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October 24, 1978 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-10-24
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Pge" 18-Tuesdy, October 24, 1978-The MiCiga' Daily

The-Mich oil~y-T .., Oct4

Is there reggae after Marley?

Is there reggae after Marie,

(Continued from Page 3)
TOOTS AND THE Mayals, also turn-
ing their island music into a religious
prayer to the Rasta, have a nice
selection of Rastafarian songs on their
Reggae Got Soul album-but their
earlier Funky Kingston LP-before
their act went Rasta-sounds less
forces, less contrived. The album
makes no pretense about sending a
"deep" message: there are just nice
songs like "Sail Away," a song that lets
a listener close his eyes and imagine a
Carribean cruise.
Raggae music has been criticized for
sounding too repititive, and one listener
commented that he at first didn't like it
because it sounded like the record was
skipping. With an array of Marley
impersonators on the shelves, reggae
music in the future is crying for
someone to come out with a distinct and
unique sound to offer listeners
something different. If reggae is ever to
break out of its stereotype as a cult of
"faddish" music form, it will have to
show innovation. Only then will this
"different" kind of music prove that it
is legitimate and here to stay, in the yes
of its critics.
Like Marley says, "You got to lively
up yourself, 'cause reggae is another
looking for the intellectual side of life?
Read the Michigan Daily
101 N. WNASHINGTON. YPSI-4$3-4434 4

Doily Photo by ANDY FREEBERG
A few tips on the
art of shooting stars

(Continued from Page 15)
AS FAR AS lenses, unless you're go-
ing to be right on top of the perform-
ance you'll rarely want to use anything
shorter than 50mm. A lens from 105-
135mm is generally fast enough to
handle most concerts and long enough
to bring you into the action, and that
will probably end up your primary lens.
If you anticipate the performers will be
upstage, a 200mm lens might come in
handy. But keep in mind that the longer
the lens the smaller the aperture and
the less chance of stopping the action. A
normal lens (50-85mm) will expose a bit
more of the stage, and can be of use in

low light situations, when a faster lens
is needed.
Once you begin shooting, keep a
watchful eye out for microphone
placement. Many a good shot has been
ruined by a mike seemingly embedded
in someone's head or emenating from a
performer's mouth. Position yourself
and your camera so that all gratuitous
elements are eliminated from the
Finally, you must hold your camera
steady. Most concert lighting forces one
into shooting at slow speeds, and you
should practice bracing your camera to
eliminate blurring. Save the artsy stuff
for later.

At first I was suspicious. Being a traditional jazz
purist, my only previous exposure to reggae was Bob
Marley's "Lively Up Yourself," which had shed its
cult label to get some FM play. Besides that, my only
contact with the music had been through Eric
Clapton, Johnny Nash and Cher (no less)-not
exactly authentic Jamaican island reggae.
That was May 1975, when Bob Marley and the
Wailers were on tour with their newly released
Rastaman Vibration album, a highly-refined brand of
real island reggae that made Playboy magazine's list
of best jazz albums that year.
Unaware of exactly what was in store for me, I
found my first row seat in Masonic auditorium's
balcony, adjusted my nose to the sweet smell of herb
emanating from the seats around me, and braced
myself for a true "cultural event."
"DON'T FORGET," my companion cautioned me,
"This isn't a concert, this is a religious experience."
The lights went down, the joints lit up, and Bob
Marley took the stage singing the title song from his
newest album:
If vouoet down on jour knees everyday
You say your prayers to the devil I sa v
But its new, isn't i
cI's a new time of/year
Oh its a new day
The man himself was, to put it mildly, a bit
strange. His hair was long and ropelike, knotted in
what I learned were called sacred "dreadlocks," in
obedience to biblical instructions forbidding men to
take scissors to their hair.
Suspended behind him was a picture of Marcus
Garvey, the 1920s back-to-Africa advocate, and Haile
Selassie, the emperor of Ethiopia who the
Rastas-his followers-profess is the risen Christ.
His other name was Jah: His children were Jah's
THE FLAG on the set was red, green and yellow,
the colors of Ethiopia-Babylon-the fulfillment of
Garvey's prophecy. And the reggae creed warned
listeners to be good, worship the Rastaman, and
smoke ganja, the sacred herb.
L livefor yoursefl
-vou will live in vain
Liveffor others, you will live again
In the kingdom of Jah,r man sha/I/reign
Pass i on
Marley joined the Rasta sect in Jamaica after
Haile Selassie appeared to him in an LSD vision.
Watching him bounce across the stage, I was
convinced that the initial effects of that bad trip had
not quite warn off.
But I also realized at the same time that Bob
Marley was making a statement. I was nodding my
head both to the impulsive beat of the music and in
total agreement with the lyrics as he sang "Until the
philosophy that holds one man superior and another
inferior is abandoned-totally destroyed-it's a
BY THlE END) of the concert, like everyone else in
the auditorium, I was on my feet. I was moved by his
words and the beat, and I was incensed with the
capitalists and the "baldheads," the oppressors and
those who still followed the way of the devil.
Reggae music is, I learned then. a religious and
cultural statement that tends to get lost in the almost
too-pleasant rhythms and island beat. Young reggae
novices follow Marley as the Jamaican who smokes
the herb and says "mon" for "man," while few
actually listen to the words of "Them Bellyfull but we
Soon, I became obsessed with the Rasta message
and the reggae music that was its pulpit. It was better
meditation than Zen, more avante gard than Sun Ra,
and it made a real political statement. I began
looking to other forms of reggae, other artists with a
MARLEY'S MUSIC says, in essence, that
everything will be alright if you smoke herb, follow
the ways of Jah, and listen to reggae. That is, "One
good thing about music, when it hits you feel okay,"
or "Livley up yourself. 'cause reggae is another
I discovered other groups, such as Third World,
maintained a much darker vision than Marley's.
While Marley looks to the future, when "every little
thing gonna' be alright," Third World, with their
riving; beavier 8ound, asksbitterly j.'Do youfi

