. Haynes will serve for one year or until her successor is appointed.

In her introduction of Hobby, Board of Regents Chairwoman Wilhelmina "Beth" Morian focused on Hobby's extensive experience in academia and administration. Hobby currently teaches at Rice University and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and is an adjunct professor at UT's Health Science Center in Houston. He has also served on the boards of UH, Rice and Southwest Airlines.

Morian also stressed the "enormous esteem" in which Hobby is held.

"He acquired that esteem the old-fashioned way," she said. "He earned it by choosing for himself tasks that could make a difference in the lives of millions of people, and then by handling those tasks so that the difference he made was consistently beneficial."

In his remarks to the gathering, Hobby said, "Every university has its share of troubles, and the University of Houston has had more than its share."

Hobby said he is looking forward to the job ahead.

"I want this job because the University of Houston System has its best times before it," he said. "The next few years are critical to our universities as they move to the cutting edge of instruction and research, and as they provide Houston and the region with the kind of urban university System it deserves.

"The focus of the chancellor and the Board of Regents is to educate students in the most effective and efficient way and to make sure that the universities serve their communities. Our job is to find new and better ways to do those things."

Houston Mayor Bob Lanier was among many former UH regents, administrators and civic leaders praising Hobby's appointment.

"It's important to the faculty, the city and the political structure that the person chosen be instantly recognizable," Lanier said.

Regent Elyse Lanier, the mayor's wife, said her husband has been more effusive at home. "He said to me, 'With Bill Hobby, all your problems are solved,' " she said.

In-coming UH President Goerke said he is optimistic about his new position.

"I am excited because I share Regent Morian's confidence that the UH System knows what it must do to continue functioning as the provider of higher education services to the nation's fourth largest city and the Upper Texas Gulf Coast," he said. "I am certain we can face these challenges with a high degree of success by pulling in the same direction."

Goerke said he hasn't had time to look at the UH budget yet, but he said, "We've got to take a hard look at where the dollars are now."

Morian said the board will announce an interim president for UH-Clear Lake in the near future.

 

 

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NIGHTTIME NOT ALWAYS THE RIGHT TIME AT UH

by James Aldridge

Daily Cougar Staff

University of Houston evening students often complain that nothing is open on campus at night.

After working all day, students come to school to find offices closed, most campus restaurants closed and professors who leave the campus immediately after class.

In the summer, the University Center Satellite, the UC Whataburger, Chick Fil-A, Allegro Pasta and Cafe Features are all shut down by 2:30 p.m. Even the convenience store, Et Cetera, is closed by 5 p.m.; but chips, candy and soda are no substitute for a hot meal.

Jeffrey Salzberg, a manager at the Cullen Performance Hall who often works late nights, said, "I would like to see something near Cullen Performance Hall open at least until midnight, but I suspect that traffic would be so slow that the contractor would lose money."

Salzberg said he would like to see, if anything, a restaurant open late in the residence halls for dorm residents, evening students and staff. The UC probably would not have very many customers that late, though, he said.

Shivkumar Shankaran, a graduate computer science major, is usually in class until 8:30 p.m. "The Satellite could be open. There are really no other services open for us to access," Shankaran said. "I feel that food services should be open until 10 p.m. so everyone who needs to satisfy their appetites has an opportunity to do so. Because, really, there is little choice on campus if you have classes 'til 8:30 p.m. or 10 p.m., other than Snickers bars."

He said there should be other vendors on campus besides ARA to create competition, which might lower the cost of the food on campus.

Andrew Breese, a second-year law student who is in class until 7:40 p.m., said, "The university should simply rent space to the highest bidders in the Satellite, the UC and in the Towers eatery areas."

Ala'n Apurim, an undeclared major who spends late nights using the computer labs, said he saves about 100 percent to 150 percent of his money just eating at home instead of eating on campus. He buys generic grocery food and waits for sales to buy things like soda.

