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September 14, 1979 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-14

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, September 14, 1979-Page 7.


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a~ f
Slow Train Coming
Bob Dylan
Columbia FC-36120
Just a little over 14 years ago, Bob
Dp-an went out of his way to spread
doubt among the faithful. Producing
howls from the beat generation and folk
purists who formed the core of his
following, Dylan made his electric
debut at the 1965 Newport Folk
Festival, risking the lable of "sell-out"
to develop a new sound.
Released almost exactly on the
August 28th anniversary of that event,
Dylan's latest album, Slow Train
Cdiiing is stirring up a lot of controver-
syand most of it along the same lines.
He'is said to be betraying his roots by
shedding the Star of David and em-
br'acing the crucifix. It's even been
written that he was seen wearing both
onihis Hibbing farm, thus adding to the
these charges and all the speculation
and publicity surroinding them are
pointless and only serve to obscure the
real issue. It wasn't whether Dylan

played an acoustic or electric guitar
then and it isn't whether he is Jewish of
Christian now. The question is whether
he is still creating valid music and Slow
Train Coming proves without a doubt
that he is.
Slow Train Coming is far from being
the gospel according to Dylan. Hehas
always used Biblical images in his
work; most notably {in the Old
Testament atmosphere behind the
moral of John Wesley Harding. This
latest LP merely represents his first
extensive use of the New Testament as
a source of inspiration.
Dylan has more than crosses to bear
during the span of the nine songs he
presents us. He seems aware that the
uncertainty of his religious identity
might be a concern for some and he ad-
dresses the problem in, "Precious
Now this spiritual warfare
Flesh and blood breaking down
You either got faith
Or you got unbelief
There ain't a neutral ground
Otherwise, he avoids preaching and
keeps the matter of faith on a personal
THE SAVING GRACE of this album
is Dylan's indestrucible sense " of
humor. On a forbidding-sounding song
like "Gotta Serve Somebody," he
manages to slip in lines like:
You may call me Terry
Youdnray call me Timmy
You may call me Bobby
Oryou may call me Zimmie
You may call me R.,J.
You may call me Ray
You may call me anything
No matter what you say
You're still going to
Have to serve somebody
and still have them working for him

thematically. "Man Gave Names To All
The Animals" is pure fun in the same
vein as "If Dogs Run Free" in its good-
natured play on words and rhymes.
The best two songs are the most for-
ceful of the collection-"Slow Train"
and "When You Gonna Wake Up."
They amount to warnings of the im-
peding future and the message of both
comes down to "watch out." Lyrically,
they're filled with the short, sharp
metaphors that made Dylan famous.
Yet, even they may have faltered
were it not for the crisp sound Dylan
has chosen this time. Desire and Street
Legal were often hampered by the
blurred, carnival nature of the perfor-
mances and production. Here, Dylan
has sought a smoother, more distinct
background with guitarist Mark Knop-

fler and keyboardist Barry Beckett
leading the way. The vocals are
likewise tightened up and toned
down-resulting in some pretty soulful
singing on Dylan's part.
The album as a whole should not be
judged too harshly. I wouldn't go as far
as Jann Wenner did on a two page
spread in Rolling Stone in proclaiming
it to be Dylan's best LP of the '70's and
possibly the greatest of his career. It's
on par with Blood On The Tracks but
without the rough edges.
Slow Train Coming is a finely-crafted
effort that deserves to be listened to.
The religious aspects of the album
ought not to keep fans from giving it a
try. Take it as a new chapter in a
fascinating ongoing autobiography.
It's hard to put a good book down.

Richard Pryor - Filmed Live In Concert
(Jeff Margolls, 1979)
Funnier than a Steve Martin, faster than a Mork, more powerful than a
Robert Klein. Look, up on the stage, it's RICHARD PRYOR-LIVE IN CONCERT.
80 minutes of non-stop hilarity, this film proves Pryor as the funniest stand-up
comic to hit the stage in years. "His physical and verbal comic gifts range
from expert mimic and pantomimist to witty raconteur."-L.A. TIMES.
(80 min)
Angell Hall $1.50 7:00, 8:40, & 10:20

This Saturday Night
a special appearance of the Ann
Arbor folk group, TREES
Saturday, Sept. 15-8 p.m.
CANTERBURY LOFT-332 S. State, second floor
$2.50 general admission beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Sandor and Laszlo Slomovits9 pjn:
a Ste'uad A di 4 ,_701 E. Universit
-Friday Auditorium $---
This concert will be taped by Solid Sound of Ann Arbor for Gemini's first

Now is the time
for all good writers
.come to te aid
of he Arts page
It is no longer a rumor, but fact: This Monday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m., the
Daily Arts and Entertainment staff will hold its first mass meeting for
prospective writers. -
Talented scribes fiot all over campus will flock to the offices, of the
Daily, 420 Maynard, right behind Barbour'and Newberry dormitories for
The Arts staff needs entertainment critics and feature writers. Years of
experience have taught that talk is cheap, and the editors ask that prospec-
tive writers come to the meeting with some sort of writing sample and an
idea just what it is they'd like to write about.
EXPERTS AGREE that Arts work is challenging and educational, and
such experience never looks bad on a resume. What is more, as* critics,
writers have their admission paid for, and they often capture the scorn of an
entire community. It's great.
So, yes, it's true. Monday night at 8 at the Daily. Make a note to yourself
and tack it on your rental refrigerator.


PHOTOGRAPHY STUDY GROUP. An organizational meeting for those
interested in researching and preparing a photography show at the Loft.
Friday evening, 6 p.m.
THE EQUUS PHENOMENON. An informal reading of the play, Equus,
by Peter Shaffer followed by a discussion led by Tony Burdick.
Friday, 8 p.m. Free.
TREES IN CONCERT. A special concert appearance by Trees, an ,Ann
Arbor folk group.
Saturday, 8 p.m.
SUNDAY EVENING MEDITATION. Personal explorations in Christian
spirituality, led by Episcopal Chaplain, Andrew Foster.
Sunday, 6 to 7 p.m. Free and open to all.
Canterbury Loft is located at 332 South State Street, two doors
south of Nickels Arcade on State Street, on the second floor.
For information, please call 665-0606.

A 2 olice
A prison inmate escaped from
University Hospital Wednesday night
and was captured shortly afterwards on
the diag, Ann Arbor Police said yester-
According to police, 24-year-old
Robert Harris of Detroit "just walked
out of his room" on an all-private
medical-surgical floor at around 9:15
p.m. and reportedly surrendered
without incident to Ann Arbor police
and hospital security guards on the
Diag shortly after 9:30 p.m.
Police said Harris was brought to the
hospital from Southern Michigan
Prison in Jackson for treatment of a
"heart problem."
According to a hospital employee,
each room on the general-purpose floor
which usually treats pulmonary patien-
ts, 10-North, has only one door for en-
tering and exiting, presumably permit-
ting floor personnel to better monitor
Police said Harris is serving senten-
ces for second-degree murder, two
counts of armed robbery and assault.
Ann Arbor police returned him to the
prison shortly after his apprehension.

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