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April 12, 1968 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-04-12

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN. DAILY

Friday iApril'12..1968

Page wo TE MICIGANDAIL

....y, f.,, , ...rte

records
Thank You, Joni Mitchell

It's Bobby, Knocking 'Em Out in Lansing

!I

By LES BLACK
Here is Joni Mitchell. A'
penny-yellow blonde with a
vanilla voice. Influenced; or ap-
pearing influenced, by Judy
Collins, gingham, leather, lace,
Producer David Crosby (the ex-
Bird , Robert Herrick, r North
*B 4 t 1 e f o r d (Saskatche-
New York (New -York),
Gordon Lightfoot, Sgt. Pepper's
Lonely Hearts Club Band,
Chuck, seagulls, do 1 p h 'n s,
Dairy Queen floats, the Lovin
Spoonful, rairi, sunlight, gar-
bage, metermaids and herself.
Last month she was in Ann
Arbor, singing to sel-out crowds
at. Canterbury House. Now her
first album, Song to a Seagull,
is out on the Reprise label. It
is an Impressive debut, one of
the year's most important folk
albums- (the others, so far, be-
ing Dylan's John Wesley Hard-
ing and The Songs of Leonard
Cohen). (If .you {have a thing
ab,out labeling these "records
"folk", just say the 're the
three most 'important new al-
bums, you'll find on the "FOLK
MUSIC" rack at J. L. Hud-
son's.)
Start--with the Beatles. Just
as Dylan taught a generation
of minstrels where o' plug in,
the Beatles gave them a Sgt.
Pepper trip complete with
codas and cadenzas, sitars and
steam calliopes. Add "'Penny
Lane" baroque 'riffs 'ancd "Yes-
'terday Eleanor Rigby" strings
and you have folk music where
Leinon and McCartney have
taken it.
. Their nessage reached even
such traditionalists as Judy
Collins. Having discovered that
Marat-Sade sounds best with
lots of orchestration, Judy then-
recorded an entire album of
(W ild fo w e r s) steeped. in
Joshua. Rifkin's Baroque Muzak
Baroque. Muzak par excel-
lence, perhaps, but nevertheless,
Baroque Muzak. Wildflowers,
though it appears a comedown
after the .nmmense range sof In
My Life, is higher .on the charts
than any previous Judy Collins
album has been (and success,
they say, is where it's at).
.1BMeanwhile, Joan Baez .and
uffy' Ste. Marie have joined
the retreat from simple acous-
tic arrangements. They use the.
.orchestrations of Peter Schick-
ele, who, is a genius (the Brian
Wilson of baroque-folk). Phil
Ochs Weaves. inventively among
baroque and ragtime backings
on his latest album, Pleasures
of 'the Harbor. The new Ian and
Sylvia fare less well with an in-
sistent drummer (may he break
a arm). M.G.M. has re-mas-
tered old cuts to create Hank
Williams With Strings (Who's
next? Leadbefly?). And Tom
Rash has a new release with
strings and saxophones and, on
o"sne cut,; a. vocal, group that
sounds like the Lennon Sisters.
His album is redeemed from
mediocrity mainly by the bare
worth of the materia, includ-
ing. fourteen minutes of Joni
Mitchell songs. Which brings
us back to. Joni.
Joni Mitchell has recorded an
Haum., without ,orchestration.
She plays acoustic gutar. Her
only side-man is Stepwen Stills
(of tlie Buffalo Springfield) on
one .number '("Night in the
City') becauser she says, t'he
came up with a beautiful bass

line that I just couldn't deny."
Her main studio trick is to dub
in her voice a second time as 'a
choral answer on certain songs,
(especially good in stereo).
"If I'd recorded a year ago,"'
as Joni tells it, "I would have
used lots of orchestration. No
one would have let me put out
an acoustic album. They would
have' said it's like having at'
whole paintbox and using only.
brown. But today is a better
time to be recording. It's like in
fashion. There's no real style
right now. You find who you
are' and you dress accordingly.
In music today I feel I can put
down my songs with an acoustic
guitar and forget the violins
and not feel that I need them."
Joni has let her songs find
out who they are and has
dressed them accordingly. As a
result, instead of following oth-
ers' directions she has started
on her own. If you ignore this
album because you have enough
old acousti' Joan Baez, Judy
Collins and Bonnie Dobson rec-
ords, you'll be like someone ig-
noring spring because he's seen
it once, before.
Joni Mitchell has recorded an
accessible, uncluttered album.
She makes it easy for you to
groove on the lyrics and the
'melodies and meanings and tex-
tures of her clear gentle voice
and where she is taking you
and where she has been.
Consider first her words. Miss
Mitchell is 'a lyrical kitchen
poet. Her mind works the way
you want people's minds to
work.
"Michael brings you to a park
He sings and it's dark,
When the clouds come by'
Yellow slickers up on swings
Like puppets on strings
Hanging in the sky ...
Joni Mitchell is Leonard Co-
hen's Suzanne: she shows you
where to look among the gar-
bage and the flowers. She
teaches you what you already
know.
"She has brought them to her
senses
They have laughed inside her
laughter
Now she rallies her defenses
For she fears that one will
ask her
For eternity
As she's so busy being free."

