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February 28, 1979 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-28

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, February 28, 1979-Page 5

Al Jarreau

The Ramones are like you

is.
By
Al Jarre
up any au
even when
contempoi
of prog
Jarreau's
refreshing
Mel Torme
His voic
dynamic r
strains, g
audience i
coats the
loving, h
presence
Jarreau is
rapport wi
Jarreau
and religio
nagging c
range. If h4
that he pu
limit He e
of giving hi
Sunday nig
little more
it didn't m
is, above a
stylist. An
his vocal.
even enha
in the pro
scatting
imitations1
AL JAR
might ord
lesser war
Lewis held
a trio, Levy
tuxedos1
nostalgia t
extremely
Ramsey L
are fun an
the right
moment.I
with his a
lines whic
however o
overwroug
Lewis is

always hot
LEE LEVINE aordnaire. But he is effective
eau s loe. H canfire as a blues pianist, as a straight
au is love. He can fire ahead jazzer, and even in the
dience with emotion - funk genre. The unusual
n he has a cold. For a utiiain r keTwelluas
rary vocalist in a world utilization of a trio worked well as
grammatic music, it Tended to theitimacy of the
style is unique and Performance by allowing for
in the vein of Ella and mr soloing.
,hs Featuring favorite tunes such
e has a powerful and as "Sun Goddess," "The In
a poerfu and Crowd," "A Blues Tribute to Ray
ange. He soars, croons, Charles," and "Just the Way You
;Tides, and scats the,,
~lids, nd satsthe Are," the trio was a fine ap-
into a frenzy and then petizer for the main act. They
se voicings with his warmed the crowd as Lewis
heartwarming stage mimicked Charles' blues
and charisma. Truly, phrasing and even his man-
great at establishing nerisms in "Tribute." A well-
th his audience. constructed, technically
projected ebullience proficientdrum solo by Frank
us intensity despite the Donaldson also fired the audien-
old that hampered his ce, and paved the way for the
ie has a weakness, it is funky thumb-popping bass lines
ashes his voice to the of Greg Williams and the alter-
xplains that this is part nately cool and hot soulful
imself to the audience. playing by Lewis. The audience
ght, his voice cracked a was immersed in Lewis' music,
often than normal. But demonstrating their enthusiams
latter because Jarreau with continuous calls of en-
ll, an entertainer and a with cont s
id he compensated for couragement-.
idmhetcompnsa-edaybe SO THE audience was ready
limitations. - maybe for Jarreau when he appeared on
ncing the performance stage. He smiled and his lanky
cess - by doing more yet muscular body swayed with
and instrument the rhythms of the music as the
than he does normally. crowd smiled back. Jarreau's
IREAU'S magnetism sleek sensuality aided him as he
mandly overshadow a captivated the audience with
mmup band, but Ramsey heart-felt music. He began with
*his own. Appearing as "Brite'n Sunny Babe," and
wis' group wore black "Loving You." It was the classic
to accentuate the Al Jarreau, but also a frustrated
hey tried to evoke. It is one. After finishing "Loving
difficult to dislike You," it was evident that Jarreau
ewis' music. His tunes was overthroating a bit with his
id calculated to strike voice, breaking and becoming
chord at the right raspy at times. At this point, he
Lewis works adeptly apologized for the cold.
udience, cranking out Yet it was at this juncture that
ch are crowd-pleasing, the musician proved his brillian-
ccasionally cliche and ce. Singing with obvious
,ht. limitations, he eschewed
not a keyboardist ex- See NO, Page 8

