The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, February 7, 1979-Page 7
D)a r13o wIiot,e
RCA CLP2-2913 "
Back To The Bars
By MIKE TAYLOR
My had is spinning, my heart is
pumping 'and my legs feel weak. I
stumbleinto an empty booth and pass
WhenI come to, my little styrofoam
box sits:like an angel on the formica in-
ches avay. I reach out . .. and rip it
"Ahih," I gurgle. "The moment has
arrive!" I take a huge bite and sit
back h ecstacy, feeling the pains of my
mostserious Big Mac Attack in days,
drop hrough my legs and into the floor.
I fee ready to ponder a weighty issue:
"Do David Bowi4, Lou Reed, or Todd
Rudidgren ever get Big Mac Attacks?"
I EALLY WONDER, for I often feel
most creative when in the recovery
stages-of such attacks. Judging from the
recent live albums from these gents, I
would guess that only Lou Reed gets
Big Mac Attacks, for his Take No
Prisoners is the only creative record of
the bunch. And if David Bowie and
Todd Rundgren did get Big Mac At-
tacks, they would surely have found out
what Lou and I have, and only made
live albums after stepping out of a Mc-
Donalds restaurant. There are enough
of them in this country, so it shouldn't
be such a hard task.
I like some sense of struggle in my
rock'n'roll, and I don't hear any in
David Bowie's Stage or Todd Run-
dgren's Back to the Bars. This sur-
prises me, for I usually love whatever
Sex comedy series,
lust for laughs
It was one of the grimmest eras of American history - the
depression. While many American artists dipped into stark realism,
and others into fantasy, a few braved the times and offered in their
work a rare and much-needed commodity: optimism.
These artists, filmmakers like Howard Hawks, Preston Sturges,
and Frank Capra, generated in their movies a happy energy, and gave
Americans firm hope that things might work out. As actor John
Sullivan said in the Preston Sturges' film Sullivan's Travels, "There's
a lot to be said for making people laugh! It isn't much, but it's better
than nothing in this cockeyed caravan!"
These movies focused on a variety of topics; but many of the best
were humorous and rcmantic films about men and women. .
Starting this Friday evening, the Cinema 2 film cooperative will of-
fer aspeoial progra ' Qf these classic so-called "sex" comedies, made
in the 30'i and 40's The series has three parts: "Preston Sturges
Night''his Friday "Howard Hawks and George Cukor Night,"
February 23, and " rnst Lubitsch Night," March 16.
Each show feaures tw6 different films, such illustrious talent. as
Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Cary Grant, and
John Barrymore, and some of the greatest yuks ever recotded on
celluloid. Eddie Hskell does not appear in any of the movies.
For mnore intrmation, call Cinema 2 or check out their signs,
which are all ove campus.
Take No Prisoners
Bowie comes up with (maybe he ate so
many Big Macs he lost a taste for
them), and I very often like whatever
Rundgren cooks up. But this time
around both men have become like
Let's dissect Stage first. The record
has a very packaged, mechanical feel to
it: the same picture of Bowie adorns the
front cover, the back cover, and the in-
side fold-out. There is some variety,
however, for each picture is tinted a dif-
ferent color. The songs are similarly
packaged: All traces of interaction with
the crowd have been removed, so each
tune sits like a little island, surrounded
by seconds of uncomfortable silence,
uncomfortable because this isn't how a
live concert is supposed to sound.
THE RECORD OPENS with five
songs from one of Bowie's best albums,
The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust
and The Spiders From Mars. On the
concert tour he did last year, these
songs were part of a thrilling seven-
song medley. Each tune built upon the
last, so that by the end everyone was
raving and cheering and generally ac-
ting like madrveople. Here, five songs
have been extracted, all semblance of
continuity rubbed off, and their order
rearranged. Though each tune sounds
fine by itself, the lively surge that made
them great in concert has been killed.
Side two opens with a hideously insin-
cere version of "Station to Station."
Bowie sounds so bored that I can only
hope he stays away from long songs in
the future. Bowie's R&B (those less
kind might say disco) hit "Fame" is
next, and a lovely version it is. Really,
I've never liked this, song, but live it
sounds kind of fun.
