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April 07, 1970 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-04-07

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

tuesdav. Anri 1 7 1970

THE MICHIGAN DAILY T~ a~~zrIn~, Ar~rl 7 107fl

uc uY r1 i11 It 1 7 V

records ro
Joni: A moment of reflection

By ANN L. MATTES
Joni Mitchell's third album
just has to be her best. Wisely,
{ she's saved some of her favorite
A songs, composed as early as
" 1966, until she attained popular-
ity not only as a song writer
.. . . (for Judy Collins and others)
but as a folk singer as well.
Like Leonard Cohen, Joni's
first two albums appealed to
folk enthusiasts who wanted to
hear the "original", for reasons
more academic than aesthetic.
Surprisingly, both Canadian ar-
Stists held up well after t h e
short term acclaim that novel-
S. iy brings. People continued to
...4. listen to the originals; and many
preferred them.
Ladies of the Canyon in-
: clules "The Circle Game",
which you will recognize im-
mediately and may associate
with Tom Rush who first in-
troduced her songs to the Amer-
ican folk audience. Also familiar
is "Woodstock", the song by
Crosby, Stills and Nash that
closed the festival film. How-
ever, if you know Joni at all,
the possibility is that you al-
iready know she composed them.
In other words, she will have
no one but herself to thank for
'Pubrty byEdvad M nchthe sale of this album.
Puberty' by Edvard M nchA couple of syears ago Joni
cCnema
An A'Cademy'of mediocrity

sang at Canterbury H o u s e.
Her sets included some of the
songs on this album. She may
even have composd one of them
at the Michigan Union, where
she was staying. (I wish I could
remember which one it was.)
In a coffee house atmosphere
Joni has a hypnotic appeal. As
she pours out her songs, h e r
eyes rest on members of the
audience in instant communi-
cation. Standing on stage, large,
blue eyes unblinking, guitar held
against her graceful but angu-
lar frame, she has the s a m e
penetrating appeal that Edvard
Munch created in his portrait
of a young girl, entitled
"Puberty." Joni's presentation is
a mixture of defiance and des-
pair.
Each of her songs is about
people she has met - situations
she has experienced. Few are
profound. Rather, she concen-
trates on the simple drama of
the moment. And she introduces
you to all sorts of interesting
people: the clarinetist who plays
for free, the refugee from a
wealthy family, the priest wear-
ing his father's tie, and many
more. Her songs are not ab-
stract speculations but straight-
forward accounts. Consider, for
example, the lyrics to "For
Free":
I slept last night in a good
hotel
I went shopping today for jewels
The wind rushed around in the
dirty town
And the children let out from
the schools
I was standing on a noisy corner
Waiting for the walking green
Across the street he stood
And he played real good
On his clarinet, for free

Now me I play for fortune
And those velvet curtain calls
I've got a black limousine
And two gentlemen
Escorting me to the halls
And I play if you have the
money
Or if you're a friend to me
But the one man band
By the quick lunch stand
He was playing real good, for
free.
Nobody stopped to hear him
Though he played so sweet and
high
They knew he had nqver
Been on their T.V.<
So they passed his music by
I meant to go over and ask for
a song
Maybe put on a harmony ...
I heard his refrain
As the signal changed
He was playing real good,
for free.
In each song, Joni's love for
people she is discussing comes
out in the words and in the
urgency of her voice. The con-
trol she exercizes over the vocals
are peculiar to her style alone,
often switching from lower to
upper range in a characteristic
yodel.
Adapting her coffee house
performance to the recording
studio has been somewhat dif-
ficult for Joni. One of t h e
shortcomings of her second al-
bum Clouds was that the songs
tended to run into one another
because of a lack of variety in
the accompaniment. While the
instrumentation in this album
is still limited, basically unam-
plified piano and guitar, other
instruments such as cello, sax

and percussion are introduced
at intervals to provide counter-
statements. Joni's piano and
guitar arrangements are par-
ticularly complimentary to her
voice. The music is always push-
ing forward, unhesitating except
for moments of reflection.
When you consider that Joni
designed the cover, composed
and arranged the songs, sang
and played the main instru-
ments, you will only begin to
estimate the artistry of this
woman. The rest will come when
you watch her perform.
The University of Michigan
Philharmonica and Chamber
Choir, conducted by Thomas
Hilbish, will give a concert at
8 p.m Tuesday, April 7 in Hill
Aud.
The concert will be open to
the public free of charge.
On the program will be works
by M o n t e v e r d i, Stravinsky,

g-MMICHIGRAS
WRITE A JOKE...
WIN A PRIZE!
ENTER THE MICHIGRAS JOKE WRITING
CONTEST AND WIN VALUABLE PRIZES
" Original. Printable Jokes
" 50-75 Words
0 Typed Entries ue Thursday, April 9. 1970
" Identify with Name, Address, Phone Nn.
* Winners Judoed by Popular Appeal wn
Saturday. April I1, 1970 at 1i rit!
* Brinq Entries to Michigras Office, 3A Uni3,.
r r-

L,

Department of Urban Planning
presents
Edmund Bacon
Director of City Planning
Philadelphia
"Urban Planning
Architecture and Politics"

