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October 14, 1979 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-14

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I

The Michigan Daily-Sunday, October 14, 1979-Page 5
RECORDS

ficult to be as uncompromising naive as
the rest of the material is. The song I
find most intriguing is "I Don't Miss
You," simply due to its smooth layering
of semi-Stranglers instrumentation and
saccharinely malignant vocals. The
real climax of this wilder side of the
Shoes, though, is an unexpectedly
blistering guitar solo in the first few
minutes of "Cruel You."
FROM THERE, the album winds
down into a soft love triptych called
"Three Times." This is probably the
most interesting cut, as it allows us to
compare the writing and singing styles
of the groups's three singer-
songwriters. (Only the drummer, Skip
Meyer, is excluded.) IN actuality, there
is little to contrast. All three voices and
songs blend as if they came from one
head. It probably doesn't hurt that two
of the members, John and Jeff Murphy,
are brothers, but that doesn't explain
their uncanny similarities to Gary
Klebe in vocal and songwriting styles.
Any one of these three could easily
carry a group on the nonstop hooks
(they crank out,) but I'm sure not

comlaining that they've decided to stick
together. Even the cover proves that
this group has the prerequisites for pop
greatness-they're so cute even your
little sister'll like them. This is the stuff
of which Tiger Beat dreams are made. I
can't wait to see "Wina Dream FDate
with Your Favorite Shoe" featured
prominently on a 16 cover.

The rest of us, especially those with
what we consider more cultured and
mature tastes, are going to be more
than a little embarrased to own this
album, but that doesn't mean we
shouldn't. And while I can't say it's in-
novative, and I can't say it's surprising,
but I also can't say I don't love every
minute of it.

I

Present Tense
The Shoes
E/ektra 6E-244

By MARK DIGHTON
Talk about the All-American success
story! The Shoes hail from Zion, Illinois
where two years ago they recorded
their own demo tapes on a four-track
tapedeck in their living room. They
can't get any record companies to buy
the idea, (I can just hear some record
co. exec. saying, "Sorry guys, pop just
don't make it these days, but maybe if
we had Giorgio Moroder produce
it ... ") so they release the demo
album by themselves as is. Despite the
bad sound quality (even the jacket
disclaimer admits that it it "unusual")
Black Vinyl Shoes" garners a lot of
critical enthusiam. With that backing
and the help of an impeccably self-
produced single on Bomp Records, the
Shoes land a major record deal with
Elektra/Asylum. Following in-
numerable time delays, monthly
changes in producers (even Todd Run-
dgren at one point), and increasing
critica'l antici-ation, Present Time
finally hits the record bins.
I'M TEMPTED to say something like
"this is the best American pop album
since Dwight Twilley's first", but I
know how quickly one reacts against
those sort of handy phrases. Still, I
can't think of any better way to express
my unbounded excitement about this
album. There certainly are few
changes taken throughout its length,
but somehow that doesn't matter much.
This is an album so perfect that it's
almost inhuman. The Shoes throw off
pop hooks and climaxes right and left
that most groups onlu happen on once in
a great while. (Witness Cheap Trick
and "Surrender.")
The opening cut, a reworker version
of their Bomp single, "Tomorrow
Night," is the perfect example. It's
hard to imagine any improvement over
the single, but they manage to add a lot
of dynamics to the melodic interplay
and even some bite to the guitar riff.
This tune just begs to be a hit. But then,
what cut on this album doesn't?
THE FOLLOWING couple of songs
are in a similar vein-breathtakingly
simply pop. Unlike the first album, on
which a few of the cuts sounded non-
descript and even forced, each of the
songs on Present Tense is an instantly
memorable pure pop gem. Nothing in-
novative, nothing surprisingly, but
nothing less than perfect either.
There's not even a hint of anything
out of the ordinary until the last cut on
the first side, "Somebody Has What I
Had." This is our first glimpse of what
is to come on the second side. Yep, the
boys finally discover how to avoid their
only pitfall-terminal cuteness. On the
second side they learn to contrast
adolescent angst with startling pop
melodies. If titles like "I Don't Wanna
Hear It" and "Cruel You" don't
illustrate my point, these lyrics from "I
don't Miss You" should.
Oh, I'm glad you left me
And I hope you don't come back
You hurt me just a little
But I hurt you more than that .. .
The headaches that you gave me
Are the ones that I can do without
You didn't please me then
And I don't think you'd please me
now.
I'm a little sorry that I do find these
songs more interesting, but I find it dif-
COMING OTHEUNION

