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September 16, 1979 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-16

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Page 6-Sunday, September 16, 1979-The Michigan Daily

'R US T NE VER SLEEPS':

Grandpa Granola's quest

S u Mon &Tues6:10 8:05, 10:00 I
Sot & Sun 210, 4:05, 6:10, 8:05, 10:00 Adults $1.50 til 2:30 (or capacity) __
LIVE at the
SECONID CII6NCE
MITCHRYDER
with special guest "TIGHT"
Monday, September 17
Advance tickets at the Second Chance, Schoolkids Records, and
Wherehouse Records in Ypsi. $4.50-limited number available.
CANTERBURY LOOT presents
tarving Artists Sale
all works by local artists priced at $15 or less
ATTENTION ARTISTS
University and.community artists are welcome to
place up to 10 items in this sale; all items priced at
$15 or less. Artists receive all proceeds from their
works which are sold. $5 registration fee to cover
publicity costs. To reserve space call 665-0606 as
soon as possible.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Septernber 20-22 12 noon to 6 p.m.
at CANTERBURY LOFT, 332 S. State Street
second floor, two doors south of Nickels Arcade
1t
Deity Phonie Numbers:
Billin-764-0550
Circulation-764-0558
Classifieds-764-0557
Display-764-0554
News and
appenings-764-0552
Sports-764-0562
-.

By R.J. SMITH
If Carl Jung can write (in Memories,
Dreams, and Reflection ) that as a boy
he felt some kind of mytical l(but not
special) experience sitting atop a
favorite rock, an experience in which
he felt the rock and he shared countless
secrets and switched identities, then
Neil Young can go the Swiss analytic
psychologist and psychiatrist one bet-
ter: The rock he converses with is the
earth beneath his feet, and his charac-
ter is seemingly as ever-eroding, yet
indestructible, as all soil is.
Young has this crazy look always just
beyond comfortable and somewhere
short of either psycho-killer in-
timidating or simply wacko. I'll have to
cop out and just call it incadescent
-his face looks to have been pressed
out by the same process that creates
bituminous coal, and he has eyes
second only to Andy Kaufman's in their
sublimated surreal frenzy.
I KNOW PEOPLE who otherwise
hardly give rock and roll a sideways
glance who leap up and down and bang
their head against the wall when they
hear a Young song played. Far worse
probably than the next most rabid
example of rock fanatacism (it has to
be Springsteenitis), the worship
bestowed upon Young follows him, and
even grows, with every inexplicable
turn his career takes. The truth, of
course, is that his transmutability is the
most important reason for, his
following.
Being really into Neil Young is to
make yourself as exhausted as you
could b following a rock artist, but it is
also more rewarding than most. What
bothers me about his music is its lack of
detail,. its somewhat wearying
evocation of life as a romantically en-
dless succession of life and death con-
flicts enjoyable only for its crusader's
depiction of momentary victory. He is
the best guitar player in rock, and one
of its finest lyricists. But what can in
one light (under proper dosage) feel
like a laser blast as encroaching
fatalism can, at other times, sound
disproportionately grim and totally
humorless.
Rust Never Sleeps, Young's movie of
last fall's tour, does little to change my
feelings. Within the context of a filmed
rock concert (a paradigm doomed
always to seem at least vaguely
frustrating) it scores big. It isn't nearly
as exciting as The Kids Are Alright, not
out of any Who-Young comparison but
just because if not a good "movie," The
Kids Are Alright at least was definitely
visually interesting and varied. If
Young and his band Crazy Horses'
stage activity is constantly on a low-
burn, however, it matters not. As a sort
of visual documentary of Grandpa
Granola heading into the eighties, as
well as a group of live performances of
some of the most moving acoustic and
electric rock around, Rust Never Sleeps
flies on strong winds.

Director Bernard Shakey (Wood-
stock, Mon Amour, Zuma Beach Party)
has crafted from films of many of
Young's concert dates a movie which
moves smoothly enough between
acoustic and electric sets. Shakey
evidently felt obliged to give free reins
to Young's surrealism onstage, and
thus we see such interesting (but only
marginally visually diverting) things
happen as roadies dressed as
coneheads, Star Wasrs Jawas mon-
sters, and lab technicians scuttling
about; a man wearing a DEVO-inspired
chemical suit rapelling from the rafters
between numbers; giant-sized
microphones and stage monitors set up
by the roadies; Young crawl in and out
of a sleeping bag onstage. throughout
the show.
IF SUCH EFFECTS are quirky and
cute, the music-including versions of
old songs and many new ones-is
positively incredible. One of the
highlights of the film is the opening set
of acoustic numbers, in which songs
such as ''Sugar Mountain,'' "I Am, A
Child," and the new "Thrasher all
sparkle. If only because it is new,
"Thrasher" sounds especially com-
pelling: using the image of thrashers
laboring in an open field as a metaphor
for the way all life gets cut down, it is a
vivid and deep rumination that
miraculously is never ponderous.
tf the electric set sounded a bit
squawky and hard-to-listen-to at times,
I chalk it up to the Salvation Army
sound system at the State Theater. By
all evidence (for God's sake, get the
album Rust Never Sleeps, which ain't
exactly a soundtrack, but can certainly
tell you how these performances
should sound) they are almost unifor-
mly masterpieces, showing off Young's
rip-the-strings-off-the-fret-board style.
There is a wonderful (if a song about a
mass-murderer can be called "wonder-
ful") version of "Cortez," in which the
ending has been somewhat redone so
that what once was frighteningly
powerful in understatement has
become positively dreamy and horrific
in its spareness. "Hurricane," which
many claim never got an adequate
production on American Stars And
Bars, comes off here flickering just out
of control the way the woman the song
is about is just out of reach.
PERHAPS THE most transcendent
electric moment comes when a Monty
Hall-type comes out onstage after a
song and exhorts the crowd to put on
red-tinted 3-D glasses passed out to
them, so they could watch "Neil Young,
and the band rust right before your,
eyes." For Young, "rustnever sleeps"

