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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 20, 1999)
“Up Up Up Up Up Up”
Righteous Babe Music
Ani DiFranco has never been one for
extravagance, and on her latest album, she
gets back to the basics.
On “Up Up Up Up Up Up,” DiFranco
returns to simple story-telling, edgy social
commentary and a streamlined band.
DiFranco recorded the new album just
months after her last, “Little Plastic
Castle.” A testimony to the singer-song
writer’s commitment to release an album a
year, “Up” serves as a documentary of
DiFranco’s most recent artistic develop
With increasing media attention and
the growth of her record company,
Righteous Babe Records, it’s no surprise
that 1998 was a good year for DiFranco.
Her album reflects those experiences with
its more mellow soul.
Fans should not misread mellow as an
accusation that DiFranco has lost her edge.
Quite the opposite. DiFranco is just as
spunky and brazen as ever. But “Up” fea
tures a more mature DiFranco, one more
hopeful even in her resignation. DiFranco
is still full of passion and zeal for her caus
es, but this time she’s more reflective and
The new album also features a funkier
sound with the addition of Julie Wolf on
organ and piano.
The album opens with “’Tis ofThee,” a
typical DiFranco tune with a plucky,
melancholic tone. The song comments on
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Drugs.” With characteristic sarcasm,
DiFranco remarks on the empty promises
of Get-Tough-On-Crime policies above
subdued guitar and drum lines.
DiFranco continues with “Virtue,” a
song that capitalizes on her ability to go
from house-rocking folk to quiet melody.
DiFranco contrasts her anti-strum guitar
playing with sweet, smooth interludes, and
her self-acceptance on this song is both
comforting and provocative.
Another highlight is “Come Away
From It,” an 8'/2-minute ditty about loving
a drug addict. The addition of a haunting
organ line behind DiFranco’s mournful
accusations creates a surreal and religious
DiFranco contrasts the irate melan
choly of “Come Away From It” with the
spunky independence of “Angry
Anymore.” With its light-hearted banjo and
strapping accordion, the song provides a
glimpse into DiFranco’s new attitude: Self
righteousness won’t get you anywhere.
The final highlight of the album is
“Everest,” a song that recreates the intima
cy of seeing DiFranco live. Featuring only
guitar, bass and vocals, the song allows
DiFranco to overpower the listener with
the emotional intensity of her voice.
A few' songs may remind listeners of
the effect-laden “Dilate.” Occasionally the
experimentation overpowers the vocals,
but DiFranco is still interested in music
more than toys and gadgets. Most of the
improvisation is done in the same spirit and
humor of her concert performances.
And despite the lavish use of the word
“Up” in its title, this album is DiFranco at
her most succinct.
w Ryan Soderlin/DN
AMY JIRSA PERFORMS her monologue from “Spiked Heels” at Howell Theater Monday night. Jirsa and other theater students will be com*
peting in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday.
Cast sets stage for competition
By Liza Holtmeier
Senior staff writer
For the first time in years, the
Department of Theatre Arts and
Dance is sending a show to the
Region Five competition of the
American College Theatre Festival.
This Saturday, the cast of
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” will
perform in Ames, Iowa, at Iowa State
University. The cast will join other
UNL theater students competing
solo and as duets in the Irene Ryan
Scholarship Competition, which is
conducted simultaneously with the
Students performed “Picasso at
the Lapin Agile” last semester dur
ing the department’s main stage sea
son at the University of Nebraska
Lincoln. The show was chosen for
the festival after an adjudicator
judged the show in October.
Five other colleges will present
plays during the regional festival
between Thursday and Saturday. The
UNL production is one of two ver
sions of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile”
The top play from Region Five
will appear in a showcase represent
ing college theater at the Kennedy
Center in Washington, D.C., in April.