I love Luci!
"More, more!" exuberantly shouts the jolly tenor Luciano Pavarotti, as
he good-naturedly pushes yet another piece of cake into his mouth. What's
the occasion for such a cake? Why, it's Pavarotti's 44th birthday, and he
and a bunch of the fellahs got together to commemorate that never-again
moment. The whole shebang was thrown Friday evening at the Chicago
Lyric Opera's performance of "Rigoletto." Ice cream was forthcoming.

.,______________v

Hiey Deadheads!
Just as many religious sects believe the navel to be a concentration
point for a certain potent energy, so too does Ann Arbor qualify as a sort of
belly-button for Greatful Dead fans. Like, these people are everywhere!,
clamoring for just one more play of "American Blues," just a few more
drowzy licks from Jerry's guitar.
Well, the Daily want to seek out the quintessential Deadhead. Which is to
say, we're looking for the most dedicated Grateful Dead fan in town, to
exault and upon whom to bestow a gift certificate from a local record store.
Now, we're not looking for your basic cotton candy-assed fanatic: this is
a hotbed of Dead activity, and mere fanaticism is everywhere. We are
looking for the wildest Deadophia, for the Dead activist who has gone to the
greatest extreme to sate his or her lust for those Krazy Kats from California.
To enter our Dead search, simply come to the Daily (located for your
convenience next to the Student Activities Building, at 420 Maynard) and
seek out the arts desk. Please have with you some Dead credentials: that is,
we want to see in print just how overboard you have gone in your fanaticism.
A listing of how many concerts you have seen, how many bootlegs, etc., are
all important things to have listed. Deadline for all entries is midnight, Oc-
tober 22.

ERIC'S
ACTION
SPORTSWEAR -
FORMERLY SECOND SERVE
RECONTA CLOSEOUTS
Women's DOWN PARKA
was $130 NOW $70
100% WOOL SWEATERS
were $40 NOW $22
Men's & Women's TURTLENECKS
were $17-19 NOW $10.50
SKI JACKETS
were $70-90 NOW $40-50
SKI HATS & MASKS
were $10 NOW $7
chamois-CLOTH SHIRTS
with inside nylon trim $13.95
Men-Women's Tiger
JOGGING SHOES
were $36 NOW $18
Brooks Rac-ball-TENNIS SHOES $13
Assorted Raingear
406 E. Liberty-2 blocks off State St.
663-6771

F:

ANN ARBOR CIVIC THEATRE ANNOUNCES:
Auditions For "KISS ME KATE"
Mass Meeting Monday, Oct. 1S -7:30pm
201 Mulholland Drive (off W. Washington)
SINGING ROLES FOR THREE WOMEN, SEVEN MEN.
NON-SINGING ROLES FOR FOUR MEN.
SINGING AND DANCING CHORUS
Production Dates: December 12-16
infor: 662-9405, 662-7282
See Chrissy.
See Chrissy learn about life.
See Chrissy dance .. .
IN THE ROOM ROOM ROOM
a drama by DAVID RABE
Oct. 19 & 20-8 p.m.
Oct. 21-2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Residential College
Auditorium, East Quad
Ticket Central
Mich. Union

¢I

Tickets $3 at

and at the door
a production of the NEW MUSKET COMPANY
763-1107
Cottage INN
(good only with thi* coupon)
r Carry-Out and FREE Delivery

Iti7

8:30 PM HILL AUD.
The Nekrasov Russian Folk Orchestra, Stars of the Bolshoi Opera, and Principals from
the Kiev Ballet provide a unique combination of three of the Soviet Union's most exciting
traditions. A full orchestra devoted to a centuries-old sound of thrilling balalaikas and
domras, with Bolshoi artists singing peasant ballads and masterpieces by Soviet composers.
Tircets Available S4_ S6 S7.

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