The second disc attempts to boil downI
the best of Low and Heroes into one ,
album, and half succeeds. "War-
szawa," "Art Decade," and "Sense of
Doubt" are just as enjoyably spacy as
their studio counterparts, and "Speedi
of Life" has a spunky edge not found onI
the original take. "Breaking Glass,"
"Heroes," "Blackout," and "BeautyI
and the Beast" all sound very much asI
they first did. The only real departure isi
"What In The World," which has
doubled in length and been given ai
reggae beat to carry it through. It's alli
very nice, but then many things in life
I like Rundgren's Back'to the Bars
considerably less than Stage, so I think
I'll waste fewer words on it. The
packaging is classically pretentious;
there are pictures everywhere, in-
cluding on the inner sleeves, but
ntwhere can be found a complete
listing of who played on the album and
what they played. It's a matter of
priorities, of course, and it seems
Todd's priority is to squeeze as many
pictures of himself in as possible.
THIS COULD HAVE been a fine
album. The song selection is great-in-
cluding gems like "Love of the Com-
mon Man," "Black and White," "I Saw
the Light," and "Hello It's Me"-and as
the title implies, this album was indeed
recorded in bars across the country,
which ought to lend a touch of intimacy
to the proceedings.
But Rundgren blows it by using the
same arrangements he used when these
songs first came out. It sounds very
boring to hear songs sound the same
way they always have. The only dif-
ferences are negative ones-his voice
sounds strained quite often, and there's
no sense of commitment; he sings with
all the passion a worker must feel put-
ting cars together on the assembly line.
Reed's Take No Prisoners could hot
be more different from Bowie and Run-
dgren's efforts. It is everything a live
album should be spontaneous, relaxed,
full of power, immediate, alive!
REED HAS STR UCK the perfect
balance between laziness and regimen-
tation. His record is filled with flashy,
tightly-performed rock'n'roll, yet it's
permeated with the languid sunniness
of a smug Sunday afternoon. He tells
stories throughout-giving songs like
"Sweet Jane," "I'm Waiting For My
Man," and "Walk On The Wild Side" a
whole new vitality. He cracks
jokes-some work, some don't. So
what? He's himself-he's Lou, and it
Unlike most live rock'n'roll albums,
Lou does not open the album with cat-
chy power chords. No, these he holds off
for a few minutes while he chats with
"I'm going to quote adline from Yeats
I think it is," he mumbles. ""The best
lack all conviction while the best are
filled . . .' no no it's the other way
around. The best 'lack all conviction
while the worst are filled with a
passionate intensity.' Now you figure
out where Ilam."
THAT'S WHERE the power chords
come in. Reed's band literally explodes
into "Sweet Jane," making it one of my
favorite rock'n'roll moments.
Everything is in perfect place-the
guitars, the keyboards, the drums, the
horns, the bass, the female back-up
singers-and the Binaural Stereo
recording process brings it to live with
startling clarity. The sound is rich and
full, with lots of soul -and jazz between
the layers-it doesn't sound the least bit
New Wave, which is nice considering
Reed's influence on the new generation.
Soon the pace slows and the jokes
start flying. He talks about Barbra
Streisand and her concern for the "little
people," and then asks, "Are we being
radioized tonight? Fuck radio
Ethiopia-I'm radio Brooklyn."
A snazzy, jazzy "I Wanna Be Black"
follows, and then a thundering
"Satellite of Love" finishes the side off.
"Pale Blue Eyes" and "Berlin" are
given more or less straight-forward
treatments, but the band's electric
thrust pshes them towards rock'n'roll
"Coney Island Baby" and "Street
Hassle," two of Reed's finest songs of
late, fill a side with unrelenting
imagination and force. These songs
were brand new just a short time ago,
yet Reed finds ways to give them more
My favortie 17 minutes of the album
is the time Reed spends talking about
"Walk On the Wild Side" without ever
really singing it. He reluctantly agrees
to do the song, and then says, "It's not
that I don't want to play your favorites,
it's just there's so many favorites to
choose from." He beings the song, but
then gets sidetracked into a discussion
about New York rock critics Robert
Christgau and John Rockwell. Later,
just when the song seems about to enter
full-swing, he spins a tale about writing
a musical version of Nelson Algren's
Walk On The Wild Side.
Gobd rock'n'roll means taking
risks-Reed gambled with Take No
Prisoners and won big.
Ray Harroun, driving a Marmet, won
the first Indianapolis 500-mile auto race
Tech Interviews 1:00, Auditions 2:00
Women in Communications, Inc.