However, there are some places on campus where evening students can find a place to eat after hours. The Moody Towers Horizons stays open until 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Coogs Cafe stays open from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

There are also some offices that work with the schedules of evening students.

If evening students need to buy textbooks, the UC Bookstore opens 30 registers and extends its hours during the first week of school to 9 p.m. After the first week, it closes at 5 p.m. in the summer and 6:30 p.m. in the fall and spring.

Paul Sirianni, bookstore manager, said the bookstore's Saturday hours help evening students. Instead of dealing with long lines during the week, students can find time Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., he said.

Ed Berry, assistant dean of Students is in charge of the evening students division. He said his office has worked to meet the needs of evening students by providing services that are open past the traditional 8 a.m to 5 p.m. work day.

Berry said a big problem is that most evening students don't know what's available to them. In various places on campus are Evening Student Services posters, which list what offices are open and at what times.

The Information Center at the UC is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Office of the Dean of Students is open until 7 p.m., and Berry said students have been able to speak to him by appointment.

If evening students need help finding a job or need help writing a resume, the Career Planning and Placement Center is open until 5 p.m. weekdays.

David Small, assistant vice president of Student Services and head of the CPPC, said the center does a good job meeting the needs of evening students.

The center now offers JOBank VoiceLink and its own World Wide Web homepage at http://cppcnov.career.uh.edu/home.html to help students when its offices are closed.

The JOBank VoiceLink is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Small said.

The center's homepage provides new job information on campus and positions across the country through its gopher server.

It also provides during the regular semesters the times and descriptions of services offered, like the interview practice workshops offered in the spring.

Students can obtain information about where to find counseling on their future careers and in specialty areas.

The homepage provides links to other Internet addresses, so one can find information about who to contact if looking for a job at Microsoft, for example.

 

 

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EARN DEGREE BY TV

by Krupa Parikh

Daily Cougar Staff

If students cannot come to the University of Houston, the University of Houston will go to the students. Starting in the fall semester, students will be able to acquire an entire degree through classes televised on KUHT-TV and Houston-area Access Cable channels.

Two specific graduate degrees will be available through this plan: a Master's of Hospitality Management and a Master's of Science in Occupational Technology (training and development).

Six specific undergraduate degrees can also be obtained. These include a Bachelor's of Arts/Science in Psychology, B.A. in Pre-Professional English, B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management, B.S. in Technology-Industrial Supervision, Technology-Mechanical and Technology-Computer Engineering.

Approximately two courses from each degree plan will air during the semester, depending on air time.

This plan allows students to either watch the classes at the aired time, or record the classes on video tape and watch them at their own convenience.

Sandra Frieden, director of UH Distance Education, said this plan will make UH more accessible to students, especially those who are juggling various responsibilities and still want to fulfill their academic desires.

"We see this as another service we can offer to the Houston community," Frieden said.

The plan works in conjunction with nine other community colleges. The community colleges are in charge of administering the freshman- and sophomore-level courses. UH is in charge of administering the upper-level and graduate courses.

Requirements for these classes will not differ in comparison to regular courses. Students will be informed of requirements during meetings on campus at the beginning of the semester. One proctored exam is mandatory, as is one class meeting. Students and faculty will be able to communicate by phone, e-mail or conferences.

Although the plan sounds like a high-tech, information superhighway, 1990's invention, higher education via distance education has had a long history at UH. The school began televised courses in 1954. The plan was popular back then, and at one point, approximately 20,000 people had participated in the program.

In the 1960s, funding that supported this endeavor shifted to support new buildings. As UH stopped this program, other universities around the country incorporated it into their curriculums.

Approximately 30 years later, in 1984, a form of distance communication came back to UH, and the university started offering one-way video, two-way audio types of classes at various sites. People taking the course would go to a nearby site, which could be a school, corporation, or other type of facility. From the various sites, students could view the professor on a screen. The two-way audio allowed the students and the professor to communicate and have discussions, even if every student was at a different reserve site. Off-campus viewing and demand slowly increased, and UH decided that two Master's of Engineering degrees would be offered through distance education. After seeing the success of these programs, UH recently started airing classes on KUFT.