remember the days of slavery?" Songs like "Sun
Don't Shine" and "90 Degrees in the Shade" tell not of
tranquility with Jah, but of the oppression of the past
and present.
THIRD WORLD and another dissident group,
Burning .Spear, stress racial issues, while Marley
emphasizes the class struggle. Marley has thus
managed to attract a wider audience (and enjoy the
highest reggae record sales in the U.S.) that has led
some of the true-believers to conclude that he has
"sold out" on what he preaches. A disgruntled black
blues artist once commented, "Don't nobody listen to
the blues anymore but middle-class white kids," but
it could have easily been any Jamaican reggae artist,

commenting on Marley's eh
that is fast replcing jazz as ti
But while Marley packs con
only real reggae enthusiasts
equally talented counterpart
from the original Wailers and
career. Tosh has produced bo
and the more forceful and de
Tosh has so-far resisted the
reggae that has made Rasta
received in this country. He
revolution while Marley i
revolution of the mind througl
In Jamaica this summer, u
came together for a sort of
peace concert that marked I
native island since he wa
political concert two years ag
he now wanted to marl
emphasizing love and det
themes espoused in titles suc
"Get Up, Stand Up (Stand U:
BUT WHILE Marley rem
a man whose current albu
setting the tone of reggae
remains a perennial, unp
drifter. His Harder They Com
album have become the cre
But while Cliff has a followir
has been unable to translate I
million-seller albums and pz
his Rasta counterpart. Cliff
various styles-from soul to
his fans somewhat bewildere
all about.
It is said that the one way t
was for young blacks to bec
reggae music artists-an
everyone with a -guitar ha!
professed homage to Jah, in I
Marley's audience. One suc
pleasantly distinct sound tha
since he doesn't vary it at al
instrumentals, however, ofi
Jamaica's distinct third worl

Color is the vinyl froi

Sight and Sound Supplement
R. J. Smith
Staff Writers
Brad Benjamin, Andy Freeberg, Owen Gleiberman, Mike Taylor,.
Sue Warner. Dan Woods, Eric Zorn, Walter Zwol, Tim Yagle, Keith
i Untellable thanks go to Owen Gleiberman, for writing and helping.
Lynn Schneider
Sales Manager
Denise Gilardone
Sales Representatives
Bob Granadier, Bo Manning, Arlene Saryan

Once upon a time, whenever you would open
a multi-colored album cover, perhaps with inner
jacket artwork and a well-designed sleeve, you'd
find an unassuming, plain black vinyl disc to
tumble onto your turntable.
But today's albums, no matter how ornate on
the outside, are getting some fresh competition
from a batch of platters with their own color.
Several stores in Ann Arbor, including
Schoolkid's and Wazoo, are among shops
featuring these multi-colored discs. Although
they aren't giving the Grease soundtrack a run
for -its cash, such records as the Sergeant
Pepper's album (the cover shot put on the disc),
the soundtrack to The Rocky Horror Picture
Show (an outrageous shot of star Tim Curry),
and the Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed (pressed on
red vinyl) are arriving more frequently.
There. hasralways been the occasional odd-
colored album (one pressing of J. Geils'
Bloodshot, for instance, was made in red vinyl),
but industry people only within the last two years
have firmly committed themselves to putting out
such discs.
Far from impairing sound quality, there is a
good chance that the colored album you buy is
made of higher quality vinyl than the normal
black discs. This is because record plants get
vinyl that is clear and must be treated with a
carbon dye before it becomes the traditional
black color.
If a disc is to be colored, then "virgin vinyl"
must be used-vinyl more pure than many black
albums are printed from.
"Picture discs" are another matter, however.

Made by placing a picture pr:
paper over plastic and laying
over it, a spokesperson for Ca
frankly "generally doesn't n
But mere novelties or not, it
these variations on the standa
visuals are raking in even
record companies. And in a t
seem hell-bent on escalati
regularly, do we really nee
costing $14, or a $12 Let It Blee(
As Graham Parker says,

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