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February 16, 1972 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-02-16

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T
Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesday, February 16, 1972

Whispers and wails ...

Theatre of the Absurd

By HERB BOWIE
Before I go any farther, I'm
afraid I have to make an
apology. Incensed by their butch-
er job on Lou Reed's "Rock. and
Roll," I recently wrote a scath-
ing review of Detroit's album.
Well, I listened to it again and
it's not that bad. I still hate
the group for reducing "Rock
and Roll" to a simplistic, high-
energy, number, but when they
tackle less ambitious material
the results are pretty listenable.
Here's a problem for you: how
do you take eleven famous R&R
songs and make an album 'that
doesn't sound like a pale limita-
tion of the originals? If all you
do is update the original ver-
'sions, you end up with a boring,
redundant rip-off. Use original
arrangements, t h o u g h, a n d
you're in the embarrassing con-
dition of having your work com-
pared ' to the familiar, classic
products.
The. answer to this difficult
question is It's Gonna Take A
Miracle (Columbia KC 30987),
and Laura Nyro's done it. These
songs,. and their simple themes
of joyous, painful, adolescent
love, are so much a part of
Laura Nyro that the question of
interpreting someone else's ma-
terial never comes up-in her
hands, they all sound like they
were written expressly for her.
The next question is, how do
you -arrange a set of songs like
these 'The natural approach is
to have - big, slick productions
with lots of harmonies and let
the music carry the songs. After
all, these songs are all pretty
simple lyrically, and a post-Dy-
lan audience is likely to scoff,
if it pays. any attention at all,
to words as obvious and naive
as "It's gonna take a miracle/
To make:me love someone new/
'Cause I'm crazy for you./ Yes,
'it's gonna take a miracle." Nyro
chose the 'hard way, though,
using sparse arrangements that
do no more than skillfully com-
plement the vocals. The results
are superb. Before hearing this
album' I'd dismissed Nyro as a
talented vocalist whose vocal
manipulations usually ran to ex-
cess. I'm now convinced that
she's one of the very best fe-

male singers ever: She 'an shout,
she can moan, she can wail, she
can whisper, and she can sing
"tighter" at least seven different
ways, all of them equally con-
vincing. The happy upshot is that
each stereotyped line sounds as
fresh as the line '"i love you"
each time a kid spontaneously
utters it for the first time.
Although the instrumentation
is minimal, it's not to be over-
looked. Miss Nyro avails herself
Qf a wide range of instruments
used briefly and tastefully. For
example, there's ┬░one bent note
played on guitar on "You Really
Got A Hold On Me" that I love
every time I hear it, while the
short, stuttering bass line on
"Nowhere To Run" and the
congas on the former song have
similar effects on me. The first
time you hear the, album it may

In short, this is one of the
very best albums out and you
shouldn't be without it.
In contrast, Genya Ravan
(Columbia C 31001), by the for-
mer lead singer of Ten Wheel
Drive, is the kind, of worthless
album that It's Gonna Take A
Miracle could have been, were
Laura Nyro less than brilliant.
Without a single original compo-
sition, it's not bad, but who needs
it? The selection of songs is pure
commercial wishy-washiness, in-
cluding such diverse numbers as
"Sit Yourself Down," "I'm In
the Mood for Love," and "Turn
On Your Love Lights." Genya,
whose main asset is her hokey,
orgiastic scream, has a nice
voice but tends to substitute af-
fectation for feeling. The instru-
mentation is as brilliantly me-,
diocre as the rest of the.record.
With 'Music (Ode SP 77013),
the Carole King music machine
has produced an LP that, while
sticking close to the style that
made Tapestry such a success,
surpasses even that album in its
uniform excellence. Yet, despite
the enormous talent displayed
on the record, I'm still, dissatis-
fied.
There's no question but that
Carole King, aided by producer
Lou Adler and a whole army of
able sidemen, is simply the best
in the business at what she does.
She has a seemingly endless
ability to turn out beautiful melo-
dies and intelligent lyrics; her
voice is smooth and pleasant yet
has enough earthiness to be dis-
tinctive; her cohorts never fail
to produce polished, sophisticated
arrangements.
The trouble is, with all this
talent, she makes nothing but
highly refined grocery store
music. Her music never fails
to delight but never surprises.
And what good is all this talent
if you don't notice it? I want
exciting music, music that de-
mands my attention, that trans-
fixes me, not music to squeeze
tomatoes by.
So, the big question is, after
writing brilliant songs for nearly
a decade, gaining millions of fans
and collecting two gold albums,
where does Carole King go from
here? She could stay in her