Last spring, approximately 800 students participated in distance education. Approximately 570 of those students were home viewers, and 93 percent said they would recommend this type of education to a friend. Frieden said the faculty and staff are very excited about these plans as well.

For more information about this program, call 395-2810 or 1-800-OUR-UHTV. Frieden said students calling for information will receive an information packet in the mail that should answer most questions about the program.

 

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TRACK NEGOTIATIONS AND LOVE SONGS

by M.S. Ameen

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston track and field team signed three recruits this past week, announced head coach Tom Tellez.

The women's distance team received a boost for the 1996 season by signing Meghan Randall. She was all-state and regional champion in cross country at Aptos High School in Aptos, Calif.

The men's team signed thrower John Davis, who was California's second-best high school competitor in the shot put. Davis also set school records for the discus at Wilson High in Long Beach.

The Cougars have also procured the services of two young sprinter/hurdlers. Slade Combs of East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah won state championships in the 110-meter hurdles, the 100 and 200-meter sprints. Texan Roderick Mayfield from Midland Lee High will also bring superb hurdling skills to the Cougars.

 

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THERE'S NO GRIPING IN SPORTS!

by Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

Warning: If you are one of those people who dot their i's with little hearts and like to hum while doing manual labor, then you might find the following article a little upsetting.

What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on? There are definitely some things we need to address, so here it is from the home office in Sioux City, Iowa, (or at least my desk here at the Cougar) -- the official top 10 list of things wrong with sports:

10. Baseball. This is the worst-run organization in the United States. It is pretty amazing that World War II couldn't shut down the world series, but the current group of twentysomethings demanding $6 million a year instead of $5 million did. I don't want to take sides on the whole strike issue, but if Jim Carrey received $7 million for the movie <I>Dumb and Dumber<P>, maybe Jeff Bagwell does deserve more -- I think he had a better year.

9. Orbit the mascot. I would love to meet the genius in the marketing departments of the Astros and Rockets who thought this fuzzy nightmare would sell tickets. I don't think a single person in Houston would be upset if someone knocked Orbit off. He does nothing short of flopping around, and he generally upsets me physically every time I see him. Turbo, help this guy out!

8. Charles Barkley. Does anyone really care if he retires or not? Sir Charles, quit pulling the collective chain of basketball lovers everywhere and make up your mind. I say hang up the hightops before the Rockets return in '96 to ruin your playoff run for the third straight time. Besides, when you retire, you can have that party for the 18,000 close friends that the Rockets kept you from having.

7. Auto racing. OK, yes I do consider auto racing a sport. However, besides Indy and the Daytona 500, I think we can cut down on the excessive TV programming. It never fails; I need Chris Berman and get, instead, the "top fuel dragster heavy and light body design trials featuring both wide and medium engine blocks" live, no less, from Vero Beach. By the way, what in the hell is a funny car?

6. Golf. Webster's Dictionary's phonetic spelling of golf is boer-eng. I think it should be spiced up NBA-style. Just like free-throw shooting in basketball, I think the fans should be able to rant, rave and mesmerize the golfers when they hit the green for that all-important putt. I am sick of this sneeze-while-they-are-shooting-and-you-will-be-asked-to-leave crap. I say give those damn golfers something to think about when they shoot. Could you imagine a little man in a funny jacket holding up a quiet sign every time Penny Hardaway shot a free throw? NOT.

5. Houston Aeros Hockey. Does anyone really care if Houston has hockey? I sure don't. Ten to one says you don't know a single player's name and would only go after a six pack and a "let's go for the helluvit" attitude.

4. MVP voters in the NBA. I have to tip my hat to the boys who let Hakeem's trophy slip to someone else. David Robinson is a good player, but the Dream is the best player in the league, and finishing fifth is an insult. The second ring Olajuwon is about to win should make every MVP voter hang his head in shame and sing the Phi Slamma Jama fraternity song.

