The Michigan Doily--Thursday, September 6, 1979-Page 13D
THE RAMONES (left) and Patti
Smith (right) often play at
Second Chance on Liberty Street.
For those rock and roll fans who
fancy concerts in smaller
crowds, or simply prefer less
famous artists, the city offers a
wide variety of acts from which
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We Specialize In PIZZA, Regular and Sicilian.
326 S. Main St.
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Hours of Service:
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Tuesday through Saturday
Tea Room " Continental Pastry " Bakery
By KEITH TOSOLT
As famous as it is for many achieve-
ments, Ann Arbor has not been known
in recent years as a rock and roll mec-
ca. But for the avid rock fan who is
willing to look -for it, the city offers a
wide variety of groups and performers
along the rock spectrum.
The tradition of local rock and roll
goes back over a decade. Starting with
the Rationals and their cover version of
Otis Redding's "Respect" and. Bobby
Seger, the city musical scene took off
when the counterculture came into
vogue. The MC5 were fusing politics of
revolution with high energy and high
times, setting the precedent for the Sex
Pistols and their anarchism. Iggy and
the Stooges, while not punk poseurs,
combined street life with stage presen-
ce and decadent acting years before the
punk movement plugged back into it.
REMNANTS OF the sixties scene
survive in two bands, Sonic's Rendez-
vous Band and Destroy All Monsters.
Fred "Sonic" Smith carries on the high
decibel legacy of the Motor City Five /
with his searing and punchy guitar
leads and distorted chord riffs. The
single "City Slang" (with Patti Smith
on backing vocals) is well-produced but
hasn't received any airplay in Detroit.
Incidentally, while Patti Smith her-
self isn't as common a sight in the city,
she usually performs at Second Chance
a few times each year.
Another group that traditionally
plays Second Chance several times an-
nually is the Ramones. The quartet,
which is only now gaining, national
recognition, has favored Ann Arbor as a
touring spot for several years.
Destroy All Monsters began as a new
wave outfit with art rock inclinations.
But the band has uncluttered the sound,
slimming it down to a power trio which
includes Ron Asheton of the Stooges on
guitar and bassist Michael Davis from
the Five. Muddy Ramones-sounding
power chords now provide the accom-
paniment for lead vocalist Niagra's
deadpan monotone singing. But the
singer's interesting to watch.
A SKINNY vocalist named Hiawatha
fronts The Cult Heroes. His lyrics are
unintelligible most of the time and the'
beat is simple, but the Heroes do a good
cover of "Shakin' Street," a Sonic
Smith tune done with the MC5.
For straight-ahead rock and roll,
Brownsville (formerly Brownsville
Station) is the most successful Ann Ar-
bor group. These are the guys who
wrote that teeny-bop anthem "Smokin'
in the Boy's Room" that is soon to be
immortalized in celluloid by Roger
Corman in his production of Rock and
Roll High School. The group doesn't
play around town as a group, but Cub
Koda, lead vocalist and guitarist, often
jams with Mugsy during their gigs at
Mugsy holds the top slot as the best
Ann Arbor bar band. Pumped up
guitars and a wide repertoire of high-
energy rock tunes are their strong
aspects, while their bad quality is a
tendency to goof too much on stage. But
then, rock and roll should be fun.
THE LOOK, actually out of Detroit,
plays a weekend gig about once a mon-
th at Second Chance. The most original
bar band around, its own songs have the
melodic flavor and bounce of Cheap
Trick. And it covers the classics that no
one else touches. Ever hear a bar band
do "Sweet Soul Music"? The Look does,
along with a lot more surprises for the
rock 'n' roll connoisseur.
Fifties rock, R&B, jump blues, and
rockability are all within the domain of
The Steve Nardella Band. The nucleus
of the two guitarists from the Silver-
tones, local R&B legends of The Blind
Pig, carries on in the classic style of the
first rock era. Of the same style, but a
little more off the wall, are Dick Siegel
and His Ministers of Melody. Dick
writes some pretty funny songs ("What
Would Brando Do?") using folk boogie
and R&B as his starting point.
Jazz-rock fusion also makes up a por-
tion of Ann Arbor's music scene. The
Prismatic Band is heavily influenced
by Latin rhythms, working out a hybrid
between Santana and space music.
Long, but not boring, guitar and sax
solos are played over a background of
incessant percussion playing, making
for a energetic fusion sound.
Vantage Point, soon to head for the
Montreaux Jazz Festival, is really
more "pop" jazz than fusion. But they
have one player who likes to play hard
rock leads over their funky rhythms,
giving the jazz a very different flavor;
not fusion per se, but jazz with rock n'
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DAILY: 6 A.M. to MIDNIGHT
Your rent paid for 1 month.
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