groove and collect gold records
indefinitely, but she could also
do something a lot more excit-
ing. First of all, get rid of pro-
ducer Lou Adler. Adler, who
used to produce the Mamas and
the Papas, is competent but not
very exciting. Somebody like
Glyn Johns might be a little
better. Next, fire all her thor-
oughly brilliant, boring, sidemen
and get someone like Al Kooper
to help her out. After all, look
what ie'sdone for Dylan. What
would the resultantalbum sound
like? Well, all we can do is cross
our fingers and hope, but I think
we can find a clue on Music.
On "Back to California," the
last song on the LP, Joel O'Brien
replaces Russ Kunkel on drums
and Ralph Shuckett plays elec-
tric piano; the diffe'ence, if not
shocking, is at least impressive.
After the first eleven tepid per-
formances, the driving drum
intro hits you like a cold shower.
King's swooping piano runs,
while not very subtle, are ex-
citing ,and Shuckett's sprawling
solo is perfect. What clinches it,
though, is that King actually
manages to shout. More cuts like
this and I might join her.
lunch
non-profit cooperative
conspiracy
coffeehouse-theater
330 Maynard Street
UM Film Society

In a rare format for a major
production, University Players
will present a twin bill at the
Mendelssohn Theatre tonight:
Eugene Ionesco's Victims of
Duty and The Maids by Jean
Genet.
These two playwrights, along
with S a m u e 1 Beckett, form
the triumvirate of Revolutionary
Theatre, which we have come to
know as the Theatre of the Ab-
surd.
Common to each of these plays
is modern man's search for
Prey recital
Hermann Prey, baritone of the
Metropolitan O p e r a Company,
will perform the first vocal re-
cital to be held in the Power
Center for the Performing Arts
tomorrow.
The 8 p.m. program, under the
auspices of the University Musi-
cal Society, will mark Prey's sec-
ond appearance. here.
Tickets ($6, $5, $4, and $3) are
now available at the Musical So-
ciety office in Burton Memorial
Tower.
SSAT. . 9:00 P.M.
ZULU
BURSLEY HALL
25c ,POPCORN
CHARGE

identity. But Ionesco and Genet
lead their characters along di-
vergent paths to find it.
Ionesco develops the identity
theme-that we are all victims
of a society forcing us into con-
formity; a society which forces
us into a duty we do not feel.
Genet also develops the theme
of identity-which is both im-
mediate and destructive. Identity
is achieved through murder, for
in committing a crime, one is
accepted, however, briefly by the
society against which the crime
is committed.
Tickets may be purchased at
the Mendelssohn Theatre box of-
fice at $1.50 and $2.50 tonight
and Thursday and $2 and $3 Fri-
day and Saturday.
2Y 5

PILOT PROGRAM Presents:
The Organizer
TONIGHTI 9:30 P.M.
PublicHealth Auditorium
'Admission: 75c

11l

4

ii

L

=

WRX ALDD ULT S ONLY
reAoo* NEW APPROACH TO THE
WORLD'S OLDEST PROFESSION

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is

.......:::: :n w ..........-... . we . " : '

OPENS TONIGHT

Laura Nyro

Now*

sound sparse, but eventually you
realize it's only the superfluous
that's missing.
The remaining performer on
the album is Labelle, a three-
girl singing group. They're all
over the record; echoing, answer-
ing, and reinforcing Nyro's voice,
and singing lead occasionally,
and they're great, supplying
some of the most imaginative
back-up vocals I've heard since
Moondance.

ionesco
VICTIMS
OF DUTY

genet
THE
MAIDS

MENDELSSOHN THEATRE, Feb.,16-19, 8 P.M.
-UNIVERSITY PLAYERS-
BOX OFFICE OPEN DAILY AT 12:30 P.M.
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
Presents
1,NEVER
SANG FOR'
MY FATHER
By ROBERT ANDERSON
March 1-5, Mendelssohn Theatre
Sat. sold out. Sun performance 7 p.m. Other shows
at 8 p.m. Tickets $2-2.75. TICKETS available at
Stanger's. 668-6300