in the City," the gentle verses
to "Marcie" or the yet unre-
'corded "Go Tell the Drummer-
man," her melodies, like her
words, become both rare and
accessible. Eventually, you do
learn to whistle them.
She sings her tunes with a
voice that ought to be heard
rather than described. You can
be told that her voice is full
without being heavy, buoyant
without being fluffy, but that
doesn't tell you much more
than you knew before you
started reading this sentence.
No matter. Her voice will be
around for a while. You'll hear
it.
While the aforementioned
"Night in the City" is probably
the overall best number on the
album, 'The Pirate of Penance"
is the most revolutionary. In it,
with shifting speeds and inflec-
tions, two voices simultaneous-
ly sing what they know about
the disappeared sailor (pirate)
and a little about each other
(shades of Lucy and Polly in
the Three Penny Opera). "Mi-
hael from Mountains," "Song
to a Seagull," and "Cactus
Tree" are also notable cuts.
First albums, like first novels,
may be autobiographical. This
one tells a personal story. Joni
begins joyous in the city "with
places to come from and places
to go," starts to feel trapped as
"another man reached out his.
hand/another hand reached out
for more," and ends up on the
seashore feeling new freedoms
and new entrapments. It's a
well--told tale. But enough said.
Buy the, album. Even if you
somehow decide you don't like
the songs, the artwork on the
cover is worth owning.

}

-Daily-Andy Sacks
At the airport, on top of a truck

J,-

Ten years ago, this motion.
not possibly have been
made

picture could

V

.'*

SANDY DENNIS KEIR DULLEA-
ANNE HEYWOOD ASELEN MARCH
IN D. .LAWRENCE'S THE
SCAEENPLAY BY
A RAYMOND STROSS PRODUCTION in Association with MOTION PICTURES INTCRNATIONAL, INC. * LEWIS JOHN CARINO and HOWARD KOCH"-et'
From the Novela "The Fox" by 0. H{. LAWREE 'P:uc: "" '' 1T0SS - Directed by MARK RYDELL - Color by Deluxe - From CLARIDGE PICTURES

3TaTE

TONIGHT AT 7-9

1

DIAL 8,-6416

Comiing Next@i
"THE SCALPHUNTERS"

Program Information
NO 2-6264

Ly -._ __

-F' r.
"

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT-SATURDAY 11:30 P.M. ONLY
"BATTLE OF ALGIERS"
Theatre will be cleared before this show
t

"A SUPERIOR CONCOCTION
OF WIT AND FARCE...

ALEC GUINNESS' COMEDY ORGY!
TRIPLE FEATURE-3 FOR THE PRICE OF ONE

in the best tradition of Ir
satirical good humor!"
-T ime Mgazine
"A wild ride into a},s{
world of uproarious
fantasy!"
-Sat. Review of Lit
"Its humors are so ingen-
ious and persistent that
it is one big chuckle
from beginning to end!" ALEC
-N. Y. Times
The GUINNESS
wth STANLEY HOLLOWAY
A . A rthur Rank Organization Presentation
A COAmTINENTA LI-IrSRInTItdt INf RE-RD, cAS

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"SO LID-SATIRE..a choice1
piece of movie foolery!"
--Newsweek

"MR. GUINESS keeps yOu
Sfascinated and
...entertained"
-N. Y.=Times
-
as
T14I! MAN~
also starring JOAN GREENWOOD and CECIL PARKER
A Michaelailcon Ealing Studios Production
A J. Arthur Rank Organization Presentation
A CONTINENTAL W5TRiTINgr, Mr.i Eti.EAU

I,

"ITS GENTLE COMEDY AND FRISKY WIT ARE
IN THE AMIABLE TRADITION OF 'ARSENIC
AND OLD LACE' ALEC GUINESS BEST ACTOR
OF THE YEAR SCORES A NEW TRIUMPH!"
-Cue Magazine
"A SPOOF ON THE HIGHEST LEVEL!"
-N. Y. Times
AD CORO~iTS
ALEC DENNIS VALERIE JOAN
GUINNESS PRICE- HODSON .GREENWOOD
i * " ' .s ,H t N,- "Directed by Robert Hamer
A Mirhael Bakon Production Made at Ealing Studios

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