Written by Steve Martin,
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” places
Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in
a Parisian cafe in 1904. The play
explores what might have hap
pened if the two young geniuses
Cast members have made a ,
few changes since the show
ended its run at UNL in
November. After the adjudicator
saw the show, he made recom
mendations concerning the pro
duction’s technical elements such
as sight lines and vocal produc
The show also changed after
the students took a short break from
the play between semesters.
“There is a freshness to each
character,” said Jude Hickey, one of
the play’s cast members. “I think
before, the show was a lot about
being really funny. Now it’s about
having fun and searching for what
each character wants.”
Ryan Johnston, who plays
Picasso, said the show has entered
the next phase in its life cycle.
“You can’t possibly make it the
same,” Johnston said. “It’s sort-of
picking up where you left off and let
ting the show continue to grow. For
required some set modifications.
However, cast members said, the
only acting changes they have made
involve bigger gestures and reac
“It’s really hard to prepare for a
space that you’ve never been in,’"
Johnston said. However, “It doesn’t
change the essentials or fun
It’s kind of like in football
when they make a big deal
out of changing to Astroturf
The students had their
final rehearsal in Lincoln on
Monday. Before they per
form on Sahirday. they will
have four hours to set up the
set and run a final dress
While students are look
Its kind of like in football
vhen they make a big deal
out of changing to
us, it’s an opening night. It’s not like
the show’s over and now we’re doing
The actors have also been
preparing to perform on a stage and
in a venue larger than the Lied
Center. Taking the show from the
Howell Theatre, which seats 382,
ing forward to the performance,
many say the highlight will be seeing
the other schools perform.
“The best part of the whole festi
val is a chance to meet a lot of other
theater artists, see what they are
doing and talk about the art,"
Everything’s rosy for UNL professor
By Danell McCoy
Inspired by a floral bouquet he
received after the birth of his son in
1997, Eddie Dominguez created a
dinnerware set that has made him
the dish of UNL’s art scene.
The piece, titled “Anton’s
Flowers,” was purchased by the
Renwick Gallery of the National
Museum of American Art at the
Smithsonian Institution in
Washington, D.C., in December.
Dominguez’s piece was^valued
at $ 10,000 and was bought by the
Smithsonian for $9,500.
Dominguez,"an assistant professor
of ceramics at University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, says the piece
was made as a tribute to his son’s
“The flowers were given to me
by my art dealer who I had worked
with in Santa Fe for 15 years,”
Dominguez said. “I had a show
coming up not long after my son was
bom and wanted to use these pieces.
It was very inspired artwork.”
The piece consists of a set of
dishes, each one focused on a differ
ent view of the flower arrangement.
When the pieces are stacked togeth
er, they form a garden.
Dominguez is the second UNL
faculty member in the department to
have work purchased by the
Smithsonian. The first was a piece
titled “Star Standing, Air Wheeling,
Dust Deviling” by Karen Kune in
1989. A second piece of her work
was later donated to the museum.
Domguez decided on serving
utensils as his medium of choice
because he believes that celebrating
a meal together is an important part
of daily life. When his son was bom,
he wanted to portray that family-ori
Dominguez was very surprised
when he received the call asking
him to send some slides of his work
to the museum. The slides were
shown to a committee, and a few
months later the artwork itself was
taken to the museum to be viewed.
It took almost a year for'the
committee to select Dominguez’s
“It wasn’t easy letting it go,”
Dominguez said. “But because it
went there it’s okay.”
When Dominguez began work
ing on this piece, he brought actual
flowers into his studio to use for his
designs, which he usually does not
“I’ve always been inspired by
nature,” Dominguez said. “But I
don’t usually take nature into the
studio with me.”
Gail Kendell, an associate pro
fessor of art at UNL, acknowledges
the accomplishments of Dominguez
and believes that his recognition, as
well as the recognition others in the
department have received, will
enhance the prestige of the art
“Our program is gaining a lot of
recognition nationally,” Kendell
said, “particularly in the area of
Dominguez says he plans on
putting the money back into his stu
dio. But first, he hopes to buy his
son a new bedroom set.
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