3. Dan Dierdorf. I love Monday Night Football, but this guy kills me. Anyone remember that infamous quote when the 49ers and the Cowboys played last fall? "I think Dallas can win if they score points and try to prevent San Francisco from scoring points." Boy Dan, you are really going out on a limb with that statement.

2. Shaquille O' Neil. Sorry, but Shaq Fu and the rest of the Orlando Magic haven't put their time in yet and don't deserve the national attention. Larry Bird is rolling over in his grave and the poor man is not even dead yet. If only he could shoot free throws as well as he did commercials, we might have something. Until then, don't sing it, bring it, because you are currently getting stomped by my beloved Rockets.

1. Sportswriters like me at The Daily Cougar who have nothing positive to say, have no quotes in their stories and are delaying your summer school crossword action.

 

 

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WHAT SUMMER VACATION?

by M. S. Ameen

Daily Cougar Staff

 

Just when you thought you'd heard the last of Houston track and field, yet another competition awaits our Cougar athletes.

Three members of the men's team and one member of the women's leave today for the USA Track and Field Championships. The meet is being held in Sacramento, Calif., and will run until June 17.

Juniors Sheddric Fields, Ubeja Anderson and Vicenzo Cox will represent the University of Houston but will compete as part of the Santa Monica Track Club. Anderson, who took third place in the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships, looks to match his skill against tougher competition.

Fields will test his ability in the long jump, while Cox braves world-class challengers in the 400-meter hurdles.

Female jumper Dawn Burrell will actually wear the UH colors as she flings herself into the battle for the long jump title.

Part of the coaching staff, including head coach Tom Tellez, will accompany the athletes. Two members of the staff will actually compete.

Olympians and UH volunteer coaches Carl Lewis and Leroy Burrell will again grace the Championships with their expertise.

This visit to California should prove to be an excellent experience for the Cougar stars. For Anderson, Fields and Cox, who will return in the fall as seniors, this experience will help them to contribute to the team as a whole during the 1996 season.

 

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THIRD REICH MANIPULATES ITS WAY INTO HOUSTON MUSEUMS

by Maike van Wijk

Daily Cougar Staff

When one thinks of the Third Reich, visions of parades with Adolph Hitler and his "Sieg Heil" come to mind. However, 86 percent of the movies made between 1933 and 1945 were feature films that helped people forget the war and the fears associated with it.

<I>The Ministry of Illusion: German Film 1933 - 1945<P>, a series of movies (with English subtitles) will show at the Goethe Institute and the Museum of Fine Arts until June 26. Some movies are preceded by a short movie (Kurzfilm) or a newsreel to set the tone of the time period during which these movies were shown.

"When one watches those movies, one forgets what happens in the world. Wartime is not mentioned; the directors try to present life as normal," said Brigitte Metzger, program coordinator at the Goethe Institute in Houston.

Some movies are preceded by lectures to convey the context of the movie. "Sandy Frieden's introduction is very good, because she points out how one gets sucked into the story and forgets what the message is supposed to be," Metzger said.

Frieden, who has taught German Film classes at UH since 1982, said Hitler and Joseph Goebbels were huge fans of the film industry. "They would get together with friends and critique films together. They watched many Soviet films and realized what a powerful tool they were," she said.

Goebbels thought that even a disgusting (communist) ideology, with the right artistry, would make people want to become a Bolshevik. He took control over the movies when Hitler appointed him minister of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda in 1933.

"He did not allow artistic reviews, but only politically correct reviews so the people would be instructed properly," Frieden said.

Frieden also said Goebbels always showed newsreels before the movies. Eventually, cinema doors were locked so the viewers had to stay through the entire program.

At first, Nazi propaganda was overt, she said, when the movies portrayed Nazis fighting communists, or a Hitler youth turning in his or her parents. Films were often shown in schools, and eventually, the youth were weaned away from old values to new values through Hitler Youth Film Hour on Sunday mornings (during which they obviously could not go to church), she said.