University of Michigan Chapter
Assistant to the Editor and Publisher of
the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times
"Newspapers-A Reflection of the Times?"
WED. FEB. 7
EVER YONE WEL COMEI
Thursday, Feb. 8
University of Michigan
School of Music
Auditions: Room 2038
Registration: ,Room 2033
Also at Cedar Point
Sat., Feb. 10: Sat., Feb. 17
minimum age 18
FOR OTHER AUDITION SITES
AND FURTHER INFORMATION
CONTACT: LIVE SHOWS
SANDUSKY, OHIO 44870
I COST: Only $8.00 before
1 5:00 p.m. March 2, 1979.,
(March 3-March 19, cost is
1 Make checks payable to the Mich-
I ~Igan Daily.g
I Mal or bring in person to 420
(actual size of ad) Absolutely no ads
I Please print or type legibly in will be accepted
I the space provided, as you after March 19.
I would like ad to appear.
I Supplement will appear
Sunday, March 25, 1979 l
i'i i " "" i i i " r
fell back slight
currencies in qi
On the Lone
price of gold co
a loss of $2.2. f
GOLD IS A
hedge in times o
and its dollir pi
dication that ei
about to stabliz
planned to cut
were denied Tt
Those reports h
We again hav
prices fall, dollar
noes in light trading
andI wouldn't want to make any short-
(AP(-The price of gold q term predictions about which way the
tly in Europe yesterday rates will move," a London dealer said.
s record high, and the One New York dealer said he believes
ei against all major the dollar's decline may prompt the
iet trading in New York market to test the Federal Reserve's
will to hold it steady.
on bullion market, the The dollar fell back below 200 yen in
)sed at $244.25 an ounce, Tokyo, closing at 198.95 Japanese yen
rom Mondy's record of compared to Monday's 201.775.
THE SLIDE continued in Europe,
traditional investor's where these late dollar 'rates were
f monetary undertainty posted, compared with Monday's:
nice tends to rise as the Frankfurt, 1.8625 marks, down from
vice-versa. 1.8673; Zurich, 1.6877 Swiss francs,
cy traders interpreted down from 1.69125; Paris, 4.2770 French
in activity, as an in- francs, down from 4.28; Milan, 839.45
xchange rates may be lire, down from 843.10; Amsterdam,
e. There were no news 2.0100 guilders, down from 2.0140.
o stimulate selling of In London, the pound was worth
dealers considered $1.99575 late Tuesday compared with
ine a continuation of Monday's $1.9893. This was a slight rise
drop. for the pound despite Britain's labor
day that Saudi Arabia unrest.r
oil production slightly In New York, the dolar fell to 1.8566
uesday by the Saudis. marks from Monday's 1.8597; to 4.2665
ad played a key role in French francs from 4.2765; to 1.6785
ie of the dollar and rise Swiss francs from 1.6835; and tok 198.40
yen from 199.48. The pound rose to
ve a very tricky market $1.9995 from $1.9925.
3 days to
Sat., Feb. 10-8 pm
THE MICHIQAN UNION-$1
It's Gonna Be A
+ "SUPER PARTY" +
MONKS AND MEDITATION:
EAST AND WEST
A series with
Brother David Steindi-Rast
Thursday, February 8-4 p.m.
Pendleton Rm., 2nd fl. Mich. Union
Meditative Practices East and West
A talk followed by discussion
7:30 P.M.-GUILD HOUSE, 802 Monroe
Following the poets at the regular poetry reading, Brother David
will read from the poetry of J. Edgar Edwards as a memorial.
Friday, February 9-12 noon
GUILD HOUSE-802 Monroe
Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity
A talk and discussion in the Guild
House Friday noon luncheon series.
Soup and sandwich 75¢
8 P.M.-CANTERBURY LOFT, 332 S. State St., 2nd fl.
Art and Music in a Western Monastery
A presentation followed by discussion
Saturday, February 10-1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Pine Room, Wesley Foundation, 1st Methodist Church,
State.& Huron-A workshop/seminar/retreat on
THURSDAY'S THE NIGHT!
Thursday, February 8 is Grand Opening night at the
most exciting new disco in town! The Bananas Disco.
A throbbing, inviting new light in the night. See it.
Hear it. Feel it. Love it. The Bananas Disco. 2800