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8th

Aud. A, Angell Hall

4:00 P.M.*

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By NEAL GABLER
It is quite fitting that the
Academy- Awards come smack
dab in the middle of the bas-
ketball and hockey play-offs,
because the Oscar telecast is
really more of a spectator sport
than an:. evening honoring
Superior achievement in cinema?
JHelly Dolly? Someone has got
to be kidding.
All of us know it',s gold-flock-
ed, orchestrated, see-thru-pant-
dress, tear-filled hokum. Never-
th~eless, each year we're all there
.from ten o'clock to God knows
when, moaning with every rip of
the envelope, "And the win-
ner is . . ." Nine times out of
ten, deep in our cinematic gut, we
k~now the winner is wrong. I'
mean How Green Was My Val-
lyjust isn't a better film than
Citizen Kane. Nor is In the Heat
of the Night better than Bonnie
and Clyde. And if Oliver is bet-
ter than 2001, which wasn't
even nominated, then I grieve
for all art' judged against t h e
Great Aesthetic in the Sky.
Actually, the awards resemble
a kind of ward-heeler politics.
Most studios are represented
somewhere in the nominations.
So are different genres. Musical
- Hello Dolly! Adventure -
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
Kid. Pseudo-Shakespeare -
Anne of the Thousand Days.
And this year. there is even a
Foreign-intellectual -- Z -
which may become something
like the Jewish seat on the
Supreme Court.
-There are also usually a black
(Rupert Crosse), a youngster
(Cathy Burns), some old-timers
(John Wayne, Gig Young, Jean
Simmons), and stars of the fu-
ture (Jon Voight, Goldie Hawn).
Everybody gets a piece of the
action. The academy doesn't
discriminate anything except
quality..
This year's contest has a
slightly different touch with the
nomination of Zi it is almost

too good a film to be mixed up
in this kind of thing. Anyway,
it stands at one pole antipodal
to Anne. Probably neither will
win - Anne, because it is so'
dishonest and Z because it is fine
window dressing but too intel-
ligent for a moronic group who
favors the innocuous.
Midnight Cowboy, on the
other hand, straddles the spec-
trum. It is not so deep that it
doesn't appeal to almost every-
one who goes to see it, but it is
not so obviouslyrsuperficial eith-
er. As a matter of fact, w it h
D us t in Hoffman groveling
around the streets of New York,
it looks rather profound. But
in many ways it is like a form-
er winner, In the Heat of the
Night.; they are both social pab-
lum. In these troubled times that
equals an Oscar.
To say Midnight Cowboy will
be best picture is also to say
that John Schlesinger will be
best director. I guess this is the
Academy's stab at auteur theory.
If I had my druthers, I'd pick
Costa-Gavras for Z or Arthur
Penn for Alice's Restaurant. But
Schlesinger it will be.
In the category of Best Actor
everyone just assumes John
Wayne will take it. He'll be
flanked by Bob Hope and Mar-
tha Rae and drowned out by a
slappy ovation while the cam-
era lights on some woman in
the audience who looks as if'
she has girdle trouble. After all,
the Duke has been around for
a long time, and who knows
when another role will come
along that would even remote-
ly qualify him- for considera-
tion? There is a veneer of hon-
esty.
,But the Academy, though of-
ten predictable, is predictable in
a Lyndon Johnson sort of way.
LBJ wouldn't give Wayne the
Oscar because everyone expects 0-
him to win it. Remember Ells-
worth Bunker? I'll probably be
caught with my glasses down,

but I think the Academy may
fool us and give the statue to
Peter O'Toole, and a few years
later Wayne will get a special
award for being a greyt human-
itarian or something. Granted,
this may be wishful thinking.
Best Actress is more difficult
for the prognosticator. Gene-
vieve Bujold can be eliminated:
the Genevieve Bujolds never
win. Maggie Smith seems a mite
too obscure. That leaves J a n e
Fonda, Jean Simmons and Liza
Minnelli, and to me it's a toss-
up. But just so I don't appear
to be shirking my duties, I'll
give the nod to Liza Minnelli.
The supporting performers'
awards are often used to reward
some old workhorse of the in-
dustry who will never be nom-
inated to Best Actor but who de-
serves some recognition f o r
sticking it out. For Best Sup-
porting Actress, Cathie Burns of
Last Summer is far ahead of
the rest of this field of fledg-
lings that I can't imagine (real-
ly I can) anyone else winning.
The Best Supporting Actor nom-
inations are more true to the
Academy form. Both Gig Young,
and Anthony Quayle are aging
veterans of the back-lot. Young
will win, but the industry owes
something to Easy Rider and
those of its ilk for bringing so
much money into studio coffers.
Besides, Nicholson deserves it.
It is very possible, and even
probably, that once I have com-
mitted my predictions to print,
I'll meet ignominious defeat.
That is a chance all reviewers
must take. One thing I'm sure
of - if John Wayne wins, he'll
thank this great country of
ours. He's right, you know. It
could only happen in America.
* * *
By the way, Cinema II is
running Salesman Tuesday and
Wednesday at 7 and 9:30 p.m.

-
i

5th
WEEK

NMFO

DIAL
8-6416

NOMINATED FOR
5 ACADEMY AWARDS INCLUDING
Best Picture

IA(? -
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Carnival on Diag thru Fri.-12 noon-4:OO

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AMERICAN
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April 7--Tuesday
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The impact of machines
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