Goebbels then realized that the most effective films were those in which the bias was hidden and people didn't have the opportunity to process the ideologies presented, Frieden said. These are the kinds of movies shown in the <I>Ministry of Illusion<P> series.

The films made were about anything but national-socialism, anything but the events of that time, Frieden said.

"You would become totally wrapped up and lose yourself in these wonderful stories, but you might miss some of the propaganda," she said.

One love story shown in the series is about a doctor whose wife is terminally ill. "It seemed about a sad story," Frieden said. "He decides to give her something so she can die. But the goal was to make people more supportive of euthanasia. Yet euthanasia was not just used on suffering people, it was used on people who were politically, racially or otherwise unsatisfactory. The movies were used to soften people's attitudes toward something.

"We have to step back from the film and ask ourselves, 'What values is this film proposing?' Here I am, identifying with this character, but he represents something contradictory to my beliefs," she said.

Marian Luntz, curator of Film and Video at the Museum of Fine Arts, said, "The films are fascinating because they can be appreciated as entertainment. Yet looking at it from our perspective and seeing that the movies were made under the Third Reich, we can see the layers of meaning and innuendoes the Nazis tried to manipulate the public with."

Luntz said, "The use of film to manipulate thinking is a relevant issue to contemporary society. To look at how they (the Nazis) communicated a false sense of well-being and to look at film and television today, we see that our subliminal communication is similar. Escapist fantasies, like extreme violence and the way relationships are portrayed seem reality-based but may not be."

She said propagandist movies only make up a small proportion of Third Reich film production.

Luntz said the Goethe Institute is very anxious to make sure the films are presented in a context, rather than just as entertainment. "This is part of their consistent effort to educate the public about German culture," she said.

The objective of the Museum of Fine Arts is to show films that wouldn't otherwise be available to the Houston public.

Contact the Goethe Institute, 3120 Southwest Frwy., suite 100, at 528-2787 for showtimes.

The series will also be showing at the Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet. Call 639-7515 for showtimes. Student tickets are $4.

 

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JULIANA HATFIELD IS GIVING IT HER <I>EVERYTHING<P>

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Since appearing on the <I>Reality Bites<P> soundtrack more than a year ago, Juliana Hatfield has been a busy woman. Besides touring to promote her album, <I>Only Everything<P>, Hatfield appeared on the now-cancelled television series <I>My So-Called Life<P> and contributed to the soundtrack. Her main goal now, though, is getting people to hear her sing.

"I feel a little pressure this time," says Hatfield, in response to the hype surrounding her latest release. The album is "not so tightly woven" as previous efforts and has a more laid-back sound. Many of the tunes rock, though, including "Universal Heartbeat," the album's first single and video, where Hatfield plays an aerobics instructor. She says she was having trouble deciding on an idea, and the concept came to her "in a vision, really fast."

As far as touring goes, Hatfield says she enjoys being on the road and getting her music across to a wider audience. Her music is often categorized as college or alternative rock, mostly because of the edgy sound of singles like "My Sister" and "Spin the Bottle," both of which shine because of Hatfield's trademark waifish vocals.

"I feel like people who are labeling me are limiting me," says Hatfield when asked about her classification under those musical titles. This is not the case, though, with "Make it Home," a hauntingly beautiful ballad performed by Hatfield when she appeared on <I>My So-Called Life<P>. She calls her experience on that show good, but says she felt like a "fish out of water" and would like to study the craft of acting more intensely.

If you want to see this fish in her proper environment, catch Hatfield when she performs at Numbers, 300 Westheimer, Thursday with Cold Water Flat. Tickets are $12 and doors open at 8 p.m. For more information, call 526-6551.