is a motto meaning decay is always just
a step away, and the invitation to the
crowd is a deliciously self-deprecating
moment. But what follows next is
positively sublime. With Shakey
shooting through a corny colored lens
that makes the band seem blood-red,
Young kicks into "Sedan Delivery,"
one of the hardest rockers on the album
Rust Never Sleeps and an insane song
packed with images of being alone and
utterly lost.
There are lots of complaints one
might lodge against the particulars of
this film. No Young fan (and forget it as
far as the Young freaks are concerned)..
will be totally satisfied with the song
selections. And why, oh why, did the
sequences with Young performing with

DEVO (as I recall reading, they did
"Southern Man" and a few others )
have to end up in the cutting room scrap
bin?
Of course, there are even more poten-
tial complaints about the film in
general, because it's invariably damn
boring to watch some people (and that's
any people) stand onstage in a movie
theatei But let that stuff slide. Neil
Young was probably banging on g
guitar back in the fifties, and it seems
that he'll go on making even more in
tense and moving songs in the eighties,
Any movie that documents the ascen-
sion of a rocker who has never dore
anything but get better-and Young has
been around as, long as almost
anybody-in rock is worth it.

r t'
Merle the pearl
The fellow in the nice suit is Merle Travis, the legendary guitar picker who
will be atthe Ark Coffeehouse in Ann Arbor Monday night for two shows.
The 61-year-old performer popularized the three-fingered guitar method
called "Travis picking," which features a muted bass and soft, fingerpicked
melody. He wrote notable songs such as "The' Nine Pound Hammer" and
"Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Cigarette," and describes himself gs a musical
jack-of-all-trades. Aside from being a pioneer in the early days of radio
music, Travis played a key role in the designing of the electric guitar, and
was the first to put all the tuning pegs on the top of the guitar head, now a
Fender trademark. Today, Travis plays all over the world in concerts,
colleges, and clubs. His appearance in Ann Arbor is'his first one since the
1950's, and he tells the Daily that he will not wear a spangled suit for the
occasion: "It's not appropriate," he says. "I'll either wear a western type
suit bought from the rackin a Tulsa store; bt lse nmt LevI's.",Shucks,
*wants to join you

Join
.the
Arts
Page

L OOK, LET'S get right to the point.
No golly-wollying around (it has
often been said that Daily Arts staffers
are no-nonsense types, and if ever there
were a time for exerting no nonsense,
tis this one). We need some -people to
write for us. Can you do it?
Once, the Arts page was the least-
r'ead section of the paper. We
published plans for a crude Hydrogen
bomb months before the feds said The
Progressive couldn't. Lately, however,
readers are familiarizing themselves
more with where they can find out
what's-r eally happening-the Arts
page.

The University of Mic
Gilbert & Sullivan So
invites you to attend
the

higan
ciety

As for the future? It's all up to you.
We need reviewers knowledgeable in
all branches of the arts, as well as
writers interested in turning out
features. There is the chance to have a
readership hanging on your every
word, the potential to collect a Daily
salary, and a chance to get chummy
with the Arts editors. So we ask you:
will ya do it??
Please say yes, and come to our
organizational meeting this Monday
evening at 8:00 p.m. We are located at
420 Maynard, in the Student
Publications Building, which is right
behind the Barbour and Newberry
dorms. Bringing a sample of your
review or feature writing abilities will
be, er, very .., helpful for all concer-
ned.
Oh, and tell all your friends.
The Eva Jessys Afro-American Music
Collection is housed in the Stearns
Building. From jazz, soul and spirituals
to the less familiar classical scores,
black contributions to music are being
compiled in the collection.

-

IBLhAWIIE
MA55 MEETIN
Sign-up for both cast and
orchestra auditions. All
interested in set building,
costume, lighting, pro-
grams, or publicity are
cordially invited!

U-M Office of Major Events
Presents
EAGLES
THE LONG RUN

6s

TO UR

7

9

Don Henley. Glenn Frey

Don Felder .
Timothy B.

Joe

Walsh

Schmit

The next time you
pick up your car keys and
head for the door, ask
yourself whether a phone
call could save you the
trip-and the wasted
fl..-.nXlflf

AkAI &h 411. i* %L

a ^,n 'Zi

TWO CONCERTS
SATURDAY and SUNDAY,
h"% d"4mT 4 11 41

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