COME TO:
Conference on -Women
and Religion
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
February 17-20
Speakers Include:
ANN WALSH
ROSEMARIE REUTHER
MARY DALY
PENNY WASHBOURN
For information and luncheon
reservations, call 764-7442
from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Free to the Public
Office of Religious Affairs, U of M

A:
5,
*: t
:C
Jel
".4..
6t

4

4

Gospel-country- folk
Bily P r e s t o n once rocked, the producership of George Har-
rolled, and shouted "That's the rison.
Way God Planned It," with one A respected keyboard artist,
of the greatest back-up bands in composer, and vocalist, Preston
rock history-George Harrison, has worked on sessions with
Ringo Starr, Leon Russel, Eric Carole King, Barbra Streisand,
Clapton and more-to a crowd of the Beatles, Stephen Stills, Ray
thousands gathered at the his- Charles and Aretha Franklin, to
toric Madison Square Garden name just a few. He has also
Benefit concert for the East Pak- had his work performed by these
istani refugees. artists and hundreds more, and
Saturday, Preston will join De- was a member of the touring
laney and Bonnie and friends, Plastic Ono Band with John Len-
and' Iris Bell in a concert spon- non and Yoko Ono.
sored by UAC-Daystar, the Viet- "I want to give people some-
nam Veterans Agains tthe War thing that they'll really remem-
and the Inter Cooperative Coun- ber, to help their lives, to give
cil them something solid-and what
A former recording artist for I'm talking about is God-a good,
the Beatles Apple label, Preston solid message that makes you
has, the distinction of being the think."
first black man to record with Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett,
the Beatles, and also to have two and their friends play music root-
sole albums to his credit under ed in the natural gospel-folk-
__ country traditions of the South.

140M

.-

DIAL 8-6416
ENDING TONIGHT
Shows at
1., 3, 5,7, & 9p.m.

message

Their circle of friends-defined
as people who want to be to-
gether and do the same thing-
is growing, moving along, until
every one's friend of the origi-.
nal Delaney and Bonnie and
Friends.
Tickets for the Hill Auditorium
concert ($4.50, $3.50, and $2.00)
are now available at the Mich-
igan Union and both Salvation
Record stores.
5TH WEEK!
At State and Liberty
IATIE
Program Information 662-6264

IT'S SO FANTASTIC
YOU FIND YOURSELF
FEELING SORRY
FOR EVENf
THE BAD GUYS
Si..,rTOM LAUGHLIN DELORES TAYLOR
THURSDAY
"Lovers and Other Stranigers"
and "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

.

.M"

SUBSCRIBE TO THE MICHIGAN DAILY

1

U

I

UAC-DAYSTAR Presents with ICC and Vietnam Vets Against the War
BILLY PRESTON, IRIS BELL
AND
Delaney, Bonnie &cfriends

DIAL 665-6290
SHOWS AT:
1 :15-3:45-6:15-8:50
FEATURE AT:'
1 :30-4:00-6:30-9:00

UM FILM SOCIETY
Presents
FRITZ LANG
ROGER CORMAN
DOLLAR DOUBLE-FEATURE
Metropolis
1926 Lang's version of
"German ypu t h in the
year 2,000" - visually
overwhelming"
7 & 1 p.m.
-AND-
FALL OF THE
HOUSE OF USHER

i I

OPEN 1 p.m. SHOWS AT
1:15-3:10-5-7-9 P.M.
Feature Starts 5 min. later

I

I

"IT'S A SIZZLER"
--Detroit News
"ONE OF THE
YEAR'S TEN BEST"
-Time
"The best American
movie of the last six
months."
"Come on like gangbust-
ers . . . I doubt if you'll
see anything quite as
devastating."
-Michigan Daily

8 P.M.-HILL AUD.
THIS SAT. NIGHT, FEB. 19

I

$4.50-3.50-2.00 gen. adm.
"Listening to Billy Preston, you
really can believe once more in
the saving powers of music."
-Rolling Stone
You've heard Billy Preston on the
Bangla Desh Concert Album, with L:r

I

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