 

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HOUSTON BALLET TEACHES LIFELONG LESSONS WITH <I>PEER GYNT<P>

Photo by Jim Caldwell/Houston Ballet

Li Cunxin plays Peer, and Janie Parker plays Solveig in the Houston Ballet production of <I>Peer Gynt<P>.

by Yvonne Dawson

Daily Cougar Staff

Living life to the fullest is no easy task. The Houston Ballet's performance of <I>Peer Gynt<P> showcases a young man who goes after what he wants.

<I>Peer Gynt<P> tells a tale of a curious youth (played by Li Cunxin) who, feeling stifled in the rural community where he makes his home, sets out to explore the world. Throughout his journey, the young, passionate Peer encounters many a young woman, the first of which is Solveig (played by Janie Parker). Before Peer leaves his home and mother, this young country girl passes by, and the two immediately fall in love. Solveig is the daughter of a minister, though, and she lets him know the two could never be involved.

Disappointed, the young man sets off to enjoy life. The first of his whirlwind adventures is with a newly married bride, Ingrid, who he woos away to the forest, but with whom he quickly becomes bored.

His adventures continue as he is seduced by three entrancing women, spends time in an insane asylum and has a disaster at sea. This disaster brings him back to his home in Norway, where he is forced to reflect upon his life and the prospects of living the rest of it alone. This downtrodden Peer, dressed in rags and living penniless, contemplates on a life unfulfilled as the mistresses of his life pass him by as if in a dream. He is "awakened" by the site of his beautiful and faithful Solveig.

Li Cunxin gives a superb performance as Peer Gynt. In the course of 10 scenes, Cunxin develops the character from an innocent and mischievous child to a young man whose sensual dances are on the fringe of censorship. One should surely try to see this strong performance by Cunxin before he leaves the Houston Ballet for the Australian Ballet Company. His fellow performer, Mark Arvin, will also be leaving to pursue musical theater.

The roles of Peer and Solveig will alternate nightly with Mark Arvin and Dominic Walsh as Peer, and Tiekka Schofield and Corinne Jonas as Solveig.

The Houston Ballet will perform <I>Peer Gynt<P> at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and at 2 p.m. on June 18 in the Brown Theatre of the Wortham Center.

Student tickets for the Houston Ballet's <I>Peer Gynt<P> are $5. Call 227-ARTS.

 

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EXPERIENCE <I>ECSTASY<P> WITH CHRIS WHITLEY

Photo by Chris Nofziger/Sony

Chris Whitley's second album, <I>Din of Ecstasy<P>, has its shortcomings, but is still worth a listen.

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Daily Cougar Staff

If Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) picked up a National Steel guitar and decided to play the blues, it might sound a whole lot like Chris Whitley's <I>Din of Ecstasy<P>, the sophomore effort by the songwriter and slide guitar stylist.

Whitley broke nationwide with his 1991 debut <I>Living With the Law<P>. That album was produced by Malcolm Burn, Daniel Lanois' guitarist, and Lanois' influence hung over the album's production. With dark, evocative imagery and an idiosyncratic approach to National Steel slide blues, Whitley strove for a new blues language, at once drawing on familiar mythology and using it to create his own.

In contrast to the dense atmospherics of his debut, Whitley opts for a different kind of density on <I>Din<P>: feedback. Co-producer John Custer flattens and kicks the noise, Steve Albini-style, into the foreground. The result is more visceral and risky, and fails almost as often as it succeeds. Whitley's vocals have taken on a Lou Reed-deadpan quality, which puts a heavy burden on the impressionistic lyrics -- I hope he didn't intend flabbergasting lines like "I've got no pride in my pants" to carry deep poetic weight.

But just as often things click, and the marriage of his self-conscious lyrics to finely wrought cathedrals of distortion brings more vivid moments of catharsis than on his debut. Whitley's angular riffing on "Oh God My Heart is Ready" renders the lyrics superfluous -- his new-found eclectic voice slams the point home. In contrast, on "Never," his lyrical reach -- "Well I stood all night out there waiting for the Ark/ gasoline all in my hair to tempt a spark" -- leaps out of the mix to pin down and shape the electric clatter below.