ByRJ.SMITH
"It is the dream of many to see
only the white and truly beautiful,
or the black, ugly and destructive.
But I cannot help realizing both, for
only in the two, only in black and
white, can I see God as a unity
creating again and again a great and
eternally changing terrestrial
drama. "
-expressionist painter
Max Beckmann, 1938.
Like nobody else in rock and roll, the
Ramones get down that black and white
duality. They know where fun crosses
over into violence, and where leisure
time becomes deathful boredom. Clad
in their black leather jackets, pounding
out cyclotron-force guitar chords of
white noise, they communicate to their
audience (mostly people who are or
were picked-on teenagers) in a way far
broader than the simplicity of their
lyrics or their elemental sound.
Let me put that in another way: the
Ramones are the best fucking group in
the world. MANY PEOPLE who have
only heard of the Ramones and have not
actually heard them (because they
never play them on the radio) are un-
derstandably wary of the group. They
play music often connoted with punk
rock (as evinced by the many geeks
who threw vegetables and drinks at the
concert Monday night. Do they think
the Ramones appreciate this?) But
they shouldn't be.
Yeah, they sound like a demolition
derby. But the Ramones also want to be
your friends, unlike the British punks.'
And if it takes the sound of a demolition
derby to wage war on boredom in
America, then who wants silence?
The Ramones are about fun. They
shun complexity and pyrotecnics, and
espouse in itheir two-and-a-half-minute
songs the al-American teenage
philosophy which states only "why are
you bothering me with politics? Show
me how to have fun!" But the Ramones
have not fallen into the cistern that so
much of rock and roll has, recycling
songs about sex and drugs. They sing
about hanging out, and sniffing glue,
and watching television.
LIKE ANY Ramones' concert, the
one at the Second Chance was among
other things a celebration of their
patriotism, of life in a country which is
comparatively good to even its lowliest
(and if you want to see lowly take a look
at Joey Ramone, who is as pock-
marked, Travaged, and goofy as they
come).
The)performance, billed as a "Big
Beat Show", began with a set by the
Romantics. Although not anything like
the Ramones, the Romantics held their
own well, presenting a burning version
of what often seemed to be sixties-
rooted pop. There were hints of the
Byrds and the Beatles, and if the lyrics
were a bit too heavily reliant on the
True Love theme, the group certainly
had scads of forcefulness and en-
thusiasm which made it all more than'
merely sincere. They have a low,
growly sound which sometimes is a bit

much, and which the addition of a
keyboard would lighten - but even
without, this down-below guitar impact
puts across the romance of the Roman-
tics in a very seventies way.

bounded on the stage, and ordered
those closest to the band to back up or
the show would not go on. There were a
tense few minutes as Joey and Johnny
and the other Ramones scratched their
heads and watched the roadie kick at,.
those near the stage, and it took Joey a
while to remember to shout out the:
necessary "1-2-3-4!" to start "Bad, Bad
Brain."
The whole episode made the
Ramones very upset, and it seemed as
if for the rest of the show they played
with an unusual crackle. Joey sang on
top of, in front of, and behind the band's
playing, and Johnny's perfunctory pout
and playful frown became a full-fledged
mask of terror.
A FRIEND said the band's sound had
been mixed through some sort of har-'
monic enhancer, which had taken the
edge out of the playing, and this may
very well be so - at least, it didn't seem
as loud and raw as other Ramones'
shows have. But nonetheless,, Monday's
show had a kick all its own.
So, what else do you want to know?
The Ramones are approximately the
Beatles of the seventies (except that
Marky's not nearly as dumb as Ringo),
they play ear-slicing music with more
guts and fervor than anyone else
around today, and they are our most
democratic band, possessing a passion'
for America that is, well, touching.
And if their greatness is still not certi-
fied, let me put that another way: the
Ramones are the best fucking group in
the world.
Still the Number
1 game
at the UNION
reduced rates to 6 pm
Everyday

Humorist' 5play
plas humorless
By JOSHUA PECK
James Thurber was a man of letters-letters that ought best to have stayed*
on the printed page. But William Windom, basking in the glory of his starring
role in an amusing little sitcom some years back called My World and Welcome to
It, has insisted on bringing Thurber's material, virtually untransformed, to the
stage in his one-man show, William Windom Plays Thurber.
The television show was loosely constructed around the cartoons, writing, and
life of humorist Thurber. Its scriptwriters had the good sense to throw in a few
typical television trappings, to make the program palatable to viewers of the little
screen.
The play, however, assumes that Thurber's musings will work-undoc-
tored-as theater. They don't.
WHEN BROWSING THROUGH a Thurber magazine piece, for instance, one is
tantalized by the man's wit, his delicate touches of absurdity, his splendidly
William Windom Plays Thurber James Thurber............Willaim Windom
James Thurber
Power Center forlthe Per/ormtngArts A Professional Theater Programn
February 25 special event
cynical imaginings about all of us members of the human race. One actor, gifted or
not, can not come close to inspiring in the same way that part of our imagination
that is comedically bent. The printed word sets our minds free to roam; the
solitary actor restricts and limits us.
There are, admittedly, a few felicitious moments over the course of the show's
two brief acts. Windom's odyssey through a tourist's foreign phrase book, if too
long, has its agreeably piquant segments, as when, turning to a new chapter, an
American woman is left with only disastrous, somewhat graphic descriptions of
the awful misfortunes that have just befallen her husband to spout out at the puz-
zled (imaginery) Parisian bystanders.
Since scarcely any of the sketches that aim to make us laugh succeed, those
whose chief element is a bit more on the serious side fare best. The final sequence
of the first act, an imagined conversation between Thurber and his dog on the day
of the dog's demise, eloquently confirms at author's bittersweet vision of the
inevitablility of it all, and heralds those among us, both canine and human, who
can find it within themselves to accept Death with equanimity and grace.
THEN THERE IS the sketch about an adult man who, as a boy, had been a
milquetoast, and frequently the victim of the neighborhood bully. Encountering a
similar bully-bullied situation, the man steps in on a frail boy's behalf, and this
time finds himself accused of doing the strongarming himself. The irony is almost
delicious.
The dreariness of most of the material, when dressed as appropriate stage
matter, is the single element that remains most evident throughout the evening. A
long discourse of how husbands and wives might get along better serves as a prime
example. There is far too little that one can laugh at, and far too much that is
laughable. Why doesn't Windom know?
One is hard-pressed to imagine that any other actor would have done better
with the fundamentally flawed script, but Windom's limited repertoire of charac-
terizations does its part in hurting the total effort. There is the nasally unpleasant
woman, too stereotypical to show itself in the 70s, the brash and hard-talking male,
and the meek quiverer, a la Walter Mitty. And that's all.
A last note: the Power Center management really ought to take away the
Southern Comfort the technical hands in the lighting booth have been drinking. At
show's end, they bungled an elementary lighting design badly.
the Ann Arbor Film CoopertiVe presents at Aud. A
Wednesday, February 28
SMILE ORANGE
(Trevor D. Rhone, 1976) 8:30 only-AUD. A
The second major feature to come out of Jamaica, this hysterical and acerbic
comedy about local and tourist life on the island features Carl Bradshaw
(THE HARDER THEY COME) as Ringo, a hotel waiter who cons the tourists,
sleeps with their wives, and teaches his discioles more of the same. ANN

Joey Ramone, frail lead singer for the Ramones, catches his breath after the.
band's murderous show at the Second Chance Monday evening.
SONIC'S RENDEZVOUS Band, sans
the hovering figure of Patti Smith Mon- LA
day night (although some swear other-
wise), followed the Romanlics. DAILY EARLY BIRD MATINEES-
Although a friend told me Fred "Sonic'' DISCOUNT IS FOR SI
Smith was far from in top form, his MON. thru SAT. 10 A.M. til 1:3
playing and his group's performance EVENING ADMISSION
sounded to this first-timer very moving, Monday-Saturday 1:30-5:00,
and quite full of punch. Smith isn't a Sundays and Holidays 1:30 tc
ranting and raving rock and roller; he Sunday-Thursday Evenings
comes across, both in appearance and Children 12 And
in stature, like Neil Young. Smith
stares strongly into the audience when
he sings, and his limited voice
nonetheless is hard-bitten.. When he
plays his guitar, he seems to play out of
a charged inner feeling - he cannot ex-
them away in a few quick hot lines. In-
stead, Smith plays for a good long time
when he solos, and slowly burns things
out.
When the Ramones finally came on-
stage, the audience was ready for them.
Several fights had broken out in the
bar, and the dance floor was elbow-to-
elbow with people during the inter-
mission before the group set foot on
stage. They played a set containing
much old material, and some songs,
such as off their album Road To Ruin "Ift
Don't Want You," their new single,
which is a cover of Sonny Bono' s
"Needles and Pins," and the splendidly
nihilistic "I'm Against It" ( "I don't
like sex and drugs/I doi 't like water- 4
bugs/I don't care about poverty/all I
care about is me).
THEY ALSO did "Rock And Roll
High School," from the movie of the
same title they have finished making
with Roger Corman (according to Joey,
it's about students blowing up their high Now Showing, C
school - again, as if it's needed, more __________
proof that the Ramones are patriotic). WEDNESDAY IS M
Perhaps 20 minutes into the show, one "BARGAIN DAY" "GU
of the group's roadies - a hulking six- $1.50 until 5:30 TWO AO
ties type, with a frosty glint in his eye -FOR

pus Area Butterfield Theatres
.r
wr rr

ONDAY IS
EST NIGHT"
QULTS ADMITTED
PRICE OF ONE

ADOMT FRI.. WA., SUN.
EYE. t HOLIDAYS $3.36
MON.-THURS. EVE $3.0
ALL MATINEES $2.50
CHILD TO 14 $1.5

Waside Theatre FRIDAY & SAT MIDNIGHT SHOW
Wogtenaw WALT DISNEY'SplAeI
YpsilWa nw netiAeueIfgl

IL -A...,.... - fiE A Usa,:." F.1 I

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