Whitley's only cover is a Velvet Underground-style deconstruction of the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Some Candy Talking," which itself owes a debt to Lou Reed's songwriting. Putting himself in the Velvet tradition is a little unexpected coming from a Delta-blues revisionist like Whitley, but like much else on this remarkable album, it works.

His sidemen are due a large chunk of the credit for the success of <I>Din<P>. Bassist Alan Gevaert, who has been with Whitley since his starving musician days in Belgium, keeps the metal machine from locking up with his fluid lines, and drummer Dougie Browne, who has experience dealing with highly idiosyncratic guitarists from his stint backing Mark Ribot in the Lounge Lizards, does a wonderful job keeping Whitley's fragile constructions together.

It takes a few spins for <I>Din of Ecstasy<P> to catch fire, but the time is well spent.

P.S. Whitley is an incredible live performer. If and when he comes to town, get tickets at all costs. Run over your grandmother if you have to.

 

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BAD HAIR DAY? NEVER!

by Fernanda del Villar

Contributing Writer

PULLQUOTE: "It is a great opportunity for me, because I charge what I like and none of my check goes to the Salon," said hairstylist for the Salons of Post Oak Daniel Motta. "I just pay rent for the chair; it's like renting my own salon without the worry of maintaining it."

In the United States, being a hairstylist is simpler and there are more opportunities than where Daniel Motta comes from. Motta, 38, immigrated to the U.S. in 1981 from Argentina, where he was a licensed beautician. He decided to go back to school and learn "the American way," as he calls it, when he arrived.

"In Argentina, to be a beautician you have to know a lot of chemistry. Here everything already comes prepared in little bottles," Motta said. "All you have to do is put it on your client's hair."

To be licensed to practice in the U.S., Motta had to pass a two-part examination: a hands-on exam and a written exam.

"First, using a model, you have to perform the actual steps for a color, highlights, a perm, styling, and you also have to do a manicure and a facial," Motta said.

"That was the first and last time I ever put creams on a client's face," said Motta, who, although he knows how to do everything else, sticks with hairstyling as his specialty.

"The written exam covers every area including a pedicure," Motta said. "Thank God you don't have to actually do a pedicure on your model!"

After passing the exam, Motta worked at various salons, but settled at Sakowitz's hair department.

"I acquired most of my clientele at Sakowitz," Motta said, "but some clients have been with me from the beginning, following me to whatever salon I work at."

When Sakowitz closed, some of its hairstylists, including Motta, went to work at Michael Kemper's salon.

"I lost a few clients with the move because I didn't have addresses or phone numbers for them," Motta said. Fortunately, many of his clients eventually found him, because he kept the Sakowitz phone number.

"Years later, people were still calling to ask for this department or that department of the store. It was so funny," he said.

Motta later left Kemper to work at Salons of Post Oak at 2020 Post Oak Blvd. in the Galleria area. At the Salon, Motta rents his chair and is his own boss.

"It is a great opportunity for me, because I charge what I like and none of my check goes to the Salon," Motta said. "I just pay rent for the chair; it's like renting my own salon without the worry of maintaining it."

He pays $1,000 a month to rent his chair. "When you consider what they used to take out of my check at other salons, it's really not that much to pay," Motta said. "Besides, I'm busy all the time."

"I also get to use what ever products I like," he said. This is a "big plus," he said, because he can use his favorite brands and he's not confined to the one the Salon has a contract with.

Although he is happy working at Salons of Post Oak, Motta hopes to have his own hair salon one day.

"It will be like this one, where you rent your chair," he said, "only it will be smaller."

Motta said, "Here we have more than 30 chairs. I would only have 10 or 15 chairs, because otherwise it gets very crowded and clients have trouble getting a good parking spot."

Motta explained that he would rent out the chairs instead of hiring the hairstylists as employees because he would like to give them the same opportunity he has at the Salon:

"The opportunity to call the shots; to be their own boss. There is nothing better than working for yourself," he said.